Sunday, January 30, 2011

Monday's prayer

i am in cinci.  i do have some access to the internet, i forgot my camera media card adapter and so can't download pics.  i'm using my husband's notebook.  that's why i'm not capitalizing--it's a bit of a pain. 

i watched the hallmark channel's movie tonight--starring betty white and jennifer love-hewett.  it was about a woman who never gave up on her husband returning home and 66 years after he left, his body was brought back from an island on which his plane crashed while fightinng the japanese.

the scene where she's on the porch with her baby and the western union man came on his bicycle to deliver the telegram--well it gave me an idea of what my mother must have felt when the telegram was delivered to her telling her that my dad was missing in action.  as i've said before, he had told her to not believe he was dead --that he could be a pow.  and he was.  this woman resolutely says that 'my husband is not dead--he's missing in action." it turns out he wasn't; he survived the crash, but later died while helping the natives fight the japanese.

it was a tear jerker, but good.  betty white was marvelous, esp as she greets the casket at the train station where she has waited every valentine's day for 66 years.  wow.  talk about love!

i'm sitting here thinking of the love that lived in this house.  it looks more like a hotel now.  all of the stuff that identified it as our home has been packed up and either put in storage or taken to the b'ville home (mostly storage).   i can feel the love that we shared here and still have for each other.

 this year has brought us to another phase of our lives.  i was fearful of it, but shouldn't have been.    he quoted the jerry mcquire movie at our reception "she completes me" shocking everyone because he wasn't one to be publicly sentimental.   he completes me also and so we do best when together (not an every moment type thing, but  being able to come home to each other every night). 

i guess i'm feeling a bit sappy right now.  i'm  remembering the first time i visited here.  the time i sat down on the floor in the living room,sobbing after the phone call that told me mama had gone into a coma--probably from a brain hemorage due to the leukemia.  of the thanksgiving dinners here and mom and dad staying here, then just dad.  he told me he only slept when he was at my house.  i'm not sure why, but he could get rest here after mama died. 

i could go on and on, but tomorrow is a busy day--some shopping and a doctor's appt., then we head home.  we came because i had a doctor's appt. with my fibromyalgia specialist.  i will try to get a new one this summer, but i don't want to do that when teaching in case the new doctor wants to change meds.  i react to meds sometimes drastically, so med changing has to be done on summer break.

anyhow, i have the prayer of the week.  please send up a prayer for my sub.  she's a sweet girl who will have her hands full 2nd and 3rd period (9--10-45).

Time for Monday's Prayer:
from stormie omartian's book that i've been using lately: the power of praying, help for a woman's journey through life.

"find power in His name"

Power to save, deliver, heal, provide, protect, and so much more. There is also great power in each of God's names, and when spoken with faith, love, understanding, and reverence, it brings a blessing and increases your faith.
God's name is always a safe place to run to any time you need help.  If you are sick, run to your Healer.  If you can't pay your bills, run to your Provider.  If you are afraid, run to your Hiding Place.  If your are going through a dark time, run to your Everlasting Light.  By speaking His name with reverence and thanksgiving, you invite HIM  to be that to you."  (p.43)

Lord, I thank You that there is power in Your name.  Thank You that Jesus has been given "the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow." (Philippians 2:9-10).
Help me to remember Your name is a strong tower I can always run to.  In Jesus' name I pray.

-------------GOD'S PROMISE--------------------
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
                           Proverbs 18:10

Blessings to you as you begin your week!  I will be back at my computer tomorrow night.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Five Minute Friday and the End of the Week Psalm

b'ville gals
Friends since elementary.  Two were born in our hometown.  Another moved here before I did.  But I'm the only one who moved back.  We call ourselves the b'ville gals.  We are different in many ways and our lives have taken diverse paths, but we're still friends.  We can pick up a conversation after two years, just as if we had talked yesterday.  There's a bond there that's hard to explain.  We began it as young girls, forged it as teens, and cherish it as women. We've had disappointments and hardships, but we have survived as has our friendship.
We had another one, but we lost her to cancer.  We had not gotten together for several years, but united to be by her side one more time.  We made a vow that we would get together every year like we used to.

 It's been more like every two years recently, but we now see each other at separate times too.  Hard to get us all together, but this spring is time again. 


Oh how we can laugh together!

This is also the time when I give the end of the week Psalm.  I have much to be thankful for this week.

