Sunday, December 25, 2011

And Heaven and Nature Sing

She held on to her swollen belly, trying her best to make the jarring not quite so painful.  The pangs of labor were beginning to wash over her and she knew it was just a matter of time before she met her sweet baby.  And her Savior.

As they travelled over the bumpy road, an animal - possibly a donkey, marked at the beginning of time with a stripe down his back and across his shoulders, was to be the one to carry the Messiah.  Walking like there was a King on his very back.

They knew.  The animals they passed knew how precious that cargo was.  How important that job was.  They knew the Christ was soon to be born.  I just know it.  The journey was quiet with worship except for occasional moans that were not intended to slip through this young girl's lips.

And so she gave birth to this Child.

Where the animals ate and slept and waited for His arrival.  On a floor of straw and dirt, manure and blood, she wrapped Him up and the celebration began.

The heavens opened up to a chorus of angels praising God.

We keep trying to pull Him back in to this celebration of His birth.  Is it from a heart of pure devotion or a feeling of obligation?

Are you the one trying to figure out how to salvage Christmas?  With hurt and loss and pain so deep, don't you know the only way to salvage it is to have more of Him?  Not more gifts or holiday activities, but Him.  We need Him more.  Oh, I need Him more.

It is in these times a person doesn't have to have the token activity to pull Christ into the Christmas mayhem.  We pull Him in because the need is great.  No, it is extreme.

So we cry out.  Not in agony or hurt, but in joy and celebration that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  I REJOICE that He hears the cries of His children when they are hurting and when they are not.

We cry out in praise like the angels did.  Like they still do.  The angels and the animals and the trees and the rocks.  Heaven and nature.  Praising that our Savior was born a servant to one day return as King.  My King.

Ain't no rock gonna cry in my place.  As long as I'm alive I will glorify His Holy name.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Some Catching Up to Do

I stumbled out of bed this morning with a full day ahead.  I had several things to pick up before the lunch for the family and then the funeral at two.  It doesn't take long for my brain to jump into high gear, full of to-do lists.

I stood at the mirror knowing I didn't have time to wash my hair, plugged in the straightener, then grabbed the blue tube with the age spot minimizer, then the red tube with the puffy under eye reducer, and the red jar of deep wrinkle cream and wondered again if I put them on in the wrong order.  If all this time opening jars and tubes was really a waste of time and money.

I put a little peroxide on my toothbrush to get whiter teeth and remembered the spot on my shirt from stirring last night's Christmas party sloppy joes.  Grabbed the shirt with toothbrush still in my mouth and poured a little peroxide on the spotted shirt.  Rubbed it a little, spit in the sink, and wah-lah(!) - teeth a little whiter and shirt a little cleaner.

Put on the brown pants from yesterday because I really like my little brown striped socks and went to put on my shoes and found my jewelry I had been looking for in the other room tucked snuggly in the toe of the right shoe.

I went in to Walgreens to make photos for the three remaining sisters, picked up more tea and a few things to go on the tables for the family to feel like we really cared about them.
Got back to the church to the kitchen crew organizing all the food.

The service was beautiful.  Linda would have loved it.  After all the sweet songs, funny stories, great hugs - it was what I saw at the end that touched my heart.

A boy bent over a casket grieving his momma.  Weeping over her still body, no longer able to take a breath.

I saw a small boy rocked by the death of his grandma.  Nieces and nephews so sad because she is gone.

What a testimony of a life.

She dearly loved and because of that she was loved dearly.

I didn't tell my girls that I loved them this morning before I left.  I just opened tubes and jars and played with peroxide and straightened my hair, but I didn't see if they had any needs.  I haven't talked to one of my boys in at least two weeks and the other in several days, and it's been a couple of days since I've talked to Kayla.

They all know I love them, but do I show them enough?  If I'm gone tomorrow will they question my love for them or will they know absolutely that I loved them more than life?
Will all my "other kids" know how precious they are to me?  My mom and sisters?  My family who lives on I-45 in a metal building?

Will Michael know without doubt of my love and complete devotion for him?

