Ireland is calling and Home is where the Mom is.

Well, I was going to write a post last month…but I didn’t. Things have been just wacky-crazy and well…it just didn’t get done.

Here’s what has happened… TICKETS! Our tickets to Ireland have been purchased!! So, it’s officially official. Even if it’s not in my budget and I have to sleep in a tent on St. Stephen’s Green, I’m going. Wahoo! For the trip I have made some pre-purchases; Compression socks (they come in colors now! Not just weird diabetic black!) A cross body bag that will hold my passport and wallet close to my person and can be worn comfortably under my jacket and it’s RFID…what ever that stands for, it means that someone can’t get my information through some sort of scanning device. It’s a star-trek-y sort of protection. Next will be the universal adapter. That will be easy. I cant find the particular style of tops that i want to wear so… I’m going to make them. It’s the mechanics of the trip…it’s all the minutia now… I need to make a list!

Thanksgiving 2018 was just yesterday. It was a great day! All of my kids were home and most of their significant others were also on hand. But my favorite guest was my Ava this 9 month old bundle of energy is a Joy!. She’s just a dolly and I had a great time as she sat on my lap and ate little bites of mashed potatoes. Her two little teeth doing what they do at this age… enhancing the smile! Dinner was served by 2:30 and was cleaned up by 4:30. My kind of Holiday Meal!

Christmas decorating starts today! My mother-in-law and I (we have a lot of fun together) will dive into the “Christmas closet” and try to make heads or tails of the menagerie of Christmas items. This is my favorite part of the year so… yay!

So I guess the point is, I’m pretty blessed. God has seen fit to allow me to enjoy my family all together for another year. It may be different next year. My one son is going into college, my other son is being reassigned in the Navy, to a new post and my daughter has her own family now and they had to do 3 house visits this year… maybe next year we will dine on Friday or Saturday. It might make it easier on some.
So my babies have grown wings. We prepared them for life as best we could. I guess that’s what parents are supposed to do. We raise our kids in such a way that they can be functioning and successful without us. We work ourselves out of a job really. Does it make me sad? Not really. I’d love it if I could have them all the time like it used to be but they are grown-ups now and there needs to be a modicum of independence. On their part and on mine. Although our kids should be an intricate part of our lives as they grow and learn, they shouldn’t be the center of it. We, and they, should be able to function apart from one another. If we can’t or they can’t, maybe we should take a look inside our own hearts and make some adjustments. Practice tough love on ourselves if necessary. Those little birds have got to leave the nest at some point, but I’m sure happy when they return and remind me they know where “home” is.

What was your favorite part of this Holiday? Were the mashed potatoes lumpy or smooth? Giblets in the stuffing or no way? Missing some little birds this year? Let’s talk about it.

In Just 6 Months….

Hi there! It’s been a long time hasn’t it? then again, maybe not. Maybe this is your first visit to the ‘ol Mel-ski-doodle blog. That’s OK, it’s my first time in a long time too. So, we’ll be new together.

Ever been on an adventure? A quest? An exploration? Well, that’s where I am, or, at least where i will be. I am embarking on a quest that will get me, and hopefully you, to the beginning of my quest, which, just so happens to be the catalyst to my first big exploration. I can barely contain my excitement as I type these words and it will all come together in just 6 months. (Hence, the name of the article and eventually, the blog) Within the next 6 months of my life the following things will be developing. Each thing, will be a topic for discussion in the coming weeks and months. Six months from today, September 14, 2018, I will be setting my feet, for the very fist time in “The Old Country” the “Emerald Isle” good old Ireland. I cant believe I’ve said it! It’s official and public! I’ve probably just jinxed it…. Good thing i don’t believe in that silly stuff. My niece, we’ll call her Peachy…cause that’s her name…sort of …. and I will make a trek that I never once thought I would be capable of. But it’s happening. So I intend to chronicle my research, prep, do’s and dont’s, great finds, new friends and weird encounters.

