Goals Setting for 2015

Living Today 2015

Making resolutions doesn’t work for me. Even if I just make one resolution when the New Year rolls in, I seem to lose sight of it as life returns to normal, post Holy-days. Years ago, as an assignment from our instructor in Advanced Christian Writing, I started setting goals. Goals to complete through out the year or by the end of the year. Each writer in our writer’s group sets and shares their goals with one another. All goals are saved in our group site.

It is helpful that we discuss our goals together and hold each other accountable through out the year, revisiting our goals and evaluating our progress in July. We pray for one another in writing our goals and we pray for one another in reaching our goals through the interventions we have set for ourselves.

Take a break and listen to this beautiful classic Southern Gospel Song–then continue to read with the song in your heart and stuck in your head! :)

Sharing the goals with my writer’s group is easy. We love and encourage one another, we know each other so well, it is easy to share intimate goals and desires for my life with them because they are always on the side of my good. Sisters in Christ are like that.

Sharing my goals on a blog with everyone who is a friend to me on facebook is another bird. I suppose this takes a great deal of faith and transparency and a lack of worry over what others think of me. I have learned that if I share other might be blessed. Some may judge, some may laugh, most won’t read it. Therefore it is easier to put this part of my heart out there for the world to see. The best thing that can happen is that someone will read it, be inspired to do the same, and grow in their journey as well.

Some of my goals are processes to begin, some are already in progress. The twenty five goals I am sharing come from deep in my heart, my prayer is that it touches yours.

(1) Love the LORD with all my heart, soul and mind. Be a sponge of learning everything I can about Him, His Word, His Ways and His Will.

(2) Love others as I do myself. I mean really love them. Not just lip service but actions to prove it, that there is no question of my love for others who I meet along my way, including and especially my family and friends.

(3) Double read the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation I began this process in November. I read chapters in my KJV at home and then three days a week I read the same chapters in the NIV to my patient while we have coffee in the mornings. We begin the Book of Judges on Thursday January 22nd, 2015.

(4) Continue to complete in depth studies every week guided by our Sunday School literature. Completing the “workbook” part of the study and writing out the Scriptures for the week from the KJV, NIV, and The Message Bibles. Researching commentaries on the Scriptures and writing how He speaks to me that week.

(5) Continue to and increase the time I spend journaling my prayers and answers to those prayers. Seeing in writing how God answers my prayers and works in my life is the #1 faith building, joy producing experience I have. “How I prove Him over and over”. Testify in writing or speech every chance I get.

(6) Continue to use my musical talent for Him at Corinth Church. Practicing as much as possible each week and learning new and challenging pieces in an ongoing effort to bless others as He works through me.

(7) Healthcare in America series beginning with Chronic Pain and progressing through the issues facing patients and nurses in todays healthcare environment. Research, written, submit for publication.  Maybe creating a book in the process.

(8) Be a caregiver. Striving everyday to be the best nurse I can be. .

(9) Teach myself to crochet.

(10) Teach myself to do tatting.

(11) Stick to the Kelsey Budget, save money, tithe, pay off all debt in 2 years.

(12) Lose 30 pounds.

(13) Walk or exercise 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.

(14) Rid my diet of processed foods, eat organic with GMOs, antibiotic free food.

(15) Give up something big that God lays on my heart for Lent. .Complete Silent Unity Lenten Study.

(16) Do better at staying in touch with family and friends, be thoughtful like Momma, and Giving like Momma.

(17) Win the Sweepstakes then give, give and give some more without making people ask. Give because I know there is a need–don’t force people to have to ask me.

(18) Rest when my body says rest and don’t feel bad about having to rest.

(19) Stop talking so much. Know when to hush.

(20) Downsize “stuff” by donating, organizing or trashing. Maybe sell some things online to help the Kelsey Budget.

(21) Worry less. Stop worry at all. Pray more.

(22) Let go and Let God Exodus 14:13-14

(23) Make new friends and keep the old (unless they are already gone-if so they needed to go. I can live with that.)

(24) Think and Speak Positive. Let go of negative things in my life Never speak negative upon myself.

(25) Be still          Always remember Exodus 14:13-14

Comments welcomed. If you read this I would like to know.

Angela Posey-Arnold  2015

Are the Times Really Turning?

