On this day an angel was born

Mama, me, & Mamaw. Obviously this was late 80s. Just putting that out there.

Today, on April 19th, would have been my Mamaw’s 98th birthday. If ever an angel walked the Earth she was one. She loved us and if you asked any of us which grandchild was her favorite, we would have confidently replied, “I am.” She just had a way of making each one of us feel that special. Not everyone has that ability. If you have one person in your life that makes you feel such chocolate gravy and biscuits good, you are truly blessed.

Mamaw & her grandgirls

Now, she loved her family but most of all she loved the Lord. She put that love for the Lord in each of her grandchildren’s hearts. All of us have done our part to pass that along to our kids. I will forever be thankful to have been loved by such a good, Godly woman.

 

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5 things for when life treats you bad & weather drama

There are unfortunate circumstances that happen in life, that there is nothing you can do about. You didn’t create it. You didn’t do anything to make it happen. You don’t support it or even want it around.  But there it is. And you have to deal with it. Everybody has things they just wish they didn’t have to deal with. Sometimes life is just unfair. When bringing this fact to my Daddy’s attention, he will always say, “Fair is where grandma takes her pickles.” Point taken.

If you have never encountered a situation that has completely pulled the rug out from under you, that you had no control over, you are so blessed. However, don’t get too comfortable, because there’s a good chance, it’s coming. What kind of events am I referring to?

  1. Sickness– Either yours or someone very close to you.
  2. A broken relationship– This could be a husband, wife, child, sister, brother, mother, father, friend. Anyone that means something to you.
  3. Finances-losing a job, not being able to work due to sickness, etc.,.
  4. Addiction– yours or someone close to you.
  5. Loss– The loss of a loved one.

Y’all, this is just a short list. In our daily lives, there are all kinds of things that can be thrown at us. Unwanted things & situations we just wish we did not have to deal with. However, I am a firm believer, that’s just life. Life is not simple. It can be really hard sometimes. There are things that we go through that maybe we are ashamed of or don’t think anyone cares or understands. No matter what there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. Even if it’s that all days are not like the one you just had! Here are some ways to make it through a tough time.

  1. Realize. Realize that not everyone was raised like you. Not everyone wants to change. Not everyone cares they are causing you problems. Realize you cannot change anybody. Realize you are in charge of you & that’s all.

II Timothy 3:6 (NKJV) For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lust

                2. Think. Think about how you will react to situations. All the hollering and             kicking and screaming will not change some folks. Don’t put yourself through it. Just don’t. Those are the people who are not worth it.

Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV) A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

(AND THEN THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS. The quicker you take this into account, the better off you will be.)

3. Pray. I know this is just a given. But you know, sometimes the rug can be pulled  out from under us so quickly, that we forget to go to the Lord in prayer. If you haven’t heard, the Lord has all the answers. We just need to make sure we are talking to him & taking it all to Him in prayer.

Nahum 1:7 (NKJV)The Lord is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him 

          4. Focus. Focus on the good. Focus on someone else, who may not have it as good as you do. Focus on helping others & being a light, in a dim world. Focus on what you can do to make something easier for someone else.

I Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV) Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

              5. Encourage. Be an encouragement for everyone around you. I promise you, if you are thinking of others & loving them, your problems will most of the time take care of themselves.  Be so busy loving others, you don’t have time to think of the hatefulness of others.

Psalm 31:24  (NKJV)24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

 

I know hard times can be, well, hard. We just need to have a plan to make it. If not, things can spiral pretty quickly. We need to love others and be sure to not be selfish. Find someone to talk to about what you are going through. You may be surprised to learn, others may be going through the same thing or may have a way to cope until things get better. **I do want to mention, some people struggle with depression. It’s not really something that just giving yourself a pep talk will take care of. Sometimes you need to see a doctor. And that’s okay. There are all kinds of medications to help you cope. Don’t be ashamed. You don’t have to be on them forever. Just to help you out, when you need it. Know that you are not an island. Other people depend on you. So, take care of yourself.** And know, the Lord is there for you. He wants to help you through your challenging times. Bad things happen to good people. But, the Lord shows you how to weather the storm & learn lessons you can only learn through difficult times. Then, you will have the experience to help someone else. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Loving and helping each other.

I thought I was done, but I do have one more thing to say.

Bad times happen to everybody.

It’s just how we view them & work through them that make the difference.  We accept good from God. We also have to accept trials.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.

