Archive for April 18, 2014


imageDefinition:  The most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and held (in the Western Church) between March 21 and April 25, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.


As I am “Takin Time Out” this week sipping on my orange spice hot tea, I am so excited we are about to celebrate Easter as this happens to be my very favorite holiday. What about you, what is your favorite holiday to celebrate and why?

I like the fact Easter is celebrated during the season of Spring.  A fresh new beginning, trees and flowers budding out…it reminds me just as Christ died (like the dead of winter) on the cross for our sins, he was raised from the dead (Like Spring a New Beginning) and HE lives and reigns.  The Christian Hymn, “Because He Lives” comes to mind as I am typing these words…

(Verse 1)
God sent his son
They called him Jesus
He came to love
Heal and forgive
He lived and died
To buy my pardon
An empty grave
Is there to prove
My Savior lives

Because he lives
I can face tomorrow
Because he lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because he lives

(Verse 2)
How sweet to hold
A newborn baby
And feel the pride
And joy he gives
But greater still
The calm assurance
This child can face
Uncertain days
Just Because he lives

(Verse 3)
And then one day
I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then as death
Gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights
Of glory and
I’ll know he lives

Doesn’t something just resonate within you when you read the chorus…”Because he lives, I can face tomorrow, because he lives all fear is gone because I know he holds the future and life is worth the living Just because He LIVES!”  This brings back precious memories when attending a small church and on Sunday night the choir director would let you call out the number to your favorite hymn.  I loved when I got brave enough and would shout this out and we would sing it all in unison.  When I am fearful or things are troubling me I pull the hymnal off the shelf and read these words humming the tune and he fills my soul with peace, and tranquil thoughts sooth my soul as I say a little prayer…thank you Lord for sending your son, life is soooo good!


Easter was such a special time while growing up. We lived in a very small town with limited access to clothing stores, some years my mother would make my sister and me each a beautiful dress.  She was a wonderful seamstress.  There were other years I recall we would get to go on special shopping trips.  My grandma Nellie, mom, sister and I would pile in the car and either drive 50 miles north to Lamar or sometimes if the weather was decent and time permitted we head south to Amarillo which was a real treat as there were many more stores to choose from.  Looking back that was just a way of life for us, we would get up really really early drive 3 hours shop all day and get back in the car and drive 3 hours home.  Thank you Mom for all those road trips now that I am older I realize how AMAZING you are.      


Easter Sunday outfits always contained a frilly dress, ruffled ankle socks, new white patent leather shoes, white gloves, a cute little purse and a hat or bonnet.  Can you just picture this???  How about you do you recall your special Easter outfit?  When I had my own children I would try to find clothing that matched.  They were various ages but we all blended in our Sunday best and then I would buy them a second outfit to change into after church to hunt their eggs and be able to play in the rest of the day.


My mom was also a list maker she always kept it on the kitchen counter by the telephone.  Listed were all the things she needed to get done before the special event.  One year I wanted to help my mom and so I peeked at her list and on it were the words…”Trim Tonya’s bangs”.  I had long blonde hair but I always had bangs, my mom would take scotch tape and tape it to my bangs and trim a straight line with her sharp sewing scissors then peel the tape away.  It looked pretty simple, so I grabbed the dull scissors from the kitchen drawer, scotch tape and headed to the bathroom.  I crawled up on the counter with my feet in the sink and positioned myself in front of the mirror.  I took a long piece of scotch tape and pasted it on top of my bangs and began to cut with those very dull scissors.  Now the part I forgot was I cut on the top of the line and my mom always trimmed on the bottom.  I peeled the tape away and Walla I had trimmed my bangs, I crawled down off the cabinet and go running into the kitchen eager to show my Mom how helpful I could be and she took one look at me and began to cry.  Needless to say I didn’t have any bangs left I had cut so close to the hairline there were just little sprigs of cat fur hair jig jagged across my forehead.  Needless to say the bonnet I was to wear on the crown of my head quickly slid forward to cover my forehead.  We all survived and no my parents didn’t offer to pay for me to go to beauty school; they left that up to my dear cousin. LOL!


