Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Things I Still Don't Know

It's the end of the year and by the looks of other blogs and Facebook status updates people are refective of where they've been and anticipating where they're going. I'm sitting here listening to the rain and realizing it's one more thing I don't know about my mother. I don't know how she felt about the rain. No regrets. It's not important, just something I don't know. I know how she felt about snow. I grew up hearing about the icicles forming on her wet bangs after swim class. I grew up hearing about her walking into snow banks as her vision failed. I know snow was something she was glad to leave in Chicago when she moved to California. When Mom first passed realizing there was something I didn't know was a big deal. Wondering what she would think shadowed each event. There've been changes this year. Bright changes. No shadow of wishing Mom were here to discuss them loomed. I'm in a good place as I leave 2010 and move into 2011. Don't get me wrong. Tears still come. I still miss her but more often the my face is moistened by tears of joy. There is awesome joy in knowing she's Home in Heaven pain free and able to see. Sin brought pain into life. Jesus went to the cross so that when the earthly portion of life is over we can be in Heaven with Him. We've just finished celebrating His birth. It's a happy time. The new year is coming at us. Hope is coming towards us. I'm ready for whatever the new year brings. I'm hoping it brings Jesus into many hearts so that He can break chains. Happy New Year everyone. Hope He takes the shackles off your feet so you can dance.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Mom Filter

It's the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death by murder. I liked his music growing up. It must've made it past the Mom Filter. Mom was very conservative. Did I mention the word VERY? I was allowed 3 television shows (besides game shows) which were Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, and Emergency! I didn't watch Bewitched until I was an adult. Twilight Zone? Uh no. Even if I'd told her that Earl Hamner, creator and narrator of The Waltons, had written a couple episodes that dial would not have budged. (According to my followers list you are are old enough to remember the TV dial so I don't have to explain it.) I saw an episode of The Waltons a few years back that dealt with a Ouji board that I don't remember seeing as a child--Mom Filter. I've tried to have a Mom Filter. Mine is not as conservative as my mother's but it must be stronger. There's more to filter out these days. My kids know what's acceptable in my presense but at their ages I cannot filter the rest of the world anymore. Still I hope my Mom Filter was strong enough in their formative years so that they now have their own filtering system. I know my own personal filtering system is pretty conservative but Mom would be surprised to know I've been watching Ghost Whisperer. And Bewitched is kinda hokey and great company when you have the flu. Then again the other day when nothing was on TV and Dave and I were feeling fluish we had a Walton's movie marathon. Mom would have been pleased.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

With Bells On

There's a young lady I see, usually crossing the street, when I drop my son off at school. I've watched her grow up. Our families used to go to church together. I say a little prayer of blessing as she passes. This morning I noticed her shoes. They were cute! "She has the cutest shoes." I said to myself. Then I remembered the bells. More accurately I remembered Mom and her friend Janell talking about the bells on their childrens' shoes. I represent 1/4 of those eight tiny feet jingling as they walked. Like Mom, Janell is also blind and the bells were a way of knowing where their kids were. I don't remember wearing bells on my shoes. It must've been a toddler thing. I wonder if Mom missed the sound of the bells when it was time to take them off. As I grew she had a new way of keeping track of me. She'd call out my name. When I'd ask what she wanted she'd say, "Nothing. I just wanted to know where you were." The Bible calls God our loving Father. Our Abba, which is a term of endearment like Daddy. He doesn't need me to wear bells but if I did I'm sure He wouldn't be too pleased with some of the paths they've jingled on. That's why He gave us the Holy Spirit Who calls out my name. When I ask what He wants He replies, "I just wanted you to know where you were." Bells on rebellious feet are silenced as I fall to my knees and repent. When I stand up I head in a new direction.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good morning everyone. It's been a wet week here weatherwise. We had a power outage here last night but the timing was strange. It was hours after the heaveist of the downpour. Taking a cue from my mother I trailled the hallway to the kitchen and felt along the back wall til I found the emergency flashlight. From there I found and lit candles and then I got out her radio and put batteries in it. She had this radio that also got TV chanels. I was planning on listening to the rest of Biggest Looser. Apparently I forgot that we don't use antenas anymore. So I tuned in the Fish which was playing a song with the lyrics, "You're the light in my darkness" just as I turned it on. God has a since of humor. He also understands storms. Sometimes He calms them and others He tells you to get out of the boat and walk toward Him. I believe He also understands power outages. I gave my testimony on Sunday and it made me really think about my life. During the storms my faith was strong but after the worst of the storm passed I became powerless. I don't know, maybe I took my eyes off Christ but there were times I sunk instead of walked and short circuted. But those are also the times He's picked me up and put me back in the boat where I could take the time I needed to have my "circuts" dry out and start functioning again. Last night I prayed the power would come back on before bedtime. My husband uses a breathing machine at night. It did and he could breathe easy just as I can now that I've learned to keep my eyes on Christ. My faith is stronger than ever. Instead of electricity or solar panels to recharge God uses storms and with the proper focus our faith can be strengthened, even made new.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

