Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Movie Nod

I used to enjoy romantic movies, but now? Mostly, bleh.

Maybe I've grown too realistic-minded about what real, lasting love looks like (and requires) in my old age, which ok, might sound a bit jaded or something. 

But hey. Lest you think I've sworn-off all romantic films (and all early-days-romantic magic), there are still a few I'll re-watch. One of them, in fact, I saw twice this weekend, once alone and then again with Tom. And I came away re-enchanted.

So what is this special movie? The Lake House.

And ok, the ending always makes me cry and also, it reminds me a bit of the Jacob and Rachel Bible story. Why? Because it's about waiting for your heart's desire, for the right person at the right time. Yes, a modern movie about waiting--can you believe it? I didn't think they made those anymore, but they did.

It's also a bit like choosing to walk on water, even when that doesn't make sense or people label you Mistaken. But going ahead, because--in your deepest heart--you know it's right. And what you must do if you're to truly walk in faith.

When you sit down to watch this, you cannot be in the mood for a quick-paced, car-chasing, fast-talking, spin-your-brain-around film. Uh, no. You must slow down your head, your heart and your breathing and switch into dreamy mode.

Then you'll like it. And understand it--or most of it anyway. Who really ever totally gets time travel movies and which one never contains a single plot hole? Alas.

In case you missed The Lake House, (it's only PG. Wow.), here's a preview for you. Or perhaps you'd like to watch it again if it's been awhile.

And that is all for today.


"So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her."   ... Genesis 29:20

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."   ... Habbakuk 2:3


The reason I'm not including a link to descriptions about this movie? I'd rather you go into it with only the above preview. Too many words ahead of time could ruin it for you.


There's another link at youtube with just the ending of The Lake House and, like playing a record again and again, I watch it over and over. Hey, it's one of the best movie endings, ever, at least to me.  (Yet what do I know? I don't even like romantic films, remember?) heh.


Today's the last day for Michigan Bulb Company's current half-off sale. I ordered some flowers for my yard from them this morning. Yay!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Moving Forward. Again.

“The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain."   ... Deuteronomy 1:6


Still around!

It's just that yesterday felt like the day after Christmas, you know, the big let down time after too much activity and adrenaline and sugar. And saying good-bye to Naomi while knowing she'd be driving too near all those devastating tornadoes didn't help, either.

And well, afterward, I felt cranky and just wanted to be bad

You know, to not write in my blog or do the dishes or empty the trash. And Tom took the day off from work so I couldn't return to my normal, which I'd been anticipating and so I ate cookies all day. Oh, and I wanted to buy another place, one we all drove past on Sunday during an open house. I searched for it yesterday online and it has a pantry and what looks like a kitchen utility closet and oh, a 3-car garage with a workshop that Tom said I could use for a potting shed(!) And there's even a covered patio and extra concrete for an uncovered one and a pretty tree and if we sold our house, we could buy that one, outright (meaning, it is cheap).

But no river flows at the end of the street like ours does, one which instantly soothes and sings to me when I gaze upon it.

Well. You can get away with being that type of bad for a day or two if you don't flip it into a whole lifestyle--and--as long as you don't bog down in condemnation about having floundered there. Never park in Condemnation Campground: it's a lousy place, hard to back-out of due to all the dead wood and you're unable to help others there.

Thankfully, today is better. Though she traveled through much rain, Naomi arrived home safely, Tom's back to work and I have Hobbit Cottage all to myself, well, to share with Daniel and Sammy The Cats, plus, Tom and I are more seriously considering some improvements around here, including enlarging a living room window so we don't have to stand on our tip-toes to view the river.

And it is Springtime! Gorgeous, celebratory-worthy Spring. And right now that, and God, are all I really need. And how good that my head has cleared enough to realize it. Again.

The previously unseen corner of my closet room. I'd planned to replace that ancient hamper which looked disgusting (trust me), but I spray-painted it, instead, and am thrilled with the results. Good ol' money-saving spray paint!


