Blonde Brunette Ambition

Blonde Brunette Ambition

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Susan

Susan York Meyers is the author of several children’s books, including the picture book, Grrr…Night! for which she won the Creative Women of Oklahoma Award. If you enjoy Susan’s humor, check out Two Little Old Ladies: It’s all in the Attitude, a humorous inspirational book combining both fiction and devotionals. Susan lives with her hubby and Kira, the dog that thinks she’s people. You can find out more about Susan and her books at susanameyers.com. Sign up for her newsletter which comes out four times a year.
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Ambition

Even as a newborn, I knew I was destined to be a blonde. Yet somehow fate gave me a head full of bushy, dark hair. So, I spent the time in my crib rubbing my head against the mattress until all the brunette fell out.

My hair grew back in golden blonde, my destiny. I was blonde all my school years, although at some point, I realized my hair had darkened. I had become more of a dishwater blonde, but still blonde. My identity remained intact.

Sometime after my son was born, my husband and my brother-in-law engaged in a discussion on the color of my hair. (Why they were discussing my hair has been lost to history.) My husband contended I was a blonde, while my brother-in-law insisted I had, at best, light-brown hair.

I took a good look in the mirror.

Had I really gone to the dark side? Let’s just say, my hair wasn’t as blonde as I’d have liked it to be. Easily rectified, and for the next 25 or so years, I rectified it.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about going natural.

This isn’t as easy a decision as you might think. I’ve worked a lot of years at being a blonde. I realize in this era of changing your hair color to suit your mood – pink, brown, purple, blonde – it’s become more spur of the moment fun, than a life changing decision.

My choice shouldn’t be that monumental. But you have to realize, I grew up in the “blondes have more fun” era, Farah Fawcett flanked by two brunettes, blonde ambition, etc.…

Invested or Involved?

Lately my ongoing hair debate has made me think.

Do we sometimes face an identity dilemma as Christians?

We carry on as always. But is it really “us” anymore?

We are involved; no one can say we don’t do our part. But sometimes I think we use the word involved when we should use the word invested.

Are we invested as Christians?

You can be involved, but not invested:

  • You teach class because someone has to do it.
  • You attend a Small Group because your spouse wants to go.
  • You are in the pew at worship time because it’s your duty.

But does God only want us to scratch the surface as Christians?

When you are invested:

  • You teach because you are helping grow a new generation of Christians.
  • You attend a Small Group because you want to get to know your fellow Christians on a deeper level as you study God’s word.
  • You are in the pew at worship time because you are honoring and praising God.

As with anything, it comes down to attitude.

As we constantly search our hearts and minds, ever guarding against becoming complacent in our worship of the Creator, we need to not only be involved, but be involved because we are invested.

As for my hair, am I still invested in being blonde? My hair dresser and I will let you know.

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Praying Luke: Glorifying the Lord in the Big & Small Details!

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Navigating Each Day with God

Navigating Each Day with God

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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Vacation Prepwork

We recently went on a long weekend with our children.  While the trip was nothing big, it was definitely interesting.  My story actually started two weeks before our trip.

My husband and I both drive large, gas-guzzling vehicles because of our farm.  I decided we needed something smaller and more economical to drive.  After much searching, I bought a small, used SUV.  I got a great deal on it because it needed a wheel alignment and two new tires.  The day before we planned to leave, my husband asked what we were driving on our trip.  Since my old vehicle was in the shop and could not be driven safely, he wanted to take the new car.

Well, I had not gotten the wheels aligned or the new tires.  Since we live in a small town, we have to drive about thirty miles to have all this done.  We went to have the alignment checked and it checked out fine.  The bad tires were the only problem!  We then went and got two new tires.  This took about six hours including drive time.  We got home just in time to pick up my old vehicle from our mechanic.  What a day AND we had to get up early the next day for our vacation!

The Help that Wasn’t Helpful

Next up, Google Maps!  We were merely going from Oklahoma to Texas.  Our first stop was the Texas State Fair.  For this, we needed a map.  My tech-savvy teenagers said Google Maps would help us with navigating.  Apparently, that is not a good idea when you are driving through a large city with lots of loops and overpasses.  At one point, it gave me different directions for about thirty seconds solid.  I was so confused.  I finally told the kids to turn the voice off and read me the directions as I drove.  It also tried to route me to take all the turnpikes, which I could not due to the paper tag on the new car. Even though Texas has a reciprocity agreement with Oklahoma for turnpikes, the scanner must read the PikePass as well as the license plate.  We finally figured out how to navigate through Dallas/Fort Worth and avoid turnpikes on Google Maps.

