Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Turtle Rescue

I was headed up Hwy 25 yesterday.

Just before 8:00 a.m.

For an early morning visit with my mom.

On Mother's Day.

It was a foggy morning.

And visibility was pretty bad in spots.

I was looking forward to the drive alone.

To think.   And be quiet.

I was lost in my thoughts.

Thinking about the week ahead.

What I had planned for later in the day.

What needed to be measured in Due West at the house.

And clearly not following my own advice.

Of being "where my feet are."

And off in the immediate distance.

I saw a shadowy figure in my lane.

And it wasn't until I was right up on it.

I could even tell what it was.

A large turtle.

Head out.

Making a very poor choice.

Of which way to go on Mother's Day.

I whizzed right by.

Missing him, of course.

And drove on for a mile.  

Or two.

And it hit me.

That voice inside.

"Rescue the turtle."


I was already late.

But, the voice inside me continued.

That little guy is sure to get hit.

He's heading across 4 lanes of traffic.

It will be a miracle if he gets across.

Another mile goes by.


I've got to do it.

So what if I'm a few minutes late.


I whipped my little fiesta around.

And headed back.

Where did I see him?

How far did I go?

And just as I logged another mile or two miles back.

There he was.

In the exact spot.

Cars continuing to whiz by.

But no one had hit him.

I pulled off on the side of the road.

And immediately thought of stories I've heard.

Of good Samaritans doing the same kind of thing.

Only to get nailed by an oncoming car.

Oh, geez.

Cut the drama.

I hopped out of my car.

He was bigger than I thought.


I first thought of putting him in my car.

And taking him to a better locale.

Forget that.

He was way too big to sit in my passenger seat.

And then, of course.

I remembered something my Grandma Pauline used to tell me.

He'll probably be a snapping turtle.

"They'll bite you," she would say.

"And not let go.

Until lightening strikes."

Oh, grandma.

Your legacy lives on.

On Mother's Day.

So despite my fear of snapping turtles.

I grabbed him on both sides.

And walked with him back to the road side.

Taking him about 20 feet away.

I put him gently in the grass.

And pointed him in the opposite direction.

And while I don't know what I expected.

I got little reaction from him.

I know.


What was he suppose to say?

"thank you kind woman??"

But, I felt inclined to tell him.

It was Mother's Day, of course.

"If you go back there again, you're gonna deserve what you get."


What did I say??

It came spilling out of my mouth quite naturally.

Where did that even come from??

The deep recesses of a mother's soul.

And yes.

I immediately saw the spiritual angle to the turtles misguided adventure.

As I got back in my car.

Live in today.

Pay attention to what's put in my path.

Turtle or otherwise.

But, also.

I realized.

God's willing to pick me up too.

When I've wondered off the wrong way.

He provides safety.

And better direction.

Just like I was trying to provide for this turtle.

But, unlike me.


He doesn't say.

"if you go back there're gonna deserve what you get."


A little grace, please!

I didn't offer it so much to the turtle.

But thankfully.

God shows it to me.

This time.

With a Mother's Day turtle rescue.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

10 Defining Influences In My Life

If I had to name 10 things.

10 defining influences in my life.

What would they be?

10.    Fear

Fear would be in my top ten.

And I hate to admit it.
For many years, fear hindered me.
It was a defining obstacle.
At least for a time.

It made me afraid.
Of what people thought.
Of what the future held.
Of failing.
It  kept me bound.
And limited held me back.
I'm not happy it's on my list.
But it played a role.

For a time.

9.      Being Underestimated

I've been underestimated in my life.
And it always strikes a sensitive cord. also makes me rise to the occasion.
(Usually) with an attitude.
And that's not always a bad thing.
When I'm underestimated.
I rebel.
Against the source of  the underestimating.
It inspires me.
In an irritating kind of way.
And I set out.
To prove myself.
Being underestimated is a great motivator.

Don't ever underestimate me.
I don't shrink away.

8.    Living with Cancer

My eight year cancer anniversary is coming up in a few days.
I was diagnosed with a rare uterine cancer when I was just 47.
Endometrial Stromal Sarcoma.
Surgery took care of the initial tumor,
But there's pretty good odds of it coming back.
No surprise.
It's had a defining influence on my life.

I often think of my life. cancer.
And me.......after cancer.
It caused me to take a really hard look at myself.
And what I want to accomplish with my life.
It changed me.
It's still changing me.
I live life differently today.
Because of it.
I think I'm a better human being because of it.
I know I am.

7.   Taking Risks.

Being willing to take risks.
Has greatly defined who I am.
"With great risk.
Comes great reward."
I've heard that many times.
It's true.
And the very things in my life.
I can honestly say have made my life richer.
And more valuable.
All came.
ALL came.
From taking a risk.

I would have missed.
Many wonderful experiences,
Many opportunities,
If I hadn't been willing.

To stick my neck out.
To be afraid.
And uncomfortable.
To risk failing.
Or looking stupid.

Being willing to take risks.
Greatly defined my life.

I heard Beth Moore say once.
If you aren't willing to take a risk.
You will never.
(That's a strong word.)
Live out the purpose God has for your life.

I've settled that one.
And I keep taking them.

6.   Not being pampered

I wasn't pampered growing up.
And it definitely defined who I am.
Three brothers.
All of us close in age.
I got no special treatment.

Suck it up.
Stop your whining.
Do it yourself.
Learn the hard way.
A girly pampered life was foreign to me.
That was how I came up.
And it made me who I am.

I knew everything there was to know about football.
I rode motorcycles.
And go-carts.
I beat my brothers at Indian leg wrestling.
(still can....p.s.)
And learned to hold my own.

All of it turned out to be a good training ground.
For what would come down the road.
It made me strong.
And defined.
What I expect of myself.
And what I expect of others.

5.   Creativity

I love everything creative.
Making glass mosaics.
Putting things together.
Bringing things to life.
It's a defining influence in my life.
It fulfills me.
And makes me........ satisfied.
It taps into my happy place.
I can't image my life without it.
Definitely a defining influence.

4.    Serving in Africa

Most people don't get it.
Not everyone has the experience there that I did.
But I was broken there.
And I never got over it.
God used my time in Africa.
To widen my view of the world.
And give me a better picture of my place in it.
It was a place He used.
To remove a lot of barriers and walls in me.
And show me what's really important.

It happened there.
And it continues to happen there.
Every time I go.

3.   Tough Times

Tough times always have a defining influence on my life.
Through them.
Ready or not.
I see what I'm made of.
What I'm really.....made of.

And sometimes what I'm made of ain't so great and wonderful.
And other times.
I surprise myself.

But all the times.
What results.
From tough times.
Has a defining influence on me.
Much easier to see.....of course.
At the end of it.
Not so much in the mist of it.

2.     My Work

For someone that never knew what they wanted to do.
I fell into a career path.

And there I have remained.
For many, many years.
28 to be exact.

Totally unexpected.
But clearly what God had planned for me.
I've grown up there.
And met and worked with terrific people.
The best people in fact.
I've ever known.

A work that is meaningful.
That's allowed me to grow.
And make mistakes.
And have successes.

A work that's given me countless experiences.
Some difficult.
Many, many more rewarding.

All a defining influence on my life.

1.    Jesus

It's simple.
With Him is life.
And freedom.
And meaning.

I get it wrong all the time.
I still have so much to learn.
But no other influence.
Compares to His.

It's hard many times.
To depend on Him.
And trust Him.
Especially when the answers are not always clear.
And His timing seems too slow.

I'm learning as I go.
His influence.
I hope anyway.
Is the one that defines me the most.