His Life………………………His Lifestyle

This afternoon, Robin had the honor of being interviewed ( on the telephone) by a Doctorate student from Colorado.  He has Celiac Disease & is Gluten Free so she was curious about his lifestyle for the past 40 years.  Yes, this fall he will have had Celiac Disease for 40 years!  Although it sounds like forever, to me it just seems like a few years ago.  We’ve worked hard over the years to make sure that he IS gluten-free & the experience hasn’t been terrible.  This young woman who interviewed Robin also has Celiac Disease & it is her passion to write about it, research it, & maybe, eventually, find some information that will help scientists & researchers find a cure.  (I think she must be working on her dissertation.)

Robin shared about his life as a gluten-free person with Celiac Disease.  As we look back on the years of learning about this lifestyle (and it is a lifestyle, not a hobby), we realize just how much we’ve learned about the human body. (What a miracle we walk around in, people!!)  We have found ourselves stepping forward into a time when we can buy almost anything Robin would want to eat & has lived without for so many years.  LOOK! There on the shelf in Wal-Mart!  It is usually something that we have made at home….from scratch…& years ago it was just plain yucky!!! But as we fast forward, the flours of today for gluten-free diners have made his world much tastier.  We also find mixes on the shelf!!…or frozen products!! It also makes MY life much easier.   God has been good. After 40 years of Celiac Disease, Robin is healthy & happy

Robin was able to share his life with this young woman today…… to let her know that it is something that one can live with if done with diligence.  He has never whined nor complained over the years when the kids & I had a hamburger in front of him & he had a Chef Salad (back in the days); he has always been kind about some of the awful recipes I have tried (“It’s not bad.  I don’t think you need to fix this again, though.  But it is not bad.”………as he kindly cleans his plate & doesn’t throw the mess away).  Being gluten-free isn’t a ‘fad’ for him it isn’t an “in-thing” that he wanted to try.  At 6’2″, tall when he was FINALLY diagnosed, he weighed 135 lbs.  Everyone….including the doctor….thought he had cancer…somewhere.  But one last try by Dr, Wayne Schow of Twin Falls, ID………an endoscopy & it showed that he had Celiac Disease.  We praise the Lord……it was something we could take care of with diet!  It hasn’t been easy for him with many of the side-effects of Celiac Disease showing up over the years, but it is so much better than the original possible diagnosis.

Again, God has been so good.  So many blessings.  We have far more to thank Him for than to complain about. And Robin did such a fine job in his interview.  I was very proud of my Gluten Free husband who happens to have Celiac Disease.  I so thankful that he is still with me…..how I love him.

 Robin in 1976.  He was quite ill at the time.

 

                                                       Robin today.  Healthy & handsome. 

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Forever

Sistahs!!!!

I thought of you today. I saw your carrot-red hair blowing in the wind.  I looked into your beautiful green eyes.  I saw your impish grin…….your wrinkly nose.  

The memories come flooding back as I remember our days of croquet, jacks, Monopoly, jigsaw puzzles.  We laughed, we argued, we laughed even harder.  The back lawn was the perfect spot for a rousing game of croquet & you usually chose either the green or orange mallet & ball.  Our croquet set was so cool!  The balls were made of pressed sawdust & completely colored.  None of those wooden balls with a colored strip for us!  We were pretty proud of that set…….until one too many days of “Poison Croquet” or “Cow Pasture Pool”…….meaning too many hard whacks to send our opponents croquet balls rolling across the lawn with  vengeance! The chunks of pressed sawdust started flying off & we knew that our days playing with the set were numbered.  It was such fun when you played….you were my hero.

I remember when you graduated from high school (Twin Falls High School, Class of ’57). You brought home your cap & gown, tried them on for us…….I stood in awe of my big sister!  How proud I was as you marched into the gym at the high school that evening.  There you were….your red hair was flipped up on the ends, the cap was snuggled down on your head & your gown was so impressive. My sister was graduating!  You were my hero.  

In the fall you went away to college & my heart was broken.  The bedroom we shared was so empty. Yes, I had your bed to throw my toys & clothes all over but it just wasn’t right to do it.  So I kept your bed as you left it….waiting for the times you would come home to visit.  But you did come home again!!  You got a great job as a travel agent at the largest travel agency in Twin Falls & I bragged about you & the job you did. Everyone heard about my “big sister” & all the wonderful things she could do & did.  When you went to Europe, I missed you terribly….again…..but told all my friends where you were & what you were doing!  All my friends were in awe & wished they had a big sister just like you.  You were my hero.

