Tag Archives: love

The Creek

Many would look down their noses at the place where I grew up.  It was then and is today affectionately known as “The Creek.”  If you are from there or ever stayed there then you will know it even though I won’t name the town or even the state.

The Creek is a neighborhood of struggling working class folks.  The houses aren’t large or fancy and most are simple frame homes.  Some are filled to the brim with growing children where both parents have to work to  make ends meet.  Most of the yards have huge old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and in the back or on the side will be a place designated for a vegetable garden which usually has something growing in it year round. There are clothes lines strung across the back yard where the women hang the laundry out to dry.  It is a beautiful sight to see the large, usually white, sheets flapping in a summer breeze.  Now you can buy and add to your wash all the fancy fabric softeners you want but you will never have the fresh clean scent you get from clothes hanging on a line and drying in the fresh air and sunshine.  As a child you learn early that unless you want your fanny tanned you better stay clear of the clothes hanging on the line.  If Momma finds tiny prints from your dirty little hands you will regret the day.

As I said all the neighbors who are physically able usually have a garden growing year round.  The Creek people share what they grow; some might have collards, others peas, others beans and almost all have a tomato plant or two.  They plant Marigolds in with the vegetables because it keeps the insects away without chemicals.  The folks on the Creek were organic before anyone knew what organic meant.  Now when they go to share they will say “C’mon on over and get you a mess of collards (or what have you.)”  It is never “some” or “enough for a meal.”  If you are truly from the south you know it always has been and always will be “a mess.”  And the evening meal isn’t dinner it is supper and what most call lunch in the south we call dinner.

Neighbors watch out for neighbors and all keep their eyes on the kids.  If a mom knows that both parents are at work at a meal time she will have her kids run over and tell their kids to “C’mon and eat.”   On the other hand if any kid needs his fanny popped for getting into something he shouldn’t any neighbor that sees him will happily oblige.  And the worse part, they will tell your parents so you get it again when you get home.  We played baseball in the street, which was red clay, and a passing car slowed as the game stopped and resumed once the dust had settled.  In the early evening we gathered under the street light and played hide-and-seek while our parents sat on the front porches and visited with each other.  The older children usually helped the younger children find a good hiding spot and all looked out for each other.  We were more like family than neighbors.

There will be more Creek stories in the future.  It was a poor neighborhood but a wonderful place to raise children.  We were taught to love God and thank Him for all our blessings.  Parents might be busy making a living but they took time to listen to their kids and visit for a few minutes with their neighbors.  Today people live beside each other for years and don’t even know who lives next door.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of my memories.  As I’ve told you before some are good and some are bad but the good out weighs the bad. God Bless.

The Man My Daddy Was

  

     By now we all know, if we didn’t before, that Sunday is Father’s Day.  I asked myself if I should jump on the wagon with everyone else and write something with that in mind.  The television is blasting about how great dads are and how we should be grateful to and for our dads.  And I know there are those that wish the day would just come and get it over.  Some never knew their fathers and some would have been better off if they never knew theirs.  Then there are those like me.

     I lost my Daddy when I was in my teens.  My Mom completely forgot what day it was and he was buried on my fourteenth birthday.  Happy birthday to me, right?  It didn’t matter because I was certainly in no mood to celebrate.  After that every year as I got older the day brought sad memories instead of time for a celebration.  Until I got old enough to realize it was a time to celebrate; not because Daddy died but because it was his graduation day so to speak.  He is in Heaven and no longer has to face the trials and hard work of this old world.

     He worked two jobs to make sure his family did not do without anything we needed right up to the day he died.  Both jobs were at a sawmills, he did what they regularly do at a mill from twelve-thirty to five and four or five nights a week  and/or weekends he was a night watchman (now they would have called it security) at another sawmill.  When I smell the clean, sweet scent of fresh-cut lumber I think of my Daddy.  That and Old Spice Cologne are the scents I relate to Daddy.  

