Friday, December 19, 2014

For Those Who Have Suffered The Loss Of A Child

Another year has come and gone and here we are...December 19th...again. Nathan Andrew would have been 32-years-old today had he lived, but he didn't live...and, because he didn't live...and grow into manhood...he will forever be that beautiful, tiny, yet perfectly-formed-on-the-outside, boy baby...the one with the teeniest-tiniest fingernails and toenails and...well...everything! that I have ever seen...the one that had more hair on his head when he was born than all of my other babies had during their first year combined...the precious son that came into my life for, briefly, on that cold December night so long ago.

I will share that story with you again tonight. As I do, I can't help but be thinking about another momma who lost her own son just a few short days ago. That momma didn't even get to go to her own son's funeral and, tonight, she lays in a hospital bed recovering from heart surgery. My heart goes out to her and her family. Other mother's, too...and daddies.

I met a man just today who lost his 37-year-old daughter the Sunday before Thanksgiving. He said, "You can bury your parents and your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, but no parent should ever have to bury their child" and he cried. I so wanted to speak with him further, but the opportunity never presented itself, so, tonight, I pray for him.

I have shared this story before...three times, in fact...but tonight I will share it, again, in hopes that it will minister to someone, somewhere, even if just in some small way...

It was 32 years ago that Nathan Andrew was born. Something had been wrong for a very long time. I had been bleeding off and on since my second month of times very heavily.

On the 18th of December I was out Christmas shopping with my mother, my aunt, my 1 1/2-year-old daughter, and my three little cousins. All of a sudden I went into labor. My aunt took my daughter home with her and her children, and my mother rushed me to the hospital. Next thing I knew I was being strapped to a gurney and was being shipped by ambulance to a bigger that was attached by a walkway to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. 

Even though I had been given a lot of medication and was pretty much out of it, I could hear the doctors and nurses talking. If they didn't get me to the other, better-equipped hospital soon, they were going to lose me AND the baby. It was one of the most frightening experiences I've ever had. All I could think about was what would happen to my little daughter at home if I died. 

I arrived at the other hospital in record time and was immediately surrounded by all sorts of doctors and nurses. I was plugged into every kind of equipment they had...which wasn't nearly as good as the equipment that they have now, but, at the time, it was state-of-the-art. Immediately, the head doctor wanted to know who my doctor was and how long I had been bleeding. She said that the placenta had torn away from the uterus wall and that this baby should have been "taken" months ago. What was she talking about? I would never have allowed my baby to be "taken!"

Long story short...27 hours of intense labor later (I had been given every kind of pain medicine available and nothing seemed to help) and Nathan Andrew was the hallway on the way to delivery. He was immediately rushed across the walkway to Children's Mercy and I was taken on into delivery where a DNC was performed. A few hours later the doctor came into my room with a nurse who was carrying my baby. Nathan had fought hard and lived for two hours, but his lungs were just too little. Now days they probably could have saved him, but, back then...there was nothing they could do. There was just nothing that they could do. :'(

Nathan was perfectly formed. He had long, black hair, had perfectly formed features, perfect, tiny, little fingers and fingernails...toes and toenails...on the outside he was just that...perfect! Tiny, yes (he was 10 inches long and he only weighed a pound)! But still...perfect

Not having money for a funeral left me with few choices. I would not be allowed to leave the hospital without signing papers for Nathan's body to, either, be donated to scientific research, or be cremated in the hospital crematory. Not wanting to do either I chose the lesser of the two evils...the hospital crematory. To this day I regret that, but, at that point, I didn't know what else to do under the circumstances. It still hurts me beyond anything that I could ever express and there's never been anywhere to mourn Nathan's loss. I came home on Christmas Eve with two very blurry pictures, a set of tiny footprints on a piece of paper, and a poem that the hospital chaplain had given me.

Until recently, I had never written about all this, but, in recent years, I have felt a need to do so. Perhaps there is someone else out there who has been through a similar experience...someone who needs a word of encouragement. Even though all that I went through was, and still is, very sad...there are two things that have ministered to me over the years since Nathan's death...