If I wake up in the morning I have another chance to let them know.  Another chance to cover them up in prayer and love and reasons to miss when I'm gone.  Another chance to love more and serve more and sacrifice more.  No one cares how big my age spots are or how deep my wrinkles are or how puffy my eyes are.  They only care that I love them.

I have some catching up to do.

Friday, December 9, 2011

See You Soon, Linda!



She had a come back for everything and you always knew where you stood with her.  Her heart was gold, just worn out.   Precious Linda went home early this morning leaving her sisters and children and so many who loved her.  Please pray for those who are hurting over her going on to the ones who were waiting at the gate.

Monday nights won't quite be the same.

We will see you soon Linda!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Blink


The girls and I went today to get all the supplies to make Christmas presents.  It reminded me of when I would take the three older kids clothes shopping for school.  I felt like
 there were always three conversations going at once.  Three different aisles I 
needed to be on at once.

Where has the time gone?

If I had known that I would blink and the three older ones would be married 
and one would have kids of his own, I might have been a little more patient.  I may
have enjoyed them more and spent more time.

I certainly would have made a greater effort to instill the Word into them.  I didn't do that well, especially after the three little ones came along.  

Because I blinked and the older ones were gone, I realize how important it is to 
spend as much time with the girls as possible.  I realize the urgency of them knowing the Word to be able to get through life's difficulties.  I realize that in two years I will be doing the shopping without them.

Oh my.

They have such a good time together.  Most of the time.  How many times today did I hear "Oh Lanty!" -  Leah's name for Hannah.  They had fun trying to figure out what to get every one.  They love giving to their brothers and sisters.
  
I love that they love that.

I have one, maybe two more Christmases for them to be here to help decorate the house and make gifts.  I already grieve that a little bit.  

What I do with that time will determine what kind of wives and mommies they will be.  I have to make every minute count.  
Every single minute.

And all thy children shall be taught
of the Lord and great shall
be their peace.
                         Isaiah 54:13


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Be Strong

Today a family is grieving their 6 month old baby who died from complications from the flu.  Another family is grieving the death of their 5 year old daughter who died in a fire that destroyed their home and injured the mom, dad, and other sibling.  Just got word that a plane went down in New Mexico and family members are still uncertain of the condition of their loved one.

Why?

We live in a fallen world.  A fallen world controlled by the evil one.

I woke up this morning after a night full of troubling dreams - not scary or anything, just dreams where I was not prepared for the things I was supposed to be doing.  Kind of like my life.  So when my eyes opened this morning early, I was already feeling overwhelmed.

Because of stuff.  Non-important stuff.

There are so many things more important than things in our own little worlds.  We fret and fume over things that are so trivial.  Nothing like trying to decide what to do with the gifts we already bought for our babies who are now celebrating in heaven.  Or whether or not to hang their stockings?

Oh my heart.

I can't even try to imagine the ache of these families.

All I know is this:  He is faithful to carry us through the things this fallen world throws our way.  Faithful to hold when we need to be held.

And knowing that is what keeps me going.  That, and knowing that He cares enough to send an encouraging word from a complete stranger just at the exact time it is needed.  Even if it was needed because of non-important stuff.

Oh, He's that good.

He's the One who redeems all the ugly stuff.  I pray our eyes are open to see it.

To see Him.  To feel Him.  To trust Him.

Oh Father, only You can take pain away that cuts so deep.  Only You can comfort and calm the pain away.  Be strong for them today.  For those who are grieving loss so great.  Please be strong.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanks Giving Some More

We were so blessed to have Mom, Michael's family, and David, a friend of Glenn's, to come for Thanksgiving dinner.

We ate until we were stuffed.  Mom cooked the turkey and made her wonderful dressing, and we had every kind of veggie, meat, and dessert you can imagine.

After we digested a little, we went outside to the swings and the fire pit.  Every one but Grammy got on the swings for a little bit.  We enjoyed sitting around the fire and visiting.  It was a little chilly, but with the fire, it was perfect.


Grammy and Opa



Erika






The girls swinging back  . . .






