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Manure

21 May

Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose
and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 4:5

Tim and I

This was one of the best weather weekends of the year so far…absolutely beautiful!!  Not willing to waste the gorgeous sunshine on yard work, Tim and I hopped on the motorcycle Saturday afternoon and set out for a nice ride through the country.  Families with children were out in their yards playing together.  Couples like us were out working in gardens or tending to their flowers.  Swimming pools were being opened.  Yards were being mowed.  Yard sale signs were posted, directing shoppers to their treasures.  Treasures were littered all over lawns, tables, and in garages … and yes, we stayed the course without stopping.  Bright balloons were tied to a mailbox, pointing the way to a birthday party.  A church parking lot full of vehicles and the marquee at the road announced congratulations to the bride and groom.  Ice cream shops, pizza parlors, gas stations, and post offices.  Life everywhere!  How fun to truly take a back seat to it all and watch the world in full bloom of activity as we rode by!  Just as we went around a bend, the houses on both sides of the road were beautifully landscaped, lawns were well manicured, and the flowers were pristine ~ and then it hit us!  Well, it didn’t literally hit us, but the stench of the manure slammed into our full-faced helmets and immediately made its way through the vents and into our noses.  The initial whiff was not so bad since reflex usually dictates a shortened breath.  But once I began to inhale again, the thick odor was still there and getting worse as we traveled.  I looked over at the field beside us and saw the guilty spread, fertilization at its best.  With every breath I took, I felt sorry for all the home owners living within a mile of that farm.  I could hardly breathe … my eyes were burning, my stomach was churning, and I was slowly suffocating.  Just as I was about to pass out and fall off the back of the bike, we finally rode into the clearing of fresh air.  Slow deep breaths cleansed my lungs while I began to mentally write this blog.

I don’t know about you, but this is so exemplary of real life.  Busy with the usual and normal things – just like I saw all afternoon while on the back of that motorcycle.  The way is nice, in fact quite beautiful at times.  Well manicured and maintained, beautifully blooming, and even enjoyable.  And then WHAM!  The manure hits … and yes, in real life, it truly does hit!  It stinks, it makes my tummy hurt, I find it hard to breathe, and I feel like I’m going to pass out and fall off the ride.  But just like I did Saturday, I hold on tight to the Driver.  I know that He doesn’t like it either, but to get where God has purposed for me to go, I have to pass beside the fields of manure.  And there isn’t only one freshly fertilized field to endure, but many.  The crazy thing about manure is that it’s extremely valuable to the field over which it is spread.  It gives nourishment and fertilization, which without the key element of manure, the very life and existence of the crop would be damaged due to lack of nutrients.  It’s the same in my own personal life … God allows the manure in my life to nourish and fertilize life-giving qualities to my never-dying soul  ~ like dependency, trust, grace, forgiveness, and love.

Won’t you join me today in putting our trust in the One who is in charge, knowing that He will get us through to our final destination, including manure fields and all?  He will get us through …

Until next time,
Debbie

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Isaiah 43:1-2

 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this
all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed,
but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down,
but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the
death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed
in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given
over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed
in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work
in us, but life is at work in you.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12

***  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 the latest pictures of our granddaughter, Lillianne.        https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

 

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Merry Christmas Daddy!

16 Dec

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father
deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting
and urging you to live lives worthy of God,
who calls you into His kingdom and glory.
I Thessalonians 2:11-12 

It would only be most appropriate to sit here and sip on a hot cup of coffee (with cream and sugar, as opposed to black) as I jingle Heaven’s portals with a Christmas greeting to you.  The sights and sounds of the holidays have a way of tugging at the memories of my heart, and I always miss you so much during the holidays. 

