Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Nav Bar!

A few weeks ago, I googled for a template to replace my old one and came across Simply Yours Designs. Hilary Craner is the designer and she did all the hard work to replace my template. I loved it! But then I thought it might be nice to add a nav bar at the top to make finding things on my blog a bit easier. So, I contacted Hilary, and she designed a nav bar. I love it! It suits me and my whimsical notions that end up on this blog.

I highly recommend her work if you're looking for a new design for your blog. She is completely professional and friendly to work with.

Thanks, Hilary! I'm a happy blogger.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Reply From Representative Jim Jordan

I'm posting the reply I received from House of Representative Jim Jordan who represents my 4th district. He is pro-life and I think his answer is a breath of fresh air. He states his views unequivocally and without apology, which is in sharp contrast to the cause-de-jour-milquetoast-vanilla-flavored politicians currently in vogue with the morally wimpy, fawning crowds who support Obama without question.

And once again, here is the link to the Petition Against Tax Payer Funded Abortions:
Petition Against Taxpayer Funded Abortions

And don't forget to contact your senators and representatives! Here are the links:


April 24, 2009

Dear Ms. Yoder:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the issue of protecting human life. I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns about this important issue with me.

I am staunchly pro-life, and throughout my time in public life, I have tirelessly fought to defend the principle that life begins at conception and that it is a precious gift from God. In the Ohio legislature, I was named "Pro-Life Legislator of the Year", and won the "Defender of Life" and "Pro-Life Honor Roll" distinctions from Ohio Right to Life. When I came to Congress in 2007, the first bill I co-sponsored was the Right to Life Act. Since then, I have earned a 100% pro-life voting record from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and have introduced additional pro-life legislation.

The Obama administration, along with the congressional majority led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has outlined a liberal social policy agenda that could deal a major blow to important pro-life protections currently in law. The most radical of these policies is the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would result in abortion on demand. It would overturn every pro-life victory from the past 30 years, including the ban on partial birth abortion, parental notification laws for minors seeking an abortion, conscience protections for health care providers, and the ban on taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion.

With the stroke of a pen, one of President Obama's first acts was to overturn the Mexico City Policy, which prevents taxpayer dollars from going overseas to groups that provide abortions or refer or counsel for abortions. I joined my pro-life colleagues in writing a letter to President Obama urging him to protect this important policy that has prevented the destruction of innocent human life around the globe. I am also the co-sponsor of legislation that would reinstate the Mexico City Policy into U.S. law.

I am also leading a bipartisan group of pro-life members to help protect important pro-life "riders"-these are pro-life measures added to spending bills that keep in place important pro-life protections-some of which have been adopted by Congress for the past 30 years. Among other things, these riders prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to promote or perform abortions, protect the rights of pro-life health care professionals, and prevent funding for unethical human embryo experiments.

I have also reintroduced the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act (H.R. 649), which would require an abortion provider to perform an ultrasound, and then offer the mother the opportunity to view images of their baby and receive a description of the images. As a father of four, I know firsthand how powerful these images are, and how they may help connect both mom and dad with their unborn child. We must work hard every day to restore a culture of life in America, and to do that, we must change people's hearts and minds. Studies indicate that states with similar laws have seen abortion rates drop by as much as 30 percent. This is the kind of legislation that makes real strides in the pro-life cause.

Thank you again for communicating with us. I hope you will find this information helpful! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any other concerns or questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (202) 225-2676, or by e-mail through our website at


Jim Jordan
Member of Congress

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fiction: The Ordinary Love of Dixie and Jay

Welcome to Friday Fiction which is being hosted this week at Yvonne Blake's blog: My Back Door.

My story this week is based on my grandparent's relationship. I heard many stories of their early years and the love they shared in the 1930's. This was my fourth entry in the Writing Challenge at FaithWriters, and it finished seventh in the Beginner's level. I was thrilled! I hope you enjoy it.

The Ordinary Love of Dixie and Jay
By Dee Yoder

“He’s got those hounds out again and he’s looking for someone to trade with,” complained Dixie.

