Wednesday, December 23, 2015

5 Traits you need to be "Highly Favored" by God

highly favored
 "I can never be like Mary. She is the mother of Jesus!"
Is that what your brain screamed inside your head when you read Five Traits you need to be "Highly Favored" by God? You may be more like Mary than you think. Mary was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary purpose. No, we will never be the mother of Jesus but we are definitely part of his spiritual genealogy making it possible for us to be "highly favored" by God. According to my understanding of Scripture, here are five of the traits we need:
  1. Be a Virgin. Luke 1:27 ".....and the virgin's name was Mary." Impossible, right? Not exactly. If you have experienced rebirth through Jesus, you are a virgin. You possess the pristine untouched, untainted, flawless spirit of Christ. You are adorned in your bridal gown awaiting your bridegroom.
  2. Pay Attention to God's Messenger. Luke 1:28-29 "And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him..." Can you imagine if Mary had ignored the angel that particular day? Hebrews 13:2 assures us there are angels among us if only we would entertain strangers and be aware.
  3. Fearless. Luke 1:30 "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary..." Now, this was a situation stirring up some fear. Mary was in an unconsummated marriage; PREGNANT! I understand why she might be afraid. She trusted, believed and delivered to the world a savior. 
  4. Be Inquisitive. Luke 1:34 "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" It is okay to ask some questions, even of God. He doesn't expect us to accept status quo, rather, he instructs us to make sure we are following his commands. I John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
  5. Be Obedient. Luke 1:38 "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word..." Mary accepted her calling with grace and humbleness.
No. We are not Mary. We are not the mother of Jesus. But, I am his child. Are you? And, who doesn't favor their children?

Seeking His approval,
The Happy Handicap

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hanging by a Holiday Thread

christmas ornaments
I've had a stressful few days. Too much to do with not much time to get it done. Can you relate? Lisette wanted to play yesterday. I stopped everything I should have been doing and played! I forgot my pending folder to share an hour with my precious granddaughter. We can never relive that day or hour. Day 747 of her life and Day 19046 of my life are gone, but the joy of that half hour is imprinted on our memories forever.

As I lay pretzel-shaped on a narrow step (because she wanted me to), the ornaments on my Christmas tree caught my attention. My new polka dot balls hang by a twine thread. I pondered how each ornament needed help getting hung on the tree.They need support from their thread or hanger to keep them on the tree. And, occasionally an ornament falls off the tree. If the fallen ornament isn't picked up by someone and rehung, it lies helpless under the tree until rescued and replaced.

We are so much like the ornaments on a Christmas tree. We need help and support. We can convince ourselves that we can go it alone, but God didn't think so. Genesis 2:18 says "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." Some days I feel like an ornament hanging by a thread vulnerable to the smallest ripple of life. I create my own susceptibility to destruction by refusing help. Do you?

Have you ever been looking at your tree when, for no apparent reason, an ornament falls to the ground? I have. I can hear the hurt as the ornament scrapes through artificial tree needles. We are no different. Sometimes, for no known reason, we lose our support and hit bottom. Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

During this Christmas season, take a new look at your tree ornaments. They are beautiful yet helpless. Do you know anyone in this condition? Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. In other words, don't leave someone hanging by a thread.

Feeling ornamental,
The Happy Handicap

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Your Christmas Chord

christmas heart
I know just enough about music to NOT play the piano well. I can read music fast enough to produce the melody of a song leaving out notes making the music sound empty. I consider myself musically reckless!  I feel a little "under the gun" writing this particular article today with my daughter being a music educator. Alas, I hope you enjoy this brief music lesson.

There are four types of music chords; major, minor, augmented and diminished. I want to talk about the first two, major and minor. Major means greater. Minor means lesser. Chord structure sets the tone of a song. For example, major chords produce generally happy sounding songs while minor chords are used to create a dark or sinister mood in a song. Then, there's timing which also plays an important role in a song's personality. I'll not go there because I can see Sloane shaking her head and nervously screaming "NO!!". My timing is brutally off, all wrong according to music theory and Sloane!

Hark the Herald Angels Sing is written in a major chord. The song is upbeat and happy.God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is written in a minor chord. The song is serious with an almost unhappy sound. You can hear immediately the vast difference between major and minor chord structure in these popular Christmas carols. Consider this music knowledge and examine your heart this Christmas. Is your heart singing a major tune, happy and joyous or is it moaning a minor song with despair and darkness? Your heart song matters. People can almost instantly know the condition of your heart by the words that flow from your mouth, thus, the song you sing.

Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord (a chord), of one mind. See, you know more about music than you thought. Chords hold major importance on our most minor days!

Majoring in Heart,
The Happy Handicap

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mom-ism Monday #16

wizard of oz scarecrow

My Mom always says I don't have any common sense. I'm beginning to believe her. As I age, I find I do weird things, can't remember nothing and generally complete tasks differently than I used to. I even said mom-ism #16 about myself last week!

I've never known exactly what "If you had a brain, you'd set up with it!" means but I deduct it means, If I had any smarts, I'd be so proud, I would sit up in amazement with my brain? Take it however you like. The old saying is funny! Have you heard it?

Some of the frequent things I do that causes me to wonder if I have a brain:
  • Hunt my glasses when I have them resting on my head
  • Freak out because I've lost my cell phone and I'm talking on it
  • Put something up so I'll know where it is and can't find it
The other day I was cutting out letters to sew my granddaughter's name on a table runner. I threw the letters I had just cut in the trash while cleaning up. This made me wonder if I have a brain anymore!

wizard of oz scarecrow

Leave me a comment and share one absent-brained thing you do!

Setting up,
The Happy Handicap

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Power of Thankfulness

Admit it. You enjoy being thanked. We actually expect it. We become deflated, wilted if thanks are withheld from us. Giving thanks and receiving it is more than courtesy taught by your parents. Thankfulness is an expression of the heart. Joy shared from one being to another invoked by sincere gratitude.

God gives us power in many ways. His power. I know you. You just thought,  "Well, I don't have any of God's power." Actually, yes you do. Imagine this. You notice a family member, co-worker or friend looking sad. The stress of life is visibly compressed in the lines on their frowning face. God sends you a memory of them. You smile as you remember the compliment. You walk over to them and say, "Thank you for being you!". They turn quickly answering, "What did I do?" You explain the time they gave you a compliment on the very day you needed it the most. A brilliant smile replaces the burdensome look on your friend's face. Amazingly, instant joy and contentment! God just used you to give power to the faint! Your one simple kind act also increased your friend's strength! They have the power to make it the rest of the day, week, maybe even month. Can you believe that? Have you ever thought about serving God in this manner? One of the easiest ways to see God's power at work is through thankfulness.

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Isaiah 40:28-30 Life is a puzzle to us that God is fitting together one piece at a time. We may not think small actions are important. They are! There is no searching of his understanding. We must simply be obedient and follow his instruction.

During this planned season of thankfulness, strive to exercise God's power in you. Tell the man at the shelter, "Thank you for coming to eat this meal." Tell your children at the dinner table "Thank you for spending this time with me."  Everyone wants to be thanked, especially God. Here's a catchy phrase to help you remember you are God's workmanship and he wants to use you in the smallest yet mighty way.
Purpose the Power you Possess! 

In His Power,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Five Things Christians Should Learn From Veterans

photo credit:

Thank you to each and every man or woman, past and present, who has served in any branch of the United States Armed Forces. I personally can never repay you or thank you enough for your sacrifice.

As I reflect on Veteran's Day this November 11th, 2015, I quickly recognize so many things Christians should learn from veterans. Please allow me to share five:
  1. Train for your service. Soldiers have to make it through Basic Training before they enter the battle. 2 Timothy 2:15 says "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." You cannot battle the enemy without adequate training. 
  2. Willing and ready to fight. A true soldier stands armed and ready to do their job. Philemon 1:14...., that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
  3. Unashamed. Soldiers don't challenge orders and act responsibly. Psalm 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
  4. Stick together. Once a soldier always a soldier. There's a special bond between the band of brothers. Psalm 34:3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
  5. Love their fellow man. Soldiers love people above themselves even unto death. I John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Happy Veteran's Day!

So thankful for freedom,
The Happy Handicap

Friday, November 6, 2015

Nobody Comes


Rana Elyse Mashburn (12/03/1997 - 10/22/2015) continues to impact my life daily. I followed her recent journey with HLH from Day 1 - July 13, 2015. The calendar makes her journey seem short. Rana's courage and words make her journey everlasting.

