stop and smell the coffee!

Well hello friends!  I hope you don't mind, I kind of like addressing this post as if we are all old friends simply picking up where we last left off.  The Christmas season is upon us, and I am so very excited!  It's my favorite time of year, and bonus - it actually has felt like winter here in South MS for more than a few hours straight this year.  Most of the time we have this slightly bipolar weather pattern that can fluctuate between summer and freezing in the same day five minutes!

So this particular season has been extremely hectic and so very busy for us - at this moment I am quite frustrated at this fact.  I am very careful in what I commit to because I like to give 100% to very few things rather than 25% to several things.  I am not sure if that makes sense to anyone but my me and my parents because they are the ones who taught that to me.  I would really like to scream right now, but I can't because I have to work!  So after work and after small group and after I buy coffee creamer, if you see me screaming outside my apartment don't be alarmed.  I will be okay after I scream!

I feel like the first two paragraphs are completely at opposite ends of the spectrum, and that is exactly what is the problem.  I love this time of year - it is the perfect time to stop, smell the coffee(with your creamer), and enjoy the days, but its like I don't have time to go to the bathroom much less smell the coffee before I attach the I.V. filled with it to my arm!

Okay, I know that was a tish dramatic but you get the point.  I am tired of being busy, and I really feel like that's not God's best for us.  He created rest for a reason, and I truly believe that busyness can be a tactic of the Devil.  Busyness is usually a bunch of less important things meant to distract you from what is really important and what your ultimate goal is.  For example, this week is supposed to be a fun week for my kids celebrating the birth of Jesus and preparing for Christmas holidays; instead, I am exhausted from busyness, my nerves are frayed, and I am frustrated.

So I go back to a couple of my favorite verses that get me through life.
"Cease striving, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the Earth." - Psalm 46:10 
  When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” - Nehemiah 4:14

The entire Psalm 46 is an "I got this" psalm for me, and Nehemiah is just wonderful!  
Okay, now I feel better.  I do apologize that you readers have to see the inner workings of my catharsis, but this blog does help me process things and deal.  So I hope you have an outlet for your frustrations, and I pray that we all can stop and enjoy the season!


two months

Well it has been a little over two months since my last post - some of you may have forgotten about me!  I apologize for the silence, but it has been so incredibly hectic around the block lately.  I am not so adept to change so it takes me a minute or a month for me to adjust my schedule.  I am still adjusting and working on a new routine/schedule.  Perhaps my disruption is just the hands-on portion of the lesson we have been going through at our church - God knows I learn best from experience.

So I thought I would share with you a little list (I know, shocker) to catch you up on the goings on of the Beaty girl house!

  • School has been going great lately!  I am working on doing an art project once a week that coordinates with the letter for the week.  The kids love it, and they are just so cute when we get them finished.  You can check out my board on Pinterest to see some of the things we have done so far as well as some of the things coming up!
  • I am also trying to add to my library at school, so I have joined the Scholastic world!  I am a self-professed nerd which means I absolutely LOVE Scholastic.  The kids can get books at ridiculously inexpensive prices, and I get bonus points to buy books for my room!  It's a win-win situation.  I think I may have my family just buy me books from my wish list for Christmas!  (Hint, HINT) (P.S. you will need this code to find me - MNCF4)
  • #Littlegirl is still alive and kicking which is a major feat for her on days when she makes me want to pull her hair out!  We have already signed our lease for a new year in the SAME APARTMENT!!!  This is a major accomplishment for us - two years in the same place and the second Thanksgiving week that we are not moving!!  (Break for happy dance!!!)
  • Oh little update for ya on the weight loss.  We are STILL going to the gym; it may or may not be 3-4 days per week instead of 5-6 but we are going regularly.  So far I have lost almost 40 pounds, and little girl has lost almost 60.  We don't have specific number goals on the weight because we understand this is a process that is part of an entirely different lifestyle for us.  We just want to be healthy and more comfortable in our skin.
  • Our church is growing which means our children's and preschool departments are growing!  And all of that means figuring out space and teachers for our kiddos as we are out-growing our current rooms - what an awesome time and blessing for CrossPointe! I am beyond excited about the direction we are headed in.  I am telling you, if you don't have a church home, please come check out CrossPointe.  We have an awesome Pastor, great staff, amazing teachers in our children's worship areas, and beautiful, precious people!  There is nowhere else like it! 
Well there is the sneak peak into the craziness.  I can't promise that it won't be two more months until you hear from me again, but until next time lovies!  Much love!



