Character: Next Right

When you are a person of character, you won’t question IF you should do the right thing, because you’ll know the right thing must be done.

Character is proven in moments of difficulty or trial when it’s easier just to walk away. Character is sustained when a crisis arises, and criticisms and ridiculed may be at their worst. Character is deepened each time the right choices are chosen, regardless, the sacrifice or struggle that may be endured.

Ask yourself today, “Are you a person of character or a person of reputation (conformity)?” Do you stand alone to make the right choice, or will you bend and sway like a daffodil, depending upon the wind and waves to guide you?

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Character: Measure Up

Character is not dependent upon how much money you have, how many friends you have or even your upbringing or your ethnic background. I’ve heard it said, “Money doesn’t change you; it only makes you more of what you already are.”

Character is solely dependent upon the choices you make. Character is shaped by the thoughts you think, the decisions you make and the things you allow to penetrate your soul. You can choose to be a person of character, or you can choose to be a victim to every circumstance and crisis that arise, even those that don’t even truly effect you.

I have seen the poorest of souls carry themselves with the highest level of character known to mankind, and I’ve seen the richest of rich carry themselves with the absolute lowest of character, never to be desired. Character is truly how you live when you have nothing, and how you react when you have everything.

The choice is yours.

When looking for quotes about character, I came across this “Six Pillars of Character” chart. I looked at each point of this list and thought, if everyone on this planet simply lived by this list of character traits, what an amazing world we would live in. What an incredible world we would be leaving for or children…

One common denominator ties together all of these assets of character: Faith. I’m not talking about religion. I’m not talking about a spiritual belief. I’m not even talking about one god or another. Just F. A. I. T. H.

Faith in a higher power than self. Faith in a greater cause than ourselves. Faith in goodwill, joy, peace, strength and freedom. Faith in a better world for the next generation.

Do I rest my faith in a “higher power?” Yes. Do I believe there is a greater cause than myself? Yes. Do I believe you can have joy, peace, strength and freedom without taking it from someone else just to obtain it? Yes. Do I believe there can be a better hope for this next generation than the mess we are presently managing for them? Yes.

What we do today in our actions, our words and our lifestyles will either confirm or destroy the character we claim to possess.

Tuesday’s Treats #163

The Swanson

Perry, Ga.

This is a beautiful, old antebellum home renovated to a restaurant. The atmosphere and the staff are pure Southern charm! The food makes you feel as f you’ve just staled back in time to grandma’s table in the Deep South (for those who grew up there).

They bring out these tiny “biscuits” that just seem to melt in your mouth, and before you know it, you will have consumed four or five of them! We also ordered the fried green tomatoes for an appetizer…wow! Just wow! The menu is full of delicious Southern Home Cooking with dishes like Southern fried chicken, baked chicken and cornbread, chicken n’ dumplings, country fried steak, pot roast and even salmon croquettes!

I ordered just a simple veggie plate, and it was absolutely delicious with fried okra, green beans, squash casserole and creamed corn. With over 20 veggies on the menu, they have just about every veggie you can think of: lima beans, Mac and cheese, rutabagas, steamed cabbage, and even collard green soup, just to name a few! I definitely wanted a whole lot more than my stomach could’ve held! Lol.

We were so stuffed that we didn’t order dessert, but I can just imagine it is amazing! We are here about a month ago, and I’m craving it so bad, I can’t wait to go back!

Here is the website; so, you can get directions and check out the menu. Enjoy!

**my apologies for not getting pics of the meal! We were so hungry, I didn’t even think about taking the pics until we were done! 🙄🤦‍♀️😂

Character Screams

A man or woman of character may not be numbered with the most popular, the most fashionable or the most affluent in the crowd. He or she may very well have each of these, but these won’t be the first assets he/she will seek.

This person will have deep roots, gentle eyes, and a soul that is anchored in peace and in truth. When gossip is given, her deep roots will sustain her. When chaos arises, his gentle eyes will see purpose and promise. When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm, the depths of her soul will not be shaken, for she knows where her strength rests.

People of character draw people of strength to their side. They live with purpose, promise and even preparation for the good and the bad, never relying on carnal and material things to be their refuge or their guide. They reside in a place of security, hope and freedom.

You will not have to question if he or she is a person of character, because what they do is not impulsive; it is a lifestyle.

Character will reveal itself through every action you take. It is the one thing that speaks louder than words. When you are the most silent, your character will actually scream to the world of its existence.

… What kind of character are YOU? …

Tuesday’s Treats #162

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

Location: Several

Specifically: Norcross, Ga.

