Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sweets for Sudan Update!

I'd like to thank you for your amazing support for my baking and Yancy's mission trip! In the last 6 weeks, I've baked 36 cakes! Can you believe that?! So together, we've raised over $1000 just from cake baking! (If you're doing the math, I had many people donate more than $25.) Yancy is that much closer to paying for his trip! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I can't say it enough! I've loved baking for you and I'm thinking I might just keep it up! So if you need a cake for a special occasion or just because you've got a sweet tooth (I fall into that category!), give me a call or send me an email. I'd love to make your life a little sweeter! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Way to go, Fisher-Price!

Our preschool (Bright Beginnings @ First Baptist Church Opelika) got these awesome nativity sets this year for each room. It's Little People by Fisher-Price, and can I just tell you how much I love it?! Well, I love it a lot! Our sweet 4-year-olds have loved playing with it too! I have enjoyed so much watching them play and hearing them recite the parts of the Christmas story that they know, like... "a Saviour has been born!" and "here's Mary riding on a donkey." And I think my favorite is that they call the angel "the angel of the Lord", not just "the angel." They're right! It was an angel sent straight from God to share of the great news of Jesus' birth! It almost makes me want to cry I love it so much! I pray that Jesus will use this to draw their little hearts to Him!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Soakin' up Christmas

We had another fun weekend full of Christmas celebrations! I am lovin' it all! Friday we went with Tommy and Rebecca to Christmas in a Railroad Town in downtown Opelika. All the shops were open, Santa was there, and of course, the train came by! It's such a fun, small-town thing to do!
Saturday night, we headed over to Callaway Gardens to Fantasy in Lights with Heath, Jerri, Dylan and Matthew. I didn't take many pictures... it was freezing cold and rainy. I really enjoyed seeing the lights through Dylan and Matthew's eyes! Here's Dylan reaching for the stars!
The Nativity- my favorite!
And to wrap up the weekend, we went to Keyboards, Carols and Classics at our church. This might just be my favorite holiday tradition! The stage is decorated beautifully and the pianists are awesome! They play all 4 grand pianos at once and it's amazing!

I hope you all are enjoying Christmas as much as I am this year!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Fun

My Mom and I went to Atlanta yesterday to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at the Fox Theatre. We had so much fun together and it was such a Christmas-y thing to do! We stopped first at South City Kitchen to have brunch. It doesn't look like anything special from the outside, but, oh, it is! Our food was delicious with big portions (always a plus in my book!) and our service was excellent! I highly recommend it!
Next, on to the show... how could you not love the Rockettes?!?! It was a great show filled with something for everyone. There was Santa and stuffed animals, Christmas trees and presents, wooden soldiers and rag dolls. And the best part was the ending... a nativity with live camels and sheep, and the real reason for the season read from Luke 2. They focused on the wise men bringing their gifts to the King of Kings! What a great and powerful way to wrap up the fun! Oh, I loved every minute of it! And it was a fun time for me and Mom to spend together! I'm definitely in the Christmas spirit now!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lots of Cake

As Rebecca said, you've brought me lots of joy because next week I'll baking, baking, baking... and then more baking! Sounds like fun to me! Thanks for the Thanksgiving cake orders! I think I'm all booked for the week. As much as I'd like to, I don't think I can squeeze anymore in. But I'm already taking orders for December, so get your order in quickly! Well, I'm off to find a place for 10 pounds of flour and sugar... do you think that will be enough?!

By the way, didn't you love Rebecca's guest post? She was too kind about my cakes, but I'm thankful that she was willing to share her thoughts with you. I think she'll be back very soon, so be looking out for her next post. I know you'll enjoy it!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Guest Postest With the Mostest...


Here's a guest post from Rebecca...

