Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wonderful Me

My Granny, whom I wrote about in a previous post, died eleven years ago today. And let me tell you, she died fighting. Cancer did it's dastardly work on her body for a number of years and she fought it tooth & nail with a healthy diet, exercise, and ferocious optimism. And an amazing laugh.
The following is one of the many poems she penned. I'm including the Headnote, because it reveals her resilience and tenacity.

Wonderful Me

Headnote: Smarting from my husband's remark of "Aren't you going to do the other side?" after I had completed the admittedly impossible task of clearing the tall and partly seeded grassburs from the patch between our mesquites and the oak by the highway. I felt driven to write an angry response to this attitude about women but decided instead to write something that I could use to build me back up after he tore me down.
This should do it.

I can work like a field hand with pitchfork or hoe;
I can mow or edge or prune
And make it more effective
At the right time of the moon.

I can learn from the slowest mental case
Or stimulate the smartest
Or laugh aloud at boredom;
At living, I'm an artist.

I can wage a war with the grassburs
And ignore the ridicule;
I can drip with sweat til it blinds my eyes
Then languish in my pool.

I can make something of nothing
Or make-do when I must;
I can really pinch a penny;
I can survive on dry bread crust.

Or I can delight the hungry crowds
With hearty home cooked dishes
Or play most gracious hostess
And cater to their wishes.

I come by my talents naturally
From the finest of the fine
What a blessed thing to follow
In the line of Caroline.

I can sing and dance and write and sketch
I can play and sometimes win;
I can thrill to the touch of attentive males
Whether stranger, acquaintance, or kin.

I can jog three miles in the heat of the day;
I can ride and swim and dive;
I can swap tall tales and listen well
And charm any man alive.

I can lull a fretting child to sleep
In a matter of minutes or less
Or soothe a frightened, snarling beast
Or make a thief confess.

I can talk to crowds, control their thoughts,
Awake their admiration,
Or humbly bow before my God
In prayerful meditiation,

Or talk with Him, solicit help
And feel the exultation
Of surging power that accompanies truth
And dissipates depression.

I'm wonderful when I'm with God;
When I am One with Him,
I'm capable of anything:
Dear God, help me be slim.
- Gladys James

Missing you, Granny!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Quote of the week...

Last week Hudson attended an after-school activity. He had begged to go since school started a few weeks ago, but as Branson has never shown interest in being a part of the weekly "Thursday Boys," I felt hesitant in sending Hud. Alone.
So last week as Thursday rolled around and Hudson again asked to join the group, Corbin and I agreed. Off Hudson marched - unaccompanied - to join the throng of boys gathered after school.

Two hours later, I picked up an enthusiastic 5-year old with a grin from ear to ear. "Mom - it was so fun, the most fun thing in the world besides going to Heaven!"
So... guess who else showed up at Thursday boys today?
Let's just say Hudson isn't always in Bran's shadow...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Big Weekend

