Life can be so hard. It can push you up against the wall with so much sadness and turmoil, drama and tragedy till you are not sure which end is up.  Life is also full of beauty and bliss and joy and happiness.  Most days we feel like we are in the middle of the ocean of life, our boat is taking on water and we are struggling to choose the right island to row towards.  I’ve heard it said that HAPPINESS is something we create, but I believe that sometimes our arms can just grow weary from rowing the boat,  and we need a little support, a little push to keep us going in the right, happy direction.

There is cancer all around us, diseases, losses, sickness’ that linger too long and affects the quality of life a person is having.  People with money don’t seem to deal with half the stress the people without it experience.  If you work hard and always try to do what is right, it seems like you just get knocked back on your butt and there is no “Atta boy” anymore.

I recently learned a very important lesson for life and dealing with people. I find it to not only be profound and accurate but it DOES IN FACT help me in dealing with people from all walks of life.

Take a moment and write down the name of a person(s) who has  hurt you, angers you, annoys you, irritates you or just plain fills you with resentment and frustration when you are around them.   Seriously,  sometimes just writing their name could ruin a good feeling for me.

Now ….imagine if you will  WHAT IF…..what if that person(s) is doing the very best that they can .

As miserable as resentment and disappointment and hurt make us feel, we are only fooling ourselves into believing we will feel better by continuing to dislike that person or by talking about them and judging them on their every action or word.

See, we really don’t know people. We assume we do, we even make up our own stories about them in our mind. But we don’t really know them or what makes them who they are and what has transpired in their lives that got them to the boat they are in today.

Judgment and anger take up too much of our emotional well being not to mention our time. Let those people “OFF THE HOOK”.  Stop trying to figure out why they are doing or saying or acting a certain why, stop pushing them or talking behind their back because they aren’t acting exactly as YOU think they should.  Using compassion and generosity will serve all of us better , towards a brighter future.


We must learn to accept people for WHO THEY ARE..not for who they could be, or who we wish them to be. It is a known fact that we tend to judge others in an area where we ourselves are the most vulnerable, or feel not good enough.  We need to practice compassion towards ourselves now and then, embrace our own imperfections, accept ourselves before we can WRITE off other peoples imperfections.  When we KNOW and BELIEVE that we are enough exactly as we are, we are worthy, our stories matter, we will not feel the need to criticize others.


ASSUME, these people are doing the best they can. If they bite your head off, take something you said or did completely different from the way you meant it…you can apologize but then you have to say to yourself  “This is not about me, John must be having a bad day, a bad week or a bad year.  We don’t have to wait around kicking the same rock repeatedly and hurting our foot. And this way of processing people is not a free card to allow them to continue it hurting us.  Its a card for us to step back and say…..I’ve said or done the right thing . If I assume that he or she is doing the best they can….its liberating to US and our heart and mind to give acceptance for the way things are and move forward.

We need to set boundaries. We need to try and treat people well, be the best we can be, and if we miss the mark apologize, We do better when we know better.

As humans we can get so torqued up over ever little thing. Social media can just about destroy a person if you don’t keep boundaries and integrity in place.  Often times, we don’t know what the other persons  whole story is, what they  may be dealing with today or …what past wounds they still nurse, what they have been told or has been drilled into them. What tragic events have occurred in their past that may trigger anger and hostility in a situation today.

Give people the freedom they need. Just assume they are doing the best they can with life, and walk on. Don’t hang on the mean email or text, or the way they  yell or snap at you.  If they are truly good wholesome people they will come back and make it right…it not MOVE THE ROCK…..stop kicking it and hoping your foot will be able to budge it.   You will merely end up with a bloody foot.  Do your best today, and let GOD have the rest.



They see in someone else something they are lacking or something they  wish they had, and they feel the need to criticize, and destroy.   Their fault finding is a lack of examining their own lives, and holding themselves to a higher Authority.  When folks believe in The Lord Jesus, they normally strive to be better people each and every day.  Unbelievers, who are Godless do not hold themselves to any accountability except their own.  Then the world becomes an Adult playground with no supervision. No one recess teacher to keep manners and courtesy in check.



Look What LOVE Can Build…


In just Ten years , there have been 11 precious cherubs flown straight from Heaven into our lives.  Back when I was giving cancer a run for its money…. I remember wondering if I would live to see the first grandchild  Benjamin  born, and some days i was so sick and so exhausted  I could have “surrenderd all” and not cared to even stay here and fight.   That  was a long year of doctoring and not having  dreams in my life.  I just tried to get from  one appt to the next. I stopped dreaming or thinking about tomorrow, or next week, or next month. Things I wanted to accomplish. I just functioned from apt to appt.

Now OUR Baby is carrying perhaps our last grandbaby…and it has been a precious journey .
To be able to share in OUR children’s lives, to see them today all grown up, what they have all became ( super, great, kind, loving, Hard working,  honest , people) to be able to share in the lives of their babies each and every day is a BLESSING far beyond what I may have earned or deserved, and more precious than words can say.
(And to think this all began in our  10th grade English class in 1978. I ask the guy behind me,  for a pencil. Doesn’t seem possible that was 37 years ago that we first met.

Today is a milestone of sorts I reckon. At 12:25 p.m. I will officially be 53 years young. Like all birthday receipts the first thing we must do is acknowledge gratefulness that we are alive and well. Then we count our many many blessings.  Then of course we run down the same old road of “Where has the time gone” which is the cross street to “How can I be this old” and we end up at “Golly I wish time would slow down some”.

