Naps? Why, yes! Thank you!

Marti and Louis Napping

YES!  Honestly this is one of the best feelings…BEST EVER…. napping in the arms of the one who loves you… the one you love…. the one you fight with… the one you make up with… the one that you say “I Do” to… for better or worse…  in sickness and in health… in rich and in poor… in JOY and sorrow… to love and cherish…  in the good, the bad, the ugly…  awake and asleep. 🙂

Grateful for my friend, Nicole, who caught this shot on Sunday after worshiping, eating, walking in the woods, and zip lining with friends. Nothing like a Cowboys/Redskins game to put you right to sleep. Sigh. zzzzZZZZZZ

Happy Birthday, today, to the Other Half of My Pair.  To many more years of napping together! Love you, babe!

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LouDawg Does It Again!

As usual, LouDawg’s Grilled Chicken (about 80 lbs!!!) was a huge hit at our Annual Community Memorial Day Cookout for Southern Barton Heights. Although we’ve done this for years, we just started tracking numbers.  3 years ago, we had about 40 people.  Last year, we hosted about 60.  I was super surprised and thrilled when about 100 people showed up over the 4 hours!  I couldn’t have been happier!  It was a great time of getting to know our neighbors and friends.

We were thrilled when we connected with a small group from Movement Church who sacrificed their time to help us!  They were amazing!  Not only did they bring side dishes, but they also came early to help set up.  They organized games for the kids in our neighbor’s yard….because when we had a ton of people in the yard, it got a little tight, needless to say.  Our total yard is only .14 of an acre, so the back yard is 1/2 of that.  And then…the guys, TC and Matt, hung out to help us tear down, along with Chucky, David and Khalil.  Our neighbors were great…contributing to the meal, helping to clean up afterwards, etc.  Brian, Christy and Joy were AMAZING in the kitchen!

I have mixed feelings about the day.  On one hand I was sad, when I heard someone warmly say, “I’ve never experienced anything like this. This is great!” Another new friend said, “I’ve been longing for a sense of community in our neighborhood, and now…I think I finally feel that.” as she connected with neighbors she had never met.  Why sad? Because my neighbors have been hungry for community, and haven’t felt it.  On the other hand, I’m also thrilled because we are moving in the right direction.  Less of us will be disconnected, but now will feel a since of warmth, love and community.

I look forward to continue moving in that direction… As we attempt to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Enjoy the pictures of the day.  I guess I should note that we also celebrate my birthday (5.31) each year as well.  I was overwhelmed when my old and new friends joined in singing “Happy Birthday to you” in the traditional tune….and then, in the Stevie Wonder style! Thanks to everyone for making my early birthday so special.  And…go ahead….mark the day on your calendar for next year when I turn the big 5-0!  🙂


Happy Birthday, Jesus!

 

YOU ARE INVITED!

 

 


Happy Birthday, John Perkins!

Earlier this morning, Louis and I were meeting with a couple of friends to discuss what the Lord is doing in our hearts out of their response to my post “it’s a dangerous thing to let Jesus use your boat.” Bob Lupton.  And John M. Perkins‘ book, Beyond Charity (one of our favorites!!!) was on the table as we discussed the best way to approach sharing the Gospel, being the feet of Jesus and the on-going Urban:Suburban Challenge in doing that.

Louis has had the chance to hear John M. Perkins speak on more than one occasion.  The first being in college at Davidson, when John M. Perkins officially became Louis’ hero! I (green with envy!!!), however, have only had the opportunity to hear him through reading his books and admire his heart, passion and action!!!  I, too, can say…he’s my hero!!!

This was sent to me on FB from a new friend, Kathy Armstrong….but was found posted on Sara Groves’ FB Notes page.   Let me introduce you to John M. Perkins….on his 80th birthday!  Told through Jon Foreman, of Switchfoot and Sara Groves.

Happy Birthday, John M Perkins!!  May there be MANY, MANY more!!!

