Heading Home!

We got up on Saturday morning, did some packing, counted towels and sheets that we had to return, threw out old food and deflated our pool floats. And then we hit the road for home! We decided to stop for Waffle House along the way.

We also went to the new Publix that opened while we were gone. We were out of groceries, and I was super-excited about seeing the new store. It did not disappoint.

And then we got to go pick up our sweet little Rolo from her Social Pet Daycare and Hotel. We missed her terribly!! She was so happy to see us and has loved being home. They said she did great while she was there. Played and ate and had a spa day!


We are all happy to be back under one roof together! It was one of the best vacations I can remember. Thankful for the time with family that we don’t see very much. Thankful for time with friends that feel like family. And so thankful for all of the sunshine and beach time we had. Just so thankful.

Edisto, day seven


More of the beach, more of the sand, more hunting for shells, more wind in our hair, more friend time, more photos, more tired.

We took a quick trip to Whaley’s for a late lunch/early dinner. The kids played Drive and Seek on the golf carts. And Major, well…we aren’t sure what Major was doing! Things were getting crazy on our last night. And I had to step into “Mom-mode” and have everyone start cleaning up. The last day at the beach can be so sad! But at least we have the memories AND all these photos!



I wanted one last time on the beach, so Josh and I thought we’d scoot over to the sand, but it was so windy that we turned around and got the kids and a kite and flew it high!

And Molly took some creative liberties with my phone and captured some fun shots.

Time for our last sleep at the beach. Sad!

Edisto, day four


The morning started in my usual spot on the bed with my Bible. Then, after a walk and some breakfast, we all went shopping. But not before Mack and Josh spent time looking through Josh’s old football cards. Mack was super-excited that PawPaw brought them for him.

We also had a little devotion time before hitting the shops.




Lunch time!!


Then, more pool time, play time and cooking to end the day.


Edisto, day two

Our family vacation was last week; I tried to daily upload photos here so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed with keeping up with what we did each day. So here is day two of our vacation that is now over. But I enjoy the photos and the memories! The laundry, not so much.

Mornings were started with coffee and long walks, then beach time.









Lots of fun at the beach!


Then, some pool time and a ride to the Ice Cream Shop!



A beautiful sunset to end a beautiful day at Edisto.


Stopping Short?

Forks left in the sink. Wet clothes left in the washing machine. Cups and paper plates left in the living room. Lollipop wrapper left sitting on the counter where someone opened it. Shoes left here, there and yonder. Dog food bag left sitting on the counter. (And the most disgusting one: pee left in the toilet!!)

These things scream at me that every one in this family is stopping short. Stopping short of opening that dishwasher and putting the dirty dishes you just used away. Stopping short of getting the laundry all the way done. Stopping short of taking your snack mess out of the living room. Stopping short by not throwing away the paper from the candy you are walking around eating. Stopping short of putting shoes back in their proper place because it is just too easy to slip them off and forget about them. Stopping short of finishing the whole job of feeding the dog by leaving the bag of food out on the counter. And stopping short of being a decent human being by not flushing the toilet for goodness sake! It all pushed me over the edge, and I came up with a theme for this season of life: TAKE THE NEXT STEP.  Don’t stop short; quit being lazy and selfish. Even if you are thirsty, the next step would be to ASK SOMEONE ELSE IF THEY WOULD LIKE SOMETHING TO DRINK. Or say you are doing laundry and find Mom’s towels in the dryer ready to be folded.  Don’t just take the clean towels and flop them on her bed. FOLD THE TOWELS AND PUT THEM AWAY FOR YOUR DEAR MOTHER WHO GAVE YOU LIFE. I think you get my point. And I bet you have these same issues in your home. None of us want selfish kids, growing up to be selfish adults that never take the next step. Adults that always stop short of excellence. 

Well, this theme of stopping short has also been coming up in my walk with The Lord. I have been so convicted about my prayer life. On Sunday mornings Dr. Shaddix has been teaching through some of the Psalms and has emphasized the WHY of our prayers. Over and over the psalmist prays or deliverance SO THAT He can tell of God’s faithfulness or tell of God’s glory and goodness to future generations. 

Psalm 79:9-10 “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your Name; And deliver us and forgive us for Your Name’s sake.”

Psalm 71: 17-18 “O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.”

Psalm 67:1-2 “God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us—That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.”

And there are many more. It got me thinking about my prayers of late. I asked myself, “What would be the next step in this prayer? How can I not stop short in my prayers—praying from selfish motives or out of a desire for an easy life?”

