My dear husband does not like to get gifts. Not birthdays or holidays. Not even Christmas or Easter. Not anytime or anywhere. Nope. Nada. Nyet. The other day—mind you, it’s only June—when I surprised him with the complete DVD series of Hogan’s Heroes, which he truly loves, while thanking me, he quickly deemed it his early birthday and Christmas present adding that there was absolutely no need to get him anything else. I just have to shake my head and smile because my kids and I love to give gifts. And we especially love birthdays. It’s a celebration of life.
Giving and receiving. It’s not so hard to do. Or is it? For some, giving is a way of life. Making someone smile. Bringing that ray of sunshine into a cloudy day. Loving. Ministering. Caring. But flip the switch and be the one given to, and whoa, hold the phone. It’s been said, “It’s better to give than to receive,” but I would submit it’s a whole lot easier to be the one bestowing than it is to be the one accepting. In a world where according to The Beatles, all we need is love, why then is it so hard to be loved on? Continue reading
My daughter, Laura, doesn’t like change. Most of us don’t for that matter, but when she was a little girl, anything great or small that altered her universe, would send her into a tailspin for exactly two weeks. You could bank on it.
One time that stands out, happened when we made a major move from Missouri to northern California. We found that because of overcrowding in the public schools where we were going, it would be better for Laura, an upcoming fourth grader, to make the switch and attend private school.
First, there was the digging-her-heels-in and wrinkling-her-nose-in-protest-phase, followed by the argumentative, why-this-couldn’t-possibly-be-good-for-her-life, angle. (At that time, I was convinced if she had chosen to be a lawyer by profession, any firm would have gladly welcomed her.) Continue reading
This coming Friday was supposed to have been the start of our family camping weekend. Anticipating chilly bright-stared nights while sitting around the campfire, followed by the wonderful aromas of coffee, bacon, and eggs—that Jerry would be preparing—greeting us in the coolness, maybe even the frostiness of the morning, brought much excitement for what was ahead. That was until yesterday, when I read with much disappointment, that because of the drought Middle Tennessee is experiencing, no open fires where we were going, are allowed. No campfire at night. No fun stories. And no delicious smells in the morning. No. No. No. Continue reading
For the past five years, without fail, one of my children has needed to move. And also without fail, it has happened at Christmas time. So much so, Jerry and I have jokingly said that we needed to purchase a magnetic sign that would attach to his truck advertising this new-found, or not so new anymore, mission in our life, “We Move At Christmas.”
This year Laura, Andy, and Lucy Drew’s move has proved to be true to form, except that it didn’t happen at Christmas, yet. We shall see. (They are looking to buy a home so a move could happen any day.) One week ago after a mad flurry of planning, packing, and saying goodbye to friends and family in Alabama, they have landed here with us. In what I refer to as a happy challenge of rearranging rooms to having a new purpose—the library is now a nursery, furniture finding new homes in different rooms, and the addition of one more dog (she is the best mannered and most well-behaved of the bunch)—we are all settling in. And Jerry and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To be part of the adventure, part of all of their lives, even though moments can be hard, is a blessing we wouldn’t want to miss. Continue reading
Many years ago, my late husband and I had a German Shepherd named Rachel. Everywhere we went, she went—she was right there with us. It was nothing to see the three of us careening down the highway in our Wagoneer, windows open and hair flying. Not mine, because it was secured under a baseball cap, but Rachel’s. Her fur, mingled with her drool, because she was panting with excitement to see where our next adventure took us, flew in all directions.
Rachel and Me