Okay stop.  Go back, and read that statement again!  It says "whatever you do" - meaning everything you do flows from your heart.  So why is it that I have rarely given my all to anything?  Why is it that I procrastinate and not do the things that I want to do?  I have found that this is one of the things that aggravates me about people, but God being the God He is showed me that this trait that bothers me so much in others is alive and well right inside me.

When I was a little girl, people accused me of taking things too personally and wearing my heart on my sleeve.  I must admit that I am probably still a little like that.  I fought so hard when I was in high school to not let people see that something bothered me.  Then I heard a quote that stuck with me - it's from "You've Got Mail."  You know the sweet, sappy ROM/COM with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks?  Well, Tom Hanks is trying to shut down her book store, and he tells her that "its not personal, its business."  To which she responds, "that just means it isn't personal to you.  It's personal to me, and what's so wrong with being personal?  Whatever else anything is, it should begin with being personal."


I think these two make sense together in my head.  I take something personally when I am invested in it - when I have put part of myself into it.  The things I do - whether I give my complete and total self into them or not - those things come from my heart.  I don't want to do things half-heartedly any longer.  I want to take what I do personally because I believe that is the best way.  I have to remember to guard my heart in this life because it effects every thing we do. 


a little apartment inspiration

I love our little apartment.  It makes me smile.  
I like the layering in of things that we collect through our trips to flea markets, vintage shops, antique stores, discount stores, and garage sales.  

I am trying out some red touches with my usual repertoire of blue in my bedroom.  Also, the bottom right pic that is not very good is of the fabric in my curtains - its a beautiful linen that reminds me of vintage men's pajamas.  

These rooms inspire me - the simple comfort of all of the pieces, the fact that EVERY piece in our apartment comes with some unique story.  I just love it.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and I hope you have spaces within your home that inspire you!

Much Love,


they just don't make them like they used to

First, I must say Happy Father's Day to all the daddys out there - specifically mine!  He is such an inspiration to me, and the best daddy around!   As long as I can remember, he has been a constant godly influence in my and my sisters' lives.  He loves my mama, works hard, is a wonderful poppy to my nieces and nephew, and taught us all so much about how we are to live and how men are to treat women.  He is part of the combo that welcomed our friends with open arms and treated them like their children.  He is the man that taught us how to check our oil, water, and how to tell just where on our car that weird sound is coming from.  He is the man that I compare all others to.

I mustn't forget one other person, and that is my papaw - Lester Sharp!  He is pretty much the only grandfather I have ever had, but I never felt like I missed anything by not having two grandfathers.  He took us to school every morning because he didn't like the bus driver being mean to us.  He did anything and everything my mamaw asked him and loved her oh so much.  If he gets teary eyed, he says his allergies are acting up, and when he is worried he finds a seat, makes a friend out of a stranger, and spends a couple of hours just talking to people. He did and does so much more, but those are a few memories I thought I would share with you! 

When we were little girls my mama encouraged us to go to college, get a good job, and be able to take care of ourselves.  Her reasoning was always that "they just don't make them like they used to."  Of course she was referring to the men in our generation not living up to the previous generation's standard.  My mom may not have known it then, but she instilled a few valuable lessons in that one phrase.  #1 - you have to have standards because heaven knows what you will end up with if you don't.  #2 - you have guideposts for those standards in your dad and papaw.  #3 - it's okay to be on your own and take care of yourself until you find that guy.

Also, I was confronted by the idea that the men who meet those standards have standards of their own for what the woman is supposed to be.  This idea immediately led to the question - do I strive to live by the same guidelines that I want him to meet?  OUCH!!!  I don't know about you, but the answer to that question is not always what I want it to be.   A friend of mine and fellow blogger just wrote a great post about the effects that shining a light or speaking truth can have on people.  I am linking it here, and you should read it!  This is fitting simply because truth hit me square in the face that I cannot expect something out of someone else that I do not first require of myself.  

So suffice to say that these two men are two of the pillars in my life.  I love them so very much, and I am so grateful to have them in my life and to have gleaned such valuable information from these two men!  I hope to be a daughter/grand-daughter they can proud of!  

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend/ father's day, and I pray you all have a blessed week ahead!

Much love,


a hand print on my heart

“I’ve heard it said
That people come into your life for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow 
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today because I knew you
It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have rewritten mine 
By being my friend…
Who can say that I have been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed by the better
And because I knew you, I have been changed for good!”
- excerpt from “For Good” from the Broadway Musical "Wicked"

I posted this two years ago around this time as an attempt to describe what my Mamaw meant to me - a job I am not sure I could ever accomplish with simple words.  As the anniversary of her passing draws near, I take it as a time to consider the person I am and people I am pouring love into.  I feel as though I have grown over the past two years while there are certainly areas that require attention.   

One thing I know for sure is that there is an irreplaceable piece of this girl that left when she did.  When I think of the person I so long to be - the person that honors God and her in everything she does, there is an ache and a longing for the things I so took for granted.  The way she smelled when she hugged me, the smell of homemade biscuits and coffee in the morning, the way she said "I love you girls" - those are a few of the things I miss the most.

I am reminded everyday to be the girl she would be proud of, and so I thought I would share with you some of the things that she expected of us - her family, her granddaughters, the people who entered her home.

