Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Monday, August 30, 2010

She Nailed Him - Jael

Artemisa Gentileschi - 1620
On my way to Gideon, I became enthralled with Jael, just one chapter before Gideon's encounter with God.

I get lost with this woman and what she accomplished.  As I went to Bible commentaries, I become more interested and I quietly listened for the lesson that was being voiced in my spirit.

Many of us know the story and yet, I never remembered her name.  As I see Deborah immortalize her in her victory song, Judges 5:24-27, I started to look at this unconventional woman of God.
She doesn't appear to be the example we usually place before us as a Godly woman.  Most of us will never be known, or do we want to be known, as a murder.  Yet, she is called "blessed of all women in the tent."  Now, I would be honored with that title.
Here is a summary:

  • God has Deborah prophesy to  Barak that the victory will be won, but it will be at the hand of a woman. (Judges 4:9)
  • Jael invites the "enemy" Sisera into her tent.  She hides him, provides milk and a blanket...leads him to believe she will protect him (Judges 4:18)
  • She doesn't stop to pray, or it isn't mentioned, she doesn't go to ask counsel of her husband (she knew he would not approve) she just takes matters into her own hands (in no way am I saying don't ask counsel from husband, nor to go against his will.  I am just stating what happened in scripture) (Judges 4:21)
  • Because the women of her day set up the tents, she was familiar with the tool she used to defeat her enemy
  • She nails him to the ground!!!!  Scripture is very graphic in how she did this....not a dainty, gentle, woman doing this!  A courageous, strong, determined, and confident woman.
  • She meets Barak at the tents entry to bring him to the death of the enemy (Judges 4: 22)
  • Judges 5:6 goes on to tell us "in those days, the days of Jael, caravans ceased and travelers kept to the byway"....she was known for her defeat and there was caution used from then on
  • She is praised in scripture not for her submissive or gentle virtues, but for her heroism through a gory act that freed her country of oppression!! (Judges 5:24 - 27)
These passages brought up a lot of questions and thoughts.  God does things His way...not ours.  He called a prophet to lay on his side naked and a woman to kill a man with a peg.  How many times do I put limits on God...surely that couldn't be God?  How many times do I have the skill and the peg to nail the enemy and yet I don't want to get my hands dirty?  How many times has God called the powerless to defeat the powerful and yet, I am still waiting for another confirmation?

I was amused that her story is between Barak and Gideon.  Barak wouldn't go into battle without Deborah and so God gave the victory to a woman.  Gideon obeyed after countless confirmations, questioning, and hiding in the dark to accomplish his mission.  Here, in the middle of them both, was Jael...she invited him in, she took the peg and Nailed the problem to the floor.
Oh Lord, may I have the spirit of Jael and nail the enemy to the floor!!!!
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" Eph. 6:12.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Am Returning to School

Yes!!!! Fall is in the air and we are back in full swing with our home school schedule.  As the Texas weather allowed me to feel a small glimpse of cool temperature my mind went back to my own school days.  NO!, I have no desire to return to academia...I still have nightmares about college finals.  However, the desire to learn always increases as I mark out our home school year for my children.

So, with library card in hand, I went to the library for ME!!!  I had been inspired while reading from Patsy Clairmont to try something new.  Below is my fall schedule of learning for myself!!!
  • Continued My Learning walk with the Lord...new journals and cards for scripture memorization
  • New Skill....after being inspired by visual journals I want to learn Calligraphy...something I just haven't taken the time to do
  • Read new authors...starting with Erma Bombeck...I know I will enjoy the laughs and wisdom
  • Reading new authors moves me outside my reading comfort zone...a change of comfort zone is good. I will see what others think happiness is...I know the source - He Is My Saviour!
  • Re-upholster....did it years ago and need to brush up on my skills...first project a "footstool" then a rocking chair!

  • Greek Cookbook....my son is studying Ant. Greece, so this will bring some hands on for me and expose us to different cuisine

  • Take all those photos from my Mommy Piggy Tales Post and all my scrapbooks from my youth...get them into a book before I turn 50...okay, that might be wishful thinking...but try to organize it all!!
  • Volunteering to help with a child and a teacher at our local public school...training starts in two weeks
Life always brings us some lessons.  Some of the lessons we initiate and others are thrust upon us.  I have some lessons that are being shoved on me, but I can say the ones I  choose to enter into myself are so much more FUN!

