Go Out Into All The World and Share The Gospel (and next door) – Part 2

I know you have been hanging on by your fingernails waiting for my Part 2 on this topic! Oh, you haven’t? Well, here is the link to the first part to catch you up. Go Into All the World – Part 1. Have I mentioned I’m an excellent procrastinator? I can give lessons if you like. I also get sidetracked and think of so many other things to share. But, the good news is….I’m on it today. It’s important you read Part 1 to understand what I’m talking about.

A few years ago as I was opening all the shutters (we have plantation shutters on all of our windows) to welcome in the morning sun and I noticed an ambulance right next door. I got to looking and trying to figure out what was going on. (Gladys Cravatz, from the old show Bewitched) The police were there for a very long time. I thought, “oh, my, this looks serious, I wonder what happened! Should I go and see if I can help in any way?”

The house next door had sold to a couple with a daughter it seemed. I had such good intentions to go over and meet them and get to know them. We would see them walk their dog and I would try to talk to them, but, they never really stopped or seemed interested in visiting. They did seem nice though. We live in a day and time where people don’t like to stop and chat. Even when you see someone in a store that you know and you speak they will speak and keep on going? No time for chit chat. Anyway, back to my story. Needless to say, I did not know this family’s name or anything. Fortunately, I was dressed for the day and it was early morning! Score! I walked over and knocked on the door, the lady of the house came to the door and I told her who I was and that I saw the ambulance and wanted to check to see if there was anything I could do, etc. She then told me……that….her husband had just passed away in the night, in his sleep. My heart sank. I had no idea what to say. I told her I was so sorry and that my husband and I are here whatever she needed. She very graciously thanked me. I walked back to my house feeling horrible! This lady seemed to be alone as her daughter was in college and I didn’t see anyone but the police with her. I felt like a total failure to have never gone over and gotten to know her before now. My heart hurt deeply for her. I worried she didn’t have anyone. I did ask if she had a church and she said no. Oh, yes, I felt even worse!!! I kept an eye on the house and a watch out for her and her daughter. I went over the next day to check on her. She was kind and came out and visited. She was from the north and had plans to move back. She also had a church home there. I was able to pray with her. She and her daughter moved within a couple of weeks. My heart is still heavy over that experience. I was heavily convicted of not knowing my neighbor right next door and a man actually died there and I had no idea who he was. I’m sorry, but, there is no excuse for that!

I put a plan in action. I typed up a letter to my neighbors. Our street is only a couple blocks long. It curves around and we probably have maybe 20 houses. In my letter it basically explained who Jim and I were and a little about us. I also shared that I would like to form a neighborhood contact list for emergencies, etc. I put all of our contact info on it and a form for them to fill out or email me with their info. Then I went to the bakery and bought 20 lemon baby bundt cakes and had each one wrapped oh, so cute! Then one early evening Jim and I went to every door to deliver the cakes and letter. What fun we had meeting each neighbor that answered the door. We have a street with some amazing people and very friendly. We have a neighborhood where everyones garages are in the back….so needless to say, we rarely see anyone unless you are out walking. Rarely do you see kids out playing in the front.

The response was pretty good, I had enough neighbor info to send out to those that were interested in keeping up with one another. The plans are to have a neighborhood get together and even some ladies lunches. Which we had one ladies luncheon so far. There were several homes that didn’t answer the door or respond to the note I left on the door. Which is okay, that’s just the way it is. I was excited as I felt better about meeting our neighbors and getting to know some pretty amazing people. Not to mention the safety of knowing what is going on in our neighborhood and being able to keep up with everyone if needed.

The only negative thing was through the grapevine I heard one lady was upset that we had come by and wanted to get to know her and her family. She even made fun of the lemon bundt cake. Who knew? The funny thing about that was they were the most friendly of all. Maybe now that I think of it, her husband was extremely friendly. She may have just endured. The sad thing is, her husband passed a bit after all of that. Now that I’m writing this, that’s two husbands that have passed that I know of on our short little street. Interesting….

Shortly after this neighbor reach out plan, life got really busy and then the C-O-V hit the world. So guess what I need to do? Yep, I need to get back to my neighborhood project and get some things planned for our neighbors. We even have several new neighbors that we need to meet that have moved in over the past couple of years. And yes, I will do my lemon bundt cakes again even if some think it’s cheesy. I just think they are the cutest things and oh, so good!

I encourage you to get to know your neighbors and if you have certain way of doing that, I would love to hear about it. Do you have get togethers with your neighbors?

The mission field is right outside our door, plus you just might meet a really good friend!

Until next time!

Books, Books and More Books!