Also within the next 6 months, my first grandchild will turn 1. Lets go along that journey again together too. So far the hardest thing I’ve experienced is trying to mother my granddaughter’s mother. She doesn’t need a nag, she needs a supportive ear and someone to bounce ideas off of. She needs to hear that she’s doing a great job.  Because she is. My favorite way to start any advice is, “can I tell you what worked really well with you?” I’m not the end all be all mom… and I’m probably not going to be the end all be all grandmother (Oma if you please) but I’d sure like to go down that path. Maybe answer some questions and discuss being a mom… and an Oma.

There are so many other things that  we might travel down the path toward, I’m a recipe hoarder and might just start a local business from my home called “5 cakes” when that comes about you’ll know….trust me. I have just embarked on a journey with my mother in law who moved in just a few weeks ago and who maybe here for ever… which just tickles the snot out of me! I have an active military son, and another who is about to finish high school… so there are lots of things we can chat about.

But for today, I’m going to give you just a glimpse of insight to who I am by sharing with you the words that keep me going and help me keep perspective about who I am and what all this “life” stuff is all about.
Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. – New King James Version

That’s sort of me in a nutshell… growing my perseverance and character and hope. Because hope does not disappoint. I’ve had enough disappointment. But I will not be disappointed by hope. And that Hope is more exciting to me than 10 trips to Ireland or 5 grand babies. Jesus is it for me folks. Before trips or family or ANYTHING… there’s Jesus. I’m not always good at it, heck, i’m often a dismal failure at keeping up my end of this whole grace through faith thing. But i’m trying and I’m persevering and that’s all we are asked to do…our best. Jesus is worth it!

SO, it’s just six months… let’s see what it takes to get there!

What would one of YOUR hesitations be if you had the chance to travel to a new place in the world? What place would you want to go? Let me know, lets chat.


When Christmas doesn’t go as planned.


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It’s not like I actually “plan” it… it just seems to happen. It’s the same every year. Stay up too late wrapping gifts, make sure Santa has come and gone, get up too early, open gifts, drink coffee, saying thank yous and i love yous….then back to bed for a nap before i have to get started on Christmas dinner. That’s just the way it is….. was….

Our daughter got married this year. So we got a new son in law. Tall, handsome, loves our princess and showers her with affection. He’s my kind of son in law. I’ve loved him for a long time. He grew up in church with us. I’ve known him since he was like 3 years old. So it’s not been hard to come along side his family and love our kids together. After all, his mother and I have been going on mission trips to mexico for more than 10 years cooking for the crew, being the moms of the trip with bandaids and encouragement and a good breakfast before a long day of work. So, we love our new family extension. We know each other’s secrets, we’ve been praying for each other’s kids for years, We play well together.

Then came Christmas, I had it all planned out in my head. Everyone can stay overnight on Christmas eve, we can wake up in the morning and follow the natural progression of things. I mean, I’d have to get dressed at some point during the morning but other than that, there didn’t really need to be any diversion from the plan. This was exciting! The new family can be just blended into Christmas with us. We have blended in others in the past and we loved it. So, invitations were extended and i began planning in my head just how this event was going to go down. (I do this “planning” thing in my head all the time. Not because i have to have control, which is easier for me, but because i don’t want to forget something and hurt feelings and so forth. It’s a self preservation thing.)

Then, it happened! They said they weren’t coming. My daughters mother in law let me know that she and her daughter would  be spending the night at their own home, and that they wanted to host breakfast. Christmas breakfast was the big deal for their family over the years so they wanted to do breakfast. Just like they’d always done. It was the natural progression of things.

Oh, OK. So my daughter and her husband would spend the night Christmas eve and we would wake up early, do presents and go to big deal, in fact, it was sort of exciting. It was a new tradition and it was an adventure. I’m game!

Then it happened! My daughter texted me. “David is out” meaning my hard working son in law had gone to sleep whilst waiting for my daughter to get off work. She couldn’t get him to wake up so she was letting me know they wouldn’t be sleeping over. That they would see us at breakfast. Oh, ok. So, i don’t need to worry about wrapping all these gifts tonight. Not even the jammies. Everyone gets jammies on Christmas eve. We unwrap one present right before bedtime and look! it’s new jammies so we can look good in the pictures in the morning. But not this year. The daughter wasn’t coming, the eldest son (home from his service in the US Navy) had plans and wasn’t even home anyway and the youngest son, age 17, didn’t seem concerned. So, alrighty then, no jammies. Its 9pm. I’m going to bed.

