Sunday, December 15, 2013

Burlap Table Runner giveaway...

For the past several weeks I have been giving away bits of things from our 7 Southern Sisters shop. If you hop on over to our Facebook page you too can join in on the fun! On Wednesday 12/18 I'm giving away one of our custom Burlap Table runners. All you have to do is comment on the giveaway post on our Facebook page with your number choice of 1-1500. If you don't use Facebook just email me with your number choice at Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Take me home country roads....Got WiFi?

Oh the age of the world wide web! Our lives have been consumed with this mind altering addiction....searching for an entertainment that disconnects us from the real world and with those we love.

This past weekend, at our little retreat in the middle of nowhere, our family spent some precious time celebrating an early Thanksgiving with my side of the family. My sister and her family are weeks away from returning home, after spending the past six months on furlough. I had already had the phone...and Internet...cut off for the winter. So NO WiFi was to be had...except at my mom's house which was 3 miles away. Cell signals are nonexistent also! I guess you can imagine how this environment effects those...teenagers...who get the shakes if they even loose a cell signal. To be honest was really nice to have every one's attention without them distracted by an electronic world! We all had to actually converse with one another! That's such an old fashioned way to live...isn't it?

What I wasn't aware of was that our kids had been asking to go to grandma's house, so that they could get on the Internet. Often they had joked about just walking to her house. However the back country roads in the middle of nowhere didn't make this a safe option.That's the sad reality of our world now! I know too much!  So, they have never attempted it. That was until this past weekend. Yes, two young ladies walking alone on the back country roads in the middle of nowhere. Neither of them were familiar enough with the area. With all that was going on I had no clue they were even gone until an hour later. We always take walks but rarely go past a certain point, which is about a mile down the road. They were gone much longer than they should have, so we sent one of the older kids to look for them. Reality hit when they returned without them. We were about two hours from dark and this was not funny. Now we have no less than 5 cars out driving all the back roads looking for them. After an hour of searching I made the dreaded 911 call. There is something so surreal about this whole experience. My mind going to places from real news stories I have only read about. The enemy tormenting me with the what ifs. None of this even making sense! Standing there giving the officer a description of our daughter was sucking the life out of me. Moments later hearing him request a canine search brought a fear that no mother should ever have to experience. How can 2 girls get so lost that even 5 adults driving around for an hour not be able to find them? Not to mention once the word got out, others in this small community joined in on the search. My heart jumped every time a car returned back to our house. But frustration came when the back seats were empty. Well,45 minutes after the 911 call, within moments of the officers leaving to join the search, a sight I longed to see came around the corner....OUR GIRLS HAD BEEN FOUND!!!!!!!! With tears in her eyes, our daughter was afraid we were mad. Mad doesn't even cover the feelings deep within my soul! The reality was .....they were lost. They took a left when they should have gone right. All for the pursuit of a WiFi signal!

Life is a lot like that! We set our hearts on something and tune all advise out. In the pursuit of our own selfish ambitions we forgo all counsel and wisdom from our elders. We go our own path with no knowledge of the journey ahead. We go left when we should have gone right. In the end...the wake of our choices touch the lives of those that love us the most. The ones who never stop loving us or doing all that they can to bring us back home.

Our lost sheep are home now. Safe from the fears of their family. Today I am counting the grace and mercy of the God I serve. I am thankful. I will never know why this all transpired. Why our girls came home safe and so many others don't ? I'm not even sure I want to go to the place of the what ifs.

If you are searching for WiFi today and find him.....Tell that dude he needs to permanently go away! He is destroying lives in ways we never even dreamed of. This generation of young people don't even know how to converse. They are escaping to a world where real people don't exist. We are loosing people to an addiction that causes them do things that makes no sense! Taking risk they never even dreamed of. A control that pulls them in a direction away from accountability of those that love them. Actions that prey on the fears of mother's like me.

With knowledge comes accountability...for the traveled path that's left behind.

What are you searching for today?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I will not talk I will not talk I will not talk....

