Posted in About Me, About Me, Blog, Family, Travel

Get-a-way not far away

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#greatsouthernroadtrip

Hey there! Come on in! Let me get you some Tea. When is the last time you’ve been on Vacation? I need one, maybe two back to back. I really need to get away. But there isn’t any time for that! It is an everyday struggle to get a moment to myself, let alone a couple of days. I have way too much going on to leave the City.

Speaking of which, have you ever researched your City to see what is hiding within the concrete? There are always places to run away and hide for a couple of days. If you are anything like me and my family, it is crazy around home, all the time. There is hardly ever any peace and quiet, and when there is, it’s very minimal. My husband and I, as you know from previous posts, have been together almost fourteen years. We have a huge family. People are always coming and going at the family home.

Every now and again, just to get away, Hubby will call on friday from work, and tell me to pack us a weekend bag. I get all excited! I know we going on a get-a-way, not far away. You know, the Hotel across town, or over in the next town and hour away. We disappear all the time. It gives us time to be alone, and be on vacation, while still close to home in case of an emergency. I love our getaways! The alone time in the rooftop pool, the room service at two am, the nightclub downstairs. Just a couple of days, one night even, can be so rejuvenating. dsc_0740

I especially love the one day trips, to explore the city. I hear people say all the time, “There is nothing to do in Birmingham!” That is so not true. Birmingham has so much to do. There is such a thing as Google, and the internet. That search thing, it works wonders! We have a Zoo, Museums, dozens of Parks. The nightlife is awesome too. I love my city.

I especially love this place outside the city, Turkey Creek. I found this place from an elderly Lady at the gas station. I told her I needed a place to go swimming. She ultimately told me of Turkey Creek. She told me of how she enjoyed it as a child. Intrigued, I researched it. Located in Pinson, Alabama, only 15 miles north of Birmingham, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is a great place for couples, or families, to get away and go for a picnic on the grass, swimming in the creek, or tube down the natural falls. Go bike riding,  hiking, fishing and so much more. We have been going here for years. We never knew it existed before that conversation. After a day here, I always feel like I’ve been away on vacation when I get back home. Even though it is technically near the city, it feels as if you are so far away.

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I want to challenge you. Take a few moments, and research your city. Open your mind to the millions of possibilities that your city has to offer. Find places that interest you, and take a day away from it all. Just disappear. And it doesn’t always take money. Most of our Museums are free. Make precious moments with those you love, your children, your spouse. Plan a date with hubby, let him pick you up at the door, and go on a real date! How awesome that sounds.

Take the time to enjoy life. Often times, we can go through life day to day, in and out of time, just like robots. There is no excitement, no joy. Make a point to enjoy your loved ones while they are here. If you can’t do a whole day, start small. Surprise hubby for a picnic on the grass at his job. It’s amazing what one hour of conversation and alone time can do. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us! Enjoy life, enjoy your city. Enjoy each other. A relationship can only withstand the time put into it. It takes effort and attention. Speaking of attention, my glass is empty again. Must refill! Until the next glass of Tea, stay blessed, stay Southern.

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COPYRIGHT © 2016 SnoSouthernLife

Posted in About Me, About Me, Blog, Family, Self Help

I love my life, do you?

Hey ya’ll! I know, I know! Why has it taken me so long to write? Well, hunny, let me tell you! Sit on down, let me get you a glass of Tea! Where should I begin? Life. I am in love with my life. The ups, the downs, my husband, my friends and family. I am so full of Joy!

Life can be so funny, so demanding. One day passes you by, then two, then the next thing you know, a whole week has gone by. Life is what we make of it. I believe that with all my heart. If we constantly focus on what we want, or what could be, instead of what is, what we have, we will be forever stressing, worrying, striving for that happiness, that truthfully may never come. But to have Joy? There is a difference. Happiness is an emotion, from an event in our lives, whether good or bad. Joy is an inner peace, that no matter the circumstance, it never waivers.

