Who knows?

We recently did a Ladies Bible Study on Queen Esther. There was one thing that really made a profound impact on me.
In Esther 4:14, Mordecai is telling Esther to remain silent, he said "For who knows, whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this."
Truer words were never spoken. Who knows why God places us where he does at the times he does. Who knows what lives we might effect just by being in a certain place at a certain time. Look at your Facebook friends for example.
I get blessed daily from the people I grew up with and went to school with. I haven't seen many of them for years, but I see their Christianity, their family values and their faith in God daily on their Facebook page.
When I joined Facebook, I would never have thought I would learn so much about my friends or be so blessed by them.
But God had a hand in even that. He has a master plan and we just need to follow the blueprint He has given us by following in His word. For "who knows" where and when we will be in a moment "for such a time as this".


Goal Setting

Each of us have dreams and hopes that we want to see come true. We think of things we'd like to have, be or do. But do we strive for them? Do we work hard to make them happen? Or do we sit back an just wish they would drop in our lap. In order to achieve your dreams, you need to set clear defined goals. Many times in my life, I have made a goal list and fell short of achieving them. But just as often, I have been able to reach the pinnacle and obtain the goal. It just depended on the route I took to reach the goal. The key to goal setting is to have a plan of action and follow that plan. It is not just enough to WANT it to happen, you can MAKE it happen. This is the best plan that works for me:
  • Determine what the goal or objective is
  • Prepare a plan of action on what steps to take to reach the goal
  • List any obstacles that could get in your way
  • Decide on the best steps to take to bypass the obstacles
  • Set yourself a reward for reaching your goal
Every time I follow these steps I have either reached my goal or exceeded my goal. So today, I will set my new goals. I'll decide the best steps to take, then I'll implement them with the knowledge that I CAN succeed.


Whatever happened to seasons?

Is it just me or does everyone have a hard time deciding what season it is. When I was growing up, the white shoes, sandals and flip flops were put away until after Easter next year. We bought new "fall" shoes and "fall" jackets. Lightweight with a little lining for those chilly morning. Sweatshirts and blue jeans were the norm to go outside and play in the leaves. Now we see flip flops in the dead of winter. One day it is so cold we are wearing sweaters and digging our winter coats out. The next day it is short sleeves and open toe shoes. It is 63 degrees outside and beautiful. But if you are inside looking out and didn't know the temperature was 63, you would say it looks like it is getting ready to dump a big snow on us. I'm just not sure what is going on. I want spring to feel like spring and fall to feel like fall. I don't want to wear shorts in February and long sleeves in May. I no longer "put" my seasonal close away because I have no idea what season we are in. I think we should just have one season and call it Autwin sprummer. That way, we are covered no matter what the weather decides to do.


The life of a squirrel

I have a yard full of squirrels and I cannot figure out their philosophy on life. We sat here one day and watched one particular squirrel. He came down along the wooden fence with a nut in his mouth. We watched as he scurried along the back yard. He would stop and look up, still holding his hickory nut. He would glance furtively around, looking for spies. He would run a few more feet, stop, and repeat the process. After three or four minutes of this procedure, he would dig a small hole and bury the nut. He then ran around the yard to various spots. He would stop and sniff around. Then he would run back, get the nut and take it to the new spot and bury it. How crazy is that? Apparently, eating a lot of nuts will make a squirrel nuts. He repeated this about four or five times, burying the nut, digging up the nut, over and over. Then he dug it up and ran up on the patio, climbed in my petunia bed and buried it there as it's final resting place. Then he left. He is back this morning. Only this time, he is outside my window on the ledge, eating the bird seed that has fallen from my bird feeder. I slowly opened the blind as to not scare him off. He tried to climb up the window screen. Guess I have a new pet. I think I'll buy a bag of unsalted, shelled nuts and make his job a little easier this winter. Think I'll name him Sammy. Stay tuned for more of his antics as winter progresses.