So I am not exactly sure that I could live with zero contact from the outside world, but I am positive that I do require bits of time of that zero contact.  Yes ladies and gents, I think if you would google introvert you would find a picture of me (hopefully it is a good one!).  Couple that with coming from a long line of quite independent, strong minded women means that I consider myself not really needing anyone to help me with anything.  In fact, I become quite irritated with myself when I realize that I need someone.  For me needing someone means that they had come incredibly too close - a dangerous thought because they would inevitably fail, let me down.  And that would hurt.  Too much.

Until very recently, I was okay with keeping people at a distance and even prided myself on my independent nature.  Like I said, until recently that is.  It seems that with each new study and with each new introduction into the character of God, pieces of the facade and old nature are pinpointed so that they can be removed. The more I study and the more I learn, the more I see this independence to the point of isolation is actually quite a sinful attitude that I struggle with.  God created us for community - we are created to NEED people in our lives.  Punch.  In my stomach.  Okay... I am catching my breath.  Now I just love the way God works, and He obviously felt this was a lesson I had to hear as it has been a recurring theme in our series in church.  John, our "ninja pastor," even admitted to struggling with this at times.  It is quite ironic to me at this very moment that it helps to know I am not alone in this fight.

"Human beings are simply not designed to function in isolation" - from Multiply by Francis Chan and David Platt - a book we are reading through in our small groups at church.  The premise of the book is that if we call ourselves followers, believers, students of Christ, then we are to be "disciple makers."  You can't be a disciple maker if you are isolated as this process is something that happens through relationships with other believers.  Perhaps this hit me like a ton of bricks simply because I quite enjoy isolation at times or because I feel like God has called me to be a teacher, to share what He has taught me.  I think part of it is that I really want my life to mean something for Him - to be more than the sum of its parts, to be pleasing to Him.  

Now for the difficult part, which is not simply admitting it to a bunch of strangers or even friends.  The hard part is implementing changes demanded when I realize something separates me from God and makes it impossible to live a life pleasing to Him.  I am not completely sure what all this will entail, but I do know that it means opening my heart to the people around me, letting them in even if it does not end well.  That most certainly will be the hard part.

Are there others out there like me?  Do you struggle with letting people in?  I would love to hear from you!


please read!

Holy cow, batman!  It has been one incredibly busy summer - incredibly busy but also incredibly rewarding! Today was our first day back at school, and it is crazy to me that we are looking forward to going back to school so things will slow down!  Who says that?  I know, it's crazy!  But more on school and all the craziness later!  I am afraid I have to get a little serious on you, for just a minute!

Not very long ago, our pastor talked about having confidence in God and in who He created you to be, your calling.  I don't think that is something you earn or work towards, I think it is something you have to tap into. I get that sounds somewhat weird, so let me explain what I am thinking.  2 Timothy 1:7 says that "God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear), but of power and love and discipline."  That power, love, and discipline are not things that we are born with but are things that we are given through Christ being real and present in our lives!  We have to "renew our minds" as it says in Romans 12 in order to keep that line of communication open and to know the importance of that power source!

But please get this friends, power and love and discipline are not things the devil wants you to tap into.  In fact, he will do everything in his finite power to keep you afraid and discouraged.  Powerless in this battle we call life.  Tonight as I was sitting down to catch you up on the past few weeks, my heart has been heavy because life has been hard.  It was then that I realized exactly what I was feeling.  I was discouraged and afraid - have you ever felt like that?  It is probably one of the worst feelings ever!

I think back to our study on Nehemiah, aptly titled Fear and Discouragement, and Nehemiah's prayer for God to simply "strengthen my hands."  So many things were used to break down Nehemiah and the people of Israel, but Nehemiah never ceased praying or tapping into that power that could only come from God.  So tonight I am so thankful for studies done and for words of encouragement that could only come from Scripture.  It seems to help to know who the enemy is, that the war is won, and that we have the armor to fight the battles.

So as for sharing this quite deep topic.  I was once told that once you know the truth, you are held accountable for what you do with it.  I pray with ALL of my heart and soul that these words reach that soul that perhaps has tears of experience in their eyes at this point.  There is hope!  That power is there for the accessing - in His word.  It is, after all, our only piece of offensive armor given in Ephesians 6.  I also hope that once you know the Truth, you will pass it along!


sweet summer time

Well the summer is coming to an end - a fact which makes me super sad!  In honor of the ending of summer I thought I would share with you some of my most favorite things from this summer!

