Simply Yaya

I could write all day long about the things I learned from my Momma and never get done. Pretty sure there wasn’t anything she couldn’t do. But the truth of the matter is that I never realized just how much she was teaching me just from me watching. We thought there was plenty of time, I guess.

My momma did something for me everyday of my life. The sun rose and set in Dylan Scott Rice. His Yaya was his world and he was hers. They were always doing something. I wish I could say I was fascinated and interested in their projects, but I wasn’t. I used to laugh at them. From Capri sun purses to soap to clocks made out of old pot lids with buttons, it was like Martha Stewart made over. My momma subscribed to her magazine, and pored over every one, trying to come up with what they were gonna make next.

And cook. Lord, could she cook. Her mushy fried potatoes are the things dreams are made of. Never made a pan of cornbread that stuck in her life. The pork roast she made on the stovetop in her Lodge Dutch oven? I would give anything to be able to fix that delicacy. She only used salt and pepper. It would just melt in your mouth and fall apart as you sliced a serving off. My sister would give her right kidney for one of her chicken casseroles. And every Christmas she made homemade turtle candy to give for gifts. The world needs more Yayas.

She loved to go to yard sales, thrift stores and never met a stranger. She loved old things, cherished anything she had that had come from her family before her, and the stories that went with them. Up until a few years ago I would have told you I was nothing like her. My, how funny things change. But the best thing about my Momma? She was kind. To everyone she met. Rich, poor, young, old. My momma loved people. And people loved her.

We lost her in 2005 at the age of 51 to a massive heart attack. I went to bed one night and had a momma and somewhere before morning I didn’t anymore. 14 years later, it’s safe to say I still haven’t fully grieved for her.

I dove in to doing for others the things she was doing. My granny. My sister. My stepdad. I would go by her house on my way to work and make his bed in the morning. Fill the fridge with food because I just knew he would starve to death. I mean, my momma kept his tea glass full when he ate meals. Finally, one day, JP said, “Kim, you know you gotta quit doing all that for him, right”? “He’s a grown man and will be fine”. Hello, wake up call.

I’ve tried to find a way to honor just what my momma was all about. But how? She didn’t put on “airs”, to be honest she was a quiet soul. But kind. And she loved to share with others. If you came to her house, you ate. And more than likely went home with some of it.

You all know from my last blog post I’m a Pinterest junkie. I see stuff all the time on there and have these “AHA” moments when I see super simple crafts, recipes and hints. I wish my life and my home were as organized as my Pinterest boards. Alphabetized and with clever little names. It’s a thing of beauty. To look at them you would think I have it all together. NOT.

But one thing I can do. I can talk to folks. And I really, really like to. I would talk to the wall if nothing else was around. And I like to help organizations and causes I care deeply about. Like the Michael Scott Learning Center. It’s dear to my ❤️. Like my friend Crystal who is the director. They do so much for so many. Kids, ARC workers, summer and after school programs. Good stuff, y’all. Stuff anyone with a heart would be proud to take part in.

It took one text to Crystal with my brainstorm to get an emphatic “YES” from her. Her mind is a lot like mine. It goes in about 834 directions at once. So what, just what, if we hosted once a month classes at the MSLC and taught simple household things? Fun things. Stuff that Yaya would have done. We decided to call the classes “Simply Yaya”. Because that’s what it is. Simple and in honor of Yaya. And because I needed something else to do right?

Our first class was last Friday night. I sure had no idea what to expect. Except somehow I knew there was gonna be a blessing involved. Me and crystal both knew it. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. We were so right.

Folks from all areas of my life signed up for the class. Most I knew, some I didn’t, but when we came together it was like God himself had made the attendance list. A dear lady whose son went to school with me and served as room Mother’s with my momma was there. She knew exactly what I meant when I described my momma. I could go on and on about every single soul there, but we would be here all day.

Let’s just sum it up and say we laughed, new friends were made and we can’t wait until the next time. Folks that came alone fell in with their table of guests like they had known each other forever. A table of sisters and daughters who at one time weren’t even talking because their family was torn apart by addiction giggled and mixed up brown sugar like nobody’s business. Get back, Devil. No room for you here.

We made homemade butter that we shook up in mason jars, laughing for the entire 7 minutes as we shook and jiggled and complained of how out of shape we were. Young adults were amazed that we could do this! And have buttermilk left over?? Well, I ain’t never.

We made homemade brown sugar like my friend Katrina had taught me last month at Home away from Home farms. We used my handy dandy new blender I couldn’t figure out how to use to to make powdered sugar and we made homemade pancake syrup using the brown sugar that we made. We simply had a blast. And I can’t wait for the next time.

As I drove home Friday night, thinking about the blessings I received that many in the room didn’t even realize, I felt better and lighter than I’ve felt in a long time. My feet hurt, sure. But you know what else? I hadn’t looked at my phone for 3 hours. I felt so liberated! I actually rolled the windows down and hung my arm out the window. True story.

