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Where In The World Has She Been?–Missing in Action

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Where In The World Has She Been?–Missing in Action

It has been far too long since I posted here. Every weekend and Wednesday it has been on my to-do list. Yet, no posts. I’ve thought of ideas that came and went. But yet, nothing. So, here in pictures is my past month!       So there you have it. A pictorial diary. Look for upcoming opportunities to get your copy of the newest book here and on my Facebook page. It is available in online stores as well!        ...

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Who God Made Me

Posted by on Sep 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Who God Made Me

Often, the question arises at work. How long have you been a nurse? I have to admit that I almost choke when I respond with the answer. Thirty years. How can it be? Where did those years go? I’m not even that old, am I? Oh wait, I am. Well. This week the nursing profession has been in the news a lot. I’m not here to comment on it, although I DO have an opinion. Anyway, because of all of the publicity, my Facebook page has been filled with offers of nurse-y products. Cute t-shirts and sweatshirts with clever or inspiring sayings on them. One of the sayings from a t-shirt caught my attention because of one phrase. “I am a caregiver.” That one tempted me, because, well. I am. A caregiver. The other morning I awoke at 4:55 a.m. and willed the phone to ring telling me they didn’t need me and I could stay home. (After all, who wants to get up at 5:20 a.m. to go to work.) I laid there for a half-an-hour, and when the phone never rang I got up and got ready for work. As I fixed my breakfast a little thrill went through my heart. I get to go to work today and take care of people. I get to see my friends. No kidding. It really happened. I felt a wee bit like I had a split personality! My husband has told me a hundred times, if he has told me once that I can’t quit nursing. “You NEED to take care of people and I didn’t sign up to be the only person you take care of.” So, I am a caregiver. It is who God made me. The next day I loaded books in my car, obsessively checked and rechecked to make sure I had my flash drive in my bag, and drove an hour to Greenville, SC. First I went to my publisher’s office and picked up several boxes of books. For one thing, I was getting low on copies of two of my books. For another, my newest book had arrived. As usual my publisher helped get the boxes to my car and off I went. This time I didn’t just drive home. I went to a school. That afternoon I spoke to two-hundred and fifty students in grades one through six at Hampton Park Christian School. It was delightful. As the students filed in my heart started beating fast. Not because I was nervous. No, because I was doing what God made me to do. I am a teacher. I love children. I was going to teach children about the writing process. I couldn’t wait! I also surprised the students with an unusual event, something I had never done before. The students helped me open my box of new books. Yep, right then and there. It was awesomeness. I came home exhausted but happy and two hours later marched off to Awana. Because, well, it involves helping children...

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Independent and United

Posted by on Jul 4, 2015 in Blog, Uncategorized |

Independent and United

This is a column I wrote for the Newberry Observer, in Newberry, SC several years ago. It is included in the book just released, “You Ain’t From Here, Are Ya?”. It was true then. It is true now. God Bless and Save America. Everywhere I look there are reminders that the 4th of July is next week,. When I walked downtown this morning, they were putting out the flags on Main Street. Even the blooming crepe myrtles coordinate with the flags and banners. Words like Independence and United run through my head. While I still believe we live in the best country in the world, I wonder sometimes if those words are really still true in America. We are constantly bombarded with fighting between our elected leaders and reminded of our differences by people who speak about the red states versus the blue states. I don’t feel very united. And, with all of us so dependent on the government to provide many of our daily needs as well as foreign governments to lend us money, I really question our independence. This week I was reminded of what America is all about, how it is supposed to be. I have a friend who moved from South Dakota to Minot, North Dakota. We still keep in touch via Facebook. I have watched in horror as the flooding threatened and then consumed not just her home, but her entire neighborhood, indeed an entire section of her city. As I watched the reports something struck me. These people didn’t holler for the government to come save them. No, they loaded their belongings into cars, vans, trucks, and cattle trailers and emptied out their houses. Those whose homes weren’t threatened showed up to help. People who had space took in families, belongings, or both. Once the evacuees’ belongings were safe, they went back to help someone who wasn’t done yet.  People lent their RV’s to perfect strangers and even stocked them with food. They were United against the force of nature that threatened their community. The thing is, the people in North Dakota are a proudly independent, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps sort. They don’t ask for help. They believe in doing it themselves. But, when they come to the end of the rope, they will call out for help. And, if you are one of the lucky ones who isn’t experiencing the trial, you get under the rope ready to catch. That’s independence and united rolled into one situation. Thankfully, in the time I’ve been in Newberry, we haven’t had any major disasters. I get the sense, though, that people here would be the help-each-other-out sort. This town is full of people who get real joy from helping others and I am privileged to know several of them. I believe this is a city-country difference. People in the small towns and rural areas are more in touch with their neighbors, feel more connected. When a disaster strikes, they help because they know these people and they know...

