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A Day of Remembrance

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Four years ago at this precise moment we were in the dark, hot, afraid, and alone. The air was as thick as a wet woolen blanket and the silence was so complete that it enveloped our very souls. Katrina had come through in all her wrath. We had no means of communication whatsoever. Radio stations were flooded. Cell towers had been blown down. We had no idea how bad the rest of the Gulf region was and no way to communicate with anyone farther than our neighbors across the street. I didn't know where my husband's ship was or if he was safe, or how terrified he was for me and our four children.

We had a roof. We later learned that was a huge, huge blessing. Many families had no roof. Many families no longer had a home, one of my brothers included. His was under ten feet of water along the 17th Street Canal in Lakeview, where he'd lived for over 30 years.

Because we had well water at the time, we had no water when the power was out, so the week that followed was challenging at best. Food and bottled water were depleted quickly. Clean clothes and dishes were an impossibility. The sweltering heat caused us to have to wring out our sheets in the mornings and drape them outside, where they remained limp and damp in temperatures and humidity levels above 98. The four kids were bored out of their minds. Silence does not bode well for kids. So many question marks about our condition and the future do not bode well for mothers.

Despite the uncertainty of when power and communications would be restored, of when groceries and fuel would be available, of when banks and drug stores would be able to open, we had it far, far, FAR easier than thousands of others. We still had our home, bruised and battered though it was, outbuildings blown away, fences down, but we had it and we were safe, if uncomfortable, within its walls, and we were all alive.

So incredibly many emotions have flooded through my being this day, on every edge of the spectrum. It's impossible for me to unravel it enough to bleed my heart onto paper for you.

There is a New Orleans columnist that I love. His name is Chris Rose. I've shared this article with one SparkFriend and felt like today was an appropriate day to share it with the rest of you. Chris Rose bespoke my heart so well, and I dare say the hearts of every native child of this exciting, enchanted city that I love so well. His piece today was awesome, too. (His column is at nola.com.) This is his "Dear America" piece from shortly after Katrina.

www.nola.com/forums/imok/index.ssf?a
rtid=5839


For all of us who survived it and in honor of the memory of those who did not, for all who have given of their time and resources so tirelessly, so relentlessly, so generously to help in so many ways, may we press forward, continuing to restore and improve this pearl of a port city in such a way that she will be stronger, finer, more beautiful and sassy than ever before, and may God show us mercy from hurricanes.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PTEMPLETON 9/3/2009 7:03PM

    You are a Wonderful Woman, You Bless so many with your Post .
Thank You,
Pat

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AHEALTHIERJAN 8/31/2009 9:26PM

    Missy,

I'm sorry I didn't read this on Saturday--we were elsewhere. But we were in NOLA the previous weekend, and NOLA is coming to us two September weekends. Our daughter lives in NOLA. When she was 13, I told her that "New Orleans is not a city for children." (Sorry about that, all I knew was Bourbon Street, and besides, I really wanted that weekend alone with my husband that she was trying to crash.) She has a son who was part of the nine+ months after Katrina baby boom.

I didn't get to New Orleans until the next January. I remember taking the train through the Mississippi Delta, and thinking over and over, "and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away." I was working in a library in North Mississippi then, and we helped a lot of refugees (the term my daughter insisted upon). I'll never forget telling a man from St. Bernard Parish that there was nothing left, or telling a woman from Metairie that Fats Domino had been located (wouldn't have been my priority, but y'all do like your music, just as we do here in Memphis).

What happened in NOLA was unconscionable on so many levels. I personally support a program called RHINO run by St. Charles St. Presbyterian Church--we were able to send them much of our tithe money in a year where we were without a local church, and I thank everyone I can.

My son is headed to NOLA to help his sister soon. He has degrees in computer science and computer engineering, so we're hoping that even someone as shy as he will be able to find a job.

Anyway, that's my NOLA connection. God bless you, and thanks for hanging in and staying faithful.

Jan

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JOYSONG50 8/31/2009 3:10PM

    Thank you for sharing this. I thank God putting His all powerful, protective and loving arms around you and your family. He is soo good to us. God bless you.

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TRAVELNISTA 8/30/2009 10:32PM

    Missy I hope you never have to go through anything like that again.. It is unbelievable that many of that area still have not gotten back to where they were before Katrina hit. It is unbelievable that they are still trying to rebuild after the damage. Thank God you and your family were safe.

