Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stuff I've Learned This Year


Is a fun way to catch up with people you never thought you'd be able to see again!
Is a pretty public forum
Can use up too much time if you're not careful!
Is a Godsend to kids who have friends all over the world.


Loyalty is an important quality here.
Need to be cultivated
Are precious
Can be fragile
Shape our character
Sometimes require tough decisions


Are in abundance! We just need to show ourselves friendly.
Come in all shapes and sizes.
Come from many different sources.
Keep us healthy.
Are fun to laugh with.
Are great listeners.


Can be hidden treasures. I love finding those.
Have strengths and talents in areas I can only imagine!
Can be reached. But not always.
Can have agendas. There's not much we can do about that.
May never hear you, and there's nothing we can do about that, either.
May need drama to feel alive. We can choose not to participate.
Mostly are better individually than in groups. But not always.


Is fragile
Needs responsible people minus agendas
Needs to be cultivated
Needs participation
Needs deliberation
Needs tough choices
Needs prayer


Diet Dr. Pepper is one of the best things on the planet. Nay sayers....hush!
I miss food from just about every place we've lived. There's always a favorite something.
Creamy Nutmeg fragrance spray by White Barn Candle Co. is wonderful.
I've missed magazines. They're great. I think Southern Living is my favorite.
Teaching is one of the best decisions I ever made.
T is another, as long as he doesn't comment about facebook ;)
Texas wildflowers are some of the prettiest on the planet
Texas thunderstorms are some of the most entertaining.
Blogging is therapeutic.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I'm not sure what it is about thunderstorms that makes me feel so good. I've always loved rainy days for one. When I was young and in elementary school, it meant a break from the usual routine. We got to stay inside at recess and play board games or head's up 7-Up. It was dark and gloomy outside, but inside was fun and safe.

But thunderstorms are a little bit more risky, and I love them even more. Every Summer, during our days in California, we would drive from Southern California to East Texas. It was a long trip, and the drive across Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas was particularly endless, especially on I10. But one of the things that I loved was watching the thunderstorms roll in. I would lay in the back window (something you can't do today!) and watch they sky. It was like having my own fireworks show: lightening would shoot across the sky, or hit the ground in the far off distance. It was amazingly beautiful

High school days brought about our house in Liberty Hill with the tin roof, and the big wrap around front porch. Thunderstorms meant sitting in the porch swing on the front porch watching the lightening and counting the seconds until we heard the thunder, or taking a nap upstairs and listening to the rain tapping on the tin roof.

Looks like it might rain today. Maybe I'll get my Texas thunderstorm today.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hidden Treasures

I've never been comfortable with the spotlight. And I've never been comfortable around people who seek the spotlight. I'm one who is content to work on the fringes and in the background, and being around someone in the spotlight means a risk of that light shining on me. Plus, there are those who crave the spotlight for selfish gain, and I've known a few. Call me untrusting, but my default mode of operation when dealing with someone like that is to watch for selfish motives.

But in the case of Paul Potts, George Sampson and Susan Boyle, there's a difference. It seems these ordinary, unassuming folks who do things like manage cell phone stores, go to jr. high school, or take care of their mom and sing at local karaoke bars for fun, don't seek the spotlight. True, they tried out for Britain's Got Talent, a national talent search shown in England, but in each case, you hear of the urging of family and co-workers, who know of their talents and want to let the world see what they see. They each also took solace in their talents. It helped them through hard times. Paul Potts was bullied at school, but would sing to get through the pain of it all. George Sampson loved dancing, even though none of his friends did. A very scary thing for an adolescent. And Susan Boyle didn't even attempt to sing in such a forum until after she had taken care of her sick mother after so many years. In each case, going on the talent show was actually an act of courage!

