There's Mail From Mom!

Wouldn't it be nice to have a letter from mom in the mailbox each time you checked it? Here's a place to check your mailbox for a heart-to-heart talk with mom...

Friday, December 26, 2008

After Christmas thoughts...

Well, Christmas is over, and the house is very quiet today. The kids and I have tried out the new Scattegories game and also the new Chronology game. They are definite "keepers". I have finished up putting away the good china and trading tables back from one room to another. I think we've carried out about four trash bags of wrapping paper today that had been put in my bedroom till company was gone!

Dinner was my favorite part of the day! I love cooking a huge holiday meal, ironing my Battenburg tablecloth and all the napkins, setting the table with my mother's Occupied Japan China that my dad sent to her from Korea in the early 1950's and planning where each guest will sit.

As I get out serving dishes memories flood over me. This is the serving dish my husband bought me to go with my Homer Laughlin dishes. These are the beautiful oval serving dishes Asher bought me so my table would look prettier when we're having "dress-up" dinners, this is the gravy dish that we picked up at the flea market, and the mental blessings of life go on and on.

This year we didn't get to have any of our married children at the dinner table but we had my dad and his wife Lela and her daughter Esther, we had my father and mother-in-law, Charles and AllaDean, Uncle Mike and a couple at church that I call my extra set of parents-the Whiteacres.

The menu included ham with pineapple glaze, sweet potato casserole, baked beans, deviled eggs, Swiss medley, and a cheese plate. Lela and Esther brought green bean casserole and wonderful whole wheat hot rolls. They also brought Esther's signature Christmas food called Lefskes. (I always say it wrong-so that might not be the right name.) They are Danish (which is their heritage) and made from potatoes, but they taste like a flatbread--very good! AllaDean brought creamed corn and she fried apples. Now that was just the main dishes.

We had to set up a 6 foot table in my kitchen just to hold the desserts! It was so beautiful! I set the Christmas punch on one end and the rest of it was desserts. We had real sugar plums and meringue cookies that Mrs. Whiteacre made. The sugar plums were made from lots of fruits and then rolled in sugar--so good! Lela and Esther brought Spice Jumble cookies and cream cheese mint brownies. AllaDean brought chocolate brownies that were so chewy and rich, all kinds of candy, (turtles, chocolate fudge with walnuts, chocolate cookie dough truffles) and then we had Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Pie, Pecan Pie, and a full cookie and candy tray from all the goodies I'd been making and freezing for weeks, (Lemon Bars, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Jam Bars, Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Fudge and Peanut Butter Fudge) . It was truly a smorgasbord of goodies!

After all the company had left I went into the living room and sat down in my quiet living room and looked around. Mary and Joseph were resting comfortably in the stable with their newborn baby Jesus. The Roman soldier stood guard in Bethlehem. Our newest member of the nativity (Tobias the merchant) was seated under the palm tree watching.

The children were in bed and had commented on what a good Christmas it had been. We had cut our Christmas budget down this year and not a one of them even seemed to notice it.

I had tried to take my annual cookie trays to neighbors and had a terrible time catching them at home since our road has gone through a major emergency on the week of Christmas. A dike burst at the TVA plant and we ended up spending Monday night in a motel because our water was too contaminated to even touch. Some of our neighbors decided to stay in the motel longer than us and still weren't home.

Our parking lot has been full of work trucks, heavy equipment and workers digging ditches and conducting traffic. At the end of our road a police officer has worked 24/7 checking licenses to make sure only those who live on this road are coming in and out. So Christmas Eve day I made up extra cookie and candy trays and we delivered them to the police officer on duty and several of the work crews. That was so fun!

My at-home children (Asher, Cierra and John) pulled a huge surprise on me this year. I have an old glider on my carport that is just like one my Grandmother Mettler had. Several years ago one of the hangers on one end got broken and my husband just wanted to get rid of it. I begged him not to and kept hoping to get it repaired. I have a wish list on the side of my fridge and the glider being repaired is near the top. Also on the list was for a shelf that has been in the shed for years to be painted and hung in my living room.

