Friday, November 13, 2009

Time for a Change

This will be my last post here. Why you ask? Because I have a beautiful new blog!!! If you've been visiting either of my blogs, or, I thank you for your comments, sharing of stories, encouragement, prayers, and friendship. I hope you'll continue to follow me at my new blog with a NEW ADDRESS. I'll be writing a lot more, hosting contests, give aways, encouraging you, and sharing other valuable information regularly. And every now and then I might just dish about one of my Proverbs 31 sisters!


Think you got it? Well what are you waiting for? Go visit my beautiful new blog NOW!!!

Big Hugs,


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

For Now....

In the process of making some changes to improve my website, blog, and service to you.

Please visit for updates. Great new and helpful information is coming soon, I promise! Thanks for hangin' in there with me.

The new and improved blog/website will be worth the wait.

Beautiful Blessings,


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

P31's Annual She Speaks Conference

She Speaks begins for me TODAY!!!! And it couldn't come at a better time! The week of this conference fuels me. Even though I usually leave the conference exhausted physically and mentally and emotionally, I am filled to overflowing spiritually.

Our Speaker Team meets today. Many of us haven't seen each other in over a year. We have training, team time, and business during the day for the next 2 days before the conference actually begins, but our nights are relatively free with plenty of built in time for fun and bonding. Usually way too many laughs and late nights!

The Conference will begin Friday morning. I begin Friday as a P31 Staff member working the crazy registration area. I end Friday and work the remainder to of the conference as a Speaker Team Member. The session I'm teaching is Saturday afternoon and I'm evaluating a beginners speaking group. Truly I say, the evaluation group is my favorite part. I love being a part of encouraging these women to go after their dreams. It is a joy and delight for me.

This conference is going to be fabulous. Many great sessions, speakers, writers, publishers, and we even have Cheri Keaggy doing our music this year and Jennifer Rothschild speaking Saturday night. Wow!

To keep you updated, I'll try to blog, but I'll definitely be "tweetin'" from the conference all week long. The tweets (from Twitter) appear in the left hand column of this blog. You can also join in on the Twitter, by signing up at . Many of our speakers and even Proverbs 31 have started twittering during the day to keep up with each other. It's seems silly, but it's fun.

I have said a prayer for anyone who reads this today. May your days be blessed and may you experience the joy of the Lord greatly in your life!

Love and big hugs,


***Sharon Sloan if you read this, I will miss your OTC hug this year ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hot and Cold

Black and white. In and out. Up and down. Hard and soft. Fun and boring. Bright and dark. Love and hate. Smile and frown. Real and fake. Wet and dry.

Ok, you get it right? Opposites.

Well, today, I had an opposite moment. Do you have any idea what I mean by an opposite moment?

I spent the night in the hospital with my Mom last night. For her it was night #36 . For me it was night #15. I can't believe it's been so long. When I'm there, it's like I'm in a different world. It seems like everything is critical and serious. The rest of the world comes to a stop. I don't think about how the world keeps rockin and rollin...people carrying on, walking down the street, playing at the park, going for a jog, as if they don't have a care in the world.

I woke up today feeling very tired! One of the machines in Mom's room kept alarming during the night. Doctors began rounding at 5:30 am. Finally I got up, got dressed, stepped down the hall to get some coffee, and returned to Mom's room for a little QT with the Lord. Isaiah 6:1-6 was the passage I studied this morning. Wow how this Scripture rings true in my life.

Verse 5-"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty."

Verse 6-7-Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt it taken away and your sin atoned for."

Verse 8-The I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

This passage of Scripture takes my breath away. How often have I been unclean and needed cleansing from the Lord? And He does it everytime. And then and only then I am able to answer His calling when He asks, "Whom shall I send?" I can assuredly answer, "Send me."

As I finished my QT today, I thought about hospital life and the real world. I don't like the duldrom operations of hospital life. There is no sunshine in there. Well, at least not when you've had multiple surgeries like my Mom has. It's easy to get resentful of others living happy healthy lives when you are faced with such a tragedy. I reflected on the past 5 weeks and I bowed my head and thanked God Almighty for asking me, "Who will go sit with Becky, care for her, love her, endure her pain with her, stay with her at night so she is not alone, and sacrifice their easy living at home?" "Here am I. Send me!"

As I walked out of the hospital today, the opposite moment happened. Literally I walked out of the serious critical 5th floor and out the front door. I had to cover my eyes because it was so bright. There was a beautiful water fountain, playfully splashing at happy tune. Beyond the fountain was the Carolina blue sky, amazing sunshine, and the hustle and bustle of city life. Yes, life was carrying on outside the hospital. I left one extreme and entered another. And I am happy and willing to do both. Thankful for both. Two totally different worlds. That was my opposite moment.

So, how are you doing? Are you experiencing extremes in your world? Are you ready to answer God's call when He asks you? Do you feel worthy to answer God's call?

Think about that. Later this week we'll chat more.

Have a beautiful day!


Monday, July 20, 2009

It's Been a Terrific Day!

Oh if I could duplicate the past 2 days, I would! I was rejuvenated one day and ultra productive the next. Ya think those 2 things might go hand in hand (rejuvenated followed by productivity)? I could actually blog about that, but I'm not. Although I know there is something to it;)

Yesterday morning I got home from the hospital around 10:00 am. (for anyone reading this who doesn't know, my Mom has been in the hospital for over a month. I've been spending every other night there with her.) My husband greeted me with a piping hot cup of heaven. We sat outside and just enjoyed a little time we were able to steal before anyone else knew I was home.

I had not been to church in over a month. Until yesterday I didn't realize how much I missed worshipping with the people of Elevation Church. ( I've been in the hospital every weekend. Yesterday we went to the 11:30 am service. I almost had tears in my eyes as I was singing of my wonderful Savior with my family. I missed that so much. It was like I felt normal again. I've been so out of whack and had a whacked out schedule for 5 weeks, I felt like I had come home.

After church, our family went to the grocery store to do our shopping for the week. I know this doesn't sound like much fun, but I've missed going to the store to shop for my family. Jeff has been keeping up with it for me. It felt good to put milk and eggs in the buggy :) It felt normal. Normal is good.

Upon returning home, I decided that I would throw some laundry in the washing machine...and yes, even this felt good. Now that is quite out of character for me, because I complain about laundry more than anything else. But I've missed being able to do for my family. Doing the laundry was actually a joy! I can't believe I'm writing that!!!!! Plus, while it was washing, I sat out by the pool with my kids, Jeff, and my friend Donna!

Not to bore you with too many details, but the rest of the day/evening I journaled, set some new goals, took a shower, and snuggled by my hubby while we watched a Walt Disney Land documentary with the kids, layed out my workout clothes for the morning, set the coffee, and made sure my supplies and books were in my quiet time area. I was in bed by 9:45 pm. And I slept.

That was just my rejuvenation day. My productive day happened today.

I'll spare you the details, but give you the rundown:

-Up at 4:45, coffee, and quiet time
-Met Donna at 5:45, walked 3 miles
-Had coffee with Jeff out on the patio at 6:45.
-Made my breakfast and lunch.
-Got ready for work. In the office by 8:00 am.
-Worked 6 hr and 45 min in the P31 office.
-Home by 3:00. Folded all the laundry I washed yesterday.
-Watched "Monk" with the kids. (It's our favorite show.)
-Packed a hospital bag.
-Packed supper. And tomorrow's breakfast and lunch.
-Left for hospital at 5:00.
-Helped Mom.
-Here I am now. In my jammies. And feeling quite relaxed and content.

It's been such a long time since I've had days like this. Where I felt like I had a little bit of control. And I am thankful.

Relaxed. Content. Thankful. = Beautiful.

Have a blessed day!



Saturday, July 11, 2009

Off and On

As some of you know, my Mom has been sick. Too much to get into now, but my schedule has been out of whack to say the least. And as a result, so has my healthy living.


Why is it that when my schedule gets off, I revert back to destructable ways? Not good! But I'm on top of it!

Confession time. For supper tonight I ate onion rings and skittles. And about 2 hours later I felt like pee pee kaa kaa. In other words, yuk! Stuffed, tired, and lethargic. This whole week, I've been making poor choices. Peanutbutter crackers for lunch. Milkshake for supper. No planning at all. No variety. Even though it is a challenge to eat healthy during a crisis, it is not hopeless.

So tonight, I confessed to Jeff and Donna. They seem to hold me accountable the most. Recently I have felt so much better because I cut sugar and carbs out of my diet. I've been eating protein, veggies, and a few fruits....I lost 15 pounds and felt great. I am renewing my commitment today. I'm back on.

Do you ever go on and off of a plan? Do you quit once you get "off" the plan? I used to be that way. Once falling "off" the plan, I'd just quit. And stay "off". But no more. I may fall "off". But the beauty of falling "off", is that you can get right back "on". I'm "on".

Ladies, let us not quit when we fail or fall off of our plans. Have the courage to get right back on. Just like Miss Scarlet says in Gone With The Wind, "Tomorrow is another day." Yes it is.

I'm "on". How about you?



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

She's So Beautiful

I wanted to post about my Mom. She is so beautiful. Even in her not so beautiful state, she is amazing. And I think she's the most beautiful woman I've ever known. I posted about her today on my other blog. Read here and let me know what you think.

