5.27.18 Update: Kimberly’s PCT Hike

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

 Legs (Kimberly’s trail name) has hit 650 miles!

She has officially completed 1/4 of the PCT!

Only 2,000 miles to go!

Sorry to be behind on the updates. I have been keeping up with her, but I have been slacking on passing those updates to you who have been helping to praying for her.
(I’m still struggling with suddenly and randomly falling asleep throughout the day).
In case you are just joining us, my cousin Kimberly (whose trail name is Legs) is hiking from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Below are just some of the many pictures she has shared. Enjoy them! My favorites are her smiles! 🙂

 

You can see when she hit 500!32312931_10155253131331035_2161704499465420800_n

600! ❤33046831_10155271685026035_5261820449293074432_n

and then 650! 33310156_10155277061251035_4638583053550092288_n

That’s 1/4 of the trail!33676458_10155281440221035_1872404199715635200_n

 🙂 It’s worth repeating! 🙂

Congratulations, Cousin Kimberly on your accomplishment of completing 1/4 of the Pacific Coast Trail! That’s a lot of hiking!
The Lord has constantly made me think on your journey with His song.

God Leads Us Along.

He is surely leading you along!

❤ Me and God love you! ❤

My Blessed Mother’s Day 2018

❤ Blessed is the woman who walks with God! ❤

This is the overwhelming message You sent me this Mother’s Day 2018! How that touches my heart, Lord, that You would send me this message through the many blessings You showered me with!

First there was the Spasday You gave Anthoni and I as a combination of celebrating his birthday that just happened to fall on Mother’s Day this year, as it sometimes does.
I posted that day to the world as a testimony and praise to You in

Happy Birthday to My Son Anthoni
Spasday5

because You know we had to carefully follow You in making that day happen 3 days before the actual day. If it had been the actual day, it would not have happened. The actual day itself came so close to being a normal day of family warfare. We even lost the keys to the car during the stressful event. But You in Your loving mercy and omnipotent sovereignty displayed the omniscient Father You are to each of us! ❤

After getting Anthoni’s back up keys to the car, going to get pizza & breadsticks that were Anthoni’s chosen dinner, and watching Anthoni receive his birthday presents (reclining cot and chair from his aunt, a Gamestop giftcard and gaming t-shirt from his uncles), I was handed a bag of goodies. I first thought it was him showing me more of his presents. But it came with 2 cards for me!

The first one was from my brother and brother-in-law.Md18.6

Md18.7

The other card was from my son Anthoni.
(with his unique humor 😉 )
Md18.8

Md18.9

Then I opened the bag of goodies! 🙂
❤ Candy and a rose! ❤
My son knows I love some Reese Cups ❤ ,
and this one has Reese’s Pieces inside the cups! ❤Md18.1

And that wasn’t JUST a rose. It was a light-up rose! 🙂
I love a rose that won’t die! ❤

Also in the bag was a small note pad and stylus pen!

Then it was church time! I got to go to Your house, sing with Your people, pray with Your people, fellowship with Your people, and hear a powerful message from our family friend Pastor Boyer on Running Our Race. And these were not just any people, this was longtime familiar faces of dear friends, church family! And the Mother’s Day gift for us moms was so You… being so personal! ❤

The cutest little stationary book!
The cover read…
Blessed is the woman who walks with God.Md18.10

Inside was a note pad
(with the same message at the bottom of each sheet),
a pen, a sticky note pad, and sticky strips! 🙂
personally put together by a dear friend! ❤Md18.11

I’m familiar with the talent of that dear friend, as she has made me personal stationary books before! She is so talented, creative, sweet, and very dedicated to serving God! She is the same friend who treated me to a Wendy’s Frosty and Taco chips not too long ago! And that pen wasn’t just a pen! It has a light up too! With the same message on the pen!Md18.12

All day long, You were with me… with us as a family. Satan wanted to disrupt and ruin, but what he meant for evil You worked to good! Everyone had a good day! There was plenty of pizza, bread sticks, and even the homemade cookies and cream cake that Anthoni specifically asked his aunt for. Everyone was able to eat. No one was sick. The family squabbles were put on the back burner. And even the rain that threatened to interrupt was the sunniest day! Smiles! Laughs! My brother using his phone to take pictures while using snap chat with each of us to entertain himself!