I hope everyone is having a blessed week. It has been cold here. I wore my sandals to work the other day and about froze my toes off. 35 degrees is still 35 degrees whether it’s in April or December. LORD HAVE MERCY, I know it’s going to warm up, but it sure is taking it’s time! Beats all I’ve ever seen. We are still playing softball. And by we, I mean Miss Neenee. She is enjoying the fire out of it, to our dismay of long, cold nights sitting outdoors, at a ball field.

Until next time, I should be going, because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: makeameme.org, , know your role, Calvin & Hobbes

 

 

 

 

Who cares?

I can’t help but absolutely love this.

I hope everyone had a blessed Easter weekend. We had a wonderful time at Lads to Leaders in Nashville, TN. If you have never heard of Lads to Leaders, you can read about it here. It is a training tool for our younguns’ coming up in the church. I cannot tell you how encouraged and excited it makes me to see so many young people working for the Lord! It makes me feel good. Like a warm biscuit on a Sunday morning good. (In the great words of Kelly Clarkson.)

Our amazing group of youth at Lads to Leaders

I was so honored to get to judge a group of 9th grade girls doing speech. I just sat there in awe of their sweet hearts and love for the Lord.  As I listened to them, I said a little prayer, just thanking Jesus for letting me be right there in that moment. It really blessed my heart. And after my week at work, I sure needed my heart blessed!

One of the girls, that spoke, said something that really got me to thinking. She was talking about how the Lord cares about us. How He looks beyond our imperfections and short comings. It especially got my attention when she said,

“Does Good really care about my Bs?”

Bless it.

I believe this precious young lady hit the nail on the head. I believe the Lord cares for us in ways we sometimes don’t consider.

Do you think the Lord cares about my dishes that need washing? Or my clothes that need folded? Or my closet that needs cleaned out? Or when I eat candy in bed? Or my hair that needs the gray covered? Or my pants that beg me to eat a salad?  I believe the Lord cares about me just like I am. He knows I have faults. But he loves me anyway.

I Peter 5:6-7

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

The Lord cares about you. Whether you are a hot mess or forget to take the clothes out of the washer for three days straight. Whether you can’t stay on a diet for love nor money or eat Easter candy for breakfast. Whether or not you hit your steps on your Fitbit or hit the snooze on your alarm too many times. The Lord loves you.

Romans 8:31  

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

And in the words of my sweet baby grandgirl:

“We are on God’s team.”

4 years old and she knows Who’s taking care of us.

So, so, blessed by this sweet friend!

I hope you all have blessed week. Spring is springing and the pollen has made itself at home, apparently. I don’t necessarily like that guy. On the brighter side Miss Neenee is playing softball and we are just enjoying the fire out of it. She has quite the bunt this year. #softballgoals Until next time I should be going because I should be washing clothes.

Please be in prayer for my daughter & her little family. My son-in-law has deployed & we miss him so much!

 

photo credit-Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

5 things to help you when dealing with illness & being thankful for the little things

I was talking to a co-worker, the other day. I was sharing how many boxes I had to use to store my 2017 files. Normally, I use about 6. This year, I have already filled up 11 boxes & have more to go. We were talking about how blessed we were to have had a lot of work last year.  It also made me think about my mama & how she thought about work.

If you are new here, you may not know, but my mama passed away in 2002. She had multiple sclerosis. She was a wonderful person, not to mention the best mama in the WORLD. She became ill in her early 40s. So when I hit my early 40s guess what I thought was going to happen to me?? Yep. I got past it & thanked the Lord for it.  Looking back, I learned so many lessons while she was sick. It was a terrible time for our family. But we stuck together. One of the things I remember about my mama was that she worked hard. She worked at home & she worked an outside job. Once she got sick, I can remember on many occasions talking to her about work. There were times I would come in after work & be so tired. She would always tell me to be thankful.  She would say,

” Be glad you can go to work. I would just give anything if I could.”

That has really stuck with me through the years. I think of that when I get stressed or aggravated, at work. I am so blessed to have a good job & thankful I am healthy enough to go to work. When you get sick & tired of work & think how hard you must have it, just remember there’s those out there who would love to be healthy & able to hold down a job. Now that I look back on all those times when my mama was sick, I think of lessons I learned. And that’s something I want to say today. If you are going through a sickness of your own or someone else you love, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Keep moving. Oh, it’s ok to stop & have a moment here & there. But look for the opportunities to do good.  You will do no good living on the corner of gloom and doom. Yes, it’s a tough deal, that no one wants to deal with. If you use your time to count your blessings & look ahead, things won’t be so grim. At one time, Mama was on the one at church, that you called to report announcements. She would take them down & give them to my Dad for church. She loved talking to people & letting them know they had our support. Find something you enjoy & keep going.

