Sunday, May 6, 2018

Wedding Plans and Family Legacy

I wanted to create a post to share my heart about our wedding. Here is my best attempt without taking each of you out to coffee to tell you how much you mean to me!

When I started making a guest list of everyone close to my heart, it was inching towards 150 people. Yes, those are truly people close to my heart! The 16 years since high school have been incredible. Not easy. But incredibly challenging and rewarding. The milestones and moves meant a lot of people came into our lives. It brings me to tears when I think about the friendships, mentors, helpers, prayer warriors, counselors, pastors/youth pastors, teachers, daycare workers, coaches and co-workers that have been part of the last 16 years, and beyond. I could write a book just on this! The ways God provided us with PEOPLE have been nothing short of miraculous.

So when it came to wedding planning- there were two things that I wanted most: PEOPLE and CREATION.

I could have the most overwhelming day but to sit by the water and breathe in the air and sky, just soothes me. I feel closer to my Creator and I feel assured that everything truly is going to be ok. I remember when living in Pensacola, a couple times of year, I would take the day off and just go sit still and silently on the beach by myself with my journal, soaking in the presence of God, unrushed. There's something very special about being still in His Creation. He is a master artist and it shows in EVERYTHING that His hand has touched! So I can't think of a more peaceful atmosphere to say "I do" than in His Creation.

But there is something even more beautiful than nature- PEOPLE. We are the only part of Creation that is made in both His IMAGE and His LIKENESS. A perfect beach day or a multi-colored sunset, could never tend to the soil of my heart the way a human can. And there have been so, so many of you over the years. When I closed my eyes and imagined my wedding, I pictured all of you sitting there watching this answered prayer come to pass. You mean more to me than I can ever describe.

We found a beautiful wedding venue in Bella Sera Gardens. Close to home, wide open land, trees surrounding the property, a place to escape the July heat- and an open air, rustic chapel being built on site. The driveway up to the "Gardens" is a little oasis of nature and Robin has done a remarkable work in landscaping and designing it. It was as close to perfect as I could have imagined.
Bella Sera Gardens, Loxley, Alabama

The details of a larger wedding were overwhelming me though, even in spite of having incredible friends and family who offered to help put this together. My heart was torn. On one hand, I could host everyone I've mentioned above in a gorgeous setting. On the other, there was a good possibility that it would be too difficult for my Grandma and Poppy to attend, two people so close to my heart.

I've been blessed to have both sets of my Grandparents display an inspiring picture of marriage. My Gramma Watt and "Moyo" in Tallahassee, had such a natural and comfortable love with one another. He would lead their family in devotions at the kitchen table every day. I've always loved the strength, comfort and purpose behind his voice... (as heard below)

As my Grandma Watt became more ill, he served her and made sure she was comfortable- positioning her bed in the room with the brightest natural light, surrounded by a long stretch of windows so she could watch the birds that she loved so much. He'd mash avocado for her and mix her medicine into her applesauce, to make it more pleasing for her. And those were just in the last years of her life. Growing up and vacationing in Cape San Blas, Florida with them, I remember her love of her family- her devotion to her husband and grandchildren; The careful time she took to prepare meals, her gentle hands "shelling" on the beach and arranging them on a plate based on size or color or type. Their routine together seemed flawless, natural and woven together through many years of mission work, raising children, gardening, hosting gatherings and ministering. They were a picture of "oneness" and devotion. Losing her in 2011 was a deeply painful loss for our family. And yet, my "Moyo" (Grandaddy Watt) still stands strong, devoted and forever in love with his bride. Their legacy would be inspiring for anyone, but to know that it's part of my family legacy, is a huge honor.

