This is just a blog about my thoughts, my family, my everyday life. Because I am a Christian and have ups and downs like everyone else, I hope it will encourage others to either turn to Christ for the first time, or lean on Him when times are rough. Often life is just random and funny. I started this blog after many years of writing to my church about our vacations. They began to encourage me to blog and finally I am. Thanks for reading.

"Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace!" Nahum 1:15

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. John Piper

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Be A Listener

Are you a good listener?  I often walk away from a conversation lamenting the fact that I interrupted, talked over, and did everything but listen to the person I was talking AT.  How rude.  I need a checklist:
Did my words edify?
Did they uplift?
Did I look the other person in the eye?
Was I listening with a sympathetic ear?
Did I have to have the last word?  Ugh.
Was I honest and truthful?
Did I in any way gossip?
When Jesus was here on earth, He was an encourager and teacher.  He heard people before they spoke and He knew how to answer questions with questions.  He went straight to the heart.  He went straight to the Father, too.  Drawing others to Himself and leading them to hope and love and peace.
So, I challenge you to be Jesus to someone today.  Listen and hear the heart....and may your words be worth saying, if they are to be said at all.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11  For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 

1 Thessalonians 5:14  And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Free to Look Old, Act Old, Be Old

There are certain freedoms that come with aging and I intend to enjoy them all...if my body will allow it.  Yesterday I sat in First Baptist Church Farmerville, LA among a group of the silver haired club. Since I have opted out of dying mine, I fit right in.  The people were so very friendly and attentive. Sitting there, I suddenly realized how comfortable I felt.  Most of them were in their eighties, and so for once in a very long time, I felt like a young'n.
It isn't that the aging process hasn't taken its toll on has.  But that is the beauty of it.  It is supposed to. While I do not always wake with energy,  so far I do wake.
I am free to have gray hair.  It is a sign of wisdom...(ok, quit laughing.)
I am free to have wrinkles...and I have earned every one of them.
I am free to have sun spots,  (A telltale sign of a sun lover)
I am free to say, "No" to things I might otherwise feel obligated to do.
I am free to quit worrying about what other people think so much.
I am free to worry less about how I look.
I am free to forget things...I don't like it, but at least I know that I am prone to it and can warn others.
I am free to be 'grandma' to lots of children.
The list is endless.  Do you see the benefits?
God's PERFECT design is for us to age and the decline of the body makes us look forward to eternity with Him. Praise God, there will be many, many grandmas and grandpas in Heaven.  I am grateful to be on that waiting list.  In the meantime, my life is busier than ever and I am enjoying every moment...gray hair, wrinkles, brown spots, and all.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Attention all people pleasers and those that care what others think most of the time. I just finished a little book by Tim Keller.  It is one of the best books I have ever read. "The Freedom Of Self-Forgetfulness" (the path to true Christian joy).  Who doesn't want that?
Have you ever tried to forget about yourself?  It is soooo very hard.  We are such creatures of self love. Even when we say we do not love ourselves and are full of self loathing, the focus is still on......self.  Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  It's because we are so good at loving ourselves more  This book is simple and tells the truth about you and me on every page. You will not be able to escape its grasp on your heart. Less that fifty pages makes it doable for the busiest person.
It will rid you of you and lead you to a new freedom - living a life only unto Him while we are still here on earth.  Please read this book!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall 2013

Fall is here.  I haven't written much about it this year. Just look at last year's posts and hit the "repeat" button, wherever that is.  I still love it.  My house is all shades of orange. Though the temperature outside refuses to decline, it is October in my house. South Texas weather just will not yield to the calendar.
My days include menu planning, baking cookies, and creating soups for family and friends.  If I can't create a smell that delights, then a lit candle suffices.
The stores are busy filling their empty shelves with Christmas, but I won't let these amber days be stolen from me.  My first real pumpkins of the year cane from Mrs. Cole, a sweet friend. (I have found that if I give them back, she will bake me a pie!)
Though the  leaves around here will not change until mid to late November, the impostors in my house will make me smile until then. October is passing quickly.  I knew it would.  Making it count is what matters. What will you do differently today than you did yesterday?  Decide something and then do it.  I will, too.
I recently went to Round Top with Shannon and found this brown bottle.  The smaller one came from Big Lots.  They light up my kitchen counter.  Smile.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Psalm 139:1-10

 O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 
Psalm 139:1-10

I heard a song in the car today with the words of this Psalm in it.  It must have been titled "You Are There" because it was a repeated phrase in the lyrics.  I do not know who sang it, but it was beautiful and a choir accompanied the singer.  As I read the words to this scripture, I am reminded once again that God is Sovereign.  He goes before and comes after.  He is high and lifted up and has descended to the dark places. I find enormous comfort in knowing He is limitless and without constraints in any regard.  I am held by His right hand, wherever I go, whatever I do.  Praise His holy name for loving someone like me, who so often can't decide which direction to take or what to do next.  You, O Lord, have already been there.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Fool's Paradise

