Sunday, August 26, 2007

What I Learned

As I mentioned in an earlier post, our church held a Fall Women's Retreat this weekend. Our Women's Ministry hosted the event and worked very hard to offer women a place to worship and learn. The theme of this year's retreat was "The Heart of Worship." And these are the lessons God challenged me with.

1. True worship, is from the heart. A desire to exclaim that HE IS HOLY. What we do to please Him, is a result of our worship. All the works we do, the singing of songs, the giving of tithes and offerings are RESULTS of our worship. It's a heart thing.

2. I have created idols in my life without realizing it. ANYTHING that is more important than spending time with God is an idol. What do I do the first thing in the morning? Do I immediately get a cup of coffee, and THEN pray for His will for my day? Do I push aside His Word and read for pleasure? Do I check my email before I spend time with Him? Do I worship my free time?

3. Delayed obedience is disobedience. If I don't say yes right away, but choose to consider it, or say, "I will later, Lord", that is not obedience.

4. I am a vessel to be filled with His Living Water. I may be a plastic cup, or Waterford Crystal, depending on His purpose for my life. I'm not to envy the crystal if my purpose is to be the plastic cup. And the water MUST be replenished or it becomes stagnate. As a believer, the Living Water is His love, His guidance, and His Word.

5. Do I believe God, or just believe IN Him? If the woman who had an issue of blood believed just touching Jesus's garment would heal her, and it did, how can I not believe He is what He says He is and can do what He says He can do? It may not be on my time table. She waited 12 long years.

Our speakers were obviously led by the Lord. No one had knowledge of what the other was going to say. But as God is all knowing, He placed each perfect issue on their hearts and everything meshed. It was as if they had all coordinated and chose topics that would match. Isn't He AMAZING? I am so guilty of forgetting that.

I am often lazy. I make excuses to not attend functions like this and talk myself out of them. I'm too tired, I need my rest, I feel alone in a crowd.... But I convinced myself to attend ALL of this retreat. It was so worth it. I didn't feel alone, I was able to deal with the fatigue, I opened myself up to listen to what God had to say, I was able to sing His praises with a free heart, and was blessed and instructed. I didn't make an idol of my personal time and was rewarded by God's blessings.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

First Contact

Many times at night, when I'm waiting to fall asleep, I think about this blog. And I let my mind roam so it can create some kind of posting idea. I'm sure, like everyone else in the world, I begin with one thought and it travels through my brain until I'm in a place I didn't expect. Last night was no different and I wound up thinking about the first time I really met my husband.

When you are from as small a place as I was, everyone knows everyone else. And I mean EVERYONE. I knew who my future husband was, but had never really been around him. I will call him SR. (When we write notes to each other, he signs SR and I sign BJ)

One night, when I was 14, I was staying overnight with a friend. As teens do, we decided to sneak out of the house after bedtime, and see who was uptown. Now, at this point, I have to add that I was not a dare devil or a bad child. I actually called my mother and told her what we planned. So, when the parents went to sleep, we snuck out and walked up to what was then the Exxon station where some others were milling around.

SR was there and although we never actually spoke to each other, he watched me. He was leaning against a car, with his arms crossed just watching me. I didn't think anything of it at the time, except maybe curiosity. I never entertained the thought that he might be interested. I don't think he even remembers that event, but I can still see him that way in my mind. It would be another year before we actually made dating contact, but I consider that our first meeting. He was 5 years older than I, and it was very flattering to have someone that age show an interest in little ole me. We were brought together by a mutual friend. One of those instances where in high school your friend says, "I know someone who wants to date you." Thus we were set up and the rest is history. We dated exclusively until I was 18 and we married.

Now some would be against dating only one person all through those years and marrying so young, but it's been a pretty good thing for me. Of course I think about what I might have missed from time to time, but God had a plan. Being so young, and having our children while we were that young, has been good for us. We were able to enjoy them and "play" with them, and now we are young enough to enjoy the empty nest.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Food and Family

Last night I had the pleasure of eating supper at Mazzios with LeLe and my sister and her family. I LOVE being with my sister. (and it goes without saying LeLe too) Sister's family is hilarious and we always have a marvelous time together. Her son is a genius both academically and comically. Her daughter is blessed with brains, beauty and voice. My niece's boyfriend is relatively new to the family but never meets a stranger so he was very entertaining. It was funny watching our waitress bring him drinks without being asked, but forgetting everything my niece asked for.

