My Anniversary Gift

I am sorry that I haven’t been around the blogosphere much these last few months. I’ve been living in New York taking care of my mother. She passed on August 19 (The day after my anniversary). To be honest, my emotions are raw and all over the place which is why I haven’t been writing.

I run the gamut of relief, grief, anger and acceptance all in an hour’s time.

I’ll write more once my heart settles down and I can once again assemble clear, intelligent thought. You deserve my best. I’ll get there again. I promise.

My summer hasn’t been all crazy. There have been many good moments. Like this for instance.

Hubs got me a new, custom-made Bishline Banjo for our 25th wedding anniversary. The arm rest says, “Breathe Darlin’ ” (something an old friend used to say to me when my shoulders were in my ears and my anxiety was readily apparent) and the head-stock reads “Hippie Chick” a nickname given to me by the lead guitar player from Korn when I played the Funny Bone this Spring.

I am not making that up you guys. I shared a stage with Thaddeous Challis from Korn last Spring and he dubbed me “The Hippie Chick.” that was so freakin cool that I still want to pinch myself. My son thinks I’m a rock star now and wants an autograph. HA!

of HIM, not me. Just to be clear.

Granted, Hippie Chick doesn’t exactly fit (I’m a little too naive for that name) but I like it and I’ll take it.

This banjo is an open back model and is designed specifically for Claw-hammer style banjo which is something I’m trying to teach myself and is also what Rob is playing in this video.

crc banjo

Check out the video to see what it sounds like. It has a bright, clear, and happy sound and is exceptionally made. I met Rob almost three years ago when my then banjo teacher invited me out to hear “a real banjo player play,” as he put it.

Rob is local to Tulsa and is not only a gifted musician, he’s a well gifted Luthier as well. I’ve wanted a Bishline Custom banjo for almost three years. I’m thrilled to add this beautiful instrument to my collection. The action is low and perfect for my smallish stature. It’ll take some time to readjust the muscle memory. My Recording King had wider frets and a longer neck. I keep missing the chords but I’m getting there.

This is officially my favorite banjo in my collection.

Even more fun, I bought my guitar playing husband a Madera (Also made by Rob). It’s a banjo that looks like a guitar. Rob called us “This really cool dead head couple” — HA! Again with the not quite right nick names, but then again, I DID have him put a wheel of roses and a dancing bear on my hubs Madera, so you know.

Guitar man and I do play together on our front porch as time allows. What takes me months to learn, he picks up by ear. I’m okay with that really. Playing together is pure joy.

Take care my sweet friends.

Live today and love well.

Happy Mother’s Day y’all: Anita Renfroe In Tha Muthahood

Can I be her when I grow up?

Probably not, I make a better me than I do anyone else.

Having said that – I do love this gal’s talent.

Christian Comedian and everyone’s favorite Mom, Anita Renfroe, has done it again. You may know her from Momsense (Everything a mother would say in 24 hours set to the William Tell Overture) , Good Morning America, Women of Faith, or even the Kraft Food Commercials and I’d like to share with you her latest salute to moms called “In Tha Muthahood.”

I absolutely LOVE this and want to share it with you guys.

Please enjoy.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart, 2011. All rights reserved. Please note that no goods or services were given in exchange for this endorsement. I only share resources that I find encouraging.

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Video of the Week: Anita Renfroe, Sleepless

If you came here looking for Anita’s newest video – In Tha Muthahood – please CLICK HERE. Thanks.

I got to spend a good part of yesterday bantering with several comics. What makes that kind of thing fun for me is it gets my creative juices flowing and it makes me stretch my abilities. I’m a story-teller. I’m very comfortable in that venue. Where I really need or want to grow though is in the 1,2 punch of straight stand up. Yesterday, I got to practice that by brainstorming with a few 1,2 punch stand up comics. I loved every minute of it.

One of the goals I’ve always had in this blog is to share resources and friends. Starting this week I’m going to keep my eye out for clips that I hope you guys will enjoy.

