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4 Things I’ve Learned

Peach checking in:

Some thoughts on 4 things I’ve learned. Being a parent is such a great gift. It teaches you so much about how we are supposed to live and our relationship with our Father. And the kids themselves teach you beautiful things, too.

Free Will: As a parent, the Lord taught me the power and purity of free will. We really don’t give Him enough credit for that one. It’s huge. And it’s like a boomerang, because you get to choose, every day, all the time, all these things. And you are attached to these choices, so you will own them, and He has grace for you to overcome and make more wise choices, and it just goes on and on. It’s a strong Father that can do that. No cajoling, no pleading, just free will. Because only what we WANT to do, with a glad and happy heart is what He longs for. ❤️

Unconditional Love: I’ll never forget learning this lesson. It was so painful. When our oldest son moved out (a longgggg time ago) the Lord showed me, that while I loved our son unconditionally, I had not shown that love to him unconditionally. It was a crushing realization, but we learn our most from our mistakes. It’s not enough to love unconditionally. You must communicate that love in a manner that shows it’s unconditional. People on the outside looking in, will judge. They will think they know better. They don’t. Nobody but you and the Lord really know. You live before Him. And Him alone. And He’s the best teacher of love and parenting. Anything I ever get right as a parent or grandparent it’s because I listened to the Lord. Anything I miss. Anything I get wrong, well, it’s because I went my own way, even though unintentionally.

Two things I learned from our sons:

Don’t rush. Be still, be slow, enjoy the moment, take it all in. Take your time. Breathe. Kind people are not in a hurry all the time. Gentle people are not rushing around. That’s it.

Acceptance: accept people for who they are, just like they are. Not as we’d like them to be. Or how we think they ought to be. But, just as they are, just like that. It might sound strange, it’s so simple a thing. Just accept. Here’s part of the dictionary definition: “the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.
“you must wait for acceptance into the club” – this is a quality of children, right? We tend to lose it as adults, but I don’t think either of our sons ever lost it. I think they got that from their Dad, and I learned it from them.

This is what happens when you’ve had the virus and been having too much time in your head! 😅💚

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bible dads death Encouragement faith family Father memories Paradise Relationships The Word

Drinking Coffee

Reflections.

“Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special.” — 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5, The Message

Peach says:

We lost my Daddy on 1 January this year.

He and my Mom had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my youngest brother and his wife and their daughters, and I am pretty sure that my Baby Sis and her family made it there as well.

In our family we did not have a set routine to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, each year we all did our own things, sometimes some of us connecting in various ways at various times.

A few scant days after, he took ill. It happened horribly fast, no time to adjust at each step of decline, before another step overtook us.

We are all walking with a limp now, I guess you could say. Walking it out, figuring it out, praying it out, talking it out, loving it out, faithing it out, sometimes crying it out.

Questions. So many questions. Memories. Unaccomplished wishes. Things to hold onto that make you feel close to him. Like he can live on in your lives and be instilled in your family dna.

Beyond the thousand little cuts where you can’t hug him, can’t introduce him to great grandkids, can’t text him, can’t call him, or drive the backroads to visit him, beyond all this hangs the question, ‘What’s he experiencing? What’s Heaven like for him right now? What is he doing?’

I don’t doubt it’s beyond our ability to conceive. Far, far richer, far sweeter, far deeper. But, I want to know. And I feel the Lord encouraging the question. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.Proverbs 25:2

Yesterday afternoon, all the way through last night, my thoughts and pondering peaked in this regard. Jesus taught during His time on earth, through the rabbinical style of asking questions, and still does today.

I found myself the last week or so wondering if my Father in law had met up with Daddy yet, for a cup of coffee and ‘catching up’, welcoming him to the place. We lost my Father in law in December 2014. I think of him every day. Miss him very much. See him in his son, my Batman, everyday.

Then I realized likely my Granddaddy would be at that table for coffee. We lost him in late March of 1983. I picture the men on the outside of a wooden building, under an overhang, as to a porch on an old style of a General Store.

I picture them smiling, talking, sipping, contemplating. The question came ‘Do you really think so?’ Yeah, I really kinda do. ‘Ok. Can you think of what you know from The Word that can help support that?’

