Friday, May 25, 2012

making the best of every situation

Nandy always made the best of every situation. She was good at it... and I've tried to learn how to do that, too. In light of that, while I was home... I made the best of the time that I was given in the states. It was wonderful (should I say that again... wonderful) to be be home! The whole trip was surreal since I booked my flight about four hours before leaving Manila. Even though sometimes it feels like it's been years since I've been home... when I arrived it was like no time passed. The circumstances of being home weren't the best, but the Lord's hand was in it all. It is so evident that He had prepared that time long before I had the slightest clue about it. That's one thing I love about the Lord... He knows what's best. I'm convinced that He plots for our greatest joy and His greatest glory. 

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go home and see Nandy before she left us to be with Jesus. What perfect timing!

Here are some of the things I enjoyed most while being home:
  • People. I love people. And, due to the circumstances... I got to see a lot of people. 
  • American Food. Including, but not limited to: Steak, Biscuits, Chick-fil-A, and Diet Sunkist.
  • All of the Divas in one town on Friday.
  • Riding the 4-Wheeler.
  • Killing two snakes and breaking up a beaver dam. 
  • Being introduced to Duck Dynasty. 
  • Driving Holly Honda with the windows down and the music up.
  • Scratching Trecie's back. 
  • Listening to music that Stephen couldn't fall asleep at the Ritz Carlton listening to.
  • Being updated on things like: Instagram, new music, and other great technology.
  • Seeing pasture land. 
  • Seeing my puppy, Boss. 
  • Going to Auburn. That place has changed a lot in 8 months.
  • New cushions on Mama's back porch. Those things are awesome. I probably spent 75 percent of my time out there.
  • Jamming at the boys house. Learning new songs.
  • "To the King" Cheers!

After the funeral.

First time to wear heels in 8 months, and I am wearing one of Nandy's blouses. Typical.

Kids and Aunt Mel!

Best Friends... We just need the Chandlers added in.

Family after Nandy's funeral.
Stephen getting the steaks ready. Yes. Steak!!!

At the boys new farm house. It is wonderfulll!!

Iceee Dreaaammmm!!! And, of course.. Teeny.
Love these two. And, this yard. And the pecan trees.

Love this boy and their new house.

This is our Diva Child. And, I love her.

What a wonderful night!!!  :)

Wonderful friends.

Love this handsome guy.

Two of my favorite encouragers.

Friends since Elementary school!

Seeing Marianne for the first time in 8 months!! And, She's about to be to the Philippines!! Yes!!

I'm pretty sure this view will never get old.

All of the Divas were in Lanett on Friday... not all at the same time... but they were all there.

Family dinner at Callaway.

I spent almost the whole time out on the porch.

We also went on a little family hike.

This is the cutest puppy in the world... and He is a member of the Bolton household. Lucky us.

Loved every minute of seeing this diva.

Eating at the restaurant Trecie works at now...Hamiltons.

I got to see this boy too.

Tyler Morrison. One of a kind.

Homemade pizza. Our favorite.
Megan Mejia. I love our random meeting times. I'm pretty sure every time we see each other, we are both sleep deprived and running on overdrive. But, Here's to that! It seems to work for both of us!

Shaima! I loved seeing her!! And, she brought us the best food to eat! Yummy!!  :)

Yes. Moe's.

Family dinner at Callaway.

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." Philippians 3:20-21


Nandy. That's my grandma. 

Here are a few things I like about her. 

She was a woman of strong faith. She was a fighter.  She loved to have fun. She always had an opinion. She laughed a lot. She was a diva. She could fit into the same swimsuit for 20 years. She loved to play in the yard and flowerbeds. She could grow flowers through cracks in the concrete. She loved her garden. She was a "go-go-granny." She made us homemade biscuits and gravy a whole bunch (and we continued to eat them after we found out that lard is one of the ingredients). She let us spend the night at her house on pallets in the den anytime we wanted. She always had the coolest toys at her house- mainly farm vehicles.. but we loved them and learned how to drive before a lot of our friends because of it. She took me to the orthodontist during school and we would usually make a secret shoe shopping trip before returning. She was stylish- in her own way, of course. She helped me make the curtains, dust ruffle, and pillows for my room. She was a sewing feign. She introduced me to the tradition of wearing a hat on Easter Sunday. She loved being outside. She loved her family and friends. She was entertainment for any event. She grew enough vegetables to feed an army. She shelled a million pecans while watching wheel-of-fortune at night. She checked the wheel-of-fortune contest number for years to see if she had won. She and her divas rented a convertible in Hawaii and sipped drinks out of coconut shells while wading in the ocean. She loved traveling. She couldn't go without her "munchies". She always reminded me to "watch my backside." She always tried to make sure the boys weren't "rippin' and snortin' up and down the road." She kept her den nice and toasty each winter with her wood burning stove. She was a practical lady. And, as Marianne would say... She was "resourceful."

She lived a full life. She fought the good fight of faith. And, now she is with Jesus. She has reached her soul's reward. 

That's what life is about anyway. Living for something greater. Living for something that this world does not offer. Seeing truth and running after it. She knew there was something greater. She lived in light of that truth. She was always excited about my adventures on the other side of the world... and now I'm excited for her! She's doing the "Nandy Walk" down the streets of gold. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him." I can't even imagine how incredible that must be!

Even though we're gonna miss her like crazy... I know that I'm gonna be meeting up with her again whenever my time comes. So, until then... we'll just keep the memories close to our hearts.

Dancing with the Stars.


Christmas dinner.

She was helping me out after my thyroid surgery.

She wore this same swimsuit for 20 years.

Good times on vacation.


"And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day- and there will be no night there. They will bring into the glory and honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life." Revelation 21:22-26

"They will see His face and His name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." Revelation 22:4-5

Thursday, May 10, 2012

the last few days

The last few days were incredible. I am so thankful for my time in Bicol. What a wonderful time it was gaining perspective of my country and seeing the Lord at work. Pray for the Agta tribe. They now have a special place in my heart.

The biggest smoker grill I've ever seen.

Sweet man.

Some more pretty rice fields.


It looks like this lady is about to paddle a little kid... but this is just how they clean the clothes.

Outside kitchen.

Isn't this baby cute?
Sweetest. Husband baptizing wife. Steve is leading them through it.

Raised to walk in newness of life.

Pure joy.

Leaving the Naga Airport. Check out the Volcano in the background.
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:14-20