Read My Apple Tree Story here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Be Still, My Soul

Lots of questions.
Unanswered questions.
Sometimes life can be tough. Especially when events and issues are out of my control.
My thoughts can begin questioning God and His timing in my life. My prayers seem to not be heard. And I grow more and more weary and tired.

 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.
Exodus 14:14

But through these times, God always carries us, even though we may not realize it at the time when we seem to have so many unanswered questions. As we seek to get to know Him more deeply and purely, He leads and carries us through the valleys and deep waters.

And beforelong we see that these fears, struggles and disappointments are blessings in disguise. It's not always easy, simple and convenient to get to this point, but I don't believe it is meant to be that way.

We don't have to understand what God is doing,we just have to trust Him.
And once we do, everything seems to fall into place.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Starfish Story

The Starfish Story
Original Story by: Loren Eisley

... One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, "What are you doing?"
The youth replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean."
"The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die."
"Son," the man said, "don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of Starfish? You can’t make a difference!"
After listening, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.
Then, smiling at the man, he said "I made a difference for that one."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


During prayers last night, Ella said, "God, YOU are our FAVORITE Valentine!"

Happy Valentine's Day!

May you know the love that God has for each of us always. It is bigger and greater than the love we share with our special ones here. It is so hard for me to fathom that His love is that much greater than the love I have for my little Ella and Wilson, but it is.

I found this at and found it worthy of sharing ...

Five Bible Passages About Love for Valentine’s Day (Or Any Day)

You know it’s coming, because marketing campaigns have been nagging us about it for weeks: Valentine’s Day! Maybe you’re already looking forward to a romantic date night with the love of your life… or maybe you’re resigned to playing video games and curating your Pinterest boards by yourself while all your friends go out with their significant others. (Hey, I’ve been there.)

Either way, Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity to learn what the Bible teaches us about love. Not the shallow “love” on display in advertisements and marketing copy, but real, genuine love—the self-sacrificing, grace-extending attitude that God wants to see embodied in all of our relationships, not just our romantic ones. Whatever your plans for Valentine’s Day, take a minute to reflect on these five powerful Bible verses that explain what true love looks like.

1. 1 Corinthians 13

Perhaps the most famous Bible passage about love, this one is frequently and understandably recited at weddings. But as with many well-known Bible quotes about love, it’s not just romantic love that is being described:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a ringing brass gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and I know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I parcel out all my possessions, and if I hand over my body in order that I will be burned, but do not have love, it benefits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not boast, it does not become conceited, it does not behave dishonorably, it is not selfish, it does not become angry, it does not keep a record of wrongs, it does not rejoice at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will pass away. If there are tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but whenever the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside the things of a child. For now we see through a mirror indirectly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know completely, just as I have also been completely known. And now these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (LEB)

2. 1 John 4:16-18

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (NIV)

3. Romans 12:9-13

Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. (HCSB)

4. 1 John 3:10-17

This is how God’s children and the devil’s children are apparent: everyone who doesn’t practice righteousness is not from God, including the person who doesn’t love a brother or sister. This is the message that you heard from the beginning: love each other. Don’t behave like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he kill him? He killed him because his own works were evil, but the works of his brother were righteous. Don’t be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have transferred from death to life, because we love the brothers and sisters. The person who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. This is how we know love: Jesus laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. But if a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn’t care—how can the love of God remain in him? (CEB)

5. Matthew 22:34-40

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)

How does the picture of love in these verses compare to the type of love that marketing campaigns and relationship manuals exhort us to practice? Do you exhibit this type of love toward your spouse or significant other? Do you exhibit this type of love toward everyone in your life?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

He Listens

CRY OUT to the Lord.

He hears us. He wants us to be comforted and He wants to be in every single part of our lives. No matter how big or small.

I cried out to the Lord last night and I KNEW HIS PRESENCE. It was then that all was okay. I was surrounded by His love and felt the peace that only God can give us. Just as we hold and comfort our own babies in our arms, God does just the same with us. But the amazing thing is how much stronger His love for us is than the love we feel for our own children.

If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.
Exodus 22:23

Cry out to the Lord ... He does listen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Home Sweet Home

One of my guilty pleasures pretty much involves anything that has to do with the home. From real estate, furniture shopping, and remodeling to fabric and color palettes, paint colors, and house floor plans (as a child, I would sketch these out on road trips for entertainment!). Watching HGTV is my way of decompressing after a long day.

I have forever been thinking through our bonusroom and how to make it a more practical, livable yet also pretty space for our family. I love the space of the room, but very much dislike the constant surrounding of  toys and "junk." I love this room mainly because it is what keeps all of this stuff out of our DEN,


and it helps keep the rest of our home somewhat serene-like.

Here is another reason I am working on this room ...


I found the most awesome Etsy shop! For some time, I have been collecting samples of fabrics to go with my blah chocolate sleeper, khaki walls, white wainscoting, and extra large wall of windows. So far, this room has gotten the least of my decorating attention, and it just does not fit my taste and personality. But, as I've said, it is used mostly as a playroom for now, so it certainly has not been a decorating priority for me.

Until ......

I found this outstanding shop!! I love just about every single fabric she has! This is just the fun and fresh look I want for our bonusroom. I love all the new ikat, chevron, and lattice patterns that are big right now.

My thoughts are to have pillows and drapes made in coordinating fabrics to go with my chocolate sofa. And then find another fabric to recover my loveseat in.

I would love to hear your thoughts!!
Do you have a favorite?

