Thursday, June 26, 2014


This 1 1/2 minute video sets the tone for this post.

We recently spent a week at Kent's, thoroughly enjoying family and lovingly spoiling our grandchildren.

When our first grandchild was born, we morphed into something brand new.  J.D. made us Nana and Papa.  Rules changed.  Priorities shifted.  Our strengths became weaknesses. We turned into mush.

It's my mother's fault. She set the tone.  She had a candy drawer in her kitchen.  I do too! She kept frozen treats in her freezer.  "Want an ice cream sandwich, Kent?"

Kimberly once told her, "Mamas have more NOs than grandmas."

To which my wise mother answered, "That's because I used up all my NOs on your mama, Honey."

Only once do I recall Grandma saying no to Kimberly.  It was too close to supper when she asked for candy from the precious drawer.  So she scampered right out to the back yard to try my dad. Plan #2.  "Granddaddy, can I have some candy pwease?" (I doubt she actually mispronounced please, but it's cuter that way.)

Granddaddy, also very wise, suspected something.  So he asked her a question back, "Did you ask Grandma already?"
Kimberly, not quite so wise yet, lied, wide-eyed, "No-oooooo."

"Are you sure?"


"Kimberly, if I go inside and ask her, what will Grandma say?"

Silence.  Wide eyes grow wider.

"Honey, would she say you're telling the truth or could you be lying to me?"

"I could be lying."


Our 14 grands know to expect treats when we visit.  Amazing how thrilling The Dollar Tree finds become when passed from grandparents to grand kids.  Sometimes we hide them for the hunt, sometimes they close their eyes and guess what it is by feel. Elizabeth, our first granddaughter, dubbed them spoilers because we spoil the kids with them.  We try.

Katy once remarked indignantly, "Mom!  You would never have allowed us to do that! Boy, do the rules change."   Of course they do.  Our roles change.  Now I confess, if our family lived in the same town, we might tighten up a bit.  Might.  But they live far away. Visits are spread out. So Nana and Papa are big squishes!

We can be only because their parents are good disciplinarians. They undo our damage rather quickly.

Two of life's greatest joys:
  • seeing your kids parent well
  • spoiling their kids
If you are in the throes of rearing your own little ones or teenagers, I implore you.  Don't kill them! They may one day transform you into grandparents. Then it's worth it all.  If you get frustrated, instead of murder, try Will Roger's suggestion: Bury 'em at 13, dig 'em up at 21.  

Friday, June 20, 2014


Shame on you for coming here after reading my title.  It's NOT about what you thought but is, nonetheless, accurate.  It's a short story, a joke actually, about  both computers and sex.

As an adolescent I lived in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for two years.  My father, a Naval officer, was stationed there and we soaked up the beauty of the Caribbean.

At the base school we took conversational Spanish.  Today's teaching methods may differ. One Spanish teacher recently explained that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated either masculine or feminine.

"House for instance, is feminine: la casa.  Pencil, however, is masculine: el lapiz."

A student asked, "What gender is computer?"  

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher divided the class into two groups, male and female. She asked them to decide for themselves whether the word computer should be a masculine or a feminine noun.  "Give four reasons for your recommendation," the teacher instructed.

The men's group decided that computer should definitely be of the feminine gender, la computadora, because:

    1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.

    2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.

    3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for later retrieval.

    4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck to buy accessories for it.  

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine, el computador, because: 

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.

2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves.

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem.

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won.

Probably my female readers are smiling about now, while the men are groaning, "It's not fair." LIFE's not fair, guys!  Get over it!  It's MY blog.  I'm FEMALE!

Friday, June 13, 2014


There are two kinds of people in my life.  Those who infuse and those who drain.  Positive folks are fun to be with, filled with joy, peace, laughter, even when trouble comes their way.  Negative Nellies whine, complain and walk around with the mulligrubs no matter the situation.  Zig Ziglar has a suggestion about that.

