Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hotel Information For The Pearl Event II

You are coming!!!

What a beautiful way to ring in the New Year! I cannot tell you how excited we are!

Have you read that Edie is doing hitch kicks and eating too much fudge over this?

And that Paige is way out of her comfort zone but is about to bust at the seams to meet you all in real life?

I am just beside myself!

Can you believe that we are just 69 days away?!!

I can hardly wait for hugging and squealing with a bunch of real life "Steel Magnolias"right there in the middle of that Magnolia Ballroom!!

If you want to squeal and hug and wear pearls and talk about Jesus with us that day then you can get your ticket here for $25.00.

Seating is limited!


Hotel Information:

Opryland Hotel has offered a discounted rate for Friday night, March 9, 2012 of $144.00

Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center
2800 Opryland Drive
Nashville, TN 37214

When you call in you will need to use this discount code. X-PEARL

This does not include the taxes and the 15.00 resort fee they apply to all rooms for the use of their many facilities.

They have also offered a discount on self parking of 10.00 per day.
I will have more information about parking instructions once we get closer to the date of the event.

(I did try to get a discount for a weekend package but the hotel is already close to sold out for Saturday night due to a huge event there that day.) There are still some rooms available. It will just be a higher rate if you want to stay Saturday night as well.

I requested a small amount of rooms to be blocked off to start. I can ask for a few more more once this block has been sold. Please let me know as soon as possible if you call and the rooms are sold out at that price and you would like to stay there.

Check In starts at 3:00 that Friday afternoon and Check Out is 11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Here are two other hotel options that are literally right down the street from Opryland Hotel.

The Hampton Inn Nashville/Opryland~ $149.00 a night for a standard room (plus tax)

Free Parking . Free Breakfast.  Free Internet.

230 Rudy Circle
Nashville, TN 37214


Check In is after 4:00 p.m. and Check Out is at 11:00

Hyatt Place Nashville/Opryland~  $129.00 a night for a standard room ( plus tax)

Free Parking. Free Breakfast. Free Internet.

220 Rudy Circle
Nashville, TN 37214


Check In is after 3:00 p.m. and Check Out is at 12:00

Lastly,  I have created a page on Facebook about the event and will be adding to it often.

You can join and connect with others who will be attending and talk about hotels and restaurants and
which strand of pearls to wear among other things!

You can find that page here:

I hope that this helps in the making of your plans! Cannot wait to meet every, single one of you!!

Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  2 Corinthians 9:15

Just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very merry Christmas....

I also wanted to let you know how much you are appreciated!

You mean so much to me and I thank you for allowing me the privilege to pour out the pieces on the pages of this blog.

It has been a tremendous gift ....

I hope you all are enjoying the sweet moments today... It has been a special Christmas for us with Daddy being home for good. We are stepping over piles of laundry, Legos and naked Barbies and the last time I checked several dinosaurs were riding around on the Wonder Pets boat.

Gracious me.

Loving every minute of it.

Merry Christmas to you beautiful friends....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You Are Not Alone

In all of its glory and all of its pageantry and all of its goodness and as wonderful as it can be....

For many, Christmas is a painful reminder. It arrives with unbearable grief.

It can knock the breath out of us for a number of reasons.

And our minds can know with all knowing that He is the reason for the season and it is to be celebrated.

But our hearts can be in another place.

Our hearts can bring up the end of the race some days, weeks and months later.

And sometimes our hearts just can't compete at all .

For many, Christmas is something that we have to just "get through" and cannot wait for it to be over.

It isn't because we do not love others or because we do not understand the reason we celebrate at all...

It is just for the simple reason that for many, Christmas hurts.

My beautiful friend Granny Smith Green , whom we all know and love so much,  lost her Father last year this very week.  And in all the joy and all the rejoicing of the birth of our Savior and in all head knowledge that this is truly the most wonderful time of the year...

There is sorrow.

A place in our hearts that rings with unbearable grief and a place at the table, empty this year.

A position in a precious family that can never be replaced.

In speaking with her this week, I heard what grace truly sounds like.  Beautiful, unmeasurable, grace.

So many of us are walking through changes this year that are not what we would have scripted for our life.

So many are trying to find a new normal and start over and begin again and for thousands and thousands of beautiful hearts, this will be their very first Christmas alone.

Because as incredible and wonderful as life can be....

Death comes. Sorrow comes. Divorce comes. Separation and heartbreak come. Saying goodbye to babies you never had the chance to raise, comes. Financial despair and job loss comes. Cancer and sickness and illness comes.....

It wasn't in the script or the journal or the plans.....

But it comes.

And for many, this will be a Christmas of trying to feel our way around in the dark, broken places of our heart while at the same time trying to sit up straight in the church pew and hear the gospel about the One who came to mend every broken place.

So many are trying to buy gifts and give and love and sow and bless and do for others and on the inside they can barely stand.

Many are trying to explain to wide eyed children why there will not be very, many gifts under the tree this year. Or worse, anything at all.

