Some Assembly Required

Monday, August 29, 2011


After reading the blog that I wrote about our 45th wedding anniversary Saturday, Earl, my husband, said that he also had a few things to say about our “younger years,” so today I have a Guest Blogger—my sweetie, the one and only William Earl Timmons.
            It is truly a miracle that we have celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary--as Sandra and others have stated.  (And, yes, I am truly convinced that God DOES have a sense of humor.)  I believe that the Bible verse goes something like:  “Blessed are they who wait upon the Lord.”  In my awkward (among many other words I could use) way, I have waited and have been truly blessed with a sweet marriage, a wonderful lady to call my wife, lover, and best friend.  She has been my wife and lover for 45 years and has become my best friend.  I have also been blessed with a great family—two daughters that I dearly love who are both Godly women and great mothers of our four cherished grandchildren; two great sons-in-law; and a dog.  I really came to realize the fullness of my being blessed after Sandra was diagnosed with cancer.  I thank God regularly for the sweet marriage and relationship that my sweetheart and I now have.
            Now—how about THE NIGHT I RAN?  When Sandra and I were still working out being newlyweds, having the rough edges knocked off so that we could one day enjoy 45 years, we lived in Lake Charles, LA, and I was teaching school.  One night during that time, Sandra and I were having one of many spats, and I got tired of the fussing, verbal fighting, and decided that I had had enough.  I WALKED OUT one night!  Literally!  I WAS LEAVING, AND I DID!  After all, I was a college graduate, knocking down college-graduate money (teaching school in La!)  As a single college graduate, I could have a lot of females literally chasing  me.  I would not have to be fussing and fighting all the time.  I could live in the fast lane.  I could be my own man!  YEAH!  Well, just as I was thinking that, it didn’t take long:  I had my first female chasing me, and I was only a few blocks from the house, and it was at night!  Just as I had pictured it!  However, that female was a female SKUNK with babies.  I can assure you that she did not have love on her mind!  She was, without a doubt, chasing me, but I was running away. 
            After  my first female had stopped chasing me, I realized that I was a number of blocks away from our house—on foot!  I was leaving ON FOOT!  I realized that being on foot was not the best way to find women, and with the salary that I was making, I definitely could not move into a cool bachelor’s pad, nor could I afford a car note.  Even if I were to end up with the car that we had, it was not exactly a suave bachelor’s ride.  It was a tan, four-door sedan NASH  RAMBLER!  Not even a HARDTOP!
            Well, I came to my senses and WALKED back home, tired and sweaty.  I did what I should have done before I left (and had my first female chase me).  I came back to my bride, apologized, and hoped that she would again start being my sweetheart--Nash Rambler, and all.  I am so grateful; she did just that then and many, many more times.  I guess it just goes to prove that if God put us together, He can give us 45 years and, hopefully, many more that will continue to be even sweeter than the past 45 years.
The Blessed Skunk Runner

Saturday, August 27, 2011


            Forty-five years ago today, August 27, 1966, God began working a miracle that would someday prove what a sense of humor God has.  You could not find two people who were more opposite in every way than Sandra Groves and Earl Timmons, yet God brought them together to be married on that day.  He must have been looking down from Heaven chuckling, knowing how naïve we both were about all we would have to battle because of our differences.  In fact, we were so different that as we stood in the receiving line after the wedding, a family friend of many years came by to congratulate us; he looked at us, shook his head, and said (and I quote!), “It will never last.”  He knew us well!  Needless to say, we called him on our 25th anniversary to inform him that, so far, he was wrong!
People often are curious about how I ended up marrying Earl, and I tell them that I was just “young and dumb.”  In fact, we were both too young and dumb to be getting married, especially by today’s standards:  I was 19 ½ , and he was an “older guy”—21 ½ .  Very often, we have been asked how we have made it work, and while I would love to give a deeply spiritual answer, the only honest thing that I can say is that we were both too stubborn to admit defeat. 
Besides, my dad, even though he loved me, told me that once I was married, I wouldn’t be living at his house again:  when there were differences between Earl and me, we were to work them out.  And we have!  I now understand why numerous people gave us the Scripture Ephesians 4:26 as advice on how to keep a marriage going.  …let not the sun go down upon your wrath.  Earl likes to tell people that sometimes we have stayed up for days without sleep just to keep that Scripture true.
I would love to say that it has been a wonderful 45-year run with no problems.  First of all, you would know that I was lying, and, second, I would be denying the many miracles God has done for us and through us.  There have been some tough times—some really tough times;  but we have hung on and survived.   Many years later in retrospect, I know that if we had realized 45 years ago that we had so many things going against us, we probably wouldn’t have gotten married.   What a horrible thought!  Thank you, God, for my ignorance at that age.   I can’t imagine my life without William Earl Timmons!  I am a very blessed woman! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011


