Saturday, December 28, 2013

Keep the scars?

(Boy, it feels good to be writing again....)

Recently, I heard a song that states: "heal the wounds, but keep the scars."

Call me crazy, but the first thought I had was "I'd rather not have the scars either!"

I saw Jesus smile.

But I mean seriously; live long enough, and between the self-inflicted wounds and those inflicted by others -- if Jesus didn't heal the scars, too, we'd all be one huge walking scar.  Am I right?!

(I see Him smiling again!)

Years ago I posted Sara Groves' song, "Less Like Scars."   Personally, I find it to be in line more with my realness in life. When I listened to the other song --asking God to leave the scars just didn't sit right with me, but asking Him to transform scars into character.... now THAT is something I can get behind!

(Yep, He's definitely smiling!)

Perhaps you find yourself at a place where life does feel more like a casket - where you can't  feel the power or the hope, can't cope, can't feel a thing.  The GOOD news is it doesn't matter what YOU FEEL -- *HE* is ever present, ever able, and ever faithful..... regardless of our glaring inabilities!

So, as we close out this year, if today you feel downtrodden and scar-riddled  -- take a listen to the song posted below, and then dare to ask Him to transform your scars into stars of character.


(For your convenience, the lyrics are posted below the song.)

It's been a hard year
But I'm climbing out of the rubble
These lessons are hard
Healing changes are subtle
But every day it's....
Less like tearing, more like building
Less like captive, more like willing
Less like breakdown, more like surrender
Less like haunting, more like remember

And I feel you here
And you're picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But you are able
And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars and more like

Less like a prison, more like my room
It's less like a casket, more like a womb
Less like dying, more like transcending
Less like fear, less like an ending

And I feel you here
And you're picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But you are able
And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars

Just a little while ago
I couldn't feel the power or the hope
I couldn't cope, I couldn't feel a thing
Just a little while back
I was desperate, broken, laid out, hoping
You would come

And I need you
And I want you here
And I feel you

And I know you're here
And you're picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad, bad situation
But you are able

And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars (x3)

And more like

Friday, December 27, 2013

NYC Christmas Trip

I so enjoy visiting New York City.  We have, in the past, taken our children there during the warmer months of the year.  They, too, have an affinity towards to the city. However, one of my bucket-list items was to take them there during the Christmas season. This year we joyfully made that happen!

God's pleasure was felt and acknowledged in the smallest of details to the largest!  I cannot think of a single thing that could have improved our trip.  It was a wonderful Christmas present to us all!

As but one example amongst many, I had been covering the weather in prayer for the month leading up to our trip. God heard and answered my prayers. Between 24-48 hours prior to our arrival, it snowed!  BUT the days of our trip were surrounded with unseasonably cool to warm temperatures, beginning with 45 degrees Fahrenheit and warming to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  Any one who knows NY, knows that is a heatwave in December, but for us, it was as if we brought our NC temperatures along with us. The day we arrived back home a cold front hit NYC, returning the temperatures back to their normal 20-30 degrees!  I smiled as I acknowledged and expressed my gratitude towards my Father for attending to every detail with His care and precision!

So having said that, as this entry comes to a close, permit me to share a few pictures out of the over two hundred pictures we took! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Thoughts

Good morning, dear souls!

First off, let me say that I hope EACH of you had a meaningful Christmas this year. I am certain laughter and joy filled a number of homes yesterday from coast to coast and beyond! But, I cannot acknowledge the laughter and the joy without acknowledging the pain and sorrow of so many. 

For those precious souls, yesterday was passed minute by minute as they sought to hang on with whatever strength they could muster. To those souls, especially as we head into the new year just days away, I want to share this song in the hopes of encouraging you that nothing is wasted.....nothing. 

Take heart, dear ones; take up courage and trust that your seeds of sorrow will yield tomorrow's joys in the hands of our Savior. 

Much love to each of you as we all look ahead to what God will do in 2014. 


Monday, September 23, 2013

A Week Highlighted

One could say yesterday was the beginning of a new week, and while technically that would be correct, here, in the Kirby household, it was the end of a busy week.

A few of the week's highlights were the celebration of my sons' birthdays (two sons born on the same day, five years apart), a killer football game, a significant road trip for my teens, oh, and we couldn't possibly forget Pirate Day!

(As always, click the picture to enlarge it if desired!)

Do these faces say "Exhausted!" or what?!
A FULL BIRTHDAY, ending in football practice, a quick shower,
and *finally* birthday cake!
At their request, I made my homemade chocolate cake
decorated by yours truly!
It was yum!

