Sunday, December 2, 2012


“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” –Galatians 5:1

Freedom. Christ came to give life abundantly. Therefore, He never intended for us to live enslaved. Let that sink in. Not enslaved to people, comparison, money, pride, busy schedules, food, or anything else. When I surrender all at the foot of the cross, I gain freedom. Perfect freedom to be His servant…such glorious irony.

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Story...

The Women of Faith Conference in Atlanta last weekend spoke truth to my heart, rejuvenated my soul, and challenged my mind. The line-up of speakers included Sandi Patty, Kelly Minter, Patsy Clairmont, Brenda Warner, and many others. Each of these ladies shared some of their deepest hurts that included abuse, divorce, tragic accidents, and adultery. Seriously, their transparency and willingness to share their darkest moments with thousands of women spoke strength into my heart BUT it also made me doubt the power of my testimony. Would God ever use my story despite the lack of tragic events in my life?

In Mark 5, the demon-delivered man begged to go with Jesus and while the Savior refused, He gave the man a clear command. And Jesus did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

As I have wrestled with the heart of God this week, He whispered a strong, clear answer to me. Yes, I have a story to live out. One that includes highs and lows, defeats and successes, doubting myself and doubting God, and a heart that daily chooses to trust the integrity of God. You see, comparison has stolen much of my joy over the past 10 years.

Ah, the subject of comparison. It is that pesky voice that whispers things like:

- You’re not as smart as…
- She is a better minister’s wife than you…
- Your house is not as fabulous as…(thank you, Pinterest!)
- She is a better mother than you…(hello mom guilt!)
- Your walk with God is not as strong as…
- She is a better friend than you...
- You're not as funny as...

And the list goes on and on and on. Indeed, comparison is the thief of MY joy.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt

The lies of comparison steal my joy of friendship and my ability to be content. Furthermore, it steals the gift of genuine joy when I rest in the sovereignty and integrity of my Heavenly Father. Instead of believing the lies of comparison, I will tell the world how much He has done for me and of the perfect mercy He has given.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Feeling Unworthy?

Life is crazy busy for us. A church flock to love and lead, a six month old to care for, a new house to make a home, a marriage to nurture, families to stay connected to, new friendships to cultivate, and precious friendships that span numerous miles to keep thriving.

Unfortunately, my flesh longs to appease every person God places along my path and meet every.single.expectation placed upon me. It is definitely not my best quality but an ever-present struggle in my life. Attempting to earn the love of God and those around me is beyond exhausting.

And just when my feelings of inadequacy begin to overtake my thoughts, the Word of God breathes life into my weary soul…

- Moses was marked by a severe speech impediment.

- Noah was 500 years old when he built the ark.

- Ruth was a widowed outcast.

- Paul killed Christians.

- David was an adulterer who committed murder AND was overlooked by his
own earthly father when he gave consideration to which son could become king.

- Gideon was a scared coward.

- The twelve disciples were less than perfect and often doubted Jesus, even
though He lived among them.

- Sarah bore a child in her ripe old age after doubting God would ever knit life
together in her womb.

- My own SAVIOR was born to a young girl and a carpenter in a stable surrounded
by animals.

I’m forever grateful to serve a God who chooses to use His imperfect followers. If God could use these seemingly useless characters in the Bible, then watch out world, because He will continue a mighty work through those of us who feel completely unworthy.

If God is for us, then who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Friday, July 6, 2012

3 Years Later...

After J proposed on November 17, 2008, we set out to plan a worship service to honor the Lord and join our hearts together in marriage.

I am forever grateful to my mom, an event coordinator at heart, who helped me see every single detail that had to be planned, laughed with me until we cried many times, and made it such an enjoyable experience. I love you, Daddy, and will always be grateful you set the standard so high for how my husband would love me. You will always be the first man I ever loved!

We spent the Friday before finalizing the details, loving on family and friends, rehearsing for the big day, and reminiscing at the rehearsal dinner.

Saturday morning FINALLY came and after getting ready at a sketch hotel, my girls and I headed to LaGrange for the bridesmaid’s breakfast, hair appointments, and a trip to Wal-Mart. While all of this was happening, J and his boys were shooting skeet in LG.

While J and I were enjoying the day with our family and friends, a precious friend from church, who is a decorating genius, was putting the final touches on decorations for the ceremony and reception while my talented aunt was busy putting the flowers together.

J and I chose to see each other before the wedding, so when the moment we had reverently prayed for finally came, my heart was beating out of control. It was a moment filled with tears, smiles, laughter, and praises to our Heavenly Father.

The next several hours were spent taking pictures, laughing with our wedding party, and waiting on 5:30pm to finally arrive.

Two things I will forever cherish about our wedding:
1. J composed the piece the musicians played as my Dad walked me down the aisle.
2. My veil was handmade from my grandmother’s wedding dress. Mammy and Pappy enjoyed fifty years of marriage, loved the Lord and His church, raised four children, and spoiled nine grandchildren. What a legacy!

After a wedding reception filled with music, yummy food, a coffee bar, and sweet family and friends, it was time to say goodbye.

Three years into our marriage, we have added a baby, moved four times, and made incredible memories together. What a blessing that God has chosen us to experience a journey that represents His love relationship with the church!

“I have found the one whom my soul loves.” Song of Songs 3:4

*Photo Credit: Daniel Menacher

Monday, July 2, 2012

10 Things I Have Learned About Parenting…

1. Watching your husband become a father will only multiply your love and admiration for him. There is no sound sweeter than M and J playing together.

2. When you think you have nothing else left to give, you just dig deeper than you ever have before, and find more love and compassion to bestow, even when you have only slept for three hour increments throughout the night.

3. A little bit of air freshener goes a long way when changing a poopy diaper.

4. And since we are on the subject of poop…celebrating a poopy diaper with your husband takes the relationship to a whole new level.

5. Putting M on a schedule from day 1 was more for my sanity than anything else. A happy mom means a happy baby!

6. Murphy’s Law of Naps states that a baby WILL wake up if you decide to shower during nap time.

7. One has not fully lived until you instinctively catch throw up in your hand to protect whatever piece of furniture or toy the baby happens to be enjoying at that moment.

8. Becoming a mother only makes you appreciate, respect, and love your own mom more than you ever thought possible.

9. The Lord will teach you some of the hardest yet sweetest lessons about your own life through the little bundle of joy.

10. It is the toughest, sweetest, most challenging job in the world that I would not exchange for any other blessing.

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be a mom. Love my M!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Last Sunday, I listened to an intriguing sermon by Dr. Stewart Sims on the scary and often times ignored concept of forgiveness. I walked away feeling a bit intimated yet challenged. Forgiveness is not really my forte as I am filled with a ridiculous amount of selfishness and my heart is entirely too self-centered but I serve a Lord who loves me far too much to leave me in such a lifeless place. Choosing bitterness over forgiveness equals death. Dr. Sims made the clear connection between forgiveness and life. I choose life. I choose to die to my selfish ways, to cling to the cross where love and forgiveness flow freely, and to be merciful so that I may be shown the mercy I so desperately need.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7

Forgiveness is a command. The amount of forgiveness God has shown my sinful heart at the foot of the cross is far more than any amount of forgiveness He will ask me to bestow on others. Thank you, Dr. Sims, for that reality check.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to give others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 NLT