05 April 2010


Due to extreme spam content of my blogger account, I will now only be updating my wordpress blog. It is: www.bittersweetjess.wordpress.com .
So, if you'll come over there and catch back up with me, I'll be so glad you did! :)

10 March 2010

Wit and Wisdom of Grandma Mary

Tomorrow would have marked my Grandma Mary’s 99th Birthday. And man, do I miss her. I would love to know what she would’ve said about approaching 100. And had her mind not been taken from her, I believe she would’ve seen it.

Of course, hanging out with her for just one day, you’d be left with some pretty good guesses at what she might say if she were still around today. She was always full of one-liners, at least one for every year she’d been around.

So, in memory of my hilarious, off-the-cuff, nonconformist Grandma, here’s my meager list of Grandma Maryisms. And if you think of any I’ve missed, by all means, let us hear ‘em. ♥

*Warning* Some content not suitable for young viewers. Ha! :)

  • Dear Gussy!
    Heavenly days, ba-gee!
    Sweet 16, never been kissed … (pause) … or never been missed!
    Looks good enough to eat!
    Must’ve been somethin’ I et (ate), I ain’t drunk nothin’!
    Well, I’ll be diddly-damned!
    Ooooh! Opportunity corner! ;o
    Texaco …. Tex-e-o, Frank used to say!
    Here, Tit-n-tat! (Kitten Cat)
    Makes me no never mind!
    Whoop-de-do! (Inevitably followed by) Whoop-de-DO-de-do!
    Can’t remember… slept a few nights since then!
    (When asked how she’s been) Still puttin’ one foot in front a the other!
    Well, sh*t and 2 is 8!
    Scared me outta a year’s growth!
    Take your time leavin’, but hurry back!
    Doodness Dracious!
    Oh that’s nice … nicey-nice …
    The Lord is my shepherd … I got all I want!

Happy Birthday, Grandma!!!
♥ Love you and miss you !!! ♥

22 February 2010

Warning to Pay Attention

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard,
so that we do not drift away. (Heb. 2:1 ~ NIV)

I enjoy the ocean. But, I’m generally more of an onlooker. I enjoy just sitting, looking at it and listening to it more than anything. But, once in a while, I will venture out and take a plunge.

And I don’t know about you, but once I’ve taken the plunge, I pay special attention to everything around me. I’m alert. After all, this is no chlorine-balanced, pest-free swimming pool. It’s the ocean. Powerful. Ebbing and flowing with undeniable energy and force. The floor is uneven. The surroundings constantly changing. And don’t forget about the creepy things that lurk within. Slimy things. And things that could chomp your left leg off in 5 seconds flat. *Bleh*

But, if you’re like me, once you get in there and get your bearings (and get the theme song from “Jaws” out of your head), you begin to really relax and enjoy it. You start to rest in the gentle current. You stop worrying about any predators. You don’t worry about losing your footing. You begin to just ‘go with the flow’ and all is right with the world. Taking in the warm sun and gentle breeze.

Until you realize you’ve just been carried down the shoreline about a mile and a half. You look up and all the hotels look the same. And you’re not exactly sure which one is yours anymore. You don’t see your family and friends. And you can’t seem to find your footing. And….. Ewwww!!! What was that that just slithered past my arm???

How easy it is to become complacent when all seems to be going well.

The same is true in our walks of faith. How diligent are you when life is going smoothly? I know I find it more difficult. When all is well, I think most of us have a tendancy to ‘drift’. To coast. Take it on cruise control. But, I know I’ve learned that it’s then that you hit the rough waters. Lose your footing. And begin to feel like shark bait at feeding time.


“It doesn’t take any effort to drift. If you’ve ever gotten on a raft and floated down a river on a sunny day, you know that there is real pleasure in drifting – at least for a while. But it doesn’t necessarily take you where you want to go.

“We have been invited to tie up our rafts to the safe and secure harbor of salvation. But some of us have just never made that commitment. We haven’t tied ourselves to Jesus. And we’re in danger of drifting. We may be interested in Christ and intend to stay close, but time and circumstances cause us to drift and without even realizing it, we may find ourselves slipping away completely from the opportunity to know Jesus in a saving way.

“Others of us have tethered ourselves to Christ, and yet in our hearts and minds we are drifting. If you’re honest, would you have to say that as you look back over your life, there was a time you were more in love with Jesus, more fascinated with his Word, more attuned to his Spirit than you are now? Was there a time you were closer to Jesus? You never made the decision to drift away. You never intended for the relationship to gorw cold. But you’ve drifted. You’ve lost that firm grip.

