Sunday, May 19, 2013 far

First post of 2013 and it's May. I'm not a very good blogger, wouldn't you say?

Well, I'll capsule the year to date. January marked the 62th birthday of my hubby and the 6th anniversary of my Momma not being here any longer. My mother-in-law also had her surgery to remove her cancer.

February was the birth of my 4th grandchild with a trip to Oklahoma to see his arrival. Saige also had another February 29th "unbirthday" this year.

March was an early Easter with a meal at my house for Saige and her family and Daniel and his girl Lizzie. Lots of fun photos and a visit from some of the gang to go see Ma and Mar-Mar.

April saw Daniel in Rochester NY (after leaving Memphis). He came back for Daniel Williams wedding and a camping trip with Jordan James and his groomsmen. Marilyn also had her 60th birthday. A small affair, but a memorable time!

May - a Mother's Day with none of my children and I was sick. Daniel had come home (once again) the week before and had a left a Mother's Day gift (4 Agatha Christie books) and a precious card! I'm sick again this weekend. Today is my oldest grandchild's 9th birthday. Won't be spending it with her, but we'll celebrate when Leah comes in June.

This Friday, May 24 is the last day of the 2012-13 school year. May 31 will also be David's last day at work (his company did not renew the contract at the base). So both my son-in-law and my husband are unemployed and looking for positions. I know that God is faithful and that I must trust! Can't wait to see what He is going to do.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Soul Searching at 3 am

Have you ever questioned you? I mean the essence of you, yourself? For example, why am I an emotional, overly excitable person while Sally Sue or Joe Blow is a calm, collected, in control, in charge type person. Oh, I can be that person at times, but the essence of me, the real me tends to get nervous if something goes wrong. The me that responds to misunderstandings about my intentions or my performance is easily excitable, defensive, emotional.

With that understanding of how I respond comes some self-loathing. Self-loathing in the sense that I wish I could act like someone else. Self-loathing in the fact that I wish people would not perceive me as anxious or overwrought and often accompanied with a "Calm down, Mrs. Dean."

Many times my anxiousness comes from truly caring. Like the time a child from our kindergarten class accidentally left the school grounds at dismissal without waiting for his mom (she was late). He simply followed a group of children out the gate and ended up blocks away. Alone. With no idea of where he lived. Back at school, I was falling apart. I felt the weight of the responsibility for his whereabouts. Although it was not my fault, he had been at the place he was supposed to be, he just decided to find mom or find his way home when she didn't show.

God miraculously intervened (I'll save that for another post), but the image of my tear stained face, my worry and fear is what people saw. And that is how I feel I am remembered. Not as a woman of faith because frankly I wasn't at the moment, although God heard mine and others prayers. The little fellow was found in a most wonderful way, but why couldn't I have been the calm, collected one who knew it would all turn out OK?

I've had lots of opportunities at school to reinforce that opinion of me as one who falls apart or flies to her own defense before thinking things through. Yesterday was one of those "opportunities." And after a long day, I finally had my ultimate meltdown with a crying spell in my car on the phone with my understanding hubby after having spent well over an hour grocery shopping only to have to reload the buggy because my wallet was missing. I panicked more at the prospect of not knowing where my wallet was than the fact that I had to put my items back in the buggy and leave without them. (The checkout girl was so helpful!)

Herb found my wallet at home and brought it to me so I could at least buy groceries for supper.
But I went into the grocery store with a tear stained face, black with mascara smudges. I wish I were not that person. I want to be a godly woman who trusts God to be in control and to fill me with self-control.

I am not really sure how to end this post. I am aware that few people read it (I'm so sporadic at writing it), but those who do may feel great pity for this "emotional wreck." I realize too a lot of this is pride about how others perceive me and in that I guess I need to "get over it." But I basically have a need to come to grips with who I am, whose I am and with whom God has made me to be. To let Him take all of my out-of-control emotions and handle them while being convinced that He made me that way, someone who has a tender heart. Someone who can cry easily over a lost child or a hurricane victim or a sappy movie. And not be ashamed in the me He has created.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

School Days, School Days, Good Old Fashioned School Days...

