Monday, December 27, 2010

Very Productive Morning!

Beau woke up in a bad mood and was very uncooperative: Morning Prayers - check

I forgot stuff from downstairs three times and had to make extra trips: Morning Exercise - check

Got halfway to daycare & had to turn around to get tuition envelope: Take time to enjoy scenery - check

Fell in the snow: laughed like a kid again - check

Turned on work computer only to find network down - Innovation - check

I wonder what the rest if this day holds?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

30 Times

In 1981, my Hero and I put this ornament on our Christmas tree in our little one bedroom apartment in Arlington, TX.

It was new and so was our marriage. This year, we put our tree up and for the 30th consecutive year this was the first ornament we put on the tree.

It's not new anymore and neither are we. Time and wear have frayed a few of the threads but it's more beautiful than ever to me. For better, for worse; in sickness and in health; for richer, for poorer: every December we put the ornament on the tree.

It is an ornament of grace that reflects our love. I pray it graces our tree for many more Decembers.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dear Santa, I can explain...

My mom was not one for holidays. As kids, we were lucky if the tree went up a week before Christmas and it always came down by the 26th... sometimes on the afternoon of the 25th.

We didn't have Christmas stockings. I didn't even know there was such a thing until I was almost grown. We hung our socks. Our nasty ol' used socks on the bookcase on Christmas Eve.

My dad made it funny though. He always had a plan. He was always going to figure out a way for Santa to put more in his sock than anyone else's. But every year, the same thing happened. We got up on Christmas morning and our socks had a little bit of candy and an apple or an orange and my dad's sock had a switch in it. We thought it was hilarious.

One year Dad had a really elaborate plan. He hung one of his long dress socks that had a hole in the toe. Then he put a box on the floor under the sock. He explained to us that Santa would start filling his sock and it would pour through the hole and into the box. By the time Santa realized what was happening, Dad would have a whole box full of goodies. The next morning, we all ran to the socks first to see if the plan worked. We howled with glee when we saw the usual switch... through the hole and resting in the box!!!

Now I have pretty Christmas stockings hung for my Hero and me, but I will never forget those socks and that switch.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Through Winter Windows

Trace of footfalls
pierce glistening white,
tokens of travellers.
Bygone origins,
trivial destinations.
Blinding reflections as
icy air sneaks through
unseen fissures.
Warmth beckons
and beauty is abandoned.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm all alone

"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;" 
1 Thessalonians 4:11

One of the things about the empty nest that I've really had to adjust to is that I have so much time alone. Since 1985 when my first child was born, I didn't even know what it was like to go to the bathroom alone! I certainly don't remember much time where I had the whole house to myself. Now, here I am. Alone.

I wondered what the Bible had to say about being alone. Jacob was alone and wrestled with the angel. Jesus went apart alone to pray. When He instructed us to pray, He told us to enter into our closet. If I enter into my closet I would surely be alone because I have tiny closets.

But I have a lot of time alone. I don't want to wrestle with an angel, because, quite frankly, angels scare me. Whenever an angel shows up, history changes. My Hero can wrestle with an angel. I pray, often. I try to pray without ceasing but I don't see myself staying in the closet for hours on end. I think my joints would get very stiff.

So what else is there about being alone? While I was chasing through verses I came across 1 Thessalonians 4:11. I've read it hundreds of times, literally, but this time something different struck me. Why do we have to study to be quiet? We study hard things. The Lord must know that it is hard to be quiet. It is. Isn't it?

That word "quiet" means to lead a quiet life, not running hither and thither and to hold one's peace.

First, we certainly don't live in a world where living a "quiet life" is the norm. Running hither and thither is the mainstream. I can see why God would say we needed to study that one.

Second, I don't know about you, but it's hard to hold my tongue sometimes. I want to have my say. In the Internet world we all have our say. There's a platform for everything: Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube just to name a few. But we need to study to be quiet. 

