No Soul

June 30th, 2015

Home means a lot of things to different people. For me, home feels homey when real life is going on there. Family crammed in to overflowing, smells of favorite foods cooking and all the creature comforts that make you want to stay and take a nap.

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On our way home from downtown Indy this weekend, hubby and I passed by a favorite area of the city and noticed an OPEN HOUSE sign. Curious, we zipped into the driveway. The house looked like something you might dream of; fancy winding driveway, neatly manicured sprawling lawn, privacy hedge trees all around, classic design, large sized and maybe even a little elegant. We both weren’t prepared for the inside after imagining something totally different from the driveway view.

We stepped inside and my mouth dropped open. The outside did not match the inside. The foyer was all business, plain business. The modern lighting, weird designs and cold empty welcome felt blah. The realtor hosting gave us the run down on price, acreage, famous designer/architect/builder (didn’t hang on to the name for more reasons than price) and invited us to look around.

So, we did. We wandered through room to room, not really saying much. It was so disappointing. It had lovely and very expensive woodwork. The decor was too sterile. Every room felt like a medical office. Upstairs, downstairs and into the kitchen…so many let downs. I felt sad the whole tour. Who builds a 1.4 million dollar house and ruins all the beauty?

We walked outside on the back porch and I said, “This house seems so cold. Like no one has ever had any fun here!” and my hubby agreed and said, “It has no soul”. Have you ever gone somewhere and felt that? It’s strange. Home is so personal, it’s so inviting and alive. It oozes memories, reveals flaws and screams LIFE! For many of us, the messes bring embarrassment or shame. But I challenge you, to love your home and fill it with YOU.

People will know….your home has soul.

Home is where you love the people in your life. It’s where you hide when you’re hurting or sad. Home holds you together when you feel like falling apart. Home is where your kids are and where they’ll come back after they’ve moved on. It represents the life you’ve lived. It protects your stuff, your family and your heart. Home is special and when strangers walk in, they’ll know if they belong there or not. Home is a feeling that even a guest can feel.

Are you making home……home?

Constitutional Right Doesn’t Equal Divine Right

June 29th, 2015

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The world is divided right now. More so than usual, honestly. The reaction to what has happened because of a small majority has opened the floodgates of frustration and anger. No matter what I say here, it isn’t going to change a single thing.

Only God can change what is or isn’t.

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Over the past few days, I’ve read post after post, article after article….side against side remarks – nothing has changed. People are still either celebrating or broken in two. Slinging around words such as hate or bigot just fuel the hurt.

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After reading posts from many (who claim Christ as their Savior) crying out about all the hate, I had to ask – Who is spewing hate? Voicing your sadness or disbelief of such a decision isn’t hate or hate-filled. Have we come to such a place that disagreeing equals hate?

I speak for me.

I don’t hate any person who thinks differently or lives a lifestyle unlike my own. Because of that, I can still disagree with the choice they’ve made. I have a voice just like anyone else. I’m free to use it, but I want to do so with love.

While homosexuality seems to be the big-in-your-face subject right now, let’s not leave out the fact that the world wants to minimize any and all sin as sin. The Bible is mocked continuously as a book of fairy tales or outdated craziness. It’s not rare to hear someone bash God’s Word or His design for a Holy life.

By the way, WHO wants a Holy life anyway? Right?

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This decision of a few lawyers is not the end of the world. A constitutional right is not the same thing as a Divine right. As usual, the fight isn’t really against flesh & blood anyway.

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As a believer in Jesus Christ, I can’t help feeling frustrated by the arguing and finger-pointing. Sin carries in itself its own misery.

Who’s saying anything to the adulterer?

Who’s pointing at the thief?

Who’s jumping up and down at all the fatherless children?

Who’s ready to wage war for the L O S T ?

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Enough is enough. Christians or anyone claiming to be so, stop screaming about all the hate.

This world is not our home. However, while we’re here…. we could do some good and love one another. We could stop shouting and listen with merciful hearts. (myself included) We could fight on our knees instead of on Facebook. We could lend a hand instead of pounding it on a table of self-righteous indignation (have I ever mentioned I AM A SINNER?). We could be salt & light (like we are supposed to be) instead of staunchy hard-nosed “Christians”. We can be Holy without being holier than thou.

Still, we can call sin…sin without being a hater.

50 Years Together

June 27th, 2015

I bet if I asked them, how did 50 years fly by so fast? My mother & father-in-law would say….it didn’t. We lived it, every day…in & out with intention and purpose, full of love and forgiveness and blanketed with precious memories at least a mile long.

June 28, 1965 in Tampa, Florida two young (they were in their 20’s) love struck dreamers tied the knot forever. I bet they didn’t imagine celebrating this milestone anniversary (so soon) but here it is, 50 years!

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I’ve only been around the last 26 or so of those 50 happy years but in that time, I’ve observed a lot. I’ve learned a lot. My in-laws do a great job of living out loud for God and they set a wonderful example of how to love one another. I had no clue how I was going to stick with my marriage for the long haul, seeing their commitment to each other and to their family has helped me hold tight to my own marriage.

They are leaving a great legacy.

What is it that binds a love like theirs for so long? Is it goodness, maybe. They’re both pretty good people, they’d be the first to admit they’re not perfect. Is it forgiveness? Could be. They’ve done a good job of getting over infractions and moving forward with a clean slate. Is it stubbornness? Perhaps a little. A marriage worth having is always worth fighting for, right? Is it mercy? You betcha! Relationships have no chance without it. Is it true love? Of course. What the world wants to tear apart, my in-laws know….that God wants to hold together!

