Winter!

5 Comments

I wrote a post for my blog this morning.   It was eloquent and descriptive.  It described the appearance of several deer outside our backyard.  A correlation was made between the natural camouflage of the deer, standing against the drab and brown backdrop of West Texas, and those seasons of our lives that are characterized by a dull, mundane existence.  The inviting words and descriptive phrases flowed with a quaint hint of where the post was leading.  At least, that was the perception of this want-a-be professional writer.  Then I lost it!  It was gone!  Revision had turned into delete and technical ignorance morphed the post into nothingness.    Gone!

Time was spent looking and searching, to no avail.  What had seemed an inventive and inspiring addition to this evolving work, which is my blog, turned out to be unread words, destined to be a non-descript bit of knowledge, for this writer’s future.  Although none of you will be drawn into the mesmerizing scene that unfolded just outside our fence, I caught a glimpse of the power that words can have.  Taking that scene and putting it into words was like painting a beautiful picture to share with others.  Giving freedom to the power of that moment and allowing the One who created it to open up the eyes of my soul, I realized that even when we feel lost and bewildered by the drab and dull times in our lives, there is a beauty in what God is doing.  For those 5 beautiful deer, the backdrop of the dry and brown West Texas brush and mesquites, was a scene of safety.  Hidden amidst the dead leaves and grass were tiny patches of green; color that would help feed and sustain their existence.  Had the scene been one of a budding spring or the full blown green of summer, or even the fading colors of fall, the blending browns and grays, black and tans of their coats could have been boldly seen.  Instead, they faded in to the monochromatic shades of winter and fed leisurely in the early morning sun.

What lesson did I take from this brief glimpse out my window this morning?  There are those times in our lives, when we feel dull, lost, hurt and confused by the season we pass through.  The absence of vibrant laughter and the missing of familiar voices lend our hearts to see life as mundane and lacking the joy of colorful activities.  If we will but open up the eyes of our soul, we will see that those are often the times when we are more enriched and sustained in the simplicity of the days.  We are protected from the distractions and noise that prevent our listening to the voice of the One who made us.  We are allowed to graze on the fullness of brief moments of color that illuminate and nourish our soul to a healthier, more balanced existence.  The lesson this morning was sweet!  I will embrace the quiet, mundane and seemingly dull seasons of my life, knowing that like the deer, my God will strengthen, sustain and protect through that season.  He will restore my soul –  just as He restores to me, even those things that seemed lost…like a simple blog post.

Habakkuk 3:19 says, “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invinsible army; He makes my feet like hind’s (deer’s) feet and will make me to walk and make progress upon my high places (of trouble and suffering)!  Amplified Bible

A Work of Art

2 Comments

I have been asking myself, “What is the purpose for this blog I write?”  Do I impart great wisdom and profound opinions about any particular subject?  Is there a message that I desire to convey as I share my heart with others?  The answer that has reverberated through my soul is one of HOPE.  There is hope for each of us – no matter what our life situations.  I write about my life.  I write about my family.  I write about my God.  Yes, I know that life, family, and God are of interest to many people.  I know too, that there is a need for thoughts and ideas and just plain good advice to be shared, about each of these subjects. But most of my writing is about MY life.  It is about events, situations and feelings – the goings on of everyday living.  I do NOT have all the answers!  There is one fact though, that has been interwoven into every aspect of my life and thus, my writing.  It is the fact that the threads of this life have been held together by a sovereign and eternal God.  That statement might imply that every day has been easy, it hasn’t.  I wish it meant that each day has unfolded like a tapestry that has no spot or blemish or wrinkle.  I would love to say it will end like a wonderful book, written with my chosen story book ending for the participants and characters which are my life.  But I can’t and I won’t!  There are those times, when life doesn’t happen OR end up the way we thought it should or would.  These days, which I have been given to live, are days of unknown and wonder.  Day which have allowed me to see the unfolding of a story written and edited and illustrated by the very Creator of the universe.  His orchestration of this symphony, which is my life, has resulted in miracles and blessings which I could never have composed.  I am thankful that because of Him, my life is a work of art…and I will share it!

