Sunday, August 21, 2011


I miss things.

I used to miss the bus when I was little.
I miss appointments.
I sometimes miss church.
I miss a meal. (rare)
I miss seeing things at the mall.
I miss Donnie and Marie.
I miss seeing a friend when she comes into town.
I miss the oak tree near my dad's garage.
I miss my Mazda with it's 6 disc CD changer.
I miss the moon when it's cloudy.
I miss my jewelry and home movies which were stolen in 1989.
I miss my Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir CD.
I miss owning sheep.
I miss answering the phone in time to know who has called.
I miss Razorback football when it's out of season.
I miss looking young.
I miss good dreams.

I miss Jae.

I don't even like to say the word "miss" and her name at the same time.
It seems to trivialize a horribly deep chasm of loss.

But tell me another word which says the same thing and easily fits into most conversations?

I miss my future grandchildren that I will never know.
I miss her laugh at my dinner table.
and in my car.
and in my living room.
and everywhere else I go.
I miss her living influence on her sisters and cousins.
I miss her singing.
I miss her career. (How is that even possible?)
I miss her enjoyment of things around me.
I miss waking her up in the mornings and singing her to sleep at night.
I miss her when I see her friends living well and I miss her when I see her friends wasting opportunities.
I miss things that I don't even know about.

Blessedly and thanks be I don't always miss her as I've done this week,...but tonight,

Yearn for.
Pine for.
Long to see.

Jae Lynn.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dang It.

How bizarre it feels to walk out into the yard
and realize that you've lost your car.

What frustrates me the most is the 8 foot wide hole I now have in my rock wall.

Monday, August 1, 2011


"Isn't that a sad conference?"

People ask me how in the world I can enjoy attending an event filled with moms and dads who have experienced the death of one or more children.
I completely understand. I think I would feel the same way.
We, at our National Bereaved Parents Gathering, probably look like a train wreck...the kind of crowd where bystanders just can't look away.

We greet each other in the elevators with smiles, hugs and questions: Who are you here for? Then we show off a button picture or an engraved necklace and call the name of our kids who have gone too soon.
It's an odd heartfelt reunion with friends.
Pity the poor businessman who gets on the elevator with us.

I find that I am often consulted by friends who wish information regarding death and grief.
What I feel like I should be a resource for is information regarding life.
That'd be nice, but I know that's not how it works.

I know how precious it is.
I know how much the "picture moments" mean.
When I say "slow down and enjoy_____" it's been said with conviciton.
When I say "chooses your battles" I try to live it out (especially with Abby...)
When I read "Life is a vapor...", my head nods in agreement.

I desperately want my life to outlive me.
It has to be my life.
I don't think I'll make much of an difference by simply dying........everyone does that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Walk Worthy

I was extremely distracted.
Felt guilty because I didn't want to be there.

Last Sunday morning in church, right on the front row, I thought of absolutely 100 things except what Bro. David was preaching about.

It wasn't his sermon on Ephesians 4 or his style that had my mind wandering, it was that:

1. Abby was due home after 2 weeks of summer camp.
2. Abby and I had not done hardly any communicating during those two weeks (very unusual)
3. The past two times I had spoken with her, she had been in tears.
4. Jae's memorial softball tournament was happening 20 miles away without me. I needed to be there. It's rude to have 100 volunteers working at the event and me not be there.
5. We had a guest music director (which was why I felt I couldn't miss church). Extremely nice man, but unfamiliar music directors are stressful on lil 'ole piano players like me.

All of the above combined made for a "restless listen".

Then,...yesterday,....I began to remember the scripture passage of his sermon.

Walk worthy of our calling.
Walk worthy.

The verses beg us to "walk worthy of the high calling which we have received."

To "walk" means we are going somewhere.
It's intentional and directional.
It's active.

I've been given a gift of a very high calling. God Himself has called me to live (walk) for Him and do the things He wishes me to do.
I'm a servant of the King.

He has lovingly called my name.
I need to remember to walk each moment in a way that brings Him pleasure.



I've thought of that phrase almost every hour for two days.

The written word of God is a living thing which can re-enter my mind hours after I tuned it out.
Thanks to Bro. David for the passage.

Thanks to my Lord and Savior for loving me in spite of my messy self.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roads, Radios and Deep thinking

I've been a-wanderin lately!

Ralph and I took Abby, Amanda and another friend (Dillon) to a leadership apprentice program in Glorieta New Mexico. 2 solid weeks of leadership training/working along side of the staffers at the Southern Baptist summer camps.
After dropping her off, Ralph and I headed up towards Colorado. I've always wanted to see the Rockies! In spite of the cloudy weather, the peaks and views are some of the most spectacular I've ever seen.
New Mexico was brown and dry as a chip and there is virtually no vegetation higher than 12 inches. Seems to me that a New Mexico landscaper would starve to death.

