Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I am trying to carry my camera around more.
The problem with shooting pictures is the next tortuous step (for me) in home photography.
It's the place where I sit in front of my computer for hours scanning, downloading, transferring and then sending all of my pictures to a folder somewhere in Nigeria.
Abby has shown me at least 100 times how to
do this "simple" thing.
She says that she's getting tired of showing me.
I just tell that she should understand because
I've shown her how to clean the kitchen more times than that
and she continues to forget the process.


Below is the style show of the first "RocketDog day" at the
North Little Rock Cardiac Rehab department.
(Custom-created holiday by me)
Does anyone else have RocketDog shoes?
I think they are way cool!

Here are my daughter and her friends after an all nighter youth lock-in at church.
Can you tell which one is Abby?
She's the one yawning! (hee hee)
The do-nut in the foreground kinda made her blurry.

Here is what happens when a youth director finds a camera with special functions.

Oh friends....will you look at the size of my BURN PILE!!!!!

We decided to clean out the barn after decades of junking it up.
Much of the junk in our barn was there when we
purchased the property,
and then we did a mighty fine job of adding to it.
Now,...let me clarify that not ALL of the stuff in this BURN PILE! was from the barn.
It's been building from yard work and storm damage in
several of our family's yard.

It was getting so big that I told Ralph we had better take care
of the BURN PILE! soon
or the fire would just get way too big (not really).

To get the BURN PILE! started we added a little "impetuous".
For some reason, that's what my daddy called diesel fuel.
(Now don't you worry........we never never never use gasoline.)

Add a match.....

and you can see that we chose a good day to care
of the BURN PILE! because
the smoke is pretty much going straight up.
(that means there's "no wind")

I know you're jealous.
You wish you had a BURN PILE! this big.

Ralph calls Sophie (below) his "hairy daughter".
She wore herself out on the barn cleaning/BURN PILE! day.

But when you clean out a barn, find all kinds of cool things.

Like my Aunt Mildred's stove. Oh my my that woman could cook!!

I guess it got put in the barn in the 70's and the people who owned the

place for the next 20 years never moved it.
We actually have another stove in the barn from the 40's(?).

We haven't uncovered it yet, but I saw the top of it the other day!

These skeleton keys were raked up from the back of one of the compartments.

Can't you just imagine some man all frustrated

and saying "Hon? Where did you put my keys?"

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Tonight we began a study entitle "Mayberry". I tell ya, I love the study because we get to watch an entire episode of Andy Griffith!
We use the character's response to situations and then the study has scriptures to match.

Andy, Barney and Opie reminded tonight of the pleasing simplicity of service.

I have struggled much during the past 4 years or so with "what does God want me to do with the rest of my life?"

Ya know, I think that many of us have a deep-seated fear that God will "call" us into some sort of uncomfortable life-style. Something hard like inner city missions or serving in the deep wilds of Africa. We listen to the missionaries and marvel at their commitment.
We want to be willing. Truly do.
We confess our unwillingness and feel sure that even God couldn't make us want to "go".

The reality is however, that God calls us to work and serve just as hard "here" as those missionaries do "there".
We are surrounded daily by souls and spirits who need a kind word.
They sit beside us in our offices.
They are on the other end of the phone lines we talk on.
They are stocking or checking our groceries at Wal-Mart.
They live next door to us.
They sit beside us in church.
They sit daily at our supper table.

God created us all with unique personalities, talents and resources to take care of each other. Every day.

Galatians 6:10 says "Right now, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith." (the Message)
But I find that I sometimes ignore/forget/get irritated at the important things while I give inordinate amounts of attention to projects which have no eternal significance.

In the past 4 years or so, I have pondered, prayed and planned to be flexible and ready to do whatever I think God wants me to do. But I have found that His obvious plan for me at this moment in time brings no real big outward change to my life.
But baby you should see the changes on the inside!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I am a nurse.
Things looked a little sketchy in college, but I always knew I'd be one.
It's a calling on my life just as sure as some people are preachers and missionaries.

I work with all kinds of nurses and by far, most of them are exceptional.
Some are funny, some are creative, some are serious, some work all day in high gear and some are quiet and slow. They go into the presence of their patients with one thing on their mind, and that is to offer some sort of comfort or help. The help could range anywhere from flipping a pillow underneath a head to injecting a high dose of Morphine.

