Life or Something Like It

Tiger Rising Movie

Tiger Rising Movie

Tiger Rising Movie

There is a new movie on the horizon!  Tiger Rising Movie stars Queen Latifah and Dennis Quaid!  I’m so excited to take my kids to this movie!  It is high time there is a movie that we can all enjoy PLUS it may possibly inspired them to read the book by Kate DiCamillo!  Win.  Win.

ABOUT THE TIGER RISING

Queen Latifah and Dennis Quaid star in this beloved tale based on the New York Times best-selling book by Kate DiCamillo. When 12-year-old Rob Horton (Christian Convery) discovers a caged tiger in the woods near his home, his imagination runs wild and life begins to change in the most unexpected ways. With the help of a wise and mysterious maid, Willie May (Queen Latifah) and the stubborn new girl in school (Madalen Mills), he navigates through childhood memories, heartache, and wondrous adventures in this heartwarming adaptation.

Links

Watch the Tiger Rising trailer HERE!

All you could EVER want to know about this film found on their FACEBOOK page.

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Redeeming Love Movie Review

Sons of Thunder from PureFlix

 

Life or Something Like It

Redeeming Love Movie Review

Redeeming Love Movie Review

TRIGGER WARNING:  This movie should be watched with parental guidance due to SEVERE and HIGHLY ADULT content.  If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you are not alone.  Please reach out RAINN 24/7 and they can help you.

You are worthy.

You are enough.

You are capable.

You are good.

You are kind.

You deserve love.

It is not your fault.

Assault is not your choice, it is the freewill of man.  All people who choose to sexually assault others should be punished to the fullest extent.  Please seek help from a friend, pastor, and/or counselor.

Redeeming Love Movie Review

Redeeming Love a life-changing story of the power of unconditional and all-consuming
love.  It is coming to theaters January 21, 2022!  You and your friends will walk away impacted by the perfect, relentless love of the Father after watching the film

Synopsis:

Based on the bestselling novel by Francine Rivers, REDEEMING LOVE is a powerful
story of relentless love and perseverance as a young couple’s relationship clashes with the
harsh realities of the California Gold Rush of 1850.

Angel expects only pain from those around her. Sold into prostitution as a child, Angel sur-
vives with hatred towards herself and the men that use her. She meets Michael Hosea, a
farmer who believes God wants Angel to be his wife. Dire circumstances force Angel to ac-
cept his proposal, but when Michael defies her bitter expectations, her wounded heart be-
gins to mend.

As Angel encounters a love unlike anything she ever experienced, feelings of unworthiness
and shame cause her to run from a life she doesn’t think she deserves. As Michael sets out
to find her, Angel discovers there is no brokenness that love can’t heal.

About The Bestselling Novel

Based on the bestselling novel by Francine Rivers, REDEEMING LOVE  is a powerful story of relentless love and perseverance as a young couple’s relationship clashes with the harsh realities of the California Gold Rush of 1850. It is a life- changing story of the power of unconditional and all-consuming love. Coming to theaters January 21, 2022, REDEEMING LOVE  shows there is no brokenness that love can’t heal.

My Thoughts

Trigger warnings all over the place within the first 30 minutes.  Trauma, adultery, prostitution, violence, semi-nudity…makes my heart hurt.  I almost turned it off.  Then Mr. Hosea comes around and he meets Angel.  The girl who was loved by her mother, abandoned by her father, watched her mother do unthinkable things to provide for her daughter, lost her mother (tragically), and then followed in her footsteps.

Rough Week

Frankly, I’ve had an emotional week altogether and I’m not emotionally prepared for this film, but I am pressing on because, again, now I’m vested.  I can honestly say, I have never read the book so I have no expectations of book versus movie.  There is no time to read in my world.  I’m very busy, though I love a good book.  We shall see if I pick it up.  I can tell you the first 30 minutes triggered the snot out of me, so I’m internally working on processing that.

Isn’t it amazing how films or books can do that to a person.  Anyway, the cinematography and videography is amazing.  Also the costuming and makeup is on point.  The acting is really good and so far, I have seen one familiar face.  Famke Janssen was in the Taken movies, so that was a face I recognized immediately.   Unexpectedly, it has Eric Dane (aka McSteamy) in the film as well.  Josh Taylor (Roman from Days of our Lives) and Nina Dobrev.