True.  Sometimes it's hard to avoid them because they're family or friend.  So the best one can do is take them in small doses!  I find trying to lift them up doesn't work.  They enjoy misery.  I try being jovial myself.  It seems to make them even more sullen.  Not only do THEY avoid joy, they want to destroy yours!  My answer to that:

Real joy from the Lord takes time with Him. Spending less time with the joy stealers protects that.  If you're even wondering if you might be one of the gloomy ones, you probably are.  Try adding some sweetness to your sour disposition when life squeezes you.

This short but hilarious clip from Hee Haw has a blooper at the end.  These guys are actually the optimists posing as pessimists. One mispronounced word reveals their joy.  They infuse me!  

Now don't you feel resuckatated too?  

The cure for you gripers is just. . .

Until you do, don't call me.  I'll call you and don't sit by the phone.  Quit draining yourself and others around you.  In this life we WILL have troubles but how you handle them is your choice. Choose joy. God transforms us but we must have the spiritual discipline to renew our minds in His Word. . .daily. Try God's suggestion because it's true: as a man thinks in his heart, so IS HE! The battle is in the mind.  The choice is yours.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Doug owns a huge collection of Coke products. We once visited the Coke Museum in Atlanta and it probably felt familiar and homey to our kids.  He spent days putting the pieces of this puzzle together. As he came to the last dozen or so pieces, we gathered around to help and see the finale.  We took turns filling in the few gaps left.  

When it came down to three, he looked at us to see who had the missing pieces.  I shrugged. Kimberly and her friend turned their palms up. Doug looked under the table.   Nothing. Panic flashed across his face.  Then one by one we each handed him a piece we'd hidden, unaware of the other's mischief.  All the pieces fit! 

We sing  a song at church and one phrase is

All the pieces of my life, from the beginning to the end, held in Your hand. . .

Life can feel fragmented.  The big picture is not clear.  Gaps, voids, missing pieces can cause unrest.  Trusting God to supply all we need is a process of learning.  It's not something instant nor natural.  Even Paul said, "I have learned in whatever state. . .to be content."

God is sovereign.  God is also in the details.  My part is to listen, learn and lean.  One of the joys of my life is planning the worship service at church.  My details may include music choices. The pastor works on his sermon, choosing scripture.  Soloists choose songs.  We seldom discuss our various aspects.

But over and over during worship we see how God put the pieces together with one theme, a central message He wanted His people to hear.  Wow!  That's exciting!  

Our individual thoughts recently went something like this.

KATHY: These songs all focus on the name of God.  I have an idea.  I'll use the artwork on canvas to show God's names.  Oh, I saw something on Facebook that would make a good handout.  If folks had the card in their Bible they could pray using God's various names.

PASTOR JIM: I'd planned to preach on another commandment but I keep feeling the need to change my sermon to the command to not use God's name in vain.   I want to stress calling on God for Who He actually is.  I wonder if this sermon is right for now.

Sunday morning when he entered the sanctuary, he knew it was the right message.  He spotted the canvas on the easel and asked me, "When did you decide to use this, Kathy?"

"Sometime after Wed. choir practice.  We were talking about the names of God in our special.  Sheree sent me the source for the cards on my Facebook page.  Why?"

I already knew.  God did it!  He put the pieces in place to give us all His clear message.

Last week it happened again.  
Sermon:  Choose you this day. . .make the decision
Amy's new solo:  I Choose Jesus
Hymn: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

Today even as I write this, I prayed for and with three people in the hospital, 2 friends facing surgery tomorrow.  And our grandson, James, is being admitted with double pneumonia. The song has another line:

Sovereign in my greatest joy, sovereign in my deepest cry, with me in the dark, with me at the dawn. . .God, whatever comes my way I will trust You. 

Being part of a team, a church or a family who hears God speak is exciting.  We each may hold only a piece of His plan but He fits it all together for His glory and our good.  

The same letters are used to spell both