     Sometimes when he worked weekends I would ride my bike out to the mill and stay with him.  It was a huge place and I tagged along beside him as he made the rounds making sure everything was secure. If it was in the winter he would build a fire in an old rusty drum and cook coffee in an old coffee can and heat soup for us on top.  As we drink and ate he told me stories about his youth.  I could not picture him being young because he was fifty-five when I was born.  When it wasn’t cold he would break out bologna, mayo and bread from the large cooler he carried.  We made our sandwiches on top of the cooler then sat on the huge logs and ate as he talked.  He gave me advice on how to live a good life.  One thing I remember was: ‘Whether a job is big or small do it right or not at all.’   That was his philosophy and how he lived his life and I try to make it mine.

       I’m well aware there are dads out there who could never measure up to the man my Daddy was.  Oh yes, some of them have more money because it’s a fact we were not rolling in the dough.  They buy their kids all kinds of expensive gifts and send them to the best private schools.  However, they are so busy chasing the almighty dollar that they never stop and sit on a log, eat a bologna sandwich and talk to their kids.  There are others who are such monsters they have no right to be called ‘Daddy’.  And there are those who are simply sperm donors.  When I look at them all I know God truly blessed me with a wonderful Daddy and I would not trade the time I spent with him for all the gold in China. 

     So if you have a good daddy go visit him, maybe make a sandwich and sit on the equivalent of a log and listen to what he has to say.  Remember God didn’t promise us tomorrow. Until next time God bless.

My Thoughts

    

My blog isn’t meant to be a devotional or even a Bible lesson.  No, it is my thoughts on whatever I’m thinking about.  I will share memories from my life and let me tell you it flat was not always and still is not peaches and cream.  I have had plenty of struggles but no matter what was going on either good or bad I knew and know that God is with me.  He takes care of me, even protects me from myself at times. 

     God is not just interested in us when we are in church or studying His Word.  He is interested in our life minute by minute.  He’s always there and He always cares.  We all need His protection whether we admit it or not.  I fully believe Romans 8:28.  I know for a fact he is always working in my life.

     Take last Saturday for example.

     I had been shopping.  Now when I go out and come back home I usually enter the house by the front door and put my things away before I do anything else.  Well Saturday for some reason, (I know it was the Holy Spirit directing me) I went around the back to my husband’s shop.  I asked if he would like a salad since it was almost lunch time.  He said sure and I came in the house to make our meal.

     He followed me inside but went on through the house.  Why doesn’t matter.  He found a three or four-foot Cottonmouth Moccasin sunning itself on our front porch!  Now if you like snakes I’m sorry but I don’t.  The only good snake to me is a dead snake.  Yes, he killed it.

     If I had done what I usually do and gone in the front I very well might have stepped on the thing.  They say I’m in Gwyn-land most of the time and run on automatic pilot.  So I very well might not have seen the Cottonmouth until it was too late.

     My point is that God was protecting me!  The Holy Spirit, Who is out Guide and Teacher (John 14:26, John 16:13) had me go out of the usual.  No, I did not hearing a booming voice that told me to go to the shop first.  But His Spirit spoke to my Spirit and directed.  If you don’t believe this way it’s fine with me.  But why don’t you start paying attention to things like this and see how you feel then.  Maybe you take a different way to work and don’t know why, then you hear there was a bad accident the way you usually go.  Things that you are calling coincident may very well be the Holy Spirit guiding you if you only recognize it.  I know He guides me and He helps me learn God’s Word.

     Thanks for stopping by and until next time stay safe and do something nice for someone even if you don’t like them; especially if you don’t like them.  God bless.

 

 

A Mother’s Love

   

They walk out of the free clinic hand in one.  One glance at his face tells her that he is just as afraid as she is.   Neither of them say a word.  They simply hold hands and walk a half block then plop down on the bench to wait for the city bus.

