Thursday, June 21, 2007
In the past, I've had others to asked me to give them outline copies of the lesson idea, so when I found it in my 'pack-rat' cleaning excursion....I thought possibly someone reading the blog might like the idea and build up on it and add YOUR own even better words, to help others see our REAL DAD.
"ABBA, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER..."
Earthly DADDY'S often don't even realize it but THEY are actually so much Like our Heavenly Father...God... Abba (His name--explain).
There are FOUR different ways or things that Daddy's down here on earth have in common with OUR Father God in Heaven.
#1....Daddy's LOVE to hear their kids say, 'I LOVE YOU, DADDY'.
All Daddys love it when their kids come up to them....CRAWL up into their laps...and slowly/shyly say "Daddy, I love You."
Yes, Daddy ALREADY knows...(and says to himself).....'well, what's he up to''...what's he want...what's he done? ha ha
BUT HE STILL LOVES IT.
Likewise....GOD ...our Heavenly FATHER...is the SAME WAY....'He LOVES IT when we come to Him and pray about our troubles...our WANTS...our needs' He encourages us through the Bible to 'tell it all to Him, lean on Him, nothing is too big or too small...HE LOVES to have us 'crawl upon His knees and tell Him, "I Love You Daddy....I love You Father, I love you Lord"....even when HE ALREADY KNOWS WHAT WE ARE UP TO.....and what kind of trouble that we are in. He wants us to 'tell Him and He loves to hear "I love you!" regardless.
#2....Daddy's down here on earth really like to have their kids to say "Daddy, I need help, can I talk to you" Dad's love for kids to COME AND TALK to them. And no...they may not always have the answer...but they love it when you say, "Dad, I need to tell you what happen today at school with this bunch of kids.'' Dad, do you know the answer to this??? Daddy's like when his kids WANT to ask him questions and when they are RESPECTFUL in how they ACT. Earthly Daddy's love to be PROUD of their kids good manners. (WHEN they are able...earthly Daddy's like to REWARD their kids who do their best.)
The same way with....Our GOD...OUR HEAVENLY FATHER...
He loves for us to "ask Him for HELP" and to talk to him...ASK Him questions. Our Heavenly FATHER loves our RESPECT, honoring & good manners to Him and to OTHER PEOPLE. HE IS PROUD OF OUR GOODNESS.
God is GREATEST REWARDER.....EVER....EVER...EVER. He absolutely LOVES to reward us when we obey and do good.... HE EVEN REWARDS us sometimes...most of the time....when we don't even deserve it.
(explain GRACE...CALVARY....SALVATION plan, HERE.)
#3...THANK YOU.....all Daddy's appreciate and love to hear their kids say "Thank You, Daddy!" . (you like to hear someone tell you Thank you....so does your Dad. Nothing is too small or too big to always tell your Dad......"Thank You, Daddy...I like that....I love this...whatever. Praise your Dad for what all he does for you...for your family...for what ever he does that is good and when he is trying really hard..and especially if things are 'going wrong'.
Again...GOD...as our HEAVENLY FATHER.... loves to hear us say 'THANK YOU'
In fact, God commands us to praise Him, worship Him and say THANKS...'give thanksgiving' is what the Bible tells us. He created all of us to worship Him, praise Him and to THANK HIM for every good thing on this earth and universe....because He created all ...for US TO ENJOY. SO...IN EVERYTHING give THANKS.
(Explain here on kinds of large and small blessing of life...nature, science, medicines and technology....microscopic to astronomical...--fitting to age level)
#4....Earthly Dad's like to hear their children tell them..."I MISSED YOU'
Example. If you have been to camp or Grandma's house for a while...and you come home & tell him "I missed seeing you, Daddy."
Or....If he went away somewhere on business, hospital, trip...tell him "I missed you"
Daddy's love to KNOW and HEAR YOU SAY...."I missed you, Daddy"
God is the same way. If we have not PRAYED in a long, long time...(that's when we are away from God) or maybe even 'gotten mad at God for something when things went all wrong....
....then God likes to have us come and TALK to Him in prayer and say to HIM..."Father, God...I MISSED YOU." "I don't even really know WHY that I quit praying but I really did miss talking to you."
God is like our Daddy's...HE LOVES to hear us say, ''Father, I love you"
He loves to hear us 'talk to Him..to say, Father I need HELP---prayer---tell Him our troubles, needs and wants.
He loves to hear us say, 'THANK YOU, FATHER'...this gift is so neat. I love it.
He loves to hear us say, "I missed being near you, Father'....I like being near you.
Sometimes the WORLD....goes to the extreme and talks about us being INDEPENDENT (which means..."leave me alone...I can do this all by my self.) But IN REAL LIFE....there are SOOOO many, many things that WE can't DO by ourselves. We need a miracle... We need God to DO what we have absolutely NO WAY OF DOING! (and yes, you do want to be wise, make right choices and TRY to always do your best...to be smart...that kind of independence is good.... and that's what GOD WANTS us to strive for each day.
---try to make sure they understand the difference in extreme/good independence)
GOD, our Heavenly Father....tells us throughout the Bible that HE dearly LOVES for us to 'COME and talk to HIM about our wants, needs and troubles....He wants us to LEAN on him...to depend on him... be DEPENDENT on Him..... and let HIM HANDLE the junk that we can't do anything about in life everyday.
Down here on earth ....sometimes, our Daddy's may disappoint us....fail us....and some even hurt us. Some people do Not even have a Daddy at home, he may be dead. Some Dad's are gone away all the time on business....some were never there from the time they were born...even some because THEY didn't want to be. It hurts when Daddy's aren't there.
But....GOD, our Heavenly Father IS ALWAYS THERE. He listens when we talk to him AND NEED HIS HELP.
He loves to help us. God is never wrong... He is perfect and He never, ever breaks a promise.
Most important... He loves you, so much that He sent His son, Jesus, to take our place on the Cross for our sin and He says if we believe His story, called the Gospel...the Bible and we try our best to live what it teaches... then he promises us a special place in Heaven to live forever, with no more tears, sorrow, hurts and worry or troubles. Lots and lots of singing, fun and celebratings!!!
So, today and everyday.....remember...if you have a Daddy, TELL him and our Heavenly Father...
I believe in you....I need your help"
"I LOVE YOU, Father, (Daddy)''
"THANK YOU, FATHER (Daddy)''
Friday, June 15, 2007
As a child, I was raised to be PATRIOTIC by very dedicated and knowledgable parents of our nations history and world politics. (I was certainlyNOT OVERLY thrilled at that back then..ha ha but...it was my Daddy's deep passion and constantly voiced outcry of world issues. My oldest brother became an attorney working, 'living and dying' in politics...w/ both President Johnson and Kennedy. This is what I listened to throughout my younger years-politics, historical facts and patriotism for a Christian nations that is open to all....who are willing to live by the rules/law.... it's ORIGIN...GOD'S!!!!. (if the founding fathers rules are not to your liking,..... stay home or move on.hahahaha
So, naturally, now...as I grow older, I reflect on my childhood memories---those things that I used to detest, ha ha. Today tho this brings me to the great joy that I receive from doing research on our family heritage and past historical events...KNOWING that our GOD has ALREADY BLESSED AMERICA and it's Now ....time for...... "America to Bless God."
For those of you who read my blog...you know that my Great Grandfather (Caswell Culp) died in the Civil War in 1863...on the way home from the Yankee prison where he and his brother, Daniel (they married sisters)...had nearly starved to death in prison and the Yankees set them free because there was no food...not because the war was over....(that was not until 1865.) (also note....he and his brother were MUSTERED to serve the South and as my Granny told...it was not a choice...many were gathered up in wagons from where they were working.)
However, the following story is one of many, many historical publication of 'CULP's HILL....Gettysburg Battle...which was my Great Grandfathers family farm.
This is the story of two of my Great Grandfather's cousins...who were also brothers....
Wesley and William Culp.
The Story of Wesley Culp (sorry, photo did not print)
Gettysburg National Military Park
Pvt. Wesley Culp
One of the saddest stories of the Battle of Gettysburg is that of an Adams County, PA. family.
Wesley Culp was a native of Gettysburg. As a boy, he played in the streets of Gettysburg and hunted in the woods of Culp's Hill, which belonged to his uncle, Henry Culp. When Wesley became a teenager, he took a job with a Gettysburg harness company that manufactured leather harnesses for carriages and wagons.
