What is gumption & where do you get it?

courage

I would like to talk about something today, that some people may not want to hear.  Before you stop reading all together, it does not have anything to do with blood, guts, or anything you might have to squint your eyes, just to look at it.  This is more personal.  You know when we start to get personal, things can get hard.  People don’t like to face their short comings.

Since I was very young, I have been of the opinion, that when hard things are presented to me to take responsibility for, if I don’t admit it’s a problem, then it’s not.  I don’t try to put the blame on someone else.  I just don’t want to acknowledge it.  If you don’t admit it, then it’s not really happening, right?  My Daddy loves to tell how when I was little & got caught doing something I should not, I would say,

“Let’s just not talk about that.” 

Not much has changed.  Although, I do try harder to be more responsible, now that I’m older & wiser, ya know.  So, let’s all get on our big girl(or boy) pants & open our minds to what I am about to say.  If it applies to you, I ask that you think about what you really have going on.  And make things right.  If it does not apply to you, great!  Try to help someone that it might.pants

There are things that have happened to us in life or will happen to us, that is not pleasant.  Things that you would just rather not have to deal with.  Problems that come up or untimely issues, that just have a way of surfacing.  These are things that need tending to.  These things cannot be put off.  Like when someone passes away, or you lose your job, or your husband or wife decides they would rather run off & chase a rabbit than be responsible for a family.  Maybe someone’s health has failed them.  Or your health has failed you.  You know, hard stuff.  When you are on the receiving end of these tragedies, how you react makes all the difference in the world.

The most positive way to react is to get you some gumption.  If you do not know what gumption is, nor where in the world you would get it, let me tell you about it.  My Mama used to say in a bad situation,

“He just needs to get some gumption & go on with it.” 

Or she would say,

 “He ain’t gonna do it , because he ain’t got the gumption.” 

Either way gumption is the same as courage or guts.  It could mean having the common sense to do something, too.  Now, if you have trouble getting you some gumption, then, I suggest you pray about it & let the Good Lord help you with it.  Gumption is necessary in life.  We have to have it many times, whether we want to face things & or not.  People who do not have gumption are sorry, lowdown, cusses who deserve what they get.  Life is like a circle.  What comes around goes around.  You reap what you sow.

If you have things happen to you, & you don’t get you some gumption & handle it in the right way, then, whatever comes to you comes.  I pray one day you will see the error of your way, before it’s too late.  A person who may have not had the gumption to do the right thing, in one situation, may take a turn & decide to make things right.  You have to give that person the benefit of the doubt.  However, when presented with several opportunities to do right & they just won’t, don’t waste your time with those people.  It’s Just.Not.Worth.It.  I hope you don’t have to deal with others who refuse to get some gumption.  If you do, just remember, they may eventually come to their senses.  Then, we have to be there to have some gumption, as well.

Gumption is sometimes hard to find.  However, if you want gumption bad enough, it will come to you.  Pray about it.  God will be glad to help.  He said so.

John 14:14  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (ESV)

King David found out that not having gumption was a hard thing to live with.  When he decided to sleep with another man’s wife & then kill that man, his regrets finally caught up to him.

Psalms 32:3-4 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. (ESV)

But David did the right thing.  He got him some gumption & asked God’s forgiveness.

Psalms 32: 5  I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. (ESV)

I am so glad you came by to visit today.  Thank you for letting me get that off my chest today.  It’s nice when you just lend me your ear like that.   I hope it is a beautiful day wherever you are.  The humidity has been released, yet again, in full force, here in northeast Mississippi.  It’s just like the top was popped & ever so gently pulled back.  The humidity just came pouring on out!   I hope to be seeing you all again, soon. Until then, I will have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

sweet tea

photo credits: pinterest, adodsons.com,shebrands.com

Have you prayed about it as much as you’ve talked about it?

have you prayed about it

One Sunday our dear Bro. Brad gave us a lesson about the Lord’s Prayer.  He made some wonderful points.  He talked about prayer & how important it should be to us.  Since my One Word for 2014 is Pray, I was all in on this message!  He made us look at how special prayer really is.