Unbearable pain in the midst of such a glorious season.

And the One who is the Author and the Finisher. The Beginning and the End. The Alpha and the Omega.....

He is calling the broken and the mended in every single one of us to reach out to the broken places in someone else this Christmas.

To be His hands and His feet. To be His mouthpiece. To hold the pen to paper and write His words to the heart of another. To be an earthly demonstration of His love to someone else this season, to remind a broken heart that they are not alone this Christmas.

That He is ever mindful of them...

You are not alone sweet reader. 

He is there with you.

In the midst of court hearings and proceedings.  In the midst of that hospital room.

He is there in the intensive care unit.

He is hovering over you in the midst of the separation and divorce.

He knows how difficult it is to begin life as a single parent.....

He is going before you, even now and preparing the way and orchestrating every need on your behalf....

Even this Christmas.

May we each receive the gift that is demonstrating the love of the Father to someone else this year.....

Be still and know that I am God. ~ Psalm 46:10.

A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.
God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity. ~ Psalm 68: 5-6

Hear me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; Turn to me according to the multitude of your tender mercies. And do not hide Your face from your servant, For I am in trouble; Hear me speedily.
Draw near to my soul and redeem it; Deliver me because of my enemies. ~ Psalm 69: 16-18

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. ~ Psalm 103: 1-5

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gifts Without Ribbons

Gifts without ribbons.

Gifts that come in the midnight hour when there isn't a single sound except the tiny puffs of air on your neck from the breath of your newborn baby.

Gifts that come in the wee hours of the morning when chubby, little hands make there way around yours.

Gifts that come in the moments between laundry and diaper changing and bathing five babies every night.

Gifts that come when the entire Christmas tree falls over because your three year old decided to launch himself right into it.....

Moments that become gifts ........without ribbons or packaging or string.

Gifts handed to us by the One who is the giver of every good thing.

The One who knows the deepest desire of our hearts...who knows every, single need.

Gifts that come when all things have lost there relevance.

This year I received the most incredible gift...

It didn't come like I had hoped or expected. But it came.

A gift without ribbons....

He's home.


Glory to His precious name.

The man to whom my heart belongs is home.

The father of my children is home.

The man who is the rock of this family and who is the hardest worker and the best provider I have ever known. He's home.

The man who gives and sows and loves and demonstrates the love of the Father unlike anyone else I know. He's home.

The man who has spent the last two years and four months living and working in another state and has only been home on the weekends, and many, many times it was not every weekend.

He's home.

I can attempt to describe the gratitude.

I can attempt to describe the level of overwhelming joy and thanksgiving.....

But I think my words would fail in comparison to what I feel has taken place in my heart.

I am beside myself.....

It's over.

The commuting. The struggling. The single parenting of five children.

The sleepless nights. The weight and the burden of trying to do it all by myself without an ounce of help.

The going to every school function and event and open house alone.

The trying to parent and have a marriage and relationship long distance.

It's over.

And he is never going back.

It will mean big changes for our family.

Some of which we have already been walking through the last month.

Changes that would send some people into a complete and total tailspin.

But only a wife who has prayed countless prayers for years to be reunited with her husband no matter what ~ could say it matters not financially......I'm just so thankful he is home.

It may not be a Malibu Barbie Dream House Christmas this year.

But it is the Christmas that my heart sang and my feet danced and my prayers were answered.

It is the Christmas that will not involve going to the airport for any reason.

It is the Christmas that I have never, ever seen my children so incredibly happy.

It is the Christmas that I feel like June Cleaver and I am twirling around in my apron .....

It is the Christmas that six babies and my husband under the same roof mean more to me than anything in the entire world.

The gift I had hoped and prayed would come.

The one without ribbons and wrapping and string.

The one that has made my heart absolutely soar and sing.

My children are finally in the arms of their Father,

and we have waited and prayed for years for this day...

No words big enough sweet friends.

Soli Dio Gloria. To God alone be the glory......

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Few Details About The Pearl Event II

Hello Sweet Readers!

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm about the upcoming event! We are so looking forward
to this special day as well as the chance to meet and spend some time with each one of you!

Here are just a few more details that might be helpful and answer some questions you may have asked or may have wanted to ask!

Hotel Rooms:

We will be offering a block of discounted rooms at The Opryland Hotel and were waiting to see exactly how many (I've asked for more than they usually offer) before announcing that information.

There are many other hotels that we can suggest and will be offering that list here on the blog as well as on the ticket page.


Here is a tentative schedule and it is subject to change! This is just to give you a little bit of an idea!

This is my first experience hosting an event with other speakers (and I am so excited about it! ) Last time it was just me speaking, so please bear with me a little apologies!

