The Gift


Just a real girl

In a real world

Looks toward a miracle

Without a way to know

Angels Unaware

Just a real girl

With a strength she

Has not known

Her heart has been

Made full

The love like none other

Days of Glory

The Son came down

Days of Glory

The Son came around

Lead us home

Lead us home

Just a real girl

With a gift to give

The Angels sing

The Angels bring

The newborn King

R. M. Fritts

2019

Merry Christmas

A car ride


I must start this post off with a little comedy. Picture this – three adults and one five year old go on a trip! Everything works out perfectly, all the bags are packed, put in the vehicle with room to spare, and we are right on time! Eeeeeerk! Wait a minute! What?

Oh Well, that’s how it played out in my head, at least. Actually, it went pretty good, but this may be a one-and-done-trip. Not that I don’t love to take a trip. I do. And I love these people in our vehicle, along with the ones we are going to meet. But, my big mistake was feeling sorry for them all having to go out to eat for Thanksgiving!

I had Mom guilt. Ugh! You see, years ago when our kids were young and we lived in East TN, we changed it up and went to Thanksgiving weekend at a TN State Park. (NOT CAMPING! But sort of the “Fritts” version of it). Of course, I’m not an outdoors person for any length of time. I mean, a camp fire is fun but that’s as far as I go. There has to be nice cabins with modern equipment, etc. The difference is, back then, we would have our Thanksgiving lunch at home and then travel. But this year, I cooked it all and we are hauling it there! Ugh! Again! (Can I get a witness?) Plus all the other treats – sausage balls, pigs in blankets, cheese ball etc., etc. – this truck is loaded down with enough food to feed a army. But, ya know, we are piling in and hanging out, playing games … and I will be smack in the middle of it with a huge grin on my face! Because, this is my heaven on earth! I have a gorgeous, kind husband (He puts up with a lot. I ain’t easy! I am smarter than everyone else and I tend to show that I am daily. My opinion is number one, don’t-cha know! I come from a long line of “smart” women. Pray for him, he deserves better). Next, I have an identical twin (not sister but daughter). She’s as smart as me, or at least she thinks so. Then there is one more ingredient in this mix. My granddaughter is “smarter” than all of us! I realize all this becomes ridiculously frustrating for all the rest of the world. But through it all, the preacherman just watches the action. Like I said, he needs prayer.

As hard as it is for a day, I must admit now that all the cooking is done, (please Lord let my turkey be moist) that I am satisfied that we don’ t have to wait in a long line at Cracker Barrel to eat food that is not as good as mine (my opinion). There are seven of us, so that means a big table is needed. And that makes us have to wait, and wait. So, when I see these faces of the people I love the most on earth eating our food and laughing, it’s all worth it. I’m not saying that I will haul all this food the next time … Jesus will have to talk me into it. But to be sure, any chance I get to be with these sour patch kids, I will take it.

The car ride has been content. The little one finally took a nap. So far, so good. And all’s right with the world … until we have to unload it all!! Yikes! I am thankful, so very thankful to my God. I live for Him. And when I allow Him to make me a better person, I want to be kind and less bossy. (Skinnier too, Lord? … oh, that’s up to me? Ok, thanks, and ouch!) I am thankful He gave me my family. They are my reason for being here! I’m thankful for our first President, George Washington, who started the Thanksgiving holiday way back when, as a time of reflection, and to honor the God who created us. Thanks for giving us a holiday before Christmas that gets nearly rushed through by most folks. I’m thankful for all the freedoms we enjoy while living in the best nation in the world. I am thankful I was raised to be a good person and friend. And I’m thankful for car rides that give you a minute to breathe, reflect on life and what’s really important. I am so In love with my Lord and my family! My prayer for them is we all eat around the table in heaven together. That is my only goal. So, today is a good day! Of course, I miss my mom, my sister-in-law, and Charles’ beloved dad. But they live on in the presence of God and in our hearts. Thanksgiving is a family thing, in whatever shape or form the family finds itself. So take a car ride with them, connect, agree to disagree even … just take the the time to take the time. And I just remembered another item for my gratitude list! I’m also thankful I don’t have to fly in a plane anywhere. Every year I feel so sorry for all those people stranded in snow storms and what not! Kinda makes a car ride seem like a fun idea!