1.  I am in love with this song and the band - both are just insane!  Check them out!

2.  The Farmer's Market in Laurel!  It's so great to get to know some of the local artisans and farmers and to get some fresh/homemade goodies!  Its been great!  And it proceeds the Downtown Movie Night which is free and family friendly!  I just love Laurel in the summer!
Photo courtesy of Laurel Main Street Facebook

3.  Hanging out with #littlegirl - even though she can drive me crazy like nobody else!  I have chronicled our adventures on Instagram!  This summer we also have had some good sister time with Brit - she is a super busy mom of 3 beautiful children so some quality Beaty girl sister time is rare but needed!

3.  I have been made the Preschool Coordinator at our church, and I am so excited about the things we are doing in our children's department this fall!  If you don't have a home church, come visit CrossPointe Church in Laurel!  In preparation, I have been reading this awesome book - you need to check it out!

4.  Reuniting with some old friends!  

5.  We took this summer off, and honestly it has been one of the best things ever!  It has been a great time to regroup and refocus!  I am so thankful for this summer and the breath of fresh air it has been!

I hope all you have had a great summer!



Do you believe in ghosts?

Are you haunted by ghosts?

I do and I am.  While the idea of the spirit of someone who has passed really freaks me out, it is the idea of ghosts of my past that are the most frightening.  The ghosts of the person I used to be seems to haunt my reality - I am pretty sure there is more than one ghost.  The ghost of the young girl I was before I became a believer, the ghost of the timid wallflower I was during most of high school, and the ghost of the naive diva I became in college.

I was around four or five, quite young, when I became a believer so that particular ghost is not so much haunting as elusive.  That simple faith of my childhood that God would take care of everything is something I must search for and tap into on a daily basis.

The timid wallflower ghost seems to hit me square in the face anytime I step foot near my high school - yes it is just as bad as it sounds.  Its like I am possessed with the 16 year old version of myself anytime I turn in the parking lot and I try quite hard to blend into the seat of my car.  I was a substitute teacher there a few times when I moved home, and I had to remind myself not to look as scared as I felt because I was no longer that girl.

Most recently I have come face-to-face with the college version of myself, and for a brief moment, I found myself wanting to be that girl again.  Surrounded by great friends and family, successful in school, active in organizations, she was a devout optimist, confident in her abilities, and stubborn to a fault.  College was great, and I treasure those times, but the seconds were fleeting before I realized that this girl was un-tested and lacked depth.  Yes she had not experienced pain and struggles in any real way, but she also had never really experienced the strength of God's hand when you have nothing else to hold onto.

Even though it does make me sad that things have changed and that girl is a ghost, I wouldn't trade the lessons I have learned when all of those things were stripped from my life.  I had placed my friends where only God should be, I relied on my own abilities rather than leaning on God, and during my junior and senior years, I was "too busy" to spend real time in the word.  Little by little, God took away those things so that He could restore my foundation and form me into the person who could withstand the winds and rains of testing and trials.  Now I am not saying that I have "arrived" by any means, but I at least feel that I am on the right road.  Sometimes it just takes a few ghosts to remind us where we have come from!



"21 You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile. 22 For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. 24 Only [i]fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, both you and your king will be swept away.”
I Samuel 12:21-25

Well you guessed it, I am a few weeks into a new study - this particular one begins with the period immediately following the period of Judges and continues through the life of David.  This particular passage is Samuel talking to Israel after they rejected God as their king and demanded a human king like every other nation.  The issue was not simply wanting or needing a king, but rejecting God as their king. You know I used to be quite the judgmental snob towards Israel, but the more I study the Old Testament and the more of this life I live, the more I relate to the people of Israel.  Which is typically the exact moment when I find myself acutely aware of both the grace God gives us each day and the need to submit to His authority in my life.

I think I identify so well with the Israelites because like them, I need these reminders "not to turn aside."  And then because I am that girl - I read scripture and then have this scene in my head.  This time, it's as though I am supposed to be listening to someone but I am distracted instead, and He snaps His fingers in front of my face and says, "focus!" Immediately I snap to attention as though He is the King and I am the lowly peasant.  He continues, "remember the Lord who is great and mighty, and remember what you are to be fighting for" (Nehemiah 4:14) because we must never forget, He is our King and this life is a fight!

It is so very simple to get distracted and to "turn aside."  Most of the time the distractions are not necessarily sinful things in and of themselves.  These activities become sinful when I place them where only God should be.  Still other times, it is not an activity at all, but an attitude towards things.  I begin working and desiring things instead of God - does that make sense?  The verse in Romans 12 that speaks of being transformed by the renewing of our minds means so much more in the light of this - so much of this battle is mental. We need grace everyday, and we need His word like we need physical nourishment - every day, three times a day sometimes.