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I thank God everyday for my husband. I am not bragging on him, but yes I am! God has truly blessed me. A couple of days ago, we got a letter from his job, and July 1st will be his last day of work, yet again. They are going out of business. He has been laid off three times in the last six years. Twice within the last 6 months. Just frustrating!

224Let me tell you about hubby. My husband is a man of integrity, honesty, hard-working, and dedicated to whatever he puts his mind to, including his family. He loves to work, and never calls in, ever. He has had an award for the last 10 years for perfect attendance, at all of his jobs. Babe worked at the McWane Cast Iron and Steel plant 25 years, up until 2010. They went out of business due to the Economy. Now while unemployed for almost 9 months, he never gave up. I worked, and he was the best hubby ever. My husband did what all women dream of. He cooked, kept the house spotless, and even did laundry! Imagine that. The entire nine months of unemployment, it did not affect his happiness at all. He never gave up hope. We lost our home, got behind in bills, credit went down the drain. Not one time did he complain. He kept paying his tithes out of his little unemployment check, (which was not near what we were bringing in). He never became angry or upset at our situation, always full of joy.

He did eventually get work, underground to the Coal Mines. He did not complain, never called in, and was considered a very productive employee. As a matter of fact, life became so good, he told me to quit work, due to my health, and focus on getting well. “Just take care of you and the house. I got the rest!” I told you he was a good husband didn’t I? Even though my husband made good money, really good, he never let it go to his head. We did not buy the fancy cars, a big home. We prepared ourselves for that day when…..

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Now, six years later, the mines went out of business. Some Obama thing about cleaner coal, or something. That’s another story. Any ways, another 4 months without work. This time, we are both unemployed. But he never wavered. He found another job, at a significant pay cut mind you. He worked three months, and then we get this letter. Really!? Ugghh!

Life can be so mean at times. There are ups and downs. Life can take you through some things, that would cause a normal person to have a stroke or become ill, if they let it. My husband and I, we live a life of simplicity. At the same time, making sure we are productive. We do like the nice things, but what we don’t want are “things”.  Our home is small, but it is comfortable. It is a nice home, just for us. Our cars, are paid for, no notes. Those things are material. They are just not at the top of our list right now. I, we, would rather live a life of Joy. A life with stability in knowing, what ever we go through, he will be there. We, will go through it together, no matter what!

My husband is a giving person. Never meets a stranger. He will give the shirt off his back if you are cold. Always blessing others. Sometimes, he actually gets on my nerves with it. Hubby is a man of God, who knows, the more we bless others, God will in return bless us. I am happy with what we have, where we are, and where life is taking us. I am happy with the life we have built together as a family. If more comes my way, I am waiting with open arms. Until then, I am full of Joy!

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So I just want to encourage you today. I want to slip a little Tea into your life. If life get’s you down, just hold on. Don’t waste one minute! Keep pushing, and never look back to what could be. Life may take you places where it seems you can never recover from. Do not let go of that dream, that hope. A better day will come. Some storms are worse than others. Whether big or small, eventually, the sun has to come out. The sun always shines brighter, after the storm. The clouds clear, and the sky is crystal blue again. Now let’s fill that glass! Until next time, stay blessed, stay Southern!

Posted in About Me, About Me, Blog, Family, Self Help

Family isn’t always Family

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Why hey ya’ll! How’s it goin? I am blessed and cool under this shade tree with my Tea! I just love those cool days when I can sit under the tree, relaxing, with not a care in the world. Just me, the shade, and my tea. Not for long though. I can always count on my two little ones, my dogs of course, to interrupt me. They come running, jump up on the hammock, all excited, and then just plop right there and go off to a nap. Why do I have to move to make you comfortable? They are the epitome of family.

