Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

As Twinkle left us for another year, she left a few presents wrapped up just for us!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Frozen Treat

We found Twinkle eating all the ice cream this morning! She was a little cold.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ugly Sweaters

We had an ugly Christmas sweater party at church last night with the youth. Twinkle thought they were so pretty, she wanted one for herself!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Christmas Story

Twinkle & Rudolph must have missed Santa last night. They were reading the story about how he got his job.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Must-ache You a Question

That's a pretty picture Twinkle. Wait... Did you REALLY draw mustaches & horns on ALL the turtles?!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sleep Over

I found Twinkle snuggled up in Logan's bed this morning. He spent the night at Nanny's house.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Festive...Jail?

It was a little hectic when the kids woke up this morning! Twinkle decorated their doors! Logan's reaction.... "HELP, I'm in jail!"

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bad Cookies

I found Twinkle in the dog food this morning. She left a note saying that these were the worst cookies she ever tried & we should not leave them for Santa! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bowling Anyone?

Twinkle went bowling with clementines & Pepsi cans. I just don't think she'd going to be able to pick up that 7/10 split!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Wonder What He's Thinking

Its been far too long. I've had several things on my mind & on my heart, but not the words or the desire to express them.

But tonight, its like a flood gate has been opened up. Its funny. That's how it always comes, when I know that God is using me to tell a story.

I learned something tonight. Well, its not the first time that I've been "taught" this lesson, but it was a gentle reminder that stopped me in my tracks.

While having a discussion with Austin tonight, I was forced to stand my ground. We have always taught our children that when they start something, they will finish it. If, after its over, they never want to do that thing again, then its fine. But we are not quitters. When we make a commitment, we stick to it. Other people are counting on us. We need to be dependable.

Tears were cried, voices were raised, words that weren't meant were said, but when it was all over & done, we were able to hug, apologize, & say I love you.

It was in those moments as I was calling out to God for direction, guidance, & strength that Austin came back to me. I cried even harder as my baby, who is no longer a baby, my baby, who is taller than me now, laid his head on my chest & cried as he hugged me & apologized.

My heart is breaking because he is unhappy, but there's a lesson here for both of us.We both need to learn to stand by what we say. We also need to stop before we act.

I wonder if I break God's heart as often as my children break mine?

I wonder if He cries as many tears over me as I do over them?

I wonder if He questions my love for Him just as I question theirs for me?

I wonder if He wonders if I will ever change/learn/grow up? If He's done the right thing by allowing me to make the choices I do?

I KNOW that God doesn't make mistakes, but a mother's love is the closest thing that compares to God's love so you can't help but think about how His heart aches for us.

Sweet Tooth

It looks like Twinkle threw herself a party last night & she was the guest of honor.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Monster Trucks

Twinkle surprised everyone when she rode in with tickets to see the Monster Jam show in January. 
I sure hope she got a good deal on them!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Elfie Selfies

We FINALLY got around to hanging all the pictures back on the wall tonight. I guess Twinkle wanted to have her picture on the wall too.

And these were just a few of the selfies that Twinkle took on my phone last night!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Need a Mate

No wonder I can never find the mates to all the socks! Twinkle hides them in the couch!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Return of Twinkle!

Guess who's BACK??!! Yep, Twinkle the Elf has made her grand appearance for 2014. She usually returns as soon as we put up our Christmas tree. She built her very own igloo when she came too. Oh, & she was munching on a snowball.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

So I Write...

One of the things that I have always loved most about blogging was the ability to encourage someone else. That's always been a really big deal to be able to make a difference in someone else's life. But its hard to encourage others when you can't find the strength to encourage yourself.

If you've ever been there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't, then consider yourself fortunate.

That place where you ask why far more than you should. That place where you have more questions than answers. That place where you feel useless & invisible to everyone around you. That place where sleeping brings peace. That place where the darkness finally overtakes the light.

That's not a fun place to be. Many people struggle with depression the majority of their lives & have a hard time admitting it, let alone overcoming it.

