Southern Heart

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I am a Southern girl, born and bred, and I am proud of it. In the South, we grew up knowing trust in God, family and country were three of the most important things to take care of in life, and when one of those got out of balance, the others were soon to follow. We were taught to respect our elders, appreciate our relatives, (even if they’re a little crazy), and good friends and food go a long way to make a good day great. Old dirt roads are best enjoyed on the back of a pick up truck, and front porches were made for rocking chairs and long late night talks. Fireflies were made to catch in mason jars and catfish were made to fry up for dinner. Sweet tea is made only when the sugar is poured before the tea gets cold, and chicken is best served fried with a side of mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits…oh, and with an apple pie for dessert.  “Yes ma’am,” “No, ma’am,” and The Pledge of Allegiance isn’t just polite, it’s expected, and being a sass mouth is just plain rude…there can be found a hickory switch or two for that one. Barefoot and swimming holes are sought for in the summertime and wintertime is simply harder to find. Thanksgiving is for pumpkin pies, turkey and dressing, and Christmas is for gatherings of family and friends to remember our Savior’s birth and sing of that glorious story. Being from the South makes up who I am, and even if I wasn’t born here, I don’t think you could drag me away. It’s in my heart, and it’s here to stay.

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If you aren’t from the South, don’t like the South, or you’ve never been here, that’s ok. You may be proud of where you’re from, too. You don’t have to love my home, and I don’t have to love yours, but I will try to respect it; that’s just the Southern way. 😉 It bothers me to no end those who ridicule the South by saying we’re less educated or less cultured, because our dialect is a little different than theirs, or because we didn’t grow up where they did. I won’t spend a lot of time here on that soapbox; however, I don’t believe it’s from whence you came that makes you smarter or more stupid than the next guy; it’s all in how you act, react and treat your fellow man that will determine your intellect or lack thereof.

I am so thankful to be from the South, and I can’t think of many other places I’d rather live. I’ve been to many other states, and I’ve yet to find an area I like more. So, if you’re from the South, “Welcome Home, Ya’ll!” and if you’re not, “Come on back to see us soon!”

Daily Prompt: South

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What Do You See?

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see

-D.H.Thoreau

Sometimes, your vision is everything…

What do you see when you look at people? What do you see when you are in the middle of chaos? What do you see when you are surrounded by those who have less than you or, maybe, who have more? What do you look at? What do you envision?

What you see makes up who you are. If you always see negative, you will tend to be a negative person. If you see hopelessness and despair, you are, most likely, a fearful person and you will have a tendency to either run away from problems or avoid anything that might appear a challenge. Yet, if you see hope and strength, you will have a tendency to be a fighter, a person who doesn’t give up too easily. If you see love and prosperity, you will tend to seek out those with whom you have camaraderie and with whom you can succeed.

What you see will determine where you end up in life. If you don’t see success, you’ll never achieve it. If you don’t see possibilities, you’ll never try. If you don’t see faith and integrity  in others, you’ll never learn to trust and open up to another person. In order to have a dream realized, you must first see the goals needed to get to the dream. In order to have a goal achieved, you must first see the first step that is needed. In order to start on that path, you must be able to see those around you who can help you and guide you learn to walk.

You can look at people all day every day, but if you don’t see them, you’ll never be able to reach them, and you’ll never be able to learn from them. You can look at the places people go, or the successes they have and wish you were there; however, if you don’t see the sacrifices they made to get there, you will never know the cost you’ll need to pay. You’ll never see how many steps it will take, whom you will need to help and how long it may take to arrive.

What do you see?

Daily Prompt: VISION

Vision

Chasing Sunsets 2

I love to chase sunsets at the beach. This past April, we went to the Pensacola, Florida area for Spring Break, and everyday we were there, we chased the sunsets in the evening. It was so fun, and we made so many memories. I love the white sands of the Gulf. I haven’t been to all beaches in the States, but I seriously doubt you can find those anywhere else in the U.S.

img_6710I always love sunsets, regardless, my location, but the sun seems to set so much bigger at the beach. When it drops behind the horizon, it appears to just melt into the ocean. The tides sounds peaceful and serene lapping the shoreline, and the seagulls and other creatures give the feeling of calm and tranquility.

img_6706-1Each day we would race to get to the end of Fort Pickens and run the edge of the point to try and capture the beautiful rays of that setting ball of fire. Yet, no matter how many times I clicked that camera, it never seemed to completely grasp the scene set before me. It was simply breathtaking.

