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“These Boots Were Made For…” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS – Walking, running, strolling, kicked-back relaxing, spring, summer, winter and fall; you name it and we’ve got a boot for it!

I couldn’t resist a counter post to my friend Connie Clyburn and her stellar idea of a boot of the month club. Yes! Although it did get me thinking…how often can southern gals wear boots? Doesn’t it get too hot? Aren’t most of you warm weather birds more of a sandal and flip-floppy kind of gal?

Here in the north country, we can wear boots like…anytime! Even when the temperatures climb, there always seems to be a cooling off period. The short brown boots are for in between weather.

  • The black quilted ones for rain.
  • Taller navy for all-denim wardrobe and they even have a cozy lining.
  • The black side zippered for a little bit of bling.
  • The middle skinny heel ones for when I’m balanced out enough not to topple over wearing them. Oh, but they are so fun to wear!
  • The off white fuzzy ones for light snow and to wear with all my winter-white.

And of course the colorful cowgirl boots when I really want to rock the town : ) When I put them on, there’s an immediate surge of attitude.

Due to weariness from setting up this photo op and dragging all the boots downstairs, this photo does NOT include all my boots. Most of the winter ones I have not pulled out of storage yet. Hmm..maybe a boot of the month club wouldn’t be such a great idea. I surely would run out of storage space. But I hope Connie gets her wish so she doesn’t resort to a life of crime. Though I could just about imagine her holding up a boot store with a potato masher and pop gun. They probably would give her the boots for free once they stopped laughing.

Maybe for Christmas we could all send her boots. But lighter, cooler ones for that southern climate..

Be sure to read Connie’s Post: https://wisdomfromthedoublewide.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/ill-take-boots-for-500-alex/    

Your turn: Anyone else love boots?


 


“Needle Nerves” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN OTHER WORDS - “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself–nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror …” FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT 

You may be one of the brave ones who have no fear of needles and march into the lab, already intent on your next errand and the busy day ahead of you.OR you may be like me who used to, and probably always will…hate needles. As a little girl, I would get light-headed in the doctor’s office and grew to expect the strong scent of smelling salts. I never got over my aversion but I can handle them better now. Well, sort of.

I went for some blood work last week. I didn’t allow  myself to think about it much beforehand (always a mistake to dwell on it) so I went in with a somewhat brave attitude. I sat in the chair in the lab and immediately noticed the cool air wafting directly overhead. Normally, I hate drafts but hey, what a good idea to keep the patient cool. I studied the male nurse as he entered the computer data to run the correct labels. Okay, this was good. He looked hefty and strong and could probably catch me easily if I started to get woozy.

He came over and asked me, “which arm would you prefer?” “Neither,” was my immediate response. I backtracked and said “whichever one is easier for you.” Always be kind to the one wielding the sharp instrument about to pierce your fragile flesh. He did what nurses do and it was over very quickly. Relatively painless and I didn’t get woozy. I also didn’t watch. They post all those happy, colorful pictures on the walls for cowards like me. (calm blue waters, sunny beaches, happy faces, who are they kidding?)

I complimented him on his good work (again, always be kind…) and left with a spiffy white cottony bandage covering my tender wound. Drank down some orange juice and went on into work. I have finally learned that the fear is what actually makes me so sick. The Lord helped me to see this in one of those grand revelations on the way to a lab appointment many years ago. I had fretted over the appointment for days and worked myself into a state of panic. I almost had to pull over on the way there and realized I was making myself sick with the fear. The whole process of facing the needle would take about five minutes out of my life but I was allowing the enemy to torture me with fear for hours on end.

Today, we face a troubled and volatile society. Now more than ever before, we need to place all our trust in Jesus. Fear thou not! Whether it be facing needles or facing life. Fear is not of God!

So, are you brave when facing needles? What fear have you conquered lately?

P.S. Okay, I have to admit, I had a problem with the picture that goes with this post. Doesn’t that needle look sharp?



“Discerning Voices” by Cynthia A. Lovely

THE WORD – Isaiah 30:21

 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”

The secret here is to be sure the voice you hear behind you is the Lord’s voice and not man’s. 

Have you ever felt boxed in? Trying to make an important decision and hearing so many conflicting voices and well-meaning advice from people. Leaving you confused and frustrated and….aarrghh!

When we are faced with this dilemma, we need to get down on our knees and pray till we are sure we hear God’s voice above all the rest. Now I do believe in a multitude of counselors and the wisdom of mentors. Yet there comes a time when we must filter through each and every thought thrown in our path. People who may think they have our best interests at heart may also harbor their own agenda and not even realize it. (Case in point, when my best friend moved out of state many years ago, I could not give an honest opinion of the will of God for her…because I just didn’t want her to leave me!)

What would a wise leader tell someone seeking a major transition?

