Friday Ramblings

1455092_219428608227960_1669044221_n

I don’t really have anything in particular on my mind today. But, yet, I have a lot on my mind. You know? Serious stuff, weird stuff, goofy stuff. My brain is a strange place (just ask my husband).

1511105_10204426439914059_4571250690944579234_n

My best friend’s little boy had a life threatening stroke last week due to complications from chemo treatment for his Leukemia. I don’t know that I have ever witnessed a stronger woman in my life. She is amazing. It was difficult to be there with her, but not be able to help in anyway. But, you know, we have the same Father, she and I. And, He stepped in and took control of the situation. A week later, her little boy is literally a walking miracle. <3

10850055_352866754884144_201622099042265256_n

My puppy has now eaten three pairs of my favorite sandals. He leaves the guys shoes alone…but acts like my sandals are some kind of delicacy. I try to keep an eye on them, but somehow he manages to sneak them away and chow down on them under my bed. I was discouraged over this until I realized that the ruined shoes will have to be replaced. And to do that, I have to go shopping. It’s rough, but you know, a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

Speaking of dogs, we have only been a dog owner since October. That is when Echo wandered into our lives (literally). One thing I have noticed is that dog owners and mothers are very much a like! We talk about the three P’s (pee, poo, and puke) a lot. Really. It’s a frequent conversation. Oh, I can’t forget the topic of what the dog ate last. Generally, for me, it’s a piece of our furniture. This week, though, it was a baby rabbit. I don’t know that I will ever look at my puppy the same again. (sniffs)

(I won’t insert a picture for this thought, you are welcome)

The other day I was at Walmart (I seriously think I need therapy after Walmart visits), and this kid walks in  front of me. The waist of his jeans was all the way below his behind. His shirt was pulled up above his waistline so that his entire pair of boxer shorts were showing. First. This made his legs look two feet long. Secondly, HOW do you walk with the crotch of your pants at your knees? Any woman who was forced to wear tights as a little girl knows how insane a drooping crotch can make a person. Finally, why not just wear shorts? I just shook my head and got in line behind the woman in her pajama pants and night shirt.

cake blog

I love coffee and cake. (That’s all I have to say about that)

TiredToday is Friday. I am super excited about that because it means I get to stay up later! I might make it to 10:00 tonight! Whoo Hoo! Maybe I’ll be able to stay awake for more than one page of the book I’m reading. It’s not that I’m old. I’m just tired. TIRED. People. I’m. Tired.

Cared for me

My final thought for you is, Jesus loves you. And, I don’t mean like on bumper sticker, “Hey, Smile God Loves You.” He really truly does. He healed my friend’s son. He has done amazing things in my life. He can heal relationships, heartaches, and illness. He is in the business of touching depression, anxiety, and worry. He. Loves. You.

Make it a great week-end!

<3

beach bare souled

The Puddle of Overflowing Ick

Any moms out there?

I just want to take a second to speak to you. Sometimes life is overwhelming. And, there are times when you are already at full capacity and one more thing is added to your “now I have to deal with this too?” list. You wonder how you are going to find the energy to deal with this new revelation about your child, your spouse, your family (whatever it may be).

Been there?

I have. Unfortunately, more than once!

You know what? God was not surprised! He wasn’t! So. As I step into the puddle of overflowing ick (again), I’m looking to my Father and saying, “Will You hold my hand through this? I need Your help. I’m not sure what to say or what to do. But, I know You will help me every step of the way.”

Be encouraged. 

<3

Isaiah 41:13 (VOICE)

After all, it is I, the Eternal One your God, who has hold of your right hand, Who whispers in your ear, “Don’t be afraid. I will help you.”

Chatting it Up with Melissa Tagg (Author Interview)

Melissa Tagg Profile

I was lucky enough to snag an interview with Melissa Tagg, author of From the Start.  Be jealous (little j). Just so you don’t become too jealous, I’m going to share our chat with you! I hope you enjoy it. We would love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment. Sharing is FABULOUS as well…so click away. 

http://www.amazon.com/Start-Walker-Family-Book-ebook/dp/B00MBTYH7U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421092851&sr=8-1&keywords=from+the+start

FromTheStart_300rgb

Melissa!