I have since missed those days watching the sun with the surf surrounding me…

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PS. I posted pictures of our sunset adventures during that week entitled, “Chasing Sunsets;” thus, the reason for my “2” on this post. However, since I’m posting this for the Daily Prompt posts, and I don’t know many here, I thought you guys might not mind my reposting a few of those. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

 

Daily Prompt: BEACH
Beach

With or Without Hope

Originally posted on APRIL 27, 2015. I thought it fitting for today’s daily prompt…

My heart was heavy today, thinking of all the brokenness in this world.
The weight of it resting upon my shoulders like a wet, woolen blanket.
Tears filled my eyes as I pondered the wounded, the shattered, and the lost.
Heaviness so intense, I could hardly breathe.
Air stagnant with heartache, weariness and emptiness.
So many wandering in this place. So many without a face.

I drove by this house sitting beside the road.
Abandoned, dark, damaged and alone.
People driving by, hurrying to destinations, never stopping to see, never caring to know.
Shoved off to the side, barricade built, weeds and trees rummaging to find a home.
Broken down roof, shattered windows, busted doors, all haunted by lost potential.

The broken lives of those lost are a lot like this old house.
They take the abuse, receive the ridicule, accept the blame, wondering all the while if anyone cares as they wander aimlessly in the dark.
Others are like those who moved this old house.
Hard working, simply pragmatic, fighting to succeed at the task.
More are like the ones who vandalized it.
Kicking, biting, clawing, shattering the dreams of a once well made life.

Can you see them? Can you see yourself? Who are you? Where are you going?
Do you feel that all is lost? Do you wonder if there could still be any life inside?
I am here to tell you. I am here to help you see.
If there is still breath in your being, there is still hope.
If there still a beating of your heart, there is still a chance.
For your life is never so lost that He cannot see you.
You are never so far gone that He cannot hear.

See that foundation?
He placed it there in your heart before you were even born.
It is that longing you feel to find something of worth, something to adore.
It is that deep inner desire to be more than you are today.
He placed it there.
It is His drawing of your heart to bring you love, hope and life beyond your dreams.

He can rebuild a life broken.
He can mend dreams that have been shattered.
He can give hope to the hopeless.
He can bring life to the lifeless.
All can be renewed if you will just let Him in.
Let Him see the abandonment, the pain, the desperation.
He can change and transform.

All you must do is believe.

Daily Prompt: HOPE
Hope

Abandoned & Alone

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I see you there

In the shadows

You think I can’t see

You believe I can’t hear

You are convinced I don’t care

Can I tell you, you were not abandoned?

I hear you there

In that broken corner

You wrap your arms around

You close your eyes from the light

You shield your heart from His adoration

Can I tell you, again, you have never been alone?

He loves you more than you can see

He cares even more than you can fathom

He’s been there longer than you can imagine

He created you before your mother knew

He loved you before the beginning of time

He never left from your side. He never abandoned you.

You will find Him in a song

You will find Him in a Book

You will find Him in a dream

You will find Him in a memory

Just open your eyes and open your heart

You will find Him if you will only believe

 

Penned – MG – 5/3/16

 

 

Daily Post Prompt: Abandoned
Abandoned

Set The Mood

Music can certainly set the mood for me.

img_5022Some songs can put me in a sappy, melancholy mood, and others can get me bouncing and jumping all over the house. There are others that bring back sweet memories of childhood days and faraway places. A few can even drum up a feeling of irritation or maybe even a bit of anger if it draws out a memory long forgotten or hidden. Anyone who says “music is just music,” and it doesn’t effect them, I’d have to seriously question if they have any feelings at all, and I might even question their integrity in the answer. Music can draw out the deepest emotions from a person. It has lasted the span of time, and it continues to move cultures and people close together and far away from each other.

img_6819-1Like right now, I’m listening to Josh Garrels’ newest album Home. This is one of my absolute favorites! I just get in a kind of easy going attitude when I’m listening to this album. He is so versatile and great to listen to, no matter your mood or circumstances. He has a variety of styles within the same album, and I never get bored with each song sounding the same.

