Thursday, October 4, 2007


Lara grew up in a home that was broken. She could remember the night that her father told her mother he wanted a divorce. At the age of 9, she didn't know that's what was being said at the time, but she understood enough that it was a significant night that she remembered it in vivid detail. So her father left and remarried leaving her and her mother to fend for themselves. Between alternately hating her father so much that she wanted nothing to do with him, and loving him so much she frightened him away, Lora grew up without her dad. He had another family complete with a daughter the same age as her. But Lara's mother was good to teach her about the love of a heavenly Father and in Him she found solace and peace.

As a teenager, men were a mystery to her. She had a good head on her shoulders, loved Jesus and had committed her life and future to His will, till the mystery of men prevailed. One young man, wrapped her around his finger and unwound her ideals. He promised to love her is she would only give him what she wanted.

It all happened so fast. In one evening, she lost her virginity, her faith, and her love. At first she cried and pleaded to the boy, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. Self hatred and rebellion took over and she soon found what she thought had been ripped away could be had in the arms of another and another and another.... Each time, hope was built and crushed. She quickly learned not to trust men, but became fast addicted to the emotional rush of sex. Lara had been conquered, but she quickly learned to be the conquerer.

Lara spent the last year of high school pregnant. At the end of her senior year, she gave up her daughter to another couple who was unable to have children just in time for graduation. Still the hunger was there for the love of a man and love was by then equated with sex. All through college the hunger drove her. But still she remembered the perfect love that only Jesus could give. She yearned for it, but could no longer ignore the fleshly desires that were raging in her.

Lara had another child, married, divorced, and returned to the habit of feeding the hunger. After years of this, death was becomming a beckoning lover. Thoughts of a suicidal escape were weighing heavily on her. Remembering her First Love, she began to earnestly seek God and plead with Him for a way out. He began to pull her heartstrings and put people in her path to remind her of His love and to point the way. Finally committing to His love once again, she embraced the life she had left before, one of following God's will.

Now Lara new that there would be no earthly love for her. She had a daughter and a sordid past. No Godly man would want her, she would have no other. She resigned herself to seeking Jesus to be a husband to her. But Jesus in his infinite mercy, sent her heart's desire-a man who REALLY loved her. In their human way, they didn't go about it ALL right, but they realized that God had brought them together and married.

Years and five children later, Lara and her love lived the perfect life. Lara was fully active in church and homeschool, while her husband worked and went to school. Lara felt complete. She knew Jesus on an intimate level and loved Him deeply. Her past life haunted her and she never felt good enough for her husband, but she KNEW grace and mercy and was grateful for it.

This was her idyllic life for nearly 10 years. Then, one day, on the computer in a Christian chat room, the hunger was awakened. She began to realize how much her husband was away. She was lonely for him, and here was another man, though on the computer, available to her, talking to her, emotionally drawing her. The computer man realizing that he was doing wrong, went away. It was no longer enough. Lara had to find another, but in Christian chat rooms, they weren't readily available. So Lara began to go into adult chat rooms. Finding all the attention she could ever want, as long as she talked dirty to them, she was hooked. Chat rooms turned to private messaging, and talk of sex turned to pictures of sex. Lara had a new addiction. Men would show her pictures and tell her that's what they wanted to do with her. She could easily place herself in the image. The image itself was not important. It was the imagery in her mind of recieving that kind of attention that fed her hunger. Words would have done the same, but images were a quicker high.

Lara found herself connected to one man in particular over and over again and eventually exclusively. He feeded her high with the most determination. She went to him like a druggie goes to a dealer and he never let her down. He always had a new high for her. When "playboy" wasn't good enough anymore, he gave her "Penthouse". With each numbing of the senses, he knew just what would make her high again without shocking her to the point of waking her from her porn induced stupor. She felt like she was caught in a downward spiral, being sucked into an ever darkening, looming pit. When Lara was on the computer, she was lost in world of flesh. When she was off the computer, she was struggling with right and wrong. She would go for walks to think and end up running as if she could get away from her thoughts. Her kids practically fended for themselves. She put them back into school beacuse she could no longer focus on anything besides the addiction. She began to drop her kids off at church so she could run home and nurse her high. Friends could see there was something different, that she was acting odd. Lara's mind was always back at the computer even when she was away. Her conversations were stunted and she was forgetful.

