World MS Day – May 28, 2014

world ms day

Yesterday was World MS Day- so I pretty much messed that up.  Because I am telling you about it today.  A day late.  Oh well, such as my life.

As many of you may be aware, MS is a disease that took my family by surprise, about 30 years ago.  In the mid 80s, my Mama started having all kinds of crazy things happen to her.  She was losing feeling in her legs & hands.  Her memory was failing her.  She had chronic UTIs.  She was having back problems & other assortments of painful ailments.  And she was only in her early 40s!  After many doctor visits, much worry, lots of praying, & a plethora of medical tests that we had never heard of in our lives, Mama was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Thus, began her journey & ours with her, as the long road home.  It was not pretty, convenient, or anything that she ever imagined doing.  However, we learned, out of all the things in life you can really do something about, sometimes, your health is not one of them.  We learned we loved her & each other more than we could ever know.  We stuck together & supported one another.  My Mama, Daddy, brother, grandmother, & I had people come out of the woodwork to help us.  People that were right there with us, until she passed away May 24, 2002.  For that, we will be forever grateful.  You just can’t handle all of this by yourself, ya know?  It was a humbling, painful, heart wrenching, exhausting, loving, heartbreaking, beautiful something you never want even your worst enemy to go through kind of experience.  And I did not know the World MS Day of recognition- for all these wonderful people was yesterday.  Serves me right.  I am just awesome like that.  Anyway, I got on the website, which you can go to here.

I did give my One Wish.ms day i

 

 

 

Maybe you might go over there & honor these folks, too.  May I just say may God bless the people with this disease & their care givers.  I love all y’all.

Thank you for taking time to stop by today.  I am always glad to see you!  I hope you have a good rest of the holiday week (this is Friday, right?) No wait.  I’m not sure.  I have to be going now, I will be much better off washing clothes!

Happy Memorial Day & 100 Days of Scripture Challenge Begins NOW!

memorial day

Memorial Day is upon us again.  I want to give a shout out to the military people, I have known/know personally.  My grandfather was a soldier in the Army, fighting in World War II.  You can read all about him here.  My father-in-law retired from the Army.  My great uncle was in the Army.  My uncle was in the Army.  His son retired from the Navy.  Now, this sweet cousin’s son will be entering the Navy since he is a new high school graduate.  And last but not least, my son-in-law, who is presently serving in the 155th Infantry of the National Guard.  Without the courage & bravery these men & others like them, have had to honor their country, we would not have the freedom we do today.  So, I applaud all military men & women around this blessed country of ours.  God bless you & the people who love you.

I wanted to remind you of 100 days of scripture here.  This is a wonderful summer reading project.  We will be reading through the New Testament between Memorial Day & Labor Day.  A very good way of building your faith is by opening up God’s Word & reading it.  So join in this uplifting Bible activity!

challenge baby

I hope you have a wonderful long holiday weekend.  We will be grilling & hanging out with family (my 2 favorite things to do!)  However, right now I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: troll.me & Mike C. on Pinterest

What I know about raising kids & why it’s good to have a strong will

Me & my partner in (raising kids) crime

Me & my partner in (raising kids) crime

 

There are few fields I am an expert in.  One thing I do have experience in, possibly not an expert in, is raising kids.  The Lord blessed me with 5 kids.  Three are my step kids.  At this point in my life & theirs, we don’t even really like to acknowledge they are not my own.  Reason being is that I see no difference in them & my own two.  Strange how years of being right there for everything makes me feel like we are more blood than not.   My last baby did tie all the kids together with having a sister.  I pity the person that refers to her as their half sister.  They will tell you, real quick she is their real sister.  Nothing half about none of that.  People rave at the resemblance of me & my two step daughters.  We just laugh quietly to ourselves, hardly ever admitting we were bound by anything else other than genetics.  My husband & I have been married for 15 years this year.  So, we have all put our time in, together, to make this blended family what it is today.  The youngest, which will be 20 her birthday, had just turned 5 when I became her step mama.  She doesn’t remember when me & her daddy were not together.  Along with my son, for years, we had 4 kids like stair steps.  It does not seem like that long ago, that they were in kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, & 3rd grade.  Now, I have grandbabies.  Time stops for no one.  Have times always been candy canes & fluffy clouds?  No.  Have I learned something about kids during this time?  You bet your bottom dollar.  That is why I feel so strongly about young people & the direction some of them are taking today.