. . . and forth.



Rachel along for the ride.




The grand daughters.


Then I get a message Friday evening that Brad and Rhonda may be coming through on Saturday.  Rhonda was in my Sunday School class several times way back when and they were both a part of Bible studies while they were in High School.

It was such a treat for me to cook lunch for them and their beautiful kids.  God is using them down in the League City area to reach people.  It's not an easy work and they would love to know there are many people praying for them.  When a new work is started 
like this there can be many discouragements.  Pray that they stay encouraged and strengthened.  These two are very dear to my heart.  They were both godly examples for my three older kids. I thank God for that. 



Very blessed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanks Giving

I love reading the 30 Days of Thanks that many have posted on facebook.   Family, friends, roofs over heads, jobs . . . the list goes on and on.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all make a habit of giving thanks?  A holy habit?

For the past eight weeks I have been living in a blur.  My postings here have been few and far between and I thought I would start from the first of October and gradually catch up with posting some of the photos of things that have been going on.

When I was thinking last night over the events of yesterday, I just started thanking God for evidence of Him throughout the day. Starting yesterday morning.   So instead of beginning at the beginning of October and catching up I decided to post some of the pics from this weekend and then work backwards.

So much to give thanks for . . .

Eric is a young man who has walked through a couple of really tough years.  The last few months he realized where his help truly comes from.  Watching him grow and mature has been beautiful to see.

Thank you Father for Eric and for his service to You.  And that he dressed up for the occasion!







And then there is Mac.  My Mac.  I can say that because everyone says that.  He belongs to all of us even though he is married to Sandy.  He loves His Jesus and he loves his bride Sandy and boy, oh boy,  He loves his church.  Mac wants to make sure he has done all he needs to do before he makes his trek to heaven.  We should all live like that.  I love him.











God is so good.







Thursday, November 10, 2011

Show the Grace

I've watched them.  Watched as they made an effort to encourage, draw in; even though they know what has been said behind their backs.  Things said untrue.  Things said for the world to hear.

Watched them invite, even though they have been taken aside and chewed out for things they knew not.  Chewed out because someone needed to feel powerful in their own skin.

I've held them.  Held as they cried because why do we have to keep trying when it doesn't do any good?  Cried because it hurts deep within their sweet souls to see no change.

I've encouraged them.  Encouraged them to grace.

Because it doesn't matter what others say.  It matters what He says.  And One Day He will talk to all of us, one by one, and tell us how much He loved when we graced.

And as I write, the water drops to the keyboard because I want to tell them they don't have to try any more.  To grace any more.

I can't.

Because One Day . . .


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Quiet Place

"Come away with me to a quiet place and find some rest.” 
 Mark 6:31




Lots of people need rest so I always hate to say I needed it, but I think I did.  For a week we've been gone from home, driving through Arkansas, seeing the sights.  It has been sweet.  

We took a jog up to Hot Springs just to see what it was like and as we went past downtown we saw this little park in between the one way streets.  It was raining but I knew I had to brave the weather to get a couple of shots.

This little park screamed Jesus' words to me. 

Come away. 

Come away with Me

To a quiet place. 

And find rest.

The Master asks us to come to Him.  To find our rest in Him. 
To come to Him

His Father rested.  He rested.  He calls me to rest. 

 I'm thinking He probably didn't make lists of things that needed to be done when He left the wilderness.  Probably because He didn't have a Ladies' Holiday Dinner when He got home.  He wasn't planning ahead for holiday anything.

I'm thinking He didn't take a cell phone "just in case" or a computer to keep up with the latest on whatever there is to keep up with.

Just Him.  And Him.

Oh yeah, you know the story.  The enemy always tries to keep us from spending that time with the Father.  Because Jesus had spent time with the Father, He was equipped to overcome the temptations placed before Him.

That's not so much what this is about.
This is about the necessity of rest.  Of sitting on one bench and Him on another and thinking you want Him closer so you move to His bench.

You visit about things.  You ask Him to scoot to the end so you can lay with your head right on His chest, feet all tucked up so nothing touches the ground.

