Pat Layton Pat Layton Pat Layton: Sweet Tea for Surrendered Sisters
Fight Like a Girl...All Over the World!!

Sunday Morning Greetings!!

This title may not be what you expected to find here today.
Maybe you were thinking....sunsets, rolling waves, sweet tea under an umbrella.

Nope, Not today,
Today, my heart has been stirred in other ways by God's Word.

I pray that you will visit me at"Surrendering the Secret" and see what I mean but BEWARE!! There's a challenge there!

Join me will you?

Sweet Tea at Longboat Key

It has been 10 days since my last post. 

I know, you have all been holding your breath for my return. Life just goes by so fast doesn't it??!! Have I said that before??

My little college girl and I have had sweet tea in 4 states since I last checked in and have ended up back where we started, kind of. Same state anyway.

After leaving a great weekend in Savannah, Trisha and I met up with the rest of Surrendering the Secret Ministry team who had taken the short route by air, in Richmond, Virginia for 4 days filled with amazing ministry moments.

We had a wonderful time at the Heartbeat International Pregnancy Resource Conference. I would love to have you visit the STS blog later this week for the God scoop!!!

It was so much more fun to have some of my family with me this time. Lots of long time ministry friends greeted Julianna as if they knew her, having heard her story for almost 21 years. God did some really COOL stuff!

J and I left Virginia on Friday and drove for 15 hours. We arrived just in time to head out again the next day to enjoy the crystal clear waters of Longboat Key. 

Longboat has been featured on Sweet Tea before as it has been our family place of R&R for over 30 years. 

We are blessed each morning to look out over the Gulf of Mexico from the balcony and windows of our condo. The sky always seems to be some shade of bright pink as God turns the moon into the sun, then the sun into the moon, one more time.

Sea Gulls constantly fill the air with discussion about their morning "catch", the latest gossip being spread across the waves as well as all of the days many possibilities. 

Sky, beach, water, Sky, beach, water.......oh the choices!!!

Pelicans bounce on the water as if their bodies are filled with cork and based upon their constant eating maybe some of them are.

This is the kind of place where you are able to forget about everything but God and dreams. 

It is an honor to be allowed to experience it for another sweet season. 

We never, never take it for granted!!

How could we?

Sweet Tea in Savannah

It is not difficult to find REAL Sweet Tea in Savannah, Georgia. 

I have heard it said that drinking sweet tea is one of the oldest and most exceptional Southern traditions. Dolly Parton's character in Steel Magnolia's called it "the house wine of the South". I say AMEN to that!

Savannah knows how to make sweet tea!! As Southern as Grits and Azaleas, Sweet Tea is a Savannah staple. I was born in this charming historic city and think that I possibly had sweet tea in my baby bottle.

It seems appropriate to begin my summer travels here in a place where one minute I am traveling down memory lane and the next I don't know what street I am on as so many things have changed. 

Tricia Heflin, one of our Surrendering the Secret National Trainers, flew into my Tampa home from her Texas home on Thursday to join me for a road trip to the Heartbeat International Conference in Richmond, Virginia. We decided that if we had to drive 1500 miles we may as well throw some fun girl time into the mix. 

We have both broken into our piggy banks and are staying at the Eliza Thompson House in Historic Savannah.

It is one of the cities oldest and most elegant Bed and Breakfast Inns. It is within walking distance to shops, antique stores, museums, civil war memorials, great restaurants and absolutely gorgeous old churches.

We have been treated like the Daughters of the King that we are, through the gracious southern hospitality of this B&B staff. From the moment we checked in, we have been spoiled. Starting with Afternoon Tea shortly after our arrival yesterday, the blessings continued right up until we found our beds turned down at dusk with little chocolates on the pillows. The beds are actually so high they have little staircases to help you crawl in. We woke to the smell of hot coffee brewing up the staircase from the garden courtyard this morning. We started the day with about 5 miles of walking before breakfast.

Savannah's Historic District is 1 mile wide and 26 blocks of cobblestone and brick streets, long. I think, based on how my legs and feet feel right now, that we stepped on a good portion of those bricks and stones today!

