An Opportunity to Embrace Excess Baggage




Dear Reader:

This photo shows Eva Cate’s baggage…packed and ready to go. Since I will be seeing her on the Fourth…tomorrow…it wasn’t as sad as it might have been. But isn’t it strange how in only five days we humans can ease into new routines and get settled in quite comfortably? ( I will even miss her “octopus” legs tangled around me)

Silence and solitude are always a  welcome respite after a stay with the grandchildren or vice versa…but they soon turn into a strange type of homesickness…perhaps for a time when the house was alive with all the hustle and bustle of the chaos of children growing up…sometimes the house grows too quiet.

But human nature being what it is ….I soon acclimate to my less noisy life and enjoy the merits of retirement… staying up late at night or sneaking junk food or sleeping in….making lunch dates with friends…there are a lot of perks to just being free to be me. (A good life, I thought at one time, that I would never see)…so I am thankful for quiet walks and talks with God. I have the best of both worlds and believe me…I know I am a very blessed woman.

A favorite quote of mine says:

“Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along.”- Rae Smith

Think about it…if Humpty Dumpty hadn’t fallen apart he wouldn’t be famous today? Just another scrambled egg….one never knows what’s around the bend or at the bottom of the wall.

In an article from Huffington Post...I laughed until I cried at the true dilemma of a newly divorced, mid-forties mother of three boys and a St. Bernard, who experienced a much deserved total break-down at the luggage department in LaGuardia airport.

Source: Drop the Baggage: Make Room for Possibilities– or perhaps it should read (Keep the Baggage and Pay) by Liesel Testwuild

“Recently on my way home from New York, I was cursing myself for oversleeping and getting a late start to the airport. I’m a procrastinator and hate mornings- a bad combination for early departures. When I arrived at the airport, I raced down the walkway, maneuvering my baggage the best I could manage. I landed in the skycap line out of breath.

“You’re overweight” said the skycap.

“Well, good morning to you, too,” I said and mouthed a “How Rude” comment  to the guy behind me.

“Ma’am,” the skycap continued “you’ve got excess baggage.”

“Seriously?” I asked. “It’s that obvious that  I’m marginally overweight or what ? You can eyeball me in an instant and know I’ve got issues without any knowledge of my parents’ divorce, my test anxiety, a bully ex-husband, and my I’ve-just-about-had-enough-of-happily-married-couple attitude? Are my fears and resentments really that palpable too?”

“Lady, you have multiple bags and they each need to weigh less than 50 pounds. This first bag is tipping the scale at 102 pounds.”

“Oh,” I responded, “Yeah, that one is filled with resentments. It’s actually lightened up quite a bit in the last year.”

Whatever, lady. Your baggage is clearly over the limit. You wanna take a moment and remove some of the excess or at least redistribute it?”

Oh, I see. So let me get this right,” I said. “On this cold, windy morning, you want me to get down on my knees, on the rough ground, in my brand new $27 Donna Karan tights, bend over, despite a line of nine businessmen behind me, unzip my suitcase, reveal my unconventional packing methods to the world and other unmentionables….I don’t think so.”

“Ma’am,” he said, “you’ve got too much baggage. You’ve got to deal with it.

“Right here and now? On the curb at LaGuardia, you want me to deal with my excess baggage? And just how do you suggest I magically do that? Is there a leather couch beyond that conveyor belt? Can’t you just deduct years of emotional abuse from my Sky Miles account? I’ve made a lot of progress post-divorce, but 45 years of baggage, that’s gonna take more time than a layover in Detroit.”

“Ma’am, see the sign hanging above? This drop area is a drama-free zone. You look resourceful, I’m sure you can find a way to reduce your excess baggage.”

“Buddy, I’m a divorced, 45ish-year old, single mom of three boys…and a St. Bernard. I’m seriously at the bottom of the American food chain.” 

My rant continued, “I’ve got an entire bag filled with resentments. Another is cholk-full of therapy and divorce lawyer bills. You think I can just stuff the extra baggage into another bag to lug around? Or, worse, convince a sweet, lonely man to take these things off my hands for a while?”

“Um,” piped up the guy behind me in line, “I don’t mean to be rude, but I can’t take on her excess baggage. I’m on my second mortgage, my third wife and may have my fourth heart attack in this line. I’ve hit capacity.