Finally, I have the chance to chat with you a bit. I’m excited! I think I first discovered you through Rachel Hauck. How do you know Rachel? 

I had the fun of meeting Rachel through My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers founded by Susan May Warren. MBT is a HUGE part of the reason I’m published today and both Rachel and Susie are some of the most amazing teachers, writers and women I know. I hugely look up to both of them. I’m like an eager golden retriever who just wants to follow them around…  :) 


One of our first interactions was on Twitter. You were talking about giving up coffee or caffeine in general. (gasp) That was some time ago. Is that still a “thing” for you? And, if so, um, WHY?

Haha wellll…I tend to go through phases with my caffeine intake. So I think when we first connected, yes, I gave it up…for like three days! But it’s funny you should ask this now of all times because just a few days ago I decided to quit pop cold turkey. Not for long…probably just a few weeks. This time it’s not so much that I’m trying to get away from caffeine as I am trying drink water…’cause, you know, I hear that’s a good thing to do.

 


I have a favorite quote of yours. It’s not from a book, but from a blog you wrote. You said, “Have you ever had a dream go a little beige on you? Something once all sparkly and rainbow-like that somehow lost its color? And you worried it might be gone forever?” I read that and thought, “What a perfect word-picture of how so many of us feel when life “happens””. What advice do you have for women who find themselves in that beige place right now? 

I’m glad you like that quote and yeah, I think it’s something that hits women in all kinds of circumstances or callings—not just writers. We all sort of have pictures in our head of what life should look like…and when it suddenly doesn’t look like that, everything does just get bland and beige.

One of my biggest pieces of advice: Don’t listen to everyone’s advice. LOL! But seriously, sometimes when you’re in a blah season, well-meaning people want to give you fixes. Get more rest, they’ll say. Do a new Bible study. Exercise. Listen to good music. It’s all wonderful advice, yes. But it’s not always about what we do…but about what God does. And it can be very frustrating to try to do everything right and still wonder why nothing’s changing. Sometimes I think God just has his own time for working on our hearts…and the best thing we can do is wait and trust and cut ourselves a little slack.

All that said, when I was at my beigest last year, two amazing books really helped: Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined by Jonathan Merritt and Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs.


I read your blog on your top ten classic rom-coms. I was happy to see Cary Grant in there because he is just dreamy.  You didn’t have any Doris Day/Cary Grant or Doris Day/Rock Hudson flicks listed. Why??? (I’m just curious). 


Oh, I do LOVE Doris Day movies. I’m more of a 1930s and 40s girl when it comes to classics—to me they’re just the wittiest and best—so that’s probably by no Doris Day films made the list. But I do love hers. One of my favorites with her is Send Me No Flowers. That’s the one where Rock Hudson is a hypochondriac and thinks he’s dying and goes searching for a new husband for Doris for after he’s dead. Tony Randall is a riot in that one!


What about more modern day rom-coms? I love You’ve Got Mail (although it’s about old enough to be a classic now, I guess) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Do you have any more current favorites?

Confession: I’m pretty much the most picky person in the world when it comes to current rom-coms. Almost annoyingly so. But I do really enjoy the two you mentioned. My other current-ish favorites are Dan in Real Life (looooove!) and Decoy Bride, which is this random small film with David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald. I thought it was going to be ridiculous, but the humor was just right for me…and the setting was gorgeous. It was quirky and off-beat. 



You have an awesome sense of humor. You always make me giggle whether I’m reading one of your books or a blog. Did your friends and family find you funny as you were growing up? Do you find your personality is the same now as when you were younger or has it developed into something completely different? 

Oh yay for getting share laughs with friends! You know, I don’t know if people would’ve at all said I was funny growing up. I was actually a pretty reserved kid much of the time. I was a total bookworm.   

I do think in high school my funny side came out more. I remember taking a college prep class my senior year of high school and we had to give this speech about our future career. I tried to write something ultra serious but got bored with my own speech. So for the fun of it, instead I started out my speech talking about my plans to become a journalist…and halfway through revealed my plans to become Superman. I took off my top shirt to reveal a Superman shirt underneath, actually got up on a chair and jumped off like I was attempting to fly. Basically I made an idiot of myself—but all day I had people coming up to me saying they’d heard about that speech. I think that might’ve been when my love for making people laugh was born.


