Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thanking God for Unanswered Prayers...

Have you ever thanked God for unanswered prayers?  

No - I'm not crazy!! Seriously, there have been times in my life when I have been overwhelmed with gratitude that God did not answer some of my prayers...or at least not the answer I requested at the time.  Don't get me wrong - I have no doubts that God heard my prayers.  I also have no doubts that God answered my prayers - it just wasn't always the answer I had given Him ahead of time! 

But my God is soooo incredibly awesome!!  He knows me better than I know myself!!!  God's ways are not my ways and yet - His ways are always for my best!!  God is my Heavenly Father and any parent knows there are times when you have to say "No" or "Not yet" or when you can see the bigger picture and need to protect your child from what he/she can't see - it's the same with God!! As His child, it's not always easy for me at the time and many times I don't like it when I'm going through it, but oh - how thankful I am for a God that loves me more than I can even imagine!!!

So every time I hear Garth Brooks' song "Unanswered Prayers" - I can sing along because some of God's greatest gifts are indeed unanswered prayers!!  

Now I can say prayers of gratitude - 

"Thank You God for not allowing me to get back together with that boyfriend"
"Thank You God that I didn't get picked for that team" 
"Thank You God for not allowing me to get that job"
"Thank You God for not allowing us to get that house"
"Thank You God for closing that door I prayed would open"

"Thank You God - some of Your greatest gifts are indeed unanswered prayers!!"

Has God given you any of His gifts of unanswered prayers?  Have you thanked Him?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Blondie's

This week's Friday Food Find is my favorite sandwich & coffee shop in Clarksville - Blondie's Sandwiches & Coffees located downtown at 135 Franklin Street and in the Foy Center on the campus at Austin Peay State University.  (Franklin St location open M-F 7-5, Sat 8-5)

Blondie's is family owned and has a unique, friendly atmosphere.  You feel comfortable from the time you walk into the door and I absolutely love hanging out in the outdoor courtyard!!!  It is not only beautiful, but also a peaceful retreat anytime.  If the weather does not permit sitting outside - hopefully my favorite table is available at the front window....

And the food?  From the bagels to the sandwiches to the salads to the soups to the desserts and everything in between!!!  Some of my favorites are the Grilled Blondie, BLT on wheat, Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad on Wheat and the Blondie's Original Salad.  Oh - and I love the iced tea!!!  I've been known to stop in just for tea!!!

So - next time you're downtown or on APSU's campus make sure you stop in and see my friends at Blondie''ll love it!!!

Where are some unique, downtown restaurants/coffee shops you have found?  And it can be anywhere.... 
                                 Never know when I might be in your neighborhood!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Food Find - The Depot & Jeni's Ice Cream

So apparently friends know that one of the things Ron and I enjoy doing is finding new places to eat.  Our boys often tease us saying that when they get to be "our age" they too will spend their free time driving to eat....Several people have suggested that I do a blog about the different restaurants we have found, so each Friday I will share one or two of our favorite places.  

First, I am sharing my favorite restaurant in this area....The Depot Bar & Grill, 1007 S Main St, Springfield, TN.  It is hard for me to believe a town as small as Springfield has a restaurant as incredible as The Depot.  Everything on the menu is incredible and reasonably priced!!!  The appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees, desserts, EVERYTHING!!!  My favorite is sweet potato fries and anything!!! And now they are open for breakfast as well which is equally great! Open 7 days a week-Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner (No dinner on Sundays)

Our newest find was Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, 1892 Eastland Ave, Nashville (East Nashville).  Our oldest son, Jeremy, took us there last week and yes - we will be returning SOON!!  Ron had read about Jeni's in a magazine, so we were excited when Jeremy told us where we were going.  The variety of flavors were unbelievable and the staff were very friendly and offered us as many samples as we wanted.  Two of Ron's choices were Salty Caramel & Strawberry Buttermilk and I had Salty Caramel, a chocolate with cayenne peppers (yes-I do like hot stuff!) and a Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet.  Jeremy had a milk chocolate, a fresh mint and another one I can't remember.  Another one I sampled and really liked was goat cheese and raspberries...Oh yeah - and they use local ingredients.  It is a little pricey, but very, very good!!

