Happy Birthday, Charlie and Grandma Nellie

Happy Birthday, Charlie and Grandma Nellie! The Lord knows how much I love and miss you both! Thank You, Lord, for the assurance that I know they are safe and happy with You on their special day and every day! ❤

Grandma Nellie Mae was my Dad’s mom. We saw her sparingly, but she was nice. My dad didn’t really grow up with her either because he was just 5 when his dad died, and Nellie was suffering from mental illness and could not take care of him and his 14 siblings. So his older brother from the 1st marriage, who was 30 something years older, raised him. He struggled with bitterness toward her for a great while but was still glad to see her. It would not be till years later that we learned Charlie (my baby brother) was born on her birthday! She died while we were kids.

A picture we have of her as a nurse looks so much like her daughter Beulah (our aunt) that sometimes there is a playful debate over whether it’s actually Nellie or Beulah.


Charlie was my baby brother. Yes I said was. We were 10 months apart. My mom literally had him 46 days before my first birthday. He was my 1st birthday present. 😉
Below is a picture on the left when he was just 3 years old at the state fair that used to come to our local Speedway but now comes to the Agriculture Center.
In the picture on the right I was barely 12 so Charlie is 11. He’s standing on the car getting ready to lunge and hug my mom. Nathan has a hold of his leg because they wrestled all the time. We had just moved to Hickory.

Below in the left picture Charlie is in the middle of cutting up with his friends. Charlie was blessed with a multitude of friends, a handful of close guy friends, but Homey (in blue) was Charlie’s best friend.
The picture below on the right shows where he loved to be… on a roof! He was a roofer like dad. He could carry 3 bundles of shingles up a roof, but it made my dad so uncomfortable. He preferred he only carry 2… lol. (So you know, most roofers struggle to carry 1 bundle.) Charlie was very strong, yet had a very tender heart.

He also had a dream to be in law enforcement. When he met his wife, she encouraged him to follow his dreams. They were divorced after his BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training) graduation, but before he became a deputy. Here are a couple of pictures the day he got his uniform and handcuffs. He was so excited that he wanted to show off the uniform and use the handcuffs… which he did on my son Anthoni.

Charlie’s birthday is the hardest for me to mention because his loss has been the hardest for me. In 2007, my mom’s sister had died and we were at her viewing when they took us into a backroom of the funeral home to let us know that Charlie was shot and killed in my mom’s home. He was 37. It is so hard that I am writing this the day after his birthday. 30713429_10215427963030520_2759935727145344905_n (1)Sometimes it is too hard for me to talk about people I love and miss on their special days until afterwards, or not at all. It’s so personal, and I am horrible with dealing with my emotions. I have been even more shut off since Charlie’s death. Writing poetry is where I can do that because poetry allows for symbolic and vague meanings, yet allows a writer to express what they want to reluctantly say behind safe words. I learned to do that with writing at a very young age.
I miss Charlie so much it hurts more than I can say. It literally takes my breath if I think too much on it. It was such a cruel and senseless death. But as I leave you with more pictures of his smile and personality, I leave you with the same words that Christ left me.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
– 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 KJV

My baby brother is in a much better place. I would never be so cruel as to bring him back to this cold and vile world just so I could hug him but then make him have to suffer the troubles of this world, know sickness and pain again, heartache, and to worry about him every time I hear of terrorism, airplane crashes, train derailments, or the rampant deaths from flu, and the never ending growing list of friends and family dying slow painful deaths of cancer and so many other illnesses that suck the life out of people.

And if there is anyone who understands the pain of my loss but the joy of Charlie’s gain it is my Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus not only felt the loss of his dear friend Lazarus who was resurrected, but Jesus also had a dearly beloved cousin who was needlessly murdered as a party favor for a seductress, because of the influence of a heartless woman, and because of a coward who could not control his lust, and was more concerned about being a laughing stock by those who witnessed pride get the better of a weak man. John the Baptist was decapitated and had his head served on a platter during a birthday party. No one paid for his crime… YET!
Christ will have his day of justice. And so will my brother. For now, John and Charlie, and even Jesus, are now at home with our heavenly Father. No one will ever harm them again! Nor make jokes of their deaths! And because Christ STILL chose to die for us regardless of His own grief and pain, I can pray for my enemies as well. That’s just ONE more of the tender acts of mercy and grace Jesus did because of how much He loves you and me!

