Bring Your Bowl Cause the Chili is Ready!


Emory and I have found our new favorite pass time.  Many changes have been going on in the Lashley household and we needed to find a new peaceful direction.  Well here it is!

We bought one of the dutch ovens a year ago and maybe used it once or twice.  You know what I’m talking about.  You go to the sporting goods store walking down the aisles and see something so very cool.  You talk yourself into it and there ya go.  It sits remaining in its original container for eternity.

I am proud to say that we have finally put our oven to its intended use.  About two or three nights a week Emory and I will go down by the pond to our special spot and he will build a fire so that we can cook our dinner.  We have our little portable radio playing softly and I’m usually crocheting and he just sits there watching the fire.  The crickets and frogs are having their own conversations and even my owl friend will talk sometimes.  The serenity of my country life is unbelievable and truly a blessing to my soul.

We have a variety of foods we cook, but my favorite is probably when he prepares his deer chili.  I am telling you, there is something about that black kettle pot that brings forth such a rich and  powerful flavor to each and every ingredient. Those cowboys back in the day sure knew what they were doing!

As you can see by the picture, we have acquired another pot.  Why?  Our church has small group meetings at individual’s homes and Emory and I attend one of the groups every Tuesday night.  Upon our introductions the first night, we had to tell something about ourselves.  My husband is not a man of many words (at least not to everyone else) and expressed his favorite time of the day was sundown so that he could go down by the fire and cook dinner.  The group went crazy and it was on!  Everyone came to our house this past Tuesday and enjoyed the infamous chili!  We had a few of the guys bring their guitars and played while everyone ate and sat by the fire.  We had such a great time that most of them came back last night for my infamous lasagna and of course the ambiance of the cool night air with the warm toasty fire.

I’m not sure it has to be cooking by a fire with friends to make that kind of difference in a person’s life.  It is simply enjoying life the way God intended.  He wants us to let go of the big stuff and just soak up today.  So, no matter what it is, create some memories that can make you smile.

Kathy

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There Doesn’t Have to be a Difference. It’s a Choice.


When you get remarried there is so much that goes into the mix of merging two different families together.  In my case, our children were practically grown and God blessed us with a smooth transition (for the most part).

One relationship particular that I want to share with everyone is about Emory and Jayden.  When Emory came into my life Jayden (my granddaughter) was only 14 months old.  She wasn’t sure of this big man with a deep and authoritative voice and didn’t really want that much to do with him.  We both knew it would take some time for her to become comfortable around him and didn’t put too much emphasis on it really.

At one point when she really started talking the question came up about what to call him.  I definitely was nervous about even having this conversation.  I knew I wanted him to feel the same way about her as I did, but at the same time I couldn’t force this relationship.  So we were talking about it and Emory told me that he wanted her to call him “Papa”.  I was absolutely elated!  Now we just had to tell my daughter Kristin and see how she felt about it.  The conversation went over well and Jayden has called him Papa ever since.

Over time, I have watched Emory totally fall in love with Jayden.  Her birthday was May 4th and she turned 4.  Well Jayden told us she wanted a swing for her birthday.  A neighbor of ours had an old one that needed some work and Emory spent over 4 hours sanding and painting that swing pink and white.  What an incredible sight to watch this man labor out in the boiling sun to make his granddaughter happy.

  He helped me decorate the entire living room in balloons and banners.  We went outside and decorated our fence with balloons so when she topped the hill of the dirt road, she could see the balloons flying everywhere. Emory never said one word about all the “trouble” we spent preparing for her party.  He actually even ordered her princess cake and had them put a tiara and wand on the cake. (And all the women said “awwwww”).

After she arrived, everyone was eating and Jayden had not seen her swing yet.  I watched him walk over to her and bend down to whisper in her ear.  She jumped in his arms and gave him a big hug and they quietly went out the front door.  He was taking her to that swing.  I knew this was going to be a special moment and waited about 30 minutes or so before I joined them. As I turned the corner, you could hear her talking to him and he looked up and just gave me a smile.

Are they related?  Yes.  Jayden is Emory’s granddaughter and no one else would ever be able to tell him and especially her differently.  She genuinely loves him and it’s a love that was created by God.  It doesn’t matter to either one of them that they may not technically be blood related and all Jayden knows is that Emory has been in her life since she can remember.

I’m thankful that Emory loves Jayden the way he does and now that Dakotah (my other granddaughter) is here, she will also get to know him as “Papa” as she gets older.