Continued Thoughts

Uhm, yep…this is disturbing.  The content is not what I would have ever thought it would be coming from Momentum.  I know that there is a moral and redemption at the end but this has been a very difficult film to review.  It is very similar to the book Hosea.  Reading that book and seeing it depicted on screen are 2 different things.

I’m struggling.  Being a survivor of sexual assault, this has triggered me and 5000 kinds of ways.  I get it.  I understand the underlying meaning and how God can bring glory in ALL situations.  I know this is loosely based on the book of Hosea.  I get it.  Truly, I do.  Yet, I struggled with completing this review.

I just finished the film.  Honestly, I am a wreck.  This is a lot to process for me.  The ending was beautiful.

Please, if you choose to go and see this, know that God is bigger.  He does not ordain these types of things to happen.  He is not a God that seeks pleasure in the assault of others.  Yet, freewill is a bitch.  The prince of the earth, satan, is evil and will take great pleasure in destroying people.

News flash:  I’ve read the last page of the story.  God wins.  He is good all the time and all the time, He is good.

Links

Go HERE to buy tickets.

Redeeming Love Trailer

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Universal for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opin-
ions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

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Life or Something Like It

Sons of Thunder from PureFlix

Sons of Thunder from PureFlix

Sons of Thunder from PureFlix

Sons of Thunder from PureFlix is a Christian series that follows the life of Simon.  “Combat vet Simon motorcycles across the country, working odd jobs, helping those God puts in his path, and trying to atone for past sins in a biker club.  Parental Warning: Adult Situations”

Yes, there are VERY adult topics in this series.  There is evidence of drinking and violence.  Still, it is a clean alternative to enjoy shows, like this, without the sex and extreme violence.  Now, I there are things I need to be honest about.

First and Foremost

I enjoy Pure Flix.  I have come to enjoy doing my reviews and/or giveaways for streaming clean television/movies.  This is something I wouldn’t hesitate to let my kids just flip on and choose whatever they want to watch without standing over their shoulders.  Again, just because it is Christian based doesn’t mean it doesn’t have adult topics that NEED to be addressed if your children watch.  That doesn’t mean all of the shows or movies, but some of them.

Now for the Nitty Gritty

Complete honesty.  This first episode lacked a lot to be desired, for me.  I was talking to my husband about this first episode (there are more but I’m only referencing the first one).  I was telling him the premise behind the series and what my thoughts were.

So, the main character Simon is a tough looking, mean, bad biker man.  Well, that is what the show eludes too.  In the first episode, there are only flashbacks, so you get a little bit but not a lot.  He is on the quest to return what appears to be a knapsack with a Bible in it.  He reads the Bible and asked the Lord for salvation.  So, all in all, this is a story about a Saul to Paul conversion.  I get that.

Yet, this first episode was an intense theme and it just didn’t play out well.  It didn’t expand the characters.  This one episode could have been the entire first season (there are 7 episodes).  The acting is okay, not great BUT the cinematography and videography is WAY better than some other things that I’ve seen.

I likened this first episode to my Doug.  He is a dear dear friend of mine…a brother to me… and he is this rough looking, big ol, hairy, gruff person riding in on his Harley.  He looks SO intimidating when he rolls up.  Then, he gets off his bike, takes off his glasses…and those eyes…that voice…that laugh…he is a softy who is the most precious person ever.  That is who Simon reminds me of.  Yet, internet land doesn’t know my Doug.  So, not a great analogy.

This is a Good Analogy

Since most people wouldn’t get analogy, this is my next analogy.  Have you ever tried to get a pearl out of an oyster?  You get the tools and you work so hard trying to pry the oyster open.  Finally, you crack it a little and you open it up…only to find sand.

That is what this first episode was like.  So many good elements, such a good storyline…yet it needed development.  It needed to be longer.  It needed to be the season LOL.  I wanted more.  I can handle the not great acting because the story was good.  Honestly, it left me bitter.  I wanted more.

