Thursday, November 24, 2011

Can We Be Thankful For Everything?

This is the day when we are to think of all the things we are thankful for--as if we shouldn't do that every day. Instead of just listing what I'm thankful for, I want to talk about things I don't like at all but am thankful for them anyway. (Didn't Paul say something like this? In Everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.) I hate/dislike big family gatherings because of one reason only. All the activity and food sucks the energy right out of me and I'm like a walking zombie. But I'm thankful I have a big family. There have been years in my life when I had no one and was alone on holidays. Those days are just awful and it's a fight to stay out of the dooldrums as you see cars parked around your neighbors' houses. All the stores are closed so you can't go shopping to take up time. It's just you and the dog at home alone. I don't like public restrooms but I'm so thankful for them!! It's been noted in my family that I don't pass up a bathroom when we are away from home. I've been in some clean, pleasant public restrooms and some really scary ones, too. I remember one---I'll let your imagination take over. I really hate politics and politicians. What can a person be thankful for with this? The people who truly care about this country and aren't in it for the fame and fortune. Even the ones I disagree with are probably coming from heart-felt beliefs. So I'm thankful I'm not in this arena. It can be wicked and has to taint a person clear down to their toes. I don't like to dust my house--don't hate it but almost do. But I'm so thankful I have a house to dust and am able to move my arms, hands and body in order to wipe that dust away!! I could go one but you get my drift. In everything we see as "bad" we can find "good" if we look for it. Life is a balance. Nothing is all bad nor is it all good. The man who has the perfect children will soon find that one of his kids has a flaw. The woman who is proud of her body will find a blemish that she can't get rid of. All my life I thought of myself as overweight. I wasn't but this belief robbed me of enjoying where I was and what I looked like. A couple of years ago my belief came true and I was truly "fat." Am I thankful for this event in my life? I am because it showed me how much thoughts have to do with reality. We become what we think about. I love free speech. But I don't like the porn festival that will soon take place in my town that is being allowed under the guise of freedom of speech. How do I find thanksgiving in this? I won't attend it, of course, and don't know anyone who will. I remember Paul's admonition about giving thanks. This is one place I can't. What do you think is the answer to finding something to be thankful for in situations like this that we see every day? Maybe it shows us the Lord's coming is near? Maybe it gives us something more to pray about? Do you have any thoughts?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Change the Way We Hear

Our church has been going through a total meltdown, and that's putting it mildly. I won't go into detail but will only say Jesus wasn't part of the equation and that was only the beginning. Instead of prayer, humility and love we have seen people lusting after power, being angry with others--even spewing hate. Many people left but not because of this. They left because of seeing their treasured traditions shaken by a new view of scriptures of equality between men and women.

We have been on the fence about what to do. Stay? Go? So much ugliness has turned us off and made us weary. But we have many friends who are still there and relationships like that are hard to walk away from.

This morning we had a guest speaker--a wise man in the faith. He was open and honest with us and gave the church suggestions of how to go on from here. His ideas were good but what I didn't hear was "seek God with all your heart."

Church denominations that have been strong on teaching the law have failed to lead people into the Spirit. Only in the Spirit can we really find and hear the heart of God. This is my prayer. "Lord, lead us by Your Spirit." This works for a church and it works for an individual. Let us stop depending on our own minds and power and start hearing what the Spirit is saying.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'll Just Hold On and Enjoy What I Have

It has been months since I've written anything here. Soon after the last blog entry I started an exercise/health/nutrition program and it's taken all my energy and time to lose the 20+ pounds to date.

I go to strength training twice a week and walk daily. I eat a balanced diet of protein and carbs 5 times a day. At least, most of the time I eat right. I do tend to add something "fun" once in a while and that keeps the weight from dropping like my trainer wants it to. I'll finish just before Thanksgiving and hope to be able to keep my eyes on the goal during the holidays.

So, what have I learned during this time?
1. I can do something if I really want to.
2. When I pray for God to help me (lose weight), He answers.
3. Take advantage of His answers.