PRAISE GOD FOR A SAVIOR WHO LOVES…
MORE THAN WE CAN EVER UNDERSTAND! ❤
THAT IS A BIRTHDAY PRESENT WORTH CELEBRATING!

 

A Season of Distress and Grief

Lord, how simply marvelous, wonderful, and loving You are to me. Despite that I am so undeserving of You, You think nothing but good OF me! You think nothing but good FOR me! You think of me, even when I am so easy to be so distracted with the stresses and cares of my life and easily forget You are there for me.

Last night I was so distressed about so many things that I could not sleep. I was so grieved that I was distressed that it exhausted me. I was making sure to play the 3 songs You have been ministering to me with when I have been in prayer over these things:

  1. Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken by Indelible Grace
  2. Oh My Soul by Casting Crowns
  3. Fear Is a Liar by Zach Williams

Eventually I fell asleep at the computer in the middle of doing the This or That Tag. When I noticed I had, I put everything aside and went off to lay in Your arms, in Your sweet rest. There would be an early morning appointment on the way before long.

“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.”
– Job 33:14-17 KJV

Sure enough, the morning came along to stir me. Before I could even gather my senses, think on the day waiting on me, or really open my eyes I heard it! ❤

“In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!”
Sweet Hour of Prayer,
classic hymn lyrics by William Walford

This was the song You wanted in my heart! You whispered that this would be what I needed for the day that lay ahead. You brought to mind a couple of challenges You and I both knew I would be facing today, and that only You knew the ones I did not know would be waiting for me. I would need to be prepared. And these were the words You wanted me to think on. Not just to help me through what was on the way, but to praise You for being so personal, so specific, and and so loving before I could even fully join the day. It would be a reminder of how You heard each word, each distress, and knew what grieved my heart.

How sweet and intimate is the love of my God! ❤

The day has now came and went. And those challenges absolutely showed up. Fiery and fierce were the darts of the enemy. Just as You described them.

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” – Ephesians 6:15 KJV

Even now they weigh so heavy just to look upon. I would have been sorely wounded without Your warning. But just as faithful are the words and love of my Jesus! ❤

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
– John 14:27 KJV

Thank You, Father, for thinking lovingly on me. For whispering so clear what You knew I would need to hear. And for finishing my day with a sweet reminder from WordPress. 🙂

anniversary-2x

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 2 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

I close by leaving the lyrics to the whole song. Thank You for allowing me to hide all of those words in my heart that I might not sin against You! ❤ I love You! ❤

Sweet Hour of Prayer,
classic hymn lyrics by William Walford

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight:
This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

This or That Tag 4.24.18

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
– James 4:13-15 KJV

Ok, Lord, You know that is where my mind went to when I read THIS OR WHAT! 😉
Here Miss Lovely of Discovering Your Happiness has created…

  This or That Tag.
this-or-that-tagWhat kind of conversations are going on between You and our Lovely Anita
to keep these tags and nominations coming? Of course! Creative ones! 😉

So off to the questions You and I go.

Rules:

  • Thank & tag the person that has tagged you…
         Thank you, Miss Lovely! ❤
  • Attach the tag photo
  • Answers the ‘This or THAT questions
  • Tag a 10-20 friends.

LET’S GET STARTED!

