Grace and Love

5. My Savannah-Banana is 5.

Savannah at 5 is so much different than Scarlett at 5. I know full well that children are individuals and are all different, but we are navigating mental tests and diagnoses with Scarlett, so her 5 wasn’t what most would consider “typical”, but more about my sweet Scarlett later.

My Savannah reminds me so much of myself. She feels BIG.

Recently she said to us that she feels as if no love hers, or that her daddy and I do not love her anymore. Did I mention she’s 5? These big feelings and thoughts are uncharted territory for us as parents.

As I’ve thought more about my little girl and her big feelings over the last few weeks, I’ve been reminded that we all feel or have felt this way at some point in our lives. For some that season is now, for others it comes and goes. Some of us have learned to make it past the need to be loved or needed by this world, but all of us at some time or another have experienced it.

So how do I teach my daughter that no matter how this world or anyone in it feels or thinks about her – Our God will always love her?

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. -Romans 8:38

That no matter what she does, what decisions she makes or how far she tries to run from Him – He will always pursue her, wait for her, adore her?

Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. -Psalm 139:7-8

How do we teach ourselves this?

Grace is a radical concept in a world that teaches us that we must earn our way.

For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.
Ephesians 2:8-9

Grace was and still is hard for me to grasp at times. I was a good girl, from a good family, that went to a good church, and I had it all together – until I didn’t. How could anyone ever love the broken, messy shell of a washed up good girl like me?

God has a great sense of humor. That broken girl fell in love, got married and had two little girls of her own. What a way to teach someone about grace.

I tell my girls all the time that there is nothing that they could ever do or say that would make me love them any less. How much more so does our Heavenly Father love us?

My children did nothing to earn my love. I love them simply because they are mine. How much more does our Father love us, simply because we are His?

As I was getting Savannah ready for bed this evening she said to me again, “I feel like you and daddy don’t love me anymore.” She was in complete despair.

My heart sank to the pit of my stomach. My goodness doesn’t this precious child know that I would go the ends of the Earth for her? That I would die for her?

It hit me then, that I had been feeling the exact same BIG feelings in my own heart. I was unlovable, unworthy, not good enough. I had put goals and things and people on the throne of my heart and no matter how hard I tried, I just could not measure up. Nothing I could say or do was “good enough”. I was in complete despair.

He was reminding me through the words of my sweet, BIG feeling little girl, that I would never measure up to the world’s standards. But that He, as always, had a seat at the table ready for me. I need only pull out the chair and sit down.

Who is on the throne of your heart today? Is it our Heavenly Father, or this unattainable fleeting world?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

Parenting is scary. We are entrusted with these tiny souls and we love them the best we can and pray we don’t mess them up. I believe it is also a tool He uses to teach us about the kind of Father He is and He is good. All the time. Always. Even we are are not, even when we mess up. Especially then, because then His grace comes pouring in and we can see Him for who He truly is. A good, good Father worthy of His rightful place on the throne of our hearts.

Father, help me today and always to show this radical grace and love to my girls until all they can see is you. Becuase ultimately our goal as parents is not to raise “good children”, but lovers of Christ. Amen


Until next time,





Already Enough

This is me. The real me. No makeup, filters or flattering photo angles. Hot and sweaty from watching my girls at cheer practice, before which I backed into my husband’s car (for real y’all). 

Tired, oh so tired. 

I am a daughter of the one true King, beloved and treasured, but I have a hard time remembering that. Remembering that my joy lies in Him and Him alone. 

I post this so you know that we don’t have it all together. I yell at my kids sometimes, and they are not always perfect angels. (The 4yo only made it half way through cheer before she had a meltdown). My house isn’t clean, I don’t cook gourmet meals, my kids are lucky if they have PB&J sometimes. 

Don’t compare yourself to what you see on social media. We all have stuff, no one is perfect. That photo I posted of my two sweet girls holding hands and smiling? It took 20 shots, lots of tears, and most likely a fist fight between the two to get. 

What you have is what you have, and what you have is already perfect because it’s yours. Live for the moment, because they go so fast. Put down the phone and spend time with your kids. I promise you will learn things about them you never knew. 

And LOVE yourself. The self you have now, not the self you want to be or think you should be. If you don’t love yourself now, you won’t love yourself when you get there either. 

You are beautiful, loved, treasured, important, intelligent, amazing. You truly are. 
“So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor 4:18


I post this for and to myself. I need to put down the phone and stop comparing myself to other people, AND I am just as bad as the next person about only posting the good and “perfect”. I would hate to know that someone would see something I’ve posted and think less of what they have, when really they are only seeing half truths. I’m not trying to be preachy, I’m only calling it as I see it in my own life and mind. 