Arriving at Our Destination

We got to the fair and went on a quest for “fair food.”  We all wanted to try fried butter.  Yes, you read that right, fried butter!  This is an incredible delicacy that we had seen on television years ago and was only available at the Texas State Fair.  It is butter wrapped in a dough, deep fried, then topped with powdered sugar and honey.  This was just as good as we thought it would be.  We also feasted on fried Oreos and fried cookie dough among other things.  Of course, my children do have their limits and did not want to try fried Jello or fried lemonade.  Really, that was what they said no to!

We had a long day at the fair and then went to our hotel.  My children wanted to stay at a hotel with an indoor pool since it was fall and too cold to swim outside.  Being the good mom that I am, I found and paid extra for such a hotel!  Did any of them swim?  No!

The remainder of our trip was unremarkable, except for our navigation misadventures with Google Maps.  I did learn that we did not have to spend a lot of money or go far away to have a fun vacation.  We had a good time bonding as a family and eating some unusual foods.

Navigating Our Spiritual Lives

This reminded me that we do not have to spend a lot of money or go anywhere specific to spend time with God.  He is our Father and just wants us to spend time with Him.  Let’s start the New Year off by spending time with Him!  The great thing is we can go straight to God.  We don’t have to hassle with “Google Maps Bible Edition” that might loop us round and round in frustration before we ever even get to God! We can pray, we can go straight to the Bible, and we can count on the Holy Spirit to guide us. Navigating each day with God by our side will help make the best of every day!

Are you navigating each day with God?

 

 

Black Friday…the Tradition Continues

Black Friday…the Tradition Continues

Toni D

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Toni D

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Our annual Black Friday shopping has added a new chapter.  I will say that Black Friday 2016 was the most unforgettable yet!  In the past, we have talked to Siri, listened to and sang “Dumb Ways to Die,” told stupid jokes, and have done some crazy things.  Black Friday 2016 definitely tops it all!

The rule is that once you turn fifteen, you can go Black Friday shopping.  This time, my sixteen-year-old middle son decided he wanted to go.  Apparently, this is not good when you put him with his thirty-two-year-old cousin’s husband, Jimmy, who is a former college football player (a big, big guy).  All I can say is, “Heaven help us!”

Our outing started out pretty normal.  Jimmy had already told us he had a YouTube song/video for us.  After we had made several stops, he decided it was time for the video.  It was “PPAP – Pen, Pineapple, Apple, Pen.”  Let me say, this is the stupidest thing we have seen yet.  It is so stupid that I cannot even laugh.

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Our next stop was the mall to look at women’s boots for my niece.  While she was looking, the “boys” are discussing what size women’s shoe they would need.  Jimmy wears a men’s size 13 (Did I mention that he is a “big boy?”) so we knew he would not be able to find something to try on…in the women’s department.  So they set off to find a boot for my son.  They started with a lovely high-heeled sandal in a size 11.  He modeled it for us and then said it was pinching his little toe.  (He also almost fell twice and could not keep his balance in those four-inch heels.)

Then, Jimmy found the ultimate boot–a size 11 wide!  This made them both happy.  My son tried it on and stumbled around as other shoppers walked by giving them strange looks.  We were all laughing so hard.  Did I mention that it was around 2:00 a.m.?2017-11-15-22-09-33-1

These two continued getting in touch with their feminine side.  They looked at makeup in Sephora.  My son tried on sweaters that he had bought for his girlfriend.  He even did the model poses. Yes, I took plenty of pictures!  These two had quite the time and ended up getting lots of odd looks and lots of laughs.2017-11-15-22-12-42-1

The highlight of the night (yes, it got better) was when we later made a stop at Quik Trip.  Remember the song that I mentioned earlier? It has a dance.  Before they got back in the car, Jimmy taught my son the dance in the Quik Trip parking lot at 5:00 a.m.  This was so funny!  And, yes we did get it on video.

Before anyone says that I should not have shared some of these embarrassing highlights, I did preface the night with the comment, “Remember, what happens on Black Friday goes on the blog.”  They were forewarned!

