Into the Wilderness

Tomorrow is Turkey Day! Woot Woot! Most of us are going to be leaving the belts at home, if we are traveling to see family, choosing to wear our tights, for their forgiving nature, and forgoing the diets we have subjected ourselves to for the last month in preparation for this coming event!!  A lot of my social media friends have been doing the “Daily Thankful Post” for November, each day they post about something different that they are thankful for. At our November Women On Mission meeting we talked about different ways to list things to be thankful for. If you are having a hard time of coming up with things,  for example just start with the ABC’s, A is for Acute, my husband is thankful for my Acute sense of smell, I’m his “go to” for checking leftovers, to see if they are good enough to eat!!

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Most people find that they have so much to be thankful for. It really is a form of counting your blessings. “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done!” You know you sang that. Seriously, it is something that should be done regularly. We forget a lot of times about the small things that God has done for us. We become complacent in our everyday lives and in today’s fast pace world we just want the next big thing, because nothing is ever good enough. We are not content with what we have.

I seen a video this morning and shared it. It that explained how today’s relationships and marriages are failing because social media has made fairy tales seem like they should be a reality. So, people are expecting something that does not exist, and when the real thing shows up and requires them to actually put in some effort and work they throw it away as fast as they can and go looking for what the world has told them they should have. That was a side note, but important, be thankful for where you are whether single or married. Grow where you are, if you want different, pray for God’s will which is always perfect and for the best!

That being said, I have been trying to find my way, and here lately it seems that every devotion or study that I do has to do with God’s love and his people. Imagine that. By the way,  that’s what the Bible is about, how much God loves us. Specifically though, what I have discovered is where He meets us, or you could say guess “shows up”. This intrigued me, so I hope you follow along.

Abraham was not a city dwelling man for the most part. He did occasional stay in one, for example his time in Egypt, but that didn’t last long. As you read about his life though and the different times that he spoke with God it was always in the dessert or wilderness.

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Later we see Jacob on his return home to meet Esau, he sends everyone ahead and is left alone for the night. In the wilderness, by himself he wrestled with God. Don’t know about ya’ll but I have had plenty of late night arguments with Jesus, I never win.

Moses met God in the wilderness as well. All by his lonesome. That still gives me pause. Not sure how I would react if I was alone and came across a burning bush, that talked no less. He would later lead the Israelites back to that same wilderness and it would take two generations for them to finally trust that God would deliver them to the land flowing with milk and honey. Praying it doesn’t take me that long to trust him to follow through on his promises. I’m hoping I can learn from their mistakes. Food for that right there.

Persia, was a different kind of wilderness though. Persia was a land without God. When Jerusalem was sacked and the people taken captive, it was a new kind of wilderness. This was a land barren of anything familiar and yet it was teeming with people, idols and distractions. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah(AKA Shadrach Meshach and Abednego) had their challenges but they were not afraid. Their faith in God was strong and was proven in everything that they did. God was faithful to them and He met them in their “dessert time”. He didn’t show up when they were taking care of business, or when things were just fine. He showed up when He was needed and at just the right time. If you notice though He didn’t remove Daniel from the den. The coolest part I think, pun intended, He joined the other three in the fire. He didn’t remove them from the fire.

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Reading back through Genesis, He never removed the Israelites from the desert, He join them there and lead them out. He didn’t just “POOF” and BAM here you go. He could have, make no mistake about it, but he didn’t. Taking all that in to consideration, the fact that He never changes, that He is a Just God, and then reading in Corinthians 13 all the things that Love is, while you are at it, if you go over to 1 John 4, you will find that God is Love, not that Love is God, but that God is Love and you will not find it once, but twice in the same chapter, the wilderness is painted in a different light. (Sorry for the run on sentence if Mrs. Wisdahl or Mrs. Gresham see this they may hunt me down!)

I’ve been in my own wilderness for a long time. A wilderness of my own making. My problem is that I haven’t been willing to just stay there. I’ve been trying to get out. Not realizing the blessings, lessons, and mercy that can be found there. Allowing my pride and the world to tell me I need more that the quiet, the peace that can be found here. That I  need to be moving, going, doing, seeing and saying. When in reality, “Be Still and Know That I AM God” is really where my direction should be.

This Thanksgiving I am truly thankful for my wilderness and the growing up that I have done here. I had a few minutes to myself this morning (because I have awesome in-laws who kept my kids last night, whom I am also thankful for) and realized just how far I have come in the last 10 years. Even though it is a dessert where I am, my wilderness has produced more fruit in me than I thought possible, due to no fault of my own. The realization is that while in the wilderness there is nothing and no one but you and Him, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”

Later on if He chooses to lead me out of this wilderness, I hope I can remember how to get back, if for no other reason than to help keep me grounded and focused on Him!

Happy Thanksgiving from this SONflower and her 4 men. I hope you all have a great holiday and may The Son shine on you, in you and from you, so that you light up the world around you!!

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The Buddy System

Good Morning Everyone,

As I was in the middle of the morning rush this morning, I witnessed the buddy system in action. You know that thing you are taught as a kid. Find your partner in the group hold hands and don’t let go, that way no one gets lost. Usually it was on a field trip with a school class or church group. If there was one kid left out no one wanted to pair up with, that poor sap got the teacher as their buddy, cause that was the highlight of the trip right. For kids this system worked well for field trips, if we started lagging one of us would notice and catch us up.  The reason for the system was safety though, correct. Now a days I think we have more chaperones and less time for the buddy system to even be used for kids, but for some of us who remember using it, it still applies to different areas of our lives, as referenced above. Curious?