What new skill, craft, or subject are you learning this fall?  Is it taking you outside your comfort zone?

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Best School Year – Sophomore Year

Sophomore year just has to be the best year of high school, or at least it is in my memory. You are no longer the "fish" and you have yet to become the "snob" of your senior year. FREEDOM seems to describe my 10th grade of high school. Continuing on my journey to post my youth with Mommy Piggy Tales.
The school year 1976 to 1977!

The first year of Steppers..now check out those guns in my house...wonder why the boys were  afraid of my dad?
With hand-sewn and custom designed uniforms, the "Steppers" would make their debut the fall of 1977. We were allowed a limited number of football, assembly and basketball appearances the first year. We were small but determined and I had found my niche. I would cherish, and in some ways "mother" these girls. With our volunteer sponsor, we would bring a new tradition to the old establishment. Our first football appearance was a hoe-down with hay bales. My "older brother" (future husband) would attend this game and help to get the hay on the field. He would stay in the stands with my friend Kathy, whom he called "string bean". Watching with "older brother" pride, he would watch me step onto the field. (Now remind you he had dated a UT twirler and was then dating a UT cheerleader, as he finished up his senior year at UT)

I would continue to ride the bus to school (until I got my license) and was only allowed to drive to school if there was a reason for me to be early or late. Having a car at school meant you could leave for lunch. We were allowed to leave on our own or with other drivers…this became the objective of the day... to see how you could get away for lunch. Since my parents only allotted me enough money for the school lunches, I would save a day or two of my lunch money in order to be able to eat out.

School meant classes and something you had to do. My grades would remain high, allowing me to continue in leadership over the drill team. PE requirements would be obtained through drill team preparation classes that I would lead. Other than taking tennis my freshman year, I never took another PE class, other than dance.

My father would continue to coach the church basketball teams. My future husband would continue to play and the all the guys would make regular visits to our house. I established some very dear friendships with different guys on the teams. Youth would continue with Bible Study, Revivals, All-Night Lock-ins and Sunday School. This was the time when most churches felt if the kids were at the church building, they were less likely to be involved in drugs. Youth leaders were hired to fill the calendar with activities and an old personage was turned into the youth building.

January would bring my license and age "16"!!! Now when you finally get your license, your whole world changes!!!!!!!!! My father, in his engineering mind, made sure his first born daughter knew all there was to know about a car. I was required to know how to change oil, change my own tire (neither of which I have ever done in 33 years of driving) and learn to drive a standard. The family car that I would speed  uh, drive around town in was a 1977 Honda Civic, which would carry me 50 miles on a gallon of gas. So, the fear I had in junior high of never driving didn't come true. Figuring out excuses to go somewhere became a full time job. I fell in love with driving and just chilling out behind the wheel of my little "can" orange car. At church the guys were known for taking my car and turning it sideways in between two parked cars!!!

Wednesday night at church, I would receive an "older brother" birthday talk from my husband-to-be.  It was not unusual to spend the time between church supper and the service sitting beside him while he played the church piano.  This Wednesday night, I would sit on the piano bench while he sang and then listen as he offered his "grown-up" advice to his future wife on her "16" birthday.

Age 16 also allowed me to legally date, (yes I did sneak out on a date one time…and got caught) which didn't matter much since, I would only date about a half a dozen times before seriously dating my husband to be, even though I would spend time with different guys through the year. This was the age that you swore the whole world of girls had countless offers each week and you were the only one who stayed home…some things don't change. I would fill in my weekends shopping on Saturday with my dating girlfriends and finding different options for group entertainment. Movies would be a big departure for those of us who weren't being asked out.

My family would start to deal with some of the same struggles as other families during this time...my sibling would chose to become involved with alcohol and drugs.  Her decision would bring strain on our family, at the same time it would challenge my faith.  I would learn to take what I believed and make it my own through times of prayer for my family's struggle and Bible reading.  This struggle would continue until after I married.

