Saturday, November 08, 2014

Broken vs. Whole

This weekend I saw once again the clear differences between children brought up in broken homes vs. whole homes.

I recognized a new that broken homes create a feeling of unsafety that is quite lasting in the hearts and lives of the children.

I recognized many things in my own 33 year old self who came from a very broken home but has had the incredible honor to be a part of a whole family for the last ten years.

As I shared my home with three teenagers I saw a clear dividing line between the two of us who are from broken homes and the two that are from whole homes.

The many differences included:
Safety vs. Danger
Secure vs. Insecurity
Freedom vs. Captivity

The differences hit me so clearly and brought about a brand new realization that having a mom and a dad who stay committed to each other and their families makes all the difference in the lives of their children and Im sure the difference is felt in their own lives as well.

And even though I have been so incredibly blessed to be a part of a whole family this last ten years the effects of my broken childhood are still quite lasting and that is surprising and yet not surprising to me.
What a difference a firm foundation makes in the Entire lives of children. Wow!

I am thankful for the healing that has occurred in my life in the last decade but I wonder if there are things that will be part of who I am that stem from my childhood years.

I believe that God can change and heal completely and believe that He is doing that In my life and heart still to this day but what a difference that foundation makes in the journey. I would likely have very different battles to fight yet still battles.

My thoughts are rambly but I am just astounded. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

When the thief comes...

John 10:10 - "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

The Bible tells us that we have an enemy and that he is out to steal from us, kill our hopes and dreams, and to destroy us.

And lately I feel like the enemy is after us in full never before.

When the thief comes...

There are memories that are permanently etched into my memory and heart and I believe they are for times like these when the enemy is trying his hardest to take us out.

I remember one morning after an all night sleepover while I was holding an upset and exhausted precious child...a little girls slips her arm around mine as she was sitting next to me on the bus and she looks up at me with the sweetest most precious face ever, she squeezes me close and says..."Pastor Tabbie, I think you can make anyone on earth happy."

A moment I'll never forget.

I remember years and years ago during a Christmas play practice on a Sunday a little girl climbed up into my lap and release all the breath she if she had been holding her breath for months...and she wrapped her arms around me and just lays her head against my chest and falls asleep. This young one no long had a mama and for just a moment of her life God allowed me to wrap my arms around her and hold her as peace overtook her so she could just REST.

A moment I'll never forget.

I remember moments when I felt I had absolutely NOTHING to give and God would open a door in a teen's life and allow me to pour Him out into their hearts. Countless hugs, countless conversations, countless altar prayers, countless tears.

Moments that are etched across my heart for eternity.

So when the thief comes along to steal my calling, to kill my dreams, and to destroy all I have these precious memories and moments to anchor me back to the Hope of Jesus Christ and to remind me of the reason I take every breath that I take.

Hebrews 6:19 - "We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."

I was born to love people. I was born to pray for, challenge, share, hug, love, teach, pour out all of me into the lives of others so that they can have life abundantly and eternally.

There have been moments lately that I thought the enemy just might have won...and yet I cannot allow that. I cannot allow him to slow me down, time is too precious, lives are too important to God to let that happen.

If I can spend the rest of my life loving and ministering to people then I will reach Heaven fully depleted and poured out then I will have fulfilled my calling.

That is all I want.

I want to pour my life out until there is nothing left to pour.

I don't want to be tricked or deceived. I don't want the thief to steal or kill or destroy.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rough Waters & Peace that transcends ALL understanding.

You can never really know what lies ahead...

We are in some rough waters right now, waves, winds & debris that we just did not see coming...but my God is not surprised by our storm at all.

In the midst of our storm I still get to teach and preach and it is truly an unbelievable thing...Sunday I taught about Peace and how Jesus stands GUARD of our Heart when we take our struggles and storms to Him in prayer.

I had the picture in my head of Jesus standing guard of my own heart in all of His perfect armor and fighting off the enemy of my heart.

I know that is the only reason that I am even standing at this point. I know that Jesus is indeed standing GUARD of my heart and providing a Peace that truly transcends all understanding.

My lack of emotion in this storm is evidence enough of Jesus standing GUARD! Anyone who knows me at all knows that emotions run STRONG in this woman's heart and so the fact that I have not gotten caught up in this recent storm we are facing is most certainly JESUS!! ALL JESUS!

There are just things that you can't know ahead of time and if you did you would not find yourself learning to STAND and being GUARDED by Jesus himself.

I for one am quite thankful that we could not see ahead as I know that if we could things would likely be different than they are right now and I know that we are standing where we are supposed to be standing. I believe that with all of my heart. I really do.

