Monday, June 07, 2010

For everything there is a season.

Time really has been flying for me. Since I last blogged, my parents, Steve and I have been to Virginia for my graduation. It was a great weekend and I wouldn’t have missed it if I had been on my deathbed. ;-)

Technically, I finished December 2009, but since graduation only comes once a year, I am a proud 2010 graduate of Liberty University. I’m even prouder that Glenn Beck gave the commencement speech. His analogy of Moses being supplied with a stick to do God’s work made me realize God gives each of us the necessary “stick” to complete the specific work He has for our lives. I’ve completed about half the work for my Master’s now. I had flatly told my family I would not be traveling to Liberty for graduation when I finish the master’s, but…..Here are a few of the multitude of pictures from graduation day.

Graduation marks a special time. The business cards are ordered. The group and individual coaching classes are planned. The agenda folders are being put together. It’s a time for me to hang my life/encouragement coaching shingle! “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecc 3:1). While the big events in our lives are important and bring us joy, every day we should look for the small daily blessing that will bring a smile to our face and laughter to our lips. Truly when we are having difficult times, we should remember to celebrate life daily! Our God is a joyful God!

Here’s another of my Worship Study devotionals.

Daily Celebration of Life

Every morning, I wake to the same sounds. We have chickens and we have parrots. With these guys around we do not need an alarm clock. We don’t need a clock to let us know the day is slipping into nighttime either. The chickens and the birds let us know right at sunrise the day is starting and again, about an hour before dark the chorus is repeated. We call this the Haygood celebration of life. The roosters crowing, the hens clucking and calling their chicks, the parrots calling to each other, all to let the world know they are still there.

As Christians, we should wake every morning to begin our daily celebration of our lifestyle of worship for God. We have special celebrations to honor our Lord at Christmas and Easter. We should have a daily celebration to ring in each day as we rise up our hands in song and prayer in thanksgiving for all He has done for us. My husband and I have begun a new journey at the beginning of our day that I truly hope continues for the rest of our lives. We have a little bit of morning coffee sitting in the middle of our bed. We are having a thanksgiving prayer time with the Lord over morning coffee. No requests are allowed, just thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. It has truly been amazing what a positive response we have both had in our mental and emotional outlook. Even our physical energy seems to be better. We are not focusing on the negative things in our lives first thing in the morning, only the Lord and the thanks for all He has already done.

Let us awaken in the morning in His love, and offer ourselves to His love the whole day. This means follow the will of God and live under His eyes, with Him, in Him, and for Him alone.

And when the evening comes, after a dialogue of love which never stopped in our hearts, we will fall asleep in His love.

Elisabeth of the Trinity

God tells us that a cheerful heart is good medicine and that a broken spirit will sap a person’s strength. The Haygood morning thanksgiving celebration is our good medicine. We are putting worship into our lifestyle with a choice and act of will. God in turn, will draw us closer into Him for worship throughout our day. Ultimately, as we are drawn closer in, God will show us His glory. The morning thanksgiving session is putting quality in our worship walk and getting us ready for the battles of the day at the same time.

In Ephesians, we are told to put on the armor of God each day. We are to take up the whole armor of God to be able to stand against the wiles of Satan (Eph 6:11). There are benefits to starting the day with a thanksgiving celebration. One is to remind us what God has already done for us previously in the daily battle of living. The other is to sing and praise God so that we might be closer to Him in our lifestyle and see His Glory throughout the day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A more serious side of the Queen of Hysteria…..

Hi, all unknown readers!
I honestly have no idea if anyone out there is reading my blog, but I’ve decided to share a few of my writings from classes in my undergraduate and more currently, my graduate work. Some will find these essays totally boring, some will find them thought provoking, but it’s my hope it will help hone my witness skills as well.

Yesterday was Steve’s (my dear hubby) birthday. Poor guy had to work all day so his staff could have much deserved time off so I had him a cheese cake with birthday candles waiting on him when he got home. Happy Birthday, baby!

My house projects have been on hold lately but I’ve come to the realization that the procrastination of completing my sort & toss organization and spring cleaning of our home is not only depressing and stifling but it is paralyzing as well. So even if it is only 30 minutes every day, one task will be worked on towards the completion of our home being turned into our refuge.

