Thursday, January 22, 2015

No More Excuses...Impact Someone's Life

Recently I've joined an online Bible Study, www.MoreToBe.com.  It's been such an eye-opening experience.  The study is actually about becoming a mentor, see Elisa Pulliam's book, Impact my Life: Biblical Mentoring Simplified.




This week we have been looking at excuses.  Excuses of why we as Christian women don't take the time to influence, encourage, and teach younger Christian women.  I am sad to admit that I've got plenty of excuses.  After this week's study, I'm more determined than ever to be a light in the darkness, take the time to be a blessing to  someone, encourage someone, help someone.  

It's not easy for us in this independent world to reach out to others.  But you'll be surprised at how many women, young and old, desperately need  to know that you care.



So what are your excuses for not stepping out in faith and making a difference in someone else's life?


Here are my top three excuses, see if you can claim any.

  1. I am SOOOOOOO busy, and just don't have time.  (It took 5 minutes at break to send 5 text messages)
  2. I don't have anything to say to encourage anyone, look at me, I'm a mess myself. (So what, do you have to be perfect to say, "Hey, I was just thinking about you.  I hope you're doing well.  Maybe we can get together for a cup of coffee one day.  Anyways, wanted you to know how much I appreciate you.")
  3. No one wants to hear what I have to say.  They'll think I'm weird.  (Replies from text messages:  "Oh, I am so glad to hear from you, I miss you too.  Thanks for thinking of me : )."  "I know about busy! Going through my 2nd graduation, I know you know how that is. Miss you too."  "You don't know what your words meant to me today!  I'm really going through a hard time and could use your prayers.  Thank you so much for the text!")
What are your excuses for not stepping out in faith and making a difference in someone else's life?

Stop it, whatever they are.

Get out there, be seen, open your mouth, get those fingers moving across a keypad or textpad, send a card, an email, phone someone.... or for goodness sake, put a giant smile on your face wherever you go.  You'll see the difference in no time.  

You can start small. I started with a few simple text messages.  
No weirdness.
I did have something to say. 
It was well received and appreciated.  
Simple, time efficient, and I think I made some people smile.  

So worth it!

You're not hopeless.
God can use you, but you have to take the first step.

I believe in you!
Now March, Onward Christian Soldier!  Make some people Smile.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

3 Simple Prayers that will Change your Life



This week has been particularly tough. Things at home, things with kids, things with work, things with finances, everywhere I turn... 

PROBLEMS, TROUBLES, FRUSTRATIONS, ANXIETY, FEELING LIKE A FAILURE, FEELING HELPLESS.

After several confrontations, I was feeling a little gun shy, you know, wanting to hide from everyone.

Too many had blown up in my face taking their frustrations out on me.  Even though I knew they were going through difficult times themselves, it was still hard, it hurt my feelings, it made me mad.

People can let you down, disappoint you, hurt you.  
A teacher in school once said to me, "Cindy, you don't have to let people hurt you. You get to choose what to do with OTHER'S words and actions."

It was a new experience for me. 


Maybe you're having a tough week too.  Below is a simple prayer guide.  Those 3 second prayers that you whisper under your breath or scream in tears, either way they work.



Thursday, January 1, 2015

WALKIN IN MEMPHIS ~ FLYING PIGS & JUNK YARDS



Memphis reminds me of Birmingham... lots of traffic and lots of great restaurants.  This last weekend my husband, Bryan, and I made an emergency trip to Memphis.  It was one of those love/hate, excited/dreading, I can't wait to go/I can't believe we're going kind-of trips.

Our son was car-less, walking the streets, (interstates), of Memphis.  Talk about a near melt down.   If I did not have the deep relationship I have with God, I would've lost it.

 Ever been there?

But instead of focusing on the negative, we decided to enjoy our trip, enjoy our son, and enjoy all that Memphis offered.

Amazing what a change of attitude can do.  You don't have to give in to your feelings or let them carry you away with fear, anger, hate, unforgiveness, hopelessness, or any other emotion.  You get to decide how you act or don't act, what thoughts to let in or not.  You're in charge!

My son took us to several local restaurants, all terrific.  We toured some of the neighborhoods, and if you are from one of them please let me know.  Some of my favorite areas included; Germantown, Midtown, and Collierville.  Many of the homes were beautiful and reminded me of our previous home in Trussville, Alabama, and all the neighboring areas such as; Homewood, Moutain Brook, and Hoover.


For our fist night, our son took us to Huey's in Germantown.  I had the chicken sliders with fries and loaded potato soup on the side.  The food was delicious, the atmosphere dimer and louder than most family restaurants.  Definitely targeted toward the young single career crowd.  But for the three of us, the price was very affordable, $10 per person, with everyone full afterwards.


After visiting the place where we had to "junk our ride," we ate at a local's favorite, Central BBQ, in downtown Memphis know as Midtown. I got a kick out of the flying pigs display.  It wasn't a disappointment and worth the extra travel time.  The pulled pork sandwich was my choice and the boys raved so much about the baked beans, I had to try them as well.  I don't think I've ever been to a restaurant where the backed beans were my favorite.