I read this note written by Rana shared by her mom on September 24th. (Please take a moment to read the entire passage if you did not already.)  I felt the anguish Rana was experiencing trying to understand and cope with the situation, her circumstances. Hundreds of miles from home in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people, except her Mom. Her words won't leave me. "Nobody comes." 

You and I know what Rana meant. People were coming. I saw visits posted on facebook. She knew people were coming also. Those closest to her were there every possible time they could be. Her mother never left her. I believe Rana was sad because her extended family and friends didn't visit her for whatever reason. It was a critical time in her life. She knew more than us. She couldn't wait.

God used Rana's words to show me his heart. He said, "She's right. Nobody comes." As I began to ponder the phrase, the magnitude of  "Nobody comes" enveloped my mind and sank into the depths of my heart. Jesus shares...

Every time people worship me in public places, those closest to me are there every possible time they can be. I am sad because those who need me as Savior, those who have accepted me but not totally dedicated their lives, those who have turned their back on me, those who say they know me but don't, those I died for never comes. Nobody comes. My Father has never left me.

It is a critical time in all our lives. Praise God. Jesus waits... 

The Happy Handicap

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trunk or Treat Idea: Alice in Wonderland

We're All MAD Here!

the mad hatter
Alice, The Queen of Hearts and The Mad Hatter
My daughter and I decided to decorate a trunk this year for our church Trunk or Treat Night. I looked at a lot of great ideas on Pinterest. Then, I had one myself. I love to do over-the-top, super imaginative stuff so I came up with Alice in Wonderland. So simple and turned out beautifully. This trunk works best in an SUV type vehicle.

What you'll need for The Trunk:

  • a psychedelic brightly colored fleece blanket or towel
  • stuffed white rabbit 
  • teapot, sugar/creamer and a couple of tea cups with saucers
  • printed directional signs taped to a cardboard post (see pic below)
  • bucket with rocks to stationary cardboard post
  • cardboard and white paper for clock
  • string of 50 Christmas lights (optional)
  • large butterflies or flowers (My butterflies are about 10 years old. They were so pretty I hated to throw them away so I stapled them to our garage wall. I KNEW they'd come in handy one day!)
  • printed cheshire cat taped to cardboard for stability
Here are some examples of our trunk: 
trunk or treat idea
Before adding the sheet that doubled as a tablecloth,  the tea pot and lights.
alice in wonderland trunk or treat
The trunk lighted after dark with my precious granddaughter enjoying the ambiance!
The homemade costumes added extreme excitement and some fright to our trunk.
mad hatter and alice
alice in wonderland

So MUCH Fun!

A brief summary on making the Queen of Hearts costume. I took an old long skirt slit the front and sewed in 2/3 yards of the silk "royal" looking fabric I found at Walmart for $3. I took an old black t-shirt and sewed in the pouf sleeves using a rubber band to keep them in place. You can sew or glue the felt heart on the front. The red gloves are from Walmart Halloween section. Added some costume jewelry, a crown, makeup and red paint on my hair. I got the skirt to look full by wearing my daughters' stand out slip (kids size 10-12). I didn't think I was a hoarder until I pulled that slip out of the cedar chest! 

I hope this gives you an idea of how to create your own Alice in Wonderland Trunk or Treat. If you have questions on any of this, please feel free to email me at or comment below. I'll be happy to help you create your own fairy tale any way I can!

Not coming out of the Rabbit Hole,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Exemplifying Christ

Rana Elyse Mashburn, 17, received her wings Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, from Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), an auto immune disease in which a person’s immune system will attack its own tissues and organs.

Her mother Kathy writes in her obituary, Rana was a brave and faithful warrior for Jesus Christ, and I'm honored He found favor in healing her of this awful disease. She fought a courageous fight from day one and she never once stopped thinking of everyone else. She participated in several research studies and procedures in hopes others would be successful in like battles. Rana witnessed many times about her love of God and her salvation. She spoke and wrote more than once of talking to God and Randy, and I know she did. I believe she flew swiftly with wings to be with them in God's paradise. I am thankful she is in Heaven, and I praise God for calling her to an eternal life without sickness or sorrow. If anyone should not believe in God, remember Rana's battle, because she lived victoriously and loved unconditionally. She lived #RanaStrong! Celebrate her with love and happiness because that's what she would want. My heart breaks, but my soul sings, "How Great Thou Art!" God is faithful and He has blessed me beyond what I deserve. Rana was a gift I treasured, and I will love her forever!

