Birthdays, memories and things that make me smile

August 7, 2010

I have a friend who remembers my birthday because it is on the same day as the day her cats: Fred, Monkey and Funny Face, were born.  She celebrates their birthday and remembers me – sometimes even gives me a call and makes a joke out of remembering my birthday because it is the same as Fred, Monkey and Funny Face.

My Dad could never remember birthdays.  He remembered seasons.  He remembered his oldest daughter born in cold weather just before spring; youngest daughter (that would be yours truly) was born in very hot, dog days of summer;  the next offspring – the first son – born at potato planting time; and the last son – must have been born in hot weather because when they brought him home from the hospital the ambulance personnel had wrapped him in a blanket and they shouldn’t have. There was no air conditioning in the ambulance.  Dad’s sister, My Aunt Amie, unwrapped the hot little baby and said he looked like a boiled lobster – very red.  She became rather red herself as her anger simmered over the ignorance of the male ambulance attendants.  She was ready to give them a few choice words that would have seared their ears with some heat.  My baby brother recovered from almost being cooked like a pig in a blanket.  (He turned out to be one handsome dude, nevertheless.)

My mother remembered my birthday by remembering the ordeal of my birth on that day and also that she had waited many years to hold an infant in her arms again. She would recall the joy and never mention the pain.  For maybe twenty or thirty years she called me on my birthday and sang happy birthday to me.  It always sounded like music to my ears!  Then in 2005 she forgot my birthday.  It hurt. It hurt because my mother was losing her memory.  It hurt because I could no longer hear her sweet singing.  It hurt when I visited her a few days later to take care of her for two weeks during eye surgery and she did not know that her caretaker was her second born,  her Geneva Jean.  I had been there a week when I found out that she didn’t know who I was and that she had asked my sister who that nice girl was that had been taking care of her.

That night I cried myself to sleep.

My mother went to heaven in December where she is now forever young and has a clear mind. She probably remembers birthdays again and smiles at the thought of each of her children coming into the world.  But, I miss her happy birthday songs.

Yesterday was my birthday.  Just writing that sentence caused me to smile.  It was a happy day.  I had received a free meal from Furr’s restaurant via email for my birthday.  Friends joined me there to celebrate.  We talked and laughed, and I was showered with love and gifts.  I gave and received hugs.  What a blast!

Last night I thought about when I was a child.  Mother used to tell how every birthday after I blew out the candles on the cake and my family sang “happy birthday”, that I would sing the loudest.  With a huge smile on my face, I would sing, “Happy Birthday to Me!  Happy Birthday to Me!”  I’m just a party animal, what can I say?

Yesterday my oldest son sent me a funny video and posted a funny greeting on my facebook.  “Hippy boidie two ewes and many moles!”   I wrote back that I didn’t need any more moles, thank you very much.  We like to tease each other, son #1 and I.

I arrived home last night to messages on my phone.  Son #2 had called and wished me a happy birthday and hoped that I was out enjoying myself.  I definitely was and it made me happy to hear from him.   My sister had called.  The recorder had captured her mellow alto voice singing “Happy Birthday.”  She left a jolly message as well, and I smiled some more.  More than a smile . . . there is just something that creeps over me that fills me with happiness when someone sings to me.

The last voice I heard was a live call from someone special, The Dragon Slayer, who sang “Happy Birthday” to me and spoke a blessing for me.  It made me want to join Snoopy in the happy dance.

And last but not least, I thought about how God had given me so many birthdays when according to doctors I was not supposed to live past the age of ten.  I had severe heart damage and was an invalid.  My parents had been told to save their money for my funeral.  My expiration date was less than three months.   But God . . . BUT GOD . . . healed me within that next week.

Every birthday is a gift – another year given to me by my wonderful Heavenly Father.   When I reached the milestone birthdays –  you know which ones they are – the ones that make us wince and wonder how we could possibly be getting old so fast; I have not gone into depression at being “so old.”  Instead I’ve been thankful for all the years that I have been given beyond what I was supposed to have lived. That’s quite a gift, wouldn’t you say?

So, yeah, “Happy Birthday to me.  Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to me-e-e-eeeeee.  Happy Birthday to me!”