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(I know Police is spelled in Bosnian, but the picture was what I was going for. Two brothers in uniform facing the unknown.)

Everyone has a phone these days, and I mean everyone. If you don’t you are born yesterday(no joke) or off grid. Even in prison where they aren’t suppose to have them, they get snuck in. So everything gets recorded. People with cell phones and opinions who get stopped for a traffic violation have been one of the biggest entertainments to hit Facebook. Of course everyone has an opinion whether or not they, themselves are guilty or how the stop should have gone and this and that. A lot of time the main issue is why do so many cops have to stop for one vehicle? Why did he have to call for back up?

Great questions! Back to my morning drive as I was pulling in to my work which is right next to a school zone, on the third day of school, two LEOs had someone stopped. My first question “Is this person nuts?” My second question as any normal civilian is thinking “Why two?” Well duh, my first question answered by second question. Those smart LEOs had already figured that out and were not going over there without a buddy. Makes sense right, what kind of idiot speeds through a school zone with 3 cop cars and a state trooper sitting right there. Buddy up time. Same goes in any situation. These guys are not mind readers they don’t know you from Adam’s house cat, and they sure enough don’t know what you have in your car. Their goal is to keep us safe while we are on the road, while making sure we follow the rules, and also make it home to their loved ones at the end of the day. If that requires having two or three extra buddies for back up as a safety measure then so be it.

Now some of you are thinking “Oh yeah more of them to gang up on me!” Ok if you have that mentality going into an encounter with a LEO, I’m still backing the LEO. Before you even know anything about them or their integrity as an officer you are already judging them.” Well they judged me!” Pretty sure they just stopped you because you were breaking the law. They didn’t have to judge anything. They are doing their jobs. Which we as hard working Americans pay them to do. If you don’t want them to have to do their job, don’t break the law.

That part was free as Gdaddy says.

Now back to another instance of where the buddy system that was ingrained in us as kids is utilized in our adult lives. There’s a couple actually. One we have been hitting on lately in Sunday School is an accountability partner, or best friend. When I say “best friend”, you are thinking of that person you share funny stuff with on Facebook or complain to about your spouse. An accountability partner is way more in the way of a best friend than the high school definition of best friend, than all of you are thinking.

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This is a person who is going to call you on your crap. You see your best friend from high school is too nice for that. They aren’t going to tell you, that you are messing up because they don’t want to make you mad or upset you, thinking that they might loose your friendship and then be alone. A bit selfish if you ask me. An AP on the other hand isn’t out for their on self interest. Their job is what their name states, to hold you accountable. You start doing stupid stuff, they are going to talk to you about it, not just sit idly by and watch you tear you life apart. You can return the favor to this person as well, it’s a two way street.

Our last example of the buddy system is our spouse. The person who at the end of the day makes all the bad stuff disappear with a hug and a listening ear. One thing I have come to realize about this particular relationship is that there should always be three buds. You, them and Jesus, but in the opposite order. This relationship does not require anyone else. If you have a communication malfunction, it stays within the three of you. I have watch as countless marriages have been ripped apart, because one or both spouses took their problems outside of their marriage to solve them. This allows for outside opinions to cloud your judgement on a situation, that those outsiders don’t know all sides to the story. This allows for doubt, conjecture and biased opinions to form about you spouse. KISS it people, “Keep it simple stupid”, as in 1, 2, 3, Jesus, them and you. That is all it takes.

JC and I don’t always agree, in fact we disagree on a lot of things, and we argue and fight. That being said, the issues stay between us. The only way people know me and him are having disagreement, well apparently my face is a dead ringer for my emotions. It may take some time for me to articulate exactly what I want to say with out it coming out of my mouth wrong, but we always get it figured out. I am not always right and neither is he. That’s how a relationship works, its a give and take. Most of us forget about that one small word though, GIVE. As I have said before, we are selfish people, I am among the most selfish, so I have to work at that “Giving” side of the relationship a bit more than some.

(This was right after a skating trip, where his head had come in contact with the hard floor and we took a trip to the ER cause I’m a worry wart, and he knew it would make me happy even though he didn’t want to go!)

The buddy system is to some, a relic best left in elementary school. For the rest of us, it is something that was unknowingly ingrained in us as kids, and we us it to this day. Buddies are important and necessary for us to continue staying safe, keeping our integrity, and growing in our marriage. Make sure you got your buddies back, and that they don’t get lost or left. And the next time you get pulled over, remember that officer has a family that wants him to come home, as does every family who sacrifices a loved one to a life in uniform.

 

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Thanks for reading! Make sure you hit the Like button, if you liked it, and don’t forget to share, someone may need reminding of the buddies system!

Ya’ll have a great week!

It’s messy ladies!

My last post was a “Song for the broken”, something that for the most part speaks to each of us in some way or another at some point in our lives. I wonder though how many of us feel like because we live in a mess that we are wrong or we are not living. Please don’t take that statement the wrong way, let me explain.