The picture above shows a couple of things Rana said and asked while she was intubated for several months. "I actually have been praying for a testimony that God would use me." This gives me chills that a 17-year-old would be this wise and forthright about her living (and dying) sacrifice for Jesus. I can only hope to be so selfless.

Matthew 10:37-39 

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Rana was a good disciple worthy of Him. She is #JesusStrong.  I dedicate this blog to her. May her memory and testimony speak forever. #ranastrong

In loving tribute,
The Happy Handicap

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Five ways Jesus "remodels" us

under construction

2 Corinthians 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification and not to destruction. This verse reminds us how powerful words are; they tear down or build up. But today, as I pondered tearing down and building up, I saw a different picture.

I enjoy remodeling houses. Some people reading this are chuckling under their breaths because that may be an understatement. Our house is 30 years old and I admit to remodeling several times since building in 1985.  My problem is I see potential EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING! My question to skeptical people who want to leave well enough alone, "Is maximizing potential wrong? Where some see old and used up, I see new life.

Jesus was a carpenter by trade. A carpenter who physically built houses. Jesus works in our lives spiritually and sometimes physically still using his God-given building skills. He...

1. Tears down walls. Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

2. Builds up. Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

3. Lays a firm foundation. Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

4. Has building codes. Matthew 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

5. Satisfies the inspector. I John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus uses his master carpenter tools to maximize our potential. You may be or feel old and used up but Jesus can give you new life. Aren't you glad he sees potential in you?

Under construction,
The Happy Handicap

Sunday, October 18, 2015

WARNING: Revelations are addictive!

mighty things

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported in 2013, 86.8 percent of people ages 18 and older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. Substance abuse is prevalent but not the only addiction people struggle with. There are also behavioral addictions like gambling, food, sex, video games and work. I'm surprised my picture wasn't beside the definition of food addiction. I see me there in my t-shirt with my bloomers shining digging in the pantry at midnight!

I love the powerful truth in Jeremiah 33:3. Many years ago I began seeking God's revelations. Do you? Read it again and soak it up. 


Is that exciting or what? It is THE addiction I don't want to recover from! God's truth doesn't cause any adverse reactions; no hangovers, no fear of overdose, doesn't make me overweight or doesn't cost me money. I don't need a counselor to discuss it with me, God is my counselor!

If you've been looking for something to improve your quality of life, THIS IS IT! One of my favorite, all-time can't forget sermons by my favorite, all-time can't forget pastor is entitled "Are you addicted to Jesus?" YES, I AM! I crave his enlightenment. I live for his joy! I have withdrawals if he doesn't tell me great and mighty things! I have to have his fix! Try Him. Before you know it, you'll be calling on Jesus every day to guide you to make life-changing decisions or complete simple everyday tasks and then you'll be giving him praise every time YOU call and HE answers!

That same pastor used to say "I know a few things!" He'd go on to tell that Jesus had told him some things and you wouldn't change his mind about it unless Jesus told him different. I understand what he means. Jeremiah 33:3. I know many great and mighty things which I did not know until Jesus told me. Godly revelations are nothing short of amazing. I'm gonna call them a..... "Hi from the Most High!"

Jesus is THE BEST addiction ever. Are you addicted? 

Not gonna recover,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Re-prioritizing Busy

no guilt
God spoke to me when I read this quote posted by my bff Angie on Facebook.  If God asked you to list the three biggest priorities in your life, what would they be? I expect the "Christian" answer might be (1) God, (2) Family and (3) Work. Then I expect God might look puzzled and say "Really? I thought busy is your number one priority!" We get so "busy" following the routines we've learned, believing them to be necessary that we miss "that good part".

We, the self-proclaimed God-followers, have gotten some things turned backward from the way the Bible instructs. We have been taught by our religious entities or church that serving God includes working our fingers to the bones on programs, dinners and such. In short, busywork! Is "busy" what God wants from us? Does he want us to feel guilty saying no to church work?

