Blog-tember Challenge #1

I accepted a challenge from a blog called, Brave Love.

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Bailey Jean, the creator of Brave Love has an inspiring and encouraging blog.  I found her when reading up on the idea of Bible Journaling.   I love reading blogs that are inspiring, encouraging and Brave Love does just that!

The challenge is to blog each day with a  prompt that Bailey Jean has provided.  Challenge #1 is simply to tell about myself, so here we go!

I guess the number one thing about me and my life would be, I desire to live a life that is pleasing to my Savior.  I gave my life to Him when I was 14 and have never looked back.  I’m not perfect and I’ve messed up plenty of times, but, my one desire is to have a heart like His and I hope my life and my words would be an encouragement to others to do the same.

I hope you will follow along with me and we can together strive to live a life that is pleasing and a life that is victorious for Jesus!

Now for the foundation of who I am and for what I am most thankful for!

I am 56 and have been married to my Jim for 35 years!

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We have two adult children; Patti and her handsome husband have 5 of the cutest kids ever and Nathan and his beautiful wife of 5 months.

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Jim and I served in full-time ministry for almost 20 years and now own and operate our own business.

I recently ended 9 years as Women’s Ministry Director of my church.  I loved every second of this ministry and still have a huge heart for it.

I’m learning what it’s like to be in a season of life that is so different than that of a mom with children at home and a full schedule.

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We recently bought a home near our grandchildren and are slowly simplifying and down sizing.  Did I mention slowly!  Downsizing is hard for me as I love everything and it is hard to part with things.  I’m learning more about myself through this.

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I’m praying our son and his sweet Sarah will be closer soon, too.  I miss them terribly.  He is an animator for a major animation company.  He just finished working on the Peanuts Movie, which I can’t wait to see.  It is going to be adorable!!!!

I have a few published writings and am working on a book.  I keep saying working on my book…..if I really sat down and worked on it, I might be finished by now.  But, I’m getting there.

I have spoken at several conferences and to women’s groups.  Only the Lord gives me strength for that.  I grew up very shy and timid, so speaking to groups is waaaaaaaaayyyyy out of the box for me.  But, to be honest, I love sharing what Christ has done for me and my favorite thing to do is encourage other women, so that is how I get through all the speaking that I have done.

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Sewing and crafting are some of my favorite things to do.  I’ve loved crafting and teaching my granddaughters how to sew.

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Reading is a favorite past time as well.  I usually have 4 or 5 books going at once.  Along with Bible studies.  Oh, and magazines.  I think I’m addicted to decorating and cooking magazines.

Speaking of cooking……I love reading about cooking and watching cooking shows and even collect kitchen gadgets.  The only problem is….I don’t really like to cook!

Lunching with friends and catching up is one of the highlights in my week.  My mom lives close by and we have lunch once a week.  My mom is my mentor and encourager.  I don’t know where I would be without her.

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Well, I could go on and on about more, but I will stop for now.  I didn’t even mention fashion, decorating and the things I’m wanting to learn more about such as photography, Bible journaling, tennis…okay, I’m really stopping now.

I’m looking forward to tomorrows challenge which is:

*Describe your ideal day. Where would you go and what would you do?

hmmmm………I better get to thinking………..I love every day, so now to think of my ideal day!

See you tomorrow!

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Father’s Are Important

I’m reposting a couple of previous posts on my story about my dad.  I love Father’s Day!  It’s a special time to honor and show love to someone who is more important that most realize.  I love hearing and reading about a father and his children.  I love watching my kiddos with their daddy even as adult children.  Nothing more special.
These two posts are about my dad, who never was able to grasp how desperately three little kids needed him.  Alcohol called much louder than we ever did.  We just suffered silently and still do to this day.

Where’s Daddy?

A new report came out today stating that 1 in every 3 children grow up in a fatherless home in America.

Most of my life I have had people tell me that kids are resilient, they can handle things easier than adults. I have never agreed with that statement. I was one of those kids that grew up without a dad. My parents divorced when I was 12. I had two younger brothers, 9 and 2 years of age. My father was an alcoholic and he wasn’t home much before the divorce took place. I still remember the day he left for that final time. I was in my room watching out the window as he told my mother goodbye. He was carrying a blue suitcase. He never came and told me goodbye. As I watched him get in his truck and drive down the road I cried for a very long time as I sat in my room by myself. The next thing I remember is the four of us moving into a tiny rent house and I was busy taking care of the house and my brothers. My mom worked three jobs to keep the rent paid and food on the table. My dad didn’t pay child support, so it was twice as hard on all of us.

