Braking Points

Exploring the Adventure of Aging



2015 Thanksgiving Day: Images and Verse

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Thanksgiving Day Twenty-one 2015

So what’s with SPANX and other Shape Wear?  Are they not girdles with a new name?

Unless you are a female, who came of age in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s, what I am about to write will undoubtedly make no sense to you at all.

imageWe took our undergarments seriously.  We wore flared skirts with as many can can slips under them as we could afford.  Our dresses stood out like umbrellas. Sitting required carefully folding the skirt and slips so that they did not pop up exposing more than any young lady should.  I only owned two, but some girls wore at least seven or eight.  School desks presented a clear and present danger.

Following can cans we moved into the era of matching sweater skirt sets with tight fitting straight skirts, which required a girdle.  No young  lady wanted a pouchy stomach, we would rather endure shallow breathing.

Then came the Age of Aquarius,  binding underwear, elaborate undergarments like can cans became symbols of bondage . . .with some extremists burning bras.  WE WERE FREE!

‘Were’ is the operative word in that last sentence.  Because they are back.  Of course the design, the products, the materials have changed, but the intent is the same:  Squeeze it in, push it up, rearrange the flesh.  And vintage dresses, 50s styles, with can cans–still challenging those inclined to  sit.

I am pretty sure that if anyone reads this, they are going to wonder “Where is she going with this?  Isn’t this supposed to be a Thanksgiving post?  She sure does not sound grateful.”

With all that is happening in the world, war, refugees, terrorism, political yammering, with all that is happening in my neck of the woods, I am thankful.  I can sit here for a few moments in the quietness of the evening, college football on the TV, and consider not the circle of life but the circle of women’s undergarments.

It doesn’t make the world different.  Back in the 50s when we were wearing our can cans, outside our town, a missle silo was built.  We watched films about nuclear bomb attacks. We walked with books on our heads for posture, squeezed into girdles, during the Cuba Missle Crisis.  As the restrictive garments came off, young men and women went to Viet Nam.  Sometimes your head just needs to entertain frivolous musings for sanity’s sake.  Sometimes in the midst of a wake you need to laugh.

I am so thankful to God for allowing me to wander away from the weighty issues in my life and in the world, if only for a few moments, because it refreshes me like hearing children’s laughter.  It does not diminish my concern for the hurting, hungry, and homeless. In fact it allows me to return to prayer, consider how to respond, and take action with fresh perspective.

Some times you just gotta break out the CAN CANS and DANCE!


Thanksgiving Day Fourteen 2015



Short backdrop to the Book of Jeremiah where this verse resides. He was known as the weeping prophet. His prophesies from God were not well accepted. The leaders tried to kill him. The city of Jerusalem had been under siege for so long there was no food or water, but his message of doom did not sit well with the leaders or populous who were longing to hear words of encouragement and praise. After all, THEY were HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE.

God had had his fill of the sinfulness of those HE called HIS PEOPLE. Sure the Babylonian army outside the gates were pagan, heathens, but HIS PEOPLE had wandered so far from the truth that God sent Jeremiah to speak judgement and accountability…a chance to turn around.

Then in the 29th chapter the tone of the prophesies revealed through Jeremiah changes. From that point forward without taking back a single one of the previous pronouncements upon on Judah, God lifts the eyes of Jeremiah offering words of promise, forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. Forty years in the wilderness, Seventy years in Babylon living day to day are nano seconds to God, but time enough for his people to return to him.

My opinion only, but God does not expect Starbucks, a secular business, to honor Christ at Christmas, but he does expect me to honor Christ in Christmas. The world is a mission field not an enemy.

God has a plan for his people and it really has not changed from day ONE, we are to be light in the darkness. Through weak, clumsy people like me who have been called according to his purpose the world should be able to know God. Kinda makes me queasy, knowing just how feeble a witness I am….Truth is if I center on “I“, the light will flicker and die…SO I am thankful that God Crossed out the “I” so when I stop hiding my cracks his brilliance shines through.



