A Woman of Worth – Alicia

Welcome to my series, “A Woman of Worth.” I’m excited to introduce you to the many women who have impacted my life and inspired me throughout the different seasons of my life. I have a feeling they will inspire many of you as well. We never know the path that others have walked when we first meet them. Whatever we are going through, we can usually find someone that will inspire us in the very thing that we need encouragement in. Through this series, I hope you will enjoy meeting the women that I have had the blessing of having in my life either for a short time or a very long time.

I met Alicia and her husband Shelby right before Jim and I got married through some mutual friends of ours. That has been over 43 years ago! We didn’t see much of each other after Jim and I married as we had moved off to seminary and then were busy serving in other churches. When we moved back to Midland we connected again. My Jim was a director and teacher in the Jr. High Department of our home church at this time and Shelby and Alicia were serving in this class. I have many stories of the shenanigans we got into. Alicia and I are very different in so many things but yet the same in just as many. We get tickled at how we are so different and we still have so much fun together.

One of my favorite stories is when Alicia and I met at the church on a Saturday afternoon to decorate the bulletin boards in our class. The classroom was upstairs and the light switch to upstairs was downstairs on the wall as you walk up the stairs. There was also a switch at the beginning of the hallway upstairs. So, we turned the light on and headed up and began working away. While we were laughing and talking… all of the sudden the lights went out. It was pitch black. I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. Yes, I was terrified. Alicia kept saying, “it’s okay, someone probably just turned the light off thinking no one was up here.” I said, “sure, we are about to be murdered!” I began imagining all sorts of things. Alicia, yelled out, “Hello?” Silence! The only thing to do was to walk down to the end of the very long hallway and try to turn the light on or run as fast as we can as we get to the stairs and run outside! So, Alicia said she would go turn the light on, I said, “I’m not staying here by myself!” She said, “come, on, then!” I had a stapler in my hand opened and ready to staple anyone that tried to get me. Alicia had a pair of scissors. It’s a miracle we didn’t hurt ourselves. She led the way and held on to the back of her shirt and followed with stapler ready. We made it to the light switch and turned the lights on. What a relief to be able to see again. Needless to say we hurried and finished our work and got out of there. All we could figure is one of the staff was downstairs and saw the light on thinking no one was there and turned it off and left.

Over the years we have traveled to places like Hawaii, Maine and Branson together. Our husbands enjoy hiking and exploring while we usually shop and search out our next restaurant to try out.

Alicia and Shelby have been married for 44 years and have two daughters who are married and have blessed them with 5 grandkiddos! I love Alicias name that her grand babies call her. She-She! I love it. She is an amazing mom and grandmother. Her girls love being around Alicia. I love hearing about how much fun they all have together.

A few years ago Alicia and Shelby moved to the Fort Worth area and have a beautiful home that they love spending time with family and friends in. Alicia serves in her church in many areas. She is an excellent cook and she shares her gift of cooking and hospitality by organizing and preparing regular luncheons for the staff at her church. If you are fortunate to be a guest at Alicias home, you will be treated like royalty.

Riding horses has always been a love of Alicia….yes, she even has her own horse! She also stays busy by taking care of her mom who doesn’t live too far away. Sewing and decorating are also on the list of her many talents.

When I wasn’t feeling very well a couple of years ago, Alicia would text on a regular basis checking on me and encouraging me. She would challenge me regularly with things to get back to the living. She reminded me that I was going to be okay and she was right, I am! I’m very thankful for my friendship with Alicia and her husband. You are blessed if you have the Hanks in your life as dear friends!

Alicia became a Christian when she was 7 years old. She remembers that day very well. As she got older she wrestled a bit with her salvation wondering if she had said the right words or not. She now knows her salvation was complete at the age of 7 when she asked Jesus into her heart!

Alicia’s favorite verse that she goes to on a regular basis is Philippians 4:6, ” Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” If she doesn’t understand something in her life, she goes to this verse. If she doesn’t know how to pray, she goes to that verse. If she is frustrated, angry, confused, she goes back to that verse. It is her “reset” button.

Alicia shared that if she could have had some advice many years ago that would help her it would be, “To consistently go to God for my contentment and my “happiness.” A person is not responsible for that.”

I asked Alicia what she felt her purpose in life is and this is what she told me:

“I have wrestled with this most of my life. I am a “guns a blazing” type person. When God chose not to use that part of my personality, I was left to wonder just how He could use me. I have since learned that my purpose is simple; to glorify the Lord. If that is leading 2000 forward, or spending 10 minutes visiting with someone in the grocery store, it all all for His glory.”

There are two things Alicia hopes to be remembered by: Her obedience to God and that she could make you laugh.

Alicia hopes to encourage other women to remember that their husband is just a man. He has his own personality, his own goals and his own vision. Pray for your husband! Don’t belittle him, love him.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know my friend, Alicia and that her words encouraged you. We all can learn from one another regardless of age difference, likes, dislikes, talents and everything in between. Don’t ever limit yourself in reaching out to make a new friend. You never know what you will learn and how much fun life can be with a friend!

