Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Few (I should say many) Thoughts From the South

A friend of mine sent me a reminder of what my growing up world was all about and is still about somewhat because of where I live. I liked it so much I thought I would take the time and effort to post it on my blog. There are many of us women here in the South that can identify with much of the dialog below. Also, when you (me) are going through a sort-of dry blogging spell, funnies like SOUTHERN WOMEN fill the gap! (It's a little long but bear with it to the end) Greg P - this one is for you!

Southern women appreciate their natural assets:
Clean skin.
A winning smile.
That unforgettable Southern drawl.

Southern women know their manners:
"Yes, ma'am."
"Yes, sir".

Southern women have a distinct way with fond expressions:
"Y'all come back!"
"Well, bless your heart."
"Drop by when you can."
"How's your Momma?"

Southern women know their summer weather report:

Southern women know their vacation spots:
The beach
The rivuh
The crik

Southern women know the joys of June, July and August:
Colorful high-heeled sandals
Strapless sun dresses
Iced sweet tea with mint

Southern women know every body's first name:

Southern women know the movies that speak to their hearts:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone With The Wind

Southern women know their religions:

Southern women know their country breakfasts:
Red-eye gravy
Country Ham
Mouth-watering homemade biscuits with Momma's homemade jelly

Southern women know their cities dripping with Southern charm:
Foat Wuth

Southern women know their elegant gentlemen:
Men in uniform
Men in tuxedos
Rhett Butler

Southern women know their prime real estate:
The Mall
The Country Club
The Beauty Salon

Southern girls know the 3 deadly sins:
Having bad hair and nails
Having bad manners
Cooking bad food

Additional Suthen-ism's:

Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you do not "HAVE' them, you 'PITCH' them.

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc make up "a mess".

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder".

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, as in "Going to town, be back directly".

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece". They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.

Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck and a good ol' boy and Po white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines,...And when we're "in line,"...We talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

In the South, y'all is singular, all y'all is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to cook and eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk". Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and LOTS of it - we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you do not want buttermilk.

And true Southerners know that you do not scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 mph on the freeway. You just say "Bless her heart".......And go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff,....Bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southerness as a second language!

And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls front porch that reads "I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could".

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Phone Torture

Have you ever had someone call you on the phone and the absolutely whole time you are talking you feel like you are being dragged down, down, down? I just had a call like that a few moments ago and honestly by the time I got off the phone my frame of mind was mad, depressed, bitter and a few other feelings that I won't share at this point. I suppose that I have no one to blame in this but myself. Over and over again and again I have told myself that people that drag us down and make us feel like the opposites of the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, patience, faith, kindness, goodness, self-control, and peace) should be omitted from our daily lives. Now, having said that, let me say this - I have really tried to be helpful. IT IS NOT WORKING!!!!!!!!!!! This person is one of those people who asks for advice and never agrees with what you say - even when backed up with scripture. Each day they have a new crisis and their problems are of their very own making. I want to say, "can you not see what you are doing to your marriage, your children and yourself?". For some of you that are smarter than me, where do I go from here? Maybe I should let you know, this is not someone that I can completely cut out of my life. They are extended family............need I say more!

On to more pleasant subjects. Hubby and I made progress today with outside Christmas decorations. We officially have deer that are moving and lit and presents under a tree at our driveway entrance. Wreaths are at the doors with a snowman to greet you before you knock. I have done some of my shopping but have sworn to have it all done by week's end. Our tree is standing in wait for professional decorators Lake and Kaden. They are coming on Saturday to make our tree as special as theirs and also to make some Christmas cookies. Can't wait to have some Memaw time with two great little boys who are growing up too fast!

I am really trying this year to not wish this season away. I have been guilty these past few years of dreading all that has to be done. I know - my fault. I hope to slow my pace down and not put so much pressure on myself (and hubby) to get everything done and done perfectly. I truly want to enjoy December and focus on Jesus. I find that over the years I have dwelt on the manager more than I have on the cross at Christmas. It is impossible to separate the two. I think how sad God the Father must have been to send His Son knowing what He would have to go through for sinners such as I. I think how unselfish and full of love Jesus the Son was to be willing to suffer the pain and humiliation for someone like me. The manager was such a simple and humble beginning - the Cross a horrible and necessary sacrifice - the Resurrection a glorious and victorious triumph over evil and sin. Thank you Father God for sending your Son and thank you Lord Jesus for you willingness to come.

By the way - for those two of you who read my blog, don't worry about answering the question at the end of the first paragraph (where do I go from here?). The answer is simple - go to the One who really has all the answers.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Me.........Finally

It only stands to reason that someone who likes to talk as much as I do should have posted on her blog at least once since October 25th. It has been a fast and furious month - one that I am glad is gone. Hubby and I have worked two weeks at the campground. Brought our camper home. Winterized it and covered it with this massive cover that required MUCH work to get on. I helped at church to get our ladies fall fashion show planned and worked the night of the event. In between I cleaned our house that had been terribly neglected for far too long, had Dr and Dentist appointments, made Christmas ornaments with Lake and Kaden one night to put on my tree and determined that time was flying before my eyes and that before I knew it, the cover will come off the camper and spring will be here! I look forward to that time but for right now I am content to sit inside and wait for the snow they are predicting tonight.

Our dogs, Bodie and Chessy, are so glad that we have finally settled down. Each time we would leave they would wait to see if they were going to get to ride in the car or if they were going to be waiting on the chair, looking out the window in order to alert the neighbors that Mom and Dad were home. Their favorite spots are laying on afghans beside us in our chairs. It takes so little to make them happy and they love unconditionally. Oh to be so easily pleased!

We are fast approaching my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving has always been the best time of the year to me. In fact, fall is and has always been my season. I love the colors, the smells, warm days and cool nights. Fall decorations are the best! My house, unlike some that I will not mention, is still in the fall decorating mode and will be until after Thursday. Thanksgiving deserves full recognition - not a blip on the holiday radar. Halloween gets more time than Thanksgiving and really deserves none (that's just my personal opinion)! Before long Thanksgiving will be squeezed out all together. It is truly a family time - not a present time - but, if observed correctly, a time for us to "Be Still & Know" from whom all our blessings flow and give Him the credit and thanks for all we have. I only hope my grandchildren will know what a precious time Thanksgiving can be when we place emphasis on the privileges we have as Christians and as Americans. Hubby and I are going to be with Lisa, Mitchell, Brandon, Kena, and Zack at their house on Thursday. My only contribution will be broccoli casserole and 4 chairs. I look forward to getting together with them, eating good food, and not having to clean up. That is the way it's supposed to be for guests, isn't it?

Well, enough chatter. I better go and see if it's snowing yet. I love snow until the 31st of December. That's when I begin to long for spring (even though spring hasn't showed up here in East Tennessee before May the past few years). I'm hoping that Mark Reynolds (our local weatherman) got it all wrong and instead of 1 to 2 inches in the mountains (that's me) we get 5 inches! Hope - Hope!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Off The Road & Back Home.......For a Little While

Seems like I've been gone for a long time and it's really only been a week. My clothes are still in my travel bag. I see no sense in taking them out when we are leaving again by the weekend. My dogs are not sure just where they are going to be from day to day! Each time we get the bags out, they stand with a look on their faces like "do we get to go this time?" When we get in the vehicle and leave, they do not relax until we pass the kennel where they stay while we are gone.

