Grateful!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy

Yes, we have a long way to go, but we can’t deny what we have. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for all the men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country. I pray for strength, comfort, and peace for their family members. And that their needs will be met. In Jesus’ mighty and matchless name, I pray. Amen!

Just blogging it out!

Straight from My Heart

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

During my bout with COVID-19 this past January, a short story that I had written a few years ago popped into my mind. I decided to read it, not knowing what to expect because I hadn’t looked at it since 2017 and had no intentions of looking at it again. I may have even had a funeral for it. LOL After I finished reading it, I thought, “I really like this story.”

Initially, it was supposed to be included in a collection with other authors, but it didn’t make the cut. From what I remember, that manuscript came back marked up in red with all the reasons it didn’t fit the project. My name was literally on the book cover and then deleted, like–

LOL In hindsight, I can confidently say that she was correct in that the story didn’t belong. It definitely wasn’t the right time for me to release anything that I had written.

Fast forward to today, I see no reason to change the story. It just didn’t fit in that collection. It’s precisely the way it’s supposed to be. No, it doesn’t fit tradition, and that’s completely fine with me because it’s a story Straight from My Heart. I hope that whoever reads it will be inspired and entertained. I designed the cover and published Season of Love on Amazon–$1.99 Kindle/$6.99 Paperback. It would be great if you read it. And please post a review if you do. ūüôā

I knew I’d start releasing my stories this year. I never imagined Season of Love would be the first, but I’m glad it is. That whole experience is part of what God used to bring me to this point in my life–in His peace. I’m amazed at what God has done since 2017.

I don’t have a website, Instagram, Twitter, or all the other things I was suppose have before releasing Season of Love. All of that will come in time. I do have an author page on Facebook that I started a few days ago. Click the link to follow. Well, that’s about it.

May the Lord bless you beyond your imagination as you seek His will.

I’m not exempt. I’m just . . .

Blogging It Out

He’s Our Living Hope!!

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9 NASB)

JESUS IS OUR HOPE! Trust Him!!

Just blogging it out!!

Ahhh, The Little Things!

Earlier today, I yelled downstairs to my husband, “I can smell the black bean soup up here.” To which he replied, “Ohhh, cool.” The ability to smell the aroma of something cooking in the kitchen may not seem like a big deal, and a month ago, it wasn’t.

Okay, so this whole COVID-19 pandemic thing is real. Prayerfully, you won’t get it, and hopefully, you’re not one of those people who refuses to follow the CDC safety recommendations. I NEVER expected or wanted to see a positive COVID-19 result on my life resume. Know what I mean? As a matter of fact, I questioned the validity of my test results until Saturday, January 16th, at around 1:30 pm. Let me back up a little.

My husband and I received our positive results on Tuesday morning, January 12th. I was shocked for a split second, then I asked myself, “Why not me (us)?” Yes, we’re cautious, stay home (as much as possible) and away from folks, cook at home, have groceries delivered (wipe down items), etc.

The truth is, we have a good idea of what led to our bout with COVID-19 through contact tracing, but that’s not the topic of this blog.

Now back to Saturday, January 16th.

Yeah, so I thought I was asymptomatic because the only reason why I knew I had COVID-19 was because Kaiser told me I did via email. Either asymptomatic, or they sent me someone else’s results by mistake. I didn’t have a fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, chest pains, fatigue, etc. I exercised (at home) as usual and everything else. UNTIL Saturday, January 16th, at around 1:30 pm.

I had just eaten lunch, which I tasted and smelled, by the way. I decided to have a Cara Cara orange for a snack. That orange looked like it had a lot of flavor. I bit into it after peeling it and tasted nothing. Zilch! Nada! I was like,

That orange was void of all citrus goodness! I got up from the table, stood over our diffuser with lemon oil in it, and inhaled as hard as possible. Nothing!! I sniffed eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. I could feel the stimulating sensation of the oils but couldn’t smell a thing.

And that’s when I said, “Okay, Lord. I’m still trusting You, completely no matter what.” I said that and meant it upon the diagnosis. But I didn’t have a reason to be concerned. Okay, yes. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the world, but at that point, I had no symptoms. My thoughts: What’s next? Is this lack of taste and smell thing permanent? Is it the start of more severe symptoms?