For example, I pray for my home school curriculum choices. This season is usually when all the decisions for the fall have been made, but this year I am struggling with a couple of decisions. I am researching and reading and looking at samples of curriculum online. I am comparing prices, and I am tired of thinking about it all if I am honest. But I rolled this care on to The Lord, knowing He cares for me. And I am no longer praying that I would know which curriculum to buy so that I can stop researching and thinking about it. I am not going to pray that I choose the right curriculum so that I don’t mess my kids up for whatever college they want to go to or whatever is next for their lives. I don’t pray for the perfect home school curriculum so that I won’t be embarrassed by their education at the end of their high school career. But a better prayer is that I would choose the right curriculum for each of my kids so that they are prepared for whatever God has for them. I want them to pursue Him above all else and walk out the purposes He already has planned for each of them SO THAT THEIR LIVES BRING HIS NAME MUCH GLORY! NOT so they won’t embarrass me or cause me trouble or heartache in the years to come.

I pray for our neighbors to want to come to church or want to have a relationship with us because I don’t want to go to church alone week after week. Well, a better prayer is that God would stir our neighbors’ hearts and other people we come in contact with during the week SO THAT HIS NAME IS GLORIFIED THROUGH SALVATIONS AND CHANGED LIVES. 

I pray for health, especially when I am sick because I don’t like how I feel when I am sick. I want to be healthy because life works best when I am healthy. But what about praying that God would keep me healthy SO THAT I CAN BE PHYSICALLY ABLE TO MOVE AND GO ABOUT LIFE HELPING OTHERS AND SHARING JESUS WITH PEOPLE ALL ALONG THE WAY? 

I want our church to find a new pastor because it would be nice to know who the next leader is, so we can move on with the “new.” Well, what about praying that God would bring the right pastor soon SO THAT OUR CHURCH CAN MOST EFFECTIVELY GLORIFY GOD’S NAME AND BE A STRONG CHURCH, READY TO REACH OUR CITY FOR JESUS? 

As I have examined my prayers, I am finding that in most of my requests, I am stopping short. In most of my prayers, there is a next step, a more Christ-honoring step that purifies my motives and my heart, that takes the focus off of making my life easier and more comfortable, and rather making my life more like Christ. And I am reminded of taking the next step any time I find dishes in the sink, laundry sitting the washer, shoes left randomly in the house or that blasted toilet sitting there in need of a flush. TAKE THE NEXT STEP!

Progress: Psalm 13

This morning I woke up with a full heart and tired eyes.  Last night we hosted the youth group, and I loved having everyone here! They ate pizza, wings, meatballs, chips and desserts and washed it all down with more Coca-Cola products than their parents would want to know. They played games outside and a new game called “Four On a Couch” inside. Some parents stayed, so Josh and I were able to get to know some folks better. I am always so happy to have people in our home. It just seems right and good. It was easier in Georgia simply because we knew more people and led a Sunday school class full of awesome families. The support system we had there was amazing, and I didn’t realize how good it was until it was gone. But God has used this new journey to pull me aside and be with Him…reminding me He is enough, He is the One who understands me perfectly and sees me all the time, the One Who loves me best. It has been so good for me. And so hard.

In my Bible this morning, I was reading in Psalm 13 and saw written next to it in my handwriting, “All 2017.” 

“How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever?

How long will You hide Your face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day?

How long will my enemy be exalted over me?”

This most definitely described how I felt “all the day” of 2017. The Psalmist shows us that it’s right and appropriate to take our sorrows to God. He is a safe place for my honest cries.

“Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;

Enlighten my eyes, or I will seep the the sleep of death,

And my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’

And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.”

He continues with prayer for help. And he is urgent about it. He really wants an answer.  I have learned more about praying this way over the last few months. It isn’t easy for me to ask God to hurry up and answer me or to quickly come to my aid….I tend to just think, “Well, He knows best. I will just wait.” Dr. Jim Shaddix has been preaching at our church and reminded us to pray with urgency AND AT THE SAME TIME remember that God #1) is always on time and #2 )always has the best interest of His children in mind.

“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; 

My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.

I will sing to The LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

He ends in praise, and like G.Campbell Morgan says, “The only explanation of this complete change of tone in the song is the fact of God, in Whose presence the man poured out his heart.” So true! The presence of God, the comfort of God changes me. The progress made in this chapter is astounding, and I have a real sense of progress as I sit here in Charlotte today. I am thankful that the Lord has allowed me to experience hope in Him alone, to catch glimpses of a hopeful future here. He is working in my heart, and He is working in my circumstances. I haven’t always seen it clearly, but I have grown in my trust in my God who is full of lovingkindness towards me. He has dealt bountifully with me, and He will continue to do so.