Two Tiaras and a Sword

Monday, January 30, 2012

Choose Your Own Ending

I have always been an avid reader. I LOVE to read! At one stage in my childhood, I enjoyed reading the "choose your own ending" books. You know, the ones where you would read to a certain part of the book, and then you would have a choice...If you want the knight to face the fire breathing dragon, continue reading. If you want the knight to run screaming in fear, stop and turn to page 42 then continue reading. I thought it might be fun to do a "choose your own ending" blog. So, here goes.

Once upon a time, there was a lady. She was a very nice lady. Through a totally innocent mistake of someone else, she had her feelings hurt. This precious lady, then had a decision to make.

A. She could quietly and peacefully go to the one who hurt her, and lovingly explain how the mistake hurt her, knowing what had happened was an honest, innocent mistake. And then allow the person to explain what happened and why, and if possible, make right the mistake.


B. She could take the mistake personally, and get really upset. Then she could tell others how she had been wronged.

So now. The moment of truth. If you choose action A, continue reading. If you choose action B, skip down to the *.

Okay, so she is hurt, but she takes a few minutes to think it through. Why did this happen? Was the person who made the mistake doing it to be mean and hurt her? After prayerfully considering the answer, she comes to the conclusion that no, that was not the case. So she goes to the person, and tells them her story. Here is what happened. Here is how I felt about it. I realize that you did not mean to hurt me. Would you please fix the mistake, so that it doesn't happen again?

In the process, the lady has followed the Lord's commands, and her actions have been pleasing to Him. She has restored a relationship, and it may even grow stronger now, because of the Biblical way in which she handled herself. She has also helped to program her heart and her mind to react properly the next time she finds herself in a similar situation. Not to mention she has been an excellent, Godly example to anyone who is watching her. To God be the glory!

Consider these verses:

Luke 6:45
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Ephesians 4:32 - 5:2
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

*She is hurt. She can't be-lieve THAT person would do THAT to HER! How DARE they?!? WHAT was that person thinking anyway? It's so UNBELIEVABLE that she just HAS TO TELL SOMEONE! So, tell someone she does. And it feels so good to get it off of her chest, that she tells someone else, and someone else. But of course, she just tells her side of the story, because she hasn't talked to the other person about the matter. So all of the people she tells are now walking around shaking their heads in disbelief as well. And the next time they run into that person in the store, they are going to tell them just what they think!

In the process, not a single thing has gotten better. The lady is still hurt, and now has an army of friends in her camp. And they are planning war on an innocent party who does not even realize that they have hurt her in the first place (until they are ambushed by someone in the lady's camp that is). The lady has done nothing, but add to the problem. It has in essence snowballed from a simple, honest mistake, to a full blown division among believers. This is definitely not a happily ever after ending.

Consider these verses:

1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

Proverbs 16:28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

The moral of the story is...that lady, she is me. And she is you. And each and every day, we are faced with multiple "choose your own ending" types of decisions. It is easy, and pretty cut and dried when we are the readers, and somewhat removed from the emotions of the situation, to pick the happy ending. But when we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the real life situation, sometimes it is really hard to do the right thing.

This is why it is SO important that we read our Bibles, pray consistently, and yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. That way we are much better equipped to "choose our own ending." And I know by experience, when I do as Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." I am 100% sure to end with a happily ever after.

Lord, help me to think through, and prayerfully consider my options, before I make my "choose your own ending" decisions today. Please help me to put my pride and selfishness aside, and obey Your command to love others as I love myself. Help me to follow Your lead about the paths I should take. Thank You, Lord that You love me and care about me enough to direct my paths.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

*For the precious lady who does not know me, yet prays faithfully for a prayer request very dear to my heart.

*For another friend who prays faithfully for our little cousin who has Leukemia, even though she doesn't know her personally

*For a pet that came home

*For immediate answers to prayer

*For love, joy, and peace

*For people who selflessly help others

*For health

*For friends who selflessly share their basement in bad weather

*For safety

*For extra time with my family after a very busy week

*For time to chip away at the laundry mountain that accumulated from that very busy week

*For another win for our girls basketball team

*For an actual date when the oldest princess will get her braces removed

*For smiles, giggles, and laughing together as a family

*For a room full of teenagers who heard the Gospel

*For the young prince, who has Spiritual depth beyond his age

*For a child who might just love reading as much as I love reading

Thank You, Lord for these specific things, and so many, many more as well!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Time for a Little Tough Love

I've noticed several trends lately involving teens, and even some young adults for that matter, and pictures on Facebook. I feel like there is a need for some things to be said, in love, to help people out when they are taking/picking out pictures to post to their Facebook accounts. These are things that as a mother, I wish other mothers had told their children before they allowed them to have Facebook accounts. Or, maybe their mother did tell them, and they just didn't listen...sometimes it just takes a different voice...if it helps one young person, allow me to be that voice, and share a little tough love.

