For all writers

For all writers

Monday, June 28, 2010


Community. What does that word conjure up for you? Webster's defines community as "any group living in the same area or having interests, work, etc. in common" When you think about that definition and then think about where you live, it's really a no-brainer that we should be "involved". I realize that some of us are more involved than others; some of us don't know where we "fit" in and so forth. I just know that every time Eldon and I get involved in something (take Mudtown Days, for instance) we are always given back a hundred times what we give. We have never lived in a really large city, mostly small ones and always in Benton County so you would think we wouldn't have definite opinions about such things but you'd be think wrong! We have observed cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma - Denver, Colorado - Joplin, Missouri and they all have their ups and downs; "pros" and "cons" but I must tell you, Lowell, Arkansas is a wonderful and absolutely awesome place to live!!! We are not a town but a CITY with the feel of a small town in the sense that sometimes, when you go through the drive-thru at Sonic or the bank, someone will know you and call you by your first name. We have watched Lowell grow and expand with great anticipation about what our city could be one day. I guess that visiting with people from all over this past weekend, I have just had a resurgence of hometown pride, maybe that's what it is, I don't know. But I do know that the people that live and work in Lowell are some of the best you will ever meet...anywhere. Hands down. I would just say here that, if you live in Lowell or in close proximity, shop there first. Give the local business owners a chance to earn your business. We have so much to be thankful for in this world and I, for one, am so thankful I live in Lowell!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun in the Summertime!

I've got to admit that, even though I don't like the cold very much, I have really been feelin' the heat lately! I guess a lot of that has to do with the fact that I'm not nearly as young as I used to be (watch it!) nor am I as slim and trim as I used to be! Keeping those two undeniable truths in mind, I took two of my girls to pick blackberries last night. What a hoot!

Have you ever picked blackberries? If you have, you know that the bushes grow low to the ground and climb out around the plant. They have tiny and very sharp stickers and you WILL get stuck if you try to pick a berry — that is not a maybe — that is a fact!

We drove to the farm armed with our berry-picking gloves and plenty of tubs for our booty. The sun was beginning to set so it wasn't nearly as hot as I imagined it would be and we even had a little breeze to cool us as we picked. All three of us got our fair share of scratches and prickers on the forearms but we came away with an amazing amount of sweet, juicy berries — a wonderful reward for our hard work. We also came away with a renewed respect for huge bullfrogs and water moccasins. There was a large pond only feet away from our picking area and it teemed with the loudest frogs and the creepiest snakes the two of those girls had ever seen. In fact, the size of the swimming snake actually put a little damper on the remainder of our picking and we decided to call it quits. The girls had become a little "snake shy" as they imagined something down in every patch of weeds or clump of berries and it was funny to hear them shrieking and yelling everytime something moved in the grass or a bug flew by their heads.

I got a big kick out of watching those girls but the thing I most enjoyed was the time spent together with them. Because we were without children (thanks dads, for watching the boys!), we had the opportunity to talk about all sorts of things that we most usually aren't able to talk about. Topics like God's grace and goodness, the cost of things today, where the orchard will be planted and how we can't wait to get started on a new beginning were just a few of the things we seemed to cover, all three of us just enjoying the time and the company. I look so forward to doing even more of that this summer and fall.

Long ago as a young woman, I had someone admonish me to "spend the time wisely, as if the hours were dollars" and I must admit, I have forgotten to do that enough but, thinking back to last night, I believe I was blessed to "spend" a little of that time with my girls. Enjoy the recipe below. Greta has already made one of these pies and she tells me it's "yummy". If you need some blackberries, just give me a call. We'll go pick some anytime you're ready!
Ain't God good!

The Coffee Shop's Blackberry Pie
2 quarts blackberries
3 cups sugar
1 pastry crust, plus more for lattice
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the berries with the sugar in a bowl and let stand for a short time. Transfer them to a pot and heat over low flame for arond 20 to 30 minutes until they're cooked.

Line a pie plate with your favorite crust and lightly sprinkle the flour on the bottom. Pour cooked blackberries into the pie shell and dot with the butter. Cover the top with strips of pastry in a criss-cross pattern.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CeCe's Birthday!