A Woman of Worth – Jo

Until next time,

A Woman of Worth – Jo

Welcome to my series, “A Woman of Worth.” I’m excited to introduce you to the many women who have impacted my life and inspired me throughout the different seasons of my life. I have a feeling they will inspire many of you as well. We never know the path that others have walked when we first meet them. Whatever we are going through, we can usually find someone that will inspire us in the very thing that we need encouragement in. Through this series, I hope you will enjoy meeting the women that I have had the blessing of having in my life either for a short time or a very long time.

I met Jo Fite many years ago when I became a Mary Kay Cosmetic Consultant about 25 years ago. When I first met Jo, she was always so kind and was interested in me and my family. She always asked about my kiddos. She was and is an encourager. I admired how she always had a smile on her face and she was easy to talk to. She was also one that I knew was praying for me and I prayed for her as well.

Jo and her husband will celebrate their 43rd anniversary this year. When they married… Lyn who was 14 years older than she, had 2 children. Jo had given a baby girl up for adoption on one very early Easter morning when she was 16. Jo never stopped praying for her daughter over the next 25 years. After 25 years of praying for her, Jo was contacted by her daughter. She had just had her first child and wanted to find her birth mother. This was such an amazing time in all of their lives as Jo had her daughter back and a new grand baby. They are now all very close and are enjoying being a family again. Jo and Lyn now have 3 grandchildren. I love this story, don’t you?

Jo and Lynn lived in west Texas for a very long time and decided to retire to a small town in New Mexico. This was a big change for Jo as her mother was beginning to have dementia and so they moved her with them and shortly after the love of her life, Lyn, developed Macular Degeneration. This season of Jo’s life involves spending time servicing her Mary Kay customers of 30 years and taking good care of her mom and husband. She is the chief driver of the family. I love what she shared with me:

Mom & Lyn always took great care of me over the years, so I consider this a blessing that I can now take care of them!” 

Jo became a Christian shortly after she married. She and Lyn were doing a Bible study together and she realized that she needed to make Jesus her Lord and Savior. When she was around 10 years old she was introduced to Christ and made a profession, but didn’t remember much about it. So she settled it in her 20’s.

Jo’s biggest challenge in life right now is doing her best to take care of her husband and mom. Jo is also struggling with arthritis, She has had several surgeries and needs a couple more but is putting it off as she doesn’t want to be down and not able to care for her husband and mother. Now if you were to meet Jo, you would probably never know this as she doesn’t talk about herself very much. She’s always caring for others and loves doing so.

Jo’s favorite scripture that brings her comfort at this time in her life is:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 4:6-7

Jo told me that she wanted to be remembered as someone who cares for those that she loves and meets each day. That is Jo! When you meet her, you know that she truly cares for everyone in her life.

I hope you are encouraged by Jo’s life. What a beautiful picture of grace and beauty she is. I’m thankful to call her my friend! I love seeing her faithfulness to her husband, her children and her mom. She loves each of her Mary Kay customers and you know she’s doing something right when her customers call her and ask if they can go to church with her. That’s my friend, Jo! Alamogordo, New Mexico is lucky to have you!

Jo’s Mary Kay Website

Jo’s Mary Kay Facebook

Until next time,


Happy Father’s Day, Mom!

My mom, my hero! She was a single mom with three kiddos. I was the oldest and I had two younger brothers.

My mom married when she was 20. She met a handsome man who swept her off of her feet. She had me a year later. When I was about 3 months old, she found out my dad had a weakness for other women and alcohol. It was a rough next several years for her. My dad would try to change many times. My mom is a very forgiving person. She and my dad separated several times up until I was about 12 years old. I have some good memories of my dad and some sad memories.

My dad left for the final time when I was 12. My mom was then on her own and determined to make it on her own without help from anyone. She had a 12, 9 and 3 year old and no one except for her sister in town who was busy raising her own family. I became my moms right hand girl! I was chief babysitter, housekeeper and anything else needing doing to help her out as she worked 3 different jobs for a season until she got a good job that paid the bills. She also never took any type of government assistance, even when people kept telling her she should. A few times we would find groceries in our car.

My mom was 33 when a youth pastor came to our door and led her to Christ. Our entire world changed for the better. A huge life change happened in my moms life and our little family in a tiny two bedroom house on Hill Street.

We didn’t miss a service or activity at the church….ever! My mom lived daily her love for her Savior. I honestly don’t know how we would have made it without Him. This year marks 50 years since she became a Believer in Jesus!

Life moved on and now my mom has 5 grandchildren who love her so much and 6 great-grandchildren and one on the way this August who are the apple of her eye. Family means the world to my mom. She doesn’t want much at all. Things aren’t important to her but what a joy it has been to make sure she is taken care of and doesn’t want or need anything. Between me and my two brothers, she is well cared for. I’ve loved taking her on trips. We’ve cruised a few times and traveled to some beautiful places.

Each Father’s Day since I can remember, I have given my mom a Father’s Day card to recognize all that she did for me growing up. She did a good job and I know it was rough and she was probably scared, lonely and many times had no idea how we were going to make it. Not once did she ever consider leaving us. One of my uncles came for a visit and asked to take me and give me a life he thought I needed. Fortunately, my mom declined his offer. Each Father’s Day, I remember my dad as well. I hang on to the few sweet memories I have of him and after spending many years praying daily for him, I’m trusting I will see him again someday!

