Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Erin !

It's Erin's birthday...a BIG birthday...a milestone she is 30 !!

While birthdays are usually wrapped up in ideas about the gift you are giving, as I think of Erin, she is the gift we have received. She is the oldest and first grandchild in the Brannon and Owens families; she was born on Granny Sue's ( Sidney's mother) birthday. She has helped me understand the poetic line "the child is father of the man."

Although we adults call ourselves "raising" children, in my case, many times my children have raised me.

As I reflect on the past 30 years, I have many memories. There are funny ones like when Erin stuck a piece of bell pepper up her nose when we were having a state senator over for dinner or the time, by slip of the tongue, she told me that a friend's dad owned One Eye Optical ( actually One Hour Optical). She has given us proud moments as she successfully completed her high school and college education. We gaze with pride to see her as she shares the pain and burdens of her hospice patients and their families.

We have poignant memories as well. We watched as she loved Cole, walked beside him through his treatments and with only the strength provided of God, continued life without him.

Erin is not defined by our memories. She is defined as a child of God, who looks daily to Him for in Isaiah 30:21 "...your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it"

How many times I have looked at my eldest child and asked in wonder " Who is this child and how did we deserve her ?" Yet I know that while Sidney and I call her ours...she is not..she is God's daughter and He gave us the blessed privilege of being her stewards.

We have laughed together and cried together, but praise God, the tears are fewer now. Erin is happy--her life is full--and the future stretches before her. Each day has become ripe with possibilities and anticipation. I am grateful for Brock ,Carter, Reagan and his family and the happiness and purpose they have restored to Erin's life. I know that God's hand is a work.

Erin, I stand in awe of the woman you have become.
I love you...Mama

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Champions of Hope, 2008

I don't call myself a runner and I certainly wouldn't refer to myself as a champion, but Saturday found me and about 499 others at the 2008 Champions of Hope 5K Run/Walk "taking steps to stop breast cancer."

My nephew Harris asked me if I was hoping to place, to which I immediately replied NO, I am hoping to finish !! I plodded along at my steady jog over what seemed to me many hills with very few downhills to match !! ( I think the real runners call this gently rolling). I am happy to report that I finished in about 39 minutes and I never had to stop and walk ! I was unable to speak as I ran; but I was breathing ! I attribute my stamina to the playlist on my ipod. I know the people around me would have been surprised to hear what I was hearing....The South's Gonna Do it Again, Amazing Grace-My Chains are Gone, Brick House, Sweet Home Alabama, Rollin' on the River, Precious Lord Take My Hand, and Brown Eyed Girl--all in that order !!

It was a fun morning...I loved being joined by Erin, Victoria, Brock, and I was excited to see some of my Headland High Girls out so early in the morning !!

It is a good cause, one that has touched all of us. It was mine and Erin's honor to run in memory of my mother's sister, Mock and my daddy's sister, Mary. We ran in honor of friends in the midst of the battle including Christine Z. and Kristin S. We ran for others, knowing they would run for us.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ramblings VIII: Just "Pundering"

When Erin was in elementary school one of her teachers challenged them to "punder" things (spelling intentionally incorrect). She would often come home and share her "punderings."

Well, lately I have been pundering myself...this is what happens when you spend alot of time driving, cleaning, and working in the yard !!

I have been thinking about the lack of balance in our nation and in my own personal life.

Looking at the big picture:
Why is it....

  • we provide financial bailouts and stimulus checks when we are running a budget in such a large deficit ?? I am unable to do this at home...when the money runs out here..the party is over !!

  • I am giddy when I see gas at $2.59 per gallon !! I know we are being jerked around !!

In contrast...looking at the very small picture (that would be me):

Why is it...
  • I have allowed too much clutter and excess in my life ? I think what pushed me over the edge was a simple $4.00 bottle of nailpolish. I bought the same bottle twice..same color...because I couldn't find the one I had, as it had become lost in the clutter..then it turned up and had never been opened.