It's June already and we just celebrated my youngest daughter's birthday. Doesn't seem possible that she's a "twenty-something". I guess that means I'm "something else"!! Anyway, in lieu of birthday cake (which she already had) I'm posting a picture of one of her next-favorite things...strawberries. Yum!
Seems whenever one of my kids has a birthday anymore, I begin to "wax philosophical" and rant on and on about how things were different years ago and so on and so forth.
Sorry, but I feel the need again today, in light of CeCe's 28th birthday! I remember when I was still home with her - hadn't gone back to work yet - she couldn't have been more than three weeks old. I had given her a bath and she was zonked. I just sat in the chair, holding her all wrapped up in a big snuggly towel, watching her sleep. I grabbed the camera, took her little fingers and held them up to my own and snapped a picture. I think I actually still have that picture somewhere.
Even though it hadn't hit me fully yet, I remember thinking to myself that I'd better savor that feeling because this would be the child of "lasts". The last one in diapers, the last one to potty train, last one in kindergarten, the last sixth grade graduation, etc. (you get the picture)
Now she is a mommy and she is thinking she may have had the "last". I wonder what she thinks as she looks at her little boys on her birthday. Could she be having some of the same feelings I had? Could she be reminding herself to savor the moments because she knows they'll be growing up fast too? (sigh)
"Ciest la vie" (Such is life) the French say. I've entered that "season" in my life when I have more to look back on than to look forward to and the look back is a mixture of many emotions and feelings. The Bible reminds us that we are all just "dust" and our lives are like a "vapor" - fleeting, at best. These days are precious and worth remembering. I should stop and "smell the roses" more, huh?
Well, summer is here and even though we still have to work, we have more time to enjoy our families. The daylight lasts longer and we love to be outside and enjoying the sunshine and the sprinkler. Have a safe summer but remember to make those memories, lots of them. Because one day soon, you'll be sitting here where I am now and taking some walks down memory lane yourself. I pray your "walks" will be as wonderful as mine!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Whenever I see this painting ( I believe it's entitled, "Grace" or "Gratitude", I can't remember which), I am reminded that it really isn't all about me and I have to tiptoe back to the Father's throne of grace and confess that to Him (like He doesn't know!)
Last week was Fight Week for the Longs! Attack, attack and more attack. I was feeling the pressure by Thursday and, through a series of events that played out like a bad dream, I just popped my top! Ever just feel like that little bitty "straw" just broke your back? Well, it did mine and I'm not proud of it but I have to tell you honestly that I just lost my composure - I mean the whole bit! Crying, sobbing, anger one minute and desperation the next. It was ugly, people! u-g-l-y! I have a dear friend who just happened to call me in the middle of all that calamity and she was bound and determined to make things better. Ever have one of those friends that won't go away until something changes? Well, that's her! She came over, prayed with me and we talked forever. I did feel somewhat better but I was still upset because the situation hadn't changed.
And you know what? It still hasn't but today, I am resting in Him. Oh, I know that sounds really cool and all spiritual and stuff but I am. I found myself even singing "Standing on the Promises" yesterday. Remember that one?
"Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
through eternal ages let His praises ring,
glory in the highest I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
by the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing, standing, standing on the promises of Christ my Savior,
Standing, standing, I'm standing on the promises of God."
WooHoo! Yeah, baby! The 'howling storms of doubt and fear' were really 'assail'-ing but it only takes a few minutes to realize the same things we remind each other of every single day. God is STILL in control (thank you, Lord) and His plan is far and above anything that I could ever work out for myself. So if those storms start howling again tomorrow, you'd better believe I'm gonna sing at the top of my lungs and STAND on the promises of God!
How about it? Are ya with me?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just in case...

I entitled this post "Just in Case" because I have begun to have the book I wrote about Hunter available and some people don't know his story. If you can tear your eyes away from that precious boy's face, let me tell you just a little bit about it all.
Hunter died on September 26, 2004, just days short of his fourth birthday. He was a "rounder" and was rarely ever still long enough for me to snap a picture of him. He loved the outdoors and running and playing (note the red cheeks in the picture!). He always had time to play but never to memorize Bible verses (imagine that!). The very day he died was a Sunday and on the ride home from church, Hunter surprised his mommy and daddy buy quoting Proverbs 3:5. In "Hunter-speak" (he had a problem with his L's), this is what he told them. "Yisten, Daddy. Trust in the Yord wiff all your heart!" Chris said he almost had a wreck, he was so surprised! Little did we know that, later that afternoon, we would be reminding each other of that precious scripture!
Many of you know that God has lead me, as a "healed helper", to walk with others on their journey of grief through a support group called GriefShare at my church, Fellowship Bible. It is my humble prayer that, through this book, others will not only read about my journey of grief but will be encouraged to find that strength in their times of need that only Christ can provide.
I always tell people, "I certainly don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does!"
This Friday and Saturday, I will be at the Clarion Inn in Bentonville at the Author's Showcase there, selling books and talking to people. It is such a blessing to see and meet people and talk to them about the Lord. Hunter's book gives me the opportunity to do just that. I hope you can drop by and give me a hug!
Pam (Hunter's "Grammy")

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Merry Month of May!

