January 1967 Back when life was carefree



For me, this day is a time of reflection. I do a lot of thinking about the past and all of the times I’ve heard the song AULD LANG SYNE in my lifetime. My most vivid memory is sitting in front of our black and white Zenith television watching the Guy Lumbardo New Year’s Eve special, eating popcorn, roasted hot dogs and toasted marshmallows. We used to roast wieners over the wood-burning fire in the fireplace then toast the marshmallows for dessert.

When the clock struck midnight, my little family would hold hands and pray the new year in. There was something so comforting about knowing we had invited God into our lives for another year. We knew that everything would be alright at that point.

There’s something so sad about the song “Auld Lang Syne”. I cry every time I hear it! The very meaning of the title is sad to me. It means “Times Gone By” in Scottish. Although it was written back in the 1700’s and transcribed by Robert Burns so we in America could sing it, the tradition is so deeply rooted that we just don’t realize it is a new year without singing that particular song at midnight on New Year’s Eve. These days, I usually go to bed before midnight to avoid hearing it.

The words “We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet for times gone by” just about kill me inside. Those really were good times and I can’t stay there very long. I must look ahead toward the new year. I am determined to make these my best days. My future looks very bright and exciting!

So what lies ahead for Linda? I am praying about that and waiting on God. That’s a great plan to have. Until it is time to realize my dream, I will keep preparing for it. When God says it is time to move, I will be ready. I will have my ducks in a row, for to pray for a dream to be realized is more than just wishing and hoping. It is hard work and preparation. It is knowing that you have poured the very best of yourself into a project. But the timing is in God’s hands. I leave the timing to Him.

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.  – Hal Borland

I will not write the next great novel, but I would like to publish a book of poetry, prayers and quotes. Thus far, I have over 80 poems, about 10 quotes and 20 prayers written. I just keep writing and waiting. When it’s time to do something with them, I will know.

I pray God blesses you richly in 2014. Happy New Year! 😀





There’s an old saying that spells the word K.I.S.S. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID! That is exactly what I intend to do when New Year’s Eve rolls around. I have leaned on the same scripture every year for decades. Psalm 34:4 reminds me of how I ought to face every situation that comes along. The first 4 words say it all… I SOUGHT THE LORD.

The peace of God in my life means so much to me and this one tiny verse in Psalms reminds me of what I need to do every day – seek the LORD. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well it’s not always as easy as it seems to the innocent bystander. In some instances, I want to fix it for myself and not depend on the wisdom of the Father. But that’s not what God wants me to do. I need that verse at those times. I need to have it memorized so I remember what is expected of me, for if I do not do my part, God cannot do His.

Instead of overwhelming yourself with self-made rules and demands, try choosing one simple verse from the Bible to take with you through the coming year. You may want to lean on a different verse than I do and that’s fine. There’s just something about the Psalms that brings comfort to my soul. After a loss, during a bout of illness, when you have lost a good friend, or if your pet dies, there is nothing like a Psalm to restore peace and make things seem better.

So I invite you to search the scriptures and find one that speaks to your heart. Memorize it and keep it hidden in your heart that you might not sin against God. It may seem like a small thing, but when troubles come believe me, that one tiny act of obedience will matter a great deal.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. There’s not a better time to find a scripture and cling to it. When you find it, why don’t you leave the reference in the “comments” section of my blog? I’d love to see which verse(s) you decide to claim for 2014. God bless you extra-special good in the coming year! ❤




I hope and pray that you had a wonderful 2013! If you’re anything like me, you gained a little weight between October 31st and the end of December. The family foodie times can really take a toll on all of us. Since I am a type 2 diabetic I really need to get back on that diet horse – and fast! My last A1c was 7.5 which is still considered “uncontrolled” according to my doctor. It needs to come down one more point by March 20th. I can get it there – but to maintain that number is the tricky part for sure!

If you want to jump on the new year “salad wagon” with me, climb aboard! I could use all the support I can get! I will be searching for great salad recipes because let’s face it – if we have to eat the same salad over and over, we won’t stick with it! We’ll get bored with it and quit. Food, like life itself, should be cloaked in anticipation! I enjoy eating and will not give up the variety of tastes and textures available. There must be a way to be healthy without giving in to boredom! I know I need to take care of myself. I just want to do it with foods that taste good – is that too much to ask?

