message monday

I know I said that the changes would come after the new year; however, I don't like things to begin in the middle of the week. (I know, a touch OCD.)  So we begin with "Message Monday."  It is more or less self-explanatory - a message in Scripture, poetry, quotes, lyrics, etc that has stood out to me.  As it is New Year's Eve, I thought I would share this pretty quote I found on pinterest.

Have hope
Try new things
 Be active
See the good
Say, "I love you" more
Challenge yourself
Choose to be happy
Eat better
Enjoy today
Forgive more readily
Read more often
Become your best you

"For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.' "
Jeremiah 29:11-13

You may know the first verse, but my personal favorite is the last two.  He hears our prayers when we call upon Him, and we will seek and find Him when we search with all our heart.  It is so incredibly beautiful and precious to me to know that in this chaotic world that He knows the plans and that He listens.

I hope you all have a safe, happy New Year.  I pray we (myself especially) turn to God with all our heart.

Much Love,



So I have been thinking, and I mentioned this quite briefly in the previous post.  I think it is time for a little structure for the blog - instead of just my rantings twice a week about something that is or has been driving me crazy.  So I worked up a little schedule to include some of the things that have been the most well-received here on the little blog.  

I am not at all sure if I can keep to this aforementioned schedule, but it is worth a try.  So here it goes - 

Monday - Message
Tuesday - Thrifty Tuesday
Wednesday - Wardrobe
Thursday - Throwback (I may have stole this from Instagram, but hello, history major!)
Friday - Favorite Things

I have left Saturday and Sunday free to just leave room for randomness, and if I am honest there is only so much structure for this girl!

Just trying to remind myself change is a good thing - 


happy and merry

Well it's officially cold now in south MS, and it's officially the day after Christmas.  Figures!

Anyways, we had our family Christmas celebration on Sunday so that we could all celebrate with Papaw, spend as much time together as possible, and not have to rush off to another holiday get together.  It was a perfectly lovely day that began at church with Christmas brunch.

I kind of love the simple decorations - made the paper christmas trees thanks to Pinterest for inspiration.  We followed it up with our usual trip to Papaw's for Sunday lunch.

Madi is growing so fast - I can't believe little girl is four now!  After lunch we went to Mom and Dad's for present time that went by so quickly that I didn't get a picture.  Madi said, "this was the best Christmas ever."  I have to agree with her.  When it got dark we all went for a stroll in Mason Park.  Borrowed this pic from Brit!

Yesterday,  Candace and I went to Mom and Dad's because of the weather, and you're always safer at your parents' house.  It makes even the worst things better!  We were very blessed not to have any terribly severe weather in our little community, and I pray all of you were safe.  So I will just leave you with this!

Oh and btw, a few changes coming to the blog in new year.  I think it's time for a little structure!



Until now, I have been silent regarding the massacre in Newtown, CT because I have simply do not have words to describe the kind of evil that possessed that young man.  I was and continue to be heart-broken, furious, disgusted - and those are the emotions I can express in words.  I feel like crying and have throughout the weekend to think of precious babies being exposed to such malicious depravity.  Being in the school system, I think, makes this even more of a horrible reality because you realize this could happen in any school - your school, my school.  Then I begin putting names and faces, very personal names and faces, with who it could have been, and that is more than my soul can bear.  It hurts my heart.

One of the blogs I subscribe to described it as a snatching away of innocence right here at Christmas - a time for celebrating the innocence of children.  I think of it as the worst nightmare you can imagine and not being able to wake up from it.  It's one of the things you wish you could "unsee" or "unthink."  

Immediately I knew we had to do something - I had to do something.  So yesterday, a few of us at our church took some time to pray for the families of the victims as well as the young man who was the perpetrator.  The verse I shared with them is Psalm 34:18,

"The Lord is near to the broken-hearted,
and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

That is my prayer for everyone involved, even for those of us who are suffering from a distance, that we turn to Christ as He is the only one who can carry hurt like this.  I have seen many posts on facebook about how we should let Christ back in our schools.  If you think for one instance that He requires our permission to be in a school or that He was not in those classrooms in CT, then your God is not as big as mine.  I think perhaps we as Christians should wake up and learn His character so that His words come out of our mouths and His actions are our actions.  He is there - perhaps we should start listening.

I include myself in every part of this - so my challenge for myself and for anyone reading this is to stop and listen, to pray.  Our prayer vigil was at 3:30 yesterday - so I am going to set an alarm on my phone for 3:30 pm everyday to stop and to pray for these families, for our nation, and that we remember that Christ is with us. I am asking anyone reading this to do the same - it can be anytime that works for you.  

