Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Speaking Faith

I could complain today about the cold weather or about all the teens at the mall who have no idea any one's around except them. Or I could complain about my hairdresser whom I dearly love but can't seem to get my hair the exact right length every time. There's always something that isn't quite perfect, isn't there? Complaining gets me nowhere ever and I don't believe there's a single verse in the Bible that tells us to whine.

I listened to a preacher from Broken Arrow on TV Sunday morning--a man I've heard many times and whose father founded a church and Bible school on one word. Faith. He reminded me to say Faith words; words that guide my life in the way I want to go because death and life are in the power of the tongue.

The words we speak produce. They produce life and faith or they produce something else; something we may see at the moment but don't want to happen. Mark 11:23,24 was this man's basis for his ministry. Faith words move mountains.

I've got a lot of faith words going on right now in my life, but the one I want to speak today is "the new year will be better than we can imagine."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


From my office window this morning I can see the courtyard and the wreath hanging on the gate. All covered with snow.

Christmas and snow seem to go together although snow at Christmas messes with travel. We aren't going away for the holidays but we do plan to meet friends for lunch today. On Christmas Day we'll travel to the west side and spend the day with family. The snow won't keep us from these two events.

Snow is quiet, peaceful. I love being inside and looking out at the snow before anyone has walked or driven in it.

No snowballs, no snowmen, no sledding in my life today. Just peace.

My prayer for all is that you have a blessed, peaceful holiday celebrating our Saviour's birth.

Monday, December 21, 2009

God Can Talk

I love it when I ask God a question and He answers me.

I know. Many people look at me like I'm crazy when I say God communicates with me. I talk to Him so why wouldn't He talk back?

The past few weeks have been a windstorm of activities that began when we were almost completely sure we are making some big living changes. I say almost completely because that's exactly what we feel.

The first step in this "almost completely" is to put our house on the market. Since houses in our price range aren't selling well (and we have houses on both sides of us for sale), we know that getting an offer on our house will be an act of God. Still, we are sure of that one thing.

Next is knowing that we will be downsizing. We have four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and an office. We love all this room when we have company, but most of the time we don't even go into the other rooms. Downsizing means "get rid of some stuff we don't need." And that's what we've been doing. I love seeing some empty shelves in every closet; love having the pantry neatly organized. We still have files to cull and papaers to shread, the garage to attack and Christmas to put away.

After the first of January the house goes on the market and we have to keep it viewer-ready at all times; work that I'll enjoy because that's how I wish I lived all the time.

What is the next step? Leave our town and move to another? That appears to be what we're hearing, but we are open. A person with my personality needs challenges and wants to know what is ahead. I'm not comfortable not knowing what I'm going to do tomorrow and next year. For this malady God has been telling me (Yes, I know that sounds odd to some)that He is the lamp and light in my path. He's the Light and He's carrying the lamp. I can see the next step but unless He moves, I'd better wait for illumination.

As we were getting ready for church yesterday morning I asked God to speak to me. During communion I looked around the assembly at the people I've grown to love and said, "Lord, I don't want to leave." That was it until the preacher began his message. The title was "The Joy of Obedience." Oh, my.

Jesus knew the will of God from the time He was very young. Being God He knew He was going to have to give His life for the redemption of the world. Do you wonder if, before He began His ministry and knew He was going to have to face a whole bunch of guys who didn't "get it," that He said to His Father, "Why don't we just get this over with and die today?" Hebrews 10:7-"I have come to do your will, O God." Timing.

Jesus embraced obedience to God and in doing that He embraced the Right Time.
I'm not Jesus, but He's definitely the One I want to emulate and follow. Why else am I here except to fulfill His will and the destiny He has for me? He says that we will keep His commandments if we love Him. Jesus is not only the WAY of salvation, He is MY salvation. Following Him is my salvation.

Every morning I--we--need to wake up saying, "I have come to do your will today, Lord. Light my path and help me see." That means I have to let go of my self and my selfish desires minute by minute. That's the Joy in Obedience.

To top the message off, the closing hymn was "Trust and Obey." Yes, I heard from Jesus in the way He speaks to me. And, no, I still want to know more about our future, but maybe I know more than I know I know. Whatever comes, I'm waiting for Him to light our way.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In My Path

The past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy. Christmas time is always busy, but more than the holidays has been happening. Our daughter-in-law's sister is in the hospital with bilateral pneumonia and is quite sick. My husband has been called on to pick up our grandkids from school today and take them to piano lessons. The daughter-in-law is torn and under a lot of stress because she and her sister are really close. Prayers are going up for all of them.
We've had an event in my family that put a lot of stress on us. At this moment, things appear to have smoothed out somewhat, but while it was going on, all of us were hurting. This will need a lot of prayer, too.
Families can seem to be blessings or curses. I had a mother-in-law at one time who nearly drove me crazy because she really was crazy. My sister-in-law had been the "boss" of the family for so long that she thought she could tell us how to live. When my husband and I separated, the best part was divorcing that family.
My dad's sisters were constantly fussing between the two of them and one of the sisters-in-law. My parents refused to get involved in the spats. Even when they knew the sisters were mad at my mother, they went right on and acted like nothing was wrong. My dad was a true peacemaker and my mother didn't believe in fighting with anyone.
Last week, in the midst of the termoil that was going on in my family, I read two statements that gave me pause. Both were in the Reader's Digest. The first was from a book excerpt called "Laugh, Pray, Love" by Kate Braestrup. Something she learned from Mother Teresa was "Help those whom God has placed in your path."
She writes, "I remembered thinking, I like it! I had a nice image of myself walking down a well-marked path in the sunshine. I came around a corner and--whoops--there she or he was: the person God placed in my path."
Since I read that, I've thought about the people I have run into in my life. Some of them were there for just an instant; others are still with me. If I really believe God has placed people in my path, I don't dare get mad at them and walk away, do I? If they do something that needs forgiving, what do I do? Easier said than done sometimes, but I forgive and look for God in the relationship.
The other quote that makes sense and fits with this is from Desmond Tutu's book, "God Has a Dream." He writes "You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
Wow! How many quarrels and divisons would end if we all believed these two statements. If I'd known this, how different I would have seen the crazy mother-in-law and her daughter. And my husband.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 16:9. "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Steps that lead right in my path.
Family members are God's gift to us.
People we run into on the street, in the grocery store, at church--everywhere, are there because God has put them in our path.
Can you get your head around this? Will it change your life as it has mine?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Facing Everything With God

I don't know anyone who isn't facing something bad or scary or frightening or heartbreaking. I know what some of them are going through but others--no. Just that they have something in their lives that's hard.

When I was young, I don't remember facing anything like this. We didn't know people who took drugs or were alcoholics. I knew of one family whose son was in the military and was killed in an accident. I was about 14 then. When I was 18, my best friend's mom got cancer and died. Later I knew of more deaths but nothing like what I hear of today. When I was in high school, I knew one classmate who died. When my daughters were in high school, they knew many people their age who died in accidents. Now it seems there's more unhappiness than just death, and there are plenty of those.

Has life gotten worse or have I lived long enough to realize it?

How do we cope? I know I can't do it without God. Even when He answers a prayer, that may not be the end of whatever is going on in life. I can remember times when I prayed for something thinking that when the prayer was answered all my troubles would be over. Sometimes the answer was just the beginning. I got through all those places. Never alone. He's always been right beside me or carrying me whenever I couldn't walk any farther.

My prayer is for everyone who can't make it alone to do the same thing--ask for His help. He is more than able.

Many Words About Nothing

Up early. Started by studying Bible lesson. Got Google sidetracked. Back to Bible study then back to blogging.

One of the reasons I love reading Facebook and blogs is that I, like a blog friend, love stories. That's why I write. My mother was the kind of person people loved being around. Whatever was happening, she could make people laugh. Her stories were exciting and fun to hear. Some family members accused her of making them up but she just said, "They're all true. I just make them more interesting."

You can tell a story and have listeners on the edge of their chairs, or you can repeat a story and have them yawn. I prefer the edge. Maybe I'm a little like her. I hope so.

Here's a story that isn't fun: I have been trying to sell some things on e-bay. Somehow I never get to the posting end before the page expires. I'm not sure what Craig's List actually means. Do people come to my house and shop? I know a person or two who have posted with Craig and it seemed to work for them. What I need to do is gather up all this stuff and have a garage sale. One problem. We can't do that in our neighborhood. Maybe set up a table on the side of a busy street? Doubt if I could get away with that either. What do I do with all these knick-knacks--some of which are pretty expensive? Giving them away has worked in the past, but it would be nice to get a little something for them, especially during these days of famine. Well, not real famine.

As you can see, I'm rambling and none of it is funny. Guess I'm not as much my mother's daughter as I hoped. At least this morning, but there's always another day and another story.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Monday Again

Monday morning--my favorite day of the retired week.

I woke up at 5:00 this morning thinking of all I have to do this week. Anxious to get started I finally got up at 6:00.

I like Mondays because I have a whole new week to get everything done that I didn't finish last week. I get to do laundry which means clean sheets and all the clothes clean.

The only problem with waking up this early is running down by the middle of the day and still having lots to do.

This past week end was non-stop from start to finish. Looks like the rest of the week is the same. But I'm not complaining. I'm grateful that God has given me things to do and the ability to do them. I'd go crazy if I wasn't busy although some down time is good, too.

Last Friday night we attended the Holiday Stroll in Old Town. Thousands of people on the streets enjoying the festivities: street singers, lights, vendors and the huge Christmas tree lighting. The priest of the church gave the invocation and it was full of Jesus. No one told this crowd to keep quiet about their beliefs! Loved being with friends and braving the cold.

