Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sharing My Pro-Life Message

Hello out there! Something really exciting happened today! I received the link to
the video trailer for my book, "Adopted and Blessed: Words from my heart." I
watched the trailer, listened to the music, and read the words that I wrote appear
across the bottom of the pictures they used to make this forty-five second video.
I began crying and hollered for Jim to come and watch the short video with me.
The people who made this video don't know me. They have never met me, but
somehow, my words spoke to them and they were able to share what I feel in my
heart. I reached out and touched the picture of the baby's hand wrapped inside
the mother's hand at the very end and I just sobbed.
I wrote a post on April 19th about how I wanted to share the message about
adoption being a loving life option. I didn't know how I was going to do it but
I knew that I wanted to do more to promote adoption. Nine days after I wrote that
post I spoke to someone at Christian Faith Publishing. That nice man called me
every week for about five weeks before I decided to send in my short stories from
my blog. It took me another two weeks to get everything together and then I prayed
some more. I had my manuscript ready to mail but I hesitated. These stories aren't
fiction, these stories are about my life, my family, my friends. I thought what in the
world am I doing? I told Jim that I needed to pray about it some more. He said that
he understood and it was my decision. Then he said something kind of like - Sharla,
people from Russia, Germany, Italy and countries I've never even heard of, read
your blog, so I think it's a little late to be worried about privacy issues at this
point! Of course I started laughing, because what he said was so true. He also told
me that maybe this was our way to let people know about how awesome adoption
is. I know that God has guided us all along this journey. The artwork for the cover
of the book is so beautiful. The video trailer breaks my heart and I am excited and
emotional all at the same time.
The following is the link to watch the video trailer:

Video Link:  JpwWMHxdmhM

I've shared the video on Face Book. Please share this link. Please help me promote
adoption as the loving life option. Please pray for the unborn and their parents.
Please pray for an end to abortion.

I copied part of the post I wrote on April 19, 2016 and I am going to share it with y'all
again. Thank you for reading my blog. May God bless you all.

I want to get the message out there that adoption is a life option. I would love to see
billboards and commercials and magazine covers about people who have been
adopted. I want to hear adoption stories because I know how special each story is!
I want people to know that babies are a gift. If you are in a crisis pregnancy and
this is not the right time for you to have a baby, please consider adoption for your
baby. I was blessed to have been adopted at birth and I want to share the message
that adoption is a life giving option! I see the commercials on television where the
movie stars are holding a puppy or a kitten and they are crying, begging people to
adopt these poor innocent animals. That is fine, but what about the poor, innocent
babies? What about the unborn, where are the tears? Where is the compassion?
Why are people so afraid to speak up for the human babies? If I had the money to
pay for advertising on billboards about adopting the human babies, I would. Maybe
I need to get more information about how much it costs and have a fund raiser.
Maybe that is why God has placed this so on my heart. I write these posts but I
must do more. Thanks for listening, just writing about this has helped me. It is
time for me to take the next step. If you have some ideas please share them with
me. I will keep you posted on the billboard idea. (4/19/16)

I guess God had another plan - not a billboard but a book! Y'all have a wonderful
evening and enjoy the rest of the Christmas Season! Bye for now, Sharla

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Rest of the Story - Birthdays, Family Time, Sugar Cookies, and Rice!

Good morning out there! I stayed up late last night and wrote the previous post. It
was really eleven something when I finished instead of nine something but I still
haven't figured out how to fix the correct time on my blog site! My blog is on Pacific
Time but my life is on Central Time! Oh well, it's been that way since I started my
blog back in March of 2014 so I don't think it really matters that much!
The reason I was explaining how late it really was is because I was tired and sometimes
part of the story gets left out! So..............here is the rest (or at least more) of the story!
I always get nostalgic this time of year, it's just inevitable! In my previous post I
wrote about our children, grandchildren, birthdays, family time, and lots of food! No
wonder my pants feel a little snug! Anyway - Both of our sons and our son-in-law
love to cook out! Their barbecue pits are always smoking with tasty food! I was
thinking about this past week. We have been blessed to spend time with all of our
children and all of our grandchildren on one day or more - I mean really - who could
ask for anything more?! There was a Friday night barbecue at our birthday boy son's
home! They live out in the country and we ate barbecued deer meat, dove, and quail!
He cooked the main course and we all brought sides! Our daughter-in-law made
chocolate chip cookies, his favorite, and were passed out for dessert!
 Happy Birthday, Son - we love you so much!
On Sunday we met our oldest son and his family at a really good barbecue place in
Austin! We haven't seen them since September when we traveled to their home and
celebrated his birthday. He was going to barbecue but it rained that day! So he
made yummy, homemade sloppy joes instead! Now it is almost Christmas and we
are together once more! Merry Christmas, Son - we love you so much!
He pointed out a little wooden wall plaque that hung on that restaurant wall -
it said,  "Old enough to know better..... young enough to try it again!"
 We showed the sign to Jim and all laughed because that saying fits him to a T!
Our children have an awesome father! Our grandchildren have an even more awesome
grandfather (Pa)! And I have been blessed to have the most awesome husband of all!
Jim bought that little sign/plaque and hung it out on our back porch! There is another
wooden sign out there that says,
"Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite!" (and it is!)
And one more sign that says, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!" (so true!)
We brought our granddaughters back home with us and arrived just in time to
get ready for Mass! Our other children and grandchildren were there!
We met at a little Mexican restaurant after Mass on Sunday night. The grandkids all
sat together and had so much fun! Monday was busy day of this and that!
On Tuesday we ordered Chinese food and our daughter and son-in-law picked it up
and brought it out to our home. We all love Chinese food, and thank goodness for
tile floors, because with ten grandchildren there was rice everywhere! We decorated
sugar cookies and bright colored sprinkles were also everywhere!
Yesterday was our daughter's birthday and she had a sentimental request.
Mom, will you make spaghetti for me like you used to? Our son-in-law thought
they should go out to eat and let us watch the girls so that she could eat while her
food was still hot. But this year she wanted spaghetti that her mom made with her
little ones all around. I made spaghetti and a big salad. Garlic bread and cheesy bread
were on the menu too! The girls couldn't wait for her to open her presents! Our daughter
insisted on baking her own birthday cake! Chocolate chip cookie bars with icing and
sprinkles galore! Yes, the girls helped her decorate it! Our son-in-law washed all the
dishes and then we said, goodnight! Happy Birthday, Daughter - we love you so much!
I am thankful for my family every moment of every day!
It doesn't matter where we are; at their home, at our home, or in a restaurant somewhere!
Spending time together with so much love to share - that is our family - everywhere!
I pray that your Christmas Season if full of family time and love! Reach out to one
another - spread some Christmas Cheer and Christmas Hugs!
                                                            Blessings to you and yours!
                                                                             Bye for now, Sharla
    Celebrate the "Reason for the Season" - Happy Birthday, Jesus - we love you so much!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Family Time, Birthdays, Sugar Cookies, and Rice!

