Thursday, January 27, 2011


I am not much on email forwards. You know – those “if you send this to at least ten people from your contact list, you will receive the biggest blessing of your life in 10 hours” kind of emails. So silly.  Even some of the so-called “religious” or “spiritual” emails are ridiculous, MOST of the time. I’ve come across a few that I really liked.  I got this one just yesterday, and it is probably my favorite. I just had to share!
Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.
Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those that are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.
Now that is something Brittani needed to hear. How about you? So often I find myself entirely wrapped up in my wants, my desires, my needs, my worries, my fears, my cares, my EVERYTHING. (Notice a reoccurring word in there anywhere?) How self-centered and just plain WRONG. There is an entire world of people out there – both Christians and not – who are hurting. They are scared. They are just as busy as I am – some even more, no doubt. My “problems” pale in comparison to so many; yet, I still will often yell in my car when someone pulls out in front of me, think rude thoughts when I see a “freak” at the mall, look the other way when I see someone begging for money, and become disgusted with people who are in my way.

I don’t write this hoping to make people feel bad about themselves. I write it simply so that all of us will take a good look at our lives and see that we can all do better. As the email said, Love is the greatest gift. We had a perfect example of true love in Jesus Christ. He DIED for us. The least we can do is LIVE for HIM. And living for Him means loving ALL – regardless of skin color, social status, age, and yes – even religious affiliation, standards, sexual orientation and anything else you can think of. Do we agree with everyone on everything? NO. Absolutely not, in fact. As an example, let’s take homosexuality. It is a blatant sin against God. I hate it. It is disgusting. But those who are involved in it need Christ. They need to be loved. What is that phrase we’ve all heard so often? “Hate the sin; love the sinner.” It’s time we walk the walk, instead of talking the talk alone.

Help me, Lord, to love everyone I come into contact with. I may not love the things they do or say, but I need your help to love their soul. In Jesus’ name…Amen. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Riddle for You.

What comes in multiple sizes, is multi-colored and multiplies at rapid rates? Come on – you must know this one. Especially all you moms out there…any ideas? LAUNDRY of course! Seriously. Josh and I don’t have kids yet, but I am already starting to wonder – when will I ever find the time to do all of the laundry that they bring with them?! We already seem to have so much already. Where does it all come from? I have yet to figure it out.
Honestly, though – laundry is not a difficult task. I don’t have to leave the house to do it. I mean, COME ON. You take it to the laundry room, sort it, pitch in a load and leave. Then you come back, toss the previous load in the dryer, throw another load in the washer and leave AGAIN. And repeat. But even in its simplicity, I loathe it. [Can I get an Amen?] And even though I purpose to do better next time, I still manage to wait until we are wearing our “not-so-favorite” socks and underwear before the urgency kicks in. Maybe I should have titled this blog “Loathing Laundry…”
I will admit, however, that doing laundry has given me one good thing – an even greater appreciation for my mom. Surely she hated the task as much as I do now!? She had to hate it even more, actually, because I made it so much harder on her. I remember changing clothes and thinking, I’ll just throw this in the dirty-clothes hamper. I don’t feel like hanging it up. [Sorry, mom!]  That is EVIL – just plain EVIL, I tell ya. And lazy, too. Had I been a good child, my thought processes would’ve gone something more like this – My mom works so hard, and I know this shirt is as clean as it was when I put it on this morning. I will hang it up. But even in the abundance of laundry [both dirty and not-so-dirty] we piled on her, somehow mom always had it done just when we needed it. How did she do that? Guess I will figure it out someday.
In the mean time…here’s to you, Momma, for keeping my clothes clean!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Hope y'all are liking the new look of my blog...more changes to come!

From Baby Brother to Soldier...

On November 26, 1990, a precious little person came into my life. I was only 5 years old at the time, and to be quite honest, I do not remember much about that day. I do remember riding in the backseat of my grandparents’ car, looking out the window as we drove down South Kanawha Street in Beckley. We were heading to Raleigh General Hospital so I could meet my new brother. And, boy oh boy, did my life change that day – in SO many ways.
I wasn’t the center of attention anymore. It wasn’t all about ME. There were two of us now – Brittani and Daniel.  And since that day, I have assumed the role of “Mom #2.” Sure, there have been times that I argued and fussed with Daniel like all siblings do. No doubt - I drove him as crazy as he did me at times. But I still felt – and STILL FEEL -  like his protector, kind of like a mom would. I also feel proud of him when he does good things.
Friday, January 21, 2011, was one of my proudest days – EVER. On this day, I stood with my parents and watched my baby brother be sworn into the U.S. Army National Guard. 

“I, DANIEL LEE STUMP, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of WEST VIRGINIA against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of WEST VIRGINIA and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God.”
 I don’t know what God has in store for my brother throughout the rest of his life, but I do know one thing for sure. He did a good – actually a GREAT – thing Friday, and I will always be proud of him and his desire to serve his country. Please keep him in your prayers, as he will be headed to Fort Leonard Wood, MO on April 4 for boot camp, then Military Police training.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

He already knew.

Have you ever sat down and really let this fact sink in - No matter what we are concerned about or what questions we have about a particular issue..."What will the results be?", "What's going to happen?", "What should I do?"...HE already knows the answer. HE is never surprised by anything. In fact, HE planned it all. I thought of this recently, due to the fact that my sweet Aunt Linda was going for some test results that could've been potentially upsetting. Praise the Lord, He heard our prayers and saw fit to give me and the rest of my family our desire which was that she would be cancer-free! What a wonderful, understanding and MIGHTY God we serve. I, myself, have had some personal issues and difficulties to pray about lately where I have wondered "What should I do?" How wonderful it is to know (though aggravating sometimes) that HE knows what I should do and HE will tell me when the time is right. I told my mom the other day, "I just wish, sometimes, that we could get an audible and direct answer from God." Truth is we always do get a direct answer. At times it is just WAIT, and I will let you know when you need to know. And grrrrr....I think I am the most impatient person in the world! Hopefully throughout 2011 I will learn to be more patient and WAIT on the Lord. His way is best...His timing is perfect.