Thursday, June 15, 2017

The New Normal

Not having internet available regularly has put a crimp in my style... it's also been really freeing, since I don't have internet. Duh.

I spend very little time even on my computer, using my phone (and unlimited data) to do most of my social media updates (follow me on Facebook at Marina's Kitchen Table). I'm posting there a lot. I've actually found a way to go from my BIG camera to my phone (via wireless internet on the phone!), then using PicMonkey Mobile I can edit my photos and add a watermark or copyright, and post them to my Facebook! I haven't figured out how to post from my phone here, so that will be the next thing I investigate. The Google phone apps take up so much memory, that it may not be an option... but I'll check it out.

I'm also able to post words to Meeting in the Meadow and the Team Expansion Prayer Force Blog on Facebook, if you're interested in following either of those. I am not yet putting photos up on either of those sites. I'm not sure if I'll be able to manage that or not, since I can't access ALL of my photos on my phone, just what I take now.

I thought that I'd share some of my recent photos here, since I'm able to (right now... this may change by the time I actually go to put them on here... but I'll try!).

Here are a few of the work that's been going on around here...

I recently painted the back door the same color as the front door... which is just a little brighter than the actual garage door ...

The south side of the back deck... 

The front door, which I painted and added a rice paper finish to give us some privacy on the window on the right.
I painted the garage doors (a bit darker than the front/back door), and Mark hung our compass. 

 And some shots from around the house...

Blossoms from my Meyer Lemon tree (planted in a pot with a Key Lime!). 

My first Key Lime!

The front porch area...

Pretty much every sunset looks like this right now. Sometimes there are clouds that make a delightful design in the sky, but because of the trees, I can't see much of the sky once the sun goes low. The lake reflects the sunlight, the colors of the sky, but again, there are only little patches of it between the trees. Still, it's enough to get us to exhale, breathe a little deeper, and praise God for our season here.

There's still a lot to do here to make it FEEL like home, but for now, this IS home, and that feels good. Mark has also set up one of our bird feeder stands, and the local birds are getting used to visiting one of the 4 feeders hanging from it. There is a wide variety of birds in the area, but mostly I've seen finches and tufted titmouse at the feeders here. The bald eagles have already migrated north, and although I hear a pilliated woodpecker in the area, I have yet to see him. It's only been a week, so I'll give them some time. Plus, I'm sure the woods around us, and the large bug population, are helping them fill their tummies now. There are some lovely birds down by the lake too, but I don't expect them to come up the hill to our houses for seeds. There's so much to learn in my new normal.

I'll post here when I can manage a strong enough signal to post, but remember, if you want to see my more frequent postings, or the other pages I manage, please catch us on Facebook! They are updated more often there than here!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Book Review: Whispers of Rest, by Bonnie Gray

Book Review: Whispers of Rest, by Bonnie Gray
Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table

It's very early on Sunday morning and my husband and I are discussing the things I hope we accomplish today. Our household boxes have not arrived yet, so we sneak out to a coffee shop for breakfast before the church crowds arrive. My goal is to get the main rooms painted before the boxes arrive in two days. My husband tells me "We will need to take some time to rest today..." and I giggle back, "Well, YOU can take a rest, but I have too much to do!"

This is our 7th move in the 7 1/2 years that my husband has been with this company... some have been our initiating, one was God closing a door, one had no job change involved - God just sold our house when it wasn't even on the market! Each time there was a job change, God was so good to sell our home within a month of being listed. He doesn't let that happen all the time with everyone, yet each time we list it I give Him permission to do that again! Each time I'm unprepared to have the packers and movers come, and I'm a little anxious to get things in the new home and make sure everything arrives unbroken. I want to put "our touch" on the house, to make it "ours." Oh, and I want it all done yesterday!

As we wait for our food, my daughter calls (so early!) asking if we are free to meet in Nashville for the day. They live 2 hours to the north of there, and we have just moved to 2 1/2 hours to the south, so it's about half way.

As much as I love my daughter, her husband and their seven children, my heart sinks to my gut and I want to cry out "NO!"

