Finding The True Gift of Thanksgiving

The turkey hasn't thawed.

Yep, that giant heavy pounded, headless, completely frozen piece of poultry still sits cold, chilled to the bone.

I grew cold right along with it.

It should have been thawed and ready.
To the boys I shout, holding a 12 pound frozen lump on a tray, "It's going to be a meatless, vegetarian style Thanksgiving!"
They shrug their shoulders and keep right along doing what there doing, laughing and jumping on the bed because the greatest day will come turkey or no turkey and their little hearts believe it.

I have the carpenter go to the garage to hunt for the cooler. 

Determined I will soak the bird and unfreeze it even if takes all night and all morning that bird will roast come tomorrow afternoon.

The counters are cluttered and so is the mind. 
"Give thanks," I whisper. 

It's the season and even if it wasn't and it won't be for long, but to give thanks in "all circumstances" continuously.

"We're not doing a turkey this year, a thanksgiving, we're just not up to it." Others I've heard and spoken with have said  it and yes it sounds tempting as I pound the butter to flour and soak the sweet potatoes and chase little boys and clean up spills and give medicines.
Toss the towel in and forget.

It wouldn't have been so easy over three hundred years ago. 

Tousled aboard a ship, shoulder to shoulder, hungry, cold, sickly men, women and children, traveled. They left behind what they knew for the unknown and why?

Not for possessions or climate or land or cattle or food but for the Bible, a belief, and a freedom to pray. 

They left it all not for something they possessed or something they saw with their physical eyes, but for something they carried within themselves.

And when they arrived in the New World, our beautiful America,  it wasn't necessarily their things that gave them gratitude but a presence. A Presence they could freely proclaim, a soul connection that could be spoken and hands that could be held and lifted to the one who Saves, to worship and praise freely. 

The most unlikely people became their allies and showed them how to grow seed and how to survive and how to harvest and they didn't have to give it up or through the towel in because they could speak Him and that's all they really needed.

It was a harvest of souls, of people.

Being thankful, giving thanks, yes, for everything but better yet reflect away from possessions, situations, conditions, traditions, and connect souls and hearts to God's and just thank God for Him, because its not about circumstances or things or the latest and greatest, but about a King.

It's hard to do.

A big, blue wide eyed boy stands in front of me wondering what to give thanks for and I gently hold his shoulders and say, "Give thanks to God for what He has given us, Himself in us, for being with us and He is the only thing we need. Give thanks to God for His Son, for life, and breath, and the songs of everyday good or bad." He smiles yes, these little ones know.

It's not about traditions and dates and the next best thing coming up, because He is here and there doesn't have to be that rainbow at the end of the day or that tradition that just has to be done or that book that has to be kept up with or that turkey that has to be made, or that candle that has to be lit. It's okay. 

In the rush of the season it's okay, we don't have to keep up with it all, only with  Him and it doesn't take possessions but a whole lot of soul that's free!

It won't be missed all these traditions, He will be and we don't really need anything physically or materially to capture Him, because it's all soul that's inside us waiting to be uncovered.

Give thanks for what He leaves us that which isn't seen but felt but held inside, Himself. 

Because this is where are treasure is, in Him.

Paul, the apostle, from a jail cell, handcuffed and hungry, gave thanks to God not for anything he had, not for anything he saw, not for anything he touched or tasted, but only for who 
God is, "good."

Job lost everything yet he gave thanks because of who God is. 

David and Daniel who were thrown in the lions pit, gave thanks and praise to God and the list continues.

So, yes, thankful for everything but giving thanks for simply who He is and everything He is and everything He has done and everything He has promised. 

Because all that's really needed on Thanksgiving and everyday,  is the gift that is Him and we carry it with us inside and it's worth these ruff, temporary seas and we're so thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving

Boughten Me


It seems to change with each season that passes and oh, I feel it past and present.

Way back when I was young being free meant running barefoot across soft grasses, picking walnuts from budding trees and honeysuckles from bushes, swinging for what seemed like hours hopes set high on those blue skies, running and getting dirty and not caring.

That was my free. And I never once knew they were there.

My parents.

They were but I can't remember them in that moment, because freedom is really felt inside, no matter what happenings are going on outside.

In the quiet hushes of the deepest part inside, free is felt.

I grew older away from that young girl and free meant out and spread wings and now almost forty and married and two children and freedom I find becomes forgotten.

When I hear free now it becomes distorted by the words of a fleshly world starving for instant gratification and selfish ambition and satisfaction.

When I hear free now and I blot it all out all the whining from the world, I hear "bought."

