I’m a girl from the mountains.
Did you know that about me? I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. My hometown sits in a valley and borders several nearby states. So, it’s just a hop and a skip away from my current home in Tennessee.
In 2015, I shared a post about lessons learned—from God himself—in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
But this week I mastered fresh lessons. I attended a writers conference in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I reconnected with writers, formed new friendships, and networked with industry professionals.
Although this made my third trip to the event, the Lord spoke to my heart. God’s Word, worship songs, knowledge gleaned from others, and the Lord’s beautiful creation reached the depths of my soul.
I often sit in life’s classroom. I won’t say there’s passing and failing grades. And the Lord never grades on the curve. But I know the good Lord speaks in mighty ways to those willing to attend class.
May 25, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Uncategorized
Does a certain love song make your heart skip a beat?
I recall my favorite love songs through the years. Each carries memorable melodies with sweet lyrics denoting loyalty of heart.
Staying true to real love.
My daughter showed me one love song to put at the top of my playlist. And, at the time, she was only a little girl.
As I rocked my infant son in the living room, my husband filmed our daughter, Megan. Nearly four-years-old, a few of her joys in life included kid’s classes at church, watching children’s videos, and playing with dolls.
Enjoyments came to life for the video camera: songs, quoting a Bible verse, or random question-answer prompted by mom and dad. “Where did we go today?” And, “Tell everybody how old you are?” Memories and moments captured on film.
But Megan sparkled with merriment when singing.
May 18, 2017 at 9:58 am | Uncategorized
I ran toward my five-year-old, Caleb, as he limped nearer.
Tears flowing down his cheeks increased with the sight of blood oozing from his knee…and when he saw me.
“This will sting for a few seconds.” I blew my breath on the newly scraped flesh.
A kiss, bandaid, tear-wiping, and mom-cuddles will make it better.
It’s what moms do.
My children had their share of minor mishaps. My daughter, Megan, fractured her finger from a fall outside. But adventure and mischief joined forces when it came to Caleb.
Moms Want to Make it Better
“Mom, watch this.”
May 11, 2017 at 8:15 am | Uncategorized
Do you enjoy vacations, going to the beach, and reading devotionals? Allow me to introduce my guest blogger today, Cathy Baker. We first met at a writers conference in North Carolina. Cathy radiates a fun-spirited soul who loves the Lord. Her new e-book, written specifically for the beach, released this week on Amazon. I know you’ll enjoy her heart as you find out more about how to get her devotional. Welcome, Cathy.
Beauty in the Mundane
Have you ever wondered how God could possibly take seemingly mundane tasks, ideas, or habits and use them as beautiful expressions of His glory years later?
I can’t help but think of a shepherd boy I learned about in Vacation Bible School. Like any good shepherd, he sheared the sheep’s winter fleece. And he traversed many miles to find the perfect spot for his flock to feed and rest.
We know this shepherd boy one day became a king—King David.
He couldn’t have known that the life skills he honed as a menial shepherd boy would one day sharpen to the point of becoming a beloved ruler over Israel. But God knew.
- God knew that David’s faithfulness in caring well for the sheep would one day produce a king who cared deeply for His people.
- God knew that David’s ability to overcome lions and bears (2 Samuel 17:33-37) would strengthen David’s faith and his knowledge of Him.
- God knew that David’s lonely days on hillsides would emotionally prepare him to not only be a strong king, but also a poet and musician. A blessing to everyone who seeks solace in the psalms today.
David didn’t know that his life experiences as a shepherd would prepare him to be a king, but God did.
Devotional for the Beach
May 4, 2017 at 7:46 am | Uncategorized
To come to Christ costs us nothing. But to be a true disciple of Christ costs us everything.
But nothing to everything commands a sizable leap. Especially for a college freshman.
Having come to Christ at sixteen, I wanted to jump into every aspect of the Christian life.
Still, living on a university campus at eighteen became a whole new world. Since I desired to grow in my faith, I participated in several Christian student groups; Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU).
The Cost for Following Jesus
A foreign concept, I lacked knowledge about discipleship. During the two years I’d been Christ-follower, my only spiritual teaching came from church youth groups.
But I knew the basics about God and eternal life. I understood the great cost to God by sending His Son to take my place on the cross. Jesus gave His life as payment for mine. Grateful for His free grace.
A female staff member for CRU, Reba, discipled me. For over a year, she poured her life into my life. She explained the cost of a true disciple of Christ—everything.
Jesus laid down His life to give us life. We lay down our lives to follow Him. Simple, right?
No, it’s not easy. But it’s the way of a Christ-follower.
To follow Him with complete abandonment costs us something. Costs like:
April 27, 2017 at 10:01 am | Uncategorized
“Oh, Mommy look! What a boot-ful sky.”
