Ordinary Days

This past week our close nit community of North Florida was rocked to its core by the senseless death of two young men. Out to lunch while on duty, just a regular day on the job. For most people a regular day on the job is never life threatening. When they go anywhere, most people don’t worry about where they sit in the restaurant or how many people are there or think about the exits. For those who wear a uniform though a regular day on the job is always life threatening. The minute they made the decision in life to put on that uniform and accept that badge is the minute the definition of a regular day changed.

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Following the news and Sheriff Bobby Schultz unparalleled press released, everyone’s heart across this area was broken. On Friday most of us wore blue to honor the fallen and show love and support for the loved ones left behind. Most of us have probably sat around trying to figure out what on Earth went wrong and how could this happen in Little Ol’ Trenton?

Governor Matt Bevin has a video going around and I watched it recently. There is actually more than one. Of course he is being questioned about gun control. He corrects the other people in the discussion though and explains to them that it has nothing to do with guns. People have had guns since guns were invented. Twenty years ago people had guns in their vehicles at school and on them at school. It was no big deal. The problem is that the value of life no longer exist. We as a society do not value life. He went on to name some examples such as abortion, school shootings just because someone got turned down for prom, gang violence, video game violence along with music that has violent lyrics. 100 years ago people would have chopped off their arms to save a child’s life or to heal a loved one, they would have given anything to have the resources we have today. Our society as a whole has taken for granted the life, health, healing, vitality, freedom and in general all the wonderful things the last century has brought us.

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I’ve been watching Dr. Quinn recently along with some of the older western stuff, just something to listen to while folding clothes. Those small towns use to have to send off to big cities for a U. S. Marshall or a Judge anytime they had criminal problems. Or they had to advertise for a sheriff and hope someone with integrity and courage stepped up that wouldn’t turn into the town drunk or a tyrant. This is another thing we take for granted. In a matter of minutes I can have a deputy sheriff at my door steps if I need one. I don’t have to wait six months for one. So why has our society gone from begging for law enforcement, to killing them out right for no reason, just because.

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The next afternoon Jesse Clay was scrolling through his Facebook. He’s always showing me recipes or funny memes. So half the time when we are on the couch, or settling down for the night, I can’t look at my phone cause I’m looking at his. So while he is scrolling along, he pasted Taylor Lindsey’s girlfriend’s post. She had written a post for the most part I think just grieving and remembering, wanting to share some of who he was. I couldn’t read it, I got past the second or third line and turned away. I found something else to do. I could not sit there and read a letter/post I pray I will never have to write.

No he doesn’t where green, but he does wear a uniform. He does wear a badge. Bad guys with guns see a badge and a thin blue line. They see someone between them and their goal. I may be half a sleep when he leaves at 5:15 in the morning but I pray every time he walks out that door. I know that he may never come back. Anyone one who has a loved one, whether husband, wife, son, daughter, sister, brother, you know what I am talking about. You get a call that a riot is going down, or that an inmate has escape, or a chopper has been called or the ambulance is on the way to the prison or the Sheriff’s department, your heart drops out of your chest so fast you can’t breath. You feel like Dumbo’s mom just dropped kicked you into the next dimension. The asthma attack you are having isn’t over until you can talk to them. Then you can breath again. For a little while anyway.

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For all those out there who want to, as Sheriff Schultz puts it “demonize” law enforcement, take a good look around. Just because they are wearing normal clothes doesn’t mean anything. The minute they are in a crowd, they are what I call “switched on”. This means that they are very aware of their surroundings and everything going on. They don’t rest or relax. They have people to protect. The families of these willing to serve pay a high price as well. You try finding a vacation spot with not a lot of people, that still has a lot of fun stuff to do.

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There are those who have taken advantage of the badge, dragging it through the mud. There are 1,000 times more honorable men and women out there laying it down just so you can sleep a little better at night. Remember they are human, they have bad days, they have families that don’t always cooperate and sometimes wash red sweaters with their uniforms or put salt in the tea instead of sugar. This could potential make for a bad attitude for the day. That being said, take it into consideration the next time you see some one in a badge, they may not be serving their country the same way as those in our military, but they are serving us, right here at home, day in, day out, over worked, under paid, dealing with the loonies nobody else is willing to.