9:00-9:30- Praise and Worship (TBA) and Welcome (Sibi )

9:30-10:15- First Speaker - Sarah Cantrell- Personal Testimony

10:30--11:15- Second Speaker- Jane Mathews- Personal Testimony

11:15- 12:00- Third Speaker- Paige Knudsen- Personal Testimony

12:00-1:00- Lunch - (on your own in the hotel unless my prayers get answered with sponsors! :)

1:00- 1:45- Fourth Speaker- Edie Wadsworth- Personal Testimony

1:45-2:45 - Fifth Speaker- Sibi- Pearl Teaching and Personal Testimony

2:45-3:15- Special video and the placing of pearl necklaces on each of the women (The speakers and some special "Pearl Girls" will be the ones adorning you all with necklaces)

3:15-4:00- Opportunities for prayer and meeting and hugging and possible squealing :) and encouraging!!

What kind of event is this?

This is a Christian event.   It is not affiliated with a specific church or denomination.

All are welcome! We would LOVE for you to attend!

We are all Christians. We all love the same Jesus.
We all have testimonies that many of you may be able to identify with in one way or another!

We are not "perfectly polished" speakers....We are Mamas who love Jesus and love our families and want to share our testimonies to offer hope and encouragement and hopefully, by His grace, point others to a deeper relationship with Him.

How large/small is the event and venue?

We are offering room for 200 seats.

If there is interest past this, we will have a waiting list that will pop up on Eventbrite once the last ticket is sold and will work out the details accordingly.

We have already had ticket sales and are so humbled and honored and excited that you are coming!!!

Thank you!!

I will share more information soon!  Including a detailed list of shops, and restaurants , etc and wonderful things about the area for those of you who want to make a weekend out of it!

Sponsoring the event:

If you would like to make a donation of any amount to help with the event you can do so through the
Pay Pal link on the ticket page.

If you are interested in partnering with us through a sponsorship, please email me at :

Roommates and connecting with other attendees:

If you would like to connect with a possible roommate or find out who all is planning to attend you can do that by sending out a tweet on Twitter and using the hashtag  #thepearlevent.

Blog buttons about the event will be coming after Christmas!

I hope this helps to answer some of your questions. Thank you all for your support and encouragement!

Please keep His upcoming event in your prayers!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Is A Place {2011 Edition}

This is a repost of my Thanksgiving post from last year.

It is the exact same way that I feel this Thanksgiving ~ only deeper.

So I thought it would be fitting to post it once again.......

After the year we have had I've found myself this November filled with gratitude on a new level.

And it doesn't have anything to do with turkey and cornbread dressing.

It doesn't have anything to do with Black Friday . 

And really nothing at all to do with rushing the next Holiday and attempting to get the tree up and decorated.

For me this year, Thanksgiving is a place.

It's a spiritual posture that I can walk in every, single day. 

Or not.

I don't need a big meal this year, where folks eat too much and then pass out for the rest of the day to prove how thankful I am. 

I want to be as thankful on a regular Monday as I am on actual Thanksgiving.

I love the Holidays.

I mean, I absolutely adore them.  But this year it's so different for me.

I've arrived at my destination and it's called Thanksgiving.

Where gratitude and attitude are the state and capital.

It is a place. And I'm resting in it this year. 

Knowing that the Father doesn't need me to host, cook or create a huge meal.

Knowing that He is interested in the condition of my heart and what's going on inside it more than how pretty the table is set or how good the pumpkin pie is going to be.

It isn't just a day for me this year. 

It is a place and I never want to leave.

No matter what happens in life. This is where I am taking up my permanent residence.

I want to rest in this place whether God provides simple daily "manna" or whether it's a year flowing with milk and honey. I have to. I've had to walk through many valleys so that I can teach my children what Thanksgiving really means out of a true and deep heart knowledge. 

Not just head knowledge.

And I've always been thankful. But this year, it's on an entirely different level.

It's a place inside that even though everything is not perfect....

It's okay. 

And even though things can be really difficult and really hard at times... 

It's okay. 

And even though God has allowed certain circumstances and situations that are pressing and crushing...

It's okay. 

I will praise Him and thank Him and trust Him in the midst of it all.

Because my heart has a new address this year......

2011 Thanksgiving Circle.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Love And Pearls

Four years ago today I took a leap of faith and wrote my very first blog post.

I wasn't an expert.  But I felt led.

I didn't know a million things about the blog world.  But I felt a pull.

I didn't know a single soul in real life who blogged or a single soul in the blog world. But I felt prompted.

There were no pictures with that very first post. Only words.

These words.....

Nov. 15, 2007

An Attitude of Gratitude... I am thankful that God is so ever mindful of you and of me. My cup runneth over with gratitude as I sit in all humility and pour out from my heart about all that He has done in my life and the lives of those I love so much. My prayer is that it would inspire you, that it would stir you and that it would point you into a real relationship with the one who created you. Let this day be the beginning of something beautiful...

I can remember thinking to myself

Lord, I don't know what you are doing but if only one person reads this blog I pray that it blesses them.

I wanted it to be a place of blessing.

A place of encouragement.

A place that would point you to Him.

And in the process so many of you have been an encouragement to me over the years.

Thank you.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have taken the time to visit, to read, to comment, to email...

Thank you to each and every one of you who have shared your own journey with me.

