Thankful for the Good, Bad, & Ugly

Today is a day that we all set aside time with family to reminisce, eat lots of food, and make lots of new memories. All of these things make me thankful; from the delicious pecan pies my grandmother makes, to watching my children play with cousins they don’t see often, and enjoying the company of family all at the same time. It’s so easy to be thankful for the obvious, the easy part of life, or the many blessings we don’t deserve. But how often do we really appreciate the hard times? The times that push us to our breaking point, when we’ve lost our cool for the zillionth time with our kids or husband, the nights we’ve cried ourselves to sleep, the days that we feel lost, lonely, unappreciated, not good enough? Should we be thankful for these times? James tells us in James 1:2-4 (NLT)

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Being thankful for the hard part of life is not something that comes naturally. We have to remember that it’s these hard times that bring us closer in our relationship with our Savior, the only one that can mend, protect, fulfill, comfort, calm, provide, love us no matter what, restore, and free us from these troubles. During these times he is able to refine us and mold us to be more like him with grace, love, and patience. We are able to (with the Holy Spirit’s guidance) realize the areas that need tweaking or even a complete overhaul. It’s these times that bring us closer to those we love. It matures us in ways that we wish we could have saved our younger selves from so much grief. Psalm 34:18 reminds us that

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

In reading one of my favorite authors, Lysa Terkhurst, in her book Uninvited, she tells of a line of blessing in her Father-n-law’s prayer at their wedding.

Lord, give them enough hurts to keep them human and enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours.”

Sure, at first it doesn’t sound like anyone would want to have asked for heartbreak at their wedding, but Lysa shares that she has come to realize that we shouldn’t

… let what breaks your heart destroy your life. Hold fast to Jesus and remember: This breaking of you will be the making of you. A new you. A stronger you. Strengthened not with the pride of perfection but with the sweet grace of one who knows an intimate closeness with her Lord.

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Psalm 34:19-20.

Today we should celebrate the easy and the obvious, but may we also appreciate and be grateful for the refining and molding that we have been through that made us who we are. The new us. The stronger us. The one He calls his beloved, righteous, and friend.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!



Up For Some Decorating?

You know it’s so easy to get caught up in our day to day life and we get to feeling like our lives are not as important in the big scheme of things. But it’s in the little things that make a difference in the big things. One thing we all have in
common is power.

Everyone of us has the greatest power of all…the power of words.

I feel like I can speak for you all when I say, “WE ALL LOVE COMPLIMENTS!” Can I get an amen? I have had people in my life who have poured words of encouragement into me and though I certainly didn’t feel worthy, it definitely did push me to prove them right (really to prove it to myself). Ultimately they were just helping me live up to my potential as a mother, wife, friend, and teacher.
We as women have this inner voice going on in our heads about what others think and say about us. If I’m really honest with myself most of the “thoughts” that these people have are all made up in my mind. They come from my weak spots and insecurities. You know what I’m talking about. When someone looks at us differently or says something a little off, our mind is immediately set off on a roller coaster of things that others are thinking and feeling toward us. In all actuality those things have not even crossed their minds and we are not even on their radar! On rare occasion we do have words that were used towards us to hurt, but if we really consider the background of those comments….they also come from hurt and insecure places.  There have been many things that I have shied away from because of the fear of what someone would say or how they would think of me. Oh, the time and energy I spent on others’ thoughts and words.

It’s time that we I stop listening to those inner voices.

Our validation shouldn’t have to come from words of others that come and fade like the seasons and with their emotions.

One thing that never changes is the truth that has been recorded thousands of years ago that are not just for me, but for you and anyone who chooses to believe. You know those words that I’m talking about….God’s truth.

I’m going to start posting them around my house for a reminder. You can call it decorating!  I want to decorate the spots that are going to get the most traffic. I want to be reminded often how loved and valued I am. I want them decorated on the walls of my mind and heart, so that my focus stays on what’s the truth…not what’s made up or doesn’t matter.

Let’s let the power of the words that we speak to ourselves be those that are of truth and of love.

Here’s a few I’m going to decorate with… who’s with me?

Mightier than the waves of the sea – Psalm 93:4 | Seeds of Faith:

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Colossians 3:14a …

Bible verse for girls bedroom:

Check out these scripture cards. (click below)

Scripture TRUTH Cards



How do you do it?

To The Mom Who’s Pretty Sure She’s Screwing It All Up…Let’s teach our children to believe in themselves, by believing in ourselves first.

