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Be Sure to Check for Choos!

May 22nd, 2018 by stephanie

She was in the bathroom stall when two other women entered the ladies lounge. “Can you believe he came?” the one snorted. “And where did he find her?!”

My friend had accompanied her new husband to the funeral of his ex-wife. Pretty noble if you ask me. I don’t know how many other women would have agreed to such an outing.

Exiting her place of concealment, to the horror of the pair, my friend calmly introduced herself, then happened to present a bit of information in the form of a question that let the women know she was a force to be reckoned with—not taunted.

The point is, they had their information wrong. About my friend, and other things if truth be told. It reminds me of a story found in 2 Kings 7.

It goes like this: a prophet of God let’s a king know that their current famine is about to be over. They don’t believe him. Meanwhile, four lepers decide to visit a neighboring town. What have they got to lose? No one in their hometown wants them, so why not try their odds elsewhere.

When the men arrive, they find a deserted village that looks like people have evacuated under stress. Diving into the new found loot they eat, drink and laugh until they remember the famine back home. Deciding to promptly return and share the good news, as that information was shouted through the palace, the king arose from his bed in the middle of the night only to say, “It’s a trap. The villagers are hiding in the fields. If we go they’ll capture us.” Which wasn’t the case at all. He had it all wrong.

When they sent out scouts, the men returned and the loot came with them, and the town’s famine ended. Happiness for all.

The point is, the ladies in the bathroom had an idea they knew the facts. They didn’t. The king was given a prophecy by the man of God, but he blew it off. Why? Because he knew better. When the lepers brought news of free spoil, again, the king convinced he knew the score. He didn’t.

So what’s the point? Many times in life we don’t look for or value the truth. We work on and base our decisions and actions on emotions rather than facts. That’s a scary place to live.

As you go into your day, watch and see how many times statements, and decisions, are made based on beliefs or feelings, not exact data. Don’t let that be you. Rise above. Hold high the standard, and point the way for others to follow. I promise— it will be better than you think.

—Just my thoughts.

S.

The Woman Behind Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2016 by stephanie

Looking for something “new,” or, screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-11-04-13-ambetter yet, something besides politics to chat about at Thanksgiving dinner this year? Why not throw this patriotic piece of trivia into the table conversation mix.

While listening to our pastor at church last night (Thanksgiving eve) I was interested to learn that a woman may have been behind our beloved 4th Thursday in November proclamation made by President Lincoln.

Apparently, Sarah Josepha Hale may be the “woman behind the man” in this particular holiday instance.

Hale, a native New Englander, grew up celebrating Thanksgiving each year and was known for writing published works about the holiday. However, you and I will remember her mostly for penning the children’s poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb,”—which in time became a song we grew up singing.

Yet her writing was not merely literary. She was so passionate about this concept of giving thanks that she lobbied state and federal officials requesting they consider passing legislation of a national day built around it. The impetus was in hopes that by doing so, the act would bring the country’s citizens together and help alleviate the cultural tensions of the day. Alas, a Civil War soon followed anyway.

pieYou can read more about her story. (I am sure you will have some time to google it today.) But for now, just know you might have a fresh talking point to go with that pie and coffee.

Thankful for you readers, and wishing you a lovely, peaceful and restful day…

-Cheers!
S.

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And thanks!

1st World Problems

March 22nd, 2015 by stephanie

Namaste

Cleansing Breath…

I was driving down the road when she called. Having blue tooth in the car is a blessing, and I touched the “answer” button in anticipation of what was coming next. She’s always so bubbly and energetic, her conversations fill my emotional and mental “tank” if you will, so they are always a welcome treat.

“Ok, I know I shouldn’t complain…this is such a 1st world problem….” I had to laugh…but those words struck me. She was so balanced. So aware that the things that most likely bother us on a daily basis might be mundane and inane. If you think about it…when people are being beheaded and tortured by modern-day, 3rd-world barbarians just a few thousand miles away? I think you know where I’m going with this…

But alas, this was “her world” and she was living it and needed to vent. I have to admit, it was still a bit delightful in how she did it. I have much to learn from her.