We've just moved in 2 days before, and I've told myself (and my husband and our two other kids) that for the month we will not go anywhere or have anyone over, and I will spend every waking moment painting and repairing this 20 year old, new-to-us house before we unpack and get settled in. I need time to make it "ours."

A month. That's all I want.

I feel God push back.

"Yes." He whispers in His still, small voice.

My heart crumbles as I realize how MY PLAN for this move has just been hijacked, and HIS PLAN is going to unfold. Again.

MY PLAN was to get the house cleaned (because it wasn't clean when we closed on it) and painted before we moved in, to stay a few days or a week in our rental while we do the needed repairs and painting. HIS PLAN was for us to move in on the day of closing, emptying the rental, and cleaning it out first.

That didn't happen either. Again. MY PLAN doesn't seem to ever take shape or amount to much. I'm surprised I try to make a "MY PLAN" at all!

The trip to Nashville was great, with me napping most of the way (because the lists are all made and what else is there to do in the car when you're not driving?). I wasn't aware how tired I was. We spent a few hours over a relaxed lunch, kids giggling and hearts happy. My heart is happy too, as I get to see all of them in one visit, and I'm (mostly) relaxed and not trying to think about the long list of things I still want to do at home.

AND OH, the hugs. The hugs are healing and restoring to this grandkid starved grandma's heart. I have missed my grandkids. All of them.

And... I see my husband rest. THIS is what he needed, and God knew that. How selfish of me to put my agenda ahead of his mental health. I know how important rest is for us, and God knew that we wouldn't really rest until we were removed from the house and all the "to-do's" staring back at us. The moving and transition on top of his *more than* 40 hours a week job has worn him out too. I'm sure I've been a joy to live with during this also. Sigh.

The day is a gift from God.

The trip home is uneventful, and we get a few things done before heading to bed. I know that a little will get accomplished during the week, and we make plans to go deliver some household goods to our other daughter's house the following weekend. Two more grandkids live there, so we may as well spend the weekend, since it's Mother's Day.

Only a little painting gets done during the week. Baby steps.

Then a few grandkids come and stay with us for several days, and our son and his family come and visit for a long weekend. No one is bothered by the boxes, the ugly painted walls, the partially painted walls, or the lack of decor. They don't mind waiting for beds to be made, or towels folded. I'm the only one that's bothered by all the un-done-ness around us.

Life happens, and it's been a month since we moved in. MY PLAN for the month was shot down quick and hard, and HIS PLAN is working out well. His plan involves moments of rest, renewal, times of laughter, and even backgammon over dinner.

I retreat out on the back deck to re-arrange cushions and sneak a peek at the lake. A deep sigh sets in... no, a deep exhale. I'm able to breathe back in and repeat the task (it seems hard to breathe, with all this undone around me). This time I remember a mantra that I learned from a missionary friend years before...

(inhale):  "More of You, God."
(exhale): "Less of me."

I hear God whisper again, "We'll get it done. Breathe again. Feel me near you. Release all the stress."

I obey, and take a few more deep breaths, feeling His presence push out the anxiety.

He's going to get it done.

In HIS timing.

I received the invitation to be a part of Bonnie Gray's launch team for Whispers of Rest months ago, before we knew that we'd be moving again. I tend to not want to commit to doing things that involve reading, keeping up with an online group, or even writing a book review, in the middle of a move. That would be crazy! I'm so glad that HIS PLAN was for me to get in on this jewel! It was JUST what I needed in the midst of this crazy season!

If I gave you just a few words to describe Whispers of Rest, these are the words I'd use...

Personal: Although Bonnie has written it with specific instructions for us to follow, the book is very personal. Each feature to walk through is for our personal story.

Poetic: I loved the touches of poetry, either through scripture or poems that were written for the book. Even the devotions feel more like creative writing than Bible study.

Peaceful: Rest isn't rest unless it's peaceful, and there's a lot of peacefulness in here! Through every aspect of the book, I was able to feel peace in my spirit take place, leading to a time of rest.

Prayerful: Bonnie does a lovely job of leading us through a guided prayer each day. Again, these are personal, with lots of wiggle room, yet she leads us enough to know how to focus our prayer for that day's exercise.

