Showing posts from 2019

I Have It, If I Can Find It!

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” You know what that means? I must be completely off my rocker! Why? Because at the start of each holiday season, I resolve that this year will be different. This year, I will really savor this incredible season that celebrates the birth of my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. This time, I will capture and hold fast to that elusive “joy” about which I sing. And while my intentions are pure, it isn’t long before I find myself repeating the same mistakes of years past. The carefree pace at which I begin the season is soon replaced by one of frenzy, my mind and time become consumed with a seemingly insurmountable list of holiday “to-dos,” and my good cheer is replaced with angst as stress starts to overwhelm me. In the end, I surrender once again to the holiday chaos, and my search for the joy-giving Christ child is derailed. Author Philip Gulley writes of the time he once vent

I See You, Mom...

I see you, Mom. I see that you're not feeling well. I see that you're tired and beginning to slow down. I see that you're not as active or energetic as you once were. I see that the difficulties of the last few years have taken their toll. And seeing these things hurts my heart. But, as I look more closely, I see the joy you experience when I walk in the door, or when we go on an outing together. I see the happiness you exude when getting your hair and nails done, or while shopping at Walmart with your neighbors. I see the excitement you feel when winning at Bingo, eating bacon, or re-reading an Erle Stanley Gardner book. Most of all, I see your desire to make the most of every moment, understanding that each one is a gift from God. For the perseverance and resilience you display, for your sweet and sassy spirit, and for the unconditional and abiding love you offer me and all those around you... I see and am very thankful for you, Mom.

Everyday Heroes

Today marks the anniversary of the September 11th bombings, and many of us will spend time remembering the horrors we witnessed on that unforgettable day. We will experience anew the fear and anger caused by this unimaginable catastrophe, and grieve again the losses of life and innocence that resulted. But we’ll also recall and pay homage to the countless heroes who acted in the midst of this unthinkable crisis; heroes whose bravery and courage shone brightly against the backdrop of incomprehensible evil. These selfless men and women planted within our hearts the hope that we could, and would, overcome this horrific tragedy. Most of us will never forget where we were on the morning of September 11th. For my part, I was in Houston’s Medical Center, receiving what would be my final dose of chemotherapy. As I watched the events of that day unfold before me on the hospital’s television screen, I was amazed by the emerging stories of extraordinary heroes who had sacrificed their own lives

A Crown of Glory!

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. ~ 1 Peter 5:4 The most vivid memory I have of my maternal grandmother, nicknamed Dizzy because of her oft-flaky behavior, relates to her hairstyle, for it was her crowning glory! No matter the state of her health or the weather conditions, Diz never missed a hair appointment. Each week, she would move swiftly into the beauty shop near our home and spend the next hour being shampooed, teased and shellacked by Deitmar, a slight, excitable German man who exhibited a surprisingly gentle side when tending to my grandma. And despite a hairstyle that was unyielding, even on the most blustery or steamiest of days, Diz would return home from Deitmar’s salon and proceed directly to the upstairs bathroom, where she would apply even more hairspray to her already-immovable coif. And then she’d descend the stairs to the den with a smile, and that coy, lovely smile would brighten the day of each perso

Reach For "The Star"

My foray into the world of prayer began in earnest when I entered my teen years, with most of my time spent uttering this simple, yet heartfelt plea: “God, please help me to GROW!” A not-so-surprising request given that I’d achieved a mere 47 inches in height by the age of 12 and had already faced a good bit of ridicule because of it. Couple that with a traumatic move from Nashville to Houston and a powerful outbreak of teen acne, both occurring just before my entry into 6th grade, and my prayer seemed reasonable, even vital, for my well-being. After all, my confidence was thoroughly shaken, and what little self-esteem I possessed was rapidly plummeting. Some divine intervention was certainly in order! But, even with my fervent, oft-lifted prayers, it soon became clear to me that God was completely ignoring my appeal for growth. My suspicions were confirmed during my 6th grade year – I could detect no changes to my vertically-challenged condition and taunts about my stature intensified

Heaven To My Soul

I love a good movie, don’t you? The best movies do more than entertain. They lift our spirits; they teach us magnificent lessons, lessons that enrich our lives; they transport us someplace beautiful. Among my favorite movies is Under the Tuscan Sun , perhaps because it takes place in Italy, the land of my people. -smile- In this movie, Diane Lane plays the role of Frances, a woman enduring the after-effects of a terrible divorce. She travels overseas, seeking solace and an escape from her troubles. In a powerful scene that changes the trajectory of her life, Frances shares with a new friend her deepest fear - that relief from her pain will never come. Her friend comforts her with this reply: Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could m