Hello out there! Christmas is almost here! Jim and I finished setting up our large nativity
scene on the front porch last Saturday morning. I usually wait and place Baby Jesus in
the manger on Christmas Eve. Jim and I backed up and looked at the nativity scene;
Mother Mary, Joseph, the angel, the three wise men, the animals, and the star. The little
manger between Mary and Joseph was empty. I stood there and looked and told Jim
that I didn't want to wait this year. I went back inside the house, carefully lifted my
statue of Baby Jesus out of the box. I swaddled the statue of Baby Jesus with a blanket
and placed him in the manger. I stepped back and told Jim to come and look. We both
agreed that the nativity scene was just right. For some reason I just didn't want to wait
this year. Our grandkids noticed right away. I  told them that we would still sing
Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus on Christmas Day! They all love the nativity scene but
I have to watch the little ones because they want to pick the statue of Baby Jesus up!
December is such a special month! Our son's birthday was last Friday and our daughter's
birthday is today. Wonderful memories of birthdays past and so thankful that we still get
to celebrate their special day with them now. Our daughter-in-law made a beautiful
quilt out of our son's old t-shirts. Memories of T-Ball, Little League, Football, Power-
Lifting, college days and more were lovingly sewn into this beautiful quilt. A plate
stacked high with homemade chocolate chip cookies was the "cake" of his choice. He
loves to barbecue and he cooked for everyone. We all brought side dishes and had a
great time. I'm skipping around a little bit but that is how my mind is working tonight!
Back to Saturday: We set up the Nativity Scene in the morning and then I went shopping
right about lunch time. Jim stayed home and stacked firewood on the back porch and
cleaned out the fireplace and brought some wood inside. By 4:15 p.m. (approximately)
the weather changed dramatically. I was on my way home when the temperature dropped
from 78 down to 52 degrees in a matter of minutes. I finished all of my errands and
stopped to fill up with gas. I called Jim on my way home and asked if he had started
a fire yet. He laughed and told me that there would be a roaring fire in the fireplace by
the time I got home. We ate dinner in the living room by the fireplace, watched old
movies, and wrapped presents. Sunday morning we woke up early, bundled up because
it was 19 degrees and drove to Austin to meet our oldest son and his family at a barbecue
place. We haven't seen them since September so we were ready for lots of hugs and
a nice visit. We ate lunch and then we loaded up our granddaughter's suitcases, blankets,
etc. because they were coming back home with us! I picked up some audio books from
the library on Saturday. Our granddaughters snuggled under their blankets and we
listened to the Junie B. Jones stories all the way home! We have listened to them all
before but they still make us laugh. We got back to San Angelo about 4:30 p.m. and
went to the 6:00 p.m. Mass. Our son was at Mass with his three oldest children (our two
grandsons, and another one of our granddaughters) and our daughter, son-in-law
and their three daughters were at Mass also. Her oldest daughter and our son's oldest
son and oldest daughter served as altar servers. We all met at Rosa's Café after Mass.
Monday was a busy day of this and that. Tuesday was a baking day. We made a double
batch of Chex Mix, a double batch of fudge, and a double batch of sugar cookie dough.
Everyone was coming over Tuesday night to eat dinner and decorate sugar cookies. The
girls and I were ready! Imagine this; ten grandchildren ranging in age from 21 months to
almost eleven years old. Our son and his wife, our daughter and her husband, and Jim and
myself! Sixteen people in our modest size home, we were just missing our oldest son
and his wife and we wished they were with us! We ate Chinese food, it was good and
there was rice everywhere! We rolled out the dough and cut out sugar cookie stars.
We covered the cookies with sugar sprinkles and then we baked them and ate them!
We opened some presents and then everyone went back home except for two of our
granddaughters who were staying one more night! I stayed up late with them watching
Santa Claus 3 and then I tucked them in bed and crashed instantly! This morning I
washed their dirty clothes and helped them pack while Jim made cheese quesadillas
and helped us load up. The girls and I were on the road once more heading to meet
their other grandmother in a little town a little over two hours away. We listened to
Junie B. Jones and soon we arrived. We transferred luggage and hugged and said
our goodbyes. I prayed the rosary on the way home and made out a mental list of things
that needed to be done. I stopped at the grocery store and picked up the things on my
list. I arrived home safely and got busy once more. My daughter asked if I would make
spaghetti for her birthday like I used to years ago. They usually go out to eat on her
birthday and we will take care of the girls. I love to cook for my family, especially on
special days! Spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, and garlic bread was on the menu. She
made her own birthday cake (chocolate chip cookie bars with icing)! Our son-in-law
washed all the dishes and helped to tidy things up! Yes, this month is full of blessings
and in just four days we will celebrate "The Reason for the Season!" Our Dear Savior's
                                                      Blessings to you and yours!
                                                               Bye for now, Sharla

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Season of Memories!

Good morning out there! Two more weeks and Christmas Day will be here. I have
enjoyed this season of Advent. The inside of our home is all decorated now. Jim and
I always decorate our Christmas tree together. I love standing back and looking at all
the hand made ornaments our children proudly made years ago. Our grandchildren have
shared their talents as well. Our tree is adorned with a beautiful, sentimental array of
mismatched ornaments. Faded paper chains, lights, trinkets of all kinds, and memories -
our Christmas tree is decorated with memories.
The center piece on our kitchen table is a beautiful nativity scene; the Holy Family,
Three Wise Men, the shepherd boy with his lambs, a donkey, and a cow. Two angels
hover above. My daughter and I bought this set on the day after Thanksgiving when
she was in the fifth grade. This nativity scene has been set up in different locations
throughout the years, but we have decided that the kitchen table is the perfect place.
You notice the beautiful nativity scene right when you walk into the kitchen, a very
popular place in our home! This nativity scene is another memory, a tradition that
we hold dear.
The kid's teddy bears now wear Santa hats and Christmas tree head bands. We have
a Little People Deluxe Christmas Story Set (Nativity Scene) in the living room for
the grandchildren to play with. They love arranging the set just like they want. When
you place the angel on top of the stable the star lights up and the tune,
 "Away in a Manger" is heard. They all love this nativity set and I love to listen to them
as they play with it. The other day I heard one of my granddaughters say that this
wise man was going to bless Baby Jesus with holy water. Oh, how I love all my babies.
On my window sill above the kitchen sink I have "the breakables"! My nativity scene
that was delicately carved from olive wood and was made in the Holy Land. The
intricate designs and shapes are amazing. This was a Christmas gift from a very sweet
friend. My cousins gave me a special snow globe. It is so beautiful; the base of the globe
is heavy cut bronze and the Holy Family are right in the center of the globe. It is also
musical and the key to wind it up is underneath the base. My grandkids will ask me to
shake the globe up for them and to wind the key so that Silent Night will play. I also
have a ceramic night light of Mother Mary and Baby Jesus (this stays up year round)
that I turn on as soon as the sun begins to go down. My daughter-in-law gave me the
night light and she loves where I've chosen to keep it. I keep one other really close to
my heart item on the window sill, well really two, but in my heart they are a single
set. It is a simple ceramic hand bell with a shepherd painted on it. I think it is a
Precious Moments hand bell. It had a little ringer inside of it and if you shook it, it
made a tiny little tingle sound. Years ago, probably about seventeen or eighteen years
ago, my dad and my daughter were playing with a balloon in the living room. They
were hitting it back and forth to each other like it was a volley ball! I walked through
and told them that they better not break anything. Now remember, this is "my dad" and
my daughter, they kept right on playing. The balloon hit the hand bell, it fell from the
mantle, and the little ringer inside broke off, but that was it, it didn't shatter, it just lost
the little tingle. My dad felt so bad and I told him that it was okay. I remember laughing
and telling them both that they were a mess! Dad went out and bought me another hand
bell, this one was silver and has a little carved bear as the handle. It has a little ringer
inside and when you shake it, it makes a little tingle sound. I really miss my dad, he's
been gone a little over eight years now. When I look at those hand bells I always smile.
Every now and then I pick up the silver one with the bear handle and shake it so that I
can hear the little tingle sound. This morning I looked out the kitchen window and what
did I see?
Four, bright red, male cardinals and their wives flying in and out of my big oak tree. I
stood there watching as tears streamed down my face. My dad loved birds and he would
whistle and call them when we were outside. I've heard people say that when you see
a cardinal, an angel is visiting you that day.
This morning my yard was full of angels and I watched them with delight, oh what an
absolutely magnificent sight!
The season of miracles is upon us as we wait for His birth! Open your eyes to the signs
that are everywhere, the signs that show God's love for us, how much He cares!

                                                                Blessings to you and yours,
                                                                                 Bye for now, Sharla

Friday, December 9, 2016

Adopted and Blessed - Words from my Heart!

Good morning! Good morning! I don't have much time! I'm headed to the store to pick
up a few things for the Sack Lunch Ministry and then I'll be helping out until 1:00 p.m.
We are handing out special bags full of necessary items today!

