One day at a time

The older I get, the more comfortable I am in my own skin.

I spent years trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life.

Over time, it's as if pieces of my life started coming together in layers.  With each layer, I learned more about myself and what made me tick.  Those layers gave me the confidence I needed to step out in faith and test the waters....hoping to navigate myself into God's calling on my life.

I would love to say that as I searched my soul and followed my calling that I never made mistakes.  I did.  But God was faithful to see me through and to teach me something from each one.  Any time I got off the path He had laid for me, He gently guided me right back to it.

He has never left my side and has blown my mind with doors of opportunities only He could open.

Lately, I've been thinking about my life, re-evaluating and pondering where I am in this season and even wondering about some recent feelings of discontent and guilt.  I had to finally admit to myself that maybe some of the things I used to have a passion for doing don't bring me satisfaction any longer because it's time to move on.  I'm talking about areas of my career or serving in ministry, not my personal life.  I'm completely happy in my personal life and wouldn't trade it or my family for anything.

To live out my calling, I used to think it had to be about doing big things for God.  Don't get me wrong.  Doing big things for God is awesome!  And if God wants to give me those opportunities, I am willing and ready.  "Here I am God!  Send me, send me!"

But you know what?  I recently reminded myself that rather than doing big things for God, it's better to do things for a big God.  And the secret to doing that is contentment and peace in my current situation.            

I don't have to perform for God.  I could never earn more favor or grace from Him anyway.  He offers it to me freely.....each and every day, just as He does for you.

I believe it's more important to "be" instead of "do" and I know God wants me to just spend time with Him.  Not perform for Him.

There are many noble things we can do to show God our love for Him and that includes our ministry and career, but when I search out my heart, I am reminded that there are multiple ways to minister to others.

He has blessed me with a loving family and a home that I adore.  A job that I enjoy and that gives me a sense of doing something for the good of others.  I also have the benefit of working from home which has been a dream of mine for a long time.  And you know what?  This is enough.  This is part of my calling in and of itself.

I happen to believe that my family is my first ministry and the most important one for me. Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having my own home some day with a husband and children and a family dog.  I have that and nothing  makes me more happy than feathering my nest and spending time with my family.

Sure, it's important for me to minister to others as well.  And I want to use any gifts and talents God has given me.  But I realize now that some of the discontentment I've been feeling is from trying to make things happen on my own because I have a fear of never doing enough.  But when I try to make things happen and only think about doing big things for God, it often leads to frustration and feelings of discouragement when things don't go as I planned.

I have to get to a place that if I never write another published article or book or speak at church again, I can still know that He is pleased with me. If my blog following doesn't grow any more at all, that's alright too.  Because these things are not the most important things.  People are.  My family is.  I want to make every  moment count because we never know when our last moments on this earth will be.  And I don't have to feel guilty if I'd rather minister to my family's needs instead of others.

I recently read an article by Karen Yates called, "Your Calling is Closer Than You Think".  Here is some of what she said that really spoke to me:

"God has called me to everyday obedience. I am to walk step by step with Him, and if I do so, then I am fulfilling His unique calling on my life."

"We have an expectation that our calling will be profound. We want to become instant successes, start a business, invent something unique, write a book that impacts thousands, raise the next Margaret Thatcher, write music that reaches the Billboard Top 100, become the next Rick Warren, or make movies that matter. We're a culture consumed with numerical impact, with skyrocketing ROI, awards, and the recognition of man, so when our "calling" is to be in the shadows, it's a tough pill to swallow".This is how I've started looking at calling.
"It takes an extraordinary amount of discipline and maturity to live in today, walking step by step doing whatever I'm supposed to do today. It takes discipline to say "I don't know." It takes faith to trust in one-day-at-a-time. It requires me to lay down my desperate, freakish desire for control and trust He is at work.
He knows the reason I was made. If I walk in step with Him every day I will walk into the reason. Maybe I'm here for something big and meaningful, or maybe I'm supposed to pick up rocks so the tractors don't break.
My "calling" is every day:.
These are such timely words to me today.  It's all in his hands now and I have such peace about it.


