Steps of Faith

Steps of Faith

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Virtuous Woman



Good Morning.....
Have to be in Dallas by 8:15 this morning
Hoping to miss some of the bus stops and the school traffic....

Proverbs Chapter 31:10...... the book ends with a written picture of a woman who has strong character, great wisdom, and great compassion...

She is an excellent wife and mother.  The book mentions her many talents as being a manufacturer, importer, manager, realtor, farmer, seamstress, upholsterer, and a merchant. But one thing I noticed is that it never mentions her appearance.  It does not describe her as being a beautiful woman as one would think.  Her attractiveness comes entirely from her character. 

What I love are her qualities....A hard worker, she respects her spouse, cares for others, has wisdom in dealing with money and she fears the Lord.  What honor, what worth!  I certainly would love to have every single one of her qualities...


If we really take time to study Proverbs we gain the opportunity to completely learn how to become wise, how to make good decisions, and how to live our lives according to God's plan...

I pray that God will help keep me focused and that I will gain knowledge each time I read this portion of scripture.  How awesome would it be live as this woman lived.  I can only think of how great an honor it would be....to be a VIRTUOUS WOMAN!

Shug Sez.....

We should all strive to be display these qualities in our own lives......

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Visual Shopper


Welcome to my corner of the World....
Today I am on a mission and I plan to give it my all!!

Coupon Shopping....Again

My husband of many years is constantly telling me that I can do anything that I want to do if I put my mind to it....

Well, this is not exactly true...I have tried coupon shopping numerous times and I always NEVER SAVE ANY MONEY.  When I coupon shop, it ends up costing me money....I buy stuff thinking that I am truly an official saver, but what in fact I have done is buy items that we either do not use or that ends up costing me money because you had to buy 3 to save 50 cents.

I have several of my Blog Frog friends that are giving me all kinds of good information, but I just can not get the hang of it...


I am a   V I S U A L   person and unless I see something being done, it goes right through my brain...

What I need is someone to come along beside and show me the true tricks of getting the job done.



The papers, the coupons and the ads make it look so easy....but let me tell you it's not.
I once went into a store and was going to really stack up on cereal...I toted 10 boxes to the check out counter, only to find out that the size didn't match...There were NO sizes that matched the coupon!!


Another issue I have is BRAND.. It is so hard for me to change from the brands that I have always used...(And the brands that my mother used forever)

I know this is definitely something that I need to change if I really want to be good at
coupon shopping...

Hey, I am open to any suggestions because I am trying to become a frugal shopper.  I really am going to give it another try!!

Shug Sez.......

If you fail....try again!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mind Over Matter

It has been a beautiful yet cool brisk day and the sun in finally setting.  There is a bright glow far in the distance that seems to be pleading to be kept alive, but yet the deep darkness of the evening is pulling it further and further down until it will soon be lost forever.

Darkness has taken over and there is no brightness left in the sky....only the sight of a few flickering stars desperately daring to be seen.  It's an unsettling feeling that is not always welcomed.  It is the end of a day that is never to be seen again.

By the Grace of God, there will be a tomorrow, but the moments of time that have passed can only be a memory in one's mind.  Our minds!......  Life truly is all about Mind over Matter....An Optimist would say "Oh, this has been a truly Blessed day.  I am happy to have experienced such a wonderful gift from God."  A pessimist on the other hand would see nothing but a day of misery with no opportunities for a brighter future. 

I am definitely an optimist and I am always asking God to blanket me with happy thoughts, but I am also human.  At times I feel myself fighting a battle that really does not belong to me......

I wake up with a heavy coat of loneliness and a desire to be loved way beyond what is necessary.  I find myself feeling a sense of frustration because my mind is so overwhelmed with all of the things that I want to accomplish and yet I know that I am only able to do so much...

There are 12 hours in each day in which we never see the sun.  Once the sunset is gone, we can only imagine that the brightness of the sun is shining upon someone in a far away country....However, it is possible that the sun is hidden from their faces by clouds of rain and it's shining beauty may not be seen by anyone until we experience a new day and a new sunrise....

