Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm Stealing.

From Sarah and from Kate - what they each found from Tolkien and from Tim Keller and from C.S. Lewis.

Fairytales move us in a way that realistic fiction does not (and can not). Because fairy tales speak to us of several deep human longings that we are almost afraid to admit and that we can never discard. We long to survey the depths of time and space. We long to get outside of time altogether and escape death. We long to hold communion with other living things, like angels. We long to find a love which perfectly heals and from which we can never depart. And we long to triumph over evil finally and totally. When you are in the middle of a great fairy tale, the fairy tale lets you live even briefly with the dream that love without parting, escape from death, triumph over evil are real and realizable. That’s why the stories stir us so deeply. And why we will go on reading and writing them no matter what the critics may say.  Tolkien on Fairytales

     and then Tim Keller writes,
But the gospel is better. For the truth of Jesus is this... the gospel’s message is that, through Jesus Christ, every single one of these things that the fairy tales talk about is true and will come to pass. We will hang out with angels. We will have loves from which we are never parted. We will see an absolute triumph over evil. There is a beauty who will kiss you in all your beastliness and transform you. There is a prince who will save us, forever. The reality leaves me breathless, and astonished!

"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."- C.S. Lewis 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Recycling Used to Look Like, This Is True, I'm Not Making This Up, Seriously....

And it was simpler and I wish, sometimes, we could all agree to be that way again - but not always.

Okay, what made me think of this - today - when I was emptying my small trash cans and I began to think -   Is everyone that way - activities lead you to thoughts about other things, other times, other places - things people have said.....?

Emptying small trash cans in individual rooms always makes me think of a conversation I had with a college roommate - actually, we shared an apartment  - my friend, Martha - and we were both from our small town of Evergreen and our moms were friends and same agish....  so we were discussing, way back then, the task of emptying small trash cans - and how we didn't get it done until they were full to overflowing - at which point Martha talked about how her mother had done the task daily when Martha was living at home - how her mom, Addy, would never let the trash cans get out of hand - or so it seemed.  I remarked, with a smile, my mom either!!!  What a difference in their generation and ours... what's happened to us, we wondered - and continued to let the trash cans fill up.  I have no clue what we did about the larger "kitchen garbage can".

So I'm 61 now and my mind aimlessly goes back, on cue, to that conversation each time I empty my small trash cans - only.... today I thought more about it and how I think about it on cue - but I also thought about how we didn't have the small trash can liners back then.  No one had the liners when our mothers were doing that daily task nor when Martha and I were doing that in 1973 and 1974.  And.... on top of that they didn't have the liners for the kitchen garbage cans.

So here we come to my comments on recyclling and how it was done.

1.  Before Milk Cartons there were Glass Milk Bottles and the full bottles were left at our side door - to be returned, empty, on the requested schedule.  Replaced by more full bottles of milk.  We did the same with glass coke bottles.  Returning them wasn't required, as the cokes were not left at our door, but we didn't drink so much coke - only on special occasions - and - the motivation was that if we returned them to the designated location - usually the local grocery store - we'd get 2 cents per empty bottle.  You better believe my mother returned our glass coke bottles - as well as saving her S&H Green stamps which she got from the grocery store - to be redeemed for selected products at the S&H Green Stamp Store.

2.  Some innovative someone thought of the milk cartons and soon, no more glass milk bottles.  Then, of course, there were no plastic grocery bags, only the large brown paper bags which Mother definitely saved from her Thursday trips to the grocery store, doing her weekly grocery shopping - Thursday afternoons, coming in from school, were wonderful - I knew definitely that Mom had been to the grocery store and couldn't wait to see what I would have to snack on after school.  Okay - back to the brown bags.  Those were mother's garbage can liners - with a layer of saved newspapers beneath the brown bag to catch any yukky moisture - BUT - to cut down on yukky moisture - and we did not have garbage disposals yet - not in our house - Mother saved her cartons, opened them up to a square opening and she put her food scraps and coffee grinds in the empty milk carton.  If she'd had a garden, she could have composted that - but she didn't have a garden.  I'm small town, but I wasn't raised on a  farm, nor were Mom or Dad garden oriented.  Mother got fresh vegetables from curb markets and the local A&P.  Or from friends who gifted her with their overflow.  I definitely grew up eating fresh vegetables.  My grandmother didn't even grow her own garden - but there were always fresh vegetables to eat at her house.

That's really all I have to say about recycling.  We just had less to throw out, I think.  I like liners.  I love liners.  I do not like yukky garbage which leads to yukky garbage cans.  Let's keep that liner up and over the can.

