No Place Like Home

Ya’ll,

Last week, I got to take Momma to see Wizard of Oz on stage. Let me tell you. We were crying like babies for the last 20 minutes. We held hands and just cried. All the happy and bittersweet tears. Wizard of Oz is Momma’s favorite. She can quote every line… without even watching the movie.

When Will and I moved away, Momma wrote us both letters. I only read it once, and I don’t think I made it all the way through. Because I was ugly crying at the airport. It wasn’t pretty. I am fairly certain everyone around us was very concerned for my well-being. Anyways, in the letter, she reminded me, for the millionth time in my life, that there’s no place like home. And wherever the people I love are, that is where home is. That the island will be my home for as long as the Lord deems it our home, and once that time is complete, there will always be another home to go to. There’s no place like home. Home is our holy place. Our sanctuary. Away from the crazy and darkness of the world. Home is where the people we love are. No matter where that may be.

Mom has taught me so much. She’s helped me. She’s been my friend when I thought the world around me was crashing and burning. She knows my deepest secrets. My aches and pains and longings. Mom has been a gift from the Lord. For me. For our family. There’s no place like home.

Will is now my home. And has been for a little while now. Where he is, my heart is. My soul is. Our homes change, they evolve, they move around. Because we do.

I know there are so many folks who don’t have a home to call a sanctuary, because it is filled with pain, anger, regret, and darkness; I pray that those homes would evolve and transform and be filled with the Lord’s Light and Truth and Love. Sometimes, though, even in our homes that are good and wonderful and cozy, darkness and anger and regret seep in to our spaces. Our hearts. Our souls. But the Lord is there. He is there in our deserts. He is there in our pain. Our aches. Our regrets. What if, though, we gave Him our homes? Our own sanctuaries? So that we can open the doors of that holy place to those who pray for what we have? I’ve everything I’ve prayed for. A man who loves me as Jesus loves His Church. A family who would move heaven and earth to make sure the other was good and safe and taken care of. Friends who love me and lift me up in prayer to our Father. A life that reflects the power of transformation the Lord joyfully and lovingly gives to His children.

We are to be His hands and feet. But what if we were also each other’s homes? Each other’s place to come and be loved and protected and taken care of?

Till next time!

 

 

Evolving

Ya’ll,

Ok. I’ve got a confession. Since we’ve been home, I’ve prayed that the Lord would send me to a job. A good job. A job where I could finally settle down and build a career. A job filled with good, kind, respectful humans who would develop a healthy family atmosphere. AND HE DID. So. I’m on the Coast for 2 1/2 weeks for training. I’VE NOT PARTICIPATED IN THE PROFESSIONAL PUBLIC IN OVER A YEAR. Let that sink in. I’ve gone from Nike shorts and T-shirts and flip flop tan lines on my feet (actually, I also had tan lines from my  hiking shoes that made polka dots on my feet, so that was awesome) to closed toe shoes, real pants, and blouses. What is this life?!?! I bought new clothes… because hello. I lived on an island for a year. Lost weight, because we walked EVERYWHERE and sweated off every ounce of fat just sitting in the living room because NO AC. Came back to America and gained every single pound back and then some. I mean…. duh I ate all the fried goodness smothered in butter and ranch. Because Southern food is meant to put some meat on your bones.  So new job, new clothes, new opportunities.

I had a conversation with my dad the other day about the city we live in. The mayor had told him something quite relevant and meaningful for most things of life. He said our downtown wasn’t developing, it was evolving. Isn’t that so true for a lot of things? About life? We evolve. Life evolves. We grow. Or we don’t. And we stay the same and watch life pass us by. There has been so much change and new things and evolving in my life the past four years. And I have evolved as a person, as a woman, as a wife, as a friend, as a daughter, and as a sister. New things and change is where we evolve into the people the Lord created us to be, so we can do the holy things we were created to do. I wonder if we evolve until the day God takes us home.

Till next time!