Thank you, Lord, for your blessings on me. I’m not worthy, but I’m oh so glad you did.

I hope I make you proud, Momma. In my mind you will always be young and you will always be beautiful.

Later, y’all……

Pinterest is like the devil and fear….it’s a big ole liar….

A few weeks ago I shared how excited I was about this journey with buying the cabin we were beginning. Once it sank in that this was really going to happen, well, I did the first thing any woman would do. I set out on a Pinterest binge.

If you don’t know what Pinterest is, stop reading right here. Save yourself. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. For the love of all that’s holy. Don’t start. It crack for DIY’ers. Crafters. Overachievers (like that bunch of aunts I was born into 🙄). I would elaborate on the Aunt thing, but that’s another post for another time. That one would take all day.

Forget wine and Netflix. Give this gal Pinterest and a diet dew, and I’m ready to take on the world. My ADD kicks into overdrive and one second I’m looking at all in 1 dishes and thinking “Who is sick or having surgery I can fix that for” and 2 seconds later I’m convincing myself I’m going to retire from making shower melts from Vick’s vapor rub. Yes, we laugh about this, but both of these are true stories. Truth will stand when the worlds on fire.

Fast forward 2,539 pins later, 378 thrift store runs, and 97 hand scribbled lists that I managed to lose half of, and it’s time. Time to turn this cabin into my vintage, farmhouse dream. With bears. I have to have bears. I’m kinda obsessed. Gah, I love bears. Especially nice bears….told you I had ADD. 🙄

Thursday morning. Time to hit the road. This was after me asking my husband to be up and ready to go when I got there. The man had one job. Wash his hind end, pack and be ready. I had done the hard work and gotten all the stuff we were taking together. I walk in and he’s walking around in his drawer tail, hair sticking up like Shaggy from Scooby Doo with a confused look on his face. Let’s just say that went over like a turd in a punchbowl. Then we had to backtrack to go cash a check, pick up my wallet I left at Granny O’s and run to the pharmacy. Let’s just say our ducks aren’t in a row.

Y’all, I literally pinned ALL THE WAY TO SEVIERVILLE. I walked thru the door at that Hobby Lobby like Joanna Gaines herself. I had remembered my list and I was on a mission. My biggest project of the weekend? No-sew burlap swag curtains this woman had just “thrown up” over some large twigs she found in her yard. This gal here is the first one on my list. I will hunt her down and roll her yard when I’m not exhausted.

Number 2 on my list? The fabric lady at Hobby Lobby who said that the Pinterest lady was wrong and I should NOT use landscape burlap but regular burlap. In a moment of Pinterest doubt, I agreed with her. I mean she cuts fabric at hobby lobby. Who am I to doubt? All I gotta say is she better be glad I can’t drive good at night and my hubby refused to take me back. There would have been a royal rumble on the fabric table. Y’all, there were tears. It was bad.

I decided to wait until the 2nd day to tackle the curtains. After climbing the cabin stairs 94 times to unload what was the equivalent of an American pickers monthly haul, I was exhausted. And besides, all I had to do was sling it over the rod, tie a knot and ravel the ends. Easy peasy!

Day 2. Beside the tub looks like something out of Southern Living. My vintage brick mold is hanging on the bathroom wall. My little wooden bear is perched on the brick mold. The new shower curtain is hung. Hey, Kim. Better get to work on the curtains.

How many of you know burlap isn’t easy to work with? It doesn’t smell pleasant, it isn’t soft at all, and as an added bonus, I’m apparently allergic to it. And it’s heavy. Especially when you have a whole bolt of it and you can’t cut it because you don’t know how much one window will take. It was at the point I made my first “wrap” something told me this wasn’t going to be easy. Now keep in mind I was coming down from a successful Pinterest recipe I had just made that was impressive. Paula Deen who? Here I come, curtains.

Sensing my frustration, my husband asked if maybe we could wash it to make it more “workable” and pliable. Wait. Didn’t the Pinterest lady say the landscape burlap was more pliable? Note to self: Hobby Lobby woman was not your friend. She tricked you. Off we go to the laundry mat. Google said wash it but don’t dry. Ok. We got it. We take it and stretch it across the porch to dry overnight, hoping like heck Lester the raccoon who visits doesn’t tote it off. Husband mentions we may have to iron it to get all the wrinkles out that washing had put in it. I blocked out his words (Bc remember this is a whole bolt, not just a yard or two) and go to bed. Saturday it’s on like a chicken bone. I was gonna have a burlap fairytale in that cabin. Slept like a rock.

Day 3. My last shot. Do or die. No, really, die because someone is checking in tomorrow and they won’t have curtains. The burlap wasn’t dry. Back to the laundry mat to dry it. Walk into the middle of an argument between the attendant and a guy who was only wanting to dry his river soaked clothes. She told him he had to wash them first. Hey, their business right? No, he has to tell me that I have to wash my stuff too and blocks the dryers. Pretty sure he and the attendant saw the crazy in my eye when I said “I’m putting this in that dryer” and marched past them. They knew better. They went back to arguing among themselves.

