"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Appreciating My Pastors

I readily admit that I'm a church girl.  I grew up in the church; in fact, one could even say I was born in the church as I can't remember a time when I didn't attend.  So it's probably no surprise that the print "Sunday Morning" by Asher Brown Durand hangs above the fireplace in my den and blesses my heart even today.  Like I said, I'm a church girl. 
And so with October being Pastor Appreciation Month, I've taken some time recently to recall and think about the men and women who have filled the shoes of "pastor" in my life.  [For some reason, we rarely called them Reverend or Pastor.  It was always Brother so-and-so (always their first name).  Unless, of course, they had their doctorate, and then they were Doctor.] 
They came in all shapes and sizes; all forms and fashions.  Some were eloquent in speech, others were less articulate.  Some were witty; others were more serious.  Most served by preaching; some by cutting the church lawn.  They baptized us, married us, buried us.  They ate with us, played with us, wept with us.  They sat with us, comforted us, prayed with us.  They taught us, encouraged us, and preached to us.  And yes, some even fished with us. 
And so on this last night of "Pastor Appreciation Month," I call out their names and remember.
The Reverend .... (Ironically, I don't even know the name of the very first pastor in my life.  But I do know this; he held me as an infant and sprinkled my little head with holy water.  That thought has given me long pause lately.)
The Reverend Billy Key (Brother Billy opened his arms and said, "Come!"  And this 6-year-old did.)
Doctor Leonard Cochran (Being so young, I can't remember much about Dr. Cochran, but this church girl does recall listening to his "children's sermons.")
The Reverend Ellick Bullington (Brother "B" ALWAYS told me how pretty I was.  That was a huge thing for a young teenager struggling with her self-image.)
The Reverend J.B. Smith (Brother J.B. was a retired associate at the time but so instrumental.  It was to him my mother took me when I had questions and fears about life.)
The Reverend Tom Johnson (He married my husband and me.)
The Reverend Paul Sauls (This "Padre," as he called himself, was the first to welcome these newlyweds into his home in Louisville, GA.  And the first pastor to hire me as a church pianist.)
The Reverend Ed Deen ("Pattin' Ed" would straddle his chair and talk theology with me like he had nothing else to do.)
The Reverend Wayne McDaniel (He was as real as they come and would just as soon minister in a fishing boat ... and often he would.)
The Reverend Phil Marklin (Phil encouraged my gifting.)
The Reverend Bob Norwood (He allowed us to watch him go through personal grief.)
The Reverend Jim Burgess (He prayed on his knees.)
The Reverend Eugene Barlow (God used Eugene to unearth my gift of teaching.)
The Reverend Jenny Jackson-Adams (The Lord used Jenny to transform my thinking about women pastor's, and one of her sermons to confirm our move back to Perry.)
The Reverend Bill Strickland (Bill is the one who sparked my passion for seeing the holy in the ordinary and taught me to see life from a different point of view.)
The Reverend Ed McMinn (Ed gave it all up and jumped in with us to start a new church fellowship.)
Pastor Sean Cooper (God used Sean to move me in a direction I never would have considered otherwise.)
The Reverend Parker Agnew (His reverence for the Word and worship continues to inspire me.)
The Reverend Don Caulley (Don is not afraid to ask me the hard questions.  He's the real deal.)

No doubt, calling these names this last week has flooded my memory bank.  All had and have their particular gifting.  But if there's anything they ALL have in common it is this: at one time, they ALL individually heard the call of God on their lives and responded; and, in retrospect, they ALL were used by God is some way to transform me or my life, making me into the person I am today.  In the words of Ray Boltz, "I am a life that was changed."  And for that, I am grateful.
So to each of these pastors I say thank you. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace (Phil. 1:2).
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! (Isaiah 52:7)

Just an ordinary moment...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Cup Overflowing, 221-240

I read recently that gratefulness is the measure of our aliveness.  And that we are dead to whatever we take for granted ... because to be numb is to be dead. 
So how's your pulse?
I'm taking mine now.

