How Big Is Your World?

Wikipedia.com

This thought came to mind as I listened to my 89 year old grandmother talk about life last week on her birthday. She told stories of her childhood and talked about friends and family members who have long crossed over. She talked of her small southern town that she loved so much, and she spoke of her world travels with the love of her life who passed away almost 16 years ago.

This thought came to mind as I perused through my pictures from our recent trip to Ukraine, and again, when my husband and I were asked today how many countries we have been to. We spoke of our combined travels to Ukraine and Bahamas, his trips to Israel and Central America and my long ago childhood trip to Haiti, all mission trips of one sort or another. It lead me to remember others who have traveled so many more times and to so many more places throughout the years, All reaching someone for a cause.

This thought lead me to think of how small our orbits can become in day to day life and how big our sphere becomes when we reach out beyond where our comfort lies. Will we remain for dependability, or will we go for availability? Will we resist out of fear, or will we embrace out of love? It’s all in the choices we make.

So, I ask you again, How big is your world, really?

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/space/milky-way/#milky-way-2.jpg

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Comfy Cozy

Comfort zones are so… well, comfortable. They’re nice and cozy. They’re places of no discomfort, no pain, no adjustment, no change. They are places where it’s easy to do what you do, and you have no fear of failure, intimidation or rejection. Comfort zones are where you can set your course “steady as she goes” and not worry about a thing.

Comfort zones can also become the place of stagnation and mediocrity. If you remain in your comfort zone long enough, you’ll never grow, you’ll never be challenged, you’ll never have to face the fact that you could be wrong in your methods, your words or even your mindset and how you approach life. When you choose to stay here for decades upon decades, you can even begin to regress.

The huge oak trees never become massive shelters in the forest without the acorn moving beyond the comfort of the warm soil. The flower never becomes a beautiful rose or a lovely tulip that comforts at the graveside without the moving and sprouting beyond the tiny seed that once was. A child never develops a skill that can affect the world until he goes through the needed the process of learning, development, and training that causes him to step beyond where he began the process. Growth simply doesn’t happen without change.

Even so, you and I never become mighty men and women of strength, character and grace without those uncomfortable moments that draw us out from the shadows and force us to adjust to the new, the uncomfortable, and yes, the changes that come.

If we constantly refuse to adjust, we will constantly stunt our growth. If we constantly stunt our growth, then we may remain in that comfort zone, but we will have nothing to show for it at the end of our days. Once something (or someone) grows comfortable, unyielding, unmovable, and stagnant, what purpose and what value does it really hold at the end of life?

How comfy are you??

Tuesday’s Treats #78

Doolittle’s

Location: Anderson, SC

Doolittle’s is a great little place in downtown Anderson that everyone needs to try at least once. To be honest, the inside could stand a little upgrade, as it definitely gives the throwback to a few decades, but we opted to sit out on the open, brick laid patio during the beautiful Spring day on which we arrived. We did not leave disappointed.

The pictures can pretty much speak for themselves, but I will describe it for you… The country fried chicken, mac and cheese and broccoli was “hit” with our oldest son who absolutely loves chicken. The mac and cheese wasn’t quite homemade, but it was still cheesy and yummy. The cheese steak was a bit heavy with the hoagie bread, but it was still scrumptious covered in all the cheese, mushrooms and bell peppers. The burger was juicy and delicious, as well, complete with cheddar, lettuce and tomato with fries on the side. Oh, and they also have a soup of the day, and on that day, it was corn chowder… Oh, Wow!

Like I suggested, if you’re headed to downtown Anderson, it’s worth a stop, and you’ll probably want to sit outside on a beautiful sunny afternoon. For more information, here is their website.

One last thing, while you’re there, save a little room for dessert and head down the street to Figs Beanery and Creamery! … I’ll tell you more about it in next week’s Tuesday’s Treats! 😉

Our Heart’s Desire

The soul longs for solitude; yet, it loathes the loneliness. We seek out friends to fill the empty space only to push them away when times get tough. We pull them close for the thrill seeking adventures and shove past them for the broken dreams and torn up paper houses. It’s a constant push and pull to gain the happiness for which we seek.