It so reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite children's books, Hind's Feet in High Places:
"Nothing My Father and I have made is ever wasted," He said quietly, "and the wild flowers have a wonderful lesson to teach. Many people live a quiet, ordinary life. Hardly anyone even knows about them, but inside their hearts it is like a delightful garden where the King Himself walks and rejoices. Some of My servants have won great respect from other people and are famous, but always their greatest victories are like the wild flowers, those which no one knows about. Learn this lesson now, down here in the Valley, Much-Afraid, and when you get to the steep places of the mountains it will comfort you." - The Shepherd, Hind's Feet on High Places

I think these three have learned this lesson in their valleys, and now they're on the mountain tops. I believe it comforts us all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"I'm Sorry I Ever Met You"

I just pulled in to our driveway from picking up my son from school, when I noticed a young man walking down the street by our house. When I walked around the car, we made eye contact and I said hello to him. He said hello, and seemed friendly enough, then he stopped and asked if I had a cell phone he could borrow to call a friend. That's when I noticed his hand. It was swollen, and cut very badly. I told my son to go get the first aid kit, and searched for my phone. I asked him if he was OK. He said he had spoken with the pharmacist (we live just down from a Walgreens) and they said he probably broke his pinky, and that he needed stitches. I asked him if it hurt, and he said his feelings were hurt much worse. Seems his girlfriend kicked him out of their house, and her parting words were that she was sorry she had ever met him.

I could see in his eyes that he was hurt emotionally. He was working hard to keep from crying, and as he made arrangements to be picked up, he kept his emotions in check. I went through the first aid kit, told him no one should ever hear those words, and let him know I would pray for him. His ride came and he waved a grateful wave.

My brother has been preaching a series on holding our words in check, emphasizing how we are stewards of our words. I believe that whole heartedly. Words can and do cut more deeply and cause more damage than sticks and stones. But to hear a statement like "I'm sorry I ever met you" is devastating. See, we all have people who impact our lives, good and bad. Even the bad ones teach us things about ourselves, make us step up and stand up for ourselves and our loved ones, and force us to grow in areas we might not have grown. But what this young man had to hear was that his girlfriend wished their paths had never crossed, that she wished she never even knew him, and the pain he had to bear was far worse than his broken hand. He talked about her, not his hand.

Words cannot be undone, and they reveal the true thought and character of those speaking them. What is said after the fact does little to diminish the pain and revelations caused by them. But maybe the pain and hurt of hearing such things is what makes us willing to hear and help those in similar circumstances. It just may be the redeeming factor of such heartless actions from heartless people.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


As Christians, Easter holds a significant place in what we believe, and is even more important than Christmas, in my opinion. Not only did Christ come to earth and dwell among us, feeling all of the same feelings we feel, and tempted the same way we are, yet without sin, he also died and rose again on the third day. This is THE cause for celebration for Christianity as a whole.

I love that I was able to celebrate this holiday with family and extended family. I'm extremely blessed that most of my family is of the same belief. It makes these holidays, and celebrating them together, memorable. These are memories that bind us as family members, and I enjoy every minute of it.

Today, as we gathered after church, and prayed together, ate together and played together, I was reminded how blessed I am.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Forging Friendships

(No, I don't mean forging as in counterfeit. I mean forging as in strengthened by fire.)

I was thinking of the phrase “forging new friendships” the other day, and I was letting it role around in my head, thinking of the different ways my friendships have been “forged.” When I think of that word, I think of iron being put into fire, and my next thought was, “What a crazy way to speak of new friendships.” But then I started to catalog my friendships over the years, especially the ones that have stood the test of time, and I realized that it’s true. There are many moments within the life of a friendship that work to bond people together. I guess the forging fire works to either purify a friendship or burn it up.

The forging fires are the bonding moments that we as friends go through. Sometimes they are uncomfortable situations from the outside in. Other times they are from within the friendship itself, but whatever the case, the friendship endures.

I, like everyone else, have had friendships that did not stand that test, and I've wondered over the past few years what the difference is between those that stand the test of fire and those that do not. I'm sure it's different reasons for different people, but at the bottom of it all I think there has to be a mutual caring and respect that transcends the outer and inner turmoil. For the friendships that have lasted, I noted that there was never any posturing or competition. It was about loving and enjoying each other for who we were and where we were at in our lives. To this day, we all can see each other after being years apart, and feel like we were never apart. I don't think posturing allows for that, nor does it have any place in a friendship.

Either way, it just goes to prove that good, solid, meaningful friendships are rare, but when they occur, they last a lifetime. Even distance can't break the bonds. So, my friends, I just want you to know that I'm thankful for you!