Monday, September 30, 2013


 He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.”  Mark 9:35
Today was a really great day at church.  As always.  The pastor delivered a sermon entitled, "Achieving Greatness."   We all know that greatness in man's eye differs GREATLY from what God considers to be great.  I don't know about you, but I want to be considered GREAT in God's eyes.  I do not want to care what man thinks of me.
And that is hard.  We are human.  Naturally, we want to be loved and accepted by people. But the harsh truth is this:  There are times when, no matter what you do or how much you love, you are not going to be accepted.  Trust me.  I speak from experience. 
You see in Mark chapter 9 verse 35, Jesus is telling His disciples that if they want to be "first,"  (or GREAT), then they must make themselves last.  They must serve.  It does sound a little backwards.  To be first, you must be last.  That is definitely not what man tells us.  According to man, you are great if...
you are pretty
you are rich
you are successful and have an important job
you have a spouse, two kids, a picket fence, a dog, a cat and a goldfish
you have an amazing talent of some kind
And so on.  You get the point.  How discouraging is this list to the average person??  I know that if I use this list to measure my "greatness,"  there's trouble.  I am not the prettiest of people.  I DEFINITELY am not rich.  I don't have a job. I have no spouse, no home and no pets.  I do sing, but it is less than what you would consider to be amazing. 
Fortunately, I work very hard (daily) not to measure myself against man's criteria.  I took it upon myself to compile a short list of what God considers to be great.
 "I’m sure that won’t happen to you, friends. I have better things in mind for you—salvation things! God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them."  Hebrews 6:9-10

"This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear."  1 John 3:16-17
"If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand."  Philippians 2:1-4
"I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.'  John 15:11-15
"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’"  Matthew 25:34-40
"Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets." Hebrews 13:16
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived." Galations  6:1-3
And there are many, many more where that came from!  Do you see the pattern?  DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE.  Serve.  Give.  I promise you that you will find joy when you SPREAD joy.  Again, I am speaking from experience.  There is a LOT in my life right now that is not at all joyful.  But a smile spread across my face this afternoon while I was filling out paperwork to volunteer at the Children's Hospital.  It made me so happy.  I might play with kids, talk with hurting families, or end up sweeping hallways and cleaning bathrooms.  No matter what I am asked to do, it might not be what "man" considers a success, but it WILL mean something to the heart of God. 
And that's good enough for me. 
It's funny, because when I sat down with my laptop this afternoon, I intended to write something completely different.  Maybe someone (other than me) needed to hear this today? 
I hope so.

Friday, September 27, 2013

today's to-do list

This just about sums it up. 

Today, (Thursday), was a really good day.  I got to teach with some of my favorite people today.  And I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. 

I am very excited because I do not have a teaching job tomorrow (Friday).  It will be a perfect start to what I pray will be the perfect weekend.  I do not have much planned for the weekend.  JP and I are hanging out and having dinner at some friends' house Friday night.  Saturday and Sunday are OPEN.  I always love that.  Of course Saturday we'll watch our Gamecocks play!  Other than that, if the weather is nice, I hope to get "out and about" around town. 

Now is a good time to send a public SHOUT OUT to all of my amazing friends (you know who you are) who messaged me yesterday afternoon.  I took JP to the park after work.  My phone was going dead, so I turned it off for a while and left it in my car.  I turned it back on when we got back in the car to leave and it blew up with text and Facebook messages from some of the most awesome people in my life. Some shot me scripture.  Several just said "hello, I am thinking about you."  And others just told me they loved me.  And those are the VERY BEST kind of messages.  The kind that are unprompted.  Unexpected.  "Just because" messages.

It made my heart feel really good. 

It seems silly that a girl who lives in a house with FIVE other people could be lonely.  But, the circumstances I am living in can be VERY lonely at times.  I think that's common for anyone who has experienced a trauma or loss in their life.  You are left feeling very alone.  There are days when you look around and realize that there are very few people who know how you feel and what you have been through.  You are alone. 

This is why days like today are so special to me.  The feelings of loneliness do not last long.  God is always faithful to whisper sweet words of encouragement into your ear through the mouths of your friends and family. 

Every night I post a quote of some kind on Facebook.  Last night's quote said, "I just want to feel pretty."  Doesn't every girl want to feel pretty?  Well, thanks to my guys and girls this afternoon, I didn't just feel pretty, I felt beautiful.  Without any of them saying those words.  They didn't have to. 

