By Vernalee

When I left my Mississippi home in my twenties to explore career opportunities, I excitedly eloped from the cotton fields and the country landscape to the skyscrapers, bright lights / big city surroundings. My résumé was figuratively glued to my hand; ready to be presented in a jack flash minute. I was as thrilled about the geographical change as I was about the career opportunities. As I pondered what position would be worthy of my talents, I couldn’t wait to establish roots.

My Mother was eager for me to be a productive contributor to my life’s expenses as well. Encouraging me to explore the secular world, she gave me stimulating, unforgettable admonition on another front. “Make sure that you join church up there. Everybody needs their name on a church’s roll.”

After I became a productive member of the work force, she routinely reminded me of her spiritual advice. “If you can get up and go to your workplace five days a week, it would be sinful to sleep in on Sundays. Get up and go into the house of the Lord. Child, I don’t want to get to Heaven and not see you there!”

Thank you Momma for annoying me! You definitely made me a better person in so many areas. I joined church in Cleveland, Ohio and I am there (God willing) every Sunday just like you taught me.

Unbeknownst to me, I found myself providing the same admonition to my children. Distinctively in 2002, before returning to Cleveland, I remember telling my daughter when I dropped her off at college in Atlanta, “Remember what I taught you. Do the same things here that you did at home. You went to church at home, do the same here.” My daughter joined church in Atlanta; she attended religiously. Recognizably similar, those were the same words that my Mother told me; just uttered differently. Wow! We do become our Mothers, don’t we?
Happy Sunday!

Photo Reprint: Bethlehem No. 2 MB Church, Shaw, Mississippi; Photographer – Tom Rankin.


By Vernalee
Ladies –
How big is your purse and how much should you daily carry are fascinating questions with answers as numerous as the sky is blue. It’s an individual choice for sure, but allow me to share an interesting concept about purse sizes and its contents. After years of deliberation, I was converted to carrying a smaller purse and not my traditional large sized purse that resembled a small piece of luggage.
Here are some of the great benefits to carrying less in your purse.
* A smaller purse with fewer contents will not physically weigh you down.
* Carrying less means less to lose by theft, or accidentally leaving your purse behind.
* You don’t have to search for your car keys in a small purse.
* If your cell phone is ringing, from your purse, you can turn it off or answer the call with less distraction.
* You will feel lighter when you’re not responsible for carrying around everything that you think you might need.
So, back to the original question – how big is your purse? How much does it weigh?
After watching a Today Show episode, the question regarding the weight of a woman’s purse stirred curiosity. So the hosts brought out a scale. Hoda Kotb’s purse weighed 11 pounds; while Kathie Lee’s weighed 2 lbs. and some change. Carrying around 11 pounds is tantamount to walking with a 10 lb. plus bag of sugar on your shoulder. Ouch! There have been correlations to the weight of purses to shoulder, neck, and back pain. I know that fact to be true! Oh my aching back! Thus, we should try to carry only basic essentials. You may not believe this but that determination was not easy! It was difficult for me to decide what I needed. So I came up with a workable solution. I can be a genius occasionally! I scaled back on the size of my purse. The smaller the purse; the less it contains; the less it weighs! Clever; right?
I realized that the purse’s content was no joke when my friend couldn’t find her keys last week and emptied her purse. Inside, she had a makeup bag that was as big as a small purse; her cell phone, it’s charger, and earphones; a journal; hair utensils; her wallet; a coupon case; nail polish; tissues; a huge pack of gum; a large bag of peppermint and Hall’s cough drops; a bottle of aspirins; a sewing kit; her sunglasses; and a few other miscellaneous items; so much that I lost count. No wonder she couldn’t find her keys! Oh by the way for those inquiring minds, her keys were in her jacket pocket. She probably put them there because there was no room in her purse. Go figure!
So if you have everything but the kitchen sink in your purse, start unpacking. That’s my thought!
Photo credit:; Source:


By Vernalee
Which are you?
Does it matter?
Sure it does.
Both have pros and cons.
If you are the driver, you control the speed, the stops, and the turns; who you pick up and who you put out.
When you are in the driver’s seat, it is imperative that you concentrate.
You have to watch your moves and those of the other drivers.
Is there less stress on the passenger than the driver?
It depends!
The passenger may be “a back seat driver”
telling the driver where to turn, etc. Since passengers are not behind the wheel, sure they can look out the windows, watch the scenery, but they can also see views and dangers that the driver can’t see.
Passengers can help the driver navigate, aid him/her, and in many cases help prevent accidents.
They can see things coming from the sides while the driver is watching the front and rear views.
As long as they are riding together, both the driver and passenger arrive at the same destination.
Basically, it boils down to who is at the wheel; who is in control.
The control element is that you don’t want to end up in a destination that is not for you.
Neither do you want to arrive at the wrong place.
Your goal is to arrive safely; drama free.
Sometimes as you travel, the road gets bumpy. The steering become more strenuous.
You might have to stop, get out of the car, ask your passenger to leave, or the passenger may request getting out.
The ride or destination may not be right.
You catch my drift?
It’s a wonderful thing, if and when the passenger and driver are in sync.
With similar views, they can help each other as they collectively navigate their course.
It can be a beautiful ride with minimal turbulence…and great outcomes!
Are we discussing who’s in the car or are we discussing relationships?
Regardless … the same principles apply.
Photo reprint:


By Vernalee
“Your time will come; you will eventually come into your own.”
Destiny, luck, training, education, generational wisdom, preparation, planning … in addition to a few other factors will determine where we land.
Eventually, everyone can succeed at something! That is what we optimists believe, think, and feel.
Sure, there will be those individuals who do not wish you well; those who are filled with envy, jealousy, and spite.
Relegate them to a place that is out of sight; out of mind.
Negative energies have no place in your life!
Since the days of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, we have heard the popular phrase, “Every dog has its day.”
Keep an open mind and with positive reinforcement, you may take hold of another saying, “Success bequeaths us all.”
You may eventually become the cat’s meow and you might be “cooler than the summer breeze,” but nothing barks louder than success!
It takes time, but remember this – “Every dog has its day and a good dog has two!”
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Don’t make yourself target practice for other people.
If danger lurks, get out of the way. Be cognizant of the signs. Watch your surroundings and associations.
Unfortunately, in some circumstances, we have to “be and stay on the lookout!” Though that is an uncomfortable position, it beats the alternative – walking around with a target on your back!
Bulls eye is not a friendly term if somone is aiming at you!
Stay out of their range!
Being a target and dodging attacks are not on most folk’s wish list; quite the contrary!
Survival and removal from controversy make up the optimal scenario. The bow and arrow can stay in its case!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee

Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Great leaders are decision makers.
Sometimes, we may tend to make decisions for others rather than empowering them to make their own. It’s easier and less time consuming – we think.
How many of you are guilty of that?
Good leaders and teachers help others
by engaging them in the process which will ultimately enable them to function without us.
Thus the goal is this – Give others decision-making tools rather than making the decisions for them.
Here’s how we can do it:
9 Ways you can help others make great decisions.
1. Connect them with people that have experience and expertise.
2. Help them identify the real problem/challenge. Ask what the problem is and then say it back to them.
3. Explore risk tolerance. Ask what they are willing to lose. (Realize people tend to be overly optimistic.)
4. Inspire them to lean toward doing something. Bolster their confidence.
5. Help them explore, examine and then express their values. Ask what makes you tick.
6. Encourage them to examine expected outcomes. Ask what if …
7. Clarify and then connect their life-purpose with anticipated outcomes. Ask how this decision takes them where they want to go.
8. Explore pros and cons for each available option. Ask what could go wrong and what could go right.
9. Allow the significance of each decision to determine the time allotted to make it and then set decision-deadlines. Ask when they can pull the trigger.
Simply stated: Teach rather than do.
You will grow; so will they!
Photo credit: www.pathdocs/shutterstoic; Source:


By Vernalee
There are only so many times that you can kick a dog before it bites.