Photos and video by: Rob Watt

On the other side, are Grandma and Poppy, in Mobile. I grew up seeing them on a regular basis, so I was able to notice the "day to day" love shared between them. A common thread between my two sets of grandparents was quiet and loving service to one another. I remember the little, yellow notepad on the kitchen table scribbled: "Went to the store for milk. Will be back shortly. Love, Porter"- My Poppy loved  yellow legal pads. One of the most special things that I have is a letter, several pages long, when I found out that I was pregnant with Dylan. It was the most beautifully written letter of love and affirmation that I've ever received. I miss seeing him write. My grandmother is the epitome of "Acts of Service"- she could have written "The 5 Love Languages" herself. It was so ingrained in who she was/is. To this day, you can't go for a visit, without her thumbing through the kitchen for some cookies or offering a glass of Pepsi. Growing up, a typical Sunday lunch would include her famous thin sliced hot roast with homemade gravy, cauliflower with (again, homemade) cheese sauce, brown rice with french onion soup, fruit salad, hot rolls and everyone's favorite Macaroni and Cheddar Cheese. She wouldn't sit down at the table until everyone had a plate- or two. And even then, she insisted on getting back up to take some pictures of everyone- usually mid-bite. My Poppy would firmly insist "Sit down!" He knew she'd continue moving about for everyone else before eating a bite of food for herself.

A local news tribute to my Grandad:  Local WWII Veteran Honored

Photos from: Sandy Roberts

My grandparents have the privilege of still living in their home together. Poppy had a stroke 2 years ago and Grandma has to use a wheelchair. But they are at home. And they are together. And I don't think anything in this world could make them more satisfied and happy than that.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the couch talking to my Grandma. Poppy was taking a nap and she was asking me how wedding plans were coming along. I hadn't planned on it but I blurted out "You know where I want to get married? Right there." and pointed to their overgrown, but beautiful Secret Garden of a backyard. In the back of an oak-lined Park Avenue in Mobile, this yard holds many memories. We grew up trick or treating at this house. I remember being terrified of the look of that street. (My dad didn't help with that.) Now, the same oaks that seemed like witches fingers, are some of my favorite things about that area. Their backyard is small, but it sure is beautiful. And most importantly, it's theirs. My Grandma looked surprised but honored. My Poppy ended up clasping his hands together and slowing saying "Well! That. Is. Wonderful!" when we shared the idea with him.

So there it was. I had their blessing and my Dad's blessing and we could move forward with planning. I would be going from a wedding of 150 in one garden, to about 35 in another. But it would mean that they could be there. And that makes my heart so happy and peaceful.

So, the fun part of this project will be a get their yard back in order for them. I reached out to some landscaping companies and received a heart felt and eager reply from Bay Landscaping. Camilla met me out there (she was destined to be in the gardening business!) and we spent about an hour wandering around the yard and admiring the trees, vines and flowers that have made their home there. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

I know you understand that if I could teleport you to Park Avenue on July 15th, then I would. I also know your hearts for us and that you will be so utterly happy for us on that day. I am excited to have Cheree from Lifehouse Films, capture our videography and look forward to sharing that with you when the time comes. And perhaps, I can convince my cousin who's up for just about anything, (he was a monkey at my niece's birthday party yesterday), to livestream our ceremony if you're interested in "joining us" in that way.

Thank you again for loving us and sharing in our joy! I really can't tell you how much it means to me (and surprises me!) that people are THIS excited for us! I'm richly, richly blessed by you.

With great love,


Thursday, May 3, 2018


What a busy Spring season it has been! Brayden tried out with a local theater company and began practicing two days a week for his play. I started tutoring after school and began a very fun STEM class on Tuesday's at Brayden's school. Dylan has been diligently working on his physical goals for football: gaining weight and muscle (aka: eating a ton of food), working out consistently, being social, and TURNING 15! Who said he could do that? :) I also closed out my season of working as Children's Director at Mars Hill. Oh what a bittersweet time! Discipling those children each week, was/is such an honor and joy. Last summer though, I couldn't escape this clear message I was hearing: "Your greatest ministry right now is inside of your home." My last Sunday on staff at the church, I was presented with a beautiful leather journal with Lamentations 3:22-23 on it. 

"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!" 

Oh how I have seen that time and time again! He is so faithful. 

After the journal, they also presented the boys and me with an amazing gift of sending us back to NICARAGUA together! When I was there in November, all I could think about was how much the boys would enjoy visiting the country. It's going to be an incredible trip to take with them later this year. 

So as one season was ending, another was beginning...

On Christmas Eve, my sweet Dennis listened to me list out the "Christmas schedule" for the following days... He doesn't have a big family but for those of you who do, I'm sure you know exactly what this Christmas schedule looks like. :) We were just a few days away from celebrating our one year mark but I could see his wheels turning. He said "Let's go down to the bay!" and the boys jumped in the car with us as we chased down the sunset. I now know that in my attempt to outline all of the Christmas plans, I made him keenly aware that our time together without 100 other people around, was limited to this beautiful Christmas Eve evening. 

