Archive for March, 2007
(This Christmas letter was sent out awhile back…)
I am happy to have found The Church and made new friends there. (This Christmas letter was sent out awhile back…)
During a sermon, our Pastor was talking about how Jesus often performed miracles among ordinary events—that people didn’t need to look far, or search for thunderbolts crashing in the clouds, because God is with us always.
Thinking of that sermon, I reflect on Jesus during different points in life.
Sometimes Jesus is handy with a plunger…and a few other tools. My son made a game of shoving anything and everything he could find into the toilet; it was his own ceramic basketball hoop. The toilet had been completely dismantled once, it would take a miracle to loosen the latest object shoved inside!
Sometimes Jesus is the friend, at the other end of the prayer, whose shoulder I can cry on. Sometimes Jesus is the cheerleader (really cool how he can set those pom-poms on fire with just a wiggle of the eyebrow) giving me encouragement or hope. But right now, I imagine Jesus as a toddler, just like my own children.
Watching my own children grow so much during the year, literally taking leaps and bounds with each step, has made me wonder what Jesus was like as a child.
The Childhood of Jesus
Small hands grasp the edges of the soft, wool blanket wrapped around him. Somehow the covers have loosened in the night, and he is cold. The cradle rocks with his first, sleepy movements. The world around him is still blurry to his newborn eyes. He reaches for the edge of the blanket; small fingers push its softness into his mouth. Slurp! Slurp! Not what he is looking for…his toes, still tucked beneath the blanket are warm and red. He is drawn to the warmth, and lifts his leg to bring one dimpled foot towards his mouth. Slurp! Slurp! Not what he is looking for…what else is there to do but to cry? With a mighty exhale of the lungs a swell of tears course over his cheeks. Mother has awakened to tend to her sweet baby. He sighs contentedly when he is lifted into her arms.
He looks forward to going to the marketplace, a place of excitement. Women stand shoulder to shoulder, bargaining with vendors. Men gather at the tavern for a cool drink and news brought back from afar. For a small boy—there are whole worlds contained within the activity, the colors, and the smells (the baked fig pastries are among his favorite of the marketplace). Mother kept a close eye on him; one hand was clasped on the sleeve of his robe. He saw a ray of hope when a woman in a blue robes with flowery trim turned to wave—Auntie. Mother stopped to chat. Their conversation would turn to a gentle lull then he would slip away… He had to be quick, for his chubby legs couldn’t run fast, but if he crept low enough he could sneak out of her grasp. Mother turns away, loosening her grip. In a second, he is dashing between the heavy stalls, rolling in the sand, and enjoying the freedom of the open air. He can hear Mother calling her voice tight with frustration. She will send one of the older brothers to catch him. When older, he will not have the urge to run away; instead he will chat with the men, who are amused by a young boy so interested in the world around him.
My thoughts about Jesus as a child are endless… What were the first words Jesus spoke? Did Jesus ever get into trouble, and how do you give the Son of God a spanking? What kind of toys or games kept Jesus entertained? Did Jesus even feel like a child? These questions led me on a journey, both in motherhood and in faith.
Quite unexpectedly, I received an insight. One night I put Nora to bed, and cuddled next to her. The winter sky was clear with moonlight shimmering through purple clouds. As I said a “good-night” prayer to Nora, she lifted a small hand and tugged at my hair. The answer seemed so simple—unconditional love. Throughout his adventures, mischief and growth—Jesus was learning. All of these experiences, beginning in childhood, became the foundation for which Jesus would reach out to humanity through his ministry. Unconditional love guided Jesus to walk on this Earth, embody the human experience, and through his death, receive salvation for all.
Our children are a blessing, to open our hearts to give and receive unconditional love, and through love gain a deeper connection to God.
I look forward to continuing my journey in faith; as my children grow I hope also my understanding of God, and connection to Him will also grow.
In Our Hearts, ©2007
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” — Psalm 127:3.
“Our family moves in different directions throughout the day, like a river that branches into many tribuataries. And I must struggle to accept that God’s grace flows with small stream…and in the end, we will all be united into the great ocean of His love. “– “By the Water: A Collection of Prayers for Everyday”, Ellyn Sanna, p. 36.