Tom, Naomi and I visited a ton of yard sales over 2 days and I happily came away with only 5 books and a refrigerator magnet. I devoured The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy (finishing it in The Tiniest Hobbit Room which I discovered to be a perfect reading room). It blew my mind that a.) I hadn't read this already and b.) that a book so old-fashioned was written in 2005. I'll be ordering the next books in the series today. (If you love Elizabeth Enright and the Exiles sisters, as well, this will thrill you, also.)


Thanks so much for your kind comments after my last post about Naomi. I appreciate them! (And yes, that is Naomi in both photos.)  :)


"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."   ... Philippians 3:14

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.…"   ...   Romans 8:1,2


Here's another couple of free kindle books for you:

Homecoming: The Redemption Series

An Invitation to The Supernatural Life  (and here is her blog, From The Unpaved Road)


“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” 
― Steve Maraboli

Friday, April 25, 2014

Making Room For Joy By Letting Go

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"   ... Isaiah 43:18


During Naomi's farm year with us, I remember knowing this would be our final time of living with our daughter, for she'd begun considering Nashville. So I told myself to treasure those 12 months, but not grip them around the neck as something I must always have in order to be happy.

Oh, the letting go I did that year! The releasing of not only my daughter, but of our farm and the whole out-in-the-boonies lifestyle and related long-held dreams. I slowly allowed myself to realize that--although our land and home and lifestyle appeared incredible--my happiness wasn't reliant upon owning those acres. In fact, once I began releasing them, I'd stare at the swaying trees, sweeping meadows and huge white barn and think, "Eh. So what?" Suddenly I couldn't absorb their beauty.

I guess I'm remembering those times because during Naomi's return this week, I'm watching her totally release her Buffalo life. She speaks of how much better Nashville's weather is and how, as she visits old friends here, their different Life Paths bog down conversations. Nashville holds way more opportunities for her music career and finding similarly-minded friends, plus, it now holds her new boyfriend whom she misses. Usually during her visits she drags herself in the door around 2:00 am, but this time, she's always in bed by 9:00. 

She says Buffalo feels different now, like a stranger.

And you know? I'm glad for her. I'm thankful she loves where she lives, even though it's a 12-hour drive away from her parents. Even though I loved every single second of Naomi's and my annual visit to Salvation Army and watching her burst excitedly through the backdoor with bags of organic treats and groceries for ol' mom and dad.

Even though it's a true treat to have such kindness shown to us--even so--I'm thrilled that she's happy where God has placed her.

Tom and I try never to hint to Naomi that we wish she'd move back here or make her feel guilty because she left. Why would we? God has Naomi in Nashville and to wish her back would be like wishing her out of His will. Like saying God's plan is a poor design, not good enough and only means loss for Tom and me. We would be in error and letting uncontrolled emotions careen us down bad roads. 

Anytime we want what God does not want for us, we will remain unhappy. Trying to control and grip what God has removed from us, leads to scary, serotonin-sucking places.

God has a special life planned for Naomi in Nashville and He's got a unique plan for Tom and me in Buffalo. And it's all good. Why? Because God is good and enough. Enough to keep any heart dedicated to Him brimming over with joy and great contentment--as long as acceptance remains heavy in the mix.


"And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl."   ... from Deuteronomy 28


“I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway... let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

“Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them - a mother's approval, a father's nod - are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.” 
― Mitch AlbomThe Five People You Meet in Heaven

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Some Fun Links for You

Always preferring practicality, here are some fun and helpful websites for you:

What Should I Read Next? Plug in your favorite title or author and a list will pop up of similar books which you may enjoy. (Don't you appreciate the Internet for providing those sorts of things?)

Another helpful site? Just click on the ingredients you have in your pantry and Super Cook will find a ton of recipes to fit them. No more standing in the center of the kitchen wondering what to make!

Yesterday Tom and I finally watched Saving Mr. Banks and wow. I loved every single moment, especially the ones which reminded me to learn from my past, then let it go, lest it bog me down in ways God never intended. Highly recommended. (As a child, Mary Poppins was the first movie I saw in a theater so that's always added to its specialness for me.)

