The Hawk

Broadwing Hawk 4

I briefly mentioned in my previous post that we have a hawk. Well, we don’t actually HAVE him, but he circles above our property all day long. We live right amongst the Sam Houston National Forest, so we’ve always had our share of critters, including various kinds of hawks; however, as far as I know, we’ve never had this type of hawk near our home. He is a Broadwing Hawk, and has the most distinctive call! I wish I could share a clip of his call, but I can’t find one that will share. It’s a beautiful, yet piercing, drawn out whistle. As a matter of fact, at first we thought it might be a Blue Jay (they are known to mock this call), but it was a much prettier sound than a Blue Jay has. And, obviously, these pictures were taken from the internet, because my photography skills are terribly lacking, and my live-in photographer is on the road a lot lately!!

Broadwing Hawk 3

Anyway, creatures and creation have always touched me deeply, always causing me to praise the God of creation. I think my Nana (my maternal grandmother) planted that deep within me, along with my Aunt Johnnie. They both loved to see the amazing work of the Creator, and always shared their amazement with us kids.


Broadwing Hawk 1

God asks in Job 39:26, “Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?”


Yesterday, Dr. Jobe Martin was teaching at our church. He uses God’s creation to teach and share the Gospel with people all over the world. He knows so.much.stuff. about animals, fish, plants…and his awe of the Creator of all things is so contagious!!

So, this morning, as I got up and sat on my beloved porch as my precious Lovey was leaving for the day, I listened to the Broadwing Hawk as he called to HIS lovey. The male’s call is an octave lower than the female’s call, and I’ve heard both. Dannye Reigh actually got to see two birds. I read that they are only in our area for migration purposes, but I hope that’s not the case – I love that beautiful call! But as I also read that they migrate in kettles, or flocks, I can imagine that would be an AMAZING sight to see!!


God bless your day – He’s already blessed mine!!

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Valuable, but small

One of my all-time favorite movies is “You’ve Got Mail.” It’s a very laid back movie, a redo, actually, of the old movie “Shop Around the Corner,” which starred Jimmy Stewart. The newer version stars Tom Hanks (probably my favorite current actor) and Meg Ryan. The movies’ plots are not the point of my writing today, but in “You’ve Got Mail,” Meg Ryan’s character is writing to Tom Hanks’ character via email, whom she met online, but has never met in person. She says, “Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small…”

This has been the byline of my blog since my Xanga days. I DO lead a small life – I’m not anybody, really, in any sense of being a Somebody, except within my small life. That’s what makes my life valuable, at least to me.

I was telling Dannye Reigh (our eldest daughter) just today how valuable our lives are. We were floating in our neighborhood pool, just the two of us, on this beautiful (if hot) summer day, watching a hawk soar lazily just below the puffy clouds in the sky, listening to the blue jays squawk at each other, and I thought, “You know, we. have. so. much!”

My precious hubby is out on the road far away from home, providing for our life! Recently, I was making a payment on a bill, and the fellow behind the desk was telling me that with “just a paystub,” I could get a loan for so much money, etc., etc. I told him that I actually don’t HAVE a paystub, because I don’t work outside the home. He was a bit shocked when I told him that for over 34 years, Bill Petty has worked hard to give me the pleasure of staying home, if I so choose. That is valuable to me!

My family, beginning with my kids and grandkids, as well as my dear siblings and their kids, Bill’s siblings and their kids, and even reaching out to uncles, aunts, cousins, and beyond…we are part of this huge family that love each other and love being together. That is WAY valuable to me!!

Friends. I have friends that have loved me for such a long time. Friends I don’t even get to see very often, but every so often I receive a FB message, a text, a phone call – or even better – a visit from a friend who simply wants to say “I love you.” That is SO valuable to me!

Just this morning, I was reminded again of the most valuable aspect of my life, and that is the love and care of my Heavenly Father. As I said, Bill is on the road again, and has been gone quite a bit this summer. I miss him desperately when he’s gone, but I do try to “keep my chin up.” However, I found myself feeling pretty down this morning, and the song that’s been on my head for a week wasn’t helping any. (Jasmine Thompson’s cover of “Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” – Beautiful love song!!)

