Favorite Things

So I thought I would share a few of my favorite things about Christmas and a little of what we have been up to!  1. I love Christmas lights and incorporating them into my everyday  decor is just a bonus! DIY Pinterest headboard - 1 black and white framed photo, 1 strand of white lights, 4 clothes pins, and printed Pinterest pictures!

2. Sassy new hair cuts and time to go get them thanks to Christmas break from school!

3. Time to hang out with the coolest niece ever!  She loves to help you do anything - so we made Breakfast Casserole for Dinner!

4.  DIY projects for Christmas presents for Secret Santa at work!  Supplies needed - 1 cookie sheet, 2 halves of pretty file folders or any pretty paper, 2 clothes pins modge podged with leftover file folders, days of the week magnets, laminating or sheet protector to make file folders dry erase, and hot glue!

5. Favorite Christmas movie of all time - White Christmas!  My Mamaw used to watch it with me every Christmas, and now my Mama and sisters watch it with me!

6. My parents' Christmas tree - it's big, traditional, homey, and full of homemade ornaments from over the years!

7.  Making Christmas candy and cookies with my Mama on Christmas Eve!

8.  Cooking our Christmas dinner at Papaw's house, wearing my Mamaw's apron that still has spearmints still in the pocket!

9. Our very untraditional Mexican themed Christmas dinner with tacos, rice, beans, and mac and cheese for Madi cause she's a semi vegetarian! 

10.  Christmas presents - pair of bootie slippers and new skillet from Mom and Dad (what I asked for) and body spray and watch from Candace, and a Lane Bryant gift card from Brit and Jon! YAY!

 After all the festivities to come home to our cozy apartment with our Christmas tree and unwind!

So I know it's A LOT of pictures, but I just wanted to share with you our Christmas, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well!


tis the season

So I just noticed that it has been A LONG TIME since I last posted - a fact for which I apologize; however, this time of the year gets so incredibly busy for us.  It seems that the two weeks we get off for Christmas (working for a school system has its perks!) is busier than the school year.  Perhaps that is because Candace and I put off things such as errands or lunch dates with friends until we are out of school and end up needing a vacation for the vacation!  Okay so off the soap box for now... sorry sometimes I get a little caught up.

I am particularly excited about my family receiving the gifts we bought for them this year - I love to give presents.  This year we tapped into our crafty kathy sides as well as our love for all things vintage for inspiration for our gifts.  I will post more after Christmas as some of my family might actually read this, but I want to tell you about the gift we got for Poppy(what Madi calls our Dad!) as he doesn't have facebook.  We found this piece that we bought just because it looked interesting, and after some research found out that it is a valet stand similar to the one below but with a lighter wood finish.

He has this love for all things vintage as well, and I think/hope he will love it.  Isn't it fabulous?  I adore it.  It wasn't terribly expensive, but its something he will appreciate and use.  We try to give really meaningful and thoughtful gifts - something that makes us think of the person who is to receive the gift.  

Speaking of giving, our church is doing a series now called "Radical Generosity," and it has seriously challenged me to be more giving.  I know my first instinct and yours as well is to think of money, but its also other things - time, love, yourself.  I have personally been challenged to my very core and have made a commitment to begin this journey towards being more giving in every aspect of my life.  Every journey begins with simple steps, and mine has begun like this -
1.  Money - to be faithful with my tithes and a better steward of the monetary gifts entrusted to me because sometimes money is a vessel of grace of God for people.  Hold on before you think I am crazy - money is grace when you are out of work and need diapers and groceries, money is grace when people are starving half a world a way, and money is grace when you have no electricity and no money to pay the light bill, and on and on.  The grace of God often has very practical hands and feet.
2.  Love - to be more loving in general but specifically with my children at work.  It breaks my heart to think that I may be the only one who shows them love during the day. 
3. My Story - you can read all about the struggles and successes of my story in this blog, but I want to use my story to show people Christ - I am not sure exactly what that looks like in the day to day, other than this blog.
4.  Life - This story I have been given is not over, and I really want it to be a great story so I want each day to be with purpose and meaningful.  I am a firm believer that everything that happens to you is a tool  that you can use in your personal ministry/story.  The struggles I have been through were not pleasant at the moment, but I have been so incredibly blessed to be able share the lessons I have learned through them.  I want my life to be a blessing to others.

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
(Genesis 12:1-2 ESV)



So this past week has been a painful time in the life of our church family - I say family because I have never felt so at home in a church until now.  And I have never really seen a group of people care about each other on this level ever - in my entire life.  I have already written a post dedicated to the family, so I will not go into it again.  I really want to share with you some of the things I have learned through this and over the past weeks.