Granted

Ya’ll,

Living in America still overwhelms me, after living on an island in the middle of somewhere for a year. We’ve been back for a few months, now, and I still find myself just staring at all the stuff in the grocery stores; the milk, ALL THE CHEESE, the drinks, THE CEREAL, the snacks. Will and I made loaded potato soup today, and we used two entire blocks of cheese. He was worried about using it all, and then we both remembered that there are shelves constantly stocked with cheese at any grocery store. The things you take for granted. CHEESE.

We’ve been sick as stink. MS weather in the winter cannot get it together. Seventy degrees one day, 5 degrees the next day. Actually 32 degrees, but seriously… at that point, it’s 5 degrees. I’m from MS. We don’t know how to do freezing degrees. Period. Ever. At. All. The milk, bread, and alcohol are depleted… because what else are we going to do but eat bread and drink? Bless.

Will is amazing, ya’ll. I don’t praise him enough.  I really don’t. He’s the man of my dreams, and I would follow him to the ends of the earth. If ya’ll have seen the show Outlander, which is actually also a book series, and if you’ve not read any of it, you’re seriously missing out and you need to fix your priorities. Seriously. Get with it. Anyways, Will is the man we women dream of when we read books. True story.

Marriage is hard. But not hard. All at the same time. Which is, in fact, possible. The things that come with marriage; joined finances, buying houses, raising dogs, moving to another country, refiguring out life all the time, and communicating throughout it all, those things are hard. Living out life with the person the Lord created to be your helpmate is a serious miracle. A miracle I try not to take for granted. It makes life easier. Brighter. Lighter. Where the other is, is indeed home. We’ve learned a lot these past 3 1/2 years of marriage. A. LOT. Like one gets really grumpy in the mornings if there’s no coffee and everyone is loud and asks a gazillion questions, and one does NOT understand that making the bed before you get in it each night is important and makes you sleep better. I mean… duh.

We’ve been super hunkered down the past few months, deciding what’s next. TALKING about what’s coming, and where we’re going. All while living out this season of pause and reconnection and thankfulness of what we missed while we were gone. The Lord guides us forward and onward. Good things are coming this year. It’s holy, and lovely. Hope and faith and joy in what’s to come is holy. The Lord reminds us to take nothing for granted, for you never know when life will change.

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!

First Blog Post Ever

Ya’ll,

This blog has been a thought of mine for quite some time now. A dear friend of mine, who’s my God-sent sister, inspires me daily. We pray over each other daily; we walk this life together, even though we are now oceans apart. Our thoughts, aches, and worries over the world’s heaviness inspired me to write this blog.

Life is hard. Especially in this day. Relationships are hard; this society doesn’t think too kindly of strong, God-centered relationships. Even if God isn’t in your life, relationships of all sorts are still hard with all of the craziness bombarding everyone, always. This blog, I hope, will help you see and to know that relationships don’t need to be as complicated as we make them. There’s adventure, and a freedom in a relationship that is intentional, fought for, and prayed over.

Moving to the Caribbean; leaving home, friends, family, and our familiar surroundings of stability was probably the MOST difficult thing I have ever done in my whole life. But I really would not trade the decision to jump into a new life for all of the coffee in the world. I’ve learned so much about marriage, friendships, courage, and contentment in a life of chaos, loneliness, darkness, and wonder. Will and I are so thankful for each other, and for each person the Lord has put in our paths. HOWEVER, if my dog brings in one more tick from the glorious island surroundings, I may run to the airport.

Ya’ll. Let me just tell you. I am not going to force my faith in God down your throats, but He is my Rock, my Guide, and my Source of Everything. He is intertwined in every thought, decision, and action. So, my love for Him, and His for us, will be intertwined in most posts, if not all.

I also really have no idea what I am doing. Blogging is a whole new world for me, for sure. I’ve researched a LOT, and I still wonder if this was too much of a crazy undertaking for this Southern girl who loves simplicity! So, we’ll walk this journey of learning to blog, of remembering God’s promises for relationships and life, and of learning that a life filled with adventure and love and goodness isn’t all that difficult to obtain… all we must do is jump and have confidence that we’ll land on our feet!