I love books! What can I say? When I was in elementary school, I loved library day. I will share this. In early elementary my family moved often. I was in 2-3 schools each year until 4th grade. I had many gaps in so many areas as I would miss certain ways of doing things when I would get to a new school. Since I was extremely shy I was easily overlooked by teachers. I also didn’t ask questions as I didn’t want to bring any attention to myself. So, the library was always so fun for me, but, I didn’t have a clue how to look up certain books etc. I would just glean the shelves and choose my books. I would always check out as many as was aloud. I loved when it was time for the Weekly Reader to come out. SRA’s were always fun. I loved going up and picking the next story to read. Oh, and when it was time to order your very own books was very exciting. (I’m dating myself, aren’t I) The only problem was there was never any money in the budget at home for anything like ordering books. One very rare time was in third grade. I bought a book about Abraham Lincoln. I loved that book! For years the library was always exciting for me to go to. When I was about 16 I discovered a Christian book store one day. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Well, not really, but, it was so exciting. I had no idea there were Christian book stores. I was then a regular customer. I think the name of the store was, Sonshine Corner. When My Jim and I were serving in full-time ministry, we both loved books. Our budget was always very tight and books would be the last thing we would purchase. I love it when I hear about churches that give their pastors a book budget in order to buy books that would only help their teaching, etc. I especially love it when I hear they do the same for the pastor’s wife. Unfortunately, we never had that luxury. All that to say, I must be making up for lost time as books are my weakness! I have enough books now that should last me til the end of time.

I heard someone say when I was a teen that we should always be starting a book, in the middle of a book or ending a book. I’ve always tried to keep up with that idea. I’ll be sharing some books over time that I have finished that I think would be an encouragement to you.

This past week I finished two books that I think you would love:

Pink Satin Sashes, My Life in Sketches, Swatches and Paper Dolls by Debra Mack Larson

I saw this book advertise in my favorite magazine, Southern Lady. The word” paper dolls” caught my eye. I was a huge paper doll collector when I was little. I still love them today. Yes, I’ve even purchased some as an adult that I just couldn’t resist as they looked so cute! But, back to the book…what a sweet, inspiring and fun book this is.

Debra Mack Larson grew up in the 50’s and 60’s. Her mother made all of her clothes from toddler to teen and even her wedding dress. She was an excellent seamstress as you can imagine. As she described her childhood it reminded me of the shows like Father Knows Best and The Donna Reed Show. After her mother passed, Debra discovered that her mother had kept journals of all the clothing that she had made for her throughout her childhood. She had sketches of the outfit with a sample of the fabric and if that wasn’t enough, she made a paper doll out of most of the designs. As someone who loves the 50’s and 60’s fashion styles and even the fabric and then throw in the love of paper dolls, I can’t even imagine what a special find this would have been. The book is filled with photos of her journal drawings and fabrics.

My favorite story she shared was after her father had passed, Debra made a shadow box of his WW2 memorabilia. When she shared it with her aging mother, her mom loved it and then said, “I wish I would have done something wonderful with my life to have it in a shadow box.” Yes, that made me tear up when I read that. I have a feeling if her mom could see this beautiful book that shows her talent and most of all her care and love that she had for her home and family, she would be very happy. What a beautiful tribute this book is for Debra’s beautiful mom.

I love this book and if you think you would want your own copy, go to www.larsondesign.net to order.

This book made me think of the Proverbs 31 Woman. Proverbs 31:10-31. There isn’t a shadow box to hold all that this precious lady did with her life in making a safe, secure and loving home for her husband and daughter. I just love it!

Rocking It Grand, 18 Ways To Be A Game-Changing Grandma by Chrys Howard and Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

I have a couple other books on the issue of being a grandmother who makes a difference in their grandchildren’s life. While raising my kids, my constant prayer was, “Lord, help me to be the mom that each of my kids need.” I knew my two children were different from each other and had different needs, so I worked hard at knowing my kids to the core and then being the mom that they each needed. We can talk about that on another post, because now we are talking about being a grandmother. My name is Mimi and I have 6 amazing grandchildren and another one on the way this coming fall. How exciting is that! So, now my prayer is still not only to be a mom that my kids need even as adults, but, to be the Mimi each one of my grands need. They are all different and unique in each way just as their parents are.

This book was an easy read and three main things popped out at me that were an affirmation of things that I’ve been thinking on and have witnessed myself with other grandmothers that I glean from or have been watching. Just as we were never moms before our kids were born, we’ve never been Mimi’s before either. Always learning new things never gets old. We should always be learning, regardless how old we get.

Chapter 3 – They Don’t Want to Entertain Us

This was such a good chapter, I wish I could type the entire thing out, but, you may need to get the book. I’ll highlight it. This is a concept that I have noticed lately in watching some other grandmas in action. I’ll try to sum it up in my words….We need to have a life that is full. A fulfilling life. If you don’t, then maybe you need to figure it out. Find those things that you love doing. Just because you are older doesn’t mean you forget about yourself. Enjoy life. Let your kids and grandkids see that you have a full exciting life. Your grandkids are a special part of that. If all you do is live and breath your grandchildren and have nothing to offer them from your life, then something is missing and it becomes a hardship on your grandkids and kids for that matter. They are living full exciting lives and if they have this constant pressure to make sure you are not just sitting idly by waiting for someone to make you feel fulfilled, then it can put pressure on the relationship. Life should be full and living a fulfilled life all together, not just one sided. I so hope that makes sense. You might need to read the book to get the full picture!