Rode into Dodge City ( in a van not on a horse) and was taken on a personal tour by a real live US Marshall who grew up there. He was at least 75 years old, wore a crooked mustache, a badge, spurs and a gun. He was thrilled to be a Dodge city tour guide but was struggling with the changes occurring in the city. As he walked away from a couple landmarks, I heard him softly mumble about the "knuckleheads" who were running the city these days. I was also bit sad as he tried to make his voice heard over a couple of young punks who drove by (twice) with rap music blaring.

They should have been scared.....He coulda shot 'em.

On the way home, Ralph took a nap in the passenger seat as I drove.
I was missing Abby and praying for her to become filled with God's presence.
I was missing Casey and hating for her to be home all alone.
I was missing Jae Lynn and the fact that we never again get to vacation with her.

As I drove through the dusky evening I asked God to please let a song come on the radio which would make me feel close to the child I haven't held in years. The first one which came on was a rock-n-roll song. (hee hee)

I switched stations and came upon this one.

I believe God is all powerful.
I believe God is all loving.
Jae's death doesn't fit in with those two huge concepts.

Gotta go.
Got to go re-read all those 74(!) blog posts I've written on Faith....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I knew something was bothering her as soon as she sat down beside me this morning. Church had not started yet and our church family was milling around us as she confided quietly that she had gotten very upset in Sunday school this morning.

As her other friends filled out some sort of survey about their dad (in anticipation of Father's Day), she was painfully reminded that her dad left her and her mom,
he died a few years ago.
Wow. Her dad left her in divorce as well as death.
Double the pain.
Never to be reconciled.

She said "everyone else had good things to say about their dad. Good memories and good traditions. They know all about their dad's favorite everything. But my only stories are about how he left us. No one really wants to hear about that."

What in the world can I say in 30-60 seconds in a crowded room to such raw honest hurt?
As usual, I rely on the things I've recently read and studied.

Holy Fools (Matthew Woodley) is a book I found on the bargain rack for about 3 bucks.
See,...I had gone to Mardels to purchase a new book because I was jealous of my friend who went to a spiritual counselor and received a lot of wisdom, advice and new inspiration.
Since I don't have a spiritual counselor, I bought a cheap book.

Holy Fools gives 4 common denominators for the people who have changed the world:
1. They are passionate people.
2. They are messy people.
3. They associate with and love messy people.
4. They are always in trouble.

That's the advice I gave my young teen friend.
The chapters in our lives which are painful and "messy" are still things that God can use to bless others.
She truly loved the encouragement.

Now,..if I can just practice what I preach and apply that to my own life.............

Monday, May 23, 2011

Here's to the Mothers

Here's to the Mothers!

We show up every day to a job which never ends.
New life is celebrated and young mothers are supported and celebrated.
As time passes and the mother-child relationship ages,
the night-time feedings turn into night time counseling sessions
Make no mistake,.... one can be as life giving as the other.
The world can see us at soccer practice and in the church pews each week, but our private care and love delivered in the wee hours of the morning are seen by God and His angels.

Here's to the young women who long for children:
The ones who observe the planned and unplanned pregnancies of friends, family, strangers, teenagers, addicts and prostitutes. They try to not become bitter as they miss the children they can not conceive but time does not heal this longing for a child.....
Time intensifies it.

Here's to the Mothers who recently experienced their first Mother's day:
Her heart nearly bursts with blessings even as she yawns from her sleepless night feedings.
The power of love catches her by surprise.

Here's to the Mothers of prodigals:

Ruth Graham Bell said that our job was to pray and it was the Holy Spirit's job to convict.
We are so used to helping our kids "fix" their problems,
but here is a place where our passion is powerless.
Except in prayer.
No one,...NO ONE can pray for our kids like us moms.

Here's to the Mothers of children who are "special" indeed:
I can not comprehend parenting a child who you know will never reach adulthood.
I am profoundly moved when I watch you who deal daily with the pain of
watching your child struggle with small tasks.
Whether your beloved child's handicap is physical, mental, emotonal or all combined, you have one of the hardest roles of all.

Here's to the Mothers who have children and grandchildren all around:
Wonder of wonders! How much love can one heart hold?
An emotion this strong can only be supernatural.

Here's to the young women who have been blessed to have a good Mother.
Living under the same roof daily with someone who loves you more than they love themselves is what makes the world go 'round.
It equips us to face and conquer life.