Summer between my sophomore and junior year would bring a mission trip and DRILL TEAM CAMP!!! Life was just great!!! New adventures every day and just the joy of growing into a young adult brought me continued fulfillment.  Even with struggles at home God would continue to give me a place of refuge in Him and other outlets.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Mistakes, His Ultimate Plan

" What a relief to know that God's established plans from the beginning of time cannot be interfered with by my mistakes."
Patsy Clairmont - I Second that Emotion

How "powerful" I make myself when I believe my decisions can alter God's plans.
How "small" I make Him when I think I have knocked "history" off-track by my failures.
(my response to the above quote)

Patsy's comment has rung in my ear as the enemy dragged me through past years of failures, trials and mistakes recently. The enemy knows what hurts my heart as I read an e-mail from a distant friend expressing her excitement over her adult children's achievements.  She had no idea that when sharing one of her child's accomplishments, the enemy would inflict a wound upon my heart.  Her son had achieved a "dream" that one of my sons and I had just recently cried over.  Mistakes and bad decisions my son made had erased that "dream" from his reach.

Another friend expressed her gratefulness over coming to the end of their mortgage, setting them up for financial freedom in their early 60's.  My heart sank as our "dream" for this life milestone was swept  from  our reach because of mistakes and job situations, after 28 years of paying for a mortgage.  We now find ourselves without the "American Dream", living day to day in temporary housing.
(These are small examples of greater trials and challenges, but the solution to all accusations are the same)

As the enemy came to throw these accusations into my face with "See, your mistakes have messed up life," I had to choose to hear the "Truth".

Did my sin cause some of the consequences? YES
Is My God greater than my sin? YES
Did my sin or trials change His established plan? NO
God didn't leave His throne when the mistakes and trials came!
He still has a plan for my family and me, and He will complete it!
I silence the lies, the regrets, the tears and the condemnation the enemy has slapped upon me with the "Truth".

Phil. 1:6 - "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you WILL PERFECT IT until the day of Christ Jesus."

Romans 8:28 - "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."

II Corn. 12:9 - And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power to be perfected in weakness". most gladly. Therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Eph. 3:20 - Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works within me.

Jer. 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wealth and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.
The scripture reveals the "Truth". I need to thank Him for all the things He has kept from me.  My "dreams", if fulfilled, could have led to other trials that God prevented from happening.  I  rest not in the accusations of the enemy, but in the peace that My God is in control and loves my family and me, even with all of our mistakes.

I hope you are encouraged that no matter what has come into your life or will come, our God is in control and will see you through, to bring beauty from your ashes. I look forward to watching the transformation in my life.  I hear the Casting Crowns song, The Voice of Truth ringing in my ears, instead of the enemy's accusations.  I hope this encourages you to SILENCE the voice of the enemy in your situation.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Drama and Maturity

School Mascots and Marching Team
Brace-free, while smiling with straight teeth, thinking I was "too big for my britches", as my father would say, I entered High School. This would be the mixing of old and new. My High School moved into a new building, but it was the city's namesake founded in 1881. So, the "River Rats" joined the old establishment, mixing the old with the new. I would be part of the first graduating class from the NEW Stephen F. Austin High School.

Looking back, I can say this was the year in which my peers became the most influential in my life. I wanted to be busy with friends all the time. I had a great advantage to get to know the high school boys from my church youth group when my Dad decided to coach the church basketball team. I was allowed to attend games, even if the rule was no dating until age 16, because my Dad would take me. This new team would draw boys to our church. My best friend would meet her "husband to be" this year (they just celebrated 30 years) and my future husband would play on the men's basketball team. Attending every church event revolved around my friends and the guys. The guys still talk about how they knew that if they touched me, my dad would come after them with a gun.  The other advantage of his being a coach was the guys would come to our house and my mom would fill them up with homemade donuts. So even in my na├»ve innocence, God had placed a protective boundary around me. I would be given the nickname "JC" at church, which is still used by these friends. Since I ran around with older youth, they all drove and my adventures went through the roof.

