On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Another quiet day in the neighborhood. Extremely quiet. Snow seems to have a way of doing that around here. But again, I found plenty to do and yet found myself wishing for more to do! :-/ Too bad I'm not crafty or something! I had expected we would be keeping the kids last night and anticipated a very busy day today with them. But the weather having changed the plan, I changed mine.

I decided to make a surprise for DH's breakfast. (He has wanted some different treat every day this week. I think he may be getting spoiled.) So, knowing I had plenty of fresh blueberries on hand, I made the To Die For Blueberry Muffins.

photo credit

These muffins are delicious, but the name is offensive to me. How did this expression come to be about food? Would anybody really die for a muffin?

Anyway, if you read the reviews of recipes online, the reviewers who give the recipe good ratings NEVER seem to follow the recipe. That is a help sometimes, but other times it is VERY annoying. Don't you agree?

(That being said, I will say in the case of the above blueberry muffins, I made two changes: a coffee cake rather than muffins, and instead of white sugar for the streusel, I used brown sugar. That's not too drastic a change, is it?)

Since I had extra chicken from making chicken pot pie, it seemed like a good idea to prepare another one today for my friend who moved during the bad weather. She will be busy for some time with all she has to do.

For DH and me, tonight's menu was beef stew and cornbread. I think I could have finished off the whole pot of it - but managed to restrain myself since I'm trying to keep off the weight I lost when I was sick.

The phone rang while we were having dinner and caller ID came up on the TV screen. Surprise, surprise when I saw the name. A phone call from a high school classmate. You know you are getting older when an unexpected call comes from someone who never calls (I am usually the caller). First thought is they are calling to say a mutual friend has passed away. But nope! she wanted to be the caller for a change and just catch up on how we are doing. It was nice being the callee this time.

Saturday nights are church night here, but with more freezing rain and uncertainty of the streets tonight, will go tomorrow morning. I really don't like to miss and tomorrow morning is waffles/workshop for those who work with children's church. I can't figure out if the waffles are a reward for those who volunteer - or bribery to keep us on!! (NO! I am not going for the waffles!)

I have been following an online Bible study at shereadstruth.org. Observing Lent was never part of my growing up years and, as an adult, I associated it with what I knew (very little) about Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and King cake. In this study, I discovered a beautiful hymn. I love the words and want to preserve them in my blog.

Not What My Hands Have Done

Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load.

Your voice alone, O Lord, can speak to me of grace;
Your power alone, O Son of God, can all my sin erase.
No other work but Yours, no other blood will do;
No strength but that which is divine can bear me safely through.

Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest, And set my spirit free.

I bless the Christ of God; I rest on love divine;
And with unfaltering lip and heart I call this Savior mine.
His cross dispels each doubt; I bury in His tomb
Each thought of unbelief and fear, each lingering shade of gloom.

I praise the God of grace; I trust His truth and might;
He calls me His, I call Him mine, My God, my joy and light.
’Tis He Who saveth me, and freely pardon gives;
I love because He loveth me, I live because He lives.
~Horatius Bonar

Friday, February 27, 2015

Now the day is over ...

Night has fallen here at the end of a beautiful and peaceful and very snowy day. 

I know it has been a rough one for hundreds of people out there in the traffic. The chaos that snow causes in North Texas is horrendous, but people do have to go to work and keep appointments. What a terrible day for one of my friends to have scheduled to move, and it was difficult for them, to say the least. And it took our son five hours to get home from work. 

Thankfully, we were able to be in the house all day. It was restful, but also a day of accomplishment of tasks around the house. I fixed pecan waffles for DH for breakfast, and one of the best chicken pot pies I've ever made for dinner. The seasoning was just right and today was a perfect day for it. I think maybe beef stew is on call for tomorrow. 

We were supposed to have the kids over, but driving conditions just didn't allow for it. I'm really glad though that they are home snug with Mommy and Daddy. They had a great time playing in the snow.