Whoever said the apple doesn't fall far from the tree doesn't know me very well. There will be no well thought out blog today. I have a head cold. My mother wouldn't have let that stop her. She wrote a song of gratitude to God during a trying season of her life and sang it even in the last (and I believe most trying) season of her life. She was a strong little apple but I am a wimp. Took a cold pill as soon as I woke up and now I am going back to bed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gathering Manna

I'm in my third week of an incredible Bible study by Beth Moore. It's called A Woman's Heart God's Dwelling Place. I think Mom would've liked her. Last night Beth was talking about how Jesus is the living manna from Heaven. Through the study and what she said I concluded that we have to go out and gather Him daily. She spoke last night about the manna being symbolic for our needs and we have to go before the Lord daily and say this is how it is. Then we can gather what we need. This morning I began to think about the effort she said it took. The Israelites had to get up, go outside their tent and go get the manna. She said each of us have to do this for ourselves but I recalled that back in the day the instructions were for the men to go and gather for each person in their tent. At the end of her life my mother couldn't do for herself physically. And I think there were days she couldn't do for herself spiritually either. She needed her daily ration of strength brought to her by the Man of the tent. She needed others praying on her behalf. Jesus provides that strength whether we go out and gather or He makes a house call at the request of someone else. The key is recognizing our daily need and His daily provision. Daily. Mom understood that as evidenced by her prayer life. When she was too weak to pray she had friends and family praying for her. The other thing that dawns on me is that we don't know each other's needs. My mother's needs were obvious. Other needs go unnoticed because we don't share our lives. Don't hide in your tent alone suffering. Open the flap and let your need be known.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Braille code seemed overwhelming when I first started my classes. Six little dots in various combinations make the 26 letters of the alphabet. I got that eventually and even understood the pattern. I can see now how it all works together. I understand. I came across something I'd forgotten about yesterday. I was getting ready for Bible study and wanted to share a song my mom had written. I had the lyrics printed up on pretty paper for her memorial service and knew I had extra copies. In the box were all the cards people sent me. I read a few and realized the 12 Gideon Bibles were donated in Mom's name. When I got to Bible study a woman there had a Gideon Bible. I don't know if my mom had anything to do with that but this woman is on a journey to understanding God. It is a continuing journey. Unlike Braille, He doesn't seem to have a set pattern but He is consistant in His faithfulness. In answering a question out loud last night I understood something about an incident that happened many years ago. I thought my mother needed avenging and my brother needed to be out of both of our lives for good. God had a different plan. He told me to love and I did. Years later God used that relationship I did not severe and the voice I did not allow to become bitter to show my brother the way Home. I'm still overwhelmed that God would use me for such a vital task. Overwhelmed in a good way. I will never have the same understanding of God that I do of Braille. Braille doesn't overwhelm me any more. I hope God always does. He can overwhelm me with His Grace, Mercy Peace and mysterious ways any time. The hard part for me will be to remember He's at work. I am to rest in that and not strive to understand it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Psalm What?

I gave away my mother's Braille Bible after she passed away. It is my hope that it's bringing joy and comfort to others as it did for her. When she lived with me she boxed up the 18 or so volumes and only had 2 books out at a time. Whatever book she was in as she read thru the year and her book of Psalms. She'd read a Psalm before bed. We had a baby monitor in her room in case she needed us during the night. The device was dug out of the closet after she wandered into our daughter's room and couldn't find her way out. How she didn't trip over the skateboard we'll never know. I was reminded of this yesterday when I saw a car with a personalized license plate. It was a Psalm reference but which one? Without a colon all I saw were numbers. Was it 9:12 which talks about avenging blood or 91:2 which is about God being our refuge and fortress? Or was there a colon and dash missing. Was it 9:1-2 which praises God and talks about telling of all His wonders? I don't know, just like I didn't know what Psalm my mom was reading one night when I turned on the monitor. I could hear her reading but it wasn't spoken words I was hearing like when someone reads aloud. I could hear her fingers brush across the page of raised dots. It struck me then. Mom was caressing the living breathing Word of God. I haven't done my Bible reading yet this morning. My eyes hurt from a head-cold. But when I do get to it I know there will be visual distractions all around me. As Mom read though, the only thing she was touching was her Bible. It wasn't easy being blind but I can't help but think it was less distracting.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3 Dots 3 Days

