Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Deep Thirst and Living Water

Deep Thirst and Living Water

Last week I shared how I became dehydrated and wound up in the emergency room. You can find that post HERE if you missed it. 


Thank you for your comments of support. Also, a big thank you to those of you able to laugh with me through that crazy experience. 


I was sure I would wind up with a black eye or two for Thanksgiving, but my face cleared up and few people could tell anything had happened at all. I am happy my “hair stylist” trimmed my bangs exactly where they would need to fall to cover the protruding knots on my forehead. (Yep, I know how to use a pair of scissors.)


Unquenched thirst can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is dangerous. There are different kinds of thirst. There are serious consequences to dehydration.


Most of my readers know I am a believer… a follower of Jesus Christ. My experience at the Emergency Room reminded me of a story in the Bible. 


The account takes place when Jesus is traveling through Samaria. Most Jews avoided that part of the country like the plague. Jews simply did not associate with Samaritans. But here is Jesus going right into that off limits countryside. It is just another piece of God saying, “I’m here for everybody not just a few select people.”


I digress. Back to the story.


Jesus stops to rest. A Samaritan woman comes to draw water at the well where Jesus is seated. Jesus asks her for a drink. She is shocked he would ask her for anything since she is a Samaritan. He tells her that if she knew who he was she would ask him for “living water.”


Of course, the living water he speaks of is eternal life. 


You can read the story in its entirety in chapter 4 of the Book of John.


I love this story on so many levels. We often only see what we think we need or, as is usually the case, what we want. Our thirst. But once that thirst is quenched, we go about our daily routines until we get thirsty again. Living a life to only meet our wants and needs as humans leaves us thirsting for more and never able to fill up. 


That kind of life may keep us going physically, but leads to spiritual dehydration. Much like the woman at the well.


Dehydration,  as I demonstrated with my face plant into the door and onto the floor last week, leaves us feeling weak and inadequate. Useless. Fearful. Bruised. This is true both physically and spiritually. 


Perhaps you left the Thanksgiving table feeling full and satisfied physically. You may have even spent these last few days scanning the ads, the Black Friday deals, and trying to put together a list of “things” you hope will bring you and your family to a place of feeling good about life. 


Adding more stuff to your cluttered house will not quench that thirst. Having the biggest light show in your neighborhood won’t satisfy your heart’s desire. Going in debt to buy the kids the newest electronic gizmo won’t provide that fullness you crave, either.


Instead, this season, I challenge you to seek the living water


Here's what you can do: Spend a few minutes each day in December reading one of the four Gospels in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Your choice.


Don’t have a Bible at home? No problem, these books of the Bible can be found online. I would recommend the New International Version (NIV), the New King James Version (NKJV) or the English Standard Version (ESV). They are all reliable and readable translations.


That’s the challenge. Read one book of the Bible to finish out 2021. Can’t hurt. But fair warning: You may develop a thirst to read more…and to seek the Living Water.



Tuesday, November 23, 2021

A Knot Head for Thanksgiving

A Knot Head For Thanksgiving 

“She had big blue eyes and dark wavy hair…

And a knot on her head, but we didn’t care.”


Yep, that was me. It is part of a poem my mother wrote about me the year I was born. I was born with a knot on the crown of my head. It didn’t bother my parents. They loved me anyway. 


I am sporting a new knot or two on my forehead this Thanksgiving. I was a bit dehydrated and passed out. Oh, how I hate to type those words. It makes me feel like a klutz… an “old” klutz. 


But there were some good things to ponder; Some “Thanks-Giving” to be had. For instance:


·      I didn’t damage the door jamb I thumped with my noggin.

·     The blood and subsequent vomit were all in one tidy puddle on the tile floor making for easy cleanup.

·     My daughter was a phone call away.

·     My good friend drove me to the hospital.

·     The hospital was not at all busy, so they took me in immediately.

·     My stay lasted only about four hours.

·     They did a CAT scan and found my brain was fine…no cats.

·     They did an EKG and my heart is good.