Since last June we have had some other major changes in our lives besides the health program. Our oldest daughter came to live with us. That has been good and has added to our busi-ness. I have added the first two books of a Detective Joe Denali trilogy to Amazon Kindle. They are books I had written a few years ago but had been rejected as "good but not great" by an agent. I made them available for $.99 and have sold quite a few along with a few more of my first book. (They are on Amazon under the name Barbara Leachman.)
I have the third in the detective trilogy partly written.

I'm also in the midst of writing an inspirational historical fiction novel set during the Revolutionary War. And I have a memoir almost completed. But I'm stumped. Not writer's block. Time to sit and think and write.

Once again I'm talking to God about all this. Daughter needs a job, we need God's help in keeping our relationship from getting messed up (Isn't that always a prayer about someone we love?), and time to write while thanking Him for giving us all the time we have had to work on our outer bodies. Now it's time to look again at our inner souls.

Fall is the most beautiful time of the year in New Mexico. We live near the river. The cottonwoods are a brilliant gold, the sky a cloudless deep blue and the air crisp and cool. Yesterday morning we walked for an hour in the bosque. We saw mallards and their mates swimming and feeding the water, Sandhill cranes and geese flying overhead. Soon they will be migrating here for the winter and feeding in the open space fields. We'll be able to see them every day. I love it!

All this beauty and blessings makes it hard to ask for anything. More than asking is thanking and contemplating and knowing that God is in control. The most comfort a person can have is to realize God's love and his soverignity. The world may turn upside-down, but He never will. I believe I'll just hold on to that and enjoy life.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm Listening Again and He's Still Talking

How long has it been? Weeks? Months? Even years?

This past week I talked with God. I told Him I hadn't heard from Him in a long time. I talk to Him all the time, but in the past, I've heard Him talk to me, too.
All that changed about a year and a half ago.

First we worked on selling our house. Then we looked for a place to live. We moved into an apartment for a month and I ate myself into 40 extra pounds as I limped along on a painful bone-on-bone knee. Then I had knee surgery. I rehabbed the knee. Different family company came over the span of a few months. We were out of town for month with my brother's wife dying. And just this past May my oldest daughter was here for three weeks.

In between all this, I started a new novel that requires a lot of research. I've read numerous books. We've gone out to eat with friends. (Very important.) And watched Survivor and American Idol. (Not so important but fun.)

Somehow Jesus got pushed to the side and I missed Him. I have seen His work in our lives, but that one-on-one fellowship was missing. So I sat down with Him and He talked while I listened. I learned something important. He didn't ever leave. In fact, He told me He's had His hand on my shoulder the entire time.

We're talking again. Well, I've been talking all along, but I just haven't been listening. Jesus is always ready to talk if we'll slow down enough to hear Him.
I'm listening more now and I've found out He missed me as much as I missed Him.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How Do You Refuel?

Are you the personality type who gets energy from being with people? Or are you the type who needs alone time because being with people drains your energy?

I'm the latter. For over a month now I've been with people all the time. I haven't had a moment alone. Being alone doesn't mean being in a room alone when there are other people in the house. Being alone means not having anyone around you have to interact with.

The past month was definitely stressful, emotionally and physically. But we've been home a few days now and I'm still exhausted because I haven't had any alone time.

Many years ago my daughter and grandson came to live with us. I taught school and came home utterly worn out from being around mid schoolers and teachers. My mother was in a nursing home and I visited her after school many days. The house was full in the evening and I didn't even have an empty room where I could be alone. Many Saturdays or Sundays I would get in my van and drive to a parking lot near our house and just be there--in the van--alone.

Another way I can refill my energy tank is to walk around a mall; go into shops, look around and probably never buy anything. Although there are people, I don't have to interact with them. That's probably what I will do tomorrow after church. I'll just go to the mall alone.

How do you refuel? Or do you ever need to?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I couldn't go right to sleep last night. I don't know if it was because I ate some sugar too late or because my mind was on a rampage.

I thought about all I had to do today after being gone from home most of a month. I kept seeing Estella alive doing all the things I've seen her do: laundry, eating, helping Jim, playing cards, just sitting and talking. I'd see her as I remember her those last weeks. Mostly, it was when she was alive.

