Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lord, I just want to say, “Thank You.”

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Do you ever have those days when you just wake up thankful?  I have them, but not near enough.  It’s no one’s fault but my own; I should wake up thankful every single day of my life.  But some days, I just take a look around me and realize how blessed I am.

On days like these I find myself singing songs like “Thanks”:

“Thanks!  Thanks!  I give You thanks for all You’ve done!

I am so blessed, my soul is at rest, Oh Lord, I give You thanks!”

This is a song we sing at church…around Thanksgiving…one time a year is not enough to sing our thanks to the Lord!  I’m totally scheduling this song for the next couple of weeks.

I love feeling thankful.  Sadly, too often my “thankful days” are the result of some great happening in my life when truly, I should be just as happy on Monday morning headed to work as I am when relaxing on the beach during a week long vacation.  As a child of God, I should be thankful no matter what my circumstances because regardless of what I face, my future is secure.  Ahhh, another reason for me to feel especially thankful today.

I’m so thankful…

Thankful for waking up to see the morning light

Thankful that I’ve rested, safely and securely, throughout  night

Thankful for the quiet upstairs as my children safely rest

Thankful for the rise and fall as I watch each little chest

Thankful for the husband God gave to make my journey sweet

Thankful that he looks to Christ to lead and guide his feet

Thankful for a Mom and Dad who led me to the Lord

Thankful that they read, loved, cherished, and shared God’s perfect, holy Word.

Thankful for the day I surrendered and asked Christ into my heart

Thankful that from that day forward His grace He has never failed to impart

My heart is so thankful when I take time to ponder my blessings; words can’t express

May I live my life every day remembering how truly I am BLESSED.

– Robin Allman Riggins

Thankful for my sweet, godly family from whom I was shown the love of Jesus every day

Thankful for the gift to lift my song of praise to my King!

Thankful for my soul mate, best friend, protector, and spiritual leader, Steve

So thankful to be the mother of three amazing young men (and a beautiful “daughter”)

So THANKFUL.

This is my story of thanks, and I want to add chapters to it every day of my life.

Take time to be thankful today.  No matter what you may be facing, remember that the joy of the Lord is our strength!

Live out your own story of thanks!

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My name is Robin and I’m addicted to Pinning.

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Yes.  I am addicted to pinning.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you have never been introduced to Pinterest.  I had no idea what this craze was about until about 9 months ago when a friend turned me on to it.  I was “invited” to join and that’s all she wrote (you do have to be invited…and if you want to be invited, let me know and I’ll invite you and you too can be a Pinterest junkie!).

Can you say, “HOOKED”.   Seriously, I’ve just recently stopped beginning every sentence with, “I saw this thing on Pinterest…”  But you see, Pinterest is amazing.  There is every category of interest one can think of represented!

Okay, for those who are not familiar with Pinterest (where have you been?), I will try to explain what it is.  When a member logs onto Pinterest, there are hundreds of pictures/ideas displayed.  Pinterest members can “pin” items of interest (“pin” + “interest” = “Pinterest”) to their “boards”.  It’s like having a huge cork board that you’re push-pinning your ideas to.  And you can have as many “boards” as you like AND you get to name them whatever you want (i.e. my food board is called “Get in my belly” :)) because they’re your personal boards.

Every day, all day long, members are pinning ideas that show up on the Pinterest main page.  And they’re so good!  It’s hard to stop scrolling to see what’s been added!  Then before long, you can’t stop pinning new ideas that you never want to forget about.  I have boards full of recipes, wedding ideas (won’t need those again for awhile), fashion, home ideas, DIY ideas…even a folder called “Oh My Steve” with projects that I want Steve to take on for me!

But let me warn you…it’s crazy fun that can literally consume you…because you’re so afraid you’re going to miss an amazing idea that you just might need to pin!