I also think we can honor those who lost their lives by celebrating the love and joy we have in our own lives - not to take any of our blessings for granted.  To look at the children in your life and remember they are precious gifts from God.

I leave you with this - 
Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins,they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.  Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.



So yesterday was a big day for me - my 29th birthday!  I have always enjoyed my birthday - in a house with 3 girls, one single day where we had to do exactly what I wanted with no compromise was rare and perfect.  Now as I am getting older, people like to joke with me that I am getting old - gray hair, close to the big 3-0, etc.  I know some women who stop celebrating their birthdays because it means you are getting older, but I don't think that will be me.  I am pretty sure that won't be me.  I love birthdays - come on people, an excuse to get presents and eat cake?!  How can you go wrong with that?

On the more serious side - birthdays are excellent time markers.  They allow you to stop and take measure of the life you have lived in the past year.  Are you where you wanted to be? Are you the person you thought or hoped you would be?

Last year for my birthday, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do in the coming year.  And I really didn't even look at the list after I made it until just now for a refresher.  The only things I accomplished on the list were the some of the superficial things - like planting flowers for our balcony or getting a tan.  I want this year to be much different - perhaps not quite so superficial but a little more meaningful.  They say wisdom comes with age - knowledge you may have at quite a young age but wisdom is knowing what to do with knowledge.  I may not have all the answers, but I am becoming more aware of who I am, what I want,  and what needs to change.

First and foremost I want my life to honor God - everything comes through that filter.  I want to live a life of integrity where my actions line up with my beliefs (thanks to John for that one).

Second, I want to love.  His mercies and love for me are new everyday; therefore, the love and mercies I extend should be also.

Third, I want to be a better steward of the gifts and abilities I have been given.

Finally, days are gifts - precious gifts from God that we are not promised.  I believe that rates a celebration unlike any other.

I must say, "thank you so very much" to all of you who wished me a "Happy Birthday" yesterday.  To complete this I will leave you with a few pics of birthdays past.


have a cookie!

When I was a little girl, my favorite place to be during the holidays was the kitchen with my Mamaw and Mom.  Mamaw spent many hours making desserts for our family dinner and for others in the community, and as long as you were not in the way you could stay and watch while she worked.  Can I tell you something? There is nothing like the smell of red velvet cake straight from the oven and no memory so precious as the ones featuring that kitchen.  

Now I have found that I love to bake - cakes, pies, cookies.  There is something precious about cooking for someone.  Recently I found a recipe for Tea Cakes that belongs to my great aunt, and I wanted to try it out. I don't think I have ever made anything completely from scratch, so it was a challenge and an adventure for me.  I think they turned out well, and as Candace is addicted to anything resembling a sugar cookie, there were very few left.

Looks pretty good huh?

I believe that recipes are sacred - not secret.  Sharing recipes in my family are sharing a part of yourself with others, it's almost like passing down the stories from your grandparents that are part of your family's history. So I thought I would share this one with you.  Oh and the cookies are to die for - try them for yourself.

1 stick butter (softened - not melted)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix butter, sugar, egg, and oil together.  Add flour, baking powder, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Roll batters in balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Press flat with hand.  Bake at 325 degrees for 12 - 14 minutes.  Remove cookies immediately from cookie sheet.  (I don't know why exactly but that is what the recipe called for!)

I hope you enjoy!  

BTW you can totally change the flavor of these tea cakes by just making a few adjustments.  For example, instead of vanilla extract try almond (1/4 tsp) and add chocolate chips - it will change your life.  I also think it would be good to switch the white sugar for brown sugar and add oatmeal and raisins.  

I pray that your holidays are filled with great memories, wonderful food, amazing family and priceless friends.
Oh and share a recipe or two!



Because it helps to say things or write things down.
Because words fail us sometimes.
Because just maybe we all have someone who has or is making us feel this way.
Because some day soon you will have to let go, put your heart back together, and move on.

I have chosen song lyrics - because words fail us sometimes.  Then we turn to music.  And some of the most beautiful lyrics and music come from the most excruciating pain.

"Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt

Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

Because of you
I tried my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in

Because of you
I am ashamed of my life
Because it's empty
Because of you, I am afraid.

...Sometimes you just have to get it out to truly let go...



