Worship song for you.


The Measure of Greatness

One purpose for my blog is to be an archive of tidbits I come across that I want to keep track of and remember. It might be an encouraging e-mail, story, or quote. I hope that these tidbits will also be an encouragement to you.

A school music teacher received this essay from an eight-year-old student concerning Johann Sebastian Bach: "He was a GREAT composer. He had 20 children and had an old spinster in the attic to practice on."

Actually, I don't know the exact number of children he had, but it seems to be quite a few. And I don't know what he kept in the attic ... or what he practiced on. But the student was absolutely right about one thing: Bach was a GREAT composer.

Not all of us can be great at what we do. I try to do some things the very best I can. But that means I cannot give much attention to some of the less important tasks.

But what about just being good at WHO WE ARE? Good human beings? Even being GREAT at who we are?

Author James Michener learned something about greatness on a stormy night in the South Pacific. His plane was trying desperately to land on the Tontouta airstrip but could not do so. After several attempts in the dark of night, his knuckles were white with fear. When they finally landed safely, Michener went out and walked the length of the airstrip, looking at the dim outlines of the mountains they had so narrowly missed. He wrote this:

"And as I stood there in the darkness I caught a glimpse of the remaining years of my life and I swore an oath when peace came, if I survived, I would live the rest of my years as if I were a great man. I did not presume to think that I would be a great man. I have never thought in those terms, but I could conduct myself as if I were. I would adhere to my basic principles. I would bear public testimony to what I believed. I would be a better man. I would help others. I would truly believe and act as if all men were my brothers. And I would strive to make whatever world in which I found myself a better place. In the darkness a magnificent peace settled over me, for I saw that I could actually attain each of those objectives, and I never looked back."

Michener says that the very next day he started to draft the book TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC.* And if it can ever be said that he became a great man, I suspect it was only because he decided to be a better man than he was before.

Greatness may never have been your goal. But you and I can be a little better today than we were yesterday. We can help others a bit more today than yesterday. We can act more deliberately as if all people are our sisters and brothers. We can leave the world a better place tomorrow than we found it today.

And if that is the way to greatness, then we all can head that direction. One step at a time ... beginning today.

Steve Goodier

* Michener's quote comes from "OUT OF THE BLUE: Delight Comes Into Our
Lives," by Mark Victor Hansen & Barbara Nichols with Patty Hansen
(HarperCollins, 1996).


The Secret to Long Life







One of Those Days

It's been one of those days.
But that's okay, I know it will get better.


If I had one wish...

Now normally I would like to keep most of my posts on the lighter, more uplifting side but I have a friend who is hurting today. When someone you care about hurts, you hurt too. I was thinking... If I could ask God for one gift, I would ask for the ability to take peoples' pain away. Wouldn't you just love to go up to someone who is in the depth of heartache and just take all of their pain away and replace it with joy? That would just make my day!!! :) It's a nice dream but I think God is the only one qualified to do that job. The only problem is that He takes His good sweet time in getting it done. He does it right, He does it best, but He does it S-L-O-W.

And then I remembered something. I remembered the day a great revelation came to me. The realization of the spiritual giant's big secret. I took a good look at all the people I most admired, the people who demonstrated God's love and patience and wisdom more than any others. And then I noticed how they got to that place. It was through PAIN. I believe it is a very rare thing for anyone to have that close of a walk with God that didn't find their way there by struggling through their own personal trauma. In their pain, they found that God still loved them and that He cared. They learned to lean on God and to trust Him. They discovered that God is faithful. And now they can love and encourage others because they themselves have been loved and encouraged. Would I really want to take away someone's road to REALLY discovering how good and wonderful God is????

Maybe I will ask God for the gift of encouragement instead. I won't be able to take people's pain away but it would be nice to help them along the road until they find their answer in Him.