So, as I got my Bible out this morning, I decided I’d better listen to some praise music while reading. My Bible Study right now is from Felicity Bee’s Inscribe the Word series, and this month’s theme is Worship; so, finding worship songs is not too difficult, for sure! Being a teen in the 70s, and finding Christian radio in the very early 80s, some of my very favorite praise music is from the Maranatha Singers, and YouTube has a plethora of their recordings.

July Psalm 68

I was so very grateful to hear Psalms sung as I wrote out “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered…” and “God setteth the solitary in families…” It was like a balm to my soul, and it was IMMENSELY valuable to me! (It was even more meaningful when the hummingbirds began playing in the water sprinkler, a blue jay came to sing near where I was sitting on my porch, a praying mantis climbed up beside me, and the Broadwing hawk joined in, making me think of the verse, Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes.” Psalm 96:13)

Yes, my life is small: we don’t have a lot, I have no claim to fame or popularity, and I certainly don’t have any power to speak of; yet, I am loved. I am needed. I am content. My life is valuable, not only to me, but amazingly, my life is valuable to my family, my friends, and my Heavenly Father. (You know what? YOURS is, too!!)

I love my life

God Bless your day!

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And a year later…

I was on Facebook, thinking about all these things going around in my heart and head, and how I’d love to write them down. I thought about this blog, and how much I loved writing all the years I was a part of the Xanga world (a blog space that is no longer). I came over to my page, and it has been over a year since I have written here!! I thought, “Wonder if I should try writing again?” So, then I had to figure out how to sign in! It took a minute to even find the sign in page, and once I did, I had to try twice to get ‘er done because I wasn’t sure which password to try. I’m here now, and as usual, the blank page is a little daunting! And rather than try to capture all those swirling thoughts and emotions I referred to above, I think I’ll just write a little catch-up post!

The biggest change in my life since February, 2016 is that our 7th grandbaby was born! Her name is Talia Jeanne, and she lives in Michigan with her Mommy and Daddy, and her 3 older siblings. So Bill and I have 3 Texas Grands – Arulai, 10, Titus, 7, and Selah, 6 in two weeks. The remaining 4 are the Michigan Grands – Chloe Grace, 4 (5 in September), Levi, 3, Micah, 1 (2 in August), and baby Talia, born this past March. All of our Grands are our LIFE, and we see them all as much as time and distance allows!

Talia Jeanne collage

Beautiful Talia Jeanne

Talia Jeanne

Detroit Tigers Girl, Talia!

Swem Babies Memorial Day

Michigan Grands, May 2017

Swem Babies July 4

Swem Babies, July 4, 2017

Petty Grands

Sweet Texas Grands!!

Petty Grands 2

Petty Kids, June 2017

I hope I’ll come back and write before another grandbaby is born! Writing is something I love to do, whether I have an audience or not! But, at the least, I’ve caught my page up on these little loves of my life!!

God bless your day!

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Sacrifices of Joy

Bill and Nina 2016
My down attitude from my Lovey being away so much is making an undesirable impact on my grandkids. Last night while putting Arulai to bed, she told me that when she gets her purse, she’d like to give me the money she’s saved to help out so Papa wouldn’t have to be gone so much. This morning, Titus melted into a puddle on the ground as Papa was saying his goodbyes because there was no one to help build his Monster Jam track. (Selah is generally alright as long as she has Nonnie or Mommy.)
While talking to Arulai last night, I realized I was fostering discontentment in my grands (and in myself!). I began telling her that not only was the Lord using Papa’s job to provide for our family; the Lord is also doing other work in Papa’s heart, in my heart, even in their hearts. It’s not only about the money. It’s about trusting God. It’s about following His way joyfully. It’s about God working in the lives of His children, so that we can shine forth His beauty to others.
I had been saying some good words to the kids, to the public at large, but I hadn’t been receiving this whole work/travel related package as a love-gift from the Father. And my grands could see that!
Wanna know some benefits of this job? Besides the provision we’ve received, that is! One of the greatest benefits I’ve seen is my husband’s confidence returning. After the layoff almost 5 years ago, Bill has struggled in this area. He is more often lifting ME up nowadays than vice versa, as it had been for a good while! He is traveling, which he loves. He is coming across all different kinds of people, situations, climates, traffic laws…and handling every one with confidence (even when he doesn’t like it!). That is a huge blessing from the Lord – a gift to my sweet hubby.
Another benefit is for me. Now that Bill is gone quite a bit, and since being oft alone isn’t very easy for me, Nathanael and Emily have given me a bit of purpose in my weeks. I have the opportunity to be with them in their home every Wednesday – Thursday; a sleepover, the kids call it! I have loved being a part of their family IN THEIR HOME – seeing how they do life together! Officially, I have a “job.” Mostly, I’m just Nonnie with a schedule! But this has been a blessing to me, and is slowly building back some of the confidence I’ve lost as a natural result of the “empty nest.”
There is also a hidden benefit in being away from the one I love most on this earth, in that I am forced to turn to the One who loves me most through time and eternity. The Lord God never leaves me nor forsakes me. He is ever there to hear my prayers, encourage me through His Word, and provide for my every need while my Lovey is away. I also believe He is doing the same for my Lovey! These sacrifices of joy we are giving now are becoming joy overflowing!
I have asked the Lord to grow me spiritually this year – that I won’t be stagnant, but will actually be able to SEE the work being done by my Heavenly Father. He is answering that prayer, and giving me eyes to see. The burning of the dross is painful – sometimes the pain is a 2, and sometimes it’s a full 10! I pray I will not allow circumstances and feelings to blind me to God’s work in me and in my family. Thank you, Lord, for continuing to complete the work you began in me almost 50 years ago!
God bless your day!


