Monday, December 31, 2012

Dear 2012....

Dear 2012,

I'm torn.

There's a part of me that wants to lean down in your ear- and say,
"let's pretend like this never happened."

However, I kinda want to whisper in your other ear,
"thank you for being the backdrop for some of the greatest blessings I've ever known."

I saw You everywhere-
Fields ~ funerals- births- weddings- friends - lunches- over wine- over prayer- in new homes- in  memories of those who now live with You- in my Mom's eyes- in my Daddy's Hands-in cackling laughter-in little giggles- In shocking situations- in the predictable ones- in changes- in fear- in trust.
You were a fickle one 2012.
Although One Thing remained for me....and for you.


Like the song says,
His love never failed, it never gave up and it never ran out on us.
Nothing can separate

He is Higher than the mountains that we faced
He is Stronger than the power of the grave
He is Constant through the trial and the change
His Mercies are new everyday.
We never have to be afraid, because He remains.
He Always has.
He Always will.

"We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." ~Proverbs 16:9
So, bye bye 2012.
And as for you 2013? Bring it on....because no matter the wind's strength or the water's depth,
We will not be alone in open seas.

God, Thank You. You wrapped our days and our lives in Your Grace and Mercy. You sustained what You ordained.

In His Dust,

"The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?" ~Proverbs 20:24

Thursday, December 20, 2012

God Is With Us...

And lo and the fields....there were....
 overly excited cattle and dancing donkeys....

(alongside one guy refusing to costume up- apparently The Bachelor was at the nativity looking to hand out a rose to a sugared up sheep
They were and are, daily guided by real life shepherds...
that would lay down their lives to protect these kids.

Then there was Joseph and Mary.
He was clearly not amused and not buying Mary's story of how this happened.
Mary was beaming...She looked like she really was,
 "treasuring up all these things and pondering them in her heart." 
 It's as if she knew full well- she was chosen for something bigger than anyone could fully grasp.

Beaming angels....making sure we were not afraid...

and lop earred donkeys possibly, up to no good.....
Of course, the lesser known quotes from the stable were also heard
"There's no room in this inn and, you're stepping on my tail!"
The wiseman who yelled "I need to tinkle!"
(After the handing over of Frankenstein)
The confused cow who pondered how "Jesus got born all the way up there at de norf poll"
There were donkeys that were "bored"
and cows that would prefer to snuggle up in a lap rather then stand up and moo for the crowd...
The pews were filled were crying moms and beaming grandmothers...
alongside dad's with a proud giggle and tear.

For a moment the bad news outside didn't exist-

We all followed the star- that lead us to the Manger
In that manger....we found "A Son is given."
God is with us.
And THAT'S what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.

God, Thank You for reminding us through these precious funny faces...that You. Are. Here. 
In His Dust,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Michael's Christmas Letter...

I walked in and found my friend Jane reading "Michael's Christmas letter" this morning.
Michael was and will always be, Jane and Gary's son and Patrick's big brother. 

In light of recent days Jane felt that it was time to share this letter.
We pray that it brings peace to chaos and comfort to those so desperately looking for it.

"He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear." ~Psalm 46:1,2b

Following the death of our seven year old son in 1992, a “Christmas Letter” came to my husband and me. It was signed “Love, Michael” – the words were actually from the sister of Michael’s Aunt. She is a talented poet, although she will claim she was merely a vessel –
these words were “Divinely Inspired.” We call this “Michael’s Christmas Letter” – and we want to share it hoping it will bring peace, hope and comfort to many who suffer a tragic loss of a child. The words are precious and uplifting to us.

"Dear Mom and Dad,
How are you?
I am very fine! I hope my Christmas Letter gets to you in time.
Guess what!!
Of all the kids in heaven, God Himself chose ME…
To be the one to put the star on heavens’ Christmas tree!
It wasn’t made of came right from the sky!
An angel put it in my hands and lifted me up high.
All us kids sing Christmas carols and always celebrate…
And you oughta see the candles on Jesus’ birthday cake!
We all get to make a wish...that HE will make come true.
I thought of lots of wishes…but I mostly thought of you.
He asked what gift He could give…to me, His special boy.
He asked what was my heart’s desire…what was my favorite toy.
I thought and thought of all the toys I had ever had…
Then I asked if He would send some smiles to mom and dad…
‘cause if He could make you happy like you used to be
That would be the perfect present that He could give to me.


