Just Give it to God

Have you ever taught a two year old to share?

That’s a big focus in my household, right now. My little bear is as sweet as pie, but he isn’t around other kids his age very much (except at church), so his sharing skills really need some work. Lord, bless him. Gray and I have been making intentional efforts to try and teach him what it means to share and we’ve been careful to avoid saying things like, “that’s mine!” We try our best to model the behavior we want him to mimic, emphasizing our “pleases” and “thank yous” and making sure he sees little gestures that we hope communicate generosity, politeness, and just overall good character.

But, here’s the thing – he’s a toddler. Toddlers don’t like to share. It doesn’t come natural.

Last night, I sat in the nursery at church and watched him interact with another precious little boy who is just a few months older than him. For the most part, the two of them play together really well and there’s so many fun toys in the room, they don’t have too hard of a time finding things to keep them occupied. But, there were a few times that they would both want the same toy and had to be redirected, and when Landon was eating a little box of raisins, the most profound thought occurred to me.

I would say, “Landon, why don’t you share your raisins with Philip?” and he would hold out a raisin with a sheepish grin on his face. When Philip, clearly delighted that Landon was sharing a snack with him, reached out to take the raisin, Landon would snatch it back at the last minute and turn away!

Oh dear.

I’m hoping and praying that he learns, and I’m trusting that he will, with time. But can I just tell you, friends, that in that moment, I saw myself and my unwillingness to give things to God. How often do we start to give something to God – whether it be our hopes, our dreams, our failures, our worries, our brokenness, or our plans – and then, for whatever reason, snatch it back with that white-knuckled control that always hurts us more than it helps us? What is it in our hearts that makes us think we can do it on our own? It is a lack of faith? a lack of confidence that He is who he says He is? just plain stubbornness?

It never ceases to amaze me how Jesus can speak to us through our children. Just watching them can teach us so much about ourselves, about who we are called to be, and about the way Jesus has called us to love. I pray that my heart never becomes hardened to these little snippets, and that I’ll be able to instill a love of Jesus so deep in my little one’s hearts that they crave Him more and more every day.

Whatever it is that we’re holding onto today, friends, let’s just give it to God. Let’s lay it all at the foot of the cross!


The Lord Looks on the Heart

I feel a twinge of “yeah… but…” every time I hear someone criticize people that post pretty pictures of their Bible study or are into Bible journaling. Bible journaling is a fairly new concept, and while I’ve dabbled in it a little, and even made a pinterest board full of inspiration and ideas, I haven’t really had time to put my journaling Bible that Grayson got me for Mother’s Day to good use. But, I love the concept because I feel like it helps you “park” on a certain passage of scripture, really soak it in, and is an outlet of creative expression.

As far as sharing “pretty pictures” of Bible study goes, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been waiting on Landon to wake up, mindlessly scrolling through instagram, when I’ve seen a picture that’s inspired or prompted me to get up and pick up my own Bible. I follow one account on instagram in particular, Well Watered Women, a ministry started by Gretchen Saffles, that is constantly encouraging me to get into the Word, and you know what? Those pretty pictures of Bible study are doing their job.

I realize that when people are critical of this kind of thing, they usually mean it with a good, genuine heart that is expressing their own desire to be near to God without feeling a need or desire to share in this way. Of course, Bible journaling or sharing photos of your quiet time doesn’t make you any “better of a Christian” or mean that you love Jesus any more than the next girl. From the outside looking in, I can see how some people would think why do you need to color in your Bible? or why do you feel the need to post a picture of your open Bible with your coffee and highlighters all spread out in front of you?

But, here’s the thing:

What it really all comes down to is the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” And, that goes both ways. If someone is not genuinely trying to have a closer walk with the Lord, and just shares photos to make it seem like they are truly studying His Word, that is deceitful. You might fool others, but God knows. If you care more about letting others know that you’re reading your Bible than actually growing in your walk with Christ and soaking in Scripture, that’s ineffective and sad, because you’re more focused on what the world thinks than having intimacy with the One who created it. If you’re literally just coloring in your Bible without worship and thoughtfulness about the passage at hand, you just need to buy yourself a coloring book.