Our trip to Charleston was short but good. Hubby is working on some pictures I hope to post soon. We crammed alot into a short time, but we had fun and wished we had more time. We will be going back and hopefully in the near future. Son's truck is on it's way to Hawaii (after some quick information recovery, thanks to bethanne) and will be there, according to the company shipping it, by November 19th. Please continue to pray for Kenneth, his transition to Hawaii and then an almost immediate transfer to Iraq for 6 months. Kenneth flies on a P3 Orion which, for those of you who are like me and do not know what that is, basically is used to hunt enemy subs but while in Iraq will be looking for terrorists. He has only 2 years until retirement and I am praying that the six months he is deployed will be so busy that it will pass quickly so that he can enjoy his time in Hawaii.

When we got home, we immediately went to the campground for a cook out with the other 3 campground host couples. What a great time! T-bone steaks, baked potatoes, salad, banana pudding, and German chocolate upside-down cake. All cooked and eaten outside. The campfire was huge, and the fellowship sweet. This is the first year since we have been working at the park that all the couples are Christians and, believe you me, it shows in the way that the office is run. There is a spirit of love and concern, not just for each other, but for the people we meet who have come to camp. Each couple working has had or are facing different problems, whether it be health related or family related or something in their life beyond their control. We pray for one another, encourage one another and look forward to seeing how the Lord is going to answer prayers in each other's lives. The park is beautiful this time of the year. The color is deep and the deer are plentiful. They do not have any fear of people and walk right up into the camp sights. The mornings and nights are crisp (30's) so a campfire feels great. I must admit, I do not look forward to pulling our camper home. Guess that will make next spring even sweeter to think about when the snow blows this winter.

Today is getting away from me. I have a bed to make, bible study to do (really to catch up - this is our last night), clothes to wash, my part of a ladies event to get together, a wrinkled outfit to get ready for Sunday (thanks LuAnn!), and most important of all - a beautiful fall day to enjoy!
Actually, I think I might just surprise my dogs and take them for a walk. They would love it and I NEED it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Critters and Other Stuff

Nothing much happening here in upper East Tennessee except beautiful fall weather and lots, and lots of LADY BUGS - yes, I said lady bugs and they are driving me CRAZY! In the early spring and in the fall we are overcome by lady bugs. Because we are adjacent to the Cherokee National Forest and because the hemlocks are endangered by a bug called the woolly adelgid (I think I spelled that right) and because the lady bug is the ONLY thing that eats the woolly adelgid, the National Forest Service releases millions and millions, did I say millions, I meant trillions of them from the air into our atmosphere. It would be no problem if they did the job they were released to do, but at this time of the year they seek warmth - that means the sun - the sun on my front porch each afternoon. If we did not have to open our doors now and again, I could see them from afar, but because we do ever so often have to go out, they fly in the door, thereby requiring me to suck them up in my vacuum. One other small bit of info - they STINK when they are challenged by man or vacuum and I have discovered, in a really big challenge, they bite! Now this little problem just began on last Friday and we probably are in for a couple of weeks of these pesky visitors. The only relief I can foresee is frost or rain. They do not like rain and the frost will kill them, but not before they have laid their eggs for next spring. It is a never ending battle. I think the Lord sent these pests so we will welcome winter instead of dread it. Oh yes, I failed to mention that I am not the only one that these little critters have chosen to visit. They are EVERYWHERE. There was even a segment on the news how this region is plagued by them - sort of like the locusts in the Bible. The only difference we don't have any people to let go!

Next problem - field mice. Thankfully, I have a courageous husband who does not mind emptying traps when they catch the mice that seek warmth in our garage. We not only live on mountain, we are surrounded by woods - thus field mice. Since I have no resident cat, they prefer my house to my neighbors who has 4 resident cats. My two dogs, yorkies (whose heritage is to seek out and kill rodents), are of no help. They have risen above working in this life, and would not know what to do with a mouse if they caught it.

Next problem - raccoons - big, fat raccoons that gorge on my sunflower seeds and suet. I love to feed the birds. We have a multitude of different birds that live in our woods - doves, cardinals, nuthatches, titmice, blue jays,wrens, finches and more. The raccoons and opossums raid the feeders at night. I put out new suet yesterday because it attracts woodpeckers and I love to watch them. This morning - suet all gone. No bird ate all that suet from late yesterday afternoon till this morning. Besides, my suet feeders were open and that is a sure sign that the culprit was bigger than a bird. No wonder the raccoons that I see when I take my dogs out before bed are fat - I'm feeding them lard!

After five years of living here on the mountain I guess I should be accustomed to sharing space with wildlife and bugs. The joys far outweigh the nuances. We are beginning to see, with the shedding of the leaves, the view of the mountains toward North Carolina and evening sunsets. Yesterday afternoon's sky was breathtaking with the pinks and reds. A good way to close out the day remembering that there is with the bad (bugs) also good. God is good! Thank you Lord Jesus for the privilege of living in this world you made.

I almost forgot - no more blogging for a few days. Hubby and I are off on a little adventure. His son, who is in the Navy has been in Japan for three years and is being stationed in Hawaii. We have his truck and are taking it to Charleston SC to be shipped by the Navy so he will have a vehicle when he arrives in Hawaii in December. He will leave for the middle east in January and will be there for six months. Please pray for our safety in travel goin to SC and Kenneth's safety in this transition and in his deployment. All this moving is a big deal - lots of paper work and planning. Believe me, he really needs your prayers at this time in his life.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


It's absolutely unbelievable that I would post two days in a row! Something MUST be wrong with me! Actually, I have no great people to quote today and no real words of wisdom to utter; I am just so thankful for my life and my situation. This morning in the paper there was no encouraging words to be had. All doom and gloom. A killer convicted, landslide in Yosemite, corrupt executives, a child abandoned at medical facilities, economy still not even starting to recover, candidates at one another's throats, loss of benefits for workers, loss of jobs - all of these are a sign of the times. My situation is so good compared to many. My hope is not in this world or in our leaders. My hope is in Jesus and the anticipation of seeing Him one day.

This morning in my bible study, which this week is on gentleness, some of the scripture was in Acts and some in John. The lesson title is Gentle Giants - about Paul and Peter. As I read scripture that I have read hundreds of time before, I began to question whether I exhibit any gentleness in my life. Gentleness - a life surrendered to real power (Beth Moore's definition). I had never thought about gentleness being submission. I think I had always coupled gentleness with timidity. So gentleness means not being stubborn or pig-headed - not fighting God's will in my life - a life surrendered to the Highest Power. For me, stubborn as I am, pig-headed as I am, that is a tall order. I am so glad that God never, ever gives up on us. That means there is still hope for me!

While reading scripture about Paul, the lesson had us list some of the ways Paul had suffered for Christ's sake - beatings, jail, angry mobs, exhaustion, hunger, sleeplessness, stoning, pain, cold, thirst. I have suffered nothing for Christ. I have, we all have, real cushy lives compared to the Saints of the Bible. They did not live in fear of what was coming, they lived in anticipation. They wanted to suffer for Christ. Paul said, and I am paraphrasing, his suffering meant he was a partner in Christ's suffering all the way to death itself. Wow! I don't have a clue what real suffering is! Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not into wanting to suffer, but what will Christ be able to thank me for when I stand before Him. Since we live in a different time and age, I suppose the up-side-down crucifixion, stoning, and beatings don't apply, but the anticipation
of what is coming does. We never know when circumstances in our lives are going to change and we may be required to take a stand. If the wrong people (liberals) get elected to high positions, we may, as Christians, find ourselves persecuted even to the point Paul and Peter were for their beliefs. Will I meet the test? Will we as Christ's body meet the test? I pray that I will. I pray that we will. I pray that in our weakness we would find strength to be a partner in Christ's suffering all the way to death itself like Paul.

