TODAY THE WORDS are I DON’T NEED MY PRESENTS WRAPPED. Sometimes, the topic for the blog comes out of nowhere but this one came about when Greg and I were discussing we had the presents wrapped or in gift bags as we always do. It is an inside family joke for everyone to save their bags as they will see them again next year. This got me to thinking because my most precious gifts I have ever received don’t need wrapping as I can see them clearly.I thought I would share my “favorite” things with all of you.
1) My daughter who came into my life and changed it forever for the better. She is such a joy for me to be called her Mom. Each call, each visit, each card, and each hug is so precious to me. No diamond on this earth can compare with her brilliance. I would not want her beauty to be hid under some wrapping paper as I love to see her beautiful blue eyes and her million dollar smile and nothing can compare with the “I love you bunches” from her on a text.
2) Even though my wonderful husband came later in my life; he has made up for lost time and made a woman who wondered if true love existed a true believer. We laugh, we cry together, we tease each other, and we can take whatever life throws at us because we know we will get through it together. He had me at hello; I never want to say goodbye. He is the head of our household and what I appreciate is he wants my input. Oh, he will argue and say I run the ship but he knows how much I value his “take charge” attitude. He didn’t ride in on a white horse but he certainly fits my Prince Charming and I know him; he would never agree to hide in a box so I love his strength; I love his caring self; and I love he will go to anyone’s rescue.
3) My sister is so precious to me. She is my link to our family which has shrunk. She is my link to my childhood. She is my friend and she is so beautiful to me. Now, I could see her letting me string her up with ribbons so we could laugh together but I had rather just stick a bow on her head and giggle together but I would want to see her face. Her family is my family. Her husband is my “brother” instead of an in-law. Her children have always been more to me than niece and nephew. No, I want her out where I can see her and say to her how much I love her and her family.

4) My extended family, and I say kidding, have been extending into a great family. I have been blessed to add two sons to my list of children and I know I am their step mom and they have a good mom but they seem like mine in so many ways. Both of the sons have given us six wonderful grandsons and now Cory and Teddie have added our first granddaughter and let me assure you; they would never stay still long enough to wrap them. Each one of them bring us so much joy and individuality. Both sons are blessed to have loving young ladies by their side and all in all, it may be a little rowdy when we get together but I wouldn’t want it any other way. My extended family has added a sister Berta and brother Gordon with his precious wife Martha who I have grown to love them as they are now my family. Family is so important and my immediate family has shrunk but God favored me and made my family larger in so many ways and I thank Him.

5) My relatives and friends are too plentiful to fit in any container except my heart. I love all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and some who may not be blood relatives but have come to be dear to me. I have been blessed to re-connect with so many classmates and friends from years ago. I feel they are like added ornaments to our family tree and fill in the missing spaces.
6) Our little pet,  Buster, who shows us unconditional love and mischief. He provides us with stories and adventures to talk about without judging us. I might want to put Buster in a box to keep him out of trouble but I couldn’t do without him. We also share fond memories of pets we were also blessed to have for a while, Bandit and Whiskers who left their paw prints on our hearts are truly missed.
Buster and Bandit (two love bugs)

The one and only Whiskers at Halloween

Now for the deeper thought…..When I think about my precious gifts, I have to be thankful with all of my heart for the Giver of All Gifts and Blessings……Our God; Our Creator; Our Higher Power; and The One who Gave Us the reason we celebrate Christmas as He loved Us So Much He Gave His Only Begotten Son so we can live. No gift is more precious than His Christmas Gift to Us.


James 1:17 ESV 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to the original location for reference credit.


TODAY THE WORDS are FIT AS A FIDDLE. Most of us have heard the ole phrase, “fit as a fiddle” and I never knew what that was supposed to mean or why a fiddle was used. This phrase was used in the 1600’s to describe a servant that was qualified to do her job. Of course the ‘fiddle’ here is the colloquial name for violin. ‘Fit’ didn’t originally mean healthy and energetic, in the sense it is often used nowadays to describe the inhabitants of gyms. When this phrase was coined ‘fit’ was used to mean ‘suitable, seemly’, in the way we now might say ‘fit for purpose’. It somehow, when I was young, was used to describe someone in very good physical fitness, so therefore, the switch of meaning to this phrase. This morning I am taking a third switch so come along with me. Have you ever looked at a fiddle or violin closely? It is the crafting of this fine instrument that I want to share thoughts. A violinist craftsman’s wife wrote that the minimum time it takes her husband to build a violin is 250 hours of intense work to make it. Others say a slighter number of 160 hours. Either way, this is a difficult, painstaking work of art and musical enchantment for all listeners. We have seen many fine fiddlers and from observing, it takes talent and a lot of energy to play this instrument. Now for the deeper thought and why this subject on a cold Saturday morning……Have you ever thought about what makes the difference between a fiddle and a violin? Nothing, except what kind of music is played using it……simple, right? When we think of a violin, we think orchestra, classical music, romantic genre. When we think of a fiddle, we think bluegrass, down home music, foot stomping or rowdy crowds. We are born as a possible violin or fiddle (same instrument) by the most creative maker ever and then it is up to us what music we want the musician (being life) to play thus defining which one we become, fiddle or violin. We can be more refined and have a desire to be more classical or we can love the down home music and be comfortable in jeans. What is important, is we are still the same instrument from God’s hands so one doesn’t have to be “all fancy” or nothing is wrong with being “down home country”. God loves us all the same. So whether you are comfortable as a violin or a fiddle, we should try to stay “fit as a fiddle (or a violin) and that means “fit for the purpose” we were designed to be. Make some music in your hearts today and whether it is a concert or a hoe down, show love in all you do.
Psalm 101:1
A Psalm of David. I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.



