Friday, December 18, 2015

Give Away As Many Smiles as You Can....They are FREE!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yule-tide gay
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow.
Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

With the lyrics to this song in your head, take a field trip to Wal-Mart, Target, The Dollar Tree.....wherever there are Christmas shoppers by the dozens.

The very first two lines will challenge even the best of those determined to keep the Christmas  spirit alive.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light.

Parking....we'll go with Wal-Mart, since I'm there frequently! My MO is to go for the golden spot first and if it's not there, go out a little ways to avoid the congestion and orphaned carts left to dance their way into the side of my car. Either way, I am parked and say to myself, "I'm going in!" (the lightness that was just in my heart moments ago....while singing out loud in my best Adele voice..........gone!)

After test driving multiple carts inspecting for good wheels, I am off and running.  List in one hand and pen in the other, I'm on a mission to find Jake and the Neverland Pirates and WHAM the cart behind me runs up the back of my heel and triggers a domino effect of not only 'the look', but the eye-roll to go with it.  I know you didn't MEAN to do that, but daggone if my heel isn't screaming right now.  And, all means.....Have yourself a MERRY little Christmas! (How's that for tone?)

Heartbreak....My heart?  I'm protective of my heart.  It only takes a heart break of two or three or four to build that wall up nice and high.  And really, whether at 17 or 51, a heart still breaks.

What causes a heart to break?  We are all adults here and don't think it takes a list.  And we'd all have a different one.  Relationships in general can bring about a heart could be that Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song, the loss of someone and the empty feeling as we try to grieve and move on...But it could also be that sweet, yet so sad video I saw on Facebook today.

A sweet baby boy lost his mother and his aunt was singing a song that his mother used to sing to him.  Upon recognition, his face lit up and he had the sweetest smile.  However, it didn't take long for the tears to appear.  Big 'ol alligator tears.  My heart broke for him because even at his young age, he recognized the song that once brought happiness to his little life and now he didn't know whether to smile, cry or both.  Heartbreak.

I truly believe that God allows us to experience such pain because we grow....and because it opens up our hearts to do something kind for someone else.  If you are ever feeling down, try doing something nice for someone else, without wanting or needing something in return.  I promise you, it will make you feel better.

However, please know that if you are the recipient of said kindness, accept it with an open heart because remember the giver may be in need of some positive energy.  How amazing and wonderful should it feel that someone cares so much that when they were feeling low, they decided to give you a smile, when they didn't even have one themselves?  

I'm sorry things stink right now.  I can't give you the moon or make everything better, but here's a hug and a wish for you to have a merry little Christmas.(Quite a different tone from the Wal-mart incident.  You could almost feel the attitude before)

As the song goes....if we surround ourselves with faithful friends who are dear to us....gather near to might just help those troubles to be miles away...or even out of sight!

And to wrap it all up and the real reason we should do our best to have a merry little Christmas.......Through the years we all will be together, if the Fates allow.  Until then, all we can do it muddle through and give away as many smiles as we many hugs....even to the Richard Petty wanna be driving the cart at Wal-Mart.

.....And have yourself a merry little Christmas now!

Love ya and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

How to Hopefully Avoid Future 2x4 Moments.....Yikes!

Three of the hardest things to do:

  • Let go
  • Wait
  • Listen
I don't know about you, but it's very hard for me to let go of something.  Especially if I think the outcome has the potential for being bad, sad or ugly. And not because I chose that outcome, but I want to be in control that the outcome is the complete opposite.

Patience is also not a strong point and I get that honestly.  I like to arrive a few minutes early vs being late.Oh goodness, PLEASE do not make me late (said with a slight rolling of the eyes).  That is a waste of expensive make-up and gas.  Why make-up? Because I've just spent a little bit of time getting ready and yes, that means applying make-up.  If I'm forced to be late that means a frown will certainly takeover any smile that was once there.  Why go to the trouble of trying to look purdy, if the frown will trump that? Why gas? Because I will get in my car and drive myself to avoid being late. So yes.....if I finally give up and realize that I have no control over something, I don't wait patiently.