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GOD, GIVE US MEN!

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Uncategorized |

GOD, GIVE US MEN!

This is a photo of my daddy, Marvin Jones and my uncle, Jim Jones. They both served in  the military; one in the Army and one in the Navy. Then Daddy spent his life serving God in the pastorate where he still  ministers. Uncle Jim ranches (still part-time) and spent twelve years in the legislature of Nebraska. They are great examples to all of us of real men. My life is full of such men. We need men like this for our country! This poem seemed appropriate considering that we just had an election and Veteran’s Day! What can we do now that the election is over? I believe that both of the men picture above would urge us to humble ourselves before God and pray. They’ve never given me bad advice yet! GOD, GIVE US MEN! GOD, GIVE US MEN! A time like this demands strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;    Men whom the lust of office does not kill; Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;    Men who possess opinions and a will; Men who have honor; men who will not lie; Men who can stand before a demagogue    And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking! Tall men, sun crowned, who live above the fog    In public duty and in private thinking; For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds, Their large professions and their little deeds, Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps, Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.                                        —-Josiah Gilbert Holland    There IS a word in this poem I don’t use, but my daddy taught me to use language appropriately and I believe it is used as such in this...

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Treasure in the Midst of Tumult

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Blog, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Treasure in the Midst of Tumult

To say that our house is in an upheaval is an understatement. This summer we are combining the remnants of three residences into one. I am incredibly excited about the prospect of having all of our stuff in one house. Well, one house and a temporary storage unit. There is still some serious sorting and organizing that needs to be accomplished, but we are on the cusp of success here! Wonderful.   But, the process is overwhelming at times. There are boxes everywhere. Projects. It is sometimes mind numbing.   But the other night I found a treasure under the bed.   You know how it is. You pull off the mattress and box spring and. . . WHOA! There is an entire colony of dust bunnies, shoes, lost socks, chapstick, and if you are really blessed, a treasure.   There right at the top near my bedside table was a little red notebook. A lightbulb went off in my head. I opened the book and remembered. This was a gift from a conference. At the end our mentors gave us little notebooks. They told us to write down things we want to remember in the notebook. Moments we want to keep alive forever.   I started reading. There were only three entries—after all it did fall under the bed—but they took my breath away. The first was the memory of a special moment with my sister-in-law. The second was the memory of a major breakthrough in my life—the one where I learned I could trust God completely.   The third was a miracle. The entry read, “Today I want to remember that Cheryl is back!” Even as I type this I’m getting choked up. The miracle of my sister’s comeback from Parkinson’s is one that will undoubtedly take my breath away for the rest of my life.   I needed this notebook tonight. It is daunting to follow God’s direction when you are following blind. But, then if we weren’t following blind it wouldn’t really be trust would it!   I believe with all of my heart God wants us to remember. Over and over in the Bible God placed passages where the acts of God were reviewed. He did it so we can remember. So when we are in the dark part of the tunnel and we can’t quite see the light at the end, we can think back to the many times God provided for us.   So tonight I think I’ll add an entry to my little red notebook.   “July 18, 2014—I want to remember finding this notebook under the bed.”   Today I am honored to be interviewed on Vonda Skelton’s blog. The first time I heard Vonda speak I realized she had traveled the path I was on. There were many similarities in our stories. I determined that she would be an awesome person to choose as a mentor. So I did. It was Vonda and Carolyn Knefely who gave me the...

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A Legacy of Connections

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Uncategorized |

The other night my sister in Rapid City, SD told me that she has a co-worker who is from Newberry, South Carolina. She graduated from Newberry College with a Chemistry degree. While she never took any classes from him, she remembered my husband. He remembers her too. Last week I visited friends in Pennsylvania and was privileged to visit with a man who was a teenager in my grandpa’s church in Iowa. My daddy was his youth leader. My grandpa preached his ordination service. I only ran into him because I met someone at college over twenty years ago, became friends, kept in contact, and now visit the school where she teaches. It’s a small world after all, isn’t it? It made me think of heaven. We are amazed at the connections here on earth. We exclaim over the fact that many of our circles lead back to each other. But what about when we all get to heaven? Imagine the discoveries there! After all, as Christians every one of our paths leads right back to...

