The Silent Gift, by Michael Landon, Jr.

>> Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Silent Gift is the second book I have now reviewed for Bethany House.  This story is phenomenal.  It captured my attention from the first few pages to the end.  The only flaw with it is that once you start reading, it's very hard to put down.

This book is written by Michael Landon, Jr. and Che Ahn and takes places during the Great Depression.  It centers around a deaf/mute boy, Jack, and his mother, Mary.  Mary is a tenacious young woman who fights for his son in any way she can.  Along her and Jack's life-journey, they encounter good, scary, and unjust times but they continue on.  Even though Mary feels God has abandoned them, we, as readers, see God's hand on everything that happens.

Here is an excerpt:

"Oh...Jack," she said, tears flowing down her cheeks.  He stared at her, and she pulled off her right glove.  Slowly, she reached out and touched the tip of his nose, ran her finger up the bridge and formed a heart around his face.

"I love you, little man," she whispered.

She saw it then.  The light of recognition in his eyes that told her more than words could ever say.  He smiled -wide, joyful, and stepped into her arms.

This book deals with some hard topics such as prophecy vs. fortune telling.  It will get your mind thinking, for sure.  I highly recommend this book and wouldn't be surprised if it soon becomes a Hallmark movie.





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Measure of Mercy by Lauraine Snelling

>> Saturday, December 5, 2009

This is the very first book I am reviewing for Bethany House. The story takes place in Blessing, North Dakota. It is a fictional town that has come to life through the author's imagination. This is the first in a series but the characters are from Red River of the North books. If you are interested, there is a website for the town of Blessing.

The main character of this book is an eighteen-year-old woman, Astrid Bjorklund. She is training to be a doctor in this 20th century setting. She goes to Chicago, Illinois for continued training and proves to be a very talented physician. I felt the book really came to life when Astrid took care of a little orphan boy named Benny, who lost both his legs to an accident. He was adopted by a young couple in Blessing. Also, Astrid's family took in a little girl left in their barn on a very snowy day, most probably from an Indian reservation.

Here is an excerpt from her interaction with Benny.


"Are you an angel, Miss?"

Astrid sat down on the edge of his bed. No one's ever called me an angel before, but if it makes you feel better..." She let the thought hang and laid the back of her hand along his cheek. Still warm but not more so than before. "Go to sleep now."

He nodded, a smile touching the corners of his mouth and impossibly long eyelashes drifting closed.
I had trouble getting to know these characters.  There were many introduced in a short period of time plus they are Norwegian names, which makes it even harder.  When I hit the half-way mark, I began to be interested.  It makes sense now that I researched the author.  This is a continuation from former books.  It is possible to start with this book, just be aware that it takes a bit to come to know the people.  It is a fantastic community who all help out each other.

It is an enjoyable read and I did learn much about the time period.  It is very interesting time in history.  There are loose ends left in this book which leaves us set up for the next book in the series.

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Bumper Car Living

>> Friday, December 4, 2009

I have a confession.  It's a tiny one, at least to any of you that don't live near me.  You're safe as can be, no worries there.  But to my family and co-workers, and anyone who happens to be within viewing distance of me while I'm driving, ummm... be afraid.  Be very afraid.

This past Monday was the first day I'd driven in over two weeks.  I went to school on a Monday and then the next day I had my surgery, was in the hospital for a week, and then there was the week of no school for Thanksgiving.  
Okay, so maybe I was out of practice just a bit.  Or maybe it was the residual effects of the anesthesia or maybe just plain laziness or stupidity.  Whatever it was, when I tried to back out of our driveway, I was blocked by something.  I almost pressed the accelerator thinking it was just mud.  Oh man, it wasn't.  It was my son, Nik's little car.  It really is no match for a min-van but it held it's own.  I must've hit it just perfect so our bumpers...bumped:)  That's what they're for, right?

It's a secret, though.  Nik doesn't  have a clue.  Serves him right for parking behind me.  Anyway, I do have a thought hidden in here somewhere.  Hold on, please:)

Lots of times I feel like I'm in a bumper car.  I go here and there, am bumped and change directions.  It's crazy.  I like to think I'm living a faith-filled life but sometimes I wonder.  Hmmm...  Anyway, it seems to be how my health works.  I roll with the punches, or try to.  Right now I'm having a rough time doing what I need to do.  I have some decisions to make.  If you would like to pray, please do that for me.  I would really appreciate it.  

God is so BIG!  He cares for us BIG TIME!  He loves us in a BIG way!  Let's remember this in this busy Christmas season.  After all, it is because of Jesus that we celebrate. 


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Monday Manna - Counting Sheep:)

>> Monday, November 2, 2009

Today is Monday Manna.  Jo, at Open Book, is our Monday Manna Mama:)  Ha ha.  Wait til she reads that!  Today isn't a very good day.  My head is roaring and my eyes hurt.  It's hard to be on the computer but this is where I gravitate to for almost everything even though it's hard at times.   Philippians is one of my favorite books of the Bible and this is a great verse to think and write about.  I couldn't pass it up.

With all the bad around us, it's sometimes hard to fill our minds with good.  President Obama is declaring this swine flu as a pandemic, which strikes fear in the hearts of people.  He also has everyone up in arms about the health care issues.  Just with these two things, I can't imagine how people can handle not having a personal relationship with Christ.  I have no fear.  I know God is God, just like He has been since the beginning of time.  There is nothing to fear when our lives are right with Him.  When sleep avoids us, think about these, it's much  more effective than counting sheep.  God is certainly our Shepherd, with Him we have nothing to fear.

True
Noble 
Reputable
Authentic
Compelling
Gracious
The best, not the worst
The beautiful, not the ugly; 
Things to praise, not things to curse.

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Friday Fiction -- Mr. Smarty Pants

>> Friday, October 30, 2009

Today is a very wet Friday, but Friday none-the-less.  It's also time for Friday Fiction hosted by With Pen in Hand.  Go there for more great fiction stories!  This story was for the blue topic at FW.  I probably came in dead last because I didn't hit the topic hardly at all, which was blue.  lol.  It was fun to write, which was all that mattered that week.  Happy Friday!

Mr. Smarty Pants

Trevor jumped from the top step of the kindergarten school bus. “Mommy!” he yelled. He ran down the driveway.

Next, Jordan gingerly made his way down from the bottom step. He turned around and said, “Thank you, Debbie,” then he raced to his mom, backpack flapping behind him. “Mommy!”

Tori scooped her twin boys into a big hug. “School good today?”

Trevor proceeded to tell all about his day, which included every single thing each friend said and did. Jordan stood patiently, first on one foot then the other.

