Realization Light Bulb

Ya’ll,

We’ve all heard the phrase a gazillion times, “You are a child of God.” Have we not? If not… the Bible tells us that we are children of God. GOD. The creator of every single thing. Of the universe, the trees that we need for life, the cells that make up our own bodies. We are His children.

I was reading through my various devotions this morning, and for the very first time, this phrase stopped me. It made my heart jump. I am a child of God. Say that to your heart and soul this day. I am a child of God. Let it really sink in. Let your mind wander in the love that knowledge provides.

The same power that raises people from the dead, that created the entirety of life, that casts out demons and forgives sin, is the very power that made each of us. The very power we have running through our souls. Perhaps this goes back to the relationship Jesus had with his Twelve. He taught them. He showed them. He gave them His power. They doubted… and they SAW IT ALL. If they doubted, how on earth can we have the faith to move mountains and change lives and heal? Maybe I just found my answer, because we are really and truly God’s kids. He loves us. He calls us all to be His Light on this earth, His hands and feet.

I know there are so many of us who have grown up with dads who didn’t really take the time to be a part of our lives, who were too busy pouring out their souls into their jobs instead of being an involved and loving dad,  but that is ok. We have an eternal Father. He calls us by name. He calls us His children. He calls us. He chose us. He knows us. He made us. By the same power that made the stars, the sun, the ocean, the sand, the seeds that grow into what we need to survive on this earth.

I don’t think I will ever pass over the phrase, ” I am a child of God,” the same way ever again.

Till next time!

Genuine, Beloved, and Cozy

Ya’ll,

I am being ridiculously lazy this morning. And I am not ashamed. The coffee pot is half emptied, and I am the only one who is drinking it. I thank the Lord every single morning for my peaceful, quiet mornings spent with Him. In His presence. His moment in time. I take my coffee mug back to our bedroom, I cozy up with all three puppies, and I write out what my heart aches for the Lord to know and to hear. Even though He already knows what my heart longs for. There’s just something about talking and being quiet with the Creator of the universe, while sipping on the precious gift of coffee He gave us. It’s cozy, in a big way.

The Lord cannot be fit into a human box of understanding. The ability to come to Him whenever, wherever, proves daily and constantly that we are beloved. He loves us to the ends of the universe. He loves us unconditionally. You know how you feel when your husband, your wife, your mom, your dad, your siblings, your family, or your close friends wrap their arms around you and hug you tightly? Do you feel warm and loved and thankful? I surely do. I imagine cozying up every morning with Him and the puppies and warming my hands by holding my coffee mug, to be semi the same as that. We are beloved. Beloved and cozy.

Genuine. There are so few times and moments when we come into contact with a genuine soul. This world is filled with fake and pretend, and it breaks my heart. I know it breaks our Lord’s heart. The Lord has brought His faithful, genuine, people to my life to show me what a life given to the Lord fully really looks like. And that, folks, is genuine. Again, I reference what my Uncle Sean said when we visited recently. We, as believers, only have two rules. Love the Lord, and love your neighbor. We are beloved. We should genuinely love everyone in return.

Those three words; genuine, beloved, and cozy, were on my heart this morning. In the craziness of the holiday season, don’t forget, amongst the chaos, to find moments to be cozy with the Lord. The reason for the holiday we celebrate. Don’t forget that you are beloved by the Creator of… every single thing. Don’t forget that the Lord is genuine in His love for you; let that genuine love pour out of you this Christmas, so those around you will know whose you are. So that they will know that they are beloved.

Till next time!

To be Grateful

Ya’ll,

It’s been a hard month. A hard month of figuring out what it really means to be content in the madness. I just wrote an assignment for seminary about resting in the Lord, and what it means for all of life. I should take it to heart.

This world, ya’ll. We are all crazy busy. We are rushed, hurried, and worried. We forget to look up and realize all there is to be thankful for. We may not have all we desire, but the Lord gives us all we need. I have parents who let us come home after a disaster in the Caribbean Sea. I have a husband who loves me in a way I never could have imagined, the way the Lord commands us to love. I have friends who love me, who protect me, who care for me and check on me. I live in AMERICA, ya’ll. We have freedom to do as we please, unless of course we’re being hateful and harmful. We have so much.

Thanksgiving last year was quite different than it is this year. This time last year, I was preparing to leave the man I love, endlessly, to surprise my family whom I’d not seen in three months. For those of you who know me, I don’t go a day without seeing my family or talking to them. Especially my brother. He’s my partner in crime, forever. This year, we’re here. I’m at the COFFEE SHOP, completing homework assignments drinking apple chaider (apple cider and chai tea put TOGETHER). Ya’ll. It’ll change your life, that drink. It’s fall in a cup. Truly. And that’s coming from a basic pumpkin girl.