Prayer is a way to get involved with things, you otherwise would not be able to be involved in.  Take for instance, my daughter just went on a mission trip to Nicaragua.  I was not able to go on this trip with her.  However, I felt like I could be a part of it by praying for her & the work our church group would do.  I could not go on the airplane with her.  But, I could pray for her to have a safe trip.  I could pray for the pilot of the plane & all the attendants on the plane.  I could not be with her as she worshipped with the church in Nicaragua.  However, I could pray for the church family there.  I could not be at the hotel where she stayed or the city she went to.  However, I could pray for her safety & the safety of all of those with her, as they traveled around the city & as they slept.  I have never set foot in Central America.  However, with the avenue of prayer, I have been involved in many things there.

Prayer is where you start, not where you end.  We should not say,

”I have tried everything I know to do.  I guess I could pray about it.” 

Let prayer be your first choice, not your last resort.  Be proactive in prayer. Pray about things before the need ever comes along.  Always, always, always remember there is power in prayer.

Matthew 21:22New King James Version (NKJV)

22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

I am so glad you came by today.   I wanted to share this thought with you about prayer.  I hope you are doing good & having a blessed day.  As for me, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

Oh and by the way, this sweet girl had a birthday this weekend.

storm

And this sweet boy really enjoyed the ice cream…..to the last drop!

ice creamphoto credit: http://www.spirituallythinking.blogspot.com

Why we don’t have to forgive & forget & what we’ve been doing

Well, hello my online peeps!  I hope all ya’ll are having a wonderful day.  I have been busy doing lots of summer stuff here lately.  We had our Super Saturday VBS at our church last Saturday.  We have had youth group events, going to the movies, summer devotionals, shaving cream wars, etc.,.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

 

Miss Neenee went bowling with the Girl Scouts & will be going to a movie with them, next week as well.  My beautiful niece has been at my house, visiting from a faraway land.  My sweet husband has been grilling lots of wonderful stuff.  We have a birthday to celebrate this weekend.  My grandbabies have been coming by for visits.  Of course I have been as accommodating as possible.  My daughter in law was telling Mr. Sweetie Pants just last night to quit writing on the kitchen floor with a magic marker.  Well, Lord have mercy, that’s what Mr. Clean is for.  Mr. Sweetie Pants kinda gets away with a lot at my house.  And when I say a lot, I mean everything.  Except back talk.  We don’t do that at my house.  Everything else we can pretty much handle.  I have been doing my best to keep up with my 100 days of scripture.  With that, my Sunday School lesson & Wednesday night class I have been studying my Bible.

I try to be attentive to what people are saying.  Words mean a lot to me.  I really take them to heart.  I guess that’s why I get so irritated when people use words in a hurtful, disrespectful, or uncaring way.  Words can’t be unsaid.  And forgetting what someone has said to me or my family is something I work on daily.  That’s why when my uncle said this the other day, I took note.

 He said, “The Bible teaches forgiveness.  It does not teach to forgive & forget.  Man said that.  Not God, because God knows we are human.”

I had never considered that.  So, I did what I normally do, when someone makes an expounding statement, like that, about the Bible.  I go look it up.  Here is what I found out.

William Shakespeare in King Lear made the statement, “Pray you now, forget & forgive.”king lear

 

In the Bible, the apostle Paul had a big problem with forgiving & forgetting.  It all had to do with himself, too.  Before Paul became a devout Christian, he persecuted Christians.  He never got over that & what he had done to the church.  You can tell by how he addresses it all.

I Timothy 1: 12-13 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. (NKJV)

His former life humbled him.  He understood that he was a chosen vessel.  However, he did not take it lightly.  He talked about his past openly.

Acts 22:220 And when the blood of Your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by consenting to his death,[b] and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ (NKJV)

He did not let his past cripple him of his service to the Lord.  He did not say, “I’ve done too many bad things, the Lord will never forgive me.”  Or “I’m not good enough to serve the Lord.”  He made mistakes, but then got him some gumption & did what he was supposed to do.  He did not let his past sins hold him back from doing what was right.

The Lord knows we are human.  As humans, we make mistakes & are not perfect.  For our sakes, we should be willing to put things behind us & move on.  Paul finally got to that point,

Philippians 3:13-14 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.(NKJV)

God is the only One capable of selective erasing events from His memory.  When we receive Christ’s forgiveness, He acts as sin hasn’t happened.  We aren’t made up that way.  We are commanded to forgive.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.(NKJV)

Forgetfulness is a much needed discipline of our emotions.  Which is hard, because we are stubborn creatures.  But let’s be stubborn for the things that matter.  Like our faith & family.  It’s a good thing to put things in their place & focus on what is to come, rather than where we have been.  You have got to have some peace somewhere.  Not dwelling on how someone has wronged you is a good way to put things to the side.  Then, peace will come.

