Monday, December 31, 2007

it was a very good year

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NAS)

The sweetest moment of 2007 - June 29th, 2:32 am.

God’s grace blessed my life with Olivia Grace -
my beautiful, precious granddaughter.

My heart overflows with love.....

Friday, December 21, 2007


Sheila tagged me for a Holiday Hoopla!
The Random Christmas Hoopla! -

1.I loved the tradition of going to the Christmas Eve candlelight service. The Christmas carols and the pastor’s short message reminded me of the reverence of that night.
2.After the service, we’d get coffee and hot chocolate, hop into the car, and drive around looking at Christmas lights. I loved the fun!
3.I strive to give Christmas gifts from the heart.
4.Opening one gift each on Christmas Eve was a favorite tradition for me – the anticipation of the morning to come.
5.The Christmas program at church has always been meaningful to me. The production comes off like a professional job, especially since Mark is the narrator!
6.I love Mark’s reading of Luke 2:1-20 every Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.
7.“Silent Night” is my favorite old timey Christmas carol.
8.One of the newer Christmas songs I like is “Mary Did You Know”.
9.Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and Christmas music fill me with joy.
10.I would much rather give gifts than receive.
11.I normally decorate the tree by myself – that is, since Andrew left home.
12.I’m grateful I can celebrate Christmas with family.

I know of no one else to tag.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Welcome into our lives, MJ! Don't look so unhappy, you have a large family who loves you very much!

MJ arrived today, Dec 19th, at 11:50 am in Kansas, weighing in at 7 lb 13 oz, 20" long. It appears he has a lot more hair than his Daddy! His Mommy is Cereasa and his Daddy is Michael. I love and miss each of you.

Michael, I salute you as a new daddy, and a member of the US Marines currently serving our country in Iraq.

God bless us all, everyone...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

one line, two line, everywhere a line line...

If someone is too tired to give you a smile, leave one of your own, because no one needs a smile as much as those who have none to give.

Yesterday I went shopping. It’s not something I really enjoy doing these days.
Even so, I do enjoy choosing gifts for those I love. Anyway, by the end of this outing, I was dreadfully tired and my body was crying out for a couch. By the last store on my list, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it to the car, let alone finding the car in the first place.

In the last store, I was in line, a very long line, a line that reached past the display aisles, a line beside two other lines, the other lines looking just like my line. The people in the lines weren’t talking. The people in the lines weren't smiling. The people in the lines looked frazzled and harried and weary. The people in the lines looked as if they’d been in many other lines before. The lines were a pitiful sight.

Eventually, my line crept forward enough so that I reached the counter, paid for my purchases, and happily headed for the door. I heard a couple of voices from the lines calling “Ma’am!” “Ma’am!” I turned around to see I was the “Ma’am.” I had left my bag of goodies on the counter. Embarrassing, to say the least. Then, one lady said, “I did the same thing yesterday!” Someone else in the lines laughed and said, “I think we’ve shopped enough, already!” Soon, the lines were talking and laughing with each other. I smiled at the lines as I left the store, bag clutched tightly in hand.

I’m happy that I spread a little joy yesterday. Sometimes it pays to be wacky.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

glory to God

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased. Luke 2:13-14 NASB

Hubs and I finally got our decorations from the attic last night. He wrapped the tree with twinkling colorful lights. We are of the few who still prefer the multi-colored sparkles. While I was filling the tree with colorful and bright ornaments, I mused over what I had read about the history of our tree.

Why a Christmas tree? In the 7th century, the triangular shape of the fir tree was described as an illustration of the Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Martin Luther is said to have decorated a small Christmas tree with candles, to show his children how the stars twinkled through that dark night. The early trees were biblically symbolic of the Paradise tree in the Garden of Eden. The adornments of food items were symbols of plenty, the paper flowers of red, for knowledge, and the paper flowers of white, for innocence.

And, we come to today. The Christmas tree has gradually changed over time. This year, I chose to stay simple with decorations, only choosing the sentimental and favorite ones. The tree is pretty, the wreath is hung, and a few decorations are placed around the house. I am satisfied. Happy birthday Jesus, I’m so glad its Christmas. All the tinsel and lights, and the presents are nice, but the real gift is You.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

born to die

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 NIV

The performances of our church’s Christmas program were held Saturday and Sunday evenings. It was entitled “Jesus, You are Him”. The music was harmonious, the drama convincing, and the narration eloquent. The life of Jesus was portrayed from the cradle to the cross – illustrating how He was born to die. The program encouraged one to contemplate the poignant expressions of God’s unconditional love.

God’s little baby boy, so precious and pure, was born upon this earth to die upon this earth. The life of Jesus: He was born, He grew, He learned, He taught, He saved, He died, He rose, He lives. Jesus was killed by mankind, yet Jesus died for mankind. Jesus covers the sins of everyone - from the past, from the present, and from the future.

As I said before, the narration was eloquent. The words were sincerely spoken with expression and meaning. Mark becomes better with each passing year! He has been led to use his talents for the Lord, and he does a wonderful job. I’m proud of him!

Sunday morning, Mark and I finally had the opportunity to visit Sheila’s and Andrew’s church. The service was excellent and the people very friendly. The most wonderful thing happened to me at Westwood Baptist! A lady said to me, “I don’t believe I’ve met you. My name is (I don’t remember).” I said, “I’m Liz (Something), it’s nice to meet you.” She said, “Oh, you must be Andrew’s sister.” I said, “Oh, thank you so very much! I’m his mother!” Did you catch what you just read? She thought I was his SISTER! My heart jumped with joy, until a nearby mirror revealed the lines around my eyes, and around my....never mind. His SISTER! She said his SISTER! SISTER! SISTER! Ok, I'll calm down.

We had a delicious lunch prepared by some friends from the church. It was nice getting to know so many wonderful people from Westwood. After finishing the meal with a delectable piece of lemon pie, we had to leave and head home. Mark had a little bit of time to relax before the Christmas program.

Monday, December 3, 2007

is it “holiday”? or, is it Christmas?

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 NIV defines Christmas as: the annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus: celebrated on December 25 and now generally observed as a legal holiday and an occasion for exchanging gifts.

