Tuesday, August 3, 2010

That's Life.............

What is Life?
To be born?
To fulfill all your dreams?
A Song?

Define Life. 
Something that's living.
The period of time that something or someone exists.
A manor of living......(a life of ease)
The reason for existence......(you're my life)
The source of liveliness.........(the life of the party)
A Biography.

What will your Biography say?

Something to think about................

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And the cow jumped over the moon.......

It's hard to believe that my first grandchild, Alissa, will be 13 this week.  I've spent a lot of time reminiscing about her as a baby and throughout the years.  It seems like yesterday that Nana was rocking her and singing "Nana's Lullaby" to her and now she's a beautiful young lady. Time is passing by too quickly!

I'll never forget when she was a baby, we were in church and I was holding her. She had her passie in her mouth and it was just a going!  I looked down at her and wiggled my nose.  She smiled through her passie and giggled.  Well, that was it for me.  Steph and I laughed uncontrollably and as quietly as we could. This happened during the preaching!  It was one of those times when you laugh so hard you cry! 

Another favorite memory of her was her ballet years.  Alissa started ballet classes when she was 3.  She always loved to play dress up so this was the perfect thing for her to get to do.  She took several years of ballet and we attended all of her recitals.  She was so precious in her little dance costumes!  Even after the recitals, her costumes became her play clothes and she transpired into a "balla-princess" once again.  That's what she called it...."balla-princess".

On one particular birthday she got a new purple tutu that came with a crown and a magic wand.  She danced and twirled and entertained us all.  She was so precious and cute and my heart swelled with pride......she's my granddaughter!

To this day I'm still not sure what transpired, but in a split second she was not happy with me.  She turned her sweet little face to me, scrunched her nose, lowered her eyebrows in her "I'm going to throw a fit" face, waved her magic wand at me and said, "Poof!  You're a Cow!"  In an immediate reaction to her spell,  my smile turned to the "granny stare" that would scare the horns off a billy-goat....and in an instant, her magic wand disappeared and never was seen again!   Mooooo

Monday, July 5, 2010

Smile awhile and give your face a rest................

As I’m laying back in the dental chair and a surgery lamp hanging over my head, I have flash backs of childhood when technology was not what it is today. I have to commend the person who invented the little suction wand that removes excess saliva during the teeth cleaning process. When I was a kid, the hygienist gave us a paper cup of water and we did the three “S‘s“. We sipped, swished and spit. It was awkward and embarrassing as drool made it’s way down the side of the little green, porcelain spittoon and down my chin! Now that I’m older, I can think of so many things that were wrong about that. Unless there was a full time janitorial service to clean up after every patient’s hits and misses, I am horrified to think of being the last patient of the day! Which makes me think of a similar porcelain object in my home that grosses me out not nearly as much!

I also remember when the hygienists didn’t wear gloves or surgical masks. Today, thanks to OSHA, many more precautions are taken. I’m always happy to see my hygienist put on a fresh set of gloves before putting her hands in my mouth and I‘m especially appreciative when she‘s wearing a surgical mask. Knowing there is a barrier between her DNA and mine makes me feel much better. Yes….times have changed a lot.

Finally, after sitting quietly while the hygienist works magic on my smile, I recall other times when a previous hygienist asked way too many questions. Don’t you hate it when that happens! First of all asking all of those personal questions makes you want too say, “It’s non of your biz-wax”, but how can you say anything at all with her hand crammed in your mouth…..I’m just sayin‘!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Will work for food..........

It’s been a long time since I've had to look for a job. I have decided that it is a full time job in its self. It's pretty painful preparing a decent resume, looking through the want ads in the local newspaper, faxing and e-mailing resumes in hopes of getting a call for an interview. Not only that, but spending days on end hand delivering resumes to every location that looks like a potential place of employment.  By the time I'd  been in and out of the car fourteen times the other day....in 100 degree weather, I started to  linger a little longer in each office just to take in the cool air.  I could visualize the staff talking about the sweaty street bum with a red face and soppin' wet hair, hanging out in the waiting room......I'm sure they considered calling security.  But, on the positive side....maybe I will be the very one they remember!

