Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Have you ever been there? You know the spot...

Things don't seem to be working out the way you'de like them to. You feel the worst is yet to come, but you're torn between this choice or that one. Indecision has you tugging at those last few remaining strands of hair on your pale, scaly, scalp and you're mumbling things no one understands or even cares about.

So, you do know what I'm referring to...

Great! I thought so.

Lean in kinda close as I say this. Words of wisdom from Betsy Randolph ain't free and they aren't spoken very often, so listen up...

"Just jump!"

Whatever your options are...slap them all on the table of, "just freaking decide" then pray, shake your bootie or your turtle rattle, spin around in a circle...do whatever it is that's gonna help you make the decision to move from where you are to where you need to be and...just jump!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


My husband, son and I, just got home from a motorcycle trip we took out to New Mexico to ride the Enchanted Circle. It's an 85 mile circle through the northeastern New Mexico towns of Angel Fire, Eagles Nest, Red River and Taos.
While riding out there and back, I had a lot of time to think. There were a few distractions to keep me from my artistic prose; traffic, curvy roads and an irritating song that played over and over in my mind. Funny thing is, I can't remember what that stupid song was now.
Dodging the bugs, shifting my aching hip from one side of the bike seat to the other, I watched Bronson and George riding ahead of me. I prayed (almost constantly) that God would protect them on our travels. I considered horrific scenarios where either or both of them would be involved in a collision and what my response would be. I could see myself losing it. Screaming, crying and shooting the offender. They'd be drunk probably or somebody texting and driving. I'd lose my mind if something happened to either of them, I thought.
Finally, I had to make myself think of something/anything else when my head began to throb and my eyes burned from needless tears. Silly, I know, but the truth is, we all must face the fact that one day we'll die. It's inevitable! I've prayed to go before the boys. I don't want to be here without them.
Then I learn that a friend of mine lost her husband today in a diving accident. I ache all over for her. No doubt she prayed for her husband's safety too. She probably told him numerous times in their 35 years together that she wouldn't be able to go on without him either. I sit here wondering what exquisite hell she must be going through tonight. What absolute misery she must be feeling. She's probably thinking of the last words they spoke to each other. She's relishing that last kiss, that last touch, the last meal they shared, the last everything.
Even though our vacation wasn't very pleasurable by most vacation standards, I'll cherish it for what it was; time spent together. Together we suffered through the heat, the mean cross winds that had us leaning our bikes and one way and our heads the other and we suffered through the stress of being away from home knowing someone was stealing our neighbors belongings and peace of mind.
We're home, together and safe. That's so much more than my sweet friend can say tonight. And while my heart breaks for her, I force myself to cling to our vacation memories; good and bad. I'm thanking God for His protection and for one more "last", should it be that.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Throw away your four-leafed clover!

Situation:  Memorial Day 2012, 0830 hours, Logan County, Oklahoma, just north of the city of Guthrie, an Oklahoma State Trooper runs the license plate on an abandoned vehicle south bound on Interstate 35. The vehicle comes back to a homicide suspect from Renton, Washington who had fled that state after killing his 17-year-old girlfriend. Before abandoning his vehicle, the suspect writes a note and leaves it on the windshield stating that he was going to get gas. After receiving a call from our communications center about the situation, I quickly posted the Washington state wanted poster on our Oklahoma Highway Patrol Facebook page. Within minutes, people were calling to inform us that they had already given the suspect a ride to gas stations in Logan County and Oklahoma City. As nervous minutes ticked away, we waited to see where the suspect would surface next. Ground units searched the area where the suspect was last seen, while OHP Aircraft flew overhead. The suspected killer had traveled halfway across the US in an attempt to elude his captors; there was no way of telling what lengths he would go to, to stay free.

While law enforcement searched for the suspect, reporter Adam Mertz with KFOR, news channel 4, telephoned me to inquire about doing a story regarding our search for the suspect. Adam had seen our OHP Facebook page and was following a journalistic hunch that the murder suspect was still in the area. I agreed to meet with Adam and give him a sound bite concerning our efforts. As Adam Mertz and his photojournalist, Mark Paris, drove from Oklahoma City to Guthrie to meet me, they passed an individual on the Interstate service road at Wilshire walking north bound. Adam noticed as they passed that the person walking, matched the description of the murder suspect. Just to be safe, Adam asked Mark (who was driving), to turn around and go back. When the men circled back around, Adam could clearly see that the suspect was wearing the exact clothes that were shown on the wanted poster, to include a green Seattle baseball cap.

Adam called for help and the suspect was quickly arrested. Now, the newsman was part of the story. Adam and I began to record our interview that would play later that night to thousands of people across the state. Smiling, he said with a nervous laugh, “I guess that I was just lucky.”

I’m not sure why I said the exact words next that I did, but I wouldn’t take them back even if I could.

There are defining moments in life when we are outright, no question about it, presented with a situation where we can choose to acknowledge our belief in God and His ever present presence in our lives or we can remain silent. No one forced fancy theological words out of my mouth that day. I could not then, nor can I now, buy into some pre-scripted “company” line about how we just did our jobs. I refused to say how coincidental it was that Adam Mertz just happened to see our Facebook page and download the wanted poster, or how he just happened to desire to do a story, or how he just happened to be on the same interstate at the same time and just happen to see the homicide suspect from a moving vehicle traveling at highway speeds (70 mph or better) or how he just happened to recognize the suspect from the poster. I didn’t believe that to be true, so I didn’t say that.

What I did say was this, “I do not believe in luck. I believe it was Divine Providence that made everything work the way that it did today. We are so grateful that we could capture this dangerous person before he harmed or killed someone in his desperate attempt to escape.”

On camera and off, my interview with Adam lasted for over an hour as we stood in the sun, sweating from the heat and humidity. I would learn later that night which direct quote Adam had chosen to use in his story.

You guessed it, he used, “Divine Providence.” But I’m sure that was just dumb luck as well.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Oh how He loves me!

God made these for me. Every detail crafted with a genius flare for dramatica. Pistils and stamens; tiny details reflect an enormous God. A God that knew me before He spoke the world into existence. He knew me, chose me and loved me. It wasn't because I was something special, it was because He could see the worth in the broken vessel I would become. He knew how often I would fail and deny Him, yet He loved me anyway. He uses the flawed.  
   He sends the tiniest of His creatures to show me His heart. So I search for God in the gardens and He reveals Himself to m  e there. I search for God in the endless stars and in the ever-changing clouds and in the deepest parts of my heart. He never fails to show Himself to me or shower me with His continual forgiveness.
And when He forgives, He restores; whiter than the whitest daisy petals, cleaner the the purest drinking waters. I'm so thankful to be cherished by the Creator, aren't you?