Courty Shell

I don’t feel old enough to be the mother of an adult. Twenty-one. Unbelievable. Born on a Wednesday. A college student, taking a semester off. Today is her birthday. Courtney.

She’s one of my closest friends. She is so smart. Funny. Competitive. A procrastinator, like her mother, Courtney is a dreamer. She is a boat load of information. In fact, her name means ‘desire to attain knowledge’. So true about her. Or as she would say, “true that.”

She’s a quick learner. Walked early. Potty trained early. She started reading “chapter books” early too. If you couldn’t find her, you knew she was curled up somewhere with her latest book completely engrossed in it. One of my favorite memories of her childhood is her imaginary friend who she called “Eek.” Maybe the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…I too had an imaginary friend! We still lovingly tease her about “Eek.”

I cried all the way home on her first day of Kindergarten. Why? Because I forgot to tell her what her teacher’s name was! Well {sniff} she needed that information!

She had blonder hair then than she does now…you knew when it was going to rain…it would kink up in bouncy curls! Skin & bones…she was so picky with food…still is picky! Another thing we give her a hard time about (but really we love it because it makes her who she is) is her love of mustard! To her, mustard will make just about anything tolerable enough to eat, especially meat!

Getting in the passenger seat when she first started driving was very scary for me, but we managed, I wasn’t the best teacher…too many bad habits myself! Just a week before she left for Dallas she bought a bright yellow V DUB Beetle(such a happy cute car). The only thing was…it was a stick shift…which she had never driven! Dad (Chris) taught her in that week before we sent her off. It was such a blessing to have him teach her…he was so patient. I’m so blessed by their love for one another! I wish we would have had him the first time we struggled through learning to drive! During that week we gave her car the nickname “Lemon Shake Up” She didn’t like that too much…it embarrassed her to tears every time she killed it! She now calls her car “Lilly.” I cried the entire day when she left for Dallas. Now I feel like Courntey has much more driving experience than I do…driving her lil’ ole’ self all the way to Dallas for school…not just once either! And driving in that city everyday! Yep, she’s a grown up! Happy Birthday, Courty Shell!!


It’s the talk of the town. It’s wonderful isn’t it? New beginnings. A fresh start. I love to watch everything come back to life. To yawn. To stretch. To sparkle. Sunshine. Spring. It’s like one big Do-Over.

I’m a fan of Do-Overs! It’s what I need sometimes. I’ve been known to say things I shouldn’t or more often, I’m silent when I should have spoken up. Quite regularly I over-process & summarize the situation completely wrong. In any case…I will need a Do-Over. I don’t always ask for one or receive one, for that matter. I have some relationships that could use a Do-Over. I don’t know that it will ever happen. Maybe they were just a season in my life.
I feel like I’m experiencing Springtime at this point in my journey. Turning 40 last August really has made me take stock. There is so much that just. Really. Doesn’t. Matter. Anymore. There’s so much that DOES. It’s a sort of Do-Over for me. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit on yesterday instead of the new day that lies before me.
My family considers me a morning person. I guess I am. I know I’m not a night owl…I always fall asleep. I DO like mornings. Sunrises. It’s got that newness to it, you know, like a happy beginning to a story that hooks you from the first sentence. It brings with it the possibilities of hopes & dreams coming to life just like spring does.
I suppose that’s where this blog comes in. It’s a new beginning for me. Certainly not one I ever would have dreamed of doing. I love the discoveries.
I’m excited. I’m looking forward to what comes next. It’s okay with me, not knowing. Really.
The picture above is a geranium we won at a dinner last summer. We had ridden our motorcycle that day, so a friend took care of it until we could bring it home safely in a car. Anyway, at the end of the summer/fall season when it’s time to bring some flowers inside or just leave them to wither away & die outside, I bring those I can inside. I’ve attempted many times to keep one alive all winter. Can you believe I did it this time? Check out the blooms! It didn’t have much hope with me, but now look at it!


Have you ever experienced someone trying to make you be their friend? I suppose we all have. In fact, some of us may have been the one trying to make the other comply.

I witnessed this between 2 boys the other day. The one doing the making had the other one trapped in the seat & wouldn’t let him out. Unfortunately for one boy this solicitation of friendship was a failed attempt. The other boy clearly was not interested. I’ve seen this between these 2 boys on more than 1 occasion. I believe maybe they could be friends, but the boy who wants to be friends so badly is going about it the wrong way. By trapping the other boy & forcing him to be his friend, he’s really running him off. Who knows. I do know that I’ve had that feeling of being trapped before & reacted just as the trapped boy did, I wanted out as quickly as I could get out!

There’s also those friendships (I use the term loosely) where only one side of the party is making attempts at staying connected. Sometimes, it takes the one making the attempts a little time to accept & realize there’s nothing happening…no connecting. It’s hard to move on, but move on we must.

It’s the same where family is concerned, I believe.

My heart was sad for both boys…the one who was feeling trapped & the one who so desperately wanted a friend. Unfortunate isn’t it?

Have you experienced one or both of these situations? I’d love to hear about it.

“A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

Maybe you needed to hear it too?

I know I’m not the only one who needed to hear what was shared in Sunday School or who needed to hear the sermon yesterday morning, but I sure do feel like it was a message straight from God to me. I’m usually jotting down notes that really speak to me during church…that is, if I’m paying attention & even if I’ve only got the bulletin to write on…I just squeeze it in wherever it fits. Anyway, yesterday there were things that God was speaking to me about. I’ll try to organize my scribbles, jottings & scattered notes for you. 

In Sunday School we talked about being thankful in our relationships. We read Philippians 1:13-20. Not just feeling thankful, but actually letting the other person know we are genuinely grateful by telling them so. Being thankful for another shows that our relationship with them is important & that we do, in fact, need other people. Prayer is the key to this.


So, what about those difficult relationships? What is there to be thankful for there? There is a purpose in those & there are things to be thankful for. If we can’t show the people in our lives that aren’t difficult that we are thankful, how can we show the difficult ones? I’ll say it again, prayer.


The sermon picked up where Sunday School left off. I love it when that happens! He started the sermon by saying that he’d met a family this week with a husband who has four wives & they all live in the same house. That grabbed my attention right there. We then read the story in Genesis 37. There was a lot of pain in that family. We all have pain, it’s just a matter of what we do with it. It’s our teacher if we allow it. It will grow us & educate us. God takes impossible situations & turns them into good.


Among this families’ pains was favoritism. Favoritism never brings unity, instead it brings pain. Joseph’s family felt the pain of his father’s favoritism for him. Joseph felt the pain of their jealousy…you see, no unity.


You know, it’s really about forgiveness. That’s the answer to healing pain. Joseph made a choice to forgive & go on It doesn’t mean what they did is right, but it does get me out of my own prison. When I work through the pain, don’t ask God “why?”…that just says to God that ‘I think You’re mismanaging my life.’ Ask Him instead, “what are you trying to teach me?” Find out what He’s trying to tell me in order to grow me. The pain will keep coming, but remember it’s God’s plan to grow me…the enemy’s plan to keep me down.