Hymns of Grace #1: All Creatures of our god and king

words by St. Francis of Assisi – “Thou burning sun with golden beam, Thou silver moon with softer gleam”

I had a very special aunt – Great Aunt Marie, and I am named after her. She lived in the Baptist Village in Waycross, GA, in her later years. I have several hymn books in the house, and one used to belong to her. The front page is stamped Waycross Primitive Baptist Church. I’ve decided to start going through them, singing the ones I know, reading the ones I don’t. Today it was All Creatures of Our God and King.

There are numerous versions of this song out there, but this one is my current favorite.

Our true home, part two

Our home – Bham – 12/8/17

“Smiling at each other, we realize we have the same song stuck in our head, a new song, neither of us have ever heard before. His humming of it sounds like flowing water. The robins and morning stars are singing the same tune. I feel a pulsing stillness. I don’t even notice that the usual sounds of sirens and cars aren’t there anymore, the static of news, the vibrating of phones, or creepy songs about seducing a santa baby. That all burnt up forever. The old order has passed away. Instead, I hear a pulsing stillness.”  –  by Fr. Jack (Priesthood from the Inside Out blog) in his thoughts about meeting St. Francis in heaven. He continues with thoughts of those he expects to see – “To my left, the kid I picked-on in 5th grade waves at me. I wave back shamelessly. He’s holding the hand of his daughter…I realize I’m holding someone’s hand as well, warm and smooth. It’s the unborn child I buried yesterday. He’s taller than me and has wild flowing hair. I’ve never met him before, but I know him. I know him. He only lived 12 weeks invisible in his mom’s womb, but I’ve known him ‘like a thousand years.’ He laughs.”

Reading the above I felt comforted. I like to think that Chuck is rejoicing with Mom and Dad and holding little Wyatt in his arms. That he was there to greet Tim and Ed when they joined him. I don’t know, I can only wonder.


Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. – Psalm 23:6

my heart

I often take song lyrics to suit my circumstances. And I think that’s okay. Music and song soothe my soul, make me think, make me cry, ease my pain and bring me joy.

I’ve taken these lyrics as my own:

What do I get when I find out I am nothing?
Who am I without my name?
How do I stop this emptiness from growing?
The dumb instructions coming from my brain

I go to my heart on my knees

I know I am not nothing, but I feel like a half these days. I still have my name, but it’s no longer wife. And yes, there are a lot of dumb instructions coming from my brain.

I go to my heart, frail as it is. On my knees in prayer.



My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

Thoughts on Things to Do

I follow a blog called My Only Comfort, written by Sam Powell. His post on January 2 was called Things For the New Year. It got me to thinking about a few things.

Sit on the porch and look for birds. I have been sitting on the porch to read the last few days. I’ll have my coffee or other adult beverage and read and wave to neighbors walking down the street with their little children. Sometimes I’m blessed to see birds at the bird feeder in the tree right in front of my porch.

Call someone who is lonely. I write to those who are lonely more than I call because that’s more in my comfort zone. I need to branch and and make those calls.

Pray for your pastor everyday. I’m a member of one church but attending another one that is closer to home. That’s where I tithe and that’s where I feel at home now. I need to pray for our pastor – he is very young but God has gifted him with knowledge and grace.

Go outside and walk beside a river. I go out a lot. Ruby and I love our walks, but now I need to get to the river. The St. Johns isn’t too far from me. Goal for next week!!

Buy a coloring book and crayons. I’ve been coloring for a while, with colored pencils. It’s become a routine at night when I finally settle in for TV. My daughter got me a lovely coloring book and some GOOD pencils for Christmas. And a paint-by-number kit so I can branch out.

Wear the clothes that you like to wear. Not that I never care, but I’ve become quite comfortable wearing my leggings when I walk. Even it they make me look fat.

Slow down. Smell the wine. Swirl it around the tongue. Try to understand what the label is talking about. I tried this. I almost convinced myself I could taste the plum and finishing notes of spice.

A fellow weeper

December 8, 2017

“…Nothing tends more to relieve that overwhelming sense of wretchedness, with which the heart of the sufferer is sometimes oppressed, than a generous pity for a fellow weeper!”

“Your long and intimate letter gave me great pleasure. There is a sympathy in the feeling of people who have been recently afflicted, which cannot be expected to be found in others; a mutual chord, which, touched, vibrates with a kindred sound. We have not suffered exactly alike. But we have suffered; and that circumstance has made us love each other better than we did before.” – The Widow Directed to the Widow’s God by John Angell James, 1841

There truly is sympathy in people who have been recently afflicted. I have found this to be so true in recent months. I have connected with other widows who are suffering as I am. I have also connected with women who have lost a sister or a child. I never thought I’d have a need for a “group”. But, I went at the urging of my son. And I am so glad I found griefshare. I thank God for these fellow weepers.

