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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Thursday, January 31, 2008
Red Flag Day

Due to extremely dry conditions and high, gusty winds we are under a Red Flag Alert in our part of Texas today. I looked out our picture window as I was eating breakfast this morning, and the trees were indeed clapping their hands. With faint hope I asked my sweet husband if he wanted to do our usual bike ride, and he said, "Sure!". My hopes dashed, I got ready to go. I didn't want to rain on his parade, what with the wind and all.

I put on sweat pants, sweat shirt and my litte knitted cap for good measure, because although the thermometer said 55 degrees I had a sneaking suspicion it wouldn't feel all that warm (what with the wind and all). As we left the house I couldn't help but notice the trees were not only clapping their hands, they were fairly dancing!

By the time we arrived at the little park where we leave our car and unload our bikes, the trees were hanging on to the ground with their little roots for all their might. I could scarcely get the car door open! Never one to miss out on an adventure, my husband proceeded to take the bikes off the rack, put the water bottles in their holders and mount up (while I tried to remain upright). So off we went.

To say it was difficult to ride into the face of that wind is a huge understatement. There were times I practically came to a standstill! I kept muttering that this was absolutely ridiculous but continued on behind (way behind) my strong husband. There were moments when it wasn't bad at all - that would be when the wind was behind our backs and it felt as though a huge hand was propelling us along. Fortunately that was the case when we left our country road and turned onto the highway and up the biggest hill of our ride. It was amazing how easily we managed the hill. Coming down, however, was a different story. I had to pedal HARD going down-hill! Going in a straight line was a real challenge as the wind swept elegantly across the highway (elegant was not a word I would use to describe myself at this point). Add to that the eighteen-wheelers screaming by - and I was exhausted when we finally got to the bottom of the hill.

Somewhere along the way the lines from an old gospel song popped into my head. It is a song written by Joel Hemphill and part of it goes like this:
"I know the Master of the wind.
I know the Maker of the waves.
He can calm the storm, make the sun shine again.
I know the Master of the wind."

Yes, I thought, I know the One who controls this powerful force. And this wind, although powerful enough to make bike riding difficult is just a small demonstration of that power. I felt such a sense of peace, safety and protection. This Mighty God is my Father. He loves me and has promised to take care of me always. He will never leave me. I am His beloved child.

So let the wind and the storms come - "I know the Maker of the wind."

  posted at 1:59 PM

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
One Thousand Gifts

"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow."
James 1:17

46. the cheerful song of a cardinal perched on the topmost branch of the tree

47. rose colored clouds at sunset

48. a hot bubble bath on a cold winter night

49. the gift of a heart-shaped gold ring from the love of my life for out 41st anniversary

50. the two of us - sitting quietly - not needing conversation

51. a new book - a story waiting to be discovered

52. fuzzy pink slipper-socks with big pink polka dots!!

53. a bike ride with good friends

54. answered prayer - the miracle of two tiny baby girls for Kristen

55. celebrating Dad's 88th birthday

56. the warmth and strength of my husband's hand

57. my comfortable bed with fresh, clean sheets at the end of a long day - ahhh

58. the tiny bird perched on the edge of the bird bath - carefully taking a drink

59. hot soup on a cold winter night

60. coming home to warmth and familiar things

61. bags full of groceries - the daily provision from a loving Father

62. the gentle click of knitting needles

63. opening the "in box" and finding notes from friends

64. hearing "Hi Mom" at the other end of the phone

65. my piano - the joy of learning to play

66. our mailman Mel - cheerfully whistling as he delivers the mail

67. Jane Austen movies - how I love a good story

68. A verse for the new year: "He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." Psalm 23:3

69. A "word" from His heart to mine - "Path". In complete surrender to His will, I want to follow the path He has set before me. Trust - for I don't have any idea where the path will lead this year.

70. the little plant I had nearly given up for dead - thriving and boasting beautiful flowers.