Savoring the days


This being my “reflective weekend” and all, I am once again mindful of my days on earth, all sixty of them… that’s weird to actually write, anyone out there been around that long? Is it just me that struggles with the truth? I’m not sad, just astonished it’s already passed me by. It’s a lot of years, but if I think about it in other ways it’s not so bad …like sixty kisses… not near enough from my dear preacherman or my granddaughter. Or what about sixty seconds? That’s only one minute, no biggie but do the math and sixty years is 1892160000 seconds!! I’m not really sure how to say that! Sixty hugs are magical but sixty Goodbyes are melancholy .

So the days are long but the happiest of days I have lived. I had parents I adored, they had clay feet as do us all but they gave me strong morals and grit. I grew up with big sisters and one big brother, they were valiant protectors as I was annoying and problematic at times, being the youngest, but they stuck by me and I have been truly loved by one husband, I married “up” and he has given me the privilege to live my dreams while he pushed the cart up the hill most times alone; but I had my own cart loaded with four blessings and I’m not even sure they know what they mean to us. There are moments in time when they are as they were(like tonight), just babes, when I get a glimpse of them like they were at which I revel in, the sweet love they give to me. Then there is the sweet chaos of the third generation. The force is strong in that one, so to speak.

I guess I was a “cusp” ’50’s kid, but grew up with the unsettling 1960’s and the Disco 1970’s ( I loved it don’t tell anyone) yet I loved the classics, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Dolly Parton. I was a latch key kid and tv was my salvation against loneliness. Our third “gen” kid is a “cusp” “the kids are going wild” years. They are growing up without strong voices of plain old good sense. But we all try to teach them and love them with equal parts. But Lordy they are smart (there’s that force again!)

The blessing of age is actually a blessing, I do want to see how it turns out, I want to see my Jesus come back to take us all to heaven, I want to see if my kids get married(ever) a mom can hope, I want to see if I could actually not eat carbs for a long period of time(don’t hold your breath) and weather or not the cable company will ever stop crashing and leaving us without tv( remember I’m a tv girl) or WiFi when it’s at the peak of the evening and ugh it’s awful!!!! I must buy an antenna or something! This situation reminds me that when the Apocalypse happens and the cable companies loose the ability to keep my tv going, it will be a mad house and life as we know it would be quiet and not in a good way… heads will role! I’m joking of course(not really) I can live without tv, but I prefer not to. I’m old and if I’m left with just my thoughts, well prime example here!

I have exhausted my run on sentences for now, let me hear from all the old people out there in the blog world… I’m listening as long as our WiFi stays on just savoring the days of my long life!

….gone in 60 seconds!


During these perilous times, when our country is in a upside down inside out, constant discussion(argument) about everything from soup to nuts, and that describes it to a tee!, I find myself looking within to find resolve and peace amidst this crazy world. At this crossroad I find myself in, I can only imagine what life was like way back when, let’s say sixty years ago, when life as I know it never even existed. I wasn’t even born yet!

What was the world like in the year nineteen fifty nine?
January 3 – Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S.state (see History of Alaska). January 7 – The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro. … February 17 – The United States launches the Vanguard II weather satellite. February 22 – Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500. January 29 – Walt Disney releases his 16th animated film, Sleeping Beauty in Beverly Hills. Miles Davis‘ influential jazz album Kind of Blue is released. October 2 – Rod Serling‘s classic anthology series The Twilight Zone premieres on CBS.

December 13 – Three years after its first telecast, MGM‘s The Wizard of Oz is shown on television for only the second time, but it gains an even larger viewing audience than its first television outing, spurring CBS to make it an annual tradition

Okay, now let’s stop for a moment to reflect on this important date…October 14th! A day that will live in emphamy!! Oops …no sorry about that, that day is D Day! Any-who, it is still a special day at least to me..I was the last child my Mother gave birth to, the baby of the family and of course thats my birthday!