“Okay, Jordan, what about you? Do anything fun with your friends?”

“Jordan doesn’t have friends, Mommy.”

“Do, too. Debbie’s nice. She let me sit up front today and we talked.”

“What about friends your age?” She tousled his hair and smiled.

“Trevor’s my friend.”

“Yes he is. You guys will always be best friends for Mommy, okay?”

Trevor and Jordan threw their backpacks on the floor, just inside the door.

The boys sat, legs spread apart, feet touching. One set of hands revved a toy car backwards and let it go, the other set of hands readied for the catch. They laughed when Jordan missed and it wrecked into his knee.

“Didja see that? Wow. It flipped backwards.”

“Cool. Do it again.”

“No, we’re getting too old for this game.” Trevor took the toy car and walked away.

“Give it back.” Jordan wailed and Tori ran into the room.

Tori bent down to his level and said, Honey, please don’t yell if you’re not hurt,” exactly the way she learned on her favorite nanny television show.

“Trevor took the car.” Jordan pointed his finger and his brother stuck out his tongue.

“I want you both to sit here until you can say something nice to each other.” Tori left the room just in time before she broke out into a smile.

Trevor grudgingly walked back to his brother. He plopped down hard on the living room floor and bumped Jordan in the process.

“Oww.”

“Sorry.”

They were taught to sit, shoulders touching, when in time-out. Trevor waited until he knew his brother watched then stuck his hand in his pocket. Trevor pulled his hand out and held a treasure close to his face.

“What’re you lookin’ at?”

Trevor closed one eye studying the object.

“I’m telling. Better show me.”

Trevor scowled at his brother. “We’re never going to be able to get up ‘til you’re quiet and we’re nice, ‘member?”

“But you’re not playing fair. What’re you hiding?”
“Guess.”

“Is it a truck?”

Trevor shook his head no.

“Is it ummm… A dinosaur? Crayon? Bubblegum?”

Three more no’s.

“Give me a clue or I’m tellin’.”

“Don’t care. Tell.” Trevor smiled mischievously.

Jordan grabbed hold of Trevor’s hand and tried to pry his fingers loose from the mystery object but Trevor held firm. Tori came into the room and the boys sat, angelic smiles beamed from their faces.

The boys sat shoulder-to-shoulder once again.

“You’re too close,” Jordan whined.

“Can’t help it.”

“Can too.”

“Can’t.”

“Is it red?” Jordan sighed.

“Nope.”

“Blue?”

Trevor raised his left eyebrow, his very own trademark, and a sure way to tell the boys apart. “Yes, it’s blue. So what is it then, Mr. Smarty Pants?”
“Dunno.”

"Let’s just get this over with. I wanna go outside and play with my real friends.”

Jordan started to cry. “I’m not your real friend?”

“Just because we were born at the same time and look alike, doesn’t make us friends,” Trevor explained.

“I’ll always be your friend.”

“Here, big baby. Close your eyes and I’ll give it to you.”

Jordan squeezed his eyes tight.

Trevor put the moist object into his brother’s hand. “Open now.”

Jordan gingerly lifted up his brother’s treasure with two fingers. “What is it?”

“A big boy gave it to me from the junior high. It’s an eyeball from a dead person.”

Jordan screamed.

Trevor covered his mouth with his hand. “That’s why you don’t have friends – you scream like a baby.”

“Sorry. Is it a real eye?”

“Dunno but let’s go scare Mom.”

Minutes later Tori screamed. The boys broke out in peals of laughter and held hands. Trevor momentarily forgot his ‘coolness’.

“Best friends, right, Trev?”

“Yup. Jordy, now’s the time.”

“For what?”

“Dad said to always use our twinness for the good.”

“You wanna scare him, doncha?”

“Oh yea.”

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Monday Manna -- Who Am I?

>> Monday, October 19, 2009

Who Am I?

3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
Psalm 8:3-4 New Living Translation
Jim and I love to sit in the hot tub together and look up at the nighttime sky. It's amazing how vast it is. Invariably, Jim will see a star fall. I always miss them for some reason. On especially clear nights, Milky Way is so bright it boggles my mind.

It's amazing to think that God set each star and planet in place with great care. If He cares that much for objects, how much more does He care for us, people that He created in His own image. Such an amazing thing to think!

And He sent His Son to die so we could have eternal life with Him. That is a BIG love. A love that we will never fully understand - an amazing love indeed.

Who am I that God would care for me? I am the daughter of the King, the maker of the universe, the placer of the stars and all the planets. I come from good stock:) Who am I? I am a woman loved by God in ways I will never truly understand. That's who I am.

For more thoughts today on this verse, visit Monday Manna links on Joanne's blog, An Open Book. Happy Monday.

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As the Rope Ends...

>> Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sometimes, many times, life gets to be too much. We feel we're at the very end of the rope. We can only hold on for so long before arms get too tired and our mind begins to not care anymore. We were not made to go through life alone. When we're too tired and discouraged to go on, we need to remember that God is there. He's lifting us up, even if we forget for a moment. He's proven Himself time after time. He's always been faithful, so why would this time be any different?

This is my time of discouragement, a discouragement I can't handle alone. Each day is getting harder with my health. Sometimes I'm not aggressive enough with my neurosurgeon because I know there are many much worse than me that needs his time. Maybe I feel like that with God, too. So, as the rope ends... I reached out to find verses that encourage me and I hope they encourage you today.


Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30


Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6


And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:3-4


But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7


"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." John 14:1-4


Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9


Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5-6


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

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Friday Fiction - Swine Flu

>> Friday, October 16, 2009

Someone - somewhere, is hosting Friday Fiction. I'll figure that out. For now, here is mine. It was my 'Red' topic called, Swine Flu. Don't worry, it's not contagious. A fun, light entry for a time that isn't very fun or light. Hope you enjoy!

SWINE FLU

I tremble. Sweat slides off my hair and down my shirt. My stomach flips and I’m queasy. The symptoms clear; I ponder my choices. Maybe I should drive back home, but I’m already so close to work. I shake my head. I begin to lose all reasoning and thought processes.

I turn on the windshield wipers only to realize it’s my eyes watering. I should stop and call 911 but I can’t. I’m doomed. Worst case scenarios fly through my head at amazing speeds.

I admit it. I’m an addict - truly. The search online was long and hard but when I discovered it, I knew it was ‘the’ one. I coerced my husband to stop by the store. I walked right to the display case and staked my claim. My eyes delighted at the crisp, clean white and I practically swooned at the sporty red border. Victory was mine when told only one left – surely a sign from God. My husband, poor guy, didn’t really buy my ‘sign from God’ case but soon gave in to my wiling and conniving. I felt a tiny bit bad about that, but honestly, he didn’t stand a chance.

