Friday, December 30, 2016


A new year is just around the corner. Every year I make resolutions and my whole year becomes about keeping them. Last year, I think I was successful with them.

This year, I am looking forward to the new experiences that God leads me into. I am looking forward to the blessings I have not yet received. I am looking forward to the abundant life that will come with the new year!

My resolutions for this year are as follows:

1. Go on a God Diet.
2. Read my Bible more.
3. Lose 100 lbs.

I think that is enough.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Shonda's Jesus Feast 2016

I was unable to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family because I had to work. This did not prevent me from having a mouth-watering longing for a taste of Thanksgiving Turkey.

God had blessed me with so much throughout the year. I had a freezer filled with food, including two turkeys. I offered my mom a turkey for Thanksgiving, in exchange for her bringing me a plate to my job so I can have Thanksgiving dinner (I was REALLY looking forward to that turkey).

She was having it deep-fried.


I had to work. So at 6 PM, my mom brought me a big plate of food, and another plate of desserts. But, guess what? There was not ONE bite of turkey on that plate. I graciously ate it all, then called mom and said, "Where is my turkey?"

She assured me she would bring me some turkey tomorrow at one o'clock. (I'm a day sleeper. I get up at one o'clock. I have to be at work at three o'clock).

At one o'clock she had not arrived, so I called her, as I still had not had my craving satisfied.

"Why don't you come here and get it. I'm not driving all that way!" she said.

I lost my temper. She lived 40 minutes from my apartment. I barely had enough time to shower and get something to eat and get to work. There is no way I could make it all the way to Redwater and back before my shift started. I was VERY angry.

I questioned how God could ask me to honor someone like her for what she had done to me.


I felt she had stolen my turkey, because I did not get ONE bite of it.

Yes, I was VERY angry.

I stewed over this for a few days. Then, I decided to fix the problem.

I had a second turkey. I decided that in order to fix the problem I would not give my mother a turkey to cook for Christmas. If it got cooked, I would have it cooked and I would get my portion of it before I gave her any of it. I could still love my mother without giving her the opportunity to anger me again.

Problem fixed.

What can I say? I'm a fixer.

As Christmas approached, it became clear, according to my schedule, that I was not going to be able to spend Christmas with my family, either. I still wanted that turkey.

I listened to a radio program by Rick Warren about God speaking to me. I learned that when I got an idea, it might not be a "God" idea. You have to test it: If God wouldn't agree to it in the Bible, then He ain't gonna tell me to do it, because God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

I started thinking, what if I cooked my own Christmas dinner. I could enjoy all the fixings without worrying about missing it. I could get my turkey.

Then, someone got a hold of my credit card information on the computer somehow and charged my bank account over $350. I took out a money order in order to pay my mom her car payment, and someone stole that out of my purse. So in less than 48 hours, I lost over $700. It was my WHOLE paycheck! All I could do was praise God that I didn't have to pay rent for that check as I went to the bank to dispute the charges, stop my money order, and get a new debit card issued to me.

Satan obviously didn't like the idea that God must have put in my head that I was actually considering doing. So, I made plans to have a Jesus Feast, and I had no idea how I was going to pay for it.

I had a three day weekend coming up, and I thought, "What a perfect opportunity to have that Jesus Feast!"

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like that is what I should do. But, who would I invite? After I lost my temper with mom, I wasn't sure she'd want to eat with me. Then, my thoughts were directed to a verse in the Bible:

Luke 14:23
“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

The story was about a king who was making a feast. He invited all of the upper-class he knew. Each of them had an excuse about why they couldn't make it. This angered the king. So, he told his servant to go out to the highways and hedges, gather the poor, the destitute, the maimed, the imperfect people and bring them in to enjoy his feast so he could enjoy a house full of guests for his feast.

God said, "Feed the poor, the lonely, and bless your enemy and honor your mother."

And, I could get a bite of turkey if I did that without worrying about Christmas dinner going to waste.

And I could have a Christmas dinner with Jesus.

Matthew 25:40
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

I couldn't think of a greater honor than to have dinner with the King!

The more I thought about it, the more excited I became. I was on a mission from God. I told everyone I saw about my plan. And, then I found that all the money that had been taken from my debit card information had been returned to my account...JUST IN TIME!

I was off Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I planned my menu Thursday night, and Friday, I woke up still excited about what I was going to do. I took my grocery list and got dressed to head to the grocery store. My neighbor May May walked by my door and I told her about what I was going to do. As I told her what all I was going to cook, you could see her mouth watering. I told her, "So, you see, I can't POSSIBLY eat all of it and I would REALLY like it if you and your husband came to enjoy my Jesus Feast with me!" She assured me that they would.

My ex-boyfriend's ex after me, Jo, lived upstairs. I figured we had a lot in common. (haha). So, when I came back from the grocery store, I knocked on her door and told her what I was doing and why. I invited her to come help me enjoy the feast on the morrow at 3 PM. She agreed.

I prayed before I started shopping after I got to the grocery store. "Jesus, please help me to honor YOU. Please bless my shopping, and bless the meal I aim to prepare, and bless those who celebrate YOU with me!" I prayed that the cost of all that was on my list didn't take all of what was in my account, as I still had bills to pay. However, I didn't budget as I shopped. I got what I needed and didn't worry about the cost. I figured God would provide.

And, He did. I had plenty left to pay bills with.

When I got to the check-out, the lady who was waiting on me looked as if she wished she weren't there. I told the lady what I was doing. She said nothing for a few moments. As she rang up my stuff, suddenly she exclaimed, "Well, I think that is just SOOOO nice!" and she began to smile more as we discussed my plans and excitement. I invited her to come, but she declined, she had to work.

I came home and after talking to Jo, I got on Facebook and invited everyone. I told them,

"For those of you who attend, be warned: I don't have any seating. You might want to bring a lawn chair for yourself, or plan to sit outside on the steps. It's a REAL small apartment, and the door will be open in honor of my Granny who used to keep the door open no matter how cold or nasty it was outside in order to be "inviting to the less fortunate" on Christmas and Thanksgiving. I like that tradition, and am keeping it."

Then, as I was getting all of my stuff ready to cook, I felt a nudge that said, "Aren't you forgetting someone?"

I called my mom. I said, "Hi! I'm cooking Christmas Dinner."

She said, "I am, too."

I said, "Nooooo, I'm cooking it RIGHT NOW and we'll eat it tomorrow if you would like to show up about 3 PM." Then I told her what all we were having.

I prayed again:

"Jesus, please bless my cooking. I've never done this before. Be with my hands and ability. This is for You, Lord, make it fitting!"

Then, I set out to cook my first Turkey.

And it turned out fabulous.

Oh, did I mention? It was also my first Dressings, (Yes, there were two kinds), my first green bean casserole, my first sweet potato casserole, my first baked beans, my first jello whipped cream fruit salad, and my first DR Pepper glazed ham.

And they all turned out fabulous.

I stayed up until 4 AM cooking and cleaning.

At noon on Saturday my alarm on my phone went off. I hadn't meant to sleep that long. I jumped up, dressed, drove to the store to get last minute items I had forgotten (plastic ware and ice and colas to drink).

About 2 PM, Jo came down and asked if I wanted company while I worked. I said, "Sure." I enjoyed hearing her talk about her kids and our ex as I prepared dinner.

At 3 PM I opened the door. Mom was getting out of the car with my niece Mylee. My step-dad opted to stay home. I was happy to see my favorite (only) niece. I recently took her to the fair and spoiled her the whole day and had a I got to feed her.

I said a quick prayer as we all dug in to eat.

Mom loved every bit of it. Mylee ate two plates and carried one with her when they left. Mom carried two plates for my step-dad (all of the food wouldn't fit onto one plate). Jo ate her fill, then took a plate with her. Then, I fed May May and Greg, Susan and her husband and daughter, and a few other stragglers. I was happy not to have much to put up.

When it was all said and done, all I could do was Praise Jesus because my Jesus Feast/Christmas Dinner was a great success.

Mom said, "Come Thanksgiving next year, YOU are doing some cooking."

See what happens when you show someone what you can do?

Thank You, Jesus for showing up.