I know May is the month for Mother's Day and I should probably have something a little more condusive to that on the blog but I just couldn't resist when I saw this little guy! April showers DO bring May flowers, you know and flowers attract bees! I have a nearby neighbor that raises bees and sells the raw honey so I see them often as they make several visits a day to my yard and my flowers. They work so hard for no pay and no recognition! I just can't help but think that maybe I should be more like a bee in my relationship with Christ; work hard, use my time wisely and realize that it's not all about ME!
Not a popular concept, I know but it's one Jesus himself tried to familarize us with while He walked on this earth.
Item #1: Work hard. The disciples got that one! 2 Thessalonians 3:8 "nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you."
2 Thessalonians 3:10 "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."
In the days before government healthcare and welfare programs, people knew that an honest days' work afforded you an honest days' wage. (Don't EVEN get me started on assistance programs!) I know there are people that can't work because of disabilities or age. Whatever happened to each family taking care of their own? Just a question.
Item #2: Use my time wisely. Revelation 12:12 "Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
I have to continually remind myself that 'no one knows the day or hour' that our Lord will return and I am reminded to "make hay while the sun shines" (an old adage my grandma used to use often!). We wake up, we go through our day, we come home, we eat, we go to bed and sleep. Next morning, we wake up again...yada, yada, yada. Things become so routine that we forget that we just might NOT wake up one morning or this day might be the one that's anything but routine!
Item #3: It's not all about me! 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." and Revelation 4:11"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
As sons and daughters of the Most High God, we should be realizing that our lives on this earth (however short) are to be lived in relationship with Christ and to point others to that relationship as well. Whether you realize it or not, my friends, people ARE watching you. "You are the only Bible some folks will ever read!" (another zinger from Grandma!). I know we will make mistakes and stumble; we are not perfect. But we've got to start live "like we were dying" (thanks, Tim) and realize that this very day may be the day that we will do or say something that will point someone else to Jesus.
That reminds me of the precious young man that is, as you read this, walking all over the United States, carrying a cross. He's making a statement of, not only his faith in Christ, but his willingness to visit others and share his faith with them so that they might be saved and spend eternity with the Father. Pretty powerful, if you ask me!
Well, there is May! (ha-ha!) Not very much about Mothers and I apologize for that much as we all love and appreciate our moms, it is time we give at least a little thought about "seizing the day", "pressing on towards the mark" and living for HIM like there was no tomorrow!
Standing with you,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Political or PaPaw?

I guess you already know that Eldon's running for mayor in Lowell this November. As such, we began to take some pictures for his announcement piece in the paper, etc. and CeCe caught this one of her dad and Jackson, hamming it up for the camera! I don't think I would consider putting it out for public consumption but it just brought home to me how "human" we all really are. It's good to look your best when you are in public but there are some times you just have to "let your hair down", as the saying goes. Well, this is PaPaw and Jackson just being buddies and clowning for the camera. None of us is perfect, nor will we be until we are standing inside the gates of that "beautiful city" in Heaven. I can only hope we remember that all our candidates and officials are only human too.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Showers

I always wondered about the old saying, "April showers bring May flowers" when I was a little girl but, as I get older, I'm beginning to realize that there is probably more there than "meets the eye" (as another old saying goes.)
The "rain" in our lives is just like physical rain in a sense, if you consider it. It's messy, inconvenient, uncomfortable...the list goes on. But, just as the physical rain is also a good thing - makes things grow, gives us water to drink, cleans the atmosphere, etc., it is good for us in our lives. I know, I know. That's a hard precept to agree with and those of us that have had much "rain" in our lives can attest all too well to the adjectives I mentioned earlier.
But as Easter Sunday approaches, I've had some time to consider Jesus' life and ministry more in detail this week. Anyone that works for the Lord will tell you "ministry is messy" and, although Jesus was hailed as a prince upon His "triumphant entry" into Jerusalem, we know that His popularity was short-lived. The crowd turned on Him and the mob became an angry, swelling mass of people, shouting and clamoring for His crucifixtion. Have you experienced the mob mentality lately? Maybe you have been someone's "darling" for a short while, only to have them suddenly turn on you without warning or good cause. Hurts, doesn't it? Can you imagine the pain that Christ must have felt? I'm not talking about the pain of the scourging - although that caused almost lethal pain. I'm talking about the pain of a broken heart.
Whether you've had your heart broken because of cruel words, bad intentions or mis-understandings or your heart was ripped in two by a terrible loss of some kind, it is still painful. Remember that Christ knows pain and suffering. He knows all too well.
When asking an employee to sweep the showroom floor or clean and dust in the shop, my husband used to say, "I would never ask you to do something I haven't already done myself, many times." I thought about that as I was reflecting today on the cross at Calvary. Aren't you thankful that God didn't ask US to pay the penalty that was/is required for our sin?!? You bet! In fact, thankful is probably not even the right word. Maybe it is more like relieved or glad. Whatever the descriptor you would use, I pray that we all spend time tonight and tomorrow on our knees, even for a short time, thanking God for His unconditional mercy and grace and then on our feet, rejoicing and praising the resurrection of our Lord; King of Kings, the One that conquered death and the grave, our victorious Savior! Hallelujah! HE IS RISEN!
Blessed Easter, everyone.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My good or God's glory?

