Friday’s New Angle #31

It’s Friday; so, you know what that means! It’s time for another New Angle! 😊 

  This is another one that might be a little tricky; so, I’ve given you two! 😉 

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Just Thought I’d Share, Again

Just thought I’d give you another glimpse into my world today. I did this last Thursday, and you all seems to enjoy it; so, I thought I’d share some more this week…  

   

  

  

Truth. (sums up my life with my husband ❤ )

 
 

True Story. (*I did not take this pic – off internet*)

  

Love of My Life…doing what he loves to do

Blogging 201: Get Read All Over and Auditing

Today seems to be a short and sweet assignment (“Get Read All Over”)…check out your blog on various devices to see that it is readable and appeals to all possible audiences. I can “Check” this off my list. 😉

So, I suppose, I will address “Day 2: Auditing Your Brand” of the Blogging 201, as I am still in the process of completing this assignment. I have asked a couple of people to look at my blog and “gently critique” it to see what might need some improvements. I’ve received sweet, encouraging, and honest replies from two of the three fellow bloggers I approached (just haven’t heard from the third yet), and I would like to share with you their blogs, as well, to let you see why I chose them. Even though, I don’t personally know either of them, I think we have just kind of “hit it off” as “blogging neighbors.” I think both of them have incredible blogs and really share from their hearts: The Narrow Lens and Minuscule Moments of Inspiration …I do hope you will hop over to their blogs and see what they have to say today. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 🙂

You know, if I were to be honest here, asking someone to take time to “review” my blog is a little intimidating. I really am curious and desirous of the review. I wonder all the time if my blog is intriguing, helpful, encouraging, as well as, “pleasant to the eyes;” however, I have to go through so many thoughts before I work up the courage to ask… “Will they mind my asking?” “Do they really have the time?” “Am I imposing upon them by asking?” “Will they give an honest opinion, or will they be mean, and maybe a little too blunt, or will they just simply be too sweet, not being truthful?” It takes courage and confidence to ask for an honest review, an honest answer, even an honest opinion, and it takes humility and confidence to receive constructive criticism. (yes, I used confidence twice in the same sentence. Sorry, making a subtle point. haha.) I think, sometimes…well, no, often times, we avoid asking for honesty in another’s reply to us. We may be too fearful, too intimidated, too prideful, or even too lazy, because to actually receive criticism, we might have to realize we weren’t as right as we thought we were…we might have to alter the way we’ve always done things…we might have to realize and admit we were wrong(Ouch!) We might have to actually improve our speaking or writing skills. We may have to sit up straighter, walk a little taller, smile a little brighter. We might have to do things a little different…or a lot. We might actually have to change from who we’ve been.

Now, I know, I’m not implying we should change for every little criticism that comes our way! Goodness, NO! If we did that, we’d just become a wimpy, indecisive person who isn’t stable, proactive or even certain of our own thoughts or actions. (and that can be a thought progressed on another post) However, I do believe, if we desire true growth in our lives, we need a few leaders who can “get in our grill” and tell us how it is. We need someone who thinks differently than we do, who dreams different, who sees things different, someone who can challenge us to look at things from a different angle for our own good. Otherwise, we will live our lives puffed up in pride, never realizing we might actually stink at what we’re doing, or we will exist in our own self pity to the point we never can succeed at anything!

Well, I guess, that was a pretty deep thought for the “Audit Your Brand” assignment, but I hope you enjoyed it. 😉 By the way, if you would like, I’d love for you to take a few minutes to browse through my blog and see what you think. I’d like to receive some feedback from you!

… taking a risk here, please, be kind yet truthful! 😉

Wednesday’s Ode #32

I love Essential Oils! (…and NO, I’m not trying to sell you any! Lol!)         

Some of my favorites!