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Jesus is the only man I need

If there is one thing I have learned, it's that there is only one man in this world who is truly capable of loving you "forever and a day", and He was tortured to set me free over two thousand years ago. He defeated hell and the grave in order to give me life with Him "forever and a day."

If any man ever tells you they love you that much, don't believe them. The truth is that there isn't a man alive who has ever gone through that for you, or ever could.

There is only one man who has ever lived that has never given up on me, and loves me no matter how many times I fail him.

I don't think I could be happy with anyone else after getting to know him.

I am blessed.

As Pastor Matthew sings sometimes, "If there never comes another blessing my way then I still have to say I am blessed."

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump decision...

It's time for me to call it a night. But, before I do, I'd like to weigh in on the Trump win.

I'm not a fan of Mr. Trump, and though I have acknowledged that he is the lesser of the two evils available, I still didn't vote for either one.
However, that does not mean that I will kick and scream because I did not get my way.

We had an election. A contest. A vote. Trump won.

The Bible says
Romans 13:1
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

What this means is that Trump is now our President because GOD willed it. And, if God willed it, then we should respect it. Like it or not.

There are times when I cannot stand by someone who has wronged me without wanting to bash his or her face in for the pain they have caused me. However, I grit my teeth, I smile, I am kind to them. Not because I want to be, but because GOD wants me to be. (Luke 6:27)

Therefore, I am going to give Mr. Trump the utmost respect now that he is President Donald Trump. He is the President of the Greatest Country on God's Green Earth, and that is worthy of all of my respect.

This does not mean that I should sit back and remain quiet when the Donald makes bad decisions as President. As American Citizens who are Kings and Priests unto our God, it is our duty to hold our leaders accountable. (Revelation 5:10)

My pastor made it a point tonight to remind us that if we don't talk to our God in prayer, then we can't gripe when He doesn't come when we need Him. He can't listen if we don't speak.

Today, many see Trump as an answer to prayer. All I have to say at this point is be careful what you ask for. You might just get it. God IS a God who answers prayer.

Good night, World. May peace be with you. May your joy not be fleeting. And, may America REALLY be great again!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Something about Chickens Roosting...

OMG...the chicken has come home to roost.

When I first got out of the homeless shelter, this apartment complex is where I came to live. It was close to the shelter, to the friendship center, and to the library.. Everything I needed was within reach, and plenty of opportunity to serve Jesus here.

At almost two years, I decided I was lonely and needed to find a man. The men who came into my life cheated on me, lied to me, called me names, abused me.

I ended up,.,,well, if you've been reading my posts you know the rest.

Today, I am back where I started. This apartment is so cozy. It feels so much more like home than it did at Redwood. Even many of the same people are still here, and some from Redwood who moved here.

I have my cable internet hooked up now. I am washing my fourth load of clothes. Today, my landlord is giving me a bed from another tenant who moved and left theirs behind...with the stipulation I buy a bed cover for it. I can have the bed. It's mine.

I cooked my first hot meal on the NEW stove that is in here. It is BIG...enough to cook a turkey in, but today I'm eating Liver and Onions smothered in Brown Gravy and Okra and Tomatoes on the side with a couple of slices of wheat bread. YUMMM.

Did everyone vote yesterday?

When the cable guy said, "There ya go!" I said, "OH KEWL! Now I get to hear people gripe about Trump!" He busted out laughing.

We have a new president. The People have spoken. Let's pray we are headed in a new direction.

I will be watching. And, Mr. Trump, Congratulations. Don't disappoint us.
I am reading post after post of people who are cheering for Trump's victory. The reasons for this:

1. All those who said they would move won't be here tomorrow. The country is cleaning itself up.

2. They feel the people have a voice again.

3. They think that things will change now.

4. The pursuit of Happiness seems obtainable.

5. We may have a fighting chance against ISIS now.

But, having lived 48 years upon this earth, and having experienced every presidency since Richard Nixon let me tell you what is really happening:

1. All those who said they would move will not move.

2. The people will figure out that their voice doesn't mean anything, as usual when the dust settles.

3. The people will experience more of the same from a different regime. The only difference being that the top is on our side...just powerless.

4. The pursuit of Happiness has always been just that, the PURSUIT...and no one can stop that.

and finally,

5. Trump has been hesitant to side with Israel in the fight against ISIS.. God will curse any nation that does not stand with her. That is in the Bible. God doesn't like luke warm Christians, and He doesn't like people who straddle the line.

I like the way my cousin in law, Johnny Mcfall put it: "I do value other people's opinions, does not mean I'm going to change mine though." I feel the same way.

This doesn't make me intolerant. If I asked you to remove yourself as my friend because you support Hillary or Trump, THEN I am being intolerant.

I've seen a lot of those lately. Wow.

America was built on diversity of opinions and the ability to thrive in spite of them TOGETHER.

You want America to be great again? Then learn to accept that others have an opinion that is different from your own. You are allowed to state your opinion and WHY you feel that way, but you are not allowed to call me a because I don't agree with you. If we all got along in spite of our differences, we might be able to convince others to come over to our side of the fence easier.

Ever hear the old saying, "Sugar is sweeter than vinegar," or "You can catch more flies with honey"...


My take on assisted suicide:

I like how my adopted sister Rosa put it:

"Everyone has a right to commit suicide. The problem comes when you try to force others to assist you as you commit suicide."

I don't think it should be legal to assist anyone to commit suicide. I believe that it becomes murder at that point.

Those people who are protesting Trump are not protesting Trump at all. What they are protesting is the American system of Presidential selection.

Do we really want to change that?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I am weak...

I have been referred to consistently lately as being "strong". I was described as being "the strongest person I know". I was recognized as growing continually stronger.

The truth is, I am very weak. I know my weaknesses and limitations. I also know that most of what I have achieved in my lifetime has been way beyond my own limitations.

Someone told me once that I needed to take credit for having accomplished some of the things in my life that I have accomplished. "If you hadn't had the strength, you would not have accomplished it." True, except I didn't have any strength. God had the strength and He gave me what I needed to go forward.

God is my strength. He is my exceeding great reward.

Isaiah 41:10
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Blinker Fluid

Memories of a lived life:

I had gone to pick up my son from his dads. We had just crossed the Bowie County line on 59 and I was changing lanes. I turned my blinker on, changed lanes...then forgot to turn my blinker off. Finally, my 16 year old son said, "" so I turned it off, and just said, "Yep. Wouldn't want to run out of blinker fluid so close to home." He said, "No, we wouldn't." Neither of us cracked a smile. A few minutes later he was frowning and staring at me. I said, "What is it, Justin?" He said, "You don't actually believe that do you?" I said, "No, I was just wondering if you did..." Then we both cracked up.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

In the Heat of the Battle...

Hello, World.

Today, I don't have to work. My birthday is on Sunday, but I have to work. I start my vacation on Tuesday. I don't go to work again until next Monday after that.

Today, I got paid, but it's all spent. Oh well.... I'm going to trust God to provide for me as He always does and today, I'm going on a date with Jesus and celebrating another year of my life.

I try to write down ten things I have learned this year, around my birthday.

1. God is my vengence. He fights my battles.

2. There is always room to love one more.

3. We are called to love, even if it disappoints.

4. We can not let our things get in the way of being who God has called us to be.

5. Sometimes, God's plan requires us to let go of everything, leave everything behind, in order to get to where He is taking us.

6. Sometimes we have to lose everything in order to be reminded of who we should depend on.

7. I might have gone down in the heat of the battle, but don't count me out of the fight.

8. There is no strength in me, except that which God gives me in order to endure.

9. Whenever night time comes, we must focus on the joy that comes in the morning.

10. Our want to depends on what we do when we are on our knees.

Monday, October 24, 2016

It's better to have loved and lost...

On October 22, 2016:

My baby dogs are getting ready to go on a trip. I won't see them again for a long time, if I do. But, I know they will be loved and cared for. That is what is important. They will be happy. They will have OUTSIDE! (I know Milo will love that!) And, they will have family.

I have already cried my heart out over a week ago. I'm all cried out...but I know when I least expect it, I'll probably cry some more. They are my babies.

For four years, Milo and I have been through everything together. When I cried, he licked my tears. When I laughed, he ran in circles. He is my best friend.

