Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cameras and Kids

Once upon a time, when I was younger and more agile, I dabbled in child photography. As a lover of cameras and kids, it only seemed natural to combine the two in some way. And so, I did.

When the weather was not too cold and not too hot, me, my camera and somebody's child (many times my own) journeyed to my favorite outdoor spot—Ft. Worth's Botanical Gardens—for a time of blissful snapping.

Years after the fact, I enjoy browsing through some of my work and remembering. Here are a few shots that still bring a smile.

I'm linking to Outdoor Wednesday. Come join the fun.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unexpected Refreshing

The past 12 months have been dry and barren for me in so many ways. Recent notification that I'll be appearing in another "Chicken Soup" book was like a tiny oasis for my worn-out, dusty soul. I'd totally forgotten about submitting anything.

I'm always humbled (and beyond grateful) when my words make people think...or feel...or smile. I predict that my story in this upcoming book will make you smile. I surely hope so. It makes me smile roar everytime I remember it.

It goes on sale in October. I hope you'll pick up a copy. If you do, please look for me.

Thank you, merciful Father, for an unexpected refreshing in the midst of lingering drought.

For some wonderful reading, click on the button below.
tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The famine of unemployment.

Almost over.

Let it rain.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning," Psalm 30:4-6.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Dad

Growing up along the banks of the Mississippi River, the sound of Daddy praying was as common as the sound of Mother frying eggs.

Like Daniel of old, Daddy prayed every day—rain or shine, sleet or snow, hail or high water.

Although nobody ever threw Daddy into a den of lions for praying, many mornings, I wanted to.

How dare he disturb me before sunrise! Didn’t he know how sleepy I was!

Didn’t he care that his loud praying woke up the entire household—not to mention every rooster in Warren county!

And why did he have to call MY name in prayer? What if I didn’t want to be saved? What if I wanted to grow up and be the biggest sinner the South had ever seen?

Why couldn’t he just leave me out of it and pray for something really important—like a bigger house where I could have my own room with soundproof walls?

James 5:16 says, “The effectual ‘fervent’ prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

And indeed, it does.

Today, I am walking the paths of righteousness, sending up prayers for a daughter of my own.

How rich I am. How rich my daughter is. How much I’ll miss the sound of Daddy praying when the good Lord calls him home. ♦

This article originally appeared in Signs of the Times.
It's been reprinted in numerous publications.

I'm sharing at Spiritual Sundays, where good people blog about good things.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dances with Water

Houston, we have a problem. My daughter's new puppy, Charlie, is doing a weird water dance of sorts. She sticks her paw (or paws) in her water bowl and won't rest until she splashes out every drop of water.

Last night, we put out a plastic bowl, since the first bowl was stainless steel, and we thought she might be seeing herself in it. This morning, the plastic bowl was upside down, and fresh water spots were on the brick.

Hopefully, we'll find a cure soon. ♦

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped

I woke up yesterday morning singing a song that my enormously gifted friend Geron Davis wrote: "In The Presence of Jehovah." It had been awhile since I woke up singing. It felt really good. An unexpected gift from the Giver of good things.

I didn't see the Giver, but he was in the room. As the music played over and over in my head, I layed still and let him soothe my weary mind.

Tears fell.

Troubles vanished.

Strength was found.

God is all that really matters, you know. The kind of car you drive, how big your house is or how much money you have in the bank--none of that really matters. It's all temporal. You can't take it with you when you die.

Why, then, do we strive so hard for it all?

Why? ♦

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Thursday, May 6, 2010

REJOICE: to be glad; to take delight.

"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice," Philippians 4:4.
"Rejoice evermore," 1 Thessalonians 5:16.
"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it," Psalm 118:24

"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice," Psalm 5:11.

Rejoicing might not always be easy, but rejoicing is always right.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kind Words Leave Lasting Impression

I was working a temporary job at the corporate offices of American Airlines in Ft. Worth. As noon approached, I headed to the parking garage, anticipating a quiet lunch alone.

The garage was huge—10 levels in all—and each day I had to park in a different spot. Today, I had parked on Level 2, near the skywalk. Or was that yesterday?

Suddenly, it occurred to me that my car was nowhere near where I thought I parked it. Perhaps I parked on Level 3. No.

Level 4? No.

Realizing I couldn’t inspect the entire garage without some assistance, I trudged toward the front lobby. Maybe someone at the security desk could help.

Upon arrival, my feet were killing me, my stomach was growling and a migraine headache wasn’t far behind. To make matters worse, the lobby was bustling with wide-eyed visitors.

Hoping nobody noticed the exasperated woman in high-heel shoes, I walked over to the elderly gentleman keeping watch behind the desk. “Uh, sir,” I whispered awkwardly, “I can’t find my car. Do y’all have a car finder or something?”

Without changing expressions, the old man picked up the phone and dialed for help. Minutes later, “help” arrived in a white van with yellow lights flashing on top.

Mortified beyond words, I swallowed my last ounce of pride, donned my sunglasses and hobbled out the glass doors. Within seconds, the driver of the van—a handsome fellow with beautiful curly hair—jumped out to meet me.

“I’m so embarrassed,” I told him. “I can’t find my car.”

“Well, let’s go find it,” he said enthusiastically, flashing a set of dazzling white teeth. “Don’t you be embarrassed one bit. Just consider me your escort.”

In all honesty, his words startled me. I expected him to be totally annoyed that some dumb woman had lost her car and was taking up his valuable time with absolute nonsense. But he wasn’t upset at all. In fact, he was excited about the job at hand. And, like magic, my sagging spirits lifted immensely as I climbed in beside him.

Of course, my car was found within minutes—on Level 1—and I never saw the curly-haired guy again. But the words he spoke (and the way they made me feel) remain with me to this day. Just three short sentences. Yet they turned a frustrating situation into a fun and exciting adventure for two.

Mother Teresa once said, "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

Sadly, the echoes of cruel words are endless, too, and we should be mindful of that each time we open our mouths to speak: Our words can heal or they can hurt, and either way, they'll be remembered forever. ♦

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped - Coffee

Pardon me for being trivial, but I'm celebrating coffee today. I started drinking coffee as a young worker with nothing better to do. Thirty-five years later, the aroma alone can get me high. As the jingle goes, the best part of waking up is Folger's coffee in my cup. Cheers! ♦

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Monday, May 3, 2010

Summer Days Are Here Again

Summer isn't official yet, but summer doesn't play by the rules in Southeast Texas. Hot and muggy outside. Close to 90 degrees. I went out for a few rays, but didn't stay long.

Now, I'm enjoying my "personal" watermelon. I found them at Kroger the other day. I'd never seen them before. It's making this hot day refreshingly sweet.