 

My journey with EOs began late last year, just after Thanksgiving. We had a very rampant case of a nasty stomach virus in the area, and it seemed our church nursery might be one of the culprits! (Not really, but we sure had a bunch of families who were sick!!) I just happened to      have gotten several essential oils into my little repertoire, and I started doing a little research on them. I found that a great way to combat sickness is to take a little carrier oil, a few drops of EOs and apply it to the soles of your feet, because your feet have the largest pores in your body. This allows more of the oils to be absorbed.      

So, that’s just what I did! I began a nightly ritual of rubbing oils on mine and my family’s feet and pulling on socks afterward (for the oils will ruin bedsheets and clothes if not protected). Our little family survived that month with NO sickness! I became a believer!! There had been probably close to 50-60% of our church family who had suffered from the flu and various sicknesses during that Christmas holiday, and we had visited with many of them! 

Another incident which deepened my reliance on EOs came in March when our little man caught a stomach virus. Now understand, our boys usually are over a stomach virus within about 6-8 hrs. I quarantine them, keep everything highly sanitized and they’re done, never passing it on to anyone else in the house. However, this little big was nasty! I hope I don’t gross you out, but to explain the strength of this virus: JMan threw up every 30 mins for the first 10 hours, subsiding, after that, to every hour for the next 8-12 hours, and by that time, it was simply dry heaves. His little body was just wrecked. He ran a high fever on the third day, and, finally, on the fourth morning, he was getting better. I was right there with him through it all, he laid beside me, trying to rest or watch cartoons. I helped him to the restroom, and I quarantined myself in the room with him for the duration. It was the worst he’s ever been sick!                       

I’ve acquired a nice little collection…got the box from Amazon, and it works great! Doesn’t matter the brand!

 

Well, long about the 12th hour into this, I pulled out my EOs and start application. I, also, started taking organic apple cider vinegar twice a day. With this combination, thankfully, I was able to avoid this mean virus. I was, also, able to use a little bit of peppermint and carrier oil to soothe my little man’s nausea during this time. 

I am so thankful to have discovered these natural remedies for my family! I encourage you to do the same. 

There are a couple of things you must know before you run out to the local health store:

1. If taken incorrectly, or if overdosing, EOs can be dangerous, even toxic and lethal. 

2. Not all EOs are equal. Do some research. See which brand is best for you. 

3. There will be many, especially those who are involved with marketing and recruiting for certain brand names, who will tell you theirs are the best. I suggest you refer back to #2. 😉

4. Not all EO brands are for personal use. Some are better for house cleaning and aromatherapy. Refer to #1 &2 😉

5. Not all purchases of EOs have to break the bank. Check for sales from the companies you prefer. Check Amazon. 😉

6.  EOs won’t always replace doctor visits and other medications, but they sure can help and prevent frequent trips and purchases! 😉

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Ode, and I hope you discover some great EOs for you! 🙂

Counted Worthy

Acts 5:41-42 “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”

…rejoicing because of ridicule and persecution?? Who does that?? I don’t see many in today’s society who get excited over verbal attacks, much less, physical attacks! You can pick up today’s paper or turn on the nightly news and see accounts of those who are angry at any intolerance, any mocking or even the slightest implication of ridicule for their given faith, lifestyle or even choice of words. These men, here in the Scripture, were thrown in prison, mocked, accused, about to receive a death sentence, and ended up simply being flogged (for anyone wondering, that means “to be beat with a whip or stick”), and yet, they left rejoicing, because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 

This Scripture is so challenging to me. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m not crazy about suffering, and especially, about being beat with a whip or stick. Honestly, that’s not quite my vision of a “fun day!” Yet, these men loved God so much that they were willing to go through all of this just so they could testify of His Name. They rejoiced that the suffering came their way, because it enables them to preach more boldly to others of His glory, and they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news from that day forward!

With the news headlines of all the Christians around the world being killed by ISIS, and so many other happenings in our own nation, this scenario is coming so close to being a reality within our own Land of the Free and The Brave. Growing up, I never thought this could happen here; yet, now, as an adult, I’m not so naive nor idealistic. I know it can happen in the blink of an eye, and to be honest, it does give me pause. 