Standing in the midst of a storm is not easy. Think about hurricane force winds and rain that pelts against you and drenches you. Think about rising waters and large powerful waves. Think about lightning that knocks you right off your feet! Flying debris. No, standing in the midst of a storm can ONLY be done if JESUS IS STANDING GUARD.

I am beyond thankful for my Jesus and His love and protection and strength and wisdom and hope.

I do have Peace. I do have Hope. It doesn't make sense at all that I am able to have these things except that Jesus offers them freely to all who will receive.

Rough waters. Winds. Debris.





Thursday, July 31, 2014


I have been focused on LOVE these days and well let's face it...I have been focused on LOVE for a long long time.

Hence the title of my blog...Love's Journey

Love is what pulled me out of the mire.
Love was my soft place to land.
Love was my cushion during correction and learning.
Love held my hand.
Love became my name.
Love drove me on.
Love held me up.
Love cushioned my falls.

Through it all Love has Never Failed.

I grew up scared and uncertain. I made a lot a lot of really bad choices, choices based off my environment and the things I had learned in that environment. I made choices out of ignorance and blindness. Yet even in those dark years when I did not know or live for God, HE LOVED ME and HIS LOVE protected me.

I was rescued by God in my early early 20's and that is when the serious battles for myself began. I battled addictions, I battled insecurities, I battled ignorance, I battled memories and past hurts - heart shattering hurts. Yet God's Love pulled me through and is what gave me the hope and strength to not give up and to keep fighting even when I could have stopped at good enough. His love and His love through others rescued me from drowning in defeat and brokenness.

When my journey began to shift toward dreams being realized it was Love that paved the way for a brand new road, one that I had never before traveled. Several roads actually that I had never traveled. And when fear and doubts threatened to over take me it was LOVE that held me tight and whispered reassurance into my heart.

And now when I stand in one of the hardest places I have ever before stood (how is it possible to even say that after all I faced - yet it is true) I know it is LOVE that is helping me stand firm and not give up. I know that it will be LOVE that makes the difference here.


Love has not failed me. Love will not fail those I am called to give it to. Love Never Fails.

So as I sit here the morning after a really really hard Wednesday night with our kids, the kids we were called here to shepherd. As I sit here at the end of another month that has been difficult, another month that I stand confused and crying out to God begging Him to help me as I have no idea how to stand here, how to change the direction that these kids are going in, no idea how to fight what we are fighting, no idea how to make them care, no idea how to get to where I want to be with them...I do know one thing...LOVE NEVER FAILS...for it has been proved in my life and in so many other lives around me.

I was loved when I was so very unlovable. I was changed by that love. I was not given up on even when I know it was so incredibly hard and I know my family wanted to give up on me because it definitely would have been the easiest thing to do. God loved me every time I turned my back on Him and every time I tried to take matters back into my own hands. God loved me when I did not care. He has NEVER stopped loving me and He calls me to love the same way.

We are facing a battle that we have never faced before. We are standing in a place that we have never stood before.

God is calling us to STAND FIRM and LOVE.

We WILL NOT be perfect. But we WILL stand. We WILL love. We will seek God and continue to follow Him and let Him guide us. WE CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT HIM!

We know that we are exactly where God has called us. No we did not know that it would be this hard and that we would face what we are facing now. BUT WE WILL STAND AND WE WILL LOVE. We will not give up. We will not back down. We will not run away. We will not take the easy road.

Father, I need you like never before. You are all we need and all we have. I do not want to fail these kids Lord. I do not want to let them down. I do not want to get weary or give up. I have no idea what to do but I know that I have you and I know that you've asked me to stand and to love unconditionally. Help us Lord, help us to stand and to LOVE bigger than we ever have before even WHEN it hurts so bad that I can't even breathe. Help us to love bigger even when it is not received or even cared about. Help us to love without expecting anything in return. Help us to LOVE LIKE YOU LOVE. I beg you Father for YOUR Wisdom and your Guidance. Father you have ALWAYS ALWAYS been faithful to us and I know with all my heart that you will continue to be faithful to us. Help us to bring You glory in all that we do, even when we mess up. I love you Lord and I trust You. In Jesus strong name. Amen.

Monday, July 28, 2014


So the newest new thing is....I have an official part-time job!!

You know when you are just cruising along in life and all seems to be going well and then the bottom drops out of something and it is completely outside of your control.  Well I had that moment back in May the weekend of Mother's Day when I lost the job I had been working since February.  It was one of the most unfun and heartbreaking things I have experienced since we moved back home to Bama.  However it happened and we handled it the best way we knew how praying all the while that we did it in love and God was glorified to the best of our ability.

So since then I have been at home a little down but loving getting to be at home. However as much as I love getting to be at home, our financial plan to pay off debt and save for a house was abruptly interrupted just as we were getting started so we knew that I could not just continue to stay at home. Yet with our job at the church and our calling to be pastors we knew that I could not work full-time. So we began the search for what seemed to be the impossible to find perfect job, with great pay and perfect hours.