Just so you’ll understand the vastness of Pinterest, here is the list of categories one can select from to check out what has been added:

Architecture, Art, Cars & Motorcycles, Design, DIY/Crafts, Education, Film/Music/Books, Fitness, Food & Drink, Gardening, Geek, Hair/Beauty, History, Holidays, Home Decor, Humor, Kids, My Life, Women’s Apparel, Men’s Apparel, Outdoors, People, Pets, Photography, Prints & Posters, Products, Science & Nature, Sports, Technology, Travel & Places, Weddings & Events, Other (like there’s anything left).

As you can see, there’s something for everyone to pin.  Some of my favorites are definitely FOOD, Fashion, DIY ideas for the home, and Gardening.  I was frequenting Wedding and Events which served us very well, might I add.  But now the nuptials have been exchanged, I can save that board for the next wedding (long time from now).

I read a funny Facebook post by my nephew, Dustin Allman, that related to Pinterest and his wife’s obvious addiction to pinning:  “With my wife pinning things all day on Pinterest, you’d think I’d start tasting some of these delicious looking “pinned” treats!”   

Dustin, don’t you know that if we stop to actually make something, we could miss some very important pinning opportunities??  He clearly doesn’t get it.

Fortunately for me, I have recognized my pinning addiction and started limiting my time spent on Pinterest.  I even decided I might even try some of the recipes I have pinned.  What a stellar idea that was.  I have found some amazing recipes that my family loves and I’ve decided to let you in on them today!  I’m attaching pictures to entice you and either the recipe or the links to lead you right where you need to go in order to make these “savory” dishes (there’s Eli’s word :)).

“Easy” Cheesy Biscuits

http://picky-palate.com/2011/02/28/easy-cheesy-bacon-biscuit-pull-aparts/

(I made these along with eggs to order for dinner the other night….HUGE high five from my guys!)

Easy Chicken Fajitas

http://realmomkitchen.com/9318/oven-baked-chicken-fajitas/

Probably my favorite recipe from Pinterest – made multiple times and NEVER any leftovers!

Ridiculously Awesome Brownie Cookies

Preheat oven to 350; smoosh 1.5 squares of break-apart refrigerated cookie dough into the bottom of each well. Place Reese cup upside down on top of cookie dough (or an Oreo!). Top with prepared box brownie mix, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 18 minutes! HEAVEN.

No kidding…these are ridiculously awesome.

These are 3 of 271 recipes that I have pinned.  See?  I did take time away from Pinterest to make something. 🙂

The joys of boys…

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I love my boys.  They constantly make me laugh.  Sometimes I’m laughing with them, sometimes I’m laughing at them; but as long as I’m laughing, it’s all good.

During the summer, Caleb and Eli hang out at the house while their dad and I go to work.  They are at the age that they can pretty much take care of themselves (in a caveman kind of way).  But things that should come naturally for most folks seems to slip right by them.  Example:  I have to TELL them to brush their teeth every single day (or I leave a note because they’re sleeping as I head out the door).  Still, I do not trust that they take care of this necessary task.  When I come home for lunch, I am sure to follow up with them.  And here’s the usual conversation:

“Did you brush your teeth?”

“Yes.”

“Today?”

“Ugh…Mom…gah…”  And off they go to the bathroom as I’m shaking my head and rolling my eyes.

I’ve always known that kids, boys especially, hate bath time but it is absolutely necessary – ESPECIALLY for boys.  Caleb and Eli have a theory about taking baths/showers; as long as they swim at some point during the day, there’s no need to have one because chlorine kills germs.  Why wash unnecessarily?  Caleb can come home from summer football or lacrosse practice (stinking beyond words) and still try to get out of showering.  I don’t get it!  I try to tell him that girls have an aversion to body odor…and green teeth.  I hope he’ll hear the words coming out of my mouth one day.

Now, Caleb & Eli may be home during the summer, but they are not alone.  My mother lives right next door, so they are back and forth between houses, especially when they’re hungry (or need a bath – she’s the one with the pool).  I’ll tell you that living next to my mother, a.k.a. “cook of the century”, has quite spoiled my children.  My mother always has leftovers in the fridge.  And I don’t mean leftover Hamburger Helper (which she has never made in her life); I’m talkin’ homemade chicken pie, roast with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits, etc.  And THIS has become my boys’ idea of a “snack”.  We’ve had to curve the “snacking” a bit…you know, “save room for lunch”!