188643_5408811085_4787_nYou know?! The one who always gives out a great big hug just when you need it. Or the cousin who makes you laugh at nothing funny at all. Some of us have that Aunt that always wants her way or no way. Or that Uncle that is always drunk at the family holiday, asking for money from the kids. I have a brother like that, well used to. Now he’s going to be upset me writing this, but it’s ok. I love my family with all my heart. But sometimes you have to just get away. Or move away in my case! I just left, moved to Alabama, because I could not take the selfishness and in-consideration for others any longer.

Please allow me to be specific. At the time, 14 years ago, my brother was an Alcoholic. I say was, because he is no longer, and has been sober for quite some time. It took him years to get himself together, to get support of those willing to endure his attitudes, his countless disappearing acts, his anger. But he did it, and I am so proud of him.

That brings me to the title of this blog. Family isn’t always family. If it was not for my brother’s best friend, and in-laws, (ie; sister and brother in-law), I am not sure where he would be. I had been through enough with my abusive ex-husband for the last ten years. I did not want to endure another ten. I was trying to get myself together. My life was a mess, my self confidence, my attitude towards men, everything. So when I had enough of family, I packed up and left.

We are still in contact. Just spoke to him two days ago as a matter of fact. We have mended old wounds, and are rather close I would think. We still have our differences, but nothing will ever break us apart completely except for the big D.  But now the roles have changed. No, I do not have an addiction. Well, maybe chocolate. What I mean is that I am now down here in Alabama, with no family, except my husband’s side. I love them all, but there is nothing like your own. I miss my family dearly. However, I do not miss them enough toquotes-about-family-in-hd-wallpapers-family-quotes-admissionpk- leave Alabama. No, I will stay right here. But the circle of friends that I have are awesome! I have made myself a family through non-family. We are closer than most of my real family. Like I said, family is not always family.

I love the South. There is nothing that would or could pull me from here. For a long time I was a transient of sorts. I could not sit still. Just could not find my place in this big ol world. But now, I have, and I am in love with my life. I am in love with a great husband, wonderful children, and five awesome grandsons, and one precious granddaughter. All of which, are not my blood, but my husband’s children. I could never birth my own. I love  them like they were my own, and I believe they love me! Holidays are the biggest ordeal with us. So, why would I leave? It is ok to get homesick once in a while, but that’s it. After a point, reality has to set in, and get back to our lives, whatever that may be. Speaking of which, I have to get up and go cook dinner. We cook every night in the south. Whether big or small, dinner is always on the table by sundown. And ya have to have a Desert! It’s a Southern thing I think.

So, in the meantime, think on the important people in your lives. Tell them often how important they are to you. Blood or not, family is family. It is rare that we find others we can rely on in these days and times. Someone to listen, without judgement, and be there to pick us up, without question. Make sure your “Family” knows just how much they mean to you. Do not let too much time slip away, or it may end up being to late. Until next time, fill your glass, be blessed, stay Southern!

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Posted in About Me, About Me, Blog, Religion

I can’t sit still!

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Hey! How’s it going? Me? It’s been a great day! A longer week. Come on in, let me get you a glass of Tea. So, at my Church, I am a doorkeeper, a Deaconess, a videographer, I sing in the Choir, once a month we drive the Church van, and it all fell on the same week, this week. I am exhausted! That is not to mention the other million things I have going on in my life! Today was our Community Day on the Grass at my Church, Now Faith Church International, located in Pleasant Grove Alabama. We had an awesome time!

At the picnic today we had the music blasting, dancing on the lawn, children laughing and playing in the moonwalk, a Sno Cone machine, food smelling good. The grill was going with hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone in the Community at no charge. The elders were in the shade under the tree, eating bee bops. Takes me back to my childhood. What is a bee bop? It is a frozen kool aid in a small Styrofoam cup. We freeze them then, once frozen, you eat them on a hot day under a shade tree. Oh! but you have to pull the frozen delish out of the cup, n turn it upside down! They are so sweet and delicious. A southern favorite on a hot summer day! It is well-known among the neighborhood “candy lady”.