And God will exalt you in due time (that explains the S-L-O-W part), if you humble yourselves under His mighty hand by casting all your cares on Him because He cares for YOU. 1 Peter 5:6-7 Amen


My Daughter's Bad Habit

Over the years my 17 year old has developed a bad habit. She doesn't bite her nails (my son does that) or leave the toilet lid up (that would be weird). She doesn't drink, smoke, chew or go with boys that do. But she does have a vice.

It all started when she was very young. It only started with tubes in her ears and then a minor eye surgery.

But it didn't stop there. She had to have tubes in her ears AGAIN and then have TWO more eye surgeries.

Sadly, she became addicted. Year before last she had to have a procedure done on her nose so she could breathe (Come on, what's the big deal about that!?).

Last year she had to have a slightly more aggressive procedure on her nose. (Enough is enough!)

And now ---I begged, I pleaded, but she just couldn't stop. Despite my plea, she is going to have all four wisdom teeth pulled - complete anesthesia and everything. (Couldn't she just have a hang nail removed or something?) Just because the wisdom teeth are pushing her other teeth out of alignment after two sets of braces and one tooth is growing sideways into her cheek instead of straight up, I mean, is that REALLY enough cause for another procedure? (Give me a break!)

Well, bright and early at 7:00 a.m. we will be at the orthodontist to do it all again. I sure hope she breaks this habit soon. It is getting expensive!!!

It really doesn't help when you have these crazy doctors enabling her. The ENT told her that if the problem ever came back and she had trouble breathing again, he could work on her nose yet again. (Isn't that malpractice or something?)

Do they have a 12 step program for people addicted to minor surgeries? We need some intervention here! HELP! Sam


A Sad Truth

I was chatting with a friend on-line tonight - a very dear friend I had lost contact with for years. We recently got connected again through Facebook. Catching up can be bittersweet. You hear of their joys, successes and their disappointments. My friend is dealing with some disappointments. She said that she is learning do deal with the fact that if you do everything "right" as humanly possible as you can, some things still may not turn out the way you always hoped and dreamed they would.

Amen, sister. I am learning that obedience to God needs to be out of love for Him and not just the results you hope to get. Our obedience doesn't mean we won't have money troubles or perfect marraiges or good Christian kids.

"If you love me you will obey me." - period.

Our reward is not always on this earth.

And just think of how much worse it could be if we weren't obedient!!! Now there's a pleasant thought to end on. (Not)


Wow, It's Been Awhile!!!

Ummm, it's been a little while since my last post. Maybe there is a reason I haven't posted. Let me think....(This may take a while.).... Oh, I know, maybe I had writer's block. No, that's not it. I've thought of lots of things I would like to blog about. Maybe my computer broke or I lost internet or my house burned down. I don't think those are the reasons either. Well, maybe I've been busy. Hmmmm, what have I been doing? Let me go get my calendar. ***** I'm back. Let's take a look at this calendar. Let's see:

helped with a booth at a street fair (lost my boy for awhile)
several meetings
three days of CHEA convention
surprise visit of my sister from Tennessee
family gatherings
Bible study

Played the part of a taxi cab driver to:
regular band practices
marching band practice
two parades with the band
end of year band party
three basketball camps
youth group
knitting class
dance class
horse back riding lessons
dog agility classes
ministry opportunities
cooking classes
transporting my kids visitors

one million doctor and orthodnic appointments
allergy shots
found out my daughter has high blood sugar (had to change a lot of my recipes to accomodate her)
found out I'm sensitive to wheat (I've been hungry)

Oh yea, and did I mention I had to clean the whole house and yard because I was silly enough to plan a surprise 50th birthday party for my husband at my house with over 50 people? It was Star Trek theme. People came in costumes and everything. It was really fun.

So I really can't say why I haven't been blogging. Nothing much has been happening. I guess I've been lazy. I'm sorry. I'll try to do better.

P.S. I know busy summers are not unique to me. What have you been up to and do you have any hints for keeping up with a blog when life gets busy?