“I guess you’re stuck with it, lady” said the skycap. “I’m gonna have to charge you $135.”

“I’m good with that,” I said, “Those carry-on types are total bores. You see, that fourth bag is my bucket list. I’m headed to all kinds of unknown destinations on the next leg of my journey. I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner as I continue to get stronger and more adept at leaving the past behind.”


Like Eva Cate said after throwing up on me, the sheets, the bed covers, and the bed mattress Monday night…”Boo Boo…I think it is good to throw up now and then…it gets all the yucky stuff out of your tummy….I feel really good now!”

I think Liesel, from our story, would have agreed with Eva Cate after her ranting subsided…she felt quite good …Just pay for the extra baggage, leave the past behind and set goals for the future. The fourth bag should always be light….to make up for all the other baggage “issues“… filled only with hope.

So until tomorrow… thank you for the gift of humor, God, to help us rebuild the lives we want to live.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* Eva won the coveted title “Princess of the Fairy Garden”…she was so surprised and honored. (We think it was because she left popcorn for the fairies each evening)






She gave her good-bye to Lucy too….


It was a big day….from being crowned “Garden Fairy Princess” to performing last night for Mom, Dad, Jakie, and Boo….(at the closing ceremony for Vacation Bible School)….and perform she did. Drama is her middle name! She was in her element.








Three different “interpretations” of the same motion (“thinking cap”)…and you see who wins the most dramatic interpretation.







Of course any performer knows that she must always exit with a flair…with one last turn to her adoring audience – her family!



Anne and Jakie hit it off at dinner…his eyes were full of wonder and awe….Let us strive to never lose what he has now.


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The Plurality of Me

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Dear Reader:

Have you ever had a sneaking suspicion that there is more than one of you inside yourself?

I was reading an article about the different “me’s” that exist throughout the days of our lives and I thought….”Maybe that explains why some days I think to myself “I just don’t quite feel like myself” today.” 

It is a pretty ambiguous comment to make (even to yourself) because that statement assumes that somewhere deep inside you ….you must know who the real “me” is. But other days we might feel like saying “Will the real me please step forward so I can recognize me when I see myself.”

As part of God’s Divine Plan…we are always changing (whether we like it or not) so it only makes sense that our inner “me” is changing too. Even from moment to moment…depending on life’s circumstances.

Since I have been keeping Eva Cate this week (or perhaps it is the other way around…still not sure) I have seen the different “me” swings of a five year old upfront and personal. The “me” of Eva Cate can change quite rapidly from excitement to disappointment from joy to sadness ….it is all part of growing up.

The excerpt from the following article definitely makes us stop and reflect…

Source: Man’s Most Important Mistake  ( G. I. Gurdjieff) Awakin Weekly

ImageProxy… Man’s most important mistake is thinking of himself as one (as in singular)…not part of a whole.

Man has no individual I. But there are, instead, hundreds and thousands of separate small I’s, very often entirely unknown to one another, never coming into contact, or, on the contrary, hostile to each other, mutually exclusive and incompatible.

Each minute, each moment, man is saying or thinking, ‘I.’ And each time his I is different. Just now it was a thought, now it is a desire, now a sensation, now another thought, and so on, endlessly. Man is a plurality. 

Try to understand that what you usually call “I” is not I; there are many “I’s” and each “I” has a different wish. Try to verify this. You wish to change, but which part of you has this wish? Many parts of you want many things, but only one part is real.

It will be very useful for you to try to be sincere with yourself. Sincerity is the key which will open the door through which you will see your separate parts, and you will see something quite new. You must go on trying to be sincere. Each day you put on a mask, and you must learn to peel it off little by little.


Pretty interesting thoughts…yet most of us (must admit) that at one time or another we have stared in the mirror and said “Who are You“? Then we spend the rest of our  lifetime discovering the answer to that question

But for people of faith…we have a head start when we can say….”We are children of God.” The starting line (to knowing our real selves) begins with that statement.

So until tomorrow…Help us Father chip away at the mask we present to others and start showing our real “me” behind it…the “me” you want people to see.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

* The many “Me’s” of Eva Cate at Vacation Bible School (from morning nervousness and a little sadness that Boo is leaving, to smiles and a glint in the eyes that a little mischief is going down)



Vacation Bible School ends today with a program for the parents at 6:00 this evening. Mandy, John, and Jake are coming to see the finale and take little Eva Cate home.

