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bible Faith Life thankful trials

Under Construction

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” – Psalm 91:14

We go through things that isolate us, for a season. We pray. Yet, things get harder. We KNOW He hasn’t left us. But, we don’t understand what we are going through. Because NONE of it is good, feels right, or leaves us with any hope. Instead we feel betrayed. Bereft. Abandoned. Our hope begins against our will to crumble. Leaving in it’s place cynicism.

What is this?

Could it be that we are under construction? Think about Joseph.

What the enemy of our soul meant to sideline us, The Lord allowed to prepare us. What was meant by the enemy to make us bitter, was tempting, but God used it to enrich our heart’s capacity to empathisize and have compassion. What satan meant to isolate us from our support network and our divine destiny, the Lord allowed to develop our deep roots in Him, expanding our reach and tearing down unintentional walls we grew up with. Pain and suffering when submitted in faith to the Lord, somehow make wine out of juice, pearls out of grains of sand, diamonds born out of extreme darkness and pressure. Lord, make us shine, let us love, reach, mend. May we be sweeter, more gracious, more generous, more full of faith and great expectation, and in love believe the best, and not waste a drop.

Genesis 50:20 — Joseph to his brothers who sold him into slavery:

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

I can’t see one area of pain or trouble that He has not blessed us in the midst of. That we haven’t grown to KNOW Him more fully, more deeply, less surface knowledge, more in our bones knowledge.

I can think of many times my family, or family members, or myself were rejected, betrayed, treated unfairly. And we are none the worse for it. We are wiser than when we went in. We have more compassion than when things were ‘good’. We know the Lord and His ways (very importantly) better, than we did at the beginning.

He never ever leaves us or forsakes us. He never causes the trouble. IF He allows it, it’s because He has far greater in store for us to be a part in His plan, and He needs our foundation deep and strong.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28

If you or a loved one is going through one of these ‘Under Construction’ times, drop a simple comment, I will keep you/them in prayer.

He. Is. Faithful. He is for us. He is not against us.

Categories
danger Fear hunting life styles nature peace photography Uncategorized

Hunter or Hunted

Batman Says:

All my life I have, as have millions of others have, hunted things. Be it animals or pictures or items, hunting is ingrained in my soul. I have hunted with my eyes, numerous cameras, rifles, shotguns, bows, crossbows, fishing poles, traps, and cages, you name it and I have probably tried it. The degree of success depends on what you think the outcome should be. There are times when I could walk out my door and trip over something I wanted to hunt, and there have been times that entire seasons have gone by without me getting any game at all. Both to me are victories as I get to participate in a sport/hobby/lifestyle that I love. I have written a few times about being out in the wilds and finding my “peace”, and sometimes it applies when I’m hunting, not always though, as it’s a different mentality to me.

There’s not a lot of danger hunting where I do, yes there are some bear at times, and wild boar, and even a white tailed deer can mess you up if you get it cornered and are careless. But for the most part it’s accidents, the occasional snake or your own clumsiness that will be your undoing. There are ways to make it challenging and even the playing field a bit. The object of hunting is to take game to consume (for me anyways I DO NOT trophy hunt, you can’t eat horns) and to do so in a humane fashion. Granted I could shoot an animal from 500 yards away with today’s modern rifles, but in my humble opinion, this is not hunting in the true sense, it’s more sport shooting. I have NOTHING against this way, it’s just not hunting to me. I prefer the close combat hunting where I pit my stealth, woods knowledge and skill against an animal that lives there, where it knows all the paths and ways. Out foxing a wild animal at close range in its “home” to me is the definition of hunting. Slipping up on a sounder of wild boar within 20,15, 10 yards armed with a bow or crossbow or even a handgun, is thrilling and scary as all get out, especially if all you’re doing is taking photographs and the “weapon” you have is not really adequate to stop a determined charge of a boar or momma sow with piglets. My point in this being, given the right circumstance even modern hunting can be challenging and dangerous. I can describe things like this and people might get it, here wait, come along on a hunt with me and see…

Quietly closing the truck door in the darkness after getting all my gear out and on, I look up and listen to the night sounds. 05:30 am, still at least 2 hours before first light, may have gotten here a bit early today, but it is the first day of the season. Silently slipping into my back-pack and then cocking the crossbow I get set, and take a few quiet moments to look up at the sky full of millions upon billions of stars and thank God for another day. Some days you just feel “it”, there’s something here not quite right today, but you shake it off and begin to make your way to the ground blind that Peach and I set up a few weeks ago, this will be the first stopping point until it gets bright enough to see to legally hunt. Moving slowly along the trail, listening to try and make sure I don’t spook any early morning game on the way to the blind. Hearing the softest sound of a footfall in the palmettos and briars to the side of the trail and immediately freezing, to try and determine what it could be. It’s pitch black, I truly wish there was a better description of the kind of dark it gets in the deep woods before dawn, an inky blackness that blocks all light, it’s like swimming in black paint at times. At times like this it’s the other senses that I trust, closing my eyes I listen, and try to catch a whiff of any scents (animals do have distinct smells and we can sometimes pick up on them) that may be drifting on the almost non existent wind currents. Time slowly ticks past, and here and there the errant mosquito buzzes around and still I stand perfectly still like an old oak tree with its roots firmly sunk in the rich earth. There is a feeling something is there but no sound, no movement, no smell to give it away, so I wait. Slowly the feeling subsides and the night creatures go back to making their soft noises, and I, even though I cannot shake the feeling that I’m being watched, move on down the trail towards the blind. Finally I reach the blind and settle in one of the two camp chairs slowly relaxing and waiting on the first signs of daylight.

