Saturday, December 31, 2011

Don't Stop at 5

The recommended daily servings for fruits and vegetables is 5. As I was pondering this just this morning, I was reminded of Galatians 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

9 fruits - OF THE SPIRIT! That's a lot. But it's a good lot.

We are embarking on a new year. While I don't make typical resolutions, I do look for something in His word to stand upon to welcome the new year. This scripture will be mine.

I think I'll also include: “…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance…” 2 Peter 1:5a-6a. I am reminded to “add” some things to my faith.

I shall start measuring victories by the smaller choices I make each day because-

Big things are built one brick at a time.

Victories are achieved one choice at a time.

A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.

It's not just a 'New Year' thing. These choices happen each moment, each hour, each day. Thank the Lord for his Goodness, Grace and Mercy!

Blessings to you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving. i.e., the Giving of Thanks

I have so many things to be thankful for. While life is not a bed of roses, not even close, I count my blessings. I count them daily, hourly, even by the minute - sometimes. Yes, the blessings are there. I'm thankful!!

Be blessed - Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I have a few items in my Amazon shopping cart. They are waiting anxiously to be purchased. I have already purchased a few Christmas gifts ... just a few items, though! I'm also going to try to limit my purchases to American made products, and items purchased at local small businesses.

My motto: Keep It Simple Sis! In doing so, I will also keep my focus on the many blessings of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I purpose to relax and enjoy. I hope you do, too!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It comes in the most surprising ways, sometimes. There's the obvious answer to prayer; seeing something that makes you happy (in my case it's usually something in nature); time spent with those you love, etc.

Today, I experienced joy in a multitude of ages. Let me explain. I have been testing students at school to determine their reading levels or abilities. I worked with kindergarten, 2nd grade and 6th grade. I had 5 year old's tell me that they couldn't "do it" when talking about the sounds that letters make. Yet when we did rhyming activities, they excelled and I told them they were "rhyming experts". I think that was the best thing they'd heard all day!! Two of my second graders were apprehensive. One little boy was in tears. Yet when we began working, he beamed, saying, "This is a piece of cake for me". No more tears after that!!! One of my sixth graders started at a level 5, and had little difficulty through level 7. By the time he got to level 8, he struggled, but I haven't seen such perseverance in a 12 year old in ages!!! I continued to encourage him and it was such a delight to see his face beaming with pride.

Today these things brought me joy!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I ... have ... nothing ... left.

That is all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cleansing, Inside and Out

I used to use Aveda products exclusively on my hair ~ shampoo and conditioner. This was years and years ago. I remembered that after a while, these products were affecting me negatively. I don’t remember whether it was the fragrance, the price, or what it was, but I decided to switch to different products. I think I switched to some organic tea tree oil stuff. Anyways, over the years, I’ve noticed that my scalp and hair tend to become immune to shampoos. Suddenly, my hair no longer feels clean, even after lathering 2 or 3 times. I have no idea why this happens, but it happens consistently. It happened again, recently. I have been rotating between 2 or 3 shampoos over the past year or two, and now none of them are really working. So I thought I’d try Aveda again. I don’t know how this will work out, and I’ve only used the shampoo twice. So far my hair feels clean for a longer time, and time will tell. (This is not an Aveda endorsement!)

Sometimes this happens with me in my relationship with the Lord … how I worship, what ministers to me musically, the prayers that I speak. I get used to doing things in a certain way and suddenly realize, “this music is no longer cleansing; in fact, it’s rather irritating.” Or I can listen to someone ministering His word, hear the scripture that’s going to be taught on, and think, “yeah, yeah, yeah, how many times have I heard teaching on this one…” Sorry, maybe your mind doesn’t go there, but mine does.

Kirk Franklin had a hit album (CD) with the song “Stomp” on it. I have it somewhere around here, and haven’t picked it up to listen in a long time. I listened to that music over and over and over until it just became kind of stale to me. I was at my son’s Black History Month presentation at school, and the director of the production had this Kirk Franklin music playing. A song, I think the name of it is, “My Life Is In Your Hands” started to play. Sitting there in the junior high gym, I closed my eyes, sang along, and wept. It was fresh again, it was anointed, and it felt new.

Sometimes that which is old becomes new again. That’s how His word can be. Hebrews 4:2 says, “The word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith." Sometimes I can hear His word over and over, and until my faith is mixed in, I don’t get it. But when I do, yahoo!! God can satisfy our thirst with new wine, even though it may really be old wine. Mix faith with the old and even in unlikely circumstances, our “thirst” can be quenched.