Then there is the interview process.  My first interview was with a staffing company who told me there would be a test.  I thought, no problem.  After finishing in about three hours, the smart mouthed little receptionist said, "It was only supposed to take about forty five minutes to an hour!"  I just wanted to slap her silly!  I've had to try really hard to be on my best behavior during this process!.....hoping not to do or say anything stupid.....knowing that unrehearsed words may escape my mouth, and the spirit of my mother may come over me!

Sadly, I’ve already been horrified by my spur of the moment stupidity when a possible employer said she would shake my hand but she’d been coughing.  I ever so stupidly said, “Okay…air shake!” and stuck my hand out in a pretend hand shake!  As I left her office, all I could say to my self was, “Air shake????……..AIR SHAKE!!!!”  What am I …...a twelve year old!

While I could blog a whole story about each interesting and memorable interview I’ve had so far, I will refrain.….in fear that somehow the very place that wants to hire me, won’t …..because they read my blog. I’m just sayin……………..

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Super Hero................

In most every little girl is planted the idea that her dad is a super hero. I’m one of them. My dad…..John Wayne. Yep, that was my dad. He wore boots and jeans, a big felt hat. Strapped on his leg was holster with a real pistol in it. He's a pistol alright!

I remember when I was about fourteen, my boyfriend came over riding his motor cycle. We were outside talking when my dad came out in his John Wayne attire. With his arms wide at his side and his right hand over his pistol, he looked like he was going to snatch that gun right outta the holster, twirl it around, and then take down the punk that was messin with his daughter! In seconds, my boyfriend saddled that bike, spun out….and left me in a trail of dust. And John Wayne???…. was laughing his head off! Oh, yes he was! That’s my dad! Super hero…..not exactly perfect timing for me ….but, none the less a Super Hero he was and is.

More than his mischievousness, though, my dad had a serious side. I remember one time getting in trouble and my dad, my Super Hero, gave me a whippin!….with a belt. Now, normally, my mom was the one to discipline me, but that time I must have done something really awful for her to bring in the big guns! You see….if I was in trouble with mom, she’d have to chase me around the table and catch me before I got a spanking. By the time she caught up to me, she would be laughing too hard to spank me. Therefore, all was forgotten. Oh….but not my dad!

I’ve seen my dad grab a snake by the tail and pop it’s neck, then hang it on the barbed wire fence. I’ve seen him saddle and ride a horse like a real cowboy. I’ve seen him come home from work at midnight, covered with black suet and read letters I left for him because he worked long hours and I didn‘t get to see him much. More admirably, I’ve seen him on more than one occasion, witness to someone at a garage sale. That’s why they call him a Garage Sale Missionary. What an amazing man he is.

So….this Father’s Day I wrote him a song…..My Hero, My Dad.
Here are the lyrics.  Copyright 2010.

My Hero, My Dad

There is a man who warms my heart
Who’s always loved me from the start
There is a man with calloused hands
Hard working man, my hero, my dad.

If ever there were knights in shining armor
Superman, Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers
They couldn’t hold a candle to this man
I call my hero, my dad.

No matter how old I am
Daddy’s little girl I’ll always be
He’s always there to stand by me
My hero…..

If ever there were knights in shining armor
Superman, Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers
They couldn’t hold a candle to this man
I call my hero, my dad.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stuffed Turkey............

The tradition for many families at Thanksgiving is having “stuffed turkey”. My family has turkey, of course, but as far as I know our turkeys are not stuffed. As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen a stuffed turkey. So tell me this……what does that mean exactly? Does it mean that the turkey, prior to it’s execution, is fed it’s last meal? It’s given every food it could possibly want to eat before hatchet day…..causing the poor bird to over eat, and therefore he’s stuffed?

