Thursday, September 27, 2012

Closing Chapters

 I'm so glad you stopped by! I walked with my friend Laurie earlier this week, and we talked non stop for six miles. Since then I've contemplated so many things we discussed. One of the topics was change and closing chapters. Some chapters are easier to close than others. What determines the level of difficulty in closing a chapter in your life? Fear? Emotional investment? Closing chapters has been on my mind.

Closing Chapters reminded me of a great story that will forever be deeply planted in my heart. Ten years ago I asked my husband if we could send two of our girls to Camp Desoto. I had been a counselor there and knew if I ever had girls I wanted them to experience life at Desoto. After he had looked at all the information, Eddie agreed camp would be amazing but he did not have the money to send them. Not willing to let the idea go, I asked if I could come up with the money could they go? He said yes, but being the practical one in the marriage, he did feel the need to point out the obvious .First, I did not have a job that actually produced income. Secondly, I had only about six months to come up with the money. Thirdly, he made it clear he had no extra money for camp. I admit that most people would see those points as obstacles, but I saw them as motivation.

How I raised money is another blog for another day. What you need to know is that the money for camp was due May 1st and it was May 2nd and I only had half the money. I got my "jar" out from under the bed and counted it over and over like it was going to magically multiply. It didn't. The worst part was that I'd been talking to the girls about camp for six months and I could not tell them that they could not go. There was no way I could call Eddie, so like any girl, I called my mama in tears. She actually asked me if I had taken it to the Lord. She encouraged me to get on my knees and pour my heart out before the Lord. She obviously did not catch the part that I needed a lot of money yesterday! So, I called my daddy. His advice was to keep the girls home, that would be more fun anyway. Needless to say, I was a mess and I was out of time, and in my mind I was out of options.

With nothing left, I decided to get on my knees before the Lord. Tearfully I told God I needed money, I needed the girls to go to camp, I needed Him to do this, I needed Him to do that, I... I.... I...and before I was finished praying, God sweetly reminded me that it was really not about me. He turned my tears and my selfishness into sweet worship and praise. Honoring God and my husband was my joy! Camp could wait!

Though my heart was sad about camp, I knew waiting was the right thing to do.  I could hardly wait for Eddie to get home from work so I could tell him about my crazy, emotional, fabulous day. I also needed to confess to him my pride and my selfishness. He had barely made it through the door when I told him Camp money was due the day before and I didn't have it. I wish you could have seen his face. (I am weepy now just thinking about it) His eyes were so gentle, and his smile was so warm. I will never forget his response. He so  sweetly said "I know. I was wondering how long it was going to take you to come to me." Y'all he paid for camp in full and never mentioned it again.

Do I even need to draw that parallel for you?! Why do we run in every direction exhausting every possible solution, seeking nineteen people's advice only to come up short, when we have unlimited access to God Almighty?! He runs after us with His arms wide open! Just STOP! Turn around! Let Him wrap you up in His immeasurable love and indescribable grace and whisper "I know." Why would we ever go anywhere else?!

This was my girls last summer to camp at Desoto! I had to close that chapter this year, but I will continue to gain sweet blessings from camp for the rest of my life!                           love love love Ruthie

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


 Yesterday I went to the gym with my twins to workout. I must admit it's been awhile since I've lifted weights and I had to make myself go. It was hard getting there, but once I got started I was good. However, this morning I could hardly move, and every muscle in my body was asking "What were you thinking?" Along those same lines, I had a precious group of women come paint in my studio. For some of them it had been a while since they had painted. They were hesitant to put paint on the canvas, and when they did they scraped it off a couple of times and started over and over and over....I love it!

It's tough when you "get out of the swing" of things! If I were more consistent about going to the gym, it would be easier to go and less painful! I encouraged my painting class to keep paints out at home and try to paint a little each day. Then when they come again Monday night, putting paint on the canvas will be much more fun and less intimidating.

I think life gets so busy sometimes we find ourselves out of the swing of a lot of things. Communication being a big one! How many times do you think something and get busy and forget to say it out loud? How many times do you think about writing a note and it never gets written? Do you think sweet things about your husband and never tell him? What about your children? Do they amaze you every day and you keep it to your self? What is that?! I love when someone speaks to me! I love when someone encourages me! I love getting notes in the mail! I know you do too! Then why do we hold back? Why do we not say things out loud? Why do we not encourage those around us? Do we forget? Are we lazy? Are we afraid? My challenge today is to write at least one note, not an email! And be intentional about communicating your thoughts and feelings! Thank someone more than once! Be intentional about encouraging those around you, even if you don't know them!  Go out on a limb and tell someone you love them! I'm so excited about this challenge I can hardly stand it! I just love to love and encourage people! It's so much fun! So get started! and leave me a comment on how you were intentional about communicating out loud! I love it!!!!!!             Love love love Ruthie

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Joy Joy Joy

 I'm so glad you stopped by! I'm by myself today. I think I love these days. I know some of you would love to have just one day to yourself, but this is new for me so I'm learning as I go along. What would you do with your one day? I got the twins off to school, got my sweet husband off to work, quickly cleaned the kitchen, threw in a load of laundry, made my bed, fed the dog and went for a run. The weather was so amazing that I walked the dog for a while and prayed for my family. I came in and threw another load of clothes in the wash, showered, cleaned my bathroom, and it was barely 9:00am. Perfect! My morning was wide open.

There were at least 25 things I could have done, probably a few friends I could have called, emails I could have returned, and notes I could have written. However, I did not do any of those things. Instead, I sat in my favorite chair and rested in the presence of my Heavenly Father. I'm not saying that my list of things to do was unimportant. I'm just saying, that taking time to be still and be with God Almighty is life changing.