Mark Twain said that man was created last when God was tired. I disagree. God saved the best for last.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


What is the one Christian virtue most of us don't possess and all of us pray for?


I received an email today about patience. Mostly it was about being patient with our children. I can't tell everything he said but with every word I read I wished I had been more patient with my girls. Water under the bridge, spilt milk, all that and more. I can't change what I didn't do so as Paul said about something else entirely--let's go on to something else.

Today I am learning patience once more. Maybe every day, but today for sure. I see where I'm going and want to get there NOW!

It doesn't work that way, does it? When God shows us a way to go, He doesn't immediately move us in that direction. Instead we have to wait for how to get there.
Moses is a prime example. I bet he learned a lot about patience from the time he killed the Egyptian until he died out in that wilderness. In impatience he struck the rock and never made it to the Promised Land.

I don't want to strike the rock and get ahead of God. I don't even want to follow Him because I could get too far behind and get lost. I want to walk right beside Him knowing that in His time I'll be where He's called me and it will be just the way He wants me to get there.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Unmovable Faith

I opened my shades again this morning and there was that beautiful mountain. What a blessing I've had for six and a half years to be able to see the Sandias from my windows. I never dreamed I would fall in love with a mountain.

My husband spoke at an assisted living facility recently. He talked about gratitude and whether we are thermostats or thermometers.

A thermometer measures the temperature of the moment. A thermostat sets the temperature. Something happened yesterday that disappointed me. Instead of remaining fixed in gratitude, my thermometer fell. It took me awhile to shake it off and reset my thermostat to thankfulness.

Paul said to give thanks in all things for this is the will of God. I'm endeavoring to set my thermostat on giving thanks no matter what happens. I want my faith to be like that mountain I see every day--unmovable.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

To Know Him

The young man who spoke at church Sunday shared some of his faith journey. He didn't preach a three part sermon. He spoke from his heart and his message moved all of us. As I lay in bed trying to go to sleep Sunday night, my thoughts went back to the night I began my own journey of faith.

I'd gone to church off and on all my life--mostly on. We attended a wonderful church in Amarillo and only went on Sunday mornings. I began having the desire to go on Sunday night but my husband didn't want to go. Finally, one evening I decided to go by myself. My three year old daughter wanted to go with me that night and I took her. My five year old wanted to stay home with her dad.

I wonder today why I let my little one go with me. She was a talker and mover and never behaved quietly in church. But I'm so glad I took her that night because she's part of the beauty of what happened to me. Since I knew she would probably be disruptive we sat on the last pew near the door in case I had to take her out. Almost as soon as we sat down she put her head in my lap and stretched out beside me and went to sleep. Is there anything sweeter than your baby sleeping? I loved having her there.

Because I'd gone to church for so long I knew all about God and Jesus and all the Bible stories. That was the problem. I knew ABOUT them and that was all.

I don't know what happened that night or what I heard but all of the sudden something changed. There was more to God and Jesus and being a Christian than I had ever known before. I didn't know what it was. I just knew there was more.

That night was the beginning of my journey into the spiritual realm. If I was wanting more, I wasn't aware of it, but there it was. More.

I can close my eyes right now and see myself in that pew; my baby girl's head in my lap while she slept; my spiritual eyes suddenly opened just a bit.

My journey began that night and continues today. No matter how much we know God, we know so little of Him. He is beyond our knowledge; beyond our understanding. Can't you hear David's heart as he sings his psalms about the wonders of God?

The story of the blind men describing the elephant comes to my mind. From the part they touched each thought they knew what an elephant looked like, but none of them had the complete picture. Each of us knows a part of God, but none of us knows Him in totality. It will take eternity to grasp even a small part of who He really is. But while we are living here we get glimpses of Him that we didn't see before. My prayer is for Him to open all of our eyes so we can see Him as He is.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanks Giving

Another Thanksgiving has passed. I read or heard someone say their favorite holiday was Thanksgiving because you get the good food and don't have to buy presents.

As I look back at the 73 Thanksgivings of my life, the ones I remember the most were the ones spent at my grandparent's home in Memphis, Texas. Aunts, uncles and cousins joined us. My closest cousin and I got to eat in the kitchen while the grown-ups ate in the dining room. We loved not having to sit at the big table. When our brothers came along, we were relegated to the dining room and they got the kitchen.

As a married person in Tulsa we invited singles who had no family in town to share Thanksgiving with us. Those were fun and fulfilling. But not all my holidays in that town have been memorable. In fact, many have been lonely. When I wasn't married, many were spent alone trying not to look out the window and see the houses with cars parked around them as they spent the day with family and friends. For some reason none of my married friends ever thought to invite me to their feasts.

A few years ago we had 23 people at our house for the day. Some were our family, some friends plus a family who had nowhere to go. That year we had three toddlers that made it necessary to touch up the paint on the walls when it was all over. Last year we had more family plus a granddaughter and our great granddaughter here. Busy but fun.

We had Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago with a son and his family before they left on a week's vacation to California. Yesterday we planned to spend it alone and were all right with that. Instead we went out to eat with a couple we love very much. Afterwards we went to their house and visited. Really nice. Quiet but good.

We know of two families who had a difficult holiday. In one the wife passed away two months ago. In the other the husband died just a week ago. Our prayers are with them as they go through the next weeks.

Thanksgiving is just that--a time to think of the blessings we have and be thankful. But not just on that day. We're thankful year around that we have friends, family and our God to spend our earthly lives with. Some day that life will be over and the best life will begin for eternity. Now that's the kind of holiday I'm looking for! Just not too soon. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Load Up the Wagon

Life is speeding past and we're holding on for dear life!

The holidays are usually the busiest times of the year, and ours is no less.
The auction is over and was a big success. We have another meeting next week to go over what went right and what needs to go even righter.

We're cleaning out and getting rid of things we don't need. How do we accumulate so much stuff? None of it is important but for some reason when we get it, we think it is necessary. What would happen if we had to put all our belongings into a covered wagon and make our trek to a more promising land? What would really be important then? Having so much sometimes feels like a heavy burden on my shoulders.

The hardest part of cleaning out is getting rid of books. I've done that so many times in my life that the books I've let go of would fill any library in town. I love books and will probably buy more. As one friend said, "I never met a book I didn't want to buy." Me, too.

We have friends who have made a movie. He wrote it, produced it and stars in it. I guess they are trying all the ways they know to sell it so it can be seen on the big screen. How hard is that compared to trying to get someone to publish a book?

We all have unfulfilled dreams but it is those dreams that keep us going. If we finally had everything we ever wanted and only had to rest, how quickly our lives would become meaningless.

Many years ago God told me He would fulfill all the desires of my heart. I don't even know what those desires are, but I'm so grateful to Him that He knows and is still working on them. That's one reason I'm cleaning out. You never know when God will say, "Load up the wagon and move on." In my book that's exciting stuff!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Resting in His Hands

Today is the big day--the children's home auction.

Last week we spent a couple of days at the home getting items ready for the home's fund raiser event of the year. It's so much work but so much fun, too.

For the past two nights, because of our busy schedule and the holidays and life in general, I haven't slept well. If anything disrupts my life, it turns into not sleeping. I wish I'd lose my appetite instead. :)

As the year draws to a close I wonder what the next one will bring. I could make a list of what I want to happen, but when I do that, God always surprises me. As I look back at the big changes in my life, I can see His hand so clearly. Just as he made the way plain for the Israelites and even parted the sea for them, so has he done for me. I've had places to live, jobs, friends, churches--all because of His leading.

I know God has us in his hands. Whatever the next year brings, I can rest in that.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mondays and Fears

I love Monday mornings now. I'm not sure I was so fond of them when I worked, but today I love them because they represent a new week, time to get organized and do the laundry. I really like doing laundry and wish I could hang my clothes outside like in the "good old days." Of course, when I used to have to hang them out in the winter in Amarillo, Plainview, Lubbock and El Paso, I wished for a dryer.
By the time I lived in Beaumont I had a dryer and have never had a clothesline since then.

This morning I filed all the junk that had piled up on the filing cabinet, copied photos for the ancestry albums, read emails and Facebook--all while my clothes are busily washing and drying on their own.

I'm taking an on line class called "Surviving Trauma." One of the lessons has been about cues. Cues come out of the blue after some kind of traumatic event. After 9/11 some people had these cues when they saw American Airlines planes in the air days or months later. Reading about cues gave me pause.

Years ago we went to church three times or more a week. Rather than enjoying the experience, much of the time it was out of legalism and a desire to please. For years since then I have dreaded Sundays, and sometimes still do. I've wondered why and now believe the feeling is a cue based on my past church experience. Knowing why and staring it in the face just may be the way I'll get past this "trauma."

I had another traumatic experience from 1990 until 1993. My mother's dementia made it impossible for her to live alone. She couldn't come live with us because we had our daughter and grandson living there, plus the fact that no one was at home during the day. Not having funds for anything else, I had to put her into a nursing home. She had always said she didn't want to go to one, as we all say, and moving here there was the hardest thing I ever had to do. She'd only been in that place for three months when she fell and broke her hip. She never really recovered and was in a wheel chair thereafter.

Teaching middle school is exhausting on a good day, and on many of those days I'd go see her after school. She hardly recognized me and only wanted to pull herself around in her chair. After standing all day, following her around was more than I could do. Week ends were busy but I managed to go see her then.

I need quiet and solitude to revitalize. However, with a young boy, my daughter and a husband who needed quiet himself, I found that I had no place in my house where I could go to be alone. Many week end days I got into my van and went away, found a place to park and just sat in the quiet of my vehicle.

