Monday, April 25, 2011


592.  A sweet and precious Easter!  Celebrating our Risen Lord:)
593.  hilarious comments from Lawson.
594.  picking strawberries.  no kiddos.  with this awesome friend.
595.  painting in a field (until it started to rain.)
596.  stepping out of my comfort zone.  
597.  Lawson stopped sucking her thumb.
598.  strawberry shortcake.
599.  big fluffy clouds.
600.  bright blue skies.
601.  Eating mexican with 2 precious college girls.  i.feel.old.
602.  surprise phone call from my brother.
603.  praying specifically for people.
604.  seeing and hearing about the Lord moving in mighty ways.
605.  He never ceases to amaze me.
606.  phone call with Lo.  miss the mess out of her.  but smiling when i think of her.
607.  my husband.  
608.  these wise words from my hubby when i was feeling insecure:
"There has only been One person who knew exactly who He was." 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I have struggled with how to put into words what happened to me two weeks ago.
But, I took a chance and I followed God.
I felt Him telling me to go.
So I went.
Believing in His Promises.

No one knew except my sister, Amelia.
I went to my real father's farm in Tennessee.
The last time I was there, I went to take him to rehab.
I was desperate for him to be well.
But, he was sick.
And I wanted to save him.
He had a loaded gun.
He wanted to kill himself.

I have not been back since.
But, I have been visiting that place in my heart where the fear has gripped me for the past four and a half years.
I miss my dad.
I miss him terribly.
I have always missed him.

Especially when he was suppose to be there.
Whether it was to pick me up when I was four.
school play.
my wedding.
So many special days he just didn't show up.

A longing in my soul for him to just love me.
To hold me.
To want to be with me.

And the only place I have found all the things I have searched for my whole life,
is in the arms of Christ.

So, I drove to the farm.
The roads that I have loved for 20 years.
It was the most beautiful day.
I drove with the windows down.
Hair blowing in the wind.
Soaking up all of God's beauty.
Praising Him.

I drove down my dad's long driveway.
I took pictures.
My heart was beating out of my chest.
I pulled into the driveway.
And I reversed slowly.
Knowing that I would not see him, although I know he was there.

I drove off in peace though.
The Peace that can only come from The One I love.
I kept driving the roads.
Breathing and taking it all in.

I went to a hill I have always wanted to climb.
For 20 years I have dreamed about climbing this land.
I pulled in and stared up to where I have longed to run.
I parked the car.
Got my book, One Thousand Gifts, and stepped out.
Stepped out in faith that this is where He was leading me.
Confident in Him.
But, still not so sure.

A dog starts to bark.
I attempt to go back to the car.
But, I keep going.
Sure of His love for me.
Because it is all around me.

I get to the top.
I turn around.
Look at the hill I have just climbed.
I take pictures.
Breathing in the wind that is coming from Him.

I open Ann's book.
It opens to page 178.
I read it.
Tears start to flow.
Beautiful tears.
Of joy.

These are the words I read.  And read aloud on this hill.

"All light seen is light from the past and light now old from the sun streams through the window, glints off the glass shards.  Broken glass ignites in light and there it is, the secret of joy's flame:  Humbly let go.  Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control...let go of my own way, let go of my fears.  Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy's fire.  Leave the hand open and be.  Be at peace.  Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper surprised thanks.  This is the fuel for joy's flame.  Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will.  And I can empty.  I can empty because counting His graces has awakened me to how He cherishes me, holds me, passionately values me.  I can empty because I am full of His love.  I can trust.
I can let go.
I hadn't know that joy meant dying.
What did I think hard eucharisteo and the table of the Last Supper meant?
But, dying to self demands that I might gratefully and humbly receive the better, the only things that a good God gives.  To be nothing in the flesh and Christ might be everything in the soul, to follow after Jesus who "humbled himself and became obedient to death..." (Philippians 2:8 NIV), to follow Christ to the table of eucharisteo, the table of surrender that gives thanks for what is given - this is joy!  True humility is self-smallness to the point of  "blessed self-forgetfulness" and what could bring more happiness than emptying of self-will and being wholly immersed in the will of God for this moment?  Joy - it's always obedience.
I know it deeper now: This eucharisteo is no game of Pollyanna but the hard edge of blade.
Only self can kill joy."
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts p. 178-179.

He is Good.
He died.
But, He is Risen.
He is Alive.

As we approach this Easter, I am taken aback to the glory of His resurrection.
His power.
His love.
His mercy.
His grace.

Humbled like never before.

"The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; 
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.

I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; 
my flesh also dwells secure.

For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Psalm 16:6-11 (ESV)

I love you, Daddy.  I miss the mess out of you.  I love you.
Missing you and loving you has been a gift from the Gift Giver.  No matter how painful the ache I feel for you.  He uses things in life to give us the better.  And that better is Him.  Only Him.