Morning came and my husband said, “Ok, lets do presents.”

WHAT!!! We cant do presents silly, Melissa and David aren’t here! We will have to do them after breakfast. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go. It was a little perplexing and disorienting. This was not just “our” Christmas. This was becoming evident. So, we got dressed (not something i do on Christmas morning) and we got in the car (not something i do on Christmas morning) and we drove the 10 minutes to the in-laws house. Not begrudgingly, i was looking forward to it. It just wasn’t the way I planned it.

Then it happened! We got to the house and was greeted by my daughter waiting in the front yard and meeting me with a hug before i could even get into the gate. (It made my heart smile. She still wants to hug her momma on Christmas morning.) We walked in the front door and was greeted with hugs and handshakes, smiles and laughter, and the smell of a really, really good breakfast. We weren’t the only guests. There were friends and extended family there must have been 15 of us in this tiny little house. But it wasn’t crowded, in fact it was so warm and cozy, inviting and joyful. This wasn’t at all like I planned it. It was better! There were presents for everyone. Gifts were opened by everyone simultaneously and it was hard to know who got what, but there were smiles, then hugs, thank yous and I love yous were generously tossed about being caught, little by little by just the right heart. So there we were, having Christmas. It was clearly going to be the new normal. We left for home after a couple of hours, hugs, handshakes and “nice to meet you” greetings were exchanged and off we went.

We hadden’t been home long before my eldest son (active duty US Navy) had to go back to the base so he could check in the next morning for duty. So with out fanfare and without his sister and brother in law, he opened his gifts with just me and dad and his brother. He couldn’t stay for Christmas dinner, but i wasn’t upset. It was just not a regular Christmas and this was just another hint of the new normal.

The new in-laws made their way to our house for dinner we talked and laughed. Sharing a meal is the best way to really get to sit down and chat. You’re sort of a captive audience. So there we were, our new family, joined together by our two children, irrevocably bonded. Presents came after dinner. Weird, after dinner?

Then it happened! As the gifts were being revealed, one at a time, in a methodical way, the in-laws  learned how we did presents. There was a system, open this first then that. It will all make sense. We laughed, and cried as gifts were opened and explanations given for why this gift was significant or the thought behind it. Then the thank yous and i love yous were again floating in the air, caught by the hearts they were intended for.

So, here’s the point. Christmas isn’t a postcard. It’s not a picture you have in your head about how things are supposed to go. Our existence doesn’t hang on if we open gifts before or after breakfast. The world didn’t explode because i got out of my pajamas before 9am. It wasn’t MY Christmas. It was OUR Christmas. It was made better by the unexpected mixed with the expected. The big breakfast hadn’t been our thing before and the big dinner hadn’t been theirs. But together, we had two great meals, enjoying fellowship and loving on one another. It made our kids happy. It couldn’t have been easy (especially on my daughter) to discern how the two worlds would collide and how she would navigate being in the middle. We got up a little early and they stayed up a little late. We loved one another enough to say, “Oh, you do it like that? Well alrighty then, lets do it your way.” It didn’t have to be either/or. It could be both. So if your Christmas didn’t turnout the way you expected, If it just wasn’t the way you always did it. Take this into consideration. It’s not about YOU and it’s not about ME. It’s about Christ, His birth, His celebration. I mean, that first Christmas didn’t exactly turn out the way Mary planned it either did it? And look how that worked out…. for all of us!

Merry Christmas!


A Mother’s Thoughts


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Social media reminds me every day that I have memories with this person or that…whomever I tagged in a status or whomever tagged me.

As my son gets ready to leave for the military in just a few days it’s got me to thinking… he’s going to be gone. What will I have left of him? Is it just memories? Will that be all I have left of my children when they move from home? Memories that will, with time and age, fade from my mind and leave nothing in their wake? To think this leaves me almost in a panic. I get shivers up my spine as this is someone to whom I’ve devoted a good portion of my adult life. The post-partum panic attacks, the breathing treatments every 4 hours day and night for 2 weeks, the fingerprints on the walls, the hugs and kisses, the snuggles and smiles all for what? To leave them behind when I turn to leave him in the hands of the United States Navy?

