Thursday, January 29, 2009

PARTY ON !!!!!!!

I am gonna get pictures on here!! Really I am! Just as soon as I figure out that part. I'll be calling on some of you other kind blogger friends to help me!!!!

Today is already Thursday?? I can't believe it's Thursday already!!!! I really ought to be in a big panic by now, really I figured I'd flip out way before now. But I'm surprisingly, even somewhat suspiciously calm. Hmmm?

As some of you know, my oldest son, Colin got married to the love of his life, Ronnie, last month right after Christmas. Because they really wanted a very intimate wedding with their immediate family and very closest friends in attendance, only those people were invited to the wedding. The wedding was way out in the remote, west Texas panhandle area and was quite a drive for most friends, especially during the holidays. Soooo, we planned a big reception/shower/party and have invited everyone to come celebrate their marriage with us. Saturday is party day! Yea! I am so excited on many levels -- 1. I love parties! Actually, I love hosting parties way better than attending parties, and 2. I love planning parties! also 3. we will get to sit and visit with friends - old and new. But mostly, 4. I have never seen my son, Colin, so happy. Ever! In his whole life! What a joy it has been to see God orchestrate this love story! It all happened very quickly, very calmly and without any drama at all. It's been so much fun and we've all just been "kicked back" about it all. Which is my only explanation for the lack of panic today. I've been so "kicked back" I just haven't even made any lists.

I am a big planner and all in all, a better than average organized person. I always, always have lists going. Grocery list, chore list, weekend work list, home repair list, ranch work list, books I love list, on and on it goes. I work off of lists, my life revolves around lists. And, I , for the most part, usually have it pretty together....because of my lists!!!! For an event of this magnitude, I really ought to have a minimum of 4 lists going for several weeks now, just to keep it all straight. But, I don't!! Yesterday was the first time I made a list of any kind for the party and that was just for groceries. So the fact that it is already Thursday and we have a party happening in about 48 hrs. to which I have invited 300 of our closest friends and family AND I'm not in full blown, sitting in a corner, whimpering panic ---- remarkable!! really, truly remarkable!!

Just a few hrs. ago, well, several hrs. ago now -- I did wake up at 4 a.m., wild-eyed and staring out into the dark and wondering "where might I find some tablecloths??, huh??? where? and what do ya think ya might want to put in the middle of those tables with those tablecloths that I'm gonna find wherever it is you get tablecloths? huh??? AND what are we gonna do with ......" Good Grief!! I neeeeeeeeed some lists!!!!!!!! Gotta go now. Gotta go make lists. Gotta preserve what bits of sanity I have left. (to be continued.......)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I've been "dreaming" a lot lately! Sorting out what's from God and what's from my own overactively and fertile imagination is quite the challenge. As I have prayed through all of these possibilities before me, I have pared down my list of New Year's goals for 2009. As I began to look at what was laid out before me, items fell out naturally into 4 different categories. : Physical, Spiritual, Knowledge/Skills and Just for Fun, although some items probably overlap into more than one category. I am listing these Dreams from the Lord here for a couple of reasons. First, I want these goals written down where I can see them and be reminded of them every day. I want to have them in front of me so I know where I'm going. Like having a little GPS/roadmap of goals for 2009. And second, I want to be open in my life and invite accountability from my friends. Also I wouldn't mind your prayers as I set out to accomplish what the Lord has laid out for me this year. So, here is the list --

Physical goals --
  • 1. Lose x number of pounds this year. The Lord has given me a number and I will likely be sharing more about this area as the year goes along. Whereas in decades past, my desire in losing weight was to look good in a swimsuit for the summer or to fit into some skinny dress for a special event, these days I just desire to live every year, day and moment the Lord intends AND to be healthy! To Live Out Loud!!!
  • 2. Train to participate (whether by running/jogging/walking/shuffling) in the Jingle Bell run in Fort Worth in December 2009. This is something I would love to "run" with my daughter, granddaughter and any other family and friends who want to join us.

Spiritual goals --

  • 1. Read thru the Bible this year along with many from my church, Paulann, who are taking the challenge. On this Day 26 of that process, my life has already been enriched. There is nothing, nothing like Truth -- God's Word -- to enhance and empower life!!
  • 2. Memorize 24 scriptures over the course of the year. Beth Moore, on her blog, has challenged her fellow travellers, to memorize a new scripture every 1st and 15th of each month. Here's how it works: search out what scripture the Lord is pointing out in your life, then write that scripture down in a journal, notebook -- I keep mine in a 5 by 7 index card spiral. Then keep that scripture before your eyes for the next 1/2 month -- read it, repeat it, write it, say it and meditate on it! I've always used the excuse "I just can't memorize" when it comes to scripture memory. But, the Lord has pointed out to me that is not true. I manage to memorize all sorts of other stuff that isn't of any consequence in my life AT ALL! (song lyrics, names of tv characters, quotes) OOOOhhhh - busted!!! So, here I go ............
  • 3. Do 2 meaty Bible studies during the year. I need the consistency of having "homework" on a daily basis and I need the consistency of interaction with other women in a Bible study setting. "Iron sharpens iron" and we all need to keep sharp!!

