About Me

Name: Linda

Location: Texas

I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am doing what I've wanted to do all my life. I am a Christian and I love the Lord.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
We just got home from choir practice. It’s been a long day. Everything seems to have fallen on Wednesday this year – Bible Study, helping put the music in the 350 folders for choir practice, and then going back into town in the evening for choir practice. By the time we finish our hurried dinner, I just feel tired. I kind of wish I could just take a nice long bath and relax for the rest of the evening.

I notice, once we get there, that I’m not the only one feeling that way. It seems to be a sort of universal feeling – tired (especially those who have come straight from a full day of work). However, there is another feeling that seems to be felt by all of us, and it’s that once we start to sing we just aren’t tired any more. We are just glad to be there.

What is it about praising the Lord? Suddenly everything is different. It’s nothing short of miraculous. We sing about Him and something inside of us changes. When I begin to speak words about the character of God, I am blessed.

There was a dark period in my life when I literally just didn’t know how to pray. I asked the Lord what I should ask for in the circumstances we found ourselves, and the answer came back “Praise”. I did, and it ministered to me in a way I cannot explain. There was peace and joy. The circumstances didn’t change, something inside of me did.

When we first started attending a more charismatic church than we had been raised in, I didn’t really understand about praise. I would look around me at the people with upraised hands and think,” Do they all have it so together that they can do that? Are their lives so right in God’s sight?” I learned that it really didn’t have anything to do with them or their spiritual condition; it had everything to do with God and who He is. And He is worthy of all my praise and adoration.

I think too that praise is more than words or beautiful music – it is a life lived loving and serving Him. I want my life to be an instrument of praise. I want people to see more of Jesus and less of me. I have so far to go, but He gives grace.

It was so good to praise Him tonight. I am refreshed. He is holy and worthy of all our praise.

  posted at 9:33 PM

Monday, August 28, 2006
Why I Chose Middle Years
I'm glad I went to Barb's blog before starting to write today. I finally came up with an idea, but now I can save it for tomorrow and give my little brain a rest.

My first choice for the name for my Blog was actually Seventh Inning Stretch. However, I had such problems getting it going I had to change the name in order to get things started. So...Middle Years.

I'm trying to convey the same idea I had with both names. It is the time of life my husband and I are in right now. For us it is the time between the empty nest and REALLY old age. It is a very nice time - a kind of respite. That's not to say there haven't been difficulties - there certainly have. We've had to face some very trying times in recent months.

Although we are not strictly retirement age, my husband has been retired because of medical problems for the past twenty years. We made (or more acurately I made) the adjustment to having him home full-time while our kids were still fairly young. We somehow made it thorough those challenging teen years and college, and now they are all grown and gone.

My parents are in their eighties, but they are in good health both mentally and physically. They live in a little apartment we added to the back of our house. It has worked out well because they are still independent.

So...once you get used to having the chicks all gone (and it is hard at first) - you discover that it's got some definite pluses!! It's such fun to just decide to take the day and do something you just feel like doing (it isn't even necessary!); to go out to lunch or to a matinee or just for a drive. We can do volunteer work at church, or take a morning Bible Study without having to worry about who will watch the kids.

Being Grandparents is all everyone has ever said it was - pure joy! It is all the fun and none of the hard work. It is amazing how much easier it is to "raise" grandchildren. Hey - it's not my responsibility to discipline them, I'm just here to love them to pieces.

I think one of greatest joys at this particular time of life is to see the amazing adults your children have grown up to be - in spite of all the mistakes that still keep me awake at night with feelings of regret. To know they all love the Lord is a treasure money can't buy.

All of that to say - these are the middle years of my life and God is good.


PS I apologize for not linking to Barb's site. I still don't know how to do it :-)
  posted at 1:39 PM

Saturday, August 26, 2006
Me and My Grandma
This is a picture of my Grandmother and me. It is one of the few pictures I have of us together, and I treasure it.

  posted at 12:37 PM

My Grandmother
I tend to be a little behind on some of the blog “things”. There are times I sit and think about a thing for awhile instead of doing my customary shoot from the hip (too often it’s shoot from the lip) approach. Honestly, sometimes my words and actions are way ahead of any brain activity. Anyway…here is my idea for a novel.

It isn’t fiction, but I would write it that way because I don’t have enough of the facts to flesh out the story. I would love to write the story of my Grandmother’s life. She died when I was only two, so I don’t have any memories of her, but I have listened to my Mom and her sisters talk about her all my life. She was an amazing woman.

