Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Many thanks to Angie for this sweet award today! Maybe it will scare all the 'spooks' away. :) Angie, I consider this my "TREAT" for the day! Thanks, friend!


Here's hoping you get lots of this sweet treat today!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007



This looks like the neatest gadget. And I love me a good gadget! How many times have you been to a motel and had to lay your phone on the nasty floor to charge it? If the outlet is not under the desk or behind the headboard, it's right out in the open where your phone has the probability of getting stepped on. Or have you ever been at work, and you hear that little 'beep' that tells you your phone is sinking fast, so you plug it in to charge and then just walk right out and leave it to spend the night because it is not out in the open where you can see it. Friends, I may have the answer to your dilemma. If you are in a hotel room and the only open outlet is by the bathroom sink...this will keep your 'link to the world' high and dry. Hopefully, you can tell from the picture, but this gadget has a hole at the top for the cord to go through BEFORE it goes into the wall. Then it automatically forms a little ledge for your phone to rest and relax on. See, charging problems solved...easy as that. I know several folks on my list who are getting one of these this included! You KNOW how hard it is to buy for young men....well, here you go! (My next post will be for men, too).

Order from THE SPOON SISTERS....cost $10.00...several colors
Fifth in a series of unusual Christmas gifts brought to you by Gatherings.

Monday, October 29, 2007



Isn't this the greatest vase? I bought the larger one last year, and I can vouch for the quality. My favorite flowers are daisies, and a big bunch of them looks perfect in this. The larger one is big enough to sit a glass down inside if you don't have a big bunch of flowers. I have also used this in a centerpiece and filled it with broccoli, and another time with aspagagus. It really looks just like a paper bag. If you know someone whose decorating style leans more toward the casual, this could be the perfect gift.

Order this from UNCOMMON GOODS...$70.00 large..$35.00 small
Another in a series of fun gift ideas from Gatherings.

Friday, October 26, 2007



I read on a blog today about family reunions and though I'd share an idea I had several years ago. My Mom's family is all in NC, and my Pop's is from the Atlanta area. It has been years since I have seen any of his family, but I am able to see the NC gang about once a year. It is getting harder and harder for us to make the trip to see these family members, and I realized that it is a probability that my boys and their families will never travel there again. I hope that is not so, but , you, and stuff...And my Pop's family doesn't even get together even though they all live fairly close. My aunt that used to take care of that died last year.

I decided to make a scrapbook for my children and grandchildren of each of the families. The last time I was in NC, I made pictures of all my aunt's and uncle's houses, their churches, the cemetery and graves. Then I raided my mom's old picture albums and attempted to 'save' those pics. She had put them all in those old albums where you glued them down and covered them with plastic. That is what everyone used to use.[NOTE: If you have any pictures in that type of album...remove them immediately...they will be ruined. Better to put them in a photo box than in those old type albums...DO IT NOW!] I had to cut them out, and some of them were faded badly and some even crumbled. ACID FREE, FRIENDS...put all pictures in acid free albums or boxes! Nevertheless, I saved what I could and made an album of the family groups and cousins and homes, etc. I have my parents wedding pictures there, too. Then, I even got some very old pictures of when my mom was a little girl and the houses they lived in...and my grandparents when they were young. I didn't have nearly as many of my Pop's family, but some good ones of he and his brothers(7) and sister(1). A few good ones of the houses they lived in...but not all the cousins.

I wanted my boys and their children to be able to SEE the people who are part of their lineage. And to see where I spent many happy summers and Christmases. Of course, they remember a lot of this now, but time has a way of stealing memories and details, doesn't it?

So, all this to say: you may be the one to keep your family history alive for the next generations. It is not hard. You can get an inexpensive album at Wal-Mart or Target(ACID-FREE). Then, get ACID FREE glue to attach them and write a little description of the picture. Nothing elaborate...But, one day your children can go back and show their children where great- grandma lived or where Uncle Arthur farmed tobacco. Don't think of it as an overwhelming task, just start and work on it all along. Your future grandchildren will thank-you.

Thursday, October 25, 2007



If you have a puzzle lover on your gift list, why not get them the ultimate puzzle?
This puzzle can be personalized with a color or black and white photo. You may send a photo or JPEG image via e-mail. They then create a 408 piece puzzle on chipboard that is twice the thickness of regular puzzles. It must be ordered by December 5 for Christmas delivery and arrives gift boxed. Instead of a picture, how about the front page of a newspaper with a favorite headline, or a copy of that diploma your child worked so hard for. Bet you can think of some other fun ideas!