I watched parts of an episode on Dr. Phil last week.  It was a teenage girl, that is from a nearby town.  Evidently, she was reeking havoc on her mom.  She smoked dope, drank, was actively having sex with a boy over 18, kicked her mama’s windshield out of her car, shoplifted, & various other things, that I may have not caught.  Dr. Phil was trying to counsel her.  He asked her why she shoplifted.  She said it was the people she was with & that if her mama had of given her money, she would not have had to. Come to find out her mama had given her $800 for clothes & she spent it all.  Now, let’s stop right there.  My 19 year old, knows this girl.

She said, “Who gives their kid $800 to spend on clothes?” 

She was amazed & perplexed at this.  She said this because, brace yourself , we did not give our kids wardrobe money.  It’s not that we hated our kids, or that we did not want them to be able to go out & buy whatever their hearts desired.  I felt it my duty, as a mother, to be a part of the clothes buying process.  Have you seen some of the stuff these girls wear these days, in the name of trends & fashion?  Between me & their grandmother, we made it our job to keep them in modest clothing.  Today, as young ladies, my two oldest daughters dress appropriately.  Why?  Perhaps because as teenagers, they had to pass by their Daddy’s recliner, as they made their way out the door.  He would stop them in an instant & send them back to their room to cover up whatever it was that needed it.  Now, did they stay covered up after they left the house?  I don’t know because I wasn’t always with them.  However, they knew what the right thing was.

I will give you my best shot at telling you what I believe is going on with some of these young kids, these days.  Why the rebellion & the acting out some kids do in the name of trying to get attention?  First off, many parents do not want to parent.  They want to be their kid’s friend.  Why you may ask?  Because parenting done right, is hard.  It’s exhausting & tiring & a headache.  Sometimes you feel like you are fighting a battle.  Who wants to fight a battle, if you don’t have to?  You have to have a lot of self confidence & conviction in you to stand up to a 16 year old boy, who is already a head taller than you.  And to tell him, in no uncertain terms he is NOT taking your car out, because he made the bad choice to not study & make a less than stellar grades on his report card.  No matter how much he wants to huff & puff, he ain’t blowin’ my house down.  (Whew! I think this just got personal.) All that strong will, I have always had, would be mush if I did not use it for the good of my kids.  Many parents today are afraid of making their teenage kids mad.  You know what?  I was never inclined to “pacify” my kids.  They knew how I felt & what I believed to be right, good, bad or indifferent.  Sometimes, you could cut the tension with a knife.  But I was never miserable in my own house.

Thus the passive parenting begins.  The path of least resistance.  A parent has to have their stuff together, to pass that along to a child.  So many parents are off chasing a rabbit.  They, themselves are not growing up.  They are still partaking in things of the world that is not good.  Parents of children are on drugs, taking alcohol to the extreme, involved in unhealthy relationships & barely able to take care of their own basic needs.  A person has to be serious about this parenting thing or you are setting yourself up for disaster with your kids.  Kids are very monkey see, monkey do.  It they don’t see the mama & daddy monkey with it together, chances are, they are going to follow suit.  If the mama & daddy aren’t going to church & don’t care about the Lord, don’t be surprised that the kids aren’t going to be that interested either.  And who’s to blame there?  Not the kids.

Now, saying all of that, can you do your very best to do everything within your power for the good of you kids & your kids still turn from the way?  Well yeah.  Kids are free moral agents.  They have a mind of their own.  You & your household is not their only influence.  Does that release you of your responsibility of doing your part to raise a child to not be a menace to society?  I think not.  It’s our whole duty to give it our best shot.  You can’t make me believe that even the ones that go astray don’t have the solid seed of the Lord planted deep down in their soul.  We have to pray that they will come back.  We must stay on the straight & narrow path ourselves.   Some good advice my aunt gave me-

“Your kids ain’t ever gonna do exactly like you think they should.” 