I've lost several family members and good friends. It's such an odd feeling knowing they were once here on earth and now they aren't. And life just goes on without them. It doesn't seem right.

I have a picture of balloons as wallpaper on my desktop. It's one I took when they were here last October. We parked in the handicapped area and were able to see the balloons. In the past they were down on the field but now they are also near the parking area where they inflate. I remember how much they both liked watching them.

Three and a half years ago they came for the Balloon Fiesta. The weather was awful and they didn't see anything at all. When they went home, she had cancer. The same thing happened this time. She went in for a regular check and they found it in her chest wall. Later they discovered it was all in her bronchials and gave her 2 to 3 weeks. She died 3 weeks and a day later.

When I was lying awake last night and not thinking about the things I mentioned above, I wrote a great blog. I didn't get up and make notes and have no idea what it was about, but I promise you--it was one of my best.

Maybe some day it will come back to me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What's In My Own Heart?

Why are people so quick to judge what is in another person's heart?
Why do we think we know what someone was thinking when he or she does something we don't approve of?
Why can't we leave all that to God and love people the way they are?
Why not pray for them instead?
Maybe it would be better if we looked at ourselves instead of wanting everyone else to be perfect--as perfect as we see outselves.

I'm sure we've all heard someone murder another person with words then admit they aren't perfect either. I've probably done that myself.

No, none of us is perfect. For that reason Jesus suggested we love our enemies and let God be the judge. I say He suggested it. It was more than that. In fact, it was a command.

Loving isn't about judging.

Yes, I know we can make judgements but isn't that the same as judging?
I can make a judgement that my friend's husband isn't as nice to her as
he should be. Haven't I made a judgement about their marriage that's none
of my business?

How about if I have an addiction to chocolate or soft drinks and judge someone else's addiction to tobacco. What's the difference? What if I'm obese and make a judgement about what some small, pretty teenager wears?

The past weeks have made changes in me that I hope stick.

My heart is heavy right now because of the judgements that have been made
about someone I love.

God, help us to look into our own hearts before we try to determine
what is in someone else's.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Good-bye

Last night and today have been celebrations. Family and friends have come together to celebrate the life of a precious woman. Of all the people I've ever known, Estella Hale is, or was, the most gentle and kindest. I never heard her say a negative word about anyone. There's a person in the family that everyone says bad things about. I said to Estella, "You've never said anything bad about her." She looked surprised and answered, "Why would I?"
That's the kind of person she was. She loved unconditionally. She loved my brother that way. Her way of telling him in a crowd that he'd said enough was a gentle tap on his shoulder. Otherwise, she would just roll her eyes.

I've heard it said that the good die young. Is that because they've grown in the Lord as much as they need to? If that's true, then those of us over 65 must still have much to learn.

The sky has been cloudy and the wind cold. The day Estella died snow covered the ground. It was beautiful-like God purifying the earth. Today tears have fallen from the sky in the form of rain. Those were our tears of sadness and loss but they were tears of gladness from the Father because He had another of His beloved children with Him.

I don't fully understand death even though the Bible tells us over and over that we must die and tht Jesus has overcome death for us. All I know is that Estella will be missed by her 9 brothers and sisters, her 13 grandchildren, her 4 children and her husband. She will be missed by in- laws and friends. From this experience I have learned that what we take with us and what we leave behind are both the same: what is in our hearts. That is all that really matters. Estella left her clothing, her momentos, hher collections, her Bible, her shoes, her jewelry--all those things we gather to us while we are alive. She took the love for Jesus and her family and the goodness of her heart and presented them to the Lord.

What will I present to Him? Maybe that's why I'm still here. My gift isn't quite ready yet. I pray He will make me more ready so when I leave this earth I have something precious to offer Him.

A few days ago, as I thought along these lines, I asked God if He is ever going to finish His work in me. It doesn't seem like I'm going to get where I want to go. I haven't heard an answer yet so I'll just keep pushing ahead.

One of my daughters wrote a text message saying, "I can see Grandma welcoming Estella into Heaven." I don't know what it will be like, but I know this: Estella wasn't afraid. She was ready. When will I be ready? Not yet, but when the time comes, I hope I have finished my course, just as Paul said. Right now, all I can say is "Good bye, Estella. I miss you."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Normal Life

I've been thinking about life--my life, of course. Maybe yours, too.

