Friday, July 6, 2018

A Few Of My Favorite Things

"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."
I Timothy 6:17

Today, I thought I'd lighten up the subject matter a bit and write a fun post, instead.
I love learning more about the bloggers I follow and thought perhaps you may enjoy that, too!
So, here are a few of my favorite things.
#1.  My dear, old, trusted Bible.
Its cover is tattered and torn, the pages are well-marked and highlighted from over 31 years of use, the hours we've spent together are many, and I wouldn't trade it for all the money in the world.  It is still the Bible I regularly read, and my most precious earthly possession.
#2.  Spending time with Jesus.
One of my favorite things to do is pray, and one of my favorite places to pray is outside overlooking the river.  It invites me to get real quiet before Him—still enough to clearly hear His voice.  I love to pray out there at night, too.  Even though I can't see the river, I know it is there.  I can hear it gently flowing, its calming movement mixing with other sounds of the night.  Speaking of the river, we have been enjoying getting acquainted with the goose family that has been gracing us with visits this spring and summer.  There's a mama, a papa, and six little babies.
It is fun to watch them grow.  Each time they drop by for a visit and bread or crackers, they are a little bit bigger.  They haven't stopped by for several days, but we've spotted them visiting other spots in the neighborhood while we are out and about on our daily walks.
#3.  Walking through life with the dearest man and sweetest boy.
One of the most precious blessings of my life is getting to share each day with Kevin and Zach.
This is what we see on our walks together.
The serenity of the mountains and the river draws me in, and it is not at all unusual for the praise in me to well up and burst forth in the form of, "How Great Thou Art!"  Yes, I have been known to sing it as we walk, and there may or may not have been people around.  God has done SO much more for me than I will ever deserve.  How can I keep from singing?
#4.  Recently, dear, sweet Zach spent his own money and surprised me with a Wonder Bible!
I was so deeply touched by his thoughtfulness and generosity.  Zach is so precious.  I will never, ever, ever stop praising God for sending Zach to us right when He did and for allowing Kevin and me to finally have a child of our own and to be Zach's parents.  This Wonder Bible is downright amazing.  It has already proven to be such a blessing to me, and I love to listen to it as I am going to sleep.  What a sweet and perfect gift!  Thank you, dear Zach, from the bottom of my heart!
This truly is a powerful tool in helping me stay on track, both spiritually and physically.  If you haven't downloaded your FREE copy yet, please click here, and help yourself!  I keep my P.O.W.E.R. Tool© on the table next to my recliner, so I am continually reminded throughout the day to pray, reach out to others, drink water, exercise, and read my Bible.  I hope you will try it and see how much it helps to motivate and inspire you, too!
I cannot say enough good things about this stuff!  I had tried it several years ago, and then I got slack and stopped ordering it.  I didn't realize how much it was helping me until I stopped taking it.
Recently, I started back on it, and boy, can I tell a difference!!  It keeps my hunger at bay and helps to regulate my sugar levels, but the best part of it is that it gives me energy and just makes me feel better. 
Kevin and I love the pink drink so much, we became ambassadors!  So if you would like to try some, 
we would be ever so grateful for your support!  Just click HERE to place an order!  Better yet, I hope you will consider becoming an ambassador, too!  The discounts are worth it!  If you're interested, please drop us an email.  
Since I am trying so hard to lose weight, (you can read about it here where I share about facing obesity head-on), along with taking Plexus Slim Pink Drink every day, I am closely monitoring my carb intake.  This means I had to pretty much totally give up honey.  😢  BUT, never fear!  THM Gentle Sweet is an answer to my sweet cravings.  I started using it a few months ago, and it has become my new go-to sweetener.  It is healthy, too, (NO aspartame~it is Stevia-based), and the flavor is amazing with no bitter aftertaste.  Hooray!
#8.  Therma-Lou.