I feel that way after every meal! I seem to push myself to the limit when certain foods are concerned. I don’t know why I do it!! Take Mexican food, for instance. I generally start off by eating chips and salsa, ordering my favorite enchiladas, drinking 2 or 3 diet cokes then, if anyone else wants a sopapilla, I will have one, too. Now I know there must be at least 500 fat grams in this meal alone, but tell my brain that it’s off limits and I will act like fool if you try and keep it from me. Therefore, I leave with the feeling of being overly “stuffed” and call myself a pig for doing it…..oink, oink!

I can see how the pig could be described as being “stuffed” since it doesn’t know when to quit when it comes to the slop it eats. But the poor turkey?  He’s stuffed BY someone…. and baked with his stuffing that was crammed into him… and then eaten by someone who has the intention of being stuffed himself…. by the very turkey HE stuffed. Mind boggling, I know!

And every time I use the phrase “I‘m stuffed“, I think about the pig who has no self control and then I picture myself in his body. I complain about gaining weight only to stuff myself again. I have come to realize that humans did not come from monkeys like they taught us in school.  We may act like monkeys sometimes but I think we must have come from pigs. Think about it! Our world is centered around food. We have breakfast and then a snack. We have lunch and then a snack. And for entertainment…..we go out to eat and have a 500 fat gram meal! Before we can count the little piggys on our footsies, we’ve fixed ourselves a midnight snack and wonder why we can‘t sleep. Now tell me, this……doesn't this sound like pigs to you??

So.....next time someone asks you if you want stuffing, just say, “no thanks, I'm stuffed already!"

I'm just sayin'.......

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Only my hairdresser knows.......

Why do women color their hair?  Is it to impress someone or is it for self gratification?  Magazines are full of colorful advertisements that suck us in to the theory that hair color will make us look younger and more beautiful.  It's true, people!  Even the younger girls have determined that hi-lites will make them more popular and more in trend.  The first young girl to color her hair will in essence.... start a trend.  It's the parents that will have to deal with the consequences of beginning the whole hair experience that will continue for the rest of their lives.

Going to the hair salon is a day I look forward to.  In that hour and a half, I am pampered and transformed.  It's a miracle, in my opinion!  If only in that hour and a half my body was transformed, too.  Unfortunately, there's not a color that can cover up the damage age has done to that! 

Today I passed by a Hair Salon called MANNA HAIR, APPOINTED AND ANOINTED.  Somehow, thinking of my hair as being manna from heaven leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  No one wants to think of hair relating to food!  My daughter told me about another hair salon called, CURL UP AND DYE.  I love that name, but sometimes that's exactly how I feel when my hair is a mess!  How many times have we used the phrase, "I'm having a bad hair day!".......only a woman could relate to that!

One thing I have learned for sure....once you start the process of coloring your hair, you are more than likely in it for life. It's not only addictive, it's costly. But none of us want to see how many more gray hairs are under that gorgeous head of colored hair.

The Bible talks about God loving us so much He knows the number of hairs on our head...and what color they are!  I'm guessing God is really good at math since everyday there are multiple hairs left unaccounted for.  The Bible also talks about a womans hair being her pride and joy.....yep, it's in there!

In conclusion, if a woman's hair is her crown and glory, then our trips to the hair salon every six weeks are not only a necessity, but an expense well worth budgeting!   I'm just sayin'..........

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Butch Cassidy................

In my criminal years, I managed to pass as a precious 7 year old girl.  I began my career as a bonafide thief as early as 5 and by age 8 I was completely rehabilitated.  I now live as a normal, trustworthy citizen.

One incident I remember vividly, just like it was yesterday......it haunts me even now.  My grandparents, who were pastors of a little church I often write about, had a dog named Butch.  I played with him every time I was at their house and considered him to be my best friend.  He was a sweet and loving pet.   Little did I know, Butch would be the one to take me down!  It was for my own good, I realize now, but at the time I accused him of being a traitor.  Here's the story.

One Sunday morning after church I was invited to spend the afternoon with one of my friends.  She had the cutest Barbie doll I'd ever seen.  You see, I didn't have many Barbie's back then.  I mostly had baby dolls.  As we were leaving for the evening service, I packed my play clothes and carefully wrapped Barbie up in them.  After hearing my Granddaddy preach that night I began to feel conviction.  By the time we got in the car to head home, the kidnapped Barbie became a flaming reminder of my sin.

