Irish House Blessing



Wishing you always—

Walls for the wind

And a roof for the rain

And tea beside the fire—

Laughter to cheer you

And those you love near you—

And all that your heart might desire!

and if things be wrong…

It’s easy to be pleasant
When life flows by like a song.
But the man worthwhile is the one who can smile
When everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with years.
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth
Is the smile that shines through the tears.



May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

A Blessed House, A Blessed Nation???

Independence Day is a profoundly patriotic day for our family.   Our family fought in The Revolutionary War, with no government to supply uniforms, weapons, food or shoes for their feet, and we won on principle and determination.   Most of all, we won because we were a godly people soon to be a  nation founded on The Word of God.  Men like Washington himself prayed.  At Mount Vernon, his home still preserved today, you can see a prayer journal that he kept with only a small sample of his personal prayers.  President Washington had no shame in praying in public nor did his predecessors such as Lincoln up to the last President Bush.  Today, we are so far from the ideals of President Washington.   If only…

we heeded Washington’s Prayer:

“Of all dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”  from the farewell address

No doubt, there are few today in our  self-indulgent and intelligent society who could comprehend the meaning of these two sentences,  let alone apply even a portion of the concept of morality.   Proof in the decay of our morals is the debate occurring in the special session of the Texas Legislature.   The media portray Wendy Davis as a hero to women and little Wendy minions chant, “Hail Satan” to Pro Life supporters singing Amazing Grace and children stand next to Wendy with signs that read, “Leave my mommy’s vagina alone.”  Where did these children come from and where are the Al Sharpton’s  to cry for the unborn;  particularly,  unborn black children who have been aborted at a rate of  1,876 per day?   The bill does not  eliminate abortions, Wendy Davis still  retains her Pro-Choice Murder,  rather the bill would stop abortions after twenty weeks and stop the abortion mills like Gosnell’s of which Texas had their own version of horror.   How have we come so far?

In our own homes is where the moral decay or complete lack of principle begins.   We send our children to the public indoctrination chambers that teach tolerance for the most evil deeds and intolerance for goodness and light.   We sit and watch the garbage of television and pay to do so while watching programs that tout immorality.  The number of wholesome and decent shows that depict a family with  fathers and mothers in  monogamous relationships are completely non-existent.   We don’t read God’s Word in our homes, but profess to be Christian, and never pray for this country.   We live a lie everyday telling ourselves that Washington is corrupt and there is nothing we can do about it as long as what they do doesn’t affect me or mine.   Could we find our way back by heeding this simple House Blessing from long ago (pictured in photo above)?


our Houses

with God’s Word and principles contained in The Bible so that we find :


beyond what we watch on television and what our next purchase will be so that we focus on


helping others by serving with no ulterior motive to promote ourselves so that our homes will reflect


demonstrated to others so that they will desire to seek God for themselves.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  II Chronicles 7:14

The future of  Independence Day in four words:

Humble, Pray, Seek,  Turn


The Pigeon

Usually,  I associate pigeons with city life and the parking lots that make up most of the landscape not allocated for buildings.  Instead, my pigeon decided to come to the country where there are no other pigeons and many other birds that would love to prey upon any defenseless city dweller that encroaches their territory.  There was purpose in the destination the pigeon chose, but I didn’t fully understand why until a few days later.

There have been many things that have come to my yard including abandoned,  soon to be  momma  cats  that need a safe place to have a litter.  This is comical to my friends and family because I have no affinity for cats or even birds other than live and let live.    For the few animals who make their presence known to me,  by coming to my kitchen door,  I pay attention and somehow the two of us manage to communicate.  The pigeon came to my back porch and eventually to the door.   It needed help and all I know to do is give food, water and protection from predators.  Each night the pigeon slept on the lowest eve of the porch and then during the day she stayed as close as possible to the door and porch.  Eventually, I held her in my hands and it cooed and I talked and sang to her.  She had a mate that perched upon the roof, watching and observing the care she received.  I meant to take photos of him.  He stayed with us for  several days until we had our roof replaced which is another story about the storms of  life and the bumps and bruises that happen.