As I may have mentioned, I am trying SO hard to lose weight, and part of my commitment to The P.O.W.E.R.© Tool is to drink a personally-specified amount of water each day.  This handy-dandy insulated water bottle is an amazing help!  It was a gift from my niece, Kristen, the one so many of you helped to pray through her pregnancy last year.  (You may remember that she had a blood clot in her lung throughout much of her pregnancy, and there were so many scary moments.  But, God in His infinite mercy and faithfulness pulled her and her precious baby, Eli, through, and he is now one year old!)  Kristen gave this gift with the intention of it being Kevin's Christmas gift last year, but shamefully, I hi-jacked it shortly after it arrived in our home!!!  It is just wonderful!  It keeps my water cold for HOURS, I kid you not.  I can fill it with ice today, and by tomorrow morning, the ice has not melted.  I LOVE this thing!  
Okay, I am sure by now, you are wondering about its name—Therma-Lou.  Well, that, my friends, is a long story, and I wanted to catch you before you start storming Google with questions like, "Where can I buy Therma-Lou?"  Let me explain.
My goal is to take water with me wherever I go so I can keep up with my water drinking commitment throughout the day.  I am forever forgetting "her" and calling out things like, "Zach, would you mind grabbing my drink-thermos-water-thing on your way to the car?"  So, we decided it was time this little beauty be given a name all her own.  Barney Fife and his girlfriend, Thelma Lou, came to mind, and I got this bright idea to alter her name just a bit, replacing the "L" with an "R" and name our water bottle in her honor.  So, there, you have it!  The ever faithful, Miss Therma-Lou!
(Just in case you want to try to find one like it, and should you happen to get strange, blank stares if you approach a store employee and ask for "Therma-Lou," I wanted to share a picture of the name brand shown on the bottom.)

#9.  Water Flavoring Packets

I don't know about you, but I can quickly become bored with drinking plain water.  So, to keep things interesting and to make sure I stay on track with my water drinking each day, we started buying these super-handy flavoring packets.  I just fill "Therma-Lou" with ice, open a bottled water and mix the flavoring packet in, then pour it over the ice.  I prefer not to use the ones with artificial sweeteners but will use them in a pinch.  The brands I love most are True Lime & True Lemon.  They are sweetened with Stevia, and you can buy them at Walmart.  They are delicious and really keep me motivated to keep drinking water.  I LOVE being able to record as many check marks as possible on that P.O.W.E.R. Tool© sheet at the end of the day!
#10.  Coffee
If you've been reading here for very long at all, you probably already know that I love coffee!  I am always on the search for great-tasting, rich, bold-flavored coffee that packs a powerful punch.  And, there is this certain quality that I look for in a coffee taste—I hardly know how to describe it, but it has to leave a certain strong coffee aftertaste.  Does that make sense?
I have mentioned The Spice Merchant's coffee here before so you may remember how crazy I am about it.
(Get it, Jamaican Me Crazy?  Never mind.  😂)  This coffee is out of this world.
Today, I also wanted to mention another coffee company that we were just recently introduced to.  Let me just tell you that I've been drinking this coffee every day, and it is amazing!  Oh, the aroma!
When you open the bag, you can't just take a quick, little sniff.  You have to inhale—deeply—and linger.  The scent is wonderful, but only a small glimpse of the flavor to come!  And don't you just love the name?
I love to support Christian businesses, and when it means there is coffee involved, I'm all in!  By the way, the owner's mama just happens to be one of our favorite singers in all the world, too.  She is none other than sweet Karen Peck Gooch of Karen Peck & New River!  So, why not stop by and visit Matt Gooch at Solid Ground Coffee, & show him some loving support?  (Have you ever heard him play the guitar?  All I can say is, wow!  He is super-talented!)

The antique coffee canister in the photo is a cherished, long-ago gift that Kevin bought for me during one of our times antiquing.  I love the way it looks, but I mostly love it because Kevin bought it for me.  The pretty mug was another gift from my niece, Kristen—yes, this mug was actually intended for me!

