welcome to love, milk & honey.

A holistic online community for couples journeying through marriage together.  I offer guidance and encouragement alongside laughter and caffeinated ramblings from the heart.  Stay for a while, I'd love to hear your story!

 

Mar 13/14 For the forgotten

Well, friends… it’s been a tough one.  I genuinely thought I’d be done with the grief part of this miscarriage by now (I get how unrealistic that assumption is).  Truth be told, there have been plenty of wonderful, joyful days but there have also been the days where I’ve been on a roller coaster of tired, emotionally drained, angry and confused.  I know full well that as a minister’s wife…

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forgotten homeWell, friends… it’s been a tough one.  I genuinely thought I’d be done with the grief part of this miscarriage by now (I get how unrealistic that assumption is).  Truth be told, there have been plenty of wonderful, joyful days but there have also been the days where I’ve been on a roller coaster of tired, emotionally drained, angry and confused.  I know full well that as a minister’s wife and woman of God the expectation is for me to say all is well, hand all my cares over to the Lord and go on about my way spreading rainbows and leading prayer groups.  But that is not my reality all the time.  My reality consists of a lot of tears, restless sleep, a mountain of hurt and a feeling I just can’t seem to shake… a feeling that I’ve just been forgotten.

I’m back in Junior High – It’s Friday night and I just got a call from the guy I’ve been begging the attention of for weeks.  He’s told me they’ve got something awesome planned for this weekend and he’ll call me back to tell me all the details and make plans.  Come Sunday morning I’ve just about decided he’s gotta be Clark Kent and he’ll swing by in a bit in his superman suit to apologize and explain that he had to go save a third world country because I’m just sure there’s just no way he forgot about me.

I get how ridiculous that reasoning is and I know feeling the Lord has forgotten me is so untrue but… ridiculous or not… it’s pooling in my head and it’s dripping down into my heart.  I’ve read many a blog post from women who have come through a period of trial in their life and talk about how they felt forgotten but they weren’t.  How the Lord delivered on His promises and how they feel fulfilled.  But I can’t say I’ve ever read a single blog post, book, or facebook status by a woman who is in the middle of the pit, in the middle of waiting, and can say she knows (beyond any doubt) she hasn’t been forgotten.  It’s easy to have that perspective on the other side when you’ve gotten your desires and the Lord has seen you through.  But what if we aren’t living a success story yet?  What if we are still waiting?  What if 4 of your friends have told you they are pregnant in the last 10 days and all you’ve got to show for your desire to be a mother is 2 babies in heaven, a bucket of tears and a gaping hole in your heart?  What then?  How do you stand firm in the Lord then?

That’s been the question rolling around in my head for the last month or so.  As I’ve watched woman after woman with the same due date as we had announce the sex of their babies while I still try to figure out how to get all the stupid babycenter emails to stop blowing up my phone.  How do I fight the feeling that I’ve been forgotten?  How do I stand firm in this and decide to be confident in the Lord when I feel like my prayers are hitting the ceiling?  Have you been there? Are you there?

I wish this paragraph went into some triumphant charge that makes us all feel better or better yet an email from the Lord giving us a little clue as to what’s going to happen but I just don’t have that wisdom.  What I do have though is a lifetime of proof that the Lord is faithful.  I know He is sovereign, I know He has something amazing in store for each one of us.  And sometimes that has to be enough.  Trust and hope. I think that’s where I’m finding myself and where I’m finding peace.  My prayers lately have shifted from Lord, fill my arms with a child to Lord fill my heart with You.  Let me find satisfaction in You alone.  Let my anthem be that you are enough.  Oh, that is hard.  And I can’t say I’ve mastered it yet.  But it does quiet the storm of grief that sneaks up on me from time to time.

We find David, “a man after God’s own heart,” in Psalm 13:1 crying out to the Lord in anguish, “O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?”  When I look at David’s life as a whole, I would never choose to label him as forgotten or forsaken.  He was a conquerer, a leader, David!  And I know when I look back at my life at any point in the future, those labels won’t ring true for me either.

