Build Memories Worth Remembering

mamaw papaw memoriesMy maternal grandmother, Juanita Nutt Clark, passed away Monday, January 25, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. She lived to be 91 years old. I have many memories of Mamaw. Today I want to share a few of those memories with you.

The last 5 ½ years of her life she lived with Alzheimers. But those are not the main memories I have of Mamaw.

Mamaw will always be strong and healthy in my mind as I reminisce over the days I knew her when I was a child. She loved to garden and had the most beautiful rose bushes. Those and Papaw’s whirly gigs were the first things that we saw as we arrived at their house for a visit.

The next thing I remember is Mamaw’s sign that said, “Back door guests are best.” As a kid I wondered about that sign since technically there was another door that was even more in the back than that door but I get the idea now.

We entered the house through the kitchen and after giving Mamaw and Papaw hugs, we would stop by her guest bedroom to see her latest quilt that she was working on. All her quilts were hand sewn and beautiful back then. She even won awards in quilting shows. Somewhere there is a picture of her standing beside one of her quilts on display.

mamawkids memoriesThen we would go to their living room and sit on their couch and listen to the adults talk. It wouldn’t be long before Papaw would bring out “the claw” and chase us around the room. When us kids got bored Mamaw would bring out her collection of wooden spools for us to play with on the enclosed back porch where Papaw’s workshop was located.

And on pretty days we would run play in their fenced in yard. I remember Mamaw and Papaw had a nice sized yard that gave us plenty of room to play chase and hide and seek. It was even more fun with cousins since we could have teams. Ah, but it was hard not to play with the clothes line.

Some of our visits we ate dinner with them and there were usually aunts, uncles, and cousins at the table as well. It became a family joke that Papaw always had to take a picture of us with a bite of food in our mouths.

We kids were usually prompted to wash our hands in the bathroom sink after playing outside. We liked to listen to the large shell that held their bathroom door open. We would put our ear to the opening and listen to the sound of the ocean. We would also weigh ourselves on their bathroom scale that said “hospital” on it. It was one Papaw had from one of the hospitals he worked at as an electrician.

Then right about the time we needed to leave, Mamaw would pull out her cookie jar of homemade cookies. Once we finished eating the cookies, we would give her and Papaw a hug before we left.

Mamaw Assisted Living MemoriesThose are just a few of the many memories I cherish of Mamaw. While there are other memories of special times, it’s those regular every time I saw her ones that makes the memories special.

It makes me reflect on my own life, what memories will my children and future grandchildren have of me?

Mamaw’s last days were with Alzheimers and not remembering her loved ones but as soon as she walked through those pearly gates of heaven her memory was made perfect. She has perfect recollection now.

The last time I saw her she didn’t remember me. But the next time I see her, she will greet me by name. I imagine I will find her quilting tapestries for the mansions Jesus has prepared for those who have trusted in Him.

Why not? If God gave us our talents to use for Him here on earth, why wouldn’t He let us continue to use them for His glory in Heaven?

And now for the big question, if you were to die right now would you go to Heaven? If you can’t answer that question with a sure yes then you need to do a heart check.

Was there ever a time in your life that you felt bad for the sins you have committed, told God you were sorry, and committed your life to Him?

If not, now is the accepted time. Today is the day of Salvation.

I wrote another post about my paternal grandparents entitled A History of Family Commitment: My Paternal Grandparents that you might like to read from my building commitment series

Do you have memories of a loved one that you would like to share? What memories would you like your loved ones to have of you? 

I would love it if you would share your memories with me in the comments

AGT_WHW_Linkup_ButtonIf you have any questions about whether you will see your loved ones in Heaven, you should check out this post by my husband entitled “Will I See My Loved Ones in Heaven?” that he wrote for Ask God Today Ministries.

Speaking of Ask God Today, I’m linking up with other bloggers for our Warm Hearted Wednesday Link-up this week’s topic is Examples of Love. I would love for you to join us there.


Have Fun with Your Family

Harmonica FunHappy New Year! One of my goals this year is to find time to have fun with my family.

Last year my word for the year was “finish”. I had so many unfinished projects that I wanted to focus on finishing some of them. While that was a worthy goal, I found myself finishing things but starting so many things that I became a little overwhelmed with all the tasks left undone by the end of the year.

This year I picked a word that I feel would free me of some of the stress that I find myself under. That word is “boundaries”.

In December, I started reading a really good book entitled Boundaries: When to say Yes How to say No to take control of your life.

That book made me realize that I tend to over volunteer to do things. It’s not anyone else’s fault but my own because I haven’t set clear boundaries in my life to help me know when I need to say “No, I really can’t right now.”

So this year I planned to set some healthy boundaries in my life.