This may seem as though I am doom and gloom like the newspaper today, but the good news is that no matter how bad things seem or even get - we who know Christ and have Him living in us are going to be okay - in fact - better than okay. Nothing can destroy us. No one can destroy us. We have the hope of eternity in heaven with Jesus. We have anticipation of worshipping at His feet forever and I can't wait! Come quickly Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Scriptural Answers To The "Whys" In Our Lives

I know ..... it's been awhile. I could use the excuse that I have been away which I was last week. I could use the excuse that I have been really busy and I have - but not that busy. I could use the excuse that I have not been motivated and probably that excuse is the best one of all. Do you ever get in the mode of simply not knowing or wanting to blog? Some of us are not given to great randomness like bethanne, and when I don't know what to write, I don't write!

Last month an article was sent to me by email. I read it and copied it because I really didn't have my mind fully on it at the time. I thought I would come back to it and study it a little more and search out the scripture references when I was a little more with it! I laid it on my desk and this week I found it again. As I have studied it more the past couple of days, I realized how true the article is and how I needed to read this and keep it near for future reading. I want to share this with you. It may be a little lengthy, but maybe it will be thoughts that you need in your life at this particular time - much like I did at the time I refound (not sure that is a real word) it.

Scripture References:
Romans 8:17
2 Corinthians 12:9
1 Peter 4:12-13
Job 16
Romans 5:3-4
John 14:31
Colossians 1:24
Isaiah 45:9-11
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: Keep A Quiet Heart

Ever Been Bitter?
Sometimes I've said, "O Lord, you wouldn't do this to me, would you? How could you, Lord?" I can recall such times later on and realize that my perspective was skewed. One scripture passage which helps me rectify it is Isaiah 45:9-11 (NEB): "Will the pot contend with the potter, or the earthenware with the hand that shapes it? Will the clay ask the potter what he is making? .... Thus says the Lord, would you dare question me concerning my children, or instruct me in my handiwork? I alone, I made the earth and created man upon it." He knows exactly what He is doing. I am the clay.
The word "humble" comes for the root word "humus, earth, clay." Let me remember that when I question God's dealings. I don't understand Him, but then I'M NOT ASKED TO UNDERSTAND, ONLY TO TRUST.
Bitterness dissolves when I remember the kind of love with which He has loved me--He gave Himself for me. He gave Himself for me. He gave Himself for me. He gave Himself for me. Whatever He is doing now, therefore, is NOT cause for bitterness. It has to be designed for good, because He loved me and gave Himself for me.
Is it a sin to ask God why?
It is always best to go first for answers to Jesus Himself. He cried out on the cross, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" It was a human cry, a cry of desperation, springing from His heart's agony at the prospect of being put into the hands of wicked men and actually becoming sin for you and me. We can never suffer anything like that, yet we at times feel forsaken and cry, Why, Lord?
The psalmist asked why. Job, a blameless man, suffering horrible torments on an ash heap, asked why. It does not seem to me to be sinful to ask the question.
What IS sinful is resentment against God and His dealings with us.
When we begin to doubt His love and imagine that He is cheating us of something we have a right to, we are guilty as Adam and Eve were guilty. They took the snake at his word rather than God. The same snake comes to us repeatedly with the same suggestions: Does God love you? Does He really want the best for you? Is His word trustworthy? Isn't He cheating you? Forget His promises. You'd be better off if you do it your way. Etc.
I have often asked why. Many things have happened which I didn't plan on and which human rationality could not explain. In the darkness of my perplexity and sorrow I have heard Him say quietly, Trust Me.
He knew that my question was not the challenge of unbelief or resentment. I have never doubted that He loves me, but I have sometimes felt like St. Teresa of Avila who, when she was dumped out of a carriage into a ditch said, "If this is the way You treat your friends, no wonder You have so few!" :-)
Job was not, it seems to me, a very patient man. But he never gave up his conviction that he was in God's hands. God was big enough to take whatever Job dished out (see Job 16 for a sample). Do not be afraid to tell Him exactly how you feel. (He already read your thoughts anyway). Don't tell the whole world. God can take it--others can't. (AMEN!!!)
Then listen for His answer. Six scriptural answers to the question WHY come from the scriptures listed above. There is mystery, but it is not all mystery. Here are clear reasons.
I hope that the above article spoke to someone's heart. I have been a fan of Elisabeth Elliott for many years and knowing the things that she has been through in her life make this article even more dear to me. As the person who sent this to me said, "if you have not been to this point in your life, you will. Save it. If you are there, this will encourage you".

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Psalm That Blesses

I have been pondering over lots and lots of things recently, some I can share, some I can not and some I will share in later posts. As I told you in an earlier post, I am in a Beth Moore Bible study on Wednesday nights about the fruits of the spirit. So far I have learned that I have not been taking advantage of these fruits in my life - rather, I have not been allowing the Holy Spirit to work through me to use the gifts that the Father has given me - love, patience, joy, peace, kindness,etc. Well, I am working on that, but this morning I was reading in Psalms as I do each morning and I wanted to share with you Psalm 103 out of the Message which is the Bible in contemporary language. I know - some think that reading a version written in our everyday language is cheating, but I found this morning that the words I read were very uplifting and easy to apply to my every day life. Let David's words minister to you.

A David Psalm
O my soul, bless God,
From head to toe I'll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don't forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins - every one.
He heals your diseases - every one.
He redeems you from hell - saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy - a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness - beauty eternal.
He renews your youth - you're always young in his presence.
God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he's rich in love.
He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He know us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we are made of mud.
Men and women don't live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God's love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him.
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.
God has set his throne in heaven;
he rules over us all. He's the King!
So bless God, you angels,
ready and able to fly at his bidding,
quick to hear and do what he says.
Bless God, all you armies of angels
alert to respond to whatever he wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are-
everything and everyone made by God.
And you, O my soul, bless God!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Promises Are Made To Be Broken?

When I began this blog I promised myself that I would not neglect to post on it or I would not begin. Well, guess I have already blown that promise! This week has been one that I can not account for my time - other than the fact it has flown by in a hurry. I have been praying that the Lord would give me a hunger for His Word. I have found myself spending more and more time on the screened porch with coffee and His Word and with Him. I don't want to get going and do anything else. Each day I do my Beth Moore Bible study that I am doing on Wednesday nights and one scripture leads to another and before I know it, it's 11:00. Seeing how I was on the porch between 7:30 and 8:00, that is a pretty long time to put off other chores. So this afternoon I, patting myself on the back, did yard work with hubby and boy do I feel it now! I, because of my bicycle accident and the dizziness, had let some parts of the yard go. My job is to keep weeds pulled, spread mulch, feed birds (including hummingbirds), and hubbys job is to mow and weed eat. He has kept up his part, but mine has gone astray. Since it's fall and time for fall decorating, it's also time for weed cutting, hosta cutting back, pulling up and throwing away old flowers, spreading new mulch, fall flag hanging, and the planting of mums and pansies. Today was mulch and cutting back flowers and weed pulling day. I CAN'T MOVE! Unfortunately, I have to cook supper, but I wish I didn't! A little popcorn would do fine.