Okay so it has been a minute since I have updated you on the goings on here in the Beaty girl's house and filled your time with my ramblings.  We have been so incredibly busy the past few weeks, that this is honestly the first time I have has time to sit and think.  It was busy, but it has been some of the best times this year.  Great times with unbelievably precious friends that I find myself thanking God for almost every day, a church family that are incessantly challenging me to "live my life outside of the mirror,"* and an incredibly beautiful family make this girl feel like the most blessed girl ever.  I haven't been doing the "thankful thing" on facebook, but I feel completely overwhelmed by my blessings this year.  Thankful just doesn't seem to do justice to how I feel right now.  Perhaps gratitude is better - I am grateful for being the witness and participant to so many beautiful moments the past few weeks.
*This quote is from our pastor - John, and I quite love it.  The conviction that followed was slightly painful but the idea of this life not being solely about me is beautiful to me.
So here are some of the pictures from the past few weeks - what I am grateful for.

Now, I am particularly looking forward to Thursday and spending time with my family, but today is my Daddy's birthday.  We have completely ruined him - he is now calling the week of his birthday "poppy-palooza."  As he is the best daddy and poppy in the world, it is okay to spoil him a little!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Much Love,



<p>Have you ever thought about what you export - what you pour into your world? I am not talking about legacy - its not about what people remember about you after you die. I am talking more about the attitudes and actions and words you choose to put out into this world.<br>
The pastor of our church has been doing a series called "The Code" where he is detailing a lifestyle that we as a church will ascribe to. Today we learned that we are to be the largest exporters of laughter. Not just silliness but taking the joy we have found to the world. I think that happens in the little things we do.
I was thinking about this while we watched Madison, Wyatt, and Daisy Claire laugh and play, while my Mom and Dad share a look when the grand babies do something sweet, or when Candace, Brit, and I share a great laugh over some memory of something we did when we were younger. For example, when Madi does something so Candace-ish that we visibly wince.
I love these kind of days where we can enjoy our family. There are so many days when we struggle just to smile through the weight of the world that good days must be cherished and enjoyed in all their wonderful abundance.
I definitely want to be more aware of what I am exporting. I want to pour joy into my world - that joy you see on the face of children.



With the title of this particular post, I am sure you conjuring up the many arguments I could make for and/or against the over-used form of social media.  However, this post is more about memories than arguments.  Every now and then, something sends me drifting back to years gone by, and I get a little nostalgic.  It could be a smell, a phrase, an event - anything really takes me back to some of the experiences in my life.  So I went to my page and used that handy little timeline thing, and it took me back all the way to my beginning.  Well on facebook anyway.  In honor of my memories, I thought I would share with you some of the things I remembered/learned about myself and a few other people through facebook.

This is from my sophomore year at JCJC - these people became part of my family!  Oh by the way, my hair was blonde - it was BAD!!!  College is where I learned a lot - like the importance of coffee and to stay away from blonde hair! The second is from a couple of years later - still love them crazy people!

This hat looks cute on me - and I thought I was DIVA in college!  Not that you could tell or anything!

Pizza and mexican train dominoes come before furniture!!! Oh and I can give a GREAT death stare - I sincerely apologize to the person on the receiving end of that.

Girls can be groomsmen too!  Although, I prefer "groom's person." Haha

Who knew we originated all of those irritating bathroom self-portraits?  Oh and everyone needs a girl trip to the beach at least every other month!!! 

Best friends grow up, move to different cities, graduate from college, get married, and have babies!  But nothing can take the memories, and you just have to go with time.

Okay I will admit it, this post was mainly for me to take a look back and reminisce!  It was really fun to look at old pics on facebook.  

Have a great weekend,


coffee and Bibles

Okay friends, well Candace and I have entered the crazy hectic haze that is known as the 2 months leading up to Christmas!  You know what I am talking about - you dig your heels in, put on your running shoes, attach the coffee I.V., and prepare not to breath until after New Years - we are almost to the I.V.

However, that is not the point of this pretty post!  I have to tell you a story - I know right, it's so exciting!  So, a few months ago I volunteered to lead a small group in our home for our church, and this particular group is geared towards the female of our species.  This particular small group is one I am pretty excited about which is why I was a little sad when no one came.  Then Shelly Reid, our Small Group Coordinator Extraordinaire, shared with me that statistically the small group that is the most difficult to establish is one for single women.  How crazy is that?  Then, because I am a nerd, I googled some statistics about small groups and found that people in America in general have become less social, even stating that active membership is local clubs and organizations has decreased by almost HALF! That seems a little crazy to me, and believe me, I know the importance of time at home and just with your family!

So I say all of that to let you know that I really, really, really want you to come to our small group or to a similar small group in your area.  However, I know that you probably don't care about the statistics but about the story so here it goes...

