Friday, January 27, 2017


For most of my life, I have been misunderstood.  I am loud and demonstrative at work.  There is a big, burly, LOUD male teacher  who has chastised *me* about being loud (talk about the pot calling the kettle black).  He doesn't get it; as a male who is larger than any of his students, he is imposing and can not begin to understand my point of view.

In high school I was extremely quiet, as my peers would remember.  Going to an all-women's college brought me out of my shell.  By the time I began teaching high school in 1988, I had decided that no one would run over me.  I commanded authority from day one, no matter how big the students were.  I really have few specific memories from  that time at Ruffin High, but I remember many of the students.  This week I was reminiscing on Facebook, and the dialogue I had with one of them is below.

I find it amusing she said I was "mean as a whip."  Many would call it that; I was strict.  I don't actually think she meant "mean."  She did follow it up with saying I "sincerely took an interest" in them.  I have no recollection of having given her a bear when she was in the hospital.  I do remember before the students came my first year, I was making my classroom library of paperback books I had bought at the Ladson Flea Market for .25 each.  I made library check out cards for the back of each one.  I expected my students to read and read the classics.  I recall another teacher coming in my room and asking, "Why are you doing that?  They won't read."  I was undeterred.  We may have struggled, but we made it through Great Expectations,  Romeo and Juliet, and MacBeth, "A Doll's House," and "Death of a Salesman," among so many other classics.  I was naive perhaps.  I didn't know what a Title One school was.  I simply expected them to do, so we wrote research papers.  I may or may not have violated copyright laws with vocabulary pages from a book *my* English teacher had used with my class.  But, by darn, my students were going to learn the same words I did.

Then, I lose it when I hear, again on FB, from one of these "boys" who said he owes his vast vocabulary to me.  I lose it when one of my stars revealed he had no indoor plumbing until middle school and that I didn't have to know back then because it might have colored my view of him.

These are the sweetest memories.  

I almost went English bc my high school English teacher was the
Ginger Williams Garner Thank you! I can't remember back that far to know whether I was good or not. Today, people either love me or hate me
LikeReply1January 25 at 7:53amEdited
Darrmell Williams You cared. Mean as a whip but you sincerely took an interest in us. We had fun. And I still have the teddy bear you gave me when I was in the hospital. Lol
Ginger Williams Garner Darrmell Williams , I dont remember the bear! And I have mellowed a tiny bit...tiny!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I am selfish.

I am selfish; I want what I want.  For the believer in Jesus, we are just passing through this earthly life.  EARTH is not our home; HEAVEN is our home--our eternal home.  Let that sink in--ETERNAL HOME--as in NEVER-ENDING.  If we keep that perspective, we won't fret and go to pieces over our loved ones' eventual "passing."

Or will we?  We are human, and it's human to want to keep our loved ones with us.  In truth, we should be rejoicing for him/her to be able to see Jesus and meet God, the lover of our souls.  He or she will be WHOLE with NO illness and no infirmity.  

Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. 2In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am.…"

Our time separated from a believing loved one is only as long as our time left on earth.  Take heart, the risen Jesus has gone to prepare a place for each of us in heaven, where there will be no more tears, no more sadness, no more sickness.

This doesn't challenge my belief if I grieve what's to come or has come; it makes me a selfish, loving daughter who wants her father with her as long as possible.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017


I wrote in a previous post that I don't like change.   Ironically for what we are going through with my dad's cancer, this sign has hung in the original bathroom of their house.  It has been there for as long as I can remember:

Dad gave the most beautiful, from-the-heart prayer at breakfast this morning.  See, he doesn't have scripture memorized; they use a devotional book and read accompanying verses. His prayer was from the heart and out of his head. In part, he prayed for my eldest brother (who "divorced " the family the month I began teaching in 1988: "Lord, we know he doesn't know you like we do." Then, he continued: "Lord, you've taken care of us for 67 something years, and we trust you to continue. When it''s our time to go, we pray we go and you don't 'beat around the bush."

The Bible tells us we have to have the faith of a child, and that is my dad. He doesn't have scripture memorized, but then again, I don't believe we have to pass a "scripture test" to get into heaven.

"Lord, help us (ME) find our (MY) way through the changes in our lives."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Listening for God's Voice, Explanation

I want to clarify what I mean when I say I listen for God's voice.  I want to reiterate I don't "hear" voices, in case anyone thinks I do.  In the last post, I said it was like a command in my head.  Let me explain what I mean.