It has been a beautiful life. I loved and cherished my babies from day one. I never missed a moment of their lives. Walking, talking, teething, school, graduation, marriage, babies, I am so thankful that I have been able to be with them through all the steps. We lived awfully poor in order to do that but it is a decision I would do all over again. Our last baby was  a twin. They were fraternal. It was a blessing they each had their own protective sack, as the other twin died in uterine and almost  caused great sickness to the surviving baby. An emergency C Section was ordered.  A week before I turned  twenty four I had carried four babies and delivered three. We had Tonya Suzanne at age 20, Thomas Haas, at 22, and Catherine Marie at 23.

I have known some beautiful people in my time, and at my age I can fairly judge that these select few are in fact a rare and precious breed.  The man I bought this farm from 21 years ago, loved me like they say Jesus loves us. No requirements, nothing I did to earn it , nothing I could do to repay all the unconditional love and kindness. We were not related by blood, but drawn to one another’s spirit like a moth to a flame.

Never a sunset that I don’t think of Burton and appreciate the life HE made possible for me on this farm. The life He gave to my children and to their children. Having no children of his own, but knowing the good life it would bring he offered to sell me his farm on a land contract so I could make yearly payments at the end of each harvest.  I am still making payments and I totally believe that anything worth having is worth working for and getting it the honest way.  His friendship was a life gift for me and I still miss him terribly everyday. I Still want to run tell him some fun news, great news, show him new photos I took, share a couple pots of coffee with him, and talk the day away like we used to.  Thirty seven years my senior…..but you could never see or hear the age difference when we were visiting .

At 53, I feel young inside, but I think I look my age. The wrinkles are there when I laugh and probably when I don’t. The hair is graying though I try to mix it  in with highlights, and gravity …well its no friend to  anyone.

But I am thankful that I am still here, that I have been blessed with my children and their children. I have had a few “real friends” and with harvest time beating down on my neck today I thank the Lord above that He has chosen to keep me on this farm/ranch one more year. To see the animals grow, to see all the new babies born in the barns, to pick corn with my old Oliver ear picker and watch it fall into a gravity wagon, and see all the help I have from our children, in laws, and grandchildren unloading the wagons of corn. All those gorgeous yellow ears of corn going  up the elevator and into the round wire crib….why I would swear this is HEAVEN on Earth right here in my own back yard.

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Sherry Haas-Shelby's photo.




According to the Bible, there are close to 124 miracles mentioned throughout its pages. Three dozen just within the four gospels.
Joey Martin-Feek is a beautiful, vibrant daughter of God that is in desperate need of a miracle. In fact all around the world there are folks in desperate need of a miracles. God is no respecter of people. He loves all His children the same and does not place one above the other.
As I sit here these last few weeks and ponder on GOD’S job, I can assure that I am glad that I do not have His job. For most of my adult life I have been a firm believer that the business of living and dying is Gods business not mine, and therefore we are to accept his decisions of who goes and when and who lingers behind for a spell. Yet I cannot help feeling the MAGNATITUDE OF THIS SITUATION……
Yes….She and Rory have made THAT KIND OF A DIFFERENCE in the world.
Our entire nation is coming together tonight in the form of a prayer vigil for Joey at 8p.m. Her and her husband have always kept Christ front and center in their lives. They have continuously given God the glory for their good fortune, their voices, any successes they had, even in difficult situations they continued to praise the Lord. No matter what life was handing them, they continued to lead HIS army, their brothers and sisters in Christ… with dignity, honesty, and grace. They have been true inspirations to millions of people. Whether it was their laughter and love towards one another that NEVER STOPS shining, or the way they give back, always paying forward all that was given to them, or just the beautifulness of their joined voices. They are pillars in the Christian Community and in the Country Music world.
Over a year ago Joey had surgery for cancer….. (the same stage IV type I myself had ten years ago). She has been a real trooper and gone through every chemo and radiation process as the doctors have prescribed and it appears to have served no purpose. Now, they have ceased all medical intervention and chosen to go home and trust and pray ….and trust and pray more.
I imagine small children usually stomp their feet and get loud when they think we cannot hear them or we are not paying attention to them and they need to be heard, to communicate to us.
For the last several weeks I have walked around in my own life trying to make some sense out of this situation that is trying to take Joey from all of us. I realize we aren’t supposed to be angry with the Lord, we are not supposed to question His judgment or ask why. However the human side of me is asking why. Day after day on the Inside I ache and hurt and cry over this whole sad story, on the outside I want to jump up and down and stomp my feet, grit my teeth and shout for how much I don’t understand this, how unfair….ill timed….
Joey has a little girl who needs her momma, needs to have a few more years with her, GOD PLEASE GRANT JOEY A MIRACLE, please don’t take her.
Life is a voyage, and we cross some pretty turbulent waves at times, there are storms that come out of nowhere and threaten to shake us to our very core, capsize our vessel and possibly dump us at the bottom of our ocean.
We are all on this journey, and it is not an easy one. Let’s join hands and remember we are all walking one another towards HOME.
When we have reached our final destination it will have been worth it all. I believe this. The trials of the “trip” of our “Voyage” it will be lost in the GLORY of the reunion/celebration that awaits us. But for now, please join our nations Thursday evening at 8p.m.
Whisper a pray for Joey tonight….for a miracle, Her miracle. And a peace that will surpass all understanding, for if our Father does not hand out a miracle, there will be literally thousands of people crushed, crying and praying…an entire nation that will remember where they were when ……..