2. I learned just because you have a pain, doesn’t mean you have to be a pain. The nurses & nurses aids that cared for my mama always loved her. She hated to be in the position she was in. And she deeply appreciated those doing for her what she could no longer do for herself.

3. Never lose sight of God. In times of trials, it is so easy to question God & want to know why. There are no real good reasons why bad things happen to good people except that we live in a fallen world where the bad comes with the good. Accept it. It’s reality. We all deal with things we wish we didn’t have to. Keep your faith in God alive & well. Sometimes it’s all we have. Mama went to church even when my daddy would have to get her ready, pick her up & put her in the van, & push her in with her sitting in a wheelchair. That is true love for God.

Job 2:10 Shall we indeed accept good from God & shall we not accept adversity? (NKJV)

4. Look for the happy times. Illnesses are awful. But there is good in everything. I got to spend lots of quality time with my precious mama those last few years of her life. We learned to look for the little things, in our day, to help us make it through. Like getting the mail, the nurse coming, an unexpected guest, cooking special dishes, receiving cards from friends & family or ordering out. I can say, most of the time she kept a good attitude. Which I believe her thankfulness helped keep her grounded with her illness.

5. Keep your sense of humor. I can remember a lot of different times when mama would say, “Don’t that beat all?” Then she would laugh about whatever mess we had gotten ourselves into. Because, bless my heart more times than not, every time we tried to do something I would end up making things twice as hard as they really were. Things that were normally easy, was tough, when she was bedfast. Washing her hair was a total mess sometimes. Because how do you wash someone’s hair in the bed? I usually ended up getting her soaking wet. She would laugh & say she never thought she would have to swim with her gown on.  Laughing would help break up the monotony of the reality of what was really going on.

 Ephesians 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.(KJV)

I hope you are having a blessed week. It’s been very rainy the past few days. And cold. We have thankfully been in the house! I hope you are somewhere sunny, with balmy wind hitting you in the face. I won’t be too jealous! Until next time, I should be going, because I should be washing clothes.

Click on the free printable to download scripture memory cards for encouragement.

 

photo credit: http://www.meetpenny.com, pinterest

 

 

6 more weeks of winter & God is in control

Well, unless you have been under a rock, you know by now,

THERE WILL BE 6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER

That is if you put your weather stock in a groundhog by the name of Puxsutawney Phil. Which of course why would you not?

I also wanted to mention the fact that it’s a good idea to remember at the end of the day God is in control. Oh He may let things get plumb down right crazy but He is always working behind the scenes for our good.

Don’t forget to pray.

I Thessalonians 5:17 Pray continually (NKJV) 

Don’t forget to be thankful.

Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV)

Don’t forget to be grateful.

Psalm 100:2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.(NKJV)

Because just as graciously as we have received the Lord’s care & blessings, it can always be snatched away.

This world is not certain. But God is always there, if we seek Him.

Acts 17:27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;(NKJV)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. It’s cold here. We’ve had our snow & ice situation back in January. Now, I am on the count down for some warmer weather. AND I DON”T WANT TO HEAR ONE WORD ABOUT HOW HOT IT IS THIS SUMMER. Because after this cold winter, all the summer smoltering weather is long forgotten. Until next time, dear friends, I have to go because I should be washing clothes.

 

One Word for 2018

I’m not sure if you make New Year’s Resolutions or not. I always bust mine wide open by about week 2. I have always felt like such a failure with my resolutions. Because of that, for the past several years I have made a One Word Resolution.

One Word is a word you remember, pray about, pay attention to, & is basically your courage key to make yourself better in the new year.

This year my One Word is FOCUS.

What does that mean? It means, in 2018,  I will discipline myself to focus intentionally on my life.  I will focus on my work. I will focus on what the Lord is wanting me to learn in all situations. I will focus on others. I will look deeper into God’s Word and FOCUS.

So, who’s with me?  I will tell you, if you want to be a better version of you. If you want to have a plan in the forefront of your mind. If you want to have your life changed, this is for you. This little plan has done all of that for me. Come on & join me in One Word! What have you got to lose?

