Sunday, September 29, 2013

He Knows My Name

When I had Caleb, the naming part was easy.  Wallace was a family name, so I knew that I'd have to use it somewhere.  I had loved the name Caleb for as long as I can remember.  Caleb means "whole-hearted" or "faithful"... and I wanted a name that would represent strong character.  So, Wallace Caleb it was...

It's sometimes confusing having two Wallaces.  Even though I don't think of Caleb as a Wallace, each year he has to make sure his teachers know he goes by "Caleb".  When we register at the doctor's office, I sometimes have to stop and think why they would be yelling for Wallace when he isn't even with us.  Adding to the confusion is the popularity of the name Caleb.  Most years, there has been another Caleb in his class.  When we went on vacation with the Spencers this summer, we had to resort to calling the Calebs by last name, because it would get very confusing when we'd yell, "Caleb". 

Confusing... kind of like when you try to read through the genealogies in the Bible.  This week, in our OBS In the Gap study, we talked about Mary Magdalene.  It's kind of hard to keep those Mary's straight in the Bible, and is even more confusing when you think of how they must have sometime traveled together...

But Jesus knew.  And God the Father knew.  Just as He knows who Caleb is, and who I am.

He knows my name.  In fact, He knew my name before I was ever born.  He knows the number of hairs on my  head and my needs before I ask.  I am engraved on the palm of His hand... so He can never forget me.

Our God is a personal God.  I often think of how He died for the sins of the world, and then think of the story of the one lost lamb. 

He would have faced Calvary for me.  Just for me.  Just for you.  Because to Him, we are more than just a collection.  We're an individual, and He died so that we can have a personal relationship with Him.  If you haven't yet made that decision, He's calling.  He's beckoning,   He's holding out His hand, the same one that was nailed to a cross, the same one that has your name on it.  You may not know Him personally, but He knows everything about you. And He loves you anyway.  All you have to do is reach out, grab that hand, and say, "Forgive me.  I need you. "

You don't even have to introduce yourself.  He already knows your name. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

What I Learned in September

1.  Deep fried Twinkies are out of this world.  The Ladycats had a booth for the Honey Festival and I got firsthand knowledge of how to mix funnel cake batter and fry those delicious delicacies up (although I would be lying to say I really worked much in the booth.  Mostly I just stood around and handed pop into the booth and hauled stuff and gave Caleb money to waste.) On the last day of the festival the deep fried twinkie idea was attempted.  I may seem un-American when I say I don't even like Twinkies normally, but deep fried with some powdered sugar on top?  Yes, please.

2. The Untold Story of Bad Tom Smith- Bad Tom Smith has been a legend in Bloody Breathitt, the only man ever to be hung for his crimes.  His hanging was the social event for miles around.  I had heard of Bad Tom Smith all my life, but the documentary that The Shouse brothers worked on that was shown at the Honey Festival was great.  Never knew it was all part of a political feud... but hey, it is Eastern Kentucky.

3. Teepees are really tipis? 
Yes.  Google it if you don't believe me. You'd think I would have realized this much earlier on, considering Holly's fascination with Indians when she was little (yes, my little sister was the kindergartener who said, "When I grow up, I want to be an Indian.") but I did not realize it until I was helping Caleb look up information for his Indian project and there it was. 

4. You can pierce almost any body part... but your uvula?  Seriously?
This interesting bit of information came as I was lecturing on physical assessment.  One of my students enlightened me to this fact, and even pulled up a you tube video.  I'll not post it here, because you'll never think the same when your doctor tells you to open up and say ah.  And for those of you who might not have known, your uvula is that little thing that hangs down in the back of your throat. Why would you even want that pierced?

5. Fruit or vegetable?
"The following are technically fruits: avocado, beans, peapods, corn kernels, cucumbers, grains, nuts, olives peppers, pumpkin, squash, sunflower seeds and tomatoes. Vegetables include celery (stem), lettuce (leaves), cauliflower and broccoli (buds), and beets, carrots and potatoes (roots)."
Educated by Miss Chezney Booth... although I knew a tomato was a fruit, I would have never thought of a pumpkin being a fruit, but then again, you do make pumpkin pie.

Linking up with Emily Freeman at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Feels Like Monday

 "Mom, today feels like Monday all over again."- said Caleb, as we walked out to the car this morning.

And it did.  I'm not a morning person, so I rolled out of bed and we were almost late... again. 

But as we walked down the hallway to the cafeteria, Caleb's hand found mine, and he held my hand the rest of the way.  And before I left, a rare kiss on the cheek... right there in public. 

