Wednesday, August 31, 2016

REPLACEABLE

There is a great web site called "Replacements.com".  I have found discontinued patterns of silver inherited from my mother and grandmother on this site.  The sentimental value of these sets is far greater than the monetary, and the fact I can replace pieces lost thrilled my heart.  It is easy to replace possessions--not so easy to replace our relationships---or is it?



One of the most difficult lessons I have learned in life is we can be replaced.  I poured many an hour into my professional life for a number of years---once I sold my business--I was replaced.  "I will no longer be handling your business"--response "OH NO, I will really miss you-what will I do without you!"  and in the next heartbeat they have moved on to their new CPA.



I moved to Fort Worth and found a new dentist to replace the one I loved in Ruston--a new doctor to replace the one I loved in Ruston--a new stylist to replace the one I loved in Ruston--and the list goes on.



It turns out, I could even be replaced in marriage.  WHO KNEW!  There seems to be no place in life we cannot be replaced.  This is a blow to our  fragile ego at a minimum and certainly a stark awakening to our vulnerability.  How many broken family relationships have I witnessed--husband/wife--parent/child--brother/sister and the list goes on.  The very one you think you can count on will leave you behind and move on to other relationships.



The one place I am not replaceable in is the eyes of God.  HE holds me faithfully in His hand, He knows my uniqueness and loves me for it, He recognizes my worth and steadfastly pursues me.  I have not been replaced in His eyes---nor will I ever be.  What an assurance of His love and my irreplaceability!


You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.
Psalm 139:13-14


After much prayer, it is time to put my actions where my voice has been--I am on the road today  to the flood zone in South Louisiana to volunteer to help those who have lost so much.  I ask for your prayers for strength and stamina in the days to come.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

SOMEDAY

My life can get bogged down in the platitude of "Someday".  At times I even proclaim, "Someday Soon".  Sadly many times my "Someday" becomes "Never".  I have really good intentions---but we all know good intentions are the material that paves the road that ends in despair!


Photo Credit:Artlimited

Those times I get stuck on the merry go round of procrastination are filled with regret and frustration.  I have no one but myself to blame for the game of putting off until tomorrow.  And the truth of the matter is if I had just gone ahead and done whatever I might be procrastinating,  in most cases, it would not have have been that painful.  

Photo Credit:Familysavvy.com

And then there is the long list of the impossible/improbable someday's from which dreams and fantasies are made.  For me to say, someday I will run another marathon is far fetched at a minimum.  Someday I will once again look like I did at 30 is more than a dream--and perhaps even off the scale of fantasy---more like impossible. My someday statements such as these are never taken seriously and often thrown out with tongue in cheek.  

There are certainly a long list of someday's which have far reaching consequences.  Someday soon, I will start saving for retirement.  Someday soon, I will get really serious about my exercise program.  Someday soon, I will start eating healthy.  And sadly--someday soon, I will spend more time with The Father--on a daily basis.  Someday soon, my walk will line up with my talk.  Someday soon, I will ...  The eternal plague of mankind those well intended yet seldom accomplished someday's.

Here is the good news about someday---someday--we know not the day--but someday--Jesus is coming---all sin will be abolished---all strife will be ended---all wars and famines will be no more---no more tears--no more sorrow---no more sickness nor pain and suffering.  Someday--and maybe someday soon.


He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." 
Revelations 21:14



Sunday, August 28, 2016

MORE THAN ENOUGH

THIS IS TOO GOOD

TO NOT SHARE

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

THOUGH YOU SLAY ME

YET, I WILL PRAISE YOU




THEREFORE TAKE HEART-YES!

BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Saturday, August 27, 2016

MY HOME BASE HOOD

DISCOVERED NATHAN LEACH

VIA FACEBOOK

LOTS OF GREAT MUSIC

ON YOUTUBE

WITH HIS SISTER-

BUT

THIS SPOKE TO MY HEART

AS MY FOREVER HOME STATE

DIGS OUT OF THE MUD

AND DESTRUCTION




THERE HAS ONLY BEEN UNITY

AS THE ENTIRE STATE

AND NATION

HAVE PULLED TOGETHER

IN THE WAKE 

OF THE DEVASTATION

THANKFUL FOR ALL THOSE

WILLING TO HELP



































































I FIND

THE INDOMITABLE HUMAN SPIRIT

GIVEN TO US

BY THE FATHER

NOTHING SHORT OF

MIRACULOUS

Friday, August 26, 2016

GIMME WHATCHA GOT!