Note: Click on Draft Registration image for a full view.
1917- 1918 Draft Registration Card No. #41, Columbus Ford
Name: Columbus Ford
Address: Felix, Alabama
Date of Birth: February 2, 1895
Citizenship: Natural Born
Place of Birth: Perry, Alabama
Employer: Ed Curb
Where Employed: Perry County
Family: Wife and Two Children
Married or Single: Married
Prior Military Service: None
Build: Medium Height, Medium Build
Note: “Midnight Nile” is not only my cousin, but a sister to me. I interviewed Midnightnile for the blog. Peace~ In Our Hearts
The Nile is the longest river in the world, flowing through Africa though its source remains unknown. There are two great branches of the Nile: the Blue Nile and the White Nile. The word “Nile” is Arabic in origin and means “river valley”. In ancient Egyptian language, the Nile is referred to as iteru meaning “great river”.
The Nile river holds a special significance for Midnight Nile, who has always been drawn to Africa, and its people. Many a time, Midnightnile crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and gazed down into the honey colored water of the Alabama river and wondered what life was like on the other side of the world, where the mysterious Nile wound through a dusty land. A land similar to Selma’s dry horizons and deep crimson soil.
Midnight Nile wondered about the stories of the Egyptian Nile, whose currents fostered the growth of humanity from its ancient roots to its modern development. She felt kin to Africa, though she could not name what was lost in her own ancestry–from the slaveships and the plantations that sought to deny the enslaved Africans of their identity, their memories, a spark remained. A spark that tossed across the barren deserts, slipping through iron shackles in the holds of lurching slaveships, a spark survived, waiting to be kindled. The spark endured as subtle remembrance that Midnight Nile caught hold of, embraced. Looking down on the Alabama river, Midnight Nile thought of her own stories, and within them was an inner source of determination and insight, and place that once touched seemed to warm her body.
A dream came true for Midnight Nile, when she was able to make the journey to Africa. Midnight Nile felt such a strong sense of kinship to Africa and its people that her soul seemed to be at peace once she stepped foot on the dusty soil, and peace would remain long after she returned home. From that journey, she felt restored–perhaps she had found a resolution not only for her own self discovery but for an ancient wound as well?
Midnight Nile fondly recalls spending New Year’s Eve on the shore of the Nile, dancing and feasting with new friends she had made. Platters of fish stew, fruit and golden bread were served among hugs, and blessings for the New Year. A smile plays at the corner of Midnight Nile’s lips, as she chuckles about the baboon walking down the road; how he strutted his hairy chest as if he were a celebrity. On this journey, Midnight Nile traveled from the Sahara to the Ivory Coast, following the Nile.
Midnight Nile learned so much in Africa, experienced a world unknown to most Americans. She felt a calling to write about her travels and reflections, to use what she learned to help others. Midnight Nile was writing a poem, one day, at her computer when something surprising happened: her writing began to flow, just as the Nile, branching off into dry deserts needing to be nurtured. Midnight Nile found herself writing prayers, stories from our family, poetry and powerful commentary on society. Through the written word, she found a way to create a legacy for all that had been lost in our family. Her journey to Africa had instilled Mid Nightnile with a deep sense of purpose yet in many ways she felt the journey had just begun, and was just as mysterious as the source of the Nile itself.
The Pussycat Dolls were founded in 1993 by Robin Antin, as a burlesque dance group based in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. As the popularity of the PCD grew, several celebrities performed with them including Pink, Carmen Electra and Gwen Stefani. In 2003, Antin decided to take the PCD dolls in a new direction–as a music and dance group. Through an open audition, she enlisted six new members: Nicole Scherzinger also known as Nicole Kea, Carmit Bachar, Melody Thornton, Kimberly Wyatt, Jessica Sutta, and Ashley Roberts.
The PCD were also featured in “Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle” and did a song for the track of “Shall We Dance?”. PCD released their debut albulm in September 2005. They continue to top the charts with smooth, flowing lyrics and bumpin’ beats.
