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!

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!

Something

Ya’ll,

Can I just tell you how awesome it is that I can watch my church from back home in the Caribbean?! Technology is really awesome sometimes! Also, we made sweet peach tea last night because I brought tea bags in my luggage this time, and it’s the best thing since we brought back deer sausage. Take that, not stocked grocery stores!!

The sermon this morning at our church back home was on doing something. Isn’t that cool? Will and I talk so often on this topic. Doing something in the power of the Holy Spirit. Trusting the Lord with your whole heart and going on an adventure. Life is SO much more than routines, the daily grind, the 9-5 job. The Lord instructed us all to do something. To be His hands, feet, and heart for the world. What happened to the miraculous faith of the apostles that empowered them to heal the lame and blind and possessed? No pressure, right?

I think we get so used to being comfortable, in knowing what to expect because we’ve planned every second, which quickly adds up to years. Years of not acting on the whispers our heart hears. Man. We’ve all been there. I’m there all the time. But when I do listen and give the Lord my plans… He inspires me, provides for me, and guides me in what He wants me to do. And words just come out. Words I’d never think of speaking out loud. People come who need help, a shoulder to cry on. Acting doesn’t have to be a super awesome action packed mission trip across the world. It can be in your own home, your own city, your own office, your own state, your own country. We just have to start. Start reaching out to your neighbor, your boss, your friends, your families. The folks on the streets begging for a bite to eat, a real conversation.

The hardest part in doing something is starting that doing. Saying the first word, taking that first step towards a stranger or a loved one. But the Lord gave us power, a power no one else in the world has. Holy Spirit. That Spirit gives us the power, the courage, the confidence, and the wisdom we will need when we step out. You’ll be SO shocked when you start doing stuff and the Lord just comes out. Kinda like when ya get older and your mom starts coming out?! Come on. I know you know what I’m talking about. My dad came out the other day when I told someone to adapt and overcome… because what else are ya gonna do on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere?!?!

Jesus is enough, ya’ll. What if we stopped getting stuck with our head in the clouds looking for Him, and started seeing Him in our relationships? In our co-workers? In our friends? In the ones who know there’s something else out there but just don’t really know what that something is?

The speaker this morning also said something else that hit me straight in the soul. Once you start, you will find something. Holy Spirit will nudge you, and the Lord will provide the way. Shoot. Straight to the soul, huh? What if finding your calling is really when you just start acting on the whispers, the nudges, the tugs. What if your calling finds you in the doing? Again I say, shoot.

Till next time ya’ll! Fix some sweet peach tea and enjoy your day!