Wednesday, March 27, 2013


The news anchor on the local Little Rock channel cheerfully announced that it had been a good January day—unfortunately it is almost April! I have enjoyed all of the facebook banter on the crazy weather. Rumor has it there is a class action law suit in the works against the groundhog! I hope that is tongue in cheek but these days who knows?

Taken 3/25/2013 , Uploaded 2 days ago
Punxsutawney, PA
This is Zoey and Charlie with the Easter Bunny.
( Found on line--do not know these lovely children personally)

My quirky (and adorable) nephew posts, “This weather is more confused than a squirrel with nut allergy.” That IS confused! On the upside; at least the mythical Easter Bunny has a fur coat right? Weather is probably the most talked about subject around the world. It may also be the vainest subject. There is nothing we can do about it. It may also be the safest topic.

Speaking of vanity; we received an unsolicited Victoria Secret catalogue in the mail. Before I pitched it, I noticed the mailing address. It was addressed to “Dana” Jackson. My straight laced modest husband and I got a lot of laugh miles on that one. There was discussion on his “alter ego” and such. Of course, there is the total absurdity of visualizing we two sixty plus duo in these beautiful yet scant garments.

Most things of this earth are totally out of our control. For those things God has made us responsible for are not. I am thankful the younger generation is rising up to repair some of the messes we have made. Whether through ignorance or complacency, much has happened on our watch that we will be held accountable for. I point the finger directly towards me. I pray that God will give Dan (Dana) and I all the wisdom, humility and courage to do whatever we can in our “maturity”.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday Breakfast

Photo courtesy of "La Bella Vita" Blog

Saturday morning my sweet husband announced he was going to make breakfast for us. Great! He had planned eggs, biscuits and turkey bacon. Surprised I asked if he had done this before. He replied, “Sure!”

A few minutes later he appeared in the doorway. “Are you supposed to defrost the bacon before cooking or leave it frozen?” I showed him how to defrost the bacon in the microwave. Next question, “Are you suppose to put butter or something in the pan before the eggs?" Now he knows all the ends and outs of preparing this breakfast menu. I hope he doesn’t lose interest too soon. Maybe we will practice these a few times before moving on.

Whether it is a cup of coffee and cereal or a great banquet, it does not matter. What matters is his heart. He delights in serving with love and grace. It doesn’t get better than that!

We had a Tenebrae or Service of Darkness at church tonight. As we approach the Easter weekend, we are particularly mindful of the One who shows us the most love and unmerited Grace—the greatest servant of all.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

Friday, March 22, 2013

Blackened Bagels

It seems my ADD gets more pronounced as I get older. After playing phone tag with my old long term friend Ladonna, we spoke for over an hour this morning. I shared about the UN trip and she all that was going on in her world.

She like so many of us is pondering what direction to go in next. What would God have me do? The bottom line to our conversation was to put a for sale sign in the yard. While we are waiting just start walking – He will guide our steps. It sounds simple enough. But it is not always so clear. We are human. We desire to hear clearly God’s voice but often are just not sure.

I have shared before how artistically gifted Ladonna is. At the UN many pieces of art from various nations in many forms are displayed. I find one in particular of great interest. I would be most curious as to your comments on this one.

Later I will share miscellaneous pictures from our trip. As always God has a way of putting an explanation point to the end of our journeys. He sends us a special kiss in the way of a gentle message from Heaven, “I gotcha!”
Transportation by taxi in New York City is an adventure within itself. Mix in the ice and snow---it WILL bring you closer to God! God did give us a beautiful clear but cold sunny weekend. Tuesday, my departure date, brought along torrential rain. I asked the doorman if he could find a trustworthy cab driver to take an old lady to the airport alone. He whispered to me, “Our limo is parked out front. Would you like to take it for cab fare?” What?? Do you have to ask? Thank you Lord for this rainbow! It was better than a pair of sneakers after walking in stilettos all day!

Now I love blackened fish and blackened chicken. My ADD kicked in this morning. I put bagels in the toaster and forgot them. A new dish---blackened bagels was created. I do not recommend it. I will spare you the photo of this carnage. I know you are grateful!