Within about 10 minutes, I was looking out to the bay and sky, surrounded by my 3 favorite guys and Dennis asked me to be his wife. Of course, I said yes!

Several years ago, I took the advice of a wise friend and mentor who told me to write down the qualities that I wanted in a husband. I did that and I kept the list close to my heart. In the mean time,(a very sweet mean time)- I lived my day to day role as "Mom" to the best of my ability. The idea of dating didn't appeal to me at all. Of course, I didn't know that the season of singleness would last 7 years, but it really didn't matter. Those years were spent making such wonderful memories and doing such important work, not to mention discovering the identity and confidence that comes from being close to Jesus. It was a sweet time and I would encourage those who are single, to get the MOST OUT OF IT! Don't rush it! Perhaps I'll write more on this one day. 

...we spent Christmas break enjoying our time together as a family. Most of our visits before this were spread out, sometimes 2 months at a time, so it was a treat to have several days together! I was able to get a glimpse into what life would look like with having him around our home. And gosh, I loved what I saw! He is wise. He's a helper. He's simple. He's loving and patient and kind. He's always looking for ways to serve and make life easier. He's an encourager. He has great insight into the boys and a very noble way of relating to/with them. And DANGIT! He's handy AND hot!! I didn't even have that on my LIST. God is good. All the time. :) :) Mmmm... 

Dennis Coker, 

Thank you for giving me the chance to experience the type of love, pursuit and companionship that God intended for us to experience. You were well worth the wait! I love the way you serve, work, love and pour out everything you have into what you do each day. I have loved praying with you and for you. What an honor! I look forward to doubling our joys and sharing our sorrows. Road trips, mission opportunities, training up these boys, working on house projects, date nights-in, answered prayers, laughter and simplicity. That's the good stuff of life. And I'm glad we get to do it together. 

Roll Tide. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Restoration. (circa 2017)

I have a rare Saturday with nothing on the calendar. And you know what? I'm staying in these yoga pants, with my hair in a bun and comfy sweatshirt on for as long as possible! I logged onto my Blogger account to reread some things and I have about 20 posts in my Drafts, so I started by reading some of those. I'm glad I wrote down some memories and thoughts, even if I didn't share them with the world wide web. :) I did just post two of them. One from 2012 when I was preparing to leave Pensacola, and one when I turned 30 a year later. It's sweet to reflect on God's goodness and I'm glad I have some of those memories in writing. I don't know what's happened to me but I had forgotten about so many details - even experiences that I've had! Life gets busy and you move into new seasons and some things just escape your mind. I have always enjoyed journaling and letter writing for that reason.

So here we are, friends. 2017--and almost to the end of it. Wow. 11 months ago, I sat down with Jennie Allen's "Dream Guide" and wrote out goals and dreams for 2017 and here we are ticking down the days to a new year. In the 2012 post from today, I shared what a special season of life the boys and I had for 4 years in Pensacola. We have now been in Fairhope for 5 years. Dylan isn't the little elementary boy I wrote about and Brayden isn't in Preschool anymore. The days are long but the years sure do seem short... Dylan is in his first year of high school. HIGH SCHOOL. What in the world?? And Brayden is in 5th grade. I'm reminded with each passing day that the years with them inside the walls of our home, are limited and I need to make the most of every opportunity. I'm so thankful that I don't look back at the last 15 years with a terrible amount of regret. Early on, the Lord really impressed upon my heart, the desire to be connected and present as a family unit. I'm forever grateful for all of the laughter, joy, meals, memories, conversations and love that has been woven into who we are as a family. We are a culture more distracted than ever and it robs us of sweet time with those who matter most. I have to remember this daily. The enemy doesn't have to come in and destroy our families with huge tragedy. He can do it by slowly chipping away at it- stealing bits of time here and there, missed opportunities, missed conversations, misplaced priorities, over-commitments, over-reactions, etc. 
"Lord, keep me focused heaven-ward on things of eternal value!" 

Recently, I felt the Lord going from a gentle nudge to an undeniable command to step away from my role as Children's Director at my church. It's something I have done since living in Fairhope and it served a divine purpose for this season, both in my family and the church family, but over the last year I've felt Him whisper

"Your greatest ministry is inside of your home."

