A place of encouragement:

Living By Faith, Walking in the Light, Saved By His Amazing Grace

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Eyes Are Wide Open

As a child I remember dressing up and going door to door with my sister and my Mama. And still to this day it is one of my favorite memories. All the little old ladies on our side of the street knew us.  We were their favorites because we would visit them not just on Halloween but, often through out the year. I remember my Mama dressing up with us a time or two. Nothing scary, always goofy. And I remember it being loads of fun!

Last night I was reminded how the world creeps in ever so slightly. What was once a simple little treat for me has become a trial for me, a burden. I brought my camera because I'm always capturing moments.....

 Is it because I have chosen to close my eyes in the past? Was I that desensitized to all that was around me? Or is it because the world is getting more accepting......of all that is tainted?

While it wasn't hard to snap the innocent. What you won't see....what I refused to let my camera capture were the demons...the devils....The masks that would give an innocent child nightmares. But there was one, one little girl dressed as a walking dead child....It broke my heart. She couldn't have been more than 8 years old.  Face painted white. Black circles around her eyes.  What really hurt me was the blood all over her body. Staining up the little dress and plastered all over what was once white stockings. And the thoughts were running wild and crazy through my mind. How I would never want to see my daughters portrayed in something so evil...... I questioned what Mama would want to see her child dressed that way?

Now I can hear some of you say that I need to lighten up...that it's all in fun. Oh beloved hear my heart, I'm all for having a good time and I believe that we can but, without the darkness of the evil one. Don't you see? Little by little he is creeping in.

My 15 year old son came up to me last night and before I even had a chance to say anything he said "I think some of these people are confused, this is not the night of horror.....This is a church. God's house! This is not right!"

And I see moments like this as Teachable moments and while I am content in knowing that my children know the difference between the LIGHT and the dark.....My heart is uneasy about how quick the dark can creep in.....How easy we all can become desensitized. This is how the dark one creeps in. This is how he takes hold. How is it that we become accepting of our little girls walking around in blood and not see anything wrong with it! That would not be an image I would want to remember! All in fun or not!......

And my eyes are wide open.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Walking Home in Good Company

The candles were lit, the table set and as I wait for women to come who have literally changed my life, I give thanks for each and everyone of them. I never dreamed it would last this long. I still had that fear of getting too close, letting my real self show.....And I often wonder why "The Mentor" chose me. Full of wisdom, Her heart full of Joy because her Savior lives there. Laughter is her best friend even when life gets her down. she is the Matriarch of this group. And we love her.......
It started 6 years ago, this Beautiful woman was turning _ _ and she chose 7 women to join her on her birthday escapade. I remember thinking how I immediately felt at peace with these women. How I immediately loved them.
We faithfully get together when ever someone's birthday pops up and we celebrate life.
And this girl, she shares my heart and also my name......Met her 10 years ago and I love her....Her and I, we know a lot about GRACE. It consumes our lives in everything we do, there is always grace.......A faithful friend. I find comfort in just being around her. I can truly be me, with her. And she is loved.
 The girl on the left, she is sweet and sensitive, calm and quiet spoken. Caring. Always interested in knowing how we are doing. Love her smile. I never told her this but she reminds me of my Aunt. Same sweet smile, same soft voice. And she is loved.

 The young lady on the right is our Sweet Southern Belle. Witty, charming. She must have SWEET TEA. Love to hear her talk.  Part of our comic relief, she pretends not to be in the same room with us once in a while......And we love her.
 And it seems no matter what....there is this unspoken rule, there is a security in knowing that we are here for each other. ALWAYS. And as we share in life's joys and hard struggles we make moments....Moments that are but a breath....Moments turned into memories that last a life time. Moments that enrich our lives..."And although this world is ugly it is beautiful."Ann Voskamp....  Moments that make this a better place to be in.
There are 3 women missing. One just became a Grandmother for the second time. She is Sweet and thoughtful, so very caring. Always wanting to help. And we love her.

The other two had some things to tend to......One with a "can do attitude."  She is not afraid to set you straight. (Of course in a loving way). The other part of our comic relief and she is loved!

The other, is our Second Southern Belle who will tell you that one of the most important things you can do is stand by your man. One who seems serious at first....then warms up after the first smile given. And she is loved.

