Welcome to my blog! Odd title you say? Yes, maybe, but I bet you would agree with me that life is chaotic! I'm mindful though, in the midst of the chaos, of Colossians 3:17 "Whatever you do, do it all in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father!" I thank God that my life gets to be chaotic...I know that through the chaos He is transforming me to be more like Him!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Love Your Neighbor

Neighbors. Specifically the neighbors that live immediately around you...on your block. They are usually good for helping watch over your house while you're out of town. They are sometimes handy if you are in the middle of baking and discover you are mysteriously out of sugar. Maybe their kids play with your kids, or you all sit outside and visit from time to time. Maybe you have neighbors that look like you, dress like you, take care of their house as well as your take care of yours, go to the same school your kids go to,  or maybe you share common interests. This isn't the case with our neighbors. 

Our church is learning to be more mission-minded. Jesus called us to be in the world and make disciples. There are some people who will never step foot in a "church building." In fact, statistically 70% of people in our city do not attend church. How many more of those people don't even know Jesus? As a first step to help in this mindset shift, our church body won't be meeting together tomorrow for a service. Instead, we are meeting across 4 different locations in our communities to meet our neighbors and share the love of Jesus with them. We are going to them, instead of hoping they will just come to us. One of these locations is our house, in our neighborhood, with our neighbors. 

This is the reason my husband and I just finished pushing our 4 1/2 month old in his stroller around the block, meeting neighbors and inviting them to a cookout tomorrow at our house. That doesn't sound too difficult does it? Seriously, it was one of the hardest things I have done in a while.You see, our neighbors don't look like us, dress like us, act like us, or even take care of their houses as well as we do. We don't borrow cups of sugar. We don't share meals together. In fact, I would be scared to death to even walk into some of the houses that surround us. On our journey, we navigated our way around the roads covered with pot holes. We were chased by several barking dogs that constantly rule and roam the streets. We walked up to houses that I was scared to walk up to the front door of, and at some houses you couldn't even get to the front door because of all of the junk in the yard. Some people we met wanted to walk up to my baby to meet him and touch him, and honestly inside I cringed. I cringed because they were dirty. My flesh wanted to retreat back into our clean, safe house as fast as I could. My flesh was angry that I was even having to do this. I told my husband I hated our house and our neighborhood and I just wanted to move away into a place that's more comfortable. Then the Holy Spirit whispered to me from 2 Corinthians 5, "...and He died for all." Completely aware of my sinful thoughts and feelings, I looked over at my husband and asked, "Is it hard for you to grasp that Jesus doesn't have favorites? He loves us all the same, and He sees us all the same." He gave me a half-smurk that suggested he was having a hard time swallowing everything we were experiencing too. He answered, "Yep." Then he added, "I'm just grateful that God called us here instead of to a people who run around naked, live in huts, and don't speak our language." (Props to him for looking at the bright side!) The reality was sinking in on a whole new level that this is what God has called us to do. He put us here for a reason. If we don't show our neighbors Jesus, who will? And how will we ever have the opportunity to tell them about Jesus if we never meet them, hang out with them, get to know them? It's impossible. 

I knew that continuing on was what we had to do. I whispered a prayer to Jesus, "Please change my heart. Please help me keep going." In all honesty, the second half of our walk around the neighborhood did seem a little easier. I think that's because my perspective was different. My husband started singing the words to a song we have recently latched onto. The lines of the song are "we give all for Your ultimate call, we've no doubt You are worth it all, God our lives are for You, we live out this holy pursuit." No matter what my flesh wants to think or feel, we have been called to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. It's true, there's no doubt that Jesus is worth it all. He gave up what was comfortable and easy for us, and we have been called to live out the holy pursuit of following Jesus no matter what it costs us. God is working in me to rid me of my desire to be comfortable. I've got a long way to go, but God has always been faithful to provide what we need at the right time. He is always enough. I'm praying for the opportunity to see deeper into the people who come to the cookout tomorrow. I'm praying for God to give me the right things to say, and show me how to love unconditionally the way He loves us. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Wise Old Owl

Whether correctly spelling the word
T-U-E-S-D-A-Y, or explaining to Eeyore that Fall and Autumn were the same season, Winnie the Pooh's friend Owl was known for being the oldest and wisest of all the friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. While Owl's friends didn't always want to listen to his loooong attempts at storytelling, they always went to him for advice. Why? Because he was considered wise, meaning: full of knowledge.

But the Bible talks about wisdom in a different light in the book of James.

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

The Jewish audience James was writing to understood this kind of wisdom not as lofty knowledge or philosophical ideas about life. They understood the word wisdom to mean understanding how to live life for God's glory. They understood wisdom as understanding how to align themselves with God's will and live by His standards. This type of wisdom didn't come from studying scrolls or watching jeopardy. The audience knew this type of wisdom James was speaking of is a divine wisdom that only comes from God.

One of the ways we know this to be true is the context of this verse 5. In the verses leading up to this one, James writes about trials;

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

Consider it joy when you face trials? That goes against every bit of logic we've got in us! I believe that's why God inspired James to write verse 5 next. To paraphrase, James was saying that if that doesn't make sense to you, if you're lacking the divine wisdom to understand being joyful in the midst of trials, that's okay! Just ask God who can help you understand that through divine wisdom!