Also, Marie Osmond was born on the day before Me and the coolest swashbuckler in the movies, Errol Flynn died on the 14th. Many famous people were born the same year, Danny Bonoduce (Partridge Family kid, I’m impressed!) as well as Jason Alexander(Seinfeld, still impressive), Mike Pence(the V.P., eh!) and even Magic Johnson! A pretty good year all in all.

A good year for movies, Gidget (Sandra Dee of course, one of my favs) Have Rocket will Travel (The Three Stooges, I’m giggling)Imitation of Life(please watch, so good)and the wonderful, Miracle on 34th St, need I say more! This was a good year, maybe not the most historical or even entertaining but a decent year. It has been sixty years since all these things happened, since then many more epic events, wars, peace treaties, births, deaths, family and friends come and go, after this many years we start losing our parents and we become orphaned, not so fun but then we become the grandparents beloved to a few sweet kids, honored finally by our own kids(that takes a minute until they grow older) and the sweetness of time replays over and over in our minds.

It was just the other day when we were young, free from the aches of longevity when life was up in the air. What are we going to be when we grow up? What..? we grew up already… ?..wow that was fast! Did I “become” yet….did I miss it? It is suppose to be about the journey not the destination but why is it such a big deal to figure it out? I don’t think I have actually and I’m okay with that. My journey isn’t over and I intend to enjoy the rest of it. Taking the steps into my sixtieth year on this planet are somewhat odd, a passage into what the kids call “old age” and I’m not loving it all together. I’m not hating it either, it’s kind of like a bottle of Coca Cola that fizzes when you open it but flat when you drink it. Same taste but no sparkles and fizz. Just a little flat.

I feel like I have lived many lifetimes, childhood, adulting, marriage, children, grandchildren BOOM! Old age! Looking back is not the best way to live, a glimpse of a memory is all that’s safe and I have many great ones, looking back too long can cause discontent and that’s not me, I live a contented life. I know the blessing that is and I know where that blessing comes from. I’m not that smart to get here on my own. The only sad part is how fast it happens. Look out ya’ll, the years pass fast….the sixty years are gone in sixty seconds!

Nine years


Every year when football seasons rolls around, my mind goes to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Not because of the stunning wins the team has had in the past years(sadly since the days of Peyton Manning it’s been tears and jeers!), but mostly because by September I harken back to the unlikely event that occurred twice on the same day exactly nine years apart.

On this day, Saturday, September 21st, the University of Tennessee played Florida, on both of these Saturday’s and The preacherman and I had our two last sons… nine years apart, 1987 & 1996 respectively. Needless to say I have no idea who won the games, I was a little busy, two more C-sections under my belt so to speak! My Doctor who was the Chief of Obstetrics at The University of Tennessee Hospital was of course a huge fan, but he set the day and time. I had nothing to do with it and even more was not really coherent during the game(probably the only time I didn’t interrupt the preacherman during the games!)considering I had MAJOR SURGERY! Don’t mind me I just had a baby!!!

I’m just kidding, my sweetheart was the best at taking care of me, thankfully I was easy, more meds please! The first September 21st was a joy, our little Samuel was born, last of the liter (or so we thought) and we had three kids in about four years… whew! We were definitely done! I thought I was finished but I didn’t want to close the door just in case, there was the future to think of, possible alien abductions or the preacherman may really see he got himself in a pickle with me and choose to take a walk(I knew neither of these things would happen) but ya know I may want another girl.

One big happy family we were and we were blessed beyond measure and then long about eight years passed and I was feeling like I wanted to relive the precious baby feels all over again. We had about six different women in our church become pregnant of which many weren’t supposed to ever be able to have a baby(miracles do happen) and it was just a beautiful time and the itch hit me, my heart was preparing, then one day.. boom! I was with child. Hello baby Nathanael, what a joyous time this was, our first three seemed thrilled and it was a family adventure. Who knew this little one would be our sweetest joy and he was born nine years to the day, nearly to the minute, same Hospital, same Doctor, same Saturday, same football teams playing! What a cool “kawinkidink” and it was a beautiful family day. We all, our whole village came out for him, laughter tears and love flowed on this day. I knew then I was finished having babies, I was old! At almost thirty-seven I was nearing the “OMG you are pregnant again stage! Really who’s kidding, I got that reaction nearly every time.. people can be stupid!

