Falling Out of Touch

It was a beautiful Saturday morning in Houston, TX. I was watching my favorite soccer player compete while his little brother sat in my lap and played with an animated dog on my iPhone. My daughter was standing at my immediate right, enjoying a pleasant conversation with her friend, Lilane. Jessica had introduced me to Lilane several nights earlier after I spoke at their church and before the game began, Lilane and I had been talking all things Jesus. But that was then. Now I was only half-listening to the girls’ conversation because I didn’t want said soccer player to do something extraordinary when I wasn’t looking. To be sure, Grant’s mere presence on the field was extraordinary enough for Keggie here, but seeing as he was taking every opportunity to look my way, I didn’t want him to think I wasn’t all in!

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I was vaguely aware the young women were talking about a mutual friend who had recently moved out of the area. Jessica’s friend had asked if she and the other girl were staying in touch.

“We’re trying,” Jessica said. “We text and try to talk on the phone, but it’s hard with her so far away and both of us being so busy with kids and all.”

I could see Lilane in my peripheral vision nodding in agreement before she responded. “I hear you. If you don’t do daily life together, you just grow apart.”

Wow. Truth spoken there.

I turned and told Lilane she’d just said something very profound. She looked like she thought I was kidding at first, but I wasn’t. I went on to explain that what Lilane said about falling out of touch when you don’t do daily life together is deeply analogous to our life in Christ. Our relationship begins when we embrace His grace and it is meant to grow from there. And it will– if we spend time together. However, if we neglect to do daily life together, we will most assuredly grow apart.

You can thank a gorgeous young Texan named Lilane for that warning. It’s truth worth heeding.

Hugs, Shellie

Riding Coat Tails and Red Letter Days

For someone who loves stories, family, history, and worshipping Jesus with like-minded believers, it was a red letter day!

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I got to travel back in time once again, to that small country church I’ve told y’all about, where five generations of my family members before me have worshipped. Only this time my son and his family were with us, so you can make that seven! If you’re thinking the day probably makes me emotional, you would be correct. Although regular services are no longer held at Hickory Springs, the small church building that was constructed in the 1800’s far back in the woods of north Louisiana is well kept by loyal descendants of the May family. Once a year friends and family alike make their return trip to those hallowed grounds for a combination family reunion/worship service. Present are May family descendants, honorary May family members and ornery May family members, that last distinction was given to me by someone who freely identified himself more with the ornery.

As it has before, this past Sunday yielded particulars on family stories that I’ve never heard, like those I learned about my great-grandfather Harvey’s fall from a deer stand at the age of 83. Alone in the woods, unable to get to his feet from the resulting internal injuries, Harvey May summoned the strength to use his rifle like a cane. He even managed to pull himself through a creek bed before help came. That is tough stock right there!

And once again, I was introduced to people who seemed to love me on sight all because I was “Ruth’s granddaughter and Charlotte’s girl.” No doubt, you’ve experienced that sort of thing. Meeting someone who loves your people is to enjoy favor that’s long been established. You simply get to ride their coat tails.

That, friends, is a beautiful picture of the grace of Christ. As believers, we get to enjoy the favor Father God has for Jesus, His Son. Anyone who desires to know God can come in the name of His Son and be welcomed with open arms. Talk about a red letter day!

Hugs, Shellie

They Want to Brand Her!

 

“They want to brand me,” my friend said.

Be at peace, y’all. It’s not as ominous as it sounds. My friend Joneal and I were talking business and all things Jesus when the conversation turned to branding. Dr. Joneal Kirby is the creator and director of a mentoring ministry for women called, Heart to Home. I’ll be mentioning her name more in the coming months as I have the privilege of speaking at her really big, extremely fun Heart to Home conference early 2015, along with a few ladies you may know from a little show called Duck Dynasty. Yes, girls. Y’all will need to get thy-selves to Monroe, LA for this one.

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Because of her Heart to Home ministry, Joneal has been using The Heart Mom title for some time, but the promotional people were saying they needed her given name to be synonymous with her life’s work. When folks hear The Heart Mom, they should think of Joneal, and vice versa. It sounded familiar. That’s what my publishing house told me several years ago, that they needed to personalize the All Things Southern brand and identify it with yours truly. Trust me, I shot down a number of their suggestions before we agreed on The Belle of All Things Southern. Imagine my using “The Dixie Diva”. My family and friends would’ve laughed me straight out of this small town!

Friends, I mention all of this branding talk to tell you of a goal that is dearer to me than any professional title and I know The Heart Mom feels the same way.

I want to be branded with the name of my Jesus. When you hear me, I may you think of Him, and when you think of Him, may you linger and listen for His voice. For as He Himself said in John 6:63, it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words He speaks are spirit and they are life.”

Hugs, Shellie