Furbaby Friday: A Different Sort of Furbaby

Confession. I love stuffed animals.

Shew. Now that I have that embarrassing factoid out in the open, we can proceed with this week’s furbaby Friday. ( I will be sharing two more editions that will feature stuffed animal friends in the near future).


Ted, first of all, is an awareness Bear. He is to help raise awareness about Charot-Marie Tooth disease.

He is sent to stay for an entire week (or longer) to live with a person who suffers with this condition (to learn more about the disorder, please visit: HERE)

I am blessed to be a close friend (and former student of) a local individual who got to “host” TED.

2013-06-24 ted

(Above, Ted taking a Nap. June 2013).

I was honored with the task of getting to take Ted to several local places, including 2 state parks. He also was able through others to get to see quite a bit before traveling on to The United Kingdom.



30 Days of Thanks: Day 16

Day 16: My Cousins

I was blessed to grow up with more cousins than most people. As I stated in my Day 14 post, I come from a huge family.

My cousins were my best friends, my play mates, and often times my closest family.

Two of those cousins in particular were the closest thing that I ever had to having older siblings.

I love recalling those days when we would be ankle deep in the creek trying to catch minnows or frogs.

The greatest lesson that I ever learned from my cousins is that it is more than okay to challenge yourself and, in fact, it is encouraged.

I am blessed to have at least two of my cousins currently serving in the US Military, so a special recognition to them.

What of you- did you grow up close to your cousins? If so, what lessons did they teach you?


NWC: Day 15(Not actually) & Day 16

So allow me to clarify: I have been sharing these November Writing Challenges (NWC) that are being shared with a group of local writers that allow me to be a part of their roundtable. Daily, I go to their group page, log in, do my challenge, and then share with you what the challenges have been. 

Day 15: No Challenge was ever Posted

Day 16: Write a piece in which the ONLY audience is a person in leadership (be in the president, governor, mayor, or your boss)

I’m not so entirely sure that I should publicly EVER share the piece I wrote for this challenge.

I wrote my piece directly to the leadership of the company which I work for. I LOVE what I do, please understand that. But I do see so much- favoritism- given in my line of work. My piece sarcastically approaches this favoritism, with no apologies.

I wish I knew, but didn’t: Part 3

This is part 3 of 4 about things I have learned from my love relationships

We met October 2014, and started dating January 2015. We would get engaged in April 2016, I would break off the engagement December 2016 and the relationship would terminate early 2017.

Lesson 1: Christ must be first & central

Why did I not learn this the first time around? Grr.

Too often in my dating relationship with him, I would choose him over being in God’s Word or over church attendance. Though time with our significant other is important, time with Christ must be 1st priority.

Lesson 2: Dating does not equal married

It’s not an easy confession, but he and I lived together for just over a year. For over a year, I did laundry and cooked for a man I wasn’t married to. I lived as his wife, without the commitment.

Living together outside of marriage not only encourages sexual misconduct, but creates the disappointment of having no commitment. Without a marriage, there was little legally I could do to recoup from the financial blow of the breakup. Without a marriage, there was no legal action to serve as severege of the relationship.

Lesson 3: Equal efforts

If a relationship is strongly one sided, there’s your red flag.

In my relationship with him, I was the one who pursued him. I was the one who tried to schedule special dates. I was the one who tried to get us back into church as a couple, not just me going by myself.

Ladies, if you are constantly doing for him but he won’t do anything for you…run.

Men, if the lady in your life will not go to church with you or encourages you to miss often… run.

Lesson 4: Know their fruits

I *thought* He was a good, Christian man. What I failed to do was to test his fruits.

 Matthew 7:17 NKJV — “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

He could talk the talk of being a Christian, but he certainly did not live a life that reflected him being an actual Christ follower.

Remember this: even Satan believes in God, and knows scripture. Be sure that the Christian guy/gal you are chasing isn’t just the devil in disguise.

Lesson 5: KNOW your partner

I am going to sound somewhat judgemental at first, but please hear me out.