(so quit with the wringing of the hands & worrying.)

& another wise woman said,

 “You can’t let your kids run your house.”

 Oh how true.  I am not going to live in a house where everything revolves around the kids.  I love my kids more than life itself.  Too much to let them go out in the world with the false sense of believing they are so special they are not responsible for their actions.  Letting them live in a kingdom, in which they rule, is a recipe for disaster.  Especially the reality check they will get when they step out on their own in the world & realize they are not the center of the universe.

My Daddy told me one time when I went to him for advice about kids,

“Do you think you are better than God?   Look at Adam & Eve.  Even God had problems with His kids.”

So, don’t beat yourself up too bad, when kids get on the wrong path.  Pray & let God handle it.

Here is what Solomon said about raising kids- (remember when God was handing out wisdom, He gave Solomon an extra helping of wisdom – just because he asked for it.)

Proverbs 22:6 –  Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (NKJV)

Proverbs 22:15 –  Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. (NKJV)

Proverbs 23:13 –  Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.

Proverbs 29:15 –  The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Just to clarify- these last verses have things about beating with a rod.  I don’t believe in child abuse.  I don’t think that’s what King Solomon was saying.  I do believe in getting a child’s attention when they do wrong.  Whether it takes a belt or time out.  Each child is different.  One of my sons would not straighten up until my husband got his belt out.  My youngest daughter, I believe we could have beat her to death & she would have still been doing what we told her not to.  She got lots of time outs.  That’s what worked on her.  The main thing is correction & consistency.

Granted my kids are not perfect.  I was not a perfect parent. I did faithfully take them to church & involve them in lots of church activities. They are all Christians, they work, & provide for themselves & their families.  They are God-fearing.  I just don’t know if I could ask for anything more.  I am proud of each & every one of them.  And we still have Miss Neenee at home with us.  There is still time for improvement!

I am so glad you stopped by to visit with me today.  Sorry if I got on a bit of a tangent.  I do hope you took something positive away from all this.  Don’t take raising kids lightly!  When they are grown, you will be glad you put the time in!  I hope you have a great rest of the week. This weekend I will be doing a 5k at Woodall Mountain.  Pray for me that I don’t pass out. 🙂  Until then, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

My kids & kids in law (minus my son)

My kids & kids in law (minus my son)

Happy Mother’s Day & why Mother’s Day is hard

washing line

Sunday is Mother’s Day.  I hope you have made plans to honor mothers this weekend.  For some people, Mother’s Day can be a hard day.  This week a friend shared with me how he dreaded Mother’s Day every year.  He counted up & said his mama had passed away some 30 years ago.  Still the sting of Mother’s Day is ever present, for him.  I understand what my friend is saying.  My mama passed away almost 12 years ago.  At any time, on any day, I would give anything to see her just one last time.  Mother’s Day is a reminder, my mama is not here for me to celebrate her.  My mother-in-law was just like a mother to me.  She is also deceased.  She was such a terrific person, smart, and strong.  I miss her so much.   My two grandmothers were important in my life, as well.  They molded me into the person I am today.  There is no way I could ever stand idly by as weather got bad.  My Mama Boyce taught us that caution is the best cure to uncertainty.  And that’s with anything in life.  She was a careful planner when it came to things.  Because you just never know when something might happen.  You need to be prepared.  My Mamaw taught me that love is the most important thing in the world.  She loved me & her other grandchildren like there was no tomorrow.  Each one of us held a special place in her heart.  You can ask any of my cousins about our Mamaw.  They will be glad to tell you how she had the talent of making people feel loved.  Like they were the most important thing in the world to her.  She knew how to treat people.  Salt of the earth, she was.