She came to America from Italy when she was five years old. She came with her mother across the ocean on a big ship, landing at Ellis Island. My Mom tells how she had to walk for miles through this strange new city, clutching her mother’s hand, to join the family members who had come to New York before them..

She was married at thirteen – an arranged marriage to a much older man. She didn’t get to finish school, and was instead immediately thrust into the role of wife and surrogate mother. My grandfather sent for his family members as he earned enough money, so whenever someone arrived from Italy, my grandmother took them in. The marriage was a strong, loving one that lasted until my Grandfather died at age sixty-five.

She never did anything newsworthy or amazing by the world’s standards, but she quietly sacrificed for the sake of her family day in and day out. She lost babies in ways that could easily have been prevented in our time. One little girl died of blood poisoning from a cut that became infected. Another little boy died of spinal meningitis. One heartache after another, and yet she continued to be the heart and soul of her family. Whenever there was a tragedy or sickness in their poor neighborhood, she was the one they called. During the terrible Influenza epidemic, she went from home to home nursing those who were ill and couldn’t afford a doctor. Miraculously, she never got sick herself nor did anyone in her family. When the depression made putting simple meals on the table a challenge, she managed to feed not only her family but anyone else who needed help.

When I think of her life and compare it to mine I am humbled. She was a remarkable woman. I wish I could do her story justice.

  posted at 11:50 AM

Friday, August 25, 2006
The Flower Garden

It's a bit difficult to see, but there's my flower garden on the side of garage.
  posted at 6:48 PM

My Garden - My Heart
I love flowers. In my dreams, I have one of those lush English gardens. It is a veritable paradise of color and fragrant blooms. In reality, I don’t actually have a green thumb. In fact, I think it tends more toward the dark shades of brown. I can kill a plant faster than you can say Miracle-gro!

When we first moved to Texas twenty-five years ago, I planted the things I knew and loved. However, since we moved from upstate New York where it tends to be a tad cooler than southern Texas, they didn’t fare very well. Another thing I hadn’t counted on was the deer – ah the deer. I like them; I really do. They are so cute, especially here in Texas. I thought everything was bigger in Texas. Not true with the deer. They are dainty little critters (apologies to all the guys who are avid hunters) with soft brown eyes.
They like flowers too.

One spring, in a burst of gardening energy, I cleared the area under a cluster of oak trees we have in our front yard. Then my husband and son build a cute little stone border around the area for me. I bought and planted about two dozen impatiens plants. In my mind I could already see the beautiful mass of pink and white flowers skirting the huge oaks. It took me forever to plant them. My back was killing me by the time I finished, not to mention my poor old knees. However, it would all be worth it when those flowers bloomed.

The next morning I awoke to find dozens of little green stems sticking out of the ground. I may as well have sent out printed invitations: Attention all deer. Linda is serving a special delicacy tonight – fresh impatiens. Bring a friend! So I learned to look for deer resistant plants as well as native plants. Just to be on the safe side, my husband fenced in a little area for my flower garden.

To begin with we planted three crepe myrtles. They were supposed to be miniatures, but I don’t think anyone told them that. They grew to be about eight feet tall and had a tendency to poke people about the head and shoulders as they were walking up our front walk. The irony is they grew so well. We decided they had to go feeling that eyes were an important thing to protect. My husband cut them down, and I planted lantana and salvia and a couple of rose bushes. To my complete amazement, they all did very well. My garden was looking good!

Then one morning I noticed them – crepe myrtle shoots growing where I had planted my flowers. My husband had done his best to dig up all the roots, but evidently he wasn’t able to get them all. So…I pulled up the shoots. And they grew again. I pulled them up….they continued to grow. I wasn’t able to get them up by the roots.

Another reason I am not very good with plants is that I want everything to be simple and easy. When I get something new, and it has a manual as thick as a dictionary I get discouraged before I even begin. I just want to be able to push a couple of buttons and have everything good to go. That doesn’t work very well with appliances, and it certainly doesn’t work with growing things. I just don’t take the time to research gardening. I want to dig the hole, put the plant in the ground, feed and water it when necessary – and that’s enough already. I want a beautiful garden.