And again, you are already enough. YOU, reading this right now. You are loved, cared for, intelligent, strong, important, amazing. 

Don’t ever forget it. 

Until next time, 

Gratitude, gratitude

40 Days of Gratitude…

Day 2 – For a husband that loves me in spite of myself.

Day 3 – For full bellies and dessert before dinner. 🙂

Day 4 – For stupid TV shows that make Adam laugh. It’s one of the best sounds in the world.

Day 5 – For lazy dogs and sunshiny days.

Playing a little catch up today. See you Monday. 🙂

Until next time,


40 Days of Gratitude

So for Lent, along with abstaining from a few things, I am participating in 40 Days of Gratitude with Glennon over at Momastery. A thankful heart breeds gratitude, so for the next 40 days I am keeping a journal and every night I am going to write down three things I am thankful for. Glennon is going to daily share one from her list and I thought I would do the same here.

So, 40 Days of Gratitude – Day 1

I am thankful for a messy house, because it means that I share that messy house with people that I love. I care more about spending my precious time with those people than scrubbing my baseboards. One day I will have a spotless house, for now I have babies and I will hold them.

What about you? What are you grateful for today?

Until next time,


Not good enough

I haven’t even pulled up WordPress in almost a month. I haven’t wanted to write. I know leaving off with a sad post isn’t ideal, but I just couldn’t deal.

Death is just a horrible thing, but suicide just leaves you in a whole different place.

A lot has happened since that last post. A lot of good things, some bad. Mostly life has gone on.

I’ve been sitting here in my living room with my heads phones on listening to “Oceans” by Hillsong United on repeat for the last hour. I had never heard it before. I don’t know how I’ve gone with never hearing it. Naturally the first thing I did was buy the accompaniment for it so I can sing it in church. But really it got me thinking, of which I’ve done a lot lately. (A lot seem to be the words of the day).

I’ve always had a guilt about not being a better servant, not praying enough, not doing enough. Whatever that means.

In “Oceans” is says:

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”

I realized instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself, instead of feeling not good enough (which God’s grace wipes away anyway, but that’s a whole different post), I should be listening to Him. Listening for Him. He has a path for me, if only I would stop and listen. Call upon Him and let Him lead me. I realized I had been trying too hard to “be good”, and of course when I failed at that (which I do daily) it just made me more down on myself, and less likely to go to Him in prayer for fear of “punishment”. I know that sounds odd, but that was my childhood, so naturally I feel that way with this Father.

So my prayer for the next few weeks is that I learn to stop and listen, to slow down and hear Him in my everyday. To let Him lead me “where my trust is without borders”, because who can we trust if not the Father? To trust that He has a path for me. To give thanks for all that I have, and even for the things that I don’t. To go to Him in prayer even when I don’t feel like it…especially then.

I have to be strong for these two beauties.

For who will lead them to the feet of Christ, if not their father and I? It’s our job to nurture them, to lead and teach them.

Until next time,


Around here…

Been busy and chaotic and tragic around here lately. We lost another young family member this week and I missed wordless Wednesday.

What’s been going on around here:






It’s been cold and we’ve had lots of snuggles. I don’t ever want to drop the girls off at school but that morning was extra hard. Adam loves his girls.

Suicide sucks. I don’t ever think I’ll understand what would drive somebody to that. I know that our family is in shock and pain to be going through this again just three short years later.

Hug your babies. Remember that God is good. All the time. Always.

I mustache you a question…WW

Wow, it’s been a month since I’ve posted. I took a partial hiatus from the digital world. It was all becoming too much of a distraction and time suck. I say partial because I spend 99% of my time at work online. I also still religiously check my phone for work emails, so in order to completely unplug I would really need to take a vacation with no WiFi. Which really isn’t a bad idea.

So here’s a little of what’s been going on around here:

1. Fun on the Farm

2.This is a pony, right?

3.Where's my arm?!

4.I mustache you a question...

5.Me, too!

6.Updated selfie

7.Oh, how I'll miss his grainy photos.

8.Sissy likes to help!

1. We went to a birthday party that had a pony. A PONY, y’all. You know what this means for Scarlett’s birthday party expectations right?!

2. Sissy likes riding the dog. She must think she has her own personal pony. I feel sorry for Dexter when she starts to out weigh him.