But, what if it is genuine? What if you crave time with the Lord each day? What if the stillness of the morning and the hot coffee and crinkling of the pages fuels your spirit each day? What if you are so in love with Jesus and your time with Him that you can’t help but share? What if, with every stroke of colored pencil over those sacred words, you’re praising Jesus for His promises and you soak them into your heart so deeply that you dwell on what He’s teaching you all week long? Should you have to feel hesitant when you’re prompted to share for fear that other’s might misunderstand your motives?

When you criticize others for how they worship, you’re judging them in the worst way. It’s a terrible thing, to believe your worship is the “best way.” We all express ourselves in different ways, and for even the most seasoned believer, there’s always room for growth. You might not “color in your Bible.” You might not feel compelled to share “pretty pictures” of your time with Jesus. You might not raise your hands in worship or fall at the altar each Sunday morning with tears that can’t be explained. But that’s between you and God, not you and your neighbor. Now, of course I realize that we all judge others for countless things each day, and sometimes don’t even realize we’re doing it, but in this particular post, I’m speaking of judging other’s worship and creative expression, nothing else.

Let’s not let our hearts become hardened, friends. Let’s encourage others in their walks with the Lord, not criticize them for how. Let’s look for the best, not assume the worst. Let’s have open hearts towards our sisters as we see them making an effort to learn more about our Father and pursue His heart.

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Image does not belong to me, Image belongs to Well Watered Women


Breathing Treatments

My grandpa passed away in November 2010, my first semester of college. He had lung cancer and the last few months of his life, watching him struggle to breathe, often gasping for breath, enduring breathing treatments, having to be constantly connected to an oxygen tank, and too many doctor’s visits to count was completely heart-wrenching. I was his girl – he had always been my best friend, a Daddy to me, and a constant joy in my life. He meant so much to so many people who adored him and we all lovingly called him “Paw.”

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost eight years since he went to be with Jesus. I am still processing through my grief, and it’s still very raw and hurts to talk about. No matter what I said, I don’t think I could ever adequately put into words what losing someone like that is really like. Even just typing this has opened the floodgates – so never believe it when you hear people say that “time heals all wounds.” It doesn’t. Only Jesus.

This past weekend, Landon started coughing and I tried for several days to doctor him as best I could at home. I had the humidifier going, chicken noodle soup, cough medicine every four hours, was working hard to keep him well hydrated, and giving him Tylenol when his fever got up to 100. But, despite my efforts, his cough didn’t go away or even get better, so I decided to go ahead and make him a doctor’s appointment. He was barely eating and not sleeping well at all (both very uncharacteristic of him). I thought maybe he had an ear infection or maybe he’d picked up a virus or maybe he was on the verge of getting the flu (because so many friends have had it this year). The doctor checked him out and ruled out all of those worries, but when she listened to his breathing, she heard a rattle and noticed that he was wheezing. She told us that he has bronchiolitis (similar to the adult equivalent of bronchitis) and brought in a nebulizer to do a breathing treatment. It helped tremendously and so she sent us home with one, which I can already tell is working wonders for helping loosen up his cough and helping him breathe better.

Now, you may be wondering how these two stories are connected, but let me just tell you… the last time I put together a breathing treatment (little vials of liquid medicine are poured into a container attached to a facial mask, with a machine that diffuses it and when breathed in, helps the patient breathe better) was for my Paw. I was SO emotionally unprepared to see that machine and that mask on his little face. I lost it. My mother-in-law was with me at the appointment and bless her sweet heart… she was trying to calm Landon down (as you can imagine, being in an unusual environment already, having to wear a mask with a machine that’s smoking that he’d never seen before, and just not knowing what was going on scared him and he was fighting it big time) and console me at the same time, not fully understanding exactly why I was so upset. I couldn’t stop crying, and I was trying to explain to the nurse that I wasn’t really upset that Landon was having to do a breathing treatment – if anything, I was so glad I went ahead and took him in so they could treat him and help him get better – but it was just so emotional for me because of the memories and the hurt that it stirred up in my heart.