So many people tell me they don’t know how I do it. So let me just give you a little insight for tonight. As I sit here trying to write a post, after about 4 months, I am listening to my boys play Chutes and Ladders naked because they are waiting their turn in the tub. They had started to get in earlier, but Ella was already in, so out comes the game while they wait. Another one is on the toilet!  I have just finished cleaning the kitchen after my wonderful husband has cooked fish for us. Most nights dinner is just something quick and easy. Maybe once to two times a week my sweet family gets a cooked meal. There is always noise. Lots of noise. T.V., yelling, fighting, whining, movies playing from Kindles, and thumping sounds of the girls doing cartwheels from teaching themselves gymnastics. I even just had to stop an argument while I’m writing. Sometimes, I’m not always sure how I make it either!

One thing I do know for sure is that without grace I wouldn’t be sane. Thankfully when I screw up this very hard parenting gig or can’t seem to get everything done or try to control my occasional OCD fixations, grace just seems to sweep in and give me a fresh breath of air. God knows what I’m dealing with and understands the demands of motherhood and work. There’s a song I love to listen to by Matthew West that talks of how “there is a war going on between guilt and grace and how they’re fighting for a sacred space, but I’m living proof grace wins every time.” It’s so easy to feel defeated and not enough when we are beat down, but the sweet thing about Jesus is that we can lay it all down at his feet and fill ourselves with his peace. It’s like putting on your favorite pair of pjs, getting your favorite dessert, and watching your favorite t.v show. There’s a perfect freedom, perfect forgiveness, and perfect confidence, but none of that comes without prayer.

When people tell me they don’t know how I do it, I always tell them that it’s only because lots of prayer. It’s what keeps me going every day. “Lord please forgive me for losing my cool, that I don’t spend enough time reading with my kids, and keeping the kind of house that could be photographed in a magazine.” I go to him daily, hourly, even sometimes by the minute. “Please Lord keep my head from exploding the next time Brody screams for no reason!”

I just throw it out there and that’s when he reminds me that I’m not in competition for the perfect mom, wife, or housekeeper. Is there even such an award? Oh, but how I strive for perfection sometimes. I believe we all do it in some way or another, but let me tell you that motherhood is and should be about praying through it all. Without the prayer and communication from the one who sees it all, I wouldn’t make it. He reminds me that I’m not screwing this all up! Thank goodness! I think he needs to whisper that to my kids as reassurance that he’s got their crazy mama under grace.

For all you moms who are struggling, know that you are loved, forgiven, and chosen for just a time as this. He’s got our back and he’s also got our rest. It’s just a prayer away.

Learn to be more thankful for what you are than guilty for what you're not.:

Growth In Grace


A dream woke me this morning. One that really stuck with me. We were at church and the children were singing and  I heard some parents say that their worship is just by watching their children worship. I chimed in real quick and said, but I’m not giving up my worship! I kept saying that over and over because I couldn’t believe that they would be willing to settle for something less.

Yes, I love to watch my children pray and do things that are showing their love for others, but being satisfied with watching  others’ spiritual growth is not what God intended for us as a family or individually.


I love to listen to bible studies and read books about His Word and that’s part of growing, but just listening and reading others’ interpretations of the word is not comparable to US reading it and letting Him help us to interpret it in a way that makes a connection for us.

In Hebrews 5:11-14 throught 6:3 it tells us of “A Call to Spiritual Growth”.

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training, have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.

He doesn’t want us to be content with just knowing the basics about him just to get us to heaven. God willing you live a long time, just think of all the amazing opportunities you will have to experience a closeness and relationship with Him of your very own. By studying His word and learning how to love on others as He did, we will have the opportunity to share and teach others daily. Ministers are not the only ones called to teach. We all have opportunities daily to show His love so that others can grow as well.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. James 1:22 NLT

He has so much love for you in His word and He wants you to share it with others. How you do that is up to you. You don’t have to do it by standing in the streets and shouting it, but by simple acts of obedience of reaching out to someone in need, lending a hand without being asked, or even by just listening to others’ struggles.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 3:26 KJV

Rather, you must grown in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18

I pray that you grow to find His Word more precious than gold and sweeter than honey from the honeycomb. Psalm 19:10

Let’s do this together….Let’s light up this community this holiday season.


Stepping Up

IMG_7643-11 Peter 4:10-11 NIRV “God’s gifts of grace come in many forms. Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully. If you speak, you should do it like one speaking God’s very words. If you serve, you should do it with the strength God provides. Then in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ. Give him the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

We are all called to serve through loving others. It’s how we use the gifts that he has given us that our uniqueness shines through. Discovering that gift can be challenging and intimidating to say the least. Some find their talents easier than others. The rest of us have to discover them later on. Both types of people can be used to do great and mighty things for the kingdom.