I am blessed

I Am Blessed Written by Jerry Goff Thru sunshine and rain, even sorrow and pain Jesus is still my comfort and guide. And His love comforts me and His grace has set me free And some day I shall stand by His side. Chorus: I am blessed, I am blessed. Every day that I live I am blessed. When I wake up in the morning, Till I lay my head to rest I am blessed, I am blessed I have shoes for my feet; I have plenty to eat And a home in Heaven by and by Brothers and sisters on this earth, they are mine by my new birth And we shall share in that home beyond the sky.


Gift Ideas

It's that time of year when everyone starts thinking about the perfect Christmas present. You read articles and watch ads to find that one gift that lets that special friend or loved one know how much you care. But it's not the gift that tells them you care. It's the time and thought you put into the gift. One of my favorite gifts to give and to receive are themed gift baskets. But don't buy one pre-made. Customize it to fit the person it is intended for. They don't have to be expensive. Again, remember it is the thought you put into it. I line all my baskets with a cloth napkin placed in it so that the four corners hang out over the sides. Here are some ideas: For Chocolate Lovers: A new coffee cup or mug (pick one with something they like, ie cats, dogs, brown/pink dots, cartoon character, or simply a "I hate mornings" mug) - various flavors of hot chocolate (mint, caramel, regular) - a pretty container filled with miniature marshmallows for the chocolate - a recipe book of chocolate desserts, a large block Hershey bar, for filler use miniature candy bars of their favorite brand. For People who love to read: A rectangle basket that can hold their favorite books - an assortment of inspirational bookmarks - a couple of books by their favorite author or a gift card to their local bookstore - motivational or inspirational books for daily reading, a nice book light for those nights they want to read in bed. For People who are always cold: A soft shawl to drape around their shoulders, a pair of fuzzy socks with slip resistant soles, a pair of warm gloves with matching scarf and/or hat, a pair of fleece pants to lounge around in. These are just a few of the ideas I've used. You can customize baskets for those who love to cook or bake. (this one is good for men, too). Have someone who love costume jewelry? Buy a small basket with a lid and fill it with costume jewelry. You can do one with lotions, soaps and creams for those who like to pamper themselves. If you know someone who loves to do their nails, do one with nail polishes, hand creams, polish remover, manicure sets, emery boards, etc. A birdwatcher on your list? A small set of binoculars, a couple of books on birds, a journal and nice pen to keep a log of their sitings, a small bird feeder to hang outside their window. As you can see, the ideas are limitless. So think about those on your list who are tired of perfume and neckties. The key is to think outside the box, or in the case inside the basket! Happy shopping!


Old autographs

I was looking for something today and came across my autograph book from Christmas 1966. As I flipped through, I was surprised to see many autographs from some of my Facebook friends. That means we go back 43 years. WOW. I was 10 years old. I had to laugh at some of the listing. "If all the boys were across the sea, what a good swimmer Brenda would be". "I'll be yours until butter flies" "Roses are red, violets are blue. Sugar is sweet and so are you. The roses are wilted, the violets are dead. The sugar is rotten and so is your head" (this from my favorite cousin. We loved to exchange funny insults, but were actually very close. Course at 10, who doesn't love insults) And Daddy was so witty. He wrote "You must of been born upside down. Your nose runs and your feet smell." Ha. Ha. But my Aunt Frances wrote something very touching, "When evening draws her curtain and pins it with a star, I'll be thinking of you Brenda. No matter where you are." It brought back so many memories.


Pamper yourself

I took the time yesterday for some major pampering. First, I went and got my hair whacked off. It's short and I love it. I got one of those "run your fingers through with some gel" and go do's.
Then I bought some new hair color and covered the gray. I have never figured out why they cut your hair and it turns gray. Must be something they do, couldn't be because they cut all the old coloring out, right?
Next, I bought some deep purple nail polish. Gorgeous. Just enough of a tint of purple to make it a little "out there". I am a firm believer in the fact that your nail polish color is not a reflection of your age or your attitude...it simply means you like that color.
When I got back home, I had a few miniature Reese's and a glass Pepsi, which I enjoyed while reading my latest romance novel.
Later, I had a long hot soak in lavender scented bubble bath. Again, while reading my newest novel.
Then I proceeded to watch a the Country Music Awards (like I do every year) with hubby.
This pampering process is nothing new to me. I started it when my kids got married six weeks apart. That was in 1998 and I have made sure I pamper myself every chance I get since then.
It's not that hard to do. We all have busy schedules and obligations that keep us hopping. But at some point in the evening, you have to go to bed. If nothing else, delay your bedtime by 30 minutes and soak in a hot sudsy bubble bath before climbing in the bed. There is nothing more relaxing or rewarding at the end of a crazy, hectic day.
So, pamper yourself...you deserve it.