I Am Humbled and Honored
I wasn't expecting to blog about this tonight. I was hoping to blog about Philippians 4:6-7. I've turned over my worries to prayers and truly God has replaced my fears with peace. I can't explain it, but I have the peace which surpasses all understanding. And I wanted to share that with my readers tonight. Even though, I still have peace, my evening went much different than I expected.

I am here at the hospital with my Mom tonight. It's my turn to spend the night with her. Me and my sister are staying every other night. My Mom's journey has not gone how I would have wanted it to go, but we have found bright spots along the way. My Mom has had 5 surgeries in the past 3 weeks. There have been set backs. But I've managed to remain calm. I trust God. I put the situation in His Hands.

Tonight I was challenged. My Mom was sore and chaffed. I washed her full body. As I washed, she cried. She said, "No daughter should ever have to do this." However, I was honored to wash my mother. As I wiped the warm cloth over her body, I felt the love of Jesus saying, "I made this woman and I want her to feel clean. Thank you for washing her." It was my pleasure to wash her.

A little while later, an odor took over the room. Mom's colostomy bag had burst. Her linens and gown were soiled. She was embarrassed. I called for the nurse. 2 nurses came. They tended to Mom with care and allowed her to keep her dignity. I was so appreciative of that. They cleaned her up, changed her gown and sheets, and told her that everything was ok. They took their time in changing her bag, cleaning her up, and making her feel human and normal.

Yes, I have a peace that surpasses understanding, but I have to be honest. I hate what my Mom is going through. I hate it. I have never gone through anything like this in my life. I don't like that staying in the hospital almost feels normal. I don't like that I miss my family and our suburban lifestyle. I don't like that my Mom doesn't know what tomorrow will bring.

But God.

But God.

But God picked me.
He picked me to have the honor to wash my Mom.
He picked me to be humbled enough to clean her up.
He picked me to have the calm and strength to be there for her.
He picked me to have the priviledge to give back a little of what she's given to me over the years. And I am honored and humbled.

God is enough. I couldn't do what I'm doing, feel how I'm feeling, or get through what I am going through without Him. I have peace. And that is only from God.

Many Blessings and Much Love,


****Mom has another surgery on Thursday, July 9th. Thank you for your prayers.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I hope I'm Still With it when I'm her age...

I am at the beach this week with my husband's family. We do this trip every year. It's Jeff, me, our 4 kids, Jeff's parents, his Aunt Dorothy (75), his grandmother-Big Granny (86), and his other grandmother-Little Granny (91).

We've celebrated 3 birthdays this week. 2 of my kids, and Big Granny. Hayden turned 14. Dylan turned 12. Big Granny turned 86. We seem to be at the beach each year for their birthdays.

I have been very observant of the ladies on this trip. We have had so much fun. And I've learned that the things that make being a girl fun when you are young are still the things that make being a girl fun when you are older.

On our first night here, Jeff's mom, Pat, gave all of us bracelets with beads of our birthstones. It just felt fun and girlie to all be getting something special. No boys included. The next day, Big Granny gave all the girls "chocolate" shirts. She found shirts at the Cracker Barrel with a quote about chocolate, so she bought one for each of us. For instance, mine said, "Forget love, I fall in chocolate." Then the next night we all painted our toe nails green. Yes, that's right, I said green! Of course we have pictures to document all of this. The following day, the ladies went shopping, with their green toe nails of course. Boy did we make a statement! How beautiful is that? The youngest of the girls is 7. The oldest is 91.

Tonight we had family game night. The first game was for the kids, involving putting your face in whipped cream to find m&m's and marshmallows. The next game was relay race where we had to put on different items of clothing (my team won :). The last game was a 3 legged race. We all played, from the youngest to the oldest. When it was my turn, I was paired with Aunt Dorothy, who is 75. I must say, she's the youngest 75 year old I know. We wiped out! Yes we did. Fell flat on our faces! She did much better than me! My knee still hurts! But oh it was so fun. When it was Little Granny's turn to do the 3 legged race with Blake, my 15 yr old son, she had extra help from her own son, who is 68. It was precious and priceless.

We often gage beauty on what we 'see' with our own eyes. But I believe beauty is more something that can be experienced. I look at my husband's grandmothers and I see beautiful. Yes, they are wrinkled. Yes, they are slower than the rest of us. But oh, they are amazingly beautiful. When I come on this beach trip each year, I try to take in all I can. I want to pass it all on. The stories. The fun. The laughter. The faith. The traditions. The ladies rock.

This year I'm the 2nd youngest lady on the beach trip. At 42, I'm feeling young. But even as time goes on, even when I'm not one of the youngest, I hope I'm still lovin life and enjoying the fun. Yes, "I hope I"m Still With it when I'm her age......"

Beautiful Blessings,


Monday, June 29, 2009


I was looking for a word to describe me lately. Emotional is all I could come up with. I have experienced so many emotions over the past 2-3 weeks, I feel like I could've been 15 different people. But also though, I feel like I haven't felt at all. I know that makes no sense. But much of the time I've felt numb. And the numbness has been a gift from God. At times I think if I could've "felt" what I was really feeling, I would be a basket case. Maybe gone over the edge.

I have not blogged in quite some time. The last time I blogged my Mom was getting ready to go into the hospital. She's now been in there for 1 and 1/2 weeks and will probably be there for another couple weeks. She had major surgery, the first of it's kind. And it was successful. But there is recovery and rehab. But when it's all said and done, this cancer is gone and there will be just the lung cancer to deal with.

But let me say this. Seeing my Mom go through so much has been excruciating on me. I can't take it, yet I can. This woman who I love is suffering. She's too young. And she blames herself. She keeps apologizing to me. It kills me. But I put up a front. I wear a mask to cover the pain. I think my Mom does too.

I'm at the beach now. After staying in the hospital 6 nights with Mom, I was given the blessing of a break. Friends and family are stepping up to help out. My sister is here from Dallas, TX. My mother in law has stayed with my Mom for 2 nights. Donna is keeping all the dogs (mine and Mom's). Denise has volunteered to stay with Mom one night. Cindy stayed with Mom last night. Aunt Gloria stayed on Sat. I'm so thankful for all of them.

I've been at the beach for 2 days now. I have to admit, I felt guilty for coming. But I also know I was worn out and almost ready to crack. The break is good and I'm so thankful for all of the help. I'm really glad to have my sister here.

So, what are my emotions right now? Well, I went on a walk today. Down the beach in the middle of the day. I was thinking about Mom. I was thinking about life. I was thinking about losing my Mom. I was thinking about the loss of life. I got really sad for the first time. My breathing got heavy. I was somewhat angry for having to deal with this. But I also understand that the Master has a plan. I returned to peace.

I just started reading "The Shack" today. I'm half way through it and I can't wait to read the rest. I can tell it's life changing. There are so many lines I've highlighted in the book already that I plan to write about later.

I don't really know what I've written thus far. Hope it made some sense. Today is my 2nd child's birthday. He is 14. Hayden is 14. God bless him. And I thank God for him.

Now I must go. I am watching "wrastlin" with my husband's grandmothers. What a hoot. One is 87 and the other 92. This time with them is priceless! I can't quit laughing! We have 4 generations right here. Watchin' "wrastlin". Lovely!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pray for Mom!

To anyone who reads this,

My Mom is having major surgery at 7:30 am, Thursday, June 18, 2009. She is having a colostomy and hopefully the surgeon will be able to remove all the cancer in that area. Pray for that please!

She still has lung cancer, but if this other cancer can be controlled, she can atleast live without pain.

I'll be updating all day tomorrow on the blogs, FaceBook ( ), Twitter ( ) , and my mom's CaringBridge site ( ).

Thank you for your prayers.



****Edit, Thurs, June 18th, 2:03 pm EST
I updated Mom's CaringBridge site with the details from her surgery. Click the CaringBridge link above if you want details. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers. I was lifted by them. Out of this trial, for me, the biggest blessing has come in the form of prayers by friends, co-workers (who are also friends), and people I've never even met before (like many of you) who I also consider friends. Thank you so much! If I could, I'd hug you all real big right now!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Who Are You?

Hey there and Happy Tuesday Beautiful Friends! Today I have a devotion running on the Proverbs 31 website. It's called, "Once...Always." ( ) Let me tell you the crazy way that this devo came to be.

I was watching CMT (Country Music Television) one morning. A video by Kellie Pickler came on. One of the lines in the song was "I've been told that a cheater is always a cheater..." Well, I know it's just a song, a country song at that...I mean many country songs have a good cheatin' story, but I couldn't get that line out of my head. Especially how it doesn't have to be true. Christ can change all that! It made me think of the times I labeled myself and those names stuck in my head. And of the times that someone else called me something and I kept repeating it in my head. Even long after the sin occurred and I had supposedly moved on, I still would hear those names. "Pathetic" "The Worst" "Not Good Enough" Sometimes the people in my life still thought of me that way. And I may never be able to change that. I've learned to be concerned with what God thinks of me. I am defined by Jesus Christ, not by what I did in the past or what others think of me.