One of my newest pet peeves is proclaimed drama. I signed on to Facebook one day and was greeted with this status from one of my friends: "My husband needs to learn that he is not always right and I am not always wrong!" Really? You just posted that on the Internet for all to see? Really? So, when you and hubby kiss and make up, how are you going to take that back? I wanted to tell her to be quiet, but I held my peace. And I made a mental note to never share that kind of trash in a public forum. 

I was studying.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I went to school for this

I struggled through 4 years of college to write. I kept going to school, through a near-death medical emergency, a subsequent heart attack, and a lengthy recovery. I kept going because I was driven to write.

But I don't write.

Words, sentences and stories tumble around in my head constantly. I never put them to paper.

I mean to. I plan to. I just don't follow through.

I'm not sure what is going on, but I need to get past it. I need to make myself push through this place. The stories are inside and they need liberated.

For three or four years, my Mom and I talked about taking a trip to the town where she was born and lived until she was 11 or 12. She wanted to look around. She wanted to tell me stories. We planned it. We dreamed about it. We talked about it. We never did it. She passed away and we will never take that trip. Every time I pass the exit to her town, I remember the things we never did.

I need to write while I can.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My latest quilt

I made this sweet rag quilt for one of the students where I work. She is about to graduate and her baby girl is due in January.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Our weekend getaway

GeoTagged, [N41.55763, E90.45330]

Yesterday, my Hero and I decided to get away for one night. We reserved the riverview whirlpool suite at the Holiday Inn in LeClaire. We had chocolate mousse cake and sparkling grape juice and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. There us nothing better than spending time with my friend, my lover, my Hero!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The last couple of days

The last couple of days have required chocolate... lots of chocolate.

This means that the next couple of days will probably require walking.

Unless of course, I decide that the next couple of days require more chocolate.

Friday, September 3, 2010

He has no idea

If Beau thinks it's cold when the temperature is in the 50's, what is he going to do when it's -10°F?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More funny stuff

A few days ago, I posted this. Believe it or not, there is even more.

I have to preface the story by telling you that the parsonage at our first church was a one-room house. There was only my Hero, me and Girly then and she was only 3 so we made it work. But I quickly discovered a major drawback to having a one room house. There is not another room to escape into when you need to laugh out loud at someone.

One evening, the church trustee came by to go visit some families in the community with my Hero. This trustee was known by his friends as "Elvis" because he wore his hair slicked back. While my Hero was tying his tie, he was telling Elvis his plan for the evening.

"The first family I'd like to visit is the one across the street from you. I know they have kids and I know they aren't in church on Sunday morning, so it's a good prospect," said my Hero.

No one could have predicted what happened next. One minute, I was trying to occupy myself in a small space while the men talked, the next minute I was scrambling for cover.

"I been thinking about that fellow," started Elvis. "He looks like a Mesican, but he's got them blue eyes. I think I got him figured out. You see, over there in Europe, they have a country named Hemia and they call the men Beau-Hemians. I'm pretty sure he's a Beau-Hemian."

Honestly? How do you deal with that. How do you respond in a little one room house where there is no place to hide? The closet!! We had a closet in one corner of the house and suddenly, I had an urgent need to get something from the closet.

I don't know if they heard me howling or not.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My computer is sick

It won't turn on. I understand how it feels but I need it to turn on. I'm trying not to freak out but I'm freaking out. I have to take it to the computer hospital tomorrow and see if they can fix it.

They better be able to.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The ministry can be a funny thing

The very first church my husband pastored was in East Texas. It was in a part of East Texas described as deep East Texas. The year was 1989 but in this little town, I don't think anyone had ripped 1959 off the calendar yet.

The little country church sat on 10 acres set back off the road and a church member lived up on the road. While my Hero met in the church with the pulpit committee, some of the ladies and I fellowshipped on the back porch of the member's house. I was looking out across the church's acreage and noticed dozens of these dried mud mounds.

