The time was 1866 and the United States was recovering from the long and bloody Civil War between the North and the South. Surviving soldiers came home, some with missing limbs, and all with stories to tell. Henry Welles, a drugstore owner in Waterloo, New York, heard the stories and had an idea. He suggested that all the shops in town close for one day to honor the soldiers who were killed in the Civil War and were buried in the Waterloo cemetery. On the morning of May 5, the townspeople placed flowers, wreaths and crosses on the graves of the Northern soldiers in the cemetery. At about the same time, Retired Major General Jonathan A. Logan planned another ceremony, this time for the soldiers who survived the war. He led the veterans through town to the cemetery to decorate their comrades' graves with flags. It was not a happy celebration, but a memorial. The townspeople called it Decoration Day. Decoration Day, as it was first called, was enacted on May 5th, 1868. On May 30th, flowers were placed on the graves of union and confederate dead at Arlington National Cemetery. May was chosen because it is the time of years when flowers begin to bloom. More than 140 years late, the first flags have been placed on the graves of soldiers at the Alabama National Cemetery. The cemetery, Located in Montevallo, AL, is holding its first Memorial Day observance since burials began last summer. So far, 430 American Veterans are buried at the Cemetery. Cemetery Director, Quincy Whitehead, said there's room for plenty more. "When it's all said and done we will burry over 200 thousand veterans and or eligible family members. We have 479 acres and we're expecting burials for at least the next 50 plus years." My dad served in WWII and Frank in Vietnam. Today, I just want to take a moment to be thankful for all the men and women who serve and have lost their lives keeping our country free. Have a Safe Memorial Day. Tell a Veteran or Soldier Thanks! The song I have chosen today is by a group called Cowboy Crush. My group, Still Magnolias opened for them in Columbus. Enjoy the song....and it's ok to cry....I did....and do everytime I hear it.
Frank preached about Heaven yesterday and it was a great service. He gave us ten reasons we should want to go to heaven and I believe you me...I am so there. After Church we went to the cemetary and met the Baptist Church there and had a sweet Memorial Day Remembrance.
1. A New Body - 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. I will be pain free and perfect. There will be no flaws in me. How cool is that and who would want to give that up. My Uncle Wilson lost his leg when I was younger....I can just see him now...dancing a jig with two perfectly good limbs and it makes me smile.
2. A New Home - John 14:1-3. Wow...a custom built home waiting for me. I will be having my own personal Extreme Home Makeover. As I sat there a song came passing through and I hummed it all day. You may know it ....it goes "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckoned me from heavens golden(not sure if that is the right word) and I can't feel at home in this world anymore. I think the fact that this is NOT my final home is pretty awesome too.
3. Great Food - Matthew 8:11. Audio Adrenalin do a song called My Father's House...and they discribe it with "It's a big, big house...with lots and lots of room, it's a big, big table...with lots and lots of food." I can imagine sitting with the saints gone before and eating....and discussing. Awesome.
4. I Will Meet People of the Bible - Matthew 8:11 - I can talk to Paul and Silas, Moses, Noah...and have I got some questions.
5. Seeing Our Loved Ones - That is what I am looking forward to the most. I Thessalonians 4:13-17
6. A Perfect World - Revelation 21 - No more strife, no more sorrow....sigh....perfect.
7. The No-Mores - 1 Corinthians 15:26 - see number six. "There will be peace in the valley for me..."
8. The Last Time We Fall - Phil. 2:10 - Believe me...I will be falling on my knees....and that is the only falling I will be doing.
9. Worship Service Continually - Rev. 5:11-14, 7: 9-12, 19: 1-8 -...Talk about ONE AWESOME PRAISE AND WORSHIP opportunity. I have been fortunate enough to attend two Billy Graham crusades in my life and let me tell you....that was one of the most awesome events I have ever witnessed (it even beats front row seats to see James Taylor - and that was pretty amazing in itself)...but to have the chance to worship with ALL Christians and it not matte what denomination they are...and the disciples...and Jesus....WHOA!
10. See God - Job 19:26, I John 3:2, John 14:3 - I don't know about you...but I can't wait. I hope you have a blessed Sunday. I know I have....and it is not even over.
We are moving the week of Father's Day, June 16th to be exact and so Frank and I got this bright idea that we would have a moving sale this weekend. Graduation weekend! Memorial Day weekend! Was I crazy? What on earth was I thinking. We even went so far as to hold the sale for TWO days....fortunately I worked at school yesterday so Frank was on his own. I am not sure if that was a good or bad thing. We sold a good bit yesterday....the sale was from 7 to 11. I left at 7:30 going to work. The first customer was knocking at 6:30. Griefus...can people not read ads and signs? 7:00 is NOT 6:30. This morning I was up at 5:00 and by seven there were three cars sitting in our yard and another 50.00 worth of merchandise being carried to their vehicles. Moving/Yard Sales are funny creatures. I went through the things I was packing with a fine tooth comb and the stuff I did not want to move...or could not move...or did not want to store was what went on the sale table. People came....and they started trying to go through my packed boxes...so Frank and I devised a plan where one of us took the front half of the house...and the other the back half. Someone even asked how much I wanted for my computer....WHAT? No computer = No blog....not going to happen. It is funny how some stuff....I let go of with no qualms....other things...I felt a twinge of sellers remorse over. How crazy is that. GET RID OF IT! Maybe there is a little of my mother in me yet....hopefully not the hoarder part. This morning, I went into my kitchen...and on a little shelf...where four pink wine glasses had once sat....gifts when I graduated from high school nearly 40 years ago...from Vienna....and given to me by my mom's old boss, Yetta Oakes (antique dealer in Palm Beach) anyways...where they sat...was a big gaping hole. I found my sweet Frank and asked him if he had moved them. He said with a big successful smile..."Nope! I sold them yesterday for 1.00 a piece." I nearly threw up. Those glasses nearly 40 years ago...were 25.00 a piece. You all would have been proud of me....I can let it go...I smiled and said...really? He replied with a fallen face...."Was I not supposed to sell them?" It took all I could not to say....NO! Doofus! But I did not. I enhaled deeply and said...nahhhhh...it was fine that you sold my four glasses valued at over 25.00 each for 1.00 each. I did get revenge a little later....point made...I sold his firefighter throw for a 1.00. We are even and I am over it. They were just glasses...and he is my sweetie. I will live! Happy Saturday...hope you all have a safe weekend!