And then came Otis. Jealous, sweet, spoiled, Schizo Otis. He wasn't Milo to me, but he is family. I love him as much as I do Milo.

I wish them love, happiness, adventure, memories and safety. I wish his new family many years of laughter and love with my babies.

I will miss them, dearly.

My baby dogs just got to their new home. They are over 100 miles away from me now. But, I am happy. From what I hear, they were spoilt before they even got out of town. Chicken McNuggets? Really? I bet Milo LOVED THAT! LOL

October 23, 2016

Hello, World.

I woke up this morning and took a bath. It was so quiet. The Baby dogs didn't lick me awake. I didn't have to dodge the puppy pads (which I forgot to put in that care package I sent with them, along with their shampoo). It's gonna take some getting used to.

The apartment seemed...empty.

I went to church. One member hugged my neck and asked me how I was doing. "Better now." was my response.

She said, "You weren't doing good?"

I held back. LOL. I know she didn't mean it the way it came out. But, I fought to keep my retort in. It made me feel like I hadn't been in church for over two weeks and no one even noticed. Oh well. I don't go to church to be noticed anyway. Except by HIM.

I looked around to see if I could invite someone to go to the lake with me. I didn't see anyone. So, I went alone.

I enjoyed every bite of fish I had, and I asked my sister if she was gonna let me take Mylee to see The Nutcracker in December. She said I could. And, Mylee said she would.

Then, I came home. No babies to greet me at the door.

I took a nap.

I'm fixing to go back to church. Then I'll come home and wash clothes.

And watch netflix, or play Fallout, or listen to preachin. Anything so I won't think about what's missing.

Have a blessed day.

(Later that night)

I washed clothes, sheets, blankets. I changed my bedding. I was thinking, no more dog hairs to wash so often now. My pillows won't get torn up. I can take off my clothes whereever and not worry about them getting chewed up. My shoes are safe.

I am having to re adjust to not having dogs.

I saw my niece Mylee today with her new puppy, Bella. Bella was definitely Mylee's puppy. She followed Mylee around like Mylee was her momma. She even did what she was told some. Mylee had her on a leash, and she didn't mind, so long as Mylee didn't leave her.

In a way, I envied her. In another way, I wanted to shout a warning to her: "Mylee! Honey, do you know what you did? Do you know the pain you are going to feel one day?"

All I could do was smile and remember a quote from Shakespeare:

It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wanna go bye bye?

This I believe...

I was scrolling across my memories today and found this from 2012. It triggered a memory from way before that when I was in my late teens, early 20s. I was dating a guy who was called to be a Pentecostal preacher. But, he had turned atheist. Even back then, I carried my Bible everywhere I went. I read it every day.

He saw me reading it one day and he asked me, "You really believe that, don't you?"

I saId, "yes. I do. Do you?"

He said, "I used to." Then he told me his history. He said, "It just started sounding like a fairy tale. I mean, a flood that covers the whole world? Really?"

I didn't have enough knowledge then to defend my faith, except to explain to him that that is what faith is about, believing in things that can't be explained.

I asked him if he had a problem with me believing it.

He said, "Not at all. I mean, it's like this: If you believe and you die, then nothing will happen if it's not true. But, if I don't believe, and it IS true, and I die, then I'm DEAD wrong."

We broke up not too long after that. Not because of that. It wasn't right anyway. But, it did produce a productive memory.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

More than Conquerors!

The devil thought he had me. But God...

I have really bad days just like everyone else, but I've learned to smile through them. Success isn't determined by how well you stay standing. True success is determined by how well you get back up. By that standard, I am more than a conqueror!

Romans 8:37
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My hope is secure...

Good morning, World!

The only person who can make you happy is you. If someone is getting in the way of you being happy, then it's YOUR fault for allowing it.

Sometimes you have to just let go. Nip it in the bud. And then, don't look back. If you are going to look back then you are keeping yourself open for more.

One step at a time. Baby steps.

See yourself for who are what you are: A survivor. A child of God. An overcomer.

And, then, prepare for the worse and hope for the best.

My boss asked me yesterday why I haven't considered buying a new (NEW) car. I told her that I like my security. I don't want to make payments. If I owe a bill, then I am in debt. If I am in debt, then I am an oppressed slave to my lusts. I'll buy something that gets me where I need to go and I can pay it outright and it will pay for itself before it doesn't run anymore.

If I need to go out of town, I can rent a car.

Right now, I have situated myself so that if I lose my job today, I can get a minimum wage job if I have to and be able to pay my bills. Actually, I can work min wage part time and be able to make it without worrying.

And, I have three months rent saved up. Two months of rent WITH bills.

I did this with God as my provider and my partner in life. I did not have a man to help me. I did not have a man to get in my way. And, I do not miss one.

I have come to know myself rather well, and I have come to be able to give more of myself as I am able to anyone in need without being impeded or have to ask permission.

There IS freedom in making wise choices.

Proverbs 9:10
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

Have a blessed day!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Try getting it out. Just Try.

Someone on my friend's list said:
"Donald Trump is the only non-Establishment Republican who ran - and won. He is God's man, for God's plan, at this time. A vote for a third party candidate, or a write-in vote for Cruz or anyone else, or not voting, is support for Hillary."

This is my response:
If Donald Trump IS indeed God's man, and if it IS God's plan that Donald Trump be president, then my vote won't matter. When God has a plan, it's GOING to happen. l, however, am STILL not voting for evil, even if he IS the lesser of the two. I do not presume to know the mind of God. I only know what He has said in His Word. And, His Word says that one needs to ask for forgiveness before they are accepted into the Kingdom. Donald does not think he needs to because he doesn't believe he has ever sinned. That's enough reason right there for me not to vote for him.

Tie into that the fact he doesn't respect women and he's all about "making deals" rather than following the Constitution, and that is all the reason I need NOT to vote for him.

No, his opponent isn't any better. In fact, she is worse. However, I won't vote to enable one sin over the other.

I vote, instead, to let God have His way. I throw up my hands and believe that no matter what, God's got this. The inevitable is that we are doomed, no matter what sin we vote for. Why prolong the inevitable?

And before you beg me to give Trump a chance because, after all, all of the Bible is full of imperfect heroes: we had no choice in electing Abraham, Gideon, or any of the other Biblical personalities that have been the focus of our learning as Christians. God APPOINTED them. No man can get in the way of what GOD wants. So, Trump is not on my conscience if he doesn't win because I didn't vote for him.

And for those "Christians" who want to sling mud at me and call me "self righteous" in a derogatory manner just because I choose not to vote for their candidate, I have one question: When Jesus comes back, what excuse are you going to have for supporting evil and slamming those who choose to "wear their religion on their sleeves"? I would suggest looking at what YOU are turning into.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My date with Jesus today...

Today, after I spent the morning praising Jesus for where I've been, where I am and where I'm going, I decided to go out on a date with Jesus today. Besides, I was hungry.

I asked Jesus where I should go and I quickly decided that I wanted Mexican food. El Chico popped into my head.

I had to go and order me some new uniform shirts, so after I got dressed I made the drive to the Uniform store on Richmond Road. I passed by the Chipotle Mexican Grill on the way, but dismissed it because I felt like Jesus wanted to bless me with El Chico today.

I asked Him, "Do you think I should go to the shelter and see if someone wants to come with me?" He said, "No, this is for you."

I argued, "I want to be a blessing to someone today."

He said, "You will. In my way. In MY time."

So, I went to El Chico and determined that I would enjoy myself in spite of the guilt.

I looked over the menu. It listed Uno through Siete on the Lunch page. Then, it had a Mucho Platter. After reading what the Mucho Platter was and considering the price, I told the waiter, "I would like a Numero Ocho. Le Mucho Platter." He grinned. As he was walking away, I asked him if he had any appetizers besides the chips and salsa he had already brought me. I thought aloud that poppers or something like it sounded great. He suggested the Chicken Jalapeno Poppers. I accepted. He suggested that he would hold the main course while I waited on the Poppers, and I told him not to bother. I would take them all together.

He kept my tea filled (and I drank a lot. That salsa was hot!). Then he brought my meal.

The waiter was witty, charming, and made you feel like you were important, even though he had several other tables he was paying as much attention to. I was more impressed with the service than the food, even though I ate every bite.