Now, where I come from in West Texas, we don't have anything that looks like this so after puzzling over it for a few minutes, I asked my hostess, "Erlene, what are those things?"

Sweet as could answer, she said, "Oh, them? They the crawdad holes."

Still puzzled, I looked out across the property and couldn't identify any water source. There wasn't a creek or even a stock pond to be seen, so I asked further, "Is the water table real high here?"

And without blinking an eye, she assured me, "Oh, no! It's only about $30 a month."

And I am telling the truth although I did change her name.


Even ladybugs can be aggravated. There are some things happening in my world right now that are ultimately going to lead to changes. Not bad changes, just changes. I don't prefer change.

So, I'm trying to seek out the advantages of some of the changes and today I was looking forward to having a little extra time to work on my fall lap quilt.

But I don't think that's going to happen because my silly back is acting up. I'll go to the chiropractor later this morning and get the back fixed but that means I will lose the time I would have had to work on the quilt. I only have to put a border on the top, prepare the backing and do the actual quilting. (I know that sounds like a lot but the hard part of piecing the top is done.) I'm sure the quilt will be ready in plenty of time for the cool Autumn days, but I wanted to work on it today!

What about you? How do you handle change? How do you handle the unexpected aggravation of life? Do you let it work you into a tizzy or do you go with the flow?

I'm trying to go with the flow but I'm not thrilled with it… yet.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Hello. My name is Terri and I am a Gadget Geek. Seriously.

I have a tatting shuttle and I don't even know how to tatt. But it is the cutest little gadget!

I collect them all. It doesn't matter what the gadget does, I want it. I have cooking gadgets, craft gadgets, sewing gadgets, electronic gadgets and gadget gadgets.

I just bought a new quilting foot for my sewing machine. It helps you sew perfect 1/4 inch seams and it really works. I love it!

And this week, I got the best of all gadgets because its a multi-gadget. My brand-new iPhone 4!

This is the ultimate for a Gadget Geek. I have Kindle for my iPhone, my iPod, my Contacts, my Calendar, and my games (also an Angry Birds addict) all in one little pint-sized package in my pocket.

Ahhhhhhh. I like it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Some things I've seen

A few weeks ago, my Hero and I set out on an adventure. We were driving around in east/central rural Illinois looking for an ancestors grave. As it turns out the tiny cemetery is on private land and we haven't been able to contact the landowners yet but we know where it is now.

While we were driving around we saw this:

Fogottonia, USA! Isn't that funny? I'm not a city girl even though I married a city boy and I've lived in the city for the past 30 years. My heart is "where the blacktop ends." I've said for years that my dream home would sit on 20 acres somewhere that you had to be going to my house to get there. I would love to live in Forgottonia, USA but the city boy I married would go crazy. So I go in adventures in the country and take pictures.

How about you? Would you rather live in the city or in Forgottonia?

Sunday, August 15, 2010


For longer than I can remember now, I've travelled this road. Trusting there is a destination to be gained, I press on. The darkness sits upon my chest as I struggle to breathe. Is it the never ending valley? Did I choose my path poorly?

In the beginning there were many more travelers. Often we walked together. Always I could feel them. Some have abandoned the journey. Others have arrived at their destination. The path of many has led to the mountains.

I know the mountains are there. I know they can be reached. I know the sun, so elusive in this valley, shines there. I can hear those who have reach the mountains sometimes—praising, laughing, rejoicing—while I trod further in the night.

I struggle to understand. Is it my sin? The sin of parents? For the glory of God? I dare not quit and yet, I don't know how much longer I can continue.

Lord, make my path clear, even if it is only one step in the shadows. Walk beside me and calm my fears. Take the past nightmares from me and hold me now, in the present. Reassure me that someday I will see the mountain.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Now off to First Grade

Remember this last year?

Already another school year is here. Now, Beau is in first grade.