I read books like Jesus Freak and Fox’s Book of Martyrs, and my faith is challenged by their boldness in the face of persecution. My petty little worries of friendships, light bills and “Are my children doing their homework today?” vanish into thin air in the light of their martyrdom. I pray I can be found this faithful. I pray I can be found this encouraging and this bold to share my testimony with others even if I am staring death in the face. 

It’s so easy to boldly proclaim your allegiance when no one is threatening you. It’s so easy to declare your faithfulness when you don’t have a gun aimed at your head, or your children are lined up at the stake, but as I read Jesus Freaks, I truly wonder if I could keep my bold faith when looking down the barrel of a semi-automatic or my children’s very lives are being threatened.

I pray I am found faithful and true. I pray I can remain steadfast and committed to the One who saved me, forgave me and gave me new life. I pray that, if I am found worthy of suffering disgrace for His sweet Name, I am able to stand, rejoicing, proclaiming His goodness and grace for everyone to see. 

How about you? What do you see? What would you do?

Blogging 201: Branding and Growth

Ok, so in addition to my daily posts, I am going to attempt to keep up with Blogging 201 over next week or so. I know I did this last year; however, I feel like I could always use the extra help and refreshing of ideas. 🙂

Today, we must set three goals for our blog:

1. Increase followers by 20% by January 1, 2016…at 266 today… So, that would mean 318. (Wow, I can’t believe that date is almost a reality!)

2. Publish consistently everyday of the month, except Sundays. (This includes, but is not limited to Weekly posts)

…Since I already have two weekly features in place (Wednesday’s Ode and Friday’s New Angle), I’m not going to add another quite yet. However…

3. Visit fellow bloggers at least one hour weekly, comment and encourage them as I go.

So, here we go! Blogging U has now begun… 🙂

Their Destiny

When you look at your child, do you ever wonder about his or her destiny? Do you wonder whom he will follow? Who he will become? Or maybe, whom he will encounter along the way? What path will she choose? Will she fight hard against conformity, or will she bend and sway to whomever screams the loudest at the moment?

How do we ensure their safety in this big, dangerous world? How do we protect them and guide them, while also, giving them the freedom to grow and develop their thoughts, their dreams and, even their faith, on their own?

We can only accomplish this, successfully, when we look to the Creator of their souls. He can and will help us, if we will but ask and follow His lead. The Word tells us God has a plan for their lives, good plans, prosperous plans…We find this, specifically, in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So, we must entrust them to Him at an early age. We must submit our own lives to Him and follow His lead. Our children not only learn from what we say, but they learn most by what we do. If we follow Him, they learn, by example, what and how to do it. If we’re resistant to Him, they will, also, learn how to resist and fight against Him.

I saw this come to fruition the other day, as we came upon a beautiful waterfall on one of our hikes. You see, my husband and I absolutely love waterfalls. We will purposefully go on a hike to find those which we haven’t yet seen. We will revisit many, and even though we’ve seen them countless times, we will remain at them for limitless amounts of time just gazing and listening. It’s as if our souls settle as we stand in front of the gushing streams of water. Our thoughts are purified, our hearts are untangled from the cares of this world.

Twice, in the last week,  we took our boys to a couple of waterfalls. Last week, we went to a very well known waterfall in North Georgia, Amicalola Falls.

We stayed there, admiring the falls, for probably close to 30 minutes, just simply lost in its beauty. As we stood there on the walkway, gazing up at the falls, people were constantly moving in front of us. Some would remark on the heights, on the beauty; many would turn their backs to the falls, take their little selfies, and then walk on pass. Others would simply walk by, glance at the falls and keep on walking, as if the 600+ steps of the hike was their one and only goal, or maybe just being able to say, “I was there,” was their purpose for coming.

We stood in amazement at their lack of amazement, as if this was simply some mound of dirt on the side of the path to whatever was more important in their journey right then. Even as I didn’t say a word to our oldest, I watched as my oldest son became livid with these people he didn’t even know. He couldn’t believe their disdain for God’s creation. He said nothing to those around him, but I heard about it for quite awhile as we made it back to our truck.