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Melodie Robison: Just love you. Nothing more to say is adequate- just love you. March 13,2014 11:18pm

Terry B: Keep trusting him, darling girl. God\'s ways are not our ways but they are always perfect, even when we do not understand. Wish I were there to give you a big hug. We love you guys.March 14,2014 06:58am

wynne: oh friend, you are NOT forgotten! it\'s so easy to feel that way and believe that. all i can say, is the words of friends REMINDING me this at times that I really needed to hear it has been what\'s gotten me through. i\'ve held onto those words, and those promises that he has NOT forgotten me and i pray those very same things for you - that you would know you ARE NOT FORGOTTEN! you are HIS! he loves you, and delights over you and will not leave you or forsake you. August 11,2014 12:54pm

Caroline: Waiting and believing with you. We are not aloneAugust 11,2014 12:55pm

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Feb 10/14 A little hot glue and a lot of Jesus

As I sat in the midst of some truly beautiful women at a little get-together called “Glory Days,” it started creeping in.  It was just supposed to be a little retreat morning full of crafting and talking about Jesus that left me with an extra spring in my step.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it definitely did that.  But it also made me realize I am slowly starving…and it has…

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glorydaysAs I sat in the midst of some truly beautiful women at a little get-together called “Glory Days,” it started creeping in.  It was just supposed to be a little retreat morning full of crafting and talking about Jesus that left me with an extra spring in my step.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it definitely did that.  But it also made me realize I am slowly starving…and it has nothing to do with food.

We crafted, and chatted and talked about John the disciple.  We talked about how he called himself “the one whom Jesus loved.”  It wasn’t anything I didn’t know.  And, I truly believe the Lord puts a banner over all of us to declare we are His Beloved.  But my heart was touched by John’s story that day like it never had been before.  John told the story of Jesus in a different way because he was there.  He was the one Jesus looked down at from the cross and handed over His mother to, He saw Jesus feed the 5 thousand.  No one had to tell him about it because he saw it with his own eyes, he was there.  As I let that sink in I became equal parts jealous of John and angry at myself.  John wasn’t the only one who saw, the other disciples did too.  As they followed Jesus from place to place within His ministry, they saw Him be the hands and feet of God.  They were forever banded together by their common experiences with Jesus and their common goal to follow Him.  That’s what I was starving for.  That bond.  That comradery.  Glory Days gave me a glimpse into what building those relationships might have looked like.  What it felt like to dig into the Word with other women and flesh out the hard parts.  Take everyone’s life experiences into account and grow in ways you never could have on your own.

While my pant size may be enlarging at a more rapid pace that I desire, my depth of life in Christ is slowly gaining momentum.  As women, we have a deep seeded need for God-glorifying relationships with other women.  To talk, listen, learn and grow alongside other women.  To share our hurts and struggles along with our joy and triumphs.  To hear we are not alone.  It’s imperative.  Over and over again in the bible we see the Lord pairing woman with woman to journey through life together as dear friends.  He didn’t leave those women alone to be fortified islands left to weather storms of life by themselves.  He paired them up, gave them a sister, and saw to it that they experienced a community within their faith.  Women need other women.

Man, that’s scary isn’t it?  That we just might need someone else to help us be a better woman.  Another woman at that… if the insecurity bell didn’t just go off in your head you are a better woman than I am.  “I don’t need anyone’s help,”  “I’m doing just fine,” ” She couldn’t possibly do what I do any better.”  Sound familiar?  You’d be hard pressed to convince me each of us didn’t fear relationships with other women at least an eensy little bit.  But we aren’t meant to be islands, ladies.  We are meant to live in community.  We are meant to learn and grow from each other and surround ourselves with people who make up for our shortcomings.  THAT is what makes a community.

