Tuesday, December 31, 2013

We meet as often as we can. It is rare. We have been separated by many miles for many years. We squeeze every minute of joy that we can out of shared moments. It is truly a "quality not quantity" type of relationship, this daughter of mine and I have. 

We met a few years ago in Pennsylvania. A member of the family was going to wed. Ashli arrived for the wedding by train. Anticipation welled up as I saw her walk through the depot. Her daddy took her luggage from her and placed it in our rental car. She hopped in and our very special weekend got a million times better. 

She and I stayed up until the wee hours that night. This is what we do. At some point there was a bit of a lull in conversation. We were resting and enjoying just being in the presence of one another. It was then that she reached in her bag and said, "I made something for you."

She drew out a sketchbook. Neither one of us really has the gift of sketching. Even our stick people drawings look rough and tumbly at best.

It was a large, spiral sketchbook, with only about 20 pages with her fingerprints on them. The rest were pristine, white pages still waiting for script or scrawl.

She had filled the first 20 pages with beautiful, precious thoughts. Thoughts about us. Thoughts about life. She had cut out pictures, glued them in . . . illustrating story and thought. It was so special and beautiful. My heart swelled to overflowing. 

She gave the book to me with instruction. "Now you fill 20 pages, Mom, and give it to me next time we meet."

And so I did.

I found the most special, beautiful, wonderful things I could find and placed them on those twenty pages that were assigned to me. Our little book that had been about an inch and a half thick  grew thicker. Poetry, photography, fashion, food, fun, family, faith . . . so much to share about.
We did this many times. She created 20 pages, then she would give the book to me. I would create 20 more pages and give it back to her. When our book was full it was nearly 18 inches thick, and weighed about twenty-five pounds.

It is a treasure.  An amazing and incredible treasure.

It was a span of time before our book was finished. Our hearts were knit at a new level by the time we reached the final pages.

She and I had lunch a few days ago. "We need to start a new book," she says. 

Our new book will be smaller this time. We will not be able to meet very often, so it will have to be. We will have to illustrate with words only. She gave me a little book filled with blank pages for Christmas this year. "We can use this, momma," she says.

And so, I will begin our journal this time, then send it by post when a few pages are complete. Excuse me, I have to go for now. There are some pristine white pages calling my name.

Happy New Year to all! May it be a favorite. I pray that, if you keep a journal, you will have many happy and wonderful things to write about. God's best blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What picture comes to mind when you think of that day?

Mother with newborn . . . always a mystery, no? Always miraculous. Life gives birth to life. Proof that there is a God in heaven. How else could life be formed in womb?

When Jesus was born,that miraculous, wondrous night, it was the wonder of wonders.

Imagine holding majesty in your arms.

Swaddling him, then drawing him near your heart. Heartbeat to heartbeat, heaven's breath on your face. 

 The adored, the sent one, Messiah, humble king, savior.

Sweet baby Jesus, in your arms.

Silent awe.

He was born on earth, the joy of heaven, the Father's love revealed.

The hope of nations tucked in the arms of a handmaiden.

 Sent to redeem lost souls.

God's perfect grace personified.

Redemption is such a beautiful story, my friend. 

 I wish you many joys this Christmas. I pray happiness fills your home to the brim and spills over into your neighborhood.

My biggest hope is that you will enjoy the one who came that night. That you will seek Him face to face, love Him with all of your heart, and celebrate life with Him.

Many blessings from our home to yours.

We wish you every merriness! 

"Joy to the world! The Lord has come! Let earth receive her king! Let every heart, prepare Him room! And heaven and nature sing. And heaven and nature sing! And heaven and heaven and nature sing!"

Saturday, December 21, 2013

 "Butter-fly"  our two-year-old Ace calls the celestial what is familiar to him. 

Imagine shepherds quieting the sheep, preparing to rest while all is calm. Suddenly the skies are brilliant and the night sky, which only speaks during thunder storms, is filled with vibrato of the celestial.

Can  you imagine?

Is there anything you have experienced that can compare?

Heaven speaking in song.

Lyrics of promise and hope poured upon their heads.

Angels rejoicing, dancing in midair.

Shepherds were considered lowly, insignificant, paupers.

But they got to see!

Heaven was happy! It had to tell somebody! Heaven did not consider them lowly. Heaven was reaching to save.

"The King of heaven is born on earth. Born to save man. Born to give what every man fights to keep. Life. Hope is born. Hope of man having the ability to have the kind of peace that passes all understanding. Man does not yet understand how wonderful their future can now be. We see and we understand! We cannot keep our song to ourselves."

I have often wondered what the shepherds told their families. What kind of stories did their grandchildren get to hear?

"I was guarding sheep one evening when out of nowhere silence was broken by the happiest of sounds. Angels rejoicing, a trumpet sounding. I cannot describe it in earth tones. And then we saw Him, a babe. A babe who was called King by those who knew Him before."

We often imagine a silent night, we sing the song we know. The shepherds might offer another perspective, "Heaven burst upon us with the songs that angels sing . . . celebration! And they told us where we could find Him, the reason for their song! And now we have a new song to sing! Rejoice! Rejoice!"

