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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Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I’m going to be a good girl today and do all the things on my “to do” list. Just wanted to wish all of you a fun day.

  posted at 11:29 AM

Monday, October 30, 2006
My Contradictory Heart

Four Generations - My Mom - Me - My Daughter-in-law, and My Granddaughters

I think there are times when the Lord must just shake His head and smile. In fact, I think He may be doing that very thing right now – about me!

I have written about our wanting to sell our property and move because of all the commercial development that is slowly working its way to our front door. I’ve also told you how we added an apartment to our home a couple of years ago for my parents. And I have also written about how very special and dear my Mom is to me. She is the kind of person everyone seems to be drawn to – and I mean everyone. It doesn’t seem to matter what age or gender – she immediately becomes dear to everyone she meets.

We have been enjoying living so close to one another. I love being able to just “pop in” to her little apartment and sit and chat for a few minutes. It’s a joy to be able to do things together. I treasure every moment we have. It is so good not to have to anticipate the inevitable goodbyes after a visit. I used to get a knot in my stomach days before they were scheduled to fly home. How I dreaded those goodbyes at the airport.

So when we made the decision to sell, I knew it would be hardest on my Mom. I felt so “caught in the middle”. My husband is so unhappy here, and my Mom, on the other hand, is so content to be with us. We cannot afford to build a big home with a mother-in-law section for them so it was going to mean we would each have to find separate housing. I knew it would be all right with my Dad. He really misses having his own little place, but I dreaded telling my Mom.

When we told her, she accepted it with her usual grace. She said it would be fine. She understood why we wanted to move. However, one day (I guess she must have been a bit weary) she tearfully said to me, “I just want to stay here close to you.” I thought my heart would break. I began to pray earnestly that God would somehow work this all out. I asked Him to please do what was best for each of us. I just didn’t see a way in which everyone would be truly happy. At this point, I would have stayed here and put up with all the noise and confusion that has come with all these commercial buildings. But I knew how unhappy my husband was.

I continued to pray, and a few weeks ago my parents told us they had decided not to wait until we had a buyer for our property to look for a house. They wanted to be sure they had something in the event we had to move quickly. They both seemed fine with their decision. They began looking at houses with a real estate agent from their church. They have made some wonderful friends at the church they are attending (which is about a thirty minute drive from our house) and decided to look for houses in that area.

They narrowed their choices down to two and asked us to look at them with them. We all fell in love with the first little house we saw. It is darling. It is only a few years old and in immaculate condition inside and out. It is small but just the right size for them. And the best part is it was in their price range!! They made an offer on it this past week, and it was accepted. They are moving in a month!!! My Mom is delighted with this sweet little house. She is looking forward to getting it all decorated the way she would like it. What an answer to prayer.

So you would think I would be jumping for joy at the way things have worked out. It is really just perfect. We didn’t have to say “Mom and Dad, we’ve sold the property and you’re going to have to find a place and get moved out right away.” Instead they made the decision in their own time and have found a little house that is just perfect for them.
So…..I feel happy and sad. I’m sad at the thought of those empty rooms. I’m sad that they won’t be just a few feet away any more. I miss my Mom already. True, she will only be thirty minutes away, but it will be different. I already feel that little knot forming.

I know Lord. I am thankful. It is an amazing answer to prayer. I couldn’t have done it better myself!!! Forgive me for being so contradictory. You have worked everything out so perfectly, and I will be just fine. I love You Lord.

  posted at 3:21 PM

Sunday, October 29, 2006
All Moved In
They are all moved it. Yippee!! What is it about moving? It is so exciting to move into a new house – but oh the moving. It’s a little like childbirth I guess. After all the pain you think, “Never again – being an only child isn’t so awful” – and yet we somehow forget and eagerly look forward to another sweet bundle. With all the “trauma” moving involves, you’d think we would all just stay put. How quickly we forget.

Seriously, it wasn’t bad. God is so good. When we left here Thursday morning, it was very cloudy and muggy. We prayed all the way there that it wouldn’t rain. It looked very threatening when we arrived. There were a couple of men from their church there already, and they had a good portion of the rental truck already loaded. We worked at the loading and last-minute packing until late afternoon. About that time, the skies turned that black color that is a fairly good indication of approaching rain. The thunder and wind were a dead giveaway.

Since everything was safely loaded, my husband and I decided to head to our hotel. About a mile from the kid’s house we hit rain. It was like a monsoon!! They got seven inches of rain! As we watched the rain begin to flood the streets in places we thanked God for holding it back until we had finished loading the truck.