I smiled the whole time, thanking Jesus for the time to enjoy the meal, and the ability to afford it. But, I still didn't feel like I was blessing anyone. I felt a gentle nudge in my spirit that said, "Can't you just be blessed?"

I sighed and said, "I AM blessed, even without this. I don't feel half as blessed as I do when I am being used to bless others, though! You have given me so much already!"

I left El Chico after paying my ticket and giving the waiter a generous tip, and Jesus said, "You still need some pants to wear to work." So, I went to Buy & Save on State Line Avenue, and looked around. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I don't believe I am ever anywhere I am not supposed to be. So, I bought a hat and some really cheap earrings I liked. (Felt good just to be able to buy something for myself for a change...)

I took the opportunity to go to the cigarette store next door where I used to do all my cigarette business. I walked in and told the cashier (whom I'd been getting to know over time) "Hi! I just wanted to make sure you knew I was still alive. I'm still here, but I quit smoking." She said, "Are you serious?" I smiled bigger and said, "3 weeks smoke free!" "WOW!"

I left there and went to KMart, looking for pants that I couldn't find there. I found some I liked and went to the only register that was open and waited in line.

And waited.

And waited.

The lady at the checkout was waiting on a price check. Finally, the cash register next to her opened up and everyone moved over there. I figured I'd just stay where I was. Maybe the line would move sooner.

I waited.

And waited. Finally, I decided to move, also.

A lady in the line who was behind me before offered to let me have my place in front of her back. I thanked her. When I got to cashier, she asked me for my phone number. I told her. She said, "Wait, you don't have a rewards card? Why don't you get one, it's free!"

"Oh, I don't come here enough."

The cashier asked the lady behind me if she had a rewards card. She said she did. She asked for HER phone number, then started ringing my stuff up. I laughed and asked, "Are you giving HER my reward?" She said, "Sure. Why not?" I grinned at the lady behind me and said, "I'm so glad I could be a blessing to someone today!"

The lady said, "And just think, If I hadn't let you in front of me, I would have missed it!"

WOW. That'll preach!

I told them of my date with Jesus today and how I've enjoyed myself. This was the icing on the cake.

No, it wasn't a big blessing, but it felt big because of who it came from.

I love going out on dates with the Master of the Universe!

Live with Jesus

In January of 2005, I opened a beer bar on East 9th Street. I rented the old Nip & Sip building from a long time business owner in Texarkana, Arkansas, and with the back up funding from my boyfriend at the time, I went on this new adventure.

Later after the bar was closed down, as my pastor was telling me about a friend of his who was opening a bar, I remember telling my pastor, "Take it from me, someone who's been there, you cannot in good conscience be a Christian and own a bar." He replied, "I wish you would tell HIM that."

But, even then, I wanted to give God credit for where I was. The reason for this is, good or bad, no matter how my new venture turned out, I know that it was in God's hands. God would lead me where He thought I should be. He would bless it, or let it die. Either way, I knew He would take care of me.

So, one of the albums I had put on the jukebox was Wynonna Judd's "Wynonna" album. On it was the target song, "Live with Jesus." It was my favorite.

Every morning when I opened the bar for business, the first song I would allow played on the jukebox was that song. Every night, as I locked the door, I made sure that song was playing.

The business didn't last, but you know what? I'm STILL gonna live with Jesus in the end!

I gave up, He never did...

Those of you who know me know that I was saved at an early age. But, you also know that I had a LOT (and I mean A LOT) of maturing in Christ to do to end up where I am now in my faith.

Back then, I KNEW what I was doing when I walked down the aisle that first time. I had already read the Bible from cover to cover and I knew what walking down the aisle meant. I just didn't know how hard it would be.

But, never once in my life, through the hills and the valleys, through the disappointments and growing pains, the mistakes and falls, did I EVER deny the power of my God to sustain me.

At a very low point in my life just about ten years ago, I found 1st Bikers Church. I had been invited by a woman that I had known for years who was struggling on the streets. I went out of curiosity.

I left that first day in tears of realization of how much I needed my Lord Jesus, and how far away from Him I had wondered. I continued to go back, though, determined to find my way back--and I believed THAT church knew the way. I had FELT Him there so STRONG.

I cried every time I walked in. I cried every time I walked out. I was SOOO Depressed, but I KNEW my Jesus was THERE.

I found myself homeless shortly thereafter. I then learned what it meant to give everything to Him. Ha! I had nothing left to give except MYSELF. But, I fell on my knees and said, "Lord, I don't know why I am here, but I know where I am going. I have nothing left. This is the lowest I have ever been in my life. I am at the bottom. I KNOW that YOU are the only hand up that's going to really help me right now. So, whatever You want me to do, I'll do. I'm yours."

A few weeks went by. We were studying Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God" at church. At the shelter, I constantly had my nose in the Bible. When I wasn't working at Waffle House, I was studying, going to church, and giving rides to people who needed it to take care of business while staying there at the shelter. (God later rewarded me for that by giving me a bus-driving job...but that's a whole other story).

One night at Bible Study, my pastor said, "If you are saved, it's because God CHOSE you (John 15:16)." With those incessant tears in my eyes it suddenly HIT HOME. I thought about that for a moment as he continued to talk. I looked up and through my tears said, "He CHOSE me?" To which Brother Gary replied, "Yes, Shonda. He CHOSE you. He as much as put His finger on you and said, YOU ARE MINE. I CHOOSE YOU." I smiled through my tears and said, "Well...THAT makes ME feel SPECIAL!" To which Brother Gary smiled and said, "And, it should."

I haven't been able to wipe the smile off my face since.

I wish I could say I didn't fall down anymore...but I can't. What I can say is I have learned (through more growing pains) that if I just turn toward Jesus, His hand is ALWAYS reaching out to pull me back up.

And, though I may still fall down at doesn't seem near as far, or near as often.

Friday, August 19, 2016

11 Days Smoke Free!

I went to WalMart earlier and bought a bunch of Lifesavers. There is a reason they call them Life Savers. Trust me. They work.

However, I don't know if it's worth it. I spend as much now on junk food as I did on cigarettes, if not more. Not sure it is a good trade off financially or otherwise. (I mean, seriously, what's better about trading a heart attack from smoking with a heart attack from obesity?)

Guess I don't have to worry much about obesity, though. My pants are starting to fall off of me. Why? They shouldn't be...

Today I have been smoke free for 11 days. It isn't fun. Today, the cravings are more intense than usual. Not sure why. Could use the prayers!

I am off work today. Every time the phone rings, I jump and cringe. LOL

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day 3: Smoke Free

48 hours after you quit: It may not be life-threatening, but an inability to smell or taste well is one of the more obvious consequences of smoking. Once you quit smoking for 48 hours, your nerve endings will start to regrow, and your ability to smell and taste will improve. You’ll soon start to better appreciate the finer things in life.

I don't know about that. I still can't smell the way I am supposed to, but I know it is coming. Liz offered to wash all my bedding and get rid of the cigarette butts and clean ashtrays and all that today to help me.

Everyone has been encouraging.

I woke up this morning and the craving wasn't so intense. I'm still sucking on a sucker though.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day 2: Smoke Free!

Sigh. I have not had a cigarette since I went to sleep at 6:AM Monday morning. It is now after midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning, and I am home to enjoy my day off tomorrow.

It was hard for me at work tonight. I knew it would be so easy to go to the smoking area on break and bum a cigarette. But, I didn't.

I ate a lot of wintergreen Icebreakers, LOL. I even ate in the cafeteria at work today. When a security guard asked me how I was doing, I said, "I quit smoking this morning and I want a cigarette." LOL

The next time he saw me he said, "How's it going?" To which I replied, "You knew better than to ask how I was doing didn't you?"

As I was walking out the door to go to my car, I had to pass by the patient smoking area. I took a deep breath and said loudly, "It's SOOO tempting! I will not give in. I will not give in. ONE YEAR. I'm committed. I will not give in for one year. Then, if I find that not smoking has not bettered my life, I will go back." I am sure that by then, I will find a lot of ways to say my life is better for not smoking. I hope.

At home, at least I can keep my fingers busy on the keyboard, and my mouth busy with a sucker or a home made sloppy joe sandwich.

