Another move is upon us. After ten months in Alabama, Laura, Andy, and Lucy are returning to their roots… well Andy’s roots anyway; Laura, who claims Boston as home, would scoff at the insinuation. Regardless, there I found myself wrapping mug after mug, dish after dish, appliance after appliance in the red-themed kitchen Laura saved just for me. And as strange as it seems, she claims it’s the easiest room in the house to pack because it involves little to no thought; all you have to do is wrap and pack. Hmmm…
Lucy and Molly, the dog, helped pack, too.
After putting Lucy down for a nap, she joined me in the aforesaid easiest room and after what couldn’t have been more than five minutes, threw her arms up in exasperation proclaiming, “That’s IT. I am getting rid of everything! I am sick of having all this stuff and then having to pack and move it.” And capping off her small tirade, mental fist raised in resolve, declared, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jerry and I recently had the privilege of being invited to the book launch of She Reads Truth at the Franklin Theater. One reason this was so special is that one of the authors, Raechel Myers, is the daughter of my dear friend, Susan. But as the evening went on what became apparent, and even the bigger blessing, is the reason the book came to be.
Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams—yes, Bible is her maiden name—in 2012 started reading God’s Word everyday with a group of strangers. They stayed connected with the hashtag #SheReadsTruth. From that came the website, followed by the app, and to quote, “the movement continues to grow. Today, hundreds of thousands of women gather online to open our Bibles together and find Jesus there.”¹
So why am I telling you about this? Whenever I see my friend, Pam—in this hectic, spinning- off-its-axis world is less than we would both like it to be—and ask her how she is, many times with a wide-eyed beautiful grin that conveys mischief mixed with a hint of feigned panic, her answer is, “I’m peddling faster and faster.” And don’t most of us feel that way? As Jerry says, “We go from one thing to another. We end something to only begin again. It just doesn’t stop.” Continue reading
My husband, Jerry has the gift of being able to communicate with animals. Now as strange as that seems, not only can he “talk” to our horses, but to our dogs, to Doris, our cat, but also, as unbelievable as this seems, our chickens.
One of our hens—Jerry has named her Gracie—will run up to him, and, as if inviting him to pick her up, squats down on the ground so he can scoop her into his arms with ease. Petting her as he would one of our dogs, he walks around the chicken yard talking with her until he puts her down so she can scurry off to do her henly duties. I have never seen anything like it. Continue reading
Jerry and I love to walk. Well, me more than him, but he’s catching on. Moving as briskly as possible we generally try to walk five days a week, about 40 minutes at a time. Beside the benefits of losing some pesky pounds while getting in shape, we often get to see beautiful sunrises. One morning this past week, the sky was extraordinary.
Peppered with hundreds of cotton ball-like clouds it was beautiful almost beyond description. I was about to exclaim its loveliness to Jerry when he beat me to the punch saying, “Hey! Look at those clouds. They remind me of the ones on The Simpsons.” In a split instant, I went from marveling at the wonderful picture God had painted across the sky to envisioning the images of Marge, Homer, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie—their theme song then playing in my head.
Men. So very different from women. Some, like feminist and political activist Gloria Steinem, have denied that could be true and have railed against those studying to see if indeed women are from Venus and men are from Mars. But in the end, with all the data from psychological and scientific studies, the findings are, that we are truly distinctive from one another.
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
Have you ever been in the middle of doing something, actually something you want or feel you really need to do, and the phone, urgent email, or knock at the back door brings your agenda to a screeching halt? It’s the “Oh man!” moment where, all in one increment of time, feelings of excitement, disappointment, and guilt, converge in a tangle of emotions to be sorted through later. It’s the realization that completing what’s in front of you now needs to take a back seat to what has come up and that your line up of the calendar day is not as important as you thought. Continue reading
As much as I love autumn, come Labor Day, I begin to twitch. Now, as strange as that seems, it’s true. Even though I love everything about fall—the way the angle of the sun changes mid-August with fall just around the corning turning the grass in the field to seed, and how the tomatoes left on the vine may not ripen and will be this year’s crop of the finest fried green ones—it’s the transition that gets me. Continue reading
One of the things my family enjoys the most is vacationing every summer at Emerald Isle, NC. Sitting at the southern tip of the Outer Banks, it is a hidden treasure of beautiful beaches, only a few restaurants and shops, and hardly any rip currents. So riding the waves, even at my half century and beyond mark, is a beautiful thing. You can literally arrive at your oceanfront cottage, duplex, or home; plant your umbrella and beach towel in the sand and along with friends, family, and a good book; and be content and happy for your entire stay. To me, it’s about as close to heaven on earth as I can get.
Imagine my surprise when talking with my pastor in Massachusetts, he informed me that he thought we all would be working in heaven. His take—before Adam and Eve ate the apple opening the door for sin to enter, Adam was quite happily tilling the soil in the garden. It was work without the curse of sin. Hmmm…an interesting thought, and I do agree with him. But sitting on heaven’s beach surely could be good, too.
For me, writing, whether it’s a children’s book or a blog, is my work. And even though it gives me great pleasure and is also what I’m supposed to be doing at this juncture in my life, sometimes it’s the very last thing I want to do. Not only are the “what-I want to do’s” and the “need-to-do’s” daily calling, but when the gorgeous, less humid days of early autumn, of God’s beautiful creation, beckon me to come out and play, the tug-of-war inside is almost too much. Almost. Because as enticing as it all is—especially with those “what-I-want-to-do” tendencies pulling me—like a kid in a candy store, to indulge first here and then there, at the end of the day the sugar rush of satisfying my whims often leaves me wanting and even anxious. Continue reading
Today is my oldest son’s wedding anniversary. As memories of that day flash through my mind, much like a series of snapshots, one second there and the next one gone, I once again find myself in the middle of many reminiscences. Happiness and tears, nervousness and calm, seeing old friends I hadn’t seen in years—it’s all so wonderful to think back on—even those things that happened that were of the unexpected. Continue reading
Have you ever seen the sweet commercial of the overworked mom who keeps responding to her family, either their situations or their messes with the question of “What/How?” Sometimes, it’s a “what” as in, “What’s going on?” or “How did this happen?” Other times though, it is the more encouraging, “How did it go?” But written between the scenes of the never ending treadmill of the day-in, day-out exhaustion is a deep caring that goes beyond her words.¹
I remember experiencing all of that with my children and now that they are parents, I see it in their faces as they are raising their own. My granddaughter, sweet Lucy, only seven months old, is already full of gusto and a go-get-them outlook on life. She happily embraces whatever is in front of her—without even the slightest hint of a care, giving it all she’s got.
And my grandson, Henry, almost 3 is the professor. Analytical, methodical, verbal beyond belief, and oh-so-very-precise—he studies things before he jumps in. I keep telling my children, their parents, they’d better put on their running shoes now and be prepared to leave them on a good long time as they will be forever catching up to these two. Each day that I get to be with Henry or Lucy, I look with happy anticipation to see what they will do next. Watching glimpses of who they are, of who they will be, as their personalities peek through more and more, gives me such delight. And I can’t imagine saying to them one day, “For you to be happy and fulfilled, you need to find your purpose in life.”