My next door neighbor has a precious 4 year old daughter who is my good buddy!  If my door is open, or if I am outside and she is home, she likes to come "Play" with Lora.  She quickly learned where the toys are kept and which cabinet is the kids' snack stash.  She likes to talk and has a wonderful imagination.  Bright and quick I see a great future for this little rock star.


video

Monday, August 22, 2016

A NEW DIRECTION

I have found myself treating my blog as my job.  That is never what I intended.  So I have made the decision to post only when truly inspired.  If you are interested in being sure you do not miss those times I have something to say, you can register as a follower on the right side of the blog and you will receive an email when there is a new post.  I am  praying God will guide me as I seek His will in my life.  Be assured I am not sailing off into the wild blue wonder, but only regrouping and seeking to share only the best of me.




I have started doing a lot more journaling and who knows perhaps a book will come from all that musing.  For the moment though, that is my creative outlet.  A private journal lends to absolute freedom of what I write---this has been liberating to say the least.  




For those occasional short brain bursts, I will post them to Twitter (Lora Conville).  You can see them if you register to follow me on Twitter or they will also be transferred to my Facebook account (Loralu James Conville).  




I will miss your many comments and affirmations.  You all have become a daily part of my life which I cherish.  Be encouraged to  know you have blessed me, verbally hugged me, and become an important part of my community.  Praying we all can seek His will as we continue our journey.  


give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:18


Sunday, August 21, 2016

TRUST IN YOU

When you don't move the mountains

When you don't part the waters

When you don't give the answers





I lay my dreams at your feet

I will trust in you

For you are my life and breath

BLESSED SABBATH,
DEAR FRIENDS

Saturday, August 20, 2016

ONE SMALL WAY TO HELP

My long time friend, Patty, shared this on the Book of Face and I thought what an excellent way to help with the devastation in Louisiana.  Most of us are not able to go to Louisiana and there are many organizations helping collect goods to be sent.  This though only takes you going to the Amazon site, selecting a book or two--maybe three and sending it to the organization who put this together.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3AJK72B2SYT6/ref=cm_sw_su_w

 Every act of compassion is an encouragement to those affected by the devastation.  

Thursday, August 18, 2016

NOT A SPRINT

My attention has been divided between The Olympics and The Great Louisiana Flood in recent days.  Glued to news report and the coverage of the games, I was intrigued while watching the sprinters finals. 




The gun shot sounds and they are off and in less than 10 seconds--it is all over.  A thrilling spectacle to see how fast someone can run 100 meters.



Contrast that with the final event of the Olympics--the marathon.  The gun goes off and two hours plus later someone crosses the finish line the winner after 26.2 grueling miles.


Photo Credit-DailyMall

The water has begun receding upstream in Louisiana while those south of the original flooding wait for the worst to still come.  The sprinters---Bless Them--are pouring into the area with aid.  The urgency of the moment has brought the cavalry rushing to the rescue.  There is certainly plenty to be done and much help needed.


As we saw following Katrina flooding New Orleans, over ten years later and it is still not completely cleaned up.  More than a decade and there is work  to be done.  A good reminder of the marathon of recovery we are facing.  I am thankful for the sprinters, but mindful of the need for the marathoners.  Having run several marathons I remember how I divided the race into stages and the real race began around mile 20---those final 6.2 miles had to be run.  The fact is unless I completed every step of the 26.2 miles---the race would not be completed.  Praying for our endurance as we being the marathon job of clean up in the years to come.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
II Timothy 4:7





Wednesday, August 17, 2016

RESCUE THE PERISHING

Nazi troops pushed the Allied Forces quickly to the sea in France at the end of May in 1940, effectively surrounding them and preparing to annihilate all the allied troops in one of the most famous battles of World War II.  The troops were backed into a corner with no escape route except the sea and the shallow port prevented approach by the navy to rescue the despairing army.



  The English command called in desperation for small privately owned ships to aid in the rescue.  The small vessels would take the trapped troops to the larger vessels anchored in the deeper waters.  An army of privately owned vessels crossed the channel and at great risk rescued over 330,000 men from sure death.  The battle of Dunkirk became a symbol of the courage and determination of the English to defeat the Axis of Evil.  This brave act of courage by scores of individual small boats was the preamble of the tenacious bulldog spirit of the English which eventually lead to victory.



Following the flooding created by Hurricane Katrina, the nation sat in stunned silence as we watched the horror of New Orleans being flooded.  I remember sitting in front of the television and thinking surely someone is going to do something.  We all froze and waited for some branch of the government to step up--and it finally happened--much too late to prevent a great deal of human suffering.



We learned our lesson and I am proud to say a virtual Navy of private small boat owners have rushed to the rescue in the current flooding disaster.  With quickly rising flood waters, there was no time to wait for bureaucratic red tape and far too big a job for the rescue forces available. Among the heroes of the day are the individuals who rushed to the aid of their fellow man.


Photo Credit:Steve Hardy

We have seen the photos and videos of hundreds or more of boats being pulled to the scene of the devastation.  Life boats for those who are in need of rescue have rushed to help with no thought of personal danger or risk.

