Our Week in Review- February 25, 2018

Tracy / February 26, 2018

Our Week in Review…

A page turn for our family.

I know these posts are long- I’m trying to be more careful about remembering the happenings each day. I’m just bringing each of you along on the ride.:) Feel free to just pick a day to read, if you would like!  If you are staying for the entirety of our week, here goes:

There have been so many changes in our home lately. These weren’t related to any day, specifically, just randomness!


The antenna that has been here almost since we moved in has been taken down.

It is strange to see the house look so different without it- it was just always there- and now it isn’t. It’s bizarre. And nice.  www.linesfromthevine.com

One of our biggest trees in the front yard is also gone.

It was rotting from the inside out.

We have lost so many trees this year. It may be a result of so much water this year? It just seems to be a wet year.





Monday brought Paul home from the road. He will leave us again later this week, but what a blessing it is to have him home. I try to treasure each of the precious moments I have with my husband. He took me to lunch and we picked up the rest of Timothy’s birthday present.  www.Linesfromthevine.com

The Lord showed me something today I’ve not seen before as we studied history today. I have needed this lesson. The pastor’s wife at the church we have been attending has been sharing the same thing with me, as has a very wise friend. What a blessing it is to seek the Lord and to see His answers pouring from *every little place* around you- the Word, my friends, my precious husband who whispers to me to “be still” and allow the Father to form me into what He wants me to be.

This has been a long, hard, painful season of life. I’ve honestly spent the last year just needing to hear from Him. He is faithful and good. On this day, I’m singing “Good, Good Father”. It is just so right.

That evening, we took Tim to eat at Freddy’s. Tim is a man who loves a good hamburger and Freddy’s has one of the best. If you ever find yourself there, in my personal opinion, the best part is the custard. It’s A M A Z I N G. It was nice to be out with my man and this big boy of mine. Timothy is creative and funny and genuinely loves people. I am so proud to be his mama.


Afterward, we went to the University of Alabama to walk around. We snapped a few photos and dad told him some about his experiences working there.




Monday also brought a “smell”. I’m almost certain it is coming from a dead rodent. Our fur balls are pretty good at catching mice. They just don’t dispose of them quite the way I wish they would. Now we get to figure out exactly where it is– (adulting isn’t always fun!)


www.LinesFromTheVine.comOur Tuesday morning brought more work on the kitchen floor. Frankly, I’m just ready to move the kitchen to the new location. The rotting floor was a bigger problem than we originally thought. Huge portions of our floor had to be removed. I’m thankful for the help we have had- the Lord is so good to provide for our needs before we ever even know we need His help.

Courtney told me today she can still smell”it”.

I have looked everywhere I know to look. We even pulled out our big piano. I’m finding nothing. That does not make me feel good. I’ve accounted for all the children, lol. I’ve even not accounted for all the cats. ‘I smell a rat’, has all new meaning right now.

Today, is Timothy’s birthday.

Jackson wrapped him a gift full of art projects he had done. He picked out the most special bag he could find! *These boys (well boy and “birthday girl”), are great!!*




He is a very sweet 16 today. I am amazed at how he looks at life. He seems to have an enormous amount of wisdom for someone his age. He is learning to drive. He has worked hard and already purchased his first car. He has an amazing sense of humor and laughs easily. May the Lord protect his young heart and may He give Paul and I the wisdom to raise him for the remaining years he is in our home.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this year brings to him. I’m so proud of this boy.


I heard news that Billy Graham had passed early this morning.

I shared this video on my facebook page:

I’m sad for those of us, on earth. I’m rejoicing for him.

I have sweet memories of listening to him teach when I was a little girl. My grandmother always watched his televised sermons. While I didn’t always understand what he was teaching, I had no doubt this man on television loved Jesus. He made a world-wide impact.

Paul once had a job offer with Samaritan’s Purse. That was an exciting time. I don’t even remember why he decided that wasn’t the best directon for our family, but it was a neat glimpse of the Graham ministry and we enjoyed our trip to Boone, NC. That has got to be one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

Since then, we have had the sweet blessing of having gifts given in our name to the ministry there and have even participated in their Christmas shoebox ministry.

It was a blessing to have Paul home for church this Wednesday night.

We have enjoyed this church we are visiting so very much-www.LinesFromTheVine.com I really can’t decide which thing I like the most. On this particular night, I think I am enjoing the older folks who attend the most. They are always full of encouragement and wisdom. They aren’t so rushed with life. They laugh easily. I just knew that was exactly where I am supposed to be.

One of the younger men made an announcement that he was approached by his daughter’s fella with desires of marriage. This dad was beaming as he shared his story. It was several minutes until the Wednesday night teaching officially started. Several other dads shared similar stories- each one was unique. Those men shared a bonding moment. We sat still and just listened.

