Keep Your Faux-Christian Tract.

keep your faux christian tract

Stranded.

Have you ever been stranded?  No, not like that- I mean REALLY stranded?  Not “I can call ____ and they’ll be here in 4 hours or less” kind of stranded.  I mean I lived in Norfolk, VA.  I was stuck in Las Vegas, Nevada’s airport.  I had missed my flight due to the hotel I was staying in.  I had no extra cash- totally gone.  I knew no one and I was there on a business trip that I paid for myself because I ran one of those out-of-your-home, paid-$200-for-this-kit kind of MLM businesses.  (which I’m not a fan of, btw.  That company is now out of business.)

I knew no one.  I had nothing but my carry-on.  No food, no water, (the security team took it from me), no way to get anywhere, no money and no hope.

I did what any sensible woman would do.  I had an asthma attack and then I cried for 3 hours straight.  I called everyone who had a phone to beg for some money to get home.  I sat there in the Las Vegas airport 5 feet from a woman who stared at me from the time I first collapsed into tears until her flight was called.

She gets up with her husband and puts a piece of paper into my hand and tells me “honey, you don’t have to cry, just give it all to Jesus.”.  And then walks away.

Seriously?

Lady, you watched me cry for hours.  You didn’t once come over to get to know me.  You didn’t see if I had a need, or if you could pray with me.  You handed me one of those Christian tracts that no body reads anyway about my choice to go to hell or not.

You had ZERO clue that I was already a saved Christian and if I wasn’t, you assumed that this little piece of paper did your duty of sharing the gospel.  You had no idea of my need, you just told me in your own way that this little paper was going to solve all of my problems.

I’m sure you felt good after that.  I’m sure you felt as if you had done your Christian “duty”.  You may have felt like you earned your evangelical merit badge for the day.  Congratulations.

Here’s what you didn’t do:

You didn’t earn any souls for Christ that day.  You didn’t earn a friend, and you didn’t win your spiritual merit badge.  What you did do was hurt a fellow sister in Christ.  What you did do was ignore a true need so you could stay in your seat and  not have to learn about a problem that you may or may not have been able to resolve, but at the least you could have prayed for.  What you didn’t do was offer compassion, only cold, unfeeling paper telling me to choose Christ over hell.

Now, I know this sounds bitter, and you’ll likely never actually read it, but it did make a huge impact on me that day. I vowed that day to not be you.  I vowed that no matter how uncomfortable it would be, I will talk to people and see if there’s an immediate need that I can take care of.  If there is something beyond my capability, I will pray for them.  I will pray with them, and I won’t be ashamed to do it wherever I am.

You see, your hurting me (however unintentional and I don’t believe you intended to truly hurt me) made me a better Christian.  I vowed right then and there to never hand out those crappy little tracts because what good would it to if that person were already saved?  Nothing.  What good would it do if that person weren’t saved?  Nothing- they’d mock it or not read it.  It’s passive and lukewarm Christianity at best and it does not win souls, or help.

And being lukewarm and passive is no way for a Christian to be.

I Believe in You.

I beleive in you

Four simple words.

It’s the smallest gesture you could possibly say to someone.  It takes you virtually no time to say it and yet it makes such an immense impact.

I have been working hard on writing books/ stories and cookbooks for creativity and profit.  My husband just sent me a text with those four small, simple words.

“I believe in you.”

I can now officially conquer my world and slay any dragon in my way because the man I love; the one I will cherish until the moment of my death believes in me.

And I in him.

When the Horrible Happens

When the Horrible Happens

Yesterday was a bad day.   Zoe (11) was holding Chavi (4 months) and she slipped and fell.  BOOM!  I heard this loud crash in my kitchen.  I, of course, was writing in my office so I didn’t know what happened.

Then I heard it.

The shriek of my infant.

You know that moment when your heart stops and you have a just under a millisecond to decide how you’re going to react, knowing that no matter what you choose, that the crossroads you’re at determines where you’re headed and usually no choice is a good one?  I had that yesterday. I’ll get back to this in a second after I tell you what happened.

I grabbed Chavi from Zoe’s arms and asked what happened.  She told me she fell.  I had already gathered this information from the crash I heard, but what I didn’t know at that time, was that my infant was bleeding onto my shoulder.

I tried comforting her as much as I could and when I pulled her back to assess, I saw it.  Her crimson life-force pouring out of her mouth.  Instantly, panic set in.  I was terrified for my child.  I had no idea how bad it was, and my heart was breaking for her anguish, fear and pain.