Then there’s that still, calming, small voice that I hear. It whispers to me. Really? You think all you have is memories? This wasn’t all for nothing. Those panic attacks were not because you were unstable, they were out of your insane love, privilege and obligation to protect him. Those breathing treatments were to remind you that he couldn’t breathe without you, the fingerprints on the walls were so that you could see him grow as they got bigger and bigger. No longer on the lower parts of the windows where he strained to see the trash man but on the door frames as he leaped to try to reach them and the banisters he slid down and the stair railings he hung from all so that you could see him growing in stature, the hugs and kisses, smuggles and smiles were there to remind you that he would still love you in jr. high and still hug you in high school. He would outwardly protect you from any perceived threat  no matter how small or big he was and he will continue to do so when he’s a grown man graduating from NAVY boot camp. He will be a different boy but the same boy altogether.

Then the voice continues, isn’t this what you’ve been asking in your prayers all along? You prayed that he would be strong, you prayed that he’s have a personality that would welcome everyone…the lovely and the not so lovely. You prayed that he would be able to breathe and to use that breath to be the best he could be. And you prayed that those smiles and hugs and snuggles would help him to learn how to love. So, what? What is it that is for nothing? These things have been instilled in him. They are in his DNA so what are you worried about? Your arm of protection can no longer spread out to where he is going to be…but Mine can. I’ve been listening to your prayers all this time…why do you think I would stop now? Indeed, I have been here all along and I will continue to be. So no, what you have left is not just memories. You have a grown son who has a plan and a direction. Who consults me as to his choices just like you taught him. You’ve instilled in him to depend on Me… why don’t you stop panicking, breathe slowly, look at MY fingerprints on his life, snuggle into me and let me handle things. Then take those memories on social media, remember them fondly and know more memories are in store. He was mine from the beginning, you gave him back to me remember? I know the plans I have for him…

Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depasenior-pic-onert from it.

Response to Jimmy Carter Article

Let me start with this….
“the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.
First of all… the facts of this article are just enough to pass as truth… but aren’t truth entirely. The few carefully selected verses aren’t stated so I can’t comment on them specifically BUT in my church I know that ive been taught that yes, Chronologically, Eve was created second. But Adam named her “Woman” because she was taken from man. Not because she was made subject to man. I have never been taught that Eve was responsible for the original sin. In fact, it was Adam who sinned. Eve was deceived. It’s not a sin to be deceived…ADAM knew where the fruit came from and what the rules were and he ate it anyway. God did not say that women must be subservient to their husbands but did say “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you” to me this meant that he would take charge whether it was his to take or not…. And don’t you know… he did.

Now, as for other stuff in the article,

According to “The Navy was the first service in the Department of Defense to commission a female chaplain, Lt. j.g. Dianna Pohlman, in July 1973. The Air Force and Army followed suit later that same year.” So the military has been letting women serve as chaplains for more than 40 years.

This statement is awfully all inclusive

“This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.
At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.”
Except for Abortion, I can’t name one thing that as a Christian, Southern Baptist I am restricted from where health care is concerned. Including birth control as long as it doesn’t end life once it has begun. There are several women in our congregation who have made that choice in their past and regret it… but they are not shunned. Some of them hold places of leadership and mentoring.

Now, as for slavery, that’s what separated the Northern Baptists from the Southern Baptists during the Civil War times but today, that’s not a determining factor at all, in fact, there are historically black Southern Baptist churches throughout the United States even in the south. I would dare say that in Jimmy Carter’s Georgia there weren’t many desegregated southern baptist churches in 1956 (60 years ago) in fact, segregation didn’t completely disappear until the  late 1960’s or 1970’s…. and he’s just now leaving the southern baptist church because of it’s supposed stance on women? Silliness!