In all honesty, there are days when I simply need an image of the holocuast to flash by a screen…and it’s enough to remind me, “Now, what was I just upset or thinking about?” Those moments of reality jar me out of my minutia and cause the dust to settle once again around me.

If I am truthful, I have so little to complain about it. Do I have a roof over my head? Yes. Do I have a food? Yes? Do I have clothes? Yes. (Oh, my, word…you should see my closets…but back to topic…) It reminds me of the verse

If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.

1 Tim. 6:8

Think about it. Some people right now, somewhere, just want shelter, a clean bed and a hot meal. That slaps me with some quick perspective.

Now, do I mean to verbally beat up those of us living in a 1st world country? Nope, but it does help to adjust the panic or frustration of the moment. Sometimes, I just have to stop and say, “Cleansing breath…namaste.” It does, if even for a moment put a smile on my face.

Whatever is frustrating you today, I hope that this little blurb gave you a mental “breath” or “vacation” to just stop and think. It’s bad, yes. What you’re feeling is valid and yucky. But, maybe it’s survivable? I don’t know. It’s worth a shot.

🙂

Just my thoughts.

S.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other.

August 24th, 2013 by stephanie

I had the privilege a few years back to be a part of the taping for a television show they were creating about men and women. 13 shows were taped in four days. Yep. It was crazy.
The process goes something like this:
A show is taped. You go and change clothes. And you start all over again.

The star of the show was a marriage seminar leader and pastor from Wisconsin, Mark Gungar.. Not a household name, as yet, but hilarious. He was engaging, funny, and easy to listen to. If there is one thing this guy has down, it is getting the male population to “tune in” to what he is saying and connect! And too, he makes some great points to the women in the audience.
Basically, we girls just plain don’t get men, as we know. But what we forget, is that half the time, we punish men for not “thinking” like women, not “understanding” women, not “relating” to women, you get the picture. All the while forgetting they are NOT women.

It saddens me that my generation of women missed out on the tutoring from older women that guys and gals are different. And that it’s ok. That it’s not something to fight, but rather understand and embrace. But nope. We were the generation of unisex haircuts and clothing. It was cool to be “alike”. To prove that we were the equal. Differences were an “archaic” way of thinking. And we were above that. hmmmmmmm

We can see how well that worked. The divorce rate and homosexuality skyrocketed during that period of time, families fractured, and the list goes on. We were left wondering why and how this could have happened. What went wrong during this modern, intellectual way of thinking?

It’s pretty easy. The Bible has lasted for a few thousand years. Its principles (which are often deemed outdated and unrealistic) were tossed out. We would find a better way. But, I do wonder. Have we?

My challenge to you this week is just to simply strive to notice the differences in men and women. Embrace them. And work to understand them. It can be a beautiful thing.

Life’s good. Let’s work to make it even better.

S.

Remembering Other Moms on Mother’s Day.

May 8th, 2013 by stephanie

When I finished the book Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts, I remember saying, “Wow, everyone should know these stories!” What struck me the most was the amazing mothers, not only of our country but of ordinary citizens as well. Moms contribute more to our society than people will ever most likely truly understand or realize.
But on a lighter note, some of these gals were just plain clever, witty and even a bit daring.

Did you know…

Martha Washington had a Tom Cat she named “Hamilton”, yes, after Alexander Hamilton. And for good reason! That guy was married, but “got around” to be sure, so she said. 🙂

Nathaniel Green’s wife, after his death, lived openly and traveled with her children’s tutor. It was scandalous in the least! What most people don’t know is that she helped Eli Whitney invent the Cotton Gin. It was at her plantation when that invention was birthed.

Eliza Pinkney, at the age of 16, was left to run the three family plantations. And in so doing planted a forest that she hoped one day would be used for her new nation’s future naval ships! But there’s more, she was responsible for envisioning and bringing about the American Indigo industry.

The book contains many more stories, but I think you can see, moms come is all styles, shapes and sizes. Share some stories about your mom with your friends this weekend. You just might be surprised what you unearth.images
🙂
Just my thoughts,
S.