Such a safe place,

this place of rest.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mighty to Save

Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
"Be strong; fear not!
Behold your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you."
                                      Isaiah 35:3-4

He is bigger than an earthquake.
Stronger than a tornado.
Mightier than a thunderstorm.

He is ALMIGHTY.

MIGHTY over ALL.

The first time the ground shook it was hard enough to wake him up.  The second time we were both up and I felt it too.  It lasted a little bit.  We didn't feel the 
third one, but our kids did.  

It was a bit scary.

BUT.

And that's a big BUT.

The same One and Only God who brings us the beauty in the color of a changing leaf is mighty over the most powerful of elements.

Birth pains heading toward the big Show Down?
I believe so.

Do we have something to fear?

Not if we know the One and Only.

The Mighty to Save.

Today a mom is burying her son only a quarter century old.
The elements of a different kind were too much for him to handle.

A mom and dad are watching as their grown daughter withers away 
because she has no strength on her own to get 
out from under.
They are helpless.

Siblings watch as their mommy continues to seek the
"love" from another man while their daddy takes
care of them at home.
Tearing them apart.

The retired man unable to do physical work any longer wonders 
how he will make it to next month.

Do we have something to fear?

Not if we know the One and Only.

The Mighty to Save.




Monday, November 7, 2011

Ft. Smith

We left Texas last Tuesday and drove to Tulsa to see the kids on our way to Arkansas.  Wednesday we met Kyle and Eli at the movies to see Puss in Boots, then went to Kyle and Jade's to eat pizza and visit a little.


Sportin' the 3D's.



Playing with Poppa.



Hugging as much as we can.

{}

Thursday we took off for Arkansas.  The colors were beautiful the whole trip.  I think we hit peak color time everywhere we went.  We went to the trolley museum and took a little ride.  Michael got to be the conductor!






Happy boy!

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We stopped by the national cemetery right after the trolley ride.  As I was walking around there I almost felt like I was trespassing.  Stepping on ground where I didn't belong.  Even though there were men working all over the place, there was a feeling of reverence in that place.  Men and women who died for what they believed.  I thought about that a lot.  

They died

We complain when we have to give up something trivial.

The confederate soldiers were buried on one side and the union soldiers on the other.  I wondered about the mommas who would visit a cemetery to grieve their boys that were buried on different sides.  That happened.  The sadness of it all hit me like it never had.

The sadness of that and even more so when I saw the word 'FIFTEEN UNKNOWN', or 'SIX UNKNOWN' or 'FIVE UNKNOWN'.  Knowing they were just dumped in there.  So very sad to me.


{}

It was sad to me until I got to this spot.  All these head stones facing east.
Waiting in eager expectation to be raised in Christ.
At least all those who were in Him.
Then it's our turn.

Made me smile.



Oh, come on and get us.

Baptisms

Here are all the photos we have of baptisms since we've been here.  There are so many I don't have and I'm trying to spread the word that if you have photos please mail them to me.  Some of these are from phones, and very blurry, but I put them on there because they are so precious.

So beautiful.

video

Ray

He comes to this same restaurant every day and tries to sit in the same booth in the corner.  Every day for the past two years and for almost three years before he went to the restaurant on the other side of town, closer to his house.

I was up looking for the green beans at the buffet and Michael struck up a conversation after the man whispered "Amen".

Car salesman.  That's what he was.  He was also married for 64 years.  She's been gone almost five.

He thinks about her every minute of every day.  That's what he said and that's what I believe.

He can't wait to see her again.  That's what he's doing in this place - just waiting until he can see her again.

He goes to church three times a week and talks to Him every day.  He knows that no matter what you have done in life, that is the most important.  To know Him and talk to Him.  To live for Him.

We were done with our meal but continued to visit across the booth.  He stood up to go find a dessert and stood there for a minute with his hands in his Levi britches that covered his ninety two year old legs.

I scooted over, turned toward him and he sat down without missing a word.  I watched him as he talked.  Took in every wrinkle; saw how the skin started at the top of his head and then draped down over his jaws and under his chin.