As most of you know, after my accident I had much dizziness. I had prayed about the healing of this most aggravating problem, but thinking back to what the Dr had told me, it was not uncommon that it may never be completely over. One day at church, a friend who works with these types of problems told bethanne that she thought she might be able to help me. Come to find out after testing I have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo - BPPV for short. The most common cause of BPPV in people under 50 is head injury (like bicycle wreck, hit the grill with your head injury). After my friend had me do some physical maneuvers and determined that I did indeed have BPPV, she had me do some exercises. She told me a few things to do for the next 48 hours and I did everything I could to follow her instructions - not look up, sleep on two pillows or in a recliner, try to keep my head vertical and try to do no exercise that requires head movement. IT WORKED at least for now. I have had no dizziness for the past week. That is not to say that it won't come back, but for now I'm encouraged. When I hit my head, it sent debris into my ear canal - thus the vertigo. God is sooooooooo good. I have known this friend for several years, but God knew that she would be able to help me with my dizziness before the beginning of time. Wow!

Next time I post maybe I'll have more interesting info. Mean time, I'm going to limp on in the kitchen and put supper on the table.

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's Time...............

Herman & June Henson at Herman's Retirement Party On September 10. 2008.

I know! It's time I settled down and blogged a little. Last week I had a good excuse - working at the park. This week - no excuse except that catching up is hard to get done! We did not come home from the campground until Monday afternoon. It is very relaxing to sleep late after getting up early for seven days and sitting in your pj's and drink coffee. Last week was the most peaceful week we have spent this summer so far. The days were warm and the nights crisp. We had to run our heater almost every night (in the high 40's) b1ut it warmed up to the mid 70's during the day. Fall is definately in the air! My time of year!

On Wednesday of this week we went back to the park for a retirement lunch for Herman Henson. Hermon retired after 26 years of faithful service to the State of Tennessee. His main job was to collect the garbage in each campsite, at the picnic shelters, at the conference center, at the office, and anywhere along the way. Over the past four years working in the campground office, I have learned alot about dedication and responsibility from Hermon. I also learned that a conversation between friends did not necessarily have to be said with alot of words or any words at all. Herman does not get in a hurry nor does he waste words. In fact, Herman is a man of few words, but when he does talk, what he says means something. One morning when he came by the office, I told him good morning and asked him how he was. Maybe, two minutes passed and he told me he was just tickled to death to be here. Then two more minutes passed and he told me that when he stepped out on his porch that morning, he looked up in the sky and it looked like a morning that the Lord might come back and that he was ready! He finished that statement with a big smile. Herman witnessed that morning to me and anyone else that was standing or sitting on the office porch. I've had many conversations with Herman like that. Short and sweet - very sweet. Any time we can testify for the Lord it is sweet and the Lord honors that. I believe that Herman honored the Lord every day in his work and because of his dedication, the Lord has honored Herman. Never have I seen Herman that he did not take pride in his job. He never broke the speed limit, never missed a trash can, never failed to tie a knot in the trash bag, never failed to fit the lid on the can securely, and always took pride in what he did - to the point of cleaning up trash when people missed the can or the racoons had gotten in the cans at night. Herman does not have a Phd, is not wealthy, does not drive a BMW, doesn't know how to blog and probably is not known outside of Roan Mountain, Tennessee, but he is a man of honor and conviction and most importantly he knows the Lord and is waiting for His return. I am going to miss Herman. One day last week he came back and sat on the porch with me. He didn't say much and neither did I. We just hung out and rocked awhile. He didn't stay long - but long enough to let me know that old habits are hard to break and coming to the park was a part of his life for 26 years.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just A Short Post

It's late and I really need to get to bed to get up early for church tomorrow, but wanted to do a short post since I won't be back for a few days. Next week is our week at the campground and, as usual, I look forward to working and seeing the people at the park that have become my "other family". I honestly do not believe there are any sweeter and more caring people than those who live and work at the park in Roan Mountain. We start working on Monday, Labor Day, and by then all the holiday excitement will be over. The campers will be leaving out having had the last fling of the summer. From that time on it will be what I call "leaf peepers" mostly from Florida who come to see the beautiful fall colors in these Tennessee mountains. Maybe this year the color will be exceptional.

Hope your week is good and please pray for us to honor the Lord in all that we do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just Because I Indulged, I'm Tagged.........

Somehow it doesn't seem fair that just because I read bethanne's blog, I'm tagged. Oh well, since I got great enjoyment out of reading her 7, or rather 8, strange characteristics I guess I can give it a try. Probably some of these strange characteristics have to do with her childhood and are a direct result of her Mother (aren't all our quirky habits because of our Mothers?). As I have written before, meme's and such are still strange things in their self since I am not a veteran blogger (I know, I have had them explained to me several times!). So here goes:

1. I do not like my food to touch on my plate. Things that have juice running out of them, like corn and beans, must not run together or I have to start all over again with a new plate. I have been known to sop-up (that's southern for wipe) the juice with a paper towel before everything runs together. It's probably an "only child" thing.

2. I do not like to have dirty clothes in the hamper. I am obsessed with seeing the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper. I have been known to take the clothes out of the hamper and put them into the washing machine until I can wash them so that I feel better and can see the bottom.

3. I can not tolerate small pieces of soap - I always want a new bar. Seeing how soap (Dove) is expensive, I do wait until I have used it down until I can't read Dove anymore, but nothing makes me any madder than for the bar to break up on my wash rag into little pieces. Unlike my Mother who used to save all the little pieces of soap and heat them so they made one big bar, I throw the pieces away. Sorry, Mother.

4. Another obsession - clean. I love clean - clean floors (no dust bunnies), clean windows, clean sinks (no spots), clean tubs. What is strange about that you ask? I love to be the one who does the cleaning. I will admit that I am not as bad as I used to be but I like nothing better than scrubbing and dusting. Now, those of you who do not share my enjoyment (or obsession) of cleaning let me tell you that it is great therapy. You have no idea how many problems that I have worked out, how many people I have told off, and how many great vacations in my mind I have taken while scouring the tub!

5. I twist my hair - there I've said it. Since before I can remember (according to my Mother) I have twisted my hair. In all these 60 some years why it hasn't fallen out, I do not know. It is one of the most soothing and relaxing habits one can have. If I am tired, I find myself twisting. If I am thoughtful, I find myself twisting. If I am nervous, I find myself twisting. The only time I do not twist my hair when needed is if I have taken the time to style it.

6. I am afraid of midgets! Hubby says that I am prejudiced - not so. I just have had nightmares of midgets all my life. Who knew? If I see one on TV, I ask him to please change channels so I don't have to see them. He usually obliges, but he likes to torment me before he does. Let me make myself perfectly clear, I in no way am speaking badly of midgets. It's something that I can't explain - probably out of my childhood (that and Motherhood are always to blame).

7. I only like red Popsicles. Can't stand yellow (banana), orange, but will tolerate grape. Also, do not give me any of those strange flavors like watermelon, blueberry or the like. I only want the cherry red ones and nothing can change my mind! My heart falls when I go to the fridge and find no red. Everyone in this house (that includes Bodie and Chessy) knows Mommy gets the cherry pops! That's just the way it is.

