June 20, 2013

I'm "Special"!

Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
~ Psalm 5:11

 You know, it's amazing I made it out of childhood to grow up to adulthood. My mother said I was the child who put everything in my mouth. She caught me crunching up Christmas bulbs once and had to fish out the pieces of broken glass with her finger. Another time, she didn't even know I had swallowed one of those beaded chains that guys wear their military ID tags on until she changed my diaper. The second time I had my stomach pumped out at the doctor's office, I was an old pro at it and it never made an impression on me.  I bet you are wondering what I did, right? Well, I found and ate a whole bottle of baby aspirin. It tasted good, like orange candy.
The first time my stomach was pumped out, though, was a different story altogether. I remember minute details of that day. I was about four then, mom said. We went to visit Grandma and she had a 7Up bottle filled with dandelion poison she'd forgotten about out on the front lawn! Thinking it was soda pop with a funny lid, I wanted to drink it, but had to pry the lid loose first with my teeth. I remember the nasty acrid taste of the stuff. My dad caught me in the act, grabbed the bottle away from me, picked me up and ran for the house. Dad, mom, and grandma pumped me full of milk and my little sister too, then drove as quickly as they could down the bumpy dirt roads to the highway leading into the emergency room at the hospital eighteen miles away. I woke up in the middle of the procedure, scared out of my mind because of the extremely bright light overhead, tubes running down my nose and mouth and the straps which held me down to the operating table. When I began screaming, the nurse jumped and immediately put the mask over my nose which made me think, she's trying to kill me. Talk about nightmare city! The gas did the trick and the next thing I remember is waking up in a wet crib. Nursie came over to check on me and as she pulled me out to change my bedding, she said, as she pushed me towards the bathroom, "You really are too big to be doing that, you know." I never could figure out why I had to go the bathroom when it was obvious to me I had already done the deed! J

I've been cleaning out drawers and closets lately to take things to the charity thrift shop, so when I ran across the clothes sprinkler top I purchased several years ago at a flea market to remind me of God's hand of protection and goodness in my life, I returned it to my drawer. I'm sentimental that way.

1. I do thank God for his protection. I've had most of the usual scraps and bumps and diseases of childhood. I could have died from some of the things I've eaten, yet God has been watching over his child and I appreciate his love for me. I feel cherished and special.
2. I'm grateful for that angel girl who grabbed my hands and pulled me to the side of the pool at church camp when I was near to drowning.  Foolishly, I was crawling with my hands around the edge of the pool in water over my head by hanging on the water gutter before I had learned to swim. After my hands lost contact on a slippery part of the wall, she appeared, an answer to the help prayer I was yelling in my mind while fighting to stay on top of the water. It was a horrible feeling not being able to breathe nor being able to find the side again with my hands.
3. I'm thankful broken bones eventually heal -- let's see, I've broken my tailbone twice and broke a foot. And no telling how many times things reached out of the dark and grabbed my pinkie toes on my way past. However, I don't want the experience of a herniated disc again. Once was enough, thank you very much!
4. I'm grateful for those little gadgets that have made my life a little easier -- a telescoping magnet, a telescoping back scratcher, a telescoping shoe horn, a long-handled grabber, a long handled dust pan, a sock puller, a safety bar in the shower, a walker/cane, a wagon etc.

5. I'm thankful for the promise of heaven, of seeing Jesus and the saints! I don't know about you, but I will be rejoicing and having fun at my graduation party! I will eat at his banquet table without fear of adding to the thunder thighs with every bite! J ("The twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." ~ Rev. 5:8; "Then the angel said to me, "Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" ~ Rev. 19:9; "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." ~ Rev. 21:4)

For those of you who get this post by email, please bookmark my blog in your favorites, as the feedburner is a one-way email and if you wish to record your gratitudes along with me, you will have to return to my blog. Thank you.

June 10, 2013

Lisps First Word

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise. . .
~ Psalm 8: 2

 Mom said my very first word was "Je-Je." My mother taught elementary school several years before and after she married and in fact, was teaching when she discovered she was going to have a little scholar of her own. Mom said she knew it was a word because I was pointing with my pudgy little finger to a print of Jesus hanging over my changing table. I wonder what she thought when I didn't say "Mama" first?

Anyway, Mom taught me how to write and spell my name before kindergarten. She said she named me in honor of her best college girlfriend and it was a special name, meaning "Mary, mother of Jesus, was sad." Later, when I was twenty-something, working in the lunchroom at Avila University, the Sisters there said I had a special holiday attached to my name and I have become fond of these two songs -- "Via Dolorosa" and Mark Lowry's song "Mary, Did You Know?"