                                                         Psalm 116
1. I LOVE the Lord, because He has heard [and now hears] my voice and my supplications.
2. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.
3. . . . I suffered anguish and grief (trouble and sorrow).
4. Then called I upon the name of the Lord: O Lord, I beseech You, save my life and deliver me!
5. gracious is the Lord, and  [rigidly] righteous; yes, our god is merciful.
6. The Lord preserves the simple' I was brought low, and He helped and saved me.

8. For You have delivered . . . my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling and falling.

16. O Lord, truly I am Your servant; . . . You have loosed my bonds.
17. I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call on the name of the Lord.

Blessings to you as you head into your weekend!

I may not have internet acces for a few days.  If not, I'll catch up on Monday.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

home with midterms

icy rain
caused two-hour delay
snow storm bearing down
canceled school

up and dressed
flat iron hot
i was surprised
when phone rang again

two cups coffee
one protein/vitamin shake
coursing through system
body movement good 
considering chilled air

too awake to sleep
sweats i don
 cuddly throw i grab
in recliner i curl

with scruffy on lap
i grab a folder
and orange pen:
grading begins

midterms tucked in six folders
140 tests in all

hubby helped me grade
sweet of him
don't ya think?

wish i wouldn't procrastinate
but again i did

there are a few tests unfinished
so can't be graded--
students absent
while school  in session
temporary incompletes

the rest are done
grades are in
asleep i go

oh, by the way
i strongly dislike tests
midterm tests are required
actually--double ugg!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

winter memories

 like so many  small towns in southeastern ohio
my town is built into the hills
that both shelter and harass the occupants

i still shake my head in 'bemusement'
at how houses are built seemingly on top of each other

the joke is that if there's a postage stamp plot
someone will build a house on it

for kids loving outdoor snow time
the hills provide wonderful slopes

those same slopes that are treacherous
for their parents navigating to work and back
offer hours of fun and frolic
to those kids willing to brave the cold and wet

i remember sledding down the alley--back road to the stadium
we could start in my friend's backyard
taking a narrow path
not taken by cars
and turning aside before careening into the car-driven-part

we could shelter in her parents' garage
taking breaks from the cold
before heading back out

odd how that memory came back to me
as i thought of the blog carnival prompt of winter

i can still see that hill and tami's garage
i'm not sure who all was there
but i remember tami---
she's still a friend

my first husband and i chose to raise our children in a rural housing development
outside a  town  nearby to my hometown

plenty of hills
but the houses had big yards
with surrounding woods and fields

one of our neighbors owned a large acreage
and would permit the neighbor kids to sled ride--
preferably with parents

i don't remember my parents ever sled-riding with me
or even watching me

but my kids have the memories of both parents
sailing down the huge slippery hill
sometimes with one of them
sometimes solo
sometimes with our dog katie a somewhat willing passenger

she preferred chasing us
or running along side us
but would occasionally be a good sport
and ride

i remember pulling a child on a sled up the hill
and watching my husband do the same
i remember the laughter ringing through the hillside
the pink cheeks
sparkling eyes

i also remember
the piles of outdoor clothing in the downstairs hallway
and in the laundry room
and the bathroom

i remember that i didn't mind the puddles
 and damp hats, gloves, ski jackets and pants

i didn't scold
i just went upstairs
 fixed hot chocolate
for us all

that's winter for me
good warm memories that bring a smile
despite a divorce

nothing can take those moments away

i hope my children
see those moments
in their winter memories

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gaining the Right Perspective and Monday Morning Prayer

Tomorrow I return to school.  We had a snow day Friday
after an early dismissal on Thursday.
The automatic phone call came thirty minutes ago:
Two-hour delay tomorrow and buses will be running
snow routes only both morning and afternoon.

Groan.  When it's snow routes only, my second period ends up
having only half the students there: 13 vs. 26.
That makes it extremely difficult to accomplish much. But I'll manage. :)

Also, midterms were Wednesday and Thursday of last week
with make-ups on Friday.
Periods 6, 7, and 8 didn't meet, so those classes still have midterms to take.
That will be difficult for those teachers.

Grades were to be done by this Wednesday at noon, but that will be changed also.

English midterms were scheduled for Wednesday so I got mine in, except for 6th period.
The midterm was long for the junior Advanced English class
and 2/3 of them still need to finish it.  Hopefully they can do that in 30 minute classes.

