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.

15 Nov

god’s beautiful thing …

No one else will ever know the depth of my LOVE for you.
After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.
{quote source}

This girl amazes and surprises me almost everyday. Honestly, she always has.

Some of you may know I’d been homeschooling Taylor the last 2 years. She’s had some issues with learning in the past, so last summer I decided to have her academically tested. The results weren’t too far off base from what I’d already observed, but one finding had us quite shocked.

It’d been recommended Taylor not go to a four year college. Given the results of her testing and the fact that she’d missed key educational facts throughout her schooling years, there didn’t look to be anyway she’d thrive, let alone succeed, at a four year school.

Needless to say, we felt deflated and started thinking about other options.

After a school year of falling very far behind, much to my surprise, this past summer Taylor started talking about going back to “real school.” Given that she was very behind in her schoolwork {like still doing 10th grade work at the end of her 11th grade year}, I wasn’t too sure how realistic her request was. I told her if she buckled down {what a mom thing to say!} and got all her schoolwork done, that I’d look into it.

Wouldn’t you know? A few weeks later, she came down with stacks of books and schoolwork, she’d had it almost all completed! If you had any idea how much work I’m talking about, you’d think she’d hired someone to finish her work for her! With just a few other things to complete, I started calling the local high school to find out what we’d need to do to get her registered.

No easy feat.

But we did it.

Taylor started high school this past September and she is full-on loving it! Like loving. Like she’s a self-proclaimed nerd and loving it!

She works with a tutor four days a week, she’s working part-time at Justice, and she continues to ride her best-buddy Cozmo.

Taylor started the year as a junior {instead of a senior}, and will graduate a year behind “schedule.” But she’s completely focused and determined to get herself into a four year college of her choosing!

Although this kid continues to be stuck in the middle of adversity and stress, she takes it in stride … offers grace and forgiveness.

I continue to learn oodles from this love of mine. Namely, perseverance.

Not sure why, but a scene from Dirty Dancing comes to mind … it’s the final show, Baby’s stuck sitting with her parents, and in walks Johnny with his now famous line, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

Others have wanted to put my baby in a corner … with labels, with lies, with negativity. But my baby in all her amazeball-ways consistently declares to herself, “Nobody will put me in a corner!”

I love, love, love the song, Beautiful Things by Gungor. It reminds me of my sweet babygirl every time I hear it.

Taylor … my sweet babygirl … you truly are God’s beautiful thing. I wub you with all my heart and soul.


Posted in family photos, movie, music, parenting, taylor

25 Jul

almost wordless wednesday :: bff surprise visit

Through a series of unfortunate events, our scheduled visitors had to cancel. One of those visitors was the family of Piper’s BFF from Wisconsin. Oh how my heart hurt thinking about the disappointment of my soulful 10 year old!

And then … a light bulb moment! I enlisted some help from the families of both Wynter and Piper’s WI BFF’s … and we secretly had the girls flown out for a visit!

My girls had NO IDEA whatsoever! And I could barely contain my excitement! I was at a conference all weekend and told them I’d have a surprise for them when I got home.

Once home and parked safely in the driveway, I had their friends climb into the trunk, and then called my girls out for their surprise.

This is what followed …

I’m not gonna lie … I truly thought there’d be nothing but hootin’ and hollerin’ … instead, it was a sweet reunion of hearts longing to be together again. And watching them together this week has made me one happy momma!

Have you heard? Beginning August 1, I’m hosting a Facebook study group on my e-book 31 days of faith. Each day in August, I’ll walk through the book with you in a more in-depth sort of way. My hope is to breathe encouragement into your day, to help you see Jesus, and to show you joy in the middle of a trial.

And … if that’s not enough fun … guess what? This weekend, July 28th and 29th, 31 days of faith will be available on Amazon for FREE! Free I say! So be sure to download it and tell all your friends too!

P.S. … don’t have a Kindle? No worries, download Amazon’s free Kindle reading app and you can begin reading on almost any device you own … including your computer! I’m all about the ease here folks!