You may be surprised about this because I was a shy kid for most of my adolescent years.Yes...I was one of those kids who had the lovely experience of writing a page full of sentences because of my lack of self control. Do kids have to do that anymore?The punishment that made your hands hurt like you had been shoveling dirt all day. Not that I have ever shoveled dirt all day. The repeat motion that was suppose to instill in your brain that talking was not a good thing and you shouldn't do it. Especially when the teacher was talking!

 Yesterday as I was working on a few orders from my Etsy Shop I had these lovely flashbacks from elementary school. It's amazing how the repeat motion of something does change your perspective of any situation. I hated writing sentences! As I painted all 64 utensil holders....Joy Joy Joy,Thankful Thankful Thankful, My whole mood changed! Did you know that keeping a gratitude list will make you 25% happier? When you're focused on the good things in life...How can you worry or feel afraid?

In this month of Thankfulness...really it should be year long....I am giving away a few things from our 7 Southern Sisters Shop. Head on over to our Facebook page and join the fun. Don't forget to"Like" our page. This week I'm giving away a set of Christmas Utensil holders. In fact I'm choosing 2 winners this week! That makes your chances even greater! Have fun and think of something to be thankful for today!

The best part... Today I will be reminded again, all 64 times, as I sew them together! Reminded to be thankful in ALL things and to take GREAT joy in ALL that I have and do! My goal today is to be HAPPY HAPPY  HAPPY !

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Que Sera Sera....

We all have hopes and dreams. However, I have come to realize that my best made plans don't always work...or are delayed way past when I would have liked. Did you read my last post?  It was about finally putting our youngest two into public school and me taking time to get some things in order here, while taking a much needed break.

What I didn't share in that post was that the very first day of school while I was sitting on the couch crying, our oldest son messaged me with the news that he was finished with his Masters in Archaeology program and he would be coming home....a few weeks later. A year earlier than planned. He had hoped to stay an additional year but it was not in God's plan. Really...I am ok with this plan given the unrest in the Middle East. I'm just disappointed that he too had a hope deferred. So with the news, we all pulled together and brought him home....the day after our daughter who has been away at a school for 6 months also moved back home. Talking about fruit basket turnover! So much for quiet and rest while trying to get our home in somewhat of an order. All this would explain my lack of post. I guess you all thought I was living it up with NO kids at home during the day?! Ha!

So once again our home is full and our pockets are empty, until they are well into a regular work schedule. Today I am rolling with the punches of life. So very thankful for this life and the children who make it worth living! To see our son's smile and hear his voice in the other room makes this mama's heart full. To witness his spiritual growth is worth every sacrifice that I have had to make. To hear our daughter playing her guitar as she lifts her voice before the Lord, filling our home with the hope that this is all for Him anyways. All the hopes and dreams. Plans. What are plans if Jesus is not the center of it all? If I could step back and take a look at all this past few weeks...years, I would fall to my knees in gratitude of His mercy and love. His provision. His hands that have held our lives close to His heart. I am His! We are His!

I guess I'm telling my age right now? Anyone remember Doris Day and the song she sung that is now stuck in my head?! Lately more than ever!

Here...I'll help you! You can thank me later!

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty, will I be rich
Here's what she said to me.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

When I was young, I fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich
I tell them tenderly.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.
We live in a time when none of us knows what tomorrow will bring. We are at the mercy of a government who cares more about fighting with one another than doing the job that they were elected to do anyways. Somebody has to choose!  We all have to choose who we are going to serve....choose wisely. It may mean your future...your eternity! Only God knows our futures...I choose HIM!

Friday, August 9, 2013

First and last....A day of new beginnings

I guess I can now say....I was that mom crying after she dropped her baby off for her first day of first grade.
Today our youngest four left for three different schools. One who started her first day of her last year of high school. One started her first day of her last year of middle school. One who started her first day of middle school and first time in public school ever! Then there's our youngest of nine who started her first day of first grade. Me...I 'm a mess! A mess because today marks a first for me too! For the first time in 28 years I will have no babies and no little ones at home. The last couple of years has brought a lot to my plate.Way too much juggling.Change was a much needed road that I had to follow. For me and for them.