Well, two or three days before Christmas the kids asked if they could play outside and also wrap gifts in the church. We had all these workers coming in and out of the parking lot with heavy equipment so I'm giving them the speech about watching as they cross the parking lot, not playing where they are moving heavy equipment, etc. etc. and they were so agreeable. They kept popping in about every 15 minutes to tell me they were fine.

What I didn't know is they were actually at the fellowship hall painting! They had found another antique glider just like mine but in much better shape and were painting it and also painting the shelf I wanted.

Christmas morning after opening gifts they told me I had a couple more and took me with eyes closed to the carport. There was my glider repaired and with a big red bow on it! (Well, I thought it was mine!) I let out a scream I was so surprised and pleased! That thrilled the kids and then I kept saying, "How did you keep me from knowing it! I know that glider has been there all week!" So they had to explain that actually that wasn't my glider, but another one just like it. Then Asher brought me my shelf he'd painted. I was literally stunned that they'd pulled all that off and I didn't have a clue. Now that makes a mother cry with joy.

Sitting in my living room at the end of the day all the memories of this year made me realize each year is unique. You can't have the same faces at the table or the same circumstances. We actually thought Monday that we weren't going to be able to be in our own home on Christmas day. We were able to feel a little tiny bit of what Mary and Joseph must have felt that first Christmas day!

In spite of changes, in spite of not having my older children here it was an absolutely perfect Christmas day. I was still here to be with my at-home family, I was able to have guests at my table, (my dad, who has undergone open heart surgery and many health issues this year is sitting at the table in my family picture smiling), and the spirit of Christmas ruled the day. I thank the Lord for His goodness to me and for the wonderful day we had with family and friends.

I pray that each one of you had such a blessed Christmas too, and that as we head toward a new year you'll find yourself drawing nearer and nearer to the One that makes all our blessings possible.

With love,


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Reflections...

Dear Daughters,
It's a rainy afternoon and I for a change have a chance to sit by the Christmas tree with all the lights off sipping on hot chocolate and "reflecting"--just like the beautiful lights and ornaments on my tree.
Someone gave us a card this year with the story of a boy who traveled a long distance in Africa to give a missionary a rare shell. The missionary told him, You've traveled such a long way to give me such a lovely gift."
"Oh teacher", the boy replied, "Long walk part of gift." The person telling the story said that when she or her husband would begin to get short tempered during the holidays over the extra time, money, and effort being spent they would remind each other, "Long walk part of gift." That thought has given me a little extra gas in my energy tank when I'm feeling like I've gone just about as far as I can go. I want my family to know that the effort I'm expending is worth it and just part of my love gift to them--rather it's a meal, a homemade gift, or going out of my way for them in some other way.
I don't know about anyone else but the last few "crunch" days are when I have to put a watch on my lips to keep from getting snappy with the ones I love the most--the ones that live with me. I've tried to give myself a little punch in the ribs by agreeing to begin singing a Christmas carol when I catch myself feeling crabby. It's amazing how that works and the spirit of Christmas spreads through the house.
One of my favorite memories this year was when I was practicing Christmas songs on the piano and the kids and I ended up singing them together. At the time we were waiting to watch a Christmas movie and their dad got a phone call. We were waiting and I decided instead of sitting and stewing about "another interruption" I would use the time for something constructive and it ended up being a fun time!
Today I listened to a lady talking about how the first rule of a love relationship was communication. The Lord has been working on me in the area of my prayer life teaching me that just as I make sure that my husband and I have that little "just us" time every day that I should look at my time in the Word and prayer precisely the same way. The time to come talk to Him about what's got me worried, what I don't understand, the tangled areas of my life that I just can't figure out, the areas that seem out of control and lay them before Him, talk to Him about them and trust Him to take care of it all for me and speak to me about them in His Word.
As I listened to her talking about love being meeting someone else's needs without asking anything in return I thought that this is exactly why we need Christmas. It's an opportunity to give to others without any expectation of something in return. It's a time to stop and give and give and give.... I don't know about anyone else but there are some people that wouldn't hear a word from me if it weren't for Christmas. Life has a way of sweeping us down its current and Christmas forces us to stop and remember certain people if it's simply a Christmas card in the mail.
I hope and pray your Christmas is giving to you this year. I hope your reading and meditating on the wonderful story of Christ's birth. I hope your having "magic moments" with your family and friends. And I pray that at the end of the season you're a little closer to the One whose birthday it is!
If you haven't stopped and reflected on your Christmas season yet, why not get that warm cup of cocoa after the children are put to bed and go sit in the living room with candles lit and just your tree lights and think on how good life is and how good it is that the Savior is born!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Christmas Season

