I'm just a country girl who has never been anywhere or done anything much. I was born and raised in Oklahoma. Rural for first 6 years. Came to Guymon from Woodward at the age of 9. My husband worked for the City and funds were never a lot though I subsidised our income with my photography.
We have 3 sons grown up now and 10 grandchildren if you don't count the foster children and the foster grand
children. When I look back in my albums, I realize the rest is a gift from God.
We have had a good life already. I had the privilege of singing in a gospel trio (the low part) and although we only traveled within a 100 mile radius of our town, we sang together and loved each other for 27 years. Never had a disagreement and are still friends today. I am the oldest of the trio. Our lead singer would bring a lesson after we had sung about 10 songs, and I would draw an illustration using the flourescent chalk. It was such fun to praise the Lord in this way and hear the people take in their breath when we turned out the lights!
A wonderful friend I met on the internet, Joyce Lock, inspired me to share and helped me with all these writings for the last 2 years and then through her I met Shirley Miller (both are poets) and she set up Under His Wings Website for me. She manages it and is a wonderful friend. You must have visited HEAVENLY POETRY http://www.heavenlypoetry.com which was set up originally by my foster grandson and really opened the world to me. We are in the process of moving this website.
I am sorry to say, all the books are gone (it was a little hometown project) and the CD my grandson was going to help me with never materialized as
he moved to another city.
May God bless you for honoring a small town grandma who is already blest beyond measure. In His service, Joan Clifton Costner
When the trumpet sounds
And the King of Kings
Splits the eastern sky ...
When the dead rise first
And the saved are snatched,
Forever to be by His side ...
Whenever I can,
Iíll bow my knee
To kiss the nail pierced feet.
For, I know all the scars,
That Jesus has,
Were put there just for me.
When the God of all
Sits on His throne
And men come, one by one ...
All knees will bow
and tears will flow,
Some regretting and some in awe.
Then, will they remember
The times theyíve bowed,
The times they have stood in line ...
For just a glimpse
Of someone on earth
Who had seemed so very sublime?
Since Jesus ascended
so long ago,
Not a single man on earth ...
Could answer the smallest
(Or largest) prayer
That was prayed for all it's worth!
Since the heavy veil,
In the holy of holies,
Split, from the top right down ...
Thereís no one to stand,
Between us and our Maker,
Giving nod or pious frown.
So, my knees are stiff,
Save when I come
To the great Creator of all ...
Of galaxies, matter,
And even of time.
Only then will I fall.
So gladly, Iíll give
My praise and my love.
So thankfully will I recall ...
My knees never bent
To imposters that crave,
But only to Lord of All!
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3 "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness." Romans 6:16
The Cross! The Cross!
Where Holy Blood all down did flow -
Where people stood on Holy Ground
And did not know....
Where angels gasp, and closed their eyes;
And foolish men, believing,
The Cross! The Cross!
Where Love divine and bitter gall would meet;
And tears would flow, not for Himself, but me!
Where even nature wept and trembled through -
Where darkness fell with force
Ere night was due.
The Cross! The Cross!
Where Satan laughed and thought that he had won, But Christ knew when the deed was done It would not be the devilís victory -
It would be souls that He, Himself
The Cross! The Cross!
The ugly plan of men to bring most pain
Has brought instead for us, a Heavenís gain!
The symbol of a horrid death depose and
Fill my heart with treasure Christ well knows.
The Cross! The Cross!
The insidious sign now made so beautiful!
The ultimate loss - ultimate gain!
The Son of God - dead but alive -
Forever more the same!
I cannot look upon the cross but know
There is no measure of the love that flows
There is no measure of the strength of Blood;
Oh, Holy Blood, sweep oíer me like a flood.
In the corner, of the basement,
Stood a cobweb covered harp.
Broken now and so forsaken,
There it stood back in the dark.
No one, in the little village,
Could repair the harp again.
And, you'd never guess the music ~
Or the places it had been.