Our two last kids are nine years apart in age but we’re always close. The first one lost his spot, no longer “the baby” he really should have been angry, but he never was. He always was kind and seemed to not hate sharing his birthday with the actual “baby” of the family. He learned pretty quick the roll of the third child, keep your head down and get along… and gave the spotlight over to little brother. It was pretty easy since we all treated him like our little doll baby. He never had to walk, one of us carried him everywhere and he was a great baby as was his older brother. Those two younger boys were great sleepers and sweet hearts. These were good days and I remember it like it was yesterday. We old folks do that, we reminisce a lot and think about how blessed we are.

I wish our children could know the joy they brought to us and still do, I wish they felt the love in their hearts we feel for them, but that takes them walking in our shoes, it will happen. We try our best to give them good lives, happy without harm, but we are not perfect, we learn as we go and the hope is to have them all come out alive. So far so good and tomorrow is the two last ones birthday, Sam is thirty-two and Nathanael is twenty-three and it does not seem possible. I really am old! Both of them are kind men with their whole lives ahead of them, I pray for great women to find them, I pray good health and they find exactly what their destiny is and I pray they make a ton of money! Just kidding of course (not kidding really) but I do know that I may have to crash at their house someday! Prepare boys.

No mother has been more honored to have four wonderful children, I love them all and even though the two older ones and the preacherman call these last two, big pup and little pup(apparently they think I pet them and they are my favs!) so silly I don’t have favorites, I love them all( really I do!) thank you for being my kids… it’s 12:01, September 21,2019, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET BOYS!

A friend loves at all times.


What is it about friendship that is so hard? Laverne had Shirley, Abbott had Costello, Heckle had Jeckel, so surely it can’t be that hard to find a buddy! This is a universal situation, which most of us (if we’re honest) would agree is what brings anguish from the get go!

My sweet little grand daughter (or my ‘little sister,’ because she now calls me her big sister… poor kid wants a sister, so tag, I’m it!) seems to have a posse of girls at preschool, all of which yell her name the minute she arrives every day. Yet, if you ask her about her friends, the ones that hold her hand and hug her hello, she will say “I don’t really have many friends” (sad pouty face included). So, is it her inability to realize she is loved? Or, is she wise enough already to discern it’s all mostly fake?

I pray it’s not the later, because those cruel lessons must be learned over time. It’s way too painful to find out who one’s friends really are at such a young age. But learn she will. If I could protect her from it, I would; people are mean sometimes. She greets her potential friends with a huge smile and a hug, with all the anticipation and joy of the possibility of a real friend. I cringe because I feel the same way many times. I, too, meet people with hopes of life long friendships, only to be let down or even rejected. Am I good enough or cool enough or fun enough? Must I stand on a chair and announce to the world I am pitiful, so please love me? NO! Never!

I know I am worth it. I know I am a good friend. I know I have plenty of potential to be the friend who sticks. I know because I have a few friends like that. I have been mentored by women who are amazing women of God, that choose to be friends with God first, and let the rest fall as it may. That kind of wisdom and character is rare. I know I have value. Yet, there are moments that are hurtful, when you put your heart out there only to be ignored. Welcome to GIRLHOOD 101, a rite of passage for us all. I am keenly aware of the pitfalls my dear “little sister” will have to go through. We encourage her to be a leader, to be a friend first, and it will work out for her. The little girl in me wants to cry and keep her home and love her and not let her get hurt… But I can’t. Just like I couldn’t with her Mom. She got hurt, but she has learned good lessons she can pass on to her little mini.

