Beach and Awards

Moms don’t get Awards Day so I awarded myself a beach trip. With Ruby who needed an award for completing her first year of college so well! And Molly had an actual awards ceremony at school this morning. Here are the photos—-maybe more words can accompany these memories when this crazy May settles down some. I definitely have words in my heart for all of it.

Ruby and I enjoyed our time away. I love the sun and the beach is just gorgeous and peaceful. I started the morning alone with coffee and my Bible. I went on a long Beach walk every morning and missed Josh on those but spent so much time in prayer. Just talking to the Lord and listening to His voice. I was reminded how He works wonders in people’s lives. Wonders—things that make you wonder how in the world something happened—only God is the answer. So while I wish I didn’t have so much on my mind and feel the need to get home to my to do list, I still enjoyed a break from the regular routine of life.

And I made it home early to see Molly receive the Ignite Band Award, the Christian Leadership award and to be recognized for art, leadership and Christian service. Proud Mom and Dad.

It’s May.

I woke up pretty early this morning because I had to take Mack to school and drop my car off to be serviced and get to the gym.

I sat down, coffee in hand, and opened my journal. I love a fresh start, so May 1st falling on a Monday was energizing to me. However, without being fully awake, I circled May 20 at the top of my journal.

It took me only half a second to realize what I had done and scratch it out, but what I had done stopped me in my tracks. May 20th is the date that sticks out to me this month. It’s the date my mom died by suicide.

To be honest, I don’t have time to wallow in sorrow or even to reflect all that much. May is filled with moving Ruby home from college, Senior Sunday for Molly, Senior chapel, Mother’s Day, a beach trip for Ruby and me, Molly’s graduation party on the 20th, Mack gets his braces off, they have exams and last day of school and senior trip and Ruby’s 19th birthday and a family trip, and much more!

But I also know I must make some time for reflection, some time to check in on my heart, check on my dad and sisters and just be sad for all we lost that day. For all the memories we haven’t made with her these last four years. For my kids to grow up without grandmothers (Josh’s mom passed away in 2012) makes me sad. Grandmothers are just the best. They think you’re awesome all the time. And they have the best stories about your parents.

So as I closed out my time with the Lord, I reflected on one of my favorite verses these days—Psalm 143:8 “Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.”

I love that last line, and I’ve rolled it around in my mind and my prayers lately. There are parts of our current circumstances that I don’t like one bit. Yet, this is where God has me today. These are the things I face and the people I’m to interact with these days. At the moment, there’s no escape. I can’t speed up this season to see what the results are. I have to walk through it moment by moment, entrusting my life to the only trustworthy, perfect, all-good, sovereign Savior. He loves me unfailingly. I can trust Him with my life—the salvation of my life and all the nitty-gritty-in-between stuff, too. Today, May 20, and every single day to come.

Senior Walk!

Molly’s Senior year has flown by. Seriously, where did the time go?!?! Molly would not agree; she can’t wait to be free of high school. And yes, she is in her socks and walked all through the school shoeless. Don’t ask me why because I have no idea.

Josh finally got to come to chapel today. Molly always does a good job leading in there. I’m so grateful all four years she was able to learn and grow in this area

The next five weeks or so are going to be full! Prom, exams, college to do list, baccalaureate, graduation, and a trip to Tennessee!! I hope I hang on to my sanity. 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣3️⃣👩🏻‍🎓🎉😊😭🥹

Easter 2023

We had a lovely Easter!! Such a great church service reflecting on Christ’s death and resurrection and why we can be confident in the statement—Jesus is Alive! Then, we had one of our favorite families over. They are ones we met early in our days here as we home schooled and were trying to figure out life in Charlotte. Let’s be honest though, I am still trying to figure it out. Sara became such a dear friend and is someone so easy to be around. It was great to be with friends who feel like family on this special day. And our oldest kids go to Liberty together now! So fun.

Do I have at least ten dress options? Yes I do. Was it super cold on Easter this year? Yes it was! So hot pink cargo pants and a sweater it had to be. 🤣

Now Mack is sleeping off a deviled egg hangover (he must have had a dozen!), and I am resting with Rolo who nearly lost her mind licking the Boston butt crumbs off of a plate just now.