The next morning was one of those bright, crystal-clear days, filled with sunshine and blue skies. The closing on their old house and the closing on the new house were both on Friday. We played with the grandkids while my son and his wife took care of business.

Then by late afternoon we were ready to move them in. They had more people come from their little church to help, and by supper-time they were finished. We stayed one more day to help unpack boxes and move furniture around and arrived home last night.

Their new house is just amazing. It’s such a blessing when you see how the Lord has answered prayer and blessed your children. I would never in a million years have dreamed of owning such a house. It is perfect for them. With five children they will need every bit of this large, beautiful house. It was already beginning to look like home when we left. The kids had their legos scattered all over the bedroom and kitchen counter. The girls were trying to coax the neighbors’ horses over to the fence with apples. And two-year old Grace was just having fun following everyone around.

God is so faithful and loving and kind. He gives us more than we could ever ask or think. It isn’t the material blessings. I am thankful for those, of course. It is the blessing of family, and love and home and being together that fills my heart with gratitude. My heart just sings with joy when I’m with my precious family. The love and laughter and hugs and kisses (and even the not-so-fun times) bring us closer together. Thank You Father – for the richness of Your blessings.

I have lots of bloggy reading to catch up on. I also have several other things that I must do – so I will do my best. It’s good to be home.

  posted at 1:16 PM

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Gone Moving!!
We just got home from church, and I thought I would get a quick post up to say goodbye for a few days only to find that Blogger is down for a bit today. So I’m writing on word and will transfer it when things are up and running again. Frustrating because I have a bit of time to read and comment and can’t (sigh).

We’re heading to Houston again. We are helping our son and daughter-in-law move into a new house. It is in the same sub-division they are living in now – but that doesn’t really make the move any easier. Everything still has to be packed and physically moved from one location to another. They have the closing on their house Friday morning and the closing on the new house Friday afternoon. They must be completely moved out of the old house by the time of the closing, and that’s what is making things rather difficult. So we’ll head there bright and early tomorrow morning and help load the truck.

It’s raining here today. We’re praying it isn’t raining there tomorrow! The last time they moved it poured!! It was a bit of a mess to say the least.

We plan to return home Saturday night, but we may have to stay one extra day. We’ll just see how much help they have and how much we get done. I don’t have a lap top – so I won’t have access to a computer. I thought about whining and begging my son to set up his computer right away but thought perhaps that wouldn’t be a good idea. So I will be out of touch for a few days. Isn’t it amazing how attached I’ve become to all of you? I truly will miss you.

Have a great weekend everyone. I’ll be back just as soon as I can.

  posted at 5:24 PM

Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Piano Lessons

Today was piano lesson day. I love taking piano lessons. When I was a teenager, I didn't love it. I thought I would and begged to take lessons, but then other things looked like so much more fun. I was involved in everything I could fit into my schedule at school. I had made the twirling squad after much hard work, and it took up a lot of my time. Somehow I was willing to get to school at 7:30 in the morning for marching band practice, but it was just too much effort to practice piano. So after a couple of years I quit. My parents should have given me a hard time but didn't. My Dad didn't want me to do something my heart wasn't in.

Fast forward forty years (and I do mean fast forward - time absolutely does fly), and I began to deeply regret my teenage decision. We bought a digital piano and a book that said you could learn to play by yourself. I worked very hard at it and was making some progress, but it became evident I really did need a teacher. My friend, whose girls were taking lessons from our church pianist, called one day to say there was an opening for me if I wanted it. I talked it over with my husband and decided to take the plunge.

That was three years ago, and I have never regretted it. My teacher, Mary Alice, is an amazing pianist. She is also so sweet and patient. I am not the most brilliant of students. I find the old brain takes a lot longer to learn things these days. I am making progress though and some day I hope to fill our home with beautiful music.

  posted at 3:59 PM

Monday, October 23, 2006
Prayer Request
It is a beautiful day here. I just love it when the heat is finally gone and we get that clear, crisp breeze. The sky is such a brilliant blue with a few feathery clouds high in the sky. And on such a beautiful day some are hurting.

I have a prayer request that came in a letter to my parents from a close friend in Pennsylvania. He is a retired Army Chaplain and recently became the Chaplain for the Pennsylvania State Police. When the horrible shooting at the Amish School House happened, he was called immediately. It is his duty to offer support to the troopers who respond to such tragedies. He arrived within minutes of the actual shooting. It was just as awful as we all imagined.