Even an optimist has clouds from time to time that hover over them and shields them from the bright glow of happiness...This can be devastating for one who normally sees the glass half full, if not FULL at all times.  I have found that what is needed is TIME.  Time to relax and time to pamper yourself. Time to allow your body, spirit and mind to be recharged.  You must also recognize that there are times when space is needed to separate you from negative situations or negative people.

I am thankful that I have God to go to and that I can ask Him to renew my spirit.  I can ask Him to hide me from the shadow of darkness that might be trying to linger over me....I can expect a new dawn and I can expect the brightness of the day to fill me again.

It is my constant desire to be a positive thinker.  I want to walk with an upbeat attitude and be contagious to those around me...

I want to encourage others to see life in a way that can only bring them happiness and the persuasion of Hope in everything they do. 

Thank You Jesus, for being my protector.  Help me today to understand that you are right there at the forefront of my mind and my heart.  When it gets to foggy for me to see and my battlefield becomes too difficult,  help me to give it all to you...Help me to realize that this battle belongs to you and Victory is mine....Amen


Shug Sez......

Keep your eyes focused....Strength comes from the Lord!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Whatever...........


Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable....If anything is excellent or praiseworthy.....think about such things.

                              Philippians 4:8


The moment that I saw this plate, I knew I had to have it....
I love it!  This one particular plate was what helped me
decide exactly how I was going to redo my kitchen....
Pure....Lovely.....The white is pure and black is one of my very favorite colors.  I was having a very difficult time trying to decide what colors I wanted to use in my kitchen.  I have always had the color of RED somewhere in the kitchen, but lately I had been thinking of giving up the red and changing everything to some different shades of green.....My cabinets are white and I do already have a lot of black accessories in the kitchen, so it was very easy for me to finally make the decision to go with white, black and some red...



Here are just a few of the things that I have selected so far........










 







I think I have fallen in   Love.....

Sam and I stopped in at the cutest little antique shops this past weekend.  I think I may have found the perfect breakfast table for my eating nook........

I am thinking about this very carefully.....I'm actually kinda proud of myself because I did not make a rush decision about the table.  Gonna think about it a few days......

So far, I am really liking the pieces I have picked out....Still have a ways to go and will be very excited to show you the end results...

Have a Fabulous Monday....I know that I plan to.
The cool weather has me so excited.....

Pumpkins, Mums, these are the items that are on my agenda today.....

Shug Sez.........

Let us be grateful for the people in our lives that make us happy!


 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

To Be A Pearl




To Be A Pearl:


The most extraordinary thing about the oyster is this........Irritations get into his shell......And when he cannot
get rid of them, he uses the irritations to do the loveliest thing an oyster ever has the chance to do.  

 If there are irritations in our lives today, there is only one prescription:  make a Pearl.  It may have
to be a pearl of patience, but, anyhow, make a PEARL.  And it takes Faith and Love to do
it.........

                                                            Harry Emerson Fosdick


Shug Sez........

Hope, Faith, and Love...All three flood my heart with happiness!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

BHS Homecoming 2010

Is it Saturday Morning already?   Wow, this has been a big week....Lots of Homecoming Happenings right here in Bear
Country!!....

Ok,......now this gets complicated...

For those of you that are not familiar with our school district, our schools are a bit spread out...We have an elementary and an Intermediate here in our town, and then just 10 miles away is the rest of our schools.  Another elementary, another Intermediate, a Jr. High School and the High School...

Shanda teaches at the elementary school here and her youngest son Trey is in the second grade at the same school..
Tori, our oldest granddaughter attends the other elementary.

Trista, our oldest daughter teaches at the Intermediate that is ten miles away, and her youngest son Tucker, and Shanda's oldest son Carson attend that same school....

Let me think for a minute (thinking, thinking, thinking)
Ok....Ty, our son-in-law coaches and teaches at the High School and Tyler is a Freshman in that same school...Taylor is a SENIOR.

......This week was Homecoming week and every school does their own thing....I have taken several random pictures of all of them on different days as their school celebrated in different ways...I hope you will enjoy!


Tori and Carson:  Hair Day!


Tucker, Carson, and Tori........Sunglasses Day!


Shanda and Trey:  Camo Day!



Trista:  Sock Day!