What a privilege to be trusted with the pieces.

Thank you for allowing me the space to share my own pieces as well....both healed and broken.

I have counted the pages here as one of my greatest joys in life.

To be connected with each one of you.

To write.

To pray.

To encourage.

To share.

To listen......

And for that I am forever grateful.....

Friday, November 11, 2011

No Comparison


That thing that can tie us up in a bind and cause us to feel less than who He has created us to be.

That thing that causes us to shrink back, hold back and look back.

Invisible emotional and mental chains that bind us and paralyze us from walking with purpose.

It will keep us entangled.

And if we camp out in a state of comparison we dismiss who God created us to be.

We dismiss and miss all of the beautiful things in our own life.

Because when we are busy comparing, looking, measuring our own life up against someone else's
we will come up short every time.

The enemy is just waiting to are not enough. 

And He uses the tool of comparison to convince us of this lie.

Comparison ruins moments and events. 

It ruins friendships. 

It comes to tear down and destroy.

It breeds jealousy and insecurity and competition. 

It will absolutely destroy the spirit of the living God in us if we allow it.

Comparison will talk us right out of the amazing life we've been given.

Comparison creeps into our hearts and minds and can convince us that every one else has it better. And then before we know it, we have pulled away from friendships with those whom we seem to feel  "less than" around in life.

Or worse.

We never took the time to get to know someone at all.......

On the night before the first day of school this year I sat with my 8 year old and my 6 year old.  I wanted them to know how much He loves them and how unique and special they both are.  I also wanted to encourage them not to fall into comparison with others.

So I bought a pink measuring tape for her and a ruler for him and used it to demonstrate.

I then wrote on a separate piece of paper the following scripture and attached it to the measuring tape and then also wrote the same scripture on the back of the ruler.

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 4:17-19.

I wanted them to have a tangible reminder ....

When we know in our hearts this incredible truth the lie of comparison loses all power.

To this day they each still carry the measuring tape and ruler in their backpacks.

I want my children to know early on the misery that comes when we open that door......

Maybe because I spent the first ten years of my oldest daughter's life as a single mother comparing myself to all the married moms.

In my early twenties with a baby on my hip I used to think, once I get married......

THEN I will be happy and whole just like everyone else.

Then I will be equal. 

Then I will be accepted.

What a lie.

Happiness is a heart song.

Wholeness, contentment and security are impossible apart from Him.

Whether we are married or single....

Once I was married comparison flowed into my life in new ways.

The Lord begin to speak to my heart on many levels and teach me about contentment and acceptance.

He did not create me to be like everyone else or to "fit in" with everyone else. 

He created me to fit with Him.

He had to teach me not to resent my testimony.  (That was a hard lesson.)

He had to teach me not to compare. (Harder still.)

Our testimonies are uniquely ours and the story He is writing in each one of us is to be embraced.

It is for our good and His glory......

So this weekend while you are busy with your blessings and your beautiful life.

I want to encourage you to stop into Target.

Go to the sewing aisle and pick up one pretty, pink measuring tape.

Take a bright marker and write across it over and over again.

There is no comparison.

There is no comparison.

There is no comparison.

Keep it with you at all times so that when comparison tries to creep in, you can shut it down.

Keep it with you until this truth is so saturated into your spirit you no longer need to look at it.

Because sweet friends...........

Nothing compares to His love for you.

Nothing compares to the way He created you.

Nothing compares to what He has called you to do in this life.

Nothing compares to your purpose and destiny.

Nothing compares to the magnitude of what He has set aside just for you.

Nothing compares to the fullness of His goodness and His graciousness toward you.

Nothing compares to His mercies toward you. To the depth of His forgiveness toward you.

Nothing compares to what He has in store for you.

Nothing compares to the spouse he is going to bless you with.

Nothing compares to the babies He is is going to entrust to you.

Nothing compares to the increase, the goodness and the blessings that are yours and yours alone.

Nothing compares to the way you walk and talk and look and laugh and think and create.

There isn't anyone like you in all of the world.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Knit together by the Creator in pure and total perfection....

May these truths settle down deep inside your heart and take root in your life in the most amazing ways and may you be ever mindful of the width and depth and length and height of His love for you.

Thank you to my beautiful friend Ashley for taking the time to hold my own personal pink measuring tapes and allowing me to photograph her for this blog post.

No one compares to you Ashley and to the many incredible gifts He has given you....

Beautiful. Compassionate. True. Genuine. Sincere. Refined. Redeemed. Renewed and Healed are you my wonderful friend.

Thank you for your love and friendship.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fall Goodies

Good Morning!

I hope you all are enjoying this incredible time of year!  I love, love, love fall!
I wanted to share a few of my fall favorites with you all. I do not normally do a post like this but thought I would branch out and write about some fragrant and delicious goodies today. I love all things home and especially anything seasonal!

Here are some of my personal favorites! You may notice that I have an unhealthy obsession for all things Williams and Sonoma:) I squeal with delight every single time I walk into that store!

