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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Portraits -- scenes from our Memorial Day.

Sporting patriotism and smiles.

Girls and tulips in shades of red.

My little hero

Photo by the creek

Denim skirts and sandals -- what mom and her girls like on a casual day. What silly fun!

A Beautiful Memorial Day

We spent a beautiful family day at a local park, complete with historic mill, trails, water falls, and gorgeous gardens. The sun came out in the afternoon, and it was a lovely day. We explored the park, enjoyed some delicious food, did a little shopping, and came home. That's one of the freedoms our veterans sacrificed for -- the peaceful American way of life. It's a blessing. I'm grateful.
At the historic mill

My kids in the lovely gardensPlaying around on the mill stones.

Peeking out from a gargantuan tree that was as big as a room under its arching canopy of leaves. Me and my 2 older girls.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day of Memories

For every soldier who answered the call.....we remember.

For every Christmas spent in loneliness...we remember.

For every baby born to an absent hero...we remember.

For every widow clutching the nation's colors...we remember.

For every family who offered their best....we remember.

For every unknown death on foreign soil.....we remember.

Every wound, every tear, every act of courage....we remember.

Every time our flag is raised, your spirit marches on and leads America freedom, in pride, in God.

We will always

Monday, May 19, 2008

Click to play WOW Retreat 2008
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Renewed, re-engergized........WOW Retreat

The registration table.

Tina Fox and me.

Lorena Glick leading the Saturday session.

The ladies from PNG.

Kinza bringing greetings from our sisters in Papua New Guinea.

This past weekend, I attended the annual Women of Worth retreat directed by Lorena Glick. What a terrific time it was. The sessions were informative and challenging (all relating to staying connected with our sisters in Christ). The speakers were gifted (Sheila Wolf and Sarah Fry are great favorites of mine). The music was lovely. The concert with the Keelings was awesome. The Sunday morning service and prayer time were the highlight of the retreat. Sarah's solo violin rendition of "Be Still my Soul" brought tears of worship and shivers of delight at the sheer beauty.

The contributions of the ladies' delegation from Papua New Guinea were so inspiring. These lovely women from across the globe were used by the Lord to challenge me. When they led in prayer, it seemed as if we were enclosed in the holy mist of Mt. Sinai. What a great experience.

As usual, the girlfriend chatter, happy chaos of laughter and ping pong made the dorm a fun place after the nightly sessions. The staff at Heartland Conference and Retreat Center served delicious meals. The company of friends and the gracious presence of God made the 2008 retreat a truly unforgettable time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Garrison for Unsettled Times

At its root, peace is not a feeling, but a confidence. Peace may produce calm feelings; but it is more accurately a secure knowledge and trust. When we are in the midst of some tragedy or great trial or catastrophic circumstance, we cannot predict the emotions which will sweep over us. But we can have a steadfast assurance, deep in the center of the soul, that God is in control, that He only does what is right, and that He promised sufficient grace until the end of the world.

Those who have a certainty that their Christ will see them through need not rely on the fleeting tide of emotions. The knowledge that is theirs provides the resolve to trust, the strength to rest. There are too many situations in life where it would be impossible to have a peaceful “feeling” but in which the peace of God is a rock that never washes away.

We might feel grief at begin separated by death from parents, spouse, or child. Yet the assurance that God now holds them in heaven and that He has promised strength for the day brings the consolation of peace.

We might fear the thought of the unknown – losses, trials, persecution. But the conviction that there is no particle of life which can separate us from God gives a bedrock of peace to the soul.

It is interesting that there are so many Bible passages which refer to peace. The Psalms are full of them. Jesus, our Lord, spoke of peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth...... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) Did you notice He said "don't let" your heart be troubled. It is an active choice.

The entrace of sin into our world brought the destruction of peace. Jesus came to return the gift of peace to those who follow Him -- a peace built on relationship with God.

Children know peace because they trust. If the child knew the "why" he would not be the child; he would have the knowledge and responsibilites of the parent. I think I am glad to be God's child and be content with trusting and not knowing; that way, He will handle the responsibility associated with the knowledge.

God knows that the circumstances around us cause our foundations to shake. Like the loving Father He is, He reassures us. "God is our refuge and strength.....Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea" (Psalm 46:1-2)

Here are some of my favorite "peace" passages: God's very words to us. Ingesting these promises is a feast for the anxious soul. They remind us that the confidence and trust we have in God will be a garrison -- a stronghold against the enemy and the fear that represents the kingdom of darkness. They teach us to grasp the strong hand that peace offers. They fortify the soul.

Proverbs 14:26 "In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge."

Proverbs 3:26 "For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken."

"And the peace of God, which transcends all our powers of thought, will be a garrison to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Phillipians 4:7) (Weymouth)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Teenager is Born

On Mother's Day, thirteen years ago, a little 7 pound, 7 ounce package arrived for me at St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, AL. Laura Ashley Quesenberry was my sweet firstborn. She was a delightful little girl, chattering, singing, helping Daddy do things, and shopping with Mommy. This week, she will turn 13, and we are so happy with the lovely young woman she is becoming.

Today, we had 12 girls from church and school on our patio for a birthday celebration. Duane has told Ashley she could not drink coffee until she was 13, so the birthday decorations were a kind of nod to that important piece of data. She received some cute gifts and had a lot of fun with the girls. Her actual birth date is later in the week, but we wanted to mark this "big" day with a special party.

As my children mature, my love stretches to wrap around the persons they are becoming. Birthdays mean another year I have had the gift of being a mom. Ashley, to me you're still a bouncy-haired toddler and yet a poised and charming young lady -- whatever your age, you'll always be in my heart.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Quesenberry Girls' Violin Recital

A year ago, God provided violin lessons for my two older girls. This week, they played in a recital, Minuets 1 and 2 by Bach. Here is the video (I goofed taking this, so what you will see is part of the 1st song and the 2nd.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mothers & Daughters

My girls and I went to a Mother/Daughter Banquet on Monday night. Here are some scenes from the evening: all 4 of us, Kaley and her friend Sadie, Ashley and Kaley at the dessert table, and a view of the display table (we made scrapbook pages for the pictures taken that night.) I love my girls.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Stewart

Sunday, we celebrated Stewart's birthday. He requested a "crocodile cake." We are still waiting for the tadpole and harvester ants to arrive for his bug habitat and ant farm. I love my little boy with his whales and snails and puppy dog tails.

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