I can. God is very relational. He created us for relationship with Him. He designed us not only in His image to have relationships, but also that we need one another, and each have different parts and pieces that only work best in collaboration with each other. The Church (Body of believers) is designed for us to work and be in relationship with each other. He designed us so that some friends are like family and some family are like friends. Yeah, I think that continues at a higher level in Heaven.

He let me steep in that picture for a little while and then took me around the table to what they might be saying:

My FIL, (sweet smile he had when he’s tickled): “I tell ya, I never imagined how much I would like it here. How welcome I would be. How much at home I would feel. I had no idea how good this would be!”

My Daddy, with eyes in wonder: “It’s more than everything I ever dreamed! I did not realize or expect to be so near to the Father and His Son, to be so near to Jesus, to see where all the prayers are kept! It’s absolutely overwhelming! It makes all the hell seem trivial in comparison to this!”

My GrandDaddy, looking at his coffee cup, kinda smiling: “You boys haven’t seen the half of it! Wait until you see what they’re working on!”

“Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.

When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.

Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”

The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”

Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.

One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”

But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. TODAY you will join me in PARADISE.” — Luke 23:32-43, KJV

Thanks for coming along with me in my ponderings.

Love and faith, Y’all, Love and faith.

Categories
Cooking dads family food fun Life parents Uncategorized writing

Gather

Batman says:

Hi, y’all! Been a minute since I wrote anything at all, and I figure I better say something before I forget how to do this. Peach is forever wanting to gather with family and have a bonfire and cook a big meal for everyone. Me, I’m a hermit. As much as I love Peach’s cooking, and as much as I love family and friends, I’m a hermit. Peach in her patient ways, always drags the cave man out into the light from time to time and when she does and I stop grumblin’, I always end up having a really fun time.

Someone once said, “to truly be happy, a person must make others happy“ (if no one said it I’ll claim it) although I don’t believe that’s the case, I will say making others genuinely smile, does make me happy. I have been blessed with the most beautiful and perfect partner to stumble through life with, and in doing so have been blessed with awesome children, and grandchildren. But more than that, Peach’s family add an awesome blessing into the mix. Always up for a bonfire, or a day at the range, never without smiles and good cheer, they are like my own kin. We have been able to spend a bit more time with some of them now that I’m fully retired, before, being a Police Officer I missed gatherings and opportunities to spend time, now I am able to and we do.

Raised by two great parents my two of my nieces (you know who you are) are growing too fast into wonderful young ladies, one with two incredible talents (that I know of) one is as an artist at which she is very good at, and the other writing, a talent rivaling many a starving book writers, she will, if she keeps at it, publish a best seller before she’s 20. The other, quieter and more a thinker (just based on my observations) I have been told is an excellent cook, creating dishes that are both pleasing to the palette but also creations that are wondrous to look at, this talent does not surprise me as I know she is also a skillful artist (although I have to pry to get a look at her work, I can be annoying at times yes it’s true) her art belies her age, and like her sister with writing, if she keeps at it will make her mark in Culinary Arts or any other field she chooses (not to forget they are both really good shots and seem to enjoy range time). The reason I mention these young ladies is because the more we visit the more I see their talent and come to appreciate how they mirror their parents in the fact that they love family and I pray they keep at it and shine. At our outings or bonfires I like to think everyone has a good time and can’t wait to do it again, I know I can’t.

Gatherings with family like this are something I hope all get a chance to do (if we’re having one you’re welcome to join the family) as I know the conversation that happens while sitting around the fire with the dark crowding in all around, and the trees seemingly stretching their limbs towards the fire to warm, is conversation that’s good for the soul. Thought provoking and sometimes funny, the conversation is for all ages, as we believe that everyone has something to share. Being retired, I am catching up for the first couple months, on things I need to get a handle on. After that, Peach and I are going to take our famous driving trips and see what we find. There are plans to stay in cabins (I’m all in long as there’s a creek or pond I can sit by and fish in), in parts of the country where it’s more “country”, near places where we can take hikes or walks and /or bike rides. The plans include times with family doing the same things and having the same style conversations around fires at night, until we are no longer able.