What is "normal" life?
You go about your business: get up in the morning, eat or drink coffee, read the paper or the Internet on your computer, go to work or if you're retired, do whatever it is we do every day. Have lunch with friends, go to church, write, attend critique meetings, read, watch TV, go to bed.
"Normal life?"

When I was a teenager, then newlywed, then mother--life was "normal." Somewhere along the years things changed. Divorce, deaths of friends, family members, husband--"abnormal." Or is it?

My brother's wife has cancer and she is dying. she has been under hospice care for a few weeks now. She's lived longer than expected--but has she really lived since she heard the news? Have any of us lived who love her and are watching her slowly die?

Death stops life in its tracks--not only for the one dying but for everyone who loves that person--from the husband to the children and grandchildren and to us: sister and brother-in-law. Even to cousins and nephews and nieces.

We all will die. We know that our bodies are preparing us for the inevitable by dying a little every day. But none of us is ready. My brother always joked that he wanted to go first so he didn't have to be the one left. But it isn't happening for him and he is glad. He said he wouldn't want his wife to have to go through what he's going through right now. I feel the same way. I've lost a husband to cancer and my present husband lost his first wife that way. One of us will die before the other one. I hope it isn't me. I don't want my husband to have to go through the grief he went through the first time.

I think I can handle it better than he can?
Who am I kidding?
I'm not sure what one of us would do without the other. We're that close.

We are so close that he finishes my sentences and I hate that. But I like it, too.
We are so close that I feel like he's the other half of my brain when I lose a word or forget where I put something.
Wouldn't it be nice if Jesus would just come back before we have to lose any more people in our lives?

All right. I know you've said that before, too. But chances are it won't happen that way.

That's just one of the things I'm thinking about. The other is "normal life."

I bought a smart phone today and have no idea how to work it. Why did I buy it? Do I need it? Is it too late to take it back?

This phone has so many aps that even smart people have problems working some of them.

I think I bought it because I need something "normal" right now.

I'm reading Rob Bell's new book, "Love Wins." Now that's the real "normal life." The book is about Jesus and what He did and what that means to us. It is all about His love. When I read it, my spirit soars. All this other stuff like death and smart phones mean nothing in the presence of Jesus' love.

I wish I had something profound to say right now, but that's it. Normal life is one that has highs and lows and weird events; quietness and questions; death and unfullfilled desires. It's everything we go through from birth to death.

Bottom line--I don't want to live any kind of life without Jesus.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Living Outside Myself

I woke up this morning almost in "mourning."
The depression came when I talked to some people yesterday and heard about the tragic life circumstances they faced. Tragic may be a little over the top description, but my heart ached for all of them.

Yes, I know God is the answer but that didn't lessen the heartbreak I felt for all of them. I shared with my husband and he gave me the same answers I had already given myself about God, etc. And they didn't help until. . .

We went to lunch with a couple and got into a deep discussion. They shared some things they'd been facing. I encouraged them with the encouragement I needed. We are only accountable to God and that's where our eyes are supposed to stay. Not on the problems around us or even the victories. God is IT.

Our preacher has been preaching on living outside ourselves. That means turning our focus on our brothers and sisters--and God.

When our time together ended, I felt better. Hopeful. More faith. Blessed Assurance-like. Why? Because I spent a few moments living outside myself thus falling into the arms of Jesus. He has the answers. Instead of looking around us at what we see wrong in our world, we have to keep our eyes on the One who is our Life. Our world doesn't mean the Earth. Our world is where we live and the people who live in it with us.

My concerns are still valid for the ones who are facing difficulty, but my job is only to pray, show them mercy and the love of God. I have to keep my eyes on Jesus and ask the Spirit to be my guide just as He led Jesus.

How many times have we heard someone ask What Would Jesus Do? Instead of sinking into dispair or becoming judgmental, first we need to know the answer to that question.

What did Jesus do when he saw problems around Him? He prayed and lay them at His Father's feet. I did pray and He gave me a way to not only lift my own burdens but those of my brothers.