Tonight at 8:00 the 2009-2010 year will just be a memory. Today and Tuesday we are at school sin students, working. Well....you can tell I am working...I am blogging....BUT...in my defense...all my grades are posted, my gradebook is run, the stuff in the floor is picked up. I have taped my computer chords to the desk, or wall...except for this one. Tonight at 8 p.m. I will help line the students up for the very last time and they will take their places at the center of the Sportsplex field, be given the piece of paper they have worked for.....well some of them.....turn their tassels and it will be over for them. Some of us will return again in the fall and start the same process with the next group....the seniors of 2010 - 2011. Every year this saddens me. I love these kids. They go out and start their lives at college....or work....or the military....and I face the next group. One year this will end for me too...and I will graduate to the ranks of the retired. It gets closer every year. I used to be really excited about it....now I find myself putting the brakes on....hoping to slow the time down. I can't imagine my life without them in it. This year has been a tough year for me. The year began in August and September brought the disappearance of my parents. I went freaky for a week and never quite got over it. My first semester group of kids were great and really helped me deal with all the crap that Hospice for my dad, the BOLO on my folks, and my dad's death brought into my life. I was grateful for Christmas break to be honest. I needed to take a breath and regroup. I would have an intern second semester so I was looking forward to spending some time writing. Did not happen! Intern was precious....but the second semester kids first block tried every nerve I had....and I could not leave her alone with them...they would have eaten her alive. My special aunt died in March, so once again I found myself in grieving mode. It is not a mode I like that is for sure. Second semester I went into survival mode and by the time my intern left at the end of April I knew I would just have to hold on until May. We were notified by the Conference at the end of April that we would be moving to Rock Mills...which was exciting and sad all rolled into one. We would be turning the Waverly congregation over to Blue (my Praise and Worship Leader at FUMC), and taking on a new church....complete with a parsonage....fully loaded. Frank was unemployed....but God has really taken care of us. We have had plenty to eat, the bills, paid...and even get to have a date every now and then. Packing has begun...and Frank has done most of it to date. I know he will be glad when I finally am home to help. Key word here...HE will be glad. I am dreading it. This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend...and I am working a wedding, we are having a moving sale...my world is in turmoil. The moving sale is this weekend...because next weekend is the big Methodist Conference and we will be in Birmingham Thursday - Saturday. I am looking forward to this....my plans are....while Frank is at his meeting...I am going to lounge by the motel pool, read, sleep, watch tv, and hit some of my favorite B'ham consignment shops. Sounds like a plan to me. The next weekend...we will sell anything that is not gone this week...and then we move on the 16th. I am so excited! I just wish I could tweak my nose and be there...and unpacked. Packing is nasty! I can't find anything....and so far Frank has had to locate and unpack four boxes for me. Poor baby! Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day.
I know you probably thought from the title that I was going to be posting about someone who smiles a lot, or has the whitest teeth...but...as you have learned with me...that is not always the case. My daughter Kat and I both love to take unusual pictures and we are both known for seeing humor, and of course songs, in all walks of our lives. When I first looked at this picture....my mind immediately went into music mode and I heard, "Smile, though your pot is broken." I know I am a sick puppy. I can't help it. I am probably one of the few people on this earth who actually bursts into song when something hits. I actually love to sing in the rain and would love to live in Musical world. If a song does not fit....I tweek it a bit so that it fits that moment. When Kat posted this picture on facebook I laughed out loud....right after I sang. This picture was a Kodak moment for sure and since today is our last day with students I think secretly....maybe on the inside....this is me...right now. I saw the face immediately....can you? I have nicknamed the plant Oscar and don't ask me why. Frank says it looks like a frog....it has to be the greenery.....Thanks Kat for sharing your photographic genius(you definitely got that from your mom) with me. Happy Thursday to all!
My friend over at 2nd Cup of Coffee has posted her Random Dozen questions for this week. My answers are kind of lame. I am exhausted. Today is one of two half days I have left in the school year. It has been a hard year for me and I am glad it is coming to a close. So with that said here are my sad offerings called Random Dozen questions and answers for this week: 1. Would you rather host party or simply attend a party? I like both....but I'd rather attend a party so I can get new ideas of themes, layouts, tablescapes. 2. Tell us about the most memorable party you've been to. When I was 17 I worked for the American Friends of the Hebrew University as a secretary. I attended a fundraising party and got to meet Madame Alexander (she makes exquisite dolls). On my 13th birthday...my mom invited 13 girls for a bowling party. I got 13 pair of baby doll pajamas. 3. What is one thing you hope for in the after-life? Hope is not the word I would use...planning for is my choice...and that would be eternal life. 4. What do you enjoy most about sunshine? The warmth 5. When you attend a bridal/baby shower, do you prefer to bring your own gift or chip in with others to buy a larger gift? I like to buy my own gift unless I am the hostess. Then we usually do chip in and buy a more grandeous gift. I love to buy gifts. I shop for Christmas gifts all year...searching for that perfect gift. 6. Would you rather have a FREE week of having your house cleaned or all of your meals cooked for you and your family? Oh definitely free week of having my house cleaned. I love to cook....when I don't have all the other responsibilities. 7. What song describes your mood today? Take it to the Limit by the Eagles. Today is the beginning day of final exams and I had parents calling me as late as 10:00 last night asking me questions about what their students should study....I wanted to shout...Hey! Read the class blog...it is all there. 8. What is something you received for your own bridal shower/wedding that you still own or use? (If you are not married, feel free to sub a gift you received a long time ago.) A cookbook where all the guests put in their favorite recipes. 9. Your favorite flavor of ice cream is? Lemon chiffon when I can find it. Butter pecan when I can't. 10. When was the last time you felt "tested?" It is a daily thing with me. Ever time I see my mom I feel tested. First period every day is pretty much a test too. I feel if I can make it through the period...or the visit....then I have passed the test.
11. "[Peaches]are a food that once I start eating I find really hard to stop."
12. "Success" is the best motivation.
Here is hoping that your Wednesday is a good one!
Please say a prayer today for the Davidson family. Jim, the father, was my boss up until this year...and on Sunday their only daughter, Whitney was killed in a single- car accident. She was only 24 years old. My heart grieves for the family right now. Whitney was so full of life. This has been a rather tragic beginning to a week. I think I will be glad when it is over. The dreaded pink slips were handed out at school yesterday....there was a lot of tears, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. I remember the pink slip days well. When I first went to work....the state was in proration (nasty word)...and I was pinked every year for the first three years I taught. I was always hired back....but the pinking itself is very traumatic. The band director at the Middle School, Crystal Parker, was also in a bad accident on Sunday. Her car left the road, flipped a few times, and ended upside down....submerged in water. A nurse and her husband happened to witness the whole thing...and the nurse got into the car and held Crystals head out of the water. How lucky is that? Crystal was airlifted to Columbus and has been in critical condition.....today we heard that she was aware. How great is our God! I found a great poem I just had to share with you today. Life is fragile....and we need to enjoy every moment.
