Tag Archive | Writing

Focus, Grasshopper!

Let me know if you recognize this gadget!!

Let me know if you recognize this gadget!!

I  love gadgets. Tools with interesting settings; clamps used in gluing boards together; I loved crushing small things with my Dad’s vise.  More technical tools like his old Brownie camera—I kept messing with the open-close things on the front.  And the tension on my Mom’s sewing machine.  She just couldn’t keep it adjusted right (who, me?)  And her music box just seemed to be overwound all the time, hmmm. Don’t know how the ballerina’s tutu got peanut butter on it…

I used to snitch my Dad’s mechanical drafting set in its black velvet case and readjust all the screws, try to write with the pencil leads in their little case…yes, I’m the cause of the second generation of gray hairs on his head.  I enjoyed the way the lock opened and closed, like a mysterious secret.  Not that I knew how to USE any of these tools.  They were just fun to play with.

Just like his binoculars.  A very finely tuned instrument—at least until I got hold of it.  I would try walking around while looking through them, putting my hand out to touch things as they drew near. How many doorways have you encountered in this fashion?  After a few upsets, I tried turning them around and looking through the other end.  That was frightening.  Do NOT try this at home, you’ll walk out in front of traffic, fall off a ledge…and step in doggy doo, so say the very least.

Sometimes that’s the feeling I get when I’m trying to follow God’s leading.  I want to see things that are meant to come to me in their own time (in HIS time)—yet I want to see them right now.  And when I keep trying to put my hand out and reach them to bring them closer, I only end up running into things that were right there all along; in fact, I should be  taking care of them right now in the present. Yet other times my lack of focus (or actually, my “far-off” focus) has me walking faster to get closer–to something that’s never going to get closer as long as my focus is out of whack.

That’s the cool thing about God that I forget.  Why can’t we learn things ONCE with Him? You see, I do  know that

“ they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  —-from Isaiah 40:31

Nor shall they run into door jambs.

I’ve got a question for you

Dalton Gene Peterson, 21 years old!!!

Dalton Gene Peterson, 21 years old!!!

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks…months.  My precious best friend Tillie died (my toy Maltese), and that slowed me down for a bit. Then I had to make an urgent trip out of state to update arrangements concerning our son Dalton, and that took research, and stamina, and lots more smartz than I seem to have lately. I’ll need some prayer on that one.

But for the rest of the time, other than escorting a valued friend (I guess all friends are valued, aren’t they?) to her doctor and chemo appointments, I’ve devoted  myself to some serious writing.  And what was once a bit of a chore…well, let me explain it this way.

It’s like ice cream. I want some. I LOVE it. But it seems that it’s a forbidden pleasure, that I can only indulge in it every once in awhile.  And that’s the way I’ve treated my writing for quite a few years now.  There are times it seems to “bust loose” and I end up writing all night, or all weekend, but I’ve tried to keep a lid on it.  And recently I woke up and realized that I’m withholding the biggest joy, the thing that drives me, and I should just settle down and just write.

And that’s when I made too much noise and that little demon that sits on my shoulder woke up and started in on me again,  He said that little of what I write is of value to anyone but me and my loyal friends who will continue to pat me on the back and tell me I’m “really good.”

So, dear readers, if you enjoy reading my ramblings I would love to hear from you.  I’ve written two chapters of a book about growing up in Kentucky and all the perils and pickles we managed to get into.  Into which we managed to get?  No.  The trouble we enjoyed causin’.  And I’m endeavoring to decide it’s worth pursuing.

And I intend to ramp up this little blog again and pepper it with stories on a regular basis.

Let me hear from you.  And enjoy this photo of the BOY, our Dalton!  (He wanted the camera, you’ve gotta be quick around him)

Take care, and always remember Whose you are.