My red-haired sister was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen & I was so proud when you would come to the junior high, bringing my P.E. gym suit that I “supposedly” forgot.  I worked in the school office during 3rd period & you thought the Vice-Principal was kinda cute & he thought you were kinda cute, too. But between us we found out a little more about him & I quit forgetting my gym suit & you quit wanting to bring me anything I may have forgotten.  The end! When you did show up in the halls of the junior high, you were recognized as MY sister. I was so proud & you were MY hero!

We got married, we had our babies, & yet, we remained close.  Laughter was hilarious, secrets were told, soothing words were spoken, & you remained……my hero.  I was always so proud of you, the positions you held in the bank, & always stood proud when people found out that you were my sister.  You were loved & respected by many & just knowing that I was blessed to be your sister filled my heart with such happiness. Holidays were busy times with cooking the meals & laughing at each other’s jokes.  You were always so funny in your own innocent way……many times you were being VERY funny & just had no idea that it was happening!  Not only were you a true clown but you stood firm during adversity. You held your head high & not many people saw your tears…….but I did.  You shared them with your “little sister”, swallowed hard, & marched back into your world as the strong woman you always were.  You were my hero.

You told me your secrets.  I’ll keep them in my heart & not share them.  You trusted me with them…..you trusted me to the end.  We are sisters, & sisters have a bond of staying close & keeping secrets forever. Although you have moved on to your Heavenly Home, our ‘sister-ness’ will always be a part of my life.  In all our years together, you have always shown concern for me in many ways and wouldn’t you know it…….you chose to run on to Heaven first to check things out & make sure that between you & Jesus, all would be prepared for your little sister when she gets there.  You truly ARE my hero.

I thought of you today. I saw your carrot-red hair blowing in the wind.  I looked into your beautiful green eyes.  I saw your impish grin…….your wrinkly nose.  

I thought of you today…….and I miss you.

A Time for Feathers

When I was a little girl there were quite a few old bushes lining our back yard.  My favorite was the Snowberry bush.  It always had white ‘berries’ hanging from it’s branches.  I was told they would make me sick if I ate them so I crushed them in my ‘mud pie meals’ & just for fun….I’d snap them in my fingers.  SNAP!!! They made such a great sound!  I, also, loved the bush because of the shelter it gave me when the sun was hot & I needed some shade.  Also, when the clouds would open up & pour out their rain I found it such fun to sit under that old bush with it’s thick branches covered with foliage.  I would listen to the rain & dream little girl dreams.  I always felt safe. 

A few weeks ago, Robin & I had a definite revelation regarding our roof……IT WAS TIME!!!  Our shelter was becoming less “shelter-ish” & more “leak-ish”.  We were blessed to have some young men come to our house that are in the business of making people named Roberts (and other names, too) very happy!!!  Before we knew what was happening, our new roof was up there covering us & protecting us from the ‘elements’.  Just knowing there was a possibility of  the leaks being gone gave me a sense of comfort………a sense of safety. 

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 As the roof was being done & I heard the “little chipmunks” scurrying around & working away up there, a story & scripture came to mind.  The safety of a new roof became a metaphor………..a new roof is the Lord’s feathers covering us.  And thus……there is the safety & protection.  The scripture I mention is Psalm 91:4

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  (NIV)

 

The story I mention is one told by a friend of ours who just turned 101 years young.  If you could see her, you would realize that my phrase of “years young” is not just a phrase……….it is the truth.  Erma has always kept her mind & body young.  This story is hers.  Although I cannot remember all the details, I do remember that during a time of complete fear in her life, she remembered this scripture…….or at least parts of it.  She couldn’t quote it word for word but she knew enough about this verse to remember that God will cover you with His feathers (wrap you in His wings) & under those wings there will be refuge.  The only words she could voice were, “Feathers! Feathers!”.  God’s protection became real to her at that moment.  Those feathers covered her; she found refuge & she knew…beyond a shadow of a doubt, that His faithfulness will always be a shield for protection & a barrier to keep Satan at a distance.  All Erma needed to do was remember Who her Protector was & His promises.  She “asked” Him to come protect her in the only way she was able to verbalize that cry for help.  He came…….He was there……..His feathers became a ‘new roof over her head’. 