The entire time we were there, we were laughing. And of course those around us looked at us from time to time as if they were wondering whether we were sane or not. Evenings like these are a balm to our poor stressed minds and bodies. We all agreed we should do that more often. I don't think I take time to enjoy my family enough. But, we are spread out in different towns and it does make it a little harder than just running across town for a visit.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I Waited Too Long.....Again

I always hear, "If you see what you want, you'd better get it right then. It's never there when you go back for it." It is SO TRUE. I haven't really finished landscaping my yard. We've been in our house for 5 years and I'm still working on it. I wonder if you ever get finished?... I have a nice built up flower bed in front of my living room window with azaleas planted. I decided to place one nice pot under the spout of an antique water pump, and lay the other pot on its side. That seems to be in vogue right now in yard art. I saw two pots at the Sheridan Walmart a couple of months ago and talked myself out of buying them. I really hadn't come up with this idea then anyway, so it was no big deal. I just liked the pots and the price. Today after my decision, I went back to Walmart to get them. Of course, they aren't there. It's getting late in the gardening season and those things are disappearing quickly. Either they have already been purchased, or they've been stored away for next year.

After husband and I went to Colton's Steak House for supper tonight (YUM) we drove over to Home Depot, hoping they would have something. Not. They still have several planters, but not what I was looking for. We then went to the Benton Walmart, and they had even less. I struck out. Sooo, I supposed I'll have to wait until next summer to do what I want. I have decided though, IF WE CAN FIND THEM, that I want a pallet of decorative stone for my birthday next month. I have a couple of trees in the back yard that need help desperately. I plan to build up around them and plant something that will withstand the heat and the cold. I may fill in with some annuals next spring.

I don't know what has precipitated this desire to actually get out there and work in the yard, but it's good exercise and I love to create.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Time Flies When You're Having Fun....

I can't believe my work week is almost over. Seems like yesterday I was writing about Wednesday being Hump Day. Eventhough I experience it daily, I'm still amazed at how many people want to be seen at the clinic in one day. In our local newspaper a while back, some disgruntled folks wrote a really nasty letter to the editor about our town's medical clinics. Most folks are intelligent and generous enough to realize that we are only human, and we can only see so many patients in a day. I suppose a few others don't realize they are not the only ones needing medical attention. They also feel that our simple clinics should be trauma and emergency centers at all hours, eventhough we/they are not equipped with either that type of trained staff or equipment. I understand their frustration, but I have to say, it comes with the decision to live in a small town. You can't have it both ways. You can't have a small town atmosphere, with a lower crime rate, and have what the larger cities have to offer too. It seems that two of our town's doctors are either retiring shortly, or are considering leaving their practice. That means a burden will be placed on the ones remaining. I don't really see how we can deal with that amount of patients in a week without turning some away and making them mad. I hope and pray they will understand we can only do so much, and we have a life too. We like to go home at a decent hour and enjoy family and free time as well as the next guy.

On Mission
Our church (FBC Sheridan) is having an On Mission Celebration Sunday this coming Sabbath. The On Mission Team, of which I am a member, has been planning this for months. We voted as a church body to take on the Acts 1:8 Challenge. "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." We are endeavoring to include every church member in at least one mission project, no matter how small. It is the Great Commission in action. We will celebrate all the mission projects already in place, encourage each member to participate, hold a commissioning service for one of our own who will be going to Asia on mission, and serve a meal. Anyone and everyone is invited to attend. Our Jerusalem is Sheridan, our Judea is Arkansas, our Samaria is the United States and of course our Ends of the Earth is self explanatory. We ask for prayer that we will, as a church body and as individuals, truly accept this challenge.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Glimpse of the Past

Found this photo of LeLe and Chelle when they were little sweeties. Had to share.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Well, it's finally Friday. And I thought I would feel relieved. Not so. It's been an EXTREMELY hard week for all three of us in the clinic. I haven't been able to relax yet and can feel the tension in my neck and shoulders eventhough it's 10:30 on Friday morning. I've already been out gathering supplies for a "Promotion Party" at Sunday School, watered my dying flowers in the back yard, washed two loads of clothes, and pondered over and over what in the world I'm going to do about a problem my mother is having with transportation. I have a long list of jobs to accomplish this weekend, so I guess that's why I can't really relax. I thought this time in my life was supposed to be easier. But the older I get, the more I find that your problems just shift and change. They don't go away.