I want you to ask yourself (just like I will be) what you are doing in your life to pour into a community.  How you are showing your willingness to grow.  Alone is good but together is better.  Surround yourselves with a community that uplifts and encourages you.  Be uplifting and encouraging to someone.  I think we will all be surprised and just how much of a difference it makes.

 

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Layne : oh, how I wish our communities would cross paths more often. I am thankful for you. I am thankful for your beautiful soul and your immeasurable depth and your wonderful, infectious laugh. I will build a community with you in a heartbeat. Even if it just means we make a path through the hedges with our blogs. :) love you, Larney! February 23,2014 09:11pm

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Nov 28/13 So, very thankful

As I laid awake last night on Thanksgiving eve, I stole a few quiet moments to just reflect on what life looks like right now and how many beautiful things I have to be thankful for.   It has been a hard month in our household.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time telling other people how well we are doing amidst the storm of loss and how we will continue…

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As I laid awake last night on Thanksgiving eve, I stole a few quiet moments to just reflect on what life looks like right now and how many beautiful things I have to be thankful for.  

It has been a hard month in our household.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time telling other people how well we are doing amidst the storm of loss and how we will continue to patiently wait on the Lord and what wonderful hope we have… but I don’t know that I’ve been still and quiet long enough just by myself to really take stock of our blessings in this trying season is our lives.   And reassure myself of those very things I tell everyone else.

As I laid there and began to think, the floodgates opened up and sweet reminders of blessings came pouring out.  Small things like a well timed text from a friend, big things like the many acts of service and friendship we have received lately and heart things like the first time I was able to really let go and laugh after we miscarried.   Even though I’ve felt pushed to my limits a lot this year, I can also say I’ve been able to tangibly see more blessings in such concrete ways more during this season than ever before in my life.   James and I have so much to be thankful for.   So, very much.  

To each of you that have reached out during our time of loss and those of you that have walked with us through this journey, thank you.   Every prayer has been felt, every act of kindness has been uplifting and each friendship deeply treasured.  

As we all join family or friends today to celebrate an entire day based on giving thanks, I sincerely hope you take time to do just that.   Be thankful.   Get away from the busy and just be.   Take some time to reflect and let the glory of the Lord’s provision in your life sink in.   I know I certainly will.   Love and hugs to each of you.  

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Nov 16/13 When all seems lost | Miscarriage

We miscarried.  I’m not great at gingerly making announcements so I just figured I’d put it out there.  We miscarried and it’s hard.  It was early and we shouldn’t have gotten our hopes up but we did because we wanted it so badly.  So very badly. We found out that we were pregnant on a Wednesday, right in the middle of setting up for our church’s fall festival.   We drove…

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whenallseemslostWe miscarried.  I’m not great at gingerly making announcements so I just figured I’d put it out there.  We miscarried and it’s hard.  It was early and we shouldn’t have gotten our hopes up but we did because we wanted it so badly.  So very badly.

We found out that we were pregnant on a Wednesday, right in the middle of setting up for our church’s fall festival.   We drove the 10 miles back to our tiny town from the hospital filled with joy and relief.  Two and a half years of trying and praying led us to a “yes” after so many months of no’s.  I was pregnant for 5 weeks and 6 days before we lost the babies (yes, there were 2).  And I loved every moment of it.

I can give you every minister’s wife answer of how things are okay and God has a plan and while that’s all true and genuinely what I believe, it’s not ALL of how people who lose things they treasure feel.  Grief is a funny little beast.  It sneaks up on you and always seems to catch you unprepared.  If it would say, “Hey, around 8:00 tonight when you’re folding a basket of laundry I’m going to pay you a visit and remind you of how you have to face a church full of people tomorrow who think you are still carrying a baby,” it sure would be helpful.  But no, instead it does all that anyway…but with no warning.  This summer I was making jalapeno poppers.  Basically, you take jalapenos, gut them, split them, and fill them with cream cheese and cheddar cheese then wrap them with bacon and grill them.  But I forgot one very important step in the process… I didn’t wear gloves.  The jalapeno juice got all over my hands, front and back, and they continually burned and stung for 3 days straight.  It was excruciating at first and even as the pain lessened the littlest thing could make it hurt just as bad all over again – hot water, cold air, a scratch, you name it, it stung deep into my skin.  No amount of scrubbing or any other remedy I found online could cut the hurting.  I just had to wait it out and let it lessen on it’s own over time.  That’s how my heart has felt through this.  Stinging, burning, aching, raw.  No remedy, it just takes a lot of time and even more Jesus for it to subside.

