A moment

All it takes is the mention of your name and I drift away from the moment.
My mind turns to my memories of you: your smile, your laugh, your touch, the scent of your cologne.
Reality fades into a dream world as the memories of you move to the fore-front of my mind.
In the midst of the swirl of activity, I go to that place and I’m still safe and protected with you.
You are always there and my heart beats a little faster at the thought of seeing you again.
Sadly, reality refuses be shoved to the side for very long and as quickly as the memories come, you are gone.
But for a moment, a precious moment, you were there, a reminder of how blessed I was to have you in my life.
I will be back. For your name is never far from my lips. I’ll be there to snatch another memory, another moment with you.
For it’s in my memories where love still lives.

Winter Does End

Spring has officially arrived. After months of blah winter, we are entering SPRING! We love to talk about the seasons. Usually, lamenting the current and looking forward to the future. And it’s the same with the various stages of life. We can’t wait to get to the “next” point and too often we miss the best parts of where we are.

Spring. The word itself makes me think of bouncing. Spring is excitement, joy and everything new. The trees are putting on new green growth. The flowers are starting to bloom. The clothes are lighter and just feel more FUN. We do spring cleaning and move into this new season with a bounce in our step. In life, the spring season may be a new love, a new job, a new family member. Everything is new and exciting and still to be explored. And, we just can’t wait for summer to arrive.

Summer. Sun. Vacation. Play. Rest. Summer is FREEDOM. Time to enjoy life and take a break from the hum-drum of the normal routine. It’s a time to look at the beauty that spring provided even as the leaves turn from bright green to a darker more somber shade. School is out and camps are in full swing. Vacations are full speed ahead and we wear ourselves out relaxing. And, summer brings heat. And, we complain. We don’t like the heat. We don’t want to be hot. We just want to have fun. We want to go back to the joy and newness of spring. And we forget to enjoy the summer moments. We look forward to fall.

Fall. Crisp autumn air brings a welcome coolness after the heat of summer. The trees begin to lose their green and turn to yellow, orange and red and finally brown. The pink and red hibiscus of summer are replaced with the yellow and purple of the fall pansies. We pull out the heavier clothing and prepare to bundle up. I think fall is my favorite season. It’s a time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished. Many activities in the fall are preparation for endings, but we celebrate those endings with bright colors and lots of fanfare. Fall is the time of looking back and reflecting and remembering as we enter the winter season.

Winter. Words to describe winter are cold, dead, bleak, gray. Winter is a time of death, a time of struggling to protect what was. We look for protection. We wear heavy coats and keep doors and windows shut. We hurry from place to place to avoid winter. In many ways, we just exist while we are looking forward to the spring. Just as ice and snow can sometimes cover the landscape, I can feel encased and frozen in my personal season. It’s during winter that we prepare for growth. Winter is vital. I have a rosebush in my front yard that I grew from a cutting from a bush at my parents house. The first three or four years that I had this little rosebush I protected it from winter. I covered it in when it was too cold to keep it warm and protect it from freezing. I had no roses. One year I didn’t cover it and let it freeze. It was full of the most beautiful roses in the spring. That rosebush has to freeze to produce roses. It’s important to go thru a full winter cycle in order to bloom. In our lives we have to go through winter. We have to “just exist” for a time in order to fully bloom when spring returns.

Every season in life is important. We need the newness of spring, the full heat of summer, the changes of fall and the barrenness of winter. And, we must learn to live and I mean REALLY live in each season. If we are always looking for the “new and exciting” in life, how can we find the joy that is available to us in the comfort of the ever-changing but familiar parts of life. Instead of dreading the heat that comes with maturing and facing life, maybe it would be better to embrace the challenges as opportunities to grow. I’m not a fan of change, but there is no way to avoid the changes that will come into my life. I have to be able to celebrate the past and move forward. And, during those times that I feel frozen, unnecessary or maybe a little dead inside, I need to embrace the time to be dormant and to rebuild. I don’t just exist in a shell as a faint memory of what once was. The harder the winter, the more beautiful the blooms that will come in the spring.

Listening, Waiting, Living

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:31-34 NLT

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 NLT

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 NLT

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 NLT

“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:12-13 NLT

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT

We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19 NLT

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths,bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23: 1-6 NLT

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side! I praise God for what he has promised; yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised. Psalm 56:8-10 NLT