I am not sure when this tradition took hold but after attending church on Sunday, we always have a scavenger hunt on Easter, each child including the adult children is given a different color plastic egg and there are clues inside, they have to follow the clues and find their colored eggs and there is a prize at the end.  When the kids were smaller it was so much fun to watch them, now that they are older with spouses and children of their own…I find it very challenging to keep the clues and eggs placed in the proper hiding spot we have had to make half and half colored eggs along with solid colored eggs since the family has grown and I have had to make up a cheat sheet to keep track.  Hopefully they love makin memories and I have fun in doing it until one of them cheats or finds someone else’s egg and hides it in a different spot…we all have a good laugh!  This year I am a bit concerned as the weather has been much colder and I haven’t planted my flowers for Spring yet, so there are not bright colors for the eggs to blend into maybe I will buy real brown eggs and number them and just hide them in the dirt and bushes for a change…see how the kids like that?  We love filling those plastic eggs with candy and money; there is nothing better than tasting those yellow marshmallow peeps, and chocolate bunnies.  The colored eggs have become very bright and artistic compared to the simple colored dyes we used to have when I was a child, I can still smell the vinegar in all of our coffee mugs.  It’s all about tradition and makin memories.


Our Easter dinner always consist of the same menu year after year.  We have the traditional Honey Baked Ham, baked beans, deviled eggs, scallop potatoes, mandarin orange salad, pea salad, smothered peas and hot homemade rolls.  Yum, is your mouth watering yet?  I serve it on my Grandmother’s desert rose china as we only eat on these dishes once a year.  If I forget my kids always ask where are those pink flowered dishes, mom?  I laugh and change out the table settings.  Memories precious memories flood my mind of many a meals my Grandmother served on those special plates.


This week I had goose bumps, we were able to witness on this first night of Passover the total eclipse and afterwards the blood-red moon.  I noticed on Facebook, the famous Pastor Rick Warren posted a picture he took and his caption he put this verse, One day “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.”  Acts 2:20.  WOW…how chilling!  We do not know the hour or time he will return but scripture tells us he will…Are you ready?  Have you made that commitment and been born again?  If not I encourage you during your “Takin Time Out”, study the word…do some soul searching, ask a Christian or pastor for guidance and help answer your questions and when you are ready, ask Jesus into your heart.  Your life will be forever changed.


This is the true meaning of Easter…God sent his son into this world as an infant child born through the virgin Mary on Christmas but the ultimate sacrifice he made was for YOU and ME by giving his life and dying on that cross, then buried in a tomb and on the 3rd day he arose and he is ALIVE and well and we are waiting for his return…The Death, Burial, and Resurrection!  Happy Easter my friends…may your hearts be filled with gratitude, grace and joy…until next time…





Remember Ten Little Fingers

Ten Tiny Toes

On Christmas he came

On Easter he rose.


imageDefinition: A small wave or series of waves on the surface of water caused by an object dropping into it or a slight breeze.  To move in small waves.

While “Takin Time Out” have you ever had the opportunity to sit by a stream of water, the ocean, a lake or pond and dropped a rock or even a pebble into the water and watched how the water makes a circle and begins to RIPPLE outward further and further?  Doesn’t that kind of amaze you?  Why is it a circle why not a square or straight line?  Next time you are near some water try that little exercise and see just how far the RIPPLES go.


My next question to you visualize yourself on a very HOT summer day and you are at the swimming pool, are you one of those individuals who balances yourself on one leg while pointing your toe and dipping it oh so lightly into the swimming pool skimming the top, testing the water to see how cold it is, then stepping down onto the first step with shoulders raised up going ewww it’s cold as you step down another step until you are waist deep or do you take a running dash tucking your knees up under you and doing an amazing cannon ball making a big splash into the pool?  If you are the cannon ball pro have you ever noticed the water RIPPLING out and splashing the sides then coming back in going back out splashing the sides and coming back in, if you are really big the water lapse over the sides going back in coming back out?  Are you visualizing that episode?  That too is a RIPPLING effect.

