Monday, February 10, 2014


I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to belong.  For most of my life I have always felt connected to someone or something, like I belonged.

When you're a child, if you are blessed as I was, you belong to a family.  It's your own little world and it's your WHOLE world.  There was never any question for me that I belonged, that this was my place and these were my people.  I had security, stability and safety in that family.  (A three point outline just like my preacher daddy!)  Funny thing...we moved quite a bit so none of my belonging was tied to a certain house or school or community.  My belonging was all about my family and my place in it-fourth daughter down, second to the baby.  I belonged.

Having four sisters gave me another sense of belonging.  Instant girlfriends and confidants!  They were my first friends, my best friends and my forever friends.  And they couldn't do a thing about it!  They were stuck with me.  But, I never felt like they didn't want me around.  I can remember being very young and being allowed to get up on the bed and listen to Nora read Little Women.  I remember "playing church" with them and always being given a part to play.  Sometimes I got to play the piano and sing a solo:  "I dropped my dolly in the dirt, I asked my dolly if it hurt..."  Hey!  I had a limited repertoire!  There were endless games of Monopoly and Scrabble played.  I was included.  I belonged.

Then, off to school.  Oh how I didn't feel like I belonged that first year!  I belonged at home with my mommy.  Or, at the very least, with my Sissy-sister #2, Rhonda.  Most days were spent in tears behind the bookshelves while my sweet teacher tried to console me and calm me.  I wouldn't have it though.  I didn't belong here without someone from MY world.  Most days consisted of walking across the hall with my 1st grade teacher to Sissy's 6th grade room so she could come out in the hall and convince me to stop crying.  As if that embarrassment wasn't enough for her, she had to play on the little kid's playground at recess and lunch with me so I wouldn't stand and cry, watching her on the big kid's playground.  Sissy made sure I still belonged even if it took away HER belonging!

Eventually I found myself able to feel that sense of belonging at that school and all the ones to follow. Well, except for one but that's another story.  I only spent three weeks there before parental and pastoral intervention plucked me out of there into a school that felt more like home to a shy, awkward 8th grader.  (Yes, I'm still talking about me...believe it or not!)  One of the very best friends I ever had I discovered in school and she definitely made me feel like I belonged.  She is actually the person who gave me the greatest sense of belonging in the kingdom of God.  Judy showed me what being a Christian in every day life really meant.  My eternal belonging was greatly enhanced by our friendship and her influence.

For many years I found myself fitting in, making friends, finding my place....belonging.  It became second nature to me to feel at home in most circumstances-work, church, social.  I didn't understand how anyone could feel like they didn't belong.  How hard was it, after all?  If you wanted to belong you did just belonged!

Sometimes life teaches you lessons that you weren't aware you needed to learn.  Those are the hard ones because they come unexpectedly and sometimes painfully.  For the first time in my life I didn't belong.  At least, in my mind.  Once I felt like a puzzle piece that was put away in the wrong box I started not wanting to be part of any puzzle.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to find MY puzzle box.  I didn't fit.  My life hadn't turned out the way I planned.  My dreams died or were changed.  I didn't just fall into step and march along; I stumbled and fell and even stopped altogether.  Would I belong again? Did I want to belong?

I am finding that life really does go in circles.  I realize that my struggle to belong in the last few years has brought me back to where belonging started for family.  It's different now.  Daddy and Mother are gone.  My baby sister is gone.  But, it's still family...the one I live with and the ones to whom I will forever be bound.  This is my place.  This is where I belong.  If I manage to feel at home anywhere else-church, work, friends-it will just be a bonus.  I belong to these people I call family and that is enough for me today.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


This year I didn't blog about NG.  You probably didn't notice but I did. I mean, it's the highlight of my year for goodness sake!  It's not that it wasn't everything it always is.  It's just that it was different this year.  For the first time in ten years, one of the sisters didn't get to come. 

Many of you know that my sister Nora had a life-changing year and spent many months recuperating and recovering from multiple surgeries.  Life as she had always known it changed so drastically and has yet to return to full normalcy.  Due to all of this, she did not get to join us in Norman at Rhonda's beautiful home.  NG went on; we laughed; we shopped; we laughed; we cried....all the usual things.  It was just without our anchor...Nora.