“This word of warning is for all of us. We need to nurture our furious obsessions with Jesus. Let’s anchor ourselves to him, stay close to him, and not allow ourselves to drift” (N. Guthrie ‘Hoping for Something Better’ ~ a study on the book of Hebrews).
Click on link to listen to "The Rope"

In waters calm I sailed from shore
To see what I might see
And having never sailed beforeI drifted aimlessly
A warm breeze rocked my boat until
In slumber I fell sound
But woke to find the light grown dim
And dark clouds gathering ’round

In haste I worked at turning back
But now the wind blew wrong
And when the night came cold and black
My strength was almost gone
But with one last small thread of hope
I bowed my head to pray
Then through the dark I saw a rope
And heard a calm voice say

‘Grab the rope hold it tight
In the distance shines a light
Neither fear nor feel alone
There is One Who’ll lead you home’

I heard my heart beat loud and fast
But did as I was told
And with the rosy dawn at last
Dry land I did behold
I kissed the sandy banks and swore
My sailing days were through
But should I ever stray from shore
I know now what to do

‘Grab the rope hold it tight
In the distance shines a light
Neither fear nor feel alone
There is One Who’ll lead you home’

‘Grab the rope hold it tight
In the distance shines a light’

14 February 2010

Sunday Stirrings

Back when Jodi kicked off “Sunday Stirrings” , I had every intention of sticking with it and knocking things out every week. All the revelations revealed to me week by week.

That was just over a month ago and I may have done two S.S. posts in that amount of time?

I’m glad to be able to say that it’s not been due to lack of insights and profound revelations. As a matter of fact, I just wrapped up an amazing study on “Ruth” by Kelly Minter and am headlong into a mind-blowing study by Beth Moore on the Tabernacle.

To say that He has tugged on some heartstrings through these women and their indepth studies would be a gross understatement.

Not to mention the numerous books I’ve read and blog posts that have both inspired and encouraged me.

It just seems right now He’s more interested in me listening than me sharing. So frustrating, too! Because I want so badly to share what has been revealed to me! Just seems I don’t even know where to start. And words fail me anyway. (Hence all the reposts lately.)

So, all of this to say… He has undoubtedly been stirring within me.

Perhaps I just need to work on getting myself out of the way before I can relay some of what’s been impressed upon me.

In the meantime, I’d encourage you to check out some of the posts that have inspired, encouraged or just really made me stop and think in the last several weeks:

Arms Wide Open
Blessed Builder
Bring the Rain
Donald Miller
Heal the Wound
Highway 41
Notes from the Soul
Random Thoughts from the Revolution
The New Normal
Thursday’s Child

12 February 2010

* Since I’m home unexpectedly (YAY!) on this beautifully SNOWY day, I just thought I’d steal Pioneer Woman’s idea and do my own post on the things that I love. *

Well, let’s start with the most befitting…

♥ I love snow days! I love snow and love being home to enjoy it!

♥ Spending time with my niece and nephew.

♥ Sundays.

♥ Chocolate… GOOD chocolate!

♥ Blankets.

♥ The sky when it’s that perfect beautiful midnight blue.

♥ Crisp, cool Fall air.

♥ Music. Music, music, music.

♥ The smell of old books.

♥ Clothes fresh out of the dryer.

♥ Variety Puzzles.

♥ Campfires.

♥ The moon, especially when it’s full and seems close enough to touch.

♥ Old hymns.

♥ iTunes.

♥ “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers.

♥ Sweet old people.

♥ Seeing benevolence in a broken world.

♥ “Roman Holiday”.

♥ The latest fragrance ‘agave’ from WoodWick candles.

♥ My parents.

♥ Bible study.

♥ Boston, Mass.

♥ Flying.

♥ Old notes from my grandmas and great aunts.

♥ Large spreads of poppies on the side of the cold interstate.

♥ Chili cheese fries.

♥ Needtobreathe’s “The Outsiders” album.

♥ Glimpses of God.

♥ Publix “Chocolate Trinity” ice cream mixed with “It’s Your Birthday Cake” ice cream.

♥ Watching “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” with my sister.

♥ My sweet (crazy) cat.

♥ #50, half-order with chicken at El Charros.

♥ Ashley Judd’s “Wonderful” perfume.

♥ My church home/family.

♥ Sunsets.

♥ “Streams in the Desert”.

♥ “Castle”.

♥ Orange juice at midnight.

♥ The lead singer from Nickelback’s voice.

♥ Flannel sheets and a cold nose.

♥ Old pictures.

♥ Trains.

♥ The reminder of the cross.

♥ The power of the cross.