Waiting in the blind, listening to the world wake slowly, the feeling is still there, muted, subdued but still there, the feeling of watchfulness. The first hints of daylight start showing through and yet I still wait, not time to move yet, cannot legally hunt. Slowly things start to take shape in the graying light and something moves across the trail I just walked 25-30 yards away, low but moving like silk undulating in the wind without making a sound. What was that? No idea, but it was quick! Silently putting my back-pack on again and picking up my crossbow I emerge from the blind. Put a bolt (crossbow arrow) on the crossbow and stand still preparing to begin my hunting.

Today I’m “still hunting” which unlike its name, involves moving. Taking two preplanned steps I settle and look, slowly all the way around me, starting close up and moving my eyes in ever widening arcs over the terrain. It never ceases to amaze me how animals can be standing right in front of me and I don’t even see them until I make a mistake and get too close or move when I shouldn’t and they bolt. Still hunting brings into play all the senses and skills learned.

Ever so slowly I move in the same pattern, 2 steps, stop, look slowly around me. In this fashion I take a great deal of time to go anywhere. The sun still hasn’t breached the horizon, so the world is a gray pallet and distant things blend into the background. Making it to the fork in the trail I have to decide to either go into the deeper woods or stay along the edge. Today I enter the trail that will eventually take me past a ladder stand and into the woods deeper eventually running into the creek and swamp parts. Slipping deeper into the woods I stop by the ladder stand and just wait, watching an open area where game travels at times, partially due to its location near wild persimmon trees. Squirrels hop about gathering the abundant acorns and chasing each other and I slip quietly on. The sun finally erupts over the horizon behind the trees in a burst of color like blood and orange all across the sky behind the trees lighting the woods. Carefully I move trying not to be noticed by the animals seen and unseen that I know are here as I can see and “feel” them. Freezing mid step I see a flicker of movement ahead, and try to determine what it is. Bird? Or maybe it’s the tail of a feeding white tailed deer. It’s a deer! Walking away it hasn’t noticed me, not in a position to shoot either, walking away, to much growth between us and farther than I like. Winds ok, blowing to me off my right front so it won’t smell me, so I ever so slowly, like the decay of time, inch forward on the trail behind it trying to stay where I can keep it in sight. It’s amazing how they can brush past bushes but make no sound, if I could do that I’d be the most efficient hunter in the world. Despite my trying to, I’m unable to keep the deer in sight and be quiet, so it fades off into the trail ahead, not spooked that I can tell, just feeding along. I slip along, hoping to catch a glimpse but never do again. Breaking through to the edge of the creek line the woods are darker but the undergrowth much thinner, making visibility better but not as much as one would think. Slinking along in the same fashion I make my way through the woods cautiously, stopping every 2 steps just as before.

I stop and watch a raccoon family tromp past and cross the creek 15 yards to my right, never noticing I am there, too involved with whatever thoughts raccoons have. Slowly and steadily, I make my way in a long circle eventually coming back to the opening in the woods, by the persimmon trees, again this time from the opposite side and as I approach the hair on my neck stands up and I know I’m being watched. Freezing in place I start methodically picking apart every piece of cover, searching for whatever it is causing the creepy sensation, my senses in full alert as my heart pounds in my chest so loud I think it’s audible. Nothing! I can’t see…wait There it is, holy cow He’s huge!! And he’s looking right at me!!! Bobcat “Lynx Rufus” aka “red lynx” Florida’s #1 ambush predator, sneaky, stealthy, ghostly killer, efficient at its art. Not normally a threat to humans unless trapped or cornered. This is what I have been “feeling” since I first arrived, why is it not slinking off like normal. Watching it sink lower almost flat to the ground it’s floating shoulder blades allowing it to almost appear flat, claws digging into the ground to get a better grip it is getting ready to charge! Honestly I can’t believe what I’m seeing, leveling the crossbow scope on his shoulder I hear the audible click as the safety clicks off not even realizing I did so and at that instant he explodes from cover, leaping 5′ before I realize, I drop the sights rapidly catching up to him and release the bolt and it travels the 20′ left between us in seconds hitting home and passing completely through. He somersaults mid-stride Breaking off his charge and dashing towards the briars where I hear thrashing and growling for a few more seconds then silence. I had no idea I had backed up so far as I try 3 times before I can get another bolt from the quiver and cock the bow never taking my eyes off the spot I last saw him. Letting my heart sink back outta my throat I finally slowly (and I cannot stress how slowly) I move towards the spot. Scanning scanning don’t see him, gotta be there, where.. there he is, not moving, not breathing. I drag him out and look at him, big “Tom” bobcat, looks healthy, why did he act so odd? Bolt hit him right in the shoulder and passed clean through, he was dead before he knew he was hit. The scared ****less shakes hit, and subside with time and I gather the “cat” and slowly make my way back to the truck. I will skin, and sell the hide as I am also a trapper and bobcats are in season.