Episode 2

Now, this one was better.  The storyline was okay…it had many “aha” moments in it for me.  Simon is a funny guy and I didn’t get that in the first episode.  I’m finding myself vested in what he does.  Reminds me of the movie Joshua.  I want to know who owns the knapsack.  Does he reunite the man (or boy) with the Bible?  How did it get lost?  What is his backstory?

So now I’m committed.  I want to know the end and I’m anxious to see how this all comes back around.

Let’s Talk

There is a character in the show.  His name is Angie D and he is the head of the biker gang.  He walks in the room and you know he is a seasoned actor.  I felt like he looked a lot like Patrick Swayze in his last television series (The Beast) before he died.

I like his character.  That rugged, hardcore biker who has a story that is written all over his face.  I just couldn’t shake it.  I enjoyed the scenes with him in it.  So, at the end of one of the episodes, I decided to see who the actor was, why he looked so much like Patrick Swayze, and what I had seen him in before.

Low and freaking behold…. I WAS RIGHT.  It is Don Swayze, Patrick Swayze’s brother.  Yes, I feel justified cause I caught it.  Here is his picture, just for reference:

Sons of Thunder from PureFlix

You’re welcome 🙂  Now, go start a free trial at PureFlix and dive into all that it has to offer!

EDITED:

I finished the first season and I am VESTED!!!! I am so excited for the new season coming along. See, I tell ya, if you give me a minute to get in the groove, I will like it.

There are so many things I need to know. So. Many. Things.

First season is only 7 episodes. It is worth getting the free trial just to see it. Very anxious to see the second season. Sons of Thunder: Redemption.

Links

Original Sons of Thunder Website: LINK
SOT: Redemption Press Release: LINK
Sons of Thunder Season 1 Trailer:  LINK

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Salvation Story of Daughter #3

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Salvation Story of Daughter #3

Salvation Story of Daughter #3

As I was going through the thousands of pictures on my hard drive, I found this picture of my third daughter.  So, it got me to thinking that I would share the Salvation Story of Daughter #3.  First and foremost, here is a picture of my daughter.  This was taken at the exact moment she expressed to me her desire to know and follow her Lord and Savior, Jesus. This was the moment I knew things were real.

You could sense and feel her emotions. I could see her wheels turning and putting things together. Such a beautiful moment.

Salvation Story of Daughter #3

On October 16, 2015

Was when this picture was taken.  For some odd reason, no one was at home.  I’m not sure where everyone was but they were all gone and this was before Hunter came to live with us.

G was 14 years old.  When she was about 6, she was “saved” every year at every church or school they went too.  We first thought it was real and then realized that it was more for the attention than the true meaning.

After about the 3rd or 4th time (I mean, she had been baptized at least 2 times before this picture was taken)…we just thought she was too young to truly understand the meaning.  It would come, in time.  In God’s time, not our time.

Struggles

G had struggled since before she came to us at 6 years old.  There were lots of things going on in her life, that were completely out of her control.  She was too young to be heard and so she internalized, as most children do.

She did some very brave things that helped bring justice to some people.  She also kept herself alive and fed while also keeping her younger brother alive, fed, and safe.  There were other littles ones that she was responsible for, but that wasn’t around the clock like it was with her brother.

By the time she got to us, she had been through 2 other state homes and several non-state regulated homes.  It is a lot for a 6 yr old.  She knew how to work the system.  She knew how to behave (according to her birth mom) and she stretched the limit quite a bit.  The other placements just weren’t equipped to handle the things that she had to deal with, her diagnosis, and her behaviors.

I Guess We Though We Could

We were ready to bring her and her brother home and fight for them.  Teach them about the love of Jesus.  Give them consistency, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, hot showers. age appropriate toys, teach them to use their imaginations, work on their nutrition and reverse anything we could.  It was not easy.

G stayed in survival mode for a long time.  We did all we knew how to do.  We took PS-Mapp classes, Care Plus Classes, Sexual Abuse classes, had a great R & C worker, and the kids had a great social worker.  They actively saw therapists and doctors.  We did medications, detoxifications, food changes, allergy testing, allergy shots.  We tried everything.

Things kept getting worse and worse.

Taking It Personally

I took her hate and disdain personally but it has been impressed on me that it wasn’t me that she hated.  She “hated” her birthmom and that just happened to spill out on me.  I absolutely did not encourage that at all. I let her express her emotions and then tried to help her understand.

