Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mrs. Woodham

With schools closing for summer, I thought this excerpt from my latest project would be timely.  Thank you to all those teachers taking a much deserved break for the next few weeks!




We all have stories of how the words or comments of a teacher, a close relative or a friend have impacted us during our early years.  That impact often follows us through our lifetime.

My second grade teacher, Mrs. Woodham, was a kind, tenderhearted lady.  I can still see her slightly frazzled hairstyle and that broad, welcoming smile that she seemed to flash so often.  

She was no push over!  We all understood that when Mrs. Woodham said, “Quiet!” she meant now.  But we also felt her joy and sensed her love for us as students.  She was glad to be a professional teacher.

If someone struggled, she knelt beside their desk and worked more closely with them a while.  I remember feeling her soft touch on my head or shoulder as a point of encouragement.  You see, I was one of those students who struggled.  Math was my nemesis.  But I came out of second grade feeling that I could conquer the struggle. 

In fact, it was Mrs. Woodham who first put the dream in my heart for becoming a teacher.  Her words of encouragement made me believe I could not only learn to add and subtract, I could one day teach others to do the same. 

Many times she would have me sit at her desk with a notepad if she stepped out for some reason.  As a class, we would each be doing our seat work.  It was my job to write down the name of any student who talked or got out of line in any way.

I’ll never forget the day I was the one who stepped out of line.  

Mrs. Woodham had put me at her desk with the notepad and whispered to me that she had to go to the office.  “I’ll be right back, Sheri.  Keep an eye on things.”

Apparently, I had become too comfortable in my role as classroom monitor.  A couple of students raised their hands to indicate they needed to use the pencil sharpener.  I nodded giving them permission to move from their desks.   A few began to whisper.  A couple more began giggling about something. 

In my most serious seven year old voice I called out, “Quiet, everyone!”  My imitation of Mrs. Woodham fell short and resulted in a ripple of laughter.  I had to laugh myself, it sounded so funny. 

I must have been a ham early in life because in a flash I found myself standing beside the desk of a friend doing my best to imitate Mrs. Woodham.  “The next student to speak is going to be disciplined, do you hear me?!”  I mimicked her scowl and wagged my tiny finger at the class in warning.  

We all burst out in loud laughter.

But the laughing halted immediately when we heard the original, “Quiet!” resounding from the back of the room.  Mrs. Woodham had walked in on my little show and she was not happy.  I don’t remember my exact punishment but writing about that moment still causes me to cringe a bit.

How did I have such a disappointing experience with her and still come out of that year believing Mrs. Woodham loved me?   It’s because she spoke words of affirmation daily.  Not just to me but to everyone in our class. 

“You CAN do this, Jeffery.  Don’t let it beat you.”

“I see how hard you’re trying, Marcia.  That’s important.”

“Judy, I’m proud of your effort on that homework.  Good job!”

I don’t know about any of those other second graders but her words were life to one little girl with brunette hair and slightly crooked teeth.  She enriched my life and used her words to paint a picture of possibility for me.  

I’ll forever be grateful.



What was the name of your favorite teacher?  What grade were you in when you encountered them?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Season of Love

Summer has begun and tomorrow is June 1st.  June - traditionally the most popular month for weddings.  (Although, wedding coordinators will tell you October comes in at a close second, now.)

Last Sunday, I got home just in time to watch a wedding that was being live-streamed.  A precious young lady we met while working in El Salvador, was marrying another minister from a different country.  Her father (who pastors in our area) conducted the ceremony with great joy.

You see, the bride had just come through major surgery due to cancer. (She is expected to make a full recovery with time.)  Her wedding day will forever be remembered as a day of triumph!

I must tell you, her beauty filled the screen as I watched.  And I can only imagine the euphoria felt by those gathered in the huge auditorium as witnesses.  Tears and laughter blended in the wedding celebration of those two dedicated Christ followers.

Their vows were powerful; describing how they had prayed for one another before they even met.  How they had intentionally chosen to follow God, trusting He would bring them together at some point on their life journey.

T.R.U.S.T.  Five simple letters strung together to describe something so complex.

The entire celebration of that dear couple showed the importance of trust again and again.

  • They each trusted God with the direction of their personal lives.  
  • That trust led them to find one another while serving in a country different than their own. 
  • They came to trust one another in that atmosphere of ministry.  
  • They declared their trust in spite of the bride's illness.  
  • They pledged their lives to one another, trusting for a future of hope and strength.

