Time is of the Essence

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Until now, my posts have consisted of past memories. Today is different.

A day can start out normal, then take an unexpected detour of events. Today I want to embrace the treasure time allows me. However, I know me too well. It’s only a matter of time (there’s that word again) when I will fall flat on my face, overwhelmed by whatever.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Life is full of the good, the bad & the ugly. Each is well known. I will share a few of my own, but you have your own list.

During the summer I had the opportunity to meet a long lost cousin. She is at war with the C word. Now in hospice care, it appears cancer is winning.

This past week a friend went to the doctor, something wasn’t right. By nightfall she was sporting a pacemaker. If she had waited a few days, thinking time will heal what ails, her husband would be making funeral arrangements.

Control, Or the Lack Thereof

While we haven’t reached it yet, my dearly beloved and I can see our 50th wedding anniversary approaching. Our relationship is strong enough that I’m confident we’ll make it. Yay!

We have raised three wonderful, independant children that live wisely. Try as we did, we weren’t perfect parents. It had to be God intervening where we fell short.

For all those days in between, that went pretty much as I anticipated. Well, it enabled me to lay my head down at night in peace. I got the trash out on time.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom 

Psalm 90:12 NIV

The Drive-by

Drive by shootings came to my attention in the 1980’s. They were in the news on a regular basis. I got to experience one and lived to tell about it. I think it was anyway.

I was behind the wheel of Big Blue, our full size van. The bulk of it gave me a false sense of security.

I was enroute to pick up my daughter at her friends home.The street was a pleasant drive, except for this particular day. To my left was a line of trees, just beyond them was Westland Mall. The right side was a series of apartment buildings, one of which I was headed.

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The White Van

Out of no where a white van came racing up from behind, tailgating me. He stayed there for a few minutes. Thinking he might want to pass, I slowed down. So did the white van. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable.

Eventually it came up beside me, keeping pace with my speed. When I sped up, so did this van. I slowed down, likewise did the van, staying right by my side.

Feeling Stalked

My discomfort grew into feeling stalked. In my mind I was certain if I acknowledged their presence, I would be looking down the barrel of a gun. So I refused to turn my head. I chose not to make that the last thing I saw before I was shot.

After what seemed like hours, the van raced ahead, disappearing just as suddenly as it appeared. I took a deep breathe. savoring life.

Hello Police?

Today, I might have done things differently. For starters, taken down the licence number. But for what?

Hello Police? I want to resport a van that scared me.

Nothing happened. It was over and the van was gone. There was nothing they could do for me.

Looking back on this non event, I’m convinced God was with me. I will be forever grateful for how He looked after my safety, regardless of where I was at spiritually. At that time, I wasn’t giving the Lord much thought. Interesting, isn’t it, how 20/20 hindsight gives a better view of reality?

 

 

Lost and Found

Poor dear Mom. She lost the only granddaughter she had.

The children’s clothing department was a zoo and my daughter  Cindy got antsy. So Mom offered to take her for a walk. Along the way they encountered a friend and mom chatted for only a moment.

Ready to resume walking, Mom reached for Cindy’s hand. But she was no where to be seen.

Panic Reigned

We looked up and down every aisle, high and low. Each clothing rack, where little people like to hide, but no Cindy. Panic reigned.

Beyond the entry door was a vast shopping mall. I had visions of my little one abducted. A stranger blending in with shoppers, heading for the nearest exit. Would I ever see my baby girl again?

Where is security when you need them?

I never realized stores had a PA system. Until then.

“We have a lost child. Would the parents please report to the Customer Service Center?”

 Found!

Cindy knew the toy department was upstairs in the furthermost corner. She was found at the top of the escalator with a teddy bear. Really?

 She hadn’t learned to talk yet, to tell us of her intent. I am forever grateful for the person that accessed the situation and took her to Customer Service. In my eyes, that individual is an angel sent from God.  

Tale of Two Women

Outside world

Donna and Nora both loved Jesus . But how they expressed that love was worlds apart. Both women felt their lives reflected their faith.

I met them at a women’s Bible study. Donna’s attendance was sporadic, so I came to know Nora better.

Nora was the wife of a church leader. She attended every function the church had. 

Her words and actions spoke of her spiritual beliefs. “Never would I darken the door of a bar.”

On The Other Hand

On the other hand, Donna church attendance was as sporadic as her Bible study habit. When she came to church, she was minus her husband.

He felt no need of this church thing. But he was aware that she chose to submit to him.

So he insisted she come to the bar with him.

Donna, desiring to please her man, came. Armed.

As he sat at the bar chatting it up with the bartender, Donna instigated her own conversations. Going from table to table she visited with others and handed them information about Jesus.

Donna’s husband no longer felt the need for her to accompany him.

Following God

Both of these women were careful to follow God the best way they knew. One was concerned about not making God look bad. The other concentrated on loving people.

Regardless of where you are  in life, the hardest thing to comprehend is how God tells different people different things.

It’s all about how we interpret life and how we daily live it out. 

 

 

Back to School Shopping

Back to School Ad

Mothers with children in tow were milling everywhere.  The wails of the boy could be heard above the din of the shoppers.

“Momma, nooo!

Small children, too young to be involved in the clothing hunt ran amuck between display racks.

The young boys voice rose in volume, “But I don’t want to!”

Mom’s response was unintelligible.

