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!