A Beautiful Woman’s Advice on Loving Life

Throwback Thursdays: Gurdon High School Alma Mater

Photo Taken From:  Gurdon High School Page
Photo Taken From: Gurdon High School Page

Coach Edna Cooper said, “The girls performed very well at both tournaments. They instituted team work by causing turnovers, blocking shots, and limited outside shooting. In the first tournament, Crossett defeated us but, in the second tournament the girls were very determined to take the victory home. They set a goal and achieved the goal by playing hard both offensively and defensively, on both sides of the court.The girls continue to practice hard because they know what they are capable of doing, right now. As a coach I am proud of the girls and I am proud to represent Gurdon.”

Every so often I find myself singing my high school alma mater (song).  It’s been nearly 36 years since I’ve graduated high school and I still have Gurdon pride.  What does that tell you?

It tells me that the staff and students set the standards in how I would push forwards to pursue my dreams; and how their comradery and friendship would continue to impact my life as an adult.  

Upon reflection:  Graduation was a sad day for me.  It meant I would be leaving the school I love.  I would no longer keep contact with the teachers that cared.  And I would lose many friends with memories I shared.  I didn’t want to graduate!  But I did!  And here I am learning a craft I never wanted to learn, writing.

I’m sure it’s many of the principles I learned at Gurdon that keeps me in the game of wanting to become a publish author.  It is those same principles that make me want to change at least one life.  For in changing one life I will have made a difference.

Photographer:  Sherry Kelley
Photographer: Sherry Kelley

Attending Gurdon High for three years became defining moments for me.  And, again, those years set the standards I wanted and want to meet.  And when I read Coach Edna Cooper’s comment about the determination of the Lady Go-Devils’ win, I was quickly taken back to times that changed the course of my life.

It’s wonderful to see that Gurdon is continuing teaching youth to press forwards despite obstacles.  Also it is great to see the message is taking roots in their lives.

I’m overjoyed that Edna is doing what she loves!  Coaching!  Also it’s wonderful to see an underclassman inspiring youth to meet their life goals!

Gurdon High School Alma Mater:

For ol” Gurdon’s Honor
We will fight on
We will keep fighting
Till the day, is done
And when the dawn comes
We will still be fighting onward
For the Purple and Gold
We’ll keep on fighting
For Gurdon High

Fight team fight!  Do your best!  Remember you’re fighting for GHS!

The Prayer’s of Black Women: The Rite of Passage

“He escorted his girls and changed their shoes from flats to heels. I think that is significant. That’s a huge step for daughters growing up and who better to head them into that stage of their life other than there dad.”  ~Sharon Leonard

Marvin and his daughter

The above photo is of my first cousin, Marvin Leonard and his daughter.  He is my hero!

When I look at this photo my mind quickly rushes back to happier times.  Times when family meant cousins were best friends.  Aunts and uncles were concerned with your welfare and grandparents loved you more than your parents.

When I look at this photo I just don’t see a season father, but I’m reminded of his giggles, and laughter and the responses of his tattling.  Also, as I looking upon this wonderful photo I’m reminded of the moment I felt family prided as he stood before me in his Army uniform.  I saw the boy and man roll into one.  It was wonderful to see his stature stating he was ready to defend America and the American people.  And, today, as his wife posted nothing but sentiments of love for the man she married, again I found myself filled with family prided.

It’s great to know my cousin got marriage and parenting responsibility right!  Love you, Pom!

The Prayer’s of Black Women: Restoring the Heart of America

Photo Source:  www.sodhead.com
Photo Source: http://www.sodhead.com

Well, Lord, I have finally gotten up from the couch.  Mostly because your spirit has urged me to write a pray.

But, Lord, I feel torn about what I should pray.  There are so many life situations that need your help.  So, again, I feel torn about what I should pray about.  However the situation that seems to be heaviest on my heart is the spiritual and cancerous choice of Americans.

The choice to remove you from our country is drowning this wonderful nation in the pool of political correctness; thus, giving birth to spiritual chaos.

We have taken you out of everything!  We have taken you out of our governmental institutions, our business, our schools, our churches, our homes, our children, our families and our daily actions.  And because we have taken you out of everything we are now experiencing the following:  high unemployment, high divorce rates, high rate of children born out-of-wedlock, high rates of child exploitation’s, extreme amounts of mental illness, and people having disregards for life.

Sadly, Lord, as we the American people bicker over small things such as who should or should not get married.  Or should the NRA step in and help make stiffer laws for obtaining firearms!  Or if a black man is making good or bad choices up on Capitol Hill!  Lord, the country that I love is quickly falling into a perilous state.

