Karen

Job’s Wife

September 20, 2017 in Family and Friends

When everything in your world starts rocking at once, you wonder if there’s something bigger going on that you just don’t know about. After all, perhaps Satan and God are duking it out over you like they once did over Job.  There doesn’t seem to be anything biblical that supports the idea that God would never do that to anyone else.  All I know is, that these seem to be our Job days. Just to give you a little run down of the events, it has gone something like this, all in the past two weeks.  First my mother was taken by ambulance to a hospital in upstate New York.  This happened just one hour after my husband and I got there to visit my parents.  We spent the next three days in the hospital and once we brought mom home with new medications and promises to take it as prescribed, we headed for home in Nashville. The hurricane hit Florida that same weekend and so my in-laws were taken to shelters. It was very stressful for everyone to say the least. The day after everyone returned from the shelters, my father-in-law passed away.  We were grief-stricken. The very next day after that, my father was taken by ambulance to an upstate New York hospital. It was becoming a little hard for me to breathe by then, but my dad came home after a couple days.  Whew! Stress!

Bruce prepared to leave for Florida to be with his mother and sister and his flight was cancelled one hour before we were leaving for the airport. We scrambled and found another flight that went to Tampa. While enroute to Tampa, he found out his rental car was cancelled. He couldn’t find a hotel. He wouldn’t arrive there because of delays until after midnight. We prayed. We felt frustrated by everything. We finally managed to find a hotel and another car. He’s now in Ft. Myers.

Yesterday, we had a tornado go through Nashville and a tree came down in our backyard. My step son had a tree come down on his house. This morning Bruce is in the emergency room in Florida with high blood pressure and the potential need for knee surgery. I’m not there. We’re stressed.  I feel like Job’s wife. Tomorrow Bruce’s mom has to have tests for a mass on her liver.

I know that we all go through seasons of challenging times. Personally, I’m waving the white flag. Of course, I won’t be waving it long because I’ll be packing the car to drive to Florida shortly. If you happen to be a prayer person, or just someone with an encouraging word, I’m pretty open to your thoughts. Everything is haywire!  All I know is God must have a huge plan for our lives because we’re going through a boatload of distractions.

Love to you all today.

Karen

Humble Roots

May 3, 2017 in Family and Friends

This past week, I had a chance to spend a few days in upstate New York where I grew up.  I’ve visited there through the years, though not often enough, and this time I realized that some pretty significant changes have ocurred.  Either the town has changed or I have!  It seemed somehow out of sync with my current life. The main street is still graced with leafy trees hugging the houses and the center of town.  Some of the old Victorians have been kindly restored and a few even tempt the heart of a poet.  Other sections of town though, seem to have forgotten their original purpose and have not aged well.  I felt somewhat like an outsider peeking through a window of the now defunct train station.

Beyond the creeks and parks where I once played or the memory of river canoe trips and cookouts on the bank, I felt somewhat disconnected. I was drawn to the passage of time via the houses that no longer contained former family members, and by the school that is now an elementary school only and not a K-12 as it had been for me.  The diner where we once hung out after a victorious basketball game was no longer open.  My grandparents and my aunts and uncles have passed, though I’m blessed to have my parents still there, living just outside of town.  Perhaps this is the reason we can’t go home again, visiting our humble roots, hoping to see something familiar that will make us smile.  We can’t ask time to stand still just so we can capture old memories.

Lest this become too somber, I will say that there were also several unique gifts woven into my visit.  Certainly seeing my parents is always one of those, but seeing a high school friend that I hadn’t connected with since the graduation pomp and circumstance was another one.  We went to church together and then out to lunch and caught up a bit on the path each of our lives have taken.  Oddly enough, gray hair didn’t change the smile that could just as easily have beamed from an 18 year old, as he and his wife sat opposite me.  It was so much fun to renew a friendship that helped us revisit scenes from the chapters of our school days.  It was a gold nugget experience; one that I will cherish always.