I pray the Lord always gives me new people to meet and become friends with just like my little Ellie. The Bible tells us to have friends we must show ourselves friendly, which I believe, leaves the sticking part is up to us. Even Jesus started out His ministry on earth with large crowds that eventually dwindled down to twelve. Of those 12, most had moments of being less than true friends to Jesus. Some ran from him when Jesus needed them most; some slept when He needed their support in prayer. One left for good. Should I expect better? There is a Judas around every corner, those that will deny us, traitors and doubters. The handful that stick are ones to be cherished. My best friends are the closest to me – my preacherman, my daughter, my three sons. Our love and loyalty has been tried and tested, and my heart is safe with them. Each one of them speak into my life differently, but all with the same purpose. I feel like I have been blessed with women friends from every season of my life, each has been an important part of my journey. Those true friends have been forged in the fires of time spent and shared together. Good times, bad times, happy, sad, those are the times where real friendship is revealed.

My daughter and her daughter will be best friends and that will keep them knitted together. I won’t have it any other way. It will take some tears and boundaries pushed, but as I have experienced, it’s all worth it. If I could teach them anything it would be to have a giving heart, that it can’t be all about them, and to value themselves. We have great worth with much to offer and learn. It’s never too late to be a good friend.

Old Pals


Yesterday I was honored to spend a few short minutes to regroup with a old friend, old because we aren’t seeing each other daily/weekly anymore, no more Sunday after church Mexican food or Valentines Day dinners with our loves. This couple we became fast friends with. They are our people. He made a comment that it’s not been the same since we left, finding a new tribe is a hard task, but that one statement blessed me, and even more for my preacherman. I’ve said a hundred times to people, you will miss me when I’m gone, and this is true, especially about my husband. He is one to miss. I did not give birth to him and I did’t raise him so I take no credit for his gifts, but he is special and he speaks with authentic authority from God, in the pulpit. That is hard to come by and I know it, our friend knows it, we are missed. That is special and I am grateful for his kind words.

I’m not sure why, but they loved us immediately, not that we aren’t perfect in every way and all that (not)! And maybe because the preacherman was just that, THE PASTOR! But I just don’t think that’s why, I mean it’s fun to meet new people of course, but that wears off soon and they see the real us! Not so fun anymore…”oh no, they don’t have halos and angel wings, they are regular just like us, hearts broken, shattered hopes…” they say.

People eventually see behind the curtain and realize we aren’t so special after all. Even after that, some special people love us anyway, they become friends, they make room for us and all our non glory. They get it, they get us…so that’s how you get those friends, the ones who stick. Then we move to a new post and it’s lonesome out here but when we see them again it’s so fun. Even though it’s not like it once was, the love and friendship is still there and when we are blessed to hang with them it’s no different, just like old times.

The longer we live, we accumulate if we are lucky, a handful of these friends, each place we are the Lord gives us our people wether it’s new jobs or school or team we are with, there may be someone looking for us. A friend in waiting! They are few and far between and it’s lonely sometimes waiting for them and even worse when you are taken to a new station in life just when you are having fun but it happens and the test is, are they there afterwards. This is the life people in the military must live, I have noticed that those “old Army buddies” are usually adored.

A long time ago, several lifetimes even I was broken from a last phone call from a friend, me calling her to say what happened, no more association, I was the one who left, it was a job shift, but not a town shift, so why the crickets? On this day she let me know…”out of site out of mind!” Ouchie! Really, that hurts! But it was her decision and I lived with it, carrying that hurt for a while although using it as a learning lesson, I will not be so careless with my friends. I will value them and even though we are not on a daily/weekly diet of each other, I still care. Her loss, as my Mom would say.

Hospitality is huge to God and it is huge to me, it’s not just having company but having room in my heart for more. Being old helps to discern those who are in for the long haul or not. I try to let those folks know they are my people, with out gushing (I tend to do that!) but let them know I wanna be their friend. Sometimes they are in sometimes they aren’t but I’m always open. I find it interesting to meet new people and even more fun to see if…..let’s say, do they love the cheese dip at JALEXANDERS as much as I do, or Mexican food, or brave enough to actually eat all the bread at a restaurant and ask for more (yeah I do, don’t judge) or talk and talk about nothing at all and be there with a level headed advise when needed. Be the lifelong friend that helps me more than I have ever helped you. Some friends are those that immediately click, you just wanna be friends with them.