For some time now, I have struggled with my role as a wife, a mother, a Christian, & a friend. I have struggled with trust, obedience, joy, & love. I have wondered why we were spinning our wheels in a church that was dead set on standing still. I have wondered if my "wondering" was hindering it even more. We have struggled more financially than we ever have before. I have repeatedly asked the question of going back to work for a few extra dollars, knowing that the majority of it would only cover day care expenses. I have questioned what more could I have done to help my struggling reader. I have found people that I thought I could open up to, only to have them turn their backs on me & my family. I have dealt with enough teen attitude to last me my entire life & that road has only just begun. I have nursed a sick child over & over & over again with the same problems.

And through it all, I have felt utterly A L O N E.

I know that Jesus was carrying me, but I couldn't feel Him. I know that my husband was there beside me, but he was dealing with the same burdens. He didn't need my worries & fears compounding his. I know that I have a few friends I can talk to, but its so hard for me to trust after I have been repeatedly stabbed in the back.

Oh, I talk to people, but 99% of them have only scratched the surface with me. I CAN'T let them in.

So I write. I can spill my heart out here because I'm not confiding in one single person who might lift me up today & tear me down tomorrow. I write, not knowing who exactly reads this & not worrying about what they may think. I write, in the hopes that someone somewhere can identify, can grow from my mistakes, my pain. I write, because its so much easier than talking.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hey there, Remember me

Its been a while. In fact, its been all summer.

I apologize. I LOVE to write from my heart & I LOVE to hear your feedback, but I've just had so much to sort through & deal with lately that I haven't had much to say.

Ha Ha, imagine that. I usually have a lot to say.

But anyway, I just wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten you & I hope you haven't forgotten me. I'll be seeing you soon!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Country Must Be Country Wide

Its no secret that I love music. Country music, gospel music, rock-n-roll, alternative, classical, hip hop, even bluegrass music. I just love music in general. It completely depends on my mood as to what I feel like listening to.

I have been to several concerts in my life as well. My very first one was New Kids on the Block when I was about 13. There is nothing like watching an artist that you love live & in person. The energy, the excitement, the adrenaline, there's nothing like it.

Now my kids have been to MerleFest (the local bluegrass festival - it's HUGE), but they have never been to any other concert.

Well, we changed that last Sunday.

We traveled down to the Greensboro Harley Davidson for an acoustic Brantley Gilbert concert & CD signing. It wasn't a regular full fledged BG concert with all of the bells & whistles, but we had an AWESOME time! Plus we got to meet Brantley, get his autograph, & shake his hand!

This concert was part of a week long trip dubbed #AthensToArlington to celebrate the release of Brantley's 3rd album Just As I Am. During this adventure, he stopped at numerous places starting at his hometown Jefferson, GA & ending at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day where he placed a wreath on the unknown soldier's grave. At every single stop, BG would ride his Harley in, play an acoustic set, & sign autographs, while Folds of Honor would give scholarships to families of fallen soldiers.

The biggest part of the afternoon was spent enjoying small un-discovered bands, singing, dancing, & mingling with people from all over. We enjoyed the Carri Smithey Band, but we really loved Zach Burick with Hell or High Water. They are from Rural Hall & just released A Country Boy's Dream over the weekend. Check it out!

Oh did I mention that we got to meet Zach Burick too?? Yep, we did. The guitar player even let Makenzie wear his hat!

As the evening grew later, the excitement grew stronger. We were all anxiously awaiting Brantley to ride in on his Harley! I got to see all his tour buses roll in, but I missed the Harleys. :(

Folds of Honor recognized the family of Major Larry J Bauguess Jr (no relation). He was from Moravian Falls (not far at all from us - same county) & was killed in action May 14, 2007. His daughters were awarded full scholarships to college.

As far as "seats" go (we weren't sitting), this was the closest I have ever been at a concert. We were only about 15 people back so we could see pretty good. Of course, Makenzie took a turn on everyone's shoulders so she could see.

Brantley played 4 songs & took several questions from the crowd before heading over for autographs. He agreed to sign EVERY. SINGLE. CD. even though the first 300 were the only ones he was supposed to sign.