My book is already available for purchase on Amazon Books!
Just type in the title - Adopted and Blessed  Words from my Heart and it should
come up! You can also type in the ISBN # 9781635256635 (if you are interested)!

I have to go now! I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Blessings to you and yours !
                                                              Bye for now, Sharla

I have to say this again, only by the grace of God has this been possible. I pray
that the stories in this book will be a light to all who read them.

"Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; How great thou art, how great thou art!"

Friday, December 2, 2016

An Amazing Journey - A Blogger to an Author!

Hello out there! I received a special package in the mail today. I knew what was inside
before I opened the box, well actually Jim had to rip it open because I was too nervous!
Before I tell you what was inside I want to share part of the journey that brought this
package to my doorstep.
A little over three years ago I didn't have a blog. I wasn't on Face Book. I had no desire
to be on Face Book and I had a very simple flip phone. I didn't like to text, there was no
keyboard on my "free" flip phone so you had to spend a lot of time typing even a simple
message. What I did like to do was share my opinion on pro-life issues and try to
promote adoption as a life option. How did I do this? I would write letters and send
them in to the newspaper in hopes that they would be published. More times than not
my letters were published, usually in the View Points Section because they were almost
always too long for the Letters to the Editor Section. My family would tell me that if
I really wanted to get my message out there that I would have to do more than just
keep sending letters to the local newspaper.
I kept hearing about blogs, bloggers, and blogging. I began to do a little bit of research
and decided that I would start a blog.
When I told my daughter about starting a blog she laughed and said, "Mom, you aren't
even on Face Book! You can't start a blog!" To which I exclaimed, "I can if I want too!
Is there a rule about being on Face Book before you start a blog?"
I didn't start a blog - and in January of 2014 I sent another letter to the newspaper and
it was a story about my adoption. My family once again encouraged me to start using
Social Media to share my message.
On March 22, 2014 - early that Saturday morning I got serious and went to a blogging
sight. I called my daughter and she came over. I called my best friend from back home
whom I've known since I was three and between the three of us we got started.
My daughter-in-law came over later and helped me finish it up! I began with short
little posts and wondered if I would really have that much to say. Well let me tell you
something. When you ask God to help you spread the word, the words flow, the tears
flow, and the posts become stories, and the stories come from your heart and the very
depths of your soul. My stories are truly words from my heart. I finally got a Face Book
page in June of 2014 and then the stories from my blog were read that much more. In
September of 2014 I bought an IPhone and this very no-tech gal learned to text with
the best of them! Why am I telling you all of this? I'm sharing the steps of this
journey to show how God helps you use your gifts to share His message.
Inside the package are ten paper back books, five hard back books will arrive in the
next day or two. I am supposed to read through one book and make sure everything
is just right - the stories, the pictures, the cover page, the summary - because the
title of the book is - Adopted and Blessed - Words from my Heart and the inside
cover page says,  Copyright 2016 by Sharla Ynostrosa
Our God is an amazing God and I am so thankful that He helped to guide my hands as
I typed the words.
It will be a couple more weeks before the books go on sale. I'll keep you posted!
                                            Blessings to you and yours!
                                                            Bye for now, Sharla

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Eyes Were Opened and I Saw the "Lazarus of Today" Walk Through the Door

Hello out there - I hope you are all doing well! It has been almost two weeks since I
wrote my last post. I have good news to share with you all. In my previous post I
explained about the closing of the Sack Lunch Ministry. We will still shut down after
the meal on December 16th but it will only be temporary! We have discussed the safety
issues, and the construction/demolition/remodeling that is taking place and we have
come up with a solution we think will work. I pray that we will be able to start handing
out lunches again by mid-January. We really could use some extra volunteers and I will
keep y'all posted about the opening date. To try and help those in need during this time
of transition, we will be handing out information about the other places in town that
provide meals, clothing, etc.
The weight that his been on my shoulders and in my heart is finally receding. I wish
that I could tell you that I have handled this well but I haven't. I have been the biggest
cry baby. I know that Jim is glad the tears have stopped flowing. I've always been a
fighter, standing up for what I believe in, but I almost gave up on this important
ministry. I prayed and prayed. I felt so conflicted. I didn't know if we should just
give up or if we needed to figure out another way. I was tired and I wanted to just
let go. Have you ever heard the expression (this is not an exact, but close enough)
 "When you are down to nothing, God is up to something"? Well it's true!
 I was handing out lunches one day this week when I looked up and saw one of our
 regulars walk through the door. He was carrying his bed roll on his back. He is always
so thankful and very nice. When I saw him walk through the door on this particular day,
God touched my heart with this image;
this man is today's Lazarus. This sweet, homeless man and the people we serve are our
Lazarus of today. Get your bible and read Luke 16:19-31. I could see so clearly what
God was showing me. The picture so vivid and I was racked with guilt, and with shame
because I thought about giving up instead of trying to find another solution. I went to
confession that afternoon. I knew that I needed a clean slate so that I could continue
to be the warrior that God has called me to be. Some people probably think of me more
as a pain in the you know what, but I'm going with warrior!
On page twenty-five of the Magnificat, right below the word Mass, this is what it says:
Thursday of the First Week of Advent
Advent is the time to rebuild our house - "solidly on rock." For the Lord is an eternal
Rock." Amidst the relentless flooding and buffeting of life, the Father sets up "ramparts
to protect us" - the arms of His Son. Advent urges us to "trust in the Lord forever!"
Our "firm purpose" is to surrender ourselves to Jesus Christ. He will keep us in peace.
How appropriate - God is always talking to us. We just need to listen!
I love the following hymn written by Jesse Manibusan
Title - Open My Eyes
Verse 2 -
Open my ears, Lord. Help me to hear your voice. Open my ears, Lord.
Help me to hear.
Refrain -
And the first shall be last, and our eyes are opened and we'll hear like never before.
And we'll speak in new ways, and we'll see God's face in places we've never known.
Dear God, please help me to see Your face in everyone I meet. Please give me strength
and please help me hear Your voice so that I may listen to Your words and not the
words of the world. Amen.
Blessings to you and yours - Go out and be a light in the darkness! - Be a warrior for
truth, for the Lazarus of today!
                                                         Bye for now, Sharla

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Grateful Hearts, Thanksgiving Blessings, and a Tearful Goodbye

