Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Fun Friday – All in the Family – Funny Side Up

Do your family members say or do funny things? Let them unleash their comedic side and enjoy the ride.

Dinner with Mom

I was out to dinner with my mama. She was indecisive as to what to order. She finally settled on a cup of chili and a chicken salad. When the salad arrived it looked delectable. The lettuce was fresh, the chicken fried to perfection. Everything was piled high…on a little bitty salad plate; just a little bigger than a saucer.

I asked my mom, “How do you like your salad?”

She said, “It looks good, but…I may need a guard rail to keep the food from falling off the plate.”

Nursery Rhymes – Jimmy Crack Corn
Did you grow up singing nursery rhymes? There was one that said, “Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care, Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.”

I’m just wondering… Who the heck is Jimmy? Why did he crack corn? If you don’t care, I don’t either.

Caption This
Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. On the ride home from the grocery store, I decided to have a little fun. So, I strapped my jumbo bag of popcorn in the passenger seat of my car.
How would you caption the photo below?

A conversation with Mom
Me:      I may stop by the bookstore today to browse.

Mom:  Do they have your book there?

Me:      No

Mom:  Tell them they need to carry my baby’s book.

I don’t know which was funnier, mom suggesting I tell the bookstore to carry my book or mom calling me her baby (at 53 years old).

What funny things have your family members said or done lately?

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Wordless Wednesday - Inspire Your Heart with Art

Photo Credit: Kansas City Art Gallery

What inspires you? Art can be inspirational. Celebrate, Inspire Your Heart with Art Day on January 31st.

Here are 3 Ways to celebrate Inspire Your Heart with Art Day:

  • Visit an art gallery
  • Create a work of art - try Painting with a Twist, enroll in an art class, create something silly with clay or Playdough
  • Look at a piece of art and ask yourself - How does this make me feel? What is it telling me?
Check out the video below of a speed painter creating a work of art in five minutes. Listen to the background music. Relax. Enjoy.

YouTube Video Credit: Revel Art

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Words of Wisdom – Never Give Up

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up,” Dean Karnazes

Never give up on your dreams, your family, or finding happiness. What does happiness look like for you? Have you ever met challenges along your parenting journey? Here’s a thought…

Happiness is…”when your children turned out to be good people.” Wisdom to Inspire.com

Reflect on your parenting journey. Although the road may have been bumpy and littered with occasional roadblocks there is always something to celebrate. What does your celebration look like?

Take a peek my story…it’s not over yet.

Never give up on what matters to you.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Muffins with Mom - Death by Sweet Potatoes – A Family Holiday Story

The aroma of cinnamon and vanilla drifted from the kitchen and floated to the nostrils of hungry dinner guests.  Four, five, maybe six sweet potatoes were cut in chunks, sprinkled with brown sugar, and shared the pot with a half stick of butter. Mama Lula’s candied yams were the main reason family gathered at her house every holiday.

Mama Lula was our longest living family matriarch at 102 years old. When she expired, so did the recipe for the best candied yams this side of the Mississippi River. I gave my best attempt at re-creating the famous recipe. My yams were diced just right, sprinkled with flavor and served with love. BUT, my yams were presented differently.

In this era social media and people posting everything from family activities to the food they eat, I fell in sync. I posted a picture of my hot off the stove syrupy candied yams. I called my mom and told her to look at the photo of my yummy yams. Her inquisition began…

“Did you cook them with a lot of butter and sugar?”

“Of course, that’s the only way to make them.”

“Are you making them for those who may be interested in becoming a diabetic?”

Pregnant pause, with a wide grin, “Not specifically, no.”

I had no intentions on infringing upon the dietary needs of anyone wishing to abstain from sweet stuff. The goal was to prepare a soul food meal for the Holiday, one that would please the palate and leave guests satisfied. Palates were pleased, guests were satisfied and there were no casualties.

Sweet potatoes transformed into candied yams do not equal a death sentence. It does add humor to a family dinner as it is turned into a murder mystery game. Love and laughter filled the room as the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla dissipated. The pot once filled with chunks of sweet potatoes and melted butter only held remnants of the diabetic delight.

Have you ever cooked-up a mystery at a family gathering?

Friday, January 17, 2020

Fun Friday – Invasion of the Body Snatchers – 5 Signs that you may be experiencing Menopause

The moment a hot flash takes over my body...

It can strike morning, noon or night…emotions flair up, beads of sweat bubble to the surface of your skin, and your mustache thickens. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, your body may have been invaded by a thing called menopause.

The menopausal experience is different for each woman, but here are 5 signs that you may be experiencing menopause:

1.      You never have to set your home thermostat above 65 degrees during the winter months.
2.      You no longer wear turtleneck sweaters for fear of sweating to death.
3.      Your skin is itchy for no reason.
4.      You develop carpal tunnel due to excessive fanning of a hot flash.
5.      Your husband says, “Honey I left my shaving cream and razor for you and your mustache.”

In the middle of the night as you slumber peacefully, you may be snatched awake at any moment. Your body is on fire from the inside out. Sweat pouring like a running faucet. The first round of night sweats has attacked you like a boxer in the ring. You fight back by kicking the cover off.