  • Sunday afternoons were spent dreamy-eyed, watching the guys play football and then listening to them compare how big their strawberries (bruises) were
  • Everyone would gather at the burger or pizza joint after church on Sunday night
  • Spending the night with friends would bring opportunities for group gatherings….like stuffing ourselves in a phone booth and playing on a local swing set at the school
  • Eating ice cream at the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Shop...non-alcoholic daiquiri ice  made me think I was doing something risky
  • Bras that fastened in the front….wow, was I "sexy"…only in my head!
  • Movies – A Star is Born/ Jaws/ Rocky
  • Music – Chicago/ Eagles/ BeeGees/ Barry Manilow
  • Shop on Saturdays with my girlfriend and, because of babysitting, I would buy my first totally retail store outfit... I didn't have to sew it!!!
I would express myself in drama this year when the answer was "no" to all of my requests to be with the "group". I guess I wore my parents down because by the end of the year I was allowed to double date…by then, the boy I really liked wasn't interested. He had been my "boyfriend" for two long months, but this meant being together in a group and over the phone. I just thought I would die before I could date…wise parents with a too-big-for-her-britches daughter. I would express my "hormonal-induced" drama in my diary…oh my…my mother did survive. Maturity

School would bring the first-born leader characteristics into view. Since my neighborhood was supposed to go to another high school known for its state championship drill team, I was more than upset to enter a school with the original marching girls group still in knee-length skirts. I had watched from the bus stop for years when the drill team members left their homes in their uniforms for school. My best friend from church had just danced for her school drill team. With unwavering confidence, I decided to petition the principal with signatures, asking for a drill team to be established. I would speak directly to our principal with all the reasons for allowing the drill team to be formed. She agreed, with the understanding that there wouldn't be any school funding and I would have to find a sponsor. I found a sponsor and organized the first tryouts for the drill team by the end of the year with outside judges from other schools officiating. I tried out with a dance to "Sweet Gypsy Rose". So the "new" was bringing in their influence and the "old" wasn't sure how they felt. I would tryout for officer and became the first Captain for the Austin High Steppers. This would become my life at school….I would be very quiet in class with classmates, but would shine in my element. The summer would be spent preparing for the drill team's preliminary year. Choreographing dances and designing our uniforms, which I did, with the seamstress talent of my mom.

I would continue with youth choir and we would perform the musical "Alleluia" where my future husband would sing his first solo...which I don't remember!!

Our Nation would celebrate its 200th Birthday and our youth group would travel to Dallas, Texas for a youth rally celebrating our Nation. I would meet my husband to be on this trip. Later I would write in my diary, "I met the greatest guy in the world." He and my mother would become counselors to for our youth trip to Glorietta. Even though there was almost seven years difference in our age, the youth leader, along with my mother, predicted that we would marry one day. Because of our age difference, he had to let me grow up…I thought of him as an older brother. I never remember life without him from then on.
Playing Cards with My Future Husband...Who Knew? 

Oh, even when I was allowed to double-date, I only had one offer. I would never get asked out from anyone at school or receive any invitations to parties…it was known that I didn't drink and I was in a drinking school. I would lead the drill team, but all social activities would revolve around church. Again, God in His mercy kept His hand on me and protected me against myself.

Thus was my school year of 1975 to 1976.

I am coming to the end of recording my youth with Mommy Piggy Tales. I hope this has inspired you to record your own memories!

(I am the one in the photo not looking at the camera)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

In a moment of total insanity I confessed to "Ethel" that I was bored!  Life just seems  less eventful than when my house was full of four teenagers, with five children playing sports, taking music lessons and home schooling.  My gas tank stays fuller and the calendar can be kept in my head.  So for a short period of time, probably given to me by God for rest, I had the notion that I was bored.

To recap my first two days this week and to STOMP  that notion to the ground, I will list our days back on our fall schedule.

  • Apartment questions from adult children, paint, bills, moving 
  • Two college students phone calls on class schedule, financial aid question, jobs, health
  • Husband with new diet requirements and sleep schedule...oh, my, can we say "hard"
  • 9th grader needed to finish a weeks worth of work in two days to attend "Fish" camp with friends at church
  • 4 year old decided to paint his face pink with purple dot...they weren't waterproof
  • Husband trying to get resume out to find a job to support family
  • Fire threatened to burn up our neglected, but much loved camper in storage area
  • Fall Baseball sign ups...now to refresh the weak skills...batting cages in 100 degree temps.
  • Clothes clean, packed and all school work finished and get son to "fish" camp
And to think I said I was bored!  I think I will keep that comment to myself from now on and RELISH in any time that the Lord allows me to feel an ounce of boredom!!!

