Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Fairy Tale still Lives!

Every little girl dreams about it at some point or another.

She reads a fairy tale and the day dreaming begins. She pictures herself riding off into the sunset with Prince Charming.

Then she becomes a teenager and the daydreams just take on more realistic fantasies. Maybe the boy who sits in front of her in class, or the school jock or the cute pop star....

Then she grows up and maybe~ just maybe~ she meets the REAL Prince Charming.

Most don't .
A few might.
Fewer do.
and ....... 25 years ago today I married him!

It is hard to believe, but I still have the fairytale.

I still get goosebumps when he winks at me.
We flirt with text messages.
We hold hands in the park.
He opens my door for me.
He gives me his coat when I am cold (even when the wind is blowing giants gusts of cold air in Washington D.C. ~ and he is freezing).

He IS the epitome of the gallant chivalrous knight.
He IS my Prince Charming.
He is the most amazing husband,
the most handsome man,
an awesome father,
a great, loving pastor,
He is
Love of My Life~forever and always!

Rusty Blann, I will renew my vows to you today.

I will do it over and over again.

You ARE the love of my life and

I love you more today than I ever thought possible when I said "I Do".

Thank you for loving me with an unconditional love.

Thank you for being the Priest, Provider, and Protector of our family.

Thank you for being the amazing man of God that you are!

You live what you preach and I respect and admire you more than you can ever know!

Thank you for being YOU!

I love you with all of me!


Friday, December 26, 2008

Fiction Friday

I pray everyone had a wonderful and joy filled Christmas! It is my most favorite time of year!

I would love to have the time to write a new Christmas story, but since I am a "newbie" writer, I don't have stash to draw from. I do have this story - just a plain old mystery fiction.

Sorry - but this is too long for a one time post. Part 2 will be posted next week. This was my first attempt at fiction. I have always written narratives from Bible Stories and devotionals. So, bare with me on the roughness of this one.

I am posting this on Thursday because I will be traveling on Friday. So go to Patty's blog for today's host.

Here is my addition to Fiction Friday.

The Red Stone Mystery

When she it, she was in shock. Fear gripped her heart, and the pain of the past lodged in the pit of her stomach.

She had to hide it! Her survival instincts kicked in. There was no thought to make sure of wise decisions. The decisions were all preservation based.

She quickly swept it under the rug. “No”, she thought, “That wouldn’t do. The lump could be seen.” Fumbling like a victim looking for car keys, she grabbed it and ran for the hall closet. She felt her way to the back of the closet. Placing her hands and knees on the floor, she found the small nook she had seen last week while cleaning.

She breathed a sigh of relief. It couldn’t be seen. If she kept her cool no one would ever find out.

She backed slowly out of the closet. Standing to her feet, she glanced around instinctively, even though she knew the apartment was empty.

While washing the few dishes, her mind strayed to the contents of the corner in the closet. Who put it in her apartment? Why? Could it be…..?

The bowl slipped from her hand and fell to the floor. The breaking glass echoed in the lonely house. Numbly she began picking up the pieces. She was looking but not seeing. She picked up the last jagged fragment, and blood began oozing from her finger. But what was bleeding worse was the torrent of memories now flooding her mind.

She was nauseous. How could this all be resurfacing now? It had been so long ago.

She bandaged her finger, drained the dishwater, and went to lie down. She would sort out her plan from the comfort of her bed.

Adrienne Miller was not the most beautiful woman in the world, but neither did she need a paper bag over her head. Her natural curly brown hair frizzed more than she wanted, but all in all she knew how to manage it into some striking “dos” that, along with her big brown eyes and long eyelashes, captured many a second look from others. It didn’t hurt that she was 5’9 and weighed 130 lbs. Her long legs had long passed the gangly stage and were now an asset she had learned to appreciate.

Ms. Miller, as her associates at the prestigious advertising agency knew her was somewhat on the shy side. She had a few friends, but always managed to elude the chummy bff status of her acquaintances.

Kent Green, from the layout department, had been determined for some time to get to know the shy Ms. Miller. He desperately wanted the privilege of calling her Adrienne and learning the likes and dislikes of the quiet and unassuming manager of the new accounts division.

He made up stupid excuses to walk by her department. If there was ever a need for a document transfer between the two departments, he favored the printed version, hand delivered by himself, over the simple email submission. So, when he saw the ad layout for the new automotive account, he swiftly printed it, marked the email, and carefully placed the glossy black and white proof in an envelope.

Glancing at the mirror hanging by his doorway, he checked his appearance. This was not the time for spinach in his teeth or dip on his face. Today was the day. He would casually ask her to join him for coffee in the break room. He already knew her favorite latte and just happened to have it hidden in the back cabinet.

The “chance” meeting went flawlessly on Kent’s part. Adrienne, on the other hand, couldn’t believe she was about to spend her usual moments of solitude with the gregarious layout department supervisor.

The next 15 minutes were crucial to Kent’s plan to unlock the “Adrienne” mystery. He effortlessly guided the conversation to her obvious love of art. Adrienne surprisingly found herself chatting easily about Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Manet, and her two favorites Cassatt and Morisot. She caught herself just before she mentioned her trip to Paris to visit the private Morisot collection at the Chateau du Manet. She recovered by picking up her latte and sipping slowly so that Kent would ask another question.

