Simplicity Encouragement

Good Saturday afternoon friends. Come in an enjoy my quirky humor and my real encouragement for today. You know how some commercials you see, just kind of stick with you? I am not trying to promote this company but this commercial is priceless. Plus it shows the simplicity of life – and the value of peanut butter.

Too many times we humans make life complicated. We want things we can’t have, things we don’t NEED and make poor choices in pursuing those things. Then we want to know why we are miserable when they don’t come to fruition. The old adage of putting the cart before the horse.

Scripture reminds us all the time about what our goals should be, regardless of our current station or on which side of the cart we placed the horse.

BUT…don’t you love it when a statement or thought says exactly what you are wanting to hear, then there is a but that shows the leaving out any conditions that may go with said statement. Yes, God does want us to have our hearts desires as long as those desires fall in line with the plans He has for us. He always has a plan for us.

There are people all over this world at different levels of success and we are to use our success regardless of level of life to remind the world around us of the beauty of God, especially the level or act seems insignificant. Think of the widow and her mite…she was probably below poverty level, yet she gave humbly of what she had. And she has been remembered for thousands of years for that. She did not feel any powerful at her level but look at the power of her testimony.

If you were able to see the video I posted at the top, all Ralph cared about was the peanut butter. He didn’t care that medicine was coming with it. Its a simple desire. So what is our simple desire, what is our peanut butter? While that question needs to be answer individually, scripture reminds us all of God’s purpose for us and that is His love. He created us out of His love, He sent Jesus to save us out of His love for us, and He still guides us today out of His love for us. We may not know what our peanut butter is but we are definitely His peanut butter.

We are precious in His sight

Never think that what you do for Him and others is unimportant. When it is done with Love, God feels it, regardless of size or human ideas of its importance. To Him it is all important.

We are made for His purpose, so let us shine out His light in all we do, and as always remember to be kind.

FOTD – February 19

As I look out my window at the snow falling, it makes that much more ready for spring. Cee allows archive photos for her challenge, Flower of the Day, so I shall pass along some of those.

Welcome to the Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD), hosted by Cee Neuner. During the winter months, please feel free to use your archives and find some old favorite photos.

Please feel free to post every day or when you you feel like it. Don’t forget that my FOTD challenge accepts gardens, leaves and berries as well as flowers.

Flowering trees have always been a favorite. When they bloom, you know spring is truly here.

May your weekend be as beautiful as these memories and remember to always be kind.


No, that is not a fertilizer combination…its the temperature combinations of a February roller coaster in Iowa. Last night we dropped below freezing…with rain equaling – freezing rain and ice. Now we are waiting the 2 inches of snow due to start by 12:00pm…oh, it is 12:00 pm. Yep, a quick look out the window and its snowing. Yeah…not really. So what do we do with weather like this? Easy…we eat!!

I was late getting started but I finally bought an air fryer. And its awesome. I rotissered( I know that is not a real word…but you get it) a whole chicken in 62 minutes and it was yummy. So today, I pulled the remaining meat off the bones and made chicken salad. Yum!!

Then I took the carcass and put it in a big ole soup pot to make homemade chicken broth soup for supper – letting it cook real slow all day – more yum!

So what do you do on poor climate days? I eat!!! LOL.

Have a great day and remember to be kind. Regardless of what the weather is doing, you can always be kind.

Always Be Kind

Afternoon Encouragement

Good afternoon friends. Since I am home all day today, I am playing on the computer a lot – daytime TV is beyond boring to me. So I will bore you withy my writings, musings and encouragement. The word encouragement has a key word encased in it – Courage. Some days courage is all we have to be able put one step in front of the other. But my devotion last night gave a different perspective – one I have always known but sometimes I need reminding. So today I am reminding you of where your courage, strength and perseverance comes from.

I am a big believer that God puts people in our paths to help us be able to not only connect better with Him but to also show us how to connect better with each other. Someone left a devotion book and its companion research book on my desk but no one seems to claim they did it. It is a wonderful devotion book called Jesus Speaks written by Steven K. Scott and it is written in similar a style of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Both are written as if you were talking directly to Jesus. Sometimes you just need that, at least I do.

