Tuesday, July 2, 2019

pay close attention your dog


Your pet is a part of your family. They are there for you to love and in turn will give that love back. Just like you look after them, they too will be there for you when they sense the need.

This post is about our Porter boy, but before I talk about him, I need to give you some of the back story.

A few weeks ago the Preacher and I were having a very stressful week. He was preparing for a memorial service, a wedding and his Sunday message, all of course happening in one weekend. And on top of all of this the Preacher injured his eye, causing us to go to an ophthalmologist for an emergency visit.

During that same week he also was dealing with a person who was homeless and needed a place to stay. The Preacher found her housing for a couple of days, but she was not happy with the people she was staying with and would call the Preacher complaining about the help that he provided and wanted to argue with the Preacher every time he would give her a suggestion. Also, during this same time, we found out that another person the Preacher had counseled was very upset with the Preacher because he didn't like the counsel that was given to him. After some friends of ours, who also had tried to reach out to this person, contacted the police because he seemed to become obsessed with them, we found out that the police suggested we keep our doors locked and I and my friend were not to be at home or our offices by ourselves.

Needless to say my stress level was now heightened by all of the chaos that seemed to be surrounding us.

I took the advice and began keeping the office doors locked. But one day the Preacher had come into the office to discuss what the rest of our day was going to look like. The Preacher then left to go on a bike ride to try to take a break and clear his head. Little did I know that he didn't lock the office door when he left. Upon his departure, I turned my back to the door and began to go back to work and then I hear the door opening.

This was someone new. He was very dirty and his clothes were hanging very loosely on his small frame. His one eye was half way shut and his hair was very dusty. You could tell he had not had a bath in quite some time. I saw that he had a bicycle parked outside of the office and it seemed every thing he owned, mostly bicycle pieces parts, were hanging off of the bike. From what I saw in front of me I immediately knew that he was homeless.

I grabbed the door hoping that he understood that he was not to come into the office, but I also asked him how we could help him. He looked down and saw Porter. He began to mumble about knowing someone with a border collie and still in a low mumble told me how he had lived in Texas, New Mexico and Illinois. He also wanted to let me know that the Governor of Illinois had killed one of the Kennedy's. I could sense that this was not a good situation. 
If you have every met Porter, our Border Collie, you know that he is a very loving dog and you can see that he wants to be friends with everyone. He will jump up asking you to give him some rubs and anxious for you to play with him.

I immediately grabbed Porter, thinking that he would start to jump up on this man, and possibly run out the door. Porter immediately began to try to wiggle his way out of my hold, and as soon as he did he didn't do any of the things that I thought he would do. 
He came up to me and laid down at my feet. Actually he laid his head ON my feet and stayed there the entire time I was talking with this person. 

The Preacher came back and saw that I was very upset because this man was not talking coherently and I did not know what to do with him. When Porter saw the Preacher he took off out of the door to greet him. Porter then went over to the man, sniffed his leg, and immediately came back to me. 

Not once did Porter jump up or invite the man to play. Although he was not showing any signs of being aggressive, he was there to protect me. He understood that this person was not someone whom you should be around.

I didn't quite understand his behavior until the man was gone and I could think through the things that had been said and done.

I am glad that Porter was with me. He is just a cute, loving dog, but I now know that he is here to help me discern who I should and shouldn't trust. I know that he is there to save me if ever the unthinkable should happen.

Pay close attention when your dog changes his behavior around a certain person. You don't know when it just might save you.




Friday, June 7, 2019

reading


So many books and not enough time.

These books, whether they are self-help books, biographies, or fictional, will teach me something. I will close the back cover upon reading the last word and I will somehow be better for reading the words contained inside.

Some will teach me about the lives of real people, how they met and how they lived their lives. Some will teach me about history and how others lived in a different time and a different place. Some will teach me how I should be living my life, now and for the future.

Some I have started, read the first chapter and put it down in order to finish another book that was started days or weeks before.

This stack won't get any shorter because there will always be more books to add to the stack.  