Here are some questions that may apply and would identify a good mentor:
  • What do you feel the Lord is leading you to do?
  • Have you prayed about it and are you and your spouse in agreement?
  • Have you sought answers from the Word of God and does the decision line up with it?
  • Is the decision based solely on emotion or are there strong facts that support your choice?
  • And finally…”I know you have a relationship with Jesus, I trust you to do the right thing, and I’ll continue to pray for you because I love you and support you!”

I hope and pray that we will learn to guide people in this way and truly want and desire what is best for them, regardless of our own “agenda, feelings or emotions.”

The Lord tells us to, “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12.”

Have you ever been conflicted from advice flying at you from every direction?  Aarrghh….!!


“Don’t fear the darkness” by Cynthia A. Lovely

THE WORDHave you ever stumbled around in the dark?

Occasionally if I stay up too late to finish a project, my husband goes upstairs before me to go to bed. I don’t want to turn on the hall light in case he’s fallen asleep already. So I turn off the lights downstairs and creep my way to the stairwell. Okay, so far, so good. My eyes are adjusting to the dark and I know my way around my living room. Holding to the banister, I take careful steps and finally reach the top. Wait. I think its the top.The banister has ended.

I’m pretty sure there isn’t another step and I’ve reached the upstairs landing. But there is that weird, uncanny feeling of stepping out into nothingness. Maybe I misjudged and will end up tripping and landing against a wall Or, and this makes no sense whatsoever, maybe I’ll step out and there will be…nothing.

Just air and space, dropping me into the unknown depths of another world…

Note: This is what happens when you write, there is always that what if element : ) 

Life often brings us on paths that grow dark and we are stumbling our way through, hoping not to trip and fall. We’ve been this way before and we think we know the steps. Yet there is fear and hesitancy.

  • What comes next?
  • Has something changed on this path?
  • Is there a new curve to watch out for or a new pothole in the road?

Rest in His Word. 

God has promised to be our Light and our Salvation. There is nothing to be afraid of. When we feel darkness all around us and fear for our next step, He will guide every footfall.

Jesus is our EVERLASTING LIGHT!  

Leave a comment with your favorite scripture on Light.

 

 


“Dangerous Southern Writing” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS – Southern writers like to use catchy phrases for their unique style. Southern Fried Fiction, Southern Tales of Sweet Tea Days, etc. They all sound innocent, warm and friendly with a “bless your heart” drawl in the background. Don’t be fooled. Southern writers can be downright dangerous.

My husband and I were traveling home from Long Island last weekend. It was later in the evening on a lovely summer day and everyone, EVERYONE decided to go out at the same time.

Traffic was bumper to bumper and no matter what parkway or bridge we aimed for, it was all backed up. Grand Central Parkway: cars were lined up for miles. Cross Island Parkway: traffic would move for about 3 minutes then come to an abrupt halt. Whitestone Bridge: yeah, we’d get across it eventually, hopefully before the Second Coming. Though that would certainly have lifted us out of it in a flash.

We finally reached a point where cars were moving along at a decent pace. I settled back and begin catching up on emails. “Hey, Connie’s got a new blog post up, want me to read it to you?” Dwayne nodded, happy to have some comedic diversion to our long stressful travels. So…I read it out loud.

About my crazy dazed TN gal and her views on the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. We were both laughing, agreeing that yes, Connie had spent some tulip-tiptoeing time and definitely worked hard at restful retreating. (I couldn’t even find her one day because she escaped to Black Mt. and hunted through boutiques, coffee shops and what not before slipping back into Ridgecrest under cover) So here we are sailing down the highway and laughing it up but really, it was the last line of her blog that almost put us into the river. Dwayne swerved, I yelled and all was well, we were back on the road.

Oh yeah, I know you’re wondering about that last line. Check it out at https://wisdomfromthedoublewide.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/writer-dazed-after-conference/ 

Just be careful.


 


“The Forgotten Few” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS – Returning home from Blue Ridge Conference is an experience in itself. Re-acclimating to normal day to day life and no longer surrounded by all those crazy, lovable, amazing and creative writer friends. I agree with many of the recent posts on what a marvelous conference we had this year. And kudos to the hard-working, never-slowing-down staff who manage to pull it all together.

But I’m thinking of those who may have been unable to attend and feel like they have missed out. Over the past eleven years, I missed one conference and I was so miserable I wrote a saga of the “Blue Ridge Blues.” : )  My suggestion to those who missed this year is to go back over notes from other conferences. We receive so much material, bring it all home and don’t always find the time to go back to it. Use this time to review and re-visit the conference spirit! Stay active on the Blue Ridge FB page.  I know I missed many people this year including Al & Becky Gansky, Latan, Jan Willis and the list goes on. Please know you were missed! 

