Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Family Dynamics Are Adversely Impacted


How does one find a nugget of gratitude when life presents you with a family-altering event beyond divorce that actually impacts the dynamics of family as you knew it? How does one make preparations to walk and lead with head held high in a humbled heart state? Can the attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness be found? Is it really possible to live and love out loud with hope?

Well, please allow me to take you on a personal scenic outlook overview at a cliff that stood very high and hidden. Perhaps it shall reveal that those very real down deep questions and the nugget-finds of gratitude can be found. And let me say first, that the answers do not nor cannot lie in a one-person excavation of the precious gratitude jewel because often the actual nugget can be too massive to unearth alone. Remember that I am all about #givingyouhope. 

While there are numerous folk over the last 34 years who have been people of faith influences to me, please take a few extended moments to follow along of a few #standout vessels whose lives and words each incited the reverberating walk out the God-kind of agape love-out-loud and live-out-loud faith echoes in the chambers of my being. Here goes my account of live-out-loud and love-out-loud inspirational cliff-dwellers of encouragement with picks, shovels, jack hammers and all the necessary tools to assist me in finding my nugget of gratitude that led to this very 31st day of December 2016…

  • My two awesome kiddos, Leslee and Aaron, of whom I am very proud and before whom I committed to the Lord and to self to guide in a godly manner a model live-out-loud faith and a love-out-loud love that rises #above ANY circumstance in life. 
  • An associate pastor and his wife who actually came to my life before marriage and the birth of my kiddos. This couple now residing in Tennessee whose live-out-loud God-the-healer Jehovah-Rapha kind of faith was prayed over me in 1980 when first we met, as my body was lying very high-temperature weakened on the floor of a Contemporary Christian Choir touring bus that pulled up into their church parking lot. That incident turned out to be a divine setup for our lives to be forever entwined with an unconditional love-out-loud bond as I was adopted into their unbreakable commitment to God and family.
  • A senior pastor formerly of Trophy Club, TX who chose to Deuteronomy 28:13 rise above the circumstance and 1Peter 5:6 humble himself and place a love-out-loud phone call to me regarding a mutual friend of his family and mine. He spoke these thought and life-impacting words to me through uncontrollable live-out-loud tears, “Rainey, I need the Lord to teach me how to love as He loves…a new and deeper kind of love.”
  • A dear precious friend in Tennessee came to me in a love-out-loud manner in 1996, gently cupping her hands over mine, looking into my eyes with the compassion of Jesus and softly and tenderly exhorted me in a still quiet voice as that likened unto my live-out-loud Lord, “Rainey, always be gracious. Whatever you do, always be gracious.”
  • A local senior pastor and his wife who accepted our family with a love-out-loud embrace in 2001 with an unconditional unspoken love commitment to our family from then through and beyond present and spoke words of live-out-loud faith-filled words of life and Jehovah-Rapha healer to my son over me in 2004. All of this was yet another Divine plan for me to regularly glean from that dynamic marital duo as they became senior pastors in 2007 to my redefined family and a live-out-loud model to do what love-out-loud love requires with grace and truth.
  • An incredible newlywed lay couple couple in a Louisiana church we met 1998 with whom lives we became intertwined, who later accepted the calling of pastors. The wife and I shared an intentional live-out-loud intimate admonishing one another impenetrable bond of love and faith. In 2008 while in the midst of an excruciatingly emotional and physically painful stage 4 breast cancer live-out-loud faith, she painlessly expounded with words that rendered captivatingly enlightening wisdom to my many years of quandary in the 1982 obedient response and commitment to the Lord to a love-out-loud daily denial to self on a long journey which presented many twists and turns. 
  • 46-year glorious friendship of two incredible women whose respective life journeys compelled them to stand firm in a commitment to live-out-loud in faith for healing through breast cancer and a vegetative stroke coupled with a stand strong love-out-loud above ALL adversities, whose lives resound as loud testimonies to me. 
  • A remarkably coachable and teachable woman of God on Maui, HI, whose unbridled outspoken character began being tamed as yet another setting of live-out-live to teach to me to love-out-loud to a people I did not understand, yet for whom I was to be the vessel to bring increases to the Kingdom. 

