A Vision of Love

A Vision of Love

The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:64

When I was a little girl people would always ask me where I got my pretty blue eyes, I would giggle and say “Key-Mart”….Yes, everything back in the day came from K-Mart, but the truth was I had my daddy’s eye. 

My dad’s eyes are unique and have a unique perspective. He and I have often been able to see and recognize things that many overlook. He is an Army veteran and retired Police Officer. He taught me how to look for things. 

I remember one car ride where he was telling me about when you are looking for something in an open field, like a deer. You would lookout as far as you could see and then bring your gaze back toward you. This allowed your eyes to catch what you were looking for instead of your eyes chasing where the deer had been. 

Another thing my dad showed me was how to see people, not their circumstance. There were times when he would bring homeless people to our home, so they could get a shower, a hot meal, their clothes washed and even new clothes, and see if there were ways my mom and dad could help them find a safe place to stay. They would minister to these people in physically and spiritually. 

My daddy’s eye’s taught me to search the world from the perspective of my Heavenly Father. 

I don’t know about you but when I look at social media, the news and even sometimes driving down the road, it is hard to remember that the earth is filled with love. Right now all my physical eyes can see is pain, anger, and war. 

However when I take the time to look around with my Heavenly fathers eyes I am able to see things from a different perspective. I set my vision out towards heaven, and for all those out there running scared, and in pain, I am able to see them as they run into my view. I try not to see their actions, but see beyond to what is the root of their pain. 

One thing I have begin to realize is so many people just want to be accepted, to be seen, to be heard, mostly they just want to be LOVED. 

To many of my friends Christian and non-Christian are spreading their “Truth” to be correct from a worldly perspective, but my challenge to myself and each of you listening today is to be relationally right by sharing God’s truth of Love, Peace, Joy & HOPE! 

Questions to Consider?

  1. What eyes are you looking at the world through?
  2. Do you love the unlovable?
  3.  How will you show love to those around you today? 

”When I’m a mom I am NEVER gonna…..”

”When I’m a mom I am NEVER gonna…..”

After talking with several friends I find it interesting how many of us said the phrase at some point of “When I’m a mom I am never gonnna….” Yet time and time again I open my mouth and words my mother once uttered to me fall out. Now as the mom of grown children I gain just a tiny bit of joy watching my children have my words fall out of their mouth and watch the look on their faces when they realize it.

Here are a few for giggles:

  1. You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit
  2. Look where you’re going, not where you have been.
  3. You can get mad in the same pants you got glad in
  4. Hands in your pockets or where your pockets should be. (had to add that last part because they got smart and said their shorts didn’t have pockets)
  5. Slow down breathe then try telling me again
  6. Think about it, I normally don’t ask a question I don’t already know the answer too.

Here is the deal, some of the things my mom said or did, the good and the bad (cause let’s face it we all have bad days) showed up in what I said or did with my children. However, I had a choice as to whether or not I was going to carry the things from the past into the future. I had to be mindful of my legacy. My mom is great, and so was hers yet each generation has taken what we have learned from the previous generation to be better for the next.

Sadly, I have many friends who had horrible mom’s, but they still share the same responsibility. The responsibility to learn from their past, to grow in the present and leave an impactful legacy.

One of the things I have learned in my time here on earth is some of the things I absolutely hated hearing were the exact thing I needed to hear to be a better person.

Yesterday, when I heard a young girl say to her mother “When I’m a mom I am never gonna…..” All I could do was giggle and think to myself that yes sweetheart you probably are, that is ok, and you will be better for it.

5 Lessons I Have Learned From My Mom

5 Lessons I Have Learned From My Mom

Mom and Me at First Baptist Glenwood Arkansas’ Women’s Night

Today I am sharing a few lessons I have learned from my mom. While this list is not complete it is a good reminder that there are lessons for us all to learn even when we might turn a blind eye or deaf ear to it. So I hope this helps you see some of the lessons you have learned and you would be willing to share them with us.