“In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.
The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West.”
The latter part of this broad statement is not only offensive, it’s downright wrong!
In 48 states women make .70 on the dollar compared to men and in 24 states it’s .80 or more. In Washington DC it’s .90%. (According to )
Is this gap due solely to discrimination? Or is it because by-in-large women stay home or take time off to be with sick kids, take care of extended family members or stop working at an earlier age than men? It’s often not being a woman that leads to the equality gap, it’s being a mother or a family member. Taking time off to do these things isn’t wrong but it’s not conducive to profitability in a fortune 500 company when late hours and weekends are what’s in demand if a profit is going to be made in business. All of these factors should be considered. But it doesn’t work for the Jimmy Carter narrative.
As for women in office in the West…. 212 women serve in either the house of representatives, congress, or the senate out of 535. Out of the 323 seats filled by men how many races didn’t have a woman to choose from or in how many cases was a woman just not the right choice for the job? Not voted against because she was a woman, but because she was a poor choice.

Now, as for the “carefully selected passages of scripture” which are not stated, one has to determine which statements are of the Old covenant (old testament) and the New Covenant (new testament). Without getting into a huge bible study, basically once Jesus Christ came, he fulfilled what the old testament’s laws required (like sacrificing animals for example) and set up a new covenant stating that the greatest commandments are these, that you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. These words are found, spoken by Jesus, in Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Mark 12:33, and Luke 10:27. And by Moses in Deuteronomy 4:29, 10:12 and 11:1 just to name a few.
As for the statement
“I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures [None of which are sighted] in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets”
These women that he described were in these positions and many Southern Baptist Churches ordain Deaconess’ or place women in positions of leadership. However, not typically as head Pastor.
In my opinion, It’s not that women are incapable of the leadership role but that it might be difficult for men to subjugate themselves to a woman in that type of authority. A pastor is one who might have the authority in a church to tell someone that how or what they are doing is not biblical or they are acting in a way that is contrary to what the Bible requires of Christians (remember, this is dealing with someone who admits that the Bible is THEIR authority. Not someone who is not a Christian) and by putting yourself under Biblical authority, you are then under the authority of your Pastor. How hard would it be for men (and most women) in our current world (or any year prior to this) to put themselves under the authority of a woman? Not me… Not my husband… not most people I know.
Coming from a biblical perspective of women being subject to the authority of her husband. Look at your own situation. Brett is your husband. He doesn’t rule over you, however, you’ve put yourself willingly under his protection. Your love for him makes that an easy thing to do and he has proven himself worthy. He has his role in your family and you have yours. Not that either of you “can’t” do what the other does but you’re not made to do what he can do, you’re made to do what he can’t. Thereby making each other complete. That’s what the Bible meant by “The two shall become one flesh”
Last, this statement is troubling to me…
“The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”
So, I understand that justifying the discrimination against women on grounds of religion is unacceptable but what happens when they decide that other things decided on the grounds of religion are unacceptable? What then? Are we to then fall in line with that too? It’s a slippery slope. One which presupposes that the ones making the argument are well versed in the tenants or scriptures that they are opposing. Know how I know that this is untrue? How I know that “The Elders” who are self-proclaimed “eminent global leaders” are working from assumptions and second hand information?
Because of the telling statement
“This [the subjugation of women] is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.”
In what teaching by the prophet Muhammad is the subjugation of women disputed? It’s not, as a matter of fact, if you look at the Quran it does speak as to how women are to be treated “Men are in charge of women, because God has made some excel some of the others [4:34]. 2. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them [2:228].” But honestly, I’m no Quran expert so if there are teachings to the contrary of those I’ve sighted. I don’t know that they exist… nor do lots of Muslims who condone honor killings and burkas (just an observation) and what other great religion founders outline women specifically? Again, I’m no expert on world religions so I’m not indicting other’s religions by any means.
I do believe however that women have a place. Like I said before they are to complete what men aren’t or can’t be. It’s like that in the animal kingdom as well. We all know that girl lions have a different job in the pride than the boy lions. Not because of some mystic text they once read but because that’s just how it works. The same goes with birds, gorillas, dogs, cats and ducks. Boy mallard ducks aren’t prettier because of some weird subjugation of girl ducks… that’s just the way they were made.
So, my thought are; 1. that this article promotes the disdain of what many have found to be their comfort and their strength. 2. That this article twists facts to prove a point. And 3. Well…. I’ll keep that to myself because my momma (and yours) taught me if I can say something nice about someone to not say anything at all.
So…there it is 🙂 Love you!