If you have ever watched the show “Hoarders”, you need therapy and that is not the kind of mess I am talking about. If your mess is tearing apart other peoples lives and up heaving marriages and ending the foundation of families then no that is not the kind of mess I’m referring too.

Most days I think I’ll never survive. I wake up tired. I’m 31, that shouldn’t happen. Half the time I forget half the stuff I’m suppose to be doing, I have at least 15 alarms on my phone for various things. A calendar on said phone, color coded and loaded with more activities and bill due dates than one sane person can keep up with. There is also my notebook, my handy dandy notebook, you know you said that in the blues clues sing song voice, which is also packed full of passwords that I can’t remember for websites I had to register for, for what ever reason, along with confirmation numbers from bill’s paid over the phone, contact numbers for those bills, along with the rest of my brain I decided not to put in my phone. The reason being, because I’m weird that way!

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I have a job I love and my Monday morning as weird as it sounds I can’t wait to get to work, even though it’s a Monday, by Friday I’m ready for the weekend. While at work though, holy smokes at the responsibilities a job entails on top of everything else I already do as a me, that’s not counting my work stuff. I haven’t even hit my wife, mom and church responsibilities.

Half the time I have my oldest son who thinks he has to remind me that he has to have this for that, or that for this. I’m like “Dude I’m known as “Mom” I got this! I know what I’m doing!” He has faith in me I know, I just think he sees what I do and feels the need to help, he’s an awesome kid like that!

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All of this is going on though. This is a snippet of my life, a small glance in to how it all goes or doesn’t. A lot of times it gets messy, because I’m not perfect, I cant keep it all straight, I can’t make every school function, doctor’s appointment, or church function. I forget to sign papers or send money to school or call in a prescription. I forget to give my kid his antibiotics and we have to extend how long we give it or go back and get another round. I get lost in time playing with my kids and forget to cook supper. Yeah I’m that mom. Thank the Lord for a husband who knows how to cook and loves Legos.

It’s a great big mess yall! I would not, could not survive with out the mercy and grace of Jesus. I don’t know how many times I’ve just been driving along, turned a corner or had someone pull out in front of me and realized the only reason I was still alive was cause Jesus loves me. I can’t see through my mess, it’s gnarly knot at a time. Guess what though, He is right there beside me, holding the flashlight telling me which rope to pull and push, my decision is to listen or not. I could just stay right there, in the dark, turn off that light and sit there.

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Or open my ears, let my hands be guided, my eyes be opened and have some help with my mess. Just so yall know, I make a

decision daily to accept the light, the guidance, the sight I wouldn’t otherwise have. I refuse to let my mess get overwhelming and unmanageable. To me it’s the only way.

Give Him the flashlight, and get working on your mess, you’ll feel a whole lot better.

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A Song for the Broken

“Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I’m a mess and so are you
We’ve built walls nobody can get through”

So I hope everyone had a great summer. I know it’s been awhile, I’m trying to get back in the swing of things. Schools in session, footballs in season, pumpkins are almost in fashion, and of course life is always happening.

Some of you may recognize my opening lines as lyrics from a song. A song which speaks volumes to me personally and to our world in general. Most of us don’t really like to lay ourselves bare. In fact we don’t like to let anyone realize that we have weaknesses at all. Not realizing that it’s our vulnerabilities that connect us. You see it’s through our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses and our shortcomings that His strength comes in and makes us whole. When we build up those walls that no one can get through, we create a fortress around ourselves and we shut ourselves off from relationships that we need. If you’ve been around me lately something that I’ve been talking about is relationships, we were made for relationships.

We were created for relationships. By the way in case you haven’t noticed that’s a really big buzzword these days. We are not meant to spend our life alone. We’re not meant to journey this life or walk this walk by ourselves we’re not meant to carry these burdens, or complete these tasks by ourselves.

A mistake that’s often made is when someone makes a mistake they get ostracized. What we forget is that we make mistakes ourselves and we don’t like to be an outcast. We don’t like to be the odd man out. Nobody likes to be left outside the bomb fire circle. Nobody likes to be the one who doesn’t get picked for the game. A lot of times this happens because someone made a mistake and then no one wants anything to do with them because they themselves have forgotten that they made that mistake not too long ago. Beings as their mistake wasn’t the most recent though it’s been forgotten and isn’t the most recent news, or the “Hot Topic” so it’s been forgotten about, dust under the rug.

I think one of the things I love most about the song, it says “bring your brokenness and I’ll bring mine.” We all have brokenness, we all have issues, we all have problems, everyone has their own demons that they’re dealing with, we’ve all got our own drama, it’s not just a centralized thing, it’s not just in one location. It’s everywhere it’s in everyone’s lives and we all deal with it.small_1a2090f9fd360b58fb4f10ad

What we forget though is when we see someone’s life going so great, we don’t see all the details, we don’t see everything going on. We may see them once or twice a week and what we see is that their life is going great and they’ve got everything together and all their ducks in the same pond and even in a row, what could possibly be going wrong. When the truth of the matter is that they’ve got so much going on, so many things that they’re dealing with, they’ve just put on a happy face because they’ve got to be strong for someone else in their life. They’re a Sunday school teacher, they’re a life group teacher, they’re an Awana teacher, and they’ve got students who are depending on them to come in and teach the Word of God, not bring in their baggage from the week and drop it on these kids.