#221  a life-long friend ... literally

#222  three territorial hummingbirds

#223  1.74 miles -- it's a start toward a future 5k

#224  emotions -- messages from God that can tell me much about my spiritual quest

#225  pin-pointing a wound

#226  forgiving ... again

#227  trying to learn how to live with a sacramental view of life

#228  yearning for Christian community for it is my context for finding companionship in Christ

#229  inconveniences that cause me to slow down and exhibit patience

#230  praying with a mantis

#231  October skies

#232  quiet mornings -- so much so that even my breakfast toast is deafening

#233  making family connections with a mother of a dear high school friend who is long departed

#234  GA National Fair -- unless one lives in Perry, one cannot appreciate the excitement of "fair days."  It is counted down for 50 weeks on a local sign, and we all anticipate its arrival.  Only an 11-day season pass will do! 

#235  cowboys being cowboys

#236  spending the day with my parents on my dad's 82nd birthday

#237  my daddy -- a man of integrity and faithfulness -- so thankful for this man!

#238  laughing so hard with my kids that my side feels like it's going to split wide open

#239  time spent with family -- after 22 years, my husband's sister and brother-in-law were finally able to take in a full day of fair activities with us.  We love them so much...

#240  that God sees the disconnect of my heart and still loves me

Awake my senses, O Lord.  I want to live.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The First Step Toward Imitation

I had been looking forward to the trip for 4 months: a 2 night get-a-way to the north GA mountains in mid-October, peak season for the brilliant fall foliage.  To top it off, my husband and I were staying at the Brasstown Valley Resort which offered wonderful accommodations and breathtaking scenery.  So you can imagine the letdown when I entered our room, threw open the door to what I thought would be the balcony and saw this:

... stacked scaffolding -- and beyond that, the parking lot.  And let me just admit, if there's anything this girl enjoys more than a coffee maker in a hotel room, it's a balcony with a view.  And I had neither of the latter.  And quite frankly, I was ticked at God.  After all, our friends on the 3rd floor got "the view."  Miles and miles of rolling mountain view.
But what could I do?  I just sighed and said to my husband, "Oh, well."  But honestly, inside I was more than a little ticked about it.  I had been short changed for heaven's sake.  I had waited a long time for this trip, and by golly, I wanted a balcony and a view so I could sit outside and enjoy God.  (I make myself so sick at times.) 
The next morning, as we were on our way to breakfast in the lodge, I pointed out across the lawn and said to my husband, "When you get through with your meeting, you can find me there."  Lord knows I love a swing ... and there were 3 of them placed high above the putting greens.  And so after breakfast, I donned my denim jacket, loaded up my book bag, stopped by the dining room for a fresh cup of hot cinnamon and orange tea, and took to the stairs outside.  And this is where I found my place to breathe.  Shades of red, orange, yellow and green gave way to a blue October sky and rolling mountain topography.

If there's one thing I didn't want to do it was to keep my nose in a book for the couple of hours I was to be there; I wanted time to enjoy this sacred space, utilizing all my senses.  And so I chose Longing for God by Richard Foster and Gayle Beebe as my companion, hoping that the few pages I would read would spark conversation with the One with whom I hoped to commune.  And did it ever!
I opened it to where I had left off a week prior and found myself confronted (and I mean that in every sense of the word) with the chapter on Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ.  In it Beebe offers 8 steps or priorities if we are to indeed become imitators.  "The first step," he writes, "to spiritual transformation is to destroy our self-centeredness."  Oh, my.  This was not going to be good.  There were 7 steps to go, each one building on the former, and I was already stuck on #1.  And it got worse.  "Humility is based on perceiving reality accurately, including the truth that life does not revolve around our needs and desires."  Double 'oh, my" as my personal definition of humility was being challenged.  "The very nature of the spiritual life runs counter to our natural desires.  We do not discover happiness naturally.  In fact, our self-centeredness is so powerful that we fail to see that we cannot engineer our own happiness but only prepare for it." 
Wow!  Talk about a conversation starter.  It didn't take me long to recognize that my sorry attitude, outwardly silent as it may have been, was the antithesis of humility.  In fact, it was pure pride.  (Ouch. That hurts to even write it.)   Yet God, in His faithfulness, was quick to point out that sitting there in that swing was pure grace, in fact, as much so as on the one to whom He HAD given the balcony with  a view.
And so I relinquished my attitude along with the balcony and room view and thanked Him for His incredible goodness in that, while showing me His colors, He also showed me mine by calling me out in this first step toward imitation. 
Just an ordinary moment...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday's Volume: Andy Catlett -- Early Travels

It is no secret I have an affinity for Wendell Berry ... at least his writings.  Not one of his books yet has disappointed me, including this last one I've read: Andy Catlett: Early Travels.  I had already met Andy in The Memory of Old Jack.  He was a teenager then about to enter his first year in college.  And I imagine I ran into him in Jayber Crow as members of the Port William society continually come up again and again in all of Berry's novels.  In this particular book, he's a smite young.  In 1943, at nine years of age, Andy embarks on his first out of town visit ... on a bus -- and alone, to a whopping tens miles away to see both set of grandparents who live in the now familiar to this reader, Port William.  As he himself says, "As I saw it, it was nothing less than my first step into manhood."  His right of passage.
It's a story written through the lens of time and age as Andy remembers belonging to a community that loved him, a people that shaped him.  Mainly, his grandparents and their "families." 