It also tends to get a bit hot here. I am great in the garden when it is cool – not so much when it’s hot. I tend to neglect the more physical aspects of gardening when it gets into the summer months. So I stopped pulling up crepe myrtle shoots because it’s just too hot to be on my knees in the dirt yanking on plants that simply refuse to give up easily. Before long the crepe myrtle shoots became crepe myrtle PLANTS and crowded out everything else. Granted they even have blooms – but they aren’t supposed to be there!!

I got to thinking the other day that the Lord has a lesson for me here. First of all I need to do the necessary work to have a thriving, beautiful garden. So it is within my heart. To have a heart that is beautiful and thriving and pleasing in His sight I need to do the necessary work. I need time alone with Him, time in prayer and in the Word. I also need to do the hard work of keeping the things out of my heart that are not supposed to be growing there. It may not seem like anything big or awful – at first. However, if I allow it to grow it will soon begin to crowd out the good things. It may not even look bad, may even have some pretty pink blooms, but it isn’t supposed to be there.

I think I’d better take care of those crepe myrtle shoots.

  posted at 12:52 PM

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Pizza Box Meme
This is the first time I've done a Meme. Thank you so much Barb for including me and for being so encouraging and sweet. You have made this even more fun than it already was!

What was your favorite thing about being a kid?
Playing pretend. I had, and still have, a vivid imagination. I could just imagine myself as anyone in any place at any time. A book or movie became "real life" to me for weeks on end. I loved to create story-lines for my sister and I to live out, and since I was the oldest I always got the starring role.

What was your favorite subject in school?
That's an easy one - English. I absolutely love to read and write; I just love words. Math, on the other hand, made me feel as though I had landed on another planet where they all spoke a strange language that I simply could not learn.

Who was your best friend when you were ten?

Christine. She lived a few houses down in our little sub-division. She was another of the actors in the stories I was forever creating.

If you could be any animal who would you be?
Nothing springs to mind on this one, but I think I'd like to be an eagle. I imagine soaring above the earth would be pretty neat.

What's your favorite color?
Pink! There's just something about pink. Until recently our bedroom was painted pink, and I began to think maybe that wasn't exactly fair to my husband. So...it's a pretty shade of green now.

What's your favorite type of crust and favorite topping on a pizza?
When we lived in New York there was a pizza shop that made pizzas with a really thick crust and had absolutely everything on it- onions, peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni - the works. It was the best pizza I've ever eaten. Although my little Italian mother can make a pretty mean pizza too!
  posted at 9:20 PM

I'm Not Going Back to Babylon
I have just come from my first lesson in Daniel. Beth Moore is remarkable. I could just go on and on about how gifted I think she is and how she ministers to me in such a unique way. I know she wouldn’t like it if I did go on and on. She is truly humble, and that happens to be one of the things I like best about her. She has a way of cutting to the heart of the matter that just speaks to my heart.

She began the study by talking about the Jews being taken into captivity – right back to the place they had once been. God allowed them to be taken from the Land Of Promise to the place where it all began – back to the tower of Babel – back to Babylon. She compared this with our lives today. She spoke of how the enemy likes nothing better than to “rewind the tape” of our lives - working hard to take us back to the place of captivity, the place of our deepest despair and bondage.

I felt this play out in my own life in just the short time between leaving Bible Study and sitting down here to write. I left feeling so great – so moved by what I had been taught. My heart felt full of joy and excitement. And then everything began to fall apart. A little misunderstanding, some news I really didn’t want to get, a talk that left me feeling discouraged and defeated. When I allow my feelings to overrule faith in my life, I always find myself sliding backwards. Instead of drawing closer to God I pull away. I don’t pray; I don’t read His word. I wallow in a pit of despair.

I felt the Lord speak to my heart – “Don’t allow these things to carry you back Linda. I brought you to this place, and I don’t want you to return to the old way of doing things.” Oh Lord, I don’t want to. I don’t want every little bump in the road to send me hurtling backwards. I don’t want to give the enemy ground that has been so hard won. I don’t want to revisit the places where You once gave me victory.

The Lord is so gracious. He works so gently and patiently in my life. I chose to rest in Him and hold the ground the enemy would be so delighted to take. He has, after all, already won the victory for me. I have but to claim it.

  posted at 4:36 PM

Monday, August 21, 2006
Life's "Inevitables"
I was thinking the other day about some of life’s “inevitables”. You know, the times when you say, “It never fails, just when……”, or “Wouldn’t you know it, every time…..”, or just “Inevitably…..”.