And that is Truth. We can do many good things. But even good things can distract us from the greatest thing we have been called to do within our families. 

Last year, the Lord began to do another sweet work within my heart. After spending 7 years remaining single, my heart began to desire companionship again--in the way He originally designed it. I have much to say about the benefits and necessities of singleness and how we really rob ourselves of growth and perspective by rushing into relationships but now isn't the time for that... :)

One day, as my heart and mind were doing this strange, new transformation, I was writing down some things in my journal. The Lord spoke to me through the words forming from my pen. "Beginning at 18, You spent 7 years in battle. The next 7 were spent healing- resting and renewing. But Lindsey, I'm ready to take you into a new season, one of restoration." It was a beautiful and humbling picture that we are never meant to park in one, comfortable season of life. We are meant to GROW. I'm a homebody. I like my little family and my little home and my little routine. But I can't expect to GROW that way. I cherish the season that God allowed my heart to heal. I cherish having almost 15 years with Dylan and 10 years with Brayden. The letters connected on this blog could never capture the joy and gratitude inside of my heart, for these years. I'm so deeply and eternally grateful. 

But faith, without obedience, is really not faith at all so I began to release the grip of my heart. I had to re-learn what it meant to date. I hated the idea of it, honestly. I never liked it- not in high school and especially not as a 33 year old but I was learning something through it. Gosh, the things we can learn when we are willing to just LET GO! 

Through the process of dating, the Lord was showing me that I was, in fact, worthy of love again. That not only was I worthy of it, but I was CAPABLE of it. 

He made me brave. 

And I am so thankful for that. 

A beautiful song came out at this time, called "You Make Me Brave" by Bethel Music:

"You make me brave. 
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves.
You make me brave.
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way." 

"This is my command--be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Well, are you wondering what came of that dating journey? That's up next...


My next thirty years...(circa 2013)

Tim Mcgraw wrote a song about turning 30; How he'd live the next 30 years without many of the regrets from the previous 30. He would be a better father and husband, be healthier, and "forget all the crazy things" he'd done.

Something about a milestone birthday makes you do that. Reflect and envision...

So here we go.


The past decade of my life has been one of many, many ups and downs. I rang in my twenties with a 9 month old. My then-fiance was stationed in Kuwait. I'd send him letters and videos of our child and started working on wedding plans. I was in my 2nd year of college, determined to stay the course in spite of the unexpected arrival of my son. I had just come off of one of, if not THE hardest year of my life- facing an unplanned pregnancy, an adoption journey and then parenting. My twenties brought a breath of fresh air for me. I was beginning to like this new (unexpected) life. I've often said that turning 30 doesn't scare me because I've been living the life of one for 10 years now, and that's pretty much the case! College experiences were exchanged for balancing nursing, naps, studying and raising a baby.

The next few years of my twenties brought much more pain than I had hoped or imagined. When I rededicated my life to Christ after high school, I also asked God to unite my family- to give my son the best possible life- one with a mom and dad together; and what a gift God gave me in answering that. I loved my husband in a fresh, new way and was beginning to learn what that really meant- how selfless the word "love" had to be. I wasn't able to enjoy married life for long though... He would soon confess that he had been unfaithful with several women. This was a revelation that broke my heart, just broke it. This news, although not completely unexpected, was gut wrenching... Over the next few years, I would journey on the tough, ongoing road of forgiveness. I would make my own share of mistakes. I would move twice in an attempt to save my family. And I would learn what it felt like to hand over a dream so precious to my heart, and ask God to do what He saw fit with it. Sadly, that same dream wasn't handed back to me and yet, when realizing it was over, the Lord's sweet, sweet arms were once again holding me in my bed. Although a low point, this was a precious time when I was able to feel the Creator of the Universe simply...hold me.

The past 5 years since then have been a steady pathway of beauty, faithfulness and restoration. My heart has been restored. My hope has been restored. My eyes see the beauty of God's creation and people. My heart and spirit feel His constant faithfulness and provision, in my life and in my children's.

As I reflect on this decade- there are things that I never want to feel again. There are moments that I don't wish to relive. But there are also memories and lessons that I will always cherish. In my twenties, I started my precious family. I have been entrusted to love and guide these amazing children. I finished college! Whoo hoo! :) I started my career as a teacher. I saw the dedication of loyal friendships and my family. I felt the love and gift of new friendships. I learned great wisdom from amazing leaders in my church. And most of all, I became friends with my sweet, sweet Savior again. I felt Him in the midst of my pain. I felt Him in my children's hugs. I felt Him teach me new things. I felt Him show me His heart. I felt Him give me strength for each new day.


