Abby's Between Girlfriends: A Sharing of Marital Secrets

Can you believe it?...Happily married all these years, (actually 39 now)! People ask me all the time, "How do you do it?" Would you like the answer to this question? Wanting to share my secrets is what inspired me to write Abby's Between Girlfriends: A Sharing of Marital Secrets?
To grab your copy in print, e-book, or soon to come audio, visit
I write under the pen name: Abby Gail Smith

Know You Are Blessed, Because You Are!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2 New Book Releases- 2nd Edition Abby's Between Girlfriends and Abby's Guide to Deep Meditation

Featured Guest on Grown Folk

As a guest on Grown Folk, we are discussing my favorite subject: Forgiveness. You can advance the track to 8:28 minutes, which is the start of my segment.


This poem opens the meditation manual I wrote during a 40 Day Fast. The poem came to me just before opening my eyes one morning. I kept saying to myself, "I need to get up and write this down. Get up and write this down!" This is what kept running through my mind:

I Am Spirit
Morning after morning,
They slip by.
Moments in time,
They slip by.
From moon to new moon,
They slip by.
Births and announcements,
They slip by.
Deaths and burials,
They slip by.
My Spirit,

~ Abby Gail Smith (pen name)
Copyright by Robbie S. Redmon, All rights reserved

Have you had moments like this? Moments when you could feel your Spirit guiding you?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Sharing of Marital Secrets (1st Edition)- Excerpt #42

Charting Your Path (part 1 of 3)

Have you ever heard of mapping or blueprinting for life? Basically, it means establishing your desires for the upcoming years. I am sure by now, you understand that you have to know what your desires are before you can see them, feel them and believe them.

At the first of every year, I do this thing called mapping, and it has been a tremendous blessing in my life. I sit in the middle of my den in front of the fireplace, and I have with me a blank, full-size photo album page – the kind with the peel-back plastic and sticky sheet. I also take a pair of scissors, a glue stick (just in case I need a little extra sticky stuff) and all of the magazines I can find in the house. Sometimes, I have to buy a few beforehand to add to the collection.

I ask God to guide me and inspire me as I make my desires known. I also ask Him to help me have the faith I need to see my desires materialize into the substance I hope for. I thank Him, and then I begin.

I always go through each one of my magazines searching… looking for pictures and words that represent my desires. And I always cut out the numerical year as large as I can find it and stick it at the very top of the page.

I remember the first time I did this. Included in the many desires I had posted all over my photobook page were a happy family, healthy looking hair, divine guidance, financial security, vacation getaways and inner beauty. Also represented were my desires to quit smoking and lose weight down to a healthy size.

To impress upon my mind the idea that I had quit smoking, I found an ad showing a cigarette between a woman’s fingers. I cut that part of the picture out in the shape of a circle and stuck it to the page. Then, I cut out a thin strip, put glue on the back and placed it diagonally across the picture of the hand with the cigarette. In my mind, that image said, “No Smoking.”

To impress my desire to lose weight and look good, I cut out the words “slim” and “sassy” and stuck them on the page. Beside these words, I put a small picture of women working out in a health club facility, exercise machines and all.

By the time I actually quit smoking, I had forgotten that it was among one of my goals for that year. When I do my mapping at the beginning of the year, I try to make a lasting impression in my mind with the pictures I choose. I always pray for guidance in this area because the better the impression, the easier it is to feel it. And if you can feel it, you can allow yourself to believe it. So, I make the best impression I can and go on.

I had tried for years to quit smoking. I called getting through the day on a pack and a half, “Cutting back.” The biggest problem was that I really enjoyed smoking. Smoking was very relaxing, and I especially enjoyed the after-dinner smokes and smoking on long road trips. But I knew smoking was not a good habit to have. My kids were in elementary school, and they were learning about the hazards of smoking and pleading with me to stop. Craig had stopped cold turkey a few years earlier during a bout with the flu, and he never picked up another one again.

One time, I decided to take a carton of cigarettes, box and all, and put it on the barbecue grill. I thought, maybe if I burned the cigarettes on the grill, the smell would be so strong that it would make me sick from the fumes.

Well, I put the carton of cigarettes on the grill and started the fire. And guess what? The smell of all those cigarettes did make me nauseous. I made myself stand there in the midst of a hot Texas summer afternoon until the last piece of paper turned to ash. The smell was so strong, I vowed I would not touch another cigarette. That lasted until two o’clock the next morning.

Before the year I started mapping, every attempt I made at quitting smoking was futile. I just put the suggestion on my board and forgot about it. I did not worry about how it was going to happen and when, I just believed it would.

During that year, I was working on a temporary job when a friend of mine told me about a guy we worked with who had just been diagnosed with cancer. When the surgeon opened him up, he determined that the cancer was too bad and there was nothing he could do. The cancer had spread all over his body, so they just closed him back up. Now, let me tell you, that did something to me. I just kept seeing flashes of this guy chain smoking like he always did.