I went to bed at 4:00 and slept until 10:00 AM. I woke up feeling alert, but a little nauseated. And, my mouth tastes like ash tray.

I am now 28 hours smoke free. According to, my risk for having a heart attack or coronary heart disease has significantly declined. However, I don't feel much different.

I am still craving, but the Wintergreen flavored Icebreakers seem to take care of that quicker.

Satan is on one shoulder telling me that I shouldn't punish myself. Jesus is on the other shoulder telling me that I am not being punished. In the long run, I'll be blessed. He has the big picture. Satan just wants us to look at the smaller, more immediate picture.

I have not had so much as a puff of a cigarette in over 28 hours. At home, I have been tempted to grab a butt of a cigarette. I have refused it, however, and am determined to see this through.

I suddenly felt like laying back down. It's just as well. I figured I'd just sleep through the cravings. When I woke up at noon, I was hearing Pastor Paul Sheppard on Christian Talk Radio saying that Satan wants everything God doesn't in his Dressed for Spiritual Warfare broadcast All I could do was say, "Thank you, Jesus. I needed this."

Monday, August 8, 2016

Day 1: Smoke Free!

12:35 PM
Around 6 hours ago, I smoked my last cigarette. Since I have never read anyone's account of what happens when one quits smoking, I figured I'd write my own.

My heart rate and blood pressure should be close to normal levels right about now.

I woke up, (I'm a day sleeper) prayed hard, and yes, I wanted a cigarette. I got a candy apple sucker instead. That helped.

I am dreading going to work without a cigarette. Or, maybe I am dreading it because it will be so easy to bum one...

I have been smoking since I was 14 years old. Quitting is not going to be easy. AND, I am doing it cold turkey.

I have a lot of withdrawal to look forward to.

My roommate left the house. On purpose. She doesn't want to deal with me as I go through withdrawal. LOL. She said she'd either be gone a few days, or be asleep when I come home.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Everything is beautiful!

Every morning that you can wake up and find things to be thankful for is the start of a beautiful day. Therefore, every day is beautiful!

As I was waking up this morning, I thought about how to describe my relationship with God. Having a relationship with God is like being married to someone who's handicap makes it hard to speak or hear, or even see. I am the one with the handicap. So, we have to find ways to communicate that doesn't involve my voice box or ears or eyes. He has already shown me that He loves me. And, when He needs to communicate with me, He uses every means possible to do so so that I can understand. (Kind've like Helen Keller. It took her a long time to understand, but when she finally did, she blossomed!)

Saturday, July 30, 2016


7/29/16 (The day before)
Came home and Liz (My live-in maid/roommate) has my house decorated with pictures and what nots. She said, "I didn't cook tonight." I said, "That's okay, I ate at Denny's." LOL Then she asked me, "Will you cook spaghetti tomorrow night?" I said, "Do we have the stuff?" She said, "No." I said, "So I have to go to the store tomorrow to get Spaghetti stuff?" She said, "That's why I asked." Sigh...she likes my spaghetti. we're having spaghetti tomorrow. Just because she asked.She doesn't ask for much.

Ain't it pretty

Back in 2005, in my younger more stupid years, I used to own a bar. I ran it for about 9 months. Long enough for it to birth out what was going to become of me so that God could later be glorified.

Anyway, I had a spaghetti dinner one night. I made the spaghetti. There was a LOT of it.

Not many people came by that night, so at the end of the night, there was still a LOT of spaghetti left.

I knew the Banshees MC was hanging out at their clubhouse that night, and quite a few would be there. So, I called them up. I told them who I was and asked them if they were hungry.

"Yeah, a little." was the reply.

I told them I had a lot of Spaghetti left and asked them if I could bring it to them.

They agreed.

When I got there, I set everything up. They had to provide some of the dishes...but hey...

Then I sat back and watched as every last bite of my spaghetti disappeared.

One of them went back three times. I asked him, "Are you enjoying that?"

"It's the best ******* spaghetti I've ever ate in my LIFE!"

I thoroughly enjoyed that night. And, it brought me some business, later.

Liz was my bartender back then. I think she remembered it. Maybe that is why she asked for it.

When I was only 14 years old, I used to hang out with three friends. I dated one and my friend Malissa dated one. So, every outing was like a double date. We did lots of things together: bonfires in the middle of a hay field, sitting around the fire playing guitar and drinking wine...horseback riding at the lake. I think we went skating once. I even got them to agree to go to church...once. LOL

On Sundays, we'd hang out and watch wrestling. One Sunday, my mom made spaghetti. My friends still talk about it today. It's where I got the recipe. My mom.

And, there are nothing but good memories surrounding Spaghetti!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Living "Outside the Box"

I am a people watcher. I watch people, what they say, how they say it, how they act, their body language, and try to figure out why they say what they say and do what they do on a deeper level, so that I can understand people that I come into contact with each day...their motives, their goals, and what they ultimately want.

Most people want to "belong". They do and say things that they know will get them pats on the back, or "likes" on Facebook, or what they perceive as "respect" from their peers. What I have found is that no matter how many pats, likes, or friends a person has, if he or she doesn't believe in their own cause, seems stuck "spinning their wheels", never seems to be "improving" their own lives, they are unhappy, alone, and miserable.

I have learned to live "outside the box". This means that I don't care how many "pats on the back" I get, or how many "likes" on Facebook or any other social media, or how many people want to shake my hand or brag that they know me. I care about truth. I care about my relationship with the One that IS "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." As a result, I have become extremely happy. I HAVE a sense of belonging that I didn't ask for, and I get people around me that love me, even though I am imperfect.

Trying to be perfect without acknowledging the one who is as the one who can make you so is like competing with a giant who could squish you at will with no consequences to bear for it. I'd rather have the giant carry me on His shoulder. The Giant I serve, however, is merciful in that He gives people a chance to be carried. He is careful not to squish even those who hate Him, in hopes that they will change their point of view toward Him. One day, however, He will become angry at their insolence enough to squish them all, so He will only be surrounded by those who really love Him. Those He would lovingly do anything for, lifting them higher and higher so they can see the Universe as He does.

I could care less what others think of me or my beliefs. I only become aggressive when others try to deny my right to worship in the way I see fit. Worship for me is not something I do on one day of the week, for a few hours. Worship is something I do with my life, in living how He has said I should live.

If I have to do it alone, by myself, I will do it because it fulfills me, and with Him, I am NEVER alone.

Let my daily prayer be as this woman's in the final scenes of "The War Room"

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I serve the God of all time and wonder...

Good morning, World.

I don't know which way this country is headed. I don't know what God has in store for tomorrow. I don't know if it is going to be a busy day at the hospital today or not. I don't know if I'll even be here tomorrow, or if you will.

I don't know if I'll lose my sister or brother to the violence that seems to permeate our world at times, or if my niece's and nephews will survive to have children or see their grandchildren in this world that is slowly growing more chaotic every day.

I don't know if I'll lose my mom or dad to some sort of foreign outbreak that makes its way to this part of the world, or if disease and plague will be the talk of the day.

I don't know if my own children will make choices to stand for peace, light and hope in this world of darkness and suffering.

But, I do know one thing. Jesus is coming soon. Right now, I pray that God walks with us through these valleys and over these mountains and through the raging rivers and on the tidal waves of our lives. I pray that His Will is to protect us, and love us, and provide for our every need. His word has already said it was so. And, I believe He will do what He says.

I believe that God never changes. The same God that spared Noah, knocked down the walls of Jericho, made the sun stand still, divided the Red Sea, fed the Israelites with manna from heaven for forty years, comforted Elijah with bread and oil from a poor widow who had poured her last drop into a cup, healed the sick, caused the blind to see, cast out demons and so much more, is the same God I serve today.

He is the same God that breathed life into my oldest son who was born lifeless. He gave me shelter and food when I was homeless. He helped me and a friend walk away from a car that ran up a tree and flipped over 3 times with minor concussion and scratches. He gave me a job that allows me to give more to others, by what I do as well as what I have. He has given me everything I own at minimal cost, if any at all, to me. He helped me pay off debts in less than half the time allowed, when I had little money. Every single day He performs miracles in my life, and in the lives of those around me that I can see and experience and Praise Him for.

