Friday Fun Day

Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

Social media seems to blow up with pictures of Christmas decorating right after Halloween and, then again, the weekend after Thanksgiving.

So, I’ll join in and show you a few of my favorites…

These aren’t fancy decorations, but each one sparks a sweet memory, because they’re each from a childhood. Mine, our oldest and youngest son’s.

I am a sentimental soul; so, I have lots of “favorites” on the tree, but I thought I’d share just a few of the simplest ones today.

What’s a few of your favorites?

Do you love or despise Christmas?

What is one of your favorite memories of the holidays?

Hope you have a Friday Fun Day!

Friday Fun Day

Sometimes, you just need to be a kid!

Yeah, I know, these pictures aren’t real great.

Well, just pretend I’m a little kid today, sharing with you my new fun surprise!

“Look, everybody! 👀 👀

I’ve got GLOW IN THE DARK chocolates!!

Woohoo!”

… and my grown up kid self says, “And it was all on clearance for $1.20/bag!!” … 😉

What will you do today to remind yourself of being a kid??

Have a great Fun Friday!!

The Sweet Perfume

Over the last month or so, I’ve been trying to get consistent with walking daily through my neighborhood. I’m not crazy consistent, but I’ve definitely done better than before I started. Ha!

Our neighborhood is beautiful, and it has plenty of curves and hills; so, I feel I’m getting quite the workout, and the whole thing, all cul-de-sacs (5) included, is just shy of 1.5 miles. So, I try to make 2 loops, which gives me right at 3 miles. Woohoo!

The weather was absolutely perfect today. The humidity was extremely low, and the temp was maybe in the high seventies by the time I stepped out my front door, right at sunset, to try and get in a full 2 loops of walking before it was too dark. I asked my youngest son to go with me; so, I wouldn’t be by myself, and he wouldn’t be left home alone. So, he rode his bike alongside, while I walked. Well, to be more accurate, he rode past me and waited at the top of the hill before crossing the main road while I tried to speed walk to catch up! Lol! 😂

We crossed the road and proceeded to the other side of the neighborhood and down the hill. The sun was shining; the birds were singing, and the breeze was blowing just a bit; so, it felt glorious as I tried my best to catch up to my son who had coasted and proceeded to fly, down the moderate incline to the next cul-de-sac.

As I reached the cul-de-sac, the most beautiful fragrance reached my nose, I closed my eyes, and it was as if I was transported right back to my 5th grade year and my 10 year old self. I was standing in my front yard taking in the beautiful fragrance of the giant magnolia tree standing 100 feet tall (or at least, that’s what my 10 year old, little girl mind believed). I remember standing beside that tree, climbing way up in it’s branches and, sometimes, just staring up at it for hours, believing I was just as big and strong as that lovely green giant.

When it bloomed, we would take down one bloom at a time, bring it in the house, set it in a small bowl of water, and place the bowl on the dining room table, letting the fragrance fill the house. We would repeat this everyday, as the former flower would begin to wither, until the tree had no more blooms to share. It was glorious.

As I made my loops through the neighborhood today, I would pause beside that big lush tree each time, savoring the wonderful aroma, while cherishing those sweet childhood memories, and then I’d continue on my way to finish the tiring, but rewarding, three miles before dark. I even had my son go by and savor the beauty, hoping he would make a little memory, too.

As I finished my walk, I was reminded, again, of the sweet perfume of the beautiful magnolia tree, and I thought of several sweet friends who are walking through a tough journey right now. Their journey is hard and painful, and it even seems to grow a little darker at the moment; yet, they hold on tight to their faith, and we all hold onto the Hope, believing a brighter day is just around the corner for them.

That Hope is sweet perfume in the midst of struggle. That faith is the sweet fragrance of the magnolia tree in the midst of the sweaty, tiresome walk they are walking at this very moment. And I know, as they hold onto their faith and that blessed Hope, one day soon, this journey is going to be but a memory, with those sweet fragrances of the magnolia tree, to remind them of His grace and love in the midst of their storm. 💗

Be encourage, sweet friends. Enjoy the fragrance of beauty along this most difficult journey, and know I am here praying for you, and believing for your brighter tomorrows!