Home Page: http://www.pcdmusic.com/
On Sunday, My son and I got to see the Pussycat Dolls in person! The radio DJ’s was there to warm up the crowd. There was a dance contest–so cute these little girls were trying to break dance; they looked like ballerinas sliding on ice. Then you could write messages on the parking lot in chalk. I was proud that my son is beginning to write his name–he has the letters down pretty good. I made a cat in blue chalk..raow!
The Pussycat Dolls were in town for a concert with Flipsyde (love them!) and the Black Eyed Peas. They made a quick stop at the Verizon store, pulled up in these big, black Escalades. The line was really short–about 30 people but due to security and VIP priveleges, we had to wait 45 minutes to see the PCD. While we were waiting, my son and I played “Eye Spy”. So cute..DP was trying to have me guess something that was “green”. Being outside, there was no shortage of green. As you can imagine, that took about an hour to figure out what was on his mind!! I also told my son a Spiderman story. My son was really excited to meet a “rock star” and kept staring at the promo post card. Hehe But he didn’t have the courage to ask any of the girls to marry him, but I know he was thinking of it!
When we get in the store, we got a poster that all the Dolls signed. They had kind of an assembly line–passing the poster from table to table. All of the PCD were so nice! We got to talk to them, briefly. I told them that my son is their youngest fan, Hehe Nicole tried to get my son to sing “StickwitU” but he was too shy. Well at least she didn’t ask him to sing…”Don’t cha wish ya girlfriend was hot like me…” My son also got high-fives from all the girls. They all took time to talk with him, and were all so nice.
It was so cool! I am going to frame my poster!!
🙂 In Our Hearts, ©2007.
1930 Census John Green (b. 1864) m. Lizzie Allen Green (b. 1891)
Both reside in Summerfield. The father of Lizzie Green is Grandville Allen.
Sol Green (b. 1871), farmer lives on Summerfield Road with his wife, Lucy Callens Green (b. 1890).
Millie Green, age 10 (Willie Green Hollis)
Berta Green, age 10 (Roberta Green Chisom Ford)
Nuke Green, age 8 (Nora Green)
Kubbert Green, age 14 (Herbert Martin)
Sol Greene (b. 1865) resides in Valley Creek with his family. He was a farmer who worked the Morgan Place (as remembered by family elders). The Morgan Place was on Summerfield Road.
Daughter- Estella (b. 1918)
Sons- Dock and Nathan
Note: The family of Sol Green(e) are my cousins. My great-grandmother was affectionately nicknamed “Mel”, and her son Buddy (my grandfather) spent a lot of time with the Green family, and was especially close to Miss Willie Green-Hollis. There was an older daughter named Annie who is not mentioned in the 1930 Census as well as a baby daughter—born later—named Rosalie. Both the Greens and the Martins married into the Ford family.
Sol Greene resides next to:
Willie Greene (b. 1891) and his wife, Ethel Greene (b. 1906)
John and Lizzie (b. 1891) Green reside in Summerfield
With father-in-law, Grandville Allen
And nephew Dock Green, b. 1915
Welcome Family and Friends,
Through “In Our Hearts”, I will show how the invisible connections between the past and the present shape our world, and our place (as individuals) in it.
Within each one of us is a legacy of memories, lessons, values and history passed down from those who walked before us. No matter how far you have traveled, or what separates you—the ties of family are intricately connected through the guiding hands of our ancestors watching over us. Sometimes the hands are gentle, other times the pull is strong. We are called to remember. We are called to teach our children from the lessons and experiences of family. We are called to question. We are called to open doors to healing. We are called to give voice to a forgotten past. We are all called by name, to return to the faded footsteps from which our very first steps began.
“In Our Hearts” is a tribute to the branches of my family tree(s): the Fords, Martins, Mortons, Green(e)s and all related branches. I invite you to contribute to this page, so that all our precious memories, and family history can be preserved. Please feel free to include anything you think is relevant—stories, pictures, recipes, genealogy, current events, etc. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂
My sincere gratitude goes out to my family. I thank all of you taking the time and effort to share with me. I thank my grandparents and ancestors for their efforts, dreams, and sacrifices. I wake up each morning with appreciation, and awe of how your work and love created such a life, such opportunities.
In Joy, Love & Peace, In Our Hearts ©2007