What I Want for Christmas | Life through my Eight-year old Eyes

I want to see my life through my eight-year old eyes. Relive it or perhaps watch it once more as though watching a movie.


I want to see my grandparents old trailer back where it stood all of my 34 years.

I want to see the pussy willow tree back by the edge of the old driveway and feel its soft blossoms and then get in trouble when I tried to climb around within it.

I want to sit under the shade of the pear tree on a hot Sunday afternoon on the old rusty glider with its white paint chipping.

I want to ride my pink bike with the big banana seat up the gravel road and soar up the small hill behind the corncrib and weave in and out of the lilac trees.

I want to smell the combination of fried chicken, homemade rolls, homemade noodles and baked beans drifting through my grandma’s open windows.

I want to stand beside my grandma in the kitchen as she teaches me how to roll and cut those homemade noodles.

I want to sit on my grandpa’s lap and play the marble game of Aggravation on the wooden game board he made.

I want to play whiffle ball with my cousins and cards with my aunts.

I want to explore through the old vacant log house and spit grapes at my cousins.

I want to hear the laughter of a family that use to be and will never be again.

I want to jump off the old green porch and relive the lazy days of those slow Sunday afternoons.

I want to taste my grandma’s fried bread and laugh at and with my cousins.

I want to run through the clean sheets swaying in the breeze as they hang on the line.

I want to see my grandpa’s old garage and all his old license plates hanging on the door.

I want to lie on grandma’s old couch on a hot summer’s day while she watches her stories.

I want to make a big mess playing house with my cousin for hours and hours and laugh at my aunt who cleans it up the moment we stop to eat.

I want to taste my grandma’s homemade gravy that was so good, I would eat it with just bread.

I want everyone to come together around a small tabletop Christmas tree and exchange small gifts and enjoy being together.

I want to see my grandpa get mad at losing a game of yahtzee and throw the dice behind the stove and catch grandma cheating at a game of cards.

I want to taste grandma’s homemade meatloaf and help her make homemade coleslaw.

I want to help grandma snap beans and watch grandpa make sauerkraut.

I want to play in the snow with my grandpa and ‘roll’ it over the hills in his old red car.

I want to call home sick from school and then go for ice cream when grandpa picks me up.

I want grandma to chase us around the yard threatening to whack us with a pancake turner for saying something bad that she taught us in the first place.

I want to hear my grandma’s rotten laugh and my grandpa’s voice.

I want to hear the sound of the creaking floor as grandma walks down the hall.

I want to walk into the owl covered room and have the peace and comfort of feeling happy and being home.

I want to stand where the big hill begins to slope and watch the sun set behind the tall pine trees and have that child-like security of feeling things will never change.

I want time to slow down and the ability to hang on to each precious moment.


Most of all, I want families, intermediate and extended, to love each other and treat each other as so. I want them to continue to get together and celebrate their history, reminisce about the past and share the future. I want family fights to disappear and selfishness to be erased. I want children to hang onto their childhood longer and cherish it greater and for everyone to realize that time is a precious gift not to be squandered so enjoy and make the most out of each and every second.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Words

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18


words 2Words. They are meaningless when they promise good things with no action, cutting and hurtful when used with no regard and although intangible, they often cause more pain and scarring than even the most tragic of physical accidents.  Damaging words can linger in the air for only a second but in the heart for a lifetime.

Words can be the most severe weapon used in wars we shouldn’t even be fighting.

I struggle to fathom why injurious words are thrown around carelessly towards those we love and benevolent words are reserved for acquaintances or strangers who pass by. Often times, it is our own personal unhappiness, miseries and failures that manifest and spill over resulting in a verbal attack by words or tone in a direct shot to hurt our loved one. I strongly believe it is unfair, immature and cruel to expect those nearest and dearest to us to involuntarily stand as our targets; but why do we do it? Why do we toss in little jabs, bring up past experiences or use sarcastic snarkiness knowing it will hurt the person we are unloading on. Do we really want our spouse, child, parent, friend, etc., to feel as poorly as we do? Do we not want those we love to feel good and lifted up instead of tore down and damaged. Does it really make us feel better by making others feel worse?

