Sunday, September 30, 2007


"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival."
- C. S. Lewis

I am grateful to all those who give value to my survival.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The one that Jesus loved

I have always found it very interesting the way that the disciple John refers to himself in scripture. He uses third person and he calls himself "the one that Jesus loved". (See John 13:23, John 20:2 and John 21:20 for examples.) I never said so out loud, but I thought him to be just a little proud. The claim John makes in his definition of himself always made me just a little uncomfortable somehow. I would explain it to myself and even others as a description of the close relationship that Jesus had with him...even Jesus had a "best" friend. And even though I still believe this is part of the illustration that is being made here, I have added something new and even more beautiful to John's confidence.

John was totally focused on Jesus' love for him. As I read through the gospel of John, and his other writings in 1, 2, and 3 John, there is a definite security in John's certainty of God's love for him. I always get the feeling that he really does feel like Jesus loves him more than anyone else in the world.

Compare John to Peter. I like Peter. He was mouthy and he spoke his mind. I can relate to Peter because his temper sometimes got him into trouble. After all didn't Peter whack off the ear of one of the servants of the High Priest who came to arrest Jesus? But Peter seemed to focus more on Peter. He was always talking about how much he loved Jesus. "I love you, Lord." "I will lay down my life for you, Lord."

Both John and Peter play important parts in the spreading of the gospel. They both were called by God to testify to the life, death and resurrection of our Savior. But John stands out to me in a different light. He zoned in on God's love for him. Peter's attention to what he could do for God got him in a little hot water toward the end. He crumbled. He denied Christ. And even though it all worked out the way it was suppose to in the end, it is John who I want to be like. He was steadfast. He was there to the end. He did not waiver. And I think it was because he knew...he knew, he knew that Jesus loved him. I know that, but I want to REALLY know John did. I want to be zoned in on the fact that I am a precious loved child of God. I am the apple of His eye.

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so!

I am proud, the way John was. I am the one that Jesus loves!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back to School

My husband started back to school this week. His goal is a Master's degree. My goal is survival. No, really, it is not that bad having him in school. He takes on-line classes, so he is at home when he is at school. This does help...sometimes. As I type, he is locked away in our oldest son's bedroom on his laptop.

A co-worker (who is also my friend) and I were talking this week about the change in our schedule with Fred starting classes. She knew I had enjoyed the summer due to Fred's decision to wait until fall to begin the new semester. She also had been witness to the pace we were dealing with when he was finishing up his bachelor's degree last year. As a matter of fact, she encouraged me to drag him to as many movies as I could last weekend knowing that is the one thing I really miss when he is so busy with homework. (and I did manage to get him to two very good movies- 3:10 to Yuma and Brave One.) However, as we talked, she observed that Fred has been a student a good portion of our married life. I suppose I never really thought about it, but she was right.

He has been going to school since our eldest son was very small and before the other two were even born. I think it was around 1985 that he began this pursuit. Wow. He has plugged away on his education for as long as I can remember. There were a few years in the late 1990's and early 2000's that he was "in between" degrees. But as soon as we got to Texas in 2005, he started back. I am proud of him. He has worked really hard.

So, here we go again. A Master's degree. I envy his perseverance. I am proud of his determination. He has a goal in mind and he desires to better himself and better our family. He wants to be an example to our children. We both would like to be able to retire...with pay. We would like to have more so that we can give more.

We will survive.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Metallic Shoes

I have always noticed shoes. I like shoes. Shoes say a lot about women. If I am at a party where I don't know very many people, sometimes I will select someone to talk to simply because of their shoes. Shoes give away secrets, like age, personality, even financial status...or maybe what one wishes of their financial status. One time at a church service, I had a lengthy conversation with the woman sitting next to me - even exchanged phone numbers - and it all started over a cute pair of shoes! I, personally, am somewhat conservative in my shoe personality. Part of that is finances. My husband is very frugal and does not REALLY understand how one woman could possibly need twenty pair of black shoes for one winter season! So, I have tried to scale the black shoe selection to 10 or 12 pair. This policy eliminates many of the trendy styles, especially when it seems they may only last for a season.

But I have a friend who really likes shoes. She buys shoes in different colors...something I don't think I have done yet! (although I actually looked at some lime green ones this past summer.) I think she is a little baffled by my shoe buying taste and although she has never said anything about my simple shoes, she has always told me that if I EVER buy metallic shoes that she would really have to say something then. Metallic shoes are ONLY for old ladies!

Well, I don't know if you have noticed, but there are a lot of metallic shoes out there right now! And I have to say, I like them! I am drawn to them. I think about how they will match nearly everything.