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Imperfect People doing what a Perfect God asked!

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Imperfect People doing what a Perfect God asked!

At church today I heard two messages. One was about the holiness of God. When we see Him for who He is and ourselves for who we are, it changes us. The second spoke to the fact that God was pleased with Solomon because he simply wanted wisdom. He loved God. I was reminded of some friends. What we need to do is ask God what it is He wants us to do, then do it. Simple, right? It reminds me of some friends. . . Little did I know when I offered to make an airport run for a conference that I was going to receive such an amazing blessing. In my car was Sue Badeau. As I heard just a bit of her story my heart jumped into my throat. This woman had a keen understanding of the needs of children, specifically the need for a home. She reminded me of a lady who wrote a book years ago titled, “The Family Nobody Wanted.” When I discovered she and her husband, Hector were writing a book about their experiences adopting and raising 22 children I simply couldn’t wait. So, I offered to read a pre-release copy. I wasn’t disappointed! First, she referenced the very book I mentioned above. No Kidding. Secondly, I found myself drawn into the book in such a way that I could not put it down. I wanted to know what happened to each child. I rejoiced with them in their accomplishments. My heart broke for them in their trials and disappointments. I felt like I knew this family. I was challenged in my thinking regarding the need for homes for older children and young people. As an adult whose mother died when I was young, I am very aware of the importance of extended family in the life of a child, especially those experiencing trauma. However, I had never transferred that knowledge to the reality of foster and adoptive children. I was thankful for the honest, humble way that Hector and Sue share their failures as well as their successes. These aren’t perfect people. They are simply imperfect people doing what a perfect God has asked them to do. Love the children. No, God hasn’t asked each of us to do what Hector and Sue have been asked to do. But, it can be a challenge to each of us to see people living out their calling! If you love children, if you believe in family, if you like biographies or stories about real people. . . this book is for you! Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip: Adopting and Raising 22 Kids! by Hector and Sue Badeau...

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Growing and Going

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Growing and Going

I’ve had a wonderful month. It has been busy, but awesome. For years I dreamed of having my nieces and nephews come visit. But, due to the distance and finances it hasn’t happened. However, in the past sixteen months my three oldest nieces all made the trip down South. The twins were the last and they stayed three weeks, flying home last week. My house feels empty. Shortly before they arrived I found a picture from their eight-year-old trip. That’s another story but I’ll tell you that it is a trip my sister and I take them on when they are eight. It’s not a very original name, but the kids were the first to call it that and it stuck. The three girls—now all eighteen—reenacted the photo a couple of years ago. When I found the original picture I searched my computer files and found the second one. In this one picture is a description of how I’ve felt with their recent visits. Do you remember the commercial on TV about the dad letting his sixteen year old daughter drive away for the first time? As he looks into the car what he sees is a four-year-old sitting behind the wheel. The reality is that there is a capable young lady ready to take on the world. This has been my reality. Oh, the little girls were here. I saw them fleetingly in the giggles, mannerisms, and personality traits that stay with us through our lifetime. But, in the place of the little eight-year old girls were capable eighteen-year old women. Adults. So, these were “getting to know you” visits. I’m hoping that they will lay the foundation for a new kind of relationship. One in which I have three new “best friends”—once babies I snuggled with, children with whom I experienced adventure, and now adults with whom I can share. Growing up isn’t so bad after all, is...

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A Grown-Up Tea Party

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 2 comments

A Grown-Up Tea Party

One of the things I miss the most about living near my family. . .  No, that’s not right. The thing I MOST miss about living near my family is the opportunity to be a daily part of my nieces and nephews lives. For the first ten years of “aunthood” I lived right there, in the thick of it. I was at every birthday party, every Christmas, every everything. Well, except for the year my passport was stolen and I had to wait to fly home from Europe, thereby missing the twins’ birthday. Something we would do that was particularly fun was tea parties. We would fill the teapot; pull out real tea cups and the tiny spoons. We would fill the creamer with milk, pull out the sugar dish, and place little cookies on a fancy plate. Gathered around the table we enjoyed each other’s company while practicing our manners. Even the boys enjoyed the tea parties because—of course—they involved food! They were precious memory-making opportunities and the beginning of my teapot collection. Each time I use a teapot I wish someone in my family could be here to enjoy tea with me. I have especially wished some of my nieces and nephews could come. Today, my dream has come true. Two of my nieces are here for a visit and we are having tea. The thing is while I imagine them as eight-year old little girls, they are now adults. They are doing online college courses, so we are tea partying over our work. While I blog and work on the last bits for my next book, they are working on a project on their laptops. And, we are enjoying tea. We are having a grown-up tea...