Do you want to join me in the Snoopy happy dance?  Be careful now.  Don’t fall off the dog house roof.

Not just a hug, but so much more . . .

August 2, 2010

When is a hug more than just a hug?   Last month I had some encounters that were amazing and I learned more about a simple hug. It was my monthly speaking engagement at Restore Hope.  I love that name, “Restore Hope”.  People come to Restore Hope who are having a hard time making ends meet. They need food or clothing or help with their rent. They may be out of work, the working poor with not enough money to cover basic essentials, overwhelmed with medical bills or on the verge of being homeless. Whatever their situation, there is a sense of desperation, they need some hope.

No one is required to attend chapel. They are invited to attend.

During my talk I shared that I’m known for my hugs. People at my church sometimes line up for a hug. I shared that a few weeks before I had given a lady a hug at church.  She said, “I just love your hugs!  And that smile!  Those eyes sparkle with joy!”
“You’re looking at someone who has spent a great portion of her life in depression,” I replied.  “I was diagnosed with four different kinds of depression and the joy you now see is because the Lord had healed my heart.”

This lady has known me for about six years, yet, she laughed and said, “I would have never known that you ever suffered from depression!”   We both agreed that our God is amazing.

As I shared with the audience at Restore Hope how Jesus came to heal the broken hearted, to comfort those who grieve, to provide for those who mourn, to take the ashes of our broken, messed up lives and turn them into a thing of beauty, to give us a garment of praise in exchange for depression and despair, [Isaiah 62:1-3] every eye was upon me as they listened intently.

It is the custom at Restore Hope that after the message has been given anyone who wants prayer may come and receive prayer or they may wait until they fill out their paperwork, then fill out a request to see the chaplain and receive prayer later.

“I don’t want prayer, I want one of your hugs,” a tall lady announced.  I gave her a warm hug.  “Oh, that felt so good.  Just what I needed. Thank you!”

To my surprise, no one wanted prayer. They wanted hugs! And so the hugging began.

As each person was hugged, they smiled and thanked me.  I was smiling too. It does a body good to be hugged.  It nourishes the soul. So many of us do not have human touch for days or weeks at a time.  Touch is healing.  I was being blessed as well.

Thinking that I was not needed further I stayed in the chapel and visited with the chaplain assistant.

About ten or fifteen minutes later an elegantly groomed woman came in the chapel doors.  About half way across the room she extended her arms towards me, smiling, and walked briskly towards me.  I instinctively extended my arms towards her and we ended up in a wonderful hug.  Hugging her was like hugging my long lost sister.  (She wasn’t in the audience when I spoke, so this was a mystery.)

This lady (who I will call Linda)  was there with her sister who was going through treatment for cancer.   Linda had lost her high paying job in another state.  Unemployed, she was available to help her sister who was in the last stages of cancer.  Linda’s sister was not able to work and was needing help with her rent.  While we talked, the sister was being seen by the social workers and counselors at Restore Hope.

Linda shared with me the things she had learned through her unemployment about the true value of material things. For too long she had focused on acquiring and spending money.  Now she was on a spiritual journey to get back in a walk with Jesus. She was spending time meditating and praying. She was learning to forgive those who had hurt her.

As she shared, I was able to encourage her and pray with her.  Then the sister came in and Linda said, “This lady will pray for you!”

Sister was very open to prayer.  Sister was very ill and was wearing a mask to protect herself from being infected by others. I asked what she desired me to pray for and as she shared I felt such love and compassion towards her.  After I prayed, each lady reached up and was given a hug.  Not just a shrug of a hug –  we swapped a warm, “holding you like my sister, I want all the best in the world for you,” hug. They had tears in their eyes and thanked me. They were smiling through their tears.

Again, I thought I was through for the day, but as I walked through the lobby where people sat at tables, I was asked for prayer. I gave prayer and hugs.

I left there with my love tank full.  I had received as well as given. Thank you, Lord, for simple hugs.

Sometimes, we need a hug more than we need a prayer.   A hug can be a healing balm to the soul.  Sometimes . . .  a hug restores our hope.

