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A 10 Year Old Miracle

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I vividly remember waking up on the morning of December 4, 2008.

Stewart and I had barely slept the night before. The anticipation, the fear, the excitement - all of it kept us awake. The day we had waited for and prayed for had finally come. We were going to welcome our first child into the world that day.

It had been a long road to even get pregnant. In fact, we were told we couldn't have children. Low and behold, two short months after that news, God did what the doctors said couldn't be done. We were expecting a child. And it was an absolute miracle. Little did we know, in the middle of the pregnancy, we would be called back home to Louisiana to pastor the church a block away from our alma mater, buying a house, and would be close to our family when the baby arrived.

So that morning, Stewart and I got up and tried to have a normal morning, but it was impossible. I couldn't eat, of course, because of the C-section I was about to have. We tried to busy ourselves with all…

Mama Tried

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I have told my friend Adrienne for years that I never win anything. That statement was proved wrong when I won a door prize at the Minister's Wives Retreat this year. And then it was proved wrong again when I actually won something online about a week ago. I adore this little business called Shop SFT because they make the CUTEST Louisiana themed t-shirts! I only have one of them, but I love following them on social media and seeing what's new. Well, last week they had an online contest for moms for this coffee mug:



I normally wouldn't have wanted this mug, but that particular morning, I had slung maple syrup all over the kitchen, already gotten a call from the school about one kid before 9:00 a.m., and I was suffering from an earache. So when they asked for your best "Mama Tried" moments, I had one at hand. The fact that I won the contest thrilled me to no end! And then, it got me thinking.

Thankfulness has been a theme I've tried to push with myself and my f…

Ripples

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This weekend I attended our state Ministers Wives Retreat. It was my ninth year to attend. This year, I got to go with my two favorite ministers wives, Adrienne and Sandy. Every year has been different. Every year has held memories. But this year held something that I will never forget.

At our last session, our speaker for the weekend asked each of us to get a rock and a permanent marker. Sandy picked our rocks for us, but out of the three, I picked one that looked like a Colorado river rock. (My heart has been longing to be there as we were this time last year.) The speaker put a list of sins up on the TV screens. I pretty much knew what was coming - we were supposed to write our sins on the rock. But as I looked over the list, I wondered if I could just decoupage the entire list on the rock. It was that convicting. Just hard to look at it.

Finally, my gaze settled on one in particular. The act of writing it hurt me. It was something I promised myself I never would be - bitter. Bitte…

Rename It

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There are many instances where a character of the Bible is renamed - either by God or by the circumstances they have been through.

Abram became Abraham.
Jacob became Israel.
Simon became Peter.
Saul became Paul.

And that's just a few examples. In fact, the Bible says that we all get a new name when we become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. We become known as children of God, co-heirs with Christ, redeemed, and many other fantastic names.

But why all the renaming?

In counseling, we do something called "reframing." Think about this for a moment: the frame in which you put a treasured family photo can either enhance the picture or it can make it look ordinary. Maybe you put the picture in a frame that has just the slightest hint of blue that brings out the blue in some family member's eyes. Maybe the frame has just the right shade of red that highlights the fall leaves in the background. When you pick the right frame, the picture takes on a whole new look. It has ne…

A September to Remember

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A lot has happened in September.

I have led worship three times at three different events. Stewart and I spoke at Louisiana College in front of 275 students, and I got to lead one of them to saving faith in Christ. Our family celebrated 10 years at First Baptist Church Pineville. Stewart and Zach went off for a "man's weekend" at Survivor Man, where they did all kinds of father/son/manly things. The E4 Preaching Conference had its 10th year, and went off without a hitch. Stewart turned 42, and to celebrate, he and I went to Branson for a few days for a pastors and wives retreat. And Evan had a couple of "firsts" - he fed himself for the first time and also went bowling with his schoolmates and loved it!

Football has started back, and all the pumpkin spice in the world is back on the shelves. I am a happy girl.

But dotted in between all of this has been a lot of heartache. I went home to Athens a couple of weeks ago to attend the funeral of one of the saints of …

The Coffee Conspiracy: Part 3

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Dear Keurig,

You've been looking at my funny lately. (As if you have eyes. I do realize you are just a machine that produces beloved coffee.) I don't blame you though. Something strange happened several months ago. It wasn't your fault. In fact, it had nothing to do with you. It had to do with the beverage you produce.

Several months ago, I went through some terrible gastrointestinal problems that caused me to make major changes in my diet. (You can read it about it here.) I had excruciating pain when it all first happened, and coffee was one of the things that I could not even think about drinking. As I began to heal, I thought I would be able to come back to my precious morning boost. I was able to reincorporate a lot of the things that had first sickened me back into my routine. But while we were on vacation in South Dakota in June, I tried to drink coffee, and it made me very, very sick. I was so sad. There are so many coffees that I love. We passed so many Starbucks t…

When My Plan is not His Plan

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My dear friend who is an elementary school principal made a comment in Sunday school this past week that pretty much sums me up today:

"I have never been this exhausted entering a school year."

Her school had major changes happen over the summer that caused her to not have much of a summer at all, so she is totally justified in feeling that way.

But as she spoke those words, I had much the same feeling. At the end of last school year, our school board had decided to move Evan's special ed program to another school. This was devastating for us. We loved his school. We loved every single person at his school and knew many of them personally. It was convenient for Stewart to drop him off on his way to work. And we adored his teacher. His teacher was being moved to this new school, which was a plus, but the school was pretty far away from our home. With his seizures and medical needs, we just didn't think it was the right decision to send him that far away from us when w…