The Lord Is With You

When I read today’s message from Joel Osteen, I kept hearing the words to the song, “What a friend we have in Jesus”.  I have many friends in my lifetime.  I have awesome friends who have been there with me in my ups and downs and I treasure them.  And I have had friends that I considered family who when I was having a hard time, turned their backs on me.  Jesus, in my humble opinion, is better than a friend, because I know that He will never leave me, nor forsake me.  He isn’t going to put His needs before mine or push His opinions on me.  He will always overlook my shortcomings, and forgive me when I ask Him to.  When I call His name, He’s going to be there for me – no if’s, no ands and no buts.

What A Friend We Have In Jesus – written by Joseph M. Scriven

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there. 

lyrics courtesy of

A message from Joel Osteen

Today’s Scripture

“Be bold, be strong, for the Lord is with you” (Joshua 1:9).

Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

No matter what today has in store, as a believer, you can approach the day with boldness and confidence. Why? Because the Lord is with you, and in Him is everything you need in this life. That means that if you need provision for something today, provision is with you. If you need wisdom today, wisdom is with you. If you need strength, joy, or peace today, it’s with you. You can be confident today knowing that all of your needs are supplied spiritually, physically, and emotionally because the Lord is with you. And best of all, He’s promised never to leave you. Don’t let lies from the enemy or pressure from the world keep you from taking hold of everything the Lord has for you. Open your heart by faith and receive whatever you need today. Step out in boldness and strength because the Lord is with you!

A Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me today. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for being closer to me than the air I breathe. I receive Your promises today in faith and confidence. I cast all of my cares on You and set my heart on You today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Thursday Thirteen #6 – Why I love Fall


Okay, so I’m late again with my TT!  One of these days I’ll get it right.

So, this weeks TT will be 13 reasons why I LOVE the Fall

1.  The weather cools down – a lot!!!

2.  The leaves on the trees turn such beautiful colors making a ride down the highway (especially if you are driving down south) so enjoyable.

3.  Sitting by the fire, either in your home (wish I had a fireplace) or outside by your fire pit, or at a bonfire.

4.  Soup and Sammy (sandwich) night!

5.  Making chili and beef stew and lots homemade soups.

7.  Watching football on television Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday!

8.  Going to the High School football games – Go Herd!  (Woodbury High School)

9.  Getting ready for Thanksgiving.

10.  Breaking out the sweaters and hoodies.

11.  The gorgeous sunsets.

12.  The annual Woodbury Fall Parade.

13.  Baking cookies, pies, breads.

Faith Comes By Hearing

I love this message!  I also know that it can be difficult at times to sit and read and focus on His word and try to absorb a message which is why I love keeping my little book of God’s Promises by my bedside and in my handbag at all times.  I also keep my prayer booklet by Charles Capps handy because he has a lot of scriptures listed which is essential when you are praying!  I love to speak His word back to Him and these little treasures help me do just that!

A message from Joel Osteen

Today’s Scripture

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

Do you want more faith in your life? Well, the good news is that your faith in God can grow and increase. Notice the scripture doesn’t say, “Faith comes by having heard the Word of God one time.” It’s hearing—in the present tense. Sure, God’s Word can transform us in an instant, but most of the time, we need to hear God’s principals over and over again before they become active in our lives. The Truth of God’s Word chisels away at the doubt and unbelief that’s been built up over the years. God’s Truth sets us free and sets His plan for our lives in motion. Just as a seed needs water daily to grow, your spirit needs the Word of God daily. The more you hear God’s promises, the more you know Him, the more you will be able to believe Him! I encourage you today to select a few scriptures to meditate on daily. Write them down and carry them in your purse or wallet. The more you hear the Word of God, the more your faith will grow and you will move forward into the life of victory God has in store!

A Prayer for Today

Father in Heaven, thank you for Word that is living and active and growing in my life. I submit myself to you today and ask you to teach me your ways. Give me insight into your Word so that I may know you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Wet Pants

This was emailed to me today by my dear friend Doris and I knew I had to share it with as many people as possible.  Enjoy!

Come with me to a third grade classroom….. There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened.  It’s never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they’ll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, “Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I’m dead meat.”

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered

As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy’s lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, “Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!”

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else – Susie.

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You’ve done enough, you klutz!”