Well, life needs to just slow itself right on down if I need to take time to actually listen! Yeah right!!

I try to take quiet time every morning and pray.  Sometimes that is after everyone is gone and I have the quiet house to myself and other times, it's in the car. I love the sounds of nature early in the morning, so before turning on the ignition (and have the radio blasting at the volume I left it at!), I have quiet time in the comfort of my car! I offer adoration, thanksgiving, praise, ask for forgiveness and prayer requests for the day.  But then......I'm off like Tony Romo wishes he could be.....Quick & Fast!

I know nobody else has had weeks, or even months, like this, but LIFE just tends to build up and up and up and before you know it the "S" word creeps in.  And, you can think you have everything under control, and don't get me wrong - I am NOT by any stretch of the imagination an 'everything has to be perfect' kind of girl.  In fact, I do like the uniqueness of the imperfections in life. But......S-T-R-E-S-S is a completely different ball game and it whacks you in the head like a 2x4.

If you keep up with my Facebook rants, posts and stuff, you probably saw that I recently found an old journal of poetry I wrote back in high school.  I won't go into the Taylor Swift Gold Mine that could be, and promise that should she ever reach out to me for those poetic words of love and heartbreak (over and over and over again - Bham!  Another 2x4 moment of Girl, what were you thinking?), I will change the names to protect the ?innocent?!

A-n-y-w-a-y.....It sparked the once creative words of rhyme and the power of putting meaningful words on paper.  Words that might just somehow get me through any difficult times, struggles and desires to use that 2x4 myself! 

Honestly, you'll never see some of them because they are from my heart and pull out my true feelings and quite frankly none of your business (said with the most sincere charm of a southern girl). However....this we can all somehow all identify with and if you don't.......give it a shot and you might just find the difference you've been looking for.........
I am a woman....I am human....I struggle....I doubt....I know right from wrong....I cry....I ugly cry (ladies you get that!)....I worry....but I also pray....and know where to go for the rebuilding of that strength when I'm at my weakest because I like to laugh.....I like to play....I like to be silly....I like to create....and I like to be ME!

Love you....mean it!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Be strong enough to hit the breaks, but patient enough to wait for the green light!

Do I dive in face first into that plate of no-bake cookies.....or do I put on the breaks and indulge into a cup of yogurt and fresh berries? (and....maybe sprinkle just a quarter of that no-bake on top?)

Do I press the accelerator to make it through the yellow light....or do I put on the breaks and enjoy the last bit of Tom Petty's American Girl on the radio? 

Do I continue to rush through Wal-Mart with my buggy on cruise control....or do I put on the breaks and help the aging man trying to reach the last bottle of Dr. Pepper on the top shelf?


It doesn't mean you've given up because you put on the breaks.  Just like it doesn't mean you are out of control when you floor it!

Someone not so near (dang-it!), but very dear, reminded me recently that God doesn't actually operate the gas/brake pedals for us.  Exactly!  What He does do is give us the ability to chose one over the other in ANY given situation.

Carrie Underwood so beautifully sings...Jesus Take The Wheel and yes, we are instructed not to worry....Let Go and Let God take control.  However, to do that we have to be equipped with that ability to choose. And, sometimes that involves an adventure, but it always require being in God's word too!

Allowing God to influence decisions doesn't mean we sit back and have a boring life.  Get out there and get the stink blown off ya!(Hope FloatsLet go of the thoughts you don't need anymore....Let go of what is holding you back....Let go and die your hair bright pink and paint your toes to match! You might actually be surprised what is planned for you.....Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act - Psalm37:7

Be strong enough to hit the breaks but also be patient enough to wait for the green light. Once you have the green light...........there are endless opportunities to laugh until you can't breathe, love until you think your heart might explode, dance in the rain and splash in the puddles!  

I do control the gas/break pedals and if you happen to see me at the stop light.....join in because there is always a concert in the Fusion!

And...thanks TVWIII for the words of inspiration! 

Love ya...mean it!

Monday, October 5, 2015

You Can Keep Your Curve Balls!