So while there are many others to whom I have great gratitude, may I ask of you to #STOP in the midst of your own challenged circumstances to live-out-loud and love-out-loud? Then #DROP to your knees in humility before the Lord and the whomever/s He would or has placed in your life to help you #ROLL the care of the seeming madness onto the Lord by an unrelenting determination to dig deep in search of your nugget of gratitude. I think you just may find that amazing jewel of gratitude was found while in your drawn focus to THE bright shining #LiveOutLoud #LoveOutLoud Light of the world. Wishing you a blessed and prosperous 2017 of many exciting nugget finds of gratitude. 

Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens in Stealing Hope


As I look at the #givingyouhope passionate mission in life that burns within, I believe its inception was set ablaze at age 4 1/2. That was when my daddy decided it was time for me to learn how to cook fried chicken. He carefully placed me on a chair in front of the stove with a cast iron skillet of piping hot popping grease, telling me to pick up and put the floured salt and pepper-spiced pieces in. My daddy additionally instructed and reminded me over and over again that no matter how much the hot grease popped, I was not to climb off the chair. Whoa! That stern drilling has translated into a valuable life lesson. It was made very clear that the option to jump down off the chair was a moot point. I had to truly believe in and tenaciously cling onto the hope that my daddy would not let me get hurt. That assignment to stay no matter the fieriness, positioned me to withstand the heated path on which my feet would journey. I could never give up nor quit before attaining the end. My life has been riddled with many hot fiery trials popping up since that pivotally defining point and time, intensifying along the way. With many reechoing moments of intended hope-stealing sweltering tests, I continually stand against the temptation to give into the gravity-pull of inertia to jump down and off.  


As I look in the Bible at Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego, who stood confident in the 7x’s hotter heat of the flaming fire, they chose to obey the word of God, to not place any other God before them. They did not cry ‘uncle’ or beg to be released. They clung onto hope. In their stand against the circumstances, they did not bow, bend OR burn! All eyes were strategically focused upon them, as shock, amazement and astonishment consumed the onlookers! Astoundment burned through the crowd when their eyes were opened to behold a fourth person standing in the flames with those 3 men, who refused to hail the people’s king. Those 3 guys remained steadfast in their faith and walked out with clothes not singed and not even the hint of smoke! Their staunch stance to not allow hope be stolen has time and time and time again given me hope to “…having done all to stand, stand therefore…” 

Folks, no matter how adverse the seemingly unbearable hotter than hot circumstance appears, I give you hope from the authority of the Word as well as from personal experience…God has got YOU! Hail to THE KING who not only gives YOU hope but who IS hope! Strength to remain tightly gripped to hope is found in the joy of knowing that He is the we the people‘s King, quietly walking along side His people through the fire. Let your nugget of gratitude be found in your impenetrably unwavering determination to not allow hope to be snatched away

Week 12 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


  
WOW!😱 I think you would agree… What a horridly horrific image!!!!!😣 

I first saw it a few weeks ago on a blog post of a precious friend. Its impact hit me hard! As I read and reread and periodically revisited the horror in that picture, I tearfully grappled with the realization that this was her life, my friend’s life. The fact that this now had a face, made it even tougher.😢 

Please let me hear your comment/s on the first two questions of the four following questions: 1) How did that image impact you?; 2) What does that image say to you?; 3) Are you a victim or perpetrator or both?; 4) Do you know someone who is either or both? Comments on the last two questions of the four may stay between you, this blog and God. 

Here are two other sadly thought-provoking bonus questions: 5) Does that picture have a face to you? 6) Has it now become personal to you?

Before your thoughts run rampantly amuck in pondering, “What possible nugget of gratitude could come out of this life happening?! Miss Rainey has surely lost her mind and gone off the deep end!” Follow me with my seemingly bizarrely twisted chain of thought. This is going to be a nugget of gratitude that we together are going to find as we get the dialogue going. I look forward to you interacting with others and with me on this journey.