So we want to pick and pull apart people around us and judge them for the things they do and say, have we genuinely walked up to them and ask them how are you doing, is there anything I can help you with, do you need to talk can I pray for you? In Sunday school this week something was brought to our attention. Everything we do, we do in love, because He loves us. We don’t have the right to not love anyone else. We know what we come from, we know what we’ve been saved from. Why would we subject anyone else to that drudgery, to the degradation of that past attitude. Yet on a weekly basis we continue as we always have. A biased opinion on what we think is and is not happening around us instead of actually investigating for ourselves and talking to people face-to-face. Which goes back to relationships, which require face-to-face interaction.

“For-where-two-or-three-are-gathered-together-in-My-name-I-am-there-in-the-midst-of-them.”-Matthew-18-20

This truly is a really great song and if you have time I encourage you to listen to it and think about someone you may have hurt with your actions. Someone you may have to take by the hand and walk to the altar with and pray with. Someone you may need to ask forgiveness of. Or a friend who’s just hurting and needs comfort.

The rest of the song,

“Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do

Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re honest

Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not
Living life afraid of getting caught
There is freedom found when we lay our secrets down at the cross, at the cross

So bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re hones

It would change our lives
It would set us free
It’s what we need to be

So bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest
If we’re honest
If we’re honest”

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Waiting, Worn, Worth

For someone with ADHD it’s not easy to just sit idly by and watch things happen. You may think that I sit here quietly and that I’m all at peace, when in reality my mind is three dimensions over and in a whole different universe. I told you before that I can be staring you in the face while you’re talking to me and I’m a week ahead of you. So you can just imagine the problem I have with waiting around. Waiting is just not my speed. Something I’ve come to realize though is that waiting is not slow, especially if you’re waiting on the God of the universe, especially when you’re waiting on Jesus to make a move in your life, when you’re waiting on prayer to be answered.

It seems for the longest time that’s all I’ve ever done my whole life is wait. When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to get into school, then I couldn’t wait to get to Middle School, then I had to wait for High School, then I had to wait till I could drive a car, then it was waiting on graduation, then of course it was waiting to get married, and then I know some of you are still waiting to have your babies. We finally finished potty training! In amongst all that I had to take a second look what happened in between the waiting. Was I just sitting around? Was I just staring at the walls watching other people do stuff? Or was I busy getting on with life?

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For me there’s always something that has to be done, that’s just who I am. It’s not that I’m a goal-oriented person, I’ve never been that kind of person. I’ve never been able to set a goal and then reach it. Any time I’ve attempted to actually do that I always fail. In my mind there’s always something that just has to get done. There’s always work. If there was one thing I learned on the farm there’s always something that can get done.

So while I’m working and getting stuff done I get caught up in the everyday humdrum of things. I get mentally and physically drug down. There’s a new song out, well it’s actually a few years old now and I still feel like it’s new, but it talks about how “I’m worn, my prayers are wearing thin, even before the day begins.” I get out of shower in the morning and I’m already tired. I almost feel like I’m too exhausted to even brush my hair and it ain’t even past my shoulders. So I have to stop, and I have to remember just what I’m doing all this for. Just how blessed I truly am! Y’all think I’m playing, I literally count my blessings, bringing myself back to reality so I can see the big picture!

Jesse Clay and I love Shrek for those of you who don’t know us! We really like the musical, it’s hilarious for those who haven’t seen it. At the beginning after Shrek does his intro as a kid, they jump over to Fiona and they have her in the tower growing up as a little girl, and she gets to a point in her song about waiting, the waiting, the waiting, the waiting, and she gets a little manic/maniac which is part of her character, but this shows you why she is like she is, throughout the rest of the musical. People develop into the people they are and have the character they do because of their life experiences. Those “waiting for stuff to happen” times. FYI this is me figuring this out!

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So this week we’re finishing up VBS, and a lot of us teaching, have been doing our studying and getting ready for class. In some of my devotions, I’ve come across a lot of different people in the Bible. You wonder what all these people have in common, they waited on the Lord. Hannah waited, Noah waited, Sarah waited, Abraham waited, there are many times in Paul’s life where he waited, even John whose life was the same length as ours, had many times where he just was with the Lord waiting. I make that distinction because in Noah’s time people live to be 900 years old. It took Noah 120 years to build the ark, that’s a long time to have faith in the Lord and fulfill a project that he is giving you and wait to see it completed. Over 100 years to wait to see rain, something never seen or heard of before.

We live in what I like to call the microwave age, other people call it the Burger King age. It’s referred to like that because most people want things in an instant, and how they want it, not how it comes! They don’t have to wait on anything, they’ve never had to learn patience, or develop character in that time of waiting. In the end they are very shallow people. Waiting and everything that comes with it brings depth to a person. Things that happen during that time, the ups and downs, emotional upheaval, depending on the Lord, having faith that He will see us through to the end of the promise that He has given, and staying focused the whole time, the challenge of all of those things while waiting, that’s what develops the depth of a person’s character. So if you’ve never had to wait, have you truly ever developed a character worth knowing? If you’ve never waited on the Lord, then what kind of character do you have?

Noah-builds-the-ark_Noahs-Obedience Needless to say at the moment, and purpose of this blog post is to share what I’m going through at the moment. Which as you can tell is a time of waiting on the Lord. I have to stop and think about what needs to happen during this time of waiting before I am prepared for what ever it is that is coming my way when the waiting is over. Noah was prepared, Hannah was prepared, Sarah was blown away and had to laugh, and wait some more. May His Son shine on you and me as I continue to wait upon Him.