1. Bathroom pictures - Please, please stop taking pictures of yourself in the bathroom mirror. A toilet/shower/trash can does NOT EVER make a suitable background. Bathrooms are for privacy, not to share with the world. Please, step into another room, and ask someone to take the picture for you.

2. Mirror pictures/self pictures via arms length cell phones - These type of pictures speak two distinct things. First, you have no one else to take the picture for you. Or, second, you think very highly of yourself, and believe that others share the same opinion.

3. The hand on the hip, chest out pose - This type of picture does not say wholesome young lady. It says that you are not confident in who you are, but WHAT you are. Believe me when I say, God made you to be a somebody, not a something. Believe in WHO you are in Christ, and stop advertising something that is not for sale.

4. Pouty fish face/tongue hanging out like a panting dog face - Just don't do the pouty fish lips or the tongue hanging out like a panting dog look. Fish lips are for fish. Panting dog tongues are for dogs. Period.

5. Pictures showing too much skin - Please don't post pictures showing off more of you than the rest of us want to see. This too, speaks several different things. Things like, you think too highly of yourself. Or, perhaps, on the flip side, you don't respect yourself enough. Or that you are an item, not a person. Regardless, there are things that only your husband or wife should see, and these are not appropriate for you to put all over Facebook, for anyone who sees it to be able to get a cheap thrill (cheap as in, they had to do nothing but click a few buttons to get their thrill, not as in the person posting the picture is cheap). Because you are very valuable...which is why I feel I must share with you what happens when you post these types of pictures of yourself. And the people getting the cheap thrill, are not the "love you and you only, marry you and take care of you forever" types that you want to attract.

Please realize that just because you may have pictures like this on your facebook account, it does not mean that you intended to "say" or give the impressions I wrote about above, but the truth is...whether you mean to send that message or not, it IS the message that your picture sends. If you wish not to make statements like the ones above with your pictures, please be more selective in the pictures that you post in the future.

As a mother of teens, I see a lot of teen Facebook pictures, and my heart breaks at the lack of self respect I see in young people today. I want them to know how precious they are, and how much God loves them. He loves them so much that He sent His only Son to die for them (John 3:16). So much that He knows the number of hairs on their head (Matt. 10:30). So much that He has a plan for their future (Jeremiah 29:11).

So, teen, young adult, parent, grandparent, or friend...Set the example by posting good, wholesome, pure, or funny pictures. Then help someone out by telling them in love just what their picture says...don't let them send messages they don't want to send. And take it a step farther by sharing just how much God loves them, and how very precious they are to Him.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

For these things, and many more, I am thankful to the Lord:

*A great game for our Lady Patriots, and our Patriots

*Finding the perfect birthday present for someone special

*A fun day FILLED to the brim with friends and fun

*Bonding time on my quick shopping trip with the oldest princess - with a couple of great finds to boot

*A wonderful husband

*An invitation for the young prince

*That the oldest princess and the youngest princess get along so well

*A peaceful Sunday afternoon

*A timely Monday off work to recoup from a busy weekend

*Friends who make me think outside of the box

*Safe travels on a daily basis

*A fun activity in a magazine that the youngest princes and I enjoyed together

*The young prince's sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit

*God's abundant grace and mercy

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday Coauthored by The Youngest Princess

I told the youngest princess that I was going to work on my thankful blog, and she said she wanted to help. Of course!! That is one reason why I do this, so that my children will be thankful as well! So, the double starred ones are her contributions.


**a bed to sleep in

**a mom and dad



**clothes to wear - "Okay, I did five, now it's your turn, Mommy."

*Visitors at church

*Fun and fellowship with other believers that challenge and inspire me

*Fun at Upward watching the youngest princess play basketball

*Help around the house

*Friends that have Benadryl in their purse when the youngest princess has an allergic reaction out of the blue

*Watching the oldest princess cheer - At this point, she has had time to think, and is bursting to tell me the rest of her list...