You know the Lord has a sense of humor, I honestly believe, because it really wasn’t part of my plans to hurt my shoulder which forced some boundaries upon me.

It is all good though because I finally went to a local health clinic today and the x-rays show that I didn’t break nor fracture any bones and I still have a good range of motion even though it hurts so with some medicine and gentle exercise I should heal in a few weeks.

harmonica funNow to the fun stuff.

My husband and I got new harmonicas for Christmas and we started a new goal this year. We are going to try to record ourselves playing our harmonicas together each week.

Here is a fun video of me opening my Christmas harmonicas. My husband and kids surprised me by getting me more than just the one harmonica I was expecting.

Here is that video:

I was really surprised. I think the biggest surprise for me was that none, I repeat, NONE of our six children told me about it. They kept it a secret and were very proud of themselves for it too.

Now I know you are waiting to hear us play some so here my husband and I are having fun with our first recording for this year. My husband is playing a Hohner 48 chord harmonica and I’m playing on a Lee Oskar Diatonic harmonica.

And here is our second video. This is after I hurt my arm so it hampered my playing a little bit.

And our latest video together still with my hurt arm. I’m glad to say that I’ve been given the “go ahead” about using my arm so my next video will be less encumbered.

It really is good to find things you enjoy doing with your family.

My husband and I enjoy playing harmonica together. Our younger children enjoy basketball and I will share a post about that in the near future. The important thing is to find something you can do as a family that brings you closer together.

Maybe for your family it is playing games or putting a puzzle together.

What does your family enjoy doing together?

I would love it if you shared what you do together in the comments.



Growing Together A November to Remember

Anastacia_Greyhound_2015November 5, 2015, I stepped out of my comfort zone and traveled by Greyhound bus to Nashville, Tennessee for a meeting with the Ask God Today Ministries team. I’ve been writing with Ask God Today for about a year now and I’m amazed at how God has grown me through being a part of this team. 

I wrote more about that meeting over on today’s Warm Hearted Wednesday Link up which I hope you will check out and join if you have something you would like to share. Link up parties are a great opportunity to meet other like minded bloggers and to share your posts with others. The link up will be open for a week so if you see this a couple of days after it started you can still join in. 

You're Beautiful, Mom!The rest of November just flew by quickly. I am about to launch a new book. If you like the stories I tell about my children and the things they say and do then you’ll really like this book. It’s entitled “You’re Beautiful, Mom! Lessons I’ve Learned from My Children.”

If you would like to help me by being an early reader let me know either by email or in the comments. I will email you an early copy of my book. Some of the things I ask is that you help me catch mistakes if you happen to see any and if you like my book share it with your friends and family once it is available for purchase. 

In return you will receive a free digital copy of my book along with an update to it once it is in it’s final corrected form. You will also be kept in the loop as to the progress of my book and the latest news from my Rock Solid Family.

That has been my work in progress for November. Another thing that happened in November was my agreeing to help coach one of my children’s team in Upward Basketball. I never really imagined myself as Coach Mom before this year. If you remember I also coached in Upward Soccer. Thankfully it’s been the youngest age group so far.

LandofLightsThen I took a break from it all during the week of Thanksgiving. I seriously enjoyed my vacation time. We started our Thanksgiving by visiting my grandmother for Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday morning. Then we went to my parents’ home by way of the Land of Lights in Athens. We enjoyed some special time with my family. 

My husband and I celebrated our 19th anniversary together on Saturday. We were married Thanksgiving day, November 28, 1996. It was interesting to think about the fact that I was 19 when I married Scott and we’re now celebrating our 19th anniversary. Of course my birthday is in December so I was just about to turn 20 so I guess I can’t quite say I’ve been married longer than I was single. That time will come soon enough. And now you know my age. :)

wedding2Scott turned 21 the August before we married. (Now you know how young he is too.) I had a fun time teasing him after his birthday that he robbed the cradle because a 21 year old married a 19 year old. Of course I didn’t acknowledge the point that we were only that far apart by a few months. If we hadn’t moved our wedding date up a month I would have been 20 but that would have ruined the fun. :)

I really like our Thanksgiving anniversary. We usually celebrate our anniversary on Thanksgiving Weekend. This year Scott reserved us a hotel room. Before we stopped at the hotel he bought me a new coat and I got him a new electric razor. We bought ourselves some food and reminisced over those early years and how young we were. 

It was funny how many memories we have that we keep shaking our heads and exclaiming, “We were just kids!” It’s nice that we can look back at many of those past mistakes and laugh. Everything in life is a growing experience. I wonder how many things we’ll laugh about 19 years from now when we look back at our time right now.