As you can imagine, it’s a bit frustrating for me that they have become so accustomed to eating such fine food at their leisure.  Not that I can’t cook because I’m not so bad at it actually; but these guys have become so picky!  The other night we got home later due to Eli’s baseball game.  We were all tired so I decided we would have something quick and easy: leftover homemade chicken salad sandwiches. 🙂  Great summer meal, right?  Eli…not so happy.  You know what he says to me?  “But Mom, I want something savory.”  SAVORY?  What eleven year old uses the word “savory”??? 

So what do I do?  Instead of telling him to suck it up and eat the chicken salad (which, by the way, I have to make a separate batch for Eli because he doesn’t like sweet pickles…grrr…), I start looking for something “savory” to make.  Fortunately I had chicken broth in the fridge from the chicken I cooked for the chicken salad (I learned from my mother to always keep the broth for other recipes), so I cooked noodles in the broth and roasted fresh vegetables from the garden to go WITH the chicken salad.  Thank God Eli ended up with a happy palate (even if we didn’t eat until 9:00pm).

Oh the joys of having boys…some days I feel up to the challenge and some days…God help me.

      

Update on Rocky, a.k.a. “Tick-Tac”.  He is loving Virginia Beach, VA and growing like crazy.  Below is a picture of Rocky (on the left) beside of “Noche”, Rob & Peg’s Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix) who is 7-8 years old.  Rocky is about 3 1/2 months old at the most. 

He’s gonna be a biggie….

Rocky, Noche, and Peg’s pink slipper

Who knew?

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My heart is burdened this morning for a dear friend.  The doctors have run tests on her unborn granddaughter and, due to the results, are encouraging the mother and father to abort the baby.  I have prayed and prayed for this sweet little angel and her parents that God will provide wisdom and complete peace in their lives to know that HE is able to heal and deliver despite what doctors may say.  I pray that they will trust the Lord and not go through with terminating this pregnancy which = terminating a LIFE.

I don’t begin to know what they’re going through because personally, I’ve had three normal, healthy pregnancies.  When we hear of situations such as this, it does bring to our minds the question “Why?”.  Know this:  God doesn’t mind us asking questions and He will always answer…in HIS time.  We just have to learn to wait on the Lord.  And that can be tough.

As I have been praying for this family this morning, the Lord brought several people to my mind to prove that His ways are higher and better than our ways.  Here are some examples of God’s plan in action beyond the understanding of many:

Rev. David Ring

Few individuals have felt the crushing blows that have besieged David Ring since birth…On October 28th, 1953, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, David was born with Cerebral Palsy. Orphaned at age 14, he was cast about from family to family with nowhere to call home….Life was worse than hopeless to him until his relationship began with Jesus Christ who taught him self-respect and acceptance of his physical challenges….As a nationally known speaker since 1973, David shares his story with over 100,000 people each year at churches, conventions, schools and corporate events.  (http://www.davidring.org/about.html)

Rev. David Ring preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ

Nic Vujicic

 Born in 1982 in Brisbane, Australia, without any medical explanation or warning, Nicholas Vujicic came into the world with neither arms nor legs. Imagine the shock his parents felt when they saw their first-born brand new baby boy for the first time, only to find he was what he world would consider imperfect and abnormal. A limbless son was not what nurse Dushka Vujicic, and her husband Pastor Boris Vujicic had been expecting….Little did they or anyone else know that this beautiful limbless baby would one day be someone who would inspire and motivate people from all walks of life.

God uses Nick to touch lives and bring the hope of Jesus Christ to people across the globe.By the age of 19, Nick started to fulfill his dream of being able to encourage other people and bring them the gospel of Jesus through motivational speaking and sharing his testimony about how God changed his life and gave him a future and a hope. 

