Three Years Ago…

It’s been three years. Three years since I’ve held my Papa’s hand. Three years since I stayed awake most of the night. By his side. Administering medicine at the needed time. Watching, listening to his labored breath. Wiping his fevered forehead.

I sang a few hymn choruses to him that night. I read from the Psalms. I journaled. But mostly I just watched him, drinking in the time with him, knowing these would be my last memories.

Aerosmith’s song played in my mind –

“Don’t want to close my eyes
I don’t want to fall asleep
‘Cause I’d miss you, babe
And I don’t want to miss a thing…”

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A Heart Full of Thanksgiving on Christmas Eve

Today I am so thankful for just being a mom. I love watching my kids grow up and become people of their own. It’s like slowly unwrapping a Christmas gift.

At first you get “It’s a boy!” and uncover what color eyes they have, whose nose they inherited and how long their toes are.

As the weeks and months slip by, you notice their little personality quirks – strong wills about sleeping or not sleeping, favorite positions, and funny facial expressions.

So many qualities that I see in my kids now as teenagers, I’ve seen in them since they were infants!

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What Does “Peace on Earth” Look Like?

A few days ago my daughter Mackenzie asked if I would help her on an assignment in her online guitar class. Now this doesn’t happen often, because she is the expert in music not me!

The assignment taught some basic guitar skills along with reading music. I whizzed through the instructions quickly assuming Mackenzie understood those things and just needed help understanding how she was supposed to put it all together.

That’s when she told me “Everyone thinks because I’ve been playing guitar for a long time that I know how to read music but I don’t. No one taught me that at the beginning. I just started out just learning the chords and not the individual string/note names.”

That kinda amazed me but looking back, it was true!

Well the devotional I read today in My Utmost for His Highest reminded me of this conversation and how we can do the same thing spiritually, especially during the Christmas season.

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What Scares Me about being Vulnerable

Have you ever woken your kids up by turning on the light in their room?

It’s kinda funny isn’t it?!

They immediately make a face and pull the covers over their head moaning, “MOM, turn the light offfff!!”

That’s what I thought of yesterday at church when the Pastor spoke on accountability. He said being in an accountable relationship means being honest, vulnerable, available and teachable.

It caused me to reflect. The times I’ve been most vulnerable and honest are also the times I have been most wounded by those I called my friends. As I look back at those times, that “rejection” has caused me to temper how vulnerable and honest I am.

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The Unexpected Journey

We have been on strange and unexpected church journey for almost 10 years now. We’ve experienced church in so many forms with so many different kinds of people ranging from home church to Church of Christ to Assembly, to Non-Denominational. Honestly my heart has forgotten what it feels like to be in a church home.

Regardless of what it looks like on the outside, on the inside Adam and I have done our best to follow where Jesus is going. For us, following Him requires movement. And sometimes it looks like we’re wishy washy and wandering, trying to find something perfect, but in reality we are just following where Jesus leads us.

Looking back, I see God has taught me something through this unexpected journey…

I am an achiever. Put a goal in front of me and I can’t sleep until I crush it! A couple of years ago someone introduced me to the Enneagram. It has helped me accept my personality and understand the warning signs of when I’m over doing it and moving into an unhealthy range. Mostly it’s shown me God’s amazing grace – for it’s only by that grace I am a whole person today!

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Does Your Marriage Ever Feel Out of Balance? Here’s 1 Simple Way to Bring it Back into Rhythm

We were on our way to visit my parents in Arkansas. All five of us were loaded in the van, suitcases stacked high in the back, pillows on the floor, happy to finally be on the road. However, when we hit 60 mph the van started making a loud noise, followed by a more than usual vibration.

Adam silenced the conversation and had me place my foot at different spots on the floor board trying to pinpoint where it was coming from. It seemed to coordinate with the tire rotations.

About 30 minutes later the sound and noise was still there, so we looked up a tire shop in the area and pulled in. Hopefully our tires were just out of balance and we’d be back on the road in no time.

As we carefully pulled in the shop (Adam does that better than me!), the music was blaring Green Day, It’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right. I hope you have the time of your life…

I’m walking down memory lane in my head and quietly mouthing the words to myself, when my son interrupts – Didn’t Tim Hawkins sing that song?

