NotesAs a writer, I always have a small notebook in my shirt pocket to take notes when I have an idea. I don’t have too many ideas, so I want to write down any I get so I don’t forget them. That has helped me out on many occasions.

There is one exception. When The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage talks to me, I fail to take notes about that conversation. You would think after being married as long as I have, I would know better.

I never think of it until she asks, “Do you remember what I told you this morning?” That always catches me off my guard, and I think she just may be doing this on purpose.

Usually, she says this after lunch, and I have no recollection of any morning conversations. But, because I don’t remember, I get in deep trouble.

My confusion along this line is simple; is she saying this because it’s true or because she knows I don’t remember things? I believe that at this stage in our marriage, she has a good idea of what I can remember. Sorry to say, I don’t.

Then I come in and have to face, “Do you remember what I told you this morning?”

Once, trying to get a step ahead, I said, “Yes, I do remember, and I’ll get to it tomorrow.”

Thinking this will solve a problem, I smile and go about my business. But, boy, was I wrong.

I can never outmaneuver The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. When I said that, she replied, “Great, what are you going to do tomorrow?”

I knew I was backed into a corner and responded as cheerfully as possible, “I’m going to do tomorrow what you told me to do this morning.”

I didn’t get off on that one. I didn’t think I would, but you never know until you try.

At my age, I’m not quite sure how the game is being played. I cannot tell if what she was telling me now is what she said to me in the morning. I think she plays me along this line, because if I forget something, then it’s all on me.

I try to tell The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage that, at my age, I’m too poor to pay attention. I tell her when I save up enough money, I will spend it on paying attention.

She never buys that. She looks at me, both hands on her hips, and says, “What have I told you about saying that?”

If only I could remember, I could beat her at this game. I’m unsure if I’m forgetting or if it never actually happened. I have no viable proof.

One day I tried it out for myself to see if I could trick her. She came into my office, and I said, “Remember what I told you this morning?”

“Yes, I do,” she said with a smirk. “Here are the batteries you asked me to get at the store.”

All I could do was say, “Thank you, my dear.” I have no recollection of ever asking her to pick up any batteries for me at the store. If I did, I sure don’t remember.

I have to give her credit on this one. She got me.

Turnaround is fair play, or so I thought, so I came up with another idea.

The next time she said, “Remember what I told you this morning?” I looked at her and said, “Yes, my dear, and here are the donuts you asked me to get you this morning.” I then handed her a box of doughnuts from the bakery.

She replied, “If you remember, I said, 'Don’t go nuts today.'”

I just can’t win.

Of course, if I did get a notebook, I would have to buy a new one every week to keep up with her conversations with me. It might be worth the investment; it could keep me out of trouble.

One time she asked me, “Do I need to get you some hearing aids?”

I’m thinking more about getting a recorder to tape our conversations. Unfortunately, I can’t find one with that much memory to record her conversations.

I had one more ploy at least to try. The next time she said, “Remember what I told you this morning?” then, with my hands behind my back, I brought them forward with a bunch of flowers, gave them to her, and say, “Yes, my dear. Here are those flowers you requested.”

What was the great pay-off for that time, I couldn’t remember. She looked at those flowers and then looked at me and smiled and said, “Thank you.” And that’s all she said.

I racked my brain all day trying to figure out how in the world I was able to capture that one.

I may be learning to pay some attention; nobody knows how long this will last, least of all me.

Reflecting on this I was reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

My big failure is when I try to lean on my own understanding instead of trusting God. My trust in God will raise me above human understanding, which puts me on the right track. Also, my trust keeps me going in the right path.

Rev James Snyder videoDr. James L. Snyder, is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. James is an award winning author whose books are available at

Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail [email protected]. The church web site is

Hello everyone!