Friday, February 27, 2009

Dwelling in His shelter....

These last few months have been heavy in every since of the word. Our little undisturbed rural life has been hit hard with strains from every angle. We have had to cut back on everything from our grocery more name brand anything.... to taking Presley out of preschool for the remainder of the year. With this said, we are praising the Lord for His goodness and His protection on this little family of ours. His mercies are new every morning, and we are in awe of His love and grace on our family.

As I look around me at friends and friends of friends who are losing everything due to this raging "bull in a china shop" of an economy, I can't help but fall to my knees in despair and weeping over their losses. I try to keep in mind, the perspective of these losses. Thank you, Lord that they have good health. Things could always be much worse.

When having my quiet time a few mornings ago, I was overwhelmed by where to start praying. There are just so many needs, so many losses, so many people that need His comfort. As I expressed my sorrow to Him, I was gently reminded of a verse in Romans...."In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:25-27

This verse was my well of living water those next few minutes with Him. This was exactly the cry of my soul, and He heard me and answered me through His word. I sat in complete adoration of His words and His love for me and for all of us. He once again showed me that He is listening, He is acting and He is in control. For those of us, including myself, that have put prayer by the wayside, let me tell you that through prayer and petition, and reading God's word come the answers that we so desperately are crying out for.

My prayer life and my bible reading life are certainly lacking. However, that morning, His presence, His Spirit, and His guidance was right there with me in my den, beckoning me to His feet. If we ever, ever get to the point where we are hopeless, overwhelmed, overburdened, and just plain burnt out, that's when He rescues us with His mighty hand. His hand has been there all along, but I was just too busy, too prideful, too caught up in my own selfish desires to reach for it.

What that morning taught me was that true fellowship, true relationship and true communication with God comes from putting away my thoughts, my solutions, my burdens, and just letting my spirit groan in His presence.

If I didn't already believe this or know this, I can say with full honesty that my soul is now fully engaged in the truth and deliverance and especially the power of His word in our lives. " For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."Hebrews 4:12

Doesn't that verse just give you chills up and down your spine?? It is living, it is active it is real.

This morning I sat watching Daystar's creation scape's program in my quiet time. One of the verses from this morning's show was Psalm 91. I read the words on the screen, and just looked up and said, Thank you, Lord. How do you know my needs, my desires, before I can even express them?

After the program, I opened my bible. I usually just let it fall open so that the Lord can lead me where He wants me to go. It fell open to Psalm 91. I read the words aloud, several times. I wanted Him to hear my breath speaking these words of praise of honor and of glory about Him. I encourage any who may be reading this little post of mine, to read these verses out loud. Print them out, say them out loud and let the words wash over you like fresh morning dew. Let your Creator, you Father in heaven, Your Comforter, Your Majesty, Your King, be worshipped by your soul and your lips today.

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. a]">[a]

2 I will say b]">[b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

with praise on my lips,


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Arise and call her blessed....

~A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.~
Proverbs 31:10

Mom, Presley and Me
Angela, Mom and Me
My wedding day, with Mom at my side...
Angela's wedding day with Mom at her side....

Happy Birthday......

How do I even begin to describe my Mother? There are no words that could possibly describe this unique and precious relationship that she and I share. If I were to ever try and imagine my life without her in it, I couldn't. My life is wrapped up in my Mother in every conceivable way. When I am overwhelmed with my children, my housework, my husband, my insecurities, she is the very first person I call. She always listens, no matter how trivial the problem. She makes me feel like I am the only person on Earth when she's around.

I remember so well being in our little kitchen back in Rex, Georgia. I would watch her, noting her every fluent move. I was smitten with her. I wanted to be just like her. She would cook dinner and I would literally wrap my little legs around the bottom of her thighs and knees and hang on as tight as I possibly could manage. She was and still is the most beautiful woman. I remember thinking to myself, if I could only be as pretty as Mommy when I grow up, then I would be so happy.

Not only is she beautiful, but she is the most giving person that I know. She would do anything for anybody. I try to be like her in this way, but it comes so much more natural for her. She never hesitates. When she does something, she does it with gusto and without looking back.

Have I mentioned that she is also extremely musically inclined? Yes, not only is she beautiful, but she sings, plays the piano, plays the guitar, and probably any other musical instrument.

One of my favorite smells in the world is Coppertone Lotion. Mom wore this lotion, not just in the Summer, but any season. I always keep this in stock...I love how it reminds me of her.

My Mother is exquisite in every way. She really is my hero. If you haven't been touched by her, hugged by her, sung to by her, cooked for by her, prayed for by her, listened to by her, coached by her, made to laugh until you pee in your pants by her, then you haven't experienced one of the greatest gifts in this world....My Mother.

A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

- Helen Steiner Rice

arising and calling you blessed,

your Jilly

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Celebrating William today.....

~William posing for the camera...August 2008~
~Best Friends and Cousins...Joseph and William 2008~
~Jessica and William a/k/a...Mommy and Son...~
~William with his little brother Danny~
~I love this picture..he was about 4 or 5 here...~

This blog is for William Lawrence Maddox. William is turning 10 today!! I still remember so clearly the day that he was born. Jessica and John did not want to know if he was going to be a boy or a girl, so it was so suspenseful and thrilling the day that he was born for all of us. William was the very first grandchild for the Hill family. We were all smitten with him from the get-go. After holding him, I remember telling Lem....I'm ready!!! I want a baby too!! We had only been married for 4 months when he was born, but despite being newlyweds, I was ready!