He ministered to so many during those next hours and days – the Amish families as well as the troopers - but he asked us not to forget to pray for the troopers. He wrote about how deeply affected they all were by what they had seen. He has spent a lot of time counseling and praying with them and says they are doing well – but they do need our prayers.

I have often thought how difficult their job must be, but I must confess that I hadn’t thought to pray for them. My prayers were for the families of those precious little girls. So I thought I would pass on this prayer request to you. Perhaps it will be a time when those who don’t know the Lord will accept Jesus as their Savior. Certainly the Amish Community has been a profound witness of love and grace and forgiveness to the whole world. Those men and women in law enforcement are called on to do things that would just crush some of us and this had to be particularly difficult. Please remember them in your prayers. Thanks so much.

  posted at 3:49 PM

Sunday, October 22, 2006

We had a wonderful sermon last night on prayer. The title of the message was “When All Hope Is Lost”. In spite of that title, it was a wonderful uplifting, encouraging sermon. The answer was essentially – PRAY. The four points were:
1. Prayer does supernatural things.
2. Personalize your prayer
3. Persevere in prayer.
4. Proclaim the promise of hope.

For me the sermon itself was an answer to prayer. I had begun to wonder just how to pray in my situation. Do I continue to pray for the miracle, or does there come a point where I just give up and accept the circumstances as they are. I asked the Lord to show me how to pray, and I believe the Spirit spoke His answer to my heart last night.

When I was thinking about what to write today, I had all of this on my mind. I thought about how most of my writing is so “me” centered. Last night our Pastor talked about Praise as part of our praying when all hope is lost. Praise not only glorifies God, it reminds us of whom He is. It is, for me, in the midst of praise that peace and joy begin to fill my heart. I don’t want to talk about me today. I want to Praise the Ancient of Days, the Lord of Lords, the Great I Am.

Father in heaven,
I give you glory and honor and praise, for you alone are Holy and worthy to receive all of my praise. You are righteous and perfect in all your ways. There is no shadow of changing with You. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. I am so thankful for that because You are the firm foundation under my feet that will never be shaken. You are my shelter and my protection. You surround me with Your love and nothing can every separate us.

Holy Triune God – I praiseYou with my whole heart. Blessed Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I fall on my face before Your throne and cry with the angels, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb! Worthy to receive honor and glory and power.” You are my righteousness, my hope, my joy, my life. You are my Savior, my Redeemer, my Lord, my closest friend. You have walked where I walk. You understand my deepest needs with a love and compassion that is beyond measure. You share my joy and my sorrows. When I rejoice You rejoice with me, and when I weep Your tears are mingled with my own. You are my gentle Shepherd, leading me, guiding me, protecting me, supplying my every need, and carrying me when the way becomes too rough. I love You Lord Jesus. You are my very life.

Oh Lord, You are so good. Your lovingkindness is everlasting. Your word is powerful and life changing. Your wisdom and knowledge are far beyond my understanding, and yet You are mindful of me. It overwhelms me to think that You chose me before the foundation of the world. You, who are so Holy and righteous, love me as if I were Your only child numbering the very hairs of my head, inscribing my name on the palm of Your hand. I cannot find the words to say how wonderful You are.

You formed the heavens and the earth with the words of Your mouth. All of creation tells the story of Your greatness and power. Its beauty and intricacy astounds us. You are the Master Artist painting beautiful scenes that cause us to catch our breath.

You are wise beyond my understanding. Your love is beyond measure. You see all things and You control all things. Nothing happens that does not first pass through Your hands. You have a plan for the ages, and all will be just as You have said.

Almighty God, I praise You for who You are. You are high and lifted up and Your glory fills the heavens and the earth. I worship You in spirit and in truth. I trust in Your unfailing love. You are worthy of all my praise and love and trust. Blessed be Your Holy Name.

In the Name above All Names, Jesus,
  posted at 11:49 AM

Saturday, October 21, 2006
Saturday Photo Hunt - Dreaming

"Here Comes The Bride"

This is me when I was three years old. I always wanted to be a wife and mother.
God is good. He made my dreams come true.

Get the Saturday Photo Hunt icon at tnchick
and participate in the hunt!!

  posted at 2:28 PM

Friday, October 20, 2006
We went "house hunting" today with my parents, and I am "exhaustified"! I actually love looking at other people's houses. The first one we looked at was so cute. Eveything was decorated just the way I like it, and it was so neat and clean. And she had two little boys!! I was impressed.

The next two were new homes, so unfurnished. They were nice too. However, by the third, fourth and fifith they were all beginning to run together in my mind. I couldn't remember which had what layout and which had the nice backyard and which had no ceiling fans......