I think one of the things I love so much about Berry's writings is the way his words turned into sentences turn into memories for me.  I am privileged to have known and remember well my grandparents and even great-grandparents.  They, too, worked the land and appreciated hard work and a tired back.  They, too, experienced change.  Some "came over" on horse drawn buggies and they all were taken to cemeteries in gas powered Cadillacs.  The difference according to Berry:  "The wagon passed through the country at a speed that allowed your eyes to come to rest.  Whatever you wanted to look at in the road ditch or the fence row or the field beyond, your sight could dwell on and you could see it." 

I think another reason I like Berry's Andy Catlett and all of the inhabitants of Port William so much is because I, too, live among my ancestors.  My ground is sacred to me.  Everywhere I look I see them.  Where they worked, where they played, where they shopped, where they fished, where they worshiped, and, yes, where they are buried.  And maybe that's why I was drawn to this particular passage nearing the end of the book.

Time is told by death, who doubts it?  But time is always halved -- for all we know, it is halved -- by the eye blink, the synapse, the immeasurable moment of the present. Time is only the past and maybe the future; the present moment, dividing and connecting them, is eternal.  The time of the past is there, somewhat, but only somewhat, to be remembered and examined.  We believe that the future is there too, for it keeps arriving, though we know nothing about it.  But try to stop the present for your patient scrutiny, or to measure its length with your most advanced chronometer.  It exists, so far as I can tell, only as a leak in time, through which, if we are quiet enough, eternity falls upon us and makes its claim.  And here I am, an old man, traveling as a child among the dead.

We measure time by its deaths, yes, and by its births.  For time is told also by life.  As some depart, others come.  The hand opened in farewell remains open in welcome.  I, who once had grandparents and parents, now have children and grandchildren.  Like the flowing river that is yet always present, time that is always going is always coming.  And time that is told by death and birth is held and redeemed by love, which is always present.  Time, then, is told by love's losses, and by the coming of love, and by love continuing in gratitude for what is lost.  It is folded and enfolded and unfolded forever and ever, the love by which the dead are alive and the unborn welcomed into the womb.  The great question for the old and the dying, I think, is not if they have loved and been loved enough, but if they have been grateful enough for love received and given, however much.  No one who has gratitude is the onliest one.  Let us pray to be grateful to the last.

And thus, Berry does just that.  He makes me grateful for those who have gone before me as well as for those who have and are to come. 

Read the book and be thankful...


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Speaking Different Languages

For the first 45 minutes, nothing was said ... at least nothing important.  In fact, she communicated mainly by tapping or pointing.  Her name was Linda, and I only knew that because the receptionist had told me.  As with her coworkers "Sam" and "Aaron,"  I feel sure it was her Americanized name -- one that she had chosen to make her life here in the States easier.
I had not had a pedicure since before school let out, and with flip flop season about over, my poor feet were far overdue.  And now I sat in the chair with the roll bar massaging my back and Linda massaging my legs while my weary feet found rest in scented scrub and hot towels.  Ahh....  Actually, I think this was the first pedicure I'd ever gotten without a friend in the next chair, so it really was an experiment in relaxation and "stillness."  One that I cherished and counted as "gift." 
But I couldn't help but notice the chain around Linda's neck and the gold Buddha hanging thereon; and keenly aware that the person in whom she puts her trust is dead.  And so I prayed.  
How does one minister to someone in a situation like this?  I knew I couldn't just open the conversation with, "Do you know Jesus?"  Or at least I found it difficult to do so.  At least with no relationship.  And so I thought to myself, "Well, I can begin by building a relationship."  By now my toes were painted a dazzling Wocka Wock and I was sitting with my hands before her for an even more overdue manicure ... no color.  And so I asked, "Where are you from?"  She looked at me quizzically, thus I rephrased my question thinking it probably did sound a little southern for her Asian descent:  "Where did you grow up?"  Same response.  Very slowly now enunciating every word: "Where ... were ... you ... born?"  Thank goodness I had sense enough not to say it loudly like she was deaf.  Again, just a stare.  So I tried once more.  "You.  Baby?"  Finally, a huge grin came on her face and she said, "Tutrigian."  Now it was MY turn to look confused. I repeated it back and she reiterated.  I said it again: "Tutrigian," trying to make sense of it.  For the life of me, I had never heard of the place.  She must have seen my baffled look, because she then said in an accent I could understand, "One boy, 27; one girl, 19."  It was all I could do not to bust out laughing!  And so I just held up three fingers and said, "I have 3; 2 boys, one girl."  And I left it at that.
Lord, have mercy, how does one minister when she can't even communicate with the recipient???  And then I remembered the seed principle.  Like begets like.  If I will just plant a seed of love, or a seed of joy, or a seed of kindness or gentleness or peace -- all seeds of the Holy Spirit, then I can trust Him to multiply His seed in her and bring forth fruit in due time.  
For now, I will just pray that another comes along and waters those seeds, and that in due time, she gives herself over to Truth.  Yes, I will ask for Linda again until, hopefully one day, we speak the same language.
Just an ordinary moment...