Chapter 7 – Little Ones Understand More Than We Think

So much is going on in our world that is a bit scary. Our grandkids will have questions and want to talk about things. When we talk to them, we should always offer hope as well. Let them know they were created for such a time as this and we all have a purpose and life isn’t all doom and gloom, but we are to have wisdom and discernment and we as adults can share our wisdom with them and teach them how to not be fearful. If we are fearful, our kids will be. We need to always offer hope and let them know who is really in charge. We can also teach them how to make a difference either now or in the future. *I’m going to share my own thought here. I’ve heard so many people say their kids are missionaries and they are expected to stand strong against the world even as little ones. Well, I don’t exactly go along with that….we train, teach and encourage our kids and to expect them to face the culture as it is today and stand strong when most adults can’t, is beyond me. We as adults need to have wisdom and discernment of how much to allow our children to partake of as far as the culture. To say children are invincible and resilient is like saying we are…..and I don’t think we are. Even as adults, we are learning and growing each and every day. Our job is to help our kids grow and learn each and every day, too.

Chapter 17 – Living in the Present Is a Gift

This chapter covers several things, but one main thing was respecting your grandchildren’s boundaries. Also, we are to encourage their boundaries. Some kids don’t like to be hugged that much. We shouldn’t force a hug on anyone at anytime. One of the authors told about a granddaughter that didn’t like to be hugged and when she realized this, she respected that and didn’t force her to hug. In time as the girl grew out of a stage, she went to her grandmother and always had a hug for her. It was then on her terms and she was more comfortable with that. Kids go through seasons and they are dealing with all types of emotions We are to be the grandmother that is wise and senses things and respects their space.

Those are just a few highlights from a book that is filled with lot’s of wisdom. They also share grandma cookie recipes throughout the book which is fun! If you can’t find this book at your local Christian Book Store, there is always Amazon *this is an affiliate link….it helps with my book issue.

Until next time….Happy Reading!

I captured this of one of our grands at a bookstore one day.

Welcome Spring 2022

Spring is here! Today it was actually 100 degrees! It may be safe to say that summer is here. The part of Texas that I live in can be freezing weather one day and then hot the next. I’ve always wanted to live in an area that has actual seasons and slowly transitions into warmer or cooler weather. No sense in wishing….I need to be satisfied and learn how to adapt. You would think I’d be used to it by now after living in this part of Texas since I was 9 years old. All that to say; Happy Spring! The flowers are blooming and the grass is getting green and the air conditioner is running…..I’m a happy girl!

When I clean house each week, (yes, I’m one of the few that likes to clean her own house), I like to smile while cleaning. I’ve tried having someone come in to help me out in cleaning, but, I would just rather do it myself. I think of it as exercise and I like moving things around and making a few changes in decor. Sometimes simple little things like a cute succulent plant placed in the laundry room make me smile. I think the only thing that would make me smile a bit more is maybe a brighter little pot for them, but, it will do as it is for now. Maybe they will outgrow this pot….if they live!

I was given this rose today at lunch and as I got to studying it, I noticed it looked like a heart. I clipped the stem and put it in a little bud vase by my kitchen sink. Now that makes me smile!

On Easter I made a few arrangements with some Peeps that I had collected and some jelly beans. I love the look of Peeps and I even like the way they taste…very sweet. Making arrangements with them is even more fun. I made a few for some friends and family.

I’ve loved decorating “Beverly’s Tea Room” since my Jim finished building it for me. It’s a fun place to entertain friends and family and even just to go out and listen to some peaceful music and just look at the beauty outside the windows…..if we aren’t having a dirt storm. Remember, I’m in west Texas! Each time I pass the window and look out in the tea room, I smile. I’ve enjoyed decorating it. The Easter decor made me smile and now that the Easter decor is put away, I just set out a tea set.

I love Precious Moments! I have for many years and I have collected a few. When I saw this figurine, I had to have it. Yes, I smile every time I look at it. It’s called, “Mom, you are Tea-riffic.” Yes, I gave it to myself, what can I say?

Keeping up with fashion is one of my favorite things to do. I’ve noticed a trend on social media to always show what you wear each day or model an outfit, etc. As much as I love fashion and I love helping others with their color code and styles, I really don’t see how anyone has time to always take pictures of all their outfits each day and on top of that to look good enough to put yourself out there for everyone to see each day. As much as I love seeing others and seeing their daily style choices, I’ve decided that is just not for me. This photo will prove what I’m talking about. I had snapped this for someone who wanted to see what I looked like as I was heading to the dentist one morning. I was fearful to go and she was trying to encourage me to snap out of it and she said to get dressed and get out the door. Well, I did and this is it….it does make me smile in thinking of what a dear friend I have to help me snap out of my dentist fears! *I did shed a tear or two on the way, but, I made it! All was well and I have the best dentist ever. She is amazing. They said, “see you in July!” I said, “so soon?” I’ll share my dentist story soon….it’s a doozy….as everything else in my life is. Okay, back to things that make me smile….