♥ The fact that it’s still snowing beautifully and piling up ouside!!!


10 February 2010

Learn Something New Every Day!

I got a burst of motivation the other day. I don’t know where it came from ( or where it’s gone ) but I decided to run with it.

So, I cleaned.

And we’re not talking just the usual laundry and vacuuming here. Stuff got thrown away. Floors got cleaned on hands and knees. Stove eyes were removed, scrubbed down and replaced.

And as I Windexed the dresser mirror, I thought “You know, I should write something up here to wake up to every morning.” And I knew exactly what thought I wanted to be reminded of every day.

So, I took out an old tube of lipstick and beautifully scripted out before me:
Choose this day Who you will serve!

I stopped briefly to both admire my handiwork and question what I wrote. I thought “Is it Who or Whom?” Hmmm…. I knew it didn’t sound right, but I could not think for the life of me which one it should be. ( I blame all the fumes in the air. )

This is all it takes to torture someone like me.

I spent probably the next 2 hours or more fighting that little battle out in my mind. I finally decided it was most likely Whom and looked it up for verification. ( I mean, I had to sleep that night! )

In my search for verification, I came across
Grammar Girl. Who knew?? Adults have their own “WordGirl“!

So, for anyone who may not already know ( and might actually care! )… here’s Grammar Girl’s “Quick and Dirty Tip” on the whole ‘who -vs- whom’ matter:

“Like whom, the pronoun him ends with m. When you’re trying to decide whether to use who or whom, ask yourself if the answer to the question would be he or him. That’s the trick: if you can answer the question being asked with him, then use whom, and it’s easy to remember because they both end with m. For example, if you’re trying to ask, “Who (or whom) do you love?” The answer would be “I love him.” Him ends with an m, so you know to use whom. But if you are trying to ask, “Who (or whom) stepped on Squiggly?” the answer would be “He stepped on Squiggly.” There’s no m, so you know to use who. So that’s the quick and dirty trick: if you can’t remember that you use whom when you are referring to the object of the sentence, just remember that him equals whom.”

And now, you, too will be able to wield your power of grammatical knowledge!

And I can start focusing on the message at hand instead of the grammar!!

08 February 2010

Lions and Deserts and Keys... Oh, my!

“Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.” (‘Million Miles in a Thousand Years’)

“God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time. But the right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time seems like the wrong time.
“Our calling is much higher than simply running away from what’s wrong. We’re called to chase lions ~ look for opportunities and take risks to reach for God’s best.
“When we don’t have the guts and step out in faith and chase lions, then God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him.” (‘In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day’)

“Maybe I ain’t too old to start over, I think and I laugh and cry at the same time at this. Cause just last night I thought I was finished with everything new.” (‘The Help’)

“God gives each person on earth a set of keys, keys to live this life down here on the earth. Now in this set, there is one key you can use to unlock prison doors and set captives free.” (‘Same Kind of Different as Me’)

“Never look ahead to the changes and challenges of this life in fear. Instead, as they arise look at them with the full assurance that God, whose you are, will bring you through them. Hasn’t He kept you safe up to now? So, hold His loving hand tightly, and He will lead you safely through all things.” (‘Streams in the Desert’)

“It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.I want to repeat one word for you:Leave.
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.” (‘Through Painted Deserts’)

“Father, thank You that no matter what is ahead for me, I can be secure because of Your presence.” (perpetual desk calendar)


Does anybody else sense a theme here?

I’ve been fasting from Facebook for several weeks now and as a result have found much more time to read. And read, I have. Steadily and methodically, I’ve been dwindling down the piles that have been patiently waiting on me for months now. And still some patiently wait.

But, it’s funny how I seem to get pulled to read certain ones at certain times. And in almost certain succession. The quotes above are just a representative glimpse into the theme that seems to be knocking at down my door.

And I so often find assurance when these themes present themselves in my life. They almost serve as a roadmap or at least a trusty reception tower. Things just seem to click into clarity and there seems to be some semblance of order to life.

But, I must admit… this theme….. though it does bring me a sense of comfort on one level, has got me a just a weee bit unnerved on every other level. I’s skeered! I mean, I don’t even know what direction this thing is headed? or how I’m expected to live it all out??

And I’m a creature of habit, comfort, familiarity. I don’t like stepping out of my comfort zone. I fear any sort of change. I like feeling like I know what to do, what to expect. I find great solace in the monotony.

But, that’s not the life we’re meant to live as Christians. That’s not life at all. And I guess it’s time for me to ’step it up’ and step out in faith. To whatever He has in store for me.

Eeek! ~ So, wh-h-h-ho’s w-w-w-ith me?