Jeremiah 29: 11 says, “For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and for peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your future.”

He Danced with Me

1 Comment

Years have passed since He asked me to dance. The music around was joyful and loud  My world was good, but the weight of my soul within was heavy and tired. The day to day living of life threatened to drain the joy, the smiles and the laughter from me. Then, He asked me to dance!

Never did I expect that the natural happenings of life would be anything but easy – and natural.  We were young when we married but it was the right time for us.  College and new jobs filled the first years with adventure and anticipation for the future.  We looked forward to a good life together and the family we would share it with.

I closed my eyes and breathed a sigh of resignation.  I knew I could not carry the weight.  I did not feel strong enough and will to go forward was beginning to waiver.  But then,, He was standing there with love and understanding in His eyes.  He knew.

Those first years for us were just plain fun.  Our plans for a family were sure and simple; we would have a family!  The first pregnancy, though, ended in a miscarriage.  My heart broke and my untried faith plummeted. Further attempts and subsequent medical procedures failed and we began adoption proceedings.  Then what seemed impossible happened.  We were going to have a baby.  The joy was inexplicable and we waited.

I looked into His eye.  They were so full of tenderness and compassion.  He knew my heart.  He saw my soul and felt my pain.  His hand reached out and He said, “Dance with me.”

We were ready when our miracle baby was born.  He was beautiful and he weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces.  He was our miracle and he was born with a rare birth anomaly called Prune Belly Syndrome.  We were told he mighht live a few hours, a few days, or maybe a few years – they did not know!  He had no abdominal musculature and his renal system was severely malformed.  There in my hospital room, we thanked God for every minute we woud have with him, and we gave him back to the Lord.  Every day, for many years to come, would be full of uncertainty and fears, but every day has been a treasure.  Today, he is a healthy 6’4″ tall and is a daily walking miracle.

Full of uncertainty, I took His hand and He drew me to my feet.  The music filled my soul.  His touch was gentle and easy while His moves were strong and sure.

Our second son came to us unexpectedly.  A light-hearted, spur of the moment “hey, if you deliver any babies that need a family, give us a call,” spoken to a dear doctor friend, at church, opened the door for another son.  He was born to a young girl, who laid aside her own heart, to see him placed with a Mom and Dad and hopefully, a more stable future.  Born with a severe club foot, he was placed a tiny sock cast and delivered to our arms when he was three days old.  The magnitude of that moment reverberates in my soul even now.  This little guy was ours.  We were his family – for always!  Would we be enough to fill the void left in his heart by her absence?  Could we…would we do it well?  As we held him and thanked God for him, we entrusted our son and our participation in his life, back to the Lord.  Today, he is the father of 3 wonderful children, a fine man and a continued joy in our lives and the very young girl who gave him birth – she found us and him.  What a blessing it has been to see the intertwining of her life and ours through this precious boy.

The music filled the room.  We were alone, just Jesus and me.  His eyes were reassuring and His smile was strength to my soul.  My steps were uncertain and I tried to lead, but He gently guided me into the fullness of the music.

We were done!  Our family was complete!  The boys were ten and seven and life had settled into some sense of the normalcy we had always hoped for.  Then came the news that I was pregnant.  The joy of that news was almost overshadowed by unarguable realities that came with the pregnancy.  I was battling systemic lupus and had been taking medications for that disease.  Because of those medication, we were advised to terminate the unexpected pregnancy.  Doctors told us that it was not a matter of IF the baby would have problems, but WHAT would the problems be.  We said, “No, we will trust God to care for this baby, and for us.” He did!  Twenty-two weeks of complete bed rest and 8 weeks of hospitalization, some 60 miles away from Jim and the boys, was the price paid for a perfect 5 pound 3 ounce baby girl.  In awe, we sat on the side of my hospital bed and thanked God for our little girl and we released her back to her Creator for His leadership and guidance and care.