Even though his PR people said he was signing CDs only, my lovely 8 year old daughter smiled sweetly at him & asked him to sign her hat. He winked at her, reached for her hat, & said "this whole line is getting ready to go nuts"! She was on cloud 9! Oh course, so was I! ;)

You would think that my excitement would have calmed down just a little bit over the next couple of days, BUT imagine my shock, surprise, & elation when I discovered that MY PICTURES, both some that I had taken & some of my family were plastered all over Brantley Gilbert's website!

Oh yes! I am FAMOUS!!!

Now I have no clue how long they will be on there, so of course I took pictures of the pictures for proof!

I think I can safely say that my kids first concert will definitely be a memorable one!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

100 Happy Days

Have you seen all of the pictures lately with #100happydays attached to them? 

Yeah, me too. I have been looking at this website for a few days now, thinking about it. 

71% of people that start this challenge do not complete it. Really? 71%? That seems like a lot. 

The main reason stated for giving up on something so simple... Not enough time.

Not enough time?

Have we become so busy that we forget to take the time to be happy? Or are we just too busy to tell people about it?


I know that many times I get so caught up in life that I forget to live! I focus on the  unimportant stuff & I let the junk weigh me down. 

Sometimes the "stuff" is all I can remember. Sometimes the fighting is all I can focus on. Sometimes the bad drowns out the good. Sometimes I forget WHY I'm living this life. 

So, here goes. I am going to make a conscious effort to capture not just one thing each day that makes me happy, but I'm going to try to point out lots of simple things that make me happy. I'm sure that some days I will flood your news feed, while others may not have nearly as many. 

Bare with me! I hope this will be an eye opener for me. I need to be reminded that at one point in time, I was a happier person. Somewhere in time, that person became far too serious. She needs to learn to laugh again.

Why don't you join me?! We all need to remember why this life really is worth living! 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

If you know me, or if you follow my blog, you know that I try to keep it real. My life is not always sunshine & roses. Its not always happy & easy. A lot of times it becomes more than I can bear. BUT, you know that I feel BLESSED beyond measure even in the storms.

I have been struggling with motherhood lately. Let's face it, its not a job for the faint at heart.

Funny thing though, everywhere I turn, I am being reminded that I CAN DO THIS! The women's conference that I attended last weekend refreshed me like nothing I can explain. The book I am reading right now, Rhinestone Jesus, is reminding me how easy it is to get caught up in the day to day without really living. You will see me saying #yesinmymess a lot right now! It also seems that the posts on Facebook are all designed to encourage women, mothers, Christians, people in general, to keep on keeping on.

Makenzie was so excited when she got home from school yesterday. She wanted to give me my Mother's Day present early. It took more than one try to read her sweet little card because I was crying so hard. On a flower she wrote my mom is: kind, loving, funny, happy, joyful, & hopeful. Joyful & hopeful??? Have I been joyful or hopeful lately? It sure doesn't feel like it! Then she said she wanted to be just like me. BAM You couldn't have punched me in the stomach & had any less force that that simple statement. That spunky, tender-hearted little girl who I get so easily frustrated with wants to be just like me. I need to start living like I want her to live! With more laughter, less angry words, more fun, & less demands. Easier said than done, I'm afraid.

Austin walked over to us to read the masterpieces. After he read them, he simply ducked his head & hugged me. He smiled that wicked mischievous grin that he's so famous for & said Happy Mother's Day mom. That may not sound like much, but that was huge coming from a hormonal preteen. So he really surprised me last night when he designed his own card telling me that I was the best momma he could ask for. He even put our pictures on it!

I don't need flowers, chocolate, jewelry, or fancy gifts. Those cards designed from the hearts of my children meant more to me than anything that money could buy. Once again, I am reminded just how blessed I am!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Weary Mom, I Feel You

I don't have a whole lot of encouraging words today. I just want to say that whatever you are going through weary mom, you are NOT alone. I feel your pain & struggle.

I know what its like to spend an hour sweeping & mopping the floor only to have someone track dirt all through the house.

I know what its like to open the dryer expecting to find clean laundry only to realize that someone left a whole pack of gum in their pockets...again.

