Braking Points

Pausing in the midst of Life to ponder, pray and find footing to continue.



Lydia and Abigail–A Tale of Two Sisters

Let me tell you a story, part truth, part fiction, because my mind tends to imaginings.

It was the worst of times followed by the best of times.  There was death and then there was life.  For there are  two sisters, one who died before she was born and one born ten months after the first one died. On November 10, 1997 I had lunch with my daughter Brandee at Wendy’s in Madisonville, KY just before her scheduled OB appointment. She was expecting our first granddaughter, who already had a name, Lydia Elizabeth. Just the weekend before our son Scott and daughter in law, Martha had been to visit with our grandson Jonathan, so we had had both grandsons Jordan [Brandee’s] and Jonathan. It had been great to have them together. Still the idea that a girl would soon brighten our lives thrilled us.

At lunch, Brandee confided that she was a bit anxious to see her doctor, because she had not felt Lydia move since the previous day. “I will feel better once I hear her heartbeat.” She said.

Unfortunately, there was no heartbeat not in the doctor’s office or at the hospital for a confirmation ultrasound while I sat holding my daughter’s hand [my son in law worked in Tennessee at the time and was on his way]. Brandee, whose faith has since she was a child amazed me, through tears said “I know God has a purpose, but I don’t know what it is.” The silent ultrasound mocked our platitudes. I was hurt. I was angry. If I were God, I would have made our Lydia’s heart come alive and beat again. All I could do was hold my hurting daughter.

SIDE NOTE: Terry and I have ever since began praying for unborn babies and the parents as soon as we hear of the pregnancy right up until birth and sometimes long afterward. I do not think that God punished any of us for not praying enough, but we want to acknowledge that as natural as pregnancy is, life is fragile and we want to be connected to the one who gives life and sustains it.

On October 9, 1998, Abigail Jo Foster entered the world, a healthy robust child. At the same time in heaven, Lydia leaned forward off her Grandmother Jo Nell’s lap giggling with delight. ‘My Sissy!’ She proclaimed. ‘I LOVE HER SO MUCH!’ The Lord was so delighted by her response that He appointed her as Abigail’s number one encourager. When Abigail succeeded at learning to walk, talk and give orders to everyone, Lydia clapped her hands with delight, ‘That’s my sister, she is one strong willed girl. I love her.’ Abigail in the meantime began to alternately look forward to Lydia’s interventions and the random thoughts that often bombarded her and bat them away from her.

Likewise when Abigail failed to take chances or perform in public, like when the kindergarteners in her class were rewarded by getting to do the Chicken Dance in a school assembly and Abigail chose to stay in the classroom with the kiddos who were detained, Lydia got right in her head and planted seeds of courage. Abigail did not appreciate anyone planting anything in her head, but Lydia kept right on. Later those seeds grew and with lots of encouragement, praise and love both earthly and heavenly , Abigail began to throw off the basket that covered her light. Lydia danced and sang and cheered right along with her little sister.

When Abigail sulked, ranted, raved and grew incredibly selfish at times, Lydia scolded her gently, though had she been on earth she might have smacked her one. When Abigail fed Frank, then Izzy and Clay, calfs abandoned by their mothers, Lydia stayed right with her and relished the dedication and hard work. Though Abigail and she had never met physically, the sister bond tightened over the years. Abigail noticed the nudges, the cheers, the scolding, but largely thought they came from her own head.

When at fifteen Abigail’s friend died in a car accident, Lydia rushed to meet Abigail’s friend near the portal of heaven, embracing her and loving her while at the same time reaching out to her hurting little sister to comfort her. From a front row seat in heaven Lydia has witnessed Abigail’s accomplishments, disappointments, joys, sorrows with a confidence that everything works together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. With her own place in heaven secure, she has watched and nurtured Abigail’s faith along with her parents, grandparents, and others.

Being a decisive person herself, Lydia finds Abigail’s indecisiveness a bit unsettling, nudging her here and there to get on with it. She also encourages her to be more adventurous and to live LIFE to the fullest. Lydia never took a breath on earth, but she knows heaven well.  And she sees what life really is and wants Abigail’s life to have meaning and purpose even though she is earth bound.  GO FOR IT! Is the cheer she shouts at Abigail daily, along with LOVE OTHERS!, BE KIND!, LAUGH! CRY! FOR HEAVENS SAKE LIVE LIKE YOU ARE ALREADY IN HEAVEN–CAREFREE!  Abigail does not hear the shouts though LYDIA screams as loud as she can.  She does, however, feel little brain pinches and wonderings. . .which frankly annoy her a lot

Sisters, What are you going to do with them?  One with her feet on the earth and the other firmly settled in heaven, but still connected, still sisters.