I really loved this book, and look forward to following along through the Book Club that she's starting up NEXT MONDAY, JUNE 5th. You can learn all about it here!

(I received an advanced copy of Whispers of Rest from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review of the book. This page may contain affiliate marketing links.)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Book Review: English Lessons by Andrea Lucado

I wanted to read this book and be a part of the launch team for it because I wanted to hear her story. I was also at a place of being hurt in church (again) and wanted to hear how others wrestle with their faith, in God and in people. I also needed a story. Although it's non-fiction, she's a story-teller and this book reads smoothly. Maybe too easily!

I could not put this book down... but I made myself do it, just to savor her writing. Her honesty and openness of questioning what she believed in, the colorful descriptions of the places, people and situations that she encountered, it was as if we met and I listened to her heart each time I picked up the book. She's a fabulous writer, very conversational. It really is as if she's sitting across the table telling you about her thoughts, her stories, her travels. I've never wanted to visit England... until now!

Her story would be interesting if it was any woman writing, but it's not - it's the daughter of a mega-church pastor and author, proving that anyone can struggle with our beliefs and faith. I know that God honors her story, and our stories, as we come to terms with His great love for us, even in our wanderings.

I would recommend this book for any person, young adult to older, solid in faith or wandering.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 1, 2017

On the (company) Move: Kick-Off and Close

Many of you have followed me through so many moves over the years, sometimes holding on trying to keep up with me. Sorry. I don't know how or why God has let this happen. As traumatic as our last move was (moving so far from so many of my grands) to the sheer joy and anticipation (and tears... yes, there have been tears this move) of closing on this house, ALL the emotions have been felt.

I generally don't change much in our decor when we move. Oh, I bought the cool Mediterranean mirrors for the dining room for the house in Fayetteville, AR, and the fun window/mirror to hang in the house in Owensboro, KY, but I don't think about it when I'm moving in. I've got enough throw pillows to fill a room and make it a wash of blue-greens. I won't buy a new couch because a home is more "country" or "traditional," and that's ok with me.

But paint. Ah. I dream of painting a new house and changing things up in little touches long before closing on a house. I want to change the front door with a new coat of paint, or texture walls to give it character and appeal. I envision new faucets and curtains hanging (I admit- I like a dark room to sleep in and love the splash of another color in the room!). I'm kind of a freak about privacy... it's my PTSD peeking out.

The moment we walked in to the Harrison House, we knew we would do different flooring (it was nasty, dirty, carpeting, and abused wood floors!), and I'd hoped we'd have a timeline to replace the kitchen appliances. We DID!! It happened just months before we moved!! Funny how we have no idea what God's timetable is in comparison to ours... another one of those "hindsight" moments.

With the encouragement of many friends around the globe (and mostly in the Midwest) I'm going to devote a little time to our renovation process on the home we will close on this week.

Here's a little back-story: As always, our Realtor in Alabama asked for our wish-list of what we'd like to see in our next home. I don't think we were too demanding, or unrealistic, and it included things like single-story, lake front or lake view, under a certain price (which was raised because of a shortage of homes on the market), a 2 car garage was a must and an extra out-building a bonus!

Well, we didn't come very close to our wish-list! There's just not much to pick from here. I'm a little disappointed on a few of the things we didn't get - like a single story house - because I know what pain this will cause Mark (he already has bad knees). BUT - I trust God has a plan, and even this morning I prayed "God, if this is not the house you want us to live in, please remove it from our plan." He can do anything, in any timing, and although it may bring a difficult season or disappointment in the short range, I have faith that He does things for our long range development. I can rest in that.

It's very strange, this house. It's sat on the edge of a hillside for over 20 years, precariously peering past the trees to view the serenity of Guntersville Lake. You can't really see the front door from the road, as it sits below the road on a steep driveway. The front door is far from the driveway, because of how the home sets. We have no yard to speak of, but a HUGE deck out back. Then there is the beige. A LOT of beige, inside and out. I'll share a few of the photos now, to give you an idea of what we're walking in to, but the official "before" pics will come out over the weekend, when the house is completely empty and not tainted with the cute red couches the previous owner has. My vision will not be changed by the red couches in this house, as cute as they are.

