Archive for the ‘Children/Family’ Category


By Vernalee
Years ago, on one of my daughter’s summer vacation trips to Mississippi, she and her girlfriends were in church. So the adolescents decided to “get happy” pretending that they had been filled with the Holy Ghost.
As they were allegedly “shouting,” the little girls started rolling on the floor. Much to her chagrin, when my daughter opened her eyes, she saw her perturbed Grandmother standing before her. Her Grandma Phoebe with her Bible in her hands sternly said to her namesake, “Little Phoebe, if you don’t get up off that floor, I am gonna tear your tail up! You don’t play with God!”
Telling the story invokes laughter now, but it wasn’t funny to my daughter at the time.
It was quite embarrassing.
It did however teach her about the sacredness of God and provided a lifelong spiritual lesson. Galatians 6:7 states, “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Although this story is one of her favorite spiritual childhood memories and Grandma stories about her trips down South, she holds dear Galatians 6:9 as a spiritual cornerstone. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Happy Sunday.
God Bless!
Photo credit:’


By Vernalee
gypsy nester
Gray hairs show years of living.
As Proverbs state, “Gray hairs are crowns of glory.”
Amazing wisdom those gray strings provide.
That is why – listening to our elders pay off!
Try it!
After talking to our elders, we will realize that there is truly nothing new under the sun!
They have most likely experienced or witnessed whatever we are attempting or undergoing.
“Bought sense or learned sense” is the optimal catchall phrase.
Do you want to learn from others’ experience or do you want to “buy” your sense and try everything yourself?
As for me, give me that gray haired wisdom!
I love sage advice. I don’t mind listening and learning.
I have avoided “many a headaches” from those gray headed ones!
My late Mother would always say, “I’ve seen a little bit of this and little bit of that.” Because of her life experience, her advice often saved me once I realized around age 35 or so that she really knew more that me!
You know in our teenage and young adult years, we feel that we know it all.
It is not until we realize that there is no need in reinventing the wheel or learning everything the hard way (when there is a template of experience), that we actually grow!
It’s called maturity.
Call me a copy cat if you will, but that hand me down wisdom has saved me a lot of grief…and time!
I’m appreciative!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Corporate great, Lee Iacocca once said, “If you have had 5 real friends, you have had a great life.”
True that!
Answer this!
How many of your family members are friends and how many are “leave them where you found them” types?
Do they really get on your nerves that badly?
This brings me to another fascinating phrase that has been echoed for years. “If they were not your family, you wouldn’t pick them as friends!”
Most definitely not!
Don’t shoot me I am just the messenger; specifically, the writer in this case. Neither did I invent the phrase; nor am I here to prove/disprove its validity.
I am certain that you have enough family members who have voluntarily tested the phrase’s authenticity and validated this scientific hypothesis.
Let’s take a look.
1. The family fights –
Just think back to all the arguments, fights, bite your tongue moments that have occurred in your family over the years; many over insignificant matters.
2. The hypocrites –
Some family members go around prophesying in the name of The Lord, yet they haven’t even spoken to some relatives in years.
Sounds hypocritical to me!
What do you think?
3. The reasons for the fights –
The fights encompass a lot of territory. Nothing beat this stalemate, namely
the relatives who have been at war for so long that they don’t even know why they are fighting?
4. Generational fights –
Through the family’s umbilical cord, the fights have moved from one generation to the next. Wait one minute! The kids have only imitated their parents.
Practice makes perfect!
We do what we see!
Children aren’t speaking to their peer relatives because their parents didn’t speak to each other.
“Can you feel me?”
5. Stop unrelated comparisons –
The Hatfields and McCoys are just plain neophytes compared to many noticeable family divisions and rivalries. I’m sorry … the Hatfields’ and McCoys’ represented two different unrelated families.
They were not blood related barracudas who sucker punched each other verbally, emotionally, and physically.
6. The hatred –
Lest not even enter the realms of those who can’t stand the other relatives’s guts and have make it universally known to any ear willing to listen.
That’s enough; hush your mouth!
Look people!
Get this under control!
The list for the reasons for family disunity go on and on, but let’s end with this one.
7. Scriptural Warnings –
We don’t need circulating in our midst, Cain’s and Abel’s footnotes or tragedy. We were pre-warned of the ramifications associated with these types of jealousies and hatred in the Book of Genesis!
Take heed!
Show some love!
The circle of this madness, disrespectful conduct, and hatred can stop with us!
The family was lovingly created by God to foster love!
He knew what he was doing and what was good for us.
We need to get with the program!
We need to incubate love, show love, forget, and forgive.
Sure this is hard, but it beats the alternatives!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee

A “role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.”
We know them and have seen a few or two. They are easily recognizable by their actions and they possess the following attributes.
1.“Demonstrate confidence and leadership.
A good role model is someone who is generally positive, calm, and confident in themselves. Happy with their achievements, they continue to strive for bigger and better objectives.
2.Are not afraid to be unique.
They are proud of the person they’ve become. Role models won’t pretend to be someone they are not, and won’t be fake just to suit other people.
3.Communicate and interact with everyone.
Good communication means listening as well as talking. People are energized by leaders who explain why and where they are going. Great role models know they have to have a consistent message.
4.Show respect and concern for others.
Driven, successful, and smart, role models show respect and gratitude. No one should be taken for granted or stepped on to get ahead.
5.Are knowledgeable and well rounded.
Great role models aren’t just “teachers.” They are constant learners, challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zones, and surround themselves with smarter people. When team members see that their role model can be many things, they will learn to stretch themselves in order to be successful.
6.Have humility and willingness to admit mistakes.
Nobody is perfect. When you make a bad decision, let those who are watching and learning from you know that you made a mistake and how you plan to correct it. By apologizing, accepting accountability, and correcting course, you will be demonstrating an often overlooked part of being a role model.
7.Do good things.
They find time for good causes such as raising money for charity, saving lives, and helping people in need get extra credit. Commitment to a good cause is key.
True role models are those who possess the qualities that we would like to have, and those who have affected us in a way that makes us want to be better people.”
Being a role model is a huge task. If you have children, remember they watch every move you make.
It’s a tall order!
There is constant spotlight on you from everyone.
Sure, the way you live your life and the things that you do/say stay on constant display.
Yet, the people that your conduct helps and influences is worth every step you take.
As a role model, the rewards are great and the impact – to all the lives that you touch is immeasurable.
Besides … Staying on course helps us to stay out of trouble!
Photo credit; www.; Source:


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
Pictured: Daughter Linda Johnson Rice and Dad John Johnson, Founder of Johnson Publishing Company; Publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines.

Many of the biggest and successful businesses are family owned businesses.
There is Walmart, Mars, Comcast, News Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Carlson, Cargill, Bechtel Corporation, Koch Industries, Motorola, Radio One, TV One, Earl Graves Ltd., Johnson Publishing; to name a few.
Family businesses can be challenging and tough, but experts attribute seven characteristics that successful family owned businesses should have that will make their lives and the businesses easier. They are as follows:
1. Establish clear boundaries around the business and the family.
2. Develop a Succession Plan.
3. Formulate a business and strategic plan.
4. Hold regularly scheduled business meetings.
5. Plan regularly occurring family gatherings.
6. Develop conflict resolution skills.
7. Appoint an outside board of advisors.
This country was built upon small businesses. They are the foundation of the economy. Never discount them; not the one man show or the corner Mom and Pop store.
I know of their importance all too well. I grew up working in a cafe and gas station that my parents owned in Mississippi.
Though these were not sophisticated businesses, I developed a work ethic and an appreciation for what my Daddy and Momma started.
I didn’t then and will never take the “sweat off their backs” for granted. My two children and I work and have worked together side by side in our entrepreneurial endeavors.
Skill development and navigating their paths are as important as the willingness of the understudies to responsibly learn. Legacy is important!
Leaving what you started in good hands is a testament to the originator. Influencing the next generation with your teachings and wisdom is crucial.
Remember … King David gathered the materials, but left the temple for his son Solomon to build.
The scriptures tell us that he prepared his young inexperienced son for this future undertaking.
Fast forwarding, it is hopeful that hard work and wisdom rub off and take roots from one generation to the next. Children and grands take heed!
It’s a big responsibility to continue, improve, and enhance what your family started.
Proudly walk in their shoes. Nothing is worse than destroying what was placed in your hands to cultivate.
Laziness, a lack of leadership, and careless disregard are disrespectful.
Be a good steward and carry the family torch!
It’s a blessing; a blessing indeed!
Photo credit:; Source: Optimal Resolutions Inc.


