Monday, May 18, 2009


It has been four years since Jerry and I gave up being the youth ministers at the Auburntown Church of Christ. I cried for weeks when Jerry told me that he believed that it was time to retire. We were paid for part-time only - not full time. How do you "do" youth ministry part time? We never figured that out!

We worked so hard because we had/have a passion for young people and stretching their experiences past anything they have done before. We took them to Camp Barnabas and I got stretched. (Check out their website. You will be impressed by what you find. ) We went to Atlanta and St. Louis to serve in homeless shelters; we gave away coats, blankets and food to the homeless under the bridges of Nashville; we were mistaken for homeless people at the Spaghetti Factory; we camped out, we went to Winterfest (all 155 of us one year!) and we had teen retreats. Kids were baptized in swimming pools, watering troughs and in the stream in Gatlinburg in the freezing cold.

In the last two weeks we have seen the last of our youth group kids being honored at their home congregations in celebration of their high school graduation. Yes, they are sort of scattered now from place to place but that's okay. They are all bright, responsible young people going out into the world of the unknown. One wants to be an engineer, one a nurse and the list goes on. Some are going to Harding, some to Lipscomb, some to vocational school and one to Tennessee Tech.
Some are planning to get married and some are going to work. No matter where they go, we will always be proud of them. They gave us great memories and lots of fun times.

So to Abby, McKenzie, Nathan, Katie, Laura, Julie Anne and Lauren - Happy Graduation! May God bless you in your new adventure!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Leah's Graduation

On May 9th, our oldest daughter, Leah, graduated from Lipscomb University with her Masters degree in Education Administration. Now she is Leah Wilson, M. Ed. Sounds impressive to me! She worked hard and ended up with a 3.90 GPA.

Our two precious grandchildren, Allie, age 3 1/2 and Elijah, age 19 months watched their Mommy walk down the aisle to accept her diploma. Allie understood the process and was so proud of her mom. Elijah, on the other hand, was content to color in his coloring book and clap when everyone else clapped. Along with Leah's children and her husband, Nick, her grandparents, Eugene and Wilma Harris, her Aunt Martye, her Aunt Deanie and Uncle Marvin, Nick's parents, Ken and Ginger Wilson and her dad, Jerry and I were also there to cheer her on! Watching her march in with the other graduates made me cry. It seemed just yesterday we were watching her graduate from Head Start.

We had a graduation party afterward at Leah and Nick's home. Her childhood best friend, Bobbi was there to share in the moment. Leah is the closest thing Bobbi has to a sister and they are still close after all these years. Bobbi's mom, Betty was also there. Betty was my sixth grade teacher in 1970 and she was Leah's first grade teacher in 1985. It is no wonder we all feel like family.
Watching this day as it unfolded, I realized that I, too, need to get off my duff and finish my undergrad degree. The only challange with that: I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Moms, Rain and Good Food

I got up this morning to see the creek in front of my house almost level with the road and it was still raining. Great. Today was the Mother's Day Luncheon at church and it was pouring.

I knew that even though I didn't have much to unload when I got to the Christian student center, that Sandy, Dawn and Amie had carloads of china, crystal, silverware and food to carry into the building in the rain. There were also tablecloths and flowers for all the tables. It was a major undertaking to pull this off. I really believe Sandy brought 1/2 of her kitchen. She was so prepared for the occasion. She has a gift for planning events like today. I love it that she is a Southern woman who wants pretty things on her table and it has to be "just so". I was raised to do things "the right way". You know, hostess sits at the end of the table, host sits on the opposite end of the table. It is kind of like not wearing white shoes before Easter and never after Labor Day. Today's luncheon was done with excellance. It was certainly not perfect, but it was excellent.

We were feeding 30 people, mostly our mothers, our daughters and granddaughters. Every family had their picture made together as a gift to take home. We wanted it to be special and I believe that it was just that.

I enjoyed eating lunch with my mom and my daughter, Rebekah, I also had big fun in the kitchen. Funny thing about this small group of ladies that I serve with-they are all quite skilled and very funny. We get along well with each other and have an open and honest relationship. If we can't do something, we don't pretend that we can. Transparency. I love it!

We actually worked without fussing or running over one another. Four women in one kitchen is usually a train wreak. Not today. It was a blessing for me.

You get to know people so much better when you serve with them. You find out that they are not perfect so the pressure is off to pretend to be perfect yourself. There is so much freedom in that! I hope the ladies who attended were blessed by being there. I know I was.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Great Week for Leah

Leah, our oldest daughter, has had a wonderful week. She is in her final week at Lipscomb University finishing her Master's Degree in Education Administration. I am so proud of her! She has maintained a 3.90 grade point average while taking care of her two children now 3.5 years old and 19 months. She is a good mom and wife. How she does it all amazes me. She will graduate May 9th.

Thursday she gave a presentation on the research she did on teaching special education children. One of the LU faculty members was so impressed with the presentation that she is now working on securing funding from Vanderbilt University so that Leah can continue her research in a full-time effort. Leah has a passion for children and a head full of ideas to help them learn more readily. Being a youth ministry major, she has been trained to work with kids in a variety of ages.

The exciting news is that she submitted a summary of a book she has written to a literary agent and he/she has asked for three to five chapters of the book so that they can make a decision about publishing it. Wouldn't it be cool if they give her a contract? Maybe I will get to go on her book tour!

Leah has always dreamed of being a published writer. She has the gift of putting words on paper that people want to read. Her book is good and the story flows well. I hope you get the opportunity to read it soon.