>> 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.


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.


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!


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?


No Big Head!

>> Monday, July 20, 2009

Some days it's hard to get up out of bed. With summer here I can sleep in and enjoy and appreciate not having to move. Life is hard at times but I know lots people have it much worse than I do.

Before I got sick I was able to do whatever I wanted. I had a very good job that paid well. I was very busy at church teaching children, and leading women's Bible studies. I wrote and directed plays for our church kids, both in our old church and the one we are in now. I enjoyed what I was doing but I think doing became the problem. We noticed that when my husband, Jim, got hurt at work years ago. We dropped out of lots of things and realized that life went on without us. It was a very good lesson but I soon fell into the same routine. I got busy again with stuff.

Getting sick made me drop out of so much, one thing at a time. It certainly played with my head. It also brought me closer to God and it showed me who my true friends were. They were the ones that stuck by me through it all.

I came across these verses in The Message that I wanted to share:

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it's all you need.

My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
I don't always think this way but one thing I do know: I am not the same person that I was. I operated so much through my own self and now, each day I have to depend on God to keep me going. I also have met awesome friends that pray for me and keep me plugging away, not to mention my family. It's not easy, for sure; not for me and especially not on my husband and kids. My health issues become their issues. We all continue to press on and if I am healed, I will gladly accept that healing. If I am not, I will continue to love my Father and appreciate the gift of life He has given me. "And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." How true this is when I let God take over the driver's seat.


Let Everything That Has Breath...

>> Saturday, July 18, 2009

We have unwanted guests in our Tabor residence this summer. They weren't invited. Actually, we didn't even know what they were. It took a Washington friend to go snooping to prove to me that our yard was not infested by monkeys that came out only at night. I'm not teasing! Mari took a flashlight and went hunting for the crazy sounds.

And yes, they did sound like monkeys and still do to this day. What she found were a bunch of frogs sitting in our pool that wasn't up and going yet. The hollow sound of the pool really made them sound a little bit louder than what they normally are, but not that much more.

We drained our pool and got it all nice and blue. They don't frequent there anymore but they are still in our yard. They bubble up their throat and sing away. It's the craziest thing. I've never heard anything like it. Not all our years of living here. Crazy.

These frogs, our neighbors, sing for all their worth. What do they have to sing about, I wonder? They have food to eat. They have a mate. They have children. They have a wonderful place to play. They must have plenty of food. And they sing because God allowed them to sing. They just gotta share. It comes bubbling out of them and it can't be stopped. "Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord," it says in the Psalms.

Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship,
praise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of power,
praise him for his magnificent greatness;
Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
praise by strumming soft strings;
Praise him with castanets and dance,
praise him with banjo and flute;
Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
Let every living, breathing creature praise God!
Hallelujah! (Psalm 150)
We should be praising God in every way possible. We have even more to be thankful for then these noisy frogs do. "Let every living, breathing creature praise God! Hallelujah!" And what an awesome God we have! We just gotta share with others so they know how great and mighty and awesome He is! Let's don't let the frogs do all the work. Jump right in there. Hop into it. Fill your ribbity days with praise.


Sing Unto Him Our Life-Psalm

>> Monday, July 6, 2009

C.H. Spurgeon was England's most well-known preacher beginning in 1854 when he gave his life to the Lord. He was twenty years old when he began his ministry. He preached to more than 10,000 people before microphones. See this link for more information about this great man of God.

As promised, here is a small devotional from Spurgeon about Zephania 3:17. I thought it was very good and wanted to share it. I hope you enjoy.

Zephaniah 3:17
C H Spurgeon
Faith's Checkbook
The Reason for Singing

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”—Zephaniah 3:17

WHAT a word is this! Jehovah God in the center of His people in all the majesty of His power! This presence alone suffices to inspire us with peace and hope. Treasures of boundless might are stored in our Jehovah, and He dwells in His church; therefore may His people shout for joy.

We not only have His presence, but He is engaged upon His choice work of salvation. “He will save.” He is always saving: He takes His name of Jesus from it. Let us not fear any danger for He is mighty to save.

Nor is this all. He abides evermore the same; He loves, He finds rest in loving, and He will not cease to love. His love gives Him joy. He even finds a theme for song in His beloved. This is exceedingly wonderful. When God wrought creation He did not sing, but simply said, “It is very good.” But when He came to redemption, then the sacred Trinity felt a joy to be expressed in song. Think of it and be astonished! Jehovah Jesus sings a marriage song over His chosen bride. She is to Him His love, His joy, His rest, His song. O Lord Jesus, by thine immeasurable love to us, teach us to love thee, to rejoice in thee, and to sing unto thee our Life-psalm.
I added the highlights. I would have loved to have heard one of Spurgeon's sermons. Awesome points he talks about. And He added a prayer. I didn't notice it until I read it slower.

O Lord Jesus, by thine immeasurable love to us, teach us to love thee, to rejoice in thee, and to sing unto thee our Life-psalm.
What is our Life-psalm? Any takers on this? I would love your feedback.


Love, God

>> Sunday, July 5, 2009

The book of Zephania is full of warnings for the people of God during the prophet Zephania's day and it's also a prophecy about the days to come - The Great Day of the Lord. It's just a small book, only three chapters, towards the end of the Old Testament.

It is probably most known for it's verse,
"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephania 3:17 NIV)

Isn't it awesome to know God is always with us? That He is mighty to save, and takes great delight in us? That He quiets us with His love and rejoices over us with singing?

When I'm especially lonely or upset I picture myself at the feet of God spilling my tears all over. And then He picks me up and cuddles me in His arms and rocks me. And now we know He sings over us, too.

I wonder what He sounds like. Is it a whisper or as loud as a clap of thunder? Is it too much for our ears to hear so we cover them?

Have you ever crawled into God's arms for comfort?
Can you even imagine Him singing over you?
What do you think He sounds like?

Tomorrow I'm going to put a devotional on from C.H. Spurgeon about this verse. It is very good. Until then, why don't you crawl into Your Daddy's arms and let Him comfort you. Or crawl up there to share with Him your day or maybe talk over a problem you need help with. It's an awful big lap. We can all fit, no worries there.

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