Oh, and once again I must recommend blood meal for keeping squirrels out of your flower beds. I sprinkle blood meal over the soil after I've finished planting and watering and have found it to be the miracle repellent I so needed. It even nourishes your plants!

And for the millionth time, will send you an email each day of free books for your kindle-type readers. I now have nearly 700 free kindle books in my free kindle cloud reader(!) from and I still shake my head in wonder at the convenience of it all. So many books, so little time, but so much storage space online rather than book clutter in my house!

Oh, that we would live with eyes opened wide to God's provision in a million unexpected (or believed for) ways and always respond with a grateful heart! The blessings and provision would never, ever cease.


A variety of free (as of today) kindle books for you (ones I've not read, but look safe. heh.)

A Home In The West

Savvy Spring Entertaining

Scent of Lilacs

Bigger Than Impossible

The Meeting Place

Foreclosed: A Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery

11 Sewing Room Ideas

How to Make Money Blogging

An Organized Home in 30 Minutes

8 Reasons Your Life Matters

Low Cost Gardening

A Horse Called September

Low Cost High Impact Photography

How to Ebay in Real Life

Once I was a Teenager: Growing Up In the 50's & 60's in Australia and Beyond

The Creative Mind

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Living Awake

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."   ... James 1:27


Some Christians hate tv, but me? I like it. (And ok, I probably enjoy liking what other people dislike a bit too much.)

The best shows are those which remind me there's a huge world out there and it's certainly not all about me. We introvert types spend so much time alone that we must fight inching toward the center of our own quiet universe.

Have you ever watched Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown? Wow. Tom and I spent the weekend with Anthony (via Netflix) and when he took us to broken, depressed Detroit and then The Congo, God pretty much told me, "See? This is why I've asked you to stop complaining. So many people have so little, but you've been given so much--

"Your family,
home, friends, pets,
books, sunshine, health,
supermarkets, groceries, money,
yard, flowers, trees,
creativity, paint, imagination,
computer, laughter, joy--and Jesus."

Oh, watching all those people struggle for just a few dollars and slogging though such horrid conditions and--well, my complaining about the weather, broken appliances, slow Internet times or Facebook stuff, cleaning cat barf, waiting in lines, shoveling snow, back aches on walks--felt like sin.

Really. Ungrateful, unappreciative, clueless to what matters in Life sin. And it reminded me, also, of the myriad times I've complained about the weather in this blog, thus creating throw-away posts, actually, ones with only crumbs of substance.

If I'm not watchful, careful, I could create a whole throw-away life.

See? This is why I appreciate tv. It reminds me of what I've forgotten and have you noticed that in Today's world, distraction sucks meaning out of us like a magnet? Oh, that we'd seek God to replace that meaning every hour.

Because of God's using a tv show, I'm praying more this week that He'll place a watch upon my lips and that I'll remember to pray for those in need and that I'll send our latest check to our favorite ministry which helps the poor here in the U.S. and many other countries.

May I remain on fire to help others in every way I can.  May I someday step over the threshold of Heaven having fulfilled my purpose, my destiny, and may I catch every reminder, anywhere, even on tv, and allow them to change and center me (in Truth) again.

And may I live Life awake.


"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."   .... Hebrews 13:16

"I ... entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience,"   ... Ephesians 4:1,2

"Do all things without grumbling or questioning ..."   ... Philippians 2:14


Well! This made me look at Stephen Colbert in a whole other way...  (Scroll down a tad for the film.)


Go here to have a free sample of cat food mailed to your door.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Adventures in the Scary, Brown Boxy House

"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."   ... 2 Corinthians 12:10


On Saturday, Tom and I drove to a nearby estate sale inside a small, basic two-story square style of house I've meant to show you for two years because people improve upon these dozens of homes, change the appearance, their creativity being limited only by imagination, lot size and, ok, often money. 

