For goodness snakes no! & things that happen when you buy dirt and containers

My people ready for summer.

My people ready for summer.

Mr. Sweetie Pants ready for summer.

Mr. Sweetie Pants ready for summer & looking all dapper for church.

When it gets to being the hot part of the year, y’all, I have so many things I think back on.  Sipping red Kool-Aid on my Mama Boyce’s car porch ( as she referred to it).  Playing outside in the yard.  Catching lightning bugs.  Eating too many strawberries out of my Papa Clyde’s strawberry patch.  Swimming in the branch at my Mamaw & Papaw’s house.  And going to the garden at both sets of my grandparents’ houses.

My Papaw & Mamaw Austin were very well versed in growing gardens.  They worked so hard to make sure we had our freezers full for winter.  I remember one steamy summer morning, I was about 7 years old.  The daily plans included, going to the garden.  My Papaw had already been to the barn, that morning, to milk the cow, feed the mule Kate,  & other farmish related duties.  When he got back to the house, he perhaps made mention that one of the barn cats had had kittens.  Well, don’t you know that perked my ears up real quick.  Then, y’all I started with the begging to go see them.  Goodness Gracious why would they expect me to wait around whilst there were things at the barn that I needed to be looking at?  Mamaw said it was time to go to the garden anyway, so off we went.

The barn was situated right beside the garden.  So, once we made it down there, it didn’t take long until I had worried Mamaw down to a frazzle & she said I could go in the barn to search for the newly born kittens.  However, she wanted me to wait for Papaw to go inside with me.  Being the obedient & always minding child I was, I started to sneak off to the barn by myself.  Papaw was just taking too long.  I walked up through the dirt rows & when I about got to the end, I heard Mamaw holler.  I turned around & looked & Papaw was beating the ground with his hoe.  Right in the spot where I had been walking.  Well, needless to say, he wasn’t just beating the ground for nothing.  There was a black racer snake that was chasing me up the garden row.  I didn’t even know it.  My Papaw had come in & killed it to protect me.  Even when I was being disobedient.

Now, does that not sound like the Lord?  Even though we may be on a path He told us not to go on, He still watches over us.  Even when we don’t deserve it.  That’s called grace.  The dictionary.com simply gives this definition of grace:

favor or goodwill.

The Lord takes care of us when we have done nothing whatsoever to deserve it.  I have heard it called “unmerited favor”.  That’s what the Lord does for us.  He steps right in & protects His children whether we know it or not.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  NKJV

The Lord is really good at working behind the scenes.  As a matter of fact that’s where He does some of His best work.  So, today, if you feel like you are going through a hard time by yourself, you aren’t.  The Lord is always there watching over us & keeping us from harm.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe. NKJV

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” NKJV

So, we have done our little version of a garden this year.  It’s a container garden on our back deck.  Because who doesn’t want fresh vegetables?   I reckon we do.

We started out planting. This is the peppers.

We started out planting. This is the peppers.

This is just when we got finished planting. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, & herbs.

This is just when we got finished planting. There are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, & herbs.

This was the cucumbers one day this week. These guys have grown right before our eyes!

This was the cucumbers one day this week. These guys have grown right before our eyes! Don’t that beat all?

And what about these? We may be fancy gardeners, yet.

And what about these? We may be fancy gardeners, yet.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  Summer has come in full force here in northeast Mississippi.  We are going to reach the high 90s this weekend.  Along with that comes humidity & mosquitos!  It will be so hot we won’t be able to let our kids go outside & play.  Y’all, it will be hotter than blue blazes.  There is no wonder there are so many Christians in the South. 🙂

Hope you have a blessed day.  Until next time, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

And here is a random picture of my brother & mama, just because I miss her.

And here is a random picture of my brother & mama, just because I miss her.

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Now that she’s in 6th grade & have mercy….

Neely & Kristina

It always amazes me how much I learn by having kids around me. Just this week me & my Miss Neenee have had some pretty good conversations. You know she is in 6th grade, this time around. The kids are stuck in the preteen years. They don’t know whether to play with dolls or be boy crazy. Some of them are both. They are also so very silly. There is a little girl, that’s just come to school this year. They have named her, “Bacon”. Miss Neenee talks about Bacon all the time. Everyday Bacon says something or does something new. It’s always something goofy or weird or obnoxious. You know YOUR PRETEEN YEARS in a nutshell. Any the whoo, one day Miss Neenee & I was talking about school this year. I asked her about some of the kids from school. Some that just so tee-totally got on her last nerve last year. (Which is funny, because she was probably getting on their nerves just as bad.) She said that they really didn’t bother her so much this year. She said it was all good with them. I told her perhaps they grew up some over the summer.