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Of Nurses and Politics. . .

Posted by on Oct 1, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Of Nurses and Politics. . .

Of Nurses and Politics. . . (This blog post is a repeat from 2012. However, considering the current events in America I believe it is timely!) I started my new job last week and I have two more days of corporate orientation. Then I get to start my “on the job training” in the ICU/CCU.   Since my official residence is still in South Carolina and I am a republican, I am voting this week.   Now, I realize there may be an apparent disparity between those two events, but I think not. I’ll explain why.   I started thinking about this last month when I finished my last week at Lexington Medical Center.  I was so, so, so glad to be done. But, I was desperately saddened. I was leaving “my peeps”. I’ve never called a group that before. For some reason—I’m unsure why—I bonded more than ever before with my coworkers. I think it may have been our differences.   The group that worked the night shift were from all over. There were some from the South, sure. But, there were some from the Midwest, the Northeast, the Philippines, Norway, and even one from that foreign-est of foreign places, South Dakota. But, that didn’t matter.   It also didn’t matter that we were of all different persuasions of religion and politics. There were ultra-conservative people, bleeding hearts, those who really didn’t have an opinion, and some in the middle. We were of every color, “red and yellow, black and white.”   We even had different styles of nursing. There were the “rule followers” who believed the policy is the ultimate document. There was the laissez faire, laid-back sort. There were the “Lone ranger” nurses who liked to do things themselves, and then there were the “it’s all more fun if we do it as a group” type.   Oh, there were differences. Differences of style, differences of personality, differences of beliefs, and even differences of opinion, otherwise called disagreements. Oh yes, there were disagreements.   BUT.   There was a unifying cause. There was something that trumped all of those differences and disagreements and that was what made us a team. The patient.   Nothing brings a team of nurses together like these words, “Call a Code.” Or even the slightly less terrifying, “I need help in here.”   When a patient is “crashing” the nurses come together and there is one goal, saving the patient. All differences are forgotten and they work as a team to make sure the patient survives. Maybe things aren’t done exactly like the “rule followers” would like. Maybe the “bleeding hearts” don’t get everything they would like. But, the patient gets their best group effort.   Here was my thinking as I finished at Lexington and now this week as I am being introduced to a new team. I was privileged to work in the midst of such a great and diverse group of nurses. I learned a lot from them, even...

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Birthday Remembrance of a Proverbs 31 Woman

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Birthday Remembrance of a Proverbs 31 Woman

Today marks 101 years since Grandma Jones (Mildred) was born. She has been in heaven almost four years. I still think of her every day. Her love, kindness, gentleness, and wisdom live on in the memories of those who knew her and the stories they tell. She wasn’t a “talker.” In fact, she was one of the few people in her immediate family who wasn’t. She was a listener. However, when she said something you were well-advised to listen! So, today I want to create a blog of some of the sayings I remember. I hope they bless you as they do me. “The good old days weren’t so good.” Sod house where she gave birth to my Daddy “If it won’t matter in fifty years, it isn’t worth worrying about now.” “Crying doesn’t help, it just gives you a headache.” “The main thing with your weight, Miriam, is to keep the first number a one.” “It’s good to see them come, and it’s good to see them go.” (On family coming to visit.) “There  wasn’t much divorce when we were young. If you didn’t like him one day you just waited a few days until you did.” While watching Antiques Roadshow: “They aren’t worth that much. That’s just what they are willing to pay. Those are just old things from when I was a kid.” “Come see me when I’m alive, don’t worry about bringing flowers when I’m...

