Saturday, September 10, 2011


Another sniffly Saturday...sure will be glad when the frost hits and these allergies are no more!

Well, let's see, another week has gone by and I've got a few things to report on. Patch Club started this week. That is something our church does on on Wed. nights for the elementary school kids. Our pastor's wife called me this year to ask if I'd help. I was thinking, "No, no, no!" but found my mouth saying, "Ok!" But the first night went fine. I've got the kindergarten through third graders. I had 8 this past Wed. And it actually went well. Of course, I bribed them with candy. Kids will do about anything for sugar.

Last Sunday my friend Julie got saved. It was wonderful! She and I have been walking together once a week and emailing back and forth since last March. Her family started attending our church last fall and I figured out pretty quickly after I got to talking with her that she was not saved. So I've been praying and explaining things as she asked. Last Sunday during the final hymn Julie turned to me and asked for a tissue because she was crying. Church ended and I was cleaning up the pew and she was just sitting there, still. And I'm thinking to myself, ok, what should I do now? Do I leave her alone or say something or what? So I finally tapped her on the shoulder and asked, "You ok?" She bursts into tears, grabs onto me, and says, "I'm tired of fighting! I'm ready to get saved!" So my mind instantly started whirling. What to do now? Do I find the pastor's wife? Do I do this myself? So I finally asked, "What do you want to do?" A couple other women in the church had reached out to her recently so Julie asked me to get them for her. I found a room for us and when everyone got in there, Julie gave her life to the Lord. It was wonderful. I can't even remember the last time I was part of something like that. It's been almost a week and I'm still rejoicing!

Well, how to segue from that to something else? Well, I do have other good news, but it's not nearly so important as the above. I got 7th place in the most recent FaithWriters Challenge. Here's the link: It had been SO long since I had placed that I had kind of given up on it. I thought maybe I had lost my touch. So getting that was a real encouragement to me this week! This one will be published. The basic premise of this story was one that I actually wrote over a year ago for another challenge entry. But there was some problem with the billing on my account and I wasn't able to enter that week. Well, I thought I had saved the piece when we wiped out my computer this summer, but I discovered that I had not! But I was able to take that idea and re-write it to fit the topic. The story is primarily a conversation between a mother and her grown son. But there's a little "twist" at the end that makes it kind of interesting.

I mentioned a week or so ago that a devotional I wrote for the Jewels of Encouragement blog was going up this week. Here's the link to that one: I got some really nice compliments on this one. I'm anxious to write for them again!

Oh, and speaking of writing, Will is back to blogging. He had decided to abandon his blog and just do his writing in the form of notes on Facebook, but I suggested that he also post his notes to his blog, because I know he had readers who don't Facebook. Here's the link to his blog:

I sold my buffet yesterday. This was my massive, 6 foot long one I've had out in the back room for the past 7 yrs. It was with a pang that I let it go, but I needed the space more than I needed it. The lady that bought it called me at 8:30 in the morning to ask if she could come down and look at it. Oh my goodness - I wasn't dressed, the house was a mess, and the buffet had seven years worth of stuff in it! I managed to get it unloaded, vacuumed out and lemon-oiled. But I couldn't do much with myself or the house. And of course she was one of these young, cute moms - made me feel decidedly dowdy when she showed up. And they asked to use my bathroom - it was on my list to clean it yesterday, but I hadn't gotten that far at 8:30 in the morning! But I did get to hold her 3 month old who slobbered over me. He got fussy as they were loading the buffet so I swooped him up. It was blissful!

Sam decided to learn how to button and unbutton his clothes this week. It only took him a day. He was recounting that to me today and also reminded me that he now wipes his own bottom. I praised him and said, "Oh, you're getting to be such a big boy!" "Yeah, " Sam agreed, but then sighed, "But I still can't write my 'A's'"! I've started trying to teach him some writing skills and it is coming along very slowly. He'll get there. I'm actually surprised at how much he is already able to do for not even being 4 yet. But then, he hangs around with teenagers all day long. I guess some of that was bound to wear off on him!

This morning Sam wanted to know where his dad and Will were. I told him that they had gone to fix Will's car. Sam cupped his face in his hands and exclaimed, "But I broke the windshield!" I was surprised he even remembered that. He added, "I might do it again!" I told him to just stay off the hood of the car and it shouldn't be a problem!

Well, tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11th, 2001. Everyone seems to be pausing to remember that, which is good. When Julie and I went for our walk this past week, Pleasantville had placed flags all along part of the walking trail. I remember that Tuesday well, as I'm sure everyone does. It was a beautiful, sunny, late summer day in the Midwest. I had just dropped Will off at school and I had Ben and David in the van with me. We were sitting in the parking lot of Center Baptist Church in Omaha. I had a MOPS steering committee meeting and was just waiting for the others to arrive. I was listening to the Christian radio station when the announcer came on and said there had been a terrible accident - a plane had flown into one of the Twin Towers. I didn't think a whole lot of it until a moment or two later when the suddenly stopped playing music and announced that another plane had hit the towers and this was no accident. I remember that the head of Grace University (who sponsored the radio station) then came on and said that he suspected that some guy named Osama bin Laden was behind these attacks. When he said that I remembered a Readers Digest article I had read some years earlier that suggested that bin Laden was the greatest physical threat to the United States. I didn't really know what they meant by that and of course, nobody would ever attack the United States! But it all came back to me when I heard this college head suggest this.

I remember at the meeting that we had to tell the pastor's wife what had happened. She hadn't heard yet. Afterwards I drove to Paul's work. I just felt this need to gather my loved ones around. I called my mom, to make sure that my brother, who flied (and still flies) frequently for his job wasn't on those planes. I called the school where Will attended. They told me I was welcome to come pick him up, but I didn't. Wanting to do something - anything - I called the blood bank to see if I could donate. All those injured people were going to need extra blood. I got home, turned on the tv, and didn't move for the next few hours. I sat there, along with all of America and the rest of the world, in stunned disbelief and grief as the images from New York, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania aired. I cried when the entire congress gathered on the steps of - where were they, actually? Anyway - they stood there together and sang, "God Bless America" and it seemed to me to be the single-most united act I had ever seen in my lifetime.

And I remember the next day, driving Will to school when all of a sudden I felt this fierce patriotic pride surge through my being. The day before had been about grief. Now, it was about pride. Nobody can keep the United States of America down for long. That's why I have come to appreciate Toby Keith's song "The Red, White, and Blue" where he personifies the country as having a "big, black eye" from this event but turning around to give the bad guys a "boot in the ____."

I don't know if we're any safer today. I don't know when the next attack will come, if it will. But I do know that ten years later, I still tear up when I think of the events of that day. I don't even cry when I think about the days my own babies were born. But there's something about 9-11...

So, anyway, that's where my thoughts are as we come upon this anniversary. Ten years later, I am still so patriotic and so in love with this country. My boys, who were little guys then, are now big guys. And while I find myself praying for the Lord's perfect will in their lives and futures, I have to admit, that if one of these boys donned a uniform and went to fight for this great nation - I think I'd nearly burst wide open from pride.

September...the month of memories...


  1. I stopped by to tell you how much I loved your JoE devotional, but instead, I get to learn a lot more about she who is Susan. And congrats on your FW entry!

  2. Oh, wow, Lisa - thank you so much for swinging by! I'm so honored!