When we got to my grandmother's house and everyone had gone in, I lingered long enough to dispose of the body.  My trusted friend and playmate, Butch, must have seen me when I threw Barbie over the fence.  I think he must have been on to me because.......

The next morning....relieved to have destroyed the evidence of yet another crime, I was off to school.  What I learned from this experience was "Crime does NOT pay!"  When I got home, my mother confronted me with a gnarled up Barbie that Butch Cassidy retrieved, chewed up and turned in to the authorities!  It was then that I realized the dog could not be trusted.  May he rest in peace!..........

Monday, June 7, 2010

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.......

When my daughter, Stephanie, was about sixteen, I played the piano for a kids choir that she sang in.  It was directed by Iva Albright, who died a few years ago.  She was an amazing woman.  The little choir she directed had about 25 students and they were pretty good.  They sang at Opry Land one year and that was a fun trip for us.  We stayed at the Opry  Land Hotel and all expenses were paid!  Of course there were many rehearsals prior to this trip. 

One evening, before rehearsal, Steph and I went to eat at Mercado's.  I wore a long sleeved shirt and a denim straight skirt that was to my ankles.  You have to understand....that was the style back then. While we were there it started to rain.  Since we didn't have our umbrellas with us, when time came to leave, we had to make a run for it.  Stephanie was the first one to the car and I was close behind her.  It was hard to run in a straight skirt. 

When I reached the car and unlocked it, I put my right foot in first.  Because my skirt was straight, my other leg slipped out from under me and down I went.  Flat on my back with raindrops falling in my face.  It happened so fast that it took a second for me to realize I'm laying on my back in the rain.

At the same time that happened, Stephanie was opening the door to get in.  One minute she saw me and the next minute she was wondering where I went!  I was no where in sight......until she saw my foot in the floorboard.  Of course she started laughing and laughing and laughing!  Leaving me flat on my back in the rain never occurred to her.  Hellur....Steph, help your mother and make sure she's okay!  Nope, she just laughed her head off.  A man and woman, who were leaving at the same time we were, saw me fall and ran over to help me.  They looked at Stephanie like she was the meanest brat they'd ever seen.  That in it's self was hilarious!

After I pulled myself together we headed to rehearsal.  I was drenched and sore and embarrassed and I was laughing hysterically.  Every time Stephanie and I looked at each other we laughed until we cried.....literally!

From that point forward I never...ever....ran in the rain again.  Yesterday........Stephanie did!  You'll have to ask her what happened!  Lessons are hard to learn sometimes!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Don't be chicken.......

When I was a little girl I stayed at my Grandmother Wallaces' house a lot.  I remember how hot it was when I played outside.  The grass was brown and dry and there were a million grass burs.  I mostly stayed in the back yard where there was some shade and the dirt driveway saved me from the grass burs.  I would pretend the butane tank was a horse and I would ride it through the hills and vales of my imagination.  Grandmother would bring out a basket of wet clothes and I would help her pin the clothes on the line.

I'll never forget the time Granddaddy brought home several crates of live chickens.  I watched as my grandmother, who I thought was so sweet, reach in that crate and pull out a chicken by it's neck.  I assumed that was the way to do it if you didn't want to get pecked to death.  What she did after that would haunt me for the rest of my life.  I saw that chicken twirl around and around......with Grandmother's hand firmly around it's neck.  She looked like she was cranking an old hooptie car!  It looked funny at first until the body flopped away from it's head.......that was still in her hand!!  I was mortified!!!

We helped pluck the feathers from the chickens and they were cleaned, butchered, and prepared for the freezer.  After that, eating fried chicken was a bitter sweet experience.  I visualized myself coughing and feathers flying out of my mouth.  Or going to sleep at night by counting flopping, headless chickens instead of sheep.  A giggle would turn into a wide eyed sleepless night.

