Monthly Archives: July 2014

YOU ARE A SPIRITUAL HERO!!

“You’re a remarkably spiritual soul. The true meaning of your life is defined by your faith and deep connection with God. As you know already, this road is not a particularly easy one. It’s full of bumps, mountains, and valleys. But you’ve held on long enough, and there’s nothing stopping you from reaching what you’re called to do!” (God’s Grace)

Just thought you needed to “hear” this today.

GOD is Good. GOD is Great!!

Love,
Margaret

“Nothing you confess could make me love you less.” —Jesus

Chapter 13— A Good Mourning

Good morning and welcome to my Monday Blog!!

Since I started my Monday Blog, Mondays have taken on a whole new meaning for me—I LOVE MONDAYS!!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are looking ahead to a great new week!! Let’s ALL expect rainbows and miracles; they’re out there, that’s for sure! Shoot, I’m a miracle, myself…I mean the fact that I can sit here and BLOG to you every Monday, is truly a MIRACLE—seriously!! Five years ago if someone had told me I’d be sitting here “talking” to you via a BLOG website?…about a BOOK I wrote?…well, let’s just say I probably would have said “Yeah, right…whatever…uh, what’s a BLOG, anyway?…and ME, write a BOOK?…don’t ya think that’s a little waaaay far-fetched?!…like, you’re crazy, dude!”

See, I’ve learned that our personal plans for us and GOD’s plans for us, are quite possibly NEVER the same plans. I’ve also learned that if I TRUST HIM with every aspect of my Life, I can do just about anything that I put my heart and mind into. Key words here: TRUST HIM.

Bottom line here: I am a Miracle (and I know it!).

My philosophy on Miracles: They are NOT coincidences. GOD doesn’t do “coincidences”, He does Miracles…

and in this next chapter of my book, you’re going to read about several Miracles.

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Excerpts and Thoughts: “That Melvin Bray”

Chapter 13 – A Good Mourning

“Hope says to us constantly, ‘Go on, go on,’ and leads us to the grave.”

—Francoise de Mainenon, French queen

“It was no time at all before Daddy was knocking on aunt Lucy’s back door. She asked all of us to go into the living room while she told Daddy about Mother.

Ali picked up Fay, and we all did as we were told. Lu closed the door and turned on the television to distract us.

PC took Paddy out the front door and headed out to Aunt Lucy’s vegetable garden in the side yard. I could see them from the living-room window. P. C. had his arm on Paddy’s shoulder as they walked down the individual rows of Aunt Lucy’s well-groomed little garden. At one point, they sat down and disappeared among the tall sunflowers. P.C. was a good big brother and Paddy trusted him.

Lee took her broken heart into Aunt Lucy’s room, threw herself across the bed, landed facedown in the pillows, and quietly began to cry her eyes out, like a little baby. Lu went in the bedroom and lay down beside her, and eventually the little lion fell asleep from exhaustion.

Ali and I played with Lainey and Fay, and although the television was on, we could hear most of the conversation between Aunt Lucy and Daddy.

It was quite obvious that she was furious that Daddy had never gone home on Friday after work, nor checked on his pregnant wife and eight children, who had no phone and no car, for three days and nights. Adding fuel to the fire, since Friday, Mother had been rushed to the hospital and had delivered the baby and died, and Daddy had known absolutely nothing about it until Aunt Lucy had tracked his sorry ass down that morning. Yep he was the MAN.

I couldn’t see either of them, but Aunt Lucy’s voice was strong and powerful. She was on a roll. She had so much anger bottled up inside her toward Daddy that I guess once she got started, she just couldn’t stop. She had just lost the one person on Earth she loved and cherished more that her own life, and she blamed Daddy for that loss.

Frankly, Aunt Lucy was probably the only person on Earth Daddy actually respected, or maybe she intimidated him. Either way, when Aunt Lucy spoke, Daddy listened. When she finished, he left.

Our Daddy didn’t say one single word to any of us kids, not even Lu. He just got in the old Chevy and

drove of, just like any other day. Just way too much responsibility for ole Chill, I guess—a dead wife, a new baby he hadn’t even seen yet, and eight other children who had just lost their mother.

I can hear Daddy now: “Man, I need a drink!”

At almost eight o’clock in the evening, the sun finally set on that blue Monday. Now we would all finally be forced to lie down, close our eyes, and pray it was all just a bad dream.

Wednesday rose with an early morning shower. I actually loved the rain, especially when I was happy. If I’d had to choose, though, I preferred Mr. Sun on my less-happy days and Miss Rain on my happier days. That day was much like the previous few. Aunt Lucy did her best to keep us busy and hopeful. After lunch, she and P.C. went to the hospital to visit with Dr. Cheek and baby Mae and tie up a few other loose ends in preparation for the funeral.