To add to the emotional fiasco, I started thinking about how blessed and just truly fortunate we are to have such a wholesome, healthy baby boy. It’s so easy to take for granted if you’ve never had a sick child, but I couldn’t help but think about the Mama’s who have to watch their babies go through so much – time in the NICU, surgeries, physical therapy, chemo treatments, mental or physical disabilities, extended hospital stays, you name it. A breathing treatment is nothing compared to those things, and I had to really force myself to think about it from a perspective of gratitude. I am so thankful for doctors and their wisdom and for medicine and I never want to take having a healthy child for granted.

I almost didn’t share any of this publicly, for a thousand different reasons. I know so many friends going through far worse trials right now, so I don’t want to share anything that may seem “petty.” I don’t want to seem like I’m being overdramatic or negative, or “putting all my issues out there for the world to see.” But you know what? We can’t just share the pretty moments. We can’t just share picture perfect little squares that make our lives seem better than they are. Everyone is fighting a battle that you usually know nothing about, and I pray that through vulnerability and transparency, we will continue to grow in community and friendship with one another. It’s always my prayer that my heart is reflected through this blog and the pieces of our life that I share here, and if it just encourages one person, I’m grateful that Jesus used my willingness to be open about where we are and what we’re going through – no matter how big or small. We are doing the breathing treatments at home now, and he is getting a little calmer and more used to it each time – which I’m so, so thankful for. If you would, please just pray for my little guy as he continues to get better.


At-home stain remover (that works!)


My only regret is that I didn’t take a before picture. Ya’ll, my (almost) two year old destroyed this shirt. There was chocolate. ALL. OVER. IT. and I let it dry and set in overnight…

We went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant with my family for my cousin’s birthday and with the sombrero-wearing-birthday-chanting festivities came a plate full of sopapillas drizzled with honey and chocolate for our whole table to share. Yummy for sure, but you can just guess the rest.

This particular shirt is a little different than most of his button up collared shirts in the sense that it is textured, not smooth. It’s a favorite because it’s monogrammed and was a gift from my sweet friend, Lee. When I realized this morning that I had totally forgotten to treat the stain last night, I just knew that I’d never get the stains out.

Then, I remembered my Mama telling me about a solution of blue dawn dish soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. I gave it a shot and it was like straight up MAGIC!

I’m pretty sure when my sweet Mama does it, she measures out each ingredient and makes a paste in a little dish and then applies it to the stain, lets it sit for a certain amount of time, and then washes it. But I, being my typical 25 year old self, just squirted some dawn, sprinkled some baking soda, literally poured hydrogen peroxide on it, and then frantically scrubbed it with what I’m pretty sure is a potato scrubber. Spoiler alert: it still worked.

I am so excited to have seen first hand how well this magic solution of everyday household items works, so I just had to share with ya’ll!

Also, I have to admit, being this excited about a stain remover makes me feel really old (haha!). Happy Monday and have a great week!




It’s March 1st, which means we’re another month closer to meeting Harper! Landon was due in June, but born in May, and from the very beginning of this pregnancy, I’ve thought Harper would be born in April, not May. So… only time will tell. But, it’s crazy to think that even if I’m able to carry her full term (which, uh… if you’ve seen me in person lately you’d probably think that won’t be happening) we have less than 10 weeks!

February was a long month for me but full of sweet memories. Every time I look at Landon, I’m shocked at what a big boy he’s becoming. Not just physically how much he’s grown – but his mannerisms, his personality, and his sweet spirit. My mother-in-law says he’s just like Grayson was at this age – mischievous, but cautious and so well natured. He studies people, he stands back and observes things, and he takes in everything around him.

These are a few of my favorite pictures from the last month-


As we begin this new month, I’m thankful it’s really starting to feel like spring. I wake up and listen to the birds chirping outside, have been keeping my windows open as much as possible, and we’ve been grilling out every chance we get.

YAY for a fresh new month!

“And I am sure of this: He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.”

Philippians 1:6



Last week, I started a new Bible Study with the women of my church called “We Saved You a Seat” by Lisa-Jo Baker. The study is all about finding and keeping lasting friendship and each week, we cover a different topic that pertains to what intentional, wholesome friendship looks like (for instance, “Friendship takes showing up,” “Friendship takes vulnerability,” “Friendship takes forgiveness” just to name a few).