Lord the catalyst for what is happening in America is our ease in removing you from our lives!  It’s not the black man up on Capitol Hill!  He’s just one man!  It’s not Joe marrying Johnny or Susan marring Sally!  And it’s certainly not mandating tougher gun laws!  It was removing you!

Lord, the American people need to hear from you!  We need to hear from the God that got this American party started.  We’re a young nation.  And we’re making our fair share of mistakes.  But, Lord, the biggest mistake we have made thus far was removing you!

I’m praying for my country.  I’m asking you for your mercy upon me and my country.  I’m asking you God to show us how to repair our relationship with you.  I’m asking you to forgive the arrogance of the American people.  I’m praying that you will do a historical roll call in their minds and in their hearts.  I’m asking Lord that they remember the blood that was shade for our freedoms; and how you fought along the men that were fighting for all to be freed men and women.  I’m asking you to remind them that our ancestors came here to freely worship you.  I’m asking you to remind them this country was born from a divine dream and supported and encouraged by spiritual God.

For George Santayana once wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  And in Numbers 14:26-38 people perished and wondered in the wilderness because they had lost faith in you and your abilities to create a new land for a people of promise.  Lord, help the country that I love.  Heal the heart of this country because America is a land of promise and we are a people of promise.

Your Loving Daughter,
Annette

Inspirational Fridays: Are You A Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean?

Are You A Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean

(Author Unknown)

Photo taken from: www.revivedkitchen.com
Photo taken from: http://www.revivedkitchen.com

A young woman told her mother about her life and how things were so hard. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, Mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in

Photo taken from:  www.newhealthguide.org
Photo taken from: http://www.newhealthguide.org

strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Photo taken from:  www.treasurecoastcoffeetrader.com
Photo taken from: http://www.treasurecoastcoffeetrader.com

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?

SO…..ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

Granny’s Wisdom: Do Not Wear Out Your Welcome

This is my second cousin, Felicia Hayes, and my grandmother, Queen Hayes.
This is my second cousin, Felicia Hayes, and my grandmother, Queen Hayes.

I wonder how many people have heard the phrase “do not wear out your welcome.”  Hum . . . I first heard the expression from my grandmother when I was young.

Back when I was once a kid, and a know-it-all, it seemed my late maternal grandmother would always say those words to my cousins, my siblings and me.  I’m not sure how my family members took her wisdom; but back when I was a child I thought my grandmother was old, uncaring, uneducated, mean-spirited, and truly out of touch with the mental and emotional needs of the young.  [chuckle]

I can remember as if it was yesterday sassing her for this or that.  But nothing stands out more than the time she would not let me go over to my cousin’s house as often as I wanted.   And, sadly, it was late into my adult years before I understood the meaning ‘do not wear out your welcome.’

As I’m looking back on things and reflecting upon how I dismissed her words of caution, I now understand why my life was filled with heartaches.

I hate to admit to myself but I deserved all the bumps I got from being hardheaded; and my self enlightenment really makes me feel foolish about things I had blame on others.

Well, any-who-how . . . It was by divine revelation I found the phrase in the Bible one day.  I was shocked!  It was amazing to read that God gives his children the same warning!

Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house– too much of you, and they will hate you. Proverbs 25:17

The message I get from this passage is:  don’t be so darn clingy!  Get a life!  Explore parts of your life without others.  Enjoy family when can.  And remember a bit of you goes a long ways.

I’m coming to terms with my granny’s wisdom.  My grandmother has passed but her words live on.  And each day that I live I think about her abrasive and unharness wisdom.  I’m learning she was indeed the smartest woman I will ever know and most of all she loved me.

Vocabulary Mondays: surreptitiously

Lilly's Wedding Quilt2Recently, I purchased a new Amish love story by Kelly Long.  She’s a new author for me.  But I needed something to read and enjoy during moments of downtime.  And the title Lilly’s Wedding Quilt intrigued me.  So it was plucked off the shelf and placed into my basket with great anticipation for a romantic adventure.  But my limited vocabulary has made it hard for me to enjoy the book.  As I reflect upon my frustrations in having to stop reading to look for the meanings of words I probably will never use I find my behavior childish.  Honesty, I feel my juvenile outlook during reading this book keeps me stagnant in building my vocabulary.  So to keep me interested in reading what seems to be a great novel I have decided to use the words I do not know on Vocabulary Mondays.

Word:  surreptitiously

Part of Speech:  adjective

Meaning from Dictionary.com:

  1. obtained, done, made, etc., by stealth; secret or unauthorized; clandestine: a surreptitious glance.  
  2. acting in a stealthy way.
  3. obtained by subreption; subreptitious.

Word usage in “Lilly’s Wedding Quilt”:  “She blinked her eyes, licking surreptitiously at a splat of rain that dripped past her mouth, then spoke the first thing that came to her mind.”