Actions speak MUCH louder than words.  Thank you guys. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

it was the perfect day


It was long overdue.  A good day.  I needed a day to make up for the past week I have had.  Well, today did it.  It was perfect!

Don't get your hopes up.... pretty much all I did was watch a movie and enjoy a lazy day inside while the rain tapped quietly on the windows.  Perfect weather for a perfect day.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been a nap.  That didn't take place.  I was just too engrossed in the movie ( I guess ) to welcome sleep.  Maybe Friday...that's my next day off.  Tomorrow I get to teach at my old school.  I am super excited about that!  I love seeing my girls in the special ed department!

Now for a steamy topic.

The Voice.  Actually Adam Levine.  Oh my!  I am not one for facial hair, but have mercy!  My man was ROCKIN' a beard last night.  Be still my heart. 
And I have to say, while I like Cristina and Cee Lo (however you spell that), I am still mourning the fact that Usher and Shakira are not gracing the screen this season.  I have the largest crush on Usher and always have.  And for that matter, I have quite the girl-crush on Shakira.  It won't affect my ability to drool over  enjoy the show, it is just slightly disappointing.

Tony and Ziva.  LORD. HELP. ME.  It's hard enough to contain my excitement over the Voice.  Couple that with the return of NCIS, and it is almost too much for me to handle.  I have not yet come to terms with Ziva leaving the show.  I LOVED the preview for next week's show. Ziva's Farewell.  THEY ACTUALLY KISS!!  Whew.  Makes me sweat.  (Can you tell I have not been in a relationship in a while?)  It doesn't take much to make me happy!  LOL  This will MORE than do for now! 
Well, that's all for today, friends and family!  I hope that everyone has had the most wonderful day.  I sure did.  We all deserve that from time to time.  At the very least.  It's just a reminder that God is present and He is good. 
Even on rainy days.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I have been pretty "heavy" with the posts lately.  On a much lighter note, I am SOOOOOOOOOO excited about seeing Florida Georgia Line in concert the first of November!! 

Somehow I have got to find a way to purchase these pretties so that I can wear them that night!  We'll see how that goes...

I am also BEYOND excited about...

THE PREMIER OF NCIS!!!  Although, I know that Ziva is leaving the show this season and I am pretty bummed about that.  It will be like losing a family member.  Plus, the chemistry between Ziva and Tony is part of the reason I watch the show.  I WANT THEM TO AT LEAST KISS!!  Goodness, help!!  My heart probably couldn't handle that anyway...

I hope you guys have a nice Wednesday!  I am hoping mine will be better than Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

today i feel....


Ugly.  Used.  Rejected.  Lonely.  Angry. 

                Beat down.

Pain.  Taken advantage of.  Stupid.

I will have to flip my pillow tonight.  It is stained from last night.  I cried myself to sleep.  And tonight's not looking too good either.  I would give anything if I could share with you everything that is on my heart.  I hate that I have to be so vague.  It's just not appropriate to share.  And probably never will be.  Just know that what I am experiencing tonight are feelings that are felt by people all over the world.  You do not have to know the details of my life to relate to me.  I'm sure you have your own burdens you are lugging around.  And I am also sure that they are equally as heavy. 

And painful.

All I know is, it should be a RULE that if you've been hurt (really hurt) once in your lifetime, you should not have to endure it another time.  Once is enough.  Wouldn't you agree? 

And the worst part?  The mask you have to wear in front of other people.  You know the one I'm referring to... the "I'm fine" mask.  We've all put it on at one time or another.  In my case, it is with my son.  He (unknowingly) referenced something tonight that made me hurt so bad.  Love his heart.  He had no way of knowing the affect his words would have on me.  Before I had the chance to turn away, my eyes filled up with tears.  "Mommy!  What's wrong?  Are you sad?"  He asked so sweetly.  I told him yes, that I missed our dog.  Ha!  While there is some truth to that, it certainly was not why I was beginning to cry.  He is such a sweet boy.  I love his little heart.

And he loves mine.   If everyone loved the way he does, life would be a lot more simple.

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.
Psalm 34:18 (the Message Bible)
Having said all of this, I know that God has something great planned for me.  And it will be His plan this time, NOT mine.  I am definitely DONE making plans.  It is clear that I have no idea what I am doing.  So, I will trust Him.
Even when it hurts.