Luke 10:1-9 tells us Jesus sent 70 laborers into the field because the harvest is great. These appointed workers were instructed to go into a house, empty-handed and speak peace upon the house. Whether peace is there or not, remain in the chosen house eating what is offered. Go not from house to house. Heal the sick in the house and tell them "The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." Here's the things I notice about these paraphrased scriptures and maybe how we should apply them today:
  1. The workers went to the people. They weren't told to go to church and wait for folks to come to them. They didn't go to church and pray or hope that God would bring new people to them. God sent them to the people.
  2. They went empty-handed without purse, bag or shoes and were told to not speak to anyone on their way. I believe this allowed the workers to remain anonymous and humble so when the workers left, the people of the house wouldn't remember them but rather remember they had been visited by God. Sometimes we are so adorned with "stuff" that's all people see.
  3. Visit with the people of the house you're in, whether they are at peace or not. Stay awhile. You want Jesus to take time with you, right? I do! I want him by my side in the sunshine and the rain.
  4. The people of the house feed you. Hot dogs and hamburgers weren't advertised to get people to God. Rather, God went to the people and they were deservingly fed for their labor. 
  5. Heal the sick. Can we heal? Absolutely. The power of God through his Word can heal. These laborers simply said nine words, "The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."
What was the outcome of these visits? Luke 10:17 says "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name." AMAZING! (Please take a minute and read Luke 10) 

Still busy? Still struggling to put some of the church work aside? Still feel guilty saying no because Jesus would be disappointed? Ask yourself this question: Are you disappointing Jesus, yourself or someone else? Then, let's look at the end of Luke 10 where Jesus visits two sisters, Mary and Martha. MARTHA IS BUSY! She even tattles on Mary hoping Jesus would tell her sister to get up and help her. Instead, Jesus tries to show Martha that it is more important to seek his words and sit at his feet than all her busywork. Mary chose that good part which is needful and cannot be taken away from her. Can we effectively serve God by SITTING at his feet? Yes!

We need to re-prioritize and quit all the busywork. I used to run around like a crazy person trying to help keep everything going at church. Don't get me wrong. God's church needs workers. I'm just not sure we're going about it correctly. And, God can keep things going with or without us. It became a pride thing for me which is sinful. "I did this and I did that and I did that too!" Jesus does the work, not "I" or you. We can't work enough to please Jesus. He doesn't require it. Salvation is guilt-free.

If we don't remove our own guilt, sit at his feet enjoying his majesty and rest a bit, we may find ourselves like Peter and the other disciples. When Jesus needed them most, in a garden at the most critical point of his short life, we'll be exhausted and asleep! I would hate to disappoint Jesus when he is counting on me and hear him say "What, could ye not watch with me one hour?" 

The Happy Handicap

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Never heard of it!

september is lymphoma awareness month
We live in such a small, great big world! Until March 2012, I had never heard of the disease pulmonary fibrosis. That's the day my husband was diagnosed. Aggressive monster that sucks the air right out of your lungs so you can't breathe. The disease causes scar tissue to harden your air sacs so the lungs can't diffuse oxygen to the body. There is no cure. Finally, this year, the FDA has approved two medicines to treat or slow down the progression of the disease. Lung transplantation is the only way to survive. Praise Jesus, my husband seems stable three years post-diagnosis.

I shared a story recently about Rana Mashburn who was just diagnosed with HLH or Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis. I had never heard of this disease until she was diagnosed in July 2015. She continues to fight for her life at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Follow her journey on Facebook. #ranastrong

Not everyone enters this world healthy, safe or loved.

I had never heard of  Patience Brewster and their cause. The backbone of this company lost a dear family member to Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. At 26 years old, Holland, a beautiful son and brother lost his battle with this aggressive cancer.

I bet this family had never thought about blood cancer, researched them or knew how to spell lymphoma before the Stage 4 Hodgkin's invaded their world and changed their lives forever. September is Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month. In honor of Holland, I want to help raise awareness about this disease by introducing you to Patience Brewster and the special Christmas ornament Holland's mom makes every year to raise funding to find a cure for blood cancers.This years ornament is Huck Raccoon. It's so darling we all need one or 12 for our tree!

Please click over and take a moment to read their story and purchase an ornament. You never know when Leukemia or Lymphoma may become the center of your attention. You may have never heard of it, but trust me, when you do, it will become your all-consuming passion just like the passion Patience Brewster embraces for raising awareness and funding research in memory of Holland.