So this time I am soliciting your help

Repost on this blogpost your WordPress blog site and/or share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram or other social network site/s of choice. Use hashtag “lifehappeningsurvey” when you share and/or comment. Please ask others to do the same.  
Survey family, friends, followers, co-workers, business partners, clergy, teachers, bosses, church members, children, grandchildren, relatives, law enforcement persons, health care providers, siblings and anyone else by asking one or all of the 4 above questions. Accumulate their responses. Then come back and report your findings on this blog or you may do so on my personal social network sites, using #lifehappeningsurvey. Together we shall reveal the nugget of gratitude!

Whoa! What an incentive for you to check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude we have unearthed! Together, you and I shall lead others to freedom with joy! And hopefully in addition, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. You see, I am all about giving hope to others.😉 A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope! #lifehappeningsurvey

Week 9 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


LOL is used so often. Why not purpose in our hearts to really LAUGH OUT LOUD today!” Even better yet, why not commit to tastefully create a LAUGH OUT LOUD MOMENT/s for someone who is going through a ‘life happening’ event/s and find out nugget of gratitude together for life and health. 

Here are our GPS coordinates… 

Let us get in the car and drive ourselves and others straight forward to the ‘Y’ in the road up ahead… Steer away from Negativity Avenue to the left. Veer right onto Positive Energy Drive. Go a few smiles. Turn left onto Stress-Reduction Lane. Go a few more smiles. Make a screeching hard right onto LAUGH OUT LOUD Circle! Proceed a few more smiles. See people laughing out loud everywhere. Make a screeching hard stop for laughter! We have arrived at our nugget-find of gratitude new circle of friends destination… Proverbs 17:22 (AMP) – “A happy heart is good medicine, and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

Clicking on this link reveals facts on laughter and stress reduction from Mayo Clinic Stress Management

Let us LAUGH OUT LOUD knowing that we laugh at our own risk of feeling better. Let us absorb and bask in scriptural and clinical proof that laughter can reduce stress and create a path to healing. So now let us submit to our triple-heart-bypass today… a Cheerfulheart, a Happy heart and a Merry heart!



Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ at and on my blog site. Then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Ponder This – What Do You Do With The Pain Again?


As you intently and honestly ponder the questions posted in this blog! Post your point of pain comments. Or if you prefer, perhaps write about the pain of others with whom you are familiar. Have you ever considered the “nugget of gratitude” that may be hidden in the pain when “life happens“? Then check back in a few days for my riveting “Finding Nuggets Of Gratitude When Life Happens” post.

Pain Defined

What do you do with pain? Do you pray it away? Do you wish it would just go away? Is your faith challenged because you have pain? Do you wonder what others are going to think of you?  Do you wonder why it is there in the first place? Does confusion set in because your stand in faith against it does not immediately manifest release? Is there healing in pain? Is there healing thru pain? Or perhaps should you ask yourself, “Do I r-e-a-l-l-y want the pain to go away?” What will you do if the pain is no longer there? What do you do with the void that the absence of pain has left? What do you do with the pain?

Week 8 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


OH HAPPY DAY! Happy Belated Birthday to me! I saw evidence this morning that my dog Skowt finally figured out, after a couple of months, what this 44″x24″ patch of artificial turf is for on the patio! My Twitter and Instagram followers and my Facebook family and friends have seen my lovely video and picture posts of me surrendering to the elements of cold and snow to walk my dog Skowt, despite my health concerns.

Even though it truly was delightful watching him romp in the snow as far as the leash would allow him, the cold was tough on my body and triggered slight fibromyalgia flares. I prayed for wisdom as to how to handle this and to get relief from loving task. Even sent my son a text message yesterday with the intent of asking him to take Skowt to his home for a few days. Instead I stopped at, “Are you at work?” Even with his “leaving now” response, with dismay, I sensed the inner prompting not to ask. Why? You see, that seemed the likely solution because not only are he and his wife dog lovers, foster dog parents and have 2 dogs of their own, they also have a really huge back yard! Does not that seem it could be the answer to my prayer my way?

Twice yesterday when I ventured outside and saw the ice beyond the building overhangs, I uttered prayers again. It was like an inner peace came over me, stronger than the cold I was experiencing. Why? Shortly after we returned to the apartment, my dog was oddly giddy to get out on the patio which he requests a few times a day anyway. But this time seemed different. Why?

