Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ladies Retreat

"There are really only two types of people -- those who accept the need to change and those who don't.  The former grow,;the latter stay trapped in a prison of stagnation."  ~ Dr. Archibald Hart

Last weekend proved a sweet ladies retreat as we reminded each other that despite life's many changes, our anchor is Jesus and he will hold strong.  One of the highlights of the week was taking a walk on the nearby trails.  We visited the Indian Rock House where DeSoto stopped on his search for the Fountain of Youth.

"Embracing change has resulted in a journey of growth, taking me to a place I did not want to go, only to find there the person I wanted to be."  ~Lee McDowell "Embracing Change"

I still struggle to embrace change, but if that's the venue that God uses to help me look more like Him, then I'm thankful for His patience and for the safety His unchangeable, rock steady faithfulness gives me.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

In Heavenly Love Abiding

This is one of my favorite hymns and my prayer this weekend as step out of my comfort zone this weekend and share at a women's retreat.  I'm reminded that whether I'm residing in the South Pacific enjoying fresh coconuts or I'm living in the deep South enjoying the spectacular fall colors, my heart doesn't have to fear change.

In heav'nly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here:
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Wherever he may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack:
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way he taketh,
And I will walk with him.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Holy Trinity

"There is nothing for those who are really my friends.  I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature."  ~Jane Austen

My "holy trinity" of ladies, Ann, Julie, and Gayly, have walked through so many ups and downs with me over the years and across the miles.  Like Jane Austen, none of them love by halves.

"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness.  Look at your three best friends.  If they're ok, then it's you."  ~Rita Mae Brown

These ladies keep me accountable and bring me joy.  When Julie was stitching this beautiful quilt for me, she had no idea that shortly after she left Arkansas I would be huddled underneath it drinking my cold care tea.  So grateful for friends and the ways they nourish me!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Mt. Nebo. Again.

"Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."  ~George Elliot

We wanted to take Julie to one of our favorite placesMt. Nebo.

There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon worshipping, playing, and resting than traipsing around the beautiful trails on this little mountain.

Time and time again, we've felt our spirits and bodies revived and strengthened by time spent in this special place.

The waterfall flowed with more water than we've ever seen before!


Although our hike began with dark clouds, they parted as we began the descent.

This little state park doesn't have fancy bells and whistles, nor is it a top tourist destination.

Thanks to Julie for sharing a very cold picnic (and later for sharing her pictures) as we watched the sun slip behind the hills in our very own worship service.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Old Mill and Pancakes

While Katherine attended youth orchestra rehearsal in Little Rock last Saturday, Julie and I attended a "Body Pump" class.  Julie contributed to my gym membership so I could get healthier and stronger, and I wanted to share that joy with her.

 Saturday afternoon, we met the Hibbards at the Old Mill.

According to Little Rock's website, "The Old Mill is famous for the opening scene in the movie, "Gone With The Wind", made in 1939. (It is believed to be the only remaining structure from the film.)"

Sunday morning, we started our Sabbath day of rest and worship by eating pancakes at Stoby's.  The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre was holding a fundraiser:  all you can eat pancakes and sausage for $5!  

We love their summer festival and anticipated seeing one of the orchestra students involved in the festival as he served pancakes. Sure enough, he was there, and we enjoyed supporting the arts while filling our bellies.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Arkansas History

Our adventures in Arkansas history continue to delight us.  Recently I discovered that Arkansas housed two Japanese internment camps during WWII, so when my friend Julie decided to come back for a visit, we knew that a trip to southeast Arkansas was in the plans.

Our first stop was the Japanese American Internment Museum in McGehee, where we added a visitor's pin to the Solomon Islands.  An excellent video resource is "Time of Fear", which provided a great foundation of information before we toured the small museum.  

We've just discovered "Relocation Arkansas:  Aftermath of Incarceration", and we're hoping to watch it very soon as a follow up to our field trip.

After we enjoyed a picnic lunch, we drove over to Rowher and the monuments that still remain.

The Rowher War Relocation Center would have been right next to this small cemetery.

The monuments stood in honor of the Japanese American soldiers who gave their lives to fight for the same America that was holding their families in isolation.

Aaron and I were both reminded of the Japanese Memorial and some of the war remnants we've seen in Honiara as we looked around this little spot currently nestled in between fields in Arkansas.

"May the people of Arkansas keep in beauty and reverence forever this ground where our bodies sleep."  I'm thankful that this place is respectfully preserved in memory.  

Ann and I are both planners, we find that thinking ahead smooths the path for us.  But leading up to this weekend, we both felt like we were panting and trying to catch our breath.  So when supper time rolled around, and we were still on the road, we decided that Julie needed a good taste of Southern culture.

Enter "The Bullpen" with its all-you-can-eat buffet, complete with catfish, hushpuppies, onion rings, frog legs, and banana pudding.  What a fun way to end a day that had been a little bit serious as we learned about some hard things.  So grateful for these ladies and their friendship!  On the way home, we even saw a huge meteor streak across the sky

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Good Friends

You know you have a good friend when she is willing to fly across the country again for a return visit.  And also when she doesn't complain about flying in during storms and being rerouted to Memphis.  

And you know she is definitely a winner when she agrees to eat taco salad at a fundraiser and come listen to three hours of orchestra concerts played by the kids that I love so much.  

Friday, November 2, 2018

What goes around comes around

The last stop on our road trip was visiting with our "favorite babysitter Amanda" and her family.  When we lived in Pine Bluff and Sarah and Benjamin were little, Amanda was our go to babysitter to watch our kids.  She played viola in the orchestra where we taught, and she was also in our youth group at church.

She was everything we hoped our kids would turn out to be.  And now, my kids took their turn watching her girls!  Despite Amanda's husband being gone on a mission trip, she hosted the four of us in her beautiful home.  We even got to visit her local coffee shop where Aaron and the littlest one practiced their fist bumps.

Who would have thought, when we were pouring into Amanda musically and spiritually, that so many years later we would be strengthened and encouraged while sitting in her kitchen in Springfield, Missouri!?!?  

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Rocky Ridge

When I was in the first grade, my family visited Rocky Ridge, Laura Ingalls Wilder's home in Missouri.  I have wanted to take my family back for a visit to see the place where she penned her delightful "Little House" books, and we finally made the trip!

We certainly missed our college students, but the subject matter and the beautiful fall day made our hearts sing!  And made us a little bit silly, too.

We finished up our time with a stop at Sweet Nellie's Ice Cream Parlor.  Huge servings, great prices, and delicious ice cream!