Supporting LLS Awareness,
The Happy Handicap

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Truth about Cauliflower

fake rice
Cauliflower Fried Rice
My family loves Fried Rice. I made them the impostor above. I hope you agree the dish looks amazingly just like fried rice. Pampered Chef has a new product, the Veggie Strip Maker, that easily strips cauliflower into those small rice-like pieces. Yes folks, that is fried cauliflower cooked like fried rice. Steve didn't recognize the cauliflower taste until I let him in on my secret. I was blown away by the delicious dish, low carb and almost zero Weight Watcher points! I'm not a "real" chef but I do have extensive experience cooking and I'm really unsure if I would've known it was cauliflower if someone else had cooked it for me.

During dinner that night, God began to point out some things to me about this meal. I'd like to share them with you. As you read the bullet points below, consider Matthew 24:4-5 "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." 
  • The cauliflower looks impressively like rice but it is not rice.
  • The cauliflower tastes deliciously like rice but it is not rice.
  • The cauliflower has low calories and carbs and will not satisfy hunger like rice.
  • Cauliflower and rice are deceptively the same color.
  • Cauliflower costs more without the same benefits.

Matthew 24:24 says "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

After reading this, I hope you never look at cauliflower quite the same way. May the vegetable remind you that all things are not as they appear. Be careful with your choices. You can always spit out cauliflower and eat some rice. What you don't want is to get spit out by God. Ketchup looks impressively like blood but it is not!

Seeking truth,
The Happy Handicap

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Everyone wears Designer Labels

Labels are important. People yearn to be known by wearing expensive clothing, driving luxury brand cars and living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. I've experienced "sticker shock" on Rodeo Drive, in the NYC and Paris, France! I'm not sure things are worth their price.

Have you ever considered you are a Designer Label? Jeremiah 1:5 says "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." How SPECIAL are you?  I was born in 1963. Tammy Dennease Parker born October 2, 1963. I was more than one hundred and sixty-three years in the making. Today's top designers like Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton don't even live that long. God prepared me and you especially for our specific days to be born. 

Think about it. Before anything was, you were already known by God. You are more valuable than the most expensive name in the world for many reasons:
  • You are priceless. No amount of money could have produced your label...only God.
  • You are unique. There will never be another you, even twins are genetically different in some way.
  • You are an original. You cannot be copied or reproduced, even in a test tube.
  • You will never go "out-of-style". Your design is always valuable even when growing old and becoming dated.
  • You are "out-of-this-world" perfect. Your design is eternal.
Wear and represent your label honorably. Stars on the red carpet are quick to blurt out the name of their designer for the world to envy. We should be as quick and proud to tell the world about our designer. His label is the most desirable ever. His son, JChrist carries on his legacy. Our label maker is richer than Versace and more famous than Dolce & Gabbana.

Supremely designed,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It Could Happen to You

autoimmune disorder
8/18/15 - When you love someone, you love every part of them...even great sickness. 

This morning as I lay with Rana, I find myself thinking about all we've been through together and all things that may come. Kissing her precious bald head and holding her weak hand, I soak in this moment as she nuzzles closer to me to find comfort and safety. Tears of gratitude stream down my face as I pray silently to God on her behalf as waves of nausea pass. I know God hears me because I feel his presence. Laying my hand on Rana, I claim victory in Jesus and I thank him for walking with us in this season. I rebuke Satan over and over again because I am faithfully believing God is able to heal her to his glory. I will not give up the fight and I will not stop praying because to do anything else is impossible for my heart to understand. 

My dear friend Kathy Mashburn wrote this about her sweet daughter Rana just yesterday. As I'm writing this tonight, she is in the ER at T.C. Thompson's Children's Hospital in Chattanooga, TN waiting on fluids to replenish Rana's frail body. July 13, 2015 started out as a normal day but as Kathy watched her daughter grow sicker and sicker, she knew something was wrong. That's the day Rana was diagnosed with HLH, a life-threatening autoimmune disorder. This is Rana's senior year of high school. She is 17 years old.

She receives chemo to suppress her immune system which has caused her hair to come out. She is still glowingly beautiful! Kathy has been widowed about five years. Her husband passed from a long illness with a heart disease. Kathy is one of the strongest and most talented people I know. Two weeks before Rana's diagnosis, Kathy and I were scheduled to have lunch. We rescheduled due to conflicts. I just can't believe how drastically and quickly her life changed.. My heart weeps for this family. They are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

I wish I could do something great for Kathy and Rana. All I can do is wait on God as they are faithfully doing. I have opened a Pampered Chef fundraiser for them at, 15% of your purchase will go directly to Kathy for expenses. Rana has labwork several times a week and chemo 50 miles from her home. Kathy can't work, Rana requires too much daily care. Cash donations are also accepted via Paypal at If you feel compelled to help this dear mother and daughter, please don't hesitate, do it now!