There are times all it takes is one person willing to throw out a life line.  One person to provide a life boat to a drowning soul.  One person to look beyond themselves and recognize the desperation of another.  Do I have my eyes open and am I focused on looking for those at risk?  Am I called to be a rescuer?  


Rescue the perishing;
    don’t hesitate to step in and help.
If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,”
    will that get you off the hook?
Someone is watching you closely, you know—
    Someone not impressed with weak excuses.
Proverbs 24:11-12



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

DIRTY HANDS

This little princess did NOT want to get sand on her hands and feet while at the beach. 



WHERE did she come from?  There is nothing her mother and I like better than to get a good sweat on and I am blissfully happy when my hands are stuck in the dirt.  Not girly girls, we do not spend a great deal of time worrying about our manicures or powdering our noses.   With three brothers and two not so girly women in her life---how in the world did she get so finicky?



The three amigos are a walking menu board of the day's meals--all on their shirts-with a side of what they have been doing covering the remaining space.   They are clean approximately 1.5  seconds after their baths--and then it is all downhill. 



I am happy to report by the time we left to go home, with LOTS of desensitization, the princess was throwing sand at the rest of us.  With plenty of exposure and observation, she finally realized the sand could be fun and a little dirt never hurt anyone.



My home state of Louisiana is suffering through the calamity of a great flood.  It is heartbreaking to see the devastation.  Many have lost everything and have no flood insurance.  Areas have been flooded which have not flooded since 1983.  



Having lived through Hurricane Katrina flooding, we all know what is in store.  A HUGE CLEANUP!  And Somebody will need to get their hands dirty and help!  Somebody has to pitch in and do the dirty work.  Somebody has to reach deep into their pocket and provide financial help.  It will take an Army of Somebody's to overcome this devastation.  Pray with me to know how to help, and if God leads us to get your hands dirty and become a Somebody--He will bless your efforts!


10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
Hebrews 6:10

Monday, August 15, 2016

LESSONS FROM THE LITTLES

Vacation would not be vacation unless I volunteered to sleep on the most uncomfortable bed in the house.  There is something about my personality which leans toward masochism.  This year is one to go down in the books as a lesson learned!



Since I am single, it made perfect sense to sleep on one of the single beds.  What made NO SENSE, was sleeping in the middle of one of the triple bunk beds in the room the three amigos shared.   These are the actual beds.  NOW take a GOOD LOOK at the middle bunk!



If you look at the bed carefully, you will note the middle bunk is above hip level and there is approximately 20 inches between the mattress top and the bottom of the bed above.  This means I must somehow get my leg on the bed and carefully winch the remainder of my body on the mattress.  Think it over--because of the low ceiling--you cannot put your head in first.  I finally got it down to a fine science.  You stand on your tip toes, pull your leg up to the mattress--all while groaning--and then grab the other side of the mattress in a death grip to hoist your horizontal body onto the bed in a belly flop move.    It was a lovely sight-worthy of Olympic qualification!


Once in the bed, you begin to identify with an all beef patty on a fully loaded burger. NOT much wiggle room to boast about!

To add to the comfort level, the parents taught their offspring to sleep with a commercial sized fan blowing in their room--something about white noise.  They make small machines that make white noise, but for some strange reason, they wanted their children to learn to sleep in gale force winds. 



It is most closely described as sleeping in a hurricane testing wind tunnel.  



This Little Man is prone to rolling and was sleeping on the bottom bunk while the two older boys were on the tip top--with their noses inches from the ceiling.

One night there is a loud T H U M P---obviously someone has fallen off the bed---and I sit straight up-----W H A M !!!  my head hits the bunk above.  I fall out of my own bunk--looking for the injured body in the dark wind tunnel.  There is the Little Man standing by his bed already up after his roll to the floor.  I asked, "Did you fall off the bed?"  WELL DUH--He says "Yeah" and then I asked, "Are you hurt?"---"No".  I lift him up to my bed and slither my trembling body up beside him.  Thankfully my heart was pounding so fast, I did not even notice how bad my head hurt.

The other nights were not quite so lively, all I had to worry about was the Little Man wandering out of the room.  I caught him in mid flight the first couple of nights and reeled the runner back in and put him in my bed.  That would entail me having to bicep curl him into my bed from a prone position.  Who needs a gym while sleeping with this crew!  

He finally learned I was there and would come and stand by my bed--eye level until I woke with a start.  Putting him back in bed with me---via bicep curl (it's that are get out of the bed and have to hoist myself back into it)we would then wrestle the covers for the rest of the night.

