Knit and Pray

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tears in the Night

Restless Legs is a real and evil THING that jars you out of a sweet, deep sleep at 3:00 a.m.

 The legs wiggle, stretch, squirm, kick. The body turns, flops, stretches, writhes.

The mind struggles itself into the edges of wakefulness. Finally, wide awake, you remember there is nothing to calm the legs except to walk and WALK and WALK. Throwing back the warm blanket, you get to your feet.

Owwwww ohhhhhhh !!!!  The knee! The good knee!! Red hot pain streaks through your old, feeble body and as you fall backwards on the bed, hot tears and deep sobs fill the quiet night.

 * * * *
 
At least Dear Heart does not wear his hearing aids at night.

          I hobble through the house until the “good-knee-gone-bad” yells, “Either you stop walking on me or I’m buckling!”

The restless legs twitch has eased and I manage to get propped in my recliner with ice bags around the good-knee-gone-bad. “Now what?” I ask the walls.

Your Bible is within arm’s reach.

Oh. Of course.

I turn to Psalm 143 and begin reading. About three weeks ago, I “discovered” this prayer of David’s and immediately claimed it as my own prayer against my own demon, Restless Legs Syndrome. True to professional research findings, this torturing condition has intensified and increased for me as I have grown older.

 RLS is a vicious wicked circle….

Stress and anxiety exacerbate attacks

resulting in fragmented sleep

bringing forth stress and anxiety and depression

causing more attacks

until jagged sleep deprivation

          starts the leg attacks over

                    AGAIN.

I read the psalm out loud. Again. My tears subside. I breathe slowly. In and out. Deeply. Out and in.

 The red-hot pain in the good-knee-gone-bad has eased and I gently untangle pillows and ice packs and carefully limp back to bed. Wrapped again in my warm blanket on my own bed, I drift into a quiet sleep at 4:55 a.m.

           The alarm sounds at 7:00 a.m. and I stumble into another foggy day empty of healing sleep but clinging to a hope that this day God’s mercy will bring my soul out of hideous rls trouble.

 May God’s sweet mercy touch you in a loving way.

         Liz

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Just Sayin . . . .

Did you ever have “one of those” days ????

Yesterday, I experienced a sneaky presence of the Holy Spirit.

And I’m just an ordinary, every-day, human, sinner. Who is saved by Grace.

I’m nobody important. No particular ministry. Just a person of

HUGE faults.

                    Many failures.

                              Awful sins.                                                     

In fact, I am absolutely and certifiably “CHIEF of sinners.”

          With massive needs.

But, yesterday I went forward. Into a day that started with a long phone visit with my sister-in-law, Jan and was immediately followed with a positive, loving e-mail from a friend encouraging me in many ways.

I did not want to go forward because my GOOD knee screamed for me to STOP. SIT. STAY.

Sorry, knee. I had just slept for almost SEVEN straight hours. As soon as I woke and realized WOW !!! I SLEPT, I spent the next hour telling God THANK YOU. I mean … for this Restless Legs Junkie, seven hours is a HUGE gift; I was grateful and determined to handle the day responsibly.

After the first four errands, I dropped into the rocking chair on my back porch to visit, via cell phones, with a wise friend whose heart is for helping people find joy. I discovered a tiny smile that enabled me to continue with my day.

About noon, I was confronted with a hard choice: We needed groceries. Desperately. Well, energy had been granted. *sigh* okay. Go to HEB super market.

((( Parenthesis. The last few days had been… interesting but most difficult. Several friends are struggling with really big issues. And I have actually, specifically prayed for them. For mercy, grace, energy, healing, energy, grace, mercy… for my friends. Truthfully, there are SO many times I mention the needs of my friends in a fleeting manner then hurry to scream, beg, cry out to God for…… you guessed it: MYSELF.