Back in her office, Adrienne smiled at her coffee break “date” and was looking forward to dinner on Friday with Kent. If Adrienne had a best friend, she wouldn’t believe the course of the last half hour of Adrienne’s life! The only down side was her almost faux-pas regarding her ancient trip to Paris.

As the day wore on her happy thoughts from the morning slowly changed into the usual torments from her past. “What was I thinking? I can’t let anyone get close to me, especially now that it is in my apartment!?”

By the time she walked through her front door that evening, Adrienne was an emotional wreck. All she wanted to do was check the hall closet and make sure it was still safe in its corner. Then maybe, just maybe, she could have a few minutes of peace. She hoped she could sleep through the night.

She hung up her coat, tossed her keys on the table and kicked off her heels. Her eyes had been on the closet since she walked in the door. It was as if a force were drawing her to the closet. “Just one quick look. That’s all. Then close the door and forget it!”

Adrienne subconsciously held her breath as she eased the closet door open ever so slowly. She would have to get down on her hands and knees again to make sure it was still secure in the corner. Crouching on all fours, she peered to the corner.

It was at that precise moment, that horror struck her.

It was gone.

Falling backwards, she had to crab-walk out of the confined space. Her knees were shaking as she stood to close the door. Her hands were trembling also. As if it would help, she kicked the door to make sure it was secure.

Bile was creeping up her throat as she suppressed the need to vomit. She blindly walked to her bed and fell into it. Loneliness, her only companion for a long time, now gave way to fear. And fear had set up residence in her heart. There would be no evening meal tonight. No television. There would be nothing but the painful realization that her traumatic past had found her and the past had no intentions of leaving anytime soon.

Whether she realized it or not, it was now monopolizing her thoughts.

The one thought that was hurling itself against her mind was “Someone knows where I am. They have been in my apartment, not once, but twice!”

An old, familiar feeling settled in, the creepy, crawling awareness that she might be in danger. “Could they see her even now?”

She sat straight up with the adrenaline rush of her lifetime. “What if they are still here in the apartment?”

With every limb of her body trembling, she slowly opened her nightstand drawer and fumbled for the revolver her father purchased for her years ago. Adrienne placed it in both hands just like he had taught her. Shaking, she began a careful inspection of her home.

Fifteen minutes later she was convinced that whoever had been in her apartment had left. She calmed down somewhat. She picked up the phone half a dozen times to call her father, but each time decided against alarming him prematurely.
Finally she opted to just go to bed with the revolver in the drawer beside her and 911 on speed dial.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A blog you need to Read today:

I read my bloggey friends blog and I just sat staring at my computer.

She touched my heart and soul way down deep.

Please click here to go to Beloved Mama's blog.

Warning: You will be challenged and blessed!

Merry Christmas!

Love you all.
My Christmas prayer is that you know the Truth of the Savior born this very day!


Friday, December 19, 2008

A Different Christmas Story

Welcome to Fiction Friday! This week our host is Rhonda over at Beach Reads. Join us over there for links to more fun fiction.

This is the rest of the fiction story I posted 2 weeks ago.
For part 1 click here:

And so it was.

The young Mary gave birth to a handsome baby boy, in a barn, outside of an inn, in the town of Bethlehem.

In the months that followed, Miriam and Mary formed a bond of friendship and sisterhood that only a woman could understand.

Miriam helped Mary in those first weeks after baby Jesus was born.
Mary helped Miriam with Samuel when her morning sickness was too much.

Abijah was thrilled to learn of the coming addition to their family. He was also thrilled that he had a carpenter on sight to help him build the extra rooms.

If Miriam and Mary had the sisterhood bond going on, then Abijah and Joseph had developed a deep friendship as well.

Joseph and Mary moved into the old house in exchange for the work on the addition to the new house. Abijah admired Joseph’s handy work and realized he was getting the best end of the deal. Abijah realized that without Joseph the new rooms would never be ready in time for the new baby.


As Miriam watched her little boy try to take his first step, she laughed as little Jesus came rushing over to help him.

“What a pair!” With only 8 months between their ages, they were fun to watch and a joy to be around.

As Samuel and Elizabeth rounded the corner, Miriam’s heart burst with pride. These two had grown up so much in the last two years. She couldn’t imagine her life being any better. Yahweh had smiled on her and for that she was truly thankful.

A cry came from little James’ direction. She looked up to see that Baalum had taken his wooden toy. Before she could get there, Jesus retrieved it and the toy was back in James’ hands. It seemed these boys were developing a friendship, like that of their parents, even at such a young age.

As Miriam watched the boys she wished there was a way to capture that image to look at forever, but she just burned the memory in her mind, hoping she would never forget how precious these moments were.
The next morning Miriam and her family were up early. There was much to be done. A servant from the temple guard had arrived. He wanted to secure their inn for a regimen of soldiers arriving today~ not Roman soldiers, but King Herod’s.

So, Miriam, Abijah, Samuel and Elizabeth began working furiously. Miriam had sent Elizabeth with James to Mary’s. That way they could get all the rooms prepared without much interruption.

As Miriam set about chopping vegetables, she looked up to see Elizabeth running across the yard with baby James in tow.

“Mother! Mother! Hurry!” exclaimed Elizabeth!

“What on earth?”

Elizabeth thrust a small piece of papyrus in Miriam’s hand.
It was a note from Mary and Joseph.