Dixie had given in to Jay when his Dad died and his mother couldn’t care for their farm alone. Living in her mother-in-law’s house, playing second fiddle, was not easy for a newly-wed girl of nineteen.

And Dixie worried over every little thing Jay did. She wasn’t happy when he went coon hunting because he stayed out all night. But when he didn’t have any “shenanigans” brewing with his friends, she grumbled that he was underfoot too much.

Right now she was standing at the kitchen window watching Jay gather up his latest batch of hunting hounds, which he planned to trade with Ike York for a gun.

“Dixie, he’ll probably get what he wants in the trade and then that’ll be one less thing you’ll have to buy. He’s pretty good at it. Don’t worry so much.” Her mother-in-law said.

“Uh huh, and then next week he’ll be trading something else, and then something else, and it will never stop. I wish he’d put as much thought into our marriage as he does those old dogs.” She threw down the dishtowel and stomped to the door.

Jay turned her way as the screen door screeched open and grinned when he saw her on the porch. “Honey, I’m going to out-trade that York fellow this time and come home with the grandest gun you ever did see!”

“Jay, why do you have to go on out there tonight? You know I’d planned to fix supper in a while. I plucked that mean rooster this morning and he’s all but jumping into the dumplings right now. By the time you get back, the gravy will be like wallpaper paste.”

“It’ll be the best tasting paste I ever did eat, too, Dix.”

He walked up onto the porch and tried to kiss her on the neck but Dixie pulled angrily away. She turned on her heel to head back inside as he landed a flat slap on her backside. He laughed. “Dixie girl, if I didn’t take to you so much, I know I’d have to drop you like a hot potato; you’re just that grumpy.”

He called the dogs to him and went whistling on down the road.

As Dixie watched him go, part of her longed to be right beside him. His old brown coveralls were grimy from the dirt he’d been eating while he was down under the ancient tractor he worked on every morning to get it to start. His work boots kicked up dry Kentucky dust as he walked. It puffed behind him like smoke with each step. The back of his neck was burnt to a crisp and his soft black hair was ruffled out under his cap.

She sighed. She didn’t always want to, but she couldn’t stop herself from loving that fellow. For an old country boy, he could sure be romantic.

She thought back to their wedding just the Christmas before. He’d asked her to marry him, and had gotten the license and the minister all in one week. They’d married on Christmas Eve at midnight, and rode to their new home in a borrowed hay wagon he’d filled with warm, fluffy quilts.

She frowned as she thought of his rowdy friends and the belling they’d given them later. They’d carried Jay off into the woods and he hadn’t gotten back to their little house until nearly three in the morning. He’d come in shaking the snow from his hair, smiling at his friend's teasing.

That was just the beginning of her troubles with him and his ornery pack of friends.

One day, she‘d found him and his pals down at the milking gate, flirting with Mary Wade Hess. She’d lit into him the minute they got home, and was so angry with him that she’d taken her belt off and made to hit him. He’d caught her wrist and rolled her down onto the bed, laughing all the while.

She shook her head. She couldn’t best him no matter how she tried and she couldn’t stay mad at him either.

They’d shared sweet memories in these few short months, and she prayed there'd be many years of memories, too. But, if she could help it, no more with that flirt Mary Wade Hess.

She smiled as she dropped the chicken into the pot. Jay would be home again soon and she’d better be ready. With him, she just never knew what might happen next!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reply From Senator Brown (And My Reply to HIs Reply)

As my previous post explained, I contacted my senators and representative from my district regarding the Freedom of Choice Act (what a cowardly name--it should be titled something more like what it allows or enforces, with OUR tax dollars: The Freedom to Destroy Act).

One of my senators, Sherrod Brown, responded with an email reply. But as was true the last time I replied to my senator's reply, the email was not deliverable because the account is a "do not reply" account. Again, I find that funnily accurate, but anyway, here is Mr. Brown's reply and then my reply to his reply.

Dear Ms. Yoder:

Thank you for expressing your opposition to the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).

The Freedom of Choice Act has not been introduced in the current 111th Congress and it is not expected to be considered in the Senate's upcoming agenda.