Suddenly, my day that felt like Monday wasn't quite so bad. And I looked up to see this glorious view.

 A much needed day in my office allowed me to get caught up on grading. 

I checked off much of my never ending to do list, and even was able to leave in time to pick Caleb up from school.  Rode home with my windows down, music blaring from my phone, some good stuff like Killing Me Softly by The Fugees and I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons, and, of course, a little Pearl Jam.

Pizza with Caleb, a little fighting over math homework (No, Caleb, Siri can not tell you the answers to your addition problems. You need to work them out yourself.) Peek-a-boo with Will.  A little reading. A good walk on the treadmill, a nice long bath, and bedtime to work on homework myself.

Yep, been a pretty good day. 

For a Tuesday that felt like Monday when we first got up =)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Anna- Spreading Redemption

It's amazing what you can learn from just a few Bible verses. 

This week, I'm participating in a Bible study just for those in small Facebook groups for Proverbs 31 Online Bible studies.  These Real Life In the Gap studies were established to keep those participating in the Word in between studies.  This week, we looked at the life of Anna, found in only three short verses. 

Anna was a prophetess, meaning she told the truth. And tell the truth she did.  Her truth-telling allowed her to see Jesus, as a small baby... and she recognized Him as the King. 

The King.

Anna was faithful. She was elderly, and had been a widow for many years.  She never left the temple.  Never.  She spent her time praying and fasting.

Boy, could I learn from Anna.  And I did.  I saw that she had her priorities in line. She knew what was important.  She was close to God... she would have had to have been, all that time praying.  She saw Him as being enough, and after her husband died, I can't help but think that God became her companion.

Anna hoped.  She hoped for a King.  She hoped for a purpose.

If I could sit Anna down, I'd love to know how it felt to look upon Jesus.  To recognize in that little boy the redemption of the whole world.  Her personal redemption.  What did she pray about while she was praying all that time? Was she ever lonely, and if she was, was her comfort in God?

I can't help but think that when we get to Heaven, one of the things God is going to let us do is get the answers from those we read about in the Bible, our inspirations.  Wow... can you just imagine how big God's coffeeshop may be?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Mercy

"Mercy, no."  "Lord, have mercy."

Mercy in a football game.  A merciful death. Mercy that I don't deserve...

My one word this year is grace.  Grace and mercy go hand in hand.  To be honest, I get the two mixed up, and since I only have five minutes, I'm not going to stop and look up the definitions.  I just know that you have to have one to get the other... or rather, you have to be given one to receive the other.

Mercy is a gift.  It is a pardon.  It is letting go.

It's hard. 

As I've worked on grace this  year, I've  had to forgive in some somewhat difficult situations.  I've had to ask God for mercy... for myself, for others, because I can't do it on my own.

I am not very merciful.  I like to hold grudges.  I like to seek revenge.

But He is. 

Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King.  His mercies endure forever. 

This phrase is repeated... in the psalms, in other books in the Old Testament, too many times to count.  Often, it is translated as love.

And mercy is full of love. Mercy must come from love, true mercy.  Or compassion...

When a team is mercied in a game, it means the clock keeps running.  The score is so bad that it is recognized that they most likely will nto be able to win, so the clock keeps running and they keep playing...
and when mercy is given to us, it is because we were so far gone that we had no hope, but God looked down on us, and seeing us in our need, even before we took our first breath, made a way that we could hope.

His mercy changes everything. 

This week, I've been reading in Ephesians... and two words stood out to me.  But God...

But God in His mercy, loved me anyway. 

His GRace is sufficient... and His mercy endures forever.

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker at her blog for Five Minute Fridays, where we write unedited for five minutes.  Love this community!
Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hearts at Rest

It's 1130 at night and I really should be asleep.  I missed my quiet time this morning because the snooze button on my phone just kept hitting itself... but at least I am physically in the bed.

There's nothing like being in the bed at night.  Or in the morning, for that matter.  I have to confess, I'm kind of in love with my bed.  And that's ok... until it gets to be more than my love for God.

In fact, it's okay to love a lot of things, but they become wrong when we put them in front of God.  And don't we do that often?

A word has been coming to my mind lately... two words, actually. Earlier this week, I wrote about the condition of the heart, and how God is into heart surgery.  I've really been thinking a lot about my heart, as I finish up What Happens When Women Say Yes to God and begin to look ahead to A Confident Heart.

Don't we all want a confident heart? And don't we all want a heart willing to say yes, to respond without hesitation?

I have good intentions with that... just like I have good intentions with getting up in the morning to do my quiet time.  Which I don't do if I stay up too late reading my financial management book or playing Candy Crush or losing myself in whatever novel I am reading. 