#1 - The poem that the chaplain shared with me. It was entitled FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND, and I had never read it until the night that she gave it to me there in the hospital and it is still very special to me.

#2 - There's a verse of scripture that the Lord gave to me many, many years later, and it is still the verse that comes to mind whenever I think of Nathan. The verse is found in Psalm 30...verse5...and it says, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that Nathan is with Jesus and that someday I will see him again! Not as a premature baby, but as the spirit man that God created him to be!

And, if you've suffered the loss of a child...whether it be to miscarriage, premature birth, at birth or beyond...know that, if you are a born-again, Bible-believing, follower of Christ, and child of God, then you, too, will see that child again and be reunited with them in days to come because that child is with Jesus right now!

As you remember that trial that you've gone through...perhaps you're asking (or have asked), "Why God? Where were You when I was going through all that? Why weren't you there for me?" I leave you, now, with that beautiful poem that was shared with me by that wonderful, old chaplain at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri on December 19th, 1982...


One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. 

Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lost in the Loneliness

Just yesterday my dad, once again, expressed how lonely he feels. 

"No one calls, no one comes around. All I have left are my memories," he said. 

Then, he proceeded to tell me the story of a neighbor that lived a mile down the road from where my grandparents did when my dad was a boy. The neighbor was ill for a time and, for several weeks, three times a day, my grandmother would prepare a meal for the neighbor, and send my dad to deliver it. 

"Three times a day," he said, "I'd run that mile to take 'Uncle Kit' a meal...a plate of eggs and a sausage cake for breakfast, a pint of soup with a piece of bread for lunch, then whatever Mom made us for supper...three times a day...and I never thought a thing about it. That's just what folks did. Now days...they won't walk across the street to say 'hello' to you or ask you how you're feeling. They don't care."

That's how he feels about it and, sadly, in the experience he's had since my mother passed away nearly a decade ago, he's pretty much right. 

"You know," he said, "I heard on the news the other night that more old people die of loneliness than anything else."

"And I believe it," he added.

"I know, Dad," I said. "I wish there was something that I could do about it, but there just isn't. It's a heart issue and caring about others has to come from within."

Something is terribly wrong in our world today, While I do feel that elderly people often feel the effects of loneliness most often...especially after their children are grown and gone, and they lose a spouse...because they do have so many memories and no one left to share them with...but, it seems that people everywhere now days feel lonely. Even those who are in contact with tons of people on a daily basis say they feel lonely...and they do. Loneliness is epidemic.

This morning, before I even got out of bed, (I was reading it on my Ipod), I read an article by Erin over at The Humbled Homemaker entitled "When Your Online Community Is Crowded And Your Real-Life Community Is Lacking" and guess what she was talking about? Loneliness. 

It was an excellent article (please read it) and two things struck me...

# 1- Even though I already knew it, and have already stated so once, the article reaffirmed to me, that, yes, loneliness truly is epidemic. People everywhere, whether they are alone, or not, are feeling lonely inside and those feelings are real. 

# 2 - For the past few years I've felt like I was I was less-than, because I'm not where I used to be in ministry. I mean, I want nothing more than to minister to hurting women, but I'm thinking that ministering to them face-to-face, one-on-one, if need be, might be right where God wants me to be at this season in my life

You see, there was a day when I, like Erin, and many other women that I follow online, love, greatly admire, and respect, had a fairly large online community. This was back in the days before Blogspot and Facebook. This was way back there in the days of Yahoo Clubs and Groups. (Anyone remember those?) I was also writing for several Christian women's magazines back then. (The kinds that were made of paper and arrived in your mailbox on a regular schedule.) :)

It was in 1998 when I was asked, by the founder of the Proverbs 31 Woman Yahoo Club, to take over the 1000+ member community...which I did. I loved the Proverbs 31 Woman! I wanted nothing more than to, over my lifetime, become a living example of her, and it was truly an honor to be asked to head up such a community...and,by the way, I met many beautiful women of God there...many of which are still close friends today (some off-line, as well as some that are on-line, but have never met...yet), but, in the midst of all that, it didn't take me long at all to find out that many within the walls of that community were not there for the same reason that I, and some of the other ladies' were. 

