Wednesday, June 1, 2016


I am dying.  It is a statement many people find hard to hear, hard to say, hard to believe....just hard.  And yet, each of us will, indeed, die one day.  For me, it is the ultimate healing...a time when I will be healed of all disease, all infirmity, all weakness and from the influences of this fallen world.  I have had temporary healing here.  I was divinely healed of cancer 3 years ago.  Was it wonderful?  Yes, without a doubt.  I have had joys and sorrows I would never have known had the Lord took me home then.  But, my body is but flesh and succumbs daily to the ravages of this world and my own mistreatment. 

Like almost all people, I want to live as long as I possibly can.  I love my family and I have dreams yet to be attained.  Yet, I do not wish to remain here once I am no longer able to care for myself.  I do not want to remain here if my mind is compromised to a great degree.  I have seen it too many times and know what it does to people and to those they love.  I have no desire to do that to the people I love and whom I believe love me.  I have tried never to be a burden, but I know I have often failed in that attempt.  Yet, it is one my greatest desires.

I know all too well that we do not get our wishes with regards to many things, this being one.  I cannot imagine anyone who wanted to suffer or cause suffering for those they love.  And yet, that is exactly what happens when we live too long to be useful.  My sisters and I were extraordinarily blessed to have our parents leave for heaven before they became useless and before they lost their minds completely. 

Although Momma suffered with Alzheimer's, she went home before she succumbed to the complete ravaging of her mind.  She was docile and agreeable and never a burden to us.  Daddy had an in tact mind right up until the end.  His body was compromised by the ravages of C.O.P.D. but otherwise, he was very healthy.  Although they died much younger than many, they were never a burden to us, which was their greatest desires.

So, I am dying.  I have End Stage NASH Cirrhosis and the disease is progressing.  A minister I have known since our earliest childhood once preached a sermon as a young minister which I will never forget.  He made the statement that people will tell you we are in the land of the living.  However, he went on to say, that in untrue.  We are living in the land of the dying.  If we are Christians, we are leaving this land of the dying for the land of the living.  So, I await my call to go that land when the Lord is ready for me.

Does that sometimes make me sad?  Yes, without a doubt.  It is in those times I pray for the Lord to remind me that something so much better than I have known here awaits me there.  I have prepared to sign documents that inform all medical personnel of the wish not to have live-extending measures administered should my liver or other vital organs fail me.  I do not want to temporarily preserve what is only a vessel for transporting me until my eternal call for that land of the living and which will only fail again after I'm even sicker.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
This inheritance is kept in heaven for you..."
I Peter 1: 3-4

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Epiphany in the Ladies Room

The Epiphany

I typically spend at least an hour in the ladies room after each shower.  Shave my legs, dry my hair, lotion from head to toe, brush my teeth and then the really arduous task.....doing my hair.  My arms ache, I get short of breath and I'm rarely really pleased with the results.  It's either too curly (hot rollers) or unruly and frizzy (natural) or it looks burned and I am burned all over my head, around my face and my hands (more specifically fingers---curling iron).

My niece, for years, had said "Aunt Di, get a straightening iron".  Well, I didn't really understand how they worked and was scared of them.  So, I procrastinated.  I came up with every excuse under the sun.  Then, the inevitable trusty curling iron fried!

I was so troubled, what in the name of goodness was I going to do?  Those hot rollers just made my hair balloon all over my head!  Natural left me with frizzies that were uncontrollable.  Blow drying straight was just too straight.

So, I started to look at irons.  They can get extremely expensive, $100 or more.  Frankly, I just cannot afford that and wouldn't give it even if I could.  I was afraid of the cheap ones.  So, I settled on one of the moderate priced ones and decided to take the plunge.

It lay on my bathroom vanity for a few days just waiting to be opened.  Finally, I decided it was time to take the plunge.  I opened the package, read the directions for use and decided I would give it a try.  My hair was a couple days past my last shampoo so would have some natural oils built up for defense.  So, I took the leap.

What in the name of all that is reasonable was I waiting for?!  Now, the picture above was taken as I was driving to town on that afternoon.  Clean hair would have yielded better results, and it was my first try, but 10 minutes in front of the mirror yielded that hair!  I am converted!  I am a believer!  Katie, you were right!  It was exceedingly simple, not one burn and 10 MINUTES, 10 MINUTES to do my hair!  I could be a few years younger if I hadn't wasted all that time in front of the bathroom mirror doing my hair!

Aren't we sad beings?  God gives us good minds and offers His help with our daily struggles, yet we often leave Him out of our daily decision-making processes.  When will we learn to do it the easy way, God's way?  Why are we so stubborn?  God must get so disgusted with us and our pride!

