Sunday, November 29, 2015

THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Good Morning Out There! Today is the First Sunday of Advent! It is a cold and rainy
day here in San Angelo. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a very
blessed day! Family and friends joined us for a wonderful meal. The grandkids had so
much fun together, and the adults enjoyed visiting. We packed up leftovers for everyone
to take home. Jim and I really enjoyed our time together on Friday. It is so nice when he
has some time off. No, we did not go shopping! We picked up around the house, and then
we ran some errands. We stopped by our daughter's home to drop off some things that
were left at our home the day before. We just ran in for a few minutes, gave our grand-
daughters a hug, and headed back out. Our son and one of his friends were working and
we dropped off some extra tools that they needed, plus some lunch! Jim and I stopped
at a small café for a bite to eat on our way home. Once we were home I fixed a plate
of leftovers to take to a friend who was at work and when I got home Jim had a roaring
fire in the fireplace! Yes, it was a very nice way to spend the day!
I opened up my Magnificat this  morning and the Prayer for the Morning is:
          Let us shout with joy at the presence of the Lord, for he comes!
One of my friends gave me a years subscription to the Magnificat and I have really
enjoyed reading the daily scriptures, the Psalms, and stories about the saints! The
following is one of today's readings:
We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted,
support the weak, be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil;
rather, always seek what is good (both) for each other and for all.
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.  (1Thessalonians 5:14-17)

                                  Be vigilant at all times. (Luke 21:36)
I try really hard to remember that Advent is a time of preparation, a beautiful
time to reflect on the things I need to work on in my life. I pray that I will spend
this Advent following the scriptures that I read each day in my Magnificat!

Blessings to you and yours!                 Bye for now, Sharla

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

MY HOME SMELLS LIKE THANKSGIVING! AND I AM THANKFUL!

Hello Out There! I love this time of year! Right now my home smells like cornbread
and pumpkin and wonderful spices! I made pumpkin nut muffins early this morning,
and have made (3) casserole size (9x13) pans of cornbread. Yes, I mix up my dressing/
stuffing in an electric roaster, you know, the ones that are big enough to cook a turkey!
I make my cornbread the day before, let it cool and then break it all up and place it in
(4) gallon size Ziploc bags and toss them in the fridge. Tonight, Jim will chop up onions
and celery for me to sauté in butter and I will boil about (6) eggs, all of this will go into
the dressing tomorrow morning. I'll go ahead and add seasoning to the cornbread, I just
add it to each bag and shake it all around and toss it back in the fridge! I'm also going
to make a couple of cheese balls tonight to set out with an assortment of crackers. I'll
bake (2) pumpkin pies first thing tomorrow morning and then whip up the heavy
whipping cream to top them off! I always buy Cool Whip and Redi-Whip just in case
I don't have time to make my own, but I always end up making it, because it is so
yummy! I'll start adding all the ingredients for the dressing in my roasting pan about
mid-morning.  My son-in-law is cooking the turkey, not frying it, but cooking it in some
other type of contraption, whatever it is, the turkey tasted great last time! I'm heating up
spiral sliced ham and my daughter is making a couple of sides and a dessert and my
daughter-in-law is making a couple of sides and a dessert! Everything always tastes
great, and we always have plenty, enough for everyone to take home left-overs! The
kids play, the guys watch football, and me and my girls visit and we might even drink
a glass of wine! We usually have a couple of friends join us for lunch, the more the
merrier! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. I pray that you
have someone to spend the day with and a warm meal to share!
Blessings to you and yours!                             Bye for now, Sharla

Monday, November 16, 2015

WE ARE CALLED TO SERVE

Good Morning Out There! Jim and I went to adoration this morning at St. Margaret's
Adoration Chapel. I turned the page in my Living Faith Daily Catholic Devotions to
today's date and two things just jumped right off the page and grabbed my attention!
The first thing was the title: We Are Called to Serve - Talk about grabbing my
heart! Yes, we are all called to serve! One of my favorite songs from Mass is
"We are Called" I have written they lyrics to this beautiful hymn in one of my
previous posts, I think it was back in September.
The second thing that caught my eye was that today we remember Saint Margaret
of Scotland, and Jim and I were at the St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church
Adoration Chapel! I thought that was so cool! I whispered out kind of loud to Jim
that information, he was kneeling and praying, so I got the look that said, can't this
wait, I'm praying! I just smiled and picked up my Magnificat because I knew that
there would be a story about St. Margaret in there, and there was. She was a
good wife and mother, she was married to King Malcolm III of Scotland and they
had 8 children. She was very giving and kind. Everything I read about her reverted
back to the title, We are Called to Serve! I love that we have such wonderful examples
to follow. I just wanted to share that with y'all, it was a wonderful way to start my
day! Blessings to you and yours!  Bye for now, Sharla


The song title is: We Are Called
Come! Live in the light! Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord!
We are called to be light for the kingdom, to live in the freedom
of the city of God!
(Refrain) We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly,
we are called to serve one another; to walk humbly with God.


