Thursday, March 12, 2015



In college, I was headed to a dear friend's house for her birthday.  Store-bought cake in the floor board on the passenger side, because let's be real - cooking or baking in college was non-existent & truthfully Nicki didn't even like cake.

Before I knew it, the front of my car had slammed into the back of another car.  Wrecked.  My first wreck ever.  The car was wrecked.  I thought at the time my life was wrecked.  The car wasn't really drive-able but I drove it anyway.  To my friend's house with cake in tow.

Smashed car and all.

Wasn't long after that, the same friend was in a wreck.  Her car wrecked and not drive-able.  In desperate need of a ride, I told her I'd come get her in.  In my still wrecked car.

It was just going to be there and back.

Well, I never made it there.

If you've never had the pleasure of experiencing your car hood fly up and slam into your windshield then you haven't lived.  Or maybe I should say, see your life flash right before your eyes.  Lucky me, I've been able to experience this thrill not only once but twice in my life.  First as a child on the way to church one Sunday with my family.  My mom jokes that all my childhood memories I love so much are from all the "old, ugly cars" we had.  Brady just doesn't know how good he has in the vehicle department...ha!  Back to the windshield...

Glass everywhere.  I mean everywhere!

Shattered in a million little pieces.  

I honestly don't remember much from that day other than I had to call my friend and tell her I couldn't come get her and then walking home.  Shattered.  Tears rolled down my cheeks as I couldn't believe what had just happened.  With cuts and blood here and there...I walked.

I never wanted to see that car again.  Which is why I just got out and started walking - leaving it behind.  For all I cared, that car could go up in flames.

It was a painful experience all around.  Even for my friend/roommate who also saw her life flash between her firebird, an 18 wheeler, and the concrete median.

I'm not even sure what made me think of that today because there are just some things in your life college days, you try to just block from your memory.  Good and bad, ha!

I guess today that's how I feel is wrecked.  Shattered.

But walking away and watching my life go up in flames isn't an option.

And that car, the windshield, the fender-bender with the cake seems so minor in comparison to the wrecks I face now.  I mean college and my college problems seem now like a cake-walk (no pun intended) compared to what life is like now.  I guess that's what growing up does to us.

Back then my major concern was what I was going to wear out on a Thursday night.  Or dealing with a broken heart from a break-up.  I thought my life was over when I had been dumped.  The cut was deep...or so I thought.  If I only knew what life would be like after that...

That break-up happened to be the best thing for me. That pain was necessary in order to move on to what God had in store for me.  To the man, I would eventually marry.  God knew I needed someone who would do anything in this world for my happiness.  Who would love me despite my crazy.  And don't kid yourself, I have plenty of crazy to give.  Who would be my shelter when life is too much.  Who would uplift me, encourage me, and pray over and for me.

I couldn't have all that today in a husband, if God hadn't wrecked me my previous relationship.  

Now, I thank God for that pain and suffering because I can see what goodness came out of it.


Life wrecks come in many shapes and sizes.  For me, lately it feels everything I touch turns to a wreck.

Motherhood, a wreck.  My house, a wreck.  My health, a wreck.  My child's behavior, a wreck.

I want reprieve from the wrecks of life.  

I want to see what goodness will come from my sufferings and those who are suffering around me.

I want to know after the wreck, that there is something grand waiting for me.

But I am tired.  

I feel like I look like the windshield did that day when it shattered in a million pieces.

I feel raw.  Exposed, if you will.

I feel wrecked in every sense of the word.

Searching for whatever little piece of hope I can find in the wreckage.  Trying to grasp what this refining process means.

I've been here before and I know I'll be here again.  It's simply the ebb & flow of life.  Sure, there are times it's easy to lift my hands and voice amidst the wreckage that surrounds me.

And there are times I want to do nothing but throw my hands up in the air and walk away.  

That's why I think I feel so raw and exposed...those are not the easy things to discuss or tell.

Sure, we might tell our spouse or a close friend but I'm talking about really allowing ourselves to break and be broken.

To be completely wrecked AND be okay with it.  And share together in our brokenness.

Because that's unrealistic to think I'll never doubt, have fear, or question the refining process.  But no one ever wants to show their vulnerability and certainly not to the ones who view as strong.  Whoever that may be.  Isn't that what we all want, for others to think we have it all together?