Once inside this one, I saw crowds of milling folks so I immediately vanished up the stairs where a woman and I stared at an entire bed with an audience of scary 1920's dolls with eyes aimed at us. "I'd be afraid to sleep in a room with those dolls," she said, shivering.

But what was worse? Downstairs. Oh, people were jammed into boxy (boxy!) rooms and everything was brown-- brown carpet and drapes and tile and some rooms had brown paneled walls. People stepped sideways, trying to grab at things and when I knelt to the carpet beside two boxes of books, I felt I'd done a foolish, dangerous thing. And did I even venture into the one-doorway kitchen? Nope. My fluttery heart told me, "Go in there and you'll be forever trapped in that box!"

Ack! That "must get out of here before you start quivering" feeling began circling inside my head. I saw too many people in too few square feet surrounded by too much clutter and too many boxy rooms so I went and found (relaxed, calm) Tom in the center of what resembled Olivia de Havilland's snake pit

I told him, "I've got to leave. Now. I'll meet you in the car." 

Though it takes an opera-house-sized crowd for Tom to start falling apart, he understood, smiled, and said he'd be there soon.

This doesn't happen to me every time, just sometimes. And you know? I don't mind it much because it helps me better understand my fellow crowd-fraidy-cats. The quivering makes me more sympathetic to you who know exactly what I'm describing here.

I mean, months ago I told a relative how I almost never go to WalMart because there's too much stuff and too many people and after 15 minutes I'm practically racing my cart to the check stand, the rest of my list be darned.

I was serious, but she laughed. And then stated she loves shopping at WalMart.


What I want is my weaknesses--the ones God doesn't deliver me from--to contain some value. I want them to make me empathize with you and encourage you that you're not alone and you'll be ok. We both will be. And that just because we have weaknesses, it doesn't mean we are 100% weak throughout. Rather, God can show Himself strong by keeping us together when, without Him, we'd have crumpled into a heap. And we can do anything He asks us to do. Anyway.


This experience must have really gotten to me (took awhile to calm down at home, even) for I had a rare nightmare that night. Someone had tricked me into becoming trapped in a white (and well-lit, fortunately) garage and I couldn't believe I'd not realized what was happening until it was too late. Yikes. (Fortunately I awoke soon after the door shut behind me.)

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ"   ... Galations 6:2.


Thanks so much for praying for Naomi's trip from Nashville! She arrived here at 2:30 this morning(!) safe and sound.


I'm enjoying this free kindle book:  How Much Joy Can You Stand? How to Push Past Your Fears and Create Your Dreams.  Although (disclaimer) this is not a Christian book and I skipped over her paragraph about seeing a psychic. Alas.

I'm able to identify with so much of it, though, especially when I apply it to writing in this blog. (I'll just let that stand all mysterious-sounding.)  :)


Monday, April 21, 2014

Of Sleeping In Closets

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.   ... Proverbs 17:22


I highly recommend sleeping in a closet.

No, really.

I figured I'd try out my new tiny closet room before Naomi arrives and you know? In a closet you don't have a window beside your head with an annoying street light which shines in your eyes when, all night long, your cat moves the curtain aside and watches Kitty TV. You know, street night life.

Since closets are windowless, you don't hear the occasional car or group of laughing teenagers or the guy who, for exercise (I'm supposing), paces up and down the sidewalk while speaking loudly into his cell phone.

Closets are super dark--and hey--doctors say we sleep best in super dark (and quiet, though fans are ok) rooms.

Honestly, I am adoring my sweet little closet room. I sit in there some afternoons with the light twinkling off the mirrors and French-ish wallpaper just because I can. I think happy, grateful thoughts--and that I should have done this much sooner.

And yes, I'm even considering sleeping in my closet all the time, even after Naomi's visit. I think I'm onto something big. Maybe even a whole new national trend.



In case you missed my closet makeover post, go here.

(This photo was taken in 2012, but I did again plant yellow flowers yesterday, Violas, this time.)