But on the bright side, I can get more done tonight.

About last week: I appreciate all the encouraging words and support I received.
Thanks also for your prayers.
Please continue to lift 'us' up as the negativity has gotten toxic.

Now, time for the Monday Prayer.

But first, more from Stormie Omartian's book,

"Gaining the Right Perspective"

"Have you ever found yourself angry, upset, or devastated when things didn't turn out
as you'd hoped or planned?
Next time that happens, look deeply in to the situation and ask God to give you
a new perspective. . .
My daughter, Mandy, and I have developed a plan for seeing the truth whenever
something goes wrong.
We look at the situation and ask, 'What's right with this picture?'
We pray for God to show us how what we think of as a negative situation
is actually a positive one.

This is not just positive thinking or trying to make good things happen with your thoughts.
This is wanting to see things from God's perspective
and letting Him show you the truth. . .

Is there anything that worries or upsets you?

If so, say, 'Lord, show me what's right with this picture.
What is the truth in this moment?
Help me to see it from Your perspective.'
You'll be amazed at what God reveals.

If your attitude is one of gratefully searching for God's truth and goodness in any situation,
it will change your life.
You'll never see things the same way again."


"Lord,  I lift to You the situations of my life that concern me.
I lay my worries before You
and ask for Your mighty intervention
to show me what's right when I can only see what's wrong.
I am determined to see the good, so help me not to be blinded by my own
fears, doubts, wants, and preconceived ideas.
I ask you to reveal to me Your truth in every situation.

Give me Your perspective today and for my future.
When something seems to go wrong, help me not to jump to negative conclusions.
Enable me to recognize the answers to my own prayers.

Let me trust You, Lord, in all things and for all things.
When I look at my life and my circumstances,
help me to always see the good work that You are doing.

In Jesus' name I pray."


And we know that all things work together
for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose.
          Romans 8:28

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
                 Psalm 34:8

Appropriate, don't you think?!
I have been praying and being more open to God revealing to me
what went wrong and how the situation got to that point.

There is a lot of pain at that school right now. 
The boy who took his anger out on me has had the custody and his residence
change six times in three years.
Mom now has custody back, but he lives with his grandparents.

The teacher who lashed out at me is struggling financially. 
Her live-in boyfriend has had his hours cut. 
She has been married twice before,
and now says she's better without it.  
 She's happy with her 'man' and she does speak highly of him. 
I sometimes wonder who she's trying to convince.

She sees me as financially wealthy. 
Compared to her, I guess I am, but I laugh at the thought,
because I knew great financial wealth in my other life and was miserable.
Now I have much less, but am much happier.

Also, our two 'leader' teachers are incredibly negative
 and toxic stuff pours from their mouths.
I'm gulping because I can see that God is leading me
to take a stand against the crud. 
Not sure how or when.
Ha! You think I had problems before!  Look out!

As I've asked already, please continue to pray about all this.

Thank you.

Blessings to you as you begin this week.

                                               The light still burns beneath the 'cold'!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stripped and hurt and the End of the Week Psalm

This represents how I felt at one point this week.
Stripped bare,
Lock put on my heart.

You see, a piece was ripped out of me
last Friday
by a fellow teacher
who is jealous of my 'wealth'
(she defines wealth in monetary terms)
and a highly dramatic student
in desperate need of anger management

 A false accusation was made.
Fortunately, three students, called in to write statements,
told the true situation
and not the emotional lie of the student.
(The incident supposedly occurred in a classroom with 30 students in it!)

In maliciousness, the teacher told him I hated him
and he came into my room
hurt, angry, and seeking revenge.
(I don't hate, not even when I was hurting profusely
from the actions of my ex and ex-best friend years ago).

Adding to the mess was the principal was on an anniversary celebration vacation,
so was not present to deal with this student.

Fortunately, the guidance counselor handled it,
and she did an outstanding job.
The situation was momentarily defused.

She's the one who got multiple statements including the accusing student's and mine.
She's the one who calmed the mother down on the phone.
She's the one who comforted me.

On Thursday the saga ended.
The teacher lied to the principal to protect herself, but supposedly to protect me
After ignoring me all week, she rushed to my table at professional development
and gushed all over me.
She told me she'd been called in by the principal and what she told him.