Scripture gives us verse after verse telling us not to use words to hurt others.

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18

A sword! Really? Would you pick up a sword and deliberately hurt someone? Anyone? Let alone those you love the most in this world. We all have had something said to us at some point in life that causes us to feel that seizing, sharp ache just as though a sword was being thrust through our hearts. I am sure as you are reading this, those words flashed through your mind like an old blinking neon sign and brought that old familiar ache along with it. Do you truly want to say something that causes this pain in someone else?

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

How many times have you thought about what you would like to say in the heat of the moment, quickly disregarded it to avoid the drama, and then threw caution to the wind and said it anyway. Did you enjoy the argument that undoubtedly followed? Do you wish you could have held your tongue and said something more gentle and resolving instead?

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” – Ephesians 4:29

Very simple point. If you can’t say anything nice; don’t say anything at all.

“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” – Colossians 3:8

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” – Proverbs 15:4

When speaking to those you love, even when circumstances are less than favorable; don’t point fingers, spin situations in your favor, point out flaws or be deliberately cruel. You love this person, right? So why try and be purposely wicked?

“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:37

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” – Matthew 12:36

Saying what you want regardless of the damage it may cause may make you feel like you have won the fight for now. You may feel triumphant knowing your spouse gave up or your child backed down but you will be held accountable. Do you want to stand before God and revisit every time you let your tongue have control and revisit every hurtful, damaging word you uttered? I hope the answer is no and that you begin, right now, to think before you speak, practice kindness and gentleness with all you meet and examine your hearts before throwing your words.

Always keep in mind that you cannot turn back the clock. A spoken word cannot be unsaid so make them pleasant ones!


I want to hear from you!

What do you do to tame your tongue?


 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **


The Survival Mom – Back-to-School in style for kids AND mom! GIVEAWAY

“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you.” – Deuteronomy 16:17


 

I am truly blessed to be a part of The Survival Mom writing team! I get an opportunity to write, an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to share the generosity of some fantastic giveaways with all of you! Check out the link below for a chance to win The Survival Mom’s Back to School GIVEAWAY!


Giveaway #1: For the student, a desk, backpack, and more

Giveaway #2: My lunch is too cute to eat!
Giveaway #3: Just for mom giveaway

BR>The prizes for each of these are just too awesome and too many list! Check out more information and enter at the link below! Be sure to share this post with others who may be interested in The Survival Mom BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEWAY.


I want to hear from you!

What was your hot back to school item this year?


 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **


Taking My Own Advice

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” – James 1:2-4


mjI have had a rough few weeks. I have been low on energy, strength and hope. There are days when even the most routine tasks take every ounce of my being to complete. I have even given up on a few things I used to be quite passionate about. Many factors have created my Eeyore demeanor but the big disappointment is, I know better. I know 100% that my disheartenment and forlornness is because I have put too much hope and value in things other than Christ. This was one of the main points I learned from studying Gods at War by Kyle Idleman.  I know that everyone gets in a slump now and again but shouldn’t I be able to bounce back more quickly than some? With all the bible studies I have done and sermons I have heard, shouldn’t I be faster at putting on the full Armor of God and fighting off satan and the painful blows he is throwing my way?

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:17-18

This scripture tells me that even though I live in Christ, there will still be moments when I will feel ‘crushed in spirit.’ These words even point out that God will be close to me when I feel this way. Feeling down once in a while is normal but knowing this doesn’t make it any better. How do I make it better? To be honest, I haven’t had the strength to open my bible or even pray. I knew that both of these would help me climb out of my funk but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Every time I would get ready to make the effort, something would distract me or someone would interrupt me with more negativity and knock me further down. So now what?

Advice?