  • I keep gaining and losing the same 10 ( or is it 20) pounds over and over and over and over...I know what to do...I have have taught the weight rules...limit your food and increase your truly is just that simple but why is it so hard ?
  • I eat too much, spend too much, own too much, waste too much time and sleep too little...I am over 50 and I know better
  • Procrastination rules my is so much easier to handle life as it comes at me, yet I let it pile up and cause me stress

I don't know the answers to the "why is its ?" of the nation or of my personal life...

But I can't help but wonder and punder if the answer to the big picture and the small lies in a verse we are being reminded to pray :

2 Chronicles 7:14 " if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land"

As I have investigated the word humble, both Psalm 35:13 where David "...humbled myself with fasting" and Ezra 8:21"...I proclaimed a fast that we might humble ourselves before God" impress on me that maybe it is time to humble myself before God and allow Him to work in me.. maybe it's time for a fast from the excesses in my own life...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Philippians 2:4

Each of you should not look only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philipians 2:4
When my daughter Erin went to work with Covenant Hospice...I guess we signed on as a package deal since we ( her family and friends) have come along to volunteer for fund raising events!!!
Actually Erin's job has raised my awareness of the different forms of hospice care as well as the different hospice groups. Covenant raises monies to provide care for those in need. In the spring, Sidney and I helped with the Boston Butt Sale fundraiser. There, I met Victoria. She has become my Thursday morning walking partner as well a a sounding board for politics of the day and good recipes !!
This past weekend, Anita, me, Victoria, and Pat, worked at the Holiday of Hope Marketplace (Sandy and Yevonne worked also on another shift )...Covenant's fall fundraiser. To say these are my friends does not do our relationships justice; they are truly my sisters in Christ ( ah..but more on these and the other Coffee Girls in another post)
Thanks Erin...for the opportunity to serve...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 28, 1998

I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
Psalm 57:1 (NIV)
I think we all define the timelines of our lives by certain milestone events. For my family, September 28, 1998 was truly one of those milestone events. Around 7:00 pm on that Monday night our house was hit by a tornado. The house was shifted on it's foundation, a side wall was torn away, and our lives were forever changed...for the better.

I have some very vivid memories of that night. I remember...
  • Sidney was on the phone with his mother when he heard the rumblings; he threw the phone (still connected) to the floor and rushed us to the hallway
  • My sister, Nancy and her girls were at Daddy and Mama's..seeking a safe place from a threatening hurricane. They were supposed to eat supper with us that night and I thank God they didn't come
  • Finding a log chain that the wind had blown through a window and into the chair where Sidney would normally have been sitting watching the evening news
  • The quick response and tremendous help of the Newville and Echo volunteer fire departments, family and friends.

We were all at home that night, in the house, just not in our typical "hanging out" spots. I know that God's hand was on each of us, protecting us from physical harm and granting us the grace to view the situation from His perspective.

Just what did He teach us ?

  • A house is just that...a home is people
  • Things are just things...all replaceable...many unnecessary
  • It is God's gift to accept help from His peole
  • It is our mission to help others
  • God can truly take an overwhelming situation and use it for good

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

End of Summer

The weatherman says this week marks the beginning of fall. We are well into the school year, into football season, and heading into the peanut harvest season, so he must be right !!!

These pictures are of our last "hurrah" of summer, as we enjoyed a visit with Sidney's sisters and brother in law at Lake Martin. A great weekend of food, family, touring of unbelievable lake homes, pontooning, and watching the brave ( including my nephews, Pierce and Harris) as they jumped from chimney rock. As always...we had a project...this time to help Mila complete her skirt wardrobe for school.

We have put away the bathing suits and towels until next year !!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Our Latest "Claim to Fame"

Anyone who follows college football KNOWS who Tim Tebow is.....and anyone who recognizes the most important person in this picture also knows it is the girl on the far right, my niece Katie Haney !! My sister sent this picture to assure us that Katie doesn't study all the time just in case we were worried that all work and no play would make for a dull life !!!
I am quite confident that Katie is making the most of her UF experience.
By the way, I was pulling for the Gators during this game with Miami...just don't tell anyone at Auburn !