I literally watched that burlap spin for spin around that dryer. It was almost as if I was willing it to come out a soft, pliable dream. I was also trying to keep my eyes focused on something besides the young girl with the daisy dukes on had the front of her shirt stretched back over her neck, showing all of us what the stork brought. God love her. I know she had a mirror at home. She did, however, do a nice rendition to “Last dance with Mary Jane”….glad my honey walked over to Ace Hardware because he might have run off with her.

Ok, here we go. My wonderful husband irons every inch of that bolt of burlap. I wish I could say with love but he was on the porch and it was hot. Did I mention there were mosquitos galore this weekend?

I set out with my knot, wrap, fluff, wrap again, try to make the distances between wraps the same. Give up 2 or 3 times. Sit in floor have a red headed fit. Convince hubby to go back down the mountain for safety pins. No way it was staying without. In my mind I’m picturing the Pinterest lady and the hobby lobby lady and I convince myself they know each other and set me up. I start plotting their death.

My safety pins are here. I’m on the back of the couch, my plantar fascists riddled foot with the heel spur is burned into the couch frame with the intensity of a roaring flame. I have 6 splinters in my hand from free falling and sliding down the cabin wall. I’m crying. Whining. The crying begins to reach a fevered pitch. It is now after 1 AM. I hear my precious, kind husband mutter something under his breath. I freeze. “What did you say”?? He looked at me so calmly and said “To the ground. I will burn this cabin to the ground”. I believe there was a mention of him shooting me in the process. Delirium has set in. On both of us.

What happened? Well, the curtains are on the windows. They have enough safety pins in them to fix every woman in the Smokies falling bra strap and they looked like hammered Doo. Nothing like the Pinterest picture. . But they are done. And the cabins still standing. And well, he didn’t shoot me.

But I am sure of one thing. Pinterest is a liar. And I ain’t falling for it again. Well, maybe for that vintage rope pully/tin bucket thing full of flowers that would look SO GOOD on the cabin porch……Jesus, take the wheel.

Later y’all…..

Kissing pigs, mayo making and fellowship….the perfect GNO!

If you know anything at all about me, you know I love to cook. And that I love animals. And vintage things. And ways of life. So when I found out there was an opening in a local homemaking class that included all these things, well, Katie bar the door! You can have the bar scene, the dinners out with the girls, all that laying by the pool. No ma’am. You wanna hang with me, this is gonna be the perfect GNO (Girls Night Out)! Luckily, I have a bestie who just goes with my unusual flow and hops in for the ride. When I can get her out of the house, that is.

I’ve followed the Home Away from Home farm page for a while now. Every time I see the pics and posts about the monthly homemaking class, I ooh and aah over how much fun it must have been. When I see the pics of the pigs they raise, I’m done for. They raise Kune Kune pigs (and if you don’t know what that is, it is adorable pigs). All you need to know. Katrina Brown, the lady in charge of this far, along with her husband and completely ADORABLE kids have a good thing going on. She’s just a modern day girl choosing to live simply, and embracing everything around her, whether it be milking a cow, raising pigs or making homemade yogurt. And y’all. She just glows from it. Even though I had never met her, I knew who she was instantly when I walked into her home. I was like, “That’s her”. I only saw a tad of nervousness from her the entire night. And all it did was make her a little more endearing.

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I’m going to attach her blog at the end of this post so all of you can read about her. She’s just fascinating. And kind. And well, we could all stand to be a little more like Katrina. Her kids say “Yes, ma’am” and “No, Ma’am” and sweet little Ax said “It was so nice to meet you, I hope I get to see you again”. If you know my partiality to little boys, you know at this point I was like “See that white Nissan over there?” “You can just go hop in the back seat and go home with me”. Then I thought about what I had to offer him at my house and knew within minutes of being there he would be demanding I return him. Sure, I have dogs. But not farm dogs. I got spoiled dogs. Not dogs that meander among baby pigs and big pigs without the slightest bit of aggravation. Nope, a PS4 and satellite TV can’t compete with what this family has going on. Yes, they have modern conveniences. Come on, she has a facebook page and a blog and a DELUXE Kitchanaid mixer (yes, I slobbered over it a little). But it’s obvious Katrina and her family march to the beat of a much simpler drum. I could see where folks might leave these classes feeling like they are lacking. I mean, she made homemade yogurt. And went into detail about the consistency that she liked vs what the kids liked and how she had found a happy medium. But the only way I can tell you I felt when I left was inspired. And blessed.

