Tears Bring Healing

Tonight, I had to tell our youngest, “No,” and it just broke my heart to watch him struggle with the answer, fight back the tears, and, finally, come into my arms for comfort and to shed a few more years. It wasn’t a no that I wanted to give, and it definitely wasn’t a moment of excitement, but I told him, “No,” because the cost was just too high, and we just didn’t have it to give for a new pet.

You see, he wanted a leopard gecko. He loves animals…LOVES them, I say. He always has; if I would let him, he would have his room (or the whole house, for that matter!) full of all kinds of creatures. He had been talking about this latest endeavor for about a week. He had researched what they eat, what their habitat needed and how they slept. He was ready. We headed to the pet store with the pre-knowledge that mom could pull the brakes, if needed, depending upon price, difficulty of care and the need to feed them live food. Note: Because he is only ten, and knowing the reputation he has of loving the pets but, eventually, leaving most the feeding and cleaning to mom, I was not going to be okay with a pet who was high maintenance or needed live animals in its diet. (Sorry, I’m really not a “girly girl,” but I don’t care much for crickets, worms, etc.)

Off to the pet store we went. The lady who helped us was incredibly knowledgeable. She had a fish, a bearded dragon and a cat at home herself. She was so patient and informative, even as we switched the decision, due to daily live cricket feedings to once a week live feedings, from a leopard gecko to a eyelash crested gecko,. Once all of the needed materials were loaded into the cart, and I started calculating in my head that this was rounding out at about $200, without the $50 gecko, I had to call dad…this was just a big chunk of change for such a small pet. Dad made the final call and agreed that, indeed, it was simply too much to be spent right now. I watched as my sweet, pet-loving, son took the news with courage and understanding but, also, with a broken little heart.

He dutifully put all the items back on the shelf, refusing any comfort or conversation, until I finally said, “Buddy, come here a second.” He came into my arms and buried his little face and cried. It broke my heart. I knew it was the right decision we had to make, but feeling his little arms around my waist and looking into his red, tear stained eyes, I was ready to weep. I wanted to make it all perfect for him, to see his beautiful smile and hear his little squeals of laughter and delight.

Do I just want to give all things to my children no matter the cost or consequence? By all means! Is it for their betterment if I do this? Definitely not. It made me think of our Heavenly Father when He has to tell us, “No.” He doesn’t tell us no, because He wants to keep us from happiness. He doesn’t tell us no, because He is a mean father and just wants to see us cry and complain. He tells us no for our good. He tells us no, because He has a better plan. He tells us no, because He wants us to grow and learn and become whom He has designed in perfection.

When JMan earns all of the money to go back and buy that gecko, he will have grown a little. He will have learned more of what rewards can come when a little hard work and effort are achieved. He will also have learned a lot about appreciation for a gift well earned rather than an attitude of entitlement for a gift just simply received. Over the next few weeks, when the tears have settled and the little jobs are being done around the house, he and I will talk about the lesson that’s being learned…a life lesson: there are times we won’t always get what we want instantly, but if we set a goal, take the necessary steps to get there, it is always achievable. We will, also, talk about how in the moment, the tears may come and the disappointment may feel as if it’s breaking our heart, but given time, we will see clearly the growth, strength and healing which come when we handle our disappointments the way he did today.

On a lighter note, I found this pic today could very well and see this being him one day…without the pink pjs and long hair, of course. Lol…

  

**note: I do not possess, I do not own nor did I take this picture. It came up via Facebook. I simply screenshot it and posted here. 
 

 

 

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Do You Ever Wonder?

Do you ever wonder why we’re really here? Why were we created here on the planet called Earth? For what were were we made…or for Whom?

I do. 

Do you ever wonder why we have feelings, emotions that grip us like fire or make us cold as ice? Why do we smile? Why do we cry and why are we even confused sometimes?

I do. 

Have you ever wondered what it was really like before you came? …Not just a century ago or even two. I’m talking before the beginning of time. Before any human was in existence. 

Christians believe there is a God, a Supreme Being who cast the stars and planets into orbit, who formed the mountains with His hands, who breathes life into man and caused him to walk and have his being. 

Atheists believe there was and is nothing, that we just are and will one day be no more…no beginning. No end. No purpose. No reason. 

Scientists believe there was nothing and then all is a sudden, “Bang!” There was a tiny life form, and all things were created from it. Some believe there is something controlling the times; others believe it just is what it is. 