71. enjoying the ministry of a smile

72. a new friend

73. encouragement

74. "All the paths of the Lord are loving kindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies." Psalm 25:10

75. writing - the pen moving over paper

76. the string section of our church orchestra - beautiful music

77. two hawks circling high overhead and calling to each other

78. sharing stories and laughter with my piano teacher

79. prayer

80. a glimpse of blue sky through the clouds - the promise of sunshine

81. the young steer with a sweet face - watching as we ride by

82. the adorable little toddler who walked over to me in the restaurant just to take my hand and say hi

83. the scent of the new bar of soap

84. helping us to find the lost tire changer for the bikes

85. a walk in the crisp refreshing air

  posted at 11:36 AM

Friday, January 25, 2008
Stay Alert!

I will be here saturday talking about staying on the alert:

The scene was a snow covered wilderness area populated only by a small herd of deer. It was serene and quiet, the perfect illustration of peace. There was no sense of danger at all and yet the deer were not comfortably foraging for food with heads bent low to ground. Instead they stood with raised heads looking cautiously around. They were listening, looking, and sniffing the air for any sign of danger. And I thought as I watched them, “They seem to spend most of their lives on the alert – always mindful of the enemy."......

You will find the rest of the devotional at Laced With Grace.

  posted at 10:08 PM

Thursday, January 24, 2008
An Award
Have you ever had one of those days where you just feel like giving up; like you are just a big failure and what's the use anyway? Well I was having one of those days just yesterday. I talked myself into thinking I should just give up on some things and quit trying. And then I received this.

My precious friend Ann sent it to me. It was just exactly what I needed. I never cease to be amazed at how my Heavenly Father cares about every little detail of my life. I hadn't even prayed about any of this (which, of course, is exactly what I should have done), but He saw my hurting heart and used Ann to minister to me. It blessed and encouraged me - made me feel loved and cared for. Thank You Lord; thank you Ann for thinking I could possibly deserve this.

Now I would like to give this award to some others whose writing and tender hearts have spoken the love of Jesus to me over and over again:

1. momrn2 at My Quiet Corner

2. Iris at Sting My Heart

3. Beth Moore and Amanda's blog at livingproof ministries

These are just three of the many blogs that minister to me. I know they will minister to you as well.

  posted at 7:57 PM

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Happy Birthday Dad
Today is my Dad's 88th birthday. Happy Birthday Dad!!
We are so fortunate to have him in our lives. I always picture him busy - working hard, creating beautiful things out of wood for my Mom and for the rest of us, helping whenever one of us needs him. I also picture him reading his Bible. How he loves the Lord. And I rarely can picture him without my Mom right along side. They will celebrate 62 years of marriage in a couple of weeks.

He has slowed down these past few years. The golf clubs sit at the back of the closet, and he cannot do the work he once enjoyed so much. However, he loves to learn new things and is a whiz on the computer. He tries things I wouldn't dream of attempting. He emails family and friends and is the one we count on to take and post all the family pictures. He still enjoys wood working and made me a lap desk for my birthday. I treasure all the things we have in our home that have come from his hands. Lately he has been playing a lot of chess - with the computer and with the great grandchildren. That's him with his oldest great granddaughter Stephanie. They love to play with him because he doesn't let them win. They have to work hard to beat him - and that doesn't happen often. They had such a great time during the two days we were all together for Christmas.

He is very precious to me. Thank You Lord for my Dad.

  posted at 3:56 PM

Friday, January 18, 2008
Life is Like a Crossword Puzzle
At the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump, I have been thinking that life is like a crossword puzzle. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to our favorite Half Price Books store because they were having a twenty percent off sale (who could possibly resist that?). We found a bunch of puzzle books marked down to one dollar each and then with twenty percent off…..needless to say we bought several. I like to do crossword puzzles and my husband likes the word-find puzzles.

As I’ve worked through my first book of crossword puzzles I’ve made seen some interesting parallels to my life. There are some puzzles that come together so easily. One word after another is filled in with relative ease until the whole puzzle is completed – every little square filled in with its proper letter. It’s fun but not much of a challenge.

Then there are the puzzles where I hum along nicely and then suddenly run into one particular word I just can’t figure out. I can usually manage to fill in enough words around it to figure it out. Once I have enough letters filled in, it suddenly all becomes very clear. This may happen several times, some words harder than others to figure out, but eventually this puzzle is all filled in too.