I also visited Coach Green who still lives in the home he has shared with his wife of 67 years.  His daughter and I had renewed our friendship several years back and we discovered that we had a mutual commitment to our faith.  Sadly, Judy passed away much too soon and so visiting her family had always been something I hoped to do.  Clearly, God knew that we could bless each other’s lives.  I left his home in perfect peace and joy. It’s interesting to note that Coach Green and my dad went to the same high school in New Jersey, and yet somehow ended up in Unadilla.  Life is funny like that!

I know I still have a few old friends back in my home town and I hope that little by little to have a chance to connect with each one of them again.  After all, it’s only in sharing our stories that we can each understand our heritage and the blessings that life has brought us.  I’m so glad I was able to walk those streets of Unadilla once again.  I thank God for giving me a home there.  It’s appropriate that its name means, “The Meeting Place.”  I hope to meet more old friends there every chance I get.  May the grace of God shine on each one of you!

Karen

Saying “I Do!” for Seventy Years

January 20, 2016 in Family and Friends

 

My parents became Doug and Beverly Moore on January 21, 1946.  They were incredibly young and courageous.  At tender ages, they had to learn about life and marriage and raising children.  It was not an easy job, but it was one they were committed to protect and build on.  It’s amazing to me to think back on the challenges they faced.  Few teenage girls today could cope with the things my mother took in stride and did her best to overcome.  Sometimes there wasn’t enough money and so the day to day living caused my parents to be creative in the ways each dollar was spent.  We ate a lot of macaroni as I recall because you could make a lot of dishes with it.  As parents, they were tough and tender.  As a little girl, I remember my dad coming home from work with his lunch pail which often held a treasure or two.  Sometimes he’d have a whole Hershey bar in there which put a glow on the cheeks of four little girls.  Mom often made our clothes for special occasions and she taught us how to bake when we were old enough to hold a spoon and mix things in a bowl.  We made lots of family recipes and our kitchen was usually a toasty and warm place to be.  I don’t recall a time when someone appeared at our door close to the dinner hour that they weren’t welcomed to the table, whatever it is we were having that evening.

One of my favorite things about my parents though is that they always were loyal to each other.  They never said unkind things about each other in public and they always held hands and smiled and made the best out of any situation they faced.  My dad seemed to always have an instinct about how to handle mom if she flared up and mom knew the right things to say when dad found any reason to doubt himself.  They were in it to win it as we often say in business.  They were in for the long haul and there was no thought about a short term crisis that could do anything except make them stronger as they faced the challenge it brought.

I will always envy the fact that they were able to maintain their connection, whatever life brought their way.  They  let love guide them and they never went to bed angry at each other.  They knew you had to deal with things as they happened.  I feel confident that God must be pretty proud of these two.  They never made excuses and they never gave up.  They just knew that they were together and they had each other.  They celebrated their victories with laughter, and worked through their troubles as best they could.  They were friends and nothing was going to change that.  The best part is that they are still friends, still a couple who is genuinely in love, and I’m now aware that nobody knows either of them quite the way they know each other.  They are a gift to their four daughters and to their grandchldren.  They offer a legacy that none of us will compete with. My dad told me a story not long ago about how he would run across the river bridge to go see mom when they dated.  “Run?” I said.  “Oh, yes,” dad replied, “I ran across that bridge to see Bev.”

Congratulations, Mom and Dad!  I’m so proud that I’ve been blessed with parents who not only love each other, but help me understand that I am loved as well.  I thank God for you both every day and for the example you are to me and to the people around you.  You beat the odds and made a teenage marriage work for a lifetime.  May God continue to watch over you and keep you always in His loving embrace.  You have my love forever.image016Mom and Dad Moore

Karen

My Tough Time Friends

July 7, 2015 in Family and Friends

 

I’m working on a new book called Thanks for Being You!  I thought I’d share a poem I wrote for the book because it’s such a reminder of the kind of friend I always hope to be and the kind of friend I know you all are.  It goes like this:

The Tough Times Friend

When the weeds are growing taller

And the sunlight starts to fade,

The first thing some folks notice

Is the big ole mess you’ve made.

They check to see just what you’ll do

And they might mail you a letter–

They say they hope you’re fine now

And that everything is better.

The trouble is that trouble

Doesn’t bring a special hoe

To weed out all the obstacles

Where brand new seeds can grow.