While listening to this, I can kind of see why he chose the title Home. Each song takes me through a different memory of home and leads me on to dream of my eternal home.

There is a song on this album that sounds like Led Zeppelin, which I plan to use in a later blog, and then, the very next track sounds like a love song. One of my other favorites is, Morning Light. I’ve included it at the bottom here; so, you can enjoy at your leisure. You can go to bandcamp.com to buy and download the whole album or just a track or two. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Daily Post Prompt: Music

Music

Scarred

SCARRED
Originally posted: OCTOBER 11, 2014

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I stand here in shock, not knowing what to do;

I cannot believe the feelings I’ve caught here from you.

Memories from the past overwhelm my weary mind,

But now, in chains, these memories they do bind.

My hands to you, we were reaching for the stars.

My dreams, our friendship, now you have scarred.

The distance you’ve placed, this I do not understand.

Between us, our sisterhood, is it now banned?

The anger, the jealousy, I pray it does not last.

So many questions I’m left with, only not to ask.

This brokenness and pain, I wish I did not feel.

They all say it takes way too much time to heal.

As I stand here with this bleeding heart,

I pray that one day we have a brand new start.

God can cleanse, forgive and always can mend,

But it takes you and me with this friendship to tend.

Penned – MG – 7/7/99

Daily Prompt: Scar
Scars

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee, I’d invite you to have a seat on the couch, cuz it’s been raining a bit this evening and now, there is a downpour. Would you like coffee or tea or maybe a bit of hot cocoa?

Now, that you have your yummy cup of goodness, let’s sit and chat for a bit… I have some fun news this week…

Yesterday, my husband and I were treated to a “Night on the Town”in downtown Atlanta. Joey’s mom came to keep the boys, and we were picked up by a limo at 4:00.

We proceeded to Atlanta to eat At Fogo De Chao, a Brazillian Steakhouse. Oh. My. Goodness. You can really hurt yourself when eating there! They have an enormous salad bar, appropriately called, The Market Table, and then, when you’re ready, the waiters start bringing out the meats! You have a little coaster, which is red on one side and green on the other, and you use this to let the waiters know if/when you want more. The room seems almost to “move” as each waiter goes from table to table with a skewer stacked high of individual types of meat, such as, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, house sirloin, filet of lamb, ribs, pork loin, etc. You can choose what you like, and you can have as much as you’d like.

The food is absolutely fantastic, and because it’s simply slices of meat that each waiter gives you, it’s pretty easy to not realize how much you’ve really eaten until you are about to bust!
We left from there and checked in at The Westin. We were supposed to have dessert at the Sun Dial Restaurant, which is on the 72 floor, but we were so full, we didn’t dare. After we had recouperated a little, we decided to go up to the restaurant and see the view. They have a Gallery, just above the restaurant, where you can walk all around and every view is overlooking the city of Atlanta. It was absolutely beautiful! 

We left to come home today, and I was glad, as I’m not a big city girl, but we definitely had a blast for a treated ‘evening in the town!’😊

So, how was YOUR week? Anything exciting or interesting happen in your life? Please, tell!

It’s been lovely sharing this time with you, but now, it’s getting late, and our littlest one has climbed up beside me and fallen asleep; so, I suppose I will have to say so long until next week! 😉 Try to stay dry out there, and I do hope you have a wonderful week!

Ps. Don’t forget to check out some of the other great coffee chats at the Coffee Share hosted by our gracious host Diana at PartTimeMonster.

 

If We Were Having Coffee


If we were having coffee, you’d know it was hot today, and tonight it’s still a bit warm outside; however, since my husband keeps the temps at 69-70 degrees in here, and I’m the cold-natured one, I’m wearing a sweater right now. Let’s move to the back deck where we can chat and listen to the birds chirp and the neighbor mowing his grass.

Would you like coffee, tea or hot chocolate? I have a little “coffee bar” here in the house; so, you can take your pick. Today, I think I’d prefer to have a little lemon and honey with a pinch of Cheyenne pepper, as I’m trying to kick this sinus junk I’ve had this week. Can I offer you cream and sugar with your coffee or tea, or would you like a little hot chocolate with marshmallows or peppermints?

