Lucy is three.  Anyone who has ever had a three year old in their home, will understand what I mean when I tell you she acts just like a three year old.  She can turn into a pout faster than I can snatch the last cookie.  This pout can then become a full blown hissy fit if not nipped in the bud.  Even with intentional nipping, it can become a whirling dervish of unhappy.  Most of the time there is only one antidote, ignore it and let it blow over or play out--which ever comes first.  Diverting her attention also works and a good tickle always disarms the worst fit.

Last night on the way to dinner with a friend, I had my own hissy fit.  Channeling my inner three year old, I threw a royal fit because this does not look like I thought it should.  Now I have looked around and come to the conclusion all the rest of you live on Easy Street, while I am headed down to the Dead End on Hard Road.  I spent a few minutes ranting and raving over the unfairness of life and questioning the injustice of it all.  

Wisely, my friend let me blow off steam without saying a word.  When I finally settled into a gentle breeze, we both had a great laugh over my three year old fit.  Did it help?  Well it certainly did not change anything about my circumstance~it is what it is.  It did allow me to let go of some things I had stuffed way down deep.  I'm fine is my mantra, and I seldom allow myself to blow off steam over the unfairness of life.  NOW~I am not going to walk around being Debbie Downer (Sorry Debbie), but an occasional hissy fit with a trusted friend does more good than harm.  I always feel better after airing the built up frustrations, and also always come away with a fresh perspective on how blessed I am.  SO perhaps Lucy is on to something~an occasional hissy fit may be just the medicine the doctor ordered and a good cleansing laugh afterward is the tonic to begin again.  Little Lucy is a great teacher!

WELL, Friends, I pick up the Three Amigos today for a week of fun.  Larry, Moe and Curly will consume all my time and attention, so no blog for a week.  BUT THINK of all the material those three will give me!!

11 I also saw other things in this life that were not fair. The fastest runner does not always win the race; the strongest soldier does not always win the battle; wise people don’t always get the food; smart people don’t always get the wealth; educated people don’t always get the praise they deserve. When the time comes, bad things can happen to anyone!
Ecclesiastes 9:11


This one lives in a house with three brothers, a big dog, and mama and daddy.

With all these people and dog comes mess.  Her mom is on a mission at the end of everyday to pick up what they have messed up.  There are spills and calamities almost daily.  Pristine is impossible when you put this many living beings in a confined space.  And then she comes to my house.  I try---really try to live in cleanliness and order.  With only Hero and me, the big challenge is the dog hair.  Add to that this time of the year he is shedding big time, and you have a daily run of the vacuum~at a minimum.

This one can be covered in blue icing from top to bottom and sitting in a bed of cookie crumbs and not think a thing about it, BUT let one little dog hair get on her hand and she is NOT happy!  As I vacuumed everyday, she would walk around and point out the dog hairs, lest I miss ONE!  When she reached down to pet Hero she would immediately look at her hand to see if she had a dog hair on it.  It took me three days to convince her to take a bath, (WE DID SPONGE OFF!), but WOE unto me if she got ONE dog hair on her!  AND to top that off, she went into fits of giggles when he licked her FACE~we ALL know what else he licks--GROSS!!

This reminds me of myself, I can be totally oblivious to the sin sty surrounding me, but WOE unto you if you try to entice me to gossip.  I cannot abide gossip and will quickly point out the error of our ways if gossip comes up.  I am brushing off and moving on with my nose in the air over the error of your ways.  Never mind that the dust and dirt of my daily sin is clinging to me with a death grip, I don't want to be accused of gossiping!

Bless Lucy's heart, she was so engrossed in where there was dog hair, she didn't even realize she was a living~walking~pigpen.  It's always easier to dwell on one little thing than to look at the big picture and see the piles of debris and bodies surrounding us.  When searching for dog hairs, don't forget to clean up the rest of the mess too!  Dirt is dirt~whatever the shape or form--it all is dirt.