Still - I have a fondness for brown grocery bags.  I prefer them, actually, but I don't request them.  I just always take the plastic bags which are not at all aesthetically pleasing.  Not at all.  Yet, with babies back in my world, the plastic grocery bags are perfect for dirty diapers - but when I had babies, I disposed of my dirty diapers in all of my saved bread bags.

Which takes us to cloth diapers vs. disposable - now there's a whole other way to recycle.  I totally went with disposable diapers.  Completely.

I succumb to all the conveniences, but if we could all agree to go back - all of us - I would, maybe.

Monday, September 24, 2012


We're all loving it, aren't we?  Thank you, Lord, for this season!!!!  How can one love a particular season so much? - when, actually, it feels like I love Spring and Summer equally as much - and then comes Fall.  Sorry, Mr. Winter, you have your place, too - just not the same feeling.  You are our rest - our repose - our calm before the wild burst of life and living and energy which abounds in the other 3 seasons.

So - this is all I have.  Pictures of 3 wreaths I've made and my display of pumpkins and mums.  Not very original, and I had planned not to succumb to the temptation of all those gorgeous pumpkins at the Market across from Calvary Baptist Church in Scottsboro, AL - but I did.  Yesterday was too perfect in temperature and sky and air and so I headed down to get my pumpkins.  Charlie went with me, and Ellie and Luke, and Sarah and Ann - and I loaded up.  We loaded up.  Charlie and I.  For me, it's a lot.  I don't usually buy so many all at once.  But they keep all the way through Thanksgiving.  They do, usually.

And so follows my parade of pictures of my hand-crafted wreaths and my display of pumpkins and chrysanthemums:

Happy Fall 2012.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Just saying....

This is true, it's too exhausting - so I don't even pretend at this.

I'm 61 and I've long ago passed that aha moment in a woman's life where she exclaims, 
"Oh my gosh! I'm my mother!"

I'm now one of those women who sighs and says,
"Dear God, please let me be my mother..."

How did Mother do 61 so great?  She did 61 great. She was great at 61.
Great, great, great.

Let's see, I was 29 when Mother was 61....
and expecting my first baby.

But I did see the above ecard on another blog which I discovered last night.

I recommend it.

I got it off another blog which I also recommend.

Both are good reading.

There are some intense stories behind both ladies which make their blogs so good.
You have to read the About part of their blogs.  

Meet Glennon  is how it reads on Momastery

That's it.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Whatsoever we have over-loved, idolized, and leaned upon, God has from time to time broken it, and made us to see the vanity of it; so that we find the readiest course to be rid of our comforts is to set our hearts inordinately upon them. —John Flavel

I had saved the following from Of First Importance which comes directly to my email because it gave me so much assurance:

Posted: 24 Aug 2012 05:07 AM PDT
Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.’ (Acts 3:22)
Jesus Christ is called and appointed by God to be the great Prophet and teacher of the Church. The weakest Christians need not be discouraged at the dullness and incapacity they find in themselves. Christ is not only a patient and condescending teacher, but he can also, as he has often done, reveal that to babes, which is hid from the wise and learned (Mat 11: 25).
Yea, and such as you are, the Lord delights to choose, that his grace may be the more conspicuous in your weakness (1 Cor. 1: 26, 27). You will have nothing of your own to glory in; you will not say, as a proud wretch once said, “I and my God did this.” Jesus Christ will not divide the praise with any.
Well then, be not discouraged. Others may know more in other things than you, but you are not incapable of knowing so much as shall save your souls, if Christ will be your teacher. In other knowledge they excel you: but if you know Jesus Christ, and the truth as it is in him, one drop of your knowledge is worth a whole sea of their gifts.”
— John Flavel
The Fountain of Life

Then today, as I returned to it, to read it, I began to wonder who is John Flavel.  I was thinking he was a contemporary writer, but it occured to me, perhaps he's one of those older church fathers whose works are still blessing so many.  Sure enough - John Flavel lived from 1628 to 1691.  I'd never heard of him.  So - I found the quote above with which I began this post.

I am blessed and in awe how the God who is the Alpha and the Omega, Who was there touching and speaking and making life in the beginning and all through what we refer to as "long time ago" up until right now - has revealed and always will reveal to men and women - the truth - that we must be covered in the blood of Christ - that we are beggars in need of a Savior Redeemer - lover of our souls, and that it is about resting in Him - that we have nothing and He has everything. 

Let us look to Him.


Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm Sorry, I Realize That My Posts Are So Serious if There Are Any Posts At All

Still, I have to put this here - and if you meet me on the street, my life is so very daily and my conversation not at all serious - in fact, you probably will find me breaking into laughter - just because I do that a lot and I find the ordinary rather humorous - and I probably will talk about the mundane - because this world compared to the next - well - good grief - 

I actually do have very heavy trials to observe, but not personally experience.  I have two friends who are each living through difficult situations (along with their families) - One possibly has ovarian cancer and the other a severe form of dementia - Both trials turn one's attention toward the eternal and the end of life.  Also - I keep up with two stories on CaringBridge - one, a young mother is fighting for her life and unless God heals her miraculously - then she will not be on this earth much longer.  She has two young sons.  She has a strong faith in God and understands her redemption in Christ.  

In my, what would appear to be, ordinary life, (but it is not at all ordinary since  I know that my life is ordered by the Creator of this Universe and the Creator of the Heavenly Realms)  I am preparing for the upcoming fall and winter and spring - in our church - to teach an art class for first thru sixth graders.  Also, I am gearing up to help Ann with her homeschooling tasks, by keeping her two youngest two days a week, to lighten the load a bit.  At my age, the concious intentional preparation of a task which has been given to me (the art class)  seems to be much more overwhelming to me than in my younger days.  In my heart I might be throwing my face into my hands and wailing, "Oh Woe Is Me! I Cannot Do This!"  But on the outside I smile and say, "Sure, I can handle it.  I'll be fine."  My kind, enduring husband, Charlie, hears what is in my heart.  He hears it out loud.  Actually, in my younger days, I did the same thing.  But I know that this is something God has given me to do.  I'm like those weak guys in the Old Testament to whom He gave tasks, and they whined all the way through the tasks - all the while God really doing the tasks - they were just His Whining Vessels.  I would that I was a Shining Vessel instead of a Whining Vessel.  :-)  See?  I like to laugh, especially at myself.  Well, I laugh at us all.  :-)

Anyway - there's other microscopic things going on.  My favorite thing to do is work in the yard.  Love the physical exertion of that.  I love it.  I don't do that very much, though - not these days.  Or my other favorite is work on a project, like a painting project - or any kind of personal project for the home.

All of that wasn't the serious part.  Below is what I love to read and know and absorb.  I want it to be in every cell - in my soul and body - I also want all whom I know and see and meet to read it and know it and absorb it. It's so true that we can't fully absorb that kind of truth.  I want to, though.  My humanity is all around me.  I'm entangled in it - yet, here is the real light and truth and reality. 

To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of Him.  Even so, Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega", says the Lord God, "Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty".  
Revelations 1: 5b - 8

To Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 
Revelations 1: 5b - 6

"Is - is he a man? asked Lucy.

"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not.  I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of a the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea.  Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion, the Lion, the great Lion."

"Ooh," said Susan, "I thought he was a man.  Is he - quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and make no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver; "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."

"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the king I tell you."

- from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Few Recommendations

Okay - 2 weeks since my last post.

I'm sick of seeing "Guess What I Did Yesterday" as the leading post.  It screams at me.  See?  I go to my blog regularly to see if there are new posts by other friends, family and various creative people.
The first thing I see is that loud title from two weeks ago.

So I'll share this.

I was listening to and watching, online,  an interview, yesterday, of J.I. Packer.  There were a few things I copied that he said.

Here is one:


Martin Lloyd Jones, how do you characterize his influence on you? (he mentioned other ways that Martin Lloyd Jones influenced him, as a pastor and teacher of God's word, but here is the one I copied down)

"In his sense that in the mind of God a church is the central concern and his insistence that no Christian ought ever to be content until the church is alive and cutting ice for Christ in the community, that emphasis is with me still, and I still think like Jones thought." J.I.Packer

Another quote:

If asked what reading I would recommend to anyone nowadays who wants reading that will disciple them I always say to start by getting Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress under your belt and go on from there to Owen and Baxter.  J.I.Packer

I have never read Pilgrim's Progress.  I've meant to.  He is referring to John Owen and Richard Baxter.  I have read some of John Owen but nothing of Richard Baxter.

Does the reader of this post use Google?  I do a lot.  If I don't know the definition of word, google it.  If I'm curious about a subject, google it.  Or a person, google them.  Sometimes it's a wild goose chase and I give up.  More often than not, my questions are answered.

I recommend googling Richard Baxter.  I just did.  I want to read some of his writings.