We have a desert landscape in our front and back yard. This time of year the yuccas are blooming and are oh, so pretty….I waited a bit too long to take a photo as the blooms are about to drop off. This plant actually has a dove in the center that has built a nest and has little ones that she is protecting. Smart bird. A cat would be crazy to climb in that thing to get to the little ones. We have an adopted neighborhood cat named Cheddar that I think has his eye on that nest! Cheddar is a whole other story I will share soon. No, I’m not a cat person….so why is there always a cat around everywhere I go.

I love decorating my front doors each season. Since I have double doors, I do two matching wreaths. It could get expensive, so I go as cheap as I can as they will be full of dirt by the end of a couple of months. I found these wreaths at Sam’s for I think 39.99 each. I added the ribbon and I was happy with them. They make me smile… the price made me smile even more!

I love tulips. They make me smile! Since they make me smile, I thought, why not get my mom some for Mother’s Day! I think they made her smile, too!

Okay, I will wrap this up. I could go on and on about the things that make me smile. I will end with the latest addition to our grandkiddo line up. We now have 6 blessings and another blessing on the way this fall. She makes me smile big time and I have a feeling you will be smiling when you see this…..are you ready?

Until next time….keep smiling!

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Fashion Friday – Spring 2022 Closet Outfit Planner

Good news! The Spring 2022 Closet Outfit Planner is ready! Click here to read more about it. I have been getting one for each season and it’s always so helpful in putting outfits together for the new season. There are even links if you see something you would like to purchase, such as that perfect top that would go with the jacket you’ve struggled with finding. If you are like me, you have many items and you can use this as a guide to put your outfits together for something fresh and new.

With this planner you will receive a bonus guide on body shapes. You will be able to determine what your body shape is and from there you will find out a way to dress that will help conceal areas that need concealing. It’s called the bOd-X Shape System that Shari Braendel created many years ago that has been a huge success in dressing for the various body shapes. No longer trying to figure out if you are an apple or pear, this system is easy and practical.

If you decide you want to purchase the planner at $37.00, you will be asked which color code you need. Do you know your Color Code? There are five color codes and you are one of them; Soft, Warm, Clear, Light or Deep. You can take a quick little quiz to find out. You can click here for a free quiz to find out your Color Code. When you choose the planner for your Color Code, you will see all the new colors that are out for this season that will look perfect on you.

I have my planner and I’m working on my Spring Closet now. It will be a fun challenge to put some outfits together that I probably wouldn’t have thought of before. I’m a Soft Color Code and I love the colors for this season. When I am finished doing my closet inventory and setting up for Spring, I will share my closet completion.

By the way; what do you think of Pantone’s Color of the Year? Very Peri is a gorgeous purple and all Color Codes can wear various shades of this beautiful color.

Have a Fabulous Fashion Friday!

Fashion Friday – Spring 2022 Trends

It’s always so much fun to see what the new trends are each season. I admit, some trends are pretty way out there and I wouldn’t touch some of them. I always get excited when a trend is something that I love, or better yet, something that has come back into style that I’ve hung on to in my closet simply because I loved it so much. As they say, fashion comes and goes and things will always come back into style eventually.

Some people don’t pay any attention to trends and what is popular at the moment, they just wear what they love even if it isn’t in style. Which is fine, but, if you are like me, you may choose one or two things that are on trend for the season. I probably wouldn’t design my entire wardrobe on just trends. Number one it would be expensive to change your closet out each season with only new items. Number two, I think it’s important to have classic pieces in your closet that never go out of style. What fun to combine classic with a new fashion trend every once in a while.

We all have to get dressed each day, so we might as well make it fun!

Have you settled on your fashion style yet? If you are still struggling a bit, click here for an article I wrote on your fashion style. That is always a good beginning in deciding what trend you will decide on to add in for the season.

The second step would be your best color for your skin tone and hair color. Certain colors will look beautiful on you and some colors will look so so. We might as well wear a color that makes us look and feel beautiful, right?

Do you not know your color code yet? Click here and take a short quiz to find out.

The idea is to have your closet designed just for you. The correct style, the correct colors and of course the things that you love. Life is busy and we have things to do and accomplish each day, so when you step into your closet to get ready for the day, you don’t have to stand there trying to figure it out. It’s a good thing to just walk in with outfits put together and just get dressed and begin your day with confidence.

Well, let’s take a look at some of the Spring 2022 Fashion Trends:

Top 10 Style Trends:

Maxi Dresses, Crafty Denim, Y2K Nostalgia, Denim Skirts, Dark Wash Denim, Distressed Hemlines, Maxi Pleated Skirts, Statement Suits, Smart Shorts, Catsuits/Jumpsuits.

