Book recommendation!


If you are a home school mom, I highly recommend this book. A friend of mine sent it to me, and I am so thankful she did. I laughed and cried. I felt conviction about how I spend my time with my kids, but not because she tells how great she did everything, but because she was honest about what she wishes she did differently. I was inspired to teach and encourage my children to be life-long learners. I was reminded that home schooling doesn’t need to be as difficult as I sometimes make it in my mind. I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes from her book here to encourage you and maybe inspire you to go buy this book!

page 6 “We have to repent of that idea of control, repent of our little kingdoms over and over again. Maybe the greater part of our sanctification comes as we remember that those around us were not born as appendages to us; they are unique individuals made in the image of God. In return, we are not appendages to our family either. I was born a person. My mother found this just as shocking about me as I did about my first son.”

page 7 “Motherhood is a place of dreamy hopes and crushed fantasies and the hard, hard work of sinners in relationship with one another day by day.”

page 120 in regards to her children leaving home, “It was a bit of a shock for me to watch my family dwindle over the last ten years, because ten short years ago we had all of our children squished into the pew with us. And while my other children are all generally in a pew somewhere, they are not with me…There’s just no way to see something like that coming, and maybe it is wrong of me to even mention it to young mothers.”

page 113 “I read once that a nine year old boy is the most pleasant of all children to be around. I believe that is true. As moms, we have this baby, and then we have this nine-year-old boy, and our relationship with him is sweet to us, but that is not the end of the story…….Ultimately, we have to let our boys be men. Whatever satisfaction we got out of our relationship with our son must be turned toward the one who is better than ten sons. Isn’t that how our hearts work? Our longings are triggers which find their fulfillment in Christ. That fulfillment is always available to you as a mother ever in the midst of letting go of relationships we treasure.”

SIGH. Mack is nine years old. He is the sweetest thing, too. After reading this section, I may have gotten up and walked over to his bedroom where he was sleeping and kissed his freckled cheek and whispered a prayer that I would be a mom that could love and not smother. Be a mom that raises him to be a man, a strong and bold and kind man of God.

page 110 “We are living in an increasingly feminized society. Some people view that as an increasingly civilized society, but it has left our boys with deep desires for honor but few outlets for displaying it properly.”

This next quote in particular made my stomach sink. Being a stay at home mom that home schools her three kids can, at times, feel isolating. Social media can be your main connection to the outside world some days! Or maybe you want to pretend like you aren’t a home school mom, so you immerse yourself in what other people are posting about their lives or you read news articles for an hour about the two crazy contestants for President (doesn’t this feel like a game show that will end instead of Presidential election with real nominees?). Whatever the reason, I do NOT want to harm my relationships with my kids when I ignore opportunities for big, juicy conversations just so I can see what so-and-so did on Fall Break or how far Suzy Q ran yesterday. I mean, seriously. It is absurd as it sounds. I do think there are positives to social media—no doubt. But we must be mindful of how it might be affecting our family.

page 88 “Perhaps I did not watch my children as well as I should have during those years. It seemed like I was always with them, but was I paying attention? It turns out I was not, and some of my children suffered deep wounds because of it. It would be convenient for me to skip this fact, except that I feel compelled to warn other mothers not to make the same mistake.”

page 148 “If we read a book knowing we have to tell someone else about it, we will read with attention. Without attention, no child or adult learns anything. Narration, oral and written, trains the mind to pay attention.The attentions the child gives engages his mind so that he is not merely reading, he is processing what he is reading.”

Oh, so much good stuff in this book, Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins. This book is one I will need to read again…and again. Go out and get a copy and let me know what you think!

Simply Rest (easier said than done)

The weather here in Charlotte has been divine. Fall is my favorite season already, and I am enjoying it immensely in our new city. Long walks with the kids, sitting on the front steps watching the kids ride their bikes, eating lunch outdoors when we can.


Schooling the kids is the main way I spend my days. Math, History, Science, Reading and Writing.

