Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Soaked, but Grateful

    

Another, beautiful, design by Donna.  See the link to This, That & Hockey in the side bar.

 

Oh, yeah!  Wet, through and through.  Had to get out in the rain this morning and drag a large oak limb out of the road to get to work.  Hit Beaumont to find the feeder roads flooded and traffic backed-up and crawling on the freeway.  Made my 40-45 minute drive to work in just a hour and 45 minutes!  LOL   Then I had to wade ankle deep water to get in the back gate.  But I am thankful.  Thankful God got me there and back in one piece.  Thankful it is cool.  Thankful that Bubba got bored and made fudge. 

Yes, I am thankful.  And forgetful.  Or maybe just mixed up.  I put the 10th Devotion on Marriage under the wrong link.  I corrected the original link.  And there it is again, above.  Today, I read & pondered on the 11th Devotion on Marriage.  So, if you are following along, I think I have that linked correctly as well.  But you never know.  ;o)

I have always loved the Serenity Prayer.  It has helped me so very much along my way.  My niece, Paige, sent me a funny little E-Mail about aging.  It had a new little spin on the serenity prayer.......called it the senility prayer.  If the serenity prayer got me through the first half of this journey called life, maybe this senility prayer will get me through the second leg of the journey. ;o)   Smile, it is for humor.....

                           THE SENILITY PRAYER :

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,

the good fortune to run into the ones I do,

and the eyesight to tell the difference.

 

Sunday, July 23, 2006

D Boy

I was pregnant with Bug at the same time Blaze was expecting her 1st colt.  Just a tall, lanky quarter horse.  We had bred her to Britton's beautiful paint Tennessee Walking horse.  I'd stand out by the fence and commiserate with her on the woes of pregnancy.  Pete would laugh at me and tell me it's just not the same with animals.  But we "girls" knew better.

He was born, as most colts, with too much leg for his body.  But he was a tri-colored beauty!  He had the gate.  He was a natural.  Pete named him D Boy in honor of his recently departed brother, Danny Boy.

D Boy's eyes would sparkle with mischief when me and the Bug would make our rounds to water the animals.  He'd be waiting to snatch the hose out of the trough, just as soon as I'd let go of it.  Then he'd throw back his head and laugh at me.  I'd shake my finger at him and tell him he was bad.  Eventually broke him of that habit by rubbing his nose hard with my thumbs when he'd come in close to bite the hose.

He grew and he grew.  He was splendid.  A joy to watch.  He filled out and got the muscles and neck to match those legs.  As he grew, we came up with new games to play while I filled the trough with water.  One was "give me nose sugie."  I'd say the phrase.  He'd stick his nose between the boards.  And I'd bend over and plant a kiss on top of his nose.

One day it was unbearably hot as I stood out there.  I leaned over and rested my forehead against a pole.  Soon, D Boy had stuck his head through in order to see my "hidden" face.  When I realized he had "looked" for me and found me, I said "peek-a-boo!"  He bobbed his head in reply.  And a new game was formed.  I'd get my face in close behind a board or a post and say "Where's Mama?"  And he'd look for me.

He remained a stud horse.  Very gentle by nature.  Has a son that is almost his twin.  Only more high strung and nervousy.  Bug would climb the rails of the fence and give him mimosa leaves he loved.  Or pears.  Whatever she knew he'd think was a treat.  We often foundher in that horse lot with that stud.  No amount of warnings or whippings could discourage her.  And no harm ever befell her.

Friday, I came home mid afternoon.  Bubba was making his rounds outside.  Noticed D Boy didn't look right.  Had been rolling.  Pete called vets.  I ran after medicine.  D Boy fought gallantly to keep his footing.  But in the end, he succumbed to the colic.  Too far along, I suppose, before we knew and intervened.  We were all with him.  We are all much accustomed to loss, but it was Bug's first time to witness death as it occurs.

He's buried at the back of the property.  Underneath big, tall pines.  I've requested that Jesus use him on Judgment Day, if at all possible.  He'd make some saint a fine mount!

"Have you given the horse strength, or clothed his neck with quivering mane?  Have you made him able to leap forward like a locust?  His majestic snorting is something to hear!  He paws the earth and rejoices in his strength, and when he goes to war, he is unafraid and does not run away though the arrows rattle against him, or the flashing spear and javelin.  Fiercely he paws the ground and rushes forward into battle when the trumpet blows.  At the sound of the bugle he shouts 'Aha!'  He smells the battle when far away.  He rejoices at the shouts of battle and the roar of the captain's commands."

     -  from God's answer to Job from the whirlwind:  Job 39:19-25


 

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Just Plain Jane

No beautiful graphic.  What a shame!  Had one I really wanted to use to.  But I can't get on my PC.  And this old thing Pete uses is so slow.  Not to mention the AOL 7.0 signs off rather frequently.  So, I'm just gonna give you plain old words.  No decorations.