On her last day with me, she perched in the water bowl I set out for her and seemed alert.   A few hours after this photo, I noticed her mate right beside her on the ground.   My pigeon must have had some bumps and bruises that I couldn’t see.  She was dying.   Curiously, her last breath occurred with her neck stretched upwards.  Her fellow pigeon stayed near her so I left her for a few hours so that he could grieve.   I wrapped her in a cloth and buried her next to Reba (my chicken).

After hanging out on top of the chicken coop, the mate made his way into the chicken run and eventually inside the chicken coop.  I feel guilty because I didn’t know if this was a healthy situation for the chickens and the girls didn’t care much for the intrusion so I kept chasing him out of their domain.  When the roofers came,  and stayed for three days,   he left and hasn’t come back.  There are some who believe that animals will not be with us in eternity.  God does not specifically say in His Word that our pets will be with us in Heaven or not.   However, the scripture says, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26)

Death has been knocking all around me these past years enough to get me to tally all the losses.  Counting from my earliest recollection:  My young uncle who died in a fishing accident, my grandfather,  my young uncle due to medical malpractice,  my brother who was killed by a drunk driver,  my mother to cancer,  my sister to cancer,  my uncle to old age and there were others in between who meant much to me and others.  Their absence from this life still causes me to grieve.

Death has become a part of me so much so that I can say that I understand and embrace the hope of  Heaven beyond my own understanding.  There are many religions that promise different things in the after life.  Yet, there is no other religion that gives us the hope of eternity shared with our loved ones as was revealed to John and promised to us as believers:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”  Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  Revelation 21:1-5

One sure fact that we all face is D-E-A-T-H.   Atheists, Agnostics and all believers of any religion will die.  There is no escaping it.    The question we must ask  is, “If there is an eternity, where will I spend it?”

 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

My Aunt Madge and Uncle Lee, One Without The Other

A few weeks ago, on my way to Round Top, I called my Aunt Madge;  and,  the love of her life, her completeness, her best friend and lover, her life long companion for sixty-nine years and my beloved Uncle Lee  answered the phone.   He chatted away asking me if I had made the canned green tomatoes that he enjoys so much.   He sure would appreciate me bringing him some pickled green tomatoes.  Yes, he sure did love them and life and children and grandchildren and the greats and the great greats and My Aunt Madge, exclusively,  for a few months shy of seven decades.

My Uncle Lee served his country in the Navy during World War II.  He came home and raised two children and more generations along the way.  He was a Mason, a Shriner and an Elk.  Most of all he was the love of my Aunt Madge’s life and she was his.   My husband and I have tried to model our marriage after theirs.  After all, they have stood the test of time, they stood with us when we were married practically giving us away themselves by hosting our wedding at their lodge and cooking for days so that our guests would be served the best barbecue in Texas.   It was no easy feat.

Everywhere she was he was standing beside her helping and loving everyone that came in contact with them.  When you spoke with her on the phone, the conversation was with both of them.  He would echo in the background completing her sentences and adding to the stories or the treasured advice they would share if you asked.  He was the tall dark-haired handsome man who only needed her and his family.   The measure of the man was his love of God, his wife and family.  That was all he ever needed and it was everything that made the man more than himself.

When I spoke with my Aunt Madge, she never mentioned herself or how she would cope.  Her faith in God is amazing.  She said she pictured my Uncle Lee with one of her grandsons, who had been called home way before his time.  They are in Heaven getting ready for the rest of us while laughing and catching up on lost time.    One of her favorite scriptures is, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.”   Her words were noble and praiseworthy; trusting in God who she knows so well.  All the people she had come in contact over the past few days in the hospital and while making arrangements for his burial,  she appreciated and praised their efforts.  Her neighbors and family who are beside her were her concerns.  She never mentioned herself, not once.

My Aunt Madge took time in her grief to give me words of encouragement to tell me to hold strong to my marriage.  That most marriages end because one or the other spends too much, to enjoy life and not worry about the material things because nothing, nothing at all, can be taken with you.  She wanted me to hear that loud and clear.  She said I have a good husband.  We are doing a good job.  I just wept.   How can someone stand so firm at such a time?

