Friday, January 29, 2010

My Precious Mom Went Home to Jesus Today...

No fancy fonts this time around, just a simple, although deeply poignant, announcement to make--along with an earnest request for your prayers...

Well, as God so beautifully orchestrates His plans, changing the direction of ours even as we, His followers, balk and whine and sometimes even wail in protest, we did not go to Florida, nor do we plan to. My mother died this morning, and even now, in "Heaven Time", has probably found a piano on which to accompany some supremely delightful choral group. She is with Jesus after an approximate 10-year upward battle with Alzheimer's. In one respect I am rejoicing with her homegoing; yet, on the other, so wish I could visit her one last time. In fact, ironically, my grandboy and I were on our way to see her this morning when the call came in that she'd just died. (I was only five minutes away.) I was so shocked. And shocked that I was shocked. I thought that I'd prepared myself in every way mentally and emotionally. You go over and over each possible scenario as you think about how "the end" will come about, and then when it finally comes, you find you are not prepared at all. In my head I truly thought she would just go on and on and on. (And she does and will go on and on, just not here. Selfishly, I want to rub her arm once more or lightly touch the top of her head as she lies there sleeping, but now I've run out of opportunities to do that.)

I thought that I would be strong when I walked into the adult foster care facility where she's lived out the last 3 1/2 years. I had my 1, almost 2-year-old, grandson in my arms, so I had to guard him against trauma, but in actuality, when I walked into her room and saw her lying there, mouth open, unmoving and so, so peaceful-looking, I fell at her bedside and started to wail, "Mommy, Mommy!" My goodness, I haven't called her that since I was a wee child. Never expected that little girl in me to come leaping out. Thankfully, my weeping didn't faze Gavin, especially when one of the workers offered him a cookie, and off he went.

God is ever so good, though, and I feel so, so at peace and utterly assured of seeing her again. She was the most precious woman of God, loving, caring, highly intelligent, multi-talented, compassionate, a voracious reader, a generous, stay-at-home missionary (giving to so many worthy causes), having a huge, tender heart for the world, a strong, impenetrable faith, a deep, unconditional love for her children and grandchildren--and, boy, could she get the giggles when the moment hit her just right. Sometimes she laughed till she cried.

There will never be another Dorothy Baker, that is for sure.

I have just spent hours going through photos, and it is now 2:30 a.m., and would you believe I did not get one wink of sleep last night? So, now I must crawl into bed with Cecil and snuggle in for a few hours before going to the funeral home to pick out a casket. Sounds morbid, huh, but I am up for the task--with God ever closeby, offering strength and courage for each new challenge. Mom would have been 97 in May, by the way.

This year she will be "Home" for her birthday.


I love you all so very much and thank you for your prayers of concern and love...


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Okay, lest you think I am going far, far away from FACEBOOK, SHOUTLIFE, TWITTER, ETC., never to return, you would be wrong. I am going far, far from home, however. Tomorrow, AFTER I finish baby-sitting my 1-year-old grandboy, we're setting off for a warmer climate, Cecil and I. FLORIDA!

That will mean less chances for me to log into my beloved sites and check in with all you wonderful "Online BUDS" (no...I don't have a phone with that capability), but I'll do my best to come around as much as possible--if we can find free wi-fi. All of you try to behave while I'm away, would you?

Picture this: A bar in the back seat holding up Cecil's suits, shirts, and slacks (this is a business trip for him, and I'm the tagalong) and me with ear plugs in, sitting somewhere between the suits doing my best to block out distractions, pillow on my lap, computer on that, poking away on the keyboard and working on edits for my September release, Tender Vow. GOT TO GET THAT PUPPY DONE, SUNSHINE OR NOT!

Ah well, the good news is I'm leaving dreary skies and cold air behind --and I think some forecasted snow. So, it's all good.

And now--off to get my nails done and my first pedicure of the year, a sure sign of spring!!!!!

DON'T FORGET: I LOVE YOU ALL! And don't have too much fun without me!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


God rarely, if ever, hurries. His steps are usually planned and deliberate (He knows right where He's going), as He takes us by the hand and leads us along. He loves to walk slowly and talk quietly, so don't go ahead of him, and keep your ears tuned in for His still, small voice.

Ever wonder why you haven't yet received an answer to that long ago, heartfelt prayer, why it seems God isn't even listening half the time, or why we even keep asking it, since He doesn't appear to be paying attention anyway?