When all is said and done, after putting up with everything they do during the day, the nasty, the druggy, dirty, awfulness of it all, they come home to us. If we are lucky they make it home before supper time, if we aren’t lucky and they had to work overtime then at least they made it home.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of our fallen! My heart breaks for the sorrow you are feeling. The words I have can never heal your hearts. May you find the peace that surpasses all understanding, and may God’s Grace abound in your life!

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Roots

Last week was National Library week. As most of you know I work at the library. They took pictures the staff that work in the background and what we do in Cataloging, Technical Services and Administration. Most of the time when I tell someone I work at the Live Oak library, they tell me when they come in, they never see me. I  explain to them where I work, about all of the labels, barcodes and information found in our Card Catalog, is me. (and my friend/coworker/boss)

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You see just because you don’t see the work doesn’t mean it isn’t going on.

I was outside cleaning the yard with the boys a few weeks ago. Out past where they play there was a lot of underbrush. We are clearing that out for them to have a little bit more area to play. About a week later it rained pretty hard. The next day I went to walk out to my car, as I survey the yard I look down and seen little trees popping out of the ground. No more than an inch or two tall.  These little buggers were popping up right where I walk to my car. I sure enough didn’t plant them, nor do I want them growing in my walkway. But while I was out there working my behind off chopping down trees in the woods, these overachievers were hiding under the leaves that had fallen during the winter, just getting their growth on. That hard rain had washed the leaves away and now these little guys were getting all the sunshine they needed.

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But it’s only now that the leaves can do the work. You see the roots had to start. The Roots had to lead the way, planting a firm foundation. Where these little tikes are growing, is one of the hardest spots to grow in my yard. The rain runs down the main road, then runs down my dirt road and into my driveway then through my front yard past my house and into my backyard. As it goes through my front yard it runs under and around where my car is parked, that’s where it uncovered these spouts.

Water is one of the most powerful things on our planet and you wouldn’t think that an inch of water could do much damage. People have drowned in less. So these roots are not weak, they can hold their own they are firm in the foundation they are planted in.

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As a director, as a leader, as an employee, I have to know what foundation I’m rooted in. I have to know where my strength comes from. I also have to know that not everything that I do is going to be seen and heard. I don’t lead, direct, and work just so I can look good or feel good. I’m too tired for that. If it was up to me I’d be at home chilling on the couch. You see I’ve been given a second chance. I’ve been given a second chance at life through Grace. Which means my goal is to show everyone else I come into contact with what a second chance looks like.  As a parent, it’s my goal to teach my children that their life is not about them. We’re not here for us.

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We are born with instincts on how to get things for ourselves, wailing at the top of our lungs as babies, crying for everything that we want. It’s only as we grow and mature that we learn to serve others. Now I figure you’re probably thinking gosh this one’s getting serious, well maybe just a little bit. This is a serious subject for me. I know a couple of you reading this are laughing now, just because I wrote serious. FYI for those who don’t know this is an inside joke at church during announcements.

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Some leaders are born, some leaders are made, some leaders are shaped by the circumstances they grow up in, others have no choice in the matter because no one will step up to the plate. Those roots for those little bitty trees will grow and grow and grow and unless I do something about them they will be there a hundred years from now. Holding firm through hundreds of hurricanes, thousands of Florida storms, and some of the most blistering summers anyone could live through. They won’t stop growing,   pulling nutrients from the ground, won’t shrink and wither away, they will be there. They will be there underground, never seeing the light of day, leading the way for the tree above ground to live a full life. They will be there never fully appreciated for the beauty that they are, the strength that they provide, or given a second thought to as homes are made in the tree and later possibly out of the tree. (Trees are awesome by the way)

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(The Tree of Life in Olympic National Park Washington)
So if you’re going to be a leader, someone who makes a stand about something, or someone who speaks out trying to make a difference, know where your foundation is know what you’re rooted in. If you’re somebody who works behind the scenes never seen daylight like those roots, remember that it’s not always about the recognition. One of the things I like the most about working in the back is when I come out to the front, I see all those little ones over there in the kids section looking at books and figuring out what they want to take home, just generally enjoying themselves with what I have helped put on the shelf. They could really care less about who I am, I’m okay with that.

You see unless you dig up every piece of the roots of a tree gently and carefully almost archaeological style you’ll never really know just how far down it goes. Most of the time when land is being cleared the trees are just pushed over. We really don’t know how deep some roots go, we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes of every operation, sometimes all we see is the end result, the flowers, the acorns, the new growth, or a grand play being put on at church.