Funny how hunting goes, sometimes when we think we are the hunters, we become the hunted. I did nothing to the bobcat mentioned earlier, for some reason he chose to stalk and eventually try me. Today was my day, next time…

I’m a creature of the woods like all the other creatures God put here, I’m at home there as much as I’m at home in my house. I know there are dangers in hunting as in every walk of life, but with the “Armor of God” and faith in Him I will continue to hunt and live my life with Peach.

Next time you get to tag along Peach, 4 eyes see more stuff than 2″

Categories
bible danger Faith family Fear focus Law Enforcement peace

Rest

In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: — portion of Isaiah 30:15.

Peach here.

It’s been a long, hot summer, Y’all.

We took a few days off at the end of May, and it was nice. We enjoyed getting a few odds and ends done around the house. Hanging out. Whatnot. Resting up.

The world also blew up with regards to policing and race issues and social media became extremely non fun and toxic, the very same weekend.

We don’t watch the news. As in ever. Anything we want to know, we can find out on our phones without talking heads telling us what to think about it.

Of the two of us, Batman has the smarts to stay out of social media. And I’m SO grateful.

I’m good and hooked. 🙄 I have rules for boundaries though and stick to them! It helps a lot!

Social media is how I found out about all the bad stuff, weirdly in an account that I purposely keep only for inspiration, photography, family, praise and worship ministries, biblical teaching. (told ya social media became non fun!)

I’m not going to try to rehash the bad things that happened this summer. Just laying out a little corner of the world and how it impacted us.

I could see the storm coming to our country, our society, and there was no avoiding the wind, the rain, the lightening and the thunder.

It would impact us all, and if you are a law enforcement family, a lot.

There’s layers to it. It’s clear. And it’s jagged. All at the same time.

I was so distraught that weekend at what I was seeing. I worried how it would impact Batman and our little city. I remember I didn’t want him burdened with the knowledge of what I was seeing.

And so much more. My blood pressure was definitely up!

And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” — Mark 4:39.

The resulting unrest across the country had another side effect of causing people to realize they needed a certain kind of training which we (Batman) provide.

Being so busy all summer was good medicine for my mind’s tendency to be over wrought with troubles and their potential implications.

Potential. Oh, the trouble we can weave in our minds and hearts, that never comes to pass. But, our bodies bear the brunt of the stress dumping hormones for sure!

So grateful for so many good people we have gotten to meet and help. Like I tell Batman, I love to watch him work! 😍 getting out of the routine to do this, was super good for me. Gave me distance from the perceived problems of our society, and the opportunity to do what I think I do best. Help. That’s my favorite! Help my husband, help our clients, help our family.

With the added layer of the virus and the various ways citizens and government have complicated it, I have had oodles of opinions!! Gracious!! Nobody needs more opinions though. So every time I was tempted to ‘put my foot down’ on social media about it, I always felt this check in my spirit. To be still. To know that He is God. The famous verse from Psalm 46, He had firmly planted it in my heart at the end of last year, and impressed upon me to take it with me into the coming year, 2020.

The check in my spirit, restraining me, from spouting off opinions no one needed to hear from me about the virus, was “I don’t know yet what is really going on. I know the devil is at work. And so is our Father. I don’t want to speak about things I don’t understand yet. Wait and see. Trust God. Be gracious. Be prudent. Believe the best. God will work good out of all this, if we make room for Him.”

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.— Psalm 46:10.

You know, that verse above we often quote the first half, and rightly so. We need, we crave, that stillness of our hearts and minds and lives. And it comes with KNOWING He (alone) is God!

But, let’s not forget the one, two punch of the second half of the verse! He WILL BE exalted among the heathen, He WILL BE exalted in the earth!

That. That restores order to my mind, hope to my heart, peace to my life.

I still keep an eye on the news online. I see it. But, I don’t soak in it. I also take care to not aim to be right, score points, or any of the things that social media is designed to do, but rather to know facts, stand for truth, encourage the best, keep it to a minimum, where possible, build tiny bridges.

Batman and I have also learned the joy and wisdom of taking a week each month off from our side gig, to catch up on life and rest and just enjoy!!

This year is teaching me over and over the beauty of ‘resting’ in the care and Grace of our Lord. In so many ways, trust in Him. Make room for Him. Expect good from Him. It’s not really about the storm clouds, the wind or the lightening, it’s about Jesus, being the center of our focus!

