Life in Quarantine-Part 2

Today I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve done around the house during the quarantine.

Cleanliness makes me happy but it is an every day chore and takes a lot of time and effort. Dealing with scoliosis, I never know when I may have an off day and feel like doing nothing. So when I get something special accomplished, it always makes me feel so good!

Wednesday I got up with set goals and intentions of things I wanted to get done. As I got ready to begin, I got a notification on my phone that one of my family’s favorite singers was going live on Facebook. So I tuned in to him singing praise and worship and giving an encouraging word.

A lot of you know that when we moved in this house, I went from having no pantry at all to having a pretty nicely sized large one. It appeared full. Every time I opened it cups would fall on me. A big, unnecessary tub of grocery bags took up most of my bottom shelf. It was a mess. So I spontaneously decided to take everything out, throw stuff (mainly the hoarded plastic cups that my kids will never miss), and reorganized! Now it just needs re-stocked!

I propped my phone up in the pantry and reorganized while singing praise and worship with Jason Crabb. How cool is that?

I didn’t think to get a before picture but here is the new and improved pantry that will not be neglected again.. I hope.

Of course I clean every day, but I like to take on one big “extra” project a day to help me stay organized and feel productive. Over the last couple of weeks my spring cleaning mode has really kicked in.

Another day, I decided to tackle our master closet. It was horrible!! We couldn’t open the door all the way and we couldn’t walk in the floor due to shoes being everywhere. The main reason being that the shoe rack we have is of no account and if you don’t put the shoes in just the right way, they will slide off, but David and I both are bad about taking our shoes off at the closet door and leaving them. I couldn’t even find certain pairs that I wanted to wear. The struggle is real!

So I pulled out everything and redid our closet. I got rid of a lot of clothes and shoes and junk in the process and it’s so very nice to be able to actually WALK in my WALK-IN closet!

Lastly, I thought I’d share what I did yesterday. Although he loves us being home all the time with him, I’m not so sure my Oscar was enjoying this whole quarantine thing yesterday. He found out it would mean that he had to lose about 10 pounds… in hair! He feels so much better when his hair is short. He is more spunky. But he HATES the process.

QUARANTINE +SPRING FEVER=FULL GROOM

Yep. He didn’t like mommy having the time to cut his hair and bathe him, but I love the quality time with my fur baby. I love making him feel, look, and smell better. And- once a groomer, always a groomer. Sometimes I miss grooming!

Isn’t he too stinking cute, y’all!?!?

So, life in quarantine hasn’t been all that bad. It’s been productive. It’s been restful. It’s been stress-free!

So whatever you need done, let this be encouragement to take this time to do it! The Bible tells us to do everything for the Glory of God. Take pride in what you do! I promise you’ll feel so much better and you’ll be happy with yourself once you have!

Check back tomorrow for more of what we’ve been doing during this time of life in quarantine!

Life in Quarantine-Part 1

Everyone thinks that being a stay at home mama is so easy. We don’t have a right to be tired. We don’t have a right to get behind on cleaning and laundry. Our kids should be fed a nice home cooked meal and showered every night before bed. Right?

Well the reality of a stay at home mom is not at all like that. I stay exhausted and drained most of the time. I struggle to find “me” time. I get to bed late and struggle to sleep before I have to get up at 530 to get Clay ready for the bus. I’m constantly dragging. I go pick up my groceries, get home and put them up just in time to wait for Clay to get home on the bus, cook dinner for David before he heads off to work. Homework. Showers. Get the boys to bed early. Clean up after them and wash dishes. Take care of the pets and before I know it, it’s midnight. I wanted some time to craft or play the guitar and just wind down for a minute. But I have to shower and get in bed myself because 530 comes early to do it all over again.

I shared all that to say this- although I don’t necessarily agree with everything the government has done and is doing in this time, God has forced me to slow down. No ball practice every other night. No rushing. No looking at the clock to time out our lives. No stress. Relief. I am enjoying these moments. All to soon this will come to an end and our busy lives will start back up again. I am taking this for what it’s worth and trying to make the best of it for myself and my family.

Over the next few days, I’d like to share with you what my life looks like in quarantine. Things I’m doing with my boys to keep them entertained. Things I’m doing around my house that have needed to be done for so long but keeps getting put off. Memories being made.

