Pat Layton Pat Layton Pat Layton: Sweet Tea for Surrendered Sisters
Thankful for November 28th!
As Thankful as I am for all that God has done in our family this past year, I have to admit, I am Thankful that Thanksgiving Day 2008 is over.

I honestly would never have thought I would say those words but the photo story below will explain my sentiments:

Problem #1)
After a full day of cooking on Wednesday, I ended the day with a slow moving kitchen sink. 
I could fully understand the feeling my sink was experiencing, I was moving pretty slowly as well. Right before I settled into bed, I served my hard working sink a whole container of Drano to help her settle during the night.

Yesterday morning--Thanksgiving day--I woke up to find the Drano right where I left it.
The sink was completely plugged up on both sides.

In response to my shrieking, my honey, who is a "thinker" not a "handyman" kind of guy, sweetly went right to work to help out. 
He plunged, he snaked, he finally climbed under the sink, after pulling out ALL of my under sink materials and spread them out on the kitchen floor!!!! 
He then proceeded to take apart all the sink pipes to "clean them out".

All the while, I am running back and forth to the garage sink to complete my final cooking.

The bad news got worse when after my honey had completed his PIPE surgery and was unable to figure out what went back where!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO NOT GOOD!!!!!

After several hours of heating tempers and no HOT (or cold for that matter) water in the kitchen sink, honey and I decided to pull ourselves together and rise to the occasion. 
We made a decision to CHOOSE to deal with this thing in a good hearted way. 
We moved all the cars around and opened the garage up for an impromptu kitchen sink.

Mind you, my table was already set with china and I had used pretty much every serving bowl, plate and spoon for my dinner planed for 12! 
It was not going to be an easy day.

Problem #2) A mess up--ON MY PART-- in the timing of dinner, resulted in one of my sons and his family not being able to come. 
It was not going to be an easy day.

Problem #3) (What is that saying about 3 STRIKES!) I guess I woke up on Wednesday with some kind of tape worm because I cooked so much food I am telling you, we could have fed the entire neighborhood. I don't know why I cooked so much. Maybe it was the nostalgia of my cooking day. Maybe because I wanted everyone to have leftovers to take home. Maybe it was because I did not want to take the time to breakdown recipes. 
Who knows why, but I was serving 12 and cooked for 25!!

When we sat down to dinner I popped the 4 duplicate casseroles that I had not cooked yet into the oven to cook while we ate. Not too long after the blessing, our smoke alarms went off, our 5 month old G-Baby began to cry and smoke started to curl from the kitchen to the dining room. As I ran to the kitchen to take action, the phone rang. It was our alarm company telling us that firetrucks were on the way!! Seconds after I hung up the phone, a firetruck pulled up to our house!

After assuring the brave Firemen that it was simply smoke from casserole overload, I begged them to join us for dinner as I had enough food for the entire firehouse. They declined. I am not sure if it was from fear of getting served burnt food or if it was the table that was set up in the garage with the dishes on top and the plunger sitting next to it on the dirty garage floor!

In any case, once they left, we tried again to settle down and eat our dinner.

The food was delicious and the events of the day provided plenty of fodder for conversation.

After a while of sitting in our front porch rockers and letting it all digest, honey and I got to work washing a BILLION pots, pans and dishes in the garage, drying them and carrying them inside to put away.

It was an interesting Thanksgiving day to say the least.

In the interest of knowing that "ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD..." I have come to the the following conclusions about Thanksgiving 2008, in case anyone wants to turn it into a movie or a book (I am certain it will turn up somewhere in a speech!)

I am thankful to have cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner with my sweet daughter.
I am thankful that my honey and I have been together for enough years that we have learned to do an attitude adjustment very quickly.
I am thankful that my older son, whom I messed the dinner times up on, still loves and forgives me.
I am thankful that the Fire Department can get to my house in less than 5 minutes should I ever really need for them to.
I am thankful that God has created some to be thinkers and some to be PLUMBERS!! 
(The "Plummer" one, called by the "Thinker" one is on the way as I write this blog)

I am thankful to have enough leftovers that we will have food from now until Christmas which is very lucky since I am NOT COOKING before then!!

Bottom line...I am thankful!  

For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving morning is my favorite time of the year. 
I cooked all day yesterday. My precious, home from college daughter, helped me for the first time. We had a blast and rolled into bed at midnight exhausted!! 

                                   (go easy on the photo, we were both done like the dinner!)

This morning, my home is as ready as a baby bird in the nest with it's mouth wide open, waiting to be filled. 
Not with food, but with my family.
In just a few hours, all of my children and my grandchildren will be in my home.