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 

2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, 

and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye 

and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 

4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, 
and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:1-5


This little live wire recently came for a visit~

I spent a week getting a crash course on all things three year old girls love.  It has been a LONG time since her mom was three and I must admit this one is a chip off the old block.

One of the many things we did daily was watch a movie or cartoon (in hopes of Lulu getting a little rest).  There seems to be a common theme in movies for little girls~there is always a mean girl.  OH, you know the type--it is all about me--I will walk over you to get what I want--playing dirty is my middle name.  Most of us have encountered a mean girl at some point in our life.  Stabs in the back and back handed compliments are their specialty.  Why you know what a back handed compliment is~  "Thank goodness you look better than the last time I saw you when you looked like an Ethiopian Refugee."  I guess that is good--I no longer look like I am knocking on death's door.  

Snarky nice to your face and your worst nightmare behind your back as they dissect you and feed you to the vultures circling around them.  Mean girls are a force to be avoided at all cost.  If you are not in their chosen friend pool, you are fair game.  To be in the chosen friend pool, you have to agree and go along with whatever they say~however mean and low it may be.  Their enemies are your enemies and bullying passively and aggressively is their specialty.

Here is what I have learned over a long life concerning mean girls and bullies.  Feel sorry for them.  WHY would anyone need to belittle, attack, and smear another?  Because they do not feel good about themselves.  With a poor self image, comes the need to drag all others in their wake down to their low self esteem.  If I am not good-pretty-smart-popular, then I will make sure you are not either, is the name of the game.  Rather than celebrating the successes and accomplishments of others, they attack and attempt to debase.  Rather than being satisfied with all they have and have accomplished, they crave what others have too.  There is never enough and their appetite for more is insatiable.  They want everything on their plate and then everything on your plate and on and on.  When they don't accomplish all they would like, then they hold anything others have accomplished in disdain.  It is a sad existence.  Feel sorry for those mean girls and you disarm their attack.  Turn the other cheek and walk away for their attack is only successful if you care.

And then there is the lesson Beth Moore taught me while attending one of her conferences, "Pray for Them".  WHAT--you gotta be kidding me!!!  I was convicted and though I did not know what to pray---I lifted the mean girls in my life before God's throne.  Admitting I did not know how to pray, I put their name before Him and the rest was up to Him.  Though I had been a victim of the mean girl's attack, I forgave, and moved on, staying out of their wake.

As I have gotten older, I have learned to be nice, but avoid the mean girls in life.  There are far too many sweet girls to surround one self with to allow a mean girl to hold any influence in your life.  She takes what is yours~let her have it and good riddance.  She speaks disparagingly of you, consider the source~most of us know whom we can trust with telling us the truth.  As Mama would have said, "She is making her bed and she will have to sleep in it."  WHOA to the mean girls out there---Mama has spoken!  And above all pray for them, for they know no peace.

“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”
Isaiah 48:22






Recently I was asked a very leading question to which I replied, "My head knows the truth, but my heart is still not certain."  AH, the age old dilemma of the head and the heart.  Which one leads, which one tells the truth, which one can you trust?

I consider my head to be slightly above average and trust my thought processes to give me good answers.  My heart is not always so reliable.  My heart strings are easily tugged and I am subject to acting without thinking when I allow my heart to lead.  I derive great joy, most of the time, when I follow my heart, but that is not always the case.  There is always the risk of great pain when I listen to the yearnings of my heart without first thinking it through.  NOW, our heads will warn us when we are in danger of pain, for it draws from past experiences, but our hearts are also reliable in drawing us toward great joy.  The disconnect comes when our hearts ignore logic and history, and we step back up to the plate for another round without thought.  We will either strike out or hit a home run, but unless we are willing to bat we will never know which.  Our choice becomes take a risk--follow our hearts and perhaps experience great joy, or listen to our heads and play it safe--never knowing what we might have missed.  There is risk--but our heads should help us evaluate that risk and sometimes we discover it paid to step out and follow our hearts.  I love the old adage, "Nothing ventured-nothing gained."

