My mother’s favorite Holiday was Christmas. She loved everything about Christmas: the shopping, she was a shopper all year anyway, shop till you drop kind of gal, the decorating, her entire front yard as well as every room in her house, the baking and cooking, and buying everyone a Christmas gift. The Christmas gifts were purchased the day after Christmas for the next Christmas.
From the time I was twelve until I graduated from high school, I lived in an environment of verbal and emotional abuse. During that time, I learned to stay within the safety of the four walls inside my bedroom. As long as my music could not be heard or my one friend who could come to my house was quiet, I was shielded from the abuse.
As the nails of adversity were continually being pounded into my heart, I taught myself how to escape through my dreams and I developed an increasing desire for chocolate. God had been pushed to the back for a season because Mother and I no longer went to church nor did she and I read God’s Word together anymore.
Joshua 24:15 – But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua took his stand for God many years earlier. In Numbers 13, when is was time for the Israelites to go into the land God had promised them, all but Caleb and Joshua chose to retreat and disobey God.
John 16:21 – A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
When God let me know that I was pregnant with our second child, Bobby and I had mixed emotions. Our first child came into this world with several medical issues and some of those medical concerns were still being addressed. Not only were there medical issues with our first child, but our first child was only going to be fifteen months old when our second child was born.
Our first child required enormous amounts of attention because of his medical situation. My mother nor Bobby’s mother lived close so they could not help on a regular basis. By the time Bobby arrived home from work, I was beyond tired physically and emotionally.
Several past Presidents of our wonderful country either said or implied that character does not matter.
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God judges by faith and character not appearance. While most of us spend hours maintaining our outward appearance, we should be spending more time developing our inner character.
John 1:5 – The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
The darkness of evil never has and never will overcome or extinguish God’s Light. My mind tells me this every day. However, this extremely long dark tunnel Bobby and I have been in since January 2013 is trying to convince me otherwise.
Recently, Bobby and I had an opportunity to answer a calling to the mountains. Our favorite place to go for that calling is Vogel State Park.
Vogel State Park is beautifully nestled at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Blairsville, Georgia. The clear crisp streams, creeks, lake and waterfall brings a quiet calmness to our souls and reminds us that God is in complete control of our lives as well as His creation.
Lake Trahlyta and Blood Mountain at Vogel State Park
Does true beauty start with the face? Mary Kay, Avon, Cover Girl, and countless other cosmetic companies that produce product after product would have all to believe that their products hold the secret to true beauty.
What about the clothes we wear? Abercrombie and Fitch, Adidas, Levi Strauss and other brand name clothing companies, will they give us the beauty we are so desperately looking for?
Is diamonds and other priceless stones truly a girl’s best friend?