I know what its like to try to go out to eat as a family, but spend the majority of your time fussing at your kids to act like they have some sense. After all, you know you have taught them better than that!

I know what its like to stand in front of a closet full of clothes & not have anything suitable to wear.

I know what its like to repeatedly take the toddler to the potty only to have him poop in his pants 5 minutes later.

I know what its like to have a preteen master the art of eye rolling.

I know what its like to feel like a failure.

I know what its like to feel all alone.

I know what its like to feel like no one is listening.

I know what its like to try on that outfit your had picked out for today, only to realize that its too tight, make a vow to lose 20 pounds, turn right around & eat a handful (or more) of chocolate, then hate yourself even more.

I know what its like to feel like you are in competition with electronic devices.

I know what its like to wake up before everyone else in the house, make a desperate effort to ensure everything goes smoothly, have your husband wake up 30 minutes before time to leave, & you STILL be the last one out the door.

I know what its like to cry for no apparent reason.

I know what its like to plan a family event, only to wish that you had went alone.

I know what its like to have a cabinet full of groceries & have no clue what to fix for supper.

I know what its like to go through your daughters clean clothes only to find just as many dirty clothes too.

I know what its like to want someone to talk to, to REALLY talk to, without the fear of judgement or wonder who else they are telling your secrets to.

I know what its like to forget to eat or to only have time to eat everyone's leftovers while standing at the sink.

I know what its like to balance the checkbook and have to decide which bill is more important to pay right now. I also know what its like to realize that a miracle will have to occur in order for you to make it to payday...again.

I know what its like to wonder "What if?"

I know what its like to need to be in half a dozen different places at once.

I know what its like to have the children aggravate the daylights out of each other just because they can.

I know what its like to be busy & hear "Mom. Mooom. Mom?? MOM!!!"

I know what its like to cook a delicious meal, then hear, "I'm not hungry." "I don't like that." "Do I have to eat it?" Then 30 minutes later hear "I'm starving!"

I know what its like to wake up time after time after time with a little one while everyone else in the house snores away.

I know what its like to dislike my body.

I know what its like to be late...again.

I know what its like to want nothing more than a good book, a bubble bath, & a LARGE milkshake & to be able to enjoy it in peace & quiet.

Someone once told me that the days are long, but the years are short. My days are still long, but I can already see how fast the years are going by. I don't yet know what its like for my life to be clean, quiet, & unhurried. But I do know what its like to realize that NO ONE can fix things quit like mom can. And I do know what its like to be rewarded with smiles that light up your world, rib crushing hugs, & wet sloppy kisses. And for those, I know what its like to keep on keeping on.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

To Know That I Know That I Know

I just love those spirit filled services. You know, the ones with singing, crying, testifying, & the Holy Spirit moving. I love to hear how the Lord is working in other people's lives. I love to tell people how God is working in my life. But, I usually claim up when it comes to my personal testimony.

I know that most people love to tell how God changed their life, how Jesus saved them. I know that a lot of people can take you back to a day, a time, a place where their life changed forever.

I can't do that & it bothers me!

I have a date that I cling to. I know that I was on the altar March 29, 1992 (the day before I turned 14). It was one of "those services". Fellman Cheek was especially long winded & it was pushing on towards 1pm.

But I also know that I made professions both before & after this time. The first was at a Bailey Smith Crusade on a Tuesday night when I was about 8. I can even see the shirt I was wearing! My mom made her way to the make shift altar the very next night.

Another significant date that stands out was the night before Halloween 1998. Justin & I went with some friends to visit The House of Judgement in Elkin & I just didn't know anymore.

Most of my life, I have questioned my salvation. Not too long ago, I called my pastor in tears. After a heart wrenching conversation, he told me that deep down, no matter the doubts, I knew the answer.

I have times where I "feel" alone. I "feel" confused. I don't read my Bible like I should. I don't pray like I should. I don't witness like I should. I don't "feel" like a very good Christian.

Then I have times where I "feel" joy. I "feel" peace. I enjoy reading my Bible. I look forward to church. I stay in a state of prayer. I "feel" like God is pleased with me.

