Finding Joy in…. November

A repost from last years blog from my finding joy challenge..:)

Capturing life


November is one of my favorite months! For starters, I always find something beautiful to photograph…all the oranges, browns, reds and yellows. It’s a wonder I can drive straight…it’s like “squirrels” everywhere!  Hot drinks, crisp air, apple and pumpkin scented candles. Second, I am a pumpkin nut! I love pumpkin flavored anything! Third, I love boots! I mostly have flip flops or boots…not much in between. In SC you can wear both in November! Fourth and most importantly, November reminds me to be thankful. November is like the calm before the storm of December. I love ,love, love Thanksgiving, always been my favorite day! Eating with friends and family. No gifts, just time spent with loved ones.

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Nest of Birds…

In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalms 104:24

Most mornings I sit on my back porch with my coffee. For awhile, I have noticed this “mean” bird pacing the stones between my neighbors and my yard. Always screaming and even tries to attack my cats, which is pretty funny!

Well, below is why “he” was doing this. He is not mean but protective. If he only knew that Lucy and Lilly are way too old and fat to climb trees. At least I think it’s the daddy bird. I’m not a bird expert by far, so feel free to enlighten me with some facts if you are bird savvy!

Seems that the mama bird is in her nest with her two babies while Daddy paces around protecting the nest and brings food. I think these birds are called American Robbins…again not sure.

This morning, I got to pretend to have one of my dream jobs as a National Geographic photographer and hang out in a tree. I did almost face plant once…ok maybe twice. The neatest thing was how these birds were so alert until I got close to them. The mama bird would spread her wings over them and they would play dead. I could just see their little chest pumping in and out. Finally, the daddy bird came flying in with a juicy worm ( one of my almost face plant moments). I crouched down and tried not to breathe. I got a few shots but had a hard time getting too close when the worm was dropped. The mama bird gave me some dirty looks for interrupting her breakfast, so I left them alone before I got a good face pecking.

I understand the “don’t mess with my kids” attitude.

If you look close you can see…even baby birds make their mamas hair turn grey!!


This was my cue to leave!!

All Gods creations never cease to amaze me!

Happy Summer!

Ocean Isle beach 2014


I have not blogged in awhile. I woke up this morning and felt like blogging…:)

School is done for the year…yea!! It was time for my favorite thing to do… Our summer beach trip! As you know it takes a lot of preparing, packing, hauling and driving! So well worth it!

We got the car loaded, the boat hitched and we were well on our way!! Of course a 5 hour trip can get boring without embarrassing our kids a bit so my hubby and I decided to sing a little ” ditty” for them. We out sang “Jack and Diane” for sure! (A little video for entertainment)

Once we arrived, we unloaded and the fun began! We joined up with our good friends the Phillips which made the trip even more fun.

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We all agreed boating out to the island was the most fun. There we played, ate and did some crabbing off the boat. We also caught a few Jelly fish. We found out these particular ones don’t sting…at least they didn’t sting Norma and I while they were on sand half dead…when we dared each other to touch them…

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The fishing Boat got a little “beached”…Good thing we had strong guys and a few men on the island willing to help…

The Gulls are fearless…they look left then right and bam there goes your hot dog…at least this time this bird waited for one to roll off the grill…others swooped down and took one off the hot coals!

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Evenings were always fun! Big dinners, golf cart rides, bike rides and lots of singing and dancing…Ava’s favorite part!

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Of course the best part is making memories with friends and family, hoping that some day our kids will pass on the traditions…and maybe invite us??

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These little girls just LOVE each other!
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Enjoy life to the fullest…we are never promised tomorrow…or as our kids say…



Until next year…..
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My good wise and loving moms…my heroes


“The good mother, the wise mother…is more important to the community than even the ablest man; her career is more worthy of honor and is more useful to the community than the career of any man, no matter how successful” – Theodore Roosevelt

My good , wise and loving mothers…my heroes!

We love our children with every breath in us. We quickly realize that labor and delivery are the easiest parts. Late night feedings and toddler tears turn into late night waiting on teenagers to get home by their curfew and prayers for their safety.

My good , wise and loving mothers…my heroes!

We pray, we give, we cry, we sacrifice, we worry, we go sleepless and we are ok with it because we love our children. We know that being their friend would be so much easier but being their mother is what we need to do.

My good , wise and loving mothers…my heroes!

We hope and pray that they grow into responsible, kind and loving young adults. We are excited for them to leave the nest, persuing their hopes and dreams, yet we are sad about that empty little spot in our safe nest.

My good , wise and loving mothers…my heroes!

My mom heroes are all different…some younger, some older, some married, some divorced, some stay at home, some have a career outside the home. Yet we all have a special bond. We love and want what’s bet for our children all the same. We remind each other of who we are. We see tired eyes and know “why” without asking. We give hugs and tell each other it will be ok. We share joy in each others children’s accomplishments. We share Gods grace with each other. We confide in each other and are comforted by the fact that we are not alone. We share the tears and the prayers. We remind each other that we are loved and appreciated.

