Monday, August 29, 2011

To Our Boys...

It's Monday and already it's been a tough week....last night we received a phone call that our good friends' son had been in an accident.  Before we even arrived at the hospital, the call came saying that this young man's life had ended much too soon.  Today, God laid it on my heart to send our boys the email below...

Jeremy & Nate…
As we sat with the parents of the young man who lost his life last night, I was overwhelmed with grief and sadness as they were in shock over the loss of their son….Not an ounce of me can even begin to imagine the pain they are experiencing.

It was a vivid reminder of how precious life is….not to take a moment for granted and how much I love the two of you and how very, very proud I am of the godly, young men you are.

My prayer every day for both of you has always been that you will love Jesus with all your heart….that you will make wise choices and that you will never doubt how proud I am and how much I love you!

You are AMAZING!!!

Thanks for being YOU!!!

Every day is precious....don't live with regrets....say a prayer for the many families/friends affected each & every day by tragedy...don't take ANYTHING for granted!!!  

If you have someone that needs prayer, please let me know....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just Call Out My Name....You've Got a Friend!!

Recently in our community group we were discussing 1 Samuel 20, which is about the friendship that David and Jonathan shared. It was a great time of sharing about what it meant to be a friend.

Not surprisingly - the girls were more vocal than the guys. Common interest, compatibility, accountability, and of course trust were a few of the qualities of a good friendship. We all agreed that we had different levels of friendships from those who might be our "facebook" friends to those who had been friends for a lifetime.

One of the questions Ron asked was "If you had a crisis, do you have someone who is not a family member you could call?" For some in the group, it was an easy question....for others - not. Either way, it was a time of reflection for all of us. We were challenged to consider not only the friends we have, but also what kind of friend we are to others....especially to friends in our community group, in our church family, or those we consider to be our closest circle of friends...

I believe with all my heart that I am NEVER alone! I believe God when He tells me in His Word that He will never leave me nor forsake me, so I know that my Jesus is the first person I turn to in times of need. But I also know God did not put us on this Earth to live life alone...He created us to be relational.

So thank you Jesus for my husband, Ron, who is my very best friend! There is no other person on this Earth I would rather be with than him. I am so proud of Ron who is an incredible husband, father and friend. His greatest desire is to serve God first and his family second. Someday Ron will indeed hear God say "Well done my good & faithful servant".

And my friends....God has blessed me with so many friends!!! But to be honest with you - I too have many different levels of friends. I envy others who say "she has been my closest friend since we were little" or "we are just as close as we were in high school or college". I cannot say I have either of those type of friends. God has blessed me with incredible friends throughout my life, but it seems that most have just been for a season.

And to be honest - I had to stop and think about Ron's question. I only have a few friends that I would pick up the phone and call in a crisis situation. There are only a couple of friends that I have allowed myself to open up and really know "me". Part of it is because of Ron's role as a pastor, but part of it is just self-protection...afraid of the risk of being hurt. (which could be a blog post of its own)

Bottom line - one of the girls in our group who actually has been my "friend" since elementary school summed it up when she said "to have a friend - you must be a friend". Exactly! It reminded me of the lyrics of one of my favorite songs - "You've Got a Friend"...

"When you're down and troubled
And you need some loving care
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend

If the sky above you
Grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow
Keep your head together
And call my name out loud
Soon you'll hear me knocking at your door

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there

Ain't it good to know that you've got a friend
When people can be so cold
They'll hurt you, and desert you
And take your soul if you let them
Oh, but don't you let them

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend"

What friend would you call in a time of crisis?

Has God ever laid it on your heart to call a friend just when they needed it most?

Now, say a quick prayer, ask God to give you a name of a friend in need, then do something about it...NOW! That's part of being a friend.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday's Food Find - The Catfish House

This week's food find is The Catfish House at 116 Salem Road, Clarksville, TN.

I grew up just a couple of miles from The Catfish House, so there is no telling how many times I have eaten there in my lifetime!! Every time we had friends or family in from out-of-town we always went there to eat. And since there aren't a lot of restaurants to choose from on "that side of the river" - it was always nice to know you could get a great meal to go on the way home from a long day at work.

Even today it is one of our family's favorite places to go eat and Nate even picked it as his last Southern meal and enjoyed lots of sweet tea before heading back to Chicago for college.

Whether it's the fried catfish, cajun fried catfish strips, chicken tenders, grilled catfish, seafood, steaks, pastas, salads and don't forget all the delicious fixins like the beans, slaw, fries, baked potato & hushpuppies. One of my favorites is the onion rings appetizer. And if you are watching your waistline - there are several healthy choices as well....I'm getting hungry just typing!!!

And the desserts....OH MY GOODNESS!!! The desserts are all homemade by my good friend/owner - Cindy. Ron really likes the delicious carrot cake served warm and I love the incredible coconut creme pie. And yes - there are more to choose from...