My mom is now 83 and doing great. She is greatly blessed, well cared for and will not be in need of anything. She still can be found reading her Bible, praying for her family and loving on them each opportunity she gets.

Happy Father’s Day, Mom! You are the best!

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Fabulous Living in the Empty Nest Years

I have the honor of having new friends and lifelong friends who are my age or older. I thought it would be fun to share some of the amazing people that I know who haven’t let the empty nest years slow them down. Some have reinvented themselves after all the cuties have flown the nest and some have just kept on keepin’ on doing what they have always done.

I know that some people enter this season of life without a thought or care and then there are some like me who think….”Oh my, now what do I do?” “What’s my purpose?” “Does anything I do make a difference?” “People aren’t interested in what a 50 plus woman thinks or does.” “So much for 20 year goals…I may not even be here.” Sounds like a pity party, doesn’t it? Well, I refuse to have a pity party. I want to embrace this season of life with all that God designed for me with all that I have…. and I know you do, too!

My husband and I are enjoying our season of empty nest as much as possible. We have been traveling and seeing things that I only dreamed of. We enjoy our kids and grandkids and love being around them. I don’t take anything for granted and I know where my blessings come from and because of God’s amazing grace am I able to do the things that we are able to partake in.

I know I have some young moms and even singles that are readers of my blog. That makes me happy. I want to encourage you that someday, you will enjoy life after you have raised your children. I always struggled with that thought as I couldn’t imagine living without my children close by. Yes, I’m one of those. I love being a mom. Now I have the joy of being a Mimi and watching my children in their marriages and as parents. My heart smiles when I think of my children as adults and I will hold the memories of them as little ones that depended on me for everything in my heart forever. Seasons of life are sometimes hard to get used to, but, if we are prepared, it will make it easier. Personally, I wasn’t prepared. I’m still learning.

All that to say….I really hope these articles of introducing you to some amazing ladies will only inspire and encourage you for the future. Also, for those like me….it’s never too late to be inspired and make any changes that need to be made. Are you ready to meet my first inspirational friend?

I met Rhodema 4 years ago. She and her husband were moving to our area from East Texas and the leader of a writer’s group that she was a member of, gave her my email address to see if there were any writer’s groups in her new city. Rhodema is a writer. She has been published in a few magazines and is working on a historical fiction book.

When I received her email and answered her questions, I also told her to contact me when she made the move and we would go to lunch. Once she got moved and all settled, she contacted me and we attended a writer’s group and also went to lunch and became instant friends. We were the same age and had a lot in common.

Rhodema had recently lost her father whom she loved very much. She has four grown children and 4 grandchildren who are basically all around the world. Rhodema homeschooled her children through graduation. Her oldest is married and has 4 adorable children and she and her husband are medical missionaries in a far away country. Another daughter is a nurse at a hospital in another city. Another daughter is a Moody Bible Institute graduate and is in the process of moving to another country as well. Her youngest is an aspiring actor in Hollywood and has been in several television shows and movies.

Rhodema is also the wife (38 years) of a busy doctor who has his own practice. So, you can see she has a busy and full life. Once she moved to her new city and oh, so far away from family, friends and church, she found herself in the throws of the empty nest world. She loves writing and she loves gardening and that kept her pretty busy, but, she felt something was still missing. The quietness was still hard to get used to. So one day, she picked up a paint brush and gave it a whirl. She loved it! She enrolled in some painting classes and joined a painters club.

Long story short…..

This very week, she is a featured artist with over 40 pieces of her work on display and for sale at a local venue. She is now known as a local artist of our city.

If all of that isn’t enough, she is also a tutor for some college age students and she volunteers for a mission in our city.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know my friend, Rhodema! If you would like to follow her on some of her social media, here are her links:




A couple of years ago, I shared in a post, a friend of mine in Oklahoma who is also an artist. She is another one who picked up a paint brush one day and is now a well known artist. Click here to read about my friend, Karin and follow her work. She is amazing!

Yes, I picked up a brush and tried to paint. It didn’t work. I just don’t have it, evidently! I know many artists and it seems everyone has their own style and what fun it is to watch them in all of their creativity. I can do a stick figure and that is about it.

Thanks for being a reader of my blog and I hope you will subscribe and receive updates in your inbox each time I make a new post. I’m trying to build my reader list. If that isn’t your thing, that is okay. I do hope you will come back and visit again. My desire is that you will be inspired and encouraged by something you read.

Until next time….

Iris, A Special Lady

Today is the Iris’ birthday. The only problem is, I can’t call her and wish her a happy 91st birthday. Iris passed away 4 months ago.

I met Iris about 25 years ago. I had just started a local group with Concerned Women For America. Iris was very active in local politics, church life, leadership in Eagle Forum and in her spare time she loved her work as a Landman. She traveled across the country doing land work.

Iris taught me everything I needed to know about politics. I traveled to Washington D.C. with her to Eagle Council as well as St. Louis. I met Phylis Schlafly a couple of times along with Clarence Thomas and numerous other conservative leaders. Iris was active in our local Republican Women’s group and encouraged me to do so as well. I attended three Texas State Republican Conventions as a delegate. I learned more about politics than I cared to know. It is all very exciting and at the same time “politics.” Many times someone that was running for political office would come to town and Iris would be the one to take them to all the “important people” to ask for their support and I had the pleasure of driving several of them to their various appointments.