Here are some I came up with:

1. We are just about to sit down to dinner and “wouldn’t you know it, the phone rings.”

2. The phone call is not from someone you care about; “inevitably” it is a telemarketer (or if, like us you are on the no-call list, a charitable organization or pollster).

3. I finally decide, after weeks of working around them, to throw away those notes my husband has left sitting around, and “it never fails,” within hours he is looking for them because he needs the information he had written on them.

4. I decide not to bother changing out of my ratty hang-around-the-house clothes to make a quick run to the grocery store because I’ll only be a minute and won’t see anyone I know, and “inevitably” I run into several people I haven’t seen in ages (and truly, if they hadn’t seen me first, I’d have run the other way and hidden behind a huge display of canned goods).

5.After hearing everyone talk about how great a certain television program is (one I’ve only been able to watch once), I finally get the chance to watch it and “wouldn’t you know it”, it’s a rerun of the one episode I did see!

6. I decided at a very young age that I was going to be original when I named my children and not saddle them with a name that a zillion other kids had (like Linda – and trust me, back in the day when I was in school I never was in a class that didn’t have at least one other Linda). So I chose Scott for my firstborn. We didn't know a single Scott. “Wouldn’t you know it”, everyone in the English speaking world decided Scott was a great name for a boy. He was never in a class that didn’t have another Scott.

7. “It never fails’; I rarely have a day when I am all alone in the house, so when I do I plan for it like it's a vacation. Perhaps I'll read or watch a favorite movie, or any of a number of frivolous things. "It never fails, before I can open a book or pop in a DVD, the phone rings and someone needs me for something truly important. So much for my time alone. This is kind of a selfish one, but I am one of those people who really do just need to be absolutely alone once in awhile. I have been known to dance around the house when I find myself there alone!

8. I seem to have a knack for deciding to take up a new interest that I believe to be quite unique only to find that everyone else in the world simultaneously had the same idea. How does that happen? Perhaps someone is giving us subliminal messages.

9. I go through my closet and give away things I am sure I will never wear again, and “inevitably” go crazy looking for some of said things because I actually do need them.

10. One last one- I decide that today is the day I will begin my diet and someone decides this is the night they will invite us over for dinner – huge desert and all. Now how in the world could you hurt someone’s feelings by not eating a meal they had specially prepared for you?

I’m sure there are lots more, but I have things I must do (and “inevitably” I will think of the best one after I post this).

  posted at 4:11 PM

Friday, August 18, 2006
Is That You Lord?
I have come up against this before. I don’t know why it causes such confusion. I have been a Christian since I was a little girl and have heard many teachings on “ Knowing and Finding God’s Will”, but somehow I am never quite sure I’m doing it right.
We were having this “discussion” just yesterday. How can we be absolutely sure we are doing what God wants us do to? We have a plan. We prayed about the plan. We took the first step, and everything worked out very well. We felt we were on the right path and continued moving ahead – and ran into a major roadblock.
Perhaps roadblock is too strong a word. We are definitely at a stand-still. I thought perhaps this meant that it really isn’t God’s will to move forward. In reality, we have no choice. If this part doesn’t work out, we simply can’t continue on. We want very much to – but it isn’t possible. We may have to accept the fact that what we want is not what He wants for us – even though it seems good and right to us. The other opinion expressed is that since we prayed so hard about the first step, and it all worked out so well, it must be God’s will for us to continue on. We may just have to try harder.
So….I ‘m confused. How do we know FOR SURE what God’s will is? I think there are times when we are just supposed to use the good sense He gave us, but there are times when it is something big and we need His clear direction. I wish He would leave me a little Post-it note on the refrigerator door with His will clearly stated. I would be more than glad to do whatever it said. I do understand that His will is clearly stated in His Word, but I’m talking about those times when we don’t find the answer to our dilemma written out in black and white. Should we make the move? Should I take the job? Should I ….whatever.
I can agonize over these sorts of decisions for days and weeks and never feel as though I am totally certain I am doing the right thing. There have been times when it has become abundantly clear I have made a huge mistake – even though I was so sure I had “heard from God”. I envy (I know I’m not supposed to do that  ) people who state so confidently that God told them to do a certain thing. I feel something lacking in my relationship with the Lord when I know I am not always sure whether it is His voice I am hearing or my own voice.
After all these years of walking with the Lord I feel somewhat ashamed to admit all of this. However, I am trying to be “real” when I write, and this is something I still haven’t figured out. I would love to know what you think. I have discovered there is a lot of wisdom within this group of women.