She was angry, confused, hurt, sad, that her mom had made the choices that she did.  It was hard for her to match up her words with her actions.  Frankly, it was hard for me to explain to her.  I never spoke ill of her birth mom.  I have always told her that her mom loved her the way she knew how to love her.  That she did the best she could with what she was taught by her parents.

I can’t fix that.  I also can’t take her attacks against me personally.  The girl could run her mouth, get all up in my stuff, try to be bigger than what she was and by those actions of blatant hate, disrespect, and harming others.  Trauma. PTSD amongst other things.

Then One Day

She was mad about something.  We were toe to toe in the dining room.  My boy had gathered up the children into the back of the house because he was always afraid of what she would say or try to do and he wanted to protect his siblings from her.  My goal was to protect her from herself.

She walked up, with her arms crossed, and said that she feels darkness surrounding her, starting at her feet.  That the darkness was like a cloud and it was coming across her legs and that the more it moves up, the more power she has.  That she likes the darkness and she likes the power that she has and she can do anything to me or anyone else when the power overtakes her.

Scary, I know.

I Distinctly Remember

I was as calm as calm could be.  I just looked at her and said “satan, in the Name of Jesus, you have to leave.  You have no power over my daughter or my home.  Get thee behind me.”  I prayed out loud, over her.  I had my hands on her shoulders and I could feel the tension and the warmth of her shoulders.  As I continued to pray, she began to physically lighten up and the tension was being released and a calmness took over her.

As I looked in her eyes, they returned to her normal color and her voice had audibly changed.  I asked her what happens and she said that when she gets angry that the cloud swirls around her feet and she does like the power but it scares her.  I explained that seemed like it was demonic and that once I claimed Jesus over her, it had to leave.  It no longer had the power to invade her or my home.

We talked about the fruits of the spirit and that she said she didn’t have them and I agreed.  That was a scary moment.  I’m sure that is the moment that she, now, dwells on.

Yet, there was more to that time that I wish she would remember because I not only remember, I took a picture because it was such a spiritual moment for both of us.  Sacred.

Fruits of the Spirit

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

These were the things we started talking about over the course of several days leading up to the picture above.  We talked about what it “truly” meant to have Jesus live in your heart.  That when He moves in, the Holy Spirit takes over and deposits all those fruits into a person’s lives.  Now, granted they may be seeds or they could be full blown fruits, but we all have to start somewhere.  We all have to heed that still small Voice of the One who sustains us.

Hard to Understand

That was a hard concept for her.  So, at the time of the darkness, I asked her about each of those fruits and she vehemently denied having any of them.  She hated everyone, herself, her bioparents choices, school, all the things.

It is a hard concept when you have lived a hard life in the beginning.  Yet, a hard beginning does not dictate your middle or your end!  These fruits may not be there now, but God is waiting to give them to you.  Again, some will be planted seedlings, some will be tiny fruits, some so big they are falling off the trees, but you will have them.  That is a guarantee.

Back to that Night

As we were alone, we decided to go and eat out someone.  She wanted to go to Sirloin, which was about 30 minutes away.  I agreed because I let her choose.  That’s what a good mom does LOL.  They let their daughter choose the place to eat.

We drove in silence.  We ate in broken silence.  We headed home in somewhat silence until we saw an accident that yielded in a person’s death.  She had a hard time with that, as did I.  The questions poured out of her.  She asked why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?  Why does He allow bad people to hurt kids?  Why her dad didn’t come for her?  Why her mom didn’t fight for her?  Why?  Why?  Why?

We had a long discussion about Freewill.

That was the Night

That I shared ALL of her birth story with her.  I have binders upon binders of information from every home, every person, every therapist, every diagnosis, every police report, everything. We poured over it.  I showed her many pictures and told her that I had been trying to contact her dad and biological sister to establish a relationship with them because it would be important to G.  I had also tried to locate her birthmom, but hadn’t had any luck.

I answered every question by looking through the paperwork and letting another person answer it.  Whether it was a judge, guardian ad litem, her birth parents, birth grandparents, foster parents, therapists, etc.  I didn’t just pick an answer out of the wind, I found it in black and white documentation and had her read it.  I just helped her understand wording.

