religion

This has been a tough first year. My life in the great state of Texas reads like a fairy tale and I always planned for and expected the “happily ever after” part. Didn’t work out quite like I planned. My husband of nearly a decade, who was my earnest cowboy hero, died a year ago on Aug. 16 after a terrific and fierce battle with cancer. Throughout the treatments and the after effects, I thought right up until the very end that he would get better.

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I saw someone do something really dumb the other day, but it wasn’t my circus and they weren’t my monkeys, so I could not do anything to help other than pray for a decent outcome. The incident reminded me of a line or two in an old Jimmy Buffet song. He sang about “a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.” How many of us live every day with the results of a temporary feeling or an act that we committed when we were not in the best frame of mind? Perhaps we chose a partner that is not suited to us or to the family we want to create.

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I love words. I have always loved words since my Uncle Donald encouraged me to read when I was very young. He brought me books he had found on sale, those given to him, and from the local library. For each book I read and was able to give him enough of a verbal report or the story line, he gave me a small amount of money. If it were a decent size book, I might get a quarter or two. I so looked forward to his visits, the books, and the prizes I earned.

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Forgive the personal reference today in my column, but I have had an exhausting two weeks with over 3,000 miles covered and a lot of heartbreak. When I start to write my column, I always think of what I have been learning and how I can communicate what I have stored away in my heart and mind with those who follow my writing. I only know how to write what is in my heart.

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I wrote to a friend from high school the other day and said, “At our age, we learn to take our little delights and unexpected gifts of life whenever they come and however we can absorb them.” Marie wrote back and said, “You are very right. And I am only glad that I have learned to be content in whatever state I am in and with whatever good I have in my life.”

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“Unfettered,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary, means “free from fetters or other physical bonds.”

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“I get like a tigress when it’s about my kids,” wrote famed actress Meryl Streep.

I did not get to read the entire interview, but I can only imagine that someone had attacked one of her offspring and she did not like it very much at all. From some of the titles I read on printed media while waiting in grocery check out lanes, I am surprised that more mothers haven’t cried out or attempted to stop the printing of slanderous lies and innuendo that probably has little basis of truth.

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I read a quote this week from Amy Tan that has stuck in my mind more than many do: “In a Chinese family, the mother pulls very tightly on the bond to a point where the daughter asks, ‘Why can’t I know about such and such?’ and the mother answers, ‘Because I haven’t put it into your mind yet.’”

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Having served in Christian ministry for many years on the local church level and with a large international ministry, I have met and become friends with people from many places and walks of life. Even as a writer, I still have many opportunities to witness good people in action helping others, good deeds being done, and Christianity being shown forth from pure hearts with good motives.

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Charles Kingsley wrote, “Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance, self control, diligence, strength of will, content, and a hundred other virtues which the idle never know.

Elvis Presley perhaps was paraphrasing Joseph Addison when he said, “The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

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