Top 10 Pattern Trends:

Gingham, Tie Dye, Animal Obsession, Checkered/Plaid, Polka Dots, Kitchen 80’s Floral, Screen Prints, Fruit Stripes, Water Color, Abstract Design.

Top 10 Jewelry Trends:

Pearls, Headbands, Chandelier Earrings, Chain Belts, Chain Link Everything, Chunky Chokers, Candy Colored Baubles, Bicep Bracelets, Silver/Chrome Jewelry, “Go Big or Go Home!”

Top 5 Bag and Shoe Trends:

Bucket Bag, Embellished Bags, Loafers, Platform Heels, Mary Jane’s

The Color of the year is called: Veri Peri, so you might want to add some purple in your wardrobe.

Did you see anything you are interested in trying for Spring? I might try a couple. I like the dark denim trend in jeans. I’ve always loved Mary Jane type shoes and embellished bags. Oh, and polka dots, always polka dots on anything for me. I went out shopping a few days ago and where I live, I’m lucky to see anything that is on trend in the stores so it’s probably a good thing that being on trend in everything I wear isn’t that important to me. If it’s something I really love, I will search for it online or if I see it in a local store, I get very excited and go for it if it isn’t over the top expensive.

Hope you enjoyed being updated on a few of the trends for this coming season. I can only imagine my friends who don’t care about fashion at all, you are yawning big time about right now….and that is okay. I do know that deep down we all want to feel good in how we present ourselves to our family, friends and the world when we go out. Our goal is to be a light to the world. We all have something to say and we want to be heard. Our presentation of ourselves is the first thing people hear and we have only a few seconds to be sized up for some to decide if they want to hear what we have to say. We know that God looks on our hearts and man looks on the outward appearance. You have much to offer the world, we need your voice.. so speak loudly or softly to offer hope to this world we are in.

I’ll share one little story about trends. Many years ago, denim skirts were the rage. I found the perfect denim skirt at a store called Stein Mart. I loved the style, the length, the color and if that isn’t it enough, it had a bling button at the waist. I was also at a good weight and it fit really well. I have hung on to that skirt always thinking it may come back in style and most importantly I was determined to fit it in again! About two months ago while cleaning out my closet, I came across the skirt. I thought, “Okay, Beverly, it’s time to get real with yourself, you aren’t going to fit into this skirt anytime soon and it’s been out of style forever!” I gave it away. Guess what’s in style? Yes, denim skirts! I also think just a few more pounds gone, I could have worn it for the Spring. Oh well, it’s gone and time to move on. To be honest, I’m glad I let it go, but, it’s just a reminder about fashion styles and trends. They come and go. So, don’t take it so serious…..learn what style is best for you, have fun and be confident in who you are!

Have a fun fashionable day!

Until next time,

A Great Tool For Organizing Your Fashions

I have purchased the Closet Outfit Planner from Fashion Meets Faith since it was first designed as a new tool for women to have help in choosing their clothing for each new season. If you are familiar with the 27 Hangers program, this works perfectly with it. Imagine going into your closet each morning and you have 27 items that all coordinate together and you are able to make 30 plus outfits from those 27 pieces. Even more amazing is having all these pieces in your color code. My favorite part of the Closet Outfit Planner are the links with each item of clothing in order to purchase that item if needed. Otherwise, you can add your own pieces that are very similar to the recommended pieces.

An exciting announcement was made that for the first time we can now purchase a subscription to the Closet Outfit Planner. Which will be a bit of a discount if you purchased it separately. I’m excited to try it for the year and see how it goes. There are some extras that will be included with the subscription as well as receiving it 5 days earlier than those that purchase separately.

Here is the important part about this. The subscription offer ends on Friday. Yes, this Friday. Yes, Beverly is late posting this info! So, if you are interested, hurry over to the link I will provide at the end of this post.

Don’t worry if you can’t or don’t want to make that decision so fast. The Spring Closet Outfit Planner will be ready to purchase very soon.

Do you know your color code? I know I’ve talked about it many times, but, just in case you missed it. Here is a link to go to that you just answer a few easy questions and it will let you know what your color code is. Your color code is very important in the way of the colors that you wear that enhance your beautiful coloring.

Okay, here are some links for you to get going on choosing the perfect Closet Outfit Planner just for you. This is for the subscription plan. I will write a post when the single Spring Planner is ready very soon.

  1. Click here to determine what your Color Code is. If you already know your Color Code, YAY!
  2. Click here to purchase your subscription to the Closet Outfit Planner! I’m so excited for you! You will find more info on this page if you want to read more about it. Lot’s of fun info.
  3. Do you want to learn more about the 27 Hanger Program? Click here.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at beverly@beverlydillow.com or leave a comment at the end of this post.