“To our dearest friends,

We deeply apologize for our sudden departure. If it were not absolutely necessary, we would not be leaving in the dark of night. An old friend came to us and said that we must take Jesus away from here immediately. We wish we could explain, but even we are unsure of the details, but feel it has something to do with our three visitors we had several months ago. You remember, the kings from the east. We trust our friend and know that he has the best interest of our son at heart.

Please, please forgive us for not being able to say goodbye properly.

We are taking only what we need for our journey. Please take everything else as our gift to you. Your friendship has meant more than words can tell in the last two years.

It is our deepest and sincere wish that one day we will meet again.

Joseph, Mary and Jesus”

Tears were streaming down Miriam’s face, as well as Elizabeth’s. Miriam couldn’t move. Questions raced through her mind as she tried to understand all that Mary and Joseph said in the letter.

“What on earth?”

Miriam went through the rest of the day numbly. Nothing was the same. Even Abijah was quiet during the dinner hour.

This sudden hole in their lives was made bigger by all of the unanswered questions.

When Abijah went to tuck Samuel in for the night, he noticed his wooden sword Joseph made him was in the bed with him. As in answer to the unspoken question on Abijah’s face, Samuel announced that he would protect Jesus if he needed to. He just wanted his friends back.

Abijah knew what he meant. If the letter had come from anyone else, they might have doubted the truthfulness of its contents, but this letter was from Joseph and Mary.

Abijah’s family went to bed with a silence in their hearts. Even baby James could not figure out why his buddy Jesus had not been there to play today.

As Miriam tucked in her sweet baby boy, she picked him up one more time and rocked him to sleep.

Humming softly, with his sweet head next to her cheek, she wondered who would want to hurt little Jesus? What on earth could be going on?

The questions swirled in her mind, not knowing that her world was about to be turned upside down.


The family had prepared the inn. The soldiers came and ate but none of them really made a move to go to bed.

Abijah wondered if possibly his people were finally going to make a move toward breaking free from the Roman government, but he knew it would do no good to ask the questions.

As soon as the evening meal was over the soldiers all left.

Miriam couldn’t help but notice the coldness in their eyes. She didn’t know their reason for being there, and if the truth be told, she didn’t really much care. Her mind had been busy on other things today. All she really wanted was to go find Joseph and Mary and Jesus and bring them back to Bethlehem where they belonged!

The blood curdling scream interrupted her pondering.
Adrenaline raced through her veins.

The scream had to have been at least at the outskirts of town, but it was still very audible.

She sat up in the bed!
Where was Abijah?

She made out his form by the window.

Something was happening!
What was it?

Another scream!
Now shouts!

Slowly, the little town came alive with torches and lanterns. People were running everywhere.

Abijah ran to his children’s rooms and gathered his family together.
Something bad was happening and he wasn’t sure how to protect his family.

He grabbed the sword from the pantry.

More screams.
Now there were wails.

Elizabeth began to cry.
Samuel stiffened and fought the tears back.
He grabbed his wooden sword and the slingshot.
He would fight with his father for their family.
A single tear slid down his cheek.

It all happened so fast, but at the time it was like a blur of slow motion.

The incredulousness of it all was overwhelming.

As the little family hid in the pantry, they heard the thud of the soldiers’ boots enter their home.

“Well, we know this family has a little one. Just grab him and be done!”

With that the door burst open and the big guy with the patch on his eye was reaching for baby James out of Miriam’s arms!

Abijah was up in a flash with his sword drawn. Before he could make another move, the large frame of the soldier pushed Abijah into the corner, sending the jars of spices and vegetables falling on top of him.

Miriam screamed and held on to her baby with every fiber of her being.
The blow of the club across her face was the last thing she remembered, along with her son’s cry of “Mo—oooooommmmmmmmmmy!”

When Miriam came to, the adrenaline cursed through her veins again! James! Samuel! Elizabeth! Abijah!

Where were they?

Nausea swept over her and the room began to spin. Her head felt as if it would crack open any second.

She fought through the pain to find her family.
“Oh, Yahweh! Why is this happening?”
She stumbled into the living area to find Elizabeth and Samuel huddled together – sobbing.

Fear gripped her heart as reality was setting in.

“Where are your father and James?”

“Father went after the soldiers”, cried Elizabeth. “They took James. They took ALL the baby boys! They’re all gone! James and Eljah, Elihu, and even the newborn baby of the tax collector!”

The room begin to spin and Miriam sat down.

What was happening? Why would Herod send his soldiers to do such a thing? They’re just babies!

The sound of horse’s hooves interrupted her questions and grief.

She knew it was Abijah by the sound of his footsteps.

She listened for James’ voice, laugh, cry anything. She heard only Abijah.

His shadow crossed the doorway.

A sadness fell across the room as they looked up to see the man of the house holding a very still, very pale, little boy.

The amount of blood answered the unasked question that pounded throughout the room.

Abijah fell to his knees in anguish as he cradled the lifeless body to his chest.

The family surrounded him in sobs and wails.

Throughout the city, the same cry was heard in numerous homes.


Why would a king destroy his own people? Why would he do such a horrible thing?

Her sweet baby James.

Never to laugh or run or even cry again.
Never to play with….

Was he spared this atrocity!?

Did Mary and Joseph escape the sword of the murderous band of soldiers?

Did they know?


Miriam’s mind immediately went to the first night she laid eyes on her friend.

Round belly with a new life inside. Jesus.
She had a life inside her at the same time. James. Now he was gone.

Now all that mattered to Miriam was to make sure that Jesus was safe. One of those two children must live!

It would not be her James.