So...What do I do now? I'm not sure where to start. All I know is when God calls you to follow you don't ask questions. Just follow! The road isn't always easy....but worth it in the end. To trust that He has a plan.

 I read Ann Voskamp's post this morning ...I see now that I haven't been juggling! I have been going for broke!  In this time of brokenness, a time of rest waiting for the rain of peace to fall!

I would be lying if I didn't say, yes...I have had thoughts of failure. You know the drill...the could of would of should ofs!

Then I read this....
He knows me by name
 This was my favorite part....
So, even if this world and the accuser make you feel that your name is failure, never forget that the Almighty God of the universe calls you forgiven, blessed, redeemed, loved, and precious in His sight.

There is so much to be said about a life that is surrendered to the God who holds my life in His hands. Today as I walk down this unknown road of change I will hold my head high and know it was all for Him. I am His. He is mine. He is the god of new beginnings!

Now...where to begin?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My world....

As our family heart grows. Had you told me 29 years ago that the journey I was about to embark on would include 9 children, I'm not sure if I would have even understood or believed you. But here I we are.

Loving him for over 29 years has been my world! For better or worse...richer or poorer! In sickness and in health! We've done it all! Still I choose to love! I want to love! Why? Because of the covenant I made with Kelley and with God. Raising our family of 11 doesn't leave much time...or energy, for just us. In fact alone time is a very rare occurrence. As our children are now beginning to leave the nest, I'm starting to feel the butterflies of change happening in our home. My eyes are gazing forward at the journey ahead as we celebrate the 29 years that we have traveled. What an honor it is to be loved so deeply by the one who holds my hand!

Then there is this.....

 A couple of months ago this very special young man became a husband to a very special young lady. My heart is full of the joy he has brought to my life...but don't let that sweet smile fool you! He is always up to something and that grin gives him away every time! And he thought I had eyes behind my head! Shhh...don't tell him! This next December he will officially become a teacher too! Those kids are going to be so blessed by this young man! I hope he just rocks their worlds!

      Our world!

My two boys men! Oh my how I miss those little men who use to wrestle on the floor of our home. Seeing this makes all those tough days worth all the energy that they consumed. So proud to call each of them son!

This past year has been one of walking an unknown road of faith. Sending our oldest off to a country that is not his own. Experiencing things he had only read and dreamed of. Today he digs and studies in a land that holds the history of the maker of my heart! Of his heart! Oh how I miss him so!

And now what you see is a great answer to this mama's prayer.

I love these two! What a joy it has been watching their journey begin. Hopefully this time next year we will all celebrate as they too gaze ahead at the journey before them.

and just because she is just so darn cute.....

               This my my world
                Loving them and loving Jesus!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bullying...It's not a teasing matter!

I can't always be with my children for every event in their lives,to protect them and make sure they are safe from a world of hurt. But teaching them how to react when faced with those hurts...I can do! I guess having 8 siblings somewhat prepares you for the world! Maybe all those battles were for the good in some ways!

As I read the definition of what bullying is, my heart just can't let it go. I guess the mom in me can't seem to find the grace that my God and my daughter has for the three young men who chose to be the tail instead of the head. Three young men she thought were her friends. They lost the respect that day from our daughter and from the rest of those that were witness to the meanness. When others wanted revenge she said No....that's not what God would want! I'm proud of my girl! Those boys have missed out . They were so busy looking at the outward that they failed to see the beauty of a loving forgiving friend. A beautiful young lady who has chosen to lead instead of follow. I know she's not perfect! However she is willing to be taught and humbled from time to time. Corrected when necessary.
bul·ly 1  (bl)
n. pl. bul·lies
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.
2. A hired ruffian; a thug.
3. A pimp.
4. Archaic A fine person.
5. Archaic A sweetheart.
v. bul·lied, bul·ly·ing, bul·lies
1. To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner. See Synonyms at intimidate.
2. To make (one's way) aggressively.
1. To behave like a bully.
2. To force one's way aggressively or by intimidation:

 I dare not put any label on any child. However, the mom in me would like too! I myself was called a bully once. Which I admit, I was not nice to this one little girl. However the meanness in that mother's tone towards me was far worse and to this day I can still hear her voice!