And trouble won’t apologize

Or fix things in a hurry,

In fact it steals your choices

And leaves you just to worry.

But real friends walk right to your door,

And bravely ring the bell

With a bag of needed groceries

And some apple pie as well.

They fill your heart with laughter

And they listen to you too,

And then they put their hand in yours

And ask, “What can I do?”

And that’s how good friends manage

To plant joy where worry grew

And how they help to quickly fix

The things that bothered you.

And once the mess is over,

They remind you in the end

That nothing means as much to them

As being your good friend.

2015 Karen Moore/Thanks for Being You

Thanks to all of you who are such dear friends, offering support and love and encouragement over and over again.  Have an awesome day!

turning up the lightpsd

 

 

Karen

Walking in Bill’s Shoes

March 2, 2015 in Family and Friends

William Rinehart Barbour,Jr. is 93 today!  The sparkle in his eye is as welcoming as ever. His love for his family and friends radiates from a face that lights up when you enter his room, glowing more than 93 birthday candles ever could..  He has enviable silver white hair and a ready wit.  He’s a man to be admired, always has been, and always will be.

WRB, as he’s often called, is a man of many talents and for most of us, it’s hard to even imagine walking in his shoes.  Some of you may recognize his name as the man who picked up the gauntlet set down by his father and his uncle to find a way to make Christian books available to everyone.  His uncle, Fleming H. Revell,Sr., His father, William R. Barbour, Sr. set the groundwork for WRB to continue to develop a publishing legacy.  He was an innovator and when he became president of Revell in 1968 he wanted to make sure that great preachers, and Christian entertainers, businessmen and laymen and women all had an opportunity to get their work into the marketplace.  He pioneered the things we take for granted today…getting Christian books into secular stores, creating books about family and ways to live life more honorably.  He published women like Marabel Morgan, whose “Total Woman” was one of the top selling books of the 70’s.  He published Corrie TenBoom’s, “The Hiding Place”, and Dale Rogers, “Angel Unaware.”  He was a publisher who was always connected to his readers and humbled by their messages.  He began every editorial meeting with a letter from someone who wrote to share how their life had changed because they read one of the books he published.  “This is why we do what we do,” he beamed.  He was intent on publishing books that matter.

That’s not the whole story though.  Yes, he is a brilliant publisher, but even more he’s a man with a capacity to love and forgive and bless the lives of others in every way he can.  He’s a man who loves his brother Hugh in ways that are reminiscent of the kind of brotherly love Jesus talked about.  He’s a man who blessed his children, Bruce, Betsy, and Alan with gifts and talents beyond measure and hearts like his that are as big as all outdoors.  He’s a man who honors his wife of 64 years, Mary, and understands the gift that she has been to him for many years.  William Rinehart Barbour,Jr. is a man with big shoes and most of us will spend years trying to find ways to walk in the path he creates.  As his family and his friends, we shout with love and joy, “Happy Birthday, WRB!”  “Happy Birthday, incredible, remarkable and wonderful man!

Sometimes we wonder if we make a difference.  Sometimes we look in the mirror and try to imagine what it would be like if the work we did in the world, and the love we shared with others, could be so amazing that it would last forever, long after our days on earth. All I know is that it’s a great blessing to me to be part of this family and I’m humbled as a daughter-in-law, as an author of Christian books, and as a friend of this man to realize all he’s done to make my path a bit easier, long before he knew I’d ever be in his life.  I want to be like that.  I want to walk in Bill’s shoes!

Don’t you?

turning up the lightpsd

Karen

February 8, 2013 in Family and Friends

Sometimes I feel certain I should have been born in the Victorian Era, or at least the romanticized aspect of that set in beautiful lace and flowery speech.  But then again, I believe incurable romantic hearts belong to any age and so as Valentine’s Day approaches, I am musing about how many of us will get out our feather quills and elegant stationery and create a love letter for the person or the people nearest and dearest to us.  How many of us would even consider writing a love letter?  This act may sadly belong to a bygone era. That said, some form of love letters may still spark your fancy this Valentine’s Day.  You are a creative and a loving person and no doubt you’re already planning some delightful treats for the ones you love, but I thought I’d post some sweet alternatives for those of you who are still musing about how to express your love on February 14th.