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. — Matthew 11:29. The Amplified Bible.

Thanks for listening Y’all!! I’m praying we get all the ‘goody’ out of this crazy year, that He has for us all!

Categories
beauty Faith focus grace Gratitude health Life life styles nature peace photography rest thankful Uncategorized

Find your “Peace”

Batman says:

“Peace” has a multitude of meanings (look it up yourself) and often we forget what it can mean to us as people.

I like to think of it as the most unstressed, relaxed, calm and happy feeling. The kinda feeling one gets walking in a brisk wind along a vacant beach where no signs of humanity intrude. Or snuggling in a favorite chair and getting lost in a good book where the story carries you away. Or sitting outside after dark in a quiet place watching the stars migrate across the heavens. Peace to me is that content feeling, that place where I’m not distracted by man’s noisy need to control everything and be heard all the time. Walking around photographing pretty things with Peach, holding hands and just being, not having to speak to know that you are happy just being together. Taking sunrise pictures while at work to send to my “pretty girl” Peach to let her know I always think of her.

There are many other things that help me find peace, wandering around outdoors is one of my favorite ones. Think I mentioned before Peach and I like to hunt, trap, fish and generally wander the woods, always have. Getting into a blind an hour before the first hint of light, lets things settle. Night creatures are headed home and the dawn patrol are waking up. I get settled, squirm around, and finally settle comfortably and wait. It is a wonderful world deep in the woods away from man’s intrusion that slowly reveals itself. Owls, sing their haunting hoots and purrs and crackles, and shuffles in the bushes made by mice, opossums, raccoons and others add to the suspense. Still too dark to make out any real detail, I close my eyes and just listen to nature’s symphony slowly give its first performance. Birds flit quietly from their homes into the bushes, still not quite ready to play their tune. Usually the first animal I can actually see and identify are squirrels, as they slink around and find seeds and acorns to nibble on and sometimes stash buried in thousands of secret spots. They too are still silent, not wanting to break the silence of the morning, and then it happens. Somewhere, could be close, could be far away, the first bird clears its throat and to my surprise it’s the gobble of a turkey. Unless you have heard one in the wild you haven’t heard a real turkey, folks. Then the other birds perk up, and soon there’s music all around in the form of this bird and that, each seeming to try to outdo the other. Sometimes a squirrel interjects it’s voice into the symphony but mostly they are too busy eating and chasing each other around.

This continues for 30-45 minutes then settles to infrequent chirps from birds, and solitary songs as the sun breaks the horizon. Then the squirrels slink off and up into the trees and begin their turn at calling to each other and clattering and chattering away, trying to drown each other out.

All the while, I sit (sometimes, when I’m really lucky Peach joins me) and listen and watch silently. Letting the sounds from the animals that God created wash over and through me. As it does I can feel tension and stress piled on from the week of work and strife, slowly start to break up. The longer I stay the more I find my “Peace”, the kind of feeling that is hard to explain, but everyone knows when it happens. For a time, no worry no fear no pain no insecurities nothing, just “Peace”. It’s what I expect to feel every day in heaven when my time is up here. Till then I have found a way to find true “Peace” and be as God intended us to be, happy, content and blessed to be alive and in God’s masterpiece. Those of you whom hunting offends, I do not apologize for being a hunter, God made us that way, I do think there is a reason for me being one, but to be honest the actual taking of game has become much less important to me over the years than it used to be, I still do take game but if I let something pass sometimes, it does not bother me as it once did.

Finding “Peace” means many things to many people, but to me it’s meaning is as described above, and none of it would be possible without God’s input and my Peach’s companionship. Once a week or more if I’m lucky, I slip away to one of these places and “breathe the free air” and feel my “Peace” seep into my tired body to enliven me for another week.

I truly hope each and every person can find the kind of “Peace” that they need at a time when they need it most and it does for them what they need. Everyone needs a cleansing of their minds to function as God meant. Folks, He watches us, He listens to us and He gives us ways to reboot, for me it’s through “Peace”

Hope this ramble makes some kinda sense to someone that needs it, if not *shrug* makes sense to Peach and I 😬

“Right Peach, makes sense to us right? Peach? Peach?…not funny”

Categories
Faith family focus

No Idea

Batman Says:

Truth be told, when I started this post, I had no idea what it was going to be about, still don’t but figure what the heck, I’ll keep pecking away and maybe something meaningful will come out of it, if not oh well I tried 😬

Perhaps it will be about something specific, Or not, prolly be just ramblings and jumbled together words who knows?

