Sunday, November 28, 2010

Celebrating The Light

I love Christmas lights . . . the myriad of colors . . . the way they light up the darkness . . . and their reflections in windows or on the water. Lights just seem to be the perfect decoration to announce and celebrate the birth of The Light of the World.

So, I thought I'd share a few of the lights along beautiful Cane River in the historic city of Natchitoches, LA. I never tire of seeing them, but it's especially fun to enjoy them with family - as we did during the Thanksgiving holidays.

Click on a pic to enlarge it.

Come to the Light; 'tis shining for thee.
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me.
~The Light of the World Is Jesus -
Philip P. Bliss~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Count your many blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your many
See what God has done.
~Johnson Oatman, Jr.

God has lavished His blessings on me and my family,
and I could never thank Him enough.
Great is His faithfulness!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow;
don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me, and just be my friend.
~Albert Camus~

Author Reuben Welch says it this way:
You know something? We're all just people who need each other.
We're all learning, and we've all got a long journey ahead of us.
We've got to go together, and if it takes us until Jesus comes,
we better stay together,
we better help each other. . .
No matter how long it takes us, we've got to go together
because that's how it is in the Body of Christ.

Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote beautiful lyrics that fit so well here:
Going together, enjoying the trip -
Getting used to the family I'll spend eternity with.
Learning to love you - how easy it is,
Getting used to the family of God.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Special Birthday Wish

Click on pic to enlarge.

"Happy Birthday Nana" . . . the grands spelled out in a very creative way!! I hear the photo session was quite hilarious as their dad, who was director and photographer, stood in the strong winds on the deck rails. And their mom held on to his legs to keep him steady!!

I guess they think I'm worth it! That's a priceless gift in itself!

I treasure all the photos and videos of our grands - and our Aiden book - that have been given to John David and me as gifts. Thanks to their parents for making them possible! And just as special are the emails and notes and artwork from our sweet grandchildren.

Children . . . and grandchildren . . . themselves gifts from God!
We are so blessed!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Forever Grateful

At the top of my list of blessings is my salvation and the Cross.

We sang a new song last night at church . . . a beautiful one that focused
on our Thanksgiving/blessings theme.
Thought I'd share the words with you.

You did not wait for me to draw near to You,
But You clothed Yourself with frail humanity;
You did not wait for me to cry out to You,
But You let me hear Your voice calling me.

And I'm forever grateful to You;
I'm forever grateful for the cross.
I'm forever grateful to You,
That You came to seek and save the lost.
~Lyrics to I'm Forever Grateful by Mark Altrogge~

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Thanksgiving Roses

I'm grateful for His everlasting mercy . . .

He showers His blessing into my life . . . and I can never thank Him enough.

And I praise Him for the "cup's full and running over times"!

I like the words of the following song by the Gaither Vocal Band:
When my soul is dry and thirsty
And panting for the Spirit's rain -
So depleted, weary, empty,
Every resource used and drained.

Then the rains come!
O the rains come!
Gentle streams flowing down the mountains -
Filling rivers . . . rushing waters
To the valley bringing
Wondrous life!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thank God for Granddaughters

Granddaughters . . .
stretch my soul, my mind, and my body

When they are around I. . .
laugh more
learn more
listen more
imagine more
move more

In them I see . . .
the world through young eyes
child-like faith
deep roots their parents have given them
hope for the future

I pray that . . .
their roots will grow even deeper in God's love
God will hold them close and keep them from harm
their hearts will remain tender and open to God's whispers
their feet will follow the paths that lead to His good plans for them
the world will be better place because Abby and Emily make a difference

I know that . . .
they are in good hands

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thank You, Veterans!

Flag over Overton-Brooks Veterans Medical Center

November 11 - Veterans' Day . . . a day to pay tribute to those who have kept America free!

If you've read my blog for a while, you know how I feel about these special men and women. As the wife of a former Marine and the mom of a son now in his fifteenth year of military service, I have a special place in my heart for veterans - not just my two men but all who have served and are serving our country.

For many years, Dean Nelson of WGN - Chicago has read this tribute to the men and women who defend our freedom. I copied it from

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say "Thank You." That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU."

Hope you'll take time today to show at least one veteran that he or she is appreciated. I'll start now!