Merriam-Webster states: A Christian feast on December 25 or among some Eastern Orthodox Christians on January 7 that commemorates the birth of Christ and is usually observed as a legal holiday. Etc…

Please, instead of “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings”, it’s “Joyous Christmas!” “Merry Christmas!”, “Glorious Christmas!”, “Majestic Christmas!” - you see what I’m saying. Good tidings to all!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

my friend

A friend loves at all times,
Pr 17:17 NIV

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Ps 95:1 NIV

I have a very dear friend. She unselfishly gives of her time and talents to help anyone who has a need. She has begged me more than once to let her clean my house. I think she was hurt when I said no to her offer to help paint the living room. It took me about two months to get it done by myself. I enjoy our visits, conversations over lunch, and email discussions. We talk about anything and everything. She is a true friend.

My friend is very active at church, often taking on more than she should (in my opinion). She fixes bulletin boards for the youth, teaches a group of children on Sunday nights, painted a wall mural in the new children’s wing, made props for Vacation Bible School, leads service projects in the Women on Missions group, and so much more. Once, she round up a few people to help with an emergency situation - there was a mother and daughter that desperately needed rescuing from an atrociously abusive home. She is an amazing woman.

My friend usually takes care of herself and tries not to get too overwhelmed. She has to vigilantly make certain her meds are working correctly and be carefully attuned to her mood. My friend is bi-polar. She lives with this challenging disease without having pity parties. I admire the manner in which she daily handles this lifetime illness.

My friend joyfully serves our Lord. She is always willing to lend a hand. She gladly cares for others. She has a happy smile. She loves as Jesus loves. She talks about our Lord. She is thankful for her salvation.

I am blessed to know my friend.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh Pleeeeeeze…..

What happened to simpler times?

There's an “exciting” new toy I’ve seen advertised for Christmas. The commercial shows a boy and a girl pleading for bedtime. (What’s wrong with this picture?) It seems this new toy will read a story aloud and display the corresponding pictures on the wall. What is wrong with this, I ask?

What happened to family time? What happened to Daddy and/or Mommy reading bedtime stories to their child/children? I looked forward to reading Andrew a bedtime story, and we enjoyed a special time together. I usually read him a Bible story before he drifted off to sleep. He enjoyed listening to the story and looking at the pictures. I wonder, however did we survive without this new contraption? Very well, thank you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

overflowing with thankfulness

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

Today, I am really tired. I wanted to sleep at least until 10:00 am. Callie had other intentions in mind. She irritated me in every conceivable way her little cat brain could think of. After episodes of acrobatics, she somehow accomplished activities she knew were against the household rules. Callie played piano on the window blinds, she attempted to pull the covers from over my head, and she danced on the dresser. I believed that if she couldn’t see me, she’d give up the cause. After more antics than I could handle, I lugged myself out of bed. All she wanted was her wet food. Her other bowl held a sizeable amount of dry food. When Callie eats, I can experience tranquility – what a novel idea!

The Thanksgiving holidays inevitably consists of lots of traveling packed into four short days. Actually, the total trips were approximately 430 miles, and every single mile was worth it.

The opportunity to visit with family and friends, especially among feelings of thankfulness and pumpkin pie and chocolate brownies, reminds me how important each person is within my life. Each individual touches my life in a unique way (including Princess, the kitty). My life’s experiences, attitudes, insights, and feelings wouldn’t be the same, and therefore, I wouldn’t be the person that I am. I’m thankful to be Olivia’s Nana, and for the joy she brings. My life is overflowing with love!

The person in my life, who has made the most difference, is Jesus Christ. I am thankful I asked him into my heart and to have control over my life. Thank you Lord for the blessing of family, friends, and love.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

i’m thankful for…

This time of year, I more than ever remember my countless blessings from God. There are blessings that I’m very aware of, and blessing that I don’t yet recognize. Of the many gifts from God, the foremost one is my salvation in Jesus Christ. I grew up in a Christian family, and accepted Christ at the age of 6. I later realized that at age 6, my decision was based on my fear of hell. As a 17 year old teenager, I sincerely made a decision for Christ. My family is close, we love each other, and we act like it. I’m very thankful my upbringing was rooted in Jesus Christ.

Words can’t accurately describe my love for Mark. God blessed me with a devoted and compassionate husband, and my love for him has grown each moment of our 27+ years as one. Andrew has always been the son I prayed he would be. I'm very proud of him and the man he has become. God’s plan was at work when Andrew met Sheila. I began praying for her when Andrew was still a young boy. They are a delightful couple, and with the addition of Olivia, the three are a loving family, of which I am thankful for. I’m thankful for Olivia, and for being her Nana. And, yes, I’m grateful that Callie is in my life.

These are the main blessings I’m thankful for, but there are so many small blessings in my life. I feel so blessed and I’m thankful for my countless blessings from God.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving (and) His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. Psalms 100:4 (NAS)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

here birdie, birdie

Yeah! I’m now ready for some cold weather. Mark installed a brand new, best ever, super-duper, strong-as-steel, new-fangled bird feeder pole. He had to drag out some man tools to attach the pole to the deck railing. I’m glad I was able to provide Mark with an enjoyable Saturday afternoon activity. He hung our two feeders – each on individual hooks, so we’re good to go. This pole will withstand howling winds, blustering gusts, and tempestuous snow storms to come. I’ll be entertained by the various species of backyard birds as they eat, socialize, and sing.

In the past, the feeders have been visited by sparrows, cardinals, tufted titmouses, chickadees, towhees, house finches, purple finches, and… I can’t think of the others. The purple finches are really adorned with red, so I’m assuming the “namer” was a color blind ornithologist. Whenever we are blessed with an accumulation of snow, red-head woodpeckers will visit. With this year’s impending snow, I’ll see more of them than usual. The mourning doves rarely eat from the feeders; they prefer to dine on seeds spilled onto the deck by their messy cousins.

Just thought I’d share my joy to come. See, as enjoyable are the birds, watching Callie watch the birds is ever better! I’ll be so full of joy I’ll barely be able to stand it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NAS)

This is a favorite verse of mine. As a Christian, it’s a comfort to know that God’s love is within me for eternity. I am secure in the knowledge of His wondrous, mighty, and unconditional love. I do not, and can not, envision my life separated from God. I pray that others would accept and believe in Jesus Christ, and experience the eternal love of God.

The light of God surrounds us;
The love of God enfolds us;
The power of God protects us;
The presence of God watches over us;
Wherever we are, God is.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Outside the kitchen window, I see the season’s last rose. Wilted by frost, it’s just a tiny bud hanging on the trellis. Its hues of fuchsia and yellow are stunning in the afternoon sun. What a beautiful sight! I’ve really enjoyed my climbing Joseph’s Coat Roses – thorns and all.

