An Unexpected Detour

Yesterday, while my son and I were out driving, we passed a road neither of us knew. We weren’t in a hurry, so he decided to turn and find out what was down that road. My dad used to do that. We’d be out driving somewhere and he’d say, “Wonder where that road goes?”

We’d sit up on our knees and peer out the windows, waiting for the first glimpse of the unknown. Yesterday’s road was narrow, sometimes only one lane. It dipped down into a valley and followed the winding path of a creek. Houses sat on large, verdant lots, banked by rolling and sometimes rocky hills. Often the dark woods shaded the road so heavily, we could barely see.

Around one turn in the road, we happened upon a doe, standing on the edge of the road. My son thought she might be scouting for danger before she allowed her fawn to follow. She hesitated when she saw our car, then turned back to run into the woods, before we’d had a chance to snap a picture.

Kentucky boasts many beautiful spots and we found several yesterday. We had no idea where we’d end up, but when the road ended and we recognized the area, we were surprised at how far we’d gone. Life can be like that. You take an unexpected detour, sometimes fighting fear and uncertainty, but the road always leads back to the familiar. Or else, you grow accustomed to the new road.

We’re on a new road here at my house. At times, it’s hard to see what lies ahead, but we get up every morning and push on. We know the roads all lead to the same place. Our trust is in the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, and He will never let us down. His word promises that.

Thanks for reading. Hope you’ll stop by again sometime.

My Grandma’s House by Teghan Owens

Teghan Simone Owens

While I take a break, my granddaughters have agreed to fill the void. I have four of them, so you may get a glimpse of each one as they share something dear to their hearts. Today, I welcome my youngest granddaughter, Teghan, to the blog.

She celebrated her tenth birthday a few days ago. Just to let you know, she spent the week with her other grandmother. So I am not the one who provided this best week ever. That would be the super fun Grandma Blaylock.

This summer I did something awesome.

I went to my Grandma’s house for a week. 
I had the best time ever. 
We did lots of fun things. 
For instance, on Friday, we went to the movies and saw Despicable Me 2. 
And we also went bowling. 
It was so much fun. 
That was the best week ever.

–Teghan Owens

The Reward Will Come

Sometimes it’s hard not to complain. When you’re going through difficult situations, like job loss, for instance. Or sickness. Or any number of other things. You feel slighted when you see others being blessed and living happy lives. You’re tempted to murmur and complain. It’s understandable. It happens.

It’s all happened before. And it will happen again. Solomon said there’s nothing new under the sun. When I’m tempted to complain about my less-than-perfect situation, I read the third chapter of Malachi. Sometimes I have to read it more than once. It’s a reminder. Though it seems others around you are being blessed far more than they deserve, though they don’t even take the time to serve God and you have served Him all your life…

I’ll let you see it for yourself.

When you said, ‘It doesn’t pay to serve God. What do we ever get out of it? When we did what he said and went around with long faces, serious about God-of-the-Angel-Armies, what difference did it make? Those who take life into their own hands are the lucky ones. They break all the rules and get ahead anyway. They push God to the limit and get by with it.’ (Malachi 3:14-15 via Bible Gateway/The Message)

I’ve been guilty of such thoughts, how about you? Yes, sometimes it looks as if our daily walk is pointless. But don’t let yourself dwell on that. Keep your eyes on the prize. See the final outcome. Know that your present situation is a season that will end as a new season dawns. We will see the fruit of our labor. If you continue reading this chapter of Malachi, you’ll find what happens when you refuse to speak negative words regarding God and the situation you are in.

Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over. God saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God’s presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the God-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored God’s name. (Malachi 3:16 via Bible Gateway/The Message)

They got together with their friends. They talked it over. They talked about how good God is and how He would come through for them, because His promises, once made, are always honored. God-fearers who honored God’s name…no matter what. Like Job. Refuse to back down. Because the reward will come. 