August 11, 2010
He's getting so big—so grown up already. I know that in years to come, I'll look back at these pictures and realize how little he still is.

His Mommy got up and made him a special breakfast to commemorate the occasion.

He is eager to learn. He is eager to explore. This morning at the bus stop, he and the other boys knelt and watched an oriental cricket until the bus arrived. They asked questions. They touched it to see what it felt like. They talked about the cricket's song. They took the time to watch and learn.

Beau is a reminder to me. Don't miss the moment worrying about what comes next.

Learn. Explore. Question. Watch.

He keeps me young.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The little things

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" Ephesians 5:20

I was headed off to college before I knew that sheets came in sets. Until then, I had never seen a flat sheet. I grew up "economically disadvantaged." I was nineteen and had been working a full-time job for 6 months before I owned two pairs of dress shoes at the same time.

When we got married, like many newleyweds we struggled financially. I vividly remember when we had been married a few years, opening the refrigerator one morning and feeling like we had arrived because there was orange juice in there.

Since then, we've had our ups and downs, but I never drink a glass of orange juice, choose a pair of shoes out of my closet, or pull a flat sheet up over me at night that I don't remember how very blessed I am.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Beau makes me laugh

Can't you just see the spunk in his eyes? Every day he says something that makes my smile burst forth into a laugh.

He was in summer school for a few weeks recently. For the most part, he loved it but one morning he decided he would rather stay home and play with his trains. He came out of his bedroom holding his forehead and said, "Nana, I believe I have a fever." I felt his head and told him he did not. He thought for a minute and said, "I could get one later! You never know."

Another evening, we bought him some chicken nuggets from Dickey's BBQ (Mmmmm, by the way) and it came with a roll. He loves their chicken nuggets and had specifically requested them. The funny part came when he bit into the roll. His eyes lit up and he exclaimed, "This is the best bread! Now this is what I'm talking about!"

He's growing up so fast. This Wednesday, he will start first grade. He is reading. He has almost mastered the art of tying his shoe. And he makes his Nana laugh a lot.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Time for a Change

I'm changing the face of my blog a bit (I suppose you have noticed). Trying to freshen it up and get back to posting. What do you think of the changes?

  • Is it readable?
  • Is it pleasant to look at?
  • Does it load quickly enough?

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Cycle

As I pull the brightly-colored quilt up over the bed, I want to crawl under it and hide. For days on end, I could stay there. Grief floods through me. Not as often as before but just as powerful.

Twelve years ago, next week I said goodbye to Luke. Eleven years ago, my mom passed away. Just ten days later, we lost Samuel. Three years ago more of my children went away. I hear from them in passing.

Most of the time, the dull ache simmers deep beneath my smiles. This time of year, heated by the anniversaries, it boils closer.

I must tell Jesus. I must keep moving. This too shall pass.

Monday, May 24, 2010

And so it starts

Two weeks ago, I had to pull my potted plants in off my back porch because we had a freeze warning. Today, the heat index is 95 degrees! Maybe summer will come and go quickly and we can sit out July and August in relative ease. You think?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I want to know: Reader Survey

  1. How often do you read my blog?
  2. What posts do you enjoy the most? Random thoughts, family musings, nostalgia, devotions, crafts, my writing?
  3. What would you like to see in my blog?
  4. Anything else you want to tell me?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Do birds have eyes?

I sat at the kitchen table swinging my legs and watching her. She perched on one foot with the other propped against her leg just below the knee. I could hear the chop of the knife and smell the onions, but all I could see was her back.

Crossing the room and standing beside her, I tried to balance myself in her flamingo stance but almost toppled. She never glanced my way. My face barely cleared the counter so I tiptoed to watch her cut the onion. The knife moved effortlessly always stopping within a hair’s breadth of her hands. I craned my neck to watch her face, but she was finished with the task and moved on.