I know a few bad nurses.
Their skills are fine, may be even excellent,.... but they are a sorry excuse for a nurse.
Know why?
Because they don't care about people who hurt.
A nurse who is rude, unsympathetic and thoughtless will cause instant outrage.

Ronald Reagan was shot in the 1080's and wrote a book about his experiences after the gunshot nearly ended his life.
In his book, did he give accolades to the dynamic surgeon who dug a bullet out of his chest?
Did he compliment the radiologist who pinpointed the location?
Did Mr. President write about the ER doc who stabilized him until surgery?
None of those brilliant people were the ones who calmed the President of the USA and made him feel safe.

The most important man in the world made a hero that day of the nurse who held his hand and would not let it go.
She squeezed his fingers from the time he entered the Emergency room until he went under anesthesia an hour or so later.
Now, I guarantee you that the nurse had a lot more skills which may have been more useful at that moment than being a good "hand-holder", but the President didn't think so.
He was desperate for some heartfelt care.

I think our churches today are like that.
People come to us with heart and soul-threatening wounds and we want to get in the middle of their business and "fix" things.
They are in the right place!
By cracky, we have the answers!
Right away!!
Save em!
Baptize 'em!
Sign them up for a committee and convince them it's the same thing as "ministry"!
Make 'em come to church twice on Sundays and once on Wednesdays!
Then, after a few weeks, those people in pain will walk out of our sanctuaries wondering why they don't "feel better".

Come to think of it,..
I think a lot of our members are there as well.
I can think of lots of friends who have left a body of believers because they were not "cared for". I'm ashamed to say, but I can recall that I often chalked it up to the notion that those people were "too sensitive".
Not any more.
Now I know that some people enter our churches looking for good hand-holders.
That important life-saving skill, my friends, can point them straight to Jesus.

SLOW Learner here!
This isn't rocket-science Becky.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Playing It Safe

Francis Chan, one of my all time favorite preachers.
I hate that this is a bit fuzzy.
Watch it anyway!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Gathering Of The Bereaved Parents

Friends asked me today how I liked New York this past weekend.
My reply was that the
New York Crowne Plaza Hotel was excellent, but
I did not venture out of their doors
a single time until my return to the airport.

New York City is not on my bucket list.
Here are a couple of reflections about the
2009 Gathering of the Bereaved Parents of the USA:

1. I count some of these people among my dearest friends on Earth. And I have only spent a few days with all of them over the past 1-3 years

2. Many true inspirational heroes are considered as such because they get out of bed every morning and put their feet on the floor.

3. Butterfly releases are cool.

4. New York City taxes are not. (raised my bill by almost 22%!)

5. Friendships which change after the loss of a child often occurs not because the friends have changed, but can be attributed more to the fact that the parent has changed. Some friendships can not deal with the changes and are lost. Some friends can more easily relate and are strengthened. I'm still mulling that one over, but I think I agree.

6. Some of the best writers in this world will go forever unnoticed and unpublished.

7. A common thread I heard voiced is this:
Not only has "the church" not provided comfort, it has often inflicted wounds.
Come to think of it,...I have heard that many times before from people with other types of pain such as divorce, mental illness, substance abuse, etc....
This thought, my friends, will be an entire blog post very soon.

8. As my airplane flew over the earth from here to there, I observed the tiny specks of cities, houses and cars underneath us. I was reminded of how insignificant I am. But more impressed with the might and power of God who has each hair on each head of the whole Earth numbered.

9. The concept of "re-framing the pain".
This means that you take the pain of your life (whatever it is) and transform it into something of value. Almost, according to one speaker, as if you are holding up a defiant fist in a refusal to be brought low by the bad things which have happened.

10. Other guests in the hotel would occasionally get onto an elevator and ride with those of us from the gathering. These poor people would often ask "where ya from? or "what brings you to New York?"
It was a real conversation stopper to tell them.
We, on the other hand, often got a kick out of their response.
11. Whenever I am asked to speak or present for this group (or any group for that matter!), I now qualify it with the condition that I can speak God's name however and whenever. The response has been amazing. Not only do they agree, but this year, there was an entire section of break-out sessions under the label of "Spiritual".
My friends there long to hear of hope.

12. No matter how badly I hurt from not having Jae Lynn's voice and presence in my home, I am filled with gratitude to God for blessing me with my family, my friends and my church who have walked this road with me and show love to me daily.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hissy Fits

I'm not Catholic and I know you're not priests, but I have a confession to make:
I have thrown two gigantic Hissy fits within the past 10 days.