This past Friday, we went to Horse Trough Falls, again, in the North Georgia Mountains. It is set off the beaten path, and it is simply gorgeous! Joey and JMan stayed for a bit, but JMan wanted to get to the creek to build a dam and cool off from the heat; so, JGrizz and I remained at the waterfall while dad and youngest went back to the creek bed.

JGrizz sat at the man-made platform for a bit, then, ventured past where he could get closer to the falls. He took a few pics; then, he just found a comfortable spot on an old tree that had fallen across the creek, took off his shoes and just enjoyed the sights, smells and feel of the waterfall for a good long while.

As I watched him, I realized, he has become his Daddy’s son. This may sound silly, because, of course, this is obvious to anyone who knows the two of them. Yet, sometimes, I think, as our children grow into adulthood, there are definitive moments, those moments when we actually see the handprint of God on their lives and the tiny part we played in their development. This was one of those moments for me.

I could see his Daddy in his awe of God’s beauty. I could see the settling of his soul as he sat there lost in his surroundings. I could hear his Dad’s blunt (not-meaning-to-be-harsh-only-truthful) voice as he told me he didn’t want me to talk if I sat beside him on that log. I could feel his Dad’s love as he later hugged me, as if to say,” I really wasn’t trying to be rude. Sorry it came out that way.” I could even see his Heavenly Father’s courage, confidence and strength as he walked boldly among those slippery rocks just to get a closer glimpse of its beauty.  My heart was full as I gazed at the man he was becoming.

Then, he said the words that sealed the moment within my heart. We were talking about the little streams of water which break off from the main portion of the waterfall, yet, still find their way to the bottom. JGrizz said, “Those streams are like me, and the rest are like society. I find my own way.” It was as if God was showing me in that moment, he has what it takes to make it. He will reach his destiny.

When we made our way back to the creek bed, I could see the sparkle in JMan’s eyes as he built his dam in the creek, it was the same sparkle his Daddy has. It’s the spark of wonder, adventure and just plain fun! Oh, the wonder of a child. We should never lose it, no matter how old or busy we become.

I saw my husband’s love for life within the lives of our sons, and I saw the love of our Heavenly Father wrapped up in their wonder for His creation. These things come to be as our children follow in our footsteps. They not only hear what we say; they see as we see and act as we act. If we will but submit them until God and allow Him to guide their lives, they will follow Him, and He will help them to reach their destiny.

 ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Answer to Friday’s Angle #30

How did you do yesterday??  

This one might have been a little tricky…

It’s a JELLYFISH! 😊

   
 It always amazes me how these things look a lot like flying saucers! Lol. 😂  

Friday’s New Angle #30

Another Friday…another New Angle! 😊  

Check back here tomorrow for the answer. 😉

Dear New York

In honor of the fallen today, I am reposting this that I shared last October… We will never forget. 🇺🇸🗽

New York, your towers once stood so tall.

The face of pride and success for all.

Terror crept in without even a sound.

Inside your walls, their evil did pound.

My heart is broken, my eyes fill with tears.

Please know our God still lingers near.

I cry for your loss, your distress and your pain.

Now is not the time to worry about your gain.

Turn your eyes and look t’ward Jesus.

He will help heal your wounds. He must.

Look up and see your Savior’s great love.

He comforts as He sends His sweet dove.

His hand is just, sovereign and true.

If you’ll surrender, He can make you anew.

He longs for you to love Him and to serve Him.

Before all your lights are, once again, made dim.

Please don’t linger, turn away or wait.

Please do not put off till it is far too late.

He longs to hold you, to love you, to mend.

But He is a good God, He will now not force you to bend.

There will come a day of not another breath.

Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess.

He is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.

That day will be too late for your heart to sing.

His return is, oh, so very, very soon.

Turn your eyes to Him before the great boom.

He desires to help you, to cleanse you from all vice.

He loves you; He died for you. For you, He paid the great price.

Penned – MG – 9/11/02