So yesterday we had girls’ day….we worked on curling our hair, (with the old sponge rollers) painting our fingers and toenails….and getting a fun little ring/braclet set for a memento to remember Eva Cate’s first extended stay with Boo Boo.



The last thing we did was plant our daisy seeds late yesterday afternoon…….If the flowers all magically pop up over night…it means the fairies selected Eva Cate as the “2015 Princess of the Garden.” We will just have to wait and see. Stay tuned.

19e44ef5e889fd6602d477b7e023bb45* Sis Kinney sent me a picture….which made me sigh…she finally got to St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope. I can hardly wait for her reaction.

* Poor little Rutledge …. he went back yesterday to check to see if there was an actual fracture in his leg…we were all pretty optimistic that he would get the cast off….instead he ended up with another cast…orange this time. Please keep Walsh and Mollie in your prayers and thoughts…some summer blues to ponder over…lots of outdoors activities will have to be put off for a few weeks.

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“Oopsy Daisy”…”Oh Me!”


Dear Reader:

The past couple of days, though they turned out fine, have definitely been a combination of “Oopsy Daisy” and “Oh me!”

It started Monday night…well, actually about 2. a.m Tuesday morning. …with Eva Cate sitting straight up in bed whimpering “I’m sad.” We had gone to see “Inside Out” ….(the Disney movie about feelings and how complicated they can be)….so Eva Cate’s “I’m sad” turned out to be “I’m nauseated and getting ready to barf right on you.”

Poor little thing….she did throw up here, there, and everywhere before she got to the bathroom where it continued. I was trying to figure out what might have been the culprit….because early on…it was obvious that this wasn’t a bug but something she “et.”

It wasn’t until yesterday that Mandy told me to throw away the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese she had packed for Eva Cate….many containers of it are contaminated. Guess who wanted this for supper Monday night and who ate it?….Whether this was the culprit or not…check ouy Mandy Turner’s Facebook page for the problems surrounding this popular product with children.

So fast forward to Tuesday morning…Eva Cate is up and bouncing around….ready to go to Bible School while I am moving a little slower…two loads of laundry/sheets/pillow cases later….

Coming home from the movies Monday my car started acting funny…it felt like Eva Cate and I were riding a hopping bunny rabbit…the transmission light came on…that is never a good sign.

Later Tim stopped by and drove it around…nothing happened…smooth as silk (Murphy’s Law)…he thought all was good. When I got in the car yesterday morning to take Eva Cate to Bible School…I noticed she was holding her ears. When I asked why…she said because she thought her “Boo was going a little crazy on the way home from the movies…praying to God at every red light that the car didn’t stall or turn off.” Obviously she wanted none of that on the trip to Bible School…too much drama…even for Miss Drama Queen.

No problems…life is starting to turn around…everything is looking good and then I leave to go pick up some medicine at CVS and the “bunny rabbit” returns….hoppity hop hop.

Once again Tim comes to the rescue…he takes “Hoppity” to Auto Zone and lets them run the free test to pinpoint the problem…I, then, take it to Speedee and they start working on the car….but it is running so close to pick up time (at noon) for Eva Cate

IMG_5897…that I call on my Plan B…Anne.…who drives over…picks me up (and Eva Cate’s car seat) at Speedee...takes me to church…waits with me for VBS to be over and drops us both back off at Speedee.

Now that ladies and gentlemen….is the Best Friend “Plan B” around!!!! Thanks again Anne.

So everything I thought I would get done during the three hour hiatus of Vacation Bible School went poof with Hoppity’s limp….but at least it isn’t hopping any more and I pray they found all the problem (s).

But again….while I was whining “Oh Me” ….” What’s happening“….Anne and I discovered we were supposed to be at a certain spot at a certain time. We went to get some colored markers for a VBS project Anne is working on for Thursday. While checking out I was talking to her about a friend’s recent diagnosis and the clerk stopped what she was doing and listened.

She apologized for interrupting…but she was interested in our conversation because she was going through a very similar health problem and wanted to hear what we were saying. As we listened to her story Anne and I just looked at each other…a God’s wink…we promised her prayers throughout her upcoming ordeal.

Every time we are experiencing a  simple (but annoying) turn of events back to back…there is someone who is going through a serious crisis…professionally, personally, or medically.