If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. John 7:17

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Space Bags and Other Ramblings

While preparing for my trip we hit upon the idea of packing with space bags. You know the plastic bags you hook your vacuum to and suck out the air? The space saving wasn’t exactly as we expected but what else is new right? Upon retrieving my luggage in Newark, I found it soaked through and through. Thank goodness for the sealed bags. Otherwise I may have had mildewed clothes. That is not a happy thought.

Luggage anyone?

Apparently my luggage was de-iced too?
 I just put our down comforter in a bag and reduced it down for storage. I love my comforter—Dan hates it—thus stored. The thought occurred in my brain; what if there was a body bag we could zip ourselves up in and suck all the fat out. Now really, how awesome would that be?

We all are stereotyped in one way or the other. I forget where I was when the question was asked but someone asked where I was from. They said, “You don’t sound like you are from Arkansas. Why don’t you talk like Paula Deen?” My reply, “Honey, if I made the millions Paula Deen made I would not only talk like her I would be willing to lick my fingers too!”

The very observant Pauly often sat up front with the taxi drivers. We listened to her perky self engaging in conversations with them. They loved her down to earth sincere heart. “Hey, where are all the pick ups?” she asked one day. The driver puzzled, “Picking ups? What?” Upon further explanation he said, “Oh, the Russians in Brooklyn use them.” We hope, for construction.

Speaking of our Pauly, she has written a wonderful book on healing from sexual abuse and trauma. Check it out! You can get your digital copy of Puppy Kisses & Butterfly Wings for only $3.99 at

Our newest member of the helpline staff is Arleen. I actually take credit for praying her in. We need more Spanish speaking staff and I prayed more would be sent. Arleen was born to a Puerto Rican Mom and a Chinese Dad. One day heavily wrapped up in clothing to shield us from the cold, we were schlepping along with shopping bags. I commented we looked like bag ladies. “Excuse me, she says, the correct term is Puerto Rican luggage thank you.” Yet another great laugh from her quick wit. Love, love this new friend and colleague we do!

Cartier watch- $4950.00....not even in my WILDEST dreams!

While greeting and networking at another presentation, I felt someone touch my wrist in the crowd. I turned to find a gentleman next to me. He said he was admiring my Cartier watch. He wanted to know where I purchased it. “Umm….Wal-Mart?” Later when I discovered my “Cartier” missing, Arleen suggested perhaps another person admired it so much they took it right off my arm. “This IS New York!” Gifted they are. I did later find my watch inside some clothing when unpacking. (Finding weird things inside of clothing after 60 is a story for another blog. Sigh.)

Thank you Lord for friends who laugh, work, cry with you and love you inspite of our human frailties!

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than himself,” Philippians 2:3

Saturday, March 16, 2013

United Nations - Winding Down

 "Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night" shall keep us from walking down Broadway.  No Dan, not ' broad away'  Cute that husband of mine!!  :0)

Dan and I took a sunset cruise this evening. We hadn’t really intended on going so late but our afternoon nap ran late putting us behind. You will hear it here first--the wind actually broke Dan’s hair today! That has never happened before. The warm breeze and sunny skies are healing to the soul! Come on spring!

Several have asked how so many nations and tongues communicate at the United Nations. I wasn’t sure either. They have a pretty nifty way of doing that. Each station is equipped with a head set and a machine from which you may select your preferred language. Whatever tongue is being spoken translates to your choice. This little small town gal thought that was just the cat’s meow!

And no....southern was not a dialect choice. sigh..

After our presentation was complete, it was time to wind down some. Pauly was leaving early Sunday and wanted to experience some of the city. We walked down Broadway's Times Square. First order of business was hamburgers and shakes at Ellen's Stardust Diner. The food was great and the entertainment first rate. If you don’t have the time for a Broadway show; this is a definite runner up.

New York at night

Pauly with server/singer at Stardust

After our burgers we began our stroll back to the hotel. We stopped in several shops bursting into bouts of giggles for no apparent reason. Except that laughter is good medicine and we needed a healthy dose. One stop was the M&M store. Like so many places in NYC, it was ridiculous. There is three floors of every shape size and concoction of M&M gifts including "live" dancing ones.
Pauly had a great time dancin' with the help!

