This story happened years ago, but my love for my husband remains strong and true. Here it is:
I walked out the front door to take Dawn to school, and etched on the sidewalk in chalk, Jim had lovingly written, JNW loves KTW in the center of a huge heart with an arrow through it. Well it just sent me into orbit and back again. What a neat surprise!
As I looked closer, I noticed the chalk was left on the sidewalk as if waiting for some response. I picked it up and wrote DITTO, dotting the “I” with a heart, and put an exclamation point on the end.
It seems to me Jesus tells us over and over he loves us, and we’re glad, but like Jim, He’s waiting for a response. So I am saying to you Jesus….KTW loves JESUS …explanation point!
I wrote this little piece about joy over thirty years ago. This was me as a young mother trying to define the meaning of joy while living with two pre-school aged daughters in England, away from family and friends, and married to a pilot in the Air Force who seemed to be spending more time flying than at home. It was challenging for sure.
True joy for me comes when I submit to God’s will for my life. It is being faithful in the small everyday things, all the joys of being a wife and mother of two small blue eyed girls. Joy is wiping the spaghetti sauce off a battle scarred two year old’s face. (She bumped it on the tub while getting into the water for one of her tea parties!) Joy is even wiping up all the water she spilled in the process. Joy is hanging up the suit Jim plopped on the floor and remembering his strong hand in mine during prayer at church. Joy is knowing Jesus is guiding me, even when I try to set out on my own detours. He’s always there to lead me back, to refresh me in the knowledge that being a wife and mother are important to Him.
All these years later, I think the definition holds. The things that matter are the eternal things. The things done for Him with a joyful attitude. Do I always do this? Of course not, but that is still my goal and will continue to be until I see Him face to face. What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back just one day and play with my girls! I would have played a lot more! Thankfully I still get to hang up the clothes Jim plops on the floor. Somethings never change! JOY!
Thank you Jesus for making me a wife and mother. Thanks for showing me how to be content and allowing me the awareness of your precious Presence.
In the last few days several of my friends are posting on Facebook that their sons and daughters are in a Christmas pageant this year. It reminded me of a pageant that took place over 54 years ago. It was “the worst little Christmas pageant ever”! I was in the first grade at Bowie elementary school in San Marcos, Texas. My teacher, Mrs. Meyers announced that we would be having a Christmas pageant. This was a small class, but she said that each child would have a part in the play. She began assigning parts, and I volunteered to let my baby doll play the baby Jesus. She told Robert Bowden, a little boy I had a huge first grade crush on, that he would play Joseph. I took a deep breath and waited for her to say that I, Karen Adele Taylor, would play Mary. I mean why wouldn’t I? I was smitten with Joseph, and I loaned them baby Jesus. And then she said the words that shocked me to my core…..Susan Donelly would play Mary. What, no way, that was not possible? I sat in total shock. She said I would be a “stinking” angel. It was a sad bus ride home. I told my mom and grandmom the sad tale and for some reason, they weren’t upset. They were happy and in full “make an angel costume mode”. My grandmom made a white gown and my mom started wrapping cardboard wings in aluminum foil. Tinsel became my halo. For some reason, they were not disappointed even when I told the my doll was Jesus, therefore shouldn’t I be Mary? No, they thought being an angel was awesome. Ugh! Practice was torture as I watched Joseph help Mary to the stable over and over again. It should have been me….it should have been me! After the play, my mom and dad and brothers, grandmom, cousins, friends, and neighbors all said I was the cutest and best angel ever. I decided that I just had to deal with the fact that I didn’t get to be Mary, but at least my baby doll was Jesus. That doll was always extra special and sadly my mom made me sleep in my angel gown for the rest of the winter. A constant reminder of “the worst little Christmas pageant ever”!
My name is Karen Adele Taylor Worth. When I asked my parents why they named me Karen Adele, the would always joke and say they found the name in one of my dad’s dog magazines. Yesterday I was reading my grandfather’s “blog” written way before I was even born. He died when I was only 8, so my memory of him is limited. This is why I am loving his journal. The journal started at his birth and told his life map. His dear mother died when he was 3 and his father left him when he was a baby. His mother’s name was Minnie Adele. I always assumed I got my middle name from her, but I didn’t know the story of how she got her name. My great-great-grandfather who fought in the Civil War, was wounded in battle and while he recovered in a hospital in the south, a little girl named Minnie Adele, would visit the wounded soldiers and she really won my great-great grandfather’s heart. When he had a daughter, he named her after this little girl. When my grandfather had his first daughter, he gave her the middle name of Adele. When I was born, my parents also gave me that middle name. Until I heard the singer named Adele, I can’t recall knowing anyone else with the name. Now that I know the history, it makes it even more special. I’m glad my grandfather recorded this information. Who knew it would be at age 60 that I would discover this treasure.