Lots to do today so I'm sharing a devotional involving Braille code. I wrote it a couple of years ago now I think. It's so hard for me to keep track. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (NIV) In Braille code one to six dots are used to represent letters, punctuation, words, or to change a word. When the letter C stands alone becomes the word can. But if you put dots 4-5-6 before the C it becomes the word cannot. Those three little dots wield much power, changing a positive into a negative. What else has such power--three days. Over 2000 years ago three days changed the course of human history. Jesus died, spent some time in a borrowed tomb and rose again, conquering death. He also conquered the devil changing what he can do into what he cannot do in the life of the believer. For those who are in Christ, Satan no longer has the power to condemn. We are sinners saved by grace. Now that’s not an invitation to sin but an understanding that fallen man needs a covering. The devil can no longer use shame to make us feel guilty for our wrongdoing. The bumper sticker fades but the message remains: Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. So the next time someone tries to make you feel unworthy of Christ’s love, just remember He chose to die for you. Unfortunately, Satan hasn’t read the memo. He’s still going to try to condemn and control. When you stand firm in Christ’s power Satan cannot control you. It’s a message that’s hard to apply. Our lives seem so out of control but we can give that control over to God. When we allow Him to reign, rust corrodes Satan’s tool box, filled with big and small things designed to turn us away from God. But rust doesn’t deter him from trying to wield the sledgehammer of alcohol and drugs. Rust doesn’t stop him from reaching for the drill of distraction or any of the other tools. Satan can try to use his tools but he cannot succeed when we are in Christ through prayer and reading our Bible. When we pray, let us not forget to thank Him for Calvary. Those three days changed our history. That should be the first of our blessings we count. How will you let those three days change you?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lord, I need my lightbulb changed

The other day the flourescent light bulbs in my kitchen finally burned out. They had become dimmer and sometimes flickered but I didn't bother maintenance until they went out and I was cooking by the dim light that came in from the hall. Hey, what can I say, growing up with a blind mother has served me well. One of her favorite "when he was little" stories to tell about my brother was how he would go around the house and turn on the lights with his bottle. I guess she didn't really think to do it. And a lightbulb was never changed unless someone told her it had gone out.

I wonder if spiritually we behave similarly. Jesus calls us to be the light of the world (not light bulbs which as you know fail.) But what happens when our light grows dim or is inconsistant (flickers)? Do we notice? My maintenance man was here within the hour to replace the special bulbs. The Lord is even quicker. He can relight our fire if we only ask. My mother didn't know it was time to replace a burned out bulb until someone else told her. I can't think of a time when spiritually my mother's light burned out. She was such a strong woman of faith.

My kitchen is now brighter than it's been in a long time. Spiritually I can be too. "Lord, light the fire again." ( This is also a title to a song by Brian Doerksen)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Perfect Job

A Monitronics truck crossed my path earlier today. The way he was driving I'm surprised out paths did not collide. The name on the van reminded me of a job my mom had that she seemed quite proud of. I believe it was back in Illinois. She worked for a company called Monitron. They made cameras that came pre-loaded with film. Mom worked in the darkroom loading the film. It was the perfect job for a blind woman. She was able to load the film by feel. Her sighted counterparts had to adjust their eyes to the light (or lack thereof) before beginning their work. If only we could all be so well-matched to our jobs. More often than not I read about people being dissatisfied with their work or stuck in dead-end jobs. When I worked for pay my job matched my spiritual gifts of service and helps. Now I am a writer who hasn't quite broken the barrier to being paid and a volunteer braille proof-reader. And of course I'm a wife and mother. I feel well-suited for my place in life. But sometimes I stumble--like I'm adjusting to the darkness that naturally comes my way in a fallen world. I should take a lesson from my mother. Close my eyes--say a prayer--and get to work.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Making Eye Contact

