Yours Truly

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I started this blog several years ago as an outlet. To whomever reads my blog, I hope you are encouraged. I do my best to keep it short, so it can be a breath of fresh air.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baking and Gifting

I love this time of the year. Our house if filled with Christmas Music and the aroma of something yummy baking in the oven. We celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus and we also come together as a family. I LOVE to buy gifts for people, so this gives me an excuse to buy presents for my family and friends. My greatest joy has been that RJ is now saying he is happy with what he has and doesn't need anything. It makes shopping for him all the more fun.
I will say the best part for me was today. We came home and he asked if we could bake cookies. We made special memories today wearing our aprons and getting flour all over us and the counter and the floor. We made a big mess, but enjoyed the whole baking process. The best gift I am giving my son, and he is giving me is stopping and taking time out to do something so simple, bake cookies.
I challenge you, in all this holiday madness...stop take time out and give the gift of self to your family. Isn't that what God did for us?
God is Good!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Love and Money

Today while RJ was playing cars he was "playing" that the people driving didn't have any money. We decided to talk to him about this and see where it was coming from. It seems that his came from several events. The first being that last week we had an early Thanksgiving dinner and invited a couple we knew over. In our conversation we learned that they were both out of a job. Money was tight for them. Thus, we packed up the dinner and make sure they had plenty to eat for a week. This combined with his newfound knowledge about Orphans has caused him to think that without money you are a sad person. We turned this into a lesson and explained to him that you do not need money to be happy. True, having money does make life a lot easier, but there are a lot of people who have money and are very unhappy. There are a lot of people who have almost no money and are very happy because they have love in thier lives. He didn't say much and asked to have milky so he could go to sleep. We sat down for our nightly prayers and this is what he prayed:" Thank you Jesus for this day. I pray you help all the Oprhans find mommies and daddies." I hope what we told him, helped him see that money is not where happiness comes from. Joy comes from the Lord. Happiness is not determined by what you have or do not have,but if you have love in your life, you have more than enough.
We the Manners Family are blessed beyond measure because our home is filled with love.
God is Good!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tired Boy

RJ went back to school today and was very happy to be with all his friends again. He didn't take a nap and by 7pm I could tell he was tired since he was walking in circles. He disappeared and Bob went to find him and this the conversation that followed as Bob walked into his room.
RJ was sitting in the rocking chair holding his wallet, Bob gave him a dollar and said " Now you are a rich boy." RJ " I'm not a rich boy, I'm a tired boy, I'm going to sleep on the floor." He then laid down on the floor and closed his eyes.

Children, never a dull moment.

God is Good!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

RJ's Concert Practice

Next Sunday will be our church children's concert. This if the first year that RJ will be able to sing in it. He has been learning his songs ever since they gave us the CD and let me tell you, he is taking this super serious. All he talked about this morning was that we needed to hurry up and get dressed or he was going to miss his practice. Later today after he woke up from his nap he started crying because he thought he slept through the dress rehearsal (which by the way is not until Friday) He is going to be a sheep and wants to invite everyone to come here him sing. He even said he wanted Sis T to fly here from Uganda and come hear him sing..too cute! Either way , we are excited about it too and I am sure he is going to sing with all his heart. If you are in the NY area, you are welcome to come hear the children sing December the 4th at 12:00 @ Bethel United Pentecostal Church 357 Jericho Turnpike, Old Westbury, NY
God is Good

Thursday, November 24, 2011

RJism 11-24-2011

Today we had a time of Thanksgiving with Bob's parents. I decided to share with you some of the things RJ had to say today.
Wow. That's a very big Turkey.
I just love this Turkey.
Mmm this cranberry sauce is tart.
I don't want pie, I want a cheese Danish.
I'm so full, I ate all the Turkey fat!
I asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he said " I don't need anything, I have all I need. "

Folks, that made my Thanksgiving complete. To hear my son content, his belly full and knowing he is safe.
GOD is Good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

Tomorrow, we will be coming together to celebrate thanks. I am thankful for freedom, I am thankful for food and I'm thankful for family. Most of all I am thankful for Salvation.
God is Good!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sicky

Several days of last week RJ was sick and then Thursday evening RJ was fine. This morning he looked queasy and from there it was all downhill. After a day of lots of TLC and a very long nap, he is wide awake at 10pm and feeling great. I am thankful for this since I want him to enjoy his Thanksgiving time with family and friends. I'm so tired and look forward to sleeping tonight. All in all, I am thankful that RJ is feeling much better and even more thankful that I was able to stay home with him and nurse him back to health.
God is Good!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Little O

We decided to sponsor a child at the Tupelo Childrens Mansion in Mississippi. RJ has been anticipating our letter from them saying who our "kid" was to be. We will call him Little O. He is 2 years old and loves the drums and the color Orange. RJ became so excited that they had a lot in common, that he went to his hot wheels and took out all the orange cars and put them in a bag. Thus, we will be sending a care package to Little O. They are the same size and RJ was going through his clothes wanting to share. I'm very happy to see that our son is a giver. Of course, he tried to give away my Bible!
I love my boy and am glad that we can share our life and give to a little guy who has lost it all, but gained a safe place to stay.
God is Good!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How Great!

Today during worship in our church service we were singing a song that talked about how great our God is. As we were singing I began to reflect on how great He truly is.
His Magnificence is in the beauty of the rainbow after a rain storm.
His Power is in the roar of thunder and the flash of lightning
His Strength is in the rush of the wind
His Vastness is in the sky and seas
His Peace is in the calm within during life's storms
His Omnipotence is felt when believers come together to worship Him
His Greatness is in the complexity of our human body
He is Victorious in conquering death and the grave
He is strong and mighty.
He is all powerful.
He is a lion when He brings victory into our lives.
He is the lamb when he brings healing and restoration to our souls.
He is alive and on the throne forever more!
Rejoice, lift of your head, for the King of Glory is Emmanuel God with us!
God is Good!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

You Decide

Today our good friends experienced a time of joy mixed with sadness. Their precious boy was born, only to pass from this life and go home to be with Jesus. I admire for them on how they are handling such a time of sorrow and joy mixed together. They were given 2 hours and 17 minutes with him and his passing was peaceful. He knew nothing but unconditional love. They had a choice to be angry and cry or to make that time a time of happiness. They have decided to lean on the Lord and allow Him to carry them through a very rough time. They are hero’s to me. I admire them and respect them all the more. Life brings things our way that we can not understand. We decide how we are going to react to them and if we will let it break us or make us. This is making them stronger together and closer to the Lord. I don't know why this happened to them, but I know that without a doubt God has given them perfect peace.
God is Good!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

All of This

As Christmas is approaching the catalogs are arriving in the mail. This year, RJ is more into it and very excited. He has been going through the catalogs and drawing lines to everything he would like to put on his list of "wants". Every once in a while, he will throw in a name here and there of who he wants to buy something for. Today the Guitar Center catalog came in and he kept say from page 1 to page 103, " I want all this.." pretty much the whole store. I guess I have a musician in the house.
We let him have fun with it, but tell him that he won't get everything on his list and that he must give to those who have nothing. We have another box of things to send to Tupelo Children's Mansion. It's fun to have a wish list, but I do not want RJ to think the world revolves around him. It's so easy to do that with our children. We will drop anything and everything for them. But will we do that for others? Will we give of our time to make life a bit easier for someone else in need? As you come together with your families, keep your eyes and ears open for those who are in greater need than yourself. Give to those who have not. Jesus was the perfect example of a servant. Our society makes it all about "me". Be like Jesus and make it about others. It's hard to apply that to our lives. I am guilty of it. I want to change. We, the Manners Family are going to try to apply this in our lives. Change the world, be like Jesus, be a servant.
God is Good!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

MRI Results

As expected, all is well. My random headaches are due to the trials of being a parent of a Toddler and life in general. Thankfully, I did not inherit the genetic brain tumor.

On another note, today I was truly missing my family. The holidays always make me miss them and I get homesick. The past few days we have had what I call California weather and it has been so nice, yet has caused me to long for home and family. If you live near your family, hug them, hold them close.
God is good!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gift

This past Sunday our pastor asked us to give a one time offering and also pledge to give an amount over the next 3 years towards our church Building Fund. I happen to know, he does not like asking for money and is not your typical pastor who is money focused. He was very transparent about how much he is giving on his own and shared some personal sacrifices that he and his wife have made so we could have a bigger building for church services. We are almost done building it and soon will be having services in it.Bob and I by the end of the church service knew how much we were going to give and felt very good inside about it. We were discussing this over dinner that evening and we asked RJ what he thought. He was quiet for a bit and then said.." Well, I think I want to give $10.00 from my piggy bank." Thus, when we give our one time offering, we will have a separate envelope from RJ with his $10.00 in it. He is beginning to see that every time he gives, God always gives back more in return. Not only that you truly feel good inside when you give.
I give myself away, so YOU can use me, give myself away. That is my prayer to the Lord.
If I can give of myself, I can make a difference and impact the world.
God is good!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Home

It's amazing how much the atmosphere changes in the house when Bob is home. Grant it, this time I have to say that RJ and I had a peaceful week. I am sure it has a lot to do with his getting older and understanding that daddy plans on coming home. RJ becomes more confident when his Dad is around and even though he was sound asleep when Bob got home, RJ had the biggest smile on his face when he heard his daddy's voice.
Today in church, I was thinking about it and started to apply it with my relationship with God. I get so busy at times and I miss my alone time with Him. He is my heavenly father and He wants to hear from me. I love my prayer time and when I miss it, I truly miss it. The day just seems to flow right when I spend time in prayer and reading the Bible. When I am in the presence of the Lord, no matter where I am, I am home.
God is Good!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Love Covered Cherries

Bob has been gone since Wednesday and ended up staying an extra day. Thankfully he will be home probably by the time I finish this blog. RJ was very sad last night because daddy was not going to be home as planned. I asked him what he wanted to do and he said he wanted to have a date with me at Friendly's. If you have ever been there, you know that it's very kid friendly and have great prices on food for the kids. So, we went there on our date and he was chatting away. When it was time to have his ice cream, he asked me to sit next to him and share his ice cream with him. It was so cute. They brought him about 6 cherries and he would eat one and give me the other one. He wrapped his arms around me, gave me a big kiss and told me how much he loved his mommy. Talk about melting my heart! Today he proclaimed it to be an RJ/Mommy day and we had a blast playing all the instruments at the Guitar Center, Reading Books at Barnes & Noble and then we went to Target to try and find another reindeer. Alas, no reindeer, but we will keep the search one.
I'm wiped out and can't wait for my husband to be home. Once again I salute all the single moms, it's not easy raising a child alone.
I'm blessed to have such a good boy and I enjoyed our love covered cherries.
God is Good!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tired Tears

I was sitting trying to think of what to blog about. There are days when I have one thing that stands out and there are days when I have so many thoughts going through my mind that I can't pick just one. Bob is out of town and RJ was doing pretty good until tonight before church. He had a melt down because he dropped his VERY tiny Reindeer that I got him today. he really liked it and wanted to bring it to church. However when we got in the car he dropped it and it was dark that I could not find it. Bless poor Christina who put her flash light app on her phone and tried to find it. He cried all the way to church, cried in church and sweet Tara had a present for him and he was crying to so hard and told her about his reindeer he had lost and all the toys in the world could not replace it. Out of all the toys he has, that one had to get lost. I think really it had to do with the fact that his dad is out of town and he was super tired. Thankfully Bob should be home tomorrow, so that will ease things a bit for him. We have had a wonderful time with Christina Tate...she came over while Bob has been away and it's been wonderful having her here.
In the midst of all this, I have a sadness in my heart. A very special man , Reverend Kenneth Haney passed away today. When I was born, he dedicated me to the Lord. He was my first pastor and a very sweet man. I'm glad his life touched mine and my heart breaks for his family. He was taken sooner than we would like.
The amazing thing is no matter how stressful life can get and how sad things are that come our way, there is a perfect peace that comes from above.
RJ and I prayed together that we would find his reindeer and he is now sound asleep. I say a prayer tonight for the Haney family that God covers them and carries them in His arms..May His perfect peace be with them.
God is Good!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

IKEA

For a while now RJ has been begging me to shop at IKEA because he wants to try out the play area. So, I decided today that we would give it a try. Wow...why did I take so long to take them up on their wonderful service?!?
I enjoyed a yummy cup of coffee, while my son played until he about dropped. Talk about a stress breaker when winter comes. I did find some cute and very inexpensive presents for RJ and of course he spied one and it's now an "early" gift. I'm a sucker for my son's sweet smile.
I was thinking today that "things" are "crazy" all over the world. I was sitting in IKEA drinking a wonderful cup of coffee and felt such peace in the middle of madness. Our world is upside down, the weather is upside down, the economy is upside down. So many things are uncertain today and I smiled, because in the midst of it all, God has given me perfect peace.
God is Good!

Monday, November 07, 2011

MRI

So, today I had an MRI done on my head. It was very interesting and extremely weird. There is a strange "feeling" when the music coming through your headphones is classical music and the machine is making all these loud noises. I told the tech that I should have played techno music, it would have made more sense.
When I got home, Bob and I looked at the pictures of my brain. It was pretty cool. I'm not a doctor, but everything looked fine to me. So, I think it's safe to say that thank the Lord, I do not have a brain tumor. I appreciate my doctor wanting me to get the MRI, since my grandmother died from a brain tumor and my sister Lisa had one removed.
Thankfully all seems to be well.
God is Good!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Thankful 2011

In light of it being November and a time to reflect, I thought I would blog on some things I am thankful for.
1. A warm place to sleep, I remember a time as a child when we slept in the car and were cold.
2. Food to eat. Many, many times we were hungry as kids. Now, I have an abundance and I am so glad that when RJ says he is hungry, I can give him healthy food to eat.
3. Family. I have been blessed in abundance with family. I am loved.
4. Friends. When I moved here to NY the only friend I had was Denelle...besides Bob and Tim. Today in church, I realized how many true friends I have..it brought tears to my eyes.
5. Bob and RJ.. wow..I could write all day about how thankful I am for them. I could not have asked for a better husband or sweeter son.
6. America. Yes, America, where I can still worship God freely. Where a person can pursue their dreams and watch it come to life.
7. Jesus Christ...most of all I am thankful for Him. He died for me and rose again so I could have eternal life!
8. RJ's school. The staff is amazing and I truly feel like when I walk on his campus that we step back in time to a better place.
9. Bethel United Pentecostal Church. I am so thankful to have a Pastor that preaches the word of God and truly loves the congregation. The freedom we have there is amazing and I am so thankful for the staff and the worship that flows on a regular basis.
10. Last but not least, the joy filled peace that I have in my life.
God is Good!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Little Bully

Today I took RJ to the mall so he could run around in a designated children's play area. It was pretty packed, but I figured he would just have a good time running around with all the kids. There is a "horse" he likes to always play on first and he was waiting patiently for a little boy about 2 or 3 years old to finish. The little boy looked at him and walked right up to RJ and pushed him as hard as he could. Ok..the momma bear in me rose up, but I held my peace and was so proud of RJ for not pushing back. The mom sort of patted his hand and told him to be nice and told RJ he could play on the horse. Well this kid was not going to have that and he pushed RJ again. RJ just walked away and played on something else. The kid followed him and began to push RJ trying to nock him down. I will admit I saw red and wanted to tell the mom off. I took RJ out of the play area and he was crying because he didn't understand why he had to leave since he was not fighting. Once he was calm, I explained to him I had to take him out to protect him. The mom was not going to stop the boy from being a bully. However, I was not going to be pushed out and took RJ back in, but on the other side of the play area. Would you believe that boy and his mom came to where we were and he tried it again! RJ decided he would rather leave because it was just "too crazy". I hugged him and told him how proud of was of him for not fighting.
Tonight when we said our prayers this is what he prayed: " Thank you Jesus for this day. I pray you help that little boy to not be mean and to stop pushing people. Thank you that he did not hurt me and that I didn't fight."
OOH I was so proud of my boy. We are trying to teach him to pray for those who are not kind to you. I know some parents would think I should teach him to fight back. I want my son to protect himself, but the answer at times is to not fight with your fist, but to fight by turning the other cheek. That boy could not get the best of RJ.
Was I angry.. yes, VERY, but I knew if I let my anger get to me, I would be teaching my son a very bad lesson. Remember parents, little eyes are watchin you, you are the example for them to follow. We are far from perfect and make a lot of mistakes, but we are trying to lead RJ in the right direction.
God is Good!

Friday, November 04, 2011

An Autumn Daddy Day

Wednesday Bob took half the day off of work and picked RJ up from school. They had a Daddy Day. RJ was very excited about it and had the whole day planned out. Here is what they did: 1) Went to a place called Bouncers and Slydos and they jumped and climbed and slid for almost 2 hours. 2) They went to McDonalds and played some more there in the play area and of course had lunch with a chocolate milk shake thrown in. 3)They ended the day by getting a hair cut.
RJ was so happy to have his Daddy Day.
It is so important for parents to take time out for their children. Bob works hard and long hours, but he he makes sure RJ knows how important he is and will stop to take time out for him.
Parents if you are super busy, stop and take indiviual time for your children. It will make a world of difference for them.
God is Good!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Safe Sheep

Tonight in our Wednesday night Bible Study, Bro. Jonathan Walker and his wife Lindsey were our guest speakers. His topic was " Our Times Are in His Hands." It pretty much focused on trusting the Lord and knowing He has everything in control in our lives. The last scripture that was read really stuck out to me. In John Chapter 10: 27-28 it says: My Sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

These two scriptures are awesome and can be life changing. The last phrase stood out to me. Never to be plucked out of His hand..Wow..no mattter what is going on in our life, if we trust Him, follow Him and put ourselves wholy into His hands..no one, no man, no trial, no life situation can take you out of His safe harbor of His hands. As long as you stay with Him, He will CARRY YOU.
God is Good!