So the next time you start looking at something make sure you appreciate what’s going on behind the scenes. The next time you think about stepping up for a leadership position, or a directorship or getting a job, remember the sacrifice that are involved and what the true prize is. The time and effort you put into everything you do, that serves someone else will be more rewarding than you can ever imagine.

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Paying the Price

Everyone is different. No two people think about the same thing the same way. This makes every person unique. This in turn is what makes our world really awesome. If the people living here thought the same way about everything, nothing would change. The Industrial Revolution would have never taken place. The American revolution, the Roman Road, the Pyramids and any other great accomplishment by humanity you can think of would have never taken place, if everyone had the same train of thought.

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Let’s scale that down a bit. Marriage in my own words is like laundry, if you don’t wash it, clean it, freshen it up and keep it mended it will get stale, nasty, start growing mold and you will have to throw it away, like most people do today. Marriage is also like laundry in the fact that it is a never ending job, and spouses may not always agree on how it should be done. She says sort colors and fabrics, he says toss it all in on high heat! It still has to be done, everyone’s has to be done, and everyone needs to participate, otherwise the weight of the responsibility can crush the one person.

On both accounts, the big and small selfishness ( yes I know selfishness again) plays a big part. Why do people do what they do? Bigger question! Why do you do what you do?

This past week I let my selfishness get in the way of my priorities. I let my wants and what “I” thought was important get in the way of what truly mattered.

The after effect is that what truly mattered has taken a massive blow and I now have to take major steps to repair the damage I have done all because of selfishness. All because I couldn’t see past what I wanted. I couldn’t see the other person in this relationship and I let them down.

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We will be fine. We have a firm relationship that is grounded in the love of Jesus. That is the only thing that sustains us and will repair our hearts. The fact remains though that my focus on Jesus went wonky and I wasn’t the only one who paid for it, nor am I the one paying the most.

So before you start losing your focus on Jesus and chasing after this world and all it has for you, remember Jesus has all you ever need.

Psalms 5:3 I lay down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me.

Going along with what Charlie was preaching on today, Mark 16:4 the stone was rolled away. Why are we worried about the stone. It’s time to stop worrying about what’s stopping me from fixing things, He’s has taking care of the stones. Now it’s my turn to run with the message of love.

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Hard Love

I have an opinion. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be writing a blog. Today’s opinion is on spanking. Of these I have received many in my life. Countless in fact. Around the age of 11 or 12 is probably when I received my last one. I can’t really remember what it was for, I want to say it was for fighting with my brother, who’s four years my junior. I had a tendency to try and beat the crap out of him, he’s still a brat. I’ve been spanked with belts, coat hangers, fly swatters, peach tree limbs, fish board, flip flops, shoes, hands, anything in the nature of about 1 foot to 3 foot long and anywhere from 2 inches to 12 inches in diameter. If it could leave an impression on my behind it was used. I’ve been spanked by a few different people, for the most part there is only about four main people though that spank me. And I usually understood why I was getting the spanking I was getting, whether I thought it was deserved or not.

Looking back now as an adult, I probably deserved every one of them I got. With each spanking that I got I learn to respect authority just a little bit more. I learned that for every wrong thing that you do, there consequences to be paid. I also learned that even if you didn’t do the wrong thing, if you were with the person who was doing the wrong thing you could still pay the consequences for whatever was being done. Which as a teenager taught me who I should be hanging out with.

Am I the best version of myself I can be, no. At the moment that’s no one’s fault but my own. I figure after the age 21, that responsibility falls on my head. No one else is responsible for me but me. Not every kid has that parent. I remember growing up and not having the one parent who was as interested in developing my character into the best version it could be. So instead of the “Stepping Stones” I needed as a child I got a pretty good bit of stumbling blocks. I was blessed and had other family members step in and take up the slack. Not all of that slack was in the form of spankings, but some of it was. I can occasionally still feel the sting of a peach tree limb from my grandmother, after slamming the back door one to many times, it was not lesson wasted. Even now I remember not to slam my own door. Saves on the wear and tear and when I’m at someone else’s house I’m reminded to show respect to their things. That’s just one example. As a parent, now it’s not that I want to spank my children, but it is my responsibility to them as their parent to help them become the best version of themselves that they can be.