Our world changed quickly March 2012 when Steve was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease causing pulmonary fibrosis. The doctor flippantly said "You've got 3 to 5 years." The news is like being on the playground on the merry-go-round on an extremely hot day. One minute you're having so much fun and the next minute, you're nauseously ill, wondering when it will stop and praying it never does. So scary and unsure. God is our refuge and strength. He is the giver and taker of life, not a doctor.  Please don't neglect to thank God every day for your health and well being. You just never know when something like this could happen to you or yours.

For more information on HLH and Kathy, please click the links in this article. Thanks in advance for your prayers, donations and kindness. Follow updates for Rana on Facebook at RanaStrong or on Twitter using #ranastrong.

Fighting for her life,
The Happy Handicap

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Four Types of Stares: Which One are You?

I cracked up when I ran across this comic yesterday. It reminds me I've been stared at my entire life and how insanely ridiculous stares are. Never seen a short woman limp before? People's stares used to bother me but now I relish them. I even miss them! If I go to a public place and people don't stare, I'm offended! Did people all of of sudden get polite or am I invisible? I seriously ask my husband and kids "Why aren't people staring at me today?" 

My husband is learning to process people's gazes. He requires oxygen. You would think he has leprosy the way people look at him with a cannula in his nose pulling an oxygen tank. He almost gets more attention than me. I don't care if they stare. (Steve calls me an exhibitionist.) I just want to understand why people can't take their eyes off of me. Now, Steve is another story. He don't want to go out in public anymore due to the stares. He's always been a very private person. Me? I'll seductively pull down my long black socks and show you my prosthetics if you want to see them!

Over the years, I've classified four stare types. They are:
  1. The Sneaky Stare. This type starer notices me but glances straight ahead like they're not going to stare. I walk toward them and at the very last second when we're walking past each other, when they KNOW I'm not going to know they stared, they quickly shift their eyes in my direction for that gratuitous look-see! CAUGHT! Uhhhh, you're not sneaky at all and if you'd just ask me, I'd share my story with you!
  2. The Blatant Stare. This bold starer just don't care if they get caught. They gawk, turn around in circles to make sure they seen what they think they saw and will probably ask me "What happened to your foot?", "Did you hurt your foot?", "Were you born with Polio?" etc. I've heard them all. Please...stare all you want but don't jeopardize my dignity by playing 20 questions.
  3. The Backwards Stare. This type's curiosity gets the best of them. They're cool and collected when they notice Tammy has a problem. They don't want me to feel uncomfortable or "stared at" so they look away, until, I get by them. Then they look back at me trying to politely figure me out until they realize I know their type. When my eyes meet theirs, it's over! CAUGHT! I've often wished they would turn into a pillar of salt.
  4. The Apologetic Stare. This is the worst starer ever. Bless their hearts. They mean well, but when you're stared at the entire length of a 10 mile mall it's difficult to accept those Basset Hound hung down jaws and sad baggy eyes that seem to say "I'm so sorry you're hurt and limping." Really. People. It's okay!!! If you sincerely feel that sorry for me, hand me a dollar or the keys to a new car with a disabled tag. Please don't stare!

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

I made it my calling to teach my children to accept others as God made them. That's a whole 'nother subject because mostly people are the way the world has made them.

My favorite personal wisdom is this: If everyone had something "different" to deal with.....people would be "different", possibly even polite. If you gotta stare, stare hard to see the good in people not to figure out the bad.

Here's looking at you,
The Happy Handicap

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Coming Clean: my Secret Addiction

finding nemo
James 5:16 Confess you faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteousness man availeth much. 

Lisette and I watched Finding Nemo yesterday. Do you ever feel like Bruce? He's the shark that loves to eat fish. My favorite scene in the movie is when he confesses his addiction. Hi. My name is Tammy. I'm addicted to eating at midnight or after. Seriously! I wake up every night and simply cannot resist the urge to eat. I started this bad habit with my first pregnancy 28 years ago! I still cannot control it. And, it's mostly sugary perfection. 