Your message was personal and clear.

Blessed is the woman who walks with God.

❤ And for You to say that! ❤

❤ Confirmation of walking with You! ❤

❤ Be still my heart… and know He is God! ❤

Praise Your Holy name, Father!
Thank You for making me a Mom!
Thank You for Your many blessings!
Thank You for family!
Thank You for Your message…
From You to me! ❤
❤ I love You! ❤

 

5.3.18 Update: Kimberly’s PCT Hike

An update for those helping me pray for Kimberly on her PCT hike:

Kimberly has now hiked 400 miles!31753191_10155233901676035_3468862596113760256_n

I thought I would share more pictures with you this time, as Kimberly has been taking so many awesome pictures. I love the mile marking pictures like above, as well as the feet shots, the sky (especially when it looks like she’s above the clouds, looking like she’s on top pf the world, or when it looks like the sky is on fire), all the trail pics, one pathway that doesn’t look big enough to make room for one foot, a spider caught in its own web, power lines, train tracks, bridges, Kimberly drinking her beloved Sun Drop 😉 , the cliff she and her friends were jumping off of into the water, cool trees, and so much more.
So I leave you with those pictures.

Keep praying!

 

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!

 

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! ❤

Happy Birthday, Mom and Gran! <3

Happy Birthday, Mom and Gran! I love and miss you both! ❤ That’s a message You can pass on to them for me, Lord! I know they’re both with You, but You were the one who blessed me with them, and You are the one who holds and keeps them now! Hug them for me! And Mom and Gran, hug Jesus for me!

❤ I love you all and hope to see you soon! ❤

10342997_10203728912081558_6617778088541939163_n

This picture was taken just after I was 19 and a single mom of the cutest little curls! This was a picture my grandmother wanted as a 4 generational picture. She had my mom. My mom had me. And I had my son. They were both so loving of my little man! Today would have been both of their birthdays! My grandmother would have been 93, and my mom would be 69. My grandmother has been with Jesus 18 years, and my mom has been with them both for 2 and 1/2 years. They are with several of our family members who have birthdays in April too. I will post them as they come up this week. April use to be a very active birthday month. Heaven gets to celebrate then now. One day will join them! ❤

❤ What a day that will be when we all get to heaven. Some glad morning. When my journey’s over I am going home! Soon and very soon. I’ll fly away! ❤

4.17.18 Update: Kimberly’s PCT Hike

Hi, Y’all! Here’s an update for all of those helping me pray for my Cousin Kimberly who is hiking the PCT from Mexico to Canada! She is doing so awesome! She has plenty of the most spectacular scenery pictures, many even shot in the panoramic view. This week Kimberly passed 200 miles already, and that’s even with a couple of Zero days (days she doesn’t hike so there are no miles accounted for).

Along the way, Kimberly has met a lot of people and gained some trail family, saw snakes and lizards, hiked rocks and deserts, and has really embraced a lot more freedom with self expression (**which will be why I am not including even a link this time, as there would be language AND triggers for my dear friends in ministry, with young children, and struggling with addictions**). She is really enjoying her hiking adventure, and her smiles are huge! Thank you for helping me to pray for her! I hope you will help me to keep her in prayer! She still still has quite a way to go. Hopefully that will give all of this winter weather a chance to clear our before she gets up north.

Thank you for being patient with me on sharing her update from this week. I’m still having issues struggling with sleep, even under the wheel or at red lights, even if I do get good sleep. My body just wants to shut down. My neurologist is having me see a couple of my specialists, including my sleep doctor. She wants to see if it is part of my sleep apnea or something else. Otherwise, we are working on trying different things, including changing meds around, adding one to keep me awake during the day if need be, and today I started back with my regular physical therapy team. I have not seen them since November when I was sent off to lymphedema/lipedema therapy.

God bless you each one who prays!
❤ God loves you! ❤

Happy 74th Birthday, Pappy!