How is your week going?  Do you have time to get bored?  Has God given you some REST time?  If so I would encourage you to enjoy your slower pace...who knows what tomorrow will hold!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Closing the Door to Summer

I have to stop and reflect on the Summer of 2010, since I am not a list maker, so I don't have completed "to do" list...I have a done list. Now I can close the door to summer and  move forward.
This summer God walked me through some very personal growth.  He used his written word, blogs and books by different authors.  I can say that when I posted that God was putting me back on the potter's wheel I had no idea what means He would use.  Summer has meant "Spiritual Growth"
Summer 2010 has been a time to Enjoy and Refresh with My Family

Summer 2010 has allowed me to be Creative - How Energizing!

Summer 2010 has allowed me to be  Productive

Through Mommy Piggy Tales, where I have been recording my youth...well I can say God allowed me to have the same type of summer I had as a youth.  All of the above were ALWAYS  accomplished during the summer....even without a list.

So Long Summer, welcome our 22nd year of home schooling .....now for FALL...what will my God have for you and I?  I hope your summer has been a blessing...and thanks so much for sharing mine with me....I couldn't have imagined the blog world either.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yank It!!!

Well us Texas girls are not known for being timid.  So when I read my friend's post I heard the answer to many of my recent prayers.

Marcy - the author of Life is Fluid and long time family friend, had a post this week that has just stayed with me.

There are times in our life where we just need to Yank It!!!!  That's Right. So I will be spending my weekend doing some Yanking.  I have attached her post for you to enjoy and maybe there are some things in your life you need to Yank.  Thanks Marcy for sharing your gift which has brought such life to me over and over again.

Sometimes there is no need to pray for peace, when you've got two hands and strong arms.

Standing in the park last night, under a tree with low hanging limbs (to be out of the sun), my husband and I were visiting with a few other people. The low branches and their leaves were blowing in the hot summer wind and hitting us lightly on the head, enough to be irritating. I was chatting, and the leaves covered the face of the one I was talking with, and we just kept standing there, tilting our heads and swatting at the leaves. 

In a few minutes, I saw my husband reach up, snap off a good size branch, and the problem was solved. No more low-hanging annoyace. One move of the hand, one pull of the arm, and the branch fell to the ground, as we continued to converse - no longer irritated.

My husband sees a need and if he's able - he fixes it. Just like that. But me? And others I know? We stand in the wind, getting slapped in the face, over and over again, hoping and praying for a solution to the annoyance, wondering why God hasn't answered.

Some of us need to quit standing under the tree that's annoying us, when that darn branch just needs a good yank! And if we can't reach it, I bet there's someone nearby who can...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pecking Order Changes

Today, I continue down memory lane with Mommy Piggy Tales to record my youth from birth to age 18...I am almost finished, thanks for joining me on this journey.

Summer between seventh and eighth grades was the summer that the pecking orders, popular group, clique or whatever terms you would call it, changed. I guess the saying, "out of sight, out of mind" can be said and my summer was busy with family and church. So returning from summer break to my junior high brought short term excitement. Early in the year, my group had changed and I was ousted out, and somewhere along this time another group decided they were after me. I don't remember exactly what happened, somewhere between my posters (an office I was running for) and those posters being ripped off the wall…well, I found myself locked in a bathroom waiting for my mom to rescue me from the group that was going to BEAT ME UP!

My wonderful mother came and removed my sister and I from that junior high, transferring us to another junior high that would be funneled into the high school we would attend. So, in October, I became the "new" girl in a very different environment. This junior high was an old established school, one in which the girls' mothers, aunts and grandmothers had attended. I would receive the name "River Rat" which would stay with me through high school. Our city is divided North and South by the Colorado River and since the bus carried us across the river from South Austin, we were "River Rats".