How long we danced, I do not know.  I only know He danced with me.  As He held me in His arms, the cares of my world and the tiredness of my soul just fell away with the music.  His eyes of love and understanding filled my heart with reassurance and I knew that I would be ok.  I WAS ok!  The energy and rhythm and lost-ness, of that moment, set freedom to my soul.  The dance changed me.  My Jesus loved me and assured me that He “…takes pleasure in His people.  He will beautify the humble…” (Psalm 149:4)

He danced with me, and I am glad1

A Road Not Traveled

5 Comments

I am feeling a bit nostalgic today.  I am almost 59 years old.  My life has been good.  My life IS good.  I have a good marriage and my children are good people.  I am blessed!   I find myself at a juncture in life though…between youth (although that was a few years ago!) and old age.  It is a challenge.  Almost daily I become more aware of the changes around that have, in days past, only tweeked on the edge of my consciousness. I see my children building lives that no longer demand the constancy of my attention and the day by day wisdom and guidance that moms and dads are called to give.  Oh, they do still ask from time to time – and I do still freely offer – but it’s different.  I am witness to them forging relationships that are intended to replace me and the strong bonds that we shared, and I mourn – even as I CELEBRATE their graduation into the lives and relationships we raised them to live.  I look at the adult individuals they are, and I am encouraged to lay down my sorrows for the mistakes that I know I made in their young lives, and to celebrate the fine character and good hearts that each of them possess as they move forward and live life…and I breathe a sigh of thanks for the privilege of being their mom.

The kid’s passage, out of my day to day existence, reopens my eyes to the relationship that has glued the parts and pieces of my life together for 38 years – my marriage.  It has been and is a GOOD marriage.  It has been one of ups and downs – of joys and sorrows.  The laughter and tears have welded us together in a way that no struggles of life can rip apart.  The strength of bond which is ours has come not only from a deep love, honor and respect, but from facing disappointments and embracing mistakes and sacrificing our own passions, dreams and desires.  Finding myself at this place, face to face with my husband, distracted not, by the all-encompassing role of mother, I am humbled to embrace what he has done to make this life possible for me.  He has not given up!  He has forged on when he saw me loosing myself in the fears and responsibilities and unknowns of raising three very special children.  He has made the sacrifices and changes in his work and career to see me give myself full-time to being mom.  He has laid down his dreams for me…and because of me and our family.  He is a good man; although he is not perfect!  He is a hard-working man…and he loves me!  The clarity of this knowledge wraps itself around my heart, and again, I breathe a sigh of thanks for the blessing of sharing my life with him.

This juncture in the road lets me see that the horizon of my life grows closer.  The roads I choose to travel and even the roads that are chosen for me will be full of changing scenery and travel wonders and challenges.  I could choose the road of sadness and disappointments for mistakes and wrong paths traveled.  It would be entangled by the emotions of loss and unattained dreams…or even the stark realization of scars left visible by harrowing life experiences and life altering events and illnesses.   Rather, I would choose the road which embraces the goodness of years gone by.  Years filled with the steady growing love in a marriage set upon the foundation of Christ; a marriage made more stable and sure with each challenge overcome and every sacrifice made for another. Yes, I am almost 59 years old and the horizon of life grows closer, but I will anticipate and enjoy the road set before me – before us.  It is a new road!  It is a road of new scenery, challenges and life events that will only enhance the beauty, as we travel on toward the sunset of our lives…and it will be GOOD!

