Thursday, March 31, 2011

Picnics and Games

First up on the list of things to post about, Picnics and Games. 

Friday afternoon we arrived at Callaway and headed straight for the Grand Lawn.  There we saw many old friends, made new ones and enjoyed several games beginning with a sing-off.  Everyone was divided by last name and formed into 3 brigades.  Dad was made commander of the 1st brigade, with Mr Scott Brown serving as lieutenant.  The 3rd brigade sang Amazing Grace, with the father and daughters singing alternate parts.  Then the 2nd brigade sang the Star Spangled Banner while forming a star, quite impressive.  But when faced with competition there is no one who rises to the occasion better than Dad.  So in perfect marching order the 1st brigade sang I'm in the Lord's Army, hand gestures and all!  After a rousing rendition we immediately followed with God Bless America, and the 1st brigade was victorious!!!  Other games included obstacle courses, croquet and three legged races.

                           A new take on a three-legged race, the five-legged race

                                                         Virginia or Pocahontas?

                                                                  "Come on Virginia!"

                                                               "We're almost there"

                                                             "Are we there yet?"

 Mr Keen and Dad, two southern gentlemen

After the games we all enjoyed a picnic on the lovely lawn.  We got to sit with our good friends the Harbins, and enjoyed delicious food and wonderful fellowship.

Next it was on to the ice cream!  While everyone enjoyed the sweets Jubilee and I served as human blockades to the ballrooms until the setting up was finished.  This was actually a great time to catch up and trade stories on our favorite topics, war stories and old movies.

We heard from Mr Phillips on the 6 points to take away from this weekend.  Then Mr Botkin spoke to the fathers on "How to involve your Daughter in your life".

We should have headed back to our rooms, but we stayed late to visit, after all we only get to see these folks a few times a year.  So at around 1:30 we called it a night, or would that be calling it a morning?

Up next-Messages and Mentoring

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Back!

Well I'm back from one the best weekends in my life (so far).  The messages were in my opinion some of the best I have ever heard at a Vision Forum event.  I'll be posting through out the week, but until then here are a few of the things that have happened in the last few days.  Picnics and games, messages and mentoring, high tea and hailstorms, a tornado, a flood in our house and an engagement (NO its not me)!  Needless to say I have lots to post this week. 

Until then,
The Southern Homemaker

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Blessing of Friendship

Have you ever been asked "the question"?  If you are a stay-at-home daughter you know exactly what I'm talking about.  A typical exchange sounds like this:
"So how old are you?"
"Have you decided what you want to do with your life?"
"Yes, I want to be a wife and a mother."
"Yes. Being the daughter of a stay-at-home mom I know what a tremendous blessing it is to me, and I want to give that to my children."
(at this point the other party is either intrigued or repulsed, and I have experienced both)

Being a stay-at-home daughter is not a common thing in society, which is one of the reasons it seems so foreign to most people.  It is easy to find young women who are pursuing college and career, while finding a young woman pursuing godly womanhood and motherhood is very seldom. 

Which is one of the reasons it is so important to maintain friendships with young women who have the same vision and goals in life.  But where do you meet such young ladies?  Well I had that same problem years ago, until Dad took me to the Vision Forum Ministries Father Daughter Retreat at Callaway Gardens.  I can't even begin to say what an impact it had on me.  At the time I was 12 and was just starting to get the college and career push from the world along with several friends and family.  I knew this wasn't what God wanted me to do, yet where were the girls who were following God's plan?  And then I got to spend the weekend with over 600 fathers and daughters from around the country, and it truly changed my life. 

The messages were wonderful, the gardens were beautiful, but most importantly I met young ladies who were enthusiastic about their future roles of wife and mother.  They loved being at home, serving in their parents home and preparing to manage their own someday.  These friendships have been an answer to prayer, and have lasted through the years.  It was here that I met Anna P, who has become one of the dearest friends I've ever had.  The Phillips, Botkins, Keens, Mortons, Fords, the list goes on and on.

