Sunday, February 18, 2018



In the midst of the brokenness brought about by the recent passing of my mother, God has truly been faithful in one amazing, miraculous way.

He's restored her family.

I won't go into the back story because right now all that needs to be shared is that forgiveness has been sought and given, and most importantly...

Love has won.

Reconciliation was the cry of my mother's heart and she's witnessed restoration among her children from the best vantage point possible...



If you've lost a parent, then you know going though their home is probably the most difficult of all the things a child must do, save for maybe planning a funeral and burying them.  My mother had only meager fare.  As many of you may remember, my father was a clergyman and they lived on a very modest income.  When my dad died almost four years ago he left her with financial debt and almost nothing to live on, but his paltry social security.  She had no house, no savings, no investments and no retirement.  That said, she did have a few minor treasures and handmade heirlooms and all of her children longed to call them their own.

My siblings and I breathed in deep at what was before us when we walked into her tiny home.  While going through our mother's humble possessions we opted to leave the task of dividing up precious cedar chest keepsakes for last.  As we opened up the lid to the tattered trunk, the one that was years older than I am, we all knelt silently around it for each of us knew it held what meant the most to her...the best of all she had.  We didn't really know what we would find...what she had kept...all she had held closest to her heart.

Inside we found love letters from my father...written when in the Navy and she was pregnant with my oldest sister.  They had yet to be married a year.  He would miss her birth as he was out to sea...  She bore their first child alone.  

I can only imagine.

There were small quilts and outfits she'd made for each of her babies, our baby shoes, our favorite toys, her baby book and her mother's baby book.

Our original expertly crocheted baby bibs, bottle covers were there (very discolored and worn) along with old greeting cards, report cards, photos and so much more. 
ADRIENNE (daughter)

We also found our uniforms for Girl Scouts, Brownies and my brother's Boy Scout uniform in the bottom of the chest...everything was there...the belts, ties, sashes, socks, caps, berets, badges, pins, etc.  Everything.

My beautiful mother wasn't a hoarder...but she was a saver.  She saved the best of all she had and the very things she knew her children would want...

God Bless her.

My precious, niece, Bridgy, is ten and is in Girl Scouts today.  I sent my uniform home with my younger, sister, Jen, in hopes it would fit her and incredibly it does.  One more year and it would have probably been too small.  I can't begin to tell you the overwhelming JOY I carry in my heart seeing this beautiful, beautiful little girl wearing a part of me.  Yesterday she wore this very vintage uniform while selling GS Cookies for her local troop.  I don't know about you, but if I saw a young Scout today in a vintage uniform I would certainly buy MORE cookies than I had planned to buy!  She looked so precious! She is an amazing little girl and I'm thrilled to be a part of her life.  I'm praying for God to raise her up to become the woman one day He wants her to be!

I don't have a picture of me in my GS uniform, but, I do have one of my big sister and I taken in our uniforms back when she was a Girl Scout and I was a Brownie.  Amazingly, my Momma still had it after all these years...

I guess if I've learned one thing since my Mother's death it might be this...

Praying matters.

My Mother was a prayer warrior and she never stopped praying for those she loved, especially for her babies.  She prayed for years that her children would come together and stop squabbling over things that were not eternal.  We've always loved each other...I suppose the scars from life just run deep sometimes.

My brother-in-love, Rob, said it best~ 

"When that cedar chest was opened something spiritual happened!"

I believe he was right.  It was like the spirit of God was set free and His mighty hand passed over all four of us kids in a profound way.

I know today, without a shadow of a doubt, my beautiful Momma is at rest...

Thank you, Mom.  Even in death you have never stopped interceding to the Father for your children.  Thank you for saving back so much of our childhood for us and for allowing us to take a look back into your private life as a young wife and mother.  I want you to know your prayers mattered.

I hope if any of you reading this today, who might need to seek peace or restoration within friends or family, you will do it.  It takes courage and it is sometimes difficult.  But, with God's help, you can do it.

It's worth it.  I promise you, it is.

Love to you this beautiful Sunday...


Friday, February 16, 2018


 Yesterday I spent some time working on my Booths here in Oklahoma...I have two and these days they are both looking quite empty.  Since the death of my mother on Christmas Eve I haven't wanted to work.  I've been overwhelmed with sorrow and irritated at how my life has changed.

I don't believe my mom wanted to leave this world.  She loved her children and I knew she wanted to stay here with us.  But, her body was beginning to fail her and I could tell she was growing tired.  Life was getting difficult and the little things we all take for grated were starting to wear her down.  I've tried to find some measure of joy in her reuniting with my father...he passed four years ago on the 20th of this month, but honestly, that brings little comfort to me. 
 I don't want her to be with him...or her father or mother...

I want her with me.

Selfish.  I know.

But, true.

Death is hard.  

When Spring arrives in a few weeks my siblings and I will bury our parents together in a small historic military cemetery in Oklahoma City.  My beautiful mother was fiercely patriotic and I believe she would be pleased with our selection.  Her growing family will again gather to celebrate her life and the man she remained faithful to since 1955.