Finally - thought I would never pick out which of all my strange characteristics I wanted to share with the world (well, maybe with the three of you that read my blog!). What's that old saying, "confession is good for the soul"? Can't say I feel any different - maybe a little more strange since I've seen how I really am in black and white. Hopefully, my blogging friends will think no less of me after this!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Behind in Posting

You would think that someone that is retired would have loads of time for posting on her blog. Not! It has been a week since I skated by with the pictures of Rn Mt and since that time we have been gone for a few days and I have no excuse for not posting on the days I have been home. Hubby and I went to Santeetlah Lake in Robbinsville, NC with his brother Tom and wife Chris. The days there were great, the fellowship was fun as always, and one of the best parts was a killer Rook game where my sister-in-law and I beat hubby and brother-in-law like a drum! Yes! I am already preparing for the payback that will come in time. There is one thing I have learned about my brother-in-law Tom, it may take awhile but there will be a payback.

The Lord has answered our prayers and it rained yesterday and all day today. Thank you Father for honoring our prayers. Our yard has been so dry and daily I have to fill the bird baths. Some of my flowers have simply dried up since we have not been home to water them. I am looking forward to fall since that is my favorite time of the year. I love to decorate my house inside and out with fall flowers, pumpkins and leaves. The cool mornings and nights and the changing colors of the trees remind me how fortunate we are to live in an area that enjoys all the seasons.

For the first time ever we had a sitter with our dogs while we were gone to the Lake. Granddaughter Anna stayed here and lovingly baby sat (and they are my babies) my boys. In fact, when I first got Bodie I would take him every day on my way to work for Anna to keep him and pick him up on my way home. Sometimes I thought he loved her better than me. Now he loves hubby better than me! Some day when I get them posed just right, I'll post a picture of them. They are so funny! They have their own personalities and their own little habits. Thankfully, Anna knows that and took very good care of them and our house. Thanks Anna. You did a great job!

There have been so many things that the Lord has been speaking to me about over the past couple of weeks. I started a new bible study at church last Wednesday (led by bethanne, in the flesh) written by Beth Moore. It has taken me all over the bible and reacquainted me with many scriptures - many that I needed to be reacquainted with! For some reason (that reason being the Holy Spirit) I am seeing some of these scriptures in a different light. I have spent this day catching up on the first week of the study. I really needed some quiet, alone time with the Lord - just soaking up what He wanted to say to me. It was good - God is good!

I have been thinking alot lately about all the trials that are being faced by God's people that I know and know of. Each day I receive emails that ask me to pray for the problems that others are facing. Some of the problems are satan centered. In bible study today, Beth Moore made a statement about the Holy Spirit that really spoke to me. "If He had energy enough to speak the worlds into being according to the Father's will and the Son's Word, he has the energy to carry you through your burden. You've got the Father's will and the Son's Word on it. When we walk in the Spirit, it is he who carries the weights." Thank you Beth Moore for reminding me of that! Christians have that assurance, and when we are privileged enough to be asked to pray for the problems others are having, what a great word to give them.

Enough................More "stuff" another day!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Roan Mountain Pictures

For the first time ever, I am trying to post pictures that I have taken. What a task! With a little help from bethanne and some from hubby, maybe I'll be able to show my blogger friends where we spend one week out of each month from May to November. Roan Mountain was a favorite place of mine to visit even before we became campground hosts and still is.

Campground Office & Check-in Station

Home away from home

View down the mountain from our camper

Great picnic spot (also the site of the famous bicycle accident)

Maybe I had better stop while I'm ahead. I still have much to learn and learning will come by doing. Stay tuned for more camping pictures, family get togethers and various "stuff".

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two Weeks of Catching Up...............

It's hard to believe that two weeks have passed since I posted anything on this blog. On the 3rd of August we went for our monthly week at the mountain and I didn't come home until this past Wednesday. The week working was great - the weather was perfect - mid 80's with no humidity and in the high 40's at night. A few of the mornings we ran our little heater. The campground was full of wonderful people from all over the United States. Many were from more southern states than Tennessee and you can always tell who they are because they wear sweat shirts and long pants! A couple of the mornings, as I took my dogs out, I could see my breath. The next week we go will be the 1st of September and by then I'm sure we will be using the heater each night. I love fall camping!

Our hours in the office are from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (great hours that do not interfere with the gift the Lord has given me in retirement - morning sleep). Almost every morning, vehicles were waiting in line to get a camping spot. It is not that we did not have any available for them to get right then. It's that they like certain spots and they come prepared to wait for them. This week we had no disputes over choice spots - in fact, the line seemed to take care of itself which made our job easier.

As I do the chores that hosts are expected to do, I have no choice but to listen to the conversations on the porch. The office porch is equipped with rocking chairs, tables with checkers and checker boards (soon I will have pictures of where we work and of our campsite - HELP bethanne!). Most of the time it is idle chit-chat, but then sometimes it goes deeper than that. In the four years we have been hosting, I have found that many of the people that I meet have hurts and they want to talk. My office job is not hard (else I could not do it!), and I have found that many times it is more important that I listen and offer a sympathetic ear than busy myself with desk work.

Many people have come to me and asked me how I am recovering from my bicycle accident. What an opportunity to tell them about how the Lord was in control and how He watched out after me. I had no idea how many people from all over were praying for me to get better. People who were in the park the day it happened have come back and said they began praying the minute they heard the sirens and had no idea who it was that was hurt. Park staff who were working in the office that day and watched the Wings helicopter lift off taking me to the hospital told me they were praying that very moment for my healing. I am so happy to tell them that I felt their prayers and that He answered them. My accident has opened more doors for witnessing than I ever imagined possible. The Lord takes disastrous situations and turns them into glorious opportunities.

As we finished our week, I began to make my prayer list for the upcoming week. I thought about the security guard whose daughter has had surgery for a tumor behind her ear and how worried and fearful he is. As he shared his concern with me, it was so good to be able to say, "God is in control. Don't worry". I thought about the frequent camper couple who came again this past week - her hair a fourth of an inch long on her head and how grateful she was that the Lord had brought her through her cancer treatments and that she was able to come camping again, but not knowing about the future. "God is control. Don't worry". About the acting park superintendent who has many, many responsibilities resting on his shoulders but shared with us that in his life God was first, family second and the job was third. He still needs my prayers, but he's got it right! The friend who shared with me that her daughter-in-law wants a divorce from her son, and how hurt and worried she is, not only for her son but for her grandchildren. Again, God is in control - don't worry. Park staff, who are in fear of loosing their jobs because of economic cut-backs and they have no idea who it will be. "God is in control. Don't worry". On and on and on............................

The Lord has placed us at Roan Mountain State park for a reason - if only to help me see that God can use me to minister to others no matter what is happening in my own life. Today in my daily bible study I was reading Acts 28:1-10. Paul was stuck on the island of Malta as a prisoner, and even in the worst of circumstances he chose to contribute to the work and needs of his fellowmen. Roan Mt is not an island in the ocean. I am not a prisoner nor are my circumstances dire, but I can contribute to the needs of those around me by doing what I can and allowing Him to use my efforts to further His plan. God never puts us in the wrong place to serve Him.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Thinking the Past Few Days

I guess you could call this randomness or musings, but in a way my thoughts these past few days have been deeper than random and more serious that muse. As you that read my blog know, I have not posted in several days (I need to check bethanne's blog to see just how long!). I wish I could tell you that it's because I have been very, very busy, but that is not the truth. It seems that I have had too many thoughts about too many issues that I simply could not make myself sit down and put those thoughts in black and white. Today I have purposed in my heart to relate to my blogging buddies (if there are any left) some of these thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind and heart.