If you are going on a trip and looking for a great place to eat - if we've been there we would love to share the great places we've found!!

Gotta go - it's time to eat!!!

Be blessed!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"How Do I Let Him Go?"

I received an email recently from a mom who was struggling with her son leaving for college this fall. Since she knew both our sons had been in college (Jeremy 2010 APSU graduate/Nate junior @ Moody Bible Institute), she simply wanted to know if she was "normal" to feel this way. I thought there may be other moms with the same struggle, so I decided to share part of my response below....

I know exactly what you are feeling. When Jeremy left home to go to college, I had such a hard time. It didn't matter that it was our hometown college. Honestly, before he left most nights I was still going in and praying for our boys before they went to sleep.

I remember at sixteen when Jeremy drove out of the driveway the first time by himself - I said to God "I am releasing him to You, God. I love my son so much-yet I know You love him so much more than I do. Please help him to make wise choices and keep Your Hand upon him." I did this again when he left for college....when he drove to VA Beach to intern for the summer by himself. The morning of his wedding - I walked the beach by myself and did it yet AGAIN. This time not only was I releasing him again to God, but also releasing him to his wife.

And Nate - WHEW!! I've had to release each time as well. And Nate going off to Chicago for college and now spending the entire summer studying overseas has stretched my faith and trust in God even more with my boy!!!

Honestly - as much as I love my sons, I know for them to be the men, husbands and fathers I would want them to be - I have to know that it would be different...that I would have to let them go. I have no doubt whatsoever that my boys love me, but I know that in order to do the job God has called me to - I've got to cut the "apron strings". I want my boys to be MEN!! In doing so - I can be at peace that all the things Ron and I have done to prepare the boys as they were growing up truly worked.

I'll share advice Ron has given me - every time you think about calling the boys...don't! (because I'd think of a reason to call them everyday - several times a day!! haha) If I have something I need to tell one of the boys - I text/email him and don't expect a response unless my message required one.

So just know that I feel your pain...that I'm praying for you...that your heart will survive this because I know deep inside you too want your son to be a self-sufficient, independent young man who makes wise choices...and that God truly does love your son as much as He loves His Son!!!

I'll also pray for God to give you the strength to hold up for your son - it's okay for him to know that you are going to miss him, but he needs to see that you trust God and that you also trust him and the young man he is becoming to let him go....

So any moms that are sending your sons off to college - whether it's in your hometown...a nearby city...across the state...or across the country....I know your struggle! I also know that you want your sons to be godly, independent men!!

Love your son enough to let him go.....

If your son is heading off to college - please let me know how I can pray specifically for you by commenting below....

Only by HIS grace,
2 Cor 1:3-7

You may also want to read a post my husband Ron wrote about mothers letting go of sons. You can read it HERE.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Queen of Good Intentions"

Okay, so this is a title I have given myself. I have often said if my actions were half of my intentions - oh the things I could accomplish!!! Unfortunately, this is not a recent issue with me. In junior high (middle school in today's terms), my history teacher told me I was the worse procrastinator he had ever met. And to hear my mom tell it - this is apparently a trait I inherited from my dad. I've proudly claimed to be a "daddy's girl", but this was one trait I would have rather not picked up on. Sad thing is - this may have rubbed off on our two sons as well. I'm trying to make a daily effort to follow through on some of my intentions as most are things I really need or want to do.

For example, last night an old friend came to mind that I had not seen or talked to for several years. This friend is elderly and has had health issues in the past few years. He had been very good to me growing up and I loved him very much. My first thoughts were that I would share this with his family when the day came for his memorial service (assuming he would pass away before me). Suddenly, I felt a voice asking me "Why wait to tell his family? Why not call and tell him?"

So that's what I did. Thanks to I was able to locate a phone number and call my friend. The conversation was short, but I said what I needed to say. I thanked him for always being so good to me and that I loved him. It was so nice to talk to my friend. More than that - there was such a peace about following through with the "good intention".