What about you? Have you ever wondered? Have you ever searched with your heart to find? What if there is nothing? What if there is something? What if there is Someone? 

Out of all the theories, estimations and stories, I have but one thing I can believe. I have only one source from which I can find wisdom. 

There is a God in heaven. He is Supreme. He is Mighty. He was, and is and is to come. He is the Master Artist, the Master Creator, and He gave me breath in my lungs and a heart to keep beating. 

It is easier for me to believe there is Someone higher, mightier and much smarter than me than to believe there is simply nothing and will never be. It is easier for me to believe there is Someone above to can see all, do all and be all. It is easier for me to believe He loves me, died for me and is, one day soon, coming back to take me to His Heavenly home. 

“Why,?” You might ask. I believe, because He lives within me, and I can’t live a day without Him. He give me joy, peace and strength. He covers me with His grace that is sufficient in my times of need. 

“How do (I) know?” You might ask. I know, because I just know. I know, because I’ve met Him. I’ve met Him there in the quiet place of my soul. I know, because I’ve been away from Him, at times, and I’ve felt the void of not being near Him. I know, because, sometimes, you just know that you know, and no one can ever convince you otherwise. 

Do you? 

If you don’t, just give Him a chance. I challenge you, “Just tey (Him) on for size.” I promise you, He will not disappoint. He will be beyond your wildest dreams. 

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” Proverbs 8:17

Answer to Friday’s Angle #48

How’d it go yesterday?  

If you guessed Christmas lights, you got it! 

   

 …I know everyone’s, probably, already put up your decorations for the new year, but I thought it would be nice to reminisce one more time…Ahhh, I love Christmas! 😊🎄☃🎅🏻

Friday’s New Angle #48

It’s Friday, and it’s time for another New Angle!  

Remember, check back here tomorrow for the answer! 😉

Move On

When you keep walking, you can reach your destination. When you keep moving, you can avoid a mess or even a tragedy. When you keep going forward, you are able to step into a new chapter of life. It is when we stop, when we hesitate for too long that we become stagnant. 

Stagnation can lead to apathy, laziness and eventually death. 
It also leads to a stench that no one wants to encounter. Have you ever been by an area that is filled with stagnant water? Do you remember the smell? It will begin to have a putrid, stale odor that you don’t want to hang around to endure very long. 

That’s how it is in our lives when we stay fixated too long in things from which we should move on. When we stop at the time which we should move, we run the risk of becoming stagnant. We take the chance of getting lazy in our calling, in our purpose and even in our tenacity to finish. 

Now, I’m not talking about those moments before God when we should come before Him to be quiet and still to hear His voice. I’m not talking about those moments of refreshing solitude. Our sanity depends on those. No, I’m talking about those moments when God is urging us forward, and it’s a little uncomfortable. Those moments when He is drawing us beyond where we’ve been, and it’s even a little painful to walk away from the warmth and comfort of what we know into a whole new place of challenge and change. 

These are the moments with some of the most vital decision making of our lives. These are the moments when we choose to grow and become who God is calling us to be, or we choose to remain and become stagnant in our outlook and in our purpose of living. When we choose not to move forward, whether it be from the pain we feel, the shame we see or the fear we hear calling from the depths of our soul, we begin to die inside, and we may very well miss out on the opportunity God has for us just around the corner! So, keep moving to see what He has in store for you!

Wednesday’s Ode #49

Welcome to my Wednesday’s Ode. This is where I tell of something I absolutely love and why. It has been fun doing these over the (almost) past year; however, these are coming to a close next week. I believe they have run their course, and I’d like to start something new with you. Thank you so much for being here with me, for reading, and for all your lovely comments and wonderful support. I am so thankful for you, and I hope you will continue with me on this journey of writing and discovering! 😉

So, today, I’d like to repost one of my favorite Wednesday’s Ode, and maybe, one of the longest, as well. (I hope you don’t mind!) It’s about one of my very favorite towns, and I do hope you enjoy it! 🙂


I absolutely love Highlands, NC! At over 4,000 feet in elevation, it is the second highest town on the East Coast, and it is simply a wonderful little town. If you’ve ever visited Gatlinburg, Tn, we always say Highlands is everything Gatlinburg should be…without all the Tshirt shops and commercializations. It is simply beautiful, and if you’ve never been, I encourage you to make a trip! It is a definite favorite for me and my husband, as we spent our first and second honeymoons here, and due to the cooler temperature year-round, we come here at least 4-6 times a year, if not a good many more.