And, no matter what happens in this world, I know that He loves me, He is with me. And, He is watching over me and my family, and my friends daily.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. I wait for your final deliverance from all of this evil.

My day is always blessed, no matter how I feel.

I hope yours is, too.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What will Jesus find you doing when He comes back?

I got to thinking: If Jesus had come back yesterday, what would He have found me doing? I woke up singing "Noone like Jesus". I sang it all day at work when things were quiet and I was alone...and I sang it loud. LOL At home, I bathed and readied for work, and posted on the internet. At work, I searched for ways to make the best use of my time, and my team's time. I listened to gripes, offered solutions, and shrugged a lot. (I follow the rules, too...LOL). But, when someone called me on the phone needing something, I did what I could to make it happen! Then, I came home, petted my dogs, ate, and watched Netflix, and played Candy Crush. I fell asleep intending to listen to praise and worship music on Pandora...but I didn't make it that far. I was tired. What were YOU doing?

If Jesus comes back right now, what ARE you doing? I woke up contemplating a dream I had last night about buying a house from a questionable character because it was cheap. I wondered what it could mean. I bathed, then hopped in my car, promising my dogs I'd be back with treats. I went to Walmart and arranged to pay my last car payment and withdrew allowance for the next two weeks. Left the rest in the bank for bills. I bought crafts and food. And Pupcorn for the dogs. I keep my promises. I am home now, trying to get people to think about what they might be doing when HE comes back. I'm fixing to go to work again, and serve the public, making sure that disease and sickness doesn't pass from one person to another due to a contaminated environment. Then, I'll come home late at night, and Praise God again, as I relax and wind down for the night. What are you doing? What will you be doing when Jesus comes back? Will He say "Well, done, my good and faithful servant" if He looks at your everyday life?

Will He say that to me?

If this has inspired you, please share it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Hello, World!

I woke up and decided to find a new Christian radio station on the Internet to listen to while I make my meatloaf. (Oh, it's gonna be good!!!!!!! I smell it baking now...) I'll make enough to share, because it's gonna be too good not to!

Vitamins. They not only keep you healthy and make you hungry, but lately I've been sleeping good and actually wanting to get out of bed and do things when I wake up. I'm not dragging when I get off work, either. My creativity is creeping back. My emotional health is healthier.

My probationary period for my new position at work is up this week. Guess what? I think I get to keep my job!

I also went ahead and put in for vacation time in October. I will be taking it during the week of my birthday.

My roommate came in and grabbed some clothes. She came in on the 3rd and left again on the 4th. At least she washed the dishes before she left.

Hope your day is as blessed as mine is!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Independence Day, the day after

Independence Day has gone. Normally, on Independence Day, I would have posted many nostalgic writings of how proud I am of my country, or how disappointed I am in where my country is headed, or even historical references as to why it is important to celebrate the 4th of July.

This year, I rarely posted anything at all. I spent the day, rather, trying to help a friend learn to appreciate her independence. I think I failed. I hate failure.

Then, as I was readying myself to celebrate what was left of the day by clocking in for work, a blast from the past wishes me a happy 4th and puts things into perspective for me.

He was right. Never second guess your choices in life. It will drive you crazy. That's practically what my friend was going through, and not where I wanted to be. And, my blessings are far greater than any regrets for what didn't happen...or did.

So, as I move forward, realizing that independence isn't something I should celebrate just once a day in the year, I find myself thankful for the life I am living today, and tomorrow.

I am free. If I were bound by the wrists and ankles in a prison somewhere, I would still be free. How much more blessed can I be?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Discussing Guns

I think a gun that can shoot one bullet to kill one human being is just as dangerous in the wrong hands as one that can shoot 700 rounds. I also believe that if anyone takes away my right to own either is putting me into danger when face to face with a criminal who obtained his weapon illegally. Whether he got the weapon legal or not, not having the option of owning a gun with the same firepower diminishes my ability to defend myself.

And, if you think you are going to make such weapons disappear completely so they can't be obtained illegally, you are dreaming.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Defeating Hatred Starts at Home

Hatred starts as a child. it is up to parents to curb hatred in the hearts of children.

When my oldest son was young child, he had preconceived notions from other people in his life about different races, creeds and colors. I knew I had to nip that in the bud.

I would take them to the babysitter (Miss Deborah, who was a beautiful black lady who cared deeply for the children she kept for a living for a very small fee, any hour of the day or night, which was very appreciated by someone who was struggling, like myself). When I would pick him up, I was met with stories about how bad of little boy he had been. The words he had used were horrifying.

Miss Deborah knew that I wouldn't tolerate it. She knew that he had just come to live with me after eight years of fighting for him, and she understood that I was going to have problems. I praise and thank God for her patience.

But, I struggled with how I was going to teach him better. A spanking, in this case (even though he got one) I knew would just make him angrier. It didn't seem like enough just to say he shouldn't do or say those things.

So, I decided to take him to church. Not just any church, but a black church. I forced him to be friends with and to live around people of color. I taught him to be respectful of other people's station in life, poor or rich. Black or white. Ill or well.

Today, he doesn't even remember the horrifying things he did or said. I praise God for that. But, I shudder to think how he would have turned out had I not done what I had to do.

So, when I see people today lashing out at each other for their color, their race, their handicap, or their financial struggles, I proverbially shake my fist at their parents. They were not taught different as a child. And, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

Appreciating Here and Now

I live each day now embracing anything that comes my way. Tomorrow, I won't have those same things coming my way. I know that. Will I look back on yesterday with regret for how I reacted, acted or let it go? I hope not. I look at each blooming bulb with wonder. How will it look when it matures? Can I help it become more beautiful?

When people look back and see me in their memories, will I be someone who burdened them, or someone who, somehow, lightened their load. Will their memories of me be good ones to cherish, or just a passing thought?

I look back on where I have been in my early years and I shudder. I would that I could introduce myself to many of those I came into contact with then and say, "Look at me now. I am not the same person...don't throw me away! It will be worth it to get to know who I've become!"

God has molded me into something beautiful. He's still working on the finer points. I still have a few rough edges to work out, but who I am today I would not trade for who I was yesterday.

And, who I am right here, right now is nothing compared to who I am becoming.

I pray that whoever I become teaches me to live even more fully in the moment.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

He's having the time of my life...

I love the life that God has blessed me with today.

I remember a time when I dreaded not having a relationship with a man. After this last relationship, I determined to give it to God, and take a break from bad relationships. I figured the only way I was ever going to have what I wanted was to depend on God to help me get it for myself.

Since I made that decision, I have become aware that every decision I make now doesn't need validation by a "partner". If God doesn't object to it, then whatever I decide will work out. And, if He DOES object, I have learned to accept it, and to embrace the situation for what it is and look for another doorway to somewhere better.

Today, I went and spent money that I normally would not spend to eat at Red myself...with Jesus in my heart. As I sat there enjoying my meal, another waitress (not my own) started telling me about a "Hallelujah, Anyhow" experience that she had. I felt so blessed just to be there to listen. This had to be God's way of telling me, "I'm here, Shonda. Enjoy your meal. You have been faithful, and you deserve it. Stop feeling guilty."

I smiled all the way home. I had just had a date with the Master of the Universe. It was worth it.

Can't wait to see where He takes me tomorrow.

Water and Prayer

Hello, World!

I am being forced to drink two glasses of water between every glass of tea I drink. I am hoping it helps this pain in my lower left side of my back. I think it is my kidneys.

Liz (my roommate) says I should drink a beer. She says beer cleans out your kidneys. I hate the taste of beer, and I don't want to ask all of the alcoholics on my friends list if that is true. I think I'll stick with water. I don't like the taste of beer anyway.

I really don't like the taste of water, either; but, the after effects of water is a whole lot better than beer. A friend says that if I drink water before meals, it helps me not eat so much, too. Gonna have to try that. I drink a lot of tea and it doesn't help.

I look at my life and how much it can change in just one year, and I am amazed. I look at two years ago and I am even more amazed. When I need proof that God is working in my life, I just sit down and reflect on where I have been.

Today, when I opened my facebook page, I got a memory from a year ago that included a prayer that I prayed a year ago:

"Praying God stays right beside me, prepares the way before me, leads me into His Will, Blesses my efforts, and destroys any obstacle that gets in my way."