What a complete & total joy to know that His love & protection is always there.  He cares about the major disasters in our lives & He cares about the new roof that is needed.  His feathers cover us…….under His wings we find refuge.  I pray that I remember His promises & feel His safety until I take my last breath.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

 

161 Addison Ave.

I’ve heard it said that “You can’t go home again” but I may have to differ with that idea.  A couple of months ago I read a blog written by a published author & classmate from Twin Falls, ID.  Her blog is incorporated in The Website of Kelly Jones & the post that fed my heart with memories was “No Place for Kids”.  Her memories of our hometown opened a whole world of remembering things that happened when I was young.  

I was raised next door to Dr. Harvard C. Luke’s office.  I spent a lot of time in his waiting room.  One time I fainted & knocked down his office Christmas tree (I’d just had a shot…….needles scared me!). At 5 Yrs old, I had my tonsils out right in one of his examination rooms.  The good old days.  Also, we shared an alley & I was the one who carried the trash out to the ‘burning barrel’ and/or the receptacle for cans.  One evening at dusk I was dutifully doing my daily chore when out of the corner of my eye I saw something in Dr. Luke’s garbage can!  It was white….eerily white in the evening shadows……it looked like a leg!  Yes!  It was a leg!  Should I run?  Faint?  Scream?  Shut my eyes & hope that it would go away? I peeked through my eyelids (which were at  ‘half-mast’) & the awful, horrible, frightening, grotesque thing was STILL THERE!  When I really looked at it, I realized that Dr. Luke had removed someone’s leg cast.  It was thigh, knee, calf, & foot…..yuck!  Someone really did a job on their leg, didn’t they?  I couldn’t look at it very long because it truly was a scary sight to behold.

Dr. Luke’s office was on the corner of Addison Ave. & Adams St.  On the other side of Adams St was the Albertson’s grocery store.  I spent hours & hours in that place.  I read their comic books, bought popsicles by the gross, & almost every day I bought the groceries that my mother would write on a small piece of paper.  Mother wasn’t a meal planner & kept very few supplies in our kitchen.  Spending all that time in the grocery store caused me to fall in love with every box boy & young male grocery checker.  And then one night I woke up hearing men shouting, police radios blaring, & seeing a strange glow in my room.  I looked out the window & saw an orange glow & heard someone say the word “fire”!  Our beloved Albertson’s store was on fire!!!  That night it burned to the ground & for days & days after, it was so hot that canned goods exploded continually!  Eventually they rebuilt but instead of building it to face Addison Ave. as before, some ‘genius’ built it to face Washington St.  I still spent an equal amount of time there as before but it always felt like a “stranger’s house” & not the store I knew & loved.

In the early 1960’s the houses across the street were sold & a Texaco service station was built.  So, a nice white station owned by Tom Bushy was put up in place of the homes, trees, & lawns.  The plus of this was that there was always ice cold pop in the machines over there!!  The old-style pop dispensers had water in them that was refrigerated.  Oh, on a hot day in Twin Falls, ID those bottles of pop just dripping with icy water was a pretty good answer to heat stroke!  

Speaking of heat stroke, there are memories of playing in our large back yard in the heat of the day.  We would sit on a blanket in the shade of the lilac tree or the Syringa bush……priceless.  There were two apricot trees in the back yard.  They tasted so good when ripe……but there was a time we hated them.  That was when they were overripe & fell off the tree. They became rotten & had earwigs running around in them!  The smell was atrocious & picking them off the lawn when we knew the earwigs were in there……far from priceless.

I would ride my bicycle in our neighborhood.  Riding down Adams St. turning right on Shoup St. & then turning right again to be on Washington St. & back to Addison Ave & my home.  It may have only been a short distance but my mind made up all kinds of adventures as I rode those sidewalks over & over again.

My mother lived at 161 Addison Ave.until 1970’s.  After she moved a sad event occurred. Yes, folks, “they paved paradise & put up a parking lot”.  

“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got          Big Yellow Taxi written &
Till it’s gone                                                             recorded by Joni Mitchell.
They paved paradise                                           1970
And put up a parking lot”

And how true those words are.  It was just the house I was raised in & just “the house”…..period.  I lived in that house from the time I was 4 until I got married at 18 in 1966.  But eventually it became a parking lot.  That doesn’t mean that I “can’t go home again”.  Why, you ask?  Because I just DID “go home again” & I took you with me, didn’t I?  There may be some unpleasant memories at 161 Addison Ave. in Twin Falls, ID but the memories of  the times when we were kids are the memories that I CAN “go home” to…….I can return again & again.  These are the treasures in our treasure chests, the jewels in our jewelry boxes, the ‘happy’ in our ‘happy places’.  