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SCORPION1352 8/30/2009 12:13PM

    Missy-----thank you sharing, you know my brother was there and had to leave he was very fortunate he did not loose his house only the plants in the yard and the lawn furniture. I am sadden though that there is still much that needs to be rebuilt. I visited New Orleans in 2004 just before the storm and what a beautiful and magnificent place it is.

The memories of Katrina will never go away for you many others but the Blessing God has giving to you and others is so over whelming, I am thankful for you and your family and the other people I don't even know that have had the strength to go on and rebuild their lives.

God Bless you all

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WALNUT5612 8/30/2009 10:20AM

    A beautiful touching post! Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst disasters ever. There is an old gospel song that says .....

'Look where he brought me from
Out of darkness
and into the glorious light
look where he brought me from'

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JOYATLAST 8/30/2009 7:59AM

    emoticon

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SISTERDEAR 8/30/2009 1:53AM

    Missy, thank you for sharing your family's Katrina experience with us. It is next to impossible for the rest of us to comprehend what you and others went through. When I came down there the following April, most of the city was still pretty much a ghost town. No wonder you have such mixed emotions on this day of remembrance.

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SUSAN134 8/30/2009 12:04AM

    Missy, I remember sitting with my hubby, glued to CNN and watching the events that unfolded 4 years ago, and the horrific aftermath. I can't begin to understand
nor appreciate what you and the rest of the people in this area went through. Thank you for posting this reminder to all of us to treasure what we have in the moment and to take nothing for granted.

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LIGHTHEART09 8/30/2009 12:04AM

    Wow that must have been so intense being in a hurricane so frightening not knowing what will happen, the noise the sheer terror...But we serve a Good God!!!
My concern is if Obama divides Jerusalem, the US will see something much worse than Katrina!!!!!!!!!!

Katrina happened right after Jews were removed from Gaza...something the US was
pressuring Israel to do...Dumb dumb mistake...

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ETAGGEL 8/29/2009 11:59PM

    Thanks for sharing

Phyllis

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PEPPERLEAH 8/29/2009 11:53PM

    Missy, I am so thankful that even through the devastation caused by Katrina, God kept you and your family safe. We have had some hurricanes here, too; althought this area was not as hard hit. I have, however been through horeendous tornados that devastated our whole town. Recovery from something like this takes a very long time.

God bless you and your family. You are always in my prayers. And thank God that the rebuilding goes on; not only in the buildings and structures of the area, but in hearts and lives, as well.

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IUHRYTR 8/29/2009 11:49PM

    You have painted a sad but accurate picture of how God's blessing worked in your life that day. I can not begin to comprehend the devastation I saw on TV and in the newspapers and I can't comprehend how people coped with losing their homes. Thank you for reminding us that we never know what fate has in store for us. -- Lou

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A Milestone - Less of Me

Friday, August 28, 2009

Today is a momentous day for me, one that I could never have imagined a year ago. I've lost 60 pounds. That's the result of the BIG news, the changes that are happening in my heart and mind day by day, moment by moment. One of my favorite verses of scripture says God gives us to will and to do His good pleasure. God's pleasure, of course, is to bless me in every way, to lavish His love upon me continually, to give me life and that more abundantly. The thing is, I can't even muster up the WILL to DO good on my own. It's just not in me. Oh, maybe I can get a desire, but not the willpower to make lasting change in my life, change at the most fundamental levels of who I am. It is only as I lay my life out before Jesus and bow my knee to His Lordship that I am able to allow Him to give me to will AND to do what is good for me. Wouldn't it be nice if we did that one time and it was over? There. That's done! Spit-spot, as Mary Poppins would say. Umm. No. It doesn't work that way. We are forewarned that we must die daily. That's every single day of our lives we get to make new choices to die unto the flesh, to crucify anew the destructive patterns in our lives, to lay to rest unwise decisions concerning nutrition and fitness, prayer and study of the Word, relationships and achievements. That's the process by which all things are made new, by which there is less of me and more of Jesus each day of my life.