This is available from Hammacher Schlemmer and costs $39.95.


Third is a series of fun gift ideas brought to you by Gatherings.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I'm just as proud as proud can be
Another award's been given to me.
It makes me happy, it makes me smile
Cause we've just been friends for a while.
That matters not, just let me say
I feel our friendship's here to stay.

Now, "B" Girls, I can't wait to see
All the fun there's gonna be
When we all finally get together
We'll have a blast whatever the weather!
Friendship's a gift sent from up above
To bring us happiness, fun and love.

So, thanks again, Kat...and may I say
This really, truly makes my day!

The BFF Award is presented to awesome blog owners who keep their readers excited about their posts. Their posts are interesting and worth reading and keep their subscribers looking forward to each and every post.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007



This is the neatest gift for kids...of any age! I think I would even enjoy this myself. This little birdhouse hangs from a window with suction cups...the trick is...the back has been replaced so it is clear. You (or your grandchildren) have a "bird's eye view" as you watch the birds nesting...from inside your house! What a learning experience this could be!

It is available at Plow and Hearth, and the cost is $18.00.
This the second in a series of unusual gift ideas brought to you by Gatherings.

Monday, October 22, 2007


The following article appeared in the weekly newsletter from our church:


Over 13 years ago Alex Owens, now 25, was diagnosed with a rare and little known disorder. Over those same years, he has been to numerous doctors about the intense pain he lives with daily. No method of treatment tried nor the most powerful medicines on the market have reduced his pain. At this time all known forms of treatment have been exhausted. As you can imagine, extreme pain 24 hours a day and seven days a week takes its toll on Alex and his family.

If you would like to be a part of those who stand in the gap and pray for Alex and the move of the Holy Spirit in his circumstances, there will be a time of prayer set aside for him in the sanctuary each Tuesday from 5-6 PM. This prayer time will begin on Tuesday, October 23.

I wanted to share this with you, my friends, because I believe so fervently in the power of prayer. This prayer time comes at the request of a dear family friend and our new pastor. We believe God can work a miracle, if He so chooses. We also believe that God is working in our lives at all times and that He will continue to sustain us. I humbly ask for your prayers also. And I thank you with all my heart.

The website for our church is undergoing some changes right now and is in the process of being updated. Visit us there at

Sunday, October 21, 2007


SYMPTOMS The most characteristic symptom of cerebellar degeneration is a wide-legged, unsteady, lurching walk, usually accompanied by a back and forth tremor in the trunk of the body. Other symptoms include slow, unsteady and jerky movement of the arms or legs, slowed and slurred speech, and nystagmus -- rapid, small movements of the eyes.
Cerebellar degeneration is a disease process in which neurons in the cerebellum - the area of the brain that controls muscle coordination and balance - deteriorate and die. Diseases that cause cerebellar degeneration can also involve areas of the brain that connect the cerebellum to the spinal cord, such as the medulla oblongata, the cerebral cortex, and the brain stem. Cerebellar degeneration is most often the result of inherited genetic mutations that alter the normal production of specific proteins that are necessary for the survival of neurons.
The severe pain that Alex experiences is not usually a condition associated with Cerebellar Atrophy. We do not know , and doctors can not pinpoint why he is having such pain. He does have the issue of migraine, but that pain is differentiated from the constant pain that is unrelenting.
Alex was the easiest to raise of my 3 boys. This was due to his pleasant disposition and eagerness to please. He enjoyed reading and never minded playing alone. He could entertain himself for hours. He never was as agile and quick as his brothers, and he sometimes seemed a little clumsy, but there was never any noticeable problem that would cause any concern. He began having migraines at about age 4, and we found that his vision was very poor and he was wearing glasses at age 5. There was some concern, I remember, that the doctors were unable to properly correct his vision to 20/20 with glasses, but they did not seem too concerned about that.
One day, when he was in the 8th grade, one of his teachers called me and said I needed to come to the school and pick up Alex. She said that he was bumping into things and said he was seeing double. He was not complaining at all when he went to school. I picked him up and went directly to his pediatrician, who sent us straight to the hospital for a CT scan. Nothing showed up. The next day we were in Birmingham, at Children's hospital for an MRI. This is when the damage showed up. The doctor said that part of his cerebellum was gone. He said he must have had a severe infection or virus to cause it. Then he sent us home. Nothing else...just...go home. We did, and the next morning I was back in the pediatrician's office...asking "what now?" He could not walk with out aide and could not see because of double vision. Our Dr. here sent us back to Birmingham. We went first to a pediatric opthamologists, who fixed prisms for his glasses so he could see better. Then, we went back to CHA, and saw a different neurologist who explained a little about the process of cerebellar degeneration or atrophy. He gave us a medicine to try to help alleviate the symptoms, but it did not help.

