Archive | January, 2012

Blue Skies and A Hair Cut

25 Jan

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Psalm 19:1

Escorting me on the way to work yesterday morning was the brightest blue sky I have seen in a while.  As the fog that had kept us company for a few days began to lift, so did my spirits.  Regardless of the temperature outside, if the sun is shining and the sky is blue, it is difficult to keep a smile from my face and my heart from soaring.  Just moments from work, I passed by a meadow of sheep where a few were munching on their breakfast out at the fence row by the road.  They were no doubt excited as they were finding pockets of fresh grass poking through the clumps of melting snow.  I chuckled as I realized that these sheep looked a lot like the side of the road where the snow was once white but is now dirty.  To be expected, I suppose … it is winter.  January is winding down, but there are still several weeks left of the gray, the wet, and the cold.  That’s why I love blue skies and hair cuts!

My new hair cut

Trends, styles, and the impulse to do something different encouraged me over a year ago to begin the process of letting my hair grow out.  The end result was to be an A-line cut, which I was successful in reaching the correct lengths for, but my hair is just not suited for the look.  Thanks to my Mother, I have volumes of hair … and thanks to my Daddy, it’s naturally curly.  Even after using a flat iron to straighten my locks, more times than not they become frizzy and bumpy … and I become very frustrated.  The mirror was often giggling and pointing fingers at me, reminding me that I am no longer 32 years old, but never giving any advice or assistance in slowing down the aging process.  I did, however, catch the hint that I should chop the heaviness from around my face and cheerfully welcome back the curls that smile and dance in the sunshine or rain!   So on Monday, in the midst of the drizzling cold mist of the day, the simple thing like a fresh new hair style was an immediate boost and encouragement!  Rain?  What rain?

I know I’m silly.  I know I’m sappy.  But in the midst of life with its difficult days, we all need an occasional blue sky and a hair cut!  I have a friend who is holding on to a thread of hope and sanity as her husband continues to suffer with the cancer that keeps stealing his very life from him.  Little babies and children have been battling serious illnesses this winter.  Others are in pain and have gone to the doctors time and again trying to find out what the problem is.  Strokes, heart attacks, and diseases are constantly claiming the lives of people we know and love.  Concerned pregnancies, troubled marriages, insufficient funds, and on and on and on.  Even while the unexpected continues to invade our routines of life, time marches on.  It marches on with determination and is very deliberate in its agenda.  All the while I find myself lagging behind and sometimes stopping to catch my breath in the wake of the dust.  It is in those moments that when the dust begins to settle and the clouds clear away, I look up and see blue skies.  Or I call and make a hair appointment … or I decide to do something out of the ordinary that makes my heart happy.  Maybe a quick stop at Starbucks for a white chocolate mocha!  What is it for you?  A night at the gym to work out the stress and tension?  How about a walk along the ditch bank road or wherever your heart finds solace.  For some, it may be a favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or a ride in the country on a motorcycle.  Whatever the temporary calm to your storm might be, embrace it to the fullest, knowing that it came from God’s hand of mercy and love.  It is in moments like those that He desires us to wait in hope for Him … our Help and our Shield…our Refuge and Strength … an ever-present Help in trouble.

As I catch my breath and once again expect the known and the unknown of life, won’t you join me in anticipation of the next clearing of blue skies and a new hair cut?

We wait in hope for the LORD;
He is our Help and our Shield.

In Him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in His holy name.