I’m not one who likes feeling out of control but in our journey to conceive, whether it be with infertility or with miscarriage, I’ve been reminded continually that whether I like it or not, I have no control. None at all… and no matter what I had said or done it still wouldn’t take away the fact we were pregnant and aren’t anymore.   As I’ve let that lack of control sink into my Type-A head and my somewhat guarded heart, I’ve become more and more relieved by the truth I’ve found in it.  I know that sounds odd, but hear me out.  The more I read the promises of the Lord, the more I realize I don’t think I want to be the one who is in control when it comes to making babies.  That is a lot of pressure on one person.  And, in the end, I know that what the Lord has planned for us is far better than anything I could ever come up with myself.  I’m leaning into the truth that the Lord means what he says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  He has something in the works for us.  He is faithful.  And we will wait on Him.

As we’ve processed through all of this and relied on some friendships that are undoubtedly provision from the Lord, I’ve learned a lot.  Both about who I am now versus who I used to be and just how important community is.  I’m a generally private person – vulnerability is a relatively new thing for me but in this instance the Lord didn’t even give me an option.  He surrounded me, first off, with a husband who is God-fearing and servant-hearted.  He has held me up and loved me in the most beautiful ways through this.  But God didn’t stop there, He then encircled us both with some of the most compassionate and respectful people I’ve ever met much less had the honor of calling friend.  Between calls, texts, flowers, food, company, and about a million other acts of service, our sweet friends have wrapped us in love, protection and healing.  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”  Psalm 34 18 – 19  Our sweet friends have truly been the hands and feet of the Lord as we walked through this trying period.  3 years ago I wouldn’t have told a soul and certainly wouldn’t have shed a tear where anyone could see me but now, knowing the comfort that comes from close friendship, and how rewarding vulnerability can be, I’ll never isolate myself again.  And that revelation alone is such a gift.

This is not the last chapter of our story.  I have no doubt the Lord has written many more pages of beauty into our lives, we just aren’t quite to that part of the story yet.  We will wait and let Him reveal it to us word by beautiful word and know He has written it with love.  It isn’t easy and I can’t say I’d choose this road if I was given an option but I trust the Lord will work things for our good.  He hasn’t failed us yet.  This pregnancy failed, but the Lord did not.

I’ll leave you with the lyrics of Chris Tomlin’s song “Sovereign.”  It has been the anthem of my heart this last week and I hope it instills the same peace in your heart as it has mine.

Sovereign in the mountain air
Sovereign on the ocean floor
With me in the calm
With me in the storm

Sovereign in my greatest joy
Sovereign in my deepest cry
With me in the dark
With me at the dawn

In your everlasting arms
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you

In your never failing love
You work everything for good
God whatever comes my way
I will trust you

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Crystal Nabors: Love you so much sweet lady!November 16,2013 04:02pm

Jenni: Lauren and James- we are so sorry for your loss. Thank you for being so open and sharing your story. May God\'s peace be with you at this time.November 16,2013 05:04pm

D\'Anne: Love you so much. Your strength is inspiring. How on earth did we get so lucky to add you to our family?November 16,2013 10:52pm

Tamra: You are such an inspiration, in more ways than you will ever know.November 18,2013 01:09pm