I began to seek the Lord and tell Him the things that we needed and desired and day by day I gave it over to him. Every time I found nothing listed on craigslist or the many job finding sites I was searching I would stop pray and give it to him. Now keep in mind that we were doing alright financially we were just making ends meet and I loved being at home, so that all helped in the not panicking and worrying department, trust me I am normally NOT that patient and easily redirected!

Then one day I got a call and had an interview. The interview went great but the job just wasn't right. The hours were long and the pay was uncertain and as much as we wanted it to work it just wasn't going to. We were both pretty bummed.

Then the search kicked into high gear and still came up empty.

Then over the 4th of July weekend I got a call from the great interview job and they had decided to change up the hours and wondered if I could come back in for a second meeting to discuss the new details to see if they would better fit for all of us!  They now wanted me part-time! I went back in and almost immediately knew that God was working things out.  I was allow to basically choose the hours that I wanted to work and they had increased the pay for my position and I found out that I would get to wear scrubs, which is something that I prayed for when I knew I was going in to talk about part-time hours. It was just one of those things that I felt would be such a cool and comfy bonus!!

I left the meeting and drove straight to hubby's work and could not wait to fill him in!! God had specifically answered our prayers. Perfect hours, great pay and the bonus of SCRUBS (that the company pays for)!!!

Less than an hour after the meeting I accepted the job and I am loving it. There is alot to remember but there is so much potential for human interaction which I desperately need and advancement and joy and there are so many benefits for me having this job!!

I was pretty much on my own today and it went great!! It was so busy and I had so much fun interacting with patients and learning to do the job on my own. I challenged myself to do as much as I could without asking questions and it went really well!!

I love the people I work with and the patients I get to see everyday and the scrubs I get to wear and the hours that I get to work!

God always comes through.  I had some really great recovery time at home and now I have a really great job that is going to be more and more wonderful as the days go by!!

God is faithful. He just really is so thoughtful and loving and takes care of our needs and wants!

Thank you Lord. Thank you. May I bring you Glory in all I do!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Refighting Battles

Let's face our lives we have battles to fight. Personal battles, family battles, all kinds of battles!

And I find that there are times when you just have to re-fight some battles.

I am currently re-fighting and relearning a battle. I find that I pour absolutely all of me out to others and I tend to have these expectations of what the receipt of that will be and I find that I am disappointed. And it truly is silly silly things that I expect and desire and don't get.

So within myself I am re-fighting that battle and fighting to get back to the place where I can pour out and not expect ANYTHING in return.

In my head I know that the reason to pour out my love is not to receive something in return but I am human and I do find myself getting caught in that trap of disappointment and heartbreak.

I suppose I just want to re-learn and win this battle again!

Such is and re-fighting battles.

Lord, I give you this battle that I am currently re-fighting and I ask you to help me to learn what You want to teach me in this. Help me to love unconditionally. I truly desire a greater capacity to love! In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014


New! The Family of Jesus Bible Study by Karen

But what is God's will?

Often times we find ourselves wondering...What is God's Will for our lives?
And then we wonder...How can I know God's will?

Romans 12:1-2 tells us - "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this if your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

We have to allow or minds to be transformed by being in God's Word so that we can be free of the world and ourselves to know what God's will is.

So often I forget that God spent years building this amazing book just for me to know how to live this new life that He has given to me. He did save me and leave me hanging like I so often feel...He prepare the way for me FULLY and I am the one who chooses NOT to use the tools that He has already provided. I am the one who chooses to crave instant gratification instead of walking the way God planned for me to walk. He gave me the tools and prepared the way and I so often choose to whine and complain that I don't hear Him or don't know what He wants for my life...yet it was laid out before me so long ago in preparation for my needing to know His thoughts and His heart.

I want my mind to be transformed. I want to know His will. I want to know who I am in Him. Yet I neglect to read His Word and soak up all that He prepared for me. His Word is LIVING and ACTIVE it will speak to me right where I am any time and in any situation if I read it.

This is my DUH moment for today, just thought I would share.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Randoms

Happy Saturday!!

