Thursday, March 25, 2010

How's That Working For You?

Well, it's already spring. At least, that is what my calendar says. The snow last weekend makes it a little hard to grasp but I know there is life underneath all this wet ground.

So, I am evaluating how 2010 is going so far. I remember that I purposely did not make any grand statements about exercising more or eating less or spending less or blah, blah, blah. I just didn't want to set myself up for defeat and discouragement because my heart just wasn't in it.

However, I did make a sorta-kinda resolution as a comment on someone else's Facebook wall. I meant it. I had good intentions. It wasn't an empty statement.

I even ordered books to read to start me on my journey:

I sincerely want to make a difference. I want to live compassionately. I want to reach out. I want to lift people up.

But I find myself thinking, sometimes, that I can't do anything. I live in rural America. This is small town USA. Where am I going to meet the poor and destitute and desperate and needy?

I need to take a walk.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I have been thinking a lot the past few weeks about people, specifically women, who have influenced my life. Let me preface this by saying that the women who have had the greatest impact on my life are my mother, sisters and daughers. So, I am excluding them from this post altogether. It is just understood by all who know me that those women top my list.

Where do we go from there? Simple. I know exactly who to list as one of the first women, outside my family, who made a difference in my life. I met her in junior high in Fresno, CA. Her name is Judy.

I had attended church all of my life. I was a Christian. I knew what being a Christian was all about. Or, so I thought. Judy opened my eyes to what living as a Christian really meant. She was passionate about God and about learning about Him. She wanted to know His word. She wanted to show Him to other people. Being a Christian wasn't just something she did because she went to church and was raised by Christian parents. It was the way she lived her life. I was mesmerized by how simple it was for her to talk about God. I wanted that. We shared so many things, especially a love for writing. We encouraged one another, listened to one another and, most importantly, believed in one another. What a sweet, sweet friend. We have reconnected through Facebook and just looking at her smile warms my soul.
I married young-17 years old. I didn't have a clue what being a young married woman, a wife was all about. The Lord knew that I would need friends who could support me in this new role. One of those He blessed me with was Melba.
Her husband and her served in a ministry position in the church we attended. How wonderful it was to have a young couple who we could spend time with, talk to and laugh with. Melba has been that friend who kept me honest with myself. She never let me pretend. She had a way, and still does, of getting me to be real. We have laughed many times over our naive air of superiority regarding parenting, BEFORE we had children! We shared a love for music and singing and yes, church work.
I ventured into the realm of women's ministry and God knew I needed a compadre, a buddy. He sent Sheryl to me.

With Sheryl and I, it has always been easy. If one started the thought, the other one finished it. If one had the idea, the other one knew how to bring it to life. If one needed a kick in the seat, the other one was right there, foot lifted. We collaborated on more themes than a Walt Disney park designer, worked against more deadlines than a newspaper editor and stayed up late into the night working on more projects than Martha Stewarts' minions. If you needed a retreat, we were the pair to call.
Interestingly, the next person had a lot to do with the passion that Sheryl and I shared for all things organized, coordinated and themed. That would be June-

We have just recently said good bye to June. What a powerhouse of a woman! She had a gift for bringing out the very best in you. She saw what you couldn't see yourself. She nurtured whatever strength you had and helped it to blossom into full bloom. She taught. She modeled. She led. She loved. She protected. She was a spiritual mother to me. I loved her dearly. I rejoice that she is visiting with my mother in heaven.
There is another woman who has made an eternal, everlasting impression on me. The most significant impact she has made on my life is your intense and loyal friendship. Meet Terry-

