Wednesday’s Ode #37

Today, I would like to dedicate this Ode to a man who has always been very special in my life, and who will always hold a special place in my heart; even though, I had to say goodbye to him 13 years ago…my grandfather, aka Pa”T”.

Although, it has been 13 years ago (October 6), it feels like forever since I held his strong hands and kissed his cheek. My heart still yearns to see him again. My ears long to hear him say, “I love you, baby.”  My arms still desire to wrap around his big ol’ frame and receive a great big bear hug from him. I miss him so much. Time doesn’t erase the pain; it just makes the pain tolerable to live through.

You see, Pa”T” was not just my grandfather, he was like a Daddy to me, the only dad I really knew until my mom married my step-dad when I was 12. Pa”T” always looked out for me. He always made sure I was doing ok in school, at home, at church; wherever I was, he wanted to make sure I had everything I needed or even wanted.

He was always proud of me, and he always wanted me near. He taught me how to listen to a good story (and he could tell some great ones!), catch and clean fish (well, at least how to watch them get cleaned! ha!), how to take care of my money and even how to act around strangers. He taught me how a man should treat a woman, and how he shouldn’t. He even taught me how to pay bills by buying my first car and then sending me a check each month to deposit into my own checking account so that I could send off the payment.

He loved going on an adventure, exploring a new town, finding a new experience, and never met a stranger. Often, my grandmother and I would go in a mall or plaza to shop for a while, and we’d always come out to find he had made a new friend. He would proceed to introduce us to this person and tell you some of the most interesting things about them, as if, he had known them for a very long time. He liked meeting all sorts of people, but he had standards of character. He didn’t care for rude, hateful, lazy or user-type people. He believed in hard work and earning your own keep. He believed a man should provide for his family, and a wife should love and take care of her babies; yet, he didn’t believe so much in tradition that he would look down on a couple whose momma had to go to work either, just so long as those babies were taken care of!

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He sure loved his “little buddy!” (2001 – Pa”T” and JGrizz)

I’ll never forget the moment he met Joey. We were all kind of nervous, because he could “size someone up” real fast, and if he didn’t like my new love, it sure would be hard for me to continue to like him and stay with him, not because Pa”T” would be hateful to him, but because I cared so much what he would think and say. He shook Joey’s hand, looked him eye to eye, and said, “Well, he sure looks like a fine, upstanding, young man.” At that moment, I knew I had a keeper, and years later, I realized these two men are so much alike. 😉

He was a real man’s man, a “John Wayne” kind of man… Well, I won’t be redundant for those of you who might have already read my post about him last year…If you’d like, you can read more about him in Bigger than Life. I hope you enjoy…

Today is his birthday, and if I were able, I would say, “Happy Bday in heaven, Pa”T”! I know you’re having a blast, and you’re probably telling somebody a good ol’ tale today. I love you, and I miss you so much. Life just isn’t the same without you!! Thank you for all the love you gave, character you taught and wisdom you passed along. You didn’t miss much, and for that, I am so grateful. I am, also, so thankful that I’ll get to see you again one day…and I sure hope it’s sooner than later! 😉 “

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I always felt safe and secure in his arms. (1990 – me and my little cousin)

 

Heart Questions

Why do babies die too soon?Questions-of-the-Heart-300x259

Why do mothers get cancer?

Why do fathers die tragically?

Why do friends hate and kill?

Why do the innocent suffer?

Sometimes, my heart asks the hard questions, the kind of questions that don’t have easy answers to find. Sometimes, my mind scrambles to understand why evil can be so prevalent in a world in which God made and in people whom God created. Sometimes, life just seems unfair, unruly and undesirable.

Often, I wonder why innocent children are taught to carry guns and strap bombs on themselves to kill people of another religion and race. Often, I wonder why this one is healed of sickness and disease and another says goodbye. Often, I wonder why one family can be so blessed and another can be left so desolate.

In all of this questioning, I have found some answers to be true…

We live in a fallen world, and we’re not home (in heaven) yet. This life we live is not perfect, and we become fools when we believe it should be. There are evil men (and women) in our culture today, and their only intent is to wreak havoc wherever they can.

Sometimes, people are in the wrong places at the wrong times. Sometimes, people are doing something they shouldn’t be doing. Sometimes, people aren’t doing what they should.

There are laws of the land which, just simply, must be followed, like “Gravity is real, and if you think you’ll jump from that building and remain unharmed, you’re just wrong.” There are, also, spiritual laws which, again, if you desire a better life, must be followed. Even if you’re not a believer, you can see that ‘reaping what you sow’ comes to pass. As in, “If you think you can spend all that money and not go into debt, and not owe many people in return, you are just fooling yourself!”

