Veterans Day

My husband ( U.S.A. Air Force/Vietnam)  and I worked together to plan the school’s Veterans Day program. . . even after his death, I worked with love to prepare each year.  Veterans, family, and friends sent many things throughout the year that I might want to share.  These are two powerful ones that I found today.  Thank you Veterans for your service to our country.

Major Sullivan Ballou wrote to his wife, hoping to return from battle to her and their sons. . . “If I do not, my dear Sarah, when my last breath escapes me, it will whisper your name. I shall always be near you, in the gladdest days and the darkest nights. And if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath. Do not mourn me dead, think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.” Major Ballou was killed seven days later in the Babble of Bull Run.
 
Fay Angus’ prayer is beautiful! “Around the world, night and day, those in the armed forces stand watch for us. Oh, Blessed Lord, be their strength, their courage, their protector and their shield. For those who have endured, who still serve in hospitals and on battle fields of their own daily lives, be their peace, their comfort, their hope”
 
THANK YOU VETERANS!
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Things Are Not Always What They Seem

   Things are not always what they seem. When we went to Rich’s ten year reunion, some came up and said that they thought he was a snob, because he never talked to anyone.  WOW!  Anyone that knew Rich, would laugh at that . . . he was just shy and stayed away from drama.  

Sometimes we put on a “mask” and just let people see what we want them to see. Things are not always what they seem.  

    We as teachers do need eyes in the back of our heads and ears that tune into the little things.  Do we see students that don’t fit in the small desk and chairs.? We tell them to sit up and pay attention, but do we understand that their parents are in jail or gone?  Do we understand that they haven’t a clue as to what we are doing but just don’t know how to ask for help. . . Do we understand that their is no food at home? Or twelve people are living in their house and it is too noisy to sleep. . . or they have been abused???  

     Things are not always what they seem. . . talk softer, make our students feel safe!  Let them know how we care and we make mistakes often.  Love knows no failure!  Guide, love, nurture

. . . sometimes things are just not what they seem!

 

     Micah 6:8 . . . “what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”  May I always remember things are not always what they see. . . and show love and mercy to my students first and foremost!  They may not remember what I taught them

. . . but they will remember how i made them feel. . . loved and special!

 

Dad . . . Still Singing Songs

Anyone that knew Dad, knew that he loved to sing and had a beautiful bass voice . . . to list all his favorite songs would take many pages.  He won a singing contest at the nursing home singing Amazing Grace. The Taylor University choir was visiting on another day. Someone told one of the students that it was Dad’s birthday.  She came over and asked, “John can we sing happy birthday to you?”  Dad smiled and said, “That would be great, but I’d rather you sing Amazing Grace.”  She turned to tell the others but before they could start, Dad started singing.  Soon everyone one joined it. . . it sounded like a choir of angels. The gal came back over to him and said, “ You really can sing!”  Dad chuckled and replied proudly. . . “I have been singing all my life!”

 

Another favorite. . .

Take My Hand Precious Lord

 

When my way groweth drear
Precious Lord linger near

When my life is almost gone;

Hear my cry, hear my call,

Hold my hand lest I fall,

Take my hand precious Lord,

Lead me home.

 

. . . .Nearing life journey’s end,

By my Guide, be my Friend,

Give me strength Lord,

To overcome,

I’ll not go alone,

For by grace I’m Thine own

Take my hand, precious Lord,

Lead me home!

 

Precious Lord, take my hand,

Lead me on, let me stand

I am tired, I am weak,

I am worn.

Thru the storm, thru the night,

Lead me on to the light.

Take my hand precious Lord,

Lead me home~~~~4/18/15

Charity. . . What Can You Do?

Charity. . .  I Corinthians 13 praises charity. Dad loved this chapter. . . I can have knowledge and faith thinking that is really good stuff, but if I have not charity. . . I am NOTHING!  . . .
“Charity suffereth long and is kind. . . it is not puffed up. . . it is not easily provoked.  Charity never faileth. . . And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three, but the greatest is charity.”

 

A giving heart is a wonderful thing to have. There are so many needy people in  our communities.  They are all in need of different things.  It isn’t always money.  TIME. . . what can you give? Mentoring our students. . . helping them read, practice math and spelling. What a wonderful gift.  Hike through Mounds Park, sit and visit on a porch. . . just be with them. Play games. That is a gift. Helping others get groceries, mow yards, trim bushes, wash windows, clean house. . . all those are such needed gifts.

 

KIND WORDS. . .notes, cards, and letters are a dying treasure.  Send them to a nursing home, veterans, and people in your community. There are refrigerators that need children’s drawings. . . that will bring a smile and lift a spirit.  Let them know they are special and appreciated.