And that’s why we should say “Oopsy Daisy“….because (like sun flowers) they will not only turn towards the sun…but make their blossom align to the direct sunlight throughout the day.

So until tomorrow…we should follow the daisy’s example….(okay…we might be experiencing a little “oopsy” here and there)… but like the “daisy”  if we follow the Light and make sure we continue to blossom and bloom under the “Light of Life’s” Guidance…we can overcome the obstacles of life.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* Hot off the Press…pictures of Ajay.…Ambika’s precious little baby boy.


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So cute and I know so loved!





We went to Doodle’s after our bad start day and everything got “gooder.”



Eva Cate received these tea party fairies in the mail yesterday…how very magical….she is still leaving food out every evening…and it is all gone every morning. The fairies love Eva Cate for her kindness. Flying around every night takes a lot of energy.

IMG_5304It’s the first day of the month-July1….Don’t forget to say “Rabbit”….and may good luck follow you all month!


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Weighing in with God’s Guidance



Dear Reader:

Isn’t this quilt gorgeous? Many talented women in our church worked long and hard to create symbols of our church as a memento to our hard-working, talented Associate Pastor, who is leaving us.

Sunday was our Associate Pastor (Dorothy Blackwelder) last day in the pulpit at our church-Dorchester Presbyterian. She had prayed all week she could get through the sermon without breaking down and she nearly made it. (But I think sometimes tears just make the message of leaving/saying good-bye saltier and more palpable to swallow. It was heartfelt and the tears flowed in both directions.)

IMG_5882Dorothy spent a significant portion of her last message explaining the difficult period of time she underwent… while stuck in the valley of indecision…trying to weigh the pro’s and con’s of a life-altering resolution that would affect the family…though, hopefully…for the better.

She only got glimpses of the path she was to follow from the one Source she most wanted to hear from…perhaps with a burning bush or angel bugle blaring dramatic scene. None of that happened. Dorothy kept wondering why God wasn’t weighing in on her major decision…where was He?

And then, one day, it hit home why she couldn’t see a straight, clear road to follow…. Life is a  long and winding road … for a reason. God wants us to depend on Him for the next day’s directions. We were not created to go it alone….to see too far down the road…for dual reasons: Our emotional protection and the opportunity to communicate with Him every day.

God is more interested in building a personal relationship with us than in just handing out directions. I, sometimes, think it really doesn’t matter which way we go…if we rely on God’s Guidance…eventually we all reach the same place….Home.

And besides….don’t we like getting off the interstate at intervals to follow the back roads and see the real beauty of God’s world? I think God is a back-roads kind of Guy… He doesn’t want us whizzing through life without seeing the beautiful playground He built just for us.

As I mentioned earlier Eva Cate is staying with me this week to attend Vacation Bible School and I think we will definitely find time to spend some of it on the back roads and back playground of life.

So until tomorrow…Teach us Father to be follow in Your Footsteps…Looking to you for the right Path to follow.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

As if enough isn’t going on at the Dingles…. Poogan cut her foot seriously on some oyster shells and now it is bandaged with stitches….Rutledge feels a strong affinity for his canine buddy.




Eva Cate had a first great day at Vacation Bible School and so did Boo with the storytelling…

Eva Cate must be bringing me Good Luck ….beautiful moon flower bloomed last night.


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Life is a Beautiful Struggle


Dear Reader:

The older I get the more I realize how true this statement is: “Life is a beautiful struggle.” The harder we have to fight to maintain life the more beautiful it becomes. It starts to manifest itself through the little things in life we so often overlook in our daily rush to get “some where.”

This “beautiful” struggle doesn’t stop with just man…every living creation of God stays in a continuous struggle with life throughout its existence on earth.

As I walk through my garden I can imagine what the plants would be telling me if they could talk…some would nod at me, quite courteously, to let me know they are doing just fine…during this heat wave…while others would say something like: “We get it…you’re trying to save on your water bill…you actually believed the weathermen when they said that the chances of rain were higher than usual today…but hey, get over it, it didn’t happen…turn on the sprinkler system PLEASE! We’re dying of thirst here!”













We are just like my (flower) “children” in the garden. Different obstacles in life are more difficult for some than others…but along this same thought…another set of obstacles (that might throw others off track) are easily soared over by still another group.