  posted at 10:38 AM

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Kicking Rocks
We live on a little two lane country road. It used to be just a little dirt road, but the city seems determined to encroach into our small town. I could write a whole book on that subject!! Suffice it to say, things have changed dramatically. At one time, the only traffic on said road were the vehicles of the other three families who lived here and the cows that seemed to be geniuses in the art of getting out of their pasture. Now it is so busy, we have to plan our walk around the heaviest traffic times – but I digress.
We have not become so civilized as to have sidewalks, so we walk on the side of the road. When I walked alone, I never noticed all the little rocks that make their way into the road, but when my husband started walking with me – he did. For some reason, he feels compelled to kick them out of the road and into the grass along the side. He is clearing the road of potential flying objects (which presumably might hit us as we walk). I thought this a clear waste of energy, but tending to be a follower rather than a leader I soon found myself kicking away at helpless rocks.
I mentioned in a previous post that God uses simple object lessons to teach me truths. Since we have been going through some difficult circumstances, I got to thinking of the rocks as little guys who have gotten into a very bad situation. There they are out in the middle of the road vulnerable to all kinds of potential harm. Cars drive by regularly not to mention trucks and school buses. At any moment they could come to great harm.
This is where I come in. I am like God (only in this little object lesson mind you). I see that the rock is in a very bad place, and so I give it a good kick to get it out of said bad place and into a place of safety. Now the rock probably does not want to be kicked. In fact, the kick is very likely painful to the rock. What it doesn’t understand is, that unless it experiences that brief time of pain, it cannot reach a place where it will be protected and at peace.
I think like the rock, there are times I may be in a place where God thinks I am heading for great harm, or even that I just need to move to a place that is better for me. So He kicks me! The kick may be any number of painful things that happen in life, but if God is doing the kicking I can be assured it is for my good. Once the pain of the kick is over, I find myself in a better place.
Now I realize this leaves a lot to be desired as far as an analogy goes. I very often send the rock flying in the opposite direction I intended, and it ends up in an even more vulnerable place. Not good. There are also times I miss altogether and the poor rock is left sitting exactly where it was.
God doesn’t make mistakes. Anything that comes to me He intends for my ultimate good. He doesn’t just go around aimlessly kicking “rocks”. Sometimes it is just a gentle tap, and other times it takes something a bit more robust to get my attention. I wish I could learn all my lessons the easy way, but I know that I can be downright stubborn sometimes. I’m glad the Lord cares too much about me to leave me in a bad situation and that His kicks come with lots of love and grace.


P.S. It's a much better day today.
  posted at 12:22 PM

Monday, August 14, 2006
An Eeyore Day
I am having what I commonly refer to as an “Eeyore Day”. They don’t come often, but when they do, I am very sad – “Oh dear” – (deep sigh). I am actually a very Pollyanna sort of person – to the disgust of some who shall remain nameless. I have trouble staying depressed or angry or bitter for more than a few hours at most – even when I’m justified. Just the thought of any sort of confrontation makes me want to run rapidly in the opposite direction. I want everyone to be happy. However, this morning I woke up with a little black cloud over my head, and it simply doesn’t want to move on.
I probably shouldn’t be writing, as moods like this tend to be rather catching. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why I am down in the dumps – I just am. All of the things I don’t normally let get me down are suddenly very heavy. Even the little nagging problems seem like just too much. Can’t I get a little ray of sunshine here?
I should be in my little place praying and reading the word. Why is that so difficult to do when you are feeling low? I suppose that’s it really –“feeling”. Faith has no part in all of this; it’s just the way I FEEL. I feel sorry for myself. That’s it in a nutshell. Woe is me!
You know what? I’m beginning to feel a bit better. I think just putting it into words (written words) is making me feel better. Nothing has changed, but I think that little cloud is dissipating. Is that a bit of sunshine I see?
Thank You for listening. And thank You Lord for being patient with me even on these “Eeyore Days”.