1. Life is short.  The days are not promised, so live every one you are given intentionally, with purpose.  God created you for a purpose - to love Him and love people.  Find out how that looks in your/my (I am talking to myself also) life and go to it!
2. The experiences of your life serve a purpose.  Every experience you have is an opportunity for your life to bring glory to God and/or prepare you for a ministry moment.  June 2010 I lost my Mamaw - it was one of the most trying experiences of my life to say the very least.  However, I now live my life differently, I see things differently, I speak to people differently, and I relate to people differently.  To look at my neighbor and say I know where you are, I have been there is part of where I find some of my ministry/giving opportunities these days.  What you and I do and how we react to life can not only affect us but millions of people around us.
3. Love - it is the only thing that means anything.  The two greatest commandments are to LOVE God and to LOVE people.  Put aside the stupid stuff, the excuses, the arguments, and just love.
4. I used to think that I needed this list of "big things" in my life to happen for me to truly be happy and start living.  But I am the girl who had to figure out what you when the list is thrown out the window and the big things haven't happened yet.  My answer - to truly live and be happy in the little things because somehow the seemingly little things add up to some big things.  I find joy in little moments and little things God has given me.  Yes my life may look different than most girls my age, but I am okay with that.  I never really liked being like everyone else.
5. There is something incredibly beautiful in a life lived on purpose for a purpose greater than oneself.
6. Finally, be you.  The you that you were created to be - not the poor attempt at the person someone else was created to be.

I want to leave you with this song by Gungor.  It's an amazing song and it just gets better after the words stop.  It makes me feel like I am running towards God and after I get there I can accomplish anything!


something to help

My heart is broken tonight - the world and our personal church family has suffered a tragic loss today that has left me breathless.  I cannot pretend to know exactly what the family is going through right now, and I know that these words won't do much but alleviate this need to get some of these thoughts out of my head.  I have lost someone I love so on that end I can empathize to a point; however, to me, sudden, tragic circumstances seem to make the pain of losing someone so much more raw and excruciating.  The events of today are pretty much my own worst fear as I am sure they are for most people.

 To the family, I send my thoughts and prayers. I also wanted to share some of the things that I learned from experience, and I pray they are helpful.  I don't promise to have all the answers - just to share something that means a great deal to me and will perhaps mean something to you.

You must know that it is okay to be angry and to be upset and to take as much time as you need to mourn - allow yourself to do that.  Some people who are not perhaps as close to the situation will expect you to just bounce back (which is stupid) so surround yourself with people that are okay to cry with you and people who know when it is just best to be silent. Also know that the sadness and the pain is a darkness that you can and will wade into, but don't let it completely engulf you and don't go alone.  Allow someone to be there with you and for you.  Wade out into that darkness but remember you must fight to come back when it is time - something that is completely between you and God.  When it is time, take joy in the good moments and memories, shared passions, and common dreams because you know she would insist you keep moving.  There will most likely be moments when the pain comes so fast and hard that you might find it hard to breathe, and it is those moments that are the most difficult.  I am sure that there are many other aspects singular to your experience that no one besides your immediate family will understand.  It is only God who can heal wounds this deep, and He will be your comfort if you allow Him to be.  Run to Him - He understands and He loves you and He is good even when our circumstances aren't.

"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, 
                                    My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; 
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
Psalm 18:2

Finally, if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know, and once again, my prayers for comfort and strength are with all of the family!



I came across this quote on Pinterest (which I completely love), and the truth of it really hit me today maybe because I seem to always compare myself to everyone else.  In this comparison, I never really add up and end up questioning everything including who I am. This really was a big issue for me when I was younger and felt as though I was supposed to fit into a cookie-cutter mold that would never be right for me.  These days, I feel like I am pretty comfortable in the person God made me to be or at least moving towards that goal everyday.  This quote was a great reminder for me that we all have areas where we are gifted, and God made us by design for a specific purpose.  It's also quite humbling because the very things that I dislike being done to me are things that I find myself doing.  I can't expect people to have the same strengths that I do and fault them when they don't do things the way I think they should be done.

I have been studying Psalm 139 for my sunday school lesson tomorrow, and the similar themes stuck with me today.  Its nice to reminded that He knows me inside out, there is no place I find myself that He is not there with me, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that He will search me for anything offensive to Him and forgive my offenses.   Oh thank God, He forgives my offenses as they are numerous.  I consider myself a relatively creative person, and I love that the God of the universe is creative in how He designs and makes everyone and everything.  We are all created in His image, and I believe that we all have certain aspects of His character and attributes.  So remember that when you think no one understands you and you don't measure up - He created you to be exactly who you are!


beautiful things

So sorry I have been a little silent lately - we have been in the process of moving and are just now getting most of our things back to order!  In this moving process, I have been reminded of a few things that I would like very much to share with you in hopes that you might need a little reminder!

1.  God is good - we have learned that He is good through some pretty painful times in our lives, so to see blessings and love and promises fulfilled in good times is simply beautiful.  This move and everything surrounding the transition has been such a blessing from God.
2.  We need people - moving is tough no matter what situation you find yourself, but moving two girls and a small business would be almost impossible by yourself.  Candace and I were completely awestruck as the friends and family from our church kept coming with able bodies and vehicles to help us move this past Saturday.  Literally, loading everything, transport, and unloading took 2 hours!  We are incredibly blessed by these people and their friendship!  Thank you just seems inadequate to express just how incredibly grateful we are while at the same time I cannot find any other words to suffice.  So from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!  Also, Candace and I have some pretty incredible family, and words cannot express how much we love them and thank God for them.  I think my sisters and I have such a passion for kids because we have such amazing parents that welcome anyone and everyone into their home and love them unconditionally.  When I think of what family and home and love are supposed to look like, I think of them - George and Joyce Beaty!
3.  Life is a process, a journey that includes mountain tops and valleys.  As previously mentioned in various posts, we have shed our fair share of tears over the past few years; however, I honestly would not trade the lessons learned through these fires for anything in the world.  I truly believe that we are supposed to go through these trials or fires because it is through trials and fires that refinement and transformation takes place.  I also believe that it is extremely difficult to appreciate the mountain tops without learning the lessons in the valleys.