Wesley Culp became a good harness maker and enjoyed his work. In 1858, the owner of the company moved his business to Shepherdstown, Virginia and Wesley decided to move with his employer. Wesley settled into his new home at Shepherdstown and made many new friends there, though he did not lose contact with his friends and family back in Gettysburg.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Wesley enlisted with many of his new friends and neighbors in the 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment. This regiment was part of the famous "Stonewall Brigade" commanded by General "Stonewall" Jackson, which saw its first battle at Bull Run.
Back in Gettysburg, Wesley's brother William Culp enlisted in the 87th Pennsylvania Infantry, a Union regiment. Luck had it that despite the two serving in opposing armies, Wesley and William never had to face one another on the battlefield though both survived several battles and many close scrapes through the first years of the war. Though William's regiment was not at Gettysburg, the 2nd Virginia Infantry, with Private Wesley Culp in the ranks, was.
(pictures didn't come thru...sorry)
The Battle of Culp's Hill by Edwin Forbes
(Battles & Leaders)
"Culp's Hill", (Gettysburg), the one owned by Wesley's uncle Henry and the same hill on which he had explored, played, and hunted as a young man, was considered by many to be the key position on the Union Army's right flank, the "point" of the fishhook-shaped Union line.
When the Confederate army attacked the hill on July 2nd, the 2nd Virginia Infantry was part of the attacking force.
It was sometime during the fighting on July 3rd when on or nearby his uncle's hill. Wesley was buried and his grave supposedly marked by his fellow soldiers of the 2nd Virginia, though the only remains of him ever found was a rifle stock with his named carved into it.
In an interesting twist of fate another story evolved at this time.
Prior to his death...Wesley was carrying a message to be given to another Gettysburg native, Virginia "Jennie" Wade, whom Wesley had known when he lived here. The message was given him by a Union soldier named Jack Skelly, also a native of Gettysburg, who was Virginia's beau and hoped to marry the girl after the war.
However, Private Skelly was mortally wounded and captured at the Second Battle of Winchester, Virginia, on June 15. This is where that Wesley Culp discovered severly wounded, Skelly in a temporary hospital and where Wesley had agreed to take a message to Skelly's girlfriend, Virginia, in Gettysburg, just in case his regiment got close enough to Gettysburg for Wesley to deliver it.
Sadly, the note was never delivered...the sorrows of war... all three people- Wesley Culp, Jack Skelly and Jennie Wade- died without knowing the fate of the other. The note of love found upon Wesley Culps body was unable to be delivered.
Wesley's brother William Culp survived the war and left the service as an Union officer. Legend, sadly has it that William considered his dead brother a traitor for serving against his native state, and never recognized nor spoke of him again.
The Culp family was truly one divided by the war. Brothers against brothers, Fathers against sons. National archives records that 380 Culps fought and were divided in the Civil War. (136 members of the family served the Confederate Army while 244 served in Union Army, many being leading officers).
National Park Service
Gettysburg National Military Park
97 Taneytown Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Voice on a telephone recorder...to the caller:
"I am not available right now,
but Thank you for caring enough to call.
I am making some changes in my life.
Please leave a message after the
Beep. If I do not return your call,
You are one of the changes." ~~~~~
Aspire to inspire before you expire. ~~~~~
My wife and I had words, But I didn't get to use mine.~~~~~
Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses. ~~~~~
Blessed are those who can give without remembering And take without forgetting.~~~~~
The irony of life is that, by the time
You're old enough to know your way
Around, you're not going anywhere. ~~~~~
God made man before woman so as to give him time to think Of an answer for her first question. ~~~~~
I was always taught to respect my elders, But it keeps getting harder to find one. ~~~~~ (could it be that I AM one?)
Every morning is the dawn of a new error.
The quote of the month is by Jay Leno: "With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"
Have great day...today and everyday. G~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
This year has started off to be very interesting.
This week at our home...we have received a total of over 9 inches of rain...almost all of our Annual Rainfall of a normal year. Also last month...we also had another flood that sent 5 inches of rain in just minutes, wiping out 100's of giant aged trees and flooding many homes. There were two killed with that flood.
This week...a few miles south of us...got over 2 feet of flood waters in one day.
Sad to say, we have had 5 deaths this week from flood waters. Equally as horrible we have had 3 deaths from lightening from the storms.
One of the drownings was near our home. We live on a hill with a wonderful Farm to Market highway in front of our house. The creek or branch that runs behind our house and around this hill....crosses over the Highway. This flood area is UNSEEN by drivers COMING up and over the hill top. The speed limit is 70 miles per hour...but drivers know that NORMALLY this awesome highway is wide open therefore most drive 10 to 20 miles above the limit...until the highway patrol gives them a little piece of paper that sort of motivates a few to slow down.
Therefore...due to the rains...and especially during the night....many cars have washed off the highway near our home. Yet another mile down this small but dangerous creek...is a tiny road and a concrete slab bridge...right beside our new Cowboy Church. Sunday morning we had a huge rainfall and a lady of 41 drove into that rushing flood and was drowned...headed for church....less than a block up the hill.
Last month flood...a young man drown in trying cross with his pickup....on this same creek but another crossing and another road, 8 blocks back.... (people just really don't realize the depth and POWER of flood waters....which is so sad. One foot of water under a small car can pull it instantly down stream and into a roll.
It breaks everyone's heart to hear of nearby tragedy.
Regardless the reason, loss, pain and suffering is the same. Regardless whether it is drowning or lightening...it's sad and horrible.
Yet...I never hear of a death by LIGHTENING that it doesn't take me right back to my childhood out on the ranch and a unique incident....that GOD was THERE....when I had my OWN encounter with lightening at the tender age of ten. (and I most humbly...thank God for His protection) wow!
On our ranch we had over 500 sheep each Spring. Due to hot weather....and it's a way for ranchers to make money off of the animals....the SHEEP'S WOOL must be sheared off...bagged and sold to the market....to be used in making winter clothing.
In my early years, my brothers, Daddy and hired hands would SHEAR the sheep. Later on, as the boys went into the armed services...Daddy had to hire Mexican migrant workers to come in as a group and shear all the sheep in a couple of days at a time. Very few of the Mexicans could speak English but most understood well enough.
On this particular day...it was about noon....hotter than blue blazes...very muggy...with a huge thunderhead forming in the southwest----that always meant big storms were on the way.
In raising sheep...each year, you always have some Mother Ewes who die while giving birth to their little baby lambs. Sometimes...but not often....another Ewe will 'accept the orphan' lamb...but most often....I HAD TO MAKE PET LAMBS out of them and feed them on cow's milk on 'GINGER ALE BOTTLES....with huge black rubber nipples. Fun and funny. You simply become their Mother. They love you dearly and follow you everywhere you go. They are simply darling pets....they run with your dogs and cats....and THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW that they are really SHEEP!! (we even had one who CHASED CARS with the dogs...ha ha)
That day....Daddy, my brother and the 'sheep shearers' were all pinned up inside of the biggest barn...packed with sheep that were about to be sheared. I was outside of the barn, watching as they let each sheared sheep go AFTER the clipping. My mother had brought me 3 of the big GINGER ALE bottles of milk to feed our 3 pet lambs that were in a WIRE pen at the back of the big barn.
Distant thunder kept rumbling back and forth through the heavens. My mother said that she had better get back to the kitchen....dinner was almost ready for the hired hands and for me to feed the 3 lambs.
The lambs are so hilarious at feeding times (3 times a day) they began bouncing around, dancing and fighting to see WHO gets to go FIRST. (they pushed and shoved so much that I had to feed them THROUGH the wire fence in order to keep them from knocking the bottles out of my hands. I finally was able to feed one lamb and fight off the other two.
At this time...the distant thunder was much closer....but the sky was still nice over head with just a few fast zipping hazey clouds being pushed by a rapid wind and the sun was shining for the most part. I reached down and got my second Ginger Ale bottle of milk and put it through the wire fence as an 'eager lambs mouth instantly grabbed it and began eating. I glanced down at the men working and watched a couple of NAKED sheep come running out of the shed...ha ha... and then..... WHAM...BLAM...CRACK... This gigantic noise split my eardrums.
The next thing I knew....I was down on the ground...in the dirt, head popped against
At first all was black...then I saw the most awesome colors of pink, blue and mint greens waving in the air.