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Oh yea, we dance, to gospel music. Some Christians know how to have fun and be saved. I also love to sing. Our Choir is amazing. Believe it or not, we started out fourteen years ago with three members in the Choir. Now we call it “Now Faith Mass” choir, because we have almost 25 people singing with us. I am not the best singer, but our Minister of Praise, he
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So, I am also a doorkeeper. Yep, when anyone walks through that door, you will see my face to greet you with a great big “Hey, how you?” and a hug. I love people, so I asked specifically to be on the door. I want everyone to feel welcome when they come. I mean, who wants to see a sour puss when they visit a new church? Not me! I wouldn’t be back. I hate to see ugly faces. When I say ugly I mean frowns and complaining. Turn that frown upside down. Tomorrow I have to also ride with hubby, to pick up members on the Church van. It’s our week to drive. I will be so glad when this week is over! I can finally get some rest, maybe.

Oh, wait, I have to visit my cousin in the hospital, she had a stroke. I have to finish the videos I recorded of the Revival for the Church tape ministry, grocery shopping, laundry, type the minutes from our Motorcycle Ministry monthly meeting. Jeesh, I may get some rest next month. Yea, the end of May sounds good. But then again, that is Memorial weekend. As you can see, like I have mentioned before, in previous posts, I have a lot on my plate, as we say in the south. I can never sit still. I would probably be bored if I sat too long anyways.

I am not sure when I will get some good, all night rest. Am I the only one who moves like this? Do you have a tendency to always be moving? Comment below, let me know your thoughts on the subject. I will pause for now. But please stay tuned to see where this busy Southern life takes me! Come along for the ride, and keep your glass full. Until the next time we chat, stay blessed, stay southern!

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Microwave generation

Hey ya’ll! Come on in! What has been up with you since the last time we spoke? Me? I just been thinking about my childhood. Do you remember when we were young, everyone was in Church on Sunday morning, Wednesday Bible study, Friday youth group. We did not have a chance to get into any trouble. My Mother kept me busy with homework, and Church. Especially in the South! In the South it’s like a golden rule that Sundays you have your butt in Church, and we have fried chicken for dinner after.  Society was laid back, in slow motion back then. It was cool to get our first paper route at the age of ten, or lay in the grass in a field, and look at the clouds, naming shapes out of them.

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Today, however, we are a diverse generation of chaos and instant pleasure. Our youth are lost. Mainly because the parents raising them are children themselves, however, the grandparents are not assisting either. Back in the day, it took a whole neighborhood to raise our youth. If I got a spanking, yes with a belt, at someone else home, I got another when I got home, for embarrassing my parents! I mean, I have had plenty of spankings, and I am still alive and well. I knew better than to cut up on my parents. I would rather be teased by my peers than to face my mother. By no means, do I agree with Child abuse. Let’s just be clear. But I do feel a small tap on the bottom every now and again just to remind them who the parent is, never hurt anyone.

These parents today do not want anyone spanking their children. Most of our youth of today  have never had a spanking. Ever. That, in my opinion, is the issue. There is no kind of consequence, no discipline. We just let our children do what they want as little ones. They sit around when “Grown folks are talking” as my mother used to say. We allow any kind of music and language in their presence. Then when they grow up, with an attitude, we want to get angry at them. Not good at all.

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Now there are still old school parents around, who do teach their off spring the importance of responsibility, respect, and life in general. They believe in spankings, punishment, and the responsibility for our actions. Their children flourish with education, and prosperity. I applaud you. There is nothing in the world like watching your teen walk across that stage on Graduation day!

Most everyone has a microwave in their kitchen. You know, you throw your food in and in five minutes or less, we have a dinner that normally takes thirty minutes or an hour on the stove. That is our generation of today. A microwave generation. Has been for a while. We want it, and we want it now. And we will do whatever it takes to get it.