·     They drew blood…left me enough to keep going and determined my blood is good. (Good enough, I guess. I don’t actually do “medi-speak” so I trust them when they gave me these reports.)

·     My mom spent the night with me and cared for me…like old times.


By the way, the knot on the back of my head as a baby vanished and I trust the one on my forehead will as well. Here is that part of the poem:


“A few months later, those blue eyes were brown,

The knot had vanished and she was the cutest baby in town.”


Yeah, well, remember it was written by my mama…

Tuesday, November 16, 2021




Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you've got
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot
Wouldn't you like to get away?


Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name.


Remember these lyrics from the television sitcom CheersCheers was more than a bar in Boston. It was a gathering place for a wide variety of people. It was in the bar where they found a sense of community.


My husband used to say the theme song from this show would make a great song for church. The elders would likely have voted that one down, but he was right.


Tom and I found a sense of community at church. We were among a group of people whose values were similar to ours. We found people who enjoyed the same activities. We always felt welcomed


And church was a place we could take a break from our troubles and worries. People actually cared about us. When Tom died in 2014, it was our church family that wrapped their arms around me…and my family…both figuratively and physically. They held us up.


I am seven years older now. My children and grandchildren are growing up. They lead busy, productive lives of their own. Me? I’m part of a group for people over fifty-five years old. We meet once a month at church and enjoy each other’s company. We play games and bring in musical entertainers and programs. Sometimes we have a guest speaker. It’s fun, but maybe not enough.


I suppose that’s why when a friend invited me to the community center activities for seniors, I accepted. Mind you, I don’t actually think of myself as a senior citizen even if I qualified for the membership.


Every Tuesday evening I play Euchre there. It’s fun and I’ve met a lot of good people. One of the women there I also know from my weekly Bible study. I knew she was going to visit her daughter in California. She spoke of leaving this Thursday. I assumed she was spending Thanksgiving with her daughter.


Then I learned she is returning on the Monday before Thanksgiving. So this past Tuesday evening at the senior center I asked her if she wanted to spend Thanksgiving with us. She declined. It turns out another daughter is coming to spend Thanksgiving with her. Good.


But what struck me was her reaction to my invitation. She took hold of my arm and gushed a huge “Thank you! Thank you!” She went on to say, “You have no idea how wonderful it is to be asked!”


Maybe I do. 


Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name.


This Thanksgiving we would do well to open our doors to those around us who have no place to go. People without family members nearby. Older people. Younger people.  So that’s my challenge to my readers. 


There is still time to pull another chair up to your table and throw another potato in the pot. 


I’m guessing many will say no, but be grateful to be included.

And if they say yes? Remember this: your home is so much better than that bar in Boston.





Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Bring Home the Bacon

 Bring Home the Bacon


I often look to my own life and experiences as topics for this blog. Sometimes my life events strike a chord with my readers. Other times, I imagine they click on the link, yawn, and go their merry way. Bloggers want to write meaningful, enlightening posts. 


But it doesn’t always happen. 


Take this week.


I had several topics in mind, but I kept coming back to…are you ready? Bacon. Yes, I said bacon. B-A-C-O-N.


I had this craving for bacon. I don’t eat it often. In fact, I buy it so rarely, I’ve taken to frying it all at one time, eating a bit, and freezing the rest to zap in the microwave and eat later. Not this time. 


At the store this week, I tried my best to pass the bin of bacon in the meat section. I told myself I didn’t need it. I walked on to grab the butter and milk on my list before circling back to the bacon. I picked up a package and examined it. “Too fatty.” I put it down and studied my list. I needed some frozen veggies for a recipe so I headed that direction.


The veggies in the cart and there I was, standing again at the cooler with all the varieties of bacon staring up at me. “Just one package,” I told myself. (Wearing a mask makes it much easier to talk to yourself without strange looks from fellow shoppers. Hey, it’s a plus…take them where you find them.)