In spite of that, we tried to continue our "traditions" and one of those is giving each other gifts.  My gift to them this year was an original poem by Shaun Perkins, our own Locust Grove poet extraordinaire.  I think it is my favorite thing I have ever given them.  Looking through my posts tonight I noticed that I never shared them with all of you.  So, I am now.

I got the whole idea from my first trip to Dust Bowl Debris...only my favorite place to shop in Locust Grove and most other places.  There was a time card rack hanging on a post with the cutest cards in the slots.  They were hand decorated and buying the card entitled you to one original poem by Shaun.  I snatched up three of them and filed them away to use for my NG sister gifts.  

Finally, one day this past spring, I got around to emailing Shaun and telling her I was ready for her to start writing.  She said I should send her a little information about each of them and she would take it from there.  I sent her a paragraph about each sister.  

I emailed these to her and in a couple of weeks I received the most wonderfully spot on pieces for each of them:

Now you can see why I thought they were the best thing I ever gave them for NG.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Hope...

Today was a rough day.  Actually, the past few days have been rough days.  It doesn’t matter what  made the days so rough; that’s not what this post is about.  Just trust me – rough. 

I tried all day to come up with a reason to stay home from our Moms in Prayer group tonight.  I was in a bad mood, I was tired, and I was frustrated.  Surely those were good enough excuses.  But, tonight was our last meeting before school starts again in the fall.  I went.

When I first arrived, I still didn’t want to be there.  (Just being honest)  But, things changed when we started reading our scriptures.  I was the one who selected them and typed them on our prayer sheets so they shouldn’t have come as any surprise to me.  But Psalm 25:5 just jumped right off the page at me- “and my hope is in you all day long.”  My long, rough day had been anything but hope-filled!  I looked at those words over and over.  Why had my day seemed so hopeless?

I decided to read the entire chapter and try to figure that out.  I read it once.  And,  again.  The answer to why I could hope in him all day had to be there.  What was I missing?  I started back through the chapter and only got through verse 1:  “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.”  How had I missed that the other times?  And, was that the key?

I finished the chapter one more time.  A couple of other passages stopped me cold.  Verses 16-17:  “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.  Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.”  Verse 21 “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.” 

The answer was one that I had known all along.  I had just let my self-pity and resentment cloud my mind to the point that I had forgotten it.  I wasn’t putting my trust in God.  I was trusting in my version of justice and fairness.  I was trusting in my perspective on my rights.  I was trusting in other people to do the right thing.  (The right thing according to me, of course.) What I wasn’t doing was “putting my trust in the Lord my God.”  No wonder I didn’t have hope.  No wonder I didn’t feel any relief from the troubles of my heart.  No wonder I felt anguished, lonely, persecuted. 

I purpose to put my trust in the Lord before my day even begins tomorrow.  Then I can go through the day in integrity and uprightness.  I hope.  Really, I hope! 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I Know My Redeemer Lives

I am in awe that the Lord who paid the debt of sin is MY Redeemer.  He loves me and He cares about my life and my struggles.  

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning? 
And who told the ocean you can only come this far? 
And who showed the moon where to hide till evening? 
Whose words alone can catch a falling star? 

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testifies
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

The very same God
That spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know, my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know 

My Redeemer

He lives
To take away my shame
And He lives
Forever I'll proclaim
That the payment for my sins
Was the precious life He gave
And now He's alive and
There's an empty

And I know
My Redeemer lives
He lives
I know
My Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know my Redeemer

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Still in Progress...

It's been about seven weeks since I wrote about remodeling our master bedroom.  I promised to keep you updated.  Don't tell me you haven't even had a second thought about it since then; I know you are checking every day to see if I have posted something.  Well, today is your lucky day.

"We have a long way to go" is an understatement.  Until Blair's room is empty we can't move the treadmill or paint or get new floors.  But, that hasn't stopped us from scouting out things for the room.  I thought I would give you a glimpse of those things.

Love the glass door knobs on this shelf from Dust Bowl Debris in Locust Grove:

 The only item in the picture below that we bought is the mantel.  We pick it up tomorrow but I took a picture of it in the store.  We got in at Vintage Treasures in Pryor.