Long lines to the fitting room ran out into the store as shoppers waited impatiently for their turn to try selections on.

By now the little guy is sobbing, “Please don’t make me!”

This time the mothers impatient voice could be heard, “I’ll stand right here blocking everyone from seeing you.” 

Surely, this mom wasn’t making her son undress out in public? What was she thinking?

My Heart Aches

Each new school year, this memory comes back to haunt me. My heart aches for this little guy who has now reached manhood.

I wonder what his relationship is with his mother now? How marred is his adulthood from this childhood experience? Home is the place of learning respect, in giving and receiving.

The Old Creed

Respect is a small word with huge implications. Sensitivity to others is key, in-home or out. An old creed from my past is worth keeping in mind.  Do unto others as you would have done to you. 

Sixty Years Later

Meet my cousin Diane. What a lady!

She is a modern day survivor. None of us would wish for the childhood she had.

Diane’s mom was a troubled soul. Back in the day she suffered mental issues that are now treatable. We owe my aunt much, due to the experimental treatments she endured.

Drama lived in Diane’s childhood home, leaving her bitter memories. My aunt was committed to a mental institution where she lived out her remaining years.

Diane was sent to an orphanage. Upon her return home, she and her father didn’t get along well.

Society didn’t make life easy for a single father. While still a minor, Diane left home. Society didn’t make life easy for a teenager on her own either.

New and Improved

Diane married, striving for the normal family she had never known.

The two of us had lost touch with each other long ago. But through my husband’s Ancestry page, she located me/us.

This summer we had made a return trip to Michigan, taking the opportunity to meet Diane.

Her first words reflected my own feelings, “I’m so nervous!”

We learned for seventeen years we lived forty-five minutes from each other, never knowing it. There is so much to catch up on.

A Mystery

It’s a mystery why life takes us places we never imagined. Maybe we wouldn’t have appreciated our family ties if they were normal. What is normal anyway, but a setting on our washer?

God’s reasons are beyond our way of thinking. Two things I can say with certainty:

The Lord carried Diane through tough times, and she came out fine. And both of us have been blessed with a restored relationship.

Restoration, that’s what He is all about. Okay, so three things.

Father is Watching

In my childhood our family didn’t take vacations, so I was eager to get to Burroughs Farms. It was beachfront park land owned by the company my dad worked for-only Burroughs employees were admitted in. Looking back, I don’t know why I was excited. Mom would secure the ties of my swimsuit so tight around my neck I couldn’t stand up straight. Besides I didn’t know how to swim. Most of the time I was at the waterfront making sand castles.

Burroughs Farms

But there was this slide in the water that all the kids loved. So I gave it try. However, once I got to the top of the ladder, my perspective changed. I was up high and from up there the water looked a lot deeper. So I was reconsidering my decision. But my brother wasn’t far from me. He told the kid behind me, “Go ahead and push her, it’s OK, she’s my sister.”

My arms and legs thrashed the water. Panic-stricken I couldn’t rise to the surface. Fortunately, Dad was watching and came to my rescue. I’m reminded our Heavenly Father also looks after us. Many a time he has saved me from what could have been a dangerous situation.

Moonwalk Memories

Do you recall where you were on the 20th of July, 1969?

Thunder Moon July 2019

If you need some help, that day went down in the history of mankind for the American astronauts landing and walking on the moon. The news stations talked of nothing else it seems.

Turning downhill

My grandmother came over to see it with us. That’s when this momentous day took a turn downhill. We had two televisions, both tuned in, so whichever room we were in, nothing would be missed. Unfortunately, when the landing took place, Mom, Dad, and myself happened to be in one room, leaving Grandma in the other room by herself. It wasn’t deliberate by any means.

But Grandma was offended. Big time. She marched into the room we were in, tossing her words< “If I wanted to watch this alone, I would have stayed home!: With that she stormed out of the house, making a beeline down the path to her home next door.

Needless to say, Dad went scrambling after her. Completely ruining the moment in my eyes. Every once in awhile Grandma showed us her drama queen tendencies.

There Comes a Time

But I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on her. There comes a time when we all need a little companionship. Grandma had lost her husband, seemingly lost her daughter due to mental issues, and considered her son (my dad) gone too. There was another woman (my mom). Even though she lived next door and could keep tabs on him. She was good at that. She was lonely, as though she had no one to live for. That can be an empty feeling. We never know what is going on in another persons life. But we can exercise our patience and mercy muscle-just as God does with each of us.

Am I Contented?

Magnolia bouquet

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve gone shopping. Fun shopping I mean, groceries don’t count. Recently though the time was ripe for some retail therapy. 

My husband and I had the pleasure of a visit from his brother and wife. My sister=in-law is a good shopper. She buys  things. If they should not be quite right, she returns the merchandise. I have a tendency to collect items in my cart, but prior to checking out, I return them to the shelf. It’s economical, but needs don’t always get met that way.

As I said, the time was right. There was a sale going on because management wanted to clear merchandise for new incoming goods. Making a great deal for me. It couldn’t be anymore perfect, right? Only I couldn’t find anything I couldn’t live without.

What’s with that? Any other day I have to exercise self control to keep from buying too much. Could it be I’m content? That’s never happened before. Kind of a new experience, actually.

God is so good to help me remember everything has to have a place to go. We are in downsize mode, so I am okay with what I already have.