3:50 a.m. – Woke up with great ideas for blog post. Looked at clock and continued to think. 4:15 – I’m having such insightful ideas that I decided to get up to write. I had almost seven hours of sleep anyway. 4:20 – I’m pouring coffee and the dog asks to go out. 4:30 – … Continue reading Driven by Distraction
Blogging or Tweeting is like taking a handful of change and flinging it into the stands in a crowded stadium. It’s not much, but you hope whoever picks up that nickel, dime, or a couple of pennies can benefit from it. Unfortunately, there may be a few slugs among the genuine coins. It’s pretty random, … Continue reading Two Cents’ Worth
On a recent visit to a lovely urban park, filled with dozens of bronze statues, I saw this artificial creek, used as a setting for one of the art pieces. Varying sizes of rocks are placed to show the meandering pattern of a stream. It ended in an area of lush grass that I, unfortunately … Continue reading Dry Creek Beds
There's work to be done in the garden. But when is that not true? The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it. (CEV) - Genesis 2:15 If my 60-something self could say something to my 30-something self, I would say, "Don't be … Continue reading Always in Transition
Earlier this week, I tweeted how my morning prayer starts. Before I’ve said a word aloud, before I begin my first routines, before my head rises from the pillow, I start my prayer with, “Before my feet hit the floor…” I want my first thoughts in the morning to be directed to the Lord. This … Continue reading Off to a Good Start
September is finally here, as we begin the last third of 2019. I won’t keep you long today, since it’s a holiday – Monday, September 2. Labor Day. You could say this day begins the “holiday season.” From now until the end of the year, it’s one holiday after another. Store shelves are displaying fall … Continue reading Change of Seasons
In Alabama this is called Camp Stew. In Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas it’s Brunswick stew. It’s similar to Burgoo in Kentucky and elsewhere. I prefer any of those names to Roadkill Stew where any wild game is used. You can find several variations on these ingredients, so it’s an imprecise recipe, relying on personal … Continue reading Extra Post: Camp Stew Recipe
As I write this today, it’s the Friday that starts Labor Day Weekend. Most people don’t consider this a major holiday, but a long weekend is always welcomed. Since our culture and families build traditions into these yearly mile markers, the familiar elements of Labor Day are no exception. It’s a day off from work … Continue reading Labor Day Weekend
I intend for this post to stir up more questions than answers. In our very polarized society, it's easy to find a cause or position and to identify those on the opposite side as our enemies. Instead of finding some equilibrium in our discourse, the pendulum seems to be swinging further apart on either side. … Continue reading Agree or Disagree, That is the Question.
Someone hung up white sheets at several locations in my community. Each one was spray painted with the same message: “God is Real.” I saw three of them, but there could have been more. Those just happened to be on the roads I frequently use. The one on a church playground fence seemed logical enough, … Continue reading Three Sheets in the Wind
Most of the blooms on my Althea shrubs are now high above my head, fewer within reach. When I look up at them, it's like looking up at stars in the daytime. For some reason, a line from a poem came to mind that our class had to memorize in junior high. It's from a … Continue reading Like the Stars
After several serious blog posts, we'll return to the garden today to feed the birds. It's live entertainment in your own backyard. I know this is a typical "old people" thing, but we weren't that old when we started this hobby. My husband and I started doing this about thirty years ago and have made … Continue reading Time to Lighten Up
This weekend (Aug. 10 – 11, 2019) our Jewish brothers and sisters are coming to the end of “the nine days” before their day of fasting and mourning on Tisha B’Av - the Ninth day of the month of Av. Tradition says, on that same day, the first and second Temples were destroyed, 656 years … Continue reading Lessons in Tisha B’Av
We try to avoid grief. It’s uncomfortable – painful. We try to jump to relief and normalcy too quickly, before grief has done its work within us. And make no mistake, grief is work. It is a process that should not be medicated away or otherwise circumvented. It is normal, but it is exhausting. Usually … Continue reading Grief is Hard Work
In case you’ve wondered, I have fallen into a pattern of posting blogs every Monday, and then again later in the week – Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Don’t hold me to that, but it seems like a pretty good schedule for me right now. Also, I try to keep them under 500 words. This was … Continue reading Looking for Hope
For the month of July, I participated, along with about 80 other Twitter users, in a 30-day gratitude challenge. Stoney deGeyter issued the charge to give a daily tweet with one to three things we are thankful for, promising extra credit if it was the first tweet of the day. He moderated this on-line forum … Continue reading Are You Catchin’ A Gratitude With Me?