Afterword, we spent the rest of the evening much like the evening before—all together and all dreading the inevitable tomorrow.

‘Today, my friends, our Lillian is beginning her everlasting life and as we read in Psalm 23:6, “shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”‘

For some reason, at that very moment, I glanced at the clock by the door to the choir and noticed it was precisely 3:33 pm. I was reminded of Lee’s vision at the hospital—an omen perhaps?

It must have been, since I don’t believe in coincidences; however, I do believe in miracles.

Pastor Meyers then closed the service with a prayer, and we all left the chapel to attend the burial service in the church cemetery.”

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I’m SAD. I wrote the book, I’ve read it a hundred times, but still can’t get through this chapter without crying my eyes out. Oh brother!

Remember, these paragraphs are just excerpts from the chapters each week. This particular chapter is long and another tough one for me; however, it’s also filled with much love, kindness, humility, forgiveness, and laughter. I wrote the best funeral I could. WHAT?!

The phrase “DON’T BE AFRAID” is written 365 times in the Bible. That’s a daily reminder from GOD to live every day being FEARLESS. It works, trust me—I had to embrace it daily just to finish my book.

So, here we are again—another big opportunity to live the next week being FEARLESS, kind, non-judgmental, full of hope, prayer and forgiveness. It’s a tall order…I know…and we’re only “human”…oh come on, human, shuman! We can do anything when our hearts and minds are focused UP!

“Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful and glorious Being in the universe!You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time—GOD!” —Dieter F. Uchtdorf

GOD is Good. GOD is Great!!

Love,

Margaret

“I am thankful for my struggle, because without it, I would not have stumbled across my strength” — Author Unknown

Life Is Too Short!!

“There comes a time in your Life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, and pray for those who don’t. LIFE IS TOO SHORT to be anything but HAPPY. Falling down is part of Life, getting back up is living.”
— Jose’ N Harris

Happy Wednesday!!

GOD is Good. GOD is Great!!

Love,
Margaret

Chapter 12 – Charles Phillip Chillton II – “Chill”

Happy Good Morning to you and welcome to my Monday Blog – You know I love it!!

Most times when I first start blogging on Monday mornings, I’m so filled with events or experiences which took place over the weekend, that I find it’s hard for me to focus on the job at hand. I want to tell you all about what happened over the weekend and/or my kids, the grandchildren, my incredible this, or my awesome that, you know what I mean. I guess I’ll just have to leave it at that for now and come back here mid-week or so and do my braggin’.

Okay, except for these two little things: my youngest granddaughter, Bridget (5), told her Mommy (my daughter), that “grandma is very funny, but PaPa is reeeeally funny”..so now I’ve got to work on getting funnier; but then, yesterday, as I was hanging upside down on the jungle gym with my middle granddaughter, Lily (7), she said “grandma, you’re the funniest grandma I know”…so there!!

This week in “That Melvin Bray”, we get more than a glance at Maggie’s Daddy –

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Excerpts & Thoughts:

Chapter 12 – Charles Phillip Chillton II – “Chill” –

“I think it must be written somewhere, that the virtues of mothers shall be visited on their children, as well as the sins of their fathers.” – Charles Dickens

“CHARLES PHILLIP CHILLTON II had many names, depending on who was talkin’ about him.
Mother called him Charles—if he was sober.
Lu called him Dr. Jekyll if he was sober and Mr. Hyde if he if was drinking.
Lee called him Monster—sober or not.
The rest of us kids just called him Daddy.
Aunt Lucy referred to him as “your daddy,” as in “Have you seen or heard from your daddy?”

Everyone else, including his siblings, referred to him as “Chill-Out”.
Growing up he had been intense, easily distracted, and always in a hurry. He
couldn’t seem to ground himself and had no inclination toward self-discipline.

As time went by though, he would be known simply as Chill. He was the oldest of seven children—three boys and four girls. He was named after his father, who was a minister. Yeah, hard to believe that, huh?

His younger brothers, Weston and Harrison also became ministers when they grew up. Granddaddy Chillton probably wondered where he had gone wrong when it came to Chill, but I say two out of three ain’t bad, right?

Sometimes, though, the preacher’s kids could turn out to be the wildest—like Buddy Allred in high school. That boy was just full of I don’t know what, but he was full of it!

Granddaddy and Grandma Chillton were kind, gentle folks of modest means. Like Grandma O’Malley, Grandma Chillton died before I was a year old, so I had no memories of her either, but Mother spoke of her often and loved her very much.