This was the beginning of our nightmare. Our doctor here found the leading specialist in Cerebellar Atrophy, and sent us to see him. He was at the University of Michigan. We found out the most info here. They did a battery of tests here that told us more of what we were dealing with. We learned what to look for and what to expect. We were told that the disease could progress, or could stop where it was. It could go into remission for a while, only to start up again later. But, no treatment.

At first, Alex was able to continue with school, but soon the pain began to get so bad, he could not keep up. He tired easily and there was another problem with his eyes. He began having nystagmus, which is a constant jumping of the eye. He began having trouble seeing and reading.

We went to a pediatric pain specialist in Boston, who came highly recommended. He did many tests and finally told Alex there was nothing he could do. When Alex mentioned how bad his eyes were, he suggested we see a friend of his who happened to be an opthamologist. We went the next day, and for the first time, he and his associate were able to make some glasses that enabled Alex to have decent vision again. He said he had only seen this kind of nystagmus one other time in his practice. It is extremely rare.

We saw a doctor at the University of Mississippi who is a researcher into cerebellar atrophy. He began testing Alex for all the differing causes of the condition. Every test turned up negative. This led him to believe that we were not dealing with an inherited type, but just a gene mutation. Not that that is any better. We still do not know why or what the exact cause is.

So, our life consists of Alex seeing a pain management specialist who tries to keep him comfortable with narcotics. If we hear of any possibility of treatment, we seek it out. We have gone to doctors all across this country. But, no one knows enough to help. They all send us away, and can do nothing. But, still we search, and we will continue to search. We will continue to track down every lead. And, Lord willing, we will find some help for him.

As a matter of is the severe pain that keeps Alex totally homebound. Even though he has to walk with the aide of a cane, he is not handicapped by this enough to be a shut in. He would love to further his education, he would love to be able to just get out and go to the bookstore. He is incapacitated by the level of pain that he faces everyday...unrelenting and constant.

We pray...we deal daily...we wait on God.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Well, I have already had several friends contact me about the picture on the front of the book I recommended. I knew a little about it, but I tracked down 'the rest of the story.' This picture was made in 1985 and was called simply AFGHAN GIRL. It was on the cover of National Geographic. To read the rest of this interesting account go to the website below. I tried to link to it, but it's just not happenin'. There you will see her as she is today. Those eyes...aren't they amazing?


This is a book that I bought recently for a Christmas gift. And, actually, I gave one to my Mom last year, too. The title is PORTRAITS by Steve McCurry, a photographer for National Geographic. He says, in the foreword, "In PORTRAITS I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person's face...For me, the portraits in this book speak a desire for human connection, a desire so strong that people who know they will never see me again open themselves to the camera, all in the hope that at the other end someone will be watching...someone who will laugh or suffer with them......From an outpouring of pictures over 20 years, these are the faces I cannot forget."

Friends, this is an awesome book. There are young faces and old...beautiful and and poor....happy and sad. But on them all, you see that "unguarded moment" where humanity peeked out. You can almost FEEL what they are feeling at the moment.

If you have someone on your gift list who appreciates beauty, who loves to travel, who can look at a picture and see something deeper...this is the book for them. The only place I have ever seen this book is at World Market, and it sells for $19.95.

(I beg the forgiveness of my photographer son who would have most certainly been able to get this picture without the sunspot...but alas, he's off shooting a wedding.)

FIRST in a series of recommendations for gifts you may not have thought of. I shop all year for Christmas, and I love it when I find the PERFECT gift for someone.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"...and I love it. Christmas is such a wonderful time of year, isn't it? We all seem to be a little closer to who we should be all year.