By Vernalee
yum sugar
Growing up, my children acted as if they couldn’t survive without a morning bacon sandwich to get their day started.
They would even place “to go” orders!
The nerve of them!
Nevertheless, I obeyed!
I was the “Queen chef of bacon sandwiches.”
Here’s my secret recipe.
I toasted the bread, applied grape jelly, scrambled the eggs with cheese, and added layers of crispy bacon.
“Mommy, these sandwiches are – Yummy to our tummy and finger licking good.” Children will say anything for a meal and servitude; won’t they!
When we look back, we parents realize how our children had us in the palm of their hands.
Most parents can tell a story or two as to how they were a sucker.
Interesting, last week, my darling son made me a BLT sandwich.
It had bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, banana peppers, and a few more of his secret ingredients.
It was extremely tasty; delectable! Maybe, my cooking wasn’t in vain; maybe my children learned a few things! His bacon sandwich was so good that it “would make you want to slap your Mother!”
Of course, that is a Southern expression for good cooking. In real life, if you knew my Mother she could “put the fear of God in you” so much so that you would be too afraid to even contemplate the thought; let alone utter the words ….even in silence!
Now, let me see what my wonderful daughter has cooking!
I may have another free meal.
Hers is a surprise!
I’ll report on it later.
As you think of a dish that was special to you back in the day, you may be surprised if and when a loved one prepares that meal for you.
It will be thoughtful, tasty, as well as marvelous!
Bon appetit!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee

As blog followers, most of you know that my Mother passed away and went home to be with the Lord last month.
Since that time, I find myself unnoticeably speaking of her, until I thought … I always did! I always talked incessantly about her; it was innate.
Yes, there are so many lessons that I learned from that woman; so many Southern sayings that still resonates; so much wisdom that she gave me.
We don’t have to wait until holidays, their birthdays, or Mother’s Day to think of and be appreciative of our Mothers.
I am so glad that that those actions of selected dates/time frames of reflections did not characterize me.
So as I think of my Mother today, I share with you a writing that I discovered some time ago. It meant a lot then, it means everything now. Take a look!

“When I was 4 years of age: My Mommy can do anything!
When I was 8 years of age: My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!
When I was 12 years of age: My Mother doesn’t really know quite everything.
When I was 14 years of age: Naturally, Mother doesn’t know that either.
When I was 16 years of age: Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned.
When I was 18 years of age: That old woman? She’s way out of date!
When I was 25 years of age: Well, she might know a little bit about it.
When I was 35 years of age: Before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion.
When I was 60 years of age: Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
When I was 65 years of age: Wish I could talk it over with Mom once more.”