So the days are calm. I’m a slow learner, but I think I am starting to embrace the season of rest that the Lord has given me. I went for a walk the other evening while Ruby was at a youth group social. I was praying as I walked and just said, “Lord, I am not re-hashing to you all of my thoughts and emotions. It’s exhausting, and I know you already know. I am going to listen to You. Anything You want to say?”

It was pretty clear what came to me next. I was immediately reminded of the simple (not easy) priorities from The Word of God.

1- Love God.
2- Love and respect Josh.
3- Love and train the kids.
4- Manage the home.

Short little sentences packed with a gracious plenty to keep my days full.

I remember reading in a book about how to be an excellent wife that it would be a good idea to ask your husband every day if there was something you could do for him. In the season I was in, with little needy kids, I laughed to myself at that piece of advice. I mean, you must be kidding. I wasn’t asking anybody for anything extra to do in my day. I knew I was going to work my tail off around the house and for the kids…that’s what I would be doing!

But it has been a helpful question to ask lately. It’s a reminder that I am Josh’s helper, and I do want to help him. It makes me feel good to take something off of his plate. And it sets an example for my kids.  I mean, in your life, how many people are approachable?  How many people truly listen to you?  How many people are just available to be there for you?  How many people ask you how they can help you?  I want to be that kind of person.  If I want to be that approachable, caring, listening person, I can’t have a jam-packed life full of places to go and people to see.  I need margin in my life, and I am thankful for how God brought me to this place of such simplicity.  You can bet your bottom dollar I will pray and think very carefully before adding anything to my calendar. Not out of a selfish guarding of MY time, but out of a desire to “number my days that I may present to God a heart of wisdom.”  It matters how I spend my days.  And the way the Lord wants my days to look might be different than how other people want my days to look.  It might be different than I want my days to look, but I want to hear from Him.

I have been challenged in how I show love to my kids during these days, too. I am notorious for letting my kids know that, “I am not your maid!” In my ambitious spirit to make sure my kids are not total brats, I may have missed opportunities to serve them in ways that make them feel loved. Like when Molly forgets her drink at lunch, I want to say, “Didn’t you know you were going to want something to drink before you sat down at the sandwich and chips?” Instead, I could be an example to her of how to respond to someone who needs something or forgot to do something and needs help. When Mack asks for help when he is making his bed, I can joyfully walk in and help him. I know how much easier it is to make a double bed when you have someone on the other side, so why not give him a hand if I am able? And I definitely have time to help the kids.  It’s just them and me all day long—doing our school and going on walks.  That’s it!

Rest. Simplicity. Reminders.
Just what My Heavenly Father has ordered; I want to graciously, humbly, thankfully receive it.

I pray you are also hearing from The Lord in this season of your life.

Deliveries, Fallen Limbs, Road Trip and Family

Today we did school and waited on our new kitchen chairs to be delivered.  I was very excited to have them arrive!  The house is coming together, slowly but surely!

We were then able to go out on a walk.  The weather is absolutely perfect.

And here is the little “library” on the corner up from our home.  Ruby and I looked in it today and picked a book to take home.  It is the neatest little thing….


Let me show you the huge limb/part of a tree that fell off in our front yard while we were out of town….


It is rather large.  Thankfully, we have already had a couple of limbs fall, so we now have a tree guy!  He plans to come this week and do some more pruning and also cut this limb up and take down the whole tree. We are thankful it didn’t hit the house!

We were out of town because Josh’s step grandfather, who was 102 years old, passed away. We wanted to be there for Charlene, and we were glad we were able to make the trip.  We got to see my family on the way there and on the way home, as well as Irvin, Aunt Pep, Uncle Jerry, Uncle Tony, Aunt Denise, Al and Linda, Great Aunt Norma, Uncle Jason, Aunt Merrilee, and baby Deacon….and numerous other friends and family!  I especially like seeing SaraBess and Susan because they just remind me of Debbie so much.  They were all such good friends, and they know so much about how she was.  I am glad they got to see our kids, too!  Sweet ladies!