I hope that you'll stay with me through this process. God's got a plan for it, for sure, and there are some things I have no clue about yet, and there's a few things I've got plans for that I haven't shared with Mark yet ... hehe ... but he's mostly on board with me, and we are in prayer together for this. Our goal is not to make this a WOW home, but to make it a place that folks feel comfy, that His peaceful presence is felt by all, and that we can make good memories here, whether it's for 10 months or 10 years or....???

Are you on Pinterest? Follow my "Alabama Lake Life" board to see the ideas I'm collecting and to see what we are prayerfully considering, inside and out. Also follow me on Facebook at Marina's Kitchen Table, where I'll do live posts on shopping, working, and updating you on how things are turning out!

Here are a few of the beginning photos... how the home looked when we viewed it...  Please feel free to add comments in the section below, or on my Facebook or Pinterest pages...

The front door...

From the front entry towards the Living Room... 

From the front entry to the stairway...

Eat in Kitchen, with slider to the screened porch...

Main part of kitchen, from the eat in kitchen area...

The upstairs hallway... a blank canvas or ???
English Ivy has taken over everything, even this tree in the deck planter!

Have I mentioned the view?? (The deck is flat, but I used a panorama feature in this pic)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Life Lately

I always feel badly when I don't get to post much here.

Life is changing. We have closed on the sale of our home in Arkansas, and have a week before we close on the purchase of our next home, in Alabama. It's been an emotional and physical roller coaster, with trips of one-way 9 hour drives, goodbyes to old and new friends and neighbors, and stepping into an area of the world that I've not experienced before.

It befuddles me.

It's different for my husband. His move goes like this:

Accept the job. Sign the paperwork. Start the job. Move into temporary housing (a few weeks in a hotel and a move to a duplex). One trip by UHaul. Same thing every day: Work. Home. Try a new church on Sunday. His relationships circle around work, and me.

For me, I'm back and forth. I go from excited to this new experience, to dreading saying good-bye. I cry over the thoughts of not knowing when I'll see my granddaughter next (I've babysat her almost 2 days a week for the last 18 months, and she is a main source of joy in my life, her parents some of my best friends). I look at the calendar and wonder when I'll get to see my other grandkids too. They're only 4 hours away from the new place, but it still takes effort. It's still emotional. It's still work that I don't have energy to do.

Speaking of work...  My life feels a little upside down. Even before the move I felt God opening my hands... EMPTYING my hands. I'm ok with that. It's all for HIS glory, and I have always believed that He has me "let go of the good to grab hold of the better." Even when the "better" is not a large work account, a ministry, an article, a conference. If it's for His glory, He will bring it to be. I only want His will, with or without work. I'm ok with not doing anything. I'm ok with delighting in Him in stillness and rest.

In this season, this last week of temp housing living, I can delight in Him in the things He brings to me. I don't have friends here (yet), and we don't yet have a church. I keep to myself most of the time (except when I torment the Real Estate office across the alley) and cling to God's promises in the midst of the every day. I delight in the friendliness of the area, being called "Ma'am" and common courtesies displayed, like doors held open and kids saying "excuse me." I don't know if I can ever get used to that! People even utilize what we call "Pittsburgh left turns" - where the driver opposing you will allow you to safely turn left before they go on straight, so as not to hold up the cars behind you. Where else do they do this?

I'm looking forward to learning what lies ahead, the ways God will grow me, discovering this community, and sharing the area with our kids, grandkids, and friends who will venture to visit us here. I'm excited to learn the rhythms of the seasons here, from summer crowds on the lake and little league fields and where to buy the best snow cones. I'll even venture to say I hope to build relationships here, girlfriends who will walk with me, drink tea on the back deck and laugh over silly stories. Girlfriends who will pray with me and for me, my marriage, and any ministry God wants me to do. Girlfriends who will invest in our friendship and allow me to grow, and GO, if and when God moves us again.

I'm looking forward to venturing outside my norm and building relationships with those that may not know God, may not know Him as Creator, as Protector, as Savior. I want to evangelize the area, to encourage others to grow closer to Him and to know Him fully, whether it's on the walking trail or in our neighborhood, and to make an impression on this area for the Kingdom.

