Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Beautiful Nina

In honor of my beloved mom-in-law who passed away last week, I thought I’d run some of the stories I wrote about her a few years back. Hope you enjoy!

Lynna's Wonderful Life

As we sat waiting for her name to be called for yet another medical test, my sweet mom-in-law explained why she could no longer pull heavy bales of hay or large flower pots with her left arm. Not because she’s dragging a line hooked to her oxygen tank; nor because she has a replacement knee which has come apart within her leg; and certainly not because she is eighty nine.

But get this. It’s because she’s afraid her pacemaker will pop out. I asked if that would be similar to the Butterball thermometer which pops out when the turkey is done. Thankfully her hearing is not what it used to be either. I’m pretty sure she can still whip me.

This woman has always been able to work circles around anyone and everyone. When one of her knee replacements went bad she refused to quit. Afraid of being put to…

View original post 347 more words

Beneath the Load

David’s beloved mother Nina passed away this week after a two year battle with breast cancer. I had written this story last week but it sure feels appropriate today. Next week I’ll run a series of stories about Nina that I hope will honor her. Oh what a beautiful soul!

Beneath the Load

The cutest little bluebird couple has made a home in the box outside my window. While I’m writing I’m able to observe them and keep up with the progress of their babies. I feel like Gladys Kravitz from the sitcom of yesteryear; always poking my nose into the neighbor’s business. But I’m sure not convicted enough to stop. Pretty soon those little fledglings will be ready to fly and I want to see it. Their house is on a pole with a snake guard around it thanks to my friend Randy. A few years back we made the mistake of attaching the birdhouse on the side of the shed. I looked out one day just in time to see a big ol’ black snake slithering out of the house with sizable lumps in his belly. Oh my poor soul! But not this year!  I could tell the babies had hatched as both mama and daddy brought food. Then suddenly it rained for days; cold drenching downpours lasted hours at a time. One morning David happened to look out the window before heading to work.

The birdhouse had fallen over, pole and all. With helpless baby birds inside, it lay on the ground just waiting on the neighbor’s cat or a nasty snake to notice. My hero went out in the pouring rain and stood the pole upright again, pushing it as far into the soggy soil as he could. We hoped it would hold and that the birds inside would somehow be alright.

I try not to spiritualize everything that happens in my life. Sometimes crap just happens. We hurt and move on like the year the black snake got my bluebirds. But I couldn’t help but compare God’s care for me to David’s care for the birds when I read this passage.

“The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.” –Psalm 145:14

In fact all of Psalm 145 is a great encouragement for anyone bent beneath their load. Our gentle Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He showers compassion on all His creation.  He hears our cries for help and rescues us.

Before David left for work we checked on the house again. Mama and daddy birds had returned. In and out they went, feeding their little ones. A few days later I could see tiny bird heads peeking out of the hole looking for a parent to return with a tasty treat. Slowly they explored and stretched looking out their one window to the world, probably wondering what it would be like to fly. Soon they will know. They don’t however know enough to thank the one who lifted them when they had fallen.

But I do.

Thank you Lord for caring for the least of Your wonderful creation. You’ve said that not even a sparrow falls without You. By revealing that, I know that You surely care for me. When my soul longs for health and my spirit grows weak, You lift my load. You are the strength of my heart. You are mine forever! May everyone share the story of Your wonderful goodness and bless Your holy Name!

Well Enough

I have an artsy side.  I’m just not sure what to do with it. Our pastor’s wife can start with a blank canvas at the beginning of her husband’s message and by the time he’s finished a lovely painting will emerge. I’d be so distracted with crying babies and such that I’d probably have a meltdown and tell everybody off for not paying attention to the words coming out of my spouse’s mouth. Yep. I’d be a fine example of the love of Jesus. Annyyywayyy…

I really had a hankering to do something creative and beautiful. I remembered seeing barn quilts a few years ago while we were traveling. Beautiful geometric shapes painted on huge backdrops formed lovely pictures on the sides of barns. In my brain I knew that I could totally do that; except I have no barn, no scaffold, no pattern and geometry was completely foreign to me in high school forty some years ago. [The only subject harder was chemistry. That was the class where I met my future husband. There was definitely chemistry but it didn’t translate well in the grade book.]

I decided to get a smaller board which would look nice on a shed or a small building. My sweetheart suggested using a black background so the colors would, as they say on HGTV, “pop.” After that, I taped off a pattern which I hoped would resemble a black-eyed Susan, my sister’s favorite flower. Bright yellow petals with touches of orange against a black background looked at me as if to say something was amiss. I sighed, painted black over the whole mess and tossed it in the nether regions of the mud room.

