Monday, August 1, 2011

An Evening of Southern Gospel

Today is the day after.  This is the day of reflection that follows the BIG EVENT.  And today I can't stop rejoicing!  I can't stop lifting my mind and heart to God to say thank you for filling the sanctuary with people, seated shoulder to shoulder filling every pew.  I can't stop thanking God for the rain that fell during the performance, and for covering our church with His hands and keeping the power on while the lightning flashed outside our windows and the thunder rumbled a mighty addition to the bass lines in the music.

As we sang "Light Up the Sky" God did just that with flashes of lightning making the music so much more thrilling.  God's accompaniment; God's sure and certain participation in the joy that filled the air within.

I thank God for the musical gifts He has given me, and the people he has led me to sing with.  I thank Him for providing the opportunity to share those gifts with so many people.  I thank God for letting each and every voice be heard and the overwhelming satisfaction that comes from raising a joyful noise to the Lord.

Like the Grinch, today I feel that my heart has grown three sizes and I am overwhelmed with the joy of the Holy Spirit still moving within.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.
                                                                                                 Psalm 30:11-12

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Focus on the breathing.  Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.

Notice the deep breaths that are followed by shorter shallower breaths, each sending oxygen through the lungs and into the blood stream and up into the skull which holds the brain, the magnum opus of the human body.  Breathing out the carbon dioxide that is the waste product of respiration and of the surging blood supply.

Breathe in and fill the lungs with the stale air of the room;
breathe out and contribute to the still solid feel of the air in the room.

Go outside into the stifling heat and humidity and breathe in and out for a short time, until your body craves the coolness and the darkened room which is the place where you live and work and eat and sleep and dream of the future, whatever that may be.

Breathe in and breathe out and repeat this action as often as your brain sends the signal to your lungs to expand and contract.

Breathe in, breathe out, repeat as often as God gives you on this earth to decipher His plan for you.  Do you know it already?  Probably not. 

Breathe in.

He is only going to show you the plan one step at a time.

Breathe out.

So pay attention, step forward as He directs, and keep breathing.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
                                                                                          Genesis  2:7

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Fat squirrel
with fluffy, twitching tail
hangs upside down
on the trunk of the tree.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A River of Stones

I'm participating in the July writing challenge called 'A River of Stones'.  Join me - Take a moment to observe something small, and write a little gem about it.

Feet in the sand,
Warm ocean waves lap at my toes,
Taking away with them all my cares.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Home Again - Already!

We're back. Unbelievable. It is so out of wack that I have been counting off the days for 90 some days now, and all of a sudden it is over and we're back to the 4 walls and the street outside the window and the blasted tv shouting at us all of the time. How did that happen?

In great excitement we went to the beach for a week. We planned all of the things we would need to take along, going to a house we had never been to before and hoping for the best there was to have. Looking for the absolute opportunity to let go of everything that corrupts the soul and let God work in your mind and your body, pulling out all of those wretched thoughts and complaints and worries and simply learning to let your body relax and take in the wonder of God's world; of His creation, so amazing and so complete. And all of a sudden, 7 days are gone. Seven days of sitting in a low slung chair with my feet in the rolling tide and my fingers in the sand. Seven days of not worrying what I would eat or where I had to be tomorrow. Seven days of wearing the same clothes over and over and nobody caring. Seven days of laughing and sleeping and baking in the sun and spraying sunscreen on every conceivable part of our bodies. Seven days of glorious weather and watching the waves roll up on the beach and deposit new treasures brought from the deep. Seven days of breathing in and breathing out and not worrying about where the next breath was coming from, or if I could exhale deeply enough to keep going. Seven days of sitting still and waiting for God to reach into my heart and mind and make me whole again.

Seven days.

And now they are gone, and we are home again, relaxed and happy to be back home, but still a little sad that the seven days have come and gone and now we have to start counting down again, until the next opportunity presents itself to let go of everything in our lives and step into a different reality.

Those opportunities don't seem to come very often for me. Maybe they are really there, hidden in the humdrum of my daily life and routine, but I don't recognize them.

Maybe they are there, hidden in the laundry and the grocery store and the morning prayers. Maybe they are there, hidden in the songs sung and the stories written.

Maybe they are there, hidden in the smiles of strangers and the phone calls from my children.

But whether they are there or not, I can find that moment on the beach just by closing my eyes. I can smell the salt air and feel the grit of the sand between my toes.

I can see the starfish on the beach and hear my grandson's contagious laughter. I can remember it all by just closing my eyes and taking a deep breath and there I am once again.

So until next time...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

L is for Loving Jesus

And L is for ladies' hats.

