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Last Minute Gifts - Burp Cloths | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Last Minute Gifts – Burp Cloths

Sunday at church, I found out that there was going to be a baby shower that I had not planned for.  Yes, it had been in the church bulletin all month, but let’s just say I’m lacking in my planning skills lately.  Oh, the dreaded pressure of last minute gifts.  Since we live in the middle of nowhere, quite literally, and I had ridden to church with my loving husband, I knew that I shouldn’t push my luck and ask him to take me to lunch AND go shopping for a baby gift.  I chose lunch.

When I got home I started brain storming.  This basically means that I sat in a lawn chair on the porch, in the shade, and browsed Pinterest.  What did we ever do before Pinterest?  Do you Pin on Pinterest?  Okay, now I am just seeing how many times I can get Pinterest into one paragraph.  Sorry.  So, after perusing Pinterest (HA!) I decided on either burp cloths or one of those thingys that attach to door knobs and a cloth goes over the do-hickey that actually secures the door; you know, so the door doesn’t make a noise when the new parents finally get the munchkin to sleep.  Anywhoo!  I thought about doing both, but then I perused a little longer than I should have, so I went with burp cloths only.

Then I had to shop my stash.

Last Minute Gifts | juliekmccomas.com

You know what? It took me longer to peruse pins and pick fabric than it did to actually make the stinkin’ burp cloths.  And I felt pretty darn good after accomplishing all that that day.  I was rushed, and they weren’t as perfect as I would have liked them to be, BUT… I’m not perfect and nothing I do will be perfect.  Especially when it comes to sewing!

Here’s what I came up with…

Last Minute Gifts - Burp Cloths

What are the perfect last minute gifts you tend to go to?  You know, I might need ideas for next time.

2016 Word PURPOSE | juliekmccomas
Confessions, Faith

My Word for 2016 and What Came of It

My word for 2016 came to me one day in late 2015, and at the time I couldn’t figure out why it kept coming to mind when I would pray about it.  Purpose.  That is what kept coming up everywhere, purpose.  It came up in ladies bible class, I received a bracelet with purpose stamped on it, and the list keeps going.  At first I just thought it was because I have often wondered what my calling is, and I even asked The Big Guy if that was what he meant.  You know, we all doubt Him every once in a while, right?  Anyone?  Don’t we?  Bueller?  Okay, so it’s just me.  Purpose kept coming to my mind, and I finally (I am stubborn) committed to my one word for the new year.

Purpose 2016 | juliekmccomas.com

After thinking about my word many times throughout the year of 2016, but seriously between you, me and the keyboard, I couldn’t figure it out.  Then I went to She Speaks.  It is a conference held by Proverbs 31 for speakers and writers.  It was the first time I’d ever flown anywhere by myself, and wouldn’t you know it, there were all kinds of problems.  But, it all worked out.  I ending up attending my very first writing conference, and I loved it!  I made wonderful friends, learned lots of information that I still use today, and I think I found my purpose.

Purpose Definition | juliekmccomas.com

What is cool about me finding my purpose is that I found yours too!  Yep!  If you are a Christian, it is your purpose to become like Christ.  So, if that is our purpose, we as individuals have different gifts to accomplish this purpose.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement;
if it is giving, then give generously;
if it is to lead, do it diligently;
if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:6 (NIV)

While at the She Speaks conference, I took in everything I could on the writing end of things.  I took written notes, mental notes, and photos of different slides. I loved every minute of it, but things weren’t clicking for me there like I thought they would.  Then on the last night there it hit me; maybe I’m supposed to do the speaking thing too.  Everything led me to think, sure publish your book but make that the starting point.  I thought about it and I prayed about it for a few weeks before I ever said anything out loud to anyone.  The first person I told was my husband, and he was very blasé about it.  After keeping it to myself for a while longer, I decided to talk about it with up to a couple of friends.  Finally, when I decided to update the website, I tossed the idea out to my girl, Kristin, who did all the work on here, and she said, YES! If that is what you feel called to do, then put it out there! (Possibly paraphrased.) So, my purpose is to become like Christ, and my gift might be to encourage, teach, and speak (even though that one isn’t on the list).

Everyone has a gift, and I hope that you have discovered yours.  Once you do, your life will never really be the same.

My Word - 2017 | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Real – 2017

Real.

