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February 2020
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April 2020

Pieces

 

I know that most everyone my age has lost a loved one. Many, like me, have lost both parents. When my mother died, I needed to settle her estate quickly because my brother had colon cancer, and I wanted him to see that his wife would get his part of the estate. I worked so hard and had it settled in two months. He passed three months after my mother. I did not grieve for a long time. I struggled to adjust to a life without my mother. My father had died years earlier, and I still had her, and my brother and I adjusted to that. I loved my dad, goodness, I did. I needed to take care of my mother, so I did. We had such fun celebrations.

At about the second anniversary of her entering her Eternal Home, I was ready to think about her jewelry. I took a portion to Steve Burrus at Artisan Jewelry. Steve allowed me to grieve during the process as I began to let go. He saw me cry on more than one occasion, as little pieces of my mom's life, her fine jewelry, was made into something new. It needed to be in my timing, and Steve was gracious and talked me through it. 

It has been seven years now, and I had four pieces of jewelry that she wore every working day and on Sundays, her solid gold round earrings. They were the hardest for me to let go of because they were the closest to her for so many years. I know this may sound strange, but these were her last pieces of jewelry. I had decided just to keep them. I would never wear them. They sat in a box on a shelf.

I had our charm bracelets connected and loved the two together, but I just don't enjoy bracelets. I decided I would go back to visit Steve Burrus at Artisan Jewelry and ask him what he could do. He compassionately listened, let me cry, and helped me decide on a charm necklace. He took the combined bracelets, inserting my mother's chain into the hand made chain and added back all of the memory-filled charms! 

 

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My Mother's ...

Wishbone

Shell

Bird

Starfish

Nugget

Washing the feet of Jesus

Gold Nugget

Diamond

#1 Grandma (we call her Nanny)

"L" for Lorena

Horn charm

Shell

Insect???

Anchor

Heart

Horn Charm

Sand Dollar

 

My charms ...

Dome ring given to me by my aunt and uncle

My 25th Anniversary ring

My Mother's four-round gold earrings

My Grandmother Etter's locket given to her by my grandfather

My Grandmother Etter's wedding set

Birthstone charm ring first gift from Clinton

My baby ring

Cross

Shell

Gold nugget that both our children cut their teeth on

Girl for our daughter

Gold Nugget

Diamond heart, an early gift from Clinton

"P"

Pearl drop from our wedding from Peggy & TC

Shoes because I was a shoe salesperson

Sand Dollar

Graduation ring charm (PHS Class of 1973)

Special friend

Cross

Boy for our son

Diamond snowflake from Clinton

Bulldog charm

The Golden Rule

 

I think I will enjoy having this to wear. Thank you to Artisan Jewelry

 

 


Favorite Memory

 

This morning, a dear mentor, Kenny, asked us to think about our happiest memory. A lot of memories rolled through my mind, like the ball waiting to land in the gloves of a triple play. They ran through the air of my mind until one came to rest in the glove of the pitcher.

I can remember sitting at home alone, a sixteen-year-old girl, rocking in my dad's rocking chair, and talking to God about my future, particularly my life partner. I was specific with God; first, he must be a follower of Jesus Christ, he must be kind-hearted, patient (to love me like I was created),  right down to being an athlete, specifically a baseball player. 

A year or so later, God brought Clinton and me together. He is my steady. 

Watching God reveal His mighty work through miracles performed is my greatest joy. Clinton tells the story of how God shared with him about caring for me. God is our glue.

God had and has a beautiful plan for my life. He does every day as he reveals connections of sharing His love through serving His people.

 

Our senior prom picture, 1973.

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Three Pictures

 

Today was a great day to visit the cemetery. For me, it is a very peace-filled place. My 'eyes to see' could easily find hundreds of shots there, so I really hone in on what God specifically wants me to see on any particular visit. Today, there were three pictures...

 

Psalm 123:1, To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens!

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Mark 8:34, Then He called the people to Him along with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wants to be my disciple, he must say, 'No' to self, put the cross on his shoulders, and keep on following me.
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John 14:27,  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
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And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14.