Speaking of Naomi, today she's making the long 12-hour drive to visit us and if you could pray along with us for her safety, we'd be so grateful! Thank-you much.


If you'd visited us on Easter afternoon you'd have found me out in our yard planting flowers in sunny 60-something degrees, regretting my decision to wear a long-sleeved shirt, and thinking of this line from The Long Winter: "How marvelous it was that anyone could be too warm."

Happy sigh.


I hope each day you renew your sense of humor and find much to celebrate, for truly, God has given us all things richly to enjoy... and may we not miss one single thing He sent down specifically to tug our lips into a smile.


 Just when the world would have you think everybody is getting divorced, it's nice to come across stories like this one: Ohio Couple Married 70 Years Die 15 Hours Apart  (That first black and white photo of them is adorable.)


"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."   ... Philippians 4:8

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday With a Different Spin

From last year:

"Why do you seek the living One among the dead? "He is not here, but He has risen."   ... from Luke 24


So as I always tell you every single Good Friday, I hope you didn't come here expecting to hear the ol', "Don't be unhappy--- Sunday is coming!" thing.

Uh, no. 

I simply cannot put Jesus back in the tomb all over again, for I can't, not even for 2 minutes (and especially not for a whole Friday and Saturday!) imagine waiting around for Him to rise again, living without Him in the meantime. 

My relationship with Jesus is moment-by-moment. He's more of a real friend to me than any of you are, even (no offense) and I believe this is why I've not had one single desert experience over the last 20 years ( a desert? With He who is the Living Water? How does that even work?). It's because Jesus knows that--without a very real sense of His constant presence--I'd be a disaster, a basket case and Life would be all wrong and senseless and lonely and well, dreadful.

And He didn't die so that I (or anyone else) could switch from a worldly misery to a Christian misery. ( I know too many bummed-out, lonely Christians. It's sad.) No, Jesus died to give us abundant, overflowing, joy-infused Life. And that's what He, alone, gives me. Minute by minute, daily, year-around.

So today, yes, I'll recall Jesus' amazing sacrifice on the cross, but oh! Mostly I'll remember that He has already risen and is within me, beside me-- He has risen, indeed!


And also from 2013:

Before you go.... Guess who got these groceries for her basement stockpile today for only $5.04? Woo hoo!


Happy Easter to each of my kind readers!!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Around My House Lately

"Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me."   ... Psalm 54:4


Well. Yesterday I finally wallpapered my upstairs closet, heretofore to be called The Tiniest Hobbit Room. Oh, I still need to glue down a few edges (what's up with wallpaper edges lately?), but mostly the papering is finished. Thank-goodness.

And I decided to leave the ceiling white rather than paint it light blue, mostly because I'm just getting too old for these shenanigans.

Oh dear. After emptying this room then running crawling up the stairs 25 times yesterday to hang this wallpaper (needing the kitchen sink and no, I don't like wallpaper troughs, but ok, I'm rethinking them), I felt every single one of my 55 years. By the time I replaced everything and Tom had arrived home (and one strained leg muscle later) I was walking about like a decrepit 90-year-old. Oh, it was bad.

But today I'm (kinda sorta) fine, in love with the results and can't wait to stay in there when Naomi arrives Monday night. The bed? My own idea: when it's finished, it will consist of 6 plastic bins (holding storage items), two flattened moving boxes, two blankets folded in half, all topped by one foam 'mattress' with bed linens. Took some crazy searching online, but I found the perfect foam roll at, which they quickly mailed to me.

Progress. Don't you love it when you push past laziness inertia and just get up and do the thing you've been procrastinating? Oh, what a feeling. :)


 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”   ... Joshua 1:9

For the joy of the Lord is your strength."   ... Nehemiah 8:10


I finished reading the free kindle book, The Mystery of Hurtleberry House, and truly enjoyed it. This morning I bought the sequel, The Island of Living Trees. This author's writing style is perfect for cozy mysteries, imo.