I started thinking about those who message me seeking comfort, help and guidance. If one of those folks sent me a message describing this scenario, how would I respond to them? I would undoubtedly refer them to the above scripture and one of my previous blogs, ‘Those Days.’ I would encourage them to go to God’s word themselves and get their butt in church for sure. However, if they were down so low they couldn’t begin the journey back up themselves, then I would be sure to pray for them. I would pray persistently for them until they had the strength to take a step themselves and then I would pray some more.

I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray continually and since I couldn’t escape the cloud long enough to pray for myself, I asked a few friends to do it for me. This is another reason why going to church is so important. The friendships in Christ I have formed are there to help me when I can’t help myself. Now I know that asking a friend or two to pray isn’t going to instantly dissipate that dark cloud surrounding me, but I am a firm believer that those prayers have already created a silver lining. I know things will get better, the cloud will lift. The hopelessness will lighten in time and I know God has not left me. As he said, he will remain by my side. In the mean time, I am doing my best to:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12


I want to hear from you!

What advice have you given others that you wish you followed?


 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **


 

 

Running Back – Review

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” – Psalm 9:9-10


digitalcoverRunning Back (Cambrooke #2)        By Emily Camp

This story truly has it all: action, heartache, hope, love, warm fuzzies, you name it. The story runs parallel with the first book in the series, Here Comes the Light, and intertwines beautifully without any spoilers or obvious flags.

One of the requirements for a story to be good in my ‘book’ is the element of surprise. For a while, I thought I had the story figured out and the ending predicted, but I was not prepared for the heart wrenching twist and turn of events toward the end.

The story follows the lives and events of a few teenagers who attend Cambrooke High School. The author does a great job portraying the emotional turmoil most teens experience at one point or another and how a teen can rebel even when raised in ideal conditions. One aspect I like about the story is how just because a person makes it over one hurdle, it doesn’t mean they won’t fall at the next. Life is about ups and downs and leaning on God is the only way to make it through.

Keep in mind during reading that this book is based on very real life events. Real life isn’t always pretty. Even though this book points its readers to Jesus, the characters battle many sins and endure many hardships most of us will face within our lives at one point or another such as: single parenthood, teenage drinking, teenage pregnancy, betrayal, premarital sex, foster care, bullying, school violence, unsupervised parties and hot-tempered actions. Even though life gets ugly, the author does a great job showing us there is hope and a better way.

Due to profanity and sexual content, I recommend this for readers ages 16+.

Get your copy of Running Back and Here Comes the Light now!

Click Here to download: Running Back by Emily Camp

Click Here to download: Here Comes the Light by Emily Camp


I want to hear from you!

Post your own review of Running Back or post of Running Back topic for discussion.


 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **


 

 

Memorial Day Memories

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends..” – John 15:13
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IMemorial Day am fortunate to live in a community that still holds a Memorial Day service at the local cemetery to honor those who fought for our freedom. Every year, my family attends the parade and service. The service is small but efficient. There is an opening prayer, a speech from a local preacher, a gun salute by the veterans and the band plays a patriotic song and Taps. These are constants you can count on. Traditions. Memories in the making that instills the importance of Memorial Day in all who attend. After the service, we stroll through local graveyards as my father tells us all about each family member who has passed. Only recently did I begin to notice that our family had many members who served in wars throughout the generations thanks to the markers placed by Veterans’ graves during the holiday weekend. 

Dad and CJ blurAs my dad was telling my kids his favorite memories with his grandfather or uncle, I was snapping pictures of a history I never really heard. We found that many family members had fought in World War II, and others fought in World War I, Korea and Vietnam. Most of these uncles and cousins are distant in our family line and were gone before I was born, but my dad remembers many of them and is able to help share their legacy by introducing them to my children and I year after year. We have our fair share of fun during Memorial Day weekend but I try to teach my children why we celebrate this day and to honor it with this family tradition.

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I want to hear from you!

How do you celebrate Memorial Day weekend?

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 **This blog is based on my own personal research, thoughts and opinions. If your opinions differ than mine then we can agree to disagree, no negative comments needed. If you appreciate the message in anyway, then please feel free to comment, like, and share with others. **
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