I loved my father and had a few good memories about him. I remember us swimming when I was very little and he put me on a floating raft that you could see through. He swam underwater and all I remember is laughing and thinking he was so funny. Another good memory is making peanut butter cookies with him and him telling me how much he loved me. He was very handsome too, I always thought he looked like Dean Martin.
My teen years, I didn’t see him much, the longer I went without seeing him made it hard to be around him when he did come in town. Many nights I would cry myself to sleep as I prayed for him. I worried about him. I desperately wanted a daddy that looked after me. We were three children at risk. I never understood why he didn’t check on me to make sure I was doing alright in school and if I had everything I needed. Each school year, my mom would take us shopping for school clothes and we would put them on layaway and it would take forever to get them. Gym clothes and shoes were a luxury item along with the special school supplies that teachers always wanted us to have. In Jr. High, someone stole my gym shoes and I went for a very long time going barefoot in P.E. because we couldn’t afford new shoes.

The day I graduated from high school, I never knew if he was there or not to see me graduate. The day I got married, he was no where to be found. My brother gave me away during the ceremony.

I could go on and on about all those little things in life that a young girl and even as a grown woman would desire in a daddy. It affects almost every area of her life.

The ironic thing about all of this is, several years ago out of the blue, I received a phone call from a hospital in Colorado. Somehow the doctors found me and called me to get permission to take him off of life support because he was brain dead. It seems he had suffered a heart attack and machines were all that was keeping him alive. They had to have my permission to take him off the machines. The doctor assured me that it was the best thing to do. I gave him the permission. The doctor called me back in about an hour and confirmed that he had passed away. As I hung up the phone, I sat on my floor and cried.

Tomorrow is Part 2 of Where’s Daddy?

 

Where’s Daddy? Part 2


Getting married was not at the top of my list. The day I met Jim and we became friends, I knew there was something different about him. He had a love for the Lord that was genuine and real. I was extremely shy and he was the first guy that didn’t make jokes about my shyness or how I didn’t talk much. I felt safe when I was with him. He challenged me in scripture memory constantly and he prayed with me every time we went out together.A group from our college class at church got together and planned a trip to Dallas to see the Cowboys play. Jim went on that trip and I didn’t know him very well at that time. I didn’t go many places without my brothers and I decided to take them on this trip with me. I barely had enough money saved for the trip, but I figured I could manage. My brother Burt was 10 at the time and when he met Jim he fell in love with him. Burt asked if he could ride in his truck with him and Jim said yes. I was a little hesitant because I had just met him recently. Burt was so excited, I couldn’t say no. Jim had his sister with him and Burt sat in the middle of the seat. I still laugh today when I think about seeing him with his cap on his head looking around so excitedly. When we got to our hotel, I instructed my brothers that I would meet them in the restaurant for breakfast the next morning. I told them to only order a cinnamon roll and orange juice because that was all I could afford. They promised they would. The next morning I came into the restaurant and there they were sitting at a booth with Jim and the entire table was filled with food. Eggs, bacon, toast, cinnamon rolls,etc. I was panicked. I went to my booth and ordered my cinnamon roll and juice and started trying to figure out how I was going to make my money last through the rest of the trip. Jim came over later and told me he was treating my brothers to breakfast. If that wasn’t enough, at the game he furnished hot dogs, chips, cokes, etc. That is one of my many favorite memories of him.

Today, after 29 years of marriage I wish I could write and tell all the amazing things about Jim, but since this is Father’s Day, I will talk about him as a daddy. I LOVE the word daddy. To me, Jim is everything a daddy should be. When Patti and Nathan were born, he changed as many diapers as I did. He would get up in the middle of the night many times with each of them and tell me to get some rest. Our kids have always loved and adored their daddy. He took his role as a dad seriously and I don’t believe our kids have ever doubted his love for them.

When I see even today, our 26 year old daughter hug him and he kisses her on the cheek, I get tears in my eyes. I can’t imagine how that feels to have a dad to care so much and show it like that. I love to see when our son and him interact and laugh together and tell each other they love one another. How blessed I am to get to witness a Daddy’s love.

If that isn’t enough, I get to watch him as a Papa to our three grandbabies. I believe the legacy will continue on.