So That’s What it Means to Blog

4 Comments

The blogging experience has been good so far!  Two blogs posted and one draft saved, 13 positive comments and 121 views…I’m on my way.  I think!  I published that first blog and I had views from Hong Kong and Australia and comments from 3 people; people I didn’t even know.  I was fired up and ready for more.  I never really expected anyone to read my blog and I sure didn’t expect any comments…and I had 3!   I started the blogging exercise to just write.  You know,  put some of the words that  roll around in my head down on paper, then send them out into the blogosphere to be read.  The writing part is moving along pretty good, but my daughter did tell me last night I needed to save some of stories and ideas for that book I’ve always dreamed of writing.  Like the book I’m going to call, Cats, Kittens and Suppositories and then the one titled The Phone is Ringing, the Doorbell’s Chiming, The Timer’s Buzzing and The Neighbor Just Called to Report a Swirly!   I’m really not sure what she thinks I am doing, but it seems her brother has similar ideas.  Don’t get me wrong, they have both been super encouraging and just plain excited about my blogging, but his comment was “Mom, have you thought about writing fiction?” Hummmmm, I thought!  Maybe I need to explore this thing called BLOGGING!  So I did!

A blog is defined as a website on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information etc on a regular basis.  I would deduce then, that to blog,  is to record MY opinions and information about a particular subject.  So my next step in being a successful blogger will be to find the areas upon which I have an opinion or knowledge that I think worthy to share.  BIG PROBLEM!  If you ask my husband or one of my children, the daughter-in-laws, brothers or sisters, friends past and present, or for that matter, anyone who knows me, you will be told I have an opinion and at least THINK I have knowledge about most any subject, event or situation.  With that fact in mind, blogging should come quite easy!  The big challenge will be to FOCUS my recorded “opinions, information,etc” to those subjects that arouse my passion for expression and blog away.  As for the books I dream of writing, thanks kids, I do believe I will take up the challenge and be a writer when I grow up!

I Would Guess It is Time!

19 Comments

It is time!  I know that it’s January the 8th and I know that anyone with any sense at all has already done it.  Christmas Day has come and gone and a brand new year is here.  I don’t see the colors and decorations of the holidays gracing the aisles at Walmart and even the clearance aisles have dwindled down to the least wanted and really out of the ordinary holiday items.  Day by day, the lights on the houses have disappeared and a semblance of normalcy settles back in to the neighborhood.  Yeah, it is time I guess.  It is time to take down the Christmas tree!

I really should admit that it’s early for me this year.    My goal has always been to have it down by January 15, and most years that has happened, but not always.  Now I know that the busyness of life can prevent some people from just “getting it done!”  Not me…I leave it up by choice!  I would probably leave it up all year , except that, that might put me in the category of eccentric and just a little bit odd.  I imagine that even leaving it up as long as I do causes some consternation in the eyes of some, as to my oddness.

What is it about the Christmas tree that grabs hold of my heart and holds it?  How much time do you have?  Time…does that word grab hold of something within you?  My Christmas tree is a representation of the passage of time.  It represents a lifetime of love, of joy and excitement, laughter and tears, and of a foundational belief system that has held my life solid and secure for 57 years. It is decorated with a multitude of glass, wood, metal, pottery, paper and whatnots too numerous to name.  Hanging on the branches of this tree are unassuming baubles that hold memories of moments long passed but etched into our memories.  One special ornament that  hangs toward the top of the tree and is nestled in a secure spot, is one of three surviving Christmas balls that hung on my Mama and Daddy’s first Christmas tree, over 60 years ago. The other 2 balls hang on my brother and sister’s trees.  That one tiny piece of delicate glass, faded into a muted red with a delicate scene of snow is a picture of the years of determined love and care and sacrifice that were given to us by Mom and Dad.  A determined love, because as a young couple, they chose to instill into their family the knowledge that no matter what life might bring and changes might occur-we were loved.  They would be there…and they were! They determined, even before we were born, that they would build their home on a foundation of love.  Love demonstrated in the very reason we celebrate Christmas…Jesus!  They built their lives upon that representation and  foundation of love.  They built their lives, and thus ours, upon Jesus!

