Sunday, July 21, 2013

Going Home

Going home!  As a child that meant home to Tennessee.  Long before Amy Grant's song, Tennessee and Tennessee at Christmas were the promise land, the ultimate destination.  At that time my grandmas,my grandpa, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, my family was there.  Love and smiles and acceptance were  there.  I belonged!  Hugs and warmth awaited me there.  The memories still warm my heart.

There was always the dream of returning to Tennessee.  My dad's dream, my mom's hope was to return "home".  Well, dad came home in a box.Dream fulfilled but not in a good way.  But 20 years ago mom and my family returned to begin our "life in Tennessee".  And we have never looked back.  This is the place where we belong.  Paul and I have moved more times than we usually mention.  North Dakota, all over Michigan, Cleveland, Tennessee, 5 places in Indiana.  And never did we feel so settled, such a sense of belonging.  The hills embrace us. The crisp, fresh mountain air greets us.  Nature sings a country lullaby to us.

But after 20 years I forget that my childhood prayers, my family's longing to go home has happened.  I live out my Daddy's dream.  I'm here! But sometimes I'm unaware.  Sometimes I forget.  And often I am totally unthankful.  You can't be thankful if you forget where you have come from.  I've lived in apartments, in the city, in really big cities Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis.  I've lived in houses, duplexes.  I've lived in tiny towns: Walton, IN, New Baltimore, MI (when it was pretty tiny).  But now I live in the country on the land my dad bought with the intention to retire to. The house he had built.  And I forget.

But at times like this morning I remember.  And it thrills my heart.  My little girl heart, full of dreams of what could be, is thrilled.  I live near my cousin Helen.  I live by rolling hills not flat city streets.  I see nature everywhere.  I saw a fox the other day and she saw me. I don't have a neighbor too close for comfort but Mrs. Philips who was my childhood neighbor for the very, very short time we once tried to live in Tennessee when I was 5 to 7.  I walk on the land my Daddy, who is 30 plus years gone now walked on and labored over.  I'm home!  Down home!  It's a wondrous thing when I think about it, when I remember that God has answered our prayers, our wishes, our longings.

You know I also long for another home.  An eternal home.  Where my father has gone, where my grandparents have gone  A place more beautiful than Tennessee.  In fact, it makes Tennessee pale in comparison.  And now I have more family members there than I do even in Tennessee.  And some day I will go there.  And I will be thrilled and I imagine I won't forget that I have had that dream fulfilled after I've been there for a long time.

 I hope you long to go there too.  I pray you will join me there.  It will be peaceful and beautiful and joyous.  Just like Daddy kept the dream alive for my family "to move home".  I want to start you thinking or remind you of going home......someday.

Bekki learned the song and told me it has a big yard and we can play football.  Come on let's go!  Let's go Home!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My Grands

Grands are the best!  I have two right now.  Bekki and Jack.  Bekki comes to visit every Saturday and spends the night. I look forward to it every week.  If I could wish a wonderful thing for you I would wish you would have grands as grand as mine.

 Of course, this Nonna thinks mine are the grandest of them all.

The Peter Show

I have a boy on my bus who has a lot of issues.  One day I had to tell him this isn't the Peter Show! (Named changed because of privacy laws). He is so used to being in control everywhere he goes.  He throws fits and has outburst when things don't go his way.  He wants all the attention.  He wants it his way, right now!  He does at times stomp on the floor in anger, lash out, scream etc. He has a melt down often.  All because he wants "his way".

 I got to thinking about this.  How many Christians are this way?  Do we want control?  Do we want "our" way?  Are we angry because things aren't going the way we want?  Do we go around and around, insisting on trying again a way that doesn't work?  Are we like Peter insisting on the "Donna Show"  or insert your name the  "         Show"?  Really we need to have each day be the Jesus Show.  

We also have been taught another thing at my job.  If a child has his hand gripped around something like the handle to hold to go up the stairs to get on the bus, we have a method to loosen his grip.  You "peal" his or her hand off the object.  You start with the pinky finger and work up to the pointer finger than the thumb.   You start with the weakest and "peal" the grip till its broken free.   Maybe this is what we need to have done.  We need to let the Lord "peal" our hands off the control lever of our lives.  Maybe we have to let him start with the little things and work up to totally letting go of our need to control what we really can't control anyway.  