Knowledge/Skills goals --

  • 1. Start and keep a blog. In starting this blog, I am realizing a long time dream of having a forum to write down "the thinks I think". I always said it would be a process primarily just for me -- therapeutic, like a diary, and IF someone read my words and IF someone liked them or related to them, great. And IF no one read or enjoyed or even cared about my blog, so be it! After all, it was just for me anyway. HA!!! Putting your thoughts on a "page" and putting them out there is, I am finding, a really weird and sometimes scary thing. I find that I am waaaaay too susceptible to what someone else thinks of me, way too insecure to just truly not care what you think. And ya know, I think that is another goal I've just unearthed. :) I think this goal would better be listed under "spiritual" but since I'm on a roll, here goes --- It is my goal (and definitely God's dream for me) to become so totally secure in who I am in HIM, that it truly doesn't matter so much what someone else thinks!! Really, we all could have that as a goal, perhaps. Especially we women! I fear we are, many of us, too wrapped up in what someone thinks of us and how we live our lives. I'm gonna work on this!!
  • Back a trailer -- yes, I know. How can a girl grow up in the country on a farm and ranch and not know this basic of life? Well, my Dad always did the backing up of the trailer. Then my husband did it. Now my kids do it. I just never learned how. I've tried it a couple times, took out a fence post or two, cranked the steering wheel so far we nearly jackedknifed in the pasture :) and then got out, went around to the passenger's seat and let someone else do it!!!! for gosh sakes. BUT, I want, no I need to learn to back a trailer!!!!
  • Learn to play my guitar. Now I have always, always, as long as I can remember, wanted to play a guitar. My husband surprised me with a guitar on my birthday a couple years ago and I completely panicked. When he presented it to me, he had me close my eyes and hold out my arms and he laid it across them and then "surprise! open your eyes!" I know he expected more joy and excitement on my part. But I just sat there with a "deer in the headlights" look thinking "Awwww, no!!!!!" I mean, I'd been talking about how I would just love to play the guitar and how that really was something I wanted to learn and I really thought that would be on my "bucket list"(if I had a bucket list) and blah, blah, blah. And THEN there is a guitar in my arms -- Busted, dude!!!! In effect, he called my bluff. And I was so undone by it, it went back in the case and I've never even touched it since. Can you believe that! What a weeny!!!! Soooo, gonna pick that baby up and learn to do something? -- a nice chord perhaps? :) Gonna be livin' LOUD!!!!

Just For Fun --

  • Float another river. I have a goal of floating all the floatable rivers in Texas. There are quite a few. Honestly, I don't really know exactly how many. But, I've only floated 3 of them so far. And I need to be floating somewhere this summer if that goal is gonna be achieved in my lifetime. Ahhh, so many rivers, so little time..........
  • Learn to kayak/canoe. It looks like so much fun! I'm really not much for boating in general, I guess. Speed boats, ski boats, bass boats, peerows -- non hold much fascination for me. Now a yacht -- there a boat I could get into!! HA!! Really, to float/paddle a kayak or a canoe just seems to me to be very "basic" somehow. Very simple, very soothing, very primal ----
  • Ride a horse. Now I have ridden a horse before, but only a couple of times. Not pleasant or fun in any way. It was a brain-jarring experience actually and much flapping and flailing went on. But, I love horses so much and I am enough of a romantic and a country girl, that I want to try it again.

So, there it is!! My Goals and God's Dreams for me for 2009! Wow!! Gotta go, kids.....time's a'wastin'.......................................................................................

Friday, January 23, 2009

"I KNOW!!" I practically screamed. William, my husband of 37 years ( let me tell ya, this man has endured many such outbursts ) opened his mouth to speak, but of course, I interrupted his thoughts and continued screaming and squealing!!!! "I know, I know, I know, I know!!" I declared, "I know what to do with Little Tractor! Let's not get rid of it, let's keep it and paint it pink!!!!" Bless him! Sweet man! Do you know his response was simply a smile and an "Okay! why not?" And ya know what? He really meant it.....