Have I thanked God for the thorns in my life? I’ve thanked Him many times for the roses, but not for the thorns. It’s easy to give thanks for the blooms and the blessings. The pain from the thorns must have a reason, but I don’t always understand. I haven’t thanked God for the thorns, although the Bible instructs me to be thankful in all things.

Lord, help me remember to be thankful for the roses and for the thorns, for the good and for the bad, for the joy and for the pain, for the laughter and for the tears – for all things in my life.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

amazing love

He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8 RSV)

Since becoming a Christian, I’ve often read and studied about Christian love. I’ve learned that God loves us because He is love. God’s love is unconditional, eternal, changeless, and infinite. It’s true, it’s strong, and it’s wondrous. It’s mighty and it’s amazing. I can rest in the love of God; I’m forever safe and forever blessed. That's awesome!

There’s a song by Chris Tomlin named “Amazing Love/You Are My King”. It’s a worship and praise song that touches my heart. The lyrics are a reminder of His love.

God created us to have a loving relationship with Him. There is no such thing as love without God. Many years ago, I made a sermon note in my Bible – “Love is not a feeling, it is a decision”. I love God, my family, and my friends – but have I made a decision to love others? That’s a commandment of God and without the love of God in me, I could never practice it.

Another sermon note in my Bible is “The world must see the love of Jesus in all we do”. Wow! It’s essential that I always remember God’s love is in me and I’m commanded to live like it!

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34 NIV)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

callie cat

Everything I Need To Know In Life, I Learned From My Cat

1) Life is hard, and then you nap.
2) Curiosity never killed anything, except maybe a few hours.
3) When in doubt, cop an attitude.
4) Variety is the spice of life: one day ignore people, the next day annoy them. 5) Climb your way to the top - that's why drapes are there.
6) Find your place in the sun - especially if it happens to be on that nice pile of warm, clean laundry.
7) When you go out into the world, remember: being placed on a pedestal is a right, not a privilege.

Our character is what God and cats know of us.
Author: Thomas Paine

There is something about the presence of a cat...that seems to take the bite out of being alone.
Author: Dr Louis Camuti

(Photo taken by my niece, Kat)

Friday, November 2, 2007

the gift of time

Sometimes I think about upcoming events or changes pertaining to me, my loved ones, to others, or to the world. I may be anxious about some things, such as a dentist appointment, or the results of my cholesterol test. Others, I eagerly look forward to experiencing or witnessing, like a vacation, a visit from family, or watching a baseball game.

Time can slip thru my fingers if I pay too much attention to tomorrow instead of embracing today. Whether it’s nice or dreadful, joyful or miserable, it is today. Today is a gift, given to me from the Lord. I ought to be thankful for the opportunities and experiences I receive today.

When I was online recently, I came across this:
“Amidst fear, we have peace beyond understanding; amidst sorrow, we have joy unspeakable; amidst trouble, we have every comfort and consolation; amidst uncertainty, we have the blessed hope.”
I don’t know the origin or author, but these words take negative emotions and give the positive responses offered in Christ. No matter what happens, today or tomorrow, God is in control of my life. I gladly embrace my gift of time today!

We often spend too much of the present anxious to reach the future, and when we get there, what do we do? We wonder where the time went.
Author: Unknown

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

space, time, and love

(The Lord) who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. who made the great lights-- His love endures forever. the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.
Psalms 136:5-9 (NIV)

Have you ever looked upward to a midnight blue sky, glimmering with countless twinkling stars? Have you ever contemplated heaven’s endless reach through this awesome universe? Have you ever reflected on God’s creation of you, and of His endless love for you?

Once, while visiting Andrew in Boone, I walked outside and gazed up at a cloudless night sky. It appeared deep and faraway and held an abundance of stars both near and in the distance. I was looking at an infinite expanse through the cosmic darkness. There, in the mountains, away from city lights, I saw the moon and stars with intense clarity. That night, as I lay down to sleep, I marveled at the awesome creation of God and of His love for me.

I know there’s no beginning or end, and that God has always been and always will be. In the midst of endless time, there was an exact moment in which God created this world. These are certainties never intended for me to fully understand – not at this moment in time.

My heavenly Father is the Alpha and the Omega. He created the incredible celestial firmament and spectacular earth. I am but a tiny speck in a vast expanse of space and time, but God knows me by name. The creation of God goes far and beyond the diminutive part visible to my sight and perception. I am in awe of His majesty, power and glory.

God created mankind, He knows our minds and our hearts, and He loves each and every one of us. God is omnipotent, and His love endures forever…

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Revelation 22:13 (NRSV)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

leaves of life

I see the wheel of change turning.

Leaves are slowly drifting to the ground, or plucked away by persuasive winds. The dazzling tints and hues are both enchanting and captivating. Breezes become chilly, but the sun carries on, a continuous radiance that reassures. I gaze pensively at the wheel of change, and it continues to turn.

Smelling the crisp, clean air and strolling through brittle, fallen leaves, both are a joy and a blessing I shall treasure evermore. I witness the transformation unfolding as the wheel of change constantly turns.

God’s earthly creation crosses the seasons, and the wheel of change continues its journey through time. A time of quiet respite, a period that's fresh and new, a season of growth and maturity, an interlude to cleanse and rejuvenate, and then, a return to peaceful rest. God is at the helm, and He is with me at all times and in all places. I am, in all seasons, in His hand.

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
Acts 14:17 (NIV)

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I have a sister who’s 4 years, 11 months, and 12 days older than me. She married and moved away from home when I was 13 years, 3 months, and 5 days old. I was 15 years and 6 months old when she had her first son. There are 6 years, 7 months, and 6 days between the dates we were married. There are 6 years, 4 months, and 6 days between the birthdates of her first son and my only son. Enough statistics?

When I was born, Mary wanted to send me back. Supposedly, I cried too much and wouldn’t play with her. Even though my sister’s attitude was selfish, I didn’t hold it against her. After I was old enough to be fun, she became a sweet “little mommy”. Today, she remains a wise, understanding, and entertaining sister. She is still lots of fun!

God blessed me with a sister like Mary! She is especially caring, exceedingly considerate, and extremely compassionate. We have a fantastic relationship, we’ve always gotten along well, and there is nothing we can’t share with each other.

My sis enjoys cooking large meals, especially for family. The larger the number of place settings, the happier she is. Her love for family is a significant part of her life. It’s a treasured relationship, never to be taken for granted. I’m grateful to call her sis and thankful I can make her laugh!

Mary - I smile because you're my sister, I laugh because there's nothing you can do about it!