I love the Christmas season from the first day to the last. I love it during hard times and good times and I love it no matter who I'm with or where I'm at.
Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment and afterwards we had to stop in a couple stores to get some supplies for my many Christmas "projects". When we came out of the last store it had got dark and the many lights, the busy-ness of the shoppers, seeing store windows with the colors and decorations of Christmas all gave me a contented and excited feeling at the same time as we drove down the city streets.
I have several books I get out at Christmas time and scan just to get myself into the mood and spirit of the season. One book helps me to get my devotional life in place, another gets me in the mood to bake, create and open my home.
Christmas time takes me down memory lane and brings back warm memories. I can go back to my grandmother's cozy living room and remember the smells of Christmas dinner, the warmth of her kitchen, the tastes of her food. The sweet memories of her at Christmas help to shape the grandmother I want to be to my grandchildren and the memories I want them to have of me.
I can go back to when my children were little and during an especially frugal year the fun we had making a happy birthday cake for Jesus and eating chocolate cake with hot Tang (an orange drink) by the light of the Christmas tree with my babies. I was so concerned about only having Tang (which was given to me) to serve with the chocolate cake and the next year they wanted the same thing, and the next and the next. Tang and cake became a Christmas memory and tradition for them!
Christmas means hours spent at my sewing machine making little aprons, cowboy costumes, pirate costumes, tiny dresses, doll furniture and the list goes on and on. This year's list includes a Union soldiers costume, a Roy Rogers cowboy shirt, a little girls very fancy dress-up dress (with lots of tulle), a military outfit, and a brand new superhero invented by my grandson Caleb named Sylvester man! That one required Caleb's art sent to his grandma so I knew what Sylvester man looked like!
Christmas means the cupboard decorated, the village set out on the buffet, all the nutcrackers standing at attention on the dry sink, and the nativity in the living room ready to move.
Our nutcrackers have been known to attack and kill mice more then once. This began after we watched the Nutcracker on a cartoon and our son Asher was convinced that we needed them to catch the mouse that we had been after for about a week in our kitchen. Sure enough the night that he put the nutcrackers on patrol by the kitchen cabinet the mouse was killed and found dead at their feet. Isn't that amazing? Our son John sets the trap every year now just in case a mouse is lurking in the cabinet.
As for the nativity it is my favorite part of Christmas at the Neal's. It all began with a book given to one of the children that opens out and forms the stable. One at a time nativity figures were added. First Mary and then Joseph and then the baby in his manger.
Now we have shepherds in their fields with little campfires that actually flicker, and we have wise men on the other side of the living room far, far away from Bethlehem.
Along with that, the children and I built Mary and Joseph a house in Nazareth which is on one side of the living room with Bethlehem on top of the piano.
Tonight, Mary and Joseph have had a decree left on their door which states that they have been commanded to pay taxes in Bethlehem. The Roman soldier is standing outside their door.
In a few days they will take their little burro who patiently waits outside and put a blanket roll on him and each morning they move just a little further across the living room. At long last they end up in Bethlehem. And of course, on Christmas Eve the baby appears in the manger.
Within a few days of Christmas the wise men end up with all the others. (Although I know that doesn't follow the Bible I put everything away before they would actually appear!)
We also have a pocket calendar at our house hanging in the hallway that has treats in it every morning up to the 25th. The kids never get to old to check the pocket calendar each morning to see what's in it. It might be a candy bar, a pack of gum, a new mechanical pencil, or all their battery operated toys lined up down the hall with batteries put in them!
Isn't Christmas wonderful! And yes, at our house we have the stress of it too.
We have the weeks we don't know how we're going to make it financially, we have the late night sewing, we have the lights that don't work, the time when one more batch of cookies to make is almost revolting but when I see the look on the children's faces, or get a letter from my daughter saying how sweet the memories of Christmas are all that is quickly forgotten and I know it's worth it.
So pour your heart and soul into making this month a month to let people know how much you love them and to put your silly deer antlers on (like I did today!), play the jolly music, tell the Lord how thankful you are He was born and celebrate His birth all month long!

