About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An old letter...

Recently I have been going through old documents on my computer and found some really funny things that I had forgotten about. Some of them are too cute not to share. The first one I'm posting is a letter that Jim and I wrote together in June of 2005, when he was going through chemo. Jim has always teased our kids about buying him a Little Rascal and we thought it would be the perfect time to send them a letter about Little Rascals. Enjoy!

Dear Friend,

Imagine giving your ailing friend the mobility that he has lost due to his failing health. You have within you the ability to make this man MOBILE again! Yes, once again, your friend can cruise through the peaceful woods bringing him the tranquility he so desires. Picture this: One hour after daylight a dust cloud coming down the dirt road. In the midst of that gigantic cloud is “One Happy Hunter” - Your Friend! Yes, there he is astride his camouflaged Little Rascal with a 10-point buck strapped across the front of that POWERFUL vehicle. What more could one guy ask for. It doesn’t get any better than this, but wait, IT DOES!

Not only would this give him the mobility in the woods, it would also enhance his life in other ways. Your gift could help relieve the financial burden his illness has brought upon his devoted wife. With the additional purchase of the “Pull Along” your friend could earn extra income by transporting his fellow chemotherapy patients back and forth to their vehicles in the parking lot. The shuttle service provided by him would not only give him a job, but also a purpose in life.

Hold on - there’s still more! Let’s don’t leave out the most important feature of the Little Rascal. Your friend will be able to take his grandchildren to the library, the park and most important, the “Dollar General” on his Little Rascal. Think of the smiles and joy you will be bringing not only to your friend, but to his grandchildren as well! With our “add on ice chest,” your friend will have the capability to sell ice cream and/or snow cones from his Little Rascal. The possibilities are endless and just go on and on! You can have the satisfaction of knowing that you made it all possible through your generous gift of a Little Rascal with a “Pull Along.”

In closing, be aware that many people call their scooters “Little Rascals” believing they have an authentic Little Rascal. There’s only one “Little Rascal” and it is only available through us. Don’t be fooled by imitators, we are the #1 scooter company! Call us today and we’ll rush you a free brochure about our fantastic scooter. Our motto is “Don’t scoot with the rest, scoot with the best!” We, as well as your friend, eagerly wait for your phone call to put this dream into motion. As a courtesy to your friend, we have all of his information in our data base. All you need is his code: JIMMA


Mike Blossom, President
Little Rascal Corporation

P.S. Pickup the phone now and call toll-free 1-800-JIM4FREEDOM. If you place your order before September 17, 2005, you will get an “add on ice-chest” absolutely free!*

*does not include shipping and handling or any other charges that may apply!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Psalm 91

We talked to Chance Friday night for a few minutes, then got an email from him telling us that he would be calling early Saturday morning. Saturday morning came and went without a phone call. After talking to him Friday night and reading the email, we put 2 and 2 together and realized that he was out on a mission and apparently things were worse than anticipated. I had prayed for him off and on, but as the hours came and went without a word from him, I set down and spent some time reading Psalm 91 and the other Bible verses I use to pray for protection over him. I kept saying that no weapon formed against him would prosper and telling God that I was standing on His promises to protect Chance.

I woke up several times during the night, each time saying a prayer for Chance’s safety and the safety of the guys with him. At 7:17 Sunday morning Chance’s girlfriend, Kellie sent me this text, “He’s OK!” Those two words brought a flood of relief to my soul and I texted her back, “Praise God!”

A little later Chance called. What started out as a two hour mission around midnight Friday lasted through early Sunday morning. It turned out to be a major battle in Afghanistan, ending with 33 insurgents killed and no injuries for our guys. Of his three deployments and the many missions Chance has been on, this was probably the most intense battle he has been in.

Most interesting is the text that Kellie sent me later Sunday afternoon. Every day since Chance deployed, she googles the number of days he has left, picks a random fact about that number and emails him the fact. Something so simple, yet something he looks forward to getting every day when he can check his emails. Kellie’s text was to let me know that on Saturday, Chance had 91 days left and she chose Pslam 91 for his random fact. Not so random, when you think about it. One of the most dangerous missions Chance went on, happened to be on day 91 and his girlfriend chose Psalm 91 for his fact, now even knowing what he was going through. That in itself was confirmation that God’s protection is over Chance and I need to trust Him more and let go of my fears. It never fails to amaze me how God sends us subtle messages to get His point across.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

One short paragraph...