There are times that I "feel" sad when others talking about knowing exactly when they gave their lives to Jesus. But then I realized that its ok that I don't know when. The devil wants me to doubt. He knows that when I doubt, I'm not feeling confident in my Christian life. And when I am not confident, then I don't work nearly as hard. He has me right where he wants me.

I have prayed for assurance. I have prayed for God to reveal the exact date for me so I wouldn't doubt anymore. Then God brought a thought by me. Paul talked about a thorn in his flesh. He begged God to remove it from him.

2 Corinthians 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Maybe, just maybe, this is my thorn. Maybe, just maybe, THIS is my testimony for a reason. Maybe, just maybe, I can help someone else on their journey through their doubts & mine.

I'm thankful that we aren't saved on "feelings". We are saved by faith through grace!

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Stand strong weary Christian. Don't give the devil this victory. Take comfort in KNOWING that God's promises are true! If He promised to save us, He will! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Newest Gateway Drug??

I had to think twice & even three times before publishing this one tonight. I hate to air dirty laundry, but if someone else can learn from an experience then I think it should be shared.

I was literally sitting with tears in my eyes this afternoon praying & thinking about the latest stupid decision my 16 year old niece had made, wondering how I was going to address it, & feeling burdened for our young people when the phone rang.

It hasn't been a grand & glorious few days at our house, and "that moment when.....the vice principle called the house....." didn't make it any better.

It seems that my almost, in less than a week, 12 year old & some of his "friends" thought it would be a smart decision to snort the sugar from a Pixie Styx up their noses similar to cocaine. WHY????

My first reaction, of course, was anger, followed by disappointment, concern, & finally confusion. I had plenty of time for my emotions to run the gambit & to rant in my head before he got home.

He denied taking part in this activity but there's just something about his story that doesn't sit well with me. I HATE not being able to trust him, but he has not been the most honest person lately.

This may seem trivial, & on the surface it seems to be just a silly stunt, but after a little research, I found out that snorting Pixie Styx & smoking Smarties is more common place than we realized.

I can't help but wonder if kids are doing this & pretending its the real thing in order to appear cool, similar to candy cigarettes for my generation. But by pretending now, does that open up that gateway for real drugs later on. And how easy would it be for a "friend" to exchange that somewhat harmless sugar for something much more sinister.

I guess I will never really know if he actually did this, but it did provide yet another opportunity to discuss the importance of honesty, choosing good friends, & making sound decisions.

Talk to your kids. Find out what crazy ideas their peers are having. Let them know that even something that seems harmless can hurt them. Keep the communication open so they feel comfortable actually opening up when something does happen. Most importantly, pray for them!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Leaps & Bounds

I had a parent teacher conference with Makenzie's teacher the other day. I always go into those feeling both worry & relief. I want to know how she is doing, I NEED to know how she is doing, but at the same time, I'm usually scared to find out.

I have seen such an improvement in her lately. She has went from someone who would do almost anything to get out of reading to someone who reads every sign, box, & piece of information that she can. She is the one to remind me that she has homework if I forget. You can look at her & see the pieces starting to fit together!

She is finally getting it!

Realizing that I couldn't teach her to read was so hard for me to accept & admit. We tried. We really tried!

I understand now why some parents make different choices for their children. While homeschooling worked fine for Austin, & me for that matter. It wasn't what my daughter needed & it took me over 2 years to see that.

I believe now that homeschooling was more for me than for my children anyway. I learned to lean on God like I never had before. I learned that I don't always have all the answers. I learned that its ok for the budget not to work out on paper, because God doesn't budget like we do. I learned that some of the best lessons are lived, not taught.

And while some days, I miss my 2 oldest being home with me, I love seeing the excitement when they talk about their friends, when they tell me all about what happened during their day, & even when I have to wade through the drama that is middle school. I wouldn't change my how & why we came to the choices we made for anything. For without those exact choices at those exact times, things wouldn't be what they are now.

I'm thankful that God had another plan! And I'm thankful that I actually listened when I did.

Makenzie's teacher told me that I couldn't have put her back in at a more appropriate time. It seems that there are far more in the same boat as my daughter right now than not.