It's funny and sad that we believe we have real control of our lives.  Like Peter who thinks he controls the world, we think we control our corner of the world.  Peter is, I think, ten.  I imagine he has been in control since he first threw a fit as an infant.  It's been the "Peter Show" that long.   How long has it been your show instead of the Jesus Show?   When, oh when, will we let him peal our tight grip free?   You know Peter just wants peace and freedom to live happily.   We can only have happiness, joy, peace when we let the Prince of Peace have control.  Peter has been in control badly for about 10 years with terrible results.  How long have you been in control?  5 years?  10 years? 20 years?  How long will you choose to stomp your foot and scream and yell "It's not fair!"?
I've started the process toward freedom but I have areas I'm still learning how to let Jesus control and Donna to just rest and follow His lead.  I hope you will join me in the journey of the "Jesus Show" today. Just like its the best thing for Peter to not be in control.  It's the best thing for us to not be in control.  Really!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Know Jesus- Know Peace

As for God, His way is  perfect; The Word of the Lord is proven:He is a shield to all who trust him.  2 Samuel 22:31

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Let all those rejoice who put their trust in you; Let them shout for joy; because you defend them; Let those also who love your name be joyful in you, for you, O Lord will bless the righteous; with favor you will surround him as with a shield.  Psalms 5:11, 12

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalms 118:8

Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God.  Isaiah 50:10

Lately I've been thinking about trusting God.  These verses all tell us good things about trusting God.  A clearer way to say it  is that when you trust in God you are resting in Him, in who He is and in what He says in the Word and to your heart.  As we learn to know how awesome and mighty God is and than realize that He loves each of us, personally  We can begin to learn to trust and rest in Him.  We can look at our problems, situations, challenges and get overwhelmed or we can see who God is and learn to trust and find a peaceful resting place.  

I don't know about you but I tend to worry.  Even though I have been striving to stop.  Though I found a verse that said it was a sin.  My thoughts, like a dog chasing it's tail, go round and round stressing me out.  This is so the opposite of resting, trusting.  And what a denial of what I believe.  I do believe in God I do believe in the Bible and this striving, wringing of my hands, this negativity is just wrong!  And tiring.  But trusting in Jesus.  Trusting in Father God.  That's where the peace is.  There is the rest I desire.   

I have heard the catchy phrase:  Know Jesus-Know Peace  Sounds simple, right?  But it's a journey.  Just like I know my husband better and better because I've spent time with him.  I've talked with him and shared my life with him.  I've heard his ideas and dreams.   It's the same with the Lord.  Spend time praying  reading the Bible, studying it and learning more about who He is and as we do that we will "know Him".  and we will "know peace" .  

What does this look like in real life?  Well for instance:  I had a problem with a child on my bus.  It was so frustrating.  I decided to ask the Lord to help me with this.  He gave me an ideal to try.  It worked!   As this child was unruly I would step back and whisper a "Help me Lord". I would feel peaceful and an ideal would come to me, what to say or what to do. I would then do what I felt nudged to do.  I was able to trust in Him to help me and I knew peace in that difficult situation.  

Another picture of what trusting God, resting in God is like is this.  Imagine floating on water in a pool.  You have to 'trust' the water to hold you up.  You have to "rest" on the top of the water.  If you strive or struggle, down you will go splashing, getting water in your mouth.   You wont be able to float if you don't trust.   We have to lay back in the word of God.  We have to trust in who He is to hold us up.   

This is just a few of my thoughts on this subject.  I've in no way exhausted this subject but I hope I've got you thinking.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013



Lovely, lovely springbreak!!!  It is at these times I love my
job.  Most people don't get 2 weeks off in the spring.  I DO!  Yay me!  

Hey the Bible says to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Right?  So rejoice with me today.  And I will rejoice with you some time.  

Random Loveliness

My friend Jeanie was sharing random thoughts on her blog and at the end she asked what random loveliness had her readers been enjoying.  This prompted the following response from me. (I did add a few more for here)  These are some of the loveliness I've enjoyed lately.  

Our middle daughter Carla moved back in and I’m so enjoying her cause I know it won’t last long.  I’m enjoying her sweetness and her presence.  She is such a beautiful person inside as well as outside. She is creative, funny, did I mention beautiful?  I love this season while it's here.  

