Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in Chicago 2015
photo by Corey Wallin

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! We are spending the week in Chicago as a family! So thankful for each one of these precious loved ones and many more across the miles. God has been especially good to us this year, bringing us through some major challenges. His love, their love, your love, our love--make life rich and full. Many blessings to you all!


©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cornucopias of Life

With the approach of Thanksgiving, it’s good to pause and reflect on our blessings. For me, “Thank you!” often seems so inadequate when it comes to expressing my overwhelming feelings of gratitude towards someone who has lovingly cared for me in a way that required effort on their part—

--Sent a well-chosen card of encouragement
--Brought a meal
--Patiently taught me a skill
--Took over a task I didn’t have time to do
--Connected me with needed professionals
--Drove me places
--Sat with me at the hospital

The list could go on and on and on.

The problem is, while saying “Thank you” seems like the least I could do sometimes I don’t even do that. I put it off and then forget, I don’t know how to put it into words or show my appreciation so it never gets said, and sometimes I am just so self-focused it completely slips my mind.

My lapse in showing appreciation is especially true when it comes to giving God thanks for what He has done, and continues to do, for me. So, I am taking a few moments to give God thanks for just a few of His blessings:

First and foremost for Jesus, who gave His all for me. You are my Savior, Companion, and Friend. I don’t know why you love me, but I am so grateful that you do! J

For a loving, devoted, husband, who is perfect for me—we are the truest of friends, lovers, and laborers together in God’s field. Thank you, Lord, for Dick Williams, my heaven-made soul mate.

For the gifts of family—immediate and extended—who stand by one another and show love, kindness, thoughtfulness, and commitment. Thank you, Father, for knitting my heart to theirs with the tightest stitches possible.

Again, I could go on and on—my dear friends, my perfect job at Hillside Farms, my writing that lets me pour out my soul through my fingertips, and so many more of God’s abundant blessings!

Our cornucopias of life overflow with the fruits of God’s blessings! Let’s take a moment to let Him and others know just how much we appreciate them!

With love,

©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Life is Short

Slept eluded me early this morning, so I crept quietly down the stairs for a cup of tea. As I waited for the water to boil, I stood at the kitchen window, looking out at the quiet night.

Until a few weeks ago, a furry head would often bump against my shins and a fluffy tail would curl around my legs as Baxter padded softly into the kitchen to see what I was up to. I would pick him up and he would rest his head on my shoulder pulling me close with his front paws. We would share a few moments of quiet awe, peering out at a yard transformed by moonlight and shadows.

I miss him. I didn’t realize how much companionship he provided until he was gone. I thought we had at least several more years with Baxter.

Last week Dick’s cousin Garney lost her 50-year-old sister to cancer. This week her husband suffered a fatal heart attack. I can’t even begin to imagine the depth of grief she is experiencing, the vast loss she feels. How many times will Garney reach for the phone to call Jill and then remember she is gone? How often will she listen expectantly for Tom to come walking in the door and then realize he isn’t going to? Like all of us, Garney never dreamed her time with these loved ones would be cut so short.

Don’t we all think that way—like we have lots of time to enjoy our loved ones and show them that we care? But we never know, do we? So how do we show love every day—not just on special occasions or holidays? How do we let those dear to us know just how special they are? Here’s a dozen scriptural ways that we can practice love on a daily basis:

Photo by Pam Williams

 Don’t miss out on an opportunity to show love today.


©2015 Pamela D. Williams

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tennessee Tuxedo

Tennessee Tuxedo
photo by Pam Williams

Amid the sounds of the crickets and peepers, plaintive meows wafted in the windows on the warm summer breeze. Looking out, I watched a large, black cat serenade his way through our yard. With distinguished white markings on his chest and face, he looked like he was wearing elegant evening wear. I named him "Tennessee Tuxedo”, after an old, similarly “dressed”, cartoon character.

Arrogant and brawny, Tennessee patrolled the woods and farmland that bordered our home, challenging any other cats that happened across his territory. He slept wherever he grew tired and hunted when necessary.

Tennessee claimed no owner and none claimed him. Aloof and independent, he kept his distance, disappearing into the woods in a flash if he saw or heard people coming.

I began putting out tempting morsels in the hopes of befriending him. Eventually, he condescended to come up on our porch to eat—but only if we were inside the house with the door shut.

Tennessee would have preferred that we leave scraps at the edge of the yard. However raccoon, opossum and red fox inhabited the abandoned apple orchard bordering our property, and whoever got there first fiercely defended their right to the meal. After a while Tennessee began arriving early and would disappear into the trees just long enough for me to put out the food.

Over the years, I noticed telltale signs of combat—an ear with a ragged tear, a scratch across Tennessee’s nose, or a missing patch of fur. Though I wanted to take him for treatment, regretfully, he was too wary to even approach a trap.

As Tennessee aged, the old cat could be seen hunched up in the leaves about ten feet into the woods, paws tucked under and eyes closed. In winter, he spent time in an old shed on our property, so I put food and water there.

I enjoyed watching this eccentric character. Though he still kept his distance, I sensed he now knew someone cared for him. His casual, aloof attitude only thinly veiled a lonely, fearful old cat that had never trusted anyone.

One spring evening, Tennessee didn't show up at supper time. I wasn’t too concerned at first—he occasionally roamed away to parts unknown for a couple of days. He usually came back from these crusades with a few new scrapes and bruises. After a week, however, I asked around if anyone had seen him, but true to his illusive character, my lonely, stand-offish friend simply vanished.

A few weeks later a stray mother cat chose our shed to birth her kittens. In Tennessee’s former digs, nestled among a marmalade, a tortoise, and a calico, lay a miniature likeness of the black and white feline. The old fellow may have disappeared, but he had left a gift—a tiny tuxedo-ed legacy.


Excepted from Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Cat's Life, "King of the Wild", ©2012 Pamela D. Williams