I Still lay flat on the ground...but eyes open....the little lamb that I had been feeding was on the other side of the wire fence....in a SITTING position...like a human....his little front feet dangling up at his chest line. He is totally dazed....but sitting up! My eyes then immediately look past the lamb to the gate where my Daddy and brother were. All sorts of yelling and screaming is taking place and sheep are litterly flying EVERYWHERE...jumping, running out to the pasture. My Daddy had been caught behind a gate...the sheep forced him down.
A small Mexican man came rushing out of the barn, looked my direction and began yelling, " Meester Dutch, Meester Dutch, your leetle girl, your leetle girl...queick." My brother came running to me---but by that time I had begun to sort 'get my bearings' and come out of the stupor...realizing the greatest horror of all.
We had all been struck by lightening and YET....we were all still alive.
(the adult theory....not mine...haha was that the lightening had hit the huge barn with the sheet iron roof....the current ran into the ELECTRIC SHEARS of the sheep shearers and blew them backwards...(RUBBER CORDS AND GLOVES) ....then the current went along the barn roof line to the WIRE fence where I was innocently feed three lambs....and sent me flipping backwards into the earth.)
Some even theorized that the BLACK RUBBER nipples on the ginger ale bottles were quite likely the only reason that I was not killed instantly. I was barefooted which certainly proved not to be my protection. But as my beloved Momma so aptly put it....once again our God was watching and HE CHOSE to intervene. And this I believe today. He has done so many times since that hot summer day of lightening bopping me 'down in the dirt' and into 'la la land'.
Thank you, Lord!
Monday, May 28, 2007
The beauty of the American Flag waving in the air... and singing of our national anthem brings a special joy and chill to me, sometimes to my very soul.... as I know it does to many of you that read my blog.
Today, I wanted to write IN MEMORY of the past...of All who have given but especially those in my own family.
First, my own Daddy. World War One....serving as Chief Petty Officer (he gave out pay checks that made him the most loved guy on this ship. ha ha...his words not mine) He was nick named "Chief WHITIE'' during his service years because of his snow white, cotton colored hair and red Irish color (the rest of his life he was simply 'DUTCH'. ) He served in the Atlantic on the USS SUBMARINE DESTROYER NO. 154 under Captain Wm. M Crase. He was very proud of his years of service, trained in the Great Lakes and ported out of Norfolk, Va.
WORLD WAR TWO... my oldest brother, Dr. Dallas G. (Doc) Prause served first in US Army for two years, then 2 more years in the United States Marines Coast Guard, serving in Alaska, Alusian Islands, Japan. He was 'missing in action' for 6 months and finally....found in a US burn hospital ship off the coast of Anchorage, Alaska. He later got his law degree from the University of Texas, became the personal attorney for Governor Lyndon Johnson, followed him to Wash. DC as US Vice President...and to Pres. John F. Kennedy where he served as his personal attorney until his death, Nov. 22, 1963. He returned to complete term of then promoted President Johnson and at his tenure, he was assigned to Executive Director of the United States Oil and Mineral Rights working out of the US Pentegon. To God be the glory for all the above. (a lifetime of work for our freedoms)
Also, World War two...my sister, Naida, and brother Danny, in the US Air Force.
Korean confict/War, my 3 brothers, James, David and Sammy in the US Army and Air Force. Between all of these....our nation was served by these serving in: Korea, Europe; England, Germany, France, Poland, Italy, Japan, Okiniawa, India, Vietnam, North Africa, Morroco.
Plus three brother in laws, who also served in the above various points. One brother in law and his father lived and served in the Queen of England's ROYAL AIRFORCE as Executive Officers. My brother in law had the honor of representing his county of England and participating the WORLD AERO-ACROBATICS OLYMPICS in Budapest, Hungry where he Won second place in the World Olympics and a trip to the United States where he met and married my sister. He became an aero Engineering College Professor here in Central Texas and retired recently after nearly 30 years. My other brother in law that had a lifetime career in the US Airforce as an Aircraft Designing engineer. He also completed his first 20 years of career service and was asked by the Federal Government to re-up for another 10 years with great pay because of the need of his experience in teaching and aircraft design. He helped designed the largest airplane, B-36 for the US Airforce...for the Korean conflict and Vietnam War--for hauling tanks, large bulldozers, etc.
My Father-in-Law...World War II, two years as the HONOR GUARD for GENERAL DOUGLAS McARTHUR, chosen out of 500 based on IQ, dependability and physical stamina. He served in Manila, the Philipine Islands and after the H bomb in Japan.
Then back to the CIVIL WAR....my GREAT GRANDFATHER's--death...and my 7 great Uncles, and many cousins served---one count showed over 100.
TEXAS INDEPENDENCE Battle, Goliad, Texas...my paternal grandparents, great uncles, cousins. Listed in Texas Historial archives along with stories of their leadership--some funny even.
AMERICAN REVOLUTION... 1776....Battle of Culp Hill (Gettesburg)....father and son, John Culp....according to historical records...prior to the ending of the 8 year War ..(& book). " Women of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION" ...our cousin, Barbara Culp...wife of John Culp, Senior, was captured at their pioneer home and SCALPED by the Cherokee Indians while she was 6 months pregnant and lived to be nearly 60 years old...and had other children after her's were killed.
She was dragged by Indians on a horse for a distance from her home (while neighbors were shooting at the Indians) She was then beaten with tomahawks and she remembered asking God to 'let her die quickly....so she wouldn't have to suffer because she already knew of the tortures of the renown Cherokees.
She blacked out when they hit her and later woke up, naked and scalped and bleeding horribly. She started to raise up and heard the Indians talking in the cornfield nearby where they were 'gathering corn for their supper. She lay back down on the hard rock where they'd left her... because she knew they thought she was already dead... and would come back and kill her...or torture her even more.
After the Indians left the cornfield and darkness came Barbara Culp dragged herself back to her home where her neighbors waited with guns inside her house and toilet. (they had killed a number of the warriors and knew the others would be coming back to attack them again.
They said Barbara had huge holes in her skull and bone fragments that fell, along with a large gash in her back from the tomahawks. They felt sure she would die from the loss of blood and the pain. They couldn't stop her vast bleeding.
Her husband, John, at the time was fighting in Camden as a soldier in the War for Independence from England. He was told of the attacked and returned home to find her almost dead on blood soaked sheets. He reported that she looked more dead than alive. No one thought she would or could live because the injuries were so deep.
Their children had already been slaughtered by the Indians. (However, Barbara later told that at one point...in one of the Indian attacks... that one morning a bunch of Indian women...came running from the woods and her garden.... to her home. They forced themselves NSIDE of her house...pushed her door closed and her and her children down on the ground and HELPED protect her.... from some wild Cherokee warriors who were trying to kill her and her children at that time---but the Indian women for whatever reason....had actually saved her life. She felt that they felt an identity or sorry for her living alone out in the wilderness with the little children. She said that she couldn't talk to them but they obviously fought to save her life.
So why do I share the above story? Because....we ALL need to treasure OUR FREEDOMS. We all need to reflect, remember and realize HOW MANY horrors OTHERS have gone through and made so that ..today....we can enjoy the awesome GOD GIVEN freedoms that we have been so graciously been given...without much of a sacrifice. Certainly not what these dear ones did above.
As the history book so aply states....Barbara's suffering did not stop with her scalping. Her husband and a group of men gathered on horses, chased down the renegade warriors...killing the one who scalped her....found her scalp IN HIS mop sack ??? on the side of his horse.
But she and her husband and son John... spent the next 5 years....fighting first handedly in the American Revolution and War of Independence, July 4, 1776... that came on Culp Hill...Gettesburg ...(their farm). Historically the final battle.
****Today....according to the National Cemetery System....2.2 Million soldiers have died for America's Freedom. Unknown others. World War II alone, took 400,000, over 8,000 Jews tortured and killed, innocent women and children. Freedom came to these only through death.
Finally: to my beloved husband, Jim...I honor him also on this day of honoring past services of my family's contribution to FREEDOM. He served 8 long hard years in the Texas National Guard, as a Chaplain Assistant; usually with meetings at Ft. Hood every weekend and two full weeks in the summer. However... To the world today...many do not realize that...back in 1962....for 3 of the WORLD'S most horrible days....AMERICA ....and the whole World..... stood still. Nuclear War heads were set up from CUBA by Fidel Castro...to 'blow America and the whole world OFF THE MAP!''.