Although we just missed the peak of Spring when the Dogwood trees are filled with tiny white flowers which I LOVE, and full Azalea bushes that make the entire city glow pink, we were treated beautiful weather and the thick aroma of fully blooming magnolia trees, houses painted with Confederate Jasmine and bright red doors!!

It has been a sweet blessing but as we know, B&B's are not the REAL world!!

We will be packing up and heading north tomorrow morning, right after breakfast! 

In my Car!!

It's a good thing Cracker Barrel has sweet tea!

A Mothers Greatest Hour
I know, Mother's Day has officially passed. Some would think,
but not me.

The truth is that "Mother's Day" is any day that causes a mother think that somewhere, somehow amongst all the mistakes, all the bad days, all the feelings of insecurity or questioning, that somehow she must have done something VERY RIGHT as a Mom.

I seem to be enjoying a special season of watching my grown children as if from God's angle. Watching them live life in ways that make me incredibly proud to be their Mom.

I gushed last post over my daughter Julianna's precious prayer for a little girl this past weekend at church. It was such a blessing to watch her respond from the "abundance of her heart" and sweetly but powerfully pray for a sick child.

I thought it might be time to give equal "gushing" time to my boys.

One of my favorite things as the Mother of young men is to watch my sons be Dads. 

Oh my goodness. They are both AMAZING Dad's. 

They are tender and wise and very much involved in every part of the lives  of their children. They both have been blessed with amazing wives who love them, laugh with them and make beautiful homes with them.

Our youngest son, and middle child, Andy, has 3 little ones under 5. The youngest 2 are less than a year apart. They have their hands full but are doing a wonderful job. Andy is serving along side me on a day to day basis in full time ministry. It would take more than a single post to tell how THAT came to be. It was the last thing in all the world that I expected but has been an incredible blessing and a great honor. As Executive Director, he leads our Staff of close to 20 employees and is doing a marvelous job. My favorite moment of any time in the office is hearing Andy pray for his team as we serve God together. It makes me cry every time. His vision for LIFE and his commitment to God and family is a joy to watch.

Our firstborn, Tim, AKA Remodeling Guy, is a fireball of talent and creativity. He is always surprising us with his talent and passion. Tonight, when I stumbled over to his family blog, Foreverwhereever, I found this post.....

As I said in my comment to Tim, 

my cup runneth over!!!

Is 59:21
 21 "As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the LORD.

Do come back on Friday. I'll be serving SWEET TEA from a Savannah B&B!

Days of Delight
Early this year I shared the verse of scripture that I felt God had given me for 2009. I have it on my refrigerator and in my prayer journal but more importantly, I have it engraved upon my heart.

Ps 37:23
The Lord Directs the steps of the Godly, He Delights in every Detail of their lives.

Honestly sometimes I wonder if God's word could possibly get any richer, any more comforting, any more promising. I love knowing that God directs my steps as I yield my life to Him. As I intentionally offer it over to Him, I can depend upon His leading my way.

I have just completed 4 amazing speaking engagements. I was so drained by Sunday afternoon that, after a wonderful Mothers Day Brunch with my own Mom, I came home and slept for 3 hours. 

God showed up at each event in a BIG way!! Each time was different. 

My sweet Julianna prayed for a young girl at our last church service who had been born premature like her but was suffering some serious physical issues. I stood back and cried as I watched Julianna go to work! I was so blessed by her gentle prayers. The little girl also cried as Julianna prayed for her.

As I have "recovered" and rested in God's Goodness. I have been thinking so much about all of people that I prayed with over the weekend. I remembered that God was just as DELIGHTED watching ME, HIS daughter pray, as I was at watching my daughter pray!!!

Most of those I prayed for were in great need of remembering and being encouraged in that very truth!!

So many stories of sickness, disease, enemy activity.
A 12 year old son at home under hospice care.
A husband who left for another woman after 30 years of marriage.
A prodigal child.
Lost Jobs. Lost Hope.

It is so unusual for me to have someone come up and say "Pat, will you pray with me, God is doing amazing things in my life!!". I love it when it does happen but unfortunately, it is rare.