I mean, being a wife, mother, grandmother, stepmother, friend, neighbor, aunt, sister, neighbor is downright hard and I NEED God’s instruction, leading, wisdom, strength, mercy, Grace, and help so that I can serve. Believe me, I require a LOT of God’s time. Just to hobble across the street requires MUCH help and love and mercy from our Holy Father. )))

But, for three days I literally FORGOT to pray for myself, for God’s intervention to keep me directed, for my own understanding. I simply prayed for others. I didn’t plan it—I’m not that disciplined or obedient. Yet, as each friend / family member came to mind, I lifted that person up to the everlasting love of our Triune God.

I just forgot about Liz.

Okay. Fast forward to the grocery store.

My GOOD knee screamed, Take me home; I can’t do this; it HURTS.

Ignoring the knee, I continued up one aisle and down the other. Then my basket LITERALLY (..accidently??? . . .) ran into the basket pushed by a friend I have not seen in about 3 months. Although lately, I’ve prayed for her a lot. ???

Oh my!! What a joyous visit right at the soups & canned veggie aisle. I learned specific things she deeply needs covered in prayer. AND she said meaningful and powerful things that specifically boosted me HIGH on my rocky journey. Just before she and I parted, another lady’s basket ran into ours. Oops….

The new basket belonged to a second friend who has been on my heart for reasons unknown to me. ???

Quick goodbye to Friend A. Happy hello to Friend B.

Another long visit. She and I moved our baskets around cookies so other shoppers could reach fine cheeses and we shared things of our two rocky roads that the other did not know.

Quiet, Knee !!! There is MORE shopping to do; Hush !  I’ll hurry.

Finally!! Made it to produce !!! Almost done. I have no memory of turning or looking up… just the pain in my throbbing knee. But I am absolutely certain that I felt a physical  please-pay-attention “thunk” !!!

          Friend C’s basket was a dozen steps away and she did not see me. As if in slow motion, I left my basket—and my purse—next to mushrooms and crossed the space between us in half a breath. She looked up and our embrace was instant, loving, sincere.

Over many years, we’ve shared more than a simple blog post can convey… life, death, praying, doubt, fear, death, praying, and life.

And, she has been in my mind, on my heart a lot lately.  ???

In the produce section on an ordinary September afternoon, my friend was in my arms. We spoke of our faith—grown stronger in our aging years; of our recent wedding anniversaries and our husbands’ increasing frailties; and of course of our longing to see her daughter—who was taken from us several years ago in a sudden death straight into the arms of Jesus. Finally, my wise friend shared how she has learned that, as we look back, we see for certain that God always and absolutely gets there first and prepares the way.
The knee grew quiet as I bagged my own groceries for an overworked checker. Softness cuddled my heart as I navigated crazy traffic. Amazement softened painful thoughts when, back home, I handled first one crisis and then another.

 WOW!! God really has been there all along.

 He knows. He cares. He actually understands.

God IS right there in the middle of my HERE and NOW.

These three friends of mine do not know the others. The only thing they all have in common (besides a friendship with me, thank You, Father!) is their individual love of Jesus Christ.

And.

J is the first letter of the first name of each of my three friends.

Just sayin . . . .

                   . . . . maybe God was determined that I should listen and learn. J.

 May YOUR day also be filled with the blessings of prayer.

      Liz
Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin
against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you;
And may all of us
fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully
with all our hearts and consider
how great are the things He has done for us.
Taken from 1 Samuel 12:23-24 NIV

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sometimes it is good to look OUT, too

Now I ask you.

          How many times have you read in THIS blog my loud and long and whining complaints ? ? ? ? ?

                    “We are DRY.”

                    “Please, Holy Father, send us rain.”

                    “Our land is drying up.”

                    “We MUST have God’s wet blessings.”

                    “Please, remember our dry state and be merciful, loving Father.”

 No, I will not ask you to go back and count…. But I think we will all agree I have written A LOT about the DRY, HOT weather.

 Well, GUESS WHAT   ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

 God IS merciful. God heard our pleadings.
 
 

Right here at the house on the hill, just since Thursday afternoon at four p.m. when Sweet Daughter and I got caught in a literal downpour leaving WalMart, God has wet our land, our flower beds, our lawns, our hay fields, our pastures, our trees, my own hard head, and is filling our creeks and stock tanks with

FIVE INCHES

OF HIS VERY OWN, life sustaining, WET STUFF

R A I N

That has fallen slowly, calmly, quietly, soakingly

We have counted the drops, listened to His music, dreamed contentedly, watched through splattered window panes.

