Five Minute Friday|Blue

  

2015 began beautifully blue.  Our family spent it the New Year break in Puerto Rico, soaking up beautiful warm sun, cool trade wind breezes and every possible shade of blue the eye could see.  

By the following month, my blue skies has changed to this landscape.   

 

The frigid gorgeous blue skies reflected my inner landscape as well. In February I left a job I had loved and didn’t know if I would see warm blue skies ahead.  All I felt inside was a gray cold steel blue.  

Thankfully, our Father meets us where we are each day, blue days included. And the Holy Spirit nudged me along, to keep moving forward, keeping my eyes solely on Jesus. 

And I’m thankful to say, within the initial feeling of blueness, I also felt God’s joy, love and hope completely enveloping me, pushing me forward as if I was floating on an ocean wave. A wave of His mercy and grace. 

So, in a matter of a couple of days, I felt confirmation upon confirmation that indeed many blue sky days lay before me. 

And they have!  I am now in a new rhythm of life and it is truly beautiful.  And many shades of beautiful blue are spotted daily.  

 

And I thank God each morning for His Mercy and presence in my life for delivering me from an oppressive situation to a life full of beauty and freedom.  

I shouldn’t be surprised when after completely humbling myself to Him, He shepherded me so quickly and lovingly to greener pastures and bluer skies. 

And I no longer will be surprised at the graciousness of our Father who loves each of us so much.  He loves me and He loves you. He is able to paint the most beautiful shades of blue skies in your life as well. 

Thoughtful Thursday|Unexpected Lessons from the Tomato Garden

  

Some dads play golf, some dads go camping, while others live out their dreams through their son’s sports.  My father is a master gardener. 

Growing up, his skill and expertise at producing bountiful produce was unappreciated and even maligned as the bountiful produce meant hours (it felt like it) of snapping beans, shelling peas and busting my nails over Lima beans and black eyed peas. For the love!  

But now, with all the folk (warning …folk has been coopted by hipsters) clammering aboard the organic community farmers market bandwagon, my dad is the original, old school farmer. And I am blessed in this season of my life, to be learning from the master gardener.  

Recently (always after Derby in Kentucky) I joined him in his garden to learn the proper way to plant tomatoes. It was a gorgeous day and I was a willing assistant, learning all the tricks of the trade to grow luscious tomatoes that will make it to picking time!

As we began, it dawned on me that I wasn’t just learning about tomatoes, but that gardening skills provided insights into living. I shouldn’t be too surprised, the Master Gardener who created all has  flawless design principles that simple humans can grasp…so the law and order principles of a garden also applys equally to our lives; while now mostly lived out away from the soil can  still ease the toil of work in offices buildings. 

You First Must Prepare The Soil


For a plant to thrive, it must have proper soil.  Different plants require different soil preparations. Nevertheless, the soil must be prepared.  Jesus spoke that in order for listeners to hear God’s Truth, they must have the proper soil…rocky soil won’t do, soil not attended to where weeds will grow won’t work, and shallow soil where birds will take the plant seed away won’t produce either. 

What soil are you rooted in? Each one of us requires different soil…I truly love God’s variety and diversity displayed throughout creation. Only you can answer the question about your soil. You must prepare your soil properly. No one else can or will. 

Know Your Enemies; Prepare to Defend Against Them  

My dad is smart. The first enemy of a tomato plant isn’t birds but the cut worm. If you plant tomatoes without the knowledge of this enemy or the proper protection, the cut worm will come along and cut the young tomato plant dead. Many gardeners are blindsided by this cut worm and their plants don’t even have a chance.  One of my dad’s gardening buddies was so perplexed by this worm he thought he should build a fence around his garden. 

A fence will not keep out a cut worm. Can you imagine?!  No, to thwart the cut worm it takes an easy and cheap preparation…remove the lower leaves and then wrap strips of newspaper taped around the base of the plant. Then, when the tomato plant is in the ground, bring the soil up to the newspaper. The cut worm cannot cut through the newspaper!

Often we’re a lot like my dad’s friend, we believe we protect ourselves best by creating a wide zone of fenced in safety.  

Protection most often means to strip ourselves of unnecessary things and wrap ourselves closely for protection. 

God’s Word instructs us to guard our hearts. Your heart must be wrapped in God’s Word! Paul encourages us to put on the full armor of God. Instead, we plunk our kids in Christian schools, find a safe social circle and only associate with people who think and live exactly like us. That is not protection!  Again, you are the only person who can protect your heart and mind against your enemies. No one else can do this for you. 