To say it is interesting the sometimes subtle ways that God gets our attention, is an understatement! Yesterday I received one of those emails that you’re supposed to read, and then forward to your friends. Every time I get one of those emails, I automatically hit the “delete” button. There was nothing in this email that was of interest to me except for the first paragraph. It wasn’t even worded very well, but when I read it, I immediately knew there was a reason I had received the email. It read, “ God doesn’t give you the people you want; He gives you the people you NEED... to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you into the person you were meant to be.”

I immediately thought of a couple of people in my life who I don’t like, nor do I want to be around. That one little short paragraph, made me realize that if God only put people in my life that I like, it would hinder me in becoming a better person, and living my life in a way more pleasing to Him. I count it as a huge blessing that God has put so many people in my life that I really, REALLY love and enjoy being around. Then there are the people that I prefer to stay away from. Thinking it over made me realize that, in a sense, there is even a bigger blessing that comes from having them in my life. Those are the people who will help make me into the person that God wants me to be. They are in my life to teach me patience, tolerance, forgiveness, and most of all unconditional love. The reality of it all, put me on my knees asking God for forgiveness in the way I have reacted, and felt about different people in my life. Thank you God for getting the message across. Point taken!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To worry, or not to worry...

Chance hates having his picture taken, so it’s always a challenge to get pictures of him. In the past I’ve had to beg, bribe, and promise never to ask him again, only to break the promise and then promise again. And then the cycle repeats it’s self. I learned a long time the best approach is a non-obtrusive one with my camera, and go for the sneak attack when possible. When Chance deployed the first time I was able to sneak in one last picture before he left. The second time he deployed, I managed to get him to turn around and I snagged a picture. Since this is apparently going to be a way of life for him and for me, I thought it would be cool to make the deployment picture a tradition. So when he deployed on September 5, I followed him around the airport with my camera, waiting for the right moment. Success!

First Deployment 06-29-09

Second Deployment 07-26-2011

Third Deployment - September 5, 2011

I wish I could say this deployment stuff is getting easier. It’s so hard when Chance is in Afghanistan. I’m such a control person and dealing with a situation that is out of my control, on a daily basis, is hard for me. I was thinking about it earlier and realized the only way to have complete peace is to have complete trust. Letting go and trusting is so hard for me, but that’s where God wants me to be with Him. What a disappointment it must be for God when I sit and worry about situations!

I recently read some old sermon notes that encouraged me in my struggle with worry. One of the things I wrote down was, “If you can trust God with your life, your eternity, then you can trust Him with your circumstance. There isn’t anything going on that has God nervous. He is not pacing Heaven, hoping things go His way. He has you, he’s saying, “I’ve got this, you don’t have to worry about it.”

I have two bulletin boards in my office with some of my favorite sayings, quotes and Bible verses on it, so I can look up and read them at any time. Interestingly enough, most of them deal with “worry!” Here are some of my favorites -

~Let go... and trust God!
~Worry is the misuse of imagination.
~Before me, even as behind, God is and all is well. Whittler
~I will love God supremely, I will trust God completely. There never has been, nor will there ever be, a moment when God is not present with me.
~I am not allowing worry to rob me of my peace. My faith in God and His divine plan assures me that everything will be just fine.
~Since God is in complete control of everything and everyone... And I have a personal relationship with Him and He has a personal relationship with me, I have the courage to face anything that comes my way, with no fear whatsoever.
~Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
~Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because He trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
~And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:7

And my new favorite quote which I made up, encourages me and speaks volumes to me ~ “My yesterdays give me faith for my tomorrows!”

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What a fun summer!

A little speed bump and life goes on... My biopsy results came back good, which was a huge relief for me. Now it’s nothing more than a reminder of how blessed I am. I sit here today absolutely loving my life. Yes, there are still some heartaches and stressful situations, but that’s life. It’s never going to be perfect. Looking back on all I have gone through encourages me and gives me hope for the things I am going through now, as well as the unknowns of tomorrow.