And we give thanks. And praise Him. And say Thank You.

Over and over.

God is so very good.

The wet is so wonderful.

We are oh so very, very, grateful.
 
 

 Just want to report.

Just want you to know.

Just want to say thank You, Father

Openly and in writing for all to hear and read.

 My prayer is for YOU to see and feel and have and know

many more of His blessings in your life and on your land, also.

Liz


And you know I must share His promises with you and my heart sings and I learn as I read from the Amplified Bible……

 Hosea 10:12Deuteronomy 28:12
The Lord shall open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands

 
Psalm 68:9
You, O God, did send a plentiful rain; You did restore and confirm Your heritage when it languished and was weary.

 
And, perhaps my favorite kind of rain….

Hosea 10:12
Sow for yourselves according to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); reap according to mercy and loving-kindness. Break up your uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, to inquire for and of Him, and to require His favor, till He comes and teaches you righteousness and rains His righteous gift of salvation upon you.

Blessings from God's Hands on you,
Liz.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Look Up and See


It is still summertime in Texas. And, believe me, Fredericksburg is

 
Hot.
Dry.
Drier.
Dying.
Brown.
 
Although this summer is so very dry ….. let’s remember and not forget and let us give thanks…. our land is NOT as dry as last summer—Remember????  That searing, awful, parched, wild-fire summer of 2011 when many lives were lost, miles and miles of property left scroched, hundreds and hundreds of homes destroyed.

This summer is hot again and we are under water restrictions and burn bans. Last week as I rushed here and there, marking errands off my always-growing To Do List, we sweltered in 101° days. In September !!!

 Heat from the asphalt streets even gets us country folks agitated. We zig and zag, cut and run, and we rush through yellow lights without even a 'scuse me!! Forgetting good Texas manners, we drivers glare at each other and yes, way out here in the country, I’ve received a few unfriendly “waves” from time to time. We struggle through days filled with a landscape void of life and color, a summer that just won’t stop, political hot air, and a world that seems ready to dry up and blow away. Our spirits sag and drag.
Our side yard.... but the landscape all over the county looks like this.
Depressing.
 Last Wednesday as I came home from my errands, praise music from the radio seeped into my soul--against my hot, tired, frustrated being. Finally, I turned up the sound and tried to change my attitude. As I turned into our driveway, I actually lifted my eyes to the hills……. AND…… GUESS WHAT……………
 
I looked smack dab into beauty !!! The TOP of that brown, dying, desolate picture of our side yard in the photo just above.
 
 
Beauty and hope and joy and color and life poured over my soul !!!!
When I bothered to LOOK UP. . . .
I saw the WHOLE picture.
 
 
 
I wonder ... can I keep my perspective, remember to praise, take time to seek life, count my amazing blessings, and GIVE THANKS as I wait for autumn and cool weather?  
I will really, really, really TRY. God showed me how beautiful it is to LOOK UP.
 
I hope you will LOOK UP a lot this week and find huge

Blessings !!
   Love, Liz


 
 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Thanksgivings


Last Thursday (August 30 J) I posted my first blog since Easter Sunday, April 8. There was a key phrase in last week’s phrase. . .

          NO. It was NOT about the blue folder,  my lack of sleep, or growing old.

Remember??????  Yeah !!!  GIVING THANKS.
 
The key phrase in my recent post was:

 * * *   when I remember to thank Him and praise Him, the trudge is easier * * *

Last year, I read and re-read and continue to meditate on favorite sections of Ann Voskamps’s A Thousand Gifts. Her book and testimony changed my prayer life.

This morning the restless legs woke me up around five a.m. For the second time during one night. Better than most nights. So, about 6:30 a.m., I eased to the back porch armed with a cup of fresh coffee, my journal & pen, Jesus Calling devotion, and my large print Bible. There was just enough light in the eastern sky to write and as I began entering my most recent gifts, three dozen or so Hummingbirds that summer in our trees rushed in for breakfast at the red feeders hanging from the eaves of our porch.