There are some things that just “are what they are,” and there’s nothing we can do about it. There’s some things that are just sin, and sin will never bring about good things in the long run. There’s some things from which we must learn lessons in order to grow and mature beyond where we are, and there are some accidents and “freakish happenings” which just happen for no apparent rhyme or reason.

I don’t have answers to all the why’s, how’s, and when’s, and I would never try to presume that I do; however, I can tell you this: I know a God who does know all answers and so much more. I know He is faithful and true. I know He loves us, and I know He cares about every little or big thing we face. I know He is there when we need Him, and He can carry us through the storm when we can’t carry ourselves.

How do I know this, you might ask? I know this, because I believe. I know this, because I believe His Word to be true. I know this because of my personal relationship with Him. I know this because of the changes I have seen, not only in my own life but, also, in the lives of so many with whom I’ve come into contact.  I know this because of the miracles He has done in my life, and not only in my life, but in the lives of my family, my friends and, even, in people I barely know.

I know He is God. He is faithful. He is true, and He loves me and you. Does this mean, somehow, that my life is never, or will never, be touched by pain, grief or aguish. NO! Just because I believe in a loving God does not mean I will never experience something bad. I’ve seen and experienced plenty of things I wished I hadn’t, and I’m sure that I will experience more in my lifetime. That’s just life, living in an imperfect world with imperfect people. Even Jesus, the Son of God, experienced heartache, pain, suffering and, also, death. By no means, am I better than He! Sometimes, life is just not going to be what we expected it to be, but that doesn’t make Him any less of a perfect God, any less of a living God! It just makes us human and living in a human world.

So, will I always have more questions than I have answers, well, I hope so. Questions make us search our hearts, search down in our souls. Questions make us seek for deeper meaning. Questions make us seek for a higher purpose, an understanding beyond our own.

The Bible says…

Luke 11:9-10, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”

*Note: I do not own nor do I possess this picture. Found it by simple Google search. Directed to http://achurchofchrist.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Questions-of-the-Heart-300×259.jpg

Heart Overflow

I sit here this morning with a heart overflowing with gratitude. We had a housewarming shower yesterday, from our church family, and they really just “blessed our socks off!” I told my husband last night that I almost feel guilty by how much they blessed us!

I have just been in amazement lately by how much God has blessed us. I am just overwhelmed, and my heart is full. It’s not because of “stuff” that I have received, it’s more because I know it’s God blessing. It just seems that He has been pouring out blessings for our family recently.

For example, this house to which we just recently moved. I’ve told people, time and again, it’s as if God just took a checklist of all the things we desired in a home, added a few desires we didn’t even think about, and said, “Here ya go.” I mean, seriously, we have a WATERFALL in our backyard!! Not one we built ourselves, one that is formed by natural rock with a little creek running over it!  If anyone knows us, they know that had to be God to provide that kind of beauty in our very own backyard!

Another example, I had a truck that I absolutely loved. It was really hard to decide to sell, but we decided, in order to lessen our monthly cash outflow, we’d go ahead and sell it. It was an item that car dealerships were really looking for, and we came across a really sweet deal. So, now, we are without one car payment, and I’m driving a Cadillac!! Yeah, I know, that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

These are just two of the many blessings we have received lately. I am just simply in awe of my God. Some would try to argue that it’s just circumstantial or, even, coincidental, but I’d have to disagree. I believe in a God who is the Creator of the universe, the Creator of my being, and the author of time and space. He is a God who loves us enough to send His only Son to die for our sins. He is a God that cares about the world’s greatest catastrophe and the smallest sparrow that falls from a tree. He’s just a good God, and I’m so thankful I serve Him.

Do you know Who I’m talking about? If you don’t, I encourage you to meet Him and get to know Him on a personal level. I promise you, He won’t disappoint you, and He will never let you down! 😉

John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Answer to Friday’s Angle #35

How did it go yesterday??

  
That was a sea shell. I’m sorry I have forgotten the exact name of it, but I saw it at the Fernbank Science Center near Atlanta, Ga. I though it was so cool! Here’s two more angles of it…

   
 

Friday’s New Angle #35

Another Friday means another New Angle! I hope you have fun with this one! 🙂    
Remember to check back here tomorrow for the answer!

Wednesday’s Ode #36…belated! 

Again, I just want to take a quick second to apologize for my delay in this weekly post! I was just, simply, a day behind in my scheduling and writing! Thank you for your gracious understanding. 😊

 My Ode this week definitely must be about Fall. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Fall in Georgia! It is the season for beautiful fall colors, yummy dessert combinations, pumpkins, hay rides, bonfires, apple pickin’ and, all around, lots of fun! 