I told Craig that I had to quit smoking, but I didn’t know how. I had tried everything. He advised me to call a counselor. The counseling center told me that it had a one-week program that cost $400. I told her that the price was pretty steep and that I would have to talk it over with my husband. “Do it!” Craig said. “I’ll check with our insurance and see if they will reimburse us.”
I started the program on a Monday evening. The counselor told me over the phone to have my last cigarette the Sunday night before. When I arrived for my appointment, I had not had a cigarette all day and I was very apprehensive. I sat and talked with the counselor and told her how I had tried to quit so many times in the past. As I was still trying to make up my mind to go through the program, she looked at me and said, “If you still want a cigarette Friday, I’ll give you your money back.” And with that, I said, “Okay, you’ve got a deal.”

I started the program right then. She took me into a small room with individual cubbyholes. I sat down at one of the stalls. All that was there was this big ashtray, a waste can and a big cut out picture of a diseased lung.

There were ashes and cigarette butts everywhere... the desk, the floor, the waste can, the ashtray. Everywhere! The counselor explained all the rules, “During this week, the only time you can smoke is in this room. Don’t wash your hair or your outer clothing this week. Just put your clothing in a pile in your closet each evening until this week is up.”

After those instructions, she laid a carton of my brand of cigarettes in front of me. Then, she put a little box shaped device on my right hand. She explained that every time I raised my arm to smoke a cigarette, it would give a little shock that was more of an annoyance than anything else.

The counselor opened the carton of cigarettes and took out a pack. She opened the pack, gave me one and told me to light it without inhaling. She told me to smoke it all the way down to the filter, taking short puffs, being careful not to inhale, and then blowing the smoke out. The object was to try to get through that whole carton in one session, which caused rapid movement of my arms, which caused that box to shock me every second to the point of utter annoyance.

I did that every evening for five days. On the third day, I was shown a tape about emphysema, which is what my grandfather died from a few years earlier. The counselor also told me that the cigarette ads often times show beautiful women, but they never show the beautiful women with a cigarette in their mouth. They know that smoking does not make a woman look beautiful. That was something that really hit home. After all, that was the reason I started smoking. I started smoking at age 16 because I thought it would make me look sophisticated, beautiful and cool – just like the women in the ads. But my counselor was right. I have yet to see a cigarette ad with the cigarette in the woman’s mouth.

My counselor told me that once the week was over, if I never gave in to smoking that first cigarette, I would never smoke again. I tell you, after enduring those daily smoke sessions, smelling smoke in my clothes every time I walked into my closet and learning it was okay not knowing what to do with my hands without a cigarette stuck in them, I did not want to see, taste nor smell another cigarette ever.

The thought of smoking today, well over ten years later, causes me to have a slight cough. It’s a reminder that smoking is not for me.

Would you believe that in that year of mapping, I quit smoking and I was on my way to losing 65 pounds? I sure was.

To Be Continued... Copyright 2000 by Abby Gail Smith (pen name of Robbie S. Redmon) All rights reserved.
Remember, I love hearing your comments!

A Sharing of Marital Secrets (1st Edition)- Excerpt #43

Charting Your Path (part 2 of 3)

Earlier that year, I was getting dressed to go shopping and discovered that I could not tie up my tennis shoes. I was so embarrassed, but I asked Craig to tie them up for me. By the time he finished, tears were running down my cheeks. I had not realized that I had gotten that big. Craig hugged me and said, “I love you just the way you are, but I want you to be happy. I can’t stand it when you are unhappy no matter what the reason.”

I started a reputable diet program that following Monday. It took me a year and a half to lose 65 pounds, but it was a healthy choice. The one thing that really helped me lose weight over such a long period of time was keeping a personal diary. I took that diary everywhere, and I used it as therapy. The hardest times for me were weekends when I was out and about with my family.

I remember one time we were out when Craig stopped at a gas station and asked if we wanted anything to snack on. I said, “No,” but the kids said, “I do! I do!” Craig came back with Cheetos.
When I heard the bags opening and smelled the aroma of those chips, I grabbed my diary, and wrote, “Dear God, they are back there with those Cheetos. Please, please, help me to be strong. I know I am learning how to eat properly, and my weight is coming off slowly, which means I will keep it off. Please Lord, help me not to give in to temptation. Don’t let me turn around and take those chips.” I would just write and write until I convinced myself and the urge to cheat passed. That really worked for me.

To Be Continued... Copyright 2000 by Abby Gail Smith (pen name of Robbie S. Redmon) All rights reserved.
Remember, I love hearing your comments!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Sharing of Marital Secrets (1st Edition)- Excerpt #44

Charting Your Path (part 3 of 3)

A few years later, a lady who was a long-term substitute teacher in the classroom right next to me became a good friend. She was going through a very difficult time in her life. A former friend had taken her husband, leaving her and her small son to fend for themselves. After being divorced for a year, she was still bitter and did not know how to get her life back on track. She was always in church… always. Nevertheless, she was still searching for something… searching for happiness.