My daughter was met with some unnecessary meanness that day. Not once but several times.Words that cut like a knife into her tender heart. Breaking her to the point of tears.Words that set her apart from the rest of the friends that were surrounding her. Humiliating her in front of her peers. Some would say...Boys will be boys! Or....That's middle school for you!
I would say...Would you want your daughters to be treated like this? Your sisters? Teach your son's to be gentlemen! Teach them to be leaders and not followers! Teach them to love with the grace and mercy of the God they have been taught about. Teach them to humble themselves and make this wrong right. No apologies have yet to be given. However forgiveness was graced upon them days ago. For it's by God's grace that I will now lean upon Him as I teach my daughter to act justly and to love walk humbly with her God. Maybe it's me that could use this lesson?! She seems to have learned this one!

 Micah 6:8
New International Version (NIV)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bittersweet moments and a few tears....

Making memories and sharing joy as we anticipate future milestones. A lifetime of bittersweet moments that flash before our eyes, leaving behind tears of joy and pain as we make our way to the next moment in time.

 My oh my what a week this has been! It can be said with all sincerity that our family NEVER has a dull moment! This week proved to make that statement true without a shadow of a doubt!

The month of April reared it's ugly beautiful head and kept me on my toes! Many milestones and long awaited reunions. Bittersweet goodbyes with tears of unknown futures. I am a mama whose heart has been captured by a love that makes my days full and my nights long! I am blessed!

April 25 was met with anticipation of a big hug from that boy of mine! To see his beautiful smile step off that plane made my heart do more leaps than the day he was born. After all it has been six months since he left American soil! Here he is meeting his niece for the first time!

The whole reason he came home was to see his mama for his brother's wedding and his childhood friend's wedding. Two weddings. Two back to back weekends. His first two days...along with jet lag... final wedding preps. My oh my! Why do I wait until the last minute to complete projects? Wedding rehearsal dinner, Finishing Mackenzie's flower girl dress, hemming my dress, altering a groomsmen vest and then of course everyone still has to eat,go to school and live a normal everyday life! The rehearsal dinner was beautiful thanks to our daughters and our friend's daughter in-law. The morning of the wedding I had one thing to finish....hemming my dress! Then off to the nail I thought! Not! While making my way to my sewing room the odor was not met with a happy heart! Yes, the day of all days to lay more on my plate or bathroom floor that is. You guessed it! The septic tank decided to back itself right into our basement  bathroom. I had just had it pumped out several weeks ago. This wasn't suppose to happen! House full of people in need of  showers. Mom in need of finishing her dress. Instead...I'm cleaning wasn't pretty people! Arms full of beach towels and the mess had to wait. This mom had a wedding to get to! Somehow by God's grace we arrived on time. Nails were painted in the car and hair was pulled up at the venue. Not what I had planned but my boy was getting married ! I am so proud of the young man he has become! To listen to the words he wrote for his bride, made the days of preparing all the more worth it! God is so good!

And a beautiful wedding it was!

With the wedding done we were on to the next thing....told ya we never have a dull moment! My parents have tried and talked about selling their house for years. A few months ago they bit the bullet as they placed a sign in the yard.Well wouldn't you know this same week a contract and an early May closing date would be set. That's great, except they have lived in this house for over 30 years! So thankful they have been purging the house for the last several months in anticipation of this transition. But much was still to be done. They were exhausted! She has been a good ole girl! I have seen her transform over the years with many remodel projects. It's at this house I fell in love with my husband....he was doing a house remodel project for my parents!  I remember the first time going to see her. The family we purchased her from had boys and the kitchen smelled of spaghetti ! I remember how excited my sisters and I were that we would finally have our own bedrooms! How this would be our first home after the death of our dad just a year prior. New beginnings and new memories would be made. Oh the memories we have made! A new dad and new siblings. Good times and some really bad ones. We made this special house our home...this home became part of our family. With exhausted parents, I took over making sure the last bit of things were out and this shell of a home was clean and ready for the next family to make memories. I must say we did a pretty good job too! I hope they love it there as much as we do! As much as we did! See ya old gal!