So, in the spring, I purchased a pair of Sketchers. The little cute kind with the criss cross strap that attaches with velcro. And they are gold. Now, let me say that the gold is very modest. When you first look at these shoes, you would think they were beige. And I was with my 25 year old niece...who works in retail I might add. She is quite trendy, and she agreed that they were cute. And no, they did not make me look old, she would wear them herself. So, I bought them, came home and promptly emailed my anti-metallic shoe wearing friend. After assuring her that my niece approved, she said she would remain my friend.

I went shopping again yesterday. This time I needed to purchase a pair of athletic shoes. (I lost one while on that retreat a couple of weeks ago!) So, I went to the mall...the Nike store no less. And can you believe that almost half the shoes were metallic or had metallic embellishment? I tried on several pairs and as I was prancing around in front of the mirror, the young (very young) sales clerk complimented my choice. I asked him, "Do I look old in these?" He replied, "Certainly not! Those shoes are very popular right now. In fact, they are very popular with young adults." Well, my next question was the obvious, "AM I TOO OLD for these shoes??" He laughed! "Of course not" And then we talked about how they fit. They felt wonderful and the friend who was with me approved as well. So, I purchased the shoes.


So there! I am confessing! I like metallic shoes! And am thrilled to say they are in least right now they are. Hooray!

I guess I should inform my friend and let her know that I did it again.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


And I should add that I did fix Freeda's roommate's blouse and covered her back up before I left the room!


Last night I met the neatest woman. Her name is Freeda and I met her as she sat in a chair, quietly in her room in a nursing home. When I walked into her room, I first noticed her roommate lying on a mattress on the floor. She was sleeping, but fitfully struggling with her her blouse that was entangled around her arm. I glanced at her, wondering if there was anything I could do to help. Freeda noticed my curious stare and said, "She rolls off her bed."
I knew that she was unaware of her neighbors clothing plight, so I responded with, "Oh. OK."

As I approached Freeda I noticed that she was smiling expectantly. I introduced myself and asked her how she was. Her response was, "Pretty good except I can't use my hands. They are too weak for me do anything." I looked at her hands. They were resting on the tray in front of her, shaking and drawn. I reached out and took her hands into mine. They were so soft. I encouraged her the best I could, trying to find something about her that she was pleased with herself. Sometimes with people in this stage of life, it is difficult for them to see anything good. I noticed this in conversations of many of the residents as I spoke to them. My hope was that I would leave her company having lifted her spirits. I knew that to make her feel good about herself would accomplish this goal.

As we spoke I noticed that she was very sharp for a woman her age. I wondered what she had been thinking about in the quietness of the room before I entered. Her roommate was sleeping, there was no television or radio in the room. There was no book or anything to read. I noticed some framed photographs, she and her husband in younger days, some children and grandchildren. Her mind was still active, I could tell by her conversation. A little slow to put her thoughts to words, but she made perfect sense. It seemed her memory was in very good shape.

We talked about the little cross on the ribbon that I had brought for her. She thought it was pretty, but wasn't sure what she wanted to do with it. She asked me to place inside of her drawer. As I did, she said, "Maybe I could put it in my hair?" I told her I thought that would be a great idea. Would she like for me to brush her hair?

What I saw next was the sweetest thing. Her eyes lit up like a little girl as she said, "If you want to." So, I brushed her hair as she told me how she lost it all when she was younger, how thick and pretty it had been, and how proud she was of her long dark hair years ago. I told her that her hair was beautiful, even now. I brushed and brushed while she talked. I then put her hair back into a little knot on the top of her head. She wanted to put the cross in her hair. So, I gently tied it and secured it to the top of her head. We found a mirror that she could look into. She said she hadn't seen her reflection in a long, long time. She held that mirror before her face to see her hair. Her eyes twinkled with happiness and her smile was big as I have ever seen.

What a blessing for me to be a blessing to Freeda. God's love was all over her face when I left her room. I think I will go buy her a mirror and take it to her. Maybe I will buy her a new hairbrush too, and fix her hair.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

just a little post script

I would like to add just a little post thought to my last blog to clarify myself. I believe in being able to confide in friends. I do not believe in gossip. If a friend confides in me, her confidence is kept. The type of situations that I am referring to are ones that are hurting others, putting others in jeopardy as in abuse, drugs, unlawful behavior, and blatant repeated sin. Those type of situations require confrontation and action.

There are times that secrets need to be shared so that healing can take place.

The "secrets" of my friends and loved ones will NOT end up on this blog...or on the ears of people who don't need to hear them. My purpose is to explain why I am determined to be real with who I am and the circumstances that have influenced me in this area.