 

MONEY  and charity are not synonymous. . . but just one form of charity.  We all have our special organizations that have touched our lives that we make our donations.  It was during our first few years of marriage that I would pay bills on Saturday night.  A portion of what was left was given to the church.  I thought this was what God would think responsible, taking care of the family.  Sometimes it was more and sometimes it was much less.  But one of our ministers spoke on giving to the church should be first and all else would fall into place.  I began paying more money, a constant amount. . . the other bill have always just fell into place.

 

We have a wonderful, giving community.  Home Ec Clubs, church organizations, and individuals have supported our lunch program for students that need help.  School supplies are plentiful too.  You would be surprised how many glue sticks and pencils it takes for a year.  We have volunteers that help with after school homework or eat lunch with students that just need a friend.

 

What can you do?. . . the greatest is charity!

Thus Far. . .

Thus Far . . .

 

Monday was a beautiful day.  Yuri and I were enjoying the morning in the gazebo. . . dew on the grass sparkled like diamonds.  Birds were  singing a beautiful aria. A gentle breeze was fluttering the flag quietly. . . I pondered. . . a hymn, one of my favorites.

 

Thus far the Lord has led me on:

His power prolongs my days.”

 

What did he see in me that He would give me life –twice?? He continues to give me strength for the day, for the battles of the world.

 

“And every evening shall make known

Some fresh memorials of His grace.”

 

Every night when I lay my head on my pillow, I thank God for my church, my wonderful family, my great country, my friends. I thank God for His love, grace, and mercy.

 

I lay my body down to sleep;

Peace is the pillow for my head.

While well appointed angels

Keep their watchful

Stations round my bed.

 

In vain the sons of earth or hell

Tell me a thousand frightful things,

My God in safety makes me dwell

Beneath the shadow of His wings.”

 

Worries and fears have often plagued me throughout my life.  Am I good enough — as a person? A wife? A mom? A teacher? A friend? I always seem to fall short.  Would Rich survive? Would the girls be okay? Could I go on alone/ The list goes on and on and on.  But I have found whenever I look up, put one foot in front of the other, God is by my side–Never to leave me alone.

 

Much of my time has run to waste.

And I, perhaps, am near my home;

But he forgives my follies past;

He gives me strength for days to come.

 

Thus far the Lord has led me on.”

Heaven. . .

Heaven. . . we are all curious about Heaven. . . I am sure it will be magnificent.  Isabel Wolseley wrote wondering there would be yellow roses, verbena, or hollyhocks?  Will there be homemade ice cream, juicy watermelon, or cinnamon/honey baklava?  AJ asked why Pap didn’t take his red Chevy to Heaven, and would he miss us as much as we miss him?  Dakota wrote about a friend, Lance, . . . what would he be doing in Heaven on Christmas.  We all have visions in our mind.  I’m pretty sure Mom would be hoeing in the heavenly garden. Dad would be in the choir, and Wilma would be leading the singing. . . and Rich. . . he would be on a long distance run or doing the Air Force exercises that he loved to do. . . strong and healthy again!

 

Some say we won’t know our loved ones, because souls have no images like here on Earth . . .we won’t even care because we’ll be so amazed by all the beauty.  That may be true. I don’t really know.  But I think I’ll ponder and believe that I’ll know Rich again. . . even for just a little bit.  We have hugs and kisses to give, stories to tell, and walks to take.

 

We’ll meet our friends who’ve gone before

Over in the heavenly homeland

Yes, meet and greet to part no more

Over in the heavenly homeland.”

 

“This grand city we’re told

Has its streets paved with gold,

And its walls decked with jewels so rare;

There our Lord is the light,

And His love their delight

And His praise they’ll ever declare.”

 

How about you. . . what are your thoughts?

Gardens

I Come To The Garden

 

“I come to the garden alone

While the dew is still on the roses

And the voice I hear falling on my ear

The Son of God discloses.

 

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.”

 

You will find God in the garden. . . I do! I feel close to Him. I feel close to Mom too!  Her gardens were immaculate, not a weed. I think that was her peaceful spot, her “gazebo”  It was quiet there. . . we three kids were surely NOT there unless we had to be!  I Come To The Garden was her lullaby song for Ed.

 

When you think about it. . . a garden is like a life. Watching it grow, plants, maturing, bearing food, seeds forming and spreading, hope for another year, harvesting. . . withering and dying.

 

. . . but there are weeds, and they multiply fast.  They can take the nourishment right out of the soil/soul.  One has to be diligent to keep the garden clean and growing.  Life is like that . . . negative comments can suck the life right out of your soul.  Negative actions can keep us from being who we really are, the best, positive, helpful person God purposed us to be.

 

My father-in-law’s garden is beautiful.  He has had almost 95 years to get his garden in order.  I know it is hot and humid today, but I’m heading down to the garden. I need to get mine in order.  How about you?