We also made a stop at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, GA.  What great memories!    You just don’t know how free you are during those college days.  At my age and with my responsibilities, I now know.  Too little, too late.  Riding those country roads and driving around campus flooded my mind with memories.  Loved it.


We told the kids about when Josh took me to Village Pizza intending to ask me to be his girlfriend.  I noticed he didn’t eat very much.  He said I talked the whole time and didn’t give him time to ask.  Not true….I don’t think.  He finally did ask once we got back to the dorm.  I told him I needed the weekend to pray and think about it.  (The kids did not understand what that was about… haha! ) Village Pizza is now a mexican restaurant.  Can I just say that I am so thankful that there weren’t chips, salsa and guacamole so nearby when I went to school there?  And Hardees is now Wendys.  I much prefer Wendys over Hardees, so again, I am thankful that it wasn’t there while I lived in Cochran. Freshman fifteen would be more like freshman forty.



Never would have dreamed that the past almost 20 years of knowing Josh would have been such a journey!  He’s a fabulous leader for our family and loves us all well.  He is NOT a boring husband, that is for sure. And to think it all started in the little town of Cochran, Georgia.  Thankful for the providence of God.


Funny Days

The days around here are so funny to me.  I wanted to document this so that I will remember the first days of this move and appreciate when things are calmer.

Yesterday, a couple of guys got here at 8am to remove all the old grout and put back down nice, bright white grout in the girls’ bathroom.  It made such a huge improvement in that 1952 bathroom!!!  The shower got new grout all around and everything was sealed up nicely.  Hopefully, no more leaking from this shower down to my room!

At the same time, a tree guy, Caleb, came by to give me a quote on taking down a few limbs from some trees in the yard.  He was so knowledgable and told me all about the different kinds of trees in my yard.  I wish I had know I was going to learn so much because I would have made sure the kids were with me out in the yard and counted it as a horticulture class. Caleb is a believer, and we got to talking about how he was an MK in Peru until he was 11 years old.  He informed me that there is an organization in Waxhaw named JAARS that I can take my kids to and learn about how they get the bible translated into other languages.  Very nice guy!  (Sidetone: There are benefits to living in one of those neighborhoods where they take down every tree and just build houses!  If hurricane Matthew brings too many strong winds to Charlotte, I’m not sure what our yard is going to look like!!)

The tree guy left, and then our yard guy, Cruz, came by to finish cutting up the huge limb that fell last week and loaded it on his truck to take away.

During that time, an older gentleman came by to ask me a “few” questions for the census.  Lots of personal questions, too!  Like, how much money we make and how old I am.  He realized my kids were home schooled and then proceeded to quiz them with math questions.  I don’t know why that annoys me so bad, but it does.  I would love to know if he asks kids who are schooled other ways if they can solve his math problems.

Ok, then David (we’re on a first name basis) came by.  He was here last week and the week before.  He is our chimney guy and installed our wood burning stove…evidently he needed to measure something one more time before the company felt comfortable ordering the last piece for our stove.  I will see him again next week when he comes back to install that last piece.

In between all of our visitors, we were schooling and fixing lunch and doing laundry.  I was reminded of this quote I saw the other day about all the regular, mundane stuff we do in a day.

FullSizeRender 9.jpg

So even all of these appointments with people in and out of the house can be used for God’s glory, instead of just thinking that they are interruptions in my day.  And when all the deliveries and work in the house are done and all we do is cook, clean, and do school together, it will all be important work.

I am instagramming our school stuff, so I don’t feel the need to document that here, but I am probably going to wish I had one day.  Maybe soon, if you’re lucky, I will do a home school post and update everyone (….whomever “everyone” is) on what we are learning  at the Dorminy Academy of Higher Learning.

I am sure you can hardly wait.