His eyes were sunk deep.  I'm sure they were once bright blue; they are now cloudy.

He talked of how he encourages his two older sisters to not get down because they all will be going home soon.  So anxious for the Reunion.  So anxious to see their parents.

So anxious to see his bride.

As I listened I was praying that I would be like that.  Bearing fruit in old age.  Never tiring of encouraging those who need an encouraging word.  Praying that I never feel like I've done my duty and need to retire from it.

So Ray, I hope you get to see her soon.  But not before your job here is done.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ft. Smith Arkansas

Yesterday Michael and I rode a train from Van Buren to Winslow, Arkansas.  We were in the dining car and had a table for two.  It was such a treat.  We loved every minute.  I was having to take pictures out the window of a moving train.  Here are a few.


Dining Car





Lunch!
Not fancy, but so much fun.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Michael!!!

Almost 20 years ago this man walked into my life and the lives of my three kids.  He loved me and loved them more than we could ever have imagined.

Today he turns 50!!!

We are so blessed.  Our family is so dear to his heart and a couple of weeks ago we were looking for an old picture and he kept pulling out photos of when the kids were little, oohing and aahing over each one.  He loved them all.  We couldn't possibly put them all together but we did get some of his favorites.  We played it on Monday night at a little surprise party during Bible Study.  We pretty much cried through the whole thing.

Precious memories.

Making many more. 

It's a bit pixely - but you get the idea.  It also had a video clip from each of the kids and grand kids.  I took those out so I could upload it.  I am going to post those separately.

video


I love you!!!  
Praying God gives us many more years of serving Him together.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thank You

Whenever I get a little discouraged, I think back on the things God has done in the hearts of people on this little piece of land on I-45.  He constantly reminded His people in the Old Testament of the things He had done for them and sometimes I need to be reminded as well.

These two photos, one taken about 4 years ago and the other about a month ago, remind me of all there is to be thankful for.

He continues to work.





So thankful for men whose hearts came to know Jesus after so many years walking without Him.

For seeing hard faces turn gentle.

For hearing laughter and encouragement instead of anger and criticism.

For, as one precious lady said, "snatching them right out of hell". (!)

For bringing me here to this place.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

He Loves Me

I woke up this morning around five and Eli was holding my hand.  I love it when something makes you smile the minute your brain reaches consciousness.  We came through Tulsa on our way to Eureka Springs to meet up with several of our church family to see the Passion play.  We will be home on Saturday in time for Michael to preach Sunday morning and have our harvest carnival Sunday night.

After about a month of being in "retreat mode",  I think after Monday I can breathe a little easier.

A couple of weeks ago Kayla came to Texas to take the girls to a Taylor Swift concert.  She brought Eli and Journey and didn't get in until close to midnight.  When Eli walked sleepy-eyed in the door he ran for me and put his arms tight around my neck.  Then he pulled back and said, "Lollie, were you saying over and over 'I can't for Eli to get here!'?"

I assured him I said that very thing over and over.  It was truth.

He loves that I love him.

We don't see them often, so when we do we love on them from the time they walk in the door until we strap them in the seat to head north.

You know what else is truth?  Sometimes the busyness of being woman with all that entails, keeps me from spending that time with the Lord I desperately need.  I feel like He is waiting in anticipation for me to come to His table, to sit at His feet.

Fill up to satisfaction.  Be loved, in whatever condition I am.

I love that He loves me.


I Samuel 21

Cursor on the title then study away!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Samuel 20

Bible study from tonight - little more on Jonathan and David and then over to Psalms for a bit.  Turn off the ipod at the bottom of the page then click on the title.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

His Word. That's It.

He wore a double knit lime green suit with wide lapels.  If he walked behind a telephone pole, you would lose sight of him for a bit.  His skin was so much darker than mine, but his heart seemed so much purer.

It was one of the first times I was asked to go to a church and tell the people about what God had done in my life.  How He had walked me through some tough years.  Three small churches came together for a day of singing and testimonies.   These churches knew how to do church.  They dressed up and sang gospel music so sweet.  They would take turns getting up to share in song.