Daddy was the black sheep of the family. He was reckless and impetuous early on and wouldn’t listen to anyone. He was movie-star handsome and confident. I think his looks went to his head, along with the alcohol, of course. Granddaddy Chillton always told him that the good Lord had really blessed him, but he was too arrogant to appreciate it. Humility was not Daddy’s strong suit, but Mother had enough for both of the of them, unfortunately.

When my parents met, Mother was only seventeen and he was almost nineteen. She was captivated by him and she fell madly in love with him. They married within the year and a year later, Lu was born. They were just young, in love and in desperate need of a change in their lives.

Aunt Lucy begged Mother not to marry Daddy, but it was no use, so Mother insisted Aunt Lucy come and live with them once they were married and settled. Aunt Lucy agreed at the time, for Mother’s sake, but changed her mind later, saying she felt she needed to stay with Papa.

The truth was that there was no way Aunt Lucy was going to live in the same house with Daddy. On a soul level, she knew him, but it would a long time and several children later before Mother would know him.

Daddy joined the army right away and was gone only two years. The word was that he was given a medical discharge, but it was probably a typo and should have been a mental discharge. Sadly, those two years while he was gone, were probably the best years of their marriage.

Of course, Mother had gotten busy right away having babies. I was the sixth baby and still an infant when Mother first went to work in the textile mill. Until then, Daddy was the breadwinner, if you could call it that, but all that changed when Mother got a job, leaving six children at home, including a six-month-old baby—me.

It was at that time when dear Lu would start her new job as surrogate mother. That was probably why Lu and I were always so close. She really had to step in for Mother with me at six months, and she truly was a surrogate mother to me.

Once Mother had a job with a paycheck, Daddy took full advantage of the situation—and her absence. Yeah, he was an alcoholic most of he time, and she was absent most of the time. Daddy’s philosophy was filled with presumption and delusion and his reign of terror became scarier for the Chillton kids once Mother jot a job.

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As I revisit these chapters each week, of course it takes me back to a very sad time in my life, and now and then, I’ll hit a few lows as I write the words; however, upon finishing the book last year, thank the good Lord, He has shown me the way to truly live my precious gift of Life better, and how to use my past as a tool for doing just that. One of the ways I accomplish this, is that I focus on living ONE DAY At A TIME…

“But see first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ” – Matthew 6:33-34

I’m siting here with my “Life is Good” hat on…and Life IS good. Hallelujah!!

Next week, Chapter 13—A Good Mourning
“Hope says to us constantly, ‘Go on, go on,’ and leads us to the grave.”
—Francoise de Mainenon, Frence queen

Until then, here’s me, wishing you an incredible week in every way possible and I pray You and your Life will be an inspiration to all those you encounter along your way.

GOD is Good. GOD is Great!!

Love,
Margaret

“Your Life is your message to the world. Make sure it’s inspiring.”
(Love & Life)

“Smiling for someone is sweet, but MAKING someone smile is the BEST!”
(Women of Christ)

What’s Your Problem?

July 16, 2014

Here’s a little something to think about, if you choose to…

If you’re in the habit of blaming others for your attitude, behavior, thoughts or words, make a conscious attempt to stop. We’re all in control of our OWN actions.

Try this for a change:

Humility, guts and forgiveness (yourself and others), and a willingness to improve and change your Life for something better.

“Misery loves company”…remember that one? Is this YOU?

Why not try walking by faith? It produces the resilience we need to come back even stronger when facing Life’s challenges and disappointments. And we ALL have them.

Now if you’re in denial, lying to yourself (and others), whatever…then this isn’t for you and I’ll pray for you, because that’s what I’m expected to do.

GOD is Good. GOD is Great!!

Love,
Margaret

“When the devil tells a lie, he’s speaking his native language because he’s a liar and the inventor of the lie.” – John 8:44

Chapter 11 – The Twins

July 14, 2014

Good morning, everybody!! What a pretty Monday it is! I went out on the deck, listened to the birds, watched the squirrels and chipmunks chasing each other around and through the bushes and thought, ‘What a way to live’, such freedom … then I realized, I’m just as free as they are. Hallelujah!!

So last week, beginning on Friday, July 4th, a whirl-wind of events began to unfold and by Tuesday, July 8th, my family had experienced three deaths, one wedding and the loss of my younger cat (of two), “Sweetie’.

It just kept on coming! But what d’ya do? YOU KEEP ON GOING.

