The Ghosts Of Christmas Past

I am no longer haunted by the Ghosts of Christmas past….

Perfection…… pfffst – SO OVERRATED!

I don’t need the best decorated – best made – best placed – best bought anything, anymore.

No crazy buying all year and wrapping for days for this girl. No attics and closets full of decorations.

I simplified – downscaled – and started enjoying my Christmas’s again.

No more materialism run amuck.

It’s simple and satisfying.

Presents are limited and His Presence is abundant.

Being present with friends and family and ultimately with Christ is what it’s all about.

Don’t let others expectations steal your joy.

Give yourself a break this year and give your family the greatest gift of a happy and healthy Mom, Wife, Aunt, Sister, and Friend.

Start a new tradition!

Dare to do something different this year and every year.

Trade all the tinsel and lights for more time with those you love.

Say goodbye to those Ole’ Ghosts Of Christmas Past and make some new memories that are sure to last well into the New Year and many years to come.

~XXOO Michelle Bollom

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My Family 

My husband and twins are my biggest cheerleaders.

 Their support of me and our Ministry Restored Ministries is what enables me to do what I do for others. 

They have also become accustomed to me saying: “Hold On! – I am working on a blog.”

It’s hard to multi-task sometimes! 

I just wanted to give a shout out to my Peeps for always being so patient and supportive in all I do. 

Tell us about your Family. 
        ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

A Christmas Eve Reminder 


If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

 

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook…….

 

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

 

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

 

Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy anothers home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

 

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.

                1 CORINTHIANS 13~

             CHRISTMAS VERSION

                        ~Sharon Jaynes

Pause- grab a nice cup of cocoa – sit down – rest & reflect. 

         It doesn’t have to all be perfect.  

Be sure to not get so wrapped up in all the lights and shiny paper that you forget to focus on what really matters.    

        The Light of the Word has come! 

                ~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Christmas Cheer 

Let’s face it everyone who celebrates Christmas has different traditions, experiences and expectations. For most of us it goes all the way back to our childhood. We could all recall moments of wonderment. I wondered how Santa could logistically go to all the countries around the world in one night and deliver all the Christmas toys. I actually believed it was possible. My Santa hat should have been hung up way sooner than it was in my mind of childish imaginations. 

Christmas celebrations brings friends and families together. Special time is set aside to celebrate around a warm fire, a Christmas tree or a big meal at a long table. 

For some people Christmas brings great sadness and memories of lost family members and friends. Many will find they have no one to call and go gather around a fireplace, tree or dining table. Loneliness can set in when you are reminded your family is not with you anymore to celebrate. 

So where ever you find yourself this Christmas season you have the CHOICE to make it the best time of the year. 

Decide today that no matter what lot your find yourself parked in this holiday season it is a prime parking spot. 

Up front and center, park your Christmas car and turn up the radio of your soul. Roll down your windows and sing out loud… “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, 

It is well.

It is well with my soul.”

We can’t do this alone. God is waiting to help you this Christmas season to be of good cheer. He reminds us in our darkest hours that it can be well with your soul. 

Check out this video and song here

Well Wishes,

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

 

Thanksgiving Scrabble 

Just like the game of Scrabble. Take the letters you have been handed in life and make a statement or word for yourself. Put them together to spell out a winning word that creates an environment where you could easily collect points or value to bring you to a higher level of success. Decide today that you will take everything……all your good and bad letters to formulate strong words that leads you to be a winner. 

E B H A T F L N K U 

Be Thankful,

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com 

Fix Your Eyes 

Just as Jesus mirrored His Father by doing only what He said and speaking only what He spoke; we also should do the same. 

 In the beginning God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female. You were made in His likeness, that is your identity. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see a horrible sinner, He sees His most beloved creation. We were born into sin because of Adam, but because of Jesus we can be born again into sonship. 

He did not die because we were sinners, He came to rid us of sin so we can come back to our created value and walk in our true identity as sons and daughters. 

Some say that God moves in mysterious ways, but the mystery has already been revealed; it’s Christ in you, the hope of glory. 

Do not look in the mirror anymore in self consciousness, in self doubt, in hatred, or in despair, but look in the mirror and see Christ in you, see a child of God who is full of hope, who is so loved and righteous in the sight of your Father. 

When your eyes are fixed on the light, your whole body is full of light. Jesus said you are the light of the world, So fix your eyes on Him and let your light so shine!

~ Thomas Joel Trevino 

While On Vacation 


I took so much more home with me on this vacation……..

As I see so many people over indulging at an All-Inclusive resort on excessive food and alcohol, I am saddened at the neglected children running around while their parents get trashed. Sadly, I was one of those parents at one time but thankfully now I choose to abstain from all alcohol. Sometime even still though my over indulgences and selfishness can take me away from my family in other areas.  