The Freedom of Choice Act, as introduced in the previous 110th Congress, states that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect her life or her health. The bill would prohibit federal, state, and local governments from denying or interfering with a woman's right to choose. Some have expressed concerns that FOCA would force doctors and religious hospitals to perform abortions. FOCA would not overturn “conscience clauses” in current law.

While I believe abortion procedures should be rare, they should be safe and legal. A woman's decision to terminate a pregnancy is never an easy one, but it should be a private decision between the woman and her doctor, protected by the constitutional right to privacy.

There is a misconception that being pro-choice means you are an "abortion advocate." Nothing could be further from the truth. Abortion is not desirable, but it must remain a choice. However, the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and the most effective way to accomplish this goal is through access to information about human sexuality and reproductive health care services.

Should FOCA be re-introduced in the Senate, I will keep your views in mind. Thank you again for being in touch with me.

Sherrod Brown

My reply:

Dear Mr. Brown,

Thank you for your reply. My concern is that there even IS a Freedom of Choice Act in writing! Whether it is introduced now or in the future, it is an abominable, selfish law and it is taking the life of a "viable" fetus (AKA "baby").

A woman has MANY choices before a "viable fetus" becomes a reality, and I'm sorry to disagree with you, but many women DO get rid of their babies with little or no problem deciding to do so! Though this abortion choice, on the surface, appears to "protect" a woman's right to "choose", it is essentially being used, in MOST cases, as after-the-fact birth control!

In my opinion, it is hideous and reprehensible to have a country with elected officials who don't even shudder at having a hand in this kind of decision. I want NO part of having this abortion-minded law being carried out with my hostage-held tax dollars.

I pledge to remain vigilant, as this act comes around again for vote before the Senate and House, to speak out AGAINST this terrible potential law.

I would really appreciate you stepping up to the plate and thinking outside of the loyal "Democratic box" by saying you will NOT support this act in any way, shape, or form. It might even persuade me that Democrats have a heart for the preborn, too. At least one would.

Please pray and think about your position on this matter, and then act, when the time comes (and it WILL), in a way that represents the appreciation and value of LIFE, not death (AKA "choice").


Dee Yoder

I encourage all of you to remain vigilant, also. We all know this "act" WILL be before our elected officials at some point in the future. Let's keep our voices heard before them and let them know that "choice" is NOT a choice for us, and definitely not something we want our tax dollars being used to promote. And again, here is the ink to the Petition Against Tax Payer Funded Abortions:

Petition Against Taxpayer Funded Abortions

And don't forget to contact your senators and representaives! Here are the links:



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Petition to Vote "NO" to Taxpayer Funded Abortions

I recently voted "No" on a petition against taxpayer funded abortions. I received the following email once I submitted my vote. If you also are AGAINST taxpayer funded abortions, please take a minute to read this and then click the link to sign the petition, too. Also, don't forget to contact your state representatives and senators to let your voice be heard on this issue.

From Focus on the Family Action:

Thank you for adding your name to our national petition saying
"No" to taxpayer funding of abortions.

We are thrilled that so many concerned citizens are affirming
life and opposing this latest, radical attack on the preborn
by adding their names to our Focus on the Family Action petition
in support of the "pro-life riders" and in opposition to the
Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). It is our hope that as word spreads,
more pro-life citizens will step forward--following your lead
and taking a stand against using taxpayer dollars to fund the
abortion industry!

Over these next days and weeks, we are asking friends to do
two things to help make a difference and spread the word about
this vital initiative:

1. Please call your U.S. representative and urge him or
her to support the pro-life riders in the upcoming
appropriations bills. You can reach your legislator
at the following numbers (DC Numbers):

Sherrod Brown - (D - OH) Class I
Phone:(202) 224-2315
Email: Contact Sherrod Brown

George V. Voinovich - (R - OH) Class III
Phone:(202) 224-3353
Email: Contact George Voinovich



District 4: Jim Jordan:
Washington DC Office:515 Cannon HOB Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2676 Fax:(202) 226-0577
Email: Contact Jim Jordan


2. Please forward this e-mail to your family and friends,
so they, too, can sign our petition and make their voice
heard in defense of preborn life. They can sign the
petition by clicking here:

Petition Against Taxpayer Funded Abortions

Thank you for standing with us in support of the pro-life riders
and against the Freedom of Choice Act.