She told no one what she was doing. No one. Who could she tell? Who would not turn away in disgust? She knew she had a problem, but in the beginning days of the internet,who knew a woman could be addicted to pornography? Who would not see that as sick and depraved?

By the time plans were made to meet the computer man, she had already sunken into depravity. There was nothing left that was off limits, no taboo had been left unexplored and to top it off, Lara had discovered that this man would kill her in order to satisfy his own hunger. This thought did not even frighten her. She welcomed it. She even goaded him. "I only ask that you let me be found and that I be found decent" she told him. She didn't want her family to keep worrying about her, but it would end the insatiable hunger that she now knew could NEVER be satisfied. All the while, while being unable to stop it herself, feeling driven to do what she knew she should not do, she would pray "God get me out of this"

The week before she was to meet the computer man. She tried to clean up the messages on her computer as she always did after talking to him about all the taboos they were about to break, but she could not access the log. She tried every day so that her husband would not find what she had said or the pictures she had seen. After the 3rd day, of not being able to delete her logs, she was worried, but figured that the things said were so indecent, her husband would question her if he had seen them. The night before she was to meet the man, she logged off and tried to delete the days messages again. It frustrated her, but she had tomorrow to look forward to...and worry about.

As she headed toward her bedroom to get some sleep, Lara could not shake the thought that she would be the next rape/torture/murder headline by the end of the week. The thought made her shudder, yet was somehow comforting. Even as she thought it, she knew that the comfort was a horrible thing to feel. "God get me out of this.!"

She climbed into bed and all was quiet except for her thoughts. After a few minutes, Lara's husband turned over and whispered, "I know what you're planning to do. I found your messages and...I was shocked" and with those words, Lara's mind exploded into a million different thought processes in an effort to come up with a reply. As different excused screamed through her brain she wanted to seethe "I don't know what you're talking about!" But above the din of her racing mind she quietly heard a small voice, "you asked Me for a way out." All the other possible replies came to a screeching halt as Lara's mind embraced this voice. She was presented with a choice and as soon as she heard the words, the decision had been made-almost as if a light had come on with the words themselves. A rush of relief washed over her and she let out an audible sigh.

"I don't want to."

Tears and shame followed, even though she'd never physically been unfaithful, in her mind the acts were as vivid as if she had. There was no difference to her. The next few days, her husband also made a choice. He became her protector, her guardian, her savior, her Hosea. She fought the urge to contact the man and failed over and over again, but each time, her husband intervened and restored her. Still never a physical encounter, Lara carried the guilt just the same.

Eventually, her husband trusted her again even though it would be several years before she could finally say she deserved it. She had no one to turn to but God, for in the early days of the internet, there was no help for a woman with the kinds of addictions Lara had. But turn to God she did, and even though she fell over and over again, She overcame and once again enjoyed the love of her husband. Now Lara, understands grace and has compassion for any who are in bondage to sin and addiction.

Through it all, Lara always felt that Jesus was trying to pull her back. She could even hear Him call to her, "My beloved". She knew his voice and tried to run and hide her face from it, much as Adam and Eve tried to do. Still she would hear Him call, "come away, My beloved. She wanted to "come", yet always felt drawn, pulled, even bound to the sin. She would cry out Paul's words, "why do I do the things I don't want to do and not do the things I WANT to do?"

Lara is God's creation, His work, His love, and He understands all she has endured and submitted herself to. He loved her through it all and though there will be many who will never understand, and may never forgive, she is still His beloved.