I love the mug so much.  It has become my favorite, and I think of Kristen every day when I use it.
As you can see, I love to combine some of my favorite things and pray outside by the river while sipping a cup of fresh-made coffee.  The words on the mug say it all!
Speaking of coffee—
Oh, my, I love my Keurig so much!  Kevin and Zach bought it for my birthday last year, and I can't begin to say how much I enjoy using it each day!  It gets a workout and keeps on brewing!
When it comes to coffee taste quality, there is no substitute for buying whole coffee beans and grinding them fresh.  In order to ensure the best quality of freshness, I usually only grind enough coffee beans to last for about 2-3 days at a time.  This little appliance is a gem!
It is the perfect size and so easy to use!  After I grind the beans, I store the grounds in the antique coffee tin.  It just makes me smile.  I love making coffee for Kevin and Zach, too.  They like flavored creamers and enjoy trying different ones.  I stick to a limited amount of 1/2 & 1/2 in mine.  There is only ONE gram of carbs in 2 Tablespoons of the Walmart brand!  YEAH!  I feel like a professional barista whipping up a coffee treat for each of us every afternoon!  Those little things in life mean a lot everything.
#13.  Old canning jars.
We've been collecting old, antique jars for many years.  As you can see, we love to make daily use of them and not just keep them for display.  Since we have started an intense minimizing journey, possessions that earn the right to stay in our home have to meet one of three requirements—we have to either need, use, or enjoy them.  We got rid of a lot of our old jars, but we held on to certain special ones, and we are finding ways to bring new life to them.  You may have noticed that we store our THM Gentle Sweet in an old, blue canning jar.  I simply cut the label off the plastic bag and taped it inside the jar, to identify the contents.  We use old, blue canning jars to store several things inside our kitchen cupboards and outside, too, including a way to display pretty marbles.

Oh, my!  I wish there was a "sniff here" button on your computer screen!!  Kevin and I recently celebrated our 30th year anniversary!  YES, I said 30 years!!  Oh, God has been SO good to us.  We praise Him from the bottom of our hearts.  Kevin spoiled me and was so kind and thoughtful, as always.  This McCall's candle was one of my anniversary gifts, and I have been enjoying it ever since.  The fragrance of this one is "State Fair," and I can't even describe how wonderful it smells.  It permeates throughout the whole room and is just amazing.
#15.  Primitives, Antiques, & Homespun Decor
During our minimizing, we have let go of about 90% of our possessions and moved to a much smaller living space, but we have chosen to keep the things that fill our home with comfort and a sense of peace and add value to our everyday lives.  Things like this darling "Homespun" box dear Zach recently bought for me.
Isn't it just adorable?  The word "homespun" caught his eye and made him think of Homespun Devotions, and he, of course, is well acquainted with my weakness for quilts and anything primitive or old-looking.
#16.  Dad's old banjo & bluegrass music.
Some of my sweetest childhood memories have to do with the times my dear Daddy took out his five-string banjo and played for us.  Many a family get-together was centered around music, and from my earliest childhood memories, I can recall singing that high lonesome sound Vince Gill sings about.  So many who were in those gatherings have been called home to Heaven, and the void they left behind will never be filled.  I could easily burst into tears each time I hear certain songs or a banjo playing.  When I was in 8th grade, Mom and Dad bought me my first guitar, and through the years Dad taught me to play.  I have always wanted to learn to play the banjo, too, but like Dad always said, "If you can't learn the roll, you just can't play the banjo."  Though Dad patiently tried many times, I just couldn't get it so I would listen to him play and back him up on the guitar.  I miss singing with him and Mom more than I could ever put into words.  Dad didn't own many earthly possessions when he died.  I cherish the few things he left behind, but this banjo means more to me than anything else.  Each one of the memories attached to this old banjo means the world to me.  I'll close this post with a few of the songs we used to sing and play together.  

The Bluebirds Are Singing For Me ~ Mac Wiseman & The Osborne Brothers

I think one of the reasons we love Blind Pig & The Acorn so much is because they remind us of Mom and Dad and other family members and the precious times we used to have singing and playing music together.  They sing a lot of our favorite songs, and they are SO talented! 
We felt like we had lost a personal friend when Pap passed away not too long ago.
Click here to check out their youtube channel!

What Can Jesus Do? ~ Blind Pig & The Acorn

Who Will Sing For Me? ~ Paul & Pap Wilson (Blind Pig & The Acorn)

Rank Stranger ~ Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys

Foggy Mountain Breakdown ~ Flatt & Scruggs

Thanks for reading and listening, dear friends!
I'd love to hear about a few of your favorite things, too, should you care to leave a comment!
God bless you!


  1. I loved reading about your favorite things, Cheryl. The gifts that Zach, Kristen, and Kevin bought for you, which are such treasures. Happy 30th Anniversary to you and Kevin. God bless both of you!