On a lighter note... It’s been an awesome summer with some fun family time. Jami, Matt and their kids came and spent several days with us. Chance and his friend, Kellie came while Jami was here, giving us a full house. Creston, Ashley and the kids came up a couple of nights adding to the chaos and fun. Throw a day at the beach and some time at Creston’s pond into the mix, and you end up with some good times and fun memories...

And almost a recipe for disaster ~

I love that my crazy kids don't realize they're not "kids" anymore! ~

And then we have almost "perfection" ~

Eisley overcame fears and nailed her stunt ~

While the kids were here, Eisley gave me Hopscotch lessons ~

And Kirby tried to teach me to do a handstand with no success ~

Jim took Eisley fishing ~

We had a fun little birthday party for Mom's 86th birthday ~

Cade got his first surfboard and is really doing well learning to surf. As much as Creston and Chance loved surfing, this comes as no big surprise.

Kirby is learning to skimboard ~

And, she gave her first cooking class ~

Even though these were taken earlier this summer, they're too cute not to include ~

I love the look on Beck's face ~

This is one of my favorite pictures of Jami and Eisley ~

pure sweetness!

one of the best big sisters a little boy could ever hope for!

And so ends summer, and what a fun one it was!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Faith or Fear?

A little over fifteen years ago, I went in for my annual check-up. The doctor commented on how she had never seen me looking so healthy. Not only was I eating right and exercising, I was learning to slow down, to let go of things that stressed me and was enjoying life more than ever. We were talking and as she examined my right breast, she asked if I had ever felt the small, tiny lump she found. I hadn’t and could barely feel it when she put my finger on it. She assumed it was nothing and told me to come back in six months and have a mammogram before I came back. I laughed and told her I would be getting my mammogram that week since it was December and I had met my deductible.

I left her office worry free. I knew there was no reason for worry. Me, having cancer? Impossible. Not only was there no family history, I was feeling great, and doing everything to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I completely rejected the possibility that I could have cancer and was in no way prepared for the cancer diagnosis I got four days later.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday, the day I went for my annual cancer check-up. To say all those check-ups through the years have stressed me, would be an understatement. I’ve never gone without trepidation over what the outcome might be. For some reason, this year it was different. I walked in stress and worry free. The only fear I had was the needle stick for my labs, which I’ve hated every since I had chemo.

I told the oncologist that I’m feeling healthier than ever, walking every day, eating healthy and I’m determined to keep my weight off. Not only was my physical exam with him perfect, my labs were perfect as well. Dr. Marks said the odds of me not having a re-occurrence are overwhelmingly in my favor! It was an awesome feeling walking out of his office, knowing I have finally let go of the fears that used to come with my check-ups.

Friday, I went to my internist for my annual check-up. Dr. P and I talked a few minutes before the exam and he read over the report from the oncologist. He was pleased with how well I’m doing until... he felt a nodule in my thyroid. Dr. P said it probably isn’t anything serious, but I need to have a sono and lab work done to find out what is going on.

Pre- cancer diagnosis I wouldn’t give this a second thought. Post cancer diagnosis and my mind and thoughts are all over the place. I start thinking back to the conversation with the doctor who found the lump and realize I repeated almost the same conversation with Dr. Marks and Dr. P about how healthy I’m feeling. Is this the end of the similarities?

Can I go forward with the same confidence I had when my GYN found the lump in my breast? I was so over confident, that my world was shattered when the surgeon told me it was breast cancer. Dare I take that risk again? The GYN said the lump was so small it couldn’t be anything. The internist said that more than likely, the nodule isn’t cancer. The odds are in my favor this time, but they were in my favor last time. How can I be positive when I got burnt last time? Part of me says I should take what I learned from that experience and coward into fear, preparing for the worse, just in case things don’t go the way I WANT them to go.

The nodule has brought unrest back into my life, putting me once again in a battle against fear, against worry. Is this how I should react? I know what I am supposed to do. It’s called “having complete faith and trust in God.” So I ask myself, “Can I let go and believe that God knows what He is doing in my life, that none of this has caught Him by surprise and it’s all part of His master plan for me? If everything is done out of His perfect love for me and in my best interest, is there a reason to worry? Where I see part of the picture, He sees the big picture. Faith isn’t about God doing things my way, it’s knowing God is doing them the BEST way for me. God has brought me and my family through so much, dare I not trust Him to bring me through this as well?

