Mom and her horse, Miss Happy Trails
Pawpaw Cole and his cute cake... this is him smiling!
Pawpaw sitting on the gallery
Pretty flowers at my grandparents house... (notice the bug!!)
This past Friday was my grandfather's 88th birthday. I drove home to cook dinner for everyone (with the help of Shane and my cousin Vanessa), and also invited people to come by and visit Pawpaw throughout the day. It was a busy day, but we all really enjoyed it, and most of all, Pawpaw enjoyed it... I am so thankful to have him in my life. Frankly, anyone who knows him should be. He is such an amazing person who has a heart to serve others and to help others, and I know that he has impacted so many other people with his big heart. I'm praying we have many more years with Pawpaw... but I know that the last year has been really hard on his health and his heart... he really misses Daddy. We had a tearful moment on the gallery (what he calls his front porch) when he said that "I can't look anywhere on this place (our property) and not see something he did." He was crying, I was crying... and the reality is so true. Daddy did so much to contribute to our family, our land, and our community - we will do well to remember his contributions and celebrate them... I think that helps (me, at least) to make us smile more than cry...
Encouragement: This weekend mom competed in a horse show in Hattiesburg. It was at this show last year that Daddy came and told her that he had been diagnosed with Leukemia. I know that she had some emotional moments over the weekend.... but she also had a very successful weekend. She won curcuit champion in two of her three events, and it was so wonderful to see all the other people congratulating and encouraging her. Being around that reminded me of how important encouragement is. I'm sure some of those people knew the emotional significance of this show for mom, but I doubt they all did... and their words, smiles, and pats on the back encouraged her at a time she needed it. That's a sweet reminder to always encourage others, because you never know what they are going through on any particular day.
Turtles: One of the most impactful moments of my weekend began with a laugh and ended with a deep thought. I was driving to the horse show and saw a van pulled over on the side of a busy road. There was a man waiting for traffic to pass on the edge of the road, and as the other lane cleared, he ran to the middle of the road to pick up a little turtle and take it to the other side of the road. At first I laughed at the fact that this guy ran out in traffic, but then I really began to think of his actions... and I literally said out loud: "I want to be the guy that moves the turtle!" Now let me explain... think about those times in your life where your facing trials and don't know how long they will last (traffic and the road) ... how awesome would it be if someone just picked you up and moved you to the other side of that trial and uncertainty. Of course we should look to the Lord to help us through things... but I also believe that each of us can help others out in our own ways... whatever your gifts and talents are... use them to help others across the road.
So many of y'all have helped me on those days I felt like the turtle, and I am so thankful for that. Remember this verse as you meet people... live out this verse as much as possibly.
"I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ." Romans 15:29
Imagine what an impact you can have on any person or situation when approaching it with the full measure of Christ! Always remember the power that you have as a Christian... I know there are days we all forget and we get discouraged, but it is those days that the rest of us need to step in to take others to the opposite side of the road.