I do not know how we will top this next year,
but I am sure that they will try.

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

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Driving Backwards Down the Parade of Life 

Driving Backwards Down the Parade of Life 

Follow Susan

Susan

Susan York Meyers is the author of several children’s books, including the picture book, Grrr…Night! for which she won the Creative Women of Oklahoma Award. If you enjoy Susan’s humor, check out Two Little Old Ladies: It’s all in the Attitude, a humorous inspirational book combining both fiction and devotionals. Susan lives with her hubby and Kira, the dog that thinks she’s people. You can find out more about Susan and her books at susanameyers.com. Sign up for her newsletter which comes out four times a year.
Susan
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My best friend and I love touring houses the way some people love watching football games. It’s an addiction. When we wander through an especially gorgeous house decorated in the style of a bygone era –touchdown! Of the many tours we’ve taken over the years, one foray stands out: the time we inadvertently joined a parade.

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In the days before smart phones and GPS systems, my friend and I relied on memory, fuzzy at the best of times. We found ourselves driving up and down the streets of a small town looking for an elusive address. We turned onto a small side street and drove halfway down the block before hearing the music. A marching band headed straight toward us! Behind the band, a local (unadvertised) parade enthusiastically followed. We stopped. They didn’t. Obviously, the drum majorette and her crew felt they had the right of way.

Then we noticed the people lining the sidewalk. They stared, some laughing and pointing. Inside the car, four red cheeks burned in deep embarrassment. Only loyalty to my friend kept me from ducking onto the floorboard and cowering out of sight. Instead, I faced the music–er, parade–with her. I held my head high, albeit, with a protective hand between my face and the car window.

“What do I do?” asked my friend who was, thankfully, doing the driving.

“Hit the gas and play chicken” didn’t seem a suitable reply. The only advice I could muster was, “Put it in reverse and back up until we find a parking space.” So that’s what we did. Some of the crowd applauded as we reversed. Some waved. My mother’s admonishment to always “be polite’ echoed in my ears, and I waved back. Once safely in the parking space, my friend and I turned to each other and burst out laughing. No words, just laughter. I have to admit, after leading a parade in reverse, touring the house was a bit of a letdown.

Now let me say, I’m an introvert. So for me, messing up in front of others is akin to one of those dreams where you show up at school in your underwear, after having studied for the wrong test and you’re at the wrong school. Poise and elegance aren’t in my DNA.

Like most of us, I long to be perfect. But too often, my life consists of flaws, hiccups, and “I can’t believe I said that” moments. I’ve also had my share of moments driving backwards down the parade of life without a parking space in sight.

And that’s okay. In fact, I like to think I inspire others, or at least make them feel better about themselves. Maybe that’s my role as a Christian. People aren’t really interested in conversing with saints. They want to meet sinners, like themselves, that God has redeemed. Isaiah 64:8 says,

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” 

If God can take my lumpy clay and mold me into something wonderful, then surely he can do the same for others.

And if I’m going to be even a little bit of an example, maybe it’s to show we shouldn’t let our insecurities have such a stranglehold on us. Take that parade. My friend and I didn’t quite panic, but we certainly were embarrassed. However, we went with it. That’s how life is. Sometimes you watch the parade, and sometimes, those very rare times, you get to lead it. Just don’t be so afraid of making a fool of yourself that you miss the parade entirely.

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

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Football & Moses have a lot in Common

Football & Moses have a lot in Common

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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Football season has kicked off and every week millions of people cheer on their favorite team.  Now, every time I watch a football game, I can’t help but think how much football & Moses have in common.  Yes, Moses…the one in the Bible!  I know, you probably think I’m crazy.  Don’t worry.  My husband gave me an eye roll the moment I said that too, but it’s true.  Let me share with you what all football and Moses have in common.

What do Football & Moses have in common?

We will go from the most obvious to the least obvious.

1 – The Crowd of People

Although some faithfully stand by their team or Moses, the majority are more fair weather fans.  In Moses’ case, when the Israelites were making their way out of Egypt, they were super excited until they dead-ended into the Red Sea and claimed God brought them out into the dessert to die.  There were plenty of times that a massive wave of grumblings could be heard from the crowd.  Oh, and when garlic and onions weren’t available, shoot, all bets were off and Egyptian slavery never sounded so good.

