TODAY THE WORDS are GIDDY UP!

My handsome husband, Greg Miller in his horseman days.


TODAY THE WORDS ARE GIDDY UP! Each morning, since I write the blog early, I may benefit if I  use a command, Giddy up for myself. For some of the readers who may not be familiar with this southern word used to command a horse, mule or donkey to move or go faster, I will take you on a ride for a lesson of life.

My father was raised on a farm and mules were used for plowing. I heard many stories about the daily plowing and the tedious laying out the rows in the fields were all in a day’s work. The mule would normally fall in line and keep going down the rows without a lot of command. That is “normally” but there would come the day when the mule would be “stubborn” and Giddy up was shouted many times. They would have to use the whip at the hardest times as the mule had made up its mind to do no more. These were rough times and many will not remember the hand plowing days as technology with the latest in tractors and equipment have replaced the mule so the word Giddy up has taken on new forms of meaning. Giddy up has been used to say, “Are you ready to go to the game?” and “let’s go”.

I myself, have not used Giddy up for a long time, but this morning it came to me this phrase may need to get back into mainstream communications. Children, and grown ups too, have forgotten to move  or go faster. We show stubborn streaks in our relationships; we have days that we give up and decide we do not need to do more. Does this sound familiar? Do we plow full days in the fields of life; do we give our all; or do we do as few rows as we can get away? Have you ever watched a horse in a race? They give every bit of their strength and endurance. They sweat, their nostrils flare with intensity, their eyes are focused on the track ahead and I am sure jockeys have their special words for the horses. I think those words are more for the jockeys instead of the race horses as they were born to run and to run as fast and as long as they possibly can endure.

Now for the deeper thought……Should someone have to say Giddy up to us to move us in life? Is it possible to rise each day, start “plowing” in the fields of life, be excited instead of finding something to complain about, and endure the sweat, the nostrils flaring, the pain associated with pushing it to the limit, and knowing at the end of the race, we have GIDDY UP’D  with the best of them.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Luke 9:62  King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

(c) copyright 2012 – 2015Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

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TODAY THE WORDS ARE WORK IT; WORK IT!


TODAY THE WORDS are WORK IT; WORK IT! I feel a lot of you may have gone to the more popular slang phrase. This phrase will come into play but we will work it in a different direction too. First let’s see what the slang dictionary defines WORK IT!
work it    Featured Word

interjection

  • a phrase of encouragement or a compliment to a person engaging in some activity. The activity that prompts a call of “Work it!” is usually physical, e.g. dancing, walking, etc.
We can readily determine it is a phrase for encouragement or meant as a compliment for someone engaged in activity as moving it or working it. 
Today, however, I want to use this phrase in a slightly different tone. I belong to an Author’s Group and I watched a video on how to “work” the social media or digital marketing and this is the result. In the video, Laurence O’Bryan, CEO and founder of Books Go Social suggests it takes a lifestyle of working digital marketing and not a hit and miss. This made me think of all of the lifestyle changes to obtain any goal in life. Let me highlight a few for us to ponder:

  1. If you want to succeed in obtaining an education, it takes a serious determination to adequately set aside enough hours to achieve good or great grades. This requires giving up personal time with friends, social events, fun events, etc. 
  2. If you want to get healthier, it requires a lot of “working it” by adding exercise, proper preparation of healthy foods, studying nutritional information to gain wisdom of what is proper nutrition, and to be determined in reaching goals of health and/or weight. It pays to learn it is not only obese persons who may be nutritionally malnourished.
  3. If you have a talent; that is great but this is another area you have to “work it.” To be blessed with a talent is a great blessing but to avoid “working it” is a waste of a great blessing. If you have been given the gift of writing, singing, drawing and/or painting, sculpting, cooking and/or baking, speaking, networking, scholarly talents such as teaching, etc. what are you daily exercising these talents to obtain recognition for your talents. I am not talking about fame and fortune but daily contributions to bringing your talents to the forefront of your life.
  4. If you have a calling, a goal, a drive, or a determination such as charity, volunteering, mission seeking, etc. you will have to “work it ” out with your life. All people do not receive this special calling and it will take the most sacrifice and willingness to uproot your lifestyle and give it your all.
Now for the deeper thought….ANY GOAL is worth “WORKING IT” so we should get up and get out  to “WORK IT” before we lose what we have been given. As I speak to different groups, almost in everyone of the meetings, I hear someone say, “I should write a book or I thought about writing a book”. My answer is always the same…..”You Should!” Life is short; Life is Not Guaranteed to be Long: Life may have a lot of twists and turns; and Life will end for all of us. What can you do to “Work Life?” Work it; Work it!.