Over all, the girls were kind, but you knew you didn't measure up. They came from well-to-do households. I was 5'6" and they all seem to be no taller than 5'3"…it was like being in a school of clones. They dressed with matching outfits from head to toe….I mean purses (this was the years of monogram clutches with exchangeable covers) and shoes to match each designer outfit with very few outfits being worn twice. The dress code was announced through the popular girls…we could only wear jeans on Friday and dresses a couple of times per week. I, however, had all my clothes sewn (mainly by me) or bought from factory outlets. I had no clue the shops or labels they wore. It was not until I was in high school that I owned a complete outfit from a retail store.  I seemed to have a feeling of "oh well" and just tried to get along...not striving for total acceptance but learning what intimidation means and how to overcome it.

I would enjoy the pep squad again and cheer my lungs out!! Later in the year, I was invited to one of the highest social events in the city. I went with a new dress and rose wrist corsage from my parents.

My circle of  close friends (except for a few neighborhood girls who still claimed me) were from church. All night bowling parties, youth rallies, Wednesday night services, choir, revivals and another summer trip would continue to increase my spiritual life and friendships. The summer's mission trip (after 8th grade) was to Tucson, Arizona. We would stay on the floor in church buildings or church member's homes. This trip would establish the group of people I would walk with through high school. There was also camp at the local Baptist Encampment. I can say my confidence and resolve at this age come from the relationship I was building with Christ…still a teen dealing with drama and emotions, but solidly grounded in Him.  I still dealt with sin, but I also understood who my Savior was.
Family life was still cherished with trips to my grandparents, family reunions and summer vacations. My father would buy us a camper and we were off for adventures. Colorado and sites in Texas extended my summers. Our new home was the gathering place for relatives during the holidays. Our orange, shag-carpeted den would hold aunts, uncles and cousins from wall to wall. Everyone's lives at this point were still slow enough to visit. My mother would expand her generous nature to join a group called "Friendship". This was to minister to spouses of college students from foreign countries. For years, our house would enjoy women and babies from across the entire world. My geography would be learned through the experiences of these different cultures and precious people.  In the summer after eighth grade, our family would foster a girl who was 17.  She would later come to live with us for her senior year of high school.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


To Our Emotions!

I love this woman.  I began reading her books years ago - "Normal is Only the Setting on a Dryer" and countless ones after that, I was hooked. Recently I finished "Living Lively in the Valley - Dancing Bones".  Her gift, her humor, her truth can go to the depths of my spirit and soul.

In celebration of my middle age, while entering menopause, I wanted to share a laugh with you...with Patsy leading the party.

Poking fun at us woman....laughing a little at ourselves....and Thanking God He isn't Finished with Us Yet!

PMS -  Pretty Mean Sister
FINE - Freaked-out, Insecure, Neurotic, Everyday
SISS - Self, Inflicted, Stress Syndrome

I hope this made you laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!  Love to all my fellow sisters!  I would love to look as good as Patsy in this video at her age or any age....aren't those leather pants just great?  Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Timing – Bravo God!

Father's Day 2010
Strolling slowly into the den you could see he wasn't himself, the headache, the dizziness, the monitor revealing his blood pressure was edging on dangerous, my husband sat down. At this part of our journey we aren't covered by health insurance, so my mind fought with questioning if I should drive him to the emergency room or wait. I started to pray. He said he was fine as he went on to bed with my insistence to continue to drinking water.

My "spirit" said he is okay while my "flesh" battled over the "vain speculations" of "what if". I had recently received word that a friend my age was now a widow. Which would dominate, my flesh or my spirit? I struggled with sleep, listening for every breath or touching my man of thirty years.

The following day I relaxed into my route while still hearing his blood pressure hadn't dropped. As the second night brought its darkness I sat listening for my Lord's voice. My brain rushed through my writings on Mommy's Piggy Tales and I was prompted to remove a diary from its 30 year occupied hiding place. I reached in the drawer to remove a young girl's writings.

Most of the pages were empty with a few pages of drama of a newly turned 15 year old girl's life. The year was 1976 and I was finishing my freshman year of high school. As I flipped through these 80% empty pages I stumbled up my writings on July 2. Scribbled at the top were just a few words.

July 2, 1976 – Went to Dallas to the Youth Convention, it was a blast. "Truth" was great and so were the speakers. I met the greatest guy in the world, Bill Wright.