As Mary looked at her son on a cross, she thought of her friend from years ago, Miriam.
Now, they would both share the grief of losing their precious sons.

James died as a baby.
Jesus would die as a man.

Both innocent.
Both senseless.
Both brutal.

Mary knew that many baby boys died because of Jesus.
Mary knew that Jesus was dying because of the many.
And so, you have a
"Different Christmas Story"

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gift Wrapped

I am the world's worst gift wrapper. The person who invented the gift bags must have worked with me at the Colony Shop before I got married. I took so long wrapping gifts that the manager sweetly asked me to never enter that room again. Ha!

The other night, after buying my FIRST Christmas gifts, I went into hiding to wrap some of my children's presents. I wanted them to have a few things under the tree. Two hours later I emerge triumphantly. My family looks at me in unbelief. Why? Because I only had six presents wrapped.

And I thought I did well!

Well, the greatest Gift ever given was wrapped also.

God sent the Gift special delivery.
I shouldn't feel bad, because God took His time wrapping the Perfect Gift.

He took 9 months.

He wrapped the Perfect Gift in humanity.

As usual, we tossed the wrapping aside - wadded it up and threw it away~ tortured Him and crucified Him.

Little did we know we threw the Gift away with the wrapping.

But God, took the wrapping and the Gift, and re-wrapped our Gift in His original state with Power and Glory~ enabling us to have eternal life!

So, as you are wrapping your gifts (if you are late like me) 0r- as you are un-wrapping your gifts, I hope you think about the greatest gift of all - Jesus Christ!

Philippians 2:5-11
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Merry Christmas! May you "un-wrap" the Greatest Gift this Christmas! And may you find the love and forgiveness He so much wants to lavish upon you!



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Laugh Out Loud Moment: My Christmas Gift to You!

I would like to give each of you a gift~ but being the "un"wealthy person that I am, I don't have that much moola. So, I will give you laughter today.

Here is a true-to-life story that I think will at least make you smile. :~) It is one of the very first blog posts I made. I edited it a little for you just in time for Christmas!


Have you ever felt so unspiritual and unChristlike that you thought you'll never make it to heaven? I have those days - often. Oh, the day will start out fine, but after a few minutes of life in the Blann home, I know it's going to be a doozy of a day.

Let me share a particular day with you.

We had just moved to the area. It was fall, but not quite cold yet. One of my children had some type of sports practice in the Marion area and I was driving on the service road.

Now, it may come as a surprise to some of you, but don't be too upset - I was running a little late. I had to choose when we got in the car, be on time or get gas.

True to my personality, I chose to be on time (quit laughing!). I really do try. Plus, I did the mental math, 2 gallons and a few fumes would get me to Marion and then I would get gas before heading back home.

Here's where the really human part comes in. My mental math was correct. I made it there fine, my child was NOT late and life was good. Now understand that if one child is practicing, then the other two are with me. So, somehow a sibling disagreement broke out on our way to the neighborhood gas station.

Being the "focused" parent that I am, I immediately set out to teach my children some great principle about life, love, and stop hitting your sister. The next thing I know, my wonderful car, that has been heaving itself on the last few fumes of gasoline, has given up the ghost. It is at that moment that I realize we did not stop at the little gas station a half mile back.

No problem. I have a cell phone and I have a wonderful husband. Meanwhile, my wise words of parental instruction have gone unheeded and World War ten thousand and fifty-two has erupted in the back seat.

Ring Ring. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.

Hmmmmm. There is no answer on my wonderful husband's phone - and then I am reminded that he was going to be in an area that did not have reception.

At this time, I see very bright, very vivid blue flashing lights in my rear view mirror, while I am looking at two very misbehaving children, who at the sight of the very bright flashing lights began to wail and scream.

(Have you ever had a day like this? Well, put your seat belts on 'cause I "ain't" through.)

A nice over-sized gentleman walks to my vehicle and asks if there is a problem. I mumble that I have run out of gas. He asks me if he can call someone for me and I tell him I am getting in touch with my husband. He says that since it is getting dusk and visibility is not its best that he would keep his squad car behind mine to prevent a traffic hazard.

I am thinking - "Traffic hazard! "You got the blue lights flashing so that all of Memphis can see and you think my suburban is a traffic haszard?!!!!"

Not wanting to tie up the kind man's time with his very bright, very blue flashing lights that I am sure can be seen five states over, I call my parent's home, knowing a land line will surely get reception.

My dad graciously said he would be right there.

In the mean time, the very kind man with the very bright and very blue flashing lights approaches my vehicle again. He was checking on some things- which I am sure he was probably trying to make sure I had not kidnapped the sweet, wonderful children in the back seat who are still making enough racket to disturb the fish in the Mississippi River.

I proceed to get out of the car to tell him that I had reached my father who was on his way with precious gas.

In my nervousness I began twisting my hair between my fingers.

No big deal. I talk. I get nervous. I twist my hair.

Always have. Always will.

It's not a bad habit,
...................unless it is way past time to go to the salon and get your acrylic nails filled in.

I mean, as in, some of the nails are lifting off and you are just praying they don't pop off at some really bad time-
.............like when you are stranded on the side of the road talking to someone who thinks you might have kidnapped your own children.

Good news.... not one of my nails popped off.

Bad news..... my hair got all tangled underneath one as I am twisting my hair.

Worse, somehow or another it was my left hand on the right side of my head.

Go ahead.