I am feeling a little better.  But not near as far along to feeling well as you'd think I'd be after being on antibiotics since July 3rd!  Been going into work this week.  The Payables girl up and left.  So, I'm doing the morning shift and the bright little college temp is doing the afternoon shift.  Want to thank you all for your kind words, prayers and well wishes!

Friday, my ole man turned another year older.  We had a relaxing evening visiting with a couple of  folks outside.  Then on Sunday, my little Bug turned 7 years old.  So my sister calls and says she is cooking supper for all the July birthdays that night.  (See, my niece Kelly, her daughter had one today!)  So we all went.  And it sure was good!!  Just plain country cooking.  But someone else's cooking!  That is always a wonderful treat!

Tuesday, I came in from work to find Bubba busy in the kitchen.  He was bleaching the sinks and wiping down all the coutertops and backboards.  Neatening and tidying as he went.  What a lift to have a cleaner kitchen!!  He told me,  "Mom, you have a hard job.  Trying to stay on top of all of this.  Cleaning and picking up after us."  Toasty warm Mama heart!

You know, I was fortunate...no blessed....to have the same pastor from the time I was 16 until I was 42.  His name is Robert Carter.  After all that time, he almost seems like an uncle to me.  Anyhow....he is plain spoken, country and has a warm sense of humor.  One of his favorite jokes to tell from the pulpit, was recently in Arcamax Jokes Email.  I want to share it with you:

Typical Jim
There was a man called him Jim, who lived near a river. Jim was a very religious man.

One day, the river rose over the banks and flooded the town, and Jim was forced to climb onto his porch roof.

While sitting there, a man in a boat comes along and tells Jim to get in the boat with him.

Jim says "No, that's ok. God will take care of me." So, the man in the boat drives off.

The water rises, so Jim climbs onto his roof.

At that time, another boat comes along and the person in that one tells Jim to get in.

Jim replies, "No, that's ok. God will take care of me." The person in the boat then leaves.

The water rises even more, and Jim climbs on his chimney.

Then a helicopter comes and lowers a ladder. The woman in the helicopter tells Jim to climb up the ladder and get in.

Jim tells her "That's ok."

The woman says "Are you sure?"

Jim says, "Yeah, I'm sure God will take care of me.

Finally, the water rises too high and Jim drowns.

Jim gets up to Heaven and is face-to-face with God.

Jim says to God "You told me you would take care of me! What happened?"

God replied "Well, I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What else did you want?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We think this gentleman is funny and foolish.  But we act just like him more times than not.  We cry and whine and carry on before the Lord asking for his help, but won't even bother to use the tools he blessed us with:  common sense, or health, or friends, or a strong back, etc.  Or we hear and see an answer but it doesn't fit the image of help we have pictured in our heads so we ignore it or refuse it.  We want the mighty, miraculous help like we see in the old testament.  Not the gentle, simple solutions.  Or maybe your downfall is quietly, patiently waiting and doing nothing.  Yes, we should watch.  Yes, we must pray. But these things are active verbs in thelanguage of the Bible.  Watching, while tending what needs tending and doing all you know to do.  Praying, not just in a quiet moment of solitude but in a conversational style that ever runs in our heads and hearts as the day progresses.

If you haven't given up on me, or rushed ahead of me, I've just gone over to the 10th Devotion on Marriage.

Time to mosey on out of here.  I just finished my supper while I was working on this.  Baby Lima Beans, Corn, Chicken & Dumplins, Fried Okra, and Hot Water Cornbread. 

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Just Me

          

                 (another of Donna's beautiful graphics, from This, That and Hockey.)

I swear that could be my Bug standing there.  Except we have no cows.  It'd be a colt or a goat at our house.  Every night after dark, I have to call her in from the big fig tree beside the house.  See there are a lot of chickens who like to roost there.  Bug climbs up in amongst them and pets them all. 

Been a lot of frequent showers through here in the past week.  And a few stormy ones.  We lost our electricity for over three hours on the 4th of July!  Between the holiday and the rains and an uncle of one of Pete's best friends passing, the guys have been home all week.

Me, well, I felt lousy all last week.  By the Thursday before the 4th I was putting old drops of Bug's in my right ear, for the pain.  Monday, I made it to the doctor.  Strep throat.  First time in my life I have been diagnosed with it.  Haven't had the raw throat....but pain in my cheekbones, my ear, where my wisdom teeth were removed 25 years ago, and in my right tonsil.  (Yep, I still have them.)

I have done nothing been been very lazy.  Slept a lot.  Finally got out and went to Wally World yesterday.  Bubba went with me.  I got groceries, hopefully for a week.  And Bubba bought both him and his dad a new pair of work boots each.  Out of his first ever real, certifiable paycheck.  

I've had computer issues.  Been on the AOL Tech boards getting a helping hand with them.  So, if you've wondered about me.....that should explain it.  

If I missed seeing something on your journal you really wanted me to see, send me an email with the link and I'll swing by.  I know most of the alerts I have, I'll never get to. 