I had forgotten when we met. It wasn't a common boy girl meeting because he was seven years older than I. Did I write that? I never mentioned him again in my diary, but I also never knew life without him from that moment forward.

We wouldn't date until years later and then married.

The tears flowed from my eyes as my Heavenly Father wrapped me in his arms with the reminder – I knew you in your mother's womb, I knew you would marry the man you said was the "greatest guy in the world", I knew you would eventually move to Dallas and that you would be setting here scared about your husband's health. I am here and I knew!

The balm of Gilead coated my fears as I held my own words in my hand while soaking in the awe of a God who Loves me! Bravo, Bravo, God!

A visit to the doctor revealed what was going on. There will have to be some life changes, but today I am at peace. God Knows Me and He is aware of the circumstances. He knew when I needed to be reminded that I am in His hands. He will be with me to calm my fears as I keep my eyes on Him for courage.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Let's Go Panthers - 7th Grade

...Continuing down memory land to tell my story from birth to age 18 with Mommy Piggy Tales in fifteen posts and  I am now over halfway.  I hope this inspires you to join in telling your own story.
My precious grandmother joined our family on our summer vacation to Arkansas prior to seventh grade. On our trip, we searched through roadside junkyard-antiques for an iron bed which we tied, Beverly Hillbilly Style, upon our trusty station wagon for the ride home.  This new bed would begin my bedroom decorating - this time more subtle.  My bed would be sandblasted white and adorned with gingham check blue and white. My room would hold a large, cubed-legged, modern, white kitchen table without the chairs. This large table was big enough for studying and sewing.   Side tables would be cube-legged-square white tables, where my alarm clock/radio would rest.  I would go to sleep with music and wake up with music.
Janette's Top Billboard Songs for 1975 and 1976
Hooked on a Feeling, The Streak, Billy Don't Be a Hero, I Honestly Love You, Love Will Keep Us Together, One of These Nights, The Best of My Love, Lovin' You, The Hustle, Mandy
With my metal mouth, long hair, standing 5'6" and sewn clothes, I would confidently enter Junior High. 
  •  Old life friends from my past neighborhood would be bussed  to my new Junior High, making this year a year of reunions and new friendships
  • I would ride a school bus for the first time to my out-of-the neighborhood school, walking to the bus stop would continue until I drove and was allowed to use the car
  • Lockers - combination locks that I had to memorize - six classes, different teachers - five minutes between each class - crowded halls - what excitement!!!
  • PE class - SHOWERS!!!!!!!!!!! UGH!!! - running around the school fence, can you say humiliation?
  • Joining the pep squad, I would release my vocal ability and support our football team.  Each week we would enter our pep squad bus to different football fields, after we had rallied the school "spirit" in the morning pep rally.  I would wear my uniform with pin on "spirit" ribbons....red and blue ribbons in my hair
  • My fingernails grew and became the envy of "mean" girls at school....cliques would form
  • We would have 50's day at school
  • Slumber parties were almost every weekend...some I didn't get invited to. Instead, to cheer me up, my house was papered by friends....this meant you were liked
  • Boy/girl parties were the rave (no I have never allowed mine to go to any of these) they were pretty harmless, spin the bottle was played  to pick who you would kiss....very uncomfortable indeed and the fear of those of us who had braces getting them locked kept the game to pecks only
  • I would sew almost every outfit I wore....usually just days before the event - my dress for the Junior High dance,  my dress for Valentine's Banquet, party outfit and daily wear
  • I attended my first Valentine Banquet at church with a date...along with high school students 
  • I attended my first school dance.  (I would never attend another dance or prom.) This was the year where the girls stood on one side of the gym and the boys on the other...very few danced, mainly 8th graders
  • I would continue taking piano lessons...my sister was better, but I learned to play the piano to release stress - I haven't touched it in years, but my children and husband's fingers dance across our piano
  • I tried out for cheerleader...didn't make it, oh well!
  • I had my first and only boy/girl party.  I made matching outfits for my friend and I.  Our garage was converted into a game room.  We decorated with streamers and played a lot of games - it was fun!
  • I would get my first yearbook...where we wrote to each other that we would be friends for "life"
  • Summer would bring the first of many youth choir trips.  I would be among the youngest to go.  Because I was one of the youngest, the older girls felt it was their "duty" to make me look more stylish.  So, to my mother's horror, one would pluck out my "Brook Shield" massive eyebrows to one single line of hair!  Many of these high school girls would become life time friends as I started to establish a group of older friends
  • We lead revivals and performed "Agape" in Kansas City and at the Gainesville boys prison
  • Gas crisis - 55 MPH speed limit enforced across nation to conserve gas - I believed I would never get to drive a car because of cost...I was so worried about missing this rite-of-passage driver's license
  •  Helter Skelter - book about Charles Manson is released and tops the New York Bestsellers List
  • Watergate Scandal shakes the nation
  • With all that changed in the world around me, I still continued to dream of my future life. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Racing to Put My Foot in the Door Jam