Happy Veteran's Day

Today is dedicated to our Veterans. The proud men who fought for our freedom and dedicated their lives to make our great nation what it is today. My daddy, Luke Garretson, fought in World War II. He was in the Navy and was stationed on an aircraft carrier. Daddy never talked much about the war. When he did, it was little funny stories about his buddies and some of the things they would do. But those stories were few and far between. His ship earned accolades from the Commanding General of the United States Army Air Force's 313th Bombardment Wing who, upon the ship’s detachment from lifeguard duties, sent her a message: “Since you have been our guardian angel of the seas you have returned safely to us 50 combat crewmen. Many of them are flying against the enemy again. We are grateful for the splendid work you have done and wish you all the best of luck.” That was neat to read about. As I've grown older, I wonder if he saws many horrors. Reading the history of his ship, I found where they shot down several Japanese planes, but most of the stories online are the rescue missions they performed when our B29 Bombers had to ditch their planes at sea.
My Daddy was the sweetest, nicest man you would ever want to meet. We were raised in a very loving home and I've always wondered if he didn't talk about the war because he wanted to shelter us from all the atrocities that war brings. Or was it simply a part of his life he didn't want to relive.
I dedicate my page today to the loving memory of my father,
Luther Harden Garretson 1923-1999.


Just when I needed it most.....

We all have those people in our lives who are difficult. They blame someone else when things don't go their way. They do not check out their facts. They simply let their tongue run amok. It could be your next door neighbor, your friend across the way, a customer or co-worker. You all have met them. They do not check out the details of why something happens the way it does, they just start laying blame. Sometimes one person with a negative attitude can bring you down and ruin your day. They can make you feel like things are worse than what they are. They make you feel like you should be apologizing to them for their lot in life. I received an email this morning from my Positive Thinkers group and it said "Success and excuses do not talk to each other. So if you give excuses forget about success and if you want success don't give excuses." It is not my lot in life to let others make me feel guilty for their problems and insecurities. So I am going to start addressing situations in my personal and professional life with a new attitude. I will no longer shoulder the blame for problems others create in their lives. I will keep a positive, yet firm, attitude when I meet against opposition. I will understand that not everyone enjoys their life and they like to find a scapegoat to blame for their failures. I have to much to enjoy in my life to let one person make me feel like a failure. I will not let the cold, uncaring remarks of one person ruin my day.


At what age are you considered old?

I heard a remark many years ago that age is a matter of the mind...if you don't mind, it doesn't matter. How true this is. I'm in my mid-fifties. Is that old or not? It depends on your perspective. If you watch a 6 year old prance around, jump and bounce and run. You think how nice it would be to have that kind of energy again. But you watch a kind senior as they struggle to climb the steps or to get in and out of cars and you realize how blessed you are to get around good. So is age all about perception and comparisons? Compared to a 5 year old, 50 is OLD. But sit and visit with someone nearing 90 and you will realize how many good years you have left. So, to me age IS definitely a matter of the mind. So it doesn't matter how old you are, it's what you do with the precious time you are given. Enjoy life to the fullest every moment of everyday. And don't worry about if you are old, just be glad you are alive.