  • You might write a half dozen sweet notes and tuck them into sure-to-be-discovered spots, like bathroom mirrors, next to coffee mugs, jacket pockets, etc.
  • You might add a single stemmed flower to each of the notes waiting to be discovered.
  • You might be more intentional about warm hugs all through the day.
  • You might pray with your love in the morning and thank God for the gifts you share.
  • You might offer notes of sweet memories you’ve shared that make this day even more special.
  • You might issue your own love coupons for sweet treats and encouraging thoughts.
  • You might forgive any little thing that keeps you from loving more fully.
  • You might pull out those words you seldom say or even think about, like:  cherish, adore, delight, marvel, embrace.
  • You might offer notes of gratitude to all the people who make your life cheerier in any way.

Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day and every day for that matter, cherish the people you love and let them know it.  Today is the best day to give your love away with your whole heart. To all the people who put Big love in my spirit, embracing me and sharing with me here, I send a big red Valentiny heart decorated with the joys of all you mean to me.  I love you forever!

Karen

My Christmas Angels

December 11, 2012 in Family and Friends

 

I love the thought of angels

Anytime of year,

The way that in a moment

You simply feel them near.

I love the way they tiptoe

Through my life each day,

Giving unknown blessings

To things I do and say.

I love the Christmas angels

Who appeared one winter night,

Announcing God’s sweet message

Of his Son of love and light.

I love the angels everywhere,

For the million things they do

To help a friend or neighbor

Or reach out to strangers, too.


I love the special people

 

Who encourage us to smile

When life has overwhelmed us

And we’re lost for just a while.

 

 

 

I thank my own dear angels

Who cast away each fear,

And shine a light of hope

That helps me through the year.

I wish you Merry Christmas…

I wish you all that’s blessed

For you’re angels each with golden wings

And simply are the best!

 

A little Christmas card with love and joy…to all of you!

Karen

 

 

Karen

Pumpkins and Pirates and Ghouls, Oh, My!

October 23, 2012 in Family and Friends

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween is a fascinating howl-i-day and one that has grown like the great pumpkin in a field over the last several years.  It offers a kaleidoscope of complex interpretations for the sinners and the  saints.   I’m more of a “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” kind of person so I like to focus on the opportunity it brings to stir the imagination in a spirit of fun and sharing.

 

Growing up in an upstate New York town, where little kids could trick-or-treat with round-eyed innocence and adults with imagination were able to create a little spooky fun, I still think of Halloween as a chance to step outside yourself for a few hours and meet the neighbors.  Back then, Halloween was all about eating a generous stash of chocolate.  My sisters and I would go home with our booty and separate the good candy bars from the gum and the lollipops, and share some with our parents and tell stories of who was dressed like what. It was simply a fun, family night.

Dr.Seuss said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.  Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”  I think more of us should try taking his advice seriously…after all, serious fun is a good thing!

Personally, I still like seeing little kids come to my door decked out in ‘ruby slippers or happy sprite costumes, or maybe as Boot-legged Pirates. After all, this door to door thing is both spooky and tiring so they’ve earned their chocolate bars fair and square.

We all go through life trying on different masks.  The trick is to know the real you so well that when you take the mask off, it’s a treat to see you back again.  So today, I just want to applaud playing “dress-up,” family and neighborhood fun and the idea that it can be good to step outside ourselves and try on a new face.  This is the side of Halloween I appreciate.  So, in honor of sweet little children who go bravely up to the door and pretend for a moment to be ghosts and pumpkins and firemen, I say, “Come on…Trick or Treat.”  We can celebrate being saints again tomorrow.

 

Karen

Just Lookin’ for a Home

September 12, 2012 in Family and Friends

I’m getting ready to move again.  Sure that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s the fifth move since I came to Florida in 2010.  In not quite three years, I’ve bounced from one house to another, always looking for a home, a place to hang my hat(s) and stay put.  I’m starting to feel a little like Moses looking for the Promised Land, or at least some of those squeaky children of Israel, wondering and wandering an eleven mile course, never quite finding the door.  Moving now and then can feel like a good thing, almost therapeutic as you divest yourself of the things you know you’ve hung on to way too long, those clothes in your closet that never seem to see the light of day.  But, moving five times in less than three years somehow loses the charms of closet cleaning, not to mention it gets harder to find friends who are willing to help you pack it all up and shift it over to another floor plan once again.