They called for one church group and they weren't there, so this little man walked up slowly and as he walked he began to sing.  His great-grandaddy legs didn't walk too fast but it didn't matter.  He started singing before he ever got to the stage. I'd never heard the song before.  No one had, because he was making it up as he walked.

"I love you Jesus!  I love you Jesus!  Jesus, I love you!"

Over and over for almost 10 minutes, changing the tune as he pleased because it was his song, he continued to sing.

I want to love Him like that.  I don't love Him enough.  I began to question my being there.

This man was all they needed, eavesdropping on his love song to the Lover of his soul.

Basking in the overflow of his praise.

I spoke that day even though I wanted to walk out the back door.  Who could even follow that goodness?

It seems that every time I go to teach or share with a group, something happens or is said that makes me second guess what God has called me to do.   That I'm not good enough, or talented enough to do the job.  This past weekend the leadership team told me about their last retreat speaker.  She was a potter.  I've seen that kind of thing before and know how powerful it is to have that visual as they speak.  When they were telling me about her, I was thinking, once again, that I didn't have anything to offer.  Not anything to give them - no visual to take home with them.  I have no talent, except, of course, for the pom pom routine.

They would certainly remember that.

My flight home wasn't until Sunday so I thought I better stay and go through with it.  I had no "wow factor" but I did have something.  Something I knew He wanted me to share.  Just like He did when I followed a dancing, singing, praising grandpa.

His word.  That's it.  I love His word - absolutely LOVE it.  He wanted me to share that.  It didn't need a pom pom routine to be powerful.

It just needed to be spoken.  

So I spoke it and He did the rest.

And boy, was He powerful.

photo by Photo_Graphics by Pam


So grateful today for:

God's word
changing hearts
cardboard testimonies
west Texas mountains
pecan orchards
sweet praise
tears of brokenness
safe flights
Boy and bride hiding in back seat to surprise his momma!  Thank You, Jesus!
double date
my own bed
his arms
thunder and lightening
rainy nights

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm Not Her

Tomorrow I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again.  I love Peter, Paul, and Mary.  If you didn't sing that when you read it, please go back and do it.  Makes you smile a little.

Actually, I do know when I'm coming home.

Funny how we assume things.  My flight is scheduled to return on Sunday evening.  As I was preparing to go, I wondered what if something happened and I didn't make it back.

Did I make a difference in the lives of my family and friends?  Did I leave them with spiritual wisdom that would get them through the rest of their lives trusting the Lord for His faithfulness?

Would I wish I had spent more time holding and less time cleaning?  More time speaking life and less time speaking death?  More time listening and less time talking?

So as I've been packing and marking things off lists,  I've been reflective.  By the way, sometimes I get reflective when I'm about to go in to town to Walmart.

What treasures have I stored up in heaven?  Storing up treasures is not marking off letters on a list.  It is holding daughter who is overwhelmed with worldly acting people who don't care who they hurt.

I want to be the momma who is selfless.

I'm not her.

I want to be the momma who is patient and loving, even when the house is a mess and I'm trying to prepare for a retreat a few hundred miles away, then another one five days after I get back.

I'm not her.

I want to be the momma who isn't looking at the watch when daughter is telling something important to her heart.  I want to be momma who doesn't get frustrated when the help is minimal.

I'm not her.

I'm not her, but I'm working on her, and hopefully she'll be the one getting off the plane on Sunday night instead of me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No Imperfections

My eyes opened early this morning before the sun peeked through the window after a night of waking and sleeping.   Tossing and turning.  The girls come in after the carriage turned back into a pumpkin, so excited about their night of hunting.  So proud that "she took it down with one shot clean through".  At least that's what I think she told her daddy, I was trying to sleep.

Each time I woke, the heart was still beating too fast for sleep, the breath never slowed to deep.  The brain was already thinking, planning, figuring before the wake came in full.

