A Country Dessert

With living in a small community, occasionally we were given desserts from ladies in the congregation. One time after church, the entire family was ushered into the church kitchen and this sweet, simple country woman set a lovely, homemade lemon meringue pie in front us.

“Pastor, I made this for you.”

Then she said, “This is your’n. This is your’n.”

Mom watched the wheels in our heads spinning as we conjured all the puns we could think of…”this is urine.” Mom’s eyes pierced us and we could read the daggers….”Don’t any of you kids Dare laugh….or crack a smile.”

Mom received the pie with genuine gratitude and we were all dutiful to say, “Thank you.” But once we were at home sitting at the dining room table savoring the “Urine pie”….we broke into gales of laughter.

 

 A Mother’s Love

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These cuties are all grown up now…..

 

A mother’s love is deep and self-sacrificing. How I remember as young children, my siblings and I each took  $ 1.00 and went to the store to buy Mom a bottle of perfume for Mother’s Day. We wanted her to know how much we loved her. Each bottle had a different color lid on it—purple, red, yellow and blue. Daddy always purchased perfume for Mom—Chanel No. 5 and White Shoulders, so we just knew that she would love our choice of perfume for her.

She was so incredibly gracious and elaborate with her praise and gestures. We watched her lavish the individual fragrances on her arms and neck and exude, “Oh, it’s so lovely that you gave it to me. Oh, yes, Honey, I am wearing it.” And she did. We wanted her to wear our choice on Sundays, when we wanted her to smell really nice.  (What atrocious odors she wore for our sakes.) Years later as we reminisced, we all laughed until tears came out of her eyes.

How expansively she loved us. How many times did she lovingly drape a handcrafted macaroni necklace strung with simple yarn and proudly wear it to church because one of her children made it for her. She was a woman whose primary love language was “gift giving” and though our gifts were not expensive, in her eyes, they were indeed priceless, because they showed her that as our mother, she was loved dearly.

Fast forward to my life where my own sweet kids pondered what to make me for my birthday….several years ago when I was diagnosed with diabetes. They proudly served me a simple chicken breast with a candle and I can still remember the hopeful question, “Mama, do you really like it?” And, like my own mother, I sang their praise and delighted in their desires to bless me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mentor’s Memorial

A few hours ago I watched via the Internet the memorial service of one of my amazing mentors, Mr. Jim Kilkenny. He taught me Biblical Foundational Principles and how they applied to Education; specifically to every subject. How deeply enriched my life has been because of seeing these truths. Having been trained in public school and a secular university, God had to really expand and renew my thinking. I recall seeing a cohesiveness and unity when examining God’s view of Math, Science, History, etc. It made learning take on a whole new meaning for me.

But being mentored by Mr. Kilkenny was a personal experience for me, as well. He cared about me as his student teacher but treated me as a friend and a peer. I looked at him as a Father-figure and there were numerous conversations that we shared over the course of the few years that I worked with him. How much he encouraged me and believed in me!

After twenty-five years of marriage, it was going to be my great delight to share with him the achievement of a lifetime dream—my first published book, Broken Hearts Healed. He had a massive stroke just a few days ago and Jesus took Mr. Kilkenny home.

Mentors are people who invest in our lives and who have such an amazing influence in shaping our destinies. Sometimes, though, I don’t think they have any idea just how profoundly God has used them because they simply live faithfully and make the time to pour into our hearts and minds the words and actions that God directs them to.

These are two pieces of writing that were inspired during my training under Mr. Jim Kilkenny.

My God!

How vainly we flit from philosophy to philosophy

seeking desperately for that which we

cannot seem to grasp or find—

We are like a butterfly

that has been touched

and keeps flapping its wings

going nowhere

’til it dies.

 My God!

thousands of Americans, Europeans,

Bajans, Africans,

peoples of

the world

have no concrete idea why they are

even here

and books that tell the stories

sit on the shelves—

unresearched, unopened,

unquestioned & unanswered.

Truly life—in all its meaning

has become meaningless

in this day and age

of Humanism—

where You no longer exist.

My GOD!

This butterfly will never fly again

because the touch of man

unknowingly, in his inquiry to grasp its beauty

in ignorance of its design

Has damned its destiny.


