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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.

7 May

mom series interview

I interrupt my unscheduled silence to bring you a recent interview I was honored to participate in. When Christa asked if I’d consider answering a few questions on motherhood for a series she was doing, I rather jumped on the opportunity!

I hope you’ll stop by to read the other interviews as well. Soooo good!


Posted in guest post, parenting


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


14 Mar

psalm 38 – #shereadstruth

Has anyone been following along with the current SheReadsTruth series for lent … “fasting?” It’s been so very good! If you’re looking for a study to join, participate in, or just follow along … this is definitely one to read!

This week we’ve been asked to share our thoughts on Psalm 38. It’s long — a lot longer than last week’s – but it’s good! Lots of bits of wisdom and insight! I’ll share a few take-aways after the verse below:

A David Psalm

Take a deep breath, God; calm down—
don’t be so hasty with your punishing rod.
Your sharp-pointed arrows of rebuke draw blood;
my backside smarts from your caning.

I’ve lost twenty pounds in two months
because of your accusation.
My bones are brittle as dry sticks
because of my sin.
I’m swamped by my bad behavior,
collapsed under gunnysacks of guilt.

The cuts in my flesh stink and grow maggots
because I’ve lived so badly.
And now I’m flat on my face
feeling sorry for myself morning to night.
All my insides are on fire,
my body is a wreck.
I’m on my last legs; I’ve had it—
my life is a vomit of groans.

Lord, my longings are sitting in plain sight,
my groans an old story to you.
My heart’s about to break;
I’m a burned-out case.
Cataracts blind me to God and good;
old friends avoid me like the plague.
My cousins never visit,
my neighbors stab me in the back.
My competitors blacken my name,
devoutly they pray for my ruin.
But I’m deaf and mute to it all,
ears shut, mouth shut.
I don’t hear a word they say,
don’t speak a word in response.
What I do, God, is wait for you,
wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer!
I wait and pray so they won’t laugh me off,
won’t smugly strut off when I stumble.

I’m on the edge of losing it—
the pain in my gut keeps burning.
I’m ready to tell my story of failure,
I’m no longer smug in my sin.
My enemies are alive and in action,
a lynch mob after my neck.
I give out good and get back evil
from God-haters who can’t stand a God-lover.

Don’t dump me, God;
my God, don’t stand me up.
Hurry and help me;
I want some wide-open space in my life!

This Psalm title is a psalm to bring to remembrance. Matthew Henry says {paraphrasing}, “This psalm teaches us in times of sickness and affliction to bring to remembrance, in times of sin to bring to remembrance, and in times of adversity to bring to remembrance. Also to use this petition – psalm – when praying for others who may be facing sickness, sin, and/or adversity.”

As I read through this psalm, I can see myself in the way David is crying out … “Take a deep breath, God; calm down—don’t be so hasty.”

And … paraphrasing here – “Ouch! My bumbum hurts from your discipline!”

And then blah, blah, blah … the need to list out all my adversities … as if God doesn’t already know what I’m going through.

“My heart’s about to break;
I’m a burned-out case.”

{can I get a witness?}

And then some more blah, blah, blah with a good dose of whine thrown in!

But then … the promise! The good word! The money we can take to the bank:

“What I do, God, is wait for you,
wait for my Lord, my God—you will answer!”

Then a little more whine -

“I’m on the edge of losing it—
the pain in my gut keeps burning.”

And then a grand finale plea to finish my prayer:

“Don’t dump me, God;
my God, don’t stand me up.
Hurry and help me;
I want some wide-open space in my life!”

Don’t dump me God. Don’t forsake me. Don’t forget about me. Hurry up Lord. I’m here waiting. Help me! I want … need … wide-open space in my life.

I don’t know what God knows about you. But what God knows about me? I can whine with the best of ‘em! I mean, surely someone needs to remind Him of what I’m going through. Not to mention that P.S. to hurry up and help me already. Haven’t I endured enough?

And then I remember. The same promise we talked about last week — wait and watch. He WILL answer.

They’re not just words. It’s a promise. It’s God’s promise. No matter how long it takes, one thing we can always, always, always be absolutely sure of? God promises are always right.on.time. HIS time.

He loves us. He hasn’t forsaken us … He promises us He never will. And I believe it. I’m thankful for it. And I rest in it.


