Thursday, September 29, 2011


Today would have been my Mamaw Bea's 86th birthday. Now, I'm not one of those people who remembers the birthday of everyone I've ever known who's ever passed away. I do have a few exceptions, though. Plus, I want to tell my children about their Mamaw Bea one day, and sometimes, over time, the little things leave your mind.

I'm pretty sure I got my love of food from my Mamaw (a blessing and a curse!).  A lot of my memories of her include food. When I was little, my favorite snack at her house was apple slices, sliced cheese, and Tang. She would take us for chicken little sandwiches at KFC (remember those?!). She baked amazing banana nut bread and made the best fudge ever! On Christmas Eve, we always had a huge breakfast spread at her house--biscuits, gravy, bacon, sausage, eggs, jellies, jams, and every kind of sweet you can imagine. She also made the best soup beans (with a hunk of fatback), cornbread, and fried taters. Mmmm!

Mamaw was a character. She loved to talk--about Southern Gospel music, angels (of which she had a HUGE collection), Jesus.....actually about anything. She also liked to argue and was fun to get riled up. My aunts used to compete to see who could get her the most hyped up. She never met a stranger and wanted everyone to call her Mom.

One of the most amazing things about Mamaw is that she only went to school until 6th grade, but she was a gifted writer and poet and one of her favorite things to do was read. She had an enormous collection of books (she belonged to a lot of book clubs) and she wanted us to love books, too. I have many, many books from her and she wrote long messages in the fronts of all of them, which makes them all the more special.

She liked to shop and dance and wear nice clothes. And collect things. She could sniff out a Goodwill anywhere. She gave me my first copy of "Little Women" (one of my favorite books EVER). She liked to get takeout Chinese. If she had ever had a cell phone, she would have run the bill out the roof. The first thing she wanted you to know about her is that she loved God. She was fearless and bold. She loved Michael like another grandson, but she always told him that if he hurt me, she would tear him apart--and she would have! She was so multi-faceted.

We miss her, but in a non-cliche way, I know she's in a better place. I'm sure heaven is getting a kick out of her. We love you, Mamaw! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
--Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)

These are the tiny feet of our son! Yes, we are having a boy. Another boy, I mean! Of course, God knew that this baby was a boy all along, but we were quite surprised. He probably got a good chuckle out of all the pink we were buying, though. 
When I was pregnant with Kade (before we found out he was a boy), I secretly hoped he was a girl. I grew up with a sister and am a girl myself (duh), and I knew nothing about boys or sons or brothers. I was still overjoyed when we found out he was a boy, but actually having and raising a son (so far) has been the best. Kade is momma's boy. He is cuddly and snuggly and loves to give me kisses. I know that part won't last for forever, but from what I hear, sons are loving and protective of their mommas. Having another son--well, that's just the icing on the cake. Brothers! And to all those people who keep saying, "You can try for a girl next time!" (and then snickering because they think I would say no to another child)--Sure! Or maybe we'll end up with three sons. Who knows! My only prayer is that all of my children have "beautiful feet", in the words of Isaiah 52:7.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I was just watching THIS video, and it reinforced something I've been thinking about lately--mediocrity. Merriam Webster defines the word "mediocre" as of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance: ordinary, so-so. If you're at the top of the game in your relationship with God, your marriage, your parenting, your job--whatever it is--good for you! However, all too often, we settle. We settle for just getting by. For low quality. For ordinary. I'll quickly admit that I have been less than mediocre in my walk with God lately. I haven't read my Bible every day or spent quiet time. Many times, the only prayer time I've had is over our meals. Believe it or not, as a Christ follower, when I get lazy in my walk with God, it spills over into all of the other areas of my life. I'm tired of it. It makes me feel yuck. I feel like I'm just treading water without ever getting anywhere new.

Think about it. Even if you're not a Christian, I betcha that at least once a year you make a resolution to change something about yourself and your life. I also betcha that 90% of the time, you make the same resolution year after year. I do! Either you're going to eat healthier, exercise more, save more money, etc., etc. Same story every time. You start out good for a week, maybe even several months. Then, you get lazy. You get comfortable. You despise yourself for being so complacent, and the cycle starts again.

 What is it about our society that makes us embrace mediocrity? As a former teacher, I've seen more than my share of students who just want to get by. They don't want to be valedictorians. They don't even want to be on the honor roll. They just want to pass (and some not even that). Then, they either go to college or out into the work force and learn a huge lesson or totally bomb out. Where do you think they learn that kind of attitude? There's a whole generation (not every single person of course) who sits around thinking, Yeah. Whatever. Why does this matter? because no one is teaching them any different.

God has called us to do and be so many things--and He has equipped us for the journey. He's given us His Word, He's given us His Spirit, and He made us to excel in this life. We have no excuse for mediocrity. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be ordinary. I don't want to just get by. As my high school youth pastor used to say, I don't want to just survive; I want to thrive! We were created for so much more than plain ol' normal.

Don't be mediocre. Be extraordinary!