Look at these awesome verses:

***2 Corinthians 5:17,“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ; he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (NIV)

Do you believe this verse? I hope so. The old is gone. Praise God! The new has come. Praise God again! Maybe at times I have been "pathetic" and "the worst", but guess what? I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. I am washed clean. Psalm 32:1-5 frees me from anything I've ever done. I am what I am in Jesus.

***Psalm 86:5, "You willingly forgive, and your love is always there for those who pray to you.” (CEV)

Yes, no matter what it is we've done, God forgives. And look at this verse. He "willingly forgives" and His "love is always there." Doesn't that make you feel great?

***Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget what happened long ago! Don't think about the past. I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands.” (CEV)

We are told here to "forget what happened long ago!" Have you forgotten? Do you still define yourself based on something in your past? Oh, let that go today! God doesn't want you living in the past. You are not what you did. He is creating something new in if you wish!

Romans 3:23-24, “All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins.” (CEV)

Yes it's true. We all have sinned. We all fall short. That's right, we don't measure up. But that's ok. Our God treats us better than we deserve. Why? Because of Jesus. Sweet Beautiful Child of God, you are free and accepted. All you have to do is claim Jesus as your Savior.

Why is it that we struggle with this so much? Can we ever let go of what we were told that we were or what we think we were? I hope so. I know for me I have to pray it and claim Scripture like the ones above for my life. I need those reminders to get me through.

Do you believe the saying "Once a ___________ always a ____________?" Do you believe it about someone? Do you believe it about yourself?

The Maya Angelou quote I referred to in the devo was actually a quote I had hanging on my refrigerator for many years. "When people show you who they are, believe them...the first time." I actually tore a card out of the very first issue of "O" Magazine with this quote on it. I saved it to remind myself that I wouldn't get burned or mistreated more than once by the same person. And I held people up to that standard. Do me wrong once and well, you are history! I won't fall for that again! I lived by that until the day came when I needed forgiveness for something horrible that I had done. I didn't want to be defined by it. I didn't want anyone to believe that I could be defined by that "the first time." No, I desired a 2nd chance. Thank God I got it. And to this day I wear a silver band on my right hand with "4GVN" engraved on it. I'll never remove it. I want to remember it always.

I pray that you were encouraged by today's devotion. In the eyes of God you are beautiful. No matter what the world tells you, no matter what skeletons you have in your closet. You are a beautiful child of God. Jesus lived and died for you and in Him there is no condemnation. You can be free. Your slate can be wiped clean.

Please share your thoughts with me.



***Keep checking my blogs, I'll be hosting a give away soon (3 copies of "The Love Dare") and I'm starting a Love Dare marriage study. See for more details.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fun Friday

It's Friday. And I guess it's been fun. This has been a crazy week. Mostly good, very busy. Are my weeks any other way?

It's late. 11:30ish as I write. I'm going back and forth between email, twitter, facebook, and my blog. I'm also watching a movie with Hayden, my 13 yr old son (Shredderman Rules). There are others in the room, but they have drifted off. So, I guess I'm multi-tasking.

Earlier tonight, Hayley Grace had dress rehearsal for her dance recital. Friday nights are usually reserved for doing NOTHING! "Nothing" didn't start until around 10:30 due to the rehearsal. Tomorrow will be busy as well. Hayden is attending a bat mitzvah, Hayley Grace is attending Sydney's 9th birthday party (Happy Birthday Syd!), and our family is celebrating Dylan's 5th grade graduation. Sunday we will go to church in the morning and HG's dance recital in the afternoon. Right? LOL!

Some great news came our way this week. About my mom. Check it out here: Click "journal" to get the latest update. It is really good for a change!

Are you having fun? Has summer officially started for you? What are you doing this summer? Let me know!And have a blessed and beautiful weekend!

Love you much,


Monday, June 8, 2009


Here is a little of what's been going on lately.

1. Dylan's game did not take place on Thursday night. It was Monday night. They lost, but played a great game. Great season Cobras!

2. My mom's exam is over. The doctors have scheduled her surgery for June 18th. She will be in the hospital for 6-8 days.

3. I went to the Brad Paisley concert last Friday with my awesome friend, Donna. We had such a great time. It was pouring rain and our seats were outside. Fortunately for $10 each we were able to upgrade and sit under the shelter. The concert was fabulous. It was the first concert in my whole life that I knew every word to every song. I didn't want it to end.

4. On Saturday, 4 of my friends and all of our kids went to the No Doubt/Paramore concert. What fun. We tailgated beforehand and enjoyed the concert. I loved listening to the kids talk in the car on the way to and from the show. I learned a lot driving and pretending like I wasn't listening (but I really was!). I hope I can post some pics soon.

5. Church on Sunday...sermon on anxiety. I needed it.

6. Cleaned the office after chuch. The kids and I do this together every other week. They worked harder than ever to get it done.

7. Jeff had a great weekend getaway with his high school friends. They went to Charleston. I was so glad for him to take a break from real life and relax and play golf with guys he's known for 30 years. I missed him though!

8. Work is busier than ever. Lately I have not been finishing all I have to do before I leave. There seems to always be more. Job security is a good thing :) (It's mostly She Speaks Conference stuff and prayer requests)

9. I have officially decided to hold off on meeting with any publishers or agents at the conference this year. I thought this would be a good time because I've done so much writing and I thought I might be ready to present a proposal (or 2) this year. However, I know very clearly that this is not the year to pursue my dream of writing a book. I think I'm supposed to keep writing, but I know I need to devote my time and attention this summer to my mom. As I said before, she has a surgery scheduled for June 18th and will have another in July or August. I'm content to wait...again :)

10. Dylan "graduates" from 5th grade on Wednesday. My baby boy is leaving elementary school, I can't believe it. There will be tears I promise!

11. Hayley Grace has her dance recital this upcoming Sunday afternoon.

12. I've lost 15 pounds and I'm exercising reguarly and eating mostly healthy.

13. My son, Hayden, had an appt with a neurosurgeon. Because of his spine injuries, he will begin physical therapy soon. We are praying he will be able to play football in the fall. Unsure at this point.

Busy times, fun times, cautious times, sad times. All times for depending on the Lord and leaning on Him daily. Can't get through this life any other way. Ups and downs occur every week.

So, that's life for me lately in 13 brief bullet points. I wish I had more inspirtation and encouragement to give out right now, but I just don't. I'm sorry about that.

May you be blessed wherever you are and whatever you are going through today.



Friday, June 5, 2009

Fun Friday

Is it really Friday?

No way.

I've been waiting for this day all week!

And what a week it's been! Hayden's Orthodontist appt, Blake's Final exams, Hayden's Spine Doctor appt, Hayley Grace's End of year party, Hayley Grace's Field Day, Dylan's baseball games, Mom's CT Scan, Mom's major invasive exam, Jeff left for guy's weekend at the beach, writing devos, preparing book proposals, plus just the usual work and house stuff! Busy busy! Those who know me know that when my life gets this busy, I get overwhelmed. Especially if there are serious issues at hand (like with Hayden and my mom). In fact, today at work I felt very unfocused and out of breath. I was so concerned over Hayden's appt with the spine specialist. It went well, we have a plan for healing, but it's still a lot. And I constantly worry about my mom. I've had to coordinate other people picking up my kids from school. I overslept this morning. An hour late. Just crazy. Not much different from any other week. Except.....

Tonight I'm going to Brad Paisley!!!!! I can't wait! Here he is at the "Cars" movie premier a few years ago. Blake is getting his autograph.

My friend Donna and I are going. I am just so happy to be getting away and spending some awesome time with her and listening to my favorite country singer. I will be singing. I hope I don't embarass Donna. Jeff and I saw him last year and it was such a great show. This guy can sing. He can play guitar. And his songs tell wonderful stories.

The fun doesn't stop there. I'll have a brief break of fun when I have to go clean the Proverbs 31 office on Saturday morning, but the fun will return. Saturday night, my friends Donna and Denise and me and our kids are going to see No Doubt and Paramore. Another concert. More fun. More singing. So excited. I love concerts. Just no brain fun. I need it! It's been quite a week!

Have a great weekend! Live life to the fullest, laugh some, and share your love.

I'll tell Brad you said, "hello"!



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How can a week make a difference?

Don't know, but boy can it ever!

15 pounds ago, I was a size 14. I blogged last week about all the different sizes in my in my closet and drawers and how I decided to try some of my old (smaller) clothes on. And how they didn't fit and were still just as tight as ever!

I mean puh-leeze, I've now lost 15 pounds, and I've been a real good girl!!!! Frustrated at this, I decided to put myself through the same torture again today, hoping for better results.

AND I GOT THEM!!!! Yes! I fit into my size 12's!!! And easily at that! So, good bye 14's, hello for a while 12's and I look forward to seeing you 10's!

Yippee aye Ayyyyyyyyy!

Weight loss success feels great. A smaller boo-hiney feels great. Fitting into size 12 feels great! Believing I'm beautiful no matter what the number, shape, or size....priceless!

Beautliful Blessings,


Later Edit: When I began this weight loss/health plan 6 weeks ago, my blood pressure was 125/85. Too high. I took it again today and it was 118/78! I'd say that's a great improvement. Amazing what just 15 pounds can do. Oh I feel good!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Am Beautiful....