Whatever happens in Abigail’s life, her sister in heaven, knows that someday they will meet, laugh, giggle, dance and sing together. Until then she and God have a deal, Lydia is Abigail’s number one Cheerleader!

As a grandmother to both these sisters I feel strongly they are connected even though they never met each other in this world.



A Girl & Her Grandparents

For 23 years Terry and I have been grandparents with three of our grandchildren near by and five of them 600 miles away. Proximity makes a difference, not in the love one has for grands, but in the opportunities for brow beating–excuse me! I meant to write ‘influence’. Abigail’s blog brings to mind various memories. I suspect her Papa, Papaw and Nana have similar responses. We all feel fortunate to have had our grands in our lives. Terry did indeed provide childcare for Abigail and her older brother Jordan from the time their Mom went back to work until they were in kindergarten with some external child care also being provided. He did this while pastoring a church filled with wonderful folks to whom family was very important. They accompanied him to the various homes, hospital rooms, retirement homes. When Jordan was an infant, I would often come in from work to find Jordan over Papa’s shoulder asleep while Terry composed his sermons, took care of correspondence, or did research at his computer.

While we tried to make MOMENTS with our Oklahoma grandchildren, our Kentucky grandchildren just kind of filled our moments. Abigail as an infant and toddler rewrote the grandparent manual. From the git go she was a force to be reckoned with. While Jordan had relaxed eating often nursing or taking a bottle with Papa at a slow pace. Abigail sucked her food down in a few minutes in order to get on with life. Her problem solving skills involved a lot of observation and planning. She would sit on a blanket and access an object on the edge. Rather than heading after it , she would pull on the blanket and bring it to her. It is like we have telescopic views of our Oklahoma grandkids and microscopic views of our Kentucky ones. Love them all, but I am especially close to this one.

Barefoot & Blonde

When thinking of my grandparents there’s one word that comes to mind: blessed. Throughout my nineteen years of living I’ve ALWAYS had my grandparents in my life. Looking back, I can’t imagine it any other way. My grandparents are my biggest supporters, my rocks, my shoulders to cry on. I know that no matter what, I can turn to any of them and they’ll welcome me with open arms. I don’t think I can ever express just how much all four of them mean to me. So here is a little peek into just how great they are in my eyes.

Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 11.29.59 PMMy Papa is one of the greatest men I know. He’s got a HUGE heart, and a great love for God. My Papa has had to put up with me since day one, which I’m sure wasn’t an easy task. When my Mom went back to work, he was…

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I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. Do you? Do I? Or, do we equivocate? The extent to which I believe this initial statement in the Apostles’ Creed establishes the lens by which I see the world, history, science, education, conservation of nature, people. Indeed the lens by which I view everything. C.S. Lewis and Eugene Price both avowed atheists before their conversions FIRST came to belief in GOD as the origin of all creation before becoming Christians. Their stories are found in SURPRISED BY JOY and MY BURDEN IS LIGHT.

In the commandments given to Moses it is what hinges all the commandments together. HEAR, O ISRAEL. THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE.  YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE HIM.

SO, to recite these words while holding views that eliminate God from creation or limit God’s role in creation, or question his parenthood over All then I would be better off not saying them. Not because, the Creed says that, but because the Scriptures say that. Do I believe science and God oppose one another or do I believe that God created the clues in the Universe and the curiosity in humankind that seeks answers and solutions and knowledge to unlock the gates to discovery and invention and scientific processes? Do I believe every human carries within them a spirit stamped with the DNA of God Almighty. Do I believe the words of Genesis, ‘Let us create mankind in our own image. So male and female, he created them.’

So, is it empty recitation or awe filled proclamation. Do I speak a truth I believe or bear false witness while blasting the whole idea of God Almighty creating heaven and earth in favor of man’s theories which discard or dilute his power and action?

I believe in God the Father Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth!

What is your stand?


Watching and Waiting–Ash Wednesday

A watched pot never boils, but as I unintentionally proved just yesterday an unwatched pot boils dry and scorches the beans.  Charred remains, ashes imbedded in the bottom of the pan, evidence of my inattentiveness.  There is definitely a correlation to the ashes crossed on the forehead, a tangible mark reminding we Christians why we take 40 days before Holy Week to meditate on the sacrifice.  Even I, who does not have ashes crossed on my forehead, knows the significance.  Jesus asked his disciples in the garden, ‘can you not watch with me one hour?’    Watching and Waiting link arms as this season of Lent begins. 

SO . . .

How can I overcome my tendency to try to rush life along?  When does ‘watching’ become hovering, which is only one small step from–you got it–meddling.

