Posts Tagged ‘Christian faith’

Best Gift Ever

We had a great sermon at church this past weekend. Pastor Gordon asked the congregation to think about the best Christmas present we’d ever received. Oh my! The audience was abuzz, and my mind took me right to 1971. I had just turned 11 and my parents were separated. My father showed up for Christmas with presents for all the kids, one of which was a large wrapped one that had my name on it. I was as fidgety as a cat wanting a bath, as I waited to open it. When I could, my feverish little fingers tore through the paper like a confetti snowstorm during a Super Bowl parade. My treasured gift was a “Movin’ Groovin’ Velvet” doll. She was the epitome of all things groovy and she was all mine and I couldn’t wait to show her off.

How groovy was she? For starters, Velvet had purple eyes (I longed to have purple eyes) and her outfits were made of polyester and lace. She had blonde hair that could be pulled out from the top of her head, so she could be styled a long do or shortened by winding the knob on her back. For a girl of 11, creating interchangeable hairdos and fashions was a dream come true. Read the rest of this entry »

So what’s on your plate?

“You are what you eat so – Don’t be fast, easy, cheap or fake.”

I’ve never been much of a cook. I guess that comes from my mom being taught how to cook from my dad. His menus came from the South and included fried green tomatoes, black eyed peas, fried green beans, liver, canned spaghetti and fried chicken (which by the way was my favorite). If it fit into the cast iron skillet, it got fried. I learned what she learned. Yet through it all, I longed to know the ends and outs of how to put delicious things together that would tantalize the most discerning pallet like the cooking shows I enjoyed watching. Sadly, I just never got past boiling water. As of late, all this culinary timidity has been put to rest and here’s how. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing Hide & Seek

“A bride at her second wedding does not wear a veil. She wants to see what she’s getting.” – Helen Rowland

The Lil’ Miss playing dress-up.

I’ve always liked June weddings even though I married in July. My 20-year-old daughter disagrees and thinks a fall or spring wedding would be so much more romantic with its vibrant colors and blue skies. She also loves the show “Say Yes to the Dress” and to her delight recently after signing up for a free 30-day trial of Hulu, the movie streaming app, she found it on the menu. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a program that features a bride or two every week in search of the perfect dress. The bride is typically accompanied by the family naysayer, an overbearing mother (or mother in-law) and/or an outspoken friend or aunt, all of whom believe they should have some input into what the poor girl wears. It’s really kind of painful to watch.

After binge watching one day, my daughter asked to see my wedding dress. I gushed thinking how sweet she was to even consider wearing her mom’s wedding apparel. Nah, she just wanted to play dress up. She proceeded to parade around the house, take selfies and find her favorite future wedding songs on Pandora. We then sat on the couch laughing about how industrious she is at planning her wedding (just check out her Pinterest board sometime), but has yet to find a husband. I must say though, she looked lovely and it made me sad thinking that one day she’ll marry and leave.

In the process of her dress up time she asked why brides wore a veil? I explained that in some cultures it was to hide the bride from her future spouse (think about poor Jacob who unknowingly married Leah instead of his beloved Rachel) and in other cultures it is a sign of purity. Today many brides still where a veil or some semblance of one.

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My friend, Christopher

It’s funny how God works. Just the other day I got majorly blessed. Don’t get me wrong, God blesses me every day and I work hard to recognize those blessings everywhere I step, in every situation and in every breath, but that Thursday He met me right where I was at. Let me explain.

I was working alone in my store when I noticed a man ride his bicycle up to the front door. He was casually dressed and clean. He came inside and said that he’d been trying numerous places to get his 250 pennies changed into dollar bills and large coins, but no one would take the pennies without them being rolled. I told him I’d take them unrolled and he enthusiastically went to his bike to retrieve the bag of coins. I in turn handed him $3. Now I can count and know that 250 pennies doesn’t equal $3. I just felt that it was what I needed to do. I guess the man wondered how good my math skills were as well because shockingly he said, “You gave me $3!” “Yes, I know”, I replied. To which this nice man I’ve never met said, “Can I pray for you?” Really? This man who had so little, gave all that he had at that moment and it was Jesus. We then prayed and he thanked God for His provision and the extra $.50 cents he was now blessed with. He asked God to bless me as well.

Photo courtesy of rethinkhomelessness.org

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Don’t be a pawn

Pawn: (noun) a chess piece of the smallest size and value; one that can be used to further the purposes of another.
Synonyms: puppet, dupe, hostage, tool, instrument, “a pawn in the battle for the throne”

Pawn 2Most people who meet me think I’m a fitness enthusiast. Not really, it’s just a vivid dream I have that maybe one day that’d be the case if I actually did some regular exercising. Growing up, I didn’t have much self-confidence and I longed to be athletic like some of my classmates. And as you’ll recall, I’m the ignored center-child and likewise, my dream then was to be a cheerleader. Yes, I longed to be the Paul Revere of town criers (or at least football rally cries) and the Nadia Comaneci (Gabby Douglas of the 1970’s) of gymnastic form and poise.

One thing I wasn’t and still am not, is a strategist. I could never grasp or even care to grasp the concept of Chess. My favorite game was called “Aggravation”, which was a simple roll the dice, move your marbles and hope you can make it to home base before your opponent, kind of game. Chess to me, required too much thinking and I’ve always believed that too much thinkin’ wears out your brain.

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A Penny for your Thoughts

kids-money1I’m a collector of found money. Not that I plan on being a millionaire one day with my knack for finding spare change, but I’m one of those people who’ll go out of their way to pick up a dime in the middle of the road. I find coins and the Executive (my husband) finds dollars—so unfair. The rhyme “See a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck” just doesn’t sit right when his return seems to be better than mine, but none the less, I pick them up.

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Do, re, me…the key of “G”, please

"It's ain't over until the fat lady sings."

“It’s ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”

When I was little, one of the first careers I wanted to have was to sing opera. I would go with my mom who volunteered to clean the church (It didn’t hurt that she rewarded me with a soft chocolate ice cream cone withsprinkles from Carvel—my fav!) where it was my job to vacuum the sanctuary, all while belting out whatever joyful noise sounded like opera to my young mind. If I haven’t told you already, mom was an incredible woman. One time while I was vacuuming she said, “Stop the vacuum! I hear an angel singing.” Now if that doesn’t raise a child’s confidence I don’t know what will.

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What weed are you into?

My dream grass...photo courtesy of Florida Home Magazine

My dream grass…photo credit Fl Home Magazine

I love green grass. I love the way it looks, feels, and smells when it’s cut. Several years ago, we decided to replace the Bahia grass in our yard and invested a small fortune in changing it to what we thought was a hardier, St. Augustine grass. Little did we know at the time, but sure found out in short order, that they gave us half a yard full of our requested treasure and half of some brand that I see used in pastures (and we don’t live on a farm). Since that time, we’ve struggled with not only maintaining the grass, but it also being infused with every seasonal kind of weed you can imagine.

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On your mark, get set, go!

At this point in my life, I’m not sure why I’ve started, but I have. I’ve started running, as in exercise not running startfinishaway from anything. Unless if being out of shape counts, then yes, I’m running away from that or at least trying to.

In the grand scheme of things, my daughter and I decided to try and run one 5K a month. We each took to our own training rituals. We were Read the rest of this entry »