Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pearls for Barbara

     After hearing she had been hospitalized, my thoughts turned to Barbara Bush.  She turns 85 this year and deserves to feel a bit under the weather on occasion I would say.

     When asked which presidential criticism was more difficult; husband or son Barbara replied, "Every hurt or every sickness for your children hurts more than-- I mean, every parent will tell you that." Though she tried to keep her personal convictions private, they often were not in agreement with neither son George nor husband George.  She also stated, after 60 plus years of marriage, she was still in love with her husband and proud of each of her children.

     A mother is a mother regardless of her station in life.  She loves her children equally but as differently as each child's personality dictates. She teaches them to be strong in their faith and their convictions, choosing their own paths.  (Even when we are sure ours is the better.)

     Barbara had the distinction of serving as both First and Second Lady of the White House and mother to a President. She preferred a casual lifestyle and unashamedly professed wearing her signature fake pearls to camouflage her wrinkles.
     Agree or disagree with her views, I admire her style and devotion to family.  So Barbara, we are wearing our pearls in your honor and sending you well wishes today.  After donning my favorite string, I have decided perhaps it is time to purchase my own set of fake ones.  I am wondering if they come in a larger size.  (Sigh)

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the Truth.
3 John 1:41
New International Version

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crazy People in the South!


Little Anglers

     Yesterday a few neighborhood children were fishing in the creek that runs through our property. There is just something endearing about little anglers intent on catching "a big one."  This little guy was a bit frustrated. He pointed out a particular fish he wanted to catch. He chased this one fish down the creek, but it kept getting away. "I can see him but he won't bite."

When they were much younger, our oldest grand daughters were totally excited about entering a fishing rodeo.  Of course matching pink boots, poles and rain gear were an absolute necessity.  After all, a girl has to always look her best, right?  Megan is the smaller determined looking one. She is obviously ready for her Moby Dick to be reeled in. Her older sister, Haley seems lighter hearted about the event and maybe a bit more concerned about sitting on the dirty bank.
       My daughter, Misty loved to fish when she was a small.  She had her favorite little red dress with pockets for her "gear" and her personal midget sized lawn chair. I still hold the picture in my mind of her proudly displaying her very first big fish.  Actually it was more of a minnow, but relatively speaking, it was her big fish and she couldn't be more proud.  Of course she did take issue with the fact the fish "kilt" her worm.  The folks let us fish at their place and charged by the pound.  Needless to say, they made little money from us, but we gained much.

     Important lessons can be learned on a fishing bank.  Traits are formed, like patience, determination, independence, sharing and good old fashioned family values.  The innocence of little bare feet, overalls, pig tails and giggles pass quickly. Creek side values birthed into little boys and girls have the makings of good men and women.
     "Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. " Matt 4:19

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Break

       What another beautiful day.  Perfect blue skies, flowers blooming, and best of all, a day full of visiting with great friends! 

       This week is spring break in our community. No harried schedules, just taking time out to enjoy and celebrate friendship over a great cup of Java at Gracie's.

        Regardless of the seasons of our lives, some things do not change.  True friends are forever. Through the good times we laugh together and in the not so good times, we cry together and encourage each other that weeping last for the night but joy comes again in the morning.  (Psalm 30:5)

        A true friend has no fear of holding you accountable.  Recently I asked our friend Dana if she was telling us we were full of it. Her immediate reply, "Well, if the outhouse fits, wear it."  Got to love friends like this!

        Nothing lifts your spirits more than having a friend drop in unexpected at the back door.  Those times are like receiving a gift for no particular occasion, all wrapped up in love.  A phone call or quick email wasn't good enough today. They wanted to see for themselves that all is well.

        We are so blessed to have a diversity of friends of all ages, ethnic and economic backgrounds.  Without a spoken word, it is clear, "We love you, and we will always have your back." 

        So, grab a friend or two and head out to a local coffee shop for a few hours.  Forget about counting calories for a day and order that scrumptious desert. No worries, you are among friends!

"A friend loves at all times."  Proverbs 17:17


Monday, March 22, 2010

"Sweatin' Oldie Goldie"

     Today is anything but a Blue Monday!  After a long weekend of not feeling well and yucky weather, it is a
gloriously beautiful day!

