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.

28 Mar

you’re awake. you’re awesome. live like it.

Have you heard of Kid President? He’s a cute little guy filled with fun tidbits of wisdom and encouragement. His videos make me smile, they make me think, and they fill me with encouragement.

I came across this one recently and shared it with my nephew. He’s had some not-so-great days lately and is feeling discouraged. When I saw this video, I immediately thought of him … cuz some days we get ice cream … and well … some days we don’t. But just because we don’t, doesn’t mean the life we’ve been given doesn’t have a purpose.

Go deeper with me here, I’m not talking just about ice cream! :)

Anyway. Just a simple video full of encouragement and truth to brighten your Friday.

{if you’re reading in an RSS feed, click here to see the most awesome-sauciest encouragement ever!}

some days you’ll get ice cream …

And some days you won’t.

some days your kite will fly high …

And some days it will get stuck in a tree.

We all mess-up sometimes. The biggest mess-up? Not forgiving each others mess-ups.

Treat everyone like it’s their birthday. Even if they don’t deserve it.

Take brain pictures.

You were made from love. For love. And to spread love.

Love is always louder. No matter what.
Even if hate has a bullhorn, love is louder.

There are plenty of reasons to dance, you just have to look for them.

We should give people high fives just for getting out of bed.

You’re awake. You’re awesome. Live like it.

Posted in encouragement, movie, random

15 Jan

atlanta gift market and what i’ve been up to!

Did y’all know I used to own an incredibly awesome stationery store? I’ve been known to mention it every now and again! :)

Broadway Paper was my heart and soul. And I really, really miss it! Not the stress of running a business while raising four daughters {amongst other crazy goings-on in my life}, but I so so so miss seeing the latest trends and designs in the stationery world! I adore pretty paper, ribbons, cards, and wrap!

And so … imagine my delight when I found a friend who owns a gift-slash-paper store!! Papaya Papers is more gift than paper {right now anyway … heeheehee … ’til I have my way with it}, and my friend Wendy is in the process of rebranding the store and shaking up the look of things.

To that end, another friend and I were able to go to the Atlanta Gift Market with her last week and help her buy for the store. Oh Happy Day!!

Guess who’s in charge of her NEW stationery corner of the store?! If you guessed me, you’d be correct!

I was in heaven! I spent three hours going through stationery lines I love, while finding new lines to love!

One of my favorites below … 1canoe2! Um … hello gorgeous handpainted globe!!

These candles are from a line I used to carry, but they’ve totally upped the design ante since I’ve last seen them. Anthro anyone?

I was definitely in my own little happy place while thumbing through thousands of greeting cards!

Not a fan of these frames … but hello awesome display idea!!

And while at the Mart, we just had to look at some of the furniture displays. I kinda love everything about this beautiful pink get-up!

It was a great couple of days helping a friend while also feeding my paper-loving-soul!

And that’s not all! I’m helping Wendy revamp her website {soon-to-be-announced}, I’m helping out with her social media, and I’ll be working with Wendy at the store {yesterday I learned registers!}.

A few of you mentioned you missed me on social media last week … I was there, but posting for the store, not myself. If you’d like to follow along you can find us here:

Papaya Papers on Instagram
Papaya Papers on Facebook

So that’s me. How ’bout you? Anyone up to some fun soul-loving activities?

Posted in broadway paper, friends, me, random, shopping, stationery

11 Oct

deep sighing …

I was holding my teen the other day when I felt it …

A deep sigh.

In a conversation a while ago with my dear friend Terrie, we talked about this thing we found ourselves doing rather frequently … sighing.

Deep sighing.

We discussed our theories on why that may, or may not be … our deep sighing that is … and just resigned to the fact, sometimes a girl’s just gotta do some deep sighing.

So when I saw this image on Pinterest recently, I thought of her immediately and had to send it.

She understood.

It’s true. Sometimes you just cannot sigh quite deep enough.

So when I was holding Taylor and felt her deep sigh, I remembered this image, and my conversation with Terrie and I thought I’d write about it.

And then of course, with that seed planted, I started becoming aware. Of other sighing being done around me.

When I hold my youngest — after she’s had her feelings hurt by her sisters — and she’s on my lap crying and finally I feel it.