Friday, November 21, 2008


As a wife and mother I have a lot of responsibilities. I have always felt so blessed to have a job that has so many varied aspects to it. When I read Proverbs 31 I see a very busy, talented woman! The Proverbs 31 woman has always been my goal and role model, but as I look at her I have a feeling there were some things she enjoyed doing and some things that were more of a duty than a joy.
When I was a teenager my mother tried to get me interested in learning to sew. She was a very good seamstress and so was her mother. I'm sure she wanted one of her daughters to enjoy sewing like she did. I had little to no interest in it and although I would try every once in a while I remember telling her that I was going to marry someone that could buy my clothes so I didn't have to sew. I also remember watching her rip out a seam and telling her I would throw that thing in a corner before I'd sit there and do that.
After having two little girls and a very limited budget sewing began to look like a way to dress my girls in the boutique look I liked without the boutique price tag! I wanted them to have matching dresses and I didn't want them to look like they were dressed from a rag bag. So, "yours truly" got a pattern and some fabric and began studying pattern sheets and library books. I also would call my mother (long distance now) to get advice when something went wrong.
To this day I think of my precious mother every time I rip out a seam and think she probably had to hide a smile sometimes when she saw me tearing out a seam.
The miraculous thing is that as I continued to sew I developed a deep love for it. I began to design dresses in my head and plan the next project. I began sewing for my home and sewing gifts for Christmas. I even learned how to smock and to this day a smocking project is a luxury that I am thrilled with. It's a way I reward myself--sit down and spend some time smocking a little dress.
What happened? Well, when you accept something as your responsibility and decide your going to learn to do it the very best you can you develop a love for it.
Pay close attention to what I just said and think of it in every area of your wifely, motherly, homemaking and other duties. If I am supposed to do something then I should determine I'm going to be as good at it as I can possibly be.
That includes laundry, washing dishes, cleaning my home, cooking meals, homeschooling or reading bedtime stories. Remember the verses, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;" (Eccl. 9: 10a, and "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God;" (I Cor. 10:31)? When we think of what we're doing as a service to God it makes us want to do it properly.
Have you ever tried praying over each person as you fold their clothes? Try sitting memories verses on index cards in your kitchen window to memorize as you wash dishes. Get out of the rut of making the same foods just because they're quick. Learn to make food from scratch to save money and make it taste good too! (I've been asked for the recipe more than once from items that were leftovers put together to make a meal for unexpected company!) Pray over your duties and ask the Lord to help you get good at it, to be a wise steward of what you have and to be creative and excited about what you do.
My grandmother told me that some of the most beautiful pieces of creative work came during the depression when people had to use items that were not normally used to decorate with. I still have a piece of embroidery work that when held up to the light has the writing from a feed sack on it. Don't think you can't do a proper job if your income is limited.
And always remember--the more you do it and the more you practice it, the more skilled you are going to become and the more joy you are going to get from it.
The season for family and giving is here and I always have this little feeling of excitement growing in me as it approaches. Now is a wonderful time to start practicing to do all that you do with enthusiasm and a determination to do the very best job you can do rather it's a job that you enjoy or one that you hate.
Don't get in a habit of only doing what you like and sloughing on those things that you aren't particularly interested in. Many times I see wives do a good job at keeping a clean house but a halfway job on teaching and training her children. Or maybe she's a wonderful decorator but her cooking is half-hearted or non-existent. They're all our jobs--so let's make our families (but most of all the Lord) pleased with the fact we do a good job on every job. The jobs we love and the jobs that require patience and persistence!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Planning your week....