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, “You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Susie whispers back, “I wet my pants once too.”

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good..

Remember…..Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.  Each and everyone one of us is going through tough times right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can. Keep the faith.

My instructions were to pick people that I wanted God to bless, and I picked you. Please pass this to people you want to be blessed.

This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards Let’s continue to pray for one another.

The Prayer:

Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those that I care deeply for, who are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace. Where there is need, I ask you to fulfill their needs. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. Amen.

Works For Me Wednesday – Fundraising

wfmwheader Sorry I’m a little late with today’s WFMW and I apologize for not posting one last week but with school being back in full swing, it’s been a bit hectic.

Okay, this weeks WFMW is for all you moms out there that help out by volunteering to be on the fundraising committee of the PTA, or PTO, or PTSA or Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Band Parents, Football Boosters… you get my point!

There are tons of ways you can raise money for your non-profit organization without selling a single thing!  I’ve put a hyperlink on each icon so you can go to the website’s and get more info!

Did you know that 5 below   5 Below will host a FUNdraiser day for you and give you 10% of the sales that your organization helps to bring to their store?  

Chick-fil-A chick fil awill host a Spirit Night and they also give you 10% of the sales you help to generate.    General Mills will pay you CASH for your boxtopsBox Tops 4 Education Labels and their labels are on more than just cereal! 

campbells Campbell’s will help you earn merchandise by collecting their UPC’s labels on a wide variety of their products

ecophones and EcoPhones will pay you to recycle a wide variety of items and they even pay for the shipping and handling!


Make sure you check out Rocks In My Dryer for more WFMW entries!

Come To The Father

I can’t tell you how much this message blessed my spirit when I read it this evening.  I have been feeling heavy-laden and overburdened for the past few days and it has been causing me to have some restless and sleepness nights.  I said “some” restless and sleepless nights because there are times when I realize I am feeling stressed out and I give it over to God, but there are times when I am not so quick to let it go.  How awesome is God that He knows just when to speak to us and the method to speak to us so that we will listen and hear Him. 

A message from Joel Osteen

Today’s Scripture

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your soul.” (Matthew 11:28 AMP).

Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

Does your soul need refreshing today? Then come to the Father. Are you overburdened by the cares of this world? Are you facing challenges in your relationships? Finances? Career? The Father wants to refresh you. He wants to cause you to rest. Think about that for a moment. What would cause you to rest? If you knew everything was going to work out for your good, you would stop worrying. You would rest! Even if things don’t work out the way you planned, or on your timetable, you can trust that God will turn things around in your favor. When you submit your life to Him, by the blood of Jesus, and truly make Him Lord and Ruler of every area of your life, you will find rest for your soul! Come to the Father today in prayer and with thanksgiving. Thank Him right now for taking your burdens and giving you peace. Thank Him for loving you today and giving you new life. Thank Him for His faithfulness. Go out today with an attitude of faith and expectancy because God is working behind the scenes on your behalf—and you can come to Him!

A Prayer for Today

Father in Heaven, I come to You now. I give You my cares and burdens. I thank You for working behind the scenes on my behalf. Thank You for loving me and setting me free. Thank You for giving me rest for my soul and peace in my heart today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Tapas Tuesday

tapas image Okay, so I love raw clams but I’m not really fond of raw oysters so I decided to swap them out when I saw Paula Deen’s recipe for Oyster Shooters.  And since I don’t drink (anymore) I skip the Vodka but they still taste awesome and make a great recipe for Tapas Tuesday not to mention they’re a great source of protein with 11 grams of protein in every 3 ounces of clams!  Woo-Hoo!

oyster shooterVirgin Clam Shooters:

photo courtesy of Food Network – Paula Deen’s Oyster Shooters

It’s really a matter of taste, but I like to use whole raw clams simply because I think they taste awesome fresh from the shell, but you can use whole or chopped canned clams.  You can also add a splash of Vodka to each Shot glass after you add the clams, then top off with some cocktail sauce and a lemon wedge.

What You Need:

1 Dozen Top Neck or Little Neck Clams – and their juice*

2 Lemons cut into wedges (each lemon should give you 6 wedges)

Cocktail Sauce (you can make your from scratch, but I like using Bookbinders or Klotchners)

Tabasco – Optional

Oyster Crackers – optional (I like to munch on these between shots – check back next week when I give you an awesome way to prepare Oyster Crackers as a Tapas!)