(C) Copyright 2012-2015 Arline Miller All Property and Rights Reserved.

TODAY THE WORDS are SLOW COOKED GRITS


TODAY THE WORDS are SLOW COOKED GRITS.  Here comes my southern roots with “grits” topic this morning. I lived with my family in Chicago for a few years when I was very young and I still remember my Mother trying to find grits in the supermarket. No where to be found and they had plenty of hominy. That definitely wasn’t grits and we learned to buy grits when we came to Georgia for a vacation and take them back to Chicago when we returned. It is strange to me that not all southerners know how to make grits perfectly and therefore the lumps and sometimes not enough seasoning, but the biggest problem is some people cooking them too fast. Grits were made to be cooked slow and easy. Otherwise, and a lot of cooks will relate to this problem; they sputter and spit at you. Anyone who has been hit by flying grits volcano eruptions knows what I am talking about, hot and fast lava coming straight toward you. 
My daughter and I visited a fine resort close to St. Augustine FL. and were privy to a fantastic breakfast and they had grits on the menu (this was funny since it is a 5 star resort). We were astonished at the taste of their grits, amazingly smooth and rich with plenty of great taste. Me, being the inquisitive soul I am, asked the waitress if she could tell us how they cooked their grits. She went to the kitchen and came back with instructions to cook them really slow, really slow, with cream and butter added after the initial cooking time. Wow, did this change the way that we cook grits and believe me, it makes an incredible difference. I enjoy the compliment when Missy says, “Are we having “our” grits, Mom?” They make take hours to cook but they are worth every minute of every hour they require.
That brings me to the deeper thought………We need to slow down and take the time to “cook” our lives. When we refer to “the good ole days”, we are referring to a slower paced life. It was a time to slowly stir our pans of family, church, friends, and work. More families seasoned their lives with trips to the country, zoos, parks, ponds, trails, or sitting around a fire and topped the “meal” with lots of laughter and chatter. We had plenty of stress but we didn’t seem worried and worked through the ordeals. Good southern grits as well as life should be stirred and simmered to enjoy the best of the best. God has given us one life to live and we need to remember it deserves to be given the proper preparation for eternity. As you hear me say, “Live to love, love to live, and live life to the fullest”.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Proverbs 15:17 ESV     

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.







(C) Copyright 2012-2015 Arline L Miller, Property and All Rights Reserved.

WHAT PRICE WOULD YOU PAY TO BE HAPPY?


TODAY THE WORDS are WHAT PRICE WOULD YOU PAY TO BE HAPPY? This topic was brought to me from a great lifelong friend who wanted to know what my thoughts would be to this question and I thought, “What a great blog theme!” So here we go! Let us take this question thought by thought. The first question I would have to ask first, is what is my definition of happiness? What would it take to answer a question with “yes, I am truly 100% happy”? Do we see happiness the same or do we individually interpret happiness differently? I chose to get some feedback on this subject from a blend of people, both male and female and different ages. 
One young lady answered it with a good response of “Can anyone really say they are 100% happy and mean it?” Another male said it was defined in being in a great loving relationship and being financially stable. One male who has been in a couple of relationships brought up a good question as to how relationships change after marriage from what it was while dating. So, I said in response then would you say happiness is like being on a Ferris wheel; sometimes you climb to the very top and you can see forever and then it seems as if it changes when you start the decline and then back up. Interpretation of this thought is “are we capable of true happiness which stays and lasts our lifetime?”  
In order to figure out what price happiness is worth, we have to put a value on happiness. Are we happy for integral moments with highs and lows and if so, what price would we put on those moments? My response to the male who stated a great loving relationship and financial stability are the keystrokes of happiness; what would happen if the spouse died and/or the money was lost. 
Let me take you to a memory of mine. When I had my own business and it was successful, I was physically fit, was driving a new sports car, not having to check prices before I bought things and lived in a 3 story 4500 square foot home on 5 acres. This sounds like pretty good odds at being happy, right? One day, I was driving along feeling unhappy in my marriage (previous), I pulled up beside a rusted out old model plain tan pick up with bald tires, no muffler. We both stopped at a red light and I looked over and the woman sitting almost under the driver had to weigh at least 500 pounds and her honey was probably about 5′ 6″ tall and if he weighed 120 pounds that was on a heavy day. He reached with his small arm and put it around her (or at least as far as he could) and he squeezed her. When he smiled; he was toothless. She nudged her face up against her and the light changed so off they went. That has been over 30 years ago and I still think “Now that is happiness at its finest.” So my answer to this question, is it is not how much you are willing to pay for happiness as happiness cannot be bought; it is a state of mind. No matter what a person has; no matter the way they look; no matter how charming or grouchy; love pays the price for happiness
One last deep thought…..Jesus paid the price with his life for us to have eternal happiness and peace. The price for our happiness has already been paid and all we have to do is love Him back! The rest of happiness on this earth is more probable for all of us to take freely. Thanks my friend!