One of the most important things I think we can do is to plan our life and our time. The older I get the more I sense how my days are truly numbered and I want to spend them with as little waste as possible.
There are certain duties I have every day and I know that if I don't do them then our family life is going to get a "kink" in it. Things like cooking meals, doing laundry, maintaining the cleanliness of my home, teaching the children school, or keeping an appointment.
I am a list person and I am an advocate of lists. I firmly believe if you don't plan something and give it a time slot it probably won't get done when it should.
I have a daily chore list that is slid down into a sheet protector. On it I have my Bible reading, prayer, a place to mark what laundry needs done that day, the menu for the day, how much water I drink, emptying the dishwasher, cooking meals and taking time to sew or write. I use
a dry erase marker on it that I can wipe off each day. It makes life so much easier to see what I need to get done in the morning, afternoon, and evening and to be able to circle that little dot or fill in the amount and see my work load being lifted as the day goes on.
On another paper (in a sheet protector) I have my daily diet plan. I can write in what I ate,
the calories and I even circle proteins, calcium, vegetables, grains, etc. At the end of the day
I can just clean it off and be ready for my next day.
This week I plan on making curtains for my daughter's bedroom as a sewing project, last week
the plan was to make her a new black dress skirt, and the week after next I plan to start a Christmas sewing project for a grandchild.
There is a sense of control in a planned life. I have become a firm believer in having a planned life for a family. Children should know that we do morning chores, then we eat breakfast, then we do school, then we eat lunch, then we have a time of rest, then we play outdoors, then we eat supper, then we....and their list should be predictable for them.
In the same way, if you develop a schedule or routine for your own life you soon will just go through it without even having to think about it. By midmorning your washer will be humming away, you are dressed and ready for anyone to knock at your door, your family has a nice warm breakfast in their tummies, dishes are done, the children are working away at school and the house is presentable. It's a good feeling.
So this week make a plan. Plan your meals, plan your projects, and plan your daily routine. It makes for a calmer homemaker and a happy family! You'll be shocked at how much more you will have accomplished at the end of the week.
If God gave us the role of being the keeper at our home let's determine to do it and do it right!
Have a good and Godly week!



Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday night in a pastor's home...

Dear Daughters,

It's Saturday night in the pastor's home. Time to get all those last minute chores for Sunday tidied up. All the clothes are pressed, the last load of laundry is washed, folded and put away and the baskets are empty, (well, almost!) and the treats for mom's Sunday School class are sitting on the breakfast bar, (tomorrow is yummy fall cupcakes with an orange cream cheese topping). Usually dinner is precooked and in the refrigerator but tomorrow's schedule is a little different, and now mom is going to spend just a little time for herself before bedtime.
Saturday's can be a pressure cooker day for the pastor's family. Satan knows that and tries his best to get us at odds with one another. After years in the ministry you learn not to let him have his way by using you as a pawn in his wicked plans. There are days I'm right in the middle of falling into his trap and it hits me what's going on. Those are the days I have to march in and apologize for allowing myself to yield to the flesh and hinder the Holy Spirit's work in our lives and ministry.
My husband preached a message not too long ago on how to pray for your pastor. May I encourage you to bow your head and pray for your pastor right now. The man of God carries a heavy burden if he's doing what he's called to do. Weekends are when his mind is a whirl of all that he hopes to accomplish on Sunday, his message being just what the Lord wants, and his mind is on his church members and how they are doing. He's hoping for visitors and fruit from his visits during the week. He's praying everyone will be in their places on Sunday to sit at the spiritual dinner table.
Here's the outline to "How to Pray For Your Pastor". Mine's written in the back of my Bible so I can hold the precious man of God I live with up to the Lord faithfully and as I should.

I. Pray for his Protection (II Thess. 3:2)
A. From unreasonable men.
B. From wicked men (I Tim. 1:18-20, II tim. 2:15-18, II Tim. 4:14,15, II Tim. 3: 1-9)
II. Pray for his Personal Walk (Heb. 13:8)
A. That he always does the right thing.
B. That his provisions are met. Pray that his every need is met. (spiritual, emotional, and
physical needs)
III. Pray for him to Have a Profitable Ministry (Heb. 13:17,18)
A. A profitable ministry concerning his flock
1. people that follow
2. people that understand pastoral leadership
B. A profitable ministry concerning getting the gospel out, (Col. 4:3,4, Acts 14:27) and
that he will give the word in power. (Col. 3:4, Eph. 5:18,19)
C. A profitable ministry with the word of God having free course. (II Thess. 3:1)