The other “forgotten few” are those who may have attended for the first time and felt lost and overwhelmed. I do hope we made you feel welcome so you’ll come back again. Maybe you entered a contest and didn’t win. Congratulations – you are now a legitimate writer who can talk about rejections! Seriously. We have all been there. Perhaps you had appointments that didn’t go as you expected them to. Remember Edie’s farewell speech about God’s scenic journey. He DOES have a plan and a purpose for you. Be encouraged. Think about the inspiring keynotes of T. Davis Bunn, (working on that creative space?) and Steve Laube. I keep hearing his voice in my head saying, “Don’t you dare…!” and it will be my mantra this year to continue the craft of writing. 

Forgotten Few, you are NOT forgotten! Don’t you dare stop writing, there is no excuse.

 



Mother’s Day Survival..Once Again by Cynthia A. Lovely

Warning: if you love Mother’s Day, don’t read on. 

Personally, I try to ignore it every year. Though not an easy task when bombarded by commercial appeals for gifts, cards, flowers….you name it. All it takes is a browse-through a card shop and I’m in tears. I miss my mother and the missing will never go away.

My biggest complaint about this day is that it is no longer personal. It would be lovely if people simply honored their mother quietly at home. In whatever manner they think best. Perhaps taking some of her daily responsibility upon their own shoulders. Sometimes I think they would appreciate that gesture much more than cards and gifts.

But no, this “holiday” is wide spread and you can’t escape it. Unfortunately it has infiltrated our churches. I know many women who will no longer attend church on Mother’s Day. It’s not worth the insensitivity and the embarrassment. If you’ve lost your mother and/or never had children, you understand. While more than half the church are honored, lauded and paraded before the congregation, you sit with the minority and want to crawl under the pew. And it gets worse if they try to point you out as “mothers of the church,” trying to find some appropriate title to include you in their celebration. Count me out.

My husband and I have a standing joke of who will be the first to put their foot in their mouth and wish me a happy mother’s day. It’s guaranteed within the church but one year I was standing on the church steps waiting for the door to be unlocked, when a neighbor strode by and called out a happy mothers day to me. I couldn’t even get in the building without it! And this year, we’re ahead by many days, as an office supply rep wished me a happy mothers day mid-week! Sorry people, not all women are mothers. I’m going to spend some time with other motherless and kidless friends that day and quietly, simply honor the memory of our own dear mothers.

Rant over, and I did warn you…


“Wisdom of the Elderly” by Cynthia A. Lovely

THE WORD – “A gray head is a crown of glory; it is found in the way of righteousness.” Prov. 16:31  

I have a deep and sincere respect for the elderly mentors in my life.

Seasoned saints who have lived for God through every imaginable circumstance and come out on the other side…in victory.      

I look to them for an example. I need their advice, guidance, encouragement and strength. These wonderful men and women of God have affected my life over and over again.

Look around you. Are there elderly people among your congregation that sometimes go unnoticed?

You may be missing out on an opportunity for a relationship filled with rich treasures of wisdom. 

Do you already have someone like this in your life?  I pray we learn to hear the voice of our elders. They can help us on this path to avoid some of the rough places because they have made their own mistakes. Let’s learn from them. 

“Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding.” Job 12:2

 

 


“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS – I asked my husband if we could watch a Christmas movie tonight but he refused.

Of course, it was his third time in from snow blowing and he looked like an unfriendly snowman dripping icicles and wet snowdrops all over the carpet, so I closed the subject quickly.

Snowstorms always remind me of God’s power. I find it amusing how so many people today think they can control everything and they have absolutely no need for GOD. And all He has to do is gather together a few snowflakes and the whole region closes down.  No, I’m not happy about the two feet of snow outside but…we do live in upstate NY and it is only March.  Let’s celebrate our final snowstorm (please pray with me on this) with some good Words:   

Lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding. Psalm 148:8

He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes Psalm 147:16 NIV

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18 KJV

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7 KJV

HAPPY SNOW DAY!

 

 



” Words of my mouth…” by Cynthia A. Lovely

THE WORD - Do we ever pause in our daily conversations to think about the words we speak?

Not only the words we speak to others but…when we are “talking to ourselves.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.

Lately I’ve been noticing how many times I utter these words, “I am so tired.”  And different variations along that theme.

The speed of life continues to accelerate and we manage to plow through but I imagine many of us are using this phrase on a constant basis. Convincing ourselves how exhausted we are. Bringing more weariness and a defeatist attitude.

Let’s change it up! Every time this phrase or a similar one starts to form, try a different slant.

  • I am so blessed.
  • God, I am thankful.
  • I am pressing on! 
  • I can do all things through Christ!

 Imagine what a difference this will make in our attitudes.

Do you have a repetitive phrase you fall back on?

Will you join me in using positive words?

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord…”


 

 


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