Sunday, December 22, 2013


Today is the first full day of Winter --- all evidence to the contrary. Well, at least there's no evidence of Winter's arrival here in Southern West Virginia. I can't speak for the whole of Appalachia because I haven't watched the weather channel in a few days ;)

Normally a lack of evidence that Winter has arrived would make me happy -- ecstatic even --  but this year, not so much. This troubles me. Greatly. It's not normal. Not even close. Not for me any way.

It's 60 degrees outside. Right now. On December 22nd. It's kinda starting to creep me out AND the fact that it's kinda starting to creep me out IS kinda starting to creep me out. Are you with me? Comprende?  Or, as they say here in Appalachia  "Com-pre-HEND-o?"  Actually  they don't say that at all but the hubs has, when he's being especially silly and, thankfully, not often but I digress.

Any way, back to the lack of Winter weather ...

Do you know what happens when the temperature stays above 32 degrees and precipitation falls from the sky in the form of rain? When you're surrounded by hills and dirt and ... in valleys and dirt and ... grass, (extra soggy from all the rain) on top of dirt and ... gravel on top of (what was) dirt, and ... dirt on top of dirt? ...

It turns to mud!
Yes, folks (ding! ding! ding!) we have a winner!
Mud. Mud everywhere. As far as the eye can see.  Yuck. No bueno. I was going to post pictures to prove my point but I decided against it. Why would you want to see that? Well, you wouldn't want to so I stopped myself just short of my obsessive compulsion to show you just how ugly mud can be. Plus, I would've had to go out in the mud to take pics of the mud and ain't nobody got time for that.
Listen, I'm not a fan of the cold. Bone-chilling temps, icy roads and precipitation in the form of freezing rain are things we all could do without.  All I'm really asking for is a happy medium. Surely there is one. 
Listen, I NEVER thought I'd hear myself say this but all this brown on the ground is bringing me down ... I'm beginning to think a white Christmas wouldn't be such a bad thing. At least the white stuff would cover up the brown stuff, right?
After all, it would make the kiddos happy, my neighbor Sara would be thrilled and, oh heck, who am I kidding? I know lots of folks that would be over the moon if we had some snow on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day ... 
Now, before you go and get all weirded out by what I just said 'cause you know me and you're convinced that Kimberly has really lost her mind 'cause this is completely out of character (and you would be right) just know that I'm not advocating snow drifts up to my behind for weeks on end ... far from it!
You can't blame a gal 'cause she'd like to wash the back door rugs and have them look clean for more than a second or because she longs to walk to her car without throwing her back out 'cause she nearly falls on her behind, slipping on wet, brown ground. I declare it's trickier to navigate on foot than the white stuff!
On the other hand, maybe there is something wrong with me. I started to notice it with the first snow fall in early November. During my 17-mile trek to work, I actually looked at the snow covered mountain and thought it was pretty & voiced it. While walking into WalMart one warm evening after work, I had a thought "It's so warm, it just doesn't feel like Christmas" ... what's up with that? I'm just not feeling like myself these days.
For the record, whenever I don't feel like myself, I usually always blame my hormones (or lack thereof) but this time, I'm blaming it on the mud ....
I'm ready for some (barely) below freezing temps to solidify the ground and if that brings on a (reasonable amount of) snow then so be it.
Please excuse me while I look for the thermometer. I think I may be running a temp.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Unto Thee, O Lord ...