Hubert Lee Langston, Sr., was eighty seven years old, married Fanny Madge Collins sixty-nine years ago.  Together, they have a son and a daughter and five grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, numerous great greats.    His latest goal was to make it to seventy years with his best friend.   His legacy is to love all others before yourself.

Uncle Lee, well done, thy good and faithful servant.  To God be the glory!

In God’s Box

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

It’s no secret in our house that I go through long periods of no sleep where I prowl, as my sons say, around the house and pray.   My guys are no longer afraid if they wake up and I am sitting in the chair in their rooms praying.  I’ve been doing this for years.   I pray for their wives even though they haven’t met them, but God knows who they are,  and I pray that He keeps my sons on the narrow path and they raise generations of godly children.  I’ve prayed for all their concerns like making friends, doing well in school, getting their first truck, college, jobs and the list goes on.  They know that if they are up to something I will know because God somehow shows me or they actually tell me themselves much to their dismay.  This is something they haven’t figured out how it works, but they will when they have children and pray for them.

Having shared all of this brings me to the main part of this post,  I always wanted my mother to pray for me and felt that if she had prayed early on for her children maybe the decisions I made in the past that hurt so much could have been prevented.  My mother came to Christ after my oldest son asked her where she would be when she died and would she like to be baptized with him.  I am sure the Lord had planted seeds long before my son spoke with her and he just helped as only a favorite grandchild has a way of getting things done that seemed impossible before.    They were both baptized at the same time when she was in her seventies and him at twelve.   She was a babe In Christ and was working out her faith the few years before she died.  Admittedly,  I have been jealous of  friends whose mothers have been praying all along.  I have literally mourned the loss of something that was never available to my mother’s children until later and then limited.   There is nothing so powerful as the prayers of a mother for a child and somehow I felt that I have been left out.   I am grateful that my mother knew God, even so late,  and I believe that she is in heaven with Him today; perhaps, praying

My sister, Sandra who passed away a year ago, was thirteen years older than me and my reluctant mother who was there for me when my mother could not or would not.   I have been mourning the loss of not just a sister to sister relationship,  but the comfort of knowing,  that no matter what,  there is someone else in this world that understands and will take me in unconditionally.   As most of my fellow floor walkers and sister warriors of prayer know, this stuff hits you in the middle of the night mostly between one and four in the morning.    I have been missing her so very much lately, especially during sleepless nights.

In the early hours I had a dream that my mother called and told me, “you need my help.”  Strange, I always tried to avoid needing her.  Then the dream progressed and my sister came to me and while hugging me whispered in my hear, “You are in God’s box.”   For weeks I have pondered that expression!  Don’t tell the sleep depraved, over analytical,  pre-menopausal, grieving basket case something that you don’t want her to pick apart for days on end.

“In God’s Box”, does that mean I am like Jonah in the belly of the whale and about to be spewed on to the beach.  Is God so unhappy with me because I can’t seem to figure out what or where He wants me right now?  Am I not doing something I should be doing?   On and on my brain bandied this about and it went this way for about a week.  I mentioned it to my sons and they had been thinking of their grandmother and aunt and missing them too.   What does this all mean???

Lo and behold!  It’s one in the morning.  No surprise, I am awake.  “…In God’s Box.”  “You are in God’s Box.”  “…In God’s Box.”   Just google it, silly girl, and so I did.  Here is what I found:

God’s Boxes
Prayers and reflections from an Irish web designer in Galway

 I have in  my hands two boxes which God gave me to hold.  He said, “Put all your sorrows in the black box, and all your joys in the gold.”

I heeded His words, and in the two boxes both my joys and sorrows I stored.  But though, the gold became heavier each day.  The black was as light as before.

With curiosity, I opened the black, I wanted to find out why.  And I saw, in the base of the box,  a hole which my sorrows had fallen out by.  I showed the hole to God, and mused, “I wonder where my sorrows could be?”  He smiled a gentle smile and said, “My child, they’re all here with me.”  God’s Boxes!

I asked God why He gave me the boxes.  Why the gold and the black with the hole?  “My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings; the black is for you to let go.”