Of course I did finally fall to the temptation of the bacon, muttering something about life being short. That time it was spoken a bit too loud I guess, since the man next to me agreed as he put a second package of the Hickory Smoked variety in his cart.


I made it home with one package. And…I have limited myself to two slices each morning. Then there were those two slices yesterday afternoon. And the four slices this evening. I am totally out of control!




The answer is fairly simple: Bacon tastes good. I have some great bacon memories. 

·     Buying bacon in Greece since it wasn’t available in Kosovo.

·     The time my friend Christopher and I raced across Prishtina after church for an English breakfast that included bacon.

·     Bacon wrapped appetizers.

·     Bacon sandwiches.

·     Bacon on baked potatoes


I could go on, but you get the idea. 

I generally like to leave my readers with something of value so today I offer one of my favorite recipes. Try this one for Thanksgiving. It is a fresh and delicious broccoli salad. What makes it special? You guessed it…bacon. Enjoy!


Broccoli Salad

Chop two heads of broccoli into a large bowl. 


·     a thinly sliced small red onion

·     ½ lb. of bacon, fried and crumbled

·     ¾ C. of raisins

·     ¾ C. sliced almonds

Toss together and add the dressing.


Mix together the following

·     1C. Mayo

·     ½ Sugar

·     2 T. White wine vinegar or Rice Vinegar


Chill the salad before serving. It is delicious, fresh tasting, and compliments any main dish. You know it’s good. It has bacon in it.


Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The Marathon

 The Marathon:

Finish the Race


The last Sunday in October, my youngest daughter completed her first full marathon. She’s been training for months. Her goal was to run/walk the 26+ miles in five hours. She finished it in 4 hours and 53 minutes. Wow. I would still be running. No, make that crawling to the finish line. 


Several friends said, “You must be so proud of her!” 


I am. But there is more. I am challenged by her tenacity. Oh, I doubt I will ever run a marathon. I may attempt to walk the half marathon, but run? Not likely. 


Kendall set a goal, developed a plan, trained for the event, engaged others in her quest, and pushed her way to the finish line. 


I needed that “shot in the arm” reminder. Maybe you do, too.


I’ve certainly set goals and seen them to fruition in the past. It is how I managed to complete college and go on to earn my advanced degrees. It’s how I took charge of projects when I was a classroom teacher. It’s the mindset my team used to create an award winning teacher licensure program at the university when I was a professor there. It’s the structure I employed in writing my first novel. And second. 


Set a goal, learn what needs to be done to complete the goal, bring others along side you, and press on until you accomplish what you set out to do.


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so caught up in the vision of the end product or goal, I fudge on the process. Before I know it, the race has started and I’m still fiddling with my shoelaces. Figuratively speaking of course. 


Here’s an example. (You probably have one of your own.) I’ve been working on a suspense novel. I started crafting the book the last week of October in 2014. When Tom died, I could barely breathe, much less write. Last year I picked the manuscript up again as my focus for November. I was determined to complete the story. 


And I did. I was pleased to put the task behind me. It had been looming over me for six years. I handed it over to a few beta readers, incorporated their suggestions and called the book done. I submitted the to manuscript to a publisher and waited. 


The publisher said they like my writing. They seemed to see some value in what I gave them. They are willing to work with me to get the book where it needs to be. 


That is huge. Trust me. The suggestions they made are intense. This will take time. However, the fact they are willing to invest time in me is insanely generous. (Remember the part about engaging others?)


I’ll do it. As I said, it will take time. It will take a slowing down of the process. I have clear goals. I need more training. I need to stick to my writing schedule with the same diligence my daughter gave to her marathon preparation. 


I feel good. I’m not at the start of the race. I’m not at the end. I’m somewhere in the middle where the cheering crowds are thinner, the hills steeper, and the water stations farther apart. 


If you’ve followed my blog you know I often say, “The things we leave undone are the things that make us tired.”


But here is a new one for you. “It is finishing that long run that gives us energy.”

I’m in for the writing marathon. 


As soon as I tie my shoes.

How about you? What goal do you need to meet? I'm here to cheer.