Just writing it all out has helped me realize what I knew all along. I have to let go and trust in the one who holds my future, the same one who created the universe and loved me so much, He sent His only son to die for me! Complete trust in Him relieves me from the need to worry and is a “win win” for me!

Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

Friday, June 17, 2011

Buffalo Wing Dip

I recently attended a graduation party for my friend's daughter. Someone brought this dip and it was a huge hit. Lucy said that of all the food served, this was the recipe that everyone asked for. I carried it to a luncheon yesterday and it went fast!!! A friend even asked if she could lick the spoon! Enjoy!

Buffalo Wing Dip
2 large cans of white meat chicken
2 - 8 oz. packs of cream cheese - softened
1 cup ranch dressing
3/4 cup of buffalo wing sauce
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Drain chicken and break it up. Beat the cream cheese, add dressing and wing sauce. Stir in the chicken and cheddar cheese. Pour in greased 9/13 pan or casserole dish. Bake 400 until bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

An Old Card

I blog for me! I blog so that I will have things in writing, that I want to remember, especially when it’s something that will encourage me in my walk with God. When I’m going through a tough time and need a reminder of all that God has brought me through, it strengthens my faith to go back and read some of my posts. That’s the reason for this post.

I've been helping Mom move this past week and yesterday I gave her a box of papers and cards to sort through that I had packed. As she emptied the box, she read a card, handed it to me and said, "here's an old one." I immediately recognized the front of the card as one that I had sent her and Dad, and remembered how much I loved the poem that was on the front. I was surprised when I opened the card and read the date. It was dated five days after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Reading what I wrote on the inside of the card made me more aware of how much God has brought me through and the value of trusting in Him.

The poem “Cares” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning was on the front of the card -

The little cares that fretted me
I lost them yesterday.
Among the fields above the sea,
among the winds at play;
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away.
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the husking of the corn
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born,
Out in the fields with God.

The inside of the card -

December 27, 1995,
Mom and Dad,
Thank you so much for rasing me in a Christian home and for always being there for me. I’ve always felt so secure in your love. Your support, concern and care mean the world to me.
Thank you for showing me that when things are at their darkest, there’s always God. This past week I realized that He never leaves me - even in those dark gloomy times.
I love you both,


Monday, June 6, 2011

Blessing Our Moms

One of the things that I love so much about spending time at The Way is seeing the many ways that God provides for our moms. When I say He provides, He REALLY provides! We have a group of ladies that knit sweet little hats and blankets for our newborn gift bags and another lady makes beautiful quilts for them. We always have an on-going supply of gently-used baby clothes, Pampers, wet wipes and other items to add to the gift bags. A close friend has recently started donating grocery and hygiene items she gets by couponing and is now encouraging others to come on board with her to help meet another need at our clinic.

We’ve been able to help our moms with different needs, and thankfully, we’re now able to help them with another need, one for maternity clothes. This need was recently met by “Dignity U Wear,” an organization that gives beautiful new clothes to people in need. There are no words to describe what a blessing this has already been for some of our moms. So much so that I just have to share a couple of the stories.

Last Monday I asked one of our mom’s if she needed maternity clothes and shoes. She was wearing flip-flops and immediately took one of them off and showed me the shoe. It had a hole in it the size of a quarter. This is her only pair of shoes and she walks to our clinic for her visits! As for maternity clothes, she had been wearing jeans that she wore before she was pregnant, so she had to walk around wearing them unzipped! I went through our stash of clothes and picked out some for her to try on. She was especially excited about a pair of overalls and called me in the room so I could see them on her. She thought they would be perfect to wear, even after the baby is born, since she plans to nurse her baby. The appreciation she had for the clothes was nothing short of food for my soul!

Another mom, Debbie (name changed), told me she needed clothes and I put together a bag for her. She was supposed to come by Wednesday to pick them up. When I called to set up a time for her, her mom answered and said they had a viewing Tuesday afternoon and funeral on Wednesday. Knowing Debbie’s need for clothes, I offered to meet Debbie early Tuesday afternoon to help out with something to wear to the viewing and funeral. Debbie met me at the clinic, tried on the clothes and thanked me over and over as she left with a bag of nice, beautiful maternity clothes and a big smile on her face.