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I love my kids, my baby boys, my bouncing baby boys, are my heart! But most days talking just does not do the trick, especially when I tell them to do something, they don’t want to do. So whether it’s clean their room or pick up in the bathroom or stop hitting their brother, or quit running in the house, or “For the third time stop jumping on the couch because it ain’t a trampoline!”, talking and telling them has done me no good. I can take away their toys, I can put them in timeout, or I can separate them, but after it’s all said and done, they’re not going to listen. They will return to doing what they were the minute I turn my back. They’re going to push me as far as they can just to see how much they can get away with.

Some cases they want to see just how much control they have in the house. My oldest is a little more mild tempered, and the youngest has a little bit more respect for authority for now. It’s the middle one who pushes the boundaries the most, and usually knows where the fish board aka the paddle is located in the house. Some people would call him stubborn, others a Problem Child, some would say he’s mean or a bully, a lot of people just don’t know how to handle him, or what to do with him when he starts doing what he he does. In some circles he would be known as a strong-willed child, and there are people who would call that an attribute. Other parents would think he needs to be broke like a wild animal. Then you have those who think he needs to be honed into a leader or world dictator. When all I want is for him to stop jumping on the couch, running in and out of the house, and to shut the refrigerator door.

See there’s a fine line between disciplining your child with corporal punishment and abuse. For some kids corporal punishment is not necessary aka spanking. It’s just not required to keep them inline. One strong word from a parent and that’s all they need. Then you have the Robinator, combined with the Mynomite and a Jedi and somebody’s getting a spanking.

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After about two to three rounds with the fish board or nearest paddling apparatus, and my point usually makes it’s way past their eyeballs and settles in their little brains. This allows for them to realize that mommy is not playing and really does want them to stop. Sometimes it only takes one, sometimes if it’s something they really want and just have to do, it may take more persuasion.

Most of you reading this are probably thing, “Yeah, okay, we know this. We got our butts beat too!” I guess my question is what happen to the next generation? What happen to having to go pick out your own peach tree limb? Or go find the paddle? Why in blue hill are we seeing grown women being beat up by their 12 year old children? Then these people what us to ban guns? Your raising an entitled brat to send to school with my kid, and my kid is suppose to be tolerant and generous as well as understanding. Sure we understand, it’s called lazy parenting.

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(2 weeks of the flu at my house, air mattress in the living room trying not to succumb to cabin fever this past February!)

Parenting is not for the week at heart. It is not for those who can not finish a task or the weekend thrill seekers. You are taking on the responsibility of building the character, integrity, honesty, and decency of a human being! This is not a fish, or a plant! The children being born now will rule the world in 40 years. What kind of a world are you nurturing? Do you care enough to take the time to do it right? Are you willing to make the hard decisions, because you will be the only one who can, you are the parent!?

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Thank you for reading! Leave me a comment at the bottom, or suggest a subject! Ya’ll have a great week!

What’s it about!?

I’ve always found it hard to talk about Jesus with my family, or anything to do with my faith really. I suppose it’s not that I’m embarrassed about Jesus himself but that I don’t want to say the wrong thing to my family that would make them not like Jesus. Like that’s possible.

I can’t think for a second that I’m the first person to ever have these fears. In fact, in Mark 6:4 we find Jesus dealing with this exact thing, his family and their preconceived ideas of him. He had gone home to preach the message. These people, knowing who he was and where he had come from, heard the message but didn’t believe. They knew this kid, how could he know any of this stuff or have any authority to teach this.

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Similar to Jesus’ home town, we too, get blind to the truth before us. We know our bible, we know what it says, we go to church and all the functions involved with it. Our ears become dull after a time, and we become complacent, not really living the word just going through the motions. So when the Word is spoken new to us, in a different light, we don’t always accept it. I’m not saying that we just up and take everyone at their word who is preaching Jesus, always read your Bible and know what is says. I’m saying that we are created for relationships, with Jesus and the family he has given us. Not just the one we were born into but the church family we are received into as Born Again Christians. We are to gather with our families and worship.

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We have church every Sunday and Wednesday. We have classes and different subjects that we study, just for the purpose of understanding God’s word and really getting to know him better. I think though, sometimes we get lost in the trivial matters and the particulars, we forget that we aren’t meant to understand everything God does. Jesus’ hometown missed the message, the truth, the way, the light, all because they already knew who he was. The whole Bible is about Jesus, from cover to cover! Every study we do should lead us back to HIM! It’s ok to have a discussion on a matter of words and meanings of a particular passage, but in the end, people knowing the love of Jesus and his saving grace, his mercy, that’s what matters.

