Saturday, January 30, 2010

1 month

January 28, one month anniversary of being Chas' wife....hard to believe it's been a month. Ok, a lil over a month but who's really counting? Wait...I am!!!
Happy 1 month anniversary honey. I love you!!!


How can you NOT smile after seeing that? That's friend's dog. He's so darn loveable and cute you just gotta love him!!!

Happy Birthday Christopher!!!

January 18, 2008...Christopher Brian Maples entered this world and our lives....What a blessing he is!!!

My daughter Whitney, Chris and Christopher...The beginning of a beautiful lil family!!

The first Grandson for me...o what fun we were gonna have!!! That's Christopher once he was "ready for his close up"....

Christopher's 1st Christmas (2008). He was 11 months old and in to E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. But, he was also SO MUCH FUN!!

He learned at a very young age what to do with a phone....he got that from his mommy!!!

Christopher has learned alot in his few short years....Such to drink coffee with his 'Pops' (my dad, his great grandfather).How to hold a spoon...well, almost......
How to ride with Pops on his scooter....
How to help his GiGi grocery shop....
And...most importantly.....How to be a big brother to Collin....
Well, almost...he's still learning the "sharing" part of being a big brother. But he's getting there.
Christopher's 2nd Christmas and Collin's 1st (2009). Christopher is 1 year and 11 months old. He was such a big boy. He had his own personality and he knew what he wanted...when he wanted it...and what to do to get it..... He'd take it....
I told ya..he hasn't mastered the "sharing" part of being a big brother just yet...but he's getting there.....

The growing family......
January 18, 2010: Christopher is 2 years old!!!

Happy Birthday Christopher....Your GiGi loves you very much!!!

And so does your mommy and daddy.....
And your Aunt NeNe and Uncle Tim....
And your other Granny and your bubba...
And your Aunt Bonner....

We can't wait to see what the future holds for you!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Knots Prayer

Dear God: Please untie the knots that are in my mind, my heart and my life. Remove the have nots, the can nots and the do nots that I have in my mind. Erase the will nots, may nots and might nots that may find a home in my heart. Release me from the could nots, would nots and should nots that obstruct my life. And most of all, Dear God, I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart and my life all of the 'am nots' that I have allowed to hold me back, especially the thought that I am not good enough. Amen

Thursday, January 28, 2010

God can use YOU!!!

I realize its been a few days since I've posted last...but I have been BUSY!!! My oldest grandson, Christopher, turned 2 January 18th. His birthday party was last Saturday, January 23rd, and we had a BLAST!! I'll post pictures from it within the next few days.

But for now....

The next time you feel God can't use YOU...just remember:

a.....Noah was a drunk
b.....Abraham was too old
c.....Isaac was a daydreamer
d.....Jacob was a liar
e.....Leah was ugly
f.....Joseph was abused
g.....Moses had a stuttering problem
h.....Gideon was afraid
i.....Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer
j.....Rahab was a prostitute
k.....Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
l.....David had an affair and was a murderer
m....Elijah was suicidal
n....Isaiah preached naked
o.....Jonah ran from God
p.....Naomi was a widow
q.....Job went bankrupt
r.....John the Baptist ate bugs
s.....Peter denied Christ
t.....The Disciples fell asleep while praying
u.....Martha worried about everything
v.....The Samaritan woman was divorced....more than once
w.....Zaccheus was too small
x.....Paul was too religious
y.....Timothy had an ulcer
z.....Lazarus was dead!!

NO MORE EXCUSES NOW!!! God can use anyone!!

Besides, you aren't the message, you are just the messenger!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bedside Blessings

For Christmas (2009) a friend gave me a lil book entitled "Bedside Blessings". I thought I'd start each day off (at least try to anyway) by sharing the day's "blessing" with you all (I'm actually gonna give ya 2 today, since I missed yesterday).

Happy Reading!!

January 20th
There have been times in my own life when I've had doubts, when I've stumbled over great cracks that appeared in my world. I've had those times when I climbed into my own bed and wept, crying out to God, just as you have. Such is life, especially when you decide to be real rather than protect some kind of "I've-got-it-all-together" image. In times like that it's comforting to realize: God can handle all this.
The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
James 5:11
January 19th
Discipline is one of the most hated terms of our times...right alongside patience and self-control. But have you noticed how often it comes up in the testimonies of those who win?
No runner completes the training or a race without it.
No human body is kept fit without it.
No temptation is overcome without it.
If you want to put a stop to mediocrity, to replace excuses with fresh determination, need discipline.

Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects.
Colossians 1:10

ABCs of Faith

Ask and it will be given to you;
Consider the Lilies;
Do unto other as you would have them do unto you;
Give to one from whom you will not receive;
Judge not;
Knock and the door will be opened to you;
Love your neighbor as yourself;
be Mindful;
do not Neglect the gift that is within you;
Owe no one;
Practice kindness;
be Quick to listen;
Take heart;
Value truth;
Walk humbly;
strive to eXcel;
enter into joY;
be Zealous for the good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What a difference a few years make

Wow!!! That is all I can say!!! 2008-2009 saw many changes in my life. I thought I'd give you a recap of some of them:

Ok, I realize I said 2008-2009 but I have to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to my beautiful daughter, Jennifer....SHE GRADUATED!!! Well, read below and you'll see for yourself:

First...December 2007 - My beautiful daughter Jennifer graduated from Camp Shelby!!!

January 18, 2008 - My precious grandson, Christopher Brian Maples was born.

August 3, 2008 - We had a BIG birthday celebration today. My son Brian would have been 20 years old today. My other son, Aaron, joined the United States Navy. He was leaving for boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois on August 5, 2008 ~ his 21st birthday was going to be August 18th, so we had a birthday party for both Brian and Aaron. Happy Birthday boys...I love you both!!!

September 26, 2008 - Aaron graduates from Great Lakes. Me, Jennifer and Justin attend his graduation.

September 30, 2008 - Aaron comes home from Great Lakes and we take him to the Naval base in Meridian for his school.

November 7, 2008 - Aaron is finished with his school and has some time with us before he has to leave to report to base in Bremerton, Washington. He is going to be stationed on the USS John C. Stennis.

December 2008 - (Yeah I forgot the exact date) Aaron leaves for Washington. I am so proud of him!!!

December 25, 2008 - We get a call from the nursing home. Mom is wanting to talk to us. The thing is....up until this point. She hasn't really spoken much to anyone but my dad....and hasn't known hardly any of us...but my dad. This truly was our CHRISTMAS MIRCLE!!

February 13, 2009 - I lost my job ~ a job that I absolutely LOVED by the way!! I worked with Vicki Gilliam, an attorney in Clinton. The picture below is Vicki and her two kids....Ferris and Grant.

February 17, 2009 - My mom (who had been in the nursing home since 2005) became ill and was admitted into the hospital.

February 24, 2009 - The hospital called about 12am and informed us that my mom had passed away.

February 27, 2009 - We say our final goodbyes to my mother.

March 11, 2009 - I get another job.

April 10, 2009 - My precious grandson, Collin Ray Maples is born!!

April 18, 2009 - My mom's birthday.

May 31, 2009 - I turn 43. At this point I begin earnestly praying for a Christian man. I began to focus on my life in Christ and doing a lot of soul searching.

September 9, 2009 - Jennifer and I move out of my dad's house and in with my friends/roommates ~ Jim and Shell.

September 2009 - I met a very special person..."Mr. Memphis" ~LOL!! Mr. Memphis is the name that my friend chose. He came into my life when I needed someone...and I'd like to think I came into his life when he needed someone. He has been, and I hope, will continue to be a very special person in my life. He has taught me alot about myself...and that I am a strong person and I am valuable and worthy of love. He means the world to me and is truly one of my best friends!!!
October 2009 - I meet my best friend....Teresa Canoy. She starts dating my roommate, Jim. They break up about a month later...but she's still my bestest friend!!!

October 9, 2009 - Mercy Me (the Christian group) came to First Baptist of Jackson. Johnny Diaz and FEE opened up for Mercy Me. WHAT A NIGHT!!!

November 2009 - I began talking with Chas Yates.

December 7, 2009 - Chas and I meet at Micky D's in Pearl. It was love at first sight!!!

December 8, 2009 - I meet Chas for coffee at the donut shop in Pearl. He tells me he knew that morning that he loved me.

December 11, 2009 - Chas and I meet for dinner at Shoney's in Pearl. We talk for 3 hours.

