Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Then and now...

I googled my childhood home yesterday, the one we moved to when I was 4 years old, the one my parents paid less than $12,000 for.

It last sold for just under ONE MILLION dollars.

My first thoughts were of my mother, as I looked at the realtors pictures of what the inside looks like now, and saw a huge granite and stainless steel gourmet kitchen. I thought of her and wondered what she would say if she could see it today. It made me sad in a way, sad that she didn't have the latest in high tech beauty all around her, she sure deserved it. 

Right on the heels of those thoughts were... so what? 

My mother was as happy as a lark in that kitchen. She cooked and baked for her family and so many others, and there was real joy in that room. There was lots of laughing, singing, some squabbling among the kids, and always delicious scents and the promise of good food coming. It was a room filled with love. I only hope that the ones who live there now are as happy.

All 5 of us shared one small bathroom. The bathrooms they have created look like spas. We had a huge backyard. There are now french doors leading to multiple decks with hot tub and all the landscaping surrounding it. It's a showplace!

My dad and brother took such good care of our backyard. We had flowers everywhere, and blooming fruit trees year around. We buried at least 2 guinea pigs named Squeaky 1 and Squeaky 2 in that yard. We hid the soft red 'spanking stick' from my dad, back there by the squeakey's.  He found it and dug it right back up!

I'm left with all the memories we made in that home, and a few walls that I still recognize. But oh my goodness... that small home has filled my heart for all of these years since. 

270 South Parkwood may be a California dream bungalow, but never did it shine better than when OUR family lived there.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Drinking fountains and sharing faith...

Listening to Greg Laurie in the car as I was running errands this week, I had to laugh at his description of how, during his high school years, as a brand new christian, he wanted to tell everyone in any way he could, about Jesus, and how his life was changed.

He stood by the drinking fountain in his high school and every time a kid came by and took a drink, Greg said... "If you drink that water, you will thirst again"...

He said each kid looked at him like he was crazy, and quickly went on their way.

Greg said... "It worked for Jesus, but it didn't work for me."

He began to learn about the Holy Spirit preparing each heart to hear about Jesus, and he began to pray, and approach things in a new way, as he moved forward.

I remember as a kid thinking I HAVE to share about Jesus and get people saved... one day in grade school, I was in the restroom and "Joyce" was also there. I thought... I will tell her and make sure she 'gets it'. After much coaxing from me, she prayed, but I don't know to this day if she 'got it', or was just anxious to get out of there and away from me!

I've also done the opposite, said nothing when I should have spoken in a situation. Of the 2, that extreme makes me feel the worst.

No wonder Jesus instructed us to seek Him first, to ask Him for openings and guidance and the right words for each situation. 

We will never be wise enough to know a persons heart. 

But Jesus does. 

When I think about how fast this life is going by, and that unless someone knows Jesus personally, they are lost... it makes me bolder to share the good news. I am not a drinking fountain stalker, but I do want to be ready for each situation that God places me in, and my desire to share the hope that the world is seeking is much more on the front burner of my heart than ever before.

We don't need the world, but the world needs what we have.

Even as I write this, I am thinking... wouldn't it be wonderful to see Joyce in heaven one day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This was a big one!...

Sunday was Mother's Day. Our plan was to go to East Texas, have lunch and spend the afternoon with our son Tommy and his family. The day began with storms, more were expected, so we decided to stay home.

Sunday night, with less than  a one minute warning, a level 3 tornado hit the small town of Van, Texas. It struck down BEHIND the area of the new building our son had recently built and occupied for their business, about a half block from them. It went on to destroy about one third of that small town. You have probably seen the footage on the news. One of their employees lost his home.

The first time I was in Van was when Tommy and Dedra were married in the beautiful Baptist church where right now they are helping to care for the people of Van who lost their homes. 

Tommy and Dedra live in Lindale, east of Van about 15 minutes. They are fine, all of Dedra's family is fine, many of them live in Van, and we are so thankful. 

It is such a vivid reminder of how quickly life can change, as it has for those who lost lives, homes, and all that they owned.

There are already many heart warming stories being told of the way people have gathered to pitch in and help this community. The schools have been seriously damaged, and not one person living in Van is not connected to someone who has been touched by this storm. They told us on the news last night not to bring any more supplies right now, they have been flooding into Van from everywhere.

We will continue to pray for all who have been touched by this, both in Van and all around our country. I will also continue to thank God that he heard our prayers and Tommy's business was spared.