I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

4 Jan

computer hijack!

So … while in Exuma recently, the girls thought it a grand idea to hijack mom’s computer while she was helplessly making dinner.  I heard it all from the kitchen … mostly screaming and Wynter’s Broadway production of Winter Wonderland … but the real treat came when I opened photobooth and found exactly what they were up to!

They put together little skits, threw in some random singing, screaming, eyeballing {you’ll see}, swinging, itching, and a little fighting shoving.  The highlights are Piper’s crazy intertwined throughout, and Wynter’s commitment to her song while dodging pushing Piper on the swing, amidst Piper’s crazy.  I also did quite enjoy Wynter’s big finish!

Little Hunt makes a couple of appearances, but is mostly being bossed directed by her demanding older sisters.

Note: You may need to watch it twice for full effect.  And I’m thinking 3D glasses would’ve been handy for those scary moments Piper almost takes out the computer with her feet.

Have posts delivered directly to your inbox by
subscribing here.

Posted in exuma, hunter, movie, piper, wynter

30 Dec

sandmen {repost}

While in Exuma last January, the girls and I had fun making our little sandmen on the beach.  It seemed fitting to repost it while we’re here.  Enjoy!

Posted in exuma, random

26 Dec

right now …

Right now I’m:

  • sitting outside in the cool breeze looking at palm trees and beautiful blue waters
  • waiting for my girls to emerge full of energy and excitement with questions of what today will hold
  • mourning many, many things
  • thankful for new friends at Christmas dinners
  • researching
  • getting ready for the release of my new ebook, 31 Days of Faith
  • fighting the enemy’s lies that my ebook won’t sell, it’s not good enough, and no one cares
  • thinking of a friend on a flight to Dubai
  • praying for unity in my family
  • thankful God has given me a voice
  • deciding whether or not to tackle the 1000+ posts in my google reader
  • wondering if the girls will let me take a nap today
  • thankful my children are rooted in the Word of God
  • sad for men that have to eat gas station sub-sandwiches in their hotel rooms far from the family they love on Christmas night
  • thankful that God’s Word never returns void {Isaiah 55:10-11}
  • wondering why I haven’t taken a single photo while we’ve been here
  • loathing my new MS medication {I’m thinking of a post titled “stings like a bee” to share with y’all}
  • wishing I could read every thought and feeling going on inside my girls … the things they don’t verbalize
  • wondering if it makes sense to “force” people to like your Facebook page, or subscribe to your blog by offering a free download or something or other … I’m thinking I’d like people to subscribe because they want to … not so they’ll get something?  Just wondering …
  • wishing Piper and Wynter would include Hunter more
  • wishing Hunter didn’t whine so much
  • debating another cup of coffee
  • missing my favorite salted caramel mocha at Starbucks
  • about to read the Bible expecting to find a nugget of wisdom to ponder throughout the day
  • thankful for Emmanuel … God with me
  • taking this week off from the blog to focus on the girls and some other writing projects
  • thankful for this place to write, share, dream, encourage and inspire
  • thankful for 5 year olds who love Jesus …

Update for Taylor:

  • I’m thankful for daughters who trust their mothers enough to share what’s in their hearts
  • I’m incredibly proud of my teen
  • I’m thankful for my two furry grand-daughters
  • I’m wishing my teen would focus on her schoolwork :P

Posted in exuma, family thoughts, random

21 Jul

outreach, fasting + prayer {repost}

This post is so dear to me, as it’s a reminder that my goal in parenting is to instill the heart of Christ deep into each of my girls.
{original post date 1.28.11}

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is
plentiful but the workers are few.”

Matthew 9:37

In this little pink house, nestled not too far from the crystal blue waters of the Bahamas, lives a 95 year old man … Brother Clifton.  You see, in the Christian community in the Bahamas, there’s an old school respect for addressing their brothers and sisters in Christ. I love that!

The girls and I went on an outreach program one morning with Clear Water Assembly of God, where we visited a couple other brothers and sisters in Christ, but first I’d like to tell you about Brother Clifton.

As I mentioned, Brother Clifton is 95 years old.  He’s also blind and bed-ridden.  He’s also alone.  He’s also hungry.  He’s also filled with a deep love of the Lord.

There’s a story in Luke 2, where Jesus is 12 years old and stays behind in the temple to learn from, and talk with the religious leaders of the time.  Mary and Joseph couldn’t find him and were worried.  When they found him, Mary basically scolded him and explained they were worried.  Jesus’s reply was, “Don’t you know I must be about my Father’s business?”

So as the girls and I were visiting these houses that morning, I would ask them excitedly … “Whose business are we doing?”  And they’d reply, “God’s!”  Why do I mention this?  Because when we walked into Brother Clifton’s small home, to find him bed-ridden and hungry … he was ALL about his Father’s business.

The church does this outreach once every week.  And they found out that Brother Clifton hadn’t eaten since the previous week they were there.  So when we arrived, we immediately asked if we could feed him.  But no … he told us to “take care of business first!”