Thank you for walking this road with me. It is so much easier and joyous because of you. What you bring to my life is so precious. What you allow me to bring to yours is precious, too. I appreciate you so very much.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTHEART09 8/29/2009 6:04PM

    Amen to that sister! Not easy crucifing daily when emoticon the beast wants it MY way when I want to do something...Good for you all your success...I am here to lift you up and send you love and encouragement!

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JOYATLAST 8/29/2009 6:37AM

    Congratulations! You are AWESOME!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 8/28/2009 11:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon on those 60 pounds kicked to the curb, Missy!!! What a blessing you are to me with your wonderful blogs and your comments on the threads. Many times you seem to be encouraging and supporting me even thought I see your words elsewhere. Our walk with God is the most important road we will ever travel and I am blessed to have you journey with me.
Blessings and Hugs,
Helen
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/28/2009 11:14:03 PM

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THENEWME43 8/28/2009 10:38PM

    Missy, this journey is so much more precious (and fun!) together! Thanks for all you bring to Spark. Your love for the Lord shines through in everything you do!

emoticon on releasing those 60 pounds! emoticon

May you have a blessed weekend!
Annette

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SISTERDEAR 8/28/2009 10:28PM

    Well said, Missy! And congratulations on this fine accomplishment.
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PEBBLES32165 8/28/2009 9:47PM

    emoticon

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BOBLITE 8/28/2009 6:47PM

    Hi Missy,

I am sorry that I have not sent you a message in a while. Things have been really hectic around our house. I want to let you know how happy I am for you for your accomplishment. You are right, we must die daily. The great thing is that, when we stumble, as I have so many times, He is there to love us and to pick us up.
Thank you for all the ways God ministers through you to me and to many others.

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TRAVELNISTA 8/28/2009 6:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Missy, losing 60 pounds is tremendous! Do you realize that equals 3 dress sizes. You are now 3 dress sizes smaller. I am so happy for you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SJG1953 8/28/2009 5:21PM

    Like so many others have said, this is so true and well stated. I think we all have this same problem of dying daily to the flesh.

Congratulations on losing those 60 lbs!! That is wonderful! You are doing a great job!

(((HUGS))) Shirley

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SCORPION1352 8/28/2009 12:26PM

    Oh Missy that is so great 60 lb loss. I so hope some day I too can claim that prize. I am sure I will with God on our side none of us can go wrong.

Thank you for sharing. God Bless ........

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CAMTPAM 8/28/2009 11:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
60 lbs. That is so great!!!! I will be able to say that one day too. Praise the Lord. With Him we can do anything!!!!! And our friends.

Comment edited on: 8/28/2009 11:58:46 AM

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GRANDMANANCY 8/28/2009 10:52AM

    60 pounds...Missy... That is wonderful !

and you are right..the road we travel with Him is the most important..the most valuable..

You are a real blessing !

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JOYSONG50 8/28/2009 10:22AM

    Congratulations on your weight loss success. This and your other blogs are so inspirational and heart warming. Sometimes I wish I had a magic wand so I could make the excess pounds disappear". But, I know we must continue daily to put forth strong efforts to reach our goals. With God to lead and guide us we can do it and with unwavering faith in Him, we will do it.

Keep up the good work.
God Bless You.


Comment edited on: 8/28/2009 10:22:58 AM

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ALMMOM 8/28/2009 9:36AM

    I am so encouraged by your progress!!!! Good job!!

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MALEXANDER4 8/28/2009 8:54AM

    i'm so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the struggles you have overcome to reach this point is in one word AWESOME!!! god bless you my friend.

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2BSALLYB 8/28/2009 8:17AM

    You are doing so well Missy.. A 60 pound weight loss is awesome..God bless you....

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LENNY48 8/28/2009 7:36AM

    FANTASTICO!

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ANGELCOWBOY1 8/28/2009 7:08AM

    What a beautiful blog. It reflects your beautiful heart! Thank you for this post and a big emoticon on the weight loss! You are doing emoticon Many emoticon and blessings. Diane

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KOOOKIE1 8/28/2009 5:37AM

    How GREAT is our GOD!!!!
Yoiu are such a joy to my heart!!!!
I read all of your posts & looked at your pictures.
Sharon

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WALNUT5612 8/28/2009 4:09AM

    Congratulations on your 60lb weight loss!!!!