Came a ragged man a beggin'
For a place out of the cold,
He was bent and slightly limpin'.
He was lookin' frail and old.
So, the houseman gave permission.
He could sleep upon the floor
Of the basement, where was kept
The harp - with melody no more.
Soon, the house was filled with music!
'Twas as sweet as angels bring.
And, the household came a-runnin',
Just to see the vibrant strings!
Dusted now, it stood in beauty.
Every web was cleared away.
And, the ragged man was singing
Very softly as he played.
In his song, he told the story
How he'd made that harp, when new.
Since he'd made its first beginning,
Fixing wasn't hard to do.
Dear friend, if you are needing
Just a touch from God above,
Just remember Who has made you.
He can "fix" you with His love.
He can fill the empty corners
Of your heart with song anew.
He can take each day and make
A special melody for you!
He can fix the broken pieces,
Better even than before,
And open wide the storehouse
Of His blessing evermore!
Old man and his wife on the patio square;
In a swinging seat, no one else there.
Others were milling farther out on the grass.
And though none of my business, I finally asked,
"Have you children?" The aging old eyes held mine,
"Yes, three sons ... gone now, for a very long time.
They were young, patriotic, and we knew they would go.
Though mama did beg them to wait, it was, "No."
Jimmy, the oldest, was on Normandy.
Steven held out 'till a day called "D".
David seemed so young. But, we couldn't keep
Him from taggin' along, at his brother's feet.
By now, we'd probably be covered with kids. Grandchildren, great grands might well have been. But, they fought for freedom. And always we fly Our flag so high, on the fourth of July!
On Veterans Day, they place on their graves Small red, white, and blues. We never miss The parade and the honor services set. A lot of important people we've met.
Still, it would have been nice, a grandchild or two; Someone to care and help you to do The things that grow harder, each year that we live, And to see (like others) the "traits" of the kids."
Now, I never lost a son in a war. Do I pass it lightly? I won't anymore. For, my own little "grands" play by my chair. And, it's such sweet pleasure to have them there;
Free and unhampered, delighted with life ...
Causing me to remember how dear the price!
Some lonely old patriots gave more than a son.
We ought to remember what cost freedom's won.
Yesterday, we only see in distance. Tomorrow, dreams of hope locked in a maze. Today is all we have to grasp to manage. Today is ours, but running fast away.
We never can go back to any yesterday, Or leap ahead to deal tomorrowís cards. But, if we live today, as Jesus said we should, Neither Hope or memory will be hard.
We are so blest, remembíring deeds of kindness, And to hope for good and peace for all mankind. Todayís the key, you see. We learn, from memíry, to bless with something new and leave a precious memory behind.
Then, when we come to those dull days of boredom Where tomorrow we know we may never reach, Still, we can sift the pages of our Yesterday And have something wonderful to teach!
My son, my tiny son, For whom I labored And finally won!
Oh, great the prize! I see it in your tiny eyes; My wonderful, precious, unique surprise.
Oh, I knew you would be you and God knew. But, my farthest imaginings Did not dent my first glimpse of you! Cleft in chin (how like him), beautiful skin; Features of my beloved can be found ... Chubby face, so round.
And, do you bear resemblance, too, Of Him? Does God have a dimple in His chin? Your soul, so small, Will grow with all we teach and tell.
Little soul, precious to us ... Precious to Him! God, help us. The way is obscure, foggy, and dim.
Please ... Patches of sunlight for us, For him, we pray.
The devil laughed and danced with glee, "Iíve got them now, this 'Christian' country. For, they have forgotten their very roots. Theyíll believe any demon I care to loose!
When the towers fall, it will knock them flat! They wonít know where their enemyís at! So many years its been 'anything goes'. Theyíll never guess who is really their foe!"
So, the living bombs came and the towers fell. But, they were astounded in the regions of hell! Like a laser of light, as the smoke descended, Godís Name, in a prayer of unison, ascended!