Totally Hair Day....Tucker, Tori, and Carson




Balloon Release Day:   Trey and Shanda's school



Grayson:  Grandson of a very dear friend!  Kindergarten Student



Sock Day....I think these are Tucker's socks!


Trey, Trey..........Balloon Release Day.....



Balloon Day!


Trista and Taylor......Morning of Homecoming Pep Rally



Wonderful Friends......



Taylor and Jessie, BFF's


Shanda, Trey and Mylee.....


Tori, Tucker, and Carson....."No more pictures please"



Trey.....The Man!



Little Friends!


My Dad and Niece
Tammy...

Students at BHS...


Brittney.....Our Niece



Shanda, Amber, Trista, and Carla....good friends!

Tori......after a long day!



And last but not least....the results of Mylee getting
into Shanda's lipstick when no one was looking!!

I have so many pictures of Homecoming 2010.  Hope you have enjoyed sharing this week with me.....

Have a good weekend!

Shug.........

The best things in life are nearest:  Family and Friends are the sweetest things in life!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Juggling Expectations


Anticipation, Looking forward To, Confident Beliefs, Strong Hope,

Something Expected, Standard Of Conduct.........


These are all words in regards to Expectations.

I can best describe myself as a DREAMER...with many expectations!

I very enthusiastically make plans for myself or for others and many times

these plans prove to be unrealistic expectations.  Take for example a simple

picnic......While most people can plan a picnic based on the principle of 

enjoying a nice spread of food and just relaxing while they enjoy the

beauty of the outdoors, I (have dreams) or expectations on a much Bigger

scale.  I picture picnic basket full of all kinds of foods. 

 I might even feel that in order for the picnic to be complete, or for others to

 enjoy it, we must have family games and relays or perhaps

competitions.   And of course there must

be prizes.  Prizes that make all of the kids look forward to this planned picnic

year after year. 

Then there is the weather.  I would have dreamed that it would be a perfect

day with perfect temperatures and NO clouds or rain......



There are other kind of expectations as well.  I may be remodeling a room

and I picture in my mind exactly what the outcome is suppose to look like.

What I might not have realized is that a piece of furniture does not fit

where I had planned, or that the TV can not be seen and I have to make

adjustments to what I had planned.


I find myself becoming stressed because I either expected too much and

it doesn't work out, or my eyes are filled with tears due to the lack

of excitement that I feel from others. 

I allow myself to see these mental images and most of the time I have

not made the proper preparations in order for my plans to clearly

be followed through.  I need to focus on the simple ways of doing things.



God loves for us to come to him for all of our needs...I need to learn to pray

about my plans and seek God for wisdom in carrying out a project or

for making decisions. 

I love life and I expect others to feel the exact same way that I feel. 


I know that if I would think things through, I would come to realize that

the most fun comes when I am not out of line or stressed!!!


Shug Sez.......

Let the Lord help you with every plan you have...He will never fail us...He will never disappoint us......

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little Eyes are Watching!





This was a picture of our "Autumn Moon" last night.....
Autumn began with a full moon.....It truly was bright enough to
harvest a few crops...(If you had any to harvest)




It is almost deer season and for all of you that love to hunt or have hunters in your family, you know that there is much to be done. 

Things like making sure you have the perfect spot.  Making sure your feeders are working, securing your stands and a lot of little detailed things that I really don't know anything about....

Pops and Tucker have always been the hunters in our family, but I think we have a little girl that has decided that she loves hunting too!  She was very disappointed this past week when Pops and Tucker went to the Archery Club to get in a few practice shots....
She just could not understand why she couldn't go see the deer too.







       (......This was a beautiful sight when I snapped this shot...)




Since we were not going to the Friday night football game last week,  Pops decided that this would be the perfect time for he and Tori to finish getting the stand set up....I guess you could say that Pops was in charge of her and  they were having some bonding time...He took her out to the farm and they looked for deer tracks, she climbed up in the deer stand (which is exactly the kind of things Tori loves to do) and got to spend some good quality time with her Pops.....