This is the reason of Christmas. Ace called the angel a butterfly. It is what he knows. Have you heard the angel's song? If you listen very, very close, you might hear it. Shhhh . . . listen . . . they're still singing. The song delivered that night will never be silenced. Praise Him! Praise Him! 

Praying that you hear it, too! 

"It is not a butterfly, Lovey. It is an angel!" I tell him.

"Aaan-Gel?" he reaches for understanding.

I am reaching, too. How about you?

Praying you hear the beautiful sound, my friend. The sound of redemption is the most glorious sound of all. Heaven sings! Yes, heaven sings! 

"Hark the herald, angels sing, Glory to the newborn King. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled . . . " and so the song goes.

Merry Christmas! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

When it catches their eye, they giggle. 

"Poopoopaper!!!" they say, "Wouldn't ___________ love this!"

I always have to smile. It is one of the most popular items in our store. One day I believe that I sold more poopoopaper than anything else! 

I was on a mission trip in Sri Lanka the first time I came across such a thing. The missionary family that we were staying with took us to an elephant orphanage. It was an amazing place where they saved elephants who lived in dangerous areas where landmines had been planted. One dear old elephant that we met had lost part of his leg because of a landmine that he happened onto. 

In Sri Lanka they had a whole gift store of items that had been made out of elephant poo. Eewwww! I was amazed, but could not touch the items in that store. It was convincing. Frugality, ingenuity and creativity knows no bounds!

Kentuckians love their horses! There is a lot of horse poo around here. Why not make it useful?

I think I just read your mind. 

"How can I get some of that?" you ask.

Just give me a call and we will see what we can do. Just remember there are only 5 days until Christmas. You might want to add it to next years shopping list. I think it is going to be around for a very long time.
Hope you are finding the perfect gift for everyone!
Merry, merry!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It happened a long time ago, over a quarter of a century now. Luke was newborn babe. His tiny hand was too small to make an impression in wet cement, so Scotty took a stick and drew a tiny hand in the grey matter and wrote Luke's name with date beside it. 

Luke's pseudo impression remained for a very long time. 

Sometimes that is what life is like, no? 

 We say or do something and an impression is made, but that is not really who we are. But for some reason, the impression forms up, congeals, hardens, and remains forever.  We are held captive, judged by an imprint we have left behind.

There are things I have said in the past. Silly things that I have done. A lot of them are long forgotten in my mind, but in the mind of someone else it is as if I said, or did it yesterday. It wearies me to be held in the memory of some timeless warp in the mind of someone else. 

Before we left our homestead of twenty plus years, Scotty crushed the cement with Luke's tiny hand-print formed in it. It was a sad moment for us. We hated to get rid of something so precious. Though his hand-print was not genuine,his sweet name was there. But we couldn't bring it with us. The cement needed to go, so did the hand-print.

Sometimes we need to let go of things of the past. We need to crush the memory of it forever. Words others have spoken, things they have done. If they had it to do over, (which who can do that?) they most likely would not. 

Grace is a gift we can give one another. A beautiful, godly, unselfish gift. I am praying for grace to give those who have wounded me in the past.We are promised that we will reap what we sow. 

Oh, Lord, Your grace is the greatest gift. Please help me to sow grace. I trust you for the harvest. Amen, let it be so.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I was thinking about quitting my job. I came very close. Tensions are extreme. Co-workers are tired. Patrons, though kind are weary. Last minute shopping is taxing. I understand, you finally have the means to buy treasure for your loved ones, only to realize the treasure you sought to give is no longer available. 

I'm trying to be patient, trying to be joyful.

I pray that I will be light to all. 

I have told this little parable before, but this is a perfect time to repeat and remind myself of its wisdom. 

There once was a great city that was divided by a wall. The  people who lived on one side of the wall hated the people who lived on the other side. One night they banned together and decided that they would throw all of their garbage and every ugly thing they could find over the wall. 

The next morning the recipients of the garbage banned together and formed a plan. That night they threw flowers and many beautiful things over the wall. Above the mound of beauty they posted a sign, "Each man gives what he has."

There will be a lot of unwrapping, and many trinkets and treasures will be given this Christmas. Oh, but the best gifts, my friend, cannot be purchased at the little gift store where I am working, nor at any other store in town. They are gifts of the heart. Gentle responses when we feel like anything but. Tender words, hugs, love. 

Praying that you will find a heap of blessings on your side of the wall. 

Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Scotty answered the knock at the door. The postman handed him a package. "Amazon" is written across it in bold black letters. 

He gives me a look that asks, "Have you weakened?" 

I return the most puzzled face I can muster.

I open the box and there inside is a gift from our youngest. He is thinking about us from wherever he is at sea. 

Days pass. We receive another knock on our door. The postman has returned with another package from our boy at sea. It is for me this time. Tears well up as I open the sterling silver necklace, a cross with an anchor. Beautiful! 

From Josiah, the card says. 

He has been at sea since September. Underway is what they call it when you are in a submarine. He was in port  somewhere in the world on Thanksgiving Day so we got to chat with him for a good long time. I love Skype, Facetime, Facebook, E-mail. It is what we have. I could see him and it was like he was right here with us. 