As I age, I reflect as I’m sure everyone does, on missed opportunities to tell people what they mean to you, and how you cherish their friendship and company. I tend to turn friends into family and to me there are no more important people than family. I want my children to succeed in all walks of life and they are well on the right path to do so. I want for Peach’s family the same, as to me they are my family also and there is nothing on the earth I would not do to see them succeed or come to their aid.

I think the point of this inane babble (anyone get the reference?) is to explain that despite all my life liking to be a hermit, there is nothing on the planet that would keep me from helping family, and now days, “gathering” to just be together.

“Yes Peach I did light the bonfire

Categories
backroads dads food Life Love nature photography road trip travel Uncategorized

Down the Road

Batman says:

Road trips are a fun way to spend an afternoon or weekend. Cruising forgotten highways and byways of the states always takes Peach and I to interesting places. Normally we don’t have a plan, pick a direction and off we go, to me that’s easier as there’s no firm destination so there’s no worry about getting anyplace in a hurry, which is the way we like it. We are apt to pull over and take pictures of airplanes or signs on the side of the road at any given moment.

We generally take these trips as photo opportunities and snap pics at things we think is cool or interesting, be it places or objects. Kinda like a mobile photo shoot so to speak, so I will keep attaching photos from several of our trips, maybe someone will recognize a place or see something they may want to visit.

Going for a ride does so many good things for Peach and myself, without a destination we are free to stop and explore, basically anything we want, and we like to explore together, so there’s that. There’s also the fact that we both really like taking pictures of just about anything and everything and what better way to see various things than to go on a road trip.

Then of course there’s eating, and if you know me you know I don’t like skipping meals (no fat jokes, I’m a sensitive guy) and again there are soooooooooooo many small shops and eateries to stop and sample food. Local favorites where ever you are, usually do not look like much in small out of the way towns and places, but boy howdy the food is outstanding most times and the staff in these small places are usually friendly and polite and try and ensure you have a pleasant meal while you are there.

Some of the views we get are crazy outstanding and some of the places are rich and full of history, take a walk thru Savanna’s squares and read the plaques denoting a time gone by (a time which a lot of my friends say I’m a throw back from) where a person had to work to make a living, and people genuinely cared about their cities and towns and their neighbors. We see a lot of these type places driving down forgotten county roads, the roads the truckers used to rely on for their routes. My dad when he was young was an over the road trucker and used to in his latter years comment on how he wished he had the time to drive some of the roads he used to just to see the routes again, to my sadness, as bad as I wanted to surprise him and go on a road trip with him over those old routes, he went to be with our maker before I could make that happen, sometimes I feel as if he is pointing me in directions to go (crazy? Maybe but I believe).

To me, and I believe to Peach also, the fun is in the adventure of what we find along the way, and we continue to find things that surprise, enlighten, and give pause, all have been happy interesting things, some things have been long in finding, some just around the corner, but in all, we know in our hearts that, “You will not find happiness at the end of your journey, if you do not bring it with you” (read that scribbled on a bathroom wall on one of our road trips 🤣 an have found it to be so true).

If you’re out and about and see an old country boy and a beautiful Peach stopped on the side of the road taking pictures, or in a small town wandering and photographing with phones and cameras, don’t be alarmed, it’s prolly just Peach and Batman headed “Down the Road”

Y’all take a piece of advice from an old country boy that’s “living in the wrong time” in this new fangled world; Live your life as God intended, learn to take happiness with you where ever you are headed, stop and meet people in small out of the way places, smile, give a kind word to someone, and above all, find that someone that you can not stand to be apart from and hang on to them forever, the adventure awaits just down the road.

“Peach, it’s getting time to spin the dial and see which direction we should head, don’t ya think?”

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Odds and Ends…and New Beginnings!

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way.” — Psalm 37:23

Peach says:

How is everybody doing? We hope this new year finds you still hopeful and looking at things through the lens of God’s Grace and POWER. It’s what makes everything look BETTER, and brighter!

I see Batman spilled the beans on our latest endeavor! Because we really needed a new project!! 😂😂 But, seriously, I am so peaceful and hopeful, and sure that God is with us in this, that it gives me courage! We shall see! Like he and I often say, if even ONE person is helped, saved, encouraged or anyway uplifted, it is ALL worth it!

I try these later years in life to always be mindful when in contact with people to remember that it all MATTERS. Don’t categorize our interactions as important and non important, because sometimes what a soul needs comes suddenly AFTER a myriad of little things finally tips the basket. It’s how it was for me, and I think for many.