By the way, I did tell Jim all about St. Margaret on the way home!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

HUNDREDS OF HOURS PRAYING FOR THE UNBORN AND THEIR FAMILIES

Hello Out There! It is cloudy and misty and a wonderful fall day! The only problem
with this kind of weather is I want to hibernate and cook! Friday night I made a BIG
pot of homemade potato soup with spicy sausage! Grated cheese and saltine and/or
Ritz crackers on the side, and a pitcher of ice tea! Saturday morning I started soaking
pinto beans, took a brisket out of the freezer to thaw, and made a triple batch of the
original chex party mix! I cooked the beans and brisket and that is what we had for
dinner last night! This morning (Sunday), I made a big breakfast: bacon, sausage
scrambled eggs and refried some of the beans I cooked yesterday! We had toasted
tortillas also, and a BIG pot of coffee! This afternoon I made a pan of brownies with
walnuts! I am supposed to be dieting before the holidays, it doesn't seem to be working
out that way, but I am exercising! That has to count for something, I like to think so
anyway! I only have a few more minutes before I have to get ready for Mass so I want
to share something really awesome!
   I had to fill out a survey about our 40 Days for Life fall campaign. One of the
questions they ask is - how many people participated (approximately)? I ask people to
sign in when they come and pray, most everyone does. I went through the book and
counted each individual and added some walk-ins that I knew about and the total
of people came out to 220! Isn't that awesome?! 220 people came to the courtyard and
prayed during the 40 days! I decided to count up the hours that people prayed, most
people come more than once, and the total hours came out to a little more than 800!
Just think about that? 800 hours of prayers for the unborn and their families! There
were 307 - 40 Days for Life campaigns, an amazing amount of prayers!
    Going up to the courtyard each day, the pro-life banners proudly hung and the joy
of seeing people praying will forever stay in my heart. Just imagine walking into a
courtyard and seeing a mother praying while her children are drawing pictures and
writing pro-life messages with sidewalk chalk close by. Or think about this: You walk
into the courtyard and a man is praying quietly as he sits on a bench and a group of
ladies are praying the pro-life rosary together and another lady is praying by the
statue of Jesus. There were times that 3 generations from one family would be praying
together. Other times I witnessed a mother and her grown son praying, a grandmother
and her teenage grandson praying. I would walk in and see sisters and friends praying,
and the husbands and wives would sit side by side and pray, so many husbands and
wives prayed together, an absolutely beautiful sight! I saw families pray together, and
people would visit and laugh and share stories and sometimes cry. There were lots of
hugs, and a feeling of peace and serenity in the courtyard. I am thankful for every single
person who stopped by to pray, who prayed from home, and who prayed for my family!
I was so humbled and thankful when people told me that they were praying for Jim and
I. The 40 days is over, but the pro-life way of life continues on and we are already
making plans for the spring campaign. The banners have been taken down, and the
courtyard looks lonely, so stop by and say a prayer or two if you have time, keep on
praying for the unborn and their families, keep on praying for a conversion of hearts!
I am going to close with - JESUS PROTECT AND SAVE THE UNBORN or
as Jim says it - JESUS SAVE AND PROTECT THE UNBORN!
Blessings to you and yours!                Bye  for now, Sharla

Friday, November 6, 2015

LET MY LITTLE LIGHT SHINE!

Good Morning Out There! Yesterday I wrote a post about something that had
happened at the Sack Lunch Ministry the day before. After I wrote the post I
started thinking and was praying as I went about my morning. This is what
happened next:

After I finished writing, I went into the kitchen to fix lunch for my husband so that
I could take it to where he was working. My mind
kept going back to that young man and to so many others that I have met at the Sack Lunch
Ministry. I just wanted to cry, my heart felt so heavy. I started praying as I packed up
Jim’s lunch, and loaded everything into my truck. By the time I reached Jim I had realized
something, it was like a light had turned on. I couldn’t wait to share it with him. Jim climbed
into the passenger side of the truck and I said, "I figured it out! I know what God is telling
us!" Jim had that look on his face that said, oh my gosh, what has she gotten us into now?
I told him about my blog post, and how I wanted to cry and how my heart hurt. I told him
how I prayed and asked God what were we supposed to do because we can only do so
much. And then it hit me, like a ton of bricks, because I’m hard headed and that is usually
the only way God can get through to me. I felt like God was saying, yes, y’all are working
in the field hospital, providing food, hugs, smiles and kind words. Sometimes you provide
clothing and information, and sometimes money. The bandages that you provide are
needed, and then you pray and I (God) will take care of the operations/the major stuff.
I realized that God just wants us to be faithful, to do what we are able, and most
importantly to do something. I think about all the darkness in this world, and if I am a
light, and you are a light and if others will be a light, just think about how God’s love
will shine in us and through us!
There is a song we sing in Mass called, "We Are Many Parts" and it is one of my favorite
songs. The refrain goes like this:
We are many parts, we are all one body, and the gifts we have we are given to share.
May the Spirit of love make us one indeed; one, the love that we share, one, our hope
in despair, one the cross that we bear.
My plan for today is to go out let my little light shine!
Blessings to you and yours, Sharla