More importantly you must wake up and realize you have enemies and must protect yourself from them. You must know your enemy. The schemes of the devil are to kill, steal, and destroy.

Besides Satan, there are enemies in your work and private life (not to make you paranoid!).  You must identify and know how to protect yourself from that particular enemy who wishes to kill, steal and destroy.  

For example, know your weakness (people pleaser, conflict avoider, etc) by knowing yourself and do not let those weaknesses be used against you by a manipulative enemy. A true friend would never exploit your weakness for their own agenda. 

Also, most signs of aggression do not require an answer. Let your enemy say hateful things. So what? They want you in a fight to bring you down. Ignore the hatred and continue to live a life pleasing to God the Father who knows the Truth. 

I could write so much more about this point, but will stop for now. I will write a separate post on guarding against enemies because it’s so prevalent in today’s social media world.  

Moving on…

You Must Choose The Proper Support  

Most will recognize the tomato cages that offer some support for growing plants. However, the cages won’t mean anything if the cages aren’t tied to a stake.  

You see,as the tomatoes grow on the plant, they become heavy.  So heavy that the cage itself will no longer be able to support the tomato and it will bend and touch the ground. 

If a tomato touches the ground, it’s over. Rotten and inedible. So, the cages must be tied to a sturdy support. This stake will keep the cages upright and the tomatoes off the ground. 

You Must Have Strong Support

No one gets through this life alone. Support comes from somewhere…God, spouse, parents, friends and even strangers at times. Only you can identify who can provide strong support in your life…for your growth, for your heavy burdens, for everything.  

The tomatoes are set and are beginning to grow.  If the plants receive the proper sunlight and rain, we will be enjoying those ‘maters later this summer!

I will keep you updated on their progress!

What about you? Are you thriving in your garden?!  Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday Tips|Organized Mani/Pedi Caddy

  

Happy Tuesday!  I hope y’all had a great long weekend and were able to spend it with friends and family!

Now that Summer’s around the corner (along with sandal/flip flop season) it’s time to get the feet presentable!

I don’t know about you, but areas of my life have Duh moments.  For example, after years of corralling and chasing down mani/pedi tools I realized I could corral those pesky items in a portable caddy.  Especially since manis/pedis occur during TV viewing and all the gals in the household participate…I desparately needed one caddy/location for this task (or obsessive preoccupation with the younger girls!)

Enter the Mani/Pedi caddy!

A Moveable Feast of Mani/Pedi Goodness!
 
Life changing.

And here’s it’s permanent home underneath my bathroom sink.

Home sweet home!

It’s the little things sometimes that make the biggest difference!

Of course, you can put whatever you wish in your own caddy, which I scored for $2 at the Target One Spot.  You can find these caddys every few months!

Here’s what’s in mine:

  
To make me feel as though I’m getting a professional pedicure, I love these toe spacers!  The smiling faces are a bonus!  

The IGo aloe scented nail polish remover pads (in the circle containers) are amazing!  I found mine at Walmart and the absolutely work!  And, they are perfect for travel.

Also a favorite is the Sally Hansen Cuticle Eraser Balm which is gentle and effective!

Now, for the nitty gritty!

 

  • Butter London Kitten Heels Powder It keeps feet moisturized and powder dry in your sandals!
  • Butter London Heel Stick Rub on your dry cracked hooves (I mean heels) to smooth them out!  Contains an enzyme to break down the rough skin!
  • Orange Sticks To push back cuticles, help with nail polish, etc. There is no substitute for an orange stick and they are cheap. I buy mine at Walmart. 

Files , buffers & more files! 

I clip my nails (I know, I know) but also file and buff them. The BEST file I have, hands down, is my Sally Hansen curved diamond nail file. The link will take you to a sapphire nail file (apparantly new and improved)! A diamond nail file is tough but fine and will last for years.  Also, the curved feature helps shape your nail as you file. 

I contain all these files and clippers (especially the clippers because they disappear) in this upcycled gold duct taped decorated container:

 

The joys of gold duct tape!

Yes, these Almay eye remover plastic tubs are pure gold (wink) for using after the eye wipes are long gone.  

My Butter London nail laquer stash!

Although I love all nail polish, I’m particular to Butter London (pricy, but I only buy when on sale or I have an Ulta coupon).  

Why Butter London?  Well, first and foremost, the nail polish is excellent; but, more importantly, Butter London was one of the first nail polish companies to be Formaldehyde free along with other toxic chemicals.  You can read more here.

