Fun Facts about Van Walton
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Proverbs 31 Speakers
as I wander...spiritual and emotional wondering from a contemporary corporate pilgrim
Yesterday I sat all comfy and content in the home of a friend - doing what I love most, enjoying the company of women. As we became acquainted we all realized we all had one thing in common. Each of us had experienced the trials and adventures of moving.
Recently I wrote that my life in the garden I have tended for many years is changing. I am being called to tend many gardens and as I travel from plot to plot I find myself wandering into the jungle. Of course my journey is physical, but it is the spiritual and emotional wandering that threatens to undo me!
I don't know about you, but a move turns me upside down. The storm clouds gather and I brace myself for a flood. The flood of tears threatends to drown me even before another flood crashes donw on me. This flood will swoop up all my possessions and carry them along, dumping them and landing them onto foreign soil. I have stood helpless with no where to turn as the "waters" rise. My swirling emotions threaten to sweep me off my feet and carry me away, out of control. Neither pumps nor sand bags can save me. The damn has broken. In no time I know I will find myself overwhelmed, tattered, exhausted, and lost. I try not to be afraid. I know God is with me.
All I ever needed to know about moving I learned from Moses and the band of pilgrims he lead through the Sinai Desert. It may seem unusual that a modern-day corporate move would have any relationship to the grand exodus, but the second book in the Bible has many life applications for us today. It has been said that no one stands still. "You are either moving forward or backward." Every Christian is on the move. Whether planning a corporate relocation, a new mission assignment, or a military deployment. experiencing emotional stagnation or spiritual growth, each one of us is on the move. We are headed toward the "Promised Land." Many will arrive through a direct route. Some will get sidetracked and wander for a lifetime.
For now I am going to keep my eyes focused on the "Promised Land." I want to to take the most direct route. I want to travel through as many gardens as possible. I pray I don't end up lost in a jungle or wandering for 40 years in a desert of my own making!
in Him we live, and move, and have our being. Acts 17:28
I like retirement with my husband. We worked many years to arrive at this stage and now we are enjoying each other and life together. I cannot say this has always been the case. There was a time I thought our marriage was doomed. I even sought advice from older women, women I trusted who mentored me during some low points in my life. I asked them their opinions about my thoughts. I felt, since my husband and I were no longer compatible - what does that mean anyway? - that we should consider a divorce. That seemed to be the way every one else was resolving their marital issues. I didn't like what the women told me. They said I should not leave, that I should stay with my husband and work it out. We have been working it out for 36 years and now the hard toil has paid off.
I wish I could find those women and thank them. Maybe I can thank them by passing on my own words of encouragement to someone else who is struggling in their marriage. I say stay.Start strong and finish strong. In between, it might be rough, but focus on the final outcome. I have a history with my man. We have shared things together that we have with no one else. Had I cut and run I would have never experienced this many years together.
No man is perfect. Changing partners only changes problems. You may get a new man; be assured you will get a new set of problems.
God has blessed us for keeping our promises. We understand and respect each other more today than ever before. We enjoy each other today more than ever before. We anticipate spending the rest of our life together.
Our children are secure and they have a positive role model for their marriages.
I do appreciate how difficult relationships can be. I also understand that some marriages, due abuse and abandonment have no where else to turn except toward separation. I would add one caution -
if finding a new, better man is the goal of divorce, think long and hard. There is no better man than the one you chose.Learn to love the one you're with and with God's help, you will wake up an see that you are married to a prince. I know this to be true. It happened to me!
I like visiting these hills to get away from it all. I do not like tribulation. Like an ostrich I prefer to stick my head in the sand so I don't have to face life's trials and hardships.
Every evening my husband and I, along with my faithful furry friend - Air (he's my dog) take a walk up the road. Once we leave the house by the lake we enter pasture land where 45 or 50 cows live with their brand new calves. As we walk, we see a new calf - all wet and brand new to this world, wobbling on its legs trying to stand for the first time. Imagine only hours ago, that little calf was safe inside its mother. Suddenly birth pangs hit and the little thing was thrust out into a pasture, full of flies, thorns, fences, and predators. How's a calf to survive?