Following cataract surgery there are only two rules,

Don't lift more than twenty pounds.

Keep your head above your heart.  (Don't bend over)

This has lead to a week of deep knee bends following each surgery.  The deep knee bends are really good for my over all heart condition.  I would be much better off trying to keep my head above my heart more often.  As I do those deep knee bends to keep from throwing a lens, miraculously my heart is strengthened to serve me better.  Perhaps if I were bending down onto my knees more often, it would become clearer when I should listen to my head or follow my heart.  Perhaps if I remembered to keep my head and heart in proper alignment, by seeking the counsel of the One who created my head and heart my decisions would be better.  Perhaps the proper alignment is head above heart with God above all.  Perhaps.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,
 who gives generously to all without reproach,
 and it will be given him.
James 1:5


When the world seems hopeless

When there seems to be no answers

When you are so far down in the pit, and not even a glimmer of light

It will get better, I promise.

When you think it is only you

When your plan is no plan

When there is no hope and you are totally helpless

It will get better, I promise.

When you feel totally alone

When no one could possibly understand

When you want to crawl into a dark hole

It will get better, I promise.

When there seems to be no reason to try

When dismay is your mantle

When you wonder, "Why me?"

It will get better, I promise.

I promise others understand

I promise you are never alone

I promise the sun will continue to shine

I promise it will get better.


I am burdened for those who are in seasons of darkness and praying they will remember it will get better---hang on---hold tight---it will get better.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
 do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
 I will strengthen you and help you; 
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10


You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!!!  I am living proof!

I have made the trip from Louisiana to Texas since 2001.  Old habits die hard and I have taken the same route without question for years.  This past weekend I made a trip to Austin to see my oldest grand graduate from high school (he is such a sweet young man).  For some strange reason, I decided to use google maps--perhaps in anticipation of someday not knowing where the heck I am.  Turns out there is a new toll road that has been built that allows me to completely avoid Tyler.  For all this time I have taken the loop around Tyler, but this is slow and has dense traffic and red lights in abundance.  The new toll road eliminates all of that!  For only a mere $1.83, I cut probably 15 minutes off my trip and reduced my stress considerably.  The price of the short cut was well worth it!

Taking short cuts in all forms and fashions, I have learned they usually come with a cost.  You can not always trust the Easy Street route to be the best way.   I love to find cooking short cuts, and they can save considerable time and effort.  Short cuts in baking are disastrous!  Baking is all about chemical reactions and precise measurements and short cuts can produce non-edible baked goods.  The expense of tossed ingredients is a great teacher.

I have lots of friends who have tried many a short cut to weight loss.  Those that tried gimmicks or fast track remedies, in most cases, end up right back where they started from and sometimes even heavier.  Those who are successful have changed their eating habits~made life style changes . This usually results in slower weight loss, but I have noticed higher sustained success rates.  

Google maps gives us the "fastest routes" which may not be the route of the least distance.  The shortest route may have the cost of a slow crawl pace when driving switchbacks.  If you take the windy road over the mountain pass, it will save your 30 miles, but add 2 hours to your trip due to the necessity of driving slowly on switchbacks.  

We live in a fast paced society where most of us are seeking short cuts to help us sustain our busy lives.  There is one situation when short cuts NEVER work and potentially have a huge cost~relationships.  There is NO short cut to a sustained healthy relationship with anyone.  Relationships take time and work~there are no quick fixes in either forming relationships or maintaining them.  They take time, energy and commitment.  This especially holds true in our relationship with The Father.  If you are not committing to spending time and energy seeking Him--it is not going to happen.  Charles Stanley spoke the truth of it all with this quote,

"There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, deep relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry you through any and all turmoil. No matter what storms are raging all around, you'll stand firm if you stand on His love."

Take the long road to this deep relationship, it is well worth every extra mile.

