Sunday, May 31, 2020

My Heart Searches




My cry this morning was, "I need a special word from you Father God this morning!"

Have you ever felt that way at times?

Our country is not necessarily experiencing unprecedented horrible times, because we have lived through some very dark and troubling days.  This was not the first black man to have been killed by people who are authorized to protect.  This is certainly not the first racial uprising in our history. This is not the first time, ruthless thugs have taken to the streets and destroyed lives and livelihoods of innocent, hard working Americans.

So why is this time so different?  Why do we this week feel so threatened and made to feel more guilty about our prejudices than last week?

In my search for something "more," I turned to David Jeremiah's teaching from his church, Shadow Mountain.  He used a phrase that is so applicable - "A God problem."

What exactly is a God problem?  It is one that we have no answer for.  It is one that only a great, almighty, omniscient, sovereign, holy God can take care of.

The grief and fear and dread that we as sense-able Americans and especially Christians are facing right now, is a "God problem!"  We can and must pray about it, confess and seek God's forgiveness in what our part, whether great, small, conscious or unconsciously committed has been. But in the end, it is God's problem that only He can solve and resolve.  It is only He who can bring change and forgiveness and healing not only in our heart but of all people.

Dr. Jeremiah used King David as an example in his message today.  David was hiding in a cave for fear of his life.  He was feeling very much alone and depressed among the hundreds of people around him.  What did he do?

He cried out!  He pled for God's mercy.

Father God, we cry out now for our country, for our leaders, for those who are grieving, those who are searching for answers.  For those needing your mercy and grace more than anything.

He acknowledged that he felt alone and no one cared.

Father God, we also acknowledge that we often feel that way ourselves.  We pray for those struggling with aloneness even when they aren't physically alone.  We pray for those fighting feelings of depression and discouragement, weakness and doubt, fear and dread.  Rescue them from their prison of anxiousness and aloneness.  Deal with them generously Holy Father.  Bring them out to see your bright light and to seek YOU as the only answer.

He was honest and open with his feelings and concerns.

Father, we pray as the Psalmist did,

"As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.  I thirst for God, the living God."

He turned his lament to praise.

Father, help us also to praise you.  Exalt you as our Lord and Saviour and our God.  I exalt thee!  I exalt thee!  I exalt thee, oh God!

This is the word our churches and our congregations and our hurting and lost people need to hear today.

"How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers.  Instead, his delight is in the Lord's instruction, and he meditates on it day and night." 
Ps. 1:1-2

God is to be exalted and trusted and relied upon to deal with the chaos and trouble all around us.  He alone is to be praised for WHO HE IS!

And that is my prayer for America today.

Linking with:





Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Good Morning on this last Wednesday in the month of May.  Does it seem possible that we have been hunkering down for two plus months?  We can only hope that all the restrictions will be lifted soon.  In the meantime, join us as we blog together on the




1. The US of A celebrated Memorial Day this past Monday. Does your family have any military ties? If so, tell us about them.

None currently but we have some interesting ancestors who fought.

2. Cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, potato chips, mac and cheese, macaroni salad...your favorite BBQ side? How many of these do you make from scratch vs. buying from the deli?

Potato salad and baked beans are traditional sides with BBQ for us.  Although it has been quite a while since we've had all of this, it would have been made from scratch.

3.  I enjoyed asking this question back when the Hodgepodge was a regular thing...Lake Superior State University posts a list each year of words they think should be banished from the Queen's English for misuse, overuse, and/or general uselessness. The 2020 list includes-quid pro quo, artisanal, curated, influencer, literally, I mean, living my best life, mouthful (word used by foodies to describe texture of food in their mouth), chirp (basically an insult, you can read more on the website), jelly (short for jealous), totes (short for totally), vibe, and OK Boomer (internet response from millenial to older generation).

Of the words/phrases listed which would you most like to see 'banned'?

1.  "I mean."  Why does anyone begin a sentence with this phrase?  I mean, why is it necessary to explain something you haven't even said yet?