I like to think God has given us this time to have family time without all the chaos. He’s given us this time to relax and catch up on rest. He’s given us this time to focus on Him, to put all our trust in a him, and to learn to wait on Him to move in His timing.

So keep a lookout for my blog over the next few days and hopefully weeks as I start up my blog again because hey I have time now! I hope to inspire you to be positive in these moments. Maybe I can give all you mamas out there fresh ideas to entertain your littles.

I leave you with this scripture, a thought for the day: “ Be still and know that I am God. I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10

Slow down. Breathe. Focus on what is important to you. Family. Love. Life. Happiness. God. Trust Him.

God Only Knows

We all have junk. We all have skeletons in our closets. We all deal with stuff.

It’s funny because I’ve had a song on my heart the last few days that I wanted to share with you and while I was searching the video for it, another video caught my attention and I couldn’t pass it.

Who knew that Dolly Parton did a song with For King and Country?

I did not, but of course, the Dolly fan in me and the contemporary gospel love made me curious, so I had to watch it.

I’ve never heard the song until tonight, but God knew I needed to hear it.

The song says “God only knows what you’ve been through. God only knows what they say about you. God only knows how it’s killing you but there’s a kind of love that only God knows. God only knows what you’ve been through. God only knows what they say about you. God only knows the real you ’cause there’s a kind of love that God only knows.”

Wow. I don’t really need to say much about it. The lyrics speak for themselves.

If you only knew the kind of day I had today with a trying 4 year old. If you only knew the kind of week I had with so much going on. If you only what I’ve been through in the last year, 5 years, even 10.

So often we hide behind a smile or a laugh. You never know what is hidden behind the happy face. Some times people are going through tragedy or heartache beyond our comprehension and we don’t even see it.

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve found myself thinking someone had it all together and then I found out that they were going through something major- divorce, financial strain, abuse, suicidal thoughts. Never take someone’s smile for granted.

When I heard this song, I immediately thought about specific moments in my life when I felt like no one truly understood what I was going through. Without knowing God and being surrounded in His love, I wouldn’t have made it. It’s incredible to think about the love He has for us. How He is the only One who knows that deep of a love and He chooses to share it with us.

I’m so undeserving. My skeletons should remain hidden. Yet with Him I’m naked. He knows every mistake. Every flaw. Every failure. He knows what I’ve done. He knows what I’ve been through and still I’m surrounded with the kind of love that “God only knows.”

Music is a way of life for me. I do not go one day without music. Whether it’s on the radio, playing the guitar, or just humming a tune as I’m cleaning. It never ceases to amaze me how God uses my passion to speak to me.

As I sit down on my bed to just enjoy a moment of peace now that the boys are in bed and I have a free moment, I am tired and frustrated. My four year old gave me a terrible 2s kind of day and I am at my wits end. Someone did something towards me this week that kinda bothered me and it’s on my mind again. I’m questioning my worth as a mother, a wife, a friend. What am I doing wrong? I’m struggling. No one understands. But God. He pops this video in front of me and urged me to watch. To listen. BOOM. There it is. That encouragement I needed. That call: “Hello! Daughter! I’m here. I know what you’ve been through. I know what you’re dealing with. I know how you’re feeling and since you won’t just allow yourself to bask in my love I’ll shove it in your face using a method that is so very important to you- music. Now do you feel my love? Let it drown your worries because I know all about them. I LOVE YOU.” … and that is all that matters. He loves me. He knows. He is here.

Follow the link to the music video. Listen to every word. God knows. He hears your cry.

How I needed this tonight. I’m surround by a kind of love that God only knows and I’m feeling it tonight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFiyEFmIXvA&feature=share

**Happy Labor Day! It pays to work hard. Proud to be an American who is allowed to work and be recognized for it. Grateful to have a husband that works hard to provide for our family!

A Non-Political Post About Politics (you have to read to understand)

This is not a political post. You can call it a rant or whatever you please, but I like to think I’m giving good advice.

Let me start by saying I don’t care or need to know who you vote for. It should be a decision based on your beliefs and morals. I have my opinions but I’m not trying to push them on you. I also won’t tell you who I vote for on a normal basis. Today, it’s just relevant to my post.