I find myself  giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart for each of these beautiful women who have taught me that it's okay to be myself. And oh there is JOY in being a Christian Woman. That I can trust again and not have that fear of losing........that fear of a broken heart. The fear of not being accepted for who I am. That there is a multitude of blessings in true sisterhood.........

And as the years tend to make you older I often pray they make me just a little more wiser. I often think how God places just the right people in your life at just the right time. Some are there only for a moment and some are there to walk the rest of the way home with you.......It looks like I'll be walking home in Good Company.
Giving Thanks With a Grateful Heart.......ALWAYS.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Swimming in a Fish Bowl

I haven't always been so transparent. Never wanted my life to be viewed as though I lived in a fish bowl. And yet to be REAL, sometimes you have to swim like a fish....
I tap these words just so you know that I have those days when I struggle at being His child. When my commitment to being their Mama is weak. And no, I'm not even close to being perfect. As much as I show the good in my life I want you to also to see the not so good.....
I want you to see my blurry days right along with my crystal clear days. I want you to know I'm still learning and I'll never stop. I'll never have all the answers but, if you give me a moment or two I will take the time to discover truth. And my fish bowl needs cleaning just like everyone else's. And there are many times it just doesn't get done.
This lovely mess was left over from last night......Waking up to this does not start my day off right but, waking up, talking to Him does.
You may look the world over but you will never find one......no not one who has it all just right. Even the perfectionist, the one that always has the dishes done and the counters wiped. Some where in the corners behind the furniture or tucked away deep in their closet you will find imperfection. And can I just say that many times being a perfectionist is not all it's cracked up to be.....There is heart ache in being wrapped in having things just so.......

So you see I have to be honest. That's what He is calling me to do. He wants you to know that we all mess up. It's knowing in the mess ups that we need HIM. Oh you can live life without Him, if you so choose........

But I need someone to save me from myself and He is the only ONE who can. I need my SAVIOR.

So as I give you a glimpse into my fish bowl from time to time....Just know I always want to be real to show you that I need HIM.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don't Let The Sun Go Down

I make the phone call ......just like I do every night around the same time. "Come on!" and I hear an "okay" on the other end. Not too long after, they all come filing in. One by one, they wash their hands and then race to pour their tea. My man, his tea has already been poured.
And this is who I am......This is what I do. This is how I love. We all sit down, one child says GRACE and we break bread. I breathe in deep and take in life. Silently watching all who sit around the wooden circle laden with food. And this is our meeting place when the day draws near to a close. This is where laughter, talking and venting takes place. This is where we go through each other's day.
It's a known fact that when families sit together, eat together, communicate with each other.......They stay together. Close together. And they become strong. A house becomes a home when love is the foundation.......And God is LOVE.

It's so easy to let walls go up. A growing family, a close knit family needs an open floor plan. One where they can be together and not separated by stubborn walls.....and slammed doors........

I grew up in a family that said what was on their mind. If someone was hurt, we were taught to speak it. If someone was angry, we vented and not to any one but the person we had the conflict with. Gossip spreads rapid and rumors run deep when others are involved that shouldn't be.......And these words they ring in my ears to this day...My Daddy would always tell me. "Sweetie Pie, don't ever go to bed or say goodbye when your angry. You never know what tomorrow will bring."

And it wasn't til much later in my life that I found those very words written by my heavenly Daddy......

"Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry." Ephesians 4:26

Wisdom comes when you ask.....when your open to it. If your trying to tare down walls and open doors, don't give up.  Your  perseverance will be blessed beyond measure. If there is one thing I have learned....One thing that I know well, it is this: Communication is the heart and soul of any relationship. Without it you have BROKENNESS, HURT, ANGER, FRUSTRATION, and ultimately it could sever the ties.

Family is worth fighting for. Love is worth saving. Relationships are worth mending!

Please Don't let the sun go down another day without trying again.........

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spend Them Wisely

If only for a moment today, take the time to notice........not what you don't have but, what you have been blessed abundantly with. Not what you could be or could of been but, who you are right now. Take a moment to cup your child's face in your hands look him, her, them straight in the eye and profess your love to them. They remember moments like this.....you and them all wrapped up in love.