It’s not a big city. It’s a quaint little mountain town with a little bit of “high society” living. They’ve got wonderful accommodations, restaurants and shops. One of my favorites is The Old Edwards Inn; the character of this place is incredible. They have a library, in which, you can actually find a book to sit and enjoy, high vaulted ceilings and even a hidden butler pantry where the staff may come to serve the guests. Their restaurant, Madison’s, has some of the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever put in my mouth…and being a Southern girl, that’s quite a bit! They have inside seating, a wine garden with outside seating, and even a rooftop terrace where you can choose to have your meal.   Now just imagine: a lovely rooftop terrace, with beautiful shutters, table settings and cushioned seating, overlooking the little town, and a gentle summer breeze blowing in the “heat” of summer with ceiling fans gently rolling. The temperature gauge rising no more than about 70-72 degrees, because you’re at such a high elevation! The waiter brings you a pleasant cheese and cracker tray for an appetizer, “just right” sweet Southern tea, mini biscuits and cornbread made fresh daily, and your meal consists of fish and chips and the best shrimp and grits you’ve ever tasted. They even serve the shrimp and grits in a mini iron crock; so, they stay warm throughout the duration of the meal. It is a fine Southern meal to remember! 😉


   Doesn’t that look just awesome?! …It tastes even better!!

For dessert, you’ll want to walk down the street to Kilwin’s, where you can choose homemade fudge and chocolates, or you can choose from a mass variety of Mayfield ice cream. The pralines and chocolate dipped Nutter Butters, PB cups and Oreos are some of my family’s faves; however, my personal favorite is the turtle caramel apple! They take a Granny Smith Apple, dip it in caramel, roll it in pecans and, then, drizzle it with chocolate, and they will slice it right there for you; so, you don’t have to try to bite into that monstrosity! It is divine!!  If you’d like a wonderful cup of coffee with your dessert, you can also find it there; however, I prefer a cup of Buck’s Coffee, preferably a cup of white chocolate mocha, just across the street. Outside Kilwin’s is a brick patio with lots of umbrella tables and chairs where you can enjoy your coffee and yummy desserts, and on Friday and Saturday evenings, often times, they will have a live bluegrass, country (or other Southern genre) band playing. It’s simply a delightful ending for a great day.

These things have just got to be in heaven!

Now, if you’d like to work off some of those delicious calories you’ve added to your waistline during your stay, they have a ton of shops for you to find any number of items, and they have a numerous amount of hikes for you to explore. You can stop by the Highland Hiker and pick up a local booklet of all the Day Hikes Of Highlands, and explore till your heart is content. You can check the local weather and head out for a delightful, cool climat-ed, adventure.

We, personally, love Dry Falls, Glenn Falls, Sunset Rock and Whiteside Mountain. Dry Falls had recently had a remodeling of the parking lot and walkway, and it’s an incredibly easy walk to a beautiful waterfall which you can walk behind. When it has had a lot of recent waterfall, the roar can be so loud that you can barely hear each other talk while standing behind it. Glenn Falls is a little bit longer of a hiker but definitely an easy one. Many people who go to this one say they’ve always ended up at the bottom of the falls, but haven’t ever been to the top. Upon starting out, there is a sign to the falls on the left, and to another location on the right. Choose the left; then, a little bit further down the trail, there is a fork in the road where you must choose the right side path in order to get to the top of the falls. The left path takes you to the bottom. We always choose the top of the falls, because we like to put out feet in the water, but please, please be careful here! There are no boundaries once you cross over the overlook area. You can get as close to the edge as you’d like, and if you have adventurous boys like mine, your mother’s heart can very easily suffer about three heart attacks during your enjoyment of the view and the cool waters!!

 …WAY too close, JGrizz!!

If you are visiting the area with your significant other, Sunset Rock is a must! You drive to it, and walk just a tiny path that opens up to an incredible sheer-faced rock that overlooks the town of Highlands. The view from here at sunset definitely earns its name! If you’d prefer to just drive to the many water falls, you can pick up a map, head out and literally drive under Bridal Falls and drive around to see many others. Just beware of the very curvy, and often, very narrow highway you must travel to see these. You might want to have a designated driver who doesn’t want to sightsee and drive! Haha.

