Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for so many things I hate to start trying to list them for fear that I might leave something out. You are just going to have to trust me--I do have a grateful heart. I hope I express that all year long, not only at this time of year. You, my readers, can hold me accountable. If I ever seem to be ungrateful, I expect you to let me know. You have my permission to leave negative comments.

Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by God's goodness and blessings heaped upon me, all I can do is simply say, "Thank You God...for everything."

My prayer is that each of my readers will be just as overwhelmed as I. As we rush about the next few days, and the next few months, let us all remember where every rich blessing, even every breath we take, comes from. And let us all say, "Thank You God...for everything!"

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Company's Comin'

Hey y'all, I'd love to chat but I don't have time! I'm cleaning house 'cause company's comin'.

You may say, "What's the big deal?"

The big deal is, when you live like we do, (traveling about the country) you never have company! No one ever comes to visit.

But Rick's parents are coming for Thanksgiving. Yea! They left Houston this morning and are expected to arrive here some time tomorrow. (They are taking their sweet time getting here, but that's okay--they are old.) LOL Glynda, if you read this, I love ya! (I may have just blown my Christmas present!)

Like most days lately I've had too many interruptions and my day has not turned out like I had planned, so I've got to get busy! The dust rag and vacuum cleaner are not doing their "thang" without me!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Consider The Alternative

If you've spent much time here you know that I'm all about finding joy in the journey. Where you're headed in this life, (or the life after this one) your destination, is important. But Christ didn't die for you and me just so we could reach our destination. He died that we might live, even now, and live abundantly.

When I look to my destination, I like what I see, and I want to be there soon. And as they say, time flies when your having fun. So, I try my best to have a blast, living abundantly as I journey to eternity. That's one reason I look for joy.

Another reason I'm hung up on joy hunting is, though life is short, it is too long to be miserable every day of it.

I'm going to tell you something now that doesn't sound joyful.

I HATE washing dishes!

So that's my word for today--hate.

Defined: v.--dislike intensely

Colloquially--dislike or be reluctant to do something

My favorite synonyms--be disinclined to, aversion

I am disinclined to stand at the sink, and make a soapy, soupy, slimy mess while sweating and cleaning the same dishes I've cleaned before. (Twice today, three times yesterday, and the day before and the day before that and...) You get my point? I guess I'm the kind of person that thinks life, because it is a journey, should move onward and upward. While I'm washing dishes my body is at a standstill and I have nothing to show for my efforts when I'm done. My mind can whiz along, but the tedious boredom of plate wiping is less than inspirational.

I have a theory. It's about hell. Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth happens over a sink of hot sudsy water and stacks and stacks of dirty dishes. I think hell has enough dirty dishes to keep the damned scrubbing for eternity. (the dishes used by the Groom, His bride, and all the guests at the great wedding feast) Be certain there is enough fire to keep the water good and hot, and the devil doesn't provide rubber gloves!

Repent now and be saved, or forever have dishpan-hands! And don't be expecting any little demons to offer to pick up a towel and dry either!

That's my theory. You don't have to agree, but just in case I'm correct, you might want to make sure you have things right with God now, because you never know when your table's gonna get cleared!

Back to my word--hate.

Like I said, I hate washing dishes. I hate other things too, like heavy traffic made up of crazy drivers, standing in a long check-out line, gum (or dog poo) on the bottom of my shoe, etc. Now I can easily leave it at that because, frankly, I like to hate gum on my shoe--I like to complain about standing in long lines--I love to despise traffic, and hating to wash dishes sits well with me. (And hating to do dishes means I hate hell, and that's good. Right?) But hating things, even things that are good and acceptable to hate, robs me of joy. So, when I find myself in the middle of a hate frenzy, here's what I try to do.

Consider the alternative.

Gum on the bottom of my shoe gives me joy when I think of the alternative--having no shoes and stepping in gum (or dog poo) with my bare feet. What about heavy traffic? The alternative is walking everywhere I go. That might be good for my figure but bad for my feet, especially if I had no shoes! I couldn't get far or do much in a day, so I can be glad about something when I'm bumper to bumper on Airport Blvd. Standing in long checkout lines has an up-side...humm...I'll have to get back to you on that one. And dirty dishes--

I'm thankful for dirty dishes for they have a tale to tell.