When the time comes to share what we are "most thankful for" my answer is so easy...
All of my Children love and serve God and are passing His TRUTH on to their children.
For that, I am most thankful.

My Cup runneth over.
All is well with my soul.

Click to play

Roosters and Turkeys
Last night I went to bed thinking about Turkeys and woke up thinking about Roosters!

Sometimes, when I hear myself say some things that I say, I cannot believe I said them.
Or worse, I believe it, I just wish that I hadn't.

Last night, during the night, a rooster crowed in my head. 
It wasn't a Turkey, it was a rooster!

I was reminded very quickly of the story of Peter in Matt 26:31-75.

As I was tossing and turning to get back to sleep, I realized that I have said some things over the past few days that have dishonored God and were NOT Thankful.

I mentioned last post that we had our Annual Gala for the ministry last week. We have worked for 6 months on that event, the last couple of weeks have been brutal. We put our hearts into the program, the decorations, the comfort of the guests, the food choices. 
It is like having a wedding once a year. Hard, Hard work.

This event represents the main opportunity each year for us to raise money for the ministry. We actually set our budget for the next year based upon it's results. As a team, we set our financial goals very high this year. In spite of the economy we reached for the stars in our expectations. We have heard of some other crisis pregnancy ministries who have scored big at this years fundraisers. We were determined to follow their lead.

Ours is not a selfish goal, or so I thought. Our desire is to serve women. To minister to families. To save babies. To share truth with teens. To spread the truth about post abortion trauma to the nations and even the world. To share the love of Jesus Christ to all that God sends our way.

These are  lofty goals!

Peter and his disciple buddies had lofty goals. Verse 35 of Matthew 26 Peter says:
"Even if I have to die with you, I will NEVER deny you!" and all the disciples said the same thing.

Our Gala was fabulous. 
The program was great. 
The food was excellent. 
The guests raved about the evening. 
The decorations were stunning. (see photos in the post below).

However, as we have tallied our commitments, our financial expectations have not been met. 
We did not come anywhere near our goal. 
It seems we may have even fallen short of last year.

We have been discouraged. We have been disappointed and I have spoken it.

Each time I have been asked about the "results" of the evening, I have said--
"It was a beautiful night but we did not make as much money as we had hoped"

Oh my goodness.

Last night, the rooster crowed!

I can not even believe that I have said that. I feel so connected to Peter's heart. I actually always have. He and I have so much in common and most of it lies between the chin and the nose!

My mouth so often goes before my brain and even before my heart.
I love God. I am thankful. I am blessed. Sometimes my mouth does not reflect my thankful heart.

Last night, I did the same thing that Peter did in Matthew 26:75--"He went outside and bitterly wept". Well, I didn't go outside (it was 1am!), and I didn't "bitterly weep" but I did repent sincerely and I did cry out to God for forgiveness.

At our Gala, 
God was lifted up. 
550 guests heard about the ministry of Life Impact Network.
Old friends were reunited. 
Our guests enjoyed a wonderful meal and an evening of fellowship. 
People were challenged by the work of the ministry and committed to give their offerings to support it. 
An opportunity to receive Christ as Saviour was presented and accepted by several guests who thought that they were coming for the "cheaper chicken".

Who can measure that?
Who can be thankful enough?

The rooster crowed in my heart last night and led me to Thanksgiving.

It is so easy to get there from wherever we are. It is three simple steps away.

Step 1) Repent
Step 2) Receive the forgiveness that Christ has for you.
Step 3) Rejoice in other words CROW your heart out!!!!

I will be picking up my Turkey today but Roosters will be on my mind.


Another Gala Gone!
I know that once a week does not a blogger make. I soooo.... want to get better at this if life would just stop spinning and time would slow down. I honestly feel that the calendar just turned to November and here we are LESS than a week away from another flipped page. 

We have just wrapped up another Annual "Light of Life Gala" to raise financial support for Life Impact Network ( These events are such HARD work but so rewarding!
What a precious night was shared with over 500 guests and the sweet presence of God.

I am Thankful to be allowed to be a part of such an incredible LIFE saving/LIFE changing move of God year after year. 

Thousands of babies have been rescued from abortion and given life. (
Thousands of women restored from the death grip of abortion. (
Thousands of teenagers have been equipped with truth. (
So Cool!

I am thankful to have a Saviour who has used my broken, messed up life in His wonderful Kingdom work.

I am thankful for brothers and sisters in Christ who care.

Our great photographer friend Billy ( has given us the first look at his capture of the evening (as well as a few years past).

I can't wait to see the rest.

Did I say...I need a REST!!??

Mindless, Meandering, Musings---MIA!!!
Greetings to those of you who are new to my blogs and to those faithful few who are emailing me to say "Where are you??!!" 

