2018 National Day of Prayer: a Different Approach

The 2018 National Day of Prayer theme is Unity, referencing Ephesians 4:3 (National Day of Prayer).

The website goes on to state that Ephesians 4:5 KJV — One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
the hope is unified prayer for a great move of God in The United States.

May I offer a different idea?

May our prayer for unity be amongst our churches, and inside our church buildings.

Churches try too hard to compete. Churches insult one another, try to one up each other, and have lost sight of Ephesians 4:5 (2 verses down from the theme verse for 2018), which states:

Ephesians 4:5 KJV — One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

If churches would stop competing and instead work together to Love God, love others and serve both, the result could be more people making a commitment to Jesus. And imagine how many needs could be met by working together!

Secondly, I am praying for more unity inside the walls. Churches continue to be clicky, and newbies struggle to find their place within the church. I pray that churches stop segregating into clicks and begin to work more together for The Kingdom of Christ.

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Pig Day: My two favorite pigs

Don’t expect to read of Porky, Petunia or even Wilbur. My two favorite pigs are ones you don’t likely know…yet.

Creamer Pig

As I was told as a child, the creamer pig was a gift once to my Great-Grandma Brock near the end of her days. At some point in time, it was passed along to my Grandma Lowe.

Memaw, as we called her, never used the pig to serve actual cream. He sat upon a shelf near her kitchen window, where she would often keep her wedding ring when washing dishes and would keep little things she would find such as a stray hair barette or a wheat penny. Year after year, creamer pig would sit by her kitchen window. And get blamed.

In good fun, of course. My Memaw would blame creamer pig if potatoes were under cooked or cornbread a tad too crispy. She would smile & pat creamer pig upon his wee white snout.

In April 2007, my Grandma would leave her home my Grandpa had built them to eventually move into a nursing home. Today would have been her 93 birthday, in fact. She passed away on 7th September 2014.

In fall of 2010, my mom sister and I would reenter my grandparents house again..for our last time. The house was now falling in, most of the floor giving way to the cellar beneath and roof heavy with age. Black mold coated so much, and the air was painful to breathe.

Not much in the house remained, having been heavily scavished by my uncle. But tucked in the corner on what was the livingroom was two cardboard boxes. My mom lifted the lid of the top box, and nestled in grey blankets of newpaper were knicknacks, whatnots that once belonged to my grandparents. My mom and I scooped up the boxes and carried them out.

I would take the boxes to my mom’s home, and fill the kitchen sink full of warm soppy water. One by one, I would baptize each item and tenderly wipe away the years of dust and stain of newsprint. Among those items was the creamer pig.

I, too, have never used the creamer pig for actual cream. I place my rings in it when I wash dishes and fill his hollow wuth bread ties (which I have found many purposes for. That’s a post for another day)

Pigg Lee Pig

My youngest son was less than 2 days old when my sister brought him the plush pig.

I knew immediately this pig, who I named Pigg Lee Pig, was going to be different. The nurses came into my hospital room, making jokes that my youngest son must want the pig bad, because somehow my son had scooted himself until he could touch the pig.

As my son grew, Pigg Lee had to go through every rite of passage that my son did: bottle breaking, potty training, and first night sleeping in a big boy bed. Around the time my son was two, I began to make up bedtime stories about Pigg Lee. In these stories, Pigg Lee was the sheriff of an old west town called Little Town.

As children sadly do, around the age of 11 or 12 my youngest son no longer showed any interest in his pale pink pal and Pigg Lee retired to a shelf along with a t-rex that was his older brother’s. I would sit that year and begin to type up the tales (& tail) of Pigg Lee Pig, and hope some day to publish them.

Do you or your children have a beloved pig?

To Dream: Dr. King wouldn’t be Happy

Race. 50 years..5 decades have dwindled away since a gunshot would take Dr. Martin L. King Jr from this life. And yet Race remains as hot of a word today as then.

It probably will sound odd..and maybe even cold when I say this… Im not sure I understood Race until I was in my 20s.

My dad was helping a local African-American church when I was born, so my baby dedication actually happened in that church. 

We moved into southern GA when I was only 8. I attended a school that was less than 15% Caucasian. 

The moment I realized the struggle of race was in 1999, standing in front of a MLK statue in Alabama. I watched as other caucasions would cross the street to avoid it. I stood there, crying, as I read Dr. King’s statue as a African-American man said to me, “why are you crying? Your kind killed him”.

I wept. I still remember that day. 

Dr. King would shake his head, surely,  in distain, to see his America still struggling to find peace.

50 yrs later, we are still divided. Weekly, social media feeds are filled with more incidents of shootings, of hate talk.

Dr. King, there are some things we have gotten right since that sad April day 50 yrs ago you left us. And there is still a long way to go. May there be peace. May there be more equality. May there be minds more open, and hearts with hands extended to help our fellow man..our fellow woman..our fellow American..our fellow human being. That, dear friend,  will be the true dream. 

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.

 

 

 

Navy Day: My Grandpa

In 1922, the observation of Navy Day began. Not to be confused with the anniversary of the Navy (which is October 13), Navy Day is a day of recognition for the United States Navy.

Rich in Navy History: My Family

My family tree is blessed with many a veteran in it, among several who served in the United States Navy.