With all that has gone on this past week.... the days flew bye! Last night after our friend's son's beautiful wedding I realized it was time for that boy of mine to leave. Sometimes reality slaps you in the face. So this morning at 5am I was awakened to "Mom I'm leaving!" I think it's time for me to's been a very full blessed week!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On becoming Mrs.Holcombe

Dearest Kayla,

It was just a few short 28 years ago that I became a Mrs. Holcombe. Leaving behind all that I had known for a great adventure of a lifetime. What an adventure it has been serving God and serving my husband. Praise God this adventure continues on!

In a few short weeks you too will become the next Mrs. Holcombe. Never again will you be referred to as Miss Foote. It’s a strange feeling to leave behind the only last name you have ever known. However it’s a newness that will come with so much more than you can ever imagine. So I wanted to share with you my experience of what it means to become a Mrs. Holcombe.

Becoming a Mrs. Holcombe has been the greatest honor I have ever known. It did take me a while to feel the part. But once I did, It was as though I had always carried the last name. You see the first Mrs. Holcombe I ever met was a very special lady….my mother in-law. She taught me so much more about life and raising kids…a lot of them! She embraced me as her own. I was blessed to have known her and to have gleaned from her wisdom. I remember meeting the Holcombe family for the first time and our very first Christmas….Oh wow! No words can describe the feeling of family! You see….Being a Holcombe means family. Lots of family! Lots of Fun! No matter how long it has been since we have gotten together, it’s as though we gather every week. Never missing a beat. Justin had a shirt when he was younger that said…If you mess with me you mess with my WHOLE family! That is so true! No matter where you turn, if you live in the state of Georgia, you will probably meet someone who is related or knows someone in the Holcombe family. I’m not joking!

As you and Jordan say your “ I do’s“, please know that you are not just joining your lives….you are joining your families. It's both families that have sacrificed and invested years of their lives to get you both to this point in time. It’s family that will be there for you until your dying day. It’s family that will love and support you in the good times and the very bad ones. I don’t have to tell you what the statistics of marriage are. In today’s world it can be one of the most difficult things you can go through but one of the most rewarding times of your life. It’s not just about taking but about giving. Lots of forgiving! Lots of unconditional love! Lots of humbling yourself and laughing through the storms! It’s about being Jordan’s greatest fan! Even when he may not deserve it. I assure you there will be those times. It’s about loving your God with all that you have and are. Keeping your eyes on Him when all the world around you may not be what you would have wanted. It’s about knowing that this is His calling for your life and no matter what you will follow!

Kayla you are a brave woman to join this crew. We are not perfect. We are mostly crazy. We love. We laugh. We cry. We forgive. We embrace whatever comes our way. But we do make mistakes from time to time…often. That’s why we lean on God’s mercy more than anyone could ever imagine. We are a family whose desire is to serve the Lord with all that we are. He has and continues to be faithful…always! So hang on for the ride as you join our family. I pray you feel loved as you become part of the team of Holcombe women. When the wedding is over and reality is back in motion, please know we are here for you always as we all learn to be an even larger family!

Even after 28 years I’m still learning to be the very best Mrs. Holcombe for my Mr. Holcombe! So don't expect to get it right in the first week....but you will try! So Burn the bread and the dinner! Then order pizza and laugh! Remember the good times and the bad. These will be the moments that you will share with that sweet little girl one day who has stolen your son's heart. She too will be the next Mrs.Holcombe.

Love you Miss Foote (Soon to be Mrs. Holcombe)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Remind Me.....

I have a gift to share with you. A gift that was given. A gift that only my amazing Father would place in such capable hands. A gift from the heart of three special young ladies whom I have had the privilege of watching grow up. One who holds a very special place in my heart. Yesterday we moved our sweet daughter to live with a family while she learns to lead worship and grow deeper in her walk with her Saviour. She's only an hour and a half away but my house seems so empty without her. I'll miss her beautiful singing and her infectious laugh! Our long deep talks and normal mother daughter conflicts! I can't believe I'm saying this!  She's an amazing young lady who God is calling to do some amazing things! I hope she knows how much she's loved and missed.