I’ve heard recently that some are tired and burnt out and weary. What if Jesus would have been too tired and burnt out to preach to 5000 and then feed them, or to weary to carry a cross to Calvary, what if he just didn’t have the patience to deal with other people. You know he didn’t at times, he would often go and pray by himself in quiet, seeking his father for renewing of his spirit. My main photo for this post is of a beautiful woman who touched many lives with her kindness, love and her occasional abrupt approach to matters. Similar to Jesus she didn’t beat around the bush she got right to the point. She also did it with love. She managed more than once to put me in my place while letting me know I was loved. Knowing that, I got a lot to learn. She never quit though, she was always going. If there was something going on to tell people about Jesus, this lady was first in line to sign up to help. What if she had gotten burnt our before Jesus called her home? How many of us would have missed out on, or not be as far along in our relationship with Jesus, if it wasn’t for her courage and faith to keep going?

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It’s not easy dealing with a world that’s not our home or the people in it honestly. So when you get to the lowest of low just call home. The problem with that, don’t wait till you’re that far down, that you can’t even get to your knees.

I started off talking about sharing Jesus with family because it’s something that I struggle with. There are some things Jesus tells us to do in the Bible where our friends and family are concerned that are not always the easiest. My point in all this, if you think no one has ever dealt with what you are dealing with and there isn’t anyone who can help you, you are dead wrong. You are short changing yourself, selling yourself short and not allowing God’s people to work in your life.

We as humans, as Christians are made for relationships, the key to all that is making and developing the right ones. Starting with Jesus!

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Awkward

From day one I’ve been that girl. The girl who always says the wrong thing at the wrong time. The one who is facetious not realizing it, trying to be funny, when in reality a complete epic fail. When trying to deliver a punchline for a joke there are no laughs, just a complete awkward silence …… I am that girl.

As hard as I have tried most of my life to be cool, to be with the “In Crowd,” I never ever manage to reach that status. I’m sure many of you will agree with me it’s not easy being me. Some days it can be fun though. The tough part , was learning to laugh at myself. The hardest part, was learning to own my awkwardness.

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Being that girl with mad ninja skills who can attack the concrete sidewalk like nobody’s business, and still be able to roll over and laugh, that’s takes courage. We’re talking about a girl the age of 31, who still manages to run into couches, crash into desks, bump into door frames, fall out of cars, trip into her car, fall up the door steps, somehow manages to trip over her own children without managing to crush them, and thankfully praise the Lord has not slipped in the shower yet. Although we know the day is coming.

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So while I struggle with the daily battle of not going to the ER, I remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I’ve learned to slow down and take my time. It took me a little while to realize that one of the reasons I was being injured so much was because I was always in a hurry.

You see the awkwardness isn’t just physical but mental. So not only have I had to learn how to slow down my physical moves but my mental moves. The Lord blessed me with a wonderful brain, that moves at light speed. This is a wonderful thing when your doing math or typing a verso from the inside cover of a book but it can make for a horrible listener, and a terrible conversationalist. I can regurgitate useless information and trivia facts and all kinds of history stuff but nobody really cares about.

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One of the struggles that I have though is actually sitting and listening to someone talk to me for a period of time. Unfortunately after 45 seconds to a minute my brain will literally run off in about 5 different directions. Within a five minute conversation, we’ve only been talking about the one thing, but my brain has scheduled doctor’s appointments, pick my kids up from daycare, plan supper for the rest of the week, thought about the subject of my next blog post, and trying to figure out what it was my husband season the potatoes with last night.

All this happens while I’m standing there staring at you while you talk to me. It takes a lot of concentration to talk to people. Did I mention I’m awkward. So it’s not really that I don’t know how to respond by the end of the conversation or that I don’t want to respond, I may not know exactly what we were talking about, and I may be taking a few minutes to remember what the conversation was about, beings as I’ve currently been on an Oregon Trail in my brain.

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My previous post was on selfishness. For the most part people are selfish. Unfortunately when I talk to people I can be a little selfish I do attempt and try to ask people about themselves and engage them in conversation, but unfortunately when they ask me about myself and I start talking about myself, I don’t usually shut up. It’s pretty much all about me from there.