I fear I have a rather short attention span. I was ready to go home after that. I'm the same way about shopping. I just want to go into the store, find the exact thing I had in mind, pay for it and get out of there! My husband, on the other hand, has endless patience for this sort of thing. He could look at houses or shop for hours. When we go Christmas shopping, I have to set a time limit so I don't fall down right in the middle of the mall!

Therefore, since my little brain has been sorely over-taxed today this is a very short and silly post. I just want to keep in touch with all of you. And after all, I was sure you'd want to know how my day went :-)

I appreciate all of you so much. It's like calling a good friend and sharing a bit of our lives. I would hate to miss out on it. (I think that's what makes keeping it in balance so difficult, but I'm doing better.)

  posted at 5:29 PM

Thursday, October 19, 2006
A Little This; A Little That
It is fifty-eight degrees today!! Fifty-eight!! You must understand. It was up around ninety yesterday. The change is quite dramatic. When I finish this post, I am going for my walk, and I may even need a sweater. It is windy, crisp and clear. Ah…we’ve waited a long time for this day. It’s been a long, hot summer. I love these days. However, I hasten to add that this is just about cold enough for me. I have gotten very spoiled, and when the temperature dips too far below sixty I don’t like it. Those days of below zero weather for days on end are still too vivid in my mind.

My parents are out house-hunting today. I’m praying they will find a little house that will be just perfect for them. It would be ideal if we could get them situated before we are ready to move. Once they are settled and happy I’ll feel a lot better about selling this house and moving.

Our Agent has a potential buyer for our property. We’re trying not to get our hopes up too much. We’ve heard that before, and it has come to “naught”. The timing would be nice though. The annoying “beep beep” of heavy equipment backing up was heard again this morning. They are beginning to clear more land down the street a little way to build yet another retail strip. They’re closing in on us. While they were building the big box across the street (also known as Home Depot) there was a constant beep beeping. At one point I asked my husband if they ever drove that equipment in any direction other than reverse!! It can really get annoying.

The video portion of our Beth Moore Bible Study was just breath-taking yesterday. She did a timeline for the prophecy given to Daniel in the ninth chapter. To see how that prophecy was fulfilled right down to the exact day was just amazing. I am simply in awe of God’s word. It not only speaks to me in miraculously personal ways, it is absolutely perfect in every detail. I love it. It builds my faith and encourages me. We serve an amazing God.

We are working on Christmas music during choir practice. Don’t you just love Christmas songs? The old carols are so special. I have so many memories of Christmas Programs I participated in as a child. Then there was the joy of watching my own children and grandchildren in their Christmas programs. We have gone Christmas Caroling so many times. It is such fun to see the surprised look on peoples’ faces as we begin to “serenade’ them with the ageless story of Christmas. We are, of course, singing some new songs too. They are wonderful too – full of joy and the wonder of Jesus’ birth. What a great time of year.

I am alone today. My husband has gone to do a few things for my daughter in her little house. I planned to get lots of things done, and I’m already way behind schedule. I find myself wishing for those few extra hours I often long for. If I could insert two or three more hours between noon and four o’clock, that would be great. Since I can’t, I’d better fold that load of clothes in the dryer, put the other load presently in the washing machine in the dryer, scrub the toilets, and get going on that walk I was talking about.

  posted at 11:46 AM

Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The Oak Trees

We have a group of oak trees in our front yard that I love. I don't know how old they are, but I imagine they have been there for a very long time. There were four when we first built the house. Now there are only three. One of them came down during a bad storm. It was the one that held my daughter's swing.

They seem very fragile. We sometimes wonder what keeps them standing. They all have great holes in them and the trunks look to be hollow in some places. Every time the wind picks up I pray they will remain standing.

We have taken so many family pictures in front of those trees. Graduations, special visits from family who live far away, birthdays, holidays - we always seem to gather under their branches for a family photo. They provide shelter for birds and house a few squirrels. They are very precious to me.

They are a picture of what I would like my life to be. They faithfully stand no matter what comes their way. There have been summers when it has been so dry I wonder how they will survive, and yet they remain full and green. Thunder storms rage with wind strong enough to cause them to bend - but they remain standing. Every winter they lose all their leaves only to grow new ones - healthy and strong. There have been seasons when they've been ravaged by worms - their leaves eaten away to nothing. They simply endure and then grow new leaves.

I think the secret is their roots are firmly planted. They go deep, and when the tough times come they are what sustains the trees. They hold them up and give them what they need not only to survive but to grow stronger.