Last year Troy and I had the opportunity to meet Dr. John Perkins. He spoke for one hour, pulling from his experience as a pastor, civil rights leader, near martyr, and inspired follower of Christ. We were given a ten minute break to move from that session to the next thing, but I needed time. I wanted to go to a quiet place and grieve, to face what he had said, to process how I would respond. And I wanted to hear more – here is a near octogenarian who has lived through one of the most turbulent, dark episodes in our history, and he has clarity on life, and on our role as a people called to carry out the love of God. This week is Dr. Perkin’s 80th birthday – here is a tribute to him written by John Foreman in the Huffington Post, with a link to their new song called THE SOUND, inspired by Dr. Perkins: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-foreman/the-living-blues-john-m-p_b_613733.html All of us grow old, but how many of us turn and turn and turn and turn our anger and our questions and our fears and confrontations with injustice, over to God, bent on redemption! This is what Dr. Perkins has done, and at 80 years old, he has good things to say to us. I’m listening!


Cook.Out.

Louis LOVES to celebrate my birthday….more than I do actually.  I love him all the more for it.  My birthday conflicts each year with Memorial Day and/or the Greek Fest….falling either on one or the other.  But, that’s OK.  Because it extends my birthday usually for a week!  Lots of little surprises along the way.

May 31st is my birthday…and this year…also Memorial Day.  So, we had a cookout.  Louis called it my birthday cookout; and I called it a Memorial Day cookout.  We had a great time with friends and neighbors on a windy HOT HOT day!

I am soooo blessed with a wonderful, loving husband, fabulous community of family, friends and neighbors! Thanks for a GREAT evening!  Love you all!!!

One of the birthday surprises was a new camera. Still learning how to use it…but enjoy them none the less.  Maybe next year I will get photography lessons! LOL

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It’s been a while…

I know….I’ve been kinda absent for a while…let’s call it a full month!!! I have left stories hangin’!  Sorry about that!  No excuses…just life gettin’ in the way!  Ouch…just realized that my last real post was early May.  That is B*A*D!  So…let me get you caught up on our present lives and all of our distractions, then in upcoming days…I’ll take you back and finish a story or 2.

A lot has been going on lately, here in SBH and at M2H.   Interestingly enough, on May 4th, I shared in Oh Happy Day! about what a great day I was having…and how the Lord had spoke… “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.”  So…we get this clear message and we are feeling GOOD.  Like we have our marching orders!

Then, WHAM! BLAM! ZING! out of nowhere….distractions hit.  Why is it a surprise that we will be hit with distractions on the heels of a God moment?!?!?  These distractions took the form of relational conflicts (yes, more than one….all at the same time!!!) where Louis was used as a sounding board and a peacemaker of sorts. In addition, a dear friend in Northern Virginia passed away.  Louis gets sick as a dog.  Poor thing was wiped out by a upper respiratory infection. Lastly, there has been a bit of conflict in our community lately…for which we are seeking prayers.

I won’t go into a lot of detail to protect confidences, but we have an AWESOME community!!! The residents of Southern Barton Heights are among the BEST ever!  I have a sense of pride and joy when I look around and think about the many, many friends (dare I say family!!) that I have made…and the cohesive community that has formed and is forming even as we speak.  I have lived here but a short 5 years….and Louis for a 1.5 years…and we know most of our neighbors up and down Barton and Lamb Avenues around our home.  And…we continue to meet more!  Louis and I have lived in a number of communities over the years and have experienced NOTHING like the sense of community that we feel here.  I know more of my neighbors now than in all the other communities combined! I wouldn’t change it for the WORLD!

Although we may differ in our experiences, our opinions and our thoughts, for the most part, we respect one other.  Now, there are some whose thoughts and actions differ GREATLY from where the overall community wants to continue to head and are NOT respecting others and are spreading fear, hate and distrust.  But, we will continue to partner together and with the authorities to minimize these criminal and unlawful activities that we see and experience.

In addition, as reported on the news there was a multiple shooting just a block away, where 2 guys got shot at 4:30p on Friday, 5.28.  Yes…that is 4:30 in the afternoon….when the kids are playing and riding their bikes.  When people are coming home from work ready to start their weekend.  When people are walking to the deli for something cold to drink. Thankfully, the 2 victims will survive! And…an investigation is underway.

Meanwhile, life moves on….the school year comes to an end.  The H*O*T summer seems to have come early.  The Stonehouse Pool in Battery Park is now open and a Memorial Day/Birthday cookout starts us out right.  Pics and vids to come in the next post…

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