The Choice Is yours

Good morning! 

I recently received this delightful array of chocolates from Glacier Confections. They were each one a magnificent miniature little work of art. I hated to sink my teeth into them. But I did.:) And they were just as delectable on the inside as they were beautiful on the outside. I had a difficult time choosing which one to pick first. They all looked so tempting! I  sampled two pieces, the Kona Coffee and the Key Lime for starters. 
What’s your greatest temptation? 
Have you ever held something within your grasp that was so beautiful you could hardly fathom it was really yours for the taking? I can just imagine how Adam and Eve felt in the Garden of Eden. In my case, it was chocolates.  For others it may be this year’s latest and greatest model car. Or that new dream second home. 
Sometimes those things we desire come with a price. In exchange for that thing we want so badly we exchange our souls. In my case extra pounds that need to be walked off at the park with my dog. For others it means extra hours spent at the office away from family to pay the car payment or mortgage. .Whatever that price may be, the choice is yours.
Always ask yourself, Is this something that I can use to serve God?  To edify others?  Or is this just a weakness of my flesh? And never forget, the choice is always yours. Always choose God. He will never tempt you, but always provide a way out. 
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.                        Matthew 26:41 

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

By Accident Not By Design

Good morning! 

I recently took a trip to Muskogee. I was not familiar with the exact location I was trying to reach, so I used my GPS to find it. I didn’t want to end up in the wrong place. I didn’t want to end up somewhere by accident not by design. As I thought about it, it occured to me that that’s how I’d lived a large portion of my life. I  had allowed the course of nature to direct me in the path of least resistance. I no longer desire to live like that. I want to be intentional. I want to live not just my life, but each day, on purpose. 

I’ve recently been studying for an upcoming certification. I put an intentional plan into place in an attempt to achieve it. A good plan. Or so I thought. But what I failed to plan for was my busyness overcame God’s plan for my life. And therefore I hit a wall. A proverbial brick wall. Hard. 

Sometimes we get so busy and wrapped up in our own lives that we forget the purpose behind them. We are driven by life’s daily demands and we soon forget that God always has a greater purpose. His purpose for our lives not only encompass our own life, but all the lives around us. 

Today I reach out to you and encourage you to stop the busyness. Don’t let it consume you.  Follow the plan. God’s plan. All the best laid plans in the world will falter if they aren’t God’s plan.  Keep your eyes upon Jesus. He’s the ultimate GPS. He gives you direction. Not by accident,  but by design. He is your final destination.  

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Favorite Things 

Good morning! 

We all have them. Favorites. A favorite song. Favorite movie. Favorite food. Favorite color. Favorite piece of clothing. Favorite people we like to be around. Those things that give us warm fuzzies.That rekindle the greatest of memories.

This T-shirt is one of my favorites.  To sleep in. It reminds me of its original owner. When I wear it I feel close to that person.  I also have a favorite mug. My coffee just tastes better when I drink out of it. 

Did you know that God has favorites?  YOU are his favorite!  ♡ And I am His favorite.  We all are! 

Just like God has made each of us His favorite, I encourage each of you today to make God your favorite!  ♡ Put Him first above all others. Make Him  first on  your priority list. Turn to Him first for that needed advice. Give Him your first fruits.  They’re His to begin with.  

Think about it.  The next time someone asks you what your favorite anything is, make sure your first thought is God is my favorite!  YOU will always be His! ♡

7 I’m God’s favorite. He made me king of the mountain.” 
Psalm 30:7

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

A Terrible Thing

Good morning! 

Ok! I can’t stand it any longer! Not writing.  😦 It’s affected my general well being.  I feel as if I’ve gone against a purpose God has placed before me. With not writing each morning I’m also not turning to God’s word each morning. And that’s a terrible thing. Being off.of Facebook on the other hand has not been such a terrible thing. 🙂 I haven’t even missed it. Although I do love seeing the pictures of small children and animals, and do love to keep abreast of the comings and the goings of my friends’lives, I do not miss the negativity and disrespect for our fellow mankind. 

So here goes. 🙂

Today I just want to write about how good our God is. You see, I’ve been working on my alternative certification for Special Education this past month.. I’ve basically withdrawn from everything and everybody the last four weeks to concentrate on passing a nine week boot camp. I have to tell you, it’s making me a little crazy. I’ve found myself so self-absorbed with watching videos, working through modules,  and writing 500 word papers that I’ve lost myself. I’ve lost my mojo. I’ve lost my love for life. My love for people. I’m overthinking and second guessing everything.  My intellect.  My hearfelt compassion for those with  special needs. My ability to teach. My  belief in myself. But most of all, my value through God’s eyes. 

After surviving a substantial meltdown, I sat quietly in the dark in the privacy of my bedroom with my Golden Retriever at my feet and thought, “What’s the matter with me? I can do this!  I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. ” I felt the overwhelming stress begin to melt away. I just needed to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and get away from others. Get away from the world, and just seek God’s face. Ask Him to calm me. Ask Him to guide me. Ask Him to use me as only He sees fit  Ask Him to sharpen my mind for the mind is a terrible thing to waste. 

I come to you today. Whatever is bothering you. Whatever struggles you are facing. Just know God is greater. He can provide you with the necessary tools to not only survive,  but to thrive! In all that you do! Let’s all not go a day without seeking God’s face. Seeking God’s word.  That would be a terrible thing.  And never forget,  a mind is a terrible thing to waste. 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.                             Philippians 4 : 13

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Hiatus

Good morning! 