Heaven forbid, we be real and honest and raw.  It's much easier to say, "I'm good or fine"than "no, I'm a wreck!"  It's easier to hide behind a facade or Facebook, then really be who we are.

Broken.  Tired.  Worn people.  Wrecked.

I don't think God wants me to only show and express the times I feel like praising Him or when I feel good about this life.  Plus, I don't want my life or Facebook/social media life (let's be honest that's how we like to judge or gauge others' happiness these days) to only reflect the highlight or reels of my life.

That's certainly not who God wants or intends for me to be either.  Nor is it real life.

Life is messy.  Wrecked.

Because if I am worn, tired, and broken - I am certain I am not the only one, searching, hoping, wishing for that big break, a glimmer of hope, something.

I mean who am I kidding?!  I've got nothing but messy hair, day old mascara under my eyes (which drives my mom crazy!), and a heart that breaks often.

I think it's during the wrecks of life, He wants me to know it's okay to be scared, to cry, to question, but most importantly to let Him do the heavy lifting.  He never intended me or us to do the heavy lifting...not when we feel the weight too much to bear.

He came to overcome, not for me to overcome.  I can and will overcome through Him, but not because of my own strength.

Being exposed forces me to trust.  Forces me to rest.  Forces me to wait.  Forces me to allow Him to be what I can't be.

His word tells me over and over that He WILL carry me, sustain me, hold me, and WILL be my strength.  

I just have to be willing to be vulnerable enough to let Him.  To lay my wreckage at His nail-pierced feet.  My brokenness.

He already knows I'm a wreck.  A mess shattered into a million pieces with day old mascara running down my face due to all the tears I've shed recently due to the pain this world brings.

I am only kidding myself if I think I can do this life without wrecks, bumps, bruises, or hurt.  And while today, I may wish them away--- I know that He will bring beauty out my brokenness.

That there will be something grand waiting on the other side of my wrecked heart.  No, I can't see it but I know He loves me too much to allow my suffering not to be in vain.


I also know it's darkest before the light.  That joy comes in the morning.  And thankfully, He loves me even at my darkest.

Even when I lock myself in my bathroom to plead my case to Him.  Or simply because I just need a break from the world and from my 3 year old.  Yes, that was me yesterday.

Thankfully, He loves me at my darkest and meet me in the quiet and darkness of my tiny, out-dated, wreck of an 80's bathroom.  Just like the man, I married.  He sees the worst of me and yet still he loves me more than anything on this earth.  And if you only knew how much he loved college football and the boy who made him a father ;)

While the wrecks in life look different now than those in college, I am still that same girl with messy hair, day old mascara under my eyes, and a heart that breaks often.

Just this time, I know I don't have to do it all on my own.

He hasn't failed me yet and He won't.  Ever.

So until then may I hold on steadfast to Him, letting Him sort the wreckage, letting Him put back together what is broken.

Today, my dear friend that I was taking the birthday cake to the day I got into a wreck, dropped off presents on my front porch and one of them was a necklace that had "beauty from ashes" written on it.  As if I wasn't already an emotional wreck from this past week, tears welled up in my ears and took me back to how He makes beauty out of us.  Even out of wrecked lives.

Maybe being wrecked isn't so bad after all...

Because even in the wreckage, He makes beautiful things out of us.

And sadly, Nicki still doesn't like cake...but that's okay because she loves me despite how profoundly wrecked I am.  Cake and all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Zoo Day

A few weekends ago (Feb 21st), we decided to make a little day trip to the zoo in Victoria.  It's only about an hour drive and we had never been before.  Brady was so excited!  I think we were all a little excited to do something different and spend time together - outside the norm.

We ate breakfast that morning then loaded up.  Brady looked at books, played with his trucks, while AB and I chatted.  We made it to the zoo around 10am.

We weren't sure what to expect since Victoria isn't a very big town.  But the zoo ended up being perfect!  We got to see lots of animals, mostly native to that area but we also saw a tiger, lions, alligators, monkeys, and lots of birds!