We made plans for a trip to the beach and started anticipating the enormous amount of laughter, fun and friendship to come. However.....

Life happens! Hurricanes happen!  Storms happen!

With the anticipation of a brewing storm, messages started flying in via my cell phone, Facebook, email and more.  I'll admit it now, but I was a little concerned, especially when the prediction turned saying that Hurricane Joaquin would be upgraded to category 4. I knew I still needed to go!

I needed to be drawn closer and being up close to God's magnificent ocean put in perspective just how small I am in the scheme of things - but yet, I'm still very special to Him.

Gayle took a picture of me holding on to a fire hydrant and I wasn't only holding on, but had to lean into it as well to keep from falling over.  The winds were crazy and blowing from every direction with gusts of 45 mph, while my feet were sinking in the wet sand! 

It was in that very moment, that I was reminded just how much I need Jesus in my life. I was still drenched.....sand was weighing me down....I didn't know what was coming up behind me....but I was anchored onto something I knew would not fail me.  And, because of that I was able to live and enjoy my life and enjoy that exact moment!  No fear....Salt air....beach hair and all!

Hurricane Joaquin-2015

I need to not only live in the moment, but cherish every single second with those I hold near and dear to my heart. Tomorrow is not promised and ...I don't want any regrets.  Even as hard as it was to say good-bye to Dad, I said 'I love you' both with words and actions and have no regrets.   

Death and struggles with health concerns seem to be all around. Friends and family battling cancer, dementia, disabilities and just heartache in general of what will or will not be. It's tough!  Really tough at times.

I learned that above all else, I need to guard my heart! EVERYTHING I do flows from my heart and I want each of you to know that I love you and look forward to what God has planned! 

I read a quote this weekend that said...What if tomorrow only gives you what you were thankful for today? 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A morning view that just might just be enough.....just enough!

Morning View....

One would think that a post about a morning view would consist of......the balcony of a hundred year old hotel in Tuscany.....a  beautiful sunrise peaking through the mountains of Virginia, better yet, a perfect view of the ocean from your little beach open and the white sheer curtains are blowing just enough.....j-u-s-t  e-n-o-u-g-h....and sharing a cup of coffee with ...your person.  It's all good!

And, as good as it sounds and as much as I'd like to be nestled into that beach bungalow, getting ready to soak in some rays......this is my morning view - and it's beautiful!
My view is usually from this beautiful glider and still mimics the perfect sway of being rocked by Papaw's foot.

Relocated recently from the front porch of Bob & Myrt - aka Nan & Pap, she has found a new home on my own front porch.

As you can easily spot, the cushions need replacing and honestly there isn't much cush left at all! Your tush has a place to sit, but not necessarily a comfortable place to sit. 

The safety pins are probably from the early 1970's having lost their once shiny silver sheen and now painted with rust. They've done their job and even though the fabric is slightly torn, they survived four grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren and when number six comes for a visit, he/she will rock on it to!  (T&B, I guess that means I can't replace the cushions until after Christmas!)

Love the matching seam binding used to decoratively tie up the cushions! 
With this morning view.....I nestle in with my cup of coffee, take in my surroundings and I think.....I worry.....I reflect......I wish.....I reflect some more.....and I pray.

I love my view and if I could, I pack it up and take it with me for a visit to the hotel balcony in Tuscany, cabin in the mountains of Virginia and o-h y-e-a-h....that bungalow at the beach!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Just another memorable Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

I had the pleasure of being surrounded by wonderful mothers on this bee-u-ti-ful Mother's Day! Mom, Joyce, Nannie and Kathy joined me (along with others) as we enjoyed burgers with all the fixins for our Mother's Day lunch!

As we were preparing for lunch, my nieces decided to put on two dresses that Nannie gave them.  Yes, they are made of the highest quality double-knit polyester and even though I offered them both $50 to wear this as their back-to-school outfit, they passed!  Nannie of course, told them they looked beautiful and Nan was right!

I asked Andrew to take some photographs and for about an hour, they posed using props, scenery and laughter to accomplish what turned out to be a pretty awesome afternoon!