Posted in bible, bible study, she reads truth


12 Mar

the equestrian life {and other technical details}

Given horses pretty much consume our time lately, it’s kinda crazy I haven’t posted more about it. But then I guess, there was that whole losing my voice thing, and the whole busy, busy, busy thing and well … with uploading photos, editing, posting … I just didn’t do any of it. And now I feel like my heart is bursting to tell you more about it!

I’m currently sitting in a golf cart, at a horse show, in front of our camper. We’re camping over the next two weeks while we’re here … and yes, we have a camper and not a tent, so it’s not like we’re roughing it or anything, but for the record … I do enjoy more than a thin pad to sleep on and a trickle of water in a shoebox to shower with!

Anyway. Seemed only fitting to write this post now.

And don’t worry … even though we spent most of last year at horse shows — so many I’m not sure I could count them — I promise not to recap every single one!

To give you an example of how many shows I’m talking about … here are the girls ribbons from 2013:

Wynter’s

Taylor’s

 I’ll try not to get too technical on you, but just give some basic information. :)

The riding discipline the girls do is Hunter/Jumpers. Wynter does hunters, and Taylor primarily does jumpers {with a few equitation classes here and there}. And there are two types of shows they do:

  • Local shows {that aren’t really “local” — they’re an average of two hours away — it just means they’re unrated shows and don’t count on the girls “professional” riding record}.
  • Rated shows, which are a bigger deal and do go on the girls permanent/professional record, and can be found all over the world.

That said, the only type of shows we’d done were local shows — until last August when Taylor did her first rated show in Kentucky. Since then, it seems like we’ve been in a fast-forward mode trying to get her record beefed up for college {when she goes to try out for a riding team}.

This particular show was at the Kentucky Horse Park and very, very different from what we’d been used to with our local shows! And actually, Taylor had ridden at the horse park when she was 12 for a Pony Club event. But it wasn’t a competition, it was a clinic that’s held every three years for Pony Club.

Needless to say … this was a big deal for her!

This is my very favorite photo I captured from the week.

Sorry … here comes some technicality … if you’re not interested, just skip over it! :)

When Taylor does Jumpers, it’s all about speed. Basically, the fastest time wins. But it’s not about being a cowboy and plowing over the jumps as fast as you can. It’s about walking your course, knowing how many strides between each jump, knowing what your horse can handle as far as quick turns and the best way to get to the next jump … and one hundred other things that I’m probably not even aware of. It’s about speed … but also skill {and safety!}.

Most of the time in her classes, there are two parts. The first, you need to go “clean” — which means not knocking down any rails, or poles, as you jump over them — and you also can’t have any time faults. You’re allotted a certain amount of time and you need to get through the course in that time.

The second part of her class is called the jump-off, and if you go clean as I’ve mentioned above, then you move on to the jump-off {if you don’t go clean, you don’t get to move on}. And the person who has the fastest time in the jump-off {with the least amount of faults} wins.

The two images I have posted here were taken on separate days. In the photo above, if you look at the monitor, you see she has 4 faults. That means she got a rail down. The good news is, the ride was her jump-off. So she’d gone clean in the first round and went on to the jump-off. Her time for the course was 42 seconds.

Technically, she could still get a good ribbon if the other competitors had more faults and/or a slower time.

And in the photo below, you can see on the monitor, Taylor’s time was 66.249 … she went clean … and moved on to the jump-off.

I hope that wasn’t too bad in the technical department!

Overall, Taylor ended up taking reserve champion in her division. It was a great experience for her and I’m so glad we were able to do it!

After Kentucky, the girls did a whole bunch of local shows, and then in October and November, Wynter got in on the action as they did three rated shows in Raleigh {with local shows on their weekends off from Raleigh}.

The video below is of one of Taylor’s jump-offs {and yes … maybe I do pray while she’s riding!}. At this particular show, Taylor won grand champion in her division. And extra special … she did it by placing 1st in each class! It’s all based on points, so one can still win grand champion even if they didn’t place first in each class.

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

At a different show in Raleigh, Taylor competed against some top riders {ex-Olympians even — although they were competing to train clients horses, different than competing strictly for themselves}, and she placed 2nd!

Taylor’s come a long, long way. It’s not been an easy road for her and this show we’re at in Florida has rocked us upside down and caused a lot of soul searching for my girl. We’re starting our fourth week … two weeks here, two weeks home, and two weeks back here again … and she’s still processing all she’s learning.

