Friday, November 19, 2010


When you think about Thanksgiving dinner do you see a pilgrim chasing a turkey? Axe in hand, ready to do the poor fellow in. Or do you see the Norman Rockwell painting of the lady sitting the perfectly browned turkey on the table already straining under the weight of potatoes, cranberry salad, green beans and dressing? Or do you see ---


Next week, we are off on a Thanksgiving Adventure. Six adults and seven children will be celebrating together in a cabin in Gatlinburg. This has required the strategy skills of at least a Three Star General (aka me).

We had to reserve the cabin more than a year in advance. Our children had to inform the in-law sides of their family they would not be around for Thanksgiving. This in itself can be a tricky maneuver with the potential for minor repercussions. Pulling the grandchildren out of school a day early also takes some smooth talking to those in charge of the attendance chart. These were the easy decisions.

The General's Aide (aka hubby) decided to leave Tuesday afternoon instead of Wednesday morning. That meant the General had to determine the best pick-up schedule for the two grandchildren riding in the command vehicle and arrange for Tuesday night accommodations.

The General then began assessing the grocery list. What to take from supplies on hand and what to purchase at the local commissary. Easy task? NOT! Numerous emails later, the General now knows that one family prefers strawberry jelly to grape. The Sergeant in charge of breakfast strongly expressed disdain with the hash browns on the list. Real potatoes will be served, thank you. The other Sergeant added that her army, of four boys, would consume a bit more milk and eggs, so those numbers were increased.

Have you been wondering about the ham? After taking into consideration the comments from the "But what is Thanksgiving without turkey?" supporters and the "Ham doesn't have to be thawed, taken off the bone and is a lot less work" side, the General pulled rank and said: "We shall eat ham."

Did you really read all of this? I do have a point. Time with our family is valuable. Our Thanksgiving Adventure has required planning. It has required co-operation. It will require patience pills for the General's Aide. But it will be worth it.

The reward of our year long planning will be the joy of being together as a family.

The reward of working for the Lord will be the joy of receiving an inheritance from God and being together with our family for eternity. Now that is something to work for!


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. Colossians 3:23-24


What is something you have really worked for? Do you work equally as hard for the Lord?

LET US PRAY (Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.)

Thanksgiving. What a beautiful word, Lord. Fill my heart with Thanksgiving and wrap my soul around the blessing I hold dear. My eyes behold such wonders. Trees. The night sky. Promises in the Bible. My ears hear sweet sounds. Water filling a glass. Music. Prayers. My blessings surround me. They begin when I wake. They cover me when I sleep. Thank you for ........................ Amen

Thursday, November 11, 2010



For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.


My father was drafted, into the Army, in 1944, had his basic training in Wheeler, Georgia and then went to Germany. He never talked about his service. Oh, there were times when this one Army buddy visited and he and dad would sit at the kitchen table and talk quietly. They would stare at the table, drink many cups of coffee, smoke too many cigarettes and remember. We were never allowed to sit and listen. Those memories were not meant for young ears.

The WAR was something that happened before I was born. The WAR was not something we talked about. The WAR and dad's service ended when he came home. The WAR was the past. Dad was ready to live in the present and begin the future.

A few weeks ago, I started a project. You see, there had always been those letters. Letters between mom and dad while he was in basic training and the ones from dad when he was in Germany. They had always been there in one closet or another. Moved from one home to another. Mother kept them after dad died in 1972 and one sister or another kept them after mom died in 1998. Yes, there had always been those letters, but they had always been in a box or the metal suitcase. Still stuck back in a closet or attic. Remembered but forgotten.

That is until my younger sister found them again and decided it was time for them to be read. What she discovered was a whole new side to our parents. Love. That was never a word used freely in our home, but the word 'love' and the phrase 'I miss you' were in every letter. In those letters, we were seeing a father who missed his son and daughter. A son who had memories of him and a daughter too young to remember anything other than his picture. In those letters, we were seeing a husband who missed his wife. In those letters, we were seeing a wife who learned to run a home on her own and who tried to put the lives of their children into words.

My sister is putting together a booklet with information on family and World War II. My job is to copy the letters. As I opened one letter, the tears began. I had to sit down. I realized God had a plan for me.

I have not copied all the letters, but the first letter I have found so far, was written from Georgia on March 3, 1944.

The letter that made chills go from my toes to the very top of my head was written by my mother in July 1944. This letter contained a news clipping about various soldiers from the Brazil, Indiana area.

Please remember: The amount of mail was tremendous, but this letter made its way to Georgia. Dad left the clipping in the letter. Dad brought the letters home after he finished basic training. Please remember: These letters have been unread since they were written during 1944, 1945 and 1946.

As I opened that letter, I saw the clipping and read: S/Sgt Thomas William Earle is home on leave to visit his wife and son William Francis.

The first letter dad wrote was dated, March 3, 1944. That is my husband's birth day.

I was born November 7, 1946

I met William Francis Earle in 1963. We had our first date August 17, 1963, were engaged June 1964 and were married June 4, 1965.


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Before I was even a twinkle in my parent's eyes, God put the name of my husband into our home.

"For I know the plans I have for Mary," declares the Lord. "And his name is William."


Thursday, November 04, 2010


If you are looking for a new devotional, I will be back next week.  My thumb had a slight encounter with the clippers as my husband and I were cleaning the flower bed.  Thumb okay but hurts to type.

Have a blessed week,