Iris loved her country and she prayed faithfully for God to continue to bless our country in a great and mighty way. She loved her son and grandson with everything that she had. Iris became a single mom when her son was very young. She did an excellent job in raising him. She also cared for her mother until she passed away.

When Iris was young, she was a Rangerette at Kilgore College. I loved to hear her stories about those days. She went on to graduate from Baylor University.

When I first met Iris, she put together a tour to various small towns around our city and had a team of speakers on different subjects. At the time, I was working with Concerned Women for America and our goal was to rid our community of pornography. That’s a whole story in itself, but, Iris convinced me to give a speech on what pornography does to a community as well as families. It took a lot of convincing and a lot of prayer to get up in front of a room full of strangers and speak on that subject. Iris always encouraged me in my speaking and my writing. Every time I talked to her, she would ask me about my book or where I spoke last. She also loved my family. She prayed for each one of them and always said the kindest things about each one. She loved my Jim and even made sure that he would preach her funeral. She was confident he would share the gospel. She knew everything about both of our kids and their lives and prayed for each one regularly. She loved my mom and always asked about her.

Iris introduced me to a lady named Carol over 25 years ago and we have been dear friends since that day. Together we have traveled on a regular basis to visit Iris when she moved to be closer to her son. What a time we had. Iris could walk, but, we could get places so much faster if we pushed Iris in a wheel chair. When we visited, Iris was ready to go shopping, eating out and going to church. We kept the road hot in The Woodlands for the 3-4 days that we visited each time. Iris lost her eye sight the last few years of her life, but you would have never known it. She insisted on going to movies, especially, the movies that our son worked on. She wanted to know every detail. Iris needed hearing aids and rarely wore them, so, what fun Carol and I would have wheeling Iris around to shopping centers, restaurants, movie theaters and church while talking very loud and describing everything we see.

The last couple of years Iris spoke a lot about Heaven. She told me she couldn’t wait to get there and see Jesus face to face. We talked on the phone about that for hours. She wanted to listen to books on tape about Heaven. Right before she passed away, she had a trip planned to go to The Cove, the home of Billy Graham and the Bible Museum in Washington DC. Not much slowed Iris down. Carol and a I would get home from our trips with Iris and have to take a couple of days to rest. I was the driver of our excursions once we got to The Woodlands. Iris would sit in the front seat with me and even though she couldn’t see a thing, she always knew if I made a wrong turn or not. She could tell me where to go and how to get there. She would describe the location and what the place looked like that we were driving to. She also heard everything Carol and I would say when we were trying to figure out our plans for the day. She was a smart little cookie! Nothing got passed Iris!

One last story to share that makes me smile when I think about it. About 4 years ago, I was having lunch with Iris and she asked if I would take her to Roswell. Roswell is a few hours from our city and I told her that sounded good and I would check my calendar and let her know for sure if and when. I talked to Jim, checked my calendar and called her and asked her when she would like to go to Roswell. She said, “Honey, I didn’t say Roswell, I said Toronto, Canada.” Long story short, her son took her to Toronto.

Here is a link to a post I did years ago of a recipe Iris gave me. Click here to read.

Happy Birthday, Iris! I know you are seeing such beauty and hearing the sweet voice of our Savior!

My Self-Improvement Class with Miss Texas!

A few years ago, okay, maybe many years ago, I was happily going along in my first year of marriage trying to figure out how to be the perfect wife.  I saw an ad for a class being offered in the home of a previous Miss Texas.  She was teaching on self-improvement.  She would cover things like, make-up application, hair care, confidence, etc.  This was right up my ally as I loved things like this.  I never thought of myself as pretty and I was always looking for ways to learn new things to present myself better.

I called my bff, Tammy!  What fun she was.  We had just become close friends and we were always getting into something.  We often referred to ourself as Lucy and Ethel.  We had taken a sewing class together and I’ll have to share that one someday, but, today, I felt led to share this little story of our self improvement class with Miss Texas.  Can you imagine, sitting down with a Miss Texas and have her share all of her secrets?  What fun this was going to be.

Since it was 37 years ago, I don’t remember all of the teachings, but, two main things have stayed in my mind for…..37 years!  Matter of fact, as I was washing my hair this morning, it went through my mind again.  So, naturally, I had to write about it.

Tammy and I had our notepads all ready to take down important notes as we gleaned wisdom from this beautiful lady that had won a title in the Miss Texas pageant.

One lesson that was planted in my brain for 37 years was about… my hair.  Trust me when I say that I have struggled with my hair.  I have very thick and course hair.  When I would put my hair in pony tails, I would usually break the rubber band due to trying to get it in my hair.  I would roll my hair each morning on electric rollers and my hair was so heavy it would be straight within a few hours.

While in high school the latest rage was to frost your hair.  Yep, I went for it.  So many hours of sitting with that cap on my head as someone would dig into my scalp to pull a small strand of hair out of the little bitty holes in the cap.  I can still hear that sound and feel the pain when the metal pick went into my scalp.  The thing about frosting your hair, you need to keep it up as it won’t look good as it is growing out.  I learned that lesson pretty fast.