Trudy and I got to spend some time outside together. It wasn't play time, however. She is so old and I know she doesn't want to go outside, but I'm the old meanie who has to do all kinds of tricks to get her out the door, off the patio and to finally do her business. If only she could understand how quickly she could be back in her warm bed, if she would just do it and get it over with. Sigh ...

It's supposed to snow all night and tomorrow freezing rain is in the forecast. All this moisture is a good thing for us, but the rain will ruin the beauty of the snow. 

This has been a pleasant week, all in all. Since we went to church on Saturday night, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we were inside due to freezing rain and ice. Our Ladies of Grace and Bible Study Fellowship morning Bible studies were cancelled because of the weather. 

Earlier this week, I looked out the window and saw a very large coyote behind the fence. Yikes! Although I felt sorry for him because I could see he was looking for something to eat, I willed him to go far, far away in his search. And today, DH happened to see our resident hawk land on a branch which broke as he landed and then soar on! Ha! I guess a hawk wouldn't fall.

On Wednesday, a friend and I took lunch to another friend who, as of two weeks ago, is now a widow. Her husband of 45 years was diagnosed with ALS last spring, and the disease which caught them unaware brought about death sooner, much, much sooner than had been anticipated. Having experienced the shock myself, I understand the aloneness ... the  emptiness. We spent a few hours reminiscing, listening, laughing and crying. 

Yesterday was a very laid back day. Freezing cold and windy and while my preference would have been to stay home, I had promised a friend that we would watch a couple of episodes at her house of one of our favorite TV shows: Foyle's War. What a great show and I'm sad that it couldn't continue on. 

Each night after we go to bed, DH and I have been listening to the newest Jan Karon book.
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good (Mitford Years, #10)

The title pretty much describes what I feel about my life with DH. We are enjoying the book and will be sorry for it to end. 

How thankful I am that we have plenty of food and a warm house. It also helps being with the one you love. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Memories - More about Jobs

Continuing again this week with Retired Not Tired's Monday Memories and more about jobs we've had. Join in with your memories right here.

Jobs! Jobs! I've had a bunch of them. Some short term ... Some very long term! All totaling over 45 years of jobs. From:

babysitting ... to secretary/bookkeeper

assistant to public relations director in a Christian university ...

wire operator in a stock brokerage firm

Paralegal in law firm ... to vet supply at the stockyards

bank teller ... legal department of restaurant chain

and more law firms. Sigh.

I have been blessed to work with many fine, kind and generous people. The jobs weren't always fun, but in all of them I learned, had some challenging but rewarding times, and lasting relationships were built along the way.

All of the above jobs led me and prepared me for the last one before I retired ...

Rather than talk about the job itself though, I want to tell how I came to work there and that it was an answer to prayer and a leap of faith for my DH and me.

When the attorney I assisted retired, I was to be assigned to two other attorneys. This was a huge disappointment to me, so I began to ask God could I please, please leave because I didn't think it was going to be easy working for those two at all. Nothing against them. It was the area of law they practiced. But I finally surrendered to the feeling that if I was to move on, it would have to be a "God thing."

A few days later, when a friend mentioned that the founder/Chairman of the Board of a well known radio/teaching ministry had offered her a job, I strongly encouraged my friend to take it. Having been familiar with the teaching of this ministry, it was my belief that it would be a privilege to work for someone I admired so much. Upon hearing all my glowing recommendations, my friend suggested that maybe I was the one who should go to work for that ministry. Why not? How wonderful it would be to work in an atmosphere of biblical teaching with a group of like-minded people. I updated my resume and faxed it, along with a letter to the ministry and prayed that I would hear from them ... soon.

Hmmmmmm, somewhere along the way, I think my letter and resume fell through the cracks. So I resigned myself to staying with the law firm believing that there was a purpose for my continuing there, and pushed back the hope of leaving.

Until ... one day, about a month and a half later, I received a call asking me to come interview!!! Oh yes!! You betcha!!! After interviewing with the president and his assistant, they came to the conclusion that I was over-qualified for any position open in the corporate office and they were so sorry. :-(

A quiet discussion out of my earshot convened between the two of them before they suggested I might qualify for a position assisting the founder HERSELF in her home office (really, in her home!!) and might I be interested? This position had been open for nine months! Are you kidding? My dream come true working with an author/counselor/radio personality well known for her speaking and teaching.