It just rained. For about 5 seconds. I can count on one hand how many measurable rainfalls we have had since July 1st. Exactly 2. Now in Tennessee, we have water. Lakes, rivers, creeks, just about everywhere you go there is a body of water. In the summer here, it's nothing for the humidity to be at 90-something percent. On top of that, we often push or exceed the 100 degree mark for a few days. And it rains and storms at least once a week, often violently.

This year we had next to nothing humidity and 104-110 degree weather for nearly a month. Here it is Oct. and we are still reaching nearly 90 degrees, and the humidity is creeping back up. So it is still hot, Hot, HOT! This was the driest, hottest summer on record and it has been very disconcerting.

I do believe in Global Warming, but not as the Al Gore's (who claims Tennessee as his home, but honestly never really lived here till after he LOST the election. Let's just say that Tennessee never claimed HIM. He lost in his own state. If I'm not mistaken, that's the first time that's ever happened. Feel free to correct me if you must.)of the world believe in it.

God never promised us that the earth would last, in fact, he did just the opposite and guaranteed us that the world would deteriorate. Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8, and Luke 21:11 all make mention of famines in the end days. Revelation can leave you feeling that the world will turn itself inside out (my translation) in the last days. It WILL happen. Whether humans cause this chain of events or not doesn't make any difference. God was the One who set it all into motion. Perhaps our use of fossil fuels was God's plan to bring it about. I don't know. I am not going to advocate being a bad steward for what we have been given, but you have to use common sense with the issue as well. It would take a catastrophic event to back things up to the point where we aren't using cars and leaving as big a carbon footprint as we do now, any longer. I don't hold my breath for that, but it's not going to surprise me if it happens. I keep hearing the song "It's the end of the world as we know it" growing louder and louder. If the thought of this frightens you...comment me. I can hook you up with Someone who will comfort you.

It's the end of the world as we know it. It's the end of the world as we know it. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Life and such

I miss my blog. I miss my blog buddies. But I'm a working girl now and just don't have as much time for it all. So I thought as a journal/let anyone know who cares entry, I would list all that I am trying to keep up with at this point in my life. If you are one of the "anyone who cares" group. E-mail me and let me know what's going on in your life. joy at meadefamily dot us. Of course replace the "at" and the "dot" with the symbols. :-)

My Life as of Sept. 2007:
Working full time while employed "part time" at THD
Homeschooling 2 of my 5 children
still hostessing scrapbook night at church once a month
about to start a new camera club at church
shooting video every Sunday morning that I can at church
pushing a very toddling photography business to its feet
keeping house (HA!)
keeping up with laundry (oh shoot, I forgot to start a load this morning!)
Missing my 3 older kids who I don't get to see much anymore
getting ready to move my mother, possibly into my house

That's all I can think of right now, I gotta go start that load of laundry!
Love ya'll!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Now this is a Super Sweet Sixteen

And I had lots of friends help so it didn't cost the thousands of dollars like those one on MTV's "My Super Sweet 16". But this is a huge reason why I have been so silent lately. Her birthday is really on the 31st, but we had the party last night. Lots of dancing. Lots of music. So much fun! We had several of the guests tell us it was the best birthday party they'd ever been to. I thought sure the "semi-formal" tag on the invitation would slow the attendance, but everybody really got into shopping for their clothes and there were so many good sales on party dresses. A couple of the girls said they got their dresses for $8! The prom dress my daughter wore was on $60! Everyone had a great time and I didn't cry. I thought I would. She really was beautiful though.
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Sunday, July 15, 2007


This year is dry in more ways than just the weather. I am dry. In my writing, my photography, my spiritual life...I just feel dehydrated.

I think a large part of it is that while God moved so strongly in me last year. I grew so fast and I think in some ways I was over exuberant. I wondered if I did something to blackball myself, but in some very exciting places that I was figuring I would get involved, I ended up feeling like I got the cold shoulder.