Well, I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  If you don't have someone to spend Thanksgiving with, let me know and you can come to ours!  I thought I would share a couple of songs with you that I really love and that have really touched my heart and life!  I hope you enjoy!

Gungor - "Beautiful Things"

John Mark McMillan - "How He Loves"


my favorite time of year

So this is my most favorite time of the year - starting at halloween, I just get simply giddy with the idea of the holidays.  I love everything about this time - cooking, decorating, watching Christmas movies, spending time with my family.  So to spread my good mood I thought I would share a few things that make me happy!

Favorite Christmas movie of all time!

Source: imdb.com via nicole on Pinterest

I love scarves! and the weather to wear them!!!

Source: google.com via nicole on Pinterest

I kind of my room to look like these two pictures (above and below)!

Source: toast.co.uk via nicole on Pinterest

I want to do this!

I hope you all have a wonderful day!  Blessings and Much Love!



So the idea of "seeking sanctuary" is one that has fascinated me for many years (I am a nerd, moving on)!  If you are not familiar with this idea, allow me to explain a bit.  "Seeking sanctuary" is the idea of those who are oppressed or persecuted because of political or religious beliefs seeking asylum or sanctuary in a church or a country offering asylum.  Some countries, including our own, still offer asylum or a safe place for those who are refugees, but seeking sanctuary was most prominent in Medieval Europe.  Many churches had a "sanctuary ring" on the doors to be allowed into the church.  I am not exactly sure why this has fascinated me for so long, but I have always felt safe at church and liked the idea of seeking refuge in a safe place.  Now I love old churches - they are just so comforting.  In fact I kind of picture God as an old church sometimes - one that has been in the community for centuries, where the pastor knows your name and entire family history, where the interior is that incredible mix of comfort and awe, and where the hushed sound of a whisper is life-changing.

This morning our pastor talked about anxiety and how to biblically deal with anxiety!  Sometimes I think he must know what I am thinking or what I am dealing with because it hits so close to home.  But I know that is the Holy Spirit speaking through him and God knows me inside out. You should really check out the sermons - they are amazing and you can watch them here.  Anyways, he talked about Paul's exhortation and instructions to the church at Philippi in Philippians 4,  and it rocked my world.  

         4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 

 Rejoice in the Lord always is not something that has come easily to me in the past.  To be really honest I kind of skipped over this part of Philippians 4 because it seemed so cliché and insincere to me because I never thought it was possible to really rejoice in the Lord always.  First of all my idea of rejoice (be happy) is completely wrong, and also my idea of God and His character was little.  A few years ago, I found myself without a teaching job and without anything else to tell me who I was.  I was lost.  I was disappointed with God and my faith.  I thought I had done something wrong in the formula of me + follow rules = God adhering to my plan and needed to start over.  I had no idea where to go next.  But in the midst of my pain and grief there came a quiet voice saying “be still.”  So I began to listen and out of the stillness came love and grace.  The God of the Universe was pursuing me and wanted me to know Him and His character.  He wanted to be my everything.  So I began with getting to know Him – Kay Arthur’s study of God’s names will rock your world – I am proof.  And through knowing God, I learned how to worship God where I am, to align my plan with His, and to find joy in His presence even when things are not going my way.

This idea of finding sanctuary in a church – the church would be a refuge, a safe place for those who were oppressed.   I feel like I have found that idea of sanctuary in truth, a firm foundation in knowing more about God’s character.  My sanctuary is God – He is my safe place and my refuge!           


a crock pot, a recipe, and pinterest

Okay so Candace and I are horrible about going through a drive-thru on our way home from work.  And really after taking care of children all day, who really wants to come home and fix dinner?  Besides eating out getting really old really fast, the food is terrible for you, so we have been trying to cook more at home.  The one thing that has been a life-saver is the crock pot - it's not just for Rotel or your grandmother.  Last week, we put beef tips, potatoes, onions, bell pepper, and 1/2 cup Dale's Steak seasoning in it and had a feast when we came home from work!  Tonight I put 6 chicken tenders, 1/2 a bell pepper, 3 tbsp butter, 1 part chicken stock, 1 part water, a dash of salt, a dash of Tony Chachere's and poultry seasoning, and we added some mashed potatoes and called it dinner!  It was amazing, and our house smelled like yummy chicken goodness when we came home tonight!  As the weather gets colder, I can't wait to do more soups and stuff in the crock pot!  It makes coming home and passing the drive-thru so much easier!

So I have discovered and fallen in love with Pinterest!  Finally a place to keep up with the all of the ideas that are floating around in my head!  Candace and I are looking to move back to Laurel, and the idea of decorating a cute little apartment makes me so excited.  The idea of moving again does not make me so excited, but it's time and we need to move!  So I created a board with ideas that I would love to do in the Apartment, and I will link it so you can see! Check it out!  I have a few other boards on there as well, but I have not dedicated as much attention to them as of right now!  Below is a cute little kitchen that makes use of typically wasted space!

