I don’t know what set of circumstances may have landed you here on my page, but I’m glad you’ve come and if you have a minute, I’ll tell you a bit about myself.
I used to say my life is multi-faceted, but perhaps I should just say I’m busy. Honestly, I often neglect my blog because I have too many other demands on my time, so if you’re looking for daily encouragement, you’ve come to the wrong place. Like many of you, I am trying to work; manage my home, property, and animals; and still find time for relationships with friends and family. My life frequently feels broken and fissured. Relationships are not always what I hoped they might be and managing my time often feels like an impossible juggling act that will inevitably cause me to drop the ball somewhere.
But here is where I write about God’s grace to this broken vessel and His love and kindness to my divided heart. So often God uses the very things that pull at my heart to both bless and slowly sanctify me so that in all the shattered pieces of my life I see His goodness reflected. Perhaps pieces of my story mirror bits of yours, and it is my hope that here you too will see God’s goodness to you.
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I was a wife for almost sixteen years, and I have been a mom for most of my adult life. The Lord graciously allowed me to raise three of my four children to adulthood. My children have truly been some of the greatest blessings in my life. One son, Jacob, has roots close to home and while he works a full time job, he also raises goats on the land once owned by his father and grandfather. Another son, Jerrod, spread his wings and joined the US Air force for a time. He was last stationed at Tinker Air Force base in Midwest City, Oklahoma and that is where he has remained. Though he is far from home, he is often close to my heart and in my prayers. The youngest of my four children and my only daughter, Jennifer, and her husband, Josh, live outside of Clarendon, Texas where Josh farms. Josh and Jennifer are the parents of my two beautiful grandchildren, Joseph and Jessie Joy. They are further evidence of God’s great goodness to me.
While I enjoy the blessings of being both a parent and a friend to my three adult children, my oldest son, Justin, was tucked safely in the arms of God before he ever reached adulthood. A few months shy of his sixth birthday, I watched him with his red hair gleaming in the sun, ride his bike down dusty, dirt roads. Then just days later, tragedy struck our household. Twelve years later – twelve years without speech or mobility- I handed him back to God. For almost eighteen years he was on loan to me and God used his life to drastically change mine. You can read more of Justin’s story in My Journey With Justin.
In August of 1985, I married my high school sweetheart just months after graduation. A country girl who loved sunsets, riding bareback, raising chickens, and reading books perched on the top rail of a fence or in the crook of a tree, united with a farm boy who hated books but loved tractors and good, rich, soil. He left this earth on May 18, 2001, but I still take flowers to the place where father and son lay side by side. I know that it is only a shell that lies beneath the ground, but I return to remember them.
For eighteen years I had the privilege of educating my children at home. I managed my household and educated them for nine years alone, as a single parent. Homeschooling taught me a lot about myself, and my children and I loved every moment of the journey. It was a journey that completely changed the direction of our lives, and now the crossroads lay so far behind us that I cannot even imagine life lived differently.
In February, 2012, I took a major step of faith and left a full-time job with the Texas Home School Coalition to work on a book about how Justin’s life impacted mine and how the Lord used his handicaps to open my eyes to the handicaps that lie hidden in my heart. It is a story of deep grief, disbelief, intense anger, heartache, surrender, grace, and over-whelming joy. It was a difficult story to write, but one that was on my heart for many years and in March 2014, My Journey With Justin was finally published. I now hope to someday finish a second book that continues to tell the story of God’s faithfulness in my life as my children and I struggled with grief, trauma, and the unique challenges of living and growing up without a husband and a father.
Just a few months after leaving my job to work on my first book, a position with the Post Office as a substitute rural mail carrier literally landed in my lap when my mail carrier (who I did not know at the time) stopped and asked if I might be interested in the job – overwhelming evidence of God’s divine provision. So, in June of 2012 I began carrying the mail. I started my position two days after finishing the first draft of my book and before I had completely exhausted my savings. God’s provision is always sufficient On December 10, 2016, my part-time position became full-time, and so after substituting for several years in other towns, divine circumstances landed me back on the route where I live.
I am still a country girl who cannot imagine life without the tranquility of a starlit night or the silent pause of the earth that seems to occur just as the sun drops below the horizon in a golden ball of color. I enjoy a cup of hot coffee in the morning and I like to watch the sunset with my hands wrapped around a warm cup of tea. I love my dogs and I enjoy taking them on long walks through pastures and down dirt roads. I love gardens, trees, vines, and flowers and spend lots of time trying to make things grow in the dry, barren, soil of the Plains. While I love all things beautiful including pretty clothes and jewelry, I also enjoy calves, goats, and chickens, wear mud boots and jeans, and am not opposed to getting dirt under my nails.
In this fissured, broken, and incredibly busy life, it is always difficult to find time to write; although it is something that has always brought me great comfort and pleasure. For as long as I can remember writing has been a part of my life. And while I would never say that writing has brought me more comfort and pleasure than my precious Lord, it is an extension of my praise and worship and adoration for Him. I have often found myself scratching out words in a spiral notebook late at night or in the dark, wee hours of the morning. Occasionally, those words would find their way into a small magazine or publication. When mere words don’t seem sufficient, they sometimes flow out in the shape of a poem. Words feel like color and music to me and I write them regardless of whether anyone ever reads them or not – I simply must write. When I am not writing I am often pondering life and writing thoughts in my head sometimes never finding the time to scratch them on paper or losing them before they find their way to paper, but always I am writing.
However, of all the many facets of my life, none are of any value were it not for the Grace of God that holds them all together. Were it not for the redeeming blood that covers my sin, all would be for naught, and it is only through Christ in me that there is any hope of glory. It is by His grace alone that any good comes in or flows through my life, and so to Him alone is all the glory.