As I envision what this next decade has, I see things that can't necessarily be touched or planned for. I see lots of laughter and lots of love. I see adventure. I see prayer. I see gratitude. I see growth. I see myself learning new aspects of God's amazing character. I see new friendships. I see grace. I see wisdom.  I want to learn how to be more obedient. I want to love again. I want to be flexible more than comfortable. I want to be more Spirit-led. I want to spend quality time with my children. I want to make those dang photo albums I've been working on the past 10 years! ;-) ...I want to learn to like mowing my grass; or find someone who does. ;-) I want to minister to the children around me and share God's sweet love. I want to see more parts of His creation. I have places I want to visit and people I want to serve...I want to save more and spend less. I want to challenge myself to give away things that I may consider "mine" so I can free myself up for more that is "His."


Thank you to my family for showing me "the way in which I should go"...thank you for always being there for me. Thank you to my faithful friends for your laughter and love. Thank you to new friends over the past several years. Thank you to those who have offered wise counsel that helped guide many tough decisions. Thank you for the acts of kindness- the yards you've cut for me, the tables you've built, the groceries you've brought over, the car you've cleaned out, the boxes you've packed, the meals you've made, the advice you've given, the prayers you've prayed. I love you all so, so much.

My heart is full. My spirit is hopeful. My faith is strong.

Bring on the next thirty years... :-)  

Some cherished memories from this decade: 

A precious new addition to my life... William Brayden

Watching my son become a big brother...

Sweet times with Gussy before he passed away...
Sharing special times with my grandparents...

Finishing college with my support group cheering me on!

God providing all of the details for our move to Fairhope, including the purchase of our first home. It's a beautiful, cozy, gift that we love!
A sweet new addition to our family, Gracie Girl. 
The opportunity to travel to New England as a family. 

Special trips with my children...

Our time in Pensacola. The friendships we made, Dylan's wonderful school, times of worship, day trips to the beach, camping at Ft. Pickens...what a great 4 years!
4 wonderful years as a teacher at Sherwood.  Oh how we laughed and loved (just about) every day! 

Sweet time with Grandma Watt who is experiencing her treasures in Heaven, now!

I became an aunt to this brood in my twenties! Love them!
Seeing this ministry grow and reach women and children just like they did for us!

Words of affirmation and love from my students. Year after year...

Seeing this incredible personality pop out of this tiny person!
The touch of my Appa Bulls hand in mine. What a great feeling! He is also enjoying His treasures in Heaven now. 

Getting baby love from my niece. 

Visiting the beautiful country of Hait..

Seeing God blow my mind with provision and blessing when I least expected it! 

Highlight: Seeing this amazing child be healed from terrible sickness that threatened his life. What a gift!

Goodbye Pensacola... (circa 2012)

I haven't posted on here in a while and this will be a little diversion from the usual vibe of this blog but as I exit one season of my life and enter another, I want to highlight some of the most special things (and people) that have been in my life the past 4 years here in Pensacola, Florida. I also want to relay my heart and hopes for the next few years... Sorry in advance for the sappyness that is to ensue. :-)

I will start by sharing how the boys and I ended up in Pensacola.

I graduated college in 2008 from the University of South Alabama in Mobile. I grew up in Mobile and didn't really want to leave my hometown or family and friends however, my marriage was in a really bad place that needed a drastic rescue and change. My husband and I decided we could use a fresh start outside of the town that held many memories of the past. I began applying for jobs all over Escambia and Santa Rosa County. That particular year, Escambia County held a job fair for teachers. I went and handed out my resume, one by one, to as many tables (schools) as possible, not knowing anything about any of the schools.

I was fortunate to get a call for 2 interviews in Pensacola. I loved the vibe of my first interview. It was relaxed, welcoming and casual. I wanted that job! My 2nd interview was more formal and structured with a committee but still a very kind staff. The next day, the second school called and not only offered me a position but gave me my top-pick on grade level. So, right out of college, I snagged my first "big girl" job! It felt great. I began the work of finding a place to live, finding a daycare for Brayden and trying to make plans with my husband.