In no time at all I was spending up to 12 hours a day putting out brush fires, and battling all sorts of weird things. Stuff, that, in reality, had nothing to with the Lord's work at all. I mean, it started out looking like it did. I would think that I was helping someone, but in the end, it would turn out to be some set-up thing created to cause strife and negativity within the group, or to just flat keep us from focusing on the purpose for which we were assembled...and it would wear me down to the point I couldn't even function. Eventually, I learned the truth. Most of the brush fires that I was fighting were being started by members of a witches coven that had joined the group to purposefully stir up trouble from within.
In 2002, the group was transferred to Yahoo Groups and became private. The private group, Proverbs 31 Woman (2), was for women only and was based on the teaching found in Proverbs 31:10-31. It was created for the sole purpose of offering Christ-centered encouragement and accountability to those that were seriously seeking to fulfill the unique role that God created for us as women. We had a great base of women and the community operated successfully in that forum until I, lured away by relationships and emotion, allowed people into the group that were only there for self-seeking purposes, rather than to grow in the foundations of Biblical principles. (Silly me! I honestly believed, at that time, that every woman who expressed an interest in the Proverbs 31 Woman and growing in Biblical womanhood was serious.)

Technically, the Proverbs 31 Woman (2) is still in existence today. It's there. It's members are few, but no one ever visits. Like everyone, and everything else, it sits there, lost in the loneliness of countless online communities...communities filled with people who chat and communicate over electronic devices the world round, but, in reality, can never connect in a real life, flesh and blood way...unless...they go out of their way to do so...which some of the ladies' out of that original Proverbs 31 Woman community have done in the past, and oh! What blessed memories we share!

Now, I suppose that a lot of what I've written here sounds cynical, but I honestly don't mean for it to. I'm just sharing my thoughts and a bit of my online and real-life story. 

The point I'm trying to make is that there is something wrong in our world today when we, as a people, are inundated with communication of every kind and in touch with people from all over the world in a moments notice, yet, everywhere around us, real-life people...people in our own lives...people within our own real-life communities, our friends, our neighbors, people within our own families...are being crushed under the weight of loneliness and no one seems to care.

Do we care? Do you care? Do I really?

Forget the formulas and programs! What can we do within our own real-life sphere of influence to make a change in someone else's life today? 

(And, please, when I say 'real-life' one has better on-line friends that they've never met than I do...and, yes, they're real, but they're not right here...they're not next door...they're not living and breathing within a stone's throw know what I'm saying...don't you?)   

Loneliness is a very real problem in our world today. Think of something that you can do to help lighten the burden of a lonely person near you...

- take them a meal...
- take them a plate of cookies...
- stop by and spend a few minutes visiting with them...
- stop in and just ask them how they're feeling today... let them know that somebody is thinking of them and that people still care.

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in, Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." ~Matthew 25:35-40

Until Next Time...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Turn

The year was 1965. I was 4 years old and had two aunts living right next door who were both in their early teens. They listened to all the latest music and I loved listening to it with them. Turn, Turn, Turn written by Pete Seeger was a big hit for The Byrds that year and I remember it playing on the radio. I liked it then and I like it now.

The song, other than the title, which is repeated throughout the song, and the last verse, was adapted word for word from Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes. The song holds the distinction of being the #1 hit with the oldest lyrics (Book of Ecclesiastes), authored by King Solomon. Pretty cool! 

What's even cooler is, that God has an eternal and unique plan for each and every person ever born. He has an plan for your life and He has a plan for mine. I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss that plan for my life.

All too often, I find myself going around in circles...wandering about in a particularly difficult season...wondering..."...just exactly what is God's plan and purpose for my life at this time?"

(Do you ever find yourself wondering things like that?)

It is in these times...during the hard, dry, and difficult seasons of life...that we must press in, drawing ever nearer to our loving Heavenly Father, allowing Him to help us in walking out and accomplishing His plans and eternal purposes for our lives.