Peach and I watched movies this weekend just kinda chilled out and made the living room into a movie theater and enjoyed. We watched perhaps the (in my opinion) the greatest war movie of all time “The Longest Day” and then we watched “1917” another good movie that I’d never seen. We then watched “Spencer Confidential” followed by “6 Underground” and then an older movie, “V” and finished it off with “Mortal Combat” haha it was a total old movie weekend and we loved it. “The Longest Day” is from the era when movies were made “big” big music, big scenes, everything was more clear and pronounced. Scenes were held that extra bit longer, and the music was loud and powerful, I remember those from my childhood (we have discussed this, none of your business when that was). “1917” was based on a true story (“loosely”) and set in WWI times, it was well written I thought and kept Peach and I on our toes to the bitter end. “Spencer Confidential” was actually a very funny movie, action with humor (Needs a sequel). The same can be said for “6 Underground” which I believe was good enough to rate a sequel. “V” is the type of movie that makes you wonder, masterful performance by Hugo Weaving. “Mortal Combat”, all I can say is that it’s a movie me and my boys watched a bazillion times and it’s just fun, but makes a point about trust and friendship.

Moving on to different areas with this rambling, we have also been on the Ham radio a bit, mostly listening but talking a bit also. On 2 meters I listened to a conversation between older Hams and what sounded like a young boy and it was nice to know that he was interested and respectful and wanted to keep the sport going. I believe it’s time for Peach and I to contemplate studying together and upgrading to the highest rating, but it’s so technical based I can’t really wrap my mind around it yet. The advantage of upgrading is there aren’t any frequencies you can’t use. We always have fun studying (I apparently have a weird definition of fun) to get upgraded when we do, and cool thing is, there’s not time limit, we can take as long as we like before we decide to take the test. Anywho, when we are ready we will start studying and I’m sure we will eventually pass (I hope).

“Giggles”, we sometimes get them like children and cannot contain the laughter. Not sure we should try and contain it as it always makes us feel better.

“Amazon”, yep we fall into the trap of getting stuff from Amazon cause it’s easy and quick, not all the time, but sometimes.

“Reading books”, actual hold in your hand physically turn the page, smell the paper and ink, books. Peach and I have tons of these and we read them off and on to break up the monotony of sitting on the recliner couch staring at a television screen all day and half the night. Yeah we have the Kindle things, but sometimes you gotta feel the real thing.

Weird how you wind up doing one job all your life, even if it’s not what u expected. I’ve had tons of jobs, finally settled on a career, and have loved it, but it is not the career or job I thought I would have. I always had a fascination with the ocean and it’s inhabitants, and thought that would be my career, marine biologist or something like that. Not meant to be but that’s ok, I still read about it, explore the possibilities.

“Selling pictures”, photography is another thing Peach and I have in common. We take the pictures, sort through them, pick the ones we like best and put them on our website PeachandBatman@smugmug.com and hope one day someone will see something they like and buy it. Not a “have to have” but a nice to have 😬. Peach, she writes, and she writes things that can teach Gods word, and if I can ever convince her how good she really is, others will get to experience Gods word through her writings and teachings. She does not know how good she is at it, and how if she would stick with it, her following would grow and her teaching of Gods word would reach so many people who need to hear it. I poke and prod her in the hopes she will buckle down and focus on it, maybe just 2 hours every couple of days, and within 6 months she will see I was right (won’t admit it, but she will see it). Peach has a way of taking Gods word and putting it into context with what is going on, and why we need it more now than ever. She never changes it to fit “her” interpretation, she teaches it as it’s written, and I think that is where so many go wrong with teaching Gods word, they try and interpret it in their way. Anywho, I shall endeavor to keep annoying her until she gives in and starts really doing it, I can at times, be very annoying, if I put my mind to it 😬.

Contemplating future posts…honestly I don’t sit down and think of things to write about, as you can tell by this ramble, but I do hope it doesn’t bore to many people. Well even if it does that maybe they will get a good nap falling asleep reading it 😬.

“Still waiting on that post that starts you off 🍑, we are ready to learn”

Categories
Faith family Fear focus Life

Listening

Batman Says:

Sitting out on the deck early this morning before most of this part of the world wakes up, I closed my eyes and just listened. Ever do that? Just listen? Interesting what the result may be if you do. Because I was outdoors, and Peach and I live out in the country (not deep in the woods away from all sounds of man like I wish but, still country folk) I get to hear nature, sometimes mans noise butts in, but mainly nature. Early like this, there are still night creatures about but also the day crews are waking up and moving about. It’s a peaceful time, and the amount of nature that could be heard (probably could hear more, but for years of teaching shooting numbing my hearing 😳) night hawks, whip-or-wills (Chuck-will’s-widow more often) early morning Cardinals, Mocking birds and of course, the always present sound of roosters crowing, Horned owls, Barred owls, and Screech owls… you get the idea. All add their voices at one time or another, together or separate, frequent or rarely, and just listening to them relaxes me.