Just like my friend, I have had years that were really hard on Mother’s Day.  However, I do have kids & it’s hard to be sad when they are standing there bearing gifts & smiles in my honor!   Here the past few years I have tried to do a better job of having a kinder attitude toward Mother’s Day. However, in the end, it’s all still the same, I miss my mama, my mother-in-law, & my sweet grandmothers.

One thing that is comforting is that these wonderful ladies were God fearing, Christian women. Let’s look to the things the Bible says a Godly mother is:

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

v.25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

 

Recently, another friend was sharing some things her grandmother had said to her.  It was kind and thoughtful words that only a grandmother can impart.  I told her there was no love like that of a grandmother or mother.  If you have a mother, grandmother, special aunt, or friend still living, please make an effort to acknowledge them on this special day.  I know they will love you for it!   It will be a special Mother’s Day for my daughter, because it is her first Mother’s Day.  Don’t forget to remember those wonderful mothers who have already passed away & their children- who may not love this day.  Your compassion toward those folks are what makes you precious!

 

I hope you are having a wonderful week.  Skies are going to be cloudy & rainy this weekend in our neck of the woods.  That will give me some time to catch up on some things in the house. I hope you have a terrific Mother’s Day!   However, I have to go for now, because I should be washing clothes.

girl at clothes line

photo credit: homeliving.blogspot.com, sew country chick

 

Coming up- 100 Days of Scripture challenge & where I was last week

challenge you

A few years ago, our preacher threw out a challenge to our church congregation.  I am so glad he did!  Finally, I read the whole New Testament.  It was a schedule to read the New Testament in 100 days.  It was conveniently done between Memorial Day & Labor Day.  I have to say, it was fairly easy to do.  I have not done it since & wanted to do it again.  I think reading through the Bible, the New Testament especially, is such a blessing.  Many times, when I open up God’s Word, I see something different, that I didn’t quite see before.  Something that is speaking to me because I am going through things that I was not, the last time I read over it.  How does God do that?  How does He make a book that you will always find truth, love, encouragement, faith & wisdom that applies to our ever changing lives, for all our lives?  That makes me appreciate & respect the love of God even more!

So, now that I am giving you a couple of weeks to get mentally prepared for this, let’s read through the New Testament!  You can start on Memorial Day & end on Labor Day.  Or get started now!  Click here for the original post & the schedule.

 

Not that anybody cares, or even noticed, but we have had a crazy thing called Mono going on at my house.  That is why I did not share anything with ya’ll last week.  Miss Neenee started out with it in March.  She had some trouble with her spleen being enlarged.  And still is having the same problem.  I have to take her to the doctor again this week for it. (This is May, right?)  So for several weeks this kid has been in a little pain.  Since I have done my best to teach my kids to be kind & giving, she could not wait to give mono to me.  Serves me right for holding her & patting & kissing her face & letting her basically lay all over me for these said several weeks.  You know the stuff you do for your kids…..And too, I realized today that we keep our tooth brushes in the same drawer & I may have accidently used hers one day.  So, it’s all my fault.  I take all the responsibility.  Because I got the MONO VIRUS myself.  Hey, we have to share everything, I reckon.  I am better, though, thank you.  My oldest daughter said to me yesterday,

“Hey, I didn’t see you post on your blog last week.”

Sweet, only reading, precious person, who probably even noticed.  That’s why she’s a keeper & I love her & why I surround myself with people who love me.

Did you know you can read through the New Testament in a month?  You only have to read 9 chapters a day for 29 days.  That sounds doable.

Thank you for stopping by today.  It was a gorgeous weekend in Northeast Mississippi.  I hope you got to get out in it.  Now let’s get to reading in God’s Word!  It will make your faith in God & humanity go over the top.  It’s all about sharpening the saw & keeping yourself fresh & growing in your Christian walk.  I will be taking this challenge for myself, but for now, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: studentvillage.co.za & fitforabrideblog.com

challenge accepted

Basketball love

We in the South love our sports.  We go by the Proverb of old, from the Bible that says,

“Train up a child to play sports & when he is old, he will not depart from the lessons he has learned from it.”  .