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BRAVEONE92 8/28/2009 1:46AM

    I love the words of your Blog, the words are beautifully stated, and I really enjoy reading your all of them. You are an encouragement to me and to all of us on SP. Congrats on the weight loss, so proud of you Friend.

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PEPPERLEAH 8/28/2009 12:33AM

    Missy;

First of all, congratulations! What an accomplishemnt!

Secondly, very well said. It is a daily challenge; and however much we may wish that we could just snap our fingers, and have the pounds fly off, it just doesn't happen. Hard work and dedication is what it takes.

You are doing so fantastic! Keep going!!!!!

Leah

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DAIZYSTARLITE 8/28/2009 12:30AM

    Wow...that's great...congrats!!

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KEETAK 8/28/2009 12:23AM

    Congratulations.

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Water Aerobics is WONDERFUL!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

After all this waiting, I finally got in the water for my water aerobics class!! I was told it was two classes a week for $25/month. That's a great deal!! Then, when my three friends and I signed up, we found out that classes are Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. On Friday morning, 7:30, there is one Lagniappe class. That's pronounced LAN-yap and it means a little something extra for nothing, a common New Orleans term. Members of all ten classes are free to attend the Friday class at no extra charge. So we get to go THREE times a week!! I am just so excited about this. My entire body felt TOTALLY relaxed and rejuvenated all at the same time. If you're like me and hate to exercise, and you need an exercise that you can love, water aerobics is it!! Pardon me a moment while I give thanks:

WATERWOMAN, I LOVE YOU! THANK YOU FOR INTRODUCING ME TO THIS!!!!!!!

Okay. *grin* That was for DawnRobin2 for those of you who didn't know. She is my inspiration in so many ways and her love for water aerobics is absolutely contagious!!

Now... about the French fries. I brought my mother-in-law to the psychiatrist Wednesday because her early dementia is causing her to become agitated, frustrated, and sometimes downright sad, which is very out of character for her. The good news about that is she is still holding her own and no medication is yet needed, thank God. That doctor's office is very near my Godson/nephew's office. Having not seen him for a while, I called to invite him to meet us for lunch since we were there.

I knew where I wanted to go, knew I could place my order confidently and be able to track it when I got home. So I happily ordered! Such confidence had I!! Then the waitress brought my plate... heaped with one of my favorite foods in all the world that I have not eaten since February: Hot French Fries! There was a mountain of them!! I could have cried. lol Oh, MAN, did they smell GOOD! Don't misunderstand, I've had French fries, but I make them at home, baked in the oven. Not these puppies! Slap out the fryer they were. *groan* I looked at my nephew and said, very seriously: I might stab the waitress for this. lol

Such a fine man he is, God love him!! Fast as a blink, he was unfolding napkins and laying them neatly on the table between us. He scooped up my plate, brushed every single fry into the napkins, fold them up, and put them on the other side of the table, where he and his secretary (who had joined us) gobbled them up, out of my reach. lol How is that for loving his Na-Nan?!

It felt so good to stare one of my biggest downfalls in the face and say: I. Will. Not. I CHOOSE to not touch these because they are dangerous for me and I deserve HEALTH. Hallelujah!!! This, my precious friends, is a work only God could do.

I'm sorry I have not been blogging much this week. I am the NOT morning person of the century. With school in session and my baby now in junior high, we get up at 5:30 *UGH* She catches the bus at 6:30. (When I carpooled her for elementary, we left the house at eight. I miss that!) So my body is still adjusting to the new hours and I'm beat. Now I'm adding the water aerobics class three mornings a week, so juggling all I need to accomplish just got harder but, OH, so much sweeter!! With God, ALL things are possible. I am so rejoicing in Him!!

I ran across a few more old photos and I wanted to share two of them with you in addition to the one I put on my SparkPage. It's so weird to see yourself as a baby, huh? It is such a wonderful thing, though, to know how your parents and family felt about you as a brand new human being, how cherished you were, how hopeful they were for a wonderful life for you. It's not a very far leap to understand how God looks upon us, His beloved children for whom He has SUCH purpose, such plans, such amazing, endless love.


This is me with my Mama and Daddy. Oh, how I miss them!