>We picked up our girl Ronni today and she will be here with us until we all go to Mobile Thursday!!
>Both LouLou and Hubs are napping right now...and Tater too
>I am making yummy fried chicken tonight - I'm actually getting pretty good at cooking some things
>I am so excited to have LouLou here this will be such a nice change
>Snoring is one of my favorite's very peaceful to me
>Hubs is asleep and I haven't changed the TV from the soccer game...I must be getting used to all the sports in our life!
>Tomorrow will be our 6th week without children's church due to the sanctuary renovation...I am so ready for children's church...but the break has been really nice too...but I MISS MY KIDS AND TEACHING THEM!
>I am so in need of a pedicure
>I am seriously considering cutting my hair off again
>I am wearing both of my wedding rings again...I have not been able to do this for a while because my fingers are quite short and I had gained quite a bit of weight
>I have lost about 25lbs since we moved back to Alabama
>I am currently at a stand still on the weight loss though
>We have some new neighbors...they seem quite a bit so makes me want to never have neighbors when we buy a house
>I need my home to be my safe and peaceful place...crazy neighbors hinder that a bit
>I have been slowly going through storage boxes and it has been fun going through old pictures and seeing my life's journey through pics!
>LouLou is awake...time to post and go

Friday, June 27, 2014


We have a deep, desperate need for salvation, and we require someone bold to tell us the truth. Truth is love.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


There are moments when I just want to scream - NO MORE NO MORE NO MORE, I CAN'T TAKE ANYMORE!!

Tonight is one of those moments when I just feel that my heart and head have had enough and I just want to scream!

However it is also times like this that God shows me what He has done in me and how far HE has brought me and it is moments like these that He says...ahem, remember Me, I am still here, you wanna tell me all about it?

Oh Father, you see and you know all...I am giving it all to you and asking for YOUR WISDOM and YOUR WILL. I know that YOU see the Big picture and I know that I can trust YOU completely.
Thank you Lord! I know that you will never give me more than I can handle and you will never leave me or forsake me and You are my defender. Thank You. In Jesus name. Amen.

Life is not a cake walk but God has given us the tools to walk this road. Sometimes it is easy going and sometimes we find ourselves on a more difficult and tricky path...but if we lean NOT on our own understanding but in all our ways seek HIM - HE WILL DIRECT OUR PATH!

Father I just want to seek you and lean on you and follow the exact path that You have. In Jesus name. Amen


God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mondays and new revelations

The weekend rolled around and we found our Saturday morning to be the good kind of busy. Hubby went off to the church to cut grass (his favorite thing to do) and I was off to brunch with a friend to catch up. After a very lovely brunch I found myself having a much needed phone date with my best friend and I found myself crying as I unloaded weeks worth of pent up tears and realizations.  I am so blessed to have a friend who can and will hold me up when I am down and who allows me to do the same for her.

It seems that God knew exactly what both of us needed on this Saturday morning as her schedule had been rearranged and she found herself at home sitting on her porch listening to a weeping me. And God knew I needed my friend to listen and encourage me as I had a fall apart moment that had been sneaking up on me for weeks.

God is faithful friends, always faithful.

There are things that creep up on us that can only be shared with best friends who have proven trust worthy and loving in the worst of your life's moments. And Saturday was one of those moments. I didn't feel the desire to release what I was feeling all over my husband who at this point gets the brunt of my emotions and struggles, no, God knew that my friend was the one who was to get that moment with me. I am thankful that my Hubby go that break! He is such a wonderful man and he supports me completely but he definitely deserves a break from my femaleness! He doesn't have to get it all but I am thankful he doesn't mind being there for me when I need him.

So in the course of my weeping I realized that I have reached a few understandings and turning points. I realize that I am in the most difficult part of transition for me. The part where I am more tempted to retreat inside myself and never come out and also the part where I am missing being with people who know and love me, to which I can only have those kinds of relationships if I choose to come outside of myself and build them.  You see the dilemma.

You see I function so much better when I have relationships in my life that are safe and loving. However those relationships take time and effort. And I find myself struggling to pull outside myself to make the effort yet those relationships are what help me to be outside myself comfortably. Oh what a cycle right!

I know that I am capable of escaping myself and building those relationships as I am missing those very relationships from our last home.

So as my sweet friend who I am missing quite acutely sat on her front porch "getting some color" on her legs, I talked and cried out this struggle within me. And she so sweetly listened and encouraged me and loved me and let me dump out my emotions and pent up tears multiple times withing the span of the hour plus conversation.

Ahhhh...I love being loved like that. I am so thankful that during my last transition God helped me pull outside of myself and make the effort as scary as it was to build a relationship with this incredible woman. And I am thankful that God helped her see something in me that she liked as well and that she made the effort to build relationship with me and I am thankful that the miles that separate us have only drawn us closer to each other.

So in this most difficult part of the transition I have been able to identify what I must do and I have been able to overcome my desire to retreat into myself several times. Saturday morning brunch for example, inviting someone over, and pulling myself from the safety of my home on several occasions even when it felt like that might actually kill me.



I am thankful for the lifelong relationships that God has allowed me to have. I know that I am extremely blessed to have the few I do have in my life as I know it is extremely rare to have those types of safe, strong, loving, encouraging, life long friendships in life.