Our Lady Patriots: The Elite 8

This time last week, we were in Columbus, GA watching my niece and the other Lady Patriots play their first game in the Elite 8 State Playoffs.  Here's a few of the highlights:

My niece, Autumn in the pitcher's circle

Autumn at bat

VICTORY!  Won the first game!

Team Introduction in Opening Ceremony

Wilcox County's Pride

Our Lady Patriots played in the championship game last year and were 1st Runner Up.  This year, they made it to the Final Four.  You know what they say? The 3rd time's the charm!  Expecting to be State Champions next year!  Can't wait to watch them play again!


October extras!

October has been a busy and fun month!  I love this time of the year and try to take advantage of some of the activities and events that only come around once a year.

October 10th, Scott and I got up early that Saturday morning and did the "100 Mile Peanut Pickin' Yard Sale".  I told him before we left that the only thing in particular I was looking for was some type of small bench for the foyer.  Preferably one with a shelf on bottom that could hold the shoes we keep by the front door for potty trips outside with Lucy.  And we found this one early on!

It's really old and was in pretty good shape too.  From my research on the Internet, I think it's what they call a carpenter's bench.  And it was only $15.00!  Woohoo!  I love a great deal!  I cleaned it up and put it in place. I'm probably going to paint it, but not sure what color yet.  The jury is still out on that.

Another Saturday, we went to Calhoun Produce.  It's not far from where we live and I'd never visited before.  It's a family farm that grew into a total farm experience where kids (and adults) enjoy seeing different types of crops and farm animals, learn how bees make honey, pick pumpkins, and walk through a corn maze.  They also have a play ground, pig races, and a cafe where you can enjoy a delicious lunch while there.  Oh!  There's also a store where you can purchase produce and gifts.  And of course, I had to get some cream peas for my freezer!

Every October, this place is busy with kids from different schools and churches on field trips enjoying farm life and all fall has to offer.  I think they are open year round.  Here's their website if you live in the area and are interested in going: Calhoun Produce.  

Because I work from home most of the time now, this football season I've been able to make more of our middle school football games as well as high school softball games. 

My nephew, Noah, enjoyed an awesome season.  With only one loss, his team made it to the championship game this year!  Sadly, they didn't win (and it broke my heart for him), but they played great.  He's done an awesome job on the field this season, and I'm so proud of him.  His older brother, Evan, plays on the Varsity team, so I already see all of those games on Friday nights.  But you can't get too much football down here in the south!

My niece, Autumn plays fast pitch softball for our high school team.  Her sister, Anna is on the JV team and I was also able to catch some of their games.  Autumn is a pitcher and plays LF and Anna plays first base.  I'm so proud of them both and enjoy watching them play a sport I could never have played!  The Lady Patriots were Region Champions again this year and this picture was taken after they won their first round in the state playoffs and were officially in the Elite 8 headed to Columbus, Ga.  I was so happy to actually get to go and see them play two games and to see the opening ceremonies.  I'll do a separate post for that since I took so many pictures.   

Autumn (left) and Anna (right)

I've already talked about mine and Scott's trip to the fair in October, but one other thing I did during the month was participate in the Color Me Baby 5K Run in Tifton, Ga.  The proceeds benefited the Pregnancy Care Center of Tift area.  It's been a LONG time since I ran a 5K, but I survived with Dillan's support and encouragement.  I try to exercise regularly and eat healthy (most of the time), but that was a huge workout for this almost 46 year old!  But I'm so glad we did it!  I am pro-life and try to do all I can in this area to help create awareness and promote support for this worthwhile cause.  

Balloons for the 62 babies saved since Jan. 1st

So that's what's been keeping me busy lately.  I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of this fall season as well.  I can not believe we're already staring Thanksgiving in the face!  I've offered to host my family's Thanksgiving lunch this year, so there's lots to do to get ready for that!  I think it's time for some Pinterest inspiration and list making!

I'm still struggling to make time to blog regularly, but if you aren't already following me on Instagram, be sure to check out my page.  I'm able to post regularly on there since it's more about pictures than writing and I'd love to have you follow me.  There's a link on my home page to get you there in one click!


Sights, sounds, and smells of FALL

Fall season is upon us and I couldn't be more excited!  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year for me!  The mornings and evenings are cooler already and football season is in full swing!