I am immensely grateful and blessed that He does not abandon His people but gives us these "focus" reminders!  



work and play
family and friends
career and family
God and man

We all have things we balance on a daily basis, and perhaps some are on the list above.  For some of us it seems a little less like an exercise in balance and more like a complicated session of juggling.  We feel as though we must allocate just the right amount of time and energy to the proper persons or activities, but Jesus told Martha in Luke 10 that only one thing is necessary.
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

I am not saying that we are to be lazy or antisocial - notice that Jesus did not chastise Martha for serving.  We have responsibilities and are called to service, but I think sometimes we can get distracted by those that are not serving.  Often we look at the task at hand which at times can be quite daunting, and we begin shifting our eyes to the right and to the left to those who we think could help but aren't.  It is in moments like these that my attitude takes a turn for the foul, and it is all downhill at that point.  Then these verses come to mind - "you are worried about so many things, but only one thing is necessary."  I can hear my Mom and Dad telling me that "you can't worry about what everyone else is doing, you have do what God asks of you."  Another person's actions or inactive state is not the problem - the problem is my attitude which altered when my eyes were not on Jesus and my task.

Mary chose the good part, the one thing that was necessary - sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His word.  During those times when my attitude needs serious adjustment, I must come back to that necessary part.  Just as we cannot adequately exercise our physical bodies without proper nourishment, we cannot adequately serve our church or our community without sitting at His feet listening to His word.  Sometimes we have to "be still and know that He is God." (Psalm 46:10)  That's a difficult one for me - the being still and knowing that He is God.  In my finite mind I feel as though I have to do everything if it is going to be completed and completed the way and at the time I want it to be.  However, that way of thinking is so very contrary to God and His character which leads to me being stubborn and arguing with God.  I must tell you that never really ends well for me - I just have to choose to let Him have it, to surrender my stubborn heart to Him.  What can I say - work in progress here!  These days I am learning the balance of the following list...

grace and truth
femininity and strength
being still and service
yes and no
food and exercise


thus far...

In 1 Samuel 7, the ark has been returned to the Israelites, the people have repented of their sins, and returned to God.  Upon their return, God defeats their enemy and Samuel places a stone called an Ebenezer as a reminder to the Israelites that "thus far the LORD has helped us."  (1 Sam. 7:12)  I love that it says "thus far" - not that the character of God would change, but it serves as a marker for the people of Israel.  Like the mile marker on the side of the highways, this marker indicates Israel's current position as well as how far they have come.  I think we all need these markers, moments or mementos that remind us where we are and where we have come from, as a place of reference to return to when we falter or when things do not seem to be going as we think they should.

The other thing that is so encouraging to me is that Ebenezer does not mean "thus far I have been perfect" or "thus far I have made it on my own."  No, it is "thus far the LORD has helped us."  The people of Israel failed, they stopped serving the God of their fathers, and they worshiped idols - images that they had created.  Stop before you say that they were crazy for bowing down to some statue - an idol can be anything you put where God should be in your life.  I don't know, maybe that doesn't leave the same punched in the gut feeling with you that it gives me.  Maybe you are perfect and have it all together - this is probably the wrong blog for you as I am nowhere near perfection.

I am so easily distracted which leads to just the slightest drift off course; the only problem with a slight drift is that the longer it goes unchecked, the further you are from where you are supposed to be.  The difference for Israel is that they returned and repented.  We all will have times when we miss the mark - it's what you do afterwards that counts.  Return to God with ALL of your heart and remove distractions, idols, anything that you have replaced God with - those are the instructions to Israel, and those are the instructions to all of us.  These are God's instructions to me.  Return.  Repent.  Have your Ebenezer moment.

"Thus far the Lord has helped us."  Ebenezer is not the completion of the journey.  "Thus far" denotes that we have not yet reached our destination.  From the beginning until now, God has been with us and helped us and provided for us - Ebenezer is simply the marker, reminder of the character of God so that we can deny the distractions and give every piece of our hearts to God on a day-to-day and moment-to-moment basis.

Some days, you just need to return and repent and look at the Ebenezer moments in your life.



Sometimes it is the echoes of glory from a past triumph 
or the echoes of laughter and tears from good days that went by all to quickly.
While other times, it is the echoes of what might have been  - 
the what-ifs in life that lead to the very cusp of insanity.
Still other times, it  is the echoes of tragedy -
those instances when everything is still so real that it takes your breath away 
even months and years later.

