Monday, November 29, 2010

Work at Home Mom

     When our children were small Jerry and I both agreed I should be a stay at home mom. With five children I had plenty of work to do right at home! As the children began to grow up I began to need more money just to keep up with school supplies and extra things teenagers wanted and sometimes needed. It just seemed there wasn't quite enough money to go around. 
     I began to pray about this. "Lord, You know I need more money. It's too hard with our children to say no to extras. I can't go out and get a job, that would be against what Jerry and I had decided on years ago. Isn't there some kind of a job I could do at home to make some extra money? I know that all things are possible with You."
     A couple of days after praying this prayer one of my neighbors called on the phone. She explained to me that since her youngest child was now in school all day she was going to go back to work in an office. Then she said, "I have to quit my home boss asked me to recommend someone for it. I immediately thought of you!" 
     What was her home job? She called the substitute teachers for the secondary schools in our city and she did it from her kitchen!
     When Jerry came home I told him about it and he thought it sounded interesting. It would mean getting up early every morning. The time for teacher's to call was 6:00 to 6:30 AM and 3:00 to 4:00 PM. I was not a morning person! With determination I could do it!
     With the Lord's help I did do it. I was the substitute caller for about 13 years! What a wonderful and direct answer to my prayer! I was home every day so my children didn't come home to an empty house and we had that little bit of extra money needed for extras! 
     Sometimes when a teacher called me I would be a listener to a problem and I had the opportunity to say, "I'll be praying for you." I always received a surprised, "Thank you!" 
     Does God care about our small problems? Does He answer prayer? There is no doubt in my mind: Yes, God cares and God answers prayer. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pounding in the Night

     Late one night, Jerry was sleeping, I was watching TV upstairs in the loft. Suddenly I heard pounding on the front door! My heart stopped. It came again...pounding
     I tried to think, who was pounding on our door? Could it be Rob? No, he wouldn't pound like that and he usually called first before coming over. Who was it and what should I do? There it was again...pounding
     I grabbed my house coat and putting it on, started down the stairs. I could see a light shining through our door window. As I went down farther, I could see a man shining his flashlight and holding it like a policeman does. That gave me a little courage...
     I prayed as I slowly went down the stairs. Should I open the door? Oh, help me, Lord. 
     I knew he was watching me walk toward the door so I slowly opened it a crack. He had a uniform on but it didn't seem like a policeman's. He asked me if _____ lived here. "No," I said. "I don't know who that is." He questioned me some more and then seemed satisfied that he had the wrong house.
     I went back upstairs, got Jerry up, (he had heard commotion and talking but assumed it was Rob) and we both watched the man, through the window, walking half way through our property to his car! He had parked away from our house so we wouldn't know he was coming to our door! He was seriously looking for someone!
     We now suspect it was the U.S. Army or other branch of service, looking for someone who had gone AWOL. 
     The next day Jerry went shopping at Lowe's and bought motion lights for our yard and house. If anyone comes again, after dark, the way will be well lit for him or her! No more surprise visits late at night!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


     One hot summer day I laid down on a lounge chair in our back yard. I relaxed and was soon sleeping. When I woke up a little later and started to get up out of my chair...I saw, through the spaces of the ribbing, something that made me freeze! Two snakes twisted up around each other were directly below me!!! 
     I hate snakes! What were they doing under my chair? How long had they been there? How could I get up off my chair? What kind of snakes were they? Oh, it was bad. I didn't know what to do...
     Where had they come from? They didn't look like garter snakes. They actually had an interesting design on the backs. But that didn't help me any. 
     We had a rock garden beside the sidewalk going from the driveway to the patio by the back door of our house. Lately when I had walked by I thought I heard some rustling among the rocks. But I could never see what it was. Now I suddenly knew...these two snakes!!! 
     Now, don't ask me how I did it, but I got out of my chair and I killed those two snakes! I still wonder if they had any babies in the rock garden! I'll never know. I didn't see any more and we don't live there any more.
     I looked up snakes in the encyclopedia (no computers back then) and by the pictures, these two were Milk Snakes. I also discovered they like to live near buildings. Well, those two just got a little too friendly. 
     Yes, I'm the person who loves all of nature. Animals, birds, lakes, flowers, mountains, oceans, trees, stars, you name it, I love it... Well...not snakes...cockroaches...stink bugs...skunks...slugs...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Driving Alone