He wanted us to first be about our Father’s business.

He wanted his spirit fed … before his belly was fed.

We read from God’s Word.

We sang worship songs.

We prayed over him.

We fed his spirit.

Then, we fed his belly.

Brother Clifton lives in this small house.  It consists of one main room and a couple of small bedrooms.  He is bed-ridden and blind, so stays in this bed all day.  I simply can.not imagine that.  His sister lives just down the road from him.  She’s blind too.  But she’s in a home being taken care of.  I’m not sure of the circumstances surrounding them and why one is being cared for and the other isn’t.  Right now the church is working to reunite them and get Brother Clifton into the same home as his sister.  At the very least, get them together for a visit.

Again … I simply can.not imagine.

After our visit with Brother Clifton, we went down the street to visit Sister Mary.  I simply fell in love with this woman!  Although old and living with not much of anything … she was full of spunk and a love of Jesus!  She’s one of the very few in the area that has been blessed with fertile ground.  She literally lives off the things she’s planted near her small home.  In one of the photos below, you can see where she has a mango plant literally growing from the rock!

Sister Mary was proclaiming the Word of God … singing His praises and goodness!  At the end of our visit, we asked her to lead us in prayer, which she did … and left me with tears rolling down my face.

The faith … grace … love that shines through.  We were on a mission to bless others that day … but God, in His infinite wisdom, blessed us!

And then there’s Brother Deacon.  I’m smiling just thinking of him.  He didn’t want to talk about anything else but Scripture … and he could quote it with the best of ’em!  The first thing I saw when we walked into his tiny home, was his well-worn Bible sitting on the table.

Brother Deacon loved the girls.  He told them repeatedly to “Honor your mother and your father.”  He read Scripture to the girls and explained to them over and over how they’ll live a long and healthy life if they obey their parents.

I was so proud of my girls.  Even though they felt uncomfortable and out of their element, they were gracious, kind and caring.

The day before we went on this outreach, I talked to the girls about fasting.  I explained what it was and it’s purpose … and that there are many different ways to fast.  But the most important thing in fasting, is to know why you’re doing it.  Then I asked if they would like to join me in fasting.  It warmed my heart to hear them excited to do it.

We agreed that we’d do the fast the day after this outreach and we decided that we would be fasting breakfast.  I also explained that Hunter, being four, doesn’t understand fully what we’re doing … that I didn’t expect her to … and that she’d probably be eating something while the girls were hungry.  They bravely said they could handle it.

After this outreach, I talked to the girls about the people we visited that day … how they didn’t have much of anything … how Brother Clifton hadn’t eaten in a week and the pears we had just fed him would be his only meal that day.  And as we went into our fast the next morning, I asked them to remember the people we visited.  When their bellies would growl, or when they had the desire to eat … to instead pray for our new friends, to pray for strength and to give thanks for what we do have.

At one point, Hunter asked for something to eat so I took her into the kitchen and again explained what the girls were doing and that I’d like her to eat what she wanted in the kitchen, so the girls weren’t tempted.  Hunt was asking for some goldfish crackers and after I explained it to her, she said, “Well, I’ll just have one goldfish.”  So sweet to recognize the sacrifice she was willing to make in her four year old mind! {I gave her more than one}. ;)

We prayed the morning of the fast and even though the girls played and watched TV most of that morning and I would check in on them and ask them how they were doing … it wasn’t this great-big-drama-fasting thing.  It was a small … intentional learning moment in Christ.

Posted in charity, exuma, inspiration, intentional, parenting

15 Feb

my adventurous girls

I know, I know … and I can hear you saying, “you’ve told us a million times … yes, we know … your girls are adventurous!”  But indulge me a moment, won’t cha?

On our recent stay in Exuma, the girls did a lot of snorkeling.  A. lot!  They’ve even worked their way up to using fins!

When I was a kid, I was afraid of what was on the other side of our 24 foot pool{and let’s not even discuss what was lurking under the cover that wasn’t pulled all the way off}!  But these girls … they jump into, and swim off into an ocean with no fear!

This trip Huntie was brave enough to give it a try too!  LOVE the yellow fins!!  She climbed into the water into CJ’s arms and stayed there for a cruise around the boat.   In fact, she came back into the boat with dry hair.  But as they went out time and time again … she got braver and finally started looking under.  Don’t get me wrong … she’s turning into an amazing swimmer … but maybe she’s got a little bit of mom in her and is a little apprehensive of that great big ocean!

And yep!  You’re seeing clearly … that’s a real lobster the girls are holding!  Caught right in the Bahamian waters of Exuma.  And my girls gave it some love … right before we had it for dinner! =)

And lastly … a new science experiment!  Drinking club soda through a flower …

Praying your life adventures are always good!

:: subscribe to {tsj} photography :: join me on twitter :: find me on facebook ::

Posted in exuma, family photos, family thoughts, girls