Mud room sounds a little highfalutin. It’s not really a room, but a space by the backdoor that catches all the stuff we have no idea what to do with; but there is actually mud. Annyyywayyy…

A few months later everything started to bloom with the beauty of spring. It seemed that all creation shouted in unison “Glory to God, Maker of heaven and earth!” With new determination I drug out my former project. Once again I taped off the pattern and went to work. Again I was disappointed. But before I could paint over it, David took the shed quilt outside and asked me to look out the window. To my surprise it was fine. In fact it was kind of nice. I had a feeling my sister would love it. So I started my other sister’s shed quilt. Hers would be a zinnia. Since I couldn’t make the geometry work, I skipped the painter’s tape and flew into painting all willy-nilly. I stood back to inspect my work and decided to add more color. I did that so many times it was nearly three dimensional. I was just about to start all over when I remembered my mother’s words. Usually she said them when I was trying to fix my crazy hair.

“You need to learn to leave well enough alone.”

So I stepped away, and decided it was just fine. Plus it could double as a bomb bursting in air on the fourth of July. [The zinnia… not my hair.]  And the black-eyed Susan could double as the cross section of a sliced orange. How many artists can claim dual meaning in their work?

Perhaps I am finally learning to leave well enough alone. In fact, I’m almost ready to go out in public without a hat.

I think Mama would be proud.

WOOHOO PART TWO!

Stop the presses! I did it! NO WAIT! Don’t stop the presses. Keep rolling because ALL my books are now in print! Check them out on Amazon. Search books by Lynna Clark. I am NOT that other Lynna with the big bosomed women on the covers… obviously. So be sure to look for the Blue Meadow Farm series of five. And if you like them, please spread the word for me. I do not have a marketing guru so I’m counting on you. Thank you my friends!

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

To view the series click here. Blue Meadow Farm Series

The series starts and ends with a dogwood tree.

The old hymn we sang had a line in it I didn’t understand. “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, and covers me there with His hand.” Later I asked David if it referred to something in Scripture. He told me the story in Exodus where Moses had become so angry at his people that he actually threw the tablets containing God’s commandments down breaking them into pieces. Though I was familiar with that, I wasn’t aware that shortly afterward, Moses wanted God to continue with them so much that he begged God to show His presence. The Lord comforted Moses and spoke to him as one speaks to a friend. In order to convey His goodness He agreed not only to continue with the Israelites, but to show Himself to Moses.

“Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.” –Exodus33:21-23

What a picture! What power and glory was shown to this beloved friend of God!

Just as I had overlooked the beautiful picture in the Old Testament of God’s power, I had also read right past another truth about His power in the New Testament. Ephesians 1:19 is a surprising passage about God’s power for us who believe Him. It is described as “the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.” Can you imagine? The incredible greatness of God’s power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is available to us through Him! No wonder the enemy of our souls continually beats us down with insecurities and reminders of our sinful selves. He knows what is available to us if we understand this amazing Truth.

The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to anyone who claims Him as their Savior! Wowee! Shall we jump a couple pews together?

So what does this mean to me personally? Can I claim His power and be healed this very moment of the cancer that has knocked me on my ample rear end? I have an infusion appointment later today so should I just skip it? Do I toss the basket full of medications I’ve been taking for the last eleven months?

This is where we mess up in our human understanding. While it was His beautiful plan to raise Christ from the dead by His incredible power, it was also His heart wrenching purpose to allow His only Son to be put to death.

All for us.

We cannot face a holy God in our sinfulness. By trusting Him we can be clothed in the glorious righteousness of His Son Jesus. Then by claiming the same power that raised Him from the dead we can face the minor inconveniences this world tosses our way, like cancer. And if cancer happens to win this temporary victory, so what? I get to spend eternity with the One Who has the power to raise the dead!

Praise God that He covers me with His nail pierced hand!

photo credit: Seabert Pittman, my daddy

Woohoo!

Guess what. I did it! I totally did it. I feel like a little girl on the swing set calling out. “Watch daddy watch! I can skin the cat!”

Sorry cat-lovers. That’s not a literal skinning of a feline. When I was a kid that’s what we said when we could hold the bar and flip over between our arms without falling onto our heads. And if one could manage to pull back through and land on one’s feet, we were putting the skin back on.

Of course that was about a hundred years ago and folks don’t use such terms anymore. So let’s compare my latest accomplishment to diving. I’d lunge head first off the pier into the muddy water to impress my daddy. It was either that or he’d hold me by the ankles over the river and drop me so I’d learn that it wasn’t that hard. He was correct. Water didn’t shoot up my nose like it did when I jumped feet first.

Annyyywayyy…

Drumroll please.

I got my first book into print! As-in actual words on real paper you can hold in your hands, PRINT!  People! You can dog ear the pages and come back to where you left off without powering anything up or remembering a password. You don’t even have to recall the name of your first pet or your grandmother’s favorite vegetable. You can just relax, read and repeat. Hopefully the only thing hard will be putting it down.