19 Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God
I Chronicles 22:19


My personal take on expectations is to hope for the best, but not be surprised by the worst.  Somewhere in the middle ground between best and worst is my reality of expectations.  I think I am protecting my heart by being wary of allowing myself to believe events will turn out rosy.  When disappointments rear their ugly head, I am not devastated, but when everything turns out rosy, I am pleasantly surprised.   I do not consider myself either an optimist or pessimist, but instead a realist.  My faith is placed in the law of averages and consider good luck superstition.  I do not cross my fingers, knock on wood, throw salt over my shoulder, or even own a horseshoe.  There is no such thing as good luck and hard work usually comes with just rewards.  Even in a game of chance, the averages will catch up with you if you play long enough.

Even the infamous Bard
Knew the risk of expectations.

While discussing a chapter on marriage in our book during small group, one of my sweet friends told us when asked to give advice to brides-to-be she always tells them, "Lower your expectations."  OF COURSE, this gave us all a great laugh.  Everyone in the room is or has been married.  Then the silence fell upon us as we grappled with what had just been said.  We all go into marriage thinking we will be the next Cleavor family.  And then reality sets in and you realize this looks more like the Bunkers or the Conners than the Van Dykes.  As I mulled over her comments this week, I realized we have let the media, writers through the ages, and our own romantic notions lend bias to the truth of marriage.  Marriage and in fact all relationships take work, and always putting others first.  Personally I would not tell anyone to lower their expectations, but instead look at marriage through the eyes of reality instead of fantasy.  

It seems quite a few of my married friends are reaching the milestone of 50 years of wedded bliss lately.  My heart is warmed and I am thrilled for them--knowing it has not always been easy and they have chosen family over self.  Just this past week, my friend, Sandra celebrated her 50th anniversary with all of her children and grandchildren.  Her daughter's words tell the truth of what it means for us to stick it out. "Not every family gets to celebrate 50 years of marriage. Thankful and blessed that my parents have set a high standard. Not perfect by any means, but thankful for their example!"  I know this family well enough to say it has not always been easy, but they have always held their commitment high.    NOW--I know not everyone has marriages that last---I would be counted in that number, but I applaud those who go the course and make it work.  We ALL entered marriage with the expectation it would be until death parted us, reality sometimes throws cold water on our great expectations.

SO in what can we have "Great Expectations" and not be disappointed?  It would seem anything related to man and this world is at risk of our expectations being dashed.  Only God and His perfection can be trusted to always meet our expectations as long as those expectations are based upon the truth of His character as revealed in His Word.  If He says He is going to do it, you can count on it!  No need to lower your expectations, no need to rely upon chance, instead believe and trust in the reality of Who He Is---THE GREAT I AM!  Our Greatest Expectation.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. 
Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage; 
Yes, wait for the LORD.
Psalms 27:13-14


The world has lured us all into the seductive beauty trap.  Don't get me wrong, I sometimes find myself falling headfirst into the consumption driven quest for beauty.  I have rubbed enough lotion and spread enough serum on this aging vessel to fill an ocean.  And then there is the long laundry list of exercise programs, supplements, and services I have tried.  It is as if my brain knows Mother Nature wins, but my spirit is not willing to accept the reflection in the mirror.  It is a frustrating and fruitless search for the fountain of youth that men over the ages have wandered the world in search of.  Ponce de Leon is more famous for his search for the fountain of youth than the discovery of Florida.  That search took a disastrous turn when he was killed by the effects from a poisonous arrow shot by a furious native.  Perhaps the natives were not enthusiastic about sharing their fountain~reminiscent of women and their beauty secrets.

This aging thing is not for the faint of heart.  Today is my third surgery this year.  Thankfully the last two have been merely cataract surgeries, but all three are the direct result of the deterioration of the body which comes with time.  My body is on the downward spiral of slowly decomposing while still walking.  The truth is at the end of our final hour--the fat lady sings..

