Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Archive for the month “October, 2016”

Perfect Timing.

Several weeks ago, it came to me. I’m either gonna write this book.

Or I’m not.

I found out, through a dear friend, about a place specifically designed for writers.

I applied and was accepted.

One week.


No children.

No husband.

No training.

One week later, I took a strengths-finder test from Gallup and 4 of my 5 top strengths suggest the following action item:

Scheduling time alone.

I love it when I’m right.

But then.

Everything went wrong.

My dad had a small stroke.

I bought a car. Because it was pretty and I wanted it. And evidently when your dad has a stroke, buying a car is just something that you have to do.


My dad had another stroke. Or an extension or something.

I wanted to be in Arkansas.

With my dad.

We took my shiny new (used) car and headed south.

Within 60 miles there were sirens (literally!) and beeps and flashing lights and yada, yada, I still don’t have my car back from the maintenance shop (4 weeks later and an auto-shop and warranty company that can’t seem to agree on anything) and I am reminded of this truth.

You have to look deep inside to know if something or someone is beautiful. The shiny red coat does not tell the full story.

We drove back to Nebraska. For one day.

I wanted to be back with my dad.

We got a rental. A rental that the car company was supposed to pay, but, wait, no it was the warranty company that was supposed to pay, no wait!

Myra Katherine, you must pay. 🙂

And by Myra Katherine, I of course mean Mike.

No problemo! Not like I just bought a new car or anything.

And, again, by new I mean used.

We went back to Arkansas. Because that’s what I wanted to do.

The pattern in my life lately is just, ya know, doing what I want to do.

I returned to Nebraska. Still no car.

And it’s not so much that the car needs repair it’s the sinking feeling that nothing’s actually happening. That my car has been abandoned in some work-shop parking lot and oh wait.

That is actually what’s happening.

I’m not going to call out the dealership. God calls us to “be at peace with all men” so far as it is possible.

And so I’m trying.

Dang. They should really be happy that of the 50 or so scriptures I know by heart, the whole keep at peace with others is one of them.

I’ll admit, though that keeping peaceful hasn’t been easy and on two occasions the “Cindy” in me might have surfaced.

After the first Cindy, I was offered a loaner.

(My mother (aka Cindy) is the strongest woman I know,  and we tease her but my sister and I are ever grateful that we inherited a small portion of her moxie and  strength!!)

After the second Cindy, nothing much happened, but I suspect they won’t be calling me sweetheart again any.



Seriously. This is 2016. I may be an idiot for buying a car from you, but I’m sure as hell not your sweetheart.

Praise be to God for that.

Anyway. A few things going on, which brings me to—

Perfect timing.

Right? I’ve been to Arkansas twice this month, took a trip to NYC (for my Mother and Dad who had planned, but were obviously unable, to take Coulter. I know. Such a sacrifice. I’m so giving like that! 😉 and I have no car.

So. As you can see, this is the perfect time to leave town.

And yet it has to be. This is the perfect time.

The Lord isn’t surprised by all of this.

He may be completely exhausted with his 44 year-old child who still sees shiny colors and wants what she wants—

Come to think of it, buying a used car is a little like the gross chocolates you get at valentines. So pretty and then you bite into it and there’s this pink goo.

Evidently, my engine is full of pink valentine goo.

For the record, my husband doesn’t buy me gross chocolates.

Good grief. This blog wasn’t supposed to be about my car.

It’s about my dad.

Nurses and therapists would come in. No-one looks their best in a hospital gown and my dad was no exception. Plus, he’d had a stroke so it was their job to see what all was going on inside.

They would take him through a series of cognitive tests. After a day or so, he started answering their questions before they even got in the door.

He gave me his bank account numbers from memory to pay a few on-line bills and when asked the following scenario,  “Mr. Hale, if you were to wake up at 1 minute before 8 a.m. and remember that you had a meeting across town at 8 a.m., what would you do?”, well. She had stumped him.

He looked at the therapist for minute and said, “Ma’am, I’m sorry. I don’t know what to tell you because that’s never gonna happen.

My dad on day 2 did not look like a shiny red car, but rest assured.

There was no pink goo on the inside.

Tomorrow I’m leaving. Because it’s the perfect time to leave.

It’s the perfect time to write a book.

It’s not a vacation.

It’s an opportunity.

A gift.

I’m locking myself in a room with my Lord and my computer and we’re gonna see what He has to say.

I covet your prayers.






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