There are at times no sounds at all, it’s creepy still, the time of morning or night when as Sherlock Holmes put it “the powers of evil are exalted”. Times like these some get nervous or frightened, but as Don Williams sang “Nothing makes a sound in the night like the wind does, but you’re not afraid if you’re washed in the blood like I was”. Night sounds (early morning, too) can stir up fears in people, an involuntary reaction stemming back to the days when it was kill or be killed, and wild carnivores roamed everywhere, it also stems from man’s evilness to one another where certain elements prey on weaker victims. But in the here and now, the sounds I hear are stealthy, and then some are musical, neither cause fear as I have and still hunt the evil most refuse to acknowledge exists and fear little in doing so (“Fear profits no man” ..13th Warrior). Settling more in my comfy chair I hear leaves rustle, probably a mouse or mole looking for edible yummies, as I look up thru the live oak leaves to the crystal clear ink black sky with its brilliant sparkly lights (them is stars in case you didn’t get it) flashing colorful lights from far away. You can almost hear the trees talking to the wind and each other (probably wondering why we get to move around when they can’t) with soft subtle voices that you either believe in or don’t. If you believe, you can quietly hear the soft voices on the wind, maybe not understand them but you can hear them if you listen. Most refuse to hear those quiet voices from things in nature, especially those they hear when it is dark, and they do it out of fears. Fears of the unknown, fears others may not have heard it and would ridicule or belittle them, fears they would lose friendships or companions.

“Fear does not stop death it stops Life and worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles it takes away today’s Peace”

If you must fear, the fear should be that you have let God down by not following his word. (Squirrel ran by…apologies)

Listening teaches us so much more than talking does, and if most people would open their ears and close their mouths, they would learn tons and there would be way less conflict. So I sit, when I can, be it at home or at work (rare but I do sometimes get the chance) and I listen to what the world is trying to tell me. I hear the sunrise, I hear the wind, I hear Gods creations great and small. I don’t always understand them, but I hear them all, each has its own unique voice, some booming some barely perceptible. None of these would I be able to hear if all I did was talk. The gift of silence is often underestimated, but having the ability to let someone talk or vent, without interjecting, is a rare ability that more people need. Take the time to shut up and just listen, I bet you hear a lot and maybe learn to appreciate silence more.

“What’s that Peach? Sorry wasn’t listening” 😬

Categories
Faith family health Life

Camping and Stuff

Batman Says:

Raise your hand if you like camping 🖐🏼🖐🏼. Peach and I are, and pretty much have always been, fans of camping which is another one of the thousands upon million of reasons I love her. Her family, like mine, were brought up as campers. Cars were packed up stuffed full of tents and paraphernalia as well as kids, then off to some spot, usually a known place where they feel comfortable, and the camping set up begins.

Dads all over the world will get this..the frustration level increases to just before nuclear meltdown stage right about the time the !*%!%**%#! tent is finally up. Then when the blood pressure comes down from the stratosphere, the relaxing can commence.

I have fond memories of all night fishing trips on the river where we kids were forced to finally go to sleep in a huge old Army GP medium tent that my dad and uncle put up (can’t do it anymore as there are bleepin houses where we used to camp). But anyways, they were fun trips. Also remembered are the trips early in Peach and my marriage with the rug rats all crammed in a small tent, nothing could make these trips or the memories of them better that they are. Road trips to the camping spots also hold many fond memories along the way. We once stopped off in the Echota Cherokee Capitol Historic Site in Georgia and wandered around old log cabins and buildings where old settlers lived. No school classroom on the planet could replace the effect of actually being there, feeling the wood, seeing how the Cherokee people lived and survived in a completely different environment than they were use to….(I feel a squirrel running by). Our boys were products of both private, then public, and finally home schooling (Peach is a wonderful and patient teacher with the smarts of one of those people with all the alphabet letters attached to their names, and she came by her wisdom the right way, she lived and learned). I will not bash any form of schooling, I just believe that learning math you can use, English you can speak, and the history of your country as it was not as someone thinks it should have been, prepares kids better for real life than study guides set down by committee (you take God out of the equation, you aren’t worth the paper all those alphabet letters behind your name are printed on), just my opinion, again I’m not trying to change yours so don’t try and change mine. Told ya, Squirrel!

Anyways, we explored several places along the way to that camping excursion, and we learned a lot. Some of the trips were hot and sweaty, some cold to the point of ice, all were trips I would not change for anything in the world. I believe the time out in the fresh air, be it at a spring and river, or on a mountain top, did wonders for myself and the family. Working together to set up camp, exploring, building the camp fire and keeping it going, cooking meals, cleaning up, all have their places. Gathering around the fire at night roasting marshmallows or other stuff, talking and laughing, it freed the soul of stress. The downside to any of it, if there is one, is that it never seemed to last long enough, before long it was the night before packing up and going back home. Everyone’s movements slow, but time speeds up. No one wants to leave but we eventually get packed up and away we go, headed back home.

Seldom were there trips that we did not have a really nice time. It seems camping and the trips to and from always seemed to agree with us. Everyone returned with a happy disposition which sometimes lasted well into the week following.

I think the fun of camping is just being together “roughing” it for a couple days as a family. We slow down, we bond as a group, we “Live, Laugh, Love” and repair ills that society piles on us.