My good intentions go out the window when I don't get enough rest...and the snooze button just keeps going off, every nine minutes, until I roll out of bed in just enough time to get Caleb to school right before the bell rings.

This word, rest, seems to go along with heart... because our heart is reflective of what we really are, and let's face it, when we go without rest, our heart sometimes gets dingy.  Tonight in Bible study, we were talking about Heaven, the land of eternal rest... and that word just kept coming up again and again. 

Rest from our labors.  Rest in peace.  An eternal rest.

Over 300 times is the word rest found in the Bible (I did a word search on, using the NLT translation).  Most of the time, it means a word that I need.  To rest.. stop, pause, refresh, rejuvenate... and the other times, it means a remainder.  And what hit me as I looked over those verses... we can't have the remainder, the rest of what God has to offer us, if we can't learn to rest, to pause.

Our hearts can't fully get the rest of His promises if we don't pause to appreciate what we have.
Our hearts can't understand the rest (completion) of His love if we are constantly going 100 miles an hour.

Just as we physically need rest, our hearts need rest.  We need to pause in the middle of whatever emotional endeavor we are undergoing and bask in Him. 

Hearts at rest, knowing that He is in control, and His grace is sufficient. P31 OBS Blog Hop

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Heart Surgery

This morning, Caleb informed me, "I was in a good mood until I woke up."

I know how he feels.

Sometimes, it takes everything within in us to swing our feet over the side of the bed and trek into the bathroom to start getting ready.

Sometimes, it's easier to pull the covers up over our heads and hide. 

Sometimes, as soon as we open our eyes, it is all there... all the ugly negativity and junk we bring on ourselves.

When a person has a sick heart, like after they've had a heart attack or when they have congestive heart failure, one of the symptoms is shortness of breath and fatigue, because the heart can't pump effectively to circulate blood throughout their bodies... oxygenated blood that tissues need to stay alive.

They are tired. Want to stay in bed. Can barely put one foot in front of the other.

And it is the same way when our hearts are sin-sick.  We don't have energy, don't have passion, just want to hide away and leave things the way they've always been.

Being comfortable is easy. 

Today my pastor spoke about being unconcerned with the condition of the world, being unconcerned with the condition of our hearts.  He talked about how Jesus was compassionate for others, and we should be, too... we should be concerned and love like Jesus. 

Too often, though, our hearts just aren't in the shape to love.  Dirty with selfish ambitions and pride and bitterness and anger, sooty with all of this sin, even as we sing our worship songs and declare that Jesus is Lord...

Tonight, I read the next to last lesson in David: A Heart Like His.  In order to have a heart like God's we have to give it up to Him.  That's not easy.  We have to bend our knees and bow our head and recognize that maybe we don't have all the answers. Recognize that we are always in need of grace and that means that other people are, too.  We have to be willing to praise, even when we don't feel like it, and to step away from our comfort zone.

And I realized that my heart needed a little bit of work... because sin is sin and pride and unforgiveness both classify as just that.  I can't truly embrace His purpose for me if I'm not filled up with Him, and I can't be filled up with Him if I'm full of my own bitterness, even if I cover it up with a smile on my face.

I don't think it's a coincidence that I'm wrapping up one study and getting ready to move into A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.  I've read the book once before, and I think God has big plans for this study... for my heart.  I just have to let Him wash it and make it pure.  I have to embrace whatever He has planned for me and recognize that His heart is only good, and His plans for me can only be good because of that.

And then I logged on facebook and scrolled through my newsfeed, and this verse that a friend had posted jumped off the screen at me. "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."(NIV) Proverbs 4:23

So tonight I'm thanking God that He does heart surgery... and that His grace is sufficient. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

I'm overwhelmed tonight as I write this.  Overwhelmed that God has given me another year, another month, another birthday.  Overwhelmed by the love that has been shown to me.  Overwhelmed... because I am so insignificant, yet so many people have gone out of their way to make me feel differently.

Today my DNP class sang me Happy Birthday.  One of my classmates turned around and said, "You're only 21, right?", to which I responded, "21 and holding."

I've been thinking about that response all evening... as I hugged Caleb hello, as I sat around the campfire with Mom and Dad, as I looked through a box of old pictures looking for a picture of my tee-ball team for a friend.

