“…I PLEAD WITH YOU TO WALK holy, IN A WAY THAT IS SUITABLE TO YOUR HIGH RANK, given to you in your divine calling. WITH TENDER HUMILITY AND QUIET PATIENCE ALWAYS DEMONSTRATE GENTLENESS AND GENEROUS LOVE TOWARD ONE ANOTHER, especially toward those who may try your patience. BE FAITHFUL TO GUARD THE SWEET HARMONY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AMONG YOU in the bonds of peace…” — Ephesians 4:1b-3
A wise woman who I miss very much, taught me when I was very young, that when we become elderly, and are at or near the finish line, we can at times, become sort of caricatures of ourselves, depending on the choices we make in our lives.
Sometimes, as the end is in sight, we may not have all the strength of our reasoning in its normal state. Our reasoning, or our governing of ourselves, I should say, may be a bit relaxed or off balance from in our younger days.
Whatever we have fed in our lives may end up holding the larger sway. All the more reason to each day, walk in the Spirit, because when we do, then we do not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh”, Galatians 5:16b, as each decision makes a path in our heart and in our mind. The Word tells us, to not to be “conformed to this world” but instead to be “transformed by the renewing” of our mind(Romans 12:2).
The wise woman I knew, she worked in healthcare, and had seen a lot of this latter stage of life for people, who were not feeling themselves. It was a cautionary tale for sure.
I guess I have had some cause to think about the culmination of the daily little choices we make, and what those choices do to us in the inside of us, the most real part of us. Those things we choose to think about, and either appreciate or fester over. I don’t want to be one who festers. I want to be one who appreciates. The sunshine, my husband, our good health, our children and grandchildren, our siblings, that we have had good parents, greatest of all our salvation and relationship with Jesus!
I don’t want to waste time on the real (hurts) or imagined (worries). I want to process them, somewhat like laundry, learn from them, forgive myself or others, give it to Jesus, move on. —“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” — 1 Peter 5:7
I know some hurts are monumental, and it’s easy to say. “But, you don’t know how badly they have hurt me” and to that, I say you are right. But, I also know you deserve to live and love, and enjoy what is here right now. Don’t let them rob you, not one more day. Not one more minute.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this ONE THING I do, FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND, and REACHING FORTH unto THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE, I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” — Philippians 3:13-14
Love either near (those in your now circle) or from afar (those in your past), pray for them all, every day, but that doesn’t mean they get to sit in prime real estate in your head carving their initials. Evict them from your heart, as well as the well rehearsed pain.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be ANY PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS.” — Philippians 4:8
Remember, our Father God sees our end from our beginning (Isaiah 46:10) He has good for us, if we will accompany Him to the future He has yet ahead for us!
“This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. BUT THEN I WILL COME TO YOU AND DO FOR YOU ALL THE GOOD THINGS I HAVE PROMISED, and I will bring you home again. For I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,” says the Lord. “They are PLANS FOR GOOD AND NOT FOR DISASTER, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE. In those days when you pray, I will listen. IF YOU LOOK FOR ME WHOLEHEARTEDLY, YOU WILL FIND ME. I WILL BE FOUND BY YOU,” says the Lord. “I WILL end your captivity and RESTORE YOUR FORTUNES.” — Jeremiah 29:10-14
What inspired this? The passing of time, the loss of relationships, the finality of the passing of a good and precious life and the vacuum that has made. The choices we who remain make now, to hopefully live leaving a trail of love, hope, joy, affirmation, faith, and much grace, for our loved ones to follow. May our trail be clear, filled with good things to help them along their way!! — “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 11:1
Thank you for stopping in!! It means so much to share these thoughts in hopes it might encourage you along your way!!
I leave you with the closing of a favorite poem of mine, by Robert Frost, who I so enjoy!
So much happened during the past year, the Lord was so good to bring us through so much, bestowed so much sweetness and goodness on us in the past year, it’s hard to know how to get back started again in writing. But, write we must. So like any big, monumental mountain of laundry facing you, you just get in there and start sorting through and making piles.
The best I could figure as I sorted through photos from the past seven months, by way of remembering the overall big things, I felt it might be best to start with a giant thanksgiving post, to the GOODNESS, astounding goodness, of our Father God.
We saw Batman through his final year in law enforcement! He finished many little things, details, he wanted to accomplish before retiring. He’s whole, healthy and so ALIVE, something you have to celebrate every day in law enforcement!
He was blessed to be a part of so very many great adventures in his career. Things that in my mind were too numerous and too good to not have been ‘steps of a good man’ ‘ordered by the Lord’
He is now permanently assigned to retirement life with me! AND our kids and grandkids, and there will be lots of very different adventures to come! Albeit, gardening, fort building, putt putt golfing, fishing, real golfing, traveling, coffee on the deck in the morning, more picture taking, more writing, and generally enjoying and growing and learning! Still side gigging, but at a sedate pace! So grateful! The possibilities are endless and every day, we literally can’t believe how awesome it is!