I am so glad you took time to visit with me today.  Our weather has been oddly FANTASTIC.  July in Mississippi is normally hot, humid, & unbearable.  A big thank you goes out to whoever ordered the awesome weather we had on the 4th of July.  That was stinkin’ wonderful.  We were at some of our friends Tuesday night.  Just sitting in their backyard enjoying the cool weather.  I had on a long sleeved shirt.  It was crazy.  I’ve so enjoyed you today.  But for now, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

respect the bubblw

photo credits: Pinterest, someecards

 

The time I broke up with Walmart

it's over

It was the summer of 2009 & I had had it.  Every time I turned around, I was running to Walmart for something.  My husband had been laid off from his job.  We were turning off lights, taking shorter showers, limiting our cell phone usage, and basically only going to church & to & from work.  We cut way down on eating out.  Lots of things we learned quickly we thought we had to have, we didn’t.

One day, after coming out of Walmart, I was studying my receipt.  Now, I know Walmart is the place you have to watch out for falling prices.  They also price match anyone’s ad that’s a lower price than theirs.  So why, pray tell, could I not come out of there under $150?  Hmmm….I got to investigating more on this mystery. I went down the list & low & behold I found the answer.

walmart

Walmart was sucking my bank account dry.

I was going in & making my price slashed purchases.  However, I was coming out with stuff I could very easily do without.  I made up my mind right then & there, I was not going to take it anymore.  So, I did what any full-blooded Southern, penny pinching consumer would do.

I broke up with Walmart. 

There were others there to comfort me through this life changing decision.  K-mart stepped right in & gave me a card, that when you buy your wares, you start racking up points.  In return, you can cash those boogers in & get money off.  Right off your total purchase!  I thought they were just flirting with me, until I bought a nice birthday present for nearly nothing out of pocket.

Next, Dollar General became my new love.  Do you know you can get $5 off coupons that make $25 worth of necessary things only cost you $20?  I’ll take $5 free dollars.  The Dollar Tree got on my list of favorites, as well.  Do you know how many things you can get in Dollar Tree for $50?  (Yup, 50, that’s how many.) They even have food now.  As I happily started seeing my money being put to better use, I realized Walmart had too many distractions.  Yes, I can get soap cheaper at Walmart than Dollar General.  However, I am not bombarded with stuff, as soon as I walk in the door.  Stuff that I & lots of other well meaning, moneysaving shoppers think they have to have.  (But honestly do not.)

Sometimes my spiritual life seems to get spent the same way.  Temptations & enticements easily lead me away.  There are times I have so many things that try to get in the way of me reading my Bible.  Often enough, I don’t take the time to stop & encourage someone.  Or I let other things get in the way of me stopping to send a card to someone sick.  I don’t take the opportunity to acknowledge someone’s problems because I’m too busy doing things that really aren’t helping me at all.

Such as reading all the wonderful, uplifting posts on my Facebook news feed.

(Ha. Haha. Hahahaha.) 

Or perhaps I might find a wee bit of time to help someone if I weren’t on Pinterest pinning funny sayings to my board.  Or looking for new hair styles, or pinning lots of lovely things to my crafty project boards – that I will probably never get time to do anyway.

James 1: 22 says  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

That means I have got to be a doer.  A doer for good.  Then, maybe my temptations won’t seem so big.

Jesus said in

I John 2:16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. (NKJV)

This means all the stuff I was seeing that I just HAD to have, was not only not necessary, it’s not of the Father.  SO, I had no business with it anyway.

The apostle Paul cautioned Timothy in

I Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.(NKJV)

Buying more things than I needed was foolish & harmful.  It just wasn’t doing anything but leaving me with less money.  At the time, I just didn’t need to be doing that.  While things are more on track now, I still don’t need to throw our money away.

Now that we are in 2014 & we have been back to a 2 job home for a while, I still do not go in Walmart very often.  My break up with Walmart taught me a few things.

  1. I have to hold myself to my shopping list. If I go in to buy notebooks for $.10, but still wind up with $103.17 worth of stuff in my buggy, those $.10 notebooks weren’t really that cheap, were they?
  2. I can survive without Walmart.
  3. Change may not be as bad as you think.
  4. I am not willingly subjecting myself to a store’s ploy to take my money. Because, hey I admit it. I am a sucker for a bargain & Walmart is FULL of them, plus lots of other stuff I don’t need.
  5. I can do without a lot of things I thought I could not.
  6. Even if I have money to purchase things, I need to ask myself if it’s a need or a want.