As my mother grew worse, and my energy lessened, I had more and more guilt about not seeing her as often as I should. What could I do? I was at the end of myself.

When Mother died, I never went back into that nursing home or in any others. Thinking about entering one grabs me in the pit of my stomach and almost makes me sick.

I have known for a long time that fear has been one of my biggest enemies and has kept me from doing some things that I should have. I've prayed, of course, and just last Saturday I told God I wanted him to heal me of these fears that have held me back. Maybe what happened is an answer to that prayer.

My husband was asked to deliver an inspirational message on a Sunday this month at a nursing home. I know I could tell him I won't go because of never wanting to go into a nursing home again. He doesn't need me there and no one will be expecting me, but I imagine he'd like for me to go with him. However, could this be God's way of setting me free from my "nursing home phobia?"

I'm looking at it but haven't made a decision. I've never been a person who wouldn't face a hard place, except in this case. Or maybe in more cases than I know.

I think I'm almost afraid to ask God for his direction for "fear" that he will tell me. One scripture comes to mind, a word that he has given me over and over. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." If I go, I know he'll be with me because he's already there. He'll still be with me if I don't. But if that's my decision, I just might miss a very big blessing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

He Is Mighty To Save

We attended a Christian concert last night--the first I've been to in years. Back when I was a charismatic I went to many and loved them. But the music wasn't the same. Or maybe I'm not the same.

The concert was billed as Jeremy Camp's but Bebo Norman and Natalie Grant took up the first hour and a half before Jeremy showed up. For three hours we heard wonderful inspirational songs, some of the words we could understand--some not so much. The building was crowded, sold out, both in tickets and to Jesus.

I loved hearing the ministry of these young people; loved hearing them lead the audience in praises to God. Memories of past meetings where people raised their hands and moved with the music, even shouting praises and singing along with the performers, reminded me of how on fire I was when I first met Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

I'd always known God back then, knew Him from the time I was very young. Jesus was a baby in the manager and who was the Holy Spirit? I'm not sure I'd heard much about Him although I knew there was a Spirit because I sang, "Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me."

June 21, 1971. I'll never forget that day--the day I met God anew, Jesus became real and the Holy Spirit appeared.

Last night I listened to music that doesn't appeal to these ears today. When Natalie sang "It Is Well With My Soul" acapella and we sang along with her, I was once again filled with Him as I had been in the past. When Jeremy sat at the piano and sang "Saviour, He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save",a song we're familiar with at church, I experienced God's presence and could sing the words.

The audience of all ages knew the songs. A woman next to me said she goes to all these concerts and she had to be in 40s or 50s. She sang along, as did an Asian man nearby, a man and his wife with two sons who sat behind us, and so many others.

Jeremy and Bebo are involved in Compassion, International and gave moving accounts of their involvement with the organization. The Albuquerque children's home was chosen as the local charity to be given gift cards at the event. We had a booth where many came and took information and asked questions.

These young men and the young woman are sold out to Jesus and are giving their lives to bringing Him to people. What am I doing at my church? What is my church doing? Do I hear testimonies like theirs from our people? Do I see people with their arms around each other praying as I did at the intermission?

I used to and I long for that again. I pray our body, as well as all the churches in this city, will experience the wind of the Holy Spirit that will lift us out of the complacent way we worship God and fill us with the excitement and fervor we had when we first met our Saviour.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another Opportunity

This is really hard to do. Type, I mean, with my right little and ring fingers taped together. I have to look at the keyboard when I want to type on the right. I can use my ring finger some but the little one is useless.

Two weeks ago I fell in the garage. I guess most of my weight went to my right hand trying to catch myself. For about 10 days I had some swelling and discomfort then BANG! OUCH! My husband taped the fingers together. Relief! But hard to do so many things.

If I get that hand wet, the tape falls off. Surely someone has invented water resistant tape! I guess this means a trip to the drug store to check out what's available. In this age of washing our hands all day long, you can imagine how many re-tapings have to be done.

I know this is minor in the scheme of life and I don't mean to whine, but for someone who writes on the computer all the time, it is a bother.

However, I'm grateful because I also hit on my right hip and that didn't break.

Little things come into our lives that can cause us to complain--like a sprain or something worse. When these things happen, I have to turn my eyes away from the small inconvenience and look up once more. The words I say must remain positive and I have to give thanks in it all.

Hmmmm. . . Seems I've heard that before. "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Ahhhh. . . and yet another opportunity to have something to thank God for!

Friday, November 6, 2009

What Is Living?

I am so much like my mother that it scares me. She liked to stay busy. . .right up to the time when the dementia took hold and robbed her of life. I hope I can do as well. But I want to skip the dementia.

Last week I stayed in and nursed the flu bug. I only had to opt out of two events. This week has been busy, busy. This week end is the same. The next week more of the same. And I'm complaining?

I love free time and I love having something to do. Balancing the two isn't easy even in retirement. My thoughts go back to those long summer days when I was a kid. My mother stayed busy and I stayed outside all summer cloud-gazing, swimming, riding my bike and enjoying being out of school.

Would I want to be able to do that again? Not on your life! I like being involved with causes and people and writing and reading. Today this is living for me. What is living to you?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Center of the Universe

When they discover the center of the Universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it. . .

I added this saying to the bottome of the emails I send. I didn't do it to tell others they aren't the center of the Universe. I did it to remind myself I'm not.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

God's Mercies Endure

How do we know if we're doing God's will? How do we know if the decisions we make are the right ones, the ones God wants us to make? How many decisions have we made thinking we're doing God's will only to find out later that maybe they weren't after all?

I know someone who always wanted a cabin in the woods. When he got to the point in his life where he had the money to have one, he prayed and felt he was doing God's will by building one of his own. As he got into the middle of building (which took three years) several unexpected events happened. By the time the expensive cabin was finished he was ready to sell it. He rarely got to use it and found it was a monetary burden. He was finally able to sell it at a loss. Did he hear from God? Probably not, but he heard from his own heart.

I know of several times in my own life I thought I was hearing from God. As I looked back on those times that didn't go well, I realized I was hearing my own desires. Made me pretty mad when I realized that because I thought God had betrayed me by letting me walk into something He didn't want. I told Him how I felt. You'd expect Him, if He were like us, to say, "Well, you got into it on your own because that's what you wanted. Now get over it!" But he didn't. He lovingly showed me my heart. Then He told me He'd never left me nor forsaken me through it. That changed my life.

Paul tells us in Romans that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. What it comes down to is trust and faith. Faith that no matter what happens God will work it out for us. We don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. All we have is today and the knowledge that when we mess up, we can trust God to turn our lives around and fix whatever we break.

Remember--His mercies endure forever.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Health and Peace

It is such a blessing to feel good again!

After church yesterday a doctor spoke about the flu vaccines. She said it appeared that those who had the regular flu shot had milder cases of H1N1. Maybe that's what happened to us. My husband had it, we think, about two weeks ago but only for two days. Mine lasted about four.

I want to thank all my blogging friends--those who write and those who read only--for thinking of me while I was out of commission. I got emails that don't show up on the blog comments and really appreciated them.

Yesterday's sermon was about peace. Just saying the word quietens the soul. It was a wonderful day. Dallas won and the team I picked to win in the football contest, don't really know what to call it, that team won, too. There are 60 of us left in the game. I have to think hard to figure out my next pick. It's fun although I won't be the last person standing because I lost once. Someone who gets to the end and has never lost will win. I don't even know what the prize is. The only reason I joined was to help my niece's son's little league team.

The children's home auction is coming up soon and we are on the committee gathering donations and selling tickets. We'll be busy for the next two weeks. Thank you, Lord, that I didn't get sick this week!!

I hope everyone who reads this is well and at peace in their lives.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Being Stopped in My Tracks

I love being at home, as I've said before, but being at home and sick. . .well, that's different. It stopped me in my tracks. Say goodbye for awhile to all the activities I do when I'm well.

Last Monday I woke up with aches and pains and the dreaded swine flu raging through my body. Every day has been a little better but not enough to skip naps and sit in chairs and deal with nausea.

I'm missing my ladies Bible study this morning on the Covenants. I love it and really hate to miss. I'll also miss the children's home Halloween party tonight. I hope I can make the jewelry party Saturday.

We watch "Survivor" on television. On the latest episode the body of one of the survivors gave out on him. Dehydration, starvation and constant rain took its toll and he passed out. Not once but twice. They have medics standing by at all times and he was taken from the competition. I wonder how much long range damage is done to the bodies of the participants who face these hardships? I would never have considered, even at the strongest time of my life, doing what they do for any amount of money or thrills.

This illness will pass and I'll be able to go on with my busy life. What of the people I know who have been hit with illnesses that take a year to treat? or who face surgery? or other treatments? I saw a young boy in a wheelchair recently and it broke my heart thinking about how his life should have been. Not in a chair but running and playing instead.

I know we adapt to whatever life brings us, but just a little thing like the flu really makes a person grateful for good health. At least, that's the way it affects me. I don't know how much longer I have on this earth, but I want my body to stay as strong and healthy as possible.

I have found something good about having the swine flu now. . .I won't have to worry about taking the vaccine if it ever becomes available for my age group.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Marriage and Divorce Response

One of the blogs I follow had a posting about divorce. The blog quoted a book that gave the six main reasons for divorce.
One, "Our problems have lasted so long, it is too late to change."
Two, "My husband can’t communicate."
Three, "My wife nags all the time."
Four, "We’ve grown apart."
Five, "My spouse had an affair, the marriage can’t work."
Six, "I don’t love him/her anymore."