Just my opinion…yes you too can “chuck it in the bucket” difference is, I’m not trying to change yours 😉.

No Peach I did not pack your hair dryer”

Categories
family food Gratitude Life life styles Uncategorized

Baloney

Peach says:

You know, Batman and I are from the last of the generations which had a bit of an old fashioned bent to us. We were raised by people who worked, made things last, you were taught not to be wasteful, you ‘cleaned your plate’ and ‘if you’re hungry’ (in between meals) you’ll eat bread and butter (that’s a whole ‘nother story!🤣🤣)

Part of that was there wasn’t the plethora of fast food or junk food, that was around when we raised our kids, or especially now. There also, were not near as many food choices period. If you didn’t grow up in those times, I am not sure you could understand it.

In our house particularly, I learned to bake because that was the only way we got snacks. It was good for me! Mom just turned me loose in the kitchen. I had total access to do anything I wanted with the recipes in her cook books and the ingredients in the cabinet. Heaven! 🤗

Each household has their certain ‘go to’ foods, and I think a lot of them are just habits, routines, and the ‘tastes’ of who does the shopping. At least it seems like that to our experience.

Growing up, I can remember one stint we did, where my Dad introduced us to fried baloney sandwiches! Something of a delicacy to his mind!! It was fun to learn how to make. I never really ‘took to it’. Because we grew up on the only ‘Brown bread’ readily available back then, because my Mom did not believe in white bread, (or kool aid), she was trying to help one of my brothers not have so many additives in his food. Her and Dad also preferred Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, which the combination of the Roman Meal bread and Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, was realllly an flavor combination for a mature taste palette, for which I still don’t think mine has matured! Lol! We are a decidedly Yellow Mustard family now days!

Anywho, the result was I temporarily bonded with my Dad by appreciating the Fried Baloney sandwich, but I never craved one again. And I don’t think we ever had baloney in the house again, if we did, I did not notice!

Fast forward a few years and I’m a very newly wed young bride living (the first year of our marriage) with Batman’s family. Batman and his Dad LOVED a good baloney sandwich on soft, white bread, with mayo and (the cherry on the sundae) YELLOW MUSTARD! 😍

I remember being introduced to this one day, his Dad was a Marine Patrol Officer, and he was on his days off for that week. He drove down to the local country store (which Batman has told you about here), and came back with FRESHLY MADE baloney!! I wouldn’t even know where to find that now! Such a shame! And fresh cheese. So good!

That was the best half sandwich I ever did eat!

Today I was making my sweet Batman a baloney sandwich for lunch, and I don’t know what made me remember it, but, all of a sudden I was remembering the day his Dad picked up that fresh baloney, and how different it tasted! Then I remembered when Batman worked at a local aeronautics factory, right down the road from my work! He got 35 minutes for lunch, and by the Grace of God, if he hustled I could meet him at the picnic tables in front of the county Sheriff’s Office where I was working at the time. We would have a nice quiet lunch, act like two kids, flirt, say good bye and both go back to work. Many years ago! Before cell phones. So you had to watch the clock, and be outside waiting when he pulled in, because not much time was available!

Fast forward a few more years, I was back to work after a very short 6 week maternity leave, after our second child, and now I was meeting him at his parking lot, because we were temporarily carpooling every day. I’d be there waiting when he got out for lunch, we would eat and listen to Paul Harvey on the radio. We were starting to grow up, and pay attention to what was going on in the world just a bit. Paul Harvey was a good way to get acclimated to keeping up with the world.

Looking back, I can see so many things to be grateful for, like that my work was just barely down the road from his work, at a time we really needed it. That we had those old school values to make and bring lunch and spend time together during those crazy, hazy days of being young, working our behinds off, raising a family, and at the same time, not really knowing what we were doing, but we kept plugging, and God kept blessing!!

And of course! Thankful for BALONEY!

Hope you are all doing well!! Pack a lunch, eat a sandwich with someone you love!!

Just not with Batman, he’s all mine!!

Peach 😁

Categories
bible Faith Gratitude Life thankful Uncategorized

Thankful

“Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: His Mercy endureth forever.” — Psalm 107:1

Peach says:

Hey, Everybody! Not entirely sure of how this will come together, but it’s on my mind and I have to try!

A lot of things are coming together this year. No Covid can stop the move of God. When He says “Grace!” Grace is coming! It’s pouring! It’s rushing to heal. To fill, to refresh, to replenish and to restore! It just washes away the obstacles.

His Grace. It’s always here, right where we need it! Sometimes, where we need it and HOW we need it, is more like a trip to the ER, court, chemotherapy or radiation or a root canal, or two. It’s more like long term physical therapy or visitation, or unemployment. In other words it’s in our pain and our suffering, our desolation. it’s what keeps us going, helps us not be overcome, but instead to overcome. It’s the salt in our water we are faithfully treading. Giving us much needed buoyancy. It’s the spiritual CrossFit training chiseling the freshly flab out of our souls.