But, you know enough about me by now to guess that as much as something might challenge my packing muscles, I have to look for the good side.  What is it that makes me a moving target? What is it that qualifies me to be so fluid in the things I do, that I can pack it all on  a passing camel and keep going.  Hmmm?  I guess it all comes down to an awareness that like some kind of boll weevil in a folk song, I’m just “lookin’ for a home.”  It’s funny because I’ve been looking for this home since I was born.  If I had to come up with a number, I’d guess that I’ve moved over thirty times, from state to state, city to city, or house to house.  I’m the start over Queen.  I have the tiara and the tee-shirt to prove it.  Okay, so where’s the prize in the bottom of the Cracker Jacks?  Where’s the good news about living from box to box?

If I had to come up with an answer, I’d say this.  I believe that God’s grace is fresh every morning and like my favorite Starbuck’s flavor, is ready for me each time I put in a request for it.  I believe that with that grace, comes a little sense of adventure, a little invitation to keep walking in the desert because there’s something wonderful just up ahead.  I believe that in each house I’ve lived in for a few months here and there in my Florida life, or any of the other places before it…Costa Rica, Nashville, Colorado Springs…that the One who holds the light and knows exactly where I’m going is always just ahead, preparing a little bit of extra joy because I was willing to step out in faith one more time, willing to pack up and go, one more time.  The further good news about moving around I guess is that I get to see a lot of God’s favorite people who are living in a variety of places, and I get to understand and know that I’m not alone, that He has planted His family anywhere I will go next.  I get to remember that nothing is permanent, except the love that is shared as I connect to each person with an open heart, a welcoming smile, and a little grace.  That’s the spot!  That’s the place that really is “home” for me.

Thanks to all of you everywhere who are part of my family, who give me a sense of joy each time the doorbell rings.  So, think of me wandering just a bit, pulling a few things together until I get to my new front door. Come visit, okay?

Karen

Happy Birthday, Grace!

August 25, 2011 in Family and Friends

It’s my youngest daughter’s birthday today.  Grace is 24.  It hardly seems possible.  I still remember seeing two tiny toes sticking straight up in the air from a bassinet long since put away.  She’s an adventure in grace and as a mom, I couldn’t be prouder of the woman she is today.  She’s always been a teacher for me, causing me to step up to the plate and become more than I was before.  I guess that’s part of the big picture, part of the way God designs families.  He gives us enough sameness to recognize our roots and enough differences to truly give us wings.  We’re a kind of mix and match set and no matter how old we become or where life takes us, we’re connected, grounded in each other.

Family dynamics may have changed in terms of style or content over the years, but that doesn’t matter so much.   The good news for any of us is that families are still people who notice each other, watch out for each other, squabble with each other and come back and love each other.  Families are the best option we have in what it means to live side by side, arm in arm. The Bible says that God set the lonely in families and that seems to be a theme with God.  After all, His biggest concern after He had created the world, the animals and oceans and his guy Adam, was that Adam needed someone beside him, someone like him to share the path of life.  He didn’t want Adam to be lonely.  It’s still the case.  We’re given sons and daughters, spouses and siblings so that we have a place to turn when life goes haywire and a place to celebrate when it all goes well.  As Billy Graham said, “The family was ordained by God  before he established any other institution, even before he established the church.”    Families are key to all that we know and all that we become.

Wherever you are today, stop and give thanks for your family.  Be grateful for what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown, and where you’re yet to go.  You owe a great deal of who you are to the people who raised you.  You may not see the setting as ideal, the interactions as something out of a TV sitcom, but what you have and who you are is valid and real and important in large part, because of them.  Your family is God’s grace to you.  They gave you the tools to become the real and authentic person you are.

To my sweet Grace, I send unconditional love and gratitude.  Your birthday is a celebration of what I consider to be one of my greatest achievements.  Thanks for being wonderful YOU!

Happy Birthday! Love You BIG!