This past October my husband was ordained as a deacon in our church. This, for me and our family is a great honor. Not just among our peers but from Christ Himself. He has chosen our family to be something special. For an awkward girl, well that’s a dream come true.

The thing is most people take their deacons and their families and they set them up on a pedestal. Thinking that these people and their families are without blemish or falter you know they can’t do any wrong. When in reality, they’re still the redeemed saved by grace, sinner they were before they were ordained. They still struggle with the same issues as everyone else. The daily battles, the drama, raising a family, work chaos, and everyday hurricane of life.

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So even though Jesus and my peers have chosen my family and myself to be a leader among you, I still am and will always be that awkward girl who can manage to bring about a span of one minute worth silence after the punchline of a joke.

The point to all this, as I’m sure you’re asking, is that myself, nor my husband or any other leader in our church, or anywhere, in any organization, should be how you measure your character your integrity, your honesty, or your faith. But Jesus Himself is who we should all be striving for, in trying to mirror our actions towards one another in love and our faith for our heavenly father.

So no matter how awkward, selfish, talkative, medicated, scatterbrained, unorganized, liberal, perfectionist or any other label you want to add to the list. ]Know this, Psalms 139:14 says “I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.” You are just as He made you. Own it, and use those gifts to glorify Him. The body of Christ has many parts, they all have different jobs. So stop comparing the eyes to the toes. They can’t do the same job.

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Selfie

If I were to write a book it would be a book about me. I’m a selfish person. Most people are. I like to talk about myself and my issues and how I deal with them, whether good or bad. I talk a lot too. Selfishness comes naturally to most. Today it comes much easier. It’s in our every day language, and we haven’t even batted our eye’s at it. Just rolled with it
Like we do most things, why cause we’re selfish

Rolled all up in what we have going on not worried about the world around us or how it’s changing or what’s effecting it’s change. Nope if it’s not within arms length, on our current apps or going to pay us with in the next two weeks we don’t care about it!

I say we, I mean me. I’m talking to me, but if this sounds like you then by all means read on.

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Even something like this, a blog. This gives everyone who thinks their opinion matters a chance to put that opinion out there. When back 100 years ago, if you didn’t work at a newspaper or weren’t in politics your opinion didn’t matter. To be honest if you weren’t of the right sexual orientation, race, or wealth status you didn’t exist except to bow down to the mighty. Now because of the keyboard, which can be accessed anywhere and comes in all different sizes, everyone thinks their opinion is “the opinion” and should be heard.

Now don’t get me wrong some people do have brains and can make a difference, and with enough hard work and effort put forth, if they get their idea to enough people who agree with them, then off they go. What’s sad, is this butt hurt society of whiny, lazy, sorry people, who don’t even try. They think, because they have an opinion, it should matter. Because they open their mouth, or type a few words, they have the solution, and should be heard.

The question is why should the rest of the world listen to anything you have to say. Why should a world of people who are wrapped up in themselves and their looks, their material things, their belongings, their status quo, their community standing, why should they give two dimes about what you or I have to say about anything. What makes what you say worth hearing.

Those are the questions that need to be answered before you start whining about no one listening to you. Have you proven yourself a person of character who cares about what everyone else has to say as well or are you only speaking to hear yourself talk.

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See we strike a nerve there. Most of your “keyboard warriors” will never be anything more than trolls. Scrolling through every posted issue on social media and news platform available leaving their scrawl dribble behind, thinking they have done their deeds for the day, they have contributed to society.

This is like tithing $2 a week when you make $40,000 a year. Yeah you really did your part, kinda like pissing on a forest fire. Sure you helped out, but was it the right thing, and could you have done more.

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Y’all probably think, “does she have a point to this?” I do.

Everything we do even as Christians, and I’m calling myself out, cause I’m just as bad and I need to step up, and get it together, revolves around ourselves. I titled this post “Selfie”, because this is who we have become. We are so far gone, we are drowning and we can’t see past our cuteness enough to know we are killing ourselves. Y’all are probably thinking “oh its not that bad!” Really,? Tell that the the recently dead under the age of 40, 30, 20, 15, 13, 10, 7. How many of them have died because we mattered more to ourselves as a society.

I’m not here for me. This thing called life, it ain’t about me. Something I’m trying to teach my boys, it ain’t all about them. We are here for others. Our selfishness gets in the way of so much that we could be doing together.

