What Happens When We Wrestle with God

What Happens When We Wrestle with God

We finally have it. A name for our home. After six and a half long years of several attempts—”The Farm at Gosey Hill,” “The Dog House and The Menagerie” (partly because of the many comical moments here with the animals), and even the more eloquent, “Grace Abounds,” —none have seemed to be the right fit. It wasn’t until the name “P’Niel,”—which Jacob named the place where he saw God face-to-face, yet his life was spared—added to the earlier possibility of “Grace Abounds,” that Jerry and I, with a sigh of contentment and relief, felt the quest had finally ended. Continue reading

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How Would You Wash Judas’s Feet?

My husband, Jerry, has told me of the fun-loving antics of his Uncle Gideon, but what his uncle did one Sunday to his mom, Jerry’s grandmother, whom everyone called Granny, is one of the most humorous and endearing stories I’ve ever heard.

Granny was a member of a primitive baptist church in Hatley, Mississippi, located right outside of Amory. Every three months, as an act of service and humility, this congregation participated in a foot washing ceremony, with everyone taking part in it.

Back in the 1890s, women did not wear nylon stockings, but thick black scratchy woolen ones. The night before this particular Sunday, after everyone had turned in, Gideon confiscated his mama’s stockings filling them with soot from the fireplace, emptying them back to remove any telltale sign of his mischief. The next morning in front of God and everyone, Granny removed her stockings revealing black sooty legs. Without a word, she turned and amidst the snickering congregants who were trying hard to hold it in, knowingly pointed her finger at her son. Taking full responsibility, he threw his head back in impish delight. Even though she wasn’t pleased with him in the moment, and probably spanked him across the county line and back again, later she might have broken into a small chuckle herself, for she was like that. And Gideon was known for his pranks. Continue reading

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http://dashofstrange.com/2017/04/13/wash-judass-feet/

What Prayer Teaches Us About Trust

Every year at this twitterpating time, (according to Bambi and friends), we get a host of bird couples making their newlywed nests in our gutters, atop beams, or as safe-as-it-seems-to-them, any nook or cranny. And without fail, there is usually one couple that for one reason or another, seems to be a half a bubble off plumb in their choices.

There was the kamikaze bluebird who inexplicably would follow Jerry from room to room, flying so hard into each window leaving feathers as he went, that his sweet wife would watch from a nearby branch or window with a somewhat stunned look of “what are you doing?” Or there were the doves who nearly died of heart failure every time we walked onto our side porch because they had built their nest in the heart-shaped grapevine wreath that hung right beside the door. Or there’s this year’s winner, Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow, who have already tried and failed in four separate attempts in three different locations, to build their home, the first unsuccessful site, my fault. Continue reading

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http://dashofstrange.com/2017/04/06/what-prayer-teaches-us-about-trust/

What to do When We Don’t Want to Let Go

What to do When We Don't Want to Let Go

My daughter, Laura, husband Andy, and their sweet daughter, Lucy Drew have found their new home and will be moving from ours in just a few short weeks. While this is good for everyone, it has already left Jerry and me with an ache in our hearts knowing that this precious time of the happy back-and-forth, face-to face bantering with Laura, hearing of Andy’s day-to-day and the challenges he faces, and being greeted by Lucy Drew’s smile and delightful babblings in the morning, is about to end. Continue reading

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What Forgiveness and Obedience Can Unlock

What forgiveness and obedience can unlock

St. Patrick’s Day is this Friday, and it seems everyone is gearing up for the usual festivities of parades, parties, green beer, and the dying of waterways to match. But after singing in church and then reading St. Patrick’s poem of faith and trust in God, The Breastplate, I knew there was more to the man than most of us realize. The section of the poem (below) we sing in church is really quite beautiful. The depth and magnitude of what it says always makes me cry. Continue reading

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http://dashofstrange.com/2017/03/15/what-forgiveness-and-obedience-can-unlock/

Why Your Best Friend Shouldn’t Be Your First Confidant

Why Your Best Friend Shouldn't Be Your First Confidant

Jerry and I have to get a new modem. And router. And it seems, all things possible regarding the internet. Daily, well to be honest, several times during the day, I hear those less than precious words, “Maawwwm, the internet. It’s not working. Again.” Continue reading

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Why We So Easily Miss Out on God’s Mercies

Jerry and Me - Why We So Easily Miss Out on God's Mercies

Jerry and I just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary! Now, that may not seem like much and being the gray-haired duo we are, most are expecting us to say we’ve been married forty plus years, but the treasure of liking and loving one another after the journeys each of us has been on, is such a blessing. Continue reading

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Finding True Love this Valentine’s Day

Finding True Love this Valentine's Day

One of my favorite days of the year is here. Valentine’s Day!  Now, most may not think of it as a particular day to look forward to, much less celebrate, but I do. For on that day, I think about the expressions of affection that are given, delivered, or spoken and the delight they will bring. Flowers and cards from someone who cares—especially the crunchy sweetheart candies tucked inside an envelope delivered by a child—brings smiles to the toughest of hearts. To know you are thought of, appreciated, cherished, even loved, there is hardly anything more delicious in life.

But for many the day is only a reminder of aloneness. Whether it’s in the confines of not yet finding the one meant for you, or the loss of a relationship—no matter the cause—being without, is an ache that no one wants to live with. Continue reading

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Why We Must Not Dwell on the Negative

Why We Must Not Dwell on the Negative

When I was a little girl, my mama would tuck me in at bedtime with kisses to hold in my hand through the night, to keep me safe. Hand-kisses. Like a knight-of-the-round-table’s shield, when bad dreams would awaken me or the eerie whistle of a distant train would sound making me feel small and alone in the dark, those sweet gifts clutched tight in my little fists were promises that I was not by myself. Promises, that if I needed her, my mama would be right there. Continue reading

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Finding Peace in the Midst of Heartache

My brother-in-law, David, is one of the the funniest people I know. Not because he tries to be witty or is constantly cracking jokes, but as my husband, Jerry, likes to say, “He’s funny even though he doesn’t mean to be.” In David’s southern Virginian, gentleman drawl, he can turn an ordinary occurrence of his day into an entertaining story that anyone listening can’t help but start laughing. One of my favorites is when he tells about his dogs, or rather how he says it, his “dawgs.”

David and Marlene

David and Marlene

David loves to hunt. It really doesn’t matter what season it is, deer, dove, or turkey—and there might be others I’m not aware of—he just thrives on being out in the woods with his passel of hounds he has affectionately named “The Convicts.” Those beagles who live outside in a pen—more like a castle to hear my sister, Marlene, describe it—have over the years mastered the art and technique of breaking out to roam the countryside. When those mischief-makers are finally spotted by a caring neighbor or reappear conveniently on their own just in time for dinner, David will, with a great deal of respect, speculate incredulously, “How-did-those-dogs manage their escapes?” It always makes me laugh to hear him recount their antics, so-much-so when I talk with my sister on the phone I always tell her to give my love, not only to David, but also to his friends, The Convicts. You can hardly have one without the other.

The Convicts

The Convicts

Right now, though, David is not able to be out and about with his pups. Life as he and my sister knew it has changed leading them on a journey they otherwise would not have chosen. Cancer has come into their home bringing questions of why, heartache of the unknown, and suffering that does not easily go away. Continue reading

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