Today, this limbless young man has accomplished more than most people accomplish in a lifetime. Nick made the massive move from Brisbane, Australia to California, USA in 2007, where he is the President and CEO of a non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs.  (http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/)

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow was born to parents Pamela Elaine and Rev. Robert Ramsey II who were serving in the Philippines as Baptist missionaries.  While pregnant with Tim, his mother suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba.  Because of drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her dysentery, the fetus (Tim) experienced a severe placental abruption.  Doctors had expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion…but she decided not to have one. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Tebow)

It’s hard not to know of all of Tim Tebow’s accomplishments during his football career; however, his greatest joy is sharing his love for Jesus Christ.  And through the venue of football, he has reached literally millions with the gospel of Christ.  John 3:16…

Wow…who knew?  Who knew that these who would seem doomed from the start would be used to run such victorious races?  Who knew they would be used by Almighty God to share the only message of hope – Jesus Christ – with a world eager to hear the truth?  Who knew?

God knew.

Before they were ever conceived, God knew every circumstance of their lives and created them perfectly to fulfill His plan.

God has a plan for everyone.  What man sees as flaws, God sees as opportunities.  In our weakness, HE shows Himself strong.

As I pray for the family dealing with the decision regarding their unborn child, I pray that they will understand that God knows…He knows exactly what’s going on with that baby girl and He cares for her and loves her more than anyone on this earth ever could.

Father, show Yourself strong and powerful.  Thank You that You are still the God of miracles.  Let us not overlook true miracles while looking for what we want or think should be; Your miracles come in all shapes, sizes, and forms.  And they are every one beautiful to You.

Who knew?

Who knew before your first breath breathed what you would do, who you would be?

Who knew before in your mother you rested, just how your life would be affected and tested

And desires to lead, guide, and use you, knowing you can change the world?

Even before you’re born, sweet tiny one, still hidden, growing, and curled.

God knew.

And God knows every breath you’ll take, every day you’ll face, every move your little limbs will make

God knows your challenges, trials and tests, and He walks with you every step of the way.

Help us as parents to trust in the Lord, to place you safely in His strong hands

Knowing that, if you’ll let Him, He will arm you and strengthen you to fulfill His mighty plan

No matter what you face in this life, dear one, do yourself a favor

Turn your eyes upon the One who loves you most, cling to and follow your Savior.

– Robin Allman Riggins

Ma, I gotta go…

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Mondays….they are necessary to get us to the weekend, but they’re a tough start to the week.  Especially when you feel like you need a day to get over your weekend!  We have been so busy lately with these boys and their sports and this past weekend was no respite.  Caleb had a lacrosse tournament in Wilmington, NC.   I do love to go to the beach…but we didn’t see the beach.  It was one of those “leave on Friday, return on Saturday” trips.  The shining light for us?  We have amazing friends who living in Wilmington, Paul & Mary Jane Waters (Paul is pastor of Myrtle Grove Baptist Church and Mary Jane is his right arm…and left arm…), and we got to spend the night with them and hang out before the tourney.  🙂

The fun began for us before we even left Burlington.  Friday we were set to leave at 3:30, but as life happens, Steve couldn’t make it home until 5:00 so we got started 2+ hours late.  We already had plans to pick up Paul in Chapel Hill at the hospital (he was there attending to a member of his church) so we quickly stopped to get gas and snacks for the road.  As always, we were careful to use the restroom before we left our house and did a bladder check at the gas station.  Full tank, empty bladders, snacks in hand; we were good to go.

We picked up Paul and headed towards the beach.  Because I love Paul, I surrendered the front seat and moved to the middle of the boys in the back.  That’s real love…

About an hour later, my mom bladder starts yelling really LOUDLY so another stop was unavoidable.  Eli, Steve, and I took advantage of the facilities but Caleb advised that he was fine and didn’t need to go.  “Are you sure?  We don’t want to stop again.”  Caleb – “YES. I’M SURE.  Gah.”  Well okay then…

Dude…relax…geez

(In his defense, this was posed…he really wasn’t about to bite my head off.  This time…)

With about 30 minutes left to go in our drive to Wilmington, Caleb advises that he has to go to the bathroom BAD.  He’s hurting, he’s dying, he can’t hold it, blah, blah.