If you’d prefer a bit longer hike, Whiteside  Mountain is a great choice. We hiked here during our honeymoon week and saw our first Peregrine Falcon face to face. The little snapshot camera I had (these were the days before iPhones and digitals!) didn’t really do it justice, but he was about 3-4 feet from us and just seemed to sit there and simile for the camera. The hike is pleasant, and the views are simply breathtaking!

If you are on the East Coast and have never been to Highlands, it is well worth the trip!! It is a beautiful town that is surrounded with breathtaking sights, and the weather, especially in the summertime, is a very welcome delight! If shopping, hiking and sightseeing is your kind of thing, this is definitely a must-see!

 

Give It Up!

Sometimes, we just have to give it up! Now, I’m not talking about your faith or your salvation. I’m not talking about your marriage or that commitment you made that has gotten difficult to continue, but you know you must. No, I’m speaking of matters of the heart here. Those emotions that we should have laid down a long time ago. I’m talking about those thoughts and feelings that keep bubbling up when you least expect it, and they keep wrecking your peace, your joy and your future. 
You’ve been holding onto the past, your pain, your anger, and even your fears for so long that the holding on has become a ritual. It has become a routine, a part of you, as if it’s your right arm or hand. We all do it from time to time. We hold that thing close and cater to it, pamper it and even excuse it, until it become a part of us. Then, when we are confronted with Truth, with the need of letting it go, we buck and baulk like we’re being asked to cut off a vital organ! The Word says, in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Truth comes to set us free from the bondage and strongholds that keep us bound and held back from a better life. Truth brings healing and freedom. So, how can we do that when that pain, or that emotion, has become a part of us?? We simply obey. We have to obey Him when He urges us to let go. 

We need to be so in love with Jesus that it doesn’t matter WHAT He asks of us, we are ready and willing to obey. We can’t obey Him simply because of our own goodness. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” We don’t just have a “good heart” …even though that is definitely propagated here in South! (I hear moms and grandmothers say all the time, “I know they’re a rascal, and they cheat, lie and do drugs, but they’ve got a good heart!”…yeah, right!) 

We can’t obey simply because we work harder at it. It’s not a matter of works. If we only work to obey Christ out of our “dutifulness,” then, we’ve turned the cross into a bloodless stick. He didn’t die for us simply for us to do better. He died for us so we could love Him, to have a relationship with Him, and, ultimately, to restore us to our heavenly home. Hebrews 7:25 says it like this, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” He died for us so that we might be reconciled to Him!

If we continue to hold onto these wounds, these pains, these sins of our past and refuse to let them go and allow Him to heal us, we will continually miss His best for our lives! We need to realize when He asks us to let go of something, it is not to harm us or to bring us pain and agony. It is to bring us healing and freedom in Him. It is to bring about HIS best for our lives! …and we need to realize it wouldn’t hurt so much to let go had we not let it grow attached in the first place!! (Ha!)

Jeremiah 29:11-14 says, “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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

I don’t know about you, but I want to choose freedom today! I will choose Truth and Liberty this year! It’s time to give it up, to lay down our will and our way, and to seek God’s complete truth for our lives!! Let’s give it up! 🙂

Overcoming Fear

Sometimes, you just have to face down your fears in order to have a dream realized. If you don’t face down the fear, you might miss out on the joy of the dream coming true.  

A few months ago, our little family was at some friends’ farm near South Georgia. A member of their family had been taking care of a wild hawk for about three months after saving it from drowning. When I say “wild,” I mean exactly that. They did not have this bird of prey in a cage nor on any type of contained area. They simply allowed him to come and go around the farm. They had trained him to land on their gloved arm and to eat from their hand, but they weren’t limiting his ability to learn to live, hunt and dwell on his own. 

While we were there, they asked if we wanted to be a part of the hawk’s feeding. Each one of us were intrigued and, at first, a little intimidated; however, we all faced down our fears and intimidation, put on the red glove and awaited the landing. 

It was an incredible experience!! 

    

 
  
The hawk was so beautiful!

 He even met us at the front door on one of our visits, and decided to alight on Joey’s shoulder. Joey said it was quite intimidating to have him squawk at you and then fly to land right beside your face! 
It’s always been my dream to do this. Hawks are one of my favorite animals and definitely my favorite birds of prey. They are so majestic. I am so glad I had the courage to experience this dream come true!

Answer to Friday’s Angle #47

How’d it go yesterday?

  
If you guessed a night light sensor, you got it! 🙂

  

Friday’s New Angle #47

Here’s another New Angle for you! 🙂