Anyway, I couldn't sleep tonight thinking about it all. It's so late that I'm not sure I could possibly organize my thoughts enough to make sense. All the passion I had last year is gone and I wonder if I didn't over do. I try not to place blame, but the only thing I can think of that I may have's embarassing, but I wonder if in my exuberance, I made an ass of myself. I honestly don't know.

All I know is that an organization that I had hoped to get fully involved with had welcomed me with open arms, but later started dropping me off e-mail newsletters and announcements, stopped calling, even put me off after I did a mass mailing for them and offered to do it the next time. They would say, "we'll call you" and never did. I don't think I did anything wrong. No one indicated that I had done anything wrong, but the last few times I was around I had the feeling that I was on the outside. Like everyond else knew what was going on. Eventually I didn't hear from any of them anymore.

I also had thought that another opportunity was opening up closer to home-more with my home church, but I felt like the thought there was that they didn't want to single out any individual issue, but rather address ALL needs collectively. I just don't know. Why did God lead me where He did and light such a fire in me just to have it doused?

I have moved on, but still I wonder. Moving on has meant that basically, I do nothing. I help out at church, but the passion for it isn't there. I am willing to do whatever is necessary, but I don't have a desire to do anything.

Dry, parched, desert-like. I don't feel that I am far from God or even stagnant for that matter. I just feel dried up and withering like my plants outside.

Speaking of my plants, we need rain bad. I've never seen it go so long without rain in Tennessee and I've lived here all my life. I need rain in my life too. I seem to recall an old chorus that went:

Send down the rain, Lord!
Send down the rain, Lord!
Send down the latter rain!

As a young mom, I remember the fire and passion I had for being a wife and mom. My children are nearly grown now and I seem to have lost what my life was about. I am detached from life. I sleep through life. Maybe it's the diabetes talking, but truthfully, I would rather life end now that live it like this. No quality, No attachment. Dry. Truly this is a late night rant. I will feel better in the morning. But do pray for rain. Both physical and spiritual.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Know that you aren't raising boys, your raising men.

18 years ago, I had the easiest of all of my births, but began the toughest job of my life. My oldest son was born and I began to raise a man.

I think one of the most profound of God's creation is a man. If you watch them closely, you can see that under their tough exterior is a little boy that wants love and affection and likes to play, but when it comes to having to make a stand to protect what he holds dear, he will fight to the death to do so. He can be fearful of many things and yet shove it aside to do what needs to be done. He can be oh so tender, yet put all emotion aside to get the job done. Yes, women bash men alot, I am so guilty myself, but let me remind you that you bash the very thing that little boy will become...and what God says was made in His image. Keep the latter in mind when dealing with that young boy in your care.

This slide show was meant to be funny and a little embarrassing for my son, but truthfully, I get misty-eyed over it because this little stinker in these pictures is now 6'1" and 228 lbs. Yeah, I miss him being small enough to hold. But I miss even more, him wanting to be held.

Monday, July 9, 2007

As graceful as any ballerina

and as fierce as any boy. There is no question what her passion is. I love the look of concentration, the way every facial muscle is focused on the effort. It takes 1/7 of a second for her to make that full windmill. Already she has accomplished way more than I.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

God Does Restore the Years...

I am part of the MTV generation. I wanted nothing more than to make music videos. I started out in film at MTSU. The enrollment in the department was down so dramatically that they dropped the whole dept. So I switch to television. I "fall in love" (HA). I leave MTSU to go to a community college closer to home where "he" was. They have a television major, but it is an associates degree instead of the bachelor's that I started out working on. I get married and pregnant (not necessarily in that order). I take a break. I have my oldest. I get divorced. I go back to school. I do an internship with the Crook and Chase show with only aobut 10 hours left to get my degree. I discover that it's who you know and I don't know anybody. I also discover I have lost my "edge" to pursue those vital "knowings" since Meggie was born. I quit. Dream shoved somewhere deep in a diaper bag.