We are our bought with a price. The sweetest price, life. 

Not just our souls, but are bodies as Holy Temples are set aside for His Holiness to pave paths of light and love to all, even our enemies.

We carry the greatest freedom.

We are free from the chains of pasts.
We are free from the heavy yokes of anxiety, fear, and everything that threatens to snuff out our lights.
We are free from death.

In the quiet hushes of the deepest part inside, free is felt, and it is Him.

"For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1Corinthians 6:20

(Oh and yes I guess boughten is a word and the carpenter is wrong on that one!)

**This is a Five Minute Friday Post #fmfparty. A wonderful, community of amazing women who pen five minutes of thoughts every Friday.**

Always Hope


The word that gives life its wings.


So we don't lose heart.

They can try and take it all away from us, but what sets us apart is a soul that can wake morning after morning and can walk step after step and know that He offers us his hands and side and He whispers, "I am the Rose of Sharon, the Beginning and The End, I am Yahweh, The Comforter and Healer."

He is our hope.

And that's why we can face the world and peel back the layers brave that threaten to conceal us and share hearts and His words. 

We stand tall and He stands beside us all the way.

Walk and run with His hope.


The word that gives life its wings.

First time writing the five minute challenge from Kate Motaung at Five Minute Fridays!

How To See Spacious Skies

I see her off to the side of the busy four lane highway.

With my hands on the wheel, tires pushing limits and the kids in the back acting silly and loud, I stole a look.

I see her as she pounds the wooden cross into the grassy mounds and wraps a ribbon over the top aware yet uncaring of how close she is to the oncoming traffic.

Maybe that's what it feels like when you lose someone dear. 

When the time comes you know there is no real stopping it.

My heart sunk for her as she grieved for the heart she lost maybe a child, a spouse, a friend, a family member.

 I remember looking at his wrinkled face as he sat with his overalls and rolled up socks and showed me his bent pictures of black and white and of how much he talked of times ago.

Those times are running out. 

The talks of battles from victors and stories from soldiers are fading, but I watched as his face still held light over something so dark, because in the end he would do it all over again.

The fight for the flag to stand, the fight of the plight of unwavering free plains, the fight for the children to run free over holy grounds. 

In the end, millions sacrificed over decades for that free, holy ground where we walk.

And how we are just here on this good earth is a miracle.

When the anthem plays and hands fold over hearts a chill escapes the bones and we silence it all except for her song.

There we are hundreds upon thousands upon millions all under the same blanketed sky and maybe for that brief moment those who don't usually feel it do. 

That undeniable bond that ties man to country and country to man and man to God.

We all feel it at some time, that wave of Spirit across spacious skies. It is Him.

Grateful that we have a home and country fought for, but at a cost that ran red for our feet to run free. 

The greatest gifts sacrificed for our everything.

And when that song soars through the skies maybe we forget ourselves as I and think of it all as we and how years ago men who knew nothing of today's woes and ways, new the greatest thing.

That what binds us together is image and unity and that is the thread that ties the knot of our hearts together.

No matter the pasts, the burdens, the choices, the lifestyles, in the end when it's stripped and laid raw and bare we are all made in His image.

The image of the Creator who endows us those rights. 

The image of God who yearns for His people to come together towards him to win the wars of the flesh and foe.

He knows us. 

He knows how we can be our happiest, best selves.

He knows our hurts and choices and He silently whispers, "Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest."

The thing we all want to see in the end are those spacious skies. Yet we can't come as we are, but only as He has made us, in His image.

"So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them,
male and female he created them."
                                Genesis 1:27

Father's, Forgiveness, and Tending the Moments

He stood outside the door in the middle of a hot, summer day in the foothills of southern Appalachia, where the hills rolled in endless waves and the trees grew green, tall and proud. Stretching their limbs to the sky that casted blue, there was a smell, a scent in the air that made you want to always stay and never leave.

You could hear the sound of bleating sheep and barking dogs as he stood with his hands shoved in his holed pants with a tattered baseball cap on the top of his head. His eyes still held that blue from way back when, but now his face holds subtle lines, wrinkled brows, and a back that sometimes stiffened his walk, especially when the cold, harsh winter months came. But he smiled and his eyes had that glow as he spoke, “ Yep, from far back as I can remember I've always wanted to make something grow. I was always in that dirt.”

And I guess he somewhat was.

When he was a young, sixteen year old boy he worked on a farm in southern Alabama picking watermelons for a dollar an hour. He worked with the sun beating down on his back, his knees bent to the good, brown earth for an amount that none today would ever lift a leg or finger for. That kind of work for that price isn't worth the sweat and achy back and cramped knees. He said a job was a job and it was something and he was grateful just to have it.