Throw out everything else. It's over.  I can't stop cleaning with this!!
Williams Sonoma Winter Berry dish soap, countertop spray and hand soap.

The nutmeg grinder! I have used this in my coffee for years!  So good....

Cinnamon Stirrers and Mulling Spices. Another two of my all time favorites! I burn small amounts of the mulling spices on the stove and my entire house smells like WS within minutes. I give these away as gifts a lot during the holidays! 

This is the most fragrant fall candle I have found this year. It smells like caramel cake (which I will get to in a minute) and pumpkin muffins combined!  Found at Bath and Body Works.

The Honeycrisp apple.

It is like eating a dessert! So good and so good for you. My favorite treat this time of year! You can find them at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

My apologies for this tiny picture!! This is my all time favorite coffee ever. It is called Caramel Apple Nut . They only carry it this time of year! It is from Gloria Jean's Coffee and it will make you weak in the knees. I promise!

This is a close second! Also from Gloria Jean's. It makes my entire kitchen smell like a blueberry muffin bakery!

                                             My favorite cup and saucer from Anthro.

Caramel Cake. That is all.  My weakness this time of year!  This one is from Caroline's Cakes which I have heard wonderful things about!  I have my eye on this one to order for Thanksgiving.

This is my absolute favorite candle for the Christmas season. Nest "Holiday." I have been a "Nest" candle fan for years! All of their candles are incredible but this one is my personal favorite!

Hope you enjoy and my apologies for the size of some of the pictures!  Happy Fall!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Unraveling

                                                               Sarah and Jonathan

A turn of events have happened recently that have written things on my heart that I never expected.

Pieces of life that have now become part of my testimony.

Pieces of life that have unraveled me.

Sometimes He allows the unraveling when we least expect it.

I am one who likes ribbons and bows and packages all tied up with beautiful satin...

I like life packaged up all pretty.

But there is One who unravels.....

Who will cause us to come undone in the deep places.

Who unties in order to bring the breaking bring the increase.

Because in the breaking process He can have His way.

There are times when the breaking, the unraveling,  is almost unbearable.

And during these times we have the opportunity to offer up a sacrifice of praise.....

My beautiful friend Sarah is such an example.....

She is all kinds of amazing in every possible way and her heart overflows with the love of Christ.

She just lost her precious identical twin boys at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

I have had the honor of listening to my special friend share her experience.  I have heard the devastation, the sorrow and the praise unto Him in the midst of it all.

I heard the sacrifice of praise.

I heard the unraveling.....

The sound alone will cause you to come apart at the seams...

I want God to piece it all back together and I want those babies back in the arms of their Mother and Father who love them so much. I want their sorrow to turn to joy and their home to be filled with the four children they were planning on bringing up in the admonition of the Lord.

But God.

Sometimes He has a different plan.

Sometimes the breaking forth, the process, the undoing of our soul doesn't happen on Sunday morning sitting in a church pew.

Or in Sunday school.

Or while we are signing up for a missions opportunity.

I would say it rarely does.

It most likely happens in the midnight hour when we are alone with Him and there are circumstances and situations that have brought us to our knees.

It happens on a Tuesday, October 11 at 8:30 p.m. in the middle of a hospital room when you have to kiss your beloved twin boys goodbye .

John Wilson and David Casswell....

Twenty weeks of love.

Sweet Jesus.

"6 ounces and 11 ounces of sheer beauty. Perfect identical faces and every part totally whole."

Sometimes it happens in spite of the fact that you have made a space and a place in your home and your heart for two incredible gifts all the while giving God the glory.


Unbearable grief.

Our hearts are broken for this precious family.

There is a depth of sorrow and despair in life that at times we can share openly, allowing others the opportunity to be His hands and feet.  We can make ourselves available to receive an outpouring of love and support that one never imagined was possible.

And then there are times that we walk through grief, sorrow, loss and despair that cannot be shared and it can sometimes seem that we are walking through it completely alone.

We cannot compare pain or sorrow.

But I want to encourage you if you are walking through the unraveling at all....

Either public or private.

If you are experiencing grief or sorrow in any form,  He is there with you right now in spite of it all.

He is with you in the midnight hour and when life falls apart and it seems there isn't a soul you can trust.

If you are one who has lost in life in unimaginable ways, I want to encourage you that there is One who comforts unlike anyone else.

I want to encourage you if this is you right now, you do not have to walk through it alone. He will meet you right where you are and pour out an overwhelming healing love.

Just call on His name....

I promise you He will answer. Your names are written on the palm of His hand and He is ever mindful of you and yours.....

For Sarah....

Thank you for allowing me the honor to share pieces of your story.....

May the One who has called you to this place in life pour out His peace and comfort that surpasses all understanding and may He offer the Comforter, the sweet Holy Spirit, to you in the most beautiful ways. May you know the width and depth of His love on a new level through this difficult time my sweet friend.  May He bring about a recompense that cannot be measured and may the gift of your precious sons bring about much fruit.  You are a woman after His own heart Sarah. You are a woman who fears the Lord and who has been an earthly demonstration of His love to many.