Okay. Some quick questions:

Movie out or at home?

Ooh, hard one! I do love going to movies, but I’m also a huge fan of being in my pajamas while watching movies…so we’ll go with at home.

Heels or flats?

Flats forever and always!

Pizza or Chinese?

This might literally be the hardest question ever because I’m fairly sure I could live forever off both. But, hmm, I’ll go with pizza. It’s just classic.  

Facebook or Twitter?

Instagram! Oh, that’s cheating. :) Facebook, definitely. Twitter is fun, but Facebook is more relational.

Cake or cookies?

Does ice cream cake count as cake? If so, cake. If not, cookies all the way.

Make-up or natural?

I wish I was one of those girls who could say natural but I really don’t like scaring people. So at least a dab of makeup.

Pj’s or t-shirt?

Both!! I would wear flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt every day of the year if I could.

Beach or mountains? 

I want it all! But if I HAD to choose, probably mountains. Preferably the Blue Ridge Mountains…and within driving distance of the coast. :) 

Melissa, Thank you again for visiting with me!

You can find Melissa on:

Facebook–https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelissaTagg?fref=ts

Twitter– @Melissa_Tagg

Instagram–MelissaTagg

Web–http://www.melissatagg.com/

For a list of her books please check out her web page:

http://www.melissatagg.com/books

<3

Obsessed with Obsessing

Fear Page 2

I started thinking about today’s post on Thursday. But, Thursday came and went without anything going down on paper. Friday I started again. See the picture? That is how much I wrote on Friday. I showed it to my friend. I was like, “Girl. Look! This all I’ve written!”

She giggled at me (I think that I am her source of entertainment–I have a LOT of material!) and said, “What are you gonna say about fear?”

“Uh, yah. What am I going to say about fear…”

(I’m pretty sure she giggled again.) “When was a time you were afraid?”

“From age 23-44…oh…you mean to pick ONE time?”

At this point she is just plain laughing at me, “Girl. That is a blog in itself!”

So. Yah. I’ve had some issues with fear for a little while. Fear of germs. Fear of car accidents. Fear of flying. Fear of failing. Fear of illness. Fear of storms. Fear of not being accepted. Fear that my kids would be injured, sick, hurt… Fear of sleep. Fear of not sleeping. Fear of Y2K. Fear after 9/11. Fear of terrorists. Fear of being robbed. I think you might be getting the idea.

Yet, all that time, I considered myself a Christian.  I loved Jesus. I accepted Him as my Savior. And, yet, I had no peace. None. There was no joy in my life. I could not allow myself to enjoy anything–ever.

I knew this wasn’t how my life as a Follower was supposed to be lived. But. I couldn’t stop. I would tell myself not worry and fret.  It didn’t help. I was always tied up in knots on the inside. I wore the mask of calm. I’m sure some people knew about my anxieties. ( I couldn’t hide the terror storms brought to me at my sons’ baseball games). But, for the most part people would never have guessed the extent of my problem.

I was obsessed with obsessing. Truth.

Are you wondering what changed it all?

I’d like to say that God just reached down and healed me one day while I was praying and BAM I was free. But. Yah. *sigh* No. That is not how it went down.

I literally threw myself into a breakdown. My mind said, “Nope! Not gonna do this anymore…I’m on overload”. And, I just–shut down.

It was bad. People. It was a nightmare. I thought I might not make it out of the hole I found myself thrown into.

You know. Something happens when you can no longer rely on yourself. I mean, that was what I was doing. I was trying to control everything in my life with worry–which led to anxiety–which led to hopelessness. But, when I hit the bottom of my pit–when there was no more Lisa left–I said, “God, You got this? I need You to take this and carry me out of here.” And He did. It took time. It took lots of people speaking life into me. It took doctors (plural). It took my family literally caring for me and nurturing me.

Here I stand (well, I’m sitting really) a living testimony that fear CAN be conquered through Jesus.

Do I ever have fear? You betcha! Big time. But, I have learned to immediately go to my Father instead of to worry. Worry is an ugly companion.