Hi Everyone!
I am the biggest fan ever of Joy and her baking! I am so excited she has chosen to share her gift with us to allow us help support Yancy's Sudan trip! Since I have tasted all of her baking (and consider myself to be an expert food critic...Food Network should be calling any minute!), I volunteered to report on each of the cakes:
1) Peanut butter cake - Oh my Lord! This is one of the first of Joy's cakes I remember tasting, and it is one of my all-time favorites. Joy says that it is a consistent cake...that it always comes out the same every time she bakes it. I also say it is consistent - CONSISTENTLY INCREDIBLE! Moist and so rich, if you and your family are not allergic to peanuts, you should purchase this cake!!
2) Toasted coconut cake - This cake is Yancy's favorite, and I love it too! I know people are either for or against coconut, but I say be for it!! It is multi-layered and fluffy, and the icing is so good. Plus, this is a classic for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Try it out!!
3) Red Velvet Cake - Another CLASSIC! You know how the icing of red velvet cake has pecans in it? The thing I love about Joy's version is that she chops her pecans very finely. It makes for a great icing consistency...there's that word again! Yum! Bring it on!
4) Chocolate cake - Okay. So if you were questionable about peanut butter or coconut, who doesn't love chocolate?! This cake is an incredible white cake with a yummy chocolate icing. Excuse me...I just had to wipe drool off my mouth.
5) Caramel apple cake - I just had the pleasure of trying this newest of Joy's creation, and it may be overtaking peanut butter!! Seriously y'all, it is 2 layers of moist, dense apple cake (made with red and green apples to provide wonderfully balanced flavors) and iced with caramel icing that is perfect! It is another wonderfully Fall cake. I am about to go get my second piece for the evening! (Notice I did not say my last!)

As I close my food analysis for the evening, let me remind you that Joy is only charging $25 for these made-from-scratch, delicious, made-with-love cakes! After you taste yours, you may want to pay more. (Remember all proceeds go to Yancy's trip!) And what is so crazy to me is that Joy LOVES to bake these cakes!! So if you place an order, you will not only be contributing to a great cause, you will be bringing JOY to JOY!

Thanks for allowing me to make you really hungry...I'm going to close and go get my second piece of caramel apple cake!

Good evening!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cakes for Sudan!

As most of you know, God has given Yancy a heart for the people of Sudan. He's been thinking about going on a mission trip there for a while and has finally decided to go in March! I'm so excited for him because I know that he's wanted to go for so long. Yancy will be a part of a team of 6-8 and they will do discipleship training and hopefully some medical work too. As you can imagine, this will be an expensive trip. So since I love to bake, I am going to start selling some cakes to contribute to his trip. Anything I make over the cost of the ingredients will go directly to Four Corners Ministries for his trip. I've been debating the best way to do this and I've settled on just taking orders. I'll need about a week's notice and I'll have a few cakes to choose from. All cakes will be $25. And if you need some persuading, I have some references on standby! Call me!

PS... A big shout-out to Rebecca for helping me with the flyer! I'm terrible at that kind of thing and she's terrific! I'm not sure if you can tell or not, but it has cakes in the background! :) Thanks, Rebecca!

Monday, November 2, 2009

What a Weekend!

*This is a LONG post*
From the first time that we met Bullen and Andrew, we've been telling them about the National Peanut Festival. And this weekend we got to share that experience with them! I don't think they had any idea what to expect, but I know they had a great time! On our way into town Friday night, we stopped and had dinner with my family. It was hectic, as always, with 3 busy little boys, but I'm very thankful that my family got to meet our dear friends. My Dad asked them what their favorite thing about being in America was and they both said, "school!" Can you believe that?! They are so grateful to be getting an education.
We left my parents' house and went to Yancy's parents' house where Yancy's Dad had been smoking pork butts all day. Bullen and Andrew got to "shoot the bull" and wait for the pork. (They think that saying is so funny!) We also had boiled and raw peanuts while we waited. They prefer them raw. Saturday, we relaxed and ate A LOT! In between the eating, my Mom helped them with their math homework. They were so kind to her and kept saying that she is "the smartest one." I thought that was so nice. And Mom said they they are doing great with their algebra, just needed some guidance. Cynthia and Harold were the perfect hosts, as always. They both worked hard preparing all the food. We had bbq, brunswick stew, corn, beans, and veggies. Jerri made a delicious mac n cheese with crushed Cheez-Its on top... my favorite! I was full all weekend. And then we sat around the fire, telling stories and visiting.Then on to the excitement... the fair! Even with all the talk about the fair, they still didn't know what to expect. I think they were expecting a show, but they were not disappointed. We got them on the farris wheel and bumper cars. And Yancy finally talked Andrew into riding the Indy 500, a little roller coaster.
And who can go to the fair and not eat?!?! We had the best corn dogs ever from The Corn Dog Man and, of course, I had to have an elephant ear. It's not the fair to me without one!