I may not have had a daddy of my own but I have been blessed to watch the best daddy in the world, Jim Dillow!

 

 

Friends, Family and Snow!

I’m sitting by the fire reading and blogging.  (That is the reason for the extra posts today.)


We are supposed to get up to 8 inches of snow today.  I’ve been fighting a cold the last three days and today is the worst!  I have a cough to go along with it now.  Such a beautiful day and so much to do and all I can do is sit here.


I had a friend call and she delivered her famous Taco Soup with all the trimmings.  She had no idea I was sick, she just wanted to bring it.  She will never know how much that blessed me!  Not to mention it was absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!


Friends, Family and Snow? (and taco soup) Can it get much better than that?  It makes this terrible cold a little more bearable!

Where’s Daddy? Part 3


Getting married was not at the top of my list. The day I met Jim and we became friends, I knew there was something different about him. He had a love for the Lord that was genuine and real. I was extremely shy and he was the first guy that didn’t make jokes about my shyness or how I didn’t talk much. I felt safe when I was with him. He challenged me in scripture memory constantly and he prayed with me every time we went out together.

A group from our college class at church got together and planned a trip to Dallas to see the Cowboys play. Jim went on that trip and I didn’t know him very well at that time. I didn’t go many places without my brothers and I decided to take them on this trip with me. I barely had enough money saved for the trip, but I figured I could manage. My brother Burt was 10 at the time and when he met Jim he fell in love with him. Burt asked if he could ride in his truck with him and Jim said yes. I was a little hesitant because I had just met him recently. Burt was so excited, I couldn’t say no. Jim had his sister with him and Burt sat in the middle of the seat. I still laugh today when I think about seeing him with his cap on his head looking around so excitedly. When we got to our hotel, I instructed my brothers that I would meet them in the restaurant for breakfast the next morning. I told them to only order a cinnamon roll and orange juice because that was all I could afford. They promised they would. The next morning I came into the restaurant and there they were sitting at a booth with Jim and the entire table was filled with food. Eggs, bacon, toast, cinnamon rolls,etc. I was panicked. I went to my booth and ordered my cinnamon roll and juice and started trying to figure out how I was going to make my money last through the rest of the trip. Jim came over later and told me he was treating my brothers to breakfast. If that wasn’t enough, at the game he furnished hot dogs, chips, cokes, etc. That is one of my many favorite memories of him.

Today, after 29 years of marriage I wish I could write and tell all the amazing things about Jim, but since this is Father’s Day, I will talk about him as a daddy. I LOVE the word daddy. To me, Jim is everything a daddy should be. When Patti and Nathan were born, he changed as many diapers as I did. He would get up in the middle of the night many times with each of them and tell me to get some rest. Our kids have always loved and adored their daddy. He took his role as a dad seriously and I don’t believe our kids have ever doubted his love for them.

When I see even today, our 26 year old daughter hug him and he kisses her on the cheek, I get tears in my eyes. I can’t imagine how that feels to have a dad to care so much and show it like that. I love to see when our son and him interact and laugh together and tell each other they love one another. How blessed I am to get to witness a Daddy’s love.

If that isn’t enough, I get to watch him as a Papa to our three grandbabies. I believe the legacy will continue on.

I may not have had a daddy of my own but I have been blessed to watch the best daddy in the world, Jim Dillow!

Where’s Daddy? Part 2


I’ll never forget one evening when I was 14. I had planned on watching an Elvis Presley movie. My mom informed me that she wanted to watch a Billy Graham special. Neither one of us knew who he was but she wanted to watch him. Well, I was horribly upset because Elvis was one of my favorites. I sat on the couch and sulked as we listened to the preacher on t.v. I had nothing else to do, so I though I might as well listen to what he is saying. He was speaking on John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only son.” He kept talking about how much God loved us. I was intrigued with every word he said. Billy Graham then explained salvation and how to ask Christ into your heart. While my mom continued to watch, I slipped into my bedroom. I closed the door and then knelt at my bed. I prayed and asked God’s forgiveness for my sin and told Him that I believed Christ died for me. I remember weeping and as I closed my prayer, which I had never prayed before in my life, I wiped my tears and never told anyone. The next week a girl from school invited me to her church. After attending with her, the youth pastor came to my house during that week. I was gone, but he spoke to my mom. When I got home, my mother told me all about the youth pastor coming and that she had received Christ as her Savior. She was smiling from ear to ear. Then she told me the youth pastor made her promise that she would call him when I got home so he could come back over and talk to me about Christ. She did and he came and talked to me about everything I remember hearing Billy Graham say. I went ahead and prayed with him, but deep inside I knew that I had already asked Christ into my heart. But, this helped me understand everything much better. My mom and I were baptized together the next Sunday. Eventually, my two brothers were saved as well.

