May photo dump

May is a wildly busy month. I am going to use my photos to wrap it up as best as I can, seeing how we’re already a week into June🤪

I gave Ruby my desk and chair from my office. I just never spent any time in there. It was sort of sad but I was happy to now have an extra bed upstairs. It’s a tight space—however, I love the quaintness of it.
Mack almost didn’t make it through that last week of school. He stayed exhausted.
First day of school vs Last day of school 2020/21

So there you have it. May and June in photos!

Can you hear His lovingkindness?

It’s not always easy to turn off a racing mind so sleep can come in the night. Days can be filled with chauffering kids here and there, meetings, phone calls, drycleaning pick-ups, appointments, dishes, laundry, and lists of to-dos for whatever is next. 

Mornings can start with a rush of thoughts as well. Almost like the brain never totally shut off from the night before, eyes can open and immediately be ambushed with a busy brain. 

I am guilty of waking up, turning off my phone alarm and walking with my phone to the kitchen. While I wait for my coffee to brew, I pull up the news and make sure nothing crazy has happened while I slept. I check messages and scroll on instagram and keep waiting for my coffee. 

This is a very, very bad habit that I want to completely break. The verses I have been meditating on each day have given me exact words to pray and these very words actually have been coming to mind as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. “Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You” (Psalm 143:8).

God could ambush my mind with His lovingkindness despite my distractions and bad morning habits. But I accept that I have a responsibility, a cooperation with Him in our relationship. What can I do or not do to help my ears be ready to hear His lovingkindness in the morning? It actually starts the night before for me as I try to get in bed at a good time and even before that as I ensure I have tied up as many loose ends from that day as possible. It’s intentionally not scrolling anything on my phone and not allowing those voices or those negative headlines in the news to start my day. 

It is praying that God would graciously let me hear His lovingkindness in the morning and being humbly grateful that the God of Heaven and earth wants to speak to my heart. I have not assigned proper value to this precious truth.  I want to allow His Word and His Spirit to prime my heart and soul before entering the day full of God-knows-what. And because I am assured God does know what I am going to face, it’s so important to see His face first, to hear His words first. And just like the verse says—I want to hear God’s lovingkindness in the morning because I trust in Him. I don’t need to trust in an influencer’s words. I don’t need to trust in any news headline. I need to trust in God alone. 

So I hope you are enjoying these days of June. Maybe your summer schedule is kicking in and things are going at a slower pace for you and your family. I hope so. Or maybe your summer schedule is a bit like mine and the kids’ social lives are taking over the days. Their dentists and doctor appointments that you save for summer time are filling up the schedules and mornings are anything but slow. I hope you will be encouraged and challenged to ask God to help you hear His lovingkindness in the morning. I hope you will be intentional in making time in His Word a top priority. I hope you will find your trust in Him growing with the passing of each of these summer days. 

Two Years

Two years have passed without my mom here. During the days and weeks after her death I had a hard time recalling good memories with her. I don’t know why that was exactly, but it was. I would think hard and try to make my brain think of the good times or laughs I had with her. Maybe it was the trauma and shock of her sudden, unexpected death that caused a block in my brain. Maybe I was sort of mad at her for what she did. But when the memories would come to me, I would write them down or speak them outloud to Josh and the kids. Like the time she put together a surpise party for my 10th birthday. Or the days I spent with her in the RV on the beach that summer. Or the memory I have of her reaching out to hold my hand when I was about 8 years old in a parking lot of Roses…or was it a movie theatre?

One thing I have found to be true is that there are some things only your mom wants to hear about from you. I have wanted to pick up the phone and call her to tell her something or shoot her a text of a photo or ask her a question, but she is not here. So here are some thoughts that came to me out of frustration when I wanted to share something that only my mom would care about but couldn’t.

You know who wants to see a pic of your new dress? Your mom.

You know who likes to see a pic via text of your new sandals? Your mom. 

You know who would smile to see how you got your toes done?  Your mom. 