Serving Size:  3 per person                                                                      Total Servings:  4

Shot Glasses (but if you’re in a pinch, you can use Dixie Bathroom cups and the bonus of using these is no glasses to wash – just shoot it and toss it! – I like the Sponge Bob design!)

* Tip on shucking your own clams from–  first clean the Clams by scrubbing the shell with a stiff brush. Then soak the Clams in salt water for about 20 minutes to allow them to expel sand. Adding cornmeal (optional) will encourage the Clams to purge dark stuff from their stomachs and will whiten their meat. Per 1 gallon (4 liters) of water use 1/3 cup (4 oz / 115g) of salt and 1/4 cup (2 oz / 50g) of cornmeal. Drain, repeat two more times. If any Clams float to the top during the soaking, discard them.
Before trying to open Clams, refrigerate them for an hour to relax them, or freeze for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from freezer or fridge, let sit 2 or 3 minutes. As they warm up again, they’ll relax their muscles and the shells will open a tidge, which is all the opening you need. Insert the end of a blunt knife into the Clam shell, and twist it to force the shell open. Be very careful when shucking Clams, as the knife often slips. Some people buy special Clam knifes, and keep a pair of work gloves in the kitchen to make it safer.  Don’t discard the juices inside; this is called “Clam Liquor”.

Now, if shucking clams is not your thing, sometimes your local seafood shop will shuck them for you and put them in a container – just make sure you ask them to save their juices as well!  Or you can opt for canned clams.  Whole or chopped are good to use and both work well.

How to Prepare:

If you are using glass shot glasses, you can frost them by placing them in the freezer on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes and take them out just prior to serving.  Line the cookie sheet with wax paper to prevent the glass from sticking to the sheet.

Place a teaspoon of clam juice in the glass, then add 1 raw clam and a teaspoon of cocktail sauce, then top it off with a lemon wedge.  If you like things on the spicy side, hit your clams with a dash of Tabasco before topping it with cocktail sauce, or just leave the bottle on the table for everyone to use as desired.

If you opt for canned chopped clams, drain the clams but save the juice.  Add a few teaspoons of cocktail sauce to the clams then add some of the clam juice.  The consistency should be like a chunky salsa, not too thick and not too runny.  Cover and chill in the fridge.  When you’re ready to serve up your shooters, add your clam/sauce mixture to the shot glass and top off with a lemon wedge.  

Let your guests know take their lemon wedges and squeeze the juice onto their shooter just before doing their shot – yum yum yummy!

Now I said before that I love raw clams so I could easily do a dozen of these myself – so if you’re like me, triple the recipe!

Choose Your Attitude


John is the kind of guy you love to hate.  He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say.  When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a natural motivator.  If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, “I don’t get it!  You can’t be a positive person all of the time.  How do you do it?”  He replied, “each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or … you can choose to be in a bad mood I choose to be in a good mood.”

“Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or…I can choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or… I can point out the positive side of life.  I choose the positive side of life. “Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested. “Yes, it is,” he said.  “Life is all about choices.  When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice.  You choose how you react to situations.  You choose how people affect your mood.

“You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood.  The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live your life.” I reflected on what he said.  Soon thereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business.  We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw him about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins…Wanna see my scars?”
I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

“The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,” he replied.  “Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or…I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared?  Did you lose consciousness?” I asked, and he continued, “the paramedics were great.  They kept telling me I was going to be fine.  But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read “he’s a dead man” I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked. “Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said John. “She asked if I was allergic to anything ‘Yes, I replied!’  The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply.  I took a deep breath and yelled, “Gravity. “Over their laughter, I told them, “I am choosing to live.  Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude… I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. So now it’s up to you – which do you choose?
Attitude, after all, is everything. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34. After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

A Vital Necessity

In my opinion, this message is a perfect follow up to Embrace Your Season.

A message from Joel Osteen

Today’s Scripture

“Set your mind and heart to seek (inquire of and require as your vital necessity) the Lord your God.” (I Chronicles 22:19 AMP).

Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

What things do you consider a vital necessity in your life? What can’t you live without? Most people would immediately think of food, water, and shelter, but in reality, we can’t really live unless our minds and hearts are set on seeking the Lord. Sure, you can exist without seeking Him, but you are called to more than just mere existence. You are called to live…to thrive…to enjoy your life abundantly! The good news is that you have complete control over what you set your mind and heart on. You decide what you think about. I encourage you today; set your mind and heart on seeking the Lord! Write down your favorite scriptures and commit them to memory. Whenever you can, think about those verses. Meditate on God and His infinite love. Make a habit of seeking Him and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. When you require the Lord as a vital necessity, you will truly enjoy living the abundant life He has in store for you!

A Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father, today I choose to set my mind on You. I seek You with my whole heart. Show me your love and character today. Show me Your ways that I may walk and live closely with you. I love you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Embrace Your Season

A message from Joel Osteen

Today’s Scripture

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

God has ordained seasons in your life. It’s easy to get frustrated when our dreams aren’t coming to pass on our timetable. When that happens, we have to submit our plans to Him and trust that He has a better plan. Understand that in God’s Kingdom, every season is not harvest. There are plowing seasons. There are planting seasons. There are watering seasons. And sure, we would love for every season to be a time of increase, but without the other seasons, we wouldn’t be prepared. It’s during the plowing seasons when God’s bringing issues to light that we need to deal with. He’s getting us prepared for promotion. If you’re not making as much progress as you would like, the key is to not lose any ground. Don’t go backwards. Hold your position by keeping an attitude of faith and expectancy, even when it’s hard. Keep plowing by speaking the Word daily. As you do, you’ll pass the test, and God promises your due season is coming!

A Prayer for Today

Father in Heaven, thank You for Your faithfulness in all seasons of my life. I trust that my time is coming, and I choose to remain faithful. I submit my ways to You today and trust that You have the best plan for my life. I love You and praise Your name today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Let’s Say Thanks

lets say thanks

This website is a wonderful place to let our Troops know we care about them and support them.  They have made it so simple to send our troops an encouraging message, the hardest part is deciding which postcard to send!


Check out their photo gallery

Galleryand their awesome artwork! image

Even though things have settled down for us here in the USA, they haven’t for our troops stationed in Iraq and around the world.  give2thetroopsGive 2 The Troops  is a non-profit organization that sends much needed items to our troops.  Our troops can sign up with this site to receive gift packages by clicking here.

Tapas Tuesday

tapas image

Well, this is my first Tapas entry and believe me, trying to decide which one to use was a bit of a mind bender.  I tried to get my family to help, but everyone had their own ideas about what qualified as a Tapas.  My son Justin finally suggested my Bacon Dates.  I can’t take entire credit for these delicious bites, my oldest daughter made them last year during the Christmas holiday (she went to a party where the hostess served them) and they are easy, inexpensive and a crowd pleaser.

bacondatesBacon Wrapped Dates

What You Need:

Pitted Dates (you can also use fresh dates if you prefer and pit them yourself)

I recommend getting a 16oz container of the Dates.  You can usually find them in the produce section with the dried fruit and nuts, just make sure they are whole pitted Dates and make sure you check the ‘use by’ date to insure freshness.  I haven’t done a lot of experimenting with this recipe, but as I’m writing this, I’m getting the idea to try using other fruits like Apricot and Mango.


A 1 lb. package of bacon.  You can use fresh or pre-cooked bacon, avoid the wide cut bacon.  If you are using fresh, make sure you look for bacon with more meat than fat.  Also note that fresh bacon takes a little longer to cook and requires placing a wire rack on the cookie sheet before placing the wrapped dates on the sheet to keep the dates from absorbing too much of the grease.  I prefer using pre-cooked bacon because it’s faster, has less grease and it’s quicker to clean up after.  I know that some people prefer to use Turkey bacon, but I haven’t tried it yet so I don’t know how it would turn out – but just for kicks, I’ll have to test it out!

Cookie Sheets – (1-2 depending on the size of your cookie sheet and number of guests you are cooking for)

Parchment Paper – (this is optional, you can line your cookie sheet with it to help absorb some of the grease)

Wooden Toothpicks – (avoid the kind with the colored cellophane on the tips)

Paper Towels or Brown Paper Bag – (to help blot some of the grease after you remove cooked dates from the oven)

Festive Serving Plates

How To Prepare:

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

If you are using fresh bacon, cut the strips in half.  If you are using pre-cooked bacon, cut the strips in half if possible.  Sometimes you can’t get 2 pieces out of one strip depending on how they packaged it. (but you don’t need all that bacon for one date either, so I trim some of the excess and save it for topping off salads, or use them in omelettes).