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:


Galatians 5:22-23                 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


(c) copyright 2012-2015 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

TODAY THE WORD are WHY DO I WRITE?


TODAY THE WORDS are WHY DO I WRITE?  I have thought why some people write; some people sing; some people draw. I realize a lot has to do with the gifts we have been given by Our Maker. This thought brought me to a focus for this blog post. Since I am not a singer but I can draw fairly well but I do not find it a priority for me. Writing is a priority and sometimes when I feel a break coming on; I still am drawn to the keyboard. Thoughts come in and thoughts must come out for the release of an overload. So, why do I write? Yesterday in the midst of other duties, the following thoughts came into my mind. After you read it; I will expand on these feelings:
Here is my draft of why I write:
When I write, the world becomes my infinite playground.
If I feel weak, I can create a strong character and I feel invincible.

If I feel lonely, I create a person surrounded by those who love.

If I feel restless, I can give my characters many great adventures.

If I feel strong, I create a character which my strength is needed.

If I feel stressed, I can add laughter and a lighthearted scene.
If I feel love, I can create compassion for others feeling unloved.

A book or a poem allows an escape or alteration to a mundane life. I am blessed with a wonderful life and enjoy the ability to create a different world where readers can step into a character’s fictional life. Maybe it helps to appreciate the life they have in reality.

Until We Read Again, Arline Miller, Author of “A Mistress, A Wife” and now writing “Tell Me Lies; Love Me Still.” 

Life hands us a lot of active events and it can give us joy or pain. It leaves us feeling unloved or we are on top of the clouds from love. We succeed or we fail and sometimes in life, these actions are felt many times over. We thrive or wilt. We see goals met or we see failure. We make a difference in someone’s life or some people make a huge difference in ours and not necessarily in a positive way. I write to enter into a world of “make believe control”. In my fictional books, all of my characters can be heroes or zeros. I can create a happy ending when in life, that may not be possible. True love can prevail when we know in real life; people who love others are left behind and have a broken heart. All they did was love the wrong person. I can create a character who doesn’t have to struggle with money. 
Now for the deeper thought……A few key words were used “Make Believe Control” and “Fictional” and this is what I want to impress. Fiction is exactly the same as Make Believe and not realistic. We can escape into a good book. We can laugh; we can cry; we can display anger or hurt; and we can cheer people on. The book will end as the author intends it to turn out. Life will turn out exactly as Our Maker intends it to turn out and not as “fiction” would tell the story. Make sure you live life in a realistic way as Fiction is magnificent to escape; Life is to figure out how to best live it!

A Mistress, A Wife 
by Arline Miller 
Link: http://amzn.com/B00ZPT6VIG


TODAY THE WORDS are TURNING A CORNER IN LIFE



TODAY THE WORDS are TURNING A CORNER IN LIFE. I have lived life on many streets and even in many cities. I have lived in a different state and even a different country. I say this to set the stage for this message. Most of us have taken different roads with schools, work, family, etc. We have sometimes lived different lifestyles and have had little money, average money, and more money. We have gone back and forth in work and relationships. Some have gone in different directions of faith. To sum it up; Life is a journey and we find ourselves going down the same road but for unspecified destinations. 

I would like to tell you a story which occurred many years ago when I traveled a lot. I covered a lot of territory and drove over three states. Some of my appointments were in the evening so I was used to night driving. I had to use maps since this happened before the days of GPS but my car was equipped with an electronic compass on the dash. I was so tired as it had been a long day and I saw a shortcut on the map and decided to take it. Night had fallen and it was a dark road. I had traveled down this road and had become apprehensive I had made a mistake taking this shortcut. I saw a road sign the road was going to DEAD END and I hadn’t seen anything on the map to predict this and when I came to the stop sign, I looked to the left and to the right. There was no sign telling me the direction to turn in order to go to the next town. My, it was so dark and scary. I didn’t know if I should turn to the right or left. Nothing to tell me which way was the right so what was I to do? If I went the wrong way, I could end up where I didn’t want to be. When I was distraught, my eye caught the compass. I knew the desired direction and I decided to turn to the left and if the compass said North, I was headed in the right direction. If it didn’t I would turn around and go in the other direction. When I turned, I was going North and a sigh of relief and home was now a definite destination.