     Of course, as always, Dan finds a way to make me laugh!

     That's my Danno; the "Oldie Goldie Sweatin'."

      I wonder why the grandkids call him "Silly Papa!"

"She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life." —Proverb 31:12

Saturday, March 20, 2010


     When my sister was visiting from San Diego, she pointed out what she believed to be the city of Jonesboro's skyline. It indeed looks to an outsider like it could be exactly that.  It is in fact, the giant Riceland Foods headquarters.

     The walls of my home bear many prints from the city of Memphis where I lived most of my life. Fond memories of days spent with the children when they were small on Mud Island.  Many times we picnicked and played in the wading pool shaped like the Mississippi River while waiting for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display.  I remember strolling it's then downtown Main Street with my Dad on shopping trips. Those were very special times with just the two of us. I did not know just how few days I would have with my Father on this earth and I hold them dear to my heart.
      I find the night skyline particularly breathtaking.  The city looks so beautiful warm and inviting. Behind the glow of the lights lies the harsh reality of violent crime, prejudice, poverty and corruption.

     The team of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin seemed to have it all.  However, Mr. Lewis described the relationship:  "Hey mister that's a great looking pair of shoes. But, no one knows they hurt."  All the wealth, notoriety, success and levity, could not soothe the wounded soul of Mr. Lewis.
     Families and individuals also have their own personal skylines.  On the outside things may look picture perfect but often times much pain lies beneath.  There are many broken relationships that stubbornly refuse to be mended, passing bitterness rather than peace onto the next generation. Some of us have physical afflictions that plague our bodies and spirits without warning.
Thankfully, One is always as He appears.

"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever."
Hebrews 13:8

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Careful Instructions

      So, I have my flowers in hand ready to plant.  Then I noticed that there are planting instructions attached.

Step 1:  Dig a hole.
Step 2:  Place plant in hole.
Step 3:  Cover with soil.
Step 4:  Water.

In not one but TWO languages I might add.

I am so all over this one!

      For everything that was written long ago was written to instruct us, so that we might have hope through the endurance and encouragement that the Scriptures give us. 
Romans 15:4  ISV

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Daffodil Day

     One of the most promising signs of spring is the daffodil.  We all get excited when we see those little faces popping out of the earth.  It's as they are applauding; heralding that winter is falling by the wayside and blue skies and summer winds are coming soon.

     They are such incredibly sweet creations.  Just like smiles from heaven; they appear for just a brief season. Most of their time is spent underneath the earth.  It is there they multiply and grow in strength.

     I have participated in the American Cancer Society "Daffodil Days" spring fundraiser over the years, but only most recently it has occurred to me just how appropriately fitting that slogan is.

     My general physician recommended I resume annual checks with my oncologist.  This Easter season will mark my ninth year of survivorship from breast cancer.  While I was thankful for my physician's concern, I immediately began to have flashbacks and anxiety issues from darker days.  I could finally drive past the chemo lab without becoming nauseated. It was all I could bear to think of returning to that place.

     Not only did I receive a clear oncology report, I feel a part of my soul has been restored.  I did not walk past the treatment lab and see the dreaded bags of "red devil" being pumped into pale bodies and weep.  I was thankful that it was my season of healing, restoration and to encourage others.
     As I drove into my driveway after that morning oncology visit, there they were to greet me.  Small little yellow blooms smiling as to say, we made it another year.  We are stronger and brighter.  Warmer days and blues skies are on their way.  It was my very own special "Daffodil Day."

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 NLT

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Raising Eyebrows

     Never in a million years would one have guessed where Dan and I were hanging out late Friday night. Our friends "JR" and Traci were showing off their tattoos to us a few weeks back.  I made an error in judgment by telling them I had wanted to have some permanent makeup done.  They encouraged me to take the leap promising they would be there for me.  There was talk about how tattooing releases endorphins and actually feels good.