Why is it that people who have been hurt or done wrong and that claim to love the Lord and say that they are Christians, stay bitter and spiteful? Where in God's word does it tell us that we are NEVER, EVER going to have to face the stark realities of this sinful life? Why do hurting people strike out at those who hurt them? In my extended family this situation has arisen. It has been several years and instead of getting over it, the hurt one has publicly tried to ruin the career of the one they feel has hurt them. In this instance, time is not a healer. Because of this bitterness, innocent people are being hurt. Because of this spitefulness, a career may be lost and the real hard part of this to accept is that there have been many embellishments and lies told and at this point outsiders can not distinguish between fact and lies. My heart is heavy because all the parties here, hurtee and hurter, claim to be Christians and yet to those watching this play out in the press, they are no different than the rest of the world. Another thing that really bothers me is what my take on this is - I want to jump right in there and let the one hurt have it - tell them to get over it and get a life instead of living every minute of every waking day to get revenge. I want to tell them what I think of them -really think of them! And then I realize that my attitude is really no different from theirs - sinful - not Godly. So, I am back at square one. He tells me in His Word - Pray for them and finally and most importantly pray for myself - that my heart would not be hard but tender and compassionate and that through all this controversy that in the end God would somehow be glorified.

Weight - Big Problem. The Dr's office called this week to let me know that after my check-up last week that my cholesterol is 299 - way too much. The Dr wants me to reschedule an appointment for three months and get off the fifteen pounds that I have gained since my last check-up (that's the 15 lbs that Luann lost!). He let me know that only through diet (ugh) and exercise (ugh, ugh) could that happen. If I have gotten my cholesterol down in three months I will have to go on medication - not! I will not go on medication so I will have to get down to business. Weight depresses me. I know - we are to love ourselves for who we are not what we look like or what size we wear. Sorry. It's a woman thing and starting today I am back on weight watchers without the meetings. I covet your prayers. I can not do it without prayer and I thank you in advance - in fact, if you could set your alarm for the beginning of each hour and just say a sentence prayer that would work!

I am sick to death of politics! Obama, McCain, local elections, choice of a Veep and this is going to go on until November. As I have told you, hubby and moved to this county after we retired from a county where I grew up. I knew everyone that was running or at least knew someone who knew them. Here, I know absolutely no one. Now that means I will need to depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit to help me push the buttons.

I have been upset with myself because I have neglected my blog. My thinking has been that I need to really have a bunch of "stuff" to share -not! In reading other blogs, I have found some of the most meaningful and thoughtful are the short ones (sorry, bethanne, no offense). Some share a scripture that spoke to their heart, others share daily experiences, others prayer requests. Also, some of my favorite ones, take the time to have photos and I have put off getting that down pat. It is something that I promised myself I would do and have not. Hopefully, I will change that in the near future.

Let's see..................can I think of anything else - no, that would make this post a bunch of "stuff"!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's Been An Interesting 20 Days!

I feel like this has been the longest yet the shortest month I have ever spent! Many of you know that hubby's son and granddaughter have been here visiting from Japan. Wow! What a change in our lives! I did not realize how set in my ways I really am. Having a teenager in the house certainly showed us that we are out in "grandparent space" and didn't even know it. As small children grow, parents are eased into the teenage era. The Lord equips you by slowly easing you into the teen years. With periodic visits, you get the "just jump right on in" cold water shock! Hubby and I learned soon on in the visit that times have changed!

Even though I have teenage grandchildren, living 24/7 with a 17 year old is a different set of circumstances. I have become knowledgeable about text messaging, power drinks, hair straighteners, ipods, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pac Sun, baggy shorts, tank tops, BIG sunglasses, LITTLE sunglasses, no pocketbooks (pocketbooks are a sign of insecurity), flip flops, flip flops, flip flops, oh yes, did I mention test messaging? Did you know that teenagers thumbs are not only flexible but fast? They also know an entirely different language - one that has one letter words like r for are and u for you. Amazing!

In these twenty days I have again come to realize that time is passing very quickly. It seems like just a few days ago that the same issues that we dealt with as parents, our children are dealing with today in regard to our grandchildren. How any parent can deal with their children without the help of the Lord, I do not know. Over the past couple of weeks, we have had several family get togethers. I hope to be able to post some of the pictures we took (when bethanne gets back from her whirlwind vacation) so you can see what an absolutely wonderful family I have!

Last week, when the house became too crowded and noisy, I went to the camper at the mountain by myself to spend a couple of nights (actually, just one). I loved reading, studying and spending time with dogs, Bodie and Chessy. The campground does not really begin to fill up until the later part of the week. This was on a Tuesday, so we were by ourselves on our circle of the mountain. There is no TV reception and most of the time no cell phone coverage so when I say quiet, I mean quiet - a perfect time for me to be very still and listen. I am afraid with all the busyness going on here at the house, I have not been as faithful to read and study and listen - especially listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say to me. Not good. When I neglect my time alone with Him, I do not deal well with every day circumstances. A lesson learned a long time ago and how easily I forget!

My heart is sort-of sad today. My bethanne, her hubs, Lake and Kaden are on their way to Disney. I'm not sad because they are getting to go, but I am sad that they will be so far away. I know that they really need this time to get away from all the responsibilities of building their dream house, but I already miss them. I may not see them every single day, but I know I can if I want - now I want and can't! When my girls were small, I always felt good when they were tucked in their beds at night. If they were at a friends house or at their grandparents house for the night, it did not feel right that they were not in their beds close to me. Now, it does not seem right if they and their families are not at their own houses at night. With Anna and Zach off on mission trips, at night I would pray that the Lord would keep them safe and I pray that same prayer for bethanne and family these next ten days. Can't help it - wish it were time for them to come back!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lazy - That's Me!

Not really - but today I am totally alone in the house with the exception of baby dogs, Bodie and Chessie and I have found every excuse in the world not to do the chores I had promised to do. Hubby and son are on their way to visit my brother-in -law and will not be back until tomorrow. How great! I told myself that I would be able to get all the things that I have put off for a couple of weeks done today. Not! I have just loved being on the computer, sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee, walking in the yard, reading the book of James, talking with the Lord, closing my eyes and listening to the birds and squirrels, watching the hummingbirds, feeling the breeze, and just totally relaxing. Not very productive, but very fulfilling! There are times when I love to be alone, and yet I am never alone. When it is quiet, the Holy Spirit has many things to say to me and today it was through the book of James.

There were several truths in James that popped out at me this morning. They have been there for thousands of years, but only today spoke to me. The question "does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?" followed by "isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?" really got me to thinking. In other words - talk the talk and walk the walk. A great lesson for me! God expects me to be obedient. I can not say one thing and do another. My witness will be tarnished. I do not want that. God does not want anything to stain my witness. If I really love others as myself, then I will love the "rich" others just like the "poor" others and the "sweet" others as well as the "sour" others. It is so easy to love those who are kind to us, and just as easy to feel hard toward those are hateful to us. Lesson #1 for me this morning.

Do I want to be considered wise (Godly wisdom)? Mean-spirited wisdom is not wisdom. Saying you are wise is not wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourself sound wise isn't wisdom. The Message says that is devilish conniving. Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and characterized by getting along with others. Real wisdom is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. To be considered wise, I must live a holy life and get along with others. If not, my witness will be tarnished. I do not want that. Again, God does not want anything to stain my witness. Lesson #2 for me this morning.