So head to The Catfish House in Clarksville, Springfield, Smyrna or Bowling Green for a great meal, lots of smiles and family friendly too!! Open every day for dinner & Sunday for lunch

Where is your favorite place to take out-of-town family/friends?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Ri' chard's Louisiana Cafe

Okay - you may call it Richard's Cafe, but the correct way to say it is Ri'chard's!! I mean the owner IS from Louisiana!!! Just talk to him & you'll know!!

If you are looking for great cajun food - then head to Ri'chard's Louisiana Cafe at 4429 Whites Creek Pike, Whites Creek, TN. From Clarksville - just take I24 to Nashville, Exit 40 - take a right and when you get to the traffic signal Ri'chard's is on the corner diagonally across the street in an old grocery store.

The food is great with lots to choose from - gumbo, gator bites, red beans & rice, jambalaya, grilled or fried shrimp and on and on...And if someone in your group is not into cajun - no worries. There is plenty on the menu from a variety of sandwiches to steaks and there are always lots of specials to choose from. And the beignets are FABULOUS for dessert!!!

Oh - and there is live music EVERYDAY!!! And with it being so close to Nashville you will be surprised at the talent!! It is smoke free, great family atmosphere and even has a great new courtyard for outdoor seating!!

Hours are TU-F 5:30-9:30, S 1-9:30, SU 12-3 (And reservations are always a good idea 615-299-9590)

Where's your favorite Cajun place to eat?

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Okay, for those closest to me - you know that I am the world's worse procrastinator! I will put big things and little things off to the very last minute if it is something I just don't want to do. And the closer the deadline gets - the more miserable I get....

Take for instance Ron's tax return for his non-profit ministry that is due tomorrow...Yes - TOMORROW! We had already filed for the extension because I didn't get it filed back in May, so August 15th was the absolute deadline. I'm sure you are asking yourself - why would an accountant be filing an extension on a tax return? I mean it's not like she is having to gather the info and take it to somebody or even pay somebody...all she has to do is - DO IT!!! I AM a responsible citizen who always files our personal tax return before April 15th
, but there is just something about filing this one that always gets put on the back burner....the very back burner. I have had a calendar reminder on my phone go off everyday for the last two months...and it still did not get done until - today. Pretty sad, huh?

Know what's even sadder?? Once I sat down to do it - it took me all of 10 minutes to complete. TEN MINUTES!!! It has taken me more than ten minutes to turn off all the alarms that have gone off and to get over the sick feeling of just dreading doing it!!!

So - as I file away the completed 2010 return and Ron reminds me that it soon will be time to do 2011's (assuming I file it on time...) - I just want to have a gentle reminder if for nobody but me...

Quit spending more time procrastinating than it takes to do the thing you are procrastinating!!!

Am I all alone on this one??? What do you procrastinate doing??

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday's Food Find (On Saturday) - The Choppin Block

Okay - I know it's not's already Saturday, but what can I say? The week got away from me. I tend to be a rule follower, so I stand committed to my weekly post of sharing a Friday Food Find.

This week's Friday's Food Find is The Choppin Block at 2212 Madison St, Clarksville, TN. Beverly, the owner, is a great friend of ours and we love going there! It is a full service butcher shop with an incredible selection, but most people do not realize that they also serve breakfast, blue plate lunch specials everyday, sandwiches, salads, desserts...oh yeah - and everything is HOMEMADE!!!

Whether we drop by to pick up a couple of biscuits to go or stay a while for a hot breakfast of french toast or bacon & eggs - it is always a nice Saturday morning treat!! And Ron's favorite blue plate special is Tuesday when they have the Ribeye Steak sandwich!! I love the homemade pimento cheese and fresh fruit salad!!! And did I mention the twice baked potatoes??? And the homemade desserts??

The Choppin Block does so much more...they cater and they are the only Clarksville retailer for The Green Egg!

So please check out The Choppin Block (M-F 6-6 Sat 7-5)....tell them Cheryl sent ya!!

I love eating breakfast out - so please share your favorite breakfast place...near or far!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Guest Post by Ron Edmondson "Honoring A Pastor's Wife"