It was a Hard Night

Yet, it yielded something unexpected.  Peace.  She physically had peace.  Her face softened up, her voice changed, she cried real tears, asked great questions about the goodness of God.  I was able to lead her to Scripture and have God answer those questions.  We researched, cried, and came to peace.

At that moment, she truly and completely asked the Lord to be her personal Savior.  It was so innocent and beautiful.  There were no accolades, no parties, no pats on the back, no baptisms, nothing like that.  Just me and her, in our home, together where the Holy Spirit was present.

I told her to look down at her shirt because I had just read it.  She put it on, originally, because she liked the color green.  She didn’t even read what was on it.  She looked down and the look of JOY, PEACE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, SELF-CONTROL, LOVE, GENTLENESS, not so much patience yet, FAITHFULNESS were permeating through her smile.

Her shirt reads SURRENDER!  She had just surrendered her life to Jesus and was bestowed the fruits of the spirit.  Most were growing fruits, a couple of seedlings, some were so big they were falling off the trees.  It was such a beautiful moment that was shared just between us.  I’m so thankful I took that picture.

Where is She Now

Well, just because we love Jesus and have Him in our hearts doesn’t always mean we continue to make the right choices.  We are still sinful people who are saved by grace (thank God).  We still make mistakes, do the wrong things, say the wrong things, fall into sin patterns, listen to a little bit too much of satan’s lies, and try to fit in with society.  That is a crutch we have all carried.

Does screwing up mean we have lost our salvation?

Oh heck no!

Does it mean we have lost the fruits of the spirit?

Nope, though they may need water to grow a bit more.

Once you truly ask Jesus into your heart, you are placed in the hands of Jesus THEN Jesus’ hands are placed in the hands of God.  There is nothing getting you out of those grips.  You are forever His.

Does it sadden Him?  Of course it does.  Yet it doesn’t stop Him from loving you.  He just wants you to do the right thing.  Be that city on a hill.  Be a testimony for Him.  Share your crappy beginnings and show people what the Lord has done for you.

Questioning Salvation

I did question her salvation based on her actions and her fruits when she was saved every year from 6 to 14.  It was literally a weekly or biweekly thing.  BUT that night changed everything.  I have NEVER questioned it since.  Not even with all the things that continued to happen and the struggles we had.  I never questioned it again.  I know she is His.  I know He lives in her.

I miss her.

I love her.

I believe in her.

She is enough.

She is brilliant.

She is beautiful.

She is capable.

She has been chosen by me to adopt her but more importantly by God through adoption by salvation.

She can do anything she sets her mind too.

Till I take my last breath, she will be my daughter.

My prayer is that she chooses to be a city on a hill and shines her light for the glory of God.  I pray that she remembers this night and holds it close to her heart because I hold it close to mine.

Some People

They know 20% of our story and that is being generous.  Maybe, I will clear up some other misconceptions over time.  I don’t know.  I wouldn’t do it without her permission.

For Now, we allow time to heal wounds. Pray for clarity, safety, wisdom, discernment, and forgiveness.

God is bigger.

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Blogmas is DONE

Blogmas is DONE

Blogmas is DONE

I did it!  I did it!  I did it!  Blogmas is DONE.  Geez.  I am so glad this is over.  Some people go through the end of the month but not me.  I set out a goal to make it to Christmas and I made it.  See.  I can accomplish something!

We had a great Christmas.  It was Charleigh’s first and she just makes everything better.  To think that next year, I will have 2 grandchildren is just too much for my brain to handle.  Charleigh will be almost 2 and Apollo will be 7 months.  My Christmas tree will never be the same!

I am totally all for that!

Food and Fun

My kids seemed to enjoy what they got and they all pitched in to help clean up the mess.  It’s been a while since we have had a stressfree Christmas, so this was nice.  It would have been all better had all my kids been able to be home, but I will take what I can get.  I had 6 here and 1.5 grandchildren.  That makes for a happy Lolli!  We ate good food, made giant messes, assembled many things.

