Archives for category: Thankful

Asheville, North Carolina July 7, 2017

Waves of Blue on Mountains High

Rolling in  as I stroll by

I Lift my heart,  I Lift my eyes

As waves of blue draw me nigh

And what comes as I lift my eyes

Waves of Grace I can’t deny


“Hey Mom….” he says.  “I’m going to extend my stay here in Sweden…and…I’m flying you over! I’ve thought about it and if I give up a few trips, I could fly you over and…”

I think all the blood rushed to my head right about then and I didn’t hear much else that he was saying…my brain was fixed on – “I’m going to Sweden!!!”  And this 51-year old mom who once-upon-a-time considered herself a girl with an adventurous spirit, well, I was so happy and….and …nervous as all get out!  It’s been 26 years since I’ve traveled anywhere outside of the states, and I’ve never been to Europe, so leaving Shelby, NC to travel abroad alone, well, it was definitely pushing me out of my comfort zone.  But I am so excited I can’t stand it! I’ve never been too good at staying in comfort zones anyway.

I’ll leave in a few days and spend 10 days in Stockholm.  I fly into New York on Monday night and then fly out to a direct flight to Stockholm from there. On the way back I get to hit Iceland.  Anyway, I’m just so happy and excited and more thankful than words can say. So, am guessing that in the coming weeks, posts will have a whole new look to them for sure.   The farmlands of Shelby, NC sure differ quite a bit from the geography of Stockholm with its fourteen islands and connection to the Baltic Sea.  Austin has said it’s just beautiful and the pictures I’ve seen have been breathtaking for sure! We’ll even get to go down to Copenhagen.

I am thankful beyond words.  For my kids.  For the gift of relationship with them.  Spending time with the son I haven’t seen for almost a year is a draw far beyond any trips or plans. Having 10 days to enter into his world and see with my own eyes what I’ve heard about for the past 10 months will be amazing, no doubt.  I’m thankful for time.  Time to just be and not have a major list of to-dos.  And I’m thankful the list of to-dos will be here when I get back.  Having a mission is a good, good thing, but sometimes in order to be inspired, to be effective, to be me, a little space and time does a person good. I’m also so thankful for my husband, kids, family, and friends that I’m leaving behind that are laughing out loud (literally!)  and happy with me as I set out on this little adventure.  They  are vicariously going with me and that feels really good.

What also feels really good is knowing how big and how small the world is. I remember when I was in college at the University of Guadalajara for a semester abroad looking at the moon from my bedroom window and thinking that the same moon that I was seeing could be seen in North Carolina and Maryland.  Love that.  Or New York.  Or Stockholm. Iceland even. And bigger than that, that God is omnipresent.  EVERY-where. NO MATTER – where. Good to know.  So, so deeply good to know.  Can I understand it?  Nope, not a bit, not any more than I can comprehend how in the world that the plane will be able to lift up and fly off the runway. I can’t comprehend a million things.  But faith isn’t about understanding all the ins and outs.  It’s about trusting , believing, loving, and seeing glimpses and knowing in my being (not necessarily in my head) that GOD IS. Period.  And in trusting and believing, I can take steps. Sometimes little steps.  Sometimes big leaps. Like, for me…  going to Sweden 🙂

Oh, and I can’t wait to get off the plane and say, “Hey Aus!”

Blessings ~


“Where shall I go from your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.”

Psalm 139:7-12




I’m thankful for the little things of beauty in everyday.  Praying in this new year that I have the eyes to see those little things along the way, the will to stop long enough to notice, and the heart to appreciate that God knows what we need and gives us gentle reminders that we are so not alone in all of this, and no-thing is too hard for Him.  amen and amen.

Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.

Nothing is too hard for you.”

Jeremiah 32:7


We had an anniversary of sorts at our house. A year ago, we had experienced two of the most difficult things our family had ever faced…all within 36 hours of each other. Josh had a major car accident, and then a day and a half later, Tanner had cardiac arrest at school. Turns out he had a heart condition called CPVT. (These posts tell the story…. and )

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since that week. There are things I want to forget, but what I NEVER want to forget is the amazing gift of a second chance at life that my kids were given and that we were given as a family! I’m so grateful for every day. So at my house, early November is a reminder to Celebrate LiFe…each and every moment of it.

The above photo is of the cake we enjoyed. After all, every good celebration deserves a good cake!

Baseball in the Sand

30 Days of Thankfulness…

Yep. Baseball

Here’s the analogy today. Baseball game in the south. Lots of people from both sides watching a tie ball game with umpires who are making some questionable calls for both sides. The crowd was getting really loud with the ‘disagreements’ with the calls, and cheering on people, etc.

A batter gets up and there’s lots of cheering going on, and then the clear voice calls out in a calm and clear manner, “C’mon Chase. Let’s go, Chase.” The coach. His voice cuts through the noise of the stadium and the player rears the bat back with determination, focus, and strength.

So here’s the thing. There are many voices on the field. The player knows his coach’s voice. I know that the players love to hear the cheers of family and friends and teammates cheer him on. But there’s nothing like the voice of a coach. The player knows the voice of the coach who has taught him, encouraged him, chastised him, modeled for him, laughed with him, and been an example of commitment, hard work, and tenacity. His voice cuts through and the player responds and does what he’s been taught. Nothing inspires like knowing someone is in your corner and committed to helping you to be at your best. The balls leaves the pitcher’s hand and “Whack!” the player bats the ball out of the infield and then runs with a fury to first base. “Safe!!”

I want to be like that player. I want to hear the voice of the Lord cutting through all the distractions and directing, encouraging, telling me what to do next. That keeps me safe.

Love that my kids have people in their lives who encourage the tenacity, discipline, hard work, and commitment that comes with baseball. My son wants to listen to his coach’s voice because he so admires him and the far reaching, daily ways the coach puts himself out there to teach the players on his team. I see that my son realizes the deep commitment that’s been made, and he wants to rise to the challenge. He wants to please his coach. He works hard, listens, and responds to the encouragement and chastisement of the coach..and he grows.

My prayer is that one day, my son will realize that the greatest Coach of all is there at every turn. I pray that he will come to know His voice, and listen to that above all us. If he does that, no matter what, he will always be safe.

John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me.”

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