My Dog Skowt – Lesson in Obedience

So I let him out. I then began unlayering and praying my muscles and nerves would not wreak with pain. Prayer answered! Not only that, but to my utter amazement, I peacefully slept until almost 10am this morning. Why?That is totally unheard of for me! Well, there was a slight interruption to the slumber state. It was when the 6am text alert message sound came from my phone. OH HAPPY DAY AWAKENING! By the intervention of the Lord and His grace and mercy the text read from my daughter notified me that she made it on a flight, standby status, out of Boston to DFW! That indeed was a miraculous answer to the prayer for which I prayed with her over the phone just before I went to bed at 1:00am.

Oh, by the way…For those who know my priority to be in church on Sunday morning and anytime there is service, no need to fret or travail in heavy intercession that perhaps I have backslidden 🙂 Got notification yesterday afternoon Sunday church services was cancelled due to extreme icy conditions entering and on the church property).

Okay, back to the my original OH HAPPY DAY report….

I scurried immediately out of bed to let my dog out of his crate and then laid back down, grudgingly comtemplating getting all bundled up to take him outside. Again a peace came over me, instead of the conjured up “…count it all joy…” It was like a peace that passed all understanding. Why? My dog, Skowt, came to my bed with noticeable glee in his eyes, as he gently pawed my arm with purpose. Why? Thinking I was going to have to make haste to get layered up for our cold trek outdoors, he instead led me to the patio door. Why? Well, of course, I opened it and let him out. Then I watched him curiously, yet cautiously approach the artificial turf…

OH MY! There it was!!!! The display of reasons for all the “WHY’s”! …why the inner sense prompted me to NOT ask my son to rescue me; why I felt the peace last night as I returned from the walk with Skowt; why Skowt immediately wanted to go out onto the patio shortly after we returned; why there was not even the hint of a fibromyalgia flare last night; why I peacefully slept until almost 10am; why the thought of evoking joy by faith was replaced with that peace that passes all understanding; why the the glee in the eye of Skowt and the gentle pawing… It was all a set up to answered prayer! The way of escape had been prepared as divinely orchestrated in my lesson of obedience about to be taught by my dog Skowt. In reverence to that inner knowing NOT call upon my son to rescue me, a choice was made to trust and obey the inner voice!

There was a joy unspeakable and full of glory dance and shout of praise which erupted from my inner being to override that of the manufactured joy I anticipated having to again put on and wear! You see, my eyes became fixated  on the literal nugget-find of gratitude lying on the turf even when the cold of life happens!

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!

Week 6 – Finding Nuggets of Gratitude When Life Happens


My gratitude nugget find today is in the person for whom this day is set aside to in commemorate and remember the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While his life was cut short, his legacy shall never die…lives on forever. Because Dr. King not only had a dream of freedom for all, but actively set in motion the realization of freedom through peaceful non-violent history-making movements. Both of my children excelled in high school academically and socially, achieving several honors and awards. As a result of Dr. King’s efforts, my daughter dreams big for her life’s goals in public interests. She achieved multiple university degrees with her sights now set on commencing her law degree in Fall 2015. She worked as Victim’s Assistant Specialist for a police department for several years and is now the Academic Counselor for a major charter school. My son achieved a college degree and is joyously married to a gorgeous woman of a different nationality. He is the Operational Director for a notable audio/visual technology company at a renowned hotel. In my over 6 decades of life, I have witnessed changes and experienced freedoms that are a direct result of Dr. King’s efforts.

The life we now live is not without challenge, but filled with a whole lot of promise for even greater strides ahead. So I say thank you to Almighty God, first of all, and then to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Because of these two beings, there is no limit as to what I can dream and achieve in my endeavors to reach out and give hope to others.

I close with this quote from Dr. King’s, “Loving Your Enemies Speech”, Nov. 7, 1957 — “The reason I can’t follow the old eye-for-an-eye philosophy is that it ends up leaving everyone blind.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Inspirations and Quotes

Be sure to once again check back next week to see what nugget find of gratitude has been unearthed. And do not forget to leave a comment and ❤️ my blog site. Hopefully, you will then follow my blog, invite others to view and do the same. A blessed day to you because I know #Iamblessed and enjoy #givingyouhope!