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Friday, March 11, 2011

"I don't know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand."

It's been another "one of those days." But this time it had nothing to do with not being able to find the keys or being late for a meeting or forgetting to mail "that" bill. It's been yet another day when we don't have WORDS to express our feelings. A day when more have died in wars, some being killed by their own neighbors in CIVIL war; a day when Christians have been persecuted and killed in an African country; a day when people's houses fell on them while they slept, or the ocean jumped up and over them, sweeping them out to to watery graves; a day when another soldier from Arkansas, my state, was shot down and killed in battle over - what? Oh, God, maybe all the "end time" prophets are right. Perhaps we are on the verge of the end of this world as we know it. It may be that our country never again knows a time of peace until Jesus comes back. Even in the midst of all the turmoil, though, it has still been a day to celebrate the miracles, big and small, that come in to our lives each day. A good friend's relief that her husband would not require a pace maker after just recovering from a terrible stroke; another friend celebrating that her new-born great- grandson is out of danger after being born with a collapsed lung; a blogger friend who has just celebrated her 5th "re-birthday" being cancer-free; my little grand daughter saying, "I love you. Nana," as she twirled and curtsied in a video sent by her sweet mama, my daughter, who said for years she "wouldn't have children," and now has two. Yes, miracles that give us hope. Hope that breaks through the storm clouds of life to renew our Faith in Him who holds the world in HIS hands.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So, what's the big deal?: the naked face: the naked truth

So, what's the big deal?: the naked face: the naked truth

the naked face: the naked truth

This picture was taken while I was standing pretty close to the edge of the Grand Canyon. It had been raining or misting rain most of the morning and was at last clearing. It was such an amazing sight. . . clouds forming below us and rising. Earlier, we could hardly see the canyon, the clouds were so thick. It was our first, and, who knows but God, maybe our only trip there. I will never forget it though. It was a highlight of my life.

The purpose today is not to talk about the Grand Canyon, although I could go on and on, and possibly will in the future. No, today I'm just facing some truths. My birthday was Sunday. I am now on either the "dark" side of 60, or the "bright" side, depending on how you look at it. Today, it's seemed a little dim. Either choice, I am now 66. Whew! Wow! I am trying so hard to think that is fairly young...the 60's are the new 50's and all that...but it's really NOT young. It's not OLD either, at least to ME it's not. I know the truth is, many folks don't even make it to 66. They never got the chance to experience "aging" like I am possible getting to.
In this picture, I had NO makeup on. It's my flat-out naked face. My hair was even "naked." Look at the gray in the front. That's one thing that's really hard. I'm just NOT ready for gray and my children aren't even ready for me to be gray! Right now, I'm very close to blond with lots of highlights, but I'm not really happy with that. I need richer color. Oh, and look around my mouth. . . parentheses! Yikes! should I get "filler?" Or am I going to "woman up" and just do the best I can with the help of Mary Kay? I am just a MESS about this aging thing. I don't want to LOOK my AGE!! I am so VAIN it is PATHETIC! Forgive me, Lord, please.
I guess I should try to adopt the philosophy of the cartoon person, Maxine. She doesn't care what people think about the way she looks. She just enjoys her life and LIVES every moment of it with humor. What am I saying? She's a CARTOON! You know what though? Her "cartoon" philosophy brings to mind that of a humorist, writer, and mom I just loved. . .Erma Bombeck. She left us much too soon - a victim of cancer. During her battle she encouraged us all to really LIVE our lives every day that we have. She wasn't concerned any more with minor stuff like I am dealing with. She was fighting to LIVE as long as possible. I remember her response when asked about regrets. She really didn't dwell on the past, but she did feel a bit sad about the "wasted" time she spent worrying about the superficial stuff, like I'm doing right now. And she did regret that she didn't eat more ice cream.
So, there it is. Get over it, Diana. The face does not look youthful any more, but it is a good face, an honest face, and a much-loved-by-many face. Now, I think I will go have some of those luscious-looking/smelling strawberries I bought today, and maybe some ice cream on the side.
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Emma-dog