Frank and I counsel and marry couples all the time.  We talk with them about the impossibility of maintaining joy without trust.  And one of the most powerful books I've ever read on marriage presents trust in the most simplistic way.

The title is: Love and Respect.

The basic premise is this:  Women desire to be loved.  They want to know they matter to the man they entrust with their devotion.  Men desire to be respected.  It's built into their DNA.  They must know they are honored in the heart of their bride.

Paul even wrote about this in his letter to a church in Ephesus.  "Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church - a love marked by giving, not getting.  Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ."

In other words, we should each give what the other needs; then trust that our own desires will be met as well.  Simple but far from easy!

If I hold out to my husband the respect he deserves, his heart feels more fulfilled.  If he offers me the love I long to experience, I'll feel safe in that love.  My immediate response is to respect the man making me feel so loved.  Feeling respected causes him to love the woman who honors him so.

See the cycle?

Of course, the reciprocal is true with most things in life.  If I dishonor my husband, he has no desire to offer me love.  In that scenario, we both lose.

After 38 years of marriage, I choose to win.  Building trust by offering respect.  Receiving love that replenishes my very soul.

If you're looking for a good read this summer, I'd encourage you to get a copy of Love and Respect by Eggerichs.  It has changed the way Frank and I interact with one another.  It's taught us valuable lessons about the hearts of those we minister to.  It has given us a platform for building more trust.

And in this beautiful season of love, we could all stand to build a little more trust.  Right?



I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.  Have you already read the book I referenced?  What experience could you share as an encouragement to others?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Pay Back

Some days this blog weaves stories of family.  Some days it's all about humor or current events.  Today I want to share a truth that has saved me a lot of frustration.  Hopefully, it will be valuable to you as well.

Let me start by saying, Parker Franklin is thriving under the watchful care of his doting parents.  Don't misunderstand, they aren't spoiling him.  I've actually heard him express displeasure several times since his birth two weeks ago.  And Kristin is sleeping at least three hours each night.

Baby Boy Smith is set to make his appearance at some point later this summer.  All Meagan's babies have followed the example of their mother.  She started trying to be born about three months before her due date.  Slow and steady is what we're praying once again over this little miracle.

But I promised a story about valuable truth and here it is:

Many years ago, I had a knock on my front door at an unusual time.  The visitor I welcomed inside didn't normally drop by unannounced, so my radar went up quickly.  Leaders know one thing is certain, you're never really certain what a day will bring.

The lady brushed off my offer of iced sweet tea (southern nectar) instead opting to drop right down on my couch.  She had come for a purpose.

She began by apologizing for a recent incident that really had hurt several people.  She was totally repentant for her part and even shed a few tears.  I listened closely encouraging her expressions.  But it felt like there was more to the visit.  And there was.

After clearing the air, my visitor swiped at her tears with the tissue I'd offered and deftly turned the conversation.  "Of course, it never would have happened if you hadn't......"  

In a split second, she went from repentant to accusing.  I'm sure my eyes went wide with surprise.  This lady was masterful.

Thank heaven I'd been taught long ago to listen until upset individuals can run out of steam.  If you're already in a private setting, interrupting them midstream seldom accomplishes anything.  So I sat nodding; trying to maintain my composure.

Toward the end of her tirade she referenced an event that took place long before I even lived in her city.  Another leader had indeed taken advantage at that time and this lady was still upset.

I tried gently to remind her that I hadn't even been around when that offense took place.  Her response made perfect sense to her, "I know that!  But you're a leader just like they were and you possibly could do what they did."

My head was spinning.

As the conversation wound down, I reached for my favorite phrase when facing a situation that's far above my pay grade, "I'll talk to Pastor Frank about this and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.  For now, let's pray!"

I did talk with Frank after dinner.  We were both stumped as to how we could best respond.  Frank is a pastor who relies heavily on his Heavenly connection.  "Let's just pray about this a few days.  Then we'll get back with her."

Two days later, during my devotion time, the answer came.  My dear friend and mentor, King David had experienced a similar situation.  He wrote about it in Psalm 69.  "Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head."  (Well, that was an exaggeration for my circumstance but it certainly helped me know he understood how I was feeling.)

Reading the next sentence was a definite "Aha!" moment for me.  "I am forced to restore what I did not steal."

I literally tapped my devotion Bible and read it out loud several times.  "That's it, Lord!  They want me to pay back what I didn't even steal from them!"