You see, her gumless mouth ended up biting almost all the way through her tongue.  When Zoe fell, Chavi’s jaw was slammed up into her tongue.  She ended up biting about 1/2 way through the upper portion of her tongue and 1/4 of the way through the bottom.

Long story short, we went to one hospital, was transferred to another one via ambulance where they sewed through my child’s muscle without even a local anesthetic.  (Don’t get me started on how much THAT pissed me off!)

We got home and was finally able to get some pain killers in her and numb her tongue a little (Thank you, Orajel company!)  But she refused to nurse.  I can’t say that I blame her.  I was able to pump a little and we fed her through a dropper syringe.

Horrible.  The entire ordeal was a horrible experience.  Chavi wouldn’t be comforted by anyone.  She refused to nurse for a majority of the time until finally in the middle of the night, she wanted it for emotional comfort if nothing else.

I tell you that story to tell you this:

How we deal with things will determine how our life goes.  I had the choice in multiple scenarios here to treat people horribly out of my own fear, and anger, but where would that have gotten me?  I could have gotten frustrated at my oldest child and made her feel worse.  She already felt like nothing for accidentally hurting her helpless sister.  I could have yelled at the nurses in the ER for saying that Zoe fell on top of Chavi  (which from what i gathered, she didn’t) When I clearly told them I had no idea what happened, I was on my office.

I could have freaked out when the doctor couldn’t do anything for her and we had to be transferred.  I could have physically assaulted the nurse when I was told to leave (Thank GOD for my husband staying in the room) because I was too emotional.  I could have said some very un-Christian things to the same nurse when I was allowed back in the room and found out that they essentially performed a surgery on my unmedicated, fully-feeling-the-pain, child because it was more convenient for them to do it that way instead of taking her to the OR and sedate her so she wouldn’t feel it.  (I was told “it’s better this way”.  Better for whom?)

My point is I could have made this situation a lot worse.

With that said, thank you to the doctors at Dale Medical and Flowers hospital as well as the EMTs that took care of my daughter.  I am grateful for you making the best out of a horrific situation and making my daughter whole again.

I need to be a better blogger.

I need to be a better blogger

I’m trying, y’all.  I really am.

I am trying to herd my ducks to the pond and they’re not walking in a line.   It’s like they’re suffering with ADHD and are meth’d out or something.

Yeah, I know.  My sense of humor.  It’s weird.

“How can you post Christian blog posts and then talk about meth in another one?”

Simple.  There really is an answer for it- you ready?  It’s good, it’s juicy and it’s scandalous and completely bucks the system we have in place on the internet for categorizing things… ready?  I mean, REALLY ready?  Ok, here it is:

Because I’m not a one-note kind of girl.

Shocker, I know.

Think about this.  How many hats do you wear?  I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an entrepreneur, a writer/author, a die-hard coffee junkie, a Christian, a sinner and SO. MUCH. MORE.  Are you one thing?  Do you ONLY think about one thing or do one thing?  No?  Then why would you assume that’s how my blog should be.

I understand.  I don’t go to recipe blogs looking for life-advice.  BUT, I do go to lifestyle blogs (like this one) and not have any pre-conceived notions about how she should run it.

Ok, with that said, I’m working on being a better blogger, I have the recipe books premier on the 5th, I’m helping a friend move to this God-forsaken part of the country on Saturday and then I’m going to be holing myself up in my office all day on Sunday to work.

Yes, I”ll have my coffee pot on.  I’ll only see people to feed Chavi and to accept the random food my family leaves as sacrificial offerings to my creativity.

Until next time, dearies!

Refreshing Your Spirit.

Refreshing your Spirit

 

I’m an earthy girl.  If you ask my husband he’d swear I’m a hippy at heart.

I love walking barefoot on the earth.  I love feeling the springtime sun on my skin.  I REALLY love the scent of petrichor.  (For all of you who aren’t Doctor Who fans, that’s the scent of the earth after the rainfall.)  It makes me feel connected to everything living.

Don’t roll your eyes.  This isn’t some pseudo-science crap, this is how I refresh my spirit.

Careful, Heather.  You’re dangerously close to being on the cusp of paganism here.

No, I’m not and here’s why.

Y’all know I’m a Christian.  I may not be the best at it, but that’s why God has granted me grace.  Anyhoo, who made the earth and it’s elements?  Whose sun am I standing under?  Who created the rain, and the dirt and the ensuing smell that somehow recharges me?