My Sister
she knows the things I dream of,
the places that I've been,
she accepts the person I've become,
she's a very special friend.
she's always been there for me
no matter where I roam,
and whenever we're together,
it's just like being home.

Monday, October 22, 2007

what matters the most

When I was growing up, there were things I dreamed about being, and things I dreamed about doing. I’d imagine my future held promise, and believe my life had possibility. I dared to dream, but did my dreams to come true? A few became realities, but most were never fulfilled. But in the end, as long as I believed in myself and believed in Jesus Christ, that’s what mattered the most.

I dreamed of being:
a singer – quite gifted, perhaps someone like Rebecca St. James
a musician – harp, flute, and piano, incredible at all three
an ice skater – graceful and breathtaking
an artist – painting landscapes, striving to capture the splendor of God’s creation

I dreamed of:
sailing across vast seas overflowing with dolphins
riding in a hot air balloon on lazy summer mornings
hiking up a tall mountain bursting with waterfalls
camping in the wilderness close to Gentle Ben
living in a log cabin and having a pet deer

I'm all grown up, but even now, I still wonder and I still dare to dream. This one thing I know for sure - I searched and found the Lord. That's what matters the most...

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

"Come," my heart says, "seek his face!" Your face, Lord, do I seek.
Psalms 27:8 (NRSV)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

saturday morning

For some strange and unexplainable reason, I awoke earlier than normal this morning. As I was making coffee, I glanced outside and saw that the sky still held immense darkness. I waited eagerly as the tantalizing aroma of coffee brewing made me glad I had awoken to enjoy the dawn of a new day. After the coffee completed its brew, I grabbed my “Appalachian State Mom” mug and pressed it against the pour button.

Mark bought this new coffee maker. I think Tom told him about it (they are both avid coffee enthusiasts). There is nothing wrong with our old coffee maker, but this one is “new and improved”. It has several superior features – such as no carafe for me to break. This purchase was not frivolous – it was a necessary upgrade. I love our new Hamilton Beach 12-Cup BrewStation Coffee Maker Model #47214.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms 118:24 (NIV)

Friday, October 19, 2007

my pet, my pal

My dear pet and friend, Callie, does a superb job keeping me company. Even though plenty of her time is spent napping, she manages to amuse and entertain me in quite creative ways. Being an only “child”, she occasionally behaves like a “spoiled rotten brat-cat”. Nevertheless, she normally is a well mannered feline who enjoys human companionship. Callie plays very nicely by herself, but often includes me in activities, whether or not I’m willing.

Each morning, when she determines the proper time has arrived, she begins the awakening process by gently attempting to pull my covers down. If the desired response isn’t accomplished, she quickly moves along to the next stage. With great determination, she paws at the window blinds as if they were piano keys. This creates music that is considerably annoying. Most mornings, I reach an irritated state and regret she isn’t equipped with a snooze button. Eventually, I drag myself from the comforts of sweet dreams and attend to her needs. The ulterior motive behind Callie’s impatient disruptions is food - the hunger to dine on tasty and healthy nutrition heavily laden with delectable gravies. (This is in addition to dry cat food, always at her disposal.)

My presence has been requested. I must go play now.

“Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.“
Garrison Keillor

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

in the quietness of the morning

I wasn’t able to sleep last night, so this morning I’ve taken some time to just relax and think. As my thoughts drifted about, I happened upon the subject of peace.

For me, peace is an emotional state of calmness, harmony, contentment, tranquillity, quietness, serenity, stillness, and silence. The only way to have peace within, is to know God within. If I put my cares in His hands, I can have peace in my heart. With everyday responsibilities, distractions, difficulties, etc., it’s sometimes hard to remember the inner peace is there.

May I continually focus on Jesus and experience the peace of God.

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 (RSV)

I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest--
Psalms 55:6 (NIV)

(the Spirit of God...who descended like a dove upon His Son, as recorded in the four Gospels.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

just a reminder

On some days, God promised renewed strength and healing.
(Isaiah 40:31, 53:4-5)

On other days, I was reminded to trust God to meet my every need.
(Matthew 6:33)

On still other days, God reminded me that I am not alone, that God is with me in every crisis.
(Isaiah 41:10)

God promises, "You will find me when you seek me with all your heart".
(Jeremiah 29:13)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

the daily news

Watching the news on TV, seeing the news online, glancing at the newspaper headlines – nearly everything is about wars, shootings, murders, attacks, abortions, hate crimes, conflicts, deaths, horrible accidents, terrorism, abductions, drugs, deadly illnesses, job cuts, explosions, executions, pornography, robberies, pedophiles, and the list goes on and on and on. And, did I mention, this is just a sampling of today’s news stories?

Yes, I see articles about advances in medicine, a survival story, cancer deaths falling, a lost child found, and, well, let me look harder, yes, I think that’s it for today.

All this negative influence and exposure in my life could really have a detrimental effect, if I allow it. Some things concern me, bother me, make me sad, and cause uncertainty. I believe the encouragements and the blessings and the inspirations should be my focus. Sometimes it’s rather difficult, but I am reminded of a favorite verse, and I know God is in control, He always has been, and He always will be. My life is in his hands.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
-Philippians 4:8 (NRSV)

Friday, October 12, 2007

am i meek?

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Matt. 5:5 (NIV)

O LORD, thou wilt hear the desire of the meek; thou wilt strengthen their heart, thou wilt incline thy ear
Ps 10:17 (RSV)

What does meek mean? It’s defined as showing patience and humility; gentle; easily imposed on; submissive; enduring injury with patience and without resentment; deficient in spirit and courage; and not violent or strong.

To be meek, I must:
not easily get angry
put up with insults and injuries
be considerate to everyone
think more of others than of myself
not be envious
take orders and criticism
accept God’s will
attribute all I have and all I am to God’s grace

Wow! That’s a tall order to fill! I can only work towards this goal with Jesus in my life. I admit, I’ve not really thought about this - God’s desire is for me to be meek. To be meek - at home, at the grocery store, around friends, at WalMart, with family and friends, driving in traffic, around enemies, at church, on a walk in the neighborhood, eating at Chili's - everywhere I am and with everyone I am with.

Wisdom, fear, and meekness, say they, are of high esteem; but, "meekness", is greater than them all.
Author: Unknown

God, teach us to be meek but not weak and to be bold but not arrogant. Amen.