My husband and ALL of the UNITED STATES NATIONAL GUARDS were IMMEDIATELY sent to WAR. (Historically in our nation....the National Guard is Always the first to go to War..they were the first to be slaughtered in WW II. Thousands upon thousands)
In 1962.. For 3 days....America STOPPED! The WORLD STOPPED!
I was pregnant with our first child, our son. I, along with the whole world were FROZEN in FEAR.
Our new...Young.... President John F. Kennedy faced the greatest War ever known to man----Nuclear attack. (to which would REQUIRE us....as nation just coming out of World War II.... to use OUR OWN even greater nuclear warheads)
Russian and Cuban...ENEMY Ships were set and aimed at every military site in our nation.
Every human KNEW ...that in one mega second...could mean FIRE...DEATH AND the END of the this planet. and virtually every LIVING THING......if this idiot Castro was not stopped. RUSSIA was the real enemy. Castro the puppet. Only those that lived through the 'CUBAN CRISIS' can possible know the horror of those 3 days.
Unlike todays wars....a large part of the rest of the world didn't even KNOW the meaning of nuclear warheads...they thought the H bomb was the worst that it could get. My JOB at the time was 'Civil Defense Coordinator' for our County with the State of Texas. I had been trained and knew that one war head on Ft. Hood would wipe out a 100 mile radius. (plus I had been told in training that Russia already had posted '12th AIRFORCE COMMAND Center in Waco and Connally Airfield as their main targets to take out.
My job was to be the last to close the door of the bomb shelter where I worked. (I had already told my boss---that ain't gonna happen...I have no desire to live without my family...or to be crammed for 6 weeks underground with dung/wo food/restricted water/crazy .) I did promise to handle my Civil Defense national alert training via radio technology communications tho...but I'd go above the ground not in it.
As stated, my husband and 'father to be' ....was in the Texas National Guard 149th Division as the Chaplains Assistant and he was immediately called up to 'go to war against Fidel Castro, Russia and Cuba.
Obediently....he tearfully and quickly put on his uniform, packed his bags and left out the door for Louisana, Ft. Polk...(ships/soldiers were to head for Cuba as deemed necessary). Tears/fear....everywhere....
Again, I ...like all of our world was scared to death. Today and forever...I will give praise to GOD ALMIGHTY for answered Christians prayers....and for an awesome young...President who got caught in a Russian Roulette wheel of horror, that used nuclear war heads for world destruction. This brave President, with terror written over every portion of his face and body, STOOD STRONG....BLUFFED...TALKED AND SENT WAR SHIPS.... SUBMARINES AND Super sonic jets...to finally 'buffalo' a 'power crazed terrorist into submission & withdrawal of his warheads. But those three days will forever be imbedded in my heart, mind and soul....of BRAVERY! Bravery of a young president, and young men like my beloved...who knew the consequences and all depended on bravery that you DO NOT FEEL....but MUST give! and most certainly....................FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.
Please treasure it.... everyday.... Remember all those dear ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice..their families....especially....all those wounded, lost limbs, mentally disturbed (of which no one comes back from battle without mental wounds, no one!). Remember the Veterans in hosptials, in homes and the homeless.... those that no one gives credit to for their 'giving'....but who came home...different...unable to 'have a sound mind...or were injured by chemical orange....and the government often does not help. Pray for all those effected. We often say, 'God Bless America..." when He already Has!
PRAISE GOD for HIS BLESSING of this great nation...from it's beginning to the present and it's FUTURE.
Thank you for caring. On this Memorial Day 2007....REMEMBER them...and remember WHEN !
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
1. Faith is the ability to....not panic.
2. If you worry, you didn't pray....... If you prayed,....then don't worry.
3. As a child of God, prayer is kinda like....calling home every day.
4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be... bent out of shape.
5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still....so He can untangle the knot.
6. READING and WRITING are the basics of all Science, Medicine, Technology, History..and the Bible. (that's why God didn't fill it with pictures---HIS WORD, not His pictures)
7. There is no key to happiness......but the door is always open. Come on in.
8. JEALOUSY ...is like taking poison...and expecting the other person to die. (Your jealousy does not effect the other person...but your own bitterness will destroy you...physically, mentally and spiritually. )
9. Silence is often misinterpreted..... but never misquoted.
10. Laugh every day.............it's like inner jogging.
11. The most important things in your home are the...... people.
12. Growing old is inevitable..... growing up is optional.
13. God wants spiritual fruit... not religious nuts
14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry. (you get all bent out of shape for nothing-the other person can't feel your pain)
15. He who dies with the most toys is...... still dead.
16. We do not remember days,.....but moments. Life moves too fast,
so enjoy every....precious moment.
17. Nothing is real to you until......you experience it.....otherwise it's just hearsay.
18. Its all right to sit.....on your pity pot.... every once in a while but....just be sure to flush...when you are done. :-(
18 A. Every Pot sits on it's Own Bottom. (WE are responsible for our Own actions/choices)
19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking! Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress....... when it sticks out its neck.
20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is
what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
21. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting. He expects us to keep our eyes looking up towards Him.
22. A rose is a rose....is a rose.....(forever the same)
Insulting Mockery...followed by "ha ha" is still.... Insulting Mockery. (Sin)
23. The Bible is our Roadmap for the lost, for life, health, happiness, success, healing and our future.
24, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill
25. The gift of Life is from God....but the life we give (and live)....is our gift....back to God.
Reach up, Reach out, Reach down ....have an awesome day 'doing the math...by counting your blessings....and helping another to find theirs. YOU are a Blessing to me. Have a happy day, today and everyday. And as the song says "God is good ....all the time!"
Saturday, May 19, 2007
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?' I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze.
'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.
She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...'
'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. 'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.
Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.' As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, 'We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success.
You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!
There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.
If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those withregrets.'
She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.' She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.
At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it!
These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE. REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give. God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
'Good friends are like stars.........You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.'
Friday, May 18, 2007
Since we lived far, far out into the rural country side...like most of my peers at school...each Saturday was the day to "go to town". It was the time in life where you SAW extraordinary people...different from your own...and Momma would often say, "There...but for the Grace of God' go you or me"........ (meaning, don't stare, just count your blessings, regardless how small).
Back then...TOWN was a city of about 80,000. There were NO malls or shopping centers ...no Walmarts, K-marts or Targets. Just the town Square around the courthouse and the MAIN DRAG/street. IT WAS PACKED with people every Saturday. Body to body in so many places. All people shopped on Saturday and worked during the weekdays. Saturday was a true celebration...filled with excitement for all of us kids....especially in summer time...when most of us got to 'go to the movies'. (oh... smell of popcorn, dill pickles...even ice cream vendors...hummmm)
These things always gave us kids.... great things to 'talk about' back at school with our classmates---who were more like our brothers and sisters...because we all started to school together and went 12 years through school together and actually graduated together...as a family! A different world completely from todays.
The County Courthouse SQUARE was the center of everything every Saturday because it lead up to the MAIN street of the city. The north side of the Square was for the Whites...it was quiet and nicely decorated.
But all four sides of the Square were totally different from each other.
. Whites, blacks, Mexicans and 'mixture cultures.........
The east side was 'just for the negoes'. The west side, Mexicans and the south was a 'dukes mixture of everything!
The black side had eye catching women who often... dressed in very naughty clothes....pranced back and forth on the black side of the square along with.... some of the adjacent back streets where we used to go and buy 'farmers gasoline/coal oil etc. by the barrel'....or....to sell our own home made...tanned Leather to the Saddle factory. humm (now that's a smell you won't forget...salt/leather) :)
Most of the blacks were dressed very flashy...Saturdays best....renown as always very, very loud and....seemed very happy to my childish eyes and ears. But there were always 100's of black children screaming, laughing and having a great time together....they always looked at me strangely from the distance....and I did the same of them. We were sooo opposite. I was almost albino blonde hair and skin and all I was totally amazed at their lips and how big and white their eyes were in their shiny oily black skin. And their stares proved that they wondered equally as much about my strangeness of 'no color'.
But above all....treats, movies, popcorn,....Everyone ....loved to go the Woolsworth five and dime Soda Fountain. Blacks had to sit on the far end...Mexican sat next to them...and whites sat up front next to the front show windows. That was the simple-but SAD... socially acceptable culture of the time.