As Bob Hope’s theme song said, “Thanks for the Memories” at 161 Addison Avenue.MMemories

Lord, help me to remember where my treasures lie. They truly are a gift that You tuck in our hearts.  

QUIET BEAUTY

 There is a ‘quiet beauty’.  We’ve all seen it & may not have recognized what it was.  The sweet smile from one who is hurting.  The kind words spoken to others when all that is desired is to hear someone SPEAK those kind words to them.  The gentle touch or hug given as a friend…….yes, the desperate one needs that touch of friendship, also.  Those who are suffering the ‘quiet beauty’ are our next door neighbors, the one you sat beside in church…….or could it be the salesperson in the store who just helped you with your purchase?…….your mother or father?……….your sister or brother?……your best friend?………..one of your children?  I listened to this song by James Todd.  I realized how painful ‘quiet beauty. can truly be. Please listen:

 

The song is very beautiful but I hear some very deep emotions in that song.  ‘Quiet beauty’.  Fear of being hurt by someone you love & trust by being ignored, through neglect, embarrassment, unkind actions………fear can be tucked away inside & covered like a blanket with ‘quiet beauty’.  No one can see the hurt because of a smile.  Fear of unkind words said with anger or lack of emotion………words that enter the ears & go straight into the heart………words that bury themselves so very deep. No one can hear that pain in the ‘quiet beauty’ of the loving, kind words spoken by the one who is hurting. The hurting one needs to have those very words bury themselves deep in the heart to “root out” all hurtful words making their home inside.  Fear of a touch that is much less than loving or the fear of no loving touch at all……..a touch that leaves bruises or broken bones………….the lack of a loved one holding your hand, giving you a hug or a gentle pat………..the desolate need for true emotion filled with love, pride, & an excitement that radiates a joy…….a joy that says “I’m so glad I know you & love you”.  Because of ‘quiet beauty’, the hurting one reaches out with warm & tender hugs & love to others who are hurting. With fears of feeling lonely & desperate, the hurting one walks through life with ‘quiet beauty’.

Acts 18: 9b & 10  “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking & do not be silent, for I am with you, & no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” (NIV)

It is time for ‘quiet beauty’ to speak out about life with fear & the lack of tenderness & love.  There are many who care & would like to help………….

There is One Whose love is greatest.  The One Who sees through the ‘quiet beauty’ & speaks directly to the heart of the hurting one.

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power & of love, & of a sound mind. (KJV)

We were created to carry within us a ‘quiet beauty’ that is not fearful but strong through the Holy Spirit Who dwells in our hearts & lives.  My prayer is:  “Lord, help me to see beyond the smiles, hear more than kind words given to me, & understand the gentle touches given are possibly gentle touches that are needed.  Give me Your eyes to see, Your ears to hear, & Your wisdom to help those who are hurting inside their ‘quiet beauty. Amen”. 

 

I’M A DANDELION

Dandelions.  Our kids used to bring them to me as a surprise.  The little yellow flowers are so pretty but they ARE a weed & they spread quickly.  Our  yard has been infested with large dandelions this year……..LARGE!  The stems are big & thick; I feel as if I’m living in a pasture!  I don’t want to pay to have them sprayed so am battling them myself.  I see them getting all curly & puny looking from the spraying I’m doing but I wonder if they really are going to die or if they are just trying to fool me. Robin read about them.  Their roots can be over a foot long…….I pooh-pooh-ed that but My daddy taught me how to dig up weeds so I’ve been digging up the dandelions here & there. Guess what I found out!?!  Robin is right!  Some of those roots are very big & are deeply embedded in my yard!  Fie to you, you dastardly dandelions!!!  Off with you pretty little heads!  I shall work diligently until my mission is successful!

As I was digging away the other day,  I became aware that these little weed/beautiful flowers are firm about what they do.  The root is deep & difficult to remove without breaking it off.  The best way I have found to remove one is to have the ground all watered ………I have to fool the dandelion into thinking I am giving it nourishment.  Then I gently dig around the edges with my trowel……gently, gently……dig, dig, dig.  I softly grab Mr. Dandelion & slowly pull…slowly now…..until the whole root comes up & I have succeeded in ridding my yard of one more dandelion!  Hooray!