Wrap each date in bacon as you would a pig in a blanket and then use a toothpick to hold the bacon in place.

If you are using fresh bacon, I recommend laying a wire cooling rack on top of the cookie sheet, then place the dates on the rack – leave just enough room between dates so they don’t touch.

If you are using pre-cooked bacon you can use parchment paper, however it is not mandatory and there is no need to use the racks.

Place in oven and cook until bacon is crisp – approximately 15-20 minutes for fresh, 7-10 for pre-cooked.  The times will vary depending on your use of fresh or pre-cooked and your ovens.  You can increase the oven temperature to speed up the crisping process.  I don’t recommend using the broiler because the intense heat causing grease splatter and smoking.

Plum Dipping Sauce – optional

by the Editors of Easy Home Cooking Magazine

Yield: Makes about 1 cup


2/3 cup plum sauce  (check your grocery store’s Specialty or Ethnic food aisles)

2 green onions (scallions) with tops, sliced thinly

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon honey

3 to 4 drops hot chili oil (optional)


1. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; mix well. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.

*****  I’ve also heard that if you stuff the dates with a tiny piece of Blue Cheese or Parmesan Cheese it gives them an added twist – I’ll have to try them out next time as well! *****

Tapas Tuesday


There are so many aweseome Meme’s out there I wanted to get in on action.  I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to the kind of Meme I wanted to create and the only thing I was sure about was that I wanted it to be about food.  I knew that I wanted the Meme to be something everyone enjoyed and it had to be quick and easy so I came up with the idea of Tapas Tuesday.

 So what are Tapas?  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

Tapas (IPA: [ˈtapas]) is the name for a wide variety of appetizers in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold, such as mixed olives and cheese, or warm, such as puntillitas, Andalusian battered, fried baby squid. In the United States and the United Kingdom, tapas have evolved into an entire cuisine; at Spanish restaurants, patrons may order many different small tapas, and combine them for a full meal.

And here’s what has to say –

Tapas are snacks, canapés or finger food. Tapas come in many different forms and can vary from town to town! But, what are they?

A. Tapas can be practically anything from a chunk of tuna, cocktail onion and an olive skewered on a long toothpick to meat with sauce served piping hot in a miniature clay dish. They are served day in and day out in every bar and café in Spain. So much a part of the culture and social scene that the Spanish people invented the verb tapear which means to go and eat tapas!

I like the idea that Tapas are finger foods or appetizers if you will, and you can always make a meal out of a nice assortment of appetizers.

 Every week I’ll share one of my families favorite Tapas recipes with you.  I hope you will stop by each week and it would be awesome if you would join me by listing your Tapas of the week.

I hope to start this Tuesday September 18th, so be sure to check back.  I’m going to try and have my posts up every Monday by 11:45pm (EST)

No Left Turns

~ My mom sent me this in an email today.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

This a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News.  In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, (especially poignant these days), and a few good chuckles are guaranteed.

My father never drove a car.  Well, that’s not quite right.  I should say I never saw him drive a car.
He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.
‘In those days,’ he told me when he was in his 90s, ‘to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.’  At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: ‘Oh, bull—-!’ she said.  ‘He hit a horse.’  ‘Well,’ my father said, ‘there was that, too.’

So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars — the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford — but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines, would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.  My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we’d ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. ‘No one in the family drives,’ my mother would explain, and that was that.  But, sometimes, my father would say, ‘But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we’ll get one.’  It was as if he wasn’t sure which one of us would turn 16 first.  But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.

It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn’t drive, it more or less became my brother’s car.  Having a car but not being able to drive didn’t bother my father, but it didn’t make sense to my mother.  So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father’s idea. ‘Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?’ I remember him saying more than once. 

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps — though they seldom left the city limits — and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.  Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn’t seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.  (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustine’s Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish’s two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of
the service and walking her home.  If it was the assistant pastor, he’d take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church.  He called the priests ‘Father Fast’ and ‘Father Slow.’ 

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere,
>> even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he’d sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio.  In the evening, then, when I’d stop by, he’d explain: ‘The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the
multimillionaire on third base scored.’  If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out — and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream.