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
 ~~~Proverbs 16:18  NIV


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
~~~Isaiah 55:8  NIV 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
~~~Proverbs 3: 5-6  NIV

The hair thing was a sort of silly excursion on my part, but my point is most serious.  We are so helpless with the Lord, yet with Him we have access to the wisdom of the ages and the solutions to every problem.  His ways are not always understood, but they are always in our best interests.  If only we could remember that one very simple principle............

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Yearning..........A Different Perspective

Yearning……….an expectant looking for, longing……I guess we’re all familiar with that.  Oftentimes, I find myself yearning for different things.  I long to see family members than I haven’t seen for a while, either because they’ve gone home to be with the Lord or because they live far away.

I am pretty much a content person when it comes to ‘things’.  I’m not the type to want things, never have been.  It has always been more about people I love that I can’t see often enough. 

Lately I have had this deep yearning within.  Yearning for a place I have not seen before, for a home I know little about, for a land not yet clear in my mind.  I haven’t yearned in this way for this place.  Yearning for this home has always come when things were so very bad. 

Now, I yearn for that home and I’m so very content to be just where I am.  Yet, this unsettled yearning lurks within me.  Loneliness for that home, that land that my mind cannot imagine.   I am happy with my life.  I love this man God has given me with my whole heart.  He is a gift at a time in life that I certainly did not expect.  How I could want or need anything else is a mystery to me!

Yet, this longing in my soul remains constant; perhaps even growing at times.  “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”  Psalms 63: 1-4 (NIV)

I grope as in the darkness for something I can’t quite hold on to.  I stumble through the days feeling empty yet so full of praise my lips cannot contain it.  How does this happen?  I have felt the longings for heaven many times in the past….times when my heart was broken or my life seemed to be spinning out of control. Yet, here I am with the deep and hungry yearning for heaven when everything in my life is so good and so full.

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”  Hebrews 11: 8-10 (NIV)

So Abraham understood what I feel right now.  He had that same longing in his soul, a longing he most likely would have never recognized as God had God not set upon him and told him His plan.  That’s exactly what this feels like…..God has set upon me and told me His plan.  My life is so full and my heart is even more open to the Lord than ever.

I feel as though I have finally reached spiritual adulthood!  Oh my, it has taken me surely long enough to get here!!!  The Lord must be dancing all over heaven to see that I have finally learned something about Him and about serving Him!

I don’t have children but I have watched those who do and I’ve seen the joy written on their faces when they feel their child has finally “gotten it”.  It’s as though all those years of teaching and guiding has finally yielded a harvest and they can now sit back and see the beauty of that harvest working in their child.

That must be how Jesus feels about me today.  Years invested in gentle nudges, loving embraces and, at times, the rod of correction for ways in which I’ve walked far from Him.  Now, at last, I feel as though He looks down on me and smiles.  I am his daughter, the progeny of so much sacrifice on His part.  What a joy it must be for Him to finally behold what He planted blooming in my spirit!

Peace and contentment are prizes of untold value and to be cherished as a reward of walking with the Lord.  “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”  James 3:18 (NIV)   I am so very thankful I have learned to walk in peace and to allow contentment to rule in my heart and mind.  I’m not perfect just forgiven; but this feels pretty close to being exactly where I have hoped to be for my entire Christian journey!


Monday, January 26, 2015

All Things New....New Understanding

Six years ago today, my first husband went to meet the Lord.  He had suffered and death was a welcome relief, both for him and for me.  The grieving was so painful and lasted much longer than I anticipated.

There finally came a time when the Lord prompted me to let all that go and move forward.  After a battle of my own making, I did as the Lord asked of me.  The reward for that was my second marriage.
I am now married to a wonderful man who loves me deeply and takes such good care of me.  He is there for me no matter what I or we are going through.  He cherishes me and our marriage.  He is such a precious gift from God for my obedience.

I recently remembered a conversation with my first husband as he approached his last days.  For whatever reason, I had not previously been able to remember this conversation.  God gives what we need when we need and when we are ready to receive it.

I remember him saying to me one evening "Di, don't be alone.  Find someone to love you and take care of you.  Someone to be there with you and for you as you grow older".  At the time, I couldn't imagine doing that, but here I am and so very happy.

I spend a lot of time lately wishing for my youth and complaining about my aches and pains and all the things I no longer can do or which take so much more effort and time to do.  The Lord recently spoke to me and told me to find the blessings in being this age, because they are multitude.

Frankly, I didn't see it.  However, as I began to think about my life and my age, I saw more and more what the Lord was saying to me and found it to be true.  It is true, I don't have that young body and I can't hold out to do the things I once could.  Things that once took little to no effort now take tremendous effort and much more time.

I had a very active and full life with many dreams yet to be realized.  I had plans for my future and accomplishments yet to make.  Life was, for the most part, fun and exciting and full of adventure.
As I took a long and thoughtful look at my current life, I found that, yes, I haven't got the energy of my youth.  I don't have the dreams and accomplishments to realize.  My life is much slower but still very full.  Adventure now is getting out of bed without falling into the wall!