I am on facebook and in the little profile box there is a tag that says relationship. Sometimes people mark married, married and to whom, single....but then there is the one I think is a bit funny....it's complicated. Well duh! All relationships are complicated. They involve two people with two different personalities, outlooks on life, and temperments. What a silly comment for relationships. I got up this morning at 3 and knew exactly what I was going to blog about today....saw it was only three....and laid back down and had one of the worse dreams I have ever had....and when I got up again at five...had a different blogging topic all together. I have a blogging buddy who is having some problems with an adopted daughter.....and it is breaking my heart for her. I never formally adopted a child....but. When ESD (ex-step-daughter....her title by choice) was 4 years old....AND had been without a mother since she was 15 months old.....I married her father. I was not even 21. WHAT WAS I THINKING! Someone who loved me should have sat me down and talked seriously to me....but they didn't....and to be honest....it would not have mattered. I was in LOVE! Now here I was...not quite 21...with a 4 year old little girl and a 5 year old little boy and a husband who thought it was ok for them to sleep with us every night. My honeymoon was over after the first night....when I became....Instant Parent. Not only was I a mom...but a SAHM to boot. I was 15 years old than this children in my charge...so we kind of grew up together. ESS and I bonded immediately....I guess it is true what they say about a boy and his mother. ESD and I.....ummm....not so much. Our relationship was a wee bit stormy from the start. Their dad when he left their mom....lived with his sister and her family. Sister of dad...had twin boys...no little girl....and so SHE bonded with ESD...not me! Somewhere along the way...I thought we had a relationship....I never called them step children....they were my children....and then I had a baby. I never saw any difference in them. I loved them each one of them and thought they loved me. When ESS graduated from high school....he wanted to invite his biological mom....It hurt me....but I told him...of course (deep in the back of my head I did not believe she would come....so this made me look really good). SHE CAME! It was the longest weekend ever. The oldest two married....In Karendom I thought life was great....I had three great kids....marriage on the rocks...but I had three great kids....when Kat graduated from high school I left. Kat was 18...ESS was 28 (and divorced), ESD was 27 (and also divorced.)....yet...my divorce ended my world as I knew it. ESS...lives in the same town I do....and I hear from him...maybe twice a year. He calls me mom....and was here when my father and aunt died this year....he loves me....he has a complicated life himself....I still feel loved by him. I know I am not married to his father any more....but I know I am Mom....ESD....not so much. She and her second husband own land here...near her father. She was NOT here when my dad or aunt died. She called me the day my dad died....and told me how sorry she was she could not be here for PeePaw's funeral....I wanted to tell her to not use that word when talking about my dad. She knew he was dying for a year...was here in this town....working on her land....twice a month....my father adored her...and she did not have time....but the piece di resistance...was when a friend of mine told me they had met...My Ex-Step Daughter. I had no clue who they were talking about. You don't divorce children.....or so I thought....but obviously...she divorced me. Last weekend...she actually came to Kat's college graduation and was SOOOO excited to see me....YEAH RIGHT. When she hugged me...I felt the dagger being pushed in a little dipper. But the crowd around us...would never have known. I kept a smile on my face...and converstation pleasant. There is a quote that adoptive parents use that goes...."you did not grow under my heart...you grew in it." I used to believe that quote. But....relationships are complicated....so maybe not so much anymore. No matter if they are natural, adopted, step, halves....whatever...kids can tear your heart out and stomp that sucker flat....but in the words of the infamous Scarlett...."tomorrow is another day!" And as parents...that is what we live for! Thanks for letting me vent...Happy Monday...I know it will be for me....it is my last one til fall! Whoooo hoooooooo!
Monday kicks off the last week of school. It is not a full week for the kids (they have two full days and two half days)....but Monday through Friday I have to get up at 5 and be at school by 7, make class final exams, grade them, pack away stuff so the janitors can clean my floors over the week....it is a busy week....but after 18 weeks of kids who thought summer vacay started on January 9th....my sentence will be over and I too will be free....just like they are. I sat here drawing a blank this morning....so I decided to wait until after church to post. I thought some profound comment would spark what I was going to blog about...and even after leaving the second church...I still came up empty. I was working on some photos and I found a great photo of when we were in the UK. Mary and I were exploring and found this great tunnel picture and had to take it. It really fits how I feel about this week. When I look at it I am reminded that there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel. So, enjoy my picture....think about lights at the end of your own tunnels....know that God is in control...and enjoy the musical listening from Mac Powell, Third Day, and "Tunnel." You might want to turn your volume down a bit...it is a loud song! Have a blessed and wonderful Sunday! P.S. Keep your fingers crossed that I survive this week.
Today was quite a day. I have been up since 5 and it is a Saturday. Our church is having a Pentecost Weekend and there were several service projects that were assigned to volunteers. I chose the Clothes Closet. Our job was to give away donated clothing. Sounds easy enough eh? Well...when we drove up at 7...it was going to be held outside. OUTSIDE! I had worn jeans and a 3/4 sleeve tee....by the time we got all the stuff out of the air-conditioned Arbor...I was soaked. I ran home and changed quickly and put on something a little cooler...since it was going to be a really sunshiny day. It was so much fun....we gave away clothes at our Yard Free (since it was not really a Yard Sale)...and the people were so fun to watch when we told them...the clothing was free...nada...nothing...take all you want...several tried to make donations....which we told to give to their church....our mission was to give away as much as we could...and we did a good job of it. Yes, it was sunny and hot...but wow...what a feeling. Speaking of sunny and hot....I got an award given to me today...by my sweet friend Mary. It is the Sunshine Award and it is really cute. Thanks Mary for thinking I deserved this award. It made my day even better than it was...and it started out really awesome.
Isn't it beautiful? Here's what's next:
1. Post the logo on your blog and/or within the post.
2. Pass it on to 12 other bloggers.
3. Add links to these 12 bloggers within your blog.
4. Let them know they are receiving the award.
5. Share the link of the person from whom you received the award.
My husband Frank and I live away from both of our daughters. Amy lives in Ft. Walton Beach, FL...which is about 5 hours from us and Kat lives in Montgomery...which right now is 1.5 hours away. When we move it will be more like 2.5. So many times we want to jump in our car and go see them....but work and other responsibilities keep us from doing that....and besides...they have a life seperate from ours. They are both grown women. It still does not make it any easier. Especially where Amy is concerned. Her husband Stephen is in the Air Force and has been in Iraq every year for a stint since they married in 2002. I know that hurts her...it hurts us. Frank and I feel her pain every time he is deployed. Our pain comes from knowing that our young adult daughter is now alone until he returns stateside. A daddy naturally goes into protective mode. Both of our daughters are survivors....and "Can do it themselves." When times like these arise...I long to be with whatever daughter is suffering at the time, but distance separates us. I need to know they are not alone, and that they are not thinking God is being unfair to them at this moment. My desires are not to be granted. Because of our work schedules(I teach and Frank preaches)....going to Amy's is often difficult. The last time we were there was at Christmas. It has been 5 months. Since Christmas...we have seen Kat four times...and she lives 1.5 hours away. We are all busy...and sometimes in the busyness....we miss something. First, our children - no matter what age - will experience life's tough stuff. Sometimes those circumstances are beyond our control, and there's nothing we can do. But when circumstances allow our input, often our first impulse is to pick our kids up or bail them out. Is that the best response? Of course not....but it is the most human one. I don't want either of the girls hurting, sad, angry....I want their lives rosy. That is because I am the mom figure...the emotional one. Now, I have to let you know that I am not Amy's biological mother....she has a Mom...I am her dad's wife...but from the moment I met her...we connected....and she is my friend....and I love her like a daughter...heck...she favors my daughter even. Frank, is not Kat's biological dad....she has a Dad...but he treats her just like he does Amy.....and eventhough I know I cannot protect either of them from trouble... I realize that my precious daughters would be better prepared for life if I could have taught them how to effectively deal with, rather than avoid, trouble and hurt...but in truth...I couldn't...because I did not have a manual...and it is something you have to learn for yourself....I have a few scars from my own lessons. Second, the hurtful experiences in our girls lives serve as catalysts for their spiritual growth. My walk with God was not a result of some great sermon I heard...or some wonderful book I read...it is because the troubled times I have felt...helped build character. The same is true for Amy and Kat. Scars build toughness. Third, we as the parents of these two remarkable girls have to embrace difficult experiences in their lives as catalysts for our own spiritual growth. But to be honest with you...as their mom, I'd rather grow by other means, thank you. I'm okay with my own pain, but please let it be their pain. Unfortunately, life's not like that. And sometimes....to be honest...life sucks. But I have learned a valuable lesson as a mom...and that is to believe that He would fulfill His promise to be their sufficiency and strength in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), and He would work out His perfect plan for their lives (Philippians 2:13). Yeppers, because distance makes it impossible sometimes for us to be with the girls, I pray daily for God to be their comforter and fortress, and to help them rest in His sovereignty over the circumstances (Psalm 62:5-8). Several times I heard His gentle whisper: "I love your girls too....obviously more than you can imagine.So Karen, he says, " Don't worry. Just trust Me. Let Go....and Let God!" God Bless You all today....and if you have kids...and they are close by...hug them tightly and say some crazy lady with a blog made you do it.
I read the greatest article online today and had to share it….and of course tweak it a bit. The original article was written by Dena Ross is the Entertainment Editor at Beliefnet. It is the life lessons learned from the Wizard of Oz. One of our senior mother’s used some of it on Sunday at the Senior Recognition service and I thought it was so profound that I asked her for a copy of her message and she said, “I just googled it”….so did I. “It's hard to believe, but "The Wizard of Oz," one of the most beloved movies of all time, celebrates its 70th birthday this year. Not only has the classic story of Dorothy and her funny friends entertained generations of moviegoers, it has also taught us some unforgettable lessons about life. Here are 10 life lessons you can learn from "The Wizard of Oz ."
1. Accept Your Friends for who they are: A true friend will help you on your life's journey and get you through all the problems—big and small—that may arise. So accept your friends, quirks and all, and recognize when they need a little help too. Because you never know when you'll need them around to rescue you from some flying monkeys. I don't know about you, but when I was a child the monkey's gave me nightmares. I was terrified of those rascally flying creatures. The Wicked Witch was another hangup I had...her green face was scary. Come on...admit it...she scared you too. 2. Follow Your Own Yellow Brick Road: Although Glinda the Good Witch directs Dorothy to the yellow brick road, explaining that it will lead her to the one person who can get her back home to Kansas, let's face it: Dorothy probably could have found the road on her own. It was right there in front of her. Discover your own path in life—what you want to be, where you want to go, how you want to live--and be sure to sing and skip throughout the journey.” Life is so much more fun with friends singing and skipping….don’t you think? 3. Don't Hide Your True Self Behind a Screen: “One of the most memorable scenes in the film is when we discover the Wizard is just a man. He has no magical powers. He doesn't even have a booming voice. The lesson? Don't try to be something you're not, because the people who matter in this life will love you no matter what.” 4. There's No Place Like Home (Wherever Home Is): Although it should go without saying, home means more than just your house or apartment. It's wherever the people you love—and who love you—are found. You can have many different "homes," and even if you haven't visited in a while, you can always go back.” You just have to click your heals together and say, “There’s No Place Like Home.” 5. Look Within for Your Power: We all remember the scene where Dorothy misses her balloon flight home, starts to cry, and is subsequently notified by Glinda that with those fancy red shiny slippers , she had the power to return home the whole time; she just needed to discover it for herself. When in doubt, look within for the answer. You're more powerful than you think. 6. Allow Yourself to Dream: It is ok to dream actually. Whether you want a better home, a more exciting job, budding singing career, or an extreme makeover, allow yourself to take a moment from your busy life to look over the rainbow and visualize future possibilities. This could really inspire you to start turning the dream into reality. That quaint little book store with coffees, couches and books looks pretty good after a long day in the classroom….so does a travel agent, Ireland, a house in the hills of Tennessee, a condo at the beach…dreams DO sometimes come true. I had always wanted to sing on the stage of the River Center in Columbus, GA…..and got to. We opened for Cowboy Crush and it was awesome….we had our own dressing room….and food brought just for us. I also wanted to open for someone really famous…and VOILA…last year on my birthday we opened at the Columbus Civic Center for George Jones…yep…the Ole ‘Possum himself. He is a Country Music Hall of Famer and legend…and yep…I opened for him….so dream…and make it big ones. 7. Running Away Is Never the Answer : I am notorious for running. That is what I do best. When I broke up with who I thought was the love of my life…I ran. I came to live in Alabama….to take care of my grandmother…when I had enough in my first marriage (of course it took nearly 25 years to get there)…I ran again. I will stick my head in the sand so quick your head will spin. I am non-confrontational…so when it gets to hot…I get out…..but I have learned in my 56 years that it really is NOT the answer. Even Dorothy had a choice to make when that mean Miss Gultch threatened to take Toto away after he snapped at her. But if Dorothy had not run away, she probably wouldn't have gotten caught up in that tornado mess. Confronting your problems and figuring out a solution (with a little help from your friends or family) will help you feel better about yourself and allow you to sleep at night. You won't even need a poppy field. 8. Don't Give Up Your Principles (or Your Ruby Slippers) : Dorothy knew giving her ruby slippers to the Wicked Witch would only lead to trouble. (The sparks that flew when the Witch tried to take them from her might have been an indication.) So when someone tries to make you do something you know in your heart isn't right, stand firm and stay true to yourself. I bought myself a red slipper pin as a reminder of this. Nobody can MAKE you do anything you don’t want to do. 9. Believe in Good and Good Things Will Happen: Have you ever wondered what would have happened had Dorothy chosen to follow the Wicked Witch instead of Glinda? Well duh…it certainly would not have been anything good.. Dorothy chose to follow the Good Witch and was helped along her journey. Being positive and believing in good will make it easier for good things to happen in your life. You could almost take this a step further and say…Believe in God…and good things will happen. 10. The Solution Might Be Right Under Your Nose : Isn't it usually? I mean come on....the answer to Dorothy's problem getting home was literally under her nose the entire time--on her feet to be precise. When you've racked your brain for a fix to your own problem (big or small) and still don't have a solution, try stepping away from it for a minute to clear your mind. Tackling your troubles with a clear head may help you find the simple answers that are right in front of you. Personally, I disagree here. The solution is right under your nose…but…when your up against a struggle that is more than you can handle…it is time for some knee action….pray....pray....and pray some more. Thank you Dena Ross for this commentary on life and the Wizard....and if I have learned anything in my many bible studies over the years...I have learned that you have got to Let Go and Let God. God Bless You all today really good….and remember…”There’s no place like home….there’s no place like home….there’s no place like home.”