Now for the deeper thought….. In our lives we are faced to make difficult decisions for our goals in life and sometimes we have to step out on faith. Our paths are not always defined and sometimes we have to travel in the “dark” but we have to trust we will find our way home. Take time to look at our GPS (God’s Positive Scripture) and follow His Compass. Left to our own minds; we may take the wrong path or turn the wrong way. What I do want to impress is at some point and time, ALL of us have to turn a corner in life. It takes us down a great street, away from the darkness and on to a brilliant street of goodness. If not, our road of life will reach a DEAD END. Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the Fullest by traveling on safe highways with family and friends with faith in the driver’s seat.






DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:


Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go

(c) Copyright 2012-2015 Property of Arline Miller with all rights preserved.


TODAY THE WORDS are PRIORITIZE YOUR PRIORITIES


TODAY THE WORDS are PRIORITIZE YOUR PRIORITIES.  This weekend with our grandsons here and with us trying to fill every second with a bunch of hugs and fun; our priorities for other duties went out the window. This morning after the boys have gone, the focus for this message became vivid in my mind. The very first thing was a human reaction; I wondered if I had the energy to write the blog. With four active boys here and bouncing on me and thinking nothing of their Nana getting older; my body is certainly feeling each loving hug and “attack”. It was easy to think, “Well, I could skip writing the blog; how many people read the blog? Am I wasting my time to write my thoughts and does anyone actually care what I have to say?” This was definitely a pity party thought and I usually put pity out with the trash. I am a get it done person but do I prioritize my priorities? This is when it came to me…..It is necessary to PRIORITIZE OUR PRIORITIES.

With some caffeine in my body, the thoughts came to me. What are my priorities? I decided to make a list and I thought I would encourage each of you to make a similar list. It might surprise you what we consider a priority is maybe misplaced and is a nuisance rather than a priority. Our lists may be a guide to a few things taken off our list of priorities or at least moved to a lower spot on our lists and in our minds.
Here goes:
God…..Do I really have God at the top of my list or do I say God is and I allow Him and His Time with my soul to slide down on the list when other things seem more like a priority…Note to self…Keep God Number One and the rest of the list will fall in more harmony.
Family….It would seem family is the next one, but how many times do I put family down on the list when work or finances or even hobbies get in the way? Do I forget to call and check on other members? Do I remember special events or try to find excuses to get out of going to family gatherings? As a Sister who has two Brothers who have died; both Parents gone too; and Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and Cousins as well; why do I seem to be preoccupied with so many other things?……Note to self……Once family is gone; a lot of the good memories will be all I have left…..Make more good memories to keep the heart warm when it hurts by the family’s absence.
Work…..Okay, now let’s be honest. How many of you when you saw this priority as 3rd on the list questioned if I really place Work behind God and Family? Is that because “we” as a society have subconsciously moved Work as Number 1? I have always been a workaholic and even my family have told me over and over, I make my work more important. I have used the excuse, I have ADD and need work to expel all of this restlessness……Note to self……Work, unless independently wealthy is necessary and even if it is rewarding; it should be necessary but not all we live for….Keep work on list as Number 3 and not to be placed before God and Family. 

Friends……I do a lot of social media for the blog and my book and it seems like I am busy communicating with my friends and talking with them on a more regular basis. I saw, however, at the book-signing I saw dear friends I have not seen in years. I wanted to talk to them more and catch up. It seemed we shared more lunches, cookouts, and even phone time when all of the other priorities were not such priorities…..Note to self……Find some time to reach out to friends on a one on one basis rather than only during certain times as funerals, weddings, hospital visits, or even church..Remember a time when only a friend reached out during the worst time and by listening; it made it better.

Hobbies…..Yesterday, we watched the Georgia Bulldogs play and it was intense. Yes, they won and all of us yelled. I found myself being distracted from the game when one or more of our precious grandsons wanted to show Nana something they were doing on the Ipads. As much as I love the Dawgs; they paled in priority to a little child wanting approval and love from their Nana….Note to self…..Place hobbies on the proper level of importance and remember to keep God and family before sports, writing, crafts, shopping, etc…The rewards of a little child’s hug or an elderly family member saying I love You is the ultimate reward.
You may say I have other priorities and it will be your list to make. I realize people put emphasis on many things and that is your choice. What I feel is important is how we view what is important in our lives and how we place importance on those things which are dearest to our hearts. My closing thought is not a biblical quote but what our oldest grandson said when he said the blessing for the food.

Abram Benjamin Miller, our oldest grandson, prayed to “Our Heavenly Father we thank you for the food, for our home, keeping us safe, and for us getting to come to Granddaddy and Nana’s house.”

It seems as if a 7 year old child has his priorities in good order. Have a great Sunday and think about what we place on our lists of priorities.
Abram, Nolan, Jonas, and Elias at about 6:00 am getting into technology.