Thursday, November 17, 2016


One of the best pieces of wisdom I've heard is this:  If you're feeling down, go find someone to serve.  I cannot tell you how true this wisdom has been for me.  I have shared this wisdom with my family, my friends and anyone who will listen.  I understand that there are very legitimate reasons to feel down, believe me, I understand...especially during the holiday season.  However I also understand, from putting this advice into practice, that it is some of the truest wisdom I've ever heard.  Serving can manifest itself in many different ways.  Sometimes it can be intentionally praying for someone who needs prayer.  Sometimes it can be inviting someone into your home for a meal.  Sometimes it can be mowing your neighbor's grass just to help her out.  Sometimes it can be providing food donations at a food bank. Sometimes it can be gathering a group of volunteers to do repairs in someone's home. Sometimes it can be teaching children how to play the drums at VAST.  Sometimes it can be doing the dishes when it's not your dish night. Sometimes it can be sending that hand written card you've been meaning to send. Sometimes it can be looking someone in the eye, taking their hand in yours and truly listening when they need someone to listen.   Jesus calls us to serve humbly in His name, every day, not just when we feel like it or it's easy.  In all honesty, sometimes the last thing I want to do when I'm struggling is serve. When I first heard these wise words and started to put this advice into practice, it definitely helped put things in perspective.  It didn't erase my sorrows but did help me focus more on gratitude. Although there is a time for sadness and despair, there is also a time for joy and rejoicing. I pray that this nugget of knowledge will help us remember to praise God in our storms....especially during the holiday season.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.  Mark 10:45

There’s a season for everything
    and a time for every matter under the heavens:     
 a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
    a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,    
 a time for killing and a time for healing,
    a time for tearing down and a time for building up,    
 a time for crying and a time for laughing,
    a time for mourning and a time for dancing,     
 a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
    a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,   
  a time for searching and a time for losing,
    a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,    
 a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
    a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,   
  a time for loving and a time for hating,
    a time for war and a time for peace.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


I'm not a political person....I'm not even sure what that means except that I am just not that into politics.  I'm just not.  I have a lot of faults and one of them is not being in the "know" about many things government related.  Now I could try to explain this, and I have spent some time recently trying to explain this to myself.  I've come to this conclusion....I stopped watching the news and reading the paper many many years ago.  It was right after the Oklahoma City Bombing, because I found myself consumed with sadness and fear and falling into a deep state of depression.  This has kept me out of the "know" for a long time.  However now there's social media, and I could be in the "know" about government related things if I chose to.  How accurate and truthful the information is...well that could be argued both ways.  However I am still not in the "know", and admittedly this is mainly by choice.  As I've thought about this over the last few months, I have thought a lot about my family.  My papaw and mamaw were die hard democrats.  In fact, my papaw was an elected official for as long as I can remember.  He served as county clerk and then county judge in his community.  My mama, their daughter, was a very much a republican; although she may have voted democrat at some point in her life....but I would be surprised.  They were all 3 some of the most influential people in my life for many reasons, but politics wasn't one of them; or maybe it was??  Growing up, I didn't understand the differences between democrats and republicans.  All I knew was there was a donkey and an elephant involved, and every time my papaw won an election; my mama would take him another donkey.  This wasn't for lack of my mom trying....believe me, she told me all about what it meant to be a democrat and a republican. I remember many intense discussions between my mama and her parents over this topic, and I remember feeling uncomfortable; because I am NOT A FAN OF CONFRONTATION...even a little bit.  My mama....oh she was a big fan of confrontation....and was not one to let her views lie unheard.  However I never remember their conversations being hateful or rude or egotistical.  They were matter of fact, respectful, and always ended with agreeing to disagree.   As I grew older and approached voting age, I started paying attention a little bit more to politics; so I could make informed decisions.  Honestly I don't really pay that much attention to who is running for office until it gets right down to it, and then....I will start doing my research.  Like many, I have certain things that I really want to go a certain way.  These are the things I look at first...which way does each candidate lean?  How do they plan on approaching these things?  How will it benefit or not benefit our nation and our world?  Then I try to listen to the rest.  However this took it out of me.  I could barely start to research Clinton or Trump without all sorts of information spewing out.  I'll admit that I might have voted for someone in the past to try to keep someone else out of office, but usually I felt very confident in my choice.  This time....I did not.  Right up until I went to the polls and had the voting sheet in front of me, I wasn't sure what to do; but I cast my vote. It wasn't democrat or republican, but I was confident in my candidate.  Honestly if the line had been long, and I didn't have my adult daughter with me who wanted to vote in her first election; I would have turned around and come home.
As a Christian, I 100% believe that God is in control; and that He will bring good.  It is up to us to find the good, share the good,  love and serve Him by loving and serving others. I do find myself losing a little faith in mankind, from time to time, but I never lose faith in JESUS!   So no matter if you woke up with a big smile on your face or swollen eyes, remember who has our back!  Love like He loves us, and everything will be okay!

Monday, November 7, 2016

All Saints Day...Russ!

I've had a lot on my heart, my mind, my hands.  I know that if I don't write it down right that minute, it will never get written; so much of it will never get written.  This time of year takes me back to the death of my dad.  Today is the anniversary of his death 11 years ago.  So much of that time is a blur, but the things I remember were meant to be remembered and to bring me encouragement and peace. Yesterday in church we honored our saints for All Saints Day.  The first song played was "I'll Fly Away".  I immediately smiled and looked at my husband, and he knew what I was thinking.  We played that song at my dad's funeral on Nov. 11, 2005.  My dad was the greatest.  He was funny and kind and tender.  He had his faults and was not perfect, but really he was just the best I could have ever hoped for in a father.   I miss him like crazy, and I really miss him like crazy for his grandkids.  He was such a great Papa.  When he was diagnosed with lung cancer that summer, it had already spread to his brain and bones.  It was only a few short months later that he passed.  It's such an odd feeling trying to prepare yourself to say goodbye to someone, who is one of the biggest pieces of your life,  all the while trying to hold on to some hope that things will change all in a few short months.  The first time I saw him seize and then scream out in pain, I knew time remaining with him was short.  As hard as it was, I was so very thankful that I was there when he died.  I have found myself getting in a funk sometimes when I think about my kids without grandparents and Neil and I without parents, but God continues to give me peace and show me the blessings we have in our lives because of our saints.  Thanks Be To God!