Goings on of late

Well, life here in Charlotte has been rocking along just fine here lately.  I mean, besides the riots and such going on in Uptown.  That has, obviously, not been “just fine.”  A sad situation, indeed.  It makes the sermon from last week (before any of us knew what was about to happen in this city) even more meaningful. One of the points of the sermon, after exhorting us to realize our address is a sacred place and to settle in where God has us, was to SEEK the peace/welfare/shalom of my neighborhood and city.  Jeremiah 29:7 says, “Seek the peace of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its peace you will have peace.”  The word peace sometimes reads “welfare,” but both are translated from SHALOM. explains it this way: Shalom is more than just simply peace; it is a complete peace. It is a feeling of contentment, completeness, wholeness, well being and harmony. According to Strong’s Concordance 7965 Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full. 

This past Sunday we were challenged to see each person as one made in the image of God and to continue to let this affect how we interact with anyone, in particularly, our neighbors.  The church we have been visiting has had a Word from God each time we’ve been there.  I love how God is so personal to His people!  Another example of this was that Josh and I discovered a leak from the girls’ shower before leaving for church.  We discussed how it could be a source of anxiety and worry–even frustration that would distract us from tuning in at church. Josh prayed for us before we got out of the truck and rolled our concerns over to the Lord because He cares for us!  We went into a class and on the power point was the title of the lesson, “Anxiety, Worry and Frustration.”  Ok, then.  Amazing how God just knows.

Ok, that’s enough words.  Let me see if I can share a few pictures with y’all.  Some have wanted to see what our house is looking like.  It’s a slow process, and we still aren’t settled, but we are getting there.  This Wednesday we will get a wood burning stove installed, and I am happy about that!  I think it will cozy up our living room.  We also hired a yard guy to help get our grass looking better and to keep it clean when all of the leaves on those trees start to turn and fall!


So this is what our house looks like from the road as you drive up.


This is the side door that we use; it opens up into the sun room with the kitchen on the right.


This is the backyard from under the carport.  It needs a ton of work, but for now, the sweet spot is the hammock…which I am sure will get even sweeter in the fall weather.


This is our front door, and that little black box is our mailbox.  The postman walks the mail to my front door and puts it in that box.  Isn’t that interesting?  I have only lived in neighborhoods with mailboxes at the road, so this is different for me!  The kids love it.  They fuss over who gets to unlock the box and get the mail each day.


This is looking down our driveway from the carport.


This is one side of our living room.  That little door opening to the right is my office area.  Small, but quaint.


Here’s the other side.  Still a work in progress, but it is much more “homey” than a couple of weeks ago!


This is the grocery store I go to.  The Publix is literally going to be across the street from here.  Also, there is a Chickfila, Bojangles and Krispy Kreme across the street.  Dangerous.

So, that’s a little peek into the house.  Maybe one day when it is all cleaned up and a little more settled, I will post some other pictures.  The girls room is cute when it is clean.  The school room works just fine, though it needs a rug.  Mack’s room is great.  Our room is just not coming together very well yet.  I make the bed every day and then leave as soon as possible.  One day I will be inspired to make it whatever it needs to be, but for now, it will have to do.

Happy Monday to you.


Home-a sacred place

I still remember distinctly driving away from our Woodstock home. Ruby was with me in the front seat and was playing a song on her ipod. “His Eye is On the Sparrow”—very appropriate. And very true.


It was a song I should have played non-stop last week when no hot water was flowing through the pipes here in our new “old” home! The hot water heater had died, gone kaput. It was under warranty, but waiting over a week for hot water was not going to cut it. Call me a wimp (I can just hear my sweet missionary friends sighing and see them shaking their heads at me). I admit, I was not able to function without hot water. I needed it in order to be clean, to wash my hair, to wash dishes. My kids needed it. My husband needed it. So after five days without any hot water and a warranty company moving at a turtle’s pace, I took matters into my own hands and hired a plumber. He showed up with a water heater and realized it was damaged. He returned the water heater and picked up another one; he opened it once he returned to my house and saw that it was also damaged. He decided to go to another store and to check the water heater before coming all the way back to my house. So, four hours after he first arrived at my house, he was able to start working. It took him quite a while to get the new hot water heater connected and working. I had 20 minutes to shower before taking Mack to his first flag football practice. But I was not leaving the house again without a shower. Just gross.
The conversation with the Lord was kind of hilarious. I kept telling Him that I was sure He had a plan. I even waited for someone to randomly ring the doorbell and tell me that they felt impressed by the Lord to install a new hot water heater for free for me. I was really praying about this hot water situation. I also asked the Lord some questions. “Did we buy the wrong house?” I haven’t doubted for one second that we are where we are supposed to be as far as this move to Charlotte and the job the Lord gave Josh. God has made that abundantly clear. But aside from moving to Charlotte for Josh’s new job, did we pick the wrong house? We prayed and prayed about that decision as well. And it happened super quick, yet we both felt this was the place for us. HOWEVER, when things start getting difficult, it is amazing how quickly we start doubting the whole kit and caboodle. As if somehow this was in my control. I asked God to quiet my doubts, clear them from my head, and give me (another) anchor from His Word to help me KNOW that He planted us right here in the city, on this street, and in this specific house.

