Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Everyone Should Have a Grannie Smith in Their Life


Thank goodness we do not write off people with handicaps as easily as we used to. We have made a place in society for them, realizing that they are human beings with rights and they offer much to society. There are guidelines for handicap access, in a myriad of buildings, walkways and parking places. Still, I wonder if we, in our heart of hearts, still see them a "less than".

Years ago, I had a baptism of experience in a small way of what they encounter, day after day.

I had back problems that not only affected my back, but my walking as well. I had to use a cane. Getting in and out of the car was painful.  And because of the pain, I walked slowly.

From that experience, I can tell you this. People have places to go and things to do. I often felt that I was in their way. It wasn't just a perception that I had. I actually heard remarks, as well as sighs and grunts.

When people could pass me easily, all was well. But there were times, I just plain ole' held them up. People in back of me, were sometimes not happy with having their forward motion slowed up in any way.

Being “forced” into this experience, opened my eyes though. I came away with more empathy.

This made me think of another handicapped person, who I knew when my children were in their tweens.

She lived down the street from us. Her name was Grannie Smith. She was an elderly woman. She was practically blind.

Some could say she had 2 strikes against her...she was old...she was blind.

What purpose could such a person have?

Well, you'd have to know her to know.

I found out that she prayed daily for the people in her neighborhood.

She was one of the most joyous persons that I ever met. When I was introduced to her, it was as if fireworks went on inside of her. Her countenance lit up and she seemed pleased that she had the honor of meeting me.

I became the face of a person that she had been praying for, since we moved into the neighborhood.

She asked questions about me and my family. She didn't do this to be polite; rather she was interested she had me write down the date of our wedding anniversary. She also wanted to know the birthdates of our children.

However, most of all, she wanted to know if I knew Jesus, as my Savior. She giggled and clapped her hands, when I said yes. She wanted everyone to know just how wonderful He was.  A person never felt that they were being "preached at, rather she was telling you about her Best Friend.

Years after meeting her, I was in the shower and the Lord spoke to me, saying “Do you realize that part of the reason that you have a relationship with me, is because of the prayers of Grannie Smith?” Knowing she must have needed encouragement that her prayers were fruitful, He asked me to go over and thank her. Of course, one of the greatest feelings is that when you have prayed, God heard and there was an answer to that prayer.

So I went over and told her just that. Again, she giggled and she hugged me and twirled me around, as much as she was able. It was such a delight to behold.

In May, soon after meeting her, our phone rang, at a very early hour. It was Grannie Smith, on the line, asking for our son. When he took the phone, she sang Happy Birthday to him.

He hung up, kind of rolling his eyes, as he was clueless as to who this singer was. However, in a small way, he seemed to like it.

In June, my husband and I got an Anniversary Card from her, signed with shaky, scrawling signature. She always wrote her Life Verse on her envelopes. She sent them years without fail.

In December, our daughter got her early morning call.

This tradition went on for years.

Towards the end of her life, when she was placed in a Nursing Home, she was unable to make her calls. Our children, who originally thought the calls were silly, missed them.

She didn't have an earthly title. She wasn't educated or famous. She was not named in a Who's Who list, but in reality she was all of those.

Her real title was a daughter of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. She was an excellent student of the Word of God. She listened to them on tape. I am sure that she was talked about by the angels and many saints, living and dead. Her name was written in Lambs Book of Life, which is greater than any human recognition book.

That’s why I pray for each of you to have a Grannie Smith in your life.

I ask God, that you would have someone, who would delight in you and give of themselves fully to you.  One that made you feel happy. One that has their own weaknesses, physical or otherwise, but would offer all that they had to you. One who accepts you just as you are. One who listens intently about your life and remembers details that you have told them. And especially one who has a friend, who they know will change your life, from the inside out.

Like her, God looks in each of OUR hands and says, “What do YOU have to give?”

You can’t convince Him that you have nothing to give.

Grannie Smith proved that to me.