Last weekend I attended the North Texas Christian Writer's Conference. I found out about it this summer and Corbin pushed me to register - what a guy. Yet another weekend he got to maneuver 4 kids to soccer games and birthday parties... with a little help from Daboo!
The beauty of this particular conference is that it's two days long, close-by, and affordable. Perfect! Highlights from my time...
- Amazing teaching. A great faculty with more than 50 seminars to choose from. Frank Ball, the conference director, has a heart for helping writers improve their skills. Unlike many other conferences around the country, he keeps this one exempt from publishers, editors and agents. It changes the mood a bit when all 200+ attendees are there simply to learn, rather than pitch projects. Interesting.
- Favorite instructor - Britta Coleman. An adorable A&M grad, mom of two, who happens to be a gifted teacher. Full of passion and authenticity, her classes went from full to overflowing by the end of the conference - standing room only. I came across her web site/blog this summer and was looking forward to meeting her, but I had no idea how much I would enjoy her, and I'll tell you, I'm inspired! If you haven't read Potter Springs, put it on your "next to read" list. I've just begun to delve into this fiction novel, but already can't put it down.
- Running into Renae Brumbaugh, a fellow writer I met last Spring at Mt. Hermon. She is darling and offers a fantastic smile. Check out the daily devotionals posted on her blog, and Renae's 1st book of devotionals is in process of publication.
- Also met a precious gal, Sonya Judd. Now if Sonya had a blog or website, I could send you to her! (No pressure, Sonya...) She's one of those people that after a 5-minute conversation, you don't really believe her story. Amazing, amazing. Add to that a two-year old daughter and one-year old twins, and it's unbelievable that she attended the conference. Something tells me we'll all hear more from Sonya in the next couple of years...
- Time with my sweet friend, Alyssa. She was brave to join me in attending the conference, and brave, I might add, to let me drive. When I called Corbin for directions (Sat morning, on the way back to the conference...) he asked if I was in Granbury... back story there. Anyway, my favorite thing with Alyssa was simply
hearing her laugh - she's got a great one!
I love hearing the stories behind the conference attendees and why they're writing, the passion and direction guiding their pursuit. Continuing to hone in on my direction... but I'm certainly encouraged by this crowd!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bragging Rights

Ok... at least it's not bragging on my kids (this time). There's hardly anyone in the world I'm more proud of than my big brother, Trey. Check out his latest award... his 2nd year to receive this nation-wide "40 Under 40" honor. This from the kid who hated to read novels yet could reprogram anything electronic at age 3. When I read his response to "the biggest change in the next five years..." (see article), I am propelled back to days in high school when he tried to explain to me the workings of a carburetor.
Way to go, Trey - love you and am proud of you!
Also - check out DARLING Marshall when you have a moment.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Don't Miss This!

Attention all Fort Worth moms, if you can be there, BE THERE. If you've not had the opportunity to meet/hear Joe White, president of Kanakuk Kamps in person, he is amazing and captivating and just a lot of fun. I'll be there, hope to see you. Spread the word, it will be a precious, very fun and fantastic morning.

Tues Oct 2nd
Southwest Christian Prep Campus -7001 Benbrook Lake Drive

See you there!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Remembering 9/11

A journal entry written to Branson the week of 9/11, 6 years ago this week...

Sept 16, 2001
My sweet boy,
This has been a difficult week. So difficult, in fact, that it's taken me 5 days before I could write to you about it.
Last Tues, 9.11.01, our country was attacked by terrorists. I barely knew what the term terrorists meant until this week. Several groups of Islamic extremists hijacked American jets and proceeded to crash them into the two World Trade Center towers in NY, the Pentagon in D.C., and the 4th plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, possibly headed for the White House before passengers on board worked to gain control of the plane (or at least cause the hijackers to lose control). Thousands and thousands of Americans were killed . The news reports have been mind-boggling.
It's difficult to explain my emotions, especially concerning you... this little blonde, curly-headed 19-month old, running around with a big grin and not a care in the world. You are so beautiful, so curious and bright-eyed, it saddens me to think of how dark this world can be.
God's Word continues to renew my hope, especially through Psalm 46. He is in control, He knows. Daddy and I continue to pray that you will come to know Jesus at a young age. Not just for salvation, as that is our greatest desire for you. But also for the confidence and hope the Lord offers despite living in this crazy world.
We love you dearly, Bran, more than we could ever put in words. We will always love you.

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the Holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at the break of day.
Nations are in an uproar, kingdoms fall
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolation He has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
"Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Lord, we pray for our country today, for those moms and dads, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, grandparents and dear friends who continue to grieve the deaths of the victims. We pray for the hundreds of thousands affected by the ensuing war that continues even now... we believe you are the Lord Almighty, that you will be exalted in the earth. We believe you are with us, we thank you and praise you for your presence. You are our refuge and strength.

And Father, we continue our prayers for Branson, as well as for our other precious little ones... that as they grow older and their naivete' fades, that you will continue to reveal yourself to them as their refuge and strength!