Here are some other One Words I have had in the past-

Trust

Courage

Pray

Gratitude

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today. I hope you are having a blessed week. Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

If you want to read more about One Word, click here.

5 things to make 2018 the best year ever

I have some good news to bring to y’all today.

Public Service Annoucement:

You are the President & CEO of your life.

You are the direct product of the choices you make. A friend of mine sent a safety email out at work with the following thought:

Here are 5 things to take you to some better choices, in the new year:

  1. Pray about it. How about taking it to the Lord before you take it anywhere else. Be sure to realize He is the One to help make things happen. He can give you strength & courage, when you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6 (NKJV)
  2. Make a list. I am a list person. If I want to tackle a certain situation, I have to list out everything I need to do to get there. A wise man once called this a “critical path”. When I would bring things to my former boss, to help me figure it out, he would say, “What is your critical path?” That’s when the list making would begin. I like to think of it as the old saying, if you want to eat an elephant how do you do it? One bite at a time. You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? II Kings 18:20 (NKJV)
  3. Gather your team. You can’t do everything by yourself. AHEM, I said, YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING BY YOURSELF. This is a hard pill to swallow for someone as stubborn, hard headed, subject to resist change type person I am. But y’all. It’s so true. Many a great people have a team. Do you think the president of the United States runs this country on his own? Do you think your elders or deacons run the church without help? NO! No one is an island. Get your people together. Tell them your plan. They may have already walked the road you are going down & can give GREAT advice. The Lord may just be waiting to fill your life with good using someone else. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV)
  4. Put your plans in action. So many people are crippled by fear. So many people don’t finish because they don’t start. Don’t let this be you. Find some way to make things happen. You never know, others may be encouraged by you & start doing some things, as well! Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31 (NKJV)
  5. Pat yourself on the back. Hey, if you don’t appreciate how far you have come or where you are going, no one else will. You can’t depend on others for your happiness. You have to make it. Be proud of yourself. Others will be, too.Ya’ll, let’s make 2018, the best year ever. God wants to help you. All you have to do is ask. But you need to have a plan. The Lord feeds the birds, but He does not throw the worms up in the nest! For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. II Thessalonians 3:10(NKJV)

I hope everyone is having a blessed 2018. We had our collard greens, hog’s jowl, & blackeyed peas. We are ready for the new year. Bring it on, 2018! Until next time I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

Psalms 84: 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.(NKJV)

Some sweet faces for your viewing pleasure.

 

5 things to help you through the holidays

It’s that time of year again. You know the time of joy & peace & love. Also, of depression, uncertainty, & how in the world am I going to get this all doneness? But y’all. How do you make it through the holidays without the annual hair falling out conference (as I have attended for several years)? I have to keep myself psyched up & organized (to a degree, because who am I kidding?) Here are a few things that may help you combat the bah humbug syndrome.

Christy Jordan, over at Southern Plate, has the best printables to stay organized at Christmas. To see these click here.

FREE Christmas Planner Printables

If you need a good  Southern recipe, she has that covered, too.

Whether you are eating, cooking, shopping, or just having a good ol’ fashioned meltdown for the holidays, remember to take a minute for yourself. This is priority. I have found that taking time to stop & study my Bible & spend time with the Lord COMFORTS ME SO.  Here are some verses to consider during this time.

  1. Good news! There’s hope in the Lord. No where else. Jesus came, lived, preached, & died on the cross for our sins. Because of this, we have forgiveness of sins & a home of heaven, if we are faithful.                           Proverbs 14:32 promises                                                                                                   32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death. (KJV)
  2. You know that meltdown I was talking about? That’s real. Many dread the holidays because of the fact so much has changed in their lives. Loved ones have gone on. Health problems may keep some from enjoying the holidays, as they always have. There may be family problems, money problems, or any kind of problem that makes a person feel helpless. However, the Lord comes right in with another promise-                                                                   Matthew 11:28 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (NKJV)
  3. Remember to trust. This was my “One Word” that I focused on this year. And let me tell you, it has really brought me through some tough times. Just knowing God is with me & that He will take care of all my insecurities.   Psalm 46: 1-2God is our refuge and strength,
    A very present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear,
    Even though the earth be removed,
    And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;(NKJV)
  4. How can you make it without love? Jesus says you can’t. That’s why in the scriptures He continually tries to drive home the message that we as humans need love.                                                                                                                            1 John 4:1111 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.(NKJV)
  5. And last but not least, expectations are the devil. These kids expect costly electronics, name brand clothes & shoes, the latest gaming system with you know, the expensive games. All of that costs money, right? You know the money that’s so hard to come by.  Make this season about love, joy, & peace. Let’s show our families that they are important. Because it doesn’t matter how fancy your house is, how new your car is, how much money is in the bank. If it costs you your soul, all is lost.                                                        Luke 9: 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?  (NKJV)

