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,

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sing of the Lord's Goodness!

Hello out there! It rained again today hooray! Last night I made a big pot of chicken
noodle (rotini) soup. I also whipped up some cheesy biscuits to go with it. Tonight's
dinner? I think leftovers sound great!
I have  to share a story from the Sack Lunch Ministry - Y'all know how much this
ministry touches my heart and the hearts of all the volunteers. Serving lunches five
days a week is a blessing. The donations we receive help keep this ministry going.
I was looking through the donation envelopes to get an idea of how many thank you
notes we need to send out. I found four envelopes that each had $1 marked on them.
The donor's name and a written expression of thanksgiving to God was on each
envelope. I know who this person is and out of their modest means they have given
so much. This is someone who comes to get a lunch and seeing this written
expression of thanks just brings me to my knees and I thank God that we are able to
provide lunch to those in need. It makes me think about the story in -
The Book of Mark 12:41-44 - The Widow's Mite - Taking a seat opposite the treasury,
he observed the crowd putting money into the collection box. Many of the wealthy
put in sizable amounts; but one poor widow came and put in two small copper coins
worth a few cents. He called his disciples over and told them: "I want you to
observe that this poor widow contributed more than all the others who donated to
the treasury. They gave from their surplus wealth, but she gave from her want, all
that she had to live on." (Saint Joseph Edition of the New American Bible)
Please understand - We are grateful and thankful for ALL the donations we receive.
But seeing these envelopes and reading the words of thanksgiving just reinforced
what an amazing ministry this is. Tears and tears streamed down my face.
We are blessed with and need the very generous monetary donations we receive. We
are also blessed with gifts of water, bread, chips, fruit, etc. We appreciate all the
gifts so much - we say, "God's blessings are raining down!" Last Friday, after the
lunches were ready and we were just about to open up, Janice said, "Come on, let's
pray." We all gathered around the lunches in a circle and held hands and Janice
thanked our Lord for all the donations and for all the volunteers and for the people
we serve.
I know that I talk about this ministry a lot but that is because the people we meet
are etched into my heart. Some of them, we know their names and others we know
their stories. Some take their lunches and go, and others sit down at the table to eat.
The ones who stay and eat usually like to visit and it is a nice respite from the heat in
the summer and the cold in the winter. We hand out extra water on really hot days
and sometimes we help out with extra food. They always receive a welcoming
"Hello" and a friendly face. We place prayer books and devotionals out for them to
take if they want to. And you know what? They take them! Today a young woman
told me that she had taken one of the booklets last week and had already read it.
She asked if she could two booklets today and of course we said yes!
Well, I guess I have gone on and on about this ministry enough. I share these stories
because I want you to see them through our eyes and to touch your hearts the way it
does ours.
Thank you, God, thank you for my many blessings. Amen.
Have a wonderful week!
                                                                    Bye for now,

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fighting the Good Fight is Sometimes a Battle

Good Morning out there! It's that time of year again - the 40 Days for Life Fall
campaign is just around the corner. We've already started planning the kick-off
rally and it is going to be awesome! This will be the fifth time we have held the
40 Days for Life campaign in the courtyard at Sacred Heart.
I never saw myself as a take charge type of person before. I was great at helping out.
Tell me what I need to do - give me the ball and I'll run with it - you plan it and I'll
work or help out wherever you need me to. That was my attitude - happy to help,
just never in charge.
In the spring of 2014 I received a phone call asking if I would step up to the plate
and be the local coordinator for the 40 Days for Life campaigns. I remember saying
that I was honored that they thought of me but I needed to pray about it. I also
wanted to talk to my husband about it because I knew that it would take a lot of
planning and preparation before the 40 days even began. I wasn't even sure if we
could have a campaign because we used to pray in front of the Planned Parenthood
and it (Thanks be to God) had closed down in the fall of 2013. I called the 40 days
office in Bryan/College Station and asked what the protocol was for having a
campaign since the Planned Parenthood had closed down. They told me that we
could have a campaign as long as the location was held outside and in a high-
traffic/visible location where people could see our prayerful, pro-life witness for
the unborn. I signed up to receive the emails letting me know when we had to turn
in the application for the 2014 fall campaign and began to pray about
 "where in the world" we were going to hold a campaign. Another stipulation was
that the forty days time frame meant exactly what it said - Not Monday - Friday
during the forty days - but forty straight days of holding either a twelve hour prayer
vigil or a twenty-four hour prayer vigil. Well that decision was easy - it was going
to be a twelve hour vigil wherever it was held! The phone call I received was in
February and we didn't have to turn in the application until mid-summer so I felt
like I had time to figure it out. Jim and I drove to Bryan/College Station to attend
a fundraising banquet the last Thursday in February. We met the people who had
started the 40 Days for Life campaigns. We listened to the speakers and we both
realized that we definitely wanted to be involved with this wonderful pro-life
organization. After a lot of prayer and discernment I asked if we could hold the
40 Days for Life campaign in the courtyard and as they say, "The rest is history!"
Please pray for the babies, born and unborn, please pray for their parents and
for families everywhere. Please say a few prayers for me and my family. I've
found out that when you are fighting the good fight - it truly can be a battle and
right now the spiritual warfare is trying to kick my rear but God is stronger, so
much stronger and with His help and guidance I will continue to speak up for the
unborn. Please join me - I really need your help - the innocent unborn need your
help too.
                                                                          Bye for now, Sharla

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I am Thankful!