It isn't a huge zoo like the Houston Zoo we've been too.  But it was the perfect size for a 3 year old to walk and not get uninterested.  The animals were also really close so it was easy to spot them.  There were also lots of opportunities to stop and feed certain animals which B really enjoyed.

We spent about an hour and half at the zoo then headed across the street to The Pump House for lunch.  It sits right on the river and we ate lunch while overlooking the river.  The weather was perfect that day.  Other than a little brisk breeze, it was great for south TX.

The restaurant used to be an old pump house that they restored.  It was really neat.  And the food was amazing!  I'll go back to the zoo, just so we can eat there again ;)

He said the deer were his favorite! :)

My favorite was the tiger.  His paws were massive and just so majestic.  God truly creates some of the most amazing creatures.

Checking out the wild pigs.  And I just love my people.  They get me, they love me (despite my crazy), and they are just plain fun!

They even have a little train ride!  B was not going to miss out on a train ride...

Birds and peacocks...roaming everywhere!

After lunch, we went back to the zoo for a live animal show.  We got there late, but basicially they brought out different zoo animals and talked about them.  Brady lost interest after a few minutes so we just strolled back through the zoo one more time.  And spent more time checking out "Tony the Tiger!" :)

We left the zoo and headed to the nearest Chick-fil-a for some free coffee!  We're already planning and talking about our next fam-bam day outing.  But next time I think we'll stay somewhere over night!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekend Recap

I haven't blogged about real life in a while so I thought I would.

We've had sickness going around our house.  First me, then B and daddy.  The weather has been the pits lately.  Cold and rainy with very little sunshine.  I'm normally a huge fan of winter (boots, scarves, big sweaters, and all the above), but I'll be honest I'm ready for some sunshine & a little bit of warmth.  I'm not completely ready for the south Texas heat though.

We had a low-key weekend, which is always great.  Especially when I look ahead to the rest of the month and the month of April.  It is jam packed, plum-full.

And so I can't even remember what we did Friday.  Ha, how sad is that?!  Guess is wasn't too exciting.  I probably went to bed early since I was still fighting a sinus infection and headache that would.not.quit.

Friday, I did have a Dr's appointment that morning and while I was waiting for the doctor- I thought to myself how sad is it that I'm enjoying the time by myself and the extra long wait.  Haha.  It was like a mom vacation!

Brady fell asleep on the way home.  Thankfully, he transfers easily to his bed for naps.  He slept for 4 HOURS and I caught up on Downton Abbey and The Voice!

Saturday, AB had to go into work for the morning so B and I hang out then went over to check on my mother-in-law.  She recently had neck surgery so we've been going over periodically to keep her company.

After lunch, AB came home and we took Brady out on the gator.  He insist that he will drive.  Driving to him is holding onto the steering wheel, looking out everywhere but ahead of him with his safety glasses on.  :) Fun times!

I even raced him by foot a few times.  He got a big kick out of it and I got a good out workout.

Then he wanted to go ride the tractor w/ his D.  So daddy took him to go ride for a bit, while I curled up on the couch and took a glorious nap!

I had an urge to try a new Pinterest recipe so I made a quick trip to Wal-Mart to get a few things I needed and went back to my in-laws and made this one pot chili mac and a fruit salad.  It was a hit!!

After B went to bed, we decided to check out what House of Cards is all about.  So we started season 1...we only watched the first episode so I haven't decided if I like it or not.

Sunday was the dreadful daylight savings time.  B and I didn't make it to early service, but we did get dressed and made it to Sunday school.  Daddy was already there for his men's service breakfast.  We took B to eat pizza after church then all came home and took a long nap!  Sunday naps are the best!!  We went back over to my in-laws for dinner and to visit for a bit.

And it's been raining ever since...for over 24 hours and our street looks like a river.  So today we're hanging out in our pjs, still trying to fight off sickness.  Happy Monday!  Hope your weekend was great!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


He's never failed us and He won't stop now.

At this very moment, my mom is meeting with her oncologist to over CT scan results.  They are routine every 8 weeks to check progress.  But for whatever reason, she and other seem to think this will be different.  This one will determine what is next.

I had decided early on that I would not go to the appointment.  And even had I wanted to go, it wouldn't have been possible since I've been sick.  God's plans are always greater than ours.  So instead of being there physically this morning, I am there spiritually.  My heart and spirit is stirring this morning as I cling tight to what I know is true.