I wrote a comment in answer to this. My comment was "It takes two to make a marriage work." Others sent in comments that physical and substance abuse are reasons for divorce.

I don't know the person who wrote the book but I do know people don't need to be making judgments on why people divorce unless they have intimate knowledge of marriages that have failed. It's hard for a person who has had a long, happy marriage to imagine not being able to work out problems. As I said earlier: It takes two.

I won't go into all the reasons my first 20 year marriage ended in divorce, but I'll say this. We saw a marriage counselor whose only suggestion was that we should have sex more often. She went into great detail on what I should do to make this happen. Believe me, sex wasn't the only problem we had. Without love, affection, loyalty and respect sex is pretty meaningless.

Breaking up a marriage covenant is hard enough, but having to sit under the judgment of Christians is even more difficult. Some women came to see me and "in love" told me God wanted them to tell me I was under Satan's spell. If I hadn't been certain of my decision, their words could have knocked me off my feet. In the fundamental church we now attend there are many divorced and remarried couples. I don't think the stigma is as great as it used to be.

I'm all for keeping marriages together but when a man and woman are toxic together health can be destroyed, the children suffer and a person's faith can falter. I thought I had to be married all my life to this man. That belief took the hope out of me and I came very close to suicide.

God always has the answer. He saw my pain and he saw the future. With all my heart I believe he was all right with the divorce. If divorce is a sin, then that sin is under Jesus' blood just like all the rest of them. And the Church shouldn't try to take God's place and judge what they don't know.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Walking Through the Valley

Have you walked through the valley of the shadow of death?

Psalm 23 is probably the most used scripture in the Bible. Usually it is read during a funeral and speaks of physical death. As with most of God's Word, the psalm has a multi-dimensional meaning. One meaning is trust. This psalm is a song of trust in God.

I've started this paragraph over several times trying to say what is in my spirit. Finally I have come to the conclusion I need to tell it from my own life first. I've been through many valleys of death in my life. Loss of a loved one, not only through physical death, years of periodic strife, stress and heartache, many of which had an impact on my physical health....I could go on to other, shorter periods when I walked through a valley. Some are intense. Some less so, but they are all dark.

These walks changed me, which is what God means them to do. In those valleys I had His rod of correction as well as defense. His staff gave me the support and power I needed to make it through. I was comforted knowing He was with me. And when the time was over I came out lifted up over those enemies that would steal my faith in Him. I dined at His table of grace, filled with the knowledge that I had received His goodness and mercy in the midst of the darkness. The remembrance of His Presence with me in those dark days is always with me.

I believe the valley of the shadow of death is necessary in our walk with God. The death is that of Self--the part of Self that rebels against God. I thank Him for caring for me enough to walk me through my valleys.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Power of the Shack

I'm going to have to learn how to add links so readers can go directly to the site. I suppose you can copy and paste this one and go to it. I'm sorry I can't do better but everyone needs to hear this message.


One of the fastest selling books today (and has been for some time) is "The Shack." I read it last year and was blown away by it. Today I set aside about an hour and listened to the above link where the author spoke at Pepperdine University. I'm blown away again by God--His love, His grace and His power. This is a book and a message about forgiveness and brings it in a way I've never heard before.

Please go to it. Listen. Read the book. Let God speak to you and heal your soul.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


My home page is Goggle. On it I can choose what I want to come up: news, weather, sports, etc. I can choose a theme from many options. It takes time to go through all those options and choose exactly the one I want. Some of them change during the day. The best one shows a scene in the morning, at mid day and in the evening. Some never change. Same old picture every time Google opens.

I've been through a bunch of them but never found one that I want to keep forever. This must work well for Google because about once a month when it comes up, everything is gone and I have to make choices all over again. Not a big deal really. I'm just wondering why.

We have friends who are doing a "getaway" for a few days. They asked me where I'd want to go if I could have a "getaway." I said, "home." I love being at home, having my stuff around me, being able to go to my kitchen and fix a cup of coffee or something to eat, watch the TV shows I want to watch, write (which I can't do on a laptop no matter how easy Castle makes it look), sit in my favorite chair and read, use my own shower and sleep in my own bed.

I realize I'm the strange one. I've been places and seen things but nothing looks better to me than my house. Nothing feels better to me than my nest. I don't want to stay within the four walls all the time, but when I'm finished being "out there," coming back inside these four walls is where I'm the most comfortable.

I hope my friends have a great time on their getaway. I'll miss them while they're gone.

Maybe that's why Google changes their home page so much. Variety. Just like my friends, variety, they say is the spice of life. But not for me. The spice of my life is home.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Something Funny

My brother thinks I'm too dark. He wants me to be funny like he is (or thinks he is!) I keep telling him we are balanced. I can't be a clown and sit around being content and happy all the time (not that he does that.) I think about deep things a lot. Inside my head are plots of novels that have to include conflict as well as light moments. I write non-fiction, memoirs and self-help books in my thoughts. I talk to God in my heart and ask Him questions and wonder about life--my past and my future. What? Why? When? How?

I might say something funny once in a while, but deep inside I have another person who rules.

Just to mix things up and make my brother happy, today I'm writing something funny. Just give me a minute to think of it. . . . . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

Help! This one is intense. If you're looking for funny, skip reading it.

Wow! I just read David Wilkerson's blog and found myself in every word. So many times in my life I've sat before God without being able to pray. Something was going on inside of me and I had no idea what it was. My wordless cry was "Help me!"

I cried "help me" in the spring of 1971. The tempest was raging. If God hadn't come and answered those unspoken prayers, I don't think I would have survived.

Jesus said he didn't come to bring peace but to bring a sword--a sword that separates us from people who just don't understand. That happened. I had peace but some of the most important people in my life cut me off. The sword!

Today our world--our country--seems to be spinning out of control. I'm sure there are those who disagree with me, but all I can see for our future, if we keep on this track, is destruction. Maybe not physical destruction but destruction of the American way of life. Maybe even the Christian way of life. Books have been written and are being written every day by Christians that the church is changing. No longer will we be meeting in our quiet safe structures on Sunday morning. Somehow we will be outside those walls much like the early church met. Perhaps we will have to meet in secret. I hope not.

In the late 60s and early 70s a huge outpouring of the Holy Spirit roared through the world picking up Catholics, hippies and people from all denominations. Yet there are those who were alive during those years who were oblivious to it. Thank God I was caught up in it! Ahhh, but that sword cut across the lives of the Spirit-filled masses and separated families and congregations.

I long for another outpouring--one event that turns the tide. But is that God's plan? Does he have a plan? Is this the beginning of the end prophesied in the scriptures? Am I ready for the sword?

Too intense for you today? Too intense for me, too. My heart will be crying out to God for His will and His way as I go about my daily life. My heart will be crying out as we meet friends for lunch and a movie. Living continues as does my cry.

The Psalmist cried out to the Lord and said the Lord heard him. Not only did the Lord hear, He delivered. He never changes. As bleak as the future may appear, God is faithful and responds to our cries.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ifs, Ands, and Buts

I think I've read the funnies in the paper every day of my life. I still read them although the Albuquerque Journal's funnies aren't as good as those in the Tulsa World. The Journal has one page, the World has two. One of my favorites is Pickles. Today Mrs. Pickles tells her husband, "Did you ever stop and think that in the middle of the word Life is the word If? That means that life is full of ifs. Life would be pretty dull without any ifs, don't you think?" He answers, "Not if there were still lots of ands or buts."

This really struck a chord with me. We spend so much of our time thinking about the ifs of life rather than the ands and buts. If only I had done so and so, BUT even though I didn't do that, this happened instead AND I saw God at work in my life. Many times what happened instead was every bit as good as what would have happened "if."

One of my blog buddies is fighting a battle with food. She had weight loss surgery some time ago and is having to keep her eye on the goal of eating right and losing weight every day of her life. Recently she must have fallen off the wagon a bit. Then she got sick and lost ten pounds. This illness jump-started her back on the path to her life goal. She wrote: "It is up to me to rely on God by asking him to keep my emotional eating and my emotional warfare (guilt, rationalizing, giving in, etc) in tact. Only he can do it! Control by my own means is only an illusion. I lose every time."

Such wisdom. When we think we have control of anything in our lives, we lose every time. All right, I know I can control my diet if I try. I can control my tongue if I try. I can control a few things, but it's all an illusion. When I put myself in the driver's seat to make me into the kind of person I want to be, I will fail. God has to have the controls and I have to lean on him.

Another blogger friend wrote about her son who submitted an application to the counselor to become one of the peer mediators this year at his school. She writes: "The application was pretty long and required a recommendation from 2 teachers at the school. He's required to attend an all day mediation class sometime in the next couple of weeks. It might be wishful thinking but I'm hoping he can apply some of those precious peace making skills at home with his sister."

Does this sound like us, too? I know a lot of answers on how to behave and think and feel, and if you ask me, I will share them with you. But when it comes to making them work in my own life. . . Do they?

A bumper sticker on the back of a Prius yesterday read "Fearful people do stupid things." I think this was a peacenik person, but the words rang true for me. I have blogged about my fears before, which are still many although God has been working with me on them for years. I fear and then I do something stupid. Then I fear even more and do something even more stupid. Where is the leaning on Jesus in this? Where is the letting God be in control? I fear BUT God is with me. I fear AND God brings me through.

If you have one of these problems like I do, I pray we can give up the ifs and rest on the ands and buts more. Jesus take the wheel!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I read David Wilkerson's blog today on Progressive Miracles. I have to agree with him that the instantaneous miracles really get our attention but the ones that happen over a long period change our lives.

