I hope everyone had a great Merry Christmas, along with enjoying your family.
Over the Holidays, I have been thinking of one very special lady. Not sure why she has popped into my thoughts. Haha
Have you ever met someone that just stays with you, even when they are long gone you still think about this person off and on. Well here lately it has been Cozetta Hand.
She was a daughter, sister, wife, mother and a singer. She loved the Lord with her whole-body heart and soul. Before she passed away, I had the honor of sitting with her and experience life with her before the end came.
She had a song that she would sing, and it has been on my heart lately. I think more because Dwayne and I had our 31st anniversary on the December 20th. I have come to realize that no matter how old you get, life is short, and we need to remember to bring the little things that once made us happy back into our lives.
Here is the song,
Blanket on the ground I don’t own the rights to this song.
Come and look out through the window at that big old moon that is shining down, tell me now don’t it remind you of the blanket on the ground.
Remember back when love first found us. We’d go slipping out of town and we’d love beneath the moon light on the blanket on the ground.
I’ll get the blanket from the bedroom will go walking once again to that spot down by the river where our sweet love first began just because we are married don’t mean we can’t foul around so let’s walk out through the midnight light and lay the blanket on the ground.
Do you remember how excited we used to get when love was young that old moon was our best buddy, we couldn’t wait till nighttime would come now you know, you still excite me. I know you love me like just like I still love you. I just wish once more you’d love me on that blanket on the ground.
I love that song.
So, I leave you with this, grab that old blanket and go lay it on the ground.
Love you all,
Spending time alone, or "me time" as we call it, is hard to do for some of us. Some of you still have kids at home, some have a 9 to 5 job that keeps you busy, and sometimes it is just that life, in general, can get in the way of spending time alone.
We just got back from a small trip to Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. This whole trip, I did some self-reflection. You see, I have been feeling overwhelmed lately. So this trip came at the right time for me. Thanks to my loving sidekick, my husband, Dwayne, insisted that we go. Which I'm very thankful for. While on this trip, I did not work on any new books or look for new inspiration. It was solely to do some self-reflection. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I don't want to create. The best medicine for me was being alone with Dwayne and taking a nature hike or just hanging out in camp.
Spending time alone truly gives you a reflection about who you are and where you want to go in life. Self-reflection as humans and /or as artists, we should always encourage others and ourselves to do alone time. You will be surprised at what you can find out about yourself and what you need to improve on.
So my goal is to mark out time for myself. Ways to do that are getting your hair done and going on a long walk. Go to a coffee shop and read a book that you have been putting off. You get the idea. So, I pray that we all take time for ourselves. I came back from Arkansas with a full cup which is overflowing now. I'm ready to create.
I love and appreciate you all. God Bless you, and have a great day.
P.S. Take time for yourself.
Hello, readers, my husband and I went on our 11-day trip. While we were gone, we stayed in our tent. It is old-time camping and reminds me of when I was a kid.
At one park that we stayed at, we heard coyotes all night long. It was so relaxing. Another night it rained all night long that was the best sleep ever.
Old-time camping is now called overlanding. You would be amazed at how many people do this type of camping.
So, are you a camper that stays in the RV or a tent? Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts.
Readers, and friends
The next book that I will be releasing is The Journal of Etta Place. I thought I would share my thoughts on her.
Etta Place is dear to my heart. I know I always say that, but seriously Etta Place is so mysterious. If you look her up there is not much about her. It’s like she was dropped in history and picked right back up. No one knows where she came from or where she went to. I think that is weird.
So, who is Etta Place you may ask, well she is a woman that was with the famous Sundance Kid? You might know him better as of being second in command in the Wild Bunch Gang. Butch Cassidy and Sundance was supposed to have been killed in Bolivia. I don’t think so, no body’s no famous picture of dead Corpses. If you look at the famous outlaws most everyone of them had pictures after they had been killed, standing next to the corpse was the proud shooter.
Well, the inspiration came to me one day when I came across article about Butch and Sundance. After reading it I seen a wedding photo of Sundance and Etta Place. That is where the story starts to unfold.
Etta Place will always intrigue me because she’s a woman that just disappeared without a trace. Which left the world wondering where and who was she? I asked a dear friend to do a junk journal as if Etta herself kept it. Once I received it the story unfolded itself. If you would like you can see the journal yourself, I will attach the link below.