My friend, Kat, has started my Christmas celebrating off with a bang. She has awarded me with a Christmas Spirit Award. Thanks, Kat. I am so honored.

The SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS AWARD: What exactly is this award? Quite simply, it is for those who have a generous and giving nature. Those who care about others. Those who have a kind word to say or a broad shoulder to lean on when others need that. Pass it along to those wo have touched your heart with their kind and giving and caring nature.

And, so I will pass this award along to Angie at With Faith...Angie and Nancy Grayce at Too Wonderful For Me. Merry Christmas, Ladies! Go here to get the code for award.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Today my friend, Kat, posted a video on her blog. It is something you should see. Go ahead and watch it...I'll wait.

Welcome back. As I said in Kat's comments, little girls do not get to be little girls anymore. Granted, I did not raise girls, but some things we should just know. It is surprising to me what some parents let their daughters wear. I'm sure you know what I mean...little girls who wear clothes that a teenager would wear. Skin tight leggings, off the shoulder tops, high heeled shoes...for heaven's sake, and eye shadow, and lipstick. It is atrocious to see some little girls clomping around in shoes obviously designed for someone 10 or 12 years older. They can't even run around and play. And then you see them in these long dangly earrings that are just an accident waiting to happen.

Why should this obsession start so young? Little girls already are talking about "looking fat." It is bad enough that we adult women fixate on size and weight, must our little girls worry and stress over it while they are still babies? Is it because they hear us talking: "Do these pants make me look fat?", "Oh, no, I can't have dessert, I'm trying to lose weight." , "I wish my hair wasn't so flat, or curly.", "Will you look at these freckles/age spots on my skin...they're so ugly."
We MUST learn to love ourselves...whatever shape we are in...and pass that love on to our daughters, and neices, and grandaughters. It is such a crock that we are handed daily by all types of media...we must look younger, thinner, smoother, tighter, taller or we do not measure up. Measure up to whose standards? Do we even KNOW what our own standards are anymore...or have we adopted the world's ideas of beauty and perfection? Do we tend to think the "pretty people" are somehow more worthy of our attention? I am in favor of getting and staying healthy, and I think exercise is great...for mind and body. But, there are some of us who will never fit into a size 6 again no matter how much we diet and exercise. But, if we are the best we can be...that should be enough. And if all we, as adult women ,do is obsess about this, if it colors everything we say and do, how can we expect our little girls to have any other attitude? Which little girl that you know will be passed over because she is a little chubby? Which of your daughters or grandaughters or neices will not be thought of as 'good enough' because she is not wearing the cool shoes or clothes or purse? If we allow our 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 year old girls to dress like teenagers, why are we surprised when they want to act like teenagers? They are missing out on the chance to grow through the normal stages of find out who they are and what they think. And us moms of boys...we are just as responsible to teach our young men, that all women are to be respected and valued. We must teach them to look at the whole woman...not just the outside.

Oh, the responsibility we have. But, first we must accept ourselves and learn to love the person we are now. I am not where I would like to be in regards to weight...but, I am where I am at this point in my life, no less worthy, because of a few extra pounds. I can deal with the problems and obstacles before me...and I can be proud of the choices I make. I can stand tall and proud of 'me' even with a few rolls around the middle. This body has seen me through many trials, good times and bad, 3 sons, a husband.....and even though it gets mighty weary's still going. And, I thank God for it. Every young girl in our world today, regardless of size, shape, or color should learn from the youngest age that they are of great value...they are worthy of all good things..they...themselves...their soul...NOT their size.