Now, I’m not so dumb that I think I’m gonna be making most of these things from now on. Naturally, I don’t have my own cow to milk. Nor do I have that handy dandy cream/milk separator gadget she has on the counter to pour her fresh milk into. (Chanda still hasn’t figured out the concept to that machine. The description of how it worked left her with a puzzled look on her face. Yet, she still dove into this class with enthusiasm. Initially, she said “I’m just going for the pigs”, but she ended up loving everything about it.) So, I’m afraid I’m out on the butter and yogurt made with fresh milk.  But am I going to make my own mayonnaise again? And brown sugar? Sure will. I have each and every ingredient we used in my pantry. And my own Kitchenaid mixer, although it isn’t a deluxe model. But it was my Momma’s. We bought it for her the last Christmas she was with us. Every time I use it, I think of Yaya. Who embraced craftiness and a lifestyle like this like no one else I’ve ever met, until now. My Momma would have loved Katrina. She would have fit right in. My soap making, yo-yo quilt making, crotchet baby blanket making Momma would have loved everything about last night. She would have run her hand over that old cook stove and admired every cast iron skillet with awe. Not sure I have felt as close to Yaya as I did last night since her death 14 years ago. Mirror, mirror, on the wall. I am my mother’s child after all. And I couldn’t be prouder.

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Katrina hosts a different homemaking class each month, free of charge. Each month a different topic, ranging from soap making, to herb drying, to candy making and quilting. Her classes, since held in her home, are of course space limited, and preference is given to repeat attenders (I think that’s me, now, y’all). She sets up a donation box near the door, and 100% of the money that goes into it is put back into supplies for future classes. The ladies attending pour in with smiles and homemade dishes and “Hey, how are you’s” and it turns into a good ole time of fellowship. I am totally ashamed to say that I didn’t do my research about the class and didn’t realize that you were supposed to bring a dish. Now if you know me at all, you know I was beyond mortified. If you tell me to bring something, I’m immediately on a 3 day pinterest search for THE perfect recipe, one that guarantees at least a few admiring glances. The food last night was beyond amazing. The homemade salsa/pico de gallo was my favorite, and Chanda’s was the pasta salad that had “just the best green onions I’ve ever had, I mean the BEST”, according to her. This is my one apology over my error. Next time (if they let me back in), it’s gonna be on like a chicken bone. Kimmie’s got homemade game and I’m bringing it with me!

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Chanda and I were lucky enough to end up at the table with Martha and Cindy, a mother/daughter combo who blessed me more than they will ever know. Martha kept us all in line, made us laugh and took notes. Serious notes. Note to self: Be more like Martha at the next class. Martha made me not only miss my Momma, but to sit and reflect and remember her and appreciate her for the wonderful cook, Momma and Yaya that she was. Martha was alot like Momma, I could tell. Pretty sure I forgot to tell Martha last night, but thank you for inviting the two oddballs to your table bc as you said, “There are only 2 of us over here, and we can share our mixer”. God don’t make mistakes. And he puts us right where we need to be and are meant to be, even in a room full of ladies making homemade mayo. All the Martha Mommas out there take a second and take a bow. You’re a rare bird in today’s world. You and Katrina.

Here are the things we made hands on last night:

Butter

Yogurt

Mayo

Brown Sugar

We took home a homemade chocolate sauce Katrina made that we didn’t have time to get into, and also the recipes for everything plus a few more.

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I went home (well, I mean to Granny O’s bc it was my night to stay) all smiles and needing to tell everyone in my path how much fun I had. Granny O’s caretaker Tammy and my husband got the honors. I went on and on about what we made, about the dog named Annie who looks like Shine (“Look, Tracy, it’s a baby Shiner!!) and the pigs and the kids and their manners, and the creme separator and the pigs and the good food we ate and the pigs. Did I mention there were pigs? Just making sure. The runt took a liking to me and the feeling was mutual. Once I picked it up, it kept following me around, so I picked it up again. Phoenix dashed my excitement when he came around the corner and said “Oh, be careful with that one, it likes to poo and pee on you”. Talk about dulling my shine. One quick kiss and I put the pig down. Let’s get real. Did anyone think I was gonna go out here and not kiss a baby pig? I think not.

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It’s safe to say a good time was had by all. I highly suggest reading Katrina’s blog and learning more about her and her little farm. I was a tad dismayed last night bc Chanda hadn’t read any of it, and she just didn’t have ANY IDEA about the story of how God sent Katrina a dairy cow, and really, how could she appreciate the fresh milk if she didn’t understand that GOD HAD SENT KATRINA THAT COW. Y’all, it’s exhausting to be me sometimes. I have all these ideas, and plans, and passions that it’s hard to slow down and enjoy the simple things sometimes. Thank you, Katrina for a night that let me do just that.

Later, y’all.

Home

Blessed Nest Part 1

If you need me, I’m just sitting over here pinching myself. My smile rivals anyone I’ve ever sported. The cabin. Not just any cabin. THE cabin. The Townsend cabin. The one that’s our happy place. Where we honeymooned. Where we go to recharge and relax. We’re making it ours. Y’all. Is this for realz????