The final night I get the brilliant idea to just get in the bed with the Little Man.  This closely resembled sleeping on the floor with a lump filled  pad for cushioning, and of course, the next morning, you have to haul your old stiff body off the floor into a close to vertical position.

I came home so rested--and SWEARING---NO MORE BUNK BEDS!!


He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.
Job 8:21


Sunday, August 14, 2016

ALL I NEED

I KEEP 

REMINDING MYSELF

HE IS 

EVERYTHING

I NEED




PLEASE JOIN ME

IN PRAYING

FOR MY

HOME STATE,

LOUISIANA

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. 
Isaiah 43:2

BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Saturday, August 13, 2016

MEANWHILE HERE IN THE HOOD

TIME FOR THE ANNUAL

TRIP TO THE

BEACH


ALTHOUGH DETAILS

ARE FUZZY

THE ENTIRE CLAN

WAS THERE


ONCE AGAIN

WE WERE

BEACH FRONT


AND THE USUAL

SUSPECTS

WERE HAMS


BURIED BODIES

WERE DISCOVERED


AND SOME

CAREFULLY SELECTED

DISGUISES


A NEW

AGENT

HAS JOINED THE

ORGANIZATION


AND CLANDESTINE

UNDERCOVER

MEETINGS

WERE NUMEROUS

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

SO THANKFUL

FOR #1 DAUGHTER

PLANNING 

THIS TIME TOGETHER!






Wednesday, August 3, 2016

SICK TO DEATH OF MARY POPPINS

By the time I had watched "Mary Poppins" at least a dozen times (remember sick baby), I was over the edge with perky.  You see as Mary herself so well put it--she was practically perfect in every way.


OH YES, one of those girls who enjoy looking in the mirror and see nothing but perfection in the reflection.  We all know the type, smug in their self appreciation--filled with confidence--always smiling--perfectly turned out--not a hair out of place--never doubting their self worth.  Frankly, she sets my teeth on edge.  


I run for the hills when the Mary's of the world turn my way.  I struggle enough without the reminder of my lack of perfection staring me in the face.  Standing in front of completely put together can be as tiresome as the sound of the drill in the dentist office making my skin crawl and teeth clinch.


AND THEN, there is Bert---funny, messy, modest, quiet spoken, and compassionate Bert.  My kind of man!  Mary seems to have missed the line when humility was passed out--but Bert is as humble as they come.  We would all stand in line for a little time with the Bert's in the world.

And yet--they both loved the children in their own way. They fought for what was best for them, cared for them, taught them, and loved them well in every way.  The closing scene shows us Mary leaving with no word of thanks, no good bye's, only a slow fade as the world sang around her.  AH, Mary redeemed her perfect self in that last scene, by silently fading away with no fuss--no demand of thanks--no grab for the glory--only a small smile knowing her job had been well done.

 Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.
Matthew 6:3

Monday, August 1, 2016

MARY POPPINS WISDOM - BEHIND BARS

The children's visit to the bank with their father has turned into a fiasco which resulted in a run on the bank.  Running away and squeezing between the legs of the customers, they are desperately seeking to escape from the anger of their father.  BAM!-they run into Bert who wisely counsels them-



Bert:
You know,begging you pardon, but the one who my heart goes out for is your father. There he is in that cold, heartless bank day after day, hemmed in by mounds of cold, heartless money. I don't like to see any living thing caged up.
Jane:
Father in a cage?

Bert:
They makes cages in all sizes and shapes, you know. Bank-shaped some of 'em, carpets and all.


George had allowed his job at the bank to become his all consuming life.  He was trapped behind the bars of fighting his way to the top, making money for Mr. Dawes, producing profits for the bank, and proving his worth.  In this desperate fight to provide--he lost balance in his life and found himself trapped behind the bars of his job.  When he lost his perspective, he closed the door to his family and the needs of others--such as the bird lady across the street and became focused instead on his climb to the top.  


I have found myself trapped behind bars at different times in my life.  My career became a time sucking quick sand and robbed me of precious time with family and friends.  My running slowly drew me in from a desire for good health to an all consuming passion which exceeded my body's needs and began to instead eat away at the hours of the day.  My beautiful home and garden took me from project to project--with always one more thing needed in the quest for perfection.  

Anything I allowed to steal me away from the truly important could become my cage.  The cage I erected myself bar by bar--until finally one cay I closed the door and lost the key.  I became so accustomed to what I had created as normal--my focus had become blurred to the truth of the important.

I leave you with this---perhaps we all should step back and examine our lives--where we spend our time, energy, and focus.   When you stand close to the bars and look through one square only, you would never realize you are in a cage.  It takes stepping back and viewing what surrounds us as a whole to realize we are trapped behind the self constructed bars.  The good news--the bars can come down--the walls can be destroyed--and the path to the important things is always right in front of the door.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
Ephesians 5:15