Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ain't No More Jesus's!!

(For Uncle Bubba)

He was known to eat an entire large pizza in one sitting, then sit back, hold his stomach, and say, "I hate pizza!"

When she was very young, my Mama called him her "Little Daddy", because he took such good care of her.  (I do believe he was required - by her Big Daddy - to chaperon a date or two from the back seat!)

We used to meet up at Pirate Land in Myrtle Beach every summer for great big family vacations.
He and Aunt Holly would always bring us gifts. We would be so excited to see them!
(I have been blessed by his generosity to my own children, as well).

I was also told that when I was a baby he would "sing me to sleep".  (Daddy says I went to sleep out of self-defense.) :-)

The best story though, was the time that he was reading to me from a children's Bible book.  Even as a toddler, I was totally enamored with Jesus. I wanted him to show me the pictures over and over.  I would say, "Bubba, Where Jesus?"... and he would flip the page and point.  Then I'd ask again, and he'd flip another page... on and on we went. Over and over he showed Jesus to me.  After several re-reads of the same storybook, when I continued to ask, "Bubba, Where Jesus?", he finally looked down at me, exasperated, and said, "Ain't no more Jesus's!!!"

Oh, but Bubba,  there is!!! There most certainly is!!!

Rest in His arms now, Sweet Uncle.

And give Pa, Nanny, and Uncle Ricky some sugar for me!!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Foot In Mouth Disease & Other Sundry Ailments

Fly off the handle.
No filter.
Diarrhea of the mouth.
Open mouth insert foot.

Temper. Temper. Temper.

Lord have mercy, y'all... I can just cut loose sometimes!

No thought.  No plan.  Just purge.
Release, if you will. Just let me get it all out so I can feel better.

But at what cost?

... The respect of someone I love?

... A cherished friendship?

... My child's precious heart?

Truth is, I typically end up feeling worse than I did to begin with.  Because I've hurt somebody... usually someone very special and dear to me.

Being the queen of "Googling Things",  I decided to do some research.  I wanted to find verses of scripture that speak specifically to taming the tongue.

Here are a few that cut me deep, Shrek... separating marrow from bone, to be sure!
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. - Proverbs 21:23 
    • My, my, my!  Do I ever get myself into trouble??  Why is this so hard?  What is so difficult about THINKING before speaking?? And putting myself in someone else's shoes before I REACT without rhyme or reason? 
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. - Proverbs 12:18
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.- Ephesians 4:29  
    • Oh that I would only speak words of grace, and peace, and healing.  That I would be a balm to those around me... an inspiration and encouragement... instead of a devastating dervish of whirling words that wound. 
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! - Psalm 141:3 
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. - Proverbs 17:28
    • If I could just learn to put my lips on lockdown!  That when I begin to think about setting my words free into space, I would think about the effects they may have.  We all have our emotions, but part of being wise and mature and complete is learning to bridle those feelings.. to put up the flesh and give the Spirit the reigns! 
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. - James 1:19-20
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. - Psalm 51:6
    • When I lash out, without thought of consequence, I am being selfish.  In my anger, I am only thinking of ways to make myself feel justified.  But justification is not for me to provide.  In fact, it has already been provided for me, in spite of  all my flaws, scars, and warts, by the Perfect Lamb of God... the Savior of the world. See, it's not just a problem with my tongue.  It's a problem with my heart.   
We've been to our fair share of doctor's offices lately.  Each time, we've been provided with prescriptions for our illnesses.  Antibiotics for pneumonia, sinus, and ear infections... Albuterol in the form of breathing treatments to loosen chest congestion and inflammation.  Nose sprays and ear drops to soothe and comfort as we wait on all these others to take effect.  Not to mention good old reliable humidifiers and vapor rubs.

During this last trip with Sam, when he was diagnosed with pneumonia, the doctor made the comment that she really didn't want to put him on two antibiotics at the same time.  You see, the one that she would prescribe to clear his chest congestion, would have little to no effect on his ear infection. And vice versa.  She knew that he had already completed one two week course of a certain drug to no avail.  She said, "There's really only one other option that I can think of that will be of benefit to both infections.  I'm going to give you a stronger one... but don't worry, it's safe.  I would give it to my own kids."  So we took the slip, dropped it off at the pharmacy, and almost one week later, he is all but completely healed! (Praise the Lord!! After battling with a stuffy nose since Christmas, he can FINALLY BREATHE!!)