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Our youth today have no respect, no desire for an actual job, or respect of life. We don’t know the meaning of earning anything, hard work. There are those parents, mostly younger, who allow their children to, one, raise themselves, or two, watch their parents lead a bad example, then to only to follow in their footsteps. It’s almost a generational curse.

It saddens me to see our youth plunging downhill. I have stopped watching the news all together. Every time I turn it on, nothing but violence and crime. Our prisons flourish with young men under that age of 25. Most of the crime is on our Senior citizens. Picking on those who can not even fight back. Shame on you! Let’s get ourselves together people. If we do not wake up, and get our youth back, we are going to see our government raising them from afar. There are many ways to discipline. It does not have to be spankings if  you disagree with hitting. We do need to start when they are young. We do need to do something to get our youth back to a generation of respect and prosperity.

What are your thoughts on our youth? Do you believe in discipline? I would love to hear the thoughts of how and when to discipline. In the meantime, my glass is empty again. I need Tea. Until we meet again, be blessed, stay Southern.

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Discipline by Maxwell Maltz March 14, 2013 at http://www.verybestquotes.com/self-discipline-quotes-the-ability-to-discipline-yourself/
Letz go to church at http://quotesgram.com/funny-church-lady-quotes/#f6yPgP8v4X
Poll by BBC 21 September 2014  “Understanding black America and the spanking debate” at http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29261462

 

Copyright © 2016 SnoSouthernLife.com

Posted in Beauty, Blog, Health, Self Help

Are You A Make-up Junkie?

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Hey ya’ll! Come on in! Have I got some tea for you! I was just trying out these new products I got from my Friend Mo’Nique.  Just an FYI, I am a make-up junkie. Here in the south, we love make-up. I grew up a tom-boy because of my brothers, but I also loved my dolls! Ever since I was a little girl, I love to play around with nail polish, eye colors, try new foundations, lipsticks, tricks of the trade, anything for my skin, I have probably tried it! Sometimes I will sit up hours on end just watching YouTube videos on tricks and techniques. I try and stay up on the newest brands, or colors, brushes and more.

bcc36f_612a48d025b840e694103d9f75102d89Recently I was blessed to meet a new friend, Mo’Nique, from Flawless Faces by Mo’Nique, a Makeup Artist & Skincare Specialist, specializing in Bridal , Prom & Fashion Makeup. She has a mini spa right here in Birmingham on the south side. The very first time I met her, we had a kindred spirit. Mo’Nique is the most down to earth, sweetest southern woman you will meet.

But her skills? Oh yea, did I mention that Mo’Nique can “Beat that face” as we say in the South. Mo’Nique did my makeup for a print shoot, publishing her studio. My face was flawless, just like the name says. I looked 10 years younger. Now I am good with makeup, but honey, she did that! 1934838_10153175443601086_9058993384497637016_n

I had received a Certificate in Makeup application months before, just as a finality to actually start getting paid to do what I love. However, I learned so much in one hour from Mo’Nique, on things I was doing wrong, that wasn’t taught in class. Most tricks have to be learned by experience in the field work.

Mo’Nique also has a personal line of all Natural Organic Skincare Products such as Organic Cleanser & Moisturizer, Acne Creme, Lip Balms, etc.  I love her facial treatments, and personal services such as aeromatherapy, rejuvenating treatments, and much more. I love, love her lip balm!

bcc36f_eeafd1dc17db4322935f5454611d6253 Mo’Nique’s Makeup Studio offers on location or in studio services for all occasions. She has a range of services offered, from Bridal, to professional shoots, or just that special dinner date. If you are new to skin care, or need a new routine, Mo’Nique can help you with that too. What ever your needs, I am sure Mo’Nique can, and will take care of you! So swing on by, check out her studio.

If you want to take a look closer, go to her website listed below. Look around, at her experience and gallery. The best part I love about Flawless Faces? The pricing. I could not believe the  reasonable pricing of her facials. My skin is so clear, and healthy! Thank you Mo’Nique for being my new friend!

