Thursday, August 19, 2010

August Birthdays

It's been a couple weeks since I posted a blog. August is a very busy month in my family. As I posted before, my Mom's birthday is in August, but so is my Dad's and my brother's.

My brother, Rick, was born on August 12th, 1977 and my life would never be the same. We are only 18 months apart, so growing up we were each other's constant companions and playmates. I loved playing with my brother's cars and his action figures. And he and I would build stuff with legos and lincoln logs. When you live in a trailer there's only so far you can get from each other, so we grew up pretty close. We also started singing together as very young children. We usually sang on every Sunday and Wednesday during the revival's my parent's held as evangelists. "Grandma's Rocking Chair" and "Family Circle" were two songs that I'll probably never forget singing. As adults, he has become one of the most talented singer/songwriters I've ever heard. I remember the first time I heard one of his songs and it touched me to my soul. He was in high school and it was a song called "Halfway." As I listened to the words, tears welled up in my eyes. Tears not only because of the words, but also because I was so impressed with how God was using my "little brother." I knew then, that God had given Rick a very special gift and I was so excited to see where it would take him. To this day, I get excited when he writes a new song. I love to see what God is going to say through him. He travels the country now, sharing his music in concerts, at camps, in revivals, and wherever else the Lord opens a door. He'll be here in Jefferson City in September and I'm so exicted that I can hardly stand it.

On August 15th we celebrate my Dad's birthday. I can't tell you how blessed I am to have Randy James as my Daddy. He is one of the wisest people I've ever met. He's taught us about Jesus and how to follow him. He leads us not only by telling us what is right, but also by example. He has the gift of preaching and teaching and has been doing so for as long as I can remember. There's something very special about knowing that there are no stupid questions. That we can come to him with any problem and he will listen without judgement and help us find the Biblical answer. He has read the Bible through more than 25 times and continues to do so every year. That's amazing to me. He currently pastors in North Vernon, IN, but he has ministered and taught in more states than I can remember as well as Kenya and Belize, plus he's written a book called, "Unraveling the Revelation" that makes the book of Revelation easy to understand for everyone. That's no easy task, but he's done it. God has used and is continuing to use my Dad in amazing ways. I'm so blessed that I get to watch and learn from his example in my life.

I suppose blogs are supposed to be about the person writing them. However in my last two blogs I've told you about my family. And make no mistake, I would not be who I am without them. To really know me, you have to know my family. I am blessed beyond words because God has given me a family that follows Him.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A quick trip home...

On Monday, I flew out of St. Louis to come home for my Mom's 60th birthday. My plane arrived in Louisville, KY where I was met by an old friend who I hadn't been able to see for about 10 years. What a blessing it was to spend some time with Faith and her adorable son Brady.

My Mom picked me up outside Louisville and we headed up to North Vernon, IN where my parents live. We went to "I'm Stuffed" for pizza that night. What a cute little restaurant. If you're ever in North Vernon, I highly recommend it. Great food!

Tuesday was my Mom's 60th birthday and my Dad had planned a big party for her at the Ruby Tuesday's in Anderson, IN. However, the party was in peril when Mom got sick in the night. She was ill all night and all morning. However, by about 2pm, she was beginning to feel better and wanted to go to the party. She got progressively better as the evening wore on. We were so glad!!! At the Ruby Tuesday that night, we filled up the back room with family. What a fantastic time we had. There were about 24 of us and while it was a large group, it was only a portion of our vast family. We missed those who couldn't attend, but thoroughly enjoyed being with those who could. Because very few in my family have the ability to laugh quietly, we can be a rather loud bunch. We didn't know how noisy we'd been until, when we left a patron stopped my Uncle and said, "You guys have just been having such a joyful time back there. It's been such fun to listen to you all." I thought that was pretty cool.

We spent the night at my Grandma's house. My brother had come in for the event and it was great to see him even if only for a short time. We don't often get to have all of us together so it's always nice when we can be. We all hung out for a bit at Grandma's after the party. My Aunt came over too. We all were pretty tired though, so it was an early evening.

This morning, Dad, Mom, and I came back to North Vernon. I so enjoy getting to spend time with my parents. Whether we are watching tv, playing games, or sharing a meal, it's always such a joy just to be in their company. I am so blessed.

Tomorrow, I fly home. Mom and Dad will take be back to Louisville to catch my flight. However, since I have a layover of more than two hours in Chicago, my cousin Corey is going to meet me at the airport so I can see him for a bit. That will be so very fun and a great way to end my brief trip.

So, this whirlwind trip is nearly over and I'll be home soon, but I'm so glad I got to come. Happy Birthday Mom! You may have turned 60, but I think you'd be hardpressed to find anyone who believes you look it. You're amazing and I love you!