Crepe myrtles are everywhere in my part of the country. Many homeowners, as well as businesses, choose this small tree for mid to late summer color in their landscapes. It's a favorite for boulevard medians and park areas. Their fluffy flower clusters put on a brilliant show all around town. The collage above was made … Continue reading A Little Fluff About The Garden
Several recent conversations have made me think about sleep. It’s right up there with necessities like air, water, and food. It’s a big part of the rhythm of daily life for every living creature on God’s earth. Our health, both physical and mental, depends on the rejuvenating properties of a night of restful sleep. And … Continue reading Trouble Sleeping?
I get a little bored with annuals this time of year, eventhough we have several more months until we can welcome fall to the Gulf Coast. Yes, annuals are dependable color and fillers. Yes, I get my money's worth since our summer season is so long. And yes, I'm neglecting the garden to avoid the … Continue reading Subtle Colors of Summer
Do you ever feel like you're overdosing on reality? The daily news brings horrifying scenes of tragedy from around the world. Problems that seem unsolvable are everywhere. Incivility is on display, and reason seems in short supply. Christians feel called to try to make a difference in whatever ways we can, but with frequent natural … Continue reading Eternity in Our Hearts
It’s so much easier to create a blog post than to make progress on my WIP. That’s a “work in progress” for those of you outside the writing world. It’s even easier to fire off a couple of tweets on Twitter every day. Easier yet, is to waste a couple of hours reading fascinating Twitter … Continue reading This Writing Life
I found these caterpillars feasting on my parsley this week. It was okay with me, because these plants were in their second year. I have already put out new ones for this year anyway. This was a "before" picture of one particular plant. And here are the "during" and "after" shots of the same plant.. … Continue reading Sharing the Garden
Lots of kids are going to camp this summer – scout camps, sports camps, academic, arts, and adventure camps, and (I hope) church camps. It may be the first time some children have spent a week away from their families. It may present them with challenging new activities. It may offer a life-changing opportunity, where … Continue reading Going Home or Coming Home
"I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses" (C. Austin Miles, 1912. Cokesbury Hymnal #62) There's no dew in my garden this morning. I had to turn the sprinkler on to keep some plants from withering. In spite of the need for rain, the mosquitoes are out looking for … Continue reading In the Garden
We celebrate the founding of our country this week and that we still exist as a sovereign nation after it was declared so, 243 years ago. It's never been perfect, nor have our churches or our own families. They're the best we've got, and we try to make them better. As Christians, we remember that … Continue reading Just Bullet Points Today
This week in the USA we will celebrate our nation's founding, and the declaration of our liberty from oppression. It has always come at a price. Freedom is a fundamental longing in the human spirit. It is heard in the assertions of a two year old. It rises up in adolescent rebellion. It cries out … Continue reading Liberty in Red, White, and Blue from the Garden
Let the words of my mouth and my social media posts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Apologies to David for Ps. 19:14) I am aware of the far reaching effects of anything posted on the internet, as well as the heights and depths our words can reach into … Continue reading Weighty Words
Abandoned Home in the Neighborhood. Psalm 84:3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. I watched the baby cardinals from this nest fledge a couple of weeks ago. I’d planned on … Continue reading Nature’s Way, But I Don’t Have to Like It
“My home’s in Alabama, no matter where I lay my head. My home’s in Alabama, Southern born and Southern bred.” (Songwriters: Randy Owen & Teddy Gentry – Recorded by Alabama, 1980) This year (2019) is my state’s Bicentennial, with events from the Gulf of Mexico to the Tennessee River, commemorating Alabama’s 200 years of statehood. … Continue reading Alabama, Sweet Home
I could say so much about this, from so many angles. Literally: For so many churches, the membership has dwindled, and they are selling their buildings because they can no longer afford the upkeep. It's so painful for those who've invested so much in that congregation. Figuratively: The visible institutional church has tried to sell … Continue reading Unintended Truth (short post)
A ten year old boy sat across the table from me. His teacher sent him to my door two or three times a week. Maybe she thought the school counselor could fix him. Or maybe she needed a break from his challenging behaviors in her classroom. I watched his hands reach for the smiley face … Continue reading How Many Michaels are Out There?