Put your hand over there to try and figure out how on earth I did that.

You figure it out and you can call me and tell me. Then we will both know.

Okay, let's review.

I am stranded on the side of the road with no gas in my vehicle.

My children are screaming.
And I am standing there talking to an officer with my hand crossed over my head and can't move it.

Try that and act sophisticated!

I yank and I tug, all the while trying to act calm, cool, and collected.

Yeah, right.

Well, I finally yank hard enough and my hand gets free.

I look at my newly acquired hand and you guessed. I am minus a nail or two.

Where? Hanging out my blooming head!!!!!

Thankfully my dear old dad drives up at this time. Then my phone rings and my husband has seen where he has missed my last hundred calls and is worried sick about me. The kids now decide to go to sleep. I have gas in my car and can go home. But of course, now it is time to pick up the child that I dropped off.

Now, I shared that story with you - and without much exaggeration- to let you know we all have those days. Those days that make you think, "Why on earth did I even bother to get out of bed this morning?" Days that years later may be humorous but at the time are trying.

So - for Christmas today, I give each of you the gift of laughter ~ at my expense.
Go ahead.
It's okay.

You know you already laughed anyway.
And maybe even you are thinking,
"And I thought I was bad!"

Merry Christmas!
May the Joy of the Season reside in your heart every day of the year!


Monday, December 15, 2008

The Extra-Ordinary!

In my devotion time this morning I read Ephesians 3~ another one of my favorite scriptures.

I wanted to share with you today what God spoke into my spirit.

Prayer for the Ephesians

14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I especially love verses 20 and 21:

Now to Him who is able to do

Immeasurably more

than ALL we

ASK or


~ according to ~

HIS power

that is at work


to Him be glory in the CHURCH and in Christ Jesus

throughout ALL generations,

for ever and ever,


When you stop to think about this verse, it can catch you off guard!

God WANTS to do the Extra-Ordinary in YOUR life!

We have dreams.

We have desires.

We have goals.

He is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE

than we can even ask for~

but it doesn't stop there.

He is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE

than we can even imagine.

God goes beyond your "wildest dreams".

He goes farther than your "secret desires".

He does the Extra-Ordinary!

All because He wants to lavish His love upon you!


I hope that ministers to your spirit like it did to mine today.

I pray His Word sinks down into your soul and spirit and produces a hundred fold in your life!

Blessings to you and yours during this Wonderful Christmas season!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Monday Update on Ashlyn

Praise God!
Ashlyn is recovering well.

The meningitis is Viral ~ not bacterial ~ which is a very good thing. The viral meningitis just has to run its course now.

She is still nauseas and has severe headaches. But she was able to keep food down yesterday. She ate an ice cream sandwich and a granola bar and some other things.

I was talking with Melanie a while ago and Ashlyn woke up asking for some cereal!
If you know Ashlyn, you know she has a HUGE appetite. :) She is an outstanding athlete with a great metabolism. If I ate half as much as she did ~ well, it wouldn't be pretty. ha!

Anyway, she is getting her appetite back in spite of the nausea.
She still has some recovery ahead of her getting her strength back and energy- but she is getting there.

We are SO grateful to everyone who prayed for her. Please keep it up, but thank you for interceding for her. It was a very scary situation but God prevailed!

Just wanted to fill you in!
blessings~ and thanks again!

Oh- If you prayed for her, please leave a note on this blog - or send an email to the church address or you can leave a note on my facebook.

She has enjoyed us telling her who all sent little notes and words of encouragement.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Update on Ashlyn and Tommy

Praise Report!

Both patients are doing better today!

I just received a text message from Melanie that so far no bacteria has grown in Ashlyn's spinal tap cultures. PTL! They still have to wait another 24 hours to make sure it is not bacterial meningitis, but it is looking good.

Tommy is better also. He was hospitalized last night and is showing some improvement.

Prayer to the Omnipotent God is amazing!

What the enemy does has no bearing on God's final outcome. Nothing takes God by surprise.

All things will work together for the good of these two young people who love God!

Keep on Praying!


Jennifer has an update from last night also. Click on her name to go there.

(Oh, and if you are looking for Part 2 to the Christmas story- it is coming. It has been a little hectic this week with all the viruses my kids are bringing home~ its kind of like brining home stray pets, your stuck with them whether you want them or not. :0 )

Friday, December 12, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request #2 for My Nephew!

My husband's baby sister's son- Tommy - is being admitted to the hospital. The last result I heard was that he had a staph infection in his blood stream.

Again, I do not know details but please pray for Tommy!

Tommy is 10, almost 11. He is a gifted ball player and is big bud's with his cousin Mackenzie!
The majority of my husband's family are in the medical field. If it hadn't been for my brother-in-law doing his blood work and my mother-in-law nurse, Tommy would not be here with us now.
The good news is that because the family knew what to do, Tommy has been on heavy duty antibiotics for several days. (He was released from a hospital earlier this week.... because that hospital didn't get the same lab results as my brother-in-law.) That is when the family doctor began the antibiotics.
God is good and again, He is our Healer!
Thanks for remembering Tommy in your prayers also!

Trusting God Today with a Dear Friend for her Baby

My lifelong "bestest" friend sent me a text message in the wee hours of the morning that said,

"Not Good- 911".

My heart sank as I shot up to call her.

Her daughter, my daughter's best friend, was in the ER with an infection in her spinal fluid.

