• Christian,  Farm life,  Women,  Writing

    I’m Full of Bull!

    At the farm, there’s a gentle bull in the pasture behind our house. Some mornings he’s standing there by the fence looking through the french doors at me. I step out onto the porch and sweet talk him. If we’re by the fence, he’ll trot over and without warning give you a lick across the face and neck with his enormous tongue.  It’s gross, but you can’t help but walk away feeling loved and a bit sticky. He’s a new Brahman bull the farm has acquired from a ranch in Texas. While the other bulls buck each other over territory and food, he meanders away, not wanting to participate in the…

  • Christian,  Minsitry,  Missionary story,  Women,  Writing

    A Memoir from India

    I’m never one to read romance. There’s nothing wrong with romance, but if I’m going to take the time to read, it’s going to be something that will stay with me. I love the movie “You’ve Got Mail.” When Meg Ryan said, “You are what you read.” It was an aha moment for me, for I believe there’s some truth to that. So, if you get a book recommendation from me, it will be something I couldn’t put down, but will most likely fall into historical fiction, non-fiction, and memoir. They are my go to’s. This is a memoir. I think too often we grow complacent here in the United…

  • Christian,  Christmas,  Farm life,  Minsitry,  Women

    The Two G’s: Grief and Gratefulness

    Dear Sisters, My sister Tricia Baines passed December 19, and the cows on the farm began dying by New Years. When the Baines family heard, they packed up and headed south to the farm to help out. By the time we arrived, over 100 cows were put down, and Thomas ( my brother-in-law), Caleb, and Peyton (their children) had been vaccinating, tagging, and hand-feeding the calves left without a mother. How ironic! Peyton was feeding the last sick Momma cow by hand. When I heard the news, I prayed all the way to the farm God would heal that cow for Peyton’s sake. Although, one morning Peyton stated matter of…

  • Art,  Christian,  History,  Minsitry,  Parenting,  Women

    Feeding the Artist

    Sometimes inspiration hits me in the shower. I will see a face on the glass door as the water droplets fall. I draw the face in with my finger. I’ll be “painting” as the water turns cold, and my hair unwashed. Here, I thought of an idea for a painting. I titled it “Hope in Christ”. It was one of my sister’s favorites. Today, I look back at it and think I’ve improved so much since then. When I told Jay where I got my inspiration, he replied, “I wouldn’t go around telling anyone that honey.” Oops… the cat’s out of the bag! When you switch from writing to painting…

  • Christian,  family matters,  Minsitry,  Motherhood,  Parenting,  Women

    The Man in the Stilettos

    “We’ll call ourselves ‘Starfish Sisters’.” My friend Heather said over lunch. “You know after the Starfish story.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uytlJ8urv4I (Click the link for the starfish story.) That was how it began, about thirty Momma’s and Grandmomma’s coming together to make a difference in the world, or at least, at a charity in Orlando, Florida. Heather sent us an assignment, we hired a babysitter, and went to work. One of our first assignments was for a charity called Mending Hearts, owned by a powerhouse named Stephanie Richards. I was pumped and ready to go. The assignment? Clean a house and get it ready for a family. I could do that! I had…

  • Christian,  family matters,  Minsitry,  Motherhood,  Parenting,  Women,  Writing

    Sometimes God sends a Pig

    In the hall, she laid heavy and limp on the tile floor, illuminated only by the light spilling from the bathroom. That is where the children found her. I was unloading bags from the car, when blood curdling screams made me drop everything and run. “Don’t let my Mommy die Tammy!” Peyton said.  I will never forget the look on my niece’s face, as she looked at me for reassurance. Her little hands patting her mother’s still face. I leaned her head back in Peyton’s lap and gave her mouth to mouth. She gasped, while her eyes rolled up into the back of her head. She was not coherent, but…

  • Christian,  family matters,  Minsitry,  Motherhood,  Parenting,  Women,  Writing

    A Story from India

    A few nights ago, I played old hymns on the piano as my boys nestled into bed.  As I played, each song brought a memory to mind. Some of them, my family would sing around the piano, while my mother pelted the keys, Brandon banged his drum set, Tricia shook her maracas, and I… well, for those of you who know this story, I had my sticks. (My mother gave me the sticks, while my siblings got the cool instruments at Christmas time.) My dad would proclaim proudly, “We are the Carters!” (meaning the Christian Griswolds) The windows were open for we had no air conditioning at the time. Begrudgingly,…

  • Christian,  family matters,  Minsitry,  Parenting,  Women,  Writing

    The Ladder of Hope

    “Am I going to die?” His eyes filled with fear, as he searched those of the first responder. “Yes, you are,” the firefighter said. “So, you better take this time to get everything right with Jesus.” “They were supposed to find me in time,” he said between sobs. “ I was only trying to get my parent’s attention.” The firefighter looked up from the blood pressure cuff he placed on the teen’s arm. “You succeeded. Without a doubt, you earned their complete attention now.” The firefighter loaded the boy onto a rolling gurney. “I didn’t think Tylenol could kill a person…not really.” He broke down in tears as he he…

  • Christian,  family matters,  Women

    Over the Trash Heap and Through the Storm…

    Although he knew his Momma would whip him good for being there, he played in a landfill with two of his friends. Thirteen year old Emmanuel was collecting cans to make cars out of them, for there were no toys, except those made by trash. A stranger appeared over the mound. The pack knew everyone in their small village, and this man was not familiar to them. He approached and asked his friend named Courageous, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Courageous without thought spouted out the job his mother did. “I want to be a teacher,” he said. For in Ghana, there is a limitation…

  • Christian,  family matters,  Motherhood,  Parenting,  Women,  Writing

    To Be the Man He’s Made to Be.

            He tried on the bright green hideous looking camouflage boots, and walked around the Bass Pro in a circle. I cringed, not wanting my son to arrive Christmas night in Suffolk, Virginia wearing shrubs on his feet. “Christian, what about these? These are classy looking.” I held up some hip Under Armor hiking boots. He looked me in the eye. “Momma, you have to let me be the man I am made to be.” He pointed his toe in my direction. “This is who I am.” That night, Christian looked over at my smiling face in the car. “Momma, just because the camouflage didn’t fit, doesn’t…