A few years ago, I joined the gang that chooses one word to strive for each year.  A couple that I can remember have been focus and purpose.  This year I chose, Real.

I want to be real.  With everything.

Have you looked at Pinterest lately?  All the photos are so pretty and put together.  If my photos look like that it is because they are staged.  I don’t want to stage things anymore.  I used to test things I found on Pinterest, but then I didn’t take photos because it was such a mess.  No more.

I have a messy house!  I’m not a great housekeeper.  I have four dogs, therefore I will have dog hair in my photos.  Can you believe I used to edit those out if they were noticeable?  I did!

I want to lose weight, but I just ate a chocolate covered peanut cluster.  I drink too much Diet Dr. Pepper, and not enough water.

I love to read!  I would much rather stay home with my husband and our dogs, and read than hang out with other people.  Just being real.

I hate doing cardio! But, I’ve started reading while on the treadmill so, I am tolerating it.

I love Jesus, my husband, our kids and grandkids!  My Momma, my Daddy, and my sister too! I try to love everyone like Jesus would do! But I fall short, and I don’t really like a few.  Just keepin’ it real!

Just hang around for a while, things are changing around here.  I quit writing so much because I felt like I had to sugar coat everything.  There might still be some sugar, but it will be real.

Do you have one word for the year?  What is it?  Will you share?

Head on over to #oneword365 to find your tribe (those that share your word).  I tried to find my tribe, and found that I am the only one with Real.  Want to join my tribe?  Click here.

Welcome to 2017 at juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Welcome to 2017 Here at JulieKMcComas.com

Welcome to 2017 at juliekmccomas.com

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!

In the next few weeks, I am going to share with you a few things to wrap up last years activities.  I will tie them up with a nice red bow, and get started on our current year, 2017.

Some of the things I will be sharing with you are photos from the 3-Day 60 mile Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure; how my one word for 2016, Purpose, worked out for me; some Pinterest Pins I tried, books I read, and my one word for this year.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and brought in the New Year with a Bang!  My big bang was the dogs wanting out right at midnight, and of course they had to wake me up!

I’m looking forward to spending some more time here on the little ol’ blog.  Hope you are too!

Confessions, My Battle with Breast Cancer

Celebrating Five Years Cancer Free

Celebrating five years cancer free this year, and I hope you will celebrate with me!

Alex McComas | juliekmccomas.com

On June 23, 2011, I was sitting in the chemo chair for the first time. Fast Forward five years. On June 23, 2016, I was sitting next to a pretty special pup on the porch enjoying the summer morning.

Flyin' High | juliekmccomas.com

This year was going to be all about celebration!

I’ve been told that the five-year cancer-free mark is a pretty big deal among us survivors, so I wanted to celebrate in a big way. I wanted to do the Susan G. Komen 3-Day! Are you familiar with it?  Long story of my “celebration” short. Raised $2300.00, flew to Detroit, walked the walk, slept in a tent on a concrete floor, lost two toenails, made several new friends, and hobbled home.

If you google the 3-Day walk it will probably say something nice about how all the nice people raise all this money that goes toward research to find a cure for breast cancer. (If you have something bad to say about SGK and how they spend the money, yada yada, then just know that my comment section is not the place for it. Thank you very much.) I, on the other hand, will tell you that the 3-Day is a bunch of crazy people walking for 3 days (60 miles) wearing lots of pink, crazy bras and tutus to raise money for research. I will also tell you that I have marked it off my non-existent bucket list, and I will not be doing that again.

One and done.

I was blessed and honored to have my friend Margaret go with me. We had a lot of fun, but I think we will both stick to donating from here on out. I love you, Margaret!

Julie & Margaret 2016 | juliekmccomas.com

In all honesty, this was quite an adventure! I loved almost every minute of it! I am so thankful to each and everyone of you that donated/supported this wild hair idea of mine to fly to Detroit so I could walk 60 miles in a sea of pink. So I could help raise awareness and funds for the possibility to find a cure.

RIP Kyle Lynn Thomas aka Zippy | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions, Faith

Best Funeral Ever – Kyle Thomas RIP

RIP Kyle Lynn Thomas aka Zippy | juliekmccomas.com

This is my first cousin, Kyle.

August 10, 2016, Kyle was shot and killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To be honest, we don’t really know what happened. The people that were there know what happened, but I’m getting stories that don’t even mesh at this point.