I became a believer at a very young age (5ish), but I was never really discipled.  People in my church and my parents encouraged me to study the Bible and to live a godly lifestyle; however, I really didn't know where to start or what a godly lifestyle looked like.  I mean I tried having a "quiet time," but that didn't really work for me because once again, what the heck is a "quiet time?"

Things changed for me when I was in college at Jones County Junior College.  The wife of the director of the Baptist Student Union asked me and a few other girls if we would like to be involved with a girl's Bible study in her home.  I tried it out, and it completely revolutionized my world.  Oh, it was like she gave me a key that opened so many doors in my world.

She taught us a way to study the Bible - she used studies written by Kay Arthur, and by learning more about Christ through the studies, I did not find simple answers but a place to find answers and a method to gather answers.  I also learned that I dislike quiet times and benefit best from an "un-quiet time" as I study best when the television is on and music is playing, and I learned a study method that provided, predominantly, direction mixed with some valuable insights into Scripture.

I must tell you it changed my life.  And it was not just the studies - the community I found in that group of girls is still one of my fondest memories from my entire college experience.  We laughed and cried together, we supported and challenged each other, and we prayed together and for each other.  We lived life together - we knew things about each other that no one else knew.  There is something so precious about gathering in a home with a cup of coffee and opening up the Scripture with people who are experiencing some of the very same struggles and joys as you are or who have already walked that path and can offer priceless, godly advice.

This is my prayer for our small group - that we experience that balance of garnering knowledge of our God and gleaning the many benefits of living this life in community with other believers!  And along the way I hope we laugh, cry, pray, discuss, agree, disagree and drink lots of coffee!

I pray to see you in small group this Wednesday at 6:30 at our apartment!!!


a little adventure

Have you ever woke up one day and not remembered anything important that happened in the past week? Or the past month?  Well, that is exactly where I found myself recently.  I read this book a few years ago by Donald Miller named A Million Miles in a Thousand Years about living a good story.  He challenges readers to live an abundant life and live on purpose - to make deliberate choices to have an interesting life.  This resonated with me as I become very comfortable in a routine and within my same four walls.

I was reminded of Miller's book by our Pastor in his recent challenge to our church to go from people far from God to being kingdom catalysts.  The steps along this journey he is challenging us to include connecting with our community, getting out of our spectator mentality in service, and moving outside the four walls of our church in mission.  All of the steps have challenged me in different areas, but I think my journey has to begin by becoming okay with being uncomfortable.  Getting out of my comfort zone and simple interaction with other people seem to be the initial steps.

So I decided that I needed a little adventure in my life, and I roped Candace into going along with it.  Now, we are working on a next to nothing budget so these little adventures I am about to share with you are just baby steps.  But, they are baby steps in the right direction...

Here are a few pics we snapped during our little adventures!

We got some pizza and went to the park.  It may not have been the smartest idea to be out there at night by ourselves, but it was in the name of adventure!  We also watched a movie at some of our friends' house on a school night (gasp) but my phone died - so no picture!

We met Mr. Sawyer Allen Clark!  Isn't he just precious!

Quality sister time and breakfast at Shipley's!!!

Woke up in a pirate ship!  Not really we decorated the balcony for Halloween!

Dinner with the girls!  Round table therapy after the week we all had!

Knocked out all the bouts and corsages for the wedding we are planning in November!  I am kind of in love with the bouts so you cant hate!  The best part was that DeeDee and Debbie(bride) came over and we all worked on different tasks at the same time.  I work best with music on, the t.v. going, and 30 other people working around me - call me crazy, but a quiet room drives me batty!

Calendar meeting of the next month in the "beaty girl" household... If you think sitting down with my sister and a calendar is not an adventure, you clearly do not know Candace!

It was really fun figuring out things to do every day to break up the monotony of work, tv, sleep.  So in honor of our slightly adventurous week, we have decided to do at least one thing we would not normally do every week!  This should not be difficult as the weeks coming up should be quite interesting!!!  
I will keep you posted, and as always...


hair, nails, and clothes

Hello friends!  So there are a few things going on this week around the Beaty girl household.  A few I will share next week, and a few I thought I would share with you now!

So I need a hair cut like two weeks ago, but alas I must wait on the paycheck.  Trust me though, very soon I will be sitting Mrs. Alice Cash's chair at Studio B!  So preparing for that glorious day, I began looking for inspiration for what the new do will look like, and here is what I like best!

Maybe mixed with the length of this one (below)

Also, I have been wanting to experiment with my nail color so I tried this...
forgive the quality of the photo, please

Finally I am super excited about fall...

and wearing clothes like this!
both photos via Pinterest!