I have surely become tired of hearing the word "quid pro quo", but I certainly don't think we need to get rid of it.  That's like saying, I'm tired of hearing the word "murder," I think its use should be banished.  As long as it is illegal and wrongful for individuals and country, regardless of political party alignment, it needs to remain.

Could I also add the overuse of the word "like" in conversation?  Some young people will use this word multiple times in one sentence.

The rest are not used around me that much.

4. I'm sure next year's list will be filled with words springing out of this weird season we're all in currently. What word or phrase associated with the Corona would you be happy to hear less often?


I understand the significance of the phrase, but have really tired of hearing "flatten the curve" and "lock down." Another would be "Fauchi."

5.  The month of May wraps up in just a few days. Bid her adieu in ten words or less.

May 2020 has brought isolation and thunderstorms; I will miss both when they're gone.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Ever have days like this?

Source
Trust your Hump Day is full of joy and happiness.

Monday, May 25, 2020

TIME


What is time?  Is it simply a collection of seconds, minutes, hours, days, years?

Or, is it what is contained within those seconds, minutes, etc. that is time?

The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes wrote, "There is a time for everything." 

I am reading a historical non-fiction account by Rob Kirkpatrick, "1969:  The Year Everything Changed."

The author states that this year, 1969 was perhaps the most culturally pivotal year in our nation's history.  He writes,
"Life does not happen in neat and orderly ways, as if following a timeline, but the story of 1969 is one that develops in dramatic tension, builds to a climax, and concludes in its December denouement."
(Denouement:  the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.)

Another interesting quote from the introduction of the book is this:
"The sixties was not so much a period of ten years as it was a less distinctly defined period of cultural and social change during which America tuned in, turned on, dropped out, grew up, woke up, blew up.
 What takes place in periods of time does make a difference.

For us personally, 1969 changed our lives for sure with the birth of our son, John and only time will tell the influence he has and will make in the annuals of time.

What about today?  This is certainly a new kind of time for most of us who are living through a pandemic for the first time ever.


It truly is a crazy time in so many ways.  I keep hearing things about the "new normal" and what that might mean on so many fronts.  Then I realized that anything other than "normal" is abnormal.  So how are we to face the time ahead?  Will things be different?  Of course they will, they already are.

Will we see these new times and changes as normal?  Or will they forever be abnormal and to be resisted?

How are we spending our time right now in whatever state of normalcy we find ourselves?  Are we stagnant?  Are we simply surviving?  Are we going to be better when this is over, or fearful and dreading the unknown?

Or, are we involved to some extent with life around us?  Are we learning, are we accomplishing things, are we changing?  Are we living each day as the only time we may have to live?  Are we loving and living as if today may be our last?


We don’t know how the story ends. We don’t know when this time of our life will be over or what our country will look like when it is.

What really matters is how we live today.  This today is what we are given and it is the best time we have.

"I Know Who Holds Tomorrow"
I don't know about tomorrow
I just live for day to day
I don't borrow from the sunshine
For it's skies may turn to gray
I don't worry o'er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I'll walk beside Him
For He knows what lies ahead
Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand"
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Ira F. Stanphill


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Saturday 9: Memorial Day





I am again joining in on the

To join other bloggers who are answering these questions, go HERE.




Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic (1963)

Unfamiliar with Judy Garland's rendition of this week's tune? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle.


1) On May 30, 1868, President Grant presided over the Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery. Have you ever visited Arlington Cemetery?

Yes, only once.

2) On Memorial Day, it is customary to fly the flag at half-staff until noon and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset. Will you be flying the flag at your home this weekend?


Yes, I have kept my outside flag flying on the side entrance to our house since mid March.  It will remain there.

3) Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, because flowers and ribbons were left on graves of soldiers.  Do you find solace in visiting cemeteries?


No not really.  The only cemetery I normally visit is the one where my parents are buried and that is only a couple times a year.  I did however, visit the two cemeteries where my grandparents are buried a few months ago, but I wouldn't say I find solace there.  I know they are not really there, but are now in heaven with our Lord.  I also enjoy visiting old cemeteries once in a while.