Very often...it was so packed ...that whites HAD to sit close to the black section...if they wanted a soda. It was during these times that I would try to smile at the negro kids and be friendly.... but most often their mothers would jerk their hands quickly to make them not look at me. Again, a sad part of American culture at the time. There were times when black parents weren't always around...too many kids to watch...and yes, I would love talking to the black kids about toys that were low enough on the counter for us to touch and play with. They loved it as much as I did!
But I still loved going to town and to the soda fountain and the movies. It was so exciting to be packed in the crowds of people....sometimes. Sometimes is was so packed and pushy that is was very scarey. Many times the crowd would sort of push me away from Momma's hand...stretched and I'd get that scarey feeling...and suddenly be 'looking straight into the eyes of another kid my size....eyes dialated...looking just as scared as I was!
But my mother constantly told me to never let go of her hand---which she didn't have to tell me---I was often so afraid of being LOST in the crowd...I hung on for dear life...because if you didn't...especially at Christmas...the crowd would pull kids away from their mothers, brothers, sisters. (I always felt sorry for families that had all their kids holding hands together and the baby...who was always on the 'tail end' would get pulled away by the crowd. SCAREY... I learned early never to let go of my Mothers or brothers hands...EVER!
Now the west side of the square was the MOST EXCITING....the Mexican's. Wow!
It SEEMED the most exciting of all...and certainly the MOST COLORFUL. So Inviting to my childish mind. Wow, that Mexican music was played so loud that the concrete walkways vibrated with each beat of the wonderful music. Men dressed in large black hats that had the cute fur balls that hung around the edge played trumpets and guitars. They had lots of silver ....belts and the tips of the boots. I loved fast musical beat of the music and equally as much when the music was a sad, lonely song...in a language that sound so beautiful to me as a child. It filled the air. It filled my heart.
THE SMELLS....all around the square---were awesome! Wow, how different! Each side of the square had it's own unique smells that drifted across the beautiful green courthouse lawn...where we often sat or parked our pickup and waited for my Daddy to return from buying farm and ranch supplies....and his TALKING to every human this side of MARS... HA HA (I vowed to Mom that I sure didn't want to marry a talker like Daddy...and guess what...I married his twin brother or reincarnated duplicate. ha ha)
The whites...north side of the square...had smells of yummy hamburgers, french fries and chicken fried steaks....and hot bread.
The blacks side of the square smells of 'Blue Waltz' perfume...sort of like fading roses but very, very strong. The smell of meats and some kind of sausage drifts freely.
And the Mexican side was awesome...chili smell, spices, onion, peppers...sausage, fresh meat, flowers...popcorn from their Mexican/black theatre (picture show) where whites never went.
No whites even walked on the walks on either of the two opposite sides of the square.
It was during these wonderful childhood days of 'going to TOWN' that my Mother taught me COMPASSION. (I thank God constantly for this...especially in our world today.) On these trips to town....I was first exposed to all cultures...and DEARLY....loved our differences!
This was where I first SAW pitiful people in 'wheelchairs', a man with no legs from the WW I begging each day, a blind man playing an old beat up accordion, mentally retarded and deformed children with MD and MS or crippling polio. These diseases...were truly sooo horrible with little to no medicine to help back then. There often was no place for mentally retarded children, just very tired/stressed parents trying their best to do whatever had to be done for their family and that person. There were always plenty of unusual sights for a childs eyes to stare upon in curiosity and wonder.
It was there that I first saw...tried to give my childish stare of curiosity....where I saw...
Mommys and Daddy's carrying very large retarded children...just to shop. So sad.
There was the young very crippled man who played the guitar and sang beautiful songs. I dearly loved to stand and listen to his music. Momma would almost have to drag me away...but she loved it to. There were always two or three 'pencil' sellers and trinkets and balloon sellers sitting on the curbs with tin cans for coins.
But most importantly.....this was the time in my life that my Mother taught me the keep saying to myself... the old adage...."There....but for the Grace (goodness) of God...go I''
We COULD BE any one of the above persons...suffering....having to endure. Thus ALL OF MY ADULT life....I have always THOUGHT of my Mothers precious words. Repeatedly!!! The phrase RINGS loud and clear when I enter a prison unit to teach Bible Study...it rings loudly when we go to the ''homeless shelter and their Sunday church service under the Interstate Highway...it rings when I give a bag of clothes or furniture to the charities or work at our CRISIS center sorting clothes, stacking canned goods, stomping bugs that infest in these situations. The phrase reasonates my soul when I go to a hospital room or visit someone on hospice and the funeral homes....or just seeing a ragged looked person, young or old, walking brokenly down the street==these are the ones that get my immediate and most sincere prayer for God to reveal His hand to them. There are a jillion things that make me remember Momma's simple little phrase of compassion and wisdom.
Due to the above---also---during my childhood....at my church....I always felt that God Himself MADE me different... Or at least different from the kids that attended our church on regular basis. I always felt that God talked to me...at home...on the back of my horse....or just walking with my dogs and cats in the woods. I felt CALLed and Special but I couldn't talk about it. (don't get me wrong...I enjoyed the other good kids...loved them in fact...but just knew that I didn't want to be totally like them...in the way they acted towards God)
YET... YET...so important....at the church was 3 evil girls that were 3 and 4 years older than me...who were ugly...bullies, mean and rotten----YET ALWAYS in the church everytime that the church doors were open! I lived on a ranch...many times we worked...had to/necessity...on Sunday...(Livestock don't take Sunday off ...from water and food ) so naturally...I...we could not ATTEND church all the time. (but I KNEW God's love and my heart was HIS....and it took me a year to have the courage to walk to the front of the church and tell it publicly...long before these 3 sad examples chose to make me their scapegoat.
These 3 older...girls constantly...in front of other kids...would make fun of me....SAY horrible stuff...mainly being 'You're GOING TO HELL' cause you don't go to church ever Sunday!" (grrr....to a little child...this is very hurtful/ugly/mean)
This hurt me deeply as a little girl. wrongly.
However, after I became a Teenager...popular and they were hated...I began to realize that THEY were so darn green eyed jealous of me, my family ranch/$$$...which was well known...that 'attending church'...was the ONLY way that they could cut my heart out, which they joyfully did.
But all during those years...God MADE me KNOW that HE had something Special for me! I really didn't know WHAT but just that it would be different from them. And Praise HIM...He did ....because My Mother had taught me COMPASSION...CARING for others. (He was King of Her heart...even in her own quiet way)
HE caused me to 'feel different' from the 'churchie kids' of my childhood. I just knew in my heart that I NEVER wanted to act like they did. (which I might add ...while they were in high school....these 3 girls would play hookie from school...go to downtown stores...pack their pockets with stolen earrings, bracelets, nail polish and lipstick and bring their LOOT on the school bus each afternoon...bragging and laughing about 'how they GOT by with it.' (and these were the peers that I WAS SUPPOSE TO LOOK UP TO.....not!!!!!!!!)
YESTERDAY...now as an adult....all the above situations RE-AROSE to me.
I had a luncheon and meeting that I was required to attend at one of the largest churches in our 'city'...ha ha As a missionary and consultant supervisor for our Central Texas area ...I was called by the regional director to 'please arrange to pick up this little old lady....and take her to the meeting...that was honoring all the elderly retired pastors and missionaries.
Super! I dearly love doing stuff like this. I went to the address---a very sad looking little white frame house in one of the very poorest side of town. (it was ONCE the top spot after World War II...when the VA built little 2 bedroom houses.) But now the whole area is so sad. Every home begs for care....for money...for help.
I had never met the lady...but she had attended a previous meeting with a retired Baylor professor---who was unable to attend yesterday.
So...I arrive...expecting an elderly lady but not really knowing the circumstances....just doing what God & Momma taught me to love to do....and loving every sunshiney moment of it all.
The old screen door of the house was barely hanging...holes in the screen...barely able to open due to the aging and shifting of the old house. Out hobbles an elderly ...bent in half...little gray hair lady. Instantly...her SMILE...told me that I was exactly where God wanted me to be at this moment.
Just like the child that I once was....my eyes rapidly raced up and down in curiosity of this little joyful bundle. First words from her mouth "Praise the Lord'....you made it!
The next 3 hours of my life...I was to hear that phrase...probably close to a 100 times.
(Yes...surely even our Lord....may occasionally 'get a wee bit tired of our repeated words and plea's....ha ha )
And yes, she certainly was aged...having some patterns of "mental disengagements' ha ha But she was so excited to 'be going to visit her old 'angel friends' of the past 52 years...I was thrillled to be helping her. She just 'couldn't wait to see EVER-Body...her old Angel friends".