I've heard about a lot of people having trouble turning 30... and I really didn't.  And to be truthful, I'm happy I've been blessed with 34 years.  I can't help but think that I'll be just as happy when I turn 40... and I can only hope that I can make it to be as old as my grandparents.  So, in honor of my 34th birthday, I'm giving you 34 reasons I have to be thankful.  Hopefully, you'll be able to say some of these same things.  And as I'm writing these, I'm reflecting and praying for a high school classmate of mine, in the hospital in Lexington on life support, fighting against something... maybe bacterial meningitis.  Join me in praying for Ravin and her family... and celebrate the life that we have been given, day by day.

1. God's love, redemption, and grace.
2. Two of the best parents a girl could ask for. Seriously.  My Mom and Dad have always been there for me, and I hope that I can demonstrate only half the character they have.  And also two of the most amazing in-laws a girl could ever wish for.  Helen and William love me like I'm their own daughter, and take care of Caleb so that I can work, go to school, and do all kinds of other things for me.  Caleb is truly blessed to have such great grandparents loving him!
3.  Books.  My kindle. Being able to read. 
4. Four awesome, Godly grandparents, who have provided me with true examples of what love and faithfulness is.
5.  Good friends.
6.  Cheddar's for dinner last night.
7. Seven years at my job.  My students.  The chance to make a difference.
8. Football.
9.  My treadmill, and the ability to walk, even though I don't necessarily like it all the time.
10. A ten year old that makes me laugh every day of my life... and also exasperates me, as well.  Life definitely changed when I was 23, and I thank God for him every.  single.  day.
11.  My almost 11 month old nephew Will, who is learning to walk and learning to get into Caleb's stuff. 
12.  Diet Coke.
13. Bubble baths, and lots of Bath and Body Works to go around.
14. Fourteen years of marriage to a wonderful guy.  We've had our shares of ups and downs, but I truly wouldn't be who I am without him.  He has always supported me, working hard to support me and making sure that Caleb and I have not just what we need, but also what we want.
15. Gigi's cupcakes... even though I didn't make a stop last night.
16.  The opportunity to go back and work on my DNP, and good people to travel with.  A room full of classmates who are beginning to feel like family.
17.  My extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins, who make life interesting.
18. Music.
19. Laughing with Caleb.
20. A 20 year old (in October) little sister.  When Kami came into my life at 14, I was amazed.  She was my bed buddy until I got married, my study partner when I was in anatomy and physiology, and provided me with laughter.
21. High School basketball.
22. Facebook.
23. Candy Crush, most days.
24. DVR.
25. Bedtime.
26. Health insurance.
27. Computers.
28. A 28 year old little sister.  Holly was born laughing, it seems, and even though I didn't always find her funny, she makes me smile now.  I am so proud of the woman she has become.
29. Group 29 on Facebook- Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.  I am so honored to get to lead such a wonderful group of ladies.
30. Amazon.
31. Sunshiny days.
32. Rainbows.
33. The opportunity to go to church, and worship the One true God.
34. 34 wonderful years of life.  Thank you God, for each and every moment... and I'm resting assured that His Grace is sufficient, He knows His plans, and that the next 34 years will be just as good, if not better.

Yes, His grace is more than sufficient

Friday, September 6, 2013

What I'm Reading in September

These posts are by far my favorite posts, mostly because I just love reading.  I love books.  I love to hold a hardback or paperback book in my hand and feel the pages as I turn them.  I love the smell of a new book.  And I love my Kindle, too... but I haven't gotten the chance to spend much time with them lately.  Unless, of course, you want to count my Fundamentals of Nursing textbook. And just recently, my Financial Management textbook.  Or one on Policies and Procedures.  I'll be reading both of those tonight... but otherwise, for more fun, in September, I'm reading...

I have two chapters left in What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.  Our Online Bible study wraps up next week, and I can't believe how quickly it has passed.  I have loved this book.  I love Lysa Terkeurst.  I love Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Good reading.  I also still  have The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell on my Kindle, but I haven't read it in a couple of months.  I may try to finish it up in the next couple of weeks.

On my Kindle, I'm reading This Girl by Colleen Hoover.  This is the third in the series; the first two tell the story from the girl's point of view, and this one is from the guy's point of view.  It is pretty good.  It's kind of fun to see how the author is spinning things a little differently based on the male voice.  I'm also reading The Summer I Learned to Dive.  This story is a teenage love story, and while it is very simply written, I'm enjoying it.  I'm also reading Auschwitz: A New History.  I started it last month, and am only just over 1/4 of the way into it, because it is some pretty heavy reading, but very interesting.  It's the kind of book that makes you think... about life and about other people and about their perspective. 