You achieve victory in round one as the night sweats subside. Beware, the sweat monster is waiting until you fall into a deep sleep so he can once again control your internal thermometer. Keep fighting. Learn what triggers hot flashes, night sweats and other menopausal symptoms.

If I can help you in any way through my experience, post your thoughts and questions here or email them with the subject line - Dear HottFlash (awritersdream41@yahoo.com).

May you glisten and walk boldly through every menopausal episode you encounter.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Motivational Monday – A Date with Jesus

“Treat your prayer time like a date night.” A local gospel radio show host said these words on her Sunday morning show. A date night is something we look forward to. We make every effort to keep that appointment. If we treat our prayer time like a date with Jesus, it will be a time that we anticipate with excitement.

At my grandfather’s church they used to sing a song with the lyrics, “Let us have a little talk with Jesus…” Prayer time is our opportunity to talk with Jesus, our date with Him. You don’t need to have a pitch nor a polished speech, He just wants to hear your voice.

Has something been weighing heavy on your mind, don’t hold it inside, talk to the Lord. There is no need to carry around heavy burdens. This is your season for greatness. Have a little talk with Jesus, tell Him all about your troubles. He will answer.

Below is a passage/story that a friend shared with me. I share it with you in hopes that you find a nugget of inspiration.

Flight 2020

Hello, welcome to Flight #2020. We are prepared to take off into the New Year. Please make sure your Attitude and Blessings are secured and locked in an upright position. All self-destructive devices should be turned off at this time. All negativity, hurt, and discouragement should be put away. Should we lose Altitude under pressure during the flight, reach up and pull down a Prayer. Prayers will automatically be activated by Faith. Once your Faith is activated you can assist other passengers. There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight.
The Captain (GOD) has cleared us for takeoff.

Destination: GREATNESS

Author Unknown

Schedule a date with Jesus, not just one date, how about multiple dates?

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Words of Wisdom - Potatoes, Eggs, Coffee Beans, which are you?

Photo Credit: Best Wallpaper.net

Have you ever faced adversity? May you find inspiration from the story below.
One time, a girl let out all her frustrations about her life to her father. She said that her life is full of setbacks. There seemed to be no end to her problems.
Her father -a chef- led his daughter inside the kitchen. He took three same size pots and filled them with the same amount of water. He set the pots on the stove and turned on the fire. When the water started to boil, the father put ground coffee beans in one, some eggs in the second, and potatoes in the last.
He quietly observed the three pots. The bored daughter stood there and was getting impatient with the silence and wondered why her father was cooking the coffee, eggs, and potatoes in front of her.
20 minutes passed, and the father turned the flames off. He spooned the potatoes from the water and transferred these to a bowl. Next, he took the eggs from the water and lay them in a second bowl. He poured the brewed coffee into a mug. He then asks his daughter ‘What do you see?’ To which she replied “coffee, eggs, and potatoes.”
The father said, “take a good look and feel the potatoes.” She touched it and stated that they were soft. The father asked her to break an egg. She did just that and shelled the egg. She stared at it, and it was a hard cooked egg. Lastly, he gave her the mug of coffee and told her to drink it. Both the flavor and the smell of the coffee made the daughter smile.
Finally, she broke her silence and asked her father “what does this all mean?” The father answered, “All three of these faced the same problem – the boiling water. But each of the three reacted differently. The potato was vigorous and sturdy when it went into the water but ended up soft. The eggs were soft on the inside with only a thin shell protecting it. But when faced with the problem, it toughened up inside. But the ground coffee was different. It blended with the water and made itself and the water better.”
The father proceeded “When a problem stares you in the face, which one would you like to be?”
Author Unknown

Monday, January 6, 2020

Muffins with Mom – The Bible Lesson

Can you guess what the acronym for BIBLE means? What did you come up with? The answer is

When my sons were younger each of them had a children’s Bible of his own. Recently I recruited my college “kids” to assist with cleaning and purging items over the Holiday break. Stuffed in a backpack with other random items, was a faux leather Bible case. The bumpy brown case with black lines had the look a feel of a basketball.

One son had a case that resembled a basketball and the other sons’ case had the look of a football. It was the information on the inside of the cases that mattered most, instructions on how to live a Godly life. I remember my younger son rolling his Matchbox cars across his Bible or using it as a pad as he drew tic-tac-toe boxes on a sheet of paper.

Learning does not happen overnight...for children nor adults. There are parables in the Bible about planting seeds, waiting patiently, and reaping a harvest. When seeds are planted, they do not sprout overnight. As a parent, it took a loooong time for me to learn to be patient. I get it now. My sons have grown into competent young men with their own ideas.

There were tears shed that they never knew about, daily prayers, and sending them to Grandma’s for my respite. I’m glad I never gave up on them or my sanity. We’re not perfect, but we continue to grow. There are many Bible lessons that can be applied to our lives, the key is to never stop learning.

Situations happen in life that are beyond our control. For those times I say, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to you own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3: 5-6.

Is there something you have been praying about – a new job, your finances, your health? Plant your seeds, be patient, pray during your waiting and know that God is in control. Things happen in His divine order. Get ready for a shift.

Remember that your Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE), is your best guide. When my sons’ stumbled upon their old Bible cases, it brought back an avalanche of memories. Not all the memories were Bible lessons, but they did recall life lessons.

May all the seeds you plant this season produce a great harvest.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020