For less than a dollar, for 50 cents an hour, he plucked weeds with his bare hands from a peanut field, because back then it was mostly hands and less machines that made those crops grow. It was all will power and nothing grew unless you tended it and he did.

From peanut fields to soda fountains, he worked at a drugstore, serving milk shakes and ice cream where the atmosphere rang a good, old fashioned laughter and there's something to be missed by all from those days of long ago.

Shortly after that it was marriage and my sister and me and yes, he was young and it's hard being a father maybe more harder than being a mother, because father's don't come with that nurturer hand. To provide is to work the hands and mind, raw and hard. It all has to be learned and when your real mom ups and leaves when your little, because she knows and she just has to, that memory just sits there and makes you wonder.

After that it was all military and service and packed bags and u-haul trucks every three years, but somewhere in the back of his mind he held onto making that green earth grow. Back then he pushed it away to make a family grow and he did and we all grew up and older.

There was many a slam door and raised tones and the mind can hold onto all those thoughts, but to really live, to really be free, is just to let it go. He spoke from the good book, for eighteen years and maybe not everything around was always good and maybe a time or two I rolled my eyes, but those times I remember him the most, because they were eternal words spoken.

Father's do wrong and Father's do good and so do daughters and to hold onto the wrong only brings us down to the dark, where we can't see the light of the good. It only festers in our soul with the misery of what could have been or what should have been, instead of that we made it through.

It's hard for a daughter to grow, but even harder for a father years later to still carry a burden of what if's and past mistakes. There are moments held by all of when they wished they had tried or acted differently, but they can't change it now and if you were to ask a father what he knows now he would speak you those words of wisdom to save you tears of your own.

It wasn't all walks in the park and sunny days for nothing ever is, yet I tried and remembered the good. I still took that deep breath when I was a young girl and inhaled and blew out those candles on my birthday cake and I wished and prayed that he would one day have that green earth he longed for and he did.

Forgive father's as our heavenly father has forgiven us and as father's forgive their children. Forgiveness is not just a word it's an attitude, it's a lifestyle, it's felt way down deep in the bones and it can't help but radiate outward from within. Life is too short, too precious, to waste on living forgiveness as a one time spoken word and not as a visible act. We believe and expect God to forgive us of our sins, but we may find it hard to forgive our neighbors and to live fully forgiven and to act as if we've forgotten and forgiven. Where true forgiveness rests there is joy and there we will find Him.

Our Heavenly Father forgives us over and over again.
He loves us over and over again.
He tends us over and over again.
He waits for us over and over again.
Our Father does not leave us even when our hearts become dry and cracked and cold and when it seems as if nothing good will ever spring from within us. He tends our souls until we soar.
And we father within us His words and we tend.

The Most Sought After Model, That Is Their Treasure

Beautiful. Rare. Genuine. Lovely. Fascinating.

You. Me.

The most sought after model.

They dig deep and search hard. Never giving up until they know where it is.

And then when they discover its light, they dig faster and 
look deeper until every corner and room and crevice has been unturned.The best. 


They become determined in their search. Giving up they will not for they just have to have it and their feet and legs, though tired, will trudge on and on.

Finally its in their small hands, this magnificent beaming treasure that's worth more than whats in boxes or on shelves or on the blackened pixel display that everyday entices them.

But this treasure.. so dear to them.

They want to hold it for its priceless and there's only one and its theirs and it does something that nothing else does and they try to figure it out but it takes a lifetime. 

This treasure.

It glows sometimes there in the eyes. 

It smiles and laughs and cries and shouts and prays and guides and its always busy and it models and it loves and they want more of it, all of it, to be like it, to be like us.

And its all theirs. It feels and fills apart of them.

This model. This word that's tossed around and swept up as meaningless. But we are. We do..model..we their treasure.    

I may not feel it or look it as color turns grey and the scale tips and legs become heavy and tired eyes burn and the mouth opens too quickly and moments may feel better alone and concealed for sometimes doubt and wretchedness creeps in and overshadows. 

Worthlessness sets in as fruit loops are scraped off kitchen floors and bottles are washed and homework is gone over and when I can't chase him or fingers can't quickly grasp the folds of hair to be exactly so and when I feel like I don't look just so perfect or act just so well like others may.

We are still their treasure.

And there's someone searching for it and we model and it's hard to fill the shoes though we may fail and fall.