Well, this post started out as one thing and ended up somewhere else, didn't it? Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Thank you,Lynne, for passing this award along to me. I feel very honored. I have heard it said that "a mother's knee is a child's first classroom." And I do believe this is so. What an opportunity we as mothers have to 'change the world', as we guide little minds and hearts toward doing the right thing in this big world of ours. My children are grown now, but I feel I still have a measure of influence on them. How fortunate I am to have the relationship with them that I do. When they come to me for advice...or just as a sounding board, I still can guide and lead them with my advice. Oh, what a change we would see in America if all Moms would take this as one of their most important jobs.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Our Girl's shopping trip was a hit! We had the most beautiful weather in, sunny...perfect! Our time together was blest! We shopped, ate shopped some more, ate some more, shopped again, lugged it all inside and proceeded to show off our wares! We all made significant progress on our Christmas shopping well as a few items just for us. Don't ya think we are all looking quite perky? We had a minor snafu with the motel we had reservations in...but we moved on to a better situation, and liked it even better! Day one had us at the Atlanta Apparel Mart looking for jewelry and bags, then on to Home Goods, DSW shoes, and Crate and Barrel...topped off by a wonderful dinner at P.F.Changs. Day 2 up early for a stop at Jo-Anns,Phipps Plaza, Lenox Square, Perimeter Mall, N. Point Mall...and a fine dinner WITH dessert at the Cheesecake Factory! Lugging those packages in and trying to consolidate in to smaller packages took up the remainder of the evening. Up early on Sunday, a stop at Barnes and Nobel..that was all that was opened! Then on to the N. Ga. Premium Outlets....used a quick 4 hours there, back through Atlanta for a quick stop at World Market, then on the road to Dothan.
As you can see from the pics in the car...our vehicle was like a rolling department store...with 5 very tired employees! You can see me clutching my very last bill just wishing I could make 1 more stop...but, alas!, no room! Suzanne, as usual, was our chaueffer extroidinaire! She knows Atlanta and that traffic isn't going to get the best of her...oh No! Mam! it's NOT! She got us every where we needed to one piece! What a wonderful time the 5 of us had together! So happy Lori could join us this year! We reaffirmed our love for one another and how blessed we are to be a family and to be in each other's lives. We were able to see that God has a hand in ALL things, even the timing of this shopping trip. He had the 5 of us together for a very specific reason. We all acknowledge this and thank God for His timing and guidance. How wonderful to be a Christian woman, in the company of other Christian women, and know that whatever you do, and wherever you is God who lovingly guides and directs your paths. Oh, how great and mighty is our God!
On a strictly personal note...I know I am blest to have been raised in and to live in a family who loves and honors the Lord. It is a gift I do not take lightly. Alex did well while I was gone, and even had a little better day on Saturday. He was well looked after by his Dad and his Granny and Pop. Below are a few pictures of our adventure:


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens

Great Dinner...PFChang's

Great Dinner...PFChang's
Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens

"sure it's hard work, but someone's got to do it!"

"Just a few necessities..."

"Just a few necessities..."
Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens


Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens

THE END...Shopping Trip...10/07

Thursday, October 11, 2007


This afternoon, I am leaving for a few days of R&R. (That's RETAIL RENEWAL, in case you don't know).It has become something of a tradition for my sister, Joy, and I to take our girls shopping for the week-end. This will be the first year Lori has gone with us, because she has been in college and grad school...forever! But, now she's home, got a great job, and is going on an adventure with us. We always have such a great time together...and Lori will just add to the fun! We are heading up to Atlanta. Suzanne lived there for a few years and she's a whiz on the Atlanta Raceway! I just hide my eyes until we get there! I do not want to see how close we are coming to the next car...she can change lanes and turn around and be going the opposite direction before I can even read the road sign! She teaches 3rd grade and has a holiday on Friday. Sweet Adam is coming to sit with Alex on Friday, and Mom will be with him on Sat. Tara is taking time off from her job at the hospital...and her sweet husband, Will, to go with us. Last year...she bought a Christmas Tree! No room for that this year or scarecrows either! Can you believe this car? This is what it looked like last year. And now there is another shopper. OH! MY!

This is such a sweet time for us, even if Joy and I embarrass them sometimes. They don't like to pose for pictures...can you imagine? "This is for posterity!" I say. They just roll their eyes. Just know, I WILL take pics and share them with you when we get back (Sunday)....either they can pose nicely, or I'll make some lovely candid shots to share with the world!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I'm not sure when, but it seems as if there is a DE-LURKING DAY. Obviously, I missed let's just call this DE-LURKING DAY for GATHERINGS.

A "LURKER" is someone who reads your blog, but doesn't leave a comment. You are always welcome to visit here at Gatherings, but it would be fun for me to know who all is visiting. It's not hard to leave a comment, and it doesn't have to be long and involved. Just a note to say "I came"..."I read"..."here's what I think." I will look forward to hearing from you.

