It is truly amazing how one little fall can totally change one’s life. At 81, I have been completely independent: taking Ollie classes, doing two Bible studies a week, shopping and enjoying this mile-high city of Prescott.

I tell people God moved me from sea-level in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to this mountain city of Prescott, Arizona. What does that mean? First of all, It means God is in charge, not me.

That fact sure has been brought home to me recently, with my fall and the breaking of my hip.

Now, I am totally dependent on others for rides to church, getting my food, cleaning my home and walking the three dogs.

The physical therapist has visited twice and assigned me exercises. One is riding my exercise bike for 15 minutes. Not immediately but eventually. How’s five minutes for a start?

The charge nurse has directed,”Don’t walk without your cane or walker.” It appears that research has shown that once you fall, you are likely to fall again.

Like I said, “God’s in charge, not me.” With the many changes in my life I know better then to insist on my way.

Better listen!” Judy. Isn’t it amazing now quickly life changes.

Yes, it is hard but, like I said,”God’s in charge, not me!”

Learning to Live with Limitations

It is natural to be concerned about people with limitations. Now, that I have my own, I realize it is not just a matter of dealing with them but, accepting them.

The Lord knows your frustrations and the sense of dependence on others that you feel.

The temptation is to be sad or angry about this interruptions to your life’s plans.

But what about God’s plans for your life? My daughter, Judy, gave me this verse after my husband, Jack, passed away ten years ago. “I know the plans I have for you…plans for your good, not to hurt you….And when you search with all your heart, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:11-14.

Yes, I have survived these ten years but, falling down and breaking my hip is proving to be a huge challenge. In a favorite hymn, “God says,”When through troubled waters, I call thee to go, I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.”

These two phrases have encouraged me through many storms in my life. Even now God is blessing me by sending godly people through prayers, rides to church, food and even calling the electric company when my lights were turned off.

So, yes, God, I have my limitations but You have surrounded me with Your love and I am learning to trust You even more.

Unplanned Change

One of my daughter, Kathy’s favorite animals was the penguin. She loved the video, “Happy Feet.”

Since her death, I also have become fond of the penguin because of the toughness of these creatures and their persistence in enduring hardship.

Recently, my life took a drastic change. I took Teddy out to relief  himself at 5:45 am and fell on the concrete driveway. After crawling across the driveway to a bench, I waited for my daughter to bring out her dogs.

When she arrived and found me shaking from the pain and cold, she insisted on calling an ambulance. Although the drivers were very kind, every movement was painful.

After X-rays, it was determined I had a broken hip and needed an operation. After that life became a blur . Four days later I was moved to  the Good Samaritan Rehab facility where I remained for three weeks.

Needless to say, my life has totally changed. The restrictions such as no bending, crossing legs, needing to use a walker or cane have greatly limited my activities.

What are God’s plans for me now? Well it won’t be the five-day bus trip to Yosemite I had planned with a friend. Right now it seems to be a lot of sleeping and visits from church friends.

Thank you, God for Your care even when it means a change of plans.


The last two weeks I have begun an art class based on Julia Cameron’s books “The Artist’s Way”. She suggests we need to return to our sense of creativity which we enjoyed as children.

As adults it is so easy to become overwhelmed by our arches and pains, our loss of flexibility, our limited income, now that we are retired and the loss of friends through death.

All of these situations can cause us to lose our sense of play and wonder. When my husband was alive we enjoyed packing up our photo equipment and heading off to some interesting spot and taking pictures of birds and trees and just enjoying being in nature.

The move to Prescott.AZ meant I had to begin all over again. Starting at the community college was the first step. After singing in the community chorus, I branched out to courses in sociology  which I enjoyed but found it a lot of reading and papers leading to a group project, which can be fun if everyone does their part but when one person fails to fulfill their part it can be very disappointing.

But the joy of creating a collage or clay pot and cutting up magazines and arranging and interesting picture with glue, paint and paint sticks is just plain fun! It leads to joy and satisfaction of just being free to create something interesting. So at eighty I,m a child again enjoying planting rose bushes, taking pictures and loving the spontaneity of creating again.IMG_0729.JPG



For two and a half years my assignment had been the sewing room. It was my least favorite thing to do. I even tried mass producing but I got caught by the sister in charge and was told that’s not how it should be done.

When I entered the novitiate, I was sure my opportunity had come for  a more stimulating role but to my disappointment I was reassigned to the sewing room, only this time we were sewing dolls to be sold in the gift shop.

My third year began with the same assignment and my disappointment with convent life. When I returned home my father told me my uncle had a job for me at his dress shop in Washington, DC. Happily, I went. The day after my arrival my uncle showed me the sewing area.

Thankfully I met my husband at the college I attended. We were married the following year and had two children Actually, now the knowledge of sewing came in handy as i made all my maturity clothes and the babies gowns.

Now at age eighty, I’m thankful for those many years of sewing because I now am able to sew little dolls for the missionaries to give to little girls.So those many years past God did

“I KNOW YOUR NAME” By Judith A. Dempsey God reveals Himself to each of us in ways that are as different as we are. At one women’s retreat I heard the phrase, “I call you by your name.” That day the phrase took on a special meaning for me. Of course, God knows my name but to call me by my name implied a special intimacy between us. I was special to God. He knew my name and, also called me by that name. Who was I, that the God of the universe, the Creator of all that is. should call me by my name? My parents called me by name, my siblings also, my friends and even strangers called me by name, but God! That knowledge as the Psalmists says is too wonderful for me to totally grasp. Yet it is true. God has said so! I am overwhelmed and awestruck. Who am I that God knows my name? His Child! His creature! His handiwork! I am His! I belong to Him! Yet He has given me the ability to make choices! So, blessed I am, as are all creatures of earth and sky. As I process this truth I confess I haven’t always honored this truth and certainly will fail to many more times before I die. But just being more conscious of this should make me more aware of how important I am to God. Hopefully, this knowledge will make me more sensitive to His eternal presence with me and become more intuitive to His directions for my daily life!

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Since breaking my hip and learning to walk again I am waddling just like a penguin.

If waddle I must, I’ll waddle just to stay afloat. It makes me think of the penguins who live in the world’s most inhospitable climates on earth.

As a young mother with a daughter in preschool, my husband and I became friends with Jean Worthly , who later had her own TV Show. Jean’s husband had traveled to Antarctica to study the penguins.

My husband, Jack, and I invited the Worthlies over for dinner several times. Each occasion was filled with laughter and fellowship.

Even today as I waddle my way through each day, attempting to survive without falling again, I am grateful for all the prayers and food from church friends, I am glad to have memories from years ago to remember the friends that encouraged me to use my God-given talents to become the kind of person who has been able to support those in need of help.

The advise from the penguin is to, “Dive into life, and find warmth among friends.”

Even Jesus, found comfort in friends. So as I waddle through my days and continue to heal, I am grateful for all the prayers and encouragement from friends who continue to nourish me in Jesus’ name.