While other may go hungry, we are eating well.

So as Thanksgiving Day approaches, think about the things you love to hate, consider the alternative, and rejoice, be glad, and offer thanks to God for those things. Then, help someone else find joy in their journey. Leave your comments here about the things that you hate and the joy that you've found as you considered the alternative.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Want To See Something Funny? or Tribute To A Good Friend

I don't have many friends. Maybe I'm not a very friendly person, I don't know. I try to be. I've never been the popular one, so let's just say, I'm not expecting a crowd at my funeral. But what I lack in quantity I make up for in quality. I've got a few really cool, true blue, top notch, you can't beat 'em, friends. Let me tell you about one. Her name is Debbie.

I met Debbie when I was "the new kid at school" in the fifth grade. My family moved into her community just days before Christmas, and when classes resumed after the first of the year, I stumbled, wide-eyed and scared to death, into a strange class room. Debbie was friendly. She was the first kid to speak to me, offered to be my friend, and has stuck to her word for 35 years.

Debbie was the kind of friend every girl wanted to have. She never stole a boyfriend, never talked about me behind my back, never quit hanging out with me to hang out with someone more popular, and when she was a cheerleader in Jr. High, (that was back in the day before they called those awful years middle school) she let me come over to her house and jump around, waving her pom poms, and act like an idiot. We had sleepovers where we talked all night and ate cold fried chicken out of her refrigerator. When we went on field trips and had to pack a lunch, my lunches were always boring, but Debbie always had one of those huge dill pickles in her lunch. And she always shared with me. I was terrible at spelling but Debbie was a whiz at it. She has always laughed at me about the way I can't spell, but she was a great help when we were doing homework together.

As a kid, and for many years after childhood, I had a reoccurring dream about Debbie. I dreamed we were both walking and pulling little red wagons. Then suddenly I would be walking down a long tunnel alone, still pulling my little red wagon. The farther I went, the more stuff would accumulate in my wagon. Toys mostly. Ever now and the there would be a gap in the wall of my tunnel and I would look through it and see Debbie, walking down her own tunnel and pulling her little red wagon. She was collecting toys too. No matter how long the tunnel was, I could always find Debbie across from me, in the gap.

We went to school together only four years, then I moved away. But Debbie was not the kind of friend that would let distance or time destroy a friendship. We wrote letters and kept in touch. We each grew up, got married, had children...our little red wagons have turned into big boats and they are both fully loaded. But Debbie is still there in the gaps. On the wonderful but rare occasions when we get to see one another or talk on the phone it's as if there is no time or distance between us. Yep, Debbie is a treasure.

One of those gaps where I know I can always find my friend is my birthday. I don't think Debbie has missed sending me a birthday card--ever. I don't know how she does it, but there is always a card and it is never late. (I wish I could be more like her.) My birthday was in October, and like clockwork, a card from Debbie was delivered to my home address (poor girl didn't have any idea where my temporary home might be.) My daughter called to tell me it had arrived, so I was happy.

It took some time for my kids to get all our mail together, then get their act together, then find a box the right size, then remember, then get their act together again, before they were finally able to send it to me. Then DHL decided that my box of mail needed to travel about the country more than a week before it was finally delivered to me here in Mobile. So I finally get to see my birthday card from my sweet friend Debbie.
Here is the front of the Shoebox Hallmark card.
And here is the tender message inside.
What was all that stuff I was saying about Debbie being the kind of friend every girls wants?

Okay dear friends, here it is...my 40 something year-old arm dangle. I've got it but I don't think it is quite ready to be flapping in the wind!
I still love ya Debbie. And I can't think of any other girlfriend with whom I'd rather go "flapping" about the countryside in a red convertible!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall in Mobile

Boy have I been busy, or lazy, or both. I've attempted to post several times but have encountered one distraction after another. This is not the post I've been working on, so maybe I'm distracting myself. A.D.D.? Na...just scatter-brained.

Back in the spring we were working in Atlanta, then we made our way up the east side of the U.S. to Virginia, remember? I found it interesting that we seemed to chase spring as we went north. Spring came to Atlanta while we were there and as we traveled northward, we were able to see the trees budding again and again.