Additional details found here.

Posted in friends, movie, wordless wednesday

21 May

a message of gratitude …

I interrupt my regularly scheduled posts of counting joy to bring you this …

My 23 year old nephew was recently deployed for his fourth tour of duty. The last couple of weeks, I was sending urgent messages on Twitter and Facebook asking for prayer for him.

You see, his lung had spontaneously collapsed while he was running and he was in the hospital with tubes helping support his lung so he could breathe.

Then he was flown to Germany.

And then back to the states.

It was decided he’d need surgery to help support and stabilize his lung, and also get rid of any built-up scar tissue. Surgery was last Friday and the Army flew my sister to be with him during surgery and recovery … she ended up with a four hour layover in Charlotte, which meant the girls and I got to spend some time with her!!

Brett’s doing well and will be taking leave for a couple of weeks to go back home to Wisconsin. He’ll be driving home from Georgia, and will pass through our way, so we’ll get to spend a little time with him too!


I’d like to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes! The power of social media across the globe amazes me! We even had prayers coming in from Indonesia for Brett!! Who says God doesn’t tweet?!

And so …

As a tribute to Brett, to his family, and to the thousands serving everyday, I wanted to post this video I put together when Brett first went off to basic training. He’s since worked his way through Airborne and Rangers training and I couldn’t be prouder of him!

I’ve searched and searched my archives for a more recent photo of Brett and came up empty. The best I could do was this photo from a couple of years ago. Brett has definitely changed from a pale twiggy teenage boy into handsome young man who serves his country.

I love you Brettie and am so incredibly proud to be your auntie!

Posted in brett, family, movie

11 Apr

blue like jazz {the movie}

I recently went to a screening of Blue Like Jazz, loosely based on the book, Blue Like Jazz from author Donald Miller. Donald’s tagline on the book is “Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality” and he pretty much brings that tagline into the movie.

The film has a PG-13 rating and isn’t a typical feel-good “Christian” film, instead it explores Christianity in a raw, honest, and thought provoking way. It definitely isn’t for the judgmental … here are a few of my thoughts {if you’re reading through an RSS feed, be sure to pop over to my blog to view the video} …

I really, really encourage you to see the film and if you can make it this weekend … opening weekend, it would benefit the film and future Christian films greatly! And if you can’t make it this weekend, go as soon as you can! :)

Please be so kind to share this with a friend?

Other resources:
Donald Miller’s blog
Reviews of Blue Like Jazz
Does God Exist {thoughts from Don}
Donald Miller on Facebook
Donald Miller on Twitter {#bluelikejazz}

Posted in movie, resources

23 Mar

when your iphone takes a swim

Mamas don’t let your babies play with your iPhones {you kinda have to sing this to the Willy Nelson tune}. Roll video please …

Soooo … we were at the beach a couple weekends ago when in come the girls with a deer-in-headlights look on their faces.

“Hunter dropped your phone in the pool.”

Oh boy!

It still looked like it was working. And for the most part it was. Some tricky things here and there with the sound, but everything else was basically working fine.

End of story.

Or was it? I really never got any other details, other than “Hunter dropped your phone in the pool.” The girls had a couple of friends along and I could feel the tension of the girls waiting to see how I could react. All eyes were on me … but …

Cool as a cucumber I was! And kinda proud of it too! :)

Anyway … I couldn’t believe my luck when I was downloading the thousands of photos/videos they’d taken and saw this video!

Are you curious about “poopsalot?” Let me fill you in … there were birds landing in the pool and … well … they were … pooping a lots. Hence, they received the names of Poopsalot.

And the classic moment, “Don’t drop that phone in there.” “I’m not!” And then “Slpooosh, garble, garble.”

Never a dull moment ’round here … never a dull moment!

Happy weekend y’all … don’t know ’bout you, but I’ll be eating cake with a certain ten-year-old birthday girl!

{if you’re reading from an RSS feed, please hop over to my website to view the video … I promise you … it’s priceless!}

Posted in beach, hunter, movie, random