I'm reading The Cure for Modern Life by Lisa Tucker, a story featuring a drug rep and a homeless boy.  I just started The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman; I'm only 10 pages or so into it so I can't really tell if it is going to be any good or not.  My drive-thru read is One Summer, by David Baldacci, the story of a Gulf War Vet with a terminal illness.  This morning, I was reading while eating my breakfast, and something very surprising happened.  I'm thinking this will be a must-read recommendation. 

On my to read list coming up? Summer  Snow by Nicole Baart, the follow-up to After the Leaves Fall and this month's selection for a book club I'm on in Facebook.  a selection by the book club I'm in on Facebook.  Grace by Max Lucado and Unconditional by Eva Marie Everson, also selections from a Facebook book club from last month that I downloaded but didn't get around to reading (yes, I realize I may be addicted. I think this was established long ago).    When Dreams Cross by Terri Blackstock... I read the first in this series in July for a book club and it was good.  It's a four part series. A Confident Heart, which we will be studying for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies starting October 14th.    Notorious Nineteen.  And then there are lots and lots more...

As always, comment below with any suggestions for me.  I may not read them until this time next year but I'll definitely look into them

Thursday, September 5, 2013


This week I'm tired.  Labor Day weekend was filled with running for the basketball team's food booth, the parade and a football game and time with family... but not much rest.  And then the work week has been super hectic as well, and I'm tired. 

And that seems to be a pretty frequent story. 

Today I was washing my hands and as I stood at the sink a list of all that I had to do was running through my mind.  Sometimes just the list becomes exhausting, and because I know that you can probably relate, you know I'm not being a whiner.  As I was thinking of my to do list, I heard that still small voice again. 

You know the one.  The one sometimes you question.  The one sometimes you try to push away. 

And it said, "Why is it so easy for you to say yes to everyone else, but not to God?"

Umm... Hello. 

But I do.  I tend to say yes first, and then beat myself up about doing so. 

Say yes to work, and to meetings, and to extra time and extra things... and I only have 24 hours in a day, right?

And when I say  yes to all of those other things, all those time-consuming things, all these things that are good but may not be God...

it crowds Him out. 

So this morning, as this thought came to my mind, I thought about our lessons this week.  About having fresh passion and determining my purpose and pursuing it, pursuing what I am meant for. 

And I'm not ashamed to admit that maybe I don't have it figured out yet. 
But He does. 

He knows His plans for me, and He knows what I was preordained to do, before I was created... before the world was created. 

If you're not sure of your purpose, either, don't lose heart, because He knew the same for you.  He knows...

So tomorrow is another day.  I'll start this thing yet again, clearing out my heart and my head and finding some white space in my day.  I'll stay in His Word and keep on looking to Him... and dust myself off when I fall. 
P31 OBS Blog Hop
#FreshVision. Focusing on Him... and He is enough.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

August in Review

Here it is September 4th, and I'm just now doing my review of last month.  Guess that tells you how this month has gone so far.  Busy, busy, busy!  We kicked it off with the Honey Festival, with a food booth for the Ladycats, and then the work week began with an exam and lecture, lecture, and more lecture.  I'm actually looking forward to Bowling Green this coming weekend because I know I can just relax in a hotel room on Friday night. 

August was a good month. Not great, and definitely room for improvements, but a good month.  No weight loss, but I have been doing better about diet and exercise.  The treadmill is back to being my friendemy... but I do have Dance Moms, Cheer Perfect, and Who Do You Think You Are DVRing, so it is all good.  And once I get started I like it.  Most of the time.

Bible reading and memorization... ok, let's be honest.  I've slacked off on memorization.  Haven't opened my Chronological Bible... but I am doing one study on Luke with Good Morning Girls and one study with Hello Mornings in Ephesians.  I'm on the last week of the Beth Moore's David study, and am planning on starting Jesus the One and Only with my Facebook bunch in October.  I'm finishing up What Happens When Women Say Yes to God next week with the Proverbs Online Bible Studies on Facebook, and will begin a study on A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.

Blogs and pictures... could do better.  Haven't posted as much at all, been sooo busy... but I realize I make time for what I want to do, so I'm making a commitment to finishing the year strong. 

I read 9 books in August for a total of 77 out of my 80 book for the year.  More on what I'm reading now.  Still participating in the Joy Dare counting 1000 gifts, and am over 1300.  This month, one of my Facebook friends made a challenge to do 27-28 things I'm thankful for in a day (10,000 in a year's time), so I'm taking her up on it this month. 

Sleep... Doing better. Getting about 7 hours a night.  Still struggling with getting up early, but it is what it is. 

I know this year might be considered a failure so far by some, but I'm more aware of my weaknesses, and am looking to the One who is made strong in those.  And I'm saying yes to change... yes to doing what I need to do.  Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.  =)