Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thankful For The Thorns

A dear friend sent this a while back (about 6yrs ago I believe). I "just happened to
stumble across it" - yeah, right - and thought I would pass it on. Although originally
done as a Thanksgiving piece I find it can be appropriate ANY time & was bemused
that I found now. I believe the 'Is it odd or is it GOD' qualifier and figured I ought
to just send it.

Subject: Be thankful for the thorns  n Read this to the end!!  You'll be glad you did.   xoxo Merry
Long, but well worth it!
Thankful For The Thorns

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks when she pulled open the florist shop door,
against a November gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a spring breeze and then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a "minor" automobile accident stole her joy. This was
Thanksgiving week and the time she should have delivered their infant son. She grieved over their loss. Troubles had multiplied. Her husband's company "threatened" to transfer his job to a new location.
Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday visit. What's worse, Sandra's friend suggested that Sandra's grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder. "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered. "For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved
her life, but took her child's?"
"Good afternoon, can I help you?" Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk.
"I...I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra.
"For Thanksgiving? Do you want the beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the 'Thanksgiving Special'? I'm convinced that flowers tell stories,"
she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?"
"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong." Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said, "I have
the perfect arrangement for you."
Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer, "Hi, Barbara...let me get your order." She excused herself and walked back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and what appeared to be long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers. "Do you want these in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched for the customer's response.
Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed. "Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think
after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again." She said, as she gently tapped her chest.
Sandra stammered, "Ah, that lady just left with, uh...she left with no flowers!"
"That's right, said the clerk. "I cut off the flowers.
That's the 'Special'. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."
"Oh, come on! You can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that!" exclaimed Sandra.
"Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do, today,"explained the clerk.
"She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had just lost her father to cancer; the family business was failing; her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery."
"That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk. "For the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too much debt to allow any travel.""So what did you do?" asked Sandra.
"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and I NEVER questioned Him why those GOOD things happened to me,
but when the bad stuff hit, I cried out, "WHY? WHY Me?!" It took time for me to learn that the dark times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of my life, but it took the
thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort! You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."
Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about the thought that her friend had tried to tell her.
"I guess the truth is, I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."

Just then someone else walked in the shop. "Hey, Phil!" the clerk greeted the balding, rotund man. "My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement...twelve thorny, long-stemmed
stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.
"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?"
"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago, my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem. The Lord rescued our marriage. Jenny, here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she had learned from "thorny" times. That was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks for what that problem taught us." As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"
"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too...fresh."
"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time.
Remember that it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love.Don't resent the thorns."
Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on her resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.
"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."
"Thank you. What do I owe you?"
"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement,
but maybe you would like to read it first."
It read:
My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant."  Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.
Author Unknown

Bob Sharkey

Bob Sharkay is a new aqauintenance friend of mine,   We have a platonic relationship.  He and I send each other inspirational , religious and sometimes funny stuff,  Merry

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tim and Patti and baby makes 3, & us

Well, hi all my Jland + buddies!

I wanted to let you know, No baby yet.

Tim called me this afternoon. I belive I posted that Patti is off work (doctor's orders) until "Jack" is born.  I am relieved. She is always on the go and tries to do too much!   Patti had to do one of those big bottle urine speciamans at home. They are looking to see if something shows up.  Her blood pressure was up, but after they made her lie down, it went down.  She is only 50% 'efaced" and she is NOT dilated yet!    Tim sounded very concerned but he is being the strong father.  I am proud of him.  I know it's not easy being the one to see someone you love go through all this,  and I know he is concerned about Patti.  Tim has gone to every doctor's apt. and also to all the parenting classes. I think they are going to make great parents. They are older, and in this case anyway, wiser.

Later this afternoon I called Patti at home.  Just to let her know I was thinking of her and I wanted to talk to her. She is so ready to have this baby.  She said that she already has uric (SP) acid in her urine.  If they find other things that might cause them to induce her, too.  She said that Tim's work has a pool as to when the baby will come!  (Guys, what can you do with them???!!!! LOL  She also said that UNLESS other things show up in this urine "jug", she will rest at home until Sunday (unless she's start having regular contractions, etc.)  She sees her doctor on Monday.  I think there is a very good chance if she doesn't have the baby they WILL induce before this week is out (if not Monday).  The baby is at least 8 lb. they think. They don't WANT him any bigger.  They don't want Patti to go into serious toxemia or other complications. 