Order the free Sun Maid Raisin 100th Anniversary Recipe Booklet here. (Or you can choose to download it, also.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Slyness of Hatred

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way."  ...  1 Timothy 2:1,2


An Obama Hater friend of mine (one of several) shared an article about how Michelle Obama is replacing junk food in schools with healthier choices and, initially, I thought, "Oh good! Looks like _____ is lightening up about our Presidential couple."

But uh, no. Wham! She royally torpedoed this attempt by Mrs. Obama to help ease the obesity epidemic among our Nation's kids. ("Don't tell me how to feed my kids!")

This woman and I were children together, she was a deep, thoughtful child, golden really, and when we reconnected online, she was still special, different than the norm. I rejoiced to find her again. 

But oh dear. Six years ago, the iron of Obama Hatred entered into her soul. Absolutely everything the Obama's do is evil in her eyes and she'll list for you all their mistakes. Everything amiss in our Country stems from its leader, she surmises. Everything he's done has colored her daily life all black. 

She once spread grace and kindness and humor, but now she extends poison. She'll listen to no one with a differing, balanced view. Her bitterness has opened doors to scary places and--as I see it--now only prayer can open those heavy doors which locked behind her. Only prayer can make her want to leave that which has consumed her and choose Light, Life and balance again, instead.

And in the meantime, I am sad and horrified for her.

Please--to all my readers--do not venture anywhere close to the scary places where bitterness waits to drag you by the neck. Those places are real. Wasting whole years in resentment over anything is never worth it, for nothing is worth blocking our view of God.

Instead, please choose forgiveness, mercy, prayer, standing firm in faith and God's word, obedience, and walking in love. Love, the best, the greatest of these.


If I'd watched this happen to just one friend, I'd probably not have written this post. But she is one of so many.


"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]."   ... Ephesians 6:12

"(For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)" ...   2 Corinthians 10:4

"By our words we will be justified, by our words we'll be condemned."   ... Matthew 12:37


Anyone feeling sorry for themselves today? This will fix you right up.(You may recall this from a couple years ago.)


I'm finding lots of free cozy mysteries for my Kindle here. (Double check each one to make certain it is free.)

I'm currently enjoying the writing in this Christian mystery, especially. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Guy On The News

"For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment."   ... James 2:13


This post happened while we lived out at the farm and it's haunted me since rediscovering it last week:

Before Tom drives to work in the dark mornings, we usually watch the local news together. So there we were this morning watching a story about the big boss in the road department (or something... I can never recall those specific details). He'd been skimming money off the top, but paying it back (he said), all except for the latest $2,800 he 'borrowed.' 

Well, two FBI agents showed up at his house yesterday and after talking awhile, the guy got physical with them, pushed them, and at one point they were all wrestling together on his living room carpet.

Tom and I exclaimed things like, "What a dweeb! Didn't he know better than to wrestle with FBI guysSheesh. Not real smart, is he?" We said even more stuff like that when the guy was quoted as saying, "I could have taken both of you!"

"Yeah, right," Tom and I laughed. And I thought, "Man, this guy must really be scared because he's really guilty. He is so in trouble!"

Then at the very end of the story--the final sentence--the announcer said that he (Road Department Guy) had recently lost his wife who'd passed away.


Tom and I got really quiet.  My throat began to hurt and I murmured, "Hmm... Wow." Both of us could suddenly picture a primal force of sadness, aloneness and desperation so strong that you'd horrify yourself by your own actions, finding yourself wrestling with FBI agents on your floor.

May I always remind myself that there are two sides to every story. May I welcome those Holy Spirit pings which zap me, reminding me to be quick to hear, quick to care and much, much slower to speak (or to maybe not utter a word).

And may I more often look 'behind the curtain' of peoples' lives and extend mercy, remembering that if I wish to receive mercy, I first must show it to others. 


“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."   ...  Matthew 5:7

Mercy helps you understand why a person did something--and have compassion for him-- without approving of what he did.


When I first ran this, someone thought I was excusing this man's taking the money. But no, I'm only saying I better understand his doing such a foolish thing as trying to overtake FBI agents.