Olive tree (Image)

TODAY THE WORDS are OUT ON A LIMB.  How many of us, when we were children, climbed a tree and sat on a limb? We seemed so fearless in those days and climbed, swung, hung by our heels, and thought we could fly at times. It amazes me when I reflect on those times how few broken bones came from those adventures. If now, we would see a child climbing like we did, we would freeze in fear and try to get them to climb down. Is the reality of fear the difference; we didn’t see fear then; we see fear now? Do any of you remember how farther it seemed that we could see from the limb than from the ground? It was empowering to say the least. Was it fearlessness or a lack of experience of how dangerous it could have been? One weak limb and down we could have fallen to the ground. We laughed and encouraged each other to climb higher or go farther out on the limb. Now for the deeper thought…..in our lives are we willing to go “out on a limb” for each other? How many times do we care enough to do something for someone that is unexpected? Do we listen with caring ears when someone is sharing painful thoughts or do we just “uh huh” them to death? Do we ask what we can do to help? Do we volunteer our help without having to get in all of their business? Do we go “out on a limb” for a stranger in need? I saw a news flash about a boy that when he was only 7 years old and had seen a homeless man with a sign that read “Need a meal” has built an organizational food bank with his friends (same age) and has raised over $20,000 and is definitely a person who has gone “out on a limb”. I heard his words and they stuck with me, “You are never too tall or too small to make a difference”. I want to be even more willing to help others and climb high enough to see the ones in the distance that can use our help and crawl out on the limb! Have a day that allows you to go “out on a limb” for someone who needs our help. If you are out on the limb needing help, find trust and hope in God as He is the Power who encourages us to go out on the limb to help you.

Romans 11:17
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.


TODAY THE WORDS are GOOD TO GO. There are many times during our lives that we have to evaluate a situation, assess the conditions, and give the “good to go” signal. Whether it is in our work, our family, our community, and/or our country; we either give our approval or disapproval on many areas of life. I have heard that as we age, our minds go to younger days and my mind must not be any different as I walk that memory lane many times. This morning, it went to our early childhood races with each other. They weren’t long distance races and were more short sprints. We would line up against our “opponents” who were usually our best buddies. We were determined, we dug our feet firmly to get a good jumping start, and we waited for the “Ready, set, GO!! In those races, we didn’t have any formal training, we just ran our hearts out! Did we evaluate any situation, or assess any conditions; I don’t think it ever occurred to us. We just ran! Sometimes in our adult life, we try to hard to assess, evaluate, and spend entirely too much time on getting a “good to go” signal from others. We worry, we fret, we take everyone’s opinion too highly. There are days we just need to run! Let go and run. We need the escapes, the fun, the silly moments of not caring how we look or feel and live life. God has set the guidelines of truth, devotion, and love for us to follow but do we think we have to be so serious every minute of every day. Now, I believe with all of my heart God has the best sense of humor in the universe. He gave us the blessing of laughing so here is the deeper thought…..the real good to go signal in life is to let go and have a good laugh at ourselves. Laugh with others and not at them; but laughter is the best medicine that God has given us. The “good to go” signal should be used only to evaluate our expression of faith and how we live up to God’s standards. God is the One who is in charge of this world’s “good to go” signal and He is in control. As long as I believe and live my beliefs; I can relax as I understand “God’s got this!” Let us run, laugh, and live!

Hebrews 12:1
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.



TODAY THE WORDS are LAST CALL. For all of us who have had our lives changed, might remember the old partying days when “last call” was for the last sale of alcohol at the bar. It might seem a little strange for this to be a topic, but when it comes to my mind first thing in the morning, I do not hesitate to write on this subject. Last call could mean a lot of other things and that is the focus. If we are going about our daily lives, and some may still be out partying and this is definitely their choice; we are experiencing a lot of last calls in a lot of ways. When we receive the notification of a loved one who has passed, we automatically go to the “last” time we spoke with them, laughed with them or cried with them. “Last time” becomes very important as it is the last opportunity to share times with them on this earth. When a person changes a job, there is always the last day of work, sometimes a celebration and sometimes sad. When a marriage falls apart and people divorce, there is that last day when the divorce is final and it is usually, and rightfully so should be, sad for all. When children graduate from school or college, it is the last time of youthfulness and they become adults. In other words we experience a lot of “last calls” in our lifetime. Now for the deeper thought…..we will experience a last call in this life (unless we make it to the rapture). There will be a day that no other earthly day will occur. Our Maker will make the “last call” for us and call us home. No one knows exactly when this will happen unless we are marked with a terminal illness which gives us somewhat of a timeline. We listen to the news and it is constantly full of people who are taken because of some unforeseen tragedy or accident. They left their homes that morning or later, and had no idea this would be their “last call” day. Anything they needed to do before their life would end would either be completed before their departure or left undone. Anything needed to be said to a loved one would either have been said or never uttered. I do not believe in gloom and doom; I believe in eternity with happiness and peace. I believe in loved ones who express after a loved ones death their belief in where their loved ones are….Heaven at peace and forever happy! Think about today and if today is our last call; may we have lived our lives in a pleasing way; have loved with all of our hearts both to God and our loved ones; and may we smile when we hear “last call” as we know our destination.

(Job 14:5)
“You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.”

(c) copyright 2012 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.

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