I vaguely remember the days when a lady wore a hat and gloves and stockings and high heels to church; when a gentleman wore a suit and tie. When you went to church you dressed up. You didn't wear jeans, or flip flops. But now, we still worship God, the same God we worshipped in those days, but we seem to be more familiar with Him. We take liberties. We pat Him on the back and tell Him we'll get around to doing what He asks, but we're busy right now. I don’t think we were doing His will or worshipping Him any better then. It just looks and feels different now. OK, maybe God is thinking, "All right. Now they can listen to Me because their feet aren't aching, or they aren't worried about having to wear the same outfit they had on last week. Now they can hear Me calling to them because they're breathing easier without that tie so tight around their necks."   Maybe.

We each carry God into the church with us.  He is in us and around us, standing beside us, nudging us, leading us to do as He wills.  He isn't thinking about what we're wearing, He's thinking about what we're doing.  He isn't thinking about if we are wearing the latest creations, but if we're loving "the least of these".  He isn't worried about whether our heads are covered with lace or flowers; He's working on what's inside our heads and hearts, planting seeds of expectation and opportunity for each of us to step up and follow Him, no matter how we're dressed.

No matter how we're dressed for church, we need to love one another.  We need to see the opportunities to serve Him that Jesus puts before us and step out in faith that we are "dressed" appropriately for the job, whatever it might be.

So don't worry about what you're wearing.  Come to church on Sunday morning and take the seat next to me.  I want you to see Jesus in me.

"Let your light shine before men, so they may see your good works."  Matthew 5:16

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Alphabet Catch-Up!

Back in April, I thought I could keep up with the A to Z blogging challenge, writing something that went with each letter of the alphabet on each consecutive day throughout the month.  Well, as you can tell, I fell behind.  WAY behind!  So, I am going to do a little catching up now.  So here goes...

G is for Grayson and Gram. They make such a sweet pair. Grayson loves his Great-Grandmother. They love to sit and watch tv together. Gray knows exactly which book is Gran-Gran's favorite and takes it to her to be read each and every time. Gran-Gran delights in having Gray come to visit. They are a pair, like two bookends. The beginning and the end of our family.

H is for home. Home is where the heart is. Home is where you are comfortable; where you can take your shoes off. Home is where you want to be when you are tired. Home is where everyone comes when disaster hits. Home is where you find your support in times of trouble, and your joy in times of celebration. While we may leave home, we always know where it is when it is time to return.

I is for ink; J is for journaling. It is my favorite thing to start a fresh new page in a brand new lovely blank journal, and to choose from my pink, green, peacock blue, or purple pens. I write with a different colored ink each time I go to my journal. It separates the days visually, and gives me a feeling of creativity. Lately my journaling by hand has given way to the technology of the day, and the use of which allows me to put all of my random thoughts in one place and keeps track of my word count, the number of days I have written, and gives me a daily goal to reach. My daughters have both given me new journals recently, which has brought back the need to feel my hand moving across the cool clean page and the satisfaction of seeing the words appear where none were before. So, today’s the day to choose a color. What will it be? Hmmm…

Friday, April 8, 2011

F is for Faith

The dictionary says that Faith is having complete trust or confidence. I have that. I have given over all my worries, all the things in my life that I cannot control, to God. I know that through the Holy Spirit God is with me, and that He will inspire me to do what is needed when I need to do it. I also know that He will lead me, guiding every step that I take, helping me to do what is needed to make all things come together in the right way at the right time.

At this time, the choir at Bedon Baptist Church is working to prepare a program to be presented on Good Friday evening and Easter Sunday morning. It is a walk through the week of the passion of Jesus, His death, and resurrection. It is a different kind of musical from what we have done in the past. It is touching, emotional, and somber, leading the listener through the terrible and devastating times before Jesus's death on the cross and then beyond that to His glorious resurrection from the grave. It is truly the story of how we came to have such an unbelievable opportunity for Salvation from our sins.

If you happen to be in Walterboro, South Carolina on April 22 or 24, please honor us by coming to worship with us. I have faith you will be touched by this experience.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

E is for... Early Morning Hours

E is for... early morning hours...  They come, they go. They are my life line. I find my best moments of routine, in the early morning hours each and every day. I rise at or before 6:00 a.m. in an effort to have some time when the house is absolutely quiet. This is my most productive time for writing, my most fulfilling time of the day. It is the time when I do not have to think about anyone else but myself, therefore it is my most selfish time of the day. The time of day when I can read and write and be uninterrupted. It is the most peaceful and calm time that I have.

Sometimes it brings ideas of grace and mercy, and sometimes of difficulties past and present.  Sometimes it is solely a prayerful time, and sometimes a time to catch up with emails and my friends on Facebook.

The early morning hours are the best for me. I am the most open minded and the most adventuresome for the sake of the rest of the day. It is the time of day when I am still willing to make that long to-do list with hopeful anticipation that I can actually achieve most of it, if not all. It is the time of day when I can write my prayers clearly, remembering to be thankful and to think of others and their needs before my own. It is the time of day when my mind is not cluttered with thoughts of candy bars and cookies which I am trying desperately not to eat right now. It is the time of day when the phone does not ring, and I am left to my own thoughts and plans.