Trish: I know that you and James are hurting more than words can say. Please know, that everyone is praying for you, and praying for your future children. There are no two people, I know, that will make better parents than you and James. You are the wife of our youth minister, but you are so much more than that. You are a great friend, a great roll model (not just for the youth, you are a roll model for me), and a wonderful Christian, The way you live your life speaks so loudly to me and to all in our small town. Love you.November 19,2013 09:15am

Pat: As I read your story a flood of memories poured in so much of what happened to Scotty and I. We too had miscarriages and I leaned on God and turned all over to him.. .. The boys I truly feel were sent to us after our heartache. God is so good and he will see you and James through this and a blessing is around the corner. It may be boys just like mine , you never know. I am praying hard for you and James. Love you both!!!!November 19,2013 08:02pm

wynne: thank you so much for sharing this. i can relate oh so much, and i too take comfort in knowing it\'s out of my control and the lords ways and thoughts are higher than our own. he is near to the brokenhearted, and i\'m thankful for the community he sent y\'all during this hard time August 11,2014 12:45pm

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Nov 06/13 My new favorite boots! (plus a discount for you!)

Okay, friends.  I’m not one that does many product reviews but I just can’t help myself with this one.  I’m always on the lookout for good boots for winter time.  Around here, one pair of boots just won’t cut it because you have to have the boots you wear when it’s rainy and muddy, the boots you wear to church, the boots you wear when you just want to be…

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heavenlysolesOkay, friends.  I’m not one that does many product reviews but I just can’t help myself with this one.  I’m always on the lookout for good boots for winter time.  Around here, one pair of boots just won’t cut it because you have to have the boots you wear when it’s rainy and muddy, the boots you wear to church, the boots you wear when you just want to be warm and so on and so forth.  And I really don’t enjoy having popsicles for toes after football games so as I began my annual search for warm boots this year (that was not going so well), I got the most glorious email!  Robin from Heavenly Soles must have read my mind because she sent me a little note about their sheepskin boots.  When I clicked through to their site, I fell in LOVE!

They come short, tall, moccasin style, and in baby booties!  And, get this, the insole is more than just a thin piece of foam.  It is a true, supportive insole that you can pull out and wash!!  (you’re welcome, moms of teenagers!)  It is lined with the thickest, most comfortable wool that still hasn’t lost it’s fluff even after I’ve worn these puppies an embarrassing amount.  They don’t make my feet sweat and the sole grips well to all surfaces.  I promise you guys, these are IT!  As I type this I’m wearing some sweatpants stuffed into them — they have permanently replaced my house shoes!

My friend Robin from Heavenly Soles has been nice enough to extend a special 10% off discount to all of my Love, Milk & Honey readers!  Just enter the discount code: LMAH111 at checkout and they will get you all fixed up.  I opted for the tall boots in the chestnut color and have been really impressed with the color and fit (I did go a 1/2 size up just to give room for tucking jeans and pants into them).

Hop on over to their website here and be sure to enter the discount code!  This is one Christmas gift that is sure to please!  And, even better, when I get the word from Robin that 10 pairs of Heavenly Soles have been purchased using the Love, Milk & Honey discount code, I’ll give one pair away for FREE!  100% of Heavenly Sole’s profits go to help various charities so it’s safe to say these boots are a wonderful way to give back.

Keep your eyes peeled and get to shopping!

 

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Oct 22/13 Faith through Fire

Our Pastor, Daniel Harper, has been on fire lately.  He always challenges me in new ways every Sunday and I bring those challenges home and chew on his words all through the week…developing the Lord’s message in my head and my heart so it is written there for forever.  Lately the theme we have been dwelling on is Fearlessness.  Digging into what it is that we fear, figuring out why…

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faiththroughfireheaderOur Pastor, Daniel Harper, has been on fire lately.  He always challenges me in new ways every Sunday and I bring those challenges home and chew on his words all through the week…developing the Lord’s message in my head and my heart so it is written there for forever.  Lately the theme we have been dwelling on is Fearlessness.  Digging into what it is that we fear, figuring out why it plagues us, and clinging to the promises of the Lord in order to forge through the fear.