Happy Easter! Jesus is indeed alive.


I was given restrictions on how much posting to do about Mack turning 16. For now, I’ll just say we love Mack. Thankful for his life. Happy 16th birthday, Mack Joshua!

Adding hibachi dinner to celebrate Mack—

Chapel👍🏻 Costco👎🏻

I had another great time at Thursday Chapel at Molly’s school. It’s always fun to see her doing what I believe she is made to do.

This was during practice. I didn’t get to see her very well during the actual chapel service but she did a great job!

I also went to Costco for only my third time and my last time. Three strikes and you’re out. That place is an absolute zoo. I don’t think you save any money in that ridiculous warehouse either. Plus, someone who lives in a home built in 1952 has zero storage and my pantry is the tiniest closet in our home. And no one smiles and I felt like I was going to get run slap over by these nincompoops. Then you stand in line to leave so they can look at your receipt. Good grief. I don’t know why I ever joined in the first place. No thank you.

Running out of gas

Recently, I’ve noticed I’m running out of gas in areas in which it’s not quite time to run out of gas.

For example, poor Mack gets to practice driving on the way home from school only a few days a week, but even that works my nerves. I don’t know if it’s how close my kids are in age that have done a number on my ability to let yet another kid drive while I sit and pray and give direction. It doesn’t help that I still haven’t found the brake on the passenger side.

Or cooking dinner. It’s not time for me to hang up the apron and quit handling raw chicken every evening around 5:00pm. Yet, I want to quit cooking.

I did hire a house cleaner because I seriously ran out of gas in the cleaning of the toilet realm. I just couldn’t keep doing all the cleaning. Most of what a mom does gets undone as it is, and I just waved a white flag on this. I’m not sad about it either.

There are more serious things I feel that I’m running out of gas on before it’s time, and I’ve been praying lots about those areas. Suffering has been a close friend lately. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t suffer at some level and no level of suffering is pleasant.

I’m reading a book titled “Shattered Dreams” by Larry Crabb. He challenges me to see suffering as that which makes hope stronger since it makes it clear that this world is broken and not my home. Romans 5:3-4 says, “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope.” Suffering can bring us to the end of ourselves. Suffering reveals the worst in us and also can reveal the God-wrought best in us. Suffering will change us. Larry says, “Through suffering, we see we are someone we could never have been without grace.” Suffering demands endurance. And I’ve been challenged to “ask God to make suffering a servant of peace and hope and joy in Christ.”

So in a broken world full of reasons to worry, full of suffering and grieving and pain, we can’t give up. We can’t run out of gas. We need endurance. We need hope. Josh taught from I Peter on Sunday and reminded us that Hope is important because suffering is a reality. Jesus is our living hope! He fills our gas tank and gives us strength to keep going.

I’ve also found this song deeply moving in this season where I’m tempted to stop doing things it’s not time to stop doing. Hopefully it encourages you!

Keep On by Christy Nockels

Is it just me or does everything feel different?
Like it’s darker somehow, like the light has had its moment
But like any good story there’s a moment when
The Light reveals where it’s always been
And the days we spent believing suddenly matter

So keep on shining and doing good
Even when it’s the hardest thing you’ve done
Even when no one’s looking
There’s a promise if you don’t give up
The time will come when your fields will ripen
With the morning sun
And the harvest that you reap will carry you
So keep on shining
Yes, keep on shining

I know what it’s like to be weary in the hidden
When you keep your head down
With the hopes you’re growing something
And maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve heard it
That there’s beauty in all this work you do
With the life of God in you
And oh how it matters

So keep on shining and doing good
Even when it’s the hardest thing you’ve done
Even when no one’s looking
There’s a promise if you don’t give up
The time will come when your fields will ripen
With the morning sun
And the harvest that you reap will carry you
So keep on shining
Yes, keep on shining

Oh it’s His life, oh it’s His love
Yea it’s His light shining in you
Like the aspen trees in a mountain breeze that’s you
And what a difference you are making
No it wouldn’t be the same without you
Like the sunset after a summer rain that’s you
Yea, it’s His life, His love and light in you

So keep on
Keep on shining and doing good
Even when it’s the hardest thing you’ve done
Even when no one’s looking
There’s a promise if you don’t give up
The time will come when your fields will ripen
With the morning sun
And the harvest that you reap will carry you
Yes, the harvest that you reap will carry you
So, keep on shining
Keep on shining

Keep on shining, ’cause it matters!
Keep on shining, ’cause it matters!
Keep on shining, ’cause it matters!