Take a moment or two or three to notice what your man does for you.....The unspoken actions of going to work and providing. And if there is no man.....Be still and know that He is GOD.......

Take that one last moment when all is said and done, babies are tucked in bed, dishes put away, and you pull back the covers to rest from all the BLESSINGS that have filled your day.......Thank Him for what has been given and what will be given in the morning to come........

Moments are not given for us to ponder what could have been or to waste time on wishes spent. Moments are given so that we may GIVE. To give to all those that surround us in this life. To give thanks to the one who gave us MOMENTS........

Won't you spend them wisely?.......

Monday, October 24, 2011

Curry Chicken Casserole

1 large bag frozen broccoli
1 whole chicken or 4 large breasts cooked and cut up.
1 can each of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken
1 cup mayo
1 tsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. curry powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Optional Topping Bread crumbs and melted butter

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and put in a prepared casserole dish. Bake in the oven @350 for and hour and a half. I cover mine with tin foil then at the last 20 minutes I take it off to brown the top.

Enjoy this quick and easy meal! Blessings to you and yours!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Not that I speak in regard  to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am in, to be content. Philippians 4:11

I heard the shattering break. I ran, scared straight to the noise of the broken glass. She was only out of sight for a moment but, a moment is all it takes.......

I met her half way. She looks up at me with those baby blues, trying so hard to tell me. But she is still so young and the words, they just won't form. I scoop her up and she points to the pantry.

And there on the floor, a pretty crimson red. I couldn't get upset. She has seen me come in here to get the grape juice she loves to drink. And in her little heart all she wanted to do is to help her Mama. Help me make the juice. I put her down, give her a hug and let her know it's okay. Then I go to the task of cleaning up the broken mess.

It surely could have been worse. It could have been her crimson red on the floor. As I sop up what has soaked in the creases, I give thanks. Yes, even in this mess, I give thanks. It's the crimson red that poured out all those years ago. The same red that has washed me white. And to see this I can't help but think it.....I can't help but see GRACE written in RED.
I can't help but, to be Thankful. I can't help but, to receive GRACE wrapped in Crimson Red. I can't help but, to extend GRACE. As these years go speeding past I am learning.....I am coming to a place where I am not struggling so much with being content in the state I'm in. I have opened up and swallowed grace. I have received JOY and He consumes my heart. 

Content means: Rest or quietness of the mind in the present condition; Satisfaction which holds the mind in peace. Restraining complaint and opposition.

You are where you are suppose to be at this point in time. It's up to you how you handle your state of being..........I choose contentment. I choose Peace........

I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just Because

When life is bustling past and it seems  the mountain you need to climb keeps reaching higher and higher, go put your favorite pair of jeans on and take a detour. Just because........
There will always be a house to clean, bills to pay, Mt. Neverest to conquer, but there won't always be this little man.......One day He will be a grown man and I will wonder why I didn't stop and take more detours.They are needed..........Just because.
  Spending time with them is not sitting in the house day after day while they watch me clean or always hear me say "Not right now, I've got too much to do!" What is it that's so important, it can't wait? What's more important than moments filled with laughter and wonder. Moments filled with hugs and kisses. Moments when Mama says "Come on we are going on a detour today!"   Just Because........
And I've been guilty, guilty of the "Not right now!" Guilty of just being content trying to get things done. When in reality I wasn't content at all. I've been guilty of being stuck in that rut, doing the same old thing day after day........

I tend to forget I've been chosen.....Chosen for a very important position that only I can fill. He chose me. I have the exact qualifications......To nurture these little souls. Show them truth. Love them unconditionally. And yes, to teach them how to make moments of laughter, wonder and play. To let them know I love them not with just words but, with my actions.......
I had a friend comment on these pictures And she said "U R SO BLESSED!"  And you know what? I truly am..... If your a Mama, God has specially blessed you!  As Mama's, sometimes I think we get caught up in too much of the "me syndrome" and it tends to blind us from what God intended for us to see. From what He intended us to be.
I love being their Mama.......And I was reminded yesterday just how much........So if your wrapped up in house work, tied up in bills, buried under Mt. Neverest.....Take a detour. Just Because. It will do your heart good! And it will make your children SMILE and LAUGH that deep giggly belly laughter! Sigh..........