February 2009
The Sovereignty of God
In Such a Time as This
By Angela Posey-Arnold
“Do you want to go outside again?” For the fourth time this morning I am forced by a five pound dog to get up, go downstairs and let him out. Out and in, out and in, the little fella has such a hard time deciding if he wants to stay inside with me or go outside and chase the cats.
“OK, little one, this time you are staying out a while.” This last trip downstairs the tv news alert caught my attention. Picking up the remote and automatically muting the noise I notice a perplexing visual of angry protestors burning Israel and American flags in Athens, Greece and London. More evidence of destructive forces chipping away at our nation and Israel.
The sinking feeling begins in the pit of my stomach, “why do they hate us so much?” But, I know why. It is not me they hate, it is God. They hate because He loves. I will never understand it. Nor do I understand the false worship, self-promotion, self-indulgence and self-absorption being promoted across the networks.
To a child of God everything being thrown at us in our culture seems to contradict the Word of God. Some even calling His Word to be wrong and in need of correction.
People are asking, “Where is our hope, who is in control, where is our security?” They look to public figures and political figures to solve all of the problems facing our nation. Politicians running around like chickens with their heads off do not have answers. But, God does.
Has our nation been so blessed we have forgotten God, our true King? Are the external threats and disasters in any way related to the moral and ethical decay of our nation? What does the future hold for such a nation? What will happen to us? Where is our hope and security? Who speaks for God in such a time as this?
As children of God we ponder the meaning of the events occurring in our nation and in Israel. We know from where our help comes. Believers know God is bigger than any of the circumstances we face today. From His Word we can closely compare our lives to the lives of God’s children in the eight century B.C.
Isaiah, the son of Amos, lived during this uncertain and tumultuous time. He witnessed his nation losing all hope. He watched the Kingdom of Judah coming apart at the seams after years of strength, prosperity and security. Isaiah ministered to people there for forty years, as Judah was subjected to military struggles, weak leadership, internal confusion and external threats.
Like Americans today the Judeans asked questions. Possibly they considered the idea that the pagan gods of Assyria were stronger than their God. It could have crossed their minds as Assyria took control of Judea. Maybe they resolved to believe whoever was strongest militarily would determine the history of their nation. They questioned the possibility of God sending bad times for them to see things of Him which could not be seen in good times.
Their questions and ours are all answered. God speaks for Himself. He has already given us the answers through His prophet Isaiah. He gave the Israelites their answers through Isaiah as well.
In 2015, a time when some think themselves to be gods, they still do not have the answers. Only the One True God has the answers and gave them to us in His Living Word.
The words of Isaiah are as new and relevant to us today as they were in the eight century B.C. Look! Your God! Look at Him. God, the Master, comes in power, ready to go into action. He is going to pay back His enemies and reward those who love Him.”(Isaiah 40:10 The Message)
Oh dear ones, we cannot stop there. Continuing in Isaiah 40: “Like a shepherd, He will care for His flock, gathering the lambs in His Arms. Hugging them as He carries them leading the nursing ewes to good pasture…..”
There lies the hope for a nation in perilous times. The hope we rest in is our Shepherd Jesus Christ. He cares and gathers us in His arms. Hugs us as He carries us.
God fulfilled His promises to Judea. He fulfills His promises to us now. Trust, hope and believe. No matter what the future may bring God is in control. Keep your eyes on Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus, the only Way, the only Truth and the only Hope of the world.
©Angela Posey-Arnold 2015


A Letter to You from Your Guardian Angel

Originally posted on Gracenotes from Pebble East:

A Love Letter

By Angela Posey-Arnold

Greetings to you, my charge, in the name of The Lord our God and Creator Who lovingly assigned me to you. There are just a few things we need to clear up. I suppose it is odd for you to get a letter from me, your Guardian Angel, but I can’t wait any longer to serve this message to you.

I bring glorious good tidings of great joy. It is in my job description. I know you can’t see me but you know I am there. Remember just last week you felt my presence? Yes, that was me, sent by God to comfort and protect you. I am always with you. Possibly you know my work.

I want you to know that I am not in the little golden pin you see on lapels throughout your culture. I am surely not a trumpet toting…

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Angels on Earth

Originally posted on Gracenotes from Pebble East:



Scripture: For He shall give His
angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways Psalms 91:11

My position as a Director of
Nursing in a long term care facility sometimes required long hours. On this
particular day in January of 2001, I was running later than usual on my commute
to work. The day before, I had worked 16 hours and I almost took the day off
because I was so late getting home the night before. But I really needed to
attend an important meeting at 10 am.