     Ironically enough, before chemo, I had made several trips for electrolysis treatments on my overly thick eyebrows.  Post chemotherapy I have found what I use to see as a nuisance would now be considered a luxury.  My hairdresser admitted after wrestling with my thick curly locks for years, never would she dream of me with thin hair, and sparse eyebrows and eyelashes.  Self esteem issues present themselves in the most unlikely ways.  So as a friend once said, "What God hath not wrought, we bought." 

    As promised, along with my husband, our friends showed up to cheer me on.  Apparently my body does not produce endorphins.  It was not entirely a euphoric experience for me.  As Tabitha, the sweet artist chatted cheerfully and buzzed away, I began to rethink the friendship thing.

     Seriously, it was not too terribly painful.  I was so excited to see the finished work, but also a bit taken aback to see "hair" on my brows again.  Tabitha is very meticulous and caring in her work.  Would I do it again? Absolutely I would!  A few minutes of mild discomfort far out weighs the constant pale chemo appearance staring back at you. 

    "JR" says you can't have just ONE tattoo.  Dan and I decided that perhaps a suitable tattoo for each of us could read, "If found, please return to owner."  Does anyone want to volunteer as our emergency friend?

    My husband did express one last concern.  "Maybe we shouldn't let it be known to all of our conservative cohorts that we were hanging out with the "tattoo people."  It might just cause some raised eyebrows."

See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Isaiah 49:16

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Forward - Fall Back


      Really, who doesn't want to put this winter behind us!
Don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour Saturday night. 
A very small price to pay for SPRING! Yeah!

      Enjoy a beautiful Sabbath Day!

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things.   Ephesians 6:15

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Perfect Life

       Do not proceed with this post on a full bladder! Could result in a major accident!

     Someone actually said to me, with complete sincerity, "You look like the type of person who has it all together and a perfect life."

      For those who have known me most of my life, are you not glad to have the warning? Hysterical laughter can lead to loss of bladder control or worse.  At least it has happened in my not so perfect world.

      Perfect? Yeah right!  If I did have it all together, I would surely forget where I left it.  I can remember when I thought all train tracks ran in one direction.  Don't be smug.  I dare you to show me a train track that has those double yellow lines running down the middle. I don't think so.

      I have been known to get really annoyed when my Lowes card doesn't work at the Kroger gas pumps. What's up with that?  Were folks staring at me for that small indiscretion or had I failed, once again, to double check that all was snapped, buttoned, zipped and undergarments applied.  At one point my fellow co-workers had a pool going to see if I showed up at 7:30 a.m. with matching shoes.  Most of the time they were at least the same color, but not always.

      My husband, rather recklessly I might add, left a tube of hand cream lying on the bathroom counter.  I found myself applying it to my "Peanuts" toothbrush.  An honest mistake would you not say?
       And so an end to a perfect day!

And being made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, Hebrews 5:9
English Standard Version

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Few Good Men

     My sweet friend Carrie recently asked if there were any good men these days.  I would have to say I am truly blessed to have at least three good men in my life.  Those are my husband, son and brother.  Today is the birthday of the latter two.

     My brother Norman has a saying that you just have to play with the cards life deals you.  I would have to say that both he and my son Michael have played their cards out well.
     Norman has found himself in the position of patriarch on both sides of his family.  A man of great grace and dignity, he is true to his family, friends, and community.  His values are old school and steadfast. A man of impeccable integrity, he is very well respected in his community.  He remains simple and unassuming in his lifestyle.

     Michael, I am proud to say, like his Uncle Norman is a good man.  He has overcome insurmountable obstacles to obtain his life long goal of becoming a physician.  Caring for people always seemed to be second nature to Michael.  As a very small child, he loved and wanted to take care of his mom and baby sister. I remember him making a cup of coffee and serving it to me in bed soon after his sister's arrival home from the hospital.  Don't worry Mom; I'll take care of you!  The coffee was instant, made in cold water but it was the best coffee ever served to me.  It was made by those chubby little hands with such simple love and genuine compassion. 

     He is an example and encouragement to those who are told, you can't!  There were so many times he was discouraged because he was told his background and such was not conducive to his success as a physician.  He has proved them wrong.  He and his family have sacrificed much and are finally beginning to enjoy some fruits of their labor.  I am so proud of my "Dr. Son" who is a good man!