That’s not how that goes?  Well, you could have fooled me! Saying that, it’s basketball season.   Miss Neenee is playing basketball for the first time.  She loves it.  Her best friend, in the whole wide world, plays.  That just makes it that much sweeter!

IMG_0039

We see a lot of the same parents that we play softball with.  Over the course of years you get acquainted with the other parents.  Maybe not know them well, or outside of whatever sports function you are attending.  But, know who their kids are, where they work, go to church, & who they are kin to.  Anyway, we get excited.  We clap loud.  We coach from the stands.  We yell at our kids.  We yell at other people’s kids.  It’s all good.

Let me tell you about an incident that happened to me recently.

The other night our 3rd & 4th grade girl team was lining up for a free throw with the opposing team.  Miss Neenee had been running & working hard & doing her little 4th grade best at this game.  This is the age where the referee still has to tell the girls to dribble the ball.  It’s not a high expectation type thing.  Everything is pretty laid back as far as the rules.  Miss Neenee was lining up at the goal line, when she turns around & looks at me.  She starts fiddlin’ with her necklace.  She runs over to the stands & I take it off of her right quick.  One of the mamas yells,

“This is a ballgame not a beauty review!”

There was another girl that had run up to the stands to give her mama something, too.  So, I didn’t really think much about it.  Once the game was over, this same mama walks over to me & said she hoped I wasn’t mad at her.  She said she was sorry, she had just yelled out before she thought.  I smiled & told her I wasn’t worried about it.  She said her husband told her she might not have said that.  So, she wanted to make sure I wasn’t upset.  I just laughed & told her I had yelled at her daughter, on the court, enough that night, that it was quite alright.  We smiled & parted ways.

You know what I thought after that encounter?  That I really liked that mama.  Her character was just what the Lord said it should have been.  She said something she felt wasn’t right.  Then, she faced it & took care of the problem right then.  I wish I were more like that.  Most of time, if I will say or do something, that’s not right, I lull over it.  That’s right.  I’m a luller.  I drag my feet.   I don’t take action to right the wrong as quickly as I should.  Time goes by & things get better or they don’t.  Why do I wait?  I don’t know.  Maybe a little pride.  Maybe a little not wanting to be wrong.   So, I just let things sit.  We are not perfect.  We all say & do things not pleasing to God.

This is what Jesus had to say about righting wrongs.

Matthew 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

v. 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift

I want to be more like this mama that knows the right thing to do & does it.  How much better would the world be without bitter feelings & resentment over hateful things others say?  When we say something hurtful, if we went to the persons involved immediately & apologized & made things better it would be more beneficial for everybody.  However, not everyone cares or is big enough to say they are sorry.  When that happens we are still responsible for forgiving that person.  Whether they ask for it or not.  If not, hatred & bitterness can set up in our hearts, just like it has theirs.  Don’t let those things rule your heart.  You have got to have control over your thoughts, actions, and what comes out of your mouth.  However, we are just people.  So, when something comes over you & you act on it, be sure you do like this mama & take care of it quickly.  With a standard of living like that, I bet she sleeps good at night!  My oldest daughter was standing there when this mama came over to talk to me.  When we got home she said,

“You know that was a very adult thing for her to do that.”

Yes, it was.  What a great example, not only for my kids to see, but for me, too!  Looks like the sports our kids grow up playing are not just character builders for the kids, but for the parents, too!  People never cease to amaze me.  You never really know what they are thinking.  They sometimes say things that you don’t quite expect.  When that happens you really get to know what kind of character those folks have.

I am so glad you stopped by to visit with me today.  I have enjoyed having you here.  It is really cold outside here, in Northeast Mississippi.  I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.  As for me, I have to be going for now, because I should be washing clothes.

One Word for 2014

OneWord2014Pray

So, you may have noticed that my “One Word” for 2014 appeared right over there on my side bar, not long ago.  However, I did not formally introduce the two of you.  I would like to do that now.

Ahem! My new “One Word” for 2014 is

 Pray.