That is what I have been living in....a fool's paradise...and I am the fool.  Do you know any women who live their lives oblivious to what goes on around them in the real world?  Well that describes if you know me, you know one.  My head isn't buried in the sand and I don't wear rose colored glasses, but I have been blindly skipping through life unaware of our finances - or at times the lack thereof.
I am good in a pinch.  Remember when the oil companies went on strike for three months in the early eighties?  I had my game on then and it was me who dealt with the incoming bills while Tommy (who then worked for ARCO) looked for temporary work.  But since pastors do not have a union and do not go on strike, those particular skills have fallen by the wayside and been trampled into the dirt.  Alas, adieu.
What was the matter with me?  Money was an issue of which he took care. (Did you notice my carefully worded sentence so as not to end it with a preposition?)  We were on the same page...meaning I did not go on spending sprees without consent.  Those were the days of balancing a checkbook.
What I was really clueless about was life insurance, health insurance, car insurance, invested monies, etc.  People complaining about their light bills would ask me, "What was your light bill this month?"  I would just shrug an "I don't know."
"What do you pay for internet?"
"Phone bill?"
"Water bill?"
(You get the picture.)
Lately, I decided that I better put on a responsible hat.  It does not fit me very well...yet.  Neither of us is getting any younger and while I do not want to think about 'the end', I realize I need to be prepared for it.
Last night was my first lesson.  It did not go well, because the important papers seemed to be absent from the meeting.  We could not find them.  I finally discoverd our wills under our bed in the very bottom of a box of school awards and music programs. (I am a hoarder of my kids' accomplishments.) We also uncovered some pictures of me as a young lady in love with a guy on a submarine.  (Yes, of course it was Tommy.)
The things we sought have not been found yet, but a simple print out from the computer including a bunch of numbers, accounts, and secret passwords necessary to pay bills will keep me busy for a while.  Maybe the Lord will take me first when the time comes.  In the meantime, I am wearing a new hat, digging up those long lost skills, and getting my game on. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sleepless Nights and Radical Living

I am having a bout with insomnia presently.  Well, not presently because I am on the computer right now. But presently as in last night and the night before that and the night before that and so on.  Sigh.
I am not worried about anything,  There are no thoughts plaguing me.  It's just me, lying in bed, not sleeping. I have been reading a book entitled "from fear to freedom" by Rose Marie Miller. (It has no caps.)  So I picked it up and finished it.  It is very good and a real eye opener about what is wrong with me...and with you, too BTW. (I know. You thought I was perfect and maybe I thought that too... Well, surprise!!  We're both wrong.)
So, last night having exhausted my resources without turning on the tv, I turned to the One that knows it all. The conversation was one-sided, though He hears and answers in His time and in His way.
Me:  Okay, Lord.  Two words come to mind: comfortable and sedate.  I have become a comfortable and sedate person. As I stare at the ceiling, this reality hits hard and makes me wince.  Yes, I take care of Tommy and my mom, though she is doing well and does not need my full attention right now.  I am busy with things of my choosing, but perhaps they are not of Your choosing...just perhaps.  I am afraid I have attached those words to You also, God.  
God:  (I don't know what He is saying, but I know He is still listening.  He is probably wondering what I am going to say next.  Oh, right.  He already knows.)
Me:  Are You sitting on Your throne comfortable and sedate?  I think not.  You are doing amazing things all over the world, in every detail of Your creation.  You never sleep.  You never slumber. (Ironic, isn't it?)  If You wanted me to sleep right now, nothing could stop it from happening.  But maybe this is Your way of getting my the still of the night.  I hear nothing but the fan in the room. You radically do radical things.  Radical.  I just need to take off comfortable and put on radical. I am not sure what it will look like on me.  I am sooo very much not rad.  You will show me.  I will get out of my box.
God:  (I just know He is thinking about allowing me to sleep now.)
Me:  I've got three batches of cookie dough in my fridge that need baking.  (No, not for me.  I am abstaining at present.)  But maybe for you, dear reader.  Not very radical, but it's something.  I will still care for my husband and meet the needs of my mom, but I will put on some radical when I do.  Just watch.
And then I slept.  The End.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Again, a Quick Note

I do not seem able to find a time when my mind is operating correctly and my body has stopped moving long enough to put words to paper/computer.  It's either or. People who like to write should do it often.  So my thought for the day is 'obedience.' Is partial obedience disobedience?  When I was little, my room could be chaos. Cleaning the bedroom meant things were shoved under the unmade bed or thrown into the closet that hid a multitude of sins...and clothes were seen trying to escape the over crowded drawers of the dresser. It made my mom sad, angry, and frustrated. (Okay, but my brothers were worse.)
Are you like that?  Do you do your best at what you are asked to do? We all have 'bosses.'  If you think that you have escaped having any authority, then think again. God is there.  Invisible, yes. Absent, no.
How many times do I read something in Scripture, become convicted about it, and then neglect to act? Many.  God's work will get done with or without me.  He is Sovereign.  He gave me a manual on how to live before Him, and have a relationship with that isn't one-sided.  I can partially obey, obey fully, or ignore it altogether.  I know, because I have done all of the above.  Allow me to say this: There is nothing more joyful and peaceful than knowing that I have worked, loved, served to the best of my ability.  A good conscience is also a by product of a task well done.
In a world of compromise and slothfulness and apathetic behavior, Lord make my will line up with Yours.  I may resist You again and again, but please do not give up on me. I belong to You.  Keep teaching me with Your perfect words from Your perfect Word.