VALID QUESTIONS. Let me tell you you're not alone. Take a second to put yourself in the place of our Christian brothers and sisters, the faithful, God-fearing, Christ-filled Haitians who lost everything. I read of a Wesleyan church down there who was known for its DAILY prayer meetings, attended by a THOUSAND people (can you imagine?), GONE, the building and everything, and half the people unaccounted for.

God, I don't mean to be a doubting dodo here, but what were You thinking?

His steps are planned and deliberate. That is, he ALWAYS knows what He's doing. We may not like it sometimes, but He's GOD--KING of the MOUNTAIN. He decides what to allow and disallow, and everything for a purpose, hard as that may be to accept.

"For we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

But lest you think all the sadness lies in Haiti, think again. All you have to do is look out your back window, drive past a deserted, run-down neighborhood, check out the myriad of "For Sale" signs and realize that many of them are foreclosures, seek out the "Help Wanted" ads and find few, and, last, search deep into the eyes of insecure children who've been listening to their parents' money squabbles. (We think they don't know?)

Fear, worry, hopelessness, despair, sorrow--they're everywhere, BUT...

If ever there was a time to stop panicking, slow down, listen for God's direction and wait for answers, it is NOW. He is like a tree planted by a river, supplying us with IMMOVALBLE strength and courage, HOPE for a faithless day, and FAITH for a hopeless day.

LOOK UP, you worn, weary soldiers; whatever your sorrow may be, it is NEVER too big for the KING of the MOUNTAIN. Whatever your pain or heartbreak, your grief or discouragement, just be still about it, and KNOW that He is God. He hasn't forgotten you.

He hears your cries, but, remember, His clock ticks at an altogether different rhythm from ours, his steps are planned to perfection, His voice is often quiet and almost too hard to discern. Pray for wisdom to know and ears to hear.

He will give you both. I promise.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Oh, to be "6" again!

A man sat on the edge of the bed, watching his wife check out her image in the mirror. Since her birthday wasn't far off he asked her what she'd like.

She continued perusing herself from top to bottom and frowned. "Ha! I'd like to be six again", she replied.

On the morning of her birthday, he rose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, then announced he was taking her to Six Flags theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park: the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the screaming Roller Coaster, and everything else imaginable.

Five hours later, they staggered out of the theme park, her head reeling and her stomach feeling turned inside out. He then took her to McDonald's for a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake. Then it was off to a movie and the works: popcorn, her favorite candy, and a large soda pop.

After the movie, she wobbled out of the theatre and, finally at home, collapsed onto the bed, exhausted.

He leaned over her with a big smile and asked, "Well, honey, how was your birthday? Did you feel six again?"

She dragged her gaze up at him and blinked. "I meant SIZE 6, you doofus!

The moral of this story is: Even when a man is listening, chances are good he's still gonna get it wrong.

Hey, all you beautiful peeps! I hope you are enjoying God-filled days and even moments. Hubby and I are getting set for a couple weeks vacay in Florida. Should be fun, relaxing, and blissful--for me anyway. This will be mostly a business trip, as Cecil has several appointments with clients. It will be "business" for me in that I'm taking my laptop so I can write in the car. Some vacay, huh? At least it will be a change of scenery with hopefully lots of sunshine.

Hey, some of you have commented and then had to wait to see your comment post. That is because I'm getting lots of "junk" from anonymous posters. Don't know who they are, so I've had to start filtering my responses. Bummer. Which means if you do post it might not show up for a day or so. Hope this doesn't discourage you from leaving a comment.

As always, I love you all and hold you in my prayers. Thanks for following my blog. So sorry today's is SO EXTRA boring!!!!!!!


Sunday, January 17, 2010


1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn't it?

And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111 111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Mind Boggling...

Now, take a look at this...


From a strictly mathematical viewpoint, what equals 100%?

What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to GIVE OVER 100%

How about ACHIEVING 101%?

What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help answer these questions:




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26,



8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%



11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%



1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the LOVE of GOD will take you:


12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%

THEREFORE, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While HARD WORK and KNOWLEDGE will get you close, and ATTITUDE will get you there, it's the LOVE OF GOD that will put you OVER THE TOP!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Michelle Sutton has done it again, written another winning book. I can say this because I read the manuscript from beginning to end, and it's a page turner--or in this case, a scroller. A scroller, you say? Yeah, it's an E-book, which means it can be purchased in electronic format, a cheaper route for anyone looking to save a few cents as well as shelf space! Just take a look at this awesome cover design. Ain't it grand?