I had sold my 1997 Mustang in order
to get a bigger car with a smoother ride. I borrowed a car from my Daddy until
I could get another one. So, I was driving what I lovingly referred to as, “the
land barge”, a 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis, built like a tank.

As I…

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Tornadoes in My Mind!!

“This is for all the Strong Ladies who have made it through so much in life. I am
strong because I know my weaknesses. I am compassionate because I have known
suffering. I am alive because I am a Fighter. I am wise because I have been
Foolish. I can laugh because I have known sadness.” Somebody’s status on

I confess to being highly lacking with writing and communicating with others.. I
get so involved in whatever I am doing; I sometimes close out the rest of the
world. Sorry ’bout that. Checked email in too big of a hurry this morning.
Trying to get my work done so I can go back to reading, “The Help”.

Keeping up with my writer’s group and the prayers we share suffers for it, too. Each lady in our group is a dear old friend to me. I talk to them more than anyone else beside Jesus and I have for
years. They have prayed me through so many mountians. Amazingly, we have never seen each other but we have been through so much together. Mission trips, family issues, missionaries, publishing, denials,
sickness, sorrow, tragedy…they have always been there for me. We laugh about
one day seeing one another I don’t know what I would do with them. I just have
been focusing so much of my attention to work here and my little world.

I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams what it feels like to be a
victim of a horrible destructive F5 tornado’ I could not have imagined because
it is an unspeakable nightmare of epic proportions in the life of the affected.
I did not know until it happened to me.

On April 27th, 2011 the weather forecasters correctly
predicted tornados unlike anything we have ever seen in Alabama. The day
progressively got worse and the skies turned “tornado watch pink” with an
orange glow.  The eerie looking still sky
is ever a warning in this part of the world. Its presence is known always preceding
tornados. April 27th was no different.

Previously scheduled to be in Lawrence County for a divorce hearing I tried to
ignore the warnings thinking “surely the legal system in Lawrence County is
fully versed on bad weather, more so than I am”. In the back of my mind I was
thinking, “What is wrong with these idiots?”

With the forecasts like they were I could not
believe Lawrence County was actually going to pull people into harm’s way.

But, in harm’s way we were. My attorney and I and a court room full of folks watched
as the skies got darker and darker and the trees began to blow over sideways.
It was raining sideways too.

Right in the middle of the storm the presiding judge decided to evacuate the court
room in the old, old, old court house. Did I mention the court house in
Lawrence County is old and has been condemned but continues to be in use for
all the county’s business?

There we were me and my lawyer, Keith and his, a friend of mine from Haleyville
and a girl who went to school with us. She was there also getting a divorce.
Even without the storm and a possibility of tornados, the air was tight and the
pressure was immense. I hate court rooms. Hate ’em.

Upon the order to seek shelter everyone filed out of the court room and walked
down the stairs, 2 flights, into the nasty damp basement. I do not like that
basement! There are damp musty offices and a court room down there, the bathrooms
and the vending machines also along one wall. Long benches line the hallway for
people to sit in misery while they wait on the law to determine the direction
of their lives. I hate that, too.

The judge called us back into the court room and dismissed us. We all drove
home during a tornado warning. Beth and I made it back to Haleyville, picked up
the kids and came over here to my house. By that time the TV and radio, text
messages indicated a tornado coming straight for Haleyville. We got the dogs,
the kids, and the radio. We quickly got to the basement into the stoker room
for shelter.

no words

The rain stopped, the wind stopped and the continuous thunder stopped. But, we
knew it was not over and the tornado had touched down, radio reported a direct
hit on highway 197 where Beth’s house is.

Caitlyn and I stayed here and Beth and Cade went to their house. All was well
there but not south Haleyville, Cummings Subdivision, people we knew, huge
trees down, power off, the list went on and on. Frantic calls were coming in
over the scanner and we could hear it on the radio. The DJ was obviously
incredibly flustered and panicked. He reported as the calls came in, …..Fontaine
Industries, Winston Furniture, Macedonia Road…. The DJ on the radio was
frantically listening to the police scanner and telling us what they were
saying and all I could do was pray.

