my mama told me so

Gloom, despair and agony on me

I used to love Hee Haw when I was a kid. Of course, I was pretty innocent back then and missed out on 99.9% of all the innuendoes. One of my favorite things was watching this segment – the “gloom and doomers”. I don’t really know why — maybe it was because I grew up dirt poor and that reminded me of my uncles and cousins or my neighbors Billy-Bob and Wanda and their three kids, Jim-Bob, Joe-Don and Mary-Sue. And the best part? Wanda was a tobacco chewer, complete with the Folgers spit can.

But now that I am an adult, I have a sneaking suspicion it was really because it was good to see that someone else was having problems like my family. I grew up so poor that I didn’t even know Sears and Roebuck was a real store until I was 9 years old. I always assumed it was a “wishin’ book”…that’s what everyone in my family called it anyway. At least until it was banned from our household the day my daddy caught one of my brothers “wishin'” for one of those underwear models…but that’s another blog entirely.

As a Christian, it is difficult for me to watch others in pain. Almost as difficult as it is to BE in pain (whether it’s financial, marital, spiritual or what-have-you). The Bible tells us to “bear ye one another’s burdens” and I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Sometimes I am so caught up in my own “wishin'” that I forget to take my eyes off the catalog and realize that there are so many people hurting out there just like me. I also forget to thank my God for the many blessings He has seen fit to bestow on our family.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that God is so good that I’m going to praise and thank Him for the good AND the bad. It’s the very least I can do to be thankful…especially for a God who loves me so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die in my place. I am humbled when I think about what Jesus did for me. And thankful that I don’t have that gloom, despair and agony to look forward to, but the peace and joy that comes from knowing that I am a Child of the King with an inheritance that is out of this world.

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My mama told me…


There is something to be said for people who have a green thumb, unfortunately, I am not one of them. I love flowers and plants and shrubs…but I have in intense dislike for all the work that goes along with it. The weeding, the watering, the dirt under your nails…eek.

My mom, however can take a withered thorn and grow it into the most vibrant and beautiful rosebush you’ve ever seen. AND…she does it without ever getting dirt under her nails. And no, she doesn’t wear gloves. (Well, sometimes she does, but any of you who garden knows that doesn’t prevent the dirt from finding its way under your nails.)

She taught me a long time ago (I was just about 6 or 7) that if you scrape your nails across a bar of soap until the soap is under your nails and then you put your gloves on or you just go outside bare-handed, the dirt doesn’t get stuck under there permanently. It washes off with ease. Presto! You can look like a lady again. Simple? Yes. But it has always worked for me. Check out WFMW at Shannon’s for more tips.

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When Things Go Wrong…It is Well…

It is Well
Written by Horatio G. Spafford
Music by Philip Bliss

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin – oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin – not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh, my soul.

And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend-
Even so – it is well with my soul.

My heart is heavy today for my dear friend Kris, whose Grandmother went home this weekend to be with the Lord. This song has always been a comfort to me, especially knowing what Horatio Spafford went through before writing it. I am moved to tears when I think about losing those that are closest to me, but I know that it will happen one day. I pray that I will handle it as Mr. Spafford and look up to God and tell him, “It is well with my soul” and truly mean it. My family is praying earnestly for you, Kris – look to God and let Him be your Strength through this difficult time. We love you.

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Calvary Answers for Me

Satan just cowers
to think of the power
he lost when the cross had its day
Gone are the mornings
when fear without warning
would win and again have its way
Now, when Satan reminds me
of things I regret
I bring up Calvary
lest he forgets

Chorus:
High on the mountain
of sorrow and shame
grace signed my pardon
as Christ took the blame
when I’m called to answer
for my history
Calvary answers for me

I am now under
the beautiful wonder
of grace that erased all my past
I feel the heartbeat
of mercy inside me
and now I have found joy at last
I live in freedom
that chains cannot bind
and I won’t look back
at what I’ve left behind

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Take Some Time for These Things…

1. Take time to dream — it hitches your soul to the stars.

2. Take time to work – it is the price of success.

3. Take time to think – it is the source of power.

4. Take time to play – it is the secret of youth.

5. Take time to read – it is the foundation of knowledge.

6. Take time to worship – it is the highway of reverence and washes the dust of earth from your
eyes.

7. Take time to help and enjoy friends – it is the source of happiness.

8. Take time to love – it is the one sacrament of life.

9. Take time to laugh – it helps with life’s loads.

10. Take time for beauty – it is everywhere in nature.

11. Take time for health – it is the true treasure of life.

12. Take time to plan – it is the secret of being able to have time to take time for the first eleven things.

Remember Mom telling you that beauty is only skin deep?

My mom used to tell me that…I never understood why she was saying it. I didn’t even have self-image issues as a child that I know of. I was happy, oblivious to the fashion world, didn’t watch much television, and went to a country school where everyone else was as poor as we were. I guess she knew I’d need it someday. She knew things would change. She knew when I got out into the “real world” people would expect me to be something more than what I really was. Men, in particular. She knew that boys who were raised to only appreciate what was on the outside would never truly love me for who I was and still am on the inside- a bright, funny, thoughtful, caring, sexy, loving, and creative woman.

Did I mention you don’t see that when you look at me? Well, if you look closely, you might see a little sparkle in my eyes…but over the last year, I’ve had my own evolution of beauty. I’ve gone back to the beginning where my mom first tried to instill in me that I’m beautiful – no matter what others may think of me.

There will always be someone prettier, someone skinner, someone with larger breasts, a smaller waist, smaller feet, prettier hands, etc. etc. etc. But I can be the best version of me – there will never be someone that is a better Karen than me. That’s what I want my two girls to know – they are originals and God made them, so they are beautiful, no matter what the world may think.

I said all of that because Friday, I saw the newest ad for Dove’s campaign for Real Beauty.

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