We all have different levels of tolerance for different problems that come our way: whether medical, marital, professional, or personal. Like the plants in the garden…it is the people who have established a personal relationship with God who seem to be able to dig deeper (when life’s challenges come our way) to find the living waters that sustain them through the struggles of life.

These people are the same ones, who realize no matter the extent of the problem that  lies ahead, life is well worth the fight…and we fight for the little things in life. Things like:

…The first cup of coffee in the morning as we watch the sun come up, the voices of children laughing at the school bus stop, the first time your child or grandchild makes contact with the baseball and actually lands on first base, the first dandelion given to mothers and grandmothers by toddlers (” I have a flower for you”) the first phone call by a grandchild who tells you “I ouv ou.” (You never delete that phone call…no matter how old the child grows.)

Every day life can be a struggle but it is in the struggle that the love of life grows…if it were all too easy…too many perfect sunny days, all A’s on your child’s report card year after year, no teenage car accidents, or crushed hearts over first loves to console…no storms to upset the calm waters…no broken limbs or medical emergencies…it would be to easy to take life for granted. We would grow listless and bored.

We would never feel the need to turn to anyone beside ourselves for there would be no cloudy days in our lives. God wants us to turn to Him when life gets hard…to let Him hold our hand, and show us the path to inner strength and peace through our loving relationship with Him.

So until tomorrow….Life is a daily struggle…but more importantly…it is a beautiful one…well worth the fight. And once victorious… Two hands go up in exultation.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

* I picked up Eva Cate last evening…she is spending the week with me to go Vacation Bible School which starts today…she inspected all the fairy homes in the garden…then decided the two fairies should live together so they wouldn’t be lonely…she left a cookie for them to eat before their night flight and then built a fairy village inside using materials from inside the wreath on the center table in the Happy Room…a village where a fairy Rabbit rules the fairies. Imagination at its best!











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A Memory of Birth and Morning Glories


Dear Reader:

I have always been drawn to morning glories and I find myself walking over to the side fence to check on the ones planted beside it each morning. They are really growing and spreading…each bloom a purple vision of loveliness.

IMG_5863I am always tempted to pick one of the morning glories but I hold off because I know their life expectancy is very short as it…only a few hours until the morning passes and the hot afternoon arrives. It is then that they begin to visibly wither under the hot heat of the day.


The other evening… a bloom had been knocked off by one of the thunderstorms last week and it was just lying in the tall grass…I picked it up and went back to the front porch…plopping down on the top step to admire its beauty… even in its last waning stage of life.

It was then that I remembered it! A story Aunt Eva told me about my father the day I was born…that involved morning glories.

When we moved from North Carolina back to mother’s home in Laurens, South Carolina I had very mixed feelings. I was leaving behind close friends and two cousins who were more like sisters. I was leaving the only home I had ever known and especially, as a child, I didn’t like change…but sought consistency and security.

I would be starting high school  in the fall…in a new school which is always a little nerve-wracking. Of course, on the bright side… I had cousins in Laurens too, who I loved, and I would be closer to Aunt Eva, mother’s sister, whom I adored too.

Mother, realizing, my hesitation over the move, decided to go all out for my 14th birthday that year (Sept.24) which fell on a weekend. She had all the extended family over and cooked my favorite dishes and desserts. There were lots of presents and promises of future shopping trips to Greenville for some new school clothes.

IMG_5868Our house in Laurens had a patio and a sloping back yard that finally stopped by a wooded area. We were all out on the patio eating when Aunt Eva commented on the beautiful morning glories still blooming in the fading late afternoon sun that fall day. She then whispered something to mother and mother smiled gently and nodded her head.

And that is when I first heard the story about daddy and the morning glories. I heard mother laugh…and I wanted to know all about the story.

Apparently fourteen years before, when I was born in late September, a vacant lot next to the house where my parents were living, was filled to the brim with morning glory vines…apparently just as beautiful as they were the night of my 14th birthday.

Eva had been called to let her know of my birth and she was to pack her bags (knowing Eva I am sure they were already packed) as she would be staying with mother to help her with Ben and the baby (me.)

When Aunt Eva got to the hospital…lots of flowers, from family and well-wishers, had already arrived…but several straggly vines of half-dead flowers were drooping all over the hospital counter. When she asked about it…mother just laughed.