I know that in the Heavenly host, my Mother is smiling at me and saying, “My baby (i.e. since I never grew up) sho can talk (sometimes too much) and she can write too!”
Today, dear Mother, Ms. Phoebe, thanks to the World Wide Web, the whole world knows of you and your wisdom.
How’s that for a shout out!
Missing you!
Photo credit: Verna’s Family Album; source:


imageBy Vernalee
David – The youngest and incredibly handsome son of Jesse was a great warrior, an ancestor of Jesus Christ, a talented musician, a prolific writer, and the 2nd King of Israel and Judah.
There are so many description of him; more than meets the eye.
The ones that capture my attention are outlined in 1 Samuel 13:14 and in Acts 13:22. In those scriptures, he is described as a man after God’s own heart.
What a tribute and a testimony!
In Hebrew, the name David means beloved one.
I love the meaning and simplicity behind the name David. Very telling, my reasons are conspicuously obvious as you will see.
I have had the honor of loving and being surrounded by three. As you know, I am a fabulous copy cat, so I named my son, David. On loan from his late Father, the name has flowed down midstream to my grandson. I never knew which one of his parents (Harry or Bernice Lee) named David Sr., but I personally selected the name for my beloved son. Though nicknamed Scooter by George, my brother-in-law, my son David is an incredible young man.
In ancient times, much thought was given to the choice of a child’s name. The name coincided with character. King David’s certainly did!
Most of us have been intrigued and know the story of David’s battle with Goliath. We can visualize the courage that it took to confront a warrior of Goliath’s status with only a slingshot. But David had a secret weapon. He had the Lord.
No matter what happened in his many trials and tribulations alongside his sinful missteps, he loved God. The stories of his obedience and the traumas of his disobedience showed his imperfections. They also showed his repentant heart, his comebacks, faithfulness, love, devotion, and his admittance to wrongful conduct. David was a praying man. He prayed for forgiveness, love, and direction. Everything about King David keeps him real and relatable.
His devotion and love for God make you deeply love and admire him. King David’s story from beginning to end leaves you awe struck.
Fast forwarding to my son David, he does not play the harp or a musical instrument.
But allow me to tell you about him! Before I become long winded and run out of pages because I have that much to say, let me be brief.
With unconditional love, my son loves his family. A great Father, son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend, Scooter is a loving and compassionate person. If you want somebody to stand by your side, he’s your guy. Wise for his age, he counsels all of us. Easy to talk to, the entire clan takes their issues to him as he is our in house Dr. Phil. Financial wisdom runs through his veins. He can definitely hold on to a dollar and watch it grow. Envied for his laid back style, he has a gentle mannerism with the words to match that puts your mind at ease when you are troubled.
A son that any Mother would be proud of, I count my blessings. I thank you Lord for my beloved ones, son David Jr. and grands. I ask that you watch over them and the other little big one, my daughter Phoebe. Order their steps Lord. Implant more wisdom and love in their hearts. Show them your ways. I pray that they walk in your path of righteousness obeying your words all the days of their lives. Children are indeed blessings from God. They eventually leave your house, but never your heart!
It seems like only yesterday that my son David was born; that I just held him in my arms.
Time flies as he entered the generation last week of being over 40.
Happy Birthday Scooter!
Happy Sunday!
God bless!
Photo credit: Family Album


By Vernalee
quotes-about-grandmothers-love-9axh7di3 llap. info
As the reminiscing continues in honor of my Mother, read with me as I share this story.
Here goes.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” William Shakespeare penned that phrase hundreds of years ago, but I witnessed its effects come to light this past year.
My oldest nephew from Tampa made a surprised visit to see his Grandmother. She had not been feeling well all day. One look at her oldest male grandchild immediately put more pep in her step.
As if she had been injected with a dose of penicillin, she immediately felt better. One could conclude that he was the “shot” that she needed! It was a mini miracle.
Speaking of shots, the two of them started talking about the NBA finals. A fan of the Miami Heat, my Mother, at the insistence of her grandson sent LeBron James a videotaped message with a tang of her Mississippi Christian dialect.
In part, she said, “LeBron, the ball is in your hands, but you are in God’s hands. The talent that ya got….can’t nobody take it away from ya.”
I don’t know if LeBron will ever get Mother’s message, but the message that I send to you is, “Show love to your family and friends, particularly when they are not feeling well.
Your visit, call, or card may be just what the doctor ordered!
Just ask the Grandma basketball coach!
Photo credit:

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