Wednesday’s Ode #28

I love antiques!  I love antiques that have been refurbished, like my desk that has been refurbished from an old Singer sewing machine.   I have an antique china cabinet, an antique chest and an antique bench. I even have an old Dutch Doughboy that dates back to the late 1800’s. It’s really a cool piece! I won’t say I buy antiques simply because they’re antiques; however, I do love perusing through the antique stores just to see what I can find!  In Georgia, some of the best towns to go seeking for antiques are Ellijay, Dahlonega, Madison, Clayton, Buford, and Monroe. These small, southern towns have so many shops and antique malls through which to browse. If you’re looking for antiques, you’ll love these! I could spend a whole day in each of these town…well, actually, I have! 😉 as a matter of fact, I’d like to go, again, right now! 🙂

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You’re Weird! … I’m Weird, Too!

We all have our quirks and our peculiarities. My husband is so comfortable in his; I have to be honest, sometimes, I’m downright jealous. I know, I know. I shouldn’t be jealous of my own husband! I just wish I could be okay with my oddities all the time.

I love fall and winter weather, but I am incredibly cold-natured. I hate raw tomatoes; however, I love to eat anything made with tomatoes, as in spaghetti, pizza sauce and chili, and  I love to make stuff from tomatoes such as salsa and vegetable soup. I love to sleep with socks on, and I can sleep just about anywhere, but if you wake me up about an hour after I go to sleep, I may not even remember our conversation by morning. I also have a love-hate relationship with the snooze button. I love to meet new people, and carry on long conversations with one or two people; yet, I am an extreme introvert, and I have to revive myself by having long moments of solitude.

Yes, I am a quirky individual, and after 40+ years of living with myself, I am still trying to be okay with these traits. I know, we all have quirks and differences to our personalities, and so many people seem completely okay with theirs, and I am, genuinely, so happy for them. Some even seem a little too comfortable…to the point of rudeness to those around them, and I suppose, this one fact alone causes me to hone in too strongly on my own idiosyncrasies for fear of possibly becoming like them.

I am so concerned with not being rude or offensive to another person, even unintentionally. All my life, I have been conditioned to be kind and accommodating, and I have always had a pretty adaptable personality; so, the moments when someone is offended or bothered by something I have done or said, I am profusely apologetic, sometimes, even to a fault.

Yet, as I grow older, I am learning that this over concern for other people’s opinions can, often, actually be derived from a source of pride and vanity. You see, no matter how “nice and sweet” a personality trait may seem, on the flip side of it is an uglier, less delightful sounding trait. It can be used for either extreme, and we must realize what the root is in order to come back to center, Christ’s center.

Just as the opinionated, outspoken person can be seen as both truthful and rude, overbearing and bluntly honest, depending on the positive and negative extremes, the tolerable, quiet spoken person can be seen as both graciously kind and fearful, flexible and weak. All of these (negative) extremes come from a root of vanity and pride, ambition and envy, and we must recognize, acknowledge and surrender these qualities to God before we move to the extremes of either side.

When we refuse to let the flesh reign in our lives, and, instead, allow Christ to rule and reign, we will find that we will no longer worry over what people think, and we will worry most about what HE thinks. We will no longer err on the sides of brashness and  fearfulness, but rather, we will walk in complete boldness of who we are in Christ, even with all our quirks, failures and peculiarities.

When we surrender our all to Him, we will begin to actually see ourselves as He sees us, not as the world sees. We will begin to believe as He believes and act as He acts. When we are totally surrendered to Him, we will become a mirror of His life, because it will be His Spirit living in us and through us. ❤

The Tree Grew ‘Round

So sorry for the delay in posting today! Thanks for your patience. I posted this a while back; however, I shared it with our church family yesterday, and it seemed to resonate with so many. So, I thought I would repost it for those who would like to read it…  

There are times in life when you’re just going to find yourself caught between a “rock and a hard place.” The rock won’t move, and the hard place won’t remove itself. Maybe, it’s the day you woke up late for your new job, and your nine month old baby woke up with a stomach virus, or maybe you were laid off right after buying that brand new car. Maybe, your mom has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and your dad began showing signs of dementia last month. 