Find out about your partner, early. Know their history.

I will be the first to say that YES, GOD can and does certainly change people. But if there is a continuous record of the person doing the same things over and over and over again without any signs of remorse, they may not have had their true experience with GOD yet.

I wish I had known.

I had been dating *j* for nearly a year when I found out that he had quite a rap sheet. It was the very pattern of devious behavior that I could have learned had I asked the right questions early on or if I had just done a simple “hey, has this person been arrested for anything serious” search on the internet.

I also advise to not be afraid to ask the person straight out to discuss their flaws/faults.  I know I am not forever condemned or defined by my past, but I do own up to my mistakes.


I LOVE to Write Day: Why I love (& don’t Love) to Write

According to a source on the great world-wide-web, today (November 15th) is I love to write day.

Why I love to Write

Writing is as much a part of me as my freckles in summer, or my quirky dimpled grin.

I began to write poetry when I was 9, which was when I first began to understand that I have depression. Yes, at age 9 I understood that.

I moved into writing short stories and personal narratives at age 11. When I entered High School, I immediately joined the creative writers club and the school newspaper. I went to college study literature, with an emphasis in writing.

Why I love to write is not a hard question. I write because so oft, my verbal words will fail me. I write because I fear voicing my boldness, and showing my mischievously random creativity. I love to write because it gives me the ability to voice all of the dingy, weird, random things that bounce around in this head. I love to write because it gives me an avenue to share what I have survived.

Why I don’t Always LOVE to write

And yes, as much as I LOVE to write, I don’t love it as well. I don’t always feel like that my words or thoughts have the validity to be written down (even in type). I don’t love to write because it means a sense of vulnerability and opportunity for someone to possibly hurt me. I don’t love to write because I don’t always feel that my words are adequate or good enough. I play the comparison game too aggressively when it comes to my writing.

And the simplyspokn thing..

I had thought my time of blogging was another chapter of my history. Something that was my past, and not a part of my present.

Then Steve (of courageouschristianfather.com) happened.

Steve and I met in June of this year, and have been dating since July. He held (and holds) no quams with telling me that I need to write more here, to share more here, to let others see so much of the writing that I haven’t even begun to share here.

And I thank GOD that it happened. I am thankful that he got me blogging again, even if it is just to share quirky things in my life. Writing is a part of me, and it is something he recognized from the get go.

So Thank You, Steve, for saving simplyspokn from obscurity/total deletion.




30 Days of Thanks: Day 15

Day 15: My Uncles

As I stated in my post yesterday, I come from quite a large family.

My mom has two brothers that have passed away, and four living brothers. My dad only has one brother. But that only counts my uncles by birth, not those by marriage.

I have learned a lot of interesting things from my uncles. My dad’s brother begin to teach me chess at the age of 4. The most important lesson imparted to me by any of my Uncles is that I cannot forget where I came from.

I am not one that will ever say that we are forever confined by the raising we may have had. I will state that we must not forget our roots, or where we come from.

I know I am from a family rich in military history, plentiful in Christian faith, and sprinkled with a good dose of dark shadowy characters. I know I am also from a family where I am the first girl grandchild on each side to have a college degree.

What of you? Have your uncles taught you any life lessons?

The Little Prayer Chair

I stood in the back of the church, begging my eyes to memorize the way the paneling looked and my nose to memorize the deep smell of chestnut wood.

It was September 2009. In less than a week, the building would be completely torn down. the building: My home church.

I called It home

When the church was first built over 125 years ago, my family was among the founders. The original church building sat about 3 miles up the road from where my family’s homeplace is. I have often heard stories that my great-grandmother helped raise money from selling fresh baked goods to start the very first Sunday School program there.

I can first remember visiting the church in July 1989. My dad tells me that he took me there on several occasions as a young child, none of which can I remember.

It was there I first experienced a church young group, and had some important milestones in my faith journey. And that it why I called it home- still do though it is not the church in which I was actually saved in 2011.