A Thought From the Person In Line Infront of You


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I read a post today by a friend who saved around 55% on her grocery bill. Sometimes we “couponers” as we are called, like to brag a little about it. It’s fun saving all that money! It’s responsible too, wouldn’t you say? Our choices as to how we spend our money comes with consequences. Doesn’t it?
But it sort of broke my heart when in one of the comments, someone said, “yeah but I hate being behind people like that in line.”
I sort of look at that comment as if the person said, “I hate being behind responsible people in line.” or “I hate when other people are saving money in line in front of me.”
There are all sorts of reasons that people don’t clip coupons. In fact, I didn’t until recently, but some people just don’t have the time. Some people just don’t have the patience. Some people don’t know how to get it organized for it all to make sense. What ever the reason, no one (that I know) stands behind someone with no coupons and says “you’re an idiot! I could have gotten that for 1/2 as much” we just go on about our day. But, if I could help someone have access to the same information as i do, I’d surely give it to them. There is a technique to it but no one has a secret or a corner on the market. Now I will say, there are those who will use coupons to buy items at a discount and then sell them on FaceBook or CraigsList for a profit. This is illegal and I do not condone it. If you are going to earn a living, earn it legally!

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
Luke 16:16

That being said….Here’s why I like to coupon;
My husband works construction. With the economy (which i will admit is picking up) as it has been in recent years, he has spent a lot of time on unemployment benefits. As a tax payer, since I’m getting “free” money from the government, wouldn’t it be more responsible of me to use the money wisely? I mean, if I were a food-stamp recipient I believe i would do the same thing! My brother was once a checker for an Arizona grocery chain. A lady came through with coupons (not crazy coupons like today) and then proceeded to pay with food-stamps. (back when you had physical food-stamps not an ATM looking card). My brother processed her order and sent her off with a “have a nice day” and a smile. The person behind her was angry. “It’s not fair that she get free food-stamps AND gets to use coupons with them!” The irate lady exclaimed.
My brother just smiled and said,
“Well, since she’s using my tax dollars to buy her groceries, I’m pretty OK with her spending it responsibly.”
The irate customer had never looked at it that way. She took it down a notch and backed down.
Why is it that when people find a way to save some hard earned money, people get angry? I mean, whether the money is from unemployment, social service benefits or from a paycheck, the money was hard earned by SOMEONE!
When I’m line at the grocery store if I see a young mother cashing in WIC vouchers, I make it a point (when i have plenty of time) to get behind her in line. When she apologizes to me I make it a point to tell her, “I saw you had WIC and I got behind you on purpose. So take your time… I get it!”
See, it makes me feel good when other people are comfortable. So if it means that i spend an extra 3 minutes in line behind someone who is trying to better them selves or save a little on their grocery bill than I’m good with it. If I’m in a hurry, I don’t pick the line with the WIC lady or the lady with the big binder of coupons. It’s a life choice.
So, when you come up behind the couponer, don’t dispare, don’t discourage, pick another line or, better yet, take a look at what she’s doing….maybe you could learn a thing or two. She might be spending YOUR tax dollars responsibly!
Just a thought. What do you think about couponers?

Celebrate Her Anyway

These words have been on my heart for a week. It’s so hard to write things like this. I fear sometimes it’s intrusive, it’s not my life that has been turned upside-down after all, how dare I immerse myself in the midst of this?
But the Word says we are to bear our burdens together. My heart breaks for my friend who lost her daughter at just 4 years old. I hurt for my friend who lost her grand-daughter and in the midst of it watched her own daughter suffer heartache that this time, just couldn’t be fixed by mom. I have seen the love of two parents and the devotion that even a 6 year old can teach us. And in the midst of it all I’ve see God’s grace and a faith that is the glue to hold the broken together. So, these words are for Katie & Kiki, for Charles and Isaac, for the family and close friends that surround them.

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Celebrate Her Anyway

She was on her way
everyone was excited!
There was lots to do to get prepared
Mom & Dad were so tired
But there is faith and there is love
We were determined to celebrate her anyway.