Me – “Caleb, we told you to go to the bathroom when we stopped before.”                                                                                                                           Caleb – “I didn’t have to go then.  But since I drank two Mountain Dews, now I have to go bad!”                                                                   Me – “Wait.  What do you mean you drank TWO MOUNTAIN DEWS?”                                                                                                                  Caleb – “Well, they were 2 for $2 so I got 2.”

Well that makes perfect sense.  It would be stupid to save one for later, right?

Steve – “Well, you’ve got to hold it. We have to be in Wilmington in 30 minutes to meet Mary Jane for dinner and there’s not really any place to stop.  Here’s a bottle.”

HOLD THE PHONE…a bottle?  Steve, you do realize I’m the one sitting beside him in this jostling truck??

Caleb takes the bottle…and I warn him STRONGLY to BE CAREFUL.  He gets up on his knees, turns towards the door, and tells us NOT to look at him (um…okay…).

What do I do?  Get out the IPhone.  It does have a great camera.

“MOM!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING??’  Hey, everything is bloggable.

“Mom…don’t you dare…”

“Caleb, just concentrate on what you’re doing.” 😉

 Haha…sorry if this is too much…

“Um…Mom…this bottle is getting full.”  AND?  I feel like I’m in a scene from Dumb & Dumber.  We scramble to find another bottle and after a bottle and a half, Caleb was finally relieved…literally.

“Here, can you hold this?”  You have GOT to be kidding me….

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We had such a great time in Wilmington with our amazing friends, Paul & Mary Jane.  They are such a blessing!

The Riggins and the Waters minus our photographer, Eli

As we were leaving, Paul said, “You have no idea how much I enjoyed hearing you and those boys laughing so much in the back seat on the way here.”  Me – “Well, one reason we were laughing so hard was because I have an app installed on my phone called “ISplit” that takes two faces and puts them together.  It’s hilarious.  Let us show you how it works…”

This is Caleb and Paul – Caleb top/Paul bottom

(Kind of looks like Brian Keith to me)

This is Eli and Paul 

Looks like Robin Williams!

Both boys wanted Paul’s face to be on the bottom so they could have a beard! 🙂  Haha!

The Riggins have fun for sure!

Why me, Lord??

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This morning, I woke up at 5:00am unable to go back to sleep and actually feeling pretty spry for it to be so early.  So I took the opportunity to hit my knees and spend some time in God’s word.  And boy was it good.  I try to read from the Old Testament and the New Testament along with one of the Psalms each day.  Today, my NT passage was in Romans 8.  For a Christian, it’s one of the most freeing passages found in the Bible…

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!  I know me and there have been plenty of things in my life for which I could and should be condemned; but because of Jesus Christ and the redemption He brought to my life, there is NO CONDEMNATION.  And no means no in every language.  That’s gooooood stuff.

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You know the devil hates it when we’re basking in the joy of the Lord, right?

I stepped outside to leave for work only to find my not so favorite dog, Rocco, had chewed up the top to our cooler.  Oh my word…I wanted to FLAIL him with it!  And I could tell he was the guilty one because of the way he cowered and ran as soon as I went to retrieve the lid.

Some days (most days), I hate that dog.

I had neither the time nor the desire to chase after the beast because I had to leave for work.  But, knowing one of his favorite things to do is try to outrun our cars as we’re leaving the driveway, I veered as hard as I could to try to hit him and put him out of my misery, but dang, that dog is fast (no I wasn’t really going to hit him…unless he ran under my tires.  Then it would be completely his fault).

I grabbed my phone…I just had to text Steve and tell him what HIS dog had done.

Okay, before you can appreciate what reaction I was looking for from Steve, you need to understand that he loves coolers almost as much as I love shoes.  Seriously.  He is a freak about coolers.  Not that he has as many coolers as I have shoes, but the ones he has are precious to him.  And the one Rocco tried to destroy was the newer one (Oh ho ho….you are so busted, Rocco).

I’m sure I typed in all caps because you know, that’s how you SCREAM in a text.  And Steve replied quickly, “He’s just bored.”

Shut the front door….are you for real right now???  How can you have such mercy on this no good animal who does NOTHING but mess up????