"To every thing there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under heaven.."
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Until Next Time,

Five Minute Friday - 4

Five Minute Friday - a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rustic Oat and Wheat Bread

Greetings, Dear Friends!

It's been forever since I've been with you. (At least it feels like it's been forever!)

Since going to work part-time, my life has been totally different and it's taken me a long, long time to adjust. I've been working since June and am just now working myself back into some baking and blogging...neither of which I've not done for months, but both of which I am doing today.

It's autumn here in southwest Missouri and with the arrival of cool, damp weather my husband has had him a hankerin' for some good old-fashioned, homemade bread...specifically, his favorite, my Rustic Oat and Wheat Bread. He asked me last night if it might be possible to make a loaf or two for him soon. So, first this morning, I started baking and oh! How wonderful the house smells!

While I was at it I thought I might as well go ahead and share the recipe here. This is a great recipe for a hardy bread that is just made to go with wintertime soups and stews. If you end up trying it, I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine has over the years. It's simply delicious!

Until Next Time,


1 cup rolled wheat
1/4 firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup water heated to 105 to 115 degrees F.
4 3/4 to 5 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 cup regular old-fashioned oats


1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon old-fashioned oats

Spray two cookie sheets with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine rolled wheat, brown sugar, salt, 2 cups boiling water molasses and oil; mix well. Cool to 105 to 115 degrees F. In small bowl, dissolve yeast in 2/3 cup water. Add to cooled rolled wheat mixture. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add 2 cups flour to rolled wheat mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in 1 cup regular oats and 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups flour until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl.

On floured surface, knead in 1/2 to 1 cup flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place (80 to 85 degrees F.) until light and doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Punch dough down several times to remove all air bubbles. Divide dough in half; shape into balls. Place on sprayed cookie sheets. With sharp knife, slash a 1/4 inch deep lattice design in top of each loaf. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush loaves with beaten egg; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon regular oats. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until deep golden brown and loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from cookie sheets; cool on wire racks. Makes 2 (16 slice) loaves.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Coming Soon - Messy Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht

Messy Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht
    "Leaving his briefcase by the door, he asked me to join him in the living room. I wasn't sure what was up, but one glance at the stone-cold look on his face told me that something was wrong -- terribly wrong.

    Sitting across from him, I'll never forget the sound of his voice as it rang in my ears and ripped through my heart.

    "Are you having an affair?" he asked.

    Looking up at him, I quickly answered, "No. Why would you even ask that?"

    Please don't lie to me," he said. As he continued to question me, the heat rose in my face. My cheeks were numb; my mouth was dry; my body was weak. "Did you have an affair?"

    I hung my head, unable to look in his eyes. Sitting alone on the couch, I felt the fear of truth spin around me like the web of a spider until I was helpless to move. Barely able to speak, I lifted my chin in a nod and then in another. My house of cards collapsed, my shame crashing to the ground along with it."

I grew up believing in true love and fairy-tale romance. I believed that Prince Charming really did exist, that, someday, he would come for me, and, when he did, that we would, undoubtedly, live happily ever after in a fairy-tale marriage. It didn't take long for me to figure out that that is not how it works at all in the real world.

True love does exist and it can be absolutely beautiful! But, sometimes, love can be messy. Three marriages and two divorces later, I can honestly say that love in my own life has been very messy indeed!

I first 'met' Darlene Schacht (a.k.a. the Time-Warp Wife), back in January of 2011 when I happened to stumble across one of her articles online. (I know this because I still have the article in my archives.) The openness and honesty with which Darlene shared her testimony immediately captured my attention and won my respect.

While, as of yet, I have not read the book in its entirety (I am working on it and a review is forth coming), I have read enough to know that Darlene's latest book Messy Beautiful Love - Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages will be the pinnacle of all that she has written thus far.

In Messy Beautiful Love Darlene shares her testimony, talks about her own infidelity, and tells how she and her husband, Michael, chose to work together to overcome the weaknesses in their marriage, allowing God to, fully and completely, restore it and them.