As I have thought all this over, it has occurred to me that being from a pool of average looks is a good thing.  I have never hung my identity on my looks~that would have gotten me to a dead end on Disappointment Street.  Instead humor and character have been my stronger suits which I have spent more time and energy cultivating.  If you are not known for your gorgeous face and body, it is not nearly as devastating to slowly turn into a blob.   With time even those non-tangible traits of character and humor may disappear.  Aging is not limited by who we are---it does not discriminate based upon sex or social class and crosses all boundaries with no regard for any boundaries.    We are all headed in the same direction--accept it and don't spend any time worrying about it.  Enjoy the joy of the moment.

Circling back to the subject--I began to think of the really beautiful older women I have known in my life.  None of them were necessarily physically beautiful--aesthetically pleasing.  The ravages of time were evidenced on them all.  The one common trait each of these women had was the light shining from their eyes.  We are told the eyes  are the window to the soul---they all had the most beautiful light shining when they turned their gaze upon me.  Another trait was their gentle speech~they all had voices that caused me to pause and listen intently.  Each and everyone of them spoke with love and their beautiful spirits were reflected in the tone of their conversation.  The third thing I have noticed about beautiful older women is they are not hung up on their physical reflection.  This does not say they did not take care with their appearance, but it does say they were not all consumed with the reflection in the mirror.  They were more concerned with others and their relationships and it reflected when you gazed upon them.

As we age, may we all become more concerned with not how we look when gazing in the mirror, but instead in how our demeanor reflects on those we encounter.  Being a physically beautiful woman who is alone and gazing in the mirror does not equate to being a truly beautiful woman.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder---what is the beholder seeing when they gaze upon me or you?

3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 
4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in eyesGod’s sight.
I Peter 3:3-4


Our small group is still making our way through this book.

I must admit my bias against this subject from the very beginning~after all I am ALL grown up. I refuse to admit to being stuck on a turntable on endless repeat.

Today a friend commented on my busyness.  It is difficult for me to sit still -UNLESS~ I am reading a book.  "Ants in my pants" is a good description of trying to sit and chill.  Most of my adult life I have had others comment on my constant state of motion.  I had this nagging sense if anyone else close was working-whatever their motive--I should not have idle hands.  I need to be up doing something also.

As our discussion progressed, she began talking about another friend who was never allowed to sleep late as a child or teen.  C L A N G  ~the bells went off.  My mother worked on Saturdays and my dad had passed away in my early teen years.  Before she left for work on Saturday mornings, we were all to be up and had our assigned tasks to keep us busy for the rest of the day.  If she worked, we all worked.  My older brother had a job in a grocery store on Saturday and left early in the morning.  My younger brother and I were left with a list of jobs to be completed before she returned.  NO sleeping for any of us---all hands were on deck---and there were no idle hands.  The only approved activity while sitting was reading a book.  WELL--what do you know--perhaps events in my childhood do still have a hold over me in my old age.  WHO KNEW?  God did, and with this one simple conversation, I was reminded of a behavior from childhood that has carried over all these years.

Without conscious effort to change, we are prone to repeat the lessons learned as children.  Example is a powerful teaching tool and some lessons learned are not good lessons.  The Word warns us of the sins of the father repeating generation after generation.  With introspection, I have broken the hold of many of the sins of my parents.  Hopefully, my children will not repeat my sin behaviors.  The first step is always asking God to reveal the sinful behavior being repeated in our lives.  Prepare yourself, if you ask with a willing heart, He will reveal what needs to be changed and it is not always pretty.  Our willingness is the first step to redemption and moving closer to what He desires for us.  

I am willing, but the child in me resists change---ONLY with His help will I be able to put away my childish behaviors and leave that brat within me behind.

The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.
Numbers 14:18


My adventure loving friend, Sheila, contacted me recently and asked was I up to an adventure---that had to be on the third of June.  After checking my extensive social calendar~

I was on GO.  

Three and a half hours after departure, we found The Tallahatchie Bridge which Bobby Gentry made famous in 1967 with her "Ode to Billy Joe".

Mystery still swirls around this dark ballad concerning what did the singer and Billy Joe throw off the bridge and why did Billy Joe throw himself off the bridge?  Here we are 51 years later and we are chasing the mystery behind the song, only to drive home with no answers.