No I'm Not....seriously, do I really think I'm beautiful? Who is this blog fooling anyway????

I have a confession to make. I started this blog over a year ago to try and convince myself that I was indeed beautiful. I didn't feel beautiful. No one told me I was beautiful. But I knew that God made me for reason and that He truly believed in me, His creation, and that I was wonderfully made, so I must be beautiful...right?

I used to believe that I started this blog to encourage others and convince them that they were indeed beautiful. However, I have to admit, I think that is not the total truth. I'm actually trying to convince myself that I am beautiful to someone. Despite my weight gain. Despite my failures. Despite my circumstances. And I have to admit, often I make myself feel better when I write here to encourage others. But does it truly sink in?

When you read encouragement here, do you feel any different? Do you feel beautiful? Is this worth it?

Well, I can't answer for anyone other than myself, but I say "yes" is worth it.

When I look in the mirror, I am often disappointed by what I see. In fact, when I look at my life and the lives of those I love, I am disappointed by what I see. But I have hope. Hope in what God has in store. That fact alone makes me feel somewhat beautiful. It's like this.....I don't "feel" beautiful, but I "know" I am. I know I am beautiful because God made me and He doesn't make mistakes or mishaps....He creates beauty. I am a gift to the world because the Bible says "Children are a gift from God" and I am a child of God, so I must be a gift to this world from God. That's beautiful.

And I need to keep telling myself that because that is true.

Hey beautiful is so short. Much shorter that I wish it was. I can say this because my mother is dying. We don't know how much time this awesome and beautiful woman has left. She has cancer and the outlook is not good. Mom is beautiful. OMG! She's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. And it's not from her appearance...right now that is frail, pale, bald, and sickly. It's not from her personality...right now that is weak. It's not from her talents...right now she can't get up and go anywhere or do anything special. Do you know where her beauty is?

It's from her heart. And it's crystal clear. Beauty exudes from her heart. She has loved. She has given. She has sacrificed. And it has nothing to do with how she looks or what she's done. It's what's inside.

I have struggled so long with wanting to feel like I mattered and that I was beautiful. I know that Satan would like me to think that I never mattered and that outward beauty defines who I am. Thankfully, I don't fall for that anymore. I hope you don't either.

I talk to many of you weekly that feel like you just don't measure up as a wife, mother, friend, or person. The prayer requests I receive reflect a hopeless world, hopeless marriages, lonely women, and desperate voices crying for help. Feelings of unworthiness, discontentment, and ugliness. It's so sad. And it's all lies because I promise you that your Creator thinks so much more of you than that.

I Am Beautiful....yes I am. I know it and I believe it...I really do. God made me on purpose and though I may not fulfill His every wish, He loves me anyway. I mess up big time. I get ugly and do wrong. but that doesn't define me. Christ defines me. Hallelujah! I am free, forgiven, and beautiful.

And so are you. No Matter What. No matter what anyone thinks of you or says about you. You are beautiful. I pray you know it.

Bless You,


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Good Morning Starts With A...

GOOD NIGHT! I wish I could say I was the one who coined that phrase, but I can't. I have to hand that one to my dear sweet husband. As I was running around frantic one morning, stressing out, wishing I had gotten up early for quiet time and exercise, and running late....Jeff said, "You should have planned out your today yesterday. A good morning starts with a good night." Then it just got to be a family saying. Each night when we needed to go to bed, Jeff would say, "A good morning starts with a good night, soooooo GOOOOOD NIGHT!" I know I'm being silly, but isn't it true?

My best days seem to happen when I go to bed a decent time the night before and take a little time to plan it out. It's amazing what a good night's sleep does. And when I have a plan, I don't have to second guess what my next move will be.

This week I have been really focused on discipline. If you read my other blog, , you know that discipline is my new focus. It has been a weakness for much of my life. And I was convicted that it was time to become disciplined. So I have focused, prayed, and studied discipline. I've planned ahead and gotten enough sleep. And I recruited a few friends to help me too.

I got up at 5:15 am each morning this week to exercise. 3 days I met friends to walk together. 2 days I exercised with a video in my home. In order to recruit friends who would actually get up that early to walk with me, I emailed everyone I knew in my area and asked if anyone could walk that early. (for me that's when it has to be) Well, most said "no" or didn't respond at all. But 2 did respond. Denise committed to once a week. Donna committed to 3 days a week every other week. That helps me tremendously. It's not everyday, but it's enough to get me up and keep me motivated. We exercise and we get social time. It's awesome. I don't feel like getting up in the morning, but being committed to discipline, I do it! :)

I have also been preparing my meals a day ahead. That helps because then I don't have to wonder what to eat, I know what I'm going to eat. Not that temptations don't pop up, they do. But that takes strength, conviction, and discipline too. It's hard, but it's happening. And when I overcome those strong temptations, it feels so good afterwards!

Organiziation if not my forte', but my husbands saying holds true. And tomorrow I am meeting Donna and Denise for our weekend jumpstart....60 minute power walk. And it starts at 5:30am. So I must go!

A Good Morning Starts With A "GOODNIGHT!!!!"

Sweet Dreams,


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One Size Fits All

There's nothing that makes me feel much worse than when I try on clothing with the tag that says "one size fits all" and it's too tight, too small. I think such tags/sizes should be forbidden because truth be told there is no such thing as ONE SIZE FITS ALL!!!!

I remember once my friend, Denise, said she had some clothes she was giving away and thought some of them might look good on me. Humiliating! "Try this one"...."Oh I think that will be too small"...."No it won't, I wore this right after I had Hunter (her child)"..."Nice, if looking like a stuffed sausage is in style." "Try this one"..."nope too small"...."try it, it's one size fits all"...."Right, fits all BUT ME!" So not fair! I actually did find a few good things though. I got 2 pair of shoes :)

I have lost 13 pounds over the past month. I lost the first 10 in 10 days. That doesn't really count I don't think. Those are just those jump start pounds responding to the shock my body was in. I lost 2 the next week and 1 last week. I'm very satisfied with it so far. It's not been easy. I still miss my munchies, but I'm feeling great. (I have cut sugar out of my diet. Eating lots of protein, veggies, and a little fruit.) I'm also walking 45 min daily and getting little spurts of exercise during the day. Though the number on the scales seems impressive, I think those 13 pounds must have been located in my fingers because my clothes do not feel any different!

Today I thought I'd give some old clothes a "try on" just to see. Bad idea. It was just like being in Denise's closet again and trying on the "one size fits all". The ones I wanted to fit in were still just as tight.

Now at certain times in my life, this would have been enough to discourage me, make me feel like it's just not worth it anyway, and maybe even go eat some chips. So imagine how great it felt today to NOT feel that way at all. Those old feelings of humilation and discouragement just weren't there. Of course I'd love to fit into my smaller clothes and see some visible signs of weight loss, but for now (only now) I'm content with the other physical things happening to me. I feel great. I'm sleeping better. I've been treating my body good. The other will come in time.

One size fits all....hmph!

Beautiful Blessings,


Friday, May 22, 2009

Fun Friday is Back!

Why did I stop? Not sure. But, I used to post "Fun Friday" each Friday on my blog. I'm not sure why I stopped. I think maybe life got too serious. I think I'll bring it back, today.

Fun Friday has no real purpose. It's just random fun. So, here goes.

This truly has been a Fun Friday. Work was fun, as usual. I work in a great place, Proverbs 31 Ministries. I do not ever want to work anywhere else. We sit on balls at our desks (no kidding...more about that in another post) and we rebound a couple of times a day (more on that too.). It's one of the only places I really feel like I can totally 100% be myself. I love to work!

American Idol ended this week. This was really sad for my family. We love this show. All in one week, our family faves ended. (Survivor, American Idol, Amazing Race, The Office, and Dancing with the Stars) We truly bond over these shows. We don't always agree, but we bond. And wonderful family discussions stem from them. We loved the AI finale. And most of us loved the outcome. Hayley Grace, my 7 yr old was rooting for Adam. Too bad so sad Hayley Grace! Ha.

So, for Taylor family TV time for the summer, what do we do? We watch a lot of movies and we DVR shows like: "Leave it to Beaver", "Home Improvement", "Monk", "The Cosby Show", and "The Brady Bunch". Ok, do you officially think we are super geeks? Until Football season begins, we have no choice.

It's Memorial Day Weekend. Time for fun, family, cookouts, and the official kick off to summer. What are you doing? For the first time in ages, we have a weekend with no obligations. No baseball games. No speaking engagements. No work. Ahhh..... I'm going to sleep on Saturday morning. Don't know what I'll do on Saturday afternoon. I'll date my husband on Saturday night. Sunday after church, we are going to my Mom's for a family cookout. I haven't seen her in over a week, so I'm very excited about this. I might spend the night on Sunday with her, not quite sure yet. Love her so much.