At 4:00 a.m. I woke up
or maybe I was woken up
I'm still unsure
At any rate,
music immediately filled my groggy head
"Unto thee O Lord ....."
(youth camp?)
"do I lift up my soul ...."
(yeah, definitely a youth camp song)
"Unto thee O Lord, do I lift up my soul ..."
(Really Lord? A song from youth camp? I'm 52.)
~ Which reminded me of Proverbs 22:6 ~
"O my God, I trust in thee .... "
(where is that scripture any way?)
"Let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me"
(sing it again!)
After I sang it a few times in my head,
(the hubs was sound asleep)
I got up, made coffee and went in search of the scripture.
I knew it was in Psalms
 (a sacred song or poem used in worship; especially : 
 one of the biblical hymns collected in the Book of Psalms)
So I went there ...
to Psalms, a beautiful book, authored by several but
most were written by David,
a man after God's own heart
(I Sam. 13:14, Acts 13L22)
I figure if a song written by a man after God's own heart
wakes you woke at 4 a.m.
(90 minutes before the alarm is to go off)
 a gal ought to pay attention.

Psalms 25: 1-2
There it was
(btw, I looked on my own for a short time then "Goggled" it.
Give me a break --- it's early! ;)
Of course, I read the whole chapter.
It's so beautiful, uplifting, encouraging.
Everything a psalm ought to be ...
it's all in there.
So I'm going for it. The theme (& song) for today is Psalms 25:1-22.
After reading it all, I feel certain that was the plan -- His plan ---
Let me encourage you to read it too.
I feel certain this early morning wake up call wasn't meant for me alone.
Have a great day! :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013


laundry. saturday. synonyms?
not technically
mr. webster's answer would be "no" unequivocally
but what did he know about working women and laundry?
i dare say not much

it's saturday and you know the old adage
"the more things change, the more they stay the same"
the change being that my boys are grown and
the same being saturday means laundry.

i'm convinced that regardless of what stage of life you're in if you're a woman and you have a job that takes you outside of the home during the week then (more often than not) saturday is laundry day.

this morning, while emptying the hamper and separating clothes (two small loads. three if you count towels) my mind wandered back to a time when saturday would have found me covered up in piles of a week's worth of dirty clothes -- piles of jeans, khakis, socks, underwear, jerseys, t-shirts, nike shirts (galore) and last but not least, football uniforms (not one, but two) from friday night's game -- my hallway often looked like a mine-field. 

have you ever just had a moment with your laundry?
have your eyes filled with tears and your heart ache as your mind is flooded with memories?
anyone else miss smelly football clothes in the fall of the year? anyone?

let me preface what i'm about to say with this. i would have never, ever imagined that i would miss massive amounts of laundry and, lest you think me diagnosable, it's not the laundry i miss at all.

it's the process that finds me melancholy standing in front of the washing machine early on a saturday morning. the process of raising children. my children. those precious babies God so graciously trusted me to keep and care for and yes, do their laundry.

So ....

by the way, a little later in the day, i shared my laundry moment with my daughter-in-law, the wife of my youngest son. she graciously offered to let me do his laundry. she's a giver.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I heard it long before I saw it as I was leaving work on Friday evening so I quickly pulled out my phone and snapped this as it went by ...

I had been thinking of Joshua for most of the afternoon. He's on my mind more often than not but more so that day because the previous Friday I had been anticipating our visit. You know a "this time last week" kinda thing. The visit was short and wonderful but now it was behind me and I was missing him ... again.

As I walked to my car my heart was overwhelmed.
Thoughts of that day ran through my mind. (You can read about it here)
My breath caught in my throat and tears filled my eyes.
"Calm down Kimberly. He's fine" I whispered to myself.

The truth is he is fine.
He's more than fine.
My boy is far away and getting ready to move father but he's alive.
Not just alive.
He's alive and well. Thriving.

I never hear a train whistle that I don't think of him.
I never cross railroad tracks that he doesn't come to my mind.
Never. Ever.

These moments of panic, those "what ifs" -- when what could have been invades my thoughts --  have come more and more often in the last year or so.  Is it my age? Hormones? Satan? A combination of all three?


Whatever the reason, I have made a decision.
I will be thankful for those times.
I may never understand why things happen but I will be thankful for them.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not there yet. I'm a work in progress -- on oh so many levels -- and, honestly, I wonder if I'll ever not be in need of an "under construction" sign to wear around my spiritual neck.