Change of Plans

We had a bit of an alteration of plans.  Normally, we go to my mother-in-laws on Christmas Eve and frost cookies.  Then, on Christmas Day, we go over for lunch.  Due to Co-vid, we were not able to go right now.  So, we had to improvise.

I still made cookies on Christmas Eve.  We did chili that night and I prepped some stuff for brunch on Christmas Day.  Then, my bigs started filtering in and we ate brunch on and off.  It was warm outside, so cornhole was played and Hunter played in the sand and everywhere else.  That night, we did a pork shoulder and went to see the lights at the park.

New Year

I am looking forward to a new year.  On January 6, 2022 we will celebrate Ethiopian Christmas.  January also brings one surgery, lots of basketball, and the beginning of birthday season.  I have lots of thoughts and hopes for the new year, but as always, we will take it as it comes.

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Get to Know Me Part 3

The final part is Get to Know Me Part 3.  These were super fun to go through and answer.  Some of the questions actually made me stop and ponder.

~Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?

Looks for intelligence. Currently have neither.

~How often do you buy clothes?

Rarely

~Have you ever had a secret admirer?

Yes

~What’s your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving

~What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

Adopt

~What was the last thing you recorded on TV?

People do that?

~What was the last book you read?

Beyond the Wilderness

~What’s your favorite type of foreign food?

Ethiopian

~Are you a clean or messy person?

Clean

~Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?

Rue McClanahan

~How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

5 minutes

~What kitchen appliance do you use every day?

Stove

~What’s your favorite fast food chain?

Cheddars

~What’s your favorite family recipe?

Granny’s cheese ball

~Do you love or hate rollercoasters?

Hate

~What’s your favorite family tradition?

Reading the Christmas story

~What is your favorite childhood memory?

Granny’s house with all our family there

~What’s your favorite movie?

Shag

~How old were you when you learned Santa wasn’t real? How did you find out?

Probably 8. School

~Is your glass half full or half empty?

Half empty

~What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?

Went to Cubs convention

~What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?

Cat & Dog. Chapstick. Pillow.

~What was your favorite subject in school?

Art

~What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

Injera

~ Do you collect anything?

No

~Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?

Sadly, it already all has.

~Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert

~Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest?

Taste I guess.

~Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise)

Nope

~Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?

Nope

~What do you do to keep fit?

Hahahahaha

~Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken?

Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no. Not a family motto just something to live by.

~Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

Ms. Bittner because she was there during a very dark time of my life and showed me love and grace.

~What three things do you think of the most each day?

Coke. Sleep. Why Lord?

~If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

No filter included

~What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?

Keanu Reeves

~Who was your first crush?

Billy

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Here are more Getting to Know Me Part 2 questions.  Enjoy!

 

~What’s the most interesting thing you can see out of your office or kitchen window?

A giant crack in our yard.

~On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are?

2

~Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Still raising kids.

~What was your first job?

Hancock Fabrics

~If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?

Cyndi Lauper

~How many languages do you speak?

1

~What is your favorite family holiday tradition?

Baking at Christmas with my mom

~Who is the most intelligent person you know?

Varies depending on topic

~What is one thing you will never do again?

Confide in people

~Who knows you the best?

Bart

~Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?

Butch. Only daddy calls me that.

~Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?

Like…for the most part as long as I know what is going on. It is hard to surprise me.

~In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a relative, watch a movie, or read?

Watch a movie

~Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why?

I have been to Hawaii and loved it. Would love to vacation in Alaska next.

~Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? And why?

Work at the perfect job. I love helping people.

~Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?

Bart or Cal Sisto.

~If money was no object, what would you do all day?

Drive

~If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?

I would like to meet Jesus when he was teaching.

~How would your friends describe you?

….no clue and don’t want to know.

~What are your hobbies?

Organizing, cleaning, cooking

~What is the best gift you have been given?

This last trip to Graceland (2021)

~What is the worst gift you have received?

A feather duster

~Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Coke

~List two pet peeves.

Stupid people.

Ants

~Where do you see yourself in five years?

Raising kids

~How many pairs of shoes do you own?

10

~If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

Read people’s minds

~What would you do if you won the lottery?

Pay off my debt and my families debts

~What form of public transportation do you prefer? (air, boat, train, bus, car, etc.)

Air

~What’s your favorite zoo animal?