Hackleburg and Phil Campbell, neighboring small towns, old rural Alabama towns,
to the north were hit and hit bad. All power was off and we could not drink our
water without boiling it. We struggled along not knowing what steps to take
next. We got a generator to keep the frozen food from thawing. We had to cook
on a grill. We were surviving. Taking cold showers because we thought the hot
water was off too.

I had a feeling the Red Cross would call in all nurses so I prepared to go when
they did. Armed with my RN license I joined the call for nurses at the Neighborhood
Facilities Building. The next eighteen hours are a blur. I saw too much there.

A young man 26 years old presented as my first patient there. Every surface, his
head, hair, all over he was lacerated and bleeding. That smell was ever present
and changing the dressings was imperative. Multiple dressings and supplies were
needed. The Red Cross had no supplies. I promise you, on my education as an RN,
I tell you the person in charge was not a nurse, I don’t think.

She handed me the “supply bag” and in it I found outdated gauze
sponges, no normal saline and not much tape. Nothing to make pressure dressings
out of. Nothing to give the patient for pain or fever. I gathered my thoughts
and politely ask the nice Red Cross lady if this indeed was the only supplies
she had. I asked if she didn’t have a central supply. I always thought with all
the donations they get they surely have a little first responder trailer. I
thought wrong. She was so flustered about everything.

She said she did not have any other supplies. Then
she, the Red Cross Coordinator, asked me if I could make a list of everything
we need. I said, “yeah I can but you will have to hold pressure right
here.” She looked at me like I was crazy. I held pressure and changed dressings. Geeze!

So, while holding pressure and cleaning the worst wound the best I could with what
I had, she took down my list. It is a wonder my brain did not explode.

I suppose I looked awfully stunned. There were a lot of people around.
Volunteers, firefighters, patients, citizens, pain, sadness and shock some of
them I knew and some of them were obviously from ground zero of the tornado.
Everyone worked as hard as they possibly could.

My patient was really in pain and deep shock. I kept talking to him and he

would answer me. The stethoscope I was provided with only had one earplug and
one bell. As I tried to get an accurate BP He told me about all he had seen and
felt when the tornado hit. He told me about seeing people hanging in the trees.
He had been in a mobile home in Hackleburg. The last thing he remembers is
getting into the bathtub and his uncle lying on top of him. When it hit, he
felt his uncle’s weight release and he never saw him again.

The young man, found by Alabama State Troopers in a field, his clothes shredded
a bloody mess. They took him straight away to Lakeland Community Hospital in

The ER at Haleyville swarmed all hands on deck. All hospital employees still
standing, called in to work the ER. They young man recounted the time he spent
in the ER. “They were sewing us up in the hall. The doctor stitched me up
in the hall. I had X-rays and an MRI. He said I had fractured ribs and a
collapsed lung.”

The young man brought from the hospital to the Red Cross. I was shocked to find
out how bad he really was. Praying because I knew how bad he could get in a
hurry. Our only option was to call back the EMTs if he got worse and needed

He had a prescription for antibiotics and lorcet in his pocket. How stupid is that?

Where were we supposed to get that RX
filled? No Electricity! duh!

Another RN came in to the Facilities building. Man! was I glad to see her.
She is a good nurse and I previously know her. I discussed the case with her
and she agreed the worst wounds had to be redressed and the blood cleaned up. I
cleaned with sterile eye drops. No normal saline.

The fire department did a great job about getting the supplies back to us
quickly. The young man was obviously in distress because of the smell he said.
If you have ever smelled a tornado and its aftermath you know what I am talking
about. A tornado has an awful; smell. And everything it touched has that same
smell, even people.

Several of us were helping and we washed, cleaned and prayed.

We tried to keep him talking and little by little he sipped
more on his Mountain Dew. The more he drank the better he felt but he was still
crying, shivering and feverous.

We were about to cry too when a local pastor came in and immediately saw us.

He walked straight to us, knelt and began to pray. He prayed, we all
did and he stayed and comforted the young man while we finished our task. When
we finished, the pastor disappeared as fast as he had appeared. I love that.
Stealth pastoring. :)

We obtained Tylenol for our patient from my purse, and some Advil, too. I gave
him both. We also gave him a Tagamet. Oh, and the Red Cross could not provide
me with any policies and procedures. It was a huge emergency disaster response.