I couldn’t figure out how to make the cover the same as the Kindle version so it will look a little different. Something about the gigawatts of the first picture with Hannah on the tractor; it wouldn’t translate. Can you tell how un-savvy I am in the technology department? That may give you a little insight as to how hard it was for my chemo brain to format the pages to fit within the six by nine inch frame including margins. It even has page numbers! Can you believe it?

Did you know that the space down the middle between pages is called a gutter? Who knew? All my life I’ve been warned to keep my mind out of there. Now I know how.

So hop on over to Amazon and search Lynna Clark or Blue Meadow Farm. Under Book One there will be a Paperback option. Click there and you’ll see the yellow book with blue flowers. I really hope you love it. Remember, it’s the first book of a series of five, so take your time and enjoy. I’m already working on book two for print so it shouldn’t be long until it’s ready too. And if you’re willing to help a struggling rookie author, please leave a comment or review either on Amazon or Facebook so others will notice my work.

Thanks so much for your encouragement!

Have you ever gone through a situation or been sick so long that you hate life? You’re just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Or maybe something else has sucked the joy from your soul.

We’ve been going through a crap storm since the spring of 2013, long before I got cancer. I won’t rehearse all the lovely details of our very interesting life. But I will say that just in the last few months the transmission in our only vehicle gave up the ghost. By the time we finished, the replacement/repair cost almost as much as the Bluebook value. Yep. That’s how we roll. And David has had reoccurring kidney stone attacks that are so painful he thinks he might die and wishes he’d hurry up. Hopefully this is not too graphic but he passes dozens at a time. The pain is so bad he actually breaks out in a cold sweat and heaves like there’s no tomorrow.

Meanwhile, it seems my innards love cancer and want to invite it back. So in an effort to thwart that evil plan, my doctors are trying different medications and hormone therapies. I’ve been so sick and so dizzy that I can barely function. Along with the numerous drugs also comes depression. I’m talking full blown, straight from the pit of Hell, hopelessness that grabs my soul and pulls me into a dark hole so deep I hardly care if I ever see the light of day again.

One day I got a text.

Our granddaughter needed a place to stay during spring break. Since she lives in Illinois, but attends college in S.C, she thought it would be great to hang out with her N.C. grandparents for about a week. She planned to explore Salisbury and assumed I’d be a great tour guide. That’s when I realized we are opposites. She loves being in the mix while I love being by myself. However, she burst through the door like Tigger, bouncing from room to room exploding all over the house with laughter and energy I am no longer accustomed to. She jumped from behind a door scaring the pee out of me and I squealed like a little girl. As she held her side laughing I pointed a finger in her face and warned that if I keeled over with heart failure she’d better put a hat on my head before the paramedics came.

She found a gift basket that I had not unpacked to suit her. From it she pulled a book about thriving during cancer. With a hand over her heart she read with the voice of a sappy narrator, one cheesy saying after another, similar to this:

“When God closes a door He will open a window.”

She had me laughing hard enough to do the potty dance. Eventually she gathered her things from every room, crammed them in a bag, hugged me too hard, and headed back to S.C.  As we waved goodbye, she happily munched on Chex Mix made by her Poppy, set her GPS, cranked up Spotify and put the nose of her Jeep in the wind. As I walked through the house checking for fall-out, miraculously I only found one sock cowering under the bed. I prayed she’d be back for it soon.

Mykaela aka Tigger

A week later her mom Stephanie, our oldest daughter, came to stay with us at the end of a women’s conference she had spoken at. Her local sisters also came for the day. Though I can think of nothing more encouraging than having all three of our daughters here with me, surprisingly depression hit again that night. As Stephanie gently tried to help me through it, I rehearsed all the things I was currently thankful for and wondered why despair had consumed me. She wisely commented.

“Like a headache that comes and you have no idea why, depression is similar. Stop beating yourself up and feeling guilty for something you have no control over.”

I pondered her words and prayed for help as I cried myself to sleep still wondering why.

The next day her daughter skipped class and came up to visit her mom whom she hadn’t seen since Christmas. Once again she had me laughing as she read the little book full of cheesy words to her mama. I gave her the dusty sock, hugged them both goodbye a little harder than I normally would’ve, waved til they were out of sight and prayed.

“Lord, with all the sick and discouraged people in this world, help me to do three things. No, make that four. Help me make somebody laugh, for laughter really is great medicine. Help me to have a listening ear and a gentle word to relieve someone’s burden. But most of all, keep my lips from a multitude of verbiage and cheesy platitudes which don’t help.

And PLEASE give me wisdom enough to refrain from stuffing my ample rear end through a window just because You happen to close a door.