Basics, God's Faithfulness

My Inheritance

When my uncle passed in 2020, I received an inheritance. (See here) Given the distance between my home and his, I could not claim most of it.

My great-aunt’s working sewing machine was donated.

While giving items to my uncle’s friends and arranging donations, I thought about the future inheritance I could claim. Neither distance nor limited time and energy could keep me from it.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him—”

1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV)

I was an unlikely heir. My uncle’s daughter and wife had passed. My uncle’s relationships with other potential heirs had been damaged. My brother and I were grafted in.

Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

Romans 11:19 (ESV)

I considered my situation an analogy of the Gentiles being included in the inheritance belonging to the Israelites.

Deeply understanding the truth of being grafted in to receive an inheritance that could not be lost was more valuable than anything I left behind in Oklahoma.

Thank you for the lesson, Uncle Floyd.

Homeschooling, Parenting

Looking for Words or Letters?

Given that I am not fond of word search books, I surprised myself by returning to a Christmas word search game during one holiday. It was online, and I set a time limit to beat.

As certain words became harder to find, I looked letter by letter—all the “N”s for “Nativity” or all the “G”s for “Gift.” It took weeks to learn that this process was not expedient. If I leaned back in my chair and looked for the entire word, I had better results.

I have been thinking about this discovery. A lot. Do I make my journey—with parenting, homeschooling, or friendships—slower and harder by focusing on life’s “letters” rather than the “words?” Or do both have a time? Just wondering.

Do you focus on letters or words?


What I Always Needed

I have received “check-off” gifts—i.e. I checked you off my list.

I have received gifts I wanted enough to request.

I have received gifts I would have requested if I had known they existed—and would be bought.

And I have received “What I Always Needed” gifts—the best kind.

I once filled a small box with paper of various types, colors, and sizes. I added child safety scissors and wrapped the package. I presented it to my three-year-old nephew, who opened his present, sighed deeply, and declared, “What I always needed.” 

He cut for hours. My husband and I remembered for years. We still repeat Jamie’s words.

Which were the gifts “I Always Needed?” Those that reached a deep place in my heart.

One was an email from a long-distance, childhood friend. She included details about how much I meant to her, but her ending meant the most. “I always prayed you would be happy.” (See here)

Six were inscriptions in school yearbooks. They were unexpected, nourishing words from teachers and friends. Almost fifty years later, I still reread them.

Some were from you, Readers.

How were your gifts this year?  Any that “You Always Needed?”

Family, Holidays

Why? It’s Tradition

Before I had children, I said things like “Wouldn’t this be a nice tradition when we have children?” I didn’t know that traditions are unplanned.

The first day of our first beach trip, our sons made a late-night run to the grocery store. I gave them a list, but they had discretion. First-day, late-night grocery runs at the beach as well as purchasing unnecessary items became a “tradition.”

The evening before my sons took their first College Board Advanced Placement tests, my youngest wanted a new pen. Buying a new pen at Wal-Mart the evening before an Advanced Placement test became a “tradition.” Purchasing a pen sooner or at a different store would violate “tradition.”

Christmas morning—minutes before we gather to exchange gifts—my sons scramble to wrap the presents they are giving. Days earlier, I suggest that presents should be wrapped. I remind. I have even said, “Pretend it’s Christmas morning and wrap your presents.” My husband finally told me, “Forget it. Wrapping presents on Christmas morning is a tradition.”

Along the way I learned that traditions are events you either couldn’t stop or didn’t stop from continuing.

What are your unplanned traditions?

God's Faithfulness, Stories I Share

Stories I Share: My Snowstorm Analogy

And You shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness … Deuteronomy 8:2 (ESV)

I haven’t survived a desert wilderness, but years ago, my husband and I survived what seemed like a snow wilderness when he drove precarious roads from North Carolina to our home in Maryland.  He had a work crisis, and I quickly linked the snowstorm to his work storm.

The further we drove, the deeper the analogy rested in my heart. I reminded us that God would guide my husband just as a trucker was guiding us. (See here.)


When we exited I-95 and made our first stop in five hours—leaving our trucker—the front of our car was encased in ice. I kicked and slapped until three-inch-thick ice sheets fell.

Route 301 was worse than I-95—deserted and packed with trackless ice. My dashed hopes reminded me that we travel from challenge to challenge. I had confidence we would make it home—even if the journey was worse than anticipated. It was. We did.

The LORD will keep your going out and coming in from this time forth and forever more. Psalm 121:8 (ESV)