Pastors( & family) all struggle with the “power play” of how close is too close, we have done the leg work and it’s still hard. But, it’s worth it because ever so often there is that one who is cool with you and willing to love, even like you, even though you are who you are. But sadly it is rare, kinda like a Bigfoot sighting! I think the proof is long after we leave to another post, there are those that keep in touch, just like no time has passed and can take a lunch, catch up and see that we are a part of a big family. I am thankful for those friends that stick. I pray I am that kind of friend too.


I’m coming out!


In case no one knew, I’m coming out! Not out of a closet or a hole or any kind of trapped area… but making a statement just to be sure there is no question… so here goes it….I am a follower of Christ! I decided thirty eight years ago to “come out from amongst them” (Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,2Cor 6:17 NIV) and that’s not to say “them” is a bad word, but wanting to be counted, different; reveal my truth and make a stand if needed. Back then, I was lost, without any knowledge that I was, I hadn’t really known of any other life, I guess I was “them” and as long as I did not murder anyone I felt fairly secure I was ok!, and to be honest I didn’t even know what I was ok! about. Not being raised any differently gave me no need to question it.

Then, I met a man who gave me the about from which I was ok! and he used a cute young man that I gave my heart to, which lead me to this knowledge of a separation. Reason number 5 zillion why I’m happy I married him, I never knew of the world he was from and after less than a year I was hungry to know. So on that fateful Sunday night after hearing a sermon on Revelation, I had a lot of questions… and did I ever ask them and I just knew I did not want to be left. I wanted to live for all eternity with my beautiful new husband and quite honestly that was my desire, accept Jesus in my heart and I will be with cute blonde guy for ever! That worked for me… but, I had to gain the heart knowledge that this Jesus was not just a route to a happy marriage (although He is, by the way) but the route to a full, joy-filled life. At that beginning I could have never realized what life would be like and how changed I would be. I was never embarrassed by my decisions then nor now.

So just to re boot after thirty seven years, just so anyone who doesn’t know about me.. I’m coming out today, making it plain so there is no mistake about it… So who’s with me? I am a follower of Christ, I have given my heart to the one who died for me, I have thrown my hat into the ring, I have died to the old girl and I am living in freedom and committed to a sanctified life. Not to say I got it all together, if you know me you know me and that’s evident but it’s not without trying. Every day is new and I hope I always stay sensitive to what the Lord has for me to do and my prayer is more people could say I have lived an “out” life more than not. I have never tried to hide nor deny my relationship with Jesus, so if I have kept too quiet about it then forgive me. I am ready and armed to tell about Jesus, my testimony is all I need and the Holy Spirit opens the doors. There have been isolated moments when I was wearing my “official church tee shirt” to the grocery store and those aggravations happen when I want to growl… I catch myself and remember that I represent a wonderful life of peace and love and joy and patience..AUGH! Takes all the umph out of my bad mood!

My sanctification needs a little re boot most days, that’s why His mercies are new every morning which is just fine, keeps it fresh and forever mindful of my relationship with Him. The world wants to pull us down, back to the old life, fear and loneliness that parades itself with glamour and coolness. My life has never been enriched by participating in the “thrills” of this world. All it ever brought me was a momentary thrill, always followed by sadness or loneliness..believe me I’v done the legwork! So do I just be all weird and gruesome looking? Nope not at all, this is my life and I am if anything a independent woman, I am fully able to make up my own mind and live my own life, full of much joy and fun. I am faithful and will always choose Jesus over the rest of the pack.