Someone had stolen the trust of this lady and her family.  She had experienced a terrible injustice at the hands of another leader.  No one was disputing that fact.  But the Someone who did it wasn't ME!

Fortunately, I had gotten up extra early that morning.  I had plenty of time to sit and ponder what I sensed the Father whispering to me through this scripture.

It's true, many times leaders are impacted by the poor choices of those who've gone before them.  No one is perfect.  We're all broken; we all need a Savior.  No human being gets it right all the time.  So picking up an offense about what they did, doesn't help at all.

If the Father (who looks on the heart of man) finds enough grace in your tank, He very well may tap you to bring healing where another has wounded.

Now we can yell, "Not Fair!" and He won't require it of us.  But His ultimate goal is to bring healing to all those who ask for it.  If you aren't the conduit of healing, He'll simply look for another venue.

Perhaps you too have found yourself in situations dealing with people still angry about past offenses. They can't get to the person who committed the injustice, so they attack you instead.  Dear reader, hurting people hurt people.  It's just that simple.

Is this a difficult mission?  Absolutely!  Do people recognize your sacrifice?  Seldom!  Is there really a purpose?  Always!

You see, there's a flip side to this seemingly unfair request from our Father.  He keeps excellent records.  When you or I offer ourselves as conduits of healing for others, we also become conduits of blessing!

He promises in Deuteronomy 6:10, we will eat from vineyards we didn't plant.  In other words, when we "pay back what we didn't steal" our Father smiles.  He makes note of our generous spirit and rewards us with blessings we don't really deserve.

Not bad, being rewarded by the King of Heaven, right?!

After much more prayer, my husband went to this lady and her husband with the strength of humility.  As a leader, he apologized to them for the hurt they had experienced at the hands of another and asked their forgiveness.

I'm not sure healing came to them at that point.  They had held to their hurt for many years and sometimes it's hard to let go of what has become familiar to us - even pain.  But that couple did tell others about the experience they had with Pastor Frank.  In fact, they told many people.

Others who heard the story quickly recognized the wisdom of their shepherd.  Their hearts were healed and they were able to trust him totally.  We began to experience blessing from many sources where we hadn't even planted.

If you're asked to do so, don't be afraid to pay back what you didn't steal.  Choose to be generous.  God keeps good records!




Have you had a similar experience?  You story may be an encouragement to someone.  We'd love to hear your comments:







Friday, May 18, 2018

Parker Franklin Has Arrived!

He's Here!  He's Here!

Did you hear the exuberant shouts of joy bouncing off the walls of the Winter Haven Women's Hospital last Wednesday?  Yep, that celebrating was from the family of Parker Franklin McGhee!

Cody stepped out and announced, "He's here!  He's perfect!  Kristin did Great!"  (He said some other things but I missed them.  I was busy taking the first deep breath I'd had in almost eight hours.)

As with every delivery there is a story.  The short version is this:  On Tuesday, the doctor made the call to do a cesarean section delivery on Wednesday morning.  And Parker was born.

(Come on!  Not one of the regular readers falls for that impossibly abbreviated version.)

We all arrived at the hospital Wednesday bright and early.  Kristin had been having severe contractions since 3 AM.  The nurse determined there wasn't a need for pain relief, she'd be in the operating room soon.

Unfortunately, "soon" was bumped back three different times by emergency deliveries that had to go ahead of her.  Her pain continued to increase; pain she wasn't mentally prepared to handle.  Cesarean deliveries come with enough pain AFTER delivery.  Laboring hour after hour before surgery isn't supposed to be part of the equation.

She labored quietly, focusing on the deep breathing and counter pressure techniques she and Cody had learned.  But you could see the intensity in her face.  All three of my girls are tough; they handle pain well.  I knew how bad this was getting.

We tried to stay calm and peaceful for her sake but every spike on the contraction monitor caused that much more concerned. Okay, I'll admit it.  As the pain increased, so did my frustration.  When they took her off the monitor and STILL didn't get her ready to move, my "mama bear" kicked in.

After waiting thirty more agonizing minutes, I went to the desk and politely asked to speak to her nurse whom we hadn't seen in quite some time.  I was told they would be coming to check on her in a moment. 

It was the brush-off and I knew it.  I'm not sure exactly what I said at that point in response, but I felt much better after I said it.