My first year in Pensacola was pretty rocky. My husband never moved with us and it was just the boys and me. I was a first year teacher separated from my grade level by a few buildings. I had a very torn heart leaving Brayden every day. I missed my family and friends. And my marriage was falling to pieces. But, this was also a year of dramatic change and growth in my walk with God. Over the 2nd year here, I was moved to the same building as my grade level and got to know some of the most incredible people that will be lifelong friends! Dylan received a partial scholarship to a great private school here, we moved into an adorable home and God completely released me from the pain of my marriage.

Since then, I have formed some incredible memories here in Pensacola. I'd like to highlight some of my favorites:


This school will go down in the history of my career as one of my favorites. The students. The administration. The support. My grade level.... and of course, my awesomely huge, spacious, dream classroom! :-) I could not have asked for a more gracious, kind principal to teach under for these years. She, and most recently my new principal, made my first years of teaching, so comfortable and exciting.
My students have brought me the greatest joy and purpose. I can hardly imagine leaving them without feeling a certain amount of guilt and a lot of sadness. It was challenging and heart wrenching at times. But it was also hilarious and meaningful and gratifying.
My co-workers- so relaxed and encouraging and welcoming. I will so miss catching up in the lounge or the bus line, trying to figure out what the heck the new acronym is and if we really have to do it. ;-) My data clerk, reading coach, cafeteria staff, administration, custodial staff, guidance counselor... y'all all took time to listen to me, both professionally and personally. That means THE WORLD to me. I can only hope that I will be able to get that again in a staff, although those are really big shoes to fill. I call you my friends and that will never change!

My grade level- You get a shout out all on your own! Oh gosh, I just can't imagine not working with you guys anymore. God blessed me in a profound way when He gave me a job with you. I have cried with you, danced with you, cracked jokes with you, laughed with you and tried to carry burdens for you as you have, me. From my divorce to the deaths in my life recently, you all have been there for me in ways I will forever appreciate. How many people get to work right next to their dear friends every single day? I've been free to share my faith and my fears with you. I have lost my temper around you. I have laughed so hard I've cried with you. I've stolen your spoons. I've made really bad coffee. We've discussed men. kids. cellulite. budgets. data. chocolate. and even our underwear. :) I just love y'all so much. This is NOT the end of our friendship. Like it or not. You are not getting rid of me!


I came to Pensacola not knowing a single person! My first plan was to find a church. I did a little leg work before moving and ended up visiting Harvest Pensacola. I loved the worship. The messages. The people. So, it's where we landed as a family. Some of the most special times for us was our first year here. It was a difficult time for me personally but I met some dear people during that time who counseled me, loved me and encouraged me. Dylan was baptized at Harvest and Brayden was dedicated as a baby there. Those were special, special moments for me as a Mama. :)
Also, through the church, came the opportunity for Brayden to be in the brand new church daycare. He was one of the first babies there so he had a teacher and room all to himself for most of the first year. He loved it and I took great comfort in knowing he was in a wonderful facility getting so much attention and love. He stayed until this June and it was a great place for him to be. I became good friends with the director who poured into my life and lifted my spirit many mornings and afternoons! I am very grateful for her presence in my life.

Through Harvest also came the opportunity for me to meet some people who I would share some good family time and community group time with. I have to say, I didn't get as involved with this as I would have liked. I've found that being here without a lot of "help" with two boys, made me desire A LOT of rest on my downtime. However, out of the church, came the opportunity for a friend who lived close to us, to take Dylan to school every day for me. She did this for 2 years for me and I am so grateful for that. It allowed Dylan to be in a wonderful atmosphere at Aletheia.

Which brings me to.....


Dylan started at Aletheia in 1st grade. It's been great for him and he has formed friendships with some incredible kids from incredible families. As a parent, you want your kids to be around good, solid kids. Well, Dylan definitely has that. These were such awesome kids. I had the privilege of having some of the boys in my home for Dylan's 8th birthday slumber party and it was so fun watching them have such a blast!
Through the school, I also got to know several moms that I just adore! Trina, Susan, Mary have been incredible friends the past few years. I haven't had enough time with them as so much of my time has been with the boys, but the times we have been able to visit and open up and spend together have been so dear to me. You ladies have made my heart so full! I love y'all a lot and thank you for loving my son and welcoming him into your homes and lives. I look forward to more visits!! This is NOT a goodbye post... I'm still only 30-45 minutes away so we'll work at staying connected with visits.