Last night’s devotion was “Courage to Replace Your Fears”.

The disciples were in the boat and Jesus was walking to them across the water. They thought it was a ghost. But he tells them, “Take Courage”.

So many times when storms are raging around us that is all we can see but Jesus reminds us like he did Peter – don’t look at the storm, look at Me and don’t be afraid.

“It’s okay that fear might get the best of you for a moment. but open the eyes of your spirit and see Me. I am here!” from Jesus Speaks February 14.

No storm or scary situation every comes by surprise to Jesus and He will make sure we get through it safely.

He reminds us all through scripture that He is there, regardless of what we are going through. Just reach out to Him.

So I am reminding you, regardless of your storm, take courage and feel God’s presence surround you with love.

And if you can, reach out to others to help them feel encouraged and surround them in kindness. Sometimes all we need is a little kindness.

Always Be Kind

Tuesday Writing Prompt, Bitten

Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda are currently hosting the Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge which was started by our star writer Christine Ray. We hope to offer all of you something that will spark your creativity and willingness to participate.

Today’s prompt: Write a poem that starts with bitten


Bitten as I was on the celebrated day of hearts

Smitten as I was, now gone before it starts

Written on the hearts of many a love song

Mittens would be better and not felt wrong

Kittens are much warmer with love that lasts

Sittin’ and smiling’ and remembering our past

Thanks Go Dog Go Café for giving us a fun chance to play with words. And in closing I remind all the comfort, power and value of kindness. It can bring light to any dark room.

CFFC: Buildings

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is close to my heart as I hosted last summer amazing stonework buildings in my area. Today, I am highlighting some of those favorite photos. Hope you enjoy.

As you look around at the buildings in your area, or buildings you come across in your travels, think on the love and vision of the builders and designers. Some are truly amazing.

And as always, I remind you of the building of kindness. It can be the strongest building you ever build.

Always Be Kind

Never Lose Hope

As I was reading my devotion this evening, I was reminded of the hope for Israel as Micah explained the guilt, misery and punishment the Lord had against Israel some 750 years before Christ. The Bible is filled with story after story of Israel following, then falling away, following again, then falling again…a cycle we still see today. Not just with Israel but with the entire world. But scripture also reminds us of His infinite love for us, a love we will never understand on this earth but a love that is always there for each person willing to accept it. May the words of my story this evening, bring you hope if you find yourself in a dark place. HIS light is always there for you.

Never Lose Hope

I sit in the darkness and gloom. My head hangs low in shame. It’s my own fault that I am in this mess. Though I sit here lost and scared, deep within me a hope burns. There is still a light out there beyond this darkness, a love beyond compare than beckons me to not give up.

“Do not gloat over me,” I shout into the dark. “I may have fallen but I am not forgotten. I am loved. I may be bearing the guilt of my shame but I know…HE…loves…me. He will come for me, He always does. He always does…”

A day is coming when Mother Earth will twist in the torment of her desolation caused by the greed and waste of mankind. Nations will be stripped of their power and thrown down in the dust of their inequities.

“It will be my turn to gloat,” I shout, yet I understand now, more than ever, the silliness and waste of that attitude as I am reminded of my error. We are all part of the great creation. He will not forget us forever. HE delights in showing mercy…even when we don’t deserve it.

Who is a God like you?

Anita Neal, 2/10/22

As we ponder the age old question of God’s existence, I can assure you God is there and His love for you is profound and very real. May you feel that love surround you and bring you peace.

And as always, I remind you of the power and the beauty of Kindness. Kindness can light a candle in the darkest corner.