Okapi

~If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

Oh…this question hurts my feelings. There are a lot of things I would change.

~If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

Granny. Ms. Jo. My parents. Jesus.

~How many pillows do you sleep with?

3

~What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep (and why)?

48 hrs. Hospital with my youngest.

~What’s the tallest building you’ve been to the top in?

Skylon Tower in Canada

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Getting to Know Me

Getting to Know Me

Getting to Know Me

I thought some Getting to Know Me questions would be fun.  Aside from that, blogmas has kicked my behind and made me tired.  Who knew I had so much in me that needed to get out.  There is more…but for now, let’s have some fun!

 

~Who is your hero?

My granny.

~If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Ethiopia

~What is your biggest fear?

Losing my children or husband.

~What is your favorite family vacation?

St. Augustine

~What would you change about yourself if you could?

Self-love and confidence

~What really makes you angry?

Stupidity

~What motivates you to work hard?

The feeling of accomplishment

~What is your favorite thing about your career?

Helping others

~What is your proudest accomplishment?

Graduating 4 of my 7 kids through homeschooling.

~What is your favorite book to read?

To Kill a Mockingbird and Night

~What makes you laugh the most?

My granddaughter

~What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?

Oh geez….I don’t even remember. #covid

~What did you want to be when you were small?

Veterinarian

~What does your child want to be when he/she grows up?

#1 She is living it

#2 Work with geriatrics or doing something with history

#3 Air Marshall, Cosmetology, army, forensic anthropologist, flight attendant

#4 Journalist

#5 Army

#6 Basketball star

#7 Sidewalk

~If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Speaker

~What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

Whatever my kids are playing

~Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?

Horse

~What would you sing at Karaoke night?

Islands in the Stream

~What two radio stations do you listen to in the car the most?

None

~Which would you rather do: wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or vacuum the house?

Mow

~If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?

Yardwork

~If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pasta

~Who is your favorite author?

Elie Wiesel

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Figuring Out How to Release Control

Figuring Out How to Release Control

Figuring Out How to Release Control

Quite side note, I already have doves tattooed on my forearm.  They are the universal animal for hope.  I may, just may add the broken chains because what a beautiful image that brings in Figuring Out How to Release Control.

Last Night

A lot of things happened.  You can read about most of it from yesterday’s post.  There are some other things that occurred that should have rocked me to my core.  Let me backtrack.  It did.  The revelation bothers me immensely BUT I had peace.

I can count on one hand how many times I’ve experienced peace that surpasses all understanding.  Last night was one of those nights.  Maybe I was still in a moment of grief and sadness due to the loss of people I held dear to my heart.  Maybe it was God’s sweet way of just hugging me.

I don’t know.

I do know, however, that today, I’m still in that headspace.  Now, my body is certainly continuing to keep the score with what is happening physically but mentally and emotionally, I am okay.  This is a huge deal for me.  Normally, it takes me days to recover from such an encounter.

It is often that I will get angry (fear and/or sadness), I will wilt under the pressure when it is dark and cry myself to sleep.  There are many times that I just leave and go for a drive in order to keep it all pushed down.

I did not do that this time.

This time, I sought wisdom from friends.  I let them do the heavy lifting because they are not in the moment and can see things objectively.  There was a realization that I could not do that and if I tried, things would escalate.

Then, I reached out to 3 people I consider to be prayer warriors.  When in doubt, let God deal with it.  My husband was a huge support as he chose to lead this issue instead of watching me flounder.  This has been a past experience and I’m glad that he stepped up for us both.  Lastly, I contacted my child’s physician and got an appointment for this morning.  We were all three able to talk, calmly, and come up with a plan.

Breath Prayers

As I finished out the night, afraid for the soul of this child and for what I know is to come, I simply prayed “God, do something.”  In that moment, it was impressed on me that He will do something.  It may not be what I want or think is right.  Also, it may not be in the time that I want it done (like right now).  He will do something because he loves this child more than I do and He has plans to prosper and not to harm this child.  I just have to rest and be silent (Ex. 14:14).

It is hard for me to be silent because I want my intentions, thoughts, and opinions to be heard.  The Lord spoke to me and just told me to stop.  Stop this hyper-obsessing over things that I have no business interjecting in.