Good Morning out there - It's a beautiful day. Blue skies, sunshine, and a chill in
the air. We have two baby lambs. One was born on Tuesday and the other one
was born yesterday. I walked out back this morning to see how they were doing.
I laughed when I saw them jumping around. I watched them for a little while and
then decided that I needed a cup of coffee!
The holidays are right around the corner. It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is
next Thursday. Several people from our parish have donated canned goods and dry
food items so that we could help those who are not able to purchase everything they
need to make a Thanksgiving meal for their family. This past week, those who
volunteer at the Sack Lunch Ministry, came early and/or stayed late and stocked
several large, heavy duty bags with all kinds of food; Stove Top Stuffing, cranberry
sauce, chicken broth, turkey gravy packets, fruit cocktail, canned soup, vegetables
and canned milk, etc. We found out which families needed these items, they were
contacted and they were able to pick them up yesterday after 1:00 p.m. Our sweet
Miss Rose, even made some special deliveries.
The Knights of Columbus Council #2136 donated money for us to buy turkeys for
each one of these families. Janice and her family will pick up the turkeys tomorrow
and the families who are receiving them will pick them up on Monday.
Yesterday was such a blessing. The families who received the food were so thankful
and we were all so blessed just to be part of this wonderful time of sharing. We
will give out more food bags and the turkeys on Monday. We are also fixing a big
lunch on both Monday and Tuesday for those we serve at the Sack Lunch Ministry.
There is really no way to describe the blessing of this ministry. If you drop by or
help out for just one day - it grabs you, it grabs your heart. This ministry has opened
my eyes to how much I used to take for granted. When Jim and I say grace before
our meals we thank God, we thank Him for so many things. When I lie down at night
I pray for those who have no home, no bed, no safe place to lay their head. I think
about those we serve and I wonder if they are cold. I pray for their safety. I wish I
could do so much more. There is another couple who feels the same way I do -
Janice and David, and they have hearts of gold. Yesterday a young couple
came into the church office asking for help. I think it was about 9:30 a.m. The very
kind lady who works in the parish office came into the kitchen and asked if we could
help them. She told us that they had slept at the bus station and she was going to look
for a blanket. This young couple walked in and I know that Janice and I both had the
same exact thought -
what if this was our son or our daughter, our niece or our nephew. We welcomed
them and told them to sit down and we would fix them something to eat. Miss Rose
and I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while Janice went out to visit with
them. I took them each a plate with a sandwich, some applesauce, some juice and a
bottle of water. Janice told Miss Rose and I that she was going to run home and grab
a coat for him and some shoes for her and whatever else she thought they might need.
I told them that we were serving a hot lunch from 11:00 - 1:00 p.m. I also told them
that Janice had gone to get some things for them. They were both so appreciative. I
had tears in my eyes when the young man hugged me and thanked us so sincerely.
I hugged the young lady and then they left. Janice arrived a few minutes later. She
had grabbed one of her grandson's jackets and some of his shirts. She had a pair of
sneakers for the young lady and two brand new blankets. These items were all
neatly tucked into some cloth bags with handles. We put them aside hoping that the
young couple would return. The three of us got busy preparing the lunches for the
day. About 10:45 a.m. people began to arrive. We were busy handing out lunches
when the young couple came back. They sat down and ate their lunch and I told
them to come into the kitchen when they were through. My daughter and her two
youngest daughters dropped by to leave some more stuffing, cans of cranberry
sauce, gravy mixes and mac n cheese. She stayed to help for a little bit because
we were so busy. While she served the lunches, Janice and I gave the young couple
the items she had brought from home. We also fixed a bag with some food staples
and we each received another heartfelt hug before they left. My daughter called
me later in the afternoon and told me that just helping out for a little while was
such a reality check. She was so glad she had been able to help. She made a
comment about how much the people appreciated the lunch, her heart was touched.
This next part is something we prayed would not happen and is the hardest for me
to share. Because of some issues that are totally out of our control,
the Sack Lunch Ministry will close on December 16, 2016. We pray that this is
just a temporary closure, and will only last until some safety issues and other things
are addressed but honestly, we just don't know. There are no adequate words to
describe the pain in my heart and I know in Janice's heart too.
We just found out this week. We will do everything we can to make the transition of
our closing as easy as possible for all those we serve. We are letting our devoted
volunteers and those who so generously give to this ministry aware of the closing
date. We will be giving out new socks, gloves, and bags full of toothpaste, soap,
deodorants, tooth brushes, etc. that last week. If you want to contribute items or
just come and help out - we would love to have you join us. Please pray for those
who we serve because this will be the hardest for them. Not only have they
depended on us for a noon meal, they've received a warm welcome, a smile, and
many times a listening ear.  We will also make sure to hand out information sheets
of all the services that are available, where they are located and what they provide.
I still don't know when we are going to let them know about the closing. I just know
it is going to be really hard.
I know that God has plans of His own and we will pray for His guidance.
I wrote a story last November about a young man who stopped by the Sack Lunch
Ministry. We never did see him again and I hope he made it safely back home.
Looking back I'm so glad that we were there for him that one day he needed a
lunch, and more importantly just to know that someone cared. I'll attach the link
to the story below if you would like to read it.
Blessings to you and yours - Bye for now, Sharla


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Praying and Praying and Praying Some More

Hello out there - my heart wants to burst, and tears stream down my face. I can't share
what is going on right now but I ask for you to pray. Sometimes I wish that I didn't
care so much, maybe have a heart just like the Grinch!
O my Lord, please help me, please guide me in Your ways. Please my Lord, help me
be strong and show me the way. My heart feels as if it is breaking and I need to see
Your face.

"Open the eyes of my heart, Lord - Open the eyes of my heart."

I pray for those who are hungry and those who have no home. I pray for those we serve
with families of their own. I pray for peace and understanding for those who live on the
streets. I pray for Jesus to guide me, to be His hands and feet. Amen.

I pray that you have a good night and may your tomorrow be full of sunshine and love.

Monday, November 7, 2016

My Prayer Today

Hello out there! I've been busy catching up on some book work for our family
business - it is going to take a while to get it all organized!  Eeeeek!
The 40 Days for Life fall campaign has come to an end. I always look back and reflect
after every campaign. I wrote a prayer for a post I wrote on September 30th. I would
like to share it again today. This is a prayer I need to pray each and everyday! Oh my
heart just hurts!

My prayer today is for the unborn, the innocent little babes.
My prayer today is for the little ones who are hungry and abused.
My prayer today is for the children who have to grow up to fast.
My prayer is for the teenagers who move from one foster home to the next.
My prayer is for those who live in group homes and those who have no home at all.
My prayer is that all these children, from the unborn baby in their mother's womb,
to the fully grown young ladies and young men, that they will be loved
and protected, nurtured and fed. I pray that they have shoes that fit and clothes
for all the seasons. I pray that they have a roof over their head. And not just a roof,
but an actual home where they feel safe and feel loved and special.
Dear God, please, protect all children everywhere. Amen.

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones!

Blessings to you and yours!                          Bye for now, Sharla

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Truly Seeing Jesus in Those We Serve!