Maybe your oldest son has been struggling with a hidden drug addiction, trying to sneak around, stealing money from your nightstand, and your youngest daughter has been bullied at the new school. Maybe, your husband seems to be distant, and you just can’t seem to find enjoyment in any of the past delights you two once had. Maybe, you had to say goodbye to a loved one, and you just weren’t ready for that yet. There are times in life when you wish it could be different. You wonder what you’re going to do, how you’re ever going to make it. 

Sometimes, life is hard. It is what it is. There’s really no changing the way the earth spins on its axis or in altering the way the clouds gather in the sky. You’re going to face hard times. I don’t care who you are, how much money you have, or how many people love you, you’re going to have disappointments in this life. You’re going to encounter obstacles in the road. It’s just the way it is, and if you haven’t had any troubles as of yet, well, just keep on living, because every elderly person on the planet can attest to this truth: Life is not always easy, and sometimes, we just have to “weather through the storm.” 

The question is not, “Will trials ever come?” The better question is, “What will I do when the rains come?” If you can ever answer that question before the storms come, you will be much better suited to survive. In that moment, you have a choice to make. You can choose to stop, to hesitate, to allow the circumstances, those hard things, to stunt your growth and keep you from reaching your destiny. You can let that rock hinder you from reaching your dreams. You can even “fold over” on top of yourself and never move beyond where you were in that moment of crisis.  

Or, you can choose to press forward. Paul said, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) You can choose to be like the tree in this picture that refused to be dwarfed by the rock in the path. You can choose to allow those tough spots to make you stronger, more resilient to the pain. You can choose to find joy in the little things, blessings in those people who surround you in that moment of heartache, and even, just peace in the gentle breeze that blows or warmth in the sun that shines.  

We all have choices which can hold us back from our destiny or propel us toward our dreams. It’s up to us to choose, and when we make that choice of forward determination, our lives will be better for it. Let’s choose to grow ’round that rock that crept into our path on our way to greatness. Let’s be those whose “life tree” may have twists and turns, bends and curves, but whose branches still reach around those hard places up toward the sky. 

Answer to Friday’s Angle #26

How’d you do yesterday? 🙂  

If you guessed a restaurant table, you guessed right! 😉

  
(Sorry, this one is a little messy. I took the pic after we ate! Lol. )

See you next time! 😊

Friday’s New Angle #26

Another Friday means another New Angle! 😊 (looking for what is the brown/black object, not the dots) 
See you this time tomorrow for the answer! 😉

Sweetness

Looking back over my pics, I realize I didn’t share this moment of sweetness that transpired a few weeks ago, and considering my Wednesday Ode last week was about pottery, I thought I would share this with you today. 😊  I heard a loud crash downstairs one morning, and I peeked through the upstairs “window” overlooking the den to see what happened. JMan was looking at a pottery piece shattered on the floor; the cat had evidently tipped it over. He looked up, sadly, and said, “I’m sorry, Mom. The stupid cat knocked it over.” 

Knowing this was a cheap little clay bowl I had picked up at a local Thrift Store, I said simply, “Oh well. Can you pick up the pieces and throw it in the trash, please?” I went back to getting ready, not really giving it another thought. About 30 minutes later, JMan came into my bedroom, carrying that little bowl. From the outside, it looked perfect. 

 He said, “I did the best I could with the tape. It’s not perfect, but maybe you can still use it.”    
…Simply precious… It made this momma’s heart swell. 💗

 Ya know, I didn’t really care about that bowl before that day, and I had plans to throw it away when it fell and broke, but now…well, now, you probably couldn’t pay me for that little bowl. It’s amazing how, in an instant, the value of something so small can change so much…

Wednesday’s Ode #27

I love celebrating LIFE! This week, we celebrate so many birthdays in our family, and it makes for a very busy but fun time!! 