  posted at 4:06 PM

Wednesday, August 09, 2006
What Do You Think About Prayer?
Since reading Boomama’s post the other day and reading the comments, I’ve been thinking about something that sort of dove-tails with it. If we believe that nothing comes to us that doesn’t first pass through God’s hands, that He knows everything that is going to happen and is in control – what part does prayer play in all of that?
Not too long ago, we were facing something absolutely devastating. The waiting was just agony, and during that time I prayed fervently that God would keep this thing from us. I was on my face before Him; I fasted; I asked others to pray for us; I believed. However, it didn’t go the way I wanted it to. My worst nightmare came true, and I was angry and disappointed with God.
I decided that prayer was useless. What was the point if God knew all along that this would come? Why couldn’t my prayers change things? I didn’t pray for a very long time. I told the Lord I just didn’t want to talk to Him any more.
After months of bitterness, I couldn’t stay away any longer. The worst had happened, and I needed Him more than I ever had at any time in my life. I opened my fists and put it all into His outstretched hands. And there was peace. There was even joy. I thought we would never laugh again, but laughter returned. I understood that I was in the process of learning a lesson He had been trying to teach me all my life. Trust. He put me in a place where it was either trust Him or be crushed beneath the weight of my circumstances. For someone who likes very much to be in control, it was a difficult lesson, one I am still working on.
All that to say – what about prayer? I do believe there are times God changes His mind. He answered Moses’ prayer and didn’t wipe out the Children of Israel even when He said He was going to. There are other examples in scripture of God doing that. So I continue to pray and believe all things are possible with God. I believe He hears and answers prayer.
I also believe that prayer is for my good. Without it my relationship to the Lord is shallow at best. When I draw near to Him, I am strengthened and comforted. When I put things into His hands, I am at peace.
When I had difficulty praying, I asked the Lord what I should pray for. The answer was Praise. And so I praised, and somehow the burdens were lighter.
Enough about what I think. I certainly don’t have all the answers. Prayer is something I have so much to learn about. I want to know more. What do you think about this business of prayer?

I dug out this old poem I wrote about 16 years ago. It was at another time I was struggling with the question of prayer.


When the day is softly waking to the touch of warming sun
When the dark is closing round me, it is at these times I come:
To the place of new beginnings
Where all is joy and light;
To the One who is my safety
throughout the darkest night.

When I'm filled with guilt and sorrow, and I'm feeling so alone.
When my soul is tired and aching, it is at these times I come:
To the place of full assurance
Where all is peace and rest.
To the One who never changes
Lay my head upon His breast.

When the heavens seem to echo with my cry of deep despair.
When it seems He is not listening; is it true He does not care?
Is my faith too weak for answers?
Is my sin too great to cleanse?
Has He turned His back in anger?
Has His love come to an end?

When the questions have no answers, and I want to turn and run.
When I raise my voice in anger, it is then that I must come:
To the One whose ways are wiser
To the One whose ways are best
To the One who never changes
Lay my head upon His breast.
  posted at 2:15 PM

I have already written my post for today, but I got a suggestion for writing it on Microsoft Word and then moving it to my site. I wanted to try it because I nearly lost my post this morning, and that is truly frustrating. However, I am so computer illiterate, I thought I would experiment with it first, and see if I can actually pull it off.
I thought I would just write a little bit about quiet. I have come to realize that I very seldom exist in a state of complete “quietness”. There is always something on. I gave up daytime television years ago (when I realized my children actually knew the names of the characters on the soaps I was watching), but now it’s the radio, or cds or the telephone. I like talk-radio and have become a sort-of political junkie. You can literally listen to one talk program after another all day long! I excused it by telling myself it was good to be informed. I could pray about serious issues and keep up with what was going on.
I also love to write poetry. There was a time when my mind was just overflowing with ideas for poems. I used to sit out on the porch and write in my little notebook. I haven’t written a poem in a really long time. I sat down to write something the other day and couldn’t get past the first line. I am having a very long dry spell.
Then it dawned on me (perhaps the Lord was giving me a little nudge?) – How could I possibly have anything new to write about when I never had a quiet moment to think? The only time I got an inspiration was lying in bed at night. I would have a really profound thought and forget it by morning (I believe it has something to do with menopause – just wait until you get to that stage of life!). I should have gotten up and written it down, but I honestly thought I would remember.
So…I am trying to surround myself with quiet for at least a portion of the day. I realize that the Lord must be having a hard time getting through to me too – too much extraneous noise. I’m listening for His voice – and for my “muse”.
  posted at 1:46 PM