Fashion should be fun regardless of style, color, body shape or budget! Let’s have some fun, shall we?

Until next time,

Go Into All The World and Share the Gospel! (and next door) – Part 1

If you’ve been in a strong Bible believing and preaching church, then you have for sure heard a sermon on going out into the world to preach the gospel. We immediately think of missionaries. We may even think of a mission trip to a foreign land. I have heard of some churches who actually do mission trips right in their own country. We can probably take a look at our own city or town and I have a feeling we can find an area of town that we could easily say is a mission field. I find it interesting that we always leave that for someone else, possibly even the government to take care of that area of town and the people in it. It’s possible we know of a mission that permanently serves that area and we may sign up to go serve once in a while or donate money to the mission so they can continue their much needed work.

What do you think of when you read that verse?

I learned an important lesson many years ago when my Jim and I were serving in full time ministry. Jim had just graduated from seminary and we had been serving in a church for several years while he went to school and worked as associate pastor and youth pastor. We had a three year old little girl and expecting a little boy just any day when Jim got a call from a church that wanted him to be their new pastor in a small west Texas town about 8 hours away. We were a bit scared and excited at the same time. We had been ready to go set the world on fire for a couple of years. Not literally, we were just ready for something fresh and new and to do all we could to reach as many people as we could for Christ. After all, that is what God had called him to do and why we left everything we had in the first place so he could get his education at a seminary. Jim was ready to preach and lead a church and I was ready to follow wherever the Lord would lead us.

We moved into the church parsonage which was across town from the church. After we got moved in, we began meeting our neighbors. I can still remember each one of them. I often wonder where they all are now. The house across from us to the left was an elderly couple. Very nice, quiet and stayed to themselves. I remember sitting in their living room a few times visiting with them. The house across the street to the right was a single guy who worked all day, had a hot rod car that he worked on in the afternoon and evening and it was so loud it would wake my kids up from their naps and since I had a 3 year old and a 6 day old when we moved in, he wasn’t my favorite person, but I tried. The house right next door to us on the left was a couple with a little boy a bit older than our 3 year old. They were nice and cordial. A vacant lot was on our left. The house right across the street is the one I want to focus on. They were a young family with two cute little boys. The husband worked all day and she was home during the day and so very busy with those boys. They partied most weekends. They were also Mexican. A fun memory is she always yelled at her boys and called them Mijo. I can still hear her say it in my mind and it makes me smile. Oh, I also learned the art of burying a goat and cooking it underground. They did this on a regular basis along with a big game of volleyball with a million people in their front yard each weekend.

We got to know these neighbors and they were very kind and friendly and especially my new friend right across the street. We would walk together early in the mornings. I invited her to church several times and they declined each time. One time she shared with me that the pastor and wife that lived in the parsonage before us were not friendly at all and had done some things that weren’t very kind. I was embarrassed about that and I apologized for them. Long story short, I had the honor of leading her to Christ. She started coming to church and became our nursery leader and I felt so safe leaving my newborn and 3 year old with her in the nursery. I forgot to mention; this was a very small church and I had the pleasure of being nursery worker, sunday school teacher, children’s choir director, secretary and women’s ministry director. I’m smiling as I write all of this as so many memories. Some happy memories and some really crazy I would have never dreamed memories. I could write a book on that time we served there.

Okay, back to my whole reason of sharing this.

Remember how the pastor before us had treated this family so bad? Well, the ironic thing on it all is that the reason this little church needed a pastor was that previous pastor left to go serve as a missionary in……are you ready? Mexico! I know! That’s what I thought! He had a family directly across the street that more than likely were just like the people he said he was called to go serve in another country. He didn’t give this family the time of day and when he did it wasn’t in a good way. I have always remembered this story since then in the way of our mission field is right out our front door. If I can’t be a witness and care about someone that lives next to me and then I go to another land to share the gospel, I’m not worth a plug nickel….as my mom used to say. If I teach my kids to not care about their neighbor but, yet I send them off to another country for a “mission trip,” what is that all about? I meet young people like that all the time. They could care less about their testimony to others right here and treat others as if they don’t matter, but yet, they get all sorts of accolades because they went on a trip to Mexico or another country. Which, I think it is awesome to go serve at a mission, etc….but, I would think a test would be in the way you care about those right outside your door and in the school building or workplace. Witnessing to family, friends and neighbors has been listed as one of the hardest things to do. I think it’s because they know us better than strangers do. Something to think about. If you are like me…..we have some work to do.

Part 2 will be about reaching our neighbors. Yes, I’m still a work in progress. Please don’t think I’m Miss Neighbor aware of the world….I am still learning and growing in that area. I have failed many times as we have lived in a lot of places. New neighbors move in and out and I have missed many opportunities. It’s work, isn’t it? But, won’t it be fun to try to encourage one another to reach out in our neighborhood?