As I grow older, I’m coming to realize (in a huge way) how much this process is about gratitude and respect. That young man is thankful for the amazing young woman he has found and he goes to her dad to talk to him- out of the respect he has, for a man who has walked many miles ahead of him.

My husband always treated my father with respect. It was not received well.

At the time, I couldn’t understand the true significance of what my husband was enduring for me, but as the Lord promises, we reap what we sow. Years later, that same man sat across from my husband weeping and telling him how wrong he was. He spoke of how he had so misjudged Paul’s character. He told him he knew Paul was trying to honor him and he knew Paul was an honorable man and had cared for our family selflessly all of these years.

It is true. Our lives are the first Bible some people will ever read.

We love people. That is what we do. The power of God through our actions are powerful. Paul planted kindness and respect. Though it was not immediate, the Lord moved in a mighty way, and in a very hard heart. Paul had earned his respect, and my admiration. In the end, because of my husband’s character, he was given the opportunity to share the gospel to my dad that night. I sat and listened quietly. It was one of the most amazing nights I have every experienced.

I observed the power of respect that night. What I’ve come to realize more is that respect is the code of men.

Wednesday night, during that service and while I listened to those stories, I squeezed my very honorable man’s hand. Many men say they would go through anything for their woman. Mine did.


Thursday morning I drove Paul back to the airport.

I mentioned on fb I feel like my life is just a series of good-byes. The emotional toll his current job has taken on our family is impossible to measure. The days and nights are long. The hardest things that happen, happen while he is away.  www.LinesFromTheVine.com

I have been fortunate to meet several other women recently have traveling husbands. Their encouragement has been a balm to this hurting spirit. I continue to pray and lean hard into the Lord for the strength I need to face my days and raise my family in his absence.

After the airport, I raced to return home for 4H.

Our county extension agent has a talent for teaching children. I’m not even sure he realizes what a gift he possesses. I learn something new every time he makes a presentation! At this point, Paul and I consider him part of our family. We love him, his girlfriend and his dog, River. <3

We learned more about rockets and rocketry. The children launched straw rockets and he walked them through charting the distance each straw would travel when launched at a different angle.  www.LinesFromTheVine.comwww.LineFromTheVine.com


www.LinesFromTheVine.comI can’t say enough about the professional baker who came into my home to present during our second hour. Our original baker/speaker had some things come up so I asked the wife of one of the men Timothy works for if she might come fill in. She was just great. She allowed the children to decorate cookies and answered their questions about owning and running a home bakery.




I am *SO* thankful our guest baker thought to give these little guys their own icing and tools. Owen could not wait another minute to taste it!

I was blessed to spend time with my precious Emma, afterward. Each of my children are so wonderful to me, in different ways. This one is becoming a woman with each passing day. She is beautiful inside and out. Her heart is always to serve others and I see the Lord working in her life.

I do hope one day, if or when my children ever read these things I have written about them, they know I have loved them with a deep, abiding love.

I do remember every single birth and each one was unique and magnificent. They teach me things about the world and about myself.

www.LinesFromTheVine.comwww.LinesFromTheVine.comWhile we were out, Emma and I happened to find Courtney a super-cute new vet scrub shirt she can wear to work. She loves her new job and this is actually just perfect! (Not to mention I got to hug her neck and chat with her for a few minutes. That was an unexpected blessing!)

Thursday night would have been quiet except Benjamin found the neighbor’s missing cat on our porch. We are laughing today- no one told us their kitty didn’t like to be picked up. Benjamin figured it out pretty quick and it involved blood. (o.u.c.h.) That is enough said about that- he ended up dropping the kitty who ran off into the woods. Hopefully, we will find him soon.

When things settled down and with the little ones all tucked into their beds, I went into my room for the evening. You know, a donkey is just not a sound you hear every day. The first time I heard it, I thought I was mistaken. The second time I thought I must be hearing something else. The hens were not happy girls in the hen house. I called to Ben who turned on the flood lights to see what was happening. As soon as those lights came on, I heard Ben yell, “WHOA!”. He came back to report he saw a small horse running into our woods.

If I’m going crazy, today is not the day. That’s good to know.

I suspect I’ll be getting a call or a visit from a neighbor wanting to know if I’ve seen their donkey.

Living in a rural area is awesome (most days, anyway).


Friday would have been uneventful except I can’t express how happy we are that Daniel got notice that he has been approved to work!! This has been the longest immigration process ever, I think! He has been so patient and they both have just waited on the Lord to move. We are all relieved!

We spent the evening hours cleaning the yard and driveway.

At some point, I did happen to catch a photo of this:

Zoe is getting some age on her these days. She enjoys laying in this little basket under the table by me.