I would love for that to happen at Christmas time. I would love to be able to see the boy/man! In person would be the best, but I will settle for a technological visit.

Dear Santa,
Please send us a Josiah for Christmas. We would love to receive another knock on our door. We have loved greeting the postman, but we would be even more delighted to open to a knock on the door and see our dear Josiah and his lovely bride, Bonnie standing there. Please, Santa! I have been a very good girl this year.
Your best girl!
ps. I have a new address this year! Will you be able to find me?

Merry Christmas blessings to all who serve in the military! You are a blessing to our country and our gratitude is immense! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

He met me for lunch  a few weeks ago at one of our favorite Mexican buffets. 

"I've never seen your hair fixed quite like that," he says.

This is the man who, when he came to pick me up for a date one time, asked me if I had been eating fried chicken. 

"Chicken?" I asked.

"Your lips, they are kind of greasy." 

A sister might have been a good thing for his family. He had no idea that it was lip gloss giving my lips an imperial glow. 

I told my hairdresser that my husband loved my hair last time she fixed it. He thought those little flippies that she managed to wisp out of my limp locks made me look like I had a "twenties something's do". 

She tried to repeat. 

She sprayed, she teased, she ironed, and she glued my hair with thick goo so that it would hold it's flippy position. 

Result, I looked like the flying nun dressed in habit. Actually, I looked more like a weather vane. Point me in any direction, north, south, east, or west and I would have directed spot on.

When we met for lunch he didn't tease. He didn't despise. He only wondered out loud.

That is his way. Gentle. 

We have come a long way from, "You been eating fried chicken?"

I went to see my hairdresser yesterday. "Just curl it under this  time," I say.

She says, "I really like it flipped out, but we will do what you like."
I picture it. Flying Nun. Weather vane.

"It's okay. Under will be great!" I smile.

"I love your hair!" he says when he sees me. I run by the apartment to give him a hug before I head to work. "You look great!" he smiles. Then he begins to sing to me "Born to be wild . . . do, do, dooooo!" He wiggles a little as he sings.

Our now and our past, they dance with grace. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My dad could always spot a good man in a crowd. He was drawn to the tender, the loyal, the work your fingers to the bone kind of guy. He respected the ones who would do anything for anyone, "give the shirt off their back" for someone else. 

When he spotted Scotty, he decided that I should marry him. They worked together one summer and it was over. The decision was made.

"Make sure she ends up with that guy," he told my mother.

Mom remembers shrugging her shoulders at the thought. 
"How do you make love and life happen for someone else?" 

Scotty and I fell in love at first sight . . . well, sort of. We walked to school together when we were children. I didn't like him then. Time passed, we grew up. I saw him on a summer's eve when I was fourteen and my heart danced to a new tune. It is a night etched in our memory files, stored under label, "best night ever!" 

It was magic, impossible to describe with words. He grinned and a web was spun around my heart, I was captured forever.

We fell in love instantly, we fell in like over time. 

I would see him turn the corner in the hall at school and my heart would literally take a nose dive to my knees. I was helpless to run. I tried a few times, when I realized how very different we were. He the practical, I the dreamer. He the wise, I the simple one. Magnetic forces drew us, our love would not endure long separations. We had to be together.

My dad knew what a catch my man was. He spotted him right off. He never said, "marry that one!" He never even nodded Scotty's way. He must have prayed. He wanted our togetherness terribly bad.

Dad did not pray out loud very often . . . I heard him talk to God only a  few times in my whole life, but I'm pretty sure that he prayed about us, my man and I. Thank you, Dad! I wouldn't have wanted it any other way! I'm very thankful for my guy! He is the love of my life!

Bless you for believing in us. How different it all would have been if not for your faith in our relationship. Your love and support was like an anchor that carried us through many a difficult season. We love you and we miss you so much!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Christ-Mas-Time!" he points to the red and green decor that laces our tiny abode. He accents every syllable. 

Last night he saw our sparkling tiny tree for the first time. Oh, to capture the awe of that moment. 

Eyes of wonder!


"Snow-Man," says he showing me the round whitened man hanging on our tree.

"An-Gel,"  he smiles.

I recently told him that GG was going to give him presents for Christmas. 

"Ap-ple Sauce,"   he replies, the greatest gift he can imagine.

We opened gifts last evening. I served him applesauce after he finished his dinner, just like always.

Petra wore her Santa hat. Ace did, too, for about two seconds.

Having these babies in my world has really stirred my thinking again about Jesus saying that we need to be childlike.

Not childish, childlike.

Full of awe, wonder, delight! 

With full understanding that applesauce is a gift.

A little child will lead them.

I'm learning daily with two little ones on my knee. 

Merry Christmas Blessings to all!

Monday, November 25, 2013

It is the week that we consider all the reasons we should be thankful. Today I want to share about one for whom I am truly grateful. 

Her timing is impeccable. Whenever I get discouraged and feel like throwing in the towel, invariably my phone rings. 

She is my cheerleader. Do you have one? Everyone should have at least one or two or three of them in their lives .  Sometimes I need several in a day. 