I have to admit something.  I am a romance junkie.  I love all those sappy ROM/COM movies, and yes even those quite unrealistic vampire movies.  (Although, the books are MUCH better than the movies.)  I am also a big fan of The Hunger Games books and movie.  My parents raised me to be a strong, independent woman so I love all the stories of the girl taking care of herself and still finding the romance.  Now I know these are just movies and completely fake, but I am seeing something in the movies and in our world that I don't like.

Many of the movies today feature a strong woman who does not need a man to come and rescue her, but the strength in the female lead often leaves the male lead weak - both physically and intellectually.  Since when has a weak man been a good thing? Ever?  Personally, as a believer the man is to be the leader in the household, so I expect him to fulfill that role.  Maybe it is just me, but I like for people, in general but especially men, to have opinions, to be strong, to be intelligent, and to take their responsibilities seriously.  A sense of humor is awesome, but there is a time and a place to dial back the comedy and put your big boy breeches on and be the man you are called to be!

Now if you are male and reading this, don't get aggravated with me just yet.  Ladies, it is time that you and I do the same thing.  I do not feel that the man is strong at the expense of the ladies' strength.  Throughout my life, my Dad has been the head of our household, and my mother was and is the submissive partner she is called to be.  However, the strength and position my father held came with the confidence in that strength and position that allowed my mother to be strong and independent.  Conversely, my mother submitted to the position God placed my father in and believed in His ability to fulfill that position.  So ladies, it is time to be the mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and friends that allow men to be men.  Men can step up and assert their leadership all day long, but ladies, we must recognize that leadership and believe in their ability to be a leader!  In case you missed it ladies, it is NOT our job to be the one who wears the pants!  I am all for and believe you need to be strong, but it is an idea of bridled strength.  We must choose not to assert our lead.

What have been your experiences? Why must the female lead in a movie be strong at the expense of the male and visa versa?  Do you see this transfer into the real world as well?  Just something to think about, and let me know what you think!


breaking the silence

Well, I am finding some answers for my questions and a few words to break the silence.

Sometimes, I need to be taken by the shoulders and shaken to bring me out of my moments of self-pity.  I mean really, I say I believe that "happiness comes from the quiet nobility of leading a good life," but do I really live that.  I must remember that everyday cannot be a mountain day - there must be valleys here and there.  I think the important thing for me is to be in pursuit of the mountain because I tend to get stuck in the monotony of the everyday.  I don't like change so it is easy for me to become bogged down, but then I recognize the bog and immediately become claustrophobic in the surroundings I found comfortable just minutes earlier. 

Some things I have learned while in the bog and while struggling to find freedom -
  • We as a culture tend to define who we are by what we do.  "Hello, I am Jane Doe, and I am a *insert current occupation.*"  Well, what happens when you cant find a job in that field or you are laid off or whatever your circumstance happens to be?  Are you no longer who you thought you were?  Because I do not get paid to teach, does that mean I am no longer a teacher?  I have come to realize that teaching is a part of who I am whether I am in classroom or not.  If you were stripped of your occupation, who would you be?
  • I do not like money.  No that is not strong enough.  I detest money.  Having money can make you prideful.  Not having money but wanting money can make you envious and covetous.  All three of those sinful attitudes I can find in myself within the same five minutes, and I loathe those feelings and attitudes.  It is too easy for money to provide a false sense of security, and all too often I find myself placing my faith in money instead of God.  And that is my greatest disappointment in myself because I know that money will fail me and still I decide to place my trust in it.
  • Life is beautiful, and family is one of God's greatest blessings.  Tonight we all went to the Mexican restaurant (what Madi calls MiCasita) because tomorrow is her birthday and it is her favorite.  She and Wyatt played and laughed the entire time while Daddy shed a tear or two because he just feels so blessed by them and Mom recounted the story of Lily (her puppy) digging up a snake in the front yard to Madi.  Madi loves stories about Lily and has a love/hate relationship with snakes - she is interested until they are real and present.  Brit and Jonathan sat close together the way they do when Jon is about to have to go back to work offshore for 3 weeks, and Daisy Claire just smiled at all of us.  Then because we all love a great bargain, including we went to Dirt Cheek (what Madi calls Dirt Cheap) where she spent her dollar and had some fun.   I would like to enter into evidence -    

Isn't she just the cutest?

So as I am regaining my wits and repairing the foundation, I can't help but feel blessed.  I must learn to not obsess or stress over money as its existence is something I cannot change.  I can only change the value I give it and my attitude about it.  I hope you are all doing great!