Saturday, August 27, 2016

As is.....

We may not be "new and improved" at 50 like we thought, but we're the best "as is" models I know!  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

PaPa Jim.....

This is my step father of thirty years. He was a wealth of knowledge in every conversation and now doesn't know how to use a call button for the nurse. He was a Paul Bunyan of sorts knowing how to build or do anything with his hands and now only has one hand to use.  He was a social butterfly who never met a stranger and now he fights to remember his words. He loved his Dutch oven and campfire cooking but now can hardly feed himself and uses a sippy cup to drink. He could drive a tractor, truck or RV but now uses a wheelchair for transportation. 
He suffered with diabetes for years before we noticed his "shuffling" of his feet. He always said it was the shoes. We went camping nearly a year ago in GA and that was when it all changed. He asked us directions to get out of the park. He was so lost. At some point he was having mini strokes. We soon had him at the Dr and received a diagnosis of Lewy bodies dementia and Parkinson's disease. Following all of this, Jim got shingles on his head and in his eye and had a bigger stroke. We were brave and thought we could bring him home if we had all the right people to help. Not so much. 
After two weeks, we made it back to the rehab facility and there he has settled.  He spends his days sitting quietly wondering how we will be able to get a flight out to get back to our homes. 
To be continued......

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Dear friends, 
I'm sorry I haven't written and given you an ACHALASIA update. I had surgery for the fourth time since October to try and eat properly on Friday. It appears as though I am either allergic to Botox or anesthesia. Last time my lip was numb for 17 days and we dismissed it. This time my face, neck and upper back has a type of hemorrhage under the skin that looks like a rash. My eyes are jaundiced and bloodshot and I have had a small headache and general pressure feeling. Thankfully it is not a rash that itches. I told the doctor it feels as though I have done 1000 sit-ups but otherwise, I am in no pain to speak of just discomfort.  That is to be expected from injecting Botox into my esophagus. I had the procedure done in Birmingham but spent the day with Dr. Christianson at Marshall South yesterday. He took excellent care of me and could only find one documented case of what appeared to be happening to me.  It is hard to rest so I am up writing to you my friends. I would appreciate your prayers for me and everyone who suffers from ACHALASIA. My sweet Ian asked why God allowed ACHALASIA to happen to me and my answer is always, "Why not me?" With friends and family support, we are beating this together. Thanks for all the milkshakes, soup and ice cream you have delivered throughout this journey. Chocolate seems to go down too! #luckyme #blessedwithfriendsandfamily #ineverythingpraiseHim

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Dear friends and family, 
I will be having another Botox surgery in Birmingham on my esophagus August 19th. The honeymoon of eating is over and an intervention is necessary as I am choking every bite of food and drink down. This is my seventh surgery on my esophagus in three years or so; the fourth one just in a years time. I will have to reschedule your appointment if it is on the 19th through the following Monday. Please be patient with me as God must not be through with me yet. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Back the Blue

We had an opportunity to teach the kids and make a difference tonight. Two uniformed officers were dining in the same restaurant as us and we paid for their meal. Always looking to be the hands and feet of Jesus. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Dear friends and family,
I have been reflecting on this phrase my whole life. My mom used it and now it happens that I do too. The beginning of this phrase that most people refer to was before the Reformation of the church when the tax money from St. Paul's in London was used to pay St. Peter's tax in Rome.  Now, we use it to neglect Peter to pay Paul.   We are using resources that legitimately belong to or are needed by one party in order to satisfy a legitimate need of another party.   We are trying to solve a problem in a way that makes another problem worse. 

Let's think about this for a minute.....In Ephesians 2:8, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God".  

And another favorite of mine is Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see".

I have a family friend that needs this faith where finances are concerned.....

A close friend just told me a story about her mother and her finances... The mother is a God-fearing Christian woman who loves the Lord with all her heart.  The daughter has stepped away from God for a time to regroup, six years and counting after the loss of her dad to suicide.  They both need our prayers, one for finances who has been robbing Peter to pay Paul her whole life who still works in her 70's that just lost her job and the other for a return to her compassionate heart, her thirst for faith and her acceptance of what has happened and the chance to move forward spreading the Good News using her past as her testimony.

Today, neither one of them have the faith that is so freely given to us by God because of their circumstances.  We all rob Peter to pay Paul, whether it is spending time with one child and not the other, whether it is doing laundry instead of washing the dishes, whether it is going out to eat instead of cooking, whether it is going on vacation instead of staycation, whether it is driving a financed car or a paid for car, whether it's living in a house we can't afford and the list goes on and on.

We decided to live intentionally and purpose about six years ago and that has taken a lot of faith and humility.  I would encourage you today to put your faith back in people and relationships.  We are the church, we are the community that comes together when it is needed, we are......

As a Christ follower, I am not perfect and have certainly had to rob Peter to pay Paul. My prayer for you today is that you spend as much time following Christ that you do following the world and that your faith can be restored in people and relationships.  Remember, you might just be the only Jesus that some people ever see.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Griffin Adventures....things we had not been able to do before

What a blast the kids are having in Pigeon Forge!  This is an island ropes course that Atlee loved and....
this is the escape game. Ian loved it!
This is when Ian worked a Rubik's cube for Paula Deen and her husband Michael. That was ALL Ian. He held his own with the 30 seconds of fame. 
We had absolute blast at the comedy barn. I laughed my head off. 
We rode go carts ALL DAY until 12 midnight. Whew!
Here's what's left of us after sliding down a gold mine, riding go carts, walking everywhere we went..... #priceless

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On the road again....

It's always a nice reminder to see the three crosses to know that Jesus died for our sins. We are headed out on vacation and saw this at a church along the way. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Website update

We should be up and running on the 15 th. Please keep a check here until we're live again. Exciting!