4) The lyrics to this week's song were written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861. Her inspiration was a White House visit with Abraham Lincoln. In 2020, public tours of the White House are available but you must request your ticket in advance from your Member of Congress (House or Senate). When you travel, do you plan your trip weeks before you go? Or do you decide how your days will unfold once you reach your destination?

We do take spontaneous short road trips but always had a destination in mind.  What we do once we get there is not always planned.  But to take an actual trip, we do normally plan the destination weeks in advance.  We will have an idea of what we would like to do once there, but may not always stick to that plan.  We enjoy some flexibility.

5) Judy Garland performed this week's song before a live audience as a tribute to President Kennedy, who had been assassinated just weeks before. She knew Kennedy personally and considered this a farewell to a friend. While the performance was difficult for her -- at one point she flubs the lyrics -- she believed it was important, and could perhaps help the country heal. Tell us about a song that reminds you of someone you loved who is no longer with us.


The one song my dad asked be sung at his funeral was "Jesus Paid it All."  This was his life's mission, to spread the word that Jesus had indeed paid the price for the forgiveness of sins.  Jesus paid that price by giving His all, His life for you and for me that we may have eternal life. 
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believed on Him, might be saved and have eternal life."  John 3:16

6) John F. Kennedy served in WWII and was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps medal and a Purple Heart. His brother Joe also served and was awarded the Navy Cross, but he received his citation posthumously, having died during a flying mission over East Suffolk, England. Here at Saturday 9, we consider everyone who serves a hero and want to hear about the veterans and active military members in your life.


Through my Ancestry.com study of my lineage, I know that many of my ancestors served our country in the Civil War, WWI, and WWII.  Two dear classmates fought together in Vietnam and one lost his leg there.


Both are shown in this class reunion picture from 2019.  Their's is an amazing story of brotherhood.  I have a brother-in-law and a nephew who served in the Navy.  We do not have any active members at this time.

7) Memorial Day is considered the beginning of the summer season. Will you be enjoying warm weather this weekend?


Right now, it appears the weather where I live will be in the upper 80's and lower 90's with a good chance of rain on Sunday and all next week.

8) Berries are especially popular in summer. Which is your favorite: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries?


All of them?  We probably eat more blueberries than the other three, but I like all of them.  There is nothing quite like a blackberry cobbler.

9) If you could attend a Memorial Day picnic with any fictional character, which would you choose?


Reacher from Lee Child's books.  He would probably not be very good company, but I just like the character and find him extremely fascinating.  And he wouldn't be Tom Crews either.  In my mind Ray Stevenson personifies Reacher the best.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Wednesday Hodgepodge


This was a fun Wednesday Hodgepodge to be a part of this week.  Thank you Joyce for being our faithful and challenging leader.



1. In a single sentence tell us something about your 40's. If you haven't reached that milestone yet tell us (in a single sentence) something about whatever decade you're in now.



My 40's were marked by parental, marital, and spiritual highs and lows, more good times than bad, wearing adult braces (in picture above) for 31 months, and the birth of my first grandchild (in picture above also).

2. Life begins at forty. Agree or disagree? Tell us why. And if not at forty, when?


For me, life began at 50 with a renewed sense of who I was/am.  It was a time of renewed self confidence and accomplishments outside the home.  My children were on their own and this became a time of personal growth for me professionally and personally.

3. Share a favorite book, song, or quote with a number featured in it somewhere.

"Three Coins in The Fountain" from the 1954 movie by that name was one of my very favorite songs as a young person.  In 1972 my best friend and I stood in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome that played an important part in the end of the movie.


4. A picture's worth a thousand words, a stitch in time saves nine, back to square one, catch-22, on cloud nine, my two cents...pick a number phrase and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

"Back to square one" I suppose would be the most applicable right now.
I will probably do a blog post on the Before and After in a few days, but lately, we have had to go back to square one in our front flower beds.  I could also apply "My two cents" because it has taken both my two cents of advice and money.

5. Last time you drove more than 40 miles from home? More than 400 miles from home? Where were you going? Was it before or after this current season of social distancing?