#GuntersvilleAlabama #GuntersvilleLake #companymove #moving #marinaskitchentable

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday's Reminder: Grace

After camping in Friday's convictions, I'm grateful for Sunday's reminder - Jesus conquered sin. All sin. It's not dependent upon my obedience (although I want to respect His sacrifice with my discipleship). Great message by @patrickgarcia1 from#crossroadschristianchurchnewburgh this morning online. So good to have real, honest, transparent teaching to bring me back into the camp of grace. Happy Resurrection Day friends! Miss my CCC family. Grateful for technology 😘#onlinechurch — atCrossroads Christian Church.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday Considerations From Luke 12

These verses in Luke 12 are some of the most beautiful, yet at the same time, scariest, I've ever read!
I love the beginning, and who wouldn't?! I love The Shepherd's voice and the thought of being called His "little flock" (32). Yet when He goes on, what a motivation for right living! I can't imagine the punishment that awaits a believer who decides not to wait for His return (v42-46).
I know that there are huge theological arguments that take place over these verses. I'm not looking for an argument! Just live right, according to the convictions of God's Word on your heart. I'm not judging, I have struggles too, but I can't ignore these verses, especially today.
Especially this Good Friday, while I contemplate the brutality that took place as He laid down His life for me, for us.
What struggle is so huge that I wouldn't give it up for Him? What thing can I give up, not just for Lent—but for LIFE—to show a small act of thanks for what He gave up in sacrificing His life for my sins?
I can't comprehend, it's so great. No habit, addiction, unforgiveness for a wrong done against me... no pleasure, or possession... is as valuable as my salvation or as important as pleasing God. It's not an act of "works," or legalism, but a small thanks for the undeserved blessing of God's immeasurable mercy and grace.

If a friend brings me a gift, or treats me to lunch, don't I want to reciprocate? Of course!
I could never pay back what the blood of Jesus has given me—but my obedience, with gratitude, can show my gratefulness. Yes, Lord! May it only show my grateful heart to You! And when I struggle with temptation towards my sin, may I be obedient to run away from it and cling to You. ALWAYS running to You.
Lord, I celebrate the joy and freedom of your Resurrection, but may I also remember the act of sacrifice that it took today, the day You were crucified.
Luke 12
32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming
35 “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. 37 The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! 38 He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn.[a] But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.
39 “Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”
41 Peter asked, “Lord, is that illustration just for us or for everyone?”
42 And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 43 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 44 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 45 But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 46 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful.
47 “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. 48 But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
Jesus Causes Division
49 “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! 50 I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. 51 Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! 52 From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.
53 ‘Father will be divided against son
and son against father;
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother;
and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’[b]”
54 Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. 55 When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. 56 You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.
57 “Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right? 58 When you are on the way to court with your accuser, try to settle the matter before you get there. Otherwise, your accuser may drag you before the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison. 59 And if that happens, you won’t be free again until you have paid the very last penny.[c]”

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

On Friendship and a Book Review: Never Unfriended

Reading a book on friendships, in the middle of another move, made for interesting emotions. Here in Arkansas I was delighted to be so close to friends I had from years ago when we lived near there. It was comfortable to connect with them as I ran around all of NW AR for errands and appointments, and we were authentic and real with each other, but not entwined in each other's lives. I was close enough to people we knew during our 18 years in Missouri, women who became deeper friends through time on Facebook, sharing prayers and stormy nights together online from afar. Of course my heart friendships from other places (back over 35 years of friendship) came with me wherever I went! These women know my scary, messy places and all the failures in my life and loved me anyways.

Still there was the group of women that I met through a church in Branson, MO that most of us ended up stepping away from in my short time in Arkansas. These women had a deep friendship group going, and they were brave enough to let me (and a few others) in. We did Book Clubs, and shared prayer requests and laughed a lot. They have been a huge blessing, even though it took me a while to find them (we tried churches for months before attending that one, and then a few months later things just didn't work out, and we all scattered! It was as if God allowed us to all attend church there just long enough to become friends!).