I make it to work, barely. Co-workers can tell something’s wrong. I walk into the bathroom and stare at my reflection. My eyes look sickly. If I blow my nose and feign a sneeze or two, I’ll get kicked out for sure. We don’t get our swine flu vaccines until next week. It just might work. But what if I really do get the swine flu before then? I’m a mess. I need an intervention.

I reach deep into my pockets but find nothing but an old tissue and lint. To ‘phone a friend’ is no option. Panic washes over me. Passersby pass me by – at a wide berth. Maybe it is swine flu. Maybe that’s what made me forget my cell phone. Maybe, just maybe…

My eyes light up. My husband could bring it to me, but then reality settles back in place. No way on earth would he go home, find my phone, drive into town, park, walk into the building, and pass security, just to feed my need. No. Even in my sick, weakened state I was able to come to that conclusion.

I’m positive by now, my friends think I’ve died. I haven’t sent one text since I woke up late. My body begins to shake. I attempt to do some work but instead I have to sit on my hands to quiet them. It’s then I make the decision.

I haul my middle-aged body up off my chair to go see my boss. She doesn’t let me within five feet of her. Word sure spreads quickly. I’m sent home with her blessing, but first she hands me a twenty to pay the co-pay for a doctor’s visit. I must really look sick. I feel a twinge of guilt as I reach out to grab the money.

I slowly and sickly make my way out the door; sweater and bag drag behind me. My act must be Emmy-Award-Winning. I turn around just in time to see the secretary follow me with anti-germ spray in hand.

Each mile I get closer to home, my heart grows lighter. I make it without incident. Almost before I come to a complete stop, I run to the porch, open the door, trip over the dog, give him a quick pat, and race to my room. I stop and admire the object of my affection as it perches daintily on the table. The sun shines down on it, making a rosy sparkle. Reverently, I pick it up and lovingly press it against my flushed face. The cool plastic gives me chills. My heart flutters. My flu-like symptoms disappear. Loyal to the core, it has been recording messages all morning. I shamelessly admit to my addiction and promise myself I will get help – tomorrow. For now, I plop onto my bed and catch up on missed texts and voicemails. Before I know it, I fall asleep, the phone firmly grasped in my hand.

I feel a drop of water slip down my cheek. I open my eyes and see my husband hovering. Sweat beads his brow and his eyes are glassy. It must be the flu. I jump out of bed and grab his arm. “We’re going to the doctor.”

He looks at me like I’m crazy and asks, “Honey, where did you put the remote?”


Laury Hubrich, October, 2009

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Monday Manna - God's Rhythm

>> Sunday, October 4, 2009

To find other Monday Manna blog entries, go to Joanne's, An Open Book.

This past week has been extremely hard on my heart. I watched a friend deal with difficult situations that appeared to have no good ending but God did intervene and so far, things appear to be going pretty well.

My family also took a big hit. Past sins of an older generation forced itself onto a younger one. It was sickening and disgusting. The good thing is that he was caught and will now pay for his sins.

Beason slayings: Manhunt is on after family slayings
Not only that, the small community of Beason, where my husband is the Fire Chief/EMT, is dealing with brutal murders of an entire family. A person believed to be the murderer has been caught but not before he showed up at the funeral. How sick and brazen is that?

Today's Monday Manna verse is from Deuteronomy 30:6 and is perfect for this week as I look back and ponder the happenings.
GOD, your God, will cut away the thick calluses on your heart and your children's hearts, freeing you to love GOD, your God, with your whole heart and soul and live, really live. (The Message)
At times it's hard for our hearts not to get callused. We watch the news and everything is negative plus much of it doesn't deal with us or affect our lives. We grow numb to world events.

Entire villages were decimated in Samoa from a tsunami. Does that pull at our heart strings at all? Do we think to pray for these people who have lost family members, homes, and businesses? I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't. If it doesn't happen in my own little piece of the world then I most probably am not paying any attention.

Truthfully, I think it's too overwhelming to take on any more grief and pain. When thinking of that, it makes me realize the load Jesus carried when He died for all of our sins - the whole world's sins. Amazing.

And now, as God sees what's happening on the earth - the murders, liars, deceivers - how that must break His heart but He never grows callous towards us.

It's important now more than ever to lose that hard heart we've managed to grow in our bodies. All we have to do is ask and God will do heart surgery on us. And when He does do this, He is giving us a life of freedom -- life that is truly one to be lived and enjoyed.

He can change us from the inside out. All we have to do is ask. Surgery is painful, but when God is The Surgeon, it is never botched. It is most successful. Our hearts won't be bandaged up anymore or stitched together haphazardly. We'll have a perfectly healthy one that beats in God's rhythm. That's what I want, no matter how long it takes.

I'm praying that this coming week is less dramatic, at least in my family and friend's lives and in our nearby communities but if it isn't, I know that God is constantly with me, working on me as I allow. I also pray that God will allow me to see the world through His eyes as I watch the news. It is sad and depressing but how can we pray if we aren't aware?

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War-Faring - Friday Fiction

>> Friday, October 2, 2009



Friday Fiction is hosted today by Karlene at Homespun Expressions. War-Faring got a 2nd place EC. I didn't think it would because it's a heavy topic. The topic was up/down. For more fiction, go to Karlene's blog. Happy Friday!

War-Faring




A lanky youth sat on the rocky bank of a stream as his line hung lazily from a pole. Brady watched the still water and then became mesmerized by the soft ripples his toes made when he poked them gently in the water.

“How’s your mom doing, Brady,” Grandpa Joe asked.

Brady put his head down to hide tears. “Not real good but we deal with it.”

Brady reeled in his line then cast again. It made a perfect arc, up above the water, then a tiny splash back down. “Gramps, I wish life was calm like the bobber just sitting there. Think things will ever change?”

Joe cast his line as he gathered his thoughts. “We can pray, Son. We can pray.”

***

The intruder didn’t bother to enter quietly. It clanged and banged as if it owned the place. It knew no fear because it was Fear. The creature cracked its gnarled knuckles in preparation for the attack.

The victim laid in bed, curled up in a fetal position. She heard it. She knew the intruder was coming. Terror filled her soul. Every noise it made was louder than the last.

It came so close to her that she could smell its rancid breath. The monster bent down beside her. Hailey could see its face, etched with deep wrinkles and eyes that bulged. It hissed in her ear, “Where is your god now? Let’s see him stop me from doing – this!”