Writing is a bit of a lonely venture. It is like talking to yourself while looking in the mirror. You see lips across from you moving, but it is only your reflection, not another person responding. Writing can be very one-sided. 

My cousin, Shala has an incredible sense of timing. Somehow she knows when I need to hear her voice, need to hear her say, "Keep going! You  can do it!" 

If I were a marathon runner, she would be on the sidelines cheering for me. Rain or snow. She would be the one to come up and wipe my brow, give me a drink, and say, "You are going to make it! I can see the finish line! Keep running!" If she could not be  there in person, I would be hearing her in my blue-tooth: "Run, baby run! You can do it! I believe in you!" 

Cheerleaders are vital in the body of Christ!

They might be the most vital ones in the grand scheme of things. They often feel like they aren't doing anything very important. Oh, but they are! Yes, they are!!!

Shala has been through some very difficult things, but this girl knows how to look on the bright side. She continuously bubbles with enthusiasm. I love her for that! She can spot a silver lining when most of us can only see a looming thunderhead.

I write because of her and a couple of others who have encouraged me to do it. When I was a little girl, I wanted to play the piano . . . perfectly! Without lessons! Well, you would not want to hear me play, because I never did practice. 

I guess I am a very proud person. I am not proud about that fact.

I don't like to write and later find flaws in what I have written. They are hard to spot in one's own piece because you know what you are saying so you can easily skip over a typo or misspelled word. Then putting it out there for others to read when I know there might and probably are some errors in it. Humbling!

Perfectionist that I am, I sometimes feel like quitting. As soon as I start to feel this way, my phone rings. I honestly do not get to think about it very long, because she knows! She just knows, and she calls. 

"Write, baby, write!" says she.

Paul, in the New Testament, was such an incredible cheerleader. In fact, one of my favorite things about Paul is the way he exhorted and encouraged.  I also love how he prayed for those he was exhorting. Our pastor blessed us with  one of Paul's exhortation/prayers when he was dismissing us yesterday morning. Let this blessing fall on you, my friend. (bottom of the page)

I hope you have a whole cheerleader squad cheering you on! I hope everyone of them is like a Shala to you! 

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, my dear Shala! I love you!


 "For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects—bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God,  being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully  giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.  He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:9-14 NET

Saturday, November 23, 2013

 Sharing one of my favorite poems today. The words of this beautiful poem have been very true for me. One time, in a very dark hour of suffering, I remember praying, "Lord, I don't even know if the poem 'Footprints' is scriptural or not, but I need you to carry me right now." The next morning I opened my Bible to Deuteronomy 1:31 and read these words, " . . . when I carried you as a man carries his son." I instantly fell to my knees. The Lord had heard my prayer, and He even let me know that He had heard. He would carry me. We would make it through the hard time . . . together.

 Footprints in the Sand
by Margaret Rose Powers
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."

A lot of time has passed since the day of my prayer. I can tell you that the Lord has been faithful. I am one who has been carried down many difficult roads. I'm so very thankful! 

Do you need to be carried, my friend? I hope that you feel His arms about you. I am praying for you.

Have a beautiful weekend.


. . . and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’  Deuteronomy 1:31 NKJV

Friday, November 22, 2013

Have you ever heard the story of Annie Sullivan? She was given the title "The Miracle Worker" because she is the one who was able to break into Helen Keller's world of darkness.

The story that I heard about her though happened long before Annie met Helen. She was living in a world of darkness of her own. She was in an institution, in a locked room, all alone. One day, one of her caretakers had mercy on her and began to speak to her through the door. When they would bring her food, they would speak lovingly to her. They got closer and closer in heart, it was by inches, a climb.

Annie began to change. The love she received transformed her. 

No one knows the name of Annie's caregiver, but oh, how differently history would have been without the caretaker's caress. 

 I have tried to research this story, but this part of Annie's history is not recorded in very many places. I heard a pastor tell about it one Sunday . . . years ago. I am still impacted by it to this day. Whether it is a valid tale or not, hearing it altered my life forever.

"Let me be like the one who touched Annie Sullivan, and helped to change the course of her life and the course of history. It doesn't matter if my name is remembered here or not. That isn't important to me at all. I only ask that you let my life impact the life of someone else." This has been the echoing prayer of my heart since the day I was told about this chapter of Annie's story . 

The pastor that shared it was much like Annie's caretaker. He redirected my course.

Love is a powerful thing, my friend. Lord, help us to love.


"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely; does not seek its own . . ." 1 Corinthians 13:4-5a NKJV

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My grandson is two and sometimes . . . it is truly rare, but every now and again he acts a bit twoish. 

Several weeks ago he came over and he was practicing a very pouty face, you know, trying it on for size to see what we thought of it. 

I said to him, "Lovey, we don't act cranky at GG's house, we are happy!" 

He instantly burst into a belly laugh. 

The immediate transformation caught me so off guard that I could hardly keep from rolling with laughter. 

Every time he would try to pout or be cranky with me, I would repeat my phrase and he would respond with a genuine belly laugh.

