Sunday, July 27, 2014


A beach read---who was I kidding! I never even had a chance to read at the beach until Friday---and then, we assume, the ocean ate my glasses, prescription bifocals, no less. On These Courts, by former Memphis Wayne Drash, was my beach read choice. The book is listed as a biography of Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, a Memphian and former NBA player.

Not a typical beach read either----but one I was drawn to because of it's locale and time frame---from both the 80s to 2012. Plus, Penny was in hubby's classes at the University of Memphis and he later gave Penny private swimming lessons. Penny reciprocated by speaking to the 400 kids from Chickasaw and Cyprus inner city schools who attended the summer National Youth Sports Program which Larry directed.'s much more than that. It's a book about caring, compassion and giving back to an impoverished neighborhood. A story replete with failing grades, gang pressure, incarcerated or non-existent fathers and violence on the crime-ridden streets of a Memphis neighborhood. A book that took place just two years ago within a stone's throw of some mid-town friends and the Binghampton Christian Academy, where my sweet friend Nancy is a dorm mom.
A book about the discipline and love that is learned by street kids through the game of basketball.
Hesi-TEA-ation is another stretch for a "tea" word play but very necessary for this book review.

Hesitant because I have only read 2/3 of the book....though personally remembering this time has me aware of the very probable ending. An outcome of hope.
Hesitant because the book is full of "street language" blasphemy and brutal "child" abuse. Though all is true and well documented, it's hard to read of such.

Hesitant because this review is not necessarily a recommendation, even though I have enjoyed much of what I have read. Yet, it's certainly full of violent reality and harsh way of life in the "hood" of Lester Street.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"TEA-reasures left"

Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. (Proverbs 3:23, NIV)

Molly/ Corey crew pulled out at 5:50 am. Texans left at 6:15 am. I cried. 
Headin' to take New Yorkers to airport. I'll cry again. Such an emotional time. Good memories are left....

I just saw the significant word in the above "early in the day" entry---"left." It has a dual meaning. Family is such a treasure for me. This morning when they (family) "left" the beach house, I felt so-o-o sad and let down. I cried as they pulled away and I could only see their license plates. 

When "left" connotes departure, esp of family, I "suffer" greatly---being left behind starts that emotional roller coaster because I'm not sure how long it will be before I see them again. 

Having the New Yorkers with us helped tremendously.....until....after our Donut Hole* stop, we had to drop them off at the airport. Even Lucy's jovial chatter from the back seat made me feel worse, because I knew it was almost over and it would be months before I would see her again.
Morning prayers for safety had been lifted for each family, but once I saw the backside of the only three "left," that big ole "loneliness lump" seemed to lodge in my throat and accompany me all the way on the road trip home and into the night.

But...."left" can also mean that which remains. Good memories of fun times at "Big Water." **

A cuppa TEA-reasure at my fingertips when I choose to focus on the great week at the beach, with ALL the family.

*Newly opened Donut Hole at Inlet Beach is oh so convenient to folks heading to Panama City International airport.

** When I arrived home, I opened this Margie H. note (e-mailed 7/25, the day before we left) ----so grateful for prayers of faithful friends who "get it."
Praying for safety for all tomorrow on the dreaded return day.  Such a letdown after a week with the family but one that I know you are prepared for after years of practice.  One time on the drive home, sister started crying and we decided we had to do better so we focused on trying to remember the things that happened during the week that made us laugh the most.  It worked, as well as prayers of thanksgiving for having the week together.  
Safe, safe travels for all the travelers and I’m sure many, many thanks are in order for Shug and Pop Pop for making  it all happen! 

Friday, July 25, 2014


Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (Psalm 133:1, ESV)
From early morning kiddie-poo games...think, "Memory," checkers & blocks
to journaling/coloring...
as well as rocket launching instruction and....
"scum-screening" (a Lucy word)
to mid-morning painting by the sea, 
sand play (burial)
boogie boarding veteran (10) & first timer (age 3) & 
to afternoon naps & pool time, 
and reading
with lots of snacking and eating in between night time crabbing, (side pic) to games---to Boggle, You've Been Sentenced & Scattegory/Category with tubby time, storytelling and ice cream at bedtime.
Uni-TEA is the cuppa all (the Liles crew) are sipping at Majestica Beach in Seagrove, FL.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,...(Psalm 127:3, ESV)
A cuppa ecs-TEA-cy is sweetened during time with family, especially 7 little (& not so little) grands---

“A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.”  Chuck Swindoll
Pictures on the beach feels like a lot of "hammering" and sometimes requires a little solace from one's thumb!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Prac-TEA-cing Thy Presence

Back soon---gone to prac-TEA-ce what I'm preaching (writing).

Found out that it's much easier to type "Prac-TEA-cing Thy Presence" than to actually experience it.
At home, it's quiet and my prayer chair the beach, needs of others beckon. AND in many ways, that's a good thing. Like Richard Foster I "honestly fill thee pull of many obligations and try to fulfill them all, " (Freedom of Simplicity e-book p. 347) and describing such actions as trying to live "lives of frantic faithfulness. (Ibid, p. 362)

 It's just hard to sip a cuppa with Him when my mind is elsewhere. Reali-TEA is the cuppa at hand. BUT.....