Just so the elephant in the room can move on out, this is not a paid endorsement from Kmart, Dollar General, nor The Dollar Tree.  These are my own personal opinions, in which have been perfectly approved by the president & CEO of I should be washing clothes (Which is me.)  I’m not bitter with Walmart.  I think they taught me some valuable lessons.  Some that I would have never experienced, if not for them & their stuff.

Thank you for coming by to visit with me today.  I have enjoyed our time together.  I hope you are able to provide for your family’s needs and wants.  Just remember, too, God will provide.  He provided for us while we were a one job household & He will provide for you, too.  I hope you enjoy this beautiful holiday weekend.  As for me, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

walmart shopping

photo credits: sodahead, tattoodonkey, & howtobreakup.net

Camping schmamping

campers

Well, I did it. After 42 years of being campless, I had my first camp out Friday night. It was a Girl Scout event with Miss Neenee. She got some patches for camping out, making s’mores, a hiking adventure, singing camp songs, cooking, & learning some things about this great outdoors of ours. She did get some mosquito bites, as well. You know what I got? Tired achy feet.

Learning about trees

Learning about trees

Our sleeping arrangements were in a tent on the ground. With no air mattress, no nothing. Just us & the hard ground. Which did not help the fact that my back had already been out the beginning of the week. I had never slept outside before. It was a little different. At 3:30am I was awaken by a whippoorwill’s call & a dog barking. Giggling girls & young’uns on the back porch patio singing, to the top of their lungs, Frozen songs until after midnight, made for an early morning, anyway. The tent was hot. Mainly, because I do not know the proper tent/camping protocol. I, however, was not going to sleep with the tent unzipped, as I did not want to look like an open invitation to any sort of bug, lizard, or snake. So, we were just hot for awhile. I had 2 snickering, wiggly girls in the tent with me. After they properly yelled good night, to the little girls in the tent beside us, they whispered only for a few minutes. Then, they were asleep. I only woke up 3 or maybe 30 times from in the wee hours of Saturday morning until 5:30am. I finally had all I could take. I got up & freshened up. I had a cup of coffee & things did not look as bleak after that.

Cooking their own supper.

Cooking their own supper.

All I could think about, while I was trying to go to sleep is the verse in Luke that Jesus talks about not having a place to sleep.
Luke 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
If Jesus slept on the ground, I’m sure He had some aches & pains. After all, He was human. I know He deserved a luxurious pillow topped, sleeping on a cloud, kind of mattress. It makes me have a deeper appreciation for all He did & went through just for me & you.

Luke 9
Now, we always like to learn from our experiences, don’t we? So here is my list of what I learned about my camp out:
1. I don’t understand the term “happy camper”.
2. When camping, make sure you pay attention to what you are doing. My feet are still hurting for reasons unknown.
3. Bug spray is my friend.
4. I am not meant to be at “one” with nature & that’s o.k.
5. I really think camping, besides in our troop leader’s back yard, could be worse. I don’t think we roughed it too much.
6. Probably the last time I camp.
7. In life, sometimes you do things, you really don’t want to do, just because someone else wants you to.
8. If I had to sleep outside, on a regular basis, it would perhaps take the friendly right out of me.
9. Little girls have a big time camping. That’s all it’s about anyway.

Getting ready to kayak.

Getting ready to kayak.

I hope you have had a wonderful week. It has been just delightful here. Meaning getting to sleep in my cozy, comfy bed has been a delight. I hope you are getting to sleep in your bed, without the threat of critters of the outdoors kind, disrupting you. As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

Kayaking like a boss.

Kayaking like a boss.