To those who faithfully check here on Tuesdays, my sincerest apologies for not having a Tuesday’s Treat up this week! Because I often post ahead from week to week, I had (wrongly) assumed I was caught up when I saw several likes and comments in my notifications on Tuesday, and I should have actually checked the site! 🙄🤦‍♀️😑 I’m glad I realized it tonight; so, I could post a new place for you! Maybe you’ll be able to check it out this weekend. 😉

Pappadeaux’s is an amazing seafood restaurant! You’ll want to start with the delicious and Huge coconut shrimp. Yum! Then, it really just depends on what type of seafood you are in the mood for when it comes to ordering your entree.

They have shrimp and grits, jambalaya, fried shrimp, lobster, crab, oysters and even octopus, 🐙 each with a nice cajun flair. Last fall, I had halibut with hazelnuts in a creamy white wine sauce. Oh my goodness! Talk about mouthwatering good! They have fresh, “Naked” fish with grouper, red fish and mahi mahi, just to name a few, all with a choice of preparation.

The sides are just as delicious, like broccolini, spaghetti squash, butternut squash and hazelnuts, cheese Grits andouille and corn. Wow! The butternut squash with hazelnuts is crazy good!

And you know, I couldn’t leave such an amazing meal without having dessert! They will bring you a whole dessert tray with all kinds of decadents! We decided on the key lime pie and the turtle fudge brownie. Holy Moly! Talk about feeling like you’ve just died and gone to heaven! These two are A. M. A. Z. I. N. G. !! It would be hard for me to choose between the two!! Delish! If these two just don’t do it for ya, the bayou chocolate cake is out of this world as well, and a friend of mine has had their creme brûlée. She said it’s one of the best she’s ever had!

There are so many locations, that you’ll need to check their website to find one close to you. There are a ton in Texas, and there are four in Georgia alone. If you live further north, you might just have to find one while one a Southern vacation… 😉 You won’t regret it!

Tuesday’s Treats #161

Marlow’s Tavern

Location: Mall of Georgia, Buford, GA

I don’t do many reviews on “franchise” restaurants, but since this place is great, and the Mall of Georgia is a popular location to shop for those who love in the state, I thought I’d make an exception…

The pictures above display their delicious Tavern Salad, fried okra and Shrimp and Grits. Each one of these dishes is amazing! The Shrimp and Grits and fried okra is my “usual” every time we go to a Marlow’s Tavern. That’s how much I love it!

The salad has Baby Artisan, Field Greens, Granny Smith Apples, Jicama, Dried Cranberries, Spiced Toasted Seeds, Citrus Dressing, and it is so tasty! Oh, and those croutons are homemade, too! As you can see, the fried okra is not little pieces fried up. No, it’s the whole pod, or “lady finger,” as some may call it.

Honestly, the first time this was brought to me, I wasn’t so sure I was going to like it! I may be Southern, but I grew up only liking fried okra (pieces), and I didn’t want anything to do with the whole thing! (What if it was slimy on the inside?! 😜)

These are made to perfection. The batter is light but so deliciously adequate for the okra. The okra is firm and not though or slimy in the least bit. The only problem with it is I can never finish it, because they bring you a pile of them on the plate!

Now, let me tell you about the Shrimp and Grits… On the menu, Marlow’s serves the shrimp this way: White Cheddar Grit Cake, Sauteed Spinach, Roma Tomato, Shallot and Roast Tomato Beurre Blanc. This way is yummy; however, I have created a bit of my own dish, because I found that I love the grit cake by itself, as an appetizer or small plate. I love the shrimp served over their jalapeño cheese grits. Oh. My!! These just seem to send the deliciousness right over the top!!

I have friends who love this dish one way or the other, and just a couple like it both ways. I always try to tel people to try both. So, you go ahead and try the dish both ways, and then let me know which you decide to be your favorite!

We have had several of their appetizers. Our faves are the Kettle Chips, the Truffle Fries and the Firecracker Shrimp. A friend of mine absolutely loves the Black & Blue Steak Salad, and as far as other entrees, the Tavern Burger, Chicken Frisco Club and the Chicken Pappardelle Stack are all wonderful. Yet, my husband discovered the French Dip on our last visit, and I do believe, that might become his new favorite!

Now, for dessert!! This is their warm chocolate cake. It is AMAZING! Save a little room; so, you can enjoy its deliciousness!! One of my friend loves their creme brûlée, and, of course, they do have a plethora of wine and adult beverages, if that is your thing. I guess, I’ll just stick with that delicious cake!!

Marlow’s has a ton of locations. Here is their website; so, you can find the best one for you.

*Note: specific plate descriptions come directly from their menu online. I own no rights to these descriptions.

Tuesday’s Treats #160

Toccoa Riverside Restaurant

Blue Ridge, Ga

You might have to drive a little ways to get here, but it is worth it!! The atmosphere is great, the staff is friendly, and the food is delicious!! (Please, excuse the next picture, as I tried to snap a pic before my husband dove in!😂)

We had steak and pecan crusted chicken with all the sides! The steak was tender, and my husband said, because of the gravy, the taste was almost like a pork tenderloin. The pecan chicken.