So today, on this Monday I feel a bit stronger. I feel a bit better. I still miss the loving support from the relationships I had in Springfield and I miss being loved by many and seeing those I love on a daily or weekly basis. But I have hope in my heart that those relationships are here and available for me and I know that I can cultivate and build them but I must pull outside of myself, trust God, and give it the time that it takes.

I do not desire to rush into superficial relationships and I do not desire perfect relationships, I just desire the relationships that God has planned in advance for me and I am more ready today to pull outside of myself than I was last week.

Transition is not easy for with it come new everything but that is also what is exciting about it too.

I cannot wait to see what God has in store as I know He called us here and this is where He wants us to be. He has a purpose and a plan and I trust Him completely.

Here's to what is ahead. Though I cannot see it and do not know who, what, or when exactly I know it will be good and hard and imperfect and amazing.

Lord I give it all to you and I TRUST YOU. In Jesus name. Amen.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Like the family of Jesus, you are not forgotten. He has plans and purpose for your life. He looks your way.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

You have a family. You have a story. Jesus did too. #FamilyOfJesus

You have a family. You have a story. Jesus did too. #FamilyOfJesus

Monday, June 16, 2014

Kicked in the Gut

As a teacher and pastor there are moments that you pray will never happen for your students. There are situations that you believe completely they will overcome and you pray fervently they will overcome. There are hours upon hours of mentoring and praying and teaching and challenging and checking on, etc that go into loving someone.

I count myself completely honored that God would allow me to do such things for students and young ladies. It is my heart, it is why I was born, it is why I breath and why my heart beats. It is my calling. I will do it as long as God allows me to.

In all that hope and prayer and belief and mentoring there is still free will and choice.

That's the hard part.

Allowing that freedom and choice. Oh boy how hard it must be for God himself to give all of his children that choice everyday when all He wants to do is love us and give us the very best.

On with my kick in the gut...

One of my students, one of my loves, part of my heart made an announcement that just knocked the wind out of me. I don't exactly know how to respond yet all I know is that I am a bit disappointed and heart broken but mostly I just want her to know that she is LOVED and ACCEPTED no matter what. I don't exactly know how to do that just yet or if she will even receive it. But with all my heart I want her to know that there is NOTHING that can separate us from God's love and because He loves me I love her unconditionally.

I do feel like I have been kicked in the gut as I feel that she is running from the Lord and His truth and His plan. I feel like she is just trying to escape her circumstances but in all the wrong ways. I see it because it is exactly what I did when I was her age. I ran, I tried anything to escape. The difference is that she knows truth, she has been given tools and sadly she is choosing the enemy's way out and it breaks my heart.

However I know with all of my heart that God can turn any circumstance into good and that He is a God of Redemption. I just did not want her journey to be even harder than it already has been.

Oh my heart hurts and loves so much all at the same time.

Love never fails. Love never fails. Love never fails. I believe that with all of my heart.

Lord show me how to love like you love. Show me what to do and how to move forward. Give me your wisdom. Lord I need you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

When Life Slows You Down

Today I am missing the fullness and busyness of life as it was.

I am missing once again being surrounded by people I love and who love me in return.

I know that these things take time and it is definitely one of the hardest parts of transition for me.

There are so many things that I love about the place that we are in though and for a moment I want to focus on those:
1. We get time with our families on a consistent basis. We are a part of the everyday moments and special moments and that definitely makes my heart happy.
2. We are getting to build new relationships and build a church from the bottom up and that is very exciting to us. We love that we know that we will get to be here for the long haul and watch our kiddos grow up and become workers and then graduate and go off to college and get married and have children, etc.
3. We are growing and evolving so much and drawing even closer to God than ever before.
4. Our ministry and leadership is evolving and it is absolutely amazing to see.
5. My husband is absolutely blossoming and it is so very amazing to see.
6. We are experiencing God's faithfulness in ways that we would not have otherwise.

I know that we are just exactly where we are supposed to be and that we absolutely followed God here and that He is most certainly in this transition. It has been an easy transition in so many ways.

But today I am missing the fullness and busyness of life as it was. Today I am missing the MO peeps that I came to love with a love that I did not even know I had. Today I miss my kids - ALL of their sweet faces and sweet hearts. Today I miss the family units. Today I miss the parents. Today I miss the halls, the skyroom, the fungeon, my office, the grounds that made up Praise Assembly. Today I miss my friends and those who loved me and accepted me and knew me. Today I miss my little yellow house. Today I miss my neighbors. Today I miss Old Navy and the sweet friends that we made there. Today I miss CBC days and the friends and memories made there. Today I miss the streets of Springfield and the familiar places. Today I miss Culvers custard, Old Chicago Pizza, Nearly Famous Deli, the park where I had great time with my girls and great walks, the softball park, our two apartments, Battlefield Mall, Qudoba, the creek, Branson, our small couples group and all it's craziness, Silver Dollar City, 65 and I44, Glenstone, ABC Books, Kearney, Kansas, I miss so much. I miss the faces in the hall and the hugs.

