30 Days of Thanks: Days 23 & 24

I first started taking part of 30 Days of Thanks in 2009. During the last 8 years, I have published these days of thanks on my personal social media account. This year, however, began with me teetering on the brink of financial and emotional ruin. Over the course of the year, GOD showed up and showed off time and time again. Out of the humility and gratitude of this year, I decided to share here my 30 days of Thanks here on my blog. I do hope that one, that in reading them it turns your own heart toward gratitude and that it inspires you to express that gratitude in your own way. 

Day 23: Steven, my fiancee’

You didn’t misread.

Steve of courageouschristianfather.com and I officially are looking to get married in 2018.

I never would have expected Steve. He is kind, gentle, and encouraging. He sees the beauty in my quirky nerdiness, finds my dimples and graying hair cute, and is patient with me slowing healing.

Steve is a broken person like me, and has by the fabulous Grace of GOD slowly began to rebuild a life- this time striving to keep it Christ centered.

I know he would be the first to confess that he isn’t perfect. And I know that- after all, he is a fan of my favorite team’s rival. Steve and I have had many conversations about our pasts and the weird things that GOD has used to grow us and to teach us things about ourselves and about Christ.

I didn’t know I would be able to love someone so deeply again. I certainly didn’t know that I would looking at getting married next year. I certainly have to say that this love that I have found in Steve & this future that we are looking at sharing together is nothing short of a GOD thing.

I can’t even begin to express my thankfulness for GOD placing Steve into my life.

Day 24: Joel The Brave

It is furbabyfriday, after all.

Joel also was a gift from GOD. I was struggling with unmanageable levels of anxiety. My job performance was suffering, my care of my home was slacking and care of my own well-being was nearly non-existent. I was sifting through Facebook, in some sort of means to distract myself from the disaster my life was in, and there was a post:

3 baby cats, needing a home.

And without a hesitation, I found myself responding: I want the black one. On June 23rd of this year, I welcomed into my home a tiny black boy cat that I named Joel The Brave.

GOD placed into Joel’s wheelhouse of knowledge a sweet demeanor and the ability to calm me down. Within 2 weeks of having him, my closest friends began to comment on how much better I seemed to be handling my anxiety. Within a month of having Joel, my anxiety was in half.

It’s certainly a GOD thing. Joel seems to know exactly when my anxiety is getting high and he will pounce into my lap and cuddle and purr. He will even take tiny paw and pet my face, as if in his own feline way saying “hooman..calm down”.

GOD certainly knew best when HE placed this lively, silly, firetruck loving fur baby in my life.

Happy Furbaby Friday, Y’all.


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.




Ponderins: Unpublished March 2011

(For a little while, I worked as a journalist with my hometown newspaper. Weekly, I wrote a column entitled ‘Ponderins’, which challenged people to think about certain things. The following piece was submitted to the editor at the end of my stint as a journalist & was never published.)

Memaw isn’t a Knox County native, but she would surely tell you that this is home. Last week, my Memaw would suffer a fall that would send her to a local hospital.
Her many children and grandchildren and some great-grandchildren would gather at the hospital, torn by the waves of progress and set backs.
At one point, one of my Aunt’s aid, “times like this is when families ought to be closer”.
Reality is, that families are never really like what we think they ought to be. If we have a small family, we say they ought to be big. If they are too tightly knit, we say that they ought to have some distance.
We complain about what they are and wish for what they ought to be.
Family is so precious. You can make more friends, and you can find new love. Family once gone is simply gone.
It is never easy in families. They will fued, argue, and say hurtful things. Family relationships are like any other relationship – they involve flawed people.
Here are some things on family for ya’ll to ponder on this week:
(1) Don’t let illness or death be the only time you call them or to go see them. And don’t just wait for holidays either.
(2) Allow your family the kind of leaveway that you grant your friends. If nothing else, we should be just as willing if not more to forgive our family.
(3) Say ‘I love you’ every time you see them. You never know when it might be the last time.

There are things that I would like my family to be, but I am content that they are just my family: Johnsons, Mills, Lowes and Brocks.
I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on what families ought to be.