The mind yearns for stability; yet, it rejects true wisdom and grace. We search for the highest success and desire the richest affairs only to plummet to the depths of despair as we fail the test over and over again. We chase after dreams and compare with the elite, always trying to get ahead only to cheat and compete, biting and clawing at anything or anyone who might come close. It’s a constant push and pull to gain the happiness for which we seek.

The heart cries out for peace and comfort; yet, it wars against silence and truth. We wander, wonder, wishfully believing the noise will bring answers. We go to this philosophy and that fountain of knowledge, always avoiding the absolute, the only true Way. We grasp at this intellect, that debate, and those arguments, never embracing the very One who died once and for all. It’s a constant push and pull to gain the happiness for which we seek.

Can you not feel your soul reaching for His righteousness?

Can you not hear your mind shouting for His faithfulness?

Can you not see your heart bleeding for His unconditional love?

 

He simply stands there, arms outstretched, awaiting your release.

 

 

CHANGE


Guess I don’t have a lot to say today, but I’d rather ask you a question about your world… 

What are you doing thing this year to bring about good changes in your life?

Are you remaining in your comfort zone?

Are you seeking a new daily challenge?

Are you stretching yourself a little further than before?

Are you embracing a different thought pattern, eating habit or routine?

Are you taking a positive step every day to better yourself? 

Do you believe change can actually happen in your life?

Do you welcome it?
*Please, share with me your thoughts! 😊*

Tuesday’s Treats #43

Loretta’s

Location: Oakwood, Ga

If you’re looking for a home cooked meal and can’t find the time to cook it yourself, this is you’re best choice! Loretta’s is the place to go for comfort food.

They have a variety of daily choices; so, if you’re a little more selective like me, you’ll want to check out their daily menus. However, I’ve yet to be disappointed in a meal. They have some of the best pot roast, green beans, creamed potatoes and biscuits around. They have everything from livers and onions to fried shrimp. The fried chicken, chicken and dumplings,  and fried okra is to die for. The sweet tea is purely Southern sweet, and they even give you a choice of biscuits or cornbread with your meal. All the desserts are homemade, and just to make your mouth water, I’ll share a few: banana pudding, chocolate silk pie, and strawberry cobbler.

They also serve breakfast with some of the best chicken biscuits you’ve ever put in your mouth! So, you can get good comfort food for one or three square meals. Your choice.

Now, just like any good Southern Country Cookin’ restaurant, especially those that serve breakfast, you better prepared to smell like it for the rest of the day, or you better bring you an extra set of clothes to change after! 😉 For either breakfast or lunch, if you want to beat the rush, you better get there sooner than later. It fills up pretty fast around there!

Oh, and one more thing, if you’ll stick to the menu “combos” of meat item(s), combined with a few sides and a choice of beverage, your cost will be as stated on the menu board. However, if your family is prone to be more like mine, with growing boys who want more than those “preset” combos, yourvnill mightvrack up fast, as all other items are charged a la cart. 😬 I would have to say it’s worth every penny! It is that good!

If you need catering, they do an excellent job for both b’fast and lunch/dinner items. That’s saying a lot for breakfast items such as eggs and gravy, because those things aren’t real great cold, or even cooled down, and with Loretta’s catering, you don’t have to worry! They take care of it all!

Check out the daily menus and location here.

Are You Comfy?

Comfort and apathy can go hand in hand. We are all creatures of comfort to some extent. I love warm cups of coffee, good books and a great big quilt to snuggle under for an enjoyable night of reading. Some like to drive for comfort, some like to sleep. Some like to get comfortable in the quiet while others enjoy the comfort of people and noise. Comfort for one might not be the comfort of another, but we all enjoy being comfortable over not.

Yet, in our prayer life, our worship and our passion for God, comfort should not be the mode of operation. Comfort can create apathy and apathy creates a death of passion. Comfort and apathy can creep into our prayer lives when we grow comfortable in where we are and over confident in what we are doing. It can lull us to a slumber where we neglect the voice of God and, eventually, even neglect the things and people of God.