Replacing the dressings seemed to increase his comfort, the patient was eating some
peanut butter crackers sitting in a hard metal seat with his cut up, wounded
legs and feet resting, propped up on another metal chair. I was about to move
him to another position and place when another young man came in. It was our
patient’s cousin and they were so glad to see each other. Hugging and crying
each other and us, no one could hold back the tears. We escorted them to the
car with his things and medical instructions. He was on his way home with his
family who had been looking everywhere for him. The hospital told them where he

What a day! I think I must have collapsed when I got home.

The next day, still without power and water, I got up to get ready to go back
to the Red Cross or wherever I needed to go. I was slow getting around and late
getting up. I was waiting on someone to call when the phone rang and it was
Keith. He said, “I know I am not supposed to call but I think you need to
know the cabin was destroyed by the tornado.” I think that may have been
the last thing I really heard.

I am thinking if I write this I will be able
to put it in the back recesses of my mind. I don’t know. I can’t stop thinking
of some of the things I lost. Wonderful heirloom things that really cannot ever
be replaced, my home I built, even though I was ready to give it to Keith, I
wasn’t ready to lose it, the land and all my belongings, but I did.

Diana and Beth snuck over to Lawrence County to make sure he wasn’t lying. They
don’t much trust him. They found he told the truth. Keith said I could not come
until the next day because they had to clear the road to even get to the house.
There were also gas leaks that had to be stopped.

Diana brought me back some pictures and torn
up journal. I almost puked. My body shook and I could not quit shaking. Crying
I could not even make a noise but my heart broke. Physically, I felt it
breaking even more than it already was. I will never be the same.

Among a million things the violent tornado took all of my life journals from
the 70s-until now. All my writing and notebooks of potential projects, writing
I had done for years. 200 copies of my book, those are just lost. I can’t
describe how I feel about that. I don’t even know if I can try to explain it.
My life, my prayers, my heart for all those years has been documented. I write
better than I talk, so I wrote. For years. All gone, scattered, and taken by
the violent wind. Gone with the Wind is my music library of 45 years gone just
gone. Oh how that breaks my heart. All of the Reader’s Digest Song Books Momma
gave me over the years. I had every music book Readers Digest has ever

Two of the Reader’s Digest Books survived, a little worse for the wear and
dirty, they survived. The Christmas Book which has all my favorites in it and
The Family Songbook of Faith and Joy. Those two remain after everything else is
gone. Just gone.

I am so alone. Tragedy tends to isolate and I have had one tragedy after
another. I don’t know how I am existing. I miss my parents so much it hurts too
much. I live here and I try but I have to say I fail in so many ways. I really
just have a hard time talking, laughing or even smiling most days. No one to
smile at or for, except Jesus, Pearl, Radar and Hoss. Now, through all of this
He has shown me so much. The Way, the Truth and the Life. So undeserving I
praise Him as I pray that this too will pass. And somehow I can learn to live
without thinking about what the next disaster or tragedy will be.

I don’t know how long it takes someone to get over losing their parents unexpectedly
and too fast, grieving and leaving, living in Haleyville, friends falling away,
money is tightening, things needed to be gone through, cleaned up and sold,
kept or donated. The basement is full of things that seemed to have survived
the tornado.

There were so many people with boots on the ground helping us go through the
debris. Oh, it was amazing. I could not have asked for more.


The workers knew I wanted to retrieve writings, music, and pictures. So they
found stuff and put it in Contractor Bags. We loaded those and other stuff in
the trucks, cars, vans, etc and brought it back to Haleyville. Very few of
pieces of my journals and writing survived.

On Sunday I was in some intense pain in my left side. Oh, my goodness it hurt
so badly. I hurt worse than after my wreck when I had a collapsed lung. I
thought I pulled a muscle going through all of the debris but it kept getting
worse and worse until by Wednesday I was in the hospital with acute pancreatitis
and I think a bad case of exacerbation of Post traumatic stress disorder.

Ever since my wreck when something tragic or awful happened I would have to go
to the ER. I have been in Moulton Hospital and now Haleyville for illnesses
caused by an exacerbation of PTSD brought on by immense stress. Nothing I can
do about it except try not to implode. PSTD manifest in physical symptoms
eventually breaking down the physical impairment that is the weakest.

have never been admitted to the hospital without Keith and Momma and Daddy. I
have never felt pain like spending the night in the hospital alone hurt. It is
something I don’t think I will ever get used to.