This little tree was given to me for my first Christmas by a friend of my three brothers, who were all teenagers when I was born. I had that tree til I was in my mid-twenties. Cute, huh?!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEBBY01 8/27/2009 3:27AM

  Liked your blog. I have bad knees (2 failed surgeries) and lots of weight to lose. I can't wait get started in classes-its about all I can do right now. Love, Love, Love New Orleans. Come every year with my daughter except for last year she brought her husbaand and I watched the baby. Trying to come down for my 50th birthday in October. If I do good on my diet maybe I'll reward myself!! Can't wait to get there! Add me as a friend if you want.

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JOLOVESRUM 8/26/2009 12:18PM

    I keep saying I am going to get to aqua fit class, but I never got there yet. Maybe with my baby gone and Rex working nights I should no I will get there. Don't have to cook anymore. I my as well go.

I am so glad that you and water woman love it so much. Both of you are doing so well. thanks for the extra push. I am going to look up the times right now.

Keep up the good work Missy.
hugs Jo

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WALNUT5612 8/22/2009 11:46AM

    ...."I CHOOSE to not touch these because they are dangerous for me and I deserve HEALTH. Hallelujah!!! ".

Missy I am going to put that on my refridgerator. That is so good!

Have a good Saturday!

Bev

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LIGHTHEART09 8/22/2009 12:15AM

    Great job on the water aerobics and passing on the FRIED...GREASY, SLIMEY...Loaded with disgusting fat... french fries...Victory!

I know about early get ups...If I want to do my prayer time and workout it is up @ 4am for me....that starts next week...groan....school is calling...

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TRAVELNISTA 8/21/2009 8:17PM

    Water aerobics is my favorite too. I love Pool Zumba! So happy your were able to do it with your foot. emoticon

emoticon on you passing up the fries. I eat with my eyes and also if it smells so good and we all know how good hot french fries smell; I want to it no matter if I am full or not. Good for you! And Kudos to your nephew's fast thinking.

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3CATSLEP 8/21/2009 9:26AM

    LOVE THE PICS! I think I will dig out a few too! Congrats on the fries - definitely a God thing - I probably would have had one. I haven't tried water aerobics, but I'm glad you are enjoying it! My mom suffers from sever dementia. She's 88! She is still managing very well on her own and we have a caregiver who is amazing, who comes in once a week and cleans and runs her to the store, etc. I praise God for such special people!!! She has been taking Namenda which has helped delay some of the dementia. She has her good days and bad. I hate when she is feeling depressed about her own memory - I just want to cry. When we get transferred again, we will move near her so I can take care of her (if she remains stable - or until the Lord takes her home). I'm so glad you blogged today! Have a great weekend and talk to you later!
Laura emoticon

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BETHLOVESBIKING 8/21/2009 9:03AM

    I'm so happy for you that you found water aerobics! Thanks for sharing! And I love the pictures!

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LOVESLILACS1 8/21/2009 8:52AM

    Glad you've been able to start the water aerobics. Great to find a way you enjoy exercising! I'd only go in a pool if it were in my own back yard, though. I know, I'm missing out! Keep up the good work!

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ALMMOM 8/20/2009 11:37PM

    You are full of news!!! Wonderful you can start in the exercise you have grown to love. Your mom is getting some help and you saw your godson's nephew. How good that you have a wonderful support system. Your blogs are priceless!!!

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RSPRAGU2 8/20/2009 11:18PM

  Oh Missy -

How wonderful is the strength God gave you to withstand those fries. I don't know that I could have done that. I'm sure I would have taken at least a few. Kudo's to you.
I am happy for your family that your mother in law is still holding her own. May she continue to maintain herself.
Best of everything God has to offer for you.

Regis

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UNIQUEGIGGLES 8/20/2009 10:26PM

    what a great blog! Oh the fun of having a child in junior high. Mine starts next week, they grow up so fast. I am glad you enjoy the water aerobics.

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DAWN_WOOLF 8/20/2009 9:55PM

    I am so excited for you! I've done water aerobics before and had a blast! I wish I could afford them now. Actually I don't think they have them here anymore. But way to go!!!! And you did so good not eating the fries! I don't know if I could have passed them up!

What an inspiration you are! I am rejoicing in God with you! God is SO AWESOME!!

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HAPPYWRITER7 8/20/2009 9:43PM

    I could have never resisted french fries!! Congratulations to you hehe, that is an accomplishment in itself I believe (I looove french fries). I'm so happy you enjoyed the water aerobics class! My mail lady recommended water aerobics for my ms once, but I never checked it out. I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself.