Now, you may wonder, do you not pray?  What’s the big deal with praying?  To answer some of your unspoken inquiries,

“Yes, I pray.”

 I pray in the morning.  I pray when I eat.  I pray at night before I go to sleep.  I also pray at various & asundry times through out the day.  However, I have been praying a little more here lately.  And you know what?  Wonderful things have been happening.  In these little talks with God, it has not only been just a list of asking & wanting.  I have been throwing some thanks & appreciation, in there, as well.  Because there is so much day to day things we have been blessed with, that we should be thankful for.  Praying is not something new to me.  Growing up, we prayed before we ate, we prayed at church, we prayed with the sick, we prayed when Mama came in the room with the belt, & when she said for us to just wait ‘til Daddy got home.  Lots of prayer went on between me & my brother.

Here lately, I have been going a little step further with praying.  I have been praying over any & everything that happens throughout my day.  If it poses a problem, I go to the Lord in prayer, right then & there.  Instead of waiting & relying on my own decision making & knowledge.  The other day I had some personal things to arise.  Instead of leaping into my trying to figure it out mode, I stopped & prayed about it.  Then, I went on with what was going on.  I have tried to remember others in prayer, too.  One morning on the way to work, I prayed for everybody in the car line at school, the teachers, the policeman at school, the lunch ladies, etc.,.  That prayer lasted until I remembered it was time to pray my regular prayer for everybody at work.  See what this has done for me?  Instead of letting my mind go to worries & uncertainties- I am trying to fill it with conversations with God.  Being quite the talker, by nature, this has been working wonders for me!   It was no wonder I chose “Pray” as my “One Word”.  I really want to keep this up, all year long.

Melanie at Only a Breath is the sweet lady that makes our “One Word” buttons.  This year she has given a nice tutorial on how to do it.  Go here to read all about it.  Whether you are a fellow blogger & use buttons or are just a wonderful person who loves to read blogs, making time to focus on “One Word” this year is life changing.  Last year my “One Word” was Confidence.  It reminded me stepping out of my comfort zone is ok.  And that I need confidence to put more action in my life.

Maybe Paul telling the church at Thessalonica to

Pray without ceasing I Thessalonians 5:17

Was more than just a grand idea.  Maybe it was for their own good.  It’s for our greater good, too.  So, I am hopeful this will encourage me & you to focus on an area of our lives that we need to be working on constantly.

I am so glad you have come by to visit with me today.  I hope you will choose “One Word” to help you in your walk, too.  As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

one word

Remembering Tawanna

bridge                                                                                                        Photo credit sevennine Marc Hodges

It has taken me a few days to get my thoughts together on how I want to do this post.  Our family had a dear cousin to pass away unexpectedly, about two weeks ago.  She was in a car accident.  She was taken to the nearest trauma hospital, where she fought to live.  But then, God had other plans.  One of my favorite reminders right now is this:

God’s power to restore is stronger than Satan’s power to destroy.

One of my favorite scriptures is

Job 2:10  Shall we accept good from God & shall we not accept adversity?

We accepted the precious time with her that God gave us.  We must learn to accept the finality of her being gone.   With these things in mind, I wanted to write a post in hopes to pay tribute to a wonderful soul.

The first memories I have of her are when I was about 13-14 years old.  She is a cousin by marriage.  At the time, though, it was at a friend’s house that I became acquainted with her.  The first time I saw her, she was sitting at their kitchen bar, smoking a cigarette (which was the norm in our world back then) talking, & laughing.  There was a little blond headed girl, of hers, that was running around the house.  It would not take long to know she doted on that pretty little lass.  She was funny, outspoken, & always a work of art to be around.  In the next few years, she became more of a shining beacon in my life.  While I was in my teen years, I spent a lot of time with her.  Even though she was 7 years older than me, we never really noticed.  She was always there with a listening ear.  I had my fair share of boyfriend problems (like any teenage girl).  She was there to listen & to plot their demise.  It was also a delicate time for me with my family, as well.  This was the same time my mama was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  Anything that my dear friend ran across, about this unknowing disease, she would pass along to me.  She would always write notes on the news articles, letting me know, no matter what, I was loved.