Many years ago during the Jesus Movement of the 60s, I saw some of those instant miracles: a deaf man heard, a lame woman's leg and foot grew out the same length, and one of my own--an instant deliverance from smoking. All of those impressed me greatly and helped me to see that God's power is more than we can imagine. But even with all those miracles happening around us, my daughter is still deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other, and I am still blind in one of my eyes. God didn't choose to use His power to change those things, and I asked Him many times.

As I look back over my life, and that of my daughter's since the 60s I see an even larger power at work in our lives. He has brought us near Him in our infirmities and given us normal and full lives in spite of them. My daughter is a people lover. She can read lips and speaks clearly after a few years of speech therapy and training. She's been through some hard times and in those she's learned to love and lean on God.

I can see and read and write and both my eyes travel together so that no one knows about the blindness. For that I am thankful.

This is where God has led me...

to Gratitude. My infirmities only make His strength more perfect in me. Without Him I am nothing, but with Him I am everything.

I keep coming back to the song we sang in the First Christian Church. "Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. . . make me, mold me, fill me, use me. . ." When He fulfills that prayer, then that's the real miracle.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Ever have your mind swimming with memories?

We attended a high school reunion last week end. It's been 55 years since we graduated from Amarillo High School. All Sandies are invited to belong to the 50th plus group and they have a reunion every three years. This is the second one of these we have attended. Our graduating class had reunions every five years so we've been very close.

Some of the people are easily recognizable, but others don't look like anyone we've ever seen before. Maybe they think the same of us.

We spent two days staying up late, getting up early and visiting, visiting, visiting. I was able to see my oldest friend. I believe the last time I saw her was in about 1955 or 1956. We lived a block apart from the time we were in grade school until I graduated and left Amarillo in 1954. Being with her was the best part of the reunion for me.

Also, I saw my first boyfriend again, but I've seen him a few times since childhood. He hasn't changed much and has a precious wife. It was the first time I'd met her.

All these people brought back a deluge of memories and since I've been home I haven't been able to put them aside. Maybe it's because I wonder if we will all be able to meet again in three years. One of our dearest classmates died while the reunion was going on. I don't think she and her husband ever missed a reunion since both of them graduated from AHS. The last time I saw them was at their lake house in Texas in 2008. We were supposed to meet again this past spring but couldn't because of her illness. Makes me wonder what can happen in three short years. There's hope though. We met people who had graduated in the 30s and were still going strong.

The only other thing on my mind has been the glasses issue. I did get them fixed quite easily. The funniest thing was hearing from someone who packed her glasses with her Christmas decorations one year. Talk about hard to find!

Otherwise life is getting back to normal--whatever that is.
But the memories remain.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Just so everyone knows--the glasses have been found. I had left them at friend's house Tuesday evening. Although they looked for them, they didn't find them UNTIL she stepped on them!

I asked God to show me where they were, and He did, didn't He?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Choose Good

I'm frustrated and irritated today. I can't find my glasses. Not the cheap ones (I have 7 pairs of those) but the one good pair that I had specially made with clear glass on the top and bifocal on the bottom for reading--the ones that cost more money.

I have a terrible habit of taking my glasses off and putting them down somewhere. I try to return them to the glass case in my purse, but evidently I didn't do it this time. Sometimes I put them up on my head. Didn't do that either.

I'm frustrated because I can't find the glasses and irritated at myself for being careless.

On top of that, when I started to put on a pair of shoes today, they had a big glob of something ugly stuck on the bottom. Had to make a last minute change there.

Then I picked up friend #1 and we got to the tea room at 10:00, the time friend #2 said to be there. However, friend #2 got it mixed up and meant 11:00.

On the way out of friend #1's neighborhood, we saw 6 beautiful deer. We sat and watched them grazing on the side of the road and walking in front of us. I took pictures with my cell phone. However, without my glasses on I failed to see the button that says "Save." So no pictures.

We all laughed about the time mix-up and had a lovely visit at the tea room. I can continue to whip myself and complain, but I think I'll try to concentrate on what is good about today rather than what isn't.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Losing Weight and Living Long

We're attending a reunion this week end. It is called the 50th and is for all classes who have celebrated their 50th high school reunion. There will be people there from as far back as the 30s and as recent as 1959. Like all women who go to high school or college reunions, I wish I could have lost 25 pounds I have put on in the last few years. I talked to a friend who wishes she'd lost 50 pounds!

I started gaining a few years ago when my thyroid decided it had been working long enough and slowed way down. By the time I was put on a medication I had gained those 25 unwanted pounds. Nothing I've done since then has been able to get rid of them.

I must admit I haven't worked at it very hard. I have an elliptical that I rode pretty faithfully before finding excuses for not "having time" to do it every day. However, if it did anything outwardly, I never saw it. I do know it will help me internally when I decide to get back to it.

I took one of those Facebook tests a few weeks ago. With the answers I gave (and I think I was honest), it said my real age was 20 years younger than I am and that I'll live to be 102 years old.

I don't mind living long but I sure want to be in good health. Guess I'd better get back on the elliptical.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

He Gives Grace

Sunday the 4th is a nation-wide special day of communion for the three church denominations that grew out of the Stone-Campbell movement. Our building has been selected as the meeting place for the three denominations. There are those who are uncomfortable knowing a woman (Heaven forbid!) will be standing with a man at the front of the assembly and talking about communion. You see, our branch of the tree is the one who thinks women should be seen and not heard when men are present. It's a matter of authority and men are the authority.

Okay, I admit, I cringe at that statement. Maybe I'm a little rebellious--even a lot rebellious when it comes to putting women down. I've heard men speak and I've heard women speak, and as long as they are under the authority of God, who by the way is the ultimate authority, many women have more to say than some of the men.

I've attended all three of these denominations during my lifetime. Been very involved in all three. Started out in what today is the most liberal, moved to the second liberal and am now in the third which is considered the most conservative. (Although our church is considered liberal by many in the denomination.)

See! Isn't it crazy? We are all members of One Body, and that's the Body of Christ. Why do we let musical instruments and missionaries and one cup communion or kitchen or no kitchen or women's issues--it goes on and on--separate us?

My answer: Because we aren't focusing on Jesus. We are like those whose eyes are set on things below and not on Him who is above.

The service will be acapella. We don't have a piano and Heaven forbid we use a guitar! But we will "allow" a woman to speak in the assembly. I guess there will be those who won't come if they know this. Even some will come and be uncomfortable, but at least, they'll come.

Sorry about the tirade. Sometimes I just have to wonder why I go to this church, but I don't wonder long. God has already given me the answer. He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, and He knows how much I need His grace!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

God Bless America

We spent last week end in San Diego--actually left on Wednesday and came back late Sunday. Our grandson, Eric, graduated from Marine boot camp. I'm such a sucker for the military and patriotism and the flag and marching bands. My heart nearly burst with pride seeing all those young men--665 of them--graduating.

Three of Reid's sons made it to San Diego with their families. An almost family reunion with the absence of one of his sons. Since marrying into this family I've come to love them all and enjoy being with them. Even Eric, who I haven't seen often since they live in Spokane, introduced me as his grandmother. Sweet!

We spent most of our time with the North Carolina son, his wife, three year old daughter and Baby Honey (as granddaughter calls the baby in her mother's tummy.)

I wouldn't have missed the ceremony for anything: the DI ordering all the families around and making us yell "Yes Sir" and "Aye Aye Sir," touring the Marine museum and PX, absolutely NOT stepping onto the sacred parade ground, hearing the Marine band playing patriotic music, seeing tee shirts like "Don't worry America" and on the back beside a Marine if full combat gear "My grandson has your back." Still gives me chills when I think of it. Made me wish I could sign up!

I unabashedly love my country. I do worry about America because of the young liberals who never lived through WWII. All they know is Viet Nam and failure and how much the world hates us even though we saved them from their enemies because they couldn't save themselves without us.

As much as seeing these young Marines fills me with gratitude and appreciation, my heart grieves for those who don't know that what we have here is too precious to lose.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Politics and Providence

I read an article today about politics and providence. At the end the man writes: "We believe that God controls earth's future, though we can't explain how."
Before he gets to that sentence he writes about Habakkuk and Jeremiah who demanded to know how long they had to wait for God to listen to them about the guys in charge. Nebuchadnezzar was one that God clearly said he'd put in power. He's the one who put Daniel into prison and asked him to figure out the meaning of his dreams without telling him what he had dreamed.

Like the author, I believe God is in control. Maybe I believe this because it's so much better than believing everything is random and people are in control (although it seems like that may be true.) Years ago, when Jimmy Carter was running for President, I told my mother I felt God was telling me to vote for him. Mother assured me I wasn't hearing from God. It had to be the devil. But, if Carter hadn't defeated Ford, then we probably wouldn't have had Reagan. Was it God talking to me or was it something I ate?

I know many people have been very concerned about the road our country is on today. I don't like it either, but if I really believe God has everything under control, then I shouldn't worry. Even if we run out of all our food and water and money, isn't that going to be a great time to put our faith in God and see Him work miracles in our lives? He's fed His people on less in the past and He's still the same yesterday, today and forever.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Having Purpose

Sundays haven't been my favorite day of the week for years. I think this is because we went to a little church during the 60s and had to be there every time the doors opened, or felt we had to. I had two children in school and had gone back to college and had homework and papers to write and housework to do. . . All those things plus showing up at church three or four times a week. My daughters hated going to church on Sunday night because they were the only kids they knew who didn't get to watch "Wonderful World of Disney." (This was way before DVR.) I hated going on Wednesday night, as well as Sunday, because I had homework and had to get up early the next morning. Sometimes I wished I could bring my work with me and do it during church. (You can see how much I was getting out of the service.)