But the best part? I get to decorate it to my junkin, thrifting, vintage loving heart. And bears. No worries. There will be bears. You can’t have a Smoky Mountain cabin without bears. Oh wait. It gets even better than that. I get to share it. With folks I love, folks those folks love and folks I don’t even know. The excitement of someone else falling in love with it far outweighs the anxiety of the rental process.

My stepmom bought the cabin for the same reason we are now buying it from her. Because she loved it. Life circumstances have changed for her and she just isn’t able to go like she thought. Her loss is my absolute thing that dreams are made of gain for this ole gal.

I will never forget something she said once when she and I were talking about the cabin. “I’ve realized that life is short, and I want to enjoy it. And allow the folks I love to enjoy it too”. I couldn’t agree more.

I’m just giddy with the thought of people I know visiting and saying “It was perfect”. And with poring over guest book excerpts from people I don’t know. Doesn’t take much to excite me, y’all. Give me the mountains over the beach any day of the week. Ok, gotta stop and pinch myself again.

It took us a week or so to decide on a new name for the cabin. We loved the current name, Edge of Heaven (and it really is!!), but something about naming it yourself makes my heart beat fast.

The texts between myself, my husband and son have been pretty entertaining trying to decide on a name. This is a joint venture between us, so we all got to weigh in. Dylan’s “Bear Necessities” was taken about 5x over. His “Knotty & Nice” suggestion was shot down real quick by ole Mom. Nice try, though.

My husband was as always ready to go with the flow with whatever we chose. Pretty sure there is nothing he can do to reach the hero status he has going on from agreeing to take this journey with me. My son taking part was just icing on the cake. God knew what he was doing when he gave me one child, and a boy at that. I got lucky with Dylan. Oh, so lucky.

Beginning August 1st, the cabin will officially become “Blessed Nest”. I can’t think of a better name. Blessed. By definition made holy. Nest. By definition an abode of shelter. A sanctuary.

My cup runneth over, y’all. And I’m so not worthy. But I’m oh, so glad he saw fit to bless us.

For those of you interested in renting, the link will be available soon. If you want to go in July, well, we can make that happen also. All you gotta do is say the word!

Peace, love, and cabins, y’all……Later.

He ain’t there, y’all. Musing of an Easter goer and over all hot mess……..

I did something Sunday I still can’t believe I did. It’s something I’ve talked about others for. In a scandalous voice, I might add. “Omgahhhh did you see so and so?” Yes, I’m aware that’s judging. Painfully aware. Yet I did it anyway. Oh, the embarrassment. Go ahead and get your shovel out so you can bury any preconceived notion you have of me. Here lies Kimmie’s shame and humiliation. And her judging side. Are y’all ready? Ok, deep breath. Here goes.

I was an Easter goer. I marched myself, my husband and my child up in that church on Easter. I met my best friend Chanda and her family and proudly sat on that pew like I was really doing something. 75% of those faithful church members were like “Who in the heck is that”? I sang loud and proud the songs about him rising, I got my bible out and followed along, and I nodded my head so many times during that sermon folks probably thought I had some kinda twitch going on. I’m over here like “Amen” and “Yes, Lord” and “Thats right” when that preacher was preaching. And Brother Dill was speaking the truth. Ain’t it grand I decided to show up and listen? Grace Jesus with my presence? And the rest of the church? Jesus, take the wheel.

I know what you’re thinking. I think it too! She needs to be going over to that jail and having a bible lesson and posting scripture and verses and acting like she’s sitting at the foot of the cross. And I ain’t dumb enough to think that folks that hear me let loose with a wordy dird every now and then don’t think it then, too. But I go back to that one thing my Granny O told me so many times that I never got until a few years ago. You can have church wherever you are. Some of the most “real” church I’ve ever attended with in the K & J pods of the county jail. Jesus was there, the Holy Spirit was there and if I was a betting woman there was a whole lot more than that up in there.

I mean hairs standing up on your arms, having to sit on your hands to keep from waving and shouting Glory! You know that heavy feeling you get in your chest and that feeling when you can’t help but cry because something reached down in your soul and said sister, here it is! It’s yours for the taking! I’m handing it to you. Just grab hold and don’t let go. Or let go and let God. Somebody say amen if you know what I’m talking about.

That’s what we do, ain’t it? We grab ahold and then we let go. We get all confident in our faith and in our walk and then BOOM! Here comes that devil. He gets all up on my nerves. And you know what? I let him. I open the door and say, well hey there! Come on in! How’s your momma and ’em? Who is the devils momma anyway? I mean like Jesus had Mary Magdalene surely the devil had a momma too right? Wait. I think I met that lady once. At work. She came in one day and….oh wait. There I go judging again.

You know those days and weeks when we’re down and out and there are bills to be paid and not enough money and you’re sick and the dog craps on the rug and brings a turtle in and lays in the middle of your bed gnawing on it (true story) and you’re late and when you do get there you’ve forgotten half of what you needed and have to go back or beg your husband to bring it to you? Or you get that mad face emoji from your boss because you didn’t do something you were supposed to or everyone at work needed you to do everything for them and left no time for you and your work? And that’s just fine, because Lord knows their time is more valuable than mine. The days when things ain’t going right are the ones I’m talking about. THOSE are the days I call on Jesus and say Lord, you better intervene and do it quick because if you don’t I might end up being the person getting to hear the bible lesson at the jail.