Inside the pages of books is where I go to lose myself.
"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are."    ~ Mason Cooley


Thursday, May 30, 2019

happy anniversary to mom and dad

This is the cake topper from my Mom and Dad's wedding cake from May 29, 1954. Yesterday was my Mom and Dad's anniversary. If Dad was still alive they would have been married 65 years. I love the fact that Mom has saved this for all of these years.

They met on a blind date at an Arlington verses Morristown basketball game. Mom was a cheerleader for the Arlington Wildcats. That's the only part of the story that I've been told, but I would like to know more.

I enjoy listening to stories of their travels. For instance, she told me that she had always wanted to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. So on their honeymoon they traveled to California and they paid twenty-five cents to cross the bridge. That quarter had been saved since before the wedding.  

This past week, while visiting with her, she told me about how much Dad loved the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 500 Mile Race that takes place every year in Indianapolis on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Well since they were married on the 29th and that year the race was ran on the 31st, Dad was not able to attend the race. So while on their honeymoon somewhere near the Yellowstone National Park, they asked someone where they could watch the race. No one that they talked to knew of the race and didn't know where they could watch or even listen to it. She tells that she and Dad could not believe that no one knew of the Indy 500. Dad and Mom didn't miss many races after that.

My Mother told me that she liked to tell people that she and Dad were married in May and in July I was born. She doesn't tell them until after the confusion comes over their face that they were married in 1954 and I was born a year later in July. When telling this story she laughs because she thinks that was so clever of her.

I know she misses my dad. She misses the life that they had together and now with her poor health and not being able to get around by herself, I know that she wishes she could go and be with him in heaven. I miss him too and think about him almost every day. I miss his laugh most of all. He had a great smile and could make you smile and laugh right along with him.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

unplanned

This past week, the Preacher and I went to see the movie, Unplanned. A local movie theater was showing the film for a one time showing and we had announced to our congregation and community that we needed their support in viewing this movie.

Honestly I didn't want to go. I had no desire to watch and listen to the horrific scenes that I knew would be portrayed in the film.

The Preacher and I have been, and always will be, Pro-Life. There is nothing that can deter us from this. With all of the craziness that is going on in our world, in our country, I think we who want to save babies, in the womb and outside of the womb, need to take a stand for what is right.

The Preacher and I have been involved in Crisis Pregnancy Centers for more than 20 years now, and we feel that their work is vital in the communities that they represent. We have even been the ones who stood on the other side of the fence praying and asking for the Lord's help and forgiveness.

The movie did a good job in showing all of the different reasons that Satan has lied to us about who should be getting an abortion and why. Everything from a boyfriend not wanting to be strapped with a baby, a father not wanting his family to be shamed by a daughter's unwanted pregnancy, a woman who just doesn't care about the baby and doesn't want another child to feed. And then the lies about how the baby is no more than just a blob in the womb and the baby/blob won't feel anything during the procedure. The movie gave you an insightful look into Planned Parenthood itself. This organization is nothing more than a large corporation wanting to make as much money as possible, with no regard to the girls and women AND babies who step foot into their "clinics"

If you have the thought that your body is your body and you'll do as you wish with that body then I ask that you watch and listen to this video by Kirsten Watson.


When did it become normal for a mother to want to kill her own child? 


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

you are mine


While praying one day, a woman asked, "Who are you, God?"
He answered, "I Am".

"But, who is 'I Am'?", she asked.

He replied,
"I Am Joy
I Am Love
I Am Peace
I Am Grace
I Am Mercy
I Am Safety
I Am Shelter
I Am Creator
I Am Strength
I Am Comforter
I Am Forgiveness
I Am the First and the Last
I Am the Beginning and the End
I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life."

With tears in her eyes, she looked toward heaven and said, "Now I understand. But who am I?"

God tenderly wiped the tears from her eyes and whispered, 

"You are Mine."

