Monday, February 16, 2015

50 Shades

With all the hype of 50 Shades, I just left the theatre from finally watching American Sniper. I'm totally disturbed and need to be. Those are young men, giving their lives and sacrificing. True story. I sat through the movie, shaking my head the entire time. At the end, my heart was pounding. Everyone left the theatre in silence.

On Christian radio, music for Easter is already playing. I'm so grateful. It places my heart where it needs to be, heart pounding, hand raising, head shaking.

Do you see that Easter basket? As a child, I'd have about 50 shades of colors in my basket on any given Easter.

Do you see that car below? As a child, my fingers were nearly flattened in the car door. I cried my heart out.

Do you see that tree? As a child, I stepped on a piece of glass and there, I cut my foot. I cried.

Do you see that bike? That was my sister's first bike. As a child, I didn't get one when she did, and my heart hurt a tiny bit ... because I wanted one, too. I probably cried.

Do you see that puppy? Her name was Happy. As a child, when my parents divorced, I never saw her again and never got to say goodbye to her. I cried my heart out.

We don't always have a choice of the shades that get added to our life's basket, do we? But many shades ... we do choose.

What will we let slip into the marrow of our souls?

We must be careful what we let slip into the marrow of our souls.

I will be careful what I let slip into the marrow of my soul.

I'm thankful the sacrificial service of our countrymen slipped into the marrow of my soul. I'm on bended knee. More than 50 shades of sacrificial love.

My heart hurts to see The Passion of the Christ ... to see what it must have been like for Jesus to be beaten and hung on the cross. But He did it to save us, to break our chains of bondage. He did it for love. Sacrificial love, more than 50 shades of sacrificial love. On bended knee, I will let that truth slip into the marrow of my soul.

Slipping into the marrow of my soul, God says true love is this—"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." —1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

**With love to Christine Dorman for "50 shades of love."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


This winter has been so hard on me. I'm supposing it's from my surgery back in March. Am I still in recovering mode? Surely not. That's almost been a year ago. Maybe it's all part of the aging process. Maybe my blood is thinning. But I will say that after almost a year, my stomach is finally healing. Foods aren't hurting like before. Maybe I'll be able to shed the medicine soon.

Can you see me smiling? This last week has brought beautiful temperatures here in Texas. I could walk outside without being in pain. I could walk the trail again. I could give the sheep more than five quick minutes of my time. And it's the funniest thing because the sheep can hear me inside the house. They hear me cough, and they stand up. They wait like puppy dogs at the fence, in hopes of seeing a glimpse of me (and the rest of the family, too, but I'm guilty of spoiling them a tad bit).

It's a relief to be pain free from the brutal cold. I'm so ready for spring. Are you?

We can also endure cold snaps in our lives. I feel like I've been living through the longest cold snap of my life. And I see spring, and I can't wait to get there and shed the blankets that have wrapped me. I want to be free from the cold.
My dad's birthday is this week, and I didn't send anything to him. It's too late. I'll call him. But I feel like a total failure. He's been going through a definite cold snap. His wife of many years has left him.

A dear friend in Spokane, WA, will be enduring surgery on February 18th. Please pray for Denise W. There is a tumor behind her eye. The doctors think it's benign. But her hair will be shaved, incisions, scars, black eye, blurry vision ... pain is in her future. And I love this lady.
I spent an evening with my beautiful cousin this last week. Her mother, my aunt, is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Yet, she blessed me so. I laughed so hard all evening. I thought I might need a paper sack to breathe into. I needed that. I needed her.
This post probably makes not a lick of sense. I'll share with you that I'm working on a new manuscript, and it's taking all my sense and sensibility. And we just returned from a trip to Disney World. It's probably our last trip there for some time because our girls are nearly grown and we're looking at college and cars. But I want to show you a few things that bring warmth to my life.
We call this the "Yeti" ... it's actually Expedition Everest. It's a fun roller coaster. You go mostly backwards. It's a blast.
This is the Rockin' Roller Coaster. It's my very favorite because it's indoors, in the dark, with rock 'n roll playing, and bright lights flashing. You go through loops--upside down. I feel like I'm flying, like I'm totally free. And it's the most amazing experience. I imagine Heaven giving me a feeling like this.
This is the Tower of Terror. It's not scary, but you drop FLOORS while sitting in an elevator. You come at least five inches off your seat. You go way up and see a shred of light from outside in the park; you go way down. Have mercy! I have never liked the feeling of my stomach being taken, so I laugh and scream through this whole ride. And I'm sure I leave imprints of where my fingers were holding on to dear life. I hope Heaven doesn't give me a feeling like this.
But the feeling of my stomach being taken reminds me of my dad ... he'd fly over the old roads that led to my grandmother's house ... and I'd leave my stomach on each hill. And that makes me smile.

This is one of my favorite restaurants at Disney, The Crystal Palace, because all the Winnie the Pooh characters come around and hug you. I feel like a little child here. And I leave with a Pooh belly.
Here I am at a tiny bookstore in Mobile, Alabama. I look ragged, but the ragged books are beautiful.
This is taken from the Renaissance Hotel in Mobile, Alabama. Out there is the USS Alabama. I love this place. I sleep looking out the window at the water and lights. I watch the ships. I wake up through the night to it. This is where the conclusion of my new work takes place. Makes my heart smile.
And down there, is a beautiful city park. And it's always filled with the homeless. Some are sleeping. They are all hidden away in the bushes. If I hadn't been warned, I'd never know. They are going through definite cold snaps. Heart-breaking.
But spring is coming.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

More of the Story--A Prayer Basket

" 'This is how we show others that we are praying for them,' said Ms. Donna some 15 years ago as she gathered all her Christmas cards received that year and placed them in a decorative basket."


What do you do with the Christmas cards you received AFTER the holiday? This is what a dear, cherished friend does with hers ...

Join me for more of the story at WMU's website.