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?