However, more often than I care to admit, there are puzzles that contain words I absolutely cannot figure out. I come at them from every angle – filling in some of the letters but never enough to help me find the right word. I try everything, sitting there puzzling and puzzling over those words that just don’t make any sense. It is amazing how difficult it becomes to see a word when the key letters are missing. I confess that there have been many times I’ve finally turned to the answer pages in the back of the book. Usually when I see the answer it is very obvious. There are times though when there is no way I would have ever known that particular word.

As I lay in bed this morning I had a mental conversation with God about crossword puzzles and my life. It went something like this:

“Lord, there are times when my life has been just like those easy crossword puzzles. Everything seems to fit nicely. Prayers are answered; life goes along pretty much the way I’d planned, and I understand it all. I am so thankful for those times.”

“Yes. Life is like that sometimes.”

“And Father, there have been times when life becomes difficult, and I get stuck in a hard situation and can’t figure out what the right “word” is. Remember all those years of trying to deal with that difficult person. You know how hard I prayed that you would change them; that You would somehow cause them to see the places in their life that needed to change; that they would see that their behavior was hurtful to those around them. You know I tried every way I could to figure out how to make that person different.”

“Yes, I remember.”

“Then that day at Bible Study, Lord, the “word” I was looking for suddenly stood out so clearly. It was me You were wanting to change! It took time, but we worked on it and things got so much better. The puzzle made sense. I am so thankful for that.

"Yes child."

“But Abba, there are situations where I just haven’t been able to find the right “word”. When Barbara died, I just couldn’t work the puzzle. I have never been able to find the right letters to fill in all the little squares. Two little boys left without a mother who loved them so dearly; a grief-stricken husband who adored her. Then he remarried, and it was never right. Years later there was that divorce and the boys suffered. They are grown men now and there is still one who is so far from You. I don’t understand how the pieces to this one fit.

And Lisa’s friend, Father, the one who died so tragically. We cannot seem to make any sense of it. We prayed for her, and the pain never got any better. It all seemed so senseless, and she was their only child.

Perhaps if we could just fill in some of the “words” around these questions we could find an answer that makes sense to us. But nothing seems to work. The blanks remain. Is there some way I can see the answers Father? Could I take a peek at the back of the book?”

“I understand child. Yes, there are some things to which you have no answers. You have seen me work in those other situations where things were made clear. You know that I love you and that I only do those things which are for your ultimate good. You may rest assured that there are answers. You cannot see them now, but there will come a time when all the blanks will be filled in, and you will see how it all fits together perfectly. For now I ask you to trust me. Some day we will look at the back of the book together.”

“Yes Abba, I understand. I love You; I trust You, and I am so thankful for who You are.”

I must give credit to my sweet friend Ann for the idea of writing my post as a conversation with the Lord. She does it far more beautifully than I ever could, and it was on her blog that I first saw it done.

  posted at 11:00 AM

Monday, January 14, 2008

This is Alie. To read her story please join me at Laced With Grace tuesday morning.
She is looking forward to meeting you!

  posted at 7:33 PM

Sunday, January 13, 2008
I am apologizing in advance for not being able to visit and comment for the next couple of days. My daughter is coming to visit today - fun!! Tomorrow we have a funeral to attend in the morning - and IT IS OUR 41st WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!! So a bitter-sweet day. One of our daughter's close friends from high school suddenly passed away. Very tragic, and I'll tell that story another time. She was just twenty-nine years old.

So we will go to the service in the morning and then celebrate our anniversary by going out to dinner monday evening. I'll be back on tuesday. It's my turn to do Laced With Grace.

Have a blessed weekend everyone,
  posted at 1:50 PM

Thursday, January 10, 2008
As My World Tilts
I lead a very sheltered life. I readily admit it. Home, family, church, friends, shopping in our neighboring city, some volunteer work at church – that pretty well sums up my life. However, we had an experience yesterday that upset my little world.

My husband and I volunteer on Wednesday afternoons at our church. We help the music ministry librarian by putting the music we will be using for choir practice in the 369 individual folders and taking out and sorting the music we are finished with. Another friend does it with us, and we really have a pleasant time working together – chatting and laughing as we get the music where it needs to go.