My reminiscent bubble popped as reality sank back in. “Probably,” I responded with a smile. “Let’s see!” I say as I take out my phone to ask trusty Google if Tim Hawkins remade the popular song.

A few minutes later, his theory was confirmed and we shook the car laughing so hard.

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“I’m Just Listening For My Name”

In an old Cosby TV show, Clair Huxtable is sporadically speaking Spanish to a colleague, while Cliff Huxtable stands off to the side, staring at them, because he doesn’t understand what’s being said. The two banter back and forth while Cliff’s face contorts into half a dozen classic Bill Cosby expressions. When the Spanish speaking pair looks back at Cliff he responds, “I’m just listening for my name!” That’s the one thing he understands and can respond to in a paragraph of fast flying foreign words.

This past month has been like a blur of fast flying foreign words. It’s been a series of packing and unpacking suitcases, preparing and speaking sessions, and eating lunch when I can. Between a Kenyan ladies conference, a Hutto Bible ladies retreat and my cousin’s wedding, I have spoken in a microphone more in the pat 45 days than in my entire life!

So many times after we return from Kenya, my heart is on fire with passionate future dreams. I usually hit the ground running in a flurry of activity, praying for clarity and trying to attain to the vision, before I wear a hole in the carpet.

Except all that changed about two years ago when God told us to “go home” from Kenya. We weren’t sure if we’d ever go back – not because anything bad happened but because it felt like the same cherubim and flaming sword God placed to guard the Garden of Eden from being re-entered was also guarding us against returning west.

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How to Help Someone Suffering From Depression

I used to think I wasn’t the type that struggled with depression. During some deep personal struggles, I remember thinking I’m so glad I don’t struggle with depression, for this would be a really dark time.

Normally I would describe myself as an upbeat, passionate person who thinks deeply, sees life realistically and bustles about with high energy.

But as I look back over my 36 years on this earth, I see some mountain top experiences paired with some equally low valley seasons that were longer and darker than I gave them credit for. It’s hard to understand life as you walk it forward. It’s not until you look back that events make sense, yet time and circumstances don’t often allow you the luxury of looking back and reflecting.

Since my grandfather passed away, and even right after he took a dramatic turn for the worse, I have struggled off and on with this darkness.

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What Does 2017 Hold?

Dorothy was right…there is no place like home. We left for Arkansas on Christmas Day, visiting my parents and celebrating Christmas in Silver Dollar City and didn’t return home until New Year’s Eve. I actually want to unpack my suitcases, restock my kitchen and vacuum up the dirt tracked in on my floors. I’m even ready to think about school starting back up and I’m soooo thankful to sleep in my bed, with all my pillows next to my husband!

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Ringing in the New Year causes me to be nostalgic. (OK, really anything can cause me to be nostalgic, but especially when the calendar turns January 1st.) I think back to highlights and unfortunately low lights of 2016 and recall the lessons God taught me through them. Then I try to peer through the misty windows towards what’s ahead in 2017. I know God doesn’t see time like I do, so I try to align myself to His timetable.

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An Arrival to Remember

It’s November 29. The Christmas season is upon us, ready or not.

I love the Christmas lights hug on my tree. I love the lights that glow in the streets at dark. I love the smell of Wassail in my kitchen and hot chocolate stained cups in my sink. I love hearing O Come Let Us Adore Him on the radio and feeling my favorite sweater on my skin. I love being with my friends and family, sharing gifts and catching up on life.

But with all the ads and commercials on screens everywhere about how to make this Christmas unforgettable, it’s hard to keep my focus on the reason for the season – the birth of a Savior.

Last year I shared a post about what advent looks like for us. After starting and feeling guilty for never finishing advent calendars over the years, I came up with this simple idea and it has helped me stay focused on my Savior during the holidays.

I wanted to re-share this with you today and hope that you will join me in leading our children to focus and anticipate the arrival of Christ this Christmas! For that is what Advent really means.

To see last year’s post, click HERE.

Or, click the links below

advent-updated-2016 (explanation sheet)

advent (pictures)


And if you haven’t  noticed, I’ve done some rearranging on my site! You can take a look at my home page, or my homeschool resources or projects page and I hope you’ll come back for ideas about living life creative.

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