Besides, I’m a huge Anglophile and love the colours and polish names!:)

  
I love the tidiness of this caddy! Everything fits!

And when it’s beautifying purpose is done, it goes straight back in the bigger caddy with the Cotten pads!

 
I bought the aqua basket woven bin from Target, which sometimes has them in store but you can always buy them here. 

These bins are the bomb…sturdy, strong design and different sizes. But sometimes, for whatever reason, not sold in store. For the love, Target, don’t give me a heart attack and stop selling these bins!  They are wildly popular in organization blogs/magazine layouts/my house for a reason!

Rant over.

I hope this Tuesday tip inspires you with your own Duh moment of quick easy organization!  Let me know what you’ve corraled in the comments below!

    Prayer for the Week|Memorial Day

    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery

    Today is Memorial Day, a federal U.S. Holiday remembering our fallen soldiers in all wars and conflicts. Many of us get this holiday confused with Veteran’s Day which celebrates all who have served in our U.S. Military branches. 

    If you have never made the journey to Arlington National Cemetery, you must do so in order to understand our nation’s sacrifice for freedom. Words cannot describe it, you must simply go. Although permitted, my soul couldn’t bear to snap a photo of the seas of white tombstones there. It’s not a backdrop of a movie set, it’s the sacred ground of shed blood for freedom. 

    Arlington isn’t the only place of final rest for our fallen soldiers.  I have visited the USS Arizona Memorial/ Pearl Harbor Shrine as well.

     

    USS “Arizona” Memorial|Pearl Harbor Shrine
     
     
    Inside the USS “Arizona” Memorial
     
    There are too many other cemeteries that claim our soldiers…Shiloh, Gettysburg, Flanders Field, Normandy, Manilla, and the list goes on. 

    I have been fortunate to visit Arlington and watch the solemn changing of the guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers several times. 

    The soldier stands guard no matter what time of day or weather condition.   

    These soldiers are hand picked to be a part of the elite honor guard.    

    And so, to the men and women soldiers who gave all in defending and dying for our freedom and the freedom of others, a prayer for today. 

    Our Father,

    We pray for the families of our fallen soldiers today, those who have lost brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, aunts and uncles while serving the US.  

    We ask for Your comfort and peace, Jesus when they remember the sacrifice, loss and pain that can never be forgotten. 

    We pray for the families of those who are caught in the uncertainty of this day, not knowing whether their loved one is alive or dead.

     Give them strength and hope, Jesus 

    We ask for protection of all our soldiers serving her and abroad in the task of protecting freedom. 

    We pray that Your kingdom come Father, that Your Peace reign Jesus, and that our world would begin to reflect heaven here and now. 

    Help us, as messengers of Your Good News, be peacemakers in the conflicts we face in our communities.

    May we be an instrument of Your peace. 

    May our nation’s leaders seek Your wisdom in world conflicts and crises, may we honor You.

    Guide our nation’s leaders Holy Spirit, that they may participate in Your Kingdom’s arrival and not hinder it. 

    We pray that one day swords will be beat into plowshares.  

    Help us not to look away from conflict but to engage our world in the Prince of Peace by facing conflict unafraid.  

    We give thanks for Your mercies and protection of our country.

    Amen


    Mad Men Finale

    Spoiler Alert!  Do not read if you haven’t watched the series finale!

      

    Mad Men created and written by Matthew Weiner, ended last night. I watched, in disbelief that this was the last episode and watching how Weiner chose to end this show with his characters. 

    In a recent interview Weiner indicated that some fans might not like the ending. And boy, did he have an ending.  But before I get to that, let’s recap the main characters. 

      
    Joan:  Joan was arresting. Her beauty captivated and got her far In the 1950s & 1960s world but Joan was no fool. She capitalized on her feminine assets and played by the old school boy rules. In the final episodes, capping with the finale, Joan is finally her own woman. She’s financially independent, working for herself and finally free of a man to help cushion her fall.  

    The best part about how Weiner leaves Joan is she reached out to Peggy to go into business partnership when an earlier Joan was only out for herself. Yay for fully formed character and resolution!

      
    Betty: So controlled and rigid, she takes her incurable lung cancer diagnosis and continues life as usual. No tears, no hand wringing. Betty organizes placement of her children for after her death and in a touching telephone conversation with Don explains why it’s best for the kids and that she’s not trying to be cruel to him, but make it easiest for the kids. The finale last scene shows her as we’ve seen her in so many shots before, sitting at the kitchen table slowly puffing a cigarette with Sally in the background. Weiner knows Betty wouldn’t want us viewers to see her death scene and so that’s where he leaves Betty, as we remember her. 