I pray that every good and perfect gift be released for you and your family, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing in the days and weeks to come.

May He be glorified.

Love and Miracles to you my precious friend....

"But you Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from it's farthest regions, and said to you, You are my servant. I have chosen you and have not cast you away;
Fear not, For I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous hand. " Isaiah 41: 8-10

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sigma Alpha Omega

Good Morning Girls,

I just wanted to touch base with you all bright and early before the rush starts!

I wanted to let you know that I have finally responded to all of your comments in the Empty Corners post!

Thank you to each and every one of you who took the time to read, comment and share about "J!"

She is such an inspiration to me and I was so overwhelmed that so many of you wanted to bless her.

If you left your email in the comments, etc. I just sent out a big email to all of you this morning with all of the information. My apologies that it took a few days! We have had a few life changes going on over here!

Thank you so much for being an earthly demonstration of His love!

In other news I just have to share these pictures that a reader sent to me last week and say how impressed I was with this Christian Sorority!  

May I introduce you to Sigma Alpha Omega.....

Brittany Michelle Hughes sent this to me last week! Thank you Brittany!

"We are Sigma Alpha Omega, a Christian Sorority at University of North Carolina at Wilmington and we just rushed 33 new "baby doves" that will begin the process of becoming a sister! We cannot wait to encourage their walk with Christ and to have fun! "

"This is several of our Sigma Alpha Omega Sisters and the "Baby Doves"! Our sorority calls the Sisters "doves" as a reference to Matthew 3:16-17! After the "baby doves" we are 75 strong on our campus!"

"This is our 33 new "baby doves" and the two Sigma Alpha Omega sisters who are the "dove mommies" who take their job very seriously! What a blessing to have 33 women of God excited and encouraged to be a light on campus!"

Can we talk about how incredible this is?  And the name?!!

Sigma Alpha Omega. He is the beginning and the end. 

How I love this!!

I am so excited for these girls!! What a blessing to have this group of women surrounding you and supporting you during your college years and with Christ as the center of it all!  

Aren't they gorgeous?!

Keep using your "glory gifts" for Him girls!

So proud of you all!

Thank you so much Brittany for sharing this with me!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Missing My Girl

Just missing my girl today....It's hard once they are grown and although you love watching them fly there are days when you long for them to be little again too.

I love this picture of Macey with Pearl at the pumpkin patch last year.

Just loving on her baby sister.

It is such a picture of how she loves. Big and true and with such purity of heart....

Wish you were here to sit on my lap baby girl.

Missing you something awful.....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This Time Of Year

It's here!  It is the time of year when I breathe deeper and do my best to relish and revel in every moment of the day.  It's when I normally bake my favorite muffins and buy way too many pumpkins. I am a seasonal girl! It is also when we spend time as a family taking long walks around the park and the lake with strollers and our little, red wagon.

We also love to sip and spill some warm apple cider :)

I cannot get enough of fall. The fragrance alone is enough to send me right over the edge!

Nutmeg anyone?

Freshly ground over a cup of hot coffee or a bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese.


It is also "field day" time with my camera.

I want to remember every. single. thing.

I pray that I don't forget.

I want to remember what their tiny fingers look like trying to hold a pumpkin.

And what the back of their sweet, little heads look like riding in the wagon.

The sound of their voices. Their cries. Their laughter.

The way they interact with each other. The giggles. The tears. The wild and the exhausting.

The tug of war, the disagreements, the lessons of learning to prefer one another...

Fall also brings change....

This week starts some difficult changes for our family.  I am praying for the ability to walk through it all with a special grace and no matter what, I am reminded today to capture it all....

I want to photograph every season of life.

Happy Sunday to you.

May your day be filled with beautiful moments....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Empty Corners

This story I am about to offer is shared with full permission by one incredible and brave young woman.

Some people get excited over sports, concerts, a special vacation.

And for others it's a new bag. A new pair of shoes. A pretty lipstick.

And while all of those things are wonderful and of course can make one happy, I happen to get really excited over an empty corner and let's not forget my obsession with newborn babies as well.

But I especially love an empty corner.

It may sound strange to some people.

Most people may not even notice it during their daily commute.

But for whatever reason God made me to notice the details.

Here is an example...

At the beginning of the summer we were driving down a beautiful street with all of the babies in tow and there before my eyes was a beautiful, vibrant, young woman.

She was standing on the corner. The one that was supposed to be empty.

And she was expecting.

She wasn't expecting a bus. Or a taxi. Or a friend to pick her up from work.

She was expecting a baby......... Remember my obsession?

Now there are two things I am not going to put up with in life.

One is a woman standing on a corner that should be empty and two is that same woman standing there expecting her first born gift.

I pretty much had a panic attack and my husband knew what was about to happen.

I had to talk to her. I had to meet her. I had to help in some way.

It was beyond me. It was all Him.