I remember putting on a light blue sweater before heading to the hospital. I just had this overwhelming feeling that he would be a boy! Well, he was! A beautiful boy at that.

William is like a big brother to Joseph. They absolutely adore each other, and play so well together. William is one of the sweetest and funniest boys I have ever known. He is very loving, always waiting to greet us with big hugs!

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday William Lawrence Maddox!! We love you very much!

make a wish,

Aunt Jilly and Uncle Lem

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pocket full of Sunshine....

You are looking at my side-kick, my best friend, my angel and my daughter. She is the sunshine in our family. Since Presley arrived that cold December day in 2004, our hearts will never be the same.

I just adore this child, and you will usually find her on my hip. Not just when she is tired or sleepy, but even just doing the dishes, checking the mail, going for walks in the neighborhood....yep, she's right there. She's perched on the side of my body, just like a little monkey on a tree. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Presley is a talker, which comes to no surprise to most of you. She can talk with the best of them. Not only does she like to gab, but she loves asking questions. When answering her questions, she expects the right answer, and will not quit until the question is answered precisely the way she wants it to be answered. My brain hurts some days....sometimes, I just want to be void of thoughts, conversations, rationalizations.....I just want to be blank. Not a possibility with Presley around. There is no such thing as "neutral" with her. It's 4-wheel drive or nothing!

I really do feel like God has blessed me beyond my deserving. I often wonder if maybe He has me mixed up with some other Jill?? I won't tell Him if you won't!

My life is full, and my heart is literally overflowing with gratitude. God is beyond good. He is immeasurable. He loves me even when I don't see how that he possibly could at times. Much like the way we love our children, I suppose. But, on a much grander impossible as that seems.

Back to Presley Jane....I just wanted to shed a little light on this little girl of mine. She will be going to 4 year old pre-k in the Fall. My heart is heavy with this. I don't want to let go. When your children start school, the "flying by" part of life starts. Hang on to every second with those little babies that some of you are rocking right now. The days seem long, but I promise you that it will feel like the blink of an eye and they will have their book bags on and they will be getting out of your car for school.

I have "letting go" issues, I know this.

enjoying every second,


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Rare Feat....

~Graduation 1967~

~Graduation 1968~
~Their wedding Day February 15, 1969...leaving the church...~
Our family..circa 1980~
~40th anniversary dinner at my house~
~their gift from the grandkids...a cookie jar with their handprints and fingerprints~

~a yummy steak dinner~
~this is much better than a fine restaurant!~
~and he kisses his bride...~

To celebrate the monumental event of 40 years together, we (the Hills and the Crowes) hosted a romantic dinner for our parents at our home. They were served a 4 course dinner in the privacy of our dining room. The grandchildren just loved helping and serving them. It was a fun time for all!

40 years of marital bliss have encompassed the lives of my parents. They have been through many, many ups and downs, and have weathered them with grace, mercy and most of all love. I have been privy to witness a wonderful and priceless love between two people over the years.

They are truly best friends, love birds, and soul mates through and though. My prayer is that their next 40 years will bring them even greater joy and happiness.

Happy 40th anniversary, Wow!!!

with love and amazement,


Saturday, February 14, 2009

12 years of Valentine's.....

Happy Valentine's Day to my precious beau. You are the love of my life, and I would be a complete mess without you. You are indeed my better half, and I cannot imagine life without you.

"Grow old with me. The best is yet to be."
-Robert Browning

I love you, Darling!

you had me at hello,


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hello, my name is....

Hello, let me introduce myself. My name is Jill and I absolutely love to blog but find it very hard to find the time these days. My mind is always capturing "blogging" moments and ideas, but alas, my busy little body will not pause long enough to sit and type.

Well, today I am forcing myself and my schedule to fit it my blogging time. I have wanted to share these pictures for the last couple of weeks, and finally got them downloaded, picassa-d, and perfected! ;)

Let me also add that I have the greatest friends and family that a girl could possibly ask for! My best friend, Erin, threw together a birthday dinner with some of my closest pals, and we laughed our tails off! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, these girls!!

Birthdays in our family are still and always will be a very big deal. It is really the only day that celebrates "you" and YOU alone. Selfish as it may seem, it is kind of nice to have all of the attention for a day. It never, ever gets old. My Mom makes my birthday last a whole week by taking me to lunch every day, and giving me gifts each day until my birthday. I know, I know, she IS incredible. I hope to be just like her one day.

Not to mention my husband, Lord knows I needed a man that could handle me. He always makes me feel like a million bucks, especially on my birthday. Recession, or not, he buys me the best and most thoughtful gifts. (More about his gift to me on the next post...i promise. )

Can I just tell you how good it feels to be sitting here typing to my little hearts content?? I have missed my blogging buddies. I plan to catch up on all of your blogs tonight, and I am anxiously anticipating each one.

Blogging is my therapy, and therapy is good stuff!

back in the saddle,


~My beautiful Mother and Me~
~Erin and Me~
~Jenny, Me, and Beka~
~Courtney and Me~
~Angela (my sister), Me, and my other big sis...Kim~
~Mary and Me~
~Dad, Me and Mom~
~Don't we favor?? Mom and Me~
~Love this guy! Dad and Me~

~The Zoo Crew...~
~Bek and Me~
~Dinner at Chianti's with My family and Mom and Dad~
~Joseph and Dad~
~One of my birthday surprises....Lem and the kids washed my little friend..Pepper!~
~They are so good to me!~
~Look at that concentration....they are some hard workers!~