Today we early voted for the Congress NC Representative.

I have a really hard time keeping my mouth shut with people who complain about who wins an election and they didn’t even vote themselves. You want change? You want things to go your way? Get out and vote!

You say-” well the last time I voted, my candidate didn’t win so I find it pointless to do it again.” What if this year you were that one vote that breaks the tie? What if you realized your vote really does matter?

If you vote, you have every right to complain; however, I suggest praying about it instead.

I don’t do politics. I watch. I pay attention. I agree. I disagree. I choose the candidate(s) that best fit my morals and beliefs. I do my part. I vote. I don’t debate. I don’t explain my reasoning for each vote.

I vote to protect my rights. I vote for my kids and future grandkids. I vote for my beliefs. I vote for my faith. I vote for my freedom. I vote for my choice. I vote for my values. I vote for what I believe to be the best for our great nation!

The Bible tells us to choose wise men that are well seasoned and He will appoint them to be our rulers. “Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes and I will appoint them as your heads.” -Deuteronomy 1:13

If I could give you one piece of political advice it’s this- pay attention, process, choose who represents your values, and then VOTE!!

My husbands sweet grandmother is 80 years old. She’s never voted before. David is very patriotic and very committed to our wonderful country (as we all should be). My understanding is that he convinced her the importance of voting to protect our beliefs and values and she decided she finally wanted her voice to be heard. He was so proud to have helped her vote for the very first time today and I’m certain she will begin voting regularly now!

It’s so important people! Don’t complain if you haven’t done your part!!

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!

P.S.- we took some future voters as well and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get some books while we were at the library!!

Love, Knowing You are Loved

Do you ever feel like you give more love than you receive?

Sometimes I feel like I love too much.

I saw a post on Facebook a while back that says “I think some of us were born to give more love than we will ever see in return.”

Have you ever felt like that? I certainly have! I always feel like I’ve loved to the point of vulnerability. I always get hurt most by the people I love.

But-Isn’t that why we are here on earth? To share God’s love? To love His people? To shine a light in darkness?

Maybe that statement is somewhat true. Maybe God put me here with a heart full of love- for everyone. Even strangers. Because of that love I hurt even when strangers are hurting. I carry burdens alongside of friends and family. I ache when they ache.

Because of the love I have for others, God is able to remind me every day that He loves me so much more. So much more than I can fathom.

Tonight, whoever you may be that is reading this blog, whether I know you or not, I need you to know a few things. One thing is that I love you and have a burden for your soul. I will pray with and for you. I will be a listening ear. I will encourage and inspire you as much as you allow and God permits. But the second thing, the most important is this- God loves you so very much. More than your mama, more than your boyfriend, more than any human could ever love you. It’s time you put Him first and accept that love.

Never allow yourself to feel unloved. The people around you may fail you, but your Father never will.

I’m so grateful to be loved. I know in my darkest moment when I feel like no one around me cares, I can go to Him and rest in His safe harbor knowing I am loved by the only One that matters.

Thank you, Lord for Your never ending love!

A Prayer From My Heart

Tonight, I’m doing something a little different on the blog.

Tomorrow, school starts back for my boys and most of the kiddos around here. Tomorrow work is back for all of my teacher friends. Tomorrow, the roads will be busier and homes will be emptier.

Tonight, I feel led to share my prayer with you.

I have a lot of family that needs prayer tonight. Sicknesses, surgeries, heartache. I have many friends and church family that need prayer tonight. I also know a lot of kiddos that need prayer tonight before a new school year begins tomorrow.

I’m asking that you say a special prayer for not only my requests but your own.

Dear Lord,

Tonight I’m coming to you. An open book. A friend, a family member, a mother with a heavy heart. I have so many requests flowing through my mind.

I pray that you would walk beside each child as they enter the doors of the school for another year. Relieve nerves, stress, and anxiety. Calm fears. Keep them safe. Help them learn and build friendships. Most importantly, let them feel Your presence with them. Bring them all home safely to their moms and dads.