When I began this post, I had all intentions of taking each and every one of these verses and printing them out on index cards... placing them in prominent places in my home and environment throughout the day, as a reminder, a sort of prescription for the healing of my heart and renewing of my mind. Multiple prescriptions, that is.

But then I came across this one...
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. - Psalm 19:14
Wow.  That's pretty powerful.  In fact, this one verse, could just be the key... the compilation of everything I would need to treat this malady.

If I could just memorize this one... this wee little verse... If I could just take it and hide it away in my heart... Maybe, just maybe...  I could be cured once and for all!

(What's that? I think I just heard an "Amen" and a "Bless Jesus" from the back bedroom!!) ;-)

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Five - So Ready for Spring!!

Yeah, I know what Punxsutawney Phil said.  

But I try not to pay too much attention to Yankees.
Even furry ones.

Now General Beauregard Lee... He's got it goin' on!!
He predicted (by not seeing his shadow) an early spring for the South.
Thank. You. Jesus.  (And Beau, too, I guess!)

So here's my list of why I am SO READY for spring!!!
  1. I need to get back to my daily walks --- Oh, I know some of y'all bundle up and go get your miles in, despite the frigid temps... but not this Chick.  It's just too dang cold for my delicate nature.
  2. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I tell you what, us Reeders have just had a time of it lately.  Especially my poor Sambo.  I'm ready to throw open some windows and air this sucker out!!! Best disinfectant ever... Fresh air and SUNSHINE!!
  3. Speaking of sunshine... I need a tan!!!  Put numbers one and two together and you'll see the mathematical equation for my exercise and fitness success so far in 2015.  That's right.  A BIG FAT GOOSE EGG!  I mean, if I can't burn the fat cells off and tone my muscles, at least I can get a golden bronzed camouflage!! 
  4. My yard looks like death warmed over.  Winter is so, well, brown.  And boring.  I feel the need to bathe my eyes in the aesthetic beauty of some Petunia Wave hanging baskets, Elizabethan Ferns, and potted Geraniums!!  Not to mention the beautiful blooms of my Azaleas and Knock-out Roses... Come on Spring... Bring on your color!
  5. My toes are itching to get into some water... and yeah, I guess my a- ahem, that is, my derriere would like to be in the sand, too!!  Meaning: I NEED ME SOME BEACH THERAPY!! There just ain't nothing like walking down the strand, sunshine on my shoulders, with flip-flops in one hand, and the other wrapped around the strong arm of My Man. And don't even get me started on what a moonlight stroll on the beach will cure! ;-)
So yes ma'am.  I'm ready for SPRING. 

Trouble is, here in South Carolina, spring is rare and short-lived.  Before you know it I'll be complaining about the heat and longing for the beautiful colors and cooler temps of autumn... yet another southern enigma.

Oh, well...
I'd still rather live down here in the Sunny (if hot as hell) South, than up there with them Yankee folk. And Phil.

Happy Friday, Y'all!!!
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love In Any Language

"Love in any language
straight from the heart,
Pulls us all together, never apart.
And once we learn to speak it
all the world will hear,
love in any language
fluently spoken here."
We sang that song in Youth Choir.

Complete with sign language.

But that ain't what this post is really about, Y'all.. Well, it sort of is, actually!

Maybe? Just a little bit. ;-)

This song, no doubt, describes God's love and loving others (all nations, colors and creeds) through Him.  But I want to talk about loving others as it applies to our relationships.  Particularly our marriages.

You know, because it's Love Week.

When Chris and I were engaged, my pastor had us work through the book The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, as part of our pre-marital counseling.  Early on, we found it quite beneficial to know exactly how to "fill each other's love tanks".

Then we had a baby.

And another baby.

And one more baby...

And life got hectic and crazy.  Then it settled down a bit, and just became routine.

My "babies" are currently 15, 13, and 10.  While life can still get crazy and hectic, it's mostly just one huge schedule.  Go here at this time.  Be there at that time.

I've been seeing a lot on the interweb this week about how to keep love fresh, and rekindle romance. I thought I would take a look back at this handy dandy little tool.  But first, I took the test again.