Lately I don't know exactly what it is but I have been so very distracted by life and everything in it that I have neglected my personal Bible study time - I like to call it an un-quiet time.  I have missed my un-quiet time and I can definitely tell when I have missed it!  My entire attitude changes, my world is upside down, and it sucks.  I am trying desperately to get back into the Word - Truth is the only thing that can change me! I am reminded of the importance of renewing our minds, and it is so very important and vital to living this life for God.  It may so very cliche but I promise this is truth!

Therefore, I urge your brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is - which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2


Favorite Things

Okay so the past several days, I have been addicted to Spice Girls radio on Pandora because it plays all the 90's pop that takes me straight back to middle and high school!  I love this song and the video is really cute too!  So thought I would share!  Also thought I would share a list of my favorite things - because you know I love a list and I am in a really good mood!

1.  Brit is having a baby girl and naming her Daisy Claire after our Mamaw!!! I get kinda teary eyed just talking about it!  (Nothing new)
2.  We have had several places that are not typically known for their hospitality have been so very nice to us lately! Directv, Wal-Mart, Payless are among the companies that have taken care of us!
3.  The weather is perfect fall weather right now - a little chilly perfect for a cute sweater!
4.  God is teaching me so very much right now in Bible Study!
5.  I have a job that I love which is such a blessing especially when you know what its like not to have a job at all much less a job you love!

"Therefore, we exult in tribulation because we know that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope.  And it is a hope that does not disappoint because it being poured out through the love of Jesus Christ." - Romans 5:3-5

I have held onto the promises in this verse for my life's breath for the past few years, and to see it come to fruition and feel that hope that does not disappoint leaves me completely awestruck!  

Have a blessed day!



Friday night, I was checking Facebook on my phone as I do most every night before I go to sleep, but Friday night was a little different.  First, I see so many of the youth from our church asking for prayer for a brother and sister who were involved in a horrific car accident.  I realized that I did not know the siblings, but my heart still broke for the family and for my kids in the youth that were facing the possible loss of a classmate.  My mind immediately took me to the day of my junior year in high school... come to think of it, it was the first week of October 2000 when one of my classmates passed in a car accident.  I remember being slightly lost and overwhelmed at the loss of someone I saw every day and had spoken to earlier in the day.  For as long as I can remember, sadness and loss touch me to my very core.

It is in times like these, that I want to question God's plan.  I know that He is good and that His goodness does not change due to my or anyone else's circumstances; however, at the same time I don't understand where tragic accidents, parents burying children, and children growing up without parents fit into that.  I really hate the idea of death taking people we love from us, and the injustice is increased as I know that death is not a villain I can defeat.  And in the midst of tragic loss, knowing that you will see them again if both of you are believers is not nearly the comfort it will be when your head stops hurting from crying and your senses return to you.  At the same time, know that there will be a time when your head stops hurting and your senses return to you.  It does get better.  God is good, and He is in control.

I do not personally know the McGill family, but I do know loss and I know God.  I have such a burden for the family and friends of this precious family, and they are in my prayers.  I pray ultimately for a miracle for Angelica and strength, comfort, and peace for her family and friends!


a girl and a unicorn

Okay so the past two weeks have been so very busy as it seems that everything is happening at the same time! But during this time, I found a little inspiration from two of my favorite shows - "Glee" and "The New Girl."  Last week's episode of Glee was titled "I Am Unicorn"! I won't give too much away because you need to watch it, but one of the characters gives the other one a pep talk which begins the phrase "you are a unicorn."  (Paraphrasing here)  I know what you are thinking, no one wants to be called a unicorn - it's a little weird, but hang with me for a minute.  This character goes on to say that a unicorn is something or someone with magic inside them that is not afraid to let it out as a unicorn without that one horn is just a horse like every other horse.  I think we all have something special or magic or whatever inside of us, but we are afraid for whatever reason to let the magic be seen.
Last night, we were watching "The New Girl" with Zooey Deschanel whom I absolutely adore.  Anyway, Zooey's character Jess is asked by her roommates to suppress who is she is in order to be a date for one of them to a wedding and make the ex jealous.  Now Jess is usually completely original and goofy, and the suppression only lasted a little while.  At the end of the show, Jess tells her roommates that she is and will be exactly who she is!  She let her magic and personality be seen - she is a unicorn.
So often, some sort of idea on television will strike a chord with me and I end up dwelling on these things. Just a little heads up, that is exactly what happened with this which will hopefully make sense to someone else out there!  I suppose my first thought was "would people see me as a unicorn" to which my initial response was no, and if no then why not.  After some searching, I think I may have something of an answer.  When I was in eighth grade, my favorite teacher told the class that we did not need to tell people how smart we are because then people will expect too much from you.  Now I don't know the context of why she said this, and I adore this teacher because most of the things she said still have a profoundly positive effect on me today.  However, I think this may have had a profoundly negative effect on the girl I was in eighth grade.  I think this along with many insecurities and the hostile environment known as middle and high school began a long process of suppressing who I really am. I am a nerd, school always came easy to me - I like to study and find out new things and I like to share what I find.  Not in a snobby, i-know-this-and-you-don't kind of way but I-know-this-and-you-should-to way!  So for someone to say that I needed to keep this in sent a powerful message to me at a young age, but as I have grown up and become more aware of the person God made me to be, my ideal has changed.
I believe that God made us all unique with a specific purpose to fulfill.  I also believe that we all have some kind of magic or story inside of us that if we let it show makes us all  unicorns.  But we have let it out, don't keep it all in.  Be that unicorn and be proud of who God made you to be.  Don't keep the magic inside and be content to look like the cookie-cutter expectation that society throws at you!  I believe that the only people who have ever changed the world were unicorns in their own way - people with magic inside them that were not afraid to let it show! 