When we grow too comfortable, we will become callous in our prayer life, lazy in our worship and apathetic in our God-message to others. Too often, as God did with Moses, He will call us beyond our comfort zone to reach the world around us and to deliver them out of the bondage in which they live. If we are only seeking what causes us comfort, then, we will be more apt to resist change, challenge and things controversial to the common worldview around us. God never called us to blend into this world. He called us to change this world by showing them His love, and His love will always challenge them to leave behind the sin in which they live.

Just as Moses did, when we decide to follow God and walk out of our comfort zone, we may question our ability. We may walk into ridicule from our own families and friends, and we may face a king who hates us and desires destruction for us, “but if God be for us, who can be against us”? (Romans 8:31)

Can we sit back and let this world ‘go to hell in a hand basket’ just so we ourselves may remain comfortable? NO! We must find our voice. We must step out of our places of comfort, complacency and apathy and seek His face. We must step up and allow His passion for the lost to infiltrate our lives to go and seek them. Look around you. See those who need Him and share His message for the redemption of their souls!

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.Philippians 2:1-4

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2

 

 

 

What Are We To Do?

So, we find ourselves in this dilemma.

The dilemma of moving forward to the unknown, the uncomfortable, the unfamiliar or remaining here in the regretful, comfortable, familiar present. Neither place is easy. For, the beyond makes us confront, stretch and change, yet, the present seems like an old jacket which we used to love but has shrunk so much over the years that it doesn’t “fit like a glove” anymore…really, it doesn’t fit at all. So, what are we to do?

If we remain, we will conform. We will grow complacent. We will become okay with mediocre, and we will say goodbye to the hopes and dreams we’ve held so dear.

If we step forward, we will be challenged. We will doubt. We will question our talents and our skills. We might even find that our abilities weren’t what we thought they were.

So, what are we to do?

If we are to grow, if we to succeed, we move toward the mark. If we are to fulfill the dreams that burn so deep within our hearts that it takes our breath, we step up and take the chance. It may not come again. This door to the great beyond may slam shut, never to open like this again.

As we look forward, holding dear to heart all that was past, we begin a new tomorrow. We will find hardships. We will find challenges. We might even find an alternate path, but we will not go back. We will not quit.

For tomorrow is gone, and if the dream is to be grasped, we must proceed to what’s ahead. We must shift from what was and change our perspective. You never know, instead of falling, we might just FLY!

 

DAILY PROMPT:Dilemma

What Is Your Story?

My father-in-law shared this thought the other day, and I thought I’d elaborate on it a little and pass it along…

 

tell-your-story

thomasseng.com

 

Everybody has a story. A story of pain. A story of heartache. A story of victory. A story of healing. What is your story? God uses our stories to bring comfort to those around us. If we don’t share our stories, then, others miss out on huge blessings, encouragement and healing for their own situations.

God allows us to go through stuff sometimes; so, we can, in turn, share with someone else our struggles, our lessons learned and the moments we overcame. Why should we hold these within our hearts, never giving them away? You might learn things without a teacher, but isn’t it easier to hear of another’s experience and learn from his or her mistakes before going through the same thing ourselves? We all go through painful storms, but isn’t more comforting to walk alongside someone who’s been through it before rather than walking the journey alone?

We are the Body of Christ. We are made to be a community. We are created to help one another, to teach one another and to even “sharpen” one another. Share your story. You never know the impact you may have.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Tuesday’s Treats #22

Aunt Catfish’s

Location: Port Orange, Fl (Daytona)

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This is this is one of our favorite places to eat in Daytona. The seafood is wonderful, and the huge salad bar and “fixin’s bar” is to die for! It. Is. SOOO. Good!! The salad bar has so many great choices, and the fixin’s bar is full of cheese grits, baked beans, fried cinnamon apples and cornbread. You could simply fill up here, but the seafood is worth ordering. They have tons of choices, from fried shrimp to blackened swordfish.

We have had several different entrees, and the menu is quite extensive. I think our absolute favorite is the blackened swordfish and the bblackened mahi mahi. Oh. My. Word! It is so delicious!! You even get a homemade cinnamon roll served with your meal. Oh, I’m craving these things right now. Yum!!

Check them out here:

http://auntcatfishontheriver.com