A Cup Overflowing, 201-220

Yes, I'm still counting ... and I'm still keeping a journal of my gifts -- it's just I can't always find time to get here and post.  So, in keeping with my grouping, here are my next 20.

#201  recognizing that the heart of Jesus in the NT is not so much signs and wonders but deep compassion

#202  a morning train waiting for its conductor

#203  the conductor's arrival -- Lord, have mercy, there's nothing sweeter and happier than this precious thing when he gets up in the morning!

#204  tiny acorns at the end of a slide that fit in a tiny hand

#205  playing tag with an 18 month old

#206  a good nap at the end of a hard play

#207  tickle ... tickle ... tickle...

#208  the lump that rises in my throat because I miss someone so much

#209  blue on a butterfly

#210  the emotion that rises in me when I see a grandmother and her grandsons

#211  acres and acres of sunflowers -- in full bloom

#212  gardens of gold

#213  wildlife up close and personal

#214  open windows and the tug-of-war of seasons 

#215  sitting in a cool September dark with a hot cup of green tea warming my heart

#216  that God cares about rings and things -- I discovered a beautiful tanzanite and diamond ring on the edge of the sidewalk in Pine Mountain.  Through a series of events, I connected with the owner who was from another state but was spending the weekend in a cabin praying with friends for a girlfriend with health issues.  God cares...

#217  5 new piano students and their differing personalities -- all precious
#218  16 feet under my table enjoying food and fellowship
#219  Sunday morning headache that insures I rely fully on Christ to work through me ... PLAY through me
#220  an hour long phone conversation on a fall evening with CCF (my BFF)

Just ordinary moments...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Doing This Together

