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