Saturday, December 10, 2011

Of All the Things I'm Thankful For...

Of all the things I'm thankful for
You always top my list.
Because You know me more
Than anyone ever will.
And yet, through love as Yours
It seems love can exist
As I look out on the world
With eyes you have adjusted.

Of all the things I am thankful for
I am thankful for Your grace
That sweeps inside my human heart
And cleans away the humanity.
You take my frailties
You take my strengths
You take everything I give You
And give me You in return.

Of all the things I am thankful for
I am thankful for this day.
I am thankful for the sounds
And the comfort of this place.
Until the day I meet You there
You have given me a haven here.
It's Your love and comfort that come
To make this place my home.

Of all the things I am thankful for
It's is the memories, still sweet
That wrap themselves around
The brokenness in me.
I know it's You with each reminder
That comes to me just in time.
Bringing back the things I've lost
Yet reminding me of what's mine.

Of all the things I'm thankful for
It is present in their faces
And I watch them look to You
For the future I have prayed for
Knowing You love them, too
Of all the things I am thankful for
This thing leaves me breathless.
Knowing I can NEVER thank You enough
For all You are to me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

That 3am Phone Call

Saturday night I went with my daughter to Tifton to have supper with her best friend since forever. I was pretty tired, but it was a nice time. I always love to see them and pretend I am *Marmie* to Emily, her beautiful little girl.

We got us a nice Venti coffee from Starbucks and headed back home. It was a peaceful drive and we chatted as we always do.

It was late when we made it back in and I finally managed to doze off sometime after 1:00am.

I am an extremely light sleeper. I can't help it. Believe me, I would LOVE to be one of those that falls into bed and can sleep through a hurricane. Not me.

We only have one phone in the house and it is downstairs in the kitchen. No one ever calls it except telemarketers, but we keep it on anyway.

Around 3:00am something woke me up.

I realized it was the phone ringing.

I shot up in stark terror and raced downstairs yelling, "Who is CALLING?"

By the time I made it around the corner the phone was quiet, but the caller ID was still up listing the name of our local hospital.

My husband had made it downstairs by now (he sleeps a little heavier than me) and found me in our laundry room yanking on clothes.

"What are you doing?"

"I am going to the hospital to find out why they were calling me!"

"It was probably a wrong number."

"It was NOT a wrong number. Ethan is not home!"

I cannot count the number of phone calls I have received that have thrown me into a panic. I guess that doesn't sound normal, but you have to understand that my parents had tremendous health issues. I have answered the phone so many times to the anxious voice of my mother.

And, then there was the time that we received the call about Ethan's accident.

No one ever calls you at 3:00am with good news.

I had a knee-jerk reaction based on all of the other phone calls I had received over the years.

While I was searching for clothes my husband grabbed his cell phone and called my son who promptly answered.

He was staying with a friend whose parents were out of town. He had sent me a text to let me know.

"Then, it's my Grandmother."

About that time my cellphone rang.

It was the hospital.

My Grandmother had a heart attack. She was being placed in ICU.

As I was yanking on clothes, not knowing who was hurt or sick, and I was doing the only thing I felt capable of doing at that moment.

"Jesus. Jesus. Jesus."

Over and over I called.

"Please, Lord. Jesus."

He was not startled awake by my dilemma.

He was just waiting on my call.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Many Times....

Gray and hazy,
Clear and crisp,
Sometimes they surround me,
At other times they are out of my reach.
But, Oh the many times I want to.

It may be a word,
Or an expression,
Then a longing so deep,
My very core is pressed tightly.
And, still the many times I long to.

Yet the seasons still change,
The days still end,
And begin again.
Nothing has stopped moving,
Even when so many times I need to.

And I rise,
And I breath,
And I pass through each day.
Each one taking up
Where the last left off.

I think,
I dream,
I work and plan.

And then I find myself
Holding my mouth as you did.
I don't look in the mirror
And find your face.
But Oh, the many times I want to.

You find when you suffer great loss that the world is full of sympathy. After a while you find no one wants to hear anymore. No one wants to see your hurt. No one wants to know it is still there.

So, you learn to cope with it. And you put one foot in front of the other and continue on. I can't stop and give in to the grief, no matter how many times I have wanted to.

Missing you today. And understanding you in ways I never did before. You were amazing. And I am glad you were mine.

Monday, November 21, 2011

In With The Old, Out With The New

I am an Apostolic Pentecostal. I make no apologies for that fact.

I believe the Bible is the whole Word of God and I believe it is something that I can build my life on, the Rock in my Foundation. I believe it is what keeps me from tumbling down because it is firm, solid.

And I believe if it is in the Word then it should be in my life. I am not a proponent of "Cafeteria Style" Christianity. I don't believe we can go through the Word and just "pick and choose" what we want to believe.

I can qualify that by saying I know it to be a fact that there is a blood line that runs throughout the Bible, from beginning to end. There are no contradictions in the Bible, none.

But, that is for another discussion.

As an Apostolic Pentecostal, I believe in the "Old Ways." I believe in holiness, I believe in living a separated life, I believe in listening to my Pastor who is my "Watchman on the Wall."

I don't expect anyone who has not tasted this life to see that it is good.

It has been so very good for me.

To my sadness, I have watched as those that I used to look up to in this walk of faith have taken those things that were once important and laid them aside for a "new" way of thinking. Things that the pioneers of our faith set up as boundaries of protection for us have been torn down and cast away.

There is a pattern I have seen in those that have taken these "bold new steps."

That pattern is destruction.

Destruction of children that had been raised to believe that something was important and are now given the message that never really mattered.

Destruction of families as these boundaries that protected our homes are torn down allowing those very things those boundaries protected us from to come in.

Destruction of our churches as I hear over and over that doors are shut, congregations are compromised and communities are left without someone to herald the Truth to the lost.

You know, satan hasn't changed his tactics. They are still the same. "Ye shall not surely die," (Genesis 3:4) he says to us as we begin to partake of the very things we have been warned against.

But, we are dying. We are dying......

I have not run across one instance, not ONE instance, where the new ways have been a benefit.

And, if you think our children are confused, our spouses are confused, our congregations are confused by this mix-message we have been delivering.....

What about that lost and dying world?

I have said it before, and I will, with all probability say it again....Sin is attractive.

I mean, would we give up the blessings of God if we could see it for what it really is?

Sin doesn't show up fat and nasty, driving an old clunker. No Sir!

Sin shows up dressed in its finest, cruising in the ride of your dreams.

But the promises of sin never deliver what you expected. Sin only takes, it doesn't give. Before you realize what has even happened that one little thing that you decided was no longer important has turned into one more little thing.

And that one more little thing has become another, and another, and another.....

Until you have developed amnesia, not even remembering who you were or what you stood for.

Today I saw a family that once was part of the ministry. They taught me much about this journey of faith that I am now on.

I hardly even recognized them. They were broken apart. And that broke my heart.

I still believe that sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go. And, it will take you away from God.

I know that some of my family and friends do not understand why I CHOOSE to live the way that I do, why I am so passionately in love with living for God with my whole life.

This is why. I have seen the consequences of letting go of the old paths, of turning aside the old ways.

I don't need the new ways to bring me joy, I have joy. I don't need to let go to be free, I AM free. Because you see living for Him is freedom. Living outside the dictates of the world is where the joy is.