2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love & a sound mind.”  As I read that over and over, I became increasingly more aware of the part that says the Lord did not give us a spirit of fear.  If the Lord did not give us that spirit of fear, there is only one other place it can come from.  Sneaky little devil.  He just has to find some way to weasel into our heads so that hopefully he can get to our hearts.  I am not ok with that.

This week the scripture we studied was in Daniel 3.  It’s the story of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego.  Or, for those of you Veggie Tales watchers, Rack, Shack & Benny.  If there were ever three guys that had a free pass to fear, it would be these guys.  Go read the story if you aren’t familiar with it (and keep in mind these are TEENAGERS!).  Furnace full of fire or bowing down to a false God?  I think if most of us were honest with ourselves, we would take the bowing option and pray for forgiveness later.  But , in my heart of hearts, I want to have the bold faith to stand tall, not bow to anyone or anything, even if it means a fiery furnace for me.  Faith through fire.

We can all mention someone in our life who has that kind of faith.  Unwavering, uncompromisable.  How are they able to be that way?  I fall short so often.  As I sat in church this Sunday listening to Daniel’s sermon I looked down to this passage in my bible again and noticed notes from when I had studied it before.  I have a starred, handwritten point in the margin that says “NOT faith in deliverance, but faith in GOD.”  That’s the key.  Whether it’s a failing marriage, financial trouble, thin health, mean peers, infertility, or even just a bad day.  It’s not deliverance from the situation that we need to have faith in but God himself.  Whether or not everything is fixed the way we want it to be or whether we stay in the pit we are in for years and years.  Faith through Fire means that you have Faith in God NO MATTER WHAT.  No matter what happens, you stay standing and saying, I believe God.  I believe God has me here for a reason, I believe He will be faithful to me through this fire, I believe He does all things for the good of those who love him.  Let’s look back at the story of Rack, Shack and Benny for a second…go with me to verse 17.  “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it and He will rescue us from your hand, O King.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”  That is faith through fire right there.  I know God can deliver me from this… but even if he doesn’t, I will still praise Him and Him alone.  A little spoiler alert, God did deliver them from the fire.  But not only that, He stood with them in the midst of it and made sure not even a hair was singed.  I’ll let you read the rest of it yourself but let me just tell you, the King who threw them in the fire was changed.  Having faith through the fire doesn’t just build your relationship with the Lord but often times, all those around to witness it are affected as well.

I want to encourage you this week to fireproof your faith.  No matter what obstacles come your way, stay standing and walk into the fire.  The Lord will meet you there.

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Tamra: I love this, I could read your blogs forever. Thank you for sharingOctober 22,2013 10:27am

Stacy: Thank you for sharing. I love reading your blog. It has encouraged me in ways I cannot express.October 22,2013 02:13pm

Caroline: 2 Timothy 1:7 - one of my favorite verses ever!!! Fear is never from the Lord. So thankful for thatAugust 11,2014 12:57pm

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Oct 09/13 Taking a Sabbath

There was a time in our married life that I was planning weddings and working somewhere around 80 hours a week.  My anxiety was working non stop too as I would push for perfection in everything yet always fall short because I was spread entirely too thin.  I actually remember thinking to myself that I didn’t have time for a sabbath.  I may have even said it out loud to…

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sabbathheaderThere was a time in our married life that I was planning weddings and working somewhere around 80 hours a week.  My anxiety was working non stop too as I would push for perfection in everything yet always fall short because I was spread entirely too thin.  I actually remember thinking to myself that I didn’t have time for a sabbath.  I may have even said it out loud to someone once to twice.  And then I was struck by lightning and died.  No… not really :)  But it just about felt like it.  I got food poisoning that turned into a horrible infection in my stomach.  That lead to countless rounds of antibiotics, lots of puking (sorry), ulcers and a consistent scream from my body for me to slow down.  I also couldn’t eat mexican food for nearly a year.  Serious business.  I think I had been hearing that scream for me to slow down for quite a while but I just never chose to listen to it.  So, the Lord gave me no choice but to skip the slow down all together, come to a screeching halt, and learn how to rest in Him.