How many of you as a child or even as an adult played with a set of domino’s carefully placing one on end then another then another until you have a whole line maybe you added a little curve to yours then you tap ever so lightly the end piece and watch the RIPPLE effect until they have all fallen down.  Oh can’t you hear the squeals of a child, they are saying, “Do it again please do it again!”

Though not a game, life is full of dramatic wonder and can yield both a positive or negative response to the RIPPLE effect as well.  Now think about those individuals who have really made an impact in your life…perhaps it was a teacher, a parent, coach, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, maybe it was a boss or supervisor.  Maybe their impact did not take effect immediately but through time their words or actions made a lasting impression.  You strive to be more like them or perhaps they made a negative impact and you hold a grudge or are filled full of guilt or resentment.  As you get older you either pass the good or the bad onto someone else’s life.  Just think about it one life touches a life that touches a life that touches a life…it is a RIPPLE effect.


For those who have had a damaging RIPPLING effect in their life I am truly sorry.  I encourage you to seek professional counseling, get into support groups with people who have experienced similar trials and tribulations and I pray God will see you through the storm and you can be a positive light providing a RIPPLING effect to others.  I firmly believe you can’t have a testimony without a test or a message without a mess.   Trials can be turned into triumph.  Don’t be ashamed of your story it will inspire others…Your faith and God will see you through the storm and you will become stronger and better than ever.


The bible tells us in Galatians 6:7 “Whatever a man is sowing, this he shall reap.  If he sows with a view to fleshly things; he will reap corruption.  But if you sow with a view to the spirit, you will yield everlasting life from the spirit.”  I firmly believe we all have a purpose in life, God has given us unique talents or gifts and they are meant to be shared with others. Perhaps it is through words, our actions, a simple touch, giving financially or leading by example.  We may not always know when we are leaving the RIPPLE effect behind but oh how powerful it can be.  How many of you have read or been a part of some sort of a Random Act of Kindness?  Perhaps you are in line at a drive thru…you pull up to the window and ask to pay for the order of the person that is behind you?  As you drive off never to see the lasting impression you left on their face…think about the clerk checking you out…how fun is it for them to share the good news?  Didn’t it make you feel good inside?  I will never forget one time I was inside at Starbuck’s, which makes this exercise a little harder because you don’t know what the next guy is going to order.  I had a Starbuck’s card with about $10.00 remaining and I told the clerk to use it and surprise someone who placed an order that day, I didn’t care when but I wanted it to be random.  I waited patiently to get my savoring cup of China Tip Green tea and walked out to my car, I was checking my phone for emails, when this guy knocked on my window and slipped me a $50.00 coupon to Johnny Carino’s restaurant he was the district manager and said he wanted to return a Random Act of Kindness he just received while inside, I truly believe he figured it out but wow I was on the receiving end this time.  We had scheduled a Girl’s Night out that very week at Johnny Carino’s so I was able to apply to the bill and lessen the final tab for all my friends, how cool was that?  It truly is Amazing to me how this works.


I love that country western song sung by Clay Walker “The Chain of Love”, if you haven’t heard it check it out but listed below are the lyrics…


He was driving home one evening,
In his beat up Pontiac
When an old lady flagged him down,
Her Mercedes had a flat
He could see that she was frightened,
Standing out there in the snow
‘Til he said I’m here to help you ma’am,
By the way my name is Joe

She said I’m from St. Louis,
And I’m only passing through
I must have seen a hundred cars go by,
This is awful nice of you
When he changed the tire,
And closed her trunk
And was about to drive away,
She said how much do I owe you
Here’s what he had to say

You don’t owe me a thing, I’ve been there too
Someone once helped me out,
Just the way I’m helping you
If you really want to pay me back,
Here’s what you do
Don’t let the chain of love end with you