Happy Mother’s Day to my own village—the beautiful women I am so very blessed with!


My mothers Day poem from last year:
Mother’s Day 2013
That first flutter, that first cry, the silky spot at the nape of the neck that you can’t help but stroke, the way God made your lips fit perfectly in the curve of their nose. Doctor visits, first smile, giggles from the belly, kissable toes, first steps, first time the toes touch the sand or grass, first tantrum, first words, pushing them on a swing, watching them “pump” all by themselves. Dens decorated in brands like little tykes and playschool, walls decorated in lipstick, gum stuck in hair, “mommy you are my best friend” and “ I did it all by myself” tying shoes with bunny ear loops, first day of school “ I’ve got Jesus in my heart”, play dates, kindergarten graduation, loosing that first tooth, training wheels, no training wheels, dance, gymnastics, field trips, school plays, piano recitals, birthday parties, sleepovers, baking cookies, clothes shopping, toe painting, family vacations, science projects, book reports, endless board games, endless talking, friendship struggles, learning to drive, first car, first boyfriend, break ups, heartache, keeping the snack cabinet full so that friends will come to your house. first job, finding independence, high school drama, college preparation, high school graduation, dorm supply shopping, letting go ( ohhh the hardest part). Of course there is the cooking, cleaning, laundry, taxi driving, sleepless nights…the list goes on! Being a mom is the hardest but most rewarding job ever! We are not perfect. We say things that we know we shouldn’t ,right as they are coming out of our mouths. We lose our cool. We say “yes” and “uh huh” while we hear words that we have tuned out on a stressful day. We expect too much. We forget things. We forget to “count to ten”. We practice on our first child hopefully to get it right by the last child. We hurt when our children are hurting, we spend time on our knees praying for our children. We love them even when they don’t like us. We seek guidance from God and seasoned friends, then one day, all to quickly we are one of those “seasoned friends”. I have been a mom since I was practically a child myself. It has been a long road. I have not been perfect or done all the right things but I love my children and I could not have made it almost 19 years of motherhood ( half my life actually) without my faith, family, my awesome mommy friends and of course my awesome husband who has been my rock. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you. Extra hugs and prayers for those of you who are single moms. Love you all!

laugh or cry…choose laughter

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Ok, moms I know you all have these days!

So, yesterday was one of those days! Just one issue after another, after another that had actually trickled from the day before and… the hubs was out of town.

By 5:30 soccer practice time, I was just “had”. We get to the soccer field and Ava still needed to put her soccer socks/ shin guard combo things on. ( dumb invention). This is our only option since she hates the straps on the back of her calves…any way back to the story! Now, let me back up a bit. We just had a 40 minute crying melt down over a skinned knee prior to the ride to the soccer field, so I agreed to let her ride bare foot and said we could put her stuff on when we got there…bad idea! Those darn things must have shrunk in the wash and Ava is ever so blessed with her daddy’s calves. So, there she was laying on the floor of the van crying and whining because they will not go on. There I was with the van door open bent inside pushing and tugging to the point where I was sweating. Not to mention my rear end was sticking out the door and I forgot a belt…need I say more? For a moment I actually was going to start crying with her and then like a momma gone coo coo! Then,I just started to laugh…really laugh! Ava was just looking at me thinking who knows what. The picture I had in my head was…fast forward to this coming Saturday morning. My husband will be the one wrangling these ridiculous “schlocks” (as I like to call them) over her calves with much less experience than me, while I’m at the beach with my girlfriends! The question is, should I tell him or let him figure it out for himself? Maybe I will just remind him to wear a belt and leave it at that…


You’re Already Amazing – Holley Gerth

I really liked this chapter in this book by Holley Gerth and wanted to share it! It reminds us that we don’t have to be alone. She explains how women need to be connected with others.

Please excuse the messy flow and enjoy the read!

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And that’s true- God promises to
amazing 2
amazing 3
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amazing 5
amazing missing
amazing 6
amazing 8
amazing 9
amazing 10
amazing your innocent
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amazing if your drawn
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amazing the question
You’re Already Amazing – Holley Gerth

I just love her books! Look her up on Amazon…..


Own our story…share our weakness


“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable: to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strengthChriss Jami

Being vulnerable is not about always showing all of our glamour. It is about showing the parts of us that we keep locked up that are not so glamorous. I think we feel that if we show the parts of us that we keep locked up, we risk being judged and even rejected. We don’t think anybody else could understand us, so we stay behind our walls. We see vulnerability as a sign of weakness but it actually takes so much strength to show weakness.