We all have echoes - the left-over bits and pieces of moments from our life that can be haunting.  I think these snippets or echoes are always with us, but most often it is some outside stimulant that forces retrospection.  The smell of new crayons, the feel of a summer breeze, 90's music on the local radio station are just such stimulants for me!  

These moments of nostalgia or regret bring me to one simple conclusion - it is not just what you do that matters but how you do what do that is of equal importance.  I have been reminded lately that this life is much too short and moments much too precious to do anything half-heartedly or to live without integrity.  How you live matters.  What you do with your given amount of time matters.  Do not for one second think that how you live only affects you - there are people out there waiting for you to get off the bench and into the game.  But to get into the game, you first must let go of those echoes - even those that build the ego.  Nothing we undertake will neither change the past nor bring it back.  It is time to make new echoes - to scream at the top of your lungs, to finally join that gym, train for that 5k, go back to school, make new friends, or start a new career.  

Those people waiting for you to get in the game deserve the best you not some stand-in on auto-pilot.  Today - this instant - is all you are given so decide to make the effort now!


love and work

On Friday May 10th, our Uncle Allen Sharp left this world quite unexpectedly leaving a gaping hole in the fabric of our family.  The days following went by quickly, were filled with many faces asking for answers, and left us feeling achy, hazy.  I remember bits of pieces of those days...

To be quite frank, I have no great words of wisdom or answers to the questions we all feel after an event like this.  All I can tell you is that it sucks - probably the most difficult experience of my life.  I am pretty sure I went through all 7 steps of grief in the first five minutes and have continued to grow through them in each and every five minutes following.

So instead of some quaint offering that would only act as a band-aid for the pain, I thought I would share some of the lessons I learned from my Uncle Allen.

1.  Love - love your spouse, your family, and those friends who think they're family!  My uncle loved his wife - how many construction-type men do you know that willingly go shoe shopping with their wife just to spend time with them?  That's love in my book!  He was a man who was taught to do everything to the best of his ability, and that standard was not compartmentalized into work.  He was also insanely loyal and generous to his friends and family!

2.  Work - if you are able, you should work and work hard.  Like I said, no half-hearted, piss-poor job would satisfy him.  Do it right the first time - don't cut corners and take the simplified, coward's way out.  He had a low tolerance for ignorance also.  If you don't know how to do something, then ask someone who does!  Uncle Allen was the type of person who could do anything he set his mind to, and he could get almost anyone to do exactly what he wanted to do.  Candace and I joked about him being in the mafia - if you wanted something done, you went to Uncle Allen.

I know that is only two lessons, but I think those are the two things he did really well.  I also think that if we can strive to do those things well, then we will have lived a good life at the end.  I don't know why or pretend to understand why God chose that particular Friday, but I have to hold tight to what I know of God - that He is good, that He has a plan.  Even if parts of that plan make me angry.  Not so much angry with God, but angry that death exists at all.  Times like this make me long for God's promises of no more tears and no more death.

Finally, the lesson I learned more through his death than his life.  Life is fleeting, much too short to hold a grudge.  Those things that we were angry about on Thursday didn't really matter Friday morning and should not matter in the weeks and months  to follow.  Sometimes, I think tragic events can be the very thing needed to shake us from our stubborn complacency and help us see that now is the time to forgive.  You cannot do anything about yesterday, and tomorrow is not promised.  So love the people God has placed in your life and do the job He has entrusted you with today!


a little workout story

I am so incredibly blessed to be a part of our church - to be constantly challenged to be who God created me to be and to be reminded that I must align myself with God's Word in order to do that is just one of those things that I am so grateful for.  I really don't know how anyone can go to church anywhere else.  I don't mean to offend you, but that's how awesome our church is.  I digress...

So this past Sunday, John began a series on Identity - who we are in Christ.  I am a little excited.  Don't tell him, but he has kinda been rocking the Sermon series as of late. Who really preaches on the Zombie Apocalypse and doesn't turn it into a "turn or burn" yelling match at minute 5?  Really?  Yeah - he does and it's pretty incredible, so stop reading right now and go watch the sermons.  Go.  Now!  You may return when you have finished.