Well, summer break is over and school has 3 days under her belt. The first week has been good. I really do love getting back to school even if I do wish summer break could continue (unfinished projects, sleeping later, not having to be on schedule, etc.). I think the anticipation of the new school season is a holdover from my childhood days.

I lived right across the street from my grammar school so my sister and I were frequent visitors to the playground there and the Book Mobile that came in the summer. As the new school year approached and the week before school started, teachers would post the new class rosters outside their doors. The delight of being able to go up those concrete stairs and enter those empty halls (except for some teachers, a few other students like myself, and a member of the janitor staff) to see firsthand which teacher you would have that year was so exciting.

I still have that  joy of seeing the new class roster except this time I am the eductor and not the recipient. I so hope that my "children" have the same anticipation of the new year like I did. Times have changed so much. Children are not as well disciplined as my age group was. They have so many more distractions to keep them less focused. The social issues that they face in their little lives is so much more daunting than any I ever had to face at that age. But I hope that in some way I can provide a little haven in the long process of education and life that looms before them.

I think this is a good time to express thanks to those wonderful ladies of Pearl Stephens School (Macon GA) who served me for the seven years I was in grammar school. (It's called elementary school now. Saying "grammar school" REALLY dates you!) Mrs. Wimberly (1st grade), Miss Wesley (2nd), Mrs. Ricks (3rd), Mrs. Goss (4th), Mrs. Lewis (first few weeks of 5th) and Mrs. Meeks(5th), Mrs. White and Mrs. Wimberly (6th - we switched classes), and Mrs. Lewis, Miss Williams, and Mrs. Deaton (7th - teachers taught their expertise). I know most of you are no longer alive, but thank you for all you taught me. I am a better person for being under your devoted instruction.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


vis-a-vis: (n.) 1. one that is face to face with another 2a. escort, b. counterpart 3. tete-a-tete (forgive the lack of accent marks); (prep.) 1. face to face with 2. in relation to 3. as compared with; (adv.) in company, together While looking for another word in the dictonary, I found the definition for vis-a-vis. (I actually was more interested in the pronunciation than the definition at first - always wondering if I called those markers by the right name.)

But then when I read the definitions, I thought of Jesus. By taking those blood red marks on His body, hands and feet, He made the way for us to become Vis-a-Vis with the Father.
The little boy who was the subject of the book Heaven Is for Real told his dad that Jesus had "markers" on Him. At first his parents didn't understand, but later they realized that this was his childlike way of identifying the wounds on Jesus' hands.         

Moses spoke to God "vis-a-vis." Exodus 33:11 says, "Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." But so can we! By knowing His Son Jesus as Saviour and Lord, we can go boldly into the throne room of God and talk face to face with Him at any time. (Hebrews 4:16)
Jesus has made a way for us to talk to Jehovah God face-to-face as with a friend. WOW!

Here is another interesting take on face-to-face. Intimacy. If I am not mistaken, humans are the only creatures on earth who are intimate "face-to-face." That's why it is degrading to think of intimacy as only a sex act. It is a time of knowing your spouse and becoming more committed to one another. No one else should know you so intimately as your spouse. Intimacy is the time you face one another on the deepest level of all: you become one flesh.

So next time you write with a vis-a-vis marker remember our Vis-A-Vis Jesus,whom we can intimately call friend. And if you and your spouse are feeling somewhat distant, it's time for a little vis-a-vis therapy to narrow the gap.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

God's protection story #5

My husband Herb ran from the call of God on his life for the first eight or so years of our marriage. In college, his heart's desire had been to be a professional baseball player having had a pretty successful record as a pitcher at Mercer. However, those hopes were dashed his senior year and yet he did not feel inclined to pursue the ministy. He had already decided as a sophomore in college that he could not visit hospitals or nursing homes, do funerals or speak in front of crowds. So he "ran" and had been running a few years before our life together began.