I hear angry and short-tempered moms and dads nursing hangovers and screaming and cursing at their children. Some in languages I don’t understand but their body language and tones are clearly understood. Sadly, I was one of those parents at one time, and can still be short and not as gracious as I should. 

I witness several entitled and unruly children talking back to their parents, screaming and throwing fits. One little boy around 9 years old was so disrespectful to his mother calling her stupid and telling her to sit down and shut up over and over. I was shocked and speechless. 

I watch and listen to a dad playing ball with his son and notice the smile on his son’s face is not there- it has faded because each time his pitching and catching skills are not up to his dad’s unrealistic standards his dad makes him run sprints on the hot sand and calls him sissy and other derogatory names. The little boy is clearly not having fun, but is struggling for his dad’s acceptance and approval. Sadly, I was a task-master of a mother with unrealistic expectations too at one time. 

I see so many people checked out playing on their phones but sitting right next to their families. Couples sitting in strange uncomfortable silence.  As I celebrate 20 years of marriage this year, I too remember years of strange and uncomfortable silence and am so grateful for a good, solid and loving marriage now. 

At first I was so annoyed by seeing and witnessing all of this. I just wanted to read my book and quietly listen to the waves…I wanted to tune it all out but then I knew God was answering my prayer.  

You see, I had asked God to show me specific people through Divine Encounters that needed Him and If I could be his hands, feet and mouth this week. 

Suddenly, Carlos, the waiter comes up and hands me a water bottle and asks what I want from the bar. I say, nothing right now. He said, it’s not too early for alcohol. You sure?, I then say – I don’t drink alcohol. He asks surprised, you never drank alcohol? I say, oh no I did, I just don’t drink anymore. He asks when? A month? Why? How? He is very interested in the answer.  
I begin to share that I had a problem with alcohol and after having a dream and receiving a word from God I gave it up almost 4 years ago.   
He said, Oh I wish I could! I want to but I can’t, it’s so hard. 
I said- I can pray for you.  
He very excited and anxiously replies – Please!

So right there under a cabana on the beach I reach for Carlos’s hand and pray– 
God, deliver your beloved son from the bondage of alcohol. Give him the strength to resist the temptation. Help and deliver him now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
With tears filling up in his eyes – he whispers-

Thank You So Much Senorita. 
I replied, Gracias, my pleasure.  

Can you all join me and pray for Carlos and for all the families, the children, the marriages and for any other areas we may find ourselves struggling in. 

Lord – give me your eyes and ears to see and hear. Help me not to be annoyed and quick to judge. Help me instead to remember all the ways you have delivered me, and have my first thought and reaction be to pray for those in bondage to be delivered too. 

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom 

Another Music Legend Has Died


Grammy-winner, Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member, Academy of Country Music Poet’s Award honoree, and fearless raconteur – Guy Charles Clark…. AKA… “Uncle Guy” died today. 

I am not sure if this is where I get my love of poetry, of songs, of writing and rhymes. I have always as far back as I can remember been a lover of words.  


When I was a child my dad remarried when my twin sister and I were almost 7. We had a new Aunt and Uncle and Cousins and even three Step Brothers. 

 Our new Uncle was Guy Clark.  


Fast forward many years and most of the world now knows the legendary Guy Clark too.  


Sadly, I awoke this morning to an email from my former step-mother Jan. She let me know that Uncle Guy had passed. I knew he was on hospice and was getting close and had been praying for them all-but that probably explained why I barely slept a wink last night and found myself praying most of the night. 


Although I had not seen Guy in many years, the flood of childhood memories flooded my mind as big tears streamed my cheeks. I remembered so many fun times growing up and one especially favorite memory was learning to dance by standing on Uncle Guy’s feet as he twirled me around the old hard wood floors. I remember being mesmerized when he would rattle off such amazing lyrics and rhymes while playing his guitar and telling such amazing stories.  


The world lost another musical great today.  
Go rest high on that mountain Uncle Guy! 

          ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 
                    Guy Charles Clark

November 6, 1941 – Tuesday May 17, 2016
Grammy-winner, Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member, Academy of Country Music Poet’s Award honoree, and fearless raconteur Guy Charles Clark died Tuesday after a long illness. 

He was born in the dusty west Texas town of Monahans on November 6, 1941. The family lived at his grandmother’s 13-room shotgun hotel; home to bomber pilots, drifters, oilmen and a wildcatter named Jack Prigg, the subject of Clark’s famous song “Desperados Waiting For A Train.” When Guy’s father returned from WWII and graduated from law school, the Clarks moved to the Gulf coast town of Rockport, Texas. Guy came of age in the pretty little beach town. As captain and center, Guy led the football team. He played guard in basketball, ran the 100-yard dash and threw discus in track and field. He won science fairs, joined the Explorer’s club, presided over the junior class as president, acted in school plays, excelled on the debate team, illustrated the yearbook, and fell in love with Mexican folk songs and the Flamenco guitar.