They are all so fresh ... how do I decide?!
Also, have you ever painted over wallpaper??

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord
Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Have Trust, Gain Peace

When my doctor told me, at 27 weeks pregnant, that if I didn't put myself on bedrest, then our precious baby boy would most certainly arrive. And at only 27 weeks along, I knew that we needed more time.

After hearing half of what my incredible doctor had told me, and after the shock of it all and wondering how I was going to be a MOM to our almost 3 year old little girl, somehow I was okay. I never really questioned the popular response of "Why God?" With HIS grace, I knew that whatever happened, we would somehow be okay. We would get through it, only with His help. I knew that we were/are ultimately HIS, and our sweet little baby boy was in His hands. Somehow I allowed God to take over my heart, and I had complete PEACE.

With the help of my wonderful parents, our amazing friends and church members, we figured out a good plan. And with many extra doctors appointments, a few small scares, a couple of fainting spells, many extra pounds gained trying to fatten our boy up, a very sore body, and an extremely understanding incredible toddler, we made it to a whopping 38 weeks and we met a perfectly healthy, strong little Wilson!
I suppose my point in sharing all this is to help remind myself where my faith was through all of this. It was complete TRUST in our mightly God. It was the PEACE I had in knowing that HE was in complete CONTROL.

When I think back about it all now, it amazes me at how HE works. I may never understand why all this happened, but I certainly don't question it. I see the special bond my husband and daughter made during this time, how much extra time they spent together and how close their relationship is now. I can't help but wonder if maybe they wouldn't be so close now. I see all the quiet time I spent in God's word learning and studying and growing closer in my walk with the Lord. I see how important relationships and friendships are, and that we are always needed. Whether it's an extra friendly "hey, just checking on you" or a thoughtful card in the mail, or a home-cooked meal to someone that could use it. Or just because. So, I don't question HIS "why" because I know that it was somehow for HIS good. I may never understand His reasons, but I believe we aren't supposed to. We just TRUST in Him and His wonderful ways. Some of them are obvious and some are not.

Thinking through all of this now makes me want to be a better person. Not for me, but for our loving Lord. He opened my eyes to so much during my "scare", and thinking through my New Year's resolutions "thoughts on bettering my life" has made me think back on this time of rest I had over 2 years ago. With the craziness and contant hustle and bustle of being a stay at home mom, trying my best to keep it all together, trying to figure out a balance, I think about the good that can come out of rest. I should stop and just take it all in -- all the beautiful wonders of this world. My life as it is now and how fortunate I am. And not about the "nots" and the "don't haves" in my life.

Take time for life. Remember whose life it is. And live it to your fullest. But remember to give HIM all the GLORY.

And we know that God auses all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

Monday, January 9, 2012

Start Simple

So ... this year I said I wanted to learn how to be SMART with money, and so far I am really pleased! The whole couponing thing can get overwhelming to me, as there seems to be too many rules and gray areas. However, I wanted to start somewhere and see how I could do.

Here is my simple strategy ...
I cut out coupons from 2 Sunday newspapers.

I look through the CVS circular to find what is on sale or what has "ExtraBucks".

I purchase what items are on sale that I have the coupons for. Keep in mind that when CVS has a 2/$4 sale, for example, since you are buying a quatity of 2, you can use 2 coupons on those items. This explains my reasons for buying 2 Sunday papers.

My first trip to CVS last Sunday, I bought some great, useful items, like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, Flinstone vitamins, Tylenol, 2 BOXES of Pampers, and more. My total came to around $130. With coupons, I got my total down to $53, however I walked away with $17 of ExtraBucks!! I was fairly pleased, especially considering I bought all household products that we NEEDED anyway!

I always scan my CVS Bag Tag, too, by the way.

I did the same thing this past Sunday, but this time walked away with $22 worth of products for absolutely FREE!!! I was so excited! This certainly makes it FUN and worthwhile! And this is without much extra effort and time.

This feeling of accomplishment leaves me with a better sense of self-worth, and that is something I need a little extra of these days.

If I can do it, YOU can too! Start SIMPLE!!
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.
Luke 16:10

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thoughts on TWENTY-TWELVE!

Each year that comes and passes, I realize that I never stick to my resolutions. But I also have never put them into writing and truly "studied" them with much thought. This year, I plan to continually remind myself of the things I want to do to improve the quality of my and my family's life.  Now these may seem simple and generic to some, but they are important to me and thoughts that I know are not out of reach for me. Some are easy and I've already made progress on, and others I still am not sure how to improve on.

Here are some of my thoughts on starting the new year off FRESH ...

1.  Simplify my life.

2.  Be a more frugal and smart shopper.  Learn how to coupon and spend more wisely.

3.  "Just a closer walk with thee ..."  Find and make time for God daily. Study Scripture and apply it to my life. Grow in my walk with the Lord.

4.  Lead a more active lifestyle. Get back into tennis playing (it was my life growing up), take Wilson on more strolls, family neighborhood walks, increase my jogging capability (I hate to run!), tone and get into better shape.

5.  Drink more water and less Diet Coke and Sweet Tea! Be more conscious about what I put into body. Learn how to eat and cook healthier for my family.

6.  Organize my home and learn how to stay organized.

7.  Spend moe quality time with my children, husband and frinds. I have always had gread intentions of doing "extras" but have never been thorough and consistent on following through.

8.  Grow my home business.

9.  Time Management and more patience.

10. Get up earlier and be more productive.

Happy New Year!! It is going to be an awesome 2012!!


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