Pensacola Beach

Yep. It's getting it's own category. :) I can't believe I have lived on the Gulf Coast for 28 years and hadn't been to Pensacola Beach before moving here. That's just nuts! It has been the location of some AWESOME photos and memories for the boys and me. Whether I took a mental health day to sit alone and soak in the solitude and beauty, or packed the boys, the boards, and the cooler and spent the day down there, it's been home to some great days. I will really miss being 25 minutes from it but it'll be well worth it to drive a little farther to enjoy it.

So what's next??

Well, I'm glad you asked! ;-) 

This move to Fairhope wasn't really planned. I knew when moving here that Pensacola would probably be a "temporary home" to us and that I'd eventually like to be closer to home. Even though home was on the heart many times, I am also a creature of habit and take GREAT comfort in routine, friendships, predictability, stability, etc... so I would have been content and happy to stay in Pensacola indefinitely. However, something happened in my spirit after coming home from Haiti. It was the nudge that spurred on my efforts to look for jobs in Baldwin County. I felt such a strong sense that the boys and I needed to be growing back at People of Mars Hill (our former church). The teaching is so deep and challenging and the outreach in the community and beyond is right on with many of the personal convictions I have for my family and me. Bottom line, I have to be growing in God's plans and purposes for my life. Especially after Haiti, I felt that even more. My life wouldn't be "wasted" at all here in Pensacola, but I know it would flourish where my spirit could flourish. And not for myself but for Him! 

So with that said, I began the process of job hunting. I created a nice resume. I was honest in my interviews. I kept my options open. I tried to pray at every step. And then I sat back and said confidently that I had done my part fully and to the best of my human ability, and if anything were to happen now, it'd have to be due to God's craftmanship! Well, that's exactly what happened. Within 3 weeks, I interviewed, was offered a position, found a home and had the offer accepted. I leave for New Jersey in a week then return and pack the truck for Alabama! It's very fast moving and I am having to walk in faith, step. by. step. because to be honest, there's still a big part of my heart here in Pensacola. It's hard to move seasons in life. So hard. Like I said above, I could be perfectly content and happy in one place my whole life. But, if I want a FULL life, I have to be focused on staying open and flexible. That's where I have to walk forward in Faith... 

Some things I am looking the most forward to...

(do I even have any readers left?!? Geez, I'm long winded tonight!)

My family!

Oooh I miss being so close to y'all. I have driven to Mobile many, many, many times (per month!) but being closer will make my heart very happy. Now, I will go to the ends of the Earth if God calls me  but to be a bridge-hop away from my family and friends in Mobile and STILL be 30/45 minutes from my new friends in Pensacola, is very exciting. 

There are some people missing from this though. My Mom and Tom are in New Jersey. However, they will likely relocate after they retire so I am very eager for that day! My sister is in Atlanta and my brother is in Tuscaloosa BUT I am actively trying to convince them to move back to the Gulf Coast. It would be in everyones best interest, you guys. Come on, our children need each other!! (And Mark, it's so much harder to put Cayanne pepper in your shirts and mayonaise on your cheesecake, from so many miles away.)

People of Mars Hill

I can't wait to grow again here. This is the church that caused me to think about everything I believed and thought I believed about God. It took me from religious to Christ-focused; Rebellious to rededicated. I love the mission of the church. The acts of service. The depth of the messages. The sense of community and family atmosphere. The authentic, holistic vibe and worship. I'm very excited about this for the boys and me. :)


This ministry is so dear to my heart. I will live in Fairhope with my friend and Sav-a-life director, Susan and her husband FG. They have been sources of encouragement and support since I walked in the doors of this resource center as a scared 18 year old girl. I love the mission of this ministry and look forward to being closer so I can be part of that mission! 

My friends!

I look forward to cookouts, football gatherings, sleepovers, lunches and visits of all kinds! Love y'all so much! xoxo

My new job

As nervous as I get sometimes when I think about it, and sad when I think about leaving the great environment I have at Sherwood, I am eager and excited to get into a new room- a blank canvas! This will be a much different job than I am used to. I will be challenged as a teacher. But that's not a bad thing! I am on the early end of my career and I still have a lot to learn. I think change can be a great boost in confidence and experience. It will stretch me and force me out of my comfort zone. 