My mind floats back to days when life just seemed simpler:
Playing chase or hide-and-seek with the neighbors.
Hours of pretending the cellar door was a mountain that had to be conquered and then rolling down the gentle hill to start over again.
Taking turns being the “mother duck” and letting the real ducks follow us all over the yard.
Sitting in the back seat with my brother and cousin while our mothers would look for birds and being told to “Be quiet”. A lot.
Staying up late and then rushing to turn the TV off before the National Anthem was played and the test screen signaled the end of another day.
Climbing the antenna tower that held the TV antenna that provided all three television stations.
Trying to crawl under the house, only to chicken out because is was dark and spooky and just thinking about it made it hard to breath.
Walking along the creek and gathering cattails and wild flowers or running through the deep gully’s that were cut into the red dirt.
Gathering eggs in the evening with my grandmother or watching her scoop the cream off the top of the bucket of milk that Grandpa brought in after milking the cows.
Watching Grandpa “saucer” his coffee in the morning while eating hot biscuits with fresh churned butter.
Going to the lumber yard with Daddy to get a new jump ropes: one long enough to use with friends at school and one just long enough to jump alone.
Learning to jump rope and hula-hoop and climb the monkey bars and play kick-ball and twirl a baton with my friends at school.
Complaining about the pins when I had to try on new clothes my Mom was making for me.
Taking my sister to the swimming pool in the front basket on my bicycle.
The excitement of a birthday party.
Sitting on Granny’s front porch eating watermelon or Easter eggs or home-made ice cream.
Hours spent selecting and then playing with paper dolls cut out of the Sears, Montgomery Ward and Penney’s catalogues with my aunt.
Taking a cold drink on a hot day to my dad while he plowed the wheat fields and then getting to ride the tractor with him.
Early morning swimming lessons with Mr. Erwin in the COLD water of the City Pool.

I was always so eager to be older and to be an adult. Adulthood has its good points, but it also comes with LOTS of responsibilities. Enjoy today. You will never get it back.


Your Story

Recently, a friend commented while watching a man riding his bike through the traffic “I wonder what his story is?” We all have a story. And, there is someone in the world that can benefit from your story. You just have to be willing to share it.

I used to believe that I had a very boring story. I grew up in a happy and content family. My parents were living examples of “til death do you part.” My siblings and I got along. My parents were known as the “cool parents.” I grew up in church and became a Christian when I was 10 years old. I graduated from high school at the top of my class and had the pick of which university I wanted to attend. I chose a small east Texsas college and graduated in 4 years. Never a big partier, I was involved with the Baptist Student Ministry and travelled on weekends to sing at churches in the area. I had a job offer that I accepted before I finished my senior year. As I moved on into adulthood, I lived a kind of charmed life. So, when I was asked to share my story, I did it with little excitement and maybe a bit apologetically.

As I matured, I realized that there were people that found value in my story. Even my boring story was important to someone. As a heart-broken single adult, a new bride, an expectant mom or a tired parent, I could share my experiences. This caused others to share their own stories and we built community together on those experiences.

But the true value of sharing my story has become most evident recently. For my story of a charmed life has taken a new twist. Grief has painted a different patina on my view of life. Things that were once boring are now priceless. I’ve learned not to take the ordinary for granted, because it is often the ordinary that becomes extraordinary in every day life. My story is one of brokenness and survival. It’s a story of God’s continuing blessings in a dark and horrible time. And as I tell my story and listen to the stories around me, my heart heals a little more.

Every story is important. Every story needs to be heard. What’s your story?


Don’t you hate getting interrupted? Just when the plot thickens on your favorite show, the phone rings or one of the kids needs you NOW. Does it drive you crazy? It does me! I’m a confessed control freak, so interruptions are NOT something that I look upon with kindness.

My Ladies Bible Study group has just started “Jonah, A Life Interrupted” by Priscilla Shirer. From the onset of this study, we’ve been asked to look at our own interrupted lives. And we’ve all had interruptions. Maybe it was not being noticed by ‘THAT BOY’ that brought your dreams crashing down. Maybe you didn’t get into the college you had dreamed about for years. Or maybe, you did get into that college and it wasn’t what you expected. Maybe your marriage doesn’t look like you dreamed and you are frustrated and upset with the lack of communication. You just want to be “HAPPY”. Maybe your marriage is over and you never expected to live life as a single parent. Maybe death has ended dreams for yourself, your marriage or your family. Maybe you just realized that your close friend is embarrassed to be seen with you in public. All of these things are interruptions. Of course, there are the GOOD interruptions, too. Do you have any of those? The “surprise” baby that has increased your family, a new and budding friendship, a new and challenging job. Even happy events can interrupt our life, our plans. Usually, interruptions or changes to our lives are unwelcome.

Job was a man who had his life interrupted. And yet, these are the words recorded in Job 1:20-21 after he has lost everything:
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; May the name of the Lord be praised.”

When my life is interrupted I need to stop asking God “Why?” Possibly, I would be better served to ask “Who?” Life’s interruptions may cause pain and sorrow and bring grief and tears. Things I would rather avoid. We’ve all heard it said “No pain, no gain.” So, why do I expect God to give me an easy path and increase my faith and strengthen my spiritual life. I will only grow and get stronger as I work thru the interruptions. I guess I need to change my view and instead of seeing interruptions to MY plans, I need to see opportunities for God to work in my life. I’m not there yet. I still have dreams that are dangling by a thread, plans that may never be fulfilled and lots of tears to shed. But, I’m learning to praise the name of the Lord thru the interruptions. And, I’m learning that I’m to really praise HIM, not just a perfunctory praise whispered under my breath. I need to praise Him with all my strength, to shout that praise from the top of my lungs regardless of what has brought me to my knees.