We married when I was a senior in college and since he was a year ahead of me, he had already started a job by the time we tied the knot. In fact we both went to work (my job was part-time) at a children's home in Macon. We had been there only a year when we moved to Milledgeville for Herb to begin his coaching/teaching career. Unfulfilled in that pursuit, we moved back to Macon after two years for him to begin work as an insurance salesman.

It was during these few years in Macon that God protected my husband from two near life and death experiences. Just a side note: the "Doberman pincher story" where God protected Herb took place after this time. Herb was with yet another insurance company and we were back in Milledegeville. In fact, we were move to Milledgeville for a third time, but that is another story altogether and by that time my dear husband had surrendered to the call of God on his life.

Herb was being trained by an older, experienced agent when they were held up one night at gunpoint. The thieves had hidden in the bushes till Herb and the other agent had come out of the house. When Herb and his boss had gotten to the car, the robbers pushed guns into their backs and demanded the money. Of course, they gave the money to these guys. And their lives were spared. But a few weeks later, Herb was in an even more serious situation.

While making a call to a house in a depressed neighborhood, Herb was approached by a guy who made him get in the front seat while he climbed into the back seat of Herb's car. He demanded Herb's wallet, called him Mr. Dean and told Herb to NOT look back at him in the rearview mirror. After emptying the contents of the wallet, this brazen young man exited the car reminding my husband to keep looking forward and not to look at him. All this took place in broad daylight.

Even though Herb did not come to a full surrender of his life at this point, I know God used it to show him the fraility of life. It would be a few years before he finally realized that God knew best and Herb decided to go with God's plan for his life and not his own. But when he did, it was a complete change!

My husband is one of my favorite preachers. I am so grateful to God for sparing his life and allowing my husband to find his calling in life. I am also thankful that God spared his life so that I did not have to raise my oldest as a single mom. God also blessed Herb and me with two more wonderful children after these two incidents. Thank You for Your protection, Lord!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

God's protection story #4

My daughter Leah had experienced two miscarriages by the end of summer 2011. In October she thought she had her monthly and was returning to normal after the last miscarriage. But by Thanksgiving she had been bleeding every few weeks. By December she knew something was wrong. The doctor discovered it was an ectopic pregnancy and prescribed medicine that would help her body return to normal.

The weekend before Christmas she and her husband planned to travel to Georgia from Oklahoma, but the medicine still had not worked even after two separate doses that week. The doctor had told her he thought it would be safe for her to travel (she was pretty determined to be home for Christmas). On the Friday they were to leave, she had a sharp pain in her abdomen. Her husband took her to the ER and she had emergency surgery.

Prior sonograms had shown little - only that there was no baby in utero. However, the surgery revealed that there was a lot of scarring in her Fallopian tube and that her pregnancy had been a tubal one. My precious girl lost her right Fallopian tube and her chance of having a baby for the third time that year. But God's protection was still so evident through this situaton. How so?

Well, first she and her hubby could have been on the road when her Fallopian tube burst. I can't imagine trying to find a hospital when one's wife is bleeding and in pain. God kept them safe through this. Secondly, Leah had not eaten or drunk anything that morning. This just doesn't happen. She was in the middle of cooking breakfast and hadn't eaten a morsel. She's also a huge coffee drinker, but hadn't even had any water that morning. She was ready for the surgery as if she had prepared for it.

Lastly, they had just acquired health insurance a few weeks prior to this. When Ken left his job the last day of October to go to work time full time with his own company, they knew they would have to find insurance. However, they were not aware that he was not in a grace period with his old insurance. They looked for affordable insurance, but the one they initially wanted had denied coverage to Leah. I suggested that they go with the company that my employer has. Praise the Lord, they were accepted. It was truly just in time.