Yesterday, as I sat at my make up table, that old "I wish I didn't have to go" came over me. I immediately began talking to God and trying to figure out why I had this feeling. One thing that came to me (besides the old having to be in church stuff) was wondering if I really have a purpose in my life. I've always had to feel I've accomplished something, and I wondered, "What have I accomplished? What is my purpose besides just living day by day and growing old?" So I asked God to speak to me. And, true to His word--Ask and you shall receive--He spoke.

The scripture--Philippians 2--was His answer. "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort in His love, if any fellowship with the spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and PURPOSE.....Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; who being in very nature God.....made himself nothing...."

Chapter two through verse eleven says it all. I am not to be consumed by anything except the cross. I am to empty myself and let the Holy Spirit give me His purpose. If I can do this, I have accomplished everything.

What do you feel is your purpose?

Friday, September 4, 2009

I Am the Book of Numbers

You're good with things that can be counted and sorted, a great classifier. Detail is your forte. You may give others the impression that you're staid, bu...t a close friend will learn that you have some shocking quirks that may approach the level of fetishes. It's OK to set high standards for yourself--that's why you accomplish so much--just make sure you give yourself grace when necessary, too..

I took a Facebook quiz written by the person whose Facebook name is Inkhorn Blue: Which Book of the Bible Are You? There are other quizzes by the same name out there but hers is a Facebook quiz. I came out Numbers. I can agree with much of it, but when it comes to the fetishes.... I go along with quirks, but the word "fetishes" stymied me so I called on Mr. Webster to give me some help.

A fetish is a small stone believed to have magical power. The second definition comes closer: an object of irrational reverence or obsessive devotion. Then it goes into body parts????

Fetishism--extravagant irrational devotion; the pathological displacement of erotic interest and satisfaction to a fetish.

Now what answer did I give that led the author of this test in this direction?

If we throw out the pathological and erotic part, I can go along with the rest, even the irrational devotion. Of course, I don't see the devotion I have to certain people and things as irrational. However, I imagine many of my friends and family members would agree with this.

When I think of the book of Numbers, I think DULL. Important at one time, but even then pretty dull.

Am I that way? Are my beliefs and devotions so strong that people find them irrational and dull?

Ahhh, but I can't forget that included in the quizzes description of me is the last sentence. I set high standards for myself and because of this I do accomplish a lot. I constantly have to be reminded of grace. Thank God for Grace. I'd never make it without His grace over me.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Humility, Rebellion and Pride

How do you know if you're humble?

I've heard that a truly humble person isn't aware he/she is humble. Other people see it, but the humble person doesn't.

How do you know if you're proud?

Everyone sees that.

Including the person who is proud? Not always.

In the early 70s Kenneth Copeland preached a message on pride. Since I felt so bad about myself, I decided I wasn't proud. At least that was ONE sin I didn't have.


It took God about a minute to begin showing me my pride, and for the last 30+ years He's still working on me in that area.

I went to church yesterday with a burr under my saddle. I had no sooner walked into class when I recognized what I was feeling was that ugly pride again. "Greater love has no man. . ." you know the rest. ". . .that he lays down his life for his friend."

Laying down one's life isn't about physically dying for someone. That would be too easy. Laying down one's life is saying, "I don't have to be right in anyone's eyes except God's."

I don't know about you, but rebellion reigns in my heart and has from my birth. My mother told stories of the tantrums I threw when I was little. The day she lay down on the floor and began kicking, screaming and crying just like I was doing, I stopped. Did I see how ugly that was or did I see that I was beaten? Whatever it was, it still reared up over and over in my life, but not in kicking and screaming.

A few years ago we went to the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. We had walked through several of the wings viewing works of art and were in the area of European sculpture and decorative arts. In that wing was the Farnese Table, a Roman work of marble, alabaster and semiprecious stones. It was 150 inches long and, as they described it,"a sumptuous table after the design of da Vignola proclaiming the majesty of the Roman High Renaissance." On the table was a small, tasteful sign that said, "Do Not Touch."

I'd been all over that museum with never a thought of touching anything until a sign told me not to. I had to fight the desire to reach out and lay a fingertip on that table. That's plain old rebellion rearing its proud head. That's what Adam and Eve felt when they were told by God not to touch the tree; what the Israelites felt when God handed down the Ten Thou-Shalt-Nots; and what many today experience about laws.

We don't watch Big Brother but I turned it on one night recently. All the housemates are required to be wired the entire time they are on the show. One of the women (who, I've been told, was a problem from the beginning) didn't wear hers. The Producer from somewhere by speaker, told her to put it on. Another housemate handed it to her and the woman tossed it into the swimming pool. They kicked her off the show.

Rebellion lives in our hearts, maybe all the time we're here on this earth. A banker I once knew bragged that he worked around money but was never tempted to steal any of it. However, he stole something from me--something he could have gone out and bought for very little money.

Breaking laws (speeding included), lying, stealing, cheating, believing we're right no matter what. Rebellion and Pride.

God is so good to me that He allows situations into my life all the time that show me how rebellious and proud I really am. All in order for me to learn humility.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Morning Musings

I just put a loaf of banana bread into the oven. Later today we'll serve it to friends after we play a few games of Hand and Foot. The dessert will salve the psyche of the losers and be a prize for the winners. At least I hope it's prize-worthy!

Kennedy's funeral is turned low on the TV. I'm not really interested in watching it, but since it's a "major" event, we are tuned to Fox. Yo Yo Ma is playing the cello. Maybe it isn't he since I didn't know he played anything except the violin. Or is the cello his instrument of choice? All the past living Presidents are there. (Hi! George! I still love you.) We recognize most of them. As for the Kennedy clan. Who are they? No longer are the familiar faces among them--the ones we used to immediately recognize. I'm not even sure if the wizened white-haired woman is a past wife or sister. Are any of his sisters still living? How many children did he have? Which ones are his own and which are nieces and nephews?

We've all seen the bumper sticker or heard the saying: He who dies with the most toys wins. Well, that isn't true. The saying should be: He who dies, dies and can't take his toys with him. Ted Kennedy is gone. All that he had has been left behind. We've read about his "good" deeds and his "bad." Even those won't matter to God when he stands before His Throne. At that time he only has to answer one question. "What did you do with Jesus?"

That's the question we all have to answer. Best to get it straight here and now rather than later. Later might be too late.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's All About Love

I haven't blogged in several days although something has been rolling around in my spirit. I spent yesterday writing and woke up this morning realizing I'd made a big mistake in Copper Penny. I've made some drastic changes to that novel and need to make more. Lying in bed I decided I'd just let it go. If someone buys it, then I'll face making those changes again. This is a small thing in the scheme of life.

One of our close friends is facing cancer treatment. She, her husband and my husband and I had dinner one day last week. We prayed together on the sidewalk of a busy shopping center before saying good-bye. When I hugged her, I wanted to say what I was feeling, but that feeling surprised me so much I didn't. That feeling is what has been going around in my spirit.

I wanted to say, "I wish I could take this for you." Even as I write it, tears come to my eyes because I really feel strongly that I would take it for her if I could. The only other person I've ever felt this for is one of my daughters, and that's only if she had to face something hard, which she hasn't so far. I'd rather it happen to me than to her.

I've been talking to God about all this since that day at the shopping center. Would I really carry it for her? I can't get away from the answer. Yes. I would if I could. In the beginning I wondered if it was because I thought I could do it better than she can. But she's strong. She's been through some serious heartbreak that only made her stronger. I know she can get through this with grace. So why?

What I believe God is showing me is how he felt about mankind. He hurt because we were suffering and knew he was the only answer. He came to earth as a man and saved us. His sacrifice was all about love and redemption.

As I tried to put all this together I came to a conclusion. I'm not God. Duh!
He did it for people who didn't deserve it. I couldn't do it if I thought the person had brought the suffering on himself. I couldn't do it for a rapist or a murderer or even a homeless person. As I let my mind run through all the people I know--all the ones I love, only these two stood out. I could do it for them but not the others. I'm big into justice. I believe we reap what we sow. I've sowed and God has saved me in spite of that. But with others who have reaped and they are sowing--well, justice says they deserve it. Pretty callous thinking and not a bit of grace and love and mercy there.

So, you can see I'm not that altruistic. In fact, I, like so many people, am self-centered. Until it comes to my friend and my daughter. For them I'd give my life and give it willingly if it would keep them from having to suffer. I don't know what all this means. I just know what I feel.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hearing and Listening

Wednesday morning this past week I woke up thinking about one of my daughters. She was heavy on my heart. I prayed for her several times that day but didn't call her. The next morning the same heaviness was there again. Later that afternoon I called her and told her how she'd been on my heart for two mornings. She told me that on Wednesday she heard about the death of one of her oldest friends. She said, "It just broke my heart."

I've had moments like this before. I'm not sure exactly what to call it, but somehow I do believe the connection is made through the Holy Spirit.

A few years before my husband died I had a "knowing" that he was going to die. The knowing was so strong that it scared me because I didn't want it to happen. I pushed it away but it returned. During those years the feeling?--words?--whatever it was, kept coming back. I'd pray and ask God to save him, keep his well--all the things you can imagine a person would ask of God in this situation.

When he was diagnosed with cancer in 1997, I knew he wasn't going to survive. Again I ignored what I knew in my heart. But when he died four months later, I wasn't surprised and was at peace about it. I grieved, of course, and cried, but the peace that was in my heart even then couldn't be denied.