I pray to take some with me, this marvelous adventure, to go to sleep every nite without a worry of the unknowns, if I should die before I wake, I’ll see you in heaven and if I’m alive I’ll see you in the field, working for the one I love. The heartbreak for anyone who knows the way to freedom is that so many people don’t know that they need a savior. It’s like the biggest bag of hardheadedness ever, and should be no surprise since I am about as stubborn as they come. No one is more right about everything than ME! ( and my sisters, my Mom( God rest her soul) my brother and of course all my kids, Sorry y’all ) I love them all but we are a stubborn bunch. I pray for all my family daily, I expect the Lord to follow through with that scripture, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! It is with great joy to talk plain, I am out, I am free and I am loving every minute of it! Who is up for an adventure? Join me, why don’t you?

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I put my trust in Him who has called me.

My heart


Today is my only daughters birthday, she is 27 years younger than me, I was so young when I had her but not by today’s standards. Back then I felt mature, ready to be a mom for the second time then only to have back to back babies, only 13 months later I had another boy! Such fear and fear, more fear and then joy ….eventually; I then really did have to be mature, adulting became a “smack in the face” daily life of this young couple.

My kind husband worked hard to make my life easier, to allow me to stay home and raise our children, it was more than I could have ever expected. This life we made together was a joy, but not without some struggles, but with our determination to follow God leading the way, we survived it. Nine years later we had the Caboose, a sweet little boy that became the jewel of all our lives. My preacherman is the soul of my life but those 4 lives are my heart.

As I look at them now, all of them adulting just like we did, wiser than us maybe, taking their time choosing mates, but just to realize that all of them are grown up, and so far alive and well(not that each of them haven’t attempted to give us heart attacks!) but so far so good, when I take a minute to look at them, into their beautiful eyes (they get their baby blues from my beautiful man, the hint of green is me)I see lives that are changing and maturing and people that I genuinely like.

I would rather hang out with them than anyone I know and that’s saying something. I adore them, love them and invested my whole adult life in them but some days as the parent I’d just as soon not see their faces… Mamma needs time to breath! Yet on this day, the day of my (little) girls birthday, I have relived the entire event, in my head, and after remembering that I actually lost weight with her, lost 13lbs and gained 14lbs! So 1lb gain for a 6lb 11oz baby I was skinny! Lord help me! That memory I coulda kept lost… but I regress! These times of thoughtful reflection on the magnificent power of God to sustain us through the years, good and bad times are reflected in the eyes of my children. Without them knowing it, I get strength from those eyes, I am encouraged by their eyes, I praise God for those eyes that keep me living a life for the Lord. They have watched me, the good bad and ugly, whatever I had said to them falls short if I haven’t practiced what I preached. And I would like to say I did it all right but I’m not typically a liar so I won’t, besides each one of them could bust me on it, I have had to apologize to all of them too many times for my mistakes! I am literally a super human, flaws and all(not to be mistook for a super hero…way different! But God!

The Lord has told me my children will always be His, I have told them they don’t have a choice about it and between the two of us they are trapped. I trust God at His word and I pray my children can trust me at mine. I have given my heart to them, after Jesus and their Dad, they are my best friends and if I can be in there somewhere in that line up with them I will be happy. They are my heart.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. Exodus 20:12

Yeah so there’s that kids!

Dedi- ca-t-i-o-n?


Many years ago, there were decisions that had to be made, knowledge of certain consequences that would happen unless the correct decisions were made. This is the way it is….life I mean and growing up is a constant borage of choices to be made. Skort or shorts?…walk home or ride the bus with the mean kids? Go to class in college or eh… sleep in? Oops, I did way too much of that!

Dedication is a learned pattern, one that is necessary to live a life of fruitfulness. How hard is it to become dedicated…..REALLY HARD! Unless it’s fun! Then my dedication becomes like breathing. Being dedicated to eating sweets, got that covered; dedicated to sleeping all cozy, I got that covered also! Dedicated to a clean eating, no carb regime… shocker it’s a struggle! I have attempted to think what I am dedicated to besides the easy stuff and I find that even the hard stuff becomes easy once the dedication is in place.