Hope you're finding time to relax,
Love, Sam


Vacations and Fantasies

Vacations coming!!!!
We can hardly wait. We really do need to "get away" into far, green pastures. Our first stop is the closest place to heaven I've been so far. It's green and gorgeous and...

the home of country music.
So, where do you think our first stop is???

It is beautiful Tennessee.

We're going to visit a cousin (who will be identified as -E) and her husband (-L). Now -E and I (-S) had some planning to do. We corresponded with a few e-mails that I will share with you. There is a question for you at the end so please pay attention!
First she asked what I would like to do while we were there. I answered with:

1. laugh a lot (a necessity)
2. tease -L
3. Dollywood
4 tease -L

5. A morning out with you looking at homes with LAND and TREES (preferably hills too - but I know that's a lot to ask). Have I ever told you that I love LAND and TREES. I think I was a tree in a previous life. Anyway, the LAND must be at least 5 acres. If it is not at least 5 acres it is not LAND it is just a lot.
6. tease -L.
7. One morning I would like to take my son on a hike in the Smokies.

I am SO excited!,
Luv, -S (You know -S stands for SAM)

Now, you need to know two things.
First, my fantasy (no longer a dream since it seems never likely to happen) is to live in the country with lots of LAND and HILLS and SPACE - preferably in TN. I have come to grips with the fact that I will probably live out my days in the city but once in awhile it is quite fun to let my fantasy take flight and pretend a little.
Secondly, you need to know that -E is a real estate agent. And -E is asking me what my dream house/property would look like because we are GOING HOUSE/LAND SNOOPING while I am there . Whahoo! Ya see, to me, that is a lot of fun.

After the previous e-mail, -E kindly sent the following:

Dear -S, That helps, thanks. Now...are there any other requirements re. the houses you would like to see on 5 acres? Mansions, or log homes? Something in-between? :o) Luv, -E

I promptly replied:

Well, thanks so much for asking. Actually it can be between 5-40 acres.

It would be nice if you could go out of the house and have nobody see you. Privacy is precious you know. A view would be splendid. It's mostly about the LAND. Houses can be destroyed, built or added on to. As far as the house goes, I guess I just would like to see something in the $150,000 - 300,000 price range (price would include the LAND of course). Mansion/ log home, variety is the spice of life. Barns are cool too.
Luv, -S

And then I remembered I had forgotten one of the most impotant things had had to immediately send another e-mail.

Dear -E, Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, I almost forgot. In addition to my previous e-mail sent 5 min. ago ------- the law or zoning codes of the homes we look at absolutely MUST allow for chicken and a cow and a big garden. Mercy me, I can't believe I forgot that part. Did I tell you I got 5 beee-u-ti-ful eggs today and a half dozen eggs the last 3 days? I just love chickens.
Over and out. -S

What a lucky dog I am to get to do this. But what about you? If YOU had a cousin who was a real estate agent and you could go house/land snooping anywhere in the world, where would you go? What would your LAND look like? What kind of house would YOU want to see?

I hope to hear from you.
Wish I could take you on my adventure.
Luv, -S


Photography on this Blog

A few months ago after looking at SO many blogs out there that have great photography, I wrote this post but never published it. I'll show you what I originally wrote and then give you an update:

About this post- Photography

Don't hold your breath. And if you do see a photo on a post - well, don't look at the quality if I took the picture. Uh, we don't even have a fancy camera. Oh, and remember to thank my daughter if there is a pic on this site, because she will be the one to download it, get it posted and all that good stuff.

Bottom Line:
If your lookin' for good photography ,honey, there's a lot out there. But it ain't a goin' to be here.

Well, a little bit has changed since then.
I have a friend who asked if anyone needed a camera. She had a couple she was giving away. I immediately said in my most mature voice, "Oh pick me, pick me! I need a camera for the blog I'm starting!" Now I am the proud owner of this:


Now I will be able to take beautiful pictures.
Pretty soon I will be taking pictures like this:

Well, maybe that was a bit of an untruth. But at least I will be able to take better pictures.