Sometimes, You Go Back

We are constantly pushed forward. Always looking ahead. Never glancing back. Leaving it all behind. Never to return…

A few days before Mother’s Day, my husband reminded me of this old song I sang in church years ago. It’s a song about being thankful and satisfied with all the blessings we have in life. He said, “You need to download that song. It was a really good song.” Often, he has a way of rekindling the embers within my heart that I’ve let lie dormant for too long…

On Sunday morning, this same man who knows my heart so well, made references in his sermon of what kind of person I was when he met me, of how he married me because he not only loved me, but he liked me even more, and several of the reasons why. All of these moments of reminiscence put me in the mode of deep thoughts throughout day…

So, on the evening of Mother’s Day, you would have found me sitting on the floor of our bedroom, searching iTunes for all these old school songs from my childhood and teen years, making myself a new playlist. Now, when I say old school, I’m taking “child of the 80s” throwbacks. If you’re younger than me, you might have never heard of these. If you are of my age or older, you probably know the ones I’m talking about…

Songs like: Steve Camp’s “Do You Feel Their Pain?” and Amy Grant’s “Father’s Eyes,” Rez Band’s “Shadows” and “Silence Screams,” 2nd Chapter of Acts’ “Which Way The Wind Blows,” and even Keith Green’s “Summer Snow.” Yeah, I was definitely walking down memory lane. Reminders of childhood. Reminders of days gone by, lost by the years, forgotten by past sins, neglected and packed away by the demands of the here and now.

As I’ve listened to these old tunes all through the week, reminiscing of the days of old, I have come to realized there are moments when you must go back. You don’t go back to stay. You don’t even go to hang out for a while. You simply step back to those moments and pick back up the precious values and pieces of your life that you were never meant to leave behind.

Sometimes, we leave behind treasured shards of our person that were broken, shattered or severed from our heart because of evil, tragedy or abuse. Just because we are wounded, God never meant for us to leave the good with it. Just because we lost ourselves to sin, busyness or just the chaos of life, doesn’t mean He meant for us to leave the love and grace He gave to us in the beginning.

Sometimes, we must step back and snatch those cherished things away from our buried past in order to become the complete whole person He desires for us to be today. Sometimes, we must remember in order to move forward. Sometimes, we must reminisce in order to live on.

However, a note of caution when you do this. It can be very tempting to stay in that place, to just remain in the days of old, to never return to the daily grind, thinking somehow it will be easier and less painful than the growth demanded in present day. Yet, if you remain, you realize that truly those things don’t fit you anymore. They are like an old jacket discarded, no matter how much you move and struggle to make it adjust, it’s too tight across the chest. Your heart has out grown them, because He desires new things for you, bigger and better things for you now.

Pick up what you must and move beyond quickly. Return to the present to be the stronger, wiser, and more complete warrior whom He has destined you to be! He has incredible plans ahead! Get ready! 😊

**Note: I do not own nor possess any of the linked songs or videos above. These are tagged from a simple google/YouTube search.**

Double Digits

Reblogging this today in lieu of his birthday week. I so love this little man who is that little anymore! ❤️

the grizzle grist mill

This week, we celebrate my sweet baby boy turning 10! It is so hard to believe. It feels as if it was just yesterday when he was a baby.

He is my sensitive, caring, very observant child. He loves to play, and he loves to cuddle. He is tenderhearted; yet, fierce in competition and intense in convictions. He has a love for life and adventure like his Daddy, and he has a calm, quiet nature like his Momma. He smiles easily and loves to just be at home.

He is eager to please and sensitive to others’ feelings. He has a strong but compassionate nature, and he has a love for God that has only come from Him above. At night, I will often find him, in his bed, having fallen asleep reading The Word. He’s always been very intrigued by what the Bivle has to say, and I simply…

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Child Life

Childhood is so much smile-hood
Remembering you as a kid is remembering all you did

Childhood is doing all you could

It’s a time of freedom, excitement and sunshine

Yet for some…

Childhood is so much orphanhood

Remembering you as a child is remembering all that was vile

Childhood is forgetting all you would 

It’s a time of bondage, heartbreak and torrent rain

Let the winds of change come

Let the waves wash over the sum

Let them wipe away what they will

Let them bring in the peace and still
Penned – MG – 6/7/16

Daily Prompt:  Childhood

Juh- …What?? … SAY YOUR NAME

Say Your Name  THE DAILY PROMPT by THE DAILY POST 2/8/16

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

My name is quite an interesting one… My “real” name is JAMIA, but I go by the nickname MIA.