Update: As of 2/26/2020 I was rereading this, this morning. I found so many errors. Really glad I found an editor to help me out. I also realized just how much truth is in this blog post and how much I myself needed to read my own words and remember. Remember the stories in the Bible of those who waited patiently on God to do as He promised and those who jumped the gun and decided they could do it better. Remember and go back a revisit those stories. We have them for a reason. I encourage you to do the same if you struggle with waiting on God. His timing is not our timing, He does not work for Burger King.

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“There’s No Crying In Baseball!”

FYI: this was written at the end of baseball season after confirming that children are no longer sent to the dugout after getting out on base.

Okay so I’m fixing to get my rant on. I love Mayo. I love our little town. Even with all the gossip and the drama and everything that goes with it, I always have. No matter where I’ve gone no matter what I’ve seen or how far I’ve traveled, which isn’t very far, I always come back to little old Mayo. This is home for me. But dadgummit, when did we start not putting people in the dugout when they get out at first base. I realize it’s t-ball, but this is when we start teaching kids the basics of the game.

What’s the purpose of them trying to catch the ball and throw it to first base, if they don’t get the runner out. Matthew 22:6 Jesus says “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Which means the things you teach your children as they are growing up, those are the things that will stick with them as an adult. So I ask you, what are we teaching our kids?

Myan is 8 now, this was his fourth year. This was the second year of rookie. He played t-ball for 2 years. But the years he played, t-ball if he got out at first base or second base or third base by golly he went to the dugout. He was out. That’s how he learned what an out was. That’s how he learned sportsmanship. That’s how he learned how to deal with sports the right way and what good sportsmanship is. I’ve seen a couple of players get all hopping mad, throwing their hat in the dirt jumping up and down all the way from first base across the field to the dugout, because they got out. Okay, apparently someone did not teach them that when they get out it’s “okay” or they just didn’t believe they were out, and need to learn what happens when they disagree with the Ump. That’s part of the game. Myan gets out at first base all the time because he doesn’t run as fast as some of the other kids. He can hit the ball! When he does hit the ball, a lot of times there’s someone on second or third base and they make a run to home, which means Myan scored. So even though he got out at first base he still scored.

Had to explain that to him at one of his last games, cause he started crying in the dugout. “Dude there’s NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! I realize you got out! That kid playing short stop threw you out again, but if he hadn’t, then Boone wouldn’t have been able to make it home and score. Therefore, I have no idea why you’re in here crying when you just scored a point for your team. When you get to Heaven, Jesus ain’t going to care whether or not you made it on base, but if you played your best. Are you playing your best?” “Yesss, ma’am!” “Then dry it up and get your hat and glove cause that’s the third out and yall are in the field!”

During practice they throw, catch, and run, and practice batting and that’s great, that’s when you’re supposed to practice those things. During practice is whenever you work on throwing the ball, how you should throw the ball, where you’re supposed to throw the ball when you catch it. This is also when the coach figures out who plays in the what position the best. The game however is not practice it is not a scrimmage it is the game and should be played as such, otherwise what’s the purpose of the game why are we here, if not to play by the rules.

If you went to a major league baseball game and sat there for the whole thing and watched as the infield caught the ball made a double or triple play and nobody got out, what would your reaction be? You just sat there and watch the play of the decade be made, that ball went from third base to second base to first base, as players were rounding the bases, but the previous batter still remain on his base and the score was made the bases are still loaded and the next batter is up to hit. You sit there. Have you been transported to new dimension, did they change the rules without you knowing? Do they get points now for throwing the ball from base the base? How is this game scored now? Somebody get me a rule book! You see what I’m saying!

You know they took “Last Man Standing” off the air because he was a angry conservative well I am also angry conservative. I have a problem with my child playing baseball the wrong way. I realize we don’t keep score in t-ball and I’m okay with that. I realize that the last batter runs all the way around the bases no matter whether it’s a home run or not and I’m okay with that too.

Why have the other team in the field trying to stop the ball and throw it to one of the bases to get the player out, if the runner is just going to stay on the base anyway. At the end of the day you’re not teaching anything, except that hard work doesn’t pay off, the rules don’t matter, and it doesn’t matter at the end of year how I played I get a trophy and a cupcake anyway.

Not sure about the rest of yall, but this mom is tired of enabling children to be brats. I honestly believe that Graduation should be for Seniors and colleges. Kindergarten and all the others I believe should still be recognized and rewarded but that’s what it should be called, and awards ceremony. Graduation implies that they have accomplished some great feat, when in reality they learned how to write their name, and maybe wipe their butts, if we are lucky. That was extra by the way!

Baseball is America’s game! You want to see the decline of our nation, start looking at how you teach kids how to play baseball. The rest just falls into place. If I hurt your feelings I’m ok with that too. It would be the equivalent of me getting you out at first base.

My Love

You see all the time where people post how happy they are to be married to their best friend. Or the the other ones, that they can’t believe they got to marry their best friend. Kudos to those who were in the friend zone and managed to get out. I hear it is the purgatory of the dating world.

