Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bury - Don't Carry

Photo from

Wilma Mankiller served as the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, the second largest tribe in the United States, headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, from 1985 to 1995. She was born in poverty, suffered from various health issues during her life, and endured strong opposition when she decided to campaign for Chief because she was a female. During her time as Chief, the tribe flourished, and she made many notable accomplishments for which she received national recognition and awards. She was known to be a strong, but humble leader. Wilma Mankiller passed away April 6, 2010 at the age of 64 from pancreatic cancer. The current Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Chad Smith, received a letter from her a few weeks before she died. Mankiller stated in the letter how she learned long ago that she could not control her life's challenges but "I can control the way I think about them and react to them."

Four days before Mankiller passed away, she wrote a letter and requested it be read at her memorial service. A small portion of the letter reads: "I know that many people around here believe in burial. But I would like them to bury something after today. I would like them to bury any unkindness or anger or hurtful things I may have done. Bury those with me." I found Wilma Mankiller's statements thought provoking. How good are we at forgiveness and burying our grudges? Webster's Dictionary defines grudge as "a feeling of deep-seated resentment or ill will." Some people will carry unforgiveness and grudges for decades and even to the grave. We have a multitude of opportunities to acquire unforgiveness and grudges. If not dealt with, that could result in a lot of baggage for us to carry and it is not the way the Lord intends for us to live. Although I have learned that with major offenses forgiveness is not automatic, but a process that has to be walked through and prayed over frequently. Simply stated, forgiveness is literally freeing. "Bury - don't carry" is a motto I want to adopt when offenses come.

And then there is another way to think of grudges - do we hold grudges against people because of a mistake they made 30 years ago or due to their ethnicity or because their lifestyle choices don't match up to ours? The Lord is in the judging business, not us. Romans 14:13 NIV, in part, reads: Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another.

Another statement from Wilma Mankiller's final letter reads: "When I was 7 or 8 and living here, no one would have ever guessed what the future would bring. I hope people will learn from that - about themselves and about others. Don't turn away from people because of how they look or what they have, because you never know what they'll contribute to the world."

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NIV

And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 2 Timothy 2:24 NIV

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hens and Chicks in Rocks

A former neighbor gave me these interesting rocks as he knew I appreciate different types of rocks. These were perfect for providing natural planters for hens and chicks.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Complete Trust in God

Timeless words by St. Francis de Sales (August 21, 1567 - December 28, 1622)

Do not look forward to the trials and crosses of this life with dread and fear, rather look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God to whom you belong will deliver you from them.

He has guided and guarded you thus far in life. Do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand He will carry you lovingly in His arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same eternal Father who cares for you today will take good care of you tomorrow and every day of your life. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you the unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace then and put aside all useless thoughts, all vain dreads, and all anxious imaginations.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010


This postcard is postmarked July 6, 1914 and has an inscription "Say kid how did you like your buggy ride Sunday?"

I have a tendency to collect too many recipes, so many I don't believe I will ever have time to try them all. Because of the volume of these, I keep them in a plastic box. If a slow day happens, maybe I will sort them. The recipes that are tried and true and, with certainty, will be made again, are typed, saved on the computer, and kept in plastic covers in a three-ring binder. If I discover a helpful hint while preparing the recipe I include that, as well as where I received the recipe. This is an ongoing effort, but for me it's worth it. Since this takes time, the files should be backed up on a CD or external hard drive.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Missing the Blessing

With Mother's Day this weekend, I have been thinking about a couple of close friends with very different family situations than mine. One friend has not received the love and acceptance she deserves from her mother and the other one did not receive it. In the insightful book The Gift of the Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent, Ph.D., the authors discuss parental love and acceptance (and the lack thereof), which they refer to as "the blessing." In the Old Testament, parents bestowing the blessing on their children was an extremely important event. The authors contend the relationship elements of the blessing remain relevant to the present time. The Gift of the Blessing lists helpful steps to aid those in need of healing who have not received the blessing and details how we can provide the blessing to our families and others.

One friend of mine "Amanda" left a job so she could be the main care giver for her mother who was dying of cancer. To the end, her mother remained unkind to her. The mother's attitude toward Amanda even negatively influenced her father, two brothers, and two sisters and still persists to this day, many years after her mother's death. A sentence from The Gift of the Blessing reads: "Yet effort doesn't always equal a desired response." In any situation, we are only responsible for our efforts, not the end result that we cannot control. According to Hebrews 12:14 we are to make every effort to live in peace with all men. Ephesians 6:13 NIV tells us ". . . and after you have done everything, to stand" [firm in the faith].

Pam King, wife of evangelist Jim King, believes all women are born with a God given "mother instinct." She believes the enemy comes to steal the natural ability to love, nurture, and care for a child from mothers who abuse or abandon their children. John 10:10 NIV says: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy."

Though the experiences of my friends have been extremely hurtful, these mighty women of valor derive their self-worth from the Lord and look to Him for the unwavering, eternal blessing that He provides. Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV states: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. . . "

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