I feel so behind here, I feel so out of touch with love, hugs, ministry, mentoring, people. I know it takes time and it's not something to be rushed. I don't really want to live my life waiting for what's to come instead of enjoying the moment but it is hard.

So today I am excited for kids camp tomorrow and praying with all of my heart that relationships will be cultivated and deepen. I am praying for a refreshing time for our kids as well as for me. I am praying for the beginning of something truly truly great. I am praying for a time to regroup and come back stronger than ever, ready to go go go.

Today I am excited for the future because I know that God has an amazing one planned for us. Today I am excited for the opportunities that I know nothing about yet. Today I am excited for the busyness and fullness that is to come. Today I will revel in the calm and quite and I will fill my heart and soul with the Savior that never lets me down and I will build my faith and expectation. Today I will love the place that I am in and appreciate it for exactly what it is.

Today is:
1. A calm Saturday morning. Hubby is still in bed snoring, Tater is sitting next to me in his favorite spot in front of the window napping.
2. We are in a rental house that meets our needs in a small community that we have fallen in love with that is near the church and hubby's job.
3. The laundry is done and there are a few dinner dishes left over to wash.
4. I am mostly organize and ready to pack for kids camp. My first Alabama kids camp in 4 years
5. We are meeting friends from MO today and I get to see two of the girls I mentored and fell head over heels in love with. It makes me sad because I'll only get to see them for a few hours and I know I'll have to say goodbye again, but I am so ready to see them and hug them.
6. Our needs are met and then some.
7. We have visited ALL of our families recently.
8. We have friends coming over next weekend for hubby's birthday.
9. We are in the process of praying for and planning a family.
10. God is so incredibly faithful. Faithful beyond what we could imagine.

So there are times that life slows you down and you find yourself looking around at seemingly less that what you had before, but truthfully our lives are just as full and becoming fuller as we build new relationships and as we dream for future things to come. And these slower moments are meant for rest and rebuilding and for drawing closer to the God who is beyond what one could ask or dream.

I am okay. I am content. I have joy. And I am blessed beyond anything that I could imagine.

Lord, have Your way in my heart and life. I know that one day soon the busyness will return and I will long for these quieter times. So help me to be content and full of joy in the present and to not live for the future only. Bless our time at kids camp and let them be all that you desire for them to be. Bless these slower days and help me to make the best of each one. In Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Letting Go

Letting go is one of the hardest things to do. Letting go hurts. Letting go is part of life.

There are moments when I'm scared that I have let go. There are moments that I can't even imagine letting go. There are moments when I am strong enough to let go. There are moments when I am too weak to give the freedom for others to let go.

Yep, letting go is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Yet I am reminded that God is Faithful. He will take care of those I have to let go....HE IS TAKING CARE OF those that I have to let go. He is taking care of me in the letting go.

I am forever grateful for the time I had to love them and be with them, I am forever grateful for the relationships that I gained and will always have.

I am forever grateful that God loves them.

Thank You God for being faithful. Thank you for loving them. Thank you for loving me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bible/Book Study - Pocket Book Punches - Courage

From the book - "The Jesus-Hearted Woman" by Jodi Detrick

Definition of Courage = the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery - Idiom (expression): to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism

On page 163 the author uses Gideon as an example of a "scaredy-cat" of the bible. She points out that Gideon was initially addressed by the angel as a "mighty man of valor"

My thoughts:
*God sees us and calls us by what we can be --- He knows the "Real" us even if we cannot see or believe it ourselves.

Read the story of Gideon in Judges chapter 6
*Gideon is hiding from the Midianites in a wine press threshing wheat (wheat threshing is usually done out in the open where the wind can be of assistance)
*The angel calls him mighty
*The Lord tells him to go in the strength he has - the Lord tells him he is strong
*The Lord sends him
*Gideon responds with - "But Lord"
*Gideon calls himself weak and the least

What if we had the courage to see ourselves as God sees us?
*not with our own earthly eyes (weakest/least)

What if instead of saying "But Lord" we had the courage to jump/leap in faith WITHOUT QUESTION?
*I don't know about you but I do not do much without questions - as an over analyzer I typically ask MANY questions

**Faith and Fear have the same definition - they both mean "Believing that what you cannot see will come to fruition"

On page 163-164 the author writes in a quote that was said by Christopher Robin to Pooh - " you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think". It just so happens that my best friend (my very own Christopher Robin!) sent me this quote a few days prior to my reading this chapter.