However, I have things now I could not have dreamed of then.  I am more content just to be who I am, flaws and all.  I have accepted myself for who God made me to be.  I no longer find it important to impress anyone.  My days are slower but still full of the people I love and who love me.

I don't have the energy of my youth but I have enough to get things done that I need to get done and sometimes, a little extra.  It isn't done as quickly as I'd like but it gets done.

My health is definitely not as good as when I was younger, but God has worked actual miracles in my life and has extended my years beyond what I had thought they would be.  Instead of caring for children and then grandchildren, I have been a caregiver for a dying Momma and Daddy, a dying grandmother, two aged mothers-in-love, a dying first husband and have cared for my current husband  through the recovery from a major heart attack.  So, I have definitely been a caregiver.  THAT was my greatest care for others.  I had hoped and prayed it would be children but God had different plans.

So, God forgive me of complaining and whining.  You have given me so much more than I have ever asked for and blessed me in ways I never dreamed of.  Thank you for showing me these years of my life can be just as productive as the younger years and just as fulfilling...perhaps even more so.

"Then the one sitting on the throne said:
I am making everything new.
Write down what I have said.
My words are true and can be trusted."

Revelation 21:5 (CEV)

(Please forgive the absence of pictures and the misplacement of paragraphs.  Blogger isn't cooperating and I have decided to post without them.  I won't be defeated by Blogger!)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Patriotism, Pride and Personal Involvement

A favored hobby is genealogy.  I find great pleasure in researching my families genealogy and in learning about my ancestry.  History has always intrigued me, especially my own history.

SPC Caleb M. Watkins, we are so proud of you and so thankful you are again safe at home with us!

On Saturday, February 1, my family welcomed home our own personal member of American military history.  Actually, he is just the latest in a long line of our families' men and women who are American patriots and who have served in the American military. 

From the days of the Revolution, my ancestors have fought for the liberty we enjoy as Americans.  Even before those days, they fought in the old countries alongside their family and neighbors for what they believed to be the right way.  From the Highlands of Scotland to the Irish fields and the English moors, my ancestors maintained the battle for freedom.  They boarded the great ships bound for the New Country to find liberty and were thankful and happy to fight alongside their neighbors once here to guarantee their families could live in that liberty.

In the battles of the War Between the States, my ancestors fought on both sides of the conflict, each believing they were right in their fight.  From the fields of France in World War I to the French and Belgian forests in World War II; from the Korean and Vietnamese peninsulas and into the ancient lands of Mesopotamia in the 20th and 21st centuries...our family has continued the battle for liberty and to defend freedom.

Cpl. Van P. McDonald in Germany.
My own Daddy was an American Army Marksman destined for Korea when Divine Intervention halted that march as the treaty was signed on the day he was set to sail for Korea. Instead, he spent 18 months in Germany perfecting his skills and attaining a military reputation as an expert marksman who was offered his own squad in exchange for re-enlistment.  He declined the offer and came home to do what he

So, when my youngest nephew, Caleb, joined the Tennessee Army National Guard, he carried on a proud tradition of service to his country and a commitment to the battle to defend America and liberty around the world.  When he completed his AIT at Fort Leonard Wood, MO with excellent marksmanship awards and the Top Gun certificate for his class of recruits, he carried on the tradition started by his Papaw Mac over a half century earlier.

Our Caleb with his niece, Allyson, as he prepares to leave Hardeman County for Fort Bliss, TX and then Afghanistan.
Last May, he left the National Guard Armory in Hardeman County, TN with the 251st MP Company to prepare for deployment to Afghanistan at Fort Bliss, TX.  They left Fort Bliss in early July, 2013 and returned home on February 1, 2014.  After 6 months in Afghanistan and 8 months away from home, the men and women of the 251st were again home with their families.  For the first time since May 28, 2013, the feet of brave Tennessee Volunteers touched the soil of Tennessee again on February 1, 2014.  They marched into the arms of waiting family and friends who were proud and honored to have them serve but more than anything, thankful to have them again safely at home.

We were no different than the other families, we are proud of our young man and so very thankful he is safe at home again.  His journey has been a trying one, with many unexpected ups and downs along the way, but he is a better man for his experience and we are better for having prayed him through it.  When he walked through that door and we saw his face and heard his voice there live in the room with us for the first time in so long, it gave us joy that is indescribable.  When his Momma ran to him and they embraced for that first time in months, tears flowed throughout the room.  Our son was home again and our family tradition of defending freedom has once again brought honor and pride to us.

My sister, Charlotte, with her son SPC Caleb M. Watkins after he surprised her with his homecoming!
Welcome home, Caleb; you stand in shoes many have filled and have walked footsteps many have walked before you and many will walk behind you.  As I once heard Mr. G. C. Bartlett say of his experiences as a P.O.W. in the German camps during World War II, "All that I suffered I would gladly do again.  I love my God and I love my country.  Liberty is worth the sacrifice".  Yes, liberty has been worth the sacrifice.  Thank you, Caleb, and every man or woman who has ever made that sacrifice; we are in your debt.

 Greater love hath no man than this, 
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 John 15:13  (KJV)