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Goldenrods and My Faith

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Goldenrods and My Faith

“Aren’t those yellow flowers beautiful?” I pointed out the window of the pick-up at the mass of wildflowers in the ditches alongside the road. “They’re all along the road up the mountain too.” I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the glorious yellow flowers as I’ve driven back and forth to Hendersonville the past few weeks, and here were more of them between Newberry and Banner Elk. “Those are goldenrod,” Bruce said. “They are terrible allergens.” My mouth dropped open. “Goldenrod? That’s the state flower in Nebraska. What’s it doing out here?” And then, it happened. Yes, if you know me and my love of Nebraska, you will know what happened next. I started singing. There I was, riding through the North Carolina foothills singing Beautiful Nebraska at the top of my lungs.                                     Beautiful Nebraska, peaceful prairie land. Laced with many rivers, and the hills of sand.   Then I realized what I was doing and I stopped. You see, the song and the Nebraska lore are so deeply engrained in my mind that it is automatic. I don’t even think about it. I just sing. After all, I spent eighteen years of my life in Nebraska. But I wasn’t in Nebraska. Just singing the Nebraska song didn’t change my location. For that I would need to get in a car or hop on a plane and head west. Yesterday on my walk I saw more goldenrods all along the path to the park and it started me thinking. It struck me that my Christian upbringing has similarities to the goldenrod influenced outburst of Sunday evening. Bible verses and hymns are the stuff of my childhood. When I hear the word “joy” a song immediately jumps into my mind. Many phrases pull a verse up from my subconscious. But, the truth is just having a culture of spiritual songs and scriptures isn’t enough. That doesn’t make me a Christian. No, that required a decision to place my trust in what Jesus did for me on the cross. Yes, I’m glad I have a Nebraska heritage. I’m also thankful for my Christian heritage. But, above all I’m thankful for the saving grace of God, for without it I’d just be singing about a destination I’d never see!   P.S. The Grandparents Day book drawing was won by Carol Weeks. Congratulations, Carol! Your book will be in the mail tomorrow! Thank you to all who commented on my...

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Grandma Walton’s Real Estate

Posted by on Sep 7, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Grandma Walton’s Real Estate

Yesterday at work I was in a patient’s room giving a medication. My patient was watching The Waltons. I have strong memories of sitting at Grandpa and Grandma Jones’ house with the cousins, eating grapes and watching The Waltons. Awesome memories. While I signed into the computer, scanned the patient’s armband and medication, and gave the medication I watched and listened to two scenes in this episode. John Boy began by narrating the fact that when he started writing he wanted to tell the stories of his family and his home. Then it goes to a scene with him waiting while his teacher reads his story. It was the first story he had been brave enough to share and I found myself becoming nervous for him as he waited. Of course she loved it and told him that he had a gift. A gift that was his alone and he could do anything with. I was delighted. But wait, there was more! The next scene is John Boy talking to Grandma. Grandma is looking at the paper and she acknowledges that if the teacher says it is really good, it must be really good. She says she is proud. Then she goes off on a speech about how John Boy’s grandpa gave him an inheritance of the meadow and she doesn’t have anything to give him. He assures her that her gift to him was just being there, but she shrugged him off and kept talking. Grandma explained that her family was a family of story-tellers. When she was a girl they sat around and told stories. You could see the light come on in John Boy’s mind and he said, “Then I inherited my gift from you!” Grandma smiled. Shaking with delight she said, “John Boy, those stories have been maturing in my mind and now they are ready to be told. I will tell them to you and that will be your inheritance from me!” “Grandma, I cherish you,” said John Boy. And Miriam cried. It reminds me of my grandpas. I’ve sat and listened to all three of them share family stories with me. That’s why I write! Tomorrow is Grandparents Day. So many elderly people want to leave something of worth to their children. Many don’t think they have anything to offer. I suggest that the stories and wisdom from our elders is something to be cherished! Something to listen to and remember! Something to write down! Elders, go forth and tell! The rest of you. . . go forth and...

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Bradley Beans and the Badeau Family

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Today two great things happened! First I picked, snapped, and canned four jars of beans. The second thing which happened is that I received a book via UPS! Now, what on earth do these two things have to do with each other? Let me tell you. My husband and I were talking on the phone and he shared something. “I was thinking about your blog post about pole versus bush beans and I realized something,” he said. He proceeded to relate how the blog post made him realize that the beans we are growing aren’t just food. They are legacy. You see, we obtained the seeds from his uncle and they are called Bradley Beans. They are saved down through the generations from who-knows-where. In fact, my husband is on a search to find how long these beans have been used by his family and where they got them. All he knows is that they are the only kind his parents ever grew, and the entire extended family depends on saving their Bradley Beans. Just a couple of nights ago I spent a few minutes removing beans from some of the pods we let get too big to eat. They will be our seeds for next year. We even hope to have enough extra to share with a cousin who lost her seeds when she moved, and my parents who think the idea of not bending over to pick beans is a good one! Bruce went on to explain that one part of the legacy is the fact that you have to save the seeds. Every year. You can’t depend on seeds from years ago. We found that out when we inherited the house. We tried planting some beans we found here, but it had been too many years. Bruce pointed out that it is like working with children. The influence we have on children is an hourly, daily, weekly, continuous process. We can’t just depend on what we did a year ago. It takes time! It takes repeated teaching. It takes continuous work. Whether a parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent our influence needs to be ongoing. This leads to the book I received in the mail by my friends Hector and Sue Badeau, Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip: Adopting and Raising 22 Kids. I was privileged to read a preliminary copy on my computer and I was hard-pressed to put it down. My heart soared with them when they had glorious break-through moments and brought each child home. My heart broke with them when the realities of life came crashing in. I was inspired by their honesty and transparency in speaking of their own human frailty. This couple doesn’t focus on raising a kid and letting them go. No, they are in it for the long haul. Almost every day I see Sue posting a message on Facebook for one of her children or grandchildren (and sometimes more than one a day, as you can...