So, here are some verses that deal with fear. Hugs all around. <3

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

Psalm 34:4

 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

Matthew 6:34

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time”

Thorns–Guest Blog by Cara Cross

Thorns 2

We went for a walk on our land tonight and talked about getting rid of all the thorn trees near where we want to plant fruit trees. On the way back to the truck, Sean stopped at one tree and said, “Man look at the size of those thorns.”

When I looked at them, all I could think was, “Jesus wore a crown of thorns on His head for me and you.”

I wish I had a picture. These thorns are easily two inches long, maybe more, and they look so painful. We think it hurts to be poked by a small tiny thorn, but Jesus endured thorns three times that size for us.

That’s pretty amazing!

So some of those thorn trees on our land, with their giant ugly thorns, will serve as a reminder of how much Jesus loves us.

~~Cara Cross

I Call Them Melissa-isms–From the Start

FromTheStart_300rgb

“I’m just saying, you guys were laughing and talking and hobnobbing all coupley-like”. This is what I’m talking about. This is a Melissa-ism. It’s the way she talks. It’s the way she writes. Cute, endearing, smile-provoking Melissa-isms.

Each book Melissa writes gets better and better. Her characters continue to become more developed and From the Start is no exception. The story is sweet. The humor is gigglicious. The characters–well–swoonily romantic. But, their stories. Their stores are so real. Like many of us, their pasts are a roadblock to their futures.

From the Start will take your heart in many directions…and you will find yourself beginning to wonder the final destination.

Melissa writes beautiful love stories. Love of family. Love of friends. Love of the dreamy guy (smiles). Most of all, she tells the story of God’s love and how all other love flows through Him.

<3

http://www.melissatagg.com/books/from-the-start

 

 

 

 

Easter Lisa

Celebrating the Gift

Easter Lisa

Easter bonnet? Check.

Easter shawl? Check.

Easter purse? Check.

Easter dress? Check.

Absolute adorableness? Check.

Easter was a special day in my home. Each year, included a new dress (sometimes handmade by my mom). I would say that I always felt like a little princess on Easter Sunday. Extra pretty. Extra special. Extra excited.

When I woke on Easter Sunday, my eyes would instantly go to my bookshelf. There would sit the most perfect Easter basket ever. Every year it was perfect. My mom has a gift-giving “gift”. She can make the ordinary look exceptional. She picked each candy out carefully and placed them strategically in the basket. Mixed in would be thoughtfully chosen trinkets, jewelry and toys–her love showing in each item.

We always enjoyed Easter Sunday service at church. There seemed to be electricity in the air! It was a special day–a joyful day.

Easter Sunday was a celebration.

EASTER SUNDAY IS A CELEBRATION!

Yesterday, today, and forever! Why? Because we have a God, a Heavenly Father, who loved us SO much that He provided the way for us to be united with Him–in relationship–with Him. He sent His Son to come and grow up among us. He suffered the same aches and pains as us. He had cuts and bruises and colds. He knew what it was like to be teased, bullied and unaccepted. He felt the stares of people who thought He was weird and those who betrayed Him. He understands. Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord and abundant in power, His understanding is beyond measure.

God the Father sent His Son, Jesus, to live with us, understand us, have compassion on us, and die for us. He died for us. Why? So that we too could be sons and and daughters of Father God.

Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

My mom is a beautiful gift-giver. But God? God gave His Son–as a gift–so that we could have eternal hope of a life with Him.

What do you have to do to receive this gift?

The Bible says we must confess and believe.

Romans 10:9 (ESV)

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Do you know Jesus? Are you excited this Easter Sunday? I would love to hear how you found Jesus, or what Jesus has done in your life.

Do you want to know Jesus? Is He speaking to your heart right now? Do you feel a tugging deep down that there is something more to life that you are missing? If so, I would love to talk with you. Feel free to email me at:

walkingbaresouledinthesonshine@gmail.com

Below are some additional resources for you. <3

http://www.billygrahamlibrary.org/PGView.aspx?pid=13

http://followchrist.ag.org/

Finally:

Numbers 6:24-26 (AMP)

The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you;

The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you;

The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).