Messy Beautiful Love carries a message of hope to all of us, as it encourages us to clean up our own messes God's way and challenges us to surrender our marriage relationship to God as an act of obedience.

Messy Beautiful Love isn't being released until September 16th, but GOOD NEWS! By pre-ordering now, Thomas Nelson Publishers will send you over $50.00 worth extra goodies for free!

Pre-order Messy Beautiful Love by clicking HERE.

Once you've placed your order, e-mail and give them your order confirmation number, along with the number of books you purchased. The extra freebies which will be e-mailed to you soon thereafter.

Until Next Time...

All My Love,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Reach

I'm sure that many of us remember those old Bell Telephone and AT&T 'reach out and touch someone' commercials. With all the instant communication in today's world, it's kind of hard to imagine having to sit around and wait for that special someone to 'reach out and touch' us now...isn't it? Or is it?

With all the instant communication that is, literally, at our fingertips...cell phones, internet, Facebook, Twitter, would think that people would be in closer touch with one another...and they some ways. But in other ways, and I think, often times, because of the technological advances that have been made in the last twenty or thirty years...even though communication, for the most part, is instant...there is a coldness that has settled into our world...into our lives...into our relationships...and many people are lonelier now than ever before...especially the older generation. People just aren't as close as they use to be and, sadly, many no longer seem to care. What's happening to us? Because of technology are we becoming desynthesized to the world around us and those that are in it? 

Perhaps...but, thankfully, it's not too late to do something about it! If you are reading this, I'd like to challenge you to stop right now and think of someone special that you've not had a quality conversation with in a long time and to, sometime within the next day or two, to, purposefully, 'reach out and touch' them. Do it in person, mail them a special card, or take time to give them a call and tell them how you feel about them and why. Here's a list of ideas to get you started...

1. A parent or grandparent
2. A favorite aunt, uncle, or cousin
3. An estranged family member
4. A long-time-no-see friend
5. An old friend from school 
6. A former teacher
7. A former co-worker
8. Your best childhood friend
9  Someone from the old neighborhood where you grew up
10. Someone that made a difference in your life without even knowing it (Tell them about it and let them know why they're so special to you!)

These are some ideas to get you started. Now...go ahead! Reach out and touch someone! And make it count! 

Until Next Time,

Five Minute Friday - 4

Five Minute Friday - a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Change

Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker used to be one of the highlights of my week. Now...five minutes all in a row at one time to do anything is practically impossible...especially when it comes to sitting down to write. In fact, it's been ages since I've participated in Five Minute Friday and one of the changes that have taken place since the last time I did so is that Lisa-Jo Baker is no longer hosting it!

After hosting Five Minute Friday for four years, on July 31st, Lisa-Jo Baker posted her last Five Minute Friday post and has passed the baton to her friend,  Kate Motaung. As of the first Friday in August, Kate is now hostessing Five Minute Friday. I am anxious to get to know her and can't wait to see where she, as our new hostess, takes us from here! Be blessed in your calling, Kate! I'm excited for you! :)

As for me, personally, I normally don't do change well. I get stuck in a rut and am content to stay there, but I'm finding that getting out of that rut...scary as it may be...often comes with benefits and blessings that I would never have received, nor imagined, if the change had not occurred. I'm starting to believe that change is a GOOD thing! :)

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

All My Love,

Five Minute Friday - 4

Five Minute Friday - a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Coming Full Circle From Death Unto Life

Nine years ago tonight...about this very time of night, in fact...I received a phone call that changed my world forever. We had four girls in the family that were due to have babies very soon...a cousin, a daughter, and two daughters-in-law. In fact, one of the daughters-in-law was overdue at that point. It was about 10:30 p.m. on the night of June 25, 2005. The phone rang and I bounded out of bed...a bundle of excitement. 

"Ahhhhh! Someone's in labor!" I shouted!

When I got to the phone it was my dad. He told me that my mom was having a problem and that I had better come right away. I told him to dial 9-1-1 and I'd be there in a few minutes. Someone was in labor alright, but this was NOT what I was expecting. 