She is quite possibly the most Godly, righteous, loving, kind person I know. Ask most any young girl in our church who they want to be like and they will say, "Terry Black". She has left an indelible imprint on so many young people, Heaven will be full of people she has taught and prayed for and nurtured and loved and encouraged and so generously helped along the way. She befriended me one summer as we sat on rickety bleachers watching our two beautifully unique sons play baseball. We had a kinship that is only shared by mothers of boys who see the world just a little differently than everyone else. She has held me up when I could not hold up my head. She has loved my children with a measure that amazes me. She has loved me and my family with an absolutely God-infused love. I feel blessed beyond measure to call her my friend.
There are so many others who have touched my life along the way. Women like Ma Richter, Cora Bruce, Grandma and Opal Wilson, Irene Carpenter, Altha Keifer, Mae Wood, Marguerite Kern, Terri Kern....and the list just goes on.
And, a whole new generation of young women is influencing my life and making me want to be a better person...Lindsay, Loretta, Diana, Monica, Whitney, Becky, Emily, Cari, Sara, Amber and many more.
Who has God placed in your life, past or present, that has influenced you. Who is He placing in front of YOU to influence. Leave a mark.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Nurse Blair.........has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? That's my daughter. Nurse Blair. I am so proud of her. She worked hard and now she has accomplished Phase I of her dream to work in pediatric oncology. She has more work to do but I know she will do it. She battled some hard things to get where she is. She faced some things that I never had to face. But, she is an overcomer and was determined to succeed.
I just thought you should meet her.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

25 Days

It is only 25 more days until NG7. (You know, my annual get together with my sisters-Nettie's Girls) As can be expected, I am always excited beyond words. And this year is no different.

That's a lie. Well, not a lie really. Maybe just a misstatement. (Is that a word?) This year IS different. I am looking forward to this NG in a way that I haven't before now. It seems that most years we have been coming together after facing some life-altering experience since the last one-the death of our mother, Nettie; the death of our father; the first flood at my house; the death of our baby sister. Add in births of grandbabies, ups and downs in jobs and any number of other things and you have four women who need some down time, some rest and relaxation.

But, this year I am anxious for NG because I feel like it is my life preserver, the knot at the end of the rope, my last hope, the light at the end of the tunnel. I need NG more right now than ever. It is a phenomenon unlike any other that, as soon as the four of us are together, life and all of it's insanity will fade into the background. The pure joy that we experience when we are together is indescribable. And, it makes me feel just a little sad for any of you out there that don't enjoy this with your family.

So, twenty five days from now, that sound you hear, that collective sigh of four fabulous women, will mark the beginning of NG7. And, four days later we will part, sadly, but stronger-recharged for one more year.

I cannot wait!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Swear it's the Truth!

The Honest Scrap comes with a caveat or two. First, you have to tell your readers ten things about yourself they may not know, but they have to be true. Second, you are supposed to tag ten people with this award. Third, let all the people you've given the award to know they have received it-leave a comment on their blog. Finally, link back to the person who gave you the award. Whew.
1. I wanted to join the Air Force after high school and my dad said that nice girls weren't in the service.
2. I cried when my mom told me I was too old to ask for a baby doll for Christmas. I think I was in the 6th or 7th grade.
3. Lest you think otherwise from those first two comments, I had the most wonderful parents and miss them every single day. I wouldn't have traded them for anyone. They were the best.
4. I used to collect clowns-clown statues, clown pictures, clown notecards, clown everything. I even decorated Aaron's nursery with a clown theme. His nursery had the biggest ceramic clown lamp you have EVER seen. It was the size of a midget and he was holding an umbrella. This monstrosity sat on the dresser in that poor baby's room.
5. I love creamed tuna. It is a delectable concoction of white sauce, tuna and boiled eggs. Lots of salt and pepper. Serve it over toast. I craved this when I was pregnant with Aaron.
6. We lost Blair when she was two years old. I was on a softball team and we were at a big park. After the game she wandered off while everyone was getting all of their stuff together. Dennis went into super-charged panic mode and everyone was running all over the place looking. This ballpark was right by a freeway on ramp and our minds went to scary places. Many long minutes later we found her. She was sitting in the cab of our truck waiting patiently. She was so short no one noticed her as we scoured the parking lot.
7. I used to sing with my sisters Debe and Vicki. Our sister Nora was our biggest fan. She thought we were fantastic. (We weren't.)
8. For awhile when I was a child our family travelled in a Volkswagen bug. There were 7 of us in the family. Mom and Dad sat up front, three oldest sisters in the back seat, and my little sister and I in the teeny tiny compartment behind the back seat.
9. Staying with the car theme, I fell out of a moving car when I was about four years old. Yep, they turned a corner and out I tumbled onto the street. I wasn't hurt. Well, falling on my head might explain a few things.
10. I still think the Air Force would have been cool.
Thanks Lori for tagging me. Check her out at
Okay, I am tagging Jessica, Amber, Becky, Casey, Katie and Megan.