Archive for June, 2006

Miracles Happen all the Time

Miracles happen all the time, but we only recognize the big ones. The little ones we usually dismiss as coincidences.

During WWII, in a little Wisconsin town a two boys contracted to dig a ditch for a new water main.

It was a hot day, and they had been digging all morning lengthening six foot deep ditch, when the local druggist walk over and peered into the trench.

“You boys have been working pretty hard,” he told them, “why don’t you take a little break and I will treat you each to a milk shake.”

He did not have to ask twice, two sweaty tired boys scrambled out and followed the druggist across the street to the soda fountain and the promised milk shakes.

They had just crossed the threshold of the drugstore when there was a loud “WHUMP!” that shook the ground. Stunned the three of them looked back at the to see that the ditch had collapsed.

If the druggist had not heeded his instincts and invited them to take a break, the two boys would have been be buried in a grave they had dug themselves.

I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for protecting the boys from peril that day and to the druggist for not hesitating in following the promptings he was given.

You see, one of those boys would become my father, and had things gone differently, the world would be short by at least the 16 souls that are descended from him.

Happy Fathers Day Dad and thank you for being you.

Cars at the Drive-in

I have a lot of memories tied up in old drive-in movie theaters. There once were 5 or 6 of them located here in town or a short drive away. Loml and I had our first date at a drive-in. The first time I saw the northen lights they were framing the screen, like a set of stage curtains. One drive-in was near the local fair grounds, where on Friday nights they held stock car races. The movie was interrupted periodically by the roaring of race cars as they rounded the turn at the east end of the track.

…and then over night, they were all gone. No drive-ins anywhere. Wiped out by strip malls, parking lots, and other things were deemed to be of more value, by whoever it is that decides these things.

…gone but one. One drive-in, so lowly, so remote, that it escaped the notice of those who wanted to destroy all evidence of our once unsophisticated entertainment history. Forgotten it sat just off the interstate, surrounded by fields of corn and beans, and continued to show moves, on hot summer nights, fireflies blinking in the night sky and an occasional passing truck sounding the air horn, in salute.

We watched the new Disney movie “Cars” there last night and I was struck with the idea that I was watching the this movie in the best possible place. It was made to be shown in a drive-in, and in this drive-in, with the interstate traffic passing behind the screen, the atmosphere was perfect.

The right film, in the right place, at the right time.

Thoughts on a Sunday

We took Sissy to camp yesterday. This is her first time at a sleep over camp.

She was very excited and while her cabin mates were sobbing and clinging to their parents, Sissy was practically pushing her dad and I into the car. She wanted us to go home and get out of her hair. Ungrateful little wretch!

On the way back we stopped at the cemetery where my father in law is buried. There is a lovely pond near the front gate and I noticed three children,ranging from 4 to 6 in age, playing there as we came in. There were no adults anywhere around. Just three little kids throwing rocks into the pond, chasing ducks, and climbing the waterfall. They were having so much fun. They held hands and wandered from grave to grave, one of them kneeling once in an attitude of prayer. After resting for a time in the shade of a tree they resumed their enjoyment of the pond.

But through it all, I feared for them, what if one of them fell into the pond, so we stayed watching at a distance. I called 911 and told them of my concerns, they told me they would send some one shortly, but no one ever came, I called again and was told that all officers were out on calls and one would be sent as soon as possible, after over half an hour had passed the children left the cemetery and joined up with some teenagers at a nearby apartment complex, they obviously knew one another, so I again called 911 and advised them that the children were no longer at the pond.

I seriously hope that this is not standard operation for our local police department. I would like to think that if my child were in danger that someone would make it a priority. I don’t see in the paper where we inundated with a crime wave or natural disaster Sunday, so I wonder what was given more priority then the life of a child.

Goodbye Shirley

Tonight we celebrated Sissy’s 18th birthday and said farewell to Shirley. She is moving out of state to be closer to her family, but the little family she left behind will miss her very much.

For the better part of 10 years Shirley has been my daughter's care giver.

She taught her to care for herself, to clean her room and do dishes and laundry; took her shopping and ran errands.

She taught Sissy old timey gospel songs, like “The Great Speckled Bird.”

She shared with me her love for our Saviour and allowed me to share mine without ever once judging me or telling me she thought I was wrong. In Shirley’s heart there is room for anyone to love Jesus.

Once when we went to a baptism, Shirley shared with me her belief that Sissy does not require baptism. “When her time comes, she will go straight to the arms of Jesus.” I completely agree.

Her’s is a small inner city nondenominational church. Sissy has attended Vacation Bible School there every year. The people at Shirley's church have been loving and accepting of Sissy, genuinely glad to have have her participate. Sissy will attend this year like always, with one major exception. Shirley will not be there.

Another local Church holds a musical service once a month, Shirley and Sissy always go. They have a number they do together that is so sweet.

Once the Pastor asked Sissy what song she would like to do next, she asked for “Achy Breaky Heart” and he sang it for her. Later he wrote Christian lyrics to the tune for her and she danced with him in the aisle. “Who says Baptists don’t dance?” He laughed afterward.
My heart broke for them tonight watch as Sissy sobbed in Shirley's arms, finally realizing that she was going and this time was not coming back.
Sissy goes to camp on Sunday and when she comes back someone new will be trying to fill the place Shirley has left, but it will never be the same.