Weight on the chest got heavier each time I looked at the clock.  Thinking of all that needs to be done - that should be done.  Yesterday's load of towels still in the washer, now needing another bath.  Lasagna pan with extra dishes still soaking in the kitchen sink.  Another vacuuming and mopping needed after mud and grass were tracked in after forgetting the water was left on in the horse trough.

Phone calls to return, prescriptions to pick up, meals to prepare, gifts to finish before I board the plane on Friday to head west.  And with all the preparations, still feeling unprepared.  Wanting to show those sweet ladies Jesus in a way that makes them want Him more.

Clutter.  My brain is filled with clutter.  Covering up the truth, and making me feel so imperfect.  The more I thought, the more the imperfection penetrated.  Now covering every part of my life - momma, teacher, wife, pastor's wife, daughter, sister, mentor, friend.  I'm a mess, I am.

Then I heard the rain hitting the roof and running off into the flower bed.  Thank You, Father for the rain.  My heartbeat slowed a bit.  Thank You, Father, for the rain.

Thank You for his arm holding me close like spoons in a tray, breathing deep himself, but still protecting.  For the girls asleep in their beds after their night hunting hogs and coyotes.  For the almost full moon lighting our way to the barn to check on water before bed.

The heaviness was lessening.  The breathing slowed.

Thank You for a washing machine - so that doing a load the second time isn't so difficult.  Thank You for animals to feed and a vacuum cleaner that works well.  Thank You for Italian food and for the smell of Palmolive dish soap.  Thank You for mamaw's love and how I think of her when I do dishes with that dish soap.

The clutter was gone.  Replaced with a gratefulness, a communication with the Sender of the rain.

Sometimes the clutter is all the things I know I need to do.  Sometimes it is sin in my life. The stuff I focus on instead of Him.  Idols made because of position in my heart.

The best things are not a clean house, perfect kids, great grades.  The best thing is sitting at His table, talking with Him.  And not always talking, but listening.

Hearing from His mouth that He loves me and that He made me.  And He is Perfect God.

I Samuel 18

Ladies' Bible study for this past Monday.  Put cursor on the title, click and review the story of Jonathan and David - one of my favorites!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

As For Me and My House

In an interview on national TV a former child star asked why he turned his back on a promising career to be a preacher.  His answer was that he never turned his back on anything, but that he just walked toward what he loved.  Who he loved.

We say we want to raise our children to love the Lord, but then don't always choose to walk toward Him.

The direction we walk points them in the way of their own journey.  They notice if we step off even for a little while.

It hurts them.  Sometimes they don't even know it hurts them until much later when they are stepping off, wondering why it is so difficult to stay on the right path.

We point them in the direction of love or hate, of believing or unbelieving, of heaven or hell. We teach them to trust or to question, to show gratitude or ungratefulness all by the way we cast our eyes.

This morning in Michael's office the girls and I practiced a song with him to sing at the end of the service.  As we were singing, I watched Eli sitting on the couch singing every word with us.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
We will serve the Lord.

Oh Father, I don't want to be guilty of walking away from you.  Even for a little while.  Not only for my sake, but for the sake of my children and my precious grand babies.  My eyes are on You, seeking You, loving You.  I know there are "kids" I love who are not seeking You - draw them to You.  Oh please draw them to You.  Thank You for loving me so much.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Such A . . . . Time

I don't like to use the word "busy" because everyone is busy.  It really doesn't mean anything any more, except maybe "normal".  We all think we are the only ones, and when someone tells me they are busy, I think they probably don't really know what busy is.  Bad me.

What I do know is that with my incredibly - - - - calendar right now, I just find myself wanting to be in the Word more.  It would be so easy to skip that in the mornings, then skip it again in between helping with algebra, chemistry, or language.

Instead, I crave it more.

I need it more.


A week from tomorrow I will be flying to El Paso to share my heart with a sweet group of ladies.  I appreciate your prayers.  You can pray then, but I would appreciate if you would go ahead and start as I'm preparing for that and then for our retreat for over 70 of our precious ladies the following weekend.