They came in to move her to surgery about ten minutes later.  We all joined hands around her bed and Frank prayed between two contractions.  (I repented.)

A quick kiss on her head.  A pat of encouragement on Cody's shoulder.   Away they went!

The four original parents of the two soon-to-be parents walked to our designated area to wait.

Parker was delivered in less than an hour.  But with pictures and stitching and tears and celebrating, it was almost three hours before someone reminded Cody to come let us know - All Is Well!

I shared with you in an earlier post the meaning of Parker's name but perhaps some of you missed that one.  Parker Franklin McGhee means:  "Gate Keeper of Freedom."  Powerful, right?!  A strong name was needed for the little man who will carry on the McGhee name for his ancestral American Indian Tribe.

Kristin is recovering well; trying to use wisdom and not overdo.  But she is already an amazing little mommie.  Cody has stepped into the dual roles of care-giver for his wife and dad for his son with marvelous abandon.  One of the earliest pictures was of Parker and Cody each looking intently into the eyes of the other.  (Brought tears to my eyes!)

I'll leave you with the profound words Kristin posted on her facebook page this week:
"I’ve been a Mommy to a tiny brilliant human for a grand total of 7 days and here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1. Surrounding yourself with a group of wise people who have been where you are is very important.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get advice..you may just get answers that let you know you’re not alone in your journey
3. Allowing people to help in any way they offer is a gift...don’t refuse it and letting them know your thankful goes a long way
4.Be grateful for every day even when it doesn’t go the way you want it to
5.Crying doesn’t make you weak
6. Laughing is what keeps you sane
7. Above all else talking to Jesus and giving him every insecurity and each victory is what makes life possible:)


Friday, May 4, 2018

Locked Out

We're all about babies around here these days.

Big babies.  Little babies. Babies graduating from kindergarten.  Babies due in three days.  Babies due in three months.  Caution: Do NOT drink the water around here if you don't want to experience BABIES!  :-)

Apparently, Madison Riley (who will turn three next month) has promoted herself to the big baby category.  Of course, Zach will turn three just a couple of weeks later.  But that doesn't seem to matter in her calculating, curly-blond head.

Last Sunday all the babies were playing in toddler church.  Madi climbed up onto a chair and propped her tiny red flowered shoes on the chair across from her.  She watched the other toddlers for a moment then looked up at the teacher.  With a serious face she nodded toward them and said, "You enjoying this show?!"  

Yep, that's our big baby alright.

This morning Meagan brought them by our house to pick up something.  Noah came bursting in with smiles and heart satisfying hugs.  Madi lagged a bit behind; talking all the way up the drive.  I knelt down in front of her so I was on her level and could better hear her.  "Okay, Madi.  Tell me again?" I asked.

She sighed, rolled her blue eyes, propped her hand on her minuscule hip and said, "Listen to my wuhds, Noni." 

Please bear in mind, if you burst out laughing at a moment like this it's highly offensive to toddler people.   So as the laughter swirls in my chest, I'm forced to bite my lip or cough or run for another room if I hope to keep them talking.

Baby!  Baby!

In other laughter news, I had a run-in with my patio door last Sunday morning.   It was one of those moments when you make a split-second decision to laugh or cry.  And you already know I laugh as often as possible.

Sunday mornings are pretty structured for us and we need to keep moving in order to stay on schedule.  Frank had already left before daylight.  I was almost completely ready and found myself with the luxury of an extra ten minutes.

I decided to save two dollars by eating cereal here instead of going through the drive-thru for my favorite oatmeal.  Since cool mornings won't be around much longer, I also decided to enjoy my cereal out on our screened room patio.

The birds were chirping. The sunrise was brilliant.  My heart was rejoicing in the loveliness of the day ahead.

A glance at my watch showed,"Time to get going."  So I jumped up and headed inside.

One small problem.  The door was LOCKED!

I jiggled the handle as though it would magically understand the importance of ignoring the lock and open anyway.  No Bueno!

Panic tried to rise in my heart but I thought, "Maybe I left the front door open."  Nothing to do but take off running around the house through the dewy grass.  Bare-footed, dress flowing, hair coiffed.  Praying my neighbors were still sleeping.

The front door was locked as well.

Back around the house to discover the third entry point had also been fastidiously secured and would now deny me entrance.  Phone in one hand, cereal bowl in the other I did what every wife does.....I called my personal hero.

"Frank!"  This was getting serious.  "I've locked myself out of the house!"  