Don’t Go Shopping In Your Sleep

March 11, 2010

I know about talking in your sleep. One of my brothers was a source of entertainment because he talked in his sleep.  The first time we heard him, we (my mother, sister and I)  rushed into his room to hear him mumbling about something. We asked him what he was doing. “I’m sittin’ on the curb with a man and we’re smokin’ cigarettes and waiting for Daddy to come home.”    No one in our family smoked.  My brother was only five.

Whenever brother was sleep talking we could ask him anything and obtain all sorts of juicy information such as who he liked, had he kissed her, where he really went after school?

Then I had a son who walked in his sleep.  When he was seven my family and my sister’s family were on my parents house boat.  The cousins – all boys – were going to spend the night on the deck. I wouldn’t let my little fellow sleep on the deck for fear he would sleep walk and fall in the 30 feet of water and drown.  Gramps knew that all little boys needed to feel like one of the guys, so he tied a rope around my little one’s waist and then tied the rope to his own leg so if the boy walked in his sleep it would wake Gramps and he could stop him before he went overboard.  And if the kid fell in the water, Gramps could pull him out with the rope.  Problem solved.  Ahh, how do we mothers survive?

I never knew there was such a thing as shopping in your sleep until I did just that last week!

A young man in my church had assisted me with adding air to my tires.  He noticed that I had a cut or crack about one-and-a-half inches long on the side of a front tire.  He also noticed that on the back tire of that same side there was some cracking.  He suggested that I start replacing my tires which were obviously very old, but I have no idea how old, since I just acquired the car in August last year.  He suggested going to Walmart (since I’m on a tight budget) and getting one tire replaced at a time.  So, there would be no big expenditures.  This plan also sounded good to Dragon Slayer, who suggested that I buy a tire every three months. In a year I would have a whole set of new tires.  DS also suggested I look for sales on tires.

I’m not a morning person.  I had had less than the needed 8 hours sleep for several nights.  Last Wednesday I planned to meet with some friends for breakfast about 15 miles from my house at 6 AM.  Ack!  Not used to going to bed early, I fell asleep sometime around midnight and got up at five.  Showered. Fixed my hair. Oh, and yes, I dressed.  Tried to look like I was vibrantly awake.  After scraping hard frost off my car windows in the cold air, I was still groggy.

I remember praying that I would be safe driving  and that I would stay awake behind the wheel.  The accumulated sleep loss over several nights was taking it’s toll.  I was 30 minutes late, but who was keeping count?

The breakfast was a fabulous time with women who loved the Lord.

I left there feeling rejuvenated! I wanted to go shopping for art supplies but the shops weren’t open.  I saw Sam’s and felt drawn to go there.  I was asking myself what would I need there, when I remembered the tire!  Yes, they sell tires at Sam’s club. And Sam’s would be less expensive than even Walmart.

The salesman was so nice. Looked at my tires, and said they were very old.  He suggested I buy not one tire, but at least two so the tires would be equal on the same axle.  I asked if he had a sale. He did. If I bought three tires, I got the fourth one free.  But, I went in there to buy one tire, not three.  I’m thinking I don’t want to go in debt for so many tires.  Charge one tire, then pay it off, then another, so on, was my plan.

I asked for a quote which he printed out for two tires, and then offered to do one for four.  I said that wouldn’t be necessary because I was thinking four would just be twice the price of two. Right?  Oh my.  Not thinking straight.

I then took his quote to where I have bought tires for the last 10 or 12 years.  The man there showed me where the tred was separating from a tire on the rear.  Scary.  However, they didn’t have the exact same size tire.  He said it was the same in height, but just a fraction of an inch narrower. He insisted I needed to buy four tires, not two.  His quote was just a little bit less than twice Sam’s quote for two tires.  His tires were not the quality as Sam’s tires – 60,000 to Sam’s 70,000 miles.  He did say his tires would be whitewalls.

By now my brain had completely turned to mush.  I forgot that at Sam’s if I bought three tires I would get one free.  I forgot everything.  I said, “Okay, put on the tires.”

The tires look funny – not funny ha ha, but funny peculiar.  My car looks like it sits higher above the tires. Neither the height nor the width is the same. It feels like I’m going to lose control if I am at the speed limit when going around curves.