If we have grown this much in our first 19 years together I can only imagine how much more we will grow in the next 19. We never plan to stop growing and learning. In fact we are still looking to go to Argentina in the near future. I know we will have some major growth going on when that day comes. 

Do you have some special Thanksgiving memories you would like to share? 

Feel free to share them in the comments and if you want to share with even more people you can share your post in our Warm Hearted Wednesday link up, where our Ask God Today MinistriesContributing Writers and followers can read your post as well.

I’ll be sharing more about my book in an upcoming post.


Who are you talking to?

“Who are you talking to?” Elijah asked.

That is just one of the crazy conversations I had with my kids while I was trying to record myself.

This weekend I worked really hard to make a video for a post at Ask God Today entitled “Anastacia Maness Speaks Out“. It goes along with this month’s series where you get to meet each of the members of the Ask God Today Ministries’ team.

If you are visiting my site from Ask God Today, welcome to my blog. I hope you find some encouragement while you are here.

As promised here are the Out Takes from that video. You can also view the out takes on my YouTube channel.

Be sure to watch this whole video to see my surprise guest.

Tell me in the comments when you find her. 

 If you haven’t already, please go over to Ask God Today and watch the actual video. In it I share a little about myself, my testimony, and my passion. 


Our Eldest Son Answers the Call to Preach

Sunday, September 20, our 17 year old son, Joshua, announced that he felt led of God to preach the gospel. Our church, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, voted to license him to preach and the following Wednesday he preached his first sermon at Fostoria Oaks MBC and Sunday morning his second at New Hope MBC.

I want to share his first two sermons with you all.

The first sermon we recorded the audio from my husband’s phone. Joshua preached from Proverbs 22:6.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Then this past Sunday Joshua preached from Ephesians 2:8-10.

I should explain the background noises that you will hear during Joshua’s second sermon. Since I was recording the sermon on my phone Elisabeth was a little active. She got out of the pew and about half way through Joshua’s sermon you can hear Scott whispering for her to sit down. Then all those kissing noises. That’s her kissing my arms. I tried to quiet her but well, she likes to give kisses. So you get a taste of what it’s like listening to the preaching with a 3 year old.

(If you are reading this in your email and can’t see the video then click here to view the post on the blog or you can watch Joshua’s sermon on YouTube.)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

And this was a shorter sermon. Imagine what Elisabeth does during one of her daddy’s longer ones. 😉

These are Joshua’s first two sermons and I’m looking forward to watching him grow in the ministry. Scott has already started mentoring him. They get up early every Sunday morning to study together at the Church. Scott wants to pass on to Joshua all the things he needs to know to be a successful servant of God.

I’m very proud of my son. I can only imagine the advantage Joshua will have with Scott pouring as much of his Bible knowledge into him before he goes to seminary.

Scott and I both agree that we want our children to grow up and be better than we are. We want them to raise their children better than we have raised them. Yes, we are setting the bar high. We want them to achieve great things and the only way for them to do that is to set high standards for our children.

Hope you enjoyed Joshua’s sermon. 

Would you like to encourage Joshua? Feel free to leave a comment for him or you can email me and I’ll pass the word along.

I also have a post that went live this week over at Ask God Today entitled “Is Jesus Truly God?” I would love it if you would check it out and let me know what you think.



How to Teach Your Kids to Pray

Store bought Eggs are expensive here in Texas. It was nice when we were getting eggs from our neighbors down the road for free. 

IMG_20150825_163753Our 17 year old, Joshua, is our resident chicken expert. He has 8 chickens and studies every book he can get his hands on about chickens. So I asked him why his chickens weren’t laying. He told me that the one chicken that was laying an egg every other day may have been molting. The other chickens he said were possibly too young to lay yet. 

The other day he announced that one of his chickens were actually looking at the nest box. I half jokingly suggested that we should gather around the chicken coop and say a prayer over the chickens that they will start laying eggs. 

Jonathan, our 7 year old, was super excited over my suggestion.

“Yes, Mom! Let’s do it!” he exclaimed. “Please!”

 Now how can you say “no” to a plea like that?

IMG_20150906_124745Joshua was afraid that the seven of us gathering around the chicken coop might scare the chicken away from it. Instead we held hands in a circle in the kitchen while Jonathan led our prayer with the most heartfelt seriousness, despite the giggles of a couple of sisters, who seemed to think praying for chickens was a bit strange.


Even simple prayers answered help build our faith. Click To Tweet

While he prayed I silently prayed a heartfelt prayer of my own that the Lord would please answer Jonathan’s prayer, not for the sake of the eggs because we can live without eggs, but for the sake of my children.

Even simple prayers answered help build our faith.

So I prayed along with my son that God would help build his faith and show him that God still answers prayer.