By Sunday after her surgery on Friday, Leah was able to travel. She and Ken arrived Monday evening. Their visit was only cut short by a few days so we were able to still have a week long visit with them. I was so grateful to have my girl home and healthy! What a joy it was to have them here!

Friday, January 20, 2012

God protection story # 3

This story is not in my own words, but it's from my husband's little booklet Golden Nuggets from the Streams of Life, Chapter 7:"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dog?". Rejoicing in another example of God's protection!
My fellow insurance agent had just sent me a notic of transfer. When he described the location, I thought I knew where he was talking about. It was my responsibility to find the people and talk to them before I accepted the transfer.
I left the office to find them and soon discovered that I had not listened very well. I went to the area I thought he was talking about, but it did not look like what he had described. I drove around a little while and decided I would ask someone if they knew the people I was hunting.
He had described a very long drive, but I thought he said it was dirt. There was a very long drive, but it was paved. It wound back around in some trees so that I could not see the house from the road. I thought to myself, "If this isn't it maybe they'll know them so I'll try it anyway."
The long drive ended in a fairly large parking area next to a very large house. I knew this wasn't the place, but I was determined to meet the people at this house. My last thought as I was getting out of the car was, "I hope I don't get eaten up." The thought that there was a real possibility of a guard dog at a house like this proved to be accurate.
I was probably 120 feet from the front door. The front porch and door were recessed. I walked toward the door down a long sidewalk. About 15 feet from the front door, I could see around the corner of the recess. As I stepped a step or two closer, there sat the biggest Doberman pinscher I had ever seen.
The moment he saw me, he came down off the porch toward me growling, barking, and gnarling his teeth. I knew enough about animals to know that I could not run. I would have to face him off and slowly work my way back to the car.
Being a Spirit-filled Christian, I would like to say I was full of faith, but the facts are, I was terrified. I knew I could use Jesus' name, so I said shaking, "In-n-n Je-Je-sus' name get back on the porch." I said it twice - scared to death! It seemed only to make him madder.
Then I remembered how the associate pastor of the church I had come from had been on an evangelistic visit when he was approached by a bad dog. He began to sing a praise song to the Lord. The dog quieted down and left him alone. I decided to try that, but evidently the dog didn't like my singing. It didn't worked either.
Fear gripped me and my mind was besieged by gruesome thoughts. I could see an ambulance pulling up in tat driveway with paramedics putting me on a gurney, a piece at a time. All I could do was to face him and take tiny side steps. Each time I moved, he gnarled and moved closer to me. After a few minutes of getting practically nowhere, I began to feel like it was futile. It looked like I would be standing there until someone came home and rescued me or the dog got me - one or the other.
But then deep from within, there were other thoughts that began to come. I began to see that dog as an enemy and that God had promised deliverance from our enemies. I thought of Psalm 91 and others. As I began to think about and meditate on His word, I could feel faith rising within me. As the faith rose from my spirit man, I could feel the fear literally leave my body. I looked at that dog, pointed my finger at its face (maybe not a good idea), and said, "In the name of Jesus, you shut up and get back on that porch!"
The dog stopped barking immediately, backed up about 10 fet, and sat down. It felt so good, I did it again. This time he backed up to the middle of the front yard and sat down again. Evidently he didn't know what a porch was, but he never barked again. I casually strolled to my car and got in.
Safely in the car, I inquired of the Lord, "Why didn't it work the first time that I used Your name?" The Lord spoke and said, "The first time you used my name in fear. My name is not a magic formula. Many people say 'in Jesus' name this' and 'in Jesus' name that,' but they take my name lightly. The authority comes when you exercise my name in faith. To use my name without faith is to take my name in vain."
I have shared this story many times. It was an experience that taught me much about God's word bringing faith and His word delivering us from fear. The Psalmist said, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee." If there are fears in your life about certain situations, begin to meditate and confess God's word. Faith will rise within you and fear will leave. His name is a stong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe. ~ Herb Dean