Why I Love You Lord
When I got into my little quiet corner to have my prayer time this morning, I felt as though I ought to do something a little different. I sometimes feel my prayers have become kind of repetitive (there are so many on-going needs). I want them to be more of a time of real interaction between me and the Lord. I find it very difficult to sit quietly and keep my mind from running down a dozen different rabbit trails while I try to listen to what the Lord wants to say to me. I am way too verbal.
So I thought that instead of running down the list of needs today (I know that's important too), I would just give the Lord praise and thanks. As I prayed, it turned into a list of reasons I love Him:
I love Him because before the foundations of the world He chose me. That just boggles my mind. He, who is so Holy, chose me - with all my failings and weaknesses.
I love Him because He first loved me. I sometimes feel so unlovely, but He loves me just the same.
I love Him because He gave what was most precious to Him so that I could spend eternity with Him. I, who have had the priceless gift of knowing Him since I was a little girl - and held the gift too lightly. I think that is the danger of being raised in a Christian home and the challenge for those of us raising children in a Christian home. It can become so familiar, we don't realize its value until life pushes us around a little bit.
I love Him because He is so creative. His artwork and His music and His writing are just second to none!
I love Him because He loves me enough to discipline me.
I love Him because He gives my life purpose and meaning and hope.
I love Him because He has a plan for my life - a plan to prosper and not to harm me.
I love Him because He holds me with His strong right hand and has promised that nothing can ever separate me from Him.
I love Him because His word is true and life-changing. His promises never fail.
I love Him because He draws me to Himself. He bends down to hear my prayers. He is never farther away than my next breath.
I love Him for the grace He has extended to me no matter how many times I mess up in the same old way.
I love Him because He fills my heart with peace and joy.
I love Him because He cries with me and laughs with me.
I love Him because I know without a shadow of a doubt that He is trustworthy.
I love Him because for Him nothing is impossible.
I love Him because He is so wise and because I will never be able to put Him in the box of my limited understanding.
I love Him with all my heart.

  posted at 11:43 AM

Saturday, August 05, 2006
Just a few days into this new adventure of writing a blog, and I am totally hooked. I have already met such wonderful women. It is so exciting. I think we women have the great advantage of getting to know one another and connecting in the space of -oh say - a few minutes. We can be sitting in a waiting room with a total stranger and before either one of us is called in to see the doctor (granted, that is probably way more than a few minutes) know each other's family history.
For instance, I am attending a five week Bible Study on monday evenings at our church. We sit at tables of seven women. By the end of the first session we knew not only family histories, but the things we struggle with, the things we enjoy - just so many things about each other.
Men on the other hand.....my sweet husband can do things with a new friend for weeks, and when I ask if he has children actually not know!!! How is that possible? He just looks a bit bewildered when I look shocked. I guess it just never came up.
My wednesday morning Bible Study begins in a couple of weeks. My leader called yesterday to say our old group is going to get to stay together. Hooray!! Normally they like to mix us up so we can meet new people, but we developed such a strong bond (and we probably whined a little bit too - possibly...) they said we could stay together through one more study. We are all of a "certain age", and in typical girl-fashion it only took us a couple of sessions to become very close. We shared our deepest needs with one another and saw amazing answers to prayer. There was a trust that allowed us to open our hearts without fear of criticism or judgement.
I think we girls have something special going, and I appreciate all of the wonderful posts I've been reading. We make each other laugh, we pray for one another, we share burdens, we encourage. I believe the one thing that makes all of this so special is our shared love of the Lord. I suppose we women normally bond easily, but knowing we are truly sisters in Christ makes it so special.

Blessings, Linda
  posted at 11:42 AM

Friday, August 04, 2006
What Do You Do All Day?
For all but three of the thirty-nine years I've been married, I have been a "stay-at-home" Mom. For the first year of our marriage I worked in an office, and I worked as a pre-school teacher for two years when my three children were in school. I like staying home best!!
However, now that there are no chicks left in the nest, I don't think "stay-at-home" Mom describes me any more. So, when people ask what I do, I say I'm a homemaker. Mostly they smile and say something nice. Then comes the dreaded question, "What do you do all day?" I don't know why it always makes me feel like a blithering idiot. As strange as it may sound, my days just fly by. In fact, I often wish I had a few more hours in my day. I know that sounds ridiculous to you who still have young ones at home and would give anything for about five minutes of private time, but it's true.
First of all, my husband is home full-time too. He had to stop working about twenty years ago because of complictions from juvenile diabetes. So, I spend a lot of time doing things with him. Then there's housework - somehow that doesn't change with an empty nest. Of course there is less of it, but clothes still get dirty, furniture still gets dusty, carpets still need to be vacuumed..... And of course time with family (grandchildren are wonderful blessings from God), church, choir, Bible study, piano lessons (I'm trying to fend off Alzheimer's). I love to read, quilt, knit, and write. I just volunteered to help with getting music ready and put into folders for choir.
Well, anyway - the day does go by very quickly. I'm not out there doing amazing things ( I admire the women who are), but I'm doing what I've always wanted to do. And I love it! Blessings, Linda
  posted at 11:52 AM