 A few weeks ago he came over and he was all out of sorts. This is not his nature, but we all have an off day once in awhile, right? 

Since my little phrase did not seem to have its usual power, I decided to put him down for a nap. I told him that he was very cranky and not happy so he was going to have to take a nap at GG's house. He immediately said, "Ace is not sleepy, Ace is happy!" 

I am a GG now, you must understand. As a momma, I probably would have stuck to my guns and that little one would have gotten his nap, but Ace did begin to act happy, so I let him stay up and play. We had the best of times . . . all because he made the decision to be happy and not cranky.

Amazing!  A two year old showing self-control. The phrase, "Ace is not sleepy, Ace is happy!" has stuck. We hear it often now. 

The other day while he was here and we were playing, I yawned very big. I wasn't thinking when I said, "GG is getting sleepy." 

He very loudly responded, "GG is not sleepy, GG is HAPPY!" 

Ace is right. This GG is very happy! Very, very happy!!!

Sometimes, I have to decide to be happy and not cranky. If that little guy can do it, so can I. Honestly, sometimes  I have to pray for help.

How about you? Are you happy today? I hope so, my friend.


"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." A.W. Tozer

I've been reading the book of Matthew. It is amazing to me how people in this book respond to Jesus. Some want to cling to him, some beg him to leave town. There are those who are appalled by what he does, there are others who beg him to act on their behalf.  Some feel like sinners when he is around, others feel more righteous than he. Some invite him to their house for dinner, some accuse him of eating too much.

Reading this morning has left me thoughtful, prayerful. 

"I want to know you, Lord, really know you. I don't want to only know about you, I want to know you. Let me draw near. Closer, closer to you!" 

My husband had a head injury a few years ago. It damaged the optic nerve which effects his eye control. He recently had to get prism glasses so that he won't see four of everything, and so that his eyes will track together. It has made a huge difference in how he sees the world.

I want to see through a prism that makes Jesus crystal clear. I feel like the blind men who were crying, "We want to see! Touch our eyes so we can see!" 

I have known Jesus for a very long time, but I long to know him more. Praying that my vision will be more clear than ever. 

I have met some really incredible people here in Louisville. People who really know Jesus. I am moved by their hospitality, their warmth. Their genuine love and concern is inviting. Their nature is to nurture. You can tell they think some really cool things about God. They have an amazing aura. Salt and Light. The way they live has stirred me to want to know the Lord more.

Drawing near today, my friends. Thank you for listening to me ramble. 

Blessings to  you!

"He (Jesus) said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' "

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My friend Laura had been praying for me . . . for years.

 "One of the most profound ways you can love someone is by praying for them." Bob Sorge

Whispers to God about me . . . prayers wrapped in loving grace and beauty.

Until recently, I have been completely unaware . . . it moves me that the Lord was not. Ever the listening one, He has heard my name from her prayer closet.

Intercession is a powerful and precious gift, my friend. The greatest of gifts.

I gave some minute little bit of nothing to her, so she purchased a gift for me. She intended to send it right away, something tangible to give me as a thank you. It sat on her dryer and every time she did laundry, she thought of me, she said. Days,months, years passed without her sending the gift my way, but every time she saw the gift, she would pray for me. She has a family, she frequents the laundry bay of her home. Her prayers for me have been many. When she shared this with me, I was humbled to tears.

I received the gift in the mail a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful candle. The package was padded with many other beautiful gifts. Her heart is a generous one. I am overwhelmed with her sweetness, her kindness.

Of course the gift that sat on her dryer for many seasons was a candle. (She mentioned that I should blow the lint off before using.) 

Light. I wonder how much more my life has been illumined because of her blessed intercession. Oh, I wonder! 

It was so much fun to receive a package in the mail. Christmas in October! Again I was overwhelmed with her kindness. Most beautiful though, most dear to my heart are the prayers that she has prayed with my name pegged to them. 

Laura writes beautifully. Her words become poems, sonnets, verses. Her pen is the brush of an artist, it brings beauty and color to the page. I can only imagine the beautiful prayers the Lord has heard. My guess is that He writes her prayers down and tucks them away to pull out and revisit again. I have pages and pages with her name attached. How blessed I am that when He does revisit those prayers, He will find my name among those beautiful paragraphs and phrases.

Thank you, Laura,  I am forever grateful!

Blessings, my dear friends, I am praying for you.

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light." Colossians 1:9-12 NKJV


Monday, November 18, 2013

"You can't change who they are."

My husband gently reminds me of this fact over and over again.

He is right, and I believe what he says is true, but sometimes I want to try. 

I'm powerless. I can't make someone with a Melancholy personality become a Sanguine, or change a Choleric into a Phlegmatic. I will waste my time even wishing for such a thing.

I know someone who has the power to change people. His name is Jesus. The first miracle Jesus performed was changing water into wine. He transformed the drink from pure water to pure wine. The wine was still a liquid. It was a drink, but it had extremely different qualities. 

