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!


What are you fishing for?

During my quiet time with the Lord recently, I read the familiar passage where Peter denied Jesus Christ not once, but three times.  I thought about that and pondered how I would have felt had it been me.  Just like Peter, it’s so easy to say what we will or won’t do until we are pressured and put in that particular situation.  Later, I read in John 21 after Jesus’ death and resurrection that one day Peter declared to the others, “I’m going fishing.” 

It seems that Peter had decided to go back to his old way of life….his life as a fisherman before He knew Jesus.  I can just imagine that this decision had a lot to do with the fact that Peter couldn’t get over knowing that he had denied the Lord and failed Him miserably.  After all, Peter was the one who was so eager to fight for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane just days earlier when he cut off the ear of a soldier as they came to arrest Jesus. Peter was the one who assured Jesus that he would never deny Him for any reason.  He knew that Jesus had risen from the grave, but why would Jesus have anything to do with him now?  The brave, bold disciple had been reduced to a coward. 

But here we are again in a familiar scene.  Jesus is standing on the beach and looking out at Peter and the others who had joined him fishing.  Just like the first time when Peter met Jesus, their nets were empty. 

After Jesus calls out to them and directs them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat, their nets became so full that they couldn’t haul in the net.  At that moment, John recognized Jesus and said, “It’s the Lord!”  In that moment, Peter jumped into the water to go meet Jesus.  I would imagine that he couldn’t get there quick enough!  He had assumed that Jesus would want nothing to do with him, but here is Jesus, standing there calling out to them….to Peter….as if nothing bad had ever happened. 

There on the shore, Jesus fed Peter and the others a meal of fish and bread by a warm fire.  After they were done eating, that famous conversation begins.  Jesus asked Peter, not once, but three times, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”  Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you”.  And then Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep”.

Many suggest that Jesus asked this three times for the three times that Peter had denied Jesus earlier.  And while that might be true, I was struck by the last part of each statement by Jesus, “Feed my sheep”. 

Jesus was not surprised by the fact that Peter had denied Him.  As a matter of fact, he told Peter that it would happen.  I think that Jesus understood how Peter had been feeling.  Peter was more than disappointed in himself for denying Jesus.  Peter felt like a total failure and unworthy to be of service to the Lord.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt that same kind of failure in my own life and unworthy to be used by God.  But reading this passage in scripture reminds me that Jesus loves us unconditionally and is using our mistakes and failures to transform us.  He can take our mistakes and turn them into ministry opportunities.  He can take our failures and use them to increase our faith in Him. 

Jesus wanted Peter to understand that even in his failures, he was not forgotten by God.  And He wants us today to understand that for every time we fail him, He will still be there to pick us back up.  He is there to help us reach out to others and make a difference – even in our failures. 

Jesus has a job for each of us to do on this earth.  If we will believe and follow Him, He will provide us with the power to not just catch fish, but be fishers of men.


A mother's job is never done

I was just sitting here thinking about motherhood and how much our relationships with our children change as they (and we) get older.  If you'd told me when I was a teen that my mom and I would be as close as we are now, I'd never have believed you.  We seemed to be so opposite, and still are in a lot of ways.  But the older I get the more I see some of her in myself.  Especially when I look in the mirror!

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that my sisters and I didn't have an updated picture of our mother.  I think the last one we had was of her and my dad....and it was a church directory picture!  So I decided I'd practice with my new camera and have my first photo session :)  I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  We took some pictures at the church where I attended most of my life, where she still attends. We also rode out to the farm where my mom grew up and took some there.

On Mother's Day this year, all three of my sisters and I went to church with her.  I think things like that mean alot more to her than any gifts we could give her.  We had lunch together after church and then I just enjoyed a relaxing Sunday afternoon at home with my little family.

Dillan was home too, so that made it all the more special for me.  With his line of work, I'm sure the day's coming when he might not make it home for every special occasion,so I'm soaking it up while I can.

Speaking of motherhood, y'all know as good as I do that our job is never done!  It doesn't matter how old our children are, there is still a role we play in their lives.  Sure, it gets easier in alot of ways when they're grown, but life is still so busy.

If you're like me, it seems like I never get everything done on my to-do list.  That's why I'm glad I found this new site, Clean Mama.

She breaks down the list of cleaning jobs in a way that's much more manageable.  I started doing this recently, and although I get off track some days, it's easy to pick back up and have some peace of mind each day.  So be sure and check out her sight!  She's also on Instagram and Facebook, so use the site that's easiest for you for your daily reminders.


Pretty for a Purpose

My niece, Natalie (better known as Sweet Pea by me) was in a Relay for Life Pageant not long ago.  It was a casual pageant that's main goal was to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  

Natalie entered and raised money in memory of my dad, her Papa George. She was presented a plaque for her effort and hard work raising money for such a worthy cause.

And she did so well!  She's such a natural on stage and we were so proud of her!

This was only the second pageant she's been in, but she's already thinking of doing some others pageants in our local area.

 In case y'all haven't noticed, since I don't have a girl, I like to live vicariously through my sisters'girls so that I can enjoy the things that only little girls can do. When someone says "pageant", I'm ready to go!


Birthdays, holidays, and prom dates

The past couple of months have been a whirlwind of activity!  Lots of fun stuff going on this spring, but I'm about ready to take a "breather" and am dreaming of a beach vacation.  Anyway, I wanted to share some pics from Dillan's 21st birthday, Easter, and prom.

Dillan made the decision not to go to his own Junior or Senior proms when he was in high school.  So I have grieved the fact that I didn't have prom pictures of my boy :.(

But Mallory, one of Dillan's best friends is a senior this year and asked him to take her to her last high school prom.  Y'all.....they were just beautiful!  Two young people so beautiful on the inside and out.  Needless to say, I took lots and lots of pictures.  And now I have prom pics on the blog to document his life.  Yay, me!  I can only imagine what this blog would look like if blogs existed when he was born.  

I also had a nephew and niece attending, so it was fun to see all of them at one big event like this.  Evan is a junior and Autumn a sophomore and they and their dates looked amazing as well!


Some years Dillan's birthday is close to Easter, so instead of him coming home two weekends in a row this year, he just came home for Easter and we celebrated his 21st with family during Easter lunch.



His birthday fell during the week, so on the weekend before, we went up to Atlanta and took him out to eat at The Cheesecake Factory and to do some shopping.  His Grandma Robyn met us and it was so nice to be able to spend some time with her.  I love to shop, but I do believe Dillan gets his love for shopping from her :)



The following day, Dillan took us to Sweetwater Creek State Park outside of Atlanta to hike.  He found the place a while back and was dying for us to go see it.  So as part of his birthday adventure, we took a very long hike with him....probably 5-6 miles!


It's a beautiful place and I'd love to go back now that everything is green and in bloom.  It's like being in the mountains....so peaceful. It was a little chilly that day, so we had to layer up, but it was a beautiful day for a hike.




While visiting, I was able to help Dillan work on his gallery wall in his bedroom.  I still haven't done a post about his new place....maybe soon.  He has 3 roommates now, so his bedroom is the only room really decorated with only his things.  It's a beautiful apartment though and much nicer than his former place.  They have a beautiful view and even a swimming pool to enjoy.


Dillan's been really busy lately.  He's just been signed by another modeling agency there in Atlanta, so we're real excited about that.  He's also been chosen to play a role in two different independent films and was hand-picked by the directors themselves for the parts.  A couple of weeks ago, he was filmed as the "love interest" in a music video by a new, up-and-coming group too.  I can't wait to see it!

Well, that's about it for now.  It's been storming here off and on today, so I'm glad I had a chance to get some blogging done.  More updates soon!