I am not oblivious to the fact that when you mix families you have problems as our family has had its share but this post is not about all the problems that come with mixing families.

God expects us (humans) to love each other just this way.  We may not all technically be related by our standards, but we are all God’s children just the same.  Imagine the stress in my family’s life if Emory had decided not to love her the way he does.  I know it happens all around us everyday because I’ve seen it.

Loving another person with a true heart is a good choice to make in your life.  It has the potential to make a difference in your life and the life of the person you choose to love.

 

Passing on the Humbling Inspirational Blogger Award!


I have been award the :

I am very honored to accept this award from My Life Uncut….Almost.  Anne Sikes has many inspirational post herself and are a joy to read!  Check it out to be continually inspired.

Here are the requirements for this award, if you choose to participate:

1. Display the award logo somewhere on the blog.

2. Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you.

3. State seven things about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.

5. Notify those bloggers that they have been nominated and of the award’s requirements.

7 things about me:

1.  I have been crocheting since I was 12 years old.  A teacher in the 7th grade taught me how and I have loved it ever since.  Now I’m actually old enough to be crocheting in public without the weird stares.

2.  I found the absolute love of my life almost 3 years now and finally know what true love feels like!  A blessing sent straight tome from God.  (If you’ve read any of my blogs then it may not be too much of a surprise but it’s just too good not to share!)

3.  I work for a non-profit Christian ministry where I teach abstinence and healthy relationships to young people.  (Boy was this a surprise to me when God called me to do this!  He uses those who think they are the most unqualified doesn’t He?)

4.  Lay’s plain potato chips are my absolute weakness!  I can’t even buy any to have in the house or I would eat the whole darn bag!

5.  I am such a girly girl and have to make sure that my hair and make up are to perfection before I walk out the house.  Many a times my husband sits patiently quoting the song, “Waiting on a Woman” by Brad Paisley.

6.  I will be graduating from Auburn University in the spring of 2013 which is a life long dream coming true because people had actually told me I wasn’t smart enough to go to college.  (Ha! Ha! on them right?)

7. I think music is the end all be all!  Any type of music and I listen to it all.  Music touches my heart and soul like nothing else and is hard to describe how it soothes me in my crazy moments of life.  You know which ones I’m talking about.  You have them too!

 

Now I am supposed to select other blogs that I feel are inspiring so here it goes:

1.  My first choice is Even A Girl Like Me  I have found all of Joy’s posts truly inspiring and could only hope to have a friend as good as her one day.  She truly is a good friend to Elliot and has a good spirit.

2.  Another good read is Courage To Adventure Coaching.   Sue has encouraging words for everyone and does a fabulous job of working with cancer patients.

3. Covered in Pink is a great blog about a young woman discovering herself and what God has called her to do!  She has great courage and inspirational reads.

4. Karen has beautiful pictures on her blog!  Go check them out at 365 + ks ballou

5. Mom Meets Blog is truly a great blog to read.  Many funny stories about real life.

6.  This is the last one I’m going to post tonight and probably one of my favorite blogs to read.  Lucky Leo’s stories have a free spirit that most women want but never have the courage to go for.  Mary Ann has an edgy feel and you can live vicariously through her blog!

 

I know I’m supposed to name 15 and maybe I will announce the rest at a later date, but for now this is what I’ve got!  I thank Anne very much for the nomination and feel honored that she chose me.  I pray everyone gets everything they’ve ever wanted in life but remember it may take lots of hard work.  Persevere!  God will bless you!

 

Kathy

 

Get up! Get Moving!


If you’re reading this that means your living and have breath inside of you.  Are you happy about that?  You should be.  That means you have an opportunity to make a difference not only in your life but in the lives of other people.  Don’t stay on your sofa all day waiting on something great to happen and wonder why it never does!

For me, I believe I’m here on this earth to meet the needs of other people.  I find when I’m helping someone  it is these times of my life where I feel complete.

You may not feel that you should work with people and that’s okay, but God has placed a gift inside of you and no matter what it is, if you’re not using it….well, what a waste!

Get up!  Get moving!  Do something even if it’s a little something!  Live a life of freedom and don’t be trapped by the lies of the world telling you that you will never amount to anything.  God sees great things inside all of you!

I hope everyone has a blessed day!