You know that I so enjoy all of the music this time of year, but there is a distinct genre of songs that melt this little girl’s heart into a puddle of warm memories.  Just a few notes of one of these songs, and I am immediately transported back to any cold December day in my childhood. Remember how you and I would go shopping together every Christmas and buy gifts for Mom?  Every store we went into and every station on the radio would be playing Burl Ives’ “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” or Nat King Cole’s “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”.   I loved being with you, Daddy … your funny little quirks of always stopping at the men’s cologne counter to splash a half dozen different scents of after shave lotion on your face, often taking my own little face in your hands and lovingly pat the potpourri of manly fragrances on my little girl cheeks.  A few more songs like the musical rendition of “Sleigh Ride” by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” sung by Andy Williams would serenade us as we began our quest for the right gift that year for mom.  You loved to have a lot of gifts under the tree for her ~ I always felt like it was your way of showing her how much you loved and appreciated her.  Soft and flowing night gowns with matching robes, a new winter coat with accompanying boots, and peanut brittle.  Oh, the big gifts were different every year, but we also always got her a box of peanut brittle.   I picked up that yummy tradition in your honor until a few years ago when she began to make her own homemade brittle … thinking of you the entire time she’s doing so, I’m sure.  Speaking of peanuts, on our way out of Sears and Roebuck, you would usually swing by the snack area and buy you and me a small bag of warm salted cashews.  How fun to remember how special that made me feel that you would stop and buy this special treat for me … you and me.  I don’t even know if we saved any for mom and the boys. 

I had to chuckle the other day as I was walking through the grocery store and passed by the infamous bag of mixed nuts!  Do you remember the glass dish that mom got out at Christmas and filled with all sorts of hard candy, oranges, and nuts?   I think of you every time I look for something in the utility drawer in my own kitchen and I see the nut cracker and pick.  I have so many simple, but oh so special holiday memories of you, Daddy. 

Your birthday is coming soon, which always means that Christmas is only a few hours away.  You were always so gracious, having a Christmas Eve birthday, to excitedly accept your annual birthday gift of new Christmas pajamas right along with us kids!  Still to this day, you are always remembered and sung to in the unique Wells tradition … as the birthday cake is shared by many December birthdays each year.  “… Happy Birthday, dear Daddy / Grandpa Johnny!” 

There is an unmistakable warmth, safe and secure, and happy feeling ~ embraced with all the love a little girl’s heart can hold ~ when I think of you, Daddy … especially at Christmas time.  The aromas, the sounds of the holidays, the fun varieties of cookies, snacks, fruit, and the Christmas dinner itself, … and just the presence of our family together.  Thank you, Daddy, for sufficiently providing for us, with not only the things we needed, but with lots of love, attention, and security.   I know your grandkids still remember you for your extreme heart of fun and love that always made each one of them feel so special.  You have great grandkids now, Daddy!  Tim is a grandpa to Kailee’s kids, and Jay is just weeks away from holding his first grandson!  And I will once again be Mimi as Kim is expecting her second little one in May … her own little girl!   Oh Daddy … I miss you so!

You know how busy it gets this time of year, but we all plan to be together once again at your house.  You may not physically be there, but you will be there.  Your example, your jovial and sometimes feisty spirit, and your love will always be with us!  Instead of the 5 of us, plus Mammy and Pappy ~ like it was every year for many years, there will be 25 of us and 3 babies on the way.  What a blessed heritage you gave to each of us … yes, you will be there.   Make that 26.

The older I get, the more I miss you.  There must be something about better understanding the struggles and the hard times of life ~ and wishing that I had paid more attention and spent more time on my knees then than I did.  But here we are.  The journey for me continues, and I know that my tears will continue to flow from time to time … until they will be dried by Jesus Himself as I am met by you at that great Gate … Someday.   

Well, I will hush for now, Daddy.  I promise to meet you here again, from time to time, on the pages of my heart.  Happy 78th Birthday, Merry Christmas, and I love you!

Until next time,
Your Bobby Naw

For a nostalgic walk through some of these favorite classis  Christmas songs … click below!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFtb3EtjEic

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oqpyfa2EmzQ

Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives                                                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up1t5siifEw

Sleigh Ride by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAm9TloD2bA

White Christmas by Bing Crosby                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aShUFAG_WgM

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  by Gene Autry                           http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5VdsuQ-YfM

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnIqLlBwzrc

Let It Snow by Dean Martin                                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN7LW0Y00kE

It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas by Perry Como                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KjSsTagY3s

Silver Bells by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards                                 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4mkRR4oJNM

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause by Jimmy Boyd                       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UI8spatbGEo

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 Christmas decorations … 2011 

Motorcycle Momma

19 Oct

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today
are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them
when you sit at home and when you walk [ride] along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7

During our former life while living in southern Indiana, my husband hit a phase of mid-life crisis and purchased a motorcycle.  Tim’s extreme busy work schedule at that time prevented him from riding very often.  Although the invitation was usually extended, I really had no desire to accompany him on his journeys, so when given the opportunity, he would take to the roads alone. 