I’ll continue to write about daily life as well, but since I have deeper thoughts I want to introduce a more serious side to my blog as well. So without further adieu’, here’s the first devotion that I wrote in Worship Studies during undergrad.

this devotional was written May, 2009, shortly before Payton's birthday.
Love Lifted Me

“Smile… it increases your face value!” This is especially true when we as Christians are down in the mud pit. March 1 of last year, our family lost our youngest member to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The name is very appropriate since nine-month old Payton went to bed after a fun night of play with Daddy and his big sister, Madison. Our family members have been left with large holes in our hearts and a lot of “Whys?”
We will never have the answer to the question “Why?” I have spent a number of nights since Payton’s death, walking the floor, crying to God and asking “Why?” “I was worn out calling for help; my throat is parched.

“My eyes fail, looking for my God” (Psalms 69:3). As the days grew into weeks, and now the weeks are growing into months, God has been working on my heart. My grief is so very deep over this dear little grandson, but my thirst for God has overcome the anger I had over losing such a sweet grandchild.
I sat in Wednesday Bible study for the first time in 2 months since Payton’s death; my heart closed and my spirit wounded. That Sunday, I felt God’s hand on my heart. The rip in it was mending. I was able to sing the praise and worship songs, hear the message and hold God’s word close to my heart.

When we are struggling in the pit of despair, it is so important to draw near to the Lord. When we are in the deepest mire of the pit, we should praise God and be thankful for all He has done for us! Paul prayed and sang hymns to God in prison. Prison was not as comfortable as it is now in Paul’s day. Even in the depths of a Roman prison, Paul was able to sing praises and worship God. This wonderful open spirit brought a prison guard and his family to salvation (Acts 16: 25-30).

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort (2Co 1:3). God is a God of tenderness, mercy, and comfort. He is a God “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2Co 1:4). He will give us comfort so that we can heal, and go forward to be better witnesses for Him and to comfort those in pain and despair greater than ourselves.

As I sat listening to the music in church Sunday night, I knew I was worn out with grief, anger, and despair. As our young minister of music led the congregation through various songs, until he got to “Love Lifted Me” I was able to keep my heart and my feet still. I was determined not to show any emotion, just get through the service, which was my goal.

1. I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
o Refrain:
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!
2. All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling,
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service, too, to Him belongs.
o Refrain:
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!

3. Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.
o Refrain:
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!

Before the chorus the first time, I was on my feet, feeling the grief, anger and hardness melting. When you are deep in the mire of the pit of despair, when you are in pain and distress, God is there. “…Praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving” (Psalms 69:30).

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

New Year goals should be made in the Spring.

Spring….you know, instead of making goals or resolutions in the dead of winter in January, we should make our goals and resolutions in the spring of the year.  What better time to make goals but as the dogwood trees, iris, and daffodils are blooming in all their glory? So, here’s my goals for the three months.  Today I am setting a deadline for myself that I will complete this list by July 1, 2010.  Although this is a tall order, it gives me a definite deadline.  I work better with deadlines so I’m putting these into effect as of today, April 5, 2010. 

·         Start each day with the Lord, prayer and Bible study

·         Read my Bible daily

·         Write something daily:  journal, blog, or book chapters

·         Order business cards & office supplies for Life Coaching

·         Make a flyer for small group for abortion

·         Finish sorting and tossing in the house

·         Clean the bird barn and set it up like Nanny’s old playhouse

·         Sort and toss the storage building

·         Sort and toss the potting shed

·         Begin the zone work each week as prescribed by FlyLady

·         Clean the yard of limbs

·         Weed the flower beds

·         Prune the shrubbery and roses

·         List books and fabric in eBay store

·         Pot little Disney plants

·         Put away all Christmas décor

·         Wash curtains

·         Make new curtains as needed in each room



I was listening to the TV spiritual channels this morning.  Joyce Meyer was speaking about letting your soul going on vacation, even though you are physically or emotionally going through hard times.  I think instead of my soul, it is really allowing my spirit to be on vacation each day.  It is so difficult to let go and let God.  What a cliché’ but what truth there is within those words.  So often we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders and we don’t have to shoulder the world or the world’s problems.  Jesus said, “…my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mat 11:30).  I am a natural worrier; just ask my children and husband.  I read a story last year that stuck with me.. 