Good morning out there! I have so much to share with y'all. It has been at least ten days
since my last post. My heart is so full and I have so much to say. I asked the Lord
to help me, to guide me as I write this important story today. I will begin with some
of the easier stories - the ones that just come right out. If you've read very many of
my stories you know how my life moves in many different directions - and sometimes
all in the same day. This morning my title was, "The Tire Lady." I woke up and Jim
reminded me that I had to drive to Mereta, a small rural community about fifteen to
twenty miles east of San Angelo. My mission in Mereta was to get a new tire for the
skid steer. Jim had loaded up the completely ruined old tire in the back of my truck. He
also loaded up one of our son's tires for me to take to Discount Tire in San Angelo
after I got back from Mereta. Needless to say, Jim had been called to go and do some
welding repairs today. I got ready, drank a cup of coffee, made the bed, and then
I headed out. I realized that I needed to fill up with gas so I detoured back into town
and filled up my gas tank. I will get off track a little here because putting gas in my
truck reminded me of something I wanted to tell y'all about that happened last Sunday.
Jim and I were headed to Mass in separate vehicles because I had to stay and help
with the Ministry Fair that was going on after each Mass. I told Jim that I needed to
stop and put some gas in my truck and that I would see him in a little bit. I pulled up
next to the gas pumps and saw Jim walk over to my truck. He got out his debit card
then filled up my gas tank. I opened my door and thanked him. You know, it really is
the little things that mean so much. I'm perfectly capable of filling up my own gas
tank but I was all dressed up for Mass. My sweet husband, parked his truck and
filled up my truck and then we both drove to Sacred Heart. We parked and went into
the courtyard, signed in, grabbed a prayer book and went to one of the benches and
sat down to pray the pro-life rosary. Then we went to Mass together. I will get back
on track now but that story is something that I wanted to share. I want people to see
the positive, loving, caring, devoted aspects of marriage. In today's society we don't
hear enough about how awesome marriage can be!
Back to my "Tire Lady" saga - On the way back to San Angelo - to the Discount
Tire store in San Angelo - I called Janice, the lady I write about a lot when I'm
talking about  the Sack Lunch Ministry. The story I tell her is the important part
of this whole rambling post. But before I tell you what I told her. I have to tell you
about Wednesday and Thursday to put this all in perspective.
For some reason I have felt really run down and tired during this whole 40 Days for
Life campaign. My energy level is just not what it used to be. But on a positive note -
It has been a blessing to see the faithful, devoted pro-life warriors come to the
courtyard and pray. We have some people that come almost everyday. We also have
new people who have joined our pro-life prayer vigil. All these devoted people are
such a blessing to me and more importantly to the unborn and their families. Their
voices united in prayer to speak up for the weakest among us is a powerful witness.
My friend and co-coordinator, Candi has spent countless hours in the courtyard. She
has been the one to really step in and take care of the day to day things that need to be
done. Candi shared with me how the Holy Spirit let her know that I needed additional
help. I'm so humbled and touched that she listened and so in awe when I think about
how much God loves us and knows us! I am beyond thankful because I am needed to
help with the Sack Lunch Ministry on a regular basis now.
This past Wednesday I was so tired that I was in my pajamas by 5:00 p.m. (I won't tell
you exactly what time because it was so early I'm kind of embarrassed to)
Jim came in from work and made some kind of comment like, "I see your settled in
for the night" something like that. I was curled up on the couch beneath a blanket and
drinking a hot cup of some kind of vitamin c plus extra stuff drink. I was sound asleep
by 7:30 p.m. I'm not sure what time I got up and went to bed but Jim was still
watching the World Series and I even slept through all the excitement. I kind of woke up
when I got into bed and I began to pray. I prayed for the homeless, the hungry, the
neglected, the unborn, my family - I prayed and prayed until I fell asleep. I woke up
Thursday morning and I was ready to go. I had a very busy morning and afternoon but
by 6:00 p.m. I was back in my PJs and curled up in the exact same spot on the couch
when Jim walked in - I got a look - he didn't say anything - but there was a look.
When he sat down in his rocking chair I got "the Jim lecture" about how I am wearing
myself out and I need to slow down, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! But the lecture was in
a loving, worried about me kind of way. That night I prayed even more. Friday morning
I woke up and we went and walked about two and a half miles and then I got ready and
headed to the Sack Lunch Ministry.
NOW - FINALLY - this is the rest of my story - the most important part!
I called Janice on my way to Discount Tire and told her about something that happened
yesterday right after she and her husband left the Sack Lunch Ministry. We were all
busy getting the lunches together when a homeless man walked in at about 10:20 a.m. to
see if we were already handing out the lunches. We usually don't start handing them
out until 11:00 a.m. but if we have them ready we don't mind giving them our earlier.
This very nice and humble man is one of our regular guys. It was a little cool outside
and he asked if we had any coffee. I asked David, Janice's husband if he would please
make me a pot of coffee and he said, "Poof, you are a pot of coffee" I had to throw that
in there because David is one of a kind and we all love him - he is really great with
everyone who comes in to get a lunch. David made the coffee and one of the ladies
gave the nice and humble man a cup of coffee with sugar packets and mini moo creamer.
I walked into the kitchen and Janice and I went into the pantry to check out all of the
supplies. We found some cookies and decided to give them out. She and I discussed
the menu and supply list for the upcoming week and then they (Janice and David)
left. I walked out into the cafeteria to put the individually wrapped cookies on the
table. I saw that the man was through eating and asked if he would like some cookies.
He replied that yes, he would. While he was getting his cookies I asked if he would like
me to warm up his coffee. I went and refilled his coffee cup and grabbed some more
sugar packets and walked back to where he was sitting. I handed him his coffee and he
looked at me and said, "Where is your better half?" I was taken by surprise and I looked
at him and said, "He is doing some work at home but I will see him at the noon Mass."
The man nodded and repeated the word, Mass and then he thanked me and left.
I realized right then that Jesus, Himself was right there in our midst but I had to let it all
sink in. I kept going over it all in my head. That man doesn't know that one of the
endearments I use for Jim is, "My better half" he didn't simply ask where my husband
was? He asked "where is your better half?" I told Janice to tell David that he had made
coffee for Jesus! I thought back to my prayers and my weariness and Janice's upcoming
knee surgery and I told her that what we're doing at the Sack Lunch Ministry is what
we are supposed to be doing. I felt like God wanted us to know that He sees
our struggles and in spite of it all, we are still following the path that He has laid
out for us.  (What a gift! Why did I have to think about it? Why couldn't I see that it
was Him, really Him right at that moment? Why didn't I fall to my knees and say,
I am not worthy?)
Janice said that she keeps thinking about this hymn we sing during Mass,
"Open the eyes of my heart, Lord - Open the eyes of my heart,
I want to see You, I want to see You"
Janice and I both talked about how blessed we are by this ministry. We will both pray
that we continue to, "See Jesus in the face of those we serve."
I know that this has been a super-long post but I want to close with a verse from
another hymn we sing at Mass.
The Servant Song
Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant, too.
                                                                                 Bye for now, Sharla

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Potato Soup, Buttermilk Biscuits, AND a Red Ryder BB Gun

Hello out there! I love to cook and lately I just haven't spent much time in the kitchen.
So - Saturday afternoon I got busy! I put my big frying pan on the stove and started
cooking a pound of Owen's Regular Breakfast Sausage. While the sausage was
simmering I got out all the ingredients to make homemade, yes, from scratch, butter-
milk biscuits! I like the recipe that is on the back of the Gold Medal Self Rising Flour
sack. I didn't have any buttermilk so I used the tip I told y'all about in one of  my
previous posts - 1tsp. white distilled vinegar per every 1/3 cup of milk. The recipe
calls for one cup of milk so I added one tablespoon of vinegar to my milk and let
it sit while I whipped up the rest of the ingredients. By the time I added the milk it had
soured and thickened - buttermilk! I don't roll out and cut the biscuits. I wash my hands
really well and then I dust them with flour and grab some dough and shape it in my
hands and place it on the cookie sheet. While one pan of biscuits were baking I decided
to go ahead and whip up another batch! I stirred the sausage that was cooking and then
I took the first pan of biscuits out of the oven and placed them in my little basket that
I lined with napkins. I put the other pan of biscuits in the oven and then I started
dicing up potatoes. My daughter called to see where I was (during this time of year
they know to call first - because I might be in the courtyard!) I told her that I was at
home and baking up a storm! She said that they were going to stop by. By the time
they arrived, a big pot of potato soup was simmering on the stove, my little basket
was overflowing with hot, homemade biscuits, tea was brewing and I was fixing to
bake chocolate chip cookies with pecans! My daughter said, "It's so good to see you
in the kitchen!" She immediately started slicing and buttering biscuits! They all ate
one! My oldest granddaughter began to help me mix up the cookies. I baked one pan
of cookies before they left and they each ate one while they were still warm. I have
to tell y'all - I make really awesome chocolate chip cookies. Jim was working while
all this baking was going on and what a nice surprise for him to come home to a
warm, home cooked meal! I shared with y'all in my last couple of posts about how
tired and drained I've been feeling - I think I just needed to spend some time at home.
Hearing my grown daughter, who has a family of her own, say how good it was to
see me in the kitchen made me smile. Seeing the look on Jim's face when he got home
and saw the basket overflowing with biscuits, a plate of chocolate chip cookies,
and a big pot of soup on the stove made my heart swell. Most of the time it is the
simple things in life that make people happy. I love being a homemaker! Sometimes
I get a little too caught up in all of my ministries and I have to be reminded that my
family still needs me too! And I need them! My heart feels much lighter. My tummy
definitely feels fuller! I made sausage and gravy on Sunday. Jim and I ate buttermilk
biscuits covered in sausage and gravy after Mass on Sunday evening - it was great!
I'm not sure which was better; the potato soup with buttermilk biscuits on Saturday
evening or the buttermilk biscuits with sausage and gravy on Sunday - we enjoyed
both meals and made sure we thanked God, for our many blessings!
On a different note - There is a red-tailed hawk stalking our chickens! That big old
chicken hawk has killed two of them! Yesterday I was helping Jim round up a couple
of sheep to take the sale (that is a whole other story) and I came across a headless
chicken as I was closing the gate - I could have gone my whole life without seeing
that! I guess I will have to get out my Red Ryder BB Gun - watch out you chicken
hawk - I'm ready!
                                                          Blessings to you and yours!
                                                                    Bye for now, Sharla

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I Cry Out To Him To Show Me The Way

Hello out there! I'm still tired but I won't give up! I will get some rest and tomorrow
I will be ready to fight the good fight! God is good and He is my strength. I know that
it is okay to take a break every now and then but I have to remember my mission. Please
continue to pray for me and for all the precious unborn and all those who stand up for
the sanctity of life! God bless you all - The following poem is the one I wrote about
fifteen months ago.