Allow me to backtrack a bit…..When we were searching the internet for a home before coming to Charlotte to house hunt, the houses we liked were either too expensive or under contract in a day! It was kind of crazy and got me worrying. I wanted to be able to move one time—-not move to an apartment and then move again or rent for a year and then move again. I just really, really was praying that God would open up a home just for us within 5-10 miles of Josh’s office. I was a little too consumed for a few days with how few houses were available in this area. I decided to give myself a break and when I was tempted to look online for houses, I would read scripture and pray about our house. Then, the day before we were going to come house hunt in Charlotte, I decided to hop online and just see what was available. Sure enough, this house popped up that I had never seen before in all my perusing. I sent it to Josh. He said he liked it. He called our agent. At the time she said that she was with a client and would go by and see it later in the day for us. However, her client only wanted to see one of the houses that our agent had lined up for her, so our agent was able to swing by a lot sooner than anticipated. She called me on FaceTime and walked through the house with me. Sure enough, we still liked it and put an offer in and then drove up that next morning to see it. There were other offers on the house, but since we were first we had another opportunity to put in our best and final offer before the seller made her decision. She went with our offer, and we proceeded from there. In less than thirty days we were in Charlotte, closing on this house. In the midst of all of that, our Woodstock home sold in six days.
It sounds so simple and easy when typed out on this side of all of it. But in the middle of making high pressure decisions and praying that the other offers weren’t chosen over ours unless the Lord wanted us to NOT have this house, and making all of the small repairs to our Woodstock home and all of the good byes that nearly did me in, life seemed hard.
Somewhere along the way, because the decision to move to Charlotte seemed clearer than anything ever before, I had adopted the thinking that the move would be easy. Things would be simple and clear and….easy. Now, if I was taking some sort of Christian questionnaire I would have never answered that life would be easy for a Christian who had heard clearly from God on a decision. But sometimes we know one thing, but believe another. So, yes, I was surprised that God allowed our house buying time here to be so “heavy” and “high pressured.” I was surprised that we had so many things to do at our Woodstock house that really took a toll on our last couple of weeks in that city.
And I was frustrated that the upstairs bathroom needed a new toilet and that the hot water heater had to be replaced our third week here and that the chimney either needed thousands of dollars of work/repair or we could get a wood burning stove installed for thousands. We’re going with the latter next week. There are more frustrating little things around here that will need to be taken care of, but that doesn’t mean we are in the wrong house. Just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean now it’s time to doubt that we made the right decision.
There’s this thing called the providence of God.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee says:
“Providence is the means by which God directs all things — both animate and inanimate, seen and unseen, good and evil — toward a worthy purpose, which means His will must finally prevail. Or as the psalmist said, ‘his kingdom ruleth over all’ (Psalm 103:19). In Ephesians 1:11 Paul tells us that God ‘worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.’ Our God is running the universe today, friends, even though there are some who think that it has slipped out from under Him.”