Sunday, they had the opportunity to speak at my home church in Dothan and then at AUMC here in Auburn. They did an awesome job! Their testimonies are so powerful! I meant to take pictures, but I was listening and forgot. Oh, well... I think I took enough pictures... I told you this was a long post! It was a really great weekend!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Come hear Andrew & Bullen!

Hey, Dothan Friends! Our Sudanese friends, Andrew and Bullen, are going to be sharing their testimonies on Sunday morning at my home church. You can read about them here and here. They are such a blessing and are so good at helping me keep things in perspective. I know you'll be blessed by their stories and their faith in God! Come out at 9:30 to First Free Will Baptist Church on the corner of Honeysuckle and Hwy 52. Hope to see you there! :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A COLD, But Fun Weekend!

We had a great weekend! Yancy's aunt and uncle came to visit and we always enjoy our time together! Friday afternoon, we went to the raptor center. They do a presentation on Friday before every home. All of you Auburn folks should check it out!! We even got to see Spirit up close and personal. I didn't have my camera, so no pics of it, but it was fun. Saturday, we spent the day debating how many layers of clothing we were going to need to keep warm for the game. We were almost right! We pretty much froze the whole game, even with lots of layers and blankets. By the time the game was over, my legs were frozen from the knees down!! The game was awful, but at least we were with great company!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Livin' on the Plains

Well, I can't believe I haven't announced this yet, but... we're staying in Auburn! Praise the Lord! Yancy found out a couple of weeks ago that they're going to let him stay here and work. YAY! We took the sign out of the yard that day! It's such an answer to prayer, just not the answer we thought we'd get. We have loved living in Auburn and are so thankful to be able to stay! We have such great friends, great neighbors, a great church, and on and on and on. To be honest, I was shocked that God answered our prayer. I know that sounds awful, but we had been praying for so long and it just was not the answer I expected. Anyway, we are thrilled and look forward to many more happy times on the plains!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm Still Here!

I'm not exactly sure why I've taken an almost 6 week break from blogging. That was never my intention. I guess we just haven't had much news to share, so I haven't had much to talk about. But I will say that I've missed journaling on here. You know, I started this to keep everybody up to speed on our baby coming and it has really turned into so much more. I'm very thankful to have this to reflect back on, to have proof of what God's been doing and what He's been teaching me. And I trust that one day I'll have a big, exciting announcement to make! In the meantime, I'll just continue to share what's happening while we wait.

So this week my friend shared Psalm 40 with me. It's so good! There are lots of truths about God in it, like how He hears our cries, rescues us, and puts a new song in our hearts. But I think what spoke to my heart the most this week is verse 8.

"I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart."

His instructions are written on my heart! I love that! It has given me such reassurance this week that if there's something that God wants me to do, He will make it clear. He'll write it on my heart! (I'd also really like a billboard in bold letters!) But how great to know that God's will is not a mystery or puzzle. It's not a trick or game that God is playing with us. He makes His will clear to us-He writes it on our hearts- in His time. I'm counting on it! If there's something that He desires for me and Yancy to do, He'll make it very clear and that is such a comfort to me.

One more thing... I love reading Lysa Terkeurst's blog. She's very open and honest and convicting. She wrote this week about life's gaps and it was such an encouragement. I think you'll like it!

I'm glad to be back! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Where We Are

So, after all that's happened, where are we in the process of having a family? I still don't exactly know. I am more hopeful now than I ever have been that God is going to give us a child, but I just don't know how He's gonna do it. We've decided to continue in the process of adoption. God has given us a heart for adoption and we feel like it's what He wants us to do for now. God may choose to bless us with another pregnancy (and we welcome that and would totally rejoice over it!!!) but at this point, I just feel like we need to continue on the path that we were on before. Lifeline has been so good to work with us and I cannot say enough good things about them. There have been times when I questioned whether or not we were doing the right thing by narrowing our options down to just them. But over and over again, as we have researched other alternatives, our hearts have only been at peace with Lifeline. And I've recently been reminded that it's only because of God's plan that we don't have children yet, not because we didn't use another agency. So I ask that you all be in prayer for us... whether God chooses to bless us through a pregnancy or through an adoption, we only want His plan, His best for us. Someone shared with me recently a quote that I really like. "Sometimes we have to praise God on credit!" I'm praising God now for how He will create our family! I trust it will be amazing!