You know who never tires of hearing how great your kids are? Your mom. 

You know who can handle the venting from the hardest parts of motherhood? Your mom. 

You know who wants to see your new haircut that you’re unsure of? Your mom. 

You know who cares about that new recipe you tried and loved? Your mom. 

You know who you can ask any question about hormones and growing older and other fun stuff like that? Your mom. 

You know who likes to see pictures of your dog sleeping so cutely on your lap? Your mom.

You know who you can share your politcal views with and even disagree with without severing the relationship? Your mom.

You know who tells the best stories about you from your childhood? Your mom.

So if you still have your mom here with you, be grateful and aware of the blessings of sharing life with her. Even if she’s a mom who doesn’t seem to care all that much. You can show her how to care by your loving actions.

Since the passing of my mom, my sisters and I have shared all these things with each other. I always want to hear about their kids or see their new dress or haircut. Our relationship was really good before, but there is something more there now, in the after. I am so grateful that I have had them to walk with through the past two years. So grateful.

My mom with all seven of her grandkids

Personal God

Old journals fill a basket in my office. Every now and then I will pick one up and open it to remind myself of the journey I’ve been on with The Lord and to recount His faithfulness through His Word and my consistency to open His Word—how this act of obedience, on many unglamorous mornings, has built my life and become my eyes to see the world around me.

A couple of weeks ago when I picked up a journal, an index card fell to the ground. I picked it up and read the verses I had written. I liked them and decided to set the card in my kitchen window at the sink where I stand many times throughout the day. That spot is like my home office. But honestly, I hadn’t really spent a ton of time looking at the card.

About a week later I had decided to get more disciplined in scripture memory and meditation, so I turned a tiny notebook into a Scripture Memory Journal. I sat in the living room and was thumbing through my Bible and praying for God to show me which verses I should focus on in this season of life. I even asked Josh for input. After thumbing through for a while I settled on these verses:

I felt certain these were the words I should memorize and rehearse over and over. And call me slow, but I didn’t realize until a couple of days later that THESE WERE THE SAME VERSES ON MY KITCHEN WINDOW SILL! And maybe that does not seem like a big deal to you, but I had a moment when I realized this and smiled knowing God sees me, God speaks to me, and God is so personal to me.

I hope I never forget the stunning truth that God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, wants to speak to me. He’s given us His Word! This is not a small deal. Are you spending time in it?

The Lord is my Shepherd

May is a rough month for me. There’s Mother’s Day. Then, my mom’s birthday on the 12th, then the day she took her last breath on this earth comes just days later. It’s a 1,2,3 punch I would rather not have to experience, but here we are. 

I’ve gotten a few texts this week from friends asking for prayer. These weren’t just “little” prayer requests—-not that there is anything too little to pray about. Praying about everything is where it’s at. BUT, my point is that hard things are being faced and walked through in my home and in the lives of my friends. I imagine whoever you are and wherever you are, you are also walking through something that is testing your faith and meant to strengthen your faith and trust in The Lord.

How are you doing with it?

Lemme show you how I feel these days, how I’m coping under some stress:

YEP, that sheep right there. That is me. Dissheveled, a mess, but trying to look like I am aware of what’s going on when in reality I just wanna lay down and stay down. I have felt overwhelmed with what is on my plate, thrown off course by circumstances I didn’t plan for, worried over many things. 

The end result was a huge reminder of my need for my Shepherd to carry me. 

I will catch this funny looking sheep out of the corner of my eye and be comforted in the fact that when the Lord is my Shepherd, I have all I need. He knows perfectly where I am and what I need or what I don’t need. He protects me from my enemies. He feeds me, quenches my thirst, and makes sure I get rest when I need it. 

Psalm 124 says, “Had it not been the Lord who was on our side….” And I do shutter to think what my life would be like without the Lord’s presence, without my Shepherd. As I look back over my life—including these past couple of weeks—I see so much of God’s deliverance and help and care. His goodness and lovingkindness is surely pursuing me.

