Sunday, January 6, 2013


An odd thing happened during church today.
I'd finished playing the Doxology:
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Removing myself from the piano bench and getting situated on the pew (second on the left), I caught a glimpse of Mrs. Johnnie, three rows directly behind, her white hair, bright smile, and twinkling eyes giving a nod as I sat.
She wasn't there, of course -- hadn't been there for many years, having entered the Sabbath Rest like so many beloved others of our small congregation.  Her soft voice reached through memory, "You get on back to school, Missy.  You'll do just fine."

Perhaps it's the anxiety of being a non-traditional student at a junior college at this late date in life that summoned other voices, long quiet, to calm and strengthen a hesitant soul.  Daddy's clear tenor quipped, "Time to do it, Shug.  Fix us a pot of coffee and figure that out."

Tears were fought to keep from falling as Thomas' exposition of Genesis 3: 15 and an Old Promise for a New Year continued.

Billy's sweet spirit touched lightly, "You're my favorite aunt.  Make me proud."  John's no-nonsense words rang true to his eldest sibling position in the family.  "Be careful on the road;  lots more idiots than you out there.   Don't be quite so much yourself.  Just because you can speak doesn't mean you have to.  Study.  You're smart enough."

It was odd, all right.  Was I visited by spirits during church?  No.  Did this soul, spirit, and mind manufacture necessary words of selective encouragement in the one place of Ultimate Encouragement?  Yes.

An Old Promise for a New Year concluded.  I play and we sing, "Then in a nobler sweeter song I'll sing Your power to save, when this poor lisping stammering tongue lies silent in the grave."

Lie silent now.  And thank you.


  1. No words. You are brave, so clearly fighting through the fear. Keep going. You know that you are not alone. <3

    1. Thank you for being here with me, Mrs. Mary. I love you, too.

  2. Stephanie McCardle GremillionJanuary 6, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    You're not alone. I have also heard the voices... my Dad and our Granny are the two that always find a way to comfort and guide me when I am in need.

    From the time we were children I have always admired your talents, achievements and strength when faced with adversity. Being a non-traditional student will be a breeze. Think about how much more knowledgs and life experience you have than the typical 18 to 24 year old student. You know what NOT to do in school...

    1. Awwwwwww Steph! You've made me blush. I've always thought you were the much prettier cousin with far superior people skills and an inner knowledge of the back streets of Mobile to confound the city planners. Yes'm. I do know what NOT to do... I do know that...

  3. I don't know you personally but I started reading your posts via fb and was blessed to have come into your path. You have a God given gift to turn everything you touch and say into a visual masterpiece. I went to culinary school in my 20's and I wasn't the youngest nor the oldest. I have a fond memory of a fellow student there whom I was soblessed to have known. She was 67 and she was so knowledgeable and helpful to all of us. I LOVED being a part of such a culinary team. She took everyone under her wing and taught us so much. I want you to know that after SHE graduated she was hired by the school as a culinary teacher. Never let fear dictate the road to your God given passions.If he get's you to it.. he will see you through it! Now GO GET EM!! :)


  4. Mary:

    Having done the non-traditional course for my BS/MaS and now instructing the non-traditional students I firmly believe that the real hymn you must know is "Sweet Hour of Prayer":

    Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
    That calls me from a world of care,
    And bids me at my Father's throne
    Make all my wants and wishes known (help me pass Analytical Calculus and Problem Solving).

    You will do great, when you finish we will have a cooking throw down between you and David.

    Love you sis:

    William F Havard Sr
    Associate Professor Math and Aerospace Sciences
    EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University
    Randolph AFB Campus
    San Antonio, TX