Of course, I prayed against all that. Thank you, Jesus! My ability to taste and smell is back. Hence, the reason why I yelled to my husband that I could smell our dinner, black bean soup. ūüôā Ahhh, The Little Things! By the grace of God, my husband and I had mild cases of COVID-19. The only thing that followed the loss of senses was a little nasal congestion.

We don’t know when this COVID-19 thing will be over, but there are ways we can lower our risk of contracting and spreading it. No one is exempt. I know quite a few people who’ve had it who experienced mild symptoms like us to people having to go to the emergency room. There’s no way of knowing how the virus will affect us, so following the CDC guidelines and recommendations are extremely important.

As Christians, my husband and I take the guidelines and recommendations as a way of showing love for God’s creation. That may seem silly to some, but this walk isn’t about us. We wear our mask, the correct way, for you, not just for us. Social/Physical distancing, disinfecting, washing hands, and other precautions can be a matter of life or death. Why risk it?

I’m so grateful that our experience wasn’t life-threatening. Our prayer is for the eradication of all variants of COVID-19. And for mercy for us all. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Obedience is better than sacrifice. Stay safe and well.

I’m not exempt. I’m just . . .

Blogging It Out

Happy 21st Anniversary, TAntoine!!

It was breezy and rainy on October 16, 1999, but it didn’t bother me one bit. The familiar musky, fresh scent from the moist ground lingered in the air, an indication of an extended downpour. I welcomed the rain even if it was my wedding day. If I’m not mistaken, I still had a few errands to run that morning, including getting my hair pinned into a French twist, a popular formal hairstyle back then. The stylist arrived an hour late, but I was getting married, so I didn’t let it bother me. Besides, she didn’t charge me, “It’s my wedding gift to you.” She said. Who could argue with that? LOL

Our wedding wasn’t fancy at all, and we didn’t go on an extravagant honeymoon. We drove to Wisconsin for a quiet honeymoon in a cabin in the woods. We just wanted to get married and start our lives together. For me, a diamond engagement ring was out of the question. Instead, I wanted matching wedding bands. Someone told me that people would think we didn’t have any money if we wore simple wedding bands. My response, “So! We don’t.” LOL Antoine and I have never been into putting on airs to impress people, even today. We’re just us.

God has blessed us tremendously, and I am in awe of His love for us every day. We lived a lot of life during the last twenty-one years. Through it all, we’ve grown closer to Jesus and each other. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I look forward to every minute that the Lord allows us to be together. Happy 21st Anniversary, TAntoine!!

If you haven’t made Jesus first in your life, stop playing. Do it!

I’m not exempt. I’m just . . .
Blogging It Out!!

Sighs and Shrugs

An opportunist is a person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans. (Oxford Dictionary)

The difference between protesters and looters/rioters is simple–motive. Plain and simple. <Sighs and Shrugs.>¬†

My heart aches for George Floyd, his family, and all the people who knew him. I’m praying because I know Jesus is bigger than what’s going on, no matter what it looks like now. God help us all.

I’m not exempt. I’m just . . .

Blogging It Out.

 

 

Amazing Love

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16,17)

This is a love that’s hard to grasp. We say it, but do we really believe it in our hearts? Jesus came to save the world, everyone. Salvation is a gift, and WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING TO EARN IT. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, 8¬†For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9¬†not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Jesus died for our sins, all of them! 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

HE LOVES US AND WANTS TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH US!!! Receive His love and the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. 

Romans 10:9,10 says, 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

God’s amazing love is transforming, but we must admit that we have sinned and need Him! 1 John 1:9 says, 9¬†If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10¬†If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

We’re all sinners who need a savior. At the end of my blogs, I always say, “I’m not exempt.” Well, none of us are. We all need Jesus!! Receive Him and His Amazing Love.

Of course, we celebrate this day because Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave. He’s alive! But if we don’t understand what He went through and why, we may spend the rest of our lives trying to accomplish something that only Jesus could and did.

I’m not exempt. I’m just . . .

Blogging It Out! Oh, and Happy Easter/Resurrection Day!! HE HAS RISEN, INDEED!!