Early morning hours are my time of day. My best time of day.  How about you?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Daughters and Dogs

I love my family.  Each one of them has something special that they contribute to our group. 

Ain't he just the cutest thing?

I have two daughters and one daughter in law.

My eldest daughter is married to a police officer who is a master dog handler. She is the office manager at a body repair shop and knows more about cars and trucks than I ever envisioned she would. And if you have a problem with your insurance, she's the go-to gal who can tell you what you should do. They have a wonderful child, a boy who steals my heart every time I see him. Along with two police dogs, they have two labs that they love.

My second child is also a daughter. She is married to a DHEC (Dept of Housing and Environmental Control) law enforcement officer, also very good at what he does.  She has earned her master's degree in nursing and is now a Nurse Practitioner in a doctor's office. They have two beagles who keep them company.

My third child is my son, who is a computer expert extra-ordinaire. He works for a company who tracks evidence for the justice department. He is married to my perfect daughter-in-law. She is sweet and loves my son and that's all that counts. She is a nurse working part time, while she earns her master's degree in nursing. They have the cutest spaniel puppy who persists in chewing on just about everything.

So between my daughters, son, and in-laws, and their pooches, we have a full and happy family.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

C = Calories!

No more cookies
          Oh saddest day!
For the calories I am counting
          Come what may.

No more chocolate
       Or cakes or pies 
For I fear
   My weight will rise.

     A loss of pounds
                Is my current desire
     So no Easter Bunny
    Will I hire!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A = Afterthought

Having just stumbled upon the A to Z April Challenge,                             
 my A will have to be Afterthought.

But my B = Books!
Somewhere along the path over the last year or so, I read a book whose author said you should know the genre you write in very well, and in order to do that you should strive to read 100 books in said genre.  Of course, as you are reading you should be learning a thing or two about what makes those books good or bad, thus improving your own writing.

Then I went to a conference where I heard a woman casually say she read two or three books a week.  That's right - I said THREE BOOKS A WEEK!  So I started to look back at my own reading and discovered I was lucky to be reading three books a month.

In the spirit of self-motivation and picking up the gauntlet, which she surely had thrown at my feet, I began pushing myself to read more and keeping track of my choices.

Last year, starting three months into the year, I ended up with 22 books on my list.  This year, at three months into the year, I have 13 books on my list, heading toward the goal of 52 books by New Year's.  Still not three books a week, but I'm getting there.

How many books are on your list?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Coffee & Cookies & Rain

The rain has been drip drip dripping from the smoky gray sky practically all the day long.  The drops make their way down the trees like marbles in a Mouse Trap game rolling down the branches, falling from one leaf to the next.  You can almost follow their path as the leaves dip down and spring up again while the raindrops make their progression from sky to ground.  There is no wind, no gentle movement side to side, just the constant downpour as though the faucet needs a new washer or the last person didn't turn the handle quite tight enough. Drip drip dripping all the day long, washing the earth, renewing its life, freshening everything it touches.

But days like this invite warmth in the kitchen.  They respond well to the oven heating up for the pan of homemade cookies filled with melting chocolate and crunchy nuts.  Days like this are so much better when the smell of coffee lingers in the air, hot and inviting, waiting to accompany the plate of warm cookies to the table.

Days like this when the rain drips and the cookies bake and the coffee scents the air are good days because we are warm and dry and we know the sun will return - eventually.

So have a cookie and dream of tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fresh Air

It was a gray day.  The leftovers of a night of rain cooled by 37 degrees.  The sky was hidden by the clouds, a solid layer of gloom that wouldn't allow even a glimpse of sunshine or blue sky which was surely lurking behind, waiting.  I promised myself and others that I would breathe the fresh air today.  So - cold or not, damp or not, I headed down the path into The Great Swamp Sanctuary, camera in hand. 

I had planned to carry my journal and purple pen along to stop frequently and sit on the benches and swings that artfully adorn the pathway, writing as I went, snatches of thought, special words that rhyme or complete a rhythm that pleases the ear.  But I left them at home, knowing it would be too cold and wet to sit.  So I contented myself with taking photos of whatever drew my eye.  Trees are bare this time of year, but the scenery remains intriguing none the less.

I knew I wouldn't spot alligators or loons or snakes - too cold.  They, in their ancient wisdom, are holed up sleeping away the dreary days until the Earth comes around close enough to the sun in its cycle to bring the warmth of Mother Nature's breath soothingly upon them once again.  But I was surprised pleasantly by the sound of the many, many birds that flitted from branch to branch and tree to tree.  They sang and talked and twittered to one another, their own social network, warning of my encroaching presence or making friends that might follow them to springtime's lure of love and nests and eggs and babies.  The ever turning cycle of life.
I walked and took pictures and breathed in the cold sharp smell of the damp earth, and felt satisfied and glad that I had come.