Oh hey! While you are there, take a look at Tha 2nd Look Thrift, in the same suite! I will blog about Tyronda tomorrow so come on back for some more Tea honey! I love the name brand clothes, at bargain prices. These two ladies can give you an entire make over for that special day! So hurry on over now. I’ll see you there!

Stay blessed, Stay Southern, and stay Flawless!

http://www.niquesflawlessfaces.com/

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It’s Dinner Time, What Ya Cookin?

Hey ya’ll! Come on in! I’m glad you came! I was just cooking something up for dinner! You hungry?

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If you are from the south, That is probably what you will hear if you show up to someone’s house around dinnertime. And us Southerners, we love us some fried chicken. Well, any chicken really, but fried? Oh yeah! I mean the smell of the grease, the whole crusty, seasoned, spicy, juicy bite of it all! I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it.

The only drawback to all this Southern fried food? It’s so fattening! Recently, about three to four months ago, I made a decision to not eat anymore fried foods. I have been successful, for the most part. I slip every now and again. I just can’t help it! It smells so dang good when chicken is frying in all that grease!

Have you heard of JJ Smith? How about this new craze, the 10 day Green Smoothie cleanse? JJ Smith is a Nutritional counselor, popular for her Smoothie cook book “The 10 Day Green Smoothie cleanse”.  I have one, and you can get one to on Amazon.com, or in Walmart book section. (3) JJ Smith is awesome if you need encouragement to get healthy. She has a Facebook page and she also emails out recipes all the time.

10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse: JJ Smith: 9781501100109: Amazon.com: Books

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Now I must tell you, I hate vegetables with a passion. However, I knew I had to do something to lose some weight. But I also knew I can not do another fad diet. I must change my eating habits. So a friend of mine mention these green smoothies to me. First look, they look nasty as heck! A green smoothie? I manned up, I tasted it, and wow! This is really good! I can do this! And, not only are veggies good for us, but the drink in itself, if done correctly, will jump-start your weight loss, increase your energy level, clear your mind, and improve your overall health.

So 2 weeks later, I have actually stuck with it for Breakfast and lunch everyday with a nice, healthy dinner. Now, I have heard some people say they drink nothing but the smoothies and healthy snacks for 10 days. I don’t feel as though this might be healthy. I mean, yes, the smoothie is all greens and fruit. Yes, it is good for your body to increase veggies, but to go without solid food, may be rather difficult for some. And when it is over, you must, ease back to solid food, or you will need to keep a toilet near by. You have pretty much Detoxed your body from everything you have ever eaten. Well, if you eat like I love to, that might not be such a bad thing. The key is to cleanse in moderation.

Which brings me to tonight’s meal. Of course, I am making Chicken! What did you think? But, it’s not just any chicken, its BETTER than fried Chicken. It is called Almond Crusted Baked Chicken, one of JJ’s recipes.

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Once cooked, it looks and smells amazing! It is covered in almonds, which  is going to bake into a golden crust. Then the herbs and spices used taste so delicious. Almonds are a really good source of protein and the egg whites instead of the whole egg, cuts cholesterol.

I have included the recipe below in case you want to try it out. There is a print or share option as well. So get to cooking, and fill up your home with the awesome smell of a good southern home cooked meal! Pour up a big glass of sweet tea, and stay southern!

Almond Crusted Chicken

INGREDIENTS:
– 15 ounces of chicken breast tenderloins
– 2 egg whites
– 1 cup of almonds
– 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
– 1 Teaspoon thyme
– 2 Teaspoon oregano
– 1 Teaspoon sea salt
– Sprinkle of black pepper
– Parchment paper

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Create the coating: Add almonds, oregano, parmesan cheese, sea salt, black pepper and thyme to the food processor and process until it is an evenly textured consistency.
Put chicken on one plate and the egg whites on another plate and the coating on a third plate. Gently roll the each piece of chicken in egg whites, then in the coating, and put it on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

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Reference: Copyright © 2011 Adiva Publishing  J.J. Smith – Discover Surprising Weight-Loss Secrets to Lose Weight Fast and Keep It Off!
Posted in Blog, Family, Religion

Life can be so unexpected!