A transformed soul is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

I went to Women of Faith this past weekend. Several of the speakers told about their transformed lives. We were empowered by one transformed life after another. My favorite was about a woman named Lollie who had been a stripper in a strip joint here in Louisville. There is a  church that ministers to the women in these joints. There are twenty strip joints in this city. Some concerned women from a church here started making meals and taking them to the strip joints to feed the women. They go back stage and talk with the ladies and share their love and faith with them. Women are getting saved and leaving the profession. Praise God!

We did not see Lollie, but she was in the room, and her story was shared. At that time, she had not danced for 165 days. The Lord Jesus has come into her heart, taken up residence, and she is a new creature. She now goes by her given name, Lauren. 

The ladies who took Lauren food could not change her, but they could love her with the love of Jesus, and they do. The whole church is not going into these places to minister, but they are praying for those going in and for those needing set free. Beautiful story, no?

Lollie's story is extreme. Some of the testimonies were from church girls. "I sat on a church pew every Sunday, then one day, He changed my life!" 

Everyone needs transforming. Jesus is the only one that can make that happen.

Wouldn't it be awesome if there were zero strip clubs in this city someday? 

The Lord doesn't typically change your personality style when you ask Him into your heart. He does transform your soul with a new nature. Desires change. Before He comes in we are dead in our sins. After He comes into our heart, we are alive in Him. Have you experienced His liberating, transforming power? It is something that you can't help talking about!


"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:16-18 NKJV

Friday, November 15, 2013

 "Let me entertain you . . . " is their lifesong.  Sanguine or Otter personalities believe that life is a stage, and they prefer to be front and center on it.

 "TaDah!" they say as soon as they exit the womb.

"Hello, world! Here I am, ready to play!

 An Otter's presence will completely alter a families dynamics. They love to laugh, and make others laugh. Life is jolly when they're around with quick wit constantly rolling off their tongues. They tend to be people magnets. They have the largest circle of friends, but the majority of their relationships are very superficial. They like to keep it all on the surface, only building deep ties with very few.

Otter's are fun to be around. Their first priority is to have a great time. Their forte, looking on the bright side.Are you having a gloomy day, you should go hang out with your friend who is a Sanguine. They are sunshine for the soul.

Why spend time discussing personality styles? I raised five children and they all have very different personalities. My husband and I are very different, too.  Understanding the personality styles helped me to raise my husband and live with my children . . . oops . . . I turned that around, didn't I? 

There is some great information out there about this subject. Google or Amazon might help you find some great reads. I highly recommend. Studying this subject has been life changing for me. 

I will be back Monday!
Have a blessed weekend, my friends.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

She brings calm to storm, peace to trial, tenderness to pain, and is patient with proud ones. 

She has a Phlegmatic or Golden Retriever personality. 

These dear gentle people are silent pillars that usually hold us up and keep us together. They are the peacemakers. Are you familiar with the character, Diana on Anne of Green Gables? She has the nature that I am speaking of.

They tend to be slow, meaning they don't get in a dither about things. They pace themselves a few notches below everyone else. It is a must because they are very busy enjoying the finer things in life that the rest of us so often miss. They can drive a Choleric absolutely crazy!!! Golden Retrievers might be mistaken for lazy, but they aren't, their priorities are just different than most of ours.

Our youngest is a Phlegmatic. He was a delight to raise. One time I was working and he called me to come home, "Right now, mom!" he said. Not being his nature to panic, it stirred panic in me and I hurried home to him. 

He wanted me to see the purple wildflowers that were blooming in the meadow. Wildflowers do not linger! He got on his little dirt bike and instructed me to climb on behind so that he could take me to see them in their full glory. Hop on  I did, in my dress and all. We crossed the muddy creek and went to the meadow. Breathtaking beauty! I cannot remember one other incident of that day, but that little ride around our meadow is forever tucked away in my heart. 

When Josiah was 18 months old, I was going through one of the most difficult of seasons. My heart was literally breaking. One night I prayed that the Lord would send an angel to comfort me. I reminded the Lord that even He needed angels to comfort Him when He was here walking about in our tough world culture. Minutes later I looked up and there was my little Josiah, angel on assignment. He was without whimper. I took him in my arms, headed for the rocking chair, and rocked for a long while with him nestled against me. My heart was strengthened with his presence. The Lord had answered my prayer . . . not like I expected . . . but in an even better way. I put my little man back in his bed and he never made a peep. He didn't wake for himself. He was awake for me.  

This one has many times been a comfort to me.

Do you have a dear Phlegmatic in your life. I pray so. They are dear, wonderful people. If not, perhaps you need to buy a GR puppy! 

Tomorrow we will discuss the Sanguine. 

Blessings, my friends! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

 We call him chief. He is the one who always assumes authority whether or not he is actually the one in charge.

"We will eat . . . "

"We will go . . . "

"We believe . . . "

A choleric speaks for everyone . . . all the time. They like to be in charge.

Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, these were probably the Choleric personality style. The Choleric or Lion  are born leaders. You feel their presence when they are in the room, whether or not they speak. They will speak though. They tell you what they know and they will expect you to agree with them. They are not as concerned with the feelings of others as much as they are about being right . . . which of course they always are. They are chief. Their dominance can be overwhelming.