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NEWSMARTLADY 8/20/2009 9:33PM

    Water Aerobics does sound like fun! Great going! I am sooo proud of you for resisting the fries. I know that was hard for you. Praise the Lord for helping you!!
Love your pics alot!Good news on your Mother-in-law. Enjoyed all of your blog! Have a great weekend! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonDawn

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PEPPERLEAH 8/20/2009 9:32PM

    WOW! You did fantastic in resisting...refusing those fries! And as far as the water aerobics goes, I think that is great. Wish we had something like that around here. And your pictures are priceless! Thanks for sharing with us!

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Thank You Sounds So Lame

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I am so blown away by the outpouring of love, of affirmation, of encouragement, the warmth, the kindness of words that literally wrap around my heart like huge hugs to my entire being. To say those two simple words, "Thank you," is so inadequate to express the measure to which you have filled my heart, total overflowing abundance. You have become so important to me, to my every day, to most of my thoughts. You know that feeling when you are young and in love and consumed with your love, and then you begin to meet the friends and family that come with the package deal? You're so thrilled to belong, flying high on the affiliation and acceptance that comes by simply belonging to someone. I feel like that about my SparkFamily, the circle of caring souls who bring SO much to my world. Your blog comments have flooded my being with so much warmth and goodness and I thank you. I just wish there were bigger, more powerful words I could use to express it. I do not do you justice.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JACQUISPAGE 8/18/2009 3:26PM

    I've come here to say Thank You for making me one of your Sparkfriends and to thank you for your lovely smile.
Thank you Yatmama and God bless you today and always!
Your Jacqui emoticon emoticon

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LIGHTHEART09 8/18/2009 11:52AM

    You are a mirror and what you see in us is in your...you are reflecting your own love...
We love you and lift you up in prayer and pray for your health and success!
((((hugs)))))
Nan emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVESLILACS1 8/18/2009 10:37AM

    I feel the same about you. I am so amazed by the time and effort you put into maintaining relationships with your spark friends.

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3CATSLEP 8/16/2009 7:18PM

    Thank YOU for the sweet comments on my SparkPage. I guess I'm just waiting on God's next move in my life. I know it's in His Time and I must be patient (which is probably the hardest thing to do!) Just keep me in your prayers. Thank you so much, Laura emoticon

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JOLOVESRUM 8/16/2009 6:28PM

    I log on everyday 4 times a day just to see what my spark friends are up to. Even though we never met face to face I feel that I know you better then friends I have had for years. I am sure the reason for that feeling is that we share things that our friends we fear will not understand. We can relate to each others feelings.

thank you are mighty strong words.
All I have to say to you Missy is
as Ellen says
"Right back at cha!

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SUSAN134 8/16/2009 5:53PM

    Thank You does sound inadequate when you have so much love, appreciation and gratitude to express, however Missy, you did a fabulous job of conveying how you feel. I would not hesitate to say that many of us feel the very same way!

Spark People is a magical place indeed and you are very special!



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UNIQUEGIGGLES 8/16/2009 1:09PM

    I think you said it with every word in this blog. Right back at you from me!

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TAZZIE5 8/16/2009 8:34AM

    You deserve every ounce of love & attention your wonderful heart can hold! We reap what we sow & you, my dear have been a very fruitful Sower!
May the Lord continue to work thru you
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COLEENCOLE 8/16/2009 8:27AM

    Very well put. And I also emoticon for noticing my blog.

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LYNNIJN 8/16/2009 6:40AM

  GOOD MORNING DOLL. HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY. LYNN emoticon

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LINDA25427 8/16/2009 4:07AM

    Thank you is so much more then two words it is the universe when it comes from the heart .Your heart felt thank is beautiful, continue to be yourself . May God always have his arms wrapped around you in his amazing love and grace . emoticon

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MALEXANDER4 8/16/2009 2:48AM

    thank you just for being you!!!!!!!!!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/16/2009 12:38AM

    Excellent blog my sister/friend. I hope that your Sunday is blessed. Thanks for being here for us. You are a bright blessing in my life. Continue to let your spark shine. I love you, Dawn emoticon

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ALB@ATIME 8/16/2009 12:19AM

    When I help someone it is because it is what I want to do, I expect nothing in return...it is a good feeling...best of luck...