Finally, Mr. Larry at Midtown Auto Parts took great care of our dead Volvo.  If you need any towing or parts around the Memphis area, be sure to look him up.  He made a stressful situation smooth.

As far as our son walking around in Memphis again, it happened sooner than we expected as the Tahoe we left behind for him blew out a tire.  But so many strangers gave him a helping hand and that makes a mama that's several hours away very grateful.

It makes me think twice when I see someone walking after passing a broken down vehicle.  I wonder whose child that is and how can I help.

One things for sure, he had someone watching over him.  Hopefully my next adventure of Walking in Memphis will include more restaurants and less junk yards.  Until then, keep your fingers crossed and your prayers going for no more broken down vehicles.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS! 3 Ways to say goodbye to 2014 and say Hello to 2015



1.  Put the past behind you and look with hopeful anticipation that 2015 is going to be great.

You can't change the past but you can sure learn from it.  

2.  Love those around you and determine to be a blessing to as many people as you can.

You can't change people but you can give them an example.

3.  Be thankful and say so.

You may not be able to change your circumstances but you can focus on what's good in your life.

Your attitude is just that... yours.  

No one can make you offended, hurt, angry, or sad unless you allow them.  Your peace comes from determining that whatever happens, you are going to be joyful, help others, love others, and smile.



Merry Christmas!!!
Thank you so much for visiting my blog, may God richly bless you and yours for the upcoming 2015!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Top 10 Family-Friendly Restaurants in The Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast Area




1.  LuLu’s (http://www.lulubuffett.com/)  Gulf Shores, Alabama

Great for families’ of small children.  The area surrounding the restaurant is a kid’s paradise.   Lots of activities, a full sand playground, a climbing ropes course, gift shops, and right on the Intracoastal Waterways for watching boat traffic, live music for the adults.

2.  The Original Oyster House (http://www.originaloysterhouse.com/)  Gulf Shores, Alabama

This was my children’s favorite place when they were younger.  The children’s menu is price reasonably with free kid’s meals at some locations and with coupons at visitor’s centers.  The boardwalk surrounding the Oyster House has many store venues, a playground, places to take memorable pictures, and alligators to feed (sometimes) but fish to feed all of the time.  It is within walking distance to all the shopping centers, one being the Shark place (http://www.souvenircity-gs.com/) as my kids call it.  Great place for pictures.

3.  The Hangout (http://www.thehangout.com/)  Gulf Shores, Alabama

This is for the older family members, teens will like being on the public beach.  Still the smaller kids have many playing areas, seating outside for parents to watch, three outdoor music venues that usually begin at dusk.  It hosts one of the largest music fest during May with thousands of attendees.

4.  The Crab Trap in Period Key, Florida (http://www.crabtrapdestin.com/the-crab-trap-perdido-key.html)

Right on the beach, a large playground and area for kids, lots of specials, nice setting.

5.  Lillian’s Pan Pizza in Perdido Key, Florida (https://locu.com/places/lillians-pan-pizza-pensacola-us/#menu)

Not a playground available, but some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.  If you’ve had all the seafood you can stand, this is a nice alternative and they deliver.

6.  Villaggio Grille in Orange Beach ( http://www.villaggiogrille.com/page3.html)

This is a more upscale restaurant but has outdoor seating at The Wharf (http://www.alwharf.com/) which is a marina, amphitheater, and outdoor shopping mall, (http://www.alwharf.com/shopping-dining/directory.php), full of things to do.  It even has a ferris wheel, (https://www.alwharf.com/ferris-wheel.php).

7.  Tacky Jacks has three locations, (http://www.tackyjacks.com/).  Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, and Orange Beach, Alabama.

All three are casual and on the water featuring a wrap around deck for a panoramic view on every side.  Food is very kid friendly and there is a playgrounds at the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach location.

8.  Felix’s Fish Camp Grill in Spanish Fort, Alabama on the Causeway, (http://felixsfishcamp.com/)

Great food, awesome views of Mobile Bay, perfect end to a tour of the USS Alabama, (http://www.ussalabama.com/).

9.  Cobalt’s in Orange Beach, Alabama, (http://www.cobaltrestaurant.net/)

Underneath the Perdido Bridge it is nestled on peninsula where most of the Alabama coastal boating take place.  Beautiful outdoor patio setting, live music, plenty of space and sights for children.  Surrounded by the Perdido bay and the gulf, it’s a perfect place for lunch or dinner.

10.  Peg Leg Pete’s in Pensacola Beach, Florida (http://peglegpetes.com/)

The name itself is enough to stir up a kid’s imagination. Pensacola Beach, (http://www.visitpensacolabeach.com/) is packed with things to do.  It is one of the top 25 beaches in the US.


What are your top 10?