It made me think:
What if we had the courage to surround ourselves with others who see great things in us and let go of the ones who tear us down.
*In our bible study group a few ladies pointed out that sometimes we are surrounded by people and we have no choice (co-workers/family). So I no longer think that it is realistic to only be surrounded by only people who see great in us but what if we found our very own Christopher Robin? What if we prayed and asked God to send us our very own Christopher Robin, someone who sees the great in us and pushes us toward that greatness.

On page 170 the author says, "Sometimes the wars we're called to win (perhaps over things like gossip, dishonesty, anger, overspending, or pride) are as much about someone else as they are about us. If we don't deal with these "snakes" in our paths, those behind us will feel the fangs and experience the pangs of their soul-corrupting poison."
*Wow - think about that - I think about this is relation to our children (my futuristic children)
*Courage/War can be as much about someone else as it is about us
          *Our children, those whom we minister to, those who are watching us, etc.

Courage = the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. without fear; bravery - Idiom (expression): to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism

What do you need courage to face today?

"You must always remember - you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~Christopher Robin to Pooh

To my very own Christopher Robin (you know who you are) - I love you so much. Thank you for pushing me forward, supporting me, encouraging me, crying with me, sharpening me, standing by me, and for seeing the great in me even when I cannot! I am thankful EVERYDAY that God shares you with me. I love you friend!

Lord Thank You for your Word and the example of Gideon. Thank you for  speaking this learning to Jodi and to me and for allowing me to share it. I pray for courage that is birthed from Your Spirit and Your Word in my life! I love you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, March 17, 2014


My sweet hubby and I are such a little old couple inside. We have decided that we would like to be regulars at this wonderful little restaurant just down the road from our house called the Mason Jar. So we have created "Mason Jar Mondays".

This little restaurant is one of the cutest, friendliest and yummiest little places ever. They serve their drinks out of blue tinted mason jars and they have homemade root beer and different flavors of lemonade.

I also have to say that the food is...Wonderful!!

Hubby and I have not tried anything that we haven't liked and have tried only one thing that we would likely not order again but we are glad that  we tried it anyway.  They serve good home cookin. Great appetizers and great entrees!

We sit in the same booth if possible and if not possible we sit on the same side of the room! How fun is that!

We have been slowly introducing ourselves to the waitresses who are all sweet country high school students.  We are enjoying meeting them!!

We love our new little town and are really excited to see what our future holds here as we plant roots and become 'regulars'!

I love that we are such a little old couple already! It makes my heart happy!

Hubs and I had our Mason Jar Monday tonight and laughed almost all the way through dinner and then we headed off to Sams to get our headlights cleaned and we laughed our way through the store and the whole time we were waiting for our car to be finished!  I LOVE THAT OUR RELATIONSHIP IS BUILT ON LAUGHTER! It just makes life better!!

Well that is all for tonight! Night Night world, I am going to laugh some more with my love!

Lord, thank you for this sweet husband of mine, thank you for bringing the one that would add so much laughter and love to my life! You knew exactly what I needed to balance me! Thank you for loving me so much that you plan such amazing gifts! Thank you for sharing this man with me! Thank you for this sweet little town that you have placed us in, help us to be a blessing to this community and help us to know exactly where you want us to put down our roots here! We love you and trust you and we will continue to follow you! In Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Precious Mundane

Oh the precious mundane...

We had the opportunity this weekend to go to my in-laws for to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday. 

It was a very nice weekend just doing the mundane. We just hung out and ate dinner and played with kids on Friday night and then on Saturday we did yard work and helped dig a pond. It was quite refreshing as these are the simple and mundane moments that we have been missing and what we are anxious to get back to with all of our families.

We had a really laid back and fun time just laughing about whatever and digging and cleaning the yard and pool. 

We then decide to go out to eat before we headed back home, so went out to the bay to have seafood where I had crawfish for the first time and enjoyed it but the rest of our food was not that great but it was really nice to be on the bay and get to look at the window and see the water. 

I just LOVE the water, the bay, lake, ocean!! Love it!

It was just the laid back nice weekend that we needed and we look so forward to more of those moments with all of our families and getting to reconnect on that level. 

So today I am thankful for the precious mundane moments that I so crave with our families.

Here's to a better week this week than last week!

Lord I thank You for your faithfulness and love. I give you this week ahead and ask that it be a good week full of fun and lots of energy. In Jesus name. Amen

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bible/Book Study - The Cringe Factor - Predetermined Choices

At the request of my BEST FRIEND I am going to post the bible/book study teaching that I share with the women of my church. This was my first time leading a bible/book study and I am thankful that God led me!!  I hope you enjoy!