Monday, September 23, 2013

happy monday!!

* Edited to add:  I went back to preview this post and realized how negative it is.  I almost changed it, but I decided not to because when I wrote it, it is how I was feeling.  And that is the purpose of a blog, right?!  So, enjoy... hahahaha! 

Unfortunately, I am in one of "those" moods.  I will not share with you the details of what prompted my poor attitude.  I will just tell you that someone was MEAN to me today (Sunday).  And that upsets me. 

I digress.

It has been a good weekend. 

Friday night, my gals took me out to California Dreaming to celebrate my birthday. As always, it was a fabulous time!  I love these two girls!

Today I spent time studying at Furman.  It was perfect weather.  After a couple of hours, JP's dad brought him to me.  JP and I spent time at the pond.  We ran in to a copperhead snake.  That was less than thrilling for me!  But, JP LOVED it!  I am just thankful we saw it before it found us.  It was definitely NOT afraid of us being there.

I guess that's about all.  I have a test to take this evening, so I need to run.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!

(The following quotes come to you as a result of how I am presently feeling.  In addition to being YELLED at today,  I have also been reminded this weekend of how people disappoint you.  One day I will learn not to get my hopes up...)


Monday, September 16, 2013

judgment house

HAPPY MONDAY!  Or one might say, HAPPY day-after-my-birthday GUYS!!  In case you have not figured it out, JP and I are in the middle of a week long event at church called Judgment House.  It is really awesome and we are having a lot of fun!  Having said that, we are also very tired.  We began practicing a couple of months ago.  We are "angels" in the Heaven scene.  Please understand...this is the closest JP and I will ever get to being ANGELS here on earth. 

With school, teaching several days a week, and practice/JH every single night, I am pretty pooped.  Because of this, I am taking a week long break from blog world.  I will begin posting again ONE WEEK from today!

As always, thanks for your support!  I hope you all have an amazing week....  If it just really breaks your heart to be away from me for seven whole days, you can always find me on Facebook!  (Hahaha!) 

See ya soon!

(Btw, thanks for all of the birthday messages and texts and phone calls!  I had a great birthday!)

Friday, September 13, 2013

an untitled friday post

This is a fabulous picture of me for several reasons.  1) I am wearing my really dorky glasses.  John and I were practicing our song tonight while at church and the words on the CD cover are so stinkin' small I had trouble reading them and singing at the same time.  2) My hair.  I am not quite sure what to say about it.  In my defense, I worked all day in a very difficult environment.  I was tired and ended up putting it in a "bun" on my way out the door.  Because my hair is not long enough to stay in that fashion, it tends to stick up all over my head. 

Beautiful, I know. 

Anyway, after tonight I am definitely excited about singing this Sunday.  John is amazing.  As a person and a singer.  And as I previously shared with you, the song means so much to me.  That always makes it more fun!

I do not have much to share.  Between our entire household being sick, practice at church (every night) for Judgment House, and studying, I have been really busy. 

I did hear back from the agent in New York.  While she was very complimentary of my writing, she is not interested in publishing a devotional book.  Back to square one.  It doesn't really bother me.  Sure, I was a little disappointed.  However, I cannot think of anyone who signed with the FIRST agent they ever approached.  I will continue in my search. 

In the meantime, I have been rolling around a few new ideas in my head.  I won't share the details quite yet, but I am entertaining the thought of "co-writing" a children's book with JP.  I have two topics I would like to address, if I decide to do this.  One will obviously be adoption.  I will share the other in a future post.  It is a little more personal.  So, if you will, please add this to your prayer list.  It could be a lot of fun.

I hope everyone has a lovely Friday!  Check back with me on Monday!  HAPPY WEEKEND!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

drum roll...

I finally have my book!!!!!!  And the even better news is, because I pre-ordered it, I was able to buy the other book (that I was not even familiar with ) at a discounted price!!  I cannot stand how excited I am! 

I spent all day today in the bed trying to regain my strength.  This strand of strep was a booger.  My throat was never too sore, but the fatigue and headache kicked my tail!  I had ONE MILLION things that I needed to do this week, but I just didn't have the energy.  I am working all day tomorrow and Friday, so I needed the rest.

It took everything ounce of restraint that I had not to begin reading the smaller book tonight.  I did, however, open the front cover and read the inside flap. 

I will be excited to share this with's going to be a GREAT one, I can already tell!