We have a friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer. Never, since the diagnosis have I had one doubt about her surviving this illness.

My thoughts aren't clear on all this, but my trust is sure. God speaks to us in numerous ways. We not only have to hear what he's saying, we have to listen.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Second Thoughts

I wrote this morning's blog and am having second thoughts. I really don't like to read something that says God is doing this and that to us--always bad things. I don't believe he does bad things to us even though he did in the OT. I believe Jesus took care of our judgement at the cross.

Yet some of the things that are being spoken are probably from God but just misinterpreted. The best part of all this is that God really does have everything under control.

The Vision

In 1973 I read a little book titled "The Vision" by David Wilkerson. I no longer have that book but I've thought about it many times and tried to find it. This morning I woke up thinking about it. I found it on David's website. He's updated it with two chapters now titling the book "The Vision and Beyond." I ordered it this morning.

When I read this book in '73 it scared me. I couldn't imagine our country becoming what David's vision prophesied. But from what I remember about it, I can see many of those things have come to pass. He has other prophecies of the future now.

I believe God does show his people what is to come. He did it all the way through the Old Testament and at the end of the New. Why do we think he no longer is interested enough in us to show us today? I know that many NT churches don't believe or practice the gifts spoken of in 1 Corinthians, saying they passed away with the people the apostles touched. I've seen too much to believe that is true and don't read it anywhere in the Bible.

The one part of all this that I doubt is when present-day prophets talk about God's judgement on our country or planet. I don't think God is doing these things. There is rampant evil in the world because we've pushed God aside. Mankind is bringing these things on himself. All we can do is heed what is being spoken by the Spirit and make ourselves ready by drawing nearer to the only One who can help us through whatever comes.

In my life I've heard God's voice in my spirit, known his leading and followed his direction. The things he's told me about the future have come to pass. For the past few years I've gotten out of the habit of truly listening to him because I haven't been in an environment that practices and stresses "living in the Spirit." I want to be there again.

I've attempted to add Wilkerson's blog to my list and hope it shows up. We are told to test the spirits and test the prophecies. I will read what Wilkerson has to say but I will listen to what the Spirit is saying when I do.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sears, Suspense and Scriptures

Sears is here with our new freezer and to carry away the smelly one. I wonder what they will do with the old one. No one could ever use it again and I'm sure landfills don't want it.

Since the last time I blogged I found out the first novel in the Joe Denali mystery series isn't a mystery. I had a pitch session with an agent Saturday and felt like a real dunce not knowing this. She asked for the first 50 pages of both number one and number two-which is a mystery. But I think she was just being nice. I have a feeling she wrote down my name, and when she sees it coming across her email, she'll hit delete. Fingers crossed, prayers said, I hope she'll give both of them a chance as stand-alones. I'm dubbing the first one, Copper Penny as suspense. When I think of suspense, I think of scary, horror or heart-stopping. This one isn't that, but there is a bit of suspense involved for Penny. The second, Plugged Nickel, is definitely mystery because it's a whodunnit. The third one, Turn On A Dime, is going to be suspense, too.

I asked the agent why the series (if I ever write the others) couldn't be the Joe Denali series, and she said because she couldn't sell it like that. If the first one is suspense, then the reader will think the next one will be the same. What if the reader isn't as 'inside the box' as a publisher and likes variety? Oh, well. if I sell one, then the next ones will be easier. Prayers will probably work better than crossed fingers.

Writing problems are secondary to what our friend is facing. She had a biopsy last week and got the news it was positive. She went forward Sunday to ask for prayer and the outpouring of love from our church community was overwhelming. She knows they will all be praying for her. How do people survive without this kind of support? They see a surgeon today, but we're praying she's had a false diagnosis. If not, then we're believing God is who He says--..."for I am the Lord, who heals you." (Exodus 15:26.)

Yes, I know He was talking to the Jews in Egypt. If I believe He isn't talking to me in that scripture, then I can't take anything that is said throughout the Bible for myself because I wasn't there. Jesus was talking to those around Him. Paul was talking to specific churches. Either I take it all personally or I take none of it.

That brings up some of the more troublesome scriptures--about women in particular. We look at those as cultural which makes all of it confusing. Do we pick and choose what we want to believe or take it all? I wish I knew. This I know for sure: "He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed." That's not cultural. That's truth!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Do We Really Believe?

Have you ever gone to church and or somewhere else and had God talk directly to you? It has happened many times to me and Sunday it happened again.

Because of all that has happened in my life in the past, I believe God has had a Big Hand in where I was then and where I am today. Yet I've complained and been discontented. The last time I felt total contentment was about 7 years ago. I can remember sitting in my sun room and thinking, "I am totally at peace and content." About six months later my life changed and although it's good now, I haven't experienced that feeling again.

The sharp two-edged sword began its journey into my heart a week ago and really stuck in deep last Sunday. The scripture from Colossians 3:17 made a big impact on me. "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

I took an older Bible to church Sunday. I'd made many of the scriptures personal. (ex. And whatever I do, I do it heartily with all my heart, as to the Lord and not to men.....for I serve the Lord Christ.)

"Whatever I do in word or deed." Do I really believe that God has a hand in my life or don't I? I can't have it but one way and I choose to believe I am where He wants me or I'd be somewhere else.

"Giving thanks."

My eyes were suddenly opened. I hadn't been giving thanks and it was showing in my life. "What we believe is how we live, and what we do reflects what we believe."
I wish our church had an altar where we could go and confess and pray. But we don't. We don't even admit to our brothers and sisters that we aren't on top of the world.

Well, I'm admitting it here. I have a long way to go but I'm back on the journey.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Critique Groups, Honesty and Laughing

At this moment I'm downloading a 134 single-spaced novel from one of the writers in a critique group. I had dropped out of this group a few months ago but want to get back in it so she sent me her novel so I can read some of it before we meet next week.

The first group I joined when I moved here met once a week. We brought a few pages of whatever we wanted critiqued. The next week each of us would go over those pages with the writer. We looked for typos, but mostly looked for character and story development. If something didn't make sense or caused us to have to stop and re-read, we'd bring that up because we don't want our readers to become confused while reading. This group meets every two weeks now. We meet in a home now but used to meet in the library.

Another group I went to sent our pages as an attached document and we made comments on the pages on line. Word has a place to do that. I didn't enjoy that much because there was no interaction. When we met, we met at the library.

This last group meets once a month. We send no more than 3 chapters as an attachment, critique it then meet and go over what we've critiqued. I like not meeting quite as often--especially if we are going to have to read a lot. We meet in a home.

I haven't gone into the site in depth but Lifehack looks like a good reference for starting a critique group. Googling "writing critique groups" will bring up many sites.

Reading others work inspires me to write more. Being out of a group would mean I didn't have to write at all. I believe it is important to have other eyes read what we write anyway.

If anyone wants to start an online critique group, I'd be open to that. I love reading others work but only if they want honesty. One group I was in didn't give me that and didn't want honesty from me so I got out of it. If I wanted to hear "That's good," then I'd have my husband read everything I write.

I guess being honest can be carried to the extreme, and I may be one that carries it, but I want honesty from others. I want to know if I'm doing something wrong. I don't want people to let me run around with spinach in my teeth and not tell me.

I heard somewhere that the measure of true maturity is when we can laugh at ourselves. Seems like the older I get the more of ME I have to laugh at.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The smelly work is done.

We emptied the freezer, made a list for the insurance company of all we'd lost and have the freezer sitting in the sun.

Before we get another freezer we need to get an electrician to rewire the outlet.

I sent a few pages of the new book to a critique group I'll meet with next week.

We still have to go places and record the prices of the "dead" food.

Maybe, some day, I'll get back to writing in earnest.

Who do you think is America's favorite dancer?

My thoughts are rambling out of control. Maybe that smell has scrambled my brain!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Thoughts About Our Trip

We're really at home now--not just wishing we were.

After 16 days I'm ready for some "quiet time."

The first part of our journey was to visit my brother and our sister-in-law. While in Kansas we went 650' underground and toured a salt mine, played cards and saw three of our nephews and nieces and their 9 kids. It's always hard to leave my brother. I wish we lived close enough to see each other more often.

Our first stop in Oklahoma was to visit daughter, grandson and great-granddaughter. G'granddaughter is pistol. She's 21 months old and talking a blue streak. Always on the move. G'son wanted to put flowers on his Papa's grave, and we did. While there we visited with some old friends. Old friends we used to see quite often. How I'd love to be able to see all these people more often--especially g'granddaughter. She's growing up too fast.

We ended our trip with a visit somewhere south of Oklahoma City. All I know is that the house of our friends is near Mustang and Norman. It's in the country, along with many other homes, in a quiet neighborhood. These friends were those my husband knew years ago in Spokane. While there the two daughters of the home owners and their families came over and spent the day. Our hosts have two Maltese (Maleses? Malesi?) which they keep trimmed short and call "The boys." One of the daughters has a smaller Maltese and the other one has a Yorkie. Of course all the dogs come to visit with their families. The Maltese don't smell or shed and really pretty cute and well-mannered (as long as you keep the door to the bathroom shut.)

All in all it was a good trip. The worst part of the whole experience was coming home to a defrosted freezer in the garage. The day we left our town had a huge storm which shut off the power for a bit. When it came back on the freezer and fridge in the garage threw the switch and defrosted. The smell is pretty rank. The stuff in the freezer is re-freezing and tomorrow, when the dump opens, Reid will haul the smelly contents away. Then comes the job of trying to salvage the freezer.