I haven't talked much about it, but I've altered my lifestyle drastically over the past month. I have been way more consistent with my exercising and I started focusing on cutting sugar and bad carbs totally out of my diet. It has been SO HARD at times. My habits have tried to come back, but I've stayed strong!!!! I've had a great team supporting me and eating the same way and that has helped tremendously. Even the other night, I was speaking at a dinner here in Charlotte. Right before dinner was served, LeAnn Rice came up to me and gave me a small container of dressing. It was our yummy sugar free dressing for my salad. She was helping me stay true to the plan I was on. I know that sounds minor, but it was major!!!! (so was skipping the cheesecake!) I've lost 13 pounds so far. Before you start to think that's a great thing, I have to admit my clothes fit no different. I'm looking at the scales and seeing the number go down. I have to wonder,"where is the 13 pounds coming from???" Jeff says he can tell a difference in my face. So I guess I've lost 13 pounds from my face!

I guess this is enough fun for one Friday. And I've rambled long enough.

If you are reading this, I pray you have a wonderful and blessed weekend. You are beautiful, do you know that? Just ask God!

Happy Memorial Day! Honor and remember those who died for our freedom and the love and safety of our country.

Much Love,


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Being honest, losing weight feels good

I've had a lifetime of ups and downs. Mostly on the scales, I might add! I've been successful at losing and then a failure by gaining it back. Over the past 2 yrs, I've been gaining. Until now.

A few weeks ago, a few gals in my office, a few of my team members, and I decided to make some much needed changes in the way we were eating and treating our bodies. Well, to be more acurate, the team members have been doing this for a while. In fact, it's because of their success (Marybeth is looking way good!!!) that the rest of us were motivated to get started.

I'm 2 and 1/2 weeks into it and I must say I've done better than I expected. I still need to get more consistent with exercise, that's for sure. But I've lost 12 pounds so far. I know a lot of that is just beginner losing body was in shock from the change. I don't feel my clothes fitting more loosely, but they aren't as tight either. My energy level is higher and I'm not as run down after meals. I've cut my sugar out almost completely. I'm eating fruits and veggies and good proteins. Am I hungry? Oh yea. I'm hungry alright! I've learned that I need more protein at the end of the day than at the beginning. When I wake up, I'm hungry. I'm drinking lots of water and a little bit of diet 7 up. The rest of my buddies have given up caffeine. I am still drinking coffee in the morning w/ fat free creamer. That's one thing I just enjoy too much to give up. Besides that, I've gone very natural in my food choices.

We'll see how it goes and I'll keep posting more regularly about progress. I will say, being on a team of people with a common goal is easier than doing it alone.

So, down 12 so far. And that is encouraging. Only 25 more to go! :)

It feels good to be going down.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spending Mother's Day With the Most Beautiful Woman I Know

You know who it is. MY MOM! That's right.

This morning I awoke to a very much appreciative breakfast in bed....(eggs and fruit and coffee), a card from my kids, and a card from Jeff. The card Jeff gave me was probably the sweetest and most meaningful. Words are my #1 love language and the card Jeff picked out the best card for me. After I read it, I asked him, "Do you really mean all this?" He said, "I mean every word." That was priceless. I also got a bottle of massage oil and some foot creme. Exactly what I wanted.

After church, I went to the grocery store and then to my mom's in Rock Hill. She is truly the most beautiful woman that I know. Inside and out! As she read the cards from the kids, Jeff, and me, she just started crying. She apologized for putting us through so much with her illness. She was feeling guilty. I said, "Mama, don't you dare! Nothing is your fault, there is no blame. I'm just happy for today. I'm here with you!"

We've had a wonderful day. When it came time for supper, she wanted an Arby's beef and cheese. And that's what she got. I was a good girl and brought my own supper. I've been on a very strict diet for 2 weeks now. (I'll post about that later, but I'm down 10 pounds) And then after supper, mom wanted OUR FAVORITE apple turnovers and ice cream. I told my mother, "I can't have those." She said, "Melissa, you have to! We love these!" Do you know hard it was to pass those up? The apple turnovers and ice cream are a blast from the past. They are a sweet memory dating back to when I was a little girl. But I remained strong. No apple turnovers. Mom had hers though. And I loved watching her enjoy it. (I so wanted some!!! But I've been doing so good for 2 weeks. I stayed strong.)

We just watched the Amazing Race finale and now are watching The Apprentice finale. (I know, too much reality TV...oh well, we love it!) We are laying on the bed together and just enjoying time. I will treasure this Mother's Day forever.

Time is such a precious commodity. It is one of the only things on this earth that we can never get back. When time is gone, it's gone. I'm so thankful I got spend time with my mom today. I love her so much.



Friday, May 8, 2009

Hey Y'all

I just wrote the post for other blog that I have. I scheduled it to post at 5:30 Friday, May 8th in the morning. I have a devo running on the Proverbs 31 site and Crosswalk site on Friday. If you are interested in reading the devo, click here: . If you are interested in reading my response to the devo, click here: .

Honestly, I was caught off guard by the devo that was running on Friday, May 8th. I wrote it a while back when I was facing totally different situations. But I needed it now.

I referred to "The Great Physician"! I need to trust Him now more than ever. I need to trust Him with my mom, who is suffering from stage 4 lung cancer and soon undergoing surgery for a colorectal cancer. I need to trust Him with Dylan, my son who is suffering from sweaty palms and feet (sounds silly, but it is prohibiting him from doing much). I need to trust Him with Hayley Grace who has "walking pnemonia". I need to trust Him with Hayden who is undergoing spine fracture treatment. I need to learn to trust Him with my dad who has recently had his 3rd divorce and is going through treatment for diabetes, depression, and other ailments. I need to learn to trust Him with my sister who has Multiple Schlerosis. And I need to learn to trust Him with all things. The Great Physician is capable of healing and taking care of every one in our lives. Every one and every thing. There is no need to fear. Right?

What I learn over and over again is that God is truly in control. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. And we can trust Him to take care of it all. Ahhhhh, so I can relax, right?

On another note, this week has been so busy! Work has been crazy busy. The She Speaks Conference is filling up and we are getting so many calls into the office about it. I am speaking a lot this month. The kids have lots of activities going on. Life is just crazy! But God is faithful and awesome and has shown up every time I've needed Him! Love that!

This weekend I am heading to Greer, South Carolina (very close to my hometown of Greenville, SC). I'm speaking at a women's brunch. I would appreciate your prayers. I have family attending this event. That makes me nervous!!!!! Safe because they love me, but nervous because.....well, it just does! The theme is "Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition". Praying God's fingerprints all over it.

Sunday, I'm going to my mom's in Rock Hill, SC. After church I'm going to spend the day and night with my mother. There is no place I'd rather be on Mother's Day than with my own mother. So that's where I'll be. We have decided as a family that we would celebrate me as a mom for Mother's Day, next week.

I know this post was a series of thoughts. No real subject. But that's what you get with me today. Happy Mother's Day. Happy Weekend. No matter what you celebrate just remember that God loves you. He forgives you. He made you for a purpose. You are super duper important to Him. He made you for a reason. You are beautiful.

Love You All,


Monday, May 4, 2009

Women of Grace

What a perfect title. Women of Grace. That was the group I was priveleged enough to speak to last weekend. And they were indeed "Women of Grace".

I typically look forward to what God has in store for events that He brings me to. But I have to admit, that this event took my by surprise. I was unprepared. I was distracted. I've been very busy. I've been very concerned about my Mom's health, cancer, and condition...and my son, Hayden's spine defect/injury, MRI, and prognosis. I've been concerned about my Dad and the fact that he's been lonely, depressed, and hopeless. I've been saddened about the prayer requests that have come through the Proverbs 31 prayer line. So many lonely, sad, and lost women.

But God. Yes. But God.

This event, Women's retreat, was amazing. God showed up in a huge way. It's like it was all orchestrated and arranged so that just the right healing would take place. I feel so blessed that God would allow me to take a front row seat to observe what He would accomplish. Hearts stirred, burdens lifted, questions answered and questions unanswered but addressed, transformed lives, and salvations. Oh Lord, I love you so much. I don't doubt you, but I never thought You'd show up like you did this weekend. Those "Women of Grace" really got to experience how cool, real, and awesome you are. Thank you.

Women of Grace at the retreat, please let me know how God met you this past weekend. You blessed me more than I can say. I pray that the message God gave you followed you home. You are "blutiful"!!!! I love you. I miss you. And thank you for welcoming me and taking me in like a friend. I had a great time with you!

Much Love,


Monday, April 27, 2009

God's Masterpiece, Yes You!

Good Morning! I am exhausted today! This past weekend was mine and my husband's 25th High School reunion. It was a combo reunion, Classes of 82, 83, 84, 85, and 86. Jeff was Class of 84, I was 85. It was a weekend I will always treasure. Getting all of those people together and having such a super time. The coolest thing was all of the screams and squeals you'd hear when two people who hadn't seen each other in a long time would recognize each other and run into each other's arms. It was a special weekend indeed.

If you are visiting here from the Proverbs 31 Devotion, welcome! I hope the message in today's devotion was helpful and encouraging for you.

Admittedly, for a few months now, I've been a little nervous about this reunion. I'm not the size 8 or even 10 I was hoping I'd be. With that said, I've been very focused on God's perspective lately. When approaching a situation I say, "If God was in my shoes, what would He be thinking? How would He feel? What would be most important to Him?" This has helped me so much! I've been able to take my thoughts and eyes more off of myself and onto others. And I've enjoyed my life a little more even though I'm going through a lot of tough stuff right now.