Remember my post yesterday about people at the campground wanting their own way and that sometimes I am also guilty of that sin. Today, James expounded on that very subject. If all I want is to have my own way, I will end up an enemy of God and His way. Proverbs says that "God is a fiercely jealous lover". What he gives in love is far better that anything else I'll ever find. As James reminds me "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble. I very much desire humility. To be considered humble, I must die to self. If not, my witness will be tarnished. I do not want that. God does not want anything to stain my witness. Lesson #3 for me this morning.

One of the greatest statements that I read in James was "The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with". Wow! If I want my prayers to be powerful and effective then I must be living right with God. I very much want to be a powerful Prayer Warrior; therefore God and I must be of one accord. There must be nothing between us and my witness must be untarnished. I WANT THAT. God wants a stain-free witness. Lesson #4 for me this morning.

I really learned more than 4 lessons out of James, but thought maybe the others could be another post. How good to know that when we are troubled, or down-in-the-dumps, we have His Word to lift us up. We just have to be willing to read and absorb it.

Guess I've put off the chores as long as I can. Having spent time in His Word will definitely make housework a lot more pleasant!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's Been Awhile................

I can not believe that I have not blogged since July 3rd. Just to let the one or two who faithfully leave me comments, I am alive and well! It has been a busy two weeks. As I have said on more than one occasion, I am perfectly satisfied with my life being simple and, by most people's standards, boring. When I talk to my children and they tell me all the things they have done in one day, I am reminded of my former wife, Mother, and court clerk life. I miss the Mother part, but do not think I will ever want to go back into the work place full time. There may come a time when that is necessary, but I sure hope not.

The week of the 7th was our week to be campground host at Roan Mountain . It was a full week and a full campground most every night. We were again able to make some new friends and see some friends we had not seen since last year. My hubby and I have been camping at Roan Mountain since 1982. We started out with a six man tent when the children were small. What a job it was to pack everything up! We kept our camping "junk" in one place in the basement and then there was all the extras we had to take (water, etc) for six of us. It took me a week to assemble everything and then hubby would pack it in the truck and off we would go, bicycles and all. Wow! I look back now and see how much more energy I had then. The tent area is a beautiful place on the Doe River and hubby and I felt free to let the children ride their bikes and go the playground without worry, because the park is a safe enviroment - it was then and it is now. I hope that our children have good memories of those times that will stay with them forever.

One of the hardest jobs we face while working at the campground is early morning waiting line. This is the time that knowing the Lord Jesus really comes into use! People will line up when the gate opens (even before) to get THE camping spot that they want. The most sought after spots are on level ground when you first come into the campground and believe me, people will fight to get the one they like. Most people are willing to compromise, but there are a few who will stand firm (and I do mean firm). It is then that we are able to let them see that a soft answer turns away wrath. Kindness, a caring spirit, a smile, and most of all, love - the love that only comes from knowing Jesus. IT IS NOT EASY! Trust me! They say some very ugly things and they only want their way. They aren't interested in rules and procedures. They want their way and they want it now. I have to remember how like that I am at times. I want my way. I'm not interested in God's rules and procedures, and I'm not easy to deal with. It's at that point that the Holy Spirit's still small voice reminds me of God's everlasting patience with me and that He expects that same patience from me with others.

On the 8th, son Kenneth and grandaughter Courtney came home from Japan for a visit. It was so good to see them and Courtney has grown into a lovely young lady. It has been good to visit and spend time learning the Japanese culture. Lots of different ways and I mean different. I can not believe that he has been in the Navy 18 years. It seems that it was only yesterday that hubby, bethanne and I left him in Knoxville to go to basic training. He was so young (18), had never really been anywhere, and was about to embark on a life changing experience. I was scared for him, but by his own admission, it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

I have just learned that the daughter of one of my friends has drowned. She lived in the other end of the state and was found last night. This will be a devasting blow for my friend who has had many demons to fight in her life - divorce, alcoholism, poverty and also a questioning spirit. She has not been able to quit blaming God for the circumstances in her life. Her constant question to me has been "Why has God allowed these things to happen to me"? These past years I have tried to reassure her that God does not bring bad things purposely into our lives, but if we know Him, He will help us get through difficulties victoriously. She has never been able to grasp that thought. Please pray for her. She, I am afraid, will again ask why. Pray that through this tragedy she will come to know Him - really know Him and His peace and comfort.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Important Lesson Learned!

Today I learned a very valuable lesson - do not put off your quiet time. God will speak to you in spite of procrastination! I could not seem to get going this morning. Remember in one of my other posts I said that one of the greatest gifts that the Lord had given me was the ability to sleep late since I retired? Well, He has been dealing with me on that, but that is a whole other post. This post is dedicated to me and how satan (he doesn't deserve a capital S) is so sly and works so cleverly that even when good is done, he can twist that good into sin.

It was a little late when I got up (don't ask) and as usual I still took the time to drink my coffee on the porch and glance at the newspaper. Ordinarily, I have my quiet time then, but because I indulged in one of the greatest gifts the Lord had given me in retirement (remember), I thought I had better get to making beds and other VERY important things. Hubby went outside to weed eat and mow. Now, before I go any further, let me tell you about our " below us" neighbor. We live on a mountain and a couple built a house last year on the lot just below us. My hubby is a very friendly person - always the good neighbor - better than me. He likes to chat and do things for neighbors that need to be done. I have known him to mow yards for vacationing neighbors, feed dogs, take care of gardens, get mail - you know - all the things that good neighbors do to help other good neighbors. Our " below us" neighbor is a little different. When they were building their house, hubby kept an eye out for vandals and people who like to help themselves to others property. Any time we would see them we would wave and speak. In the beginning I thought they, especially the man of the house, just missed our wave, but then I noticed that I could be at the mailbox and he would pass and whoops - he missed my wave again! How 'bout that? Enough said. Back to today. Hubby is outside mowing. I'm inside doing all the VERY important that kept me from having my quiet time in the am. Time passes and I think I better check on hubby. I haven't heard him in awhile and I always worry that something bad may have happened. I step out on the porch and call his name and he is downstairs in the basement. I go down and tell him I was beginning to be worried, and then he tells me he has been fixing "below us" neighbors mailbox! I could hardly believe my ears. What in the world was he thinking. Neighbor who will not lower himself to even wave, much less speak. My hubby did not have time for that. He even had to drill new holes to make the mailbox flag work. We had plenty to do here at our house, and beside that, he was going to his brothers house to mow for him! What in the world could he have been thinking! I asked him if "below us" neighbor thanked him. And this part is what amazed me - he didn't talk to neighbor. Neighbor wasn't even home.

Now, time passes. Hubby is on his way to his brothers and I am doing my thing of running the vacuum. Even with all the noise, Still Small Voice is loud and clear - very clear. "Donna, you have taken a good deed and you have smeared it all up with satan (no capital s). Forget what neighbor does or how he acts. Hubby did the right thing. His heart was in the right place. You were selfish and wrong. It could have been different if you had spent time with Me this morning. You need to take lessons from the head of your house. His act of kindness was exactly what the golden rule is all about. Do unto others........... Remember. If neighbor never knows who fixed his mailbox, it's okay because I know. That's all that matters."

I must say, I am very proud of hubby. The Lord was right. His heart was in the right place and mine was definitely in the wrong place. You can rest assured that my quiet time will come first in the morning. That does not mean that I will make all the right decisions because my time with the Lord was first, but I have no doubt my outlook on the day will be better.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

This & That & Random Thoughts.............