New memories with the boys...

Evenings at Fairhope Pier, picnics in the park, drives to the beach, ice cream shop visits, trips to Malbis, etc.... there are great days ahead for us and I am looking forward to creating many more beautiful memories together, both planned and unplanned! 


I'm not sure I actually have anyone who has read this far but if you have, thank you! :)

I hope I was able to capture my gratitude and heart for the memories and friendships here in Pensacola.

I hope I was able to also share with you my vision for our families future and the purpose of this move. 

No matter what we do, no matter where we live, I want to live a life of love and praise and contentment and joy. I understand I can do that anywhere because so much of those things are a choice we can walk out daily. However, I think there are also specific times where God says, "Go", and He wants to do something in our lives that will both stretch and grow us. I wouldn't have been able to ignore or dismiss the call to "Go" much longer, even as much as my heart said, "Stay" at times. 

I look forward to sharing this upcoming season of life with you all as God opens doors that I can't even fathom! 

Monday, April 4, 2016


I won't give too much of an intro on this one but the Lord has brought me through a lot of different seasons. Throughout each of them, there have been books along the way that have provided a lot of wisdom, understanding and comfort. I wanted to share those with you here!

Have a great day!


Friday, March 11, 2016


Life can be very unpredictable. You are likely either going through a trial, about to go through one or just out of one. The good news is that God has a miraculous ability to not only sustain us through pain, disappointment, hard news, huge life changes, betrayal, etc... but he actually grows us in it. When we choose to look through the lens of "What am I supposed to be learning here? How do you want me to walk through this?", we tend to see things from a much larger perspective and we invite peace, hope, joy and meaning into our lives and situations. It certainly isn't a quick process and it's often the harder way through things but the end result is worth it. Beauty from ashes.

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

That's the beauty from ashes. That we would be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 

It's hard to share such a vulnerable side of life: pain. We tend to shrink back and want to either deny it or hide it but I know there is purpose in sharing it. And very often the things we have gone through are actually for the benefit of other's lives, too.

To hear more of my heart on this, check out the video below.

Have a great weekend,


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pretty Days.

Beautiful day here in South Alabama. Absolutely perfect weather. I woke up yesterday and knew we had to do something outside. We rented a couple kayaks and cruised the Mobile Bay Delta area. Although my kids ate all the snacks in the first 30 minutes, had to pee the whole time and played bumper boats at my was still wonderful. Being a mama to boys, you have to lay aside expectations on a day like this. You can't imagine a serene, leisurely kayaking experience where everyone is quiet and peaceful. If you want that, you'll have to go alone. ;-)  I have found over the years that just as refreshing (.....ok, almost as refreshing) as those quiet, peaceful times, are the times where you laugh your way through the day so much that your cheeks hurt.

We do a lot of that.

So when you get a pretty day, relish in it! And when you get an ugly day...relish in that too because it's still another day to breathe air, experience new mercies and be with people you love.

"Time is a monster that cannot be reasoned with. It moves like a snail at our impatience and races like a gazelle when we cannot catch our breath."
 Simon Burch

Enjoy time.

Monday, February 29, 2016


It has been 3 years. Wow. I explain in the video below about my heart for relaunching this blog and the meaning behind its new name. I don't know exactly where it's all headed but I've felt the nudge lately to get back out "there" or... "here", rather. I'll share more about what has been happening in our family and my life lately, but to summarize- I feel like he's leading us into a new season. I want to document whatever that road looks like for us. Writing and journaling is a way for me to process the mysterious ways of God and the misunderstandings of life as well as a way to look back and see where He has connected the dots through it all. This is just another expression of that process.

About 8 months ago I got off of Facebook as I felt this "nudge" to simplify and remove clutter as well as make time for the most important things around me. I had no idea what a blessing that would be! While I have missed really major life events such as baby announcements and engagements, it's been refreshing too. (Sorry, Mom) :) If we want to glean from the Lord's wisdom, we really do have to be intentional about getting our minds and lives in a position of being a good listener and learner.

So much has been happening over the past few years, right up until today! I look forward to sharing some of those moments with you.


 to form by interlacing; to make a complex story or pattern from a number of interconnected elements


"I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then, you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ." Colossians 2:2 Msg.