It was my daily prayer. Still is. And, each day just seems to get better!

I also pray that each of you have as blessed a day as I!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Saying Thank You on Memorial Day

Thank you to all of those who served, are now serving, and especially to all of those who gave their all so Americans can be free!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

In the news today...(my take)

The U.S. Senate passed legislation Thursday designating a Perryville, Arkansas Post Office as the “Harold George Bennett Post Office.”


The House of Representatives passed the Intelligence Authorization Act on Tuesday, which determines the funding for most of the United States’ intelligence community.


Not that I am for the mistreatment of dogs in any way shape or form, (I have three dogs that I love very much, as much as I do my own children), but I can't help but wonder, what if China felt about cows the way we do about dogs? Do we really have a right to meddle in the affairs of the Chinese about their culinary tastes?

It's just a thought.

Hastings Sends Letter to China’s Ambassador Cui Calling for an End to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival


On May 21, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 2393, the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015, to extend foreclosure protection for military homeowners from 90 days to a one year period until January 1, 2018.


On Tuesday, the House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) to name the Department of Veterans Affairs community-based outpatient clinic in Laughlin, Nevada in honor of Master Chief Petty Officer Jesse Dean. The bill passed the House by unanimous voice vote.


U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley, Calif.), the top Democrat on the relevant appropriations subcommittee, worked with Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and others to pass a bipartisan amendment to the Commerce, Science and Justice Appropriations legislation, increasing spending on Native American crime victims by more than 7100 percent.

That number is not a typo.

Currently, less than 7 cents per $100 from the Crime Victims Fund goes to tribal programs, despite Congress tripling overall allocations for the Fund. The Fund is completely fee-funded through criminal fines and penalties, costing the taxpayer nothing. Honda’s amendment, which passed overwhelmingly, will mandate that five percent of these life-saving funds be dedicated to Native American victims.

Although I am for relieving the pains and costs of healing for any victims, I think this measure would better be served to help ALL victims of crimes, not just Native Americans. Is it me? or does dedicating funding toward a specific group of people seem discriminatory? I applaud that victims are getting relief, I just think that ALL victims should get the same relief, and that the government should not be in the business of giving help to those who they deem as "more deserving".


During an interview with WHTC, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) called for VA Secretary Robert McDonald to step down following the Secretary's out of touch remarks that compared wait times at the VA to waiting in line at Disney. McDonald is quoted as saying, “When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?”

I think the whole thing was taken out of context, and that asking him to step down is a violation of freedom of speech. What if every American were held accountable for HOW he says everything he says? I honestly don't think he meant harm in his wording, and that focusing on how he was trying to make a point is wrong. There is a lot of truth in what he was trying to convey. I'm sorry, but there IS a lot of veterans, and the wait time is inevitable.

We, as a nation, just don't have the money or resources to provide immediate one on one care for everyone asking for or needing it. I have great respect for our veterans, but we need to realize that just because you have to wait in line doesn't mean you aren't going to get cared for. I have to wait in line in the emergency room at the civilian hospitals. I don't think it is any different.

The level of need dictates the importance of care anywhere. The importance is, are you happy you got the help when you did?

I think too many people took it too personal, and it is going to cost Veterans the loss of a VA Secretary who is doing all he can possibly do to help them.


The Department of Veterans Affairs has acknowledged to U.S. Rep. David Jolly (FL-13) that it wrongly declared more than 4,200 people dead between 2011 and 2015, disrupting benefits to veterans and dependents. In 2015 alone, the VA says it erroneously terminated benefits to 1,025 individuals. In each case, the veteran or person receiving VA benefits was very much alive.


In February, U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, introduced legislation to require that women register for the selective service. The legislation, titled the Draft America’s Daughters Act, requires registration for women no later than 90 days after the enactment of the measure or 90 days after the Secretary of Defense opens all combat specialties. Hunter is joined by U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke in introducing the bill, which comes on the heels of recent statements by the leaders of the Marine Corps and the Army that women should register for the draft.

With Obama's new transgender rules, and the dominance of sexual attacks in the military, this ought to work out pretty well, don't you think? (I'm being facetious).


Monday, May 23, 2016

God Supplies for all of my needs!

Today is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!

I am updating my list of things that I am asking God for. Payday is Thursday, so some of that list will dwindle, as God makes it possible for me to obtain some of the list items. It's funny how that list changes over time. Some of the things I wanted yesterday, I no longer want today, whether I have them or not. Praise God for that!

Philippians 4:19
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Over the past three years I have watched that list dwindle. It has never reached over a page long.

All I have to do is look at that list and see how God has blessed me to be encouraged on a daily basis.

I hope you all have as blessed a day as I am having!

God has made the way!

I praise God every day. I was a single mom who had to work in bars and restaurants and fast food, sometimes two jobs at a time, with little or no government help or help from my family or friends.
Most of the time I had no transportation. I walked up to 5 miles a day to and from work when I couldn't afford a cab.

I went through countless relationships with men trying to find a man who would help me carry my burdens...but there is only one man who ever lived who can do that...

I suffered abuse, mistrust, hopelessness, depression, but I learned that hope is God, and Jesus can handle any storm.

I shouldn't be where I am today. I shouldn't have the future that I see before me today.

But God...


Friday, May 20, 2016

When others hate me...

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44

I have learned to do this. and by doing so,I have opened myself up to receiving blessings that I never knew I could experience or have. I have made enemies into friends that I wouldn't trade the world for. I have proven my integrity with those who could help me climb higher. I have gained help from unlikely sources who know me and trust me for who I am.

When you stand on The Rock long enough, you become the rock someone needs in their life to stand on, and you gain opportunities that you would not otherwise have.

Your enemy can make or break you. It's up to you which one happens.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How High's the Water, Momma?

When my son, Justin,

came to see me a few weeks ago, we went riding with my mom and stepdad over Texarkana Dam at Lake Wright Patman.
The water was high, but not this high.

I am reminded of this song by Johnny Cash. Then I remembered that Justin kind've likes Johnny Cash, so I thought I'd share:

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hallelujah, Anyhow!

After the Fire at Redwood Apartments.

The next day, after my mom left her house to visit my grandmother in the nursing home, I went back to the Apartment complex to see what I could salvage, and what it would take for me to move.

When I got there, the Red Cross lady was camped out in Apartment 15, which was vacant, next to the one I was moving into. Six households had been displaced due to the damage. She was preparing vouchers and tending to immediate needs. She was awed and in tears over the way the tenants were working together and helping each other.

All of the tenants in the Complex were helping with the clean up. Liz met me before I got out of the car.

"Here is the deal," she informed me. "You are moving into 16. I already have most of your stuff moved." Then, she gave me a list of things she had yet to do.

I was amazed, and so grateful and relieved.

Liz was a former employee of mine from a previous life of when I owned a bar.

Two weeks before, she had knocked on my door after I had not seen her for nearly ten years. She was homeless. I remembered how resourceful she was, and what a great person she had been, and that I trusted her with the keys to my business. So, I offered to let her stay with me if she would help me keep my house clean and maybe cook for me, because I had no energy for it after working so hard at the hospital.

This day, I remembered why I had made that offer.

She went above and beyond to take care of me. I loved that girl!

I told her, "Liz, what can I do? I feel like I will just get in the way..."

She said, "Feed us."

So, I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken and spent nearly a hundred dollars for dinner for the whole complex who was helping in the clean up.

My recent promotion at work had allowed me to have the money to do so, and I felt that this was what God would want me to do with it. I praised God that I was able to do it.

While I was there, the neighbor in 23 took me in to show me her apartment. Everything in her apartment was also miraculously saved. But, you could see the black marks in the corners of the ceiling, where the fire had already started to burn it. The marks were seen all the way to her front door, which was two feet from my front door. Above her door was hanging a crucifix with a verse from Psalms about God's protection. God bumps. All I could say (through my tears) was, "I KNEW we were covered!'

I received offers to help me move, which I gladly turned down, because God had already provided.

But, the whole week after the fire was a very testy week.