Silence for a moment then I heard the familiar laughter-covering cough.  "Try the left dining room window.  It may still be unlocked."

"I'm trying,"  I said.  "But I can't get the screen off."  

It's one of those fancy screens that supposedly makes it incredibly easy to clean the windows from inside or outside.  Obviously, I haven't done either in a while because I couldn't get the screen to budge.

I put the phone on speaker and laid it on the nearest shrub.  Apparently my struggle with the screen had gotten rather intense because Frank later said he felt sure it would be snapped in two before I finished.

"Honey, are you okay?"  his voice sounded concerned.  Just then the screen gave way and I yanked it out of the window casing.

"I got it!"  I shouted with delight. Time was ticking. "I'm going in...."  

Please feel free to use your imagination at this point.  I happened to be wearing a lovely lavender frock with a full skirt and white polka dots sprinkled freely over the light weight fabric.  I had to push past the shrubbery in order to hoist one foot and leg over the window sill.

(As Madi would say, "You enjoying this show?")

I must have made a grunting sound at this point because Frank asked again, "Honey, Are you sure you're OKAY?  Be careful!"

With one leg in and one leg out; derriere in the most prominent and unattractive of positions; trying my best not to lose my balance, I managed a muffled "Yes!"

Praying deeper sleep on my neighbors, I somehow maneuvered the inside foot over farther and then fully committed to the swinging motion that would bring my other leg and foot inside.

Now in my head, this was a graceful, smooth, flowing-type movement made without hesitation.  Surely, the best Ninja move of all time.  In reality, if you had been watching from across the yard, I'm pretty sure you'd have a much different description to share!

To quote Madison Riley once more, "Listen to my words, dear friend."  If you decide to take a few minutes and treat yourself to a quiet breakfast on the patio, check the lock on your door first!  Otherwise, you may also end up with a new family story to tell.





 



Saturday, April 28, 2018

That's Right

Nine days and counting!  We're down to single digits!

Today marks nine days until we reach the due date of one Parker Franklin McGhee. The first child of our first child.  The first grandchild on Cody's side.  The seventh on our side.  A much anticipated and longed for little boy.

Every friend and relative he has yet to meet is over the moon with excitement as we watch for his soon arrival.

(Side note question:  Is it the baby's due date?  Or is it the mother's due date?  If you're a maternity care giver perhaps you can leave a comment below to help clarify.)

I spent some time with Kristin yesterday as she searched out a few last minute items.  Poor baby is so very pregnant now that we walk slowly, stand slowly, sit slowly, respond slowly...... well, you get the picture.  I say "we" because we all intuitively move at her pace in an effort to be supportive.

Thankfully, she's had none of the pregnancy difficulties so common for many.

Her biggest struggle has been with severe leg cramps.  Bananas and water have become her best friends in an effort to combat the cramps.  And Cody (the consummate pregnancy partner) has spent many middle-of-the-night-hours rubbing out those cramps.

They are the cutest couple.  He routinely calls her throughout the day, just to see how she's doing.  This pregnancy thing is new territory for Cody but he has risen to the challenge of learning and trying to understand all aspects.

They spent the whole of last Saturday in a birthing class.  His stories of what they learned, the videos they saw and how they processed it all had us roaring with laughter.

Yep, there's a reason God's best plan is for a husband and wife to bring children into the world together.  It's because we NEED one another!

In other news, I'm making serious strides toward the completion of my first book.  I've casually mentioned the idea of a book here and there over the past couple of years.  But I'm closer than ever before to it becoming reality.

I guess you could say I've been "pregnant" with this book for a long time, too.  Humans are pregnant with children for 9 months.  An elephant carries her young for almost 22 months.   I've heard stories of people carrying manuscripts close to their hearts for years before "giving birth."  I must be one of those.

Please pray with me that this will be completed soon.  I desperately want it to take the right shape.  I want this first book to have words of encouragement that will reach to many who need them.  I'm listening closely and really want to get it right.

Of course, I'm aware this isn't THE book (as a wise friend shared) it's A book.  I'm not responsible for producing the greatest book ever penned.  That job was covered quite well by the many co-authors who penned what continues to be the best seller of all time - the Bible.

No, my goal is much more modest.  I want to simply take the truth that life has worked into my heart and record it in an effective way; a way that encourages.  Then put it out there for others who will recognize themselves in the struggles and victories I describe. 