  • Dog or Cat?
    • Cat
  • Netflix or YouTube?
    • both
  • Phone Call or Text?
    • Text
  • Toast or Eggs?
    • EGGS!
  • Cardio or Weights?
    • Cardio
  • Facebook or Twitter?
    • FB
  • Ice Cream Cone or Snow Cone?
    • Ice Cream
  • Mobile Games or Console Games?
    • mobile
  • While walking: Music or Podcasts?
    • podcasts
  • iOS or Android?
    • Android
  • Cake or Pie?
    • neither
  • Swimming or Sunbathing?
    • Swimming
  • Big Party or Small Gathering?
    • Small gathering
  • New Clothes or New Phone?
    • New clothes
  • Rich Friend or Loyal Friend?
    • Loyal friend
  • Football or Basketball?
    • Basketball
  • Nice Car or Nice Home Interior?
    • Nice Home Interior
  • What’s worse: Laundry or Dishes?
    • DISHES!
  • Jogging or Hiking?
    • Hiking
  • Bath or Shower?
    • Shower
  • Sneakers or Sandals?
    • sneakers
  • Glasses or Contacts?
    • Glasses
  • Hamburger or Taco?
    • taco
  • Couch or Recliner?
    • couch
  • Online Shopping or Shopping in a Store?
    • Shopping in store
  • Receive: Email or Letter?
    • either
  • Passenger or Driver?
    • Driver
  • Tablet or Computer?
    • computer
  • Most important in a partner: Intelligent or Funny?
    • a love for Christ
  • Car or Truck?
    • Car
  • Blue or Red?
    • blue
  • Money or Free Time?
    • Free Time
  • Amusement Park or Day at the Beach?
    • Day at the Beach
  • At a movie: Candy or Popcorn?
    • candy
  • Pen or Pencil?
    • Pen
  • Toilet paper: Over or Under?
    • over
  • Cups in the cupboard: Right Side Up or Up Side Down?
    • Upside down
  • Pancake or Waffle?
    • waffle
  • Coke or Pepsi?
    • Pepsi caffeine free
  • Coffee Cup or Thermos?
    • thermos with something other than coffee
  • Blinds or Curtain?
    • Curtain
  • Train or Plane?
    • Plane
  • Phone or Tablet?
    • depends
  • Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee?
    • yuck on coffee at all
  • Meat or Vegetables?
    • veggies
  • International Vacation or a New TV?
    • International Vacation
  • Save or Spend?
    • save
  • Honesty or Other’s Feelings?
    • honesty
  • Coffee or Tea?
    • Tea
  • TV or Book?
    • TV
  • Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater?
    • movie at home
  • Ocean or Mountains?
    • mountains
  • Horror Movie or Comedy Movie?
    • Comedy
  • City or Countryside?
    • Countryside
  • Winter or Summer?
    • Summer
  • Mac or PC?
    • PC
  • Console Gaming or PC Gaming?
    • PC gaming
  • Soup or Sandwich?
    • soup and a half sandwich (my usual order)
  • Card Game or Board Game?
    • depends
  • Camping or Binge Watching Shows at Home?
    • binge watching
  • Working Alone or Working in a Team?
    • alone
  • Dine In or Delivery?
    • dine in
  • Sweater or Hoodie?
    • Hoodie
  • Motorcycle or Bicycle?
    • Bicycle
  • Book or eBook?
    • book
  • When sleeping: Fan or No Fan?
    • fan
  • TV Shows or Movies?
    • both

My Nominees:
The Graced Citizen
Therapy Bits
Not Easily Broken
God’s Anointed Princess
Just a Quiet Girl
Words of a Little Heart
BUniq
Sophie Harris
Peacock Poetry
Jessy
Girly Christian
Invisibly Me
The Godly Chic Diaries
Caution District
Tamie’s Alcove
Reading Between the Lyme
Dreamer’s Outlet
Whosoever Will May Come
Removing the Vail
My Thoughts Exactly
Life With Jesus
Nana’s Love Notes
Defining Yellow
The Nerdy Lion

Congrats to all the nominees! Please do not feel obligated to participate.
If you do, please do not rush. It’s meant to give you a light hearted smile! 🙂
Do it in your time. God loves you!

Thank you again, Miss Lovely! Me and God love you!

Week 3 on the PCT with Kimberly

For all of those helping me pray for Kimberly on her PCT hike, she is doing awesome!