The official name of what they are looking at is Meninga Insephilitus. (I have no idea if I spelled that correctly.)

Ashlyn needs your prayers. Please pray fervently for her. She is a beautiful young 13 year old who is smart, athletic, and hilarious! She has a talent of memorizing movie scripts by hearing them one time. She and my daughter can mimic scenes from movies- doing the voice impressions and all. Ashlyn is a joy! Ashlyn needs a miracle.

So~ I beg you, please pray for Ashlyn, and her parents Byron and Melanie.

They don't have a lot of answers right now, and Ashlyn is NOT in ICU~ which is a good thing. The doctors need to find the right antibiotics to administer to fight the infection. Please pray for the doctors and nurses.

God is a great God. He is Jehovah Rapha- the Lord our Healer.

Thanks for your prayers!

You may send Ashlyn your encouraging words at:

wmfirstassembly at yahoo. com

Please type "for Ashlyn" in the subject line.

Thanks again!



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How Much Do You Trust God?

There are times when life just doesn't go the way we hope, expect or even think it should.

I was drawn this morning to read about Job.

I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and horror of that day when he lost everything except his wife and four servants. (And you thought he lost every thing except his wife.... :0 Read it in Job 1.)

But the devastation that occurred that day was unbelievable and imcomprehensible.

Sometimes it is easy to read a Bible story and stay disconnected from it. I guess that is why I like to write my stories. I like to get into the feelings, the atmosphere, and the full "drama" of what really happened in God's Word.

How would I even begin to write from Job's perspective? I can't imagine losing all my children ~at one time!

I believe that Job was disturbed when he lost his oxen and donkeys.
He was a businessman. He was accustomed to losses.

I believe Job was shocked when he was told about his sheep.
He had probably lived through natural disasters before.

I believe Job was outraged when the camels were stolen.
He now had no way to go recover his oxen and donkeys~ or to get his camels back.

But I believe Job felt helpless and in despair when he was told that all of his children died.
All of them.

Totally helpless.

Nothing left but his wife and 4 servants.

His livelihood~ his life's work was gone.
His children~ his pride and joy were gone.

In one day.
In one afternoon!

Almost everything.

We hear sermons about Job.
We look to Job when things are bleak for us.

But it is so easy to look at the whole story at once.

We see the loss, devestation and the restoration in one sitting.
We see that God's hand was with Him the entire time.
We see the beginning and the end of the story, the bad and the good.

But what did Job see?
What did Job hear?
What did Job feel?

He didn't see God's hand.
He didn't see the restoration until it came to pass.
He didn't hear God's conversation with the enemy.
He didn't feel blessed and prosperous.

There were years of depletion and leanness.

His fortune was not restored the next day.

His children did not come back to life.

He did work hard and rebuild his business.
He did have more children.

But that rebuilding took time and immense effort.
He had more sons and daughters~ but he still missed his deceased children.

Basically, Job still experienced the pain that came with that emotional loss.
The physical loss we can bear, but that grieving of the loss of loved ones is not so mechanical.

Put yourself in Job's shoes.

I don't care how many children you have, if you lose your child~ let alone - ALL of them~ you would still miss Susie's laugh, Johnny's smirk, Sallie's twinkle, etc.

You couldn't just have more children and that grief and loss be gone.
So what is my point?

Even though Job couldn't see God's hand with him through all of the difficult times, God was with him. God never left him.

And.... if God never left Job, He will never leave you!

No matter what calamity,
No matter what disaster,
No matter what misfortune
comes your way~

You can rebuild.
You can have happiness again.

Rebuilding takes time
Healing takes time.

But there is HOPE.

God is faithful and His Mercies are new EVERY morning!

We must put all of our TRUST in Him. That is what was so special about Job.
Every thing went wrong.
Things were not good.

But ~
he still said, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. Job 13:15

Now that my friend is TRUST.

How much do you TRUST God?

blessings as you ponder this question today!


Monday, December 8, 2008

The Story Part 2: It's Beginning to Look a LOT Like Christmas

If you are looking for the conclusion to this story, please join me this Friday, right here at
Treasures in Jars of Clay!

see ya then!

Road Rage at Popeye's!

Ok. So I drove just a leeeeeeeeetttle bit recklessly today. I didn't mean to. I was just coming back from the doctor (my 10 millionth trip for my family in the last 2 weeks), had my son in the car, and had to turn in at the last minute to go through the drive thru. (Because sick mommies don't cook.) :)

We are about to order whatever it is Jordan wants before his ballgame and this motorcycle comes pulling up beside us.

I ignore it.

But Jordan thinks it is one of our motorcycle guys from the church.


Jordan rolls down the window.

And the next few minutes for me were like~ surreal.
A blur of abstract memory.

I hear,
"Great driving, STUPID!!!!"

I next hear my son,
"You calling MY MOM STUPID! No one calls MY MOM STUPID!!!"

Then, the aging gentlemen, proceeds to get off his bike, and starts walking toward my baby boy(who is 6'1" ~ almost 6'2" and weighs almost 180) asking him - "You want some of this?!!"

Then, a mother's WORST, might I repeat - W O R S T - nightmare happened~
my son starts to open the door!

I hear him say something like~


Do you know the horror I felt at that moment?
Was this guy on drugs?
Or was he so old, he was still tripping from the 60's?
Was he one of these guys that was on his way to have a shoot 'em up at the post office, but decided to take his holiday depression out on us?