** friends


**helping people


**Jesus - Last, but most definitely NOT least!

Then she said, "Mommy, you should do a not thankful blog." I asked her what she meant, and she said, "You know like, tornadoes, and no homes to live in, and no beds to sleep in." Bless her little heart! Nine months later, and she still worries about the people who lost so much in those horrible tornadoes. So I shall add - *no terrible, severe weather, and *children with tender hearts - to our thankful list.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Top Ten Posts of 2011

Here are the most viewed posts for 2011...just in case you missed them the first time around.

1. Thirty Days of Thankfulness - Day 17

2. How to Raise a Societal Menace: Part 1

3. Thirty Days of Thankfulness - Day 28

4. My Daddy's Dash

5. But Words Will Never Hurt Me?

6. Thirty Days of Thankfulness - Day 7

7. A Change of Heart?

8. She Would Have Been 72

9. I Still Do.

10. How to Raise a Societal Menace: Part 3

Thank you to all of you who stop by from time to time to read, and to those of you who read faithfully. It makes my day to hear comments from you, or to run into someone who tells me they keep up with us by reading the blog. Please feel free to leave a comment to let me know that you stopped by. My love to you all!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Christmas in the Country - Humorous Version

Okay, so after our whirlwind trip to Texas, we caravaned to Louisiana with my niece, her friend and the oldest princess in one car, and my nephew and the young prince in another car, and Marc and the youngest princess and me in the last car. It was a pretty uneventful two and a half to three hour trip.

After we got there, we were very excited to see family members that we haven't seen in quite a while. And of course we were happy that Marc's parents had also come to join us. Then everyone started to arrive for the party. There were door prizes, and I won one - yippee! Then the youngest princess won one - Double yippee! I am sure that set of triple retractable box cutters she won will be great additions to her toy chest... JUST KIDDING!! We did NOT let her have them. We did the old "Hey, pass this down..." game to amuse ourselves and see how far the ball of wadded up paper would go around the circle. I think this was the third annual time to play. It didn't get very far, but Brandy NOW knows, and next year we expect her FULL participation.

As the party was winding down, I tried to corral all of the cousins for the annual after the Christmas party cousin picture.  And it was no easy task, I'll tell ya!  But, one day...they will all thank me!  And who knew that J. was jealous that in the past we only held the younger cousins...and because we aim to please, we allowed him his moment in the spotlight.

Lyd and I also attempted to try something new this year.  An adaptation from one of our newest adictions, Pinterest.  All they had to do was hold their paper.  Not too much to ask right?  Apparently it was...
The point was not to hide their faces.  We actually did get a cute one, but this one pretty much sums up the whole - trying to get a cousin picture - ordeal.

That night we exchanged Christmas presents with my brother and his family, along with Marc's parents, and my nephews and niece-in-law (and my great nephew!!). Did I mention that I am going to be a Great Aunt? I am, and I am very excited!  My wonderful Mother-in-Love gave everyone Amazing Grace t-shirts in honor of her great niece who is battling Leukemia. We all put them on (for some of us, it was a tighter squeeze than others, right Joey?) and took a picture to show our love and support for Grace.

Every morning after some of us were already awake, others of us were serenaded awake by the beautiful sounds of alarm. Fire alarm!?! Yes, the fire alarm. But never fear, there was no fire, it just meant that breakfast was done.

Throughout the day, we visited and watched, as the workers working on the new addition to the living quarters worked...or didn't work (if they were painters that is). We showed our love for one another by teasing the nephews about their girlfriends, or their girlfriend's knicknames. And that, my friends, ended up being a knee slapper every time.  We played games (abiscus, gray nostril) and won (fought over) cool prizes, some fished (or tried to), some hunted (or slept in the deer stand), some napped, and we all took pictures. We introduced each other to new Sudoku (The kitchen table will never be the same), Angry Birds (Unca Ricky, why are you angry?), Where's My Water (heaven forbid we move to the next level without ALL of our ducks in a row!), and iAssociate (there's nothing like two educated educators being shown up by a five year old - hot dog - need I say more?) Sometimes it takes an innocent child to see the obvious.

We were there for the inaugural fire in the new fireplace. And...we were there for the inaugural smoking out the living room when the flue partially closed, and then completely closed as we tried to completely open it. Again the beautiful strains of the smoke alarm filled the air. It's good that thing is not directly connected to the fire department.

Each night we all stopped to gaze at the huge oak tree which is now beautifully lit. Thanks to UncaRicky (for having the electrician put the lighting in it).