Oh, the buzzing of wings and squeaks of pleasure as the little guys and gals flitted & fluttered, flipped & flapped, and zipped & zagged. I giggled—out loud—thinking how God might feel on the mornings I greet Him with praises and thanksgivings as I stretch & yawn at the beginning of a new day.

Today is a relaxing “Labor Day” for us….. the calm before we jump headlong into a busy week of regular living and medical appointments and two months of excitement before grandson’s wedding.

But today, we are reflecting on the Gifts of Gathering:
 
  * * Joy – Blessings – Fun – Food - Hugs - Catch-up – Laughter – Stories * *

 All that happened over the weekend at our son’s place just down the road for Labor Day and the 75th Birthday celebration of Dear Heart’s youngest surviving sibling. If I count correctly, four generations of the Eberle clan gathered . . . from Dear Heart at 89-years-happy down to Samantha at 21-months-adorable. Plus the grands from Ohio and Lubbock and Houston and Dallas, cousins from near and far, friends from around the state and down the road, and a large assortment of family pets.

         Yeah, in Texas we call that A Passle of Folks.

I hope your Labor Day held even more joy and love than mine.

    Blessings,

          Liz

Key words for the week: Lovingkindness /  Everlasting

For a quick refresher to your memory & mind & heart: Psalm 106: 1; 107: 1; 108: 1-5

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Hi. Remember me?

Maybe not.

These pages have been silent for many months.

Primarily because of sleepless nights due to the rigors of that demon: Restless Legs.

I’ve missed interaction with you.

 
While I’m not up to par—whatever that might be—God is good and He keeps me trudging along. Of course, when I remember to thank Him and praise Him, the trudge is easier.

 
The road to suddenly writing a post today was full of potholes, stumbling rocks, thorny vines, and muddy dips. Funny, isn’t it, how we encourage each other and spur one another along !!

 
You see, it’s like this. Today, while following the trail to find the author of one of my favorite hymns to go into The Blue Folder, I ran across a great blog http://barryshymns.blogspot.com/ Barry also writes Retired but not Tired at http://barrysbasicblog.blogspot.com/  I read and laughed and realized how I miss interacting with friends here at my blogs.
 

So. Okay. Here it is.
 

The Blue Folder Story.

 After several months of dealing with my e-mail addresses… yes !!! all of them… being hacked and sacked and violated, I took the long and difficult way out and set up a web-site e-mail. I named my new e-mail after a serious family joke that started from my normal organized self..

 
The Blue Folder is the place in our files where I keep all of our end-of-life information. You know, all that important stuff like the deed to my burial plot, wills, names, numbers, and yes the songs I want sung at my funeral!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING morbid about it.

ORGANIZATION.

My middle name, don’t you know!!!

The way I think and survive.

ORGANIZED. A Place for EVERYTHING. Everything in its PLACE.

Hey… blame it on my grandmother, the most UNorganized woman in the world but a strong-willed woman who DEMANDED that I live ORGANIZED.

Actually, Othermama’s “don’t do as I do, but do as I say do” rule enabled me to handle a household of six children for three years and miscellaneous other life-altering challenges as I wandered through my so-far-75-years on this earth.

I am convinced that I always handled those “challenges” because I live, perpetually,

Prepared.

Organized.

I used skill and discipline to be

Efficient

Effective
 
*sigh*

 I know: slightly disgusting if carried too far. Perhaps The Blue Folder is a bit over-board and please don’t tell my kids and grands that I’ll never know whether they follow through with my wishes (a whole folder full, written down, printed out in beautiful, organized fashion  ).
 
It just pleases ME to believe I’m making hard times easier for THEM.

 
Now you know the story of The Blue Folder.

 
Every member and friend of our large and sometimes rambunctious but always loving family is precious to me and I am a blessed woman.HOWEVER,
…. as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" -            1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NIV

 It was fun reconnecting with you. I’ll try not to stay away so long.