To me this is the cutest part of the story.....Pops came in and took his shower while Tori finished eating her dinner.  About an hour later, Tori hopped in the shower.  I couldn't help but smile so BIG when I went into the bathroom to help her wash her hair.  Laying there on the floor were Pops pants and along beside them were Tori's pants....They were almost just alike...


Little eyes are always watching everything we do....
How sweet, how precious that she wanted her pants to be just like her pops pants.  Do we even realize these small things that they see and do? 

Yes, I do think we have a new hunter in the family and I feel like she will fit right in.  Her Pops better walk in some big shoes, because she is following right behind him...How awesome!

Shug Sez........

Isn't it wonderful how our children and grandchildren learn from us?  We must always be aware that they are walking behind us watching everything we do.........

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Busyness number two




I am looking forward to this day....The reason why is

because I know that nothing touches my life that

hasn't first passed through the hand of God.  He

Knows what is best for me and I trust His hand in

my life.........................



Think about this.....    As Christians are we finding

that our lives are too busy to serve the Lord....

Yesterday I spoke about parents being too busy to

notice their children, but today I wander how many

of us are too busy to serve our  Heavenly Father? 

The typical person is so overwhelmed with the

busyness in their lives that our Sunday's are no

longer a day of rest and a day for serving God.

We get up....get dressed for church

and most of the time this is done in such a rushed

fashion that by the time we get to church, we are so

frustrated over simple minor things.  Because our

weeks are busy, this leaves no time for proper

organization or sometimes even for the laundry to be

done...

Yet, on Sunday mornings we expect our kids to get

up, eat breakfast and be dressed for church within

thirty minutes, even if they can't find anything clean

to wear.  Most of the time they can't find their

shoes or socks.  Oh, and what if mom did forget

to buy milk for them to have with their cereal!



Are our hearts really in tune to meet God on Sunday

mornings, or do we go through these hassles

because we know it is expected of us?

Are we sitting in church thinking about what all we

have to get done the next week or are we allowing

our core thoughts be about God and centering in on

Him?


So many times we wander why we are not enjoying

life or why we can never accomplish the goals WE

have set for ourselves.  How many of us are really

giving God the time that He deserves.  How many

of us take the time to seek Him first every morning

in regards to decisions in our lives?  It's not enough

just to seek Him for direction, but we should be

singing Praises to Him each and every day for His

goodness and because He is Lord of our lives...


I am appalled how these days we have even allowed

sports to become our Sunday focus.....Instead of

having our children in church learning about God,

they are playing ball learning how to be professional

athletes.  Just think for one moment about this. 

How does God feel about us robbing Him of HIS time

because we are out there trying to center in on our

child's future.  The weeks are filled with practice,

practice, practice....ball, ball, ball and then Saturday

and Sunday is filled with playing ball....


How can we expect these kids to understand that

God is First in our lives?  Shug Sez...that we all

need to wake up.  We need to truly realize what is

 important in this life.  We need to be spending

more time with God and with our families. 

Shug Sez.......

Don't just balance your time with God....Give him the time and dedication from your heart that He deserves.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Unnoticed Tears

Some subjects in life are difficult to talk about, but yet these are the very subjects that could make a difference in our lives, in our communities and in our world.........

No pretty pictures today....Just words straight from my heart.

I recently was touched by a statement that I read.   This statement has been heavy on my mind and I decided that if I could touch one family with this post, then it would be worth my time. 

The statement read... "Parents are so busy they can't see the tears in their own children's lives."

Do you realize just how true this is?  Parents are too busy to even notice that they are too busy!  Is this what life is suppose to be about?  I don't think so.  Sure, the economy is bad and people are having to adjust or put in more hours just to pay their bills.  But, you know what?  When I was a child (and for years way before my time) families struggled in the same way.  The difference here is that parents back then did not have what we consider the necessities of life today..Anything and everything was not available and watches were not something that people had to constantly look at...Time was spent at home with family.

They were not always texting on the phone instead of having conversations with their children.  They were not constantly calling someone just to be talking and they certainly did not place things above their value of being a parent.  Today, we are allowing cell phones to suck the life out of our families. 
We are so dependent upon fast food restaurants that there is no need to have kitchens in our own homes.  A lot of our time is spent  trying to keep up with our friends and what is going on in their lives and we fail to see what is happening in our own families lives. 