Last night I gave a speech for Toastmaster's. It was about Mom's diagnosis and her choice to have a quality life rather than aggressive treatment. I first gave this speech at a contest Spring of 2007. The basic concept is that quality of life is a gift you give others. Having given this speech twice already my goal is to improve it. Last night was not a contest for me but for other Toastmasters. They evaluated me and the best evaluator goes onto the next level in contest land. One of the things mentioned is something I've been told before: I need to make eye contact with the audience. My inner sasser said, "Eye contact? But I grew up with a blind mother." This morning I remembered third grade and Mr. Herle. Mom went down to the school to talk to him because I was being teased in class. She understood the playground couldn't be closely monitored but felt he should have more control of his students when they were inside the classroom. I watched from a window. Mr. Herle shuffled papers on his desk and walked around the room. Mom kept right on talking and followed his every move by turning her head. If you didn't know better, you'd think she was following him with her eyes. She was of course using her ears. He did sit down and pay attention. I don't remember if the teasing got better but the day I saw my mother make eye contact has left a great impression. Next week I get another chance and I hope I get it right.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2nd place

No I'm not feeling like a second place citizen. I took second place last week for a story I wrote for the Faithwriter's weekly challenge. There is a weekly prompt, either one word or a phrase to write to. The week before last it was "See." Hello, of course I had a story for "See." I had a 4'11" "bookshelf" of stories in a volume called Mom. The Sunday before I wrote the story we sang the worship song, "Word of God Speak." There's a line in there that says, "washing my eyes to see Your majesty." I remembered having to wash Mom's eyes after she was paralyzed. With her illness if I didn't keep her prosthetics clean infection could set in. At that stage in the game, infection could have been fatal. I think people were drawn to the story but I began to wonder, is this right? Writing about Mom and winning praise. Seems she was put on this earth for more than writing material for me. I didn't set out to win a prize (and there is no prize, just a little ribbon on my story when you go to the web-site). I set out to share a story as I'm doing here about a woman of faith who has influenced and impacted my life. I hope she's pleased.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Enough by Max Lucado Posted: 03 Aug 2010 11:01 PM PDT “He is able . . . to run to the cry of . . . those who are being . . . tested.” Hebrews 2:18 AMP Jesus was angry enough to purge the temple, hungry enough to eat raw grain, distraught enough to weep in public, fun loving enough to be called a drunkard, winsome enough to attract kids, . . . radical enough to get kicked out of town, responsible enough to care for his mother, tempted enough to know the smell of Satan, and fearful enough to sweat blood . . . Whatever you are facing, he knows how you feel." Enough is a whole word contraction in Braille. It can't be used with punctuation but is fine in the middle of a sentence as long as it's not followed by a comma. I took a formal class to learn the Braille code in 2003-2004. In 2002-2003 I was a transcriber for a blind girl at my children's school and had to go on what I could learn on my own. People were surprised that up to that point all I knew was the alphabet and I didn't really know it. I used a cheat sheet to painstakingly make my mom birthday and Mother's Day cards. Somewhere along the way I heard that the code was created to make transcribing the Bible easier or to make it less cumbersome. I'll go with less cumbersome. The code means that not every word has to be spelled out therefore taking up about a third of the space. Mom had a Bible which was split up into volumes which sat on a 4-foot bookshelf. With this in mind I've often wondered why some words have contractions and some don't. (There are also contractions for partial words and words represented by 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters.) This morning Max Lucado's thoughts on the word enough landed in my e-mail in-box. Jesus is enough to meet my need for understanding. Jesus is enough in the midst of whatever I'm going through. And if He's just enough, that too can be spelled with three symbols and ending punctuation instead of 6 letters. I never asked why some words were chosen to be whole-word contractions or short-form words but this morning's e-mail would lead me to believe that the one's that have something really important to say are the chosen ones. Jesus is enough for me. How about you?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Better Home Waiting

