Monthly Archives: March 2021

Is It Painful?

The little girls were playing in our backyard. Each was trying to teach the other a new trick. As I listened from the porch, I heard one say to the other anxiously, “Is it painful?”

I wasn’t sure the answer was honest. “No, it’s not painful. Come on. Just try it.” (If I had been doing the demonstrated trick it would undoubtedly have been quite painful!)

Thinking back on that little scenario, I smile to myself. If only you could face some of life’s tricks with that question: Is it painful? Realistically, we seldom have a chance to choose our path with that simple bit of knowledge. If I could have known on March 13 that I was going into a new trick and if I could have turned down the opportunity because it would be painful, then I guess I’d be a robot, a safe and whole robot, but a robot all the same. And that would not be my choice. But–I could wish I’d have been a tad more careful and “together” that morning.

Seven family members, all senior citizens, were staying in a cottage on Black Rock Mountain that weekend. We’d arrived in Clayton on Friday night, eaten at Ingles, and done our grocery shopping. The evening was spent telling tales, some old some new, taking in the view from the porch of Clayton laid out like a sparkly blanket among dark recesses of mountains, and falling into bed.

We always have such fun cooking together and this was no exception. We burst into giggles over the smallest thing, like someone’s shirt being backwards or some hungry person serving themselves two helpings of grits, one on each side of the plate. Breakfast over, we were bragging on grandchildren pictures, gazing at Clayton waking up in the valley below, asking Charlie one more time which mountain peak was which, and drinking a second cup of coffee.

I chose this time to pull out a knitting project I wanted Suzanne to help me with. I didn’t ask anyone, before I made the slight twist turning from a chair to the couch, if it would be painful. I lost my balance and landed hard on my right hip. Yes, it was very painful! But I thought it was simply a very bad bruise and, with help, hobbled around all weekend using a borrowed walker. On Sunday we made the seven hour trip home to Cairo. For some blessed reason, I slept most of the way.

I was shocked Monday morning at Grady General’s ER to learn that I had broken my hip just below the ball and would have to have surgery. Surgery was at TMH, Tallahassee, Tuesday afternoon thrusting me into pain that seared my brain, destroyed any prideful thoughts of self-sufficiency and made me cling in the middle of the nights to the words, “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14

Friends and family have been so supportive but none more so than Charles who has had to shorten his stride to hang back with my turtle steps.

Is it painful? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. Pain is a very rigorous teacher. Would we want to give up the experience of new jobs, new relationships, new challenges because they are painful? Of course there are challenges, and there are greater challenges. I’m not about to sky dive as my nephew Eric loved to do or hike Pike’s Peak with Phillip. I will, with His great help, harness in to the challenges the Lord has given me.

Having crossed the river of pain (maybe the worst of it anyway!), I now can flex stronger muscles for the PT trainer, and ask for more ice packs. Instead of pain reliever induced panic attacks I can enjoy the sunshine outside glancing off mounds of colorful azaleas and chuckle at the cute get well cards sent by precious well wishers. I can even think about asking for my knitting. Maybe tomorrow.

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A Patriotic Moment

Photo by Brett Sayles on

We’ve been inundated with injustices by the Left. We fear our constitutional rights are being taken away as, in fact, they are. One of the scariest movement is that of infiltrating our schools with unpatriotic ideas and rewriting our country’s history. It reminds me too much of the way Austrians peacefully let themselves be taken over by Hitler March 12, 1938 because they simply didn’t realize, until it was too late, what was happening.

But last week Charles and I were refreshed and touched by a little scene that played out in our kitchen.

Kaison, eight years old, had to go to the dentist that day. Amanda, his mom, asked us to be responsible for him that day including the dental visit. He arrived about 6:45 that morning talking constantly. He was really excited about going to the dentist, about taking the medicine to make him sleepy, but his main topics of conversation concerned characters of his imagination including fantastic monsters. He only paused long enough to say he was hungry. I checked with Amanda to be sure he could have some breakfast. He ate cereal talking full stream ahead between bites.

Charles read our Bible selection for the morning. Kaison, with great difficulty and a few reminders, was able to listen. He has a habit of pounding a spoon, knife or fork into the table as if he were driving pilings for a river bridge. That morning, since he couldn’t talk, he began pounding. I kept giving him less and less damaging utensils until he was trying to drive his pilings with a napkin. During our prayer I could hear his constant wiggle but, between Grandaddy’s praying very briefly that morning and Kaison’s using every bit of his tiny self-control, he didn’t talk until the n of “amen” sounded.