She replied, “No, I did.”

What a grown up thing to say! Sometimes we get so up in arms about how other people act, that we forget to look at ourselves. My Papa Clyde always said, to have friends, you had to first be a friend, yourself. I think that lesson has hit home for my Miss Neenee. She is becoming a mature little lady. I wish I could be as understanding & compassionate as she is.

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

neely

Maybe she is learning the world is not all about her needs, but the needs of others. Hopefully, she is growing to have the heart of a servant. To be kind & tenderhearted, like the apostle Paul talked about

Ephesians 4:32

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.(NKJV)

friends

Relationships are important. I am glad to learn from my 6th grader that love, forgiveness, & mercy can come through from any age. And speaking of mercy, we talked about the unmerciful servant in my Wednesday night class, this week. I asked the class what they thought unmerciful meant. One little girl said she knew exactly what it meant. She said when she played basketball with her brother & his friends they just kept trying to beat her down & not let her have the ball. She said that was very unmerciful. These kids tickle me to death. We had promotion Sunday a couple of weeks when the school year started back. This is when the kids move classes, since they are advancing in grades at school. I MAY or may not have a couple of kids that do NOT want to advance out of my 1st & 2nd grade class. We just have so much fun in there. If one of the elders is reading this, I sternly told the kids they had to move up next Wednesday night, no exceptions. Then, I gave them a bunch of candy.

Hope you are having a wonderful week. Summer is back. If you haven’t heard. It’s just weather in Mississippi. Hot, cold, air conditioner, heater, all in one day. You just never know. I hope you had a great long weekend. We did. Lots of food, family, friends, & fellowship. Until next time I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

My favorite quote of the week.  Don’t worry about saving your money.  You don’t need a penny to do this-

human

 

6 things to help you get rid of worry for good

I hope this finds everyone doing well.  We have been having some rain.  And too, I have found a new way to waste my time.  I have been watching too many tornado videos online.  Have you seen the one of the guy on the interstate that is like right there at a tornado?  I mean he could have probably reached out & touched the thing??  It was the one in Rochelle, IL last week.

TOO MUCH for me.  I am confident when I say, if my Mama Boyce were here today, in the times of youtube tornado videos, well, let’s just say she probably would not let me watch them.  She was terrified of tornadoes.  She & my family were in a tornado one time & to say they lost everything is an understatement.  We stayed with my grandparents, during the day while Mama & Daddy were at work.  Also, we were there after we got off the school bus.  And every moment in between, if we wished.  We lived right beside them.  Since that awful event, every time it thundered, we were at the storm house.  Peanut butter & crackers & a water jar in hand, we would make the walk to the edge of the yard to the storm house.  My Papa Clyde would go in ahead of us & scare out any mice, rats, snakes, lizards, or whatever had set up shop since our last visit.  Spiders & cobwebs were expected.  However, since we were not a bunch of barbarians, my Papa Clyde would run out all of the before mentioned like it was his job.  If for some reason we were not at their house, she was on the phone calling.  Wanting to know when we were going to be at the storm house.  This was a serious deal with her & everybody had just better go along with it.  She was a worrier.  She loved all of us & worried we would not make it to safety in time.  However, we don’t have to live in a land of fear & what if’s.

Here are some ways to take worries out of our lives:

  1. Give them to the Lord. Straight out of the shoot, let the Lord handle everything. I Peter 5:7  casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
  2. Pray. We should not do anything without talking to the Lord about it. All day long. All night long. The Lord never gets tired of hearing from you. I Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing,
  3. Forget about it. Time thinking about the negative, robs us of time to enjoy the good things in life.  I can’t help but sing the Frozen song in my head when I think of this one.  Just “Let It Go”. Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 
  4. Remember we cannot control all situations. The devil is on his game looking for whoever he can to cause trouble with.  Don’t play the blame game & think you could have done something differently to deter a situation.  Sometimes you just can’t.  I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
  5. Be thankful. Who has time to worry if you are using that time wisely? We should be thanking the Lord for the good things in our lives, on a regular basis. There is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS something to be thankful for.Psalms 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
  6. Trust the Lord.  Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him,And He shall direct[a] your paths.