This week I took a walk in the natural wilderness area near Hart Park. There used to be a homeless camp that my brother lived in years ago. Curiosity had me checking tree trunks for some sign he had been there, like his initials. No signs my brother had ever walked those same dirt paths. It reminded me about something that happened when we were selling Mom's house after she passed. My realtor was having trouble with offers being rescinded after she did the disclosure of death as required by law. She started disclosing it right up front. No sense getting our hopes up that we had a sale just to have a buyer get the heebbie-jeebbies about a natural process. One lady said, "Really, someone died here? I don't feel her presence." I wasn't present but had I been I could have told her why Mom's spirit wasn't hanging out in her recently remodeled house with the hydrangea bedroom. She had a better Home waiting in Heaven. Think about it people. Why linger on Earth when you could be spending 24/7 (or whatever it is There) walking golden streets, listening to stories of saints and praising God? I can't think of a reason. I don't expect to feel my mother's spirit any of the places she's been just as I don't expect to visit here myself after I've gone.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Savior's Compassion

Good morning everyone. It's been quite a week here. My husband and daughter started culinary school last week and they're bonding while the relationship between Kellee and I just gets more strained. But I'm still supporting her in her schoolwork and one of the things she needed was a flashdrive. Well actually she needed it back. She'd put some video of my mom on it for me and I'd been unsuccessful in transferring the files. Monday it was time to try again. Success! Didn't do anything differently so why'd it work this time and not before. Simple, I needed to be reminded of the truth in one of the songs Mom played. It isn't an easy video to watch because she's all bundled up even though Lois' home isn't cold and she misplayed notes she's known forever. But still this ailing little woman of faith sings about her Savior, Who is full of compassion and sees all our tears. She sings about trusting in Jesus, no matter come what may. "And trusting in Jesus I will not dispair for I am His child and for me He does care." Thanks Mom, I needed that. I'm finding out parenthood is not for the faint of heart. It's darn tough! Okay so it's something I've known for a long time. If the same issues were in my marriage I'd call it a testing of the vows but what vows did I take as a parent? I did dedicate her as an infant, promising to raise her according to the Word. I think I failed. I did my best but somehow ended up with an agnostic teenager who lacks consideration for me. Just keep telling her you love her. Wait, those words sound familiar. It was a conversation I wasn't suppossed to hear. Mom didn't know there were "ears in the cornfield" when she was talking to the youth pastor's wife about me. I can assure you I was not rebellious or disrespectful but it was a rough time in my life. I'd lost my father and was given alot of responsibilities, including some my older brother had flaked on. Maybe Mom was worried I'd end up like Paul. I'm not sure but she started saying "I love you." all the time. Not that my mom was unloving, but it seemed unnatural. It was good advice though. I've always told my kids I love them even after the door slammed behind an, "I hate you!" The doors haven't slammed in a while--now it's the silent treatment. I'm not hearing "I love you too" these days and I don't expect to. That's not my responsibility. I am called to love. So I will. My last, "I love you" was at least followed by a pleasant "bye" before Kellee hung up the phone to go to class. In the silences I will trust in my Savior as, "He brings sweetest comfort to (this) sad aching heart. ... For I am His child and for me He does care. Yes, you (Kellee) are His child and for you He does care."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When God Ran

I knew I'd blog about my brother this week. I hope you don't mind that I said Wednesday and am not blogging til today--Thursday. You see I was busy working on my memoir yesterday. Today is the 13th anniversary of my brother's passing. It was a very difficult time for Mom. She'd prayed earnestly for her wayward son. (Paul became an alcoholic when our father died in 1982.) Mom told me once that Proverbs 3:5-6 was her life verse: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (NIV) She prayed all those years that God would put Paul on the straight path. It's clear she didn't expect her prayer to be answered the way it was. She was in denial of her son's death for about 4 years. I didn't realize it. I just knew we never talked about my brother. I was very quick to realize that God had put Paul in the ultimate rehab program. Sure I miss him and at times I wish he could be here telling you his story of redemption but that was not God's solution to my brother's exerise of free will fueled by the devil's deceit. I don't know how straight they are but Paul now walks on streets of Gold all because a mother prayed for 15 years. And finally a prodigal made his way home.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One Leader

My friend broke her foot recently and it brought back memories of when my mother broke her foot in 2004 or 2005. That doesn't sound right. It makes it seem like the broken foot was my mother's fault and it wasn't. She was at church and two ladies offered to walk her out to her ride. She tried to explain that only one needed to guide her but it was too late. The two ladies didn't work well together and tripped my mother causing a very painful break to her left foot. Natuarally I abandoned my family and went to stay with her for a few days. It wasn't long before she had a walking cast and was back to her normal independant self. We knew back then that the accident wouldn't have occurred (or at least had a less chance of occurring) if my mother had only one person guiding her. It dawned on me today that we tend to get tripped up when we listen to more than one voice. There is God's Voice and the sin nature. The Bible talks about God coming in a still small voice. It's been my opinion that the sin nature tends to talk in a very alluring tone. Still I know which Voice I want to follow. But when the sin nature insists on coming alongside I can get tripped up. It can be quite insistant and has been the cause of much pain. But, like my mother, I have faith in God Who will never leave me. He'll stay with me and help me do what it takes to get back on track.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What's this junk?