Here is the link to the video. As soon as I can post the video, I'll replace this link. I don't think you need Facebook to view it.

I pray you are blessed....
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 This song was written by Gia Lucid

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ch Ch Ch Changes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm not really sure if I should be happy or sad. This weekend will be a huge change in the Holcombe household. I have 2 kiddos moving out! Yes you heard it right.... 2! What will I do with all this extra space? Hmmmmm! So many choices!

Our son moved back home a year ago, after having been out on his own for a couple of years. He's trying to finish school and couldn't work as much these last few semesters. So...we rearranged and made room for him. He will be getting married in a couple of months and is moving into their little love shack! He will be preparing his home for his sweet bride while he's finishing school.

Our next mover is our sweet daughter. I can't begin to express my gratefulness to the Lord for what He's doing in her life. After much thought and prayer,asking God what He wanted her to do with her life... He answered. Not before closing a few doors that we have tried to open over the last year. Most of you have heard her beautiful voice. Well, she has been given an opportunity to go to a school to learn how to lead worship. Which we believe this is a calling in her life! God has placed a beautiful family in our lives that will be working with her over the next several months. Teaching her and giving her many opportunities to share the gift she has been given. She won't be able to work a job while learning, so this is a big change for a girl who has had a job since the age of 14. Her first lesson....Total dependence on God!  I am so excited for her and can't wait to watch all He has planned for her as it unfolds. Sunday morning she will be singing during communion. You can watch our service via internet Here for the live webcast. Look in the upper right hand corner of the website for the link. Please be praying for her. She has never lived away from home and this in itself will be a big change!

One more thing.....My son is coming home for a visit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And for his brothers wedding! I can't begin to tell you how much we miss him.  I look forward to hugging that big ole boy who is now a college student in a foreign country and playing football again for a new semi pro league. 6 months is a long time to be away from your mama.... even if you are 27!

Now what to do with that extra room?! Pinterest here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Her children rise up and call her blessed....her husband also

The above title says a lot. It's the longing in many of mother's hearts. These aren't words of pride or arrogance....but words of well done thy good and faithful servant.

I get so caught up in the daily rat race that many of those days I fail to see...forget...why I'm running it in the first place. Listening to the wrong voice that says I 'm not good enough, not doing enough. Not teaching them enough. What are they seeing? A worn out nagging old woman? Especially when attitudes are flying this may be true.

I have finally figured out that what they really want is to see me happy. To see the smile that hides behind those daily "to do" list. To just be near me and have me sit with listen. To slow down. Why did it take me so long to finally listen? My mom is probably laughing right now! She'll tell you that I can be pretty stubborn! My husband will too!

These past few months have brought so many longings to my soul. In some ways I feel I have awakened from a coma. Realizing that life is not getting any longer. Nor am I getting younger. I'm seeing a whole new role now that our granddaughter is here. Not just with her but with her mama. The teaching continues long after they leave the nest. I hope that never ends.

I awakened this morning to a Facebook wall full of sweet messages and the ones from my children have brought tears to my eyes. I guess I don't see myself the way they do. I like their version so much better! I hope they know their words of love run deep to my soul. As I read each of them I see the hand of God. I see how He has used so many of our friends and family to help mold our children. I see how He has been faithful even in my weakness. I see how much He truly loves me and knows the longings of my heart. I see how He has blessed me with a husband who has walked this road with me. Loving me through it all.

There is one woman who I have to say has been a great influence in my life. She is the one whom I met the day she turned eighteen. She is the one who I see as the strongest woman I know. She is the one who I have watched God use in the lives of so many people. Including mine! She is the reason I am the woman I am today. For that....I rise and call her blessed! 

Mom...I can't begin to put into words how grateful I am that you are my mom. You are the reason I serve a great and mighty God. You are the reason I am the mom that I am today. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for loving me through the good times and so many of the bad times. You are a wise woman who has always encouraged me to base everything with God's word. I watch as your grandchildren love you so dearly. How they love to spend time with you . How you are so willing to sit with them and even play a game or two or four. How you make the best homemade bread...that's what they all say. But what they all see when they see you is Jesus! For that there are no words of gratitude. I love you and you are blessed! Happy birthday! Thanks for sharing your special day with me! It will always be "Our Day".