Hey ya’ll! Come on in, take a seat. Let’s chat about life! Life in itself, can be so many things to us on a daily basis. It can be amazing, nerve wracking, exciting, and very unexpected. There are some who say, “I have my whole life planned out on a schedule for the next ten years”. And then there is me. I often drive my husband crazy with it, because even though I plan things, they never seem to go my way. If they do, I have changed my mind 30 times before the end result. Hey, what can I say? I’m a jump off the cliff, and think about it later kind of person. I might wake up tomorrow and feel like driving 6 hours on a whim, to see Mom. Then, only to stay one night, wake up ready to hit the road again. I am getting better at planning, but there are times when it just doesn’t matter. There are times, that no matter how long and detailed our plans may be, some things can not be avoided. Like death. It happens to everyone, no avoiding that one.

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Death can be so unexpected. Like a sudden turn in the road. If you are not careful, you’ll end up in a ditch! Slow down! Death can be like a robber coming in your home while your asleep in the middle of the night. I mean hey, if a robber were to tell you he was coming at three A.M. through the back bedroom window, you would be there waiting with a shotgun to let him have it, right? Of course you would! Who wouldn’t? But what happens when it is unexpected? Are you prepared to deal with it? I am not just speaking financially. Although, that is something that can be planned. The cost of a funeral is so expensive now. No, I am speaking emotionally. Am I, if need be, prepared for that day when I must bury Mother? Or my husband? Even one of my children? Again, I think not. Death is something that no matter how much you prepare emotionally, even if it is inevitable that it is on it’s way to claim the life of this person you are so going to miss. No one will ever be ready to lose a life. No one. Unless your just the type who has no sense of connect to others, no respect or remorse for life. But even then, there will be that one person, to bring even the hardest of hearts to tears.

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In the past year, I have seen death fall all around me. A young man at my church, “Bill” I’ll call him, is a young impressionable teenage boy. He has a mother, a father, and 3 younger siblings, significantly younger than he. Earlier in the year, his father all of a sudden, became ill, and passed away. No planning could be made to prepare for this. It just happened. Now I get word yesterday, that his mother passed. Her lung cancer came back. So now, I look at this young man, and I feel for him. I was in tears, not because of my friend’s passing, but for these children. Now what? Fortunately, there grandparents are still around to take them in. But is this going to effect these young lives? All the softball games, the prom, the wedding, the babies. Their parents will not be around for any of it. It saddens me.

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It saddens me to think that as much as I love my family, I would have to leave, and miss all of these life events! I look at my children, and sometimes I just shake my head. Other times I am full of joy to see just how far and wonderfully made adults they have become. Even though I never had any children of my own, due to health reasons, I happen to have been blessed with a huge family. I mentioned them in my post yesterday. I have 2 girls, 2 boys, a slew of grandsons and one granddaughter, Kennedi Nariah. Isn’t she just a doll?

12747354_10153228591956086_3570425061739090607_oHolidays are huge at our home, just like when I was a child. Family is everything to me! I often wonder though, are they really prepared for this rugged world? Are they prepared for that day when Dad and Snow will not be here for them? If not, I feel like Freddie and I have done all we can to prepare them. We have taught them values, respect, a sense of adventure, and planning. But Death? That my friends, can not be prepared for. Or can it?