A million prayers, as a shaft of light, Besieging God to see our plight! As a nation of one, we fell to our knees. Words, once used with caution, came, now, with ease.
We wouldnít offend or mix God and law. We silently let the protocol fall,
"Take out religion, the Bible, and prayer.
Our youth need their freedom, experience to share."
The things that we made available, then, Were shameful to mention and steeped in sin. But, the seed did not die! When the towers came down, Brave, caring, hearts heard a beautiful sound!
The old songs of patriots, the beautiful prayers, The scriptures of duty and love were all there! Sometimes, in a tragedy, blessing will come. You learn, by reaction, what needs to be done.
"If My people" - (it says it, so simple and plain); The way to our Helper, our Savior and King! Lord, take off our blinders. Let us understand The basic and dominate roots of our Land!
The wicked shall be turned into hell,
and all the nations that forget God.
Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.
I do not share this looking for empathy from the reader. Only to point out that in the midst of the deepest hurt,
God can bring home the understanding of His Great
~ Bend In The Road
Understanding must be difficult for
me, as my lessons have been hard. Come to think of it, my heart has always
been what got me in trouble. But, one lesson stands out in particular,
My granddaughter, at 5 lbs. and 2 weeks of age, was quietly
deposited into my arms.
I thought it was for the evening. Only, it
lasted for 3 years. I will tell you that I tried desperately to remember
that I was her mother-once-removed. I was her grandmother.
Over and over, I said, "Remember, she is not your child."
But, what do
you do when a baby is there 24/7, when you do the midnight bottle and change the
diapers, sing the go-to sleep lullaby, and kiss the tiny tears? Unless you
are heartless, you fall in love, platonic love (the best kind), for such a
helpless little soul. And, I did.
Then, came divorce. Since
she was my sonís daughter, and I was convinced we would both die, the long
battle began ... a battle I never wanted, but was forced to, after watching for
these 3 years.
I just want to relate this one incident that taught me a
deep truth. I have always revered Godís love and, also, wondered at
One particular trip for visitation, I had to go alone, and God gave
me such a lesson!
Having arrived at the home of her maternal
grandparents, my granddaughter began to cry and beg, and hold on to me.
(She always fought going back so hard. We had to run after her, catch her,
and hold her to get her into the car.) This timeher mother was present, and it infuriated
My granddaughter had locked her legs around my waist and
fastened her arms around my neck. Her mother grabbed her and pulled
her viciously from my body. (I hadnít known a child
that small could hold on so tight.) Then, her mother spanked her, in front
of us, and carried her into the house.
There was a large picture window,
inside the house, and this little 3 yr. old ran straight to it. With tears
streaming down her face and tiny arms stretched as far open as they would go,
she was reaching to the window, with eyes fixed on me, emploring me..."Don't go,
don't leave!" I could read her little lips. I canít even begin to
tell you of the pain of those moments.
Getting into the car, I started
home. I couldnít see to drive, as the tears rolled down my face and I
didnít even wipe them away. My heart was completely broken, all because of
love. We both hurt because we loved each other. I pulled over
several times and, then, back onto the road.
The bend of
the road where I began to tell the Lord I just couldnít stand it any
more, stands out like a beacon to me yet today. I told Him
it was as if every cell in my body was in contractions like unto birth. I
just couldnít bear it. I loved her so
God responded, "I know. That is the way I love every
person in the whole world, everyone that has lived and everyone that will live
... which is the only reason I could let My Son die the death He
All of a sudden, I truly understood Godís love! He had to be
God to hold all that love and all that hurt. Only God could do it. I
always knew God loved us. But, never before had I understood the depth and
greatness - the agony of that tremendous love.
I do not understand why
people donít seek the most pleasant way, when there are divorces and
disagreements. For, children are the victims of such terrible pain.
Why anyone wants to add one moment of suffering is more than I will ever be able
to understand. But, I do know that, right in the midst of a great
heartbreak, God can bring a message home that canít be