So, now I find myself praying a lot. Reading, watching
TV or movies, I play the piano, I work in the house and trying to dig out
things I want to sell. I find something interesting and have to stop, research
and find out what it is worth. I clean it up and set a price and pray someone
will purchase it..

I so need to sell a lot of things. I have given so much away and mostly people
still just want me to give. I have lost so much, giving gets to be more
difficult. I don’t like it but it is what it is.

I am trusting, waiting, praying, hoping,
posting on E-bay, posting on my created facebook page and about to embark upon
other markets. When I sale enough to get on my feet, I am going to get business
cards and flyers. I guess I can put on the business card, ^i^ Angels in the
Attic ^i^ 2316 10th Avenue Haleyville, Alabama 35565 205-486-3551 205-269-8660
by appointment. Find me on facebook!!
Well, I just thought about what all I need to be doing besides writing. Thanks
for sparking it and for reading this far.

The truth is not always pretty but it is the truth.

Literally, Angels in the Attic

January 2011 I moved home to Haleyville to live in my childhood home. While I am here it seems to be my apportionment to embark on sort of an archeological dig. Such treasures I have found! Even if I could possibly keep everything left by my family over the years I still would have so much to give away. For a very long time, a year and a half, I gave family and friends anything they needed to help them in their grief of loosing my parents.

even with giving away some incredible items that will be heirlooms forever in my family and our friends. I still have a household full of not only my things but my parent’s, my grandparent’s, my great and great great and great great great grandparents. I have coins tendered in 1856 and a Friendship Quilt given to a lady I have never heard of in 1895–every stitch intact.

What does a daughter do with all the things left? From January until April I organized, gave to family and friends, packed and unpacked, and stocked the shop with items. In an effort to make room for all of my belongings and personal property accumulated over the last 30 plus years.

April 27th, 2011–F5 Tornado destroyed my house and all my personal propety that was still there. I lost more than I can even think about. If I think on it too long I just get sick. I tell myself it was only material things. All of which can or can’t be replaced. The good thing is I wasn’t there and no one was hurt. It helps to think of it that way and to remind myself of the Scriptures about earthly treasures.

Even though I lost so much I still have so much. All my life my Momma has given me an angel every Christmas. Displayed in a curio cabinet given to me by Barton Methodist Church in the early 90s. They are all gone. Every single one except a plastic Miss Piggy Angel given to me by my nephew when he was 4. Every one of the china, porcelain, crystal, silver, gold angels all gone.

Sifting through the debris was exhausting. I remember the first day I saw the home I built, my home since 2003, and all of my life’s “stuff” ripped apart and Gone With The Wind. I supposed the first few days of a tragedy like this people are in shock. I was. But I knew I still had my childhood home and everything in it. I also got a grand revelation about material wealth versus earthly treasures.

The natural course of things seems to be that I explore through everything, decide on what to do with each thing and go ahead and do that. Some of the things are too precious not to share and I really want to offer these items charging only for the time and expense I have gone to in order to open the shop and research the items. It has been alot of work but so much fun. I happily and with a simple loving heart offer these things to share.

I can just hear some of the gossips in my hometown chattering their little teeth right now. “Why she is selling her Momma’s things”. I would have to say, well, why do you think my Momma purchased all of these “collectibles”. She did it to leave it for us, her family and friends. She and Daddy both acquired the things they did to pass on to us.

There aren’t many of us right now. Only me and my brother and his family. We all have everything we want as far as heirlooms go. Even if I sold everything in the shop tomorrow I would have enough to restock it 5 -6 times. If I did that I would still have enough for me. It seems selfish to keep these things here when others might get pleasure from them as we did.

So, happily and at peace with it I open the doors to the shop. Offering to anyone the opportunity to purchase any of these items at a fraction of the price anywhere else. I am single and I really have to downsize to a managable level. I think it is a great trade off—love for love because of love. I hope you can see it this way too.

Knowing I am allowed to do now what my parents intended for me to do I am excited and have alot of work to do before tomorrow morning.

