Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Always in Control

With all that's been happening in our country recently (and in much of the world), it's easy to feel down and at times, helpless. As Christians, we're heartbroken over all the lives lost due to the horrible virus pandemic, followed by much turmoil, protests, and violence involving citizens and police. If we watch television news reports, we are appalled and disheartened at the actions of many. I think it's important to be aware of what's happening in our communities and our world, but after a while, it's best to turn off the news and move our focus to something---or better yet---SOMEONE else. I know, as a follower of Christ, that He is still in control. He always has been, and always will be. Period. 

He is not surprised by the events in our world. But at times, I cannot help thinking that God must be shaking His head at how His children are acting. So what can I do, as only one person? First and foremost, pray. I have been and will continue praying for the safety and health of others---not only my loved ones and friends, but people I don't know. I pray for those I see on television to have softened hearts and turn to the Lord. 

We must also stand for what we know is right, asking the Lord to guide our words, thoughts, and actions. For me personally, reading my Bible regularly helps keep my mind (and as a result, my words and actions) in line with what God desires for my life. I am His child, after all. So as disease and turmoil may continue around us, we need to remember that SOMEONE greater than all the world is always in control. That's something that never, ever changes. 💙

      God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.   Psalm 46:1  

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Laughter Really IS the Best Medicine

Without boring you with the statistics from experts that detail the positive effects laughter has on our health, I will just say that I wholeheartedly agree. 😀 I'm certainly no scientist or researcher, but I know how much better I feel after a visit with friends (or family) when we've shared lots of laughs. I've even read that laughter burns calories. Who knew?

With the current state of our world--mainly the global pandemic--the news has offered the sobering statistics of those affected by the horrible Covid virus. Not to mention the fact that we all have had our lives impacted by this in a major way. So without dismissing the seriousness of what's
going on around us, I decided to do a post on laughter. 

When was the last time you heard a really funny joke and laughed so hard you had tears? Or maybe you viewed a silly video on your computer and almost tumbled out of your chair from laughing? If you haven't done that recently, then you're overdue! Even if you're a busy mom with young children, or a businessperson working from home, you still need time for laughter. We ALL do! 

So go ahead and give yourself permission to view a video of people trying to walk on icy surfaces. The ones I've seen are hilarious, and of course no one actually gets hurt (except for their pride!).  Or read some jokes that tickle your funny bone--whatever makes you laugh. Ideally you'd be able to gather with some friends and share funny stories, but with "social distancing" that might not be possible for a while. But you can phone a friend or two, and share a funny story with them. You might even make someone's day by inserting some laughter into their not-so-funny daily routine.  😏 

                   A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.  Proverbs 15:13

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Always Trusting

                                                     

In the midst of a global pandemic, the world around us is a much different place in so many ways. Terms such as "social distancing" are being used on a daily basis, and many folks say they feel they're living in a fog. On social media posts, people joke about not knowing what day of the week it is, and dressing up to take out their garbage or check their mailbox. We don't just hop in our cars to run errands as we used to do, and countless businesses have sadly suffered, many going out of business. Strange, scary times.

Yet there are many who are trying to remain positive, and reminding everyone that this situation is temporary. Others wonder if things will ever return to "normal"---many people doubtful that it will. This has been a learning experience for us all, I'm sure we'd agree.

But through all of this - - I've tried to focus on trusting the Lord, because no matter how frightening this situation is, HE is still in control. He always has been and always will be. Now I'll admit that some days my trusting nature is stronger than other days. But if I can remain focused on WHO is truly in control, and trust HIM, then I'll keep a much better attitude about this entire situation. 

I hope that whatever your personal situation is like at the moment, you will be able to trust in the one true God, who loves you and watches over you.

And although much has changed in our world, how nice that some things remain the same. I go outside in my yard and the breeze still blows, the birds still sing, and the sun still shines. Reminders that the Lord is still in control. And that helps me to keep trusting.  

     Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 
                                                                                                     
Proverbs 3:5

Monday, March 16, 2020

Be Strong and Courageous



                                                BE  STRONG  AND  COURAGEOUS

With the horrible virus in the news right now, it seems everyone has been affected. News reports are warning that it will likely become worse before it slacks off; elderly folks and those with compromised immune systems and other health issues are being cautioned to stay home and not venture out. Stores have pretty much been wiped out of many items, and many churches have cancelled services and other activities. Some Christians have wondered if we're seeing the end times.

But with all of the uncertainty, bad news, and gloom and doom forecasts, we can be sure of certain truths. God is in control, and He always will be. Yes, this is a scary time for many of us, and we worry about our loved ones and the future. Yet as a Christian, I cling to the One I can depend on---no matter what happens. Jesus Christ is my Lord, and I know He is with me. 

 I've limited how much news I view on the television. Yes, it's important to be aware of what's going on, but eventually we need a break from the repetition of discouraging news and updates. For me personally, I love looking in my Bible for reminders that uplift me. My Bible has so many wonderful verses that offer comfort and hope, so I thought I'd list a few of them below. Take heart, my friends! This too, shall pass. Just cling to the hope that only our Lord can give.  

     Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
                                                                                                               Psalm 31:24


     Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.       Joshua 1:9  



     Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.   
                                                                                                                           Isaiah 41:10  💙



   


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

CatMom Chats With Author Jackie Layton


                CATMOM  CHATS  WITH......AUTHOR  JACKIE  LAYTON 


I'm so happy to be chatting with my sweet friend Jackie Layton today! Jackie's wonderful book, BITE THE DUST, has recently released. I'm reading it now and loving it!  It can be ordered on Amazon, and I highly recommend this cozy mystery. 😊 

Welcome, Jackie!
How long have you been writing?
   Jackie:  I've been writing around ten years. I'm definitely not an overnight success, but I've learned so much along the way. I've learned to trust God's timing, and I've made a lot of good friends. 