Monday, April 18, 2011


578.  Studying this with my girls this morning.
579.  praising God for the new birth of a sweet baby girl by my dear friend, Shawna.  (In the car I might add.)  
I love you, Shawna!
580.  the new flowers about to bloom on our pomegranate tree.  so pumped.
581.  beautiful 70 degree weather.
582.  my husband finally disclosing to me that it bothered him that I never threw my Splenda packets away.
583.  laughing out loud together when I told him that I have just always known he would throw it away for me.  pathetic.  it has taken us 11 years to talk about this.  I love you, baby.  seriously.  i am blessed.
584.  i am thankful for an update from my baby sister, Susan.  have fun in Austria and Italy.......soak up this time with each other.  i am praying for y'all.  love.  you.
585.  praying today with ladies from our church for the military.  
586.  for all of the men and women who serve in the military and their families.
587.  God's faithfulness.  It.  Never.  Fails.  
588.  praising and thanking the Lord feels so much better than fear and worry.
589.  painting a peacock tonight at Tag It Art.  so fun:)
590.  the encouraging words my hubby said to me before I left tonight.
591.  playing dodge ball with the kids today with a nerf football.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


570.  running in the rain this morning.
571.  seeing an owl fly over our heads.  wow.
572.  seeing the sun through the clouds.  even if it was only for a little while.
573.  two little girls playing and giggling.  
574.  that my mistakes don't define me.  they have and are refining me.  for His Glory.
575.  He is the lifter of my head.  and the Shield about me.  (Psalm 3)
576.  joy and pain.  sunshine and rain. (you know the song i am talking about;))
577.  He is good.  He is good.  He is good.

The last three pictures is something I can't wait to tell you about.
God is good.
So, so good.

Monday, April 11, 2011


561.  climbing a hill that I have wanted to climb for 20 years.
562.  driving mountain roads by myself with the windows down and music blaring.
563.  the way the kids screamed when they saw Leighton for the first time in 6 days.
564.  the excitement that i felt to see Leighton:)
565.  driving my kids around on my dad's gator in my cowboy boots and exercise shorts.  and not caring what i look like.  
566.  the way Lawson looks with her new headbands on.  Fame.  style.
567.  getting to go to the Master's on Sunday with my hubby and brother in law.  just like we use to do way back in the day.
568.  hushpuppies.  need I say more?
569.  still loving my husband even though he has been snoring like a dragon lately.  i know i am far harder to live with everyday;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sweet taste

I have been thinking a lot about Jesus lately.  I know it is Lent and Easter is fast approaching.  This year has been different for me for several reasons.  I have never given anything up for Lent.  I have always been kind of a rebel.  Well, I have been a rebel all my life.  My mom can attest to that.  I feel sure I came out of the womb with my fists raised up ready to fight.  So, giving something up is hard for me.  I know I am not alone in this, I am sure;)

I love sweets.  I mean really love sweets.  So, this year after researching Lent, I decided to give up sweets.  I have to admit reading that I could take Sunday off helped with my motivation.  At first, it was pretty hard.  I read this from Ann's blog and it really encouraged me to continue.  Every time I got a craving, which was pretty often, I thought of Jesus.  And what He did for me.  To think of His suffering and thank Him.  Turn away from the sweets.

The first Sunday, I anticipated what the vanilla ice cream with peanut butter was going to taste like that night.  My mouth watered.  Literally.  It was the best bowl of ice cream I have ever tasted.  And as it went down I was forced to reflect on the sweetness of the Lord.  How He had mercy on me, laid down His life, so I could live.  Because of Him, I live.  But, I have to die to myself everyday.  And there is a sweetness about dying because He tastes so good.

I see a little more clearly this path He has taken me on.  He wants me to walk with Him.  To practice walking with Him.  To desire to walk with Him.  To fall at His feet when I fall.  To love Him more than the air I breathe.  To die to myself.  Is to live.  Walk.  Faith.  Walk.  Faith.  Through the desert.  I will praise You.  Through the fire.  I will praise You. Through the battle.  I will praise You.  And in the harvest.  I will praise You.


Brooke posted a You Tube video about this song.  It touched me to my soul.  Although I have never lost a child, I know what it feels like to long for a child.  I had to download the song for my road trip and I have played it over and over again.

The Desert Song  by Hillsong

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on its way
I am conqueror and co- heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

All of my life in every season
You are still God,
I have a reason to sing,
I have a reason to worship

I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I received I will sow

I have been in the desert many times.  But, He always provides.

I have been in the fire many times.  He refines me each time through the flame.

I have been in the battle many times.  His faithfulness never fails me.  His rock is firm.

I have been in the harvest many times.  But, most of the time, in the harvest I am looking for the desert, fire and battle over my shoulder.

Which robs me of being filled with Him.

So, this last verse has struck me deeply.  When I am in the harvest, and everything is flowing well.  Don't look over my shoulder waiting for the worst to happen.  Walk with Him.  Right here.  Right now.  His seed is good.  It is taking root.  So, Lord please let me soak up this time with praise and thanksgiving, knowing that when I am emptied is when You do your best Work.

Giving up sweets has given me such a sweeter taste of You, Lord.

"I sought the LORD, and he answered me
   and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
   and their faces shall never be ashamed.
 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
   and saved him out of all his troubles.
 The angel of the LORD encamps
   around those who fear him, and delivers them.

 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
   for those who fear him have no lack!
 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
   but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing."

Psalm 34:4-10

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


548.  road trip and the beautiful weather.
549.  listening to two amazing sermons on the road that can be found here and here
550.  cousins getting to spend quality time together.
551.  jumping on the trampoline at 7 am.
552.  running in this neighborhood.
553.  the wild clovers growing on the side of the highway.
554.  the red bird that flew right over me while I was running.  it took my breath away.  again.
555.  watching and listening to my friend Jessica talk about how she felt like the Holy Spirit was breathing for her after the accident with her husband Brian.
556.  a new friend.  who is awesome.  and i can't wait to get to know her better:)
557.  i actually won a photo session with the above mentioned new friend!  her work is amazing and i can't wait for us to have our first family photo session:)
558.  i am flat out blessed.  thank you, Lord.  thank you.
559.  oh, and that i at 37, can still do a back flip on the trampoline and land on my feet.  i am still sore;)
560.  how His grace, love, forgiveness and mercy are changing my heart.