A man had been told by God to take 3 rocks up to the top of the mountain.  The These rocks had been troublesome to the man and God wanted him to unload these problems. 

The Man thought what an easy task. The day is beautiful and sunny.  I’ll pull the wagon up the mountain in no time.  As he left his home, his wife gave him several of her rocks.  His son

dropped a rock or two in the wagon.  The load was a little heavier but still ok.  Man continues down the road, whistling as he walked with the wagon behind him.  His neighbor saw him with the wagon and asked him to take his two rocks to save himself a trip.  The Man agreed; after all, it was the neighborly thing to do.  As he crossed the bridge into town, he ran into the mayor and the pastor.  They both had several rocks they had been meaning to take to the top of the mountain.  Could he possibly take them with him?  The man took the rocks into his wagon and left town.  The longer he pulled, the hotter he got.  What was God thinking giving him this heavy load to carry all the way up that mountain?  Halfway up the mountain, Man stopped wiped his brow.  “Lord, why did you give me this heavy load on such a hot day?”  The Lord responded, “I only told you to carry your 3 rocks to the top of the mountain, so that they would not trouble you anymore.  You chose to pick up your wife and son’s rocks; your neighbor, the pastor and the mayor’s rocks.  The burden I asked you to carry was “easy and light.”” 


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

March is coming in like a lion... will it go out as a lamb?

I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and
heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock and gave me
a firm place to stand.
Psalms 40:1-2

I don’t have a problem with the Lord hearing my cries or lifting me out of the slimy pit. I really don’t like mud and mire at all. I much prefer standing on a nice flat rock with no moss growing to make it slippery. My big problem is waiting patiently. I’ve heard all my life to be careful what I pray for and the hard lessons the Lord can give when teaching patience, but I really have a hard time with the waiting for the blessings and the next step to His plan for my life. I am not getting any younger. I’m facing yet another birthday which is moving me further into my 50th decade. Gads! Aren’t I supposed to be building retirement and nest eggs now instead of launching a new career with a new degree and hey, I’m still working on the education…. The master’s program in Human Services is in full swing!

These first two classes have kept me thinking. I know that is the main purpose of furthering education (besides an increase in salary expectations) but in my Interpersonal communication class the main idea is to enlarge the conversation. The two main enlargements I am seeing is the conversation between me and myself AND the conversations I am having with God.

I am looking for guidance for His purpose. Steve and I feel that we are being called into His service, but we need guidance or at least a clue where to look. Are we supposed to be working as a team? Should we be looking for a church to work as a team? are we supposed to be in two different work environments? Steve has so many great marketing ideas. I have the ability or talent to speak and exhort groups. We make a great team but need a place to plant our little talent seeds. It’s so true that what God puts together, no man should put asunder (Matthew 19:6). Steve and I make a whole. He is strong where I am weak and I am strong in His weak areas.

Beware the Ides of March. I believe Caesar said this….I am always aware of the Ides of March because I gain another year of experience on that day. Where does time go? It is so very true that the older we get the faster the clock ticks. Time also changes our perspective on age. I don’t think it is wishful thinking to think that 50 is the new 30. The age of 60 is looking younger on a daily basis! I think I’ll claim the age of 32 with 20 years experience this year.

This week marks the first anniversary of Payton going to live with the Lord. Our hearts have been heavy even though we know Payton is sitting on Jesus’ knee and is enjoying fellowship with our Heavenly Father, as well as getting to know his great-great grandparents. We miss his sweet smile but take comfort in knowing that we will see him again. I know too, that Payton and Bailey are enjoying each other’s company in full health and romping together through the gardens of heaven. Please do not write to me and try to tell me that God doesn’t allow our pets in heaven. I believe He does because they give us so much pleasure and joy in this life and therefore, I think they will continue to do so in the afterlife. I am further convinced this is true due to my Theology class I took in college. God gave us three parts in our total being –a physical body, a spirit, and a soul. He gave animals a soul and a physical body, and plants got only the physical body. This means that since we need souls to enter heaven, our pets will be there. Our spirits are so that we can communicate with God while living in our physical bodies on this earth. Animals don’t commune with God in this life so they didn’t get a spirit. Alrighty…. That’s my argument and I’m sticking to it. 