    Yes, Carrie, there are a few good men left in the world.  I am truly blessed and honored to have a trio in my life.

    Happy Birthday Michael and Norman!  I know you both will always live long, well and honorably.

A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of evil devices He condemns. Proverbs  12:2
English Standard Verson

Sunday, March 7, 2010


        The Day of Worship and Rest

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Diamond and Stone

     The late John Denver sang, "Some Days are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone)".  I find that most days are a combination of both.  Thursday was such a day.  It started out with a morning call from a friend rescheduling a date due to illness.  My car died not once but twice that morning.  It looked like it could be a stone day, but a diamond was sent my way.  My first call was automatic to my husband who was over an hour from home; the second was to our friend Todd.  He was there in minutes.  He escorted me to the nearest shop and stayed with me until my vehicle was up and and running again. My grateful husband arrived after the fact.

      Todd is having many stone days of late. We wish we could turn them all to diamond for him. While we can't do that for him, we can return his friendship as best we can and pray God's very best for him.  Even when our days feel like stone, we can be a diamond to another.  We all struggle with the stones of hurt, betrayal and rejection; often from the ones we love the most. The best we can do is to trust God, ask Him to help us recognize and be grateful for the diamonds He sends our way.

      There is a famous diamond appropriately named, "The Light of Peace."

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

Friday, March 5, 2010

Doris' Day

      An unknown author penned, "Sisters are flowers from the same garden."  As in all families, we have quite a variety.  On occasion we seem to produce more thistle and thorns than fragrant blooms! Then a rose appears just when you need it most.

      Today is my sister Doris' birthday.  As a teen she moved from Memphis to San Diego and for the most part, raised her family there. She has survived more sadness than any one person should have to endure. But, even in her darkest hours, she has always been mindful of others. Doris is one of the most loving and thoughtful persons I know.  Many times I have received a small gift or a note that is always like a smile from Heaven. The message is always clear.  I love you, God loves you and we are both thinking about you.

     Although she has always lived thousands of miles away from us, I remember the quality times we have spent together.  We have shared many long walks on the beach, shopping, and racing to catch sunsets, but mostly I just love being alone with my sister.

     Maybe I will learn to be more like her when I start to grow up!  In the meantime, Happy Birthday dear Sis!
Colossians 3:12, NIV. "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Remembering Barry

"Good people are taken away, but no one understands. Those who do right are being taken away from evil and are given peace. Those who live as God wants find rest in death." Isaiah 57:1-2

In loving memory of
Pvt. Barry W. Mayo
February 20, 1986
March 5, 2007
Son, Brother, Grandchild, Nephew, Cousin, Friend, Soldier

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Dutiful Wife

At the beginning of each New Year, many Americans resolve to exercise, eat better and improve their overall health. Then, here they come to shatter all those resolutions.  The angelic faced Girl Scouts laden with irresistible cookies. Buying at least one box of each is our civic duty.  Just like baseball, hotdogs and mom's apple pie, it's an American Icon.

We took our delivery Sunday. There was little doubt what we would be doing after our Sunday afternoon nap.  A freshly brewed pot of coffee would go nicely with our favorite cookies; the round ones.

Of all days, Dan picks this one to swear off sweets, breads and fried foods completely from our diets. "What should I do with all these cookies?" I ask.  "Get rid of them." He says. 

So, being the dutiful wife that I am, I got rid of a box Monday.  I enjoyed every morsel.  In hopes of not having all of them reappear on my backside, I have stepped up time on the treadmill.  I don't know if it will hold up under the pressure.  The freezer is fully stocked and duty is calling.
For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1st Timothy 4:8


www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search1 Timothy 4:8

Monday, March 1, 2010


My brother and three sisters came to visit us this weekend. As is a custom in the Roberson clan, we tried our best to empty the buffet at "Five Flags Over Fish Barn." Yes, only five. Jonesboro is an up and coming city, but hasn't made it to six flags just yet. Coming soon though!

It was a good visit! A time to relax, laugh and just enjoy being together! Ya'll come back soon now ya' hear! We love you muches!

And breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart" (Acts. 2:46).