Her attire: Certainly not what you see at 'church meetings'. hummm (msg from God here)
A very BRIGHT orange t-shirt....the front was quite stained and could have used a good dose of TIDE ...or even a bar of hand soap. (it might have even taken a little more' than Shouting it out---in some places) hummm they'd been there for a while.
It was a hot day. She had on a very heavy light Blue FLEECE with the furry texture....Christmas jacket. (bless her heart...this is almost June in Central Texas).
Shoes: soft little house slippers....very worn...over to the side...but obviously 'her favorite'....and at the age of 83....that should certainly be her pleasure. chuckle....
CONVERSATION: Never ENDING... ha ha....and every 3rd sentence....'Praise the Lord!"
We only had to drive about 8 miles to the church....and in that period of time, I joyfully heard her LIFE STORY. Her husband was miraculously HEALED from a Birth defect of a humped back... by Oral Roberts healing service....GOD...INSTANTLY allowed him at age 34 to stand straight up....where he went straight to the PULPIT to preach for the rest of his days. He passed away a number of years ago...but they built a mission church together...where she still attends...52 years later...as the only one of 3 whites in the middle of 100's of blacks. I was told over and over how they prayed over the DIRT ground of their church....so obviously 'that too was one of God's answered of prayers and miracles...because it was in the poorest side of town even back then.
But great....Compassion, amuzement and pleasure filled my ride. (and yes, my carnal side was whispering in my ear....what are all the CHURCH people at this meeting going say/think or react??? You know all those PERFECT pastors, missionaries who dress up for this special luncheon...because they too...don't get a lot of recognition or outings in life.....
Oh, I forgot to mention...she could barely walk...I had to 1/2 carry her...to my car...to the church fellowship hall---all the time listening to endless chatter and 'Praise the Lord', Praise, the Lord, Praise the Lord' ha ha
Anyway----as most of you who already KNOW of this type of situation----these 'were NOT good signs' for 'social graces'. Most of my 'blog-reading friends' have also already been in situations similar to these....and 'ya gotta do what ya gotta do.... ha ha
Well, with great effort, work and care.....I got her INTO the fellowship hall. She sees a really fancy piano keyboard. Wow, she wants to PLAY the keyboard for the CROWD. ...and starts SINGING quite loudly...her old favorites...where we are at the very FRONT of the room and stage area. By this time the whole room is focused on us....total silence....we re 'front and center'....and that KEYBOARD still looks so inviting to her...........
er...er...er....'No, Wiladean, honey....let's go get us a favorite chair...I think they ALREADY have a 'special program.... already set up for you to enjoy....to be honored."
(and the name Wil-a-dean....really did seem fitting, tho I'd never heard of it before.)
Well...EXCITEMENT sets in...even greater for WILADEAN... HER VOICE gets loud----loud---louder! (a number of the attendees already knew Wiladean....and I noticed they began to 'move away' from where she chose for us to sit.) including our wonderful guest speaker...an awesome pastor~~~~~~~~~~
In turn, I began to get these sweet...but pitiful...little smiles from my associates. Occasionally, one or another would hug me....and say...'bless you'...God Bless you.... One delightful retired missionary that is so beautiful even in her late years...90 +....whispered, "Honey, I have always loved watching you...but you gotta be an angel." Puzzled to a degree I stupidly as 'why". "because only an angel can endure that situation''. With a warm hug, she fluttered away.
Bitter=sweet...is the word. (we are not all blessed in the same manner in life)...the handicapped people of my childhood....not the Senior adult people.... pastors and missionaries. Again, bitter-sweet lesson for me try to remember.
We all continue our most pleasant luncheon treat....the banquet tables were decorated so beautifully, in soft pastel tablecloths of lavender, light yellow, pink & mint green. Tiny pots of artificial flowers....and BIRD houses were the centerpieces.
The Birdhouse....caught Wiladeans eye! Tho she could barely stand up, alone...she felt the need to examine,,...the birdhouses. (visualize it yourself...people are already seated...ready for the wonderful special meal...they have waited for weeks for this special event...and sweet Wildadean who litterly will NOT quit talking and Praising the Lord...feels the need to touch each leaf of greenry, each house and flower pot....all the time chatting...as if to herself...about 'all the wonderful times we had a church going up to LATHAM SPRINGS CAMP...and they cleaned out their garages and used FRUIT JARS to sell to make money for the long wonderful camp. Ya know the PREACHERS really knew how to really preach the Gospel back then. (she is sitting in the mist of about 20 preachers......
" On and on...most of the time with HER EYES CLOSED...smiling the biggest and brightest smile anyone could ever ask for....but every 3 sentence..."Praise the Lord"...hummmm "Praise the Lord"
Well---YOU get the idea....and for the sake of time...You see this overall situation....which finally brings me to my concluding and dearest phrase....taught so long ago...but renders so beautifully right now.... ...."THERE...but for the Grace of God....go you or I "
So truly with great compassionate...yet humorous way...it is just life....even tho...
I was deeply disappointed by some of my more 'able minded' pastorial friends...but I would not change the things that happened to me or..........for my humbling walk yesterday.
I thank God...that He would allow me to chuckle and truly tell Him....
"Praise the Lord"....there but for YOUR Grace and goodness...go I.
Have a great day, today and everyday! Laugh a lot.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
However, I enjoy remembering our kids in the old tire swing that our son put up humpteen jillion years ago and it still hangs there in the tree... like a haunting relic from the past...but it brings joy to me.
Last Friday, I came to realize the TRUE meaning of the old adage that "beauty is ONLY in the eye of the beholder!"
You know...every one has heard the old jokes about ' that guy has a FACE that ONLY a Mother could love". etc. etc. (or that Baby is soooo beautiful....to it's parents.) ha ha silly, silly things from the past. But it became toooo real to me last week.
As stated I LOVE being home...being retired after 31 years of hassling the work world issues, pain and suffering at the hands of others. I really do enjoy, appreciate and love JUST SITTING on my 'terrace...ah ha...patio...jes me n God a talkin' It's a highlight of my life.
The 'cool of the morning...springtime....and the cool of the evening is so wonderful but....IS NOT the same as the NOON DAY HEAT in Texas (or any where else most likely).
I had planted ELEPHANT EAR plants along with my usual 'Morning Glories" vines and was 'ever=soo=proud of my 'retirement green thumb (my whole adult life...has been dedicated to SILK fake flowers....tha kind you don't haveta 'tend to'. Jus buy em @ the Dollar store or Wal-mart and wow..they brighten up the whole place. Simple.
However my mother ALWAYS loved growing plants...and I wanted to be like her...desparately...but I had two kids involved in 10 millions awesome activities...and GREEN THUMB TIME was not to be my choice during those years.
But NOW, ahhhh, out comes Martha Stewart and the plants. I have to learn to 'READ DIRECTIONS on the package...a new trick for me. Yuk. Why can't ya just 'dump em in the dirt and they do their thing..and I'll do mine??? Not! Martha would NEV AH!!!
Back to last Friday...guest arrive...city slickers....no less....hummm...I take them 'out on my beloved patio....to show them 'My green thumb art....
(Now, I dearly love these vines... growing rapidly...daily I watch them...crawl up the 4 new white lattice trellis'. I love the large elephant ears protruding from a small bulb in some old weather worn ground. I am thrilled. I want them to see their lush green beauty...but it's noon...it's hot...it's muggy and yuky temperatures.....and I already have a splitting head ache!!!
I look at my guest's faces in the mid day heat.....
Suddenly...I See my world through THEIR eyes.....YIKES!
Deliver me. NOW ALL I COULD SEE was the negatives....oh Lord, the grass needed cutting so badly...because the recent floods we hadn't been able to do that. Debris was washed up and on the patio. The once beautiful green outdoor carpet...now was ripped, weathered, rotton, flipped back....black bird poop all over one of my back yard tables and chairs......plus I HAD A SEVERE HEADACHE. (beam me up Lord...it's time!)