It didn't have anything to do with me. And everything to do with a Daddy who wanted to reach His daughter and pour out love and mercy and goodness and grace and meet every single need she had.

I asked her the most important thing first.

"Are you safe?" She looked at me and smiled and slowly nodded.

But I've lived long enough to know that a simple smile and slow nod don't mean a thing.

She wasn't and I knew it. I could feel it.

And she wouldn't be standing on a corner selling the homeless paper to folks if she was.

I asked her name ....

I asked her what she needed. She wouldn't really tell me.

I asked her if she had a place and she gave me that simple smile and a slow nod one more time.

I just wanted to meet a need. Even just one.

I didn't want to interrogate her. I didn't want to question her. I didn't need to know all the details. There wasn't an ounce of judgement in my heart. I just wanted her off of that corner and safe in a place of her own getting herself ready to become a mother.

And so that is how it began......

I came home and tried to figure out how to reach her , how to connect, how to help.

I posted a note on FB telling everyone whom I was connected with that there was

"An opportunity to demonstrate His love standing on the corner" and gave the address.

I bagged up almost all of my maternity clothes and put them in the car to give to her.

I talked with my husband , I begged him to let her live with us. I talked about her and talked about her
to try and figure out what to do.

And then it was like she disappeared.

I would drive by, many times, and she would not be standing there.

Then one afternoon, my friend Vanessa texted me and said "Sibi, she's there today!"

It was the week we were leaving to go on vacation, my husband just so happened to be home and the 12 passenger van we rented needed to be picked up earlier than we actually needed it. By a couple of days.

God is in the details!!!

As soon I received that text I told my husband and we loaded up all five children and wheeled out of the driveway to go and rescue this precious woman. We were going to bring her home with us!

It felt like Christmas to me......

By the time we arrived she was gone.

I just knew she had walked down the street to the grocery store to go the bathroom! (9 times pregnant me just knew this !)

We drove around looking and nothing. Looked through the parking lot, nothing.  And then I spotted her,
sitting on the lawn furniture under the grocery store awning eating a peach.

I left my husband and children in the car and prayed and asked and hoped and begged the Lord to do the talking.

I talked with her and asked her if she remembered me and hugged her. She said "I remember you, you smell so good. You are the lady who gave me all of those beautiful clothes. You smell just like the clothes you gave me."

I was crying. She was crying.

Because I know what it is to just want something that smells good. That smells clean.

Crying because I know what it is to stand on the corner in life and want......

We all do. We've all stood on the corner in one area of our life or another.

We've stood on the corner of unanswered prayers. And the corner of waiting for our marriages to be restored. We've stood on the corner of financial despair and the street of "Is this all my life is ever going to be?"

I've been there. I've stood there. And many times I watched people drive right on by during some of my darkest hours. Like I was part of the scenery. 

I cannot be that person.

The one who doesn't notice. Doesn't see. Doesn't hear. Doesn't feel.

We are all God's children. And we are all called to represent His love to every single soul on this earth.

I said to her, "We came to get you. We want you to live with us. We want to help you. We want to take care of you and your baby."

She was just weeping and sobbing in my arms.

She was so gracious and kind and had such a sweet spirit.

"But why? Why would you want to help me?"

Sometimes life has beat you up so bad, you can't believe anyone even cares, much less wants to help.....

She told me how she had been busy saving her money selling the homeless paper and how just two days prior she had finally found an apartment complex who would work with her and offer her a lease.

Apartment complexes will not rent to someone who is trying to get ahead in life and can pay rent in advance?? They won't rent to someone who doesn't have a current address??


She told me about how the state would not allow her to get food stamps without an address.

Homeless people cannot get food stamps without an address? They are homeless!!!


She told me about the shelter where she had been staying and how cruel they were to her.

"The battered women's shelter? The battered women's shelter is mean to the battered women?"


"They are so mean to us that most women just go back to their abusers"

I. could. not. breathe.

Deep breaths.

Deep breaths

Deep breaths because it was like a holy anger rose up in me. Deep breaths that this woman couldn't get ahead if she tried. Deep breaths because the system doesn't make any sense to me and I don't know if I can fix it but I am going to try even with five babies in tow. Deep breaths because the shelter that should have been her shelter is filled with women who don't know how to help without judging. How to love without hate. Deep breaths because the shelter is not a shelter for the hundreds and thousands of women who are domestic violence victims and who find that the empty corner on a street is a better shelter. Deep breaths because this state that I live in is in the top tier for death to a woman by a DV incident. 

Sweet Jesus.

In that moment I knew I could not repair all the damage, all the injustices. I could not undo all the hurt and all the judgement that had been cast her way. I could not create a reenactment of all the people who had just driven by her day after she was part of the scenery.

This precious child of God carrying another precious child of God overlooked, rejected and cast down.

I hated it all. I was so angry I didn't know what to do.

But He could do something through me and I was willing. My family was willing.

I told her that God was going to deliver a truckload of blessings to her new place.

I asked her what she needed even though I knew it was anything and everything.....

