Friday, May 20, 2016


This will be a super short post for me.  Mostly because I only have fifteen minutes to get it written, proofed and on line.  Some days have an agenda of their own that totally supersedes the agenda you had prepared.  Such is life for us all!

But I remembered a wonderful story that will both encourage and challenge you.

Last week, Abby and I went to lunch all by ourselves.  (It was to make up for taking Spencer on his field trip to the aquarium earlier this month.  Fairness matters greatly to three year old siblings.  Let's face it, fairness matters greatly to children whatever their age!)

She chose to eat at Chick fil a, of course.  It's their "fah-vo-wot" place to eat.  We sat together on the same side of a booth so we would be looking at the same things and I could more easily help her.

We chatted just loudly enough that the grandmothers at the next table could enjoy Abby, too.  She has a thought to share on just about every topic.   And since she had Noni's undivided attention, Abby talked!  And talked!  And talked!  And Noni LOVED it!

She played briefly on the indoor playground.  Then she wanted us to sit for a while on the bench and just watch the other children.  So we sat.

Ice cream seemed like a good idea, so we headed over to Dairy Queen where she chose a cone of her "fah-vo-wot" chocolate chip! 

While we were waiting to get our cones, Abby noticed a little boy sitting at a booth with his dad.  He looked to be about Abby's age.  I thought it a bit odd that his dad was feeding the little boy.  But our girls have torn food for their babies to handle on their own from about 12 months of age.  That's my frame of reference.  Abby and I just smiled at each other.

There was a bench outside the doors of Dairy Queen and she wanted to sit there awhile too.  So we sat.

As we sat on the bench, Abby's adorable little feet were swinging and she chatted easily.  First about the antique "cahr pahrked ovah thehre."  Then about the "birhds" in the "gwass."  We exchanged licks of our cones with one another.  Deciding we liked our own best.

After a quiet moment, she glanced back in at the little boy and his dad.  I followed her gaze and we watched the dad who was still feeding the boy.  We turned to face the parking lot once again.

"He's tweating him like a baby!"  she announced.

"And he isn't a baby at all, is he?"  my comment just confirmed her observation.  That's when the wisdom poured out.....

Abby took another lick of her mint chocolate chip and stated, "He's choosing to be!"

I nearly gasped aloud.  "Are you three or thirty-three?"  was the thought in my head.

"You're right, sweetheart.  Some people choose to act like babies even when they aren't.  You're a smart little girl to know that."

She looked up at me, flashed her signature grin, and went on enjoying her ice cream. 

Noni, however, had been handed something that I'll be chewing on for a long time.  Scripture says, "...out of the mouths of babes..."  A powerful truth had just come out of the mouth of that baby girl.

I hope you'll take the challenge of Abby's spontaneous sermon point and ponder it too.

Choose well - others are watching!

Monday, May 16, 2016

New Adventures

Today I'll do something I've never done before.

I heard of students doing this while I attended college in central FL.  I always thought it sounded like a fun idea but there never seemed to be time for such an adventure.

To what am I referring?

Before this day ends, I will have been on both coasts of the state of Florida.

This morning I will drive with my dear friend Lalitha to Tampa.  And although I may not even see the Gulf of Mexico, I'll be able to smell the salty air.  Then this afternoon, Frank and I leave for our state conference being held at a church in Ormond Beach, located on the Atlantic Ocean.

My day of driving won't exactly be like the students used to plan.  They would get up before dawn and drive to Tampa to watch the sunrise.  Then they would hop in the car, drive the two and a half hours to Daytona to watch the sunset.  When you're young and need a break from the crazy schedule of college, that's a great get-away.

My dual-coastal adventure is not for the purpose of a get-away.  My friend and I are headed to the state department building in the heart of downtown Tampa.  There, she will be sworn in as a citizen of the United States!  This has been a long journey for Lalitha; I'm so honored to share the moment with her!