I can't make my world a better place (the world I live in and the way I'd like it to be), but I can show mercy and lift my brother up by showing the love of God.

I feel better. I hope you do, too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Four Days and Going Forward

I started writing this blog and hit some strange key which highlighted everything and deleted it all. Just as well. All I was doing was rambling about how much I don't know and how frustrated I am over Weight Watchers. I think I'm doing it right but I'm not sure. I do know this: I'm eating quite different than I was before. I don't even have heartburn now which tells me the food I'm eating is better for me.

I spent a lot of time today writing a novel I'm excited about. It's hard for me to have to stop once I get going. But stop I will for most of the rest of this week. Too much going on every day. Things I want to do, even love doing, while in the novel-writing place inside of me, my characters are speaking. "Get us out of this place and onto the next part."

I once heard an author say she'd left her protagonist on a train for weeks and couldn't figure out how to get her off of it. My characters are safe and I know where they're going, but getting them there is the problem.

I have books to read for research on the Revolutionary War period. We stood in line forever yesterday at a closing Borders in order to buy these books discounted. I can hardly wait to read them. In my book shelf are several books I want to read, too. They're waiting.

Tomorrow daughter-in-law and grand girls are coming over. Wednesday is lunch with friends and shoe shopping and small group meeting at night. Thursday is Bible class and Friday is WW weigh-in and later tea with girlfriends. All of these are important to me and I wouldn't miss a one of them.

On top of all of this stands a food plan and the need to exercise. If I lose even a tiny bit on Friday, I will count it as a win. If I don't. . .I won't give up.

With the coming week full I need to sleep, but here it is after midnight and I'm awake thinking of all that is coming tomorrow and next week.

I think I'm doing something right. I mentioned not having heartburn since starting WW last Friday. That's big. I'm full and satisfied. I know this sounds silly, but I already feel skinnier. I'll know for sure on Friday and will report back.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A New Beginning

Well, I'm going to go for it.

In the morning I will attend my first Weight Watchers' meeting.

About 25 years ago I ate myself into overweight. I prayed and prayed, but I didn't get any answers on how to get it off. I tried diets that didn't work and continued to pray.

One day I wandered into a book store (one of my favorite places in the world) and looked at book titles. One jumped out at me. When I say it jumped, it really did. The title: "There's More to Being Thin Just Being Thin" by Neva Coyle. I knew I had my answer. That answer was a scripture: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." So that's what I did. Instead of concentrating on losing weight I meditated on God and His Word. And I followed Neva's diet plan. I even asked God, just like she told the reader's to do, how much I needed to lose.

I counted calories--faithfully counted them, and in 4 months I'd lost all I needed to lose. And I was much closer to God, which was the real goal.

Since that time, when I felt I needed to lose weight, I tried counting calories again. Each time I lasted about a week before I gave up. I didn't even try this time to go that route. I knew I needed another answer.

So I prayed and asked for direction and gave it to God--until last week. That's when I talked to Him mano-y-mano. I don't remember what I said, but I got real honest with Him. That very day led me to Weight Watchers and a Wii.

I can't stand exercising just for the sake of exercising so I got the Wii. If I'm playing a game I enjoy, then I'll exercise. I bowled and played golf the first day. I used to bowl and I'm much better on Wii than I ever was in real life. :) I'm still not good at golf but I'll get the hang of it. I have more games and will try all of them. And I'll count points, whatever that means.

As for the reason I want to lose weight now. . . It isn't to look better (maybe a little) but it's to feel better this time. I have a new knee and want it to last me the rest of my life. Being too heavy will wear it down faster. Also, I would like to be able to breathe when I bend over and put on my shoes.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Overcome by His Love

Oh, Lord,
I want to tell you what you mean to me.
I want to write you a sonnet of love.
How can I express a lose so deep--
A love so dear.
Not a love caused by what you've done for me,
Though that is more than I can say,
But a love grown out of Love.
A love for the Giver of Love.
Love-the word is inadequate to express what I feel.
I can only fully express my love in the tongue of the Spirit.
I want to be with You.
My desire is for You.