Thanksgiving Day Twelve 2015


‘I am woman hear me…’ whine and moan everytime I get on the scales, assess my face in the mirror, the groans becoming wales of anguish when directly out of the shower I step in front of a full length mirror.

I awoke this morning from a dream about pushing a car to the gas station and buying a horse…the key phrase here is ‘I awoke‘!

More than Seventy years ago my heart started beating in the safety of my mother’s womb and so far it has not failed to continue, inspite of Atrial Fibrillation and mild hypertension.

On April 25, 1945 I inhaled and exhaled for the very first time, continuing to do so except for brief intervals without even giving it or the atmosphere with its life giving oxygen more than a brief acknowledgement.

I was walking and talking before my first birthday.  So far except for mild arthritis in my joints, neck surgery, carpal tunnel surgery, I move through my day with only minor assistance…and am glad there is assistance available when I need it.  I may struggle with word finding skills but I still speak and write to express myself.  But those are all voluntary actions.

Every day my body flows with blood carrying oxygen to my brain, organs, fingers and toes.

Every day my body digests food and hydrates cells, uses the nutrients and discards the waste.  I take voluntary action in this project, but my body does the heavy lifting.

Every day my body sends out scouts to determine if there are enemy forces from without trying to storm the walls.  At the first sight of invasion, other cells engage the enemy with one intent destroy and protect.

Every day my body completes millions of tasks without even asking my permission.

Will it grow tired of all of these tasks?  yes

Will it lower its defenses at times?  yes

Will it fail to recognize the enemy before outside forces are needed? yes

Will I die?  yes

BUT until then enough of this b*&^hing and moaning about the wrinkles, sags, snap, crackles and pops.

I AWOKE this morning, still breathing, heart still beating, walking, talking….I AM ALIVE from the top of my head to my crooked little toe.

I may not be young.  I may not be the image of perfection.  I may not be…..BUT THANK YOU, LORD…I AM ALIVE!

My human body works just like you created it to do.

So, Precious Lord, I will leave the rest to you.

Till the end you will see me through.



Thanksgiving Day Seven 2015


Over the course of our fifty plus years together we have had multiple pets.  I wish I had pictures of all of them, but these pictured have enhanced our lives, kept us active, and in the case of Mitzi, photo in the middle, comforted and cared for us when Terry was so sick.  Our daughter also adopted a beautiful, if somewhat deranged black cat, who lived with us for 18 years, moving reluctantly from Oklahoma to Kentucky with us.

All of the dogs pictured were rescue dogs, not all of them rescued by us, but by family.  Skipper [pictured in first and second pictures top left] was our grandson Jordan’s dog, he and Mitzi have passed away. Gone but not forgotten.  Now we have Max and Emma, who are members of our pack….I mean family.

For these pets I am grateful, because they bring us both joy and frustration, keep us going, and give us reason to get up…because they have to go walk or need to be fed.

Thanksgiving Day Five 2015


In March 2016, our grandson Jonathan will increase our family when he marries his beloved Amanda. So it is with family increase, as those tied to us by blood and birth choose to unite in love with others, family trees intertwine.  We will gain a granddaughter-in-law, who will bring with her, her family, her traditions, and her love.

The chosen ones, our son-in-law Mark, our daughters-in-law, Martha and Jennifer come not as individuals only but with attachments, brothers, sisters, parents, children, aunts, uncles…etc.  These ties bind us together in mutual respect and aspirations for our progeny.

In today’s world not all of these ‘in-law’ relationships last.  As one who has suffered the painful separation of a branch by divorce and another by action of family court when our foster grandchild was returned to her birth mother,  I can testify to pain involved. Circumstances vary, but for us both of these involved grief.  Still God moved us forward and our family has grown in numbers and our grandchildren are all growing up or already grown.

Thanks be to God for our son and daughters by marriage. We are grateful that they love our children, for isn’t that what all parents want. We are grateful for the parents they are to our grandchildren and for the examples they set in home, community, work, and church.

We love you and are grateful to be your mother and father-in-law.  .  .and look forward to being grandmother and father-in-law.