She wondered if I knew the mother was coming in to meet with the principal--
info she found out that morning--
info I had known since last Friday.
I told her that I did and refused to say any more to her.

 Just as this ivy is protected under this porch,
and supported by the wall,
so was I protected
by God
and supported by a counselor, another teacher, and a principal who believed in me.

The situation is over.
My reputation is in tact.
I did NOT hit the student.
BUT, the accusation had to be investigated.

(One aspect he did not count on is that I could not hold a book in my right hand period,
let alone hit him with it,
because of the severity of my osteo-arthritis.
I would hurt myself far more, even if I hit barehanded,
plus there would be no force whatsoever in it.

What was he thinking to accuse me of such an action?
He wasn't.
His anger was in control and anger is not particularly smart.

By the way, he is now on out-of-school-suspension
for cold-punching another student
when he(the puncher) was supposed to be leaving the room.

 He chose to do this in the cafeteria in front of about one-third of our student body
and a male teacher who subsequently hurt his knee breaking up the resulting fight.

Anger renders this kid's ability to think useless.
while having  the potential to destroy others.
.I have been clipped,
but I've still got life in me
as the bush above does.

 Just as this bush  is venturing out--
putting forth shoots and branches
so must I continue to reach out in love
even to my enemies.

Easier said than done.

 Though I feel like I was buried this past week
I still have sustenance to give out as the thyme here does.

and I must not be prickly. :)

End of the Week Psalms

Here are some Psalm 'clips' that are intermittently at the bottom
of my Psalm pages in my Bible.

Lord, You are not only God, but You are my God.
Psalm 50:7

God, send Your light and Your truth, and let them lead me.
Let them bring me into Your presence.
Psalm 43:3

God, all of my hope and my expectation are in You.
Psalm 39:7

Blessings to you as you enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the mysterious path

this path
wide and clear
except for new-fallen snow

how did it come to be?

the neighbors
on either side
how it appeared
in front of
their houses

the mailman
probably knows
or suspects--
after all
he's now delivering mail
to someone besides me
at this address

i know
in so many
including this path

i'm not alone
no more struggling
to clear a trickle of a path

instead i'm out with camera
he's out with shovel
he--better known to some as mike
to me as beloved husband

he came back early
 from his short time
 in cinci
so i would not be
snowed in
like last year


happy sigh

Sunday, January 16, 2011

God has something new and the Monday Prayer

Seneca Lake in southeastern Ohio taken out car window when snowing

In The Power of Praying: Help for a Woman's Journey Through Life, Stormie Omartian
writes the following in the section "knowing the extent of His grace:"

and you will keep Him from doing that if you are hanging on to the way
things have always been done.
He will never allow you to rest on past success.
If you rely on the way things have always been done,
you aren't relying on Him.
And that's the whole point.

No matter how old you are, God has something new
He wants to do in your life.
Ask Him to show you what that is.
Tell Him you  intend to stay in the race
and you don't want to carry any baggage
 from the past around with you."

I don't know, but I think I needed to 'hear' that.
I need to change how I do some things at school; I'm just not sure what or how.

So here's Stormie's accompanying prayer---it will the Monday Prayer for this week:

"Lord, help me to keep my eyes looking straight ahead
and not back on the former days and old ways of doing things.
I know You want to do something new in my life today.
Help me to concentrate on where I am to go now
not where I have been.
Thank You for releasing me from the past so that by Your grace
I can move out of it
and into the future You have for me.
In Jesus' name I pray.

 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold all things have become new.
II Corinthians 5:17

I have a professional day tomorrow, so I will be sitting most of the day in an auditorium.
Tuesday the students will be back.

Blessings to you all as you begin your week!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The house and the end of week Psalm

 Project: Write for five minutes to a photo prompt of your choosing--no editing--simply writing.
Here goes:
You can barely see the house, but it is huge.  I took this photo while barely stopping the car driving home from school on an early dismissal day due to snow.
I drove past this house countless times in my teens.  There's two ways to the lake from my hometown and this is one of them.   There used to be a humongous tree on the corner where you turn to head to the marina and the other side of the lake.  I always knew I was close when I saw that tree.  I don't remember noticing the house, just the tree.  Now it's the house I notice.  Someone still keeps the grounds up, but no sign of life from inside for at least three years if not more.   Paint is peeling, but otherwise it looks in good shape.
I wonder what happened?  What family grew up here?  Did they have a big farm on land that now is dotted with smaller homes?  Why does no one live in it, but yet someone cares enough to maintain it?  It looks lonely. Just like the show on TV, I'd love to hear these walls talk.  I bet they have some glorious stories.

