Monday, June 30, 2008

Deeper Still: Atlanta

(my niece, Lauren; sister, Renee; my friend, Vicki; and me, waiting to get in on Friday night)

We had church, y'all! God showed up in a BIG way over the weekend in Atlanta. Praise and worship were lifted high as 19,000 women gathered in the Phillips Arena for the Deeper Still conference. Ladies, I just can't even describe how awesome this gathering was. It was a spiritual high, leaving us all with a sense of profound excitement as we gathered, worshipped and heard God's word taught by three very dynamic women of God. If you get a chance to experience this, please do yourself a favor and GO. That's all I can will change your life profoundly. Beth Moore's praise and worship team, led by Travis Cottrell, urged us into praise with wonderful Christian music. It was loud and stirring and completely filled this arena with the beautiful singing voices of our Christian sisters.
My camera totally did not capture these three awesome Christian speakers at all, but it was Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore. They all had different, but equally compelling messages to share with us and we all left with a sense of urgency to live out our Christian lives in a bold manner.

On Friday night when we arrived and found some great seats down on the floor, I immediately spotted two very popular bloggers in the Christian community, BooMama and Big Mama. These two are pals in real life and I've read about their escapades for months now. I went down and greeted them both and met Melanie (Big Mama) for the first time. They were both blogging for Lifeway at this event. It's fun to watch them do their thing and I know they will have a lot to share from the weekend also. And I ran immediately into one of my very good friends, Ruby, who is the Women's Ministry director at my old church in Kennesaw, where I went for many years. It was great catching up with her for a few minutes. She was one of the Atlanta coordinators for this event, so had a busy weekend. Again bad pics, but you can see how many women were here.
This was Pricilla speaking on Friday night. She's expecting baby #3 in October.
And Mandisa showed up with some powerful vocals and inspired us with her great music.
Phillips Arena from the outside. The praise and worship team in action.
They are all great vocalists and really lead some fantastic praise and worship.
Kay Arthur got passionate bringing a stirring message about the downfall of our nation and how we are at a crossroads. I couldn't agree with her more. We truly need to pray for our country with the election coming up and ask for guidance and direction for our country. Kay is 74 years old and looks great! I think we were all inspired to look as stylish and fit at her age. She is truly a warrior for the Lord, proclaiming His truth in everything she speaks.
Beth was absolutely awesome, as usual and has such a powerful stage presence and speaks the truth with honesty, peppered with her own brand of Texas humor. We all love Beth! All three of these women represent a range of generations and it's so refreshing to hear from all of them, their life experiences, how they are just like us in so many ways, and how they encourage us in our walk with God. They are truly annointed and bring God's word to life for women in a way that I've never experienced before. It truly is such a blessing to sit and soak up the Word in a conference like this. It's tiring, but wow, do you come away with a new determination to live out your life in a Spirit-led way, trusting God all the way to lead and guide your days, in the good and bad moments, on mountaintops or valleys, trusting that Christ is sovereign in ALL things. And I so much want to share that with everyone I come in contact with. What a comfort to remember that every single day!

I wish you could all have been there with me! Worshiping with all those women was such a great experience and I would have loved to share it with all of you. God is SO good!

P.S. While in Atlanta, I finally got to visit the HUGE IKEA store that opened up as we were moving 3 years ago. I tried to go when it did open, but it was so packed that the parking lot was full, so I haven't been back since. Wait til you see this place...oh. my.'s the biggest store I've ever seen, you could get lost in there. I'll be sharing that soon!

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Living with Blue and White

Blue and White Living; By: Stephanie Hoppen

Photographs by: Fritz Von Der Schulenburg

Any blue and white fans out there? I recently checked this book out at the library and thought I'd share with all of you who enjoy this combo. If you get a chance to get this book, take a look at it. There are many beautiful and inspiring photos of blue and white. I have not always been a fan of blue and white, but do enjoy many inspirational pics when I see them and I have incorporated blue and white in my own home to satisfy my hubby's need for this color around him. And, it's growing on me.... From Blue & White Living
From Blue & White Living From Blue & White Living Photo: Deborah Whitlaw for Coastal Living

And here are more from Southern Accents online that I found and thought I'd share.
Photo: Jean Allsopp; Stylist: Lisa Powell for Southern Living Photo: Pieter Estersohn; Designer: Eric Prokesh for Southern Accents Photo: John O'Hagan; Stylist: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell, Jan Gautro, and Kiersten Moore for Cooking Light Photo: Shelley Metcalf for Coastal Living
Photo: John O'Hagan for Coastal Living
Photo: Jean Allsopp; Designer: Lynn Morgan for Coastal Living
From Coastal Living: Photo: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn; Designer: Louise and Carrie Hurlbutt

Now, does this make you want to live with more blue and white? It's such a cool and summery feel and perfect for this time of year. Hope you got some great ideas on how to incorporate more blue and white if you enjoy this combo. It's definitely growing on me.