Just last weekend, I read Henri Nouwen's book, In the Name of Jesus.  In it he writes of going to the Center for Human Development in Washington, D.C. to speak to a group of priests and ministers about Christian leadership in the then approaching 21st Century.  Being aware that Jesus did not send out His disciples alone to preach the word, the Daybreak community, a home for mentally handicapped people and in which Nouwen was now a priest, decided to send Bill Van Buren along. 
Nouwen wrote, "Of all the handicapped people in the house, he [Bill] was the most able to express himself with words and gestures.  From the beginning of our friendship, he had shown a real interest in my work as a priest and had offered to help me during services."  So when he was invited to join Nouwen, he accepted it as an invitation to join him in ministry.  In fact, the words he said over and over again on the plane were, "We are doing this together, aren't we, Henri?"  And each time Nouwen would answer, "Yes, Bill.  We are doing this together."
In the epilogue of the book, Nouwen explains what happened during the speech to this prominent group of listeners.  He tells of Bill leaving his seat and coming up on stage with him and planting himself right behind Nouwen.  Each time Nouwen finished reading a page, Bill took it and put it upside down on a small table near by.  Every now and then, Bill would blurt out, "I have heard that  before!"  He wanted everyone listening to know that he knew Henri very well and was familiar with his ideas, reminding Nouwen it wasn't as "new" an idea as he would like for his listeners to think. 
When Nouwen related the most often asked question he gets from the residents of Daybreak, "Are you home tonight"? Bill interjected, "That's right, that is what John Smeltzer always asks."  He wanted people to know about his friend John.  Nouwen wrote, "It was as if he drew the audience toward us, inviting them into the intimacy of our common life."
To top off the evening, when Nouwen had finished his speech and was getting an ovation, Bill whispered, "Henri, can I say something now?"  Truly not knowing what might come out of Bill's mouth, Henri agreed and called everyone to order.  "Bill took the microphone and said with all the difficulties he has in speaking, 'Last time, when Henri went to Boston, he took John Smeltzer with him. This time he wanted me to come with him to Washington, and I am very glad to be here with you.  Thank you very much.' That was it," Nouwen wrote, "and everyone stood up and gave him warm applause."
No doubt a lengthy and unusual introduction to this particular blog entry, but allow me to use it to segue to an incident that happened at the GA National Fair last week.  My cousin Lynn, her older sister and her 96 year old mother came from Jacksonville, FL to the fair.  On Thursday afternoon, I joined them and my parents for a few hours of fun.  One of the stops was to listen to Leon Jacobs, Jr.  Lynn, who has Down Syndrome, LOVES music, especially "rock and roll."  And  NO one enjoyed the hour more than she. 
Leon ended the afternoon show with Chubby Checker's The Twist.  As soon as he hit the first chords, Lynn jumped up right where she was and began to dance. 
I snapped a quick shot and then knew what I needed (and wanted) to do.  We were to "do it together."  And, Lord have mercy, did we ever!  We twisted until the cows came home.
When the song ended, Lynn threw her arms around my neck and said over and over again, "That was so much fun!  That was so much fun!  That was so much fun!"  Indeed, it was, Lynn.  Because we did it together. 
Jesus positions Himself where 2 or 3 are gathered together.  And on this warm, October afternoon, a little piece of land at the GA National Fair became holy for me.
I might not remember a lot about this year's fair, but one thing's for sure.  I'll remember dancing -- because we did it together.
Just an ordinary moment...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

When There are No Words

I opened my gmail just now on my phone to find a message from my pastor to our particular faith community called Grace Church.  It contained two prayer requests.  Words such a "diagnosed, "worst," and "awful" pervaded the first one.  "Hard-fought battle" and "resting in the arms of Jesus" phrases filled the 2nd one.

How does one pray for situations like this?  Sometimes I'm at such a loss ... like this morning.  And so I did the only thing I knew to do.  I lifted the screen within inches of my lips and let the breath of my voice flow over that phone and into those incredible needs.  "Jesus...  Jesus...  Jesus...  Jesus..."

Indeed, it the most powerful word in the universe, and it is enough; for "there is salvation in no one else" (Acts 4:12).

Just an ordinary moment...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I received an email recently that stung.  It wasn't ugly or rude, and I'm sure the sender had no such intentions of injury or pain.  But it punctured the skin of my heart ... like that thorn from the eggplant stem I got in my finger over the summer.  After the email, an incident came to mind that I haven't thought of in decades.  Surely this had nothing to do with the email.  Or did it?  I was transported back some 40 years to a church bus.  I was so in love, and he was now sitting next to me on the seat, but only as a matter of convenience.  It was a very one-sided affair and he was not the least bit interested.  We were just "friends."  Actually pretty good friends at that.  And so I made an observation about another guy in the group.  I said, "James won't quit looking at me."  And it was the next comment that bit.  My friend said, "You know, I really don't care."  Sting.

It's silly the things that hurt when you're young.  But as most adolescents do, we survive and grow into pretty responsible adults.  But why would that scene play so fresh in my mind so many years later -- especially on this particular day?   Could it be because it's the "same old same old" with which I'm dealing? 
Yet God is so good not to leave us hanging with injury.  Just that morning I had underlined a passage in a book I was reading that I believe spoke to both situations, present and past; words that still stung ... but for a different reason and a potentially different result.

In The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen wrote, "Sue did not give me much chance to protest: 'You have been looking for friends all your life; you have been craving for affection as long as I've known you; you have been interested in thousands of things; you have been begging for attention, appreciation, and affirmation left and right.  The time has come to claim your true vocation ...'"
Wow.  "Craving."  "Begging."  That's some pretty hefty wording.  To be noticed, appreciated and affirmed.  Those are some pretty hefty accusations.  But, really, can we ... I ... ever grow out of it?  I believe the answer is YES, or why else would God bring three such situations together, put His holy finger on the source of injury and say, "This. It's time we talk about it." 
So what do I do?  Continue in rebellion, wallow in self-pity and end up a little more bitter with every thorn that comes my way?  Or do I surrender myself to His love and forgiveness and allow Him to take the stinger out?
Just an ordinary moment...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday's Volume: The Memory of Old Jack

Chapter 1: "Though he stands leaning on his cane on the porch of the hotel in Port William, looking out into the first cool morning of September, 1952, he is not there. He is four miles and sixty-four years away, in the time when he had music in him and he was light."