G. Campbell Morgan says about that verse: “To look back over life’s way is to realize how constantly we have been brought into cirucmstances which must have engulfed and destroyed us, had it not been that Jehovah was on our side.”

So this is my encouragement to you to look to your Shepherd. He cares for you. He does. He is on your side.

“The Lord is my Shepherd,” Psalm 23:1

“When this is said, all is said.” GC Morgan

Baseball Banquet

The baseball season is coming to a close, and we are so thankful they got to play all of their games.

This is Mack’s first real season of playing. He loves being with the guys and hanging out with them. And even though I get nervous for all the players every game, I’ve enjoyed watching Mack play.

At the banquet this evening, Mack received the Most Improved Player. I was so proud of him and so grateful for the opportunity he had to play and try hard to get better.

They had a cute little “signing ceremony” for the 8th graders; the Varsity coach wants the program to improve and wants their young players to stay! so it was his idea to hold this ceremony and encourage the guys to stay at Carmel and play at Carmel.

And then the younger boys on the middle school team gave a signed team photo to each of the 8th graders. It was so sweet.

The boys also did a service project together this morning and worked so hard!

So over all, this has been a fun time for Mack. He has been very challenged and overcome some fears and frustrations and made great friends along the way. I’m proud of him!

Life and Light

I started the morning, by the grace of God, like I usually do—with coffee in hand and Bible open on my lap. I humbly asked God to speak to me and help me hear and understand and apply His Word to my life today. And He did. Using Psalm 35 and 36, He spoke right to me.

I was reminded that He “fights against those who fight against me.” (v.1) In my soul He speaks to me and reminds me that He is my salvation (v.3). I was reminded that He sees everything and is not far from me (v.22). I was able to read and see the stark differences between the wickedness of man and the lovingkindness of God. In a world filled with wickedness, unrighteousness, and injustice, I needed the reminder: “Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; Your judgments are like a great deep.” (v.5-6) Reading on in Psalm 36, I was encouraged to take refuge in God. He satisfies and clarifies as I walk this earth. “You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” (v.9)

G.Campbell Morgan writes about Psalm 36: “To know God is to worship Him, and in His ways to find refuge, satisfaction, life, and light.”

If we ever needed a refuge, it’s now. If we ever needed the reminder that God is The Perfect Judge, it’s now. If we ever needed reminding that His presence gives life and light to show us the way to go, it’s now. We won’t find any of these things anywhere else. Where are you going for your satisfaction? Who is adding clarity to your walk today? I hope you go to God as a refuge. Read God’s Word and stay until you are satisfied. Stay until you get clarity on how to view your current circumstances. He is faithful. He is life and light.

G-burg

We made our way back to the great state of Tennessee on Wednesday. After settling in to yet another Hampton Inn, we decided to head out amongst all the other Spring Breakers.

Josh and I considered ourselves officially old or maybe having officially “made it” in life. The kids ran off to ride rides. We sat and had coffee and shared a cinnamon roll and talked.

Then, as if God was saying, “I’m proud of you two and your attitudes and generosity to your kids so I’m going to reward you,” WE GOT TO SEE WOODSTOCK FRIENDS IN TENNESSEE!!!!!!! I just loved seeing each of them.
These two picked right up solving the world’s problems and adding a little sarcasm along the way.

Boyce College Visit

Thank you for bearing with me as my blog is acting more as a scrapbook and memory keeper this week than as a reflection on life or scripture. This is life! Things are happening at break-neck speed, so this is my effort to keep up.

Boyce College is located in Louisville, Kentucky. The school is closely associated with Southern Seminary. Dr. Albert Mohler is the president. I appreciate their commitment to God’s Word and that they don’t accept federal funds and can operate according to God’s Word without fear.

Everyone was so friendly and kind and helpful. I loved it! But I’m not the one going to college. Sooo, this is just one step of many in this process. Where she lands, only God knows😊

We ended with Dave & Busters with games and food.