God, It feels like we are all missing somebody, especially this time of year. We are hurting for strangers and praying for each other. Thank You for hearing each prayer and wiping each tear.
May we know the True Peace and Comfort Who came to live and walk among us on Christmas Day.

In His Dust,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mama's Got A Brand New Book....

Well, I just read Melanie Shankle's new book, "Sparkly Green Earrings." 

I have a... 

sore tummy from belly laughing...
full heart from the stories...
wet face from tears...

You can't lose on this one.

God is clapping His Hands as he watches Melanie Shankle " throw her stone."
To have gifts and use them to His Glory-
There must be no higher form of worship to Him.

Thank you Mel,
For honoring Him with the gifts He so clearly gave you. 

For sharing them with us in your humor, to your heart, to your child.

There's no sign of Tim Duncan's shoes in this fabulous book.

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." - Isaiah 55:12

This is a no brainer for a Stocking stuffer this year.

God, Thank You for Your Protection.

In His Dust,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy 70th Daddy!

"He is well respected at the city gates" -Proverbs 31:23

Godly parents in a small West Texas town raised a true southern gentleman.

The little boy from Pecos, has a firm handshake and an honest heart.  
He puts his heart in to anything he does....and always has.

Whether on the football fields of West Texas on Friday Nights... 
engineering classes of Lubbock, drafting tables, board meetings, or sitting around a conference table "scribbling out," some of the finest homes and buildings in the state of Texas.

He had an eye for the future- and he still does. He makes people's dreams come true. 
I'd imagine some of you are reading this very blog, from a home, room or office he designed.

He's an observer...

A listener....
 A provider....
A protector...
a spoiler or grandchildren....

A loyal friend and a family man...

He is as stubborn as a mule and as focused as Clint Eastwood on his chair.
All of this is wrapped in a fast paced blur of constant movement which covers one of the most tender hearts I have ever known.

That's my Daddy.
Happy Birthday Daddy, I love you and am proud to call you mine!
Thank You Heavenly Father, for the example you have given Bobby and me of You...through our Daddy.

In His Dust,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Do they See Him....

Popo was my grandfather.
We were glued at the hip. 
 As Momo used to say, "never saw anything quite like you two together."

He's been gone over 10 years and I still miss him at times like it's only been 10 minutes.

He married Momo when my Uncle Con and Mom were toddlers.
And then God said- let there be Cherry! (Out of this union, I got an Aunt, a Godmother and a second mom. You know,the kind that never says no- and thinks your biggest mistake might very well be someone else's fault. I love her to pieces!)

I went to a Bday party this weekend for someone on Popo's side of the family.
I got to introduce myself as Frank Blair's Granddaughter, to those who I hadn't seen in 44+ years.
It felt so safe and familiar.

I suddenly became very aware of my actions- my language and who influenced who I am today.

As my eyes perused the room, I definitely saw bits of him everywhere and in everyone.
There was a slow of hunting and fishing...keen sense of humor and sharp old school manners...serious attention paid to what was cooking on the grill.

When I had a small group laughing, I wondered, did they see him in me?
Did they know, he is who sharpened my wit?

On my way home- I remembered that in every action and every word of his every day....
Jesus was constantly showing Who He was from.
He was constantly praying that they would see His Father in Him.

So, while I hoped they'd seen Popo in me- my greater hope is that they saw Jesus.

During this season of holiday parties and small talk around queso bowls and sugar cookies-
I've got to remember-

Are they seeing Jesus in me?
Are they hearing God in me?

"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." ~Colossians 4:6

God, Thank You for the grace that covers me, as I try and show Who You are.

In His Dust,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Well, after two trees, chunked to the driveway and not enough Xanax, we finally got the tree up at home.
Yes, I'm aware it's not about the decor and its all about Jesus' Bday- I know!
But dang was it frustrating to be messing with a tree and jacked up blown out lights.

