Can You Hear the Corn?

Living in corn country we tend to joke about listening to the corn grow, but it's serious business--for farmers and for me. I'd love to have you join me there to see why.

Are We There Yet?

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Welcome to the 
third round of A to Z!
We'd love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

Naturally, this week is the letter A.

If you're joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

The other day we (re)watched one of the Mummy movies. One of my favorite scenes is when the kid drove his captor crazy on a train ride by asking Are we there yet? It totally cracks me up every time. I understand the man's extreme aggravation by that phrase! In fact, it's one of the forbidden lines in my family. Really.

In the past year or so we've spent a fair bit of time on the road. Our longest trip was last December. Five kids, two adults, and a monkey, in one van from Illinois to Arizona. Thank God for 15 passenger vans!

All those miles and the only time I heard Are we there yet? was when it was said jokingly to harass me. But their body language said all...

Of course, at the beginning of the trip everyone is eager to get on the road. But it doesn't take long before this happens...


Reading a good book.

Dad likes it comfy cool in the van...much to Mom and Toby's dismay. When Toby was in the first bench seat, this is how he ended up. Bundled in his blankies. LoL.

Lotsa picture taking.
Pictures inside the van and outside the van.

Time to draw and write.

Toby's second favorite place to ride--the top of Mom's seat where he could keep an eye on everyone and everything.

Play stop. Yes, those are my kids on the playground meant for LITTLE kids.

Because you're never too old to play on a playground. (This one was just a couple weeks shy of turning 20 in this picture! LoL)

Status update time...

Why'd ya wake me up?

Are we there??

Craziness of all kinds!
All's fair and love and war. hehe.
This is where Mom whispers desperately, Are we there yet?

Touch my seat and I'll tell Mom.
Go ahead.
I dare ya.

Yay!! Rest stop! Wahoo!

Movie time. Computers and tablets are great on long trips!

My husband is great.

So, can you tell how I spend all my time when we're traveling?

LoL. Give me a monkey and a camera and I'm happy for hours on end. Good thing too because writing with a monkey on my lap is almost impossible since Toby likes to lick the pen and paper and play with the pen. sigh.

Toby's Are we there yet? look.


Guess what?
Okay, besides how much fun this mom's revenge has been. LoL

We made it to Grammy and Pappy's!!

So tell me, how does your family fight the Are we there yet? syndrome?

If you're joining us for the A to Z meme by posting on your blog this week about the letter A, be sure to add your name and the link to that particular post in the linky gadget here. Also, if you don't have the linky gadget on your site, click the link to get the code so you can add it.

A to Z Meme

A to Z blog hop at Patterings
Can you see me
happy dancing?

A to Z is back and I'm so happy. This is my favorite blog meme to participate in and host.

What's a meme? A meme is when a group of people get together and post on a similar topic or theme. It's the blogger's version of a progressive dinner...or a potluck dinner. Full of variety and fun.

Here's why the A to Z meme is my favorite...
  • Because A to Z gives me the perfect excuse to just post on any random thing that happens to begin with the letter of the week. 
  • It often opens my eyes to things in my world that begin with that letter and lets me post on things I wouldn't normally post about. 
  • I take a lot of pictures and it's a fun outlet for them.
  • A to Z is a great post jump-starter for me, often giving me just the spark of inspiration and creativity I need.

The A to Z meme will be starting again next Friday, July 26th. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us. It's a come as you can thing--no commitment, just jump in and post on the week's letter as you can.

I'll be posting a blog hop linky so each of you can have the linky gadget on your sites. It's more user friendly that way. =) If you'd like all the linky codes (A through Z) so you can schedule ahead, email me (patterly {at}gmail{dot}com) and I'll get it right to you.

Here's the deal for A to Z:

  • Anyone can play. Some of us will be returning A to Z-ers, but any one can join us and we would LOVE to have you along! The more the merrier! Grab a friend and join us!!
  • Anything goes. If you're pressed for time, pressed for brain cells (a common ailment of mine), stumped, whatever... a simple list will work! Or a picture or a verse—anything to get a post up. Seriously. Just make sure it ties in with the week’s letter. It can also be as focused or even a complicated post about a word that starts with that letter. Anything goes, related to the letter.
  • One letter a week. We'll start with A and finish around the end of January, unless we take off for the holidays.
  • Friday's the day. (This is different from past rounds, so take note!!) Posting day is Friday. Or Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. ROFL. If you're like me, you might not remember on Friday, so any day works. I don't care, but that brings me to...
  • Let's link together! Part of the fun of a meme is linking together so we can encourage each other on. I'll put a linky up on my site each Friday, shortly after midnight so you can link up. Since this is a hop, you'll be able to put the linky code in your post too so the links appear on your site. (So very handy! *grin*)
  • Guilt-free participation!  Time is precious commodity for all of us. If you participate, all I ask is that you take a few moments and visit and comment on TWO other participants' sites. No need to visit everyone, but a couple is very appreciated.

Want to know more about memes and why you'd want to participate? Check out Making the Most of Memes for more information.