 

 

 

 


S.F.T.

 

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30.21

I finally watched the movie Seven Days in Utopia. It was a thought-provoking movie.

See it, Feel it, Trust it.

Utopia is defined as an imaginary perfect dwelling for people. I find hope in my eternal home that is being readied for me through my faith decision. I can only imagine is the only imaginary part of my heavenly utopia. See God's face. Feel His presence. Trust His love, S.F.T.

Through the S.F.T. of a faith relationship, we realize our blessings. More critical is concluding that others are always in need of what we have to give. The blessings multiply.

Give much. Pray often. Become entwined to where we do not know where we start or end, but that we are together.

Seven Days in Utopia

 

 

 


Tiny Memory

 

Pictured below is a 1961 picture of the sanctuary construction of First Baptist Church Plainview, Texas. I was 5-6 years old while this was going on. I have a tiny memory remaining of this taking place. I remember running through the "old" sanctuary, upstairs and downstairs. I remember other kids, laughing and playing, doing the same.

 

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I loved the colors of the original sanctuary windows.

FBC Old Sanctuary windows

 

And, I love this picture of the "new" sanctuary balcony stained glass.

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A Parable

 

The Parable of the Potato, Egg and Coffee Beans by Begin With Yes

Once upon a time, a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn't know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After twenty minutes, he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He took the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.

Turning to her, he asked. "What do you see?" "Potatoes, eggs, and coffee," she hastily replied.

"Look closer," he said, "and touch the potatoes." She did and noted that they were soft.

He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

"Father, what does this mean?" she asked.

He explained that the potatoes, the egg, and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

"Which one are you?" he asked his daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

The moral of the story:

In life, things happen around us, and things happen to us. The only thing that truly matters is your choice of how you react to it and what you make of it. Learn, adapt, and choose to make the best of each experience.

 

I love this story. It is always our choice in how we respond.

The days we find ourselves in are unique, like nothing we have ever experienced before. To be honest, I'm bored. I'm one that stays on top of projects that need to be done. Check. I did my crafty. Check. I've read several books. Check. I've taken pictures. Check. I've written my blogs each day. Check. I've filled our flower pots, got the fountain up and running. Check. I went to the mailbox and found a surprise from Wimberley (Belinda). I've enjoyed being outside. Check. I've had special times with God. Check. I know I'm blessed. Check. 

Check out these beautiful hand blown glass eggs. Thank you to Belinda from BellaVida B & B in Wimberly, Texas. Trinity eggs, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Which one should represent each part of the Trinity? Easter is nearly here. Even in this season of unrest in our world...Easter is coming. My favorite faith day of the resurrection and new life.

 

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Tomorrow will be a new day. I know I will fill it with the same things because I find comfort in routine. I am going to try to add something new into my day (not cleaning the house, though). It is my choice to have a great day. Yes, I will ... have a great day!

 


COVID-19 Contentment

 

Contentment is an emotional state of satisfaction that may be drawn from being at ease in one's situation, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I am a child of God, the High Priest, my Savior Redeemer, and Holy Spirit guide. I am a sinner redeemed. I fall short, and I get back up. Amazingly, he loves me, Oh, how he loves me...and I, Him!

Many wonderful mentors have influenced my life, but the One True God is my Mentor Master. I'm still learning. I'm a cracked vessel that he is mending. I am willing, and he uses me. My greatest joy in life is watching God unfold miracles amongst us.

Deuteronomy 31:8, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraiddo not be discouraged.

We live with uncertainty. This is why it is vital to have the promise of hope found through Jesus Christ. As COVID-19 maneuvers through our Nation, I am reminded of the overwhelming peace that is ours.

 

Proverbs 11:17-31, A God-shaped life ...

When you’re kind to others, you help yourself; when you’re cruel to others, you hurt yourself.

Bad work gets paid with a bad check; good work gets solid pay.

Take your stand with God’s loyal community and live, or chase after phantoms of evil and die.