At our weekly meetings, we watch a video and then have a time of discussion, and then there are three days of independent study to do during the week. I’ve done lots of Bible studies and with so many of them, I’ve found myself unable to stay focused, frustrated that the material is either “too shallow or generic” or way over my head, or just not really applicable to my day to day life. Granted, many times, that is a heart issue with me and I need to pray about it and try again – but for some reason, this study is just hitting the nail on the head with me. It’s real, it’s tangible, and it’s meeting me right where I am on a level that I can really relate to. So, if you’re looking for a new study to do with a group of girlfriends, I’d highly recommend this one!

Today’s independent study was about interruptions and how Jesus lived a life that not only expected interruptions, but welcomed them. In an exercise where the book prompted us to look up several different passages of scripture, we filled out a chart showing times that Jesus was interrupted by people needing a healing touch, a word of encouragement, or just His time. “Giving people our time is an act of radical generosity” is one line from the book that I want to keep at the forefront of my mind. It’s so easy to be so focused on what I’m doing – to just have a one-track mind, that I miss opportunities to show people I care or spend time with them that means so much.

I don’t know about you, but I’m oftentimes so guilty of that panicked feeling when someone stops by my house – instantly thinking it’s not clean enough, I haven’t mopped, or there’s toys all over the floor. This passage spoke right to my heart:

“But the thing is, being willing to be interrupted isn’t about the state of our houses. It’s about the state of our hearts. Women aren’t hungry for perfection; they’re hungry for connection.”

Lisa-Jo Baker, We Saved You a Seat, pg. 23

I’m excited for the next few weeks of this study, but I just wanted to share the goodness that’s already gripped my heart and left me wanting more. There’s something so special about digging into the Word in the fellowship of women of all different ages and backgrounds who share a couple very important things in common: a love for Jesus and a desire to know Him more.

Hello, Third Trimester!

Wow! I can’t believe I’ve already entered into my third trimester. Time has just flown by this pregnancy. I know I can’t be the only one who feels like their second pregnancy went by so much faster than their first! It seems like just yesterday, this journey was beginning and by the time I got over the initial shock and fear of the risks associated with having the IUD removed, I was over halfway to my due date. And now, here I am at week 28.


This pregnancy has been quite different from my first – better in some ways and a little harder in other ways. When I was expecting Landon, I was working a desk job with a commute that had me spending almost two hours a day in the car. I left our house early and by the time I got home, I was too tired to cook and so we ate fast food a lot. My feet dangled from my chair and I had no way to prop them up at my high desk, and in my third trimester, swelling became a big, big problem. In addition to spending far too much time in a car each day, sitting in a way that contributed to my swelling, and eating very unhealthy meals, I also did not exercise… at all. I was huge and miserable and overall, gained about 73 pounds. By the time I delivered at 37 weeks (due to high blood pressure), I was almost unrecognizable and so very uncomfortable. Yes, part of the weight gain was fluid, but I would be lying if I said that I did everything in my power to keep it under control.

This time around, I am at home with a bubbly toddler who is literally built-in exercise. He is so much fun and has so much energy. Chasing him around and being up and down in the floor playing with him all day every day is kind of like a free gym membership! Also, being at home during the day has allowed me to cook the majority of the time, which I love. Landon and I also walk a few miles several times a week when the weather permits. So far, I have not experienced much if any swelling and I feel pretty good throughout the day most days.



I remember not sleeping well towards the end of my first pregnancy, but this time, I have not slept well from day one. My hips and back ache when I lay down and I wake up 5-6 times a night every night. I have also experienced round ligament pain, which I had never dealt with before. But, I have been so blessed and I know that so many women experience much worse things throughout their pregnancies than I have, so I’m really very thankful!

