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Just another day in paradise...

Tampa Sunset

I just took a bike ride in my neighborhood as the sun was getting ready to set and once again I'm tellin' you folks that Florida is a breathtaking place to be! I like it. I love it! I want some more of it! Good thing I live here and can have more anytime my little heart desires.

I know the economy's bad right now and moving is not exactly popular right now. But once this financial squeeze passes, if there are any of you that feel so inclined to move to paradise and help Larry and I to win souls here in Tampa, Florida, just c'mon down. We'll have a blast on a quest for souls in paradise. Halleluiah! I am SERIOUS for those who may wonder.

I didn't move here to Florida for the reasons many do (the beauty, the sunshine, the weather, the beaches, the tourist spots, etc.) I did move here because I was called to the harvest. We had only been to Florida twice (once to the Brownsville Revival and once to General Council in Orlando - both on "ministry trips") and hadn't really truly seen "Florida". We had no clue we were moving to paradise. But I say this - if you are going to be in the ministry and go through the stress of it, for God to place you in a place this beautiful, WOW, what a bonus!!! And let me tell you, if you come here you ARE ministering to the NATIONS. This is truly a melting pot. I love the cultures of Tampa and the cultures that make up Northside. I love pastoring an "international" church.

So if any of you feel thus called...well, just let me know. This might be "paradise" but trust me folks, in the church, we would also put you to work for the Lord!!!

Now, on to my "Memorial Day" memories. I didn't blog yesterday. I had a day from H-E double toothpicks. Yup. Til 2 am, it was like weeping, wailing and nashing of teeth. Seriously. It was a day where the children were trying desperately to console the Momma.

My laptop has had a few problems lately. The laptop is my main writing computer where my books that I've written are stored. (Do you know how long it takes to write a book? And they are like birthing children. Seriously.) Also hundreds of my articles and sermons are on my laptop, not to mention all of my children's pictures, my Africa photos, my podcasts, my pastoring partners website, yada, yada yada. Also, now that I do digital photos I rarely print them out unless I want to frame them. But "poof" all of a sudden all of our memories were GONE. Well, Larry got a program that was supposed to FIX the issues I was having but instead it deleted my entire hard drive. I cried more than a few tears. I've been meaning to back everything up but just got busy and hadn't. Yes, I was kicking myself all day yesterday for that. How could I have been so dumb?

To the average person out there who just has a computer to email and such it would be devastating. But to a WRITER? It's like your home burned down. It's like a farmer who plants a field as their livelihood and watches it burn in flames before the harvest. And my children's photos?! Dustin's graduation, prom, not to mention our vacation, Africa, and so much more. Photos mean so much to a family. My, my, my. I was upset.

I didn't want Savanna's day to be ruined because mine was. Dustin went to Busch Gardens with his friends. Jordan had to work at Dairy Queen. I decided to take Savanna to the pool in our development. It's so beautiful there. I always feel like I'm sitting at a hotel when I'm up there. Well, we went up and she swam and I laid in my swim suit on a chair with my sunglasses, bawling my eyes out on a towel and then I'd take a break, read a Nicholas Sparks novel, then cry again, etc. We came home. Larry worked on the computer ALL DAY trying to figure out what to do. What a man. He NEVER gave up.

I came home, Savanna took a bath and settled in to watch movies and I went into Dustin's room, laid in his bed and cried and talked to Jesus. Almost 2 years of work - books, articles, sermons, blood sweat and tears not to mention all our photo memories. All I had left were my blogs. I did plan if we didn't get the hard drive back to at least go to the companies that turn your blogs into hard bound books and pay to have that done as a consolation.