Blessings of the Sonshine kind to you and yours,

     Liz

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Grave is EMPTY

Guess what?
Oh my goodness !!!
He is NOT dead.
My Lord Jesus Christ LIVES.

The tomb is empty and .... I SAW Him.
My Lord lives.
It is Amazing. It is Wonderful. It is a Miracle.

I'm sorry I cannot stay to chat and tell you all the things I saw at the tomb, but I must go tell everyone that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, LIVES.
I love all of you but....

Jesus loves you more.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dead Saturday

To experience The Brink of Easter....
     We MUST live through Dead Saturday.

For the church—the body of believers—the fellowship of Christians, the days of Easter marched by……        
            On “Ash” Wednesday, the 40-day journey to the cross began.
            On “Maundy” Thursday, Jesus prepared the table for us and washed the feet of his disciples.
    Even the feet of Judas.
            On “Good” Friday, Jesus hung on the cross.
           
Now. Today is Saturday.

Today is “that” Saturday.
The one without a special name.
The in-between Saturday.
The nothing Saturday.
The DEAD Saturday

I've never liked the unknown of waiting.

But today I wait.

The work on the Cross is finished.
The huge curtain in the temple is split… from top to bottom.
Jesus is buried.
The work in the grave is silent.

To me, this Dead-Saturday should be dark and gloomy and rainy and dreary.

And silent.

That’s how my soul feels.

Yet, on this Dead-Saturday in Texas the weather is bright, sunny, and warm.

Still, though, the cross down by our road stands empty.

I had no energy to dig out the black sack-cloth to cover the cross for this dead Saturday, but I ripped up the long, black, satin shroud that once draped over the cross on “Good” Friday and on Black Saturday. About three o’clock this afternoon of “Good Friday,” I draped the crosses around our home. I draped the few Nativities I keep out all year.

It is an exercise to keep my mind focused; to remember what it must have been like for the women who followed Jesus through his ministry,heard his preaching, listened to his teaching, saw his miracles. That Saturday, those women, all those followers hid because thier master was dead.

Today and tomorrow I busily prepare our home for Easter guests…cleaning, dusting, setting out fresh towels… and I work in the kitchen… stirring, simmering, and chopping… preparing for family to gather around my table on Easter Sunday. It is easy to get stay in today’s reality…. food, family, relationship, laughter, wedding planning, graduation, lamb cake, a house filled with things of the heart.

Those are good things. … gifts of our Abba Father…. things we hold dear… that are meaningful… healing. These are things God gave me to do. He gave me a special family with special needs at a special time late in my life. He asked me to feed these few children of His. He asked me to be patient, generous with my time. He asked me to be about His business. And, yes, He asked me to be a Martha.

Even though He said Mary was wise. Sometimes, like on a dead Saturday, all my wires get crossed, my missions tangle up with each other, my body grows tired, my spirit is faint.

The Lamb of God today lies dead and buried in the tomb.

This Saturday is dead.

BUT... I will watch. I will wait. Surely.... surely.... Resurrection Sunday WILL come.
The final Resurrection Day WILL come.

Fresh air will arrive.
Words will return.
Sleep will come.
Rain will fall.
Waiting is hard.

Hurry, Easter!

Your servant,  Liz, waits, Lord.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

On the Brink of Easter

Life.
Renewal.
Remebering.

Spring exploded in the Texas Hill Country this year. After several years of deathly droughts, rain has come. We bombarded heaven with our thanksgiving for the clean air (even if it is filled with pollens that clog our noses, throats, heads, and chests) and we praised God, loudly, for all the days of cloudy skies and for every drop of every sprinkle, drizzle, and mist, we received. We stood on our porches and applauded the rains, and downpours. God blessed and watered our land.

Here comes one storm that brought us over two inches of delicious rain.
When the sun came out, for the first time in about three years lo and behold our city lots, country roads, and busy highways were dotted with patches of brilliant bluebonnets and other Texas wild flowers. I got so excited about Spring that I baked my first-ever lamb cake.