Friends, rest is vitally important to our bodies.  Think back to kindergarten sunday school class, in the creation story, what did God do on the last day?  He rested.  Let that soak in for a moment.  God rested.  It didn’t say He needed it, it just said He did it.  You may not think you need rest but a set-apart Sabbath day is something the Lord gifted us with.  And I can speak from experience that life with the gift is much more fulfilling than life without.  Before you hear me wrong and attend bedside baptist or catch up on TV shows in the name of rest each Sunday, let’s dive into scripture a little to see what a Sabbath is truly supposed to look like.

The Message Translation of Ezekiel 20: 11 – 12 says this, “11-12 I gave them laws for living, showed them how to live well and obediently before me. I also gave them my weekly holy rest days, my “Sabbaths,” a kind of signpost erected between me and them to show them that I, God, am in the business of making them holy.”

God is in the business of making us Holy and if we skip out on our Sabbath we are neglecting the opportunity to come into His presence and rest.  I could go on and on about how important it is to be in a church on Sundays but my objective isn’t to preach at you this morning.  I just pray that if you find yourself in the same position that I did a few years ago:  chin deep in work, worn out, treading water, not doing my best, not feeling my best and absolutely stretched thin, you realize long before the Lord has to knock you to your knees like he did me that you need a Sabbath.  You need holy rest days to come into the house of the Lord and be around other believers, be filled to overflowing.  This will sustain you the rest of the week and keep your thoughts centered in the right place.

P.S.  My pups have this Sabbath thing DOWN! :)

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Oct 07/13 Nashville Love

  I blew up instagram and Facebook a couple weeks ago with pictures of some of my wonderful Nashville friends, a sweet wedding, and one very special baby for good reason!  It was an amazing week and I just couldn’t help but share! We kicked the weekend off with a gorgeous wedding.  It was great to see Emily in her element and to be back in that element myself.  We…

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nashvillewedding_trishmark_lovemilkandhoney

 

I blew up instagram and Facebook a couple weeks ago with pictures of some of my wonderful Nashville friends, a sweet wedding, and one very special baby for good reason!  It was an amazing week and I just couldn’t help but share!nashcollage1

We kicked the weekend off with a gorgeous wedding.  It was great to see Emily in her element and to be back in that element myself.  We braved wind and LOTS of rain but in the end it all turned out beautifully!  Nora even came around every once in a while to add in a little cute factor!

funwithfriends

Next on the agenda was friends, friends, friends.  Lunch with Nashville Lauren, dinner with Kristen and lots of Lauren & Em time was good for my soul.  Nashville has a certain magic for me but I’m fairly certain it’s just because of all the wonderful people who live there.  I have a lot more Nashville friends that I didn’t get to see on this trip so I’m thinking another trip needs to happen VERY soon!

funwithnora

And then, of course, I spent lots of time with my little Nora Beth.  We shared lots of giggles and snuggles and breakfast times together.  It was so good for my heart.  I never know how I’ll handle being around babies with us trying to have one of our own.  But this week was pure joy.  No sorrow.  Just love and excitement.  I never imagined that I would have such wonderful friends that lived all over this country.  I’m so grateful Emily sent me that very first email and that she has stuck by me through all my ups and downs…. even from a few states away.  True friends are worth their weight in gold. :)

header image from Jennette Leigh Photography, the photographer of the fabulous Nashville wedding I was a part of.

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Sep 27/13 Holding out for a hero

If you follow me on instagram or are a fan of my facebook page you know I’ve been painting Nashville red with one of my best girl friends for the last week. (I promise a post with lots of pictures and funny stories soon!)  It was an amazing trip for too many reasons to count. One thing I can always count on when spending time with Emily is that I…

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holdingoutforheroIf you follow me on instagram or are a fan of my facebook page you know I’ve been painting Nashville red with one of my best girl friends for the last week. (I promise a post with lots of pictures and funny stories soon!)  It was an amazing trip for too many reasons to count. One thing I can always count on when spending time with Emily is that I will undoubtedly learn something about myself and my heart will get a tune up in a way I didn’t even know it needed.