Why do we think getting back to nature is a pagan/hippy thing?  What is it about Christianity that has to be so chemical instead of appreciating what God has made for us?  We can appreciate a sunset and say it was painted by God’s hand, but as soon as we step into a wooded area and feel “aaah, home”, OH NO!  warning bells and whistles and red lights are going off.  Danger Will Robinson- she’s going to become a tree hugging moonlight naked dancer and name her kids things like Patchouli!

I have a friend who jokes that she’s allergic to nature.  I am exactly the opposite.  I don’t feel “right” if I’m cooped up in a building all day.  My ideal vacation is camping in the mountains.  I would gladly give up civilization right now if I could keep only 1 convenience.  (Indoor plumbing for those of you curious.)

Now, there are Christians who will argue vehemently that the church is the place to refresh your spirit.  And my question is “why”?  Jesus said that the Temple itself should be a house of prayer.  Not a place where you go and hear a motivational speech.  Now, I have no problems with church or going there to hear a sermon, but that’s not the intended function of a church.  The body of Christ is also the church.  It’s not just a building, and we’re to be in prayer for one another.  Praying for others is a wonderful thing, and I recommend it highly.  But why is that the be-all/ end-all of going to church?  I know too many people who sit in the pew for an hour and cuss someone out on their drive home.  I am not sure how you view it, but to me, that’s not spiritual refreshment.

The woods may not be your thing.  It could be the ocean.  Frankly, there are too many things that eat the things that can eat me in the ocean.  I’m good, no need to go there for me.  Not to mention, sand.  JUST NO.

But, to each their own.  If going to the rodeo refreshes your spirit, or walking among the zoo animals or streaking… no, don’t do that one… but you get my point- whatever it is that invigorates you and resets you to where you’re receptive to God’s still small voice, go do it for yourself.

You can’t give to others if you’re empty.  We’ve all heard the cliche “you can’t pour water out of an empty jar”.  Well, a lot of times, cliche’s are true.  Please- do something for yourself, even if it’s taking a bubble bath with candles, a good glass of wine and a good book.  (Wait, did I just inadvertently tell you my second favorite way to unwind?  Sure did send the good books, good wine and candles my way, people.)

Until next time, dearies.

E-book launch!

E book Launch

Hello Dearies!

By now, if you’ve followed my blog in any capacity, you know we have an XXL family.  9 people.  And for some reason, they like to eat.

Like, a lot.

Well, I am bringing our recipes to your table!

I’m SUPER excited to announce that I will be launching several E-books in my 30 Days series!

I’m finishing up last minute preparations and needed adjustments.  It’s a LOT of work, but it’s going to be so worth it!  Best part- they are going to be less than $5!  Because I also know you’re on a budget (who isn’t these days?!) they’ll be launching for $2.99 a piece!  That is a STEAL!  30 recipes for 3 bucks.  That’s 10 cents a recipe!  How can you beat that?!

Good food on a budget.  I feel you- that’s why I’ve written these e-books.  I have been working on these for weeks, some in the collection I’ve had for years.  I truly hope you’ll give it a try!

Mark your calendars.  August 5th.  That’s the date.  I’ll have a post with all of the links once they’re launched.  I can’t wait, I’m excited and I hope that these recipes will bless your family, as they’ve blessed mine!

Start Following Your Dreams Today!

Start Following Your Dreams Today

 

I was talking to my wonderful neighbor yesterday on Facebook and I sent her the 1st chapter of the book I’m writing. I am always nervous when I put myself out there creatively, because we all like to be acknowledged when we do something we love and it’s subject to someone else’s opinion.  We want to be sure that we’re pleasing to our audience.  -One of the reasons I love stage so much, is I can take my character and turn her into something truly expressive.

Anyway, the basic gist of the conversation was that she always wanted to learn something.  She’s wanted to play guitar and write songs.  You see, my neighbor has always been in a “man’s world”.  She was in the Army, in a field dominated by men.  She’s an all-around rock star and she told me something that I don’t want to forget.  In fact, the wisdom that she gave to me, I want to pass on.

This is what I gleaned from our conversation.

Why wait until you feel the “perfect” time is to learn a new skill, or follow your dreams?  If you want to learn how to fix outboard motors for boats, or how to become an exotic pet groomer or whatever, what are you waiting for?  Sweetie, Christmas comes but once a year and it usually doesn’t have the toys of “life goals” in the fat man’s bag.  (I was about to say “sack” and take this conversation in a WHOLE new direction!

What are you waiting for to make your dreams happen?