As you’ve probably read, I am preparing to take the required testing for alternative certification to teach special ed. 

My eye surgeries are behind me. I can now move full speed ahead. I have registered and paid for the first of three  required tests. Now it’s all up to me. Time to study. 

That means all my attention present and near future needs to be focused on this endeavor. As much as I love writing, my daily blog in particular, I am going to take a hiatus from blogging and Facebook for awhile. Indefinitely so I can work on exchanging my job for a career. 

But never my kids. My special ed friends are very near and dear to my heart. ♡  As well as you readers. So to you I say see you soon not goodbye. I’ll be back! 🙂
My time is limited.  Around my full time schedule.  And second job. It’s  a must for me. Both economically and intellectually. 

I hope you understand. 🙂   I will so miss doing the thing I love most.  ♡ Writing. And sharing my faith and my stories of love and laughter with my friends.

Take care my friends. I love you all! And so does Jesus! ♡

Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.                                               Matthew 11:28

 Until we meet again. I wish you all…

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Grocery Store Flowers 

Good morning! 

This past weekend I had quickly run in to my local grocery store to pick up a staple item we had recently run out of. I was in the express lane. In line in front of me was a man with just one item as well. A bouquet of fresh cut flowers. 

I thought to myself what a sweet sentiment,  so I decided to share the compliment with him personally. I told him what a nice guy I thought he must be. That some lucky recipient was sure to be happy with his thoughtfulness. His response was “I try. I try to do it everyday whether with fresh flowers or an emoji when I can’t. Life’s just too short not to.”

Wow! ♡ Myself and the young woman at the register both were touched by his outlook. And hopefully the someone receiving those flowers was touched as well. 🙂

I later wondered if whomever the recipient was appreciated the daily gift or took it for granted or grew weary of the same type of gift each day. I wondered if their home looked and smelled like a floral shop. 🙂  I tried putting myself in the receiver’s position. 

How would I react to a gift of fresh flowers each and every day? I would hope I would be appreciative.  But I kind of think I’d spoil the gesture of kindness by asking for them not quite so often. Sometimes less is more. 

Then I thought. Just what gift would I appreciate every day? Every single day? 

The present. Today. A gift in itself. A gift that God gives to me every single day. A gift I try very hard not to take for granted. A gift all wrapped up by God each morning with a beautiful sunrise ready to be unwrapped. By me. And by you. And each evening it is wrapped up again with an equally beautiful sunset.

The beauty that each day unfolds in its sights and sounds and smells is more than enough for me. It is a gift that costs nothing,  but offers us countless gifts within that gift itself. 

Flowers are sweet. But they wither. I’ll take the gift of today. And then eternity when my today’s run out. Spent with my heavenly father and Jesus. And hopefully offer up a sweet aroma to others of that love until that time comes.

And by the way. I still would graciously accept and appreciate those grocery store flowers any time someone cared to offer them to me.:)

His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.         Song of Solomon 5:13

Love and laughter, 

Sandy

Someone Like You

Good morning! 

I was being serenaded to yesterday with a variety of songs played from an iPad. Both old and new. Sonny and Cher. Cliff Richard. Then came Van Morrison singing Someone Like You. Followed by Adele singing the same song. Title that is.  Someone Like You. But with a totally different melody and lyrics. 

Two songs. Same title, but totally different tunes and words. Thus, two totally different songs. Just with the same name. Or title. That’s kind of uncommon. I think there’s even books and films with the same title unrelated.

Have you ever met someone with the same name, or title,  as you? 

Two totally different people with the same name or title. Due to copyright laws, that is probably a little more common among people than the prior.  

I know I have a name double. I accidentally found her on Facebook a few years ago.  When attempting to bring up my own account one day. She bakes cakes. I eat cakes. 🙂  She lives in Tennessee.  I live in Oklahoma, but I’ve been to Tennessee.  Before she moved there. We’ve talked about meeting in person someday. But until then we’ll just remain Facebook friends. With the same name. ♡

The name of the song was Someone Like You.  She is someone like me. But by name only. I was given my name at birth. Hers came later through marriage. There may be two (or more) Sandy Carnes in this world, but there is only one me. That’s how God created us. Each one unique.  Just like there’s only one God in this world.

We may give the title or name God to other objects by our words or our actions,  but there’s still just one God. And He’s not like me. He doesn’t take too kindly to sharing His name or title with others. Never forget that!

For the record, I thought both songs, Adele’s and Van Morrison’ s, Someone Like You, were beautiful.  I’m a huge Adele fan! We all long for that special someone to desire someone like us. Like me and like you. His words were a little more upbeat. A love song sung to the one he’d found. Hers was a little more melancholy.  Sung to the one who got away. That’s kind of how love is. Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead. 

Here’s to lasting love! ♡ After all, Valentine’s Day is just a few short weeks away. No one wants the kind of love that hurts instead. 😦  God’s love is unconditional.  It’s eternal. You can celebrate it more than just on February 14th. And you can experience it along with the love for another human being, your special someone like you.

I hope each of you has found or soon will find your “someone like yous” in life. We weren’t created to be alone. The choice is yours. But whatever you do, choose God. He loves YOU! He handmade only one someone like you for His own behalf. Now that’s worth singing about! ♡

But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.                                       1 Corinthians 8:6

Love and laughter, 

Sandy