     They had just heard the news that should make them happy but instead they are scared out of their minds.  She wants to blame him.  He said this could not happen that he knew what to do; he would be careful.  But it had happened and she had known for almost three months but would not admit it even to herself.  Sometimes she hoped that something else was wrong; maybe she had cancer.  Then she would scold herself for such an idea.  She had refused to say the words. 

     But the doctor had said them. “Congratulations you’re going to be a mother.”

     How could that be?  She had just turned fifteen four months ago and she had so many dreams; so many things she wanted to accomplish.  She wanted to go to college and get out of the desolate community where she had been all her life.

     He turned to her and said the unspeakable word that she has let run across her own mind more times than she cares to admit.  “Abortion, that’s the answer.  That’s what we’ll do.  I’ll use some of the money I’ve saved for college and…”

     She shakes her head vigorously and her hand covers her belly in an automatic protective motion.  She already has a mother’s instinct.  “Never,” she says surprised that her voice comes out in a harsh whisper when her mind is screaming.  “That’s murder; a sin!  Sin’s what got us in this mess to begin with.”

     He starts to deny it but she holds up her hand and stops his flow of words.  “Yes it is.  We both knew it was a sin to have sex outside of marriage.  The pastor said so and you were sitting right there beside me and heard him the same as I did.”

     He is silent again and keeps glancing down the road; hoping the bus will hurry and come.  He wants to get as far away from that clinic as he can.  But he can’t escape the doctor’s words that keep screaming in his head.

     She sees the big blue and gray bus two blocks away when he finally takes her other hand and turns her so they are face to face.  “Okay… okay we’ll get married.”

     That’s what she wanted to hear.  That’s what she has hoped for weeks he would say.  But when she looked in his eyes she doesn’t see the undying love forever he had promised.  Instead she sees fear and doubt and underneath it all a shadow of dread and disappointment.

     He sees his dreams of college and a better life fly away.  He’s worked hard all through high school to keep his grades up hoping to qualify for an academic scholarship.  Just in case he did not get one he has worked every vacation, weekend and holiday and saved every penny.  Now when he is only a few months from graduation his dream is being jerked away.

     She can’t do it!  She can’t destroy him.

     “No.”  She shakes her head just as the bus squeals to a stop and the door glides open.  “I don’t want to marry you. Stay here I don’t want you with me.”  She drops his hand and stands up.  She walks to the bus then says over her shoulder as she climbs the steps.  “I don’t love you.  I never did.”  She hates the pain that flashes across his face.  More lies she thinks as she hands the driver her school identification which allows her to ride the bus for free.  Tears stream unchecked down her cheeks as she stumbles down the aisle and finds a seat.

     The driver cusses under his breath.  He’s had this same route for over fifteen years and has picked up way too many young girls from this stop who have the same look on their face as his new passenger.

     That night over spaghetti with watered down sauce with no meat she starts to cry.  Her mother gave birth to her when she was only sixteen.  She has worked two jobs as a maid for as long as the girl can remember but there is still never enough money for the bills and necessities.  Is this all she has to offer her baby?  A life time of need, uncertainty and doing without.

     Then she remembers the brochures the doctor had given her.  She had crammed them in her battered purse without even a glance.  Now she leaves the table and goes to the bedroom she shares with her mother.  They have always had a one bedroom apartment.  She retrieves the papers and sat on the bed as she reads them.  The first two talk about abortion so she tosses them in the trash as though they are too hot to touch.  The other one is about adoption.  She reads it twice.  Then falls to her knees and prays, crying out to God to show her if adoption is the answer.  Should she?  Could she give her baby to strangers?

     When she told her mother what was going on they cried together.  Then they agreed adoption was the best thing to do.  Rich couples who had everything this world had to offer except being able to conceive a child were willing to pay all her bills if she gave her baby to them.

     She was sure she had found the solution when she, her mother and the boy met the prospective parents.  They seemed like very nice people and assured her they would give the baby their very best.