Why did we pick this guy for a coach again? Why are we following this guy in the desert?  Crowds seem to focus on the perceived failure rather than the winning streak.  Yep, faithful crowds are hard to find as evidenced by tickets sales for a losing team.

2 – Sponsored Drinks

Football has Gatorade © while God’s people had the first water fountains powered by God. How cool must that have been?

What?  There is no water here? The people are complaining of thirst?  Ok, Moses, go over there and hit the rock and let the water come forth.  Oh, they are thirsty again? Just talk to the rock this time.  No matter that Moses was leading the Israelites through the desert, God made sure that they stayed hydrated and nourished for 40 years.

3 – The Quarterback

In this analogy, Moses holds the quarterback position.  Both Moses and the quarterback are given the plays, make the calls and then lead the team to victory. Sure in a football game it only takes on average 3 hours and 12 minutes times 16 games during a season, and Moses had to lead for 40 years without stopping, so Moses definitely gets the hall of fame record for longevity over the typical quarterback but you get the idea.  They both make the calls that will run the team to victory.

4 – The Playbook

Yes, Moses sure did have a playbook – The 10 Commandments.  It was by these 10 main plays that every decision in regards to guiding and making decisions could be made.  Yes, God went more into detail on many things from how to be ceremonially clean to even who to conquer but these 10 commandments were special and taught the people the basics of how to love God and love each other.

5 – The Head Coach

Well, it’s not to difficult to figure out who the head coach is in this Biblical analogy – God, right!?!  The cool thing about God being the headcoach is that he was literally with his team night and day.  Leading them by a pillar of fire at night and a cloud by day.  They did not have to wonder which direction he was going, they could just look up and know whether or not they needed to continue on for the day or camp out and rest for a bit.  He provided physical guidance and sustenance as well as spiritual encouragement.

6 – The Footwear

You’ve gotta admit that football players grind the field with some pretty fancy footwear.  Moses and the Isrealites did too.  Unlike the seasonal shoes football players wear, God’s chosen people had footwear that lasted 40 years! They NEVER wore out, or gave them blisters!

7 – Penalty Flags

Emotions run high both in football and in wandering the dessert for 40 years.  When emotions run high, sometimes self-control is lost and penalty flags get thrown.

We know some of the Israelites received penalty flags when they decided to bow down to a golden calf. They had to drink the melted gold, 3000 people died by the sword and then they were hit with a plague. Then another group tried to usurp Moses’ God-given authority and were swallowed up by the ground, but they weren’t alone.

Moses also received some penalty flags of his own.  When he let his anger over the people’s unfaithfulness get out of control, he smashed the 10 commandments that were written by the hand of God. His penalty flag was having to chisel out the second set of tablets.

Another penalty flag was thrown when Moses decided to hit the rock to get drinkable water instead of talking to it like God commanded.  The lack of trust caused him to be ejected from the final quarter of the game – entering the Promised Land. By God’s grace and mercy he was able to see the Promised Land, but never got to enjoy it.

8 – Football Goal

Every time I see a football goal, I am reminded of how Moses had to hold up the staff in his hand. Whenever Joshua and the Israelites were fighting the Amalekits, as long as his arms were up, the Israelites were winning. Just like in football, Moses could never have kept his arms up alone.  Aaron and Hur, his teammates, stepped up and aided Moses when he struggled to lift his arms.  They gave him support and kept them up until the battle was one.

9 – The Hall of Fame

Every football player longs to see their name placed in the hall of fame.  In order to get there, they sacrifice, they work harder and push themselves more than what is comfortable.

Followers of Christ long for the same thing.  We long for our names to be in the heavenly hall of fame and we work much the same way.  We don’t let the sneers of the world get us down, when we are listening to God’s calling in our lives.  We focus on Christ and his promises instead of the temptations to be lazy and just go with the flow.  Moses is definitely a hall of famer and gives us hope in how to trust God with all we have!

Moses’ name is cited both in the heavenly hall of fame and the Hebrews’ Hall of Faith (Fame).

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.  He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they drowned.” – Hebrews 11:24-29

The next time you see a football field or are cheering on your favorite team, remember to cheer on yourself and your fellow brothers & sisters in Christ on this faith journey.  Use Moses as your inspiration to keep going, pushing yourself to be what God is calling you to be, and extending yourself out of that comfort zone so that instead of just cheering from the stands, you’ll be scoring the winning play.  For it is not those who start the game strong, but those who finish strong that will have their names in the heavenly hall of fame.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – Paul (2 Timothy 4:7)

 

Be encouraged by these posts as well!