Where do you usually write?  
   Jackie: I have an office at home, and I mostly write there. I have been known to visit a coffee store or the library when I get distracted by laundry or my dog.  

Do you have a regular writing schedule, or do you grab writing time whenever you can?
   Jackie: I try to stick to a schedule, and morning is my best time to write. Nights are also good, but afternoons are terrible for me.  

When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing?  
   Jackie: I love to take Heinz for walks and walking on the beach is the best. I enjoy photography and of course reading. 

Do you have any pets? 
   Jackie: When my youngest son went to college, I inherited Heinz full-time. He's a Westie and keeps me company when I write. He also makes sure I don't sit for too long at a time. 

Anything special you'd like readers to know about you? 😊 
   Jackie: I enjoy watching sports with my husband. Raising sons, I spent most of my adult life watching soccer, baseball, basketball, and tennis. We watch SEC football and basketball games on TV, and most Saturdays we have Game Day on TV.  

 Thank you, Jackie! I enjoyed learning more about you, and think it's wonderful you live so close to a beach.  Congratulations again on your book!  




Wednesday, February 19, 2020

CatMom Chats with Author Tanya Agler


               CATMOM   CHATS   WITH .........AUTHOR TANYA  AGLER 😊   

I am thrilled to chat with Author Tanya Agler, a sweet friend and fellow Georgia girl whose debut novel recently released!!  Published by Harlequin Heartwarming, THE SHERIFF'S SECOND CHANCE is a delightful story that I read earlier this month and highly recommend! 

Tanya:  Thank you so much for hosting me today on your blog, Patti Jo!  

1. How long have you been writing?
   Tanya: The short answer is "all my life." The long asnswer is a little more complicated than that. I started writing in high school, but it wasn't until my older son was in kindergarten that I realized writing was a part of me that I needed to accomplish every day. I was writing my second book when my husband and I received the wonderful news I was pregnant. I thought I can write while holding a baby. Then we found out we were expecting twins. So, I kept that story in the back of my mind and when the twins entered Mother's Morning Out, I became serious about writing every day, starting to learn about the craft of writing, and pursued my dream of someday becoming a published author.

2. Where do you usually write? 
   Tanya: I usually write at Panera Bread or at a local library. When the twins were in preschool, there was a Panera nearby and it was easier to go there than drive home where laundry and our dog were waiting. 

3. When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
   Tanya: Spending time with my family, watching classic movies, reading, walking. I'm the mom of four and they usually keep me busy. I live in Georgia, and I love taking them to different scenic areas in north Georgia. Amicalola Falls and Cloudland Canyon are two of my favorite places to go. I also love walking on a treadmill for story ideas and exercise. At night, I love to either watch a movie or a television show or read. I started watching The Office for the first time, and I've watched the first five seasons over the past 4 months. I'm also a huge classic movie fan and love Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant movies.

4.  Do you have any pets?
  Tanya: Vera the Basset hound adopted us. We went to an adoption day sponsored by the Basset Rescue of Georgia, and she walked over to our family and wouldn't leave our side. We celebrated 5 years with her last month. She's a sweetie, and her age is estimated to be around 13.  Last Christmas, we gave her an orthopedic dog bed. Out of the entire family, I think she enjoyed that present the most. 

5.  I'm always interested in "Favorites" - - so, what is your:
     Favorite color?   Green

     Favorite food?   That's so hard! I have such a sweet tooth. Chocolate chip cheesecake or chocolate chip ice cream. I can't decide!  

     Dream Vacation?   This is also so hard! We're in the process of planning a family trip to Prince Edward Island, which is one of my dream vacations as I'm a huge Anne of Green Gables fan! The reason this one is hard is the mom in me says family vacation to Europe, and the wife in me is looking forward to a trip to Europe with my husband once all 4 have graduated high school.

6.  Anything special you'd like readers to know about you? 😊
   Tanya:  I went to 12 different schools before I attended the University of Georgia---Go Dawgs! Also, I love watching tennis on television (I'm a huge Simona Halep and Novak Djokovic fan, and also love the Big Three and Serena).   Thanks so much for hosting me today.

CatMom:  It was my pleasure, Tanya!  I loved learning more about you, and wanted to add that a trip to Prince Edward Island is on my dream vacation list too. When you go, please share photos!  And I hope those who haven't gotten your book yet will order it - - such an entertaining story! 💚


    

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A New Year - - A New Decade

Today is the last day of 2019, and the last day of this decade. WOW!!  Earlier today, I was thinking back to ten years ago today, and am amazed at all that happened in those ten years. My daughter had just gotten engaged then, so we were thrilled. But I'd also finally accepted the fact that I had no choice but to have back surgery, so I was filled with fear. As always, despite my fears of what might happen with my health, the Lord worked an amazing miracle with my surgeries and countless blessings came from that painful time. Best of all, I was able to walk down the aisle at my daughter's beautiful wedding ceremony, standing straight and tall! God is SO good!! 

Reflecting on the past ten years was a reminder that no matter what our future holds, we can trust our Lord to be with us every step of the way. Through the difficult times and the happy times--He is always with us.   

     The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.
                                                                                                                 Psalm 29:11