I wrote this in December of 1983 after God had lifted my spirit out of a time of pain.
It came back to me after a dream I had last night.
In the dream Christmas was coming and I was making plans.
Sadness was all around me--my own, others--the sadness of life in this world and of families split apart for one reason or another.

Before Jesus was arrested He told His disciples--us--after a long discourse concerning the Holy Spirit that's recorded in John 16: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Life on this earth isn't easy. Every day we hear of friends who have diseases, people who hurt others, sadness, strife, death, war, disunity and more. In our own lives, as in the lives of my own family, we have heartbreaks. And we have no control. We can't make them better.

When I wrote the words from 12/1983, I was hurting because of something that was happening in the lives of people I loved. I prayed and read the word and listened to the Spirit, searching for peace; for comfort. Proverbs 4:20-22 came from somewhere that day: "Give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh."

I know many people doubt the Bible. Others believe every word came out of the Spirit of God. All I know is this: these words are a guide and they come to me when I need them the most. The Spirit speaks to me through these words, and when I heed what they say, I am healed. These words tell me what my spirit knows: God loves me and because He first loved me, I can love others.

Some days I can feel His love so strong it takes my breath away, it takes my words away and the only way I can express myself to Him is through His Spirit. When I do that, the tribulation of the world falls away and I see that He has overcome all the sadness and sorrow I have.

Romans 8:18 "For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

2 Corinthians 4:16,17, 18 "We do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Funny how God takes His word and shows us that it is the mind that is being renewed because we reside in the soul. When our minds are renewed, we don't look at what is going on around us in the same way. The Word of God, whether it comes by reading or by the Spirit in some other way, is our "treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." 2 Cor. 4:7

I pray that God will speak to you by whatever means you need today so that you may have peace in the knowledge that Jesus has overcome it by His Love.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On the Road Again

I changed the way my blog looks this morning. Not sure it will stay like this with all the raindrops. But it's time for a change.

We bought a Wii yesterday that's going to be part of my exercise plan. I'll walk, but I can't walk fast enough to work up a sweat, much less a heart rate that will burn calories. But if I'm "playing" I might enjoy exercising, and I don't like doing anything that isn't enjoyable.

I've had two exercise bikes that ended up rusting from sitting in the garage unused. Too boring.

I bought a treadmill because it had a place to put a book. Read while walking on a treadmill? You've got to be kidding.

My next, and last, piece of equipment was an elliptical trainer. I watched 30 minutes of House Hunters while using that. After the knee surgery my PT told me that wasn't good for the piece of equipment they planted into my knee. Another PT said he thought -- get that "thought" it was all right. Talked out of that, I sold it and decided to walk.

Walking is so boring! If I walk with my husband, I get breathless (even walking as slow as I do) talking. How do you walk with someone and never speak?

The reason I decided on the Wii is because I watched Jennifer Hudson on Oprah. She has lost 80 pounds with Weight Watchers. I don't need to lose 80 pounds--yet, but if I don't get busy soon, I'll be there. She plays basketball and jumps rope, things she did as a child, when she exercises. I love to bowl in Wii and haven't tried any of the other games. But, if husband can get it hooked up, I'll try them all--plus walking.

Which brought me to the eating part. How to manage that? For 17 years I lived on a no starch, no sugar diet. I had to. Last year I discovered white oak bark tea. I drank this tea twice a day and it did something miraculous to my body. After a few months I could eat sugar and starch again.

In the stressful months during the house to apartment to house move, walking on a cane with knee pain day and night, I ate to soothe my stress and added more pounds than I like to say. (I don't weigh unless I'm at the doctor's office, and they count it in grams. I won't let them tell me the truth and I refuse to weigh at home and face that truth for myself.) I've gone up two sizes from where I want to be. I have a stomach that looks like I may deliver any moment. Ugh! I feel awful.

I looked up Albuquerque Weight Watchers. None of the meetings are near my house. I mean they are far away. WW can be followed on line. I'll figure something out. I need a food plan.

Last summer I started asking God to show me what to do. Maybe I wasn't ready before now. I don't know any other reason for Him to wait to tell me this long. Could be He lets us wait long enough to be desperate. Well, I'm there.

