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Barb's Mantle

Today is Valentine's Day. Many will be hurrying to get their special someone a valentine, flowers, or some other gift, to express their love to them. I am sure the stores will be flooded, right up until they close. Florists will probably do their best business of the year today. And the candy companies are going to flourish! Many husbands like mine will be taking their spouses out for dinner as well. I never expect anything for Valentine's Day, and love surprises!

There are many out there that feel left out, when it comes to Valentine's Day. There are those that are single, divorced, or widowed, that don't have a special someone to bring them flowers or a card, or take them out to dinner. They get depressed and blue. The church may have a Valentine's Day meal or celebration, and that, too, makes them feel that much more an ?outsider?. It's hard to face the day alone.

If you are one of those with nobody to ?call your own?, remember Jesus. He's a God of love. He wants to be yours - to love you with passion, to . . .

When we think of Thanksgiving, we think of the pilgrims, their meal with the Indians, and a gathering of our family, with a great meal to come. We never think of 'death'....but it's there. Death is 'just around the bend' for each of us - death is sure, unless God calls us in the rapture before our earthly death. But we don't think that it will happen 'today' precisely. That's why each of us should be ready, whatever the hour or the day.....HE comes for us when our time is HIS TIME.

The week of Thanksgiving, on Tuesday, we had buried my best friend's Mother. She was a wonderful, loved, Christian lady, ready to meet the Lord and get her new, non-suffering body. She had been sick for so long, and she had a massive stroke a week or so before, and the Doctors said she'd never be any better- that she would remain in the coma she was in, if she lived or died. But God had other plans; she woke up on . . .

You who have been long-time subscribers realize I've been very lax in my producing the newsletter every week for a long time. But, being busy and having many pressing matters, I let the newsletter slide by from week to week. But, something within made me want to produce the newsletter today.

Being lax on matters of life sometimes is okay.  I can let the housecleaning slide by for a time, and nobody suffers. Oh, perhaps we get a little embarrassed when unannounced company comes by, but it does nothing to us as a person. We may let our apparel suffer by not buying new clothing, but it just makes us look a little dowdy; again, it means nothing to our body.

But, when we are lax on spiritual things, we suffer the . . .

Mother? Oh, Mother? How many times have you heard those words? Often times they are reeking with excitement, or perhaps fear or anguish! I can remember rushing to the aid of my children, when I heard those words. Often, it was a hurt toe or finger or other part of the body, and I had to give a kiss to the boo-boo, assuring them it would be okay. Sometimes, it was sibling rivalry! Having had a boy and girl almost three years apart, there were many times I had to be a go-between in the squabbles that only little children can find to be in! Often, it's just the 'I AM' syndrome - I AM going to get my way!

Mothers can only do so much! We can help a child grow up to be an efficient adult. We can get them over their fears to great accomplishments. We can teach them right from wrong. We can teach them to love others. But, the one thing we can't do is give them saving Grace. We can bring them to the threshold of God's Kingdom, and there, we have to leave them in the hands of God. Mothers PRAY, believe, me and we pray much! We pray for protection over our children and our grandchildren. We pray for favor over the homes of our children. But, we can't pray them into the Kingdom of God.

That's where the Holy Spirit comes in to help Mom. We Mothers pray, God convicts and woos, and they react to . . .

This week has been a wake up call for me, being a grandmother of five, two of which are staying with us for the week. They are two rambunctious, free-willed, spirited young boys, ages 10 and 12.  They love one another; yet, they will do anything in their power to keep a row going between them or to get one of them in trouble - just to holler, 'he did it!'

I didn't realize that I'm actually getting 'old'. Can you identify? I don't mean I look old or even feel my age, just that I am not as young as I once was. I just can't stand a lot of bickering, even when I know they aren't going to kill one another with words, although, sometimes, they say it aloud!  Once you have gotten the ability to live a quiet, sedated life, and then noise to the 10th degree comes in, you are ready to pull out your hair! Actually, I can't wait until Friday afternoon - two more days to go!  Oh, don't get me wrong. I love my grandsons! They are two of the most loving boys, hugging you all the time, kissing on you, wanting to set on your lap, very polite - yet, they get on my last nerve, when they begin to holler and chase one another, or get to wrestling in my house. 

I just have to remember that these two boys have a life ahead of them in which they will either be hone and refined by the Grace of God. Or, they will be two of the biggest hardheads in the world. :)  Right now, I'm leaning toward . . .

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