Claws came at her face and then grabbed her shoulders. She couldn’t fight it off. The creature let go and then reared back its hairy body and jumped.

Hailey tried to shield herself but it was too late. With each wave of pain, she grabbed her head and moaned. The being worked from the inside – it pushed and prodded – it never let go.

She whispered, “Lord, where are you? What have I done wrong?” Tears fell across her cheek onto her pillow. Hailey began to spiral down into a quick free fall.

Hailey wasn’t surprised when she plopped down into a murky lake. She had no fight left in her. No extra breath to cry out to her Lord. She sank to the bottom and there she stayed.

The creature held up his fist in victory. Doubt had been planted once again. This day was indeed a victory.

***

Brady’s eyes grew big. “Grandpa.” Brady pointed to a spot where the water splashed. He cast his line to the exact place.

Joe watched his grandson’s face turn white. “What is it, Brady?”

Brady whispered, “I’m not sure. Something’s wrong. I feel like we’re supposed to fish and pray.”

Joe didn’t understand but he trusted this young man. Together the two prayed and fished like they never had before.

***

Hailey was familiar with this place. She knew she needed to call out to God for help but she convinced herself that God truly did abandon her this time. Just when she was ready to give up hope something caught her eye. She reached up and grabbed hold of a line.

***

“I’ve got something, Gramps. It’s a big one, too. But Gramps, we gotta keep praying.”

“Brady, it’s your mom we’re praying for, right?” Joe asked as the realization hit him.

Brady never let his eyes pull away from the line. “Yes, Mom’s in trouble.”

“Son, we’re doing some spiritual war-faring, so the devil better beware.” The young and old together stormed heaven’s gates.

***

The closer to the surface Hailey got, the more her faith grew.

***

“Help me Gramps.” Brady jerked the line and a large fish soared up out of the water and hung down from the line. The boy’s knees buckled. “We did it, Gramps!”

***

Hailey burst out of the water. It refreshed her to feel the warm sun on her upturned face as she floated on her back. But then – just as suddenly as she fell, she found herself back in her darkened room.

***


Brady rushed to his mom’s side, his prized fish hanging from a stringer.

Hailey hugged her son. “It was you and Grandpa that prayed for me today, wasn’t it? I saw a line and all I had to do was reach out and grab it.”

“Grandpa said we did some spiritual warfare.” Brady smiled.

Satan’s fist of victory turned into one of defeat. He spat on the two and muttered murderous threats as he left the way he entered. “Next time…”


Authors Note:
Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Laury Hubrich, April 9, 2009

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Skeletons

>> Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The corn is dry; the stalks rustle as the wind blows between the tightly spaced rows. Soon it will be time for harvest. Farmers will pluck the vegetable from the plant and the stalks usefulness is done; yet it isn’t. Eventually it will get plowed deep into the ground to provide nutrients for future crops.

Some things need to be buried deep in the ground - other things shouldn’t. We may think skeletons hidden in our closet aren’t harmful but they are. Someone or something happens to bring sin to the light and when light shines on it – evil is exposed for what it is.

It’s time for evil to be exposed and The Truth to reign in this world. To be honest, when evil is exposed, it’s not pretty. It hurts deeply. It may tear families apart or bind them closer than ever.

10-12And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels Ephesians 6:10-12 (The Message)

It appears things are heating up in this world or maybe it's inching its way closer to rural America. There is no place to hide from the enemy's destruction. As the verse above reminds us - we need to be well-dressed with the armor of God. It's not an Olympic game but is life or death.

And remember - the bigger the trouble is and the more darkness it brings with it, the bigger our God will show up for all to see and revere. It's time to get serious in our prayer life and our personal time with God. Time to step it up. It's time to stand up to satan and not walk away or pretend not to see him. Maybe it's time to clean out our closets, you think? Don't try to hide sin anymore. Let it come to light and let God show you how to deal with it. Now is the time...

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Friday Fiction - Very. Mysterious.

>> Friday, September 18, 2009

Today is Friday - yay! I made it! And it's also time for Friday Fiction. It's being hosted by Joanne at Open Book. My school computer doesn't let me put the link in. You can find it on my side bar. (Sorry Jo:(

I was surprised yesterday to see I recieved a 3rd place editor's choice for this story. Joanne texted and told me and I quickly told her, "No way." Mari got 8th. I woke her up nice and early to share it with her. This story is very loosely based on a real life happening taking place right now in one of my friends' lives. It helps me so much to process things when I can write. It also makes me feel in control when I can decide the outcome. So unlike real-life. Am so glad God is in control, though. He is much better at this than I could ever be. Okay - here it is - Very. Mysterious.

***************************Very. Mysterious. **************************************

I may be only ten, but I’m not stupid. Something was going on. Usually when I walk into church with mom and dad, I get real excited; like God’s waiting for me. That gives me goose chills. Today I have a different kind of chill.

I felt it on the way there, too. My brother did his five-year-old best to torment me but I was focused on the front seat. When it got quiet in back, Mom gave Dad one of ‘those’ looks and he clammed up. It was all so very mysterious. That’s my new spelling word. M-i-s, no, M-y-s, oh, never mind. Anyway, it is. Very. Mysterious.

Grandpa Joe met us at the door. He scares me. He pulls my hair when he thinks I’m too loud and he takes away my dessert; says I’m too fat. Mom gets mad but nobody can stand up to Grandpa. I’ve seen him do the same thing to adults. He had a stroke. Dad says he hasn’t been the same since. Don’t know if I should feel sorry for him or for the rest of the world.

More people came and huddled together like football teams do on T.V. Mom shooed us off to class. Noah went. I didn’t. No one noticed. I’m short and they were busy. When Pastor walked by – well, you should have seen their faces. Wow. I knew for sure something was up. Noah has the same look when he’s in trouble. Green gills from guilt. That’s Grandma’s saying.

They all scattered after that but by then I was so sick I had to run to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet. and held my stomach. It hurt awful. Not the normal kind of hurt either, like from when I eat too much. It was more a hurt like something bad’s gonna happen. I shouldn’t have been scared I’d miss something. Clues followed me through the door. I heard someone come in.

“What are you going to do?”

“I have to believe Joe. He’s been here forever. How well do we even know Pastor?”

It was Miss Katy and Miss Becky. I knew them since I was little. Liked them, too. They whispered. I kept real quiet so I could hear. I shouldn’t have worried. They were loud whisperers. No secrets kept around those two.

Katie said, “But Joe’s been known to lie, Beck.”