 

 

Even A Small Amount Can See You Through


I’ve always had hope in my heart.  Like many others, I’ve had a dark season in my life.  You know what I’m talking about.  You feel helpless, out of control and just down right depressed about it all.  For some the season may only be days or months but for me it was years.  Although I wanted to several times, I never gave up hope.  Frankly, it was the only thing keeping me going.

I’m not blaming anyone else for my situation.  I have always known (at least intellectually) that I am in control of my destiny but sometimes having children and wanting a “family to work” seems to take precedence over ones own thoughts and feelings and thus created a stronghold on my life that I still have not fully recovered from.

For 18 years I tried to keep a marriage going because of hope.  I hoped one day I would be enough and that I could have a loving relationship.  I hoped he would see that family is more important than wealth and power.  During this time hope became my best friend because it was all I had. 

Once the marriage was over and my new life began, I hoped that my children would understand why their parents divorced and the truth would be seen.  I hoped they wouldn’t believe the lie that I didn’t love them anymore.  This was a point in my life that I desperately held on to hope.

My relationship with my children has been like a roller coaster ride with too many dips to count.  With no hope in my life I probably would have ended it all a long time ago. I realize death is a terrible thing for anyone to experience, but I think having living children that reject you ranks high on the list of sorrows too.  I am their mother though and mothers shouldn’t ever lose hope for their children.

God has placed a desire in my heart that no one else has ever been able to take away from me.  He gave me a true gift when He gave me hope.  It has allowed me to open my heart to the love of a wonderful man and finally experience an authentic relationship.  Hope has given me back my daughter and completely restored my relationship with her.  Now I share my life with my daughter two beautiful granddaughters.

I know my hope and faith in God will soften the hearts of my two boys and they will realize that no matter what happened in the past, it doesn’t have to set the course for our future.

What is your true gift from God? 

 

Images courtesy of Google images

 

What Did You Just Ask Me?


  I’m not allowed to talk about God.  I can’t tell them He is the real answer to leading a fulfilled life.  I can’t tell them that although people here on earth will let us down, we serve a God whose love is never-ending.  If I did, I would be asked to leave and never get invited back.  Where in the United States are we not allowed to talk about God?  It’s in the school system.  So what did I do when asked a question about a sensitive subject?

For the last year or so, I’ve been teaching abstinence only and healthy relationships to youth groups around my community and to junior high students within our county school system. Some say it’s a miracle for Women’s Hope Medical Clinic being allowed in the schools at all.  Maybe it’s because we are in the deep south where it is still acceptable to have prayer before a football game or graduation, but I’d like to think it’s because God is in control and desires for His children to know the truth.  God wants us to show these young people that they can have hope.

While I can’t bring the subject of God up, it doesn’t mean I can’t respond if someone says something like, “The Bible says that you shouldn’t have sex before marriage.”  I will agree with the student but really I am the facilitator of this conversation and the students are the ones doing the talking.  Again, God is doing His work and I’m just the tool in which it’s done.

During one class  as I explained some of the consequences of sex before marriage, I get the question, “What is an abortion?”  I simply answer, “It’s when someone decides for the baby to come out before it’s ready.”  I can see their heads shaking as they ponder over my answer but I wasn’t expecting the next question, especially coming from the teacher when he asked, “Do you think abortion is murder?”  I decided to act like Jesus and speak in a parable and just told a story.  I told them of an experience I had many years ago while working as a sonographer.  I spoke of a patient needing an amniocentesis and my job entailed directing the physician to a “good pocket of fluid”.  A perfect site is found and I could see the needle with the ultrasound (you don’t want the needle near the baby’s head or back).  While monitoring this procedure, the baby kicked and hit the needle with its foot.  The baby started moving around almost in a frantic like state.  The doctor quickly pulled the needle back flush with the uterus until the baby calmed down (which was about 5 minutes) and once the baby settled down, we resumed the procedure.  That’s where I ended the story.

I believe in self-discovery.  I could have stood up there and given those students an answer but feel lessons are better learned if a person can figure it on their own and not someone telling them what to think.  I didn’t want them to mourn for the baby that is gone and then hate the mother for deciding to end the pregnancy.  Jesus loves both the mother and baby equally and my job is to give those students tools on how to make good decisions for their lives, not condemn another person for their choices.

The students seemed satisfied with the answer and many made remarks of their opinion of the situation which is exactly what I wanted to happen.  I’m thankful to God for bringing that story to my mind so quickly because it’s probably been over 15 years ago since it happened but that’s how much He loves us.  He had already prepared me for that day, I just didn’t know it.