We can't forget the photo shoots by the pond (You're taking too many pictures! Why aren't you taking more pictures?). And "throwing" the youngest princess in the pond (Lyd and I work great together. Please feel free to call us with all of your creative picture needs). The youngest princess catching a fish with the help of the oldest nephew, and the young prince's sermon at the pond. And of course the impromptu dance party, to Mandisa's Shackles, in the closet. Yep. In the closet. You just had to be there.

And who knows maybe one day I will grow up to be a fantastic writer like my big brother, who has become quite proficient at writing letters these days. Seriously, I love them...please keep them coming.

And before I'm done, I must give a huge THANK YOU to my wonderful niece, who not only gave Marc and I one of the most thoughtful gifts we have ever received, but also GAVE me her IPad camera connection kit, because she saw how much I loved it! She is absolutely the greatest niece...EVER!

The last morning, we woke up and the place was hopping like never before, this time including the painters, thanks to UncaRicky's motivational skills.  They got so busy we had to vacate the premises. Nothing says "y'all come back now" like a picnic breakfast in the garage, in the cold weather. At least we were able to huddle round the heater.

Making memories. It's what being with family during the holidays is all about. And as you can see, we made our fair share of them this year. And I don't know about you, but I can't wait until next year.

And, I am oh, so thankful, that there were hired people to do the paint job this time around...
Because last time...well, you just had to be there.

Thankful Thursday

So, I did all my thankful days in November, and I let my Thankful Thursdays slide in December...but I'm back at it again :-)! A few of the things I am thankful for from this past week:

*Days off work

*Family time

*That my kids still like to pile up in the bed and talk


*Movies that make me laugh

*Books that make me think

*Time spent with a friend I don't see very often

*Texts from my children

*Our family I love you sign flashed to me by my five year old from way at the other end of the restaurant table

*Lunch with my husband

*My new camera

*Phone calls, or texts from family members that say they were just thinking about us

*Flannel sheets

Blessings to you all this week, and may you also find MANY things to be thankful for!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Four Lessons I've Already Learned (or been reminded of) in 2012

1. From my devotions this morning - Jeremiah 1:1-10 - You may be busy doing God's will for your life - like Jeremiah, he was a priest. In my case, I was busy as a wife, mother, Christian school teacher, and Youth Pastor's wife. And God may have it in His plan to change your direction - Jeremiah from priest to prophet. Me, with Marc's being called to pastor, from the roll of Youth Pastor's wife to the roll of Pastor's wife. And you may not be completely comfortable with those changes - Jeremiah made excuses that he wasn't a speaker, and he was young (and inexperienced). In my case, I am thrilled for my husband, but very nervous in my new roll. I don't feel qualified to fill the position. But then, God tells Jeremiah several things that spoke loudly to my heart, and hopefully to yours as well, regardless of where He is working in your life...First, God reminds Jeremiah that He knew him before he was formed, and He had a perfect plan for Jeremiah even then. God knew before I was born (before you were born) that I (you) would be at this time, in this place, in this position. God then tells Jeremiah that He will be with him, and deliver him, and give him the words to say. Doesn't God tell us the same thing? That He will never leave us, or forsake us? Satan may try to slow down the work we are called to do by planting doubts, and thoughts of insufficiency in our hearts and minds, but God's Word reminds us that He made us just as we are, for just where He has us, to do just what He has for us to do. So then, as Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1 "...walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.". I certainly can't do it alone, but I can relax, and allow God to do it through me, and you can to!

2. From Sunday School this morning - God told the Israelites to utterly destroy the nations they would face in battle in the promised land. His reasoning for this was so that they would be a people set apart and holy. If God was so adamant about the Israelites being Holy, shouldn't we strive to be Holy as well? If we all work on being a little more like Christ each day this year, what a difference it would make! I'm going to make it a conscious effort, and I hope you will too!

3. From the morning service - What to do with the new year - Hebrews 12:1-2 Look Back. Look back, and see those who have gone before (Hebrews 11). They may have made mistakes, but they finished strong. If they can, we can too!
Look In. Look inside your life. Examine your life and see what might be hindering you from serving God as you should.
Look Up. Look up, and find the perfect example of how to live the Christian life, and that is Christ Himself.

4. From a friend - Do not put a bag of already popped fireworks in the back of your truck. It could very well lead to disaster.

All four are very good lessons, if I must say so myself. Happy New Year! What lessons have you already learned, or been reminded of, this year?