Thursday, November 5, 2015

TRYING TO BE A LIGHT IN THIS DARK WORLD

Hello Out There! Just a quick post-Yesterday at the Sack Lunch Ministry a young man
showed up early. We had never seen him before. He sat in the cafeteria with his head
down while he was waiting for us to start handing out lunches. I walked by him and
hollered out something to the ladies in the kitchen, he misunderstood what I said and
became defensive. I immediately walked over to him and sat down next to him. I told
him that he misunderstood and then I asked him what his name was. He told me his
name and then I told him mine and reached out my hand to shake his. We talked for about
10 minutes. He isn't from here and the lost look in his eyes broke my heart. I gave him
his lunch and told him to go out to the courtyard and I would send someone to visit with
him. I had just dropped by to leave supplies, it wasn't my day to stay and help and I had
an appointment. I went out the back door and climbed into my truck and said a quick
prayer, it went something like this: Ok Lord, how am supposed to help this young man?
Lord there are so many people in pain, how do we help them? Amen. I called one of
the Deacons and asked if he would stop by the courtyard on his way to the noon Mass,
he said that he would. I drove around the block and pulled into a parking space in front
of the courtyard. I got some money out of my purse and walked into to the courtyard. He
was sitting on a bench eating his sandwich, I sat down next to him and told him that if
he would just wait for a little while that someone would be by to talk to him. I handed
him the money and told him that it should be enough to get some dinner later on. I stood
up to leave and he stood up also, he gave me a hug and thanked me. He told me that he
was sorry he had gotten upset earlier, and I told him that I was sorry I hadn't just sat down
to talk to him in the first place! I don't know what happened after I left, I hope he is ok.
I prayed for him and all those who are like him with nowhere to go. I told my husband
last night that I felt like we are living in a time where the whole world is like a field
hospital. Some people just need a hug or a smile, and it is easy to fix them right up. Others
need so much more. I told Jim that I feel like we just walk around with band aids trying
to make it all better and sometimes they need major surgery. I just feel so inadequate
sometimes. I pray that God will always guide me to know what to do, to know how to
help. I just know one thing for sure, we have to be a light in this dark world.
I just needed to share this, my heart is sad. God bless you all, please be a light to others!
                                                                   Bye for now, Sharla