O Lord when I consider the magnitude of the task, the challenge of delving into unchartered waters, every natural inclination within me rises up and screams (vying for attention) “Turn back! turn back! turn back!” But some small spark of indignant fire courses through my being urging me on to seek that “new world” of education and to discover once again that Lost Colony of Learning that will fill my soul with the vast wisdom and knowledge of God causing me to bow so humbly in my heart of hearts with tears so nobly streaming down my cheeks, and posture so reverently kneeling to acknowledge with joy, wonder, admiration and awe Thy great and powerful Hand in History and Thy mighty acts towards the children of men.

 

 

           

 

Are You Struggling?

I had another profound weekend of stimulating, thought-provoking, challenging conversation that stirred in me the desire to gather the wounded, weary, broken, angry, confused, abandoned, neglected and disillusioned young people into the circle of mentorship, friendship and camaraderie to speak hope into their lives. To Listen to ache of their hearts, to be the “spiritual mother,” if you will, the “older woman” because someone desperately needs to take the Time to care for the ones who silently suffer.

I am seeking those who struggle with “Who is God to me?” The ones who say, “I grew up in church, I know the Bible verses, maybe even I’ve gone on mission trips and been actively involved and on the outside I look really good but on the inside I am hurting…but I can’t tell anyone because then it will look like I’m a fake. Like maybe, I’m not really a believer….I mean….gosh, if I don’t really have it all together, what hope is there for the ones I’m trying and hoping to win to Christ?”

If that is what you feel and where you are today, I want to be here for you. I want to take your hand, give you a hug, and not fill your head with a bunch of worn out “clichés” but to really Listen, to bear your burden, to offer you a heart of compassion, kindness and acceptance and to tell you that together we can walk through these dark places of pain and loneliness and isolation where church for you has felt empty and lifeless and all you want to know and be assured of is that You really do matter and that Jesus Christ really is Who He says He is.

So, if I can help you to draw closer to Him today and to His amazing love and forgiveness for you, dear Friend…that is my desire.

Are You…His Mother?

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I have had my signature silver hair for a very long time and Ross has always been “baby-faced.” Of course, that fact that I am the older one of us, by 6 1/2 years only adds to that “difference.” That’s what comes from falling in love with a younger man. Thus, I insisted that he must always have a beard and a mustache because if not, people would really think that he’s my son and not my husband…. as has happened on more than one occasion.

After only a few months of living in our new remote Alaskan village of 200, it was time for the high school graduation. It is an honor for the elders to receive their food first and in this case, dessert. As the entire village was milling around the school gymnasium, a young 10-year-old girl looked at me.

“You can go get your dessert now.”DSC05996

Quizzically, I looked at her. “Why?”

She promptly responded, “Because you’re an elder.”

I smiled as I was just in my early 40’s and one needed to be 55 to qualify for that status.

“What makes you think I’m an elder?”

“Well, your hair.”

I burst out laughing, leaned down gently and said, “Honey, I’m not an elder. My hair might look really old, but I am not.”

Later when relating that story to some of my new friends in the village, they started laughing in embarrassment. I was puzzled and they finally told me why they were all so embarrassed.

“We all thought you were older. We all thought you were his mother!”

DSC06002So, our first Christmas in the village, we were debating what to do for the church
program and our oldest daughter, Rachel Joy, chuckles and looks at me, “Well, Mom, you’re too old to be the Virgin Mary.” So, Ross and I goofed off and teased about being Simeon and Anna…..which became reality.DSC05997

Ross purchased theatrical make-up and a bald cap and beard but then in order for it to be applied correctly, he realized that shaving might be the better route. Now you can see for yourself how young he looks. That’s Dad posing with his two sons and oldest daughter. He was nearly 39 in those pictures. The last shot is us, as Simeon and Anna.


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Upcoming Book: Broken Hearts Healed, A Story of Transformation

At five years old, Ruth is an outgoing girl and her favorite place is church…until her world is rocked by sexual abuse. Now she lives in a private hell of silence, rejection, rage and shame.

As a teenager, desperate for attention, she spirals further into depression, embracing a lifestyle of promiscuity, sensuality and self-hatred. Stripped of innocence, deceived by people she trusted and haunted by skeletons from her past, Ruth longs for love but doesn’t believe she will ever find it. Shame engulfs her. Suicide is tempting. Who would ever want to marry a fallen preacher’s daughter?

Broken Hearts Healed, A Story of Transformation is a powerful true story of redemption and romance.

Pre-Orders Available Soon. Share with your friends!