All I knew was that my son was reaching for the door!
Of all things,
to protect his mother's honor!!!!

Say it with me~
a mother's WORST nightmare!

An ice cold chill ran thru my veins.
I murmured a prayer~ "in the Name of Jesus!"

There was a static from the intercom.

"Ma'am. Order when you're ready."

The Popeye's people!!!!

I manage to gather my coherency.
"Uhmmmm. Yes!!! Can you please call the police! There is a man out here trying to pick a fight with my son! He is coming towards our car!!!!"

"Yes ma'am! We are calling them right now!"

In the mean time, the deranged gentleman was still making threatening motions and antagonizing my son to get out of the car!

I grabbed my son's arm and in that firm First name, middle name, last name tone said,
"You are NOT getting out of this car! It is not worth it!"

I finally had the sense to lock the doors and pull off!
(I know ~ you are thinking "What on earth took you so long!" but I promise ~ this all happened in like 5 seconds!)

When I pulled around by the actual drive-thru window, all of the Popeye's employees were hanging their heads out of the window to see the action. (Well, I guess three. :0) ) And the manager was on the phone with the police.

They wanted a description of the man.
I rolled my window down, and said, "An old white man!" The employees craned a little further to see him.

I said, "Well, here he comes!"

And then, he starts in again! But it is not so much at me, but on my son.

See, remember why he first pulled in?
I drove foolishly. (Yes, I did. I admit it.)
He wanted to make sure that I knew he thought I was STUPID.

But somewhere along the way, he became a bully to a 15 year old young man.

Long story short.
We drove away. I assume the man left. My husband went back up there a few minutes later (My son inherited his father's chivalry). The police didn't come because we all left. .... blah blah blah.....

Went home and have retold the story a hundred times since. :0)

But my point in blogging this today is :

Today my son got a glimpse of the sickness of this world.
He, in his chivalry, was willing to fight for the honor of his mom.
He, in his youth, did not stop to think about the consequences his chivalry could cost him.

I was proud of my son for "wanting" to "protect" my honor.
I was scared for my son.

He was sooooo angry.
But he, (my son) did not sin in his anger.

Real life is like that.
We can't make everything right.
We can't make evil people good by force.
We can't make them see things our way.

They have to choose that on their own.

That gentlemen was a class A jerk.
Road Rage.

Lack of self-control.

Today was a lesson my son will not soon forget.
We talked about all kinds of stuff this afternoon.
What do you do if....
What about this.....

Driving (very carefully) to my son's basketball game tonight, I prayed for Mr. Road Rage.
I asked God to forgive me for driving foolishly.
I asked God to somehow touch that man's heart with his love.
I asked God to help me forgive him.
I asked God to help my son learn the life's lessons he needs from Mr. Road Rage.

Road Rage at Popeye's!
Who would have thought?

Psalm 25:2-3 (My favorite passage of scripture~ now more than ever!)
In you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.

blessings to each of you!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Story: It's Beginning to Look a LOT Like Christmas

"Elizabeth! Please bring in the linens from outside!"

"Samuel! Samuel! I NEED you to stay focused and be a big boy tonight. I need all the help I can get! Where is the firewood I asked you to bring in?"

"My darling, Abijah. Would you please see to it that Samuel gets that firewood in? I am trying to be patient, but I reeeeeallly need everyone's help if we are to get all of these boarders fed and bedded down tonight."

"Yes, my love! Is there anything else I can help you with before I make sure that group from Gilead does not tear our little inn apart?"

"No, dear. I would rather you keep our home in-tact."

Miriam appreciated the extra money that was coming in, but the added work load was putting a strain on her nerves and her worn out body. Elizabeth was such a big help. She was definitely turning into a little lady. It would not be long before she was running a home of her own.

Oh, my. And Samuel. Well, he tried to help. Sometimes Miriam laughed her head off at his boyish whims, and other times, she wanted to pinch his head off. Oh, well. She loved her little family and her dear Abijah. He was her rock.

Miriam was blessed to have a husband who loved her and provided well for their family. Their little business was booming these days, thanks to the Roman government.

She had one more room to prepare for the last guests that arrived during the dinner hour. That was it. Their inn was full to the brim. They weren't planning on allowing travelers to stay in Samuels room, but the extra income was sure going to help.

Abijah was waiting for her in their cooking room. He was counting, or rather examining, the coins from the Gilead group.

She chuckled at his lack of trust for these burly fellows.

Miriam sank onto the floor beside him. She wasn't sure if she could be any more exhausted than she was right now.

"Listen! Do you hear that?," she asked Abijah.

"What? I don't hear anything, except maybe that big guy snoring."

"That's just it," Miriam said in a whisper. "It's quiet. No yelling. No demands for more fish. No squabbles over the Roman taxes. No debates over which tribe is responsible for our servitude to the Romans. Just peaceful silence!"

Miriam had no sooner said the words, when the household dog, Baalum, started barking. She moaned from deep within as Abijah made his move towards the door.

Well, she didn't have to worry too much. There wasn't a single room left in their inn or home to put up another traveler.

As she swept the room one last time, she heard the voices.

She stopped in mid-sweep.

Did she hear correctly?

She quietly went to the window to see.

She gasped as she realized what she heard!

Why, she couldn't be much more than Elizabeth's age. And.... and... with child!

No! What was Abijah saying!?

She tugged on his cloak. He turned and looked at her as if to say, "Don't worry. I've already told them they can't stay."