Two moms came in this past Thursday for their checkouts and they were in also in need of maternity clothes. One of them took every item out of the bag and showed it to her husband. It was nothing short of pure sweetness, watching her show the clothes to him and asking him his opinion of them! I put together some clothes for the other mom and asked if she would like me to add a dressy dress since we had a beautiful one in her size. She and her mom have been visiting a new church and she said she would love to have a dress to wear to church. She was beyond elated when she saw the dress and even modeled it for me. Not only was it a perfect fit and color for her, it looked gorgeous on her!

Some of our moms have stories that tug at my heartstrings and they will forever hold a special place in my heart. For the most part, they have fallen on hard times and are in a situation that any of us could be in at any given time. I know what it’s like to go through financially hard times. We went through some really lean times raising four kids and we endured some financial hardships that came from the medical catastrophes my husband and I went through. I truly believe that God lets us go through some experiences to give us a greater understanding of what others are going through, so we can be an encourager to them. Before I was created, He knew that I would end up working with some moms going through financial hard times. My life experiences have given me insight as to the difference a pair of shoes, a dressy dress or baby items can mean to someone going through a difficult time. I know the appreciation these ladies have in their hearts, for everything we give and do for them, even the little things that might seem insignificant to someone else. I am so thankful to everyone who donates to our clinic, giving me the opportunity to brighten someone’s day and make a difference in their life.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Friend's Testimony

This afternoon my friend Stacey was all smiles as she asked me for email. She said she had a testimony that she wanted to share with me about spending time in jail. Knowing Stacey, I thought she was going to email me about some jail ministry she is involved in. Little did I know that she was actually put IN jail! The following is the email I received from her this afternoon. It is unedited, even to the last sentence about sharing the email. The only changes I made were to put *****'s in place of the name of the jail and the city where the jail is located. Sit back and be prepared to read an amazing true story, Stacey's testimony.

Stacey's Testimoy ~
For a very long time it has been my ex husband's goal to see me suffer and have hurt. He's been trying to have me jailed since I was on bedrest with the twins, and they are 19 months old now, so that tells of his unrelentless vegence. Being petty. The crime? He claims he didn't get his baseball cards. He wanted me found guilty of violating the divorce decree in which he was awarded his premartial items. He did actually get them, but stated in court that those weren't his ball cards. Testified in court how much they meant to him and I can't remember in the decade we were married that he looked at them more than 5 times. Clearly they were so special to him. Anyhow got 2 days of time in the ***** County Jail as punishment (that was a blessing in itself, because my ex and his lawyer were asking for 15 days). My ex husband had countless opportunities to withdraw his request for punishment but refused. He claims to be a Christian, and although I can't judge his heart, the fruit he bears is anything but that of a Christian. But enough of focusing on what Satan wants me to look at, let's move on to the God portion.

I was so irritated at the sentencing and the whole proceeding I told Matt I was just going to go do the time and sit in my cell the whole time not talking to anyone. He, being the wonderful husband he is, said what if you are supposed to be talking to someone? Ok. My heart and mind changed and I began to look for opportunities that God might be using me for.

At the inprocessing part the guard asked my education and I told her I have my master's degree. She raised her eyes and said "well you don't see that all the time here". Asked about my job and again surprised that I even had one. She assumed I was there on DWI and asked when I was arrested. I quickly informed her of the circumstances of why I was there. She was so shocked and said he must be quite a person. You have no idea!

Some of my fears were the strip search, fingerprints, etc. It never happened! How do you go to jail and not have those things done??

I also was told I'd be in black and white stripe uniform. How embarrassing. That didn't happen either. Got some Hawkeye yellow scrubs. Comfy and mostly what I wear at work anyhow. Next she handed me my stack of bedding and directed me to the cell.

I walked and and one of the girls, Tina, came out to shake my hand and introduce herself. She must have known I'd never done this before and took my bedding and showed me how to make it so the sheets stayed on. I was also freezing, I left 90 degree weather and came back to a frost alert. Couldn't get warm since I stepped off the plane in *****. Tina offered me a pair of her socks too (that btw cost her 6 dollars of her money at the jail). God sent me a person of peace in Tina. Whenever you are in a foreign surrounding, you pray for a person of peace, someone who is friendly.