From the beginning sounds of rustling on sheets, to the stumbling of little legs in the morning they want to be by the side that we wish we had time to flatten, but there's something about it, they have to be so close. Tired eyes and longer legs awake and they sit still and souls sit and wait for words and actions. And we smile and we try because we love.

They Hunger for you. 

The real you. 

The soul and spirit, that is all treasure.

We do the drill and pour milk in bowls, dress and brush and take the day each day either slowly or too quickly and we make mistakes and we are watched. 

Every turn, every bend, every word, every trip, every smile or frown. Watched. 

They look up. Look up to see and to learn what is right. We model life and love and forgiveness and treasure and what Spirit is and what it should look like.

We may fail and wail and trip but a new day. It's not over. Its not over and we may feel like staying under the covers and rotting our soul and flesh but these spirits. Who will help sow their seeds? What will their eternity be? 

Don't hide and doubt and have disbelief in self that shows. And to which they squint and stare at their treasure in wonder as to why and what they should do and they try to brighten it because they know it will shine if they only try harder.

You. I. Try and fight while the body is weak for the Spirit has strength, believe in Gods light and mercy and love and block all that creeps and crushes the pure goodness in self.

For years fade tens and twenty years fade like a blink of the eye and they may forget and it may take another ten or twenty to remember. 

But its the rarest treasure and they all always keep coming back for it. 

And the treasure that is in us, is never forgotten in them because the model never stops wearing it.  

It's polished and repolished by memories and moments of littleness, soft hands on cheeks, sticky fingers and melted ice cream cones, chases around tree trunks, spilt tears, long talks and walks, caps and gowns, and a presence that is always there.

Time will pass. 

Days will flee.

Hours will fade.

And life stretches thin the desires of the heart, the will of the soul, and the face of the treasure and its home.

But then comes our see the treasure we made for ourselves in them.

And to them we will always be.

For the treasure never loses its rarity for its the model that makes the treasure so sought after.

From Golgotha To Paradise

They led Jesus outside the city gates of Jerusalem towards a hill called Golgotha which means the place of the skull.

Wearied and bloodied with a crown of thorns on His head, His feet painfully, slowly lifted one after another over dirt and stone that cut into his soles. 

The very same feet that had walked distances to heal the sick, raise the dead, and help the lost were now bruised with bones that ached and throbbed from the weight of wood upon His back.

Those who used to run towards Him, now ran away from Him.

Drenched red from a lead tipped whip, His back, all the way to His soul, bore the weight of a cross and of all people ladened with sin. 

The same back that was sure to have been embraced with affection by men and women at the sight of their healing, now barely able to carry the mass of wood slung over His shoulder and back.

Nails bore into His hands. The same hands that clasped hands and wiped away tears, now pierced by the force of hammer to nail, his body broken for us.

Hung for all to see upon the hill at Golgotha, He was hurled insults by the passerbys on the road. The sign on His cross, "Jesus, the King of the Jews."

The lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world now pained by cruxificion still even in death spoke and gave life. The very essence for the reason of His walk on earth to give life, true life, eternal life, and to give it more abundantly.

Next to Jesus on his right and left hung two criminals, one of them hurled insults at Him. " Aren't you the Christ, Save yourself and us!"

But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

Jesus answered, " I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23: 40-43.

And that is what He gives us His children, His friends, His heirs through His death on the cross. A paradise unlike any fathomable to the human mind.

Death comes to all, but He brings us resurrection and life. These fleshly bodies will cave and vanish and wither, but the soul lives on towards paradise. 

Worry and fear mounts over death, but a heavenly paradise awaits for those who speak words of repentance and whose hearts connect with His.

There will be no more pain or mourning or loss for all of those have passed away (Rev. 21:4) And we have been given a glimpse, a glimpse at this paradise where He sits upon the throne, the Spotless Lamb of God, the Messiah. From John's encounter in the book of Revelation:

" It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gate. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."

" The wall was made of japser and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the foruth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eight beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass."

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. One each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp for the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
Rev 21:11-14, 19-21. Rev 22: 1-5, 12.

Jesus, the light of the world, came to save us from or own darkness.

Jesus came, because the Father loves us so.

He longs for us to walk with Him, to give Him our sin, our time, our heart, and our prayers.

And in return, He gives us ressurection and hope through salvation.

He gives us an eternal paradise... .
This post was originally posted on ,Christian Women Online a wonderful resource of devoted hearts and words for women.