What we do know is that Michael Charles Jester, from Arkansas (apparently) thought Kyle had stolen his wallet (apparently) and shot Kyle over it. Then somehow shot himself in the hand. (I’m thinking Kyle fought for his life, and the guy got shot in the hand, but that is just my opinion because I know for a fact that my Kyle wouldn’t go down without a fight.) A Good Samaritan saw Kyle laying in the driveway bleeding, and loading him up into the bed of his truck and took him to the QuikTrip to get help. They even talked about how this man had blood on him. This is the story that was reported by the news stations the morning of the shooting.

You can watch the video of Jester running from the police here, on this dashcam video.

Here is the video telling about the Good Samaritan, and much more crime scene footage.

Now, there are more stories circulating about how this chick named Jacalyn Renee Ketcherside dropped Kyle off at the QuikTrip. Then she (apparently) ran, and was arrested later and is in the Rogers County Jail at the time this is being published.

So there are a few things that don’t mesh. But don’t you worry your pretty little heads, I am gonna go all Joe Kenda on this folks and find out the truth. Don’t even think for a minute that I won’t.

Part of the reason I wanted to write this post about my cousin, Kyle, is because of his funeral. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you things were all rainbows and roses in his life. Kyle fought addiction from an early age, and it landed him in prison. He was out of prison almost two years when that addiction got the best of him. The only thing that could get the best of Kyle was death.

These are the things I remember about Kyle. If you knew him, your memories might be different, but I can’t imagine by much.

Kyle loved everyone. He would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it, and after hearing some stories from his friends he literally gave someone the shirt off his back. If someone didn’t have a place to go for the holidays he would bring them to spend the holidays with us, his family. He loved hugs, and he always told people that he loved them. But only if he really loved you. He was the life of the party, and if there wasn’t a party there was before he left. He made us all laugh, smile, and sometimes cry (only because we were laughing so hard).

Kyle touched a lot of lives in his short time on this earth. I witnessed this by seeing all of the people at his funeral. I don’t want to offend anyone by saying this, but if you know me then you know I mean this in a good way. Kyle’s funeral was the best I have ever been to, hands down. The pastor was great, the singing was fantabulous (props to our cousin Darsha for that), and the people were all touched by Kyle in some way.

When the funeral was over I was able to watch each and every friend of Kyle embrace his mom. They would share a story, condolences, a laugh or just a cry. I watched as every walk of life walked through that line. Business men/owners, elementary/jr.high school friends, friends from truck driving school, friends of his mom, drug addicts, recovering addicts, felons, and most of all loved ones. There were whites, blacks, Mexican, etc. There were hippies, bald guys, and beauties. Every walk of life was in that chapel, and there was only one reason – Kyle. I have never felt so honored to sit in a room full of people in my life. We all loved Kyle! We were in it together! We all had something in common, and Kyle brought us all together.

I told my husband, Butch and several other people, that if there was a funeral for Jesus today that is what it would look like. People from all walks of life, all kinds of circumstances, but all of them loved by Him!

I don’t know how all this death thing works, but I truly wish that Kyle could’ve looked down to see how many lives he touched.

He knew the Lord, and he loved the Lord! I will see Kyle again some day!

Currently Reading May 2016 | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

Currently Reading – May 2016

I’ve kind of been busy over here. I’m trying to spring clean, and it will be summer before I get that finished. Trying to read as much as possible, and still have a life. Let’s chat about what I have been reading lately, and one book that I want to read.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Our book club is currently reading this book, and will meet this Friday to discuss it. This is the second time I have read it, and I am not a re-reader. It is a great book, and I am enjoying it the second time around as much as I did the first time.

Here’s what it’s all about.
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that tell of her father, Jacob, and his twelve sons.

Told in Dinah’s voice, Anita Diamant imagines the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood–the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of the mothers–Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through childhood, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah’s story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.

Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women’s lives.
Redemption Road by John Hart

This is a book that I am reading to review. Not much I can tell you about it yet, other than the book description.

Imagine:

A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother.

A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting.

After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen…

This is a town on the brink.

This is Redemption Road.

Brimming with tension, secrets, and betrayal, Redemption Road proves again that John Hart is a master of the literary thriller.

 

31 Days to a Clutter Free Life: One Month to clear your Home, Mind & Schedule by Ruth Soukup

Seriously, I have been wanting to read this for a while now, and recently got the chance when it was included in the 2016 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. I am hoping to blog through this book or through Ruth’s 10 Day Unclutter Challenge. I have an email out to her and hope to hear from her soon.