I want to share our GREAT NEWS - Makenzie has grown a WHOLE grade level in just 5 months!!!! I know we still have some ways to go, but I could n't be prouder of her success! She will get there!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your prayers!! PLEASE keep them coming!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I Tell My Story

I was talking to someone the other day about all kinds of things, new things, old things, God things. I looked at this person & said, you don't know my story, do you?

As I told my story, I felt sympathy, understanding, anger, confusion, & finally love from this person. I didn't tell my story for attention but because I felt this person needed a deeper look into me.

It dawned on me this morning why. I have no clue why this morning, because I certainly hadn't  been thinking about that time or that conversation.

I know that, yes, on the surface, I tell my story so you can get a better understanding of who I am. I have become very closed off in the past few years. It's hard for me to open up. It's hard for me to trust.

But then I understood that I tell my story because it's MY story. It tells who I was, where I have been, what God delivered me from, where I am now, & what I hope to be in the future.

I tell my story not to highlight my mistakes, but to show God's mercy & grace.

I tell my story in the hopes that others will realize there is MORE than the situation they are in right now.

I tell my story to give God the glory for picking me up when I didn't think I would ever see the light again.

I tell my story so that others can know it's not the end.

Even though I am ashamed of many things in my past, I am not ashamed of my story. My story isn't over yet. But I already know how it will end, it's just the chapters in between now & the end I'm not sure about.

So I tell my story......

I wrote this post early this morning, but then went to a youth rally tonight and the Trinity Baptist Church youth choir sang this song.

So I will continue to tell my story...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Yes, I Think That's Enough Now

I remember winter from my childhood. I remember it snowing all day & all night & all day again. I remember waiting gleefully to find out that school was canceled. Then I remember getting bundled up, spending all day playing with the neighborhood kids, sledding down hills, hiding under the pine trees in a winter castle, building snowmen big enough to sit on, & eating tomato soup with grilled cheese to warm up.

I loved winter when I was a child!

Over the past few years, I've really started paying attention to winter again. I noticed that the winters of my childhood don't seem to exist anymore. Most recent winters were somewhat mild. Oh some had a few days that were downright frigid, but for the most part, they were chilly at best.

Snow? It seemed to be the thing that dreams & memories were made of, at least here in western North Carolina. Sure, plenty of counties surrounding mine could relish in the white stuff. But it seemed there was a perpetual hole sitting right over top of us. Or better yet, a dome shielding us from any real winter weather.

There are a few winters that stand out in my head. The Blizzard of 93 when there was snow on my birthday (March 30). I had just broken my ankle a few weeks before in softball. I was too cool as a Freshman to wear jogging pants & refused to allow anyone to cut my jeans, so I hobbled around on crutches through the snow in shorts. February 1996, my senior year presented the most ice I can ever remember. We were out of school more or less the whole month, with usually only a day here & there that wold warm up enough to ensure safe travels. Valentine's weekend 2003 produced 2.5 feet of snow. The most I have EVER seen.....oh wait, we were in New Jersey on vacation then! I never would have imagined having to shovel my car out of the snow while on vacation.

Now the winter of 2014 will be added to that list.

We experienced multiple "polar vortexes" where the temperature plummeted to hover around 0* with wind chill factors being much colder! This is the first time I ever recall school being canceled, not just once, but several times due to the temperature alone.

Smowmageddon was aptly named when at least 16 inches (more in many places) fell in a short amount of time just before Valentines's weekend here in Western NC. My husband spent many countless hours scraping snow. I was stuck inside with my youngest child as he battled first the croup & then strep throat. My older two, who were so excited at first, eventually didn't even want to go outside because it was more trouble than it was worth.

Then just a few weeks later, as the weather channel predicts "just a dusting" with freezing rain to follow. BAM Snowmagaddon 2.0 (named just for the fun of it) produces 6+ inches. And again, this snow fell as my family was recovering from illness.

So, after this, I'm not really reminiscing winters of yesteryear.

This was my Facebook post this morning.....

