Tuesday, July 25, 2017

When the Heart is Full

     Sometimes my heart is full and yet I find it is a struggle to find the words to utter what is in there.   
     How do I find the words to describe the feelings I have of watching my children grow, spreading their wings, and experiencing new things? It's such a mixture of happiness, sadness, nostalgia, excitement, and fear.
    How do I find the words to describe what I've felt as for the first time in my life I've had to navigate the scary world of court dates, bail bondsmen, and everything the underbelly of America has to offer?
    How do I find the words to describe what I feel when you see broken dreams and promises scattered across your path?
     How do I find the words to describe what it means to have a strong Godly husband next to me? His love and support mean the world to me!
      How do I find the words to describe everything that has been going on in my life?
     
      So thankful that His mercies are new every morning. God is good all the time!

    

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mrs. Pepper Enchanted

     In the movie, Ella Enchanted, a fairy places a spell on baby Ella, and until the spell is broken she is doomed to obey every command she is given.
     Of course her wicked stepsisters take advantage of this, and tell her to give her the necklace her mother gave her, plus lots of other horrible things, and she does them even though she doesn't want to.
     I can relate to Ella way too well. When I am in the presence of a stronger personality (most of the population, it seems), especially one of these people who automatically tells everyone else what to do, it's like I'm under a spell and I have to do what they say.
     It is awful. And I get furious at myself. But I have no idea how to break the spell.
     When my pastor's wife calls and tells me what parts our children will be playing at the Christmas pageant, I find myself accepting their parts even though we had decided we won't be participating.
      I round the corner at the grocery store and meet the sample lady. She offers me a green seedless grape and even though I don't like them, I find myself reaching out to accept it, and then eat it, and when she tells me they're only .99 a pound this week I put a pack of them into the cart. As I unpack the groceries I could kick myself for buying them, and they languish in the fridge where I force myself to eat a few every day, but the majority of them will spoil before I get them eaten.
     A real estate agent contacted us today about another farm he found that he thought we would be interested in. He was oh, so persuasive and once again I was under that spell. Honestly, it was like something was compelling me to drop everything and go and I had no choice. Finally by a great mental effort I forced myself back to reality, yanked my mouth open, and explained that I can't possibly set up an appointment without discussing it with Mr. Pepper first.
    Maybe there's hope for me yet. Every time I manage to say 'no' feels like a victory.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spelling

     Facebook can be such an interesting place to hang out some days. I really enjoy being able to keep in touch with family, friends, and classmates. Living in today's crazy busy world it's nice being able to stay in touch and seeing glimpses of each others lives.
     I'm a very literal person though, and when I read status updates, I envision what I read. Therefore when something is misspelled I will see a picture in my mind of the thing I read, even when I know that the writer meant something completely different.
     Today someone made this comment.
     He was a real roll model in my life and taught me so many things. The way he taught me to not waist money was grate.
    In my mind I immediately pictured some guy in a lame commercial trying to sell bread rolls while informing a young man not to fold paper money in a way that would make it look like a dress. The grate topped the scene.
     My poor head hasn't been the same since.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The House

     Mr. Pepper has been offered a new job that he is seriously considering. If he takes it we will be relocating. The past weeks have been spent poring over real estate listings and combing the internet for something that fits our family's needs. It's turning out to be more of a challenge than we had anticipated, but we finally found one that piqued our interest. An almost three hundred acre farm ... considered as bare land. There are buildings there, but they're so tumbledown that they would have to be torn down.
     Yesterday Mr. Pepper took off from work so we could go see it.
     There was a lot to love about the land, and the two mile long driveway, and the quiet. It was so quiet it almost felt loud, but I'm sure I could learn to love that quite easily. The amazing views were an added bonus.
     The buildings though were every bit as bad as the realtor had warned us they would be. Most of them looking as if it would take only one or two more gusts of wind to bring them down completely. The house was the best of the buildings, but it was crooked and leaning, several boards were missing on the upstairs wall and you could see inside. It must have been abandoned years ago, I thought, but then I noticed a thin wisp of smoke coming from the chimney and a woman stepped out on the porch and hollered for us to come in.
     The realtor led the way down the muddy hillside to the house. "Come on in," the woman said. "Uncle Earl would like to meet you. He lives here alone and doesn't get to see a lot of people."
     I hoped the house would be able to hold our combined weight as we walked up on the rotting, sagging porch. When she opened the door I could have cried at what I saw inside.
    The room was dark and tiny, a dry sink along one wall, a tiny table pushed up against another wall where 96 year old Uncle Earl was sitting smiling widely at us revealing his three remaining teeth. He was happy to see us and visited for a while. Beside him was an ancient wood stove, on the wall behind it was an ancient clock so covered in dust and grime you could barely see its face. He had some battered old pots and pans hanging on the wall (think Little House on the Prairie) The walls had been painted a weird green probably a good seventy years ago. The floor had 1920's or earlier linoleum that was basically worn through and the entire floor slanted toward the middle of the house. The niece led us to the next room. His bedroom. An old lumpy twin size bed was pushed up against the wall, across the room was his long deceased wife's twin size bed. The pictures on the walls, looked like they should be in a museum, the furniture again was ancient probably the furniture they brought into the house back in 1842 when the house had been built. It didn't look as if anything had been cleaned since the day his wife died twenty some years ago. She led us upstairs to see two little bedrooms, still made up like his wife had them, but now buried under years of accumulated dirt and dust. This side of the house held two bedrooms upstairs. The other side had another stair way leading to three more bedrooms, one of which had part of the outside wall missing. This must have been an absolutely gorgeous home back in its prime, but now it was the saddest thing I had ever seen.
   Uncle Earl too stubborn to move sits at his table all day with nothing to do. Clinging desperately to the past and what used to be. Refusing to embrace anything new. He doesn't have an indoor bathroom, no running water, no TV. Nothing at all really.