Countdown to a Brand New Day

     Today is July 4th, 2012, a bit after midnight.  Vernon’s asleep and the dogs are snoring down under the covers.  But I’m parked in my laughin’ place, too excited to sleep.  Cuddled in my green wicker rocker, laptop on knees—no room for the laptop on the lap, folks.

      And I’m counting down 15 days until I begin a journey that’s a bit different from any I ever embarked on before. In some small ways, it’s a journey back in time. (See the photo of me taken in Nassau that’s just before this post—I don’t know how to move it to this one).  It’s the ‘before before’ picture of me BEFORE I swelled up and swallowed that skinny person.  But I’m going to find her.  Even if I have to go back in time.

       Back to when I weighed about 125. And that my friends, is about 120 pounds ago.  Nowadays I waddle around at close to 253 lbs, do you realize that’s as much as 2 of my friends?  Four or even five small children?  63 bags of sugar?  12 small dogs?  Good grief, guys, I’m a whole NEIGHBORHOOD!!

        But in more ways than one, it’s a journey of a different kind. A journey that will be difficult, and new, and challenging, and more fun than I can imagine right now. Uphill much of the way, wanting to quit at times—I was once told I tend to give up too easily on things. But not this time.  I’ve discussed this with the Lord and we both agree that it’s time.  Time for me to put the Spirit where my mouth is.  To “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:7).

         On July 19th I’ll be having a procedure that will enable me to lose about 100 lbs over the next 6-9 months. Does that frighten me? Not at all. Not the food part. I’ll feel awkward for my friends who won’t know how to act when I’m eating tiny amounts, and feeling sorry for me if I miss a cookie, or a special treat of some kind.  I don’t want that to happen, but it will.  I’ve come to realize that my real food is the smiles of those I love; the laughter around me, the tears of compassion, the struggles and encouragement that we share with each other.

         But (this is for all you pals who care so much, just so you know in advance…) I’ve thought long and hard about this.  About all the church suppers, the cake and coffee, the pizzas at midnight, Braum’s after church, the popcorn, oh, man, the ENDLESS popcorn that I’ve consumed and could enjoy consuming in the future.   Well, just listen to this, I mean REALLY listen:  if you had to walk around trapped inside this fat suit that I’ve been wearing for years, and realize that your whole life you’ll be remembered as that sweet fat gal (“she has such a pretty face” is the way we always described the fat gals at my parents’ house growing up)…if you had to endure that, to know that your legacy for 12 grandchildren is eating more than your legs could carry, and more than your body could process—that a continuous medicating of high calorie, low-satisfaction foods is the way you’ve learned to cope with trials and that this is the life lesson you’re writing on their hearts—you would feel the same.

         When I think of what I want to teach those kids, I realize that food is just not that important.  The message I want to give my family, my friends, and anyone else who cares to hear me is that the impact of my life after I am gone (and the focus while I am still here) will be the love for Jesus Christ and the ability to impact others for Him; the honest relationships that I established; the memories of times spent together—those are the stuff, the richness, the desserts of life.

         And when it’s all been said and it’s all been done, I really don’t believe that any flavor of ice cream or pop will enter into the situation at all.  So will I miss eating all that I want?  I’ll miss the ‘easy comfort’—the false comfort–of reaching for a bag of chips.  But now that I’m changing what I actually want and how I go about getting it, it just doesn’t matter anymore.  It’s a brand new day.

          And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new”. Revelation 21:5

Ready for a Brand New Day July 4, 2012


So much to consider. So many thoughts clamoring for time.  Sometimes I think we should be made like a one-way valve; we live one day, it’s gone.  No going back; no looking back.  Just finish this day and move on.

Today’s problems and today’s decisions are one thing.  But yesterday’s can back up like chocolates on Lucy’s conveyor belt, until we find ourselves stuffing our faces with candies to keep up and not drown in the backlog.  Yet if we stay in one place, and continue to chew and chew on the tough things that have passed, they don’t seem to digest at all.  They just grow and grow, and expand all out of proportion.

But then there’s grace.   Then there’s grace.