I Know,...I can't believe it either.
(hee hee)

I would spill my guts and tell you all about them, but I suspect you would secretly roll your eyes at me.
You would hear the circumstances and say "get over it! You can't control the situation!"
Bottom line is that people have angered me more that I have been angered in a year!

It has occurred to me however, I have endured these horrible negative emotions that do not belong in my positive thinking little head,..that I may be suffering from a lack of time in the scripture. You would think that on vacation, I would catch up on all my devotions and quiet times,..but the opposite has actually happened.
Dear me.....I'm living naked without a covering from God's word.

Believe me,...I skip/forget/just don't do my devotions on a regular basis and don't always attribute bad things to this sloppy practice.
BUT,..this past week,..I am convinced that Satan is working overtime on me and I never saw it coming.

Big things this weekend which are of utmost importance to me:
New York, of course, where I will share my testimony to hundreds of other Bereaved parents.
The 3Cheerleaders memorial softball tournament which will, once again, be held without me there.

Remember me and the tournament in your prayers this weekend.


p.s. I kinda began to come out of my bad mood last night when Ralph bowed his head for prayer at our supper table and prayed that we would have wisdom to deal with "the crazy heifer". I almost fell out of my chair laughing!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vacation Ponders

**Been gone for 11 days and thought of my daddy when I walked through my front door tonight about 10:00pm..
Daddy used to come back from ______(wherever) and would unlock the front door, start breathing deeply and loudly proclaim how good it was to smell home.
I did that tonight as I walked through the door.

**Buffalo River is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. My friend Wayne created a special hand-controlled hoopy-car (he has an old spinal cord injury) and we went exploring some backwoods roads in the Ozarks. He began the trip by telling me how to brake the car "just in case". Oh the places we saw! (and I only screamed once!)

**5 adult bodies will crowd-up an RV camper of any size.

** Turned fifty on Tuesday.
Good frazzlin grief!
How can I be 50?
Everyone at the river with me was nice to me.... no black balloons or adult diapers. (That stuff all awaits me upon my return to work this Wednesday, I'm sure.)

**I'm aggravated at myself because I meant to take a picture of the old water slide which was one of my favorite blog posts from last year.
I'll just have to show you the picture next year.

**Went to Texas the last few days of this week.
I'm always amused at the sights down a Texas freeway. For instance,...
Every home's driveway has an arch over it. It doesn't matter if it's South Fork or if it's a trailer. You enter through some type of proud entrance.
The other interesting thing is that 97% of America's horse/boat/truck trailer businesses are between Texarkana and Dallas.
The economy has obviously touched the cattle business:
One ranch was selling cattle, hay bales (alfalfa-round or square bales), trained stock dogs AND of course,.... trailers.
You can tell even the architects think big in Texas. We entered the first town of Texarkana and the town is in the process of building a bridge which is, no lie, taller than the tallest freeway bridge in Dallas. Now what does (the relatively flat town of) Texarkana need with a mile high bridge to anywhere?

**The Canton Texas flea market is one of the coolest places I have ever laid my little shopping eyes on. It's called the "First Monday" flea market and it's evidently open the weekend before the first Monday of the month.
(It's actually closed by Monday.)
(Is that odd to anyone else besides me?)
Anyway, it whatever they want to, it's a spectacular place to shop. And I guaran-durn-tee-ya that you will find stuff that you simply can not walk away from.
You must go.
Take a truck.

You hear me?

**At the flea market, I found a large old rusty pig sculpture with yellow wings. Jae was a pig collector and yellow was her favorite color.
The pig now has a new home in my front yard.

**The best part about vacations is that I can enjoy and "connect" with family members who, like me, run like crazy through this life. Although the trips can occasionally get frantic with things like tickets, parking, money, etc,....those moments are usually sandwiched between things which are enjoyable.

**A dear elderly friend was recently placed in an "assisted living facility" in Dallas. On her first day she attended (under protest) an exercise activity so she could meet other residents. They welcomed her, greeted her warmly and offered a prayer for God to help "her to learn to love them as they knew they would her, and to help her to love her new home as much as they did."
It did my friend's heart so much good to be greeted with such Christian affection.
Is that not amazing?
Ministry never stops does it?
Residents of nursing homes ministering to one another.

**It's good to talk to you again. I'm off to New York this weekend for a presentation to the Bereaved Parents of the USA, so I'll talk to you in a week or so!