Best Friends Forever

I remember growing up and having a lot of friends. Girls who went to church with me. Girls who I knew at school. Girls who were my cousins as well as my friend. But there was one who was my best friend. You know the type. The one you share all your deepest secrets and feelings with. The one who is a part of the crazy things you do.... those things that all you have to do is say "remember driving past that little house" and they crack up laughing with you and everybody else stares at you like you are nuts. She's the one who will walk a mile and a half with you to the local Burger Chef, just to pass a cute guy that hangs out on the corner uptown. She's the one who you call before the skating party for church and ask "What are you wearing?" She's the one that co-ordinates her clothes with yours so the two of you feel like you fit in. She's the one who lays awake at the sleepover listening with you to Elvis sing "You Were Always on my Mind" as you bemoan the loss of your first true love. She's the one who you grow up with, then move away and don't see each other for years at a time. Then one day, when you meet again, you slip back into the laughter the shared secrets and the girlish giggles. She's the one who sits with you while you cry at the loss of your father. She's the one who, years later, loses her father so you travel over 300 mile to be there for her like she was for you. She's the one who, no matter what life throws your way, no matter how much time passes by, no matter how long it's been since you spoke, you will think of her when you see the "Best Friends Forever" on clothing or key chains or notebooks of today's young girls. And you will smile. Because you know that through the years and through the changing times, you are truly Best Friends Forever. So for my best friend, Teresa, I love you and miss you and hope you are doing well.


What color is YOUR eyeshadow?

This has been one of those items over the years that has had me baffled. I have been to Mary Kay parties, Merle Norman consultations, Beauty Control parties. I've read fashion magazines and listened to make-up experts on TV. And I'm still baffled. I've been told that my eyeshadow needs to match my eyes, that it needs to compliment my eyes and that it needs to match my clothing. Which is it? I have deep blue eyes. When I wear my blue eye shadow, it makes them really stand out and I get constant rave reviews about how beautiful they look. Then one day, some "kind" friend, says "Why do you wear blue eye shadow? That is so out-dated. Everybody wears brown now." So I switched to brown. I never get any comments on my eyes or how blue they are or how good they look. So why do I have to wear brown.
In my teen years I experimented with green when we were told never to match your eye shadow with your eye color. One boy on our road saw the green and asked me why I wore "frog do do" on my eyes. Needless to say I have NEVER owned green eye shadow since that happened. And more importantly who cares. If brown is the "acceptable" eye shadow shade, why can you buy it in all shades of blue, gray, violet, brown, green, everything. There is a bountiful smorgasbord of eye shadow out there. Who determines what we should wear and when it is "in style" and when it is not. I think I'll wear my blue for the simple fact that I like it and not worry about what others think. The older I get the more I realize I want to wear what makes ME feel good about myself, not what others think I should wear. Some days, the only eye shadow I wear are the dark circles under my eyes from laying awake at night while these non-sensical ideas such as the color of eye shadow float through my mind.


It's going to be one of those days

You know it's going to be one of those days when..... ....your 15 month old grandbaby locks herself in the car - alone. ....you drive all the way to the post office to mail that all important package with a deadline, only to find out the package is at home on the kitchen table ....you write your check to the city to pay for trash pick up only you sign your check with the last name of Garbage by mistake ....you pull up and place a food order at Krystals and they actually repeat it back correctly. You pay and then proceed to drive off without your order. ....you pull up to the drive through at McDonald's with a car full of kids. You turn to shush the kids and turn back around to find out you have been placing your order with the trash can. ....you put your bra on backwards and it fits better ....you are in and out of the machine shop all day. You look good. Gorgeous dress, high heels, the works. As the day ends, one of the guys tells you he has been nominated to ask what the lump on your butt is. You rush to the bathroom only to discover that you have a wadded up wash cloth static clinging inside your dress. Yes, these things have either happened to me or to a member of my family. We all have those "days" when you just know you would have been better off in bed. But just smile and know that this too shall pass.....and with my luck, something worse will take it's place.