Another thing I recommend.  It's a cleaning product.  

Mrs. Meyers All Purpose Cleaner.  I have found it at Wal-mart.  It's one of those eco friendly cleaners and it smells delicious - like lavender.  Well, that's the scent I purchased.  Don't remember if there are others.  Ooh, so clean and refreshing to smell.  

Actually there are so many other scents because I just "googled" it.

The scent at the local Wal-Mart is lavender and I love it.
Makes me look forward, almost, to mopping my kitchen floor, 
or wiping down my counter tops.

One other recommendation
Besides beginning to read Richard Baxter or Pilgrim's Progress or John Owen,

daily go here:

This guy daily posts Tim Keller Quotes which are heart and soul and mind provoking.

Main recommendation.

daily say to God - "I want to know You.  I'm tired of me and myself.  Let me see You and love what You love.  Let me delight in what You delight in.  Show me Yourself. Draw me to Your Word. Give me a hunger for You and Your Word. Break my heart, cause it to be contrite and yielded to You."

Imagine God in Heaven and on Earth - creator of everything - and He loves us and loved us. 
God the son, became flesh and bore all of our sin and sorrow and grief and despair.
He bore our humanity so that we can be covered in Him, in all that He is and who He is.
He gave us all of His joy.

Say yes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guess What I Did Yesterday Afternoon?


Today is Wednesday.

I have someone, in town, with whom I have lunch each Wednesday -


I have a friend from out of town who still travels to Scottsboro for her dentist appointments and today, following her dentist appointment, she'll swing by my house, midday. 
(I worked on that sentence and I hope that I got it right, structurally. I'm not really sure.)

So - I decided to do a light lunch at my house - but I am intentionally keeping it VERY simple.

I have kept it simple - but I have two lemon dessert recipes
which I've been dying to try, and I couldn't pick between the two for tomorrow

So I've made both!!

I have to say that, thanks to MOM, I'm a good cook from the old school. 
I mean, I can do some of the new stuff - but pastries and breads and comfort food - 
well, I've got those down.

Only thing is, I don't do any of that much anymore.
We're all so, um, trying to be thin and be healthy, and, well, we just know too much now.
I mean, it's hard to eat all that stuff when we know what we know - 

still..... today is special. 3 friends at my house - one other than the 2 I mentioned.
We're having LEMON DESSERTS!!

My kitchen was smelling so delicious and I was strongly inhaling that lucious lemon scent 
and I had Mother in my heart.  
She had some scrumptious lemon desserts which she used to make, and
She LOVED a bowl of lemons on the table.
She considered it extravagant to have real lemons on the table,

Because she was of the WWII and the Depression Generation.
Lemons are not cheap.  
so - to be so extravagant as to have a bowl of lemons on the table - 
well - it just didn't happen except on special occasions.

Today is special and I've made 2 lemons desserts and I bought two bags of lemons.
One for the recipes and one for the table.

Here's the thing -
All that lemon smell has taken me right back to Mother.
She was in the kitchen - but she wasn't, really.
I heard her talking - but I didn't, really.

Then I was all missing her and getting all nostalgic and wanting to write about her
and tell somebody about my mother.

Don't we all? Well, most of us.  Or... a lot of us.

(this picture is in my kitchen)

(my favorite - Mother's so tickled and just being so herself)

I have no recollection of this except I can see her and I know that she was all about Mary Ann and me and probably so excited about the new house she and Daddy were building....
and the look on her face, well, it was her trying to figure out how best to pose for this picture.

 Later.... much later ... and she is about to laugh about something - I am probably making some remark -
and we're on the ramp - the handicap ramp which she very much needed for all the arthritis and osteoporosis - Mary Ann and I need it now.  And as Mother used to say about herself, 
"I'm so shaw-wat!!" (I'm so short in southern-dialect)
the osteo had shrunk her.

But back to the two lemon desserts,

They are done and Charlie and I sampled them last night.


One is Lemon Brownies and the other is Sunburst Lemon Bars.
We both liked the Lemon Bars the best, but the Brownies turned out the prettiest.
The bar recipe said not to grease the pan.  Mistake!
And I chose the longer cooking time for the crust.  I should have chosen the shorter cooking time.
Too crunchy - but so delicious.
I recommend both recipes.

This post is way too long already, so rather than type the recipes I will give the links to them both.


It's early morning and I have to prepare the lunch - 

Small Baked Ham
Broccoli Salad
Divine Muffins
Basil Lemonade

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Monday

I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

Everything is needful that He sends, nothing can be needful that He withholds.  John Newton
Think about that for the rest of your life.  It will do you good.  Tim Keller on the above John Newton quote.