So, we are still waiting.   It would work out best for OUR schedule (don't get me wrong, I am not saying this is how I think it should be or that I want it to be) if the baby was born Monday night or Tuesday.  But babies usually come when they are wanting too!  I will keep all of you posted.  Keep Patti, Tim and baby Jonathon David (a/k/a "Jack) in your prayers!!  Thank you!  I will keep you posted.




Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tim & Patti & Jack (& Us)

This is the latest.
We were to meet Tim and Patti for MOTHER's DAY dinner between where they live and here. But Tim called tonight and that is OFF.  Tim said Patti is off work now until the baby is born!  Her blood pressure was slightly elevated and she has to pee in a big container for the doctor's office.  She is NOT dilating yet!  BUT the doctor does NOT Think that she will go many more days.  I feel quite sure the doctor is pretty sure, this baby is going to be born next week.... BEFORE HER DUE DATE! (May 18.)  I worry about that blood pressure increase in her, although it was only slight, and did come down after she sat there a while.  (I didn't tell Tim this, but I think that could be or TURN INTO Toxemia.)  Pray for her Nancy, pray for all  of us. I know that prayers help.  Is their a patron saint of babies?  How about new mothers?
Dave also told Tim NO to staying at their  house when we go after the baby is born!   We will be staying at a motel.  He took it fine! Right now he is mostly concerned only about Patti and that is at it should be!!!
The doctor said she should be couch bound.  She can get up and walk around, but no running out and doing errands and no housework or no shopping.  I think in a way it's a relief for her as she has to be tired from working full time, doing her volunteer working and doing her half of their house chores + getting ready for the baby!  I told Tim did he remember how he use to tie our collies up to stuff?  As he might need those roping skills to keep Patti on the couch. :)  LOL (he got a kick out of that.)
I will write again real soon.
Also,  I want to hear YOUR news!!   
Love you all,


Thanks to my friend Renee for this one!

Kid talk
7 reasons not to mess with children.
For some reason the pictures would not come through.  Shucks!  They were so cute!   But this is still good and I hope you enjoy reading it.



A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.

The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.

Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".

The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him".

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work.

As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.

The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."

The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds.

After explaining the commandment to "honour" thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?"

Without missing a beat one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, "Thou shall not kill."

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.

She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, "Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?"

Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white."

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, "Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?"

The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture.

"Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.'

A small voice at the back of the room rang out, "And there's the teacher, she's dead."

A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, "Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face."

"Yes," the class said.

"Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?"

A little fellow shouted,
"Cause your feet ain't empty."


The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray:

"Take only ONE . God is watching."

Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies.

A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."

It doesn't matter how many people you send this to, just remember if it made you laugh, your friends will laugh too.

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem." Ronald Reagan

"If we ever forget that we're One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under." also by... Ronald Reagan
Thought to Ponder . . .

What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Thought to Ponder . . .

The solution is simple.  The solution is spiritual.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


This may be a bit strong for some of you. But it is part of my beliefs.  So, I am putting it in in here.  I do not mean to offend anyone. But I agree with this one!
This one comes from my Australian friend!  But it's good.  You may have seen it before, but if I had I don't remember.  I just had to share this with you!
Until next time,
 One Angry Woman

  Here's one woman who is telling it like it her opinion!

Written by a housewife from New Jersey and sounds like it! This is one mad Lady.

"Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001? Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from our nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania? Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?

And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was "desecrated" when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet?  ...Well, I don't. I don't care at all.

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden, turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.

I'll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don't care a damn...

When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college-hazing incident, rest assured: I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank: I don't care.

When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed "special" food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being "mishandled," you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts: I don't care whatever.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled "Koran" and other times "Quran." Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and - you guessed it - I don't care a stuff ! ! ! ! !

If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your e-mail friends. Sooner or later, it'll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behavior!