How can I wait with expectation, with excitement, with hope, with gratitude, without       Considering the darkness in this world.  Waiting and watching this Lenten Season  involves active participation in carrying the light until the Morning Light!



God’s Got This–BE STILL

IMG_1057.JPGThe Lord will fight for you, and you can be still.” (Exodus 14:14 NET)
Let the weight of this simple verse sink in. Whatever comes my way, your way, today, The Lord has my (your) back.

In fact, The Lord advances into the fray.

What does He want from me? He wants me to be still, be silent, observe from the wings, allow Him to clear the path, and although not specific in this verse to trust and then follow. Watch with silent wonder as God handles your battles today, hands off, expectations heightened and share the power of waiting upon The Lord.

Have a fantastic Thursday, drive safe and be kind to those who don’t!


The Right Time to Forgive



Forgiving Wednesday

If I waited till the hurting stopped,

or the wrong could be made right.

If I waited for I’m sorry or for amends to be in sight,

I might wait a lifetime,

waiting for the right time and

then my life could end still holding on to all that pain by failing to forgive.

In Matthew 18, Peter asked Jesus, how many times he had to forgive. Jesus gave him a number, but then he told the parable of the unforgiving servant, who failed to honor the forgiveness he had received and ended up being turned over to be tortured.

If I choose to not forgive, I choose to dishonor God who has forgiven me and distance myself from the spirit of Christ, leaving me in discomfort and eventually torture. Not what Jesus wants for any Christian.

Choose forgiveness to be close to God and for inner peace.

And remember:

Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NET)


September, 2016. A Touch of Fiction



For September, I encourage those of you who have ever considered writing a story, a novel, a memoir to write.  It is scary, but fulfilling…every person possesses within stories, either real or imaginary–which by the way contain reality.  I find sharing fiction harder than writing my blog.  In a sense they expose a person in ways essay type writing does not.

But taking a big deep breath, I have chosen a few mainly Flash Fiction Shorts [250-750 words] that I have written over the past few years to share. I hope you enjoy some of them, but even if you don’t, I hope YOU will try writing down some of those stories you have inside.  Let’s start with:

Curiosity Nips Cat

I am a curious person. For example, while watching PBS News recently, I asked my husband if he thought I looked as old as the woman being interviewed…

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Post Christmas Ramblings

Perhaps you are a little bit like me.  No Christmas is perfect, especially when our human expectations meet the human actualities.  Almost like a hangover…in some cases, a real hangover…the day after all the festivities can become a downer.  Which gives the devil a tiny little foothold.  Joy is fragile during times of attack.  Looking at the scattered paper under a Christmas tree and looking for the manger with the baby under the scattered paper, I could not keep a melancholy from settling on me.

Knowing I needed to turn the focus away from myself, I read my devotional, found scripture that spoke to my current feelings, and wrote the following.

Perhaps it will speak to you, too, if you are a little bit like me.




These tools of the enemy

Gifts stacked upon gifts
scattered remnants
paper and bows,
Expectations and emotions

Unable to make the gift that was wrong

Unable to clear mental clutter in the midst of

all the debris  

Reminders of yet another

Christmas barely past.
Weary, worn travelers congregated
Then scattered

Where is the manger?
Where is the Baby Jesus?

Where is all that promised joy, peace, love, and grace?

Time to reflect

Dig deep

Refresh, remember, reflect


I will trust

I will not allow 

Inadequacies, stilted moments, grief or 


Become the big “D” tools of an enemy

Whose only goal since I belong to Jesus

Is to promote self condemnation,

Critical thoughts, sin in my life

So that I feel unworthy of the Savior’s Love

So I doubt His love for me

And fall into the Post Christmas Blues

I will trust in His unfailing love

I will seek His face, 

Believe His grace

And Rejoice

For unto US a Child is Born

Unto US a Savior for all the world

Unto US  a Purpose and Plan

So I dig deep



Hope for tomorrow and Hope for today.




Christmas Without or Christmas Within 2015


It is just not Christmas without…
You fill in the blanks

Snow or at least frost in air

A spouse, parent, a child, a friend, someone you loved

Who is not there

Health, wealth, or just enough money

to put presents under the tree

or maybe not even a tree

being home to celebrate with family and friends

without clothes to keep warm 

or a home in the storm

You fill in the blanks…
It is just not Christmas without. . .

Yet the truth of it all, it is all those with outs 

That speak to what Christmas’s about

The broken places in our lives and hearts

The empty spaces at the Christmas table

The health issues, the presence of sin

Christ came to a world filled with doubt

The promise of love, peace, hope within

In spite of all the with outs

It is Christ that Christmas is about.

I pray the world, especially the ones that I love take time to figure that out.


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