Thursday, October 24, 2013


I KNOW there is power in prayer!
I KNOW Jesus saves for
I KNOW salvation has changed my life!
I KNOW He heals
because I have experienced it!
I KNOW God has blessed us
with 5 beautiful, healthy children!
I KNOW God can make a way through financial battles
when money is low & bills are high!
I KNOW He can calm a storm
& bless with peace & joy!
I KNOW He can put families back together
because I have experienced that exactly!
I KNOW He forgives our mistakes
because He has mine many times!
I KNOW He sends GRACE through troubles & trials
because I have overcome!
I KNOW He will not back down
& leave His children alone when things come our way!
I KNOW it doesn't matter
what anyone else thinks or says!
I KNOW He loves me!  I KNOW He lives!!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


    Ever found out something has been stolen from you?  Taken right out from under your nose?  Felt run over, even abused & betrayed by someone you trusted & loved?  Felt love replaced by bitterness & hatred during the turmoil?  Having those that hurt keep turning up & smiling right in your face?  Don't know if you'll ever erase the pain or recover that joy?  That's the world we've been walking through...trying to look for the place to break free. 
     Nathan & I both have been really hurting...trying to walk together through a shattered valley...trying to pick up the pieces & find His grace.  We are clinging to one another as we transition from a nightmare into our dreams.  The road behind us has been marked all along the pathway with scars & difficult circumstances.  I am ever so thankful that our children are still little...that they don't have those memories.  They see progress, they are full of excitement, they bring us hope for a brighter tomorrow!  Trying to make sense of the situation doesn't bring any peace.  Trying to bind our wounds doesn't bring joy.  Struggling to breathe as the storm passes by is where we are.  I can feel joy of the weight lifting.  I am trying to find God's GRACE!  As I lay in bed early this morning pondering way too much I hear little footsteps waking up.  Marianna strikes up the wrong chord on the piano.  She begins to sing...
"Somebody loves me
Somebody cares
Somebody loves me
He answers my prayers!"
     She is ever so cheerful.  She is playing in one key & singing in another.  She believes.  I hear the joy in her voice crying out from her heart. I hear His GRACE calling out for me.  He is near to us in the storm.  He loves us.  He cares.  If we don't ever understand this trial...if they forever try to devour us...His GRACE is what we cry out for & run to.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slowing Down the Pace

     Knowing we've had big changes ahead for our family, I've taken time to prioritize and slow down the pace.  I want to enjoy this season in our lives.  I want to take time for what's important and leave off what is not.  I want to relax and have fun together while we build and move.  There is much work to do, but I didn't want it to be rush, rush, rush! 
     First, I began by asking myself what my priorities are and what really matters to me.  God is, of course, the most important.  He is our very existence.  Going against or leaving Him out of our plans is not an option.  That only calls for hard times and no peace.  So many times, it is easy for us to get busy and tied up with our own lives that we forget the one who blesses us with life.  He will lead and guide us into the best ways if we let Him!
     Secondly, family fits in.  My relationship with Nathan and our children is tops!  If Nathan and I don't make time for us, everything else will surely suffer.  All of us having fun together is also a must.  These were two very important priorities that I was determined to keep up!  This would require us visiting and helping with the building progress constantly.  Family meals have now turned into easier dishes.  We are all still sitting down together though, and that's what makes it special.  Dates have turned into Home Depot runs with all of the kiddos in tow!  lol  You should see the looks we get pushing/pulling 4 carts with a kid on each one and still another walking with us!  I am truly blessed with a lot of smiles at how well they are behaving with us taking several hours picking out and deciding what to buy.  The extra riding has given us opportunity to talk or else sing at the top of our lungs!  It has all been fun!
     Next, our life revolves around our church activities.  We are planning a Homecoming & revival this month.  Plus, this week will be the completion of our first building project.  Everyone has really pulled their weight to work and make that possible.  I appreciate the labor that has been put forth by various members and especially the ladies who volunteered to decorate!  I never even had to think about it and what was picked out is absolutely gorgeous!  I can't wait to see it all come together in next few days!!!
     The last thing I had to learn has been the hardest lesson~to let go of everything else!  There are so many "extras" and opportunities that come by grabbing at you that really don't even further your goals in life.  I have always been a very social person, so this has been the ultimate hurdle.  I have learned that we do not have to attend every single invited event.  Now that I have started weeding things out, I am having to make myself go to anything at all!  lol  It's crazy!  It's just like I've let that go.  Our  family of 7 (and those that are so close that they are family) gets our attention.  That's it.  I'm over it.  We make time for those who we have a special relationship with.  Other invitations literally go straight into the trash.  Some things no longer seem as vital as they use to be.  Before long, we'll probably be invited to less and less!  Hehehe!  What a blessing that would be!  Please don't take that wrong.  I don't mean this as selfish at all.  In fact, we encourage giving time for others.  It just is more meaningful things than useless, empty activity.  In the past few weeks, we've fed more strangers (those hired to work various jobs on the new construction) at our table than ever before!  The kids rush around all excited before hand.  They much more willfully help pick up the house and set out the dishes.  They help plan and mix up special desserts.  They giggle silly and anticipate someone new coming in.  Seeing their reaction and eagerness to serve people they don't even know has been long overdue just because before we were "too busy."  I've learned through this that if we put things off by being so caught up in the swift pace of this world, the opportunity to instill these values in their young hearts will soon be gone as our time vanishes away.  The enemy of our soul will be slyly stealing our gift of time.  I've pondered a statement that a church elder often shared, "People usually do exactly what they want to do."  This is so profound!!!  If we don't prioritize and do those things that we know to do that is so simple yet right and wholesome, will we ever get around to it?  It's so easy to put things off~especially special times for our spouse and children because we easily take for granted that we will have much time to share with them later...Sadly, most often those works we put off usually go undone.  So here lately, it has been a joy to just stop everything and actually do something as simple as going outside gazing up at the stars together before bedtime.  If we don't, will our children ever slow down enough to stand in awe at such miraculous creation?
     Thus far, this has been a wonderful journey!  God has truly strengthened us!  Like today, I can hardly believe what all has been accomplished~reading & praying, a few loads of laundry, lots of ironing caught up, picked up the new central unit that we ordered & hung 1/2 of the new playroom walls for the shop, home cooked meal, returned a large load of unused materials to Lowes, picked up some other materials at the hardware store, drove an hour to the hospital to visit our newest church member (a beautiful, precious baby girl) & an elderly man that is there sick, a visit to my parent's on our way by, & still we were at home at a descent time with all the littles in bed asleep!  I am relaxing in the quiet now and very thankful!  I am happy to be slowing down our pace, embracing our dreams, and fully living in the joy of each moment.  I haven't missed even one "hurry, hurry, hurry!"

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sneak Peek at the Progress

Last week we rounded up supplies!
Then the concrete was poured & finished! 
 Johnson's Concrete Finishers are the BEST!
This week best friends arrived
ALL the way from Mississippi!
That is a deeper rooted love than family!
Thanks to Trent, Dean, & Big J's Construction,
this was Monday morning...


  & this was Friday afternoon!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Baby Graham is the BIG O~N~E

                            EE's famous creations!
 Pooped out in Uncle Matt's lap!
But the after party is usually the best...

Time to go home guys!

Kaley's 11


      Kaley had a fun 11th birthday! It was her day...her choice.  We went to the mall, bowled, ate at Chic Fil A, & opened a few presents.  She was most excited about her new Bible!  The time together as a family is always the most fun!  We love this girl even though she is growing up way too fast!  Thanks again to EE for the beautiful day & all of you who made this day special for her!