For those of you who faithfully read Morsels of Mercy, you will recall that my “Munchy Monday” girls blessed me with a black motorcycle helmet as a “See You Later” gift.  Knowing that Tim’s work schedule was going to dramatically change, allowing him evenings and weekends in which to ride, I guess they figured I might want to tag along.  Anyway, just in case, they provided me with the one safety accessory that was a necessity.  Then a few weeks later for my 50th birthday, several of them went in together and bought me a black leather riding jacket. Every time I slip the helmet on and zip the jacket up, I think of my precious friends and once again thank God for their love for me.

I have to say that I have begun to truly enjoy riding on the back of the motorcycle with my husband.  I know there are some very real dangers, but we do our part in eliminating as many of those as possible by our own actions.  We continually find ourselves riding on the back country roads, looking for real estate ‘for sale’ signs, trusting that one of these days we will drive by the perfect house in the perfect setting.  Since we are not high tech with a helmet to helmet intercom system, we’ll tap on each other’s leg – right leg to look to the right or left leg to look to the left.  Creative, aren’t we?  Talking to one another would be sort of nice, but I rather enjoy the quiet.  My thoughts are noisy enough … planning the next day’s wardrobe and dinner, the next blog topic, and the to-do list once we get home.  I also use the quiet time to pray.  There are always people on my mind, their needs, their concerns, and my love for them. 

I really enjoy looking at names of streets while we ride.  Curds Way is my favorite of all!   Then there is Chick A Dee Dr., Pebble Beach Dr. (in the middle of Pennsylvania?), and Ice House Dr., which is right off of Church Street.  I believe every town inPennsylvania has a Church Street– and every town inPennsylvania has at least one United Methodist Church located on Church Street!  We are truly blessed in America for having quite the smorgasbord of churches where we can find Jesus. 

Autumn in southern Pennsylvania

Besides the awesome views of plush rolling hills, dotted with large farm houses, red barns, green tractors, and black and white cows, I so enjoy the smells!  Fresh mown grass, often followed by the distinct odor of the pre-mixed gasoline powered weed-eater.   Something about that combination makes me think of my Dad and my Pappy.  The other day we were riding beside a big row of very tall pine trees to our right, and my heart was instantly warmed as I caught the scent of Christmas.  There are other days that a different kind of pine will send me back a few years to the beautiful grounds of Bonita Park in New Mexico.  Fresh road tar.  Corn fields.  Rain.  We were quite a ways from home this one hot Saturday afternoon when all of a sudden we smelled it.  We immediately poked on each other’s legs and pointed ahead to the wall of rain that we were heading into.  Within moments, we were both drenched but having fun as we cooled off in the summer shower.  There is the fragrance of wild flowers along the road, the mouth watering aroma of someone’s steak dinner cooking on the grill as we pass by, and the mildly pungent odor from the freshly spread manure in the fields back in the spring.  The damp and mossy smell of the woods, along with the fresh strong aroma of wild onions and garlic will always remind me of my Mammaw Wells.  And this time of year as the evening shadows begin to fade, we’ll catch whiffs of bonfires burning and the musty smell of autumn leaves on the ground.  Then there is the unmistakable smell of a chilly evening – the slight tingle in the nose and you just recognize the smell. 

 

This past Saturday offered us perhaps one of the last few days of comfortable riding weather before winter.  With camera in hand and the GPS on my phone, we were gone for several hours as we enjoyed the fall foliage, the smells, thoughts, prayers, and the quiet company of each other.  Won’t you join me in the changing of the seasons, to take the time to enjoy all that God has gifted us with … the sites, smells, our abilities, our relationships with one another … and most importantly, our relationship with Him!

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
Isaiah 35:8

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 fall decorations in my home … October 2011