Bekki, who is 5, and I made a diaper cake for a cousin’s little one. Bekki decided what it needed was the orange feather she had drawn. That sounded okay but it also had brown monkey stickers with red hearts on them and a touch of purple on it. So the color scheme was a challenge. We used multi-colored cupcake ribbons and dotted ribbons with orange netting to cover all. Colors were out of my comfort zone but my sweet Bekki loved it. Hope the cousin's mom does too.

We had a snow day! Who doesn’t love a snow day? Pay without having to go to work and time to play.. Carla and Bekki being here  were the icing on the cake or snow on the roof? lol  Of course a snow day in Tennessee requires a lot less snow than I imagine Colorado does. What a fun day!

And Jack's cooing when Mandi calls.  Wish I could capture these days.  I'm storing up the memories of him at this age.

I’m reading through the Bible too but after umpteen times of only getting through the first books. I started last summer with Deuteronomy and in the NT, Acts.  I read Acts than read chronologically the rest of the NT circling back to Matthew. I’m now in I Chronicles. Goodness the Kings and Chronicles were like drudging through mud. Blood, wars, killings etc. Sorry Lord but Yuck! But what I've loved is that right in the midst of the gore there will be a bright spot of the Lord’s faithfulness or a person will be a follower of God after maybe 3 generations of his family were truly terrible unfaithful people. I’m enjoying it overall.

There is a free magazine box at the allergist office. This week there was some lovely magazines and some very neat catalogs. I love that there are catalogs of clothes or home products that I would never have seen if some sweet soul hadn't left them there. I do need to bring some of them back though. So easy to accumulate too many.

And last Saturday Paul and I had to go down to the charming little town where we pay our property taxes and had a sweet relaxing day. The best part it was unplanned it just kind of unfolded.  A gift from God after 2 hard weeks.  We went to a down home, small town cafe/diner. We had never been there since the current owners had started running it.  All the people were looking at us like “who is that?” We live on the edge of our county and go to the main city in the next county for most of our living so we were strangers. Than we went thrifting at a perfectly delightful little shop. i bought 3 journals for $2.  And afterward ice cream at the pharmacy.They have a whole little old fashioned place with little stools to sit on.  It was the girls second day.  She had never made a sundae.  They used what they called wet walnuts.  I had never heard of them.  Very delicious.   It is such a pretty 
little town. Gainesboro

Oh one more. Carla and Paul’s impromptu tiny concert. Okay, one or two songs. Carla on guitar and Paul on harmonica. So pretty. Thrilled my soul. See Carla is very shy about her guitar playing. She doesn't know I sometimes listen in the hallway to her singing and playing. I’m praying God removes this shyness and her gifts will make room for her. So the concert was so lovely.

Those were some of the random loveliness's  I have had this week.  What about you?  What random loveliness has come to you lately?  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Confetti, Streamers, Yarn and Glitter

A word Picture....

Imagine with me, you have a ball of yarn and you hold the end and throw it across the room to someone else and they throw it to someone else holding the piece that came to them.  As it goes from person to person you soon have a spiderweb of yarn all over the place.  Now imagine doing the same  exercise with a streamer, you know the kind from a birthday party.  Now imagine a whole room full of the streamers and all kinds of pretty yarn suspended in mid air.  It is so thick with your favorite colors of yarn and streamers and someone has thrown in some glitter and some confetti.  At first the dazzle and shine, the attractiveness of your fav colors being there is so cool but than you realize, you can't move.  The room is so FULL of the pretty strings, the shiny glitter, the suspender confetti  that you are like a fly in the spider's trap.  You can't move!  No matter which way you turn.  You are immobilized!

This is the word picture that came to me while contemplating vain imaginations.  In the Bible it says this:

  Romans 1:21
King James Version (KJV)
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Some other versions say:  futile in their minds, foolish in their thinking, thoughts that were pointless and misguided..

As I said this was what I was thinking about.  I don't know about you but I'm a dreamer.  I think of lots and lots of ideas.  Things to do.  Projects to make.  Parties or dinners to have.  Fun times to have.  Family get togethers to do. Projects for the home.  