Jesus, I am so thankful today that You put a Pastor in my life that still preaches that there nothing wrong with living right. I am thankful for men and women who still live this way, who are still passionate. I am thankful for all the heartaches that my family has been spared because of a love for You and Your Word. Lord, I pray for those who have let go. Let them fall in love with the "Old Paths" again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Underachieving Overachiever

I am the youngest child in my family. My brother, who is oldest, is a little over 6 years older than me and my sister is a little over 4 1/2 years older.

Until the day my parents died they still referred to me as "the baby."

Now, I am not complaining, by any means. I enjoyed being the baby of the family.

Up until my parents really started having health problems I was not allowed to drive their cars. It only happened then because I don't think they had any choice. Honestly, it was always like I just learned to drive.

And before it is mentioned; my early driving record wasn't the greatest, OK? I know this. Yes, I was in 3 accidents in less than a month. But I can assure you NONE of them were my fault.

Other than that, my record was good.

Didn't matter.

I think everyone was surprised when I went to college....and PASSED!

Not that they thought I was stupid, but it is almost like I was perpetually 14 years old.

I have found that I want to push myself. There are so many things I want to do, so many things I want to be involved in.

And I sometimes tend to load my plate till it overflows......

Then the goal becomes learning to carry the plate without it overflowing.

I was thinking about that today as I was riding along trying to shove as many errands as I could into my break. I was thinking that it is probably surprising to some that I can function at the speed I do. I know there are **some** who can't imagine I can run my own bathwater without scalding my skin off....(that is an inside joke)

Here I am, in school again. When I started I thought to myself, "I am going to make all A's!"

Eh, I have all B's.....that will do.

Once I got started I realized that my best bet would be to survive this without ending up on the brink of exhaustion....or on the brink, period.

In my head I can imagine myself doing all these great and amazing things. And then I end up doing ordinary and average things.

I have found this to be good.

This is the wonderful thing about being an *average* is set a little higher than the (cough) average average! (he he he)

So, even though I underachieve....I somehow break even.

Ah, well....this middle-aged baby is tired.....

Can someone please come pull down the covers and tuck me in??

Friday, November 11, 2011

Meant for Good

Last Thursday I received a phone call from my Regional Director. It seems that someone reported to our Corporate Compliance Hotline that I carried a loaded pistol in my purse and that I not only carried in to our member's homes but I also gave it to the Case Managers to carry with them into homes.

First of all, let me say I do own a gun. I have been raised with a healthy appreciation and respect for guns. I have a permit to carry a gun.

Most of the time my gun resided in my glove box of my car. But, a week or so before everyone was out of town and when faced with a night alone I decided to carry my gun inside with me for the night....and I forgot to take it out of my purse and put it back in my car.

So, when I received the call I could not lie. Yes, I had a gun in my purse.

I have nick-named my gun "Little Bertha."

Many times when my Case Managers were heading out for a bad area we would joke about "Little Bertha."

That's all it ever was, a joke.

Our members have never been in danger and I would never be foolish enough to give something that potentially dangerous that is registered in my name, no less, to someone else to use.

I mean, really?

But, obviously we joked in front of the wrong person.

I truly had no idea it would be a problem to have my pistol in my car. But, it was a problem. At the direction of my supervisor I left work and immediately brought my gun to the house where it now resides permanently.

And, that is really fine with me. I am all about behaving ethically so if this is a rule, I will gladly follow.

When I received the call I was more upset that something like this may affect my record at work than the fact that "Little Bertha" could no longer ride along life's highways with me.

From the time I hung up the phone I could hear God whispering to me....."But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." (Genesis 50:20)

"OK, Lord," I thought, "I don't know what it is, but I know You are in control."

I left that afternoon on a little adventure with my daughter and one of the girls from our church. We were going to spend a couple of nights at an old hotel in a nearby town. This hotel is reported to be "haunted" and we were actually staying on a "haunted hall."

Across from our room was an old service elevator where almost 100 years ago a maid and her child were tossed to the bottom of the shaft to their deaths. The little girl supposedly still "plays" in the hallway.

About 2am that Friday morning we were awakened to a light knocking on our door. We all three sat straight up.

"What was that?" Denise asked.

"Sounds like someone knocking on the door," I said.

She got up and looked out the peephole.

Nothing....No one.....

She used the restroom and as she was coming out she began to joke about how it must be the "ghost children" playing in the hallway.

We all laughed.

About that time there was a huge THUMP on the door. Denise jumped into my bed leaving poor Alena alone in the other bed. We were all startled.

Again there was a huge bang on the door and I noted the top of the door bent in with the force of the blow. I jumped out of bed yelling "HEY!" while the girls began screaming.

We all began to call on Jesus as I looked out the peephole to find an enraged man standing on the other side of the door.

As I watched he backed up, put his shoulder down and rammed the door again. The door threatened to buckle under the blow. I placed my hands on the door and leaned my weight into it as Alena joined me.

Denise frantically called the front desk and in a shaking voice asked for help.

The man continued to ram.

Suddenly we heard another voice in the hallway speaking sternly to the man. I watched out the peephole as the desk clerk approached our door and knocked.

I opened the door while leaving the chain on. She apologized stating the man had too much to drink and was confused about his room. He was gone to his room now, per the clerk.

OK, we said.

Of course, we were all wide awake at this point.

But, I still felt uneasy.

I got up and looked out the peephole again, and there he stood, leaning against the opposite wall, peering down the hallway.

Then he came and stood in front of our door again. And he backed up, put his shoulder down and rammed. I yelled out, "You need to get out of here!"

Didn't faze him.

He backed up and headed for the door again. This time when he made impact I yelled through the door again.

"Sir! This is not your room! And if you continue to scare my girls I'm going to bust your face in!"

That seemed to get his attention because he immediately wandered off.

Of course, the girls thought that was hilarious after the threat was gone.

Denise reflected later that she wondered if it had not been the Lord who sent an angel by to knock on the door that first time to wake us up because there was no one there when she looked out, and as enraged as that man was he would have never just knocked.

We also wondered how this man who had just come from the bar could think his room was suddenly filled with women screaming for Jesus over and over.

And even more did no one else hear us? Why did no one else step out to see what was going on?

But, most importantly I heard His voice....

"But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."

What if I had not received that phone call? What if I had still been carrying my pistol in my purse when this enraged man with the strength of a bull came and began ramming my door at 2am? What if I had been able to count on the "protection" of my firearm as my girls safety was being threatened?

Would I have opened the door to show him I was armed? What if he had managed to break the door down and find me there with a pistol in my hand? Would he have been able to overpower me and take the gun from me and use it on us?

I will never know because although I believe someone may have meant to hurt me (when they could have simply approached me directly and pointed out my wrong-unless of course, they thought me **mad** enough to use Little Bertha on them?) what they meant for evil against me, God meant for my good.

He meant it to protect me from a potentially dangerous situation turning into a potentially deadly situation.

That's the way He loves me.

**As a side note: I am not sharing this to garner your response concerning the right to carry firearms. You are free to believe however you would like to believe. I am not trying to change your point of view, so show me the same respect. Neither am I excusing myself for having my gun on my person when it went against the policies of my organization. I am not. I was wrong and I have corrected it. Nor can it be said that I bear ill feelings against the person who reported it. How could I? This is not to illicit a political response, merely to illustrate His love for me. Period. So, I implore you to take it in the spirit it is written.**

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Attitude....your problem....

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

This world is not my home....I'm just a passin' through....My treasures are laid up....somewhere beyond the blue....the angels beckon me....from Heaven's open door....and I can't feel at home in this world any more.