To a woman who showed me how to have joy, love, peace, grace, mercy. Gave me safety and shelter. Showed me how to be creative. I saw her strength and yet she is a comfort. Who gave me forgiveness. And showed me Who was the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Way, the Truth and the Life...

I love you Mom!




(Poem ~ Author Unknown)


Monday, April 29, 2019

grandma's potato salad


This is my mother-in-law, the Preacher's mother. She was the sweetest woman, and I could not have asked for a better mother-in-law.

She loved to bake, especially fruit pies. Her pie crust was amazing. It was so flaky and buttery. Sometimes all I wanted was the crust. I could pass up the fruit but not that crust.

Another dish that she would make was potato salad. We all loved her potato salad. If there was a pot-luck dinner scheduled at the church, people would request her salad. It was so creamy and sweet with a little crunch from the bacon.

No one in the family would attempt to make it. It was her salad and only she could make it! She would boil the red potatoes and her eggs. And then see would gather all the other ingredients, place them on the table and there she would sit and make the magic happen. 

After she passed away in 2010, among the hundreds of things we missed about her, we missed her potato salad. The Preacher and I would attempt making it on a few occasions but it never seemed to come out right. 

A couple of weeks ago the weather was beautiful. The day felt like we were finally coming out of winter's chill. The Preacher decided to grill some steaks. I cleaned the patio table, excited to sit out in the spring's sunshine.

The Preacher asked me to fix a salad to go with the steaks and we both knew what we needed to make -- Grandma's potato salad!

I boiled the red potatoes and the eggs and I fried some bacon. I set out the other ingredients: mayo, mustard, celery seeds, salt and pepper, and I chopped some dill pickles. When it was all combined we had a potato salad that was as good as my mother-in-law's! 

We were very excited that we had replicated her recipe and it felt good to honor the Preacher's mother, Joan Smith.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

who am I?


Who am I? There are days when I can't answer that question. 

There are days when I am lost in a mind fog. There are days when I wonder why am I this way. There are days when I wonder why can't I be like (fill in the blank)?

I have always been an introvert. Growing up I never knew there was a word for the way I felt. I just knew that life outside of my own home and family was sometimes difficult. I have always felt self-conscious of how I looked, of the clothes I wore, how I talked, what I said, and on and on. If I thought for an instant that someone might laugh at me for doing something or saying something, then you can be sure, I would not do it or say it.

I just read in the book, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, that "what people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here". I wish someone had told me that years ago.

And then there are the times when I get really brave and say to myself, "don't worry about what they will say! Go, even if it does make a mess." Then there are days when I do things because I don't want to become what is expected of me because of my age, my standing in life or even because I'm a girl.

I will never be famous or even infamous. I am and always will be just me. The girl who will struggle with an identity and the girl who knows exactly who she is. 

But...this week I was told by a Christian sister that she thought it was a pleasure to do ministry with another woman who has just a hint of rebel in her. I like that!

Rebel –– today that's who I am!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

outside my window



I look outside my window 
I am taken by surprise
Rush outside my doorway
Let the sunrise feel my eyes


I climb upon a rock
And I listen to the stream
Watch the sunrise come
See it shining through the trees

Look across the mountain
Watch the haze fade
Listen to the forest
With the coming of the day


The birds begin to sing
And I watch one take flight
They are also happy
At the passing of the night


 The forest it fills with sunlight 
And the colors slowly fade
Sing a song to the morning
To welcome the day

So I open my eyes and smile
And I start another day
Wipe my hands across my eyes
As the colors slowly fade


(author unknown)






Thursday, March 7, 2019

promise kept

Sometimes when I pray I can't seem to put into words what I am feeling or asking for when I bow my head. So the cure for me is to write my prayers.

In January, we were going through some rough times and during those times I would write down my prayers, my thoughts and some Bible verses that seemed to speak to me. 