Was just getting aquainted with my surroundings when they announced it was time for chapel and would I like to go. Are you kidding?? Of course. And I thought "God is meeting me right where I am". All the girls went to chapel, there were 7 of us in total. I was thinking praise music, a good sermon....not at all what I got. I'm not sure who he was, and pardon me for sounding critical, but he sucked at leading the flock. There was no singing, no praise to God. He read a few random verses that didn't even seem to connect to each other or have a main point. Told us to get off the drugs and stay out of there. Umm, pardon me, but where do you get off making judgemental statements like that as a pastor?! Only 3 were there on drugs. The majority was not. I was frustrated that he wasn't sharing the hope in God, or His promises, or that those ladies can be forgiven and are loved beyond measure unconditionally. So I sorta talked over him and made those points known. I was trying to remember scriptures to point them to so it was backed. I couldn't remember the Jeremiah 29:11 verse, kept thinking it was in chapter 27 and I couldn't find it. When I asked him where it was, he said he wasn't good at knowing scripture. HUH? Then how did you get this job? I told the girls I would find it later and let them know the location. After all, I had 2 days time to review the whole chapter of Jeremiah if I needed....Prison ministry at ***** county jail is seriously lacking.

We got back to our rooms (incidentally I had a room to myself-another answered prayer) and one of the girls I thought was "tougher" came in my room. Like she didn't want anyone to see her and she whispered, hey will you pray for me? You seem like a good person to ask for prayer. She walked out of my room and then came back and said, tell him my name is Angie. I told her that He knows that and yes I would.

I found out TIna, my person of peace, was a new Christian and was baptized within the last week. They don't allow baptisms in jail, so they just dumped a pitcher of water over her head. It was all they had. I assured her Christ knew her heart and that a pitcher of water was just as pleasing. She was very eager to know about Jesus and I had taken some Max Lucado books to read, one called He Still Moves Stones and the other was In the Eye of the Storm (about peace). I left those books with her when I left on the second day and also wrote a prayer in the front for her. So she could see a prayer even after I was gone. I hope it will encourage her.

I fasted while I was there, although I took my tray and then split it up among the other girls. They kept asking how I could not eat or drink. One, it's only 2 days, and second, I told God I would and pray about things on my heart. That seemed to shock them for some reason.

Another girl came up to me after chapel and asked what my maiden name was. I was hesistant to answer wondering what consequences it might bring. I told her and she said I thought so. I'm Kathy and we went to Madison Baptist as kids. Took a step back and saw her as the little girl I'd known growing up in church. We hugged and she cried telling me she was there on meth charges. Her husband was killed and she turned to meth to numb the pain. Far life from where we'd been competing in bible drills....I was able to talk with her and tell her about what she already knew. Said her mom kept telling her the same things I was and I told her that her mom was right. And that was just day 1! When I went to bed I was still cold, despite 2 blankets. And in jail they leave the light on in your room at all times. Sorta hard to sleep with the lights on. Just prayed again for angels to be sent to cover me and for some rest. Instantly felt like an electric blanket was on me and became toasty for the first time all day. I fell asleep and didn't wake up until morning. Man was God just showing off with all the answered prayers!!

Next day was just getting to know everyone and why they were there. Turns out I knew 4 of the 6 in one way or another. I did find that verse by the way and shared it. Wrote it down in case they forgot.

More of the same on day 2, just comforting, listening, hugging. I would call these ladies my friends. And even some being felons, wouldn't hesitate to have them over for dinner.

I left on the second day and Tina and Kathy were up to see me go. Both were crying and hugged me like they hadn't really been hugged in awhile. I was almost sad to say goodbye to them. Although I can't see them I can still write. I told TIna she was the leader of the group being the new Christian, so get the other girls in the Bible, talk with each other and start their own class. THere were some study questions in the back of the Max Lucado books and they could use those for scripture lookup and discussion. Told her how she blessed me by the effort to make my bed and keep me warm. Asked her to keep doing that, she is being God's servant, even there in the jail and it makes a difference. Tina is there for 6-12 months on forgery charges so she will see many people come and go.

Whispered to Kathy when we hugged to go back to what she knows, it's not too late and you will be welcomed greatly. Let the past go and look for a new future. She just sobbed.