 

Harvest Soup & Beer Bread Perfection Not Required Mom Burnout  Building Up Your Leaders

Perfection (or Not)

Perfection (or Not)

Follow Susan

Susan

Susan York Meyers is the author of several children’s books, including the picture book, Grrr…Night! for which she won the Creative Women of Oklahoma Award. If you enjoy Susan’s humor, check out Two Little Old Ladies: It’s all in the Attitude, a humorous inspirational book combining both fiction and devotionals. Susan lives with her hubby and Kira, the dog that thinks she’s people. You can find out more about Susan and her books at susanameyers.com. Sign up for her newsletter which comes out four times a year.
Susan
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Proverbs 31 scares me. The Virtuous Woman’s kitchen floor was always perfectly clean, no sticky messes for visitors’ sandals to stick to. She never ran by the bakery fifteen minutes before school for “homemade” cookies because her child forgot to tell her she was homeroom mother that week. And I assure you the Virtuous Woman never said to her husband, “Whoops, I forgot to go to the market. Can you bring a lamb home to roast?” I’d be afraid to let that paragon of virtue into my home. If there’s a checklist for perfection, there are no checks in my boxes. Seriously.

Take cooking. As a newlywed, I’d drag myself out of bed and make a full breakfast for my man. Remember this was over thirty years ago, when wives still did things like that. After a week, he confessed he didn’t like breakfast but ate it so my feelings wouldn’t be hurt. Well, I didn’t need to be told twice. I threw in the spatula and went back to bed. I didn’t make breakfast again until my son came along.

My sewing skills didn’t earn any medals either. Again, hark back to the olden days when schools still taught Home Ec. Knowing how to sew was a top priority for women. However, even my supportive, loving mother couldn’t figure out how to wear the apron I created.

And then there’s cleaning. If God is in the “big upstairs” wearing a white glove, ready to sweep it across the top of my shelves, I might as well give up now.

Fortunately, the lady in Proverbs isn’t a real woman. She’s a combination of virtues for which to strive. And that’s good news for people like me, who find “adequate” a sometimes daunting task. Even though I know God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, there are still nights I snuggle under the covers waiting for sleeping bliss, but instead my mind says, “Let me remind you how you screwed up today.”

It doesn’t help that it seems like everyone but me has their act together.

Is there some domestic secret? Why does everyone else seem to breeze through being a wife and mother, while I barely manage to limp along?

I remember one Sunday morning, between class and worship service, I caught up with a friend and fellow mother of a two-year-old.

She taught as a college professor.

Her house always looked perfect.

All the treats at her son’s birthday party were hand-crafted.

Maybe, just maybe, she could give me some tips on being perfect. Or at least help me achieve average a little more often.

“Sometimes, it just gets overwhelming,” I ventured to say as my son wiggled in my arms.

She laughed. “I know exactly what you mean. This morning my husband had to grab a pair of socks out of the dirty clothes.”

I managed to shut my mouth so it didn’t look like I was angling for someone to drop a worm in it. “The dirty clothes?”

“Yes. That’s just the way it goes some mornings, isn’t it?”

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She helped me that day. Her secret wasn’t perfection. It was confidence in the fact that she didn’t have to be perfect.

So what if the cake isn’t homemade? It’s bought with love.

So what if I read a bedtime story instead of cleaning? I’ll just tell everyone the dust bunnies are pets.

So what if I’m sometimes slow at getting the laundry done? If it doesn’t smell, no one knows the difference.

No one is perfect. We tend to cut everyone else some slack while holding ourselves up to impossible standards we can never meet. So, my challenge for myself is to start treating myself like I’m my best friend. When I look in the mirror every morning, I give my best friend a compliment. When I screw up, I cut my best friend some slack.

God loves me imperfections and all.

As for the Virtuous Woman, although there are days I like to imagine her cowering beside the washer, eating chocolate and hiding from her kids, I still strive to emulate her. I’ve just learned to give myself a break when I fail.

I am a woman formed by God’s hands, shaped by His love, and saved by His sacrifice.

And that’s perfect enough for me!

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