Tonight. Tonight, I made a music video. I got to run a camera for a production crew doing a dance video. So much fun! The easiest money I ever made! And the most satisfying. Thank You, God for that opportunity. It was so much fun!!!! Thank You, thank You, thank You!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Wednesday Night, Starbucks, San Antonio, and Sarah:-)


I got to meet my first blog buddy, Sarah. You can read more about her by clicking on her link in my blogroll.
I had a GREAT time, Sarah! [WAVES]
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Playing on the beach

These are my contributions to the fun. The horse was my tribute to Barbaro since it was almost a year to the day when he won the Kentucky Derby.
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Arrival in Florida

These were taken right after we got tents set up and just before the storm rolled in that soaked everything IN the tents. Yeah, we slept in wet beds that night, with LOTS of sand. But I think these beach grays are Julia's colors. Check out those eyes!

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camping in Florida


Can you tell how wet everything was after the downpour we had? Sand was sticking to EVERYthing.
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Our gator

He was just resting beside the water.

We were really only about 10 ft from him, but it looks farther here.

!...and he yawned.
Obviously we weren't bothering him.
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Panama City Beach at night

From the Beach at St. Andrews Park. The beach was completely empty with a bright moon overhead and lightning in the distance. A little frightening for a woman alone with 2 kids, but awesomely inspiring as well.

This was the bay side looking toward the port of Panama City. The limb looked a little like a creepy hand in the water.
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Get Ready


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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Photo shoot

This is my daughter and her friend.

My daughter is about to turn 16 and we are wanting to throw her a party with Tiffany blue, silver and pearl white for the colors. Anyone know where we can find Tiffany blue balloons?
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The benefits of living in Nashville

I have been meaning to write a blog with this title for some time, but I honestly think this could be a series of posts rather than a single post. If you are a music lover, hold on to your hat.

We have some of the BEST, I mean the ABSOLUTE BEST music here. If it isn't native to here, we ship it in. But there is an awful lot of native. Which is the subject of an entire post in itself.

But for now I want to tell you about two things in particular: The Ryman auditorium and the concert I saw there last night.

The, where to start. It's truly a legend in itself. It was built in 1892 as a church! It was called the Union Gospel Tabernacle and it seated less than 3800 people. With the addition of the Confederate Gallery (balcony) in 1897 its capacity was increased to 6000. Shortly after Captain Ryman (the man who had it built) died, it was renamed in his honor and became the venue for many lectures and shows throughout the years. In the 1940's, the Grand Old Opry moved in and made the Ryman its home. There it remained till 1974 when the Opry moved to its new home-the Grand Old Opry House where it remains to this day. I remember hearing talk of the Ryman when I was young and how it had fallen into disrepair and the subsequent renovations that took many years.

Today it is beautiful and it remains a wonder. Even with the addition of the balcony, there is NO bad seat in the auditorium. It is said to have the second best acoustics in the world, surpassed only by the concert hall that is home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! Absolutely, any concert you attend there will astound you at the amazing quality of the sound anywhere you stand.

The Ryman is, for the music lover, a jewel venue. And last night, my wonderful oldest child, Megan, took me there for the Seal concert. This was my mother's day gift. Now I love his voice no matter what, but WOW. I don't have words. It was amazing. Top it off with time alone with my oldest daughter, a few reminiscent moments (like realizing that my baby was driving ME around downtown Nashville and learning that she likes the same music I liked when I was young and free of responsibility much like her). I mean if riding around downtown with the windows down and Kansas blaring out of your speakers doesn't bring back memories, then you haven't lived! We enjoyed a glass of wine at Olive Garden TOGETHER (before you teetotalers have a fit, one thing my daughter and I do have in common is a love for good food and good wine. But we both partake in MODERATION) along with that sinful black tie cheesecake and afterwards went to the Starbucks on West End and had a cup of coffee on the patio. We had a WONDERFUL evening. (Megan, I had a really GREAT time, thank you!)

We also discovered a new artist we like. Shane Alexander.