December 13, 2009 - I invite Chas to church with me. Unfortunately he got sick and was unable to go.

December 16, 2009 - Chas and I see each other again.

December 20, 2009 - Chas invites me to his daughter's Christmas program at her church. We go and afterwards I meet his kids. Sydnee, his daughter, is 10 and is the spitting image of her father. Cade, his son, is 15 and looks just like his mom. Cade reminds me so much of Aaron!! After the Christmas program we all ~ yes, all of, Chas, Sydnee, Cade, Tosha (Chas' exwife) and Curtis (Tosha's husband) go to dinner. During conversation we learn that Curtis and I actually went to school together when I lived in Kosciusko for a bit. He knows my cousins, Tonya and Vicky.

Chas, Sydnee and Cade after Sydnee's Christmas program.

After Chas and I got back in from the Christmas program,.....he asked me to marry him. I said YES!!!

December 28, 2009 - Chas and I went to Memphis, TN and got married. Jennifer (my daughter), Sydnee and Cade (Chas' kids) and Teresa (my best friend) went with us. WHAT A TRIP!!!

This is our first "official" photo as husband and wife!!!

Our beautiful wedding party.

January 18, 2010 - My precious grandson, Christopher, turned 2 years old!!!

Do you notice the "sign" behind him? It says, "Mom knows a lot but GRANDMA knows everything!!"

Now......and then.....

WOW!!! What a difference a few years can make!!!

I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store for me and my family!!!

Until next time.....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To be whole

For those of you who know me....I mean REALLY know me, you know how long I have prayed for a Christian husband. I mean a husband that wants to the be spiritual leader of our family...a husband that will pray for his quiet time and in our prayer time ~ as husband and wife...a husband that when asked "do you have plans for Sunday" without hesitation responds with, "Yes, we are going to church."...a husband that will openly pray for "our" children...not "my kids" and "his kids"...but OUR kids...a husband who I have never heard say a bad (4-letter) word...a husband who says, "where do you want to read in the bible tonight?"...a husband who I can honestly say loves his wife the way the bible says he is to love her.

Well that's what I have. That is my husband. And I thank God every single day for my husband. I can now say that I know what it feels like to be whole. He was the missing piece in my life...and I praise God for bringing him to me. God is Good, all the time!!! All the time, God is Good!!!!

I love you Chas!!!....with all of my heart!!!

Thursday, January 07, 2010


3 Things








Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Are you "regular people"?

I received the following in an email from my sister-in-law, Paula:
This was written by a Metro Denver Hospice Physician:
I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd. and the car started to choke and sputter and die. I barely managed to coast into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the quickie mart building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay. When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.
At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95. I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying, "I don't want my kids to see me crying." So, we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, "And you were praying?" That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, "He heard you, and He sent me." I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, I walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little. She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent come January 1st, and finally, in desperation, called her parents, with whom she had not spoken to in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there. So, she packed up everything she owned and loaded her car down. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.
I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, "So, are you like an angel or something?" This definitely made me cry. I said, "Sweetie, at this time of year, angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people."
It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And, of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem.
Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings....
Psalm 55:22 says: Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.
Once I read Psalm 55:22, I had to dissect it.

Cast your cares on the Lord (Webster defines "cast" as: to cause to move or send forth by throwing; to deposit) and He will sustain you (Webster defines "sustain" as: to give support or relief to; to supply with sustenance; to support the weight of); He will never let the righteous fall. (Webster defines "righteous" as: acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin.

Sounds easy enough don't 'cha think? No? Well, I agree. I forget that my time and God's time aren't always the same...ok..they are NEVER the same. I want what I want...when I want it. Afterall, who knows what I need better then I do...right? O wait, on second thought, maybe the God of the universe knows better...maybe the all knowing God knows better. And I hate interruptions to my day. How many times has something happened to "interrupt" your day? We've gotten a flat tire? Run out of gas? Locked the keys in the car? I'm sure I could go on and on, but I won't. You get the picture. many times have we viewed that "interruption" as just INTERRUPTION, and not something greater.