(Photo: Taken by Andrew, on the hill behind Mt Vernon Baptist, Boone, NC)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

out for a drive

We drove up to Boone yesterday. See, when I woke up, I thought breakfast at The Mountain House and lunch at Back Yard Burgers would be a nice treat. And, in spite of all the nay-sayers, the leaves were absolutely beautiful! However, there are a couple of new dents in the truck. Some of the roads we traveled were more suited for motorcycles. On a couple of intense turns, the front fender hit the rear. We weren’t injured – in fact, I rather enjoyed the whole roller coaster road! I thoroughly enjoyed the food, the sights, the drive, and most of all, the company. What a wonderful day.

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
Ps 95:4 NIV

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

on what should i put my food?

I have this “thing” concerning dishes.

I can’t quite remember each dinnerware set we’ve used in twenty-seven years of marriage. The precise reason for this “affliction” is unknown, but if I see something different that I like, I think I want them, for a while anyhow. I’m not sure if I get tired of what we’re currently using, or if I just like playing musical dinnerware. I enjoy looking at new styles and have seen several whimsical sets lately. I wonder if it's time for a change?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


My church is having revival this week. The speaker is Rev. David Miller, a country preacher from Arkansas. In high school, he went from being a quaterback to being confined to a wheelchair due to a rare muscular atrophy disease. He only has use of one arm, but this didn’t keep him from quoting the Bible – he obviously has memorized the texts. Impressive!

He spoke about acknowledging God’s sovereign providence for all blessings. He told of how God’s providence worked in his life when his son was in a serious car accident. Joshua, his son, barely survived the accident, and is now confined to a wheelchair because of paralysis from the upper chest down. Here’s a Christian family, with two members confined to a wheelchair, that faithfully serve our Lord. His story was amazing.

Today, I’ve been reflecting upon God’s providence over my own life… Just what does providence mean? The all-seeing providence of God means that He has not abandoned the world that He created, but rather works within that creation to manage all things according to the immutable counsel of His own will.

By the way, both Mr. Miller and Joshua are avid deer hunters. He “bragged” proudly about Joshua’s recent 11 point kill. Also, he shared another impressive “Joshua” hunting story - he was bow hunting, and one arrow went completely thru an 8 point, then into a 10 point, killing them both. Talk about God’s providence!

I'm looking forward to tonight's sermon.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Monday, October 1, 2007


I know I’ve talked about being a grandmother before, but it’s all so new to me and I love it! I understand there are many stages of being a grandparent, so I must be going thru the first one. I’m O’s Nana (pronounced “nan-a”)!

So, I've been a grandmother for three months and two days. But, I've been thinking, in comparison to my grandmothers: Do I look like a grandma? Do I dress like a grandma? Do I possess a grandma’s wisdom and knowledge? Do I even behave like a grandma? Do I speak like a grandma? Do I work like a grandma? And, what about cooking like a grandma?

Appearance - I don’t wear my hair in a bun and I want a butterfly tattoo
Dress - I have on gym shorts and an old t-shirt that belonged to A, I normally dress very casually
Knowledge - reservoir of family wisdom?, not so much, yet
Behavior - definitely not very refined, accused of being zany at times
Speech - today’s jargon has countless new words, I’m making an effort to improve my grammar
Labor - certainly not tirelessly from sunup to sundown
Cook - nix on daily hot biscuits from scratch, no feast for Sunday dinner, don't wear an apron

My Dad’s mother was Nana (pronounced “na-na”). She died when I was almost 5. Unfortunately, I don’t remember her very well.

My Mom’s mother was Grandmother. She died when I was 12. I have many happy memories of her.

There’s a drastic difference in our life experiences. We are from a different place and another time. My grandmothers' generation led a much simpler life in many ways, but a lot more difficult in others.

Oh Lord, thank you for the Christian legacy of my Grandmothers. Please guide me and teach me to be the grandmother you desire, according to Your will. Thank you for abundantly blessing my life with Olivia. Amen.

Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.
Proverbs 17:6 (NIV)

Friday, September 28, 2007


O, my little granddaughter, is 3 months old today. This delightful little girl is now smiling with bright, twinkling eyes and giggling with sweet, melodious sounds. With each new dazzling photograph, I see her personality beaming thru. O is truly beautiful and perfectly adorable! She’s an incredible miracle who has brought love and laughter into my life.

In this brief span of time, my life has been amazingly blessed by this special little one. Oh Dear O, I just love you, little girl!

I have a list of “100 Things to Accomplish Before I Die”. O has fulfilled one very special item on that list – “to have a grandchild”. I wonder if I’ll ever get to item #67 – go skydiving.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

north carolina - the cradle of ’cue

My husband is an addict – absolutely and positively, a fanatical addict. Of course, I had no idea until after we were married. He was incredibly devious about the whole thing, cleverly hiding his unrelenting obsession from his dear bride. Poor me. By the way, he is addicted to BBQ.

There are four spellings for BBQ – Barbecue or barbeque, and abbreviations BBQ or Bar-B-Que. Use any one, for they are all synonymous. Dictionary definitions are basically the same – 1: to roast or broil on a rack or revolving spit over or before a source of heat (as hot coals), and 2: to cook in a highly seasoned vinegar sauce. However, the first definition is incorrect. Perhaps the editors have limited knowledge of BBQ. I have the correct definition below.

The word barbeque is not defined as the act of cooking food on one’s grill. BBQ is the actual name of a food item of which one eats – Like “Let’s order BBQ to eat at the restaurant tonight”. The act of using a grill to cook food is called grilling – like “Let’s grill hamburgers for dinner tonight”. How simple is that? It’s a real pet peeve of mine is to hear someone use BBQ in the incorrect manner.

Wouldn’t you know, NC is the Barbeque Capital of the World. There are two different recipes for BBQ – western style and eastern style. Mark likes both types, which, unfortunately, expands his restaurant patronages. Great. At the moment, there are several packages of barbeque in our freezer. No surprise there! He has also scoured the internet for more BBQ restaurants – ( He is partial to – Woodlands in Blowing Rock, Lexington Barbeque in Lexington, Stamey’s in Greensboro, Skippers in Henderson, Bill’s in Wilson, and Parker’s in Wilson. By the way, if anyone out there cares, my favorite is Woodlands.

Hard to believe, but there is actually a North Carolina BBQ Society – ( I wonder what type of person came up with that? Hmmm. Mark could be a devoted member, but please, let’s not tell him. And, wouldn’t you know, our son’s father-in-law is a BBQ enthusiast as well. When Mark and Tom get together, they discuss every subject that remotely deals with BBQ. And, of course, this conversation is over a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Callie is generally a snoopy cat - very curious, especially inquisitive, and sometimes, down-right meddlesome! Indoors, she typically follows me from room to room, and when I go outside, she watches me thru the door or windows. Either she loves my company as much as I love hers, or she is just plain nosy! From the very beginning, Callie’s snooping tendencies got her into trouble. We quickly realized she had this predisposition by default, but gee whiz!!!