Oswald Chambers obviously realized this when he penned, "Dependent of God's Presence." (MUFHH, 7/20)
The reality of God's Presence is not dependent on any place, but only dependent upon the determination to set the Lord always before us.

Brother Lawrence certainly experience the Lord each day "among the clatter of his kitchen, while several persons the same time called for different things." His heart was at focused (in great tranquility) on the Lord in the midst of the hubbub as if he were on his knees." (Practice of the Presence of God, p 26)
Taking my cuppa reali-TEA to the 2nd floor balcony---where family can join me---time with family and communion with Him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

T-shirt "TEA-ology"

Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes, (Nehemiah 4:14, NIV)
A beach vacation with all one's family is full of fun and frolic with a little "family feuding" thrown in (think 7 kids ages 13-2)---which is understandable with many under the same roof and "gray-cation" days (Josh dubbed)---days not allowing for much "sun" time.
Feuding topics flow from brother to brother, cousin to cousin, or parent to child.---Nothing major---who gets which scooter, who goes first, I don't need a nap, because I said so, pool-ocean-ocean-pool-pool-ocean, tubby time. Nothing worth a fight. was a great reminder of the things in life that are worth fighting for. Godly family values are worth fighting for---at home or at the beach.
A prayerful T-shirt reminder over a cuppa of familial tea-ology.

BTW--SUN's out---Ocean wins.

Monday, July 21, 2014


...and a time to laugh...(Ecclesiastes 3:4, NIV)
Time with family...brings giggles, squeals and lots of laughter---esp. with 19 in the same beach house most of the time.
Instagram pic of oldest to youngest cousin--with its own hashtag. The younger ones are trying to teach this "old lady." #bigwater2014
Lottsa cuppas "TEA-ckles" (*) at the beach---just not as many sippy cups as in the past, which is a little hard for this Shug to swallow.

Tomorrow....the rest of the story---so you'll know how "real" we Liles are.

*TEA-ckles--a tea word coined and shared by Batesville, MS Carolyn. Doncha luv it!!1!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

SABBATH SNAPSHOT : "in-TEA-rruptions"

Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer is sub-titled Navigating the Unexpected. Isn't that what life all about??? The unexpected! It certainly is at my house---always has been! In fact, I started reading this book 3 years ago and life got in the way of me finishing it. An interruption!
Shirer's book enables the reader to see the "short" book of Jonah in a new light----but with plenty of life-long applications. We could all compile a LONG list. The tele marketer who calls at dinner time. The cell beep indicating a text just as a night of sleep begins. The gal in the grocery line with way more then 10 items, when one is in a hurry to check our her meager 3. The interstate "on-going" construction (think I-40 and Sam Cooper that cause an almost daily reroute.

Too often, I go out of my way to avoid these interruptions---often avoiding even stopping to talk to folks one aisle over in the grocery store. Might I be missing something or someone God has had to cross my path by purposely AVOIDING these interruptions? Interruptions that would slow down my plan. Impede my progress. Get in the way of "my" schedule. 

Like Jonah, am I rarely where God would have me, at the time he wants me there and doing what He wants me to do? (p. 205) I, the reader of Shirer's book and the writer of this blog, am in need of transformation. A God perspective of interruptions.

Interruptions call for submission---submitting to the "divine one." (p. 206) Will I listen for His call and quit "clinging to comforts and entitlements even when I know they are hindering more thatn helping?" (p.209)
LIFE INTERRUPTIONS= DIVINE the book jacket states.

An easy read for difficult times.

I actually re-read parts of this book "pre-beach week" so that "my" reading wouldn't "interrupt" Frog and Toad, Olivia, Tikki-Tikki-Tembo and other kiddie beach reads.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


And they devoted themselves to.....teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul,.....And all who believed were together...... And they were selling their possessions......and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received......with glad and generous hearts, praising God....(Acts 2:42-47, ESV)

Many aspects of regularli-TEAs beneficial to a believer's life are listed in this section of Acts 2---

  • Devotion to teaching
  • Devotion to fellowship
  • Prayer
  • Sharing with others
  • Attending "temple"
  • Praising God

Along with regular quiet times, I see the need in my life for regular times of interaction with other believers, as well. Times of fun and fellowship hemmed in prayer. For me the best result would be service to others. Service which leads to a soul full of awe and a grateful and generous heart which praises the Lord.

A cuppa regulari-TEA, a perfect blend of Acts 2.

Friday, July 18, 2014


   The sea is His, for it was He who made it,....(Psalm 95:5, NASB)

I know that's a stretch on a "tea" word play but I'm so excited and filled with anticipation about our upcoming trip to Seagrove, FL that I cut myself some slack. Only 1 more day 'til we ALL meet up beachside. We just have to start heading that way today---so everything is ready for tomorrow---the big day at "Big Water."
We're ALL going to be together at "Big Water" as Nathan dubbed the beach in 2003.
The emerald ocean and white sandy beach that stretches as far as the eye can see would certainly look like "BIG water" to an 18 month old.  
Almost choking on my cuppa of antic-TEA-pation this morning because it is so full!!