There was an old saying back then when someone was misbehaving, "I'm going to wring your neck!"  Seeing that headless chicken put a whole new meaning to that phrase.  If I didn't like fried chicken so much I think that experience would have made a vegetarian out of me!  I'm just sayin.......

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You're so vain...........

It's amazing how we learn at an early age to be conscious of our looks.  I remember as a child dressing up in my mother's clothes.  I played the part of a doting mother to my baby doll whose name I don't recall.  For kids today, dressing up has taken a different turn.  You'll find almost any costume at any toy store or toy department.  You'll find an assortment of costumes for whoever you want to be.  Whether a princess, a Barbie, Batman, Batgirl, Superman, a character from Toy Story, Star Wars or many others, there's a costume for you.

When my daughter was a little girl, the only time you could get a costume was at halloween.  The costumes were cheep and ugly, so one year I made her one.  An hour before trick-or-treating, I searched the house and found some red and white checked fabric for a dress, a white sheet for an apron and red yarn for hair.  With a little make-up and creativity, she turned out  to be the cutest raggedy Ann doll I've ever seen.

I never realized my daughter cared so much about her looks until, at a very young age, she was studying her great-great grandmother, who we called Momma Baker.  She was in her 90's and was the most precious and sweet lady I've ever known.  However, she had the deepest wrinkles I've ever seen....on her face, arms and legs.  I guess the years of picking cotton and gardening were not kind to her.  Stephanie asked her granny,(my mom), what  was wrong with Momma Baker's skin.   Granny said to her, "That's what happens to us when we get old."  Stephanie, who was mortified, said in all seriousness, "I'd rather die first."

..........out of the mouths of babes.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Ring those golden bells........

My first year of school was at Andy Woods Elementary in Tyler.  I had a brand new dress for each day of the week and I was so excited.  It was a big school for a 1st grader.  We didn't have kindergarten back then nor did we have color TV.  It hadn't been invented yet.

Miss Knife was my teacher and I remember her long black hair and her red lipstick.  She was so pretty and so nice.  I really liked her.  I remember how much I loved her telling stories in our story corner. Every morning one of the kids in my class would hold the flag while we said the Pledge of Allegiance.  Amazingly enough we said a prayer before lunch.

I don't remember the lunch room but I do remember the bathroom.  I left my birthstone ring on the sink when I washed my hands and forgot about it.  When I remembered it, I went back to get it and it was gone.  Somebody stole it.  I loved that ring....it was silver with two pink hearts. I guess crime back then was as rampant as it is today.

I had a rough year my first grade.  I remember having to do a lot of make-up homework because I missed so much school.  I had my tonsils removed and I cut my foot on a broken coke bottle jumping the rows in my grandparent's garden. It cut the main artery and I nearly bled to death.  My parents took me to the hospital where they gave me blood because I had lost so much. I had only gotten about pint when my parents thought I'd had enough and took me home.  God must have had His hand on me because I lived through it.  Thankfully my parents were given a second chance at parenting when they had my brother.  I was the guinea pig...bless my little heart!  He got to have a normal childhood.....thanks to me.  I'm not bitter anymore.

I'm not sure when we moved to Chandler but having to change schools my second year was interesting.  No more sweet Miss Knife, my beautiful teacher.  Instead I had an older lady for a teacher, Mrs Lindsay.  She was gruff and tough and I was afraid of her.  I remember being at recess after lunch when she came out with a hand bell, like the one on Little House on the Prairie, and she was ringing it over and over.  I didn't know why she was doing that but I soon learned that this little country school didn't have the kind of school bells we had at Andy Woods. 
Our class had two grades in it.  While Mrs. Lindsey taught the first grade, the second grade was reading or working on a paper. One morning the first grade class was having a spelling test while we were reading. Mrs. Lindsay was in the middle of the test when she stopped and said, "Rat! I see a rat!"  Because this school was old and creepy, I responded to the warning of a rat being in our room.  I jumped up in my chair and stayed there until I realized that "rat" was one of the first grade spelling words and Mrs. Lindsay's sentence for it was, "I see a rat!".   I never wanted my mommy more than I did at that moment!  The whole class was laughing at me sitting so prim and proper with my feet planted firmly in my little chair..........I certainly didn't want the rat to get me but I think the rat would have been a better fate.