Pray that I hear clearly from the Lord the message He has for us,

   . . . that I have safe travel on the plane,

   . . . that I can find a Sonic and a way to get to the Sonic,

   . . . that I can teach okay in my house shoes on Saturday night.  I'm weird about
         needing to keep real shoes on in order to function.  The last session is in pj's.
       
 Oh dear.

But mainly pray that my craving for the Word keeps getting stronger.  I need to be completely swallowed up in order to be what I'm supposed to be.

For me and for them.

Ladies' Bible Study - I Samuel 17

Finally!  I had to change where I could store these recordings.  This one is a little long, but there are some sweet pictures at the end that Michael taught me.  Just be patient because I tend to jump around, so hope it's not too confusing.  If it is, call me.  For those who asked, thanks for your patience.

I can't remember for sure because I haven't listened all the way through, but I think I said the "strong tower" passage is in Psalms when, in fact, it is Proverbs 18.  That's the thing about recording unprofessionally - I'm not smart enough to go back and fix anything.

So . . . place that cursor on the blog post title, click and dive in!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Navajo Tacos

Last week Kayla and Kevin came in on Wednesday night before they flew out on Thursday for a birthday cruise.  They weren’t here long enough, but we took advantage of every minute.  We ate at her favorite Mexican food place that night and made Navajo Tacos for lunch the next day.  Made Kevin an apple pie and Kayla some snickerdoodles.  We have to fix their favorite things so they will keep coming back!

The four sisters had a “girls’ meeting” and made plans for their “T-Swizzy” weekend.  Kayla got them tickets to see Taylor Swift in Dallas in a couple of weeks.  They are all so excited.

Then they all borrowed curling irons, straighteners, and make up so they could pretty up and get a couple of pictures before heading off to the airport.

While I was cooking they were all making fun of me because Bogey the Rooster died  after a very traumatic day, leaving Bacall, his bride-hen of 4 years behind grieving him and their babies.  They were saying things like “I feel a blog coming on” . . . and other things along that line. 

So I’m going to show them and write about Navajo Tacos instead.  I’ve had several ask for this recipe and I’m just now getting to it.  When we were in Oklahoma where a lot of Indians live, they call them Indian Tacos, but since it was Navajo Indians who taught me,  that’s what we call them.

BREAD

6 Cups Flour
3 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
Water

Combine first three ingredients and then add enough water to make a sticky dough.  Pat the dough into circles about salad plate size and about a half inch thick.  Fry in hot grease a few minutes on each side, until they are golden brown.

After they come out of the healthy frying pan, we slather each piece with healthy butter.  Makes is taste better.

This will make enough for a family of 5-7, unless you want to eat some with lots of healthy butter and honey for dessert.

MEAT

Brown hamburger meat and season however you want to.  I use Worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

BEANS

You can make a pot of pinto beans, but our family likes these with Ranch Style beans better.  Lots easier too.

Then we top it with our choice of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, and hot sauce.

HOT SAUCE

Tomatoes
Onion
Jalapeno peppers
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Cilantro
Crushed pepper

I usually put 2-3 tomatoes in the processor and then finely chop about 2 tomatoes.  I do the same with the peppers and onion. Puree some and chop some.  I use any where from 4-6 peppers and only half an onion.  Really everything is according to how you like it.  I’m bad about just going by the color to know when I have everything in there the way we like it.  I do it different every time.

This meal is a crowd pleaser.  I’ve been cooking these since I was a senior in high school. The largest crowd I’ve ever fed was in Stillwater when we fed over 90 kids the Monday night after our Cowboys beat the Sooners in football.  I just got a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

RIP Bogey

























Today I'm thankful for . . .

. . . kids coming in if only for a few hours
. . . plates stacked up more than five
. . . pretty colored bowls
. . . backsplash reminding me of thanks while cooking
. . . girls giggling in the bedroom
. . . girls giggling in the bathroom
. . . balls of cookie
. . . girls eating cookies
. . . her hubby who loves her so
. . . big ladder by big tree
. . . Cowboys beating the Sooners

 

. . . girl hugging dad
. . . text from oldest child/man with word "love"
. . . text from oldest child/man with word "miss"
. . . text from oldest child/man with word "little".