I pray for the teachers and all staff members that will interact with the children. That they have rest and encouragement. That they have excitement. That they have clean minds and fresh desires to see the children progress. That they have big dreams to build these children’s futures. That they have the strength and patience they need to fulfill their duties. That they get breaks when they need them. That they are a blessing to the children and that they are in turn blessed by You.

I pray that you would heal each of my family members and friends and church family that are dealing with physical illnesses and pain from surgeries. I pray for complete healing. Divine healing. That all pain be relieved. That all issues be subsided. That You bring rest. You know the needs. You know each name on my heart. I pray that you would touch the doctors involved in all things and bless these individuals on my heart.

I pray for loved ones that are dealing with “junk” right now. Hurt. Anxiety. Depression. Loss. I pray for comfort and peace. I pray for restoration. I pray for all that are going through Spiritual battles tonight. Bring rest to the weary. Love to those that feel unloved. Light to those that feel they are wandering in darkness.

I pray for a touch of God on all my loved ones. All needs, big and small. Healing. Peace. Restoration. Hope. Joy. Love. Comfort. Rest.

Amen

Tonight I’m writing with a heavy heart, but a trusting heart. I know I serve a God that is able and His will is grander than my own.

The Bible says that when two or three are gathered in prayer, He is there, listening, hearing your heart’s plea.

So a little different, I know, but tonight I felt the need to put it out there. We all deal with stuff. As much as I ask you to pray for my needs, I would love to pray for yours. Feel free to drop a comment or privately message me if you are in need of prayer. There is nothing too big, too small, or unimportant in God’s eyes. I’m standing on faith knowing He’s heard my prayer tonight and He will hear yours as well.

His Grace is Sufficient

Hello readers!

I know it has been a long time since I’ve written and I apologize. I felt the need to take a break and be free with my family. We had a busy summer and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it with my boys, but I felt the urge to write again. So, I’m back, for now anyways.

I want to share a scripture that’s been on my heart the past few days. I feel like there’s someone out there that needs to be reminded of this verse:

“And He said to me ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me.” -II Corinthians 12:9

I’ve had a lot happen in the last year. So many hardships. Sicknesses and disease in my family and myself, loss, stress, so many heartaches. I’ve had people that I love most hurt me. But each day I’m reminded of the peace that comes only from God and that He alone is the controller of all.

One of my favorite things about living out in the country is the peacefulness. I love animals and I love nature. We bought our home a year ago and it came with so much beauty. We have all kinds of plants from blueberry bushes to pecan trees, to apple trees and peach trees and more. We have plants that bloom a different blossom every season. We have cardinals and blue jays and robins and hummingbirds (yes I have feeders out for them and yes I have a few that like to fly in my house on occasion). We have deer and rabbits and of course, snakes. I love them all.

When I’ve had a rough day or I’ve been really down, I love to go out and walk around and take pictures of the beauty of God’s creation. There’s a peace that comes in the birds chirping and trees blowing in the breeze. There’s even a peace in the wet nose of the rescued pit bull on my heels. For even a moment I can let all hurt, all tears, all stress, all worries fade and I feel the peace of Abba through His creation. I am reminded that the Creator of all this beauty showers me in grace and love.

Your grace God. It’s sufficient. It covers every hurt. Every heartache. Every broken piece. It mends me.

Today, I encourage you to lean on His grace. Allow it to cover the hurt, the depression, the anxiety. Let His power provide peace. Even in the hardest of moments.

My strength is in Him. My peace comes from Him. I will rest in His sufficient grace.

It’s good to be back.

Prayer is the Key, Faith Turns the Key

Life isn’t always easy.

We have our ups. We have our downs. There are people who try to hide their upsets. There are people who allow it to control their lives. There are people who choose to look at the positive and fight to overcome it.

I like to think I’m the last one. I try to stay positive in all things. I try to be encouraging to others even when I’m in the lows. I try to find God’s purpose in everything.

Tonight, I’m facing a struggle. I’ve tried to find a way to be positive. I’ve tried to preach to myself.

Through it all God is faithful.

It’s amazing how He works.

As I face life’s tough decisions and trials, sometimes I need encouragement of my own. Sometimes I need assurance.