It was at that moment in time that I realized Mrs. Lindsay actually knew how to laugh.  I really wasn't sure she even knew how........until then.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rewind the video, please.............

I have two precious grandchildren who have been the light of my life since their birth!  Sometimes they are little angels and other times they are very challenging.  My granddaughter is the strong willed one and my grandson plays the "clueless" part.....which I don't fall for one minute!  He reminds me a lot of myself at his age.

One evening, a few years ago, they spent the night with me.  It was probably a Wednesday night after church.  After they had gotten their baths I walked into their bathroom to pick up their wet towels.  To my panicked surprise there were matches all over the floor.  Grant it, I should have never had matches in a bathroom where kids are, but be that as it may, I picked them all up and headed to their bedroom for the "talk". 

"Which one of you got into the matches?", I asked.  "Not me." Alissa said.  "I didn't do it.", Peyton said. "Well, somebody in here had to do it because I know I didn't!"  Then I gave them the lecture of how dangerous it was to play with matches and how one strike could burn Nana's house down.  Then I asked again, "Who was playing with the matches?"  I got the same reply from both of them "I didn't do it, Nana!"

Finally, I told them that it would be much better for them if they just confessed rather than me finding out who did it...."and I WILL find out." I told them.  I got no reply from either of them until I said, "Okay...I'm going to my bedroom to pray about this and Jesus will tell me who did it."  When I turned to walk away  Peyton, who believes me when I say I have eyes in the back of my head, began to fidget.  He said, "Nana, wait a minute.  Let me rewind my video from today."  He took his little finger and pointed it at his ear and began to move it in circles like we used to do when we thought someone was crazy.  He rewound his video with his eyes moving back and forth as he muttered little sounds...."Ooh,  hmmm,  okay.....hmmm.  Well....Nana, I.....might.... have done it."  Well, praise the Lort!  A sinner has come home!!!  It was all I could do to keep a straight face!

A week or so later when they were back at Nana's house to spend the night again, I was doing the usual routine of picking up their wet towels.  What looked like hair spray or something was all over the bathroom mirror!  I asked a simple question ......to my precious grandkids, "what is this all over the mirror?", and got the oddest reply from my grandson!  "I didn't do it, Nana!!  You can ask Jesus and He will TELL you I did NOT do it!"

I have to admit.....I must have made an impression on him, because the Nana that's always had eyes in the back of her head, NOW has a direct telephone line to Jesus.............and I DO, my precious kids!  Don't ever forget it!

Laughter is the best medicine indeed!!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Angel of Mercy.....

My great-grandmother, Sarah Ann Beam (Mammaw), was an amazing woman.  In her younger years, with seven young children twelve years old and under, she lost her husband.  Back then, a woman with children and no spouse usually wound up loosing their children to foster care.  It was a blessing and a relief when her father and mother-in-law were gracious enough to welcome them into their home. 

My grandmother, Nina Mae, was one of the twelve children. She's the first one in the picture that's dated 11/24/1926.  She married Milton Andrew Wallace who became a minister. He and Grandmother moved to Chandler in 1944 after God called them to be there.  They pastored a little white church next to the railroad tracks.  I grew up in that church and I often refer to it when telling my stories. 

As long as I can remember, my Mammaw Beam lived with my Grandmother and Granddaddy Wallace.  I would get off the bus at their house and Mammaw would fix me some toast.  There was a picture of her and my great-grandfather on the wall in the bedroom.  I'd never met him but I often stared at the picture pretending I was there and wondering what it would have been like to have lived back then.

The thing I remember most about my Mammaw was how she gave to the poor.  I remember Mother taking her shopping for shoes and coats for a family with seven small children.  All she had was her Social Security check but I'm sure she probably spent it all on them.  I guess in her mind she never forgot how someone extended mercy to her.