      

    Peggy: We worry so about Peggy navigating through a man’s work world and the series follows her from pool secretary to ad accounts junior executive. But we worry. Peggy is in a different generation than Joan. Although appreciative of Joan’s partner offer, Peggy stays with the ad agency, determined to succeed all the way to head of creative blazing a trail that will help other women along the way. Don’s and Peggy’s relationship is somewhat resolved.  Don calls Peggy from California and she acts as Don’s priest for his confessions. Peggy isn’t disillusioned by his confessions but instead  continues to encourage him and begs him to come back home. And, in the final scene we see her happy with Stan, after a confession of love to Stan. Peggy’s and Stan’s work relationship was akin to a Spencer Tracey/Katherine Hepburn screwball comedy.  Yay Peggy for finding a solid guy at work!

      
    Don: When calling Sally from Utah, he learns of Betty’s fatal cancer diagnosis. His call to Sally was excruciating. Don then calls Betty, more pain and heartache for Don. How much more can he take?  Don’s endless horizons end in California at a commune with group encounter therapy, yoga and self actualization.  Don’s at the end of his rope and viewers are wondering, Is he gonna just jump off that cliff into the Pacific?  Don’s desperation leads him to call Peggy. He confesses everything to Peggy, his priest, and Peggy continues to believe in Don and implores him to come home. We next see Don in an encounter group, tearfully hugging a bland office executive who’s feeling overlooked by his family and coworkers. Finally a breakthrough for Don?  The last scene of Don is sitting cross legged at sunrise  chanting “om” and then an ever so faint smile…has Don achieved a state of nothingness, releasing all identity and zenned out?

      
    Roger: We see that Roger has finally found the ultimate stern mommy figure in Megan’s mom, Marie and he really enjoys a Canadian French woman bossing him around for the rest of his life!  Vive la differance, Roger!

      
    Pete: Pete is living his American Dream of Lear Jets and the stability of the Midwest for his reunited family. Way to go Pete for turning it around!!

    And finally, The Ending. Mad Men is known for playing an evocative song at the end of each episode as the credits role, a nod to the episode and what’s to come in the next episode. Tonight, Weiner pulled a doozy with his final musical selection. It was the famous Coke ad song “I Like to Teach the World to Sing” with the ad playing. 

    I immediately started smiling and laughing..those smiling hippy faces and Don’s stint at the commune…he had the Coca Cola account after all!  No need to worry about Don!  He took all the California self actualization, headed back to New York and turned it towards the consumer that Coke was the answer to inner peace. And I simultaneously thought to myself, did Weiner pull a Salman Rushdie (Rushdie is known for writing books with plots to connect to an elaborate pun chapters later) and wrote Mad Men specifically with this Coke commercial in mind?!

    And the question still remains…did Weiner write Mad Men to explore how advertising has shaped our American experience to a point that a Coke commercial could proclaim inner peace and self actualization and how that trajectory happened through the characters of Don, Peggy, Joan, Betty, Pete and Roger? And I answer Yes! And I love Weiner for it…for taking apart a Coke song and answering the question How did advertising arrive at this to sell soda?  Do ad execs know how we humans tick better than we know ourselves?!

    It’s been a fun ride for all who have watched the 7 seasons of Mad Men. What were your favorite scenes?  What do you wish had been resolved? Are you happy with how the series ended? What are your thoughts about it all?  Share in the comments!

    For Your Weekend|Mid May Edition

    You have no idea how many choir concerts I’ve attended!

    Happy Mid May!  Lots of celebrations happen this month…Mother’s Day, college and high school graduations, dance/piano/violin/etc. recitals, awards ceremonies, Memorial Day, end of school, field days, ad infinitum!  Whew!  

    So, to get you through the crush…here are the links!

    • Tina Turner still living a fab life. With a new Mad Max movie debuting this weekend, my thoughts turned to what Miss Tina’s up to these days.  No worries. 
    • Coldplay confirms working on a new album! Squeal!  And, the title is…Head Full of Dreams.  Critics didn’t like their latest Ghost Stories, but those critics never listened to Coldplay’s early albums such as Parachutes and Rush of Blood to the Head.  I’m so ready for a post GP album!!
    • Required reading for you via Emily P. Freeman.  Seriously, click the link and you can thank me later for Emily’s thoughtful, thought provoking piece on introspection. 
    • The only summer reading guide you need. I’ll be traveling to the beach next month and this guide will be perfect in what books I load on to my nook!
    • Mad Men’s Ends this Sunday.  I’m still in denial, but big thanks to AMC for their Mad Men marathon where I can check up on Don, Betty, Pete, Joan, Peggy & the gang through the decades before the last one. 