Happy Birthday to my Pappy! He’s 74 today, but having his 14th birthday with Jesus.
He has my mom and baby brother with him, as well as many other family & friends.
My birthday present to him is remembering what a good man he was.

navydad

He served in the Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He was on one of the ships held hostage/in the crossfire
of Cuba and America’s famous standoff.
He was up every single day by 5am until he had lung surgery in 2003.

young dad

He worked hard, took care of his wife and family,
including those he took in as family,
and did whatever it took to make sure they were OK.
He was a very active and loving granddad to Anthoni.

grandparents

He gave his all to his family,
and towards his latter years to His heavenly father.
His pastor was his buddy.

310985_284043214943883_1883253_n

Thank you, Dad, for all that you did for us (your family)!
Thank you for being a man my son could look up to and count on.
Thank you for your unconditional love.
It helped me to see a very valuable side of our Father in heaven…
how much He loves us, His patience, His mercy, His grace,
and leaving His wisdom for us to grow in.

ts

Thank you, Father God, for giving me the dad I had!
For giving Anthoni the granddad he had!
And for all the love and sweat you helped my daddy with
in providing for and caring for his family!
I sure do miss him. So much it hurts. I miss mom and Charlie too!
But I know you are taking care of them, and that I will see them again… SOON! ❤

Happy Birthday, Pappy! I love and Miss you!! ❤

“NEW” Series, Introduction

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?
I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
 – Isaiah 43:19 KJV

Lord, here we are… finally getting around to this “NEW” series You whispered into my ear in December to begin in January. Not necessarily to celebrate a New Year or as a resolution. But to give glory to You for new things… new blessings that You have sent my way… and will be sending yet. I have so much to thank You for… including this new year of life. Thank You for helping me to Choose Life and to continue to Look Up. ❤

Just coming into this week was challenging. On New Year’s Eve, unpredicted layers of black ice froze the roads over so quickly that the roads looked normal and clear. Though cars and people were unable to drive or walk without accidents, the radar was showing nothing. Two tractor trailers jackknifed making it 7 hours before my brother, brother-in-law, and family friend got off the local interstate. During that time, when the car idled the heat did not work. After getting off and getting gas, the car wouldn’t go into gear from idling in the cold so long. It took another 4 or 5 hours to get a tow and home.

During that time, our heat went out. We have propane heat, and a wood stove for back up, but the furnace stopped and we ran out of wood and coal. It took the week to get the furnace working, the ice out of the gas tank regulator, some wood and coal for the stove, as well as get the hot water back. So many souls You sent. And that stranger that said, “It’s a God thing. Don’t ask questions.” May You bless each one so richly!

During this whole time, You had so many WordPress friends praying and sending encouraging messages when they didn’t even know what was going on. How much their prayers were needed… and heard… and answered! Thank You for each one!

So what has the new year brought so far? New challenges, of course! Anyone who thinks they will be without struggles, falls, challenges (of a negative nature), or no problems at all are setting themselves up for that inevitable discouragement that follows an unrealistic outlook. But it also brought new reasons to pray, to exercise faith, to witness to strangers, to meet new fellow believers, to see that there are still people who do good.

Thank You for fixing the furnace, hot water heater, gas regulator, for wood and coal, names of reliable sources for the future, new friends, and a renewed sense of family seeing things through together. Thank You for safety. Thank You for the driver who towed family off the roads. I have so many praises to give You that I’m sure I’ll fail to remember them all. Likewise, I have many people to pray over. But I can trust You with each prayer and praise. Your answered prayers and mercies are new every morning.

