Showing posts from August, 2017

Here vs. Present

For most children in the USA, school has either begun or will begin soon.  Just like the photo, I have a vivid memory of sitting at an old wooden school desks at the start of the day and for me, the memories are not all good. In the 1960's, our school day would often begin with Bible reading and prayer, and yes, this was the public school.  But even before the Bible reading or prayer, the teacher would begin the day with roll call. Without looking up from the list of names, the teacher would call out the first child's name.  The student's response was usually, "Here."  This would be repeated over and over as the names were called out in alphabetical order.  Then the unthinkable would happen...the pattern would be broken when a child would respond, "Present." Seeing that my name was near the end of the list, Beverly Smith.  I now had a HUGH decision to make.  Would I be "here" or "present?"   "Here" was simple, unc

I'm Not Going Back

My husband and I bought our first house in 1996.  It was out in the country with five acres of land, lots of blueberries and a shallow pond.  After a few months, we decided to dig the pond deeper.  It ended up being 17 feet deep.  Then we had a problem.  What were we going to do with all that clay?  The decision was made to make a big hill to block the pond from the road and then distribute all the rest of the ground around the pond.  The plan seemed awesome at the time because the clay was dry and easy to walk on.  But after a week of rain things changed.  Most people wouldn't try to walk on wet clay, but not me!   I actually thought that w et clay couldn't stop me.  I thought I could handle it.  On that fateful day, my daughter and I ventured out to try and get as close to the edge of the pond as we could.   We didn't make it very far when we became hopelessly stuck. I don't remember who helped us out of our predicament  that day, but there were big boards lai

Keep Moving

 I often stand in the hallway outside my classroom at church watching the children arrive with their parents for drop off.  One thing I've seen happen many times is a child  happily strolling down the hallway holding mom or dad's hand until they see their fate begin to unfold.   Suddenly, the parent  will feel their arm jerk backwards as  the child stopped moving.  The child isn't taking one more step towards the unknown.  Then the parent will prod the child to keep moving .  The parent will get down at the child's level to reassure her that everything is okay.  Mommy and Daddy are near, but the child isn't having any of that!   If only they would keep moving, we all know it's going to be okay in this safe place where they will learn and experience God, but the child is paralyzed with fear.   In our spiritual journey, it can be the same.   When troubles come into our lives we can quickly become just like a fearful child who stops moving forward.  God

One Sentence

My husband likes bullet points.  He is not interested with words and flowery descriptions.  Just get to the point!  If the wind is blowing, then that's's blowing. Verses me... the breeze rushed through her hair causing goose bumps to raise up on the back of her neck under the overcast sky while she stood poised on the deck of the ship .   Nope, the fewer words spoken the better.   I love to write in my journal in the morning.  It is partly about the scripture that spoke to me in my Bible reading that day and partly about my activities for the day.  I also write out my prayer.  I get up early most mornings to try and accomplish this quiet time, but with a house full of company I've not been successful on many occasions.    A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to actually write one sentence before I heard these words, "What ya doing, Grandma?"    I glanced up to see a sweet granddaughter walking towards me in her jammies.  I looked down at the one

Good Bye

  Over the course of my life I’ve gotten pretty good at saying “ Good bye .”  I’m not saying that it's always easy, but I’ve been doing it for a long time. When we were missionaries, our family moved halfway around the world.  We were far from loving family and our children were two, eight and ten.  There were many sad faces the days leading up to our departure, but no one was as sad as my mother-in-law.  Days before we were to leave, she would hold our two-year-old daughter and sob.  She would cling to her to savor every moment.   It is a known fact, in my family, that my husband is the weepy one.  Me...not so much.  He’s the one who cries at movies, sad stories, or things he’s read.  He often will glance in my direction whenever something tugs at his heart to see if I’m equally affected.  Tears will stream down his face like Niagara Falls while my eyes are as dry as the Sahara Dessert.   However, I will admit, seeing my mother-in-law cry over the pending loss of her g