When I really took the time to soak in what it means to be God's Masterpiece, WHOA! It makes me stop and I almost have to gain my composure again. It's that amazing and incomprehendable to me. I just can't grasp that! And not only am I God's Mastepiece, but so is everyone He created. When I look at everyone else that way, it makes me want to be a little more patient and kind to all of the Masterpieces in my life. I had a great opportunity to do that this weekend.

Are you convinced that you are a Masterpiece, created by God? You were created in His image. Wow, you really are beautiful then aren't you? Yep, you sure are ;)

When you finally can look at yourself the way Your Designer looks at you, you gain a freedom to live more in the moment and with appreciation for yourself, not pity. I thank God today for creating me, His Masterpiece. And I thank Him for creating you too. Afterall, we are made in the image of God. We are His Masterpieces. And that my friend is just pretty darn special!

Hugs and Blessings,


Thursday, April 23, 2009

High School Reunion

I have a High School Reunion to attend this weekend. It's a multiple class reunion, '82, '83, '84, '85, and '86. Jeff is the class of '84. I am the class of '85. East Mecklenburg High School, Charloote, NC. Jeff is in charge of the event. He initiated it, planned it (with help from a committee), and has worked overtime in making it happen. Obviously with Jeff being in charge and the fact that he's my husband, I've known when the reunion would take place for months and months.

So, the plan was that the reunion would motivate me to lose weight and look decent by reunion time. Hmmmm, hope I have a plan B.

Actually I do. I didn't lose weight. But I lost something better. I lost my lack of self confidence. I lost my lack of valuing appearance over my identity. I lost my lack of comparing my looks to someone elses. Isn't that beautiful?

I am so excited for this reunion. I loved high school and can't wait to see old friends this weekend. Plus this is an awesome get away for me and Jeff. We are staying at a swanky hotel in uptown Charlotte all weekend.

I know that reunions are often stressful for some. The great thing about this reunion is I've finally learned that people will not see me as gaining or losing weight, or attractive or not. They will see my heart. I'm kind, friendly, I love Jesus, and I'm fun. And ......

I am Beautiful.

And just between us, I can't wait to dance to 80's music!



Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Feel Beautiful!

I haven't exercised this week. Shame on me. I have had a major pity party this week. Shame on me. I got some new clothes today. I feel better. I feel pretty. Yeah Me!

This blog is dedicated to the glory of God. It is all about how the outside doesn't define us. The heart does. It's also an honest blog. It's about how the outside does affect how the inside feels.

For the past year, I've been wearing pretty much the same thing to work each week. I wear jeans, my husband's clothes, a few shirts, and not much else. Why? Because not much else that I own fits me.

Today that changed.

My ultra sweet, wise, and fashion smart mother in law took me shopping. I called her a few weeks ago. I gave her my budget and told her my longings for pretty clothes and a better body. She took me out for an hour and in that hour changed my whole perspective.

First thing she said, "Melissa, you are wearing men's clothes. Stop that. You are a woman. A Beautiful woman. Do not wear your husband's clothes. You are covering the beautiful woman that you are." She took me to a store. She sent me to the dressing room. I stayed in there and she brought me clothes. And they fit. They looked good. They made me look pretty. I even looked lighter. And I did feel better.

At first, I was thinking to myself...."clothes should not make me feel better....feelings are fickle and they change with the why do I feel better for looking better?" But the truth is, we do feel better....WHEN OUR CLOTHES FIT!!!!!!

I spent $120 today. I got a pair of jeans, a skirt, a shrug, 3 shirts, and a pair of shoes. And I love them. Stacey and Clinton would be proud. (What Not To Wear)

So, does the outside make you feel better? For a while maybe. But it's not permanent. It's only temporary, while you are looking in the mirror maybe. The inside has to be there in order to have a lasting beauty. But I have to be honest here....the outside does make a difference.

I don't have much more to say tonight. Do you? If so, share please.

You guys are always so insightful!

Love you!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do You Feel Beautiful?

I hope you do. Today I don't.

It's so pathetic. I know it's not from God. I know it's self pity. And I know that Satan loves to attack me in this area because I'm vulnerable.

Read here the post from my other blog. It explains a lot of how I'm feeling tonight. Just overwhelmed.

Hey. I'm blue. I really am. I was hesitant. I'm full of self pity and I admit it. It is what it is.I'm overwhelmed by so much.

My mom....y'all know about her. She's amazing and beautiful. And she's suffering in pain right now. Cancer is consuming her body. It's so hard to watch.

My dad...I've kind of neglected him lately. I haven't seen him since Christmas. His health is not good, but it's more of a daily struggle not so much a terminal thing like Mom's. He has diabetes and depression. The depression is plagueing him at the present time. Hayley Grace and I are going to pick him up tomorrow. It's his birthday and he's lonely. I'm thinking that a visit to Charlotte will do him good. While he's here he will get to go to Hayden's track meet and Dylan's baseball game and we will celebrate his birthday. Hayley Grace and I are going to get him tomorrow. I'm so thankful she's traveling with me.

My kids...all good, but they are involved in so much. Hayley Grace has CheerDance and Hip Hop, Dylan has baseball, Hayden has track, and Blake has CYC (Committed Young Christians).

My husband....Oh my, he rocks. He's been so loving and supportive of me and my feelings. God love him! He loves me. That isn't easy.

My friends....if you only knew. They have stepped in and filled in gaps that I was unaware needed filling. Cleaning my house. Bringing meals. Having my carpets cleaned (I'm sure that was the dirtiest water ever seen!). And giving of a mountain house for a weekend getaway or 2. But there are still those friends who also have many needs and are in hard places right now. I so wish I could do more.

My laundry...ugh. It's ugly. And thankfully my kids don't mind picking their clean clothes out of the clean clothes basket. Or atleast they don't complain. Or that I haven't been cooking much. Hot Pockets and Stouffers have been lifesavers!

My of the highlights of my life. I get uplifted daily from my coworkers who also happen to be great friends. They surround me with prayer. They also have been filling in for me when I can't pull my weight around the office. God bless them!!!! They make me take a break and bring laughter to my days. And I get paid!

My Speaking...God help me. I have an event in 2 weeks and I feel so unprepared. The theme is "Leaving An Eternal Legacy". This has never meant more to me than it does right now. My mom has left a legacy and I'm so aware of that now. I never was before because I had no fear of losing her. She was here. I didn't think of her as a memory. Now, I think of what I can keep of her. What parts of her I can hang on to. Her legacy is huge to me now. This event will be too. I just know God has the plans. I just wish I had them. I also have 2 other events in May. One at my family's church in Greenville, SC and one here in Charlotte where many of my friends will be in attendance.

My Email...I get so many loving emails each day. And I also receive the Proverbs 31 prayer requests each day too. It's so hard because I can't respond to all of my emails. I try, but I fail. That is hard for me. Also the prayer requests we receive each day at Proverbs is so hard. I love these people. I love them. I care for them. I wish I could respond to each one, but I can't. I do read them though. And I send them to our prayer team. But I wish I could connect with them.
Just have to trust God that He will take care of them.

So, tonight....I'm blue. I'm frustrated. I'm tired. I want to have some time alone. I want to read and write. I guess also, I'm selfish.

That's where God comes in. He provides. Whatever I need, He provides. For today. And that's all I ask.Blue for today but strength, peace, and love to make it through the day and whatever tomorrow may bring.

Thank you so much for your prayers and love.


Hey, You are Beautiful!!! Yep, you are.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Heading to the Mountains...Happy Easter

My family and I are going out of town for Easter weekend...and we need it! We've been under a lot of stress and trials lately and this will be a welcome get away....made possible by our great friends Kenny and Denise.

You may remember a few months ago, Jeff and I had an amazing weekend away together in the mountains. It was at K and D's mtn house. Well, tomorrow we are going back to the same place, only this time with the kids and Princess too. We are so excited! We have movies picked out to watch, games to play, hikes to go on, places to visit, and beautiful views to view from our private balcony!

We will be returning Sunday and attending Easter Sunday service at our church on Sunday evening. I'm so thankful they are having an evening service!

Wherever you are and whatever you do, I pray that you will have a blessed Easter. Please take the time to celebrate Jesus, the risen Christ. We are free because of Him and what He did for us. We will be hunting for eggs, making cookies, and awaiting the Easter Bunny....but we will be celebrating our sins being forgiven most of all. Thank you Jesus! I love you so much. You have made my life possible and worthwhile. You have given me purpose and allowed me to fail and bounce back. Thank you so much.

Happy Easter Y'all! He is risen!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Who Told You That?

I saw this on my pastor's blog today and wanted to share it. Too often we women listen to the lies in our head or allow the thoughts and opinions of others to influence what we think of ourselves. When we hear things that cause us to think less of ourselves we need to ask the question, "Who Told Me That?" If it wasn't from God or from a godly perspective, we can throw it out.

Read below from :

Who told you that?

After the fall, Adam began to explain to God how he was ashamed and afraid because he was naked. I love the way God responded: “Who told you that you were naked?”