Now, this is a shameless plug for this guy, but before you blow rasberries at me, let me tell you this. I have grown up in the Nashville area. Spent my life here. I've been around "stars" and wannabe stars ALL MY LIFE. (That could be another blog post about the benefits of living in Nashville. The ability to get to see performers who are just starting out has some wonderful benefits, but occasionally you run into some that when they say they are musicians, you just nod your head and go "okaaaaayyyy".) I DO NOT get gaga over famous people.

Heck, Johnny Cash came into the store where my Daddy worked all the time. Johnny and Barbara Mandrell were "members" of the churches I went to although you didn't see them there very often. (yes, we live in the same town where Johnny Cash lived) My son fished off Lorrie Morgan's deck. Roy Acuff used to go for a walk in the mall in the mornings before it got crowded. Dottie West gave me a starburst. Louise Mandrell got mad at me. I worked at the Crook and Chase show in the late 80's as an intern. Heck, I even got asked for my autograph just because I worked with Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase! I've seen how people get crazy over anyone famous. I've seen stars make a**es of themselves. I have no desire to fawn over them. If you think for one second how these people have to smile and be nice to people who really do look and sound crazy, you want to avoid appearing like that at all costs. Especially when you have to live around them and deal with them on a daily basis. Besides, I have found that while some of them were genuinely very nice, most are so fake, I really don't want to find out that the ones I do like are the fake ones.

But this guy, Shane Alexander was really good. So I went up and told him, "Hey, I really like your stuff". He thanked me and I made way for the rush of gushers. I don't do that...ever. I just don't think the push through the crowd is worth it to make myself look just like them to a person who is probably already thinking, "these people are nuts!" while wearing a plastered smile. I don't blame them a bit. I really, really, like this guy's music. Go take a listen.

Benefit #1: One of the best music venues in the world-The Ryman.
Benefit #2: Getting to see great concerts ANY time-on any given night there is music being played SOMEwhere in Nashville.
Benefit #3: Getting to hear up and coming talent before most everyone else and
Benefit #4: Sometimes, A LOT of times, for free! (the original reason I wanted to write a blog by this title) But not last night.;-)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Catching up

Hey out there!

Here is a rundown of what has been going on at the Meade house for the last month.

Amanda's Horse Show-she got one sixth place ribbon out of 10 classes. She did great, but the judges didn't like Kody-he's a little rough looking and she doesn' get a choice in what horse she rides.

Trip to south Alabama/Florida to see family and camp one really wet night on the beach. We brought home half of it in our tent and sleeping bags. But after the storm rolled out, the sky was perfectly clear above us so we went to the beach to look at the stars and watch the rest of the lightning in the distance. Me and my two youngest were the only ones on the beach and we were at St. Andrews. No city lights, but the moon was brilliant and the white sand simply glowed! Absolutely beautiful and majestic. What an incredibly AWESOME God we serve!

Softball season begins again, full swing and now hubby, tired of the politics of the city league is venturing out to start his own tourney team. I don't want to brag, but he is absolutely the BEST coach. The girls all love him and want to be on his team. He has never had any trouble getting parents to help because he is so good with people. This is definately his gifting.

Trip to Huntsville, Alabama to see my 55 YEAR OLD sister graduate from nursing school!!!!! She is a widow and a mother of 6 and SHE DID IT! I am so proud of her! Yes, B, I did tell you age...AGAIN!!!!

Two scrapbook nights at our church that I hostess. I love these times with the ladies and we are really growing! I don't spend as much time preparing for these monthly scrap nights as I would like so I often end up just visiting and helping rather than getting anything done myself. But I love it anyway.

Finally nailing down plans for the road trip I am going on to Austin/San Antonio, Texas the first week of June with my newly graduated sister and our mother. I plan to get to meet blogging buddies for the first time while there. YAAAAAYYYY!!