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Eau De Smoke....If you give a mom a wake up call

If you wake a mom at 3 am....she'll remember she forgot to turn the heat on
She'll get up to turn it on ....only to remember the flue is open
She'll then feel to make sure the fire from the night before is out....and she'll slide the flue shut
She'll then remember she's cold and go back to bed
An hour later she'll awake to smoke...only to remember she shut the flue
She'll probably get up to go open it again....and she'll see a room full of smoke
She'll then see the small piece of wood still burning...wishing she had turned the light on before she had closed the flue
She'll then spend the next half hour opening doors to let the smoke out...then she'll remember her family is asleep.
While waiting for the smoke to clear...she'll remember how warm her bed is
When the smoke clears she'll go back to bed....she'll probably lay there wide awake thanking God He woke her up.
She'll then remember she needs to replace the smoke detector batteries....she'll thank God even more!

Last night was no pancake . Our house now smells like eau de campfire. My throat burns. All but three of us slept through the middle of the night airing out of the house. One of us has been awake since 3:00 am. I'm not sure my hazelnut candles will overpower this smell...nor will my hazelnut coffee keep me awake today. But..................

If you awake a mom this early....she'll probably make pancakes for her family!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Prepping for the future...storms and laundry

In the past couple of weeks we have seen some unusual spring like weather blow through, crazy for the end of January and early February. Lots of wind, rain and tornadoes.Thankfully our area was spared any significant damage. Can we ever be fully prepared for the future storms of this life? Remember the maidens who forgot to bring oil for their lamps in Matthew 25? They missed out, all because they weren't prepared.  As I filled my lamps this past week in the event we lost power...I was reminded of this tragic loss these maidens faced, all because they hadn't thought to bring enough oil. We always think...That couldn't happen to me! Storms never come my way! We won't loose power. If we do, it will be for just a few hours. I'll just borrow from someone else if I run out of supplies. Well...maybe. As times get tough that may not be possible!

Our next event of the week came from my desire to try a homemade laundry detergent. We go through a LOT of this stuff ! As the first of the year was met with tax changes and lower paychecks, I'm now scrambling to see where we can make a few cuts in our budget. Every little cut helps!
I had mixed a liquid detergent a few months ago but wanted to try a dry mixture. Mostly for storage reasons. My recipe came from Pinterest....I love this website! This pin sent me to HERE . The recipe caught my eye because it only required 2 tablespoons per load.
The day before, we went out looking for containers to put it in. Notice my cute....and cheap containers I found. I love my little wash tub with the water spigot!  I'm thinking this would make a great idea for a gift basket!
Our girls did a fabulous job prepping and mixing all the ingredients. Now, if I can get them to be just as enthusiastic about actually doing the laundry!

So far we have done a few loads with this lavender scented detergent. I love it!
 Now, what other homemade product can I make?!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I get to marry my best friend....again!

I guess I'm a sucker for radio station contest. I have entered a few over the years and won some amazing things. Our local Christian radio station has a special Valentine vow renewal ceremony every year. I have always wanted to renew our vows. Somehow being married at the age of 18 I really didn't understand what all marriage was about. I had no clue,except that I knew this is what God wanted for me..for us. I am so thankful that I obeyed that calling!.

So I entered this contest. Sharing with them the reason we should be chosen. Was it the 9 kids that got their attention? Maybe being married 28 years? Was it the fact that this last year of multiple surgeries has stretched us as a couple more than any other years? Or the fact that I want to show our children that loving someone for this long can be done? That working through those most difficult times is possible. That leaning on the one who put us together in the first place is where you can survive and grow through any trial. That the enemy wants to destroy but God wants to shine through it all! Whatever the reason doesn't matter....We're getting married! Again!

I shared this past week that I had come to a point of needing a change. Needing to make my husband a greater priority, more than I have been doing for a while. That I really desire to learn to communicate to him how much he is treasured and loved. To communicate more. I really struggle with this. But I'm learning.