3. We freaked some people out with Scarlett’s missing arm.

4. Scarlett, mustache you a question.

5. And Savannah, too.

6. Updated selfie. 🙂

7. Adam got rid of his phone. Oh, how I will miss his grainy photos. lol

8. Savannah loves the swifter. I took the middle piece out of it to make is shorter and let her go at it.

Hopefully, I keep at it. Until next time,

♥ J

Linking up here:

In the Moment with Sarah Halstead
Come join us! ♥

For my babies

The other day I was thinking of things that I wanted to make sure the girls knew. Not only that we love them unconditionally, but things about life in general. I figured I should put the list down on paper now while they were still young. I can always add to it, but I figured I might forget all the important things I want to tell them by the time we make it into teenage-hood. (eek!)

Sun in the Pines

To my beautiful girls, Scarlett and Savannah, some things to remember as you make your way through life.

Learn to laugh at yourself. Laughter is the best medicine and if you can’t laugh at yourself every now and then you’ll have a tough time getting through life.

You will make mistakes. Believe me I know. But I also know that with mistakes comes forgiveness and second chances, and you will never do anything that will make me, your daddy or your heavenly Father love you any less.

I am always here for you. I want you to talk to me and confide in me. Also, know that God is always by your side even when you don’t feel him, and he wants you to talk to Him too.

Play, have fun, see the joy in life. You will have plenty of time for adult seriousness when you are older, but now I just want you to have fun. I want to you grow and learn new things, to see the world in a way that only a child can.

Love. Simply love. It is what we are here to do. To love one another like God loves us. To minister and teach His word, to bring joy to the people around us. To get down and dirty in the trenches and do hard things, to take care of each other, but most importantly to just simply love one another.

You are beautiful. Inside and out. You are made just the way He intended you to be, so love yourself, it’s the only self you get. Anyone who tells you different is having a hard time loving their own self. Help them. 

Pray. If there was one thing I could go back and tell my young self it would be to pray more. Bring your troubles before God. You aren’t bothering Him, He wants you to talk to him. He wants to be part of every minute of every day. Have a hard decision to make? Pray. Something dad and I did that’s bothering you? Pray. Have a fight with your best friend? Pray. You see someone at school that’s hurting? Pray. We want you to come to us with your problems too. We want to sit and talk with you and help you make decisions, and pray for you and with you. We want to make sure that the friend at school that you saw was hurting gets help. So please come to us and feel safe to be open with us, but pray also. Bring those things to your heavenly Father and find rest and peace, and answers with Him too.

Don’t ever give up. You will get hurt, people and friends will forsake you. You will have times when your down and dirty in the trenches and you are doing hard things and you feel like no one is there with you. Like no one understands. You will, I’m sorry. I don’t want to sugar coat it for you, it’s just part of life. But don’t give up. God is always with you, always. He loves you and will bring you out on the other side, you just have to trust in him. We are here too, and we will NEVER give up on you. We love you more than you can fathom even when it seems like we don’t love you at all.

Remember that we love you, you are important. We only want the best for you, which means we will do and say and make you do things that you don’t like sometimes. Everything we do is out of love, and hopefully one day you will thank us for them.

Most importantly, remember that God loves you, and that, my beautiful babies, is one thing that will never change.

Love always,


How Time Flies

I know this is said all the time, but it seems that we never REALLY know how it feels until we have children. Time really does fly. We were at my in-law’s house over the weekend and I found these gems.

Sweet Savannah


It’s hard to believe that Savannah was ever that little, even if it was only a few months ago.  Also, Scarlett loves sharing her stickers if your wondering about her leg. 🙂

Scarlett loves having tea parties, but she also has a hard time sharing with Savannah. It’s the age and I know she will grow out it, but I was surprised to find these photos of them “having tea”.

Tea's ready!

Here have a cup.

Spot of tea?I do love how much Scarlett cares for Savannah, even if she doesn’t like to share. I hope that they will be close, I always wanted a sister growing up.

IMG_1015Scarlett started sleeping in her big bed last week. It’s bitter sweet to walk into Savannah’s room and see the empty toddler bed there. I think it took Savannah a couple of nights to get used to not having her sister there with her. My, these littles are just growing way too fast.


Up next…potty training. I keep praying that maybe it will click, and one day it will just happen. I know she understands the concept she just has no interest in it. I’m to the point that we might just have to stay home for three days straight and wear nothing all weekend…no diapers, no pullups, no panties. Maybe after a few accidents she will get it. I’ve tried to explain that she can’t move up the the big kid class until she uses the potty, but I guess she’s content to stay where she is.

Until next time,

J ♥