This clip by Anita is part of a series of bits she’s presently doing for Kraft Foods. While I’ve met Anita, we’re not friends. I always want to clarify that. Some of the clips I’ll show you are of friends, but most are not. Even so, I’ve really enjoyed watching her grow over the past several years in her talent, her confidence, and her humor. Seeing her challenge herself, step out on faith, and grow actually gives me hope that I can do the same.

And as always no goods or services are ever exchanged for these posts / personal endorsements. I’m just sharing things that I like in hopes that you will as well.


Notsowordless Wednesday: Big Ol’ Sweet Iced Tea: Anita Renfroe

I have had an interesting few weeks, let me tell you. While everyone was celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior on Easter morning, my husband and I were in the emergency room of SouthCrest Hospital. I wasn’t happy about that little detour, it wasn’t in my plans. Finding a mass in my uterus that day wasn’t in my plans either and I was scared.

Funny thing is, God has plans for me – and for you too – and even though His plans don’t match up with ours, His plans are always best.

I’d love to tell you that I handled this little detour well, but I’d be lying.

I could tell you that the message I received from one of my mentors the next day (Jer 29:11, I know the plans I have for you..) filled me with hope – and it did, for that day, but I let go of it. I have a built in forgetter. Fortunately for me, his mercies are new each morning and I need morning mercies, don’t you?

Truth is, I was scared and I got mad at God.

I pulled every “no fair” argument I could think of. It’s not fair God, I have plans this summer.

I know that I am not the only woman in the world who has ever played the “not fair” card with God, and I won’t be the last. The good news is, God is big enough to handle our fears, our disappointments, and our anger. I’m thankful for that.

My little health detour has given me time to look at things from a new light. It’s given me time to read, to be with my family, and to just soak up His love and Grace. I’m in pain a lot of the time, and I have had to lean into Him more than ever.

I also learned something in this detour, perspective is everything. For three weeks I’ve been focusing on this fibroid in my gut that is causing my stomach to swell, and my clothes to hurt. It is a source of frustration for me in more ways than one.

I missed something though – it turns out this fibroid is a gift.

I got my biopsy results back yesterday. The good news is, I don’t have cancer. The other good news, they did a biopsy of my uterine lining and I have Intraepithelial dysplasia, a precancerous condition that if left untreated can turn into cancer. If it hadn’t been for this massive fibroid that takes up half my gut, they never would have found the other.

Uterine cancer does not have symptoms until it’s too late. This detour revealed a much deeper problem that would not have been discovered otherwise.

You might say, this detour saved my life. 

And so I sit, taking back all my “no fair” arguments and remembering that He does know the plans he has for us, and his plans are not for harm, but for a future and a hope. His plans apparently include a hysterectomy as well and in light of my present circumstances, I’m totally okay with that.

 One of my no fair arguments with God revolves around how I’m just now learning who I am. I’ve made new friends, found new talents and only recently had the courage to try my hand at comedy. Having lived the first 40 years of my life in fear, finding courage is a big issue for me.  I didn’t want to lose all of that now. Turns out I won’t have to, He has plans, remember? Having said that, I want to introduce you to a woman I met on my journey a few years back. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.

I was first introduced to this funny gal when a friend emailed me the video Momisms,  Anita Renfroe’s YouTube video on everything a mother says in a 24 hour period set to the William Tell Overture.  This video went viral in a matter of weeks. It was this video that launched her into seemingly overnight success. I say seemingly, because the truth is Anita has been speaking and doing comedy for years. There is no such thing as overnight success, her success is bred from hard work, dedication, and pure talent.

While we aren’t friends, I have met her once or twice and she is as down to earth and genuinely wise and funny as her videos show her to be. She is definitely a woman I would love to hang with.

We belong to the same organization but I do not consider her my peer. She’s a legend on the circuit. I’m a newbie. Anita is simply a woman I enjoy watching and learning from. Having said that, I’d like to introduce ya’ll to her newest YouTube video, Big Ol’ Sweet Iced Tea. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. So pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, and enjoy.

FCC regulations also state that I have to inform ya’ll that no goods were received in exchange for this endorsement. I am simply sharing a resource that I think you will like as much as I do.