Straight from heaven

This needs a spot on my blog.

God gave me a treadmill.

Months and month ago, Josh and I went treadmill shopping but came home with a rower. It was a fraction of the cost of a treadmill, and Josh thought it was a better choice. “We can walk outside anywhere we want. Walking on a treadmill is boring.”

I could see what he was saying. It made sense, and I like the rower. It’s a full body workout, for sure.

But admittedly, I wanted a treadmill or a walking pad. I just wanted to get more steps in, and I despise cold weather. So with the winter upon us, I was kind of bummed to not have a little walking pad. I prayed about it several times, but that was it.

Well, last week Mack and I were driving home and right across the street at the road was a treadmill with a sign taped to it-“FREE.”

I told Mack to come with me and check it out. He didn’t want to, but I said, “oh yes you will come help me.” And after a closer look, I knew I could find a place for this treadmill. The neighbor stuck her head out the door, “It’s not great for running but it’s perfect for walking!”

Well perfect! I hate running.

So this evening I announced to Ruby, “I’m going to walk on the treadmill God gave me.” And I meant it with every fiber of my being.

Pray about everything. God’s Word tells us plainly to do this. Nothing is too small. Nothing is too big. Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers.

Less is More

“What is wrong? Seems like you’re annoyed about something,” he said in a sharp tone.

In fairness, I had just answered a question he asked with my own sharpness.

But I was so mad that he asked me THAT question in THAT way at THAT time.

I was washing dishes from dinner. Dinner that I prepared with food I had grocery shopped for in between other responsibilities.

In my mind, he had been whisked away that morning by jet to Atlanta for a meeting at a very cool place with some very interesting people that shared inspiring stories. He wore a nice outfit and even had new shoes. He was completely unavailable the entire day. I’ve grown used to it in some ways. He’s got a big job. It’s important and what God has called him to do. I am thankful for that.

But his sharpness of tone with me and my sharpness of tone with him did not make for an enjoyable evening.

He could very well think—she has no idea what I do all day and the pressures I encounter, the fires I put out, the hundreds of emails I receive, the meetings and phone calls.

I could very well think, and did think—He has no idea what I’ve done today. The early morning traffic to get Mack to school and me back home. The interrupted quiet time. The Homecoming Parade I went to school to see for Molly, the grocery store run for the weekend, the unloading and putting away of all the groceries, scarfing down lunch at 1:45. The school pick up for Mack, more traffic. The kids arguing. The child who decided to try on a dress for Homecoming the day before only to need plan B. The cooking of dinner. The cleaning of dinner. The mind-numbing and quite-boring-at-times work of a mom. Wishing for a nap because I just can’t seem to get to feeling 100% these days. And he’s asking me, “What’s wrong?” Ugh.

At this moment in our marriage, I wish one of us would have been the gracious mature one. One of us could have been the one that took a deep breath and tried really hard to humbly quit thinking of ourself and intentionally put ourself in the other person’s shoes. I should have calmly answered the question he asked, giving my input with care and concern instead of annoyance.

He could have offered to do the dishes or said he wanted to talk to just me about our days after we cleaned the kitchen together. He could have observed an annoyed wife and just overlooked my response and found a way to help me in what I was doing.

Dying to self. It’s the heart of living for God. It’s what Jesus did for me and for Josh, yet we can be so easily offended. So easily annoyed when we aren’t treated a certain way. So slow to consider the other person before ourself.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s always another chance to let go of my own “rights” and concerns and elevate Josh and his concerns. John 3:30 says, “He [Jesus] must become greater; I must become less.” That’s some great marriage advice. I pray I’ll live it out today!