I’ve realized lately the times I call out to Him are the bad days. What if, just what if, instead of praising Him in the storm, I called His name when the sun was shining and my fur babies were just sitting there looking adorable and not fighting and using the bathroom rug as a toilet and your husband is looking at you adoringly and work is as joy (ok, maybe that one is a bit of a stretch) and you have the most precious friends and family and coworkers? Because one thing I’ve learned and learned the hard way is this. The devil doesn’t come at you when you’re doing wrong. Nope. Sure don’t.

The devil comes at you full force and with a vengeance when you’re doing right. All those times you’ve been grumbling and fussing with your neighbor or your family? Or your coworkers? Yep, devil ain’t worrying with you. You’re in active addiction or hitting the casinos spending your house payment or laying in the bed depressed all day? You aren’t even a thought in the devils mind then. You know where the devil is? He’s over here hot and heavy on the person that you are looking at thinking “I wanna be them.” “They’ve got their stuff together”. That’s where the devil is. He’s on every single person trying to do right.

He’s on the recovering addict who is clean for the first time in 10 years. He’s on the businessman who is successful and making money hand over fist. He’s on that couple that you look at and think has the perfect marriage. The momma whose kids always match and have manners and she posts pics on Facebook of her meticulous home looking like something out of Southern Living (not calling any names, my precious friend Crystal LOL). He is with that person that just landed their dream job and thinks heck yeah, I’ve finally made it.

Bottom line. THE DEVIL DOESN’T COME AT YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOING WRONG. HE COMES AT YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOING RIGHT. Write that down in the front of your bible next to your kids names. As sure as the sun rises on whatever kind of day we are having, a horrible one or a good one. And the best thing any of us can do is keep our guard up.

Now, I’m not saying don’t feel good about a good life. Heck, I’m still a newlywed and I make myself sick sometimes when my husband walks in the door and I get all googly eyed and get butterflies. Yes, he gives me butterflies. Help my time. That man. I ain’t never done anything in my life to deserve him. But I’m oh, so glad the Lord saw fit to send him to me. And that He gave me the sense to recognize it’s really OK to feel good about your marriage, and your life and your blessings. But we must always, always guard our heart, our lives and our blessings. Place a hedge around them and dare the Devil to try to get thru it. Stick you some thorny bushes in it so he gets pricked like Jesus did up on that cross.

Which brings me to my final thoughts, since I’ve been all around the world with this post. I love Easter. I think it’s my favorite holiday. Now, I won’t lie and say Thanksgiving isn’t a close second. I would eat a sweet potato raw that’s how much I like them. And I’m that crazy pumpkin spice lady you see all the memes about. But Easter. And Good Friday. Holy Week. That gets my heart thumping. Jesus died for ME. I had a hand in stopping Jesus’s heart. Let that sink in.

I literally can’t watch The Passion of the Christ. I should be ashamed to even tell that. But I can’t. I’m over here watching videos shielding my eyes from the bad parts and Mary Magdalene is literally standing and sitting there watching her son be beaten and crucified? I stress when Dylan gets a sunburn. And he’s 25!!! Mary, Mary, Mary. She’s right up there with Job for me.

But those 3 days later. Here them women came with their spices ready to anoint that body and THE TOMB WAS EMPTY! You can’t make up stories this good. Living he loved me, dying he saved me, buried he carried my sins far away. Thank you, Jesus. He did it for even an Easter goer like me. And for you. And then someone threw in a magic rabbit and died eggs and all kinds of fun just for good measure. And ham. And potato salad. And if you’re really, really lucky, deviled eggs.

He ain’t there, yall. He arose, He arose, Hallelujah, Christ arose…..

Storms

me

I love rain. Like love, love, love rain. A few years ago I was on Pinterest trying to find a rain meme to share and I discovered there is a word for someone who loves rain. Come to find out, I’m a Pluviophile. Sounds fancy, don’t it? I always knew I was fancy. My son and his friends even call me “Fancy” after that Reba song. How does it go?

“Here’s you one chance Fancy, don’t let me down”…………Thank GOD that God doesn’t give us only one chance. I don’t know about y’all, a few of us would be in trouble.

It’s been raining so much here lately. And yes, I love it, but without all this flooding. We’re about to float away over here in North Alabama. Roads washing away, peoples boat docks just breaking loose and floating on out into the wild blue yonder. But you know what, “stuff” can be replaced. Roads can be repaired. But what about these folks who have flooded their life? Their relationship with their family? Your future? Some of you don’t even have hope. You’ve let them float on out too.