My stomach finally let loose. Ugh. I heard them gasp and then the door slammed shut. At least I knew I was right. Something was happening. I must’ve made it stink good in there. The door opened and then closed real fast a couple of times. It was a good thing. God started to talk to me in that bathroom.

Wow. I was excited. I never had God talk to me before. After He said all He had to say, I figured I had a job to do. I didn’t know how or when but I knew what to say. I looked at myself in the mirror and then I got scared. “Why me, God? No one will listen to a kid.”

The longer I stood the more brave I got. I left that stinking old bathroom humming, “Be bold, be strong.”

I stood in back. I saw heads together. People whispered. I could tell where the trouble-makers sat. Dad and Mom were right there in the middle of it all. Grandpa Joe sat at the edge of his seat, like he was ready to jump up and do something crazy.

I walked down the aisle while Pastor prayed. A long prayer. I think he was scared to stop. Don’t blame him. Just as soon as he said, “Amen,” Grandpa leapt to his feet. I beat him to the stage, though, and whispered in Pastor’s ear.

He handed me the microphone, “Jesus loves the little children and Jesus loves all of you. He doesn’t want you to fight. He wants you to praise and worship Him. That’s what God wanted me to say to you.”

Grandpa froze then I saw tears fall down his face. I held Pastor’s hand and walked him down the steps with me. I slipped my hand through Grandpa’s. People huddled again; this time for a good reason. I heard them pray as I squeezed myself between the bodies. I did my job, now it was up to them. I was out of there. After all, I had junior church and we were having jelly-filled donuts.

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O God, How Great Thou Art!

>> Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday night at Bible study, we began the book, Crazy Love. Our leader for the evening, Sonna, asked us what we would do if we stood in front of God. What would we say? Immediately I thought of these words, "Oh my God!"

I tried to explain this to the group but I think it was lost in the translation. I write much better than I can speak. We've all seen shows like Extreme Home Makeovers where families come in and see their wonderful new house. The first thing out of their mouth is usually, "Oh my God!" Now, as Christians, we don't use God's name like this. It offends me when I hear other people say it.

But when I think what I might say when I stand before God, this was my first thought, "Oh my God!" Satan is a copycat. Whatever is good, he wants to turn it around and make it bad. God's name is holy and satan desires to stain His reputation. Well now... satan's plans most usually get foiled.

God created us to praise Him. It's in our genes. If we don't praise Him, the trees of the fields most certainly will. In fact, the beauty of a field of flowers does exactly that. A single flower has the same affect.

Isaiah 55:12 "You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands."

*O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

So much praise builds up in me when I see God's creation. Can you imagine seeing God Himself? If you suddenly standing at God's feet, what would you say or do? Can you imagine?


*How Great Thou Art, Carl Boberg, 1885

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Friday Fiction -- Harvest Dessert

>> Thursday, September 10, 2009

Friday Fiction this week is hosted by Karlene. Go there to find other fantastic stories! This is my Autumn story for FW. I got 12th place, by the way. Am pleased with that. Happy Friday!!!


Clare stood at the sink as she washed the dishes. Her mind left her kitchen and drifted past her wildflower garden to the field. The cool air fluttered the kitchen curtains.

A toddler ran beneath her window. Clare stood on her tiptoes to watch. Joey and Jared hid behind the tree and jumped out at Brett. She smiled when her twins giggled and chased after the little boy.

“You there, Tori?” Clare called out; sure her best friend was right behind her son.

“Coming.” Tori pulled a wagon full of sweet corn. “Ready to do some husking?”

Clare dried her hands and opened the door. “Sure am.” She wrapped her arms around Tori and squeezed her tight. “I’m so glad you came today.”

Tori hugged her back. “You lonely?”

“Just a bit, yes. I can’t get used to the farm life. I just want to have Greg with us again. But even when he’s with us, he isn’t. He’s constantly thinking of how he can improve things for next year.”

“Greg was home all winter. We both complained about our husband's being underfoot all the time, remember?"

Clare stopped to wipe tears from her eyes. “I'm spoiled. Just never happy, I guess.”

They sat on the porch swing, the wagon full of corn between them; a pile of discarded husks on either side.

Both women were quiet. They worked, each lost in their own thoughts. Tori broke the silence. “I think you should go spend some time with Greg.”

“But he’s working.”

“Pack up a picnic supper and drive out to the field.”

“I can’t do that. What about the boys?”

“They’ll come home with me. Brett loves to play with them. Go ahead. Trust me. Greg will love it.”

Clare stood up, unsure of Tori’s idea. “I suppose I could dress up.” She smiled.

Tori clapped her hands and laughed. “Yes. Wear your high heels and that cute little black dress you got for your anniversary.”

“I think I’ll do it.”

A little spray of perfume and covers on the dishes were Clare’s final preparations. She held the picnic basket in one hand and used her other arm to help balance herself in her three inch heels as she walked to the car. Her excitement grew the closer she drove to the field.

She parked on the side of the road and pulled out her phone. She sent off a text and then smiled in a mischievous way.

Quickly, Greg replied back.

Within minutes she saw the combine come closer. Greg jumped out and ran to her like a teenage boy. “Hey Baby, what’s up with that text?”

Clare giggled and blushed a pretty rose color.

Greg wrapped his arms around his wife and held her tight. “So, you think you want a ride, Mrs. Johnson?”

“Oh yes, Mr. Johnson, more than anything.” She handed him the basket of food and he put it up into the cab then he came back for Clare.

He scooped her into his arms and walked to his John Deere. He climbed up first then pulled up his wife. “I’ve never seen a farmer in high heels before, Honey, but I think I like it.”

“I’m thinking I like it, too.”

Greg put the machine in gear and they were off. He drove to the middle of the field where they couldn’t be seen from the road. “How about dessert first, my dear Clare?”

“Greg, you’re crazy. Are you teasing? What about Charlie?”

“A man never teases about that. I sent Charlie home as soon as I saw the car crest over the hill. We're done for the day.” Greg drew her close and whispered in her ear, “I sure have missed you.”

The tears Clare had worked so hard to keep inside while around Greg were let loose.

“I know harvest is hard on you. It’s almost over, I promise, and then I’m all yours.” He kissed away her tears. As the sun set in the west, the windows fogged. Clare’s loneliness was forgotten for a time.

The harvest moon settled comfortably in the sky. The rays shone into the John Deere and revealed the uneaten food; but both husband and wife really enjoyed the dessert.

Clare grinned. “I suppose farm life isn’t so bad after all.”

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Spending Time with the Spiritually Unresolved

>> Sunday, September 6, 2009

Spiritually unresolved? What does that mean? Kent Hickerson and his wife Merla celebrated their 26th year as ministers at our church - First Christian Church in Clinton, Illinois. That is amazing. Who stays in one church for 26 years, let alone pastor there for that long? Wow!