I hope you all enjoy her story.
Let me tell you a funny story about myself.
I was about three years old, I was dove hunting with my daddy. As we were waiting daddy wanted me to sit down on the ground. Apparently, I was out in the open standing on a dike that was around the pond. Which you would think that It’s not something that would be a big deal because there was plenty of high grass for camouflage. You see Daddy was the type of person you didn’t want to cross. We as his girls we just knew. At the end of the day he was my dad and my hero.
Well instantly I didn’t agree to sit, and I asked to stand.
Daddy raised his voice and said, “I said SIT DOWN.”
I started to beg and asked him “Please daddy I don’t want to sit down.” At this point daddy started to bite the end of his tongue. (Side note after all these years I always wondered how daddy never bit the tip off his tongue. HAHA) Well waiting seemed to be a lifetime of begging I finally gave into him. I didn’t want to let daddy down. I wanted to please him.
So, I sat down, what daddy didn’t know was there was a small pincushion cactus right where I was to sit.
Once daddy realized he felt so bad. He and my mom picked out cactus needles from my backside for hours.
What I feel that came from this story is I earned my daddy’s respected. So, I guess it was worth it.
Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing well. So, I have had this topic in my heart for a while. I knew I wanted to share about it but just didn’t know when, until today.
We all make choices some bad in which we feel the regret of making that choice. Or when it is a good choice, we feel accomplished for making the right choice. Sometimes we don’t see how one choice will have a ripple effect in our life. Let me tell you about one of the hardest but best choices I have ever made.
When I graduated high school, I moved out of my parent’s home in not a good way. You see I was wild back then and very headstrong. I started hanging out with the wrong people and eventually started to do drugs. For a whole year, I did not speak with my parents or any family member for that matter.
Long story short I had a supplier, and he became my boyfriend. He was Africa-American. To tell you how bad it was we were getting initiated into the Cuban Mafia. We were deep into the drug scene. I was in three-drug raids. I think you get the picture. Well, one night I was at rock bottom and called my mom to come and get me. I will never forget my mom walking up to the crack house, she wasn’t afraid she marched herself right up there and took me away.
I went to rehab in Tucson at West Center. I entered the program weighing about 100 pounds. I looked like I was anorexic. I worked the program. While I was in there, I found out I was pregnant. I was scared because I knew I had to make some big decisions. My mom stood by me and never left my side. She was my rock and my supporter. My dad, on the other hand, was not. His family was prejudiced. They were raised in the ’50s and ’60s. That was a hard time to grow up in.
So, I had several people who wanted me to have an abortion or give the baby up for adoption to a family that was African American. I choose to keep her. She was a part of me, I couldn’t see giving her up. When she was born Bethany was perfect. She instantly wrapped my dad around her finger instantly she was accepted. Nothing was ever said about Bethany being a different race.
Now I have always been attracted to dark skin men with long hair. I met Dwayne a year and a half later from having Bethany. Now because I made the choice to keep Bethany it made a ripple effect in my life. My son Matthew married (now divorced) an African American woman. My daughter Rebekah went to a historical black college down deep in Mississippi on a full-ride softball scholarship. She was the first white girl to ever hold a position on the royal court. My youngest Lizzie has always had a big heart and never seen the color of someone's skin.
So, as you can see, we raised our kids not to see color but to see the inside of a person. I am so very thankful that I made that one choice to have Bethany because it set to pace for the rest of our family.
It’s hard sometimes to believe that one choice could change your life. So, I hope when you make a choice in life you think about the ripple effect of your decision.
Thank you for allowing me to share this part of my life with you all.
Before I write each blog, I always pray that God would give me the words that I need to share. This story came to mind, and I knew right away what God wanted me to share.
At heart, I’m 25, and always will be. But in reality, I’m 52. I have noticed that I have a little more wrinkles than what I had maybe the year before. Haha Over the last few weeks I have been really trying to focus on myself and how I portray myself to others. To look through God's eyes and not the way society sees me.
A few weeks ago, my granddaughter Gracelynn was here. She is four and has the sweetest soul. Gracie and I went to let the chickens out of the coop. As we walked, she held my hand, along the way she got a goat head on her pants. I bent down to get it out. If you know anything about goat heads there is an unspoken category of rating them. Well, this was a very bad ripe one. After I got it out and was about to stand, she grabbed my face with her little hands to say, “Grandma I love you”.