Today I’m sharing a post my husband, Ron, recently revised and shared on his blog.  I love serving with him at Grace Community Church, yet realize there are many pastor’s wives that are indeed struggling….
“Honoring a Pastor’s Wife – Revised” by Ron Edmondson
One of the toughest jobs in the church is that of being a pastor’s wife. I know I’m biased, but I have one of the best in Cheryl. Cheryl has a full-time professional job, is an excellent wife and mother, but the demands on her as my wife are often overwhelming. There is never a day she’s not asked to minister to someone. She is every bit as much in the ministry as I am. She makes me so much more effective as a pastor. Some days…really most days…the demands are more than her time, but still she handles it with grace and a smile.
I work with pastors every week who are burned out from ministry. Almost weekly, I hear of a pastor or pastor’s wife ready to quit the ministry. My desire is to help you know how to honor and protect your pastor’s wife. In this post, I am not talking on behalf of Cheryl. These are tips to help honor every pastor’s wife, but this isn’t about Cheryl. She would never ask for this (most pastor’s wives wouldn’t either) and frankly we are in the best church environment I have ever experienced, as far as the way our staff and spouses are treated. We welcome the continued support, but in this post, I’m speaking on behalf of the struggling pastor’s wife; the one who has a sense of loneliness and often struggles even to come to church.
Here are a few tips to treat your pastor’s wife well:
            -Pray for your pastor’s wife and family daily.
            -Do not put too many expectations on the pastor’s wife. She    cannot be everywhere, at everything and know everyone’s name and family situation and still carry out her role in role in her own home.
            -Do not expect her to take your side on an issue opposing her husband. She will protect him as you would your spouse. In fact, this issue possibly causes the biggest tension for a pastor’s wife. If she feels her husband is being questioned, she may naturally become protective.
            -Protect the pastor’s wife from gossip. She does not need to know the “prayer concerns” that are really just a way of spreading rumors.
            -Let her have a husband and enjoy her family time. The pastor is pulled in many directions. If you can limit your demands on his schedule to his normal working hours it will help the pastor’s wife have a family life also.
            -Don’t demand she have a “position” in the church. She may want to, but her husband may want her free to greet guests with him. For me, I want to see Cheryl in the service as I speak, especially for the first service. I feel more comfortable when she’s nearby. I definitely want her in the halls to meet people. (She’s so much better at that than I am.)
            -Include her in invitations without placing demands or expectations on her to attend. The pastor’s wife is often one of the loneliest women in the church. She rarely knows whom to trust and often is excluded from times that are just for fun, but again, she can’t be everywhere; so invite, but don’t get frustrated if she has to say no.
            -Never repeat what she says. If the pastor’s wife happens to share information with you about the church or her personal life, keep it to yourself. There will be temptation to share her words as “juicy news”, but you will honor her by remaining silent.
            -If your church really wants to honor the pastor’s wife, find ways to give her extended time away with her husband and/or family. That is probably what she needs the most.

Feel free to give a shout-out to your pastor’s wife here on this post and share ways you can honor your pastor’s wife. If you are a pastor or pastor’s wife, I would love to hear your thoughts.
How does your church honor your pastor’s wife?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday's Food Find - Da Vinci's

One of my many favorite foods is Italian!!

This week's Friday's Food Find is one of our recent discoveries in neighboring Hopkinsville, KY!!  It is Da Vinci Little Italian at 304 North Drive.

We have been told the owner/chef is actually from Italy.  The restaurant is not very big and is so popular that more times than not we have typically had a short wait for a table, but believe me - it is worth it!!  Whether you are in the mood for pasta or pizza - anything we have ordered has been great!  My favorite is the spicy Italian sausage & angel hair pasta and our youngest son, Nate, said it was probably the best fettucini  alfredo he has ever had.  The dinner salad with the house dressing is also a nice addition.

The homemade desserts are very good as well....especially the cannoli and the tiramisu.

So next time you are out for a drive and are in the mood for Italian - head to Da Vinci's!  You'll be glad you did!!! 

Where is your favorite place to eat Italian? Remember - it can be anywhere....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Told You....

I told you that I am a not the typical "pastor's wife".  Let me explain...

Even though I became a Christian as an adult and didn't grow up in the church, I had pre-conceived ideas of what a pastor's wife looked like.  She was always dressed very prim & proper without a single hair out of place...she had a sweet, poetic voice...she played piano and sang in the choir...was a great homemaker and cook... and the worse thing she probably ever did was skip choir practice when she was a teenager!!!  

Ron and I had been married several years when he realized God was asking him to surrender his life to full-time vocational ministry.  I was fully supportive of this as God had already laid His Will for Ron's future on my heart a few weeks earlier.  Together we had always been very active in church, but this would be a new chapter in our lives.  

In full time ministry, one of the first conferences we attended had a breakout session for pastors' wives that everyone kept talking about.  I was having a hard time deciding which breakout would even be applicable to me. I suddenly realized that "I" could attend the one everyone was raving about.  I "was" a pastor's wife!!!  May seem silly to you, but it was a huge revelation for me!

The funny thing is - I have none of these amazing qualities listed above...NONE!!!  And yet - God still allows me to be a pastor's wife!!  I am a follower of Jesus Christ who has been saved by His amazing grace!!!  I have a voice that is often scratchy...who can't play the piano OR sing....I can clean house (well - I have one!)...but I do NOT cook (yes - you heard me!! Ron does ALL the cooking!!!)...and I can't even begin to count the mistakes I've made and continue to make.  

Oh and yes - I survived the Blazin Wing Challenge at Buffalo Wild Wings!!!  Crazy huh?  What pastor's wife would do something like that??  Okay - so it was a team building challenge for work, but I did it!!

No - I'm not typical...but I love serving God beside my husband who I am so very proud of... I love people and being able to share the grace of Jesus Christ...and I love fulfilling one of my life verses (2 Cor 1:3-7).  

And I thank God for allowing me the privilege of serving a pastor's wife!!!

What pre-conceived ideas do you have of what a pastor's wife should be like?  If you ARE a pastor's wife, are you TYPICAL??