Believing in Purity

So I'm open and brave today with the pen. 
Drawing close and embracing freedom that comes from letting go and just letting God. 
I hope it brings your heart into a rest that God works everything out for good, and that no matter the past our God is good, and through him we are made pure.
{There she stood.
Her skirt was a little too short.
Her heels were a little too high.
Her composure a little too confident.
Before the door could close behind her, she struck a match, and lit a flame to a cigarette. Inhaling deeply, she blew a gust of smoke into the cool, morning air.
She knew others were watching.
She walked down the steps, past the stained glass windows and white steeple, past the place that she just couldn’t understand.
She walked with no fear. She walked blindly.
Once in the car, she drove down the cobblestone, brick road. Her red old dingy Datsun hobbled over bumps and grooves until she came to her usual spot.
She walked in the musty building where the stench of alcohol and stale cigarettes from the night before still lingered.
They all knew her.
She felt accepted.
She felt known.
But she was deceived.
Flash forward fifteen years, and I can still see her there. Those wild, crazy, selfish days of instant gratification existed foolishly. Those years still sit and soak in the back of my mind.
I wish she would have driven down a different path..................}
The rest of the post can be read over at Incourage. Humbled to be able to share the rest of the post today with a wonderful community of women and writers and grace filled followers.

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A Morning Prayer

In the morning Lord I give you praise,
for the breath and the joy of another day's dawning.
Help me to keep you as the center from which all things will point to.
Moments may be hard and will test the soul but help
me to respond in peace and patience and the fruit's of your Spirit.
Teach me to sing praises when the moments get restless and hard and
to shout hallelujah's for when You have won in me.
You, Oh God are my Rock
You, Oh Jesus our my Salvation's Song.
My hope is in you.

For A Good Man To Fly

The thuds from the wall are loud and you could swear the wall might just cave in.

The clock pasts 10pm and it looks like it's another late night as he rearranges and moves his tools and saws and its packed full of clutter and beauty and wood chippings and dirt.

To a unknowing person it's just a mess of mismatched items, strung about with no real purpose that causes the mouth to gasp at its sight.

But to him it makes a perfect, majestic disorder. 

Sometimes life throws hurdles and messes and disorder and some can handle it well and others cave.

I cave and always fail and ask, "why?"


Everyday can sometimes feel like the day before and the day before that and the day before that and suddenly you question purpose and point and wonder where it is all heading after all the waiting and waiting.

He walks in from work a smile on his face as he opens the door all dirtied and covered in sawdust. 

His front pant pocket had a hole where the night before he had taken a stapler and stapled the seams together underneath the color so his keys wouldn't fall through.

His smile, I've seen before.

He said he got a text. A text from someone who needed a player, a guitar player for hope city, an outreach center. If smiles I could remember this one I would have wished I had.

Hopes don't soar high here, because sometimes it doesn't work out and more than likely it wouldn't work out for him as it usually does and it would only break again, my hope.

Excitement, don't let it show, but yet ride the waves high for dreams are only short lived and then age and distraction and disappointment and life swallow them up.

What does it take for a good man to fly?

It just takes some time. 

It just takes a word. 

Someone spoke good about him. 

And now, he was smiling as he practiced. 

His fingers stained with paint as they plucked and pulled the strings of a dust covered guitar.

I've tried to push him and pull him this way and that way to tap into skill and it's a sad road. 

A sad road of knowing and being able to go nowhere.

Adhd/add where a mind is torn between so many talents and arts and disappointments, but to him, he doesn't see it that way because he doesn't see through the mess of talents and if he could he wouldn't let it bother him.

When life is lived with multiple thoughts in the head, its hard to pin one down where accomplishment actually produces results.

Daily life has its demands and dreams are lost to the reality of working the clock for the basics, but to give up hope is to lose the battle of the souls will to flourish.

I thought he would miss the bus.

Surely,  he would. 

Never had thoughts entered my mind in the past of wondering if my husband would ever not be able to care for himself.

He played...for hours...and he said his fingers wanted to cave, but he wouldn't let them stop and it was good, because worship is what we are made for and it doesn't matter how many or how few hear, but what matters is the heart connection to the Savior.

I could imagine his smile. 

The way his eyes closed and how his crooked tooth would show and of how much he loves to worship.

If he never played a day again he wouldn't mind for he rests in the promise that one day he will fly right out of here towards heavens pearly gates and yes, he can't wait for that day to soar.

His heart would be content here, but mine, mine would always wonder and I could cave.

To give glory and praise for every minute and moment no matter how grandiose to God. 

For there is hope at the end of the day because of salvation and this life, a free gift, and its better to spend it with joy so fought for, than bitter from strife or life's toll.

Hearts pump thick now and to offer praise up High, a hallelujah, for all that He is and all that He has given us.