Focus on the Family Action

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm the Only One Left

"And the word of the Lord came to him: 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'
He replied, 'I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.'" (I Kings 19:9-10)

When I read this, I imagine a little bit of a whine showing up in Elijah's voice. It's a good lesson for me to read when I start climbing up on my high horse to cry about how much I've done and how much I'm not appreciated...etc.

I've read a forum lately where some Christians are constantly whining about how much they do, how much they alone understand the true Word of the Lord, and how much they wish people would just listen to them and learn the RIGHT way to be a Christian. One man, in particular, feels no one else but he has the answers. You wouldn't believe how often he has to suffer fools and their "wacky theology". But the problem is, he comes off sounding like a two-year-old with that whiny voice all moms want to run away from at the end of a long day.

In his humble (oh yes?) opinion, all holidays are filled with hypocritical reasons why they are celebrated, all happy Christians are two-faced and not real, and he rants on and on in his cynical whine about the Christians that just don't measure up to him and his perfect theological POV. If someone offers that perhaps his tone of voice or choice of words is a bit offensive (or makes them want to paddle him), he whines some more about how unfair the moderators are to him (and like an elephant,he never forgets the "wrongs" done to him--even posts the dates of the wrongs on his avatar), how mature and smart he is compared to other Christians who frequent the forum, and how much he can't stand "fakes".

I had a professor once who told me that if a minister spends a lot of time focusing on a certain "sin", maybe we should wonder if that's the sin the minister himself struggles with. I've never forgotten that advice. (You know: "I think he doth protest too much"). I remember that advice every time I read this theology forum expert's opinions. He is tough and hard and alot of people are afraid to be on the wrong side of him, but I think he's mostly a bully with all the failings he rails that everyone else has as being the REAL reasons behind his sleepless nights.

To me, there's nothing more off-putting than a Christian who takes on the Elijah syndrome permanently. It's one thing to have moments or days when you feel down or alone. We all feel dejected at times, but dwelling and wallowing in that attitude is so...well, immature.

I like what God asks Elijah: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" And after Elijah whines, you can almost hear God sigh. He then tells Elijah that He (God) is going to send Elijah a helper and He (God) is also reserving 7,000 people who have not bowed to Baal or mouths that have not kissed Baal. In other words, Elijah wasn't really the only one left to do God's work, was he?

My prayer today is that God will come find me when I'm hiding in my corner, thumb stuck in my mouth, whining that "I'm the only one left" who will do anything for the Lord. I hope He'll ask me the same question He asked Elijah: "What are you doing here, Dee?" Maybe that will snap me back to the reality that God Almighty uses many others and I'm not the best, or the worst, or the "only". "And, oh my goodness, Lord: Please keep me from whining on the theology forums!"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bad Poetry

I don't claim to be a poet. In fact,the best kind of poetry I write is bad poetry. Here are some examples of my bad poetry. Think you can beat mine? Add your bad poetry to your comment and we'll just see who's the WORST poet ever!


The path was strewn with moonstruck rays.
This same moon had known better days.
I culled her rays; chose just the best,
and threw the worst ones in the trash.

My Love's Eyes

His eyes shone bright
His eyes shone blue
His eyes shone just about every hue


Big lamps, small lamps
Short and tall lamps
White lamps, red lamps
Desk and bed lamps
All lamps give me needed light
Because my eyes are short on sight

Dust Bunnies

My favorite kind of bunny
Is really sorta funny
I like the ones that I can scoop
because they do not EVER poop


My car went over the speed bump
My car went into a tree
My car went over the guardrail
Oh bring back my car to me

Bring back
Bring back
Oh, bring back my car, to me, to me!
Bring back
Bring back
Oh, bring back my car to me!

My car got towed by a tow truck
My car got towed by its trunk
My car got towed by a tow truck
And now its nothin' but junk

I'm singin' this song as a pauper
I'm singin' this song as a hack
I'm singin' this song as I carry
My car to my home in a sack


I don't know why
but when I see
an egg
if often
offends me

I think it is
because I know
it comes from
I don't go


Writers are a funny bunch
We often write while eating lunch.
Because of an amusing hunch,
we often eat just Cap'n Crunch

We lock ourselves inside our rooms
and snarl if anyone presumes
to talk to us while we are typing
(it is not a case of useless griping).