Thursday, August 03, 2006
I wanted to write something light and fun today, but after visiting Sarah's blog I just couldn't. It is hard to find the right words when someone is going through difficult times. I know from past experience that the glib "words of wisdom" we sometimes speak as Christians can prove to be hurtful to someone who is suffering. I have finally come to the conclusion that "I'm praying for you" is the most comforting and encouraging word I can speak or hear.
I don't know what it is about prayer. Why is it so difficult to get into a good habit of simply talking with the Lord every day, every moment? Perhaps I shouldn't generalize. I'm sure it isn't difficult for everyone, but it is something I have struggled with all my life.
However, for the past couple of years I have found that I can hardly exist without it. It amazes me to think I have but to speak a word, and the God who created the heavens and earth bends down to hear my prayer. He not only listens but longs to have me come and spend time with Him. And when I do, this God who has millions and millions of children and world events to deal, with listens to me as if I were His only child. No matter how many voices are raised to Him in prayer at that moment, He hears my voice. It is miraculous!!
He not only hears; He has things He wants to say to me too. Things that comfort or teach or bring joy or give me direction.
There are times when I pray, and it feels like the words are bouncing off the ceiling. However, there are times when I sense His presence in such a powerful way I can almost feel His touch. Either way - He hears.
I'm trying to practice His presence these days - talking to Him more and more often as I go about the day, not just during my quiet time. I think He enjoys my company. I can hardly believe such a thing, but He says so in His word. Me - with all my faults and failures. He just loves me.
So I'm praying....for Addison, for her family, for my family.....for so many things - because prayer is a powerful, wonderful, miraculous thing - and because God hears and answers prayer.
Blessings, Linda
  posted at 11:51 AM

Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Learning To Lean
I've been a Christian since I was a litle girl, but I find that even with that "headstart" there are so many lessons that are very difficult to learn. It was a time when I desperately wanted the Lord to do something for us. I prayed fervently, had others pray, sought counsel, did everything I knew to do, and heaven was silent. Then one morning as I was sweeping the kitchen floor, it was as though an audible voice spoke to my heart, "All right Linda. I have heard your prayers, and I have a question for you. Do you want me to give you what you've asked for, or do you want My will in this very difficult situation?" It was, for me, a life-changing moment. I knew then that no matter how desperately I felt I needed something, if I truly loved the Lord as I said I did and believed His word, what I truly wanted more than anything else was His will. Our situation didn't change, but I did. I gave it to the Lord, and He gave me all I needed.
So....lesson learned - or maybe not. We have recently had something come into our lives that has eclipsed anything we have ever faced. There were times I felt as though the weight of it had buried me alive. I had dreaded it for months; prayed so hard that God would deliver us from it. However, my worst nightmare came true, and I was devastated. I felt such disappointment with God, I couldn't pray for a very long time.
He never gave up on me. He patiently waited until I knew that there was nowhere else to run but to Him. When I finally did, I came face to face with what is so basic in my relationship with the Lord. Do I trust Him? Do I trust that He will indeed work all things together for our good. Do I believe He loves us with a love that knows no bounds? Do I believe He is in control and wasn't taken by surprise by any of this? I do. I believe He is who He says He is, and I believe He can do what He says He can do (Yes, I did that Beth Moore "Believing God" Bible study.). Perhaps the miracle is waiting for us some time in the future; perhaps He has a different purpose in all of this. I only know I must trust Him, because without Him nothing makes sense. He is my hope and my joy. He has given me that peace that passes understanding. It is truly a miracle. I thought there would never be joy or peace or hope again. I was wrong. He is all those things and more. He knew us before the foundations of the earth, and He has a plan - to prosper us, not to harm us. He is so very good.
Blessings, Linda
  posted at 10:41 AM