Now, before I tell you how to pronounce these five little letters put into a sequence, I’d like to tell you how many different ways I heard it pronounced throughout my childhood days… “Jay-me-uh,” “Jay-me” (like Jamie), “Jay-muh,” “Juh-may-uh,” “Juh-may-e,” “Juh-my-uh,” “Jam-me-uh,” “Jam-me-ay,” and “Jam-uh.”  There were kids who teased me by calling me, “Jamaica,” and in fourth and fifth grade, I had a so-called friend (I was mad at him then, but we’re now Facebook friends. ha!) who teased me by calling me, “Aunt Jemima.” In fourth grade, I was classmates with a girl named Jamilla (pronounced “Juh-mill-uh”), and many teachers started out the year simply copying her pronunciation for my name; even though, it’s spelled totally different! Then, when I was in seventh grade, after my mom remarried, one of my stepfather’s aunts called me up to her church pulpit by calling me “Jeremiah!” I even had quite a few friends who would come back from a conversation from another friend or relative, where my name had been mentioned, and they would ask what color my skin tone was, assuming I must be of a more ethic origin rather than my white Caucasian self! haha.

Have you taken a guess at how to pronounce this interesting arrangement of letters yet? Well, I’ll keep you in suspense no longer… My name is pronounced, “Juh-me-uh,” as if you took the very common name, “Mia,” and put “Juh” at the beginning of it. It is avery unique name; however, as a very shy and easily intimidated teen, I so wished my parents had named me differently!

Needless to say, when I got to college, I made the decision I didn’t want to continue my life having to explain how to pronounce this jumble of letters every single time I was introduced or called upon; so, I simply chose to go by “Mia.” This was even before the days of the now-famous soccer player, Mia Hamm; so, there were still a few mispronunciations from time to time, but it worked pretty well for me in my new college life.

To this day, I have never ever (can I say N-E-V-E-R??) heard of anyone having this same name.  Just last year, I ran into a girl whose name was spelled very similar: Jamea. However, she pronounced it, “Jay-me-uh.” I have met a few Mias, and a couple of Jamillas or Jaymillas, depending on how they spell it, and plenty of Jamies and James’. I think it would be very interesting to ever be introduced to an actual “Jamia,” especially if the spelling and pronunciation were the same.

You may, now, be wondering how in the world I received such a name. Well, that’s another very interesting part of this story…  Now, my biological dad’s name is Jamie; however, this is not where my name was derived. My aunt and uncle created my name, because of their love for Mia Farrow, in that year of 1971, and they wanted to have a little girl with the first letter “J.” For, their names were Jim, Norma Jean, and they had two little boys named Jarrod and Jeremy. They never were able to have that little girl for whom they so longed, and late in the following year, my mother got pregnant with me. With her name being Terri, the name “T… Jamia” just seemed to fit. (I’d like to leave my full name anonymous for now. 😉 )

As an adult, I am, now, very thankful for my name, and I do love the uniqueness of it. I still go by Mia, but I use the full name and pronunciation as a “cool thing you might not know about me” point when playing ice breaker names, or when I’m wanting to share with a new friend. People seem to always be surprised or impressed by it, and I have to forewarn my church members when my family is around, because my family easily switches back and forth between both names. I wouldn’t change this part about me, and I, sometimes, wish I had just kept to the originality of Jamia; however, the only thing I do wish I could do is go back to those early years and tell that sweet, timid little girl that her unique name made her who she is, to never be sad or embarrassed when someone didn’t correctly pronounce it, and to always hold her head up high with admiration for the name with which God blessed her! … Hind sight is always 20/20, I suppose. It has all created me into the person I am today, and I am a better woman for it. 😉

Thanks, Daily Post, for creating this Daily Prompt. This has been fun, and I hope you, as a reader, have enjoyed my little story.

(Ja)Mia

 

 

Double Digits

This week, we celebrate my sweet baby boy turning 10! It is so hard to believe. It feels as if it was just yesterday when he was a baby.