I think it is high time that we all pause for a bit to rest in the Lord. To rest in His arms that hold us all up daily. That rest will seep into every aspect of our lives, teaching us and reminding us that life is not all that difficult. There are two rules, as my Uncle Sean would say; to love the Lord and love each other. Everything else just falls into place. For that, I will be grateful. I love the Lord, and I try my hardest to love every person.

The holidays always seem to make folks either super grouchy or super excited and full of all of the goodness of life. I am the latter. The holidays brings so many people together, but it also emphasis those who would rather be apart. That’s hard. But the Lord will mend the brokenness. He will provide all that we need to get through this life on earth. The holidays are a time to be thankful, to lift each other up, to laugh and smile and breathe in the cool air. Have I mentioned it was FORTY degrees this morning?!?! Praise the good Lord for not hot weather!

My heart aches for us all, to be content and joyful in this life. To be thankful for every season of life. To be thankful through the hard times, the good times, and the in-between times. To be thankful in the middle of somewhere.

Till next time!

Respect

Ya’ll,

My family is so good… well, for the most part. No one’s family is perfect all the time. Right? Our parents taught us to respect others, to open doors, to speak humbly and politely to everyone we meet. This world has made us cautious and bitter and distant. We fear more than we feel we are safe in our surroundings. We doubt more than we believe in the goodness and kindness of others. We wonder if the next person we meet will take us away or try to take our belongings.

But, the Lord has already triumphed the evil of the world for us. Our job is to be still and listen for the Lord’s whispers to act, to go, to be His outlet for the world. How cool is it, that we get to wander this earth knowing that no matter the outcome of choices, of the actions and words of others, we have a promise of eternity, of goodness, of forgiveness, and of Truth?

Out of everything going on the world, one thing stands out the most to me. What happened to respect? Where did that go? When did our society turn into one of greed, selfishness, disrespect and hate? Nothing will be solved in our land until we learn how to respect others again. At least, that’s my opinion. It doesn’t start with our President, our Senate, our House, nor our local government. It starts with us. Our hearts, our thoughts, our actions and reactions.

Being home has been wonderful, but the news is so harsh and depressing. I like our little island life where life is slow and small. We get to tune out the madness of the world and focus on our marriage, on what our callings are, and the love we get to share with each other. When folks ask if we like it there, I say we love it. We don’t love the heat and the no ac thing and med school is ridiculous, but we love the simplicity and the chance to realign ourselves with each other and our Father. Everyone needs that chance in this heavy fast-paced world, I think. Whether it’s on an island, on a road trip, or simply shutting out the world in your own living room.

Till next time!

Relationships

Ya’ll,

I’m home for a childhood friend’s sweet wedding. This girl has been my friend since before I could remember anything else. We watched Mary Poppins on a pallet Mom made with tons of blankets and sheets, all while our dalmatian made sure we all knew she was actually the boss of the house. We had only a few weeks a year to visit with each other; her grandma was our neighbor… the best neighbor ever. We’d see each other at Christmas and at some point every summer. Then once a year when she’d come visit America when she began teaching overseas. She’s a brave soul, to be sure. I’m so proud of her, of her Christ-centered heart, of her longing to make the world a better place. She’s getting married in just a few days, and I’m so honored I get to stand beside her as she vows to follow this man the Lord truly made to be her partner. A Song of Solomon kind of love. I adore it.

The Lord always completes his promises. He sends your partner at just the right moment. Your hearts link together, and one day you walk down the isle promising to follow each other, encourage each other, listen to each other, and work together. The Lord created man and woman to be each other’s helper. I love that God knew that man couldn’t handle the load all alone; he needed a woman. A creation made from his own rib. A part of himself. What a beautiful reminder that we were made for relationships.

I think that special promise of relationship is easily and quickly forgotten in this “go get ’em,” take care of yourself world we live in. But when we remember to fill our souls with visits with God-given friends, we refresh our souls and lighten our loads, so that we may continue functioning in this heavy place. There’s just something magical and holy that happens when you visit with those people God sent to walk this life journey with.