My hair is a dark blonde and the small bit of frosting I would do gave it just a bit of lightness that I loved.

Also, during that first year of marriage, I went to a hairstylist that gave me a Dorthy Hamill haircut.  Whew, it was short, but I liked it.  Easy to keep and style.  My thick hair was perfect for that style.  I’m being brave and sharing this picture from that “era.”  I should have attended the session on eyebrows!  What in the world!  What happened to my eyebrows!  Okay, I know what happened.  My aunt who was very beautiful had very thin eyebrows and I admired them as my eyebrows were huge!  Evidently, I wanted eyebrows like my aunt.  Ouch!


Okay, back to the class and the session on hair.  The first question that was asked was, “Who colors their hair or frosts their hair?”  I raised my hand and all of the sudden I felt like I was alone.  Miss Texas then said, “Well, I have virgin hair, so I don’t know anything about coloring.”  All of the sudden I felt really embarrassed about my hair.  Virgin Hair?  What in the world did that mean?  I began thinking about it while she was talking and of course I couldn’t tell you a thing what she said after her statement about virgin hair.  I felt like a hussy (aka Harlot) all of the sudden, me and my non-virgin hair.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

After Tammy and I talked about it, we had a pretty good laugh and joked about it for a long time.

The next class was coming up and me and my non-virgin hair showed up for the session on voice.  I needed this one for sure evidently because as soon as I told her my name, Miss Texas immediately handed me a 4 page handout with a script on it.  She said that I needed to lower my voice and not talk so high and soft.  I have always known this was a problem for me.  I had been made fun of for many years for my voice.  It is very soft and quiet.  I took the script home and I practiced it for a week in a lower voice and a bit louder.  When we went back to the next session that next week, I was ready.  She asked if I had worked on it.  I did, but, as I started reading, my voice was no different…..I think I was so nervous and fearful of not sounding correct, I lost everything in my brain that I had worked on.  She wasn’t that happy with me and moved on to the next subject.

I was failing my self-improvement course quickly.

When I told my husband about it, he simply told me to not worry about my voice.  He liked my voice just how it was.  So that settled that.

The last class was approaching and it was on make-up application.  I had really wanted to go to it, but, I had to be at church that night.  So my fun friend, Tammy, went alone.  She came by the house when I was home later that night and was fuming.  First of all when I saw her, I started laughing.  She had so much make-up on that all we could do was laugh.  The only words that I remember her saying is, “I feel like I look like a clown and you weren’t there to go through this last session together!”  I let my friend down to walk her through the craziness of make-up application by a Miss Texas.  I apologized and we laughed some more and I even laugh today when it pops into my head about that crazy course on Self-Improvement by Miss Texas.

Life is so much fun when you have a BFF that will do all those crazy things with you and you have a husband that tells you that he loves you just the way your are when you come home in tears from a self improvement class by a Miss Texas!

I still go and have my hair highlighted (not frosted)  and I can safely say that a hair appointment doesn’t go by that I don’t hear Miss Texas say, “Well, I have no idea, I have virgin hair.”

All that to say, I’ve come along way since my Miss Texas class on self improvement.  She was a beautiful young lady and had much wisdom to share.  I was a shy girl with low self esteem and I never believed anyone when they told me I was pretty.  Today, I still work on the areas that I need help in and I’m always willing to learn something new.  I still struggle with my hair and I think I have control on my eyebrows now.  I have the assurance that my husband loves me just how I am even when I don’t have any make-up on and my hair needs highlights.  I am a firm believer in being the best YOU possible, but, sometimes I see many going overboard in that area.  I work hard at not getting caught up so much that I’m heading to the local botox place.  Well, if I weren’t so afraid of needles and doctor offices, it could cross my mind!  We watch movies and look at pictures of celebrities and we  admire the beautiful people we see and the truth is they are so plumped up with botox and make up and then filtered that we don’t see the real person.  We want to compare ourselves to that picture.  The same is on social media.  Everything looks so perfect and beautiful.  We might be surprised at what the real version looks like.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like making things look beautiful. My home, my life and even myself as hard as that is sometimes.  But, sometimes things aren’t perfect and beautiful.

When we are secure in who we are and that we were created and formed by an amazing creator, we don’t have to get so caught up in being perfect and look just right.  He takes all that un-beautifulness and turns it in to something amazing for His glory.

When we have been saved and redeemed by Jesus Christ we want to present the best us that we can, so we can share the love of Christ to others.

We can use our voice regardless how quiet or loud it is to share the good news of a Savior who came to die on the cross for our sin and give us an eternal life.

Let what is in your heart shine through and the beauty will be unstoppable.  Even botox can’t compare to a real peace and love that shines through your eyes, your voice, your attitude and your life.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well. -Psalm 139:14

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Linking this post with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Can We Be Friends?

I have been blessed with some dear friends.  I know you have, too.

I think it is important to affirm others and lift them up, don’t you?  We live in a fast paced world and everyone is so busy… I have a feeling stopping to edify someone isn’t on most people’s daily to do list.

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another…” I Thessalonians 5:11

A good place to start, is with our family.  Do they know how much you care and how proud you are of them?  Is there someone that needs to hear your voice today?  If you can’t call, you might send a card and share your heart with them.  It just might change someone’s day.