I started sharing with her about mapping and building her future at that moment in time. I tried to explain how to have faith in things that are good and stop holding on to all the bad things in her past. She became very interested in mapping and asked me a lot of questions about how to map for herself. I told her I would show her my board, which is something I had never done before, being the private person that I am. But I was compelled to share my desires with her and show her how to map out her own desires. Actually, through the process of mapping, you realize sometimes for the first time what your desires really are.

The next day, I took my mapping board to school with me, and I told my friend we could talk about it during lunch.

During my planning period, Craig showed up in the doorway of my classroom. Girl, he looked so good. Unfortunately, he was getting ready to catch an airplane to California, and I always get sad when he leaves. Craig came to say goodbye and tell me that he would phone every chance he could. He’s always so good about that. While Craig was there, I introduced him to my friend. After he left, she said, “Wow, he’s handsome.” Pooching out my bottom lip to pout, I explained that he was on his way out of town. “Poor baby,” she said. “He’ll be back.”

We joined up later in my classroom to discuss mapping. She was really going through a difficult time in her life. And being the single parent of a little boy, she longed to be married again. Sometimes, she got depressed because she felt undesirable even though she was a pretty woman. Her self-esteem was so low.

I talked to her about imaging before we got to the subject of mapping. “Close your eyes and think of your wedding day,” I told her. She closed her eyes. “Visualize yourself in your wedding dress walking down that aisle, thanking God for the person He sent into your life. Walk down that aisle knowing in your heart you have made the right choice.”

I warned her against putting a face on her groom. “Let God bring the right man to you,” I said. “Don’t worry about how or when. Just know that He will give you the desires of your heart. Every time you start to doubt that you will get married again, just visualize your wedding again and feel all of the emotions. Believe it’s real.” She opened her eyes and smiled like she felt full of hope. I couldn’t help but smile back.

On top of feeling lonely, she was making decisions about daycare centers and schooling for her son. I told her, “Every time you have to make a difficult decision, pray about it first. Then imagine how you would feel making the right decision. Imagine how grateful and thankful you would feel as everything worked out for the best,” I told her. “Now, believe you are experiencing that right now, and you will be led down the right path.” I reminded her that God is not the author of confusion.

Finally, I pulled out my mapping and explained how it worked so she could do one of her own. We talked about what each image represented. Then she noticed the picture of a Volvo 240 on the left side of the page. I told her that I had cut that picture out of the newspaper and colored it red myself. She looked at me kind of puzzled and said, “You drive a red Volvo 240, don’t you?”

“I do now, but when I placed that picture on the page at the beginning of the year, I didn’t know how we would be able to own one. I just believed we would.” She just grinned.

It was turning out to be an enjoyable lunch period. We went on down the page as it showed my desire to travel. I had little pictures of airline tickets cut out of a magazine, an airplane tilted up like it was taking off and a picture of two people walking by the ocean. That’s when I became very quiet, and my eyes moved from the travel scenes to the lower right side of the page. I could not believe my eyes! I had a picture of a stack of money beside the words, “IBM Club.” Tears rolled, and I mean rolled, down my cheeks.

“What is it?” she asked.

With tears still streaming down, I said, “This is where Craig is going. He’s on his way to the club today. Right now!”

I explained to her that Craig was in marketing, and the IBM Club was IBM’s way of rewarding their top performers for the year. It was Craig’s first year in marketing, and putting the IBM Club on my mapping page was a long shot. She looked at me and said, “Aren’t you glad you did?”

I looked at her again and she said, “What?”

“In three days I’ll be meeting Craig in Los Angeles, and from there, we’re going to fly to Hawaii for five days and four nights. It is going to be a honeymoon for us since we never had one before.”

She looked back at my mapping page and before I knew it, we were both standing there with tears in our eyes. Actually, by then, I was pacing back and forth with my arms stretched towards heaven, thanking God for my many blessings.

As our lunch period came to a close, she hugged me and said, “You are sooo blessed. You don’t know how much you have helped me.” From that point on, we became very good friends. We talked about anything and everything while she was on her long-term substitute assignment.

To Be Continued... Copyright 2000 by Abby Gail Smith (pen name of Robbie S. Redmon) All rights reserved.
Remember, I love hearing your comments!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Family Dinner

We get together as a family at least once per month. No matter what, we have our family dinner one Sunday a month. It all started with me trying to start different traditions for our changing family.

So now, we decide on the menu each month. Chris and I are responsible for the meat and the kids decide, between the two families, what they will bring. We made up a few rules, as a family, before our first family dinner. The first rule states that we all treat the day and time together as a priority. Second, everyone arrive at our home by 2:00, and dinner on the table by 2:30. Third, everyone helps with clean-up. And last, but not least, everyone must be on there way home by 5:00.

Now, these are all rules we set down as a family and came up with together. In the 2 and a half years, since starting the family dinners, we have only had a few infractions here and there. For the most part, it all works out well.

Well, the last 2 Sunday visits went past 5:00. I think the last person was leaving about 5:20 each time. I attribute that to the Wii. We have so much fun playing Wii, that 5:00 rolls around too soon. But, roll around it does...and out the door they go with kisses and hugs.