Thanks to my friend and author Dale Cramer, my love affair with the people of Port William began with Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry.  Through that memorable and colorful barber, I was introduced to most if not all of her citizens.  So I was delighted to find yet another Berry read in a local used bookstore: The Memory of Old Jack.

Until the final chapter, the entire book spans less than a 24-hour period in which Jack Beechum, a farmer whose entire life has been lived off the land, reflects on his 92 years. He remembers wars, recalls deaths, courtship and marriage -- which includes a powerful tension between marital obligation and romantic passion; he contemplates his parenting – or the lack of it, friendships, working the land, the “difference between hopeless and hopeful work”; and the difficulty of leaving his home of decades to live out his days in the old hotel converted to an old folks’ home.  “For years now Jayber Crow has referred to the establishment as the local airport: ‘Where are gathered those about to depart into the heavens.’”

You will certainly not find in The Memory of Old Jack the hype and fast movement that is so prevalent in most of today’s entertainment.  It’s a patient book filled with a certain rhythm, like life, and therefore, you must be patient with it.  In doing so, you will discover a pace that slows down the soul and makes you cry for what was and will never be again.  All of Berry’s writings are compelling to me, and just like Jayber Crow, he tells yet another wonderful story, this time through the eyes of Uncle Jack; a story that is earthy, tragic, triumphant, and heartbreakingly beautiful. 

Some books take hold of me, and this is one of them. Even after turning the last page, I couldn’t put the story or Uncle Jack away. I’ve had to live with it and him awhile. Cherish his stories. Honor him. Even grieve his losses. Much like we need to do with real people who have touched our lives.  Although possibly not for everyone, The Memory of Old Jack will remain a part of my “favorite” collection to be savored again and again through the years.  But for now, Old Jack and his memories ... well, they just pause and sit a spell with me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Cup Overflowing, 181-200

As I continue counting, I'm amazed at the things which come up in my readings which speak of gratitude.  Not the least is Twitter.  Just last week, Graham Cooke tweeted this: "When we stop crying out to Him in hopelessness and begin approaching Him with thankfulness, we discover God's true power."  Yes, indeed.  Counting has less to do with numbers and everything to do with God.
#181  the 23rd Psalm taught with passion and heard afresh
#182  talking things of the heart with a friend
#183  a letter and drawing from Amelia, my little Compassion child
#184  the way the cardinal changes color with the seasons – from summer red to autumn orange
#185  to be so moved by reading of the life of Martin Luther that tears full upon the page
#186  to sit in the presence of virtuosos
#187  the healing power of music
#188  riding around town with my Daddy and just listeningamong other things, he showed me where the German POW camp was during WWII … and where he used to shoot squirrels as a boy
#189  the way a votive candle brings an unexpected smile because it bears toddler teeth marks
#190  one tablespoon of International Delight Almond Joy creamer in my coffee – You see, to limit myself to just one tablespoon presses me toward knowing God.  Jesus Himself said, “If anyone is to follow Me, he must deny himself.”  You think I’m kidding?  Sometimes it’s the little things, folks.
#191  that a God who is so worthy of praise from the heavens, the angels, the sun and moon and all the starry light … would draw near to ME – Psalm 148
#192  a phone call that says, “I just wanted you to know I’ve been thinking about you – and that I love you.”
#193  that God is NOT my buddy with whom I can walk hand in hand – but my KING in whose hand I can place mine
#194  zipper spiders with whom I share space
#195  tea parties
#196  the realization that God doesn’t want to change my circumstances as much as He wants to change me
#197  the flavors of rural Georgia -- Yes, my husband and I took an impromptu Saturday road trip to McIntyre, GA
#198  a new prayer for my children – Psalm 112
#199  bedtime Bible stories, a thumb, two Murphys and a Fred -- it doens't get any better than that
#200  an unexpected “thinking of you” email that brings life
My cup continues to overflow with just ordinary moments...