 I also love this season, because I get to wear all my most comfy and most favorite clothes…long sleeves, vests, overshirts, jackets, sweatshirts, boots! Fall is the season when you can add layers and layer, and make your own decisions as to when to shed a layer if the weather gets a little to warm in the middle of the day (thankfully, this only happens a in the beginning of the season!) The daytime temps start around 76-78, leveling off around 70, when the season is in full swing. The evenings begin in the low 60s, and level off around 40. Ahhh, the wonderful temperatures of Fall!

So, I hope you have a wonderful day today, and I hope, wherever you are, you’re enjoying some beautiful autumn days. “Happy Fall y’all!” 😉🍁🍂

Wednesday’s Ode #36…coming on Thursday

Okay, so, please accept my apologies for not posting this week’s Wednesday’s Ode! I think I forgot today was Wednesday until just a few minutes ago. I have been a day behind this week. 😛 If you won’t be too upset with me, since, I just posted a note for today, I will post Wednesday’s Ode #36 TOMORROW! …Maybe by then, the week will have caught up with me 😉 haha.

For Generations to Come

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There is a song that really hit home with me the other day…

“…And if I were honest with myself

Had I been standing at that tree

My mouth and my hands would be covered with fruit

Things I shouldn’t know and things I shouldn’t see

Remind me of this with every decision

Generations will reap what I sow

I can pass on a curse or a blessing

To those I will never know”        – Sara Groves  “Generations”

The artist is referring to Eve tasting the fruit in the Garden of Eden, the comparison of her own life and the repercussions of decisions made…

How true it is, the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. If we sow good things, like love, joy, peace, patience, we will reap the same. If we sow seeds of bitterness, rage, envy and strife, that’s exactly what we will harvest. God’s Word is true, and He is faithful to what He has promised. If He says we will reap what we sow, you can believe it will come to pass.

Yet, can I ask you? How often do we fail to see that what we reap may be sown, not only in our lives but, also, in the lives of our children and in our children’s children? Let me give you a personal example…both of my grandfathers were known alcoholics in their hometown. One was a wealthy man, first name of WL, but whose reputation was as such that many nicknamed him “Double Hell” when he turned up the bottle. The other was a not so wealthy of a man, last name Hall, and whose reputation for being an alcoholic rendered him a similar nickname, just changing the vowel in his last name to fit. Now, these two men each had children, one – daughters, one – sons, all who grew up in and around these alcoholic lifestyles, and each of them learned the ways of the world and falling into the same patterns of their father. Each of these men, and each of these children, have their own stories to tell of chaos, salvation and change, and, unfortunately for one, the lack thereof. However, I am the third generation of this “heritage,” and it has taken many prayers, a tenacity of will and a lifestyle of sanctification to begin sowing a different seed than the ones they first planted.

It is so important how we choose to live our lives, not simply for our own experience, but, so much more, for those coming behind. We may be able to live life as we choose, reeking havoc when we like, being careless, nonchalant or disconnected, but what about those children who are watching us, learning from us, taking in our every move, our every word, our every action? Sometimes, they are left to pay the highest price.

When we choose to seek a higher purpose for living than just our own fleshly desires and ambitions, it causes us to be accountable to another. It causes us to take responsibility for our actions, and it causes us be more aware of commitments made and promises spoken.

My goal is to live the best life I can live to leave a strong heritage of love, faith and hope to my boys. My prayer is they will see that doing the right thing always outweighs doing the “comfortable” thing. My hope is my sons will not be the only ones impacted by the legacy I, one day, will leave.

*Picture is from welearntoday.com via Google images. I do not have possession of, nor do I own this picture.*

Framed Picture Perfect

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Originally blogged October 18, 2014…

I stood on the side of Black Rock Mountain, overlooking the valley, and I took this picture through the trees.

It was as if God had let the trees grow up in such a way that He left a “frame” just for my picture.

It was beautiful.

I could have stood there all day and gazed through my little “window.”

The fall colors were just beginning to change;

so, you could see bits of red, yellow and orange shining through all the green.

The temperature was perfect with a little breeze blowing through.

It made my heart long for the day

when the earth will be healed and the land will be made whole.

I love the fall.

I love nature.

I love the mountains, and I love that He created such a land for us to behold.

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“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.”

Isaiah 65:17

 

Answer to Friday’s Angle #34

How did you do yesterday? Did it just look like a big orange blob??  

These were actually tiny little mushrooms I found along the path walking up to Brasstown Bald. If you haven’t hiked that trail, and/or you haven’t ever been to the top, you must make the trip next time you’re in Ga.! At over 4,700 ft in elevation, it is the highest point in Ga. It is simply breathtaking!! …oh, yeah, the finally pic: 😉   

  …and just for more fun, here’s a pic from the top of Brasstown Bald…