We’ve been each busy with jobs. Then there’s our side gig as you see up there 👆🏻

Then we have what I like to call the ‘Sugar Boogars!! We have two sons and our oldest and his wife have 5 kids!! Yep! They do know what causes that!! They just LOVE having a big family! And I love being a Mema!

The girls turned 4 this week and we celebrated last Saturday. The pictures above 1) that popped up in my IG memories. 2, 3) them sporting birthday presents!

Tomorrow we get a visit from our youngest son and his fiancé! They are happily expecting their first child! Our sixth grandchild!! We are over the moon excited!! Can’t wait for tomorrow!

And our oldest has a birthday on Valentine’s Day! He’s working this weekend, so we are celebrating that next Saturday!

Looks like February is the month for family and parties! Don’t worry! We are all very low key and careful and it’s only immediate family! 👌🏻🙏🏻

The podcast could not happen without Batman. There have been all sorts of technical issues and he has muscled his way through each and every one of them. I am so grateful for him, y’all have no idea.

We’ve only got the intro one up yet. But, much more in the works. Prayers appreciated. In the natural, I mean like the world does NOT appear to need another podcast. But, I believe in the supernatural! I believe in a God who decides what He thinks is necessary and works out the details for each soul as they need it. That doesn’t make our podcast special, it makes us available for Him to work through! That’s all I’m looking for! Right place, right time, right message, right soul(s) at any given time!

This happened on Christmas Eve!! It was such a happy, unexpected (but secretly hoped for) blessing! It’s part of our retirement plans. He’s researched for over two years the kind of camper we want to pull and the type of truck which would best suit it. Everything just came together for the best package deal (year end stuff and a heap of Grace) and now we are ready to narrow down our search for a camper!

We went to our first RV show yesterday! It was very cool and we are getting a lot closer to what we want!

There will be more RV shows this year!

I am hoping to be much more regular on here. It makes me happy and I think it’s important to work our gifts, however humble they are, and trust God to do good work IN us and THROUGH us. I often find myself thinking the life of Christians, is very much like a bee or butterfly, cross pollinating and bringing much needed joy wherever they go!

This made us giggle at lunch today, after the Range! We often like to grab a quick meal after (or between) class(es) at our favorite nearby chain restaurant. Just silliness, I tell ya!

Lastly, here’s one more of Sugar Boogars!! Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you will say Hi! And drop a note and we will come see you!

Categories
bible dads Faith family Father’s Day Fatherhood grace parents Uncategorized

More Than Enough

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul to the Corinthian Church. — 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Peach says:

Batman and I were/are both so blessed in this regard. It’s a gift that keeps giving every day, through the years. You remember little and big things they were an example of, they told you, you did together! So many ways!

To any Dads feeling not enough, somehow inadequate, or Mommas making it without the Dad, I would like to share with you something the Lord put on my heart on a Saturday night before Mother’s Day, about 17 (or there about) years ago.

I couldn’t sleep. And was realizing I was so flawed as a person, much less as a momma. And the Lord just started putting this very clear message of His Grace being what comes in, and always had, and fills in the gaps of my weak spots, my failures, my inabilities, and my ‘I don’t even know how-isms’. He comes in with His goodness, His all knowing, His Holy Spirit, and just adds His muchness, His more than enoughness, and makes everything work, makes it better, makes it work a purpose, that’s better than it would ever be in our aloneness and self sufficiency!

You are right. I am right. We are NOT enough, not by ourselves!! We are never meant to do it alone! He put everything in us that we need, HE BRINGS THE REST!! All we must do is bring Him in!

Pray, believe, and ENJOY the beautiful life, and lives (of your children, little and raised) He has given you!! —

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9. HE IS ENOUGH!! Happy Father’s Day to you!!

P. S. I would like to ESPECIALLY thank our Batman for being a kind, generous hearted, courageous, hard working, determined, always learning, always teaching, man of integrity, faith and heart, and making us laugh all the time!! He always, always shows up, figures it out, and never holds your past or even your present against you!! Happy Father’s Day to the Best Daddy I could EVER IN A MILLION YEARS have chosen!!

Love, Peach!!