Saturday, October 18, 2014

Through it all... God's Grace Abounds....

My head is full of thoughts to release, but my cognitive function has been greatly challenged of late. How can I relay my absolute delight in this last month's events? I'll try, and if I'm not making much sense you'll know why.

My Jordy and I went on a wonderful 12 day vacation in August. Back to my roots, back to my birthplace and where I grew up for the first 18 years of my life. Back for my 40th High School Reunion for TC Williams High School (Remember the Titans fame). Back to see some of my old friends from those band and drill corp days, remembering those fun times we spent at band camp. riding around on those buses to the games, those hours of long practices to get everything just right before the Friday Night performance. I haven't attended any of those reunions, so this one for extra special for me. Extra special because of my health, I'm not sure I'll be able to make another one. Extra special because I could spend those precious days with my son. To have that long drive time was hard, but so much fun. Lots of laughter, arguing, talking, giggling, I messed up the route, we went the wrong way, and laughed and laughed. Only a disabled Mom, like me, could get away with that and not have my kid go ballistic. I had the paperwork to prove the way, but it was still all wrong the GPS sent us the wrong way too, but instead of going nuts, my sweet son rolled with the punches. Here are just a few shots from the reunion.

Me, my friend Craig Caldwell and Jordy

Me, friend Lori Burnett Bassford (I went to slumber parties at her house when I was a kid), 
and Carolyn Weeder, another friend from 1974. 

Me and friends Christine Kennedy and Lucelle OFlaherty
both were in the drill corp with me.

Me with buds Andy Seligman and Roxanne Romani Brooks (another drill corp friend)
It was so great to see everybody. I'll never forget it!

I know he must have been frustrated with me, more times than not, but Jordy never showed it. He kept laughing and encouraging me to enjoy myself. We had a great time in Alexandria and Washington, sightseeing and enjoying seeing our nations capitol. Jordy loved seeing our Washington, and I held up pretty well, tootling along in my scooter along the National Mall and seeing many of the highlights of Washington: Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, WWI and WWII Memorial, Korean Memorial, (probably my favorite) and of course Arlington National Cemetery, which is always a highlight of a visit to Washington.The weather, which could have been stifling in Augusts, was perfect...definitely a God-Thing - thank you Lord!

                                         If you are ever in the DC area, you have to go to Arlington
                                         National Cemetery. The enormity of the sacrifice that our
                                         soldier made and continue to make is overwhelming.

We made the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and Jordy made the capitol tour on Saturday while I slept and recuperated so I could make the reunion. Of course, I wish we'd had more time, cause there is so much to see up there. We also took the Metro which was an adventure, cause none of that was built when I lived there.

Jordy in front of the Museum of Natural History

I was able to have dinner with my cousin Leslie and her husband David. That was a special highlight of the trip. Leslie and I pretty much grew up as sisters more than cousins, she was either at my house or I was at her house. That was pretty much the deal for many years. Also, my dearest and closest friend through high school was Mollie McCauley, who couldn't make the reunion, but did come in and have lunch with me. Mollie stood up with me at my wedding. It was so great to see her too!

                                               My cousin Leslie and her husband David
                                    Me and Mollie - she hasn't changed a bit! Loved seeing her.

I had Jordy driving all over Alexandria, while I remembered places from my childhood; the house where I grew up, my elementary, middle and high schools, where my grandparents lived, even the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store that was in my neighborhood. I couldn't believe it was still there in the same exact place, 40 years later! Of course I had to take pictures of everything, which drove him crazy, but again we had alot of fun.

I couldn't believe the things that did not change in my old neighborhood, 
it was really uncanny because down here in Florida everything changes constantly!

I was running on energy I hadn't had in years. I knew I would most likely pay for it in the end, but it was so worth it so me,

The house I grew up in on Crestwood Drive in Alexandria, pink shutters?Really?

After Washington, we ventured to our home in Waynesville, NC for a visit with our first son, Biff and his wife Jessi. Our first grandchild was overdue to be born, and we were praying, that maybe, just maybe Jordy and I could meet the little one before we headed home. Turns out that my sweet grandchild had a mind of her own and was born 3 days after we left. We did have a wonderful visit with the kids though and I got to see Jessi pregnant, which was fun. Boy, I really wanted to be there for the birth of that little girl, but it wasn't part of God's plan. 

                                           Me with Jessi, waiting the birth, and me with my two boys!

This is me, two months later and after a massive oral steroid treatment to counteract an MS attack, probably brought on by our trip. But so worth it. I'm clearer in my thinking, able to walk a little again and with physical therapy I know I'll get better and better. So here we go, I will continue on with my story.

So, the last night we are on the mountain, we go out to dinner with Biff, Jessi, Jordy and I. Let me back up just a little. Jessi had told me that she liked the name Grace for their daughter, but she said "we have to convince Biff. " I said Grace is the perfect name for the little angel. Jessi had lost a baby before she got pregnant with this child and had an ectopic pregnant, losing one of her ovaries. They weren't 100 percent sure trying again was going to be successful and then they had a scare with this child too, so I said "Jessi, Grace is the perfect name for her, because she is surely here because of God's amazing Grace."

About two weeks before we went on our trip, God put it on my heart that they were going to name the baby Grace Natalie (Natalie is my given name). I told God - No way, they aren't going to use my name in that child's name, it will never happen. The Lord kept whispering to my heart, that is gonna be the name, I don't care what you say. Of course, I kept not believing, no way God I told Him.

When we were out to dinner that last night, in the parking lot, the kids said they wanted to tell me the babies name. I said ok, it better not be Devin (that was one of the names that Biff liked - I told him no way, sounds too much like devil!!!), Anyway, Biff said now Mom don't cry, we've decided to name her Grace Natalie Watts.

Of course I started crying and told them the story about what God had put on my heart. Their mouths dropped open. So you see sweet children, God named your child and you just listened to the whispers in your heart and obeyed Him. Talk about a God-Thing. This sweet child will have a high calling upon her, I have no doubt in my mind about that. She is highly favored of God! Of all the meanings of Grace in the dictionary, my favorite is;  

The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God."

And my favorite Grace scripture verse is from 2 Corinthians 12:9\

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Surely,my beautiful new granddaughter Grace will grow up with the arms of Jesus around her, holding her close to Him. I finally get to go up and see her, probably this week! I am so excited to finally hold that sweet child in my arms. Thank you Jesus for this gift from you!!!

My dear sweet Grace Natalie, I love her so!!

My verse for today is above in red.

My prayer for today:

Lord God,

Thank you so much for our beautiful first granddaughter Grace! Thank you for her life.
I pray blessings and your Favor over her as she grows up, may you always keep her close to you.

Thank you for a wonderful, fun and safe trip with Jordy. Thank you for giving me the strength to go, thank you for allowing him to get the time off to spend those 10 days with me. I know it was a big sacrifice for him and I am so thankful that he agreed to go with me. Thank you for Steve, thank you that we could afford this great trip, while he held the fort down here with the three dogs!

Thank you Lord, We are so blessed and we know it!

In Jesus name, 


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