     And then the baby started to move.  

     Her love grew as the tiny body formed and grew just below her heart.  She knew she had to give it away but she wished the day would never come.

     No matter how hard she wished her water broke and labor pains ripped her apart.  As agreed the adoptive parents were in the delivery room.  They tried to hide it but she saw the joy on their faces when the doctor held up her tiny son and his healthy cries ricocheted around the room.   When the nurse placed him in her arms her heart was filled with so much love and joy mixed with grief she felt it would burst.  For a minute she could not breathe.

     The adoptive parents vowed their love for him but how could they possibly love him as much as she did?  They had not held him all these months sleeping against their heart or felt him kick so hard she was certain he had caused her internal injuries.

     The attorneys said she had forty-eight hours in which she could change her mind.  She knew she wouldn’t; knew she couldn’t.  She loved him too much to condemn him to a life of poverty.  She would use the time to tell him how much she loved him.  She held him all night pouring out her heart to him even though she knew he would not understand and would never remember.  But she hoped that somewhere deep inside he would somehow know she cared. She counted his perfect pink toes and kissed each tiny finger.  Taking deep breaths she sucked in his smell so she would never forget.  The fuzz that covered his head tickled her cheek as she snuggled with him.

     The hour came way too soon.  She was allowed to dress him in the soft one-piece pajamas covered with pale yellow ducklings.  Her fingers trembled as she pulled up the zipper.  She kept glancing at the papers their lawyer had placed on the stand beside her bed.  The attorney the couple had hired for her had read them and assured her all was in order.  She wrapped her son in the soft, expensive blanket they had brought then turned and placed him in the waiting mother’s arms.  Quickly she picked up the pen and with a shaking hand signed her name.

     They walked hurriedly to the door and disappeared down the hall.  She stuffed the corner of the pillow in her mouth to stifle the scream that tore at her heart and soul.  She had just shown the most unselfish love she could ever show her son.

Walk by Faith

     My grandson, John Henry, is two years old and I absolutely love every second I get to be with him.  Right now he is at the age where his little mind is like a sponge soaking up everything he sees and hears.  The other day we were playing in the back yard when he spied a lizard.  He was like, “Wow! Ninny.”  He had to squat and watch it.  No, he didn’t want to touch because he informed me it was “Dirty.”  However, he would not leave the spot as long as the lizard stood frozen in fright.  I shuffled my foot in its direction and it ran.  Well wouldn’t you know it only went a couple of feet and stopped close to another lizard.  John Henry’s eyes went wide and he gasped in an unbelievable excited voice, “Two!”

     When we go for a walk it takes almost an hour to go around the block because he has to stop and look at every rock, bush or bug and of course smell every flower.  He is fascinated with the outside air conditioner unit.  He calls it “dictioner” and we have to stop and look at every one we pass.  I’m amazed at his fascination because this baby doesn’t like noise and never has.  Usually if he hears a leave blower, lawn mower or anything noisy he runs to me.  I take him in my arms and assure him everything is all right and he is safe because I have him.  He relaxes because he trusts me completely.  Our love for each other is unconditional.

     That’s the love God has for us; unconditional.  He wants us to trust Him the way little John Henry trusts me.  When we have a problem and run to Him He takes us in His arms and says “It’s all right I’m here.”  Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:3   “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  We must have the faith of a child when we go to our Heavenly Father.  Faith that says not only that “He can and will” answer our prayers but that “He has!”  As soon as we ask we can rest assured He has answered.

     John Henry doesn’t question if he will have food to eat, clothes to wear or a clean safe place to sleep.  He trusts us to supply these things for him.  God wants us to have the same faith that He will supply all our needs.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:31-32 ‘So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.’  God knows what we need and supplies it even before we know we have a need.  We are to have faith as a child.