work, a wreath, and Madi

Okay, so the two pictures above are why Candace and I have been in hibernation the past week or so as we prepare for the Peanut Festival at Mitchell Farms.  Which is tomorrow by the way - you should all come!  Also this may look like a jumbled mess but it will look better tomorrow!  Anyways, this week at work has been hectic, full of unnecessary drama, and long hours.  Today I am doing this post before I normally get out of bed because I have to be at work early!  On the bright side, I get to show you this awesome wreath that was a joint effort between my mom, me, and candace!  The inspiration comes from a crafty blog that I adore and will link for you here!  It makes me smile as everything about fall makes me completely giddy!  Well, must go fix the second of many cups of coffee to come! Have a beautiful day!  Oh and one more thing - today is my Madi's "dirthday"! She is three and probably the most intelligent three year old I know! Happy Dirthday Madi!


Elizabeth Elliot and "I Got This"

Okay so this week has been insanely busy and crazy and hectic and it's only Tuesday, and I didn't get to do an accessories' Monday post.  I promise to make it up to you - well the two of you who read this!

I did want to share what I have learned lately!  First a little backstory - Candace and I went to a Bible Study that one of the ladies in our church does once a month.  This is serious stuff - homework and everything!  I must be honest - the nerd that I am was a little excited about the homework.  I like researching and getting into things on my own.  I have a theory that you truly can't "own" something until you have wrestled with it and gotten your hands dirty.  By owning something I just mean taking a little piece of information and studying it and forming your own opinions and your own response to this information.  So everyone was given a few words/phrases to look up and wrestle with, and then each of us were given a different Christian woman to "google."  I must admit that google is my obsession - you can find everything there!

So one of our phrases/ideas to study was the Sovereignty of God.  Now I am a nerd, but I will never understand completely every idea in the Bible.  However, that does not mean I am going to sit idly by and say it is too difficult.  Shelly gave us a list of verses that deal with what God is Sovereign over.  **This is a little free tidbit, sovereign means that God is "Most High" - most high over what you might ask.  Well... maybe you should google or ask Shelly for her favorite handouts!** Anyway one of the verses was Luke 12:6-7 which tells us that God holds that sparrows in flight and knows the number of hairs on our heads therefore we are not to fear because we are more valuable than sparrows.  (Love this) I like to call this little nugget and the idea of God's Sovereignty the "I GOT THIS" idea because I kind of feel like this is one of those messages that He knows I need sometimes.  I like plans, and I like to know the plans, and sometimes most of the time I like to make the plans especially if the plans pertain to me and my life.  So yeah that whole idea of surrender - I struggle with it. Front Street.  So I kind of have this scene in my head where I approach this male person with my plans as to how my life should go - to which He turns His head and tells me, "I got this!"  Every book I read plays out like a movie in my head so naturally this happens when I read the Bible, but when I read certain parts of the Bible I kind of take it into my life and language like a conversation between me and God.  It helps - try it.

The Christian lady I was assigned to google and get to know was Elizabeth Elliot - knew her story but not much else!  So I googled her and what pops up but a list of quotes - one of my favorite things!  And she obviously understood the "I got this" idea a little much better than me and was able to apply it practically to her life as her life is fascinating and tragic yet hopeful and joyful.  I thought I would leave you with a couple of her quotes ( I must say she is pretty high on my list right now)

"The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman."

"If my life is surrendered to God, all is well.  Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril but would be safer in mine." --"I Got This!"


9/11 & accessories monday

So yesterday was September 11th - the infamous ten year anniversary of the horrible attacks on America at NYC, the Pentagon, and the field in PA.  When I was a little girl, I remember my parents and grandparents talking about remembering where they were when they first heard of major events such as D-Day, Pearl Harbor, JFK assassination, etc.  I never really imagined having such an experience; however, I remember as though it were yesterday that I was sitting in first period Accelerated English my senior year in high school with Mrs. Dillard when Mrs. Parker came running in the room telling her to turn on the radio because something bad had happened.  I also remember watching the plane hit the second tower on the tv we rigged to work in Mrs. Taylor's German class.  I remember my heart hurting for the people that lost family in the tragic events, I remember being scared for my own family and friends, and I remember being to proud to be an American when I saw the heroism of the first responders, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and ordinary citizens.

Yesterday on the tenth anniversary, I was incredibly sad at the sheer loss of life - somehow the numbers hit me in the gut to this day. This time, I also felt like I could relate a little to those who had lost loved ones.  I am not saying that I have in anyway the same experience, but I understand and empathize losing someone you love to circumstances beyond my control.  As I watched the coverage of the three memorial services, I missed my Mamaw more than I have in a long time.  That day ten years ago, I was scared but my personal security felt very much intact because I had everyone I loved and made me feel safe.  Today without my Mamaw, I felt a little less secure - she was part of the family fortitude that provided love, security, and safety.  Perhaps that is the tiniest smidge of what the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks ten years ago felt.  We are all united in pain, suffering, and loss as it is no respecter of persons small or great, rich or poor, young or old.

