Thursday, May 19, 2022

Guest Author, Angela D. Shelton

Thank you, Angela, for sharing with us.

 

Just One More

By Angela D. Shelton

 

No more animals please…

…Except maybe that one.

Whenever people hear I live on a cattle ranch, specific visions pop into their minds. Fields, fences, cowboy hats, and horses are among the most common. Romantic rides into the sunset.

To which I say, “Yeah. Right!”

First, I live in Georgia. Think yellow pine—everywhere. Ranchers carved pastures out of the trees here and the fence lines need to be maintained or those pines will take over in a heartbeat.

Second, we rarely ride off into the sunset. We may enjoy it from the back deck, but we don’t have time to meander towards it, most days.

Cattle, chickens, greenhouse, dogs, and crops fill our days, and sometimes evenings, weekends, and vacations as well.

One of the most frequent questions is: “Do you have a horse?” Usually, children ask this, and it’s most often a girl who inquires. Sometimes big girls, too. But unfortunately for them, the answer is always the same: “No.”

We don’t have the time or money to devote to one more animal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that to myself, or to my husband. And he’s said it many times to me as well.

But then we saw this poor Labrador lying beside the road, obviously in trouble. She’d been hit by a car. No tags, no collar, nobody to take care of her.

We already had two large dogs. Ricky and Lucy, who are constantly underfoot. No, really. Constantly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tripped over a dog who was determined to lie beside me, under my feet, or behind me when I wasn’t looking.

As a couple, we’ve agreed, many times, no more dogs, cats, birds, snails… anything that requires care. We’ve got plenty to care for now as it is. Thank you very much!

And then we saw her. Lying there. We couldn’t drive by.

When my husband lifted the dog into the truck, she was too dizzy from a concussion to do more than nip at him. The poor baby. Fortunately, our vet was nearby, an extremely kind man with a staff who loves animals and cares for them.

After a week in the doctor’s office, and she was well enough to go home. But where was home? We didn’t know, and she wasn’t telling. The local vet hadn’t seen her before, so he didn’t know where she belonged either.

We called a few people and shared her picture, but no home.

So, guess what?

Now we have three big dogs that we trip over and fight with for the couch.

Apparently, we had room for one more in our home and in our hearts. I guess our limits aren’t more than mental stopping points.

Perhaps you have a place in your heart where you’ve put up your hand and said, “no more.” Is there perhaps a little wiggle room instead? Not necessarily a dog, but perhaps a friend you can invite on a girls’ day out? Or a neighbor who could use a home cooked meal? Or a charity who could put that last $5 in your pocket to good use?

Take a peek. Maybe you really have room… for one more.

 

Collapse: The Death of Honor is in pre-release sales now and is live on June 1st. 

 


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09Z2VHHB5 

Caleb already lost his dreams when the variant ended life as he knew it, but when blackmailers threaten to destroy his life permanently, he must learn to trust others to forgive or lose the only family he has. 

In a collapsing society, former quarterback Caleb Worthington is no longer a teenager with a secret in his past, but a man searching for his future. But when a blackmailer uses his mistakes against him, his nightmares take over reality. Now, trying to safeguard everything the Worthingtons stand for, he’s finding out being a man is as much about one’s choices as actions—and his are putting his family at risk. 

As the blackmailers up their game, his home-field advantage dwindles, and he can’t count on his teammates since even his best friend is acting the fool. 

Unwilling to share the burden, despite how it’s affecting his family, can he find an honorable play once this “game” really kicks off? And what will it take for Caleb to come clean with those he loves? 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Grace and Truth, John 13:31-38, Our Assignment to Love

Jesus lovingly called his disciples “My children.” He warned them that soon, he would no longer be with them.

 

Verse 33: “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

 

Jesus left them, and us, with a huge assignment, to love each other as he loved us, to show the world we belong to him.

 

34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 

Peter promised that he would die for Jesus. Jesus was fully aware of Peter’s coming denial. Yet, above, he called him his child.

 

36-38: Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”

Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”

Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

 

Lord, I yearn to be a sign of your love by the way I treat others. Thank you for loving me as your child, even with all the times I’ve failed you. 

Friday, May 6, 2022

A Great New Friendship

I always thought of myself as a good daughter. As soon as I left for college, I started calling my folks every week. Back in the days when letters were more common, I even wrote once a week.

 

A few years ago, when I got a cell phone with unlimited hours, I thought, why not call Mom twice a week?

 

In the summer of 2020, my mom had knee surgery and was in the hospital and rehab for most of July. I know how not fun it is to be in the hospital, so I called her every day.

 

Once she went home, I had a brilliant idea. Why not continue calling her every day? My husband Murray asked why I’d only been calling her twice a week before. My only answer was, “Habit.”

 

I usually call Mom around 2:00 in the afternoon, when a TV show she likes to watch is over. I love this time we have together so much.

 

I was never really a good daughter. When I was younger, I didn’t want to talk to my parents about personal stuff. As I aged, I thought I shouldn’t say anything that might upset or worry them.

 

Really, it was pretty much always my mom I spoke with. My dad wasn’t much of a phone talker. But he’s been gone for 13 years, and my mom lives alone now.

 

I hope my mom feels the same, but I really enjoy the new relationship we have.

 

Some days we struggle to find much to talk about. Other days we go on for nearly an hour, and if Murray asks what we talked about, I have a hard time remembering anything.

 

We discuss our physical complaints. Mom told me she read in a women’s health book that our bladder is the size of a walnut. Sounds about right.

 

We love talking about food, what we’re having for dinner, what we’ve cooked lately, eating restaurant food.

 

Recently, Mom had a doctor appointment to go to. Afterward, she sat in the car while my brother went into the store to get a few things. She told me about the people watching she enjoyed doing.

 

Of course, it’s always easy for me to talk about my kids, and Mom tells me about my brothers and other relatives.

 

Mom, Lila Mae, is an artist. She tells me she’s done some drawing, but most of her art is done through quilting, crocheting, embroidery, patterns she follows and ones she makes up.

 

I must have inherited that desire from her. I can’t come up with any of my own patterns, and I can’t do all she does, but I love to knit and crochet.

 

We love talking about things we’re working on, new patterns. It’s nice to be able to ask her questions about a crochet project I’m working on.

 

We laugh. We’re sad. We gripe. Weather is an almost daily thing to complain about.

 

It’s all such a joy to me. I could feel sad that I let so many years go by without enjoying this wonderful person in my life, but what good would that do? I just thank God for the gift he’s given me to share with my mom every day now.