What I'd really like to do....and I imagined this while I was laying abed this morning wishing I didn't have to get up.... is find a cabin on a lake somewhere and withdraw from the world for a while. Lay on a raft and snooze. Snack on chips and cokes while I read a good book. Or, after reading LeLe's blog, I remembered how much I want to visit Scotland, so I pictured staying in a little cottage close to a loch. The t.v. would be playing and I would be listening intently to how the words were pronouced more than what was being said. (I love a Scottish accent) Some people dream of vacationing at some exotic island resort. Not so, says I. Give me a mountain lake hideaway or a Scottish moor.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


A lot of folks call Wednesdays "Over the Hump Day." I think it's because it's the middle of the week, and only half a week to go till the work week ends. It doesn't feel any better to me than any other day. I'm not relieved until about 6:00 on Thursday evenings. I know then, that I am off for three days. Happy Happy Joy Joy is my feeling on the matter.

Yesterday was an extremely stressful day. I found myself multi-tasking to the max. I remember being in the middle of about 3 tasks, with two or three more demanding immediate attention. I was so stressed, that all the angst I was feeling erupted from my lips in an uncharacteristic phrase. It wasn't a curse word or anything like that, but was so unusual for me, that one co-worker was a bit taken aback, the other thought it was hilarious. I was afraid today would be more of the same, but God chose to give me relief. Thanks to Him on High for His mercy. I have also been invited to lunch with LeLe's Mother-in-Law and I'm looking forward to that. Sooo, my 'Over the Hump Day' seems to be a good one after all.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Weekend Update

My weekend didn't wind up as I had planned. It's like that saying "Life is what happens while you are making other plans." I intended to make some really nice posters for our church's upcoming "On Mission Celebration" but my time was more limited than I expected. I spent the entire day Friday with my mother. She had some medical issues, and needed my sister and me to be with her for a little testing. Nothing major and all is well, but sister and I spent the entire day waiting. I guess I'd rather be the wait-er than the test-ee. So, the day I had blocked off for poster making was shot. Saturday was catch-up day with a little housework, and then a baby shower for a family member. I'm not much into those, eventhough I know how important they are. Guess it's my "feeling alone in a crowd" thing. Anyway, that lasted a whole lot longer than I expected, so that time was gone. I found time to make the posters, but they were not what I had planned, nor are they as eye catching as I wanted. Maybe that is a pride thing. They have the information we needed to share, and they are legible, and that is all that really matters. Maybe that is God's way of dealing with my pride. Hmmmm. Due to some other issues with my mother, I had to travel to Rison after Sunday School. Since my father passed away, I have more responsibility for my Mom and that's ok. It's nice that she seems to really appreciate all I do for her. And my view on it is, she worked hard to give me all the things I needed, and lots of stuff I just WANTED when I was growing up. It's pay back time.

It was a productive weekend, but not restful and not what I had invisioned. Still, I can't complain. Everything that was pressing was accomplished and life goes on.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


LeLe's Dad and I were reminiscing with her and MK last night about when she and her brother were small. Brother used to call to her from another room and expect her to come running to see what he wanted. In my mind, I can still hear the voices of my children when they were tiny. The way brother would shorten her name, leaving out one of the vowels. The way you could hear the aggravated tone of her reply at being called to stop what she was doing, and appease her younger sibling. I miss hearing that. I miss my children.

This morning I was going over that conversation in my head and realized that I can still hear all the voices of the people I love, who are now are gone. Plain as day I can hear LeLe and brother's voice, but more than that, I can hear my father calling my name. (He also left out a vowel.) It's a memory that both gives me comfort and tears my heart out. I can still hear my maternal grandparents calling to me. I hear the love in their voices and the way they changed my name to make it sound funny or loving.

I hope that my children will be able to hear my voice when I am gone. And I hope and pray that it is a comfort and the memory is of loving words.