It was Saturday when it hit me that I had paid for four tires that were the wrong size when I could have paid for three and got the fourth one free!  I wasted 60 dollars!  And more, I got less quality for my money.  I have been so upset and angry.  Not angry at the salesman who sold me the tires. He did not twist my arm.  I have been angry and upset with ME!  Why wasn’t I listening to the Holy Spirit? Why wasn’t I paying attention? Why? Why? Why?

I’ve prayed many times and asked forgiveness. I know the Lord has forgiven me, but I have had a very hard time forgiving myself.  I try to be a good steward of my money. I can’t believe that I threw sixty dollars down a rat hole.

I’ve stewed enough over this mistake. I have to except it for what it is – shopping in my sleep.  Did I punish my little one for going down a flight of stairs and out the door into the night?  When the screen door closed, waking me, and I ran down the stairs and outside to find my son heading for the dumpsters in his little bare feet and sweet pea nightgown, did I punish him? No, I scooped him up and kissed him. I brought him safely inside and put him in the bed with me so he would be safe and I would know if he got out of the bed again. But then, he was only 20 months old.

Why can’t I be kind to myself when I make a mistake?  Why must I demand perfection of myself?  Why can’t I just say, “Bless your heart, honey,  you were shopping in your sleep.”

Extra, extra . . . extraordinary

January 23, 2010

Remember in the old movies there would sometimes be a newspaper boy standing on a street corner hawking the newspaper, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”  This meant something special had happened – something out of the ordinary. This was special news!  It was extraordinary news.

Well, just like the little newsboy, I want to tell everybody about my day!

I never know when an ordinary day will become extraordinary. Today was one of those days; just a routine day, going to the nursing home to visit hospice patients. I wasn’t expecting it to be anything special.  It turned out to be a day I don’t want to forget!

I have a new client who loves for me to play the piano. For her privacy, I’ll call her Fran. Fran was in the dining room; had refused her meal except for desert and she wanted me to play the piano. So, I did. I played hymns. Several other people in the dining room responded to the music with clapping and thanking me. There was a man sitting behind me in his geri-chair (sort of a special recliner on wheels) and he kept saying, “That is beautiful!” I turned to see who the man was, and it was a fellow who is usually yelling “I want another ice cream bar,” while pounding his spoon or his fist on the table. Well, let me tell you, that is the nicest thing to come out of his mouth. It’s usually cursing. But not one curse word came out of his mouth while I played the piano. No yelling. No pounding the table with utensils or his fist. I played about 20 minutes. He thanked me so graciously and told me how much he enjoyed it. I was amazed at the change in him.

Back to my new client. Fran was tired and needed to go to her room. I waited until she had been put in her bed, then went in and asked if she felt like visiting.  She did.  Fran is on oxygen, so after a little small talk and some life review (talking about her life or family) she said I needed to do the talking, as it was too hard for her to talk and breathe. I talked a little bit, then decided to sing.

Oh, how I love Jesus. Oh, how I love Je-sus. Oh, how I love Jesus, because he first loved me.

There is a name I love to hear

I love to sing its worth

It sounds like music in mine ear

The sweetest name on earth.

She said it was beautiful, so I continued to sing the verses I knew. I had a great audience. She wanted me to sing! And so the songs came. If I could not remember a word or phrase, she would help me with the words.  Songs came to mind:

If the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you

Face to Face with Christ my Savior

Amazing Grace

Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I adore you.

And, then Fran requested:

Tell me the story of Jesus

I wasn’t singing for her entertainment. I was singing as worship to the Lord and to bless and comfort her as well. She could not sing, though she did try to sing a few words to “Oh, How I Love Jesus.” But worship was happening in that small room. After a song we would be praising God and thanking him for his love.

Fran asked me to sing songs made famous by George Beverly Shea that he had sung for Billy Graham Crusades…

How Great Thou Art

Oh Lord my God

When I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds your hands have made

I see the stars; I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout

the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee;

How great thou art;

How great thou art.

Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee;

How great thou art,

How great thou art.

* *

The Love of God

Oh Love of God

How rich and pure

How measureless and strong

It shall forevermore endure

The saints and angels song.”

There were more songs. I can’t recall them all right now. But each word came from deep in my heart and I could feel the spirit of the Lord as I sang.