Genesis 3:11

Obviously Adam had been influenced, informed and instructed by a voice other than the voice of God. God was perturbed about it! “You think you need to hide in shame and be afraid? Who told you that?”

I wonder how many times God has the same objection when He hears the lies we believe: Who told you that?

Who told you weren’t capable?
Who told you one little compromise wouldn’t hurt?
Who told you you’d never accomplish anything significant?
Who told you it was too late to start over?
Who told you that you couldn’t be forgiven?
Who told you that you had to settle for that?
Who told you you’d never gain victory over that sin pattern?

So many voices compete to create a cacophony of confusion concerning the things we believe about ourselves. God’s voice resonates with clarity, wisdom, and vision.

Who misled you?
Who talked you out of your dream?
Who convinced you that you didn’t measure up?
Who told you that?

Beautiful Blessings,


Monday, April 6, 2009

For the Health of It

I'm trying to really focus on good health. Not a number on the scale (although I have to admit that I'd like it to go down!....I have to be honest.) But since spending so much time with my mom, I have this overwhelming desire to do whatever I can to be healthy. Some things we can't control. But many things we can.

If I'm honest, my healthy eating and exercising have not been consistent. I get on a kick, but then I fall off. This was clear to me the other day as I had my blood pressure taken. Typically, I run low. Not this time. Now it wasn't high, but high for me. 120 over 85. The 85 number was enough to grab my attention.

I have been reading "YOU on a Diet". I am officially starting tomorrow. I partially started today, but I still had some shopping to do. I really do want to be healthy. I want to be here for my kids and grandkids. That's what I keep telling myself when I don't want to exercise or when I want to eat chips!

Today, me and Princess walked about 2.5 miles and I jumped on the trampoline for 20 minutes. I ate on plan and even discovered that I liked edemame. Who ever knew such a thing existed!

What are you doing to stay healthy?

Please share your secrets!

Go Tarheels! (watching the national championship right now)



Friday, April 3, 2009

Here I Go Again...

Yes again, here I go. I'm reading yet another book on weight loss and health. This time, I've chosen "YOU on a Diet" by Drs Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz.

If you know anything about me at all, you know I've tried every diet around. Weight Watchers, Atkins, LA Weightloss, Calorie counting, Fat gram counting, NutriSystem, South Beach, Fasting, Skipping Meals, Dexatrim, Self Magazine Diet, etc etc etc....I know there are more I'm just not thinking of. All of my adult life, I've been on one diet after another. Various exercise programs as well.

I've talked with friends about diets. We've prayed about them. We talk at work about them. We talk at home about them. The great thing is...they work! Yes, I've lost weight on all of these diets. The bad thing is...I've gained weight back after these diets. I know it is my life style that needs to change. I know what it takes. And I know that I have failed many times over resulting in negative feelings about myself. And each time I gain the weight back, I just beat myself up worse each time. This last time especially. Let me tell you about it.

I went to LA Weightloss 2 and 1/2 years ago. I lost 20 pounds, going from a Size 12 to a Size 8. It was a great program, very realistic, real food, and reasonable maintenance program. They even hung a before and after picture of me in the lobby. I swore I would never look my "after" picture again ever. Life happened and I fell. Today I would love to look like my "after" picture. I am 10 pounds above it now. How did this happen? What was I thinking? Life got real hard, it really did. But why did I turn to food? Was I punishing myself? Was I not thinking? I know better. I love the Lord. Yes, yes, that's all true, but I'm also human. And it's ok. Don't give up. Never give up. Hope is powerful and I have it.

So, I bought a new book. This time, not one with a specific plan, but filled with knowledge about what I'm doing to my body and how I need to treat it for good health. According to the authors, this book was written for people like me....glad to know there are others who have my same patterns! I'm not alone.

I'm spending this weekend reading and educating myself. Getting the plan and pantry in order so I'm ready on Sunday for the week. I'm taking the doctors' advice on food and exercise. And I'm set on focusing less on me and more on my health. Not weighing on the scales but measuring my waist. Not running marathons, but walking 30 minutes everyday, no matter what.

Will this be "it" for me? Idk. But I'm going to try. Jesus wants me to try. He says with God everything is possible and I'm believing that. I haven't been feeling well. I'm very tired. I'm stressed. I know my eating patterns have a lot to do with that. And my face is breaking out worse than a teenager. What I'm eating could be contributing to that too.

Both of my parents are in poor health. I don't want to go down the same path if I can do anything to help it. I quit smoking in my early 20's because it was bad for my health. Yet I'm 42 and still eating junk. Doesn't make sense.

I'd cherish your prayers. I'd cherish a partner as I begin my new journey too. If you are interested in joining me, let me know. Either way, I'll be writing about "ME on a Diet" and what I learn along the way.

Healthy Living Hugs,


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

By Golly Girl, You Are Beautiful!!!!!!

Ok ladies. This has been an extremely tough week for me. I won't go into all of it, but here's a bullet point run down:

*Great event on Saturday (that's a good thing)
*Left my Bible, had to turn around and go get it.
*Drove 4 1/2 hours in the pouring rain.
*Overslept for church Sunday morning.
*Voice of doubt plagued me on Sunday.
*Visit with Mom on Monday. More waiting from doctors.
*Devotion "No Condemnation" ran on Monday. Ironically condemnation filled my head all day.
*Out of sync on Tuesday. Cried much of the day.
*Jeff and I had words...misunderstood each other. We are all good now, but for a day we just couldn't connect. I was just taking everything the wrong way. Condemnation! Argh!
*Received so many emails...a few from women who were at my event on Saturday, a few from women who read my devotion, and a few that came through our prayer request line. My heart was broken. They were so sad, defeated, and down on themselves. I know how that feels. But BY GOLLY GIRLS, WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Why why why do we do this to ourselves? Because the condemnation is not from God. It's not from our Creator and it is a waste of our time. And I think Satan is so pleased when he can get to us.

My pastor said recently, "The greater the level, the greater the devil." What he meant was the closer we are to God...the higher the peak (God high) we are on, the greater Satan will strive to tempt us away. It may be by getting us to focus on our appearance, size, marriage, kids, past, failures, weaknesses, fact I know he gets to us by doing this. And for me, it often works.

Oh, sweet sister, don't go there. Surround yourself with all that God thinks you are. He made you. He has purpose for you. And no matter what anyone says about you or what you think of yourself, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. You are to be celebrated.

What are some Bible verses that remind you that you are important to God? Verses that let you know you are loved and treasured? Please share them with us.


Beautiful Blessings,


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Mom's New Website

If you have the time or get the chance, go visit my Mama's CaringBridge website.

I'm visiting with her tonight. We are in our jammies watching American Idol :) And her pain is better! Praise God!



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2 days, 8.4 Miles, and my feet hurt!!!!!

It's been so pretty outside lately, I've decided to take my workout outdoors. And I think Princess is happier than anyone. She loves walks. And for a 5 pound little fluff ball, she has amazed me! She had pep in her step the whole way! Me on the other hand, well that's a different story!

I've decided to challenge myself. I live in a very hilly neighborhood. I mean major hills. Major butt workage going on in these walks. Up and down. Up and down. A total of 4.2 miles. Yesterday was my first day. Funny, but my heart could take it fine. My legs were fine. I sang the whole way along with my iPod. But my feet. Oh my gosh. I don't know if it is my shoes (which I paid a lot of money for) or what, but my feet were killing me. However, I hit the pavement again today, day 2. Ooh, I love the way my buns feel climbing those hills. I could feel them gaining definition as I walked up up up. But oh my feet. I even put orthotics in my shoes and wore 2 pairs of socks today. They still hurt.

Is it because of my weight? Do I need new shoes? Any insight? Let me know, because I love my new routine, but I don't my feet to ache. The balls of my feet are killing me. I have blisters. Help!!!!

I'm taking a break tomorrow. I'm going to visit my mom. I may take her dog, Maggie, for a stroll, but nothing extreme. Thank you for continuing to pray for my mom. You just don't know how much I appreciate it.

Are you exercising? What are you doing? Do you have any help for my aching feet?

With feet elevated, I sign off tonight. Love to all who read this.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Still Playing the Same Ole Games

Y'all know how I feel about what real beauty is. All my life I've struggled with weight and "feeling" that I looked good enough. Oh my, if you only knew all the diets I had been on. You name it, I've been on it. And everytime I think I have it beat, it gets me again.

Weight and weight loss continues to plague me. I know my identity is in Christ. So why do I continue to struggle with my weight and appearance? I wish I didn't.

Last year, I gained between 30 and 40 pounds. So let's say 35 as an average. And I've been trying with effort to lose it. Diets, exercise.....but not much luck. Possibly I haven't been consistent. Possibly I haven't done all I knew to do to. Or maybe there's a medical problem. Or maybe I just eat too much and exercise too little. Idk. Probably that last sentence.

Even though I think I've learned my lessons. And even though when I lose weight, I always think it's the last and final time, here I go again, making the same mistakes, going through the same things yet again. The cycle repeats itself. But hey, I know I'm still matter what!

Here I am. Still playing the same ole games. Wishing there was a magic pill, potion, or solution to my problems.