If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete button. Should you choose the latter, then please don't complain when more atrocities committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great country! And may I add it will happen in others eventually!:

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem." Ronald Reagan

I have another quote that I would like to add AND.......I hope you forward all this.
"If we ever forget that we're One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under." also by... Ronald Reagan

One last thought for the day:

In case we find ourselves starting to believe all the anti-American sentiment and negativity, we should remember England’s Prime Minister Tony Blair's words during a recent interview. When asked by one of his Parliament members why he believes so much in America, he said:

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out."

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you:

1. Jesus Christ
2. The American G. I.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.


Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem." Ronald Reagan

"If we ever forget that we're One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under." also by... Ronald Reagan

Thought to Ponder . . .

What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Thought to Ponder . . .

The solution is simple.  The solution is spiritual.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Wooden Bowl

The Wooden Bowl

I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a  week from now, a month from now, a year from now.

 A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table.

But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about father," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor."

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since
Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl!

When the familyglanced in Grandfather's direction, sometime he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she
handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents,
you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the  same thing as making a

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to BE one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.!

I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about. I just did.


I am not going to be the one who

lets it die. I found it believable --
angels have walked beside me

all my life--and they still do.
This is to all of you who mean something to me,

I pray for your happiness.
The Candle Of Love, Hope & Friendship


This candle was lit on the

15th of September, 1998.


Until next time,



Saturday, May 5, 2007

Why I Got MY New Dog

When I Got My  New Dog   
(I didn't really just get a dog.  LOL  The two I have are all I need right now...but this is precious.)
I received this from my friend Jane, and wanted to share it with you!  Hope you Enjoy it!

I asked for strength that I might rear him perfectly;
I was given weakness that I might feed him more treats.
I asked for good health that I might rest easy;
I was given a "special needs" dog that I might know nurturing.
I asked for an obedient dog that I might feel proud;
I was given stubbornness that I might feel humble.
I asked for compliance that I might feel masterful;
I was given a clown that I might laugh.
I asked for a
companion that I might not feel lonely;
I was given a best friend that I would feel loved.
I got nothing I asked for,
But everything that I need.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Survey answers from Lisa's journal entry

 Try this little survey for me. Erase my answers & put in your own.

A-Available or Single? Married!

B-Best Friend: A few REALLY GOOD friends, some very old and some new that I am close to (not just one.)

C-Cake or Pie: Pie if it's a kind I like, I am not much on sweets.

D-Drink of Choice: Diet caffeine free Coke

E-Essential Item(s) My computer, my cell phone, my car, my vision & MY BODY!

)F- Favourite Colour(s): Purple, blue

G- Gummy Bears or Worms? Gummy Bears! :o)

H- Hometown: Hinckley, Minnesota  (And I am Proud as heck of it!)

 Indulgence: A bagel from the bagel shop or Target!

J- January or February: February

K- Kids: 1 kid and 1  granson SOON TO BE BORN in MAY

 L- Life is incomplete without: laughter, love, my faith, my family & my friends,  &  being able to care about other people.

M- Marriage Date: April 20, 1962

N- Number of Siblings: I grew up with one sister--I was the baby

 O- Oranges or Apples? Really neither but if I have to pick I'll say oranges

P- Phobias/Fears:Fear of life threatening disease, going blind, my husbanddying, and most of all ending up in a nursing home

Q- Favourite Quote: Too many favorite ones to pick just one!

R- Reasons to smile: My family!

S- Season: Spring or Autumn, can't decide

U- Unknown Fact about Me: I hate to cook,  & also I was a career college student.  I went to school full and part time for about 15 years straight!  Starting in my 40's.

.V – Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? No

W- Worst Habit(s): I'm too sensitive and way too anxious about things I have no control over.

X – X-rays or Ultrasounds?: x-rays  (They didn't have ultrasounds when I was pregnant--the last time I was was 39 yr. ago, (I lost that baby & then with Tim 43 yr. ago)

Y- Your Favourite Foods: Sea food, Steak (Tenderloin, Filet Mignon)

Z- Zodiac: Scorpian