Here's to the women who never had the blessing of a good Mother:
How deep the hurt must be as they observe other mom-daughters.
They read the sayings in the Mothers day cards and can't relate.
I am so sorry.

Here's to the Mothers who have placed their child for adoption:
The merging and melding of so many different lives takes my breath away.
These brave women create families out of their pain and fear.
Heroes,..that's what they are.
But most of them seldom think that above statement is true.

Here's to the woman-child who have to visit their mom's grave.
In all my studies of grief, the loss of a mom is one of the deepest of all. To be separated from the one who loves you more than any other living person is staggering to the core of being.
It leaves people at such a loss that they can feel adrift in life.

Here's to the Mothers who visit their children's graves:
Torn asunder.
Violation of the soul.
The ponders made at Jae Lynn's grave can not be published.
Not because they are private, but because they are too many.
Take it from me,...... the love of a mother defies death.
We simply love our children who now live in another dimension.

A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world.
It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.
Agatha Christie

Monday, May 16, 2011


Maybe this describes me the past few weeks.

Maybe it doesn't.......

I've not had writer's block...

(I don't think)


Thanks to all my friends who

have sent "Miss You!" messages.

Got just a few more things to do


I'll be back in the computer chair again!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lamentations at Dawn

I was an early riser this morning.
Had some things I just had to talk over with God and they wouldn't wait.

Then in my feeble attempt at scripture study at that ridiculous hour, I stumbled across a passage in Lamentations. (an appropriate book for that early hour)
Here's my crack-of-dawn message from chapter 3:

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself.
Enter the silence. (I did)
Bow in prayer. (I did)
Don't ask questions. (I did)
Wait for hope to appear. (Forced to)
Don't run from trouble. (me?)
Take it full-face. (sigh)
The "worst" is never the worst.
Because the Master won't ever walk out and never return.
This is the part I really liked:
He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God hears and answers prayers.
But I also am acutely aware that I don't know the will of God.
I'm always trying to find it.
I've felt most of the times that I'm in it.
I've known the horribleness of being out of it.
But what about when you need answers and are truly trying to do all the right things,...yet there are still no answers or clarity of God speaking.
Facing hard things when you KNOW it's God's will would be do-able.
But for me,.....
the confusion is worse than pain.
I think.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I just don't hardly ever have good ones. When I do have good ones, they are very good.
You could read about one here if you like.
Weird dreams?
Scary ones?
Yep. Lots of scary ones.....Someone is always chasing me in my sleep.
Awful demonic ones?
Unfortunately. I sometimes dream unspeakable things.

Sleep is a physical state which does very differnt things with our minds. Sometimes, we become free from our worries during our sleep and then other times, we continue to wrestle with diffuculties even though we are sound asleep. As far as I know, there are none of us who can control our dreams.

When some of my friends tell me their dreams and I secretly point my finger at them, look around at others and whisper..."this person is kah-ray-zee!"
Some dreamers I'm envious of because they always have comforting dreams.
And then there is that other group of dreamers who should take "Bean-o" before retiring each night.

Regardless of what you may think about people who dream, I'm tellin ya that this ole gal has often gotten answers to things in her sleep. I've had several things "come to me" in the dead of night which sometimes leaves me with a sense of amusement.
I could give you lots of examples.
I think it's way cool.

This morning, as we slept in the wee dark hours of the night, I clearly heard someone call my name.
Ralph and I both woke up as I answered.
I've thought about it all day.
(Since I truly don't think I'm "kah-ray-zee",..Someone go get me some Bean-o.)

Monday, January 31, 2011


A few years ago, some friends and I decided the youth group we were leading needed more prayer. (of course).
We were intentional.
We were passionate.
We were regular.
We were stunned......

You see, within weeks of the prayers, our small group of teens began
to grow
and grow
and grow!

I am ashamed to tell you this, but the biggest surprise was that God answered our prayers.
No kidding,...we were bustin out all over with teens who were lost. Our "church kids" were frustrated that this new group of unrulys had taken over "their" group.
We 4 adult leaders (volunteers) were excited but completely taken off guard as evidenced by our ridiculous lack of resources to deal with 60+ students.

We moved the adults out of the sanctuary, put the kids in there on Wednesday nite and had a blast with great praise, worship, devotionals, door prizes and skits.
It didn't take long, however, for us to get overwhelmed at the church vandalism, smoking in the bathrooms, sex on the church bus and utter disrespect for all adults.

Sounds like a nightmare huh?
and I tell ya what,...It felt like it at times.
But we were so sure that we were experiencing a movement of God.
Now, I'm not so sure.