Part of Lisa's-Jo's five minute prompt

Well the second week of school of the new year is over and we teachers and students are feeling the crunch.

Next week are midterms, the end of the second nine weeks, and a deadline of short assessment tests.  These latter tests are to be accompanied with a full scale chart of what OGT (Ohio Graduation Test) standard each question met and what percentage of students missed each question; then we are to break it down into economically disadvantaged  and special needs students, so the district's "Race to the Top" team can put together stats.

 Four hours was added to the last short assessment test's grading because of that chart and I didn't do the disadvantanged and special needs break down, because he only asked for that after the young teacher with social issues,  who lives with her parents, and only goes out with her sister once in a long while, thought adding that to hers might help her relationship with the principal.  Oh it impressed him, but also got her lots of razzing by other teachers (not me).  There are two other single teachers, but they're older, have their own homes they maintain, and are very active in their extended families (nephew, neices, etc.), plus they do a lot with friends.

She is the teacher who is a thorn in my flesh because she's the only other one in my department and she doesn't want to do team work.  Her idea of team work is her choosing the source of questions, then choosing the questions, typing them out and handing me the hard copy as she enters the questions on the Smart Board's computer.  I'm supposed to nod my head in approval, then show up with my class, and share in the principal's approval at our 'joint project.'  I didn't receive that well and she didn't receive my reaction well. 
I tried to reach a compromise--an understanding-- a reconciliation, but she responded with a resounding "No!"  From here on she will do her work; I can do mine, and when he insists we share the hard copies with each other, then we will.  Other than that she sees no point in having any kind of relationship.  Great.  (Did I mention that she does not take any kind of criticism well---even constructive?)

Then a student got mad at me and stormed out when I got irritated with the fact that he asked me to spell a state.  Seeing as there was only one question on the test that required a state for an answer, he thus had announced the answer to 29 other students. 

Talk about words undoing you: I had complained of that student to another teacher the day before, and she immediately went to him and told him.  Since he's constantly trying to get my attention, finding out that he's not my favorite student by a long shot injured him deeply.  Thus he came into my room 'loaded for bear' as the saying goes.  My prep period was spent in a mediation process with the counselor (the principal is gone on a wedding anniversary trip) and it's to continue with the principal on Tuesday (no school on Monday).

So it's with heavy heart I turn to my Psalm part of my blog.  I'm choosing to write several of the ones that appear at the bottom of the pages in my Psalm section of my Bible.

"I bless You, Lord, because You have not rejected my prayer or removed Your mercy
and loving-kindness from me."   Psalm 66:20

"God, I am trusting in, leaning on, and relying on You; trusting You at all times.
You are a fortress and a high tower for me!"   Psalm 62:8

"God, I will release the weight of my burdens and cast them on You, knowing that You will sustain me.
I declare, God, that You will not allow the righteous to be moved!"   Psalm 55:22

"God, I thank You that You have redeemed my life from the battles that are against me."  Psalm 55:18

"Lord, I will thank You and confide in You forever because You have delivered me and kept me safe.
I will wait on, hope in, and expect in Your name because it is good."  Psalm 52:9

"Thank You, God, for being my helper and my ally."   Psalm 54:4

Blessings to you this weekend!

[Our five-year-old grandson is with us.  He spent the night and will spend most of this day (Saturday).
We've not had him alone before, so it was his turn.  He's quite charming when he's not trying to compete with his three-year-old little sister (the Irish lass as I call her).]

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shattered--a story

Note: The lines are not meant to be spaced like they are, but this particular post has given me 'fits'--it's like 'something' was trying to stop it.  So I apologize for the choppiness.  I pray it won't detract you from reading it.
 "She doesn't just envy you; she wants your life.  You must beware of her; put some space between you."

The daughter listened to her mother's words in disbelief.  Thirteen years earlier this vivacious woman
came into her life by swatting her on the butt with a dishtowel in the church kitchen.  She and her husband and kids were new to the church and had come to this event to get to know folks better.

An impish grin awaited her when she turned quickly to see who had the audacity to swat her.
 Those eyes drew her in and she knew she'd found a friend like no other.