Fall has happened to us much the same. Though we missed the great colors in New England, some of the trees were starting to blush when we left in September. The trees in Amarillo were starting to show signs of turning during our short lay-over there in October. Baton Rouge was still pretty green when we got there, but as we hooked on and hauled to Mobile, colors were showing a hint in the trees. And now in November, fall has come to Mobile.

There are many trees here--lots of pine and other evergreens, and some changing hardwoods. The contrast between the deep greens and reds and golds is beautiful.
Like Mimi's lip prints left on the precious cheeks of Natalie and Gabriella is the kiss of fall on this maple.

This morning I watched the Weather Channel and thought how diverse is our land--New York had a half a foot of snow, Dallas was under thunderstorms, pleasant temperatures but with cold wind across the plains--and I'm in the middle of beautiful temperatures and fallen leaves...
And if we remain in Mobile for a while, spring will be here before you know it! But today, I will enjoy fall--my favorite time of year.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's All About Hope

I'm back! And you didn't even know I was gone!

It was a quick trip but well worth the drive. Last Friday I packed my bag, threw it in the trunk of my old car and headed west on I-10--some 480 miles. I got to Houston early enough to avoid the worst of the traffic, then savored every minute I was able to spend with my first born. In case you didn't know, my daughter is getting married in a couple of months, so some friends of the groom's family gave her a bridal shower on Saturday. We had a great time and she got some nice gifts. I tried to talk her out of some of them, but she informed me that I didn't have room for them. She's right, but I would like that griddle--if I had a place to use it.
Time with my adult children is one of life's greatest blessings.


I left you the other day, hoping to make another "word" post. It didn't happen. That's how it is sometimes--things happen as we would like and then sometimes they don't. So what do we do when things aren't going just like we want?


One day, during a very low time in my life, when all things concerning me seemed wrong, sad, and doomed for destruction, I was sitting at my desk at work, thankful for my cubical walls that kept co-workers from noticing my tears. I don't remember everything that was going through my mind at the time, but apparently the Holy Spirit was interceding for me because the Lord spoke to me. He said, "It's all about hope."

The message struck me hard. I had lost hope that my circumstances would improve. I felt trapped, helpless, empty--everything negative. It was a horrible feeling, hopelessness.

I wrote that sentence down on a piece of note paper and placed it on my desk where it was sure to be in my way--sure to be constantly before me, speaking to me again and again. I needed time to digest those words. It's all about hope. What did they mean and what was I to do about it all?


Several times lately God has placed this word before me, so I'm sharing it with you as my word for today. Hope.

Defined: Expectation and desire combined. (I love this definition.)

So much of the time we have a desire for something, and we call that desire hope. For example, remember my last post? I hope I win the book give-away. I desire to win, but honestly, I don't expect to win. So my hope is weak and easily shaken. I think the drawing for the book is on the 7th. I bet that the 7th will come and go, and I'll not think about the book I didn't win until some day when I'm getting caught up on reading my favorite blogs and I come across a post on Lisa's page telling who the winners were. I really don't have much hope about the book, do I?

Concerning life's big stuff, the important things that matter the most--if we desire without expectation, we easily get discouraged and give up our desire. We lose hope.

So the secret of living a life filled with hope? Live expecting to receive those things we desire. I'll admit--easier said than done sometimes.

The other day as I drove home from the gym I saw a sign that read, "The man who has hope, has everything." I'm going to write that down because it is true. And I'll add to it the words God placed in my heart, "It's all about hope."

Yes, I think today it is all about hope. Psalm 38:15 says, "For I hope in Thee, O Lord; Thou wilt answer, O Lord my God." The only one we can take our desires to with expectations of fulfilment is the Lord our God--our Living Hope. (See 1 Peter 1:3-9)

Today of all days (election day) we need to hope. We need to pray with a desire so sincere that God will be moved to act on our behalf. And we need to pray, expecting that God can and will be all-powerful, all-knowing, and merciful.

And no matter the outcome of the vote, we must not lose hope. For without hope we will perish on our own, no enemy needed. We must make Psalm 38:15 our heart's cry. Remember we DO have hope. And that hope's name is Jesus. It's all about HOPE, and the man who has HOPE has everything.