 A fantastic buy from a Facebook-notice the post flood concrete floors:

I don't know what I will do with these hankies but I have several ideas:

Another great find from Dust Bowl Debris:

Pieces to the puzzle....are you getting a picture in your head yet?  If you are, please clue me in!!!  No, I know what I want.  It is just going to be a matter of getting it all together.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One more time..........

Last Saturday Dennis and I went to Rogers, Arkansas for a mini-date.  We ate at Ghengis Grill (one of our new favorite places), went to Target and topped it off with Starbucks.  Yes, we are quite an adventurous couple!  These little moments are great for giving us a chance to talk to each other without interruptions.

As we sat in GG, I asked Dennis what his thoughts were concerning our gifts to one another this year.  We sometimes have bought no gifts,other times we buy a gift that is more of a family gift and  there are the years we buy gifts for one another.  I don't need or want anything.  I have enough and more than enough; in fact, so much "enough" that we need a storage building!  (I know, First World Problem)  My suggestion was, at first, no gifts.  But, the more we talked the more we realized that there was something that we both wanted:  to restore our master bedroom ONE MORE TIME!

If you have known us for any length of time you know that our house has flooded completely two times and there have been other minor water episodes that affected the master bedroom.  We have lived in our home for twelve years and we have replaced the flooring in the MB three times.  Currently we have cement floors in our room.  The last flood-ette was this past spring.  We haven't done anything about putting in carpet because of those ever present fears of it happening again.  (And, seriously, it's not like our fears aren't warranted).

Sitting there Saturday discussing Christmas we decided to tackle it one more time.  I had already started a board on Pinterest with ideas for an eventual remodel.  I told Den about my ideas and he was on board.  We have such similar tastes and likes in so many areas.  It has always been uncanny how often we have been thinking of the same thing.   I envision a restful, calm haven for our master bedroom.  My board has lots of different ideas and I know that we won't use all of them.  Sometimes the things I pin only have one tiny element that I like but I don't want to forget it.  (I have a tendency to do that-forget).

I am excited about picking out paint colors and carpet and different elements to achieve the picture in my head.  I have some fun things in mind that I can't wait to show you.  So, watch this space for updates.  Who knows?  You might even be asked to help decide some decorating questions!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Date Day....Too few and far between

Today Dennis and I had an impromptu Date Day.  This is something we have never been good at scheduling for ourselves.  I always say that if we could start over we would date more!  Now obviously, since we have been married more than 38 years, not dating hasn't really hindered our relationship.  But, having a day like today makes me realize how fun it is to date.

We were watching the news this morning and they did a piece on things to do this weekend in the Tulsa area.  One of those things was Vintage Market Days in Bixby.  We talked about it and decided to go.  What a great place!  It had so many things that we loved...antiques, old furniture just waiting to be repurposed, crafts, music, food and so much more.
If the wind hadn't been blowing 40 mph I could have spent hours there.  Dennis joked that someone should have bought a bunch of goggles and sold them at the entrance!  The dirt was blowing like crazy.  I saw one lady walking around with a mask over her cookie, that one.

We bought something fun for the front yard and some beautiful metal scripture sculptures for the wall. (Say scripture sculptures three times really fast; do it!)  I can't for the life of me get the pictures of those to load on here.  Grrr.

After we left the market we went to Genghis Grill for lunch.  Our first impression was tending towards not so great due to the lack of attention we received from the wait staff.  Finally, a great waitress took pity on us and took care of us even though we weren't part of her area.  Verdict:  amazing food!  We loved it.  We will definitely be going back there and soon. 

Next...a stop at Target.  What I would give to live near a Target.  It is my favorite store.  And, it has Starbucks right in it!  Does it get any better than that?  I ordered my usual-Salted Caramel Mocha latte.  As soon as the young man finished making it and was adding the salt it dawned on me!  I could have had an Eggnog latte!  Next time, my friend, next time!

We came home and agreed that it was a wonderful day.  And, that we need to do this more often.  We are fortunate to have similar interests so we enjoy so many of the same things.  I am already looking at the calendar and making plans.  Yes, I think a second date is in the cards for us!