The last time I drove more than 40 miles from home was a few weeks ago when our couples group met at the home of our friends for our annual couples reunion.  This year, we missed Nancy who had died recently due to the Coronavirus, and our time together though sad was also a time of sharing and loving each other.  There was very little social distancing but reasonable precautions were taken.

The time we drove more than 400 miles from home was Christmas 2019 when we drove to Northern Indiana to be with our son and his family.  There was no known virus at that time.  How many years ago was that?

6. Insert your own random thought here.

On Saturday my Granddaughter #2 will celebrate her 24th birthday.


Cassidy is our University of Texas Graduate who shortly afterward became a world traveler going to over 20 countries, some of them traveling alone.


This kept us on our knees for sure.  This was a good time for Cassidy because it was a time of stretching and growing and finding out who she was and what she wanted.


She is now planted in Dallas with her own lovely apartment.  She works for a fashion influencer and enjoys having her own Instagram site @idkwhattoeatdallas where she highlights some of the neat eating places in Dallas.  She has used this time of quarantine to spend more time with family and to grow more deeply personally and spiritually and has gotten into an amazing workout regime.

Cassidy is the sweetest and most affectionate, beautiful person inside and out, and we love her so much.

Happy Birthday Cassidy!


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Heirlooms From My Mother


Heirloom:  A valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations.


I recently read an article on heirlooms about what this generation of grandchildren will do with what we, the boomers, view as treasures, many of which were passed down to us.

The consignment and resale stores are full of items we grew up with and thought would continue to be passed on down to future offspring.  No, they won't likely want them either.

Our grown children have their own tastes and finer things in their homes than we do.  And let's be honest, when we are ready to downsize for the nursing home, our kids will also be in a downsizing time of their lives.  So, if we’re thinking our grown children will gladly accept our things much less our parents’ items, if only for sentimental reasons, we’re likely in for a great disappointment.

As for our grandchildren, this is an Ikea, Target and World Market generation. They live minimally, much more so than we and our children did. They don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did. And they’re more mobile. So they don’t want a lot of heavy stuff to have to move across country or store if they decide to move abroad for a new opportunity.

Young people just don’t want the same things people used to have.  And I can appreciate that.  My mother-in-law once asked Dick if he wanted anything she had, to which he replied, "Mom, I have enough junk of my own."  That didn't go over too well.

All this thought on heirlooms gave me cause to think about some of the things I have that belonged to my mother and grandmother that I treasure.  I also wonder would any of my children and granddaughters ever see them as treasures and desire to keep them.

One thing I am going to do in order to give some meaning and significance of the "heirlooms" is to compile a binder that includes pictures and information about each one.  Who it belonged to and how it was used and why it is important to me, might also give an item reason to be kept.  Or at least a story for the estate sale.

For instance, 


This quilt top was made by my maternal grandmother who gave birth to ten children and lost her husband when the youngest, my mother was only seven.


It was never finished and I often wonder why.  I love the idea that it contains fabric that belonged to her and possibly my own mother and aunts.  I marvel at the fine hand stitching and how well it is still preserved.


This Double Ring quilt was also my grandmother's and one of our favorites as children.


I inherited beautifully embroidered table runners and scarves.



I can remember my mother using these pieces that were done by her mother and grandmother and some that she herself also did.


I embroidered these pillow cases and were the first items to go into my "Hope Chest" as a young girl.  I was so proud to be carrying on a long tradition of doing what young girls had done for generations.  Dick and I used them for several years.  Will they mean anything to anyone else?


I have a large storage bag of some of the most delicate and intricate pieces of crochet done by my great grandmother and grandmother.




My mother used many of them on table tops, chair arms, on dressers and to decorate a shelf or two.  I have pictures of some of them pinned to the arms of my grandmother's favorite chair.

Though precious indeed, I don't even use them and acknowledge that it is a passing skill as well as purpose.

The one thing I asked for was my grandmother's crocheted bedspread.




To me it is the most beautiful thing and I truly treasure it and the effort that went into making something so delicate and lovely.