Would you feel more comfortable joining us if you had more of an idea of how or what we do? Check out past A to Z posts and feel free to follow some of the links at the bottom of each post.

Grab the button and join in the fun! If you're joining us, we'd love to have you add the button to your sidebar or inside your post, or both.

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Don't forget, A to Z starts back up on Friday, July 26th. 
Hope to see you then!

A Lesson from Blueberries

I'm at the Internet Cafe today with a lesson I learned while picking blueberries. I'd love to have you join me there.

Not by Might

Whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed this verse keeps me from drowning.

I'm so thankful that we can do the things God calls us to do...that we can do them through His strength and His Spirit.

Today I'm linking up with Word Filled Wednesday at Woman to Woman. For links to more pictures and Scripture, join us!!

Patient I'm Not

The other day my awesome agent, Linda Glaz, called me patient—something I’ve been called many times but have never been comfortable with.
My two oldest demonstrating how much I stink at times.
I’m really not a patient person. In fact, many times I’m quite IMpatient. Just ask my kids and my husband. They’ll assure you that patience is NOT one of my virtues.

Many times I’ve tried explaining to people that I’m really not a patient person, but I gave up when they didn’t believe me on the first or even second try. Now I don’t even bother trying to change their mind and it’s nice believing their misconception of me. It makes me feel better about myself. I feel more mature, put together, spiritual.

Sounds sickening, doesn’t it?
Yeah. It does. Especially when the truth is ugly.

It’s not patience people see when they see me sitting so calm and smiley.
It’s laziness.

That’s a big, bad word in my vocabulary.
But it’s true. It’s true of me.

Why did Linda call me patient? I have a manuscript she’s been shopping and an editor is showing interest in it. (YAY!!) If there’s one thing you can count on in the publishing business, it’s that things take time. Lots of time. It’s hurry up and wait. And wait. And wait. Quite often I’m okay with all that waiting. But not because I’m patient.

I’m okay with it because as long as I’m waiting, I don’t have to be doing anything with it. I can complacently bob on the waves of that particular harbor, waiting.

It’s sheer laziness on my part.

My oldest masquerading.
Laziness has often masqueraded as patience in my life.
Laziness is not a virtue to be proud of. Just look at some of what the Bible has to say about laziness…
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat. ~Prov.13:4

The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing. ~Prov 20:4

The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, for his hands refuse to work; ~Prov 21:25
Nasty, huh?!

I’ve been working hard to change things in my life. I want what looks like patience to BE patience, not laziness. It’s not an easy change to make but it’s a worthwhile one.

How about you? Does laziness masquerade as patience in your life? Maybe laziness isn’t an issue for you but something else is. Are you ready to call it what it is and deal with it?

Coming Up Blueberries

The Barn Door
It's been months and months since I've posted on The Barn Door, even though it's one of my favorite sites, so I'm really excited to be back there today, posting a snippet of life here in the corn fields of Southern Illinois.

Today's post there is about blueberries.
Makes my mouth water just seeing these yummy things. =)

I'd love for you to come join me there!

Esther 8: The Follow Through

Bible study: The Book of Esther
At the end of Esther chapter 7 we see Haman heading for the gallows—the ones he built for Mordecai. His pride cost him his life. (And boy does that make me stop and look at the pride in my own life!) In chapter 8, we watch as Queen Esther is given all of Haman’s wealth. All that he worked for and schemed for is given to a Jewish woman. Not only that, but Mordecai replaces Haman in the palace.

What a turn of events! It’s been ten weeks since Haman issued the decree to wipe out the Jews. Ten weeks of mourning and worrying for the Jews. Now Mordecai is in the palace, but the clock is still ticking because even after the evil man dies the consequences of his words and deeds continue on.

What Haman started—the annihilation of the Jews—was still in the books so Esther went back in to the king, risking her life again for her people. She knew her goal, kept her eyes on it, and kept working. If she had only wanted revenge, she would’ve quit when Haman was killed. If she wanted restitution, she would’ve quit when the king gave her Haman’s estate. But she didn’t want those things. So she risked her life by going to king, uninvited. Again. King Xerxes extended his scepter to her, granting her the privilege of approaching him.

This is the part that struck me the most. Maybe because of all that’s going on in my life right now, maybe because it’s a message that keeps coming before me…

Then Esther spoke again to the king, fell at his feet, wept and implored him to avert the evil scheme of Haman the Agagite and his plot which he had devised against the Jews. Esther 8:3
Esther approached the king to intercede for her people. She wanted them to be delivered from death. She wanted it badly enough that she was willing to risk her life—repeatedly—for it.

Deliverance. We all know people who need delivering. We all probably have family members who need delivering. Are we interceding for them? Would we even consider risking our life for their deliverance?
It was a master stroke of the Devil when he got the church and the ministry so generally to lay aside the mighty weapon of prayer. ~R. A. Torrey

Intercession is life changing. Because Esther interceded, her people were delivered. James 4:3 says we don’t have things because we don’t ask for them.

How about us?
Are we getting side tracked from the work God has for us to do?
Are we giving up before the real objective is accomplished?
Are we interceding for our people?

