Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yesterday was my maternal grandma's birthday anniversary. She lived to be 94, and though she's been gone 14 years, I still think of her often.

She taught my sister and me to play Spoons and Old Maid. When she went shopping, she'd always bring us some little something -- a toy, a scarf, or a book. She delighted in her grandchildren, and like a true grandma spoiled us as much as she could.

This time of year I always think about her culinary talents. The kitchen is where she shined. She made everything from scratch -- from lemonade to chocolate cake. She was, in fact, rather famous for her chocolate cake. She took that cake to every pot luck dinner she ever attended. At one point, she decided maybe people were tired of it, so she switched to a different recipe. It wasn't long before others were asking, "Where's Stella's chocolate cake?"

She was always in charge of the pies at Thanksgiving, and while I have her recipes, I can never quite duplicate the taste of these pastries. Part of the problem stems from her measurements: one heaping spoonful of flour. Spoon refers to a serving spoon, and heaping means "not level, but not too much either." She always had just the right amount; just the right touch.

I'll make a pumpkin pie for Thursday, and it will taste good. It just won't be as good as grandma's.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Having a Mary Heart Request

This post is for Debbie, who wanted to know where to read my posts about Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.

Click here to visit my old blog: marmee's musings and, Debbie, thank you for your encouraging words. I am thrilled that you like my writing and visit here often!

Being Remembered

A few weeks ago a former student found my email address through Google and contacted me. We have been emailing, catching up, and sharing our faith experiences and family pictures.

I've really enjoyed the communication. We're both teachers. We love Franklin, Tennessee, and a local eatery Meridee's Breadbasket. We attended the same college. We both have two boys (though his are much younger than mine). We love reading . . . the list goes on.

Being only ten years older than he, now makes us peers, so when he surprised me with a call yesterday, we just talked and talked! During the conversation, he said, "I remember something about you." Not really knowing what he would say, I wasn't prepared for this:

"You popped your contact out of your eye, put it in your mouth, and then popped it back into your eye! You were diagramming a sentence (which shows how long ago this occurred -- no one diagrams sentences anymore!), but after doing that you lost me. I think you traumatized the whole class!" I have no memory of that moment, but I did wet my contacts that way -- not something I recommend! Anyway, his memory gave me more than a good laugh!

When I was considering retirement, one of my biggest concerns was that I would miss relationships with my students. But one day, within my spirit, God said, "There will be other students." I didn't know those others would include some from long ago coming back into my life, but I'm most grateful!


Thanksgiving approaches, but I keep thinking about Halloween and my granddaughter's Wizard of Oz ensemble: Kara as the scarecrow, Anna as Dorothy, and Lydia as Toto (or TO TO as Kara pronounces (and advises others to) it!

Krista's brainstorm for the costumes began with a pair of hand-me-down ruby slippers, which Anna wants to wear every day. Someone loaned her Dorothy's dress, but then she improvised Kara's outfit, using a pair of maternity pants rolled over at the waist and ankles. With a dark green turtleneck adorned with burlap and raffia and some face makeup, Kara was applauded everywhere she wore the costume (a night at the zoo, library story time, a party, and trick-or-treating) Krista lamented that Lydia's costume wasn't quite accurate, as TOTO, depicted in the movie, was brown, and the ears more resembled a cat's, but I said who cares? Not me! Personally, I thought we needed to find a costume contest to enter!

I spent the weekend with my friend who moved to Kentucky this summer. On Friday night, her school had a Pumpkin Patch in a way I'd never experienced. Vans, SUVs, and trucks parked in the school lot and opened their back doors or tailgates which had been decorated in some appropriate way. Families arrived, and the kids trick or treated from vehicle to vehicle. Inflatables and a concession stand (serving delicious chili) added to the fun.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Six Year Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of Brock's stillbirth. He would be six today-- and maybe he is six in Heaven! (I don't know.)

I think of him often and miss his presence in our family. But more often I think about how God revealed His goodness to me during the long healing process. That revelation has deepened my faith and changed me in ways that would not have happened if Brock had lived.

As my natural self, I would be willing to give up this spiritual profundity, but in my desire to live for my King, I gladly surrender to His sovereignty and will. I do not understand the whys of tragedy, but my experience is living proof of Romans 8:28 "All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose."

Because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, I have an assurance that I will see Brock again. Do you, dear reader, have the assurance that you will spend the next part of eternity in Heaven? If not, I pray that you would acknowledge your need of a Savior and ask Him to come into your life and justify you before God the Father. Then ask Him to be your Lord, and He will sanctify you to grow in the likeness of Christ.

I made this decision when I was 28, and I have never regretted doing so. It is the most important decision any human has to make.