Fran kept saying, that is so beautiful. And between songs, we worshiped the Lord. It was one of the most wonderful worship events I have ever experienced. I would not have been surprised if the Lord had come to get her during that time of praise and adoration.

Suddenly, Fran raised up and asked, “Where are we?”

Without thinking, I said, “In the nursing home.”

“It is so beautiful here! Everything is so beautiful!”

Then I began to realize that she might have been seeing beyond the veil. I asked, “What do you see?”

“I can’t describe it. It is so beautiful. This is so lovely.” She was radiantly smiling, as she looked around the room, seeing things I could not see. Oh, how I wished I could see what she was seeing!

She leaned back into her pillow. Then just as suddenly she turned to me and asked, “What are you doing here?”

“I’m visiting you,” I responded.

“Why?” she asked.

“Because I am your friend.”

“When did I know you? Where did we meet?”

“I met you here.”

Then as if something switched inside her mind, she seemed to recognize me and started talking about how much she enjoyed my visit and my singing. I said, I enjoyed it too.

“The three of us had a very good time,” she said. Then Fran quoted, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Jesus said that in Matthew 18:20.

Yes, indeed, the three of us. Jesus promised. He was there. I was and am so greatly blessed! Fran was greatly blessed and I believe she saw visions of heaven.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for turning an ordinary day into a day when my heart was full and I felt your presence – a very extra-ordinary day!

© Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I Wonder What Happened When Momma Went To Heaven?

December 31, 2009

I wonder what happened when Momma went to heaven?  As the song writer wrote, “I Can Only Imagine,” I can truly only imagine.  What was it like when she saw Jesus face to face?  As the beautiful and mellow, alto voice of Susan Russell sang Momma’s favorite song at her funeral, my mind did some imagining.

“Face to face with Christ my Savior,

Face to face – what will it be -

When with rapture I behold Him,

Jesus Christ who died for me?

What rejoicing in His presence,

When are banished grief and pain;

When the crooked ways are straightened,

And the dark things shall be plain.

Face to face! O blissful moment!

Face to face – to see and know;

Face to face with my Redeemer,

Jesus Christ who loves me so.

(Refrain)

Face to face I shall behold Him,

Far beyond the starry sky;

Face to face in all His glory,

I shall see Him by and by.

by Mrs. Frank A. Breck

To come face to face with her Redeemer, Jesus Christ who loves her so!  To know the fulness of His love. To be in that loving Presence forever.  How awesome that would be!  I can only imagine.

I can imagine Momma (I’m the only one that sometimes called her Momma) arriving in heaven seeing flowers and beauty that cannot be described in human terms. Perhaps she felt a little fear at meeting her LORD and Savior for the first time face to face, but I can imagine open arms enveloping her with love, saying, “Welcome home, my daughter, my faithful servant. You have done well.”

I can see in my mind’s eye, my mother experiencing love greater than she has ever known before.  Total acceptance. All fear washed away. All concern about her appearance vanished in the overwhelming love of Jesus.

I can imagine Momma looking down and seeing her beautiful white robe.  Did Momma reach up and feel thick hair? What color was it? What was the length?  No more wigs for Momma!  I can see those legs that have not carried her weight in many years dancing with joy; arms raised in praise to her God.  Oh, what a day I can imagine!

During my mother’s last years her mind slowly was taken away by dementia.  One of her friends, a minister, Rev. Jack Corry, a widower himself and a friend of the family would call her and say, “Daisy, I’m going to be preaching next week. I need your prayers.”  And Momma would pray!  Then after the meeting was over,  Jack would call Momma and tell her just how her prayers were answered.

One day Jack had called Momma after her conversations had become somewhat muddled and confused.  “Daisy, I need you to pray.”  Momma promised to pray.  And then Momma told me what happened next. She lay in her bed at the facility where she resided and asked Jesus to show her how to pray for her friend, Brother Jack. Momma was lying on her side and she said she felt Jesus’ arms go around her and she felt Him holding her close in His loving presence. She said that Jesus made her mind clear, and He gave her the words to say, so she could pray for Jack.  She told me that Mr. Corry called later and said there had been a mighty answer to prayer.