The other evening, Mark heard some commotion outside, coming from the house next door. The place had been vacant for many months, and neighbors were beginning to move in. Mark carefully peered thru the blinds in our guest bedroom, just to check it out. Callie came running into the room, bounded up onto the nightstand, stretched out her paw, yanked down a hefty section of blinds, and stuck her head thru until her nose touched the glass. So, should the neighbors notice the window, they'd see a cat head sticking thru, with eyes gawking at their every move. This goes way beyond sticking her nose in where it didn’t belong, literally.

Welcome to the neighborhood!

The trouble with cats is that they've got no tact.
P. G. Wodehouse

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the old dirt road

From days gone by, the summer trips to my maternal grandparents bring about the most vivid memories of my childhood. These visits were our family’s annual two-week vacation. What better retreat than to wonder about the vast beauty of God’s creation and to savor the serenity it brought? What better vacation than to visit with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and lots of cousins?

They lived near Erin, Tennessee on Green Acres, a 600-something acre farm. It rested among gently sloping hills, in a serene and secluded community known as Long Branch. To reach the farm, we turned off of a state road onto a narrow dirt and rock road. An abundance of lovely Black-eyed Susans greeted us along the roadside and like a beacon, pointed the way to Green Acres. The old dirt road carried us around gentle curves, thru woods, past fields, by a one room schoolhouse, past a farm with peacocks and pigs, over small wooden bridges above rippling creeks, and by an uncle’s house.

My Mom and her sister and brothers attended school in that one room schoolhouse, now standing weathered and in disrepair. They walked along that old dirt road to school. It seemed to take an eternity to get from the beginning of “granddaddy’s road” to the driveway of the old, two-story, white frame farmhouse.

I loved that old dirt road, and its Black-eyed Susans. I have several clumps of these flowers growing in my own backyard garden, just behind the gold fish pond. The Black-eyed Susans are a lifelong reminder of the summer trips to my grandparents farm. These are cherished memories of days gone by.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

word of the day

Geek (gēk)

NOUN: Slang 1a. A person regarded as foolish, inept, or clumsy. b. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept. 2. A carnival performer whose show consists of bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken.
ETYMOLOGY:Perhaps alteration of dialectal geck, fool, from Low German gek, from Middle Low German.OTHER FORMS:geek y —ADJECTIVE

OUR LIVING LANGUAGE: Our word geek is now chiefly associated with student and computer slang; one probably thinks first of a computer geek. In origin, however, it is one of the words American English borrowed from the vocabulary of the circus, which was a much more significant source of entertainment in the United States in the 19th and early 20th century than it is now. Large numbers of traveling circuses left a cultural legacy in various and sometimes unexpected ways. For example, Superman and other comic book superheroes owe much of their look to circus acrobats, who were similarly costumed in capes and tights. The circus sideshow is the source of the word geek, “a performer who engaged in bizarre acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken.”

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I'm looking at a miracle,
God sent to bring us pleasure;
Another chapter in life's book,
Bringing joy beyond all measure.
There's nothing like a grandchild,
Especially a little girl;
She wraps your heart with heartstrings,
And captivates your world.
She dances into your very soul,
All ruffles, dollies and lace;
You melt into a puddle,
With one look from that little face.
She wraps you 'round her finger,
And plays with you like a toy;
But that's the reason God gave her,
To bring her Grandparents joy.
This heritage of our heritage,
This blessing all giggles and fun;
Was sent by God as a special gift,
Our precious little one.

Author: Allison Chambers Coxsey

I love that little girl...

Monday, September 17, 2007

our adoption

Callie is an eighteen-month-old calico cat who shares our home. She adopted us in April of 2006, chock-full of attitude from the start. Mark and I totally understood from the beginning that we did not own her, but rather she owned us. I’ve heard it explained as ‘dogs have owners and cats have staff ’. How true!

Prior to finding Callie, I searched the internet daily, checking the County Animal Shelter and the SPCA sites for a kitten that might choose us. We knew we wanted a little girl and had chosen her name before the search began. One weekend when Andrew and Sheila were visiting, we were pulling into a Blockbuster lot on Friday night, when Shelia asked if we were going to look at the kittens in PetsMart. We went across the parking lot to the pet store, and there she was, meowing from a lonesome cage, crying because her siblings had already adopted families. I held her, and that was it - I was in love. Saturday morning, we were hers. Many thanks to Sheila!

Long before our adoption, I had been shopping all around town for supplies. Some of the items I bought were a large, sturdy scratching post; a litterbox just for kittens; a warm, soft kitten bed; stylish water and food dishes, a brush and nail clippers; and too many toys.

The very first night, Callie slept on our bed between Mark and me. The next morning, Mark awoke to a little one lying on his pillow, just above his head, with a little paw resting on his eyelid. How totally adorable is that?

Callie quickly adapted to life in her new surroundings. It wasn’t long before she learned to have her wishes and desires granted. Of course, we doted on her, making her training of us a great deal easier! And, this was just the beginning…

"When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?"

Friday, September 14, 2007

apple of His eye

I recently came across this story – it’s a good reminder of how God values me.

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air."

Well," he continued, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.
"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson."

"No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless.

But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him."

We are the apple of God’s eye. We are cherished above others:
Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of thy wings,

Psalms 17:8 (RSV)

In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
Deuteronomy 32:10 (NIV)

For this is what the Lord Almighty says: "After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you--for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye
Zechariah 2:8 (NIV)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

valle crucis

This past weekend, I was in my favorite place - the mountains. I positively love the Boone, NC area, and treasure every moment spent there. The cabin was in Valle Crucis, meaning “The Vale of the Cross”. This community is reached by way of winding, curvy mountain roads. The cabin was spectacular and had breathtaking views. There were several relaxing porches complete with swings, rockers, and a hammock. Immediately below the back yard, the crystal clear Watauga River leisurely flowed by. The weather was just right, the warm sunshine brilliant, and the mountain breezes gentle. The beauty of this place reverberates the majesty of God’s creation.

Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy;
Psalms 98:8 NIV

The family had an enjoyable time together in Valle Crucis. We went grocery shopping, grilled burgers, went to church, took naps, and had ice cream at The Marble Slab. We'll have to make The Marble Slab a tradition!