We've been thinking what to do with my Papaw's old Ford tractor. It's one of those cute little gray and red numbers, all pale and faded, with peely paint. Made decades ago, it really has lost most of its usefulness. The Little Tractor isn't big enough or powerful enough to really plow a field. And it doesn't have enough umph to carry heavy loads like a newer, revved up lawn tractors would. Kind of a clunker of a piece of farm equipment, mostly just in the way. Time to be put out to pasture. Which is exactly where the Little Tractor has been for the last couple of decades. Just sitting out in the weather, waiting for rust to set in and do its worst. We've tried to sell it several times. We've tried to kind of rehab it and get it back in the ag game, so to speak. Still it sits!! So, we were kind of kicking around the idea of just donating it to an organization that could in turn sell it and keep the money as a donation. Not a bad idea, I guess.'s the deal -----

I love Little Tractor! I really do! I have wonderful memories that revolve around that tractor. My earliest recollection of Little Tractor is one of sitting on my Papaw's knee and my dog, Corky, a not so small English spaniel sitting on his other knee, while he plowed up the spot for the garden. I was probably all of 2 years old! All of my own kids have played on and under and around Little Tractor. And each of them has driven Little Tractor way before they were old enough to drive a truck. We all have many memories associated with Little Tractor, most sweet but some bitter. One day when my daughter was about 6, she plopped down on the tractor seat to just sit a while and play-like and a whole nest of yellowjackets that had been building under the seat, rose up and bit her on the bottom. To this day, I've never heard that kind of shrieking and crying. Mamaw ran to the rescue with a bottle of laundry bluing liquid in her hand and sloshed it on Dana's backside, immediately calming the pain.

By the time the kids were all in their teen years, my Daddy had renamed Little Tractor. Once after someone had tinkered around with the motor and revved it up a bit, Little Tractor seemed to have a new lease on life. One of the kids asked him "Granddaddy, does it run?" "Does it run?" my Dad said laughing,"Why, it runs like a spotted-assed ape!" We all fell out laughing over that one and of course, Little Tractor had a new name from that day on.

Many guests of our farm have taken little tractor for a spin up and down the country roads. One guest I remember loved driving Little Tractor because it took her back to her own childhood on the farm. All of us have loved Little Tractor. It's just always been here on the farm. It really belongs here, I think. Surrounded by the people who love it. Not on an auction block for a few dollars! Which brings me to how I started this blog....painting Little Tractor pink.

Now whether I actually DO paint Little Tractor pink ??? Well, we'll see..... I mean, how exactly would one go about painting a tractor anyway???? Hmmm??? Also, I can almost hear the question "Isn't Little Tractor a boy?" To which I say no, no she is not!!! How do I know this? I will tell you. I know this because Little Tractor has never been pushy or boisterous. She has always been genteel and well-mannered. She has always been reserved with a quiet spirit about her. She has never, ever been the big, loud, dirt-clod kicking, smoke-belching kind of tractor that does the jobs that require brut strength. Her area of expertise has been plowing gardens and straightening end rows. Grooming, if you will. Nurturing. She's really been good at nurturing. And because of all these qualities and because of such neglect in latter years, I firmly believe Little Tractor would enjoy a nice coat of yummy pink paint. I think Little Tractor has always secretly dreamed of being an eye-popping, head-turning tractor. She's got a dream! And I'm gonna make that dream come true!

Little Tractor and I have a lot in common I think. I, too , was made decades ago. And I, at times in my life, have felt a bit pale and faded, with peely paint. At first glance, one might think I've also lost most of my usefulness. And I know there are times that I feel like a clunker. Some of my agility is gone and I see newer, revved up models all the time that are doing all the things I used to do and either can't do anymore or just flat don't wanna do.

Now Little Tractor doesn't really, really have feelings nor does she dream. You do know that, right? I know that! Really, I do! I, however, do have dreams. Dreams that the Lord God has planted in my heart. And as those dreams have taken root and started to grow, I know I am coming back to life. I've been resusitated. I'm once again excited about my life! I'm thrilled to greet each new day! I am stepping out in faith in my prayers and believing for the things God Himself has promised me! I am practicing those things I want to get really good at -- giving and praying and loving. And I'm taking captive all those things that don't have a place in a Believer's thoughts. I'm learning to be grateful, truly thankful, for all that the Lord has allowed into my life. These things, these Dreams were planted in my heart by the Lord Himself and because He gave me these Dreams, I know they are a done deal!!! When God desires something for us and we grab hold of that something and desire it for ourselves, it is as good as ours!

By now you must know that Little Tractor and her coat of jazzy pink paint is very symbolic. A symbol of so many things. Of achieving God's Dreams for my life. Of getting a second chance(or sixth or fourteenth). Of seeing the Lord restore the years the locust(or rust) have eaten. Of living the last remaining years of my life oh, so much better than I lived the first many years of my life. For every year of my life since I can remember I have yearned to live bigger and louder than I've ever had the courage to live. Well, one of the Dreams that the Lord has just recently given me, is That Dream -- the one of living out loud!!

So here it is -- my desire for you, if you have read this far, is for you to start asking the Lord to give you His Dreams for your life. Ask Him. He has such Dreams for us - more than we can even imagine -- and I believe He so desires for us to make His Dreams our own.

I'm excited about writing this blog. I believe it is a small part of living out loud! Thanks for reading! I welcome your comments.