Made from my Grandmother Alice's cast iron mold. Thanks, Jan, for loaning it to me for awhile.
But, regardless of all the budding life around us, the week before Easter does come and must be reckoned with. It saddens me that when Lent begins, I can no longer climb up on a ladder and hang a purple drape on the 15-foot cross that stands at the road by our fence. So, in recent years, our dining room buffet holds the reminder of the meaning of Easter.

This favorite "Nativity" of mine celebrates our Christmas every year and then
comes back out at Easter to remind us that from birth, Jesus headed to the cross

There was plenty to do as spring got underway. The skies cleared, the sun came out, and the temperatures hit 90 the first week of April.  !!!

My Laura Bush petunias pushed up through the rocks to show their reminder of Easter.
The next thing we knew, kids were wearing shorts and trying out for baseball and many of us old ladies quickly exchanged jeans and sweats for cool, comfy, and colorful capri pants. Dear Heart even took me to lunch today... downtown.... on Main Street... and we chose an outdoor table.

But, tonight, as is my custom on the eve of Maundy Thursday, I covered the cross in our dining room with black. My mood darkens. I think. I read again the promises.

                                                                       

Tomorrow as I run errands and clean house, I will ponder on many things. I will slow my steps and dwell on the dark days that went before the first Easter Sunday. Tomorrow night I will gather with others at church and we will be reminded to find ways to wash the feet of other saints and fellow servants. Then, following the command of Jesus, we will drink from the cup and eat the bread and remember His lessons. We will leave church, hopeful but confused.

Friday night, we will return, worried, afraid, sad, and more confused to a darkened, stark, cross-less, church. The death bell will sound... long... and deep.... and dark. The rumors are true. Jesus is dead. The promises are empty.

Saturday, I will wander aimlessly and mourn and grieve and wonder..........

Please join me on Sunday..... for the beginning of our journey.


Liz

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring have showed up in our part of the Texas Hill Country. Seems a good way to let you know I'm still moving and breathing.


My schedule has taken a drastic change and of course there are many long--as well as a few short--stories about me and my old Buick darting around town at strange hours these days. But that is for another blog.


I had to dig deeply into my Joy Reservoir to handle being dressed AND out and about town at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.


The sights were amazing!

To begin, on a chilly February evening, our Texas sky warned: GET READY!!
 

Sleet arrived the next morning. Well.... yes, thin and scattered BUT it was wet, it was cold, it was frozen WATER.
We gave thanks.

Then as I moved about town, I discovered the pansieshad arrived. Their cute faces lined sidewalks, decorated forlorn gardens, and hung from porches.

In December this neighborhood Christmas Tree shimmered with lights.
In March, the Christmas Tree stands regal in front of the Pear tree that held tight to its blooms.
Spring WILL come.

On a dreary morning, white blossoms shimmer on a tree standing on a street corner
in downtown Fredericksburg and screams:
SPRING !!

 
Lavender flowers on the wild Mountain Laurrel growing out of rock wave to me as I head home on dreary, March mornings remind me that the Ressurrection is real.


I have been amazed and delighted and thankful for the beauty God planted along my path.

I'm so glad I chose to look up.

Check back to enjoy more sights around Fredericksburg!

Love and Blessings,

                          Liz
P.S. Seems I need a lesson on inserting photographs. *sigh* hope you enjoy anyway,

 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Glancing Back .... AND a Look Forward ...

Funny year. My 75th.


They’ said it was because I could not be surprised on my 75th birthday.
So ‘they’ pulled off a big surprise party for me last year on my 74th.
*whew* Glad THAT is over and done with !!!!
On my blog last year, I promised to post pictures.
Pictures never got posted.
Don’t know why.