It is a known fact that dogs are loyal. They love their masters and will protect them at any cost.
They are happy to see their masters come home and sad when they are away. No wonder, dogs are considered man’s best friend.
They are very affectionate pets and unhestitantly obey their master’s requests.
There are countless documented stories that show dogs’ devotion, loyalty, obedience, affection, and love.
Rin Tin Tin and Lassie were mainstream television shows that showed this attachment.
The love is mutual between dogs and their owners. Dogs remain right by their master’s side no matter what; “come hell or high waters.”
They don’t judge or flip flop depending on their moods. Sure, they depend on their masters for food, substance, and shelter; nonetheless, their devotion is unparalleled.
Given these scenarios, dogs are also responsive and instinctive. Just like any thing else, their animalistic instincts and sensitivities make them highly reactive.
Though dogs generally don’t turn on their masters, even a dog can become vicious if they are constantly mistreated.
They can attack; they will attack!
Those loyal stand by their master’s side creatures will bite if they are pushed to the limit.
All species have this instinct; even man! Need I say more; a hint to the wise is sufficient!
Get the point?
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
all about
In the beginning God created the family. Scriptural counsel clearly outlines the foundation for families when Eve was created as a companion for Adam; when they were told to be fruitful and multiply; and to bring up their children with an obedience to the Word.
The Bible defines the familial roles for husbands, wives, and children.
Indeed, the family is God’s masterpiece; a testament of his love.
Families provide love, cohesiveness, and unity.
As a team, families confront and deal with concerns and problems.
There is strength and comfort in numbers. Who knew that better than our Heavenly Father?
I love, adore, cherish, and respect my family!
I have always seen my role to maternally and solidly provide guidance, wisdom, protection, and teaching to my family. I pray that I measure up to God’s standards.
I also ask and pray for God’s love, support, direction, and blessings as we as a family lovingly, diplomatically, and obediently move progressively forward as a united front following his Word. We need each other today, tomorrow, always!
Prayer strengthens us; it always has; it always will!
Let the family say Amen!
Happy Sunday!
God bless!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Most of us have special touches that we utilize to decorate our homes.
Without question, my photo collection is mine.
Even if I may brag, it is quite impressive!
I have assembled photos that tell a story.
This collection tells my family’s history … and more!
There are photos of the kids at Disney world; my daughter in her ballerina outfit; my son at his prom; my Mother hugging her grandson; the grandchildren; my nieces/nephews; yours truly; and so much more!
Recentky, I added a vintage piece of my great-grandmother Minnie that my Mother “handed down” to me. Dressed in a long wool coat and tall hat, we grew up hearing stories about her. One in particular was the tale of her pulling a man off of a horse. Looking at her petite figure, you wonder how!
Alright, great granny!
I am thrilled at the thought of placing such a prized possession of my great granny framed in an old oval wooden frame on my wall. It’s a family heirloom.
That’s right, these photos are very telling and historical. There’s a story embodied in each!
Many guests stay on the landing of the stairs for an extensive period of time wall gazing/viewing my photographic collection.
I have portraits, photos, and collages of the majority of my family. Assembly of the photographs is a continuous and meticulous undertaking.
Recently, my young great niece was photo gazing and said, “Aunt Verna loves us because she has our pictures on her wall!” How touching!
That comment paid for the frames and my efforts!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee

Who is in your starting lineup?
Who is on your support team?
Who will carry the ball?

Who will pick you up if you fall?
Before you answer, let me preface by saying that no man is an island!
You may not need anyone right now, but sooner or later you will; I assure you! Don’t wait until crunch time to find out who is there; if anyone!
Winning teams put their best players in their starting lineups.
So should you!
When players have great chemistry, there is nothing but nets!
Hopefully, you are cultivating a following and unselfishly living your life in such a way that someone will be willing to play ball on your court!
Here we go …
1. Don’t be a hypocrite – Walk the talk! Give before you take!
2. It is a huge blessing to have devoted life players that you can call who have the love, time, ability and sincerity to give you solid advice; provide wisdom in decision making; charge your battery when you are down; push you to be your best; encourage, motivate, and challenge you; pick you up and carry you if you fall; be your friend; and be there for you in times of need.
3. Having someone that you can talk to, pour your heart out to, be your confidante, and listen non-judgmentally is priceless. My heart bleeds for people who have no one!
My Mother always say, “If you live long enough, you will need somebody to bring you a glass of water.” How true!
For the privileged ones who think that they need no one because they are sitting on boat loads of money and assets, please know that there are so many things that money can’t buy! Genuine love, caring, concern, compassion … are among them.
Knowing that you have someone on your team who will provide a dose of love is comforting! It can be just what the doctor ordered!
4. Remove yourself from the company of those arrogant/selfish teammates whose noses are so high in the air that they could care less about anyone but themselves.
5. Be what you seek; be a sterling example of love and humility … and surround yourself with those who are driven to score wholesome victories in life!
5. Love, caring, assistance, empathy, sincerity, kindness … are the “balls” that we and those in our lineup should carry.
They will yield the winning combinations. When you have extended your hand to help, hopefully someone will remember and reach back.
No other score matters!
Photo credit:

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