I hope you all have a super Thursday! 

(This is my goal when it comes to JP.)
(And this is what God is helping me with.  Daily.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

home sick but excited

I have had a lot of time on my hands today.  I took a test last night and I didn't have a teaching job today, so I was a free woman!  That is until the strep bug took up residence in the back of my throat last night.  Fun.  I wasn't surprised.  This week, it had already claimed four out of the six people that live in this house. So, now we are just praying that Papa doesn't fall prey. 

It's awful.

Although I have felt like $&^* today, I couldn't help but daydream about a few up and coming events that I am SUPER excited about! 

Thanks to one of my favorite friends, *wink*,  I have a ticket to see Florida Georgia Line at the Bi lo Center in November.  If you know me, you can imagine how happy this makes me!  I cannot wait!

Max Lucado's book was released TODAY in stores.  If you have not rushed out to purchase yours, what are you waiting for??!!!  My contagious state has kept me confined to my bed today, but rest assured I will be at the store first thing tomorrow morning to grab this prize! 

My friend, or actually JP's friend, John and I are singing "Unredeemed"  THIS Sunday!  And I am pumped!

The above picture is my favorite!  We booked our condo at Myrtle Beach for the week of Thanksgiving!  I love being at the beach during the fall months.  The weather is always perfect.  There's nothing like a cool salty breeze and a massive Thanksgiving spread outdoors with your favorite people on Earth!

Hmmm, let's that it?  I guess so.  For now. 


A very special birthday shout out to my "bubba!"  I love you!! 
(Fyi, my birthday is THIS SUNDAY!  If any of you need ideas for gifts, don't be shy....just ask!!)  Haha!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

let's escape

It never fails.  No matter how crazy life gets, I know exactly where I can go to find solace.  There is NOTHING like a good book to carry you off into another world.  Far away from your reality. 

And if you are anything like me, sometimes you just have to escape reality!

I go back and forth between the types of novels I like to read.  Right now, I am reading anything by James Patterson.  And I am loving it.  Any time there is a lull in my day, (rare, but it happens), I enjoy sinking into one of his exciting stories.  If you have not read James Patterson, you must.  His books are classified as suspenseful, murderous thrillers.  They are every bit of that!  If I had to recommend that you begin with a particular book, I would suggest you pick up "Beach Road."  (Pictured above).  This was the very first novel I read by Patterson.  The twists and turns are consistently surprising and the only disappointment you'll encounter is when you have read the last word on the final page. 

I finished this little treat this afternoon.  Five out of five stars. 

As soon as I finish typing this post, I plan on diving head first into this one!  I cannot wait!

Monday, September 9, 2013

i want to be...

...  kind.
A good mother
A listener
Slow to anger
An exceptional student
A friend
A good teacher
A good therapist
A published writer
A good daughter
A loving sister
I want to be all of these things.  I want to lay my head on my pillow each night and drift off to sleep confident that I did my very best in this life.  No regrets.  I want my trials to make me stronger and my successes to drive me harder.  When I am beat down, I will not give up.  When I am sad I will cry,  then I will dry my tears and move on.  When I fail, I will try again. When I fall I will get back up.  I will make the most of each day and appreciate the world around me.  I will spend more time outdoors and around town taking full advantage of what the city has to offer. I want to live my life in a way that will make my son proud. 
I just needed a visual reminder. 

(Just because I am in a mood...)


Friday, September 6, 2013

why facebook is not a bad thing

The timing of this blog post is a little ironic.  I made the decision on Sunday to take a week long break from Facebook and Instagram.  I even overcame the strong urge to announce my "face-cation"  in a status update for all to read.  Step one, right?!  My decision developed on the tail end of a sermon I was listening to while sitting in church Sunday morning.  The topic was not about social media, but rather things you might consider giving up for the sake of Christ.   I'll go ahead and tell you that I am in no way hopping onto the social media hater's bandwagon.  I just thought it would be a good idea for me to de-clutter my life a bit.

 Simplify things.