I'm new to this blogging thing but it seems to me that my posts should relate to what's going on currently in my life but for me also have a connection to my mother or an insight inspired by her. I almost forgot it was Wednesday and had nothing planned but e-mail has come to my rescue. I belong to the Zonderan breakfast club and today the columnist mentioned that on her site you can create your own cookbook with stories behind the recipes. The thing is the recipe that immediately came to mind as having a great story isn't the most appetizing. It was a casserole Mom learned how to make in a cooking class at Braille Institute, Santa Ana. As I recall the taste wasn't too bad but my brother sat down at the table, looked in the bowl I'd served for him and said, "What's this junk?" It was tomato-lentil casserole and it had this strange texture and orange-ish color. Not too pretty to look at (I've always wondered if the cooking class for the blind worried about presentation) but apparently it tasted good. Paul ate 3 bowls of it and Mom made it again. Now if only I had the recipe I could put it in my personalized cookbook--along with a blindfold.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Poppin' Her Buttons

A quick post as I prepare to go off to another doctor for answers to a 20 year pain question. Oftentimes I find myself on the other side of the cornfield coin--there are things I want to tell my mother but can't now that she's gone. Those of you who've lost someone close may know what it feels like to pick up the phone only to realize it'll just keep on ringing because there's no one there to pick it up. More than likely though you'll get a wrong number because the phone company will have reassigned the number (if, as in my case your loved one was the only one living in the home.) When it comes to mama's phone numbers I think they should be retired, like great athlete's numbers, never to be used again. This week I wanted to pick up the phone and tell Mom all about Will's award at school. She would've been so proud. Whenever we had a proud moment she'd say, "If this blouse had buttons they'd pop right off." Will's journey to the podium was a long hard one, part of it prayed for by his Grandma Dodie. I don't know if Heavenly garments have buttons or if she's even watching (would you watch this polluted planet with Heaven's beauty all around?) but if they do and she is watching then I'm sure some buttons are poppin'. And I'm sure she's thanking Jesus for answered prayer.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mom in Defiance

I'm reading a trilogy by Mary DeMuth called the Defiance Texas Trilogy. This week is the blog tour for the 3rd. book, Life In Defiance. I signed up for the tour and am reading the third book for free. I only read chapter 1 when I decided to order the first 2 books and as soon as they came put book 3 down but will get back to it today. I've been wondering how my mom would react to the people in Defiance. Disgusted by some events. I can almost hear that sound she used to make. A short, low "uh" with a tone that well--if the dictionary had audio enhancement that tone would be there. But mostly I think she'd pray for the people. I can remember Mom praying from early on in my life. She prayed with me to accept Jesus. She prayed alone, behind closed doors. She didn't know I heard words I couldn't understand. Just in passing: I never lingered. What I didn't know as a child is that Mom had been blessed with a private prayer language. In her later years she began praying openly for others. I found out that if she asked if she could pray for you, you'd better bow your head because she was already on her way to the Throne Room. The first time she did this I didn't realize it. I was still telling her the rest of whatever was troubling me and she just started in--half-way to Amen before I got a clue. So Mom would've been praying for Daisy, Jed , Hixon, Hap, Oussie, Big Carl, Sissy, Emory, Muriel and even Angus. And if you want to know who I'm talking about, you'll just have to read the books. I think you'll be glad you did. Maybe you'll even find yourself praying for the people of Defiance, Texas. The characters are that real.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Not all about me