On one particular day while in Texas visiting our son, I wrote down this verse
I call on the Lord in my distress and he answers me. Save me, O Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.   Psalms 120:1-2
I then wrote
Please keep Your promises Lord! 
That same day we drove to the Enchanted Rock State Park, located in south central Texas, to go hiking with our son.  Upon arriving we discovered that the park was full and the rangers had closed the gates but they were also giving out tickets instructing us to come back later in the afternoon when the park would not be so crowded. We almost decided to go home but decided to get some lunch and return.

We returned around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. The Preacher and our son headed up the rock. Since I had our dog, Porter, and he was not allowed on the rock itself, I began to hike the lower trails. 

After exploring the rock, the Preacher and our son began to follow another trail that was headed to the west when the Preacher looked up and saw this.
He didn't know what it was at first but then realized it was a rainbow around the sun. But you could only witness this when you were below these rocks. If you looked at the sun full on you could not see the rainbow.

After we had all came back together and were sitting around a table enjoying a BBQ meal at a local restaurant, the Preacher began to show me the pictures he had taken while hiking. He was very excited to show me the one of the rainbow around the sun.

As soon as I saw that rainbow I began to tear up because I had remembered my plea to the Lord –Please keep Your promises. I knew that this was a sign from the Lord. He was showing me, us, that He does not forget His promises. The Preacher didn't know what I had wrote. He didn't know my plea to the Lord, so I told him the story. We knew that whatever was going to happen He would be there for us. He was confirming to us that we are not alone in our darkest hours. 

P.S The Preacher looked it up and the phenomena that he witnessed is actually called a Sun Dog Rainbow.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

stand firm

Have you ever felt like Satan was on your door-step and just wouldn't stop knocking, even pounding, on your door? 

One day, a year or so ago, we heard and saw what Satan was wanting to do to our family. The day after, I woke up feeling very depressed and felt like I couldn't get out of bed. I lay there praying, pleading, begging God to remove this from our family. I finally had enough, I needed to get my mind in a different place. So I decided to pick up my phone and check out Pinterest. I had to have something that was mindless. The very first picture on my Pinterest feed was this scripture -- (Don't tell me God can't use anything and everything, even a phone app.)
"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you...do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." 2 Chronicles 20:17
I knew this was His promise to me. I took that verse and wrote it on everything. I wrote it on my bathroom mirror so I would see it when I got up in the morning and when I went to bed at night. I wrote it on the blackboard that hangs in our home. I wrote it on a post-it note and put it on my computer so that I would see it while I worked. Daily I was reminding myself of His Word, His promise.

He also gave me the scripture in Ephesians 6 - Put on the full armor of God. I knew that is what He was telling me to do when He said to take up your positions. He was telling me to put on my armor which is His armor.

Also through this ordeal, the Lord gave me a word and that word was suddenly. I saw it in Bible verses. I heard it in teachings. I read it in books. This is one of the quotes that the Lord sent to me, 
"God says that He has already spoken to the right people. He has already lined up the healing, the freedom. It's going to happen suddenly." 
The word suddenly was all over the place and I knew that it was for us. And when the end came it felt like it ended suddenly!

We took up our positions. We continued to pray everyday. I dug deep into His 
Word. 

Looking back, I realize that the Lord answered my prayer, my pleading, my begging on that first day. He answered me suddenly with His Word - you will not have to fight this battle.

We also had others who were fighting for us through all of this. Many of our friends and family were praying hard right along with us. I saw and heard things that I know could only have been from God. 

A year later here we are. This battle is over. The Lord was, is and always will be victorious. 

I have learned so much about my faith and who He is and I will not stop praising Him, I will tell the world of this victory, and what mighty things He can do.

Friday, February 22, 2019

front door

"I am a homebody. There is nothing I like to do more than walk through my front door at the end of a long day and close it behind me. At home I am embraced by a little world of my own creativeness, surrounded by the things that I love, need, want, and find beautiful. That is what our homes are, after all -- our own personal worlds that we have made for ourselves."   - Leslie Williamson


pay close attention your dog

Your pet is a part of your family. They are there for you to love and in turn will give that love back. Just like you look after them,...