So identity - who we are in Christ.  That's a big idea for me, and I have to break it down to wrap my head around it.  I began with this relationship thing which, for me, looks like Kay Arthur studies to help guide me in studying the Word and spending time with Him.  (Side note - I have a pretty incredible Bible study partner who is also from my church!!!)  It takes some time, but I begin to see little things coming out in the way I live due to what I was studying.  We built walls with Nehemiah, fought battles courageously with Joshua, understood more of the cycle of behavior of the Israelites with the Judges, was inspired by the excellence of character of Ruth, etc.

One of the things that I was convicted quite strongly about was the idea of Biblical femininity of Esther, Ruth, Debra, etc which begins with balance - something I continue to struggle with everyday.  So breaking it down further, I began with something I could tackle - my weight.  Candace and I joined a gym in March, and we have been going 5-6 days per week since.  It's difficult for me to see a difference, but I know the very real difference in the way I feel.  I feel like the difference I feel and see is part of Christ being lived out in my life in a very real and practical way.  I don't want to be super skinny or crazy ripped workout girl - I just want to be a good steward of my body.  I want who I am and my reputation to give a correct estimation of who He is in my life. I don't pretend that I am perfect at this, but my point is that He is working on me! I am sharing this with you to hopefully inspire you and provide a little more accountability.  If I can do the workout thing - anyone can!

Progress so far!

More to come!  Have a great week - as we all know I have become that girl that only posts about once a week!  
Much Love,


changes and a soapbox

Well hello there!  Remember me?  I am Nicole - the semi-silent blogger.  My apologies for that - things have been slightly crazy around the Beaty-girls' household the past few weeks.  A few things I am quite excited about -

  • Candace and I joined the gym!!!  We have needed to do this for sometime now, but we just had to get motivated.  So the week of Spring Break, we went to a new local gym that is open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week!  Also, since the schedule we keep makes evenings difficult - we are working out most days at around 5:30 in the morning!!!  I don't like seeing more than one 5:30 in my day, but oh my word, it is so worth it!  I think I may be slightly addicted to working out... is that possible?
  • Candace and I designed and proposed a summer program for children - and it was approved!  More about that to come!
  • The school year is almost over... it means things get terribly busy around campus but it also means that a break is coming!!!
So I think that is all on the list at the moment - but I do have a small issue for the soapbox!

Have you seen these?
Source: purehome.com via Hailey on Pinterest

Perhaps I over-think things, but inaccuracy drives me crazy.  Its like English majors throwing temper tantrums because you used the wrong "your/you're" or "there/their/they're."  Please allow me to elaborate on this inaccuracy.  The anchor and the "refuse to sink"  is cool; I mean, I like anchors and refuse to sink is just catchy enough without being too cliche or tacky!  The problem comes when you think of what an anchor is actually used for...  One guess, an anchor has one job, and it is to sink!!!  Anchors are quite large and heavy so that they will sink to the bottom of whatever body of water and keep whatever water craft in one place.  An anchor will not keep you from sinking - it will keep you from drifting! Now if the catchy phrase were to say something like - "my hope is fixed," "refuse to be swayed," "stand firm," etc, then I would not be on my soapbox!  I think my main problem is that people are using this as a tattoo - hello people, it's wrong and permanent!  Like I said I love anchors as tattoos and the message of perseverance is the same but use a different phrase!

Okay soapbox moment over!  I hope you all have a wonderful Monday!


weekend wrap-up

So sorry about the silence around here lately - Candace and I have started working out every morning at 5 a.m. which means we go to bed with the chickens.  Hence the blog silence because most of these are written between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight.  I am working on beginning a new routine moving those late night jobs to early morning jobs!  So now that you are full of my excuses, I thought I would update you on this weekend - Easter weekend.  It was chopped full of so many good things - it is probably one of my favorite times of the year!

The first was on Good Friday and was called "Ascend the Hill" at our church - it is just amazing.  I am still speechless - such a creative way to pause and remember the sacrifice Christ made on the cross.  The event began in the Sanctuary with a beautiful skit based on this one from The Skit Guys and then moved outside to the property to a self-guided tour through the events of Good Friday - the garden, the trial, the scourging, the mocking, and the crucifixion.  Can I tell you it is probably the most moving event I have ever experienced?  You know there are quite a few times when our church does things that make me think I could not love it anymore than I do in that moment, and then we do something else completely unexpected and wonderful again - it's a never ending process for me.  I just love my church - if you don't have a church home, come visit CrossPointe!  
On Saturday, we all went to Mom and Dad's house for dying eggs, hunting of said eggs, decorating the bunny cake, hanging out the three coolest kids ever, and some sister time!    
last pic is courtesy of Candace

Of course Sunday was Easter, and I didn't get a single picture!  Suffice to say it was a beautiful, joyful, and exciting service at CrossPointe followed by lunch at Papaw's, round-table therapy, and front-porch sitting!  I am super blessed to be a part of this community of believers and part of an incredible family!  I hope you all had a blessed Easter Weekend!