This morning Kent shared a message entitled, 'More?' from Luke 15. It was an awesome message so I am going to share a bit here. Just because... because it was so good and are things that God has been whispering to me this week. Those whisperings is what made the praise and worship so good, too. I spent time with God. My heart was supple. Even though I didn't feel well, I survived and I was ministered to.

Okay, it's like this: Jesus hung around with the wrong crowd. (Luke 15:1-2) He had the nerve to spend time with the spiritually unresolved. Gotta love that:) Another name for sinners. Why would Jesus do that?

Luke 15:3-7 talks about the lost sheep. Only 1 of 100 was lost. What's the big deal? It's only an animal. The joy wasn't in the 99 right then but in the one that was lost but now found. It was a joyous reunion!

Remember the lost coin? (Luke 15:8) 'Only 1 coin out of 10 was lost, old lady!' It's just a thing. But that woman needed that coin. When she found it she rejoiced and celebrated, because, as we saw above - joy comes in the reunion!

And then there is the lost son. (Luke 15:11-24) 1 out of 2 boys was lost. Well, that is a big deal:) When that prodigal son came back there was such rejoicing and celebrating. Remember - the joy comes in the reunion! But not everyone was joyful. The older brother was mad. He was the one that stood firm. No big party for him. What's up with that? His dad reminded him that the joy comes in the reunion. 'Suck it up, big boy.' (I hope you can figure out what's me and what is Kent in this blog. Oh man.)

The intensity of any search is directly proportional to the perceived value of that which is lost. God wants more. He wants more people to come to Him. More and more and more.

And when we see what God sees, we are motivated to do what God says. He is such a loving Father. He wants to draw us all to Him. All of us. No matter what. We are of great value to Him. Even in our spiritually unresolvedness. (My word, not Kent's.) And there is such joy in the reunion! Such joy!

We have people in our lives that need to know God's fantastic love for them. Can we be passionate about this? Will we make the effort to share Christ with them? Can we be persistent in sharing His love with them?

Anything goofy in this blog was probably me, not Kent. It would be a fun thing to have people write about the sermon - to see what God spoke to each one. Think how different they all would be:) Anyway, it was a great Lord's Day. Hope yours was just as good or better!

And remember this week - the joy is in the reunion! Almost makes me want to lose something so I can celebrate the find:)

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Cliff Ogres

>> Saturday, August 29, 2009

This has been a rough week. Another school year has started and it's already taking a toll on my body. Right now, my job is the giant in my life that wants to rob me of my energy. Having a job is a necessity. Many bills lay on the desk waiting to be paid. My husband's salary alone doesn't cut it. Just like so many families now, two incomes are desperately needed.

This sign reminds me of my life right. I stand close to the edge of a cliff. The cliff ogres in my life threaten to knock me down. But you know what?

I love my job. I love working with our high school kids. I absolutely love it when they give me a big old bear hug. I enjoy it when the light bulb is turned on for them and they finally 'get it.' As an aide, I see things that teachers can't. I sit with the kids, I'm a part of them. I can intervene on their behalf if I need to.

Giants in our lives are not a bad thing. Not at all. I've been sharing parts of, The Dream Giver, lately. Today's reading slapped me in the face and woke me up and it comes right from the Bible:

"Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out." 1


"That you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth." 2


"That My name may be declared in all the earth." 3


"That you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son's sons the mighty things I have done in Egypt...that you may know that I am the Lord." 4



"I will gain honor over Pharoah. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord." 5



"That all the people's of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty." 6
Without the giants (cliff ogres) in our lives, how would we ever grow in our faith? Aren't our giants most usually the source of our testimony? Giants show the world how big and powerful and good our God is.

Giants seek to shake us off. Well, just maybe off is where we should be. I'm done for now. More will follow. I absolutely love this book!


Praying we all become giant slayers for God's glory.
"Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!" 7
1 - Exodus 6:7
2 - Exodus 9:14
3 - Exodus 9:16
4 - Exodus 10:2
5 - Exodus 14:17-18
6 - Joshua 4:24
7 - Joshua 6:16

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Pull it Out, Dust it Off!

>> Sunday, August 16, 2009

It takes a great deal of faith to strap ourselves into our vehicles and take off. No matter whether in light traffic or heavy - everything depends on each driver doing what they are supposed to do. If one thing is out of order, it causes chaos, confusion, and maybe even a loss of life.

Some peo
ple, like my brand new driving son, gets very irritated in traffic. I constantly remind him that he can't possibly go faster than the cars ahead of him. But you know - it keeps his speed down. And last week he got a speeding ticket. Obviously he was on a road with little traffic and got a very heavy foot.

We travel on some country roads that are pretty narrow when two cars are b
eside each other. My husband doesn't slow down. He'll keep his same speed and get close to the ditch when passing. He has great faith in his own driving. (I don't trust his driving near as much as he does;)

I, on the other hand, slow way down and then get over, but not too close to the ditch. After driving all these years, I know my limitations.

Okay, so I'm rambling. What all this reminds me of is our walk with God. Each of us hopefully is listening to God and walking in the direction He desires for us. You know, our ways collide. We intersect and parallel each other. Sometimes we get to walk along beside or pass going the other way. We need to be able to step out in faith that God gives us to keep going even if we're scared. If the light is clearly GREEN, we need to step out of our comfort zone and do what He has for us to do. That's not easy sometimes. Especially when it's not a real clear green, like when the sun is glaring on the traffic light and we're not quite sure what to do. You know what I mean?

God gave us a very easy definition of faith: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Heb. 11:1 NIV)
What has God put in us to do? What is the fire that is burning hot inside? Just like I wrote the other day, we need to catch hold of our dream, dust it off, and run with it. A friend commented, "But what is my dream?" It's that thing that makes you keep on going in spite of being scared. It's what God has been training us for. And just because we're scared, it doesn't mean it's not what God wants us to do. To get a good inkling of what the OT men of faith went through, we can read our Bible or even read out of a Children's Bible storybook for a quick summary. They had their times of fear and unbelief. How could they not? They were scared but they didn't let that fear stop them.

Now is the time for us to move ahead with what God has called us to do. We must walk in faith. We also need to watch the traffic signs. If the light is RED, maybe it's time to stop and get on our knees and see what God has to say.

Some of you may already achieved your dream. Maybe God will say it's time for a whole new dream. Feel the knees shake? Life is always changing. We need to keep up.

