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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, June 26, 2008
Visiting the Grands


We're heading out to spend a few days with the kids and grandkids. Yippee!!! See you some time next week (that isn't really a picture of "us" but it sometimes feels we've packed that much for just a short trip).

We had an email from our daughter this morning. She is there safe and sound. It's a beautiful day in Paris!

Blessings,
 
  posted at 2:20 PM
  6 comments



Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Good-byes

Two Precious Gifts - my Mom and my Daughter

I hate good-byes. You know - the ones where someone you dearly love is going away on a long trip or leaving to go to a far distant home after a visit. I begin to get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach days before the actual good-bye, casting a shadow over that last bit of time together. I tell myself this is a silly way to behave, but it is useless to try and convince my heart of that. It refuses to cooperate.

I have known for a long time that my beautiful daughter would do a lot of traveling. She is a planner, and when she sets a goal she very nearly always accomplishes it. She went to France and Spain last fall for a couple of weeks and decided then and there that she would go back for an extended time as soon as she could. She immediately began working toward that goal.

So I have known for a long time that this day would come, and I have dreaded the good-bye. For weeks now she has been getting everything in order to be gone from her home for three months. I should tell you that she is twenty-nine years old and single. She saved diligently for years and bought her own little house a couple of years ago. She has left no detail undone. Little by little she has crossed things off her many lists and today she crossed off the final "things to be done."

She is a writer - an excellent writer (said the proud mother). She works part-time as an editor and does a lot of free-lance writing. She took a leave of absence from her job, bought a lap top and plans to work on her free-lance editing and writing from Versailles.

I am thrilled for her. She is living out her dream. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a grand adventure for her. I will miss her more than I can say. I'll miss the nightly telephone conversations and the visits. She is more than a daughter; she is my dear friend, my confidant, my joy. I am so proud of the young woman she has become. Her heart is as beautiful as her radiant face.

Knowing how much her Dad and I will miss her, she bought us a web cam. I have definitely stepped into the 21st century! We will be able to talk to one another via the computer AND SEE EACH OTHER! Thank you technology!! We did a dry run the other night, and I think even I will be able to pull this off. It is simply amazing. When my son and his family move to Dallas, we will get them one too. Then we will be able to see all the grandchildren whenever we want to - right here in our own home. It isn't as good as the real thing, but it sure is special to be able to see each other even when we are separated by hundreds and hundreds of miles.

We just got home from the airport a little while ago. Yes - those last few minutes were hard. It seems there is always another little bit of letting go. You think you've done it once and for all, but that just isn't so. We are holding her in our prayers, trusting her to the loving care of a Father who will never let her out of His sight for a moment (just as He never did when she was right here). We pray for safety and protection, for the blessing of finding other believers and a good church, for wisdom and discernment for her, and that she will have the very best of times.

She has filled our lives with such love and joy. The Lord brought her into our lives when she was just three months old, and we have been so blessed. I am so grateful. He gives me so much more than I could ever deserve.

Have a wonderful time Honey. We love you more than words can ever say. I miss you!

Blessings,
 
  posted at 5:48 PM
  4 comments



Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Arms of Love



I'm over here today - at Laced With Grace.


Blessings
 
  posted at 7:32 AM
  0 comments



Sunday, June 22, 2008
A Love Story


Everyone, I think, loves a good love story. In recent months I have been privileged to watch one unfold right before my very eyes.

Lamar walked into choir practice in January and quietly took a seat next to my husband in the bass section. They introduced themselves and began to get to know one another. The most important fact to emerge from this conversation, as far as I'm concerned, was that Lamar is single! "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." as Jane Austen eloquently said in "Pride and Prejudice". I don't really know about the good fortune part, but you get the idea. My little mind immediately began running down the list of single women I know.

I never thought of Jo, but as we were sitting at a little table in the church coffee bar before choir practice one evening Lamar walked in and Jo said, "I think Lamar is adorable." Being the great thinker that I am - something clicked! "So do I," I replied in as encouraging a voice as I could muster. I began to try to think of ways I could help this along, but I needn't have worried.

The next week when we walked into church, there were Lamar and Jo sitting having coffee together. Then they sat next to each other in choir. My little heart danced when, a few weeks later, my husband and I were walking behind them and they were holding hands. Before long they were together all the time.

It is such a pleasure to watch two people who are falling in love. Lamar is very shy and quiet, but he sure was smiling a lot more. Jo began to have a radiance about her. One evening I gave her a hug and told her how happy she looked. "I am," she said with that glowing smile.