Today is a new day! And I have so many more "good intentions" on my list. Did you catch that? They are on a list!! (actually on the Notes App on my phone) So hopefully my intentions will turn into actions and I'll have a new name - "Queen of Good Actions"!! I like that A LOT better!!!

Do you struggle turning your intentions into actions? What steps have you taken to follow through on what you need and/or want to do? (Please share)

My Very First Blog Post - Reposted...

First Post As Guest Blogger....

Below was my first blog post on Grace Community Church's website in 2/2010.

A few things have changed, but the question still remains - "Who me?"

Guest Blog: Who me - a pastor's wife? by Cheryl Edmondson

Who me – a pastor’s wife???

After numerous requests to do a Guest Blog for Grace, I realized I had resisted as long as I could. It may be because there are so many great bloggers living at my house that I feel so intimidated at just the thought of trying.

The thought that kept going through my mind was what do I have to say that anybody would WANT to read? I feel God told me to just take this opportunity to share a little about myself….Ron’s wife … a mom to Jeremy (21) and Nate (18) … a daughter … a sister …. a friend …. a co-worker (again) … most importantly a follower of Jesus Christ and oh yeah – a pastor’s wife.

I am Cheryl Edmondson and the proud wife of Ron, who is one of the amazing co-pastors of Grace Community Church and together we have two awesome sons. I was born in Clarksville to J F and Earlene Burney and except for four years in Tuscaloosa, AL (Roll Tide!!) while my dad received his doctorate and my mother her undergraduate degree – I have lived in Clarksville all my life. I have two older brothers (Mike & Steve) and one younger sister (Laurie). I recently lost my dad due to several health issues. I was a “daddy’s girl” and miss him very much!!

I am blessed with more friends than I can count. I have been reminded lately during the time of my dad’s death and then again today as I attended the funeral of a longtime friend – how precious friendships are. There is a childhood poem that I was reminded of today - “make new friends, but keep the old ones…one is silver, but the other gold.” During both these times, I saw friends that I had not seen for years. Friends that I was very close to at one time …. But you know what? Our hearts were still connected when we saw each other again …. My biggest regret was that I had let so much time pass without spending time with these friends. That I had allowed myself to get too busy …. But we all do that – don’t we? Yes, what a sweet reminder of how precious our friends truly are.

My degree is in accounting and I have been employed in several positions over the years from the electric company to co-owning a small manufacturing company with Ron to working on a church staff to public accounting. After a short break from the working world, I have recently accepted a part-time position at Hope Pregnancy Center as Administrative Director. My passion is to do ministry and for as long as God allows me to work part-time – I pray that He will allow me to do ministry at HPC, but also be more flexible to do ministry for GCC.

Oh yes, the one I keep forgetting - I am a pastor’s wife!! It is the one I have to keep reminding myself of probably because it is the one I feel the least worthy to be. I’m just a regular person …. I have good days and bad days …. I make lots of mistakes …. I don’t read my Bible as much as I want to …. BUT I love Sundays!! My passion is to see others growing in their relationship with Christ!! I love it when God allows me to use things from my past to minister to others!!! (2 Cor 1:3-7) But I don’t have to be a pastor’s wife to do any of these. I loved these same things before Ron was called to vocational ministry. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time remembering that I am one ….

And yes – I am a follower of Jesus. I am so thankful for the amazing grace that God has poured out on my life. I became a Christian well into adulthood and regret all the wasted years. That’s why I am so thankful that God allows me to be a part of Grace Community Church and see the lives that He is changing in and through the various ministries… I pray that as long as I live God will use me to point others to the saving grace of my Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ!!!

That’s who I am …. a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend … follower of Christ … and … oh yeah … a pastor’s wife.

Only by HIS grace,


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Long Overdue...Good Intentions

Well, I finally did it...I started my very own blog!

My procrastination finally got the best of me and even though I have run from it for a couple of years now - is official!!

So - now that it's my bedtime, my first blog post will probably be my shortest. This will be a time to share my heart, my struggles AND yes, for all of you who have been asking probably a restaurant find or two. So stay tuned - there is soooo much more to come!!!

Only by HIS grace,