After a lengthy and very relaxed interview with this wonderful lady and her assistant, I was offered what sounded like my dream job. Unfortunately, when we got down to the nitty gritty of such things as salary, I wasn't so sure this was my dream job after all. DH and I were living on a tight fixed budget and had become dependent upon my income. After explaining this to her assistant, it was decided that I could have a few days to think it over, discuss it with DH, pray about it, and give her my decision the following Monday.

Another disappointment. DH and I discussed this and looked over our budget every which way. We discussed it to death, thought about it, and finally decided it just wasn't something we could do at that time. So I readied myself to turn down the job offer on Monday.

On Sunday, we went to church and what do you think we heard? Faith, faith, faith. You gotta take a leap of faith when you believe something is right. As we came out of church, DH said to me, "You can take that job. It's going to be okay. Everything will be okay. We have to have faith!"

Next day, I contacted the assistant to let her know I would accept their offer. When I told her what DH and I had decided and how we had come to that decision, she had something amazing to tell me. She told me she had worked and re-worked the job description over the weekend so that my salary would be MORE than originally in their budget! Is that not fabulous! Was that not the God thing I had asked for?

We trusted God - He met our need.

He more than met our need because three months later, I was blessed with a raise, and blessed to be a part of this ministry for the next ten years.

At my desk

View of the back yard

My lovely boss

A recent pic with three of my former co-workers
Sweet ladies - all of them.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Birthday, Mom

Sure do miss you, Mom.

Faith-filled and smiling.
She loved.

Someone once asked
If only you knew
How short life would be
What would you do?
What would they say
When God called you home?
What would they engrave
Once you were gone?

I hope they would see
What I've done in my life
Who I've cared for
And how I survived
I hope they'd say

She loved more than anything else
She loved with all of her heart
She loved everyone she believed in
She loved...oh she loved

She loved the Lord
And served all her life
A sacrificial mother
And an honorable wife
She gave all she had
And through every trial
Made life much sweeter
Because of her smile

Everyone will see
What she's done in her life
Who she cared for
And how she survived
I'm sure they'd say

She loved more than anything else
She loved with all of her heart
She loved everyone she believed in
She loved...

oh she loved
-Jeff and Shari Easter

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Memories - My First Job

I have missed this meme! So excited to get to share Monday Memories this time about our first job. You can have some fun recalling that fun experience and joining Retired Not Retired right here.

Having taken every business course my high school had to offer (knowing that college would not be in my near future), I was confident I was ready to begin the search for my first job upon graduation. Unfortunately, my excitement about the search quickly waned. Although I did have skills necessary and proved it by passing every test given with flying colors, I did not have experience which was one of the most important things potential employers wanted to see on my job application. After hearing the, "you're too young" statement a few times, I wondered just how a person could get experience if no one was willing to give a person a chance to get that experience. (Back in the '60's, something else I heard often from interviewers was, "are you engaged?" Or planning to be married soon?)

After hitting the pavement for a couple of weeks in search of that "dream job" we heard about in shorthand class, I was sent to an insurance company on the ninth floor of a big office building in greater downtown Tulsa. (My naïveté back then about a dream job is somewhat embarrassing to me now.) The interview with a very kind gentleman went well, but alas, he was sorry to tell me the job I was applying for had just been filled. Oh well, another day, another disappointment.

After arriving back home, the telephone rang. It was for me! And it was the man from the insurance company calling to tell me that I was hired!!! Oh joy, joy!! As it turned out, after I left the office that day, one of the Vice Presidents came down to chat with him, and after seeing my job application, his response was, "How could you let a girl with those skills get away?"

My first day on the job, I was told that since there was no actual position for me, I would be a "floater" and sent wherever needed each day. So ... I "floated" ... and hoped for a permanent place in the company.