This is like so many memories of her. I remember her actions. I remember her words. I don’t remember looking her in the face. She was beside me. She was in front of me. She was behind me. I think I was thirty before we ever talked face to face.

More than ten years after she closed her eyes the last time, I cherish those few memories that include those eyes— the crow’s feet of smiles, the shadow of worry, the glimmer of pride.

I try to look people in the eye—especially my children and my grandchildren. I want them to remember my soul, not just my actions or words.

Friday, April 30, 2010

That's what I'll be willing to do.

For today, I'm reminding myself of some things. You can eavesdrop if you want.

I listen to Dr. Laura regularly because I love to hear people being told how to behave. One of the things she often says is that it's not important what you are feeling, but how you are behaving.

I need to hear that. A lot.

It's a good thing to remind myself because sometimes I want to behave out of how I feel instead of in spite of how I feel.

I feel hurt. I feel wronged. I feel frustrated. I just feel mad. I want to snap at people. I want to tell people off. I want to strike out at people. But I know better.

So do you know what I do? I get alone with God. I cross my arms across my chest and scowl like I did when I was six.  I tell Him that people are stupid. I tell Him that I'm mad. I tell Him it's not fair.

And He says, "I know."

So I ask what I should do.

And He says

"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
Micah 6:8

It doesn't matter how I feel. It matters how I act.

For as long as I can remember, I have sung this chorus:

To be like Jesus
To be like Jesus
All I ask— to be like Him
All through life's journey
From earth to glory
All I ask— to be like Him.

So how can I be like Jesus? God says, "I'm glad you asked. I wrote about that, too."

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."
1 Peter 2:21-25

I should follow in His steps. I cannot tell you how many times since I committed that passage to memory that I quote the little phrase "but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."

So I uncross my arms. I relax the scowl. I unball my fists. I drop my shoulders. And I surrender to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul.

I sing another song I have sang for as long as I can remember.

Whatever It Takes by Lanny Wolfe
verse 1
There’s a voice calling me
From an old rugged tree
And His whispers draw closer to me
Leave this world far behind
There are new heights to climb
And a new place in me you will find

For whatever it takes to draw closer to you Lord
That’s what I’ll be willing to do
For whatever it takes to be more like you
That’s what I’ll be willing to do

verse 2
Take the dearest things to me
If that’s how it must be
To draw me closer to the
Let the disappointments come
Lonely days without the sun
If through sorrow more like you I become

For whatever it takes to draw closer to you Lord
That’s what I’ll be willing to d
For whatever it takes to be more like you
That’s what I’ll be willing to do
I’ll trade sunshine for rain
Comfort for pain
That’s what I’ll be willing to do
For whatever it takes for my will to break
That’s what I’ll be willing to do

That’s what I’ll be willing to do.

Monday, April 26, 2010

On Auto Pilot

The allergy season has been terrible everywhere. What's weird is that I've never suffered from allergies before but this year! Wow! It's made me really sick.

So I haven't done much of anything.

I haven't written much.

I haven't blogged at all.

I haven't sewn at all.

I haven't even crocheted.

I'll be glad when I feel better and I can do something.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Different Wave Lengths

Have you ever watched the face of a six-year-old boy when you tell him to make his sound effects in his head?

We are on completely different wave lengths.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I want to

I want to cry. There are no tears.
I want to scream. There is no voice.
I want to faint. There is no one to catch me.
I want to sleep. There is no rest.
I want to lash out. My hands are bound.
I want to. I can't.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

According to the commandment…

"And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment."
Luke 23:55-56
He was gone. They watched as His body was laid in the sepulchre. The grief and confusion mingled in their hearts. But they went on. They prepared the spices and ointments to properly bury Him and they rested "according to the commandment." 

The faith of those women is inspiring. When I'm confused, sad, and overwhelmed I try to remember the women who followed Him. At the darkest hour of their lives, they did what they knew to be right. They rested.

Do I?