Well a few miles down the road,
The lady saw a small cafe
She went in to grab a bite to eat,
And then be on her way
But she couldn’t help but notice,
How the waitress smiled so sweet
And how she must’ve been eight months along,
And dead on her feet

And though she didn’t know her story,
And she probably never will
When the waitress went to get her change,
From a hundred dollar bill
The lady slipped right out the door,
And on a napkin left a note
There were tears in the waitress’s eyes,
When she read what she wrote

You don’t owe me a thing,
I’ve been there too
Someone once helped me out,
Just the way I’m helping you
If you really want to pay me back,
Here’s what you do
Don’t let the chain of love end with you

That night when she got home from work,
The waitress climbed into bed
She was thinkin’ about the money,
And what the lady’s note had said
As her husband lay there sleeping,
She whispered soft and low
Everything’s gonna be alright, I love you, Joe


Isn’t that a cool song?  Well it is time to wrap it up for this week’s blog…hope you enjoyed it and as you are “Takin Time Out” think about the RIPPLES you are making in your life…are they positive or negative…how can you touch someone and truly make a difference…what Random Act of Kindness can you show… be that little pebble and watch the RIPPLES grow, touching a life that is touching a life that is touching a life for good…take a deep breathe, count your blessings and enjoy the journey my friend until next time.






Ripple Ripple Ripple


imageDefinition:  Any one of the light growths that make up the outer covering of the body of a bird.


As I am sitting at my computer with a warm cup of huckleberry tea my Dad brought back from the their West Coast travels, I actually started typing this week’s blog on another topic when I got to thinking of an encounter I had this week and with Awareness being my word of the year I decided I should change it to a FEATHER.  My heart is truly filled with gratitude and thoughts of this circumstance and hope I don’t go too deep for most of you but felt lead to share this unusual topic.


I was working out in my yard, finishing up some Spring Cleaning and I noticed this fairly large FEATHER floating around it would fall to the ground and then a breeze would catch just the right angle and it would go up into the air going a little further before touching back down to mother earth. 

I assume it was a duck FEATHER since we have two ducks that return to our neighborhood every Spring.  I saw they had arrived last week, there used to be three but now only two and they usually nest in my friend’s backyard.  We see them waddling around the neighborhood and when they are in our yard and the grandkids are here we take a few slices from a loaf we have and feed them bread crumbs. They absolutely love it.  It amazes me how the ducks return to this same neighborhood year after year.


The FEATHER reminded me of a scene in one of my favorite movies Forrest Gump, there are several scenes that resonated with me for example Forrest is sitting on the park bench, maybe Takin Time Outand this FEATHER is floating through the air…it goes up and it comes down it is slowly traveling through time, the chorographers did an amazing job in showing the reflection of the FEATHER in the window of the car driving by, it slowly sways back and forth until it finally lands on Forrest’s shoe.  Bob Dylan’s song playing in the background “Blowin in the Wind”.  Do you remember that scene?  It’s sorta freeing to me…life can be this way if we give ourselves permission.  But how often do we really allow ourselves to do this?


To me the movie portrayed the challenges and experiences of the life of Forrest as well as his childhood friend Jenny and the bad choices she made throughout her life.  Both Jenny and Forrest were searching for meaning in their individual lives.  For years, the two were separated from one another.  It seemed to me the only time they were at peace was when they were together.    Forrest was a star athlete, an honored soldier, a man of great loyalty he accomplished so much yet many treated him less than a man.  He was a do-gooder yet so many viewed him as a little different.  Jenny on the other hand pushed life’s limits and made some very bad choices along the way with drugs, sex, & drunkenness.  Simply put her life was a mess. Don’t we all know people like both of them?  Do you remember the last scene of the movie where Forrest is at Jenny’s grave and he says “I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think it’s both”.  Then the FEATHER appears again floating away…


Let’s do a little exercise, I want you to close your eyes and think about either the scene in the movie or visualize a FEATHER how light it is how freeing what kind of bird did it come from?  Can you hear and feel the breeze as it’s floating up and slowly coming down…now think about your life…are you weighed down with heavy burdens, responsibilities of daily living, regrets of bad choices you have made along the way?  Or are you free floating lightly through life?  Take a deep breathe slowly and breathe out even more slowly…imagine the lightness of that FEATHER…what changes can you make in your daily routine to free up some of the burdens that weigh you down?  What can you delegate to someone else?  Who can you hire to help complete some of those projects or who can you trade services with if you are on a tight budget?  How can your life become light as a FEATHER?  Now is a good time to begin to make a few of those changes.


