The Weather of Relationships

Just like the weather in Arkansas, things change. Sometimes they change quickly. Just this evening the weather was hot and dry with dust blowing in from Africa of all places. The weatherman had warned us, but really? Africa? Sure enough. Then the thunder and lightning began just at dusk. When we went out to wave the last of our children good bye for the evening my hubby noticed the rain gutter bucket was full of muddy water! A relationship that seems clear and perfect can run aground without anyone really doing anything. Personalities, differences of opinions and just plain humanity …

Love & Sacrifice

Love. We’ve been hurt by it and we’ve been blessed by it. People have even died for it. Love evokes a passion from within us. However, for a lot of us love can be so confusing. How can one fall in love and then years later fall out of love? How does that work? Is love really so frivolous? Is love really that unreliable? Despite the passion that lives in that one little word, we have managed to water it down. Love has become this abstract concept that our culture distorts for its own purposes. In fact, love has become …

5 Relationship Myths

My kids and I take a summer sabbatical every June to Florida, where I grew up. My husband usually goes on a mission trip and travels to a conference in June, so he kindly allows us to go to my hometown in Florida. Our last week in Florida, he flies down to join us. He loves to enjoy the beautiful west coast Florida beaches I grew up on. We also work in a mini Disney vacation with our little family and spend a couple days away, just him and me, on the beach. I cannot tell you how much I …

My Dad: Salvation to Service

I was born into the home of new believers. My mother found Christ first and spent a full year praying for my father. He had once said he would go to church but he would never want a Christian in his home. He never did find God. God found him. He found him in his room searching the scriptures for the UFO’s his older brother swore were in there. He found my father wrestling through the Old Testament exclaiming he could believe in Him, it was this crazy Jesus he couldn’t swallow. He found him considering conversion to Judaism. Then …

Grace Expectations

No human will ever be able to meet our deepest needs. This is something I’ve learned over my life. We often put so much pressure on our husbands, children, friends and family to fill a void in our lives, to be a certain way, or to be who we think they should be so they can meet our needs and our expectations.  Whether we are aware we do this or if we do this unknowingly, it’s wrong. Let me say it again, no human will ever be able to meet our deepest needs. It is Jesus’ job to fill that part of our soul …

Reflections on Earlier Life

Memories of a Centenarian Scripture: “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows, Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23: 5-6 While I sat and meditated, thoughts of my earlier life filled my mind: I was the oldest of ten children, lived on a farm and been raised during difficult times. 1918, the year of my birth, influenza caused more deaths than the war being fought. Thankfully, our family was spared. As I reflected on those days, I am thankful for loving parents.  With a large family, …

From Tradition to Memories

In a world of busyness and chaos, hustle and bustle, it is nice to take time to stop and enjoy it.  How often do we simply relax with our spouse or play with our children?  I can honestly say I often find myself telling my children to “go play” instead of “let’s play.” One of the many things I love about the Christmas Season is that even though it is hurried in the shopping and wrapping and parties…. there are still those moments when I can sit and do a craft with my children or make cookies with my family.  …

A New Tradition

A tradition is simply the transmission of beliefs from generation to generation.  We have to be careful that we do not get caught in them and undermine the authority of our creator, but rather bring Him pleasure by remembering Him in all that we do.  Such traditions that bring Him pleasure are saying grace before we eat or the taking of the Lords Supper.  As we do this, we quote “…Do this to call me (affectionately) to remembrance.” I Cor. 11: 24 AMP  I am always amazed at the various types of family traditions that I hear about during Christmas …

Skipping Thanksgiving

One of my biggest pet peeves is decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving.  I did it once back in college when my friend Tiffany and I roomed together.  Since we just couldn’t wait for Christmas, our decorations were up in early November.  All I remember was enjoying the decorations…for the first few weeks. By the time Christmas got here, the novelty had ended.  Of course, I don’t even remember Thanksgiving that year. Ever since then I made an unwritten rule that I’d never decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. More important than when we choose to decorate for Christmas, many of us …

And if not, He is still Good

The dictionary says thankful means “pleased or relieved” or “expressing gratitude and relief.” As I read over the definition right now, I ponder what it really means to me to be thankful?  Am I thankful?  Do I express gratitude enough in my life? When I think of gratitude or thanksgiving, the first thought that pops in my head are the people and things in my life I am extremely grateful for. Most people would agree, right? I know it was my first thought when I began to write about being thankful. I also wondered how many times a day I …

Thankfulness is Best Lived Forward

  When I think of the word thankfulness I get a picture myself as a young mother. I’m wiping the sweat from my brow and the hair from my eyes. Whew!  I was not sure how I could get it all done. But thankfully, God made a way. Most of the time I was waltzing somewhere between flustered and flabbergasted. I’ll admit that a lot of the time I was overwhelmed with things instead of thankful for them. One day I was standing on my porch watching one little daughter go down the street to play and another little daughter …

Prayer Changes Things…Beginning With Me

I can remember the day my sister called me with panic in her voice. As I sat in my office as a new temp hire at Stephens Inc., I remember her screaming to the top of her lungs that her then boyfriend had a gun to her baby’s head. As I visualized this scene, thoughts of this pattern of behavior that I had become accustomed to with her begin to play out in my mind. Such as the time she went to jail because she drove her car and ran over her then boyfriend, or the time her children were …