I know some of us met last week in either Houston or Nashville. Both were amazing!! I would love to hear your feedback about those events. 

Anyone who might have the slightest fear that God has moved out of the US need only to attend a single session with Beth Moore (, or any Lifeway Woman's Event ( for that matter!

I have been a bit MIA from BOTH of my Blogs. Right after the elections I started a moving and shaking schedule that will stay with me until the end of this week.

I am home now (Praise God!!) but this week is my ministry's Annual "Light of Life Gala" (see so I have one more fire burning. 

This morning we are editing video. Can you say "last minute"!!

Please check out the above websites and I will be back as soon as I have a minute to muse!

In the meantime, consider this:

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Happy Monday!

Reflection question: Do I think I know it all?
I have spent the most interesting time with the Lord this morning.

Socrates said "The unexamined life is not worth living"

God's Word says "Search me O Lord and know my heart, see if there is any wicked way in me"

It started with the question above as I reflected on the times or the situations where I may have presented myself as the one with all of the "truth", all of the "answers", the only CORRECT solution and choices. Times when I may have believed, or at least implied, that the perspectives that I have are the only true perspectives. 

Then something happens and I listen and I watch and I wonder--did I get that right??

"a little restlessness springs up within the walls, a few ideas are challenged, questions are entertained, alternative options are released" as Chuck Swindoll phrases it.

I spent some time this morning reflecting on the many times that I have surely built walls around myself. My walls have been held together by my preconceived ideas and perspectives.

I have built a few walls. 

As I was listening to the Lord this morning, asking for revelation and an open heart, He, as always, responded.

I am not articulate enough to express how God works in these moments for me. 
They always involve tears. 
They always involve praise and worship. 
They always involve change.

One of the greatest pieces of marriage advice that my honey and I ever got came from my husbands sister. Her marriage saving advice came from 6 little words....

"You might be right about that"

Over the years when my husband and I get into head to head combat, which can be often since we both have all the answers, one of us will always be the first to say.....

"You might be right about that"

Those words have saved the day on many occasions, in my marriage and in my Christian witness.

The Word that God led me to this morning was:

                                     Matthew 15:1-14 (New International Version)

                                                                Clean and Unclean

1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"
3Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother'[a] and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'[b] 5But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' 6he is not to 'honor his father[c]' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8" 'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.'[d]"
 10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 
11What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "
 12Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"
 13He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides.[e] If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

How about you? Do you feel that you have ever built "walls" around your perspectives?

For Such a Time as This
I went to bed early last night, as I was just too nervous to keep watching the election results. I prayed fervently, as so many of you did.

When I woke up, I found, before my head lifted from the pillow, the praises of God on my lips, a feeling of anticipation, a knowing deep in my heart that God is on the throne and that He has heard the cries of His people.

I was not swayed by what I saw when I turned on the news. 

My eyes are fixed on God and His promises.

I could attempt to wax eloquent here and express my perspective on "now what", but I have 2 particular blogging friends who have said it all so much better than I can. 

Read what they have to say.

and finally, read what God has to say:

Psalm 139 (New International Version)

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

We are so blessed!!

Blogging Buddies Book Bonanza
Good Afternoon Sisters!!

It is a fabulous Monday afternoon here in Florida. One that I would rather be OUTSIDE enjoying verses sitting and watching from my kitchen table. Lot's of ministry deadlines today but it is wonderful to enjoy through the open french doors!!

I wanted to let you know that I did finally complete my commitment to the above named Blog Contest. 

It was so exciting to mail out brand new books, most were autographed by the Authors, to 5 of my new Blogging Buddies. I greatly appreciate the help and advice that I received thinking out a plan of action for keeping "Sweet Tea" somewhat "alive" in my already busy world.

Since the contest, I have gotten to know so many of you so much better. This fun world of women who use their gifts of communication, encouragement and honesty to live out God's good plan, is truly inspirational and is surely addictive!!

Books have been sent to:

Stephanie Weaver @ 
"Dangerous Surrender" by Kay Warren, Non Fiction, Christian Living

"Rest Assured" by Nancy McQuirk, Bible Study

"The Secrets in the Sauce" Fiction 

"Who put the Cat in the Fridge?" by Rhonda Rhea, Christian Living

"Friendships" Bible Study by Debra MacComber

                                 Since that was so much FUN!!

I have a possibly First Of It's Kind CONTEST in the fuzzy works of my brain that I will be running over at Surrendering the Secret later in the week. 

It has to do with Holiday Dresses so check there in a few days. 

Right now we are in the process of finalizing a wonderful giveaway of 5 ministry leader kits.

Thanks again wonderful blogging buddies! Enjoy the rest of your day.

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