I don't know how often I heard my mom say, "There are ears in the cornfield," but when she said it around my birthday my mind would go roaming freely through the toy store. Now I'm going to go off on a tangent here because it's my blog and I can. Why should any of us deserve presents on our birthday? I did nothing more than be knit together in my mother's womb, which required no effort on my part, and exited the womb at the appointed time. Yet every year from the time I could understand the concept I expected a gift. Okay just so you know, I'm done with the tangent and getting back to the subject. I realize now what I didn't know then. Around my tenth birthday the conversations weren't always about me or something as trivial as a birthday gift. At least I hope not and I'll explain why later. I don't remember what I got for my 10th birthday because it's overshadowed by what happened 5 days later. I came home from school and my father had been put in a convalescent hospital. The pastor spoke in church recently about individual decisions having a domino effect on others. Boy was he right. That must've been a tough choice for my mom to make and that's why I said I hope not all her cornfield conversations were just about me. I hope she had someone to bear the burden of having to hospitalize her husband. I'm sure part of that burden was worrying about my brother and me. My teacher says I grew alot that year and was doing very well in school. On one hand I can't imagine my life any other way. On the other I wish mom was talking about what to get me for my birthday.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hey you came back--good. If you're new, welcome. Since I'm new to this blogging thing and need to develop some good habits I have decided to write once a week but when's a good day? Monday? I was born on a Monday but I have a whole book dedicated to them and I don't want to wear Monday out. Tuesday? Mom did her volunteer work on Tuesday and her life greatly influenced me but Tuesday was also the day my big brother acted up most. Wednesday? No known associations there. Maybe Wednesday would be good but I don't want to settle so let's move on. Thursday? Mom was born on a Thursday but she had this thing against the past invading the present. Friday? Paul's birthday and he already has a book. Saturday? Toastmasters. Sunday? Church and family time but since I will probably share about church sometimes it may work. On second thought, sometimes I think a bit before gaining insight. Well then it looks like Wednesdays it is. So look for new insights from Ears in the Cornfield on Wednesdays. It has occurred to me through historical decisions that have come to mind and precedents which have been challenged recently and will continue to be challenged long after this blog has gathered dust that by association my blog may be offensive. Mom was very anti-controversial and certainly wouldn't want me to offend but in this case I think she'd approve. My blog will offend some because of my association with God. We no longer allow teacher-led prayer in public schools. They've tried to take His Name out of our pledge and off our money and remove His 10 commandments from our courtrooms. But I can't remove Him from my blog anymore than I can remove my breath from my lungs. He is an essential part of who I am. He guided and sustained my mother and her faith inspires me. If my life were a braille book He'd be the stylus putting the dots in place to form the words. Now does that mean I'll have some religious blog every week or even that I'll even mention God every week? No. But in my life I hope He's like the wind--you can't see the wind but you can see its effects. This blog is the place to share little tid-bits of my life and insights gained along the way. I don't intend it to be another outlet for my devotional writing. So come back next week and I'll tell you about one of those "ears in the cornfield" moments and a decision that was made. I hesitated to say that because inspiration is all around me and I may find something else to talk about next week. But as I thought about, I realized that's okay for 2 reasons. It's my blog and if I change my mind that's going to have to be acceptable and I can always save drafts for later use. Another new thing I'm doing is blog tours. A publisher sends me a book free of charge and I promote it on my blog during a set block of time. This week it's A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher. It's a good book so far. If I'm unsuccessful posting a link here then you can check it out on my Facebook page. Here's the Amazon link:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

There’s that phrase again. The black receiver is cradled in her petite hand and I hear her say, “There are ears in the cornfield.” That was Mom’s code for I can’t talk about that now—the kids are listening. What didn’t she want to talk about? Fun surprises like Christmas or birthday presents, sad secrets, difficult decisions … the list could go on. What I did hear and witness taught me about faith and perseverance. Born nearly blind, Mom needed large doses of both. So what will you find in this blog? Insight from growing up with a sightless mother. It’s no coincidence that as I compose this in my head I walk by a jasmine bush. The night hasn’t quite fallen yet but still it has released its fragrance. It feels like my mom’s way of saying hello since night blooming jasmine was her favorite plant. Physically Mom may’ve lived in a world of darkness but spiritually she was one of the brightest people I have known. I am who I am largely because of my mother's care and influence but what I blog about won't always be directly related to her. Based on the fact that the braille alphabet– which allowed her to read the Bible and nourish her faith– is made up of the combination of 6 dots, I will share from 6 areas of influence: 1. Mom (including thoughts on Braille) 2. other family 3. friends 4. encouraging situations 5. discouraging situations 6. church If you know me, you may wonder where God is in the above list. He’s the Stylus placing the dots where they need to be to write the story of my life. So keep coming back. Who knows what I’ll talk about next? I won’t even always know.