We sat next to them in church a couple of weeks ago. They were holding hands and talking. "We've just come from the Riverwalk," she said. Then she leaned over and whispered, "It's my birthday, and we celebrated the day together." They both just grinned from ear to ear.

It was Jo's 68th birthday. Lamar is 72. They are such a sweet couple. I think marriage is definitely in their future, but Jo says they need to go slowly and carefully. She is a very wise lady.

It has been a joy to watch these two begin to build a relationship that is grounded firmly in their shared faith. They are precious, giving people who serve and love with open hearts. I plan to be at this wedding. I, for one, can't wait.

Blessings,
 
  posted at 10:58 AM
  8 comments



Thursday, June 19, 2008
A Letter To My Father


Heavenly Father,

This is your daughter - the one who has been so distant lately. I've missed You. Why is it that the times I need You most are the times I distance myself? Is it, perhaps, because I know just what it is You will say to me and don't want to hear it?

At the beginning of this year You gave me a word and then a verse to go along with it. The word was "Path" and the verse was Psalm 16:11. You know how I am about these things; how I tend to think a thing to death and in the process begin to question and doubt. Well You've made sure there was no doubt in this case. I felt such a conviction of the truth of it in my heart. You were calling me to set aside all my own dreams and desires and simply follow the path of Your choosing.

I did pretty well for a while Father, but then I wandered off on my own again. I guess I just didn't like the way the journey was going. In truth, I lost hope because I didn't think we were making any progress. I couldn't see anything good on the path.

I imagine You smiling about now. You know me so well. I hadn't really surrendered my life to You at all. I was still wrestling for control. I may have wandered off, but You never let me out of Your sight.

I was sitting in church Saturday when Pastor said that You had caused a certain word to stand out to him as he was preparing his sermon. The word was "PATH". Then he gave us verse after verse : Prov. 14: 2,12 Prov. 15: 10,19, 21 Prov.16: 17, 29 and Prov. 22:6. "Stay on the right path," he said, "and good things happen." I nearly jumped out of my seat.

Oh Father, how You love me. I, who am the least of Your children. You love me with a love that knows no bounds. You love me when I am so unlovely, so rebellious, so selfish and willful. You draw me close when I wander away. You extend such mercy and grace. Over and over You cleanse and fill and restore.

I love You Father. I nearly laughed out loud last evening when I went to the restroom before choir practice started and there on the door of the stall was a flyer with the word "PATH" in huge bold letters. Thank You - for loving me in spite of myself; for Your infinite patience.

Set my feet back on the path Father. I'm ready to go - just please hold my hand tightly in Yours. I don't want to wander off again.

With much love,
Your Daughter
 
  posted at 7:53 PM
  8 comments



Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Sleep (or the lack thereof)
I cannot remember the last time I slept through the night. I'm not sure when it began, but sleep has gradually become very elusive. I put my head on the pillow feeling as though I could sleep for weeks only to lie there for an hour or two as sleep slips further and further away. I do eventually fall asleep, but it is an interrupted sleep - something in my disfunctional system causing me to wake up every couple of hours and lie waiting for sleep to come again.

Occassionally I do fall right to sleep, but in a couple of hours I am awake continuing the cycle of sleeping and waking. I wake up feeling pretty much the way I felt going to bed - exhausted. I have tried all sorts of mediations from Tylenol Pm to Benadryl to perscribed medications. I read articles on "Getting a Good Night's Sleep" and follow all the suggestions - to no avail.

I have tried running down my prayer list, which is a good use of the time but only serves to make me more wakeful. I think my main problem is shutting down my mind, which seems to just want to rev up the minute my head hits the pillow. Deciding to clear my mind and think of nothing just doesn't do the trick :-)




A few weeks ago a dear friend sent me this little book - "The Valley of Vision". It is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions. The prayers are beautitul and inspirational. There is one I have decided to begin praying each night before I go to bed. It "fits" so perfectly. For any of you who share my struggle with sleeplessness I thought I would share a portion of it:




Sleep

"Blessed Creator,
Thou has promised thy beloved sleep;
Give me restoring rest needful for tomorrow's toil;
If dreams be mine,
let them not be tinged with evil.
Let thy Spirit make my time of repose
a blessed temple of His holy presence...

Help me when I helpless lie,
when my conscience accuses me of sin,
when my mind is harassed by foreboding thoughts,
when my eyes are held awake by personal anxieties.

Show thyself to me as the God of all grace, love and power;
Thou has a balm for every wound,
a solace for all anguish,
a remedy for every pain,
a peace for all disquietude.
Permit me to commit myself to thee awake or asleep."

