First Line Friday: June 18

First Line Friday

The café began to feel like her only real home. Carrie looked out at the lights as they blinked on the sign, Lou & Rachel’s Café. The pain and fear were still very real. She glanced down at the ugly scar that snaked across her left forearm and down her hand.

“Your awfully quiet tonight,” said Rachel. “You okay?” Rachel was well aware of what this day was. It had been six years to the day that her sister’s family had been in a horrific accident with Carrie being the only survivor of six in her family and two teenage boys whose car exploded upon impact.

“I am old enough now to have processed what happened and begin to heal from it. But I can still see in it my mind, hear the screaming of tires, the breaking of glass and that horrid smell of burning flesh. Will I ever be fully healed? I sometimes wish I had died as well so I don’t have these memories.”

“Emotional and psychological healing takes an infinitely longer time and in some cases you just learn to live with the memories by pushing them out of your mind. You will get better. What does your therapist say?”

“She is pleased with how well I have done so far but she knows there is still a lot more healing to do. Thank you for taking me in. I cant imagine doing this alone.”

“Have you thought any more about the community college?”

“Some. My therapist is good friends with the Dean of the College, so they understand my situation. Due to my injuries, I may never be able to play the violin again but I could teach. I just don’t know if that is enough or even a wise thing to do. Or do I really want that?”

“Well, as I am sure what others have told you is that at least you could be back in music. But I fully understand if that is not enough or if its is too hard to separate from what you wanted for your life. I will be here to support whatever you need.”

“It’s funny but the love and warmth of this little café has helped me heal better than I think anything else could have.”

“That is because of the love of this little town. They loved your family and only want the best for you. They too will support any decision you make. You have a lot of love here. Plus they are always here for my cherry pie. It is to good to be true,” she chuckled.

“You are right about that,” she chuckled herself. “I know the love of this town. I can feel it. I just got to get a direction.”

“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It will happen when its time. Just breathe.”

Carrie smiled at her aunt as he walked back into the kitchen. She knew the love here was strong and was so thankful for the café being her new home.

Thank to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie for a fun prompt for Fridays. Come play along and share your creativity with us.

And as always, I remind all to be kind. Its a amazing tool to help others heal.

Not as Hard as You Think

Good evening friends. Hope you are all well. I read several devotions each day and scriptures to glean encouragement to share with my church and occasionally with you.  I don’t know if many of you read “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers but he is well worth taking the time to read. My oldest son, got me hooked on him by giving me his devotional book many years ago. Now I read him online. Today, Oswald reminds us that God uses the tiny things of our life to move us in the right direction for His purpose. 

I must begin to transform my natural life into spiritual life by obedience to Him. Oswald Chambers

I think there are times we feel defeated because of our thinking “how in the world can I rise myself up to this level of perfect holiness in the fear of God? 

Tonight I want to explain that concept but from a different angle.  If we look at the benefits we receive when we transform our worldly thoughts, making our motives more pure, it changes our perspective and our desire with us wanting to be more holy as He is holy.  And while we know this is what we should do … it can seem really hard.  So, I want to show you that it is not as hard as it seems. The world and the negative forces around us just want us to stay broken like they are broken. But 2 Corinthians  5:15, reminds us that in Christ we are a new creation. New…the old is gone..so see we can do this.

And in reality, we need to remember who really should be driving the life train…because when we drive it, we have a tendency to crash it. Not what we want and especially not what God wants. He has a purpose for us.

And since God did the choosing, that means we are part of His team. And I think we can all agree that this is a pretty awesome team to be a member of.

And we all know that we love hanging around with our friends. And if that concept is too casual for you, you can look at it like this – He is the King and we are all princes and princesses, for we are His children, working together to help purify His kingdom to come.

May you all have a safe and restful evening. Always remember how very much you are loved and always remember to be kind.