"We can easily manage if we take, each day, the burden appointed to it.  But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it." - John Newton


Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. 
Matthew 6: 34

But really, the most peace I receive is knowing that it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. It's all His business - and I am to rest and be yielded.  There is active obedience, yet it's all in trusting Him - Everything is needful that He sends, nothing can be needful that He withholds.

And that is living the life.

Friday, July 20, 2012

If I Could I Would Memorize This...maybe I can....

Jesus, who unties such apparent extremes of character into such an integrated and balanced whole, demands an extreme response from every one of us. He forces our hand at every turn in the story. This man who throws open the gates of his kingdom to everyone, then warns the most devout insiders that their standing in the kingdom is in jeopardy without fruitfulness, is forever closing down our options. This man who can be weakened by a touch in a crowd on his way to bring a little girl back from the dead is a man you dare not tear your eyes from. (And we haven’t even yet witnessed the true depths of his restraint or the heights of his power.)
He is both the rest and the storm, both the victim and the wielder of the flaming sword, and you must accept him or reject him on the basis of both. Either you’ll have to kill him, or you’ll have to crown him. The one thing you can’t do is just say, ‘What an interesting guy.’ Those teachers of the law who began plotting to kill Jesus at the end of this episode in the temple – they may have been dead wrong about him, but their reaction makes perfect sense.
Please don’t try to keep Jesus on the periphery of your life. He cannot remain there. Give yourself to him – center your entire life on him – and let his power reproduce his character in you.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lord, I'm 500 Miles Away From Home

Actually, I'm 443.79 miles away from home - according to mapquest.  I don't have a GPS.

But it all makes me think of the Peter, Paul and Mary song.  So this is what 500 miles feels like.  Although I do have adequate clothing and we have brought money for the trip.  I can go back home, and don't identify with all the lyrics to the song.

Sarah used to be this far from Scottsboro - while she lived in New Orleans.
Now it's just Kate - living in Winston-Salem - and Sarah is with Charlie and me on this trip.

We borrowed Ann and Steve's air mattress.  This is a shout out to Ann and Steve, if they read this post. I'm guessing you've been letting the children use the air mattress as a trampoline - it now has a slow leak.  In the middle of the night Charlie and I decided that yes, we would turn the inflate switch on - which is quite noisy - because the air mattress was starting to feel like a water bed.  I've never slept on a water bed - but it felt like one.  By morning, the mattress had deflated some more.

I woke early, as usual for me, and made coffee - I sat on Kate's porch and enjoyed the morning and the coffee.

Has anyone noticed this added picture on my blog layout or if you follow Laura Beth on facebook, perhaps you have seen it - or seen it on Ann's facebook page.

Last week Laura Beth, Ada and John traveled to Scottsboro per Ann's invite.
This time they stayed with Ann because Steve was out of town for the week.
It was all "unique and challenging and cute and some angst for the moms", 
but they got it done.  
Above is the only picture which was taken the whole week.
Laura Beth took it with her phone.  
I need updated pictures of my McDonough grandchildren, 
but I failed to take any at all last week.

Left to right, above, 
Andrew Barber (3), Ada Moore (5), Ellie Barber (7), Luke Barber (6), John Moore (2),
and Abigail Barber (1)
Those are my 6 grandchildren.  They are all stinkers - that's what I tell them.  They are funny and can be exhausting - especially to their moms.  This grandmother gets more down time than their moms do.

I hope to enjoy still more grandchildren.  Sarah and Kate haven't even gotten started yet.  I think Laura Beth will have another.  I think we're all glad for a little break.
We've just completed Abigail's first year of infancy.  The first year is such a challenge.

Okay - rambling - and I need to get ready for the day.

By the way, below is Kate's house which is actually 4 apartments.
I'm sitting behind one set of those double windows at the top, typing this.
Hers is a very unique apartment, built right after WWII and has recently been remodeled for the year 2012.  There are hardwood floors, a brick fireplace, old wood doors with transoms, all very unique, and, again, updated with modern comforts.

Friday, July 13, 2012

If Only.....

"The secret to freedom from enslaving patterns of sin is worship.  
You need worship.
You need great worship.
You need weeping worship.
You need glorious worship.
You need to sense God's greatness and to be moved by it -
moved to tears and moved to laughter - 
moved by who God is and what He has done for you - 

This type of worship is the only thing that can replace 
the little if only fire burning in your heart.