By the time John and I got to my parent's home, my mother was in a bad way. An ambulance came, picked my mother up, and headed for Joplin. In mid-trip, she was transferred to a helicopter, but my mother never even made it to the hospital. She passed from this life in mid-transit shortly after midnight on the 26th. Needless to say, since that time, the 25th of June has always approached with a cloud of darkness hanging over it...especially for my dad. 

Well, this year, God, in His infinite mercy and grace, changed all that by giving us a new memory on the 25th of June. This morning, about 4:15 a.m. a beautiful, new granddaughter was born to us...a new great-granddaughter to my dad...and the story is pretty amazing.

Our daughter's due date, June 14th, came and went without event. Every day we've waited, but nothing happened. Last night, a couple of minutes after midnight the call came. Contractions were strong and regular, coming about five minutes apart, and we were needed to come stay with the children.

Less than four hours after leaving for the hospital, Miss Esther Rebecca-Grace Pennington, came into the world. The story of her birth is an amazing one, to say the least. I said earlier that she came about 4:15. The reason I say about is because no one caught the exact time. Miss Esther was born abruptly in the bathroom under very tense circumstances, but, tonight, praise God! Both she and her mommy, are doing very well.
Miss Esther Rebecca-Grace Pennington
My dad has not been well the past few months and he's been particularly weak and feeble the past few weeks. The days leading up to the anniversary of my mother's passing has always been hard from him. I wish you could have heard the spark in his voice when I told him that Miss Esther had been born in the night, during the wee hours of the morning of the 25th of June. He sounded relieved and said, "Well, good! Maybe this date will be a better one now!" 

I do feel bad that our daughter had to carry the baby so far past her due date, and I'm sorry that she and the baby had such a rough delivery, but I do praise God for blessing our family with such a special gift on a date that, previously, had carried such an air of darkness and sadness to it in our family's history. 

Something else that I found interesting to note...

This afternoon upon returning from taking the grandlittles to the hospital to see their parents and meet their new, baby sister...on the way back to their house, I had to go by our house to grab a few things. While there, our soon-to-be-nine-year-old-granddaughter, Audrey, noticed the date on the "God in the Moment" (from Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts) flip-calendar that sits on the table next to our bed, and that it was still turned to a date back in April. 

She said, "Nana, can I change the date on your calendar to today's date?" 

I said, "Sure! Go ahead!"

After turning the calendar to today's date and reading it, my granddaughter said, "Oh, Nana! You've got to read this!"

I did. And here is what it said on today's date...the 25th of June...

"I drive out of dark and into morning glory. I push off of shadows and I awaken wide, to the strange truth that all new life comes out of the dark places, and hasn't it always been? Out of darkness, God spoke forth the teeming life. All new life labors out of the womb of darkness."

Wow. Somehow, in the moment that I read that, I felt that we had come full circle...that, somehow, right in that moment that we had passed from death unto life...from out of darkness into His glorious light!

Until next time...

All My Love,

Our son-in-law, Patrick, and he and our daughter's four beautiful children.

My husband holding Miss Esther for the first time

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Release

Five Minute Friday is a special time set aside each week where, as our hostess and inspiration, Lisa-Jo Baker, puts it, "We write for five minutes flat. All on the same extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real." 

Today's prompt is release.


Release - "allow or enable to escape from confinement; set free; allow (something) to move, act, or flow freely."


The only way to get over it and past it (whatever the 'it' in your life might be) is to choose forgiveness. By choosing to forgive you release yourself and others. But don't wait until you feel like it. Otherwise it will probably never happen.


Forgiveness comes when you choose to obey God and resist the devil when he comes around trying to poison your mind with bitter thoughts. When that happens, purposefully choose to forgive and, in time, God will heal your wounded emotions.

Forgive yourself for past mistakes and mess-ups, and forgive others, too...including your enemies and those who have hurt, misused, and abused you. In doing so, you allow God to release you from a prison built of poison. In Luke 6:27-28, Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. Romans 12:14 tells us to bless them and not to curse them. By purposing to speak well of them and praying for them you are opening up an arena that God can work in which He can give them revelation that will bring them out of the deception that has blinded them. 