Do You Hate to Lose?

September 12th, 2012 by stephanie

I was playing some Chinese Checkers with some folks recently, and I will admit, it was fun. No one got bent out of shape or upset. Simply a good game and great conversation.
Some people, however, just do not like to lose. And if you watch them closely enough, in time, you will begin to see how they go to great lengths to make sure they win.

Now, in fairness, loss is not something I handle well either. But more than losing in a competition, loss can come in many different forms.

This past week, a friend of mine lost a person. Not through death. They are simply no longer a part of their life. At times like these, it’s easy to question. At least I have a tendency to do so. Interestingly, the message that keeps coming to my is this Don’t try to open a closed door. Just leave it alone. So hard. We don’t want to hear that. So, we argue with God, and question, and argue some more. Needless to say, the door, many times, does not re-open.

There’s a verse that also comes to mind. It is found in Isaiah, chapter 43 verse 18. It goes like this:

Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past. (NAS)

a more modern translation says it like this:

Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history. (
The Message)

If we’re honest, most of us would admit that we struggle to let go of the past. Whether it’s our past or someone else’s. Sometimes, it’s just simply hard to move on. Perhaps it’s a grudge or a personal grievance that we feel quite justified in holding. Whatever the case, there is one piece of advice I think you’ll agree is good to not only hear, but to adhere. It goes like this: KEEP MOVING.

Basically, lose the baggage of the past or whatever is holding you back. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

Just my thoughts,
S.

Yard Sale Anyone?

July 27th, 2012 by stephanie

Weekends! A wonderful word. And… if you’re one of “those”, it’s yard sale time!

Hard to believe that a week ago today I was in hourly countdown mode as I worked toward my big honkin’ yard sale. I am pleased to report, the rain held, the crew was superb, and we had a really great day.

With that, I blogged about the journey of prepping, organizing, planning and more. If you, or someone you know, is thinking about or planning a yard sale, I hope this will be of some help. I did a bunch of research before my big day, and boy, did it pay off! With that, happy selling! And will look forward to your comments, ideas as posts as well. For the Big Yard Sale Blog

CLICK HERE!

Free Picture of a Yard Sale. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart Guide.com

Bullies and other Perplexing People.

July 26th, 2012 by stephanie

There seems to be alot of discussion and debate these days about bullying. It reminded me of a blog I did a few years back. Enjoy!

Bullies. Mean girls. Ladder climbers. Call them what you will. You know the ones. They just can’t stand to see you succeed. They don’t want to share the limelight if you are in the same room as they are. Or, if you don’t dress like they do or live the lifestyle they live, you are deemed inferior. Your jokes just aren’t as funny as theirs. The most popular girl in the room isn’t your friend, she is their best friend. Bringing back any memories from childhood?

You see, that’s what gets me. I really thought that you left those mean girls or sill bully situations behind once you entered adulthood. Silly me. I thought people actually did just that–grow up.

But alas. Some do not. A friend of mine was relaying to me recently the abuse she has been personally taking of late at the office. She works in a government job, so I wasn’t really too shocked by her stories. I am amazed at the juvenile behavior that exudes from some women though. Yes, I am talking about the “grown-up, mean girls” of our every-day world. The guy that stabs you in the back as soon as you exit the conference room. You know the ones. They gossip about you and work to make your life miserable. They love to undermine you and dig up a group to join in on the scheme with them. But you just can’t seem to figure out why. That’s good! It proves you don’t think like or operate like them! What I find most interesting, however, is that what they accuse you of, they seem to have mastered as a personal art form. It’s just that they don’t see it that way.

I then began to share with my friend that I could relate. We have all had someone that we once knew that just couldn’t can’t stand to congratulate, encourage, or compliment us. On the contrary, they have to get little digs in when a simple pat on the back truly is in order. My friend came to this conclusion about her situation once we finished our chat: “She’s a bully.”
Wow. She was right! When I thought about it, I realized she’d nailed it.