God can’t stand deceivers, but oh, how he relishes integrity.

Count on this: The wicked won’t get off scot-free, and God’s loyal people will triumph.

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful face on an empty head.

The desires of good people lead straight to the best, but wicked ambition ends in angry frustration.

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.

Curses on those who drive a hard bargain! Blessings on all who play fair and square!

The one who seeks good finds delight; the student of evil becomes evil.

A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.

Exploit or abuse your family and end up with a fistful of air; common sense tells you it’s a stupid way to live.

A good life is a fruit-bearing tree; a violent life destroys souls.

If good people barely make it, what’s in store for the bad!

 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

 

Things are out of my control other than heeding the authorities' directives. I am content and trusting God that we will be overcomers, triumphant, filled with peace, encouragers, serving our fellowman in the Name of the Great I Am. 

 

I am thankful for so many things...

that I was born in Plainview, Texas, to the very parents intended for me

my husband, children, and grands

our home hideaway

the air I breathe

water to drink wash, and bathe with

a clean bed

food to eat

connectivity through technology

our church (the people @ FB.PLV)

friends so dear

God's beauty through nature to enjoy

masks because I notice eyes more and the eyes say so much

having to suffer a little while to realize growth

those who are serving to protect, thank you

and so much more.

 

I'm thankful for my copy of the Word of God. They don't put it [Bible] in jails and prisons for no reason. We all will find ourselves in bondage at some point by something. It is a powerful and very alive set of words! They will get us through! Finding COVID-19 contentment through the Word of God!

 

The way is narrow but the view is Peace.

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"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one." John Lennon

 


So Dear

 

When what to her wondering eyes should appear, but a sweet little cat curled up, so dear.

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She was chubby and plump, a right furry old cat,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of my mask;
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
She purred not a word, but went straight back to sleep,
And stretched in the bedding; then curled in deep,
And laying her paw aside of her nose,
And giving a nod, back arched, she rose;
She sprang to her feet, to herself gave a purr,
And away she jumped like someone had just called her.
But I heard her meow, as she quickly ran out of sight— 
“Happy planting to all,  and to all a good night!”

 


Fruit

 

In reading Luke 6: 43-45 ...

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

A fruit tree produces fruit. If I want to be a fruit producer then it will take work. To follow Jesus and produce means I do not compromise on the quality of fruit I produce. I work hard, plan, and know my Tree.

Trees need seasons. They need pruning. They may even need a weed patch around the trunk when their "bush" is too green and big to pull away the nitrogen from the tree. More likely than not, a tree that looks amazing won't produce the best fruit. It is understanding the desire I have for my fruit production that determines the balance to bring it forth.

There are all types of trees that produce fruit. I am recognized for MY fruit, not someone else's. I want to bring good fruit that people want to enjoy, that is pickable. My fruit starts within me. The Holy Spirit touches it, and the change of the tiny seed turning into fruit begins. Mine is mine, and yours is yours. When I serve, say kind things, grow peace, these are a direct result of what is in my orchard. Some crop yields are better than others. 

I think it is essential that we understand that we don't know the heart of another and what we say in a judgemental way may damage their fruit production.

The abundance of grace within me.

 

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The Flip-Side

 

This virus, COVID-19, has a flip side. It is horrible alone, what it is doing to the innocent, not caring who it attaches to and wreaking havoc on our communities. 

While we quarantine, which we must, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, hunger, and crime will increase. So both sides of this coin will have a negative impact.

Please, know that if these things do occur that you may still report them and get help. 

For many, the extended togetherness is a wonderful experience. For others, who are alone, the walls will close in. This is an excellent time to extend ourselves to others through phone calls, texts, or snail-mail. Be sensitive to those who are struggling emotionally. The extrovert will have a much more difficult time than the introvert. Be creative in your love sharing.

This is serious stuff, both sides of the coin. It will eventually pass, and our lives will go back to a new normal. It is okay to seek counseling through friends or professionals to help us swing back into the groove.

The good news is, God, IS, so hold onto his Word; find hope there.

 

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