Friends on the Couch

How many of you love to sit around and enjoy each other’s company? Envision a group of family or friends sitting around and laughing as they tell stories of old. Sometimes they are scary, sometimes they make us laugh and sometimes they make us cry. But being together with friends and loved ones is what makes the stories worthwhile.

friends

This morning as I read through the Jesus Calling devotional, I remembered many times of the full pleasure this brings us. I recently wrote a book showing how much fun this could be with wonderful groups of friends or family just sitting around telling stories from the past. But we need to remember, there is a very important friend we need to invite that desperately wants to be a part of our group, he wants to join in with our fun, laughter and tears and that would be Jesus. He wants to be a part of every moment of your life.

Jesus laughing

He can enrich our fun and turn our dull grayness to wonderful brightness. When we get stuck in the dullness of everyday tasks, we have a tendency to to forget life’s joy and we descend into the unfocused grayness of discouragement. But if we realize this is happening and refocus our minds and hearts back on Him,  He will lift us back where we need to be, guiding us back to Him on a wonderful bright path of joy.

Psalm 16 11

Yes, this sounds a little far fetched and an unreal way of thinking, but I promise it is very real and well worth the try. We were each created for a purpose that only He knows and guides and we are never meant to do it without Him.

Acts 17 28

His presence goes with us, wherever we may go. You may not feel His presence, you may even deny He is there, but I promise you He is always there. There is a saying that zips through facebook and other social mediums stating that while we prove to Him many times that we am not worthy of His love, He ignores it and loves us anyway. How can you not want that sitting with you on the sofa.

Hebrews 13 5

So my theory is this, if He is going to be there anyway, then offer Him a seat on the sofa and watch the room begin to glow with His love and presence. And when he reaches over to take your hand, grab it firmly in yours and hold on tightly, it will be a fantastic ride.

Psalm 63 8

I leave you with this prayer of encouragement.  Ask Him to remain close to you and guide your way…He has already said yes.

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And as always remember to be kind. It is the most under rated quality of mankind.

Elephant kindness

World Communion Sunday

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WCS

World Communion Sunday is a celebration observed by several Christian denominations, taking place on the first Sunday of every October, that promotes Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation. It focuses on an observance of the Eucharist – the sharing of the bread and wine as taught by Jesus, that we also call communion.

It was started in the 30’s by a Presbyterian minister and within 10 years was spread to many other Christian denominations and now is across the world giving us the opportunity to pray for all of our Christian brother and sisters across the world.

Our church chose 6 random countries from the list of International Missions and prayed for those countries and some of their Global Servants who work in those countries with love, education, rebuilding, medical needs or anything else that may be needed.  We will be praying for them for the month of October with an emphasis on Water as many countries do not have clean or sufficient water supplies but to also pray that the Living Water be spread through out the world. Below are the 6 countries we are focusing on as we pray also for Living Water to flood the earth. But remember this is only 6 out the 195 countries in the world today. Even in our own countries, prayer is needed to spread the Living Waters of Christ.

I have a challenge for anyone who would like to jump in. I have about 300 people who read my blog. If each person would take one country of your choice, even it’s your own,  and say a quick prayer for that country, then throughout the month think of other countries and say a quick prayer. They will not know you are praying for them but I promise those prayer will not be wasted. No prayer is ever wasted.

Another thing that is never wasted….kindness. Share kindness where ever you go and watch the ripple effect of it spread out from you.

kind ripples

 

Our Amazing Mind, #SoCS-Blue

Our minds are an amazing gift from God that in some instances is phenomenal and in others its…Whaat??!?? I have heard it said that as long as you have the first and last letters correct and a general understanding of what is being said, your brain will make it right. On one hand that is great but on the other hand, its why writers had editors. It struck close to home when we purchased T-shirts for an community outreach program at church. We ordered shirts to let anyone know that we would pray for them right then, whatever was on their heart. What a great concept. The shirts came in, we loved them, several of us took one. I even posted one to show how excited we were about this.  The next day we excitedly showed the pastor and he said “What? Did anyone proof read that before ordering?” “Well yea, we said…whats the problem…oh crap.” Three of us missed it.

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Okay I said. I can fix this so we can at least wear them, plus it will be another conversation starter. “Whatever” he said …”order new ones.”

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It just shows how our brains work for us when we don’t seem to be able to do it correctly ourselves. But it emphasizes how we all really need to care for each other and find unique ways to show we care…as in praying for each other. Those of us in the Christian religion like to say we are all brothers and sisters in Christ but it really goes deeper than that. We are all brothers and sisters period. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve…if you believe the bible is true.