Pull it out. Dust it off. Dare to dream again if you aren't. So many have shared with me that they need to dream again. Now is the time.

Pull out the dream that's hidden deep inside you. Dust off the cobwebs. Ask God what's next. Then listen and He will tell you.



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More to Life than being a Passenger!

>> Friday, August 14, 2009

Mari and I bought the book, The Dream Giver, by Bruce Wilkinson when we were together for the FW conference. She's read it before and highly recommended it. We got through maybe half and then she sent it home with me so we could finish on the phone.

Sometimes our dreams are lost under a big pile of responsibility. We think it's too late once we're married and kids have come and gone - pursuing their own dreams for their lives.

Why wallow in the everyday mundane? Why can't we reach inside ourselves and pull that hidden dream out, dust it off, and go forward with it?

This person that the author writes about is called, Ordinary. He can be any of us or all of us.

First Ordinary embraces his big dream.
Then he leaves his comfort zone.
Alas, of course there has to be villains - the border bullies.

Right now, I'm being bombarded by my border bully. Believe me, it's no fun. SOoooo... I'm going to move forward anyway. One of my dreams right now is to actually finish a writing project. Wow! Isn't that a novel thought?

The FW conference really helped me embrace my dream again. And last night I logged onto the Nano site and one article suggested reading through your Nano project like someone else wrote it. I guess that's a good idea. I don't even remember lots of what I wrote. And so much was just to get the words in. That part scares me.

So that is my goal for today:

Finish this blog
and read through my Nano.

You know, God gave us all a dream to follow. Let's help each other to grab hold of our dreams and move forward. Oh, I heard a great quote from Amelia Earhart -- "There's more to life than being a passenger." I like that. Instead of being in one of those cars at an amusement park - you know - the ones little kids think they're driving but actually they are on a track and can't possibly veer off it -I want to drive a REAL car with God as my GPS, telling me which way to turn.

Come on, let's don't just be a passenger today.

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Plethora of Internet Providers

>> Sunday, August 2, 2009

We have a problem. Ten years ago it wouldn't have been. Maybe ten. I don't know. Seems like we've had internet forever and it's hard to imagine not having it. We are so very dependent on our Google searches and our favorite online Bibles.

I was even at a church service one day around Chicago when the pastor opened up his laptop, set it on the podium, and there was his notes and his Bible - I hope that's all he was doing anyway:) Yes, I'm sure it was. And when the sermon was done, the laptop lid was closed and he put it under his arm like he would his Bible and walked off.

But you know what? I said we have a problem. And 'we' is me. My family and I, WE, have a problem. We live in the country where there are very limited signals for us to pick up internet. Well, I guess we could always go back to dial up but (choke, choke) we won't go there. I mean, really. Ugh:( Except at one time we were very happy to have a local dial up number and honestly, that wasn't all that long ago. But I digress.

We used DTN Speednet until we couldn't anymore. Our trees grew too tall and blocked our signal. Once (I'm digressing again) we tried to cut a tree down (my husband, son, and I) I would never advise that. If Jim hadn't told Nik and I to let go of the rope, I'm not sure we would be around right now. And I probably shouldn't mention how we knocked out everyone's power in a ten mile radius. Umm... no. Probably not. My husband doesn't mess up often but that was a BIG OOPS:)

And then we went to Skyway. It goes through the phone lines! Can you believe it? I won't mention how slow it is in case a Skyway employee read this and cuts us off before we're ready to change. Okay. We are looking.

We're looking at Verizon. They have a tiny little black thingamajig that you plug into a computer and it creates a hot spot for laptops or whatever. BUT it's limited usage and our son is itching to be able to play his XBox Live again.

We're also looking at CCAOnline. It's a local internet and very good but we can't get their signal. Jim would have to erect a huge tower in our yard.

We LOVE living in the country but sometimes it's a major pain. There's a host of services but we are limited. But you know what? We have a place where EVERYONE is welcome. No one is turned away. All can switch with no early termination fee.

Okay, I am honest. I'm going to Biblegateway.com to share scripture with you. LOL. I can't help it. It's fast. It's easy. It's AWESOME! Hold on.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
Whoever - that means whoever you are. Doesn't matter who. And we ALWAYS have a good signal when we connect to our Father in Heaven. Jesus did go to a mountaintop a few times to pray but it wasn't to pick up a better signal. We can pray wherever we are, whatever we are doing and HE listens to us and speaks to us. We have to listen. We need to stop downloading information from all over the place and pick up HIS voice.

And as we grow closer to God, we want to live for Him. And we have great hope of a better future because of this:

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2 NIV)
I'm so very glad we don't have to go searching for the right internet connection to pick up our Daddy's voice. And we don't have to erect a 40' tower either. He's always always here for us. I think I'll just rest in that thought right now.

No plugging into the wall so the battery isn't drained. Just go ahead and talk. Gonna stop writing and let us both do some talking to THE ONE that loves us more than anything even loved us enough to die for us.

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Sigh...Jim

>> Thursday, July 30, 2009

I am so excited to be hosting Fiction Friday! Thanks to Peej who had this great idea to showcase some of our favorite pieces of work:) So glad you stopped by. If you would like to add your story to the list, click on MckLinky at the bottom of this post. Be sure to read the other terrific stories, too. Happy Friday!

My story was my FW entry from last week. I changed it a bit to include some comments from some FW readers, which I really appreciated. It helped lots not having to worry about the word count anymore, by the way. Much of it is true. My husband and I were neighbors after I moved to Tabor my Freshman year of high school. I did watch him from afar while my brother and sisters played basketball with him. He did think I was too young to date. After all, I was 14 and he was 19. That's a big gap in teenage years (according to parents anyway:)

And I did have a best friend named Jessie who sang that awful song (no, I didn't make it up) and she screeched it loudly. The kiss, don't think that happened at the time but a girl can embellish, can't she? Hope you enjoy my story, ...Sigh...Jim. By the way, May 14 of this year we have been married 26 zesty years and have three kids to show for it.

Sigh...Jim

I sat beside my bedroom window, diary open, but wasn’t interested in writing the goofy things about my day. My eyes were riveted to my driveway. My brother was playing basketball with…sigh… Jim.

We only lived here six months. I wasn’t happy about leaving our nice home in town to come to this old, country house in the dead of winter, but my heart melted just like the snow did as it began to warm up. I grew to really like it – but only because of the new love of my life…sigh… Jim.

Jessie, my best friend since we were freshman in high school, told me to talk to him but there was NO way. I was sure to stutter and turn lots of shades of red. It was best if I just watched my true love from afar. I’m not sure if he even knew I was alive anyway.