And last but not least-cramming in as much homeschooling as possible so I can have the kids ready to go back to school next year. Be praying for us. I desperately want to continue until they are ready for high school, but financially I don't think I can continue to expect my husband to bear all of that burden alone any longer. He has to put in so many hours that he can't feasibly take on a second job and we can't afford to go through another cold season/Christmas without more income. Pray that he will find favor with the powers that be at his work and they will finally compensate him for all the extra time he gives them. Salaried positions....I won't say it. I'm sure you know.

Thanks for reading this! Hope it's not another month before I post again. No I plan to post some pics from the last month so it shouldn't be.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How NOT to ride a horse

This is my 15 year old daughter and Kody the mustang. It happened a week ago, but I needed to show it to lead into another post. For the record, I did NOT take these. If I had been there, my camera would be in a thousand pieces as I drop it and run to beat a horse! I don't know who the photographer was, but thank you whoever you are for sharing these! Anyway, the horse decided he wanted to go back to the barn and bolted as she was coming out of a jump. She was fine-didn't even bruise, but was a little sore the next day.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

A love for people

Being a Southerner, there are a few things I do when relating to other people that I don't like. One is that I develop opinions about people pretty quick. The other is that I won't tell a person to their face when something about them bothers me. I'm not prone to go talk about them behind their back, but I will instead hold it in a let it fester. You would think that over the years I would have learned my lesson that this is often merely a "PERCIEVED" something that is gettng under my skin, rather than a "REAL" something.

I am not a person who dislikes other people, however there are a few that I absolutely dislike. Usually this dislike stems from a "percieved" arrogance on the part of the other person that turns out to be a "real" arrogance that causes my stomach to turn. I just have a really hard time with people who think they are "all that". Now this is where the "South" comes out in me. I do usually tell my husband when I don't like somebody. Not when I am just aggravated with them, but when I really don't like them. I feel bad telling even him this. I know I am supposed to love the other person. It turns out that in the last year, I have run into rather a few of these types and I feel like I am just an opinionated b**** for feeling this way. I have been praying that God would let me see these people through His eyes.

Know what He did? Instead of continuing to see these people and getting angry over their actions, I thought He would let me see through their facade and see what really makes them tick. No, what He did instead was turn my head to see others. For the last couple of days, I have been literally grieving over people who hurt. It has most definately taken the focus off the attitude that was growing in me.

What is astounding me more than the direction this is taking, is that I am seeing that EVERY human has something they ache for or over. We were all raised by imperfect parents, have had dealings with imperfect friends and coworkers, been disciplined by imperfect human authority, and we all have the scars to show for it. I know we all get caught up in our own hurts. To us they are overwhelming and need to be fixed. If there is one thing I have learned in this last year (and this truly has been a LEARNING year for me) is that THE best way to heal our own hurts, is to pour ourselves into other's hurts.


I am normally a person that will do for others and do for others, but not really with a sense of serving them so much as like a duty...a job that has to be done. But it really does have a healing quality about it when service is done, even with only an attempt to really care for the one(s) served.

Alot of this introspect has come from a power struggle situation that I myself was being caught up in. I didn't like it, but I could see how wanting to hold onto a certain position was luring me. Then God said "It's not about you, Joy", and started giving me the ability to step back from the situation and see how I was really cutting my own throat by not grooming someone else to help me with the position as well as how it would hurt others who may want to try it. I don't think I can change the minds of the others involved, but maybe I can set the example.

It often seems that the most hurt are the most angry, hateful, and demanding. Don't we all, from time to time, react to pain in ways that can seem harsh to others? It's the old fight or flight mentality.

I'm not the most understanding person. When someone cuts in front of me in the Wal-Mart pharmacy line, I just about want to chew them up and spit them out, but when the cashier is in a bad mood, I now start wondering what happened to her earlier that day that has her so frustrated. I'm sure I will always have times that I get angry, but I am going to continue to ask God to let me see others as He sees them.

In the meantime, did you know that a true Southern Belle can get away with gossip? All she has to do is follow it with "Ah'll pray for theyum." And she can also get away with insulting anyone. All she has to do is follow it with "Bless yore haaahhht"!!!!