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Pole or Bush?

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 1 comment

In the past three days we have picked, snapped, and canned twenty pints of green beans. I am delighted to say the least, but rather amazed considering the sad state of our garden this year. After all, it has been a record-breaking wet year with many farmers and gardeners losing almost everything. We lost all forty-nine tomato plants to the water. Our squash plants rotted on the vine. It was reported that squash were selling for 60 dollars a bushel. It’s been bad. So, the great bean harvest we have experienced is nothing short of a miracle. Well, that and the fact that they are pole beans and my husband went to all of the work of putting up the poles, the wires, and the strings for all four rows. I have to admit I haven’t always been a fan of the pole bean method. I was raised on bush beans. It seemed like a colossal waste of time to get those poles in the ground, put the wire up, and then lace the string up and down along the rows. I did like the fact that I didn’t have to bend over and break my back to pick the beans, but really. . . was it worth it. This year it has been, no doubt! The truth of the matter is this, without those poles and string the beans would have stayed on the ground and rotted in the muck just like the rest of the garden. Instead, the bean plants climbed straight up toward the sky and I have to stand on tiptoes to pick some of the beans. I haven’t needed a ladder yet, but who knows. This evening I was thinking about the beans and how blessed we are that they are pole beans and not bush beans. I couldn’t help but realize the spiritual application. If I stay on the ground in the muck of this world’s sin I will rot. If I climb the strings, wires, and poles of the truths God gives in his Word I can climb for the sky and produce wonderful “beans” of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. I think I’d rather be a pole Christian than a bush Christian. What about you?...

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Making it till Midnight

Posted by on Aug 28, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Some years ago I started reading the Psalms for my devotions. Someone suggested a reading program that allows you to read through the Psalms in a month. I love the Psalms. Many of them remind me of Grandma McKnight. She often had us memorize verses from the Psalms when we visited their home. This has been my “go-to” devotional plan when I don’t have anything else specific and I admit, I’ve fallen back on this plan so much I’ve probably neglected the New Testament. However, how can you go wrong with the Psalms? Today I collected my Bible, a notebook, and a devotional book and with a mug of tea in hand I settled on the couch. I read the five chapters but each verse was a battle. My mind wouldn’t settle. My plans for this week aren’t quite going right. Cares of the world are weighing heavy. I found my mind jumping all over the place. So, I read a few verses in Philippians then returned to Psalms. I would read them again. This time I found a treasure. (It was there before, I know.) Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Memories flooded back. Grandpa McKnight was known for his “sayings.” He had favorite phrases, sayings, and stories that he liked to use. They were repeated so consistently and predictably that our family can bring Grandpa into any situation just by copying his saying. It’s pretty awesome, really. One of his sayings would occur whenever you asked him how he was feeling. “Oh, I think I’ll make it till midnight,” he would quip. We would grin. He didn’t complain about how he was feeling, he didn’t gloat about feeling terrific, he simply said he thought he’d make it till midnight. In December of 1997 Grandma McKnight went to heaven. She was ready and though we would miss her we knew she wouldn’t be in all of that pain up there. We gathered to say goodbye and buried her on Saturday. The next morning we joined Grandpa at church where he was the interim pastor. He stood inside the foyer as my sister, Cheryl and I came through the door. “How are you this morning?” one of us asked. I waited, knowing what he would say. My heart needed to hear it. The assurance. The continuity. The tradition. What came out of his mouth wasn’t what we expected and our mouths dropped open, I’m sure. “This is the day which the LORD hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” I looked at Cheryl and she looked at me. We smiled at Grandpa, gave him a hug and went to our seats. That evening my Grandpa got in his car to drive back to church, but instead his soul traveled to heaven.  As I stood by his empty body in the ER that moment in the church came back to me. Did he know?...

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