The sadness hits me at times, and then I take a look around at the family I still have around and all the blessings.  I can't complain because I am blessed beyond measure.  So I decided to lighten things around here, I would share with you the second installment of "accessories monday." 

Simple white tee and blue jeans w/ flower scarf, bow bobby pin, earrings, and sweater

Scarf - Clearance @ Cato
Earrings - A Daisy A Day
Bow Bobby Pin - A Daisy A Day

I think I get it from this lady!

Brown Blazer over Cami, White Skirt w/ red belt and red shoes! She is just so stylish!


a hide out

Ever since I could remember, I have loved just getting by myself and reading, listening to music, people watching, etc.  (Nothing creepy, I am just observant!) Getting away and being alone where I don't have to watch how I act or what I say or how I say what I say is how I refuel and become the pretty, kind person you see in public.  Finding these places that allow this refueling makes me happy and if it is outdoors that is even better!  So, I am slightly excited.  My Papaw built us a swing and it is the most beautiful thing ever! It's unfinished (no paint or anything) but I like it that way.  The swing is made from re-claimed wood and is very sturdy!  It's beautiful just because its from my Papaw and it's a little piece of him.  Mom and Dad had an old swing frame that has beautiful lines, and they were super sweet by transporting it from Papaw's house to our backyard.  As previously mentioned I adore the trees in our backyard.  In honor of the new swing, Candace and I hung twinkly lights in the Crepe Myrtle trees outside.  It created this perfect little hideout that is completely peaceful.  I have been wanting to sit out there and crochet - so tonight the weather was perfect, nothing else was going on, and I had the first of many relaxing sessions in the swing.  Though I must admit I had to grab a few pictures to document my special place.  Please don't mind the picture quality - I do my best, but I am no professional!

My own little HideOut! 


accessories monday

So I have been inspired recently by the wardrobe posts by a friend of mine.  She is always cute and classic. My personal style is more neutral and well a little boring to be honest.  A fact which I really would like to change - so perhaps I take a challenge to step outside of my comfort zone with my wardrobe and I will post some pictures so that you can follow along.  Until then, I will share something that inspires me - ACCESSORIES! I can plan an entire outfit around a single accessory that I like.  The fact that my sister is always making new jewelry and we make headbands often makes accessorizing my neutral wardrobe so much fun.
One of my favorite outfits is just a simple gray tee and khaki pants - with that base I feel like I can so much.  This day I added a crochet bow headband and round drop earrings.

So the first of my accessories/wardrobe post! Hope you enjoy!



Tonight we had a great night at church with the youth.  Chad spoke just as he does every wednesday night - its really good so you should definitely come.  But that's really not the point because tonight Chad brought up something that completely astounded me.  We were talking about Jesus walking on water and Peter leaving the boat, walking on water, and "seeing the wind" at which time Peter began to sink.  I had never really thought about the fact that Jesus helped Peter up, and the two of them walked back to the boat side by side. (Thanks Chad)  Sometimes... okay most of the time, I get caught up in the constant reminder of just how imperfect I am.  I hate to fail, and yet failing is the one thing I never have to worry about being consistent at.  I do find hope in the fact that Peter, one of Jesus' disciples failed quite a bit in Scripture and still wrote part of what we consider Scripture and is still a major figure in Christian history.  Based on Peter's many examples, we can fail and get past it. Hello, rocking my little world right now.

The big deal to me was the getting back up and continuing side by side with Jesus.  Two reasons this rocked my world -
1. I tend to try to do everything without asking for help which is most often when I fail.  I have learned recently from experience that life is so much sweeter when you walk side by side with Jesus.  Accepting that I have fallen, I reach for His hand and ask that He lead me and "make my paths straight."(Psalm 3:5-6)
2. I love a good "phoenix" story - you know getting up after you have fallen and making something of yourself.  I also know that I have been there, there being flat on my face with nowhere to go but to God.  It was there that He met me with arms outstretched offering love and grace instead of hate and "I told you so."  It was also there that He picked me up and made something of me. In Isaiah 62, God calls His church Hepzhibah which means "my delight is in you."  I heard Him tell me that I am His (Is 43) and that He has me inscribed in the palm of His hand.(Is 49)

For most of my life, I heard people saying that God should be and can be your everything, that He loves you, wants you to love Him in return, desires relationship, and longs to woo you to Himself.  I also heard people say that to know Him you must know His character.  Which it sounds almost elementary to me now because "duh" you have to know someone to love them.  I began by simply saying that I wanted Him to be my everything.  I have believed in Jesus for a very long time, but never really understood what all of this really looked in my life.  I then asked Him to reveal Himself to me that I may know Him, and I began a Bible study designed specifically for that.  I wanted to fall in love with Jesus so I began to seek Him.  Can I tell you that I fell more in love everyday.  It was amazing to me that He really did pursue me and love me.  He is our Shepherd, our Lord, our El Shaddai - which is not just a slightly weird song.  El Shaddai literally means "motherly."  Nobody loves you like a mama except God because that is part of His character.  I get so excited when I think about this so I will stop now or I will write an even longer book.  (It's just awesome though!!!)  While we were at youth camp with the girls, I realized that I would rather have this life with Jesus than any amount of money or any job or any amount of security.  You can read more in depth about that discovery here.