I've done my fall decorating and we've already had our first fire around the fire pit we made last year.  I'm looking forward to nights under the "campy" lights, hot cocoa, and time with family and friends.


Scott and I finally made it to the Georgia National Fair last night.  I snapped a few photos with my phone to share on here, so excuse the quality.

What is it about the smell of the food at the fair?  It always smells so good....better than it tastes for sure.  Well, the funnel cake smells and tastes heavenly!  That's the real reason I go!

I also love the smell of the animals there for the shows and the hay and all the beautiful mums and pumpkins every where.  Sensory overload!  And while there, I always think about the popular children's book, 'Charlotte's Webb".  I can't tell you how many times I read it.

Scott and I don't have the stomach to ride the rides like we used to, but we always enjoy walking around and soaking up the whole experience.  If you've never been to the Georgia National Fair in Perry, GA, you should definitely go!  Unlike alot of fairs, all the walkways are paved, so it's really nice.  You don't have to walk around in dirt and grass....that's no fun, especially when it's raining.

On our way out, we stopped for one more picture and were surprised by the sudden sound of fireworks.  That's the way they end every night of the fair.  It was beautiful and a great way to end our date night.  Now....let the weekend begin!


If Jesus walked among us.....

I am not Catholic, so I don't understand everything about the Catholic Church and its traditions, but I must say that I was very impressed by what I saw during the Pope's recent visit to America.  I was also very moved as I watched the warm reception that Pope Francis received upon his arrival here and as he traveled to the different events.

While in America, he encouraged us, as well as world leaders, to honor life, care for God's creation, provide for the needy and the poor, and many other things.  He also asked us to remember the Golden Rule:  "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" Matthew 7:12 (NIV).

As I watched the masses lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the Pope, hoping for a handshake or to receive his blessing, the tears started rolling down my cheeks.  I was moved by what I saw, but I was crying because of the harsh reality brought to my mind.  

I was reminded of Jesus' triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem that we read about in John chapter 12.  As He rode into the city on the back of a donkey, the people lined the streets and greeted Him with the waving of palm branches.  They celebrated His arrival, but the people that day did not see Him as their spiritual Messiah.  They thought He had come as a political leader to free them from Roman authority.

I thought about the many occasions in the Bible where masses of people followed Jesus and listened to His teachings.  Crowds would gather as He traveled through their towns, hoping to see Him or to be able to touch Him and receive a healing.  But some of these same people are the ones who turned on Him and so eagerly demanded His crucifixion.  

The harsh reality is that if Jesus were to come to America today to just walk among us and encourage us in our faith as the Pope did, I doubt very seriously that He would be greeted with the same warm, enthusiastic reception.  As a matter of fact, I think it would be quite the opposite.  

God's Word provides us with instructions on how to live, both individually and as a nation.  We once proudly stated that we were "One Nation Under God" and were blessed and under the divine protection of God's hand.  But over the years, we as a nation have turned our back on God and refused to repent and return to the morals and values that made this country great.  Only God knows how long He has put off His judgement on America and He has given us many warnings to repent and turn back to Him. But sadly, I don't see that happening on a national level.  

Regardless of what we do as a nation, make no mistake, Jesus is coming back!  When He does, there will be no denying who He is....the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! At the second coming, He will not be riding on a donkey, or in a "Pope mobile" but He will descend from heaven on a great white horse and He is coming to judge the world. 

It breaks my heart when I picture Jesus being rejected by so many, but when He returns, there will be great rejoicing among His children!  I look forward to that day.....how about you?


Hey, you Walking Dead fans!

Photo by Dillan Moore (Moore Than Style)

I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait until the new season of The Walking Dead!  I have to admit, I didn't watch the show the first couple of years it was on, but after my son started appearing on there as a zombie, I tuned in and was hooked!

Not only is Dillan an actor and model, but he is an awesome photographer!  Back during the spring, he did a photo shoot at our place that was inspired by his time on the set of this hit show.

If you haven't seen them already, click on over there for the photos and for more inspiration:  Defending Wildwood


Island Time: Key West

There are no words or even enough hours in the day to describe the fun and adventures we had during our week's vacation in Key West this summer!  I'll let these pictures speak for themselves! 
Take me back.....NOW!