    Words for Wednesday|Martin Short

    Book review of Martin Short’s memoir, “I Must Say”

    “I think loss can fuel how you lead your whole life.” – Martin Short 

    I checked out Martin Short’s memoir from my local library recently because I think his crazy characters are genius!  You may remember him from Father of the Bride series as the wedding coordinator, or his wacky characters on SNL, or SCTV.  You either adore Martin’s humor or you don’t. Surprisingly, Martin’s turn as a heartless attorney in Damages  was compelling. He could have quite the career in dramatic roles.  I hope he takes more dramatic roles. 

    Martin Short is unrelentingly upbeat, the antithesis of the depressed morose comic. Maybe because he’s Canadian or maybe because of he’s seriously level headed but Martin’s memoir is fascinating even if he never made it in acting because of the losses he’s experienced throughout his life. 

    Martin Short knows about loss.  The youngest of 5 in an Irish Catholic family, Martin lost his mom to breast cancer at age 17.  In a decade where breast cancer was a death sentence, Martin’s mom willed herself to live with the cancer for 5 years. Two months later, a close older brother was killed in a car accident.  By the time Martin turned 20, his father died too.

    No one would have blamed Martin if he gave up. But those deaths ignited in him a feeling of confidence and transforming him to be bullet proof…two much needed characteristics when diving in to acting.   Martin acknowledges his steely confidence when writing (paraphrasing) once you lose your parents, that’s your worst day, the worst thing that can happen to you.  Nothing else can ever touch it. 

    Martin Short broke into show biz in Toronto’s production of Godspell. He was part of a gang of Canadian actors who made it big in the US…Gilda Radner, Paul Shaffer, Eugene Levy, John Candy, And Andrea Martin to name a few.  While in the Godspell cast,   Martin met and later married his wife Nancy.  

    To help cope and motivate himself through dry spells/insecurities in the acting career, Martin devised a systematic life template whereby he grades himself weekly.  His agent implored him to go on Oprah with it because he could strike gold and make loads of money off it.  He explains it in his book, and I think his agent was on to something!  

    Here are Martin Short’s 9 Categories:

    1. Self
    2. Immediate Family
    3. Original Family
    4. Friends
    5. Money
    6. Career
    7. Creativity 
    8. Discipline
    9. Lifestyle

    It’s too much to explain here, because there’s a color code and number to determine the weekly grade. I immediately thought of Benjamin Franklin’s  13 Virtues where Ben daily evaluated his developing character/habits.   The bottom line for Martin, (for example) even if I’m making money (Grade A) but am being a lousy brother (Grade F) then I’m not being “successful”.  Martin uses the 9 Categories to improve his life and motivate him in the weak areas. 

    Funny that I’m only getting to this obvious point, but Martin’s book is witty and laugh out funny at times. He also sprinkles between chapters “Moments with …..” a monologue with one of his wacky characters (Ed Brimley, Jackie Rogers, Jr. Etc)

    Martin recently lost his beloved wife Nancy to ovarian cancer in  2010 after 30 years of marriage.  After her death, he gave his youngest the advice that had worked for him:

    Henry , I know it seems unimaginable tonight but you are being empowered tonight.  You are being given something that is horrible,  but it is also a life lesson. This will make you stronger. This will make you more determined. You’ll be in you office somewhere someday and some pompous a**hole will say something to you.  And you’ll supposedly be upset and you’ll supposedly be fearful of your boss’s reaction. But  then you’ll think, ‘This is gravy.  This is fine. I couldn’t care less about this pr*ck. I’m not upset now. I was upset the night my mother died.'”

    And that is why you should read Martin Short’s memoir…because he has walked through fire that has fueled his life. 

    Have you gone through a loss which fueled how you now lead your life?  Comment below!

    Tuesday Tips| Quick Easy Spring Front Door Decor!

     

    Plain Jane Door…at least the Christmas wreath is finally gone!

    Happy Tuesday y’all!  Spring has busted on by here in Southern Kentucky and we’re now in the throes of Summer heat & humidity!  But after the bitter, cold and loooong Winter, this gal isn’t  complaining!