Years ago I embarked on a grapefruit diet with a group of co-workers. We drank a small can of grapefruit juice before eating salads for lunch. I was quite successful, however, the diet was unsustainable. One simply cannot be in that sort of food rut forever. If they are then I feel very sorry for them! I’m taking another run at this diet thing – this time – I will eat salads but it will never be the same one two times in a row! Skip the grapefruit juice and drink water instead, I think. Worth a shot. I will not stop trying to get this weight off as long as I live!

Grapefruit, Almonds & Goat Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
1 head bibb lettuce, torn into pieces
1 large grapefruit, sections removed, juice reserved
1/3 cup chopped almonds or pumpkin seeds
2 oz. Montrachet goat cheese, crumbled (abt. 1/4 cup)
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced

1. Arrange bibb lettuce, grapefruit sections, radishes, almonds and crumbled goat cheese in a large bowl.

2. Dressing: Add salt, pepper and mustard to reserved grapefruit juice (you should have about 1/4 cup) and whisk. Add olive oil and whisk to combine. Pour over salad when ready to serve.

Well, this should be a great break from all the candy and heavy foods we have eaten since last Halloween! Enjoy! 🙂

HEBREWS 12:28 ON 12/28

HEBREWS 12 28 ON 12 28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…  – Hebrews 12:28

When I read that passage of scripture, I thought, “Wow – what a great New Year’s Resolution!”  I mean, what could be better than to resolve to be more thankful and worship God acceptably with reverence and awe???

It seems to me that once the proper emphasis is put on all that, everything else will fall into its rightful place.  You may think that sounds too good to be true, but don’t dismiss my theory so quickly.

When our hearts and minds are on Christ instead of our problems, we are fully trusting Him to work it all out, right?  So, if we’re trusting the Lord to take care of the day-to-day, then it will all fall into place, right?

If we could just do that one thing, it would be the best resolution because by our act of faith we are letting Christ know that we trust Him for everything.  Well, you don’t think I chose the book of Hebrews just because I wanted to tell the joke about coffee, did you?  You do know that the man is supposed to make the coffee in the household – because the Bible says He Brews…  yeah – ok.  Talking Tom likes coffee…

Anyway…  what a great reminder that we are receiving a kingdom that is unshakable!  It’s not made by human hands.  We sure can’t say that about this place, can we?  I hear bad news almost daily that makes me wonder how much longer things will stay together.  But the kingdom of God is solid and eternal.  It is where we are headed, so we need to realize that we are children of the living God and start giving Him all the glory and honor and praise He deserves.  Let’s find the awe in awesome again.

We are not abandoned.  We are not orphans.  We are more than conquerors in Jesus’ name.  Let’s go into 2014 with praise for God on our lips and a testimony in our heart to share with those who need to hear it.  😀







Around the first of October I began feeling it; that indescribable urge to nest. I wanted to feather my little nest with fluffy cuddly cozy things and stock up on wax melts for my Scentsy. I started scattering little table books around. It would be awful if I sat in a chair and did not have a book to pick up and look at!

Now that it’s wintertime, my need to nest has intensified and I’ve begun hoarding coffee creamers from my favorite restaurant. I think they are on to me, but I don’t think they really mind. Our favorite waitress brings extra French Vanilla coffee creamers just for me! I drink more coffee in the winter than in the summer, as I think most people do.

I was thinking today about the preparations we make for the cold winter months. This phenomena we refer to as “nesting”. How do we nest for our spirit? Do we need to nest for our spirit? Obviously the immediate need is physical. We have an immediate need to stay warm, but to neglect your spirit’s need to stay warm would be a real shame.

Here are just a few simple things you can do to “nest” for your spirit. Most of these items are available at a discount bookstore. I rarely visit a bookstore that charges retail prices. I enjoy Book-a-holic.

1. How about buying a new devotional book? The book I purchased last year was a used book, but of course it was new to me. Since I only use them for a year, I don’t see the point in paying retail. The idea is for the book to bless my soul, not empty my pocketbook.

2. Keep an item such as “Testamints” around the house. Our local Christian resource center always has these nifty little mints on sale the first few days after Christmas, so I stock up! Not only are these good to have around for when someone has low blood sugar, but they have a scripture printed on the wrapper! It’s a fun way to read God’s Word. Who says you have to get the big bulky family Bible out, dust it off and do devotions the old-fashioned way? I don’t and have not for many years!