And then we have Wynter! This girl is following right in her sister’s footsteps! I shared about Wynter and her pony, Spanky a few months ago, but this girl has come a long way since then too! Here’s a photo of her doing crossrails with Spanky. As far as the ribbon department goes, it was slow going and she placed mostly in the bottom six, or didn’t place at all. But in the growth department {both personal and physical!}? Off the charts!!

She’s got a new horse … Wilber. :) And she moved up to showing in the short stirrup division. It’s kind of like going from training pants to big-girl underpants! Sorry for the crazy analogy, but it’s the first thing that came to mind!

I posted the below photo a week or so ago, but bear with me? This is Wynter and Wilber showing in Florida. So far she’s taken reserve champion three out of five times showing … in one of those she didn’t place, she was diagnosed with strep that morning {but more on that another time}!

I’m proud of her determination and budding passion for this sport. I’m telling y’all … horses are the best thing you can do for a girl! I’ve seen it in Taylor, and I’m seeing it all over again with Wynter.

I feel like they learn life isn’t just about them. But somehow they have a bigger to purpose to take care of this animal and grow as an equestrian and care-taker of their new best friend {and dare I say, first boyfriend?!}.

Below is a video I took of Wynter here in Florida a couple of weeks ago. It’s a little long {and probably boring if you’re not into the whole horse thing}, but it warms my heart to watch it and know how much it means to her to be riding this boy, and now showing in big-girl shows, in a big-girl division, with her big-girls pants {sorry, couldn’t resist!}.

And the last video is a bonus of her riding one of Taylor’s horses! That’s the best part about having two riding girls … they can exercise each others horses and save me some trainer expenses! :)

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}

{if you’re reading via email or rss feed, please click here to see the following video}


Posted in riding, taylor, wynter


7 Mar

psalm 130 – #shereadstruth

During this Lenten season, I’m joining SheReadsTruth in their request to have their readers, become their writers. Follow that?

So … each week the ladies at SheReadsTruth will post a scripture for their readers to study and pray over. Then on Friday of that week, the goal is to have their readers write a devotion on the intended scripture.

This week’s scripture is Psalm 130. I’ve read different versions of it, but like The Message best:

A Pilgrim Song

Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life!
Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears!
Listen to my cries for mercy.

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings,
who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit,
and that’s why you’re worshiped.

I pray to God—my life a prayer—
and wait for what he’ll say and do.
My life’s on the line before God, my Lord,
waiting and watching till morning,
waiting and watching till morning.

O Israel, wait and watch for God—
with God’s arrival comes love,
with God’s arrival comes generous redemption.
No doubt about it—he’ll redeem Israel,
buy back Israel from captivity to sin.
Psalm 130, The Message

I think my most favorite thing about this chapter is that David calls it, “A Pilgrim Song.” The very definition of a pilgrim, is one who’s on a journey to a holy place. Most often a pilgrim is described as a traveler who is journeying by foot.

Think of Abram and his long pilgrimage toward the holy land. And David, the author of Psalms, as he journeyed through the desert waiting for God’s faithfulness to reveal itself.

I don’t know about you, but one word that comes to mind when I think “pilgrim,” is weary. Weary is a word I know well, and David’s “Pilgrim Song” is one that resonates in my soul.

Other translations start Psalm 130 this way:

  • “From the depths of despair …” NLT
  • “From the depths of disaster … ” The Voice
  • “Lord, I am in great trouble … ” NCV
  • “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord … ” NIV

Any way you translate it, I read pain and weariness.

David is crying out to God to hear his plea for help. For mercy. He’s using his life as a prayer, waiting to hear from God. “Waiting and watching till morning.” Did you notice? The “waiting and watching” was so important, David wrote it twice.

And then for emphasis, he writes one more time … “O Israel, wait and watch for God.”

You know what though? As much as the weary, crying out for help resonates with my soul … the promises might resonate even more so. Psalm 130 goes on to say — promise — upon God’s arrival comes love and redemption. “No doubt about it,” David writes, He’ll redeem Israel!” {exclamation point mine}

Wait. And watch. And He’ll be faithful.

I can’t think of a more beautiful promise to start us off on this Lenten pilgrimage to God’s revelation of His ultimate promise … resurrection day!


Posted in bible, bible study, she reads truth