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I was born in Germany where Dad was stationed in the Air Force. We moved to the States when I was 2 and settled in West Texas where Dad was an instructor at Goodfellow Air Force Base. When my parents decided we needed to find a church, they found Baptist Temple because it had the same name as the church in Kansas City where they were married. I began my way through the children's classes.

The first day of the Beginners' Department, I joyfully marched in with all the other fresh four year olds to the big kids class. We sang new songs and divided up by age and gender to our own classrooms for the first time. I relished in the bright decorations on the walls and listened intently to a story told with pictures on a flannel board. I sat taller because I just knew I was so grown.

We were Sunday School attenders. My family went to Sunday School and the went home. We didn't go to the church services. But my new department teacher invited me to Children's church! I pestered and pestered until finally my parents started staying for the church service so I could go to Children's church.

On Palm Sunday in 1966, a bright-eyed five-year-old little girl listened intently while the teacher told the story of the crucifixion. I can still see the flannelgraph figure on my Jesus dying on the cross. For the very first time, my heart was pricked with conviction. He did that just for me… just to pay the penalty for my sin.

After church, that image burned in my mind. We ate lunch and went out to play. My little brother had several disabilities and I always helped him play. I was pushing him around the neighborhood on our green pedal tractor when he decided to stop and look at something. As he wandered off,  I rested on my knees behind that tractor and the conviction of the Cross flooded over me.

As a five-year-old little girl, I bowed my head there in the sunny April Sunday afternoon and asked Jesus to be my Savior. I ran in and told my mother and the next Sunday, Easter, after church my pastor knelt down to my level and for 20 minutes asked me questions about what I had done. I remember him standing and looking at my parents and saying, "She knows what she did and she understands."

Every April, as the newness of spring bursts forth around me, I remember the newness of salvation that I knew that April so long ago.

And I'm thankful.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lighten up, people!

I watch people. When I was younger, I never spoke. (Yes, those who know me now think I'm lying, but I'm not.) I just listened and watched. I still watch. Lately, I have seen so many unhappy people. I don't know if more people are unhappy or if I just notice it more, but it's sad. 

Yesterday, my Hero and I went to a pizza buffet for lunch. We got there just as they opened but it's a pretty popular buffet so it started filling up pretty fast. An older couple, probably in their mid to late sixties, came in right behind us and sat at a table near us. The entire lunch, the woman did nothing but fuss and fume at the man—over everything. She fussed at what salad items he chose: "I hate when you eat that!" She fussed over how much pizza he put on his plate: "Why did you get three pieces to start with?! What if you can't eat that much?" She even fussed because he bumped the table: "Would you scoot back?! You are jostling me!" They were behind me so I couldn't see his face but I never heard him respond and I think maybe he's so used to the verbal barrage that he ignores it. I hurt for both of them. I hurt for him because he has to endure that, but I hurt for her because somewhere inside she has to be hurting to spew such pain.

I know people close to me that are just as miserable. Usually it is because of a hurt or even a perceived hurt years ago that they have allowed to fester and become bitter and poison. Sometimes it is because they have become habitually contentious. Either way, they are miserable and work to make everyone around them miserable.

My Hero and I have been married for almost 29 years. I can't imagine talking to him like that woman was talking to her husband. (I am not perfect by far. When we were first married I was a hothead, but God used several circumstances to teach me better.) I wondered what it was that made that couple marry in the first place if she can't stand him. Then I realized it's probably not him she can't stand, it's her own hurt. He just bares the brunt of it.

After we left the restaurant, my Hero brought up the subject. He had heard it all, too. We talked about bitter people and those who feel like they have to scrape and scratch to stay on top of the heap. This verse came up:

"But godliness with contentment is great gain." Timothy 6:6

This is a lesson that both of us have been striving to learn. We've undergone a few trials in the past few years and we both found ourselves getting bitter. We realized what was happening and we began to work on forgetting those things that are behind and being content. The pains of trials that are nurtured become bitter and I certainly don't want to be sitting in a pizza restaurant 15 or 20 years from not while another couple listens to my bitterness spew forth all over the love of my life.