All of this to say that how you live - your actions and reactions are choices.  You have the choice to be the victim type that never gets out of the water after sinking or you can reach for His hand, get up, and walk side by side with Him.  Also, you want to walk side by side with Him because He loves you unconditionally forever no matter what AMEN!  That peace that passes all understanding really does pass all understanding and comprehension.  It's difficult to explain - it's just something you know. 


something new

Not very long ago I graduated from college ready to be a licensed teacher - I thought I had everything figured out.  I wanted to come home(from Blue Mountain College to Laurel) and find a job around here where I could teach high school history.  I had this idea of what I wanted life to look like.  I would be a successful high school teacher that changed lives and then after a few years I would get a Master's and teach college history classes.  I would eventually get married, buy a house, a car and have 2.2 children.


God had a very different idea of what this life would look like.  The "Readers' Digest" version is that this process of Him molding me was is a very painful process on my end.  I am stubborn, I like plans and lists and security.  Instead, I found myself not knowing the plan, not marking things off my lists, and without security.  God had to bring me pretty low so that I would know what its like to HAVE TO depend on Him absolutely for everything.  But when I did, oh wow, was it the most amazing feeling and best foundation I could ever have.  I am a firm believer in experience being the best teacher as I am a tactile learner.  Basically, I have to make the mistake before I will believe it won't work.  But I would go through it all over again because through  it I have learned so much about God and myself which has led(slowly) to me loving both God and myself and others more than I ever have.  It is only when you have a correct understanding of who God is can you really have a correct understanding of who you are and how you relate to the other 6 billion people on this planet.  

So now I work at Laurel Christian Pre-School - I am the director of the After-School Program there.  To say that I love my job is a gross understatement.  Instead of teaching 100+ kids who have attitudes I now have 25+ kids who have attitudes.  :)  I have a great group of kids that I love - honestly love them.  Also I am working in an environment that sees everything through a lens that asks is what I am doing bringing glory to God.  I also have a little time to work on "A Daisy A Day" - the creative venture that might not have happened if not for my detour.  I am still not married, but I figure that will come when God is ready for it to.  

I felt I had to share this "daisy" with you because I am happy.  I realized that all the pain and all the trials were to bring me to this point of relinquishing monetary security and self-reliance for a life of adventure and a big story.  I want to live a great story and I want that story to bring glory to God.  ***Little tidbit of information for you - glory means giving a correct estimation of!!!  How awesome is that?  My life is meant to give others a correct estimation of who God really is - a daunting task but He is helping me with that.  I am not sure that you will really understand the power of this revelation in my life, but being happy and at peace with where I am and who I am is definitely something new in my life.



So I have this thing about making lists.  There is a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I mark through something on a list whether I remembered to pick up something at the grocery store I keep forgetting or doing something  on a "to-do" list.  I also find myself worrying about simple things more than I should - so a list helps me to organize my thoughts and arrange them in a manageable order.  So I have a list or two for you today!

Things I have learned about myself this week:
1. I love a challenge.
2. I am way more OCD than I originally thought.
3. I really love my job and where I work (Laurel Christian School)!
4. I hate money!  
5. I like to work hard - I would much rather come home exhausted from work rather than boredom.

Things I would like to do in the near future:
1. Take a road trip to one of the places on my list. 
*Yes another list consisting of places such as Charleston, Savannah, Wilmington, etc.
2. Use some of my Grandmother's crochet squares to make a quilt/afghan.
3. Exercise and eat right more consistently!
4. Be more consistent in general in my life.
5. Genuinely become a better person/sister/daughter/friend/follower of Christ.
*Which I am pretty sure if I can work of the last then the others will be a natural overflow.
6. Keep in touch more consistently with my friends!



So yesterday was in-service at school, and all of the faculty and staff from the three campuses(pre-school, elementary, and high school) were together for lunch.  It was at lunch that I had one of those "wow" kind of moments.  One of the teachers at the high school taught me when I was in high school, and she was one of my favorite teachers.  She was my teacher for 3 consecutive years for Algebra II, Trigonometry/Advanced Algebra, and AP Calculus.  Her classroom felt like a safehaven for me because it did not matter how many questions we asked - she answered every single one of them as if she were explaining the concept for the very first time.  This practice revolutionized my thinking - not only was it not dumb to ask questions but questions were welcomed in her class.  Her attitude and willingness to help us learn are a couple of things that inspired me to become a teacher.  I wanted to be that kind of teacher for generations to come.  So now that you know a little of the backstory, my moment occurred when I realized that I worked for the same school system as one of my inspirations.  It's one of those moments where you realize that all of the work, tears, screaming sessions, and blood that went into your education is all worth it.

Just thought I would share that with you - today is our official first day at school! I work with the After-School program at the Pre-School so no, I am not blogging at school!  I am looking forward to beginning this new chapter of my life!


worth fighting for

There are a few things that I really fervently fight for - family, my faith, education, children.  Those are probably the four things that are consistently on my radar.  To be honest, I believe we all should have those things that we are most passionate about and that we fight for.  **Insert little soapbox moment - if you choose to incorporate these things into what you choose to make your career, you will probably be a great deal more happy in life.** Okay soapbox moment over.  One of the things that I have almost stopped fighting for over the past several years is friendships.  It was not something that I meant to do, but as my friends and I (most of whom met in high school/college) grew up and went our separate ways somewhere along the lines we stopped communicating.  This is in no way a judgmental post or trying to make anyone feel guilty, but it is an awakening for me as I realized that I can be a horrible friend.  I am horrible at calling and staying in touch with people.  If I don't see you at church or work or home then chances are I don't see you and I don't talk to you.