I know for me, the idea of me coming from a one cell organism and developing into an ape and then into a human….yea, no. If that were true we would still be seeing that today. Now I will clarify that as there are some people who periodically act like apes and would probably get smack around by an ape if the ape saw that behavior. They don’t tolerate nonsense either.

The new shirts came in today so now we won’t embarrass the church. Funny how many people took one of those shirts with a “4” painted on it…hmmm.

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That being said, if ever I can pray for you about a specific situation or just an unspoken request just reply on any given post P4me and I will do just that.

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday by Linda Hill is blue and these shirts are blue although the coloring from house lights really change the color. Come join in and have fun and remember to always be kind. Let the ripples of kindness flow from you to the world.

kind ripples

A Special Day Remembered

Today is July 5. The day after the celebration of Independence for the US, but for me it is a fun remembered day as it was my dad’s birthday.

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My dad, a well known lawyer of our town

I remembered his favorite cake was a caramel cake – I think it was a white cake with a caramel type icing. And we also had a few left over fireworks along with the long standing hamburgers on the grill. He had this neat contraption that held all burgers in a wire grid and a handle and you could flip them all at the same time. I thought it was fabulous but have never seen another one.

The many fun trips we made on the rivers of Florida in our boat have wonderful memories as well. Was he perfect?  No, far from it but at some time you just have to let the negative crap go and focus on the great memories. And although each child has a different remembrance of their time with their parents, you can generally hang on to a few of the great fun times and let that be the memory to hold fast to. For me there were a lot. I was the youngest so I actually got to spend more fun time with my dad that my siblings. So this day, his birthday, I honor him even though cancer took him from us over 20 years ago.

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Dad and mom

This is the smile I remember in  a place he loved the best, our house in Florida. Happy Birthday Daddy. You are still greatly loved.

Remember how much a smile can make you smile and smile often. It is contagious, so smile and be kind.

kind smile

 

 

Grandparent, An Honorable Position

grandparents

The fun and joy of being a grandparent should never be taken lightly. Families who hold to the bonds of family love through the rough times are the families who survive the whimsical nonsense of the coming generations. It shows them the importance as they grow that those with strong values of family, memories and grandparents helps the entire family stand firm.

I never really knew my fathers parents as he was the youngest of a large family and I was the youngest of our four, so by the time I was old enough to understand grandparents, they were both gone. But I did enjoy many fun memories with my mother’s parents. My grandfather was a farmer & a gasoline truck driver. And my grandmother was a school teacher. She was well loved by many through her years of teaching and I wrote a post about her in December if anyone cares to read that one as well. I remember the funny stories she and Buckshot(my grandfather’s nickname) would tell us about our cousins that I had never met who had other interesting nicknames like “Catgal”. I would love to know the stories behind the many funny nicknames of my ancestors.

Below are the pictures of both of my grandmothers, maybe later I will do a post on my grandfathers.

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Marie

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The is Lottie with Brownie, per pride and joy.

Some families do not have the luxury of sharing the memories of their ancestors. Some families who do not have that loving relationship or members who can’t feel that love from their family members are families that tend to disintegrate and scatter away from each other. It is a very sad phenomenon that I saw happen in my own family with my siblings  from  strained relationships or actions that can shatter a family. I also have this same type of disconnect with my own children where their relationships were severely strained as children and then as as young adults, my work scattered us 1000 miles from each other not allowing for a reconnect. I have grandchildren I have never held while the older ones have no real clue who I am other than a vague memory. It is a terrible thing to happen to a family. As my youngest told me, we never felt like we were a family due to all the disconnects, anger and frustrations we had. It ever reminds me just how fragile this life can be. But I am trying to fix that and hope that by year end, all strained relationships can at least be on the road to being mended.

This week Nancy Merrill challenged us with a photo of the week as grandparents. It rang true with me as I am trying to get better reconnected with my boys.

So I challenge all who read this to understand the values of all members of the family and to make all efforts to maintain as much of that family bond as possible and to make a connection whenever possible. Even those who fight it, they really don’t want to be left out in the cold. So try to reach out.