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her." Proverbs 3:13-18

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I've been reading

I love the Kindle app on my iPhone. Now, I even have the Kindle app on my Mac. I know what you are thinking and I relish the organic feel of a real book in my hands, too, but the Kindle app is so convenient that it didn't take me long to love it almost as much.

I love the fact that anytime I'm waiting or have downtime, I can pull out my phone and read, picking up right where I left off last time. One of the things I love the most is free… free books. Amazon has tons of free books for the Kindle and the selections change regularly. I've discovered Christian literature is often among the free offerings. I am having a wonderful time discovering new books and authors I might not have otherwise read.

In February, Daisy Chain: A Novel, by Mary DeMuth was free. I downloaded and read and fell in love with the Defiance, Texas Trilogy but more,  Mary's writing. I've read Christian literature before, and so often the characters were one dimensional and the plot so predictable. Even the dialogue is so banal that I can tell you what the characters are going to say ahead of time. In short, it bored me.

Not so with Daisy Chain. The characters, all of them, are round and real. Each of them struggle with faith and relationships and just the human condition. It didn't hurt that I grew up in a small Texas town and so I felt like I knew these people. Jed Pepper and Daisy Chance are two early adolescent best friends making their way through the trials of life, when Daisy disappears. Everyone in town handles the disappearance in his or her own way: some fear, some blame, some feel guilt, some grieve, some pray, some reject God. Most of them wrestle with all of those things, like real people do.

So far, I haven't bought a lot of Kindle books because the free ones have kept me satisfied, but as soon as I finished Daisy Chain, I downloaded A Slow Burn and gobbled it up. I can't wait for the final book. In fact, waiting makes me crazy.

I was telling a friend about the books, and googled Mary DeMuth. I found a lovely Christian writer who is passionate about her writing and her Jesus. I'm an official fan. If you follow my blog at all, or know me, you know that I am a writer…a frustrated one, but a writer just the same. The amount of encouragement and knowledge I have gleaned from Mary so far is invaluable. Jesus let me stumble across Mary and I'm a better for it.

Now, I've downloaded Thin Places. I've only made it through a few chapters because the glut emotions that the book is churning. I've even read a couple of chapters to my Hero and he cried. I'm not ready to tell you about this book yet, but I will soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Latest Project

I read about this on another blog and just had to do it. So I sent off for my kit and it came in the mail.

I sewed.

And quilted. (This was my first attempt at free motion quilting.)

And finished the quilt.

I will definitely do this again soon!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An emotional day

Early today, I realized I'm afraid. I'm not ready to tell all about it, but I've been afraid for a long time. I think that fear is what has kept me from working on my memoir of my mother.

Then later, I found out my uncle had died. He was my mother's brother. I was talking to my dad about it and he told me some things that I had never known about my grandmother. Things that made the 13-year-old girl inside of me comforted in knowing.

Days like this are rough and wonderful all at the same time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's been a long winter

I know it's been a long winter everywhere, it seems, but the winter in Iowa felt endless. We had snow on the ground everyday for more than three months. Now, to lifelong Midwesterners, that's not a big deal. I hear them brag about the winters "back in the day." (I don't believe them though when they say that back in the day, it started snowing in August and didn't quit until May... that's stretching it more than a bit.)

But I'm not a Midwesterner. I've made my home in the Midwest for almost 20 years now, but I am still a Texas girl. We never had snow on the ground for three days straight, let alone three months.

This winter got to me. I think I understand a little those people who say they get depressed in the winter. I did. I was so tired of cold and snow and ice, that I didn't want to do anything. I think I've been to Walmart less than half a dozen times since Thanksgiving. That's pretty bad.

I missed the sunshine. Even though I know we are headed into our rainy season, the sun comes out between the storms and that makes them tolerable.