Monday morning, I went to see what I could do to have my cable moved. I need my cable internet moved so I can work online at home. Plus, I don't have a TV, and watching Netflix relaxed me after work. But, the cable company was closed on Mondays.

On Tuesday, I went back. I made arrangements to get my cable moved on Wednesday, but I had to make sure I answered the phone call when they called to tell me they were coming, or they would reschedule me.

I work late at night, so when I get home, after unwinding, I usually don't get to sleep until about four o'clock in the morning. My phone was turned off, so I missed the call Wednesday morning. I had to reschedule for Friday.

In the meanwhile, I had moved into my apartment, and unpacked enough to be able to sleep there again. The dogs were adjusting, but I was having trouble with the newness.

Wednesday night at work, I accidentally dropped my phone into a mop bucket without knowing it. The chemicals in the water, coupled with the fact that it was there an hour before I found it, and it already had a cracked screen, made it impossible to fix, even with rice.

So now, I was without internet, TV, AND a phone, having to move and get settled in a new apartment.

Thursday morning, I bought a new phone. I took the opportunity God gave me to upgrade on the one I had. But, it was like relearning how to walk. I had to get to know the new gadgets on the phone, and how to work it.

Friday morning, my appointment with the cable company was scheduled between 9 and noon. I received the call, but I accidentally hit decline on my phone instead of answering it. I immediately called the cable company, who rescheduled my hook up by 7 pm.

Then, Liz informed me that something was wrong with my car. You could see a trail of liquid from the road all the way under my car. There was a puddle under where it was parked. I told her, "Liz, I got home at 2 AM. Surely, the water would have dried by now. That can't be water." The apartment manager smelled it and said, "Transmission fluid."

Just what I needed. I only like three more payments on the car.

I was barely able to get the car down the street to my mechanic. They found a line that had been knocked loose and (Praise God) fixed the car within two hours, only costing me $30.

In the meanwhile, I had already accepted five calls from the automated confirmation that the cable company does to make sure that I still wanted my cable. The last call came at nearly 2 PM. It was from an unknown number. They had told me that if I get an unknown number to accept it, because it was probably the technician. I accepted the call, but there was a bad connection and the call was ended.

I was SOOO frustrated!

I called the cable company, begging them to keep my appointment. They assured me everything was fine.

An hour later, I called them again because the technician still hadn't showed up. They assured me I was still in the system.

Finally, about 4 PM, I got the knock at my door. I barely opened it because the dogs were barking. I said, "Are you with the cable company?" The good looking man looking at me smiled and said, "Yes, ma'am, I am." My heart melted. He was EYE CANDY!

"Let me put the dogs up..."

I was thinking, "So this was why God had me so frustrated. Under any other circumstance, I'd be chasing this one..." I couldn't help but laugh at myself. I had been single for so long (Over two years), and had enjoyed it so much, I had wondered if any of that sort of desire still resided in me. My sudden embarrassment at my weakness was replaced by praise that God saw fit to remind me that I was still all woman.

We spoke while he hooked up my cable. He asked me personal questions (Like, where I worked, and that it didn't seem fit for me to live in a place like this with my position at the hospital). I explained to him that I was single, and on the back side of middle age, and was thinking of my retirement. I needed to save money, and that I had just got my promotion at work. I told him about Liz (whom he met while I was putting the dogs away) and the fire.

He said, "You gotta believe with all that that SOMEBODY is looking out for you!"

I took the opportunity and said, "I do. As a matter of fact, you should come visit my church, 1st Bikers Church on Sunday."

He raised his eyebrows and asked, "Really? Where is this?"

I told him. I hoped he'd come.

I got to thinking about all this after he left. God has spent the week upgrading me. I now am in a new apartment, with a new phone, my car is fixed and I can sit back, relax and watch Netflix. And, just maybe, my cable man will come to church on Sunday.

The lengths God won't go through to get someone in church.

Don't worry, I plan to stay single for as long as I can. God has certainly taken care of me until now! No need to ruin that!

The Fire at Redwood Apartments

My neighbor's apartment caught fire on May 7, 2016.

It was the same day my sister got married.

A crazy lady named Virginia (who is certifiable, to say the least) was living in Apartment 22 with Mr. Tom, who was handicapped, because he did not need to live alone due to health problems. He is unable to get around well. She apparently started the fire with hot grease on the stove, and rather than grab the fire extinguisher that was on top of the refrigerator four feet away, she ran out of the apartment to knock on doors and ask for salt to put on the fire. She came back into the house that was smoking so much by then that you couldn't see much, and threw the salt on it, then took her chair outside and sat down two feet from the door.

I was in my pajamas (it was my day off after the wedding), and playing a nice game of Fallout: NV in Apartment 24. My neighbor who lived in 23 begin yelling (which was nothing new, so at first I ignored it) for everyone to get out. Then I smelled smoke.

I jumped up, put on sweats and a cotton shirt and my shoes, grabbed my purse (because my ID was in it and I didn't want to lose it) and phone and went to stand by my room mate, Liz, who had just come out of her boyfriend's apartment to witness the show.

Virginia sat in her chair just two feet from the door. She was yelling at my neighbor in 23 that the fire was out. She actually acted perturbed. She actually thought that throwing salt on the fire and coming outside to wait for the smoke to clear worked. My apartment manager came out and asked her if Mr. Tom had oxygen in the apartment. The smoke was getting thicker. by now you could hear the crackle. She said it was in her purse.

I immediately grabbed her purse, and her by her arm to force her to move away from the door of the apartment, telling her, "THAT is smoke, Virginia. There is a FIRE in there. You and the oxygen need to MOVE." The apartment manager's dog came and bit me on the arm.

I honestly don't believe he meant to hurt me. Everyone was stressed. He wasn't growling. His tail was tucked between his legs. But I felt the pressure on my upper arm and yelled, "OUCH, Singer, that HURT!"

Another neighbor, Mr. Victor, ran in to grab Mr. Tom (who was asleep on the couch when all of this started), and brought him out. As soon as he exited the apartment, Singer grabbed him, too. If Singer was trying to hurt me, I imagine my arm would have looked a whole lot worse.

The Apartment manager grabbed the dog and went to contain him.

Before the fire department could arrive, it started spreading through the roof to neighboring apartments. I just knew that it was God's way of telling me it was time to move. I guess I started weighing my options out loud, while my roommate, Liz, covered her eyes, shaking in disbelief. "I have money in the bank. I still owe Mr. Ed, but I can pay him and move back in at Oak Street. He done said I could." The apartment manager walks over to me and says, "You could move into 16" (a different building altogether in the complex.

I called my mom, who was still at the reception down the road, and she and my stepdad were there within five minutes.

Then, when the fire department finally arrived, I remembered that my babydogs were still in the apartment. I nudged Liz to help me get the dogs to safety. The Fireman ran to stop me from going into the apartment and I told him, "I just want to get my dogs out." He let me.

The smoke started spreading through the roof to several apartments down. The fire department had to tear holes in my ceiling in order to contain the fire. My stepdad offered to go get the truck and a dolly to get my stuff out, particularly my food and my freezer after the fire was put out. I accepted, and I accepted their invitation to let me go to their house to spend the night, since I wouldn't be able to sleep in my apartment.

We watched wondering what we were going to do. Would our stuff survive? All we had worked so hard for; all God had given us... I heard God speaking to me through all of that saying that it was going to be alright.

I hugged my roommate and told everyone there, "When God speaks, you have no choice but to move on it. You may as well go with it and count your blessings."

My mom said, "We won't have a problem remembering this day. One daughter gets married on the same day other is driven from her home due to a fire, the day before Mother's Day."

Liz planned to stay with her boyfriend. I just laughed when the apartment manager asked me what I was going to do, and said, "God is telling me to spend Mother's Day with Mom."

I was reminded of the story of Jonah and the Whale. When God wants you to move on something, He makes it happen.

When the fire was put out, I was fortunate to find that all of my stuff was saved, except for the smokey smell. But, the ruined ceiling and no electricity made it impossible for me to live there now. We moved my deep freezer to my room mate's boyfriend's apartment temporarily, along with my food. She agreed to keep the dogs safe while I went to mom's. I grabbed some clothes to wash and went to mom's.

All I could think about was the song that Brother Matthew had taught us the Wednesday night before in church: