My Thoughts about Heaven

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I have been thinking about what Heaven will be like. I believe Heaven is a place of perfection and complete painlessness. There is no sin. There is not even temptation to sin. Given that entry into heaven takes some fleetingly enjoyable activities off the table, it is more than worth it. No amount of worldly pleasure would ever be worth losing out on the chance to enjoy perfect happiness and oneness with the One who made us all.

I have been blessed by a podcast and a television series this year. The Bible in A year with Father Mike Schmitz and Ascension Press Podcast has helped me understand the Scriptures and makes God’s Word come alive for me. The Chosen television series is about Jesus and His followers. This wonderful production has opened my eyes to the humanness of Christ. It has made me realize if a Perfect Man, my Lord and Savior, can suffer and die for my sins, any suffering here on earth is well worth being able to eventually be with Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

In His Parables, Jesus painted a picture of Heaven. In this life, we are supposed to be preparing for that glorious day. A part of that preparation is reading God’s Word and living a life filled with forgiveness for others, loving our fellowmen, feeding the hungry, ministering to the lost, and practicing the commandments that were given to us. If we are busy doing God’s Will, we will not have time to be involved with the chaos around us. If we want to be good role models for everyone with whom we come in contact, we must follow God’s Will for our lives.

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Prayer of Thankfulness

Dear Jesus, Although we spend a lot of time shaming ourselves for sinful choices we have made in our past, that is not Your will for us. When You died on the cross for our sins, our guilt was erased, and the shame was washed away with Your blood. We do not have to continue feeling guilt for what we have done or beat ourselves up for feeling worthless. When we continue to do that, we are giving into Satan’s desire to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us. We need to rejoice and be glad because we have been given the gift of being completely cleared of guilt. Instead of wanting to sin more, we can experience more grace and change our entire life so that our hearts sing for you, full of praise and gratitude and new actions will spring from a clean heart. Thank You that we can be honest with others about our own tendencies because You modeled honesty and truth when You walked this earth. We do not have to be afraid of being exposed because You were without sin and You took our punishment upon Yourself and set us free. Thank You Precious Lord Jesus, for loving us so much that You laid down Your unblemished life for us. Amen

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Rules to teach our sons and daughters!

  1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
  2. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
  3. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  4. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
  5. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
  6. Play with passion or don’t play at all…
  7. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye.
  8. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
  9. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
  10. When you marry the girl, or boy, you marry his or her family.
  11. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
  12. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
  13. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
  14. Never turn down a breath mint.
  15. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
  16. Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him/her
  17. Eat lunch with the new kid.
  18. After writing an angry email or letter read it carefully. Then delete it.
  19. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
  20. Manners maketh the man.
  21. Give credit. Take the blame.
  22. Stand up to Bullies. Protect those bullied.
  23. Write down your dreams.
  24. Take time to snuggle your pets, they love you so much and are always happy to see you.
  25. Be confident and humble at the same time.
  26. If ever in doubt, remember whose son or daughter you are and REFUSE to just be ordinary!
  27. In all things lead by example not explanation.
  28. Never, never, never leave angry or go to bed angry. Remember, we are not promised tomorrow. The present may be all we have.
  29. Don’t let day to day problems, accidents, and misunderstandings control your relationships with your loved ones, especially little children.
  30. Last and most important: Keep God’s Will as your priority! He will always love you and never leave you.

Edit :

I am simply sharing what I learned throughout my life.

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Love Forever?

When I was a young teenager, I believed love would be forever and forever! As I have grown older, I have realized a truth which is bittersweet. Life has a way of throwing things at you and causing upsets which seem insurmountable. Faith in God’s Grace and His Love sustains me and comforts me when I am sad, nostalgic, and remembering happier times and moments that meant so much to me.

Losing my soulmate was the most difficult obstacle I ever had to face. I guess I thought we would end our journey together. However, life did not see it the same as my dreams! Although my life partner is no longer with me, my love, respect, and commitment is as alive as it was when we fell in love. Sometimes I find myself in a mood that can only be described as “a pity party!” I attempt to not allow this mood to envelop me, but it does happen especially on certain occasions. The truth is the person you love may no longer be with you, but you cannot just stop the feelings. However, I have decided my goal will be to seek other outlets for the love I have to share.

Reading and studying the Bible has been one of my outlets and has been rewarding. In January I started listening to a podcast which has really enriched my life. The Bible in a Year Podcast with Father Mike Schmitz, which is through Ascension Press, has helped me to understand God’s Word to a depth that I have never before had. It could be that with age I have gained a little wisdom and a bunch of experience.

Another resource which has been truly amazing and a precious blessing is The Chosen series with Dallas Jenkins. I am receiving such a beautiful blessing of feelings of God’s Presence through this series. There is a peace that comes from knowing my Heavenly Father is always with me.

My children and grandchildren are my life. It gives me great joy being able to be a part of their lives. Watching each one of them serving God and living lives filled with love and care for others has truly been a blessing. When they suffer, I hurt, too. I have always wanted them to find love, success, happiness, and God’s Plan for each of them. My prayers for my children and grandchildren are that each individual will give freely of the gifts God has given to them, love others unconditionally, treasure the time they have with others, and make precious memories. The greatest gift I could receive is the knowledge that before they do anything, they always ask themselves, “What Would Jesus Do?” The answer will always be, “He Would Love First!”

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I Belong to Him

I have allowed all the craziness happening in my life to interrupt my writing my blog. For this, I am truly sorry! It has been difficult to concentrate on the things I want to share. So many of my friends and family have been affected by the chaos and challenges facing all of us. However, I reminded myself that I needed to concentrate on doing what my Heavenly Father leads me to do. I want to record my memories for my family and friends to have when I am gone!

Sometimes I have a day that I call one of “those days.” You know, those days when you’d rather go back to bed, pull the covers over your head, and just stay there. On those days, when I feel sad, I talk to God because He is always available, always there for me, even when I feel alone. When I talk to Him, I remember things I know to be true, like how much He loves me, that I belong to Him, and that He will never leave me.
Most days, my feelings tell me I am loved and Jesus is with me; however, at times, they lie and tell me I’m on my own and alone. The feelings I have can never change the truth. Jesus hasn’t left me, even when I sometimes can’t feel Him. Ephesians 2:13 says that even though I may feel a certain way, because Jesus died for me, He is near to me . . . always. His forgiveness for my sins makes that possible. Therefore, on the hard days, when my emotions try to push me down, I can choose to remind my heart of the truth, I belong to Jesus and nothing can change that.
I want you to know you belong to Jesus no matter how you feel. Always tell Jesus what is happening in your heart and how you need Him to come and help you right now. When you are feeling happy, thank Him!
God, thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins so that I can be near You. You forgive me for my sins, and nothing can push me away from You, not even my crazy feelings. In Jesus’s Holy Name, Amen.

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Love Until It Hurts

When you find yourself alone after 51 years of being loved and taken care of by your soulmate, your best friend, your knight in shining armor, it is an extremely lonely feeling! Not only are you having a difficult time in making daily decisions, but you find yourself having to learn how to do the things your “other half” has always done for you. Simple things like balancing your finances become a huge deal. I could write a book on the list of achievements I have accomplished in the last six and a half years, but I will not bore you with the list. Just let me tell you, it is quite lengthy. In addition, I have tried not to rely on my precious children, but I have had to call on them more than I like to admit.

I believe the hardest thing with which I have had to deal is the loneliness. When you have had that one special someone with whom you spent all your time and he is no longer present, it is a vast vacant place in your heart and life. When you always consulted him before you made any plans, you find yourself making fewer plans. When you always found your joy in making him smile and be happy, you find yourself smiling less and preferring to be alone rather than making others unhappy. It is difficult to explain to others because you do not want them to worry or feel sorry for you. You want others to be filled with joy and happiness.

I have always thought I had a lot of love to give. My daddy told me once that the more love you gave the more you had to give. I believe that is true because my heart just keeps overflowing with love for others. I love with no expectation of receiving anything in return. In fact, the best feeling in the world is to do something for someone and not letting them know it is coming from you. Even when I know I really cannot afford to do something, sometimes I feel led to do it anyway. That action has gotten me into trouble a few times!

I do not know what my future holds for me, but I do know who holds my future in His Hands. God has always had me in His Hands since I was a very young child and accepted Jesus as my Savior! I belonged to Him even before that because He created me. Through the years I made mistakes, but He always forgave me and protected me. I know God Loves Me, and His Plan for me is better than any plan I could make for myself.

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A Walk Down Memory Lane

Thanks to Mrs. Donya Selph Coggins, I was able to take a walk down Memory Lane recently, and it was precious to me. Mrs. Coggins was in one of my first classes and is one of my dearest friends. When I met up with her at my grandson’s, Cason Guest’s, basketball game, she asked if I would like to see her classroom after the game. Of course, old sentimental me had to say, “Yesssss!” After the game, I was ready for my tour of my old home away from home, which I had not seen in almost twenty years.

My older car knew its own way to Lowndes Middle School because I began my teaching career there in the 1982-83 school year! Mr. Fred Davis gave me my first teaching gig (cannot call it a job because it was too much fun). Most of my waking moments were spent either on LMS’s campus or at a function for the students (skating parties, dances, football and basketball games, and The Homecoming Parade each year). I enjoyed almost every moment of my time spent in the hallowed halls, in the gym, and on the campus of Lowndes Middle School.

During those almost 20 years, I taught Eighth Grade English/Language Arts, Literature, mathematics, and even science for a few years. I was a student Council Sponsor, put on the Book Fair, and even served as a cheerleading sponsor for a few years. When I became a Team Leader, it was awesome to be responsible for my/our team! We were like a family and truly loved and supported each other. The traditional Savannah Trip was an exciting time each year, and it allowed for a special time of bonding for not only the teachers/staff but also for the students! It was always rewarding to hear the compliments of praise for our wonderful students.

While I was serving my time as Student Council Sponsor, we had fund raisers on a regular basis and used our funds for various projects. When the student population increased and they placed portables on our campus, our members decided to do a beautification project and planted trees, shrubbery, and flowers all around the campus. Another year, the members donated a marble sign to the school. After I transferred to Lowndes High School in 2000-2001, one day on my way home, I decided to go by LMS because I was feeling nostalgic and a little homesick! I noticed the sign was gone, and it troubled me! I remembered how hard we all worked to be able to provide the sign as a memorial to former students and teachers. For the next several years, every time, I traveled down Copeland Road, I wondered about that sign.

Much to my surprise, the mystery was solved on November 5, 2020! Mrs. Coggins took me on my tour which included a walk down what I knew as my old home away from home. It brought tears to my eyes as I walked through and stood in the rooms which had been a huge part of my life. However, the greatest moment was soon to come on our way by the cafeteria and back to the gym. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw our sign. I was overwhelmed with the memories of all the students, faculty members, staff, and the amount of time we spent fundraising! Thank you to whoever came up with the idea of placing the sign in its present location. It is absolutely perfect, and it gave me an amazing feeling and sense of pride and happiness for time well spent.

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Children are Absolutely Awesome

When I am able to spend time with my grandchildren, it is a blessing, and wonderful memories are made. Yesterday, I took Cason to drum lessons; and as usual, he was “starving” and needed “real food!” After he finished his lesson, we quickly decided to go to Dairy Queen. He got a cheeseburger meal, and I got the chicken tender basket.

We were so hungry we couldn’t wait to eat. Cason decided he wanted one of my chicken tenders and began eating it. A few seconds later, I looked over at him; and he was holding part of a tooth. He had broken off part of a tooth. Needless to say, his eating was cut short, and he called his mother to inform her of his dilemma and requested she call his dentist.

Fast forward to the next morning, Lisa called and asked me to meet her at the dentist’s office. Little did I know what a treat I had before me. The dentist had to extract the tooth so they prepared Cason with “laughing gas,” and the fun began.

From the moment he got in the car, he began telling “his story.” I laughed all the way home. Part of our conversation will be a memory I will never forget.

Cason: The dentist put this thing over my nose, and it didn’t smell good. All of a sudden, things started to look funny with colors running together. I was trying to Snapchat, but my arms wouldn’t let me. He didn’t tell me he got the tooth out until I asked him. Mimi, he didn’t even cry.

I laughed and told him the dentist wasn’t supposed to cry because it wasn’t his tooth. He talked nonstop until we got home. I couldn’t help laughing because he was so silly.

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Faith over Fear—Answer is Prayer!

For the past few months, I have tried to stay off the radar. Recovery from spinal surgery has not been as quickly as I hoped. There is truly a lot to be thankful for, but complications from trigemenial neuralgia threw a curve into my plans! Then, add to that a problem with my parotid salivary gland which has been horrible. I am so appreciative of all the prayers, cards, calls, and concern shown by my family and friends.

As Cason is quick to remind me, I can be “mean”! Pain that persists is something difficult to deal with at any age; however, I am truly blessed and know God IS not finished with me! Please pray for me to be able to deal with this situation. Having been healthy for most of my life, I definitely was not prepared for this stage of my life.

God assures me that “Happy Days” are on the horizon. I look forward to the world coming back to its senses so that things are more peaceful and safe. Praying for each of you to be happy, healthy, and secure.

Until next time,

Hester

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Pity Party vs Praise Party

Well, I am struggling with my present condition! If you want to scroll right on by this post, I will not blame you. Life can really be a challenge sometimes. The rioting and coronavirus added more drama and turmoil, but the evidence of old age has truly taken its toil.

I am not bragging, just stating facts. I have a secretarial degree with a concentration in finances, a cosmetology degree, bachelors, masters, and Education Specialist Degrees in Middle School Education, and Secondary English, and I am a self-taught seamstress. I have always been able to do most anything I attempted, however, I am almost useless now. I tried to do my hair today, and my hands no longer cooperate with me. I became so frustrated, and I wanted to just sit down and cry. I love to help others, and it seems like I cannot even help myself. I don’t ask others for help very often, but I had a epiphany right then. It occurred to me that things happen to us for a reason.

God, in his infinite wisdom, mercy, and Grace shows me daily that I am His Child! He doesn’t love me because I can sew, cook, teach, give a permanent, or anything else I am capable of doing! He JUST L O V E S ME!! It doesn’t matter what I can do or cannot do. HE LOVES ME!

Therefore, from this point forward, I vow to stop my Pity Party, and I will be having an unending Praise Party! Heaven is my destination! Thank You, Heavenly Father for creating me! Thank You for all the things I can and cannot do! It makes life so interesting! Help me confront my inabilities and give me the strength and knowledge to ask for help, when it is needed. In Jesus’s Holy Name, AMEN

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