It dawned on me, that because the Son shines on me between the storms of life, they too are tolerable.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Rag Quilt

I've always wanted to try a rag quilt and I saw this really cute cowboy material so I gave it a shot. I chose to back the quilt with flannel and use flannel as the batting. After cutting all the squares and stacking them, I was ready to go!

Lots and lots and lots of X's across the squares...
I sat and watched this for a long time.....
Then, clipping and clipping and clipping the seams....
One washing to start the ragging process and here we go!! I really liked the way it turned out. I have another project I'm starting soon. As soon as the supplies arrive, I'll tell you about it. But I am certainly going to make another rag quilt after that.

The end!
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the quilt worked it's magic right away....

Friday, February 19, 2010


"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
—Lamentations 3:21-23

I confess that I am a worrier. It is a time-honored tradition passed on to me by my mother. It is also not one I am proud of. I have spent much time in prayer for the past year or so, attempting to overcome my tendency to worry. In the past couple of days, several things have come up that have made me worry. This morning, the Lord brought these verses to my heart and a great burden of worry was lifted from my soul.

His compassions are new every morning. I am so thankful for morning.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Flaws

On a cold Saturday night, as January comes to a close, I sit in my chair with a blanket across my lap crocheting a new scarf. I'll still need it for another month or so. I've been crocheting for 25 years now and almost mindlessly, my hands move in the rhythm of yarn over, through, yarn up, through, through. Turn. Again. Occasionally I stop and examine my work. Ninety-nine percent is perfect, but here and there I notice a slip—a stitch that doesn't quite meet my standard. I don't know if anyone else would even notice it, but I see it and I know that it's there.

I'm afraid I do that when, as a mother, I look at my child. I don't see the 99%. I see the stitch that I wish I could go back and redo.

Lord, help me to see your handiwork in her life and not my mistakes. Amen.

Monday, January 18, 2010


The wooden screen door thwacked shut and the shouting inside succumbed to the droning chorus of the cicadas. My summer-browned bare feet carried me across the searing sun-softened tar of the black top. At the end of the street, pavement yielded to hard nature-kilned clay veiled by powdered sand. The dust cooled my toes.

I paused to crouch at the small stagnant pond beside the path. Last summer I would have stretched out on my stomach to watch the tadpoles, crawdads and water bugs. Now I am too self-conscious. Even in my over-sized t-shirt I don't want to be reminded of my emerging breasts. Stretching my legs, I trekked on.

Thoughts tumbled as I passed dry, root-bound tumbleweeds and gnarled mesquite trees. The sharp exchange between my parents pierced my mind as I avoided prickly pear cactus. A skittish black tarantula hastened to her hole, safe from the burning heat.

I reached the NO TRESPASSING sign at the base of the earthen dam and climbed past it to the top. I settled on a large rock and scanned the horizon for the muddy lake in the distance. An emerald skink flashed in the brush beside me. I hugged my shins, knees pressed against my bosom. Sighing, I beheld my world in the simmering afternoon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Iowa Winter

I got this in my email and I just had to share:


65 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Iowa plant gardens.

60 above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Iowa sunbathe.

50 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Iowa drive with the windows down.

40 above zero:
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Iowa throw on a flannel shirt.

35 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Iowa have the last cookout before it gets cold.

20 above Zero:
People in Miami all die.
Iowans close the windows.

Californians fly away to Mexico .
People in Iowa get out their winter coats.

10 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Iowa are selling cookies door to door.

20 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Iowa let the dogs sleep indoors.

30 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Iowans get upset because they can't start the Snow-mobiles.

40 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops.
People in Iowa start saying...'Cold enough fer ya?'

50 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Iowa public schools will open 2 hours late.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The feet of crows
lined her eyes

The lilt of laughter
escaped her lips

The shadow of love lines
etched her hands

She departed one day
leaving only memories
of eyes, lips, hands