I plan on sending them postcards and maybe even print off the words to some songs. I don't know if they will let me mail them anymore books....What should have been a dark time for me was the highlight of the week. What Mike and his attorney pursued as punishment was just God getting some more kingdom work done. I was sent to the mission field and it was successful! Ha...some people pray "please God don't send me to Africa"...bet most people forget to pray "and not jail either"! But I'm thankful, blessed, and was fully taken care of in what could have been a hostile environment. That's what happened to me in jail. THanks to everyone for your prayers, He heard. He showed Himself faithful, gave me strength, and gave some hope to those who need it.

On the flight home my armrest had satellite radio on it and I could tune in The Message. Much needed praise music. I was filled with so much joy from those days that I just wanted to sing outloud and raise my hands. But my logical side took over and I thought there is probably a US marshall on this plane who will arrest me. Was good with just 2 days so I kept quiet and smiled:)

I say all of this to give all the glory, honor and praise to the one and only Father in Heaven.

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

PS feel free to share this with anyone you feel needs this. We should love to get the news of God out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh so blonde...

My niece, Tressa never has to wonder which side of the family her "blondeness" comes from. She happens to be one of the few people who understands my blonde moments and can totally relate to them. Tressa and I were talking several years ago and started comparing our blonde notes. We both laughed at the fact that we get nervous every time someone tells us a joke, knowing nine out of time times, we’re not going to “get” the joke, before the person even starts telling it. That day I told Tressa how embarrassed I get by my blonde moments and always hope no one finds out about them. Tressa laughed and told me she loves her blond moments AND shares them with all her friends. Our talk became a little turning point in my life. I decided it was time to start embracing my blondeness, realizing they are part of what makes up the crazy, zany person that I am. It sure makes life a lot more fun when you can laugh at the things you do, instead of letting them stress you out.

Recently I had a really cute blonde incident and this time it was all captured on paper. Since it’s too good not to share, here’s the back and forth emails from my dear friend Stephanie Owens. Yes, the very same Stephanie that designed my blog headder.

It started with an email from Steph on April 29th. At the end of the email she wrote ~I have something for you by the way...

my response ~
and please... I hate suspense!!!

Steph’s response ~
ahhhh... I can't say. but I have it on good authority that P.C. Tail stopped by my house a little early! :o)

my response ~
oh my friend how quickly you forget that your dear friend Molly is SO SO SO blonde that sometimes it's hard for her to figure out the simplest of things!
All I could think of when I read "P.C." is a computer. Here's how I read it -
“good authority that personal computer. (new sentence) Tail stopped by my house a little early.”
well Steph, there's your laugh for today!

Steph’s response ~
I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.. and neither has my boss... you tickle me... and PC Tail.. is Peter Cotton Tail... :o) love you!

my response ~

I figured it out and now that darn song, "here comes Peter Cottontail" is STUCK in my head!!!

~ Well, so o much for keeping my blonde moments to myself, huh? Glad Steph AND her boss enjoyed my blonde moment of the day!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I miss my blog and never thought I’d go this long without writing a blog post. It seems the older I get, the busier I get. Yesterday I had one of the most amazing experiences ever, and it’s just too awesome not to take the time to share. I was so excited I called several people to tell them what happened. When I called my daughter and told her I had one of the best days ever, she asked if won the lottery and I told her, “No, even better!” Winning the lottery can’t begin to compare with what happened to me yesterday! Yes, it was just that awesome! I was given a rare opportunity to see how God connects the dots in our lives to bring everything together to take care of us.

To get the full picture, I have to go back September 11, 2009 and tell you about a night that completely changed my life forever. Jim and I took Cade fishing on the city pier. A couple was walking on the pier, stopping and talking with people as they passed by. They said hello to us as they walked to the end of the pier and stopped on their way back to ask Cade if he was catching any fish. One thing led to another and before we knew it, we were engaged in a delightful conversation with Mary and Matt.

Mary happened to mention to me that she volunteered at an ob/gyn clinic for the medically needy on Thursdays. The clinic was less than two miles from my house and I had no idea it even existed! Having always been fascinated with pregnancy and newborns I asked Mary if they could use another volunteer at the clinic. Mary said they always need volunteers and the following Thursday I was at the clinic filling out the paperwork to become a volunteer.