worry

 

The sun is finally poking it’s head out, this afternoon.  I am very glad to see it.  Speaking of someone poking their head out, last weekend Mr. Sweetie Pants came to spend the night.  His dad picked him up on Saturday.  He went non-stop the whole time he was at the house.  When asked by his grandfather to please quit pulling the cords on the blinds on the living room window, he reassuredly replied,

“It’s ok Pap.  I know what I’m doing.”  Well, he is 3 years old you know.

Much of the time he was there was spent with him reassuring us he knew how to do things, him actually going ahead with what he was doing, & then blaming Miss Neenee with it all. And ya’ll after he left I was one worn out Grand!  The next day, just in time for lunch, here he comes back.  He runs back to the bedroom where I am.  He pokes his head around the corner of the door & says,

“Grand, I’m back.”

I would not trade these days for nothing.  But for now I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

George Strait on my Pandora.  It's the little things.

George Strait on my Pandora. It’s the little things.

photo credits: http://www.gitacoaching.blogspot.com, http://www.lovethispic.com

Making the decision to be kind & I need a new microwave

Decisions, decisions. We all have to make them.  Sometimes decisions can be hard.  Evidently it was for the sky this morning.  It could not decide if it was going to storm or if the sun was going to shine.

clouds

If you look closely, you can see the sun was trying to shine. But, we were driving right into some ugly looking clouds.  Strange, I know.  With the sky being so indecisive this morning, it made me think about a story, my Daddy has always told about my Papa Clyde.  There was a time, he had a chance to make a life altering decision.  You will be very surprised at what he did.

share croppers

 

My Papa Clyde was a sharecropper. He & my Mama Boyce had 10 children.  They obviously had to make the most of their earnings.  However, they were always willing to share what they had with others.  One time my Papa Clyde started to notice the fuel in his farm tank was running low.  He would get more fuel added in, then before he could turn around, the level was back down.  He had an idea of what was going on.  So, he waited & after dark, he took his post out by the fuel tank.  Before long, one of his neighbors wandered up the dirt path, with a gas can & hose.  Papa Clyde sat there & watched as the guy started to siphon fuel out.  When the time was right, Papa Clyde walked up to the man.  The man was obviously startled.  The man immediately started apologizing to my grandfather.  My grandfather said,

”Look you are going to have to stop this.”

 The man regrettably agreed,

“I know Mr. Clyde, I am so sorry. I won’t steal no more of your gas again.” 

Papa Clyde looked sorta puzzled & said,

“I mean yer gonna hafta quit siphonin’ this out. You could get hurt doin’ that.” 

The man didn’t know what to think.  Papa Clyde said,

“Looky here.  This is the spout.  Let me see yer can.” 

gas can

With that, Papa Clyde took his gas can & showed him how to operate the fuel tank.  After he filled up his can, he handed it back to the man & said,

“Now that you know how to get it out, just help yourself, anytime you need it.” 

Needless to say, Papa Clyde did not have any problems with this man stealing gas again.  Ever.

I have told that story to several different people. I have had some say,

 “I would have shot anybody trying to steal from me.” 

My grandfather did not choose that.  That day he decided kindness was the best medicine.  It puts me in mind of how Elisha, in II Kings 6: 8-23, handled the Syrians.

The Syrians were a bad bunch of people. They were trying to go to war against Israel.  Elisha would have none of it.  He had an idea.  First off, when the Syrians surrounded the city, he asked the Lord to blind them.

II Kings 6:

18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.(NKJV)

Next, he led the army to Samaria. v.19

Once there, Elisha asked the Lord to make them see again. When the soldiers regained their sight, the king of Israel asked Elisha could he kill them.

21 Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?”(NKJV)

 However, Elisha has another plan.  Elisha chooses kindness.  He told the king to make a great feast for them.  After that, Elisha sent them back home.  Do you know what happened after that?  They never darkened Israel’s door step again.