God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, “They’re mine, all mine. They’ll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them. Once more you’ll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn’t, between serving God and not serving him.” (Malachi 3:17-18 via Bible Gateway/The Message)

Can you say it any better than that? If you’re a parent, you know exactly what He’s talking about. It’s always easier to treat an obedient, loving child with kindness. It’s easy to lavish your blessings on one like that, when they honor you and stand up for you, no matter what.

Don’t give up. No matter what comes, stand in the light of the knowledge of Him. Keep your tongue reigned in. Don’t allow yourself to complain and be caught up in trash talk. No matter what. If you’ve been hurt by others, knocked down by sickness, lost your job, your home, death in the family, hunger, pain…no matter what. Find a way to keep your eyes on the final outcome. He understands, He knows, He sees, and they’re keeping a record of it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post this week. I hope it’s helped you. And I hope you’ll stop in next week. Happy Summer!

The Big Four Bridge and Hillbilly Tea!

The last Thursday of June followed huge thunderstorms rolling through our area, dumping several inches of rain on the Bluegrass. Along with a hefty helping of lightning. I got up this morning and checked our yard for fallen trees. Always glad to see them still standing.

I hope your summer is a grand one, filled with happy memories. I’ve walked across the Ohio River on the Big Four Bridge, with my youngest son, Todd. Once a railroad bridge, it’s now refurbished as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. It adorns the new Riverfront Park in downtown Louisville. It’s free and lots of fun. Good exercise, too. I applaud Metro Louisville for their efforts.

We visited a restaurant downtown called Hillbilly Tea, located in an old warehouse. They serve some fantastic teas, and something called bamboo ash biscuits. If you can get past the gray color of the biscuit, I think you’ll enjoy the taste.

A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed a favorite author, Fay Lamb, regarding her new release, Stalking Willow. I gave away a print copy of her book to Debbie Malone, then a couple of weeks later, Linda Hillenbrand won the ebook copy. I love giving things away, especially since I enjoyed this book so much. By the way––you can read my review of Stalking Willow here.

I hope your summer is measuring out fun for you. If not, maybe you need to go out and find it. Take some time off or spend a Saturday out roaming around. Visit places of interest, historical sites, or museums. Walk along a riverbank in the quiet of the afternoon, or relax by the pool. Spend time with your family and take lots of pictures. Remember to relax and enjoy life a little. Sunshine seems to make everything better.

Thanks for stopping by and if I don’t see you before then, Happy 4th of July!

Work Less Summer

It’s been a different kind of summer for us. My husband lost his job when the company closed. He’s been off since January. In April, our youngest son moved home to look for work. Then middle son announced he was changing jobs. All three of them were job-hunting at the same time.

Yes, I was tempted to worry. But I had an inner assurance. I kept my mind focused on the outcome. I’ll admit, it took longer than I’d hoped. Now, six months into the year, middle son found a job. My youngest just got the news he’d been hired. And my husband has two really good possibilities. Things are happening quickly, and all at once.

I was thinking about being on your own with no job. We had a lot of friends and connections who played roles in our job hunt. But what if you were down and out in a new town, with few skills and no prospects? That was the situation I was working through in my latest story. Two widows are trying to make a fresh start in a small southern town in the mid ’50’s.

Times were hard, but they had friends and family helping them out. They had church friends who dropped everything and came to their aid when they needed some work done on their house. Friends who put together enough staple food items to get them through the winter.

Though their basic needs are met, their struggles are not over. It’d be a pretty dull story without some juicy gossip and a good dose of prejudice. Not to mention, a bigoted lawyer and a run-in with the local “K.”

There’s nothing so compelling as a lifelike story and I’ve definitely been able to pull on my personal experience to tell this one. I’m so glad you stopped by today. I’m planning some special guest posts in July. Four really talented young readers and writers are set to share their thoughts. And I’m looking forward to a spectacular end to my summer! How about you?

Thanks for reading,