I have found many things to be true in life.

I have found it to be true that no matter how old you get, you still battle bullies. The only difference is they may be dressed nicer.

I have found that no matter how old you get, life still happens. But, it is the way that you handle those happenings that make the difference.

And I have found that I have an attitude.

Paul was writing to the church in Phillippi. During these cordial letters he managed to place some correction to deal with problems that were facing the church there such as discouragement, disunity, and disloyalty.

How relevant for today, huh?

If you will notice there is a word in there that is not heard much in our modern times.


What is virtue, you may ask?

I have taken the liberty of looking it up for you.

1 a : conformity to a standard of right: morality b : a particular moral excellence
2 plural : an order of angels
3 a beneficial quality or power of a thing
4 manly strength or courage : valor
5 a commendable quality or trait : merit
6 a capacity to act : potency
7 chasity especially in a woman

What happens when you "think on these things?"

Let's read verse 9:

"Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me (Paul), do: and the God of peace shall be with you."

Have you been searching for peace in your life? Maybe it is the things that are clogging up your mind that are also robbing you of peace.

If you continue on you will find Paul states in verse 11: "for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

And THEN, in verse 13 Paul states: "I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Paul is a particular "hero" of mine. He came by the Truth the hard way. And yet when he got it, he lived it with everything he had. Nothing stood in the way of his relationship with the Almighty.

I have found many things to be true.

I have found that when I truly live this LIKE THE WORD TELLS ME makes people uncomfortable.

When I spend my time thinking on "those things" instead of dwelling on the things that the world at large have placed importance on I am ostracized and misunderstood.



That is JUST what I was shooting for.

My Bible tells me that I am to "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2)

So, if the way that I am keeps you from wanting to be my bud....

If my attitude against the sins of this world rubs you the wrong way.....

If I talk about Jesus just a little more than you are comfortable with.....

That's your problem, not mine.

I have made my decision.....I have staked my claim.....I have drawn a line in the sand and I won't be ashamed....with the world BEHIND me and the Cross the grace of God I WILL SERVE THE LORD.

I have no intention of backing up or backing down.

I have made up my mind.

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.......Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in the time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up , and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth he. Many daughter have done virtuously; but thou excellest them all. " Proverbs 31:10-12, 25-29.

Virtue is still in fashion. This is what I strive to be. It may not be Hollywood's idea of who I should be, but it is God's.

Verses 30-31 say this: "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates."

Would you be able to eat your own "fruit?" Would the "work" that you do be a praise that would proceed you into the city where you live?

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

This is my attitude.....and if it doesn't suit you......well.......

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?

Growing up I had this big, strong, smart Daddy. I never even bothered with the whole "my Daddy can whip your Daddy" thing because everyone else knew it was true, too!

He was a man, I know that. He knew that, too.

My parents made choices, as we all do. As I like to tell my kids, "For every action there is a reaction." Some of those reactions are far reaching.

My parents both died young. They did. Far too young. I wanted them around a whole lot longer.

My Daddy, my big, strong, strapping Daddy ended up losing a leg, fighting just to keep the other one, losing his eye sight, and depending on a machine to rid his body of toxins.

I knew how intolerable it must be to him, but in my selfishness I wanted him around. All the sickness slowed him down so that I was able to really know him. He had much to give me.

He had become weak in his body there toward the end. My sister had shared that with me. When we went that last weekend and I had to physically pick him up and put him in the Yukon out of the wheelchair, I don't know who that hurt worse, me or him.

I saw John 5:6 the other day while looking for another verse and I thought of my Daddy.

I wondered if at that last instance he was there in the state he was in, and the Lord passed by.

I wondered if He saw the state he was in and had been for some time and said to my Daddy, "Wilt thou be made whole?"

And my Daddy said "Yes, oh yes!""

What a glorious moment that must have been! I can only imagine.

And to think just three months later He visited that house again where my beautiful Mama was waiting for the waters to be troubled.

"Wilt thou be made whole?"

"I will!"

Her feet, her heart, all whole. Her pain erased.

I have been grieving for almost two years.

I guess that is a lie. I have grieved for much longer. I watched them suffer and I grieved for them, for their pain and suffering.

Jesus asks a question in John 5:6. He gives a choice.

WILT thou be made whole? Because, you can stay broken.

You can continue to lay there beside that pool and wait for someone to come along and take care of you, or you can choose......

I have been praying that God would work in me, help me, make me whole again and ease some of the pain that I have felt at the death of my parents.

I realized the other day that I had taken up my bed and was walking through life again. There will always be pain, sorrow, and those moments where it seems like it is so fresh.

But I can laugh, I can smile. I can remember and I can take comfort in the fact that they are WHOLE.

My sweet, sweet Friend. Through you alone am I whole. I love You too much to fail You now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oh Lord, It's Hard to be Humble.....

Every Monday and Wednesday night I sit in a college classroom feeling like the oldest student that ever lived. It takes every ounce of my concentration to keep up with what the teachers are saying, especially in Accounting.

I have never been all that great with numbers. I honestly thought Accounting would be a breeze since I have actually had a tiny bit of experience in it.

But, see, my experience was real life. "Put this number here and that number there." I never learned the theory behind it. And, if I am being honest, I still don't really know the theory behind it. I only know that everything I THOUGHT I knew about Accounting is just the opposite of what Accounting really is.

I come in from work to my class and I sit there trying to will it all to make sense to me. What makes it even more challenging is that there are a lot of talkers in the room.

I have to try to sift through what he is saying over what everyone else wants to contribute. I'm telling you, my nerves are shot by the end of class. Before I realized it the other day I had said, "Please just shut up" out loud! Thankfully the other person was talking non stop and didn't even hear me.

I am a relatively intelligent person. I mean, I am not Genius level, but I am not stupid, either. I have an IQ of about 122 which is somewhat below my brother and sister, but still not too shabby. I guess they got all the brain power and I got, well, something in return. Not sure what.

And I can be ditzy at times. I recognize this trait in myself and I am OK with it. It makes life interesting.

I made a 77 on my first Accounting exam and I was quite disappointed. My son says that "all the old ladies make A's" so I was really pushing myself to do well.

There comes a time in your life when you realize the only *person* you need to impress is yourself, and that is what I have been trying to do.

I am doing very well in my other 2 classes so I have been trying to bring my grade up in Accounting.

We had a "take home" test that we turned in last week. I thought I did OK, but I was not positive. Needless to say I was very excited when I received my grade and it was a 91!!


Then......we reviewed the test......

One of the journalizing problems that he had given me complete credit for, when we reviewed it, I had completely wrong....

Completely wrong.....

I looked in the book and I saw where I messed up, but that didn't matter. The point was it was wrong and he counted me right.

My stomach started turning.

I want to bring you to an understanding before I go any further. I am flesh.

Yes, I have been baptized in Jesus' Name.

Yes, I have received the Holy Ghost.

Yes, I do my very best to live this with everything that I am, to be REAL.

But, I am going to tell you that I found myself in a struggle.

I mean, come on, it wasn't MY fault he graded it wrong! I should get to keep that 5 points since it was his mistake, right?

I wanted to. I had an A. I wanted to keep my A.

Then that voice inside me, that very same Holy Ghost that I just mentioned said, "What if THIS is a test? What if he knows that he gave you credit you didn't deserve and he is waiting to see what you are going to do about it?"

And my stomach turned.

I REALLY wanted to keep my A.