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PEPPERLEAH 8/16/2009 12:16AM

    Great blog. I know what you mean. I will continue to always say "thank you" because I don't know any thing better to say.

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The Joy of Serving

Friday, August 14, 2009

There have been times in my life where I have been sustained by the goodness of others. Those times were so humbling, humiliating even. I knew that the hand of God Himself was reaching out to me through His children. We were so needy in my first marriage, and in the early days of my present marriage as we tried to claw through the debris of our first marriages. I can remember crying out to God, asking when it would be my turn to do the blessing. I knew it would come but it wasn't coming fast enough. I think in order to be a cheerful giver, you have to learn to be a cheerful receiver. The only way to do that and maintain your dignity is to recognize and acknowledge that EVERY good and perfect gift comes from God. He uses His kids' hands sometimes to deliver the gifts, but they come directly from His heart. He loves us SO very much, so completely, and it is a love that is not in any way hinged upon our behavior, good or bad.

I've shared with you about my friends who have cared for me in my darkest hours after the injury and amputation. They gave unreservedly, unabashedly, selflessly, relentlessly... and they did it with joy, no less. Still, I knew I was imposing into their lives, taking them away from family and tasks that needed to be attended. I could never in ten lifetimes make it up to them. No amount of money could ever repay them for their love toward me, for not only meeting my needs, but for holding my hand, crying with me, encouraging me, praying with me... much like you do, here on SP.

The only recourse, then, is to pay it forward, to coin a phrase from the movie. Whenever I see a need someone has or if they should mention something they want or would enjoy, I get tickles in my tummy. I get so excited because I've found someone to bless!! It is in that way that I am able to return the love others have shown to me. As I pray for their situations to improve, and they WILL, they are able to then bless others, and so on, and so on. It's an endless cycle of love. That is God's desire. Jesus said they would know we are His not by the name over the door of our church or the bible school we attended or the tithe statements given out at tax time or the volunteer hours we rack up. He said they would know we were His by the love we show to one another. THAT's how we win the world for Jesus. THAT'S how we give hope to the hopeless and set the captives free.

I wanted to share Melanie's first day of junior high with you.



I realized that I shared everyone with you and Bill's ship with you... but not Bill! I need to remedy that!!



Lastly, I'm not sure how this happened, but SparkPeople informed me that I've been named a SparkPeople Motivator, that enough votes had been sent in to qualify me as one. Huh? Me?!! I'm still the size of a side of beef here, and so many have reached their goals or are SO much closer than I am. It blew me away and humbled my heart. A friend was once praying for me, a lady who is very sensitive to the things of God. I was laboring over how to meet my stepson's needs during one of our more difficult rounds with him. I felt so depleted. I had no idea which way to turn. She said to me: Missy, you DON'T have what Billy needs. What you do have is a very large serving tray. Bring it to the throne room and hold it up to God. HE has what your kids need and He will fill the tray with those things. Your job is to simply return to them with God's fullness and serve them His gifts. That is the desire of my heart. To serve to those in my world what gifts He has for them, all unto His glory. Thank you for allowing me to share His love and my love with you on a daily basis. You are precious to me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAMTPAM 8/27/2009 10:42AM

    Thank you for sharing this. I needed these words. He is so awesome.

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3CATSLEP 8/15/2009 11:20PM

    You truly are a motivator! You can feel the words coming right from your heart in all of your blogs and posts. It is a joy to be called your friend! I love being a cheerful giver also - I know that "tickle" that you mean. Sending hugs..... emoticon emoticon

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SAVINGHANNAH 8/15/2009 4:12PM

    You are a blessing 2 others, and 2 me!

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TRUEFIT 8/15/2009 12:09PM

    This is simply a wonderful blog to read! It is God's will for us all to show His love by helping anyway we can. The Bible tells us not to love only in word or tongue but in deed and in truth. (1John 3:18) That tells me love is an Action word for sure!
Your blog is a real message. I rejoiced as I read it. We all need to keep this in mind as Christians. Keep proclaiming God's word. I am glad you are a Spark motivator. Congratulations! There are so many ways we need to be motivated besides weight loss. It's a job for some to get out of bed in the morning. It's also an encouragement to you to know so many people appreciate you. You are very special and very much needed! Keep on with all the progress!!!
Deborah

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2BSALLYB 8/15/2009 12:00PM

    emoticon on being voted a SPARK PEOPLE MOTIVATOR!! You do a fantastic job of motivating all of us with your overall attitude and weight loss!!! You certainly are an inspiration to me and the world is a much better, brighter place because of YOU!!!