They are typically very responsible. They are not easily intimidated, this quality alone makes them leader worthy, but they are not always good people. Gang leaders are most likely choleric.

When they do choose healthy moral leadership, they are the best. Their dogmatic tendencies help a group to create healthy and steadfast boundaries. 

There are fewer cholerics than any other personality group. This is a good thing. 

Do you have a friend that is a choleric? You are blessed. They will be committed to the death. 

Is your spouse this personality style? Then you probably are a phlegmatic or a melancholy personality type. 

These strong, wonderful people come out of the gate knowing who they are. As children, they can be super challenging to raise. Even if you are a choleric, it will be challenging to raise a child with this personality style. 

Tomorrow I will share about the Phlegmatic or Golden Retriever personality type.

Thank you for stopping by. Blessings! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"I'm so thankful that you hang my shirts in the closet with the opening to the right!"

"What did I do?" I replied. I was completely unaware of doing the task a specific way. I always feel like if the laundry makes it to the final destination of being put away, then all is well.

This was one of our first conversations we shared as a married couple. Unforgettable. To this day, I cannot hang a shirt on his side of the closet without thinking about it. "Let's see . . . which way should it go?" I always have to ask myself.

 My husband is into details. I am not so much. In the beginning, our differences were the source of many clashes and upsets.

Personality styles is one of the most interesting studies that I have visited. Understanding the different styles has helped me move through life with  a little more grace and patience toward others. You might have studied them as well. If so, you should leave a comment, because I always love to grow in this area.

What is your personality style? 

Are you a melancholy like my husband?

Melancholy folk have also been pegged as "Beavers" if you are familiar with the Gary Smalley studies. That is the terminology that I will use.

Beavers like to work and work they do. They are driven, loving to see a task completed. Details are extremely important to them and they expect perfection of themselves and pretty much everyone else. 

They tend to see the glass half-empty instead of half-full. They can be very serious and often their sense of humor is very dry. This is why they pair well with an Otter, and they often do. They are not outgoing, they are very deep thinkers. This can often be misunderstood as haughty or aloof. Most of the Beavers I know are pretty much brilliant.

Raising a Beaver can be challenging if you are not one. We have two children that are Beavers. They are like their poppa. 

They are the ones who make to-do lists and pass them around to the rest of us when we get together these days. Their organization skills often attribute to our awesome time together.

They naturally see order and are able to draft it from chaos. We need these amazing people in our lives. Especially me!

One time my husband and I had a bit of a tiff. He couldn't understand why I wasn't seeing the world the way he did.  

"I wish I was more like you," I honestly told him. That was one argument that ended in a hug. 

Do you have a Beaver in your life? Beavers are planners. They make lists. They accomplish many, many things. They are amazing people. 

Every personality trait has strengths and weaknesses. The trick is bringing even the strengths into a place of balance. A strength out of balance appears to be a weakness. I've found that this is a good time to pray for discernment and wisdom.

Tomorrow I will be sharing about the Choleric or "Lion" personality style. I hope you will stop by. 

I love to hear your thoughts.


Monday, November 11, 2013

We drove through the oldest part of the cemetery. Only God remembers these folk, how they lived, how they died.

"We are the only ones in here," he says.

"Alive . . ." I reply.

Born 1754-Died 1803

Born 1821-Died 1845

Many ancient dates carved in stone.

This section is void of flowers, real or otherwise. We do not spy even a stray plastic petal. They were not invented yet when these stones were set. 

 We leave this part and move on to the more recent. The stones tell stories.

This one is very moving. "His last words, 'Good Bye my Men, leave me, save yourselves.' " He was lost at sea. Lost but not forgotten. His men placed this stone here to mark his courage and his unselfishness. We are moved by their story. 

These plain white markers, reminders of the great and terrible civil war. 

We are grateful to those who serve. Our son, Josiah is at sea. He left the first week of September on a submarine mission. We do not know where he is or when he will return. We are so proud of him. We ache with missing him though.

I remember him coming home once, fully dressed in navy attire. Many folk stopped to thank him for serving, shaking his hand, or patting him on the back. Their gratitude moved me to tears. He told me that it happens all the time. 

Thank you for being grateful, my friends.  

Thank you to all who have served! Thank you for laying down your life for us. We are a grateful people. I am praying for you! 

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13

Friday, November 8, 2013

 Can you see the male and female duck in the middle? He  just happens to have his mouth wide open.

Scotty and I are taking classes so that we can join a church here in Louisville. We get  up very early every morning, so days can get very long. We got through the first session  of class with Scotty only yawning twice. We had a short break, the second session began. 

Pastor tells us that he hopes this part of the class will not be long, or boring.

Then . . . 

Scotty yawned so loud. Not once, but four times. We were sitting in the middle of the room . . . elderly ones among lambs . . . seriously, I believe you would think so,too. 

It reminded me of when I was a little girl. My family would be sitting in church and my little brother would stretch into a big gigantic yawn accompanied with lots of sound. My mother would reach over and cover his mouth with her hand, but everyone still heard.