Love and serve God with all of your heart, strength, and mind.
Love your family with all of your heart.
Treat EVERYONE with respect, love, kindness, and compassion.
Work hard at whatever your hands find to do.
Laugh, laugh a lot.
Feed those who are hungry.
Give to those who are less fortunate than you.

I am sure I am leaving something out, but that shall do for now.  Please do not take the older generation in your family for granted - especially your grandparents.  Love them, listen to them, learn from them - trust me, you will be better for it.

Much Love,


lessons from preschool

So with the heaviness of the last post, I thought I would lighten things up a bit with a fun list.  Candace and I have been keeping a few children at our home just for some extra money during the summer, and I realized that I have brought home some of the things I learned while working in a preschool.  So I thought I would share with you all the things I learned from my 4 years experience in Preschools.

1.  So this one is very important so make sure you read carefully - band-aids solve all problems.  Anything and everything can be cured with these things especially the Hello Kitty, Angry Birds, and Muppets versions - I am sure it would even do wonders in the Middle East.
2.  Never underestimate the power of the eyes.  They may be young but they know the absolute perfect moment to look up at you with those big eyes that have just the right amount of tears in them especially if you have mentioned the words phone call and mama in the same sentence.
3.  Nap time is in the eye of the beholder.  To the child, the entire institution of nap time is a torture device that must be fought tooth and nail.  To the teacher, nap time is the best idea since coffee and is essential if you dare to sit down and eat your entire lunch at one time or get anything else accomplished for that matter.
4.  You can track the moon by their behavior - a full moon is occurring anytime that week and you might as well go ahead and  program your speed dial with those numbers you already know by heart, bring an extra thermos of coffee, and some chocolate - you will be needing the extra energy.  Items needed for the week, because it will be a week, include comfortable clothes, running shoes, hair off your face, and LOTS of band-aids.  Oh and pray it doesn't rain that week or you might want to invest in a good therapist!
5.  Going to the bathroom is a privilege and the bathroom is a sanctuary.  When you finally get to go, it is the one place where you can sit down, close your eyes, and not have to tell little Susie that we are friends with everybody or tell little Johnny that the classroom is not a training grounds for the 100 yd dash.
6.  My 8th grade English and Drama teacher says that middle school girls are the meanest girls you will ever encounter.  I completely agree with her, but I never knew that they begin that process the minute they enter K4.
7.  If we could harness half the energy encompassed in one 3 or 4 year old boy, we could solve the world's energy crisis.
8.  Last on this particular list, is that while you need the Energizer Bunny to keep up with these kids and you will repeat, "be sweet to your friends" a million times, these kids find their way into your heart especially when they crawl up in your lap or just randomly run up and hug your legs and say, "Ms. Micole(one of the names they call me), I love you!"

So obviously, this is not a comprehensive or complete list, but just some of the little things I have learned.  People always ask me if I have children, and I say during the school year I have 30-40 on a daily basis which is more than enough for me.  I get to love them, laugh with them, guide and teach them, and send them  home.  I love it!

Well I hope you have a great weekend!

Much Love,


a story, a neighbor, and a love

Robert Burns said it another way, "the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry..."  Wow, saying that my life testifies to that sentiment is a gross understatement!  I kind of like the quote from the picture above better simply because it offers hope.  You know I have spent many blog posts describing in detail my personal journey and struggles with plans not going the way they were meant to, and this blog post began that way until Candace yelled from the living room - "you need to blog about the lady downstairs." At first, I didn't want to but then the words came without my planning them...

Candace and I met our neighbor who lives in the apartment directly underneath ours, and we found out that she has an incredible but heart-wrenching story.  She is a grandmother to a 3 year old little boy who has cancer - he has been given 2 to 5 years to live and is currently undergoing the strongest chemotherapy they can give him.  The grandmother works nights to be the sole supporter of this little boy and his mother/her daughter.  As we talked, the one thing that stayed with me was this incredible strength based on a firm faith that God would get her family through this.  She was not bitter that her grandson was experiencing this but was trusting God to get them through on a day to day basis.  Even now, I am in complete awe of this.  I cannot imagine the pain, the emotional, physical, and spiritual rollercoaster she experiences on a daily basis.  Her story is both so very inspiring and incredibly humbling.  How many times have I asked why?  How many times have I gotten upset because life was just going the way I had planned?  When faced with possibly losing someone or someone hurting me, how many times did I back away instead of pouring more love into that person?

I think that was the part that cut to the very deepest, darkest corner of my heart.  I have always been the first to walk away regardless of if that person left on their own accord.  I think even with my precious grandmother I almost went into auto-pilot mode just to get through until I could find a place and a way to grieve on my own.   I am learning that while I have been trying to avoid heartache, I should not have been because heartache and pain means that you have lived and that you have loved.  Our neighbor is pouring love into her grandson continually and sacrificially knowing that sometime in the near future, before she is ready she most likely will say goodbye to him.  What an authentic, beautiful love.  This love is not what you find in Hollywood or in a novel, this love is only from one source - Jesus Christ. Oh that I would love like that.  Her story knocked me on my backside, and to be completely honest, I hope it has the same effect on you.

I pray this post finds you well, and I pray that we (myself included) would know love in our lives and show love with our lives.

Much Love,