Apparently daddy had run home, earlier that morning, to check on the babysitter and Ben and he was rushing to get back to the hospital when he noticed all the beautiful morning glories. Not knowing anything about flowers… he cut several vines while they were in full bloom, threw them in the car (thinking the hospital would have plenty of flower vases) ran a couple of more errands and arrived at the hospital with several vines of drooping morning glories.

IMG_5867He was all smiles and so proud of his accomplishment (in the floral arena of life) that the nurses and mother kept a straight face and went on and on about how beautiful they were. As soon as daddy left…one of the nurses soaked them in a sink full of water….nursing them along with as much care as given mother.

When Eva arrived and heard the story…they all chuckled again…but now Eva had an idea…she took a few flowers from each arrangement and made a new one weaving the morning glory vines/blooms around each flower. It turned out to be the most beautiful arrangement of all.

IMG_5866Mother remembered daddy told the nurses and her that when he saw those beautiful purple flowers he knew they were perfect for his beautiful little girl. Like the short life expectancy of the morning glories, themselves, little did daddy know, at the time, that he would only have five years with his little girl.

Of all the memories of past birthdays that story means more to me now than any other…I read recently that one mother said she always told the birthday child in her family the story of his/her birth on each birthday. It was the highlight of the birthday child’s day….”Please tell me about the day I was born.

I love that idea! In fact…before I forget… I plan to write a story for each child and grandchild about the day he/she was born with all the antics, funny happenings, and sweet memories from that day and give the story to them, as a keepsake, this year.

So until tomorrow…Let us never forget the power of a story on the day a loved one is born…so that the child will always know he/she was/is loved beyond measure.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

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“We Gather Together”


Dear Reader:

The old hymn, “We Gather Together”  is most often associated with Thanksgiving or a way to sing “grace” before a meal with a large gathering or group.

Yesterday, as I watched the proceedings, in my cool air-conditioned house…of the crowds standing in 90 degree (plus heat) … patiently waiting on the hot sidewalks and streets of downtown Charleston…(for a chance to get into the arena where the funeral service for Reverend Clementa Pinckney was to be held)….I, once again, marveled at the power of love…which is synonymous with the power of God. After all…God is Love.

The idea that love is the strongest force on earth was certainly re-enforced yesterday by the sheer number of individuals (both local, national, and international) who came to Charleston  for the sole purpose of gathering together with their fellow man to show hate that the love in Charleston is too strong to allow it to settle in and stay.

Perhaps “hate” might have better luck surviving and thriving in another town, state, or country…but not in our beloved “Holy City.” We simply don’t have room in our hearts for anything else outside of love…because love is all encompassing.

After yesterday’s service I think we can all agree that there was a sense of “Thanksgiving” present…thanking God for giving us a Clementa Pinckney and so many more good men and women to fight the good fight for equality and respect for their fellow man.

And welcome back Reverend President Obama…it was good to see you again…the fiery orator with blazing eyes filled with renewed determination to change the things that hold our country back from being the best it can be. (And a great singing voice in addition….)

The origin of the hymn “We Gather Together” dates back to the 1500’s and was written in response to a war between the Dutch and the Spanish Empire.

The story begins with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.  He had been born in the Netherlands (Holland), and his empire included the Netherlands.  Charles and his son, King Philip II, considered it their duty to eradicate Protestantism, which had established a strong foothold in the Netherlands.

The Dutch rebelled and many Dutch Protestants were executed for their beliefs against Catholicism. Eventually, however, the Spanish were weakened by the fighting and forced to leave…bringing about the “Golden Period” in Dutch history.

This hymn was written near the end of the 16th century (some say 1597) to acknowledge that turbulent past and to look to a better future:

“We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing” acknowledges their need––a need made apparent by the suffering they had undergone.

He chastens” alludes to the events just past.

“The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing” alludes to the violence of the Spanish soldiers–– a violence now stilled.

“He forgets not his own” is a tribute of praise to God for allowing them to emerge triumphant from their turbulent history.


Lyrics to this Famous Hymn

* As you read the lyrics you see how appropriate they are for the tragedy at the Emanuel AMS church…

  1. We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
    He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
    The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
    Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.
  2. Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
    Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
    So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
    Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!
  3. We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
    And pray that Thou still our Defender will be;
    Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
    Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!


1743664_789574691155282_3583030392964479482_nSo until tomorrow…There is no doubt in my mind that all the souls of the nine congregational members have been “made free” by the love of God.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh



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