Pirate Day - September 19th
In keeping with our football season Thursday night tradition,
V fulfilled the requirements of Krispy Kreme to receive a whole dozen doughnuts free!
(Score one for the family, buddy!!)
And to make the deal even sweeter,  by the time we arrived, they had run out of the plain glazed, which was the original offer, SO they gave him a free dozen filled doughnuts!
You can imagine his double delight!

"Road Trip!" morning!
'Someone' wasn't about to be left behind!
I had placed our bag by the door, along with her pillow a top.
I do believe she made her position crystal clear!

My view.
A bit surreal and grand at the same time!
(Husband is riding "shot gun.")

My traveling buddies!

Yummy lunch, at least in my book!
Salmon lasagna with steamed veggies.

And double score! Our entire lunch was FREE!
Don't you just love it when the Lord blesses with
unexpected surprises?!

Waiting for class to begin.

My view.
Serious race setup

So, *now* I get to introduce you! 
Meet Doug Herbert. 
Read about his story HERE 

To all North Carolina parents, I cannot emphasize enough: 
 ENROLL your teens in this five hour class! 

For those outside North Carolina, 
go ahead and check their website anyway! 

They have been to over twenty states already,
including a recent driving clinic in Alaska. 
Their goal is to have this be a nationally accessible clinic. 

It is a safe environment for your teen drivers to experience THE leading causes to accidents and what to do in the event they find themselves in such situations. The B.R.A.K.E.S' trainers are the best of the best. You know the guys who train the Secret Service to drive the President? These are some of those guys. Some of the other trainers are stunt drivers for commercials and movies.

My children had nothing but good things to say about the instructors and the instructions they gave.

They run small classes, ensuring your children get plenty of "seat time" - going through the different scenarios numerous times until the child becomes "comfortable" in those intense situations.

Pictured here:

1) A "skid track" (at the "back" of the photo) --- used to get the kids knowledgeable and comfortable in the event of a skid, and how to prevent it from becoming a spin. Note the white car on the far left going into a skid. That's a KID driving that car (after the instructor has demonstrated what to do and is now sitting shotgun). They will do it again and again until the child does the maneuver correctly (and hopefully with increasing confidence).

2) The "distraction track" -- (Note the car on the far right at the "front" of the photo.) This track is where they put the kids through the rigors of concentration while throwing distractions at them, such as a ball being thrown at the car or the radio suddenly being turned up loudly. The instructors have a whole arsenal of methods they throw at the kids to get them used to staying calm with the unexpected.

There were other courses, such as the "drop wheel recovery" track (where one (or two) wheel(s) drift or goes off the road), which is one of the highest ranked situations for inexperienced drivers having serious accidents.

Another track was the "evasive maneuver" track (aka: how to avoid becoming a part of an accident already happening). And they covered "panic stop."

By the end of this year, 10,000 kids will have gone through the program in less than five years time!  That sounds like a lot until you consider how many kids are on the roads these days! 

Scroll down to "Driving School and Schedule" and then MAKE the time and GO! 

For those with younger children not yet driving,
bookmark their link! 
You are going to want it in a few years! 

Blessings to Doug and those who work with him! 
It is a GREAT group of people with a GREAT mission:
Actively equipping our kids with necessary driving skills! 


Be responsible and keep everyone safe! 

Have a blessed week all! 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wonderful Weekend

In case you haven't heard, autumn is upon us!

In keeping with my family's firm belief, "Life is not a spectator sport,"  we have had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, we cheered on V at his football game. That time as a family has been such FUN! The weather could not have been more perfect, nor the skies any more blue!  Later, we richly enjoyed the company of some very dear friends.

Today, we took in a nearly five mile hike through God's creation....

Click on pictures to enlarge.

And enjoy the babbling sounds of the river in the two videos.

Starting out

The water was so clear.

Our lunch setting!  Perfect!
Half way through our hike, we paused for lunch.
We hopped some smaller rocks to access a large rock formation in the middle of the river.

This scene and sound was directly to my
 right as I sat and had lunch.

Our lunch spot -- picture taken from the bank of the river.
The rock formation was much larger than it appears in the picture.

See the wee-little frog?

"Rock beach"

At the end of our hike, we came upon a wading pool area.
Yep! You guessed it!
The shoes came off, and the feet went in!
After nearly five miles, the cool water felt amazing!

We hope you'll come back for another visit soon!  We have many adventures planned this autumn. Inclusive of this week, our two sons will celebrate turning seventeen and twelve years of age on the same joy-filled day! 

Here is to what was.... and here is to what is to come!

Blessings to you and yours!