No matter the type of relationship; husband-wife, friends, co-workers, or family, when the Lord is the center, your step is a little lighter, and your shoulders are raised a little higher. These relationships that are built upon a Godly foundation will be a lighthouse, an anchor, a refreshing drink when life is heavy, dark, deep, and dry as a bone. I am vastly thankful for each person the Lord has brought my life. Each one has taught me something; whether they were here only for a season, years, or in it for the long-haul.

When life gets lonely, look to the Lord, and wait for that person to come to you. This person who is allowing the Lord to work through them, to be your partner in the season you are in. Someone told me such sage advice recently, but I couldn’t tell you who it was to save my life. Still not over the whole “sleeping in the airport journey” just yet, I don’t think. Anyways, this person told me that the Lord is working on someone’s heart to be His hands and feet and heart for you; just as He is working on you to be the hands and feet and heart for someone else. If you’re anything like me, I get so bogged down with being the “person” for everyone else, that I forget to check up and realize that I need to rest with my “person.” We all need our people. We were not created to live and walk this land alone. Why on earth do we insist on being so independent and self-sufficient that we forget about building God-centered, peaceful relationships with the people around us? I know when my days are heavy, it’s usually because I haven’t spoken with my God people. The minute I do, the Lord eases my soul, and envelopes me with all that is right, true, and holy.

Relationships are a huge part of my life. I think perhaps I have my youth minister/college minister/ Jesus mentor/ more like family person to thank for that. He taught me SO many times just how important relationships are in this life. If the very first person the Lord created to name the animals couldn’t handle it all alone… why do we think we can handle life in this crazy world, now? We are no different than Adam. I can guarantee you on that. We are always better and stronger and more joyful when our lives are filled with the people the Lord sends us to build relationships with as we live our lives on this earthly land.

Till next time!

History

Ya’ll,

I thought maybe it’d be a good idea to write a little backstory, so that we can get to know each other a little better.

I grew up in the capital city of Mississippi. I’m a super proud Southerner, for sure! Say what ya like, but the folks I’ve known and gotten to know from my home state, have been some of the kindest, most welcoming folks I’ve ever known! We love swings, front porches, and lemonade. We love a good grocery store conversation with a total stranger. Most Southerners love sweet tea… I am not one of those folks. Cucumber water is where it’s at.

When hurricane Katrina blew across our state, she left so much devastation and sadness. Yet oddly enough, thanks to Katrina, I met my lifelong people. A friend of mine and I got uber bored… there’s not much to do when electricity is out, and gas stations are out of gas. So, we walked to church. Thanks to this bored friend of mine and our walk to church, I was introduced to the boy I would marry nine years later! I also met the man who would quickly become my Jesus mentor. He let God work through him to help me conquer my own demons. This church brought me to so many wonderful people, times, and places!  I’ve nearly driven to every state in America for missions and church spring break trips! Traveling is my favorite.

We were married in 2014! The best day EVER. The Lord established our relationship, let us go our separate ways during college, and brought us back together. Our first year, was the TOUGHEST. Seriously. He was in an awful car accident four months into our first year. It was a long struggle of pain, of healing, and growing. God healed Will quickly; a broken sternum is NO joke, ya’ll. We leaned heavily on the Lord, our friends, and our family to help us get through that period of life.

Will has ALWAYS known what his calling in life is, to be a doctor. Me on the other hand, I love to help others in times of struggle, to share in their times of joy and laughter. I taught for a few years, and soon realized that wasn’t the way to go. Sorry I abandoned ship,  teacher friends! Ya’ll, the passionate teachers are without a doubt society’s heroes. I have helped folks find their first homes, and that was SO fun. I’ve worked at a bank, an insurance company, and quite a few other places. Yet still, I have not a clue as to what I’m to do with my whole life. I’m sure God will tell me eventually. Until He tells me how to combine everything into one profession, I’ll continue to help Will get through this med school madness… med school is INSANELY hard, ya’ll. I’ll continue to help whomever is placed in my path to the best of my abilities.  Those who know their calling without a doubt and go for it wholeheartedly, are people I envy! Envy’s a sin, yes I know. We all have our faults.

Now, here we are, living on an island in the Caribbean, trudging through med school. Lord help us. I thought grad school was enough work. Doctors go through the toughest training. Sometimes, Will doesn’t exist much, but it’s totally worth it to see his smile and watch him light up as he tells me what he’s learning. Lord have mercy, I love him so. We’ve almost been on the island for one year. Time flies, when your head is down and ya only look up for three weeks every four months! That’s how that saying goes, right? Semesters here are weird.

That’s our background, the shortest version imaginable, anyways! The breeze is blowing, and it’s semi cloudy here. Thank goodness. Till next time!