The burial of the old church

The building that I grew up knowing and loving was the second building that the church was ever housed in. Over it’s nearly 100 years of standing in the valley, it had become heavily damaged by black mold and age. It had not been structurally sound for full time services in over three years in 2009, and the last youth service had been held in it a year prior. It had well lived it’s time, and needed to be torn down.

My dad and I stepped into the church for what would be our last walk through. I ran my hands across the panels, and wept as I looked stood in the empty sanctuary.

As we stood there, the Pastor said to Daddy and I “If there is anything left that you would like to have, you are welcome to it”. Dad’s eyes went immediately to a slightly damaged copy of the church covenant.

I wondered the tiny classrooms, not expecting to find anything to take home.

The Chair

Three little child-sized chairs sat in the remains of one of the classrooms. I pointed to one with a cracked seat and asked the Pastor “May I have that?”. He said yes.

I loaded the chair up in my jeep that day, not knowing where or how I would ever use it. Perhaps for decor, I thought. It was a rough little chair, and it had well long since lost its time for being a useful chair.

The chair would travel with me just 2 years later over 30 miles, and then again another 30 miles in 2014. It had served as sort of a display chair for my Muppets collection that I once had.

In 2014, I placed it in the corner of my bedroom and just wept. The chair was a reminder of just how much I had failed the Biblical teachings that I had been raised in, lessons that I had even learned in my home church.

I spoke to my dad a few days after placing the empty chair in a corner, and mentioned in during the conversation.

“Why don’t you make that your family alter, little one? You can list your prayers on the wall beside it, and sit beside it to pray, or read your Bible.”

And that was exactly what I did.

Remembering A Different Chair

I can remember in my 20s hearing a little analogy about a man using a chair for prayer. It goes:

“All of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it always went right over my head..”

“I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day about four years ago my best friend said to me, ‘Joe, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here’s what I suggest. Sit down on a chair, place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It’s not spooky because he promised, ‘I’ll be with you always.’ Then just speak to him and listen in the same way you’re doing with me right now.”

“So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful, though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.”

The pastor was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old guy to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the pastor that her daddy had died that afternoon.

“Did he seem to die in peace?” he asked.

“Yes, when I left the house around two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me one of his corny jokes, and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange, in fact, beyond strange-kinda weird. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on a chair beside the bed.”

(Source: The Empty Chair)

I’ve thought about that sometimes, when I have laid my head on that chair crying out to My Heavenly Father.

What about you- do you have a special place in your home as your prayer room/alter?


30 Days of Thanks: Day 14

Day 14: My Aunts

I have a unique family tree, of which my mother is one of 13 children. My dad, however, is one of 3.

I have many aunts, and many of them have played an influential role in my growing up. Two of my mom’s sisters helped to raise me, and my dad’s little sister was like a bigger sister to me.

I won’t try to list something that they have individually taught me. That could be quite a lengthy post. The greatest lesson that I have learned from ANY of my aunts is that family is always family, but sometimes you have to distance yourself from them.

I have always had a strong sense of family, perhaps because of the large family that my mom comes from. I have had to learn as I have been growing up that I can still be someone’s biological family, but that does not mean that I have to have the person continually in my life.

What of you- have your aunts been a big influence in your life? If so, what lessons on life have you gained from them?


NWC: Days 10-13

For whatever the reason, the group from which I have gotten the prompts from did not publish from October 10th through 13th. Today, they posted days 12 and 13, of which I am sharing. 

Day 12: A play with an EMPTY stage (all sounds, people, objects are completely off the stage)

I am intrigued by the idea of the voidness on stage, and would like to get to dabble around with this some.

Day 13: Write how a mechanical failure dramatically effects one person because of their misbehavior

Can I say- I love this prompt? I work in a job that requires quite a lot of computer components, and have experienced my job become a frustrating jungle when the systems malfunction.

How would it be if the electronics in our life “punished” us if we did not behave well? How would it be if the they could do more than just merely inconvenience us- and actually punish us??