Several years ago, I was told something that wounded me to the core.  They said,”Just because we are related doesn’t mean I would or want to your friend.  If I saw you walking down the street, you would be the last person I would be friends with!”  I know, right!?  Is that how it feels to be stabbed?  Maybe?

When family and friendship means so much to you, words like that will make you leery and scared to be who you really are.  Afraid you won’t be accepted or liked.  It’s easy to stay to yourself and not put yourself out there to risk being told cruel things about yourself.  Who needs that in their life?  Not me!

There comes a time when you have to move on and realize that isn’t how the Lord intends you to live.  He wants us to enjoy our family and to have friends.  Encouraging and edifying others is how we are to live.  Get busy with making the world a better place by seeing the good in others and being friendly.  We all have a purpose and wonderful to be able to share it with others.

We have such an amazing God, don’t we?  He gives us just what we need when we need it.  I believe one of those things are friends.  Think about your friends for a second.  How did you become friends?  Did it involve you taking a chance and just being kind to someone?  Maybe just being interested in them?  Caring who they are, where they’ve been, where they are going?  All it takes is being interested in others and then truly caring for them.   Do all your friends look and act just like you.  Dress alike, talk alike, think alike?  Granted, that is fun to have someone that you think just alike, but how about those that have different things to offer.  Don’t ever think that because someone lives differently than you could never be your friend.  As in the person that told me they would never be my friend and made it a priority to make fun of my dress, my lifestyle, how I raised my kids, etc.   Instead of focusing on the differences and ridiculing them, it could be that we should look at our differences and learn from one another and we just might find that we really aren’t all that different.

When we lived in Oklahoma, I went to a co-op meeting that I heard about and wanted to learn more about ordering organic food.  I didn’t know much about this, but I wanted to learn more.  When my order came in, I drove to the home of the lady that the food was delivered to.  I should mention I got lost a couple of times while driving to her house as she lived on a ranch with horses, gardens and lifestyle that was so different than mine.  She homeschooled like me and I was excited that we had that in common.  Only she had nine children and I had two.  So many interesting and different things about her world.  They even had a family band and all the children played a different instrument.  I was intrigued.  Instead of getting my order and leaving, I felt like the Lord had given me a chance to meet someone very interesting that I needed to hear from.  Since that day, I gained a friend that I still have after 15 years.  We live far apart, but I know she is there and I love hearing and seeing all that she does to fill her days.  She recently left a comment on one of my blog posts and she gave me permission to use it.  I share it to show that yes, you can be different and still have a special friendship.

“Loved reading this post!!! I’ve always marveled at how different we are in our tastes, you are so stylish and glittery and I’m just kind of a down to earth natural with very little fashion style, but it really surprised me to read that all the things that you can’t do, I can… I knit, I draw/paint, I do play piano, even though I haven’t for years. I think it is just our different ways of expressing beauty. 🙂”

One of my memories with this friend is the time we met at a tea room for lunch.  As we were talking about various things she got tears in her eyes as she was sharing.  I reached in my purse and got her a tissue and handed it to her.  This wasn’t an ordinary tissue, it was a leopard print tissue.  She then looked at it and started laughing and said, “Of course it is.”

How sad it would be if I would have let that friendship pass due to being “different.”  She has been a huge inspiration in my life!  By the way, if you want to be inspired by her, visit her website.  She is an amazing  and beautiful artist. (I can’t even draw a stick figure!)  Click here to visit her.  By the way, I think she is very stylish!

I just have to share one more friend with you.

Alicia and I met years ago before Jim and I got married.  We didn’t really get close until our kids were almost grown.  What fun we have had.  Yes, we are as different as night and day but yet we have so much in common.  How does that work?  We’ve laughed ourselves silly and prayed for each others kiddos….and now grandkiddos.

To give you an idea of just how different we are in a few things, maybe the picture will help explain.

Alicia would rather haul a pile of wood to the other side of her property and wrap a chain around the trunk of a tree, get in her Mule and pull it out of the ground.  Then go ride a horse for the afternoon.  Me?  Not so much!  But, yet, I love getting together with her and learning all that she has to share.  Alicia can cook an amazing meal at the drop of a hat! Me… I have to plan and think about it for a while.  She is strong and isn’t afraid of too much.  One time many years ago, when my husband was the Jr. High Director of our church, Alicia and I decided to go decorate the bulletin boards one late afternoon.  We were upstairs working away and all of the sudden the lights went out.  It was as dark as dark could be.  Alicia had the stapler in her hand and so we headed downstairs in the dark and I held on to her shirt.  She had her stapler out just in case a monster or whatever was in the building. The main switch was all the way downstairs.  We had to walk all the way down the hall, down the stairs in the dark to get to the main switch.  It seems someone that was in the office had left for the day and turned all the lights off thinking no one was in the building.  Yes, she was my hero that day!  I would have had a heart attack if I were there by myself.  I wouldn’t be writing this right now…I’d be long gone!  I told you she was brave!

Thank you to these two ladies who have loved me, prayed for me and most of all, I can call you, My Friend!

I hope you have had the blessing of a friend that is not a cookie cutter image of you and loves you just as you are!