Immediately he announced we were to do the pledge of allegiance “because that’s what we do at school.” (Yay! for Grady County schools!). He thumbed right to a flag on his cell phone and we all stood facing it as solemn as soldiers with hands on our hearts. Kaison’s voice was loud and clear reciting the words: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Thinking the ceremony was over, I began to stack cereal bowls. But Kaison wasn’t through. “No, now we have to sing the anthem,” he said. So, again with hands on our hearts and standing in a solemn straight row, we sang along with music from his cell phone the dear inspiring words: “Oh, say, can you see by the dawn’s early light…” His voice was so clear and sweet and his pronunciation perfectly accurate.

It takes home and school to train a child to be patriotic and loyal. I’m thankful Kaison is receiving training from both sources. I pray for teachers across our land to be diligent in teaching patriotism and I pray our country never gives up its right to salute the flag and to defend her freedoms of religion, speech, and the pursuit of happiness.

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His Mighty Power

Cancel Culture gets worse and worse (whoever heard of taking out Dr. Seuss?). Brave first responders are treated as the enemy. Politicians put themselves first rather than those who elected them. It is imperative that we remember that the One who created the earth and all that is therein is still in power. He who knows when a sparrow suffers will ultimately make everything right.

I wrote the following little essay several years ago for a still unpublished book, Holy Sandpaper, a collection of sixty-six devotions, one for each book of the Bible. I’m pulling it out today to remind myself of His mighty power and hope it means something to you.

His Mighty Power

“…for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.” Luke 8:25d

The disciples had been with Jesus when he cleansed a man of demons (Luke 4:35), healed Simon Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever (Luke 4:39), brought Simon a huge draught of fish when he’d been unable to catch anything (Luke 5:6) healed a man of palsy and forgave his sins (Luke 5:24-25), healed a man’s withered hand (Luke 6:10), healed the dying servant of a centurion long-distance (Luke 7:10), and raised up the dead son of a widow (Luke 7:13-15). But when the disciples witnessed Jesus calming a raging storm, it “blew them away.” “even the winds and water…obey him.”

I can hear the breathless reverence in the voices of the disciples. I don’t know how big that boat was, but I can imagine each one of those rough and tough men feeling the need to prostrate themselves before the Lord if there were room. They were breathless first with fear of the storm, then breathless over the miracle they saw with their own eyes.

Highly trained weather forecasters warn us when there’s danger of tornados and hurricanes, hail storm, and severe thunderstorms. Warnings save hundreds of lives as citizens hear and heed the warnings. But no one can change the weather, only predict it. And the predictions aren’t always accurate because wind currents can suddenly change direction, strength, and speed. Rise and fall of temperatures also affect an oncoming storm.

I’m a survivor of a tornado that hit my home in north Georgia when I was a child and of a hurricane that bombarded my south Georgia home when I myself was a parent. The strength of those storms was incomprehensible. One minute hundred-year-old stately pines were standing tall, the next they were splintered and felled, plowing up the earth where they hit. We were fortunate in the hurricane that our house was only damaged and a few trees blown down. Others lost their houses and barns. It always amazes me to see how a tornado can dip down, take half a house and shred it, yet leave the other half standing with a coconut cake sitting on the kitchen counter or a piano fully intact with a hymnbook on its rack.

We can see the power of the Lord displayed in a spectacular lightning storm. Charles has been called as a veterinarian to pronounce reason for death of cows, sometimes six or eight, struck by lightning while huddling together under a tree.

The power you see in a storm may also be seen in changed lives, healed bodies, circumstances miraculously adjusted or overcome. Have you seen His power lately? Look for Him to be at work in you and around you! Watch diligently for the works of the One whom “even the winds…obey.”

Almighty Master of the winds and the waves, I put my trust in You, and eagerly expect great things to happen. Amen.

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Tiny Silver Cable Cars

Tiny silver cable cars

Raindrops in a row,

Carrying microscopic skiers

To a place where there is snow.

Rosy blossoms wildly strewn

Beneath a cherry tree–

Carpet good for any queen

And all her court to be.

Neat hard buds on branches bare

Against a platinum sky

Burst into a cloud of pink,

Paradise for passersby.

Winter rules one dark day.

Spring comes in the next.

Our Father paints in grays and reds;

Every picture is the best.

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