There are times when I am torn about things.  I pray and ask God to give me clarity if it is something I should do.  Now, I am the only human in my house, so I can and do pray out loud quite often; it's just me talking to God.  I suppose I am entertainment for the animals at times; at other times, I might interrupt their sleeping.  At any rate, it's what I do.  

Before I act, I wait until I get a very "strong" impression from him that it is something I should do.  For example, on Friday my guardian angel from NC called in response to a Facebook message about prayer that I had sent him.  As he was ministering to me, God plopped this idea into my head regarding the prayer request.  It was extremely strong and out of "left field," so I *knew* it was from Him and not just *my* thinking. (Sorry I can't be more specific, but at this time I won't be because it involves someone else.)  When I told my guardian angel, he said something that affirmed that it was God-sent.  See, I never want it to just be "my thinking"; I want to *know* it is God talking.

That's about the best way I can explain "listening for God's voice."  As time has passed, I have normally been able to eventually discern whether it is His voice or me.

And a note on my "guardian angel":  The reason I call this person this is because I know God has sent him to be my spiritual advisor/encourager/prayer warrior.  There are few people I can trust with certain prayer requests because they are too familiar to the situation or they really don't care.  This person is a "disinterested" party, so to speak, because he is not close to any of the situations.  He just remembers me from August of 1988---

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Listening for God's Voice

I made the first of four dental appointments back in November, before Clemson knew it would be in the National Championship last night, so I have today off.  Last week after Clemson trounced over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, clinching their National Championship spot, I *knew* I had to watch the game with Dad.  All week I had this "voice" from God telling me to go.  It wasn't an audible voice, just a command.  That's the only way I know to describe it.  For that reason, I knew Clemson would win.  God wanted me to share that with Dad.

We didn't go to bed until 1 am.  He never dozed off; I, on the other hand set my phone alarm during halftime so I could wake up.

We had a blast.  What if I were not tuned in to God's voice?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Pain Like No Other

Tucked away in the smaller bathroom, 
behind the curtain, beyond the hum of the heater,
the tears flowed and the cries went unnoticed to human ears.
Although the lavender candle flickered in its soft light, 
it did not soothe; there is no balm that will ease this hurt--
'cept you, Jesus.
Hear my cries, wipe my tears, cover this pain with your love and reassurance

Friday, January 6, 2017


Buried in a vast wasteland
of pain--uncertainty--heartache--
My soul longs for you, Lord.
Oh, answer my prayer, hear my cry
For healing--
Physical, emotional, spiritual.
People are hurting
With no place to turn, 
No one to trust,
No one who cares,

Save for you, the Almighty
God, creator of the universe,
Creator of us.

O, hear my prayer, God.
End the suffering,
Heal your children,
Come, Lord Jesus

Monday, January 2, 2017

Is the glass half full or half empty?

This past summer, I saw something a colleague was making called a "Blessing Jar."  Its concept is to write down one blessing a day for the year and look at all of them on New Year's Eve.  I like that idea because it keeps the focus on blessings.  It's all a matter of perspective.  I have thought how I will respond when I got back to work tomorrow and people ask how my break was.  Do I focus on Dad's cancer diagnosis?  Or, do I focus on the blessings of time I spent with him and the knowledge that no matter when we are separated, it's just for my time left on earth.  I have the knowledge of eternal life with him in heaven.  

Today, that colleague reminded me of that blessing jar, so I began to look at what I have around the house.  I am a rabid recycler, so I had this plastic jug with kitten chow in it.  It seemed like the perfect thing.

I decided I wanted something attached to it for the strips of paper because I didn't want to be looking for paper.  So, I used a gift bag (I do save them all to reuse!)  Then, I found this angel journal someone had given me.  Voila!  I cut those sheets into strips to put in the bag.  Each day, I take one out and put the blessing on it:

So, in spite of the uncertainty of this year, I am choosing to focus on daily blessings. I think that will help with my overall outlook.

So, when someone asks me tomorrow how my break was, I will respond, "We found out Dad does have cancer, but God is so good at giving us some great times.  I look forward to more this year."  To focus on anything else will break my heart and make me immobile.

Is your glass half full, or is it half empty?