My husband and I are avid motorcycle riders. A Harley to be exact. We used to be involved with a prominent outlaw Motorcycle club, or “gang” as society labels them. However, we have now been saved by grace, and turned our life to Jesus Christ, changing our lives for the better. Our lives have never been the same! There were times, as I look back now, that we should have both been sent home in a casket. There is no other way, except to imagine our parents and grandparents prayers from long ago protecting us from harm. Someone was on their knees for us, and I thank you.

One day I came to my daughter and told her, “I need to prepare you for our death, God forbid”. She did’t want to discuss it. I had to make her see, that even though she’s not the oldest, she is the only one, responsible enough to make it through, and help her siblings. To step up to the plate, and be strong for the others, if ever something happened while we are out on that road. I thank God, nothing ever happened. We are still here, now being an example to our children of living a Kingdom lifestyle. (That is a whole other subject). It saddens me, as I look back, that we took the chances we did, not thinking of our family, to just go on the road, with no sense of consequence, that we may not come home to our children. It saddens me the thought of possibly having to go through life with out any guidance, a parents love, a hug, their support in everything they do.

As I sit here writing this, with tears streaming down my face, I even feel saddened for what might have been, even though we were graced with life. So now what can I do with this? I can pick up my smile, throw that away in the past, and keep moving. That’s right, let the past remain there, in the past. But how about the future? I ask again, am I prepared for that day when someone closest to me leaves me behind? I do have faith in Jesus Christ, and the comfort he promises me that, yes it will be difficult, but I am built for this test. I can make it. And I will.

You will often here me speak of Jesus, and how much he means to me. If it were not for the Lord on my side, I would not be the strong independent person I am today. Jesus reminds us in his word, that even though that person is gone from this realm, if they are a child of God, we will one day see them again. Now if they are not saved by grace, of course then depending on your beliefs, you should be saddened. Some feel like we are just here, and after death, it is just over. That’s it? I am just gonna die, and that is it? I am so glad I know the truth. It comforts me to know Mother is waiting on me, that Dad is waiting on me. We will all be together again, IF we prepare.

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“But Snow, I thought you said Death can not be prepared for?”.  Yes, we may not be able to plan for Death. But we can prepare for it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7, NIV) says, “The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it”.  At the resurrection, God reunites the body and His life-giving spirit, and the person lives again. So what does that mean to us? That means Granny is up there, with God, until that day upon His return. Now that is something to shout about, even in a time of grief! We are only temporarily separated. Isn’t that a little bit comforting?

So, long story short, if you are all of a sudden facing grief right in the face, reflect on this for a moment. Think about your own life. Have we truly “Prepared” ourselves for death? Or are we just living day to day? Death is never a subject we run to for discussion. But it is unavoidable. Every man, woman, race, creed, culture, and breathing thing in this universe, will ultimately one day face death. So let us prepare for it while we have the chance. Let us allow God to send a word of encouragement, a hug of sorts. A comfort in knowing that we will meet again one day. That is, of course, if the right choices have been made, to prepare that same path to a be with God. After all, the choice is ours to make.

I often refer to Deuteronomy 30:19 which states, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him”.  I love this! You mean, even though Death can not be planned upon, I still have a choice after death?! Yes, that is what I am saying. For me, I choose life. I choose to prepare for death, even if I can not plan for it. I choose to go on living, knowing that, yes, I am very saddened, even in a sense of grief, over a possible loss. But at the same time, I am overjoyed knowing, I have prepared my path, and we will meet again. So, choose life! After all, we still have others here that need us more.

Until we meet again, pick up that smile, dry them tears, give me a big ole hug. Let’s keep moving. One day at a time is all you need. It will get easier with time, like a small whisper, a vapor of smoke, that grief will leave, and a small reminder will come to remind you of this person you have missed so. Then you will smile, and keep moving. Just do not give up! Keep going. If you can not keep moving for yourself, at least do it for those counting on us. I love you. God loves you. Be comforted, be blessed, be prepared. Stay Southern!

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Reference: © 2004 – 2016 by Bible Hub; The Bible, New International Version (Deuteronomy 30:19)