It was not until yesterday that I was reminded what matters.
I went downstairs to my favorite new "therapy" spot...the pre-k room.

They were about to decorate the Christmas tree. 

And by decorate... 
I of course mean.... 
running in to each other like wild animals while... 

what appeared to be spitting out strawberry and gold lights.

It was just like that scene on Charlie Brown where they all stand their mouths into a circle....raise their arms....and poof the tree is done!!

We hung the star- and talked to the kids about remembering to look for Jesus 
whenever they saw a star. We talked about how He is everywhere and in Everyone.
We turned out the lights and watched the star glow.

You would have thought they were looking at the Rockefeller Tree.

God, Thank You for sending Your Son....and for continually sending signs of Him.

In His Dust,

Monday, November 26, 2012

365 days....

"If you look reaaaaaaallllll hard, you can see the castle.
It's all the way...far, far away in candyland." -Alice Mims

365 days...hard to grasp.
Somedays it feels like the ones we are missing are....far, far away, in a castle, somewhere in Candyland.  
Somedays it feels like they're as close to us as the tortilla on her face.
I'd sure love to see your eyes light up when I walk in the back know, the way only a grandmother's do.
I'd sure love to tell you about a bad day or disappointments, just to hear you say, I still think you're only the way a grandmother can.
I'd love to show you pictures of Riley, Kate and Alice and tell you about how amazingly perfect and funny and sweet they you could say, "tell me again, I didn't quite hear you Hon." (Knowing you heard perfectly you just wanted the bragging repeated!) only a grandmother can.
I'd love to hug Jesus' neck to thank Him for buying our ticket back to you and other's who have gone on before only a Savior Can.
I understand that the only way to be face to face with Him and Big Con is to be away from us.....and that is a tab I am willing to wipe a tear away and pick up.
"You don't have to wait for the end. 
I Am, right now, Resurrection and Life.
 The one who believes in Me, even though he or she dies, will live." ~John 11:25

Because of this promise....all those things that I'd love to do.....

I will.

To be face to face with Christ and loved ones...
is to be away from us...and that is a tab that I am willing pick up. 
(As I wipe away a tear and grab a tortilla.) 

I still love you My Little Momo. I always will.
Thanks for an incredible 44 year ride. 
God, Thank You for the life of Momo. Thank You for providing an abundance of laughter among the tears for the past year. Thank You most of all for Your Son, in Him...there is no sting.

In His Dust,
Susan Mims Blair's Granddaughter

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thank You...

"He took the cup and gave thanks...
then He took the bread and gave thanks."
~ Luke 22:17,19

It amazes me that Jesus was hours away from being...betrayed, abandoned and offering His Life for us. And yet, He chose to be Thankful during this time.

God, Thank You for a year overflowing with blessings.
Some were blatant....
Some were well disguised...
Some were wrapped in grief...
Some were wrapped in laughter and tostado burgers....
Some were wrapped in predictable old friends and bean cups....
Some were wrapped in unexpected new friends and Bible Studies...
Some were wrapped in giggling nieces and precious Godchildren...
Some were wrapped in Mom and Dad...

However, ALL were wrapped in You and By You.
Because "All good and perfect things come from You."
And for that fact....
I choose Thanks.

In His Dust,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good Grief...

Yesterday,I went to my first "grief seminar"....begrudgingly.
At first it felt like a Saturday Night Live skit...(which I used to dream of being on, 
but not this skit.) 
Gilda Radner and John Belushi were nowhere to be seen. 
There was not a whole lotta funny in this circle. 
In the circle sat a variety of pain....those that had lost a husband, a son, a dad, a grandmother. A few couldn't even say who they had lost. 

Holidays are supposed to be wonderful...right?
This time of year, everything from commercials, to songs, to conversations, all focus on home and relationships. 
Which is lovely, accept if you are missing home or loved ones....and if you are, 
you are now in the bright spotlight of how much you are missing.
Bottom line, If you ain't sittin' in Norman Rockwell's painting...chances are, you wish you were.
The holidays aren't all they're cracked up to be. 
Ironically, it is the time of year when many of us...crack.
And guess what? 
That. Is. Ok.
This year might not be what you expected....or wished for...
However, don't forget, for one second, 
that Very God Himself, 
is present among us.
In Him all things keep us connected to those we love, both present and past.