Until next time,

2022 Thoughts….

I won’t say, “Wow, how did we get to 2022, wasn’t it just 2020!” No, I’m not going to say that! But, really, HOW? Okay….moving on…

I wanted to write on one of my favorite subjects today about being thankful and not only speaking of our thankfulness but, putting it in writing. I knew I had written on this subject a few times before and the latest was in January of 2020. When I was writing on my goals and dreams for 2020, I had no idea what was in store. What a wild and crazy year it was. It carried over into 2021 and thankfully things settled down mid 2021. I could say, I never want to think about that year and a half again, but, I can’t. I learned way too much. I love sharing the things that I learn in order to hopefully encourage or help someone else. One of the things that helped me navigate my way out of such craziness during that time was reading after others who had been in the same shoes. It gave me much hope. I’ll admit, sometimes I would read things and it made it worse. Oh, I hope I don’t do that for anyone.

Back to the main topic….thankfulness!

I’m going to share this post that I did when I was preparing for 2020:


This year I will continue on in being intentional in being thankful in my note writing and verbally.

While on the subject of writing thank you’s, here is an article I wrote on sending notes of encouragement:


Did you know we could change someones day with just a note of encouragement or a spoken word. We could even change a life!

Here is one more article while we are on the subject of encouraging others:


Oh, to be someone that always bounces the ball back to others. Could be life changing!

I hope those articles will inspire you to go out and make a difference in someones life. I have a feeling it will make a difference in your life as well.

Happy New Year and I know that 2022 is going to be a good year! I’m counting on it.

Until next time,

Mistaken Text….or was it?

This morning I checked my phone to see if I had any calls or texts. One of my texts was from a number that didn’t look familiar. It basically said, “Hey, how are you? I’m blah blah and we traded numbers at blah blah’s cocktail party, you want to get together?” (They really used a name, I’m just saying blah blah because I can’t remember the name they used.) Anyway, I started to delete it and block the number, but, I thought, well, she probably needs to know she has the wrong number. So, I simply wrote, “wrong number.” She quickly wrote back something like, “I can’t believe he gave me the wrong number, I’ve never had that happen before, I feel like a ****.” Then I thought, “hmmm….maybe this person needs to hear something about Christ.” This is the time my husband will say, “Why, you know you should always just delete a wrong number.” Anyway….She then sent a picture of her face. She looked like she was about 20 if that. I proceeded to tell her that she needed to trust Jesus as He will never let her down or deceive her. What have I got to lose, I’m 62. I’m a mom and a mimi! I sent her a scripture. Then she wrote back as if she didn’t read anything and said, “can you talk, etc.” The way “she” wrote this, I could tell, this wasn’t an accident. So, I then gave this person the plan of salvation and another scripture and blocked the number and deleted it.

A couple of lessons learned.

#1. There are people out there randomly sending what looks to be innocent texts to whomever, hoping they get a vulnerable person that will be pulled in to only the Lord knows what!

#2. When you read about a child or teen who is caught up in horrible positions, it could have begun with something like this text. Or even a grown adult who has no scruples as to know what is going on. That is what they hope for; that someone on the other end will take the bait. Many are hooked and caught in a horrible net of sin and deception.

#3. When you get a text or call like that, block it immediately. Don’t think you are going to win them….you are dealing with satan himself! He is out to destroy you and will stop at nothing!

I felt strongly that I needed to share this with you as January happens to be “Human Trafficking Awareness Month.”

The angle that I feel strongly about is in protecting your children. Just about every child/teen has a phone these days. If we only knew the snares that our kids can get into just with a simple phone that we think is there to keep them safe. Which it will, but, what discernment they must have in how to control the phone. Many parents just hand the phone to their children without any warnings or rules. Remember most kids can’t even make their own beds or brush their teeth without being told to, yet we give them a phone and expect them to have wisdom.

Many years ago, I led a group in our city that worked on fighting the por*nography problem in our area. It was bad and I will share soon what all we accomplished and what I learned. But, the reason I tell you that is one of the first things that I learned was when it came to allowing your children to go online, we have no idea what all is available at the touch of a keyboard. What I would tell parents is to imagine dropping your child off alone at Central Park in New York City at the entrance and tell them you will pick them up in a couple of hours. Really, any park these days. Would you? I didn’t think so! That is how it is when you let your child sit down at the computer. Anything and everything is lurking to wait to lure your child to them. Now days, it’s the phone. We hand a phone to our child/teen and anything and everything is waiting for just the right moment.

The text that I got this morning, wasn’t my first. For about two years I was on someones list that sent group texts with links to only the Lord would know. I have a feeling the way they got my number was from a valet service I used at a hotel in Fort Worth because, the texts began the day I left the hotel. (a very nice hotel, by the way.) Each time I would get one, I would block every number. Then more would come a few days later. I did call the police and they said that nothing could really be done as it was probably coming from over seas. So, I kept blocking the numbers for almost two years. They finally stopped. Maybe they ran out of numbers.