Ok, so enough negativity, but what I am attempting to say is this, the next time someone gets their fix or their kicks out of bringing angst to your life, rather than let it ruffle your feathers take this approach: Pity them. Feel sorry for the people that share the same household or office that they do. (Imagine what those folks nearest the offender are actually having to live with.) It just might ease some of your mental pain and confusion. The point is, if someone is bound and determined to upset you, or keep you “humble”, or foil your good intentions or plan, then they are certainly dealing with some major stuff of their own. And you can’t fix it.

So, next time that “mean one” comes at you, just take a deep breath. Then remember to sit back, relax and keep all hands and arms inside the car while traveling. Life is a bit of a ride anyway, to be sure, so let’s simply agree together to not let any of these Les Miserables throw us from the train! K?

Just my thoughts.
S.
Prov. 26:27 If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.

Don’t Mess with Mister In-Between.

June 24th, 2012 by stephanie

Some of you may remember a very clever song that Bing Crosby made famous. If you haven’t heard it, try googling it and give a listen. It talks about getting rid of the negative in our lives. If you find yourself around negative people or downer types, you’ll very much appreciate the tune. The lyrics go something like this:
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

All of us have those folks in our lives that seem to focus on the bad, or are judgmental and critical, full of gossip, or just plain seem to always find the sad side of life. They can really drag you down. (And in all honesty, be careful, in case that person is you…but I digress…) Spending time with people that are uplifting, fun and encouraging is just what the doctor ordered–if we want to live healthy and happy lives.

With that, here’s a thought. Take stock today in your life and see in just whom it is you are investing your time, energy and resources. Then notice if they fall into the negative side or the affirmative side. Once we do that little exercise, it’s pretty clear to see where the adjustments, if any, probably need to take place. Who is making YOU a better, happier, healthier person? “Latch on” to them…as the song says…and…
Don’t mess with Mister in-between!

Just my thoughts,
S.
Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Valentines Day: Why bother?

February 13th, 2012 by stephanie

Valentines Day. Do you really have to celebrate it or acknowledge it? Well, that all depends on who is in our lives as we approach this holiday of the heart.

MEN:
If there is a special lady in your life, may I suggest that you have something planned. Even if it’s a bad economy/recession-friendly kinda thing. You can’t do the 5-Star restaurant this year. Not to worry. A nice cozy, inexpensive place will do to make your gal feel special. Just make sure it’s an environment where you can “chat”. SHE will usually want to “talk” — even if you feel you have nothing to say. Brush up on a bit of celebrity gossip. (Some gal at work can provide you a few talking points.) Maybe check out a few hit songs of late. And anything else your “girl” is interested in. See if you can’t get a bit of scoop in advance. Or, default to what you did this week. Yes. What you did.

LADIES:
I know this may be a tough one, but for the good of the order: Don’t expect too much. It just isn’t necessary and it doesn’t make love, well…love. Love is about who the two of you are when you’re together. A good match. Hopefully. So, let him have his night and do as best he can and then have the grace to praise him for it.

CALLING ALL SINGLES!
Ok, this is where we don’t spend the evening in a gallon of ice cream. Statistics show that (unfortunately) most couples this week just might not have that romantic evening they were planning. Some will squabble. Others’ expectations will not be met and they will pout. And, well, things happen.
Now, we all know some folks will have a wonderful evening, and you know GOOD for them. Let’s all be adults and cheer them on.

But for you dear savvy, single friend, this is your night to enjoy those in your life that truly are there for you when the chips are down. Speaking of chips, grab a few of your favorite bags and a couple of movies you’ve been wanting to see and call those extra special friends over for some good ‘ol “friend” time.
Perhaps hitting that favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican place with your favorite pals.

Whatever the case this year, here are my highly overrated tips for you:
1. Make plans now. They don’t have to be grand. Just make them.
2. Pick your absolute favorite person or pals.
3. Do something you really love to do and ask them, today, to join you.

Pretty simple. And with that, we should all have a very happy Valentine’s Day.
PS: Guys, Valentines Day is tomorrow.
🙂

Just my thoughts.
S.

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