Class was finally over, and all of the big talkers had left us in silence.

I approached my teacher.

"Hey, you graded number 61 as correct, but I had it all wrong."

He said he got kind of sloppy grading at the end and was not really listening to me.

My stomach turned.

"No, really. Look at number 61. I know what I did wrong. I looked in the book and I see the mistake I made, but I got this one wrong and you graded it right."

He turned to number 61.

And he took 5 points off my test.

My stomach turned.

Then he said, "It takes a lot to be honest."

In this case, it took my A.

But, my stomach quit turning. Most of the time doing the right thing means you are not doing the easy thing.

I thanked him and left.

"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble . . . Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."James 4:6, 10

It is hard to balance this blog for me because while I am trying to explain how hard it was for me to be humble it sounds like I am puffing myself up.

But, I'm not.

I REALLY wanted that A.


But instead of an A when I left the class that night I had earned something that means even more to me. I earned his respect.

And I also lifted some of the burden to excel off of my shoulders, because when I remember what is truly important, WHO is truly important I don't have to worry about elevating myself.

My God does the elevating.

So I got a B. That's still pretty good. And since I understand what we are covering now I have another chance to do well on the next exam.

I have something to prove, you see. I need to prove to myself that I can do it, and I need to prove to the Lord that I am worthy of the trust He has placed in me.

Since He "gives grace to the humble" I will always make it as long as I remember to keep an humble spirit, because my Bible says "His grace is sufficient!"

In other words, HE is all I need.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

When Compassion Moves You

I am a Nurse. I have been an RN for many years now. But, few who know me may understand WHY I wanted to become a Nurse.

So let me explain.

Back when I was a teenager we had a couple that rented the guest house from my parents. The wife in the couple was an RN. They would go on trips occasionally and ask me to collect their mail for them until they returned.

She subscribed to Nursing Magazine and I would look through it. The thing that made me decide to become a Nurse was found in those pages. It was an article on bed sores.

Yup, bed sores. Stinky, nasty, rotting bed sores.

I looked at those pictures and I just knew. I wanted to help them.

Over the years I have looked into countless faces. Some on happy occasions, some on sad, devastating occasions.

The key to the whole deal is, I looked at them.

Lying in every bed, in every hospital is a story. These are not just bodies sent to fill up our time until we can clock out and head to the house. These are people who have loved ones, who have histories, who may be lonely or scared.

Every day with every one of them, even the aggravating ones, I looked at them. I did my very best to look at them as if it were my loved one lying in the bed, hurting, lonely, scared....

Just as you will never be an effective Teacher if you are only doing it for summer's off, you will never be an effective Nurse if you are doing it for a paycheck alone.

You have to do it with heart.

That is also why Jesus healed so many, did so many miracles for the people, He looked at them.

Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Over and over we read that Jesus was "Moved With Compassion," and in each instance something happens to those He is in contact with.

Because, you see, when compassion truly moves you, you have to respond.

I have not been working in a clinical setting for almost 4 years. Working in Case Management is different in so many ways, but tonight I realized something....

I realized we needed a reminder.

A reminder about those charts that sit on our desks, about those that we visit in their homes, those that are difficult, those that are draining.

We need to remember that written in the pages of those charts is someones story.

And as Case Managers we have the chance to play a part in what could the the final chapter, in some cases.

Each person, each life, each family is an opportunity.

Do you want a ministry?

Look around you.

LOOK at those people that you deal with day in and day out. That is your field white for harvest.

The word compassion means, "to suffer together with."

When was the last time you looked at someone else long enough to see their pain? Or the last time you listened long enough to hear their loneliness?

When was the last time you TRULY cared for another soul without a thought as to how it might profit you?

Do you know what I would have given to have had someone taking care of my parents who could actually see them? Do you have any idea how much just a kind word or a gentle touch can mean to someone?

When was the last time you allowed compassion to move you?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Leaving Las Vegas

As some of you may know my husband and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. I was allowed to choose where we went on our anniversary trip and I chose Las Vegas.
Now, I know some of you may be thinking that was an odd choice for me to make.
I have dreamed for years of seeing the Grand Canyon. So, I thought, for some reason, that Las Vegas was very close to the Grand Canyon.
It is a lot closer than I am sitting in my living room right now, but not as close as I thought.
But, off to Vegas we went. We stayed at the lovely Venetian Hotel (Casino) and took in a couple of shows during our stay.
But the highlight of the whole trip for me was the time we spent exploring the area in our rental car (my husband rented a convertible, which was a wonderful experience, but left me cooked).
We ventured out to Red Rock Canyon and found a neat little "Old West" re-enactment town. I had no idea they had wild burros! They were everywhere!
We also made it to Hoover Dam that same day which was a sight to see!
Then we got up early the next morning and headed to the Grand Canyon. It was a great drive over and I cannot even begin to explain how affected I was by the sight of the canyon itself.
I don't see how anyone can doubt the greatness of God when standing at the edge of something so magnificent.
You know, Las Vegas itself is an interesting city. It definitely lives up to its nickname of "Sin City." Since prostitution is legal in the city guys stand on the street passing out cards telling you how to get girls "2 for $99."
Maybe its mean of me, but I took great pleasure in making those guys make eye contact with me and seeing how long they could hold contact before they looked away. For SOME reason, they usually did not try to pass us a card. hahahaha
Las Vegas is lush, brimming with every indulgence that you could possibly desire. Everything there is larger than life and attractive, pleasing to the eye.
The lights flash, the fountains spray, the fire shoots out of the fake volcanoes. You can be lured in to anything that you would desire to do. Everywhere you look, there is beauty and opulence.
Until you drive outside of the city, just a very short distance.
Surrounding this luscious "paradise" is a land so barren that you would be want for just a small spot of shade as Jonah was.
There are bushes in some areas, but no real trees, no grass, only dirt.
Because, you see Las Vegas for all of its supposed riches is sitting in the middle of a desert.
A dry, barren desert.
When you fly in and out of Las Vegas it almost seems like you are looking at the surface of Mars.
And sitting out in the middle of all of this is "Sin City."
I love to watch people. It seems to me that it is not only pockets that are empty in Las Vegas. I saw a lot of empty souls. And as many times I we had to pass the casino floor to get from one place to the other in the hotel I never once heard someone cry out from joy as they won the big prize.
My husband made an astute comment while we were there. He said, "Look around you. This place wasn't built because people were winning."
Las Vegas is beautiful, but it is a beautiful facade. They have a fake Eiffel Tower, a fake Venetian Canal, a fake New York skyline......only imitations of the real things.
"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" may sound like a good slogan to entice you to lose your inhibitions and let it all hang out since no one will "tell" on you later.
But even if no one ever tells, you know. And regret can be as dry and as barren as a desert when you are trying to escape it.
And although Vegas was fun, it wasn't a comfortable place for me. It was a place that sells sin. I have learned the hard way what a high price sin can have on my life. And I don't think the people of Las Vegas were very comfortable with me either. But, that's OK.
When I left Las Vegas behind I left with some fond memories, some great mementos, and a ton of pictures.....but no regrets.
I am thankful today for Your unchanging hand, Your protection and the sweetness of living this beautiful life. I wouldn't trade You for silver or gold.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I've Got Dreams To Remember....

I think one of the most wonderful things about getting older is that you lose your concern with trying to prove things to others and decide to prove things to yourself. I guess that could be seen as a form of mid-life crisis, but I don't feel like I am in crisis.