What happens when people open their hearts?…They get better.”
Haruki Murakami

God asks us to pour our hearts out to him. When we do this he will expose our hearts, not to punish us but to heal us. True joy, comes from sacrificing ourselves for others, this requires vulnerability. We need to empty ourselves out to others while trusting God will fill us back up. We need to stop seeing others as our “competition” but more as our brothers and sisters of God who have the same needs and fears as we do. Don’t forget, God allowed Jesus to die on the cross for us. If he didn’t scorn the shame of the cross then we should not be ashamed of being vulnerable. Humility and vulnerability are so very hard to let show, but so necessary to have true JOY!

What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful” – Brene Brown


We are vulnerable on all sides, in and out, up and down, past, present, and future. We fear vulnerability. It takes a great deal of living to discover that, actually, vulnerability comes to us more as friend than as enemy. Vulnerability may be the greatest strength we have. Vulnerability bonds us to one another and makes us a community in league with life. Because we need one another, we live looking for good in others, without which we ourselves can not survive, will not grow, can not become what we ourselves have the potential to be. [Change in our lives and in our communities cannot happen without this]. Vulnerability is the gift given to us to enable us to embed ourselves in the universe. We are born dependent and spend the rest of our lives coming to wholeness. It is a delicate and dangerous process, requiring and untold amount of support and an amazing degree of forgiveness as we stumble and grope our way from one new part of life to another. Vulnerability, in fact, is the one hallmark of life which, try as we might, we can not cure. Vulnerability, therefore is clearly part of the spiritual process, clearly part of the human endeavor. -Joan Chittister

Draw near to the throne of Grace…

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Today I am thankful for so many things but most of all I am thankful for God’s grace. I don’t think I have ever paid attention to God’s grace like I have lately… The fact that I am studying grace has a lot to do with it I’m sure, but I will say, not everything I study tugs at me like this has. I have not been seeing many ” squirrels” during this study!

God has got my attention.“The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers.” ~ A. W. Tozer

I have been able to fill some of that spot in my heart that holds guilt and feeling unworthy with God’s grace. I can’t say I don’t or won’t still feel guilty or unworthy, I think that is impossible. I am just saying I feel God working in my heart in this area.

“Grace, then, is grace,–that is to say, it is sovereign, it is free, it is sure, it is unconditional, and it is everlasting.” ~ Alexander Whyte

The best part about accepting grace is….you have a strong urge to give grace. Although, I do try to give grace and mercy, I slip and fall at times. I was thinking about the verse “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” I think, how hard it is to do this especially if that “other” never treats you with the grace and mercy you have shown them?? My first instinct sometimes is to ” give them a taste of their own medicine” Sadly I have reacted on this thought, ummm, more than once. The problem is, this reaction only gives temporary relief, as quick as you get “relief”, you are filled with regret and the anguish of hurting someone else. I find this is much worse than the initial feeling of hurt you had in the first place. It is a “lose lose” situation. This is not how God wants us to react. He has given us grace and is constantly giving us mercy and wants us to do the same for others. A “win win” situation!

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” – Hebrews 12:15

Being human and a sinner, I will at times throughout my life feel guilt, anger and resentment . I will hurt people’s feelings and get my feelings hurt. I will say the wrong things. React the wrong way. I AM IMPERFECT. I am so glad God loves his imperfect children and uses his imperfect children for his glory.. I am so thankful that he allows my heart to feel conviction. I am so thankful… For his perfect unconditional GRACE!

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:16


You can stop hiding now…


Why do we think we have to be perfect to be loved and accepted? It says in Romans 15:7, Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. If we did this then people would not be afraid to approach us and reveal their true selves. If we didn’t walk around with “I am perfect” written across our face then we would be so much more approachable. Who wants to be around perfect people anyway…?


” Facing others without covering my physical blemishes is actually more terrifying than going out into the world without a shower or makeup, far more offensive than body odor are my fears, malicious thoughts, insecurities, shame and pride.” – Beyond the Masquerade


While we strive to make ourselves approachable .We also secretly long for someone to catch a glimpse of our true selves and exclaim. “you can stop hiding now- I really do love you just as you are!” –Gods Heart For You


Real friends tell you when you have something in your teeth. They love you enough to speak the truth, and Jesus is our most faithful friend of all. He sees deep within our hearts and tells us when something is stuck there that doesn’t belong. His correction always come with GRACE, not condemnation. When we open our hearts and let God speak to us we discover we’re truly know and loved in a way we never thought possible. The acceptance we long for is already ours if we only dare to embrace it… You Are Accepted! – Gods Heart For You


” The Lord constantly looks at us with eyes of love. His scars bring healing and even beauty to our own” GHFY. Read that again and again, let it absorb. ” Oh, beloved. You are beautiful” Those are the words we want to have spoken to our hearts.

You are




Just as you are…