After a couple of false starts at university, Guy joined the Peace Corps in 1963. He trained in Rio Abajo, Puerto Rico, practicing water survival, rock climbing and trekking, followed by a month of book learning at the University of Minnesota. After turning down an assignment in Punjab, India, Guy moved to Houston, where he opened a guitar repair shop with his friend Minor Wilson. He played guitar and sang folk songs at the Houston Folklore Society, Sand Mountain coffee shop and the Jester Lounge, where he began life long friendships with fellow struggling songwriters and musicians Mickey Newbury, Townes Van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kay Oslin, Frank Davis, Gary White and Crow Johnson. He married his first wife, folksinger Susan Spaw, and they had a son Travis in 1966.

In 1969, after splitting with Susan, Guy moved to San Francisco and again joined Minor Wilson in a guitar repair shop. Within a year, he moved back to Houston, met and fell in love with a beautiful dark haired painter named Susanna Talley. Susanna moved from Oklahoma City to Houston to be with Guy and after a few months, she sold a painting to fund the couple’s move to Los Angeles. Guy landed a job building Dobros at the Dopyera Brothers Original Musical Instruments Company. He played with a bluegrass band on the weekends and pitched his songs to publishing companies in between. 

He signed a publishing deal with Sunbury Dunbar and moved to Nashville in the fall of 1971. He and Susanna crashed on songwriter Mickey Newbury’s houseboat for a few weeks and then moved into a small rental house at 1307 Chapel Avenue in East Nashville. Guy and Susanna returned to Newbury’s houseboat on January 14, 1972 along with Mickey and Susan Newbury and Townes Van Zandt as best man; the five friends sailed up the Cumberland River to the Sumner County Courthouse where Guy Clark and Susanna Talley married.

In that first year in East Nashville Susanna and Townes wrote “Heavenly Houseboat Blues,” while Guy turned out “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” “L.A. Freeway,” and “That Old Time Feeling.” By the time Guy released Old No. 1, his debut critically acclaimed album for RCA Records in 1975, he had written several soon-to-be classic songs including “She Ain’t Going Nowhere,” “Let Him Roll,” “Rita Ballou,” and “Texas 1947.”

He jumped from RCA to Warner Brothers in 1978, scoring a number one song with Ricky Skaggs’s take on “Heartbroke” in 1982 and breaking into the Billboard country chart with “Homegrown Tomatoes” in 1983. Clark hit his stride when he signed with Sugar Hill Records in 1989, and then released a string of significant folk and Americana albums with Sugar Hill, Asylum Records and Dualtone Music Group during the next two-and-a-half decades: Old Friends, Boats to Build, Dublin Blues, Keepers, Cold Dog Soup, The Dark, Workbench Songs, Somedays the Song Writes You and his final 2013 Grammy-winning Best Folk Album, My Favorite Picture of You.

For more than forty years, the Clark home was a gathering place for songwriters, folk singers, artists and misfits; many who sat at the feet of the master songwriter in his element, willing Guy’s essence into their own pens. Throughout his long and extraordinary career, Guy Clark blazed a trail for original and groundbreaking artists and troubadours including his good friends Rodney Crowell, Jim McGuire, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp, and Vince Gill.

His beloved Susanna died from complications of lung cancer in 2012. Due to ongoing health problems, Guy stopped touring and recording shortly thereafter. He is survived by his son Travis and daughter-in-law Krista McMurtry Clark; grandchildren Dylan and Ellie Clark; sisters Caroline Clark Dugan and Jan Clark; manager and friend Keith Case; caretaker and sweetheart Joy Brogdon; nieces, nephews and many, many dear friends, colleagues and fans.

Funeral arrangements are pending.  

        Obituary Written by Tamara Saviano 

10 Truths for Navigating the Modern Dating Culture as a Christian


Oh my! I so loved this blog! Check out Beauty Beyond Bones.  So beautifully written and very funny too! ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 
We are living in unprecedented times. At least for those of us trying to navigate this nauseatingly complicated travesty that is the modern dating culture. The noncommittal guys, the “rules for communication,” the necessity for seeming like you don’t care, the casual approach, the ‘swipe right’ mindset of romantic relationships. But for me, there’s a whole ‘nother layer to navigating this […]

http://beautybeyondbones.com/2016/05/02/10-truths-for-navigating-the-hookup-culture-as-a-christian/

Surprise! Surprise!

  
 Great Blog and reminders! 
Enjoy this reblog and be sure to follow them for more great posts. 
 ~XXOO Michelle Bollom 
Jeremiah 29:13 says” You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart What is it about “SURPRISES” that we all like? According to Webster’s Dictionary it’s  an unexpected event, piece of information, and unexpected gift, the feeling caused by something that is unexpected or unusual. People are looking to […]

https://desirayl.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/surprise-surprise/