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

PROMOTING ADOPTION - SHARING MY STORY

Good Morning Out There! November is National Adoption Month. Yesterday someone
posted an article on Face Book about the cost of an adoption. I knew adoption was
expensive, but I had no idea that the average cost is $40,000 to adopt a baby. The article
also said that an abortion cost $400.00. Of course these prices may vary a little in
different places. My husband and I visited the Gladney Center for Adoption in Ft. Worth
about three years ago. They explained to us that since so many women choose abortion,
there are not as many babies placed for adoption, which causes the long wait and the
higher cost to adopt a baby. The Gladney Center is a wonderful place for young women
to stay during their pregnancy if they need or want a place to stay. They also have the
option of choosing the parents for their baby which is also called, an open adoption. They
can also choose to keep the information private.
 For more information:
www.pregnancyhotline.org
or call 1-800-Gladney
or Text talk to 43648 to speak with a counselor
Gladney Center for Adoption
6300 John Ryan Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76132-4122
When we were there, I asked if they would give me some brochures so that I could
hand them out. They gave me brochures and testimonials from young women who
had stayed there and placed their babies for adoption. Every now and then I call them
and ask for more brochures and they promptly mail a large supply to me. I keep our
church stocked with these brochures and I carry them in a bag in my truck so that I
always have them on hand. I also make sure they are on display during our 40 Days
for Life campaigns.
I wrote a story about my adoption awhile back. The story was one of my very first
blog posts back in March 2014. I submitted the story to Catholic 365, an online
Catholic magazine, last fall. I was so excited when they published it. I want to share my
story again for those who haven't read it. If you have read it, I know you understand why
it is so important for me to share again.
I've always loved the stories about my adoption. When I was a little girl, my dad would tell me how they got the call sooner than they expected, and how they had to stop and buy diapers, bottles and clothes on the way to get me from the hospital. My mom, dad, big brother and my grandmother all drove from Stephenville, TX where my grandparents lived, to Ft. Worth, TX to pick me up! My dad would say that they picked me out special from all of the babies in the hospital, of course as I grew older I realized that part of the story was a very sweet addition. When I started asking more detailed questions, my mom said that my birth mother wasn't able to take care of me, and so she gave me to a family who could. My mom also told me that being adopted was special, and that I should always be thankful, and I am.
After I grew up and had a family of my own, my dad told me how they paid for my adoption.
I was born in the evening on December 30, 1963. My parents received a phone call on New Year's Eve morning that there was a baby girl ready for them. Not expecting the call quite so soon, they had to come up with the money so that they could bring me home. I need to give you a little history here so that you get the whole picture.
My dad was a science teacher in Sudan, TX. He also drove the school bus. Sudan is a very small town close to Lubbock, TX. My dad called the banker in Sudan to request a loan, and told him that he needed the money immediately. The banker asked if he had any collateral and Dad said, "Just my name." So the banker asked my dad why he needed the money and my dad told him that they were trying to adopt a baby girl and they were suppose to pick me up on January 2.
This is my favorite part, the banker said, "Well, go and get her, we'll figure it out when you get home." Isn't that awesome, I love it!  I also have an old, yellowed newspaper clipping from the Sudan newspaper telling all about the baby shower that the wonderful, gracious people gave my parents. The clipping says "Little Miss Sharla Kay, recently adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Nelson, was the honoree at a shower on Saturday afternoon at the home of....."
Just writing about this makes me emotional, I've been so blessed. There is just no way to describe how thankful I am for my life. But what breaks my heart is that you don't hear about adoption anymore, unless it's for an animal. We need to get the message out there that adoption is and should be the only other option. So many couples aren't able to have children, and want children.
Children are gifts from God, they are not a choice, they are a life.

I love that story, and I pray that there will be more people like that banker. I pray that we
will be able to get the adoption message out there. I look at my children and my grandchildren
and I am just so thankful that I was given the chance to grow up and share my story. Adoption
is a loving life option and adoption saves generations!
Please spread the beautiful truth about adoption and help me save more generations.
                                                               Blessings, Sharla


#nationaladoptionmonth
#shoutyouradoption

Monday, November 2, 2015

YES THEY'LL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE!

Hello Out There! It is 1:43 a.m. and I am wide awake! The closing celebration for
the fall 40 Days for Life campaign was yesterday and I was so tired when we came
home from Mass last night. I was in bed and sound asleep by 9:30 p.m. About 12:45 a.m.
I woke up and knew that I wouldn't be going back to sleep anytime soon. I prayed and then
thought about all the loose ends I need to tie up today. Since I wasn't at all sleepy,
I decided to sit down and write a post!
How are y'all doing out there? I pray that you are all well, and that your week will be
blessed! I can't believe that the fall 40 days campaign has ended. We started off with a
great Kick-Off Rally followed by 40 days of prayerful vigil, fellowship, laughter and
tears. We closed out the fall campaign yesterday afternoon right before the evening Mass.
The closing celebration was very nice, kind of low key, but a wonderful blessing and
great way to end a very busy 40+ days! There ended up being about 28 people at the
closing celebration and we served cookies, coffee, and bottled water. Frank, our wonderful,
Music Ministry leader, led us in three beautiful and perfect songs:
"Blest Are They" was the first song he sang and we joined in for the refrain:
Rejoice and be glad! Blessed are you, holy are you! Rejoice and be glad!
Yours is the kingdom of God!
"We Are Called" was the second song and this is the refrain:
We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly, we are called
to serve one another; to walk humbly with God.
"They'll Know We Are Christians" was the third song and the refrain is:
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, Yes they'll know
we are Christians by our love.
Frank picked out the most perfect songs for our closing celebration. Singing together
outside in the courtyard and sharing some of our experiences during the 40 days
was a beautiful and peaceful way to close out the fall campaign.
My friend, Candi, who has also been my right hand during this campaign, helped me
write out "Save the Date" cards for the 2016 Spring Campaign and we handed them out
along with stapled copies of the prayers we pray during the vigil hours.
The left over cookies and bottled waters are being donated to The Sack Lunch Ministry that
our parish provides to those in need, Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
I think I am finally getting sleepy, so I am going to go ahead and close for now. I'll
write another post about all the wonderful people and families who came out to pray
in a couple more days. God bless you all! Pray for families everywhere, please especially
pray for those in a crisis pregnancy, please pray for their unborn babies.
                                                             Bye for now, Sharla