You see I personally know three families who have lost a loved one to a train so I know people don't come out unscathed when it comes to locomotives. They generally don't come out at all.
So, what if the sound or sight of a train made my heart cry out in praise to God?

What if I fought the thoughts of "what if" (i.e. he had died or suffered irreparable damage) and instead made it a point to thankfully acknowledge  what did happen -- God spared my son -- and give Him praise for it.

Recently, I've been trying making it a point to find the awesomeness in every day life. The simple gifts that surround me. I've intended to write them down -- make a list. I believe that if we're not careful, we'll get so caught up in the wear and tear of the mundane that we'll get to a point where we have to be reminded to even be thankful for the big stuff -- the miraculous -- never mind the small stuff and that's a shame.

I thank God for that train last Friday evening. I needed to see it exactly when I did. The timing was perfect. I heard it coming. I looked for it and it prompted me to thought. Coincidence? I think not.

Today I'll begin my list with:

1. Trains. While it may sound strange to others, they will forever be a reminder to me of God's  protection and faithfulness.
Color me thankful.

So very, very thankful.

~ To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. (Psalms 30:12) ~



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wisdom by Boochie

Anna Elisabeth.
Lovin' on her daddy during church.
My Boochie.

This picture makes me wanna break out in song ...
 "Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?
Isn't she precious?"

Her Papaw Bozo declares she's the most like me of all four grandgirlies and he may be right. It's here that I feel the need to insert that she has him totally wrapped around her little finger. It happened early on and I have evidence. Ladies & gentleman, I present to you Exhibit A ...

Papaw Bozo admiring the newborn Anna ...
Let the manipulation begin!
She's conservative and practical. A deep thinker. She's not given to much foolishness.

Well, unless she's very tired then watch out. Giggles reign supreme!

I said all that to say this:

Every once in a while, I talk to the girls about being careful ... mindful ... of strangers or even people that they know or are acquainted with who may, for lack of a better word, make them feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
(Lest you think me too brazen in my role as Nana, this is something reiterated by their parents).

Yesterday I had such a conversation to which Anna says
"Why are we talking about this?"
(I heard "again" at the end of the question, although it wasn't said. She's intolerant of redundancy ;)

"Well I just wanted to remind you because ..."
"Not everyone loves God."  (Well, yes Wise One. Exactly). 
"And some times there are mean people around, who pretend to be nice. Do you remember what you're supposed to do?"  
Emily chimed in and (impressively) both girls remembered all the things they were supposed to in order to thwart the evil plan of our imaginary abductor.  "Scream -- loud. Never stop screaming. Scratch. Anywhere. Everywhere.  Kick -- hard (in their "daddy parts" if possible). Poke them in the eyes. Bite. Bite hard .... "
Em: "I don't want to bite."
Me: "Yes, you have to bite. Bite hard." 
Em: "No, I don't want to bite."  
To which Anna advised (perceptively reading the look on her elder sister's face) ...
"Emmy, you bite them and then wash your mouth out later!"




So remember ...
"Not everyone loves God."
(bite first, wash later ;)
Wisdom by Boochie. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


You don't have to know me well at all to know that I enjoy & follow the ministry of Beth Moore.
She almost always makes me laugh. She sometimes makes me cry.
She encourages believers to read & study The Word because she knows The Word is life to God's children. She's right.

But today, she provoked me to thought. I believe that's the mark of an effective minister or ministry.
In fact, I think it's the job of those in ministry, nay, their responsibility, to do just that and do it often.

If I'm not thinking, I'm not learning. If I'm not learning, I become stagnant.

Stagnant: adj., not flowing; stale; not advancing or developing.  Ewwww ... no bueno.

The provocation? Her question:

"What do you look like when you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength?"

I read it again. Only this time it was personal:

"Kimberly, what do you look like when you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength?"