Pleasant Dreams,
 
  posted at 11:02 AM
  12 comments



Saturday, June 14, 2008
Saturday At My House
Saturdays are different now that the nest is empty. In fact, the reason they are different is that they are not all that different from any other day of the week. Just as the seasons seem to just gently slide into one another so,too, do the days. There aren't the typical family activities to do; no one is going to school, so school holidays don't have much meaning. One day follows another with only occasional breaks in the routine. It is a lifestyle I have come to cherish. With aging parents and growing grandchildren, each day is a precious gift.

This particular Saturday is different though. Today is my husband's 60th birthday. We are having a family celebration at my daughter's house this evening. I just took the cupcakes out of the oven. MMMM...the house smells good! She is busy baking away too. We want to make this day special for him. He is the kind of man who gives so much of himself to everyone else. Just yesterday we went to visit my parents and he brought along the weed eater so he could work on my Dad's yard. It was 100 degrees yesterday! It's the kind of thing he is always doing. What makes it even more special is the fact that because of health issues he is never really feeling well, but he just keeps on going with faith and strength that just amaze me. It is his constant faith that encourages me and gives me great hope.

His birthday always falls very close to Father's Day - so we will have a double celebration. We'll honor all the other Dad's in the family as well - from Great-grandpa down to my youngest son. I will bring my camera to the party and promise to put up pictures soon.

I have been decidedly uninspired in the writing department lately. I'd like to blame it on the heat, but I really think it's just my tired, little brain. I have been being creative in another way though....I've been doing the hand quilting on my quilt and am now more than half way finished!! I'm posting a few pictures at Dawn's request:











It's difficult to get the whole quilt in the pictures because it is a king-size quilt. It is my very first attempt, and I decided to make a sampler quilt so I could experiment making different patterned squares. I picked out the patterns and then chose the fabrics. I love all the different colors and shapes.

I sit with this huge mass of material on my lap in the evenings and take tiny stitches all around the patterns and then quilt a design in the blank squares. I have a permanent callous on the middle finger of my left hand where the needle comes through as I try to make those little running stitches. It was difficult to take more than one stitch in the beginning, but I'm improving. My stitches are not nearly as uniform or tiny as my Mom's, but they're getting better. I have had to take my perfectionist self by the throat and say don't worry about every little mistake. At first I would rip out every stitch I didn't think measured up. At that rate, the quilt wouldn't have been finished until the next century! So I am learning as I go and enjoying it much more this way.

I am also spending a bit more time on my piano - trying to get this tired old brain to learn new things is a challenge :-) I really do love it and wish constantly that I hadn't been so lazy when I was a teenager. It came so much easier then (sigh), but I am making progress. If I could just get triads and chords and diminished 7th's and that sort of thing straightened out in my mind.....

Have a blessed weekend. Happy Father's Day to all the dad's in your lives.

Blessings,
 
  posted at 12:05 PM
  10 comments



Wednesday, June 11, 2008
RARE BIRD SIGHTING!
I may have mentioned a time or two that we are experiencing drought conditions here in our part of Texas. With so little water around, I've been very diligent about keeping the bird bath full of fresh water for my sweet little feathered friends. It's been fun to see some birds we've never seen before. We've had a pair of Flickers come every once in a while - very pretty. The beautiful Cardinals usually come in pairs, as do the doves. I even saw a little woodpecker the other day. We don't see them at the bird bath very often.
This afternoon, however, I saw one that is rare indeed. I'm so glad I had the camera handy.








Blessings,

 
  posted at 12:03 PM
  5 comments



Monday, June 09, 2008
The Desert

Tuesday I will be here at Laced With Grace. It is time to reconnect, and I will begin with a devotional on walking in the desert. I've been wandering around long enough...

Blessings,
 
  posted at 7:59 PM
  1 comments



Tuesday, June 03, 2008
DOLDRUMS


Doldrums, according to Webster, means "a state or period of inactivity, stagnation or slump." I didn't find my picture next to that definition, but I feel as though I could have. My little brain and my self are feeling a bit stagnant right now. I don't know if it's the fact that we have had record-breaking heat for weeks now (100 degrees today y'all) or I've just run out of steam. Whatever the reason, I think I need to take a little break.

I wish I could transport myself to a lonely beach somewhere and watch the waves endlessly roll in. Since I can't do that right now, I will just spend some time doing other things. I plan to be here in spirit (that means I'll be reading) but absent in the "flesh" (no writing for a while). Just for a little while....till I make my way out of the doldrums.

Blessings,
 
  posted at 7:03 PM
  17 comments