Here is the book description for this one:

Is Your STUFF Controlling Your Life?

Ruth Soukup knows all too well how stressful it can be to have a home packed to the gills, with an overbooked schedule to match.   After years of overspending left her wallet painfully empty and her home painfully full, she realized it was time for a massive change.  She began clearing her life—and her home—of clutter, one small step at a time.   

Now, over the course of thirty-one simple but powerful daily challenges she is sharing exactly how you can do it too.  31 Days to a Clutter Free Life will empower and inspire you to clear your life of the clutter that is filling up your home, mind, and schedule, once and for all.

Over the course of this one-month challenge, you can:

  • Eliminate clutter in all areas of your home and instead create functional spaces for all of your family’s many activities.
  • Replace chaotic counters and overstuffed cupboards with a calming kitchen that makes cooking a joy.
  • Overcome the destructive cycle of always needing more by paring down belongings to those you truly love.
  • Stop overcommitting and instead learn to say no without guilt.
  • Reduce stress in your home and family by clearing out the excess stuff that takes up so much of your time and energy.
  • Create practical and functional storage solutions for every room in your home.
  • Develop a working control center that keeps your entire family organized and on track.
  • Learn the four simple strategies to staying clutter free forever.

What if, one month from today, your life could be different?

At any given time, most of us are stressed out with homes and schedules that feel chaotic and out of control.  It is easy to be overwhelmed with the vast quantities of stuff that comes pouring into our homes, from trinkets and paperwork to endless obligations and activities.  Wouldn’t it be nice to finally have a step-by-step guide to ridding our life of clutter, and instead creating an oasis of calm and order?

Simple Daily Assignments

Over the course of thirty-one simple but powerful daily challenges, this book will empower, enable, and inspire you to clear life of the clutter that is filling up you home, mind, and schedule

Join the Clutter Free Challenge

Join thousands of LivingWellSpendingLess.com readers in completing this life-changing challenge.  You can check in on the blog, or use the hashtag #LWSLClutterFree to share your own progress on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  Find accountability & get support of others who have committed to becoming clutter free as well. 

Start Today

The challenge begins on LivingWellSpendingLess.com this October, but you don’t have to wait.  Get the entire challenge now in convenient book format.  A clutter free life is waiting…..are you ready to embrace it?

And lastly, here is one book that I have heard about and hope to read soon.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Here is the book description:
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

It sounds good to me, how about you?  What are you reading these days?

Click on the photos to take you directly to the product pages on Amazon, or click on the little Amazon widget on the side. Every little click helps! (affiliated links)

10 fantabulous Downton Abbey Quotes | juliekmccomas.com
Confessions

10 Fantabulous Downton Abbey Quotes

I am in a state of shock, I think. There is only one more episode of Downton Abbey. I think I may need a support group when it is all said and done. Anyone else feel that way?

There are no spoilers here. I haven’t watched the final episode, so if there are some great quotes (there always are) I may add them later down the road.

I wanted to open this up to discussions about Downton Abbey, but I quickly realized that some a lot of people have already watched the final episode of the series.  So instead of spoiling it for myself and many others, I decided to go with some of my favorite quotes.  I hope you will share some of yours too.

10 fantabulous Downton Abbey Quotes | juliekmccomas.com

These are not in any particular order, I honestly don’t even remember which season they are from but I did like them enough to write them down.

Violet: “I’m not a romantic, but even I concede that they heart does not exist solely for the purpose of pumping blood.”

Violet:  “I’m a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.”

Isobel: “How you hate to be wrong.”
Violet: “I wouldn’t know. I’m not familiar with the sensation.”

Robert: “There is nothing more ill-bred than trying to steal the affections of one’s dog.”

Carson: “We must always travel in hope.”

Mrs. Hughes: “Of course I’ll marry you, you old booby. I thought you’d never ask.”

Violet to Isobel: “Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?”

Matthew Crawley: “War has a way of distinguishing between the things that matter and the things that don’t.”

Violet: “In my experience, second thoughts are vastly overrated.”

Molesley: “All that’s needed for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

I have so many more, but I had to stop somewhere. Please leave your favorites in the comments and I will add them to my next list.

Now, I’m off to prepare myself for the final episode of the series. Will you be watching?