Faithful friends

St. Augustine Beach

“The friends whom the freshness of your grief has gathered around you, will forget your loss much sooner than you will; and the force of their sympathy will have spent itself, long before the tide of your grief has ceased to flow. Few, very few, are the faithful friends whose tender interest is as long-lived and as deep, as our tribulation.” – The Widow Directed to the Widow’s God by John Angell James, 1841

I am blessed to have friends who still gather around me. They call, text, invite me to lunch. Their sympathy has not spent itself. I am thankful for their tender interest.

A poem for Chuck #1

Yes, I’ve written tons of poems about my love for Chuck, our relationship, and his love for me. But, this is a different one, not written by me. It was written by our friend, Dorothy Young, who wrote it when we left Jacksonville/Fruit Cove in 2014 for Birmingham. She gave him a framed copy when we moved. It hung in his home office in Bham and I’ll hang it again when I get to Tampa. Dorothy and Chuck had a special friendship, as evidenced in her words. She included it in her book, Loved from Eternity.

On a Friend Moving Away

Farewell, But not goodbye:

Be in God’s tender care.

Be found in Christ at last

Though here you be or there

Seek Him, the greatest good:

For Him all things forgo.

You must have him at last

If you would glory know.

Feast on His mighty love:

Rest in His mercy free

For then you shall be safe,

For all eternity.

There’s honey in the rock:

The sweetness is profound.

Trust Jesus Christ alone.

In Him is refuge found.

O Come O Come Emmanuel

i.pinimg.com/originals

“When Christ was born as a human baby, he ensured that He would die, because death is something that comes to every human being. But because Jesus Christ was wholly God as well as wholly human, He rose from the grave, to the astonishment not only of the Roman overlords and the powerful Jews in the Sanhedrin, but to the astonishment of all those who had been with Him during His earthly life. The Resurrection, too, is beyond the realm of fact and bursts into the realm of love, of truth, for in Jesus, truth and love are one and the same.” – from The Rock That is Higher by Madeleine L’Engle.

I enjoy the lights and presents and coziness of family as much as the next person. But, I also have a sadness in my heart when I see so many who don’t know this Christ that Christmas is supposed to be about. “Away in a Manger” for most is a cute song kids sing in little choirs, along with “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.

Listen to a song that tells more of the story of Christmas

O Come O Come Emmanuel

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight

Christ’s Coming in Glory

Lake Guntersville

“What can we prove about Christ’s coming in glory? Nothing. It is far beyond the language of limited proof. Indeed, our entire faith rests on a joyous acceptance of the factually impossible. When we celebrate Christmas we are celebrating that amazing time when the Word that shouted all galaxies into being, limited all power, and for love of us came to us in the powerless body of a human baby. My faith is based on this incredible act of love, and if my faith is real it will be expressed in how I live my life, but it is outside the realm of laboratory or scientific proof.” – from The Rock That is Higher by Madeleine L’Engle

Sometimes we, I, get caught up in trying to figure everything out. Trying to prove things. I forget what my faith is all about when I get caught up in the way the world thinks.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

There are some things I may never understand. But, there are many that I do and many that I should. There are enough things made clear in scripture that I can wait to understand the other things.

Not a widow INDEED, but still…

I’ve thought a lot about widowhood and ministry the past few months. I mentioned it in an earlier blog post HERE . I’ve been saddened to see how other widows, not just me, have been neglected by the church. Widows who were and are faithful church members. Widows who have lost their husbands of many years, who were also faithful servants of God. One whose husband was a retired pastor himself. But where is the church in all of this? Even if these widows aren’t “widows indeed” they still need to be ministered to. At least checked on now and again by their pastor or elder or deacon.

“The Bible has much to say about ministering to one another besides the giving  of money…If you assume she (the widow) is fine just because she attends worship each Sunday, you are failing in your ministry to her. Regular visits at her home are the best way to fulfill the James 1 command… It is also the best way to know her and to interact with her so that she will feel comfortable divulging other needs.”  –  The Undistracted Widow by Carol Cornish

In my case it took me being the “squeaky wheel” to receive a call. Part of me felt ashamed, felt that I should be able to go it alone. I have brothers and children, so why was I complaining? Don’t get me wrong, my family and some friends have been a HUGE help and comfort to me. Yet, when it came to spiritual things, I wasn’t sure where to turn. I ended up pouring out feelings to a former pastor, one with a shepherd’s heart. And God, in His mercy, helped me.

The Lord intended for His church to be a support system, but we can’t be a support system if we don’t know each other.”  – Leaving Darkland by Ed Wallen


I see now that not knowing each other is one big hindrance. I see that it is a two-way street, one I hope to travel and become the one who ministers to other weary travelers.