This is my learning from the book "The Jesus-Hearted Woman" by Jodi Detrick - Chapter Five "The Cringe Factor"

Predetermined Choices:

God led me to thinking specifically in terms of Hurts which I believe to be the biggest struggle in life and especially in church.

*My Bad Hurts (pg.123) are hurts that come from our own making.
*Their Bad Hurts (pg. 123) things that others have done to us.
*Too Bad Hurts (pg. 123) things that just do not go our way.

What do we do with our about these hurts?
*We get to decide how we allow hurts/disappointments to affect us.
Predetermined Choices"
*We get to choose - Let's choose now to:
       *Not to give up 
       *Not to wall up (if we wall up we wall ourselves in and not even God can reach us)
              *we cage ourselves in and not even God can reach us
              *We cannot be fully effective in ministry and loving people if we put up walls to "protect"                ourselves
       *Not to shut down
*We must never let bitterness Begin - once it starts the journey back in long and difficult

It is our choice

Joseph's Example (Genesis 37 and 39-45)
*Joseph's My Bad - His youthful pride in sharing his dream of his brothers bowing down to him caused friction with his brothers which led to him being sold as a slave
*Joseph's Their Bad - Potiphar's Wife wanted to sleep with him and he fled from her and it still landed him in jail
*Joseph's Too Bad - He was forgotten by the cupbearer which lead to a longer imprisonment (2 full years)

If anyone had reason to give up, wall up or shut down it was Joseph. 

However, Joseph's positive response to the situations in his life transformed each set back into a step forward.

Joseph did NOT give up, wall up or shut down, he glorified God and did not allow bitterness.

I think we can learn so much from Joseph and how he made the best of each situation in his life and chose to not give up, wall up, shut down or even allow bitterness to begin in his life. Can you imagine if he had allowed bitterness how incredibly hard it would have been to stop it from situation to situation. Yikes!

I just love Joseph! He is so inspiring!!

I am choosing to not give up, wall up, shut down or even let bitterness begin - with God's help of course. 

Hurts WILL come because we are loving people and people are imperfect.

I do not want to allow hurts to affect the way that I love God's people or the way I allow people to love me. Giving up, shutting down, walls and bitterness all affect those things.

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Hard Things

In every transition there are hard things...
Quite honestly in this transition I expected more hard things than we have received and I know that is all due to our Faithful God who goes before us to prepare the way.

There are so many hardships that we have not had to experience this time around and for that I am so very thankful...because there have been other hard things to face.

This has been my hardest battle both of the times that I have moved to new places. I miss the connections that I had. The strong trusting connections with our kids, youth, parents and friends.
Why do I struggle with this so much? Because I am SO NOT A PATIENT PERSON! I know that true deep connections take time to build but it is so hard to wait for that to happen. I miss the trusting hugs and talks with the kids and the easy and comfortable moments of teaching with the youth and the wordless conversations with friends.

Even my connections with family are different because we have been away from them for almost 4 years. It is so hard to loose those connections and to have to be patient while they are being rebuilt! So hard and very heart breaking for me.

However, how else would I get to work on my patience...Right!

New Jobs/New Routine/New Balance...
This has been my second hardest battle. Learning how to have an almost full-time job and balance ministry. It is so hard to not have the amount of time that I want to pour into our ministry and the people we want to minister to. Time disappears so fast!! Even though I do not work until 5:00pm everyday the short amount of time between getting off work and picking up my hubby from work is usually filled with a shower (which is a necessity after cleaning houses all day) or breathing or eating. It really is so crazy how quickly time disappears!

Oh Oh Oh...but even in the hard boy is my God ever faithful. He has just been so incredible faithful each day and each week and each situation to provide exactly what we need!

I cannot believe that we get to live out our calling in a wonderful community with a wonderful church and near our families!! We get to keep in touch with so many of the ones we love and miss and we get to build new relationships and we are believing that we will not have to leave these!! We get to put down roots and see where God takes us here! We get to serve a loving and faithful and caring God who goes before us and stand beside us and even covers our backs! Love love love my God! Love love love serving Him and loving His people!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Life these days...He is Faithful

Life these days is filled with peace and contentment.

Both hubby and I are enjoying our jobs and we are thankful that God has been so faithful to provide us with jobs that we really enjoy. 

We have also been having such a Wonderful time getting to know everyone at church and we love that we do not feel new. We feel like we have always been here. We love our kids and youth and the adults here. We love our bible study groups and the time that we get to pour out and be pour into.

It is quite an amazing feeling to be exactly where God wants us and to know that He has come before us to prepare the way, there is simply no other reason that this transition has been so smooth.  

There is so much that we have to look forward to and I cannot wait to see what else God has prepared for us.

God has already been so faithful. God has always been so faithful. God will forever be faithful!