I was never in the friend zone with you. Ever. In fact when most people ask us about our story, we tell them straight up, we couldn’t stand each other. I was that loud obnoxious girl that worked on a neighboring farm, and you were that stuck up preachers kid working on the the other farm. That was our opinion of each other. We couldn’t see passed ourselves to see each other.

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(picking out tuxes for our grooms men)

Personal I blame our younger siblings some what, they were dating and then broke up, and in the middle of all that we crossed paths. I think we would have eventually gotten around to it anyway that’s just how it happen.

You caught me checking out my own butt in the mirror at the theaters and thought I was the cutest thing. Next thing I know your truck is chasing me down a dirt road a week or so later to ask if I want to watch a movie sometime, and I’m telling you to look up my brother in laws phone number in phone book. Which I knew they didn’t answer by the way, I was just so nervous, I’d never been asked out on a date before, are you kidding me! So that’s why I called you over to watch a movie, later that week. That was in October.

November you made it official and took me on my first ever real date, to a movie and every thing, high class to Chick-fil-a. That was a night I’ll never forget. Walked out of the movie cause it was awful, then you get attacked by a palm tree as you drive by it. You looked like you were fixing to kill that poor palm tree because it had the nerve to grow into the road. I’ve notice we never ride with the windows down in Gainesville anymore.

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(Trying out our new phones, 2011 when we first trade apple for android)

March 18 2007, you had been out in West Florida for a few days on a church trip. You had just got back, you were in a fired up hurry to see me. I think you missed me. You picked me up and we went to you house. You were piddling on you computer. The one with the sound bumper sticker across the top. You were always burning a CD back them for church or something. We ended up in the hay field off Keenesaw Road. It was cold but it was so pretty out. You had that CD playing. “My Last Name” by Dierks Bently came on and you pop the question. This ring fit like it was made for me. We all know what I said.

June 12, 2008 was the big day. Now for those of you reading this, please don’t think that between November 2006 and June 12th 2008 that it was all rainbows and sunshine. Because it was not. We had our fights we had our ups and downs we had our squabbles we had our low point, but I think what helped us to realize that we would be able to make it to where we are today and continue to make this thing work till death do us part and then some, were those moments that were not perfect. Those moments that we had to work through together. We still have those moments, and we still work through them.

You see a lot of times people think that wedded bliss, is just that, “Bliss” and it stays that way and it’s all just blissful. Well if you keep up, you’re just going to end up with a blister. Well these days its more like a can opener. Now your think Holly, “Where are you going with this?”

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(our ninth first date anniversary, my love recreated the date, this time we didn’t walk out on the movie and there was no attacking pine tree!)

Can openers, I can’t tell you how many can openers we’ve been through in the last 10 years, and you would think “Oh my goodness where did this come from?” But they just don’t make can openers like they used to, Jesse Clay and I have both said if we could find a can opener from World War 1 or World War II we’d be the happiest people on the planet. Which is really sad when you think about it. Am I comparing a can opener to marriage, buddy you better believe it.

The only good ones you can find these days, are electric they come with a knife sharpener they have to have electricity they can’t be put in the drawer they take up space on your counter and they’re just bulky. You cannot find a simple hand crank good quality can opener. There is no simplicity to the mechanics. I wouldn’t even know how to repair one if it broke. The only thing I could do is throw it out, no simple screwdriver to tighten up a loose screw and make it work better or WD-40 to loosen up the gears. Those would be the equivalent of prayer and communication when you are talking about marriage by the way.

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(Myans 1st grade field trip to Jacksonville Zoo)

We have had a lot of bad examples along the way, and we have had a lot of good and great examples along the way. We’ve gotten to know each other and ourselves, and as we have grown as a couple, we haven’t lost our own individuality. I’ve written before about selfishness and jealousy, both of these emotion play a big part in marriage. This are two that I struggle with the most. I’m a very self person and I can be jealous to the point of ridiculousness if I’m not careful. Knowing that, and coming to terms with it has helped me to deal with it and help you do deal with it as well. You’ve put up with a lot from me over the last 11+ years, as have I, I suppose. That’s the beauty of marriage, there is the taking, but then there is the giving. When you figure out that you get more out of the giving then you do the taking, then you’re getting somewhere.

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(a recent day at the park with dad)

Today, for those who haven’t put 6, 12, and 8 together, is our 10 year anniversary. If feels like just yesterday I was decorating the community center and ordering napkins. Here we are though, 10 years, a Mynomite, Robinator, and Jedi Skywalker later and we are living the dream. I started off talking about friends, we were never friends I have plenty of friends, they live in other houses. You Sir are my lover, husband, kismet, and any other synonym you want to put there. I have plenty of friends. You Lover, will never be in the Friend Zone.

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(March 19th 2017, our 9th engagement anniversary, Beauty and the Beast had just hit theaters that weekend. He bought the dress, higher the photographer and got a babysitters set up. He even had us a room booked in Valdosta.)

Bitterness vs. the Past

So I was listening to something this week and it got me thinking. How many of us have a past that we would really rather not visit, think about or just erase all together? I’m just going to raise my hand now. Don’t get me wrong, I would be good if I could just go through there with a pencil and only erase the stuff that I don’t like. I’d keep those days at my Papa and Mimoo’s. I’d keep those 5 a.m. fishing trips with Uncle Andy Boswell, thinking about him makes me crave sardines. (His preferred fishing trip lunch with a side of Babe Ruths) Then there are those times when I would just completely rip the page out if I had the chance, not just in my book of memories but everyone’s. Events that to me seemed like they lasted an eternity. I wrote in an earlier post that I’m quite the awkward girl. I’ll let y’all go back and read that one to get a glimpse of what I have to personally overcome.