A deep sigh.

Or when I’m walking a horse out, and he’s anxious or moving quickly … and then?

He sighs deeply. And relaxes. And decides to walk calmly beside me.

When I looked up the definition of “sigh,” I was surprised by one of the definitions and it actually brought tears to my eyes — for Terrie, for Taylor, and even for myself:

“feel a deep yearning for {someone or something lost, unattainable, or distant}”

No wonder there are days we can’t quite sigh deep enough.

In doing a little Biblical research, I learned there were many times David {as in King David who was hiding in the wilderness from his enemy Saul} wrote about his “sighing and suffering” in the book of Psalms.

Just like David did, we need to find comfort in God’s unfailing love for us. “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.” Psalm 13:5-6 {NIV}

In Mark 7:31-35, we read about Jesus looking up to the heavens and DEEP sighing as He was about to heal a deaf man who could hardly talk. Matthew Henry’s commentary says {paraphrasing}, “He sighed; not as if he found any difficulty in working this miracle, or obtaining power to do it from his father; but as if expressing his pity for the miseries of human life.”

I cried when I read this too. It was as if Jesus too, was sighing — or feeling — “a deep yearning for something lost, unattainable, or distant.”

I found a beautiful article from Arthur Pink, written in 1947, titled, “Prayer Sighs.” If this topic interests you at all, I encourage you to read it. Here’s a small piece of what it says:

“So by prayer sighs, we mean those agitations and breathings of soul which are virtually synonymous with groans. A “sigh” is an inarticulate declaration, an indistinct cry for deliverance. The saints are sometimes so opposed and troubled, that they cannot find language suited to their emotions: where words fail them, the thoughts and feelings of their hearts find expression in sighs and cries.”

If you’re in a season of deep sighing — whatever the reason may be — I pray you find hope today in this promise:

“And those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 35:10 {NIV}

Posted in deep thoughts, random

27 Sep

a perfect world …

At times, it amazes me to find out what my girls think about.

The other day I was driving here and there {and everywhere} with Hunter and Wynter. When out of the blue Hunter asks something about how so many of us got here. Not a “birds and the bees” type question {thank heavens!}. It was more of a “pyramid effect with people” type of question.

I took a deep breath and was about to answer when Wynter informed me, “I got this one mom.” She was sitting in the front with me, so as she was saying this to me, she also reached over, patted my arm, and nodded her nine-year-old-full-of-wisdom head with reassurance.

And then she proceeded to tell Hunter all about Adam and Eve, and the garden of Eden.

How God created Adam out of dust … how Eve was made with one of Adam’s ribs … how they disobeyed God and couldn’t live in the perfect garden anymore … and how Adam and Eve had children, who had children, who had children, and so on.

Hunter was satisfied with her answer — and was thrilled to find out that means she’s somehow, somewhere related to her little bestie at school! :)

But Wynter seemed somehow unsatisfied. And she talked about the garden again. And how they really shouldn’t have disobeyed God. And if they hadn’t, we could still be living in a perfect world.

“Can you imagine that, Wynt?” I asked.

Staring out the window, deep in thought, and from the depths of her soul, she answered, “I think about it all the time, Mom.”

And my heart kinda burst into bits.

For her. For me. For all of us.

“He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone …”
Revelation 21:4 {Message}

There seems to be so much pain and suffering all around us. Every which way we turn … tragedy after tragedy. It’s hard at times to hang on to the hope His promises bring.

For anyone suffering today. For anyone who — like my soulful Wynter — thinks about a perfect world “all the time,” I encourage you, as I’m encouraging myself and my littles, to cling to the Truth found in Romans 8:18, “Now I’m sure of this: the sufferings we endure now are not even worth comparing to the glory that is coming and will be revealed in us.”

If you have some extra time, it’d be so worth it to take a listen to the promises found in this song {based off of the two scriptures I’ve referenced in this post, and also from the pain of losing his first wife to cancer}.

Until that glorious day when all glory is revealed, I’m so thankful we have people around us to encourage, lift, and remind us of the hope found in Him.

Posted in deep thoughts, hunter, random, wynter

20 Sep

RIP willie :: when a carnival fish dies

Posted in our family, pets, piper, random, taylor