Because of their love for HIM, they’ve been free to love and cherish one another. And I’m so glad that they’ve done both for the last 50 years!

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!

You are loved by your children and grandchildren. Thank you for such a Godly example of love and commitment. I love you both!

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DIY Coffee Creamer

June 25th, 2015

Guess WHO forgot to buy coffee creamer at the store yesterday? Yep, me. I remembered it late last night as I was falling asleep. Don’t ya hate that?

I woke up to the garbage trucks growling through the neighborhood and rain trickling down, so I nixed making a store run in order to have my one cup of coffee.

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Old habits die hard, ya know. I headed straight to the coffee pot and clicked it on….knowing I had nothing to put in it. I may be a “coffee” drinker but I’m a total fake coffee drinker. I like my coffee to taste like a treat or dessert. None of that black gold for me. Matter of fact, I’m such a coffee wimp that I only use light roasts such as breakfast blends or blonde….veranda. I’m a total lightweight.

However, I do still drink a cup EVERY SINGLE MORNING and when that doesn’t happen….I get a pounding headache around 1:30 in the afternoon. Just in time to remind myself that I didn’t have any coffee and it’s 4 hours way too late to sip one down now.

I wouldn’t be able to sleep until at least 3am if I tried an afternoon cup of joe!

So, my dilemma. No creamer. I remembered seeing DIY creamer recipes all over the Inet. In my desperation and the fact that I’m still in my nightgown, I decided to give it a try. What could it hurt? Plus, I’d at least get my one little cup of coffee in this morning.

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Success! I love it! It’s easy, made with stuff I had in my pantry and even tastes a little less processed (if that’s possible).

Vanilla Creamer (copy cat)

1 can low fat sweetened condensed milk (I didn’t have low fat)
1 1/2 C. whole milk (you can probably use your fave 2% or whatever)
1 T. Vanilla

Mix in the blender (condensed milk is thick) and store in a mason jar or whatever you have that’s shakeable and perfect in your eyes. Be ready to get your mind blown!

So good! Happy Friday eve, friends.

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Weird Shoes

June 23rd, 2015

Can we be honest? Sorry if I step on some toes. Ha! Pun intended.

Weird shoes are just grody!

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If you search “weird shoes” on Pinterest, look out. The crazy style trends will blow your dang mind. Not in a good way either.

Unless, stuff like that is your thing.

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Which brings me to the WHY? Why are people wearing shoes like this?

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I have no words.

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Here’s where I lay it out there, I loathe the skanky look of platform hooker heels. Who thought this was a classy design? Sorry, girls who love these clowny looking dudes. Ladies, you don’t look sexy. You look awkward and even slutty. There, I said it.

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Does anyone else remember those strange Bratz dolls? They had the wacky GIGANTIC shoes? That’s what I’m reminded of when I see women/girls clomping around (always standing with normal shoe wearing people) in these odd “high heels”.

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Freak show. No one is taking this seriously, are they? The look?

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And…while we’re talking hot fads, please say NO to gladiator sandals. No one is pulling off the lace up the leg look. Unless you are named Gisele. Gisele can do it. Not you, not me and not your friend.

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Honestly, how can these feel comfy? Blech! It’s like, trying to be sexy and direct the eye of every onlooker right at your legs. Unless you have FANTASTIC legs and those are hard to come by, obviously. You’re not going to want everyone oogling your odd or out of shape legs.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not lumping the whole world into a one size fits all category. I get it, some people can wear certain things. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean…they SHOULD wear them.

Many factors go into dressing our bodies every single day. Weird shoes, not cool. I’m all for something cute and sassy, I’m not a total fuddy-dud! Age appropriate, classiness and even comfort all play a giant role in the look each of us should consider.

Don’t fall into a fad. Stick to what’s classic. Trust me, I know stuff. Weird shoes are a fashion No-no!

Oh my word! I have to tell you what I just watched on the news as I was about to click publish. A warning to people wearing SKINNY JEANS!!!

The segment focused on people who wear skinny jeans for long periods of time. A woman was hospitalized due to the effects of numb feet and other “injuries” caused by the tight jeans. Haha. Oh wow! So, there’s that. You’re welcome fashionista’s!!

Get in the Picture

June 22nd, 2015

This post is for you, Mom. Assuming you are a mom here reading today. Hopefully, I can catch you before too much time speeds by. If not, start what I’m about to tell you NOW.

Get in the picture.

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I know what you’re thinking –> I do…..every once in a while. It just feels weird. Or self indulging, maybe even a little Ooooo, look at me, right?

Get over it.

This weekend, as we all celebrated fathers…..pictures were snapped by the boatloads. Which is the way it should be, however, fathers day or not…most women are usually the missing person in all the family photos. I’m not talking about the SELFIE crazed gals. They’re getting theirs. They’re making sure. I’m talking about the moms who are busy snapping away all the memories of their kids.

I’m 48 years old. I’ve been married for almost 26 years. I have taken a bajillion photos of my kids, my kids with their dad, my kids playing, my kids asleep in the car, my kids on vacation….I’m not normally in any of them.

So, I asked myself. “What photo will they pull out to brag about when I’m gone?”

My youthful figure has split. My young wrinkle-free face is now aged and worn. My many styles, hair-do’s, stages of life have zipped on past and not much of it can be found documented for eternity. Why did I not get in front of the camera more?

My hope for you is that you’ll step out there and get in the picture, literally. Don’t be silly and feel awkward. Your family will have so many beautiful memories of you all throughout your life. Not just before and afters.

Get it.

Now, go. Slip into the next shot. The people you love most will be glad you did.