And the flowers!!! Well, we will talk more about them in a future post I am sure!! He’s the bomb, y’all!
We welcomed sweet, sweet grandsons (Kylan, in August) and (Henry, in November), and we just cannot get enough of them!! Overwhelming love and joy and great expectation and hope, a sure hope, for the future! Brand new, little humans to love and enjoy and teach and just relish life and the wonder of God with and watch them take on the world and make their way!!
Our oldest son battled the dreadful virus and whooped it, by the GRACE of God and his whole family whooped it, including his pregnant wife! Somehow, the Lord helped them navigate the purchase of their first home in that crazy month. Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. The joy! The gratefulness. The wonder.
Our youngest son came to work with me in my dear brother in law’s company, during the fall!! I can’t even EXPLAIN the astounding joy and wonder at getting to share this with him and watch him in his element!! Being so gracious to customer after customer, going out of his way, as a matter of refined, routine, over and over, and finding a way to connect with and secure a client, oh so many times, while encouraging coworkers. It’s like a giant Christmas gift! Every day!
The holidays brought all the joy we could imagine and more! But. The season was not without pain. But, I’m not ready to talk about it. We will save that for another day. I will say, however, that even in pain the Lord provides, there is love and shelter, and grace and provision, if we will let Him in, let Him guide and provide. He is so faithful.
I would love to post more pics, but, I want to respect my sons’ privacy and I’m not sure how much is ok to post! I’m just so proud of them!
You and me, Batman!! Forever! So far to go! So much LOVE to live!!!
First apologies, profusely, for being so late! Life is so very full right now! Jerry put out a fantastic group of sunrise photos! ‘Morning’s Glory’! We are both so glad to get some of the glorious beauty of the Lord into people’s hands, in order for people to appreciate the hand of God at work for us.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” — Psalm 19:1
So, how are y’all doing so far this year? We are running our race this year strong and steady, counting the literal work days and until Batman retires! And counting the months and weeks until each two grand babies are born!
Not gonna lie, having a hard time processing all the emotion of joy of this year and the work to make time for writing or making podcasts. But, my heart is so here every day, looking for opportunities. I am sure we all struggle with that juggling thing though.
What are you listening to lately? This year has brought some wonderful praise and worship music and just uplifting music in general. My sound track this year has included Dante Bowe and his album Circles. All. Of. It. What I loved about this album is he is a devout Christian artist writing and singing with so many in the current Praise and Worship circles, like a bee from one group to the next, cross pollinating from one part of the Body of Christ to the next, which I think is one aspect of the epitome of healthy Christian living. The kicker though for this project, in my mind, is it is a Christian singing his faith as it looks in his every day life, like we ought to live every day, not as a praise and worship project but just reflections on life, naturally reflecting his faith. Totally relatable to anyone, whether they care for Christian music or not. Every song has a reason to choose it. I think ‘Joyful’ and ‘Family Tree’ are great choice to give a listen.
The Maverick City, Elevation Worship project called ‘Old Church Basement’ is a whole experience!! There is no skip song at all, on this or any of the great albums I’m digging this year! Some faves? ‘Wait on You’, ‘Shall Not Want’, ‘Million Little Miracles’, ‘Come Again’, and ‘Build Your Church’. It just transports you.
And can I just say I am superrrrr late to the Crowder party???? The Crowder ‘Milk and Honey’ album is a whole entire planet of wonderful!! A Southern Rock girl to my core, this music feeds my soul because it magnifies Jesus AND gives me that bit of the South sound that makes my heart happy. Again, no skip songs! Listen to it all…twice or thrice!
Also, I forgive y’all for not telling me about ‘We The Kingdom’. Did I mention I’m a Southern Rock girl? Yes! These people are making music that just isn’t out there, Jesus and the Kingdom and sung in Southern! ♥️♥️♥️ My heart sings and my windows rattle as I’m driving down the road! ‘Don’t Tread on Me’! Kicks the devil in his teeth and EXALTS our Jesus!! All the while making my Southern roots tingle! ‘Take Me on a Ride’ is such a great picture of the adventure our faith walk is supposed to be. What a great witness and joyful song!
An extraordinary experience I had one Friday before work, back in early May, was impulsively purchasing an old album by Pastor Clint Brown, from about 12-15 years ago.
Background: The church I spent 20 years in, and raised our boys in, sang so much of his music! He visited a good number of times and preached with fire and he’s just a work horse for the Kingdom of God. Good man. Super anointed. Well, I had been missing Praise and Worship from my old days at Family Worship Center. Which inspired me to get ‘Fall Like Rain’ that fateful Morning.