Saturday morning Lillian joined us for the day. We left mid morning for the Mike Huckabee show on FOX. The weather was nice and FOX was only a few blocks away. We visited with him for quite awhile. He was never in a hurry and took time with each of us. When I addressed him as Mr. President, he laughed. I told him we were working on forgiving him. He may be away from Arkansas but he is not removed from it. It was clear he was very well informed with all that was happening in the legislature. In between breaks in the show, he walked over and chatted casually. And thank you “Mr. President” for lunch. (Name dropper I am!)

Gov. Huckabee, me and sweet Lillian

After the show, we took the subway to the 911 Memorial. The subway was another NYC experience Pauly had on her list. She now agrees, once is more than enough. The fountains are beautifully done. The museum is not open yet but we could peer through the glass to look at the few remnants of steel from the twin towers.

A somber but beautiful moment---both beauty and devastation reflected upon the waters.

We ventured on to Battery Park which overlooks the Statue of Liberty. Unfortunately the Lady is closed for repairs from Sandy’s damage. Next visit, time and weather allowing, I would like to take a harbor tour. We had our subway experience; time to take a taxi back to the hotel.

Sunday morning we rested. It was a beautiful day and I took the opportunity to stroll through Central Park and taste a vendor hot dog. Again, as I watched families playing, skating and picnicking together, I was reminded that we are all the same. I walked over to Time Square Mall. It is massive and overlooks Central Park. I stopped in the mall to sit have a cup of coffee and enjoy the park from on high. I heard someone say, “Ya’ll”. I followed the accent to the family sitting next to me. They were from Jackson, MS. It is truly a very small world.

Beautiful day in Central Park... Thank you Lord for the reprieve from the snow and ice!

During our walk Saturday night we “happened” upon Times Square Church, pastored by the late David Wilkerson. Although the doors were locked and services in progress, we were allowed entry. The gentlemen kindly let us tour the beautiful foyer of this stately old theatre turned worship center. He asked is we would be in town for the weekend. When we replied yes, he told us Nicky Cruz was in town for a visit and would be speaking Sunday night. We were so excited at this unexpected blessing.

Beautiful Times Square Church (Formerly Mark Hellinger Theatre)
8000 people representing 100 plus nationalities worshiping together--a taste of Heaven!

The weekend weather was clear, sunny and mild. We were blessed and happy as we started back to our hotel after the worship. Lillian had joined us along with Millie, Alan and Arleen. Not ready for the weekend to end, we stopped off at a restaurant called AppleJack Diner. It is Greek but they have every dish imaginable. The staff was hilarious. We enjoyed them as much as the food. Some places are just like home away from home. We would be visiting again soon. But it was time for rest and to gear up for another day of work at the UN.

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. Mark 9:41

Friday, March 15, 2013

United Nations - Presentation Day

Tonight Dan and I took our routine walk after dinner. It is so nice to be back home safe and sound and getting back into our daily routine. New York is such a fast paced city. It takes a while for your body to idle down.

Millie with phone to ear as always.  This women is the hardest working, most dedicated woman for life of anyone I know.  We are blessed to have her! 

I connected with so many awesome women and men, I really felt sad as we began exiting in different directions. Many I met for the first time but they will always be lifetime friends.

In Session---Alan Parker looking on.

The sunny skies of New York were short lived. The worst weather was the day of our presentation. Looking back, we can see the hand of God even in that protecting us. Some of the other presentations were met with much more aggressive hostility than we.  We look like street urchins in the picture below.  Could we get more layers on or what???

Sam Casey, Millie Lace, Me, Pauly Bunting,
Ildi Curtis and Arleen Elias in Front
Alan Parker and  Karen Swenholt in the back

The presentation designed to educate the public and parliamentary representatives was well attended and received. There were a couple of hostile guests. My heart was filled and encouraged as young women from around the globe jumped in to defend life. One petite young lady stood, shaking violently and crying asked why being conceived in rape made one less valuable and aborted. Passionate responses as this from the audience quickly abated the naysayers.


Helpline Staff Arleen, Pauly and I presented. Millie Lace, MSE, LPC Founder and Director of National Helpline for Abortion Recovery/Concepts of truth moderated healing trauma. We all give God the glory for our personal healing journeys.

Artist Karen Swenholt, displayed her pieces of sculpture and poetry as she presented healing through art.