23 Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel. (NKJV)

kindness

Don’t you imagine it took some courage for Elisha & my Papa Clyde to stand up to people who were wronging them? I would think it would take a level of maturity, that is not seen often enough, & a love for your fellow man to react in kindness. I have to admit, I am not sure I would have reacted in love & kindness in either of those situations.  However, with these 2 wonderful examples I have, I hope to be reminded of their mercy, kindness, & forgiveness, when someone treats me without regard.  You have heard

“a little bit of  kindness goes a long way.”

Well, today, my friend, you have seen where it did.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today & listen to me ramble about making wise decisions.   I hope you are having a wonderful week.  Mine will get better when I get a new microwave.  Mine has tore plumb up!  We have missed the clock on it more than anything.  My husband has threatened to sit his alarm clock on top of it.  Until I get to shop for a microwave, (which will be more decisions for me)  I should be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: bowtierecords.BlogSpot.com,vendio.com,pinterest

Preparing For Winter in the South

big-vegetable-garden-lgFall is in the air, in northeast Mississippi.  It seems just like yesterday, we were complaining about the hot, humid, weather.  Now, it seems we may be getting a much needed break.  This time of the year puts me in mind of my grandmother & preparation. 

You see, as I was growing up, both sets of my grandparents planted & grew gardens.  Me and my brother stayed with my Mama Boyce & Papa Clyde, (Daddy’s mama & daddy) while Mama & Daddy were at work.  This meant after school & summers were spent, doing whatever it was we could get away with, at their house on Leedy Hill. Papa Clyde & Mama Boyce always had a big garden every summer. We affectionately referred to it as the truck patch.  I never really knew why it was called a truck patch.  It wasn’t even close to a truck.  If anyone out there knows, please enlighten me.  Anyways, we worked in the garden all summer long.  We would get out in the hot morning sun & pick whatever it was that was in at the time.  We picked purple hull peas, squash, tomatoes, okra, corn, cucumbers, butter beans, green beans, pretty much anything you could think of.  Then, there were plums, apples, strawberries, mucadines, peaches, pears, all kinds of fruit trees, too. My brother can still tell you the exact whereabouts the pear tree was on the property.  I’m sure because he picked up many a pears off the ground, before they ruined.  Mama Boyce made sure little went to waste around there. We shelled peas & butter beans, snapped green beans, shucked corn, & basically helped to work up the vegetables, so that Mama Boyce could put them up.  She canned & froze the vegetables.  She made pickles out of the cucumbers & okra.   She would call my Aunt Edna over to make jelly. 

My Aunt Edna laughs & says, “Mama had a child for everything.  If she needed something from town, she would call on Mary Helen.  If she needed to go to the doctor, your Daddy took her.  If she had to go to the hospital she wanted Tooter to help her.  If she needed help when she got out of the hospital, she would call Nancy.  If anyone was coming to visit or if the garden came in, she called me.”  Looking back, summers were dedicated to preparing for winter. It was a canning, freezing frenzy of a time.  Mama Boyce & Papa Clyde were determined we were going to have plenty to eat, while it was cold outside.  We had a big family, so that was a lot of preparation. They most certainly knew the importance of working & not being lazy.  The result, from the summer garden, was food in abundance all winter long.  It was a matter of taking care of their own.  Not haphazardly tossing caution to the wind, just sitting around waiting for someone else to provide for us. They realized things just did not happen.  They taught us hard work & preparation is key to success & survival.

Proverbs 6:6 says  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

There is a method to the madness of an ant.  It’s preparation.  Just as my grandmother saw the importance of preparing for the winter.  There was no rest for those few months.  But, in the colder months, when our bellies were full of warm comfort foods, we understood why she insisted we be such worker ants.  It’s easier to appreciate the bountiful harvest, once the hard work is over.

There is something else that’s being prepared right this minute. That’s our home in heaven.

John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I am so thankful for my preparing grandmother, but I am most thankful for my preparing Savior. What a blessing to know Jesus is making preparations for me to come be with Him.  That makes me smile!  I hope it makes you happy, too.  His preparations for us as Christians, in the end,  will make everything worthwhile.  Just as my earthly grandmother was so thoughtful in her preparing for our needs, the Lord is thinking of us right now, while he prepares for us to be with Him for eternity.  That should just make us feel really good.  Like chocolate gravy & biscuits good.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  I always love when you stop by.  I hope you are getting some good fall weather wherever you are. Enjoy the rest of your day!  As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.