It is Wednesday and that means my good friend, Linda, over at 2nd Cup of Coffee is hosting the Random Dozen. Today's questions all deal with the number ONE....and we all know that "One is the loneliest number that you ever knew. Two can be as....." You get the gist here. Anyways...these question are tough. So here goes my pitiful attempt at answering the ONE questions posed by Linda.
1. What is one really fast, know-by-heart "go-to" meal to fix in a pinch? Shepherds Pie. It is so simple. Hamburger meat, gravy, peas, shredded cheese, and instant potatoes cooked and thrown together in a pie crust....browned briefly....and VOILA!
2. What is one item you won't leave home without. (Purse and license do not count.) Camera...I keep it in my purse so I don't miss that special moment.
3. Where is one place you never tire of visiting? Tennessee - Nashville to Knoxville/Gatlinburg...love it all. 4. Share one factoid of your family's history. My great grandfather rode a horse into the Harris Co. Georgia Courthouse and shot the lights out. My family is weird like that, 5. Complete this sentence: "Once upon a time I ...." in a land far away, known as the haven for the retired lived a little girl who had the priviledge to sing for three sitting presidents; John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and LBJ. 6. If you could win a one year's supply of anything, what would it be? Lavender Fabuloso. Love that smell and I love to clean with that stuff. 7. "One quirky thing you may not know about me is ...." When I am very tired my right eye wanders....obviously wanders. I was diagnosed with a lazy eye when I was 7 and wore a pirates patch for a long time....it fixed the problem....except when I am tired. 8. You have one dollar in your pocket. What will you buy? Cup of coffee with some flavored creamer. 9. "One thing that always makes me laugh is ...." Tim Hawkins stand up comedy and my BIL Bill. If you closed your eyes when he is talking you would swear Jeff Foxworthy was standing there. 10. What is one thing you could do today to help yourself reach a personal goal? Lose weight....duh! On a more grandeous scale...I would love to manage a quaint book store...with sofas, coffee, and books....lots and lots of books. 11. What is one thing you could do today to bless someone else? Pray for them. 12. What is one thing you're looking forward to soon? Trip to Michigan/Ohio (Museum of Rock and Roll and of the Edmund Fitzgerald) with my daughter Kat and her friend Mandy. July 19th week...we are heading north. I can't wait.
All done and linked....so Happy Wednesday to all! God Bless You Real Good!
The year is winding down to an end and I had teaching on my mind....gee I wonder why. I thought I would post today some of my favorite teaching quotes. Some of them are profound, some funny, some sad...but they are all true!
I hope you found a nugget here. Have a Happy Tuesday! When today is over....there will only be one more Tuesday this year. PTL! I don't know if I could survive more than that.
Yesterday was Senior Recognition Sunday at our church. We have eight graduating from High School this year and they were all there....fresh scrubbed faces.....full of anticipation. They were announced, called up front and then we watched a precious video memoir of them. I cried....of course. For them....this chapter of their book is ending and a new chapter is beginning. I remember actually remember those days. I still have the bible....with my name on it....that my church gave me when I graduated. It is 38 years old and dog-earred as rip. The message yesterday was about that very thing. Bro Bill asked Kevin what he got from his church when he graduated....he said a bible....and when he was asked where it was....he commented that it was in a box somewhere....the same place it had been since the day he got it. He grew up in a small town and could not wait to leave.....he left for college the day after graduation and did not return home for a year and a half....he did NOT take his bible to college....it took him a while to find his way back....but he did....and I am glad. He is an awesome preacher/pastor. Kevin then returned the same questions at Bill and his response was to reach in his pocket and pull out a very much read book that he HAD taken to college with him. The gist of the message was....as they begin their new lives away from all of us....remember to take God with you. I loved it. So, here I am.....9 more days to go....the last two days are only half days and Friday is Senior Honor's day so the senior's will be dismissed after that....and most of the juniors will be absent....so it is usually a quiet day. My classes are mixed so I will have students all day. Several years ago a student told me he felt sorry for me....he described my job as stagnant. He went on to say that I don't ever go on....and they do. He is sort of right....but wrong too...I do go on....in them. Each student that has walked through my doors takes a part of me with them. That is how the pebble gets to the sea....it moves along with the running of the water. I am not stagnant. I bloom where I am planted. Happy Monday to all!
I have a new favorite Sunday song and what better day to share it with you than Sunday. I have been hearing this song for weeks and it just delights my spirit. Yesterday it came on when we were on our way to Kat's graduation and I decided to see who did it. I was so pleasantly surprised to find out that Amy Grant recorded this song. So, today....since it is Sunday....I am going to leave it with you and I hope you have a blessed and glorious Sunday!