I did not handle yawn number four so well. I began to giggle. I was holding it back as best I could, so no one could hear, but they could see. My body got the jiggles . . . earthquakes have less vibration. Tears began to run down out of the corners of my eyes. I tried to catch them before they got to my cheeks. 

I was laughing at him because he was making a scene. Now I was making a scene and I could not stop! I wanted to run out of the room. Why did we have to be right in the middle of all of these young people? Center stage?

Scotty got tickled that I was laughing. He leaned over and wrote sweet nothings on my paper. It was kind of personal, so I will not share. I can tell you, it did not help me suppress the giggles one little bit! 

I felt the instructor's eyes on me. I dared not look.

 It seemed like I wrestled with giggles for at least twenty minutes. Not sure what the instructor was saying. I know that it wasn't funny. I don't think it was boring either. We were just in our own little world.

Finally, my eruption of giggles subsided and I dared to look to the front of the room. The face of the man standing behind the podium was beet red. Oh, dear, I think I embarrassed him, too. 

We made a scene. We do that sometimes. Growing old together is so much fun, and sometimes a bit awkward!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I let it happen. 

I said some things I should never have said. I knew as the words were coming out of my mouth that it was the wrong thing to say . . . we were not in the right company . . . it was not the right time . . . but I did not hold my tongue.

Words slipped because I let them go. A balloon bouquet escaping my grasp would have been more beneficial for my company. 

My gut twisted and turned with regret for days. It still does when think about it. I'm so sorry, but my sorrow does not fix anything.

These leaves have left the branches of the trees they have been hanging on all year. They can never be attached again. Some things cannot be undone.

Have you ever heard the analogy about toothpaste and words? We used it when I taught children's church about 100 years ago. You show kids that words are like toothpaste out of the tube. You can squeeze the tube and the toothpaste comes out, but no matter how hard you try, you can never get the toothpaste back in the tube. Words are like that. Once they are out you can never get them back. 

I  am going to try to do better. Regret rarely visits when I have held my tongue. I hope I do not soon forget this girdle of misery. I really need your help with this one, Lord.

I use the backspace button more than any other when I write these pages. Wouldn't it be nice to have such a feature with our spoken words. 

Do you struggle with your tongue, my friend? Will you pray for me? I will pray for you! 

"Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth. Therefore let your words be few." Ecclesiates 5:2

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

                      Do versus Don't Do

It has been happening almost every morning. I have been waking up at four a.m. with thoughts. I hop out of bed and run to the computer to write them down. I don't go to bed with these  thoughts . . . they come to me, I am awakened, I hop out of bed and run.

"Where are you going?" Scotty asks.

"I have to write!" 

Before I fell asleep last night, I had decided I wouldn't  write here today. 

But here I am, four a.m., Compelled!

This morning I woke with the scene of Peter and Jesus in my head. Not the scene that I talked about the other day, the one where Jesus told Peter that he was going to mess up . . . BIG time!  Not that one, but the scene where they are seaside after Peters big spiritual crash. Jesus asked Peter 3 questions that all began with, "Peter, do you love me?" 

Do you remember that beautiful scene?

It struck me this morning that Jesus didn't respond  to Peter with a "if you Do love me, then Don't" answer.

"Yes, I Do love You!"  Peter answers three times.

All three times Jesus responds with . . .

"If you love Me, DO this."

I have been reading some red letters in my Bible every day. Red letters are the words that Jesus spoke. I just want to hear what He has to say about things. It is not my only stop every morning, but it is the first place I read. 

I will be searching  . . . 

does Jesus have more "dos" than "don'ts" in all those red words?

One thing He did say, "The most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all of your mind. The second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself."

The two most important commands are "Do" commands.

They sound so much like His response to Peter.

"Peter, do you love me?"

"Yes, Master . . . " 

"Then do this . . . LOVE my sheep . . . "

Is it possible that if we were doing what we should be, there wouldn't be time to do those things that we shouldn't be doing?

What if we were so busy being kind that there wasn't any time to be unkind?

 Is this getting to you? It is getting to me.

Yesterday, my very sweet, beautiful cousin Tiffany was heading through the drive through at Starbucks. A kind lady motioned for Tiffany to move in line ahead of her. Because the lady was so kind, Tiffany decided to buy the lady a coffee. (If you are a friend on fb you might have read this on my page yesterday.)When Tiff gets to the drive up window, the barista tells her that her coffee has been paid for. Tiffany tells him that is quite funny . . . that her plan had been to pay for the coffee of the sweet lady behind her. "That makes you number 14. Fourteen people have paid for the coffee of the one behind them." "Paying it backward," Tiffany called it. 

Early morning people being kind. People who are in a hurry to get to work, people who haven't even had their coffee yet, being thoughtful. hmmmm

People doing love.

There are "don't" things . . . things we should never do. Not ruling them out, but perhaps our focus shouldn't be on them so much. What do you think the world be like if our focus was on what we could do instead of what we should not do?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

"So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon, Peter, 'Simon, son of  Jonah, do you love Me more than these?' He said to Him, 'Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Feed My lambs.' He said to him again, 'Simon, son of  Jonah, do you love Me?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Tend My sheep.' He said to him a third time, 'Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed My sheep.' John 21:15-17NKJV