And I will give you the 9th Devotion on Marriage.  Just been there myself.

I'll try to come back and be witty or inspiring or something when I feel a little more like me.     

Saturday, July 1, 2006

I Want to Be a Radical!!!!

I just settled down on the couch and opened a book my niece, Paige, had loaned me:   Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed.  I've gotten 3 & 1/3rd pages into the text.  Right there is where the regret flooded over me.   Regret for missed opportunities. 

Oh, I often listen to that small voice, that nudge, whatever and do the small thing.  The call, the card, the word, etc.  And there have been numerous times I've shrugged them right off and gone about my day, my business, my way.  Who knows what wonders I missed.....but these aren't the times I am convicted of, here and now.

Today, it is those times that only come every now and then.....when the request seems bigger, bolder.  It comes and catches you completely off guard.  It's out of character for you.  Out of the normal.  It stretches and pulls your comfort zone.  And even while you mind is rushing with a thousand reasons why it won't make sense, why it will never work, why only a fool would.....there is excitement building in your being.  I think it is your soul flapping it's wings and preparing to soar!

Let me share with you the two times that The Spirit brought quickly to mind that break my heart.....two times I was invited to soar and said "no."  The first was back in the first couple of years of my coming back to Christ.  I was stay at home Mama with Bubba and Pete was working as a pusher in the oilfield.  I was going to the church I was Baptized in at age 11. 

There was a couple there that had been there from my first day there.  Leva and Bo Ross.  They were getting on up in years.  I loved them.  They were a part of the originals who started with a small country church and grew it into a thriving, ministering, mission minded church.  Leva was forthright and had an amusing almost childlike quality about her.   Any  group or study with her present was richer for it.  Bo was a quiet, disciplined disciple of God.  Just a country boy at heart.  Not a redneck, a country boy.  There is a difference. 

Once at a church covered dish dinner, Bo sought me out from amongst the throng to compliment my fried cornbread and ask for the recipe.  Hadn't ate it since Mama had cooked it.  This blessed my heart.  For the only reason I brought fried cornbread was a financial one.  It was all I had that I could prepare.

Bo lost Leva.  It was sudden.  He seemed lost and lonely.  Solid in his faith, but lost as to what to do with the days.  I'm sure she had been one of those ladies who met his every household need.  Doubt is he knew the washing machine, or even the stove.

It weighed heavy on my heart for a week or two to invite him to have supper with us one night.  He lived only a few blocks away by city measure.  I could see him appreciating the food and the conversation.  I could see him finding common ground with Pete.  But I made one excuse after another as to why not to do it.  For one thing, money was very tight at that time.  Pete's fuse seemed very short in those days, perhaps from stress and worry.  And with Pete's being oilfield, you never knew if he'd really get off work at 4:30PM or not.  Might be dark.  And there were the many days that he'd decide to run soap lines with his cousin, Kenny, instead of coming straight home when he did get off.  So, my excuses seemed logical.  Just not a good time.  Brother Bo, followed Leva home before I ever invited him to supper.

Then there was the year I was working at a company in town.  It was just a few days before Christmas.  Christmas season.....well from November to January, has always been tight for us financially.  Not because we spend boucoups on Christmas.  Far from it.  But because nasty weather often cuts in to Pete's days worked.  Bad colds and sickness cause more days missed by he or me.  There is insurance renewals due.  Property and school taxes.  And of course a week or more shutdown of Pete's job, usually, for deer season.  No paid vacation.  Just that it is deer season and it is East Texas after all.

Seemed like this would be just another Christmas of only gifts for Bubba, no feasts, except when visiting relatives, etc.  Then amazingly enough, my employers surprised everyone by giving them a whole weeks pay extra for a Christmas bonus!!!!!  Wow!  Driving home I was planning the meal we could have together, the things I'd get extra for Bubba, trying to decide what I might pick up for Pete.  Finally, a real Christmas. 

When I turned on the the farm to market that led to our house, I noticed billows of smoke.  Slowed and turned my head to the right.....a trailer house burning to the ground, despite the efforts of the volunteer fire dept.   The little family huddled in the front yard.  So very sad.  Why God, right at Christmas?  Then I heard and felt it clear as a bell.  Turn around and give them your bonus. 

What?!  Lord you know how very much this means for us.  You know I've already phoned Pete with the good news.  How could I ever explain to him what I did with that much money?!  I mean, he is a kind and helpful man, but we don't even know these people.  But still I did turn around.  And then around again, as I argued with myself and God.  Finally, I decided I'd obey and let the chips fall where they may. But by the time my reluctant self got back to the sight, the people were gone.  Only a few firemen.  Too late.  Open window of opportunity closed. 

These are the two times that stick out, stand out.  The ones that I'd do over in heart beat if I could.  But I can't.  I can only go forward and hope the next time God gives me a chance to be radical, I'll obey.

 

And if you are going with me through the marriage devotions, I'm turning to the 8th Devotion on Marriage. 

 

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