The other day, Candace and I were talking about a friend of hers getting married, and she said that she didn't really want to go to the wedding.  She and the friend used to be really close but over the years they grew apart.  I made the statement that it was so sad that people you used to be really close to were no longer around for the special moments in your life.  The statement, though it came out of my own mouth, was kind of like a punch in my gut.  Throughout college, I had this group of friends that were more like family.  We did everything together - ministry, life, love, burning items after lost love, laughing (a lot), tragedy, drama, arguments.  Whatever the situation, we knew it would be okay because we faced it together.  Over the years, we did what every college student goes through - we grew up, some of us got married, some of us haven't yet, all of us went on our own path.  Suddenly, that group of friends that did everything together was doing everything apart.  Now these are not bad things, you need to grow up and have new experiences because if you don't you will become stagnant and that is not pretty!

So I began thinking that I don't want to lose these relationships with the people that I called family not very long ago.  I want these people at the big events in my life.  We  may not talk everyday, but when it comes down to it, I want to know that if they needed me I would be there and visa versa.  To those friends, I am simply saying that I believe those relationships are worth fighting for.  I also must apologize for not coming to this realization before. I want to do better in keeping in contact with all of you and being there for you especially for the big moments but also for the little ones.

Perhaps we should all ask ourselves what do we consider worth fighting for!  And once we know then go to bat for those things with all of our hearts!


Beauty is...

Emily Dickinson once said that "beauty is not caused, it is."  I read that in a book yesterday, and it has been stuck in my head since.  I am almost certain I believe  this with my whole heart.  I believe that true and lasting beauty comes from a place inside - it radiates from your soul.  Audrey Hepburn knew this as well as she "believed that happy girls are the prettiest girls."  Beauty is not something that must be achieved by slathering on tons of cosmetics or putting on a fabulous dress.  Those things may make you feel pretty on the outside, but beauty is something that simply is.

To me beauty is....

Wonderful parents who celebrate 31 years of marriage today and a beautiful sister who turns 25 today!

This little girl is probably my favorite person ever!

The second "beaty boy" after Poppy (my Daddy)! He is just the cutest thing ever!


i am home

Yesterday I renamed the blog - its now "A Daisy Today" and here is why.

After my Mamaw (Daisy) passed, my mom, my sisters, my dad, and I would find ourselves thinking about the good times we had with Mamaw, the funny things she used to say, and all the things she loved - cooking, sewing, creating, family.  We started calling these things - "A Daisy A Day."  Little happy moments and memories that made us feel closer to the one we loved which we would share with each other or remind each other of during particularly difficult times.  That is what our business is all about - sharing Mamaw's love and legacy with the world through a medium of creating things that make us smile.  Just as an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so a daisy a day keeps sadness at bay.  So this blog is now dedicated to sharing with you little "daisies" that have shaped us as they happen. I can't tell you these will always be sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns, but it will be something that is meaningful and important to me.

So I recently found this artist whose music seems to be unwritten heartbeats to my soul.  Her name is Christina Perri.  You may know her song - "Jar of Hearts."  It's completely amazing!  Her newest single out is called "Arms" and I thought I would share the lyrics with you because they are beautiful and pretty much sum up what I think love looks like for me.  Home is where ever you are loved and feel safe to be exactly who you are.  This is something that I must say that I am blessed with from my parents but also from God.  Knowing Him and how much He loves us has completely opened my heart and changed my perspective on myself and everything else under the sun!  Now this song is not a "Christian" song but it just summarizes how I am feeling right now.

I never thought that you would be the one to hold my heart
But you came around and you knocked me off the ground from the start

You put your arms around me
And I believe that it's easier for you to let me go
You put your arms around me and I'm home

How many times will let you me change my mind and turn around
I can't decide if I'll let you save my life or if I'll drown

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, 'cause I'm already falling
I'll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I'm home

The world is coming down on me and I can't find a reason to be loved
I never wanna leave you but I can't make you bleed if I'm alone

You put your arms around me
And I believe that it's easier for you to let me go

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, 'cause I'm already falling
I'll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I'm home

I tried my best to never let you in to see the truth
And I've never opened up
I've never truly loved 'Till you put your arms around me
And I believe that it's easier for you to let me go

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, 'cause I'm already falling
I'll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I'm home

You put your arms around me and I'm home


my daisy today

To quote a popular movie, "daisies are the friendliest flower."  They really are friendly, and perhaps its because they look like every picture every child has drawn of the sun or maybe because they just make you smile when you see them.  I don't really have an answer as to why - I just know that they are.  Today, we got some gerbera daisies (yes that is really how you spell that and yes I know it looks crazy) - I digress, we got some daises at the florist today, and I just instantly become obsessed with them.  Sometimes I feel like daisies were created just for me - now I know its a tish selfish and childish, but they make me smile and remind me of Mamaw.  So, I thought I would share them with you!

I hope these daisies made you smile and above are some pictures of a couple of other things that make me smile - new school color, bow headbands! Also my niece - Madison!  She is not feeling well, and they are afraid she may have pneumonia..  So if you would not mind keeping her in your prayers, we would all appreciate it! She is just my heart!

What makes you smile?