The last words any family member heard her say, My sister had stopped by mother’s room in the nursing home, explaining to Momma that my sister’s husband, Binion, was not well and had been placed in the same nursing home as our momma.  Now, Momma usually did not recognize her own children when they visited. But that day there was a window of clarity.  Momma said, “Well, we need to pray for him, don’t we?”  And then Momma prayed . . . for Binion . . .  by name.  My sister, Gwen, was so touched by Mother’s sweet and precious prayer.  Somehow, when my Mother communicated with the Lord, He would give her clarity of mind so that she could pray. Of course, the Lord always understood her thoughts however muddled they may be, but He would cause her to pray so that we could understand her too.  The results were always amazing.

I’m seeing Momma with that joyous smile, those twinkling eyes, and a clear mind looking at Jesus!

In loving memory of Daisy Moon 1917-2009

Remember to keep the porch light on in heaven, Momma, for your children will be coming home some day.

© Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Trying to stay in a mindset of thankfulness, but . . . dryer lint?

November 28, 2009

This morning I was thankful for dryer lint.  I try to stay in a mindset of thankfulness, but . . . dryer lint?

DRYER LINT: fuzzy, useless stuff that collects in the dryer screen; an annoyance that must be cleaned out and thrown away.  (from Jean’s book of definitions found only in her mind)

You see, I remember before dryer lint.  I can remember baby blankets being hung on clothes lines with red, chapped, freezing hands. The baby blankets froze into pastel colored boards – hard as Formica on a cabinet top.  I remember the winter wind jerking my hair and making my ears smart in the cold.  It felt as though the wind was driving the cold right through my coat.

Later, I looked out the window to see that the wind had snapped the baby blankets in two – just like snapping a graham cracker – with the frozen halves tossing about the yard like tumble weeds in a desert ghost town.  I had to run around the yard chasing after the pieces of blankets as the wind played “keep way” blowing them this way and that.  Somehow I managed to get the broken blanket halves and bring them inside before they were blown clean out of sight.

Lest you think I am 839 years old, lots of people had automatic washing machines when I was growing up, but my mother was a Thoroughly Modern Millie.  When I was a teenager  we had the only washer/dryer combo machine I have ever seen.  Daddy loved gadgets and inventions that saved time. He bought Mother a front loading machine that both washed and dried the clothes. I believe it was a Bendix, but it could have been a Maytag.  We put in dry, dirty clothes and took out dry, clean clothes.   And we had dryer lint.   We were affluent and didn’t know it.  See?  I’m not that old.

Back to dryer lint. Dryer lint in the screen means I don’t have to go outside in the searing summer heat and hang clothes while fighting off mosquitoes or yellow jackets and I don’t have to worry about bird poo on my favorite blouse.  The neighbor’s dog is not going to see my clothes dancing in the wind and think they are scary monsters he needs to attack, shredding my favorite quilt, and dragging my sheets through the mud.

Dryer lint  means getting to stay inside in the freezing cold. I can wash on a rainy day if I want and get my clothes dry.  It means I don’t have to starch and iron everything except my undies. Well, I guess that was a little TMI [too much information]. (blush)  Forgive me.

Since I left home to marry at age 17, I’ve washed clothes in a wringer washer with two rinse tubs. It took all morning to do the wash and hang it on the line.  Not to mention having to starch the outer clothes. Then taking them off the line, sprinkling them with water, rolling them up so they would mellow into the same dampness throughout  . . . eating lunch . . . and then ironing all afternoon.  There was lint, but it wasn’t in the dryer screen, it was on the clothes!

I’ve washed little boys jeans and dirty diapers in the bathtub when I had no washer at all, using my knuckles to scrub  out the dirt, wringing them out by hand . . . my knuckles bleeding . . . and then hanging them on the line to dry.  There was no dryer lint.

Dryer lint is not an annoyance. Dryer lint is a blessing.  We take so much for granted. Probably more than half of the women in the world have never seen dryer lint. And to those women who still have to hang their clothes on a line; for those who have to wash their clothes in the creek or the river and hang them on bushes to dry, my heart goes out to you.  May God bless you.

I have many, many blessings; and many, many things for which I am thankful.  Thank you, Lord, for dryer lint and all it represents.

“to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at evening;”   I Chronicles 23:30

© Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Does Jesus like Brownies?