Mesmerized and Hypnotized
I’ve been dazzled by the sky since I was a little girl. My mother conveys how I noticed beauty as a child—when I looked up. An enchantment that started long before I could enunciate the word beautiful.
And my adoration of the sky has never wavered. But, if anything, it has grown. Sunsets and sunrises captivate my eye’s attention.
A painter’s pallet of vivid orange and pink dazzles me. Throw blues and purples in the mix and it’s hypnotizing.
William Shakespeare said, “The eyes are the window to your soul.”
So, sky-moments make this true for me.
And I often snap pictures of sky-moments and share them online. When I posted a sunset, I received this note from my friend, Debbie. I think it’s neat how you have always loved the sky. That is sweet. God was calling you to notice Him. I pray regularly for you to glorify Him with your writing. (Emphasis mine.)
3 Reasons the Sky is not the limit:
Reason #1: The Sky Helps us Notice God
April 20, 2017 at 8:13 am | Uncategorized
Throwback pictures not only capture people and places in moments of time. But they also stir our emotions. And they retrieve memories.
The image to the left uncovers an Easter throwback from my childhood. I’m pictured with my twin sister and mother. Besides Easter baskets, we celebrated with new dresses, gloves, and quite-the-fancy hairdos.
So, to achieve the look, my mom pin-curled our hair just before we went to bed. The process involves twisting groups of hair in a circular motion all the way to the scalp then held in place with bobby-pins. When my head hit the pillow, I remember the not-so-comfortable feeling. Oh, what a girl has to do.
Years later, I pin-curled my daughter’s hair on Saturday nights for church and for special occasions. A throwback tradition.
Yet I imagine my mom’s hairdo professionally styled. And the decorated netting showcasing her up-do screams “in-style.”
Posting content pertaining to the past, usually photographs, depicts a popular social media trend. A wistful look back. A blast from the past. Pictures of yesterday, yesteryear, or many moons ago.
Taking ourselves, friends, and family back to a nostalgic time worth documenting:
- How we looked.
- What was happening.
- When it happened.
There’s one look back that changed my life forever.
April 13, 2017 at 9:29 am | Uncategorized
Today Mike and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. It means I’ve been a wife for thirty-two years. And I still need God’s help and godly advice.
So, welcome, Jen Weaver. Jen and I met at a writers conference and we’re both represented by The Blythe Daniel Agency.
My heart’s tender for all things about marriage. So when Jen’s publisher provided the opportunity to read, review, and giveaway her book, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness, I jumped at the chance. I know you’ll enjoy her powerful words.
Ropes That Eventually Broke
Ecclesiastes 4 verse 12 is one of the most quoted Bible verses in wedding ceremonies, a popular passage describing the way God longs to be involved in our marriages, woven into a cord alongside you and your husband.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV
The church I attended throughout childhood held an annual marriage retreat, and one year the couples in our congregation came back wearing gold rope bracelets on their wrists. String tied as reminders of this verse and of their desire to stay tightly woven to their spouse, and to Jesus. To this day, I fondly picture my marriage cord as a shiny gold piece of yarn.
But as days and weeks went on, those ropes eventually broke.
April 6, 2017 at 12:00 am | Uncategorized
God orchestrates miracles at prime time.
Even if things look and feel hopeless, His glory shows up in the choicest hour.
From Genesis to Revelation, stories of miracles grace the pages of God’s Word. The dead come back to life. Nature obeys the Creator’s voice—the rain comes or stops, the winds and waves cease or the sun doesn’t set.
Still further, a virgin gives birth to the messiah. A boy’s lunch of a few fish and bread multiplies to feed thousands. The lame walk, the blind see, and the oppressed find freedom.
Miracles at Prime Time
Not only does the Lord perform miracles for His people at the opportune time. But miracles of faith require us to follow God’s instructions.
In Exodus 14, Moses leads the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. A place of physical and emotional bondage. As God’s people travel through the wilderness, the Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh, and his army pursue them.
The scene looked and felt hopeless.
March 30, 2017 at 8:26 am | Uncategorized
I’m praying for nothing short of a miracle. No one is higher than the God we serve.
I believe in miracles. So when my writer friend, Marla, asked me to pray for her family during a difficult time, I petitioned my Lord to do the impossible.
If we break down the word impossible. We humans are the “im”—as in, I’m a person with limited power and ability. But God’s the “possible.”
Because only a great and mighty God can make all things a possibility. And He can, you know, do anything.
Meetings With Jesus
Here’s more of the note to Marla. Sorry to hear this devastating news. We believe He has the power and we believe in His sovereignty even if He chooses not to. He’s the giver of life, the CEO of the world, and applies the soothing balm of the Spirit to our hurts.
Marla’s situation did not turn out as she’d hoped. Yet, the great and mighty Savior met her in her darkest hour.
March 23, 2017 at 8:35 am | Uncategorized