My heart is so full, I have so much to say,
it is gorgeous outside, the start of a beautiful new day.
This morning I woke with a pain in my heart,
knowing my mission, just not sure where to start!

God has opened my eyes and has touched my heart.
To save the unborn I must do my part.

What should I do, what do I say?
I ask the Lord as I pray.
He fills my head with words to say,
so I write and I write each and every day.

I cry out to Him to show me the way,
How do I make a difference today?
I just don't understand why it's so hard to see,
the horrible death that abortion brings.

What must I do, What must I say?
So I write and I write each and every day.

I send letters to the paper, I write posts for my blog.
I put pictures on face book, and pray for new laws.
I weep for the babies, their innocent lives lost.

What am I missing, am I not doing enough?
Please God help me, please show me the way.
How can I make a difference today?

Then my heart begins to ache,
I know I must speak up!
I know God is telling me, don't you dare give up!
Keep going, keep writing, don't you see?
What you do makes a difference, you are listening to Me!

It matters to God! It matters to Him!
I will write and I will post and I will write again.
I won't give up, I will be their voice!
I will fight for the unborn, because they are babies, not a choice!

                       Precious little babies in your mother's womb,
                 you are not a choice. You are a blessing, a gift from God.
                 I will speak up for you, and I will fight for your life. I will
                     write letters and posts and pray. I will speak up for
                                     you each and every day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Trying to Bring People Together to Pray for the Unborn

Hello out there. I woke up this morning at 2:30 a.m. I could not go back to sleep. I
prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet and I thought about the current 40 Days for Life
campaign. I prayed some more and I tossed and turned. I've had a lot on  my mind.
I always try to be upbeat and write in a positive way but sometimes things just aren't
very positive. Since my posts are from my heart and about what I think and feel -
some days are just hard. This quote came back to me last night as I tossed and turned,

"God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful"
St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa)

This is the fifth campaign we have held in the courtyard at Sacred Heart. There are
many blessings that come with being involved in this peaceful, prayerful vigil. But
there is heartache as well. Praying for a conversion of hearts and letting people know
about all the help that is available is so important. I have to admit - I was very naïve
when I started planning the first campaign back in the summer of 2014. I just knew
that the courtyard would be full of people every hour during the twelve hours a day
vigil. I thought that people of all denominations would come together and pray for
an end to abortion. I was on the phone constantly inviting people and telling them
all about the prayer vigil. Just sign up for one hour a week during the 40 days - it
seemed so simple. I  came across the newspaper article I sent to the Standard Times
inviting people of all faiths to come out and pray. The article came out about two
weeks before the first campaign in the courtyard. I read it and smiled at my positive
outlook. I excitedly told everyone about the campaign and then I invited people to
please call and sign up. This is the last sentence from the article I wrote -
I look forward to hearing from hundreds, no, make that thousands of pro-life
Christians of all denominations! Thank you and have a blessed day!
I received one phone call after that article was published. I didn't give up. I went
and visited churches, gave a short talk and had sign-up sheets. I dropped information
off at churches. I was even on the five o'clock news! My naivety quickly turned to
reality - bringing people together to pray for the unborn, something that seemed so
simple, wasn't simple at all.  But I've found out that anything worth fighting for
takes work and perseverance.
Don't get me wrong, many people do come and pray. I am so thankful for each and
everyone of them. There are many blessings throughout the forty days. The part
that hurts is there could be so many more.
Please pray for me right now. I know that God has put this on my heart because He
knows I won't give up but I'm tired today, my battle armor is rusty and my boots
feel heavy. God bless you all. Please pray for the babies from wherever you are.
                                                                     Bye for now, Sharla

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Famly Picnic in the Courtyard and Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet

Hello out there! Just a quick update before I go and run some errands. Today is day 10
of the 40 Days for Life Fall Campaign. This past Sunday my family had a picnic in
the courtyard and then we prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet together. It was wonderful.
Our daughter and her family arrived at the courtyard first. Their contribution
to the picnic was drinks and dessert! My daughter made homemade cookies with
white chocolate chips and candy corn on top. Their ice chest was full of 8 0z. sodas,
water, and Capri Sun drinks. Jim and I showed up about fifteen minutes after they did.
We brought homemade au-gratin potatoes, cold pasta salad, and the paper goods. Our
son and his family joined us and they brought a big bucket of fried chicken and some
chicken tenders. We set up an extra table and some chairs and then we prayed together.
The food was delicious. The weather was perfect. We sat down to eat at about 4:00 p.m.
It was such a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. What a perfect way to spend a Sunday
afternoon. After we cleaned up and threw all the trash away I handed out some rosaries
for the children. The youngest played with side walk chalk while the rest of us prayed
the Divine Mercy Chaplet. There was a total of fourteen people and eight of those
fourteen were children! Standing out in the courtyard and praying with my family was
an incredible gift. No phones! The birds were singing and the little ones were playing
and the rest of us were praying - Wow! It was awesome! You know what happened
next? We all went to the 6:00 p.m. Mass together! Another awesome! And you know
what else? My son, oldest grandson, and granddaughter were altar servers! Talk about,
"best day ever!" The only thing that would have made it even more wonderful was if
our son, who lives out of town, and his family could have been with us also.
We all agreed that we need to do that more often. Sometimes we just get too caught
up in the world things and forget that the best things are so simple. Maybe next time
we'll have brunch in the courtyard; donuts, milk, etc. The really neat thing is you can
make it what works for your family. The most important thing is to spend time
together and pray together! I just looked at the clock and I've got to go!
Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings and peace to you and yours! Hug your spouse
and hug your children! God bless you all.
                                                                                Bye for now, Sharla

Friday, September 30, 2016

Praying for the Unborn and Children of All Ages

Hello out there! This morning I realized that I forgot to thank the people who donated
the food for the Kick-Off Rally! I know they wish to remain anonymous so I will just
say..............thank you for donating over 200 hot dog buns! We served 168 hot dogs and
the left over buns went to the Sack Lunch Ministry. The buns were used the very next
day! To those who donated the weenies (all beef), condiments, pickles, chips and paper
goods - thank you! The weenies were all gone and the left over chips, pickles, etc. were
also given to the Sack Lunch Ministry! The gate (door) prizes were also donated! We
had a bunch of gate prizes! The children loved drawing the names and calling them out!
Like I said in my previous post - it takes a lot of people working together to make the
rally and 40 Days for Life campaign run smoothly! I am so very thankful for each and
everyone of you, so blessed to have you in my life!
This morning a man walked through the courtyard to get his lunch and asked what was
going on. I explained to him about the prayer vigil and he told me to make sure that we
pray for all the children and teenagers in foster homes too. I told him that was a great
idea and that maybe he would like to pray for them as well. He said that he would and
smiled and thanked me. He was right and we do need to pray for all children of all ages.