As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, ‘Do you want to know the secret of a long life?’  ‘I guess so,’ I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.  ‘No left turns,’ he said.  ‘What?’ I asked.  ‘No left turns,’ he repeated. ‘Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.  As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said.  So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.’ ‘What?’ I  said again.’No left turns,’ he said.  ‘Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that’s a lot safer. So we always make three rights.’  ‘You’re kidding!’ I said, and I turned to my mother for support ‘No,’ she said, ‘your father is right.  We make three rights. It works.’ But then she added: ‘Except when your father loses count.’  I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.  ‘Loses count?’ I asked.  ‘Yes,’ my father admitted, ‘that sometimes happens. But it’s not a problem.  You just make seven rights, and you’re okay again.’  I couldn’t resist. ‘Do you ever go for 11?’ I asked.  ‘No,’ he said ‘ If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can’t be put off another day or another week.’ 

My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.  She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.  They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom — the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.) 

He continued to walk daily — he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he’d fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising — and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a
>> neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.  A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, ‘You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred.’ At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, ‘You know, I’m probably not going to live much longer.’ ‘You’re probably right,’ I said.  ‘Why would you say that?’ He countered, somewhat irritated.  ‘Because you’re 102 years old,’ I said. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘you’re right.’  He stayed in bed all the next day.

That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.  He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: ‘I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet’  An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: ‘I want you to know,’ he said, clearly and lucidly, ‘that I am in no pain.  I am very comfortable, and I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.’

A short time later, he died.  I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I’ve wondered now and then
how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.  I can’t figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns.  Life is too short to wake up with regrets.  So love the people who treat you right.  Forget about those who don’t.  Believe everything happens for a reason.  If you get a chance, take it.  If it changes your life, let it.  Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.

I Need Peace – Update

So, you may or may not have read my post from Tuesday the 11th, entitled I Need Peace.  Long story short, I had a really bad day and anything that could go wrong, did.

Well, I  have a praise report for you!  Let me first give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow, and for all your prayers for my family.  The very next day, Wednesday the 12th, God honored our prayers and blessed us with the return of my daughters cell phone and her clarinet. (to clarify about the clarinet, her original clarinet was not returned, however her band director gave her a replacement which is even better than the one she had, and it’s a wooden one which was important to her)  I know I should have posted this sooner and I beg your forgiveness, but it has been a very hectic week!

God wants to bless us and see us prosper.  It pleases Him to see us happy and free from stress and worry.  The moment I let go of the situation, He was able to set things in motion.

I also wanted to tell you that I have been able to sleep without the use of the melatonin for the past 3 nights.  How awesome is that?  It’s so good to know that if I need it, I can use it and I won’t become dependant on it.

 God is good, all day, every day!!!

Refuse Bitterness

Today’s message blessed my spirit so much I knew I had to pass it along.  When I think about what bitterness does to our hearts I think back to when my kids were younger and watched the animated show, “The Care Bears”.  There was a character who hated “The Care Bears” who was called “Darkheart”.  Bitterness overtook him so that he felt nothing and cared for nothing and he wanted everyone else to be like him.  I also envision our hearts as being covered in a thick, sticky black tar and nothing can remove it or penetrate but the love of Jesus. 

Bitterness is also very contagious spirit.  It preys on our egos and our lack of confidence in ourselves.  If it has control over you, it permeates the air and spreads; infecting everyone and everything around you.  It takes over our thoughts, clouds our judgement and always leaves us with a foul taste in our mouths. 

I have learned to begin my prayer with a repentant heart, asking for forgiveness of my sins both known and unknown.  I also ask God to guard my heart and tongue and now that I am on the subject, I’m going to ask Him to help guard my mind as well – because our thoughts can betray us and it is in our thoughts that the deception begins.  It took everything in “The Care Bears” arsenal to defeat “Darkheart”, and it takes the love of God to defeat bitterness.


A message from Joel Osteen

Today’s Scripture

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31 NIV).

Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

Bitterness is an extremely destructive force. It seeps into the depths of your heart when you choose not to forgive someone. When you harbor unforgiveness, it closes the door to God’s working in your life. The Bible even tells us that if we choose not to forgive others, God cannot even hear our prayers. Thank God that He has empowered us to forgive and release bitterness! You have the choice to get rid of bitterness so you can live in freedom! You may have been through unfair situations, but it’s not over until God says it’s over. God always has the final say, and He is a God of justice. God sees every wrong that’s ever been done to you. He sees every unfair situation. If you will stay in faith and keep your hopes up, He will make your wrongs right. He’ll bring justice into your life. Your attitude should be, “It may have been unfair. They may have done me wrong. But I refuse to get bitter. I know my time is coming.” As you choose forgiveness and keep your thoughts focused on the Word of God, you will walk in complete freedom in every area of your life!

A Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father, today I refuse bitterness. I refuse to allow the past to keep me stuck. Right now I forgive those who have hurt me. I pray blessing on them, that they would come to know Your Truth. Father, thank You for setting my heart free today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The Law Of The Garbage Truck

My mom sent me this story in an email and I don’t know if it actually happened, I just know that it made me think.  I makes perfect sense to me and seems like a wise way to live in a world so full of garbage…


How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood?  Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day?  Unless you’re the Terminator, for an instant you’re probably set back on your heels.  However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what’s important.  Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson.
I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab.  Here’s what happened.   I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station.  We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.  My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car’s back end by just inches!  The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy.  And I mean, he was friendly.  So, I said, “Why did you just do that?  This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!”  And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck.”  Many people are like garbage trucks.  They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.  As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it.  And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you.  When someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally.  You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.  You’ll be happy you did.”

So this was it: “The Law of the Garbage Truck.”  I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me?  And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets?  It was that day I said, “I’m not going to do it anymore.”  I began to see garbage trucks.  Like in the movie ” The Sixth Sense,” the little boy said, “I see Dead People.”  Well, now “I see Garbage Trucks.”  I see the load they’re carrying.  I see them coming to drop it off.  And like my Taxi Driver, I don’t make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on. 

One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field.
He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled.   He never dwelled on a hit.   Payton was ready to make the next play his best. 

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting.  Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses.  Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.  The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day.  What about you?  What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by? 

Here’s my bet.  You’ll be happier.  Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so..
Love the people who treat you right.  Forget about the ones who don’t.  Believe that everything happens for a reason.  If you get a chance , TAKE IT!   If it changes your life , LET IT!  Nobody said it would be easy… They just promised it would be worth it! 

Thursday Thirteen 5th Edition


This week, my TT will be 13 things I am thankful for (in no specific order):

1.  I am thankful for my loving husband who puts up with my mood swings, my need to be right and still makes me laugh.

2.  I am thankful for each of my children, the 4 who are with me and the 2 who are with the Lord.  They keep me young, keep me up to date on what’s going on today, make me laugh so hard I can barely stand and make me so proud to be their mom.

3.  I am thankful for my family and friends no matter how crazy they are and that they have kept me close to their hearts and have been by my side through the good times and the not so good times.

4.  I am thankful that God has blessed us with a roof over our heads, cars to get us all where we need to go, clothes for our backs and food for our tummies.

5.  I am thankful for the love and grace given to me by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ without whom I would not be here.

6.  I am thankful that I live in a country where I have freedom of speech, freedom of religion and other freedoms too numerous to list.

7.  I am thankful that my husband finally decided to support me in my decision to have WLS and that to date I have lost over 58 pounds and have gained my sense of self and purpose.

8.  I am thankful to have my oldest son home for the first time in over 7 years when he joined the Navy.

9.  I am thankful that my oldest daughter has found her soul mate and that he is a wonderful man who loves her, treasures her and fits right in with our family.

10.  I am thankful that God is in my life and when things get to be too much to handle, I can call on Him and He’ll carry my burden and deal with the nonsense that I cannot.

11.  I am thankful that summer is nearly over and the weather will start to get cooler so I can haul out my hoodies, dust off my crockpot and put lots and lots of mums, cornstalks and pumpkins in the yard and watch football on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays!!!

12.  I am thankful that even though I have been out of work for over 3 years, God has sustained us financially.  I know that without Him we would not have been able to make it.

13.  I am thankful that my husband loves me so much that he would put aside his dislike for animals, and let me keep my doggie Biskit who keeps me company, makes me laugh and has so much love to give it sometimes makes me cry when I think of all the dogs out there that have no homes to go to.

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