This evening's sight caused me to reconsider my daily walks. When we approached the herd, the cows with their offspring ambled off, moving quickly away from us. The last two lagged far behind. Then, sadly I realized why. The poor baby had a bad limp. He was lame. With great patience the mother cow prodded her baby along, trying to keep up with the rest, but understanding she and her crippled one had to move slowly. I watched the pathetic sight. With tears in my eyes and deep heart ache I watched what was supposed to be a serene pastoral sight.
"God! Where can I go to get away from the pain and sorrow of life? I can't stand to watch this poor calf. Surely there will come a time when that cow will have to reject her baby."
In a minute that sweet cow turned to face her calf. She licked its forehead and its face. She licked his shoulders and nuzzled its leg and lame little foot. What was she telling her baby? "I love you. Don't cry. There - mommy will wipe your tears. I don't care about that weak little hoof. We can stop, if you are tired. I‘m here with you." Oh what a picture of total love and commitment. Can you imagine the peace and resolve felt by that baby. Then the mother made the ultimate sacrifice. Forgetting the herd, allowing it to leave her behind, she stopped. Coaxing her crippled calf as he hobbled and limped, she nudged it toward a place of reward and comfort. The little calf's tail wagged as he began to nurse. Suddenly he was no longer lame. I saw God's garden again.
We may live in a fallen world, but there is hope. If a mother cow can wait for her crippled calf at the expense of losing her place in the herd, all must still be well with the world. Yes there are those who can't keep up, but there are also those who can make a sacrifice to offer comfort, solace, refuge, encouragement. That cow would not abandon her calf.
Funny - for as long as I can remember I have passed the herds of cows in my daddy's pastures. I have always made a mental note. "I would hate to be a cow!"
Tonight I stand corrected. Cows are humble, caring, patient, protective, sacrificial...
Sorry, cows. Your lives have become a standard for which to strive.
Suddenly the topic of giving seems to surface everywhere I turn. I find it interesting that it has become vogue to give to others – as if this were a new idea, a new phenomenon. Americans are known for their generosity. We show up whenever there is a need or disaster. Be it a hurricane, a tsunami, an earthquake, or in the case of Iraq – a corrupt leader. Americans come to each other’s side to offer help. We travel around the world to do the same.
Former President Clinton has determined to help the children in Africa. He is on a campaign to convince Americans to reach out and give. To prove his point his book GIVING just hit the bookstores Good for him. Oprah had him on her show this week along with a young lady, Kendall Ciesemier, who started her own giving when she was 11 years old.
What I would like to say is that giving is not just a new fashion, the latest craze, a new thought. More than 2000 years ago, God‘s Son, Jesus came to earth with a message of love. “Do for others,” He said. I wonder – why is it that we listen to world leaders and readily pick up their books praising them for their good works, but we ignore Christ’s daily call to practice pure religion.
I have learned that deep and fulfilling satisfaction comes from giving. I didn’t need Bill Clinton or Oprah, to convince me. I learned in Sunday School as a child, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27.
Want to give? Consider sponsoring a child through Compassion International. Please visit: vithttp://www.compassion.com/Sponsor_a_child/default.htm?referer=68813
Our return would not be immediate, though. You see, although we are empty nesters, we still have a child at home - he is in college and we do not want to pull the nest out from under him. Our plan became to spend time in two places over the next several years. Home is now Charlotte, NC and Eagle Rock, Missouri. We chose Eagle Rock because my 84 year old mother lives on the lake by herself. One day she is going to need our assistance. Right now she needs no help and is happy to tell anyone how she lives on 300 acres by herself and likes it - thank you very much! But one day she will need us, so we are beginning to put down roots by the lake.
So here I am - by the lake, beginning a new life. I will continue to work in the garden - woods and pastures and write and speak. So stay tuned while I organize my thoughts and begin to share with you some insights I have gained over my years of marriage, moving and being mentored by wise women whose involvement made all the difference in my live.