One last thought. We attended two different churches while we were gone. I shouldn't have been surprised at the differences in them. One was quite spiritual and the other wasn't. I had just finished reading the book, "They Like Jesus But Not the Church." This experience helped me understand why.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

No Place Like Home

When I'm away from home, I always wish I was there.
Sometimes, when I'm at home, I'd like to be somewhere else for just a few hours then twitch my nose and be back home.

We spent a few days with my brother and if the hotel had been nicer, the stay would have been less yucky. But the time we spent with family couldn't have been better.
I wish we could get with brother and sister-in-law at least once a week to play cards. But driving 11 hours is just a little too long for one evening.

In the past families lived close together. My grandparents were only 90 miles from us. I had aunts and uncles even closer than that. Today is different. Two children are 10 hours away. Two are a couple of days away. Another is a good 12 hours away. One lives in the same town but we rarely see them because they are 30 minutes away and are busy with five children. We have cousins, nephews and nieces spread out around the country. Fortunately we have transportation we didn't have many years ago so we can visit or they can, when we want to.

I'm not sure I'd want all family within a few hours from us, but it would be nice to be able to see them more often. We have free calling minutes and email and airplanes and fast cars we didn't have 70 years ago. We can be thankful for that, can't we?
We can travel to see the relatives any time we want, but that means sleeping in a strange bed at night, and not having our clothes and make up and all the things we need from day to day right at our fingertips.

No. There's just no place like home.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Some people are naturally funny. Others are not. I'm one of the nots. My brother writes a blog that is humorous. He says my blogs are too serious. My daughter loves to read his blog. She has more "funny" in her than I do.

I wish I could be lighter and funnier, but I don't think it's in me. I've always been introspective--looking into the depth of things. If you've been reading my blogs, you know I'm trying to live in the moment. Sometimes living in the moment gets me in trouble.

This morning a couple of ladies at the church suggested we get a group together and go somewhere. It sounded like fun and I jumped on it. I didn't talk it over with my husband. I approached some other couples and they were a little reluctant. (i.e. They aren't going.)As I stepped back and thought about it I realized it probably won't work at all. My husband wasn't too keen on the excursion but he'd sacrifice.

Now I have to go back to the ladies and say, "Time Out!"

What's the difference in being spontaneous and foolish? Maybe I just found out!
At any rate, it isn't funny.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fear Not

Where does fear come from? Are we all born with it? Is it learned? Is there anyone who has no fear at all?

I know of a man, Dick Mills, who used to have a ministry of speaking scriptures to people. His was a prophetic ministry and God must have been his source. I went to a meeting on June 5, 1974, where he spoke to every person there and gave them scriptures that had meaning in their lives.

I could hardly wait to hear what God wanted to say to me and was disappointed when four scriptures about fear were given. All were positive "fear nots." After the meeting with my scripture references in hand, I went to my Bible and read each of them. I probably even told God he must have gotten them wrong. Days went by and I began to see the truth. I was filled to running over with fear.

Last night I thought about my fears that are still with me. My husband went for a stress test this morning. His sister died doing one but a cardiologist was present and she was revived. Husband has a heart problem and says he has already out-lived all the men in his family. When asked how long he thought he would live, he gave the age of 78 which is only a few years away. I've been widowed before and I don't look forward to that. Neither do I look forward to leaving him behind. Fears.

My daughters are adults but I had fears all their lives that they would die. I didn't voice them and tried not to think of that because my mother told me never to say, "If so-and-so died, I couldn't stand it." She said that about one of her brothers who later died.

I have fears concerning our country now that the liberals are in power. It isn't about liberal verses conservative. To me it's about freedom verses big government running our lives. It's about Jesus becoming marginalized. It's about seeing my self-employed son-in-law forced out of business by government regulations and taxes. It's about my grandson and daughter unable to get jobs because they aren't college trained. It's about socialized medicine and higher taxes and people being in charge who love the rest of the world more than they love their own country.

And, yes, I still have fear about losing the people I love, about not being able to care for myself in my old age. I go to those scriptures over and over: Deut. 31:6,8; 2 Tim. 1:7; John 6:20; and Isaiah 41:10,13--"Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you." A few years later I needed those words as I had never needed any before. Faithful as always, God added to them. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Heb. 13:5)

He never has. His words should eliminate all my fears. They do help when I look to Him and read those promises. But fear never completely leaves me. Maybe it isn't supposed to. If it did, would I turn to Him as often? Would I be as vigilant of life around me? For these reasons perhaps fear has a place in our lives.

Friday, July 10, 2009


If I believed in Minnahoonies, I'd think we have them.

These little buggers are Hawaiian and legend has it that when you leave Hawaii, they sneak into your luggage and come home with you where they cause all kinds of havoc.
Minnahoonies steal your glasses and hide them. They watch with glee as you search everywhere for them, then they sneak them right back where you've looked a dozen times. They cause your appliances to break down. Anything unusual and irritating is caused by these fun-loving scoundrels.

Today the Minnas have messed with Outlook again. Out of nowhere the picture changed. Instead of my folders and info on the left side, the Inbox covers the entire screen. No subjects next to the senders--just dates. Something like this happened recently and I couldn't figure out how to put it back right. Then, one day, it was right.

I blame the Minnahoonies. They are definitely technologically smarter than I am!
Looks like the Hawaiian legend would tell you how to rid yourself of them. Maybe there's no way. Maybe, once a person walks the islands and comes back to the main land, they are stuck with them forever.

I wonder if they're responsible for forgetfulness, too? Like "Now why did I come into this room?" I bet they are!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Deja Vu All Over Again

I changed my profile picture for a reason. What you see in the picture is the real me. The dark hair was at one time, but no more. The big red hat and flower represent the freedom and happiness that are what is inside of me fighting to get out.

I've been given so many wonderful blessings in my life, but somewhere along the way I fell into that old ungrateful, negative, complaining person I've been fighting to leave behind for as long as I can remember. Something happened yesterday that woke me up--AGAIN!

Many years ago I made a list. For every negative I could think of in my life, I wrote down a positive. Soon I had a balanced list, which is best because in everything there is a positive and a negative. The optimum is finding the balance. For months every time I had a negative thought I immediately replaced it with a positive one. For instance: Neg--My feet hurt all the time. Pos--Thank you, God, that I can see colors. That you made grass green and the sky blue and flowers of all different shades and hues. And thank you that I have eyes to see all this.

So once more I am having to do this again. I noticed this morning how much better I felt. How much more thankful I am. How much stronger my body is. How much clearer my mind is.

I'll keep the person confidential who turned me around this time, but I want to thank God for using that person to wake me up once more!

Friday, July 3, 2009

That Which Satisfies

Nothing satisfies like a good night's sleep. If you've never been plagued with insomnia, you may not agree and can think of many things more satisfying. But if you, like me, have had nights when you couldn't go to sleep, you know what I'm talking about.

A night without sleep completely kills the next day. Instead of just losing eight hours during the night, you lose the next twelve or fourteen. I lost out on an early morning at Balloon Fiesta because I didn't sleep all night. We went to the park but by ten o'clock I was back home taking a nap. My brother and two cousins were here and I missed out on some hours with them.

In London I didn't sleep all night and missed taking the Eurostar to Paris the next morning. I'd been before but on this trip we were to go inside the Louve rather than just seeing it from the street. I missed being with family and enjoying seeing them explore Paris for the first time. I knew I couldn't go because I'd be a drag on the entire day trip so I stayed behind at the London hotel.

I have a drug I can take that will help me sleep, but it's habit forming. I don't want to take it all the time because I know where it could lead. When people cast aspersions at Michael Jackson et al, for becoming addicted to drugs, I understand how easy that happens. Their lives depend on them being awake and able to function before people. They may not be able to "take the next day off" when they can't sleep. Ergo--sleep aids.

Thirty-eight years ago I was an addict to tobacco. Like many young people back then smoking was our way of showing independence. I started in 1952 when I was sixteen. Most of the people I knew for the next many years also smoked. By the time 1967 rolled around I was sick and tired of smoking, but I couldn't break the habit. I tried and tried, and finally gave up. In 1971 God struck me in the heart with the words of a fourteen year old boy. This boy showed me how wrong I was about who God was and is. His words rang inside me all night and the next morning. In tears I gave my habit to the Lord and asked Him to help me give it up. Boy! Did He ever! In that instant the desire to smoke was gone and I've never wanted another cigarette. Honestly, it was like I'd never smoked a cigarette before in my life. That's just how perfect God's work was in me.

We can sneer at other's addictions, but we need to look at our own. Are we addicted to sugar, chocolate, soda drinks, sports, sex, perfection. . . you can add your own words. If I could eat sugar today, I'd be addicted to that because I have the propensity to become addicted. We all do. Some more than others.

Which brings me back to sleep. Those pills to help me sleep sit in the bottle calling to me when the Melatonin and L'Tryptophane and magnesium don't seem to be working--when I know I have something to do the next day and want to feel good--when I'm just sick and tired of lying awake. It is much too easy to throw a stone at someone who does something we don't do, when we haven't walked in their shoes.

What is it that calls out to you in times of stress? The best of all worlds is to go to God, but sometimes when I'm awake at two or four in the morning, I wonder if He's asleep. Of course, I know He isn't. He is sitting up with me and usually showing me what the problem is that's keeping me awake this time. Too much food that turns to sugar, stress, thoughts, even a natural pill I've been taking. Sometimes I hear. Sometimes it takes a little longer to get the message.

When I get His message, then I sleep and there's nothing like it.