It's been a week since I've been in the blog world (that info is straight from bethanne's blog list) and I really don't have any excuse except to say that I guess I have been a little "unbloggy". Sometimes I think that we get to the place where we just want to "be still and know" and that is kind of where I've been this past week.

Several things have crossed my mind that I want to talk about, fuss about, muse about and then I think "nobody wants to hear that". Since I have not titled this post yet, guess it could be "This and That and Random Thoughts".

I did get to go to church this past Sunday and it felt so good. When I don't go to church on Sundays my whole week feels "off". Our pastor preached on the rapture and I was again greatly encouraged. I truly look forward to that time.

On Monday, hubby and I went with his brother and sister to visit his Aunt who turns 91 today. I was amazed at the sharpness of her mind (sharper than mine). She is walking with the help of a cane, but looked and seemed well. I could not help but think that I will never make it to be 91. She lives very modestly and told me she still cooks for herself and her son. She also told me she was ready to die and looked forward to being with the Lord. As I talked with her, she delighted in telling me about her grandchildren and great children - where they lived and what they did for a living. She seemed so happy that we came and asked us to please come back. As we were coming back up the road, I thought what little effort that it had taken on our part to make the visit, but how much it seemed to please her that we came. Why had we waited so long? Why do we not take the time to fit into our "busy" lives those who would just like a short visit?

Yesterday, was a full day. Hubby and I went for him to get a haircut and then had lunch at a tearoom (yes, there were men there too). It was a pleasant change from our mundane pace and not only did we eat, but we got to browse in the gift shop (loved it!). No double cheeseburger for us - chicken salad on a bed of lettuce, tomato dill soup, fresh salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing, assorted fresh fruit and a slice of banana bread with creamery butter. Terrific! We could have had quiche but we decided not to go too far out! Then we were blessed to go to grandson Lake's tournament ballgame. His team did not win but there were trophies all around and they made a great showing of team effort and sportsmanship. Best part of all was that the parents also showed great sportsmanship! Then it was to Lake's favorite place to eat, Pizza Inn.
By the time the game was over, we were all starved and sufficiently stuffed ourselves making it difficult to exit the building. It was good to be with family and son-in-law's Mom and Dad too.
Needless to say, by the time I got home, I was exhausted and a early turn in was in order.

I guess I related these past few days so that I can put down in black and white that I am slowly returning to normal. My pace is picking up and life seems to be going on. Next week will be our first week to work at the campground since my accident. I am looking forward to being back. Also, on Tuesday of next week, hubby's son Kenneth and granddaughter Courtney will be coming home for a visit from Japan. We look forward to seeing them and spending time catching up with them. After this tour in Japan, Kenneth, Heather (his wife), and Courtney will be stationed in Hawaii. It's a little bitter-sweet. Once they go to Hawaii in December, Kenneth will immediately be deployed to Iraq for six months. Why can't things be simple? Too much to ask I guess.

If you have gotten to this point in this post, I guess you are pretty well bored. Sorry. Next time I'll try to be a little more exciting, or maybe I'll have some more pretty pictures! I guess this qualifies for a meme (someone please explain to me about that - I'm still just learning).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Day On The Mountain

Here are some pictures of the Rhododendron flowers on the mountain in Roan Mountain. Since this is my first try at pictures on my blog (with Bethanne's help), I hope they show up as beautiful as they really are. Yesterday was a great day to be on the mountain - 64 degrees - no humidity - and God's beauty all around. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Catchin' Up..........

The past few days have been busy, busy and more busy. After being put in the "slow down" mode for the previous two weeks, I have found that doing something or anything is very tiring. This past Friday, my husband and I went back to the scene of the accident and camped for a couple of nights. Saturday was the Rhododendron festival at the park and there were lots of people, food and crafts. I especially wanted to go to get a couple of Christmas gifts I can get no where else. Just walking a little and with the heat, it did not take long to get worn out. That night was grandson Lake's birthday party. We had cake, presents and much fun. It is always so good to be together as a family. Need I say by Saturday night I was ready for bed!

Today has been catch up on washing day and in between loads just resting. In the mail today I got two or three magazines and I thought that reading would be a relaxing thing to do. Sadly, the more I read the angrier I became. I started off with the TV guide. I saw a couple of articles on the front cover that I thought I might be interested in reading. I always like to read In Box which is made up of letters from readers. In last week's issue, a reader had written a letter shaming writers and producers of three shows this summer that are exploiting sex and promiscuity. These shows are at an early hour and the writer ends her letter by asking "What are we teaching our young people?". Then the reply to her letter came in this week's issue. On your remote you will find a button that says CHANNEL and has up and down arrows. Use it. In another article a few pages over there was an interview with one of the stars of one of these shows. His take on the show being "sexually indulgent" is that this is America, and we have the right to do what we want to do.

Having been enraged by TV guide, I decided that I would read my AARP magazine that had also come today. Surely I would be safe in anything I would read in this old retired persons magazine. Wrong! After reading about sunscreen, exercise (they didn't mention bike riding),
health care costs, wounded vets, and antiques I came upon an interview with Martin Sheen. Now Martin Sheen has never really been one of my favorite actors (couldn't stand Apocalypse Now), but I thought I would see what he had to say as a recovering alcoholic. Anyone that has gone through the Alcoholics Anonymous Program and is still involved with it must have good advice to give. Wrong! All I can hope is that no young people read AARP or that no lost people read what Martin Sheen thinks about God, religion and heaven. The interviewer asked him if he thinks he will see his brothers that have died in heaven on day. His reply was that he was not concerned about that. He believes that he will see them in this life. He does not think that we go to heaven. He thinks that we become heaven. The interviewer then asked what he meant by that. His answered by saying that we create heaven right here, right now. We project heaven and that he doesn't have to wait until he is dead. One of the most truthful statements that Sheen made was that he did not have a clue what God is - not who God is but what God is. Does that not tell you how far off track he is?

Now, how is that for meaningful reading. Made me want to go back to the campground where there is no mail, no phone and the most exciting thing that happens is a bike wreck every once in awhile! Seriously, my heart is saddened when I think that many people who have influence in this world do not have a clue as to who God is and find it fashionable to be "spiritually enlightened". It would be so easy to become discouraged and think that there is no hope, but because I know the Creator of this universe and because He lives within me, I am encouraged and I know there is hope for this lost and dieing world. I cannot reach the millions like some, but I can reach those I have contact with each day. I do not have the grand influence like the Oprahs or the Martin Sheens of this world, but I have the one on one influence of my every day world and can testify to what Jesus did and is still doing for me. I am so grateful that I know Him. I am so grateful that I am not still in the dark, grasping for answers and facing eternal doom. I am so grateful that I have a witness to give and I pray to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in giving that witness.

Just had to share what's on my heart today..................

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Am A "Kept" Woman

You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind,
But GOD kept me sane. (Isa. 26:3)

There were times when I thought I could go no longer,
But the LORD kept me moving. (Gen. 28:15)

At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong,
But the LORD kept my mouth shut. (Psa. 13)

Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough,
But GOD has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on, the car paid, the house paid
etc. (Matt. 6:25-34)

When I thought I would fall, HE kept me up.
When I thought I was weak, HE kept me strong! (1Pet. 5:7, Matt. 11:28-30)

I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear me!
I'm blessed to be "kept".

I'm "KEPT" by the Love and Grace of God!
Now how great is that!