You've always heard it said that everything looks darkest right before the dawn. This is true. A good night's sleep can refresh your mind, your body and your soul. One of my favorite gospel songs is Come Morning. It is so uplifting and peaceful. No matter what our cross is to bear, we will always face the morning knowing the Lord has brought us through the night. Here are the words: "Come Morning" God's children too long have been burdened They are longing for Heaven's green shore Where heartaches are left far behind us And the burdens are carried no more. Chorus Come morning, I'll walk by the river And I'll rest 'neath the evergreen tree. And I'll carry my cross thru the midnight. Come morning, there's glory for me. Sometimes I'm despised and rejected And I question oh Father, how long? And then I'll take one more look at Mount Calvary, Then it gives me the strength to go on. Chorus Come morning, I'll walk by the river And I'll rest 'neath the evergreen tree. And I'll carry my cross thru the midnight. Come morning, there's glory for me.


"Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek." - Mario Andretti This is one of my favorite motivational quotes. Without goals and dreams to look for in our future, we simply exist from day to day. Everyone has goals and they may not realize it. It could be a far off dream of some day retiring to sunny Florida. It may be to save enough money to purchase that new car you have your eye on. Or it may simply be a day spent with family. We all have plans and dreams of things we want to achieve, places we want to go and hopes we want to fulfill. The desire for these dreams will motivate and excite. But without a plan of action and determination, we will never achieve those dreams. Your greatest desires should be the things you work toward with determination and commitment, in hopes of fulfilling those dreams. We are not far from 2010. Ask yourself what goals and dreams you will have for the New Year. Start thinking now about the things you need to do to achieve those dreams and go after it with a determined spirit and a mind-set of YES, I CAN.


Our blessings

Yesterday I had the privilege of being the leader for Children's church. I had a mixture of boys and girls from ages 6 - 9. When we had completed the lesson, the singing, the praying, and the activities suggested for that day, we still had some time left. I decided to discuss this being the month for giving thanks and asked everyone to think a moment about the important things in their life and what they were thankful for. I found it oddly amusing the different answers between boys and girls. The boys answers ranged from my X-Box, my football, getting to play soccer, my DS, etc. Most of them were thankful for either a material item or a chance to be on a sports team. When I polled the girls, I was amazed at the depth of difference. The girls were thankful for their parents, their family, their health, their friends. But one girl blew me away. In all the years of giving thanks for everything I am blessed with and all my years hearing others give their testimonies and their blessings, I have never heard this answer. When I asked one young girl of 9 what she was most thankful for, without hesitation, she simply said Life. How true is that. When you get right down to the nitty-gritty, that one simple word covers it all. Life. The simple, beautiful act of simply being. Everything we have, everything we are and everything we do is because we have Life. What a poignant answer so filled with reverance and awe that God can give us the one thing that nothing or nobody else can. Life. Out of the mouth of babes. It is definitely food for thought.


The Day After

We had a whopping 2 trick or treaters last night, which is one more than we had last year. I guess that's the problem with living at the bottom of a long hill. We were smart though, we did buy only candy that we like. Every year, I buy those huge bags of assorted and end up with junk we don't like and it hangs around till Easter - just in case.
My grandchildren were all adorable for Halloween. Garret was a Star Wars Clone Trooper and Alexis was Cinderella. Caleb was a Transformer and Shelby was Snow White. So I guess we are raising Warriors and Princesses.
I am 52 years old and this is the first time ever I forgot to set my clock back. I blame it on them changing it to the same night as Halloween. I'm old. I can't handle two events on the same night.
I never set an alarm clock because my internal alarm goes off between 6:00 and 6:30 every morning. Once in a blue moon, I sleep until almost 7:00 and feel like I'm behind all day. I woke up this morning and it was 6:10. I thought to myself, "I don't want to get up right now" The bed felt good and warm and I knew the house would have a slight chill. I laid there a few minutes and thought I'd better go ahead and get up. So I got, laid my clothes out for church and had a bite for breakfast. Around 6:30, I decided to see what happened on Facebook last night (my version of a soap opera). I'm sitting there reading and admiring pictures and for some reason the bottom corner of my computer screen caught my eye. You guessed it, it was 5:30. I was so mad. By this time, I was too wide awake to crawl back in the bed. I guess my internal clock is going to get switched to an alarm clock. I'm not going to get up at 5:00 everyday just because my body feels like it's 6:00. Why did we ever start this switching of time anyway?