The door starts to swing close on its hinges, as I race to put my foot between the door and its frame.  It can't be closing... I have so much more I want to do! Yet, the calendar begs to be turned to the month of August.  Summer is coming to an end.

In Texas, I will still experience 100plus-degree weather for another month or more.  Fall will not tempt us into its cool mornings until possibly late September, but the school year has now been pushed to start in August, instead of the olden days after Labor Day.

I have enjoyed this slower pace summer. Last year held unemployment and uncertainty. This summer, my nest only holds two and I haven't experienced this slow of pace in years. Yet, I can see my unaccomplished "dream list" hasn't been crossed off either.

I will venture into an uncharted territory this year with both of my younger sons.  Number 5 will enter high school with a home school co-op.  I will delegate his education, outside of my supervision, for the first time in my homeschooling journey.  I look forward to this welcome freedom for me, as well as the benefits he will receive in a group setting.  In the past 21 years of home educating, there have always been siblings doing school along side each other...now our family is in a new season.

My second new adventure will be putting my 6th child in "kids day out" for two partial days a week.  In my 26 years as a stay-at-home mom, I have never used these services.  Because of the 10 year gap between him and his brother, he doesn't have a lot of friends close to his age.  He is so excited.  I am sure the biggest adjustment will be on my side of this new adventure.

Seasons come and seasons go.  Past seasons for me seem to have been more comfortable and predictable with little adjustments from one school year to another.  This new season seems so foreign.

As I reluctantly turn my calendar to August, I read these words placed over the artist's precious picture of a small boy.

Doin' Chores
Chores are Good for You
They are not punishment to bring you sorrow
The bucket of chores Mamma gives you today
Will make a responsible
caretaker tomorrow

Along the bottom are the words that remind me that as I continue on this parenting journey, even with the new, unfamiliar twist, I have a responsibility.
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Prov. 22:6
So I put my foot into the door jam to stop the closure for two more weeks of summer.  My focus will be to emotionally adjust to this new season and complete the list of chores remaining.  We will still hold off fall by swimming as long as possible and eating dinner outside on the patio table.

Blessings to you as you come to the end of your summer and look forward to your change of season - whatever that may bring.  What excitement each season of change brings!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Always Enough At the Table

The Jesus Storybook Bible - Every story whispers his name - Sally Loyd-Jones
Frustrated that I couldn't buy the organic, locally grown produce, I plopped my bottom into the car.  I turned to my husband with a groan in my voice over the money we couldn't spend on our fresh food.  I want to support the local farmers, and yet, our budget can't handle the prices.  So, in my not so subtle way, I complained to my husband that "only rich people can eat healthy". This is an untrue statement, but at that point I was believing the lie.

Our four-year-old, who constantly asks for his Bible stories at night, listens to this conversation.

Out of the mouth of babes he says, "the little boy brought only five fish and two pieces of bread to Jesus."  At this point he starts to fling his arms into the air showing how large it became.  "Then", he continues, "there is more and more and MORE for ALL the PEOPLE."  He is excitedly telling me that God took what little there was and He multiplied the offering given to Him.

I am silenced as the Lord starts to speak to my heart..."you of little faith."

Oh Lord help my unbelief!  May I offer my five fish and two loaves to the Lord and allow Him to Multiply.
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