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I Am Resolved

There’s an old hymn that I grew up singing and loving. I hope you will read the words to this song, and if you know the tune, sing along!

I am Resolved

I hear a lot about resolutions this time of year, and much of what I hear is the many reasons that folks don’t believe in them. Because of my nature, I have to say that I am not against those who are against resolutions; however, also because of my nature, I have to say that I am not one of those folks!

In June of 2015, I felt that I was at a crisis point in my health, mostly due to my obesity. (I know, obesity is a very strong word, and so many of you gracious friends and family would never have used this word for me. Perhaps a little chubby, or maybe fluffy. But never OBESE. But even at my height and saying I have a “large frame,” I was at the very least 85 lbs overweight! That is OBESE!)

So, anyway, back to my crisis point. I knew that I needed help in my weight loss journey, and we simply couldn’t afford for me to go somewhere for this help. I began praying. I asked the Lord to help me. I knew that he wasn’t going to simply take the pounds off, nor was he going to take away all temptations from in front of me. I didn’t know HOW he was going to help me, but I knew that I was doomed to obesity without his help!

I gathered all I needed to get back on a diet plan I had used successfully 15 years ago, and prayed. A LOT! And I was surprised at the way God answered those prayers. Rather than doing any of the things above, what God did was to fill my heart and mind with RESOLVE. I felt RESOLVED to eat the right foods; RESOLVED to drink my copious amounts of water; and RESOLVED to withstand all the temptations that were around me!

I didn’t conjure up that RESOLVE; I know that it came from the Lord! When Bill ate his Bluebell icecream every evening, it seriously did not bother me. When I visited Pamela and her family for an extended stay, I encouraged them to eat what they normally would, and they did. I was truly not bothered by the desserts or those wonderful breads and cinnamon rolls because the RESOLVE the Lord gave me held! (It was so funny to sit at the table with different foods than the rest of the family had at times. Chloe’s constant refrain was, “Nonnie, what you having?” She especially loved to share Nonnie’s boiled shrimp! She did NOT want to share Nonnie’s boiled okra!)

From June through November, I determined to stay focused – again, with RESOLVE that came from the Lord. I allowed myself Thanksgiving Day, and a few days during Christmas, for some cheat days. I am so grateful that I never gained any weight during those 2 months (I have lost 44 pounds to date), and even more grateful that the Lord continued to answer my prayers!

As we come to this new year, I have renewed my prayers to the Lord for his help in my weight loss journey; I have also expanded those prayers to other areas of my life. If – as in the words of the song above – I were resolved no longer to linger in the world’s delights, and dwell on higher, nobler things; if I were resolved to leave my sin and strife, and go to the Saviour, who has the Words of life, and is faithful and true each day; if I heeded his words, do what he wills; if I were resolved to be taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit? How would that impact my life? How would my life impact others for Christ?

 I pray the Lord will give me the same RESOLVE he has given for this weight loss, to every area of my life; that I may glorify Him, and be well pleasing to Him!!

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…the voice of thanksgiving

Psalm 26: 7 …that I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. Continue reading

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Mother’s Day, and it’s progression in my life

Continue reading

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