If only I could feel Him to be
 as great as I know Him to be.

If only I could taste His grace 
as sweet as I know it to be.

And when that if only fire is burning in your heart,
then you are free."

-- Tim Keller

I found this quote on Kate's Tumblr Page.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I have been spending time with another cyberspace location.  And....  I'm having more fun there.  I don't have to write anything.  I don't have to think at all.  I just look and look and look.

It's called Pinterest.

I only check in to you, blogspot, to see what my other favorite bloggers have blogged.  I don't want them to quit blogging - so I suppose I shouldn't quit, either.  But they are much, much, much more creative than I am and most of them are a lot younger - with babies and children... and a lot of them make money with their blogs.

I feel very connected to people on Pinterest, because I get to see what they are interested in - and - I get lots of creative ideas to pin to my own boards.

I'm still not on facebook.  I have held out for the old fashioned social interaction of conversing over a cup of coffee - or meeting for lunch - or just stopping by - or over the fence kind of chats - or bumping into someone in town.  I like real skin - flesh and blood - facial expressions and tones of voices.  I like people, in person.

Still - I like to write and say what I'm thinking about -

Trouble is, my schedule has been so full that I don't think I've been thinking - except about eternal things - not everyday stuff - like wanting to spend my days on things eternal - like how Christ is all that matters and being in Him and Him being in me.  I don't know how to communicate those realities so very well.

In my last post I told that I was about to travel to that dear small town of Evergreen in South Alabama - but first have a visit with Martha and Val in Birmingham - I did all of that.  It was all delightful - and energizing - as I had the opportunity to spend time with old friends and family.

Each afternoon, in Evergreen, I would go to the Nursing Home with Mary Ann - there we would visit with our aunt, Florence, who has been there a few months.  Florence will be 90 in November.  Our other aunt, Mary, and Mary's daughter, our cousin, Melissa, would be there also for the afternoon visit with Florence.  It's the kind of thing we've always done in our family - gather together and laugh and talk and visit.  I happen to have a few old pictures of those gatherings from the past.  And then I follow with 3 pictures of our nursing home visits.  Florence and Mary are in the first black and white, 2nd and 3rd from the left.  My aunt, Lucille, is the other lady in the picture.

The gathering below is behind my house.  Florence has the towel around her shoulders.  I'm guessing Mom is going to either trim her hair or perm it or roll it.  They were always doing those kinds of things.
Mother has on the skirt.  Mother usually wore skirts. 

This next one is all of us gathered at Mary's house following Daddy's funeral.
Florence is on the couch.  Mother and Lucille are in front of the window.
Mother is in the white blouse.

And finally here are the pictures taken two or three weeks ago at the nursing home.
We're still all talking and listening to each other.
Florence has on the green velour pants and jacket.  Mary is in the yellow shirt and the white pants.
That's Mary Ann talking to each of them.

Florence has always been a good listener.

Here she is looking at a picture I had brought her - it was a copy of a very old picture of her as a little girl.  I copied it at CVS and put it in a frame for her.  She remembered the details of that day when her mother (Ella, my grandmother) was trying to get her to sit still and stay clean so she could get a good picture of her.  

I've said all that and shown all of that to make some point, I think...

1.  I'm blessed, blessed, blessed with family - we all loved each other and still do.
It's a rich heritage and with that kind of gift, I offer it back to God who is the giver of all things - and I ask Him to use that gift for His glory.  That's all that we can do with what we have.

2.  Life is a vapor.  Isn't it?  Don't we all learn that?  So brief - and then eternity.
We don't die.  We live on forever, either with God or without Him.  I know that to be so.
By His great mercies I am His - Only because His kindness led me to repentance.  
There is nothing for us to do, but to live in Him - not hold tight to anything in this world - just to be His.

Okay - so - I spent lots of time that week with family, cousins, and laughter and remembering.
Then I visited friends in Tallassee and headed home.

After that, the next week, it was to the beach.
Charlie and I took Ann and her 4 while Steve was at Youth Camp.

We had fun - it was work - but it was fun.

Abigail turned one while we were there.
June 27th.

And then it was back home.

Ann and Steve left the next week to go to Dallas
to a Missions Summit/Conference.
Charlie and I kept their 4 while they traveled.  

I want to be able to explain how God is working and leading our church 
to share the gospel to a people who live on the other side of the globe.
That will come later.

Today is today and we are enjoying rain.
We are very much enjoying rain.

I am also enjoying some projects - several furniture redos.

Perhaps I'll show those later when they are all done.

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