(this was not the reaction of my guest....just in the eye of this beholder....who....quickly retreated back into the air conditioned house...which helped my aching head and heart. How silly to realize suddenly in your joy of retirement sanctity...that one persons trash is anothers TREASURE....and.....BEAUTY really IS ....ONLY in the eyes of the beholder. (education in green thumbs.....# 509....I finally passed)
But you know what else I learned in that event....afterwards....I STILL LOVED IT....and love it dearly. This is my gift from God. This is my treasure that He made for me and THAT is why it means soooo much to me. (the beauty really ....is in the eye of the beholder...and this place is still special to me...HIS touch)
Then yesterday....I pass ANOTHER education class # 241=====ha ha
As is done everyday....my beloved hubby, who is a trucker who passes by our house two or three times a day in his driving...and always honks...or calls me on my cell phone (which... HE MAKES me.... wear around my neck. (that's a whole other story...that's necessary to life and funny).
He called me on the cell phone. It rings. I am watering and spraying my Martha Stewart's Green Thumb garden of elephant ears, morning glories, cannas & jew-----fun, fun, fun
I am happy to hear the phone ringing...knowing I will hear his latest joke or whatever's going on in his world of CBs and cell phones...traffic. My water hose SPRAYer is 'set on SHOWER spray....and is gallantly covering the plants===but when the phone rings====I opened my cell phone....BUT............ PUT THE SPRAYER nozel...up to my ear....................(not my phone..................
Holy cow... I am suddenly sopping wet. I am laughing my head off.
I throw the water hose into the flower bed.
Finally gathering my composure, I answer the phone....and this time....the joke is MINE....this time I get to GIVE a true 'DUMB BLONDE experience that will last a lifetime. (or at least I hope!!!) Needless to say...my husband nearly laughed himself into cardiac arrest.
Moral of the story....don't grow old....you lose your brains.... "Martha, Martha where are you?"
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
To me..."this is WHY our beloved Lord and God created it!" He created every note...every instrument...to heal, help and guide....and sometimes even shame us. Wonder how many has ever thought about that part. hummm....especially in old Black spirituals?
But since none of us is perfect...God is bound to be smiling when he hears us worship him in 'our small ..maybe sometimes pitiful...voice of worship and praise'...even if 'off key' ha ha.....or maybe it may just be whistling an old Gospel song. As most believers know...we are created to worship Him...so what joy it is to love good music.
My husband and I support a number of local Christian musicians and groups from time to time and one our favorite female trios have some super neat CD's and a special favorite of mine on one of their CD's is.... "Somebody is Praying You Through".
You may be familiar with this old but renewed song, based on the old Black South Gospels as sung in the cotton fields in the many sad years of the past. But the words apply today in 2007 just as beautifully as they did back in the 1800's.
Like many...my precious Mother prayed me through my childhood...adult life and until her own death when she was almost 100 years old. An Awesome lady of laughter, few words--- but tons wisdom, understanding, compassion and love. Because of her...I have been blessed equally by prayers of family... but for almost 49 years...my beloved hubby.
So, yes...I am alive because ''Somebody was PRAYING ME THOUGH'. PTL.... and every person who took the time. As YOU read this blog..."I am Praying you 'through!' ~~~ :-) A special blessing on you and yours!
Also on that thought...another of my favorite songs made it to the top charts a few years ago and lately ....it keeps coming to mind .......because of "THINGS" in my life...mainly health.
I sing this song often... and even sang it on a CD for my kids because the words of the song are so perfect for a Christian's life~~when you try to do your best and evidently satan choses to do otherwise....ha ha
The smooth singer Ray Boltz won Dove awards for his beautiful song "The Anchor Holds.'' This song is so perfect when we are down and reaching up... 'begging' for God... to help us to 'Continue on"....to keep us from sinking... in the deep raging waters of life's ship wrecks, troubles and near death experiences.
Perhaps the words might also come at this time... to help you... to be lifted from something... today... or to look back to a certain time in your life when God saw your pain and suffering and helped you survive it all and..because of Him.... today you can endure, carry on....and even possibly find a smile. (& enjoy these words)
THE ANCHOR HOLDS.
I have journeyed...in the Dark night...out on the open Sea.
By Faith alone...sight unknown.....and Yet, HIS eyes are Watching Me.
The Anchor holds...tho the Ship is Battered---The anchor holds...the Sails are Torn.
I have Fallen on my knees...as I face the Raging Sea
The Anchor holds in Spite of the Storm!
Well, I've had visions---I've had Dreams---I've even held them in my hand.
But I Never Knew...they would slip right through---just like they were only Grains of Sand.
The Anchor holds, tho the ship is battered; the Anchor holds, the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees...as I face the raging sea.
But the Anchor holds--- in spite of the Storm!
I have been young---but I am older now
There have been beauties these eyes have seen,
But it was 'in the night'.....through the Storms of my life,
where GOD PROVED His love for me.
The Anchor holds....tho the Ship is Battered---the Sails all Torn...
I have fallen on my knees---as I face the raging seas.
But the Anchor holds - In Spite of the Storm !!!
(aren't the words beautiful?) God is truly with us thru every Storm...even when we feel like we are drifting far, far out into the greater dangers...our "feelings'' don't rule... God Does!
Sooo, today---praise be to God, my Lord,~~~~ I certainly feel like singing! All praise songs...I luv-em-all. Singing at the top of my lungs.
Why...because as a twice removed.... Cancer survivor---last week I found ANOTHER knot! (a nightmare horror that no one can ever understand until they have been there...even tho you know....know....know...."Either Way I WIN" !!!)
Yesterday...God once again PROVED His power, love and promise...my testings and oncologist found that it was 'fluid' type cist....due to having the lymph nodes removed for the last (what was to be terminal)...cancer. They simply drained it and all testings also looked great.
So---yup....I am thrilled beyond words...singing...joyful. Hooray...hiphop hoe down, flip flop, cartwheels and tumbles...we are so happy and so blest.
I hope that this writing and my God given excitement & joy...GOD so graciously gave will....OVER FLOW and encourage you today in whatever situation that life has sent your way. (because there is not one soul on earth that doesn't have troubles---but sometimes they come/hit by the tons...life the 'flood waters' tornadoes and deaths that we have seen lately.
May you also have favorite songs that helps you carry the burden of life that come your way. And for most of my Blog reading buddies: you already know WHO the Anchor IS. ....and there is no Greater blessing!
Thee Great ''I AM".
(have a blessed day, everyday) & thanks for praying! His child, too. gloria)
Friday, May 4, 2007
Throughout our childhood, my sister and I, and all our large family have enjoyed exploring our ranch land's great arenas of Mother Nature and God's gifts in His freedom and sweet abandon. To simply celebrate the joys of life.
We felt the same in raising our own children, who were all about the same age and were constantly together through closeness of family relationships, parties and weekend get togethers at our family ranch.... We all LOVED exploring....walking...riding horses...in old hoopies that were hilarious fun!
When the work was done or after a huge dinner together that filled the giant courthouse dining table (truly-Bosque County Courthouse)... People filled the house and many, many times even the porches and under the big trees in the yard that my Grandfather planted so perfectly in rows.
It was TRADITIONAL to enjoy life and nature by walking and exploring the earth tanks, creeks, branches and river bottoms, cliffs. caves and crannies...always dogs with us too...and sometime even the cats to follow the whole caravan of laughter, giggles and singing. And once or twice through the years....even pet lambs and a crazy 'row of white pet ducks'. Prause Pied Pipers were wonderful!!!
Our kids not only shared the joys of the above blessing but they were also together in school for football, basketball, track and a humpteen jillion different kinds of 4-H events and competitions. Each of these brought a great treasury of memories~~~laughter.
Our boys shared their loved of the above out door life...nature and sports and being part of school teams that 'went to STATE play offs and Won". Our son grew up and got married and helped to rescue people in the mountain flash floods around Kerriville, while my sisters son enjoyed out doors as well as eventually received national honors as a Green Beret in Wildness Survival competitions and Texas championships in Kayaking in alligator infested waters down the Guadedupe to islands in the Gulf of Mexico. (kayak is an Eskimo canoe....animal skins completely covering the wooden craft with only a small hole for canoer's entry on the top. Like all canoes---easy to flip)
Both of our girls were beautiful blonde cheerleaders throughout high school and winning in numerous pageant titles throughout their teen years and active in every sort event offered in their worlds....which kept them each busy and out of trouble. And yes, we thanked God constantly~~~and still do even our waning years of life.
Anyway the recent flood waters had virtually set Flood records ....but on our old family ranch....it destroyed huge trees that were 36 to 40 inches in diameter ...not circum.....and laid them CRISS CROSS upon each other and made dams of debris. Many trees were about 70 to 75 feet tall...laying like toothpicks. Scarey to look at...even week or two later...to realize the power and force it took. Like Katrina/Rita and all...just hard to believe until you see the destruction left behind.