Later that friend told her how she had prayed to God to bring a Christian sister into her life.  When
they met, she knew God had answered her prayer.

And oh, how they were friends.  Their children grew up together.  Tears mixed with belly laughs---long
phone calls, Bible studies, couple get-togethers---they were almost joined at the hip.

So she scoffed at her mother's words.  She figured her mother was jealous of her time with her
vivacious Christian sister/friend.  She didn't say so, but she thought it.
"I saw the look in her eyes; I heard the tone when she said, '    always gets whatever she wants.'
 Believe me it was not joy I saw or heard!"

She refused to believe her mother, even when the warning was repeated several more times.
 Instead, she grew angry at her mother as she hoped she wouldn't be forced to choose
between the two.

Ever wise, her mother  sensed that she was facing banishment.  So she said no more about the
 friend. She told her daughter several years later that she knew if  she was cut off, the daughter
would feel like she had no one to turn to  when the inevitable occurred.

And it did occur.  Fifteen years of Christian sisterhood and friendship shattered.  For you see,
the vivacious friend  stepped in when the woman was at her weakest.

A terrible accident had occurred and the woman had spent months caring for an injured child. 
Everyone reacted the day of and the days that followed the accident.  Everyone BUT the woman.
 Someone had to keep a head on straight to make life and death decisions.   Someone had to look
 the teen in the face without tears, giving her hope.  Someone had to break  horrific news to her or
a stranger would in a cold, sterile hospital ER in an unfamiliar hospital, for the teen had to have
 a specialist, so would be moved.   Someone had to stay nearby the ICU all night long in case
her child were to 'crash.'  She made it quite clear that she was to be brought in to hold the child's
 hand out to God if that moment came. 
It didn't come.  The teen not only survived---the recovery was quick and amazed hospital personnel.
 She moved out of  ICU in record time to a regular room.

The husband was finally able to look into the teen's eyes and he took his turn during the day.  The
vivacious woman helped the mother out by taking over in the morning, helping do the hair and such.
 Folks later told the woman how strange it was to see the husband, the friend, and the teen together
when they visited.  You see, the woman took the night shift because she was a 'night person' and could stay awake with the teen during the toughest times of pain.

But I am taking too long.  When the teen healed externally and all restraints were gone, the woman fell
into a hellacious depression.  But the husband did not believe in depression, so he just saw his wife as becoming selfish and uncooperative.   Meanwhile the friend continued to be very helpful and when the marriage showed signs of strain, she came to counsel---to help.  The woman confided much too much
to her sister friend--her weaknesses, her husband's displeasure, her anger at her husband---on and on.
Thus the sister friend knew exactly what the husband wanted and needed and he had what she wanted and needed.  So two marriages died and another was born.

Meanwhile the woman's mother paced and worried and prayed. Then she prepared herself for the day
that her daughter's life would shatter into a million colorful pieces. 

The day finally arrived when the sisterfriend became the enemy--when the daughter  looked around  in
 horror and confusion.  Deeply depressed, she didn't have what she needed to fight back.  She wanted
to dig a hole under the bright pieces into the deep earth and hide in shame.

Her mother knew what was in the woman's mind--she knew suicide hovered, waiting to snatch the
woman into its womb.
So the mother did what any good mother would do.  She went to her daughter's side, took her into her
 arms and told her how special she was---how loved she was.  Then---
the mother simply and quietly stooped down and began to pick up and glue together  the jagged pieces
of her daughter's life.
 And perhaps most important of all, never once, did she say, I told you so.

A mother's love, especially when mixed with God's healing power, can put a child's shattered life back together whether the child is 4 or 30 or even older.  Oh the child's life will not be same.  No, for the
jagged edges don't glue together seamlessly.  Some pieces are not even found, so a filler is used. 

The result is a very special  piece of art  welded together with love and faith and hope.   In some ways
 it's more beautiful than before,  for the glue of  love, faith, and hope has fiery strength in it that forged the broken person in a way that is different, but in many ways better.

Shattered, but not destroyed ---fixable if someone is willing to put forth the time and effort and give a
 selfless love.  If that person lets God work through them.  Then His love will flow and heal.  It won't
happen over night for the broken person has a say in the reconstruction and sometimes may bulk---may snatch a piece and throw it ---may add water to the glue so some pieces don't stick together as well as they could.