     When you have this kind of faith in our Heavenly Father you are filled with a joy this world can not understand.  So take a walk with God as John Henry walks with me.  Hold God’s hand and let Him guide you and show you the wonderful things He wants to share with you.  Trust Him to supply all that you need.  Listen to Him talk.  In short, enjoy an intimate fellowship with God.  I’m telling you it can’t be beat; absolutely nothing on earth can compare with it.

     Thanks for stopping by, until next time stay safe and may God bless you.

Who Can Separate Us

   We hear so many stories today of divorce and families being separated for one reason or an other.  There is one relationship that we never have to worry about anything separating us from:  our relationship with God.

     As I have stated before I base this blog on my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and my devotional from Dr. Charles Stanley.  I most definitely want to give credit where credit is due. The main credit for our existence should be given to God our Father.  As Dr. Stanley teaches:  the lord designed us for a close intimate relationship with Him.  God loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross as a substitute for us.  When Jesus hung on that old cross all sins past, present and future were imputed to Him.  He did this in obedience to God the Father and because of His love for us.  God even sends us a Guide and Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to teach us His ways and to intercede for us when we pray and just don’t know how to pray or what to pray for. 

     When we trust in Jesus God adopts us as His very own children, we are part of the family of God!  Now think about it.  Think about your love for your children and family.  When they are in need is there anything you would not do for them?  If they are hungry, need clothes or are sick wouldn’t you go to any measure to take care of their needs?  Then why do you think God would do any less for us?  He loves us far more than we are capable of loving anyone or anything: yet we doubt Him.  When we have a problem we fret and worry instead of calling “Father!”  He is here with us and He loves us yet we don’t believe.  God wants us to turn to Him.  He wants to supply everything we need no matter how large or how small.  I’ll be honest with you, He has even helped me find a parking place.  And He helps me merge into the flow of traffic when I am driving on a busy highway.  If I misplace or lose something I ask and He leads me to it.  What He does for me He will do for you.  Try it, trust Him.  The Bible is full of His love for us.  And once we have faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ no force can pluck us from His hand.  Which mean absolutely nothing can separate us from God’s love.  All He asks is that we trust Him.

Thanks for stopping by, please come back soon.  God bless.

What is Your House of Faith Built On

     When we hear that a storm is coming we rush to our homes to find safety.  We have made sure that it was built on a solid foundation.  But what do we do when the storms of life come our way; where do we run?  Is your house of faith built on a strong foundation?  Will it stand strong no matter what winds of trouble Satan may hurl your way?

     Our house of faith should be built on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  “How do I do that?” You might ask.  We build our foundation of trust by getting in the Bible on a daily basis;  not just reading it but actually studying it.  Before we start our study we should confess our sins to God and our Father will forgive the sins we confess and cleanse us of the sins we are unaware we committed.  1 John 1:9  Then we ask God to speak to our hearts and show us what we need to learn from the day’s scripture.  Of course we should also be in a church under a pastor/teacher’s teachings.  And we spend time with God in prayer talking to Him.  You can’t know someone you don’t spend time with and you can’t trust someone you don’t know.  That’s how we build our house of peace and faith.  He tells us in Psalm 55:22 to cast all our cares upon Him and He will give us rest.  He will actually carry the burden for you.  But you need to build that house of trust brick by brick of learning and claiming God’s principles.  We test God’s Word to see if it is true.  He doesn’t mind, in fact He tells us to in Malachi 3:8-10.  I can tell you this, the more you test the more you will see that God does not lie.  He has always kept His promises and He always will.  There is absolutely nothing too strong and big for God to handle.  We are His children and He wants His children to trust Him and rely on Him.  Just as we want to spend time with our kids God desires to spend time with us.  So I urge you to take a little time every day and set it aside for you and God; use that time to talk to Him and get to know Him.  I can tell you the more you know Him  the more you will want to know Him.  God is good all the time.

God bless you and thanks for stopping by.