Onto some fun…. I am knitting a sweater for one of the grand girls. I have the right sleeve about done and almost ready to start on the body. I’ll post some pictures when it looks more like the right side of the sweater. I’m using a variegated acrylic yarn mixed with a fuzzy yarn in blues, teals, and lime green. Actually I used some of this same main color yarn for Connor’s (my oldest grandson) first hat and mittens. I had some left over and am trying to use some of my stash this year.

I also got the top for a grandchild throw quilt done in the last several weeks. Of course, Quincy, being the great quilt inspector that he is, had to give himself a bath on it while I snapped the photos of the quilt.
By getting started in January and working on these two projects over a couple months, I’m hoping to make most of my gifts throughout this year. Maybe I can have some great handmade gifts this year for my family. Maybe the hard candy Christmas of 2010 will be a merry one!

Elizabeth’s Year yahoo group has a challenge going right now --Make it do, use it up, or do without! We are trying to reduce our stash this year. Our conversations have included our current OTN projects and how we are storing our stash. Here's a picture of the March project in Elizabeth Zimmerman's almanac; however, we don't all work on the monthly projects -- some of us are on the ten-year plan to complete all of EZ's projects. I really want to make this sweater for my dear husband, but haven't gotten the courage up just yet! Come join us!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Updates for the last 15 months.... still staying stitched!

I think I have my blog named appropriately, Stayin' Stitched! (Keeping it all together!) as the Queen of Hysteria! However, at this point, I’m considering thinking of changing it to Mr. & Mrs. Humpty Dumpty. Life has really taken its toll on us the last couple years. I went to my blog last week and was shocked to see that I had not blogged since September 2008!
Steve and I have strived to build a quiet country life in our quaint colonial home, but unfortunately, that was not the ultimate plan. Since I last posted about the peace of watching my chickens free-range, life has been spiraling down-hill like a fast rollercoaster. I returned to school in the summer of 2008, finished my BS in Psychology & counseling with a minor in nursing this past December. I started graduate school in January. Last March, we lost our youngest grandchild, Payton, to SIDS. This just broke our hearts. Grief is a terrible process to go through and no one person deals with it in the same manner. Depression set in on me after Payton’s death, but thankfully, I recognized it and have been able to fight it, but what a battle! Last year, we closed the aviary and Steve’s business, Automobile solutions, within a couple months of each other.
We are now in the process of making a move to Florida. In fact, I’ve made a mini-move in a small apartment and steve is still in Georgia working and trying to sell our home. Last month, steve and the dogs came down to visit me. My 11 year-old cocker spaniel, Bailey, stressed so much that he had a series of seizures. Bailey crossed the Rainbow Bridge last Thursday evening. He took a piece of my heart with him. He has allowed me to love him unconditionally since 1999. Thank you, Bailey.
We did make a trip to Disney in January with Brenton and his friend, Kelly. What a good time! We were able to rest, relax and actually play without the interruption of cell phones ringing for the first time in our married life.
We feel that God has a plan for all this pruning, trials and tribulations we have been through the last two years. At this point, I do not know what my Heavenly Father’s plan is for our lives, but what I do know is that through all this, I have learned more empathy and understanding. I’ve always heard that if God can’t get your attention softly, he would get your attention in a firmer way. Let me tell you, He has our attention!
We are now listening and waiting for the small quiet voice of God to continue to lead us out of the wilderness we have been living in the last two years. I don’t know if anyone will continue to read this blog, but if you are reading, please add us to your prayer list. We need prayer warriors to help strengthen us while we wait.
We did not make resolutions for this new year that is now about 6 weeks old. We are praying, waiting, and trying to make do, use it up, or do without…..

Have a blessed day!

Leigh Anne, aka, Lala, Mama, Aunt Bug,

Live Simply,Love Generously, Care Deeply, Speak Kindly,
Leave the rest to GOD....
*Trials keep You Strong, Sorrows keep You Human, Failures keeps You
Humble, Success keeps You Glowing,**
But Only God Keeps You Going!*

She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.
~Mark Twain