But Jesus has covered you the entire time. An umbrella and a raincoat and cute rain boots might have been a bonus, but they weren’t a necessity. He covered us! Granted, our hairdo might have been ruined and our britches got wet, but I got a feeling ain’t none of that gonna matter in Heaven. I am hoping in Heaven my hair stays “did” just like I like it all the time. Man, that’s worth going for right there!! She’s a lot younger than I am, and I sure don’t wish for her to go to Heaven anytime soon, but when we DO go, I sure hope my hairdresser Rosie can bunk with me. Cause I can’t ever fix it like she does. Get home looking all good and then you fix it yourself and it looks like hammered doo. Real talk. Her and her magic hair brush she uses. Makes me mad. Perfect hair in Heaven. Put that on your list of reasons why you wanna go to Heaven.

James 1:6 says: “But he must ask in faith without ANY doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” That’s good stuff, y’all. Especially if you’ve ever been knocked down in the ocean by a big wave. I must have been doubting on my last beach vacation, because I’m telling y’all I almost went to meet Jesus. We’re all out there having a big ole time, and in comes some waves that knocked us down. My husband is standing there (bc he was the only one left standing which means he was trusting in the Lord, not doubting), and he’s trying to save me and his partner at the same time. If you know any guys in law enforcement, you know that #bluelinefamily mess is serious biz. I remember thinking, you better help me, Lord, because he’s gonna save his partner first. I lost my hat. His partner lost his hat AND his sunglasses. And those waves just KEPT rolling in. Relentless. Kinda life life does us sometimes.

How many out there think they’re at the back of the line? Getting the scraps from everyone else? Remember how fun it was to be the “line leader” in elementary school? How important we felt? I think my mean little red headed self probably stuck my tongue out at some of them when I was the line leader. I was something else, let me tell you. Listen, if you think for one second that Jesus won’t bring you full circle and back to the front of that line, you’re bad wrong. We ALL got a line leader in us. The only way you’re stuck where you are is if you wanna be stuck. DANCE IN THE STORM YOU’VE CREATED! It ain’t gonna happen overnight. Might even take more than days and weeks. But He has had a plan for you since the moment you were born! TRUST that plan. Even when it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done and you feel like not only are you underwater, but you done drowned.

“Oh, well my Momma did drugs”. “I can’t pay my fines”. “My husband left me” (Lord help I got a whole book on that one I could write. Shew, Jesus get ahold of my tongue right now. “My family is poor and I don’t know no different”. “I wasn’t raised in church”. We could go on and on all day about all them odds stacked against you. But you know what? Every single good and bad experience in your life brought you to where you are today. You still breathing? Good. That means you ain’t too far gone.

Repeat after me: TELL THE DEVIL THAT HE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN YOU OUT WHEN HE HAD THE CHANCE!!! Right now. Go outside and scream it into the air. Speak it into existence. Get better not better. Get powerful and not pitiful. Can y’all tell I been listening to some Kim Pothier #realtalkkim this week? That girl can PREACH!!!!

Psalms 83:15 “So pursue them with your tempest and TERRIFY them with your storm.”

Dance in that storm you’ve created. Chase after the good things, and be relentless when you grab a hold of something good. Sobriety. Prayer life. A healed relationship with your family. Your marriage. A Godly relationship.

Remember that song “I am woman hear me roar”? Roar, ladies. I have folks that tell me all the time, “Well, you just speak your mind”, and “What you see is what you get with Ms Kim”. 98% of the time that’s truth. But I had a preacher one time say “Being outspoken is not always a virtue”. Sitting in a little ole Church of Christ in Pikeville. Felt like I had a big ole spotlight on my head. Could have crawled under the pew. And I’ve carried that statement with me many times. Contrary to popular belief, I do turn on the filter every now and then. Folks either love me or hate me. And I’m good with that. Because I would fight a grizzly over the folks I love. And if just ONE person gets something out of something I say, that’s what it’s all about. #eachonereachone

The bible says every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess. Gonna answer for every word or deed. Now, folks, this scares me. My best friend tells me all the time that I’m mean for sport. Now, 9 times out of 10 when I play a mean joke, it’s just that. A joke. But I ain’t gonna lie and say some of them times I ain’t playing. I get mad. That mouth overloads my hind end sometimes. I’m gonna answer for that. Can I go ahead and ask that no one I know go to Heaven the same day or time I do? First off, it’s gonna take a while. Secondly, you know it always sounds 10x worse when someone else is telling something about you or what you did. I can just hear me now. “But, God, see, I was just mad then. I didn’t mean it”. I’m gonna hush now because just the thought is causing me anxiety.

Has anyone prayed today? Sit and think about that prayer for a second. Was it a prayer of hope or was it fear based. Too many times are prayers are fear based. Can you imagine what He could do for us if we reached down inside of ourselves and started preaching prayers of belief and certainty. Give Jesus and your prayers the attention that you’ve given those bad things in your life. I truly believe we can speak bad circumstances into existence. Think it but don’t speak it. Please. At least when you’re talking to God. Talk to Him with faith and grace and BELIEF.