What an amazing week!

Praying for a dear friend undergoing surgery to remove a tumor, another dear friend's son's heart surgery and the list goes on.

I am ashamed to even admit the fact that every time I lift someone up in prayer (whether it's for deliverance, finances, health or healing) whatever the request might be, I am always awestruck not only by God's faithfulness to hear but His willingness to work in the situation - in spite of my bungling intrusions! Isn't that always the way? We believe we know just what that person needs and waste no time in making that known to our Father - The Creator of the Universe, the Blessed Controller of all things, the One that hung the stars in space and spoke things in to existence! The Bible tells us He knows even before we ask. I know what you're thinking...well, if He already knows, then why do we have to even ask? Your mom or dad knew you wanted to go shopping (my example) but didn't you have to ask to borrow the car?

I can't help but smile as I think of Him, leaned in and listening intently to me as I cry, ramble and stamp my foot in childish selfishness. After all, I know exactly what that person needs, right?

Then it hits me. How could I presume to know all the details, every 'in' and 'out' and complicated aspect of that person and their situation! I mean well, I do. I promised I'd pray and I am. And my Heavenly Father is still listening, smiling, maybe even nodding His head in agreement. But I have forgotten one very important aspect of interceding on behalf of others...His PERFECT WILL!

I have determined this very morning that I will try not to assume I know it all. I will try to pray according to HIS will, not my wishes. ( ) After all, isn't that what we truly want, God's will in our lives? Oooo! That's a hard one to admit sometimes because HIS will doesn't always match up with our idea of what should happen. Come with me sometime and meet the hurting people that attend our GriefShare meetings each week and you'll witness them discovering that very thing for themselves.

I'm convinced that, just as we are all unique, so is God's will for our lives. Designed especially with us in mind, the Father has a perfect plan for all of us and sets it in motion from the beginning. What's the problem? WE are the problem, my friends. You and I. It's our free will, that childish, foot-stamping, think-we-know-better free will of ours! We delay, disrupt and derail. Reminds me of a group of people called "God's Chosen" when they had to wander in the wilderness for forty years over a trek that should've only taken them 11 days! Hmmm...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mayoral UPDATE!!

After the first "strategy meeting" last night, I must tell you, my head is spinning! (and it's not just because I've got a sinus cold either!) Eldon has determined to run a positive campaign in all senses and I'm so proud of him for that. No negativity, no name-calling or "look what so-and-so did" stuff! God is in these details, folks and there is NO doubting that.

FYI: We will be having a Dessert night at our house in Lowell on Friday, April 9th at 7:00 p.m. and all are welcome. This will give you a chance to come and voice your support for Eldon, as well as get further information about the campaign, etc.

More later...


Saturday, March 13, 2010


I apologize for not keeping updated lately but things have been really "hopping" around our house.

Now that some things have come to light, I can share with you that my husband of 37 years, Eldon, has decided to run for Mayor of our city in the upcoming November election! He (and I ) have been praying about this decision since he was approached about it last October. Seeking the Lord's face in fervent prayer has resulted in this decision and those of you that know Eldon personally, know that he doesn't make any decision flippantly or without much deliberation and prayer.

We have also been contacted by the state of Arkansas regarding the purchase of most of our land (house and business) for a future East/West corridor across the north side of I-540. Rumors of such a project have been flying around for the past 10-12 years and we haven't taken it very seriously until we began to see maps of the project, talk to state representatives and other people "in the know". I know, I know. The Bella Vista Bypass has all priority at present but this road WILL develop, we just don't have any timetables at this point. What we DO know is that the Highway Department is purchasing land now from our property west to Highway 112 in Cave Springs. There is also talk about some sort of "link" to a new airport road and that is controlled by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Authority (or some such organization!).