    1. Thank you so much, Kitty! God bless you, my friend.

  2. What a lovely list of favorite things starting with your Bible. My grandmother had an old Bible that she had on display in her home and I was given that Bible when she passed away. It wasn't an old family Bible but rather one that she bought at a garage sale. Over the years it absolutely fell apart. However, she had placed items in various spots in the pages - a bookmark here, a 4 leaf clover there, a poem, etc and I removed all those items and placed them in various places in my new Bible. Even the 4 leaf clover has survived over 50 years and I recently placed it in a little zip lock bag and put back in the Bible so it wouldn't fall apart. I also have a few bookmarks that my eldest goddaughter, Courtney, made me when she was a little girl. So in my Bible are all kinds of precious things hidden in the pages to be found when I happen to open to that page. They always make me smile when I come upon them. I also have a very old German hymn book that my great-grandmother (my above grandma's mama) brought with her from Germany when she immigrated in 1883. It is all written in the old German script. To know that this hymnal was held by my great-grandmother in her little village in Pommern (in what is now Poland) is very special to me.

    1. Aww...such sweet and precious possessions you have, my friend! Thank you so much for sharing about them here! May the dear Lord bless you. You are such a blessing to me!

  3. Oh sweet friend! I enjoyed this post so much!!! What a lovely area the Lord has chosen to establish your borders. How serene and pretty. I can see why you break out in How Great Thou Art! :-)

    Your son is such a sweet, sweet boy. What thoughtful, special gifts he picks out for you.

    Praising God that He has provided tools and sustenance to help you on your journey to weight loss and in a way that is still tasty. ;-)

    And last but not least, your Bible tells a wonderful story of a sweet, humble daughter of the King.

    The Lord has indeed blessed you. Thank you for sharing those blessings with us.

    Sending you much love,

    1. Oh, how kind and dear are your precious words of encouragement! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear friend. Sending much love and gratitude back to you!!

  4. Awe, I enjoyed so much reading about your favorite things. Oh that old tethered Bible spoke to my heart! GREATEST THING EVER! Lord....just let me hold your written Word in my hands.....Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    1. Thank you so much, dear Cindy! I am so thankful for your sweet visit and kind words. Sending hugs and many blessings back to you!

  5. You and I have much in common in our 'favorite things'. I bet if we ever got together face-to-face we could go on and on and on for hours together. That Bible is really something! Nothing like a well-worn, much-used, much-loved Bible to tell what a person values and you can certainly see from that alone how much you love the Lord and His Word. Not to be morbid but whenever my husband does a funeral of a Believer, he asks to borrow their Bible because often that gives such insight into what really mattered to that person - what passages they underlined, what notes they wrote and even what little 'things' they tucked in between the pages. I'll be checking out some of your weight loss/encouragers/drinks/ etc!

    1. Oh, wouldn't that be so wonderful to be able to sit down and visit like that? I think you are right...our time together would be endless, and we would have so much to talk about. Your precious words brought me to tears...thank you SO much for all you said. I think that is such a wonderful thing your husband does when he asks to borrow their Bible. That just touches my heart. So thankful for you, sweet friend. God bless you and your husband abundantly.

  6. How fun to read this post and learn even more about you. I really wasn’t surprised to see the first thing on your list is your Bible. Anyone who has read your blog knows how important God‘s word is to you. I love seeing all of the gifts that you received from your family. What a blessing you are to each other. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself today.
    Blessings always my friend,

    1. Oh, Betsy! Thank you SO much for your dear, kind words! Yes, my friend, Kevin and Zach are such precious blessings to me. I hope I can bless their lives as much as they constantly bless mine. I am so thankful for your sweet visit. I have been praying for you and am SO sorry you are facing so many hard things. Sending much love to you across the miles!

  7. Yes, water is the key to losing weight and staying healthy. I love it. I love coffee too! I enjoyed your thoughts here today, Cheryl, and send you hugs and prayers for a great day.

    1. Thank you, sweet friend! It was so nice to see your kind words. God bless you! Sending hugs and prayers to you, too!

  8. Dear Mrs. Smith,

    I enjoyed scrolling through this post, looking at your favorite things. :) The gifts from your family and your Bible are precious. I have a few favorite items, my favorite being my Bible. It's so precious to me because my parents gave it to me many years ago as a present (and my first real Bible) for memorizing the books of the Bible. :) It's started to rip a tad on the spine, but I wouldn't get rid of it for the world!
    Printed pictures, my camera, journals, and books are some of my other favorites. :D

    sending you many hugs and lots of love,
    Ashley <3

    1. Thank you so much for visiting, Ashley! I enjoyed your comment and reading about your favorite things, too! God bless you, sweet friend. Sending many hugs and lots of love back to you today!