You see, we need all of our brains
to create a world that is insane.
So best for you to leave us to it
Don't argue now! Get out! Just do it!

Inside our heads are many notions,
weird ideas, and sometimes potions.
We launch our tales and sad devotions,
and even sometimes act out motions.

We'd do anything, you see,
to get a story out for thee.
So let us roam, be free to scribble
( But give us a bib, in case we dribble.)

OK. I challenge you: do your best and let's see who is the Queen (or King) of Bad Poetry!

Friday Fiction: Gonna Be a Mighty Fine Christmas

Welcome to Friday Fiction! My story seems an odd choice since we're just getting into the spring season, but I love this story, and it's because it's about my dad. As a child, he lived with deprivation and responsibilities that he made sure his children NEVER knew. In spite of the hardships and the loss, he was and is a cheerful man. Many of you may have already read this, but I want to dedicate this story to my dad: Ray Thompson. If ever there was a survivor, it is Dad! And to read more great fiction, go to Patty Wysong's Pattering's blog.

Gonna Be a Mighty Fine Christmas
By Dee Yoder

The boy trudges through the snow pulling a makeshift sled behind him. Darkness is minutes away, but his merry-sounding whistles cheat the night of its shadows. He has no boots and wears a pair of threadbare socks in place of mittens, but he notices no deprivations on his errand this Christmas Eve.

He spots the yellow glow of light spilling from the windows of Mac Sam’s General Store and aims himself and his sled accordingly. He pushes open the door and begins to unload crates of empty bottles.

“Almost didn’t make it, Mac! Mr. See told me to come by there ‘cause he had a whole pile of bottles saved for me…and it was worth the extra mile,” he laughs and helps Mr. Sams count the empties.

“Well, C.R., it looks like $3.50 tonight. That sound right to you?”

“Yessir! And mighty happy to have it, Mac!” The boy jingles the coins and rolls the dollar bills up in his fist as he orders food from a list in his head.

“Tomorrow being Christmas, I figure on scrambling eggs for supper and for breakfast, so how’s about a whole dozen eggs…maybe two slices of bacon apiece for each of us…lessee…that’d be eight slices…and uh…better give me a sack of flour…that way, we can eat biscuits and gravy, too.” The boy briskly rubs his hands together in excitement. “Gonna be a mighty fine Christmas, Mac…mighty fine!”

Mac Sams gathers the boy’s items and leans on the counter to watch as the lad wanders through the store, looking at the Christmas toys and brightly wrapped candies and confections. Finally, C.R. comes back to the counter with six penny-stick candies, three brightly colored pencils, and a glittery box of Christmas cards.

“These here cards, they look so cheery…I wonder how much they are, Mac?” The boy’s eyes gleam as he stares at the homey images printed on the box, and Mac steals a look at the price written on the bottom…$1.15. The proprietor puts the box on top of the flour and tells the boy all Christmas items are on sale: two for a quarter.

“Hot diggity! Good enough…I’ll take ‘em,” the boy laughs.

The two load the items on the sled, and calling out a Merry Christmas to Mac, the boy sets off in the dark, the soft slush of the sled lingering in Mr. Sams’ hearing long after the young man disappears in the night.

Mr. Sams shakes his head and mutters, “His no’count Pappy ain’t coming home again this year…what gets into a man…leavin’ a twelve-year-old in charge of three little kids?” He sighs and flips the CLOSED sign over.

The boy makes good time and enters the cabin where his siblings have been lined up at the window, watching for him. He grins as they dance around, waiting to see what goodies he’s brought home. Their eyes grow big at the sight of the eggs and bacon, and their mouths begin to water in anticipation.