Free will.  Broken, we have free will to decide if, how, when, and sometimes  to what extent we will
allow ourselves to be healed.  Please understand that FORGIVENESS has to be a part of the healing;
other wise the healing will not be complete. 

God is there waiting.  He may take on the face of a mother, a father, another family member, friend, or
even a stranger.  But I believe with all  my heart and soul that He will be there, holding out his hand.  He excels in putting jagged, shattered pieces back together.  We just need to take His hand in whatever form
 its given to us and  then  BELIEVE.

         "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee;
 yea,I will help thee;  yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
          For I the Lord thy God will hold they right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
                                                         Isaiah 41: 10, 13

          "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come,
         Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
                                             Romans 8: 37-39

Part of One word carnival  and imperfect prose on thursdays

For some reason, I could not get rid of this picture below and I was making  things worse, so it remains.

 I struggled in writing this and in fact, bulked, but God is persistent.   Why this?  Why now?  I know not.

I do want to make clear that the woman's life is happy and she long ago made peace with the vivacious woman and the ex-husband.  She's actually happy for them---they do fit together much better than she did with him.   She is free to be herself in a way she was never able to be with him.

 She also has acknowledged her part in the break down of the marriage and the subsequent fall out.  She allowed anger to keep her from compromise and she didn't seek God's guidance at some very crucial times.  She doesn't think divorce was God's answer, but she didn't seek His help until the damage was done and the marriage had gone up in flames.
 It's been seventeen years (approximately), so the healing was a process.

 I figure that some people (some family members most likely) are experiencing less than satisfactory reactions, but I'm writing for God and me, not anyone else.  That "for God" probably is really making some heads shake.   Go ahead and shake them.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A wonderful woman, quiet weekend, and the Monday Prayer

 Aunt Ruth with her favorite (only) nephew and three nieces at her 80th birthday celebration.
Here she is --the star of the afternoon--many turned out to wish her a very Happy Birthday!
 That was three years ago.  She preferred to have others in the picture with her, so she's not smiling
like in the first--she can be shy.

Quiet weekend.  It continued to snow Friday night, all day Saturday into the night.
I stayed inside.

My husband ventured out to see his aunt who was in the local hospital.
She was moved to an assisted living facility today. 
She is 83 with multiple problems and seems to be fading. 

She never married.
She lived with her parents, helped her mother care for her father
and then she took care of her mother.
She's lived in the family home alone now for many years.

Her only brother was my husband's and  his three sisters' dad.
One of Mike's sisters has been the main caretaker,
but now Mike is here to help her, which she very much needed.

She's a sweetie who is loved by us all. 
She has good friends who take her places when she is able,
(she stopped driving years ago).
She has lived a full and active life,
but she seems very tired now.
My husband is preparing himself for her departure,
but if she could stay and feel good also--
that would be more welcome
by those who love her.
Please lift this situation up in prayer--thank you.

Husband worked on the shop room down in the basement.
It was the workshop of the man who lived here for five years.
His wife lived here fifteen more after he died, until she sold the house to us.
He's finally cleaning out Mr. S.'s stuff---stuff his wife never had removed
and then left behind when she moved.

Husband needs the space as he is cleaning out the garage in Cinci
and he wants his main tools here.
Some things he will store in his dad's old barn that we now own
along with the acre it's on.

I put Christmas decorations away, sorting, and then repacking
in such a way that most boxes could be stored in the barn,
except for the fragile items and heirlooms.

So it has been a quiet but productive weekend.

Tomorrow begins another school week.

Here is the Monday Prayer.

as I wait on You,
help me to grow in my understanding of Your ways
and not succumb to impatience or discouragement
because my timetable does not coincide with Yours.
Shine Your light into any dark corner of my soul
that needs to be exposed.
Strengthen my faith to depend on Your perfect timing for my life.
Help me to rest in You and be content with the step I'm on
and the light You have given me.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning.
Psalm 130: 5-6

Blessings to you all as you begin the week!

With  great-nieces and nephew and then nephew's son (great-great-nephew?).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Way Home and Psalm of the Week

 On my way home from school each day, after I round the last bend of road that has lake beside it,
I come to this curve. There is a junction here.  The road to the right leads to several homes/farms.
 Right before this junction there is a 'pull off' spot where I can park the car
 and know I can get out and still be safe.
Yesterday afternoon (Friday) it had begun to snow which is what I've been waiting for, so I could
take winter pics of this area.   (I've featured it before.)
 The first picture was taken from my car; the rest are taken from outside the car. 
This picture better shows the junction and how there is a pull off for a car.  I could have used
S. Etole's special gloves here as my hands got cold quickly, but my gloves were too bulky to wear.

