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Coming Down from the Mountain

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I have always been a mountain person. Always. Growing up, my family made far more trips to the mountains than to the beach. If we did go to the beach, it was a cold beach - never anything on the Gulf Coast where you might sweat to the death. If you remember #sabbaticchronicles2016, you remember that Stewart, the boys, and I spent two and half weeks in Colorado at my favorite cabin on the planet. Then Stewart and I went back to the same exact place a year later. And last week, I made my first ever trip to North Carolina to the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. I was on the mountain again - this time by myself (Okay, there were about 70 other minister's wives there. But Stewart nor the boys were with me. So I consider that "alone time!).

To say that I met with God at The Cove is an understatement. I felt as if I had been to the very Holy Place. I don't know what it is about mountains, but I have my best times with the Lord while I am there. I have tried to convince …

Complimentary Compassion

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In case you missed it, February 6 was Pay a Compliment Day.

I know you all observed this day.

Actually, you probably didn't.

If you're like me, paying compliments doesn't come easily. Yet we all love compliments! Mark Twain said, "I could live a month on one good compliment." They are easy to give, and they don't cost a thing. But why do we have such a hard time giving them?

I found out about "compliment day" because of Zach. In his morning devotional for February 6, it mentioned that this was the particular day we were all supposed to compliment someone. While he was telling us about this, the national news had begun playing in the background, and I began hearing all the negative things that had happened overnight. And it hit me - it's so much easier for us to be negative than to be positive about anything these days.

Why is that? Why can't we just be nice? One of the first verses I learned started off with, "Be ye kind." (Ephesia…

Out With the Old

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Somewhere in the middle of the rain, the merriment, and the holiday travel, the new year dawned. And here we sit with a chance to start over again.

A couple of weeks ago, the Lord had given me my verse for the year and a couple of words. (With me, it never seems to follow the pattern of a single word. I usually get multiple words.) The verse hit me like a ton of bricks as I was flipping through the book of Isaiah to another passage.

Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past. (Isaiah 43:18)

And goodness, there are some things I need to forget. Some things I need to let go. Some things from which I need to move on. Last year I asked the Lord to make me fruitful in the land of my suffering (Genesis 41:52). I don't know how fruitful I really was, but I am ready to be out of the land of suffering. Suffering will never be gone from any of our lives, but I am ready to forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. (Philippians 3:13)

How will I do that? The other words the Lo…

Messy Christmas

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This Christmas has just been a mess. An all out mess. And not in the good way.


Evan is sick, and the doctor has no answer for us other than "a virus." But that nasty virus has kept us home many days when we were supposed to be doing other fun Christmasy things. Evan missed a field trip to have his picture made with Santa and missed his school Christmas program. However, the doctor had warned us not to let him to back to school.

Before he got sick, it seemed as if we had an event every single night. You know all those dots on the calendar on your phone? I had a dot for every day. The only day that wound up with no dot was when the Pineville Christmas Parade got moved to another night because of rain. That day Stewart and I wound up repainting our bedroom and moving in our brand new furniture that we had just bought with some money we had saved up. (Merry Christmas to us! New carpet is coming the day after Christmas. Another mess is on its way. But the end result will be aweso…

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…