Just clarifying.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Second Chances

Why is it that some people are just not tolerant of other people’s mistakes and some people are? I used to think that the ones that were intolerant, the one’s who write other people off due to a disappointment or deception, are the one’s who never made a mistake themselves. I don’t think so anymore. They make just as many mistakes as people who freely give others a second chance.

I have the human tendency to hold grudges. It seems that when I believe someone has done me wrong, I am tempted to put an end to their involvement in my life. I know this is a wrong behavior but I must admit, it is my first response. The phrase “fight or flight” has been used several times as I study, read, and have counseled in effort to make for healthier relationships. I might be the type of person who fights then flies. Do I have to choose? If left up to me, I will choose both.

And I certainly make my share of mistakes!

I think that my dear husband has been the one who has suffered most from this character flaw of mine. He has forgiven me and given me second chances over and over again. I am hoping that he will not run out of patience with me, since I am frequently in need of another chance. (every month I need a do over!)

As I think about this, I realize that there are just not many second chances in our world. Phrases like “It’s now or never.”, “Three strikes and you’re out.”, and “It’s a dog eat dog world out there.” have become society’s way of thinking.

It’s not for me though. I think I just won’t live with those dogs! Why would I let a bunch of failures tell me how much of a failure that I am?

I want people in my life who give me second chances. Thank God for the man I have married, my wonderful children, my parents, and especially my best friend. They give me chance after chance. I hope that they feel that I do the same for them.

It’s not every day that you find someone who will give you a second chance – much less someone who will give you a second chance every day. Jesus does that! I am so glad that I have Him in my life and also have Him for my example. He is the perfect example of love and second chances!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


OK. I am really beginning to wonder what is up with this.

Today, as I spent time with the Lord, I ran across some devotional words written by one of my favorite guys - Chuck Swindoll. This is what I received from them.

No matter how significant you may become, no matter how well known your name, no matter how important your work, no matter your salary, no matter what your reputation may be, you must allow yourself to become who you are.

The greatest gift that you can give others is WHO you are. Think about it like this..."We are not who we are, we are not even who we think we are. We are who we think other people think we are." Read that again. If you're in that world no wonder you have struggles with character!

Character will not emerge from a phony life, which is all the more reason to go back to that word - AUTHENTIC.

Know who you are. Accept who you are. Be who you are.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Healing is a wonderful phenomena. God is so cool that He thought about this as He created living things. When a plant looses a leaf or a piece of itself, new growth appears. There are certain creatures that can loose parts of thier bodies and they will grow back! Amazing! As humans, our bodies can sustain horrible, life threatening injuries, and we heal. So cool!

I have been thinking a lot about this in the last few days. My mom had her surgery yesterday and we are all pleased with the outcome. She has a large section of her femur (thigh) bone that has not healed in two years. Her doctor has tried many different techniques, but this bone has been very stubborn and seems to refuse to heal. This time he tried a new grafting material that has been very successful recently and he has high hopes that it will work in promoting growth - healing - this time. He also secured some screws and hardware in her artifical hip, transferred some muscles around to help ease some of her pain and allow for further healing. Miraculously, when she woke up from the surgery, she could feel a difference already. Her toes pointed straight ahead for the first time in two years. She will have to do some work, but the healing is taking place.

And I really gave serious thought about the human body, how fasinating it is, and how we heal.

The retreat that my mom and I attended over the weekend, prior to the surgery, was about healing. The theme was Healing the Spirit. It was a different aspect of healing, but another fasinating phenomena as well. As humans, our spirits experience hurts and wounds that a doctor cannot fix. It would be nice if we could just allow the "spirit doctor" to admit us to the hospital and do a graft of our spirit, tighten a little bit of spiritual hardware, and transfer around a few of our hurts.

But we do have God. He is a Healer. But we must open ourselves up to Him, we must trust Him and we have to allow Him to work in us. We have our own work to do in this kind of healing also. We have to be willing to self evaluate, admit where we are wrong, and let God mend our spirits.

The way He created us is wonderful. I am grateful that He gave us hope and that He made a way for us to heal, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is beautiful to be witness to.

May I allow Him to heal me and pray for Him to heal others. All the glory is His!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


My mom and I just returned from a retreat. We were in the foothills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains in Missouri. It has been a tradition for my mom to attend this retreat...I think this was the 11th time she has been a participant. I was finally able to go with her and it was great. It was fun, thought provoking, healing and refreshing.

Once we got to the retreat center, the first thing we did is check in at registration. Since there are people from all different cities, one of the things they ask is that the participants wear name tags. One of the traditions is that every name tag has a positive adjective on it. The name tags are blank except for the one word on the tag. They are placed upside down so that you cannot read the words that are on the name tags.

