Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Caleb's Ashley

I have another Ashley! Caleb married her last October so she has been part of the family for a little while.
She is darling.
I talked to her on the phone today ... tomorrow is her birthday ... wanted to tell her that I am celebrating her before she receives a million phone calls from everyone else that loves her.
Caleb found the perfect match for him when he found his Ashley.
She is thoughtful, kind, loving, gently, sweet, merciful, but bold as fire!
She believes in Jesus and she wants everyone to and so she talks about Him everywhere she goes. Everywhere! All the time!
Caleb has had the gift of evangelism since we was about four years old. I would say he has met his match with this sweet girl.
I love this girl so dearly! What a gift from the Lord.

So I feel as if I have been blessed with a double portion ... Ashli and Ashley ... my wonderful daughters!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


A young girl got baptized at our church today.

She had been to summer camp and heard the gospel in a whole new way and decided that she wanted to give her heart to Jesus. Her whole family gathered to watch her dip in the river (baptismal) and her sins roll away.

It was a beautiful sight.

It made me remember.

I gave my heart to Jesus when I was but nine years of age.

My dad did not want me to. He thought me too young to be making such a big decision.

Mom, the pastor, and I talked and I think I begged some until my dad finally relented. He didn't come to my baptism. He did not approve he had just surrendered.

I will never forget that day. I made my confession of faith, followed the pastor to the dipping tank, stepped into the freezing waters, and believed with all of my heart that Jesus had suffered and died and rose again ... for me! Sin lost it's hold on me as the pastor's strong arms helped guide me out of those freeing waters.

Something magnificent happened in my heart that day! I became a new creature in Christ!

I wish I could say that I never made another mistake after that ... never sinned again ... never had reason to regret. I have fallen short so many times. Perhaps that is what my dad knew would happen. Could it have been the cause of his hesitation?

The difference was that the Lord no longer would see me as a sinner ... from that moment on He saw me as His child. What would He ever do with a child who would make so many mistakes? He would correct me, love me, and call me back until I got it right. He still does that today.

Was I too young to make such an important decision? Perhaps, but the Lord has enough grace to keep me until the day when He will come again. Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crossing Rivers

I recently made a trip to Illinois with my mom to visit family. We crossed several rivers, notably the Ohio, Tennessee, and the Mississippi.

We took a ferry across the Ohio ... a family member called it the "scary ferry". She advised that we keep our windows rolled down in case the ferry failed to make it across. I immediately agreed with her upon seeing the ferry.

The ferry ride was free. We shared the ride with a truck and trailer hauling cattle which made having the windows down a bit unpleasant.

The Ohio River crossing at the location of "scary ferry" is absolutely gorgeous which encouraged my nerves to settle. The view was so spectacular I even forgot about the cows. I must return to that location again someday.

We crossed over rivers on high old bridges and beautiful new bridges.

I love to cross rivers. It is more than the fact that there is somewhere that I long to be on the other side. I get caught up in the journey.

This morning I was thinking about the streams of living waters that are inside of us. I love it when I find a soul with the river of life flowing inside their soul. I savor the ambiance, the wisdom, the power to create, to teach, to pray that flows as a result of that internal river. I am always encouraged, exhorted, and strengthened when those eternal rivers touch my life.

I am grateful that our "rivers" have crossed.


"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow within him." Jesus said in John 7:38

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bringing Home Linens

I love to browse in antique stores.

My daughter and I used to visit this one. We would try on hats, making faces in the mirror, pretending. Draping vintage clothing over our shoulders, slipping our feet into high heeled shoes, imagining ourselves dressed for occasion.

Alone, I made my way back to one of our preferred mercantiles.

It was void of chatter.

I was drawn to the vintage linens.

My thoughts were on dressing my table for company,




strangers passing through town.

I purchased some, pressed, starch, crisp table coverings expecting

I will have opportunity to share my table.

"Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless ... cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything ... encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!" 1 Peter 4:7-11 The Message Translation

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

Scotty and I went to Starlight Theater in Kansas City last night to watch the beautiful production of Beauty and the Beast. I was completely captivated by the set, the cast, the music, the gorgeous night. Everything was absolutely perfect! I don't know if I have ever enjoyed a musical production as much as I did that one ... which was a complete surprise to me!

In reflection, I have pondered the different morals that the musical presents. Genuine beauty hidden in the Beastly looking one. The proud beauty (Gaston) filled with the obvious disease of self-absorption. Belle, the reader, the thinker, the practical, quick-witted prize that both men desired. Her profound portrayal of a discerning woman was brilliant.