Discouraged as I feel right now, I opened my facebook and a post with a scripture had been shared. Of course it stood out to me so I looked it up and just look what I came to read:

“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭11:22-24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Woah. Yep. I needed this more tonight than I would’ve yesterday, more than I will tomorrow. It hit home with what I’m dealing with tonight. It was shared for me to see just at the perfect moment.

The Bible says that God knows our hearts and He will grant the desires of our hearts if we are faithful to Him, praying, and trusting in Him.

I have a few desires that need to be fulfilled. I have a few heartbreaks that need to be mended. I have a few pains that need to be healed. I have several prayers that need to be answered.

When I was a child, mom mom used to sing a song in church. It says “I can pray out loud or silently. I can pray standing tall or on my knees. It really makes no difference just that prayer is the key, ’cause prayer changes things and it changes me.” (Link below to hear whole song)

Oh the truth in those lyrics. Prayer is the key. It’s the answer to all our problems.

Prayer Changes Me

Prayer only works if followed by faith. Faith turns the key of prayer. You see asking God does nothing if you don’t truly believe that He will answer.

Tonight, I’m praying for specific things in my life and I’m believing He will answer in correct timing in the correct way.

He’s God . Tonight I put my trust in that simple fact.

Tonight, I encourage you to put your faith solely in Him. Whatever you need, pray. Make sure your prayers are grounded in faith. Trust Him.

We can’t rush God. His timing is perfect. Not our own.

Sometimes I Cry

As Christians, we feel like we are supposed to be bubbly and joyous every single minute of every single day. As a matter of fact, a lot of non-believers expect that from us. But in reality, no one can be happy 100% of the time.

We are all human and we all face struggles and trials at times.

A lot of my friends and myself are still hurting from different losses of loved ones in the past few months. A lot of people are struggling with finances or relationships. The truth is, you don’t know someone’s story just by looking at them.

But this post is not meant to bring up your heartaches. I’m here to tell you it’s ok.

It’s ok to hurt, to cry, to feel sadness, or to take as long as you need to grieve.

One of my favorite songs says this:

“Sometimes I hurt. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I can’t get it right no matter how hard I seem to try. Sometimes I fall down, stumble over my own disguise. I try to be strong as the whole world looks on, but sometimes alone I cry.”

~Sometimes I Cry, Jason Crabb

No matter your situation in life, it’s ok to cry. God doesn’t expect us to be happy every moment. He wants us to know we have hope and healing in Him.

This morning as we are headed to church, on a rainy and gloomy day, with a lot of things heavy on my heart, I’m ready to trade those sorrows for the joy of the Lord.

I challenge you today to cry as often as you need. Let it all out. But know that He is there waiting to pick up your pieces and carry you through it. Hold on to that hope this morning!

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:1‬ ‭NKJV

If you would like to hear the whole song that I mentioned in the text, follow the link below:

Sometimes I Cry

Perfect Imperfection

This week I’ve been forced to stay at home. Doctors orders. It’s given me a lot of time to think about things. To try to de-stress.

I’ve realized a lot this week.

One of the hardest things to admit in this life is when we are struggling. No matter what we are struggling with it always seems easier to keep it in and play the part. Maybe if we act like our lives are perfect and happy all the time, no one will notice right?

Everyone wears a mask. Everyone is hiding something.

Anger. Resentment. Hurt. Sadness. Sickness. Weakness. Grief.

Not everyone can move on like the next person. Each ones emotions are different. Some hurt longer. Some never get over it.

I’m writing to you tonight to say I am so perfectly imperfect. I’m struggling. There’s a lot weighing on my mind.

But this week I’ve also had more time to dig deep. To grasp a fuller understanding the God has a special place in His heart for the perfectly imperfect.

He sees all. He knows all. He hears all.

Behind the mask. Behind the smile. He knows what’s going on.

Every single time I begin to let discouragement take over, He reminds me of His love. I’m perfectly designed in His image to fulfill His plan in my life. My imperfections are His to mold into the woman He has created me to be.

My months of struggling have opened my eyes to some very important things in my life.

Tonight I’m thankful to be perfectly imperfect. It allows me to see the room that God has to work on me.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Tonight I’m giving my life to the Potter’s hand.

Lord, “take me. Mold me. Use me. Fill me.” I give my life to You to fix the imperfections, to make new.

This week has been refreshing.