Hello out there! It is 103 degrees outside! I am thankful that I'm able to be inside
and that our air conditioner is working! My husband is a contract welder and there
have been many, many days that he has worked outside in the heat. He has also
worked outside in really cold weather. When the weather is hot and he is working
outside I ask God to please let there be a cloud above his head for shade and let a
cool breeze pass by. I make sure he has plenty of water and Gatorade and he keeps
a bandana tied around his neck. Our sons also work outside in inclement weather -
my guys are tough and they work hard to take care of their families. Their father
has always been a wonderful example and he is the hardest working man I've ever
met. He has "old school" work ethics. Start work early and don't take long breaks,
in other words - get a drink, go to the bathroom, and get back to work!
Stay off the phone unless it is important or has to do with business. He has an old
flip phone and he does not text at all! I take that back, he did send me a text
the other day just to see if he could. He said it took him forever to figure it out and
this was his message, Howdy. He told me that he was going to add something else
but it was taking too long! I laughed and told him that I would rather talk than text
anyway. I really just sat down to say hello and that I hope you are all doing well.
I've been really busy this last week and I haven't had time to write. I usually write
what is on my mind and in my heart and today I'm thinking about my husband and
how blessed I am to be married to such a wonderful guy.

I have to go and get ready for a meeting at church. I'll try to write a post in the next
couple of days to tell y'all what has been going on around here. I pray that you are
all happy and healthy and I pray that you and your families are safe.

Blessings to you and yours! Bye for now, Sharla

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Posters and Banners and Prayer Booklets, Oh My!

Hello Out There! It is 6:30 p.m. and 103 degrees outside! Jim and I were cleaning
up the garage this afternoon. He was helping me organize all of my pro-life stuff and
there is a lot of it! This fall we will host our 5th, 40 Days for Life Campaign in the
courtyard at Sacred Heart Cathedral. We have posters and banners, prayer booklets,
coloring books, sidewalk chalk, balloons and a wide array of brochures. We have so
many different types of brochures to help educate people about pro-life issues. Several
of the brochures are in both English and Spanish. And prayer cards, we have lots of
prayer cards. Many of the prayer cards are also in English and Spanish. Jim found the
cardboard trifold that is covered in pictures from our first campaign in the courtyard.
He held up posters and signs that the teenagers from two different parishes had made
for us. Looking at these thought provoking signs made tears come to my eyes. I'm
still kind of teary as I write this post. I enjoyed organizing everything and getting it all
ready for September. The memories from the past campaigns are something that will
stay with me for the rest of my life. I pray that someday abortion will be just a horrible
awful nightmare that finally ended. I pray that someday everyone will see that a baby
is a baby and not a choice. I pray that mothers and fathers will see their baby as gift and
realize that he or she is their own flesh and blood.

The following are some amazing facts -

Day 1: Fertilization -
 The sperm joins with the egg to form one cell. This single cell contains the complex
generic makeup for every detail of a new human being-the child's sex, hair and eye
color, height, skin tone, etc. After fertilization, nothing new is added but oxygen,
nutrition, and time. (Isn't that incredible?)

During the 1st month -
Foundations of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system are already being established
and the heart starts beating just 18 days after conception! (Wow! How cool is that?)
The baby's muscles are forming, and arms, legs, eyes and ears have begun to show.
(This is happening during weeks 1 -4!)

During the 2nd month -
The jaw forms, this includes the teeth and taste buds. Fingers and toes are developing!
This little baby is already a swimmer! The baby girl or boy are swimming in the
amniotic fluid. (I can just see them doing the breast stroke!)

I've listed just a few of the many, many things that are already happening during the first
eight weeks of a baby's development. Isn't life a miracle?

I'll share some more stages of a baby's gestation with you later on. Jim and I didn't walk
this morning and so we are fixing to go out in the heat and walk! I am not looking
forward to it!

Have a wonderful evening and please share the news that babies are a blessing, help
is available and adoption is an option!

                                                                       Bye for now, Sharla

Monday, August 1, 2016

Bountiful Blessings Rained Down on Our Sack Lunch Ministry!

Hello Out There! Bountiful Blessings rained down on our Sack Lunch Ministry last
week! We received hot dog buns and hamburger buns, bags of salad, dressing, lots
of huge cucumbers and cases of water! We were blessed with chicken strips and we
put them in the hot dog buns and served them like a hoagie! We also served salad and
cucumbers that day - everyone was so appreciative. We used the hamburger buns to
make sandwiches on another day. We also received cooked broccoli and other steamed
vegetables that we served  as a cold salad! Really great for these super hot days!
The cases of water started coming in on Wednesday morning. When we arrived there
wasn't any water - our faithful and dependable friend from Holy Angels Parish dropped
by with 3 cases of water and then a wonderful lady who used to help us out showed up
with another case of water and a bunch of plastic sacks for us! Another couple who helps
out every other Monday stopped by and left four cases of water and then one of my
husband's friends and his son dropped by with two cases of water. Then more water
started being delivered and we found out that a very thoughtful lady asked people to
donate water to us as a birthday gift for her!  Isn't that awesome?
What a generous gesture! We have enough water for at least two weeks now!
We walked in Tuesday afternoon and found grocery bags full of canned goods,
peanut butter, jelly, crackers, soups, etc. that was donated by an anonymous angel for
our food pantry. The food pantry is for those who are having trouble making ends
meet and need help with groceries for their family. Two of our sack lunch volunteers
worked diligently organizing the pantry so that everything would fit. The week before
we were down to green beans, corn and tomato sauce and now our pantry is stocked
full with a variety of food to help those in need!


We are all so excited and we gave praise and thanksgiving to God for blessing this ministry
by touching people's hearts to reach out! When we all work together it is amazing what we
can accomplish and what we can do to care of each other. I have to go and run some errands
but I wanted to share our joyful news. I think the following scripture describes last week.

Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?

1Corinthians 5:6

When we all give a little we can accomplish so much!
Dear God, thank you for blessing our ministry with the bountiful gifts from all!

Bye for now, Sharla