My son’s special day comes first, and he turns 14 this year. It is so exciting to watch him grow into a young man; yet, it is with tearful eyes that I smile, because I reminisce of days gone by and look toward days without him home. He is an incredible young man. You can read a little more about him in my post from yesterday. I am definitely a proud mom! 😊  

Next, we celebrate my dad’s birthday. He is a great guy! He is actually my “stepdad,” but since the tender age of 12, he has been my dad. He loves outdoors, wildlife and the mountains. He is gentle spoken, a deep thinker and a diligent study of history, nature and all things photography. He is a great listener, incredibly patient, and smiles easily. He means so much to me, and I am thankful to call him dad.    

*Please, forgive the “picture of a picture” here! These are two of his photos, which are my favorites, and I don’t have a digital copy; yet, I wanted to try to share his talent. 

 Finally, we celebrate my husband’s birthday. He means the world to me, and I am so thankful to be his wife. He is my best friend, my confidante and my love. He encourages me, helps me to see truth when I need it, and loves me, regardless, of my many faults and failures. No, I don’t put him on a pedestal; I know he is human, and I see His flaws. However, I do believe God placed him in my life to show me just a little bit of His love, and I feel privileged He did! There are so many wonderful things I could say about him, but it would take way too long to post; so, I will simply say, He means the world to me, and I love him deeply!  ❤️ 

So, I say, Happy Birthday to some of my favorite men in the world! I am so proud to be able to celebrate life with you!! 💗

Gold All Around You

This week, we are celebrating our oldest son as he is turning 14. I can’t believe it. Seems like it was just yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital. In celebration of this event, I thought I would repost a blog I wrote to him last year. I am very proud to be his mom, and I hope as I share this with you, it will encourage you as a parent, as a grandparent, or even as someone who desires to make an impact on this next generation…
He was born a dreamer. He has always dreamed big dreams. At the age of four, he was Batman, Spider-Man, policeman and cowboy, all combined within that sweet tiny frame; the image altering daily, depending upon the mood of the hour. When he had turned nine, the superheroes had faded, and music had taken over. He was a “gangsta-rapper” one day and TobyMac or B-SHOC the next. Always dreaming of greatness, always hoping for the big stage, the bright lights, and the gold coins.   

Today, his heart is set to the beat of a different drum. He doesn’t conform too much to those around him. He has his own style, his own fashion and, yes, his own swagger. He is his own man, and he loves it. He loves Jesus, and he doesn’t care who knows it. He wants others to see what he sees and feel what he feels.

Often, I see the little boy alive in his eyes, and my heart skips a beat for what once was. I see him shooting for the stars, and I pray he never stops or even hesitates. I see him making plans and setting aspirations into action, and I pray The Lord keeps him within His grasp, always leading and guiding him down the right path.

In those moments, I realize, this is what it’s all about: Dreams. Hopes. Aspirations. Reaching for something great. This is what brings about change. This is what brings about true freedom from conformity. This is what brings about new “life.” As a little child dreams, hope is birthed in the soul, and ope brings them to a brighter future…Christ said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” 

For if we fail to dream, if we fail to reach for the stars, something dies within. We must let the child live. We must cultivate those dreams of yesterday. Yeah, some things change, and life always moves on. Time never stops, but yet, if we lose track of it without a dream, it surely does drag along. If we forget to get lost in the yester-years, every once in a while, how will we ever remember how much has changed, and how will we ever see how far we’ve come?

So, dream on, my sweet child. Dream big. Plan long, and aspire for greatness! You can shoot for all the stars in the sky, and even if you don’t make it to the one in your sights, you’ll still get further than if you never reached for it to start. I see gold all around you, and I believe it’s because the stars are within your grasp. Let Him guide you to the right ones, and He will help you get there. When you do, just reach up and take hold. It’s yours for the dreaming, and when you’re amongst the stars, that’s when you’ll see the gold that I see all around you.  

Answer to Friday’s Angle #25

How did you do yesterday?  

If you guessed brick on the side of a building, you got it!! 🙂  

Thanks so much for playing!! Hope to see you again next time!

Friday’s New Angle #25

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time for a New Angle! Let’s see if you can figure this one out! 😉