My sisters beautiful white country home with it's giant tall colonial pillows and a neat top sun deck is built on a hill (and a cliff...humm) overlooking this huge deep valley/meadow and creek bottom...where the flood waters spread with indescribable FORCE completely over this valley that is about a 1/2 mile wide...and water was up to their back patio terrace~~wider waters even above their location.
We neither one, would take for our wonderful adventure and most humbling experience...knowing now...that at the time of flood... that she and her husband (both physically recovering from operations at the time)...never knew...how close they were to being destroyed.
But our wonderful adventure was~~~Awesome! The sun was shinning... so beautiful. A perfect day for walking. Gentle south breeze. Birds (that I love) were massive and all singing at the top of lungs. THE FAMILY DOGS joined into the mix...eager to run wild and did so...for our entertainment and back pats. One black lab...chose to entertain me by going in the water and getting HUGE ROCKS and bringing them back to me ...for his pat....and 'that's a good boy' world. ha ha Even the old tom cat lazily crawled off of the roof and his sunny spot to join the fun and fumbled his way through the torah of flowers, giving an occasional "meow" as if to say..."Are you guys nuts or what?" "Pick me up, I'm not a dog!" Meow!!!
The unbelievable Spring FLOWERS were beyond describing. It's always masses upon masses of Bluebonnets--that just our part of Texas...but added to that sea of Blue....came prairies covered in gold. Golden daffodills, gold wild mustard blooms & yellow minature mums, then purple violets, red Mexican daisies, Yucca's white bells...the light blue stalks of Cowbells, Indian paint brushes of all colors due to different types of soil, white Babies breaths and beneath on the ground was different shades of blooming water moss. Oh yes, dear ole buttercups and primroses.
The colors were amazing and what my Mom used to talk about seeing in HER childhood...early 1900's. Wow, I am so glad that history does repeat itself and I get to see it.
OOOOPs...forgot to mention one other~~~~ hummm~~~ poison oak and stinging nettles. ha ha
And yes....like days of old....when my sister and I USED TO taking our kids walking in the woods...and to the creeks favorite SWIMMING HOLE when they were little...where you could see the clear to the bottom---until kids and DOGS stirred up the water...ha ha~~~~this day...we two, waded in the beautiful clear waters...collected huge fossel shells that had been pushed down the head waters.
I love collecting the small rocks that have a HOLE all the way through. Rare but around. (Folk lore says that Indians used them for trading and necklaces. ) This whole creek area was obviously once an Indian camp ground. Arrowheads used to be massive.
I found 2 of my little round "Holy...er holed...rocks that day. That's unusual but guess the flood shook em loose.
The MOST UNIQUE family heirloom of Indian relic that our family has is rare and many Museums would dearly love to have ownership of it...as well as the true story behind it. Beyond all doubt....and verified by Baylor Un. Archeology---many years ago, when my Mom was a young mother she found this huge AXE head chipped out of flint rock. The edge is still perfect. The Axe is broken in the middle...almost 1/2 of it missing. But it is broken in a perfect 'straight break' with one small 'bloop that is jagged'. Momma found it when her Daddy was digging a cellar in our yard back about the late 1930's. The old cellar is solid rock ledges and in the dirt near the top is where she found the Indian Axe...or piece of one.
Then in 1979 my sister was going to build her above colonial house on our family ranch and was digging in the dirt...trying to place the CORNER STONE areas of her new home....and suddenly she digs up....THE OTHER HALF of this Indian Axe!!!
She has in her hand...the OTHER HALF....PERFECTLY Fitted/matched....to our Mom's half of the axe.
That is unique enough within itself....but our home...Moms house....is probably about 3 and a half miles AWAY. But there is absolutely no denying the PERFECT FIT of the two pieces which totalled about 9 inches long, 4 inches wides and about an inch deep where it broke apart.
Theoretically...only God knows the how/what happened answer. But from an archeological point of view...it is that most likely the Indians slung the axe at a deer for food...it hit...broke off and the deer ran until it bled to death...holding the broken half still in its body.
Again, only our Lord knows the story....but He has blessed our family with a neat and very valuable unique gift....the Indian Axehead...broken...but fitting perfectly together notch to notch.
Well, that's enough of Spring Time in Texas. It's so great to share these stories with you and I thank you for your encouragement and phone calls. It's off to see the Cancer doctors again this Tuesday...there's another unfriendly lump~~~so you can SEE WHY ...I love to treasure each and every moment...especially, Spring Time in Texas flowers, birds and my hilarious sister.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Hearing normally! Wow...unless you've 'worn these shoes'....you can not know the JOY of being able to hear normally. Today----after 10 months of deafness...I CAN HEAR. Praise God for answering my prayers. I had almost become RESOLVED to accepting what many others already have...being Deaf.
After battling stage 5 cancer and a new experimental type of treatment (5 surgeries)...unknown to me and my doctors....the inside of my ears died to a degree from chemical burn.
Here we go with the EAR education class 409 (cleanzer ha ha)...or maybe it was WD 40?
It seems that beside regular old EAR WAX the human ear HAS TO HAVE an oil secretion from the inside of the ear canals/channels. (not antennas now..ha ha)
My severe experimental cancer treatment for which I am grateful to God for...and his science/doctors/nurses....even tho I turned brown as well...then replaced the brown with more moles...which I didn't think that was possible. ha ha
The process also...burned up/baked/destroyed the normal process inside my ears for producing OIL for the skin inside. (this is similar to the...ha ha....feathers on a ducks back....they naturally produce OIL on their feathers...thus 'water on a ducks back simply ROLLS off".
Ears operate the same method. Water and ears do not MIX...that's straight from the highest of Medical experts. (even tho last August...my family doctor WASHED MY EARS OUT WITH A HIGH POWERED HOT BUBBLY...FIRE HOSE...HAHA....then accidently broke my ear drum trying to get a lump of natural wax out. (gee ain't life fun...when one doctor does this and others do that.... and YOUR THA VICTIM! ha ha)
Anyway...the BioCobalt/radiation/chemo mixture in a balloon...inside my chest...stopped this DUCKS oil tank up (ha ha) and ....it's taken this many months to get it cleared up.
Again, I gratefully praise God for this blessing. Because to those of you who have never had a hearing loss...it causes DIZZINESS, HEADACHES, WALKING LIKE A DRUNK, FALLING, FUMBLING, DISORIENTATIONS. The normal sounds ....what few you can hear...in a hollow well...seem to come from totally the OPPOSITE direction. You can not sing...my favorite hobby. It is EXTREMELY hard to even talk....because you cannot tell how low or loud you are speaking...this strains all your throat, jaws, chest muscles....weird...but true. It hurts! Depression is normal--- from just TRYING to exist. Face muscle even react, eyes squinting till your head hurts---BUT YOU DO LEARN to read LIPS! HA HA
So, after 10 months...my Specialist--with awesome knowledge and medical equipment....as he said "sucked my brains out right through my ears"...ha ha AND INSTANTLY...I could hear!
The humorous side to this most appreciated blessing----is that now I laugh in remembering the hit music record of Garth Brooks years ago...about "be careful for what you pray for".
I prayed to be healed. I was healed! ...... :-)
That night...as every night...I took all my tons of required medicines....and my wonderful, beloved AMBIEN CR... sleeping pill~~~which KNOCKS me out totally in 30 minutes....er normally.
But THAT night...I COULD HEAR EVERY SOUND....birds screaming outside my window, neighbors dogs barking. cats fighting, a jillion trucks/cars/motorcyles going 80 to nothing up and down the highway....a moth caught in the window screen, the clock TICKING like a UNITED STATES AIR FORCE DRUMMER~~~~~~~~~~~~~~and my beloved husband of 49 years---SNORING, SNORING, SNORING....the rafters were not just shaking...they were MOVING to the beat! LOL
But, ya know....I honestly can say I LOVE IT. AmbienCR usually does a pretty good job...but that night...from 9 PM until after midnight....I simply enjoyed laying next to this ROARING LION...just being.... being comfortable.... feeling God's presence.... and Knowing HIS gift and love....His healing power...because~~~~I CAN HEAR again!
Dear ones who have never walked this road...I pray you never have to....and to the dear one who DO~~~~please know I am praying for you, too! For so grateful...am I~~~~~~~~~~~