There was a lot to do yesterday because we had to take out all the Christmas music and insert all the new music we will be learning for Easter (yes – just nine more rehearsals until Easter weekend!). We didn’t finish until 4:30. My husband and I needed to stop at our insurance agent’s office to sign some papers for a new auto policy ( a story for another day), and since choir practice starts at 7:00 we decided to just stay in town rather than drive the fifteen miles home.

We went to the insurance office and then headed out to get something to eat. I have had this ridiculous craving for Kentucky Fried Chicken – so we went in search of the Colonel. I’m sure if we hadn’t been specifically looking for one there would have been half a dozen around, but we had to travel closer to the city to find one. It was right across the street from one of the large high schools that look more like small college campuses to me.

As soon as we walked in, I knew we were out of our element. There were a couple of older people eating at the tables, but it was mostly teenagers – obviously a hangout for them. We didn’t have time to go anywhere else, so we placed out order and sat at a booth behind a group of four teenagers. There was another large group of about ten or so sitting at the tables at the opposite end of the small restaurant. I heard more really gross cursing in the fifteen minutes or so it took us to eat than I have heard in the past several years. I just couldn’t get over their language.

They all had cell phones and ipods and looked well dressed to me – although I really don’t think they were what you would think of when you think of “good kids”. We finished eating quickly, and my husband went into the rest room to wash his hands. During the time we were eating, several people had come into the restaurant to order take-out. There was a fairly regular stream of people coming and going. I noticed an older man in hospital scrubs with a medical boot on one foot (he had obviously had some sort of surgery on his foot) come in.

There was a sort of half wall separating the dining area from the counter so I couldn’t see the people once they went to order their food. I noticed a bit of activity on the part of the large group of teens and a couple of them must have gone to the counter – I couldn’t really see. Suddenly there was a shouted expletive and “He stole my money!! A thousand dollars!” All I could see was the door open and then the older man in the hospital scrubs trying to run after whoever it was who had stolen his money.

It was such an unnerving thing. Someone went with him to try to catch the thief, but he ran so fast there wasn’t a chance they were going to get him. There was a young couple with two little girls who had come in shortly before the theft. They were sitting fairly close to the group in the corner, and the young woman said, “They knew what he was going to do. I heard them say, ‘Don’t do it.’”

There really wasn’t anything we could do, so we left the restaurant. I felt so shaken by the whole episode. Those kids really couldn’t have cared less. They just sat listening to their music, ordering food and talking on their cell phones - so what if an innocent person had lost so much hard earned money.

I thought of the other kids who have to go to school with people like this. I thought about what kind of homes they must come from. I felt so sorry for that man. He will never get that money back. It just made me heart sick. This is just one little incident. How many times is it multiplied day after day? Life is so dark without the Lord.

So my little world was tilted a bit yesterday. It is one thing to hear things on the news or read about them in the paper. It is quite another to see it played out in front of you. How it must hurt the heart of God.

  posted at 9:05 PM

Sunday, January 06, 2008
Casting Your Care Upon Him
"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you."
I Peter 5:7

What a priceles treasure contained in those simple words. In the time that I have spent with Him in the past few weeks, it is this thought that has been like a healing balm to my spirit. I thought I needed answers. He knew that I needed healing.

There are so many others in our little community of bloggers who need a special touch from a loving Father. I hesitate to name them all, fearing I will leave someone out. I simply pray that the words I read in my little devotional this morning will minister to each of them as they did me.

I have a tiny little devotional book called "Morning and Evening" by C.H. Spurgeon. It is a very old book, held together with tape. I have seen it published recently (it is one of those books that is a perennial favorite), but I love this worn little book that I found in a used book store. It is written in the original old English.

"It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when I can feel - 'He careth for me'. Christian! do not dishonour your religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight which your Father would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be to Him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to-

'Lie passive in God's hands,
And know no will but His.'

O child of suffering, be thou patient; God has not passed thee over in His providence! He who is the feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not down in dspair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a host of troubles, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses. There is One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, His heart beats with pity for your woe, and His hand omnipotent shall yet bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. If thou art one of God's family He will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy broken heart. Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave providing to the God of providence!... If God cares for you, why need you care too? Can you trust Him for your soul, and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens, He has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave all thy concerns in the hand of thy gracious God.