Here's a description of the book. Read and drool.

Sammie Carpenter understands how a uniform influences behavior. Wearing her Army fatigues puts her in the mindset of a soldier and donning her Class-A Uniform always helps her shift into Captain Mode. So what harm could come from her dressing like a saloon girl and strutting through the streets of Tombstone? She didn't know how to flirt to save her life, and she wasn't getting any younger.

When she met the lonesome stud cowboy, Jimmy, she knew he was the one. So why was their communication always so awkward? Couldn't he see that she was interested in him? No matter how hard she tried to win him over, she couldn't seem to get him to see past his first impression of her. But Sammie didn't give up easily. Somehow, she would make him see that they were meant to be together, but how can she do that when all of her plans keep falling apart?

The link to the trailer is HERE!

But don't stop there. Come to the publishing site itself and check out all the info by clicking HERE!

Last, but not least, for purchasing information for First Impressions, click HERE!

Monday, January 11, 2010


View from our back window, overlooking "pool area" - where's the pool?

View from our front picture window, overlooking front yard and home across the street.


It's winter in MICHIGAN
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At thirty-five below.

Oh, how I love MICHIGAN
When the snow's up to your butt.
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
So I guess I'll hang around.
I could never leave MICHIGAN
Cuz I'm frozen to the ground!

--Author Unknown--

I LOVE YOU ALL. Stay warm wherever you are!!!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

This is a very SAD, HEARTBREAKING day for me...

I write this note with a very sad heart and swollen shut eyes, as Cecil and I had to take our beloved Dakota boy, our almost 11-year-old collie, to the vet to be "put down". He fell asleep in my arms and died very peacefully. He is no longer with me, my faithful, loyal companion and friend, and my heart is heavy. I laid on the floor with him all night last night and prayed for all the many hurting people and situations God brought to my mind, and it occurred to me that grief is grief, sorrow is sorrow, no matter if it's loss over a beloved pet, a house fire, a family tragedy, divorce, pain and suffering, disease, you name it. God cares abundantly and unerringly about every detail of our lives, and I am comforted in knowing that. Dakota was the perfect dog, and God brought him to me 10+ years ago after enduring months of depression and anxiety. HE KNEW I needed soothing, healing, and comfort for my battered soul.

And so I grieve over the loss of my precious, beloved, old boy, Dakota. I shall miss not having him at my feet as I write my books. He has been there for all dozen or so of them, and I will feel the void of his absence when I jump into my next series.

Is it a silly request (?) (I don't think so) to ask that you will think about both Cec and me and pray for us whenever God brings us to your minds, as it will be tough walking into the house without seeing his welcoming face and wagging tail.

Thank you, and I love you all.

P.S. The above photo depicts our gentle, patient giant allowing my daughter's toy poodle to make her bed beside or right atop him countless times. Sweet.

Friday, January 01, 2010

May Your New Year be a "10"!

Yes, a "10"! Of course, I wish for you, even pray for, HAPPINESS, but more than that, JOY! There is a difference, you know.

HAPPINESS is an emotion, a clear result of wonderfully good things happening to and around us. JOY, though, is something that wells up from inside our spirit no matter the circumstance or situation befalling us. You might be swimming through murky, dark waters right now--but you can still have JOY in your heart. You might be traveling a rough, hard course, pulling a heavy load while you're at it, but JOY can still be the theme song of your heart. Why?

Because the Lord Himself provides it when we give Him our fully surrendered souls.

Rose bushes are so hearty, have you noticed? From spring through fall, I pretty much ignore my bush planted on the east side of my house. Don't feed it, spray it, or water it--just let the rains take care of it whenever they come. But, despite my lack of attention to it, it still produces beautiful blooms. On the rare occasion when I walk to that side of the house, other side of my garage, I'm usually welcomed by gorgeous blossoms and budding promises! Oh, there's evidence of bugs chewing the leaves, and the branches aren't very well trimmed or cared for, but the sturdy little bush still gives me colorful flowers. What a picture of JOY in the midst of pain, neglect, disease, and even abuse!

My prayer for your 2010 is that you'll be happy, yes, but more that you'll find peace, rest, contentment, and TRUE, GENUINE JOY!