My family is my life’s dedication. If I were asked at age 22 what I was going to be when I grow up I would not of thought this, a wife, a mother( of four!) a preachers wife even, small town life too. Never was even on my radar, or on the list of my life choices, at that point a steady boyfriend seemed a stretch, boys are dumb and had an agenda(sorry) but true. My head was in the stars and adventure was ahead, I never thought any different. Until that day I saw him… I knew I was doomed, smitten but became dedicated in my heart there and then, forever….for always. This was not a chore but a joy, I found my heart. Then dedication to our children was a slam dunk.. wow what a lovely way to live.. joy overflowing, I was a Mom now!

Other than those two areas of dedication I fall short on the small stuff, diet…exercise…world peace! There is only one other area I am faithful….dedicated. This is my relationship with Jesus…for which I have never faltered. Not to imply I am the perfect God-fearing Christian but I have not ever gone back on my love for Jesus and I will never. At 24 I realized my missing part. I did dedicate my heart to Him and this has guided me ever since. With that in mind the assembling my self with others…..attending a church service every week helps me to stay grounded. To connect in a real way to my Jesus and other people who feel the same way is encouraging and I became dedicated to church attendance then, before the preacher man became a preacherman! I wanted to be there… it was not a struggle! The struggle was hauling kids to church, spending more time in the nursery than in the service…but early on that was just the way it was.. it was my sacrifice to teach my children that this was important. I did not have this as a child, a hit or miss time or two or four but no real dedication to church. I was determined to lead my children towards Jesus, dedicated to serving God in whatever way was needed, I can’t carry a tune, can’t play a instrument (tone deaf ya know) but I could help in the nursery and eventually could teach kids and as often as possible do artsy stuff to help!

I was dedicated to being there, supporting my Pastor, my church, my friends… my Lord. If I believed (and I do) that the Lord has equipped me with gifts from the Holy Spirit then if I’m not there they will be missing, I have a place there, I am important to God, then why would I not show up? It was never an option that I entertained because I was dedicated… and I still am, not just because my preacherman would make me…the few times I have missed for sickness or our vacation I miss it. I have many faults, I fall short daily; you can set your clock by my mess ups… lack of memory or just not taking the time to follow thru or bad thought or the litany of stuff I strive to overcome still keeps me showing up. I could have church in my den in the recliner I guess, watching a TV preacher.. Nope! Not the same… nothing takes the place of showing up. I love y’all!

So forgive me for wanting to be frustrated with all who choose not to show up. Why? Do we just have to say..”well it’s the way of the world these day!” No no no not a good reason. The way the world is now should push us toward church and the Lord. It feels we have lost the dedication to be a good church member, the older generation has pushed this uphill for years and are now looking around wondering who will carry the mantle. I wonder also. Why don’t we show up. Maybe it’s too many choices of fun things to do or we work so much it’s just our need for a family day? The best thing for our families is to start the day at church. Probably not anyone clapping their hands for that one! I get it, I get it! I’m the queen of lazy but when I make the effort I am so happy I did. I never have to be sorry I didn’t do enough for my children’s lives, raising them up in the way they should go so that when they are old, they won’t depart from it. No guilt on that one.. plenty of other guilty mistakes but not that one.

Our church is not perfect and needs plenty of changes but I know that it takes the Holy Spirit and the church(that’s us!) to show up and allow Him to use us to do His will. If I’m not there my gifts will be missing, we all are important and can be used by the Lord to help someone else. I may be the one who needs the exact prayers that the ones who choose to lay out could be praying… is this too hard? Do I seem judgmental, not my goal but if I’m can be candid it breaks my heart. Corporate worship, small groups, Fellowship is what makes us a mighty army. Arms locked together in worship supporting our church, our Pastor; this will overflow into our city. I’m sure we could throw a rock and hit 50 people who have never known the love of Jesus. How will they know if we don’t tell them? My prayer is my church will wake up and choose to be present, to get to know me and the people sitting right there near us and open our hearts to knowing what ways we can serve.

My nearly five year old went to a children’s service this week and walked out the door and boldly stated..”I know all about Jesus!!” With excitement and joy… would to God I have the same joy each time I leave church, Sunday morning, Sunday night or even Wednesday Nite!! They are all important, all are an opportunity to get closer to the Lord, to be healed, to be found faithful and dedicated!