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100 Years and Counting

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I have become acutely aware of age lately. Not the limitations of growing old, but the opportunities involved with becoming a centurion. I don’t recall a sudden desire to live past 100 years old. I simply said it enough times to different people that it sounded like déjà. Not just “I’ve been here before” but also that “I’ll be here someday.”

A story on television about someone celebrating a 105th birthday catches my attention with the main curiosity being – is he or she healthy? More often than not, the answer is yes. When I read books like Having Our Say by the Delany sister’s I can easily see myself in life at their ages.

I’m delighted to hear how they and other people, these centurions, independently care for themselves. I listen for their physical endurance, eating habits, outdoor activities, mental alertness, how their faith, if any, influenced their lifespan and any other facts I can glean from their examples.

My desire to become a centurion isn’t stemmed from a fear of death. Being a Christian comes with the surety of going to heaven when I leave here for good so I’ve not been afraid to die before an acceptable time. My 30 year old daughter’s death taught me that permanent change can happen when we least expect it. I have, among other people, her and my mother to reunite with.

At this writing I sport a gauze wrapping and a less than fashionable black boot with velcro strips on my left leg from a fight with a ladder, (Regardless of the crutches visual, I won. You should see the ladder.) and I’m reminded of limited physical endurance and the occasional weariness of life. Walking in full strength on golden streets looks pretty appealing right now.

I’ve always expected to stay active in my latter years, Still, my uninvited determination to become a healthy centurion surpasses any previous expectation to slow to a halt by the time I approach 80.

In all this, recently I was pleased to see my 9 year old granddaughter walk into the room, stand still in obvious thought and finally ask, “What did I come in here for?”

To everything there is a season…

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The past 6 years has been a dark season for me. At times while inching my way through the valley of the shadow of death the only prayer I could remember was, “Abba, keep me close to You”. In a moment, the death of my health, marriage, finances, home, and even transportation caused me to wonder if my mind could take it all. Yet I found that it wasn’t usually too hard to praise my God anyway.

But then – on Easter of 2006, the accidental death of my youngest daughter, Rashida, challenged me, I thought possibly beyond any desire to thank and worship my Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The threat of that lie caused me to shout and praise with Him all the more. I tried to bury myself in prose but the struggle to write frustrated me – until I remembered that it had to be inspired to express itself on paper. I gave my words to Him again for a while and used the time to worship and love Him. Slowly, I was at least able to make personal journal entries.

This spring Rashida’s father joined her, and a month later my mother determined to join them both, but not before she had given me a lifetime of writing material; more stories that exemplified her nature only two days before her departure. 

Finally, waking up one morning with words demanding expression already floating in my mind, I knew it had surely begun. The “it” we all wait for when we’re in measured sorrow. The  knowing that we’ve made it through another fire without even the smell of smoke on us. The “it” that lives deep within our knowing that assures us we have favor with God and man.

And that not only have we entered into our personal season of blessing, but all that we endeavor to do and all who enter into covenant with us to accomplish God’s current task, aware or not of our God in the beginning, succeeds beyond what we can ask for or even think of.

My captian is as much at the wheel now as He was during the storms. He guides this ship of peace I find myself on, as long as I remember that I can still only inch my way through these exciting undiscovered waters. As long as my greatest prayer (now only one of many) remains, “Abba keep me close to You”.

Look for next title

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Dodging Her Chariot Volume I will be available for purchase on or before July 15, 2009. This is the the second and final debue change. It’s really happening friends. The first book published and a new love in my life! God is faithful.

A day in self publishing

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Web site changes, blogs, business licenses, business bank account, ISBN #s, LCCC #s, Bar codes, Copyrights, Jacket changes, typesetting, printing companies; not to mention the daily time it takes to learn my newly required language of “internet” and how to get off the curb with it; enough to make your head spin if not taken carefully one step at a time. I don’t see how it could all be done without helping hands and minds joining in all the “fun”. Just know that the author writing the book is a small part of the end result. I am blessed to have willing (dare I say eager?) people around me lifting up my sometimes weary mind. Only God can put something like this project together, at least where my work is concerned. After two weeks of  errands related to the books I can finally put in a few hours actual writing today – I think.

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