But one thing I can say, I have never given up. My husband encourages me. He tells me I'm beautiful and! Samantha at work tells me that weight loss is just around the corner. Denise tells me not to give up. Donna asks me if my clothes feel better. And I keep telling myself, "I will lose weight and I will look better and I will feel better."

Why do we women continue to beat ourselves up and why do we care how we look? Why do we care what others think?

At the moment, I'm not going to try to answer this. As much as I wish I was beyond this, I'm not. Just this morning I was whining to my husband about how I haven't lost weight and how my clothes don't fit. Usually, I have wisdom to offer, but today I'm just venting. It makes me sad that I'm not beyond the desire and I care so much about the number on a scale. But also, do know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am not defined by a number on a scale, or a size, or whether clothes fit or not.

Do you play the same ole games? Like me?

Just wonderin'?

Good Night. It's late and I need to rest. Just watched American Idol....wasn't Brad Paisley just awesome????? Nevermind that. Good night!



Monday, March 16, 2009

In the Weight Room (Wait Room)

Today was the first day in months that I actually decided to add weights to my workout routine. And I use the word "routine" lightly! Lately my routine has been real good one week, then not at all the next. "Life" has interfered more times than I counted on. I don't know about you, but when life interferes and knocks me off my schedule, I have a hard time getting back to it. If you've read my blog at all, you know that my mom's cancer has definitely brought a new dimension to my life that I wasn't counting on and wish would go away. Nevertheless, it is here. I need to be able to function regardless.

I entered the weight room today. By that, I don't mean a gym full of weights. I mean my den with my hand weights: 3, 5, 8, 10, and 12 pounds. First I walked with my good friend Leslie Sansone :) oh my she's more happy than I am at 5:30 am! Then I did a weight routine: bicep curls, tricep dips, up right rows, flies, and those others....that I don't know the names for. Needless to say, I am sore tonight! It's been such a long time since I've done weights and my muscles know it!

I also entered the wait room today. My muscles hate this room too. I don't know what tomorrow holds and I wish I did. Even though there doesn't seem to be a workout to adequately prepare me for this room, there is Someone Who can train me to get through this work out. My spiritual muscles get worked out here by Him. I can't prepare for it, but I can trust. It's not easy and has taken practice, but at age 42, I've learned that when I trust Him in the wait room, I can get through it.

If you've walked through cancer with someone, or any other disease or illness, you know what it's like in the wait room. I'm there with my mom now. I have to be honest. I don't like what the doctors have told us lately. But I trust the Great Physician. I trust God.

Hopefully my muscles will sharpen and my fat will lessen. And hopefully my trust will sharpen and my doubt will lessen.

Have you entered the weight room? Have you entered the wait room?

Please share if you have. Either of them. We need workouts in both rooms, the physical and spiritual.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wanna See Beautiful?

The lady on the right....she is beautiful. I've known her longer than I've known anyone else in my whole life. She's my mother.
If you've kept up with my blog...this one or the other one ( you know my mom has cancer and lately she hasn't been feeling well. It's been so hard to watch her go through so much pain, but so inspiring to see her stand strong and keep hope and faith. I just love her so much. She's 62, I'm 42, and I just need her. She's the only person ever who's always been on my side. She's my #1 ally.
I'm staying with her for a few days. Her sweet hubby needed a little break and I really wanted to spend some time with her, so here I am. And I think she is so beautiful!
Beautiful Blessings,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Plateaus and Heartbreakers....that's life

You know. I've had a weight problem my whole life. I really have. I am educated. I know better. I know what causes weight gain and weight loss. I know about Jesus. I know I can trust Him to help me, but too often I try to take matters in my own hands. That's how it's been with my weight.

And My weight goes up. My weight goes down. I feel rotten when it's up. I feel better when it's down. I usually think that I have it all under control when it's down. "I will never gain the weight back" I say. One year and 40 pounds later....

My clothes don't fit!!!!! And that seems pretty horrible. Until I weigh it with the fact that my mother is dying of cancer. Then all of a sudden the clothes not fitting doesn't seem all that bad.

Isn't that just life? All of our problems may seem big to us. And they are. But then something else hits us that reminds us of what is really important.

Don't get me wrong. Gaining 40 pounds in one year isn't healthy or a good thing. At least not for me it wasn't. And it demands attention. For my health, I need to lose weight. And praise God I am. In fact, I broke a plateau this that has haunted me for over a month!

But in the same week, I found out my mom's cancer is progressing. That makes me want to curse, scream, and hit someone! She's only 62. That's young, right? My husband has both of his grandmothers living....I can't be losing my mother. Please, no.

I'm not sure what the point of this blog is, except maybe to remind us that life is a gift. To waste it on a number on the scales or worrying over a jean size is just stupid! To waste it over a past mistake or sin is stupid too. God is loving and forgiving. We are created for wonderful things.

So, I broke a plateau and my heart was broken all in the same week. That is life.....I guess. I'm so glad and thankful that the Lord is there for me in the big and small. He cares about the plateaus and he cares about my heart and my family. And He takes equal consideration to both. He made me and cares about each and every part of me.

That's all I have to say tonight.

Beautiful Blessings...count them today,


Thursday, February 19, 2009


Yep, that's how I'm feeling today. I may not look it. And no one may agree. But I feel it. And that makes me happy because it's been a long time since I really felt this good.

I haven't lost a bunch of weight. I probably don't look much different. But, I feel so good, so healthy, so happy. My mom still has cancer. My life is still chaotic. I still have loads of laundry to fold. We still are financially hurting. But, I feel better than I've felt in a quite a while.

For the last month, I've decided to not worry so much about what I weigh. Yes, I'd like to lose 30, but I asked myself, "what if that never happens?" And so I decided to just bless myself. With good health, quality time with those I love, and exercise that I enjoy.

I feel good. Better than I've felt in a really long time. Oddly enough, I am exercising almost every day...4-6 miles a day, 6 days a week. I'm eating 5 small snacks/meals a day and then a small supper. 1 multi-vitamin, my lexapro, and 8 cups of water. And a few diet colas. (I say diet cola because the "cola" is cheaper that "coke". And it tastes just as good.) The caffeine free diet cola is my treat every night.

My relationships are also in order. (for the moment) I've been working super hard on my marriage. One way I've done this is by taking "the Love Dare". It's changed me. That's all I'll say for now. I'll be writing more about "The Love Dare" later.

Do you feel beautiful? You know feelings are fickle. For so long I did not feel beautiful. And I believed my feelings. Feelings are not who you are. I know that now.

God made you. He has great plans for you. He doesn't want us to waste our time on "feelings". We are blessed. In the words of my grandpa....."hunney, you are beee yooo tifff fullll!"

Blessings Beautiful Friends,


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Going Down...but not fast enough

Who gains 30+ pounds in a year???

Why would someone gain 30 pounds in a year?

Must have significant problems, right? Must be so undisciplined for sure. Must be a pig.

Well, I gained 30 pounds in a year. And although I can't believe it happened, I know I'm none of the above.....well, a little undisciplined maybe.

It's the one thing I've continued to struggle with my whole life. My weight. I know the right answers. I don't think I can learn anything new about exercise or nutrition. However it remains a struggle. I say this jokingly, but it's true in many ways....I'm either fit or fat, and still looking for the happy medium.

Once again, I'm going down. It's not happening as fast as I'd like it to, but I'm going down. I even have a high school reunion in 2 months. Yikes!

The greatest thing about being me is that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am beautiful. Whether I weigh 135 (which I wish!) or 165 (which I am), I am beautiful. God made me. God loves me. I am worthy. I am whole. I am a beautiful child of the almighty king. I am loved. I am wonderfully made. I am also very human. I am flawed. I require forgiveness daily. I get many things wrong. I get a lot right too. I have failed. I have succeeded. I don't give up without a fight. I am able.

I am able to keep fighting, keep strong...because I don't quit. Sure I wish I'd lose weight faster....who doesn't? But I am not defined by a number on the scale or the size of my pants. I may wish they were smaller, but it's a minor issue.

Love who you are. You are beautiful. No matter what your shape, size, or weight.

Don't you just love to say this....."I am beautiful!" So say it.

Be Blessed,


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Change of Heart

Hey Beautiful Girls! How are ya? I can't believe it's the first post in 2009! I honestly thought I was retiring this blog. But I just couldn't do it.

I've been struggling with the whole weight, appearance, beauty thing for my whole life. I know what's true and then my fickle feelings step in. This blog honestly was helping me more than I think it could ever help anyone else. Since I haven't written in so long, I've realized how much I've missed it. I know I'm beautiful, but I need reminded of it too. I'm beautiful not because of what I weigh or how I look, but because I am filled with the love of Christ. I am a child of God. That makes me beautiful. God made me. He made you. We are beautiful.

Here we are, February 4, 2009. It snowed in Charlotte today. Not a lot, but enough to catch us off guard and the kids to stay home from school. I continue to strive for good health. And it's paying off. I feel good. I have more energy. I have a positive attitude. I am beautiful :)

I look forward to writing again. I haven't been writing at all. I was just kind of blank for a while.

It's time for bed now. The basketball game I was watching is over. The team I was pulling for lost.

Good Night and Sweet Dreams.