It's ok if an empty chair, or the smell of stuffing and chocolate pie gets you choked up...
He gets it.
"Surely He took up our pain and carried our sorrows." ~Isaiah 53:4

Surely that same God will be with us and bear them again this season. 
I for one, am very thankful for that! 

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, 
so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." -2 Corinthians 1:3,4

God, may we shed tears of Thanksgiving for Your presence and the abundance of gifts that flow from it.

In His Dust,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No Matter What...

I like politics - Watching our Founding Father's system play out on our modern day map fires me up...
(possible nerd alert)

Whether we are across from each other at EZ's, or side by side in the stands watching football or baseball games...this election has worn me out.
All the commercials and yard signs and emails- do they make you feel claustrophobic, rushed and panicked. Or was that just me?

Hearing people say they aren't voting, because they believe our country is doomed either way....
Gimme a break people!!  We aren't electing a Messiah.

So, I went out to pray and walk off Teka's...and the possible M&Ms I might have had.

My daily walk on the golf course- although always pretty, 
was exceptionally beautiful today....

I was reminded with this gorgeous view....
He's Big y'all. 
He's not JUST Big.  
He's Big and Brilliant and Just. 
He's The Creator of The Universe....and of you and me. 
Might I remind you and myself, that neither Obama or Romney had any say-so,
over where the ocean starts and stops. 
Nor did they have a peep to say about where or when, you and I came to be.

He knows what's best. 
So, on this important day, while our responsibility to country and each other, must not be taken lightly. Let's keep in mind....

"In Jesus' Name, the nations will put their hope." ~Matthew 12:21

The last time I checked, Obama was not crucified for you and I assume you were not baptized in the name of Romney. 
Let us keep our heart and heads focused on one fact, that doesn't require numbers or polls or even swing states. 

No matter what- 
The sun will set...
The stars will shine...
The moon will hang...
Seasons will change...
You will breathe in and you will breathe out... 
And most of all The Son will rise again. 

"Be Still and know that I Am God; I will be exalted among the nations.
 I will be exalted in the Earth." -Psalm 46:10 

God, Thank You for blessing our country. Please help us keep the proper perspective on Who is truly running things.

In His Dust,


Monday, October 29, 2012


My sister in law's parents recently returned from Amsterdam. 
I didn't know much about it...I may or may not have just learned this very moment, that it is the capital of the Netherlands. Thank you Wikipedia.

Why didn't I know about it?? Well,there is a slight to strong possibility that I was not paying attention in World Geography. 

Which in my defense, was 1st period of my Senior year and our class was filled with people constantly distracting me. 
Francie,Tom, Beth, Grady, Stacey, Shawn, Lori, I am talking to you.....

Come on, we were doomed for failure from the first day of Fall 1984.

The good news? We were blocks away from a 7-11 and Dunkin Donuts....and our teacher was able to be bought off with Big Gulps and Munchkins. 
So we all made A's however, if you ask most of us from that class where something is...chances are slim to none, we won't be much help.

However, great news, redemption came to cover my lack of attention and care for the cities of the world Saturday night.
I was given a full blown report on Amsterdam by my nieces. 
Quite frankly, who wouldn't prefer to learn about gorgeous little people dressed in different colored skinny jeans and shiny flats??
me, that's who.

So, here is what you need to know.
Apparently "Hamsterdance is a far away land....
like the kind of far away where Shrek lived."
According to 3 certain people under the age 8, "it is a place where hamsters dance" 

"Yep, that's what they do there.....Dance."

All day.
All night.
That is what the far away land of Hamsterdance is known for.
It sounds like a great way to pass the days and nights away if you ask me.
Yes, indeed.
 The conversation made me wonder, 
Where was I not picturing enough joy...enough dancing???

God used 3 giggling, gorgeous nieces to remind me of His Promise. 
"I have come that you may have real life, 
a more & better life than you have ever dreamed of."- John 10:10

God, we live in a world filled with arguing politicians, hurricanes and wars. 
May we always look for the dancing hamsters.

In His Dust,