You're probably thinking don't buy yourself treats or don't make them, right? I'm that smart. But, don't you just love a warm, crispy toasted piece of fresh bread with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon on it? I do! Yes. I'm that pathetic midnight snacker you see in commercials or movies ransacking the pantry or fridge for food. I've actually woken up with crumbs on my clothes that I don't know how they got there. I'm confessing this to you so maybe I can stop this insanity.

I'm thankful and surprised I'm not overly overweight. That's my body with Bruce's head in the picture. Eating at midnight is terrible for my digestive system. I feel awful the morning after. I'm allergic to sugar and most food chemicals. The allergic reaction causes baggy, saggy eyes. I wrote a blog entitled 5 Tips for Problem Eyes hoping I'd follow my own advice. Nothing has worked so far. Just last night I ate seven or eight little chocolate donuts after midnight. I made it all better by washing them down with water. I can't walk to exercise due to my disability so minimizing food consumption is the only way I have to control my weight. 

My bad habit probably seems silly to you. Midnight snacking is extremely frustrating to me. Embarrassing even. I could probably be a cat burglar I've become so good at sneaking in and out of the pantry so my husband doesn't catch me. I know he knows! One night I was in the pantry with the door closed, my daughter and her boyfriend came home from a date settling into the den to watch TV. I was trapped in the pantry for three hours in my t-shirt and undies. There was no way I could get past them without being seen in my shirttail. I'm surprised they didn't hear me laughing at myself and then almost crying when the reality of being a 51 year-old-woman trapped in a pantry controlled by my own sugar vices struck.

As James 5:16 instructs, please pray for me if I cross your mind. I would love to be healed of this mind game.They say "mind over matter", but it's more like "mind wrapped around a Twinkie and won't let go"! I'd appreciate your tips on overcoming habits/addictions if you've successfully done it. Reply to this email or email me at Confession is good for the body and soul.

Feeling crumby,

Thursday, July 30, 2015

End of Season Sale

end of season sale
Are you a clearance shopper? I am! I love a good bargain. My mom taught me this skill. She anxiously awaits the end of every sale season. I will not pay full price for anything. I will make myself settle for something 75% off whether it is what I'm looking for or not. I'm not stingy.(My mom reminds me all the time how much money I waste on eating out!) I simply enjoy the thrill of low-cost treasures at "end of season" sales. I will admit as I've gotten older I've tried to limit purchases during clearance sales. When my girls were young, I bought their clothes a season or two ahead because I could get three times as much for my money. Age does bring wisdom. I limit shopping now because I don't want a huge amount of mindless clutter for someone to have to auction off when I check out. Seriously, I think about it. Now, I never purchase anything until I'm ready for it and actually need it.

Do we treat salvation the same way? I hear a lot of people say "I'll go to church when I'm ready." or "When I need Jesus, I'll go." As I was surfing department store websites this week for clearance sales, I pondered how many people wait to the very end of their life's season to accept Jesus. Our freedom cost him his life. Salvation isn't getting any cheaper. Christ bestows redemption freely. However, you can't and won't be stingy to accept it. Salvation will cost you your pride, anger, resentment, fearfulness and every other human imperfection I could name. You will have to give it all to Jesus. Godly peace is the still the best bargain around.

Am I really getting the best deals waiting for end of season sales? 
1. I'm not really getting what I want, I'm settling for what's available.
2. I could have been enjoying my purchases for a lot longer time.
3. I would cherish something that costs me more. 

These same truths apply to our salvation.
1. Jesus can help you get out of life what you really want instead of settling for what comes your way.He's not only a ticket out of hell but he's a provider of a better life now.  I'm talking about things that matter most in life like love, family, fellowship, faith, etc. Let him guide your life with righteousness.

2. Accepting Jesus is the sweetest thing you'll ever do at any age. But, a rebirth early on in life allows you to enjoy him a lot longer here!

3. As the old saying goes, when you have "skin in the game" or you apply all of yourself to something, you cherish it, you care for it, you protect it with your life. 

Jesus has "skin in the game". He protects you and me with his life. Don't wait for the end of the season to get a better bargain. There isn't one. Don't wait until you're ready, come when Jesus calls. Don't play the waiting game too much. You may be penalized for delay of game, get setback 10 yards and the clock run out while you're trying to make a decision. Or worse. You could be that ugly sweater that never gets purchased! End of season sales are fabulous and Jesus does attend them but allow him to pick you off the rack now. He's already paid full price!

Don't wait,
The Happy Handicap