 

Happy belated Father’s Day & distractions

I hope all of you fathers out there had a wonderful day on Sunday. I did not forget you. I was just, well distracted. But first let me say I love my Daddy & I did visit him Sunday. This year, I visited him at his house. Not at the Mississippi Department of Corrections. It used to kinda be a running joke. If someone asked me, “Did you get to see your Dad on Father’s Day?” I would reply very solemnly, “Yes, he seemed to be doing well. You know he’s at the correctional facility, now.” Lots of times, I would get startled looks. Then again, those who knew us well enough, knew he was just at work. He has since retired & I do not have to go through a guarded chain link, barbed wire laden gate to make my Father’s Day visit. Coincidently, my daddy is a preacher. Even though he is in his late 60s, he still sees it his responsibility to keep the gospel spread about. He was filling in for a friend, on Sunday, at a local congregation. Like a good minister he spent his Sunday afternoon studying the Bible & taking a little rest. Me & Miss Neenee went over after our church service Sunday night. We took him supper & visited for a bit. He was full of his usual entertaining conversation. As I sat at the kitchen table talking to him, I felt very blest to be there with him. Very blest to have been raised by a preaching daddy & praying mama. Very blest to have had a present daddy. One that was there & was involved with me & my brother growing up. He did a miraculous & above and beyond job taking care of my mama when she got sick. I have nothing bad to say about my daddy. Nothing. At. All. Go ahead. Try to make me say something. Nope. Won’t do it. He has the qualities the Bible talks about.
A Father’s Integrity
I Chronicles 29:17
17 I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. (NKJV)
A Father’s Courage
Joshua 1:9
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
A Father’s Compassion
Psalm 103:13
13 As a father pities his children,
So the LORD pities those who fear Him.(NKJV)

A Father’s Legacy
Proverbs 23:24
24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him. (NKJV)
A Father’s Wisdom
Proverbs 4:11-13, NIV
“I guide you
in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
When you walk,
your steps will not be hampered;
when you run,
you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction,
do not let it go;
guard it well,
for it is your life.”

A Father’s Love
I Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

I hope everyone has had a great week, so far. I so hope you did not mind my Father’s Day post being a teeny tiny bit late. Oh yeah, that distraction I was talking about- a FULL weekend with my sweeties! It was grand. But for now, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

kade in cargrilingkade pool partypool kidswatermelon neely

Credits: voices.yahoo.com

My sweet helper & Someone who needs no help

neely cooking

My little girl loves to help.  She especially loves to help me & her Daddy cook.  She has become quite the baker.  She got cupcake pans, cake pans, and a lot of bakery paraphernalia for Christmas last year.  I have to say she has put it to good use.  She loves to help her Daddy in food prep for the grilling he does.  She has her hands in the muffin mix & can peel boiled eggs like nobody’s business.  I love having her around to help me out.

 Miss Neenee's cupcakes before going in the oven.

Miss Neenee’s cupcakes before going in the oven.

Do you know there is Somebody who does not need my help?  That would be the Lord.  You see, He is quite capable of doing whatever He deems necessary, without my input.  Sometimes it’s easy to try to compare ourselves to others.

I think, “What should I be doing about this or that?” 

You know what?  Jesus has it all handled.  There are times, I just need to have faith & sit back & let Him have his way.  Isn’t that hard, though?  When you pray & want a situation, a person, or a relationship, to be like you want it all to be- it may not always come out exactly like you had it envisioned.

So, I get to thinking, “How can I make this better?” 

Next, I may do or say something that doesn’t help the situation at all.

Or I may think, “I’m doing all I can do to be a Christian.  Why, then, are things going so great for this one over here, that’s well, not?”

Again, I need to remember, the Lord doesn’t need my help.  Just because I don’t see Him working behind the scenes, does not mean He is not.

The apostle Peter found out Jesus does not need our help either.  He questioned the Lord about the person He had predicted would betray Him.  It’s not said why Peter wanted to know who it was.  Maybe curiosity was getting the best of him.  Or maybe he wanted to help or protect his friend from someone.  Jesus let him know right quick that He had it handled.

John 21

20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”

22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”

Peter’s attention needed to be focused on following Jesus.  The Lord had a much bigger agenda for Peter than worrying about who was going to wrong Him.  Jesus was pretty much trying to tell him,

“What business is it of yours?”

 I need to remember that.  I need to make sure my focus is on Jesus.  Not on who is wronging me, who has a nicer house than me, or who makes more money than me.  Jesus was trying to tell Peter & He is trying to tell me to have faith in Him & I won’t have anything to worry about.  When the worries & stresses of this ol’ world try to beat us down, we have got to remember Who we have on our side.  Even when we don’t realize it, He is working in our lives for good.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  We have had rain, rain, and then some more rain.  But you know what?  I have seen some of the most beautiful rainbows…there’s a blog post for another time!  I hope you have a great week.  I have to be going for now, because I should be washing clothes.