I'll be the first to admit that my life is chaotic!! It seems at time I can't hear myself think, much less hear the flutter of angels' wings. But, maybe, just maybe, that's when God says, "Ok Rita, time to slow down" and He allows me to get a cold that puts me in bed for a day or so. Or He allows me to have a flat tire or run out of gas or a million different other things. It's during these times, during these "interruptions" that instead of getting angry about the interruption, I should stop...take a deep breath...and just be still and listen. Listen for the voice of God. Listen for the flutter of angels' wings.

And that is my prayer for my 2010. That I recognize the "interruptions" not as interruptions, but as opportunities. Opportunities to be still ~ even if only for 5 minutes ~ but be still nonetheless.....and listen.

Until next time....

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Do these things really work???

I know we've all gotten these types of emails or text messages:

"To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did." When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence, 'The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you!' Something good will happen to you today, something that you have been waiting to hear.

And then, after you read whatever is sent, you are instructed to email/text a certain number of people within a certain amount of time in order for whatever "good" thing that is suppose to happen to happen to you.

Well, I'm not sure about you guys, but the way my luck has been running, I can't afford NOT to send the email/text out to as many people that are in my address/phone contacts.

So, if you get an email/text from me saying LORD ONLY KNOWS what....just humor me. Read it...and say to yourself....'that crazy Rita is at it again....'

Until next time.....

Monday, January 04, 2010

Home sweet home.....

After a hard day at work...I come home to a pot of homemade veggie soup and cornbread....YUMMY!!! All thanks to my new hubby!! I love you Chas!! Supper was wonderful!!!!

I Am A 'Kept' Woman...

I am a 'Kept' woman...
You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind.
But the Lord 'kept' me sane. (Isa. 26:3)
There were times when I thought I could no longer on on.
But the Lord 'kept' me moving.
(Gen. 28:15)
At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong.
But the Lord 'kept' my mouth shut.
(Psa. 13)
Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough.
But God has 'kept' the lights on, the water on, the car payment paid, the house mortgage paid, food in the refrigerator, clothes on our backs, etc., etc., etc.
(Matt. 6:25-34)
When I thought I would fall, He 'kept' me up.
When I thought I was weak, He 'kept' me strong!
(I Peter 5:7; Matt. 11: 28-30)
I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear me!!!
I am blessed to be 'kept'!!!
And so are you!!!

Unanswered Prayers...

Yeah I realize I haven't blogged in a while...ok a month or longer. But I have a very good reason!!

In November 2009 I started talking to a very wonderful, kind, caring...and more importantly CHRISTIAN man. Chas Yates. Our first meeting (December 7, 2009) was at the Micky D's in Pearl over a coke/diet coke and lasted about an hour and a half (entirely too short if you ask me). We met the next morning at the donut shop in Pearl for coffee before he had to go to work at 6:30 a.m.....YES, I SAID A.M. I actually got up and dressed (complete with makeup I might add) at 6:00 a.m. I knew then that this man was special and I also knew then that I was in love with this man!! A few days after that "date" we met for supper at the Shoney's in Pearl and three hours later we said our goodnights (he had to work the following morning). We saw each other as often as possible after that. On December 20, 2009 we went to First Baptist Church of Fannin to see his daughter in a Christmas program. I met his daughter Sydnee (10), his son Cade (15), his ex-wife, Tosha, and her husband, Curtis. After the program we all, yes, ALL (me Chas, his kids, his ex-wife and her husband) went to eat supper. After dinner Chas and I were driving back to Pearl and he asked me if we could pray together when we got back to the house I was living at. He said that since we both had been praying for so long for God to bring "the one" to us, the least we could do is pray together and thank Him for bringing us together. I think I fell more in love with him that night!! So, after we prayed together, Chas surprised me and asked me to marry him. I said YES YES YES YES!!! We originally had talked about getting married in February 2010....but....we couldn't wait. And, on December 28, 2009 I officially became Mrs. Chas Yates. Chas and I, along with our wedding party (Sydnee, Cade, Jennifer - my youngest daughter, and Teresa - my best friend) drove to Memphis, Tennessee. We had a very lovely (and short) ceremony...but one that I will never forget!!!

We have laughed together, loved together, cried together and more importantly, prayed together and worshipped together. We are praying that God will show us what church He wants us to call our "home"...until then...we are leaning on Him (and each other). Thanking God every day for unanswered prayers!!!