If I'd been standing in front of mirror at that moment, I fear I would have been unrecognizable.

The truth is I hadn't thought about anything faintly resembling that in quite a while. <insert stagnation here>  The elements contributing to the stagnation process?






Anger but not too much. Just enough to bring on ...




What prompted the process? That's unimportant.

What is important is recognizing the process exists, regardless of it's stage. Acknowledging it.

I believe that complacency is cancer in the life of the Believer. There's no place for it. Never. EVER.

God doesn't un-call those He has called.  He doesn't un-anoint those He has anointed. He doesn't change. I like love that about Him.

I've taken a good long look and I don't see the same woman in the midst of ministry, full of joy & so in love with her Savior. The woman so appreciative of her salvation, never doubting He loved her and always confident that, in His time, He would meet her every need.

I miss her. I don't think I realized that until just now. She needs to get back to doing her Father's business.  If she has to do it tired and hurting than so be it.

Who would have thought an impromptu blog post by someone several states and a timezone away would have prompted so much thought? I bet Jesus did.  He's awesome like that. ;)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Forever Thankful

Thirteen years ago today, my (then) 20 year old son, Joshua Isaiah, had an accident while on his way to work that included being catapulted into an oncoming train. The impact caused both airbags to deploy and he was ejected from the vehicle backward through the driver's side window (with such force that his shoes were left in the floorboard) and thrown 40 feet onto the highway. Miraculously, he was not hit by traffic on this normally very busy stretch of road.

He was transported to the hospital via ambulance. The assumption was that after such an incident he would surely have broken bones and internal injuries. After a thorough exam by the emergency room physicians and head-to-toe x-rays, his only injuries were a broken tooth, lacerations on his neck (that stitches fixed beautifully), multiple scrapes and scratches on his face and arms and a pretty bad case of road rash on his torso. He was kept overnight for observation and released the next morning.



March 9th will always be a day that finds me with a thankful heart. I know the outcome could've been very different. Considering the nature of the accident, it probably should've been different but it wasn't.  Thankful doesn't cover it. It's not adequate but for lack of a better word, I'll use it.
If I live to be a 150 years old, I'll never be able to thank God enough for the gift He gave me the morning of March 9, 2000. I'm at a loss. There are no words.
Thank you Lord.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

23 Years Ago Today

I think of you often but
 every year on your birthday and on
the seventh of March,
 the anniversary of your death,
I think of you a lot.
I revisit the events of the evening.
The line of traffic ...
the moment ... the hurt ...
the aftermath.

I remember who you were.
Looking more like your Uncle Ray than either of his children!
Lover of family.
Fiercely protective.
Faithful friend.
I imagine what you would have become.
What would life have had in store for you ...
A career? A wife & children?
Family get togethers still include you.
Stories told and retold of you and
(dare I say it ;) your shananigans.
Laughter through tears.
The Ellis Grandchildren -December 1987
Jack, Ker-Rae, Gregory, Kimmy (rear)
RayRay, Shanny, Freddie (sitting)
Philip, Joshua -the great grands (front)
Our family has grown since you've been gone.
Between the six of us,
your brothers & four cousins,
there are 14 great-grandchildren.
You have four nephews.
Oh how you would have loved them.
You would have been an awesome uncle.
Their biggest fan.
No. Doubt. About. It.
Great-great grandchildren have been added to the mix
and this number will grow by leaps & bounds in the years to come!
My four favorite people call me Nana.
My heart now knows why they loved us so much.
Mamaw & Papaw Ellis
The best grandparents in the world!
Grandchildren rock.
So did they.
But you already knew that!
The Ellis Farmhouse

Oh the fun we had in that farmhouse, in that yard, laughing and playing for hours on end.
Today I honor your memory.
A life too short.
You've been gone longer than you were here.
You have been missed.
You are missed.
Still today.
Twenty-three years later.

Rest in peace Cousin.
Your memory lives on.
You are loved.