Lesson 1 – Self Realization sets you free
I will admit I was not an easy child in my youth, a friend asked me my Sr year (age 18) if I could go out with her one weekend,
I told her “I can’t I’m grounded”
to which she replied “grounded I haven’t been grounded since I was 13”
I quipped back…. “Funny, I have been grounded since I was 13”
my mom overheard this conversation and while still giggling did permit me to go out that weekend. –

Lesson 2 – You can still find joy when you’re stuck in a rut
When I was learning to drive a stick shift my mom had a 1971 Triumph Spitfire she took me to a neighborhood just south of us to teach me how to drive it. We lived on a big hill and she knew to start on a hill would need to be the final lesson, little did she know how true that would be. At one intersection of this neighborhood, was a stop sign that had a huge dip, not depthwise but huge in width, and the incline was just enough to cause a challenge. After what seemed like hours of trying to get out of this dip, and lots of loud laughter from my mom (did I mention it was a convertible and the top was down) then eventually laughter by me even though I was mortified that any of the “cute” boys I went to school with would come out and see this catastrophe.

Lesson 3 – You can still be rich despite your circumstances
Several years ago my sister asked my parents why we didn’t have any of those good meals like we used to. My dad asked what she was talking about. She replied “You know the ones with fried Spam, Cheese, Crackers and y’all had onion and tomato” (she didn’t eat veggies, pretty much still doesn’t) My dad’s response was “Because we don’t have to!” What we didn’t realize back then was that Spam back in the day was cheap, the cheese we had was government cheese, crackers were cheap, and the onions and tomatoes we ate came from the garden in our backyard. My mom was stretching the family budget to keep us fed and we never knew we were poor.

Lesson 4 – You never know how strong you are until you are tested to the limits
Over the last few years, we have gained insight through personal development that helps me to have a better picture of our conflict over the years. I am someone who adapts and responds quickly but my mom is one who likes to take a little longer to process. When we embrace the uniqueness of each other we work together well, but it took a lot of years of our personalities battling each other. Even in that friction, it created resilience in me. When I went to boot camp my mom and I left things in a rough place. As a mom of adult children, I now understand some of what she was feeling. Wondering if you have prepared them well for the world they are about to face. I remember getting on the bus after boot camp and my company commander asking me “So, what did you think Davis? (Maiden name)” I quickly responded, “You ain’t got nothin’ on my mama!”

Lesson 5 – You Can’t outrun God or the prayers of a faithful MOM
My husband and I were going through a particularly rough patch there seemed to be one thing after another after another coming against us. I was sitting on the shoreline at the lake with my mom, and she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, I am so sorry Angie. I have been praying the prayer “Lord whatever it takes and I hate seeing you go through all of this.” My response was probably the bigger answer to her prayer when I said: “Why are you apologizing for God answering your prayers?”

School Lunch Box Tips for Your Picky Eater

School Lunch Box Tips for Your Picky Eater

If you have a picky eater, then you know how difficult it is to send them off to school with the hope that they will actually eat what you pack in their lunch boxes. As a mom or dad, you don’t want your child coming home hungry everyday toting back the foods you sent to school. And in truth, this happens more often than not with picky eaters, and as a parent you feel guilty.

First, allow your child to choose the lunch box they really want so that they feel they are a part of the lunch process. Next, if they are old enough, involve them in the planning and the grocery shopping. Try to pack a balanced meal which is not always easy to do with these little ones. You can try to pair something they already eat with something new, but giving them new items in their lunch boxes may not always be a smart choice.

You can also involve your child by going over the school lunch menu together. Maybe he or she will choose some days to buy their lunch to break up the lunch box monotony. On lunch box days, make sure they can clearly see what’s in the box and that you have given them a variety of foods they like. Small quantities of things they like gives them choices and lets you incorporate more of the foods they might actually eat.

Bento Boxes are perfect for these picky eaters. The small spaces give you the opportunity to give them small bites of the foods they love. Get creative! Mix it up! Add an encouraging note to the box, and then just try to relax. Give them choices, involve them in the packing process and know that they will not starve! And by involving them more, you lessen the struggle and may help them develop a bigger interest in food.

Raising ’em Right

Raising ’em Right

May our sons in their youth be like full-grown plants, and our daughters like pillars destined to decorate a palace. Psalm 144:12 ISV

I remember going to the local rodeos when I was younger and I would see these little kids dressed up in their best wranglers, brushpopper shirt and little Stetson cowboy hats, and their Justin Boots. The Girls were not to be outdone, often dressed similar with a pop more of color and sometimes even a bow popping out from under their hat to hold back their long pony tails. They looks like tiny adults walking around. The more intriguing thing to me, is that most of them had better manners, could maintain eye contact and carry on an enjoyable conversation when most adults I had encountered could not do that. 