Father, I want to plant my roots down deep in You. I want to be sustained by Your word and by Your Spirit so when the tough times come I will stand strong. I want to be of service to others. I want to glorify Your name and remain faithful whatever difficulties come my way. Make me like those sturdy oaks Lord.

  posted at 12:48 PM

Sunday, October 15, 2006
My Dream

This is a replica of the Little House on the Praire home my Dad built. My mom has it in their living room.

It is a gloomy day here today. The sky is gray and there is a steady drizzle, sometimes turning to real rain. It is dark enough inside the house to need the lights on if one wants to read. It is quiet, cozy, snug. I love this kind of day every now and then. I am basically a sunny day, blue sky sort of person. Too many rainy days in a row tend to get me down. But every once in a while it is nice to just feel wrapped in the warmth and coziness of home – like being wrapped in your favorite afghan.

I remember when I first read the Little House books. I didn’t discover them until I was grown and had two little boys of my own. I read them over and over again. It was the sense of home that drew me in. In spite of the hard times and tragedies they faced, there was always the comfort of home and family. Gathered together in the safety of a little cabin, the smell of baking bread, the warmth of a fire, the sound of Pa playing the fiddle and the soft click of knitting needles as Ma rocked and knitted in the rocking chair Pa had made.

Not too long ago I heard someone talking about having a dream and pursuing it. I thought back to my childhood and tried to remember what it was I dreamed of doing. Surely there was a grand idea of what I wanted to be some day. The person talking said it is never too late to pursue your dream. He reeled off example after example of people who even in their old age finally realized the fulfillment of their dream. “Come on Linda” I thought, “surely you had a great ambition. What was it?” I felt foolish trying to come up with something that surely everyone else had already discovered. If I could do whatever I wanted to do – what would it be?

Then I realized that I had indeed been living my dream. All I ever really wanted was to be a wife and mother and have a home that was filled with warmth and love. Oh I planned a big career because of course that was what was expected of us women of the sixties. I never got very far. Marriage and home seemed much more attractive to me. So while my contemporaries were busy liberating themselves, I was making a home and raising three precious children. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

I am so blessed and so content. On this dreary day I’ll sit on the couch reading while my husband watches football. I’ll talk to my children on the phone. I’ll visit a bit with my parents in their little apartment attached to our home. And I’ll thank the Lord for allowing me to live my dream. He is what makes it all work. He is the warmth and the love and the contentment. He is what holds us together.

  posted at 2:28 PM

Saturday, October 14, 2006
Braggin' Rights
This is going to be one of those totally obnoxious posts wherein the Grandmother (that would be me) goes on and on about what beautiful, handsome, brilliant, talented.....(well you know) grandchildren she has. We just got home form watching my two oldest grandchildren compete in a Bible Quiz. Stephanie is fifteen and Jared is eleven. They are half of a team of four from their small church who compete. The is Stephanie's second year and Jared's first. They pretty much have to memorize one of the books of the Bible in order to compete.

They need to be able to quote verses when given just one word, answer questions about that particular book in the Bible (they are doing Acts this year), and have a general working knowledge of all the people and ideas it encompasses. I can't tell you how detailed and perfect their answers have to be. I would be at a total loss.

So.....they absolutely wiped every other group out. They were fantastic, terrific, sooo smart. Jared is so cute to watch. He's still young enough to give you a thumb's up when he gets a right answer and then try real hard not to smile big. Too cute!

On the serious side, I kept thinking as I listened to them rattle off scripture verses and recall facts about people and places what a precious thing it was. Those verses they are hiding in their hearts will never leave them. Even in my old age, I remember those memory verses from sunday school and vbs and girls club. It is amazing how the Holy Spirit will bring them to mind. They are storing up treasure that will stand them in very good stead all their lives. I am so proud of them and so thankful that they know the Lord and are willing to put in all the hours of study it takes to prepare for these competitions.

Thanks for letting me brag a bit. My children and grandchildren are a gift from the Father more precious than anything money could buy. I am so blessed.

  posted at 3:41 PM

Friday, October 13, 2006
His Greatness
It is a beautiful day here in South Texas. It's finally a bit cool with sunshine and clear blue skies. It's that kind of blue that almost hurts your eyes to look at. There's a gentle breeze flowing through the open windows. Ahh fresh air!! It's so nice to have the windows open and the a.c. off. I love days like this.

In my quiet time today I was praying about all the needs that I've learned about recently. Some of them are so overwhelming. It would be easy to become discouraged and disheartened and wonder why. I've done that more often than I'd like to admit. But this time as I prayed I just began to get a small sense of who God is. My heart felt so full when I thought of how wise and powerful and merciful and loving He truly is. I really cannot get my mind around the enormity of who He is. I am just thankful that He is.

I could almost feel Him putting His arm around me and drawing me in close. I could almost see Him bending His head down to really listen to my prayer. It is overwhelming. I have been so far from Him lately - feeling rather defeated and discouraged about our own circumstances. I tend to shut down during those times and instead of pressing in, I run away. This was so much better. I get weary of failing in the same old ways. But He never makes me feel like a failure. There is always grace and forgiveness.

It is a very quiet day here. I'm all alone, and so I guess I'm a little contemplative. I am just struck anew by the greatness of who He is and smallness of who I am and the unimaginable miracle that He loves me and wants to spend time with me.

  posted at 3:10 PM

Thursday, October 12, 2006
Angel Dog?
We are deep into prophesy in our study of Daniel at my Bible Study. It is just awesome the way everything in scripture fits together. As we discussed the different interpretations of the order of events at the end of the age, some of the women said they fervently hoped the view that the church will be raptured before the tribulation is the correct one. The tribulation will be a time more horrible than we can imagine, and I could understand the fear they felt thinking we might have to go through it.

I was thinking about it this morning – thinking about the promises God has made to us in His word concerning His protection. Over and over again He tells us not to be afraid. He will never leave us or forsake us. Nothing can separate us from His love. If He is for us, who can be against us?

I was reminded of a story I have heard my mother and her sisters tell over and over again about my Grandmother. It was during the Depression, and they lived in a very poor area. The neighborhood was a rather rough one – not the sort of place you wanted to walk through after dark.

One of their neighbors – a young man with a wife who was due to have a baby shortly – was in the neighborhood bar when a terrible fight broke out. He tried to intervene and was killed. It was, of course, tragic for his young wife. She was left all alone.

My Grandmother had become the neighborhood “physician”. No one could afford doctors or hospitals, so they all came to her for help. She even acted as a midwife. She was very concerned for this young woman and promised to be with her when it was time for her to deliver her baby.

Late one night, after everyone had gone to bed, my Grandmother woke from a sound sleep. Somehow she knew it was time for that baby to be born, and she had to get to the young woman’s apartment. My Grandfather tried to prevent her from going, but she insisted. She told him to stay with the children and assured him she would be fine.

As she stepped out of her apartment into the dark, deserted street she noticed a large dog sitting right in her path. It wasn’t a dog she had ever seen before, and she tried to shoo him away. He didn’t seem at all menacing, but he wouldn’t budge so she walked around him and began to walk the few blocks to the young woman’s apartment. He followed right behind her until she reached her destination and went inside.

It was just as she somehow knew it would be; the young woman was in labor and so relieved to see my Grandmother walk in the door. The delivery went well and soon a little baby boy was cuddled safely in his mother’s arms.

My Grandmother gathered her things and left the apartment to make the lonely walk home. She opened the door and there was the big dog waiting right where she had left him. Again he followed closely behind her until she reached her own apartment. She opened the door and before going inside turned to look once more at the dog. He wasn’t there. He had simply vanished. She looked up and down the street, but he was nowhere in sight. In fact, he was never seen again.

My Grandmother was convinced that God had sent that dog to keep her safe as she made her way through that dangerous neighborhood to help someone in great need. We believe it too.

That story encourages me reminding me that in my moments of greatest need, He is always with me. I believe there are times when I am unaware of the danger around me, but He is there to protect me and keep me safe. Whatever the future holds for us as believers, we are safely held in His loving hands. Truly, He will never leave us or forsake us.

  posted at 12:14 PM

Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Rest of the Story
The Old Homestead

So….Here is the story of our house and my parents’ move here to Texas. My husband and I and our three children moved to Texas from Upstate New York in 1982. We found two beautiful acres on a little dirt road about twenty miles outside of the city. The only neighbors were three ranchers, one other house and a trailer. Our closest neighbors were the cows. The only trouble we ever had with said neighbors was when they found a hole in the fence and decided to ramble on out into the road. A quick telephone call to the rancher usually took care of the runaway problem in no time.

Several years later the changes began. The Christian School our kids attended was given twenty five acres just a short distance up the road from us. That seemed fine. However the increased traffic on our little dirt road created a dust storm you could see for miles. Eventually the road was paved. Then the rancher across from us had to go into a nursing home, and since no one in his family was interested in ranching, the land was sold to a developer. Before we knew it there was a subdivision here. The land was sold in five acre portions – so it wasn’t too bad. But it changed things dramatically.