WOW! It lifted my spirits so much. I had not realized how VERY MANY songs we did of his until that day! It blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined, because I knew literally every song, and it was such a wonderful, joyful experience to get to sing these songs at the top of my lungs, while also remembering Sunday after Sunday and Thursday after Thursday doing the same, and it took me back, in the best way, to service after service of knowing that the Holy Spirit had just done surgery in my heart before the preaching even had begun! Again, no skip songs, some of my faves being ‘Awesome God’, ‘I Can’t Get Enough’, ‘I Will’, ‘I’m Forgiven’, and ‘Fall Like Rain’. He’s from Louisiana. And it shows!! Fan-flippin-tastic!! Music is such an incredible gift of God.
What brought me here tonight though, was Batman discovered a YouTube channel by the sweetest, most fun young couple, it’s called ‘Rob Squad Reactions’ . Not only are their music choices SUPERB! But, their heart shows through every upbeat amazed reaction, as they discover old music that Batman and I just love because it’s music from the soundtrack of our lives as younguns. They are all about the joy of musical craftsmanship and it’s a lot of fun to watch them discover and/or just enjoy it with us. Like us, they see music as a unifying element that people across all groups can appreciate and take pleasure in. We all need more of this!
Tonight as we sat listening to Stevie Nicks signing ‘Landslide’, I actually was overwhelmed with gratitude and emotion that made my eyes tear, which is not a reaction I have to music hardly ever. So many thoughts about appreciation for Batman, and our life together. It was like a wave washed over me. Or maybe bubbled out of me is better expressed.
I met him 5 March 1982 with friends on the way to an Alabama concert in a neighboring city. Our journey amazes me. It’s not that we have a flashy story. Nope. We are not flashy people. But, we were kids. Born to people who were extremely working class. Salt of the earth people. Our parents were born to people born and raised during the Great Depression. They had some wisdom to live by. And we had things to learn beyond that. Like every generation does. Just very grateful how the Lord has helped us to learn and grow and GROW TOGETHER. What a gift.
I think listening to these old songs and the memories and joy and the tears and the MILES the Good Lord has brought us through just has really moved me tonight! So, I wanted to jump on here and talk about what the gift of music is doing in my life this summer!
It’s been a minute since I could slow my roll and make a post without likely falling asleep!
I think I may have mentioned we have two new grand kids coming this year! 🥰🥰🥰🥰
Our youngest son and his sweet girl had a ‘Gender Reveal’ party at the first of this month. She is very organized and really gifted for decorating and doing so in a thrifty fashion!! I’m so amazed at and proud of her mad skills! Everything was super cute and pink and blue, with lots of ways for the attendees to stake their claim on if the baby is a girl or a boy!
My heart was so full for about a week and half I couldn’t process any writing! Then it was work, work and here — take some more work!! 🤣🤣
But you know, I do not say that in complaint! Work is absolutely a blessing! We are made to sharpen our skills and accomplish and serve and lead and train and help and provide! I’ve been both ways, and working is BY FAR the better! Whether I worked as a housewife and homeschool mom and writer or keeping a friend’s child or as a Sergeant in a law enforcement agency that was leading the way for Florida back in the day, or in insurance sales and firearms training, there are so many ways we contribute, we grow and we learn.
It’s only that I need more sleep than I use to, so I can’t burn the candle at both ends like I did back in my 20s and 30s and somewhat in my 40s!
So, the days have been so full and among them has been seeing to little details for Batman’s upcoming retirement. There’s a lot of paperwork. Lots of questions with answers sought and comprehension eventually acquired! I remember the days when we longed for and sought for this job, this calling. I remember the struggles and sacrifice and much heart ache, adrenaline rushes, exhaustion, and steady grinding. I’m not entirely sure he understands the depth and breadth of what he has accomplished. All with and through the Grace of God and his own willingness.
I am so grateful and excited for his upcoming next. Scriptures tell us, our latter shall be greater. The path of the just is as the shining sun, shining more and more unto the perfect day!! I’m completely believing that for him, and for me with him! Just. Getting. Started.
We share birthdays so to speak, my birthday being the day after his! Which is awfully handy!
We started last year getting some of our family together to celebrate on Batman’s birthday and this year was just overwhelmingly everything good and joyful! He grilled and I cooked side dishes and baked. And my brother and his tribe came and our sons and their families!
There was a little friendly horseshoe competition between the guys and lots of wrangling the littlest of the younguns!
We are blessed to have so much family to enjoy! I know this sounds sappy, and I’m quite ok with that! The last two years prior to this, while filled with much of The Lord’s much needed Grace and blessings, were very painful in lots of ways. So, I believe celebration for accomplishments, progress and just altogether sweetness of life are important to life! 😍👏🏻👏🏻
We capped it off by sparklers, and the youngest three of the affectionately known as Sugarboogars, had not so far had an opportunity to experience such things just yet!