Ok, let’s kick back in these lounge chairs on the deck. Aren’t the trees just stunning out here, and the birds are singing to us while the creek is babbling over the waterfall below. Ahh…this is one of my favorite spots in the world…

 

Yeah, this is REALLY in my backyard!

This is my first weekend share; so, please forgive me if I kind of blunder through it. I’ve been reading them for a few weeks, enjoying finding new blogs and contemplating if I would join. Considering I love coffee, love to read, and love a good conversation, I figured, “Why not?”

Ok, so enough chitter chatter about ‘nothing,’ now onto some interesting things going on this week. My husband, boys and I are trying to decide what to do for the summer. We really want to take a trip out West, but the cost, the time and the drive is making us pause and consider the pros and cons. We thought maybe we’d just buy a camper to make the drive a little easier. We’ve been looking throughout the week. There’s some good deals out there, but do we really want to “take the plunge,” spend that kind of money and try to figure out where to store that thing. We are still contemplating; however, yesterday, after coming in from looking, my husband received an email for an incredible offer to stay at a cabin on the lake in Highlands, NC, for the summer. If you’ve never been to Highlands, it is a town at 4,000 elevation; so, the temperatures in the summer are always like a cool Spring day! We’ve always wanted to stay there for a while. OH, decisions, decisions!

This week was pretty noneventful for me, I suppose. The boys had school. I ran errands and worked a little at the church most days, as well as, helped out at the school…just kind of the “same ol’ same ol’,” I guess…

Oh! I just remembered something. Let me pull out my phone and show you some pictures from Monday, which turned out to be kind of our “Saturday,” as we had things going on this past Friday and Saturday and couldn’t really get away. We went up to Lake Winfield Scott and onto Vogel State Park. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and we had an awesome time! We ate in Dahlonega at Burbon Street Grill; they have some great fried pickles, burgers and shrimp and grits! We, then, hung out around the lakes a bit. Joey and JMan did a little fishing, ,while I sat near by and read my Kindle, and JGrizz went walking around. We did see a snake shimming across the water. Later, JGrizz and JMan played a little putt putt while Joey and I sat by the creek. We finished out the day with a stop by Betty’s Country Store in Helen. We always joke about how you can get a “cookie the size of your head” in there. They are huge! I always get the apple walnut muffin (with a dollup of icing on top) and a cup of coffee. The coffee really isn’t that good, but it cuts the sweetness of the muffin. Once the muffin is gone, you realize the coffee tastes more like tree bark than anything else! haha! Coffee and all, it was a great day.

Also, the boys had a very eventful evening yesterday. Our church is celebrating Pastor Appreciation Day next week; so, in honor of this, their respective pastors took them out yesterday and gave them “a night on the town.” JGrizz was picked up first by his youth pastor and some friends. He had no idea they were coming, and they showed up on the doorstep complete with “mustaches,” a big greeting card, balloons, cameras rolling and Lecrae blaring from the speakers in the Hummer. He was speechless, which is very unlike him! They took him to dinner, gave him a shopping spree and finished the night riding go-carts. He had a blast! To hear the “updates” of what he was saying throughout the evening and to see his smiles and enthusiastic retelling of the night just blessed my heart! He was still talking about it throughout the day today.

JMan was picked up shortly after this, and he knew a little of what was going on, because one of his little friends had let the secret out on Thursday (haha!); however, he was so excited to go shopping and to Skyzone (an indoor trampoline playground) and finish out the evening with dinner at one of his favorite Mexican restaurant. One of his little friends, who went with them, came home to spend the night with him. They were so wound up, they didn’t fall asleep until after midnight, but to see the smiles on their faces and to hear all their excitement over the night, it was all worth it!

Well, tell me all about your week now, please. I’d love to hear…

Well, it’s getting late, and I’ve got to go fix the boys something to eat; so, I guess, we’ll need to continue this coffee share next time. I hope you’ve enjoyed the coffee. I’ve enjoyed spending time with you, and I do hope you feel the same. I look forward to our get together this time next week. 🙂

Linking up with Diana at PartTimeMonster.com and #weekendcoffeeshare.