Nothing I can do, no gift I can give, can ever repay this woman, who has loved my child as her own.

Good bye Shirley.

Why I Should Play with the Kids on My Own Block

I have not updated for awhile because I foolishly became involved in a religious discussion on another blog.

I know better than to do that, (Can’t We all Just Get Along, copied of from my MySpce blog. Yup, I am the oldest woman on MySpace, but that is anonther topic) I just get sucked in sometimes and desperately wish I did not.

At the end someone asked why the LDS should be looking for validation from a bunch of Protestants anyway.

I asked myself that question as well. I did not go there originally looking for anything more then posts supporting stay at home moms and maybe some home management information and someone told someone else that we were not Christians and later someone LDS supposedly asked why, and then every one decided to tell us. I have been all over the comments and can not find where anyone asked the question but oh well.

At that point I know I should have walked a way but I did not and now have spent days in the fruitless endeavor of saying that I am a Christian to people who apparently do not define it the same way I do. Although since I never saw a definition I am still a bit in the dark.

I originally thought we were going to actually have an organized discussion. I had points I was working on based on the topic of each post but did not use much of them. We quickly became bogged down on whether or not baptism was necessary (My mother and several of my protestant friends are surprised to hear that apparently it is not.), works vs. faith etc. and I could not adequately respond to everything. To say nothing of the facts that I can’t type, can’t spell and do not think fast on my feet, make me look like an idiot in this type of thing.

After much prayer, finally weary of the it all I have taken my ball and gone home.

I now know that perhaps I should play more with kids from my own neighborhood. At least we speak the same language.

My personal definition of the word Christian – One who follows the teachings, recognizes the divinity of, and accepts the atonement of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. If you fit it, you are in my book a Christian, not that you needed any validation from me. 🙂

Can’t We all Just Get Along?

These was originally posted on my other blog 18 Mar 2006

They say that you should never talk about politics or religion, if you do there is bound to be an argument. My mother and I sometimes argue politics, it does not help that she keeps changing her positions, one day she is pro-choice, the next day pro-life. I never know where she stands, but it is likely to be the opposite of where I am.

If you ask me how I feel on an issue I will be happy to tell you. If you tell me you do not feel the same way I am okay with that too. But if you beat me about the head and shoulders trying to prove me that you are right and I am wrong, I am unlikely to thank you for showing me the error of me ways, there is a strong possibility I will feel threatened and defensive.

Religion is an especially volitle subject. All of it is carried in our own hearts, there is nothing we can actually prove to one another.

This is especially true if we are of different faiths. I could try to show you where I feel the scriptures contradict your beliefs and you would show me where you feel they support them. I am unlikely to know the tenets of your faith as well as you do, and would be looking at things from an entirely different perspective.

I particularly love when someone trys to tell me what I really believe, or that I do not know the what the Church is really teaching. If I respond at all it starts an argument. If I do not respond then my faith is misrepresented. It becomes an unending cycle, no one ever wins, feelings are hurt and sometimes friendships are destroyed. I have never seen any good come of it. In the continued arguing any loving intent is swallowed up in the spirit of contention.

Share with me what you believe. I enjoy learning about other cultures and faiths, but please treat my beliefs with the same respect you want for yours.

Sometimes You do not Recognize a Hero

Sometimes you do not recognize a hero when you first met him. I know I didn't.

18 years ago I was doing home day care and trying to figure out why every psycho kid in the neighborhood was spending time at my house when the ultimate psycho kid came to stay.

At the age four he had more gumption and courage then children three times his age, and enough aggression to hold his own with any of them and then some.

He and Bear went to first grade together. Bear was a natural target. Sometimes he would use Bear as bait and then beat up any kid who took him up on it. He absolutely loved to fight and would always defend the underdog, even if he had started the whole thing.

After first grade we started home schooling and I gave up day care but the boys still ran into one another on occasion.

When they were 10, He told Bear that if you kissed a girl and grabbed her butt at the same time, she would love you forever. I am fairly certain that they had not yet put this to the test.

He joined the Marines right out of high school. We were so proud of him. When we heard he had been sent to Iraq we prayed for his safety, but somehow it never crossed our minds that he would not be coming home, not alive anyway.

At the visitation all the little artifacts of his life were spread out; fishing gear, photos, a small book shaped like a sheep, they made them in first grade I still have Bear's; a Freddy Kruger doll, he always wanted to play Freddy out in the yard. What other four year old even knows who Freddy Kruger is? I almost regret that I never let him, would it really have hurt anything to let him, just once?

I watched my sons as they pased by the casket. I realized that men carry grief along their jaw line.

His dad held Bear, when his own heart was breaking he reached out to comfort my child.

At the funeral the minister said that he and his friends had been studying the scriptures. One of their favorite passages was the 27th Psalm. A Psalm of confidence in the face of danger from your enemies.

Because I did not ever see him as a young man, in my heart he is always an active child, who only death could still. I know his family misses him deeply, but so do those of us who were on the periphery of his existence. The world is quieter, less exciting and more empty with out him.

Sometimes you do not recognize a hero, the first time you meet him. Sometimes heros are four year old boys fighting to come into their own.

PSALM 27

1 THE LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.