I can give some very good advice to all of you young people out there on the brink of your lives and that advice is.....


For every action there is a reaction. And even when you cannot see the reaction immediately it will come.

You can see it years later in regrets that you never thought you would have.

I hope that doesn't make me sound like Debbie Downer, because that is honestly not what I am trying to do.

But I definitely have things in my life that I wish I would have put a little more thought into before I acted.

I can look back over the years and see where I made decisions to please others without thinking them through to see what was the right and smart thing to do for me, for my future and for the future of those I love.

I remember some of those dreams that fell to the wayside because of decisions made without taking the time to consider the long term reaction to those decisions. It is a lot harder to go back and live some dreams with your pockets filled with bad decisions.

Just one second, one minute into something you know you should avoid can have ramifications years down the road.

And you can wake up staring into the face of the consequences of yesterday for the rest of your life.

I have still got dreams that I want to see come to pass, dreams that the Lord has given me, dreams that I have let life get in the way of.

But, I am determined to see them happen, maybe not as they once could have, but they can still happen.

To my children: Don't be in such a hurry to live your life that you miss what He has in store for you. He has a plan for you, and if you enact your own plan without waiting then you will never know what could have been.

Wait, I say wait....upon the Lord (And be of GOOD courage)

I have dreams to remember.....dreams of your lives lived within His promises....just hold on and you will see....He is good...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

He Sings Over Me

My Pastor was relating recently that he had been awakened in the night with a verse from the Bible. The verse was Zephaniah 3:17.
The LORD in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
This verse just stayed with me. To think that the LORD of heaven would sing over me with joy. I just cannot imagine.
So, Saturday I was working in my house and I was missing my Mama. I was thinking about her, and her death. And I was saying to myself that I just couldn't understand why she had to leave so soon and how much I miss her and wish I could talk to her again.
I went to sleep that night and in the early morning hours I had a dream.
In this dream I was in bed and my Dad came in. It was the Dad I remember from my teenaged years. He told me that he had a song to sing for me, a song about why my Mama had to die when she did.
And in the clearest voice he proceeded to sing verse after verse of the most beautiful melody.
A song that perfectly explained why she was gone.
I woke up feeling peace, but having no memory of what the song said.
But, I am certain it was from the Lord.
I know it was my earthly Dad singing to me in the dream, but I believe the song was from my Heavenly Father. He sang to me, sang a new song that replaced the sorrow I felt.
What GREAT love is that for His child?

Monday, August 29, 2011

She Knew...

In just a few short days my youngest child will be 21 years old. It is hard for me to fathom. But, it is true none the less.

I have been observing people my whole life, observing actions and reactions. I cannot say that I have been thrilled at all times by the abilities of some of my fellow humans to reason and make sound decisions. And I dare say some may think the same of me.

I have made some very sound decision and some very poor ones. But, time and time again the one that has served me best was my decision to serve God, to raise my children in a godly home. That decision has colored every other area of our lives.

My son is an adult. That is a hard phrase for this mother to utter, yet I know that in terms of years this statement is true.

I also know that within him is the potential to do great and wonderful things with his life, not only for himself but for the Lord.

It's there. I can see it, feel it. I can sense it when he prays, when he worships, as I listen to him talk or share his thoughts on the things of God.

And more than anything, as his mother, I long to see that potential reach its fullness.

I often think of Eunice, the mother of Timothy and make it my prayer that "unfeigned faith" would be transferred to my children, and not only that, but more so that some man of God would be a "Paul" to my very own Timothy, leading him, instructing him, and encouraging him to "stir up the gift" within him.

Mary may have been the mother of "God in flesh" but she was also a mother, period.

I am confident that she knew who He was, but I am also reminded that she could see that POTENTIAL in Him, the depth of that potential when it did not publically appear, before He ever preformed any miracles.

She knew.....

And on that certain day when they arrived the wedding of Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-12) she approached that potential with a request: "They have no wine." (vs. 3)

That's all she said. She didn't ask Him to preform a miracle, she gave Him the opportunity to live up to His potential.

And, in the fashion of sons and mothers Jesus replied, "Woman, what have I to do with thee? My hour is not yet come."

Quit pushing, Mama! I'm not ready.

But she knew He was.

She knew.

And because of the prodding of a mother, Jesus preformed His first recorded miracle of the New Testament.

To my son:

I know I am just a mother, flesh and bones, nothing special.

Not in myself. You are what makes me special. Because I can see in you all the promises of tomorrow. I can see the things you have yet to accomplish, and it stirs up MY faith.

I know He has a plan for you. Do I know what that plan is? No, not exactly. But I do know the potential of His promises that dwell within you.

And I long to see you follow in godly footsteps, because someday your very own footsteps will be leading others.

And there are times when I have prodded, when I have pushed you to reach beyond where you are, beyond where you are comfortable and maybe, in your opinion, before you are ready.

So when you lack the strength to believe in yourself, be confident in the fact that I KNOW.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have begun a new endeavor....


As if I wasn't busy enough I decided, with much prayer, to return to school.

Please pray for me and don't give up on me. I will soon have a whole new set of things to blog about!!!

Love Is......

When I was a little girl I enjoyed those cute little "Love Is...." comics. They were adorable! I thought it was kind of strange that they were naked, but that is beside the point.

I have read 1 Corinthians 13 so many times over the years. I have used it as a guide, a reminder of all that I should be to those that I claim to love.

Now, in case you haven't noticed, I LOVE my family. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

I have been married to the SAME man for almost 25 years. I think that one the reasons we can boast that is that measuring stick in 1 Corinthians 13 I was talking about. I have to look at it and say, "What am I doing?" sometimes. Can't claim we have had perfect times all the time, but love never is perfect.

And I have 2 exceptional children.

I really do.

Not playing.

I have had the opportunity to pay attention to other people's offspring. And I can assure you there is a lot of "Thank YOU Jesus!" coming from me.

I think one of the things that makes me different from other people is I can see their faults (just as I am sure they see mine). I am in no way blinded by the fact they are my children.

And I say children, when really they are adults.

Adults I can be proud of. Adults who don't have any major regrets.

Some parents boast in the fact that their children have run wild and are doing things that, as parents, they should be embarrassed by.

My children are godly examples to me.

I know how blessed I am.

I don't live a charmed life. I just live life. I live it to the best of my ability by keeping Him as the center.

And I hope this doesn't sound boastful, because I know where the credit lies.

You see, I know what love is.....

I have a life full of it.

Thank You, my sweet, sweet Savior. I am, among women, most blessed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Let Me Entertain You....

Several months back I was relating a story I had heard to Bro. Wood at church. I told him how Bro. Darryl Bennett had picked up a man on the way to my brother's church and ended up giving the man a Bible study which resulted in the man being baptized.

I mean, how awesome is that?

That Sunday Bro. Wood showed up with a visitor.

I was fascinated by this gentleman. Bro. Wood had picked him up and I began to talk to him and was intrigued by his apparent English accent. So I asked him where he was from.

He said he was from Douglas.

He had an intensity, and everything he talked about was so interesting that I was left wanting to hear more.

"Do you know, people think I'm crazy?" he said. I was afraid he may be more sane than most of us would ever be.

A few days later I saw him again at the bakery across the street from where I work. He was sitting alone at a table and I went over to say hello. He remembered my name and the names of the others at church.

And he began to tell me stories. One in particular was about the devil coming to his door one night when he was living in Tennessee.