Grammy, Poppy, and I got to sit with Olivia while her parents ventured into Boone. Olivia is such an incredible little girl. At about two and a half months, she smiles, she laughs, and she “talks”. When I see her peacefully sleeping, hold her in my arms, or watch her play during tummy-time, it makes me very grateful for the honor of being her Nana.

A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.
Author: Carl Sandburg

My Grandchild's Hand
The promise of tomorrow
and the hope of dreams come true...
a reminder of the childhood
that's still a part of you...
The wonder of a miracle
from which this love began...
there is so much found in the touch
of holding a grandchild's hand.
Author: Unknown

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I know fall is on its way when the writing spiders show up. There are several of these huge, black and yellow spiders in the backyard. There’s one a bit over 1 ½ inches long, and I’m not including the legs! The spiral web is rather intricate, and has a large, bold zigzag down the center. It looks pretty neat with the morning dew sparkling in the sun. Since my writin’ spiders are so gigantic, they may live anywhere in the yard they wish. After all, they are very beneficial to the garden.

Don’t misunderstand me – I do not care for spiders in the least. When my son was just a few weeks old, the two of us had a very traumatic life experience. I was holding my tiny, helpless baby when someone opened the front door of the apartment and an extremely huge spider walked right in. Of course, I started screaming and screaming while jumping up and down on the seat of a chair. I guess I should mention that all the while, I was still holding onto my baby. My husband attempted to shoo the spider back outside when all of a sudden, hundreds of itty bitty, teeny weenie baby spiders began crawling off the back of their mommy. They quickly scattered up the door and up the wall and onto the table and across the floor. My husband was our hero! He saved his wife and baby! I have never witnessed such a terrifying incident, and I don’t care to ever again!

Years later, long after leaving SC, I learned that the monstrous spider was a Carolina Wolf spider. In 2000, someone had the nerve to designate the thing the SC state spider. I’m very thankful we had the good judgment to move back home to NC.

Look very closely at mommy’s back, and you can barely see the itty bitty, teeny weenie baby spiders. Of course, the one that invaded our home was approximately four times this size!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

the nursing home

This morning, I paused and realized I was humming an old hymn. It was one of my favorite old-timey ones – In the Garden. My thoughts traveled back to a time long ago, to some pleasant memories of my childhood. I hadn’t reminiscenced on these times for a long while. This is what I remember …

My Dad, along with a friend, took turns leading a prayer meeting at a local nursing home one night a week. My whole family would be there, as well as the other speaker and his wife. Others would come to join the group or to lend a hand. We usually had a nice crowd as the residents joined us in the big visiting room. The service included a time of singing, a short Bible study, and a time of prayer. Special song requests were taken from the older folks eager to hear a favorite song. I believe these hymns, so dear to their hearts, brought hope, encouragement, and love.

In addition to In the Garden, The Old Rugged Cross, Sweet By and By, The Lily of the Valley, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, and When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder are just a small sampling of the old cherished songs I recall. Sometimes there would be several children there and we would get to sing a few songs for everyone. The older folks smiled a lot and said we did a really good job. They didn’t seem to tire of Deep and Wide, Jesus Loves Me, or The B-I-B-L-E. We didn’t have many songs in our repertoire, but enough to make them happy.

After the service, we would go around the room and speak to the nursing home residents. Some were sitting on chairs or sofas and some were in wheelchairs. Some of them didn’t have family or friends to come visit and they were lonely. I think the older folks were especially glad to see children. I made some good friends during these times. Once in a while, there were one or two that would sneak me a piece of candy. I remember one old gentleman in a wheelchair who always looked so delighted when he was able to give me a treat.

Each time we met together, everyone received a blessing. I can envision how much the weekly services meant to each of the older folks. They weren’t the only ones to benefit from these times together, for I learned many lessons there. Even though I was too young at the time to understand the meaning, later in life I gained from these life experiences. I desire to always care, to always love, to always encourage, and to always make a difference.

My Dad was a great teacher.

"Do not forget the hands of the aged; they have touched much of life and have become insightful and sympathetic."

34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:34-40

Saturday, September 1, 2007

my dear, beloved creek

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved creeks. Stream, brook, or branch may sound more poetic, but I prefer creek – although I like to pronounce it “crick” (krik).

My love of creeks obviously began during my family’s summer visits to Long Branch, home to Green Acres, the farm of my maternal grandparents. Their white, two story farmhouse sat among lots of green, rolling hills, a few little caves, a county road leading to “the store”, a spring awash with salamanders, a hefty herd of cattle, a wooden bridge, and my dear, beloved creek.

Two weeks of my summers were spent at Green Acres visiting with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and bunches of cousins. A favorite memory of the farmhouse was drifting off to sleep to the musical sound of rain on the tin roof. I enjoyed trekking around the hills just exploring or lying on my back watching the clouds float by. Sometimes along the road, I’d peer into the tiny caves wondering if some creepy creature would jump out. The openings were barely large enough for an arm, but I was never that adventuresome. We cousins often begged our parents for permission to walk to the store. Early on, it was a wonderful dusty dirt country road. Progress appeared and it was eventually paved. The store sold gas, candy, drinks, ice cream, other stuff, and was a library. My favorite treat was an RC Cola and a bag of peanuts to pour into the bottle. Oh, and the bottle was glass, not plastic. I was fond of playing with the salamanders that lived in the spring. The water trickling from the springhouse was the purest I’ve ever tasted. One year, my dad killed a rattlesnake at the spring. It was amusing to watch the cows pass along their predictable paths from dawn ‘till dusk. One favorite pastime was hanging my legs off the side of Granddaddy’s wooden bridge and tossing rocks into the water below.

What can I say about Granddaddy’s creek – my dear, beloved creek? Of those two weeks each summer, my best memories surround that meandering creek. The water was deepest under the bridge, and one summer, several of us dug a hole wide enough to swim in. I enjoyed taking a stroll along the creek, collecting fascinating rocks while keeping my toes away from crawdads. I wonder if throwing rocks about actually kept the snakes away, or was it our noisy talking and laughing? When resting in the sun on a small, flat boulder, I often would close my eyes and listen to the soft melody of the carefree water flowing along its rocky bed on a journey far, far away.

Sometimes, I still yearn for just one more summer day spent along my dear, beloved creek.