I”m not telling you to give up your 6 figure income to start a chinchilla farm.  What I’m saying is in addition to working your 6 figure income, why not start your chinchilla farm?   Since most of us live in the real world, we can’t just stop what we’re doing for income.  Like me, I can’t just stop teaching my children to write full time.  Don’t get me wrong, if I had a way to make my dreams happen, I’d install a picc line and mainline caffeine directly into my bloodstream so I’d only sleep on weekends to get everything done.  As it is, I am fixin’ to (like that?) start teaching the kids again, and adding 3 more to the mix of FT homeschool, as well as my freelance writing career, and writing books for publication.  Oh, and the blog.

Bring on the 60+ hour work weeks and the slow cooker meals.  Hey, hubs and kids like to be fed every now and then, and for some reason they all look to me to do it.  No problem, we have tons of ways to make them fed.

But seriously- what dreams and passions do you have?  For me, I love the written word.  I love how combinations of them can transform you, inspire you or completely devastate you.  I adore how syntax brings to life the mundane.

My dream is to be a full-time writer while having all of our bills paid off and have a farm where we have sheep and chickens and a huge garden and a house that I can entertain.  I want to be able to be a philanthropist because I put my God-given talents to work.  (more on that blog post tomorrow!)

Full disclosure- I’m going to monetize this blog soon.  Look, we’re a homeschooling family of 9 and you’d do everything you can to support your children, right?  Well, this is how I can contribute.  My husband gets out of the Army in a year, and I need a way to support our family while he’s in school to make a better life for us. 🙂

This post has given me so many ideas for future posts, y’all!

Desperation Is SO not your color

Desperation does not look good on you

 

I learned something about myself today.

I’m desperate.

Desperation does not make for a pretty me.  Seriously.  I hate it.  I hate feeling like my life is lost and out of control.  Why am I desperate?    Good freakin’ question.

You see, I have a very, VERY (I hate that word.  It’s a lazy way to express yourself, but I digress,) hard time accepting help, and I certainly don’t ask for it.  Why should I?  I grew up with the adage “if you need help, ask.  If you don’t- prove it.”  Well, I’m always out to prove I don’t need help.

So, what is making me so desperate?

Well, it’s need and it usually revolves around money.  You see, my ex-husband isn’t paying his court ordered child support like he’s supposed to.  Suffice it to say, he’s over $14,000 in debt to me.    That’s a lot of money.  I put that into terms my kids can understand and it basically equated to a month in Disney World parks.  Or, in terms my girls really get: over 1,400 American Girl Dolls.  Or a new car.  Or a house with land bought out-right in some parts of Oklahoma or Kentucky, or….  You get my point.  It would literally pay off a huge chunk of our debt.

Not only do I have that, my next door neighbor’s tree fell and destroyed the roof of part of my house.

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Our foundation is in desperate (ha! there’s that word again) need of repair, our AC quit -great for South Alabama in the summer with a 3 month old- and I’m supposed to be planning a wedding.  Post on that one later.
Whining.  Whining and desperation.  Worry.  None of these look good on people.

I didn’t tell you everything above to make you feel sorry for me, or feel guilty; you have no obligation to either.  We all have problems.  Yours may be greater than mine.  I posted it to show you that I am desperate and focusing on them- and this is what I learned about myself.

When you focus on what’s directly in front of you, you don’t see what’s up ahead.  Think of it like this:  when you’re driving down a highway and there are line breaks where you can change lanes, do you focus on the next line, and the next one and next one as you drive, or do you look further ahead to a point and make mental adjustments as needed?

When I drive, I tend to look further down the road.  And while I may not see my destination immediately, I can see my next move.  Where I’m going next.  What I’ll do at the next crossroads.  Just focus on the next solution in front of you.

So, back to my situation- I have about a $40,000 need between everything right now, so I’m not only laying it at Christ’s feet (God is our provider in all situations) but I’m also actively seeking how I can fix my situation.  Yes, God provides, but he gives us the tools so that we can help ourselves.  The bible has a parable about this.  Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

What I take away from this in my situation is stop being lazy, go do what you need to do to make things right so that when the time comes you will have what you need.  Stop waiting for other people to make it right for you, and go start your own business work diligently, AND smartly (two key words there!) and go take care of what you need to.

Now, a business may not be right for you, but I’ll tell you what, I’d rather work 80+ hours a week for myself and my family than give it to someone else for an amount of money they deem fit for the job while spending that time away from my children.

I’m going to wrap it up here, and will keep you all updated about how I got things going and how I am taking care of what I need to.

Be blessed!