By now, I’m quite acquainted with death, however, the pain and emptiness I feel is always there when it happens, even though I may have even been expecting it; it still hurts like crazy!! My Mother has been gone now for seventeen years, but sometimes when I think of her, I still break down and cry because I miss her so much. This is life and this is normal. Mourning and grieving for our loved ones is what we do. However, God will step in and come to our rescue, for the Bible says:

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5-4

… and I say, Hallelujah, thank you, Lord!!

My personal message here, is simply to tell you that when we’re faced with the loss of a loved one, and we think we can’t go on, we can; we can, because we are never alone. God is always here for us. Just talk to Him. XO

Today, from my book, “That Melvin Bray”, I’m going to introduce you to “The Twins”, Lillian and Lucy, and you’re gonna love them, I’m sure!

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Thoughts and Excerpts –

Chapter 11 – The Twins:

“God doesn’t give you the people you want; He gives you the people you NEED…to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you into the person you were meant to be.” – Unknown

“In 1928, twins Lillian Fay and Lucy Mae O’Malley were born. They had two older brothers, Rory and Quinn. Rory was eight years older and Quinn six, so basically the twins only had each other as playmates since their brothers were much older. Papa and Grandma O’Malley separated when the twins were only four years old. Grandma left the children and Papa and went back to her family to live with them. Grandma O’Malley—Mae, as she was known—was a beautiful woman but was in fragile health.

Papa, a.k.a. Jesse O’Malley, was a tobacco farmer, and Rory and Quinn stayed with him and the twins and worked the tobacco fields with him until their late twenties, when they both got married and started families of their own. While growing up, they lived a meager life way out in the country and typical of that time, had no running water in their farmhouse; instead, they drank water from a spring about a quarter mile from the house.

At age five, the twins contracted typhoid fever from the spring water. This disease was serious, of course, considering the times and the limitations of medical treatment. The twins were sick for over a year but finally recovered. However, Lucy was not as fortunate as Lillian, and she would suffer various health issues for the rest of her life.

To make Lucy’s life even more challenging, another incident occurred shortly after they turned seven. She and Lillian were in the house one evening, cooking dinner for Papa and the boys, who were outside chopping wood and hauling water from the spring.

Yep, I said cooking. To say they all had a pretty hard life was a big, whopping understatement!

Anyway, a large pot of water and potatoes were boiling on the old woodstove, and Lucy was standing by the stove, reaching for another pot nearby, as Lillian was setting the table. Somehow the pot of boiling water fell over onto Lucy. She was scalded from her knees to her little toes. Lillian ran out and got Papa and the boys. Rory and Quinn wrapped Lucy in a blanket, and they all jumped in Papa’s old truck and drove thirty-five miles to the nearest hospital. Lucy was in pretty bad shape. During her recovery, she endured several skin grafts on both legs, and she didn’t walk again for over a year. She spent eight months in the hospital, and Grandma O’Malley and Lillian stayed at the hospital with her as much as possible.

One disturbing part of their upbringing was that the twins—my mother, Lillian, and Aunt Lucy—had a mother, my Grandma O’Malley, who was born into a family of considerable means. However, apparently Grandma’s parents didn’t feel any responsibility toward her four children, their own grandchildren! They stood by an watched them live in squalor-type conditions and endure great hardships, just to teach Grandma and Papa a lesson.

Shame on them! As it turned out, Mother got to go to school, but Aunt Lucy made it only to the seventh grade before quitting due to her chronic poor health. She absolutely loved school, and Mother was just s sad as Aunt Lucy when it became apparent that Aunt Lucy wouldn’t get to continue school.

As life went on, however, what made Aunt Lucy different also made her exceptional. She suffered and toiled for years with various acute and serious illnesses, and she constantly endured chronic pain.

She would tease us kids sometimes by saying, “Remember what they say about judging a book by the cover: looks can be deceiving, because this little ole body is hiding one good-looking woman on the inside!”

Disease and illness might have broken Aunt Lucy’s body, but they sure didn’t break her independent spirit. Somehow she could find the joy in the midst of some serious trials. She had an enormous respect for life and a willingness to simply live, which was an inspiration to us all. She and Mother loved each other something powerful, and there was a bond between the two of them that no doubt still exists today.”

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Next week, you’ll get much better acquainted with Lizzy’s daddy, in
Chapter 12 – Charles Phillip Chillton II, aka “Chill”, and let me tell ya, he’s a trip!! When I was little, if anyone asked me what scared me the most, I’d whisper, “my daddy.”

My prayer for you ALL this week, is that if you don’t have PEACE in your heart, you’ll find out why.

GOD is Good.GOD is Great!!

Love,
Margaret

NOTE: I’ve heard that to thrive in Life you need three bones:

1. A Wishbone
2. A Backbone
3. A Funny Bone