One day at the clinic and I was hooked! From that day on, Thursday became my favorite day of the week. I had been praying for more purpose and meaning in my life, and knew this was an answer to my prayer. That answer to prayer has put me with an awesome group of people who have become very dear friends to me. We all have a strong faith, are very supportive of each other and have a caring heart for our patients. What more could I ask for!!!

OK, back to the story...

Sometime last spring the director of the clinic asked for volunteers to help out at a back to school community health fair they were having in August. I offered to help and was amazed at all the services and vendors that were going to be at the event.

August is always such a hot month and I remember the day of the event it was sweltering it was so hot. My job was to give people forms to fill out and tell them what we were offering. A mom came up to my table to get her form and told me that she and her daughter had caught a ride half way, and walked the rest of the way to get to our outreach. Melissa shared with me that they were homeless living in Georgia and a friend told her she could come down here and live with the friend’s mom. Melissa was out of work and had no transportation. She had packed water and little Debbie’s for her daughter to eat and since it was so hot, she wanted to wait until it got a little cooler to walk back to where they were staying.

OK, everything Melissa said touched my heart, but most of all knowing the best she could pack for her daughter to eat was little Debbie’s and water, really tugged at my heart strings. There was no way I was going to let her walk home in that steamy hot weather. I told her she would have a ride home, if I had to get someone to cover for me and take her myself.

Melissa was so excited when I told her all the services we had for her at the outreach - free hair cuts, backpacks, underwear, hygiene bags, school supplies, physicals, immunizations, much more and LUNCH! I can’t remember if it was our director or founder that I went and shared Melissa’s situation with, but they promised they would hook her up with a ride and with Andre’, the president of the Mercy network, to see if he had any services that could help her. I went back to my table, knowing Melissa was in good hands and she has touched my life in the brief time I spent with her..

About a month ago Karen, one of the volunteers at the clinic, roped me into volunteering at an outreach for the homeless. Yes, she had to rope me into this one because I have so much going on right now, the last thing I wanted was to spend a day sitting at a table, no matter what the cause was for. Karen has such a heart for the homeless, that I couldn’t turn her down, so yesterday found me sitting at a table promoting the services that our clinic offers.

I left for a few minutes to get some fruit from the break room. Walking back to my table I saw Melissa! No, this wasn’t a chance encounter, I’m talking about a divine appointment! I stopped, looked at her and said, “Do you remember me?” She turned around and said, “Do I remember you! I’ve been wanting to see you, you saved my life!” She hugged me and of course, I started crying.

We started walking and she told me again that I saved her life. Then she said, “I didn’t tell you the whole story that day at the health fair.” The lady Melissa and her daughter were living with, was verbally abusive to them and she was planning to take her daughter and go back to living homeless. She was hooked up with Andre’ and he was able to set her up in a motel for a couple of months. People brought food to her and her daughter, and she landed a job. Someone donated her a car and she and her daughter were able to move into a better situation. Melissa told me there is much more to the story, and she can’t wait to share it with me. She feels like I saved her life and that all this happened because I cared. I told her it was all about the “little Debbie’s and water” comment that got to my heart!

The best part of Melissa’s story is that she is now a volunteer for the Mercy network and goes into the woods to feed the homeless. She has come full circle. Andre’ keeps telling her she needs to write her story so we can share it with others and I can’t wait to hear her story, and hope we can get it on video. Only God knows how many lives are going to be touched and changed by Melissa. The ripples will go on and on and one day I believe God will say, “Well done Melissa! You’ve been a good and faithful servant.”

I have some HUGE prayer requests in my life right now and yesterday strengthened my faith by making me realize if God can connect dots where - - a conversation with a couple on a pier, leads me to a clinic where I can give of myself to others,
- volunteering at the clinic leads me to a back to school outreach,
- at the back to school outreach Melissa comes to my table and a conversation about little Debbies and water, and walking home in the hot summer heat, pulls at my heart strings, to the point I go and seek help for her.
- someone made sure Melissa talked with Andre’ and that conversation led to help for her, changing her life forever,
- at a homeless outreach I run into Melissa and get to see how God worked every little detail to put it all together.

If God can do all of that, I know He can take care of my prayer requests in ways that I can never begin to imagine!

"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our life is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."
Corrie Ten Boom