This experience as the office floater gave me opportunities to work in different departments and gain experience needed until a couple of months down the road, lo and behold, a position opened up for me! I would be secretary for the man who had originally interviewed me. It was exciting to have this job and every day was an adventure working downtown, shopping on my lunch hour, and getting a paycheck every two weeks. Such a grown-up experience and I was now able to purchase my first car!

The man I worked for patiently trained me and I would sit in his office for hours taking dictation and learning about such things as the mortgage loans for which I would be responsible. Me??? ...the person who detested math would be working with something called "double entry" bookkeeping, escrows, insurance premiums and other such things.

I worked for this insurance company for almost three years until a nasty scandal involving insurance frauds (and other unsavory escapades involving top executives and young women) rocked the company (and our city as it made headlines every day). It became obvious to me that the smart thing for me to do would be to find another job. Having led a very sheltered life, I heard about activities and saw behaviors I had never witnessed before.

My skills, my experience there, and the high recommendations of the man I worked for were the means for securing my next job as assistant to the public relations man at another company.

My boss was the only one the insurance receiver trusted to stay to aid in cleaning up the "mess" the other executives had left behind. Having left the mess myself, I convinced him he needed to "get out of Dodge," too. So at the end of each of our working days, we pulled out the books with names and addresses of insurance companies (back in the days before Internet) and I began typing letters over and over and over and resumes for him. (At least we had a Xerox machine for the resumes.)  It wasn't long before he heard from a big company in San Antonio who wanted him to come work for them. Not too long after he left, we were married. And that, my friends, is how I came to be living in Texas!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Keepin' Records

I'm getting slow in my old age! We are now well into February and
I'm having a little trouble trying to remember the events from January
while February rolls on!
It really isn't funny how time slips away!!!

Christmas celebration with my siblings in Tulsa was delayed until we could all get together.
(all being: my brother Phil and his wife, Susan,
my sister Roberta and her husband, Don
Roberta's daughters, Robyn and Jacqueline).
My brother kept his Christmas tree up until the end of January
and Susan cooked another fabulous meal for us!

Phil and Susan recently visited South Korea.
The big fad there is something called a "selfie stick."

 We took this pic using it and thought we had a good group shot,
however, Robyn didn't lean in quite close enough.

That gives me the chance to put a pic of her in here

and congratulate her on her recent accomplishment!

We missed having my brother's sons and families
with us in our Christmas celebration.
Chase and Julie
Our nephew Billy with his precious daughter, Hunter.

She has been in the hospital for most of her brief life ...
The writing on her hospital gown is in Korean!
We are all rejoicing that she is now well and back home!!!
So thankful!

Other news!

Kate got her hair cut!!! 

Daughter-in-law Amy celebrated a milestone birthday!

Jack got a tractor from his cousins, Brady and Noah.

Super Heroes below stayed busy while we watched the Super Bowl.

Noah kept me company while his brother Brady played soccer.

Soccer boy Brady
The weather this week has been wonderful!
Trudy and I attempted a walk, but she only managed to make it three doors down from our house before her tongue was hanging out. At least she enjoyed some new smells on the way.

Kate wanted to take a pic of me, so I smiled as she said,
"My pretty Nonnie!"

As if that wasn't sweet enough, Kate then told me,
"Being 100% pretty on the outside is not as important 
as being 5% pretty on the inside?

I told her if she meant that being pretty on the outside was not as
important as being pretty on the inside, then yes, she was right.
"Kate, you are so smart. 
Did your Mama teach you that?"
"No, Nonnie. You did.

Kids remember everything. Better be careful what is said.
I am mystified as to where she came up with those numbers!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

We are always, always - no matter what we feel or think - recipients of God's love and goodness. Everyone, whether they acknowledge it or not, is a recipient of God's love.

Photo credit

You have always loved me and always will. 

"We know and rely on the love God has for us."
(1 John 4:16)

We don't do anything to earn God's love. He loves us. Nobody around us should have to do anything to earn our love. "Freely we have received, freely give."