I can’t even imagine what someone would get into if they clicked on the links or answered a call. We really do need to take it very seriously what is going on in our world and how the enemy is out to steal, kill and destroy us and our children!

It’s so easy to get caught up in our happy, fulfilled lives that we think that nothing bad will happen or come near our home. I honestly feel that we shouldn’t be scared, but we should be aware. Don’t bury your head in the sand and think, “aww, that won’t happen here.” As a parent, we are the one that is responsible for our children’s safety. Not the schools, not the government, not the neighbor, etc. It’s you! So, what have you done to make sure your child is protected with the device that is in their hands that can go around the world and back? What about you? Are you on your toes and aware of how you can be affected as well?

One time I got a wrong number on my phone. He asked for so and so, I said “You have the wrong number.” I hung up immediately. He called back and I thought, “my goodness, did he dial the wrong number again?” He didn’t have nice things to say and I hung up as fast as I could! We can be caught off guard so easily. We need to always be asking the Lord for wisdom and discernment in this area!

I so hope this helps someone and prevents something really awful happening to an innocent child, teen or adult! May we always be aware and remember the world is not as safe as we wish it were. We are to be a light in a dark world; use much wisdom in every way possible!

Since it is “Human Trafficking Awareness Month,” I hope you will become aware of the problem, pray about it and always be alert. The area that I live in has been labeled as being rampant with this issue. I do my best to always be alert and aware of what is going on in my community and I keep my eyes open for anything that looks suspicious. I’m also making it more of a habit to not answer numbers that I don’t know and delete text the second they come in that are obviously not right.

I am sharing an article that I wrote describing a couple of instances I went through as a child and a teen. This was in the 70’s, so I can only imagine how much worse it would be today. I will always remember those times and I thank the Lord constantly for protecting me and giving me wisdom even as a young girl. I’m also including an article I wrote on what to do when hear an Amber Alert.

Too Close for Comfort!

Amber Alert…what can I do?

Mistaken Text….or was it?

Remember, don’t be fearful…be strong, discerning and wise!

Until next time,

Happy 2022!

I’m excited about the new year, aren’t you? The last couple of years have been pretty crazy for sure. I bet we could share some very interesting stories over a glass of iced vanilla tea! Well, since it’s winter, maybe a cup of hot cocoa! If you live in west Texas, it can be 23 degrees one day and 78 degrees the next, so I have both on hand at all times.

I’m excited about getting back to my blogging on a regular basis. I have some fun things up my sleeve to write about. Well, it’s fun for me, anyway. My specialty is procrastination, so you can imagine with all the strange things going on, it was easy for me to say, “tomorrow, I’ll write!” Speaking of, that is one of my things I’m going to work hard on this year…..my procrastination. It’s really not that bad, but….it’s bad enough where I think, “wasn’t it just Thanksgiving yesterday, I haven’t even made the fall cookies I had the recipe for pulled out of my recipe book!”

I’ve been blogging for a long time and I did a little refresher on my site. I’m having to learn a new system and I’m not tech savvy at all, but, I’m learning….again! I’m having to go back and make my categories and I’m trying to put them where it will be easy to find a certain topic. Oh me…..I love to write about EVERYTHING…so my topics are through the roof. I’m still working on it all…so be patient with me.

My dream for my blog has always been that it would be like sitting down with a good magazine that is filled with all types of things to inspire, encourage and maybe think about something that you haven’t thought of before. I love beautiful pictures and I’m learning on that one, too. When I compare my pictures from when I began my blog many years ago, I get tickled. Hopefully, they will still get better as time goes on.

I’m not in the money making business, so you won’t find pop up ads all over the place. I read some very good blogs and it’s difficult sometimes with all the pop ups…so, that is a no no for me. I am trying to build my subscriber list, but, I don’t want a pop up saying “SUBSCRIBE!!!” I’ve just left that up to whatever happens, happens. I’m taking my annual social media break from FB so I’m not able to share my writing through that. For now, I’m still on IG….you never know, I may take a break from that one soon as well.

In our crazy world it is easy to say, “Lord, come quickly, this place is a mess!” I then remember, that we are to continue to live life to the fullest and be a light in any way we can….. not hibernate and shut down and wait for His return. We want to be busy when we hear that trumpet, don’t you think? Always, looking for His return all the while living a beautiful life!

I hope this year you will find much inspiration and food for thought as we make it in this world as a light and living life to the fullest just as He wants us to. We have much to do, much to share and much to dream about. Are you ready?

I am, we can do this!

I have one question before I close…

Do you like to leave comments on blogs or would you rather email your comment if you have one?

I lied….I have one more question….

Do you subscribe to blogs or do you just go to them when you see a link somewhere….or maybe you just remember where to go to read the latest on your favorite blogs?

*you can email or leave a public comment for your answers if you wish….it will help me make a couple of decisions on that area of my blog updates.

That’s all I have for today. May you have the best year ever and that great and wonderful things are in store for you and your family.