My mother must have had a amazing bridal shower.  But, that was probably the thing ladies did back in the '40's especially in the south.


This punch bowl, cups and trays are a very heavy crystal and the same pattern of a set of salad bowls and plates that I have already given my daughter.  She has also laid claim to these pieces of well.  Thank you Christy.
 

These gorgeous delicate stemware pieces are all that's left, or could be all that she was given.  I don't ever recall using them, but we did love to look at them as children.


I do not know the pattern, but think it is beautiful.


This crystal bowl is one of my favorites,


as is this pretty little bowl that I use a lot.


Wedding gifts always included tons of relish dishes, and deviled egg plates of which I have three.  No Southern Baptist lady ever went to a dinner-on-the-grounds or a wake without a dish of deviled eggs.


This belonged to my grandmother and was a glass ice bucket, but my mother said it was mostly used to hold eating utensils on the table.


This little dish was also my grandmother's and now holds my childhood pins and my first rhinestone necklace.  I love it.

All of these things are treasured heirlooms to me.  And there are others as well, such as mother and daddy's love letters.  But, what means the most to me?


I find the most precious "heirloom" to be my mother's writings.  She was a devoted, Godly woman and teacher.  When she found something that spoke to her, she wrote it down.  She often wrote out her prayers.

In 1976, she wanted to give me and my sisters something really special for Christmas.  She lovingly hand wrote three books containing devotional thoughts and personal experiences for each day of the year, and named it "Reflections."

Sometimes the most precious things to us are those that no one else will find of value.  I never expect my mother's notebooks and letters to be sold in an estate sale, but I would hope that perhaps one grandchild will want to keep this part of her past very close.

In the end it is only things, but what God has put in our hearts is what will remain and be of eternal value.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A Risky Hodgepodge


I know it's Wednesday because it's time for the Hodgepodge.
Click this LINK to join Joyce and the other bloggers for this week's questions.  And yes, you are at the right place.


This gorgeous, smart, athletic, sweet princess granddaughter turned 21 this week.  Happy Birthday, Savannah.  You are loved beyond measure.


Now, let's answer some questions.

1. Ever played the game Farkle? Are you a risk taker? In games only or also in life?


I have never played Farkle.

I asked my husband if he thought I am a risk taker and he said, "You married me, so I'd say you are a big risk taker!"

There aren't many games I play that require taking risks, so that is not a good measuring rod.


In life, I am willing to take some risks as long as I am pretty sure it will work out in the end.  Does that disqualify it as a risk? 

2. What's your favorite thing about your yard or whatever outdoor space you may have?

My favorite space and where I spend a good bit of my time is our screened back porch which overlooks our small backyard.  I love watching the birds, seeing the blooming flowers, and hearing the water feature.

We are in the midst of redoing the flower beds in the front of the house, so when that is finished, that may be a close 2nd.

3. Tell us about the most interesting building you've seen or been in.


I could say the Capital, the White House, and others that are both grand and humble, but perhaps the most memorable would be the following:


The Colosseum in Rome


The Parthenon in Athens


It isn't exactly a building, but the Catacombs in Rome were definitely interesting.

4. In this current season of social distancing, what's something you've come to realize you take for granted in more ordinary times? Do you think you'll make a conscious effort to appreciate whatever that 'it' is once normal life resumes?

Freedom to go and come as I please.  The freedom to gather for worship - to be able to make plans that involve leaving my house without a mask.

Yes, I do think I will appreciate them more for a while, and then we will most likely take them for granted again.  

5. Share a favorite song with a springtime flower in the lyrics somewhere.


"Ramblin Rose" by Nat King Cole


6. Insert your own random thought here.


As you can see, I have had a major makeover to my blog.  I started blogging in August of 2011 and have loved my blog design all these years.  Recently I started having formatting issues and decided it was time to do something new. I could not be more pleased with the transformation.

Thank you Lea at CiCi's Corner for recommending Linda and major KUDOs to Linda- My Fairy Blog Mother for envisioning what I couldn't and for being so patient through the process.

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