But this word picture came to me.  I am like the person caught in that room.  Though pretty and full of promise.  I mean, streamers scream: A Party!!! Fun!  And yarn...the things you can make with yarn and now a days there are so many types.  Traditional yarn in a variety of beautiful colors and styles.  Fuzzy ones ones with other yarns or strings mixed in.  We could make sweaters and baby things and blankets and all kinds of things.  But alas, I don't knit or crochet.  Oh and don't forget the glitter.  So shiny, so pretty.  Or the confetti Every party needs confetti!   So we have this room that we have added the ability for it all to be suspended mid air.  The elements seem to offer great promise.  BUT they are futile items, foolish, pointless and misguided.  It would be awful trying to untangle our mess.  The strings would get tangled.  The streamers would tear.  It wouldn't be worth our efforts.  We would want to pull it all down and start over, right?

That is how my thoughts are.  I dream of writing a book but not just any book.  One that is a best seller one that is desired by the masses.  Nothing wrong with that except if I daydream and don't even show up at my blog or come to the computer and start is a vain, futile useless thought.  Pointless.  

If I only collect scrapbook supplies and never start making pages.  It is rather pointless. The papers and the stickers and the borders just gathering dust....

If I dream of selling a quilt I've made but I never even sit down at the sewing machine.  My thoughts are futile, useless...

So, yesterday as I pondered these thoughts I got out my imaginary broom and I swept down all those vain imaginations,  I swept down the pointless thoughts.  I put them in a big black bag.  I got out my dusters and got every piece.  I took all those futile ideas and took them captive.into the bag.  I than said a prayer that God would let only the God breathed ideas, thoughts, dreams, imaginations be left.   That only they would remain. I than took the bag and since these were light vain things, with very little weight, I blew that bag up to the Lord.  

And, you know, I felt lighter.  I felt like now I will be able to focus and do.  Not just vainly imagine or dream but actually put feet to my ideas and make them a reality.  Because if they are inspired by God won't He help me to accomplish them?  They will have a point.  They will be useful.  They will become things of substance. I 'm excited to see what God and I can do!  I'm excited to be free and not trapped in that room any more
 Do you have a room like this?


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tennessee, Sweet Home

Sometimes it is surreal living here in Tennessee.  When I was a child Tennessee was the destination of most of our vacations. Okay, all of them but one. And it was the place "we"  my Mom, my Dad, my brother, No he got married.  Just Mom, Dad and me. It was the place we would move some day.  The family dream.  Someday Tennessee.   Someday moving back to the "farm".

Well, 18 1/2 years ago.  Paul, the girls, my Mom and I moved here.  Dad was already gone.  Charles got married and moved to Indiana. But we made it here.  Made it to the "farm".  It's really just land.  The barns and outbuildings long gone.
As I travel roads that I traveled as a child I sometimes have a flashback to riding down this road or flying around that curve.  And I am happy to be living out Dad's dream.
Tennessee is where my family came from.  Tennessee has our history here.  It's nice.  It could have more shopping.  It could have more diversity.  But it has quiet.  It has a sense of independence  and self reliance that you don't find everywhere.  And nature and beauty unending.  Trees.  Hills.  Rivers.  Blue skys.  Flowers.  All kind of animals.  And that's not even mentioning the people.  I love people.  And Tennessee has awesome people.  Paul and Mandi call my friends, my peeps.  I love the variety of peeps here.  I have my lifelong friends aka cousins.  I have a slew of them.  And than the friends at church, the co-workers who are now friends and the ones that have come into our family because of my girls.  School and than along with marriage has come more peeps to love.  They all add depth to my life.

Down the road on land that used to be part of the farm, is a tree that held my childhood swing.  I can still see in my minds eye:  the house and outbuildings that were once there.   Christmas stockings with oranges.  The time Charles brought home Teddy, my teddy bear home.  My 5th birthday with a cake with homemade chocolate frosting Mom had made.  The wild squirrel Charles had on the back porch.  Running and playing with Dennis.  And that stubborn Mule Joe that kept running back to his old owner.  And the day Dad and Charles brought home a toy riding tractor.  It was red and so much fun.
I live on the road I went down when I wanted to go to Uncle Carlis' and Aunt Thelma's house about 3 miles away.  Also the road that Mom spanked me on for scaring her and "running away".  She caught up with me right by where I saw my first snake.  Scared me to death until mom said it was just a little garter snake.  No big deal!

Yes Tennessee is my home.It holds memories new and old.  And after all the moving we've done.  It is nice to be in one place.  Tennessee, I love it!