Our home changed immediately. We were at church every time the doors were open. My mom went through a series by James Dobson on raising children. My brother’s and I had a mom who was now focused on her home and her children and life was never the same as it was before. We all loved church and couldn’t wait until the next service. Mom and I would stay up late many nights talking about how thankful we were and discussing all the things we were learning.

To this day, I still give my mom a Father’s Day card each year. She couldn’t replace a Daddy’s love, but she did the best she could.

As a young teen, I claimed the verse in Psalm 68:5 “A father of the fatherless…” I knew He was taking care of me and cared about all the situations I was going through as a teen. I talked with Him constantly and asked for wisdom and guidance in everything I did. Many times when I felt very much alone, I would feel His presence and I was comforted. I knew He had a plan for my life and I wanted to be in His perfect will.

I wasn’t perfect and I made many mistakes, but I knew and depended on my Heavenly Father. When you grow up without a father around, it makes it a little harder to relate to a Heavenly Father. I had to work really hard at believing that I was loved by my Heavenly Father regardless. I memorized scripture about His love and how He would never leave me. Not being good enough is something that is very hard to overcome. To this day I am speechless at how He has taken care of me and blessed me in so many ways.

Many times as a young girl I made the statement that I would never get married. That was until I met Jim Dillow when I was 18.
more coming tomorrow…

Click here for Where’s Daddy, Part 3!

Daddy, Do You Love Me?

A new report came out today stating that 1 in every 3 children grow up in a fatherless home in America.

Most of my life I have had people tell me that kids are resilient, they can handle things easier than adults. I have never agreed with that statement. I was one of those kids that grew up without a dad. My parents divorced when I was 12. I had two younger brothers, 9 and 2 years of age. My father was an alcoholic and he wasn’t home much before the divorce took place. I still remember the day he left for that final time. I was in my room watching out the window as he told my mother goodbye. He was carrying a blue suitcase. He never came and told me goodbye. As I watched him get in his truck and drive down the road I cried for a very long time as I sat in my room by myself. The next thing I remember is the four of us moving into a tiny rent house and I was busy taking care of the house and my brothers. My mom worked three jobs to keep the rent paid and food on the table. My dad didn’t pay child support, so it was twice as hard on all of us.

I loved my father and had a few good memories about him. I remember us swimming when I was very little and he put me on a floating raft that you could see through. He swam underwater and all I remember is laughing and thinking he was so funny. Another good memory is making peanut butter cookies with him and him telling me how much he loved me. He was very handsome too, I always thought he looked like Dean Martin.
My teen years, I didn’t see him much, the longer I went without seeing him made it hard to be around him when he did come in town. Many nights I would cry myself to sleep as I prayed for him. I worried about him. I desperately wanted a daddy that looked after me. We were three children at risk. I never understood why he didn’t check on me to make sure I was doing alright in school and if I had everything I needed. Each school year, my mom would take us shopping for school clothes and we would put them on layaway and it would take forever to get them. Gym clothes and shoes were a luxury item along with the special school supplies that teachers always wanted us to have. In Jr. High, someone stole my gym shoes and I went for a very long time going barefoot in P.E. because we couldn’t afford new shoes.

The day I graduated from high school, I never knew if he was there or not to see me graduate. The day I got married, he was no where to be found. My brother gave me away during the ceremony.

I could go on and on about all those little things in life that a young girl and even as a grown woman would desire in a daddy. It affects almost every area of her life.

The ironic thing about all of this is, several years ago out of the blue, I received a phone call from a hospital in Colorado. Somehow the doctors found me and called me to get permission to take him off of life support because he was brain dead. It seems he had suffered a heart attack and machines were all that was keeping him alive. They had to have my permission to take him off the machines. The doctor assured me that it was the best thing to do. I gave him the permission. The doctor called me back in about an hour and confirmed that he had passed away. As I hung up the phone, I sat on my floor and cried.

Click here to read part 2 of, Where’s Daddy?