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Money isn’t the root of all evil. The love of money is, that is selfishness. We want that money so we can get the things we want, for us, to make our lives better. To what end, I ask You? Why?

Your answer will be, so we can have a nice house and a nice place to live and a roof over our heads and a nice car, nice clothes, and of course we need all this stuff in our house to make the day go round. Yeah so we can look good. That’s selfishness!

But I ask again, to what purpose? Who in a hundred years is going to still be taking care of any of this junk? Jesus could come back tomorrow and it would all be for naught. Most of the things in your houses will be rusted, dry rotted or garbage by then.

We fill our selfish lives with all this junk thinking it is going to make us happy. We keep piling it up. Birthday parties you get more junk, Christmas means more presents, weddings, house warnings, and this list goes on, and the crap/junk/stuff you think you have to have piles up. Give me, give me, give me!

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You’ve gained the whole world, and lost yourself, amongst a pile of nothing, all because you have placed value on something that was never there. When in this world did we start putting so much value on material things? Following that when did we lower the value of our fellow man? When did we start thinking so highly of ourselves? How does a world in this galaxy come to find itself full of overbearing, self conceited, dumb people?

We think so highly of ourselves, but if you watch one of those YouTube videos where the guy goes around asking people what Memorial Day is about vs Veteran’s Day vs Labor Day, well their answers will confirm my observations above. We think way to highly of ourselves.

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The selfie, began when a painter practiced painting himself. During the 1800s when cameras were being improved a few selfies were taken. In 2013, the word selfie had become common language and was added to the dictionary later that year. On average there are around 1 million selfies taken and posted. This doesn’t include your really narcissistic posters who will post 4-6 pictures of themselves on one post. A little history and statistics for you.

God made us in his image, and we are beautiful! “I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul know it well.” Psalms 139:14 Seeking to glorify ourselves here we find our reward. If that is all you seek then you have gained the world, but have lost a greater prize.

It’s okay to take selfies. It’s not okay to let the love of yourself or any other idol get in the way of your relationship, faith and purpose here.

Don’t know what that is, ask? He always answers!

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I’m not here for me. The love I have in my heart for the people of this world is not my own. I could not love these people by myself, nor ask anyone else to. I know I’m not worth of the redemption I have received and yet grace abounds in me. My joy, peace and hope come from a love that is born from a sacrifice of the greatest mercy we will ever know, or have a chance to accept!
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:7-9

Selfishness does not have to be a way of life. There is a right way to live, a right way to think and a right way to treat others. Its starts with your heart, your home and with your family.

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Walking

Gearing up to walk.

First off there is no way to gear up to walk. You don’t work yourself up to it, you don’t get yourself in shape for it, you don’t get help to go, you don’t eat right for it, you don’t really get your mind right for it. You literally just get up and walk. Now for some that’s very simple. Well some of it is, the concept at least.

But to others it’s not. The exercise of walking is a daunting task. It requires preparation, the right clothes, the right music, the right setting, the right equipment, and of course you have to have someone to go with. Taking all that into account walking becomes so much more than it really is. You really have taken a molehill and turned it into Mount Everest.

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Now if you’re a toddler, and you’ve been crawling, your next instinct is going to be to walk. You’re not really going to think about it, or contemplate what equipment you’re going to need or clothes you’re going to need, probably not going to have any clothes on, honestly. When your fancy strikes you’re going to grab ahold of that table, you’re going to pull yourself up and you’re going to walk. You’re going to put one foot in front of the other and you’re going to move!

The joy and Elation that you feel as you move forward will be nothing like you’ve ever felt before. All at once you’ll realize this is where you were headed all along. Nothing holding you back, nothing dragging you down no one telling you to stop, everyone is encouraging you,”Yay go you!”

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For the next 20 years when you get up and walk for the most part nothing will slow you down. You will be encouraged to move as fast as you can, unless it’s running in your mother’s living room. If that’s your location to move as fast as you can, you can expect the beating of your life, especially if that’s the third time she’s told you to quit running in the house.

Following that walking becomes a chore. Walking become something not as joyful, it comes attached with so much more than just moving forward. For most, it becomes associated with requirements that no one wants to deal with. For others it becomes associated with cliches lines of “Do I have to?”, “Well you should, if you want to live past 40.” Walking becomes a daunting task of exercising and keeping in shape for anyone past the age of 30 it becomes a requirement of staying healthy as our body start to fail us. Most of us will never have enough time to get in the required amount of walking in a day or week or month, prescribed by our doctors to keep us healthy. We will never meet the standard requirement of exercising, whether it be cardio, weights or calorie burning.