 My prayer today is for the unborn, the innocent little babes.
My prayer today is for the little ones who are hungry and abused.
My prayer today is for the children who have to grow up to fast.
My prayer is for the teenagers who move from one foster home to the next.
My prayer is for those who live in group homes and those who have no home at all.
My prayer is that all these children, from the unborn baby in their mother's womb,
to the fully grown young ladies and young men, that they will be loved
and protected, nurtured and fed. I pray that they have shoes that fit and clothes
for all the seasons. I pray that they have a roof over their head. And not just a roof,
but an actual home where they feel safe and feel loved and special.
Dear God, please, protect all children everywhere. Amen.
I was the lector at Mass today. The responsorial was so beautiful, this was the last part:
"Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I give
you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works."
I know a sweet couple who filled out all the paper work to be foster parents. Their plans
are to foster and then maybe adopt. Last night I held the little baby boy they have in
their home right now. I pray for this family and for the little boy's family - there are no
easy answers, we just have to keep on trying to do what is right and to help each other.
May your weekend be full of blessings.
                                                                      Bye for now, Sharla 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"If Only You Could See What I See"

Hello out there! I have so much to share with y'all! I think I will start with the
Kick-Off Rally that was held on Tuesday evening. The rally was great - perfect
weather, friends, family, fellowship, and awesome praise and worship music! We
had a terrific turn-out - approximately 120 - 130 people! The children drew
wonderful pictures with the sidewalk chalk, they sang and danced and had a great
time! Everyone clapped along and did the hand motions to the songs. Today I was
thinking about that kid's movie where the space monster said, "My  hands are in the
air like I just do not care!" That's how we were in the courtyard - singing and clapping
and having the best time. I know, I remember the craziest things! Our music
minister, Frank did an outstanding job. He has the most beautiful voice and you
can feel his love for the Lord with every word he sings! Everyone said that the hot dogs
tasted really good - I didn't get to eat one - I am always too busy running around
taking pictures, hugging and greeting everyone, and "waving my hands in the air like
I just do not care!" The whole evening was a huge blessing! I am so thankful for all
my hard working friends and family who help me put this together! It takes a lot of
work from everyone involved to make everything run smoothly. Thank you to our
friends who cooked the hot dogs and served them. Thank you to Frank for spending
so much time setting up, printing off words to the songs, and rocking downtown
San Angelo with upbeat, "Praise the Lord" music! Vehicles were driving by really
slow to see what was going on! We had plenty of food, enough for seconds if anyone
wanted them. Thank you to everyone who brought desserts! Thank you to everyone
who helped us set up and helped us clean up! And thank you to everyone who showed
up! Your presence, taking the time to come out on a week night, bringing your
families and joining us for this special time of fellowship is what makes it all worth
while! Several people signed up to come and pray an hour each week during the 40
Days for Life campaign which began yesterday. Praying for an end to abortion,
praying for families, praying for peace and praying for the whole world is so necessary!
I am going to try really hard to keep y'all posted every couple of days about all the
blessings in the courtyard! Each day will be different, a new blessing, maybe tears,
always hugs and definitely - prayers and prayers and prayers!
There are some things that happen that really can't be explained. I prayed about this and
decided to share this hymn that seems to sum it up. We sing this hymn at church and
I am writing the words to this hymn from the -
 2015 Today's Missal - Music Issue
 "Prayer of St. Francis"
Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord, And where there's doubt, true faith in you.
Make me a channel of your peace. Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness only light,   And where there's sadness ever joy.
O Master, grant that I may never seek   So much to be consoled, as to console,
To be understood, as to understand,   To be loved, as to love, with all my soul.
Make me a channel of your peace. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive,   And in dying that we're born to eternal life.
O Master, grant that I may never seek   So much to be consoled, as to console,
To be understood, as to understand,    To be loved, as to love, with all my soul.
People come through the gates of the courtyard for many reasons - I am blessed and
humbled to be part of such an important ministry.
                                           Blessings and peace to you and yours,
                                                            Bye for now, Sharla

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Wonderful Time of Year!

Good morning out there! It is beautiful outside and there is a crisp autumn breeze in
the air! I don't have much time but I wanted to say hello and let you know that the
40 Days for Life fall campaign begins next week!

Here is the flyer I made up for the Kick-Off Rally: (It is centered on the actual flyer)

40 Days for Life
Fall 2016
Kick-Off Rally 
When: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: The courtyard at Sacred Heart Cathedral –
20 E. Beauregard, San Angelo, TX 76903
Come and join us for food, fellowship, music, and fun!
This is a family event kicking off the upcoming 40 Days for Life Campaign that
begins on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. This is a non-denominational event. 
Hot dogs, chips, and bottles of water will be provided free of charge.
Please bring a dessert! (If you want to or if you have time)
We will also have a lemonade stand - the money made will be donated to the
local Pregnancy Help Center. Lemonade will cost fifty cents a cup and both
regular and diet lemonade will be available.
We have several wonderful door (gate) prizes! Drop your name in the bucket!
Praise and Worship Music will be led by our choir director!
Sidewalk chalk will be provided for the kids! 

This is the information for the 40 days:

40 Days for Life
Sacred Heart Cathedral will be hosting the 40 Days for Life Campaign
in the courtyard beginning Wednesday, September 28th, and continuing through
Sunday, November 6th. The times are 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Monday – Sunday.
This is a non-denominational event and an opportunity for people of all faiths
to come together and pray for an end to abortion. We also want to bring awareness
to those in our community about all the help and life options that are available.
Please consider signing up to pray one hour each week in the courtyard at
20 E. Beauregard. If you are unable to commit to one hour please stop by and pray
for as long as you can. All groups and organizations are encouraged to participate.
Please don’t be silent. These precious babies need our prayers.
Their mothers and fathers need our prayers too.
Contact a local 40 Days for Life campaign near you!

I have to go now - Y'all have a great day! Please pray for peace all over the whole world!

                            Blessings to you and yours! Bye for now, Sharla

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Memories, A Road Trip, and Special Friends

Good morning out there! It's raining, it's pouring - I love the sound of rain pouring
down! The wind is blowing and it is only 66 degrees outside. I hear the low roar of
thunder every once in a while. Not the ka-boom, loud make you jump kind of thunder
but the off in the distance rumbling thunder. This kind of weather makes me want
to hibernate with a good book! I just warmed up another cup of coffee and thought I
would sit down and write for a little bit.
I went on a road trip Thursday. I was going to be traveling by myself so Jim told me
to get my tires rotated and balanced on Wednesday. He thought the tread on my tires
was looking a little worn. Well, he was right. I ended up with a new set of tires. Have
you purchased tires lately? Talk about a dent in the budget, but good tires are
definitely a need! I filled my gas tank up and headed home. I told Jim about the tires
and he was so glad that I had them checked out. He also said something about
finding some more work to pay for the tires! Thursday morning I hopped in my truck
and my journey began. I said my prayers and enjoyed some quiet time as I traveled.
I finally popped in a CD from Lighthouse Catholic Media and for the next forty-five
minutes I listened to a wonderful speaker. I stopped at the Catholic Church in
Coleman and went inside to pray for a few minutes. It was so peaceful. I was the only
one in there. I knelt down and prayed and then sat back on the pew for a little
longer. I got back into my truck and continued on towards my destination. I arrived
in Weatherford about 12:15 p.m. I met my friend at the store and followed her to
the nursing home where her mother is. I have known this wonderful woman my whole
life. I'm four years older than her youngest daughter, the one who met me at the
store. They are like my second family. In my previous post I wrote about looking
through old photo albums. I found a picture of Lucille, the wonderful woman I went
to visit, holding me when I was two months old. Lucille and my mom were best
friends. Both families lived in Sudan, Texas until I was about eighteen months old.
We  moved away and they moved to another town also. We were only about a two
hour drive away from each other. They would come and visit us and we would go
and visit them. The dads would play golf and the moms would shop and cook and
visit. Her oldest daughter is ten years older than me. I found some pictures
of us also. After my mom passed away, Lucille continued to check on me. I would
go and stay with them for a week or so in the summer and we would see them through-
out the year. Lucille and her youngest daughter came to my High School Graduation,
mine and Jim's wedding, and brought gifts right before my babies were born. We
have stayed close throughout the years. I haven't been to see her since April and I
told Jim that I needed to go for a visit. Lucille always recognizes me and is so happy
to see me. I told her that I really missed my mom and that she is like a mom to me.
Her daughter took a picture of us together. I showed Lucille the picture of her
holding me when I was a baby and the pictures of her oldest daughter and I. She
really enjoyed looking at them. I have the picture of her holding me on my desk. I
think I will print the picture from the other day and put them side by side. After a
really good visit her daughter and I went to eat a late lunch. We talked for over two
hours and then it was time to go. She needed to get home and get ready to go watch
her son play football and I had a three and a half hour drive in front of me. We hugged
and promised to get together soon. I enjoyed my drive home.
I forget to tell y'all - on my way down there, on the side of Interstate 10, there was the
biggest, dead feral hog I had ever seen. I feel sorry for whoever hit that big honkin
hog! I called Jim and told him all about it. He asked if I pulled over and took a
selfie with it? I laughed and said, "No!" I'll have to tell y'all about another dead feral
hog story on another day!
Anyway, back to my journey home. I called Jim when I got to Ballinger and told him
that I was going to stop at the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant to visit our friends that
own it. He told me to bring him some hot sauce and call him when I was back on the
road. I went inside and was welcomed by our friends. I sat down and they brought me
some nachos and we visited while I ate. We talked about the upcoming 40 Days for
Life Kick-Off Rally and I left them some of the flyers. Patrick sent me home with
a large container of hot sauce and a bag of chips for Jim. I called Jim as soon as I got
back in my truck. I arrived home about 9:30 p.m. Thursday night. I was tired, it
had been a long drive, but it was worth it!
I have to get some laundry started now. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Call an old friend or stop by and visit someone in the nursing home, you'll be so glad
you did!
                                                                 Blessings to you and yours!
                                                                              Bye for now, Sharla