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Thanks for sharing these pictures. Really good looking people in these photos!!!

Comment edited on: 8/15/2009 12:02:16 PM

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LOVESLILACS1 8/15/2009 11:24AM

    I didn't see that you were chosen by SP as a motivator, but I certainly chose you as one. I even recommended another member check out your spark page. Thank you for all the time you take to share God's love with others! emoticon

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AHEALTHIERJAN 8/15/2009 10:52AM

    What beautiful things you've said. There can only be folks who give if there are also folks who can receive, yet we are taught never to be on the receiving end of help. Thank you for sharing your wonderful attitude toward each end of this very human equation.

You are indeed an inspiration. You could have taken your accident as a time to quite, but you have pushed beyond it and turned it into something beautiful for God. You share so much of yourself on this site, in so many ways. Thank you for all you do.

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BETHLOVESBIKING 8/15/2009 9:04AM

    What a lovely blog! I love the illustration about the tray. And I love seeing God working through you in your desire to serve others! You have blessed my life by sharing your life through these blogs.

Congratulations on being selected as a Motivator! emoticon emoticon

P.S. And I love the pictures of your daughter Melanie and your husband. Thanks for sharing!

Comment edited on: 8/15/2009 9:07:30 AM

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LINDA25427 8/15/2009 8:26AM

    Missy you are an inspiration to all around you . Thank you for being you . God bless . emoticon Congratulations on the motivator I voted for you . because your life is interesting and you have overcome so many difficulties , that shows how strong you are and what a compassioned person that has the of God in her heart . I pray God will bless you more abundantly with his over flowing love . Sincere heartfelt wishes to you and your family

Comment edited on: 8/15/2009 8:28:02 AM

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ANGELCOWBOY1 8/15/2009 7:42AM

    What a beautiful blog and a beautiful family! But what else would we expect from someone who has such a BEAUTIFUL heart for the Lord and for others? May God richly bless you, as you bless so many of us.


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MALEXANDER4 8/15/2009 6:43AM

    wow, you just blew me away with that blog. you have a wise friend and all who voted for you to be a motivator are just as wise. god has blessed you with the power of his word and that is a wonderful thing to have. i have gone through trials with my son and have finally offered it to god. i pray for him daily and i see small changes in him that are leading him back to us. he is working, has a steady living situation, and his love for us, not his anger, is growning daily. much happiness to you and may i say god bless. you my dear deserve every happiness. emoticon emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/15/2009 4:24AM

    Missy: A most beautiful blog my dear! Thanks for sharing your life and your love with us daily. You touch my heart and make my life better just by being in it. Have a blessed day my friend. -Dawn emoticon

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JOHNHARNEY 8/15/2009 1:35AM

    Hi I thought this was great and you should be a MOTIVATOR for all the people that you touch everyday. They may have lost more weight, but it could be because of all the support you have given them. You have a gift that God has given you and you need to use it to the fullest. I'm very proud of you and glad I'm your friend. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSAN134 8/15/2009 1:09AM

    Missy, your blog post is beautiful and powerful! I am totally not surprised that you have been voted a Spark People motivator!!! I am proud to call you my friend
- you are truly an inspiration!

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PEBBLES32165 8/15/2009 12:35AM

    What a powerful message! You are such an inspiration to me. And you deserve being motivator more than I deserved it. Don't sell yourself short Missy, you are doing an awesome job for God. More than I could ever do. I am still just learning.
But you my dear lady are a great messenger of God!

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PEPPERLEAH 8/15/2009 12:10AM

    Congratulations! And what a beautiful blog!

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SPARKLOVE 8/15/2009 12:07AM

    You are a very Wise Women. emoticon on becoming a Motivator....really you already was one, but now I guess it is official ! Your Spark friend Joy

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UNIQUEGIGGLES 8/15/2009 12:03AM

    What a beautiful blog! I can see how you were selected as a Motivator. Thanks for the positive energy! I will pray for you!

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