My reasoning for not going to the appointment, while I would have went for support for my mom, dad, and sister - I just felt it wasn't necessary.  Mostly because for me - I already know who gets the victory.  Who wins this battle.

Whether mom lives or dies, I know she wins either way.  That's the beautiful thing about this and about our suffering.

We are victorious because of Him.  He is our victory.

Not matter what the doctor reports may say.  No matter what we are faced against.

Romans 8 brings me so much comfort this morning.  There is SO much truth in How we live through His spirit.  Yes, we are weak but He is strong.  How we are more than conquerors.

"If God is for us, who can be against us?  He did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?"  Romans 8:31-32

He calls us to be courageous.  He calls us to be bold.  He calls us to do the impossible.

I used to think He called us to hard things before my mom's diagnosis.  I mean hard things I can semi handle on my own, right?  Hard doesn't necessarily require full surrender.

But yet the impossible requires total surrender.  He wants to be the one who gets the glory!

Only He can do the impossible.  Only He can fix the impossible.  Only He can heal the impossible.  Only He can defy the odds.

Being faced with the impossible at first can seem so daunting.  But when we fix our eyes are Him, instead of the mountain that stands before us - anything is possible.

So this morning, I can sing His praises because of the work He is doing through her and through this.

I can cling to knowing our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

What glory it will be!  What glory it has already been!!

My mom has stood in oceans deep that is for sure.  He has called her into the deepest waters, where His grace abounds in ways we can't even express.

And she may continue to stand in oceans deep while she fights for however long...but we know that there is so much beauty in the refining process.

I often say, I can't wait to see where this road leads to.  Yes, while it's not always pleasant and sometimes painful to experience - I know it is nothing short of the glory that will be revealed.

And that actually excites me for what is to come.  I go back to when my mom was first diagnosed and she said to me through tears..."it's like God has pushed me out of the boat and said okay, let's go and do my work!  And I am so jazzed to see what He is going to do through this."

Tears filled my eyes.

I can only hope if I'm faced with incurable cancer one day, I have that kind of bravery.

So mom no matter what news we hear today - remember what it felt like when you said those words.  Remember you are more than a conqueror.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28

So while cancer, chemo, and all the things that come along w/ this awful disease sucks, we know we serve a God much stronger and bigger than any doctor's report.

We know He is for us and we praise in Him for carrying us thus far.

We've seen miracle after miracle in the last ALMOST 7 months.  That's right, they didn't expect you to live past 6 months and here we are...past the 6 month mark and you are not only alive, but thriving.  You are making waves in your fight.  You are taking back what the enemy has tried to take.

And for that we lift our hands and voices...for no matter the news today - we already know the outcome.

Victory through Him and through us.  Victory through you, mom.

Mom, you inspire SO many through this.  You inspire me to dig even further into my faith.  To press into Him even more.  To cling to not the things of this world, but to eternal things.  You are a living vessel of what it means to be his servant - to say yes to the impossible.  Because you are willing to do anything in this life to bring Him glory...even if it means  fighting a cancer that may take your life.  You are so loved!  Keep your boxing gloves up,  but also know He will carry, sustain, and rescue you when you need a break.

As Aunt Judy says, there are no gaps!  Because we already know who wins this battle.

So with hands lifted high this morning...we give God thanks for the impossible.  For bringing us to our knees where He can meet us like never before.

And we give thanks for victory in Jesus.  

"No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:37-39

There's an army rising up and it is nothing short of fierce. So bring on the impossible for we for know if God is for us, no one can be against us.

He created us for the impossible and the impossible is where He meets us face to face.  The impossible is where God gets the glory, not man or our flesh.  Isn't that what He designed us for - to bring Him glory?  To let Him work through and in us for the sake of His kingdom?

I often tell mom, what a force to be reckoned with after she comes out of this...what a testimony she will have.  Already has.  If I was Satan, I'd be running for the hills ;)

Believing, praising, and flooding the gates of heaven with worship for what God is doing through the impossible.

Because y'all He can do the impossible and for that we are victorious, no matter what we are told today.

"We sign hallelujah...the lamb has overcome."