She LOVED America and proudly wore her sparkly USA pin everyday!  She hated seeing what was happening to our nation and the political divide across our country.

With the recent violence in Florida and the death of all the children (and those fighting to protect them) it is literally incomprehensible for me to even process the entire event let alone the violence.  The passing of innocent people has caused me to question God about my own existence and to seek answers regarding it that I know I can only find in Him.

Despite being sidelined with my own unbelievable grief, I know the family members of the people killed in that horrible massacre are suffering on a level I have never personally known.  Their sorrow cannot be measured...

My heart is breaking for them all.
May God have mercy on us all.

Heal our Hearts.

Heal our Land.

Love to you...


Sunday, January 28, 2018


My days and nights are running together since the passing of my beautiful Mom last Christmas Eve.  The last several weeks have been difficult.
I am sad.  I feel lonely.  The tears won't stop flowing and I can't help but wonder if the pain in my chest will ever end.


The following obituary was written by my sister, Jennifer, and appeared in the Sunday Oklahoman, January 28, 2018.

He will gather, He will gather
The gems for His kingdom,
All the pure ones, all the bright ones,
His loved and His own.
Like the stars of the morning,
His bright crown adorning,
They shall shine in their beauty,
Bright gems for His crown.

–William Cushing, 1856

Barbara Helen Martin Elliott was born October 1, 1934 in Carbondale Illinois, and died on Christmas Eve 2017, in Edmond, Oklahoma. She was the eldest daughter of Phillip Webster Martin and Bertie Bain Martin.

Barbara lived in Carbondale until the age of 12. She loved school and was an outstanding student. At the age of 5, she accepted Jesus into her heart and began her lifelong journey as a Christian. She was her grandfather’s favorite and he was instrumental in her salvation. Later, Barbara was instrumental in the salvation of her entire family.

In 1946, the family moved to Southern California. In 1952, Barbara graduated from Excelsior High School. She was a member of Art Club and National Honor Society.

Following high school, she worked as a secretary. She loved dating, fashion and church. In October 1955, she met a sailor, William Elliott, at the Bellflower Church of the Nazarene. They married six weeks later. Of this union was born four children who gave her 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. All were her crown and glory.

Despite her small, fixed income, she never forgot anyone’s birthday and shopped sales all year so she could give everyone a Christmas present. She supported numerous charities.

Barbara was a working mother. She worked for the La Puente School District, CA; International Students, Inc., CO and Washington County, OK. Her biggest job, however, was as a Nazarene preacher’s wife. She was devoted to her calling. She served with her husband through pastorates in Galveston, Kermit and Gilmer TX; Ozark, AR; Caney, KS and Bartlesville. The rural church scene was a mission field marked by low wages and poverty. She shined through the sacrifices. She hosted showers, potlucks, sang and played piano. She loved supporting Nazarene missionaries. To encourage people to read missionary books, she created a poster featuring paper crowns. Everyone who signed up to read books got a crown. When you finished a book, she added a little plastic jewel to your crown. Our dear mother has now received the imperishable crowns that heaven bestows.

Barbara was a talented artist. She quilted, crocheted, painted, sewed and knitted. She was the world’s best Girl Scout leader. She was a prayer warrior who spent hours in prayer every day for her family. When she saw War Room, she cheered in ovation at the end. She was an amazing Sunday School teacher who taught the Gospel to children with the Wordless Book. This is her greatest legacy: A devout follower of Jesus Christ. If you are reading this, she would want you to know she loved you, because she loved everyone.

Barbara was 83, but she died unexpectedly, at home. She died doing what she loved: Keeping busy and anticipating celebrating our Lord’s birth with her children and grandchildren. All who loved her are devastated by the loss, but rejoice that she joined Jesus on his birthday. She will remain with him throughout eternity.

Throughout her life, Barbara spoke of the babies she lost in miscarriage. The moment she died she held them in her arms for the first time. This makes her happier than words can possibly say.
The family thanks Oklahoma Heart Hospital and Dr. John M. Williams for 14 years of care. Thank you for all the times you saved her.

Mom is survived by her children, Faith Bybee, Dickson, TN; Rebecca Nelson, and husband Steven, Edmond; William Elliott, and wife Ginger, West Covina, CA; Jennifer McCollum and husband Robert, OKC. Grandkids, Jayson Bybee, April Tummins, Cathrine Holloway, TN; Brandon Nelson, AL; Adrienne Weigel, Edmond; Bethany Lyons, Brittany Diamond, SD; Juliette James (Nanny’s “Angel”), Sullivan and Bridgette McCollum, OKC; seven great-grandchildren; dog Missy, and sisters Phyllis and Cherryle. She was preceded in death by her parents; son-in-law Greg Bybee, and husband, William Elliott.

Rest in peace dear Momma, Grandma, Nanny.

Wait for us. We will be with you soon.

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