But, the party was fun!!! I’ll scatter some photographs through this post. J


          After that fabulous party, the ensuing year got r.e.a.l.l.y. strange. Not because I had suddenly become “old.” At least, I don’t think so. Life just happens while you live it. Know what I mean?
          These days, things should be easier with just three of us in our household…. my grown daughter Precious, Dear Heart, and me. But, one or the other of us kept battling various health challenges… all year. And while those frustrating health challenges haven’t let up, gone away, or improved very much, the three of us keep holding on!! Most days, we even laugh and hug and smile.
My birthday DAY. With Dear Heart. 2-25-2011: Dinner with Melinda and Rusty, Cindy, Michael. Special night !!
          And now, today, for no particular reason, I looked back over my blog for the past year. My posts ebbed and flowed…along with my health. The beautiful surprise is that the posts that received the most comments were the ones I penned after a long absence. How sweet is that ???    It is REALLY sweet !!!
          This afternoon, I also read again the post I wrote last year on the day before my birthday. It was a tribute to my mother—and my daddy. Awesome people, MayBeth and Mack. In my humble opinion, that post was especially delightful!
Birthday girl last year with her baby brother. :-)

If you missed the story of our parents and my birth,—or want to enjoy it again (wow, bold of me, huh???), here is the date: Thursday, February 24, 201, The Day Before Tomorrow
    
Surprised with cake made by soon-to-be granddaughter-in-law Ashley. Who planned the whole day... just for me.











So, tonight, I have several things on my heart AND on my:
What-Will-I-Do-With-My-Time-This-Year? List
…in addition to Grandson John’s wedding in November…..
          1. Only because I’m compelled to live my life fully as long as I live, I am reading and will study and report on Billy Graham’s book Nearing Home. Delightful book. Billy says, “Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life.” Along with Dr. Graham, I, too, want to finish well.  
      2. I am also in the process of selecting a word or phrase to study, to claim, to define this 76th year of my life. In recent years, my words have been: “clutter,” “intentionally intent,” “gratitude,” and “contentment.” Lately, my prayer time continues to be drawn back to my old nemesis “trust.” I may just have to finally tackle TRUST head on, now that I’ve bumped into this ¾ of a century mark. (Appears to me that this—more or less—last quarter might be a tad difficult.)
          3. Read a new Nicholas Sparks book. Ohio Granddaughter visited last week and she and I had a great conversation about our shared love/hate relationships with Mr. Sparks. Young Granddaughter and I agree he tops the list of favorite novelists. I wrote a short story a couple of years ago that my local writing group did not like. The story had a very abrupt and unhappy ending. I finally changed the ending a little bit just to appease the ladies, but I learned that kind of writing from Nicholas Sparks. (tee hee and I really like writing that way J)
          4. Knit a dressy, flimsy scarf for Julie’s birthday. Even though I have until August and it just “looks” like my daughter-in-law, the yarn is slightly intimidating.
          5. Attend two writers’ conferences….
(a) Johnson City Library 4th Annual Writers Conference, February 29, 2012. www.jclibrarysite.org because it is so close to home, a good place to meet other local writers, and great, inspiring speakers.
(b) Christian Writers Group of Greater San Antonio Area, March 9, 2012, featuring Message, Ministry and Momentum with Sharon Norris Elliott, http://www.cwgsa.com/p/contact-us.html and NOT just because at last year’s conference I won the door prize which was free attendance at the 2012 conference!!!!! Woooo-hoooo, here I come !!
          6. Post on this blog more often…. There are MANY things on my heart to share with you.
          7. FINISH my novel about the slave family I invented… Emma, Annie, Molly, Sarah, Rebecca ... well, yeah, along with James, Silas, Will, and Ben.... Will they make it home... or to freedom ... safely?????

STOP !!!!!!! It is said that SEVEN is a complete number. So, my list for the year is more than done. ugh. And, now, with so much to do, I best stop this rabbit trail and get busy. But, just one more memory....

Reagan and her hand/heart-made card with her Aunt Lizzie
 Okay. 'Nuff said !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Prayers and blessings to all of you,

    Liz

P.S. The hill country of Texas is giving great thanks for our recent rains. Just this past 3 days, we measured almost 2”. Thank You, Heavenly Father for your merciful gift. We will try to use it wisely.

P.S. 2 The surprise I believed could not happen included a table beautifully decoraded, loaded with food and flowers provided by family and friends:
I am absolutely a blessed woman !!!