Because I've spent most of my life in a pastor's home I know the burdens that they carry. When my husband took his first pastorate I remember how overwhelming the responsibility seemed to him at the time. He took his job very, very seriously before the Lord.
Today in a time when many churches are lowering the bar to try to draw in new members or keep those that don't want qualifications for service put on them it takes a man with a firm determination to please His Saviour above all else to take the pressures of leadership. How thankful I am for a husband I can look up too because his first priority is to please His
Saviour above all else.
If you have such a pastor tell him so. I've read in several places that this month is supposed to be the month you show your appreciation to your pastor. Do it! Be faithful, be grateful, and express your thanks to your pastor for being there for you.
Get to bed dear ones so your fresh on the Lord's day!



Friday, October 24, 2008

A perfect fall day..

Dear Daughters,

I wish you were here. Today was one of those perfect fall days with rain pattering against the kitchen window while I baked Oatmeal Sandwich cookies. In between loading cookie sheets or spreading filling on the cooled cookies I sipped coffee and listened to Christian radio.
The kitchen was warm and smelled of brown sugar and cinnamon. I love the lighting in the house on a rainy day--all my small lamps seem to make it so cozy in the house. A day when you want to kiss your kids every time they walk by you. :)
Years ago I read a book and the lady pointed out that you can be a woman who always has to have something purchased to make you happy or you can learn to live within your means and find joy in the free things. That struck home since I didn't have anything material but I did have a husband and four little ones that were a great source of joy for me. I began to notice all the things the Lord has given us to enjoy.
I noticed my coffee pot perking cheerfully near the window with the steam being drawn out of the open window in the mornings. I noticed how precious little ones playing in the yard are, and how wonderful clean clothes on a laundry line look. I realized what joy bathing a baby brought me, and how good a clean house makes you feel. I noticed how wonderful baked goods smell on a cool fall day, and the look on my husband's face when he came in the house to the smell of his supper and a counter with goodies waiting. All for free-gifts from the Lord.
I also began to notice what made me unhappy with my life. If I spent too much time looking in magazines, or going shopping, or being around friends that hadn't found how to live within their means, or if I watched the unreal world of television too much then a spirit of ungratefulness would begin to find its way into my heart and life.
We lived on a very small income at that time and my house and its belongings were certainly nothing to brag about. I remember praying to the Lord that people would sense His presence in my home and that they would feel welcome and that my home's atmosphere would be what they noticed not my possessions.
People always did seem to enjoy our home and more than once people I didn't even know that well would comment on the sweet spirit in our home. People would comment on how comfortable they felt or how peaceful it was. My table never lacked for people stopping by for a cup of coffee or a meal.
Dear daughter, don't focus on what you have but instead on the spirit and atmosphere you desire in your home. We can get so caught up with material things we forget that the home is simply a tool that's been put in our house to shelter what really matters-our family.
Use that kitchen table for sewing little garments, for making costumes for your frontiersmen, princesses, and even for George Washington himself. Use it for playing games with your children while they are still at your table. Use it for wonderful mealtimes spent laughing and telling stories. Use it for tea parties, birthday parties and for coffee with friends and family.
Ask yourself what memories you want your children to have and pour your life into that. Ask yourself what memories you want to leave with your beloved husband. What do you want him to remember about stepping in the door? The warm smell of coffee and his favorite foods with a smiling face coming to greet him? Or a scowl and complaints and him wondering if he's getting a hot meal tonight?
Do you want your children to remember you in the kitchen with your apron on making cookies or slouched on the couch watching tv?
Pour your heart and life into what really matters. Get your Bible out and pick a color just for the passages that have to do with the woman. Mark them and make a note of what she's doing and where she is. Find out why things went wrong and why things went right for the woman.
Find out why you were made and where God says your place is. Memorize Proverbs 31 and make her your role model. I assure you it's a lifetime project!
This week begin to notice those things that are yours for free--your husband's smile, your baby's eyes full of love for you, a child that hugs you, the sunshine coming through your kitchen window in the afternoon, a quick nap on a rainy day--just those little love touches from your Saviour that cost you nothing.