A recent popular quote says, “Some gave all” and Grannie Smith certainly was one of those in my life.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I Thought You Said You Were An Artist

The other day I was in McDonald's. I was making some Greeting Cards,when I noticed an older man sitting behind me. He was alone and was kind of humming to himself. I often talk to older people, but I was busy, so I just kept to myself. But, the thought that I should acknowledge him, nagged me.

So I turned around and said " Hello, how are you?"

He said or I should say yelled, "WELL, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM AN 88 YEAR MAN? I HAVE A BAD HEART AND HAVE HAD 2 PACEMAKERS!"

I laughed inside a bit, as my husband had met an elderly man, a few weeks ago. They started talking about the weather. My husband said " What do we have to complain about?" The older gentleman rubbed the front of his shirt and said, " I have a feeding tube!"

They just tell it like it is!

The man I met asked me if I worked there. I said " No" and he said " Oh, you look like the boss"

He said, " Are you a teacher?"

"No", I answered.

"Well what are you doing?"

I said that I was making greeting cards.

" Well, what for?"

 I said I was going to send them to people.

He said, "Why?"

I explained about how nice it is to get a greeting card in the mail, in these days of technology.

"Oh...you mean you are going to put a STAMP ON EACH ONE?"

When I said yes, he understood the mailing part, but the technology part, not so much.

He then said, " Are you an artist or something?"

I said " Yes", remembering how I used to think I didn't have a "right" to call myself that.  That was similar to when I realized I could call myself a writer.

"Well what do you use...oil paints?" he continued.

I said "No, I draw the picture and use watercolor pencils and markers to color them in."

He said, " Oh then you are NOT an artist!"

I was a little taken back and thought, "Should I even go there?", when he quickly said " Hey, who are you voting for Obama or Romney?"

My art quickly jumped off of his radar screen.

This 88 year old man would not let me entertain any self accolades.

As far as he was concerned...I wasn't the boss...I wasn't a teacher and I sure wasn't an artist!

And at 88 years old, he deserves to have his own opinion.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Uh-Oh...What Was It That I Said About A Kindle?

I guess it's a case of "never say never" but I had loudly protested that I would not like to read a book on Kindle...so there!

However, I couldn't resist, that this book that I wanted to read "Passing Through the Fire:Pathway to Freedom" by by Nasrin Z. was available on Amazon for $3+.

So...it was mostly my desire to read this book and partly the price. Or was it partly my desire to read this book and mostly the price?

Well, actually $3 sounded really good to me and when all is said and done the Kindle ain't so bad. And, I was so glad that my friend recommended it. It was a good book. 

The author is a friend of a good friend of mine. They both live in the Atlanta area.

My friend ,Joan told me that Nasrin is an inspiring person and has a powerful testimony of God's grace and care for her. She was born in Iran and became a Christian only a few years before her accident. Nasrin, the author, became a quadriplegic in a car accident. Her book talks about her journey into the unwanted world of paralysis, dependence on others and questionning God.

It seems like I know of quite a few women, who either have published a book recently, along with many who would like to. I too hold that dream in my heart. It has been encouraging to know other "ordinary" women I know,  went for it and made it a reality. It makes the possibility of myself having a book published, much more real.

Back to the Kindle. I do not want to come to an age where printed books and libraries will come to an end. I have heard differing opinions. I hope that the ones who say that will never happen are right.

I would be so sad...Libraries and Books have been an oasis for me during pivotal and difficult times in my life.

What are your thoughts of using a Kindle or similar thing? Would you miss holding a "real" book in your hand, if the Kindle was all you had?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Have You Heard…that God Danced the Day that You Were Born?





As we are anticipating a Birthday Celebration for my 4 year old grandson today, I have to smile at how excited he is.

His actual Birthday was the other day and we celebrated it then with close family members. But today, it will be his friends.

I am not so na├»ve, not to realize that part of his excitement is due to the gifts that he will get, as well as the party venue in which it will be held. That’s how a young minds work. He also is caught up in the flavor and design of his cake. (Half chocolate…his favorite. half white…his sister’s favorite) In addition, he proudly announced to me that” We did the Loot Bags, Granny”. He said it in all seriousness as he seemed to be saying “Mission accomplished!”