There were much squeals of shock and awe and utter delight! Oddly none of them were afraid! Even the almost two year old Loved them! I can’t imagine where they got that from! 🙃 But, I will say my second favorite holiday is Independence Day!! 🎇🎆🎇🎆
I am praying this year draws Batman even closer to the Lord and fills his heart with joy and peace and old dreams fulfilled and new dreams dreamed! That the Lord teaches me how to be more of a surprise and blessing to him! He’s beyond good to me! So very grateful for him!
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” — Psalm 138:7-8
It creeps up on us once a year without fail, and suddenly “BAM” you’re a whole year older. It’s inevitable, it happens to us all and there is no way of stopping it.
When I was a kid, I like most of us, never worried about age or growing old, I played hard, ran the woods and fields, fished, hunted, trapped and just basically did kid stuff until ma or pa called me home. Every birthday that came when I was young was celebrated with my family, we were not “well off” but mom and dad always made it special and surrounded by my brothers and sister I don’t see how it could have been any better.
The years progress and we get older and have to stop doing “kid” stuff and “act our age” so to speak (something I struggle with having a professional small boy mentality), but I believe we all maintain, somewhere deep inside buried under years of stress and strife, piled upon us by work and trying to make a living, a piece of that “kid”. It’s this small piece that shows up at times to play jokes, laugh at inappropriate times and generally helps to keep us sane in a world that is drifting rudderless nowadays (squirrel).
So, as I look back, I see numerous things from my childhood that have been erased by my getting older and I would like them back at some point in time. Without these childhood things and mentalities we become drab boring adults just muddling our way through life, where’s the fun in that?
This year on my birthday I was again surrounded by family, not mom who is off with my sister in Pensacola, not Dad who is in heaven looking down shaking his head at my nonsense, but family none the less, my boys and their families and Peach’s brother and his family. I cannot see how it could be a better birthday than the way it was (‘cept maybe minus the yellow flies, deer flies some call ‘em) we cooked on the grill, played badminton and horse shoes, goofed, talked and caught up. Peach and I have awesome families and kids and grandkids and they all come together to help us old farts remember when we were kids and not to take life too seriously.
Birthdays, long as we’re here, we will have them, they are celebrations that we should embrace and enjoy. Surround yourself with family, be thankful for having them, do not take life too serious, play a game, laugh, and most of all love, and I think you will enjoy each one more than the last one.
“Nothin better than your banana puddin’ for my birthday, Peach“
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?”
“And that thou mayesttell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am theLord.” — Exodus 10:2.
Hey, Everybody! How’sthings goin’?
It’s goin’ good here!
I think I mentioned our youngest is getting married and they have a precious baby on the way! We couldn’t be more excited for them! 🤗
Our oldest and his wife are now also expecting. We just can’t wait to meet the new baby! 🥰
I’ve noticed something, I’ve turned into that parent who is telling stories to the younger generation that explain some things we went through and illustrate the faithfulness of God. I have never minded my parents doing it, nor when I was a youngun’ did I ever mind hearing my Granddad’s stories either.
But, it has not been my nature to tell those stories, put us in the spotlight so to speak.
But, all of a sudden I have realized it’s a blessing to them to know the things we overcame and God brought us through, in spite of ourselves, it can give them both a point of reference and encouragement that they too can make it. And further, since the Father helped us two when we were young and dumb, He’s ‘no respecter of persons’ and what He did for us, He’ll do for them!
Every get together I find myself working old stories, nobody’s ever heard, right into the conversation. Unashamedly. I keep it light and lively, but it’s good things I want them to know. It’s part of their roots and heritage and where they come from, too!
It will also help them recognize their stories as they’re happening so they can tell their children, too!
When we are young, life is such a mystery in so many ways, and we are sort of wobbling along, doing the best we can. Over the years are a lot of missteps and mistakes. I truly think the things I learned from my parents allllll of my life about their life, was helpful to me to keep my equilibrium!
I am hopeful to do the same for ours, though maybe I wish I had started sooner. I will have to trust in the Lord that He has gone before us and ordered our steps.
The picture above is a FANTASTIC potato salad recipe, that I got from my best friend, (without whom I probably would not have gotten saved). And she got it from a dear lady who she not only grew up with and grew up in church with, but was her mother in law for many years, and still family! Because family never ends! It may change but it never ends.
Mrs ‘P”s Potato Salad has won people and their taste buds over for years and years, through many special occasions! She will live on and stories of her family’s goodness to us, (and that includes my best friend) will be told in my family for years to come, Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!
“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord].
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might.
And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] mindsand hearts; [then]
You shall whetandsharpen them so as to make them penetrate,andteachand impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.” — Deuteronomy 6:4-7