I will never forget her helping me one time, get ready for prom.  My mama was in the hospital.  I was telling her how I did not know what I was going to do.  I had never been to the prom before.  I had a dress, but that was as far as I had gotten.  She put her arm around me & told me not to worry, that we would take care of it.  The day of the prom, she did my make-up, my hair, my nails, & made sure I looked presentable for the occasion.  It wasn’t so much the make-up on my face or hairspray in my hair that I remember.  It was how I felt.  She made me feel like I was important, loved, & cared for.   She always had a way of making others just feel that way.  I remember her husband coming home from work & of course being so sweet. Making over me before he turned all his attention to the little blonde haired girl.    I don’t really ever recall my friend saying she wanted to be embedded in people’s minds.  But she was.  She was the kind of person that makes marks on people’s lives.  An unconscious unspoken effort to make you feel loved & to remember Tawanna had been there.  And you did & we have.

She was crazy about her daughter.  I remember one summer, I wanted to take her to the park to play. My friend thought that was a lovely idea.  First, though, I had to prove I was a fit driver.  With my friend in the passenger seat, I made several trips around town, cautiously attending to all laws of the road.  After that day, she deemed me worthy to transport her little darling.  To the park I went with the little blonde headed girl!

My friend was always happy & smiling.  And when she wasn’t happy & smiling, well, you knew the why, who, what, & when of all of it.  She wasn’t much to hold back.  She never tried to be something she wasn’t.  She had a light heartedness about her.  Someone you don’t easily forget.  She had her own ways of thinking.  She did not look at things in the same way that most of us do.  She was different.  How boring would the world be if we were all alike?  She was educated.  She held a degree from the University of Mississippi.  That was nothing to brush to the side.  She had a brilliant mind.  She was adventurous & gypsy at heart.  There is a whole other story of who she was, if my husband were to be writing this.  Growing up, she was his best friend.  He knew the intents of her heart.  They were good.  Sometimes.  From what I am told, together, they were a force to be reckoned with.  In her defense, his intentions were not always good either!  As they got older, it did not matter how long in between times he had seen or talked to her.  When they met back up, it was like they picked right up where they left off.  Kindred spirits.

It may seem cliché that this song written by Paul Simon came to mind with the passing of her from this life.  She was too young to go.  Only 48 years old.  She was a beautiful & loyal friend to many.   I read through this song & it seemed fitting.  We all need a bridge over troubled water, from time to time.  It’s part of our walk here.  Even still, some things about her life may have not been so pretty.  She had her struggles.  Don’t we all?  Sometimes life is hard for no reason at all.  I have found in life, you can dwell on the good or the bad.  I choose good.  In her true form, she was exceptionally good.  When you read over these lines, take a minute to let the words sink in.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side
Oh when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you

I’ll take your part
Oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Sail on silver girl, sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine

Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Songwriter
SIMON, PAUL

Knowing Tawanna was like being on a ride.  Sometimes it was tumultuous & scary.  Sometimes it was laughing from your belly, having the time of your lives.  Sometimes it was wondering what was coming up next.  But no matter what, at the end of the day I always knew she loved me & her family.  Even though the ride was full of twists, turns & jolts of lightning, we can all say we were better for having bought a ticket.

Sweet blonde headed girl- I read something in one of your Facebook posts that hit home with me.  You were telling people what they could do to honor your mother.  You said,

“Words mean a lot to me.” 

That statement was a defining moment for me.  Words mean a lot to me, too.  That’s why I get so up in the air, disgruntled when people use them loosely.  I have a big tendency to take things to heart.  I know you do, too.  If I hear words, good or bad, whether they are said with meaning or not, that’s a big deal to me.  I take words very seriously.  I hope as you have read this, you know I mean these words.  I loved your mama.  She always held a special place in my heart & always will.