“All righty, you get crackin’ on some of these eggs, Barb, and I’ll get the woodstove hot and the iron skillet sizzlin’. We’re gonna have some good eatin’ tonight!” and he laughs again at their eager participation. He hides the penny-sticks and pencils away, and before long, the smells of frying bacon and savory scrambled eggs fills the cabin. The boy whistles merrily as he cooks, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”*

After supper, they sit in front of the fireplace, warm and sated. A few minutes past nine, he shoos his young sister and two little brothers off to bed, and gets the small gifts from their hiding place. He secures three battered socks with nails to the old mantel and fills the toes with the penny-sticks, the bright-colored pencils, and hickory nuts he’d gathered earlier.

From the cupboard, he unwinds a length of string and stretches it from one side of the mantle to the other, looping the ends securely around the nails. Then he opens the box of Christmas cards and carefully places as many as can fit along the string between the socks.

The sparkling glitter catches the fire’s glow, and he lies down with his head on his arms. He looks at each homey scene longingly, imagining his Mom alive again, and all of them together as in those warm and happy vignettes. He whistles a Christmas tune softly and closes his eyes with a sigh.

“It’s gonna be a mighty fine Christmas,” he whispers.

Author’s Note: I lovingly dedicate this story to my dad, who lived it as a child.
*Santa Claus is Coming to Town, by J. Fred Coots, and Haven Gillespie, 1934

Monday, April 13, 2009


It was beautiful and inspiring to witness six ex-Amish young men be baptized on Easter Sunday morning. Their testimonies touched my heart. To know that many of them struggled with the decision to leave their families and their Old Order Amish communities added to the poignancy and the sacrifices they made to follow Christ.

Some English don't understand that not ALL Amish are Christians; that is, not all sects preach that Christ ALONE is the way to heaven. Many preach that works, through obedience to the Ordnung (letter of rules a community lives by), obedience to parents, obedience to bishops, and following the traditions of the forefathers is the way to heaven.

Further, many Old Order and Swartzentruber Amish believe that leaving the Amish will guarantee that an ex-Amish will go to hell when they die. They believe that there is no salvation, even through Christ, for the ex-Amish who leave the community. This is clearly heretical teaching (and many of the Amish do NOT preach this), but I've found that when English outsiders admire the good ways and peaceful life of all Amish, they are not being realistic about some of the sects that are controlling and harsh in their judgements and demands for their people.

This knowledge gave me a great deal more appreciation for the freely given and freely accepted grace that covered these six ex-Amish young men in their decisions to follow Christ and be baptized yesterday. Hearing the ways they had to leave...their circumstances afterwards...and their hard-won successes in this English world really tugged at my heart strings.

I know the Lord is with them and He is continuing to strengthen and grow them into young men who can flourish and witness to Jesus's sacrifice on the cross...for them. What a blessed Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Fiction: Prairie

Join me in reading some great fiction for Friday Fiction, which is being hosted by Joanne Sher at her Open Book blog.

By Dee Yoder

I run through the field and the sharp dry weeds poke the bottoms of my feet. I feel the edges of the saw grass sting my shins. In my ears, is the rushing sound of the wind as it picks up and the rain smells sharp in it. I can hear the sound of my brother running behind me with Gyp at his heels. In the distance are the faint voices of my mother and my pa calling us to the sod house we have built on the prairie. Without even seeing their faces, I know they are anxious.

“John, hurry.” I puff.

“My legs are hurting and my side is aching”, he cries.

“I know, but I can tell mother and pa are worried about us.” I can barely speak for the effort to keep running, to keep John moving ahead.

In my mind are the memories of the past, especially the burials of my two sisters. We dressed them each in their best clothes; dresses that had been carefully folded in Ohio before our long journey to the west. My mother struggled to let them go. I see her in my mind, skinny and frail, pulling the trunk out from the corner, searching through the meager clothing stored inside. We had dreamed of one day pulling those Sunday garments out in our new settlement, to wear to our new church, in our new life on the prairie.

Things had not gone as we’d planned. It was much harsher, much lonelier, much harder to make a daily life than we ever thought it would be. The winter tried to kill us all, but it had managed to slip away with only the two weakest before retreating into history.

Now the season of rain, and wind, and hope had breathed down on us. But it was hard to see any hope in mother’s eyes. Her face wore the chiseled, guarded squint of loss. Her words were sharp and focused on plain living with no thoughts wasted on the beautiful or the extraordinary.