Light a candle of Kindness

Weekend Encouragement

Good evening friends. I sincerely hope your weekend is going well. I hope they are correct in forecasting that it will warm up a bit next week, I am kinda done with winter. I know it’s just February but still, I am done. I am thinking of spring thoughts to help me visualize that warmth is coming…

This morning, the new church council met for a retreat to get focused with its programs for the coming year; what worked last year, what do we hope for in the coming year and to support each other as a team. One of the things we touched on that got me thinking was  “Soul Care”, what does it look like for each of us and how can we use it to help others. We were given a list of 10 items and we were to rate them on how they worked for us in our own spiritual care. Because it is true, if we don’t participate in our own soul care, we can’t help others, who may be struggling, take care of theirs.  The pastor reminded us that while Jesus was very much engaged in helping others, He knew He needed time to take care of Himself as well by going off quietly to rejuvenate and refocus. He never loses the connection with God and then in turn He reaches out to us with that same connection. Staying connected through our soul.

I bring all that up because while we were discussing these 10 items, this morning’s devotion kept coming back to mind.  One of the 10 items was “do devotions play a part in your soul care”.  For me it’s a definite yes and when I read something that rings a bell for me, I like to share it with others. I don’t have the training or wisdom to come up with these ideas on my own but when I read what someone wrote and how it relates to scripture, then I like to share it to encourage others like I was encouraged.

Two of the devotions I read are written in the first person of Jesus as though He was actually speaking. Matter of fact, one of them is called “Jesus Speaks” by Steven Scott. Today’s devotion ties right in with what we were discussing at the retreat – “Soul Care” and how praying creates a connection of love, peace, nurturing that we all need with God and that it needs to be done quietly and privately.

It’s personal between you and God. This is a familiar passage I have read many times but as the devotion unfolded it made a statement that made me take a second look and it’s the second look that I want to share with you today – a different way to see how God interacts with you, because He is always there, even when we don’t feel Him.

“Praying alone and in secret for more than a few minutes requires faith. You need faith that the Father and I will truly be with you and will listen to your heart.” from Jesus Speaks

Did you catch that – the Father and I?  We have always been taught that Jesus intercedes for us, that God and Jesus hear our prayers but it hit me today – they do this together. I know you are all going “well yeah ” but you are not getting my simple brain epiphany.  See if this picture helps where my brain went.

God has one hand and Jesus has the other at the same time – always guiding, always nurturing, always there. Whether we feel it or not and in some cases, whether we believe it or not. Opening our hearts  to God the Father and God the Son with any care, any concern or any hope we have will be answered  with love, peace and comfort.

When you have finished your groanings before God, meditate on His words and listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.

 We will be waiting.” from Jesus Speaks

How marvelous it is to know we are never alone in this world, even at the darkest times. Thank you Lord. I sincerely hope my musings brought you a little encouragement on this cold February day. Send the encouragement forward if you like to help lighten the dark for others who may need it.  And as always remember the power and beauty of kindness.

Anita Neal

If you are not familiar with “The Short of It/I Write Her” here is a chance to see some of my work where Susi shares other people writings on her blog. She does an amazing job in showcasing others writings. Thank you Susi.

I Write Her


The mountain quenched its mighty thirst as minuscule droplets of water tried to fall. Momentary satisfaction. Grass stretched their blades upward as they drank in every molecule of moisture, too many days with no rain. Vegetation across the globe was beginning to dry up.

The earth was off its original axis because of mankind. He had robbed the globe of every natural resource creating an imbalance not only of natural occurrences but of man himself. He was imploding from the inside. Yet he continued to create one disaster after another, trying to correct errors from the past. Too much damage had been done.

Jason turned over in his sleep, waking with a start. The room was cool but sunshine came through the windows. He went to the window to see the lush green foliage outside his window. A dream, that’s all it was…or was it.

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Combatting the Blues

Oh, what to do when we feel so blue?

Sadness or sickness making us go boo-hoo.

So we remember things that make us smile

Like puppies in a row all standing single file

But there are other things that can make you feel better

Like hugs from a friend or maybe a sweet letter

So today, as I still struggle with this ole cold

I’ve made a decision and will try to be bold

No more whining and carrying about

A comfort food will make my happiness sprout

And what better way, in my opinion

Than warm noodle soup and my friend the minion.

Me and my minion friend are wish you a happy day filled with smiles to mark your way.

And remember as you go your way, sprinkle kindness along to brighten the day.