Thank God for it!! Because of THAT Grace, we make much needed progress, and LIVE to SEE way better days!!

We last to live to see the days our hearts long for, that we dream of. We KNOW we are experiencing much needed GRACE when we experience these much longed for victories, when we achieve accomplishments we struggled for, when we can’t wipe the silly grin off our faces, because He DID it! He brought our hopes to pass! He restored us, refreshed us, vindicated us, brought us out and INTO our much better place!

But, that Grace? Is a result of the first Grace. Which is not near as fun, and if we aren’t mindful, we may miss it altogether. And that would be a shame, because we NEED the memory of His faithfulness in the times of our darkest pain, our most pressing darkness, our most infuriating injustices. We need to tie that memory to us like a tourniquet around our arm, keeping the life blood of our faith from running out.

I like to take a breath and look around, outwardly and inwardly, and try to take stock of alllll the many ways His goodness is popping up and showing out, little details, that I know are not happenstance. Big things, that I wouldn’t have even known to pray for, but He did them anyway!

Last year and the year before, were challenging times. That’s the most I can really stand to say about them. For now. At the end of the year as we approached 2020, I was strongly impressed by the Lord, that where 2019 has been all about work, survival mode, it was preparing us for a 2020 that would see us thriving! I have to say, 5 months in, and I see the benefits all around me, tendrils of plants peeping up through the soil, some flowers already starting to unfurl.

If you are in survival mode, (or even coasting or thriving mode, this works all the time!). I encourage you to hold onto Him and His faithfulness, scream in your car on the way to work if you have to, cry in the shower, turn the Praise and Worship music on to Def Con 12, and give the devil a migraine! Read your Bible relentlessly. Listen to powerful and BIBLICAL teaching, every chance you get.

And in the process of time you will begin to feel a shift in the weather. He is faithful and knows we need changes in our seasons. And He’s a GOOD Father. So He does much needed work in us during the hard times. SO THAT the good times coming, don’t wreck us!

Look around, savor the signs of His faithfulness. Celebrate with Him, the beauty of His Grace. Don’t be ashamed to testify, someone most likely needs it.

While Samuel was offering the sacrifice, the Philistines came within range to fight Israel. Just then, God thundered a huge thunder clap exploding among the Philistines. They panicked—mass confusion!—and ran helter skelter from Israel. Israel poured out of Mizpah and gave chase, killing Philistines right and left, to a point just beyond Beth Car. Samuel took a single rock and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it “EBENEZER” (Rock of help), saying “This marks the place where God helped us.”— 1 Samuel 7:10-12 The Message

Happy Sunday, Y’all! God bless you and keep you and give you great JOY!

Peach

Categories
family focus health Life life styles Procrastination Time management

That Room

Batman says:

Pretty sure everyone has one, that room that everything seems to migrate to over time. For me it’s my “radio room” or also known as the “purple” room as it has purple flowers decorating the walls (don’t ask).

Over the past months it has slowly collected odds and ends and things that are in transit to their final spot, or stuff I pack-rat away. It’s finally reached the point I have to do something, simply for the fact I can barely get in there to do anything. Fortunately for me my “pack-rat” propensity does not come with the “I gotta keep this for ever” attachment (in most cases, yes I do need 3 spare routers). Once the cleaning begins, you really need to stick at it, or you just end up making small piles of stuff all over the house, which despite her patience, would I’m sure, cause Peach to lose her mind. I contribute enough to her issues, she don’t need me to add more 😬 (sorry, squirrel ran by).

Pick a corner and start, not really sure how or why, but I seem to save cardboard boxes that things come in, prolly to use to wrap presents, but then deciding a person might think it’s one thing, and be disappointed when it’s not what the box says. So there goes 6 boxes of various shapes and sizes. Old papers and scraps of things I was going to “fix or use” one day get tossed in the bag. Oh look! A zip up bag that a bed spread came in, perfect to put the trash in, waste not want not. Oh, look a car seat 🙄 perhaps we can give that to someone, if not it’s curb bound. Funny thing about putting things on the “curb” (no curb really, cause it’s a country road…) out here if the thing has value, it is usually nabbed pretty quick, and that’s better than it being trashed.

Moving around the room and piling numerous items into the trash, the room starts to take shape again. One can walk around without bumping into, or stubbing their toe on something. Counter tops and shelves are revealed, as they are cleared of clutter, and I can actually sit in my radio chair and “Ham” it up a bit. Computer table is cleared of appx. 3 cubic yards of small ‘have to have’ items and Holy Cow!!! The computer still works!

There we go, a complete circuit of the room, decluttering and trashing things that only a couple weeks ago I ‘couldn’t have done without’ and the room is back to useable space again.

Much better now, well until 6 months down the road and I once again have to de clutter it *shrug* what can I say? It happens!

“Yes Peach I REALLY need 14 baseball hats”