She has already hit 300 miles! 🙂31206184_10155215758961035_8237159365719621632_n

has jumped off cliffs into water!31225841_10155215759041035_7588188394249781248_n

and is making the most out of everything she can.
She has hiking buddies and
great views from her front porch
(her tent at night when she camps down for the night)30728150_10155198379261035_1121127665600823296_n

and is taking plenty of pictures
(that she has given me permission to share with you!) 🙂

This is a burn area.  😦 31073316_10155210790881035_6264394020953260032_n

And a gorgeous sunset!  ❤ 31230460_10155216626996035_3991404071285161984_n

Kimberly is also so excited to know you all are helping me to pray for her!
So please keep it up! You are encouraging her! ❤  🙂 29511773_2055391427809044_3113805081282536436_n

 

Happy Birthday, Granddad!

Happy Birthday, Granddad! Another one of my loved ones who is with You, Jesus! ❤ Oh how I miss him so. He’s been gone 40 years but I miss him like he left yesterday! I never cared for having an hero growing up, TV or real life, but my Granddad and my dad came the closest of anyone! ❤ He was loving, so protective, and very much a family man! His death was the kind that affected everyone in the family from 3 yrs old to very senior. He was very loved.

 

I love this picture because it is where our family “started”…LOL. My grandmother loved to tell us the story (a true one btw) of how she rode off on a motorcycle to marry a guy she had practically just met. They eloped to South Carolina, and on the way back they ran out of gas and had no money. A kind passerbyer gave them and the bike a ride in the back of their truck to get them back up the mountain. She got tickled when the first time I heard this story I asked, “You mean they had motorcycles back in that day.” And that was after first tickling her by asking after seeing her picture in her leather jacket, “You mean they made leather jackets back then.” 🙂

gail33 - Copy

This picture was taken when my grandparents found out my granddad was dying of lung cancer. He had worked on the railroad. That is why the “I’ve been working on the railroad all the live long day” song makes me smile. It makes me think on my granddaddy. He took me to the local store every weekend to get a new coloring book and crayons. And when I was in a regional spelling bee for my 2nd grade class, he gave me a $5 bill even though I came in 6th. He said it was because my mom said the girl who came in 2nd bawled her eyes out, but I didn’t “pitch a fit like that”. He was proud of me for accepting my placement with good character. I bought a hamburger so big it wouldn’t fit in my mouth. And I remember it had purple onions. The first time I had ever seen purple onions. All of these are memories that my granddaddy gave me, and so many more.

I love and miss you, Granddad! I so look forward to your hug more than you know! ❤ Hug Jesus for me and tell Him “Thank you” for helping you to get baptized when you were so scared in the hospital. You were so afraid of dying without being baptized, and a pastor friend was able to work it out to baptize you in the therapy pool. You didn’t care that it could make you sick. You wanted Jesus! You wanted to obey him no matter the cost! ❤ You set a great example! ❤

Happy Birthday, Geneva!

Happy Birthday to our dearest Geneva! Lord God, she is so blessed to be with you! THAT is definitely a birthday present! ❤ Geneva is the biological mother of my brother-in-law and my adopted sister. She passed in 2007, just a couple of weeks after my aunt, my brother, and my pastor’s wife passed. She had diabetes, which led to a leg amputation, and quickly declined in her health. She had such a fun spirit. That is why I love this picture. He shows her playful personality!

10501775_10203728815839152_4515118760470159060_n

Thanks for all the laughs, the hugs, the thoughtfulness, those 2 beautiful girls!, those 2 rowdy boys, and the advice on guys 😉 !, a sweet kindness, and a fierce fight. I remember the many birthdays you and mom got to share together. Even in times when you two didn’t along, you were still so alike! 🙂 I am most glad to have been present when you prayed for salvation when Pastor Bray came to visit! Now you have eternal life, a brand new leg, a brand new body, and ONLY love in your heart… because that is heaven! Say hey to mom for me, and give a hug to Jesus too! Keeping your family in prayer as often as the Lord allows! Me and God love you! See ya soon! ❤