She didn’t see the stress, hurt, or pain that causes wrinkles. Or any of my imperfections all she saw was her grandma.
So, to me, wrinkles are lines of laughter, struggles that I have overcome. Lines to my past, beauty marks that show I have survived.
God doesn’t see our wrinkles just like Gracelynn didn’t see mine. She just saw her grandma that loves her. God doesn’t see our imperfections, he sees us as his masterpiece.
Remember we are ALL HIS MASTERPIECE’S.
Well, the holidays are fast approaching us. I hope everyone is getting ready. This week I was reminded of some helpful words that once were given to me by my Pastor's wife that mentored me years ago.
My husband and I were at Walmart (which by the way I hate going to anymore) in line to check out, when we heard this piercing scream from a young child. I noticed that the mother was at her wit’s end. I could tell she was tired, along with being embarrassed that her kids were acting up. Screaming kid in the cart, two were trying to help, but you could tell she was more annoyed with them than anything.
It immediately took me to a time long ago when I had all four of my kids by myself in line waiting to pay for our groceries. I knew exactly how she was feeling. Because two of my kids were screaming because they had to stay in the cart, and two were trying to help me out. I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.
We all can probably relate in some way or another when it comes to raising our kids that there have been times when we didn’t think we were ever going to get out of that pacific moment. Thoughts that I was thinking, these kids are driving us all crazy! Was there ever going to be peace and quiet? I think you get the point.
Well, Pastor Debbie had told me some words that have stuck with me over the years, and which now I try to pass on to other young mothers when they are in this crazy moment.
“This is just a season.”
I know what you are thinking what does this even mean. Well just like weather seasons come and go so quickly, so does the growth of our children. Before I knew it all my babies were no longer babies. What once were embarrassing moments now are treasured memories. So, when you find yourself engulfed in the craziest just remember that this is just a season and before you know it, it will soon change to another season.
Love you all,
Have you ever felt like you are” not enough”?
Well, I have been dealing with negative thoughts lately.
Satan constantly reminds me of what my faults are.
I have decided to finally start practicing self-love.
One, I’m learning to set healthy boundaries.
Two, turning my self-judgment into self-compassion.
Three, I am learning to forgive myself.
I am telling myself STOP looking for external validation.
Lately, I’m telling myself to remember,
I am amazing, I am loveable, I AM ENOUGH!!!!
God is so good and yes, at times we (ME) seem to forget that until he reminds us (ME).
I hope everyone has a great day!
Hello Everyone, I hope you are doing well. So recently I had shared with a friend of mine some of the crazy things my kids did when they were little. I thought I would share one with you all. I hope it would make you laugh.
So a little back story, Matthew is my only son, I was always amazed at the things he did as a kid.
So this happen in 1996 which Matthew was around 4 years old. We were at my In-law's house in the country. My Mother In-law Kay was cooking like she always does when we were all together. My father In-law Loren was watching Nascar in the living room like he always did.
Dwayne was working on his truck and Bekah and I was watching. I was pregnant with Lizzie at the time. It was a nice day, the kids were all down in the field playing with their cousins. So I thought...
In between the house and garage, there was a walkway that lead to the open pasture.
Well, as Dwayne and I were talking Matthew came running out of the house. I watched him run by us. Do you remember when you were a kid and you would run and watch your shadow in hope that you were faster than you were? Well, that is what he was doing. I didn't think anything of it until I saw Kay running behind him yelling "DWAYNE GET YOUR SON!!!!!!"
She stopped at the water faucet to turn off the water. we knew Matthew had done something that we were sure of. I walked into the house and all I saw was water dripping from the roof and Loren sitting in his chair with remote in hand non-fazed. The living room was soaked.
What Matthew had done was he grabbed the water hose and snuck into the house and placed it as far as he could reach. then he turned it on. Which it wouldn't have been bad if it was just the hose, but it had a rotating sprinkler which was full blast.
By the time I got outside still shocked that my kid did this. Matt was still running almost to the end of the field. He knew he was in trouble.
Needless to say, we all avoided going into the house for a while.
I will always remember Matthew running by me and Kay not too far behind yelling. It is now funny but at the time it wasn't.
Oh, and by the way, Matthew's favorite show was Dennis the Menace. So you can guess where he came up with the idea.