Here's our Emma. She is eight years old and has been in our family about a year and a half. She is a Silky Terrier, close kin to the Yorky, but a bit sturdier looking. If we let her hair grow long, it is curly and quite beautiful, but since she is a country dog and in and out of the house a lot, it makes much more sense to keep a close cut. Emma, also known as Emma Love or Emma Rue, is a terrific little dog and wonderful companion.
When we got Emma, I wasn't even looking for a dog. I had barely gotten over the loss of our previous one, and I just didn't think I was ready. Anyway, I went to get my hair done one day, and Crista, my long-time since she was in 7th grade in my class friend and also long-time hair doer, asked if I might want a dog, as she was trying to find a home for Emma. I still don't quite understand why Emma needed another home, but I mulled it over. I thought it might be nice for our outside dog, Buster, to have a friend. He had seemed kind of depressed and lonely lately after his best dog-friend died, and having another dog around might perk him up. So I asked, "Is she an OUTSIDE dog?" "Oh, yeah," I was assured. "want to see her?" Sure enough, there was Emma, overgrown hair and all, hunkered over a deer leg, chomping away. Yep. OUTSIDE DOG. "Where does she sleep," I asked, as I looked dubiously at the little mongrel. "Oh, anywhere she finds a place," my little friend said. "Well, as long as she's an OUTSIDE dog, I think we can take her. Bill will be ok with that."
"OK, I'll clean her up, and we will be over with her on Sunday afternoon," Crista said, smiling.
Got home with great hair, told my sweetie about our new dog, he griped, but was ok with the idea of an OUTSIDE DOG for Buster. Now, look at that picture again. Does that look like OUTSIDE to you? No, no, no, no, no.
When Crista and her family arrived, the dirty, smelly, tangled, little puff-ball of a dog that was chewing on a deer leg had been replaced by this precious, groomed, friendly, silky, shiny little PRINCESS of a dog. Emma has NEVER spent another night OUTSIDE. She sleeps in her own little crate in the laundry room unless the weather is stormy, in which case she hunkers down at the foot of our bed. Let me make that clear: NOT on the FLOOR, but on the bed itself. That's a first with us. She has a real fear of storms. It's probably because of all those scary times she spent OUTSIDE trying to find a hiding place from storms. . . this little OUTSIDE dog. Tonight, Emma is not home with us. She is really sick with pancreatitus (I think that's the spelling, not sure) and is in the hospital. I knew something was wrong when she came to wake me yesterday morning, as is her usual morning chore, and she didn't say anything to me; she just sat on the rug, panting. I was already awake, but was waiting for her to come, because it's part of our morning routine. I got right up, dressed, walked through the house, told my husband, got the keys, and was off with Emma to the vet. The illness is scary, but she's improving and will certainly be home again soon. We miss her. She plays with us; she makes us laugh out loud every day, and gives us as much affection and, yes, LOVE, as we do her. . . Emma, our little INSIDE dog.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Real Me?

All you have to do is look at the picture, and you know who I really am: wife, mother, aunt, sister, and Nana. Yes, I capitalized that one. I hope my kids who aren't in the collage don't look at this and get annoyed. These were just easy to get to and are simply symbolic, so, guys, don't get all in an uproar about it (i.e. Nathan, since he would be the only one annoyed). I do have all but one grandchild in the collage, and I couldn't find a picture of the two of us together. I will certainly remedy that the next time I see him. Some people spend their entire lives and lots of money trying to figure out "who" they are and looking for "purpose" in their lives. Sad. Oh, I'm like everyone out there. I have worn and do wear many "hats." But from the first time I held one of my babies in my arms, I knew in my heart, THIS is who I was meant to be. From the first time my sister and I REALLY connected (way different than just growing up in the same household) I knew who we would always be to each other. With the first silly love note, "I just wanted to see if this pen would write. Love, Bill" I knew who my one true love would be. I am thankful to my heavenly Father every day for the love and abundant blessings in my life and for providing me with a clear picture of the ME who matters the most.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Time Flying By!

It always happens. I hardly got acquainted with 2010 when it marched on to 2011; I barely got used to February, and suddenly it's MARCH! Beth Moore was writing about Bible verses with the words "march" or "marching" in them. Seems like someone was always "marching into battle." and doesn't it just continue. I'm quite dizzy and dazzled when I think about all that's going on...all the unrest...all the people willing to march in and step up, endangering or surrendering their very lives for independence and freedom that we have taken for granted and rarely given a second thought. Well, let me tell you. I'm giving it all a thought every day now. People died for freedom on our soil way before we came along, and now Americans, too, continue to march on, giving their all on foreign soil for the IDEAL of freedom. I say, "God bless them." . . . and a special "rest in peace" for Frank Buckles, America's last veteran of WWI, the Great War; he was blessed with 110 mostly vibrant years to maybe in a way make up for those he lost in that dreadful prison camp! A couple more random "marches" came into mind, I guess since I love hymns so much: "Onward Christian soldiers, marching into war, with the cross of Jesus going on before..." Pray for Christians who deal on a daily basis with persecution because of their faith. . . that deserves a though for sure. "We're marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion. We're marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God." March is my birthday month, March 6th to be specific. I will be on what I'm calling the "bright" side of  my 60's. I'm getting nearer Zion with every passing year. I love my life here, but I realize more and more, I'm just passing through on the way home.