Below are the fashionistas in their natural colors before I post the aged and retouched photos.
As you can see Bailey and Jenna already found my wooden flowers as their first prop and before taking the picture they asked, "How did they pose way back then?"
Aunt Robin, do you have an old purse? I have an old purse! Can we use this suitcase?  I just love their imaginations and laughed to tears as they told stories to match their photos!
Most of their stories revolved around 'waiting for their husbands to return from war' and I found this to be very touching since they've experienced the long anticipated wait of having their own father return home from war.  So sweet!

In the last two photos, Jenna was starting her journey to meet her husband and then turned to run back home when she realized he was home.....He's home! 

Of course, they were bellied over with laughter, but I just love their creativity and the story telling in between the laughs.  Little did they know, they were making their own memories today!

Of course, Andrew had to sport one of the props and be a part of the fun!
Family gatherings are supposed to be memorable.  Fun and memorable! 

Thanks to these three, we can chalk today up as a memorable event and I'm so thankful they were raised to always express their creativity and not be afraid to be yourself. 

I had more fun going through all 72 photos and at one point, laughing uncontrollably to tears! Reminiscing back to the fun Kathy, Cindy and I would have telling our own stories and then laughing to tears at ourselves (after charging 50 cents for the rest of family to experience the memory - haha).

Thank you Bailey, Jenna and Andrew for the opportunity to live through your story telling today......this beautiful Mother's Day!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Penny for Your Cornbread!

How many of you say this little rhyme before picking up a penny.....See a penny, pick it up...all day long you'll have good luck? 

I'd said it thousands of times until one day feeling completely overwhelmed and convinced that MY world was about to crumble like an overcooked piece of cornbread, I decided to wash my car. A mindless activity as long as you have the right music thumping from the speakers and the perfect temperature outside.... allowing those cornbread crumbs to temporarily disappear!

With the assistance of Motown and a little elbow grease, the car was spotless (Dad taught me well). With Armourall in one hand and a faded red shop rag in the other, I decided to tackle the interior too.

Compliments of Al Green, Jackson Five and a little CCR,  I was one drink cup holder away from being finished. All the loose change I'd conveniently dropped into this perfect space was now …....nasty! I scooped out all the coins and placed them in the bucket of car wash suds to let them hopefully clean themselves.

I fished out all the coins, mostly pennies and started rinsing them off. I kept seeing the same words over and over again......In God We Trust.......whether a new shiny penny or laced with sticky Diet Coke drippings.....they all had the same message.....In God We Trust!
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

How many pennies have I picked up, handed over, tossed into a fountain and ignored this message? On a penny for crying out loud and here I sit, trying to escape my crumbling life with an entire cup full of reminders.

This had nothing to do with luck, this had everything to do with God doing whatever was necessary to get my attention. I knew where I was falling short. Prayer! I believe in God and years ago put my trust in Him, but I'd allowed life's circumstances to take over and I found myself using every excuse imaginable to avoid prayer or quiet time.

Sitting right there on the concrete, eyes closed, sun shining bright and wearing my most unattractive car washing get-up, I had a long conversation with my Lord and wrapped it up with my own penny rhyme.......In God I trust....Faith, I must!

Skipping forward, I've never intentionally walked over a penny. I pick it up and remind myself that I have a God that I can go to and I must have faith in Him at all times, in every situation. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Why not take it one step further and pass that penny along? Pick up the penny and pray for someone. Someone at church, in line at the grocery store, the cashier at the grocery store, a co-worker, family member, spouse......there really are no limits on who we can pray for, or how often!

It doesn't have to be a long prayer. It can be as simple as “God, I lift this person up to you in prayer and ask that you will bless their lives in a mighty way. Be with them and I pray they will seek you in all they do. Amen. “

Following your prayer, give them the penny and share with them...“Today I found this penny and I prayed for you. As you can see, there is already a reminder there for us.....In God We Trust. Have faith, I must!”

You might be wondering about my cornbread! Well, I learned to use ALL the key ingredients and sometimes that includes the cast iron skillet that needs to bonk upside my head to get my attention! Life is good and so is the cornbread!

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