Like dreams, small creeks grow into mighty rivers.
Author: Unknown

As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.
Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)

The words of a man's mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
Proverbs 18:4 (NIV)

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are extremely curious and are easily attracted to my feeder. It’s neat to see these tiny little beings chase other flying creatures away from their bright red feeder. They don’t seem to be frightened of us human beings, unless we get too close. Maybe because we’re too large to perch on the fake yellow flowers and drink the fake red liquid. No worries, the food does contain nutrients and it’s healthy for the teeny little birds. I’m sure they prefer real nectar from real flowers, but they’re a bit lacking this year due to the drought. It’s a pleasure to help out some of God’s remarkable little ones.

From my kitchen window, it’s a joy to watch them hover at the feeder with wings a blur. It fascinates me the way they zip and zoom around the yard. I wonder how such a tiny bird and fly so fast. Since they're only around for such a short season, I definitely don't take these amazing hummers for granted.

the Hummingbird
A flash of harmless lightning,
A mist of rainbow dyes,
The burnished sunbeams brightening
From flower to flower he flies.
Author:John Banister Tabb

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26 (NIV)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

coloring outside the lines

No matter what – I can not achieve perfection. It’s an objective that’s completely and utterly impossible. Yes, my life is to be lived in a manner that emulates Jesus Christ, the only one to ever flawlessly walk this earth.

So, I’m not perfect. I say things I shouldn’t and I do things I shouldn’t. Even though I really do strive to be as God would have me, I inevitably don’t get it right. If only I’d consistently remember to stop and think before I act or react or speak or not speak. Striving to be perfect is a struggle that takes a lot of determination, perseverance, and practice. God has provided His Word and a personal relationship with Him to guide me thru life.

When I was a child, I loved to color. My first coloring books had simple pictures with thick lines. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t stay within the lines. When I was older, the pictures were more intricate and were drawn with very thin lines. By this time, I could color much better, but no picture was ever perfect.

It’s okay to color outside the lines. I’ll keep on practicing while I’m here, and when I leave this earth, I’ll finally be complete.

Perfect, Perfection – Brought to consummation or completeness; completed; not defective nor redundant; having all the properties or qualities requisite to its nature and kind; without flaw, fault, or blemish; without error; mature; whole; pure; sound; right; correct.

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:48 (NIV)

My conscience is captive to the Word of God.
Author: Martin Luther

Monday, August 27, 2007

jacob and boaz

There’s a small garden pond in the backyard. Its home to Jacob and Boaz, two happy little goldfish. When Jacob was living all alone, he was very sad and didn’t swim around very much. After Boaz was brought home, the two soon became happy little buddies. It's entertaining to watch them chase and race, swirl and twirl, dive and soar, and splish and splash. They depend on me for a safe and secure home, clean clear water, healthy green plants, and nourishing fish food. They eagerly appear in the dining area of the pond when meals are delivered. Recently, Jake began allowing me to put a piece of food into his mouth.
It's feedin' time...

God created the world and all that is in it
He never intended for man to live alone
Our life depends on the Heavenly Father
He cares for us and has given us the bread of life
We only need to accept...

For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.
John 6:33 (NAS)

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst".
John 6:35 (NAS)

Friday, August 24, 2007

becoming a grandmother - a life transition

The smile that melts my heart

I absolutely adore being Olivia’s grandmother! Each visit with her is especially precious. How wonderful a blessing she is to my life! When looking at her newborn portraits (we just had to buy four different poses) I am amazed just how quickly she is growing.

Becoming a grandmother has created a new responsibility for me. I pray that I will always be mindful of this and do my very best (with God’s guidance) not to ever disappoint Olivia. I want her to always know how immensely I love her. And yes, this "grandmother's love" is a new kind of love that has filled my heart - so very dear and precious.

As her Nana, I look forward to making lots of unforgettable memories with Olivia -

relaxing in a rocking chair
going for a walk hand in hand
enjoying rice krispie treats
listening to the chirping of baby birds
reading a favorite story over and over
baking chocolate chip cookies
singing favorite children's songs
settling down for a little nap
telling her all about Noah’s ark
playing with Daddy’s old teddy bear
looking for beautiful yellow butterflies

I could go on and on and on...

When a child is born, so is a grandmother.

There is nothing like a newborn baby to renew your spirit - and to carry on your resolve to make the world a better place.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

singing in the rain

(Photo: Showers of Blessings)

It has been awfully hot and dry around these parts. The garden is wilted by mid-day. Since the lakes are very low, water should be limited to necessary uses. It has been an unusually hot and dry summer, with several weather records broken.

Two evenings ago, our local news carried a story about a church in Shelby NC. The congregation had gathered together to pray for rain. The faith of answered prayer was evident when umbrellas were handed out. Yesterday brought rain not only to Cleveland County NC, but to much of a thirsty NC.

Prayer is asking for rain and faith is carrying an umbrella.
-Barbara Johnson

I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.
-Ezekiel 34:26 (NIV)

When I close my eyes…
I can imagine relaxing on a cozy warm rock
in the middle of a gentle flowing stream,
with chirping music of birds on the breeze
and the crisp smell of autumn in the air,
from a blue cloudless sky far above
peacefully in the beams of an afternoon sun.

(Photo: Watuaga River, Boone NC)

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Yesterday was my birthday. We met our Granddaughter, her Mommy and Daddy, and her Grammy and Bumpy for dinner. I really enjoyed myself. Visiting with Olivia made the evening extra special. There’s just something about the miracle of a grandchild – rather difficult to adequately explain. She has a smile that melts my heart. Her sweet expressions and budding personality remind me just how awesome a new life is. I feel so honored to be her Nana.

(Photo: Nana and Olivia)

A grandchild fills a space in your heart that you never knew was empty.
-Author Unknown

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I have Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FM or FMS). This link explains it rather well:
I deal (or not deal) with a variety of symptoms every day. Most days, I manage it reasonably well. The last several months have been a little more difficult. My life has been blessed in spite of FMS. I have a wonderful husband who loves and supports me thru it all.

Do not fear the winds of adversity. Remember: A kite rises against the wind rather than with it.
-Author Unknown

(Photo: Backyard Beauty - Joseph's Coat Rose)

Friday, August 17, 2007

i've had nothing to say

Over a month ago I finally decided to begin a blog. So why have I not posted since? Guess I'll begin all over again...tomorrow! Until then, a few quotes about Faith I've reflected on:

Faith is a living and unshakable confidence,
A belief in God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake.
-Martin Luther

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.
-Helen Keller

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
-Hebrews 11:1 (NSB)

(Photo: Sky Sundog, near Boone, NC)

Friday, July 13, 2007


This blog is my journal...a means by which I can "talk" about my life, even if no one else is listening.

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.
-Mother Teresa

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.
-Henry Ward Beecher

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007