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How deep are my roots in Christ?  Do I have roots like a dandelion?  Sometimes I feel Satan walking around studying me & my life.  He knows I desire to be DEEPLY rooted in the Lord so he puts together a devious plan.  He waters me with all kinds of things to catch my attention.  The ground around me gets all soft with attractions that could fill my mind with anything but God.  He fools me by letting me think that I’m okay with all these things that are turning my attention from what is good to those things that aren’t necessarily bad…………..but they just slowly move me a little farther from the true path set before me.  Then…oh my…. before I even know it, Satan is gently digging around the edges of my faith.  He is trying to loosen the things that I desire to hold tight & close to me.  When he thinks he has reached that goal, he then grabs hold of me tightly & he starts to pull & tug…slowly…slowly.  He is trying to pull my root completely away from the Lord & then he will throw me away like garbage.  He wants more than anything to rid the garden of all the things he considers weeds & certainly noxious to him……………and that is those of us who choose to fall on our knees before the throne, raise our hands in praise, & proclaim that Jesus is the King of Kings & the Lord of Lords!!  

My roots need to be so deep that when the enemy of my soul walks around me & studies me closely, he will realize that my roots are very deep.  There are no delights in this world, poisons to my soul, trowels in the hands of the wicked……nothing………that can loosen them.   Satan may see me as a weed but I am not a weed in God’s eyes.  My little yellow head looks up to Him with love.  I pray that I will become puffy & beautiful with the seeds that spread & reach out to those who just don’t know God’s love for us.  Dandelions.  It’s okay; I can be one for God.

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians:

Ephesians 3: 16-19  16–I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being, 17–so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted & established in love, 18–may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19–and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

CLOUDS OF LOVE

The only poetry I truly understand is Robert W. Service.  “The Cremation of Sam Magee” & “The Shooting of Dan McGraw”  seem to speak to me…………..yep, they do.  I’m not a truly deep person, as you can see.   Sometimes I surprise myself, though.  I find that I can step out of the ‘Sam Magee’ mode & look beyond the fire that made him warm……….   

This afternoon I looked up at the beautiful, puffy clouds in the sky, wishing I could write a poem about their beauty.  I would love to write something similar to “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer.  I would love to be able to write something that would be a praise to God for His gifts of such beauty.  The white puffy clouds look like the cotton balls in a jar in my ‘powder room’.  (Fancy name for the ‘sandbox’).  I stared at those clouds & thought to myself that THEY know where they have come from…….just as the trees in Joyce Kilmer’s poem know where they came from.  

The third stanza:               

                                                     A tree that looks at God all day,                                                                                                                              And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

And the final line:        

                                                  But only God can make a tree.

                       
Those wonderful puffy clouds know where they came from & never fuss nor try to tell the other clouds that they did all the puffiness themselves.  They realize Who created them & why they were created.  I’ve never seen  cloud passing by holding a sign that tells us they are self-made or there is no God.  If the clouds understand Creation…..why don’t we?  We are the shining completion to the creations He made in those 6 days & yet we fight Him every inch of they way.  We march against Him, we speak against Him, & we deny Him.  What has happened to our world?  Why do we turn our backs on the One Who loves us more than we can perceive?  While we walk away claiming our talents & abilities as our own doing, He is still loving us.  He is still sending us the sun to shine, the trees to leaf & bare flowers or fruit, & he still sends us the beautiful puffy clouds.  If we look closely sometimes we can see a cat or an elephant in those clouds………..but look even closer………..study those clouds.  Can you see where He has written “I LOVE YOU” over & over again as the clouds float past?  Look there it is….did you see it?  Do  you feel His love?  T
he last line of the poem “Only God can make a tree“.  Think about it.  It’s true!…….. and only God can make the clouds.   He does such  lovely works of art in everything He has created.  We often forget that everything we see, He created in 6 days!  Even WE are a lovely work of art shaped, formed, painted, & placed on this earth as His greatest Work of Art.  He treasures us & considers us lovely, beautiful, & only asks us for our companionship & praise.  

As I gaze at the clouds I ask myself:  Where would I be but for His love for me? ……….but for Love…   

003

MOTHERHOOD — Y

Have you ever believed in something so strongly that you ‘set your heels’ & refused to be budged? That, my friends, is how I feel about motherhood.  When I was a little girl, playing with my dolls was one of my favorite things to do.  I learned to play alone at an early age & entertained myself by playing “Mommy”.  I would dress my “babies”, get out my ‘play’ dishes & cook them meals, & I would dream about the day when I would be a real mommy with a real house & meals to cook.  I can’t remember wanting to do anything else.  As time passed, my sister went to a business college, became a secretary & my mother decided that I would do exactly the same thing.  You see, I didn’t want to be a secretary……I wanted to be a mommy.  During my senior year of high school, I loved working in the school library & realized that if I had to do something before I became a mommy, then I would be a librarian.  Nope………..my mother still wanted me to be a secretary.  I still wanted to be a mommy.  