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Growing up, though it has never been Murphy’s Law for my life, it has been Holly’s Law.  It’s not “what’s the worst that can happen?” cause that is what is going to happen. Nope, not for this girl. How bad can Holly screw it up, cause that is how bad she is going to mess it up, or what’s the worst thing that could be said at this moment? Prepare the duck tape because it’s fixing to bust out of my mouth at lighting speed. Now grant you, this could be in my own mind because I am by far my greatest critic when it comes to my mess ups. Sometimes I still have to stop myself even now from revisiting things I did as a child or teenager and beating myself up about them.

Now y’all are like “Jeepers Holly, what were you listening to?” As Gdaddy says, “Glad you asked cause I’m going to tell you.” I was listening Genesis Ch. 19. when God wipes Sodom and Gomorrah off the map. The part that really hit me though was Lot’s wife. We always read the part about her turning into a pillar of salt because she looked back. Now I’m going to leave that there for a second and jump to something else for just a minute, y’all stick with me.

Most of the time in the New Testament we listen to Jesus talk about Christians being the salt of the earth. “Salt is good, but if the salt should lose its flavor how can you make it salty? Have salt among yourselves and be at peace with one another.” Mark 9:50 The salt is used to make everything just right.

It was used in the Old Testament times as well! Leviticus 2:13 “You are to season each of your grain offerings with salt; you must not omit from you grain offering the salt of the covenant with your God. You are to present salt with each of your offerings.” Salt was used to make offerings acceptable to God. He would not accept them otherwise.

Now back to Lot’s wife, which is all we know her by, even in Luke 17:32 it just says “Remember Lot’s wife”.

So as they left they were commanded not to look back on the city as it was being destroyed. As we know though, she did, and became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26 for those wanting to take a look at the whole story again.

What happens to our food when it gets over salted? What happens when you really stub your toe and the WHOLE container of salt goes into the mashed potatoes? They become inedible, bitter to taste, and they have to be thrown out. Over salting anything makes it very bitter. To the point that it is not good anymore, we are talking YUCK city, you can’t even put cheese on it and serve it. Y’all, you can put cheese on just about anything an make it edible, but not if it’s over salted

Sodom was her past, ain’t got a clue what was there for her, what she was leaving behind or if she thought she left the stove on. My question about this story other that the disobedience was, what’s up? Her past! God had told them to leave it behind and go, not looking back on the horrors and awfulness of their past. God had set them free from the destruction that was imminent and given them all they needed to live free, but she could not let go of the past, and the bitterness of that consumed her… literally.

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I personally have past issues that I deal with and work on and try to let go. I know I have been forgiven, I’ve accepted Jesus as my Savior and I am constantly working on my relationship with Him. There are people in my life, and I’m not judging just observing, who have not let their past go. People in their lives who have caused them hurt and pain and have been dead for years now and they still talk about it with such aversion, claiming that they have forgiven these people. They hold on to those feelings of anger and despair of the times and moments that cause them so much distress and just let it eat away at them, Meanwhile, the people who cause such emotional havoc have been dead for 15 and 30 years.

Those emotions turn in to bitterness when you can’t let the past go and they do nothing to anyone except you. Bitterness eats away at your joy and happiness, not allowing you to enjoy the present or look forward to the future. You are rooted to that one spot like a pillar. Always looking back on the events that hurt you the most and reliving them, wishing you could have done something different. You do not realize, you have a chance to start each day fresh and with no mistakes. You have a chance to build someone else up, instead of tearing yourself down all the time.

You will find that over time as you work on building others up, your past hurts, habits and hang-ups, anger, stress and just drama that constantly dragged you down, are no longer an issue. We can’t change the past, but we can leave it where it is. We can live right now and make a difference right now, we can be a positive in the lives of others, giving us all a new hope and brighter future. The question is, are you going to leave the past where it is or are you going to let it season your future to the point of bitterness.

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Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this and got something out of it, please hit the share button at the bottom and pass it along.

Rubberneckin’ & Standards

6/6/18

7 a.m. walking out the door to leave for the day. Most days of the week Jesse clay has already been gone for an hour and a half 2 work. So as I’m leaving the house if there is a vehicle passing I pay attention. For the most part because we live in a small town, I know everyone who passes. If I don’t recognize the vehicle, I pretty much just assume it’s a relative of someone who lives nearby. I don’t live in the hunting woods so I doubt very seriously that it’s a hunter or somebody just out for dirt road therapy. My dirt road is half a mile long.

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Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem on Pexels.com

At this time of morning when a vehicle does pass by and slows down to the point of a crawl, and looks like a gangster vehicle, the driver of course looks like they’re breaking their neck because of the Rubberneckin going on, I get very suspicious. The first thing that I think is did I lock the doors. So this morning after said vehicle past, I went back and made sure the door was locked. This was followed by a message to my husband about th vehicle, my suspicions and just an FYI.