We reluctantly adjusted to those changes. Little did we know they were just the tip of the iceberg. To make a long, sad story short – we now have another school up the street from us, an HEB shopping center one house down and a Home Depot right across the street (with more developing in the works). We (most of our neighbors and us) fought hard to keep Home Depot out of our neighborhood. However the old saying “You can’t fight City Hall” proved to be all too true. I think the bottom line was money however. Our little city saw the tax revenue from the big box store and simply couldn’t resist.

Before we knew that Home Depot was lurking in the background, my parents moved from Pennsylvania to live with us. They had lost a lot of money on a retirement home they thought would be a good idea for them but turned out to be just another one of those deals that suddenly costs a whole lot more than they promised. My husband built a little four room apartment on the back of our house for them. They were just settling in when Home Depot descended on us.

We endured all the other “progress” with resignation, but this was pretty much the last straw. The country was no longer country, and we just wanted out. The most economical way to do it is for us to build and my parents to buy a little home. They have found a church they love and would like to move closer to it. I feel terrible that they have to make yet another move (they are both in their eighties). I think my Dad is looking forward to having a little place of his own again though. I’m praying all of this will work out for all of us.

The blessing in all of this is that for some reason the city changed our zoning to Commercial, so we can sell to a commercial developer. The people living next to us have already done so. We are going to be surrounded if we don’t get a buyer. Our property has been for sale for almost two years now. There is a great deal of developing going on out here. Everyone and everything is moving out from the city. So we are praying that our land will sell.

It’s been a difficult time. My husband’s health isn’t the best, and he desperately wants out of here. We found five acres in an old subdivision which we bought in hopes of selling soon. And so we wait.

I’m not very good at waiting, but the Lord is using this and a number of other things to teach me the things He would have me know. Above all I am learning to trust. I know He will take care of us and provide exactly what we and my parents will need.

That’s the story. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, if you think about it you could pray the Lord will send us a buyer. We sure would appreciate it.

  posted at 1:29 PM

Thursday, October 05, 2006
Just Thinkin'
I’m sitting here staring at the blank screen with a mind that is pretty much in the same state. Nothing much happening there! Thankfully my days have been pretty uneventful. I like it when one day just flows into the next without those dreaded tidal waves.

I love this time of year. It’s still pretty hot here, but there are signs that fall just might be approaching. I don’t see much activity around the humming bird feeder. Somehow (must be that Someone reminds them) they know that colder weather is somewhere in the not too distant future, and they need to pack their teeny tiny bags and head for warmer climes. It is comforting to me to watch these cycles and know that just as they repeat themselves year after year God’s promises never fail. I know the humming birds will be back just as I know that God will never leave me nor forsake me.

We used to live in upstate New York, so I know that some of you are watching the artwork of the Great Artist and seeing the wonderful way He has with colors. Soon the leaves will be gone, but there will be new life in the spring. I can remember looking out at the barren landscape of winter. It seemed like spring would never come, but it did. He is faithful.

I’m looking forward to the day when a “norther” blows through. It will be as though someone turned the switch on a huge fan. Suddenly the trees bend in the force of it and the temperature begins to drop rapidly. All the heat and humidity is swept away and a clear fresh wind blows through. In the evening I’ll sit with my cup of tea and a good book wrapped in an afghan on the couch.

Soon the holiday season will arrive. I love it all. I wish I could make Christmas last much longer. I don’t particularly like the shopping, but I do love giving gifts. What I love most is being with family, the preparations, the decorating, the baking, and candles at Christmas Eve Service in church; singing all the old carols and learning new songs.

Life is good. Thank You Lord for Your faithfulness and for the gifts you so lavishly pour into our lives.


We leave for Houston tomorrow morning to spend a couple of days with the kids and grandkids. See you on Sunday. Have a wonderful weekend.
  posted at 9:22 AM

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
More Lessons While Bike Riding
We just got back from our bike ride. I’m doing better, but it is definitely still a challenge for me. As I was riding I began to think about the spiritual lessons I was learning from this new adventure.

There is one very long hill that we have to climb. The ascent is gradual and so isn’t too difficult in the beginning. It gets steeper as we get a little further up the hill. Then there is a point, about half way up, where it levels out a bit. It is a brief time to regroup and catch your breath. Then the climb gets steeper. I really have to work hard to make it the rest of the way. I try not to look ahead. I just put my head down and pedal. If I look do ahead, I begin to think I will never be able to make it. If, however, I keep my head down and keep pedaling I eventually make it to the top and level ground. There’s even a bit of a downhill run before we have to make the next climb – a respite from the hard work.
Every time I reach the top of the hill my husband says, “Good job!” (He of course has already made it to the top and is riding around waiting for me.) Those words and the satisfaction of “conquering” the hill make it all worthwhile.