Sooooo, back to the week when the hot water heater was not working I asked God for more confirmation that we were in the right house. One morning my quiet time scheduled reading was Acts 17. I started this scheduled reading back in January with a group of girls in Woodstock. During our history lesson that day I read about Paul’s missionary journeys and one of the scripture passages we focused on was Acts 17 when Paul was in Greece. THEN, the pastor of the church we have been visiting sent out an email. He challenged us to read Acts 17:26 and Jeremiah 29:4-7 because he was starting a series about “Loving Where You Live.” The first Sunday was going to be about your address and considering the theology behind where you live. At this point, I was like, “OK, Lord. Forgive my weak, feeble self that needs so much of Your patience and encouragement and help.
Acts 17:26 says, “and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,”
And Jeremiah 29 is a passage to the exiles in Babylon who didn’t want to be there and were tempted to believe false prophets that said they wouldn’t have to be in Babylon long. God said they would be there 70 years and that they should, “Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. 6‘Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. 7‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ 8“For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. 9‘For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the LORD.

When Josh returned from a business trip, I was telling him about these verses and how I thought the Lord was really helping me. He shared that while he was away he heard a devotion from Jeremiah 29 on those same verses.

The Lord was obviously speaking to both of us. The sermon on Sunday was amazing. We were challenged to 1) see the sovereignty of God in making this address a sacred place, 2) settle in to where God has you, and 3) seek the peace and welfare (shalom) of your neighbors and neighborhood and city.

The message could not have been any more for us. It was amazing how clear the Lord was and how personal He chose to be with me. I sure did need it. And I am so thankful for His kindness towards me.

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.



Settled Heart >Settled Home

Moving to a new place ushers in one question above all others: “Are you settled?”

I have asked it a million times to friends who have moved or to new people I have met in my neighborhood or at church who have recently moved to our area. It’s a logical question. You just unsettled all of your stuff and your life, moved it to a new place, so have you settled it all? Is it all in its place? Do you feel settled in your new place?

And it’s what we all want–to be settled in our homes and with our routines, for all of our stuff to be in the right place. Curtains, books, dishes, pictures, furniture, etc.

I am not settled here yet. And, honestly, it’s been a good process—this unsettling of routine, of familiarity, of stuff. Such a good process.

Being settled is overrated. This earth is not our home, our place to be settled, and I am reminded of this every day when I wake up and need my GPS to go anywhere or when I look at my room and wonder if it will ever be inviting and pretty or when I pass the tool box, open with tools strew on the floor, waiting for another project where they will be needed. This is not our home. Not just this home we moved to in this new city, but this daily life on earth.

A theme of my life has been wanting to be settled. We moved so many times as I grew up that I lost count; from 13 years of age until I left home to get married, we moved nearly every year on average. Cra-cra, yes.

But anything God uses to remind you that this earth is not your home is a wonderful thing. And this recent move for our little family has included that wonderful reminder. The lack of familiarity and routine ushers in a sensitivity to the Lord. I have been leaning in to hear what He wants to say to me. I am reminded that back in January 2016 the Lord impressed on me a picture in my mind. He was scooping me up and carrying me away. Away from what, I did not know at that time. I shared it with Josh and just told him I didn’t know what it meant, but I was certain the Lord would show me eventually. And many times over the past 8 months He has reminded me of that picture He gave me. He has tied the impression with scripture— Psalm 139: 5 says, “You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand on me.” Psalm 5:11-12 says, “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.”

And He has surrounded me with His presence. He has been a steady friend and encourager to my heart. I have recently heard a song that has become my prayer—“Set My Heart’ by Vertical Church Band.

When I wonder if I will ever be settled here, I can know that the only thing that matters is a settled heart on God.

Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the ROCK of my heart and my portion forever.”

Settling and Surprise Visitors!

It has been rainy here in Charlotte, so the kids and I are just staying here today.  I worked on my picture wall (you can see most of it in the first picture background) and that’s when I spotted someone walking across the yard in the rain.  She is a friend of a friend and that friend connected us via text, and this new friend decided to come by and say hello.  It was so nice to talk with her and visit with her little girl.  I didn’t think to snap a picture while they were inside, but the cute little scene of them as they walked away caused me to reach for my phone and snap their photo.