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But there are those who dedicated their life to trying to help others who will never ever meet those standards. They’ve written books, upon books, upon books, about how to walk. Our library is full of them! How to get up and move. What equipment you need what music you need, where’s the best place to walk what kind of terrain to get the best out of each step, the most out of each move.

When in all reality, if you think about it, if you have time to sit and read that book you have time to get up and put one foot in front of the other, step outside your door and move. No special equipment required, no special music required. The terrain that He has laid before you is good enough, the shoes on your feet will work just fine if you’re an adult then you’re wearing clothes, we hope. If the birds are singing then you have music, and you have everything that you need for a well-needed walk.

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Jan 11, 2018

I’m nauseous at the thought of turning 31. And am I starting my third decade or am I in the second year of my third decade. But holy crap this isn’t the third decade is it the end of third decade. I’m actually beginning the 4th.

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Yay I can do math. My husband will be proud of me at 7:39 in the morning. And my brain is racing trying to think about all the things that I need to be doing. The things that I haven’t gotten done. As of 11 days ago, because as we all know my birthday is the 11th January. So I don’t have New Year’s resolutions I have birthday resolutions. Not many people can say that. Not many people can say “I want to go on a diet on my birthday!” and then eat cake that night.

But if I was nauseous at starting my third decade I’m really sick to my stomach thinking beginning my fourth. And I doubt many people actually think of their life in decades. For example this summer Jesse Clay and I will end our first decade. And when I was 25 I thought of myself as two and a half decades. I guess you could say I do math little bit differently than everyone else.

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So really I’m not beginning my third decade I’m actually ending my third and ask with most endings of something there’s usually a beginning of something. So letting that sink in for a moment how do I want this ending to begin.

P.S. I wrote this one on my birthday, and have wrote a few others since then. Happy Beginnings!

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You need a ride. Whether across town, across the parking lot or you’re just going to lunch with your friends. Better yet it’s your car, you’re doing the driving, you’re the one giving the lift, either way the front passenger side floorboard is full of garbage. We’re talking half way up to your knees. From junk mail, soda cans, leftover fast food, you even have a grocery bag full of garbage where you attempted to clean the car out, and then didn’t finish. There’s a few candy wrappers thrown in there, you might even find your good pen down there. If you could think of the one thing you’ve been looking for all week long that you can’t find, it’s probably in that front floorboard.

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But you haven’t had time to clean it out, between the morning rush, the afternoon rush, the weekend hurry, the lunch busy, the Sunday sleep, and in between clocking in and out at work, the front floorboard of your truck just hasn’t been at the top of your to-do list.

Think about all that garbage, like sin, each little piece represents a sin in your life and as it builds up and built up, we leave it there and we don’t do anything about it. When people climb into our space and into the area of our lives, they have to climb over that sin to get to the real us. You wouldn’t think that they have to deal with that but they do. Because you see if we’re the ones driving our life, then they’re the ones that are riding, catching all the junk we throw over there. They’re the ones that are having to shove their feet knee deep into our sin just to have something to do with us, knee deep into our mess because they love us, and if the people that love us are willing to do that, shouldn’t we be willing to deal with our sin.

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First off you got to admit that you got a floorboard full of junk. You need to admit that you got problems. Everyone has problems. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23. Everybody has garbage in the truck, unless it’s just been detailed, and even then you got that little paper thing in the driver side covering the mat, and that’s automatically garbage. So it doesn’t matter how clean you think your truck is you’re always going to have garbage.

But every time you get out of your truck, take a little bit of that garbage as you go. Throw it away. Ask for forgiveness, that’s all you have to do and your sins are washed away. They are as far as the East is from the West, from you. Will we have more garbage? Yeah, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay there, that doesn’t mean your loved ones and your friends and your children and your spouse have to trip over it.

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Romans 3:24 goes on to say, we are justified freely by grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. There are some key words there. The first is free or freely if you want to get technical. The other word there is Grace, which if your floorboard looks like mine right now I need a lot of. Then Redemption, we all need to be redeemed, and the only way we can be redeemed is through Jesus Christ.

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Passenger Floorboards