“One concerned person devoted to prayer can make a great difference in this world, for prayer is the key that releases the power of God.” ~Warren Wiersbe


It's been months and months since I've been at Jewels of Encouragement, and I'm so excited to be back there!

We've had a lot of rain lately, and although it's wonderful, it's made getting the lawn mowed tough at times. It taught me a lesson on mowing. I'd love to have you join me there to see why.

To Make a Difference

Intercessory prayer has been on my mind a lot lately and as I studied for the Esther 8 post, I came across this quote in Warren Wiersbe's commentary.

I've been so blessed to have people who pray for me. During my teen years in Ecuador, then through my time at Moody, there was an older couple from Maine, Cecil and Evelyn Arrington, who prayed for my family--and me--each and every Tuesday without fail. I didn't find out Tuesday was our day until after I was married and Mrs. Arrington sent me a card. When I looked back through my journals, it was incredible to see how many answers to prayers were given and needs were met on Tuesdays. Their prayers made a huge difference in my life.

They aren't the only ones who pray for me--my parents pray for me and my family. They pray every day, remembering and holding up to God specific things for each one in their family. I learned long ago not to pour the milk on my cereal until after they prayed for breakfast. I don't like soggy cereal but I treasure their prayer for each of us! It makes a difference in our lives.

Monday was my mom's birthday. There have been times she's called to see how things were going and listened as I talked and talked and talked. She'd say "You just keep coming to mind..." and I knew she'd been praying. Often, just knowing she was praying was enough to give me energy and courage to keep going.

Today is my dad's birthday. He may be unable to do the things he used to due to the bone cancer, but he prays. He keeps a prayer list by his bed and prays when he wakes at night. I know that his interceding for his children has...IS...making a difference in their lives.

Your turn...
Tell me about some of the people who pray for you and the difference it's made in your life.

Esther 7: The Reversal

A couple years ago I started a series on the book of Esther and we made it through chapter 6 before life went wild on me and my time to write became scarce. You can find that study here. I want to finish the series, even if it quite match or have the bells and whistles the first six parts do. So, please humor me as I limp to the finish line with this and for not getting these last posts looking pretty and tied with a bow so they match the first part.

Bible study: The Book of Esther

When we left Esther in chapter 6, Haman had just come in from parading through the city streets, declaring the greatness of Mordecai the Jew—the very man he was trying so hard to kill.

God wants each person to repent and turn to Him. He gave Haman chances to change his ways but Haman’s stubborn pride kept him hurtling to the end of his rope.

This time, when King Xerxes asked Esther what she wanted and made his generous offer, she presented her request—but she didn’t just blurt it out. She carefully crafted it making it so she didn’t attack his favored right-hand man. Remember, Xerxes had just had a late night refresher course on conspiracy so he may have connected the dots... First they were after the king, when that was exposed (thanks to Mordecai the Jew), they went after the queen.

The king is outraged that someone would dare attack his queen and when the king stormed out of the room, Haman made one last bad choice. He chose to stay in the queen’s presence and plead his case with her.

What a paradox! Haman had been furious because a Jewish man wouldn’t bow down to him, and now Haman was prostrate before a Jewish woman, begging for his life! ~Warren Wiersbe

Persian law dictated that no man other than the king was to be alone in the presence of a harem member or the queen, and that no man was to be within seven paces of them, unless they were one of the eunuchs appointed to serve the queen or harem member. When Haman stayed with the queen he broke the law. When he went to the couch Esther was on to plead for his life, he was much closer than seven paces, and he REALLY broke the law.

If Esther had pressed on, ignoring the quiet voice in her heart to delay her request, King Xerxes wouldn’t have had his sleepless night and heard what Mordecai the Jew had done to save his life. But now he remembered. A Jew had saved his life, so why should he kill the Jews? Besides, Haman, who had issued that decree in the king’s name was assaulting his queen, right there in the palace. No other reason for his death sentence was needed.

Haman must have boasted around the palace about the high gallows he’d built for Mordecai because when the king came in and saw Haman, the eunuch in attendance at the banquet mentioned there just happened to be a gallows all ready to go. He even knew that it was intended for Mordecai—the man who had saved the king’s life.

Often it seems as if God’s people are losing and the wicked ones are winning. We need to remember that just because God is longsuffering, it doesn’t mean He doesn’t care and that the bad guys get away with all the evil they plan.

…for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. ~Gal. 6:7

He who sows iniquity will reap vanity… ~Prov. 22:8

He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, and has fallen into the hole which he made. His mischief will return upon his own head, and his violence will descend upon his own pate. ~Ps. 7:15-16

And that’s exactly what happened to Haman. The very evil he had planned for Mordecai happened to him. It’s something we see happen often in Scripture—but even if we never witness it, we can be sure God does.

God orchestrated these events so everything lined up perfectly, creating a straight shot to accomplishing His plan. Our part is to be sensitive to His leading and to obey.

Things to think about:

  • Are we sensitive to God’s quiet leading or do we charge ahead?
  • Is our pride hanging us?
  • What kind of things are we sowing?
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