She mentioned that she read my last blog post…it has not been easy to move, but it is still so clear that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.  Hopefully I didn’t muddy that message.  It’s just hard to unpack and try to settle in such a brand new city. I really do like it here!  The other day there was a Sno Cone truck in the neighborhood, so the kids and I all walked down and met some families.  We’ve enjoyed walking while the kids ride their bikes around the neighborhood.  I love all of the trees!! They are everywhere and are beautiful.  The houses are each very different.  There is also a  house up the road that has a little library box thing built out at the corner; anyone can take a book and leave a book.  It is so cute!  We went by once already and left a few books and took a few to read.  I will have to snap a picture next time we walk up there.

The girls have been watching videos from Cute Girls Hairstyles and then trying them out.  Today they wanted to try buns.

And Ruby has been reading to Mack.  He does know how to read, but enjoys when Ruby reads even more.


Yesterday we went out and about to buy school supplies and just toodle around.  We were all proud of ourselves for navigating different places and figuring out the mall.

The kids talked me into getting them new Converse.  We ran into our neighbor, which was fun.  She is a 76 year old lady and so kind.  She walked right up and said, “Well, hello neighbors!”  We were so surprised to see someone we actually knew while we were out.  And we drove by Josh’s new office area while we were headed to the mall.  He has had plenty to do; his days are flying by as he learns a whole new role.  I can tell he likes it, and i am so grateful for that!

And here is my new little chair that sits in our sun room.  Josh’s chair should arrive in a couple of weeks, and then we can sit together and talk in there every evening while we look into each other’s eyes.  I’m kidding.  But it is a great spot for us to connect–with no chairs for the kids.  Our living room has enough seats for all of us though.  The sun room is where we go in the morning with our coffee and Bible.  I love the large windows in the doors so I can look outside.

This weekend I have a few jobs left for Josh–hanging curtains in our room, hanging my chalk board in the school room, setting up my new printer, and picking up our rugs for the living room and office.  I am sure he can’t wait to get home this evening!

Happy Friday!

Adjusting…sort of


You know you’re a little homesick when the news that a Publix Grocery Store is coming to your new city brings tears to your eyes. Sorry, but I don’t think Harris Teeter will be my choice when Publix opens up across the street. It’s just a little taste of home.

Ends up, tears well-up often when you move to a new city.

Tears of frustration.
Tears from being overwhelmed with so. much. stuff.
Tears when you realize you need to put a new toilet in the girls’ 1952 bathroom.
Tears when your son’s shower, which was a big deal to him, has next to zero pressure. As Mack put it, “That water stream couldn’t drown an ant.”
Anyone know a plumber in Charlotte?

Tears when the hardware store doesn’t have any of the curtain rod brackets you need. I just wanted the curtains hanging this week. Was that too much to ask?

Tears when the 3M strips that you bought for a pretty penny don’t actually hold up 16 pounds. Not even 2 lbs. 3M, I hate you.

Tears when you spend two hours sorting packing paper and tearing down boxes with your kids.

Tears when you realize the master closet is much smaller than you remember.

The tears all threatened to come at each of these moments and even more, but I fought them back and kept working. Kept unpacking and putting things in their new place. Kept cleaning the filthy kitchen. Kept rearranging the pantry that is 1/16 of the size of my other pantry. Kept praying all the while that the Lord would just help me not fall apart. I didn’t want to scare the children. And I didn’t want Josh to have to deal with my emotions in the middle of all of this. So we all just kept moving.

Then, Sunday morning we went to church. Each kid went to their own class while Josh and I went to the worship service. And we couldn’t just keep moving. We were still. We worshiped. And then my tears flowed. They flowed because I am so grateful to God for helping us all along our journey, in particular the last eight months. They flowed because I missed my Woodstock friends more in that church service than any other time so far. Church was our place! We knew so many people and loved each of them. And now here we were at church without any familiar faces. Yet, we were with the body of Christ and I could sense the Spirit there. It felt like home, even though we don’t know if it will be our church home for sure yet. But there was a comfort and a familiarity being there with the body of Christ.