OPR the Movie

I got involved with this organization last year when the tornado went through here. I am so impressed with the whole organization and what they do! Check them out at

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Administration and a Bit of Irony

I have been working on cleaning up my blog this morning. The last time I changed my template, I lost everything. I lost my blogroll, I lost my daily scripture, I lost my blogring code...all gone and needing to be fixed. Well, I've barely had time to post anything in the last few months, much less do the much needed administration and maintanance that has been needed.

So I am slowly working on adding things back. Bear with me while I am under construction. I want to do a bit of HTML work on this eventually. It's not hard to do. I just find it tedious and boring.

Now for the Irony. I am a photographer, who absolutely HATES to be photographed. I tell people all the time to see the beauty in themselves and I can't even do it myself. Stupid? Yes, I know.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Most Beautiful Thing in the World

**I'm not sure about the ethics of this post. Posting some one's image without permission is normally frowned upon. But you know how we women are. If I asked, they would most definitely say "NO". So at the risk of getting in trouble, I am posting these WITHOUT permission realizing I may have to remove them later on, but I want to make a point and to do so means not telling these ladies right away. Rest assured ladies, my blog has only a few readers so you won't really be seen by many other than yourselves...when I tell you. At the very bottom of this post is a link where you can go to see the rest of the pictures. Also be sure to scroll on down. There are 3 posts in all cause I can't post more than 4 at a time.**

As a photographer, I have grown used to women, when they first see their pictures, saying something along the lines of , "Ewww, I look AWFUL!" It ALWAYS happens in some form or another, it is usually emphatic, and it USED to hurt my feelings. But I have learned that we are our own worst critics and that only someone who is solidly confident in themselves, (which face it ladies, 99% of us are NOT), there eyes automatically zoom in on what they feel their worst trait is.

For this once, I want you to take a good look at yourselves and leave the self criticism behind. There is nothing more beautiful than what God created, than that creation in worship and adoration of the Creator. The look of peace and sometimes rapture comes over you, and of all the things I photograph, this has to be my favorite subject. I know that sometimes, the sound of my camera and the sight of me pointing my camera at you out of the corner of your eye, or even just the feeling that I am there with that dreaded camera, may interrupt your moment, but I try very hard not to be noticed. Sometimes it is inevitable, but it is certainly something I try to avoid. I don't have any desire to interrupt your communion with God. If I can only show you what I see.

Please look at these next three posts and ask your Father to show you what He sees. Imagine how you see your own children when they are loving and reaching out to you. On none of these pictures will you see stress or worry in your face. It is a resemblence of the Father in every face. The hands of the Potter molded ever crease, every line and He loves every one of them. Of course life and the consequences of our sinful world leave there effects there too, but the Potter sees even those imperfections as perfection. They are part of the one He loves.

Remember that the link for the rest is at the bottom of this post. But for now, see yourself as God sees you. Know that you are deeply loved.

You are beautiful beyond compare.

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I have to add that you Northeast ladies are the most fun to hang with and I really misjudged my roomies! Sorry Mary, Linda, and Jewell. I was so afraid I was going to keep you guys up and make it hard for you with my rowdiness, but it was you guys who ended up pulling an all nighter with me! Go figure!!! It was a blast!

If you want to veiw the rest of the photos just click
Northeast Women's Retreat 2007
You can order them from Snapfish or Photoworks from that site or if you want to download a larger file for printing somewhere local, click here. You can download them onto your computer and either upload them somewhere like Kroger, Wal-mart, or Wolf to order your own prints, or you can put them on a disk and take them to the processor of your choice. (My personal preference locally is the Krogers by Ellis Middle School)Sorry about the group photo. My flash is a piece of junk and I can't afford to replace it just yet. Next year, we do the group pic on Sat. afternoon, while everyone is still there and we can do it outdoors.:-) Hope you enjoy the pictures.

True Beauty

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