Circumstances of Happiness

Circumstances of Happiness



Light is sown for the
righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Psalm 97:11 KJV


“How can anyone be happy these days? Just look at the


Simone is a mother of three small children and works two
jobs just to make ends meet. Her day starts early and ends late. Even though
she is exhausted physically by the end of the day, sleep just does not come
easily. As she lays her head to rest her mind won’t stop. Wars and rumors of
wars, gang violence, drugs, alcohol, sexual crimes against children, she
ponders these things in her mind and worries about the future. She prays for
strength to endure everything that the world is throwing at her.


The bills are due and the money is tight. Her husband works
all he can but when the month is ending the money has run out. Worry is all she
feels that she can do, worry. She worries about money, her children, the wars,
the weather and all the issues of today’s world. She longs for a simpler time
when life was slower. She is convinced that life is harder now than it has ever
been before.


As she gets up again in the middle of the night to check on
the children, she looks in the mirror and cries, “all I want is to be happy I
am so tired of bad news, why can’t I just be happy?”


Annie is a nurse; she cares daily for the poor and needy
children in her community. Healthcare is a mess and most of her patients have
no way to pay for their care. Wars rage and the death toll continues to climb
with no peace in sight.


She takes time out of her busy schedule to read the
headlines everyday. Her father and brother are in the military she must keep up
with what is going on where they are. The President has unveiled a new program,
Israel is having elections,
and there are continued problems in theMiddle East.


There has been an earthquake in Ecuador
that killed 8000 people, severe flooding in Guatemala. People are hurting and
desperate. As Annie looks in the mirror she asks herself the same question that
Simone asked. How can anyone be happy living in this day and time?


Simone and Annie have so much in common except that Simone
lives in the year 2011 and Annie in 1949.


Life has never been easy. Stress, worry and fear have always
plagued mankind. The headlines in Annie’s time of 1949 were almost identical to
the headlines of today in 2011. They were even talking about global warming and
the burning of fossil fuels in 1949. Worry didn’t help then and it doesn’t help
now. Happiness was the same then as it is now, elusive.

Most of the things that people worry about never happen.
Worry stems from the fear of the unknown. What we as Christians need to do is
to turn to God’s Word for the assurance that in the end, we win. In the end
there will be no more sorrow and no more pain. We know that through the challenges
of life we grow in our faith. God’s promises bring us comfort and joy in times
of trouble.


Paul tells us to “count it all joy” Think about Paul and
what he endured, yet he had joy. Happiness can be found and it can be embraced
even in the midst of trials and tribulations. It is like catching on to a star
and hanging on despite the fact that the star is falling.


In 1949 Annie wrote her Recipe for Happiness. It is as fresh
today as it was over 50 years ago and we can apply it to our lives.


                    Annie Early Wheeler’s Recipe for
Happiness March 1949

                   “That Pearl of great price can never be found in
the pursuit thereof. It is like                                  a white
winged Angel just ahead of us on the road, we hasten our steps to catch when it
disappears around a curve, we increase our haste, only to see it disappearing
around the next curve, but when we forget the pursuit and turn about we find it
following us. Or it is like a beautiful white flower, to obtain which we drag
our weary feet and sagging spirits across the world vainly searching for it,
but when we forget it and turn about with all diligence, giving all our powers
to some worthwhile constructive work, lo we see it blooming on both sides of
our pathway. It requires a diesel engined freight train filled with
forbearance, self forgetfulness, tolerance of the faults of others, only
intolerance of our own, tons of the sublimity of self control, and the power to
see the good and the beautiful in all people, nature and consideration of
others, gentleness and tenderness. A generous sprinkling of merriment and
humor, carefully avoiding through carelessness or thoughtlessness even the
slightest pinch of self centeredness, selfishness, envy, hatred or malice,
which would sour the whole. Oceans of love, above all and through all and
shining like the rising sun on a spring morning. Loving service to mankind. Sir
vigorously and set in the warmest chamber of your heart, never allowing it to
cool off. Follow these rules faithfully, so that your spirit may be always
attuned to hearing the rustling of a wing and seeing a star.”

Annie Wheeler—March


Dear Lord. Thank You for the joy of Your salvation. Help me
to spread it. Help me to be a reflection of You. In Jesus Name, Amen



There is no secret to being happy. It is not a great
mystery. We just have to be able to set ourselves apart from the cares and
worries of the world. We must have the ability to forgive and forget, putting
God first, our family and friends second and ourselves last. As we keep our
focus on God and others, happiness like that elusive butterfly will come and
sit softly on our shoulder.