3. I have not done this myself but my friend has her favorite scripture permanently placed on the wall in her stairway. She is more brave than I am! There are kits available at our local hobby store. I look at them when I’m there, but have not bought one yet. She has Jeremiah 29:11 displayed on her wall and it is beautiful. It warms her home and makes everyone love to congregate there.

I hope this has given you some idea of how you can do some “nesting” for your spirit as well as the traditional type of nesting we do to meet physical needs. May God bless you today in an extraordinary way! ❤




It amazes me that the day after Christmas, people are still shopping at the antique mall.  LOL!!!

I am a self-proclaimed neat freak. I do not think straight surrounded by chaos or clutter of any kind. I do not tolerate anything but complete order in my environment. There is one exception – one very special exception to that rigid rule of thumb. Christmas morning.

It was the most wonderful mix of gift bags, tissue, wrapping paper, bows, odds and ends from boxes like bubble wrap (yes, I popped it – ALL of it!) It is the only time of year I allow a mess and consider it a real blessing. I always take photos of it for the scrapbook. One day these pictures will remind me that we enjoyed Christmas. We felt love and was able to share in gift giving and remembering once again the best gift ever given to us – Jesus!

That was yesterday – and it was wonderful. Today I sought a sense of order in my environment once again. I’m slow getting back into my routine, as I have lost a number of things, including a freshly brewed cup of coffee! How does one lose a cup of coffee? I don’t know, but I have managed to do just that! I know it’s around here somewhere! It will obviously be cold and less than fresh by the time I find it. And this is what microwaves were made for!

Maybe I’m in a “beautiful mess” afterglow of sorts. I enjoyed watching wrapping paper fly and land on the floor – and being okay with it! I do eventually need to regain the order I once had, but I’m just not ready yet. It’s too soon to let go of the mess. The paper was immediately removed, of course, but I’m not ready to go into full organization mode yet. Oh, I know I will and I know that it will happen somewhere around New Year’s Day. But for just one more day I will bask in the Christmas afterglow and embrace the mess. This mess means I have a family that loves me enough to include me. It means that I am not alone. It means that God has once again made provision for us. It means so much. Please, Lord, bless this BEAUTIFUL mess! ❤



There are some fantastic Christmas Carols, and I love most of them but for different reasons. For years when I was younger, I went Christmas Caroling with the youth group in my church. I do not have a strong voice, but I must admit there was one phrase in one Carol that really got me excited and my little alto voice could belt those words out with ease. The 4th and final verse of “Joy to the World”. Please read this slowly and allow it to sink into your heart this Christmas. If ever we needed to know this truth, it is now!

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness, and wonders of His love, and wonders of His love, and wonders, and wonders of His love.

Those words were penned in 1719 by Issac Watts, but how perfect for the United States in the year of our Lord, 2013.

We live in such a strange time. Technology can be used for so many good things, yet you can fall into temptation and become involved in something that is neither godly nor edifying. If you have to ask if something is going to lead to sin, then you should probably turn from it early in the game. Don’t wait for it to become sin. It could be too late by then. Use every tool for good. Shun evil and keep your eyes on the prize. It’s so easy to be sucked in to something online that seems so innocent at first. We need to be careful.

As Lucinda Berry Hill reminds us, our Salvation was born on Christmas. We are not ever out of the reach of the Father’s forgiveness through His Son, Jesus. We will never be perfect beings, but we have a loving heavenly Father ready to help us get back on the narrow path we need to walk on.

The fact is – He does rule the world – and to the Christian heart, that is very comforting and reassuring. I’m so thankful that we serve a God that never changes. If things move it’s because we moved them, not because He did. Let that be your Christmas meditation. Merry Christ-mas everyone! ❤ ❤ ❤




You know how I love marriage proposals!!!  Awe…

What is peace and how do we achieve it? In our own country alone, it seems we are more divided now than ever before in U.S. history. We seem divided by not only class and religion, but we seem to be revisiting the civil rights issues of the 1960’s. I am a child of the 1960’s and I remember the racial tensions and I was actually a victim of several beatings in my high school during race riots. It left some scars, but these things just take time and prayer. God can and has helped me.

So many divisions – yet we say SHALOM to one another. We say, PEACE ON EARTH, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN. How dare we? This is not peace. Will it ever be? If so, how? God only knows. Ah… that is the key – GOD knows. I do not know how this thing called “life” on planet earth will play out. This I do know: with the Holy Spirit in my heart, He gives me a PEACE that passes all human understanding. It is my job to love everyone – no matter what. And if I get hurt in any way, it’s my job to forgive quickly and pray for the one(s) who hurt me. Then God can help me heal.