When I was a girl I absolutely loved birthdays. My birthday is the 5th of July, so no one was in the mood for a party on the 5th. Since we didn’t really have parties, my mom would let me have my favorite food for dinner and that was so exciting to a little girl in a small town who didn’t have much excitement in her life. We had a friend who made me a doll cake for my 8th birthday. I didn’t usually have a cake and a decorated one just for me was very special. I don’t have a picture of it, but I remember the doll had dark hair and there were some pink roses on her dress. It was so beautiful, I didn’t want to cut it, but when we did, I remember it tasted delicious. It enjoyed that birthday. On my 10th birthday, my dad took me on a date. I wore a sweet little blue dress. My dad took me to dinner, a movie, and for ice cream after the movie. He opened the car door for me and pulled my chair out at dinner. He even allowed me to play a song on the jute box at the ice-cream shop. That was a special birthday for sure! For my 21st birthday I was going to Southwest Texas State University and I lived at home. I didn’t drink and actually never have, but at the time I adored Dr. Peppers. My dad bought a case of Dr. Peppers and stacked them up in my bedroom and gave me this card.
Yes I saved the card all these years. I’m surprised it wasn’t biodegraded by now! I don’t think my dad had ever given me a card and he picked this one himself to say he was proud that the strongest thing I would drink to celebrate my 21st birthday was a soda! When Jim and I married he was in the Air Force. We always seemed to be in the process of moving around my birthday. One year we were in a hotel on my birthday and he and the girls bought me a small cake with a candle and we celebrated the fact that we were all together and moving to a new home. That was a sweet birthday memory. For my 40th birthday, Jim had planned on going over the top and having a big party, but the Air Force had other ideas, and he was deployed to the Gulf on my 40th. A few sweet friends came to our house early that morning with breakfast food and put a huge sign up asking people to call and wish me a happy 40th. We lived in England, and it was hysterical to get birthday wishes from complete strangers with British accents. That was quite a celebration to remember! For my 50th birthday, our youngest daughter made my favorite cake and had a funny clip from SNL about being 50 years old. Jim had bought me several pieces of James Avery jewelry and I opened up the first box, thinking that was it and then boxes kept coming and I was overwhelmed with the thoughtful gifts he bought (and had shipped to Andi’s house so I wouldn’t know). I was in tears by the time I opened the last box. Not because of the gifts, but because of all the thoughtfulness, that was a wonderful birthday. The cake Andi made was my Grandmother’s recipe and it was awesome! But today July 5, 2011 was the best birthday ever. My granddaughter sent me a package with ziplock bags full of 60 things, sixty sea shells, to 60 Skittles. Why? Because today I turned 60. Jim brought me a dozen red roses and took me to the Tower of America for a lovely dinner. The parking guy wished me a happy birthday and the waiter brought me a menu keepsake with my name on it. I got to have a special meal with the love of my life. I am so thankful for him and the God who gave me these 60 years and all my wonderful blessings! Looking back over 60 years in birthdays made me stop and count my many blessings. This is a birthday I remember with JOY!
A friend gave me a lovely card as a thank you, but it was more of an encouragement to me than you can imagine. You see it had so many specific items on it that I love (and she had no way of knowing this) that I saved it and laminated it, and placed it by my kitchen sink, so I see it all the time. In my parent’s family, a blue bird is very special. My dad had a ceramic figure of a bluebird as a boy and he called it the “bluebird of happiness”. It hangs in their home. My mom and I always try to find cards with blue birds on it. This card has a bluebird. It even has a blue feather. I also love morning glories, but specifically the blue ones. This card has blue morning glories. I love blackberries, the color of dusty blue Juniper berries, birds nests, and pink flowers. This card has all those elements. It also has a Psalm, which is my go to book of the Bible! It just makes me happy to look at this card and think about the friend who gave it to me, and the God who knew how much it would encourage my heart. The friend who gave me this card is going through a very tough time. Her challenge is bigger than her. I hope this blog will show her how much she is appreciated and loved. The same God who gave me this specific card will carry her throughout the next few months. He loves you Uli Smith, and so do I. Thank you for being my friend!