When we first got married, my primary Love Language was Gifts.  This means that I liked receiving gifts... so much, that it was my number one way to feel loved.  Now?  My primary Love Language is Words of Affirmation.  I need to be encouraged with words... told "I love you", "I'm proud of you.". "I appreciate you."

Here's a neat little chart to help me explain...

Turns out, it's not unusual for your Love Language to change as you grow, so it was a good idea for me to take the test again.  See. maybe that's part of our "stuck" problem.  If Reeder and I are still trying to fill each other's tanks using the methods that worked 17 years ago, and here we are all this time and all these "babies" later, well, it's probably just not gonna work! In fact, it hasn't.  So I have asked him to take the test again, too!

I'm looking forward to seeing his results. To learning new ways to connect...  and how to become fluent in new "languages", if you will.

Because once we learn to speak it... then our spouse will hear... :-)

Do you know your Love Language?

You can find out all about them, and even take the test for yourself at The 5 Love Languages Website.  There are also 5 Love Languages books and resources for Children and Teenagers, as well.  (TEENAGERS, People! Because who doesn't need help unraveling THAT mystery!?!?)

I also discovered that there's now a "thing" called Apology Language... which could be good to know when you hurt your spouse's (or anyone else's) feelings -- to help you restore the connection. Pretty cool!

What do you do to reconnect and stay strong in your marriage?  I'd love to hear about it!

Happy Valentine's Day, Y'all!!
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Music Mondays: Love Songs

As I've looked back over my last several musical posts... Whether they be about music, reviewing an artist/album, including music, or simply posting lyrics to a song, they all seem to have occurred on the sane day of the week: Monday.

That being said, I would like to start something new here at Sweet Tea Diaries.

You got it!


For today's installment, I thought I would share my Top Ten all-time favorite love songs, with y'all.

You know... Since it's Valentine's week and all.
  1. Everything I Do I Do It For You - Bryan Adams
  2. Endless Love  - Lionel Richie and Diana Ross
  3. Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
  4. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
  5. Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
  6. Let Me Down Easy - Billy Currington
  7. Lady - Kenny Rogers
  8. Crazy - Patsy Cline
  9. I Still Believe In You - Vince Gill
  10. These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding

Oh. My. Gracious Goodness!!  That was so hard!! There are so many songs that I love!! Here are a few more "honorable mentions" that I just couldn't leave off of the list:

As I was sitting doing my research last night, Reeder decided to weigh in on the subject.
Here are his top 3...

  1. Bed of Roses - Bon Jovi
  2. Pour Some Sugar on Me - Def Leopard
  3. Swingin' - John Anderson 
(Yep. That's My Guy, peeps!) ;-)

Now, Music Mondays won't necessarily be a weekly thing... but I am gonna try to make the posts fairly regular and, hopefully, keep them fresh.

Next time we're gonna talk Praise and Worship.

Stay tuned... :-)

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Poetry Of Me

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.
Child of the King – follower of Jesus.
House cleanin’, fit pitchin,’ perfectionist.
Over-the-moon-crazy-mad about my man and my kiddos. 

Tender-hearted and uber sensitive.
People-pleaser desiring to care more about what God thinks than what others think.
Closet “spot-light” craving Diva who is learning to rest in the shadow of His wings.
Social butterfly – addicted to social networking... Needing people to feel validated.

Wounded, scarred, and battle-weary.
Spend WAY too much time looking in the rear-view mirror.
Effervescent and Fun-loving… I bring the party with me.
Also known to throw a pity-party or two; definitely a wallower.

Love nature, but not particularly outdoorsy. Appreciate beauty of all kinds.
Highly musical and poetic.  
Love, love, LOVE to sing and dance.  It’s like the air I breathe.
Love being a “Southern Gal”… All about Sweet Tea sippin' and Comfort Food cookin'.

Love to talk and share.  A little too much.  Learning to be more selective in that.
Love to write and reflect.  It's why I do this bloggin' thang. More for me than anyone else.
If music is my heart-beat, words are my breath.
Avid reader of all sorts of fiction, Big-time history buff.

Way too hard on myself.  Need to learn to look through God’s lenses.
Play the comparison game WAY too much.
Always trying to make everybody happy.
Insecure, but longing to find my security in Him.

Just want to stop trying so dang hard, and learn to actually BE…
BE Still and know...
BE the girl HE created me to be… 
and BE HAPPY with that.
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