And in closing as I remind my readers – try to always be kind. It reflects the very love of God.

Gran-ma’s Cellar Door

Grand-ma’s Cellar Door

I stand and remember the wonder of this place, familiar smells are embedded forever

The three legged milking stool to stand on as she worked, with sun shining in her hair 

The herbs are still there, were there even before, as great gran-ma was most clever

By planting them by the cellar door, the door great grand-pa had built for her to share

So when winters blast came through out the land, with white seeming to go on forever,

With simmering smells floated through the warm home, the cold could not compare

The love of family around a small table, only a candle for light, a memory that last forever.

Anita Neal

Come join in with Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo writing prompt. Use the image above as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 26th June.  Don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.

And those who know my writing, always know I close in a reminder to be kind. Kindness is a reflection of God’s everlasting love for all things.

 

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Grandma’s Fixins, JusJoJan, #SCoS

Linda’s Stream of Conscious Saturday combined with today’s Just Jot January had some interesting vowel twist of sap/sep/sip/sop/sup. So I thought I would play a little with some flash fiction. Come join us for some fun and interest as we try to meet today’s challenge.

grandma
Grandma’s Fixins

The screen door slammed as Jerry entered the kitchen sniffing the air of fresh backing cornbread just coming out of the oven.

cornbread

Sup, grandma. Smells great in here.”

Sup? All that education you have had and that’s the way you talk.” 

“Sorry. Good afternoon Grandmother. How are you this fine evening?” he teased pecking her on the cheek.

“Hmp, now you are just being ridiculous,” she said as she sipped in her tea. “There is sweet tea in the fridge and get out the syrup so it can be warming up a bit.”

Reaching in the fridge, he pulled out the bottle of Georgia Cane Syrup made by Johnson’s farm at the southern part of the state. He poured himself a large glass of tea and came to sit at the table across from his grandmother as she finished slathering butter of the steaming ears of corn. Reading of the bottle of syrup he noted the date on the back label.

“Does syrup get old?” he asked.

“No, why do you ask?” she said.

“It’s got a date on the label.”

“Oh, that’s a best used date, before it starts to separate,” she explained.

Separate?”

She stopped with her hand on her hips and stared at her grandson. “Have you learned nothing from me and this farm? What is syrup made from?”

A gleam lit in his eyes knowing a good banter was in the making. “Well that depends. You have maple syrup where they pull sap from a tree, boil it down to make syrup.”

He glanced up to see the good natured scowl deepen on her brow.

“We don’t grow maple trees here in the south. We grow cane. Your grandpa had 2 full acres ever year before he passed. The sugar cane juice, sap, is boiled down as the cane is crushed. If you let it sit too long on the shelf it will turn to sugar crystals – separate. Here, take your plate and grab you some field peas and greens from the stove. Pork chops, corn and cornbread are already here on the table. How big a piece of cornbread do you want?”

“Normal size for now,” he said.  “Then I will get a bigger slice to sop up remaining juices on my place before I add the syrup.”

“Yea, that’s the best part of the meal,” agreed Grandma as they settled in to a warm enjoyable meal.

Growing up in the late 1900’s gave a different meaning to the family meal. It was a time for fun shared over good food, teasing to help you grow with lots of assurance of love and togetherness.  We seem to have lost that as we are rushing to the next battle to conquer. A lot of the encouragement has been lost and we find ourselves at times not knowing exactly what the next step needs to be. So I challenge you this year to try to regain some of that back. Love on you family members and friends and encourage each other. And as always…remember to be kind. Even when drawing a hard line if needed, it cane be done with love, encouragement and KINDNESS.

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Eyes, Windows to the Soul, A Photo a Week Challenge

Matthew 6:22 – The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be filled with light.

Nothing is quite as precious as the sparkle of a child’s eyes or the giggle of their laugh. These are my children and grandchildren. Yes all boys. But they are precious.

Nancy Merrill photo a week challenge is eyes. Come join in on the fun and enjoy each others photos.

Remember the joy of laughter of a child and carry that joy and smile with you as you go sharing that love with kindness freely. It make bring the same joy and smile to one who needs it.

smile kind