This isn't the first time I've been desperate about my weight. Years ago I was overweight and again, I prayed. I found a book by Neva Coyle and began counting calories. I lost down to the size I wanted to be in four months. (I wasn't as overweight as I thought!) I can't count calories again. I know. I've tried. Doesn't work for me any more.

The Bible says anything is possible with God. I believe it and am on the road to live out those words.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wait For It

I'm excited today.

Last year was a real downer for me: moving, knee surgery, rehab, physical therapy. I gained weight, which was the biggest downer. Since then I've felt old and negative (my daughter was right), tired, grumpy--really in a deep funk. I've talked to God about it--more like whined--but nothing seemed to change. I went to bed tired and woke up tired, didn't want to go out of town. I've been huddling in my cave.

Again today I talked to God about it. I asked Him to give me something that would get me out of the hole so I can, at least, make the effort to lose weight.

He did it. Why am I surprised? I'm not quite sure how it's all going to work, but for the first time in about a year, I feel like the cloud has lifted.

What I really want to say is this: God is faithful. He isn't so concerned about our "outsides" but He's really into what's going on "inside." If you have something you've been praying about for a long time, hang in there. He hasn't forgotten and He's not answering. The time will come. Wait on Him.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back in the Past

My cousin was here last week. She's two years younger than I am and lives in Denver. We see each other about once a year. Being with her always brings back memories of Mamaw's house in Memphis--Texas, that is.

She was Vera-Ellen and I was Ava Gardner. Her boyfriend was Guy Madison and mine was Roy Rogers. Her horse was the Black Stallion and mine was the Strawberry Roan. We rode around Mamaw's yard and down the street "pretending."

When we weren't riding the range, we played paper dolls or dress-up. Mamaw had a closet full of long flowing dressing gowns, hats, feathers--all the things that make young girls fantasies come true.

In the side yard of Mamaw's house was a fish pond--empty of water or fish. We'd get the neighborhood kids and put on shows out there. If you're old enough to remember the Little Rascals, you'll know what I mean.

We played Solitaire with Mamaw and worked jigsaw puzzles.

Minus everything except puzzles, my cousin and I still love being together. We worked two puzzles while she was here, ate out a lot, ran errands and shopped.

Of course, I got way behind on all my housework and writing, but who cares? The time with my oldest friend and relative is more important. Do you have someone from your past who is precious to you and brings back good memories?

Monday, January 10, 2011


We use the words "love" and "hate" for things other than the way they should be used. For instance we say we love chocolate. Do we really? And we hate cold weather. Hate it?

I'm going to use some of those words today-and not the way they probably should be used. A few days ago I thought of some things I hate. As soon as I had the thought I realized I was thankful for them. Crazy, isn't it? To hate something but be thankful for it?

Here's a few of my hate/thankful for things:

I hate public restrooms but I'm so grateful they are available because I've often needed one. The one I hated the most was in Italy. Our tour bus stopped somewhere (who knows where we were?)just so we could all relieve ourselves after being on the bus for a few hours. A small but fierce-looking Italian man sat at a table between the men's and women's restrooms. His hand was out. We had to pay him for a handful of toilet paper. Otherwise, "no can use." I paid my coin and went inside to the first available stall where I found a hole in the cement floor. Need I explain why I hated this public restroom but was thankful for it? As a postscript I'll tell you we had to wash our hands and go out to the man and get a paper towel, too.

Some public restrooms in America are really clean. Others not so. No matter which way they appear, I'm always thankful they are there.

A second "hate" is having to wear glasses to read. I was born with a catarac on one eye. Although the catarac was removed (finally), I've never had sight in that eye. A few years ago I had catarac surgery on my good eye and I'm very thankful I can see most everything without glasses now. It's still a pain to have to find a pair of reading glasses to do anything up close. However, I'm so grateful to have this one eye that works so I am able to read.

Another hate: alarm clocks. I'm thankful I had one during all the years I worked. Otherwise I would have been late for work in the winter. In the summer I would have had to get up when the sun came up so I'd be on time. I'm really thankful I don't have to set a clock now that I'm retired.

The last "hate" but "thankful for" I'll mention is a bra. And that's all I'll say about that.