Here are some observations of that moment in time:
1. Today, as far as I can tell, very few of those unchurched kids are followers of God. I don't see that we had much of an impact on them at all. I imagine that the only devotional they will ever recall is the one I did which involved a Happy Meal in a blender. And it wasn't God that made it memorable, it was that two people threw up in the class room.

2. Some churches aren't ready to reach the lost. Bayou Meto is ready now, but we sure weren't then. Lack of leadership, bad attitudes, lack of volunteers and lack of discipleship crippled us. How eternally unfortunate for those kids.

3. Legalism will never work with teenagers. They will rebel every single time.
And I say Good for them! Adults will plod along in a miserable religion, but most teens won't put up with it. They can spot a phony miles away.

4. If I'm going to pray like that, I better prepare for bigger results than I can imagine. Mine and my friends puny prayers were clearly heard in Heaven. I still marvel that we were surprised.

5. It made me long for more corporate prayer in our churches. Our prayers lists are important. Truly they are. I have asked to be on the list and am relieved to find my needs and requests on that little piece of paper in the hands of my church family.
But few of the prayer needs listed on our church prayer list are there for Kingdom purpose. Should those not be there in abundance?

I started the year 2011 as a year for prayer.
and once again,...God is amazing me.

I'm sure He is rolling His eyes at my wonder.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

To Assist Your Understanding

Have you always wondered what the doctor meant
when he told you
that you have an irregular heart beat?
Finally, a way to truly know......

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I wonder it is with me and cemeteries?
What has made me love them all these years?
I wrote about Jae Lynn's here.
I enjoy wondering through them and reading the names, dates and epitaphs.
I contemplate the ones who are no longer alive and am curious about their their life and their deaths.
Some are surrounded by family members who have since joined them in Heaven.
Some seem to be alone.
Some are obviously lovingly remembered and still mourned.
Some appear to be utterly forgotten.

Yesterday, I attended the graveside service of a young soul trapped in an old body. Mrs. Gwen Smith's frail frame had been holding her captive for years and she was finally set free last weekend.
Met in Heaven by hundreds of people who I'm sure she has missed.
Her reunion with them is more than likely still going wide open as I type this post.

For the first time ever, I remained at the graveside as the caretakers lowered her precious body into the earth and then covered it up in front of us. There were many of her family members there and while all were struggling with letting her go, the scene was peaceful and joyful even.

While I can not comprehend having watched those burial activities of Jae Lynn's, It seemed fitting and right that we be there for Mrs. Gwen as she entered such a peaceful beautiful place.
A wonderful life well lived.
An expected death which she embraced and longed for.
She is surrounded, once again, by those she loves.
In Heaven and on earth.

I so long for Heaven.
Yes, Jae......I will be there in the morning.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A List For January

I'm reading:
"Walking with God" by John Franklin. Actually it's very little reading, but it's a lot about prayer!

I'm humming:
"His eye is on the Sparrow".
I can't decide whether I love the Sister Act version (movie) or the Jody Hurst (friend) version.

I'm confused:
as to where we've put Casey's muck boots. Her favorite boots in the whole wide world and they are only good for yucky days like these snow days. Can't find 'em anywhere.

I'm still enjoying:
snow days with family. At the hint of snow, someone will jump on the tractor (thanks Ralph!) to bush-hog the hill so we can have a smooth place to sled. Altho I had to work, I loved that my family was all together having a great time. At dark, I joined them as we invaded moms house for waffles. Did you know if you add seltzer water to waffles it will make them fluff up in the waffle iron? Someone needs to tell IHOP this cool secret.

I'm excited:
at the idea of winning the giveaway dream home of HGTV. Think I have a chance?

I'm scared:
of men in big dually trucks on the ice and snow.

I love:
my electric blanket.

A quote which made me laugh:
by Herb Miller:
"Never sidestep challenges.
Grab every charging bull by the horns and slap him twice across the face.
Remind him that God is in charge of you."

I love:
too many things to list.

I hate:
Victoria's Secret that is.
I shopped and shopped for a bra with no underwire. Paid a trillion dollars for it and then realized it has a 3 inch piece of steel rebar in the side panel. Ladies,...why oh why would there be metal under our armpits?
I'm doing surgery to cut it out of the bra as soon as I find my glasses.

I'm excited:
that Casey's brother is coming for a visit next week. It's interesting to watch he and her together. They resemble each other so much and have many of the same mannerisms.

I wish:
well, know what I wish for.
Do you think there is snow in Heaven?
Is there any kind of weather in Heaven?
Does Jae and daddy see us and wish they were with us as we have our fun days?
(Maybe not,...because they already are.)