As most of my readers know....my mom is in a Dementia Unit at a local nursing home and I visit her at least five days a week. There is one other person who gets regular visits from her child. The rest of the residents in my mom's unit see a family member maybe once a week. Somedays I have a good visit with my mom....we talk about what she has eaten, what she has done that day, who has visited her, and what is coming up. My mom was always a reader (that is where I got my love for reading)...she does not read much anymore. It breaks my heart to see her sit and stare. Even when I am there she just sits and stares. Bad days....she demands that I take her home....they all demand that at some point. Those days I leave the nursing home very tired. I have done a great deal of research since this journey began for me and my parents....one, because I wanted to know what I was dealing with...and when I found out my second reason was to know what the natural course of dementia is? I discovered that depending on the cause of dementia, the course may vary. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, the time between first obvious symptoms, through gradual loss of cognitive abilities, to death ranges from 7 to 10 years. Vascular dementia which usually results from the blockage of small blood vessels in the brain is a lot different. I don't know which one my mom suffers from. As the dementia progresses, my mom will need increasing care. I found a great story about a dementia patient...and it really hit home. "In the past, Harry had been a very competent driver. Recently, He has become lost several times while driving, and has had several accidents because he can’t keep track of traffic patterns. Despite this Harry becomes irate when his wife tells him he can’t drive. He demands to use his car, insisting that it is his right to drive it." My mom is Harry in real life. She got lost one day and called my dad crying because she could not remember how to get home. I knew something was wrong then....but how do you take your parent's keys away from them? My dad was easy....Dr. Powers held out his hand and made my dad give them up....my mom...not so easy. She is one independent cuss...(now you know where I get it.) The second story was about a woman named Kathy. Fortunately my mom did not do this....ohhhhh noooooo.....she left a pot of water for tea boiling on the stove.....for how long? Who knows....I ran home during my planning period...and something told me to go in the kitchen. I caught it just before it was a disaster. Anyways, back to Kathy...."After washing her hands, Kathy left the water running in the bathroom and flooded the house. Lately, she has stopped doing any cooking since she finds that she can’t remember how to cook favorite recipes that she has prepared for years. Last week the police called her daughter after Kathy became lost while walking to the neighborhood market." I was going to be this daughter. I felt it in my bones...and the night I called the police because my parents were missing was the worst night of my life. No one ever wants to make that call...believe me. The problems that are brought about by dementia are frustrating ...not only for the person with the problem....but it is frustrating and alarming to the family. The frustrations can lead to everyone involved becoming irritable. In my case they led to my mom becoming quite demanding, particularly because she doesn’t remember that she has a problem. She resent sbeing told that she can’t do things she has "always" done...and does not understand why I cannot take her home. It is sad...she is home. I would love to take my mom anywhere....and enjoy her company....hug her....talk with her about important matters.....sing with her....but the lady at the Dementia Unit.....is just someone housed in my mom's body. My mom is not there.....traces of her are....but not the her I have always known. I am currently seeking custody of my mom....because at times dementia can produce a degree of paranoia, which cause my mom to see me "taking over" her control. She refused to put my name on anything that she owned. Do you know how sad this is? I am going to have to sell everything my mom has....to keep her safe. Everything! She will be allowed by Medicare to have 2000.00 in the bank.....period. My aunt Shirley told her 10 years ago...to put my name on everything and get her name off.....but it was already too late. Funny side story here....when we cleaned my mom and dad's room....after my dad died....I found all kinds of things that were mine and Franks...hidden under the mattress...and in pizza boxes. Usually, someone with dementia thinks their caregivers are taking from them...in my case...it was the opposite...leave it to my mom! You have to find humor where you can! My mom has retained a considerable degree of social skills. She will laugh at a joke...usually it is because everyone else is laughing and not because she understands it. She carries on conversations, but answers with vague phrases.
People ask me often...."Is your mom getting better?" I want to scream, "NO!" There is not getting better from dementia.... the course is usually a relentless decline in functioning. "When dementia becomes severe, a person may require much help with personal care, such as toileting, bathing, dressing and feeding. Finally the person becomes totally dependent on his caregivers, loses the use of language and is largely unaware of his bodily functioning or his environment." I never dreamed in my whole life that I would experience something like this....but here I am....and I know there are probably others out there....going into this...or in it too....and I hope I can share something with you....that will make you smile....because if you don't laugh about some stuff...you won't survive having a family member with dementia. Have a great weekend....and love your family real good. God Bless!
I am all about the photos this week. My school year is winding down....and to be honest I am glad....this has been one of my toughest years in all 24 that I have taught. I told my boss last week that I hoped he would be around at least one more year....so he could see me in a different light. His first opinion of me has not been the best....he has experienced a Karen who had missing elderly parents, a father who was dying and then died, a favorite aunt who died, and numerous other bad things....I would like him to see me when I am running on all pistons....and not limping into the pit for a pitstop. Anyways....Melinda gave me this one just like the one from my post yesterday.. I have no idea where she captured this one...but talk about having an eye....she really has an EYE! I would have never seen this in a million years....yet, when she showed me the pictures...I saw the heart shining in the heavens. I felt like this was my personal heart...she took this picture around the time my precious Aunt Shirley died....and to me...this picture was my sign....letting me know that Aunt Shirley and my daddy....were A-OK...and I smiled. I keep this picture in my wallet...mine is kind of ragged right now....because when I feel that life is hard....I pull out this heart....and know that I am loved. Have a Blessed Friday! Tomorrow my sweet Kathryn graduates from Auburn Montgomery with her Ed.S and I am going to be the proud mother in the audience. I will make sure to get some pictures of the two of us and post them so you can all see how beautiful she is!(not that I am proud or anything.)
My sweet friend Melinda constantly has a camera in her hand. She is actually worse about it than I am, and I thought I was bad. I have several photos I want to share with you. They are not just your ordinary snaps...they are photos with a story....Just like the one on the left here...You see, a few weeks ago she was standing in the Arbor(where we both attend the Praise and Worship Service) parking lot when she looked up in the sky and found her guardian angel looking down on her. Wow! That is about the coolest story I had ever heard. I laughed and told her that when I was a child one of my favorite pastimes was laying in the grass in our yard and making things appear in the clouds. I have spent many happy hours doing this....even as an adult....but when I saw this picture...Melinda asked me, "What do you see?" I saw the angel immediately. How absolutely lovely. Is it not great how God gives us little signs daily that He is there for us. THIS was a true praise moment and it left me feeling warm and fuzzy. In the movie Pay it Forward the end song is one that always makes me cry.....heck..the whole movie rips me off the frame...but there is a song about Calling All Angels at the very end...and through the credits. It is rather haunting and done acapella with the most amazing harmonics. I thought I would share it with you today to go along with my angel photo. Have a blessed Thursday!
Today is Random Dozen day and the questions were hard for me this week. A few of them required deep concentration on events that took place a long time ago....but I managed. If you would love to see some more answers then check out 2nd Cup of Coffee and Life in a Small Town they always have great answers.
1. Please share one memory of your high school graduation. I really don’t remember a whole lot about that day. It was almost 40 years ago. Well, well, I found my Senior memory book in a box of stuff so I can tell you it was on Friday, June 2nd, 1972 at the Palm Beach Municipal Auditorium (lovingly known as the leaky teepee). The speaker was Harold Manor, the Palm Beach Junior College President. I marched beside Joe Lawson. I remember that Carol and I went to Harry’s after the fact. We drank apricot wine(the drinking age at the time was 18) and just goofed off til midnight. The picture is my senior one.
2. What is one "emergency use" item you keep in your vehicle at all times? I have a banner to put in my window that says HELP! I bought it from a safety inservice we had at school. I also have a blanket, a first aid kit, and water. After my parents were lost for 48 hours and found on a deserted road….I am prepared.
3. In your region, do you celebrate graduation open houses?Addendum: (If so,) how many open houses/bridal showers/weddings are on your upcoming events calendar? No, on the graduation open houses. Parents sometimes have parties for their seniors...but most of the kids go and hang out with friends. But now…it is summer and I have four weddings already to attend in June – August. I have six showers coming up. It is going to be a busy summer.