It got me to thinking about our own birthdays.

Does the title make you smile; thinking; “yea…God had to have been happy when I was born” or maybe your reaction is more cynical or realistic, as far as you can see. You think it is kind of a stupid idea, really.

Maybe you don’t think that it is a good thing, because others around you, now, or growing up, caused you to feel the celebration of YOU as a person, is really no big deal. Have you internalized that message? Do you say something like “yea, right, like I am a cause of God to celebrate my birth!” Or have you lived a life that you yourself have regretted your own birth, as something other than an occasion to be happy about?

Perhaps, you didn’t always feel that your Birthday was the greatest event. Maybe you felt like your birth was a mistake…you were a mistake.

Years ago, I was on an Inner City Missions trip into Boston. One day, we visited a Salvation Army Shelter. The Commander mentioned how she has seen grown men cry, as they present the man with a Birthday cake. Some of these men have never had a Birthday Cake. It’s kind of hard to imagine, isn’t it?

Could it be that you were not considered to be the right gender? I know a woman who was named a male sounding name because her father wanted a boy. That has to mess with your mind.

There are countries right now, who abort female babies, as males are seen as the “better” sex. Before we judge them, we are coming into and probably have already practiced, here in this country, sex selection pregnancies... You want a boy? Well let’s abort a female fetus then. If it happens again…well let’s abort another female. Do you think that is not happening?  Think again…there are people who will never say “ I don’t care what sex the baby is as long as he/she is healthy” Some people know what they want and will do anything to get it.

I also remember a story about a 17 year old, unwed pregnant girl. During the time of her pregnancy, her Birthday came. Her day came and went. She already felt shame and guilt about disappointing her parents. She thought she didn’t have a right to ask this question, but one day, she got courage and said “Mom, why didn’t you bake me a Birthday Cake?” (Her mom had always done that without fail). Her Mom’s answer was “I didn’t think you really wanted one this year. I didn’t think it mattered”. The trouble with that thinking was that girl needed a cake that year, more than ever before. She needed to know, despite her failure, she was valued.

I even read a story about a beautiful young woman who was the “product” of rape. Her mother made the decision not to abort her. She was born, was loved, married and lives a productive life. Her mom has the honor of being called “grandma” because of a courageous decision, which she made in spite of the unspeakable circumstances of her conception.

So, I am not sure what feelings your own Birthday brings. Maybe, like my grandson, it is a celebratory occasion, filled with excitement and anticipation. Or maybe it brings up sad memories of neglect or rejection.

What I do know is that is not impossible to come to believe, as I have, that it is true… God danced the day that you were born! Your life is not without meaning…you are not a mistake... you were wanted by at least One and that is the God who created you.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I am glad you are here…I am glad that you were born!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where is this Leading?

As I was driving the other day, I saw a house on the corner of an intersection.

 Nothing really unusual about the house, except it was older and not in great shape. What I focused on were steps, on the side of the house. They lead down to the sidewalk.

It was obvious that these steps were not used for a very long time, as between the wood steps, grew wild greenery, that was pretty tall.

I am not sure why this happens to me but when I see old or abandoned buildings, I feel a deep sadness inside. Is it because I perceive that these places were alive with activity at one time and now are subject to neglect and ruin? Have the people who occupied these places been pushed aside ,as no longer useful and of little value?

I did wonder about the family who lived there. Was it an older person's house? Was it owned by someone who could not afford to repair the house? And why weren't those stairs of use anymore?
As far as I could surmise, they lead to a sidewalk and people just don't walk as they did in the past .
I wondered, at one time ,  did kids bound down these stairs to walk to school?

So driving by this property, made me think... progress is great and necessary but it doesn't stop me from missing a simpler time and the proverbial " good ole' days"

Egad!...I am talking just like my parents used to talk. 

Except now,  I understand what they meant,