Another thing has changed. I can even upload and post my own pictures :)
I'm not the techy kind. Can you tell?

But the bottom line stays the same: If your lookin' for GREAT photography, honey,this ain't the place. But if ya just need a picture to help get the point across, I might be able to help you.

Smile and Say Cheese,


They Were Only Trying to Help...

Well, in a previous post I told you about my little problem with lack of self-discipline when it came to putting a good fiction book down. Well, not only do my children know about it from life experience - they read my blog.

The next night sis comes into my room about bedtime and sees me reading. "Not again, mom. Come on, go to bed on time. I know you can do it!"

The night after that the boy comes in and sees me reading. A few minutes later I get up to get a cup of tea. The boy comes into the kitchen, "Mom, I hid your book. I'm only trying to help."

So, what was the last thing your kids "helped" you with?


I Miss My Busy Girl...

Sissy is always up to somethin' - in a good way. Learning something new on the computer, talking, e-mailing, talking, reading, talking. If she is doing something that leaves her hands free she is almost ALWAYS knitting. It is her new found love. But today she isn't chattering, she is coughing. She does say, "Mom, will you please come sit with your poor sick girl?" She watched movies all day. She would normally NEVER do that -- way too social. She doesn't even want her precious puppy, Pattycake, to lay with her. So she is laying on the couch, watching TV, without puppy, with idle hands. She isn't even knitting. I miss my busy girl. She has antibiotics. She'll be fine. I will know when she is better when I see those knitting needles whirring again. And it will make me smile.


I thought I could resist the temptation...

I thought I could resist the temptation......
All I wanted to do was relax a little before bed.

thought I could have a little fun and do a little work at the same time and read one of the historical fiction books I was considering having my son read for history class.

Well, it happened again, I was dead tired and instead of reading for one hour I sat up until 4:30 a.m. (I hate staying up late because it kills my next day) until I finished the book. I can say "NO" to chocolate, to dessert, to my children, but when it comes to reading fiction I have no self-control. When will I learn? I even asked my husband to hide a book for me at a decent hour one time and then later begged for it back. My daughter warned me when she saw what I was reading. But I thought I could handle it. Maybe I need a 12 step program for readers who don't know when to stop. The problem is ---I don't think I regret it enough. It was a very interesting book.

PS I am glad I was not in England when the Saxon's invaded.

PSS This is kind of boring for a third post but what do you expect from an old tired lady.

PSSS How worried do you need to be about punctuation and grammar in blogs? Is it casual? Is it like a published article so ya better get it right?

Mother's Day '09

We interrupt the previously planned post to bring you a special announcement.

Please check out this link. It will make your day.

Pioneer Women's Mother's Day Post

Much love, continued perseverance, energy, and patience wished to all you mothers out there.

Happy Mother's Day all!



Post Number One (Sort Of)

I have tons of ideas but part of being me is making my ideas so complicated that I don't actually get around to doing it - for about a century. Then I realize I need to simplify things and eventually get it done. Well, this blog is finally getting done and boy am I happy about it. I have three posts I wrote months ago that will come first and then we'll be on our way.

I'm going on vacation in a week and I would like you to go with me - so we gotta get started.

I would like to have my first Goofy Giveaway
before I go - so stay tuned.

I have a lot of plans for this blog. I thought about explaining them all but that sounds a little boring so I'll just tell you as we go. I do need to tell you that this is an interactive blog. My need to chat is just that- a NEED- not a want. A one sided chat is a little , um ----- useless. So I am hoping for feedback, discussions, respectful disagreements, and crazy comments. Feel free to express or ask your own questions.

I'm looking forward to chatting with you.
Hope to see you tomorrow.


P.S. Feel free to comment on spelling errors and punctuation. I can use all the help I can get.

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