A wonderful young man came into my life & I became an 18-year-old bride……..& Mrs. Robin Roberts. Sometimes one’s dream doesn’t have to be a lofty goal but just a simple desire.   I eventually became a “Mommy”.  My dream was realized.  I had no idea how difficult motherhood could be or how dedicated a mommy should be………I would love to start all over again.  I think I could do it much better this time.  I’ve learned a lot from observing my young friends who are mommies.  Our daughter-in-law has shown me a much better way to approach motherhood with her gentle ways.  I can’t have any “do-over’s” but I can tell you that despite all the errors, I LOVED being a mommy.  My motherhood began in the 1960’s during the days of “bra burning”, “doing your own thing”, & the declaration of independence from the broom, the cook stove, & the dreaded diaper pail.  Then, it is the 1970’s & I have another baby!  Horrors!  Two children & so far I had no college education, no employment, & it looked as if I was going to stay in my suspended animation forever!  My family members came to me & asked me if I wasn’t going to take some college classes & began my quest to realize my potential…….nope.  Surely I would consider doing something like that when Amy (our youngest) started school……nope.  These young ‘hip’ women who were asking me these questions didn’t understand that I was doing…..not what I HAD to do but what I WANTED to do.  I was being a mommy!  

As a mommy, I wore many hats as all mommies do………but I came to realize my “potential” as my children took new steps in their own lives.  For me, it was important to be the mommy willing to help in the classroom, the mommy at all concerts, the mommy who was available.  Being a chauffeur, a cook, a laundress, the ‘mommy’ for their daddy……..it was all self-realization!  Not one day did I find myself bored & unable to find something to do.  I learned at an early age how to play by myself & learned how much fun “mommy-hood” would be.  The hats that I wore during those days helped me see my ability to accomplish many things.  I didn’t need a college degree to do all the things that I have done in my life.  I just needed to be aware that my “mommy-hood” helped my availability.  I was easily a part of Ryan & Amy’s school days.  To me, it was more fulfilling than any college diploma, believe me!!

Jesus spoke to His disciples regarding His crucifixion on the cross.  He told them that they would weep & mourn but that their grief would turn to joy (meaning when they would see Him again in Heaven).  He compared that grief to the pain of childbirth & their joy of seeing Him again as the joy a mother feels when she looks at her baby.

John 16: 20  I tell you the truth, you will weep & mourn while the world rejoices.  You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.  21  A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. (NIV)

It seems that Jesus honored motherhood when, on the cross, he told his mother to look at John as her son & told John, “Here is your mother”.   John took Jesus’ mother into his home & cared for her as a son.  (John 19: 26 & 27)   Yes, Jesus’ view of motherhood causes me to look at my life & never feel as if I missed out on anything.  

Every person has a dream.  Some of us dream of education & fulfillment in the business world while balancing the “at home” jobs.  Some of us may not have such lofty desires but that doesn’t make our lives any more important or less important than our neighbor’s life.  I chose to be a wife & mother……….what greater calling!?  Thank You, Lord!

Boise, ID  1972  My fam!

Boise, ID 1972 My fam!

THE COLOR……….YELLOW

yellow heart yellow My favorite color is yellow.  It always has been.  Some people just hate the color yellow.  I don’t care.  My wedding color was yellow (back in the day when we had ONE chosen color for our flowers, napkins, etc.).  My poor Matron of Honor wore a yellow suit.  I’m sure she was thrilled.  When I’m shopping for clothes or anything…..I am drawn to yellow.  When I wear yellow, it isn’t a great color for me……at all!  Someone recently told me that ANYONE can wear ANY color no matter what their ‘color palette’ might be.  It all depends on accessories.  Good!  I, also, have always had a dream of the little pale yellow cottage with white shutters.  I definitely stop to look at yellow cars……although I’ve never wanted one.  They ARE cool looking! 