Tears well-up now as I finish up this blog because I am sitting in my little office with my little light and pretty decorations from my friends back home. Hymns are playing softly in the background. I can hear the washing machine and dryer working and things feel a little normal for the first time. This feeling might not last long, but I will take it.

Help me see that I’m blind.

I read in Luke 18 a few days ago and have been thinking about it off and on ever since. I’ve been asking God to not let me miss what He wants to teach me in the truths He offers there.

Luke 18 introduces us to two men, two very different men.

The first is a rich young ruler. “A ruler questioned Jesus, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’ And he said, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth.’
When Jesus heard this, He said to him, ‘One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’
But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.”

We who are extremely rich (which is likely everyone reading this right now) are in danger of somehow thinking all of life is all about us somehow—even eternal life. What can I do to inherit eternal life? What ministries should I give to? What church should I attend? I mean, somehow there is something I can do to help myself gain eternal life…I already do so much, as a matter of fact! I don’t cheat on my husband. I haven’t killed anyone. I don’t steal things…I mean, why would I? I can buy anything I need and most of what I want. I don’t lie, and I love my mom and dad. What more could I possibly do? I think the young ruler thought he was already doing everything he could possibly do to inherit eternal life. He just kind of wanted to hear it from the “Good Teacher’s” mouth.
But Jesus shoots straight for the heart, doesn’t he? He reminds this man that not his wallet nor his list of good things earns him eternal life.

Right here I wonder if maybe a lesson on this topic could have helped the guy—a flannel board story? A little parable, maybe? Like, did Jesus have to go straight to “sell all you own and give it all to the poor and then come follow Me” ? Evidently, He did need to go straight to that. He shoots for the heart. He loved this young rich kid very much and wanted him to let go of all he was holding up to God for approval and find that Jesus already did everything for him. But our stuff blinds us. We hold on to our stuff because so many times our stuff defines us—we think. Our stuff comforts us—temporarily. Our stuff is fun—for a season.

But our stuff is dangerous. We are so full of our stuff that we don’t even see our need for Jesus. We operate in life as if it all depends on us. Instead of raising our empty hands to praise God, we drop them in sadness and walk away from following God. Our hands are just too full for what He has to offer.

And then there is the second man— Bartimaeus, the blind beggar. He didn’t ask any properly worded questions to the “Good Teacher.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Luke 18 tells us that Jesus asked for Bartimaeus to be brought to Him, and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

Wow! What a question from the Lord!! Some times we are quick to say (especially after reading about the sad young rich man) that the Lord isn’t concerned about our comforts or what makes us happy. And I get that line of thinking. He does want our hearts right with Him more than our physical desires fulfilled. HOWEVER, He does care about our wants. He loves us. He loved this man so much that He asked him “What do you want Me to do for you?”

Well, duh! Didn’t he know the man wanted to see? Probably so. But Jesus wanted the man to come near, and he did. Jesus wanted to hear him ask, and he did. To hear his faith come out in words. And I want to come near to Jesus and pray with much faith and ask of the Lord things that only He can do. I want to hear my faith expressed in words to my heavenly Father who asks me, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Wow. What an example this blind man is for me.
He was blind, which made knowing his need very evident. He didn’t have a large bank account to go to for help. He had no stuff to speak of…he was a blind beggar.
And so am I. My stuff can sometimes make it hard for me to see my need of Jesus. But I am just a blind beggar, in need of a touch from My Savior. Every. single. day.
I want to go with Jesus, glorifying God and causing others to see His work in my life and praise God….instead of going away sad and alone with my stuff.

How about you? Do you see yourself in the rich young ruler? Is your stuff blinding you to your true need for Jesus’ touch? Are your hands just too full of temporary things to hold onto the eternal?
Do you want to be like the blind beggar? Painfully aware of your need for a touch from Jesus and desperate enough to cry out to Him no matter what? With faith to ask of God what you want? To walk with God and bring great glory to His name?

Lord, help me see that I am blind. I need a touch from You. I want a touch from You. Help me live open-handed before You. I don’t want all of my material blessings to fill me. I want YOU to fill me.