Sunday, November 23, 2014

I've never enjoyed.....

It's hard to believe that it's almost time for Thanksgiving.  I love this time of the year.  Food, fun, family and Christmas shopping.  (Need some Black Friday shopping tips?  Here you go!)  What could be better?

We traditionally gather together with a large sampling of our family members.  Everyone under one roof is loud from the football games playing on the tv, kids playing games, and the rest of us reminiscing and catching up with each other.  Seeing cousins, uncles, and aunts, that you haven't seen in awhile is such a joy. 

The agenda for the event is simple.

Bring a dish.

Say a prayer of thanks.

Eat like tomorrow may not come.

We have a traditional southern Thanksgiving meal.  However, the other day I realized, there's some traditional items I've never enjoyed.  Some would say it's a tragedy but I would say, why add something new to the menu?  If you think I'm missing out, leave a comment and convince me to try something different.

Here we go.  I've never enjoyed.......

  • Pumpkin pie
    • Our tradition is to enjoy sweet potato pie.  My mom and aunt make the best pies I've ever tasted.  Pumpkin just wasn't in the cards I guess.

  • Green bean casserole
    • I'm just not big on the thought of cream of mushroom, green beans and french fried onions on top.  I prefer just a fresh green bean with a little meat in the pot for seasoning and great flavor.

  • Fresh cranberry sauce
    • The cranberry sauce is not a big component of our Thanksgiving meal.  I typically don't eat canned foods but if cranberry sauce is served, it's the kind that's right out of the can. If that makes you cringe, share a great recipe for me to try.

No matter what you eat on Thursday, take time to give thanks for your blessings.  If we allow ourselves, we would only focus on the things we don't have.  What about the things you do have? 

Shelter.  Food.  Family.  Education.  Water.  Finances.  Stability of mind and the ability to wake up and enjoy it all again the next day.  Most importantly, a loving God who longs to bless you with even more.  I leave you with this amazing promise from Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Happy Thanksgiving (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Five To Thrive

It's almost here...Thanksgiving is next week and we will officially enter the 2014 holiday season.  I've already started making list and researching savory recipes.  This time of year, life is all about being thankful.

Living a life of gratitude leads to surviving even the toughest moments of your life.  I've actually seen others at their low points and still find a way to be thankful.

Here are my personal FIVE TO THRIVE, they represent the top 5 things I'm most thankful for:


  • It is my daily declaration to say that sickness and disease are far from me.  I'm thankful for a body that is strong, mobile, and full of health.

  • Simply stated - education dispels ignorance.  Education is your passport into the future and one of your most powerful weapons.

  • Reading the Bible daily is apart of my sacred morning ritual.  I crave hearing from the purest voice I know.  At birth, God formed my physical body but daily he breathes critical content into me that allows me to inspire others and be encouraged.

  • This might seem trivial, but at this stage of my life I LIVE in body slimmers.  Thank God for Spanx.  It creates a wonderful illusion.  Here's a secret - at times, I've been known to wear two body shapers at the same time.
  • These are the people in my life that ground and support me.  They have the natural ability to accept me.  I think my smile is a little brighter everyday because of them, both near and far, my family ROCKS!

What about you - as we prepare for Thanksgiving next week, what are your FIVE TO THRIVE?  Leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter and let us know.  (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Middle School Parenting Success!

Parenting has the ability to make you laugh and cry all at the same time.  I don't profess to be a perfect parent but I know I'm a determined and dedicated parent.  This weekend I had a chance to show my "tween" aged daughter my dedication to our relationship.  We visited SeaWorld and before we could even make it through the gate, my daughter knew the roller coasters she wanted to ride.

Manta at SeaWorld
I knew she would want one of us to ride with her.  Alton nor myself was eager to step up and ride along.  I was even willing to let her go on the ride by herself.  I would just walk with her to the top and then stand on the other side and wait for her.  While we were walking through the line, she said, "Come on mom, this is a great bonding moment for us." 

Did she really just say that? 


On a roller coaster that travels up to 56 miles per hour? 

The face I wanted to give my daughter when she wanted me to ride on the roller coaster.

Maybe she forgot I'm 40 years old with back concerns from time to time.  If she forgot that, maybe she would remember that this a footless roller coaster that positions you in the downward position before leaving the station.  Are you kidding me?  I could think of much better ways to bond like manicures and pedicures or even running a 5K for goodness sake.

Despite my reservations, I rode the roller coaster.  She was so happy but I was so scared.  I strongly disliked every moment of the ride.  I tried to keep my eyes closed the entire time and screamed to try and stop the "butterfly" feelings in my stomach.  At one point, I briefly opened my eyes to look at my daughter.  She was smiling and I immediately knew, this was a parenting success!

With my daughter being in middle school, I can sense her becoming more independent.  If she could, she would probably stay in her room to be in her own space.  I can't say that I enjoy knowing that my daughter is getting older.  She's my oldest and I love our time together.  If I have to push beyond my fears to have bonding moments with my children, then so be it.  Children want our time and attention.  Material things are good, but time with our children is priceless.  There will come a day when she's grown and gone.  I don't want to have any regrets when that time comes. 

She talked me into riding this roller coaster as well. 

The Kraken!

Ecclesiastes 8:15  (CEB)
So I commend enjoyment because there’s nothing better for people to do under the sun but to eat, drink, and be glad. This is what will accompany them in their hard work, during the lifetime that God gives under the sun.