I was enthralled by his stories, mostly because most of the world would listen to him and think, "What a nut!"

But, I guess I'm a nut enough to wonder, "What if it's true?"

I saw him several more times over the course of the next couple of weeks.

One morning when I arrived to work he was sitting on the curb outside my office. He had plugged his laptop into one of the outside plugs and was typing away.

He immediately began to tell me a story about one day when he was walking through town. He said he was down that day, thinking about everything and the Lord came up and put his arm around his shoulder and began to walk with him.

He said he asked the Lord what he was doing, and the Lord told him He just felt like he needed a hug.

Then he said the Lord told him He needed to leave because He had things to do and He was gone.

He looked up as the Lord left and he said the sky was full of angels. Thousands of angels.

I began to talk to him and I told him, "You know, that's what I want. I want to see the spiritual things that are going on around me. And I pray all the time that God would open my eyes to see things around me."

Then I said to him. "I want you to pray for me when you pray, that God will use me."

His eyes got big and he just stared at me for a minute. Then he smiled at me and said, "From your lips to His ears."

And he thanked me for wanting him to pray for me. He told me that I was a good woman.

I told someone about the incident and they voiced my thought on the whole thing. "I think he was an angel."

Maybe so. I will never know, I guess. I have only seen him once from a distance since that day, but I still think about him and the stories he told me.

And I know, believe me. I have been a nurse too long not to think "Ok, he is schizophrenic."

But, then the other side of me says...."But what if he was an angel."

The Word talks about us entertaining angels unaware. I believe in His Word and its there. So, that means it is true, it can happen.

And even if that was not the case in this instance it allowed me to believe in the possibilities.

I still long for Him to use me, to show me the things they saw in Biblical times when they believed in possibilities and saw those possibilities come to pass. I want that. I want to experience everything He has for me.

Thank You, my precious Saviour for reminding me again how great You are. I know if You did it before You will do it again. And I want to be a part of whatever You have!! I love You today more than ever. Thank You for loving me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

For One More Day

Several years ago I was called to jury duty and I brought a book in along with my car keys. These were the only things you were allowed to bring in.

I finished the whole book waiting to be called in. And it touched me in places that I have never been touched before.

But, there were places it didn't touch because those places weren't there yet.

We had an estate sale at my parents house last weekend. My daughter was in charge of gathering up stuff from our house to sell at the same time and one of the things she brought was the book.

I saw it laying amongst the stuff we were spreading out on tables and I grabbed it up.

"I don't want to sell this."

The book is called "For One More Day" by the author Mitch Albom.

It is a story about regret and the chance to right a wrong.

It is the story about a man who didn't fully appreciate what he had until he no longer had it.

It is the story about the love of a mother.

One line says, "...I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know."

The last time I saw my Mother she was sitting in a wheelchair at St. Pat's hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She looked frail and tired and was on her way to dialysis.

I bent down and hugged her one last time and told her "I love you SO much."

And I walked away in the arms of my son, weeping because I knew it was goodbye. Not the last time I would speak to her, but the last time those arms that had held me countless times over the course of my life would ever hold me again.

A few days later I was in my office when my husband came in and closed the door.

"Your Mom is gone."

And suddenly I went from being the spoiled baby of loving parents to a grown woman with no parents at all.

Nothing has ever been the same.

Every day there is something I want to tell her. Every day there is something I want her to tell me.

Just for one more moment, one more hour, one more day.

There are so many things I want to make sure she knew.

She was a good mother. The best mother in the world. I can say that with all certainty because I know she loved us with all that she was. She would be the first one to tell you she wasn't perfect, but that is to be expected.

I can still hear her laughter echo in my heart, and her belief in who I am and what I was capable of was so strong it held me up at times. She was honest with me, more honest than anyone else has ever been. She had no problem telling me I was making a mistake and although some would resent that, I suppose, I needed that honesty knowing only someone who truly loved you would be that honest with you.

It has been 13 months since I last saw her face. 13 months since I heard her voice or felt her embrace.

What I would give for one more day.........

Monday, July 11, 2011

Life Lesson # 758

I had a very strange experience today. Leaving the church after prayer service I pulled out of the church drive onto the highway at a normal speed.

Ok....maybe I was a Grandma....

And this Tahoe came barreling over the hill.

Now there was NOTHING coming when I pulled out, but by the time I got on the highway and looked in my rear view mirror they were gaining on me at a rapid rate of speed.

So I punched it.

About the time I punched it I passed the exact spot that I saw my son laying crumpled at after he was hit by the truck.

And I was struck anew by how fast life can change, how precious life is.

I know when it happened I called my brother, but I didn't call anyone else until the next day because I knew how upset they would all be.

And upset they were. As sick as my mother was she wanted to come back here and take care of her boy.

So, this weekend something happened to me that should have made me really sad.

Now, I'm not going to say it didn't bother me, but probably not as much as it should have.

I have learned some very important life lessons in the past few years.

One was learned standing on the side of the highway looking down, and two more were learned standing by open graves. There are some things in life worth fighting for. Love is one of those things. And, boy....has my life been filled with great love.

I spent a good part of Saturday afternoon laying on the couch, alone in my parents house. Just thinking, remembering, and weeping for the loss of my wonderful parents. Letting go of the house seems like shutting a heavy door.

And as I came home I was blindsided by something that I still don't understand.

And I probably never will.

Today I was reminded how different my life could be this very second. I was reminded again what really matters, and what really doesn't.

I don't have time in my life for foolishness. I don't have time. Each and every day is ticking away and I refuse to be sucked into stupidness. Let me share something with whoever may happen upon this little blog of mine.

I learned some things in my life the hard way. It is the result of those hard lessons that I am the person I am today. Not the person I was 31 years ago. I have grown up, put away childish things, and realized I have a choice to make each and every day. My choice is happiness. My choice is happiness.......

Life Lesson # 758. Expect the unexpected. And then suck it up and keep on keeping on. After all, the sun is still shining, even behind the clouds.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Landmarks That Last

I don't know who taught Hansel and Gretel, maybe they used their own ingenuity, but throwing down breadcrumbs was probably not the brightest idea. I know they were small children, but maybe with some instruction there would have been a different ending to the story.

It will be Father's Day this weekend.

I realize that mothers play a pivotal role in the lives of their children that cannot be duplicated.

So do fathers.

There are things we should learn from our fathers that we can learn from no one else. Things such as work ethic, honesty, firmness and loyalty.

I know plenty of people that have not had that role in their lives and turned out fine, let me say that from the outset. I also know of people who have had wonderful fathers and turned out, well, less than fine.

That is beside the point I want to make today.

Proverbs 22:28 says, "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."

We use landmarks for directions, especially in the South.

"Turn left by the tree shaped like a Y and look for the house with the big rock in the front yard."

I honestly cannot tell you turn on this street and then on this street. I give directions based on things that I see. That is how I know I am on the right path.

Our children need landmarks in their lives. They need to know they are headed in the right directions or they need a point of reference to get them back on the right track.

They need to see, as fathers that you have set "landmarks" in your lives that will stand the test of time. Not bread crumbs that may be gone as soon as they are spotted by a hungry bird.

They need something they can put their trust in, something they can rely on to always be there, be constant.

I was choosing a picture to represent my Daddy for my facebook profile to honor him for Father's Day. I have several on my profile, but the one I chose was of a day he set a very distinct landmark in his life.

It is the day he was Baptized in the wonderful Name of Jesus for the Remission of his sins and also the day he was filled with the Holy Ghost.