She grew up in Sri Lanka and has the beautiful features and accent to prove it.  We met ten years ago when her family moved to Winter Haven and began attending our church.  We've watched her little girl grow into a lovely young lady.  Lalitha and I have prayed together over many issues. 

Four years ago, I drove with her to Orlando to begin the official process of becoming a citizen.  She has worked hard and jumped through many hoops to attain this.  So today is a BIG DEAL! To say we're proud of her is an understatement.  Let the celebrating begin......

As soon as we return, I'll hop back into the car with Frank and we'll drive to our conference - on the east coast.  He and I had a quiet moment before the sun peaked over the horizon.  We were talking about our day and I mentioned my dual coast adventure to him.  "At some point before the conference is over," I whispered "I'd really love to at least see the Atlantic."

He gave me a hug and promised we would.  It's not exactly a bucket list desire but maybe another time we'll go for the sunrise/sunset portion of the trip.  Today I'll be content with celebrating the accomplishment of my dear friend; her moment in the sun.

And I'll simply mark it as, "New Adventure - One Day/Two Coasts" in my calendar.

What's something new you've done lately?   I'd love to hear about it.

Let me leave you with a scripture that seems to go with the theme of the post.  We've been rehearsing this one a lot lately, "His mercies are new every morning..."  What a joyous thought - Blessings!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Do It - Today!

So this is what happens when a writer is rebuked for not writing!

And it was another writer shouting to me from his desk tucked away in Egypt during the late 1800's who got my attention.  "Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well.  Take the initiative - stop hesitating - take the first step." Oswald Chambers

Who couldn't get moving after being called out in such a blatant way?  I laced up my tennis shoes for a quick walk as soon as the sun topped the horizon.  I made sure my bed was made and all clothes were on their appropriate hangars.

Finally, here I am at the first open moment writing a long overdue post.

Since last writing, we've traversed a lot of fast running waters: 
  • Cody and Kristin purchased and moved into their first little home.  
  • Madison (Meagan and Nathan's baby) spent four days in the hospital with a form of childhood pneumonia.  
  • I cooked for and hosted two lovely groups in our home.  
  • Frank and I made a quick trip to NC for the beautiful wedding of a niece. 
  • I continued to meet reps and research publishing opportunities. 
  • I've written sermons and preached three times.  
  • Made it through a bad case of hives and a stomach bug.  
  • Cheered with John and Joy who catered for almost 1000 people in a matter of three weeks. 
  • And topped off all that with our first church camp out!  (Yes, Doubters.  I slept in a tent.  But we did splurge by buying a great air mattress.) 
One of my more joyful experiences was the day I filled in for Joy by taking Spencer on his first field trip to the aquarium in Tampa.   Two teachers; lots of parents; siblings and a couple dozen K-5 students.  But for the most part, it was just Spencer and Noni strolling along; enjoying the fabulous sights and sounds of underwater life in FL.

I found out that there would be a penguin show about forty minutes after we were scheduled to leave.  Spencer has loved penguins since holding a stuffed one when he was about eighteen months old.  Well, what good is driving your own car to a field trip experience if not for ditching the schedule and waiting to see the penguins, right?! So wait we did.

It meant we were both extra tired by the time we headed back to my car.  We walked slowly, quietly hand in hand.
Spencer: "Noni, my feet hurt."
Noni:  "I know, Buddy.  Mine are tired too."
Spencer: "You shouldn't walk this far until your feet are bigger!"

Yes, that's going in my quote book.  I didn't write it that day and I should have.

But after the wake up call from Rev. Chambers this morning, I've determined not to let tired feet keep me from making the steps I need to make!  Doing the things I need to do.  Making the calls.  Sending the emails.  Writing the post.  Completing the chapter.

Action is important and there's no better time than the present!

Maybe this post will be an encouraging call for you, as well.  "Take the initiative....make a beginning.....instruct yourself in the way you must go." --Chambers  I feel pretty sure that others will benefit from our decisions to Do It - Today!