Alan Parker



Artist Karen Swenholt

Arleen with Tricia

Lastly, but certainly not least, attorneys Sam Casey and Alan Parker presented on forced abortion and legal avenues available for women and girls subjected to the trauma of violence.

Chinese Embassy

Baby it is COLD outside....
Before and after our presentation day on Friday, we networked with and helped others with there upcoming events. Several embassies were called on during the week. Millie, Pauly, Alan and I visited the Chinese Embassy/Mission

We prayed for God’s divine appointments. The loveliest appointment was with a precious Asian woman named Lillian. Though polar opposites in the natural realm, spiritually we were immediately connected through His Spirit. We not only adore Lillian we are thrilled at the opportunity to serve others with her. The Garden of Hope Foundation with which she is affiliated has a network of shelters for women traumatized by abuse; particularly trafficking victims.


Young women and defenders of LIFE~
I will have to say my first time at the United Nations was overwhelming. There were so many different nations represented. As we began to share in meetings or just over a cup of coffee, it came clear, inside we are all the same. We are mothers, wives, sisters and friends struggling to make a difference in our world.

"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb."

Revelation 7: 9

Thursday, March 14, 2013

UN Journal

I had the honor and privilege to attend the United Nations in NYC as an American Representative for Endeavor Forum, Inc. Australia. The CSW (Committees on the Status of Women) forum 2013 is ending violence against women and girls.

Another lesson in humility-bleary eyed from flight!

Four women from the state of Arkansas were invited. We were traveling from different areas of the state at various times. I was scheduled to leave early Tuesday morning from the Little Rock airport. Late Monday night I received an urgent message: all flights to LaGuardia have been cancelled.

Last flight out!

Upon receipt of the message, I thought, “And so it begins.” We have learned to expect adversity. The airline found one flight into New Jersey but repeatedly warned that I would most likely be stranded in Chicago where I was to take my connecting flight into NYC. Knowing God would get us there in His time, I booked the flight.

Upon my arrival in Chicago, the boards where all yellow; cancelled; except my flight out to Newark, NJ. I was informed we would be the last flight out of Chicago then the airport would be closing due to the snow storm. I arrived in New Jersey to sunny skies. A vast contrast to the snow and ice left behind in Chicago!

I took a shuttle to our hotel in Manhattan where two of my colleagues, Pauly and Millie were to meet me. We stowed our luggage with the door man and raced to the United Nations to retrieve our passes.

Precious Lindsey

We hit the ground running and never slowed down. Later I received a call from our last colleague, Lindsey. She was devastated to learn all flights into the city were cancelled and she would not make it. We were all disappointed with her and us. God has a bigger better plan for Lindsey I have no doubt. She is a shining star rising for the Lord this young lady. I am so very proud of her!

Returning late to the hotel, we met with others from Canada and US to pray, encourage, and strategize. I being the wimp was the first to retreat to my room, crash and burn. End of day one for me!

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

Friday, March 1, 2013


One on my husband’s obsessions is caulk. His most recent endeavor has been caulking and painting two rooms. For over a week he has caulked every single crook and cranny of said rooms before painting. True the project has been interrupted with calls from his part time job, but one week’s work has gone into these two rooms. I will have to say, the man does great work. He has a gift. He doesn’t even paint with a drop cloth! Seriously! That is talent!

Both rooms look great. So much so I suggested we leave them bare to show off his handy work. He vetoed that idea stating it’s what hangs on the walls that makes it home. Who could disagree with that? I am thankful and proud that my husband takes so much care to make our house a home.

Take note of the tiny paint brush

As if “Dan the Hardware Man” didn’t have enough tools, we have “lost” three caulk guns and replaced them during this project. No doubt they will surface somewhere in that place we put them. You know that place where items can easily be found. As I have blogged before, that place seems to be a black hole in our little cottage.

Dan says old houses just develop cracks and holes that need filling. “You know like us.” He could have let that one slide. It did remind me of a comment by Erma Bombeck. She said something to the effect after a certain age a gal no longer shops cosmetic counters for their foundation. We find ourselves at the hardware store picking up wood filler instead. That may be a slight exaggeration but not by much.

Erma Louise Bombeck
American humorist
February 21, 1927 – April 22, 1996

Perhaps her most prophetic quote: When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. 1 Peter 4:10-1