John David and Andy, THANK YOU! I'm proud of you . . . your courage . . . your willingness to serve . . . your love for our country . . . and your sacrifices!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Batteries Included

The following passage is from the book The Buzzards May Be Circling But God's Not Finished With Me Yet by Stan Toler, one of my favorite authors. And the book is just as interesting as the title! It's full of humor, practical observations, and wise advice - like this selection:
Like it or not, people around us are watching. They want to see us carry the torch, even in the rain. They want to know if there are "batteries included" in that faith of ours. They want to know if religion works when the opposition comes along.

A little boy ran to his mother, "Mom! You know the antique clock of ours that has been passed from one generation to another?"

"Yes," the mother anxiously responded. "What's wrong?"

"My generation just dropped it!"

Adversity or not, our generation cannot afford to drop the torch of faith. It must be passed along, not snuffed out by the circumstances we encounter.
I agree, don't you? Even when the fountain of youth has rusted - which is the title of the chapter!

Speak through me, speak through me;
O Lord, speak through me.
Make Your Word upon my lips a flame today.
O Lord, speak through me.
~Love Through Me
lyrics by Mosie Lister~

Saturday, November 6, 2010


To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I love the much-needed, long-awaited showers . . . and so do these November roses!

We've prayed for rain . . . and it came!
Thank you, Lord!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow . . .

Monday, November 1, 2010

Delicious Memories

Looking at Mama's churn, I go back to another place . . . not too far down the road . . . and to another time . . . fifty or so years ago.

Life was much slower then, and my world was so very small. We couldn't hop in the car and run to the store for groceries - at least not very often - and we certainly didn't have money to buy things we could raise or make ourselves.

So, Daddy grew vegetables, raised hogs for meat and had a milk cow that produced our milk and butter. When we got a freezer, he sometimes raised a calf for beef. We always had chickens, so we never ran out of eggs, and on Sundays we feasted on fried chicken! Speaking of hogs, I can still smell big slabs of bacon being smoked high above a smoldering fire in our smokehouse! And I can still taste it along with Mama's mouth-watering homemade biscuits. Nobody could - or can - make 'em like Mama did!

Which brings me to the butter . . . delicious, golden butter molded to perfection! Which brings me to the churn pictured above . . . the churn that produced that wonderful stuff that seeped out the edges of a lightly-browned, hot buttermilk biscuit.

Mama usually did the churning, but Connie and I sometimes helped her. The arm got quite a workout moving the dasher up and down . . . up and down . . . over and over until Mama said it was ready. I can almost feel the splatters that inevitably escaped the churn - which is why we often churned on the back porch, if the weather permitted.

Then Mama took the top off the churn and scooped out the butter that had risen to the top. But it wasn't yet ready for eating. She carefully "washed" it and worked it, placed it in a bowl (I don't remember special molding dishes) and refrigerated it overnight.

And you can guess how the story ends . . . well, if you're a country girl, you can! Picture the breakfast table back then . . . a plate of hot biscuit; homemade butter and preserves, jam, or jelly; bacon right out of the smokehouse or sausage that Mama and the aunts made on hog-killing day; and eggs gathered from the chicken house - or wherever you might find a nest. Sometimes the menu varied and we ate fried squirrel that Daddy killed, and Mama "stretched it" with delicious gravy. I always loved syrup, too - Blackburn syrup - poured over my buttered biscuit. Back then we "sopped" our biscuits in syrup or gravy, too! Ahh, what delicious memories!

Now Mama's churn sits quietly in my dining room . . . a reminder of those simpler days and growing up with so little of earthly goods. I never knew back then just how poor we were. But I never remember wondering where our next meal would come from. So I wasn't really poor was I? With a spread like I just wrote about . . . not so much!

God supplied all our needs, saw us through the difficult times, and blessed us with parents who made sure we had what we needed. And His blessings continue . . . He's never failed us - nor will He ever!

Well, my intentions were to write about Mama's churn, but instead lots of wonderful memories "churned" in my mind! It was fun to scoop up the best ones that rose to the top!

Are you hungry now???


Lord, I come into Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance;
By the blood I may enter Your brightness;
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness;
Shine on me.
Shine on me.
~Lyrics - Shine, Jesus, Shine by Graham Kendrick~