That landmark is solid, built on the Word of God. It will stand the test of time.

My Daddy was an honorable man, he was a strong man, and he was a leader to our family.

But he still had to follow the plan of God. By doing so he was saying, "I have redirected my path. This is the starting point for a new way of life."

And through the Word I know that if he ever lost his way on this new path he could easily find that landmark, a place of repentance.

Did you know, fathers, that everyday you make choices that affect you, AND your children. The way you chose to conduct yourself, to live your life bleeds over into those most precious to you.

Are you on a path that you would want them to follow? If you were gone tomorrow, would the landmarks you have set up in your life be able to stand the test of time?

Thank You today for my earthly father. He was a good man and I am blessed to have been his child. But I also thank You for allowing him to recognize that he WAS a man, and he needed YOU in his life. I am clinging to that promise that as long as I continue to run this race, following the right path, one glorious day I will see Your face. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When Grief Becomes Your Enemy

I may have to roll up my sleeves on this one....It's going to take some work.

I would say that I met grief a little over a year ago now with the death of my father.

But that's not exactly true.

I think I was first introduced to grief many years before that as I watched my vibrant, successful parents become enthralled in health battles that they simply lacked the strength to fight.

I cannot count the times over the years I have backed out of their driveway sobbing because the grief of losing them even before they were gone was so overwhelming.

I do not believe for a moment that I am the only person on the face of the earth who has lived with grief as a constant companion. I also will not be so arrogant as to say my grief far surpasses anyone else's.

But the whole deal is, it's my grief.

It's that grief that has allowed me to remember wonderful things, to laugh, to smile, and to feel that love that I know that my parents had for me.

And in that sense grief became my friend.

It helped me on the road to healing, helped me to look at the positives in such a painful situation.

At some point, though, everything changed.

It has been that grief that has me wide eyed into the night, that haunts my dreams and colors my happiness.

That grief that allowed me to begin each day with the knowledge that I had lost but I had also gained had turned on me becoming a vicious enemy instead of a tender friend.

And there reached a point when I realized what had happened to me because of this great, consuming grief.

I realized I was broken.

I was a broken person. I may have looked ok on the outside, and I went through the motions of living, but there was something so wrong.

I lost my ability to feel the things I was supposed to feel anymore without the color of grief staining everything like the sun trying to shine pure through a stain glassed window. I could see the brightness, but it was discolored through my pain.

And I thought about David facing the loss of his son, on the floor, crying with sackcloth and ashes.

Until they told him that his son was gone.

Then he cleaned himself up, he ate.....he went on with his life.

It became time for me to pick myself up and go on.

It became time for me to put the long night of weeping behind me and realize it was morning, and time for some joy.

That thing that I thought was my friend to help me through a difficult time became my enemy that wanted to remove any happiness from my life, remove any laughter.

Without me even realizing what had taken place I had allowed this grief to almost render my vessel useless in its brokenness.

Oh maybe I wasn't broken in two, but there was such a crack in my life that even when I would go to church and get filled back up it would all run straight back out.

Here is the wonderful part.

One day I got back on that potter's wheel and God took my brokenness and He REMADE me. All of those imperfections that made me unusable were folded back into the clay in His hands and they have made me an even better vessel, one that has many more uses.

That enemy that wanted to destroy me played a part in making me stronger than I have ever been, opened up a whole new ministry for me and gave me more determination than I ever thought I could have.

I have MORE to go to Heaven for now, because someday I can dance on streets of Gold with my Daddy and he will have BOTH legs, and I can worship beside my Mama and her body will be whole again.

And all the pain, all the grief, all the loss will be worth it because there will be someone else there that has been touched through my circumstances.

No, I'm not the only one who has lost. But, no one else has gained what I have gained.

I know my grief will reappear as long as I am in this earthly vessel. But that's OK.

I have another friend Who is bigger by far than anything that comes up against me. And He is willing to fight for me when I am too weak to fight for myself.

He is my family, my closest Friend. My Life, My Love, My All.

*Thanks to Bro. Marc Wood for obeying God tonight. I began the blog before church, and I knew when I left it up that it was meant for me to finish after. What a blessing tonight was for me.*

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We Have A History.....

Once upon a time the pieces of two lives converged to make one and through that life there began a family.

Centuries have passed but what began way back when continues on. And laying beneath markers across this soil and beyond are what remains of the life's that made me who I am.

And for the most part I don't even know their names. Not that the names have the most significant draw of my imagination, no, it is the countless stories those lives possessed that I may never hear.

Yet, they are my history.

Denise and I stopped at a Revolutionary War Cemetery recently. Many of the graves had stories written right on them, though some we're too worn to understand. But each life and death had meaning to someone all those years ago.

In the midst of the cemetery stood a brick fence with an iron gate. Inside that fence was Mary.

Beloved Mary.

Daughter, wife, mother.

Loved and lost too soon.

And that grief that drove her husband to erect a monument there for her extolling her virtues spoke to my heart.

The story it told was of love. Great love.

I am in the middle of writing my history. And through the choices I make stories will be told of my time here on earth.

Or not.

I have the opportunity to leave a legacy that generations will remember or just leave.

Forgotten till someone stumbles upon my grave and wonders who I was.

I want to make every day count. I want to be remembered for my faith, my prayers, my love.

I want my history to inspire someone else to go as far as God will take them, to follow His lead even when it is not the popular way, because I want my history to reflect it is the best way to live.

There may be things in my past I regret, but never do I regret my walk with Him.

I have a history. And tomorrow I have the chance to add to it again. I chose to give tomorrow to Him.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Southern....I'm Southern

I have had the privilege to do some traveling. I have not been a GREAT many places, but I am not done yet, by any means.

One thing that always becomes glaringly apparent when I travel is that I love being from the South.

Literally. Love.

I was riding along today, thinking about being Southern and all it means to me, to my life.

I know that there are some areas of the country that you cannot readily recognize from the way a person carries themselves that they are from any particular region.

No one doubts that I am Southern.

Even when I try my best to smooth out the twang in my voice it is apparent.

We have mannerisms here that I am pretty sure are not in other areas. And those mannerisms are magnified here in this small southern town.

I have lived in the South all of my life. ALL. OF. MY. LIFE.

No, I do not fly a Rebel flag in my front yard or have fighting *chickens* in the back. I said I was Southern, not necessarily a redneck.

My mother taught me how to be a proper Southern Lady, not that I paid TOO much attention. But, she did try.

And like most other Southerners I like my tea sweet, the only liquor I like is *pot likker* and if you don't know what that is, I'm not telling.

I say *Thank you* when someone holds the door open for me and we taught our children to say "Yes, Ma'am" and "No, Sir" when speaking. We even used a belt on them when necessary and they are not in counseling yet!!

I understand that everyone who waves at you while you are riding down the road may not know you. It is kind of like the tip of the hat from days gone by, and I like that.

When I travel to all the places I have been someone invariably asks, "So, where are you from?" because it is very obvious I am not from where I am.

And my reply is always the same.

"I'm from Georgia. I'm Southern."

There is no where else **ON EARTH** I'd rather be.

I know that Heaven will be a lot different from here, but I won't be too hard to find.

I will be the one hollering just inside the gates "Hey, y'all!! I made it through!! Praise the LORD!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Living With The Author

We had an excellent Bible Study tonight on the plan of salvation from the Search for Truth 2 study.