Well, till next time your on my heart,


Getting to know one another...

Where do you start in getting to know people? I like to hear about their lives and connect with people in our common interests, goals and loves.

So, a little about me. My name is Tami. My given name is Tamara and my dad chose that name because he'd met a family who had named their daughter Tamara and he loved the name. As I was growing up he would remind me that my name meant "palmtree" and that a palm tree was tough on the outside and tender on the inside. He also said a palmtree could take heavy storms and bend with them. That has always made me love my name.

I am the daughter of a pastor and missionary and the wife of a pastor. My husband is a bus kid who came to church, got saved and surrendered his life to ministry as a young man.

I trusted Christ as my Saviour as a young girl standing in the pew next to my dad when a visiting preacher was preaching. The preacher preached on Calvary and it painted a picture of the cross in my mind as he preached. I wanted to be saved but was frightened about going to the altar, so I took my dad's hand, bowed my head and asked the Lord to come into my heart and save me. I remember being so excited about it and after being saved kneeling by the couch with my little friend Mark explaining to him how to be saved. I also remember feeling guilt for doing wrong after I was saved.

As a young woman I became serious about studying my Bible and finding out what my role in life was. The Lord graciously taught me so many things. With four small children at my feet I grew in the Lord and found my place was in my home ministering to my husband and children and being an ambassador for the Lord whoever I was with and wherever I was. He taught me priorities in my life and He taught me how to find joy in my role as His child, a wife, mother, homemaker and church member.

When my husband went into ministry (over 25 years ago now!) the Lord taught me how to minister to my husband in his new role. This was an area of my life that took the Lord some time! My personality and training needed some spiritual work and I had to learn lessons that ministry involves spiritual warfare and sometimes soldiers get wounded.

We are independent Bible-believing Baptists and we live our live with the word of God as our sole authority.

God has been so good to us. We have four biological children and three children that are adopted. We have 14 grandchildren! I truly believe children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.

My husband and I have been married for almost 35 years. We have grown together in so many ways. I can only give the Lord the credit for all He has taught us as a couple. Our marriage grows sweeter every year we live.

I love my role as wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker, church member, and friend to the many friends the Lord has given me. I love cooking, baking, sewing, writing, and many other things.

Why a blog? When I was a young woman my only "aged woman" lived hundreds of miles from me. That was my mother. I didn't have the money to call her (many times didn't even have a phone) so our communication was mostly by letter. I longed for an aged woman to teach me more as I studied my Bible on the role of the woman. I devoured every book I could find on the subjects but they were usually from sources outside of the independent Baptist circle. More and more women were leaving their homes to go to work in the Christian schools, the secular world, and less and less women saw the home as the realm for ministry. As my children were growing I knew with more and more certainty that we were the ones that God ordained to teach and train our children but again that wasn't what was going on around me. I remember feeling that the woman who had dedicated her life to obeying the word of God as a woman and then teaching others to do the same as she became an older woman was simply missing in the local church.

I determined way back then that when I became an aged woman I was going to obey Titus 2 and teach the younger women what I had learned. Well, here I am and I can't believe it happened so quickly! I always thought about writing a book, but the computer has opened a whole new avenue of teaching. After prayer I decided to have a blog, writing in it only when I have my other duties properly completed.

My husband has a policy that if people will sit under the word of God as they should (i.e. come to church faithfully) and obey what they hear they will not require counseling. I agree. Time is a precious commodity and the Holy Spirit is a personal Holy Spirit. If you desire to know the truth and you seek for it--it will be found.

As you read my writing please don't become a follower of me--get in your Bible, seek His face, walking in obedience as He is in the light for you. Anywhere you are knowingly neglecting to obey the Lord--begin obeying Him.

I believe that each believer is a personalized as a fingerprint. God works with you where you are. We are to live life by His principals and the details will fall into place. Don't get caught up in the details--get caught up in living life by His Guidebook with complete and cheerful obedience.

As we become acquainted I trust that there are new "daughters" added to my life and that I will see them walk in obedience, bringing glory to His name.

In Him,