    True story.  I just took down my Christmas wreath the 1st week in May.  While an improvement, the bare front door has been mocking me the last two weeks. 

    No more. I stumbled upon a Michael’s purchase last year for who knows what  project and decided just do it.

    So, I started with the Michael’s purchase…3 realistic  but fake peonies. The tags say $7 each but I know I bought them on sale!

     

    Fake peonies I bought last year from Michael’s
     
    I grabbed a beautiful emerald green double faced satin ribbon I usually use for St. Patrick’s Day, to “tie” it up.  I also used jute because I couldn’t find my florist wire. Before I located the jute I was seriously going to use clear packing tape. 

    Here’s my quick easy door decor:

    1. Gather the stems below the leaves and cut a length of jute/twine/wire to wrap and secure several times. I cut about  a foot of jute. I also used the rule of uneven numbers to make the door arrangement more pleasing to the eye.  I only had 3 flowers but you could use more…just remember to keep it an odd number.

        

      2. Use a ribbon to conceal the jute/twine/wire. You could stop here if you desire a more rustic look and just tie off or make a bow from the jute. My double faced satin ribbon ( which I prefer for tying bows because it’s shiny on both sides) is about 2.5 feet in length. I made the first tie on the backside of the arrangement and then looped it to the front and tied it again.  

        
      Now the ribbon is ready to tie in a bow. 

      Here’s how I make my bows:

      Step 1:  Make two loops with each loose ribbon

        

      Step 2:  Cross the loops like a “X”

       
      Step 3:  Pull the top loop under and through the hole to finish the bow.  You can then adjust the size of the bow to your liking!

        Ta Da!

      To make a hanger for the wreath door hanger, I used my handy jute again.  I first secured a short piece of jute to the top flower at the first leaf.

        I double knotted mine. 

      I then made a small loop and knotted it off as well, trimming the ends. 

        A loop!

      Now, for the finale…

        My lonely front door with the wreath hanger ….

      A vast improvement!

      Once hung, I simply adjusted the flowers to face forward.

      Yay!  Quick easy and done!!  No more shame in my front door game!!

        
      What fast and easy projects are you working on around your home?  Let me know in the comments!!

      A Prayer for the Weekday Mama

      Before I write out my week’s schedule.. a prayer

      I hope each of you fantastic Mamas had a wonderful celebration of Mother’s Day yesterday. I’m guessing today instead of flowers and breakfast in bed you’re facing a mound of laundry, end of school awards, projects, parties, recitals, celebrations while all wonderful, can still be overwhelming.  

      So, here’s a prayer for the Weekday Mama, for the grind and getting it done! Before the To Do lists and the oh my goodness I’ve got To Do panics, stop for prayer.

      Our Most Kind Father,

      Thank You for this day.

      In the midst of rising anxiety about all that needs to be done, help me to rest easy in You.

      Remind me to cast my anxiety on You because You truly care for me.

      Help me to order my day, order my schedule to provide breathing room to spend time with You to catch Your Holy Spirit Breath; breathe Your Living Word into my heart and mind as a run errands and shuttle kids.

      Give me a merciful and gracious spirit when my child makes that last minute request, when I learn of a school performance that conflicts with another child’s ball practice, when I would love to lose my mind!  

      Remind me of Your unfailing love for me as well as each of my family members and Your strength is mad perfect in my weakness.

      Give me joy and peace this busy Monday that I may show others that I serve You as I’m serving my family in the everyday.

      Amen.

      Blessings for a wonderful, grace filled Monday and may God reveal a glimpse of His power at work in your life today!!

      Five Minute Friday: Meet

       I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday and today’s word is meet.

       

      Do you get nervous when you meet someone for the first time?  I used to feel anxiety meeting someone new until I realized I was selfishly focusing on myself instead of putting the other at ease. 

      I now meet strangers with a smile and focus on them instead of myself. For instance, I regularly speak to the checkout clerks at Walmart. While some clerks give me the side eye , most welcome a friendly smile and social graces of a bygone era in the age of iPhone screen time. 

      Talking to checkout clerks is my personal act of defiance against the dehumanization of our broken world.  Nowadays we too often overlook others, tune them out and constantly are in our own curated social media world. (which is fallen as well). Aren’t we called to welcome the stranger?  

      So meet others as you cross paths, pay attention to them and be the salt and light in bringing our Father’s Kingdom here on Earth as it is in Heaven.