The main reason I love using Facebook and Instagram is because it is so much fun sharing pictures and communicating with people who I otherwise might not have contact with.  I also have family who I do not have the opportunity to see on a regular basis.  Sharing pictures and messages is an easy way to stay in touch.  Facebook definitely has it's downfalls too.  For example, my account has been hacked FOUR times, that I know of!  Each time, someone will contact me telling me that they could no longer "chat" with me, or that I had "defriended" them, etc.  One time, last October, I apparently was responding to messages and commenting on pictures that, in reality, I had not even seen.  I have no idea how this happens.  It happened again recently.  I received a text message TODAY from a girlfriend of mine telling me that she could no longer see my page.  I have changed my password AGAIN!  It is really frustrating!  But, who knows...maybe the 5th time will be a charm!

The real reason I am writing this post is because I have stumbled upon several articles recently talking about how unhealthy facebook is for families.  Especially mothers.  I read one just last week that was written in one of my favorite Christian magazines.  I am sorry, but I could  not disagree more.  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is no different than any other "thing" in the world.  Of course it can be unhealthy.  If you spend more time in cyber space than you do with your family, it's obviously not a good thing.  If you spend more time behind the screen of  your laptop than you do in God's word, it is NOT a good thing.  Just like with food, exercise, and sports.  Moderation is key.  I love my family more than anything on earth.  Having said that, I have less adult interaction during the day since I resigned from my job.  Social media keeps me connected with my friends and other mothers I have things in common with.  Plus, I LOVE my boys and enjoying bragging on them and "showing them off."  No mother should apologize for that!

So, if you are like me and have had the misfortune of reading the articles that are anti-Facebook, etc.  Do not feel guilty!  Just keep yourself balanced.  After my one week long break, I plan on spending a little less time interacting on these sites than before.  But as far as giving them up completely,  NO WAY!

And that's my rant for this week. 

In other news: 
  • JP has not felt well.  I took him to the doctor today and learned that he has strep...ugh.  At least it is treatable and the generic antibiotic is FREE at Publix.
  • A shout out to my mom who, after being diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago, has dropped 25 pounds and is learning to control her disease with healthy eating and exercise! Those of us who LOVE her are so proud. 
  • I haven't heard back from the agent in New York.  My fingers are still crossed and my legs are still kneeling in prayer each night.  We'll see what happens....
  • In the meantime, I have two new ideas for children's books that I am S.U.P.E.R excited about.  I am not going to share quite yet, but I will tell you that if it comes together like I have planned, I will be co-writing with a certain little Mayan who I love so very much!! *wink*
That's all for today, friends!  I hope that you all have a marvelous weekend and I will "see" you on Monday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

throw back thursday

My, how this little monkey has grown...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The boys and I drove out to the Christian bookstore tonight.  I was so anxious and excited to get my hands on Max Lucado's new book,  "you'll get through this."  (I blogged about the book HERE.)  We flew into the store to learn that the book is not going to be released until September 10th.  BOO.  I was so disappointed.  However, the great news is,  I was able to pre-order it for TEN dollars less than it will be sold for on the day of it's arrival!  Woohoo! 

That's a deal.

While in the store, I spent time walking up and down the aisles waiting to see if a particular book grabbed my attention.  I am not sure what I was looking for.  I decided to ask the sales associate if they had a section of books about divorce.  Of course the answer was "yes," and he kindly led me to what I thought would be the "Divorce" section.  Not that you would necessarily label it "Divorce,"  but believe it or not the store's (limited) selection for the topic was nestled in between the Love and Marriage books.  Seriously, on the same shelf.  Really?  There is no other place in the store you could have housed the (maybe) four books I found? 

I left empty handed.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't mad at all.  It was just a little frustrating to be exposed to titles such as, "How to Date your Mate,"  and " Slow Dancing with your Best Friend"  while I am searching for a book that might provide me with a few post-marriage survival tips!

I am not going to give the name of the store because that wouldn't be appropriate.  It's a wonderful store and I'll certainly continue to shop there.  When I do, however,  I now know to steer clear of the (not so) divorce section while shopping!  

Happy Tuesday everybody!  I'll leave you with a few funnies...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

the apple festival

Saturday, mom and I took the boys to Hendersonville to the Apple Festival.  It was fun, but soooo hot!  We have friends family who are camping there, so it was nice to spend time with them. 

I have two teaching jobs and another test this week.  It's gonna be another busy one!  HAPPY LABOR DAY!

*Edited to add:  I sent off ten pages of my manuscript to the agent in New York this afternoon!  I am very anxious to hear back.  Good or bad. I keep reminding myself that my ALL TIME favorite author was rejected SIXTEEN TIMES before he was published.  Send up a prayer for me and I will be sure to keep you posted.