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Eagerly Watch

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 It's a rough season.   I have been in quarantine the last 5 days, my husband isn't letting me out of my space.  Initially I have felt fine, just taking precaution after being exposed while at my parents.  This morning, when applying some oils on my stuffy ears, I noticed I did not smell the oils, which normally has a lovely strong cinnamon, clove, orange-y smell.  Nothing.  First true COVID symptom: bummer.  So, today I have given into the tiredness and slept.  I don't feel awful, just rundown.   It's been a hard emotional season these past few months.  My parents are not doing well: dad has been mom's best caregiver over the last year, pushing her to improve. Her health has been very fragile since her major episode back in October of 2019.  Having an enlarged heart, congestive heart failure looms over her and she has had more and more "episodes" from pulmonary edema: liquid in the lungs.  Dad has pushed, pulled, and cared for mom so well, advocating for

Let Me Catch You Up

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I GOT MARRIED!!! June 14, 2020 I said "I do" to Mr. Roger Payne. Now, I am a Payne :-) God brought me this man; exactly what I needed, more than what I asked for, and definitely not what I expected or imagined: he is so much more.  It's been six months now, and I still am in wonder that I am finally married!   He loves me so well.   Our story wasn't a fairy tale, I quite literally fought my way to the altar: he fought for me.   I had to work through a lot of my stuff: I had to fight through my own preconceived notions. I chose to embrace a man who showed me character beyond what I had ever witnessed before.   He fought for me.   God helped me.   For me, it was a step by step process: like I said, it definitely was not what I expected.  Roger continued to show me he loved me even when I ran, or felt like running, and his love won my heart, and confidence. And I said "Yes!"   And... I got to wear the most beautiful wedding dress,  be celebrated and loved by my

Glories of Mowing Grass

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Hello!  This is an OLD unpublished blog post... it is significant in my walk with Jesus.  I share... even though it is a few years old. (August 2018) It's a great Wednesday here at home, summer as come, graciously opening up my schedule to sit here in my ugly orange chair, sip coffee, and savor the sound of my H/VAC unit humming to keep my house cool as the heat and humidity sizzle my yard in Columbia, SC. Care to join me for coffee?  Please ignore the objects strewn across the guest bed which dual purposes as my foot rest, the empty breakfast plate, and the snoozing furkids.  Make yourself at home!  How have you been? What is God doing in you? My transition into summer is always an adjustment; the adrenaline begins to fall, the to-do list lengthens, appointments and coffee dates are scheduled, and blogging mornings like this anticipated.  Still, adjustment happens, sometimes not so smooth.  Often I feel I am such an odd duck, here is what I have been waiting for with great an

Merry Christmas 2018 - Kitty's Memoir

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Happy Christmas to you! This is for those, like me, who may have woke not with scurrying tiny toes and bounces of little tots excited to see the morning light of day, but to a quiet, stillness to this holiday morning. I noticed an extra stillness this morning, as a little part of my "family" is not present.  I had to say goodbye to my little precious kitty yesterday.  My "Pud" (Puddie cat) was a gift of God's love to me for 17 years.  She was given to me in 2001, as a gift from one of my sweet students who learned that I lived alone and felt I needed the comfort of a pet.  My student accompanied me to the humane society animal shelter to pick out the perfect little purr box:  this little tortoise calico kitty grabbed my attention when she swatted at my hair from a crate she was housed in.  She was laying in a twisted position so to reach out her playful paw under the gate, seeming to say, "Hey! Pick me!"  Her paw was her trademark. That little ki

2017: Roller Coaster year

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It's 2018! A few weeks in now, and it's looking to be a good year already.  Before we focus on the brightening horizon ahead, I want to make some acknowledgements of some significant events of 2017. 2017 was a roller coaster of a ride for me.  It had some breathtaking climbs and unexpected falls with twists and turns.  It was not only this figuratively, I had several opportunities with friends and family to literally ride world-class roller coasters on a few occasions(Yes, I rode The Fury at Carowinds!!); something I had not done in many years.  Obviously the metaphoric parallels did not escape me. 1. Some of my higher, sweeter moments include doing a few rounds of Whole30  - an elimination 30-day diet that can change your life if you embrace it for what it is designed to do!  It's more than a diet, it's a transformation of how you relate to food, opening new understanding in how our body responds to foods.   The results/fruit of going through this a few times (In

Beauty and Value in Struggle

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Am I really on the other side?  The air is fresher, my legs ache less, my arms freer, and my mind more clear.  The gravel crunches under me as I trod along, my feet moving in their unique, steady stride, even the ground is less resistant.  My hands grip the straps which come over my shoulders holding my now lighter pack.   My backdrop is painted with ominous clouds dancing in the sky.  Far-off drums the storm, the shouts therein fading.  Tossing a gaze behind, I gasp: the colors of deep purples, maroons, grays, oranges and pinks plum, mysterious with beauty and treasure.   Filled with wonder, I turn my gaze.  I'm thankful to see the bright sky ahead.  Remaining drops of rain wiggle and fall away with each new step.  In my pocket a few small stones roll about, smooth and rough; my thumb and fore-fingers feel for them. Each from my not-so favorite places, albeit significant.  Have I really come through, to this new place?  Do I really feel joy?  The struggle was so dark and dee

School Lunch

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I am part of a writing group.  My first challenge - is to write about school lunch.  What comes to mind when you think of school lunch? My mind travels back to my elementary school cafeteria, with it's speckled, shiny floors and columns of tables filled with kids chattering away.  Glowing light flowed through the long windows which lined the clean, boring creme-colored cement block walls.  A stage was on one end, usually with a dark heavy curtain pulled to hide the empty area. The serving area was on the opposite end.  That was where I would see a lady who attended my church; she always had a warm smile for me, under her tight graying bun hair, covered with a spider-web like net and a small paper cap.  Her name was Mrs. Hogan; in typical southern fashion, I called her by her first name, Selma, always with the respectful southernly title of "Ms." The cafeteria always seemed so very loud, so much so I would put my fingers in my ears.  A line of kids were pushed along th