   As sad as I felt for "Uncle Earl" living like he is, I couldn't help but think of the spiritual picture it paints of someone who holds onto the past, and can't let go of grudges or wrongdoings. The image of a "heart house" so overburdened by unforgiveness is sobering.

   Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit in me. Psalms 51:10

Monday, December 26, 2016

Socks

    Mr. Pepper is my best friend, my dream come true, my knight in shining armor, my prince charming .... you get the drift. When it comes to husbands I am one of the luckiest girls ever.
    There is one itty bitty thing though that is somewhat annoying to me.
    You see, when ever his supply of socks gets down to three pair he will announce he's almost out of socks and will I be doing the laundry soon?
     I have never, in all our years of marriage, ever allowed his clean socks supply to run out, so I've been trying to figure out where his need to panic when his supply dwindles to three pair comes from.
     I've come to the conclusion it must be that either he was a house elf in some previous life and socks are extremely important to him. Or else maybe his mother used to not keep him supplied in socks and he's still scarred from that.
    Since I don't believe in the previous life theory, I guess I'll be going with my second conclusion.
    This year for Christmas I finally did something I should have done years ago. I gave him twenty pairs of socks. May there never be need to panic again.
    Before you feel too badly about his Christmas ... rest assured he was happy to receive all the socks, and he got more thoughtful and fun gifts as well. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Mystery of ....

.... the creepy light bulb.

     The children had already made their way upstairs to bed, while Mr. Pepper and I enjoyed a few minutes watching something on TV yet before we also retired for the night. I can't even remember what it was right now, which kind of proves how worthless TV really is, but I digress.
      Before heading to bed I checked the laundry room and just as I came to the end of the hallway before turning into the laundry room the light turned on. There was no one there!!
     Things like that aren't supposed to happen, especially not in our little farm house.
      I tried to remain calm and walked back to the living room where Mr. Pepper was still relaxing on the couch. He looked up as I entered and immediately saw there was something amiss by the expression on my face.
       "I'm just a little freaked," I admitted and proceeded to tell him what had happened.
        He very sweetly, didn't laugh at my paranoia. Instead he took my hand and together we walked down the hall to the laundry room with the light shining brightly at us.
         Just as we got to the end of the hallway, it flickered off. In the next instant I tore my hand from Mr. Pepper's clasp and flew back to the living room. I'm not in great shape at all, in fact most days the very thought of exercise is exercise enough for me. You'd never have guessed that though as I dashed down the hallway at a speed rivaling that of an Olympic sprinter.
        Mr. Pepper stayed there quite unruffled and discovered the light bulb had not been screwed into the socket tightly enough and somehow the weight of someone walking on our creaky old floor had messed with it's connection.
        I'm happy to report that the mystery of the creepy light bulb was easily solved, and there is nothing weird going on in our house. And I'm once again moving at normal, ladylike speeds throughout the house.

Friday, September 30, 2016

When God Answers

   Before I get into the "meat" of this post, I want to thank every one who joined me in praying for my brother. Thank you! It was encouraging to me and our family.
    With my brother disappearing, and knowing how bad his addiction is I was so concerned that the next time we hear anything it will be from someone telling us we need to make funeral plans.
     I kept praying, ever more earnestly, then in my devotions I read once again how when the disciples had tried casting out a devil and were unable to do so, Jesus told them that, that kind only goes out through fasting and prayer.
     I reached out to a few prayer warrior friends, and we fasted and prayed that God will work in his life. I no longer knew how or what to pray. I found I couldn't even find words, instead I released everything and claimed the verse where God tells us that the Holy Spirit prays for us (Romans 8:26-27)
     Friends, this is where it gets good. So good I'm still overwhelmed.
     Yesterday my brother called. I answered the phone and he asked, "What were you praying to happen to me?"
     "Why do you ask?" I said.
     "I was wanting to go back to my friends, some 1,500 miles away, but when I got half way there I got into the first traffic jam. Finally the traffic started moving but we were sent on a detour. It was sending us back in the direction we had come from. From there it got really weird. Every where I tried to go there were either road blocks, detours, or cops and every single one of them sent me back closer and closer to where I was trying to run away from. I'm giving up, and returning to that place, and get clean."
      So as of last evening he is back there again. I'll continue praying he can stick it out and God uses him for some great purpose in His kingdom.
      I can't quite begin expressing how much this answer to prayer meant to me. Seeing God work in such an obvious way has made me so thankful. More than just for this particular instance, but I'm feeling my faith strengthened, I'm filled with renewed courage and hope to face these coming days even with the world seemingly going crazy. God is still in control, and I am resting in Him.