God likes to hear our prayers, even for something as simple as eggs. Click To Tweet
After the prayer, I encouraged Jonathan that God likes to hear our prayers, even for something as simple as eggs. 

IMG_20150906_125138Guess what they found in the chicken coop the very next morning. Yes, an egg.

Elijah was probably the most excited, “Mom, Dad! Guess what Joshua found in the chicken tractor! An Egg!!! We prayed about it and God gave us an egg!” 

I cheered right along with my son. 

We can build our children’s faith in God by praying with them for things, even the simple things.

We can build our children's faith in God by praying with them for even the simple things. Click To Tweet

Did they lose something? Pray for God to help them find it. 

Did they hurt themselves on something? Say a prayer for them out loud. Ask God to help them feel better.

If you want to see a really good movie on prayer I highly recommend you watch War Room that has recently come out in theaters. My husband and I took our kids to see it and it reminded all of us to pray without ceasing and take our prayer time to the next level. 

Will you start praying with your children today?

If you have a prayer request, please share it with us in the comments or send us an email. We’d love to pray for you.

“Pray without ceasing!” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17


How to Find What is Right When Things Keep Going Wrong


This is our master bathroom while the dryer is out.

Have you ever felt like things were just going wrong all the time. You know, those times when everything around you seems to break and then you catch your kids playing outside in their best dress pants.

Our dishwasher broke a long time ago but we adjusted to washing dishes by hand.

Now more recently our dryer broke two to three weeks ago or so. (And it did happen during the rainiest season we’ve had in five years, so hanging the clothes outside hasn’t really been an option.) Continue Reading →


Mission Argentina in God’s Time

Many people have been asking us about our plans for Argentina.

Are we still going? Yes, we still feel that is where God is leading us.

My husband, Scott, has put together this video about our plans.

If you are reading this by email  and can’t see the video you can click on the link to watch it on our Rock Solid Family site or on YouTube.

We are still planning to go to Argentina and are patiently waiting for a church to send us.

I have added a Mission Argentina page on the menu of our site where I list all of our Argentina posts thus far and will post updates for anyone that is wanting to read more.

God already knows who our sending Church will be. Now we are waiting patiently for His timing.

Will you pray with us? 

As always we would love to hear from you. Please share any questions you have in the comments or you can reply by email.


Patience when Discouraged

handsgardeninkI was discouraged. That may be hard to believe that I would get discouraged but I was. I volunteered to write too many posts too close together. There was a deadline and my family’s needs weren’t moving over for me to feel that inspired. You probably read the post I wrote last Friday about Jesus taking care of his mother from the cross. That one I was able to post early. Then I went ahead and volunteered to write one entitled “Put on Compassion” for the following Monday. That was a hard one to write and I almost gave up. I was burning out and I felt it. I was about to ask someone else if they would write the 3rd post I volunteered for on Patience but my husband said that it was only one more post and he knew I could do it. So I didn’t give up. I held on.

Then a friend sent me a message telling me that she noticed I sounded discouraged in one of my comments in the group and she had prayed for me. Then she shared with me a verse that came to her mind while she was praying for me. I made the above picture from the verse she gave to me. 

“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

That verse gave me the encouragement I needed to not lose heart and I managed to write my 3rd and favorite post for this month on patience.
Have you ever felt like you needed more patience? I have. 

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” (Romans 5:3, KJV)

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3, NKJV)

If you would like to learn how to improve your patience, check out my post 5 Steps to Improve Patience over at Ask God Today Ministries. That is the last post I am signed up to write over there for this month.

So I’m going to start my Frequently Asked Questions series here at Rock Solid Family this coming week. Do you have any questions you would like me to answer? let me know in the comments or by email. I’m looking forward to sharing more about myself and my family with you.




Finding Family from the Cross

Today I have a post up at Ask God Today. Here is an excerpt:

Have you ever gone through something extremely painful?
I’m not sure about you, but when I’m in pain I tend to think about myself and how to get out of the painful situation. If I saw my family, I would want them to help me feel better.
Jesus was dying a cruel death of pain and suffocation on the cross but He didn’t focus on how to relieve His pain. Instead, He looked down from the cross and saw His mother.

Cross on Hill w:text

Watercolor painting by my husband, Scott Maness

You can find family throughout the Bible, even while Jesus was dying on the cross. You can read Jesus Shows Love from the Cross over on Ask God Today.

This coming week I’ll be sharing my first FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) post. Feel free to ask me any questions. You can ask them in the comments or contact me by email.

Monday, I will have another post going live at Ask God Today. I’ll be sharing that link with you as soon as it is available.

I pray you have a blessed weekend celebrating Christ’s resurrection with your family.