Thanksgiving Day Three 2015

Chiefly during the autumn months, a crush of holidays occurs primarily noted in the mercantile business.  Just after Labor Day stores crowd aisles with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hannakah [small corner, greeting card section], and Christmas paraphenalia.  Some even hang tiny jack-o-lanterns from Christmas tree branches.  The great pumpkin, Santa Claus, the Menorah and Jesus sort of get lumped up together into a gigantic promotion to empty cash, build debt, and promote materialism.

Hard to get a breath as the walls come crushing in.  Difficult to find peace even when the stores are playing Christmas music and you are pretty sure you saw the beginning of a Valentine display peaking out of a storeroom.

The liturgical calendar used in many Christian traditions gives Ordinary Time–time throughout the year–the vast majority of the annual calendar falling between Christmas and Lent, and then between Easter and Advent, 33-34 weeks.

Thanksgiving falls within Ordinary Time, with its color Green, signalling balance, harmony and growth.

In the midst of this pressure cooker world ordinary time provides space necessary to live the Christian life without the secular, pagan, other theistic traditions, and even Christian holidays intruding.

Love expressed during Ordinary Time arises from within, sees the needs of others without the benefit of  Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter reminders.

So today, I am thankful not just for the Ordinary Time marked on a calendar, but for all the ordinary days with their ups and downs, without the flurry of having to hurry up, do this, act this way or that.

I am also thankful that NO DAY is ever really ORDINARY in the hands of an EXTRAORDINARY God.image




Thanksgiving Day Two 2015

One day 20 years ago, my daughter buckled her first born into his car seat as I watched.  When he was secure, she stroked his cheek with the back of her hand before turning to say ‘good-bye’ to me.  Her eyes glistened with tears as she hugged me saying,

“I always knew I would love being a mother, I just never knew how much till now.”

Watching my child drive away with her child that day, I repeated her words.

Motherhood, the gift that brings the highest highs and the lowest lows. . .along with the first steps and first words come the first flight through the department store as you struggle not to scream like a banchee and the first sassing or temper tantrum that threatens to push you over the ledge.

Motherhood, the gift that brings you to your knees more often than any other relationship, especially when they are all grown up [you thought you’d be free and clear then, but NO…].  Some mothers among us have watched our children marry and then divorce,  struggle financially, face persecution, make poor decisions–just like us, but we didn’t want that for our children–Some of us have even lost children to addiction.  A  friend of mine had a daughter who ran away.  For two years they had no idea where she was or how she was.  Some of us have had to bury a child or from my own experience stand by a child who buried her own child.

Motherhood, the gift that helps me understand WHY Christ chose to leave Heaven for me.  What mother among us would not put on their child’s skin, if that were possible, and walk through the valley FOR them.  Motherhood with its grasp of what it means to hear your child’s voice.  My friend whose daughter ran away wept uncontrollably at the sound of her child’s voice on the phone, unable to speak herself.

Motherhood, the gift God gives to imperfect screw-ups like me and to some of you who are closer to perfection.

Motherhood, the gift I am most thankful for today, the opportunity to love, for it is in loving that we are strengthened to be more like Christ Jesus, Our Lord.

A special Shout out to our children and their spouses today:

Micheal and Jennifer Kisler

Scott and Martha Kisler

Brandee and Mark Foster

Love you to the Moon and Back!  Mom



Martha and Gabby Kisler
Martha and Gabby Kisler

Thanksgiving Day One 2015



As I begin this journey, intentionally considering the myriad of blessings of my life, past, present, and still to come, I pause to remind myself that the answer to the question posed in Romans 8:35 is “NO ONE”.  “NOTHING” not even I can separate myself from the love of Christ.  In fact if I read the Bible correctly, NO ONE, even the most apathetic or evil, can escape Christ’s love.

One can ignore it.

One can laugh at it.

One can distort it.

One can reject it.

One can persecute those who accept it.

One can seek to destroy it.


Can ESCAPE it.

Today I am thankful for the inescapable love of God through Christ Jesus, my Lord.  My prayer is that I can grow in that love so that I can love like Christ.

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