I don’t know what will happen with the shampoo issue. I don’t have faith in the shampoo, yet I’ll keep trying. But with God, I’ll recognize those arid and dry places and mix it up a bit and will likely come back around to something old.

Friday, March 18, 2011

In Pursuit

Awhile ago I began working with a horse named Sierra. Sierra is 10 years old and hasn’t had much training or groundwork in the recent years. I can tell that she has had some work previously, though.

I am pursuing Sierra. I want to build mutual trust and respect with her. The first time I had her in the oval training ring, she ran around and around that ring. She had a halter on, but no lead rope attached to me. I stood in the middle of the ring, relaxed, waiting for her to find me. You see, horses are prey and herd animals and they NEED to have someone with whom they can trust - one who is not a predator. Usually in a herd, there is an alpha, a leader. And within the herd, there is a pecking order. That herd stays together for protection – they watch out for one another. Within Sierra’s herd is her mother, Kate. They have always been together, and Sierra rarely leaves Kate’s side.

Sierra wasn’t removed from her herd when I brought her to the ring that first time. She had been tied in the barn getting groomed. She was relatively relaxed. Still she was separated from her herd. Other horses in the barn were whinnying, and she would pause from her run, and call back to them. She was quite frantic, in fact. It was a warm day, but she was sweating profusely. I was told that the sweat stains on her body were patterned from anxiety, not from running around or working hard.

I continued to allow her to run, and if she paused, I would turn toward her with the carrot stick in my hand and “whip” the ground to get her to continue. Sierra’s sensitivity would rarely make it necessary for me to do this – usually just turning to look her way would cause her to continue to move.

The purpose of this exercise is to cause the horse to calm down and approach me. Horses in this situation rarely approach a human’s front, they usually come up from behind. This is due to the fact that to a horse, a human is a predator. We have eyes in the front of our heads, like other predators. Because horses are so sensitive, just looking straight on at them puts pressure on them. Alone and away from the herd, a horse feels especially vulnerable.

After about 15-20 minutes of me standing there relaxed while she ran, Sierra approached me from behind. I would not turn to her, unless she touched me with her muzzle. This action is a horse’s way of showing that they accept and trust you. Turning too soon could cause her to be wary and take off running again. Finally, she touched my arm with her nose. Slowly I turned and stroked her neck and side, talking softly to her. I turned away and began walking to one end of the ring. She followed directly behind me. I knew I had her, and she knew she could trust me at that moment.

This exercise with Sierra mimics a game that horses play with one another. But as I’ve pondered this, and the next episode with Sierra, it reminded me of our relationship with God. He pursues us. Sometimes we run and run and run. Some never stop running. Sometimes we finally accept and trust in Him, and we walk directly into His arms. Some never do. The difference is, He is not our predator, but protects us from one who is. The sooner we stop running and trust Him, the safer we’ll feel away from our “herd”. I totally know how Sierra feels. Being alone with the Lord can be a scary thing. You can’t hide any thing from Him, no matter how hard you try. You might show some anxiety sweat stains, too. But I’ve learned that He’s persistent and consistent, trustworthy, loving, and gentle.

Because of Sierra’s trust in me, she allowed me to play more “games” with her. She was not anxious for the rest of our time together that day. The next day I went to work with her again. This time, she was in the pasture with her mates. Because I had to pull her away from her herd, I was extremely anxious. I didn’t know how she would react being taken away. She was receptive to putting on her halter, and to walking out of the pasture, and was fine all the way to the training ring. I, on the other hand, was trembling. My fear was that she would rear up and hurt me because I was taking her away. She did not, and I calmed down eventually. We repeated our exercise once we got into the ring. I unhooked her from the lead rope. Off she ran. I went back into the center of the ring and waited patiently. Again she ran and ran, but this time, she approached me within about 7 minutes. It was a miracle to me. Sierra had some issues playing other games that day, but all in all she did great! I must be persistent to overcome my fear, as well as helping her overcome hers. We will continue to work together.

The Lord will work with us, too. He will wait patiently, no matter how long we run. The quicker we stop running, using up all of this energy, and trust in Him, the quicker we will be able to draw on His strength. “The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power”. Isaiah 40:28,29. It’s a mutual trust and respect thing!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Changes ...

My friend's voice mail message says, "Oh, yeah. Been goin thru some changes lately. If I don't get back to you, you're one of em!"

Oh, yeah! Change is difficult, and sometimes, we just need to get rid of things that aren't to our benefit.

I'm going through some changes. The good news is that they've drawn me closer to Jesus. The bad news is that it hurts.

I'm thankful in all things. This is His will :)