I long to see the day when all of God's people are walking in victory. I long to see the enemy of our lives be put in his final resting place. No longer able to stir the heartbreak and the tears that he ignites in the lives of the Godly. 

I also long for the days when the people of God truly know His Word and can claim it for all it os worth!!! 
We need to Know His Promises!!! 
We need to Walk in His Truth and stop listening to the voice of the liar! The one who has only one agenda, that of stealing our Days of Delight!

I am reminded this morning to keep my hope in God and keep on praying!!

Julianna and I begin packing today. She will be traveling with me all Summer!! 
What a treat!

Expect Sunflowers! I do!!

I hope to see some of you at one of our stops and have a chance to pray with you!!

Check out my Speaking Tab for locations and send me an email if you can come!!

We will be in Virginia, California, Denver, North Carolina and Wisconsin!!!!!

Surely, you are close to one of those! Let me know!

Mama Said ther'd be Days Like this, ther'd Be Days Like this Mama said!!!
That title made you sing didn't it!!!???  I am sitting at my computer serenading myself and thinking about watching "Father of the Bride".


I had an appointment this afternoon with a friend. As we were parting she reminded me that we had not seen one another since October!! That could not be right....could it???

The entire SEASON of Fall had passed---Thanksgiving, Christmas, A New Year, another Birthday!!! How fast the days go by.

When I realized earlier tonight that almost a week has passed since I said hello from "Sweet Tea" or spent some time visiting some of my favorite bloggers, my friend's comment rang true again. 

Note: I did not say "commented" on my favorite blogs. Most often I do just what you all do, I peek in the windows, enjoy hearing about your lives, the blessings, the photos and the recipes!!

I have spent my past few days working on coming days. 

I have 2 speaking privileges this weekend and my "baby girl' comes home from college to begin a summer of traveling WITH ME..Mama!!! Yeah!!

And speaking of MAMA....It is Mothers Day weekend.

I had BIG plans to kickoff a Celebration of Motherhood here on Sweet Tea by sponsoring a "BLOG CARNIVAL", I am told it would be called. The trouble is, well, time flew by!

In any case, I still wanted to share a bit of public praise and honor for my MOM!!

This is her, Christine Goldberg Shuman, on a trip to the mountains that she took with me and Honey last Fall. 

My Mom is an amazing woman and one of the few people who faithfully read my blog so I know she will see this!!

She was married to my Dad, who was her high school sweetheart, for over 50 years when he left us to be with Jesus six years ago!! 

The two of them gave birth to 4 daughters. ME FIRST!! I grew up being called their "oldest" daughter. I am still bitter about that! Just kidding, of course! My next younger sister is actually the same age as me for a month!! Now that is the sign of a "healthy" marriage!

My Mom is incredibly creative, wise, generous and gracious. She has always put her family above all else and still does today. She is a true Proverbs 31 Woman and is greatly admired and deeply loved.

She has owned several businesses of her own, made 4 matching dresses for every occasion while my sisters and I were little girls, always made my Dad feel like he was King of the hill, because he was to her. She has always been there for my sisters and me as well as all of our children and now children's children. 

This is her with her Granddaughters.

God has honored my Mom by having ALL OF US---Every single one---4 Daughters, 4 Son-in-Law's,  9 Grandchildren and I have lost count, Grandchildren's Children, ALL--right here next to her. 

Unbelievable in today's culture.


We have most all Holidays together and celebrate life as a BIG CROWD on numerous special occasions.

She still believes in Santa Clause so he shows up at her house for a Christmas Eve party every year and has for as long as I can remember!

My Mom will be in the church when I speak this weekend, cheering me own and praying me out of telling "too much" or not enough!! Right after I am done, it will be my greatest Mothers Day honor to sit and have lunch with her!!

Time does fly but as busy as life gets, I pray that never miss telling her how much I love her, time and time again!!!

I love you Mom!

Psalm 127:4
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are DAUGHTER'S born in one's youth.

How about you??? I would love to peek into your blog window and hear about your Mom!

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