Monday, March 30, 2009


As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. Mark 9:15 (NIV)

What would I do if I saw Jesus? Hopefully I would be so in awe of him that I would fall before Him in praise and worship. He has totally transformed my life. I hope I never cease to be amazed by Him.

These people didn't know Jesus the way we do. There He was before them, in the flesh. Obviously the recognized something in Him. I wonder if I would have, had I lived back then??

Today I've been filled with thoughts and yearnings to be more committed. I truly want to be. Then life and circumstances and things happens and I draw away. My mind becomes muddled with problems and situations and I forget to depend on Him for my very next breath. He is my life. We watched an awesome tape by Rob Bell Saturday called "Breathe." I know there's some controversy in the Christian circles about Rob and his ministry. I think he's being used by God. He takes things and makes them so simple and relevant to life: our lives because of God.

It reminds of me of the verses later in the ninth chapter of Mark. The disciples saw someone casting out demons and told them to stop because they were not "one of us." Jesus' reply??

39 "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us.

I think as Christians we sometimes spend all our energies criticizing and putting down our own. Maybe they look different or talk different or belong to a different group than our own. I think we need to STOP that and love and accept those who love our Lord.

I love the way The Message puts John 13:35...
"This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples - when they see the love you have for each other.
Oftentimes we fall desperately short in this area.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

pa rum pum pum pum

I must confess that the words"quiet time" usually make me feel guilty and unfulfilled. So many times I've met with God for Him to speak to me through the reading of His word and trying to pray. So many times I've left feeling defeated and alone. Now I'm sure this is not commendable coming from someone who is His child and who really does love and desire Him. For God speaks to His children and does desire us to be in His presence.

I have always "put God in a box" so to speak. That is, I've always had my ideas of how it should be and what I should do when I spend time with Him. Now I'm not saying He doesn't speak to us in those situations. That is not what I'm saying at all. Just bear with me for a minute, please.

This morning I awoke and my first words were not "Good morning, Lord." I only desired to roll over and go back to sleep. I decided to listen to a few songs on my iPod shuffle before I started my day. The first one that came on was "Majesty" by Delirious....

Majesty, Majesty
Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed, but alive in your hands
Majesty, Majesty
Forever I am changed by your love
In the presence of your Majesty

Suddenly I was worshipping from my heart while the moment before I was cringing at the thought of having to get out of bed. For you see, I have been changed by His love and I found myself in His presence!

The next song up with a Christmas song by Josh Groban..."Little Drummer Boy."

I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

Did you catch it?

I play my drum for you

I play my best for you

Then He smiled at me

This encouraged me so much this morning. For you see, I am guilty of having my mental lists of what would please God and what wouldn't. I'm sad to say that listening to my iPod in bed is not on my list of how to spend quality time with God. But that is exactly what happened.

God desires us much more than we desire Him. I believe we need to think outside the box and see Him in all the things we find ourselves doing. If we play a it for him.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

no title

Jupiter caught in a meow. He was following me around while I snapped pictures.
pansies in a pot

blooming ajuga that is spreading!

it did come back!!

a petunia from last year

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
I love spring! I can't wait to get out and work in our yard again. I have already been out several times raking leaves and I actually started a new project in the backyard yesterday. I was really bummed out that we didn't have two weeks worth of spring break. The week we were off it rained most of the week. I am very grateful for the rain for we needed it badly. I guess if it hadn't been so cold I could have worked out in it~! Then last week it was the perfect weather to be out in the yard and I was inside. We did take our "snow day" and the decision of whether to work outdoors or go on a much needed shopping expedition was a hard one.
The pictures above are a few I took a few weeks ago. They are my first signs of spring except for the pansies which have been beautiful all winter. I have been grateful for my splash of color in our front yard. When winter seemed to be dragging on I could gaze on them and feel better. My hummingbird feeder must go up also and I have mega weeds to pull or cut. The ones in the ground cover I pull. My Asian Jasmine is spreading and I'm so excited. I'm even going to move some ajuga since the jasmine is spreading into it.

I'm so glad God made springtime!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

birthday pictures

When the kids were small we had a wall phone with a long cord...of course when I really needed to talk on the phone the kids were always loud and interrupting. I would take the phone out into the garage to talk. Rebekah reminded me of this with this card. She said I would go out there and talk and sweat.

gifts from Connie

The kids got me a $100 gift card from Home Depot and these other things. They have a knack for getting the perfect gift!

My chocolate cheesecake from Bethany. Joseph helped her with the topping.

My friend Vicki cooked my birthday dinner. I was so surprised I didn't think to take a picture of it. It was wonderful~! Donald also gave me a neat gift. He gave me three hours of yard work. I already know what he can help me with!



What a wonderful word; it's stocked full of amazing possibilities. One of these possibilities occurred yesterday. This is my story, none of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Rebekah had jury duty yesterday. Unbeknown to us, it had been cancelled. We never saw it in the newspaper. She came home with sausage and biscuits for everyone to celebrate...everyone that was home, that is. I am one of the lucky ones. She decided to take the rest of the day off from work and that is when it all began.

I suddenly found myself agreeing to taking the day off from school also. Now those of you who know me know that this just doesn't happen. Hannah, Rebekah, and I decided to go shopping in Sherman. I called Donald and he was in agreement; told us to take a "snow day." I never realized what fun snow days are; it's too bad we've only had one of them in the last 24 years of our home schooling journey.

