Monday, January 24, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

55. Phone calls from my sisters.

56. Clearance items in the school and office supply section of Walmart! Woohoo!

57. That my 13 year old still snuggles up to me on the couch.

58. Friends and family who encourage me when I am feeling insecure.

59. Quilts. They make me think of my childhood.

60. My sweet, ornery, good, faithful and funny husband.

61. Second chances..........getting them AND giving them.

62. People who love my kids and let me love theirs.

63. More wealth and health than most of the world will ever know.

64. People who look up to keeps me on my toes.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Challenge Accepted

Tomorrow I start a new challenge. It's called the New Testament Challenge. I was invited to participate in this by a man I met many years ago who was involved in ministry to young people-Tony. Tony made an impact on a couple of boys who mean the world to me-my son Aaron and his dear (and my dear) friend Luke. What fun times ensued when these three were together!

So, knowing and trusting Tony as I do, I was more than ready to take up the challenge. The church he attends is going to be reading through the New Testament together. The reading schedule starts tomorrow and goes through Easter. I can't wait to see what new things I learn from this exercise.

You can also listen to a podcast daily of the scriptures for that day if you prefer.

I hope to have some insights to share with you as I read through this timeless story.

Here is the link to the challenge:

Monday, January 17, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

46. Skinny Vanilla Latte creamer.

47. My children. I have already used that one but today I am reminded of how precious they are and how much my life is richer because of them.

48. Early mornings when I get to spend time reading my Bible and praying.

49. New recipes that turn out well----White Chicken Chili.

50. The longer days now that we are into the month of January.

51. Coffee.

52. Good books.

53. A car that runs and gets me where I need to be.

54. Friends who encourage me and stand in my corner.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Momma's Kitchen

(When we were kids we loved for Momma to give us a piece of potato when she was peeling them for supper. It was a treat! I wrote this little piece for a writing class when asked to fictionalize a memory from childhood. Some of it rings true. I won't tell you which parts.)

I stand beside Momma waiting. She peels the potato in short, quick strokes with the sharp paring knife. I'm not allowed to use that knife. I can use the butter knife, though. It doesn't cut my skin. I ran it across the palm of my hand one time just to test it. It didn't hurt a bit. I keep waiting. I hope my little sister doesn't come in and start begging. That will just ruin it. I like for it to be just me and Momma. I pretend that she is all mine and I don't have to share with anyone. My friend Darlene doesn't have to share her mother with sisters. And I've got four of them.
Momma turns to me and smiles. She has the prettiest smile. I wish my eyes were brown like hers instead of watery blue. Nobody ever says that I look like Momma. They say that about my little sister. Never about me. That makes me jealous and makes me feel bad at the same time.
"Well, Miss Priss, I suppose this is what you've been waiting for so patiently?" Momma hands me a thick piece of potato. I bite into the crunchy wedge and nod my head. She laughs and turns back to the sink. "There's another slice on the counter for Vicki. Would you take it to her please?"
"Yes, ma'am." I sigh and reach up slowly for the chunk of potato. Momma puts her hands on my shoulders and turns me around. "Is there something wrong, Verla? "
I stand with my head down, embarrassed to look at her. How do I tell her I don't want to share with Vicki? That something as simple as a slice of potato while she cooks supper makes me feel special? How do I say it and not sound like a baby? I look up and shrug. "Nothing. Nothing's wrong."
Momma pulls out a kitchen chair and sits down. Lifting me onto her lap, she hugs me tightly. I can smell her perfume. I snuggle in closer and lay my head on her shoulder.
"I know you get tired of being the big sister," she says, "And little sisters aren't always fun to have around, but she loves you so much. Is it that hard to share a little piece of potato with her?"
"Oh, Momma, it's not the potato! She can have all the potatoes and I wouldn't care." My voice quivers and I feel tears start to slip out of the corner of my eye. I reach up and brush them away. I am not a baby.
Momma leans back in her chair. Lifting my chin, she turns my face so that we are eye to eye. She brushes a tear from my nose and presses her lips to my forehead. "Oh, Verla, if it's not the potato, what is it?"
I put my head back down. I can't look at her. "It's you, Momma. I don't want to share you."

Monday, January 3, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

35. Thankful for my other bloggy friends whose posts reminded me to continue my thankful list.

36. A husband who had dinner almost ready when I got home from work tonight.

37. Quiet weekends and evenings at home with my family.

38. Countdown to NG8 - my annual retreat with my sisters. Only 100 more days.

39. Food magazines and the recipes enclosed.

40. Monday night television - The Closer and Castle.

41. My job. Yes, my job-the one that frustrates me, stresses me, upsets me, drains me........I am thankful for it just the same.

42. My Kindle.

43. Fuzzy socks.

44. The time I spent with the Lord this morning.

45. Answering machines and caller ID. hee hee

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Still learning after all these years

20 Things I Learned in 2010

1. Finally, how to fry chicken, thanks to the Pioneer Woman.

2. That I really love babies now. I always loved my own, of course, and the babies of my friends. But, now, I love all babies and that surprises me and most who know me.

3. Our children grow up too fast. Blair moved out and Katie started wearing makeup and both things rocked me back just a little bit.

4. Our family court system really stinks.

5. Small acts of kindness make an immeasurable impact on the recipients.

6. Small acts of kindess make an immeasurable impact on the giver.

7. I still have the best sisters in all the land.

8. The more I pray, the easier it is to communicate with God in a real, meaningful way.

9. That my day is seriously affected by whether or not I spend time with God.

10. Compassion is never wasted and there are many, many who need it. It is something everyone can offer if they decide to do just that.

11. Reading is still my favorite past time.

12. Friends from my past still matter to me and make a difference in my life. I have Facebook to thank for that. I know that some people use it for gossip and ranting and put downs. I am happy that my friends, for the most part, use it for encouragement.

13. It's okay to say no.

14. It's okay to rest.

15. It's okay to retreat.

16. I need to reach out more, care more, do more, serve more.

17. Family is precious and should be treasured.

18. Forgiveness is not optional.

19. Every day has the possibility to be the best day you've ever had.

20. I can always do better and be better. It's a choice.

Happy New Year to you all.