I made a mistake one day. I invited Jessie for a sleepover. We did that lots but this time she wouldn’t shut up about…sigh… Jim. She was and still is, very pushy.

“Come on.” Jessie said.

I was worried, “What?”

“Just get up, Laury. We’re gonna go see Jim.” I don't know how she could say his name without the dreamy sigh.

“I can’t. Just look at him.” We peeked out the window, our cheeks squished together so we could see around the tree. “He’s working on his car.”

Jess was stubborn. She dragged me down the stairs and out the door. I fumed inside but was a little bit excited, too.

I stood behind my ‘used to be’ best friend Jessie. I wanted to pull her hair but I didn’t dare, she would pull back and that would have been even worse. Jim probably already thought we were kids. Just because he was five years older didn’t make him so much more mature than us.

“Hi, Jim.” Jessie blurted out, not the least bit shy.

He rolled out from under his car and stood. “Hi, girls.”

I couldn’t talk. All I wanted to do was melt into the ground – he was so cute.

There was no stopping Jessie. When she started a mission, she finished it. “Wanna hear a song I learned at camp?” she asked him.

Ugh. I wanted to die.

“Laury, you have to sing, too.” She looked at me with a devilish grin.

Jim leaned against his car, hands on his hips.

Jessie screeched out the first few notes of a horrid song, “Ohhhhh, I wish, I was, a buzzard.”

That was my cue but I didn’t open my mouth. She punched me in the arm.

“Ohhhhh, I wish, I was, a buzzard,” I screeched because it was a screeching kind of song. Did I mention I was a very compliant person?

She continued, “Straight to the hills I would fly.”

“Would fly,” I whispered.

Jessie punched me again and I screeched it a little louder, “Would fly.”

“There to remain a buzzard.”

“There to remain a buzzard.” Ugh.

“Until the day that I die.”

“Until the day that I die,” I finished quickly. “Oh let it be today,” I muttered under my breath. I saw Jim smile at that and I became a bit more confident.

Jessie bellowed out the rest of the song, “Ooolala…” You get the drift.

Jim stood there in total disbelief. I was sure Jessie sealed my fate that day. If he had any inkling of wanting to date me, it was gone. Poof – up in smoke. Ugh. I was destined to be an old maid. I would forever blame Jessie for my fate.

She walked away and left me there with …sigh… Jim. I had nothing to lose I figured, not after that, that ‘song.’ “Hey, Jim?”

He looked at me with his big, blue, dreamy eyes, “Yes, Laury?”

“Wanna go to the basketball game Friday night?” I was so nervous I choked on my spit.

He said, “Okay.”

“You will? For real?”

Jim came up close and kissed me on the cheek. It caught me by surprise and I didn’t know what to do so I just stood there. Amazed.

Jessie snuck up behind me and pulled me away but I couldn’t keep my eyes off .…sigh… Jim.

I had already determined never to wash my cheek again. I know that's so cliche, a new word I learned in my English class, but none-the-less, I liked the sound and I liked the romantic thought. I determined not to wash it until we were married. Of course, not wearing make-up helped lots. It really wouldn't be as gross as you might think.

And you know what, about five years later, after Jessie did much more match-making schemes and invented new ways to embarrass me, I finally washed my cheek ceremonially as Jessie hummed, “Here Comes the Bride,” in her loud, off-tune, sing-songy voice.


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Just Keep Moving!

>> Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We need to remember we are running a race. It's not easy. Sometimes we coast along and that's okay but eventually it's time to get the feet moving again. It doesn't matter how we move forward. It could be a fast run, a jog, or walk. It could even go down to a crawl. Just keep moving.

Sometimes we'll see others along the way that need help up. That's when we stop and see what we can do. Sometimes it's actually picking her up and pulling her along. Not always, though.

It could be that we just have to pray for her person. If she doesn't want to move - she can't be moved by force. I know at times I just want to sit and give up for a bit. I know exactly how that feels. We need to remember not to judge.

Hopefully all it takes is a friendly smile and showing that we really care. Give her a hand and let her walk beside you for a bit. That's called mentoring. We all should mentor someone else and be mentored. It's really important.

And when we are the one sitting in the ditch throwing dirt over ourselves, so far down that we don't think there's any way that prize is even for us, I pray that there is someone that stops to help us. Most probably someone that we've helped along the way. Betcha:)

By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. (Philippians 3:14 The Message)
Let's get up and start moving, our eyes on the prize. Jesus is calling us. Come on!

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Grade School Memories:)

>> Saturday, July 25, 2009


That is SUCH a bummer. It's tough to grow up and have to spend your money on bills instead of a new CD (or a new record as was my case when I was young) or book. When did it happen? When did I grow up? Ergh. Well, I know I pushed for it when I was younger. I wanted to be older but now I've become much wiser. Now I think skipping rope or blowing bubbles sounds like a much better idea.

I'm much better at postponing what I HAVE to do - so I guess that's the kid in me trying to push through all the left-over baby fat (meaning the fat left after having three babies, of course. It doesn't matter that the youngest is now 16:)

Oh to be young and have little to no responsibilities again. I've been reading through my old diaries. They are pretty funny. I don't have too many memories of my childhood so the diaries helped stir some up. I have a friend from grade school, Marnita, that just found me on Face Book. She's told me stories that I really should remember but I don't. How strange is that? We went to Grant School in Danville, Illinois. She said she was standing in the front of the line for recess and her finger got caught in the door. She told me this - I have no recollection of it at all - she said I opened the door. I saved her, I guess:) Poor little fingers. Ouch.

She reminded me of one boy that would poke his pencil into his hand. Wouldn't you know - I kind of remember that one. And I do remember my very first boyfriend from second grade. His name was George. I'm pretty sure he chased me around the playground. LOL. Memories...Summertime brings out some of these memories. Ah, the good old days:)

Remember playing four-square? How about Chinese jump rope? We rode our bikes lots and lots. We played in dirt and stole the squirrels nuts. There were also lots of box turtles by where I used to live. I haven't seen many around here. And bats... ewww... bats... 'nuff said:)

I do remember not so fond things, too. Oh ouch. I got my hand slapped with a ruler by my teacher once. I'm sure I got my share of spankings, too. Oh, and a flick/pinch when we didn't sit still in church. The silent weapon of mother's. In fact, I think that's still in use today.

I guess I better quit putting off what I HAVE to do now. Even though I'd rather it be the other way around. Maybe I'll just lay here in the air conditioning some more. I don't hear anyone growling yet that they're hungry - but rats - I'm getting hungry. Guess I have to take clothes off the line and start supper.


What childhood memories do you have?

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