For He Is Your Cause

I see you standing there as you patiently wait for the end of his game.

You have things to do, responsibilities to fulfill; yet, you wait to show you care.

You and he are alone in this world, but you fight to make it a good one for him to grow, to succeed.

You have no promise of another to join you in this cause, but that is no matter.

For he is your cause and your reason for this time.

I see you crying in the shadows as you receive another blow that knocks you to your knees.

You never scream. You never retaliate. You simply take what life might give. You make it the best you can, and you smile…for him.

The love from those who birthed you strengthens your resolve, but this fight is yours alone to consume.

You win it for him, to impress upon his memory the reward of dedication, faith, and love.

For he is your cause and your reason for this time.

I see you resting there in the Father’s arms as you gain purpose for the journey.

You will soon soar with the eagles as he begins to find his wings and fly.

You will soon, once again, charge the enemy and slay the dragons for the victory of your own dreams.

Yet, for now, you patiently wait as his game grows momentum, knowing one day, it will come to a close.

For He is your cause and your reason for this time.

Penned MG 6/4/16

*I wrote this for a friend a few years ago when she was going through a difficult divorce. She became a hero in my book, as I watched her deal with her own pain privately as she fought and clawed for the protection of her child and for the protection of her own sanity through the storm, all the while holding steadfast to the only anchor that holds: Jesus. ❤️

No matter what storm of life you may be walking through, He is the anchor that holds. He is the refuge and solace for your soul. He will walk with you through the fire, and He will hold your hand through the deepest, darkest of nights.

Tuesday’s Treats #159

Lviv Coffee Manufacturer

Location: Lviv, Ukraine

This place was the coolest! They don’t really “mine” the coffee, as coffee cannot be mined, but the set up and the tour through the “mine” is just the neatest presentation. When we came out of the mine, it opened up into this great big warehouse type room, and they had a concert going on. You just found a seat, and this band, Ukrainian, mind you, was singing English Christmas songs and Golden Oldies, like Elvis renditions and “Johnny B. Good.” I told you, it was the coolest! So, we sat in this coffee house, in the middle of Lviv, at Christmas, sipping our lattes and cappuccinos while listening to these Ukrainian speaking dudes wail on their guitars and drums, singing perfect renditions of “You’re Nothin’ But a Hound Dog,” “Pretty Woman” and many others. It was definitely a night to remember! So cool!! 😎

Not Meant for You

This might seem a little strange to have as a post for Valentine’s Day, and I almost scheduled for Friday instead of today. Then, as I thought about it, I decided what a great post for such a day as the celebrated “Love Day.” I’ll tell you why…

Sometimes, we have to realize another person’s rejection isn’t because of us, but rather, because of them, Not because of who we are, but rather because of whom they are… Or maybe, whom they cannot be… Because he/she wasn’t meant to be in our future. I saw this image posted one day and thought this one tiny sentence says so much! Someone out there needs to hear this today…

Yes, sometimes, the removal of a person in our lives is because of a stupid action or dumb choice that we have made, and that will be another blog for another day. Right now, I want to take a minute to speak into someone’s life who is hurting, and you’re wondering how in the world it could have come to this. You are wondering how could that person have rejected you after you worked so hard, you loved so deeply, and you gave so much.

You keep rolling the memories back through your mind. You remember the sacrifices you made. You recall the smiles you offered to cheer their rainy days. You recollect the extra miles you walked just so they wouldn’t be alone. You reminisce the hurdles you jumped and the mountains you climbed just to remain faithful and true to the love you believed the two of you shared.

This brokenness you are experiencing, I cannot claim to feel as deeply. This betrayal and rejection that cuts like a knife, I cannot pretend to completely comprehend. I am not there, living in your shoes.

Yet, I can tell you, this season will bring more growth and more wisdom than you could ever imagine. I can share with you, there will come a moment when the breathing doesn’t feel like suffocation within your bones. I can say to you, there will come a day when the sun will shine again.

It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow, or next week, or even six months from now, but if you are able to find the Hope that I have found, His grace can and will be sufficient. He can bring beauty for ashes. He can bring joy for mourning. He can turn your gray skies to a brighter day and work all things for your good…the good, the bad and the ugly!

He can show you that the person who brought all this pain wasn’t rejecting you, he or she just wasn’t meant to be a part of your destiny. They weren’t meant to share the precious love you have to give. They weren’t meant to be there when you accomplish those life long goals. They weren’t meant to be a part of the rejoicing and celebration. They weren’t meant to take part in your eternal joy.

So, let them go.

It is not as much your loss as much as it is theirs.

As they walk away, take a deep breath and realize, your future is brighter without their shadow. 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Go out and celebrate! ❤️