A few years ago at a family gathering,our niece, Rhonda, had us take a personality test called The Color Code.  It is from a book by the same name & the author is Taylor Hartman, Ph.D.  We laughed & had a lot of fun with it.  Later, when we were alone, Robin said, “I wish I had known this about you years ago.”……meaning that he just might understand me a bit more.  You see, out of the four color categories that fits everyone (red, white, blue, yellow)……I am ‘YELLOW’!  Kinda cool, huh?  And so the story begins:

This test is no different than the one about our animal personality (the color  yellow & the otter are the same) but I like knowing that I’m ‘YELLOW’……. I think.  Kermit the Frog sang a song telling us that “It Ain’t Easy Being Green”.  I can tell you that ‘it ain’t easy being ‘YELLOW’!  Robin can also tell you that being married to a ‘YELLOW’ ain’t an easy task, either.  ‘YELLOW’ people are always “The Fun Lovers”…….the name of the chapter in the book.  Robin calls me “Party Girl”.  All in all, to those of us who are ‘YELLOW ‘, life should be a ‘bowl of cherries’.  We look at life through ‘rose-colored glasses’ & the glass should always be half full!!  Life should be the way WE expect it to be & there should be no unhappiness.  ‘YELLOW’ people are ‘Pollyanna’s. 

THE YELLOW LEONA 

Debates make me uneasy, disagreements can make me leave the room (in a meeting, etc) & arguments cause instant stress….physical stress! (the heavy feeling in the chest, shortness of breath).   I am easily angered when life becomes difficult or if I feel helpless in a situation.  At times if I haven’t left the room quickly enough during a debate or disagreement…….the ‘flight or fight’ thing becomes FIGHT……!  It frustrates me to have people angry with each other…….I get angry.  Oh my! 

I want happiness around me & I want people to like me.  This is all part of my ‘YELLOW’-ness.  I’m impulsive, a ‘flippant chatterbox’ (quote from the book), highly optimistic, & a ‘touchy, feely ‘ person.  The downside of being ‘YELLOW’ is that I am flighty, loud & obnoxious, frequently speak before thinking, don’t like to be pushed, ignored, OR controlled.  And when a ‘YELLOW’ finally wears out….the ‘down time’ is more than necessary.  Being ‘YELLOW’ makes others believe that I am always ‘up, up, up’ but when I’m ‘down’, it is like someone let the air out of a balloon.  Sometimes I find myself spiraling down!  Many find those of us who are ‘YELLOW’ to be exhausting but, honey, it ain’t nothing to the actual exhaustion of BEING ‘YELLOW’.  When I look at the other side of the coin, though…….I wouldn’t trade being ‘YELLOW’ for anything!!! 

Joseph was given a beautiful coat by his father, Jacob.  It was ornate with many colors…..I believe yellow was one of the colors.  Jacob gave Joseph the coat because he loved him so much…he was a child born in Jacob’s old age & probably brought joy to the household.  Joseph’s brothers were much older & weren’t fond of him but his father had a great love in his heart for Joseph.  (Genesis 37: 1-4).  I like to think that God looked down & loved us so much that He wanted us to live in a world as colorful as possible.  We bring joy to Him (sometimes) & He wants us to be “clothed” in color!  Yellow…….the sun is yellow, the first little flower that bravely pops it’s head out of the cold ground is the crocus…..it’s yellow!  I want to be a crocus.  I want to look around & be a little bit of happiness to someone.  I want to be the sun.  I want to shine some warmth on someone who feels chilly & needs some ‘YELLOW’ in their life.  I feel God’s love for me & I know that He chose Leona to have the personality of the otter, the color ‘YELLOW’, or any other test we might take to check our personality.  Each of us is created in His image but He ‘tweaked’ us here & there to make us very individual.  That is amazing….to think that every human being is different from the other.  How can it be?  How can God come up with so many combinations of ‘this, that, & the other’ to create EACH one of us to be unique?  Well, it’s because He is God.  His love & abilities are beyond what we can imagine. 

 I LOVE being one of God’s unique creations!  I LOVE the color yellow!!  Thank You, God, for creating Leona as a ‘YELLOW’ personality.  Sometimes it may be a tough assignment but I LOVE BEING ‘YELLOW’!

yellow rose 

WELL, I’M DISAPPOINTED…………

Unhappy Leona

Have you noticed that disappointment comes in all sizes, shapes, & packages?  No matter who we are, where we live, or what we do……at some time, there will be disappointments, won’t there? Sometimes we are disappointed in ourselves (Adam…..poor Adam when he remembered their time in the Garden of Eden).  Sometimes we are disappointed in others (Joseph……poor Joseph…..”Hey, you guys!  You’re my brothers!  The joke is over!  Get me out of this well!”).  What about being disappointed in God?  Time & time again David would start feeling sorry for himself & think God had deserted him until it would hit him right between the eyes that God had always been right there……no matter what.  Disappointment lives just in the next room, outside our door, or down the street.  We can say that it is the enemy of our souls (Satan) who is the author of disappointment but sometimes we need to take some responsibility for picking up that “book” he writes & reading it cover to cover.  We should be bathing in the Wonder of the Word of God & all His promises for us.  But we don’t……..sometimes we just don’t……..