Amidst the many bits of decor, is a wooden reindeer that was our son Zachary’s first ornament.  Poised for fight, this tiny reindeer is set to leap forward; just as Zachary has been since his first day of life…allowing nothing to hinder his way, despite huge obstacles.  This year, we added a tiny decoration  for Reid, Zach’s young son.  His first to hang on our tree!  Smiling out from amidst the branches is a tiny, gold, heart- shaped picture which came home from Sunday School with our son, Nathan.  That sweet smile and tender look are almost perfectly reflected in the face of his young son, Evan…a sweet spirit that will live on from one generation to the next.  Hanging elegantly on another branch is a tiny green velvet dress, so reminiscent of the little girl who has grown to be my precious adult daughter.  Her beauty and style are represented in the soft green velvet of that dress!   These are but four of the many decorations that hang on my Christmas tree.  Every tiny bauble holds a memory, every sparkling bulb reflects the laughter and tears of years gone by.   The gatherings around the tree have changed over the years.  Mom and Dad are gone and their absence is felt anew each year as we congregate together.  New faces have emerged!  The boys have married and added two very special ladies to our family.  Four precious grandbabies, Byson, Evan, Madi and Reid bring the excitement and anticipation of children back into our  times together at Christmas.

Yes, I would think that it is time to take the Christmas tree down.  The little angel, who’s really a bit small for the tree, will be carefully swaddled in tissue paper and tenderly placed in her box to wait for next year.  The ribbons will be rolled and each ornament will be wrapped and stored away.  I will carefully disassemble the tree, pack it up and wonder what changes will occur before it is taken out of the box, next year.  Even after all is done and no signs of the holidays remain, that one little 60 year old, muted red ornament with the delicate snow scene, that hangs high near the top of the tree; although packed in a special little plastic container, will still sparkle and shine.  It will shine in the hearts of a family…my family!  It will shine because it represents the love that has made Christmas and my Christmas tree so special to me.  It is the love that doesn’t end or change with the seasons or months of the years…or even with the years. It is the love that transcends all TIME.  It is the love upon which this family has been built…just like my family before.   The tree will come down!  But the picture of love that it represents will continue to shine in this house and beyond, until the branches are again assembled and our Christmas tree again adorns this home..

Just Let Me Write!

5 Comments

Overcoming the dreaded fear of sitting down at this computer is a big step.  The power’s on, a few blogs have been read and I am sitting here thinking what on earth am I going to write and why would anyone want to read my blog.  I don’t know if anyone will read this blog, but I am challenged…I will start blogging!

I have “talked” about writing for almost 32 years and believe me, I have written volumes. These writing can be found hiding all over the house…under beds, in big rubber containers, between the pages of magazines and books, in the margins of books!  You will find my writing on notebook paper and in spirals and there are personal journals that are stored on shelves and organized by year. There are notebooks that were intended for grocery list and menus but those list were overtaken with thoughts and ideas and soon became, instead, part of the collection which is my writing.

Writing is a passion.  It is a drive.  Writing is something I have to do. Many times over the years, I have tried to stop the freehand stuff and modernize my writing with the computer…it just hasn’t happened…and the jury is still out on whether this attempt at keyboard writing will fulfill the writer need within me.  I hope it does!  That’s been one of my biggest excuses for not writing, I like to freehand write and writing on the computer just isn’t the same.  OK, that just isn’t true!  It’s just been another excuse for not putting a concerted effort in to writing something of substance…something to be read by others. 

All I know is that the need to put my thoughts on paper are almost overwhelming at times.  I saw a movie one time and there was a man who copied page after page, chapter after chapter and book after book.  There was a name for that compulsion – I don’t remember what it was called.  It kind of worried me for awhile and then I realized that’s not me.  I don’t write for the sake of seeing the written word or the physical act of writing itself.  I write to express my heart…my soul. My writing is an extension of me. So, this is the beginning of something that I have dreamed about and talked about for years and now I am going to do it.  I’m not sure yet the direction it will take or even if it will take a direction, but I will try to do it!  So here goes!