            Not that it’s a tasty temptation, but have you ever felt as if you could eat concrete?  Okay—this is where I’m coming from:  what kind of eater are you?  Authorities tell us that the reason some of us constantly fight an extra 10-20 pounds is that we are emotional eaters.   Some of us eat when we’re sad (or happy); others eat when we’re hungry (or not hungry); some eat when we’re angry (or at peace); some eat when we just see food (or if we have to go looking for it).  I consider myself an “equal opportunities eater”; I eat for ALL the above reasons.   Understand?  I’ve always known that I can be an emotional eater—to a certain extent; it’s never been a huge deal with me.  Even those times that I might splurge in the eating department, it was always in the back of my mind that I would have to fast for a day or two afterward to make up for the splurge. 

            However, I had an experience recently in which I saw myself in a totally different light.  It had been a very stressful few weeks around our house; Earl and I had both had things going on that were driving us both a little bonkers.  Then one Friday morning when Earl didn’t have to go to the office, it all came to a head, and we knew that we had to spend a few hours away from each other.  We weren’t angry at each other—just tired of the stress and frustration.  So he took off for one of his famous (infamous?) “ride-abouts.”  And I headed for the grocery store (Just a word to the wise—don’t go to the grocery store when you’re really stressed).  But I had a group of women coming to the house the next day for a work-retreat, and I needed to buy food for that.  Hence, the trip to the store!

            I’ve been stressed before in my life (more than once!), but this was the grandmother of them all!  I was so stressed that I was jittery, and by the time I got into the store, I truly felt as if I could chew a chunk of concrete!!  I just needed to eat—not fruit or the good stuff; I wanted JUNK!!  Unfortunately (Fortunately ?), I had to go down the cookie aisle, and that’s when I saw it:  that beautiful, round can from Pepperidge Farm.  Have you ever eaten their Crème Filled Pirouette Rolled Wafers with chocolate hazelnut?!!  Oh—my—goodness!  So decadent!  I buy them maybe twice a year because: (a) they’re pure sugar  (b) they’re so expensive.  But I couldn’t help myself; after all, I had women coming to my house the next day, and we would need a little something sweet, wouldn’t we?  That beautiful, round can just hopped right into my basket, and it was truly all I could do not to rip the top off and shove two or three of those cute, little pirouettes into my mouth!  (I know you’ve never felt like that!)   My next sin came on the ice cream aisle.  My husband is diabetic, so we rarely splurge on ice cream, but we had had such a rough couple of weeks that we really deserved a treat, didn’t we?  After all, he could be careful in other areas of his diet for  a few days to make up for the ice cream; so I bought each of us a pint of our favorite Blue Bell—Moollenium for him and Cookies and Cream for me. 

            As I raced to the front of the store to check out, thoughts of what to have for lunch were zipping through my mind.  Earl wouldn’t be home for lunch as he usually is, so I would be eating alone.  Aha!  Hamburger and French fries.  I could practically hear them calling my name!  Back in the car and headed for home with a slight detour to visit my favorite hamburger joint, I was almost salivating!  And the strangest thing happened:  the minute that big, pointed, orange and white striped roof of my favorite hamburger place came into view, I could actually feel myself calm down just a bit.  That’s when I started to realize how I was behaving and to feel a little ashamed of myself---but not ashamed enough to change my plans.  I got my order, nibbled on the fries all the way home, and when I got there, I immediately began eating.  Oh, my goodness—it tasted SO good!  Then, to top off the entrée, I scarfed down the entire pint of ice cream that I had bought for myself.  Wow! 

            Later in the day as I thought about my morning’s misadventures, it hit me:  when (if ever) had I been that hungry for God?  I think that question came to me because I had just gotten the book Just Give Me Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz and was convicted that I have too much “stuff,”  too much activity in my life and not nearly enough Jesus.  As I have “matured” (in age), I have noticed that I desire more than ever to know God better so that others can see something in me that would point them to Him.  But have I ever been as hungry for God as I was for food that morning?  Hmm.  I don’t think so.  Shame on me! 

Matthew 5:6—(part of  the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus was teaching His disciples)—Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. 

Luke 6:21a—(part of the Beatitudes when Jesus was teaching His disciples)—Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.