Know what else the bible tells us? There is power in numbers. Where 2 or more gather in His name, there is love. Not hate, sorrow, jealousy or bitterness. Love. Grab a friend you know who is struggling and pray with them. Speak life into one another. I tell the ladies in the jail all the time these 2 things. Now, granted, these are just Ms Kim’s opinion:

  1. If you can’t stay clean in this jail, there ain’t no hope once you get outside these doors.
  2. If you can’t lift each other up in here and wish blessings on one another, you ain’t gonna have a Godly mindset when you leave here either.

Acts 27:15 “and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along”.

I just had an “aha” moment and realized this verse is where that song “Jesus take the Wheel” came from. Well, what about that?…………..”Take it from my hands, save me from this road I’m on”. And He will. Now don’t get all technical on me and ask me “But HOW, Ms Kim”???? Cause I ain’t even gonna lie and say I know how. I just know that He can and does. I know because there are words in the bible that are written in RED. That means they came out of Jesus’ mouth. Good enough for me. Red, red, red. If it’s red, bank on it.

Ok, I kinda strayed away from the storm part. Matthew 5:45 says that He rains on the just and the unjust. It don’t say church deacons and nice people get the sunshine and that mean people and criminals get the rain. I daresay every one of us has taken part in unjust behavior in our life. Yet He still shines. And that be of good cheer business? He didn’t mean just when things are going your way. He means even in the storm. Rain blowing all over your face. And hair. Shoes soaking wet. Be of good cheer. GET UP AND START PRAISING YOURSELF OUT OF THIS PIT THAT YOU’RE IN!! Give the ones around you a little praise while you’re at it.

Proverbs 10:25

“When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, but the Righteous has an everlasting foundation”.

Everlasting. That’s what I’m talking about.

Later, y’all.

Hard Times Come No More

If we threw all of our own problems into a pile, we’d get our own back out. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve heard this, said this, pondered about this. But just as sure as the fact that I’m overdue for a trip to see my favorite hairdresser cause right now I’m sporting 3 inch grey roots, this is straight up gospel.

This past week has been one of the most stressful ever. It’s been a whirlwhind of hospital, surgery, and now on to short term rehab for my Granny O. It’s been being off for a week to come back to a mell of a hess waiting for me on my desk. In my mailboxes on my door. Deliveries stacked in the corner. 514 emails and 17 voicemails. It’s been ending my day hearing the words “I sure hate to see you go home, Kim”, in a small 93 year old weak voice as I leave the “nursing home” as she sees it. It’s been 3 dogs busting at the seams (and the bladder) when I finally make it home to let them out. It’s been a strain on my personal relationship (because you know you take it out on the one you love the most). It’s been my older sister telling me she wanted to “fight me” on the ride home from the nursing home over our Burger King order (please know, she was joking, but we truly were aggravated at one another).

But. Now y’all knew there was a but coming. Don’t even act like you didn’t. It has also been a day where I saw my Granny O get up and WALK in her rehab session like a boss. Telling the staff there she was gonna do so good she was gonna go after their jobs. It has been heartfelt laughter with my sister with whom I’ve had a seriously strained relationship with for many years. It’s been nights of wonderful ministry sessions at the jail with the Hope 2 U group where the female inmates lifted ME up instead of the other way around. It’s been going thru their small paper prayer requests at the end of the night to see “Please pray for Granny O and her surgery and healing” written by an inmate I’ve never met before in my life, but who used her one slip of paper we give them to pray for MY Granny. It’s been seeing a new friend plead into Drug Court today beginning a new sober journey that I can’t watch unfold. It’s been a BUT GOD week.

But God. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 112:7. “She does not fear bad news. She CONFIDENTLY trusts the Lord to take care of her”. Not meekly. Mildly. With doubt. With hesitation. With CONFIDENCE.

Lord knows I can talk the talk when giving someone else advice. Girl, you read that verse over and over and you claim it like you’ve never claimed anything!!! You hear me, girl?? Now it was a whole different story when I needed to apply it to my own situation. After a few red headed fits when I was alone (and a few in the presence of others), I had this realization I had better check myself before I wrecked myself. Granny O was depending on me. As was my job. My fur babies. My honey. My girls in that jail.

You know what causes doubt? Fear. Fear of the unknown. The hard things in our life. The obstacles. The stress. That stuff I can’t control and Lawd knows I am a control freak to the highest power. But you know what else God tells me besides I best get confident? He tells me FEAR IS A LIAR AND SO IS THE DEVIL.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

When I think of how unsure (not confident) and scared (fearful) I was this time a week ago, it makes me chuckle. Yes, I’m still stressed. My dogs are still at home waiting to be let out. Those ladies are still in jail. My sister still wants to smack me (lol). And Granny O is still not home yet. But she will be. I know it as sure as I’m sitting here.

Cast out fear, claim confidence and straighten those crowns. Later, y’all!