Many other times I saw her do the same for other children and it made a huge impression on my life.  I'll never forget how she fasted every Thursday.  We would have a nice dinner that she helped prepare but she wouldn't eat it.  Instead, she read her Bible and prayed.  She never complained about it.  I often wondered what she was praying about.  But now that I'm older, and have kids of my own, I know she must have been praying for her children.  Stephanie was only a baby when Mammaw died.

A few years ago I wrote a song about her called ANGEL OF MERCY.  It is copy written and was recorded by The Wallace Sisters.  Here are the lyrics:

Mammaw's picture on the wall has been there for years.
I still think about her now and then.
She was a lady and a mother; but more than all of these
She was an angel and a friend.

If she had it she'd give it away.
If she needed, she knew how to pray.
She was an angel of mercy to everyone she'd meet.
A saint workin' for Jesus every day.

Mammaw took care of the poor; the young and the old.
I still think about her heart of gold.
If I could be some like her;  I'd hope that I would be
As loyal to my Lord and family

Cause if she had it she'd give it away.
If she needed, she knew how to pray.
She was an angel of mercy to everyone she'd meet.
A saint workin' for Jesus every day
A saint workin' for Jesus every day

.....A Tribute to Sarah Ann Beam

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jail House Blues.....

If I ever had to take a polygraph test and the question was asked, "Have you ever stolen something?"...I would have to say "yes" or I would have sent the needle spinning. If there was ever a prison for 6 year olds I would have been sentenced there. I can hear the judges gavel and his gruff words saying "GUILTY"...... oh, wait a minute! That was Mammaw Beam! Let me back up to the beginning of the story.

I guess I was about 6. I had spent Sunday afternoon with my Aunt Nita and Uncle John. Their daughter didn't live there anymore but her room was still in tact. As a kid, my favorite thing to do was open drawers and go through someone else's stuff. To me it was like going on a treasure hunt. I certainly found a treasure chest that day. Oddly, the thing that totally mesmerized me into becoming the "mini-me" of the Pink Panther", was a small hand full of tiny colored clothes pins. I plotted and planned and was successful in removing the treasure from the treasure chest......I did it! I got off scott free. Until I went to church that night.

I sat on the second pew behind Mammaw Beam. We sang the old hymns, gave in the offering plate then Granddaddy Wallace preached the sermon. At the end of the sermon was the altar call. Back then everybody had a reason to respond to the invitation and the altars were full. I think that's where I messed up. I stayed in my seat.   All was clear, I was almost home free when my great-grandmother met me eye to eye. She was getting closer and closer and I felt my cheeks turning pink. She sat down beside me and asked me if I had anything to pray about. I looked at her with my wide"innocent" eyes and said, "no mam". She asked me again and I responded the same way. How did she know? Did she have a direct line to God? If I tried to run would she catch me?

I guess I blacked out or fainted because all I remembered after that was having a come to Jesus meeting with my Mammaw's hands planted firmly on the top of my head......and her words asking God to forgive me. I cried and cried and cried at the altar that night............ because I knew I was going to have to give my little clothes pins back.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Put your hand in the hand...........

Hands......though small in comparison with the rest of our being, are significant beyond measure. No matter how small, how large, how manicured or how calloused, hands are a powerful tool. From the moment we're born our hands take on an important roll in our life. A tiny baby wraps it's little fingers around it's mother's and the process begins.

As a child is nurtured and cared for, it's ability to learn swings into action. The tiny fingers that once held on to mommy's have ventured out to hold a bottle.....and we smile with love and affection as the baby learns to pat-a-cake!

Time slips by so quickly as the child becomes a toddler and then a pre-school'er and boy are hands busy now! .....with toys and balls, books and crayons, puzzles, swings and other things. They've learned the art of buttoning a shirt, slipping on shoes and combing their hair; pushing and pulling, playing games; cell phones, i-pods and TV remotes; Nintendo, Wii's and keyboards.