Live Like You’re Dying

      Our pastor taught today from Philippians 1:21, about living like you are dying.  It really was food for thought.  What would you do if you knew this was your last day?  Would you treat your family the same way you usually do or would you be especially nice to them?  Would you wear the outfit you have saved for a special occasion; and maybe use the good China and silver?  How about calling an old friend that you have not seen in years and have good intentions of getting in touch with but somehow never do?  Maybe you would relax and take a ride in the country or play a game with your children.  There are so many things that I believe we would do differently if we knew today was our last day.

     It’s not that we don’t love our family or that we don’t think of old acquaintances.  No, we do but we assume that we have plenty of time and can do it later.  We tell ourselves, once I have the house or the car paid off or enough money in the bank I’ll do so and so.  You promise your children that you will play with them later.  And you meant to call your parents but so many things got in the way and before you knew it the day was gone and still you didn’t call.  While you were working you remembered the happy times you spent with your siblings but you decided to wait until later to pick up the phone and let them know you are thinking about them. 

     We make so many excuses but one day there will be no time left for excuses.  We will wake up and realize our kids are grown or our parents died sooner than we expected.  We should live every day as though it was our last; tell people you love them, hug your children, talk to your parents and siblings.  Go on, take that outfit out of the closet and get all dressed up.  Take that long walk with your spouse; stop and enjoy the pretty flowers or the blue sky.  Remember God never promised us tomorrow and today just might be your last chance to do all the things you meant to do.  And above all remember to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Who died on the cross so if today is your last day on earth you still have a chance to be reunited in heaven.

Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate you reading my blog.

Life is Like An Onion

     I talked to my sister today and we were reminiscing about our childhood and our siblings.  The other eight brothers and sisters have all gone home to be with the Lord.  We were blessed to have had them touch our lives in so many positive ways. 

     Our parents weren’t rich but we weren’t poor either.  Daddy had a small 193 acre farm in Georgia.  Everybody had chores to do but we all worked together so life was not bad.  Momma and Daddy always told us we could be anything we wanted to be; that all we had to do was set our heart on it and work real hard.  They never laughed or said it was foolish when I told them my dream of being an author.  During the summer, when the days were long and the work was hard, in the evenings we would all sit out on our wide front porch.  It ran all the way across the front of the house and was pretty full with several rocking chairs.  The kids who were not lucky enough to get a chair sprawled on the steps while others sat with their feet dangling over the edge of the porch.  I was the youngest of the ten so most nights I snuggled in Daddy’s lap and he rocked me.  We all usually had a cold glass of ice tea and Momma kept a pitcher full beside her on a small table; ready to refill any empty glass.  Most of the boys played guitars and my Momma played a banjo.   The family sang together as we relaxed.  The mosquitoes buzzed around our heads as the sun sank lower in the sky and the stars came out.  Often some of the neighbors would drift up the red clay lane that led to our house from the main road and join in the singing.  Momma had taught my other siblings (I never could carry a tune even in a bucket) to harmonize and they sang in church most Sundays.  The weather was hot and the humidity hung heavy in the air.  Hot weather bugs and crickets hid in the dark and added their music to the melodies.  Some nights a soft breeze blew the pretty music down the road and through the hollow.  Every night I vowed to stay wake and go to bed when the others did but I usually drifted off to sleep and woke the next morning snuggled against my sister with the music still echoing in my head.

     Like an onion as we grew we developed layer by layer to become the people we are today.  We learned so many lessons on that front porch but I believe the most important was how to love and to be loved.  Now even though Momma and Daddy and all the other siblings are with the Lord (I like to think they’re singing in Heaven) my sister and I have all those wonderful memories.   If you could peel us back layer by layer like an onion you would see our Momma and Daddy’s teaching and love on each layer.

Thanks for listening to my memories.  Please stop back by real soon.  Tell someone you care about that you love them before it is too late.  I have no regrets where my family is concerned because we all shared a wonderful love and knew it.