I often wondered what the difference was between city folks, and country folks were. Now, I realize I am using a broad generalization here but for the most part I came to some conclusions. Many times the country kids knew more than the city kids the importance of hard work and team work. They had chores, that the family relied on them to accomplish to keep things moving. The city folks might have chores, but the consequences for missing a chore wasn’t as strict in the city as it was in the country. The Country families had family dinner time, where it was not about racing through the meal, but instead it was about a time to connect and learn about each others hopes and dreams, and provide wisdom to the next generation. 

While both country and city kids were afforded countless opportunities to pursue their dreams it still relied on which ones embraced the opportunities that came their way. It also depended on which kids were mature enough to embrace the opportunities and not squander them. 

Now, I am not saying that all city kids are lacking anything, after all I was raised a city kid. However, I am recognizing that even though I was raised as a city kid the importance of the things that were instilled in me by sitting around the dinner table with my family, and doing chores. When the adults take the time to invest in their children, they afford them the opportunity to receive blessings for their future at a much younger age. They set them up to be the answer to prayer for a mom who is praying for their future son or daughter in law. 

Whether you live in the city or country, what are you doing today to fan the flames of your children’s hopes and dreams? 

Daily DIVAS Challenge: 

  1. Ask a young person about their hopes and dreams
  2. Listen to them intently
  3. Encourage them to Dream Big! 
Is your Girlfriend Really a True Friend?

Is your Girlfriend Really a True Friend?

Remember the song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”?  … (Randy Newman, Toy Story)

“You’ve got a friend in me, you’ve got a friend in me.

You’ve got troubles, and I’ve got ‘em too. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. We stick together and we see it through, ‘cause you’ve got a friend in me. You’ve got a friend in me.”

As women, this should be our priority. To find that one special friend who will be there for us through the good and bad; to have that one person who understands us and knows when we need them to just listen or give us a reassuring, comforting hug. And in return, we do the same for them. A true friend is not only honest about themselves, but they can also be honest about and with you. In other words, a true friend will never be insincere or disingenuous with you.

Reflect back through the years, all the way to grammar school and beyond. We can all remember someone who touched our lives and hearts, and we also remember the so-called “mean girls” who thought they were better than you, prettier than you, skinnier than you, smarter than you and on and on. But as we grow older, we realize that there are some people we can truly relate to. There are those special women who believe in you, and they root for you in success, and they cry with you in failure.

These are the women who will tell you if you have lip stick on your teeth or toilet paper on your shoe. They are the women who will fix your crown, and they will not tell the world that your crown was crooked. They are the epitome of discretion and grace. These are the ladies who do not gossip behind your back, and they will defend you to others who are talking about you. Remember rule number one … if your “friend” is gossiping to you about other women, then you can be sure that she is also talking about you behind your back. This woman is NOT a true girlfriend!

True friends accept one another faults and all. And if you are lucky enough to have found that one special person who has stuck by you through thick and thin for twenty or thirty or fifty years, you are truly blessed. These are the people who will listen to you without criticism, and they know when to be quiet and when to give advice. These are not toxic people! They are genuine and loving.

Now, ask yourself if you are or have been the toxic person in your relationships? If so, you need to work on yourself, your attitude, and you may need to find a new group of friends in order to have a positive impact on your family, yourself and those around you. In other words, DETOX yourself! Learn how to find sincere friends. Learn how to be a sincere friend. Remember, a true friend accepts you and values what makes you unique. And because you are not a fair-weather friend, in turn, you will also be there for the down times, the good times, the health crises and everything in between.

Ask yourself now what type of girlfriend do you want to have and what type of friend do you want to be? As you grow and evolve, you will discover your better self and identify with others more. You will find people who inspire you, lift you up, talk truth to you when you need it, and give you comfort in the hard times. No friend is perfect, but a true friend cares about you and respects your moods, emotions and thoughts. And in turn, you do the same for them.

It’s not clear why some people connect and others do not. And making tried and true friends seems to become more difficult as we grow older. But if you are lucky enough to find that special person who truly communicates with you and touches your heart, hang on to that relationship. This is the person who will deal with conflicts and problems and they will be clear-cut and direct with you. They will see your heart and you will see theirs. This is the one true friend that distance and time will never affect how you feel or connect with one another. This is the one person with whom you can have a rewarding and timeless relationship. This is a true and faithful girlfriend. And as women, we need true girlfriends, for today and for all the tomorrows to come.

So, who is your genuine girlfriend? To find out more about being a true girlfriend or learning how to nurture a friendship, listen to Warrior DIVAS, Episode 3 available Online at https://divasimpact.com/podcast/.