John 15:11 reads "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."

It's funny, tomorrow my day will look completely different. I will get everyone off for their day, run to a spin class, head to the office, I actually have a luncheon tomorrow(no idea when I'll shower for that) scoot by the grocery store, hang out with the twins before the football game, head to the game, get to bed late, get up early, prepare for tailgate, head to college game, visit with family and friends, get to bed late, get up early, head to church and before I realize it, the weekend is over and we are all left wishing for just one more day. Don't get me wrong, the weekend will be tons of fabulous fun! And those of you that really know me know that I am all about fun, but I am also all about His joy! And I am all about His joy being made full in me! I love fun and happy, but those things are temporary. His joy is deep and it lasts. When the crowd is gone and the day is quiet His joy remains.

So when I find myself with a morning that's wide open, I want to run into His presence, immerse myself in HIs word, and bask in His glory! Ahhhhhh, that His joy would fill my soul! Meet me there...more importantly, meet Him there! He waits for you!  Love love love Ruthie

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vacation or Retreat

   I am so glad you stopped by? I have a question. Have you ever thought you needed a vacation to recover from your vacation? If you think back to your last vacation,even if you had the most fun ever, probably the most restful part of the trip was the ride home. It's a "good tired", but vacation can sometimes wear you out completely!


[caption id="attachment_1418" align="alignleft" width="300"] A few of Retreat Staff[/caption]

When my children were younger, we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies when we traveled. The Suburban was packed full of suitcases, pillows, books, movies, groceries, toys, and seven people. And if that was not enough, we pulled a trailer loaded with a golf cart, seven bikes, beach chairs, and whatever didn't fit in the car we wrapped in lawn and leaf bags and threw it on the

[caption id="attachment_1419" align="alignleft" width="300"] Staff[/caption]

trailer as well. THEN, once we got to  the beach, we set up two umbrellas, seven chairs, a blow up pool for the twins, a tent to nap in, a cooler, buckets, shovels, toys, nets, boogie boards, fishing poles, fishing stuff, camera, frisbee, extra hats and sunglasses, and last but not least, snacks for all. Whew! Are you tired yet? Are those not totally your most favorite memories ever?!!!!


[caption id="attachment_1420" align="alignleft" width="300"] Fabulous Fellowship[/caption]

Vacations are fabulous! However, sometimes what we need is a retreat! I looked up the word retreat. Re-treat, noun, a process of withdrawing, a place of privacy or safety: refuge a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study or instruction. Retreat.    I had the privilege of retreating this past weekend and teaching art to women while I was there! I was on

[caption id="attachment_1421" align="alignleft" width="300"] Fun Activities[/caption]

the mountain in Mentone, Alabama. The weekend was amazing. Two of my girls were there which made it even more special for me. I also had the blessing of fellowshiping with precious women who love the Lord. Such a sweet time! However, nothing compares to the moments that I retreated from those around me to be alone with Jesus. I was able to completely unwind and disconnect from the world and allow Him to completely fill my soul.

In Matthew14, Jesus fed the 5000. It's a familiar story, but what you may not remember is that after all the people had eaten, Jesus retreated. Verse 23 reads, "After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray, and when it was evening, He was there alone."

Why is it so hard for us to retreat? Even Jesus got alone with His Father to pray. What a precious example He has set for us. So what keeps you from retreating? Laundry? I promise it will still be there! Guilt? That is false guilt! God so desires time alone with you! To busy? Really? Is whatever it is THAT important? Take time to retreat! Even if it's in your home. Turn off phones, computers, or TVs and get alone with God! Rest in His presence. Spend time and just worship and sing and meditate on His word. The laundry can wait! Start with just 30 minutes. I promise it will change your world!

Please leave me a comment on your retreat! Let your experience be an encouragement to other readers!                                Love love love Ruthie

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Paint Glue Create

 I'm so glad you stopped by! I had 27 precious girls come paint tin my studio last friday. We had so much fun! I cut and sanded boards for each girl, designed a collage, gave them glue and paint, and then watched them create! Don't kid yourself, I could ever have done it without my daughter KK. She strapped on her apron and made sure the girls had brushes, water, paper towels, and lots of encouragement! I thought it was fascinating that each girl had the same pieces to collage, yet their finished products were so different. Their artwork was completely unique to their personality, color choice, and design style. Twenty seven girls with their very own masterpiece.

I so enjoyed watching the girls carefully and thoughtfully put each piece of their collage in just the right place. They boldly mixed colors and chose the exact shade of pink or green to display their personality so perfectly. Then to see their faces filled with pride and satisfaction as they held their finished work for the camera.

I couldn't help but think about how God must have felt as He created the heavens and the earth. He created light to illuminate His design, and He called it day and the darkness He called night. He made heaven and earth. He then covered the land with all kinds of trees and breathtaking flowers of every size, shape, and color. Then He made the sun to light the day and the moon to shine at night. He made the stars also. He created every spectacular bird and every mind blowing creature on land and in the sea. And if that was not amazing enough, Genesis 2:7 reads "Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and mad became a living being."

There is no amount of paint of glue that can even begin to create anything as magnificent as what God Almighty has made. And more importantly, no one but God can reathe life. He made you in His image. He breathed life into you. In Psalm 139:14 it says you are fearfully and wonderfully made. In the last verse of Genesis chapter one, it says after God created man, He looked at what He had made and saw that it was very good.

Today, rejoice that He made you and He made you perfectly!                                                                                                                          Love love love Ruthie