The spell. The captivity one can be under because of an incident from the past and

the power of love to liberate an imprisoned soul.

I loved the faithfulness displayed between Belle and her papa.

2 Timothy 3 talks about "weak willed women" another version says "gullible". Belle was not weak willed or gullible. She was strong and stood for what she believed in.

Of course it is just a fairy tale. For me it was a magical evening full of beauty and prose.

Today it is food for thought.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Special Day

There are some lives that ebb away while others are taken from us so quickly. My dad was one that seemed to vanish, his last breath taken while I slept dreaming of his recovery. He was never to recover from a heart that was torn and couldn't be put back together again. I had been fooled. Deceived. Believing what I wanted to believe. Then he was gone. One minute I was telling him goodbye for the day, the next day he was gone for life. He was stolen from me in the night.

His birthday would have been last Friday. I miss him.

His big sister and I went exploring the old home places again a few days ago. We went last fall. We both love the history and had to do it again.

My favorite place we explored was the home place where she and my dad grew up. He was six months old, she two and a half when they moved there.

The farmhouse is a memory in both of our minds. She of many days, me of few. The porch remains. Footprints from my little girl days have been washed away by many rains. I remember dancing there.

I remember the old house where grandma's home was. The squeak of the screen doors, the smell of fresh bread, the coal stove in the front room linger in my mind. It had an upstairs, wasn't it a big house? My little girl memory thought so.

Grandma passed before my fourth birthday. My mom says that I am like her. I do not remember the soft of her face or the sing in her voice, but I feel a kindred bond to her heart. I remember the day of her funeral. The sadness of it settled upon everyone. Even in my youngness I could not escape it. It is etched in my mind forever.

As I grew, I would sit on my grandpa's lap and asked him about her many times. His love for her was seasoned, deep and real. I felt it when he spoke her name.

Dad's big sis and I wandered all over the boundaries of old home. I was thrilled with her delighted squeals when she discovered something familiar.

"We pumped our water at this well and carried it to the house! It is still here! Does it still work?"

Answer, "Yes, the grandkids still pump water from it when they come."

"Look at this pear tree! I couldn't even count all of the pears that I picked for mother for canning!" Pears were hanging from every bough. She touched them remembering then leaving them for the new owners.

I am tickled by her delight.

The old barn stands. Steps to the loft beckoned me to explore among the rafters. The word "snakes" held me back.

I pictured my dad, in work and play running up and down those old wooden steps. The stories they could tell me! Stories he would have long forgotten!

A Monarch butterfly settled among the flowers, eavesdropping memories.

It was one of my favorite days. I will remember and treasure it for a very long time. I must take my children there so that their footprints will mingle with mine and those I have loved.

It is where I have come from.

Remembering where I have come, inspires me for where I am going.

My grandpa, grandma, dad, are treading heavenly ground now. Someday my feet will dance over the holy places they now enjoy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thicker Than Blood

Loved this wonderful novel written by C. J. Darlington. C.J. began writing this tale when she was homeschooling. It is an amazing read. I think you will find that the story is as wonderful as the cover.
Have you read it? Your thoughts?


Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Our apple tree is beyond the bloom and well into the harvest season. I just came in from a pickin'. They are nice and round this year, with a hint of blush . The tree is full.

Last year we had only one apple off of that tree. Kind of disappointing. No apple cobbler. No fried green apples. It was a fruitless tree. For one season.

The frost had come early and destroyed any hopes of a harvest ... last year. It was a hard year for the tree. I wonder if that tree sensed our disappointment and decided that no matter what, it was going to have a plentiful harvest this season. The disappointment most likely had nothing to do with us.

It might have hoped for bloom and bounty last season too, but it wasn't to be.

Seasons of fruitfulness. Barren seasons.

There have been years when that tree was so bountiful that the limbs tickled the ground from the weight of the fruit. Deer have enjoyed a dessert feast, but because of circumstance or schedule or trial, I failed to enjoy the fruit off of that wonderful tree. I missed my opportunity. They are ripe only so long. Bugs come. Apples eventually rot on the limbs or get eaten by deer.

Today, I took advantage of our abundance. We will be having fried apples for dinner. The kids love them. Two of my kids will be home to enjoy them.

Been thinking a lot about spiritual fruitfulness. Seasons. Opportunities. Responsibilities. Callings. Do you have any thoughts about these things?