I was stunned by her reply the first time I called to her to come and listen to the meadowlark that was newly returned. She had appeared at the Soddy door, her face red and perspiring from her work. I could see she that was cross with me.

“There’ll be a hundred more meadowlarks to listen to before the summer’s done, Lydia. Don’t be bothering me about things like that.”

I’d watched her go back inside as if she were a stranger.

My mother had been beautiful, and happy, and full of life before we started out on this journey. I wanted her back. I missed the way she used to pull me down beside her to examine nature up close. She’d never minded being interrupted before. Now, she worried about everything. Now, when I coughed in the night, I heard my mother stir. I felt her breath on my cheek and her hand graze my forehead. Some nights, she couldn’t resist waking me to ask if I was all right.

This is why we run to her and Pa, to calm her fears and to see his weary shoulders sag in relief.

He turns to her. He pulls her to him and says with a faint smile, “See, they’re fine. Children must play, Anna, they must run and have time to dream.”

He comes to meet us and playfully tousles our hair. He says to her, “They need to be out of our sight, sometimes, to be happy to come home again, Anna.”

Mother raises her face to the late afternoon clouds. Her eyes seem to be searching the sky for the others. For a moment, her mouth trembles. Tears form but she blinks them away again and again. Her face softens, the hard squint slackens, and a small smile tilts her lips upward. The meadowlark sings his spring song and mother looks at me. She reaches out her hand to draw me near.

“Let’s go see if we can find that old bird, Lydia,” she says quietly.

I look behind me as mother and I walk into the field. Gyp is nipping and pulling at John’s pants. Pa is watching us walk away. I raise my hand and wave. He waves back. He gathers his tools and returns to his work.

We are making our life on the prairie; we are planting our hopes and dreams in this soil. Sometimes, they are watered with our tears.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

They Shaped My Life: Pastor Appreciation

I have an article printed in this month's Church of God Evangel magazine. It was written to say thank you to all the pastors I had as a youth and to tell others what I learned from each of them. It's called: They Shaped My Life (page 25). Some of these pastors have already gone to heaven, but I wish I'd thought to thank them. Though I was shy child, I realized that from each man, I learned something quite unique.

If you have or had a wonderful pastor, take time to tell him or her that you appreciate them. Send a card, or even better, a letter, to let them know how they've influenced your life. You'll be glad you did!

Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:15

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Friday Fiction: Charlie's Way

My contribution to Friday Fiction is a story I wrote for the Faithwriter's Writing Challenge, with the topic of "snap". This little romance tale (an unusual genre for me) got mixed reviews: it was either well-liked or very disliked! Tell me which way it hits you. And for more great fiction, go to Patty Wysong's Patterings blog.

by Dee Yoder

Charlie gripped the wheel with both hands as she maneuvered her car through the city traffic. She wouldn’t have driven here except Paul needed her.

After another two miles, she was off the highway and driving slowly down a wide street, looking for the restaurant where Paul had asked her to meet him. She spied his car and pulled in beside it.

The lights inside the restaurant were low and made it hard for her to look for Paul, but she finally saw his broad shoulders at a table near the back wall.

“Hi, Paul.” He glanced up, a startled expression covering his face.

“Hey there, Charlie. Have a seat. I didn’t expect you to get here so soon.”

“Well, when you called me, I knew there had to be a good reason…you never do that, y’ know. So I hurried. I left work early.” She took a seat and pointed to the menu lying on the table. “Is it good here?”


“The food…is it good?”

Paul smiled and nodded. “Yep. I ate here last month when we had a conference in town.”


He stopped talking and Charlie examined his face. Something was definitely wrong with Paul…but what?

They gave their orders and she continued to make small talk and Paul continued to give monosyllabic answers. After the waiter brought their food, Charlie ate quietly. Finally, Paul put down his fork and looked across the table.

“Charlie…you’re the best friend I have…you know that, right?”

“I’m glad you think that, Paul.”

“But, you see, Charlie, all the time I was growing up, I had this ideal in my head…who I would marry. Someone successful…young and, well, you’re going to think this is dumb, but being the nerd I am, I always thought…er…hoped, that I would meet a really beautiful babe-type woman.” He laughed nervously. Charlie’s stomach started to churn but she said nothing.