Mr Phillips called on us a few years ago to tell the audience what the retreat had meant to us since it was our fourth time.  As I listened to the CD later I noticed one word that I used several times, blessing.  And that is the best word to describe this retreat, a blessing!

As Dad and I prepare to attend our sixth retreat this weekend, I eagerly await having time with my amazing father, and the many sweet reunions to come. 

                                                        With my wonderful father at the 2009 retreat

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Titus 2 Woman

Titus 2:3-5 is one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture.  It gives such a clear definition of what godly womanhood looks like.  So many young women today are not blessed to have a Titus 2 woman in their lives, and I have great sympathy for them.  I have the incredible blessing of having two women like this in my life, my mother and grandmother.  We have a tendency to look to the outside for answers, when they are often right in our midst.

Do you have a Titus 2 woman in your life?  Have you ever thought of your mother that way?  Have you prayed and asked God to bring someone to mentor and encourage you as you pursue godly, bibilical womanhood?
Or maybe you do have a woman like this in your life, have you thanked her lately?  Have you told her how much her mentoring means to you?  Have you thanked God for her?

I would encourage you to take some time this weekend and think about how much impact a godly mentor can have in your life.  If you have one, thank God from the depths of your heart for this tremendous blessing.  If you don't, ask Him to bring someone in your life and to help you patiently wait for His perfect timing.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God..." Romans 8:28

Enjoy the Lord's day,  I eagerly look forward to sharing more with you next week.

The Southern Homemaker

"The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanders, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed." Titus 2:3-5

Happy Birthday Princess

8 years ago today the Lord answered my prayers and I became a big sister. I am so blessed to have three precious little sisters, and Caroline started it all, "the 1st of the little girls" as Daddy likes to call her. The name Caroline means "joyful song" and a name never fit a person better! So here are some pictures of my little princess enjoying her present from her slightly over-indulgent big sister.

Monday, March 14, 2011

In memory of Aunt Karen

Today would have been my Aunt Karen's 40th birthday, yet the Lord had other plans. He called her home to be with him in October of 2007.  I miss her a great deal, but instead of mourning her loss I am thankful for the years I had with her and everything she taught me.

I believe that no matter how many Aunts or Uncles we have there is always one in particular that we are closest to, that is what Aunt Karen was to me.  She lived three streets over from us and I spent a great deal of time at her house as a young girl.  I have many wonderful memories of spending the afternoon at Aunt Karen and Uncle Darren's house, and as I grow older I cherish these memories all the more.

For my tenth birthday she gave me one of the greatest gifts I have ever received, she taught me how to cross-stitch.  Though it may seem like a simple thing, teaching someone a skill is a wonderful gift.  She actually taught me in the car as we drove down to a tea room for my party.  Since then we always went together to pick patterns, thread etc. She showed me everything I needed to know about cross-stitch and helped me master skills that I still use for every project.

One of the other great memories I have of her is the time she came to get me at 4AM the day after Thanksgiving to go to the fabric store, but we stopped at Krispy Kreme for doughnuts first!

I remember how I thought I would go crazy if I heard her say "patience is a virtue" to me one more time. I remember her amazing sewing room, her yummy kitchen, and her sweet tooth. We joke that she left it to me in her will.

Most of all I remember how she had a special name for each of us. I was "honey" my sisters were "precious" and "sweetie".

The last time I saw her was the day she died. After two and a half years of fighting cancer, she lay on her bed in the hospital slowly slipping away. As I walked through to say goodbye I held her hand and said "I love you Aunt Karen, thank you for everything you taught me." She replied as she always did "I love you too, Honey".  Just as we had ended every phone conversation, we ended our last conversation.

After more than three years I still remember her like she was here yesterday, and I wish she had been. I wish she was here to me help pick out patterns, or a new chocolate filled recipe. I wish she was here to take the kids swimming and to Krispy Kreme. I wish I could hear her say "I love you Honey" and "patience is a virtue" just one more time.

I love you Aunt Karen, Happy Birthday!
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