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Old Photo Albums - A Step Back in Time

Good Morning out there! I've been awake since 4:00 a.m. I am almost through with
my second large mug of coffee. Do you ever have one of those days when you really
need to focus on one thing but a whole bunch of stuff keeps popping up in your mind?
That is exactly how I feel this morning. These are a few of the thoughts running
through my mind:
1. The fall 40 Days for Life campaign begins three weeks from today!
     Lots to do and it will all turn out okay! Prayers, please!
2. The kick-off rally will be held the night before and the plans for that are done!
3. We need more volunteers for the Sack Lunch Ministry! It seems like we get
    enough help for one day that was short and then we need help for two more
    days! Janice and I will be making some phone calls!
    It is also time to send out more thank you notes!
4. I told y'all about my book - I know, it is still hard for me to believe that my short
    stories are going to be published! I had to work on some of the pages yesterday
     afternoon. I'm trying to get the pictures together that I want in the book. The
     problem with that is there is a limit.
Pictures from the past - I've been going through an old photo album my mom made
for me before she passed away. Looking through the pages of pictures is like going
back in time. Pictures of me as a baby, pictures of birthday parties and pictures of
family and friends. I have laughed and I have cried with each page I've turned. The
pictures from the seventies - oh my goodness - the clothes we wore! Plaid pants and
hip huggers and bell bottoms too! We always dressed up for church. I love all the
pictures and the memories they share.
As I looked through the pictures it was like taking a walk down memory lane. I am
so thankful for my parents who loved me so much. My mom has been gone for so
many years but I still remember the things she taught me. And today I really, really
miss her. My dad passed away eight years ago. He spent so much time with us
right here in our home. I can almost see him sitting at the table working on the
crossword puzzles or sitting at the bar chopping up onions for me. He would watch
television and shell pecans for me to bake with. There are some pictures that stay
in your heart, those special memories of ordinary, everyday things. I think that is
what I need to remember. These pictures mean something to me because of the
memories they represent. Another reminder of why I started this blog - to promote
adoption as a life option.
Yes, I am so blessed to have been adopted at birth!
I'm so glad I took the time to write a post this morning. Sometimes just writing
everything down helps me put things in perspective. I hope you all have a wonderful
                                                                             Bye for now, Sharla

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Little Time and Homemade Cookies!

Hello out there! I hope you all are having a great week. I made a big batch of
chocolate chip cookies with pecans in them earlier today. Two neighborhood
children came by to say hello. I put some cookies in a baggie and walked them
home. They are new to the neighborhood and I wanted to meet their mom. She
was waiting outside as we walked up. I handed her the cookies and told her that
I thought the kids would like them. She thanked me for the cookies. I told her my
name and she said that my husband had pulled her vehicle out of the mud the other
day and she really appreciated his help. We visited for a couple of minutes and I told
the kids goodbye and to have a good day at school tomorrow and then I walked home.
My husband walked outside to throw some scraps to the chickens and the little boy
hollered and waved. Children are precious and it only takes a few minutes of your
time to let them know you care! I'm glad I took the time to walk them home and
meet their mom. I'm really glad that I had baked some homemade cookies today!
That's all for now! I just wanted to check in and say hello!

Blessings to you and yours!                     Bye for now,

Monday, August 29, 2016

An Act of Kindness from a Young Boy's Heart

Hello out there! I hope you all are doing well. I told y'all in my last post that I would
share something that happened at the Sack Lunch Ministry a week ago Friday.
Three of my grandchildren came to help hand out lunches and decorate sacks on
Friday, August 19th. My oldest grandson had drawn a picture and brought it with
him. He told me that he wanted to give it to someone. I said that would be fine and
didn't think much more about it. One of our regulars, a young man probably in his
early twenties came in to get his lunch. This young man is very quiet, he rarely makes
eye contact and I can't even imagine what his life is like. He took his lunch and sat
down at the end of the table from where I was sitting. I was on one end writing
messages on the sacks and he was all the way at the other end eating his lunch. My
three grandchildren were sitting across the table from me writing positive messages
on the sacks and decorating them. All of sudden my grandson stood up and walked
over to the young man. I watched as he pushed his picture of a fire breathing dragon
across the table to the young man who had just finished eating his lunch. I heard my
grandson say something like, "This is for you." I watched the young man take the
picture and look my grandson in the eye as he said, "Thank you." My grandson
walked back to his seat and I continued to watch the young man as he looked at the
picture. He stood up and carried the picture in his left hand and picked up the trash
from his lunch in his right hand. He walked by the trash can and threw his trash away.
He left the cafeteria holding the picture that my grandson had drawn and colored. I
saw him look down at the picture once more as he walked out the door.
I told my grandson that he picked the perfect person to give that picture too. It
probably meant more to that young man than it would have anyone else. My grandson
smiled and told me that he knew that man was the one it should go too. I wonder what
went through his mind, the young man who is so distant and seems so very alone. I
told my husband about it that night and I said I would carry that picture in my heart.
The picture of my lanky, blonde-haired, blue eyed, ten year old grandson walking over
to a young, stocky black man who looks as if he hasn't had very much happiness in his
life and giving him a picture of a fire breathing dragon. Who knows what that one act
of kindness may make in that young man's life? Hopefully a feeling of knowing that
someone really does care.
At one point, children were brought to him so that he could place
his hands on them in prayer. The disciples began to scold them, but
Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them. The
kingdom of God belongs to such as these." And he laid his hands on their
heads before he left that place. Matthew 19:13-15
(Saint Joseph Edition of the New American Bible)

Blessings to you and yours!    
                                 Bye for now, Sharla

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Adopted and Blessed - My Blog; Adopted and Blessed - My Book!

Hello out there! I have been trying to sit and write a post for the past couple of days
and things keep popping up! I am working on something that is very humbling,
time consuming and - I can't believe this is happening type of thing. Let me start
at the beginning. When I started this blog back in March of 2014 I really had no idea
what I was doing. I just knew that I had so much to say and that I wanted to share
about pro-life issues, promoting adoption, and telling people about the help that is
available. Sometimes my stories would be short and to the point and other times they
would be long and drawn out. Those of you who have been reading my posts for
awhile know what I'm talking about. I definitely write from my heart and many times
I ask God to guide my hands and to give me the words - especially when I'm talking
about the issue of abortion. Anyway, to make a long story short, after some
encouragement, I sent my short stories/my posts to a publishing company and they are
going to publish them! My stories are going to be in a book, and you know what is
really amazing? I am the author of this book and the stories are mine and I still can't
believe it! The book won't come out until sometime next spring (2017). I will
let you know as soon as I find out when. But that is why I haven't written as many
posts lately - I have been busy with all the editing and things like that. I know it
sounds crazy. I still have trouble believing it myself!
I have to go and run some errands but I will write another post soon. I want to share
something that happened at the Sack Lunch Ministry last Friday.

Have a wonderfully blessed week!                    Bye for now,