What stops us from using our gifts and talents is ourselves. We back away from the great things that He has planned for us because we may feel inadequate, insecure, and scared. We let the lies flood in and take over and then comparison starts and the busyness of our lives to keep us from the ultimate job He has called us all to do.

The call is not always over the top….move to a different country, start a ministry, sell all your belongings…..

The call is the same for us all…we are to serve others through love.

Luke 16:10a “If you’re faithful in the small things, you’ll be faithful in the big things.”

It’s through the little things that he wants us to start with…helping a neighbor, buying lunch for the guy behind us, mowing someone’s yard, making a phone call just to say hi and that God loves them. When we are faithful to love those around us, then he will task us with reaching those beyond our comfort zone. But not to worry, whatever He asks of you He will give you the strength, courage, and guide your steps to make it happen.

Stepping up to the plate and swinging is all that He’s asking of us. He wants us to be faithful and obedient..willing to be used for His glory.

What little thing can you do today? Are you going to step up and swing?







I’ve heard, read, and studied about the POWER of that words have over our lives. We can speak life or death (Proverbs 18:21) to ANY situation; sickness, marriage, friendships, work, relationships, and the list can go on forever. Normally change is welcome because it creates a challenge for me, but lately my words have not been positive or productive. With each negative word I speak I am starting a small flame that will burn down and destroy progress, potential, and possibilities for spiritual growth and maturity. In James it tells us that “the tongue also is a fire. The tongue is the most evil part of the body. It pollutes the whole way of life on fire. And the tongue is set on fire by hell.” James 3:6 NIRV.  Proverbs also reminds us that “Pleasant words are like honey. They are sweet to the spirit and bring healing to the body.”

I am going to challenge myself to use my POWER to bring life and healing to my messes. There are countless verses and passages or chapters that talks about the POWER our words have in our lives. God’s word promises that it is true and faithful. Why not take his advice and let the POWER of my words change my situations for the better?

Sometimes your positivity is what someone else may be thirsty for as well.

If you need some inspiration like I do maybe these will help.

The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers: Is it true? It is kind? It is necessary? - [Arabian proverb].

'Harry Potter' Quotes: 10 Comforting Words Of Wisdom From Albus Dumbledore


The benefits of a Bad mood. a bad mood may benefit you in fighting depression... What?!


Esther was a queen who knew the power of when to speak and when to remain quiet  ~ Angela  #EstherStudy #LoveGodGreatly

The Power Of Intention.....

A Positive Attitude Gives You Power Over Your Circumstances Instead Of Your Circumstances Having Power Over You. -Joyce Meyer

My own little story of overcoming the fear of getting lost - via Funky Junk Interiors

Make it…..

I read a blog post several months ago titled One Little Word That Radically Changed My Prayers  that has really made an impact on my prayers. (Please take the time to click on the link above and read her post.) Many of you know that my husband had a crazy accident at the end of June that has definitely changed our lives. He’s okay and we are very thankful! On the ride to the emergency room to Savannah I remembered this post. I prayed for Chad to be okay, but most importantly

I prayed for God to 

There is no doubt that in life we will experience bumps in the road. I’ve learned to think of it this way….

look at anything with a little humor :) #MoveOn #positive #affirmation

When these things catch us off guard we automatically pray for the easy way out. We sometimes forget that the biggest blessings come when things are not going as we think they should.

Sickness, accidents, and death certainly catch us off guard, but also the little things can turn our world upside down. When we hit that road block or are experiencing a “plot twist” it’s important that we embrace it and be open to learning something along the way. Sometimes it’s also about helping those around us. It could be that in the process of a difficult time that we may be going through that a family member may be saved, someone’s faith has been made stronger, family relationships mended, or any number of things that happen when we allow God to make it count.

I’m thankful for the time that my husband and I have been able to spend together since his accident. It’s not exactly how we would have imagined it, but it’s been a blessing for me. I am thankful for the relationships that my children are building with others who have been so willing to help.

Remember that God doesn’t cause these twists to happen, but he works everything out for our good.


28 And We Know That All Things Work Together For Good To Those Who

You will be tested by major changes, by delayed promises... But know all things work together for good.

bad things may not alwas be #bad after all

Just remember when something catches you off guard to pray….

God, make it count!

Please feel free to comment how God has used your situation count.



Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time. Proverbs 15:23 NLT

I didn’t realize that this verse was in the Bible. It’s pretty interesting. I’ve always known this, but didn’t know that it was right there! I’ve been reading and studying this verse and  I have come to realize that our Heavenly Father wants everyone to get something out of a fitting reply even the ones giving it.

You have probably been on the receiving end more times than you can count.  Whether it’s been a phone call, a conversation, or some advice where you have experienced the power of a fitting reply. However, it’s the second part of this verse that stands out to me.

; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time. Proverbs 15:23 NLT

Have you ever had someone on your mind for a while and feel like you should call, email, or text them what you’ve been thinking? Or maybe you’ve been in a conversation and a thought comes to your head. You say it and the recipient has a realization or a relief?

The Holy Spirit works in us to relay the words He has for others. We only have to be willing to be used and to be open to his prompting. When we follow through with that urge to say something that has been an encouragement gives us a feeling of enjoyment as well. It also grows our faith and trust in the Lord that we become more available to living out His will. So, we also are on the receiving end when we follow through with saying the right thing at the right time.

Let me stress though, that sometimes you can say things that you’ve been thinking about that could be hurtful. What ever the Lord impresses upon your heart to say could be backed up by His word and is to be encouraging, said in love, as valuable instruction or advice. It is in no way demeaning, shaming, confusing, or condemning.

I have been on the receiving end more times than I’ve been used, but that I’m sure is because of my doing. This will be something that I will work on being more open to because by receiving or giving….it’s always a win, win situation!

What A Message!!

A few weeks ago, I took the girls to see Cinderella. I have to say that I left there inspired! We watch A LOT of kid movies since we have four little ones running around and I was impressed by the message that it delivered. My girls are only three, so they didn’t understand everything. They saw beautiful dresses and lots of “sparkalies”.

When the mother was dying and she had her daughter promise her to always have courage and be kind, I felt like I had an epiphany. It was like it was so “mind-opening” to realize that those two simple phrases have so much meaning and are all we really need to remember.

I’ve been looking for a saying or verse that I can have painted or printed on a large scale and place in the living room over the couch. This is a place where everyone will walk by daily numerous times. I wanted something that had real meaning and would be something that would help to guide us as we leave for work, clean the house, or just spend time with each other. Well….I have found it!Have Courage and Be Kind Wooden Sign by AddysonLaneBoutique

It will be a constant reminder of God’s word. I feel like that’s what God has been wanting us to fully grasp.

I look forward to teaching my children to have courage to:

  • stand up for their beliefs even if they are standing alone
  • follow their dreams and God’s calling no matter how hard
  • do what others won’t, can’t, or are too scared to do for the Kingdom
  • give grace when they don’t feel like it

to show kindness:

  • to the ones who they feel don’t deserve it
  • to everyone all the time no matter how they are treated in return
  • with kindness comes forgiveness


We believe that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see —and we have assurance that You will make us strong and courageous to “lay down every dead thing we are still holding on to, to dismount from our dead horses. We may not be fearless but we will be *strong* and *courageous* and *faithful* because our *faith in You* is greater than the fears in us."


Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Circle It


I have to admit that most days I go to bed feeling like I have failed again at so many things that day. Most of that comes from parenting. I suck at parenting! That’s the best way I know to say it.  I realize that that’s a pretty strong word to use, but it’s definitely how I feel probably six out of the seven days of the week!

No one tells you what parenting looks, sounds, or feels like. These kids can rip my heart out, melt it, and fill it up with so much joy that I don’t know how my chest can withstand all the changes. No one tells you that parenting looks and feels like you have been run over by a truck most days and that silence doesn’t exist anymore.

Actually, I’m pretty positive that I will never have this whole parenting thing figured out. They grow so quick and go through so many changes that each stage of their life brings on all new challenges.

So, since I’ve read books before and after they were born about the first years and first milestones that I figured I would try and find something to give me some comfort to know that I’m not alone in this crazy roller coaster of a ride. My ultimate destination for this ride is to have raised children who love God with all their heart, depend on him for everything, and live a life that spills out His love to others.

In my search for a book that would teach me how to be a better parent I found one that speaks to what I know I can do… PRAY! I love to pray. However, recently my prayers have seemed to be few and without much passion. (This parenting gig takes a lot out of me!)

In the book, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, he talks about drawing a circle around God’s word and praying boldly for things that He has already promised us. All we need to do is be willing to ask Him to give us the desires His heart. This book will honestly change the way that you pray.

After finishing that book I found another book he wrote titled Praying Circles Around Your Children.  Even though I am still reading the latter one, I have to encourage those of you who are willing to make a difference in your parenting.

I am never going to be the best parent or have all the answers, but we do have our Heavenly father. He is our perfect example of a parent and has all the answers we will ever need. Praying is all that we can truly do to make a difference in our children’s lives and more importantly our lives.

So, as I make my way to my final destination I plan on drawing many circles and praying for my children in ways that could change their lives even after I’m long gone.

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

You parents- if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Mathew 7:7-11 NIV

…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16b NIV

And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 1 John 5:14 NIV