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in You.
Psalm 33:20-22

~~~~

God is our Refuge and Strength,
an ever-present Help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
                                                                                      Selah
Psalm 46:1-3

 

Until next time,
Debbie

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of the blue sky  ~  tree in our back yard, fall of 2011.

 

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Rise and Shine

17 Jan

Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!
Revelation 19:7

 

Rise and Shine

It had been over a month since he had been to our house for a sleepover.  We were so excited as we anticipated the next two days with this little boy who would be celebrating his third birthday in just a couple months.  As the three of us sat down to eat dinner that first evening, with chicken nugget in hand, he looked at me and his Papaw and simply said, “I missed you guys!”  Melt is the word that described our hearts at that moment.  It’s not like Cole hadn’t seen us for weeks and weeks … in fact, we stayed over at his house for New Year’s Eve, and we traveled together to Indiana for Christmas.  But, in his little boy heart, he had missed us.  We knew the feeling.  We had missed him, too.

Wearing the appropriate attire of a John Deere tractor sweatshirt, Cole was more than excited to go to his first Pennsylvania Farm Show.  He had no idea what to expect, but he assumed by the name that there would be animals and tractors there ~ and boy was he excited!  As we entered the tractor display area and he saw other children climbing and crawling all over the machinery, it didn’t take him long to figure out that he could do the same.  Papaw picked him up and placed him on the top step of a very tall green tractor, where he had a bird’s eye view of all the tractors … and he began pointing in every direction.  A few minutes later, he let out a loud and excited giggle as he ran up to an old antique, squealing “Look at the old Farmall tractor!”  He’s not even 3 years old yet …  What does a toddler know about tractors?! 

Cock-a-Doodle Doooo!!

On to the animals ~ the squeals were just as loud and just as excited!  We saw cows, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and horses ~ but his favorite was the rooster.  These birds were all confused, sounding their wake-up calls continuously … and Cole would stand right beside their cage and echo it back to them.  Cock-a-doodle Doooo … followed by a giggle and a squeal!  And on to the next cage!  As we were getting ready to leave, he wanted to know where the hamsters were.  I simply told him that I don’t think many farms have hamsters.  Silly boy!

Even a short period of time makes a difference in a little life.  Since the last time he stayed with us, his pajamas that are upstairs in his dresser drawer fit a bit snug on his taller frame, and his playtime has become more imaginable.  While in the bathtub the other night, he was on his knees, lining up all of his rubber ducks into a row on the side of the tub … separating the yellow ones from the white ones ~ describing each group as a family.  Then each member was turned around and very dramatically dove head first into the pool below.   Once the bubbles had gone down the drain along with little boy dirt, Cole was finally ready for bed.  For 2 weeks now, he’s been sleeping at home in his converted baby bed that is now a big boy bed, so Mimi and Papaw folded up his pak-n-play at our house and simply put a twin mattress on the floor as his transitional big boy bed.  He thought that was the greatest thing!  Not having a pillow in his pak-n-play before, I asked him where he wanted to lay his head and he quickly responded “on the pillow, Mimi!”  He crawled in and laid between the sheets with his head up on the pillow like a big boy – but such a tiny little bundle of a boy in such a big bed.  I know … he won’t stay little very long. 

Cole singing with Mimi

Keeping with the tradition of his usual night time routine at home, I read at least one book to Cole before we pray and he lays down to sleep.  One of his favorite books is not a story book, but a Play-A-Song book.  Jesus Loves Me is the name of it.  With hardback pages, there are 4 songs, complete with pictures and lyrics written out for each and a corresponding shape that matches a button on the side that plays the music to each song.  Jesus Loves Me is a Sunday School favorite, and he has helped me sing that song for months now. 

Yes, Jesus loves me,
the Bible tells me so!

The green circle song …

 Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory!
Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory,
Children of the Lord!

 

I was amazed as Cole kept up with the tempo and sang every word with me.  He’s not necessarily singing on tune, but his heart sure is!  I remember singing this little chorus to him on a number of occasions in the past when he was upset, knowing that he would recognize it from our special quiet time before bed … and it has always caught his attention and calmed him.  “Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory, children of the Lord!”

 

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

On the edge of his big boy bed, song book in his lap, one would think he was reading the words as he sat there singing to the music.  Papaw and Mimi were very surprised at how well he had remembered most of the words … and even wondered if he had been practicing at home.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer. 

O what peace we often forfeit.
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

As we sang the final song in his little book, I was reminded once again of the privilege we have to carry everything to God in prayer.  Cole’s momma went to the doctor for an unexpected visit this past week, suspecting something was not quite right with the new little baby growing inside.  Baby Lillianne is ok, but a diagnosis of an insufficient cervix was given and instructions of mandatory rest and leisure time for the next 2 weeks must be heeded.  If after the next exam no improvement has been made, then our daughter will be ordered to bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.  These are uncertain days for our family … a lively toddler, a potentially serious condition for his momma and baby sister, and several weeks of growing still necessary for a healthy baby.  I believe I’ll keeping singing right along with Cole  … 

“Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong!”

 

“What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.”

 

“For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.”

 

“Rise and Shine and give God the glory, glory,
Children of the Lord!”

 

Won’t you join us?

Until next time,
Debbie

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of Cole on a tractor at the PA Farm Show – January 14, 2012. 

 

Family Home Movies

9 Jan

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been
demon-possessed begged to go with him.   Jesus did not let him, but said,
“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,
and how he has had mercy on you.”   So the man went away and began
to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.
And all the people were amazed.
Mark 5:18-20

 

My parents are passing down a legacy of memories that my brothers and I, and our children, will forever cherish.  From my earliest recollections as a small child, all the way up into my adult years, the brightness of the light bar and the sight of my mom or dad taking home movies was a natural part of life nearly as much as was my Daddy and his coffee. 

Wells Christmas 1961

Click below to watch this clip from 1961
1961 Wells Christmas
 
Over the course of 30 some years, reel after reel of 8 mm and Super 8 mm films were recorded and added to the collection that could always be found in a box in the front hall closet.  Many years ago while still living in my parents’ home, I began to organize this wealth of family heritage as I clicked out on the family’s old typewriter detailed notes of each individual reel.  This very rough but fairly accurate list of information was kept with the reels so whenever someone suggested on a lazy holiday afternoon that we watch home movies, we randomly pulled out several reels and could read the corresponding notes.

With the ever-changing quick tempo of technology and all that it offers, my parents’ movie camera eventually became a thing of the past.   It was replaced by the next generation’s VHS cameras and now digital video.  But in the bottom of that closet still laid priceless footage of our family and friends.  My mom often thought about transferring these antique memories into something more user-friendly, since it was always quite a chore to get out the projector, the box of films, and then to set up the movie screen.  After much research on Google and then inquiring phone calls to specific businesses, a final decision was made to use Digmypics.com, a company in Arizona, to transfer our home movies into DVDs.  For a few months in the spring of 2008, I made regular visits to my mom’s house where together we took my original typewritten notes and verified dates, special occasions, and familiar faces as we went through thousands of feet of movie film.  Once reels, lists, and instructions were fully updated and organized, all 7,500 feet of our family’s memories were boxed up and shipped Fed-Ex to Arizona.  Long story short, there was a fire in Arizona around 2 a.m. on the same morning that our box arrived on site.  Due to the complete loss of the facility just 6 hours prior, the shipment was refused and sent back to us inIndiana.  Our family was stunned at the near devastation of losing our priceless memories, so we once again put the box of reels back into the closet. 

Jay's 14th birthday

Click below to watch this clip of my brother Jay’s 14th birthday
 
Life for all of us kept its usual fast pace, but this past spring, mom decided it was time to send the box back to Arizona.  Digmypics.com has since rebuilt, and is now the largest web based photo scanning and video transfer service in America.  They were extremely gracious in dealing with us by charging our order from the 2008 price sheet.  Within a few short weeks of receiving our films, they had processed each reel, cleaned the films, and then uploaded them to a website which we could access in order to view, organize, and to title.  What a thrill it was to open the very first chapter and see my own mother at the age of 6 years old with her two big brothers, out playing in their side yard in Nashville,Indiana.  Within moments, there was my Pappy driving up the big hill to his parents’ home in his ’36 Chevy.  Reminiscing has a way of stealing my time, so I lost a few hours here and there while finalizing our order from Digmypics.com.  Grandparents, aunts and uncles, my gazillion cousins, friends, neighbors, church family, my own Daddy  ~  Christmases, birthdays, vacations, graduations, births  ~  Cars, trucks, fish, water skiing, dogs, cats, school buses, …   

I have come to a deeper appreciation for my Mother over the past few months as I have spent many hours working on this project in an attempt to provide something precious and most valuable to our families.  Thank you, Mom, for taking the time and making the effort to often pick up the camera and the light bar  …  and for giving us all this priceless gift that we will cherish for as long as life gives us breath… and for generations to come.

Vacation in Holland, Michigan 1971

Click below to watch this clip from our summer vacation in 1971
Summer vacation in Holland, MI 1971
 
 
The project is now complete.  We have 9 full DVDs, divided into 139 chapters.  We also ordered a portable hard drive so we can edit the unabridged version and share with extended family and friends.   Watching these memories come back to life will bring laughter, tears, and a lot of different emotions … but my prayer is that each person will be in awe of how God has had His hand of protection, His hand of comfort, His hand of love, and His hand of mercy on our families through the years.  May we not fail to go away and begin to tell how much Jesus has done for us. 

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been
demon-possessed begged to go with him.  Jesus did not let him, but said,
“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,
and how he has had mercy on you.”  So the man went away and began
to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.
And all the people were amazed.
Mark 5:18-20

 

Until next time,
Debbie

 

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of a home movie clip  ~ my Daddy and I in our new backyard 1962.