She is four pounds of adorable Yorkie. Her name is Libby and she will be four soon. She almost missed out on that fourth birthday. She is shy of other dogs and people until she gets to know them. She won’t bite, she just likes her space. Her brother Zeke is the opposite. He loves everyone. Both raised in the same way, but very different dogs. Last Wednesday, Jim was holding both dogs on the front porch while he chatted with our neighbor. He reached out and gave Zeke a scratch and as he reached to pet Libby she literally flew out of Jim’s arms and landed on her right side on the concrete floor. She didn’t move or make a sound. I grabbed her and brought her inside. He eyes were open, but she didn’t respond on any level and we couldn’t find a pulse. Her tongue was hanging out of the side of her mouth and it was white. I told Jim, “She’s gone baby.” He wouldn’t listen and kept telling her to stay with us and rubbing her little lifeless body and begging her to wake up. I gave her some breaths and she began to respond but only slightly. We grabbed a towel, wrapped her up and flew to the vet. They met us at the door and took her back. I told God I was sorry if I had somehow allowed myself to love my dogs too much. I told Him I loved Him more, but would he please give us back our sweet Libby. We have never had dogs before and we have poured so much love into our dogs. Retired people have a lot of love to give and dogs give back so much that it’s easy to love them. Our wonderful vet took x-rays and started her on meds to stop the brain from swelling. The vet told us there was no sign of skull fracture and Libby was awake, but in kind of a stupor. After they stabilized her we transported her to the ER overnight hospital on Sonterra. They didn’t give us much hope of a recovery and weren’t sure how long she would need care. Jim left his shirt with her so she would smell his scent and be more calm. We came home, fed poor Zeke and went to bed. Neither one of us could eat or sleep. I kept trying to give her to Jesus, but I was so worried. Of course our pastor had just preached on “Do Not Worry” the Sunday before. I did not apply that sermon on any level. I called the ER twice through that night and she was getting better each time I called. We had to transport her back to our vet the next morning. The dog we saw barely seemed like our girl, but we thought she recognized us a little, although we weren’t sure if that was wishful thinking. She still wasn’t walking but she could sort of stand a little with help. When we took her to the ER we asked if they thought we would be able to take her home on Thursday. That vet had said there was about a 10% chance of that happening. Well, our God is bigger than 10% chances and our vet let us take her home with the promise that we would monitor her closely. When we got home, we took her out to potty in the grass. She fell to the right, but managed to pee which was a huge exciting happy moment for us. As the day went on she got stronger and more alert. She was able to walk a little on level ground and seemed more aware of her surroundings. The funny thing is she was always a barker, and it seemed her bark was damaged in the fall along with her motor skills. On Friday morning, Jim set her in the woods outside our gate where she loves to explore with him many times a day. They have chased countless squirrels and rabbits. She started walking on the little trail and managed although shaky, to walk the loop and find her way home. We followed her with tears streaming down our face and praise to God pouring from our lips and hearts. Each day she has made more and more progress. She can now go up and down the stairs and she remembers all the tricks and phrases we taught her. Her little bark is still missing although Jim heard a few woofs this morning on their walk. We have a little dog who almost died, but we have a Big God who loved us enough to save her and restore her to a good quality of life. I can’t wait for her bark to return but if it doesn’t the neighbors might not be too sad! Thanks to all who prayed. Thanks to our awesome God!
Many of you grew up in a home where Christ was the center and it wasn’t unusual to see your father pray and read the Word. Christ wasn’t the center in the home I grew up in and the only time I ever saw my dad in church was at my grandmother’s funeral. My dad was and is a very special man. We weren’t always hugging and kissing, but when I hurt, I could see that hurt mirrored in Daddy’s eyes. Dad taught me how to jump rope and play jacks. He tried to teach me how to throw a rock like a boy instead of a girl, you noticed I said tried! Daddy trusted me, and because of his trust, I tried never to violate his faith in me. His opinion of my actions was always vital to me, and still is. You see for many years I have tried to tell him about a relationship with Jesus and he doesn’t want that. He will be eighty three soon and his healthy is very precarious. I have tried every way I know to share the Gospel with him. As I said, l know my dad loves me, and now it’s my turn to love my father in a different way. I must love him enough to let go, to place him into my heavenly father’s hands which are stronger than mine. To let go is the hardest thing I have ever done. I found this poem author unknown that really expresses my heart.
To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another, I can only change myself.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is to fear less and to love more.
My addition is I have let go, but I still love, pray for, and listen to my dad.