I am savoring every day that I have left with my sweet boy, just the two of us. The idea of splitting my attention and my heart between two babies still scares me, but I am starting to have a peace about it and trusting Jesus to give me the grace and wisdom and strength that I need. I know He will make my heart grow and fill me with the kind of love that only a Mama knows all over again the second I hold this precious little girl. Her life is a miracle, and I am so honored that He has given me this incredible gift. My friend Lee has two of the sweetest boys and when I asked her how she makes it look so easy and teaches them to be so well-natured and kind, she said that she prays constantly that Jesus will “stand in the gap” and help her when she falls short. So, that’s become my prayer too, that Jesus will intervene and that I’ll trust Him and rely on Him to make it through each and every day.


Thanks so much for following along during this pregnancy! We can’t wait to meet our Harper girl and are so thankful for all of your love and support!


This dress is from my all-time favorite – Pinkblush! I’ve featured their adorable clothing  (both maternity and non-maternity) here on Coffee Date With Kate several times and as always, their selection and awesome deals never disappoint (if you subscribe, they send out emails practically every morning with awesome coupon codes and they always have free shipping).

It’s hard to find good quality, trendy maternity clothing at a great price point that just makes you feel good, and I’ve found that it’s so important (especially when your body is changing so much) to make the effort to feel comfortable in your own skin. Sometimes all it takes is a pretty dress! I think this dress would be perfect for a baby shower, maternity photos, or even just to wear to church on Sunday. It comes in a wide variety of patterns and color combinations, and it’s just one of hundreds of beautiful options that Pinkblush has to offer. I’m looking forward to wearing it postpartum too, because it’s so versatile and perfect for nursing!

This dress was provided to me by the PinkBlush Style Ambassador program, but as always, all opinions are my own. 

He equips the called

As Harper’s due date inches closer and closer, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what life will be like with two little ones. For a short time, I’ll have two under two (Landon turns two in late May) and I’m not going to lie… the thought of having a bouncy, curious toddler alongside a fragile infant kinda-sorta terrifies me. I think back to the early days with Landon – the non-stop nursing, the exhaustion, and just the overwhelming feelings of am I doing this right? am I meeting his needs? how do I know what to do?

Now, don’t get me wrong – first of all, I am ecstatic about Landon becoming a big brother. I always wanted brothers and sisters, and I can’t wait to see them grow up together. Most importantly, I know that this little girl’s life is a miracle and it’s the honor of a lifetime to be able to carry her and raise her up to love the Lord with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength. I also realize that people do this every day – I mean, it’s not like I’m the first person to ever have more than one baby (obviously) and I’m sure I’m not the first one to worry about what the transition will be like, either.

The biggest worry in my mind when I think about bringing another baby into our family is the fear that Landon will feel rejected or replaced or pushed to the side. Just thinking that he could feel even a twinge of that just kills me. He has such a sweet, sensitive spirit. He notices emotion and reacts to it with such compassion and I never want that to change. He and I do everything together and I love our little routines. I share a lot about life with him, but my favorite memories are things no photo could ever capture and usually, no one was there to see. The sweet little hands on my face in the middle of the night, the way his sweet voice calls out “ma-muh?” when he needs a little extra affirmation, the way he comes around the corner dragging his blanket and reaches up for me with those sleepy blue eyes. I can’t explain the bond between a Mama and her boy, but if you know what I’m talking about, you know.

Fleeting feelings of can I really love another baby like I love Landon? have also wrestled in my mind and heart. It feels weird to even “voice” that, but I would be lying if I said it hasn’t crossed my mind. I know my heart will stretch and Jesus will continue to put that Mama-love deep in the most sacred part of my heart, just like He did with Landon and like He already has done from the very first moment I knew she was growing inside of me.

I have been letting myself worry about the tiniest details, though. For instance, how will breastfeeding go this time around? How am I going to sit and nurse a brand new baby with a toddler to chase? He is so hands-on and just into everything and I’m halfway terrified that he’ll tear my house down while I’m nursing (maybe this is a little irrational, but ya know what, I’m 28 weeks pregnant and it seems perfectly likely right about now). How am I going to ever get back into a routine of cooking dinner for my husband with a brand new baby? How am I going to keep Landon from waking up in the night when Harper cries? What if she has colic? What if she’s not a “good baby” like Landon was? What will I do if Landon starts acting out and it seems like he resents the new baby? Will I ever sleep again? Will I ever lose the weight (because I still had a lot of weight to lose from my first pregnancy when I got pregnant again)? Will we ever be able to go out to eat again (that seems pretty terrifying with two babies)? Not to mention just the fear of delivery… because now that I know what it’s really like, the thought of going through it again seems unbearable (way worth it, but terrible).