Y’all. Let’s make this Christmas what it’s supposed to be. Don’t let the burdens of expectations take a hold of you. Pray about it & then do your best with the situation you have. Ask others for help, if need be. Things tend to work themselves out. Don’t fret! I hope you are having a blessed week. I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: pinterest

Thanksgiving thoughts and remember to be thankful for what you don’t have

 

Thanksgiving is two days away. As in TWO.DAYS. How many are feeling overwhelmed? I know that guy hangs around my door step a lot. Believe you me, there are times I feel more overwhelmed than anything else. What does this mean? Does it mean I am letting things of the world over take my faith in God? Does it mean I am not trusting in the Lord? Does it mean I have lots of responsibilities and I just keep adding more? Those are some things I want to address today. Because those of you who know me, know I am a fountain of got it together & follow through. Ha. LOL. OTFL. Or whatever hashtag these young’uns use now a days.

With all the things we have going on, cooking for the holidays, taking care of kids, running a household, trying to be the best version of you, health problems, money problems, & basically just problems, it’s no wonder we meet ourselves coming. When we feel like we can’t anymore, remember the Lord says we can:

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.(NKJV)

Psalm 27:1 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.(NKJV)

Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.(NKJV)

I Peter 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.(NKJV)

The Lord wants to help the hurting & those that are needy, not the got it all togethers. If you are spending time in prayer, then you are have time well spent. Anytime you can have a conversation with the Lord, it’s not time wasted. There’s a beauty in the struggle that we don’t always realize. Within every problem, there is opportunity. Opportunity for change. Opportunity for seeing things a different way. Opportunity for learning. Don’t look at problems as the end of the world. Instead, see them as a lesson learned. See them as the Lord molding us into stronger, better people. Calm waters never make good sailors. Be thankful the Lord wants to equipt us for bigger things. And accept it. We, as people, want to tell God what is best for us. Instead of realizing God’s already got it all handled.

Here are some things that might help you keep it between the ditches:

  1. Pray- Pray small prayers throughout the day. Or plan for prayer. Whether it be at the beginning of your day, at lunch, or when you go to bed. Just make sure you are keeping the conversation going with God. That in itself will help you more than you can ever imagine.
  2. Make lists- I am a list person. If I don’t I get so easily overwhelmed. I have always heard the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So, I try to break things down as I go. Knowing I am preparing Thanksgiving breakfast & dinner, I start out with a menu. Then, I make a list of what I will need to make everything. I also make a list of what we will need at the meal. I make a list of my groceries. I make a list of what I am going to prepare 1st, 2nd , 3rd. Because that is easier to me than thinking I am responsible for making our Thanksgiving meals perfect & memorable for my dear family. See what I did there? Lists make me sane. The thought of high expectations overwhelm me.
  3. Let people help you- Don’t think you have to do everything by yourself. If someone says, “What can I do to help?” Then by golly, have them something to do. Me & my sweetie handle the main Thanksgiving meal. The girls do the desserts. It just works out.
  4. Read your Bible- What better way to feel peace & a calm about you, than to spend time in God’s Word? Prayer is talking to the Lord. That’s important. But letting God talk to you, through the Bible, is important, too.
  5. Get away-Sometimes just getting away to clear your head makes all the difference in the world. If you can’t take a two week vacation to the Bahamas, you can get up, walk outside, and take a deep breath of fresh air. Changing your scenery by taking a drive or a walk always seems to put things in a better perspective.
  6. Thank the Lord for what you don’t have. Sickness in your family, dealing with children that have lost their way, money problems, hungry mouths to feed and nothing to feed them, your own personal health problems, a car that won’t start, worn out tires, those are lots of terrible things to have to encounter. But what if you don’t have a sick child or your health is pretty good right now? Thanking the Lord for what you have is important. However, thanking Him for what you don’t have is just as crucial to having a thankful spirit.

I hope you all are doing good this TWO DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING. I know, I can’t get over it either. We have had some wonderful weather happening here in northeast Mississippi. The leaves are changing and the air is crisp. Just what the doctor ordered! Until next time I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credit- someecards, pinterest,