She tugged again. This time a little harder.

As he turned again, she grabbed his arm to pull him closer so she could hear him.

"What! They don't want to do that!"

He excused himself from the young travelers and Abijah and Miriam went to the cooking room to speak.

"Abijah! She is just a child! And she is expecting~ from the looks of it, she could have that baby tonight!"

"I don't know what you want me to do. We have sold out every possible sleeping quarters in our home and the inn. The only place we don't have snoring bodies is the little stable outside!"

"That's it!" Miriam quipped. It's not the most comfortable, but it is the only private accomodations in this entire town! And if she did happen to have the baby, at least she would have some privacy."

As soon as she said it, Abijah knew there was nothing else he could say. She had that tone in her voice and the look in her eye that let him know it was decided. That is, if the young couple accepted, which he doubted very much.

Before Abijah could even blink, Miriam was back at the door talking to the couple.

He couldn't believe it. They were accepting her offer of staying... in the stable!???....

Abijah thought about awakening Samuel to help him move the hay and animals around so the couple could have a make shift bedroom, but he thought better of it when he saw he was sleeping so soundly.

It didn't take too long to get the stable situated. The young man, Joseph was his name, helped him. Abijah learned they were from Nazareth and had not been married more than a year. Abijah liked Joseph immediately. Carpenter by trade. Hard worker, and he could tell he loved his little wife.

There was something different about these two. Not just that she was expecting her first child.
No.... It was something else. Abijah, couldn't put his finger on it, but he would think about this some more.

What was it?

As Miriam found some more linens, she thought about the young couple. The girl said her name was Mary and that this was her first child.

Miriam found herself smiling. She hadn't even had the chance to share her news with Abijah.

She knew he would be glad, but she wanted the moment she told him to be special. She would wait another week.

She walked across the dirt path to the stable with the linens. The sky was gracious. No need for a clay lamp tonight!

It was in the light of a very bright star that she saw why the young couple were so insistent on taking any accomadations they could find. Mary's water had broken.

There would indeed be a baby born tonight!

Well, I guess I will save the ending for next week.
Check back!

blessings to each of you as you remember the reason for this WONDERFUL season!

I've joined this MEME. (I don't even know what that means!) Laurie sent me the link and I am so excited! Now at least I know I will get to write a story each week - on Fridays! Thanks, Laurie!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas Part 2: Emmanuel

It's Beginning to Look a LOT like Christmas!

well..... everywhere except the Blann home.

We have been so busy ~ and sickly :( ~ that there are no lights and decorations.
No tree.
No nativities (my favorite!)
and to Taylor's dismay - no presents (yet!)

But back to that FIRST Christmas, the one that started it all............

I am sure millions of stories have been written and literally thousands of songs, all about that night.

That night.

The stars were dancing in the heavens in anticipation of it!
The trees in the forests leaned a little closer.
The birds of the air and animals in the barns, hushed their chatter just to listen for it.

All creation without a soul must have known about it THAT NIGHT.

Did God's creation WITH soul's discern that something was different?
Could they see the jumping stars?
Did they feel the forests sway?
Could they hear the silence of creation?

That night?

What was so special?
A pregnant young lady and her husband~ just looking for a place to stay?

What was so special that all creation awaited with joyful anticipation?

That night Emmanuel arrived.

God with us.

Emmanuel ~ wrapped in human flesh, cradled in His mother's womb.

Emmanuel~ the Creator of the heavens and earth.

Emmanuel ~ the long awaited Messiah.

Emmanuel was born THAT NIGHT.

It's Beginning to Look a LOT like Christmas!

Maybe we shouldn't see Christmas only in the trees and lights, only in the tinsel and garland, only in the festive food and costly gifts.

Maybe we should see Christmas again in the womb of a virgin, in the arms of a mother.

He is, after all,
God with us~

Our Savior
Our Redeemer
Our Creator
Our Strong Tower
Our Great God
Our Soon Coming King

The Alpha and Omega
The Beginning and the End
The Most Holy One

Of Whom we cannot grasp His infinite Wisdom and unending Mercy
Of Whom we cannot exhaust His never ending Love and vast Goodness.

The Great I AM.

The Son of God.

God with us
God wrapped in human flesh.

It's Beginning to Look a LOT Like Christmas!


(I am proudly showing off my great niece, Addison, who will be arriving sometime in January! Isn't she beautiful! Just like her mom.) I originally planned to use these pictures of her in a different post about the sanctity of life, but her sweet face made me think of Christmas! Thanks Deanna!
Just think, Jesus, the Son of God, was in His mother's womb just like we were.......
makes me say, "Wow!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Please check this blog out today!

Please click here to read something that struck in the chords of my heart.
I think you will be touched also.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!

The turkey has been eaten.
The dressing stuffed and gone.
The energetic neighbors drag out the tree and lights.

One by one the drab houses come alive with the sparkle and twinkle of the festive lights.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

But, that's NOT what I'm talking about....

What about that first Christmas?
You know.
The REAL one with a real expectant mother and an anxious husband.
The first Christmas when the greatest gift of all was given.

How did anyone know that Christmas was coming?

Well, they didn't actually know it would be "Christmas", but I would say that "this" was the first "sign" of the first Christmas! :)
The package was doubly wrapped!
In human flesh and in a mother's womb.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Another LOOK at Christmas tomorrow!
~ hopefully tomorrow. :) My blog rate hasn't been very predicatble lately, but we shall see.