It is simply not my place and not my business.  My place is working through my own issues holding up my husband.  To work on my walk with Him and learn how to surrender.  My type A personality does not groove with that type of talk.

Releasing It…Again

So, again, I released all the things that were plaguing my thought process.  Cluttering my mind, keeping me up at night, and dictating my actions.  I went through each kid, each issue, each problem and I just gave it up.

Lest we forget, I’m human and live in a fleshly body, so it is common place to find myself doing this thing over and over until I reach glory.  For now, I’m at peace.  Now, I pray about it and leave it at the feet of Jesus.

Do I wish He would do things my way and in my time?

Heck yes.

Will He do so?

Absolutely not.

Will it be okay even if He doesn’t do XYZ?

Yes, because His ways are higher than my ways.

I can say, for today (and hopefully forever) that I am at peace.

Today, that is a win for me.

 

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Hard Week Leading Up to Christmas

Hard Week Leading Up to Christmas

Today is only Tuesday night and this week has already completely caused a mental, physical, and emotional breakdown.  A dear friend passed away and in my grief for his family, I went through the motions of the day.  I hauled kids back and forth to work and school.  The house was clean, appointments made, dinners planned, and then I was alone.

I found myself at Hobby Lobby and that is not a good place to be when you are having a moment.  There are moments where you are listening to Christmas music and then there are the old time hymns that my friend loved.  I kept my mask on because my tears were flowing and I was trying to hide the ugly cry.

As I was pondering the things that kept appearing in my cart, I called to talk to one of my son-in-laws.  I needed some advice on something and he found out I was, indeed, at Hobby Lobby.  The excitement in his voice was palpable.  I was in the throes of hysteria and he was thrilled I was in the store.

That boy.

I told him that there was something in there that I was going to get for Apollo but I wasn’t sure about it.  He assured me that Apollo needed whatever it was that I had picked out.  Everything in Hobby Lobby is good and safe to purchase, including the shopping cart.

As we are discussing what I have and what I actually needed him for, this object caught my eye and I lost it.  I stated that I had just found a hot pink flamingo with a crown and that I didn’t need it but I wanted it.  That everyone needs a crown every now and then.  It was only $12 but it wasn’t on sale.

He was THRILLED and said that I, of course, needed it.  That it would be awesome to have and it was okay that I buy it because it is from Hobby Lobby. I put it in my cart and cried when I handed it to the cashier.  I told her I didn’t need it and she thought I made a great purchase.

Running into Old Acquaitance

As I was leaving, I ran into an old acquaintance who I grew up with.  Our families were good friends and we were always together when we were young.  I knew her dad had had Alzheimer’s and was not well.  Also, her mom, amazingly, was his sole caregiver.

I was shocked to see her after 30 years and asked if she moved back to town.  That is when she told me that she was only in because…her dad just died…I was speechless.  After the loss of my friend that morning and now the loss of someone that I truly loved and respected as a child was gone.  It was a good thing, he is with Jesus and singing his sweet heart out but still.  It is hard for those left behind.

We chatted and caught up a bit and then we parted again.  I called my Oak and cried all the way home.  I walked in the door and just laid on Bart sobbing.  He is a good man.  He knew my one friend but didn’t know or meet my other friend, Buddy.  He just let me cry.

I got out my purchases to show Bart.  I told him that we were officially done with Christmas.  Then, I got to the bag with my flamingo.  Through my sobs, I told him I could take it back because I didn’t need it and didn’t want to waste his money on something so frivolous.  He told me that he loved it and I could keep it.  It isn’t that big of a deal and it made me happy.  I told him that Arkie encouraged me to buy it because it was from Hobby Lobby (his love of this store warms my heart.)

So, meet my pink friend…

Hard Week Leading Up to Christmas

Isn’t she glorious???!!!

There have been other things that are really really tough that have happened.  Prayers are truly appreciated for the families that lost loved ones this week, for those affected by the tornadoes, for those who are lost, and for my daughter whom we miss and is not with us this year.

God is good.  I will love Him through this storm.  I just have to keep my eyes above the waves.  This week, I have sort of felt like I was drowning.  This too shall pass…like a kidney stone.

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