November 22, 2009

Among the churchy crowd, I’m known as the brownie lady.  Folks really dig my brownies as the most delicious, scrumptious, chocolaty and yummy concoctions they have every put in their mouths (well, maybe not that good, but good). They long for my secret recipe.  Well, the truth is . . . the secret recipe is a box of restaurant style brownie mix.    Now, I will no longer be held in high esteem – as the truth about my baking skills has been exposed.

Today my goal was to help serve Thanksgiving Dinner to the homeless downtown.  I was going to contribute my killer-delicious brownies.  But I hadn’t had a chance to get the secret mix.  So Thursday night, I’m at walmart looking for brownie mix that might somehow resemble my honorable brownies.   Nope.  Not a chance.  But *name brand* had family size brownie mix on sale.  I bought five boxes.

Last night I discover I’m out of eggs. When I start to the store for eggs, I discover something under my windshield wiper.  A parking ticket  – a $150 fine!  Oh, NO!  I had parked in a handicap zone and did not have my plaque displayed.

Back home. With my mind on the $150 fine, I forgot to oil the bottom of the cake pans.  I set the timer, then forgot to turn the timer on.

Sometime later – I check the timer – it is not on.  I estimate it has been five minutes.  Obviously I’m not a good estimater.   Is there such a word as estimater?   I don’t know.  What I do know is that the brownies were cemented to the pans and I broke a plastic knife trying to loosen the edges.  I scratched the non-stick coating trying to dig out those brownie tiles.  I am wondering what a brown tile border would look like in the bathroom. Could you knock off a stray dog with one of these things?

I am praying that no one breaks a tooth on Saturday trying to eat one of these brownie tiles.

I tasted one of the brownies.  It had a slight fishy taste to it.  Oh my!  This is just awful!

Delicious, scrumptious, moist and heavenly these brownies were NOT!

The old me, the perfectionist, would  have thrown out the brownies, had a good cry, and probably would have been up all night cooking brownies from scratch from a recipe from a 1955 cookbook.  Did they have brownies back in 1955?  I dont’ know. But most folks didn’t use cake mixes.

Okay, closer to the truth would be that the old me would have thrown out the brownies, had a good cry, and given up.  Just decide that I could not go help the homeless because I was not perfect enough.

But, the new me, the free me, washed up the pans and the bowl and made some more brownies with the mixes I had bought – paying special attention to greasing the pans and making sure I turned on the timer.  And tried not to think about the$150 fine.

While they were cooking I was chating online with Skateboard Man (one of my favorite people) and suddenly the phone I had on top of the books on the top shelf of my desk fell.  The handset hit me in the head. The base knocked over a bowl of peanut hulls where I was happily depositing hulls as I noshed on roasted peanuts.  The phone base, the handset, and the bowl and all those hulls were all on the floor, littering my carpet!  And then the phone rang!

Dragon Slayer called to see how I was doing.  I said I was aggravated with myself, and told him about my brownies, the crash in the office with the phone and the peanuts, and the mess on the carpet, and the $150 fine!  And then . . . and then I started laughing.

As always, Dragon Slayer soothes the soul by saying I could talk to city hall and explain that I was qualified to park in the handicap, I just forgot to put my handicap plaque on my mirror.  And he thought my brownies were going to be just fine!  Because they were made with love!

After the call I thought about why I was making those brownies. And who those brownies were for – the homeless.  Jesus had said that when we give water to the thirsty, or feed the homeless, or clothe the naked, we are doing those things to Him.  I was making those brownies for HIM!  For Jesus!

So, would Jesus like my brownies? I decided to ask him about the brownies.  And you know what?  The quality of my brownies were not near as important to him as my desire to bless others, and the love and smiles I would take to those looking for something to eat.

I truly had a wonderful time downtown. I gave out the water bottles  and smiles at the end of the food line.  I only made 80 large brownies (120 had been my goal).    I think a miracle must have happened over night to those poor brown tiles.  People were going back for seconds!  I was told the brownies were delicious!

Later I helped hand out gloves and toiletries.  The folks were so grateful and gracious. And even more special, folks asked me to pray for them. I was able to encourage and pray for folks. I loved it!

I think Jesus does indeed like brownies that are make with love.

© Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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