Suffice it to say that we have had much to pray about lately, much to organize and much to think about regarding our family and its literal future.

We have lived in Lowell (at our present address) for 30 years and, although terribly difficult to even think of leaving our home and property, we are compelled to stay in Lowell for business sake and now, in the event that Eldon does win the election in November, he would be required (common sense, really) to reside in the city.

I am excited, a little nervous, apprehensive maybe but never fearful. I recently finished the Bible study of Esther with Beth Moore and the truths that came out of that seemingly insignificant story that I had learned as a young girl have been re-told to me in a way that confirms that God not only holds our destinies in His hand but that we are all perched and waiting for "such a time as this"...we just may not realize it. Our destiny is here in Lowell, we believe.

Join with me, friends, in praying for us and this new work on the horizon but also for our city.

More as things progess...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ah, Valentine's Day! The day that every male in the United States scrambles to empty their checking accounts by purchasing sexy lingerie, candy, flowers or precious stones! Kinda sad, really. I know women that don't think they are loved unless their hubby/boyfriend buys them something to "show how much they care"!

Don't get me wrong...I fell into that trap for a couple of years when I worked at J.B. Hunt Corporate. In fact, I remember one year (after receiving nothing for Valentine's Day the year before)frowning at Eldon and issuing a rather serious warning before I left for work that morning. "You'd better send me flowers today or I'm not coming home!" The worst part? I meant it! Sure enough, just before lunch time, a guy comes rolling a big cart with all kinds of flower arrangements on it (mostly roses!) and begins calling out names. I can still see the looks on those gals faces that didn't get flowers. It was awful. It wasn't because their husbands didn't love them but because they couldn't afford them.

This year, as we all try to make ends meet and stretch a dollar farther than it has ever been stretched before, I shudder to think what some gals (and guys) must be going through as they rush to spend money they don't have just because we are told they must!

I'm all about a romantic, candlelit dinner for two with great music and maybe even a movie afterwards. I say, what's wrong with having that dinner at home? Maybe he goes by and gets take out and Grammy keeps the babies. Then, after you've eaten and thrown the plastic dishes in the trash, you pop a great movie in the DVD player and snuggle on the couch.

I don't know. I've been at both ends of the spectrum but I realize more and more that we fall into so many "traps" where these kinds of holidays are concerned. It's the small, tiny, seemingly insignificant things that matter most - usually. Bet you can't even remember what you got for Valentine's a couple of years ago. I want to encourage all of us to, instead of pouting about what we didn't get, to be thankful for what we have.

Just my opinion!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Happy New Year, everyone!
As you can tell by the title of this post, I have a new focus for this new year. Thanks to a study in Esther I've been doing with women friends of mine from our church. In the fifth chapter, we read about how Esther was invited to ask the King anything and he would give it, up to "half my kingdom"! What an invitation! I don't think I'd have any trouble ripping off a quick request but what did Esther do? Read for yourself and you will see that she invited the King and Haman (her arch enemy) to a banquet. Hmmm...Ok, let's eat. The King and Haman show up and Xerxes again asks her to make her request known to him. Esther responds by inviting the two to another banquet the very next evening! Ok, this is getting ridiculous, right? WRONG! Esther was learning to WAIT on the Lord; to wait on HIS timing-not hers. As a result, everything turned out perfectly. Big surprise, huh?

I took this very personally because, as many of you know, we have been literally at the mercy of the highway department for years now, as they decide when to move forward on a new East/West bypass project. They have already approached and bought out many of our surrounding neighbors but have not contacted us at all! The waiting has been awful; not knowing when they might show up, what they would appraise our property at, etc. After studying Esther and listening to Beth Moore break it down for us that night, it suddenly came to me. (Sorry, Lord!) We're not to wait on the "thing"...we're to wait on the LORD! Simple as that! Listen to this passage from Habbakuk 2:3 (NIV):
"The message I give you waits for the time I have appointed. It speaks about what is going to happen. And all of it will come true. It might take a while. But wait for it. You can be sure it will come. It will happen when I want it to." (emphasis mine).
Can't get any plainer than that!

You know, waiting on the "thing" zaps our energy and our strength. Waiting on the Lord renews our strength. Remember Isaiah 40:31?
"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

Can I repeat myself here? Can't get any plainer than that!

Friends, will you wait upon the Lord with me this year? He promises us our strength will be renewed and we will soar like eagles in the sky. I love it!

Father, we will be waiting on You, this year. We trust in You and not ourselves. Thank You for reminding us in Your Word that You will be faithful to us if we will be faithful to You. Amen.

I'll be "waiting" to hear from you,