I hope these words minister to someone. I am always a bit hesitant to share something that I find so meaningful for fear it won't speak to anyone else in the same way - or that it will somehow minimize someone else's struggle. We are walking through the most difficult time in our lives, and I felt such a sense of God's amazing love as I read this. It is in that spirit that I share it with you.

May His richest blessings be yours.
  posted at 12:12 PM

Friday, January 04, 2008
Can You Hear Me God?

I am here today - talking about the theological discussion I had recently with my three year old granddaughter. I would be so blessed to have you come visit.

  posted at 8:44 AM

Wednesday, January 02, 2008
One Thousand Gifts

Thanks to God

“Thanks for prayers that thou has answered, Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered, Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure, Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure, Thanks for love beyond compare!”

J. A. Hultman

28. The “super-charged” atmosphere in church as we began to sing praises to the King of Kings. (“The presence of the Lord is here. I feel it in the atmosphere.”

29. Christmas lights celebrating the birth of the Light of the world.

30. Wearing the simple little bracelet made by unknown hands in Uganda – the gift we received for the gift we were honored to give.

31. Discovering joy in giving rather than receiving this Christmas. I, who imagined Christmas without gifts, would seem empty.

32. The love and warmth of a home filled to bursting with four generations of family.

33. Prayers of thanksgiving from my elderly father (the Great Grandfather) and my young grandson. The priceless legacy passed from one generation to another.

34. Children and grownups gathered around the table playing games and sharing laughter.

35. Taking a walk with the whole family – the boys, Dads and Grandpa tossing a football as we made our way down the road; the little girls running and jumping over rocks and ditches; the girls, Moms, Aunt and Grandma, talking and calling out warnings (“Car coming – move over! Don’t jump in the puddles girls!”); our oldest grand-daughter patiently teaching the new puppy how to walk with a leash; my elderly parents walking slowly behind – hand in hand.

36. Good conversation- what a blessing these amazing adults are. Lord how You have given grace.

39. Answered prayer for our grandson – completely recovered from his appendectomy.

40. The hugs and kisses as we left to make the long ride home. The memory of two huge hugs from my twelve year old grandson. I am so thankful he isn’t too grownup to give Grandma tender hugs.

41. A safe trip home – filling the hours talking over the wonderful time we had.

42. A new year – new beginnings. Your mercies are new every morning Father. Such grace.

43. A walk with our neighbors under a brilliant blue sky – the air crisp and clear.

44. Celebrating our little granddaughter’s fifth birthday. Five!! The years go by too quickly.

45.A quiet evening – sitting in my little corner on the couch, sipping tea, reading words that inspire and lift my spirit (thank you Ann).

  posted at 2:52 PM

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I am so thankful for new beginnings. I have seen enough "New Years" roll around to know I am not very good at making and keeping resolutions. A few years ago I decided I just wouldn't make them any more. However, I want to continue to grow and change so this year I have a "desire" rather than a resolution.

My desire is to walk in the path the Lord has chosen for me - without murmuring and complaining - with simple faith and trust in the One who has promised to never leave me or forsake me. I know the path I would like to take, but I am beginning to understand that my ways aren't necessarily the best ways. From my perspective they look to be exactly right. I cannot see with His eyes. He knows the plan He has for me and for those I love most dearly.

At the beginning of this new year, I relinquish my plans, my desires, my dreams and grab hold of His strong right hand. I walk with steps that sometimes falter, sometimes fall, but the desire of my heart is to walk steadily toward the prize He has for me. I ask only that He give me grace and strength for the journey and that Jesus walks closely by my side.

Heavenly Father, with trembling heart I place my hand in Yours. Lead me in the way that You would have me go. Please place a hunger in my heart for You and for Your word. Draw me close Lord - I don't want to go anywhere without You.

"Thou will make known to me the paths of life;

In Thy presence is fullness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever."
Psalm 16: 11

Blessings to each of you as we begin this New Year,
  posted at 2:35 PM