Dear Mother Nature, 

I love snow. I love warm breezy days. I like blistering hot days in moderation. I even like the rain. Really I do. But I've just got to tell you that I don't appreciate your schizophrenic mentality. I'm not sure what Father Time did to make you so mad, but I do wish that the two of you would kiss & make up. The rest of us should not have to suffer.

A Very Confused North Carolinian 

P.S. That 60+ weather you are cooking up for tomorrow & next week, feel free to allow that to hang around for a long time!

Bring on SPRING!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

White As Snow

Isaiah 1:18 "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool"

We experienced the most snow here in eastern NC that we have seen in many years. As more and more and still more snow fell, everything else seemed to vanish. The grass, the bushes, trees, walkways, toys, & even some cars were hidden beneath the blanket of white. 

It gave the world a brighter, cleaner, purer appearance. You no longer saw the trash littering the sides of the road. You no longer saw the brown dying grass. You no longer saw mud puddles that you knew had been there just the other day.

It was truly beautiful to witness.

Now, just a few days later, that snow has started to melt. The roads are encased in grey slush. The walkways are more mud that dirt. The footsteps are growing bigger & bigger.

It's not quite so pretty anymore.

But, we know that the sloppy mess will dry out & give way to lush green grass, bright fragrant flowers, & warm sunny days. Then before long, the snows will come again, cleanse everything, & then we will have to dry out & start over yet again.

It made me realize that perhaps this is how Jesus sees us. He KNOWS there is a path underneath somewhere. He KNOWS that all of our dirt & trash is still there just right under the surface. He KNOWS that eventually our sins will become apparent once again.  BUT when He looks upon us, He doesn't see our past faults & failures. He doesn't see our sin. 

When Jesus looks at us, He sees a blanket of pure white. He sees us justified, purified, & clean.

He knows that we will sin again. But He also knows that the snow (His blood) is needed to cleanse us before we can start to grow & bloom into something beautiful again!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who is Your Hero

I had the sad honor of attending a home going service yesterday. A friend of mine's father finally fought his last battle here on earth & crossed over into glory.

During the service, the preacher talked about being a hero.

The definition of a Hero:

a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities

a person who is greatly admired

the chief character in a story

We all have heroes in our lives. When we are little, we probably look up to actual cartoon super heroes, firemen, & policemen; maybe even mom & dad too. As teenagers, our heroes often change with whatever movie or band is popular, probably our friends or a few teachers. As young adults, our heroes might include the movers & shakers of the world, those that are wealthy, famous, & successful.

As we continue to grow, our heroes change. More than likely, we no longer idolize cartoon superheroes, actors, singers, or the Bill Gates of the world. We might still look up to a few teachers, friends, & family members. Many of us certainly see fireman, policemen, & servicemen as modern day heroes.

But who else?

My daddy has always been one of my heroes. He is such a loving, easy going man, that its easy to forget that he has burdens of his own. I don't think the man had ever met a stranger. You can't go anywhere with him without running in to several people that he knows.

My maternal grandmother was also one of my heroes while she was alive. She always looked beautiful & took hours to make sure every hair was in place, but wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty or work up a sweat. She slaved away day in & day out at a job that few people wanted to do. And she never hesitated to tell you just what she thought, whether you wanted to hear it or not.

My husband is one of my heroes. He provides for our family. He loves us unconditionally. He stands strong in his faith. He spends countless hours continuing his education in firefighting & medical responding. He sacrifices sleep, food, family time, & previous commitments just to save a home or rescue a life.

My children are my heroes. They love first & ask questions later. They forgive & forgive & forgive. They look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. They see me for who I try to be, not who I fail to be.

I also have several Christian heroes that I have grown up watching. They are unwavering in their faith. Even when life throws them more than they can possibly stand, still they stand. They are the ones that make this life look effortless. The ones who make God & everyone else smile. The ones who you want to model your Christian walk after.

When you start to think about it, you have more heroes that you realized, all of them for many different reasons.

I hope as I continue through this life, that a few people can look at me as one of their heroes.

Be someone's hero - make a difference!

I’m Waiting on the Bigger & Better

Sometimes certain people have been in your life so long it’s hard to remember where they came from, how they got there, & even how you l...