He continued. “Someday, I knew I would have a good position in the office and maybe that would lead to a date…someone would finally see the real me. Y’ know what I mean? I know you do…you’re so sweet,’s your way, but…” he turned his chocolate brown eyes to Charlie and she knew what he was trying to say.

“ I see the real you, Paul” she said softly.

He blinked…his face turned red, but he continued. “You know, other people have the idea that you and I are, well, dating. That’s not really the way it is. Is it?” His eyes were begging Charlie to understand.

What he was saying sat like a rock in her stomach and caused a painful tug in her heart, but she understood. She understood because she was on the outside looking in, too. She knew the urge to be somebody…to not be overlooked…but, she loved him and it would be hard to let go.

Charlie looked away just as a gorgeous redhead walked past the table. Paul’s eyes followed the model-thin creature all the way to her seat.

Something snapped in Charlie. That longing look he wore did it. She was NOT enough for him, but she didn’t have to be…she suddenly knew he’d either have to accept her love and friendship just the way it was, or she’d have to move on. She stood. Paul watched her every move and it was clear he was feeling a lot of pain, but he didn’t stop her. He stood, too, and leaned close to give her a hug. Just before he let her go, he suddenly pressed his cheek to hers and she heard a soft moan escape his lips. He looked at her and his eyes were sad.

“Look, Charlie…I have some growing up to do…I have some thinking to do and some praying to do. I don’t feel good about my selfish dreams. I just…” he shrugged and dropped his hands to his side.

Charlie smiled at him, gave him another quick hug, and nodded.

“It’s OK. I do understand…but I can’t change how I feel about you and it’s obvious you want more than I can give. I’ll be praying for you. You’ve been my best friend and it’ll be hard to not see you or talk to you, but…” she sighed and began to walk away. At the door, she turned back to see that Paul was still watching her; his face forlorn and already looking lonely.

She waved, straightened her shoulders, and went out into the cold night.

I Love Faithwriters!

Faithwriters has changed my life! At 50, I finally decided to jump into writing again and I looked for a place to do that which was safe, helpful, and friendly. I found that at Fatihwriters. I don't think I would have ever pursued the kind of writing I have tried if not for this wonderful site. But FW needs support, and I am happy to publish their letter explaining this need. Prayerfully consider helping out! Click on the links and be a friend to will NOT regret it!

Dear FaithWriters friends.

As we are all aware, the world is in the midst of a time of great economic volatility and uncertainty. Over the last twelve months, financial belts have been tightening, and not surprisingly, this has had a severe impact on FaithWriters.

Conversely, membership at FaithWriters has been growing faster than ever before. The incredible value of this site to the Christian community, particularly to writers, is unquestionable, and the rapidly increasing membership is testimony to that. The support, encouragement, information, inspiration and opportunities provided, both at FaithWriters and on the message boards, have spurred many members on in their writing, taking them to new levels of achievement, and providing confidence to use their abilities professionally for God’s glory.

So while membership is booming, financial support for FaithWriters has been plummeting. Unless this financial trend is reversed, the consequences for FaithWriters will be extremely serious.

Almost all FaithWriters’ services are provided free of charge to all FaithWriters members, with only a few add-on options, such as the Private Messenger. By signing up for one or more of the extra services, or becoming a member of the FaithWriters 500, members help to meet our mounting costs.

Although one-off donations are always appreciated, and can be made online at , our heart is always to give generously back to our members, and that’s where the FaithWriters 500 blesses both ways. Members partnering with FaithWriters in this way receive many benefits, while helping to keep FaithWriters alive for just 33 cents a day.

As serious as the financial situation has been for FaithWriters over the last year, the rapidly declining support over recent months has brought FaithWriters to a critical fork in the road. We would not be wise stewards to sit back and ignore the warning signs.

For that reason, we ask our members to give consideration to the following ways in which they can help to contribute to the financial support of FaithWriters:

•Become a FaithWriters 500 member and enjoy many excellent benefits

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God bless you for your continued support and prayers.

God Bless,
Scott Lindsay