She made me think of a little basket I had as a little girl. It was small. Inside there was a little stuffed kitty sleeping. She stayed with me through the many years I was growing up. Today, I missed that kitty- it’s funny how the most odd things trigger memories.

That was pretty much it- boring is good sometimes, you know?


Haircuts (all the boys and DARBY.)


No, I did not cut Darby’s hair. Yeah.

www.LinesFromTheVine.comThen there is Jon’s new pet- you must be kidding?

Ben needed new shoes. HOW does that happen so fast??? I asked him next time if his shoes were falling apart to please come tell me when it starts instead of when he is actually flapping as he walks around the house.

We realized today another dryer has died.

We had our annual pest/termite inspection- which found nothing (thanking the Lord!). Our pest control man did tell me he loves coming to our house because we have good “chi”.  🙂

As Saturday came to a close, I had a chat with an old friend. (Not that she is old, just that we have been friends for decades, lol.) I began to share with her some of what we have experienced this year and started to realize it read like some bad Hollywood movie. There has just been so much, it’s almost hard to fathom.

I have been told recently I am often guilty of things being horrible and putting a smile on my face when I talk to others. I think most of us do that- it is so much less about trying to make them think everything is okay, and so much more about not wanting to burden others with my issues but honestly, aren’t we SUPPOSED to help bear one another’s burdens? Isn’t that part of the Christian experience? Instead, most of us suffer in silence when we hurt the most.

This year, I have learned. I have loved and I have lost.  There have been horrible moments, and the most wonderful.

I told so little of this to anyone and I wondered why- why do we suffer so often alone. We all think no one could be experiencing what we are, but in reality, there is nothing new under the sun. Not one thing has happened to you that has not happened to someone else.

I’m resolving to be more open, I think.

Also today, I pulled up the the drive through window at McDonald’s. The woman looked fine but something (or someONE) told me to ask if she was okay. She stopped and looked at me and began to weep. She told me such a sad story and the loss she had suffered that very morning.  We just really never know the burdens someone is carrying. Benjamin and I pulled over right then and prayed for “Stephanie”.

It seems to be a theme. This has been a long year for everyone.

I am thankful the Lord is ever-merciful and does not allow us to know what we will face. I’m not sure we could face our days. Instead, he gives us just enough mercies for each day. He guides us and walks with us. He comforts us when we hurt.

And then the page turn.

Paul and I are both seeking, searching and hoping the Lord will open doors for him to find a different job position. There has been absolutely nothing available in our area or even in our state. Yesterday, we discussed looking in Nashville and especially Atlanta. Today, he told me he found a new job listings site and there he found dozens of opportunities, one or two that were particularly interesting for us.

This may be a page turn for us. We have tried to be patient, but it can be so hard to wait on the Lord. Still, if this is where He has us, we will have to be okay with that. Our preference is that the Lord opens other opportunities,even if that means they come in other places. It may just be time to move on now. We will see where the Lord leads in the coming days and weeks.

Saturday night ended with Emma, Jon, Meredith and Darby bringing their bedding to my room for a sleepover. I love these nights. We all collectively share a prayer and then everyone goes around the room to share something that has happened that day for which they are thankful. Sometimes they are funny, but most of the time more serious.

When everything was quiet, one of the girls whispered into the dark, “this is my favorite part of the day”. My precious little one, it is mine, too. <3

These little hearts and these sweet little lives. I have so much for which to be thankful.


www.LinesFromTheVine.comIt rained heavily most of the night. I couldn’t sleep so I just stayed in bed and prayed. I have much to be thankful for and so many things that are also burdens. I pray that the Lord would speak peace over my life and my home. I pray that He would bring healing to those who have not been well. I pray always that He would give me wisdom as I navigate my days, and minister to my husband and my children.

As we were dressing for church, Emma found my library card! I know that will seem irrelevant to some of you. Courtney purchased this card so that we could have access to the greater Birmingham system, specifically Hoover. It is a massive, amazing library. We were used to going every week and then my card disappeared. Emma found it just under Paul’s dresser. My mind already has a running list of books I want to read. I love that place!

Church was amazing. I have enjoyed hearing stories coming from the local Save-A-Life. The whole morning was perfect, actually. I’m thankful for this group of folks the Lord has brought into our lives for so many reasons.

This Week’s Prayer Request

  • Please continue to pray for dear friend,  Sheryl. She means the world to me.
  • Please pray for Stephanie that she might be comforted in her sadness
  • Pray for my continued healing. I have to keep reminding myself this surgery was only a couple of months ago. I guess because of it’s size- when the weather is cooler, I am definitely feeling it across my back!
  • Pray for Paul’s job and upcoming opportunities
  • Healng for my cousin, Yvonne

You made it to the end!

I am so blessed by those of you who visit me here- old visitors and new. <3  May the Lord bless your week.

With my love,

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