After you register your arrival, you are suppose to select your name tag (without looking) and put your name on it. The fun thing is that this word is YOUR description, your very own word for the weekend. You are to BE this word all weekend. You are the only one with this word and the word is your very own word from God. I think that some people are more pleased with their words than others are. One word was "humble"....hmmmm. I wonder how this person felt about her word. My mom's word was "amazing". She didn't seem too comfortable with it but everyone that knows her agreed that it was, in fact, HER word. (she gave the credit to God being amazing) I found it interesting that most of the words seemed to have some sort of obvious reason that they were attached to the person wearing them.

I selected my name tag, apprehensive being the first time I had participated in this retreat. I was a little excited and a little nervous about my word. Could I live up to it? Would people agree with it? After all, only a handful of people knew me and only my mother knows me well. I looked at the basket of name tags, took a deep breath, and selected my tag. I quickly turned it over and read the word that had been carefully written on the front...


How funny! How perfect! How like continue to confirm and affirm everything that He has been showing me. He helped me be comfortable and He challenged me in a new situation.
Webster's defines genuine as: sincere and honest


God is good. He is funny. And He really wants me to be real!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Two years ago today, I received a dreaded phone call...the kind of call that makes your heart stop. My mother's employer called me to let me know that my mom and her husband of over 21 years had been involved in an accident. They were in the hospital and had been there overnight. I was shocked and I was terrified. My mind could not quite grasp what was going on, and I knew it was serious if my mom had not called me in over 12 hours herself. I called the hospital and found out that my mom was on her way into surgery. I grabbed a change of clothes and took off for the longest 5 hour drive of my life.

When I arrived, my mom was still in surgery and her husband was in ICU. The situation was critical. They had been riding on a motorcycle and hit by a car. My mom's surgery took over 10 hours. Her husband did not make it through his. I was there for nearly 2 months.

All of our lives have changed drastically since that day. It has been an awakening about what is important in life. These type of things do that to people.

I have watched my mom fight for her life. Her medical injuries were not life threatening, but the loss of her husband, the near loss of her leg, the loss of her mobility, and the loss of her life as she knew it threatened to steal her joy, her peace and her health.

But she has survived. She is strong. She is real. She is making choices that promote health and happiness. Sometimes she is sad, but she is overcoming. She is a fighter.

She is one of my greatest heros.

Today, I leave to fly to Tulsa to be with my mom. We are going on a retreat that she has been attending for years. I finally get to go with her. I am looking forward to it. I look forward to spending the time with my mom. I look forward to spending time with God. I look forward to spending time with myself. Two years ago she was unable to attend this retreat. One year ago she struggled to get there. This year, we are going together.

As soon as we return to Tulsa, she goes back into the hospital. She will have her fourth surgery in two years. I am glad that I can be there...for both the fun and the not so fun times.
The timing seems a little ironic. It seems like forever ago that I was making that long drive to Tulsa to be with my mom in the hospital. Two years. Wow.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More on being real

Interesting how this topic continues to occupy my thoughts. God must have something for me to learn (or teach?) about being real. It seems every where I turn, someone is talking about being real.

I had a lovely lunch with a new friend a few days ago. I thought we were both being pretty real, learning more about one another. Even though we didn't actually SAY anything about being real, I know that was the goal. The following day, she wrote a thought provoking blog entry...about being real. Hmmmm. Now I want to talk to her again - REALLY- about being real.

There is a radio program that I listen to many days during my commute into Dallas for work. I have about 45 minutes in the morning so it is a good time to listen to God's word. Today, the broadcaster spoke about being real. Interesting.

Tonight, I attended a Bible Study at my great church (Fellowship Church). The study is about meeting needs. In order to see these needs and meet them, one must be real. Relationships must be authentic, not forced. We were challenged to be like Christ, to spend time with people because we care about people and because we want to spread the love of God. This can't happen unless we are real.

Another new friend picked me and my daughter up so we could ride together to Bible Study tonight. She and I have lots of fun when we are together, and the conversation is pretty real. we were driving home, our discussion was totally about being real. You see, we had just gone through a book Bible Study during the summer months. The group really clicked, and a lot of that was due to our being real with one another.

Why is it so difficult to be real? Why do we sometimes want to cover up who we really are...wearing masks, plastic faces with plastic smiles?

I am SO grateful to have found some people in my life who are real! I am blessed to be able to be real with others. I don't know how I could grow as a person, as a follower of Christ, if I couldn't be real, with God, and with those He puts in my life! I am thankful for REAL!