4. Tell me one truth you believe about motherhood. Mothers wear a lot of hats….and not all of them fit…but we wear them anyways. 5. What was the last thing you broke? I wish I had something very profound to say here…but I broke a glass at supper this evening when it slipped out of my hand. I also cut my hand picking up the shards from the floor. 6. On average, how many pieces of junk mail do you receive daily? I would venture to say four to five pieces a day. I used to mark them return to sender and hope they would leave me alone…but it doubled. Now I trash them…after shredding of course. 7. Do you like to shop by catalog? I do like to shop by catalog sometime. I also like to shop Etsy and Ebay. 8. Is lawn maintenance at your house a "his job," a "her job" or "his/her job" or "that's why we have teenagers" job? Up until recently it was hire someone to do it's job, because we did not have a working mower. But now we have a riding lawnmower, Frank is not working a second job, so he has become househusband and does the lawn. I piddle with plants. That is my extent of "yard work." 9. Which room would you like to redecorate in your home? All of them, except for the one my mom and dad used....Susan and I redecorated it after my dad died....but WAIT! I am moving...into a parsonage...so I can do what I want to...within reason. I am so excited! 10. Do you read a newspaper regularly, or do you read most of your news on line? LOL…this is a joke around here. Our little paper is 4 pages on a good day and only comes out Tuesday – Saturday. If anything happens on Sunday or Monday…oh well. I read it everyday and it takes all of 5 minutes to scan it. The last page is usually the sports, one page is for religion, one page is ads….it does not take me long at all. On Wednesday’s all the sale papers are included…so it takes me 6 minutes to see what the Pig or Winn-Dixie have for sale. 11. Do you believe everything happens for a reason? I most certainly do. I believe that there is a time for everything to occur and it happens for a reason. I also believe that I am not in control of this. God is the captain of my vessel. 12. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? I would rather do the right thing right.
I am feeling like a post-it note today...so thought I would share some of my favs with you. Want to make your own? Go here and have some fun. Want to read some more creations? Then...you need to go and visit my friend Jeannie's blog.
I am one really lucky woman. Although it took me two tries to get it right...I am married to the funniest(as you can tell by his picture), most marvelous man ever. I consider him my best friend. We talk about anything and everything. We love our children passionately. He makes me laugh....he makes me feel beautiful and safe. He is something else. Yesterday was his birthday and I felt bad that he had to share his special day with me on Mother's Day. Saturday we met with the Rock Mills congregation and when we left I told him I would take him out to dinner....so we stopped at the Galley in Roanoke....and enjoyed seafood while we still can. It was fun and a couple from Rock Mills joined us. Last night after Kat and Brian came and gave us our presents....we went to Winn-Dixie and got some steaks and fixings and while he grilled them(for Mother's Day), I did the rest of the fixings(for his birthday.) I also picked up a tiny cake and we shared it too....we also shared it with Beau, our miniature dachsund....yesterday was his birthday too. He loved his tiny wedge of cake. Birthdays are over...now it is time to pack, move, finish the school year...but today, Monday...I feel blessed with my life. I am blessed with an awesome husband, good friends, and children. I wrote a little poem for Frank a while back...thought I would share it with you in honor of his birthday. Happy Monday to ALL!
This would be my sermon for today if I were preaching somewhere....but I am not. It is a sermon on a Mother's Love. Today I have to think about my mom...and the mom I have been so far....and I have to say that mom's wear a lot of hats. Mothers are teachers. Mothers are disciplinarians. Mothers are cleaning ladies. Some mothers are gardeners & mowers of lawns. And most mothers understand that baking cookies is more important than washing windows. Mothers are nurses & doctors & psychologists & counselors & chauffeurs & coaches. Mothers are developers of personalities, molders of vocabularies, & shapers of attitudes. Mothers are soft voices saying, "I love you." And mothers are a link to God, a child’s first impression of God’s love. Mothers are all of these things & much, much more. One of my favorite columns by Erma Bombeck tells of God in the act of creating mothers. She says that on the day God created mothers He had already worked long overtime. And an angel said to Him, "Lord, you sure are spending a lot of time on this one." The Lord turned & said, "Have you read the specs on this model? She is supposed to be completely washable, but not plastic. She is to have 180 moving parts, all of them replaceable. She is to have a kiss that will heal everything from a broken leg to a broken heart. She is to have a lap that will disappear whenever she stands up. She is to be able to function on black coffee & leftovers. And she is supposed to have six pairs of hands." "Six pairs of hands," said the angel, "that’s impossible." "It’s not the six pairs of hands that bother me." said the Lord, "It’s the three pairs of eyes. She is supposed to have one pair that sees through closed doors so that whenever she says, `What are you kids doing in there?’ she already knows what they’re doing in there." "She has another pair in the back of her head to see all the things she is not supposed to see but must see. And then she has one pair right in front that can look at a child that just goofed & communicate love & understanding without saying a word." "That’s too much." said the angel, "You can’t put that much in one model. Why don’t you rest for a while & resume your creating tomorrow?" "No, I can’t," said the Lord. "I’m close to creating someone very much like myself. I’ve already come up with a model who can heal herself when she is sick - who can feed a family of six with one pound of hamburger - & who can persuade a nine year old to take a shower." Then the angel looked at the model of motherhood a little more closely & said, "She’s too soft." "Oh, but she is tough," said the Lord. "You’d be surprised at how much this mother can do." "Can she think?" asked the angel. "Not only can she think," said the Lord, "but she can reason & compromise & persuade." Then the angel reached over & touched her cheek. "This one has a leak," he said. "I told you that you couldn’t put that much in one model." "That’s not a leak," said the Lord. "That’s a tear." "What’s a tear for?" asked the angel. "Well it’s for joy, for sadness, for sorrow, for disappointment, for pride." "You’re a genius," said the angel. And the Lord said, "Oh, but I didn’t put it there." Maybe with this in mind we can better understand Mrs. Zebedee, the mother of James & John. Matthew 20:20-23 says: "Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons &, kneeling down, asked a favor of Him. `What is it you want?’ He asked. "She said, Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right & the other at your left in your kingdom.’ "`You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said to them. `Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’ `We can,’ they answered. "Jesus said to them, `You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.’" Mrs. Zebedee was aware of the teachings of Jesus about His kingdom. She was also very aware of the fact that her sons, James & John, were close to Him. They were two-thirds of the inner circle of Peter, James, & John. So she was certain that when the Lord formed His kingdom that they would have positions of responsibility & authority. But in the first part of this same chapter, Jesus tells a story that must have disturbed her. It was a story about a landowner who went out to find laborers early in the morning. They agreed upon a fair day’s wage & started working. Then at noon he went out & found some more, & they started working. Then towards evening he went out & found some more & they started working. Yet, when the Lord paid them off at the end of the day they all received the same wage. It must have caused Mrs. Zebedee to wonder, "Will my sons really have positions of authority in the Lord’s new kingdom?" So when the opportunity presented itself she came to the Lord. Matthew says that she bowed before Him & made this request, "When you establish your kingdom, I would request seats on your right & left hand for my two sons." We might very well criticize Mrs. Zebedee for her presumptuousness. But since today is Mother’s Day, maybe we ought to think for a few moments concerning some positive things about Mrs. Zebedee. We need also to recognize that when she came to Jesus, while Jesus did not grant her request, neither did he deny it. He simply reminded her of the cost of being seated on the right or left & then told her that it is the Father who determines who will be seated there. SHE PRAYED THAT HER SONS MIGHT BE A PART OF THE KINGDOM:
Now, what are some of the good things about Mrs. Zebedee? First of all, she came to the Lord, praying that her sons might be a part of His Kingdom. I can think of no more important task of motherhood than that - to seek to ensure that your children are a part of the Kingdom of God. I know that many mothers pray. Sometimes they pray out of necessity. Sometimes they pray because motherhood is not easy, but extremely difficult. James Dobson tells about a time he came home when his son, Ryan, was a small baby. It had been a terrible day for his wife. Ryan had been sick, & had cried all day long. Once, as she was changing his diapers, the telephone rang & Shirley reached over to answer it before fastening up his diapers. Just then Ryan had an attack of diarrhea.She cleaned up that mess & put him in clean, sweet-smelling clothes. Then she took him into the living room & fed him. As she was burping him he threw up all over himself, & her, & the couch, too. Dobson writes, "When I came home I could smell the aroma of motherhood everywhere." Shirley cried out to him, "I don’t remember all of this in my contract?" Sometimes mothers pray just out of the frustration of it all. And sometimes in the frustration of trying to teach our children we realize the difficulties of communication. I remember very clearly the time I gave my nine-year-old son, Eric, a very important responsibility. I told Eric to watch Kathryn, his baby sister, while I stepped out of the room. I had only been gone a few moments when he heard a thump, & then Kathryn started crying. I rushed back in to find that Kathryn had fallen from Eric’s shoulders and was stretched out on the floor with a bloody nose and busted lip. Meanwhile, Eric just stood there, looking so innocent…with nothing to say. I said, "Eric, I told you to watch her." Eric answered, "I did." He watched her fall & he watched her cry. He did exactly what he was told to do. Being a parent is not easy. Sometimes it is filled with joy & sometimes with sadness. Sometimes your children make you so proud you want to pop your buttons. At other times you can’t find enough handkerchiefs to dry your tears. What good is it if our children are successful in making money, & driving fine automobiles, & living in good neighborhoods, but they don’t know God? What does it matter if they gain the whole world, but lose their souls? Being a parent is not easy. It is difficult. But Mrs. Zebedee gives us a valuable example, for she prayed earnestly that her sons would be a part of His kingdom. We need that same concern for our children. I hope that in the heart of every mother & father here this morning there is a burden to go to the throne of God & to pray for your children - to pray that they will be saved, saved for eternal life. That is the place to begin. SHE PRAYED THAT HER SONS WOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE WORK OF HIS KINGDOM: Secondly, not only did Mrs. Zebedee pray that her children would be a part of His kingdom, but she prayed that they would be actively involved in the work of His kingdom. Maybe it is not enough just to be saved. Churches are full of people content just to fill a pew on Sunday mornings. There are plenty of people willing to sit back & receive the blessings, but seldom do they get involved in doing any of the real work of the church. But where does the spirit of service begin? It begins at home, with mothers & fathers setting the example & praying that their sons & daughters might be involved in the work of the kingdom - as teachers & leaders, discipling others - that they might be the ones to go out into the world & find the lost - to see that the church continues on until Jesus comes again. Mrs. Zebedee prayed that her children would be actively involved in the work of His kingdom. And we need to walk in her footsteps, too. SHE HAD SOME BIG EXPECTATIONS: Thirdly, Mrs. Zebedee had big expectations, & I like that. She didn’t just pray that her children would be doorkeepers. She wanted them on the right hand & left hand of Jesus. When you’re working in a kingdom, there are no higher positions than those on the right & left of the King himself, & that’s what she wanted for her sons. We may consider Mrs. Zebedee brash & presumptuous. But I admire her boldness. Too often we have settled for mediocrity in the church. For too long we have been content with just barely making it through the door. For too long we have been content to sit back & let things happen. It is time for some of us to take our positions on the right & left hand, to become leaders - molding & fashioning the outreach of the church - mobilizing to make sure the message of Christ goes into all the world. It is time to strive for excellence - to reach for the very best there is. The Lord calls us to be His disciples, & to be effective laborers in His kingdom. Do you remember? Erma Bombeck had God saying as He was creating a mother, "I am close to creating something very much like myself." Well, I suppose that is why today is very special - because we recognize that a mother’s love is probably the closest example we have to God’s love. It is a love that goes through the valley of the shadow of death to bring life into being. It is a love that sacrifices itself over & over again & would even dare to lay down its life for its own offspring. The story is told - out of WW 2 & the holocaust that took the lives of millions of people - of Solomon Rosenberg & his family. It is a true story. Solomon Rosenberg & his wife & their 2 sons & his mother & father were arrested & placed in a Nazi concentration camp. It was a labor camp, & the rules were simple. "As long as you can do your work, you are permitted to live. When you become too weak to do your work, then you are exterminated. Rosenberg watched his mother & father marched off to their deaths, & he knew that next would be his youngest son, David, because David had always been a frail child. Every evening Rosenberg came back into the barracks after his hours of labor & searched for the faces of his family. When he found them they would huddle together, embrace one another, & thank God for another day of life. One day Rosenberg came back & didn’t see those familiar faces. He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping, & praying. He said, "Josh, tell me it’s not true." Joshua turned & said, "It is true, poppa. Today David was not strong enough to do his work. So they came for him." "But where is your mother?" asked Mr. Rosenberg. "Oh poppa," he said, "When they came for David, he was afraid & he cried. Momma said, `There is nothing to be afraid of, David,’ & she took his hand & went with him." That is motherhood. Mothers, this is your day. May God bless you in it. And I pray that if there is someone here who has never experienced the love of God that is so close to the love of a mother, that this will be your time of decision. I pray that if you have felt that you have had to walk through that valley alone so many times, that you will recognize that there is a hand reaching out to you, saying, "There is nothing to be afraid of. I’ll go with you." And I pray that you will recognize that that one has already gone through the valley of the shadow for you, & made it possible for you to live forever. He extends His loving invitation in much the same way that a mother opens the doors of home & invites her children to come back again, He invites you, too. How cool is that?
P.S. and certainly not a post script, or something I left out....but today is also very important because it is my sweetheart, Frank's 14 anniversary of his 39 birthday. What a great gift his mother got on Mother's Day....my precious husband. Happy Birthday darling man....I hope we celebrate many more of your anniversaries. God Bless All the Mom's out there today....and my sweet man!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.