We shopped and shopped and then ate at Olive Garden. I became totally spontaneous and went with something I had never tried on the menu. Once again, I'm pretty predictable when it comes to paying money for food; I want to be certain I'm going to like it. Because of this quirk I usually end up getting the same stuff at the different places we eat. I tried the Venetian Apricot Chicken and it was wonderful. I don't usually get chicken when I eat out either. Are you beginning to see why spontaneity is becoming one of my favorite words?

It was a wonderful day with two of my three favorite daughters. The only thing that could have been better is if Bethany could have been with us.

I'm beginning to get the hang of this.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


This lady was in my life for nine short months. I was only 6 years of age, but I still have the Christmas card she sent our family that Christmas. "Miss Opal" as she was fondly known to her group of first and second graders, had a tremendous influence on my young life. She continued teaching us the things I was taught by my parents. I still love her to this day.

This is a tribute to her life and influence. She died Sunday after celebrating her 102nd birthday. Her online obituary says these wonderful things about her...

...... Ople (Mills) Richardson Collard, a woman of indomitable spirit with a deep love for family, friends and former students passed away March 15, 2009 in Dallas, TX.

...…An elementary teacher for forty-five years in Fannin and Tarrant counties, she earned a B.A. degree from Austin College, Sherman, Texas and a Master’s degree from East Texas State Teacher’s College, now Texas A&M, Commerce, TX. A member of Ft. Worth Polytechnic Methodist Church, following the golden rule was her philosophy of life. She left us with the same dignity and strength with which she had lived…

We have home schooled now for almost 24 years. The highest tribute I can think of is this....if our children went to public or private school, I would choose her as their teacher if I could. I also think of Psalms 91:16....With long life will I satisfy (Miss Opal) and show (her) my salvation. (paraphrased by a loving former student who is still grateful for her love and influence in my life)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the moment that took my breath away

Donald took a gadzillion pictures with my camera a few weeks ago while we were hoping for a thunderstorm and captured a good one! Birthday roses from Bethany....

Zephaniah 3:17 has been one of my favorite verses for a long time. "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." My dear friend Connie sent me an e-card with that verse this morning. It is simply perfect! Yesterday my Heavenly Father did those things for me.

I started off the morning by receiving a call from our benefits department telling me that the doctor's office wouldn't budge on switching the codes. We needed the primary code to be the screening code and the secondary code to be the medical one for our insurance to pay our claims at 100%. It seemed that it simply wasn't going to happen. I went back to the doctor's office once more for another appeal. I ended up getting an appointment for next week to talk to the doctor about it. Can you tell that I'm a very persistent person?? Tenacious maybe??

On my way home I was burdened by this on-going scenario and was thinking about what Donald had asked me the night before...what do I want for my birthday? I cried out to God that what I really wanted was to be able to quit worrying about this problem. I came home and proceeded to call our benefits department yet again. While it was going through the voice message that I had heard several dozen times by now my cell phone started ringing. It was the doctor's office and she told me that she had called our insurance and was told that it is legal for her to file our claim that way and she is taking care of it!!!!! She had even called the hospital explaining the situation and that she was refiling. It should be totally paid this way!

I immediately fell to my knees beside our bed and started sobbing, thanking God for what He had done. It was truly Him, He can move mountains in our lives and quiet us with His love. I feel that a huge weight has been lifted and the sun is shining even though it is rainy and cloudy today. I still feel such a sense of relief and God's love for me.

Zephaniah 3:17 is a felt reality in my life today!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Who has my heart?

Pastor Paul has brought some very anointed messages from God to our body at CFC lately. I am very excited about what God is doing and and is about to do in our midst. He changes hearts and draws us to Him and teaches us so lovingly.

I wrote last week about having to pay so much for the tests that were supposed to be paid for. I directed my anger toward the insurance and the doctor and on and on. Last Wednesday night Pastor Paul asked us, "What do I believe about God? and "What is He to me?" Then we talked about why it is so hard to trust Him in some circumstances when we believe what we believe about Him. Talk about hitting the nail on the head... or in this case, getting to the heart of the matter inside me.

Then Sunday he asked, "Who has my attention; who has my heart?" I am paraphrasing this to myself. I often do that when I take notes. It's like God is speaking right to me and asking me to examine my heart. Ouch again, although there was nothing condemning about it as he talked about how our flesh is not converted and how our mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. God doesn't want to talk to my flesh, He talks to my Spirit.

Is God my only hope? Or is He my way out when all else fails??

I am in a better state of mind this week. Now I have still talked to our company's benefits department. She called me back today and said that she talked to our insurance and if the doctor would use a preventative diagnosis as the primary diagnosis and the medical diagnosis as the secondary diagnosis it would be covered at 100%. She is even going to call the doctor's office for me and explain it to them.

I still don't know if the doctor will do it. We still may have to pay $2200. But at least now I have peace and know that it is in God's hands. I am asking him for mercy and reminding Him that "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." Proverbs 21:1

I want to keep my mind on Him so I will have perfect peace. With Him all things are possible, they truly are!! I don't say this to proclaim that the bill will be paid by insurance, but that it is possible for me to have perfect peace even if we have to pay it.

Now I'm getting somewhere...finally.