Party Panic ~ Orange, Purple, and the Power of Prayer!

Party panic has pestered me for years. I thought I’d finally beat it Thanksgiving when I hosted a PERFECTLY IMPERFECT THANKSGIVING and certainly when I blogged about it HERE. But the other day, I was at PARTY CITY shopping for purple and orange wedding shower decorations (bride’s choice) and I felt it creeping back.

My friend Teresa and I were hosting the shower in my home.

I was in charge of decorations.

I had no idea how to decorate with purple and orange. I’m a green and brown person.

Heather, the store manager, spotted me pacing the paper goods aisle. She said not to worry–that she’s decorated for parties at the GOVERNOR’S MANSION! Pretty soon, she had me all set–even demonstrated how to arrange everything.

 

Yay! No party panic this time.

Or so I thought.

Saturday, 3 a.m., the day of the shower, I woke from a deep sleep.

How could I have forgotten?

Nancy’s coming!

When I was growing up, Nancy threw a Christmas Open House gala every year.

She used fine bone china from Ireland.

Her name is all over the church cookbook.

I sat up in bed.

Wait a minute.

I know better than this.

I don’t have to be afraid.

There’s another way to live. 

Lord, help me.

Party panic floated away like a purple balloon, and I went back to sleep. 🙂

The next morning when Nancy arrived, I told her about my 3 a.m. fear. We had the best laugh!

Laughter dispelled every ounce of fear, scattering it like confetti.

Gratitude arose…

For my nearly 40-year friendship with Teresa and Lynn.

(Teresa’s in black. Lynn’s in green, the mother of the groom.)

I took time to see–really see–everyone at the party.

Kayla, the bride, all aglow, opening her presents.

 

The wonder of childhood…(bride’s nephew)

The bond between a mother and her daughters…

A new family starting…

Anticipation for the future…(groom’s sis holding bride’s niece)

Party Panic  (or any kind of fear) will take over…

If we let it.

But  there’s another way to live!

“…perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18 ESV.

Even 3 a.m. fear.

 Love,

Julie

The Driveway to My Heart

For years, I let fear and worry run all over me. Those two wicked step-sisters nearly did me in. Sort of like my walking path. I used to walk the loop that circles through our woods. Last summer, I paid the price–ticks, chiggers, and my first case of POISON IVY. After my poison ivy cleared up, guess what I did? I went right back to the woods. More poison ivy. Crazy, I know. But I can be stubborn.

Finally, I decided no more.

Clyde knows when we walk, we stay away from the loop.

Just like I can’t hang out in the deep woods, I can’t entertain certain thoughts.

Now I walk on our wide gravel driveway.

I listen to music to keep my mind where it belongs.

You know, it’s impossible to worry and praise at the same time.

 My son gave me my first ITUNES gift card for Mother’s Day and downloaded songs for me. Three of my favorites are…

“I Surrender” by Hillsong

“Grit, Sweat, and Love” from JOHN HENRY AND THE RAILROAD , a short film by Whitestone Motion PicturesI fell in love with this song at 12STONE CHURCH. Can’t get enough of it!

“Break Every Chain” by Tasha Cobbs

I always stop at the cross and pray.

Nothing fancy.

“Help me walk with You today,  Lord. Stay close to those I love.”

Every day, I have two walking path choices and two choices in my thought-life.

The dangerous loop through the woods.  Or the wide open driveway.

Faith or fear.

So now…

I walk on the driveway, SURRENDERING.

Because I know what’s it’s like to wander through the woods.

And I don’t want to go back.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part Two On Aging, Motherhood, and Marriage

Last week, I reposted parts of my friend Robin’s blog. Almost three years ago, Robin asked my mother how she felt about aging. Mother talks about that and a few more things below:

Thoughts on my feelings…

I’ve come to believe that our thoughts create our emotions. We only have eight seconds to refuse a thought. This has taken me a lifetime to even start to learn. I guard my thoughts like a mother lion guards her cubs. I’m allergic to fearful or worrying thoughts. They are not permitted to trespass in my mind. This discipline helps me every day.

Worry is a waste of time. I never thought I’d be free of worry and fear. They were constant companions. Not anymore. I give God praise for all He’s allowed to come into my life that’s allowed me to relinquish those two bothersome tag-alongs. Worry and fear. It’s never too late.

Thoughts on my grown children…

I’ve learned we can’t force a grown child to choose life. I don’t believe this is ever learned quickly or easily. Pain after pain after pain brought my solution.

I can’t do this, I told myself one day. I thought God smiled and said, Of course not, child. You were never supposed to.

Grown children make their own choices. Sometimes all we can do is stop trying to fix them and pray hard.

Thoughts on friends…

I have friends of all ages now. From teenagers to seniors much older than I am. Age isn’t a consideration at this time in my life!

I’ve learned not to say everything I think.

Sometimes I see a need that deserves to be met and there’s no one around but me. I meet it and my joy is explosive. People all around us need compassion (not pity). Some need a little money. Some need to laugh. And some need a Savior.

Thoughts on love…

When my husband of 25 years died of brain cancer in 1983, I knew my life was over. I couldn’t imagine going on. My greatest battle with fear ensued. God won that battle for me. It was moment by moment agony though. I was 46 when Jerry died and after a year or so, I began to talk to God about being a wife again.

I like being the other half of someone. After four years, He brought a Guideposts reader into my life and we fell in love through letters and phone calls.  In a four-month delicious courtship (in which we never met until becoming engaged) my life began over. I was so in love I couldn’t eat or sleep or concentrate. Gene Acuff and I have been married for 25 years this August. Sigh!

Gene made me feel like Cinderella–and still does occasionally! Life is good…welcome every day, every year, with an open heart.

(Here’s Mother story in Guideposts about their marriage.)

It’s Julie again. Lots of good stuff here. Thoughts?

Love,

Julie