In choosing to forgive you, not only do you release yourself, but, if they'll receive it, the one that has hurt you is provided opportunity to be released as well.  


Until next time...

All My Love,

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Blog Announcement - Life On The Tallgrass Prairie

Recently I've posted several posts about life on Southwest Missouri's tallgrass prairie. To better accommodate my readers, I've decided to start a separate blog, called Life On The Tallgrass Prairie, for the sole purpose of keeping all my posts about the prairie in one place.

I'm just getting started, but, if you have any interest at all in my posts about Life On The Tallgrass Prairie, I'd like to encourage you to, please, join me over at my new blog. You can do so by clicking HERE, then subscribing by e-mail.

Thanks so much!

All My Love,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life On The Tall-grass Prairie - A Perfect Day

Saturday was a perfect day on the tall-grass prairie. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, the temperature was just right, and, after greeting us first thing Saturday morning at the visitor center, the bison decided to camp out on the hill just behind it. This allowed visitors to Southwest Missouri's Prairie State Park to view them through the observation windows all afternoon.
A large bull bison met me in front of the visitor center
when I first arrived Saturday morning. Needless to say, I
didn't get out of my vehicle until the coast was clear.
The whole herd planned on moving in just behind the big guy
above, but, when the park naturalist arrived, they backed off a bit.
I captured a shot of these two adorable little guys on the way in.
They're young enough that they're still retaining the typical,
new-born bison, pumpkin-orange color. Cute...aren't they? 
The herd camped out on the hill behind the visitor center for
the afternoon.They birds that you see 'flying' around here are
decals of  swallows that are attached to the window. 
Until next time...

All My Love,

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Weekly Home Blessing

Photo Credit

I got into the habit of doing a 'Home Blessing' on Mondays when I first met the Flylady. While I don't keep up with her posts at present and, while my home is far from what most people would consider clean, I still enjoy doing my own version of the Flylady's Weekly Home Blessing when I am home and can. 

My 'Home Blessing' list includes:

1. Spritz and shine the sink, tub, and toilet. 
2. Shine all the mirrors.
3. Mop the bathroom floor.
4. Feather dust the furniture, pictures on the wall, etc.
5. Change the sheets.
6. Vacuum the floors (including the edges).
7. Empty all trash.

My house is very small and it doesn't take long to do any of these things, so I do not set a timer. I do enjoy the spruce up though and it keeps things looking somewhat better than they would otherwise.

Do you do a Weekly Home Blessing in your home? If so, what's on your 'Home Blessing' list?

Have a blessed day everyone! 

Until next time...

All My Love,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Hands

Black and white photo of mother's hands holding child's hands.

Five Minute Friday is a special time set aside each week where, as our hostess and inspiration, Lisa-Jo Baker, puts it, "We write for five minutes flat. All on the same extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real." 

Today's prompt is hands.


The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this week's prompt was a story that my mother used to read to me many years ago. It was from a book called Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories, and the story was titled "Mother's Hands." I remember it making a great impression on me as a child. 

The story was about a young mother who had run over to visit a neighbor for just a moment while her baby was sleeping in her crib. While she was gone her house caught on fire with the baby still sleeping inside. 

When she realized what was happening, she ran through the gathering crowd and resisted the firemen when they insisted that she not go into the burning house. She didn't care. All she could think of was rescuing her sleeping baby...which she did. The baby was fine, but the mother's hands were terribly burned, and she was taken away by ambulance. 

Years later the daughter noticed her mother's badly scarred hands. She commented on how ugly they were. It was then, through tears, that the mother told her the story of the fire and all that happened. At that point the little girl began to cry and commented that her mother's hands were the most beautiful hands in all the world.

From there the story went on to talk about another pair of badly scarred hands. Hands that were hurt for you and me. Those beautiful nail-scarred hands of Jesus, and how they represent His deep love for us.


Until next time...

All My Love,

P.S. - I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment before you go! And have a blessed day! <3

Five Minute Friday

One Thousand Gifts - #92 sweet potatoes, #93 roasted carrots, #94 Cuties!