And just as I knew, Denise did a MUCH better job teaching it than I did. Of course, I interjected from the *peanut gallery* but that is to be expected. I just can't seem to hush about this wonderful faith.

One of the simple things Denise said tonight struck such a cord in me.

She said how much easier it is to understand the Word of God when the Author is residing within you.

Being filled with the Holy Ghost I have the Author living in me, and He gives me understanding that was denied me before.

How awesome is THAT?!?!?!

And, someday He will return and FINISH what He started in me over 20 years ago.

OH! How I love Him!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

To See Through The Glass Darkly

Here it is....2:43 am, and yet I cannot close my eyes. Not for lack of tiredness, for I proclaim that I am weary of body and mind. And yet, I cannot seem to close out this day.

Would anyone fault me for dreams? I would not consider it. Dreams, it seems to me, are the reason we do want to rise to face each day. Without something to dream of, some tomorrow to seek, I fear I would want to sleep on forever.

I have looked toward dreams for many years, for 24 to be precise. Every since I first felt that flutter of life beneath my heart, I have dreamt of days to come with much anticipation.

And now, it appears that I am standing with my face pressed into the dark glass of those dreams, straining to catch a glimpse of what awaits on the other side.

I can feel each dream in my heart, yet I can scarcely see them with my eyes. But I still believe they are there.

I have no way to describe the feelings rushing inside of me.

I do not know if I can waste one precious moment to close my eyes and let sleep overtake me. Yet, I know I must.

I have no recourse but to place my trust firmly in His hands, knowing He sees the ending from the beginning. He sees clearly through the smoky tint that deprives me from a true glimpse of tomorrow.

And so, I will rest in His care, certain that He cares for me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kissing the BooBoo

There are some hurts that go deeper than the surface, that dwell within the heart, unseen by human eyes. It is one of the marvelous things about modern technology that we can now *Look* into the human body through Radiology and *see* things that don't appear on a surface examination.

But, there is sometimes no way to see a broken heart unless you yourself carry one inside and know how it feels.

I have spent the past week surrounded by the love of those who know my symptoms, because they have suffered from the same injury.

It was refreshing to look into their eyes and see understanding, to be able to talk about things everyone else is tired of hearing, and to take that step forward from some of that heartache together.

I was holding my Great-Niece, Brooklyn, in my arms when she bent to the side and bumped her head. She didn't cry, she just looked at me with those big, beautiful eyes and rubbed her booboo.

I asked, "Do you want me to kiss it?"

"Uh-Huh," she said and tilted her head toward me to allow me to reach the spot.

"Is it better?" I asked.

"Is all beddur," she replied and immediately began wiggling again, secure in the arms of someone who loves her, knowing that if another booboo happens there is someone waiting to "Kiss it and make it all better."

I know just how she feels.

To my precious family:

We didn't sit around and mope and whine, but it was nice to be with those who have that same heart defect that I do, just knowing that someone else knows how it feels.

This past week was like the Balm of Gilead for my soul, just knowing that love survives even death.

And I do love you, each of you, not only for our common ground, but because of who you are, who you have become, and that belonging that is there.

Thank you for every single moment and the reminder that the tribe has survived.

"Is SO MUCH beddur now!"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Apostolic Attitude

I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have
Holy Ghost power. The dye has been cast, I have
stepped over the line. The decision has been made
I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow
down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my
present makes sense, my future is secure.

I'm finished with low-living, sight-walking, small planning,
smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision,
chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need prosperity, position, promotion or
popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recog-
nized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by
present tense, by faith, walk by patience, lift by prayer,
and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My
road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few,
my guide reliable, my mission clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured
away, turned back, deluded, deceived, or delayed. I will
not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence
of my enemy, negotiate at the table of the adversary,
ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the
maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, let up or shut up until I have stayed up,
stored up, prayed up , paid up and preached up for the
cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go 'til He comes,
give 'til I drop, preach 'til all know and work 'til He stops
me. And, when He comes for His own, He will not have
any problem recognizing me because I will not be dis-
couraged and I refuse to quit.

It's Worth It, Brother

There are doom and gloom ministers out there. I have heard a few.

I don't want to be classified as doom and gloom.

But, it behooves me to say......

It's time to get it together, people.

If you don't believe it is necessary, don't believe that a God of LOVE will send you to hell....OK

Let me just say....God sends no one to hell.

We take care of that on our own.

There is pleasure in sin for a season, as I know I have said before. We are on the brink of time. Time when there won't be a tomorrow for you to make up your mind. And whether you choose to believe that people will be going to hell or not, it's going to happen.

The Bible speaks very plainly about it. There is no ifs, ands or buts.

I don't go out clubbin', don't party, don't do a lot of things that the world sees as fun. But, let me tell you something, I have fun, and there is nothing to regret in the end. I don't wake up the next day wondering what I have done. My children could never be ashamed of my behavior.

I have not left behind a single thing that I have missed again because my life is so full of so many other wonderful things.

Living for God is worth it. Hands down.

I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.

And that's a fact.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mean Moms

I have been listening to my daughter come home after student teaching and thought, "What is wrong with people?!?!"

I am glad my chosen path was not teaching and I am so thankful for those who do!!

One thing I have noticed is that some people have stopped teaching their children accountability. In case you don't know what that is, it is accepting responsibility for your own actions.

An example: Your teacher tells you there is an assignment due the next Tuesday. You do not do the assignment. You get an "F" on the assignment that you DID NOT DO. That is the responsibility of your own action, or lack thereof.

But, what happens these days? Parents call the school saying how unfair it is for their precious little Susie to get a failing grade because she didn't do her assignment.

Now, let's recap. What have we learned from the above example?

Little Susie has learned that she can get away with whatever she wants because Mommie Dearest is going to stomp up to the school and "take care of things."


The next generation is looking "promising." We had better get busy building more prisons because that judge isn't going to care how big of a fit Mommie Dearest pitches.

I wouldn't or couldn't ever claim to be a perfect mom.

But let me tell you, I whipped first and asked questions later! If my kids came home with a bad grade because they didn't turn in an assignment they were calling on Jesus to help them out! I didn't play that.

I have had to talk to teachers, but I was very certain before I did that, AND I listened to the teachers side before I drew any conclusions.

Anyway....I wanted to share this old poem. I changed one part. I challenge my children to find it and message it to me....don't leave it as a comment (we don't want everyone to know just how mean I am...hahaha)

Mean Moms

Someday when my children are old enough to

understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will

tell them, as my Mean Mom told me:

I loved you enough . . . to ask where you were going, with whom,and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours

while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger,

disappointment, and tears in my eyes.

Children must

learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the

responsibility for your actions even when the

penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say

NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'm

glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.

And someday when your children are old enough to

understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.

Was your Mom mean?

I know mine was.

We had the meanest mother in the whole world!

While other kids

ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.

When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches.

And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was

different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all

times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She

had to know who our friends were, and what we were

doing with them. She insisted that if we said we

would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve

to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work.

We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry,

empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs.

I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had eyes in the back of her head. Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn

when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16 and then only with suitable chaperones. We were not allowed to be alone with a date.

Because of our mother we missed out on lots of

things other kids experienced. None of us have ever

been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property or ever arrested for any crime.

It was all her fault. Now we are in college becoming educated,

honest adults. We even go to church every service and look forward to it.

We are going to do our best to be mean

parents just like Mom was.

I think that is what's wrong with the world today.

It just doesn't have enough mean moms!