ROMANS 8:1.

OUCH.  God’s word IS sharper than a double edged sword.

While I’m not saying Rocco is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (please don’t tell me I’ve got to spend eternity with that dog…), I am saying that Steve reacted like Jesus.  Christ doesn’t dismiss my sins and mess ups with the excuse “she’s bored”, but neither does He condemn me beyond His sweet forgiveness.

Why does the Lord use these dogs to teach me lessons?

The cooler lid was gnawed up all around the sides, but it could still be used.  So, I guess all things do work together for good to those who love God. (Romans 8:28)

🙂

Rocco (a.k.a. Legion)

Speaking of our dogs, I do have to share a funny story involving Macy.  Before we got our invisible fence AND before we got Rocco (those were the days…), Macy used to have the run of the neighborhood.  Everyone loved her and we had no reason to keep her on “contained” in the yard.

Until…

One morning our neighbor from two houses down came over and said he needed to talk to us a minute.  It seems that Macy had been coming into their house every night for the past week through their doggy door and that particular morning, they had found her sleeping on their couch!!  Lol!  It was embarrassing and funny all at the same time.  Not long after, we installed an invisible fence.

Goofy dogs…

You are very wise, Grasshopper….

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My whole life I have been surrounded by boys.  I grew up with two brothers and zero sisters.  I have been one woman in a house of four men for the past 17 years.  Now, sometimes this is a definite advantage; no one tries to borrow my clothes, I don’t have to spend much time fixing anyone’s hair besides my own, I am treated with a certain amount of “specialty” because I’m a girl…I like those things.

But then, there are times I shake my head or find myself wanting to scream (or worse) because there are certain things these guys just don’t get.  What a GIFT God has given me when Wes married Kendal!  But alas, they live in Charlotte and my time spent with her is not nearly enough.

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Me & my new “daughter”

Ladies, you’ll understand when I say the guys don’t “get it”. And “it” could be any number of things:

– Spending the entire day shopping while not necessarily buying anything

– Considering a day spent on the beach reading a good book a true vacation

– Changing clothes 10 times in a morning to find the right outfit

– Not wanting to get our hair wet in the swimming pool because…well, just because

Feeling like you could literally take someone OUT OF THIS WORLD because you’re having a “hormonal day” (there is no explanation as to why we feel this way and I would warn you not to ask for one.  We don’t want to be ill, intense, or viewed as MEAN, it just happens.  And, at the time, it feels good so stay out of our way and let us be…for your own good)

Yesterday was one of those “hormonal days” for me.  Granted, it didn’t hit me until late afternoon because yesterday morning, I was HAPPY IN THE LORD!  I was feeling fine, full of life, ready to tackle the world and then…by the afternoon, I was feeling down, burdened, irritated in general.  And I couldn’t really even explain why to myself, much less to anyone else.

Guys, if you’re reading this, I know this sounds crazy, but please know, we ladies hardly understand what’s going on ourselves.  Hormones just happen.  I mean, we feel it coming, we see the transformation, but we really can’t do anything about it.  Sorry…

Let me tell you what a wise creature Steve Riggins is….

Steve has learned to read the signs. When hormones happen for me, he attends to me with kid gloves and does his best to keep the boys from getting in my way.  He comes to me out of the blue and rubs my shoulders or my feet (yea-yuh) and gives me tender kisses.  He offers to get the boys off to bed while I lay in the recliner.  He offers me a blanket or the ceiling fan…whichever I need at the moment.  He gives me the remote control and tells me to watch anything I want to because whatever I want to watch is what he wants to watch.

That’s a wise man.  And I thank God for him every single day.  You see, each action of love and unconditional loyalty to me calm and ease me until the beast is gone.  <Whew>

I feel better today thanks to the Lord and my precious husband.  And as wise as Steve is, just to be completely “safe”, this is what he says to me this morning:

“Hey babe, I put a $20.00 by your pocketbook today so if you want to go by Ross and pick up that dress you liked, you can do that at lunch.”

Oh yes, he is wise indeed….

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Steve Riggins…beast slayer.