Which brings me to a great quote I heard just this morning.  The speaker was talking about our journey through life.  He talked of being right.  This was the statement that challenged my thinking, "It's not about being right.  It's about getting things right."

In other words, we too often insist that others recognize us as being right.  No matter what the topic of conversation.  No matter what the project.  No matter who we're dealing with or why - human nature in each of us longs to be affirmed as being the one who is "RIGHT!"

This speaker felt we should focus instead on getting things right.

Every married couple has times of disagreement.  When the arguing is over, what matters more? Who was right? Or who handled the disagreement in a right way?

Every building project must follow a plan.  When a hurricane comes through these parts, we want to know the builders didn't cut corners.  We want to know they built that structure the right way.

We don't care about the name of who was deemed right or wrong during project discussions. Constructing it the Right Way is what matters most.  Getting it right provides something that lasts through the storm.

I think you get the idea.

So my challenge today is this, ask yourself to honestly answer.  Which matters most to me?  Do I want to Be right?  Or do I want to Get it right?

BEING right adds value to our personal reputation.  GETTING it right adds value to other people.

Kristin and Cody are trying to get pregnancy and birthing right.  I'm trying to get publishing right.  We all hope to get relationships right.  When you turn it that way, being right takes second place.

Hmmmm.  A friend of mine often says, "Now you know that's right!"



I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Stop by the comment box with your perspective.......



















Friday, April 20, 2018

Lean on Me

I absolutely LOVE that my grandbabies are always wanting to help.  And as they develop their vocabulary skills, "I want to help you" most often comes out, "Ina Hope!"

I've written about this before but it just continues to fascinate me.  Such a perfect mistake, don't you think?  Exchanging the word help for hope.

This past Monday was family dinner night.  But because Frank and I have been hosting multiple church groups/dinners at our home recently, I put out the call for someone else to host this time.

Meagan and Nathan accepted the call.  So, I took the pork chops to their house and went on with my other responsibilities.  (Meagan does a great marinade and Nathan has become quite the GrillSmith.  Pun Totally Intended!)

When Frank and I pulled into their driveway later on Monday, we were met by two beautiful blonde haired children with huge hugs and sweet kisses.  I'd brought a couple of other things and Noah immediately offered to help us carry them inside.

Madi was right on his heels with "Ina hope too, Noni!"  (I want to help, too.)  Even if it's carrying my purse, I try to come up with something for her to help with at times like that.  Contributing builds character in children, doesn't it?

This little lady is a natural born leader.  She can also be a little bossy sometimes, especially with her cousin, Zach.  Her offers to help him are usually more of a statement than a request.  "No No, Zachie Pookie. I hope you!"  

Zach is only three weeks younger than Madi.  But she gave him a pet name as soon as she could talk.  It seems every southern mother gives her children pet names.  And Madi's little nickname, "Zachie Pookie" stuck.

Zachariah usually has one of two responses when Madison offers to hope him.  He walks away; which is NOT pleasing to the one so generously offering to help. Or he looks around briefly then gives in to exactly what Madison has directed.

I've even witnessed a couple of shoulder shugs and deep sighs of resignation.  Those two are more like twins than cousins.  And they are hysterical to watch!

This morning as Frank and I sat having coffee on the back porch, my heart got a little overwhelmed.

Our routine is to start each day with some quiet time.  Then, we try to run through our day's schedules so we each have a general idea of where the other will be.  That five minute exercise (so helpful most days) put my stomach in a knot this morning.  A few tears even breeched the dam.

Tears are rare for me, especially that early in the day.  So it caught Frank off guard.  He pulled me close, gave my hand a kiss and said, "Let's pray."

Best Help/Hope Ever!

After we prayed, he asked what he could do to help with my to do list.  He listened patiently and asked questions to clarify.  We developed a better game plan.  We worked to redirect my view. 

His offer to help began to renew my hope that all we Must do today, Can be done.

I wish I could tell you a beautiful scripture immediately came to my mind.  But today, it was the chorus of a song from my teen years instead:

"Lean on me!  When you're not strong and I'll be your friend.  I'll help you carry on. For it won't be long 'til I'm gonna need, somebody to lean on."

I laid my weary head over on the broad shoulder of my husband and whispered my gratitude.

We can't be the strong one every day, friends.  We must all take turns offering help; which then brings hope.

Who knew Madison Riley was such a SAGE at only three years of age?!





Followers