I would love to share more

but, I will save it for another day….

Is there someone you need to call or send a note to, today?

10 Lessons I Learned From A Single Mom!


My father left for the final time when I was 12 years old.  He had left us many times before, but this time, I knew it was forever.  I had two younger brothers; 9 and 2 years old.  We moved into a tiny rent house on the  south side of town and life was pretty hard for us four, but we made it.  We made it because we had a mother that was strong and had no intentions of giving up.  She worked as a desk clerk at a large hotel in town and found two other jobs to go with it to make ends meet.  Whenever the local baseball team had an in-town game, she would work the concession stand.  Many nights and weekends, I would be sitting in the stands with my two little brothers while waiting for my mom to get off of work.  I am not into sports at all, so you can imagine how boring this was for me.   She also worked on weekends at the Country Club answering phones and greeting guests.  When they would have an event at the club, she would work the coat check desk.  Many times she would come home with a bowl full of change from her tips.  She would let us count the money and how exciting it was when we would report that she had made $35.00!  The money always went to pay bills or the rent. After a couple of years, she did get a job as secretary of our church that took the place of those three jobs.  In thinking of those days, I’m always amazed how strong my mother was and to raise three children alone.


In thinking about my mom this Mother’s Day, I came up with 10 things that I learned from her as I watched her life as a young girl.

Ten Lesson’s Learned From A Single Mom


Take what life has handed you and make the best of it.  When we moved into that tiny house, I’m sure my mother was scared to death.  But, I didn’t know it.  She took charge and we fixed it up the best way we could.  So very thankful for my Aunt who could sew like a dream.  She made bedding and curtains for our tiny house.  My mother didn’t look for a way out, she made the best of a very sad and hard situation.

Excellent work ethic.  My mother never expected anything from anyone. She worked hard at each job she had and she took it serious.  I do not ever remember hearing her complain about having to go to work.  I would hear her alarm go off each morning and she would then make sure we were up.  She would have my baby brother at day care early each morning. He was usually the first one to arrive.  I would get myself and my other brother ready for school and the long walk to the bus stop.

Be wise with money.  Rent, bills and food took every penny my mother earned.  When we needed clothes, my mother would put things on lay-a-way and pay weekly on them until we could get them.  My Aunt would make many of my clothes and I also got to wear the clothes my cousin outgrew.  What fun it was when my Aunt would call and say, “We just cleaned Rhonda’s closet out, come see if Beverly wants anything.”  It was like a giant shopping spree!  From my recollections, our electricity or water was never turned off due to non payment.  My mother always met her obligations without complaint.

A Strong Faith!  My mom put her faith in Christ about three years after we were on our own.  She was 34 and  our home changed completely the day she made Christ head of our tiny home.  To this very day at the age of 78, she has never wavered in her faith and has stood strong in her beliefs.  I would be fearful to know what would have happened to us all if she hadn’t invited Jesus to be the head of our home.  Watching how my mom trusted and believed in Christ made me even more stronger in my faith.  I saw something real and I saw something that I knew I had to have in my life!

Love people! As we started attending church, my mother began to find ways to serve others.  She taught Sunday School to third grade girls.  She worked on a bus that picked up children whose parents didn’t attend church.  Many times she would even help dress some little ones so they could get on the bus.  My mother would leave the house early on Sunday mornings to work the bus route and my bothers and I would get ready for church and the bus would pick us up.  My mom always had a child in her lap and another one leaning on her and others standing in front of her talking away because they knew she loved them and listened to every word they said.  I was with her recently when a adult man with children stopped and said, “Aren’t you Mrs. Fisher?  You took care of me and my sisters on the bus when I was little.”  Of course, my mom remembered him and each of his sisters.  I can honestly say, my mom loves people and is interested in every detail of their lives. You should see her prayer journal!

Don’t gossip!  When I talk to my mother about things from the past, she will tell me stories that I have to drop my jaw in amazement wondering how she carried on with her life knowing what people said to her and how they treated her.  When I was young, she never said anything bad about anyone, even those that were unkind to her.  I grew up in the church thinking everyone loved me and wanted the best for me, because, that is what she taught me.  Needless to say, I loved them as well.  When my husband and I were in full-time ministry and found out that there are some that are dishonest and cruel, she taught me to stand strong and that it breaks God’s heart, too.  Because of my moms tenacity and steadfastness, I knew that we would make it because I could look back on her life and know that if she could do it alone, I surely could do it.  My favorite story is about a lady that my mom sat by in church and when someone would walk by, this lady would tell my mom all kinds of stories about them and say things that weren’t very nice.  My mom would just listen and think how awful to say such things until one day this lady said to my mom, “I’m so glad we are friends, we think just alike.”  This lady had assumed that my mom agreed because she listened.  Well, after that day, my mom never sat with her again.

Family is important!  Even though our home was broken, my mom taught me that family was important and it was important to love and honor my husband when I married.  She made sure I had teaching on the home, marriage and family.  When I did marry, she loved my husband as if he were her own son.  I am doubly blessed because my husband feels the same about her. Okay, triple blessed!  Both of my brothers love and treat my husband as if he were their own brother, and he the same.   The greatest joy that my mom has is when our family gets together for a meal or a holiday.  When she has everyone together under one roof, she is the happiest.  If one person is out of whack….that is heart wrenching for her. Family is everything to her!