I did a little research on the true meaning of a FEATHER and it is amazing how far back in time and the meanings of FEATHERS are.  Did you know the symbolic meaning of a FEATHER dealt with ascension and spiritual evolution to a higher plane?  FEATHERS were worn by Native American Chiefs to symbolize their communication with Spirit, and to express their celestial wisdom. It represented the power of the thunder gods, along with the power of air and wind.  The Pueblo Indians would pay homage to the FEATHERED Sun which is a symbol of the cosmos and the center of existence.  Another symbol meaning of FEATHER also revolves around prayer, and the Pueblo used FEATHER sticks as they dance in prayer for rain during solstice rituals.  Maybe we should try that as we all in the Midwest and South are due for some much needed rain.


The Egyptians believed that FEATHERS were symbolic of sky gods too.  In Christianity FEATHERS represented virtues.  In fact, an image of three FEATHERS were made into signet rings, each FEATHER symbolizing Charity, Hope and Faith.  These rings were worn as a symbol of a virtuous soul.  I love the reassurance of God’s love for his people found in Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with his FEATHERS, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”  Thank you Lord this brings me comfort.


How many of those little sayings you hear as a child growing up come to mind that have the word FEATHER in it? 

“Birds of a FEATHER flock together”

“To FEATHER your nest”

“You could have knocked me over with a FEATHER

“Fine FEATHERED friends”

“To ruffle someone’s FEATHERS

“To be tarred and FEATHERED

“To smooth someone’s FEATHERS

“To shake a tail FEATHER

“It’s as light as a FEATHER

“A FEATHER in your cap”

Amazing to me how for generations these sayings connected to FEATHERS have developed and why?


The colors of FEATHERS have meaning too.  White FEATHERS are for peace and calling a truce, peacock FEATHERS (oh how beautiful these really are) are for pride and red FEATHERS are for war and strength. 


I also think of Ben Franklin and all of our forefathers how they would write in that beautiful penmanship or handwriting with a FEATHER pen dipping it into the ink bottle.  The little scrolls they used with each letter.  That truly has been a lost art.

I love my FEATHER pillow and how I can wad it up under my head at night for a perfect nights sleep.  How many of you decorate with FEATHERS, I have several FEATHER balls in a bowl and love my pheasant feathers in my floral arrangements.  My cousin has the most beautiful fanned turkey FEATHERS her husband shot hunting one season displayed in her foyer.  Little girls love playing dress-up with their FEATHER boas.  Yes, they do make a mess but oh what fun, lighten up remember?


As I close out for this week, I found these 20 life lessons Forrest Gump taught and encouraged throughout that wonderful movie.  As you are Takin Time Outthis week, think about how many apply to your daily life and if you haven’t seen it I suggest you rent it:

1)            Don’t be a FEATHER in the wind, take ownership of your life.

2)         Determine to work harder than the normal people do

3)         “I’m not a smart man…but I know what love is.”

4)         “Run, Forrest, Run!” – Fight for disability!

5)         Not only strive for success, but also to be of value

6)         Have a good mentor

7)         Apologize

8)         Keep your promises

9)         Focus what you are doing

10)      Don’t get distracted

11)        Be persistent

12)      Put the past behind you and move on

13)      Do what you want to do in life

14)      Start small

15)      Keep perspective

16)      Enjoy what you are doing

17)      Give and Take

18)      Be a great parent

19)      Don’t do stupid things

20)     Life is like a box of Chocolates


Hope you enjoyed my blog on FEATHERS, until next time my friends…”That’s all I have to say about that!”