We are sending a hidden message to our children that we are too busy to care about the small, but Oh so important things in their lives.  The truth is that we only seem to notice the BIG issues going on with our kids.    We don't notice the big things as in WOW, "my child gave their lunch to someone that was hungry today."  NO.....we notice BIG as in "my child hit another child at school today and now the principle is making them go to ISS.  I  will be at that school in the morning and take care of this."  What message are we sending to our kids?

Who on earth wants to wake up every single day and live such a chaotic style of life?  It is time to put all this busyness aside and spend precious time listening to our children....

Kids need parents that will:

1.  Pray with them...
2.  Teach them about God and loving other people.....
3.  Teach them about having meals together.....
4.  Teach them about having quite evenings at home........
5.  Mothers need to teach their daughters and sons to do
     laundry and how to iron.
6. Teach them how to cook or to bake a cake from scratch
    instead of having them believe a cake can only come from a box.
7.  Teach them to be creative.
8.  Dads need to teach their sons about life, how to earn a
     dollar.  How to save their money....
9.  Dads need to teach their children how to bait a fish hook 
     or clean a fish.
10.  Children need to be taught how to climb trees and how   
      to play in the dirt. 
11.  Children need to learn that life is not about designer
      clothing and new cars.
12.  Children need to be taught that you don't have to be the
      Best at everything in life.....
13.  Kids need to be taught that to be disciplined is OK.....
14.  Children need to be hugged and they need  to be able
       to understand what a true hug really is all about......


Our children deserve to know how important they are and just how much they mean to us.   I remember some very special times in my own life.  After supper and after the dishes were done, my mom and dad always grabbed our outside blanket and went out and set under a mimosa tree in the yard.  We would all share about what the most exciting thing was that happened in our lives that day....Sometimes we would play a game of baseball, and other times  we would just visit and laugh with each other under that beautiful tree.   I see very few mimosa trees planted these days, but every time I do see one, I have very fond memories of my childhood. 

God has trusted us to teach our children and to give them a life that is full of love and commitment.  We all need to learn to slow down, stop the busyness and spend quality time getting to know about the needs that our children have.   Do your children have tears in their lives that are going unnoticed?

Shug..........

Wow....I can't believe I'm posting this, but I pray that families all around will realize that life is not a race!

Monday, September 20, 2010

One Hot Weekend.....

Let me just tell you how Hot this weekend really was.....I was ready to do something that I have never done before.  I was tempted to hit the streets and start begging....Sign and all!

 
Oh Yes......I was desperate...I needed some COOL AIR!
(....Of course, any work that I was going to do, had to be in an air conditioned place...)
Do you see the thermostat gage in our house?

This past Friday evening the Lord sent us some rain....along with the rain was some really bad lightning and loud thunder.
Just after it passed, I noticed that it was getting warm inside the house. 

Who wants to come fix someones air at 9:00 at night.  We called the service guy, but NO answer.  So......we had the whole night to spend with no air.....

Thank goodness for fans!



One Fan


Two Fans.....



Three Fans......



Four......



And we even had to use the fan that I had already packed in Sam's suitcase for his business trip the next day....   ?????????????

Seems a power surge knocked out the motor on the air conditioner.
Finally got air the next day at 3:00!  I am so thankful for fans...

Shug Sez.......

Grow flowers of gratitude in the soil of prayer....


Sunday, September 19, 2010

"The Grace of God"



"The Grace of God"

"......For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith; and this not for ourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no on can boast..."
                                       Ephesians 2:8

Grace is God's unmerited favor.....It is like a pardon.  Our salvation is not something that is earned, No.....it is a Gift from God....

Because our salvation and even our faith are gifts, we should respond with gratitude, praise, and joy.......God's intention is that our salvation will result in acts of service.  We are not saved merely for our own benefit but to serve Christ and build up the church....

God's grace is too big, too great to understand fully.  So we must take the moments of His grace throughout the day with us: the music of the birds in the morning, the kindness shown in the afternoon, and the restful sleep at night!

Shug Sez........

Praise God today.....Give Him glory and honor!

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Yes....My Grandkids Rock

Yes....My Grandkids Rock