Much Love, 



I am super excited today because tomorrow is the last day of school before SPRING BREAK - otherwise known as the week of regaining your sanity just before the school year ends!  I think the children need it just as much as we do!  So in honor of my excitement I offer you a wardrobe wednesday/ throwback thursday combination for your viewing pleasure!

I have recently found Wanelo - it's like Pinterest for clothes and it has a buy now option!  I kinda love it, and I am loving these quote tees that I would pair with a cardigan or blazer that may or may not be completely visible to the whole world.  But you get a chuckle out of it because you it's there!
They make me smile, and I hope they have the exact same affect on you!

So as for the promised throwback thursday combo part of this post...


A little further back...

This was a snow day at the first house Candace and I ever rented together...

Okay friends! Happy Spring Break to everyone!


real marriage

My apologies for the silence as of late - I have no profound rhyme or reason concerning it.  I simply didn't know what I wanted to write - sometimes I get like that.  Caught up in my own thoughts.  Well I have figured out something I need to say.

Candace and I attended Mark Driscoll's Real Marriage Tour Simulcast at our church Friday night - why you may ask.  Well while neither of us is married at the moment, we do hope to get married in the future, and I like to be overly prepared for everything.  It takes me 3 months of research before I decide on a computer, and it is probably a good thing that the contract for our cell phones is 2 years because it takes me that long to choose a different one.  So you can see my dilemma.  I digress, the messages Friday night were great; I really learned a great deal about what a Godly marriage looks like.  We missed the Saturday sessions which were to include one for singles; therefore, because I had to know what he would say to someone in my position, I found a similar sermon on YouTube by Mark Driscoll.  I am posting it here, and I strongly encourage all of you to watch the video, google Mark Driscoll and watch more videos.  He is a very intelligent man of God.  I will tell you that he is blunt - so be prepared.  

I must also tell you that God has been working on my heart and attitude - there are a few things that I must release to Him and some things He is ripping out to replace with new.  I pray He never stops working on me - even if it is quite painful for a season.  Trusting that someone other than me has what's best for me in mind is sometimes difficult for me.  That's just a long way of saying that I am a control freak but a control freak learning every day to let go. 

So...  See ya! Watch the video!  Have a good week!



I must admit I am not completely fond of change - it is just the right amount of unsteady footing that makes me quite nervous.  However, there are times in my life where I find myself wishing for and even seeking change.  I have been feeling a bit restless for sometime now feeling the need to step out of my routine and shake things up a little.  I am not sure what that will exactly look like, but I just know that I need it - change. 

I believe it has been coming, and that God has been preparing me for it.  I am seeing evidence that God is preparing me for something through some of the books of the Bible I have been studying.  I think of Nehemiah's words to the people of Israel building the wall, "do not be afraid of them, remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight!"  Then my mind immediately goes to the Lord preparing Joshua for change, "do not be afraid or discouraged, be strong and courageous, for I will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua is further instructed not to "turn to the right or to the left" but to remain faithful to the Words and Commands of God.

I feel as though I am standing on the cusp of something immense, and I must say it is not without trepidation or sadness.  Notwithstanding, I know that I need whatever change is coming.  We must keep moving and breathing and living - stagnation leaves us lifeless.

I simply pray for the strength and courage to stay the course and to remain faithful to the Words and Commands of Christ!


odd life, sunshine, and joshua

Okay I will be completely honest and say that the post every day thing does not work for me!  So for now the posts will be sporadic but will probably encompass one of the five themes I listed here. 

So today, I was thinking of sharing some of my favorite things with you.  Candace and I love movies especially on Sunday afternoon when we are resting before gearing up for another work week.  This Sunday, we found The Odd Life of Timothy Green. 
I must say that I loved it.  I love the idea of giving love and family to a child who does not have either.  When I think of what I want for the future, I think of family - a husband, children who may or may not be of the same ethnic background but are loved.  I feel like I have been so incredibly blessed by the family I have that I must share.
I am not sure if it was the weeks of rain that felt like years or being cooped up because of all the rain, but I had felt a little down the past few weeks.  I just felt bogged down - does that make sense?  And when you feel down, everything can discourage you to the point that all you want to do is curl in the fetal position under a blanket on the couch.  Then there were a couple of events that transpired that helped me out of the bog - it stopped raining, the sun came out, and I began studying Joshua.  So I have two new favorite things - sunshine and the book of Joshua - although I am sure sunshine and I will not be on friendly terms come mid-July and August.  For now, I am happy to see it - I needed it.

