Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. God has blessed me beyond measure and paltry words can do little to express it.

Lord, you knew the deepest desires of my heart and chose to bless me so richly. Thank you, Lord.

I'd like to leave you with some of the pictures we took last weekend up in Mentone and Fort Payne. God's handiwork is quite amazing, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A space to call my own

I feel totally accomplished this evening! After months (OK, more like over a year!) of major procrastination I finally cleaned out our home office. It had gotten so bad that it was impossible to walk more than three feet inside, let alone actually get to the desk and set up my laptop. I've desperately needed some space to work on my genealogy and the dining room table was buried under layers of family tree printouts, census records, and tons of pictures!

Setting the office was symbolic in a way, too. It was my way of accepting the fact that we're here to stay.

And now? I finally have a space to call my own.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I am a planner. I like to have things written out in black and white weeks in advance. I'm the type who begins planning a trip weeks (if not months!) ahead of time. I'm not a big fan of sudden changes or surprises. It's probably not a big surprise that I tend to be weak in the faith department at times, too. I know that God will always have my best interest at heart, but I'd much prefer it if he'd send me a memo every now and then. :)

Brett and I have been praying about our "Plan A" for the better part of a year. We applied for jobs (Brett interviewed with his top choice back in April), found the perfect house (not once, but twice!), and prayed and prayed that the job would come through. It didn't. Another candidate was chosen and we were left back at square one. We felt 100% sure that this was where we were supposed to be and kept applying for jobs and looking at houses. At the beginning of November we gave up on "Plan A" and asked that the Lord open whatever door we were supposed to walk through. The next morning the company that Brett interviewed with in April re-posted the position he wanted. He re-applied for it and we crossed our fingers and prayed. That same afternoon he also applied for a much better job where we're living now. The company here offered Brett a very generous job offer. It took him 10 seconds to accept it.

A part of me is disappointed that we won't be moving to Nashville, Tennessee any time soon. Truth be told, I felt a little bitter that our "Plan A" didn't turn out to be God's "Plan A." In the midst of my self inflicted pity-party, a well known verse in Jeremiah came to mind...

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

In spite of all my well laid out plans, if they are not of the Lord, they will not be prosperous.

That last sentence has a little bit of a bite to it. I've literally spent the last five minutes reading it over and over again. I don't always want to hear it. Sometimes it can actually be painful, but at the end of it all...

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:4-7

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I've spent the last 3 hours immersed in records for the town of Leon, Alabama. My g-g-g-g-g-grandfather's family settled in the Leon community back in the 1820's and most of the town's records are relevant to my personal genealogy research. The Leon Cemetery is actually on land that was originally owned by my g-g-g-g-g-grandfather, William Merrill, and was first used as a Merrill family cemetery. Over the years it was used for friends, neighbors, and eventually the entire community and was officially named the Leon Cemetery.

All of my Merrill ancestors in the Leon community served in the Alabama 37th Regiment of Volunteer Infantry in companies C and D. As I was looking through the burial section, I noticed that there were several mentions of other Leon families who had links to my Merrill ancestors. As was common back then, most of these close neighbors married amongst themselves and their children who fought in the Alabama 37th were related to some degree. This new information also means that over 80% of the people buried in the Leon Cemetery are related to my family and need to be inputted into my family tree.

Translation: I'm going to be busy this afternoon! :)