I think this is much like my life. There inevitably comes a time when there is a difficult hill to climb. It isn’t easy to even begin, but there is no choice except to start “pedaling”. As we climb there are times of respite where things level off a bit, but then the hill looms up in front of us once again. If we look ahead, we can become discouraged and want to give up. It just seems there is no way we can make it. However, if we realize the help we have (shifting to the easier gear for one thing – as I finally learned) and continue to move up a little bit at a time we will make it. We aren’t alone. There is Someone else there, encouraging us and giving us strength just by His very presence.

When we finally make it to the top, there is the joy of just having made it. There is the peace of coasting downhill for a while. There is the knowledge that we have grown stronger because of the challenge. There is renewed faith in knowing we didn’t have to do it all alone. He was there for every turn of the wheel, supplying everything we needed to make it to the top. He’ll be there for the next hill too.

  posted at 10:36 AM

Monday, October 02, 2006
Bloggy Tour of Testimonies

At first I thought I would just read the other testimonies on the Bloggy Tour of Testimonies. My story, after all, is not very exciting. However, when I began to read some of the other posts I discovered that there were already a few very similar to mine, and they really blessed me. Finding the Lord at an early age is every bit as glorious as some of the miraculous salvation testimonies we hear.

My parents were both raised in the Catholic Church. It was my Grandfather on my father’s side who first left the Church. It wasn’t because he disagreed with the teachings; he simply resented the fact that he was required to pay to enter the little church. He didn’t go to another church, but my Grandmother began to attend a little Italian Baptist church. Both my mother and father were saved just before I was born (I think I have that right). So I was raised in a Christian home.

I was saved when I was about ten. I know this sounds silly, but I can’t point to an exact time. I was the kind of child who wanted more than anything to be good. I asked Jesus into my heart not once, but every time someone gave the invitation! I think one of the Sunday school teachers must have finally noticed my hand in the air more than once and decided an explanation was in order. She told us that once we asked Jesus to come into our hearts He never left us. It was something we only needed to do once. I was then baptized shortly after that.

There was never a time during my childhood where I didn’t believe, but there did come a point where I had to truly make my beliefs my own. It was during the one year I attended college that I sort of reexamined all the things I had been taught and embraced them wholeheartedly (after a lot of questioning and doubting).

Every once in a while our Pastor will ask this question, “How many of you committed your worst sins while you were a Christian?” Once again I find myself with my hand in the air. I have certainly not lived a perfect life. I have made some terrible choices and fallen from grace more than once. I think perhaps the one pitfall of being saved at a young age is that we may take the precious treasure we have been given and hold it far too lightly. We can take for granted what was purchased for us at such a great price. We can even become resentful and think we may have missed out on something.

I have come to realize that far from missing out on something – I have been spared so much heartache and pain. I value the gift I have been given more than life itself. When I saw the movie The Passion, I wept bitterly realizing with crystal clarity that I had known Him and all He had done for me – and sinned anyway. And yet He loves me. I hold the precious gift tightly and treasure it with all my heart. He is my life, my joy, my peace and my hope. Without Him, I would be nothing.


To read more testimonies go to Lauren's blog and find the links to lots of others.
  posted at 1:32 PM

Sunday, October 01, 2006
The dictionary defines holy as “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness”. Our choir has sung several songs recently about the holiness of God. During practice, our music minister talks to us a little bit about the songs we are going to sing. He said, “I have noticed that something special happens in church when we sing about the holiness of God. People respond.”

I know that as a choir something special happens to us. Our practice becomes less rehearsal and more a time of heartfelt praise and worship as we sing “You are holy, oh so holy. You are holy Lord of all.” Or, “No word but holy, that’s what I would say if I were asked today to convey who you are.” It is a word that drives us to our knees as we catch a glimpse of who God is, and who we are. It is the prophet Isaiah crying out, “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him….and one called out to another and said ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

My heart is so full when we sing these songs. I look out at the congregation and watch as slowly hands are lifted to the Lord. The praise fills the building and people begin to rise to their feet. Soon everyone is standing in reverence and honor to the Holy Lord of Hosts. And for a few brief minutes we see just a glimpse of the glory of God. I want it to go on and on. I want to see His robe fill the temple, hear His voice and feel the very foundations tremble. He is Holy and worthy to be praised.

  posted at 2:42 PM