Then she came
in God’s time and in God’s way
complications did abound
It’s not how we planed it, Every one was so scared.
There were so many questions, fear and doubt
We didn’t even know how long we had
But there is faith and there is love
We were determined to celebrate her anyway

Life is full of questions
hard, unanswerable wonder
time and time again, God showed His mercy
through comfort, play time and song
Her big brother taking it all in and he loves her
because there is faith and there is love
He was determined to celebrate her anyway

Now it’s farewell and memories prevail
of long nights of prayer watching and waiting
of sunny days of laughter and fun
it seems too much to bear now that the day has come
our hearts are heavy, there are tears, longing and sadness.
But there is faith and there is love
We are determined to celebrate her anyway.

An Open Letter to My Good Friend

an open letter to my good friend.

Dear Friend,
I want you to know I noticed something today. I noticed when we visited for a short time today that you are hurting and frustrated. You let me in…just a smidgin… and maybe unwittingly but none the less I could see the frustration that you don’t allow many to see. I want you to know that although i would never call you on it in public… I saw it, and it broke my heart.

The big question is, “What the heck?” I mean, I know that God is doing something but i just wish i knew what it is! This (as you know my friend) is my question too. I pray and I wait and I wait and I pray but it seems that time and time again I hear crickets like out on the bayou….waiting to see what God has in store for us. What the next chapter for our family will hold and how on earth we are going to get there. Well, let me give you my answer… after hours, nay, nights of payer laying awake asking God what I’m missing or what I’m not doing that I should be… when God? when will You move? Well, the answer is…I don’t know. I know that’s not the answer you were looking for. In fact, you could have looked in the mirror and gotten that answer… yet again… but I thought about this long and hard today and here’s what I’ve come up with.

Knowing that we have a faith (sometimes I’m grateful that a mustard seed is all that’s required because it’s all i can muster), And knowing that God “can” do what ever He wants in our lives (which frustrates me because currently for what ever reason He “wont”), I have come to realize that I must look at it like a work of art.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? (yeah, me either…wink…wink) when you walk down the street in certain places and there’s a guy there with a couple of cans of spray paint and some scraps of paper and he lays these scraps on a canvas and sprays. Then he moves them around and sprays, then he gets some old pocket knife and he scratches here and there then he sprays some more. A few people walk off because they haven’t got the time or inclination to see what this guy is trying to do but as you go to walk off, someone says, “trust me, stick around and see what this cat can do!” so, out of morbid curiosity, you wait. And for the longest time you are convinced that this is some abstract thing that a 6 year old could have completed until the last spray… he moves something from here to there, sprays over it and “BAM” it’s some far out picture. Completely identifiable and pretty stinking breath taking. Now suddenly, you’re impressed cause you and I both know that you or I will neither one will EVER be a spray can artist. Well, I wonder if that’s what’s happening in our lives right now? I wonder if God is moving shapes on our canvas from here to there and we don’t see any rhyme or reason for it. Maybe we are tempted to be that person in the crowd who walks off and doesn’t feel like they have the time or inclination to know what’s coming next but If we would just wait, wait to see what this cat can do… if we just hang in for a bit longer. A spray here and a scratch from an old pocket knife there… maybe our canvases will be breath taking and there will be beauty that we didn’t see coming.

This is what I’m hoping for my friend. I’ve seen what God can do. In my own life and in the lives of others…and I know that you have too! So lets just wait. Let me take you by the elbow and say, “wait, just watch what God can do!” I will pray for you… you pray for me… one of these days, we will see what it is that the Artist of our lives is doing and I bet it’s going to be spectacular.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Your Sister In Christ

You Will Be My Witnesses

Ever had a bad day? You know, one of those days when, if it can go wrong, it will. Have you ever been vindicated? When you fought or debated for something you knew to be right but seemed to be shot down. Then in the end, what you said or the point you were trying to make was proven to be true or correct?
How about winning? Have you ever won a game of basketball, air hockey, Monopoly?
Think about each of these scenarios. When you’re angry, how do you react? What is your response when you are vindicated? Are you a good winner? Or, do you jump up and down and yell “Victory! Victory! It’s mine, mine all mine!”?

Alright, enough with the 20 questions already!

We all know that how we respond to these different life issues says something to others about our character. Our parents and teachers have been telling us that our whole lives. As Christians though, we must also realize that, to the world, it says something about Christ as well.

In Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Sometimes I think, because we are human, we see this verse and the first thing that pops out is the word “Power” and we get it in our heads that we will receive power. I believe that power is important but I think there is a much more important aspect; “will” in context, you “will” be my witnesses.

Jesus doesn’t say, “if you don’t mind” or “could you please” or “you might be” He says, “you WILL be my witnesses”. To me this means weather we like it or not. If we are Christians, we have asked Jesus to come into our hearts, forgive us of our sins and be the Lord of our lives. Then I believe that we have a  responsibility that we might not take into consideration.

What is a witness?
Among the definitions I found these words;
a: something serving as evidence or proof
b: public affirmation by word or example

When we claim to be a Christian our lives, the way we respond to the circumstances of life is to others, “evidence or proof” of what Christ has done in our lives. It is “public affirmation by word or example” just like the dictionary says. So, whether we like it or not, when we’re having a bad day we must realize that we ARE Christ’s witness, when we are vindicated, the “I told you so” isn’t consistent with the character of Christ and therefore shouldn’t be part of our character either, and the only thing worse than a poor loser is a  poor winner. Being excited over a victory is one thing but the football touchdown dance probably isn’t necessary when we win a game of scrabble. Our lives in both word and deed should reflect the character of Christ because people are watching us, I promise!

We are Christ’s witnesses in ALL circumstances it’s not about the power, it’s about the witness. We shouldn’t be surprised. He told us it would be. We were warned fair and square. And how we act isn’t just observed in our homes but in our jobs, in our community and beyond. The type of witness we are can provoke others to ask questions. It can lead someone to seek out what you have that they don’t. For those who are watching us, our witness could literally change eternity! I’ve seen it happen!

Is it time to give your witness a check-up? Have you seen a witness change a life? Tell me about it!

What You Sow, Will Grow.

I’ve been doing a study recently about responsibility…taking responsibility for your life. (It’s by Andy Stanley. I’d totally recommend it) in this study, we cover the concept (truth really) that we reap what we sow. It’s easy to see where I’m going if we refer to it like a garden. There are flowers and weeds.

If we drink and use drugs and are distant from our children as they are growing up, it’s understandable that they might choose to be distant as adults because we’ve sewn weeds, even if we’ve changed our ways. All hope is not lost though, if we’ve changed our ways, we can begin to sew flowers but even flowers take time to bloom. If we spend every dollar we ever get and we don’t save ever at all, then we shouldn’t be surprised when we don’t have the money to pay for emergencies or retirement for that matter. If we eat without any regard to health, calories or exercise, we shouldn’t be surprised to be unhealthy and/or overweight. But again, all hope is not lost. You can choose to change and plant flowers of health but, like any garden, it takes time and effort.

It’s our own fault really. We make choices then we reap what we’ve sewn. It’s sort of a universal truth like gravity… it just is. You can’t really change it. It works like this with good things too.

If we are kind to people, live life with integrity and help people when we can, later, those nuances of our personality come back to us as blessings in different ways. We are trusted, consulted in a crisis, not often accused or held suspect. Rumors are quickly dispelled because people know your character.

Sometimes it’s harder for us to see the blessings of living a godly life because we sometimes look at blessings through our human-ness and feel we “deserve” to be treated with respect (which is earned by the way) or that we deserve to be consulted when a crisis arises. But we don’t take the time to look behind us and see what kind of tire treads we left in the road. What kind of tracks did we leave for others to look back and refer to when they choose (or choose not to) look to us?

If you want the blessings that living an upright life brings, you must first live an upright life. If you have not always lived according to how God would have you to live, but you decide that now is the time, good for you! You have blessings coming! Don’t forget though that there still may be some things that you’ve “sewn” in the past that will come up. It doesn’t mean that God isn’t seeing your new life; it simply means that there was a weed that was sewn earlier in your life. So deal with it, toss it aside and move on. Yes, things will come back to haunt us from our “not so desirable” decisions from time to time but that doesn’t mean that you cannot be victorious over them.

Galatians 6: 7-10 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Basically you can’t pull one over on God. He sees how you are and who you are…and He loves you!

What you sow will grow…Hey, I just made that up!

What have you been sowing lately?