You see, it's only through this divine wisdom that we can understand what it means to allow God to make us perfect and complete, lacking in nothing, through enduring trials on earth. But we can only receive this wisdom as we ask God for it, as we spend time with Him, begging Him to help us see as He sees. It won't be found flipping through "O Magazine", or watching "The View" or "Doctor Oz" and learning the latest tips for how to juggle the things you go through in life. There aren't enough great tips or home remedies to help you fight through struggles with joy and not become depressed, it's only through a divine gift granted by God. The good news is, this verse says that He gives generously to all who ask! This isn't something He is keeping from us. God is waiting to pour out this divine wisdom on us as we let our trials move us toward Him to ask Him to fill us up where we are lacking.

And just like the wise old owl, when we possess this wisdom, people will see it. They will want to come to us for an explanation as to why we are able to act joyfully through trouble. We will be someone others can come to for advice. And when we're living life this way, we, like the owl, will be full of stories to tell of the amazing things God has done in our lives because we possess the divine wisdom of God.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's Been a While...

August 2011, the last date posted on my blog. I had to take some much needed time off from blogging for a while. I've been writing it all down in my journal though, and hopefully I'll be sharing some of those moments/lessons over the coming weeks now that I'm back to blogging! For the last 17 months, God has completely flipped mine and my husband's world by calling us to do something we never had on our radar: church planting. We went from not even knowing what church planting was to being assessed, trained, planning, meeting with a core team, fundraising, hosting interest meetings, helping start small groups, and a host of other things as God burdened our heart to start a new church body in Pearl, Mississippi. The last 8 months have been even more intense on this journey as we sold a house, bought a new house in a new city, Bryant transitioned from his full-time job at our church, and we stepped into this thing full fledge ahead! While it's without a doubt been the most chaotic season of our lives, we have been able to see God do more miraculous things in our life than ever before! You can find out more about our journey on our blog.

Check out a video and info on our website!

And watch a short video with an update on The Exchange!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Things Weekend

This weekend was full of FIRST things!

My FIRST time to attend a Pearl football game cheering for the Pearl Pirates...

Moved my FIRST baby sister into college...

(She's the one on the right with the long hair.)

The FIRST time to not have my grandmother here to wish her happy birthday on August 20th...

(She would have been 69)


My FIRST time to buy Cheerios! I stumbled upon a new favorite - Banana Nut Cheerios.

(I'm not usually a fan of Cheerios in any form, but these are great!)

First things can be fun, scary, sad, or just weird. But that's the way of first things. You take them as they come, and make the best of them!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Have you ever encountered harsh opposition at a time in your life that you were passionately following God and being obedient to His commands? It's sometimes enough to stop you dead in your tracks and that's exactly satan's intent. I want to provide you some encouragement straight from Scripture today. These new testament writers new this feeling all too well, and this is what they had to say about it. I hope it encourages you to keep pursuing righteousness no matter what people say about you.

So how am I to respond? I've decided that I really don't care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on! And I'm going to keep that celebration going because I know how it's going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don't expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn't shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I'm Christ's messenger; dead, I'm his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can't lose. Philippians 1:21 MSG

If with heart and soul you're doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you're still better off. Don't give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They'll end up realizing that they're the ones who need a bath. It's better to suffer for doing good, if that's what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That's what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others' sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. 1 Peter 3:13-18 MSG

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On the iPod

If you're looking for some new music then you should check this out on iTunes. I can't seem to turn it off.

And this one's not new, but it's so good! I'm going back and forth between the songs on these albums constantly!


Monday, August 1, 2011

From Contentious to Contentment - Step 2

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

Blinkers. No, not the mechanism in my car used when changing lanes or making a turn that makes my car sound like the wooden percussion instruments children beat with a stick to make music. I'm talking about the kind used on horses to limit their range of sight. Blinkers, also known as winkers or blinders, are pieces of horse tack that prevent the horse from seeing to the rear or to the side of them. Many racehorse trainers believe that these keep the horse focused on what's in front of them, encouraging them to pay attention to the race, rather than distractions, such as crowds. They are even used on driving horses to keep them from being distracted or spooked on crowded streets.

Step 2 - Stop looking around at what others have-look instead at how God has uniquely created & blessed you!

What I would give for a pair of blinkers for my own eyes most days! I'm a racehorse in a race, yet I start out of the gate most days without my blinkers on. I eventually lose focus of the race as my eyes look beside me at the other horses in the race. Next, my eyes drift up toward the crowd. The only things I notice are those more talented than me, more important than me, and the ones God seems to be blessing more than me! These distractions only lead to one thing...discontentment. Before I know it, I no longer like anything about being a racehorse and running a race is the last thing I want to do! These feelings stop me in my tracks and I sit down in the middle of the racetrack complaining to anyone who will listen (including God!) about how much better everyone has it than me. It leaves me miserable.

But on those days when I remember to put my blinkers on my eyes, I start out of the gate confident in the race I'm running and sure there's a prize to be won at the finish line. I'm focused on the goal. I'm excited about how my unique training has equipped me to succeed. I know there are other horses running beside me, but because I can't see them, their footsteps only encourage me to run faster. I know there is a crowd watching, but their collective cheers make me feel like they are all cheering for me. After all, the only thing I can see is the race I'm running. I'm focused on the finish line and I know I can reach it. It feels so good, so right.

It's amazing how true and practical the words from Proverbs are. When you have peace you have life. When you are envious, it brings destruction. When you find yourself constantly looking at everyone around you, you're going to always find someone taller, shorter, skinner, fatter, more wealthy, more intelligent, etc. So get out your blinkers and let's get focused.