I mean, I could just go on forever. Worry after worry after worry. What-if after what-if after what-if. And you know what? There’s no reason for it.

Mamas figure it out every day. They have for centuries. And every single time I start feeling overwhelmed or let fear grip my heart, I have to remind myself of that and of the fact that I have to trust in the Lord  with all my strength and lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). I know that Jesus equips the called and I’ve never for a half a second questioned whether or not this is my calling. I was made to be a Mama. It’s my greatest joy, my biggest honor, and the privilege of a lifetime.

So, if you’re walking through this same season or any season where a scary, albeit welcome transition is just on the horizon, I want to encourage you to remember that Jesus will equip you. He will go with you, He will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). He will guide you through the unknown, comfort you in the newness, and strengthen you in your weakness.


Happy Valentines Day

Valentines Day is here again and I can’t believe how much my little love has grown since last year! Somehow, we’ve managed (two years in a row now) to do a little at-home photoshoot as a little surprise for Landon’s Grandma and Mimi and although I’m not sure if we’ll be able to keep up the tradition as we add more little ones to the mix, it sure is fun to look back and see how he’s grown and changed in just 365 days.

He was 8 months old here, Valentines 2017:


Photo by Meredith Fields

… and here’s our big boy at 20 months, Valentines 2018:


The transition from baby to toddler is crazy… I’m tellin’ ya, babies don’t keep! I hope you all have a great Valentines Day and take some time to celebrate your loved ones!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

#ASKFACEBOOK: Marriage Advice

Sometimes, I think it can be so fun to just put a question out there on facebook and see what kind of answers you get. With so much negativity floating around on social media, I love reading through the responses to posts like this – it can be so uplifting and encouraging! With this being the week of Valentines Day and thinking about marriage, I asked “what is the best marriage advice you’ve ever received?”

So, today I am sharing the responses I got (anonymously) and if you have anything you’d like to add, please feel free to share in the comments!

“Kids are yours for a season, but your spouse is yours for a lifetime. Make time for each other!”

“Believe the best about each other.”

“If there is an issue or something to be handled with extended family- if it’s your people, you’re the one who handles it.”

“Unrealistic expectations are the biggest downfall of a marriage. Discuss your expectations for each other and your relationship and decide what is a realistic expectation and what should not be expected.”

“The best thing a mother can do for her children is to love and respect their father completely.”

“Never say anything negative about your spouse in public.”

“He’s your husband- not the Messiah – don’t expect him to save you or be responsible for your happiness. Find your joy in Christ.”

“Don’t watch separate TV’s.”

“Remember, there is romance and reality. Most of marriage is reality (dealing with life in general) but don’t forget to incorporate romance and dealing with that reality creates an amazing companionship that makes life’s realities not so tough!”

“Never stop dating your spouse.”

“Find someone who loves Jesus more than they love you.”

“You will disappoint each other often….get over it.”

“Yes dear.”

“Honor each other above yourselves.”

“Pray together every single day no matter what’s going on. Bad times, good times, and especially the really, really bad angry days.”

“It takes 3 to make a marriage – husband, wife, and the Lord.”

“Always try to out-serve each other!”

“Kiss good morning, kiss good night. Ask ‘how was your day’ every evening. Touch each other every day. Whether it be cuddling, holding hands or something. I’ve also found that using your love language is important too. Finding out which of the 5 you each are and utilizing it.”

“When you feel you are at your limit. Make a list of all the reasons you married this man. Pray, reflect, rewind, revisit and thank God for all your blessings and ask him to help you love him more, care for him and to show him You Jesus.”

“Never go to bed mad.”

Don’t talk negative about your spouse to your parents.”

“Marriage is not always 50/50. Sometimes it is 100/0 depending on the circumstances. When one is weak the other needs to be strong.”