One evening as we were relaxing and watching the newest version of Footloose, Emily pointed out the “Holding out for a hero” song that is played a few times throughout the movie. I honestly had never even noticed it. I remember the rock ballad version but had never really looked up the lyrics….until now.

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need

[Chorus:]
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong, he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure, he’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life, larger than life

(dada dada dada dada da)

Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasies
Somewhere just beyond my reach
There’s someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
Isn’t there a superman to sweep me off my feet?

[Chorus]

Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I could swear that there’s someone somewhere watching me
Through the wind and the chill and the rain
And the storm and the raging flood
Oh, his approach is like a fire in my blood

I’ll meet a hero
And then we’ll dance ’til the morning light
Dreaming, he’ll lead me
Held tight,
Tonight’s the night

[Chorus:]
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong, he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure, he’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life, larger than life

Oh, friends, don’t we all need a hero? Strong, fast and fresh from the fight. Sure, soon and larger than life. Someone to fight for us when the hard days come and we’ve lost our fight. Someone to dance with us through the night. Someone to be our white knight and sweep us off our feet. Hear me sweet friends, we may be failed time after time by earthly heroes but we have a hero. THE hero.

He is stronger than the most powerful storm, larger than the great, expansive sky, and never ceases to fight for us. He is faithful and merciful and gracious. He dances across our faces in the cool breeze and came to claim us as His bride. His name is Jesus. Please tell me you are holding out for Him.

I never want to forget that Jesus is my hero. And if the Lord should bless us with a little girl I want so badly for her to have a wonderful husband just like her daddy but, more than anything, I want Jesus to be her hero.

Ladies, I pray this knowledge over each of your hearts. Know that Jesus wants to be your hero. Every moment of every day. He’s just waiting for you to lift your eyes to glimpse His face. He has saved a special place in His heart just for you. He’s fighting for you. He wants you. Hold out for Him.

{Header image are all pictures taken from my flights to and from Nashville.}

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Sep 19/13 A little fiction

Blogtember Day 12 - Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.” Oh my, it’s been a while since I’ve written a piece of fiction so I’m a little rusty.  Let’s just go with this and see where it gets us. To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the…

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dinnerpartyBlogtember Day 12 - Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.”

Oh my, it’s been a while since I’ve written a piece of fiction so I’m a little rusty.  Let’s just go with this and see where it gets us.

To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.  But between keeping up appearances and keeping myself out of the studio, it was necessary.  As I put a light coat of gloss on my lips on my way out the door, I caught a glimpse of myself in the foyer mirror. I had almost forgotten what I looked like all dressed up.  For just parting ways with a man I’d planned forever with right in the middle of working on my most challenging commisioned piece of artwork, I had to give myself props.  You clean up well Suze.

Out the door, into the cab and off into the city.  I love my little place onthe outskirts of town.  It is far enough away that I can breathe but close enough that a 10 minute cab ride gets me right into the heartbeat of downtown.

I always love pulling up to Emily’s home.  It’s always lit with an amber glow that beckons you to come in and stay a while.  I pour myself out of the cab and onto some wedges I let Em talk me into last fall.  She’ll be pleased I wore them.  Just a quick get together with some friends I’ve been neglecting then back home to my tattered jeans and paint splattered tee.

I didn’t even get to the stoop before the door flew open and my favorite redhead was standing there with her signature million watt smile.  “Suze!”  “Hey Em.”  “You look great!  I have a surprise that I think you might hate but just remember I love you.”  ” okay,” I say, puzzled as she pulls me through the door. And then I saw him.  Lance.  He might as well have been a ghost.

Fabulous header image from here

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