Here is a close up of the barn.  It is set on the edge of a hill right before the hill slopes down into the road.
On a small plot beside and above it is a pasture area where four horses graze.  I tried to get good pictures
of the horses, but those came out blurry.  (The spots are snow and at some point, I probably should
have wiped off my lens!)

This is on the other side of the road--the side where my car is parked.  This is the sweet cabin I've featured
before.  Whoever built it tucked it into a nook of that hill and it certainly looks peaceful and sheltered.

 These hay bales are what is kept on the far side of the pull off and I would venture is the reason
there is a pull off here.  But then I don't know much about farms, farm animals, hay, etc.

 To the right of the cabin, nestled between the hill behind the cabin and another one that butts into it,
are these buildings and animals.
 Below is a view on the other end of the building.
 I tried to put into perspective where I park, where I'm standing, where the hay bales are, and where the
buildings are in the distance.  I used my close-up feature to get the other pictures.

Last is the picture of the way from which I came.  The sign in the bottom right-hand corner turns into a diamond shape when there is high water.  The warning (High Water) is now hidden because the sign is closed. 
But someone goes around and opens all these signs during heavy rains.  This area floods and becomes impassable quite quickly.  Our school district shuts down for floods  as well as snow issues.

It was a good week, especially for the first week back after a holiday.  The end of the nine week period
and midterms are looming ahead, so the students are paying attention.  A lot of them don't want their grades to plummet---not all, but most of them care.

I spend more time reading and writing in devotion time on Sat. mornings, thus getting to the computer later; then I fixed a big brunch for hubby and me this morning.  Therefore, it became afternoon before I could get the camera downloaded and this written.

Here is the End of the Week and Beginning of the Weekend Psalm.

Psalm 67

1. God Be merciful and gracious to us and bless us and cause His face to shine upon us and among us.
Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
2. That Your way may be known upon earth, Your saving power (Your deliverances and Your salvation) among all nations.
3. Let the peoples praise You [turn away from their idols] and give thanks to You, O God;
let all the peoples praise and give thanks to You.
4. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples fairly and guide,
lead, or drive the nations upon the earth.  Selah!
5. Let the peoples praise You [turn away from their idols] and give thanks to You, O God;
let all the peoples praise and give thanks to You! 
(This is repeated almost like a chorus or refrain).
6. The earth has yielded its harvest [in evidence of God's approval]; God, even our own God,
will bless us.
7. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall reverently fear Him.

Blessings to you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


clothes, furniture, ideas, attitudes
making room for each other
as we become a couple again
instead of on weekends
(sometimes it was every other weekend)

we lived alone before we lived together
and we were both good at being alone
i believe wholeheartedly
that alone need not be lonely

i learned after my divorce
that only when i become comfortable
 being with myself
 can  i truly be comfortable with others
some days i'm more comfortable with me than other days

i still have lots to learn
but i'd rather be alone with no one else in the house
than live with someone and still feel alone
"i've been there, done that"

i am missing him
he's back in cinci consulting for his old company
and checking on the house--
 the first open house looms ahead this weekend

normally he has to wear headphones
for football games
for tv---period
you see, he likes sound
i have sound overload all day long
 i crave quiet in the evenings
some on weekends

tuesday night
 he would not have had to wear head phones
for i put away the lessons
and the work to be graded
curled up in his spot on the couch
with his warm 'throw blanket'
two cats
 and some cookies
and let the ohio state/arkansas game
blare throughout the house

i stayed up and watched
the WHOLE game
four hours of sleep was the result
but ---
ohio state beat an sec team
broke a record
that needed breaking 

i'm glad i sacrificed sleep
to see 
the interception that sealed the game
coach tresler dodge the gatorade

this house is tiny
only one comfortable spot for watching tv
it's the same comfortable spot for grading

love makes that possible
love makes it worthwhile

the house feels empty without him
good--it should

"Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit),
sympathizing [with one another],
loving [each other]as brethren [of one household],
compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble)."
I Peter 3:8

I'm joining emily w. at imperfect prose