Speaking of blue and white, I'm working on my masterbath with a few updates. I've got 2 Ballards rugs coming for our vanity areas and I found a great deal on some bamboo Roman shades for the windows. Those 2 yardsale valances I found in blue/gold/white will also be showing up on the windows and I think I've got something fun figured out on how to make them work for me without being too boring. I'll be sharing that very soon!

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Shopping & Lunch at The Bright Star

One of the ladies at my church invited me to go with her this week to Bessemer, which is a small town and part of Birmingham, to a place called United Textiles. I had seen their ads many times and wanted to visit, so it was fun to see it in person.
They are known for their large collection of rugs and they do have plenty.
Lamps and accessories are also in abundance.
I really liked this oil painting and at $179 was quite a good price for a large painting.
This bookcase with sort of a rattan inlay was $250 and very pretty too.

Upstairs held lots of lampshades at really great prices and lots and lots of fabric. I did find some bamboo Roman shades for my bathroom at a really good price.
Remnant tables held a lot of fabric for $4.49 a yard, quite a steal if you could find what you wanted.
And the regular prices of fabrics weren't bad either. These were fun prints.
They had quite a collection of toile in many different colors. I grew up shopping at fabric stores with my mom. I didn't appreciate it back then as much, but I sure do enjoy browsing fabrics now. All those pretty fabrics, waiting for something to be made....they sure can beautify your home.
Lunch was a real treat! I have been hearing about The Bright Star restaurant for awhile now and finally got to eat there. It is the neatest old South.
You can see they've been around for a long time.
I justed loved the feel of the place. When you walk in, it just has a very old-South, genteel feel, like an upscale Southern restaurant from the 50's. The walls were all wood paneled with a beautiful hand-painted mural that someone from Europe painted years ago. The waitress was an older lady and said she has been working there for 18 years. It's truly a landmark in this area and many people love it. I can certainly see why.
Lunch was $8.95 for shrimp and 3 sides. You cannot beat that deal! I'll definitely be taking my hubby back here, since we've been wanting to try it. And everything was as good as it looks.
Chocolate almond pie was the perfect finishing touch. With a homemade crust, it was to die for!
We wandered down the street to look at a couple of furniture stores in the old downtown of Bessemer. I loved this old storefront door.
We both thought this island was a really unique piece. It had a top that flipped over to make a table, but was a great sized island for a large kitchen. At $400 it was a pretty good deal too.
Downtown Bessemer.
On the way back we stopped by another place I have heard about, King Cotton, a wonderful fabric store.
They only have fabric samples hung on the walls and you have to order from them, but they really have quite a gorgeous collection of designer fabrics. They were sumptious!
The problem with going in fabric stores is that I see all these yummy fabrics I'd love to take home and who can afford to redo everything?! Not me....
Aren't these gorgeous?
I loved all these green and brown colors together. Such a nice combo.
They had some samples of drapery panels on the walls. I thought this top treatment was unique.
And of course, lots of fringe.

Thanks for going with us! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Fabric shopping is always fun to me. Now my creative side is trying to figure out where I can make a few little changes with fabric.

I'll be at the Deeper Still conference in Atlanta this weekend. Looking forward to being spiritually renewed. I'm using "scheduled" posts for the first time on Sunday and then I'll see you soon with an update!
Here's a little pet peeve of mine that I'd like to throw out there for y'all to think about. As far as comment moderation where you have to type in the letters and wait for the pages to load before the comment is saved, it takes SO much extra time for this feature, I would love to see less of that out there in blogland. I would be much more inclined to visit a blog if I don't have to wade through the comment moderation with all the extra waiting time. This drives me crazy! Not only the wait time, but trying to read and get the letters right. That doesn't always work the first time. It takes SO much longer to visit people when so many blogs have this in place.
Please think about removing that feature from your blog if you do have it. The BIG blogs out there do not use this feature at all, so I really don't see any reason to have it. I've never had it on my blog and have had very few problems with unwanted comments showing up. So, just something I thought I'd throw out there and hopefully some of you might agree with me & take it off of your blog. Thanks for listening!

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