He is my sensitive, caring, very observant child. He loves to play, and he loves to cuddle. He is tenderhearted; yet, fierce in competition and intense in convictions.  He has a love for life and adventure like his Daddy, and he has a calm, quiet nature like his Momma. He smiles easily and loves to just be at home.

He is eager to please and sensitive to others’ feelings. He has a strong but compassionate nature, and he has a love for God that has only come from Him above. At night, I will often find him, in his bed, having fallen asleep reading The Word. He’s always been very intrigued by what the Bible has to say, and I simply am amazed by his curiosity. Even as a parent, I have learned a lot from him.

I am so thankful and proud to be called his mom. My prayer for him is he always seek after God and passionately reach for every dream he has in his heart. He will go far in life; I just know it.

Happy Birthday, sweet boy! 😉❤️

Right Where You Are

BIG PICTURE LIVING
while DEALING WITH
the HERE AND NOW…

Sometimes, life isn’t what we dreamt it to be. Do you remember? Those dreams you had as a little child…fairytale lands, sweet candy trees, visions of the prince coming to save you…thoughts of a knight in shining armor riding up, slaying the dragons and whisking you away to the city made of gold, the land where it never rains, and evil is far, far away.

Or maybe you were that little kid whose cape whipped in the wind. You became as tall as a house, had muscles made of steel, and eyes full of fire. No villain or evil thing could come against your universe. You could squash them all in a millisecond! Do you remember those wonderful visions of grandeur?

Time moved on, you grew up, and holding those grand dreams tight within your chest, you faced the world. You were determined to have that extra-human strength to conquer anything, or anyone, who might try to stand in your way. Then, the storms rolled in, the lightening flashed and the winds screamed in your face. The fight became real, and the dreams began to wash away with the rain. The struggle grew harder, and, as you struggled just to breathe, you were thankful just to simply survive. Those dreams were shut away in the archives of childhood, and the giant called LIFE demanded your surrender and your obedience. You succumbed to responsibilities, others’ expectations and failure.

Who told you those boyhood dreams couldn’t be realized? Who told you that little girl could no longer dance on the wind and be rescued by the handsome prince? Those voices you’ve been listening to have LIED to you! If you are reading this, if you are still able to move, and if there is still yet breath in your being, you’re not finished! Your potential here on this earth is not through!

Get back to dreaming! Recall those thoughts of the past! Sure, life is hard. Sure, times change and people change, but that doesn’t mean your dreams have to. It may take hard work. It may take failing a few times. It may even take altering the complete expectations of those dreams a little (yeah, so maybe you don’t wear the cape and tights to work everyday), but you can still be a hero to your wife and kids! You can still be swept off your feet by the man you love simply by opening your eyes to actually see him.

See the bigger picture. If you’re not where you long to be, just start right where you are. Start with the here and now. Your big picture can never be realized if you bust up the frame before the details are done. You’ve got to begin right now, right here.

If you dream of someday owning your own business, start researching now how to accomplish it. If you dream of one day writing a book, start journaling and keeping notes today. If you long to go back to college, but don’t see a way, since you’re now working two jobs and have four kids, talk it over with your spouse, make plans, fill out the applications, and apply for financial aid. Was that a teacher, preacher, doctor or contractor dream you had? Then take the steps today to begin realizing those dreams, even if they do seem tiny in the grand scheme of things! You can never begin on the journey if you don’t pack your bag and chart your course. You can do this!

You’ll never get to the big picture, if you can’t start putting the puzzle of life together right now, one piece at a time. If things are just awful, the bucket has holes, and the water is pouring out faster than you can stop it, just start with the one hole. Pick up your hammer and nails, or your spatula and putty, and patch it up. Don’t freak out over all the holes at once. Focus on one or two; then, once those are repaired, start on the next set.

When you successfully jump that first hurdle, and then the next, you’ll be amazed at the energy it will give you to set your eyes ahead to face the next one! That’s called momentum. Get you some! You’ll begin to not only survive, you’ll begin to thrive. When you thrive, nothing can hinder you from accomplishing that big dream, reaching that big goal, and seeing that big picture. Do it! Start today…right here and right now! 🙂