And it was. She had nothing other than a bed for herself.

Within hours of posting about her need on FB, this is what was delivered to my garage for her.

Delivered to my house from about 10 women.  Did you know that 10 women can change the world?

I happen to have an incredible neighbor who has some really special friends who gathered, bought and delivered almost everything you see here....

I was blown away by the loved poured out for "J" and her unborn daughter. This is not including the large gift cards and money these precious women offered as well.

Remember the rental van they needed us to take a couple of days early? Free of charge of course.

God had a bigger plan in mind.

Can you imagine waking up one day and having absolutely nothing for yourself. Nothing for your unborn child and hardly a dime to your name?

And then waking up the very next day and God all by Himself decided to send a 12 passenger van to your brand new apartment full of every single thing that you and your sweet baby would need and more.

I was awestruck. The details blew me away.

Awestruck at how the bedding one friend bought was the exact color scheme she wanted.

Overwhelmed at the swing someone gave was the swing she had looked at for months in the store.

Beside myself that the crib and changing table that someone gave matched the highchair someone else gave and was exactly what she really, really wanted.

I'm talking down to the diaper bag.

Every, single thing she needed was provided and was exactly what she wanted or even better than what she had hoped for.

God all by Himself....

Took a homeless pregnant woman standing on the corner and gave her a place of her own and filled it with every single thing she needed and more....supernaturally.

The one detail that I really could not believe and that just blessed me more than I could ever put into words here was the phone call between us while we were driving to deliver everything to her.

I was excited. She was excited. I could hardly wait. She could hardly believe it.....and then she said this...

"Sibi, thank you for giving me the best birthday I've ever had in my life."


You mean that God orchestrated Heaven and Earth to give this daughter of His an outpouring of earthly demonstration to show JUST HOW MUCH He loves her and He chose, out of 365 days in the year, to align every, single thing to happen on the anniversary of the day she was born?

God all by Himself.

You know I had to stop and get a cake.  :)

Turns out that God loves empty corners even more than I do.

I share this story today to give God every ounce of glory and to thank those who so selflessly gave to help this incredible young woman. Also I wanted to share in hopes that maybe someone reading would be stirred to action the next time that prompting comes when we see a homeless man, woman or child.

That prompting that rises up within us is Him.

Prompting us to stop. To offer. To give. To sow and to demonstrate His love.

We do not know the width or the depth of the stories standing there.

It's not always what we think it is. Things are not always the way they seem.....

And there may be the chance to change the world because we saw a child of God instead of a "situation" standing there.

Thank you to my incredible husband who moved and packed and delivered furniture and things over the course of two days with second degree burns on his hands, and never once complained.

Never once.

You have His heart honey. You teach me by example...

Thank you to my beautiful gift of a girlfriend Vanessa who has been His hands and feet in my own life more times than I can count. Who got the word out and orchestrated and organized with her amazing friends and for that I am truly grateful. Thank you to Benning, Jordan, Janie, Lena, Donna, Ashley, Julie, Shirley and Melissa.

Thank you from the depths of my soul. You all inspire me. You are world changers.....

May He bless you all one hundred fold for your extraordinary kindness.

For "J"....

You are an incredible, amazing, beautiful woman who has yet to even tap into the gifts, talents, purpose and tremendous call that is on your life.

You are also His just haven't discovered it yet.  But I see it.

I see in you what you cannot see for yourself.....

The best is yet to come my friend.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Like Honey

                                                                            Google Image

Good Morning!

I wanted to share all of the wonderful scriptures you all left in the comments last week here in one post!

So encouraging!

Thank you again for listing some of your favorites and for your kind words....

Like honey to my soul....

Jenny at Hoffman's Hideaway

Romans 8:28 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. 


But with that being said, one of my favorite vereses is Psalm 56:8...

You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.


Hosea 2:14-15 Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (meaning trouble) a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth...


My favorite verse that has gotten me through on more than one crisis...
The Lord is close to the broken hearted and heals those who are crushed in spirit.


Isaiah 40.11... and will gently lead those that have their young. Praying for supernatural strength as you look to the source of all grace this week.


Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Isaiah 61:3
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor


Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
Lamentations 3:21-24

NEALIE from Big And Biggest

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

LORI from A Time For Everything

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens ~ He has made everything beautiful in it's time" ~
Eccl 3:1-11

Kim from Three Peanuts

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

BETH from Where Ya'll Meets Fixin To

2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Joshua 1:9
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

And a big thank you to each one of you who took the time to leave the kindest and most encouraging comments ever.......your words mean so much to me!

A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

~ Proverbs 15:33

Katie at Tale Of A Grits

Heather at Grace 303

Paige at Simple Thoughts

Marla at Kinda Sorta

Just Ask Beth

Gwyn at The Pink Tractor

The Mrs. at One Fabulous Mom




JT and Angie at Our Treasure Our Heart

It's Raining Pearls

Many thanks to each and everyone of you again! I hope you will find some encouragement here today within this post full of scriptures and sweet comments!

Happy Monday!