I came out of Dustin's room at 8 pm or so and Larry told me he had found a company that he thought could restore it. He had called HP, and lots of other stuff, frantically trying to fix the mistake. What a good man. Anyway, I warmed up some leftovers on a plate (in no mood to cook yesterday - we just ate leftovers all day) and watched him work on the computer. He got a program, installed it, and started running it. It took 13 hours but finally recovered ALL MY STUFF!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO...I'M TELLING YOU, THAT SUCKER WENT INTO THE ENEMY'S CAMP AND TOOK BACK WHAT HE (THE DEVIL) STOLE FROM ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first thing Larry did today was go to Best Buy and get me an external hard drive. Everything has been transferred over to it. We are also sending the most valuable stuff to my office computer too just in case we need third copies. Some is on there already but not all. When I'm editing a major project like one of my books I do so on my laptop because I take it everywhere and edit when I have even a few moments time. I have a bad habit of just keeping that copy and not sending it to myself elsewhere or copying it on a disk. NO MORE. Never again. You won't find me crying in my Coca Cola again over lost documents or photos.

Larry's friend Pastor Gary from Orlando called him this morning and said, "Hey Lar, how was your Memorial Day?"

Larry said, "Memorable."


Today I had a full day at the office. I normally work from home on Tuesday but today we had a special project and meeting so I had to go in. It was a very productive day and now my husband has made me one of my favorite meals ~ his spaghetti. It's so delicious. One of my fav things EV-er!!! Tomorrow morning we both go strictly back OP, so therefore, we decided on a "treat" tonight. Since his spaghetti is more points that I normally eat, we're goin' for it tonight.

And that, my friends, are my Memorial Day Memories and life here in...........paradise.

Thank you Jesus for my beautiful Florida and for restoring my data. You rock.


Tara Sloan said…
I am grinning from ear to ear for you! Ha! Take that devil!!!!! Girl, the best is yet to come... hold onto your girdle!
Aw,'re letting everybody in on the secret that I wear a GIRDLE? LOL

Yup, they keep me lookin' smooth on Sunday morning. :-) I'm holdin' on, Sis!

Love ya
DaNella Auten said…
Yes I miss the melting pot... But I don't miss having seasons.

And I totally Praise God with you that you got your stuff back... Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt, and don't want to relive it...

Love ya,
Oh man I'm still trying to recover from throwing away all my CDs! I know how you felt! I am so glad you were able to get all your files back! Woohoo! Thank you Jesus! No weapon formed against us prospers...not a single, solitary one! Now! Not even Microsoft glitches! Hee hee hee...

BTW have you seen new Mac commercial? OMG, I've got to find on online and send!
Deborah said…
Paradise dweller, so glad you where able to sort your stuff out,You are on my blog the first in my series "women of the Word". Love always me
Sharon said…
Gotta laugh at the other gals comments! Guess ya gotta have a sense of humor about all of this, don't ya? :0)

My suggestion would be to purchase a USB "flash drive". They're inexpenive and can hold a lot of stuff. They go with you anywhere, and are in my opinion the best way to back up your material. Of course you have to not loose the little suckers! LOL You can find them just about any place that sells electronics. You can find a 2g SanDisk on sale for about $15.00 at Staples. (2g is more memory than most computers equipped hard drives.) I hope this suggestion helps... for no future loss in the future. :0)
Hey ladies, thanks for the commiseration and wisdom...

Sharon - I do have a flash drive but believe it or not I have so much "needed junk" on this computer that it won't fit on my flash and I got one of the flash's that holds A LOT! I know that sounds crazy and it's probably insane for me to ever even have this much on one computer. What we decided to do is just take the most valuable things (books and photos) and put them on there. I had meant to transfer my books to the flash last week and just never did it. (Oh well this will make for a good sermon on procrastination...) I wanted to just copy the whole contents of the computer to a flash last week but per my husband and Pastor T, it would not fit...too much on here.

Deborah...thank you for including me!!! Can't wait to go to your blog and read it!!!

Love you all,
PD (Paradise Dweller) LOL
Anonymous said…
I actually sent my resume to a few churches in Florida two years ago...I was all for it (born and raised in Minnesota, I was ready for some sun and warmth!), but my husband said, "God would have to come down and tell me in an audible voice, and even then I might ask him for references." He doesn't like the heat at all. It's a mute point, since God has obviously chosen to keep us in the midwest awhile longer, but maybe someday...LOL!!!!

Glad you got all your stuff back, and I must say, you handled yourself much better than I would have in that situation :o).

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