Okay, so I hope you all have had a great weekend!  What are some of your favorite things this week?


Weekend Wrap Up + Message Monday

It finally stopped raining... and then it snowed.

Then the sun came out again - I had almost forgot what it looked like.  I did forget to take a pic because I was so busy absorbing as much as possible!

This weekend consisted of working at a basketball game Friday night, and spending some much needed sister time on Saturday.  I know you are thinking, "you live with your sister, why would you need sister time?"  However, Candace, Brit, and I rarely have time to just go shopping together - don't get me wrong, none of us would trade those 3 precious babies for anything in this world.  It's just nice to have some good quality sister time where you burst out laughing at random moments and you communicate completely in movie quotes completely understanding what the other person is referring to.  I realized a few years ago that the three of us have a unique relationship with each other and with our family - not many people can say that they are as close to their families as we are.  A fact which breaks my heart - I pray and hope that all children know as much love growing up as we have known in our lives.  

We didn't take a ton of pics Saturday, but I did manage to snap a pic during lunch of the two crazies - from this pic you would never guess that they are supposed to be grown adults.  

Seeing as today is "message monday," I thought I would share with you a verse from the Bible study I am working on right now!  Yes it is another Kay Arthur study, and yes you still need to look up her studies!  They rock - I promise!  So throughout some of the other studies I have done, I have learned that one struggle that is quite prevalent in the life of believer is one of fear and discouragement.  I know it is so easy to become afraid of living out God's call and to become discouraged in the midst of the task, but I didn't realize that this is something that even those in the Bible dealt with.  For some reason, I think of them as "super-Christians" instead of the normal people God chose to use. Those normal people, like us, needed encouragement, and God says He will provide all our needs.


God is speaking to Joshua in Joshua 1:9 as Joshua is preparing to take over leadership of the Israelites after Moses and to lead them into the promised land - a somewhat daunting task, don't you think?

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Another translation says "do not be terrified or discouraged."  I love this - it just makes my day!  The sun came out literally and, not to sound cheesy, I felt like this verse was God pouring sunshine into my soul! I pray it brings some sunshine into your life as well!


wardrobe + throwback

Okay so I am not so sure this posting everyday thing is for me - so stick with me and I will figure this out eventually.  Tonight I am combining the past two days to make one fabulous wardrobe + throwback!  For your reading/viewing pleasure...

Okay so this wardrobe wednesday does not feature my wardrobe - my apologies!  However, I have to share with you my MOM'S rocking style!  Yes, those are skinny jeans in the first pic, and yes my Mom has perfectly paired pewter and pumpkin! (Try saying that 5 times fast) She has such great style, and I love it!  Go ahead, admit it - my Mom is cooler than yours! 

Now as for the promised "throwback!"  We have pictures from 6 years ago.  The top is when Brit graduated high school - man I want to be that size and that color again.  The bottom is from one of those nights in downtown Hattiesburg that can only be described as college days.  These girls in both pictures are some of my best and closest friends.

Okay that is it for me tonight!  

Much Love,


thrifty tuesday

So one of the things we do quite well in our family is hunt for a bargain!  We love all things vintage, broken, unique. You can basically point to anything in our apartment and get a full back story that includes either someone making it or it coming from Dirty Cheap.  My mom even has several ornaments on the Christmas tree that she has "rescued" - angels or Santa Clauses with missing arms or legs or wings are all welcome on her tree.  We like taking in things that everyone else might not want.  We also love things that come with their very own story, and that is the basis of the "thrifty tuesday" post.

So I have for you a few of our "thrifted" and diy Christmas decorations as well as a great pair of shoes from the ever fabulous - Dirt Cheap!

Christmas stockings made from part of a burlap bag found at the Rusty Chandelier - BTW if you live in Laurel, and have not been you are fifty shades of crazy!  Third Thursday - Sunday of every month!  They are super wonderful people that know us when we go in now and keeps Candace in stock of vintage cameras!

Ornaments on our tree - Dirt Cheap for the felt white trees and Rusty Chandelier for the rust snowflakes, snowmen, and bells.  Garland made from muslin and lace tied onto green yarn!


I hope this inspires you to never pay full price for anything ever again!

Much Love,