In Romans 8: 28 we are told that in ALL things God works for our good when we love Him……He will turn it around to BE good, eventually!  Have I really believed it?  There have been times when it has been more than difficult to trust & believe but I can see down the road & there is no other way through the foliage than the small path to the “right” that He has told me to travel.  He just asks me for a mustard seed-sized bit of faith & He will do the rest.  It will work out……maybe not the way I have it organized in my mind………..but it WILL work out!  Sometimes I don’t have the ability to ‘over-think’ it or the energy to try harder to do it my way.  I just need to return to the beginning days of my walk with Jesus when my heart was softening.  Listening to the pastor was a fresh drink of water…I was believing!  When he told the congregation that Jesus loved each one of us….each one!!……I believed!  At 30 years old, I came to Him with a ‘childlike faith’ & I have continued to believe in my God & Savior no matter what has shown up on the doorstep of my life.  

My mother raised me to NOT believe in myself.  I don’t think she realized that she was paralyzing my self-worth or my future.  It was just the “snowball effect”…….she was raised that way & she just passed it on to her younger,, more pliable daughter.  When she would tell me that she didn’t think I ‘could’…….I would believe her but then go out & do something else just to prove to myself that I ‘could’ at least do SOMETHING.  My choices weren’t always very good but I look back & see His hand in my life before I gave my heart to Him.  I realize we all can see the path God had us walk & my story is no different than yours…..but I’m the one writing today!  Ha ha!  The Lord gave me a husband who told me from the very beginning of our lives together, “You can, you can”.  My responses were the verbal or mental “No, I can’t” answers.  I didn’t really believe that I ‘could’ but inside I really wanted to try.  God was there all the way encouraging me, showing me, & in the process leading me toward Him.  

Today I choose no other way than to have faith……in the Lord.  Oh, I still get disappointed in others if I expect too much from them.  I am a “Pollyanna” & think that everyone should be happy & skip through life with a smile on their faces & good decisions in their hearts.  And then I get disappointed if they don’t.  I am also a “fight or flight” person.  When I am disappointed for any reason with someone (whether I know them or not), I usually find myself confronting the situation……..after believing I am pushed into the ‘proverbial’ corner.  It ain’t pretty!  It can be embarrassing for me, for Robin, for the person I’m confronting…sometimes it is Robin…ugh!……& it is not the right thing to do.  My answer is always to have faith, Leona, have faith!  First have faith!  My unseemly reaction to being disappointed in someone else always brings along disappointment in myself.  Hand in hand they show up together although the disappointment in myself always hides in the ‘wings’ until most of the damage is already done……THEN it shows up with an “I told you so” attitude.  I do not choose to ever be disappointed in my God.  He has never failed to make good what the enemy tried to destroy.

Joel 2:25a  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the canker-worm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer-worm………..  

I do not like to lose my way & take a path that ends up in the briars.  I do not like to lose “myself” & end up in disappointment.  I don’t like doing that because it tells the world that my faith is fragile, doesn’t it?  Or…….does it tell the world that Adam had to leave the Garden of Eden but God used him as the very first stroke in the “bigger picture” He is painting?  Joseph had to be pretty disappointed in those brothers of his & I think, despite the prophetic dreams he had, he was probably disappointed in Potiphar when he believed the lie told by Mrs. Potiphar.  Look!  The picture that the Lord is painting shows all those things in Joseph’s life!  Isn’t it amazing how He has taken the disappointments of many & continued to create a beautiful picture as He makes His brush strokes here & there.  It seems to be working out, doesn’t it?  

In the very hardest of days, hours, minutes He reminds me that I can do it!……….I don’t have to feel disappointment or fear because He lives in me & together we can do it!!!

2 Chronicles 32:7  Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. (NASB)

1 John 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  (KJV)

You know what?  I’m not going to be disappointed anymore!!!  I’m part of a giant piece of beautiful artwork that God has been painting for centuries.  He is a patient artist & He is going to keep painting until it is finished.