I also trust You to help me remember those things that You had laid on my heart to include in this “NEW” Series. It’s not to be just January. Your newness in our lives is ongoing. Whenever You lead, I will thank and praise. So let’s get started because as the song says, “I’ve got so much to thank [You] for.” ❤

Gifts 2017 #11 Compassion

Christmas Countdown: Compassion is such a GIFT: Sometimes forgiveness can be such a hard thing, or at least a needed repeat to achieve, especially where others have done such harm, with no remorse, and no concern. It is at times like these that compassion can be so much easier than forgiveness… in realizing how much that person is hurting themselves more than anyone, and there is nothing you can do but forgive… have compassion. Thank you, Lord, for your genuine compassion and willingness to forgive… ME! ❤

Gifts 2017 #4 Family, Heaven, Technology

Christmas Countdown: Family is a gift. As we have lost so many, it makes each one still here a gift. I thank God for my sister Sandra, my son Anthoni, my brother Nathan Brookshire, my brother-in-law Tim, my stepdad Bobby, my uncles, my aunts, and of all my cousins, and that includes adopted, foster, and in-laws. I will be tagging you each that I can on FB. The most important thing we learn from family is we do not choose them. God does. God wants us to know it’s ALL about being His children, and trusting in God the Father, His precious Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We are ALL family in Him. THANK YOU, GOD ❤ for family!!

Heaven is a gift. Heaven is not just a place that awaits us, but it holds some of the people whom we love and miss so dearly! We have family, friends, church family, and so many more safely in the arms of the One Christmas is all about. We will meet that special Someone some day, and His Dad! And just think… all of those He used US to either lead to salvation or encourage in some way will be there too! Then one final Christmas day, WE will receive our gift of entering Heaven, and taking up residence in the home He went away to prepare for us! ❤

Technology is a GIFT: It may seem trivial to say this, but by the grace of God there is so much that can be done through technology: listening to audio-bibles, sermons, hymns, Christian radio, Christian Christmas music, encouraging others, praying for others, watching a plane fly across the country to keep up with loved ones making it safely home, using Google maps to help someone lost while on cellphone, and so much more, including this moment of being able to praise my Lord before the world! ❤ Love you, Father! ❤ Love you, Jesus! ❤ Love you, Holy Ghost! ❤

Gifts 2017 #2 My Son Anthoni, Church, Rest

Christmas Countdown: Anthoni has been my gift from the Lord from the moment God answered my prayers with his arrival. Those little arms, precious hugs, & loving smiles grew into a caring young man, who has had a special thing with the Lord all on his own from the womb. I can’t explain everything, but I sure can appreciate & praise the Lord for allowing me to be a part of it! Thank you, God, for entrusting me with your gift. ❤ Love u both ❤ God 1st… & praise you that Anthoni completely understands THAT truthful statement & LOVES it like that! ❤

The house of the Lord (aka church) is a gift! If we would put as much focus on making God welcome in His house as we do for us in our own, how amazing would the house of the Lord be glorified.

Rest is a GIFT: Praise the Lord for a day of rest, and for a God who promises rest unto his people. A season of rest is such a beautiful gift from God, ESPECIALLY when one is so run down. Revive us again, O Lord, in your perfect rest. Even you rested after creating the world 🙂 We love you! ❤

It’s Snowy Around Here

Lord, I was going to call this 1st Snow 2017, but many could debate that as there has been “some” snow here and there. It is the 1st “big” snow. Everyone has been posting their pics. I am 3 days late, but it was a big enough snow to leave plenty laying around, as you can see from the neighbor’s snow man. Anthoni and Sandra (son and sister) were so excited about that snowman.

There was snow out back everywhere too. 😉

I then ventured out front… well to the porch anyway.
As you can see the steps were a bit snowy too. 🙂

I took a picture of the car, but the sun made such a glare. At first I was going to delete it, but thought, “That is exactly what it’s like trying to look at everything when not in the shade. Let them see just how blinding it is.

The same thing happened with the wishing well.
(which is leaning now) 😦

Even the bushes were still holding snow pretty good. And considering where they were near the house, that would explain why we lost satellite service. We were very blessed, Lord, to have only been without Satellite. I pray for our family and friends who were (and some still are) without power, water, or heat.

But from the looks of the tree closest to the house not having as much now, that would explain why the satellite came back on yesterday afternoon. 🙂1stsnow.10

Yep, it was pretty snowy around here, and still is. But with Your help, I will get that snow off the car, and get to my therapy tomorrow. For while I am praying to You for my therapists to get their cars, driveways, and steps cleared safely as well, I am also reminded of the stanza from Amazing Grace that sings,

“The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.”

May we be ready for that day, Lord.