As I looked down at the high, murky, swirling water with a swift current carrying debris quickly down the river, I knew we would never know the answer to the mystery.  The song's writer, Bobbie Gentry, explains the point is not what was thrown off the bridge to cause Billy Joe to commit suicide and the narrator to toss flowers in the water a year later as she wandered along the river.  The point is the nonchalant dinner discussion about a young man taking his own life.  She called it "Unconscious cruelty".

In our long day's trek, Sheila and I spoke of many topics including the recent school shootings and what needed to be done to stop the loss of our precious children.  It did not really dawn upon me until I swirled the thoughts of the day around in my head of my own guilt of unconscious cruelty.  For you see, though I want to see something done to stop this great tragedy, all I am doing is talking about it in passing conversation.  NOT by any means intentionally being cruel, but by being passive about insisting something be done.  Sheila asked the question, "Who is going to go to the School Board meeting and ask the question about what is going to be done to protect our children?"  WHO INDEED?  WHO INDEED?

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord
Psalms 127:3


Thankfully my Blog Friend, Martha, has put the new rules and regulations into English so I can comply.

Here is the new message--per the Google Gestapo

  • We will follow the guidelines of the GDPR (General Data Processing Regulation) as set forth by the EU.  This means that if you are a European subscriber to this blog, I will inform you if I ever collect any info from you, which I never intend to do.
  • Email addresses are for the sole purpose of receiving this blog to which you are subscribed, no matter what side of the pond you live on.
  • We promote nothing on this site except for The Glade Series and Adventures in The Glade; we are advertisement free.
  • We will never, ever sell your email addresses, or share with others without your explicit permission.
Google OBVIOUSLY thinks I have much more influence than I do!

How's this for a boring Saturday post!

With this out of the way, I will go back to letting my mind wander.

Happy Weekend!

Summer is here!

It could be worse, I could still live in Fort Worth



How did this pop into my head?  I believe I was thinking about my daughter's birth after someone reminded me of an early AM call to another time zone by her father announcing her birth.  I have lived in the land of men most of my life.  I grew up with two brothers--NO sister.  Two boys came along in my own little family before this baby girl was born, fifteen years after her oldest brother arrived.  And now---FIVE grandsons before that baby grand girl finally arrived, fifteen years after the first grandson arrived.  I have always had the desire for more women in my family, but lived with the expectation of every new arrival being a boy--after all I was surrounded by boys.  Don't get me wrong--I love boys--but bless their hearts--they are not girls!

In the state of loose association, in which I live, I began a stream of thought contrasting desire and expectation.  I desire (Webster defines this as - a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happento be in tip top shape as evidenced by more plans of action to accomplish this than Carter has Liver Pills.  I live with the expectation of falling off the band wagon of the latest plan within a very short period of time.  (Webster defines expectations as -a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future)    The key difference in these two definitions is very important.  On one hand we have a "feeling" and the other we have a "belief".  It seems to be a matter of intensity or degree.  My feelings do not always hold true.  My beliefs are tried and true and normally based upon wisdom gained by experiences.  I desire to live a healthy life to the very last minute, but I have no expectation of that happening.  Mother Nature wins--our bodies wear out..  

NOW---as I began to circle the wagons on this trek of loose association---I ended with what God's desires and expectations are for each of us.  He desires for us to live according to His Word which He so graciously gifted us with.  He expects for us to fail--for He knows we are human and have feet of clay.  He desires for us to seek Him--come to know Him--follow Him.  His expectations are the sure knowledge we are not capable of doing this.  SO---he gave us a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.  He provided a bridge between His desires and the sure expectation that we are not able.  Jesus became our bridge when we are unable to live up to God's  desires.  Once we turn to Him--we meet God's every expectation--as we are colored by the righteousness of Jesus. We live up to His every expectation by declaring our desire to follow Him.  Could it be any easier to live up to His expectations than this?  I think not!

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him
Philippians 2:13