Thank you for stopping by today & helping me pay respects to our cousin.  I had the blonde headed girl read this before I posted it.  She told me something that made my heart happy.  She said her mama did not get to go to her own prom , because she was expecting her.  I am so thankful I got to spend that time with her fixing me up for my prom.  It just makes it more special.  I pray you have a blessed day.  If you get a chance, please say a prayer for our cousin’s daughter & family.    I know they all would be grateful.  I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes.

30 Days of Gratitude

Day 10sirius radio I am so very thankful for Sirius Radio on my desktop…..ahhh, we are somewhat best friends right now.  Notice Elvis Radio playing…… “happy sigh” 🙂

Day 11OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am thankful for these 2 sweeties & the memories we are making with Mr. Sweetie Pants.  He loves driving the tractor with his Pap.

Day 12candy on thursI am thankful every Thursday, I get chocolate left on my pillow by my sweetie.  He has been doing this for quite sometime.  He just needs to keep this up, because it really does make a girl happy.

Day 13girls at moviesI am thankful for this group of sweet girls that Miss Neenee loves.  They are just what the doctor ordered, when it comes to wonderful friends.  They are all very kind & well behaved.

Day 14OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am thankful Miss Neenee has learned to drive the tractor.  It’s about time.  She is 10 for goodness sakes!

Day 15

patient santaI am certainly thankful for this patient Santa.  This was Mr. Sweetie Pants 1st visit with Santa.  Well, you see how it went. bless his heart.  Once they were finished, we whisked the baby away.  I turned to see Miss Neenee patting Santa on the back, apologizing for the situation.  She’s such a little peacemaker.

Day 16skyI am thankful for this beautiful morning sky.  Now really, how can you look at this & not know there is a Lord Jesus Christ in heaven?  Things like this just make me feel all warm & fuzzy inside.

 

 

 

30 Days of Gratitude-continued

Well, I can say this, November is flying by, just like the rest of the year has.  I think it gets that way, when you get old gracefully mature.  I can say, I have been loving reflecting on my bountiful blessings.  Here is what I am thankful for thus far:

 

Day three

Fried catfish

Fried catfish

I am so thankful for fried catfish.  Being from the South, you just have to LOVE fried catfish.  I just don’t know what I would do without it. 

Day four

Friends

Friends

I am so thankful for my friends.  Especially, my friend Jenn.  I can’t ever remember not knowing her.  We have gone to church together, school together, & now are doing 5ks together.  Wonderful person inside & out!  Don’t know what I’d do without her.

Day five

Fall colors

Fall colors

I am so thankful for these beautiful fall colors.  This was taken on my way to work one morning.  It’s so bright & sunny outside thanks to a little something called Daylight Savings Time being over (which I am not thankful for).  Oh wait, I think I am getting off track a bit here…..

Day six

Miss Neenee

Miss Neenee

I am so thankful for this little girl right in the middle.  Miss Neenee just turned 10 years old.  (I am tearing up just a little.)  She is beautiful, smart, funny, & kind.  I love her to pieces!  I would rather do without fried catfish, than her.  No really, I’m serious.  Love. This. Girl.

Day seven

Putting on lipstick without a mirror

Putting on lipstick without a mirror

I am so thankful for Miss Neenee’s ability to put on lipstick without a mirror.  In the South, there are things we mothers teach our daughters.  How to cook, how to sew, how to treat others, & obviously important things like how to put on make up.  Every lady & little lady needs to know how to put on lipstick without a mirror.  You just never know when those lips are gonna need paintin’ !  Here Miss Neenee is applying lipstick on the way to school.  Obviously a necessity for 4th grade. 🙂

Day 8

K.K. & Bizba

K.K. & Bizba

I am so thankful for these pretty ladies.  These are more of my peeps.  Really much more than that.  They are my sweet girls.  K.K. & Bizba are the cat’s meow, the cat’s pajama’s or simply awesomeness wrapped up in 2 precious packages.  K.K. & Bizba are the names Mr. Sweetie Pants gave them. They are wonderful Christian ladies, that I am proud to call my daughters.