It’s my job to read God’s Word, the Holy Bible. I need to take in what it says and apply it to my life. It’s God’s job to guide me along that narrow path that keeps me safe from the ugliness this world has to offer. I just pray and read my Bible. It’s such a simple recipe for a life filled with God’s peace. It’s there for the asking. Ask God for His peace – not as the world gives – but His peace will be beyond anything this world understands.




Just because I was given a few talents does not mean that I can even almost decorate my house for Christmas. As we drive around the neighborhood, I am in awe of the beautiful and unique decorations at our neighbor’s houses. There are some very creative women living around us.

Last week, we took a trip to Tonkawa, Oklahoma to visit the holiday lights factory. To our shock and surprise, the factory will be closing permanently in early January, 2014. Some items were up to 70% off, so of course we felt it was urgent to buy things while we could. You can’t buy everything at Wal-mart, ya know.


We looked around at all the magnificent displays. The practical person I am, my first thought was, “How would we store these things?” There were some beautiful displays, but they were so big there was no way we could use them. Even at 70% off they were still too expensive to buy anyway. I said “pass” on most of it. Call me crazy, but I like to have money left over to buy, oh, I don’t know – groceries, gas, essentials.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted it. Rope lighting. I can store that! There was 150 ft. of multi-color rope lighting on a spool – only one left. I had to have it. My mind feverishly scrambled to come up with the perfect place to use it. I imagined stringing it in our front garden, sort of looping it around the now dead shrubs. I pictured what it would look like if it lined the back deck. I thought, “What if we wrapped it all around our fountain in the back yard?” Well, of course these were all just fleeting ideas. But one thing was for sure: I had to have it.

We decided to buy it. Okay – step one was complete. I was now the proud owner of 150 ft. of multi-color rope lighting. Now what? As we drove from Tonkawa back to Wichita my mind was racing! I had to come up with something really great – the perfect place to use this rope lighting. I had to convince my husband that we made the right decision. I could not have him feeling buyer’s remorse when we got home – he could not know that I don’t have a clue what to do with this stuff! I just wanted it – I thought it was so pretty. Um… no, I would have to do better than that. He thought I already had a plan. I had to think! It takes one hour to drive from Tonkawa to Wichita, so I had to think fast!

We pulled into the driveway and I was still just as clueless as ever. I knew the question was coming – and soon. We went in the house and ate supper. I was still thinking; I’m surprised he didn’t see the smoke rolling from my ears, I was thinking so hard.

Then the question came: “Where did you want to PUT this rope lighting?” My jaw dropped as though the question came as a complete surprise to me. I no more as said, “Well…” when he said, “I assumed you wanted to line the top of the fence.”

I looked him straight in the face and said, “Oh yeah, that’s what I had in mind all along!” Whew! 😉




Didn’t Bob Hope teach us all how to live? With humor, trusting that God will take care of us. He gave selflessly and was a blessing to all around him.

No matter how much I give – God gives back to me ten-fold. Now, let me stop right there. By “give” I do not necessarily mean money. I do not mean that if I give a chunk of change to a charity that God will reimburse me. That is NOT what I’m saying. I am not telling you that you will prosper financially. I am, however, telling you that my soul feels greatly prospered when I give of my time, talents and maybe some treasure. My soul is richer for giving. And God gives to me in a number of different ways. He rewards the good work we do.

I’m also not encouraging anyone to give and give to others and ignore your own needs. I don’t believe God would have us do that at all. We do need to take care of ourselves and our families. God has entrusted us with a precious charge when He allows us to be in a family. It is imperative that you first take care of your family. But we do need to be aware of the needs surrounding us outside our own family as well.

The Bible tells us that the poor will always be among us and that’s why being involved in charity work is such a rewarding opportunity. It’s a chance to do for others and lay your own “needs” (which are sometimes actually “wants”) aside to help someone else.

It’s true, you really can not out-give God. This season of giving could be a great opportunity to share what God has blessed you with. Do you have time to give to a lonely neighbor? Do you have a God-given talent for something that you could do for someone? Do you have a little extra treasure you could share with someone else? I’ll bet if you prayed and asked God, He would put someone on your heart that you could help this Christmas season. ❤