This is what you need to do:
1)Click on the 'comment' link at the bottom of the post.
2)Click on 'yes' when prompted to proceed.
3)A 'Leave Your Comment' section will pop up that you can view other persons comments and to type in your own comment text. (Scroll to the bottom to comment.)
4)Type comment.
5)At the bottom of the section is a 'Choose an identity'
6)Click 'Anonymous', OR, if you have a Google account, put in your Google info.
That's it! Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I am humbled that I was given the "You Lift Me Up" Award by my friend Dianne. I am of the opinion that we were put on this earth to serve the Lord. And we serve Him best by doing the things He would do. Because He made us all different, and put us all in different situations...we all have things to share. And this blogging community we belong to is a great way to do it. I have learned from so many of you. Many of you have experienced things that I have not, and when you share your "lessons learned" are serving me and others. Likewise, I hope that when I share my experiences, you learn from me. If I can "lift you up", then I have succeeded. It takes very little to brighten another person's day...a smile, a hug, or maybe an e-mail. And, I think God is pleased when we do this.

Thank-you, Dianne. It is always a joy to read your posts. Your kindness shows through what you write, your comments are always uplifting. I am proud to call you

Monday, October 8, 2007


I must say this or bust: there is something terribly WRONG when you enter a store and immediately hear screams and otherworldly sounds, then a few aisles over hearing We Wish You A Merry Christmas coming out of a ferris wheel holding snowmen and Mickey Mouse......Something not quite right about lining one side of the aisle with scary faced jack-o-lanterns and ghouls and the other with Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus figures huddled together on fake snow......Something out of line with monster masks and pitchforks along side of Christmas cards proclaiming "PEACE ON EARTH".

Something unsettling about checking out at the pharmacy next to a display centered with a RIP gravestone!!!

Friday, October 5, 2007


Have a great weekend, my friends. Enjoy the beautiful beginnings of autumn!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I have joined a gym, and am going to work out each day after school. Actually, I am really enjoying it. It makes me feel better...physically and mentally. This is just something I need to do for me. I am dieting, too. I am beginning to feel a difference in my clothes, and my Mom said she could tell when she saw me on Sunday. This gym is a place similar to Curves, so it only takes me about 30 minutes and I can get on home to Alex.

He is about the same. Still no relief in pain. He is a very sick young man. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007



Yesterday, Alex asked me to go to pick up something for him, and I just could not muster the energy to go, so I told him I would go today. And as soon as I got up today, he reminded me. I started battling a stomach demon during the night and it was continuing on today...but, I said I would go. Only 'cause they have restrooms at Wal-Mart. And it was entirely possible that I was going to have to visit them while I was there. Sometimes you just know these things. So, I was not in the best frame of mind or body as I set out on my appointed mission.


One of my BFF's, Shirley, has a speaking ministry and she speaks to women's groups all over the area. One of her talks is titled, LOVE NEVER FAILS, EVEN AT WAL-MART. I don't remember all the examples she uses, but, it's a wonderful lesson. My other BFF, Tina, is also a Godly woman, and she always inspires me to be better than I would have a natural tendency to. Not that I am an evil doer or anything...but Tina inspires me to look for every opportunity to do good. Even if I had nothing to do with a situation...try to make it better. She told me one time that every time I put my grocery cart in the proper place in the parking lot, God was looking down and saying, "That's my girl!". So I HAVE to put up every cart I use 'cause I figure He's gonna see and when He says, "That's my girl"...I want Him to say it with a smile on His face because I did the right thing. Can we all just say "CONVICTION!"