  • Andrew, who served aboard the USS Mississippi, USS Carlisle and ISS Hopewell during WWII
  • William (Bill), who served 9 years
  • Lester, who served for 4 years
  • Lois, who served as a Naval Secretary

Keep in mind. All FOUR of these individuals are siblings to the next person

My Grandpa, Navy Man and Hardworker

IMG_20161111_083238

My Grandfather enlisted into the  United States Navy around the age of 18. After serving in aboard three different Naval ships, he would work in the tiring demanding field of steel work for 38 years without taking one sick day.

I can with a big smile say that I still have my Grandpa. I have never met anyone else with his dedication to a job done well and correctly. He still tends a small garden, and walks about 3 to 5 miles a day- at age 85.

I would love to hear about some of the Navy Veterans in your family. 

Happy Pumpkin Day

According to various sources, today (October 26th) is National Pumpkin Day (The Nibble; National Day Calendar)

Decorating them

I didn’t grow up carving pumpkins. I honestly cannot remember actually ever buying a pumpkin until well after I moved away from home.

In 2012, I painted my very first pumpkin. Since then, I’ve done a wax drip design and in 2015 made my first carved pumpkin (I attempted to do Garfield. Not very good)

pumpkins

Lord being willing, I plan to try my hand at carving a Peanuts themed pumpkin this coming weekend (I promise to share pictures of that adventure.)

Eating them

I admit. I am not one of those people who go pumpkin spice crazy.

I have been a long time consumer of pumpkin seeds. I love them simply roasted with a bit of salt.

But pumpkin itself?

I’ve only found one store-bought pumpkin pie that I can tolerate.

Here are a few pumpkin-based recipes to try, if you are orange gourd obsessed:

Pumpkin Muffins

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

One Pot Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta

Pumpkin Pie Truffles

I haven’t tried any of these recipes (YET). I may try my hand at one or two of these over the weekend as well.

How will you celebrate National Pumpkin day? Decorate one? Eat one? 

Happy Sweetest Day

Sweetest Day?

Yes, it is a holiday.

What?

Sweetest Day, observed on the third Saturday in October, is:

Sweetest Day is an original American holiday not based on any group’s religious tradition. It’s simply a reminder that a thoughtful word, deed or small gift enriches the life of the recipient as well as the person giving it.

Legend has it that Sweetest Day was established around 1922 by Herbert Birch Kingston, a Cleveland, Ohio, candy company employee who wanted to bring happiness to the lives of those who often were forgotten. Kingston and others distributed candy and small gifts to orphans, people confined to their homes and others to show them that someone cared. (Source: Hallmark)

My Sweetheart

sweetest day 2017

Steve, of courageouschristianfather, and I began to officially date on July 8th, 2017.

Together, we have have:

  • hiked to the tri-state overlook
  • been to Chained Rock
  • been to the Ijams Nature Center
  • been to the World’s Fair Sunsphere
  • been to Cumberland Falls
  • been to the Harrisburg Covered Bridge
  • been to NIBROC, The Sorghum Festival and Court Days
  • prayed together by phone nearly ever night

Happy Sweetest Day, Steve, to one of the sweetest Christ-following men I have had the honor to know. I love you.

Sweeter

How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

(Psalms 119:103, NASB)

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

(John 15:13)

Christ loves each of us, all of us, even on our grumpy-i-don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed days, so much that HE gave His very life in our place just to give each of us an opportunity to delight in His Grace.

I won’t say that being a Christian has been easy. It has been everything but that. Time and time again, though, Christ has comforted me through tear-filled nights and blessed me well beyond what I can imagine.

Share some sweetness today. And be sure to thank and Worship the Sweetest of All- Christ Jesus.

Frankenstein Day, and us fragile Humans

Some of my readers may know by now that I studied American and British literature in College. Among the hundreds of books that I read then (and read growing up, being a perpetual book worm) was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Today, August 30th, is Frankenstein Day, as August 30th was Mary Shelley’s birthday (source: Shelley).

The Tale

In short, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a book about a young scientist who seeks to cover his grief in the creation of a creature. The creature ultimately proves to be his demise.

Many people confuse that the creation’s name is Frankenstein, when in fact Frankenstein is the name of the scientist that creates him. The creature himself is never given a name.

The Text

There are far too many beautiful and deep quotes from this story, but I thought that I might share this one

“What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them.”

Are we not all at one time or in one way or the other asking that same question?

Who am I, and other such questions

I, like Frankenstein’s creature, have found myself asking ‘who am I?” Am I merely the fiery girl born on a Sunday? Am I the writer, the mother, the employee?

It is in sovereign Grace that I began to realize that who I am- is who I am in CHRIST JESUS.

  • HE knows my name (unlike Frankenstein’s creature, which had no name).
  • Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. – Isaiah 49:16, NASB

  • JESUS Loves us (yes, just like the children’s song. HE really does)

 

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8, NASB

There are many other verses about our identity in CHRIST JESUS. Here are a few sources for you to delve over:

Have a Good Frankenstein day. Perhaps mull over a few of Shelley’s quotes, and reflect on the awesome awareness that you are uniquely made, and loved by The GREAT I AM.