Not until about 15 minutes later, after realizing what actually happened was I completely dumbfounded. You see as most of you know I was fat chick in class. Never had a boyfriend, never got hit on, first kiss was at 19, so yeah didn’t have a clue what was happening. Honestly thought the guy was checking out my house not me.

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This brings me to my next point. What kind of idiot guy thinks he’s actually going to pick up a girl by slowing down as he drives by her house at 7 in the morning, as she’s loading up her children on her way to work? Honestly, ladies this cannot actually work. I mean don’t get me wrong I think maybe I might have appreciated the compliment afterwards, but then again I’m trying to get over the question of where’s that standards at. Did this person not have a job? Are they moseying somewhere? I’m so confused. Why are you out at 7 in the morning wasting gas? Even if I was not married I would not want to date someone who was out wasting gas come on people, manage some resources here!

I mean I realize this is all speculation on my part, but here I am thinking about all this, I’m putting two kids in the car going to work, and theoretically if I was a single woman would I consider dating a person who just passed my house. The answer is no. So he’s clearly wasting his time, and his gas by moseying by my house and checking me out, and will be the first person who I named in the police report if my house gets robbed. As slow as he was driving I can describe his truck to a T, electric blue, Chevy S10, lift kit, custom rims, tinted windows, and there’s a few other details I’ll leave out so y’all can’t pinpoint him on the road. Y’all get my drift though.

So this post is probably for you slow driving dude out there who are wasting your time thinking you going to find a girl by checking her out in her front yard on her way to work. Good luck with that, because that’s going to fly like a lead balloon.

I suppose this post is also for the guys out there working hard and actually making it happen, those are the guys making the world go round they don’t get enough credit. Most of them are already taken because some girls seen their worth and snatch them up faster than they can blink.

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Taking a Look Around

I wrote this one during the frenzy of ball season. I’m not sure about the rest of yall, but at our house ball season throws everything in disarray. So while you are reading this picture yourself in the middle of little league baseball season in Mayberry, USA, because that is where I live, and I love it. For the rest of yall, we got two bridges and two swamps pick which one you want to cross as you leave. Hope you enjoy the read, I love feed back by the way, positive or corrective. I promise not to sic my big sister on you if you pick on me. There are a couple of church ladies though you might not want to mess with though, they have unofficially adopted me. Thanks again, Holly!

May 11, 2017 7:15 am HWY 51 Headed north to Live Oak. Using Voice to Text, no I was texting while driving, edited later because my phone has a hard time with my accent, which I don’t have. Thank you China!

Who goes on vacation to Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, some of you may be even going to Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or even out West? Why do you go is it for the food, the people, the atmosphere, the scenery, or is it for the entire package? What is it about these places that drawn our natives?

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Photo by Creative Vix on Pexels.com

The last time I was in Georgia, North Georgia that is, was on my honeymoon about 10 years ago. In fact June 12th this summer is our 10th anniversary, go us! Before that North Carolina right before the Storm of the Century, our family had gone on vacation to the mountains.

I did go that way on our 8th grade Washington Trip, I think some of yall can reminisce with me there, unfortunately I think it was at night time and we are all asleep during that leg of the trip. Still anytime I visited that part of the country it has always been breathtaking.

Here lately on my morning drive to work I’ve had the radio off, and I’ve just been paying attention to what I’m passing. Not really rubbernecking, just enjoying the view. Wondering what it is that drawers the tourist to Florida. We know they come to the beaches, but what do they come here for? Why do they come to Lafayette, Suwannee, Taylor, Dixie, Columbia, Madison, Hamilton, and Gilchrist. What’s so great about these itty bitty little towns, that would interest someone? What’s Mayberry hold for the rest of the world?

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So this morning while I’m pumping gas, after I had drop the kids off at daycare, after rushing around the house for 30 minutes trying to find one red baseball sock, that never made it into the washing machine with its mate, I realize the simplicity of my morning. Yes I was in town, at a store, getting gas, but so far, aside from my husband I’ve only talked to two people face-to-face, we’re talking adults here so my kids don’t count. I’ve been up since about 5:30 this morning, that’s about the time he left for work.

So I got to considering this, what is it, that draws so many to this place, and why am I happy where I am? Content to not have a deli or coffee shop or shopping mall on “every” corner. Would I love a fast food joint on the corner? Sure most would, but it nor is any of that other stuff going to be the difference that makes my everyday.

You see I know why I am content and happy with this rental, cause it’s just that! I’m making the absolute best of it, enjoying the blessings bestowed on me. Taking one day at a time, one moment at a time, realizing I’m not God and to be honest there is very little I have control over. If the God of the universe decide to do something then who am I. Ahhh y’all! But to be apart of something He is doing. I know a couple who will read this a think, “This is me, with my hand up!” There is no greater joy than to lay your life down for another.

Now yall are thinking, “I ain’t dying for nobody!” I gotcha, that bills paid. Your a free  man, or lady. The “laying down part” is where we look for our fellow man in need of a hand up or swift verbal kick in the the theoretical behind to motivate them. That’s why we are here. We are here for others. That my friends is what draws those tourist to this area. It is very rare to find what we have here in any other part of the world and sometimes we take it for granted.

They may say it’s rivers, woods, wildlife and hunting, but we know we got something special in this part of the world they don’t even have North of the Mason/Dixion line.

Y’all ponder this with me, and enjoy your day.

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