     Several years ago Jerry and I were selling and delivering our car to one of our sons. It was a trip that would take three days for us to drive. Jerry drove our pick-up truck pulling our 5th wheel trailer. I drove our Buick. 
     I wasn't quite ready to go and he was chomping at the bit. Finally Jerry said he'd go on ahead because he drives slower with the 5th wheel and I'd surely catch up to him before too long. 
     I finished whatever I was doing, probably last minute house cleaning. (I never go on a trip leaving the house messy!) I was driving right along wondering when I would see our camper up ahead of me.   
     Driving north in Michigan is beautiful. There are sections of highway where there are so many trees you can't even see the other highway. I was driving along admiring the scenery when I saw, kind of hidden between the highways, a patrol car! Oh no. I glanced down at my speedometer...85 mph! Oh no... Then I saw the car pull out onto the highway. Oh no... I slowed down, of course. Oh, Jerry was going to be so mad at me... When the patrol car caught up to me...low and behold...he went around me!!! I couldn't believe it. I was guilty. He was after someone, several cars, ahead of me! I wondered if he would stop me too?
     Oh, what should I do? I was guilty and I felt so guilty! I decided as I drove past them that if the patrolman looked at me I would stop. I drove past slowly and kept my eyes on the patrolman. He never looked my way...I kept going. I kept my car at the speed limit from then on. 
     I reached the Mackinaw bridge and still hadn't seen our 5th wheel camper ahead of me. Jerry had told me he would stop for lunch at a certain park, in the Upper Peninsula, so if, for some reason, I hadn't caught up with him yet he would be in the little park. 
     I kept driving... We always go north, from highway 2 to highway 28, to save time and miles. There are two different highways going north. Sometimes we take one and sometimes we take the other. Well, I never did see Jerry or the little park! I guess I took the other highway north! Oh dear. Well, we'd both end up on highway 28 so it'd be okay. 
     I kept driving... I was always straining ahead to see if I could see the back of our 5th wheel camper. How could he have gotten so far ahead of me? 
     I love driving across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Highway 28 is a two lane highway but there's not a lot of traffic. We'd gone this way so many times I knew my way...
     Around the middle of the afternoon I was admiring the lake I kept seeing. It was so beautiful...until I suddenly realized on highway 28 there's no lake! At least not a big lake like I was seeing! I drove on wondering where I was and what I should do. I finally turned around and started back. I came to a gas station with lots of cars and trucks so I pulled in. I had to stand in line to get up to the cash register person. Finally it was my turn. "May I help you?" the pretty young woman asked. I couldn't talk. I stood there. "Mam, may I help you?" I still couldn't talk. "Mam? Is something wrong?" she asked. 
     I burst out crying! The man behind me moved up to see if he could help. Finally I managed to say, "I don't know where I am." 
     The woman asked, "Well, where do you want to be?"
     "I'm supposed to be on highway 28. My husband is waiting for me. Where am I?" 
     She smiled and said, "Oh, that's easy. Lot's of folks make this mistake. Just keep going south and you'll come to a fork. You missed the sign that told you to make a turn, you kept going straight and, so, changed highways. Now you need to go back and make that turn to get back on # 28." 
     I was so relieved. As I was driving back down to #28 I was reminded of a trip we were on a few years earlier with three of our children. Tim was driving, I was sitting in front with him. Jerry was taking a nap in the back seat. We were driving along and all of a sudden saw a sign that made us know we weren't on #28. Jerry woke up and we looked at the map to see where we were. Porcupine Mountain State Park was not too far ahead! We decided to keep going and stop off at the state park. We've never forgotten the beautiful mountains and views in that park! 
     But on this day I just needed to find Jerry. When we make this trip we always stay in a nice campground on a nice little lake close to the western border of the U P of Michigan. I was sure he'd be there. 
     It was getting close to supper time and I hadn't had anything to eat, except a candy bar, since breakfast. I was sure he was wondering what had happened to me, or at least, when I'd be arriving.
     I finally saw the little lake and campground. Oh such relief I felt. "Thank You, Lord. I'm here." Oh, but is Jerry here? Or is he out looking for me? 
     Sure enough I could see our 5th wheel camper across the lake! I had almost arrived. I drove around the lake, into the park, got out of the car and ran to the camper. It had never looked so good...and neither had Jerry! 
     Jerry had supper all ready! Steak, baked potatoes, vegetables, etc. Wow! My timing was perfect!