So, here I go to WM, stomach cramps and all. I spy a parking place right by the door. "Thank you, Jesus. You know I needed that." DANG! there's... a cart sitting right in the middle of the space. I am not a happy shopper...I really wanted THAT space. Oh, well, I spy another one several spaces down the way. And, I take that one. As I walk into the store, I pass by the first space and see a car turning in and having to stop like I did. I hurried up to the space, and boy, did I get an earful! The 2 women were cussing up a blue streak( that's Southern for alot!). I just smiled at them and moved the cart into the receptacle, and kept on walking. Pat me on the back, Shirley! I showed love at WM. I don't know if those heathen women noticed, but I did it. And, I imagined God seeing my good deed and putting another star on my chart! Good deed done, let's finish this shopping!
The smiling lady at the entrance gives me my cart and I go straight to the very fartherest region of the store to fill Alex's list. Oh, no. Why do they only have restrooms in the FRONT of the store? I hide my cart, and go, quickly, to the restroom. "Thank-you, Jesus, they have been cleaned recently." I take care of business and return to my cart. O.K. Let's get this and go. I have to pass the fall decor and of course I needed a few things to round out my decorations. And, while I'm here, I might as well pick up some candy for the kids at school, and we were almost out of crackers and apple juice in the nursery yesterday, and I need to see if they have the Milo's unsweet tea, cause that's the kind Don likes and Winn- Dixie only has Red Diamond, and Mom needs some potato soup, and if I plan to wash anymore this week, I need to get some more Gain, and...and...and...UH!OH! AGAIN! I push the full cart and park it outside the restroom and pray no one moves it. O.K. I should have just enough time to check out and get home before...well, you know...
Of course there are only 5 people working the registers....why they have 35 registers, I'll never understand...because they never have but 5 open. There's one. I get in line behind 2 other ladies and wait. And wait. Finally I can start putting my things on the conveyor. I turn around and there is a young Asian girl with an armful of bean sprouts, and obviously in a hurry. "You go ahead of me", I said. "Oh, next". "That's o.k., you just have a few things and I don't mind." "Thank-you, Mama said to hurry!" She goes ahead and I commence to unloading more of my items. As I am finishing, along comes a tired, old lady. She is holding a package of Epsom Salt and a package of gel insoles for shoes. I must look like someone she knows because she starts talking, "Honey, I finally found these salts. If they don't help my feet, I reckon I am just going to have to quit walking. These feet have walked many a mile and I guess they's just wore plumb out! Bob brought me up here, you'd think he would come in and get this for me, but he aint never been no good...just like a old man. He's sitting in the car and probably mad as h---! You know how he is. He'll be sorry when I can't stand up and fix for him like I do...then he'll be singing another song. You know I can't even wear them new shoes Sally brought fer me, cause they's hurtin' so bad. Them were shore purty shoes, weren't they?" I had never seen this woman my whole life. The Asian girl was moving on, so I said to the old lady, "You go on ahead of me, since you just have 2 things." "Well, that's mighty nice of you,sissy, but you're 'head a me!" "Well, I'm just thinking about Bob out there in the car, let's don't make him any madder." She threw back her head and laughed, and with a toothless grin, she said, "Honey, you know him better'n I do!" Who in this world does she think I am? So, I take her arm and lead her up to the cash register, so she can pay. She does, and as she leaves, she says, "Wait'll I tell Bob...just wait!" She hobbles away, and I don't even look behind me for fear there will be someone else with only a few items. "And, Lord, please calm the storm in my colon right now...AMEN!"
I check out and make it to the car, unload my groceries into the back, and TAKE MY BUGGY AND PUT IT IN THE RIGHT PLACE. Going around to get into my car, an older man and woman who had been in line behind the old lady stopped. "Help me, Lord, I need to get home!" The lady spoke first, "We saw you going in the store when you moved that cart that was in the way. Then, we happened to get in line behind you and we saw that you let the young girl go through. Then, we saw you talk so kindly to the old lady and let her go ahead. Why did you do those things?" "No reason, just trying to be nice." Then the man said, "Well, we want you to know, you have preached a sermon today. We appreciate your just never know when someone is watching what you do, honey." And, they walked away. Oh, but I do know who is watching me....and, He helped me make it home in know...."Thank-you, Jesus!"

Monday, October 1, 2007


God has a plan for each of us and desires to use us to accomplish His work. Too many times we feel we are not worthy to be used, or simply, "not good enough." Next time you think that...just remember this:

NOAH was a drunk
ABRAHAM was too old
ISAAC was a daydreamer
JACOB was a liar
LEAH was ugly
JOSEPH was abused
MOSES had a stuttering problem
GIDEON was afraid
SAMSON had long hair and was a womanizer
RAHAB was a prostitute
JERIMIAH and TIMOTHY were too young
DAVID had an affair and was a murderer
ELIJAH was suicidal
ISAIAH preached naked
JONAH ran from God
Naomi was a widow
JOB went bankrupt
PETER denied Christ
The DISCIPLES fell asleep while praying
MARTHA worried about everything
The SAMARITAN WOMAN was divorced...more than once
ZACCHEUS was too small
PAUL was too religious
LAZARUS was dead!

What's your excuse?