Mom with her great-grandchildren!

Be content!  Everyone has different gifts, likes and dislikes.  My mom is on the quiet side unless you get her to talking about her Savior, God’s Word, Her kids and grandkids.  When I was growing up, she didn’t do crafts, decorate, read novels, travel or play games.  If Pinterest and Facebook would have been around, that wouldn’t even be on the agenda anywhere, any time, any how.  She was busy working and taking care of three kids.  If someone came around that talked about what all they do in the way of how they spend their time, she would listen all day and ask questions about them.  She truly was interested in people and their lives and what they did.  Never wishing she were them, never wishing she could have or do what they did.  She would get just as excited to hear details of someones amazing trip or the new dress they bought.  She was content in who she was and what she had.  She never expected anything from anyone.

How you present yourself is important!  My mom has always dressed well.  Even when she had zero money for anything special. She always looked pretty whatever she was wearing.  Her biggest luxury for herself was getting her hair done.  Her hair was always perfect and still is.  Our clothes were always washed and pressed.  I still can hear her telling my brothers to tuck their shirt in when we were going somewhere.  Even when I married and in full time ministry, she would make sure my husband had the best shirts and ties possible.  How you present yourself is important, from your hair to your shoes.  That is something that is ingrained in me for sure!  Do I need to mention manners?  We may have not known the proper social etiquette for things, but we did have manners!


Love your country! Mom has always stayed on top of the latest happenings in the world.  You can ask her any question about our government and she will know the answer.  She cares about the direction our country is going.  She makes her voice heard with her vote.  She reads things for herself to confirm her beliefs in something.  She weighs issues with God’s Word.  She taught me to love and honor our country.


Those are the 10 things that my loving, hardworking, single mom taught me while growing up.  I could easily list 100 more, but, I will save that for another day.

Happy Mother’s Day to a very special mom!  I love you and appreciate you more than you will ever know!


Happy Mother’s Day to all the single moms out there who work hard at making a home and a living for you and your children.

Do you know  a single mom?

Is there something you can do for her to make her life a little bit easier on this Mother’s Day?


An Angel for Bloggers?


If it were possible to have an angel for bloggers, Merri Dennis, would be that angel!


I met Merri last summer at the Declare Bloggers Conference.  We happened to be sitting at the same table and I notice that she was very proficient in the computer lingo.  It was language that I don’t understand very well, even though I’ve been blogging for 9 years.

A dear friend of mine, Rhodema Cargill who met Merri at the same time I did,  shared with me how she had called her to ask her a couple of questions and how helpful she was.  I put it in the back of my mind and each time I tried to spruce up my blog and I got deeper and deeper in realizing just how bad I was with all the language and codes, I kept thinking “call Merri!”

After honestly thinking of going back to Blogger or just deleting my blog, I thought, I will contact Merri and just see what she says.  She got right back with me over email and then we connected on the phone for a consultation.  After just a few minutes I was excited.  I was excited at how easy she was to talk to and she understood exactly what I was wanting to do to update my blog.


Long story short, after a few days, I have a blog that makes me happy to look at and work on.  I’m so glad I didn’t decide to give up.

Those that know me best, know that I love everything and I get sidetracked with all the possibilities in things I could do.  An example of how bad I am, is when I’m at the hair salon getting my hair done, I’m showing my stylist about 10 different hairstyles of what I like and want to try.  This is not a very good trait to have by the way.

If you need an angel, you must contact Merri today!  I have a feeling you won’t be sorry!  I love her spirit and her honesty.

Go to her site and see all that she offers.  You will be amazed at all the help she has just on her website!



The Power of One!

Judy Rouse is the Director of The Life Center. Anyone who knows Judy, admires and loves her passion and her love for life!

In my city we have a wonderful place called, The Life Center.

The Life Center is a non-profit, faith-based organization offering an alternative to abortion.

Many years ago as a young homeschooling mom, I became aware of this organization and I volunteered as much time as I had to give in counseling young girls in their decision with their pregnancies.  My favorite thing to encourage was abstinence.  So many young girls have never been taught that concept.  It was very fulfilling to visit with a girl and hear her say that she would remain abstinent until marriage.  As time went on, my schedule got very full with schooling, motherhood, ministry and life and I wasn’t able to continue like I wanted in volunteering.  As time has gone on we have always kept up with what we could do for The Life Center.  They are always on our prayer list and we are always concerned of their needs and do whatever we can.

I’m excited for the people and especially the young people of Big Spring to have this organization available in their area.  They are going to need much prayer, volunteers, financial gifts as well as baby supplies and many other items.  Be sure to give them a call and see what you can do.  There is always at least one little or big thing we can do.

The luncheon was held in a very old hotel that has been renovated and decorated to resemble how it looked many years ago.


I loved the room we were in! Very elegant! (A bit light for good pictures) You must go see for yourself. The Settles Hotel has a great restaurant to enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner.







This is the lobby of The Settles Hotel. I love all the chandeliers they have throughout the hotel!

I encourage you to find a similar organization where you are and see what you can do to help share a message with those in your community to save a life!  

The Power of One!  That is You!  That Is Me!