Hands more mature now..... learn the art of affection. Holding hands with their first crush, and sweaty palms before their first kiss; petting a puppy or holding a kitten; rubbing achy shoulders of someone they love or changing a diaper when no one else wants to.

Hands are like puppets. They are controlled by the good, the bad, or the ugly. Hands in the hands of good, honest, and Godly people are like healing and masterful hands of love and compassion. But, hands in the hands of the evil and devious are destructive, frightening and brutal.

Hands say a lot about our character and show others the quality of life we live. Do we shake our fists at strangers or do we take out our wallet when someone is in need? Do we use our hands to defend our pride or do we fold our hands as we say a prayer? Do we use our hands in protest or do we extend our hands to the needy?

The Bible says, "Those who have clean hands and a pure heart will receive blessings from the Lord." It also says, "Lazy hands make for poverty". When Jesus was on the cross He said to God, "Into your hands I commit my spirit". And when we feel helpless.... we're apt to say, "It's in God's hands now," because we truly know........ "He's got the whole world in His hands!".

..............something to ponder.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I guess I was about 4 or 5 when mom bought me a pair of "pixie" shoes. They were black velvet with the toe curled up and a little jingle bell attached to it. When I walked I sounded like one of Santa's Elves. I loved those shoes soooo much.

One Sunday night while granddad was preaching in the little white church he built...I had to go potty. Mom let me go by myself this time. So...I jingled all the way to the front of the church where everyone could see me.... and "hear" me! I made my way to the restroom only to find it very dark in there. My plans were to step up on the potty lid and pull the string that turned the light on. However, to my surprise, someone had left the lid up.........that was the night me and my little "pixie" shoes were baptised...... halleluryer!

Olive Oil............

When I was little I remember sitting on an old wooden pew in a church my grandpa built. I was listening to the ancient hymns being sung with words I could not grasp. I always wondered why the song "I'm Too Near Home" talked about tobacco. "...there's nothing to go back to..." I didn't hear any other part of the song except "tobacco"......well, it sounded like tobacco to me!

My aunt Susie, who is like my sister, used to think "Saybut" was a girls name. "O Saybut I'm glad...I'm glad". And someone wrote a special song for Popeye's girlfriend. "Olive Oil....Yes Olive Oil!" You may know it as "I'll live on...yes I'll live on"

Not only did we mis-interpret the old hymns back then, but we also....for entertainment purposes....changed the words. For example: "Well....I wouldn't take nothin' for my Jersey cow. Gotta milk her tomorrow somehow!" That song was "I Wouldn't Take Nothin For My Journey Now".
When I was old enough to read, my friends and I would make word games out of hymn titles. I'll Fly Away "in the bathroom". Or....When The Redeemed Are Gathering In..."in the bathroom". Mind you, we did not play this game at home or after church....or even before church. No....we played it during the preaching. Sorry, mom! I've long since repented of this one.

I'm sure if you were a mature adult back then and thought the hymnal was "holy" you might not find the humor in all of this. I'm just sayin'.........

I love Jewelry......

Whether silver or gold, diamonds or pearls, rubies or sapphires.....I love jewelry. I wear it everyday. It's like my cell phone.....if I forget it, I will turn around and go back and get it. It makes me feel good. It makes a perfect gift. I save it for a rainy day. I treasure it. I collect it. I wear it on my wrists. I place it around my neck. I slip it on my fingers. I hang it on my ears like ornaments on a Christmas tree. Jewelry....... the perfect finishing touch.

But.....there is one thing far greater than silver or gold, diamonds or pearls, rubies or sapphires. No, it's not SHOES. However, I must admit, shoes make any outfit look like a million bucks! I will give you a few hints......:

It's something we're always looking for.
It's profitable, priceless and desirable.
It's satisfying and it adds life if you find it.
It will protect you, guard you and it's the wisest thing you can possibly do.
It's something we need and it's something we have......
But it's not something we always use.
It's described as a "she"........although, I'm not sure why.

..............it's WISDOM. Happy are those who hold her tightly.