 

We Love Them

THEY’VE ARRIVED, AND WE LOVE THEM!! I mentioned in my last post that we ordered four face masks from my niece, Brittney C. Grant, at B. Chantel Designs. As you can see in the picture above, they are cute and fit perfectly. Also, these masks can be adjusted to combat foggy lenses if you wear glasses like us. There’s a thicker material behind the design.

mask details

We ordered six more. ūüôā To order yours, go to www.bchanteldesigns.com.

Wearing face masks is our new normal. Don’t get caught up in all the false information and theories that are floating around. There are some facts and guidelines that we must follow. We believe in being obedient as we trust in Jesus. Stay home if you can, but if you have to go out, wear a face mask. I still work with the public, and I follow all requirements and recommendations.

I’m not exempt. . .

I’m just blogging it out! Oh, and spend more time with Jesus today.

 

 

 

New Normal

11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT)

Happy Sunday! New normal-online church for everyone and toilet paper is more valuable than gold. Who woulda thunk it? LOL

We gave up looking for toilet paper weeks ago and figured if we had run out, we’d improvise. Last Thursday morning (We were down to 6 rolls.) I decided to visit our local Walmart for a few items. With gloved covered hands, I strolled down the aisles, trying to physically distance myself from fellow shoppers. I peeked around corners avoiding the most populated aisles.

peekin gif LOL Obedience and wisdom, not fear!

Anyhoo, I noticed several people had toilet paper in their carts, but thought they were the people who waited in the parking lot for hours before the store opened. Then I realized that every cart had a pack of TP. I thought, “Maybe, just maybe, today is the day that I will buy TP.” I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I played it cool as long as I could. But the anticipation got the better of me. LOL

pushing shopping cart

It was the day. ūüôā We got TP! I walked out of Walmart with a pep in my step. Naw, not really. But as I loaded the groceries in the car, a guy who parked next to me opened his trunk to retrieve his reusable bags. I told him there was toilet paper. His eyebrows crinkled as he squinted his eyes. He asked, “Is there a long line?” Almost as if he expected me to say yes. Clearly, he had experienced standing in the anaconda line at Costco only to find out they were sold out. I said, “No, but go there first.” He broke out into a full sprint as he yelled, “A’ight, thanks!” ūüôā

I imagined that he, like us, had given up on buying toilet paper. There was no way he was going to stand in that Costco line again or any toilet paper line for that matter. Maybe his wife had sent him to Walmart for diapers or eggs or milk. Boy, she’ll be happy to see that Angel Soft tissue. LOL

While toilet paper is a hot commodity these days, it is far less critical in comparison to some of the more severe issues the COVID-19 global crisis has caused. People are panicking, which leads to stress, which leads to a lower immune system (among other things), which leads to sickness and disease. THIS PANDEMIC IS A REAL REASON TO BE CONCERNED! I chose Philippians 4:11-13 for this post because these verses are what I like to call, “IN YO FACE” verses. Why? Because Paul is telling us that we can endure any situation as long as we focus and rely on our Lord. Is there a better choice? We have to spend time with Jesus for strength. I believe most of us have more time on our hands than ever before.

 

claire
LOOK AT GOD! LOL

Even if we don’t have extra time, as believers, we are to make spending time with Jesus a priority. It’s for our benefit. He’s not a genie waiting for us to rub a lamp so he can make an appearance. He’s with us! I’m not saying we should ignore what’s going on in the world. I’m saying, whatever is going on, trust God. To trust Him, we have to know Him. To know Him, we have to spend time with Him. It is the enemy’s job to distract us, and frankly, he’s good at it, but only if we give him the power. If you find that you’re consumed by fear during this time, #CheckYourHeart. Turn back to the Father and rest in His presence. DON’T GIVE UP YOUR JOY AND PEACE!¬†

Okay, last thing. Do you have a shower song? A song that you play while you’re taking a shower? Right now, mine is Love Theory by Kirk Franklin. There’s a part of the song that explains what I’m trying to say.

Loving You will be
Will be the death of me
That’s how it’s supposed to be
More of You, less of me.

More of Him, less of us. If we stop trying to handle things without Jesus, we will be love giving joy spreading peace walking patience practicing kind and gentle acting good doing faithful self-controlled people of the Most High King! Yeah, I know, that was wordy. Hopefully, it made you smile.

I’m not exempt . . .

I’m just blogging it out! Oh, and my niece, B. Chantel Designs, makes face masks. Click the link then scroll down to see her masks. I bought 4. ūüôā