As we watch our children grow we realize we need to find more opportunities to do things together. New hobbies. New roads of exploring and learning together. After all,our arms and time have been full of babies and life. Our time together without interruption has been less than we would like but understand this is just a season....a very long and cherished one. But now it's time to learn to be a party of two every once and a while. We still aren't done raising our family. We have a few years yet. But it's an important lesson for our children to see that we put our marriage at the top of the priority list. I think they would agree. To teach our daughters to love their husbands unconditionally and our sons to cherish the loves of their lives. 

All in all I have seen the hand of God in this past week. He has reminded me time and time again that He is in control. I just need to let go of that wheel.That He does hear me when I pray and knows the deepest desires of my heart. I am loved so very much!

I'm sure our vows will be very different than the first time. For it's this time that I can truly say "I wiiill" (My kids love to tease me about this statement.) understand that there is nothing to be taken lightly about marriage while loving someone until death do us part, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer.

So Kelley Holcombe.....I can't wait to marry you again! Although we are two very different people than when we started...thank God!... It's because of you that I am who I am today. I pray that God grants us many more years to learn and grow together. To treasure what we have been given. To love without expectations. To smile just because you hold my hand. To see the hand of God in all that we do and say. To be a light in this very dark world. To leave a legacy of two people that chose to follow God with all their hearts, trusting Him to write their story of Love, Faith, Hope and Grace. I now understand what it means to love you with all my heart! Now I can say...I do!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Growing pains with that man of mine....

I remember as a kid waking in the night with terrible leg cramps. Running to my parent's room for the comfort of my mom. She always knew how to make the pain go away. Sometimes it did and sometimes it didn't. As I would lay there allowing her to rub the calves of my legs she would whisper....."These are just growing pains. In order to grow there has to be a little pain every now and then." She was right! The leg cramps stopped. I grew!

The growing pains are different now. I'm much older and unfortunately my legs have done all the growing they are going to do. This pain is the pain of taking my eyes off the ministry that I have been given. The pain of getting my focus off. Carrying way more of a burden than I should. The pain of a much needed priority change. Needing to set aside those things that are keeping me from being the wife and mom that I should be. It's in the pain that we grow...right?

The past few years have taken a toll on our marriage. A year of multiple surgeries and health issues. House full of kids young and old... Bills...Life.This last week I came to a place where I really wanted to look at Satan in the face and punch his lights out. So I did....down on my knees! What I found....Our focus has been way off. So far off that we have just been living with an OK marriage and not the one God intended. I have allowed our friendship to take a back seat. As a wife I have allowed the stresses of life to consume the joy of loving the greatest gift of a husband that God created just for me. I have often heard the best gift you can give your kids is to love their dad. Really love him! Be his greatest fan! To LIVE 1 Corinthians 13 is my greatest desire. To love this man and really show him how important he is to me. Allowing the growing pains to heal this brokenness so that God will shine His brightest through us.

Surrounded by marriages that are falling apart all around me...becoming one of the statistics has gripped me with fear. I see how living in this world, the reality of it, can sneak up on you and suck you in....tearing the very years you have invested completely in two. Let's face it....we are consumed with things, stuff and business. Things that steal our time and joy. Distractions that turn our eyes from the ones we love the most.

I love this man of mine! He has endured more craziness than any man should have too. He lives in a house FULL of women (7). The estrogen runs rampant in our house!  I really wish I could go back and regain all those wasted moments...but I can't. I can't live in the past but I sure can look to the future of loving the man whom I have shared a last name with for the last 28 years. I hope he not only knows but feels the deep abiding love that I have for him. I hope that through this deep pain from growing, the love I have for this man of mine will challenge our daughters to love their husbands.

Growing pains are a necessary road we must all walk. No one is immune. Whether it is in a marriage, friendship or just your very own personal self walk. It's in the brokenness and pain that God shines the brightest...and it starts by getting on your knees!

Yes, I punched his lights out! So thankful the light that should have been on in the first place is now burning bright! My growing pains aren't through. I still have a lot of learning to do...learning to be the best wife that my husband needs. Until my dying breath I will continue to allow these growing pains to mold me into the woman that God called me to be...that would be my husband's wife!