Mom's the one who took me to Sunday School and church nearly everytime the doors were open and taught the first children's choir I was in, because she was the church's organist. When we kids would get restless and bicker in the backseat, she'd start singing happy songs. I remember my little brother singing the second part "Praise Ye the Lord" by himself, while us girls sang the first part of the song, "Hallelujah!" She always said that she wanted to make sure our social life was centered in the Christian activities at church.

Seems I've been close to Jesus from the very beginning, although I didn't give my heart to Jesus until I was ten. We were having a revival and I remember the awful feeling inside when I realized I was a sinner. When the evangelist, at the end of the service, asked us to come forward, although I was sitting in the second pew from the front (mom parked us kids there to keep an eye on us), I couldn't seem to get to the altar fast enough. It was shortly after that I was baptized by my pastor, Rev. Betty Jo Teaford, and my grandparents came to witness the event. Like a neon light, I was aglow because Jesus washed me whiter than snow!

1.  It's always a happy day when I can find my name in the correct spelling (Latin) on products and when my friends can remember to spell it right! Thank you! J. I have two other stories connected to my name -- Yes, indeedie, my mother taught me how to write and spell my name, so when on the first day of school the teacher insisted on the English spelling; the second day of school, the teacher had a surprise visitor! J The next story -- my paternal grandmother was notorious for her bad spelling (now get this, her favorite game was SCRABBLE!). When we had the reading of the will, I "innocently" asked the lawyer if it made a difference in the documents if someone's name was misspelled? "Yes, of course," he said, and wanted to know whose name was misspelled. It was mine (again that English spelling). He grabbed up all the copies and returned them by mail, corrected. LOL!

2. I thank God my grandparents and parents introduced me to Jesus and took me to church! I'm thankful the evangelist came to preach at our revival and through him, God spoke to my little girl heart and called my name. I'm thankful too for God's book of life, because my name is written there!

3. I'm grateful that my mother is a singing mom. One of the very first songs I remember her singing was "You Are My Sunshine." Happy Birthday Mom!

4.  I believe in hope and miracles! I'm thanking God in advance for his answer to our prayers in seemingly impossible situations, for he said in his word: "For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37). Help us overcome unbelief! (Mark 9:24).

5. I'm thankful that someone thought of this simple way to present the way of salvation to children by using their ABC blocks  =

Admit we need Jesus (And he said: I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 18:3)
Believe in Jesus (Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. ~ Acts 16:31; 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. ~ John 3:16)
 Confess my sins. Sins are the bad, naughty things we do that gets us into trouble with mom and dad or our teachers. Jesus said he will forgive our naughtiness and wash our hearts clean. (If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~1 John 1:9; Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. ~ Isaiah 1:18).
At this point, we ask the children if they want to pray (prayer is simply talking to God) and ask Jesus to come into their hearts and be their BFF (best friend forever). If you feel a need for a BFF too, you can pray this simple prayer, right now, today!

 Jesus, I admit I'm in need of a best friend forever, one that lives with me and in my heart. I believe that you love me. I ask you clean out all the ugliness inside my heart and make me whiter than snow. Thank you Jesus. Amen!

June 03, 2013

A Gratitude Banner

Gratitude (noun). 1. A feeling of deep appreciation. 2. A positive emotion that involves a desire to thank another.

It's amazing what I have come across since I began recording my gratitudes. It seems like I'm zeroing in on the subject. J  This banner is called "Definition Wall Art" and is designed by Lisa Bearnson & Becky Higgins. The packaging says it is meant to display meaningful words and bring inspiration when you hang one of their six canvas banners in your favorite room or craft space. The "gratitude" banner is 36" long x 15" wide.
Most churches I have attended have testimonies sometime during their morning worship service, but our home church has made it a gratitude time. Our focus is to testify to God's goodness in our lives and express appreciation for others who have blessed us during the week. It reminds me of the pastor who wrote a "Happiness Is" column in the church newsletter each month in the church I grew up in.

1. So today, I want to express appreciation for my church -- the one I grew up in and the one I attend now.
2. I want to thank my heavenly Father for all the hardworking Sunday School teachers and youth leaders I had while growing up in church, at summer camp, at youth convention, retreats, during campmeeting and college chapel. God knows who they are even if I don't remember all of them. J
3. I'm so grateful my hubbin surprises me from time to time and makes the bed!
4. I'm thankful for those people who are taking the time to read my posts. Perhaps in time I can get a few of the bashful ones to come post their gratitudes too!
5. I’m thankful for the radio when the TV remote control goes on the blink!