And then there were the women in my neighborhood that blessed me every time I went out to the mailbox, reminding me that they were just a few steps away. I can't count the number of times that we stood there at the curb, holding our mail and sharing the latest on our kids and grandkids, how God was working, how we could pray for each other.

We walked through a lot, these neighbor-friends and I. Sickness and health, loss of life, family problems, great celebrations of grandkids' milestones, and restoration of family.

Good neighbors don't just happen on accident.

Could I really trust God to open doors to friendship after such a rich season of GOOD friends like family?

The book Never Unfriended (Lisa-Jo Baker, B&H Books) brought all those thoughts (and more!) to the surface.

On the heels of the compilation book Craving Connection ((in)courage community, B&H Books) comes Lisa-Jo's second title, with her wise and whimsical way of sharing her struggles with friendships and all the feelings that go with being left out. She cheers us on to be the first to say hi and still shares her heart about all the things that can go wrong when you do. She honestly and openly lays out what God has to say about friendships, and relationships as a whole. She doesn't hold back by putting a pretty bow on a bad situation, but calls it as she sees it, and then tells us to move forward anyways.

She advocates hospitality, telling us, "If I wait for my house or my life to be perfect before inviting someone into it, I might never let anyone come through the door." She tells us to check comparison at the door. I loved the chapter on "Live Like the Kingdom is a Co-Op, Not a Competition." It's easy to fall into that realm over and over again. No coveting allowed in Kingdom friendships!

I feel that I've been living these examples over the past few years of us moving around, and can relate so much to the things she's writing. She and I are in different ages and stages of life, yet I think we've experienced the best (and worst) of friendship—as kids in lunch rooms and school clubs, to being left out from mommy gatherings, and even middle aged events. Today my friendships are healthy and rich, but as a kid I was awkward and didn't fit in. There's some of that still hanging around my edges, but women who have come to know me accept me as I am; flawed and imperfect and broken.  I'm so grateful and thankful for my girlfriends.


I stop my writing when my husband walks in the door and we run to sign some papers at the realtors. Upon returning home, I walk up the steps to the mailbox, in the off-chance mail has found us (it hasn't). Out of the corner of my eye, I see Heather, our upstairs neighbor, walking to her mailbox too. We've only met a few times, and don't know each other well, but we're friends already. She greets me with a smile, arms wide open, welcoming me into her friendly hug. We talk for a bit, and exchange phone numbers, making a plan for staying in touch through the expected storms hitting us this afternoon. I welcome her to "not be afraid alone" when the storms hit. I tell her that I'll leave my door unlocked should she need to come down to my place, just a tad safer.

I return to my husband in our apartment, he's wondering what it was that took so long. When I mention Heather, he understands, I've been reaching out. I may not know much about things, but I know how to make a neighbor into a friend.

I don't know if Heather knows how she's impacting my life; she's an answer to prayer. I'm not sure if she'll come hang out in my bottom apartment during a tornado warning, or come to share a cuppa before we move out of this temporary housing, but I'm praying that we can continue the friendship long after we've moved into our home. Despite all our differences, we are sisters in Christ, and I want to hear her share her HIStory, learn her laugh, know her favorite cookie, and how she takes her coffee or tea. After all, that is what friendship can be all about.

©2017 Marina Bromley for Marina's Kitchen Table. I received a copy of the book Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker, from the publisher in advance, for my honest opinion in review. I loved it! You can purchase a copy for yourself through your favorite online or Christian retailer.

Friday, March 31, 2017

15 Photos... From Around Guntersville, AL

We are in the midst of our move, and I took advantage of the partly cloudy, cooler day to explore around the city of Guntersville, AL. Spring is in full bloom in the South, and the thunderstorms that blow through are watering all things to life. It's beautiful!

Add to the growing things a lovely lake, hills covered with majestic trees that tower overhead, and other such pleasantries, and you know why I needed to get my camera out.

I hope that you'll find some moments to exhale, breathe deep, or just sigh a bit in relief as you enjoy these photos. As always, God is the Creator, and I just capture His creation. He's got a good thing going on around here! The sunsets pics are from a few days ago... God must be busy having to paint such a lovely sky each night!

#GuntersvilleAlabama #LakeGuntersville #GuntersvilleLake #Guntersville