On a side note, I'm employed again! I'm gonna be back at Bright Beginnings teaching 4-year-olds. I'm so excited about it and very thankful that God worked it out for me to be there! I start on Monday. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Good Times with Great Friends

Oh, the beach. I love it! And I love my girlfriends! So I really love time with my girlfriends at the beach! What a fun weekend we had!! We did picnic lunches both days and that was so great! We didn't have to track in and out and got to enjoy the beautiful weather all day. I'm not sure why we haven't done this before, but it worked out perfect. And no trip to Destin is complete without a visit to Red Bar for key lime pie. It was delicious and so fun (minus the sand trap)! Anyway, we really did have a great time and I'm so thankful for these sweet girls that God has placed in my life. I'm so blessed and so grateful! Let's do it again next year, Girls!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quick Update

Yancy and I are really doing well!! God has been good and given us quick healing. We've been super busy the past couple of weeks and I'm so thankful for that. We've spent lots of time with friends and family and it's been really nice... a great distraction. Please be in prayer about what our next step is. We're seeking the Lord and waiting for His answer.

This afternoon, I'm headed to Destin with my 3 best girlfriends and I just know we're gonna have an awesome time together! Great friends, the beach and good food... how could we go wrong?! Don't worry about Yancy. He'll be at the lake with his best buddies- noodling, tubing, fishing, grilling... all the things that boys love to do.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Desert Song

I know I've already talked about how this song has minstered to my heart, but I'm talking about it again today! My Momma just sent me this great video. It's Jill McCloghry giving her testimony about what she went through just before recording this song. Hope it blesses you! (The whole video is almost 9 minutes long, but her testimony is only about 4 minutes.)

ps... remember to pause the playlist on the right!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

His Word is Alive!

God's Word has been very precious to me this last week and a half. I've tried to spend a lot of time in it because it's so comforting and it's truth. Many of you have sent scripture that has blessed us so much. But I have to tell you about a passage that I read this morning because it spoke directly to my heart, almost jumped off the page at me! I've been struggling a little bit with getting better, feeling better and moving on. I do feel better, but Satan wants me to think I shouldn't be better. And from a worldly perspective, I should be depressed and bitter and angry. But, praise God, I'm not! The Lord used these verses today to reassure me that He is healing my heart, it's ok to be getting better and that blessings do come in hard times.

Psalm 84:5-7
"What joy comes from those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem."

Oh my goodness! That just sums up this struggle for us! Our strength has come from the Lord. There's no way on our own strength that we could have endured this trial! It has been a time of weeping for us, but it has also been a time of great blessings. As we have walked through the "valley of weeping", the Lord has refreshed our faith and trust in Him. He has renewed our hope in Him and for our future... "a place of refreshing springs". He has also clothed us with blessings. I cannot begin to count the blessings that God has poured out on us through all of this. And we have appeared before God. We have felt His presence like never before.

I'm so very grateful for His Word!!

Hebrews 4:12
"For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow."

Monday, July 6, 2009

On the Mend

I'm beginning to feel 'normal' again. Everyday has it's ups and downs, but for the most part, each day gets a little better. I know that God is in the process of healing my heart. I feel it on the mend! I'm finding great comfort in knowing that Baby Carpenter will be loved perfectly and completely- forever- by our Heavenly Father. I would have let our sweet baby down, failed him or her many times over. But they will never know that disappointment now. Baby Carpenter is safe in the arms of Jesus. We will miss this baby and what could have been terribly, but we trust that God has worked this all out for His glory. We continue to press on and serve Him and love Him.

Psalm 16:11
"In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Broken but not bitter

I think I've felt more pain the past few days than I ever have. My heart is broken and I've been overwhelmed by sadness. To be completely honest, I feel like it was kinda mean of God to take away the gift He had just given us, the gift we'd prayed for and desired for SO long. But I KNOW God is not mean! HE IS GOOD and His actions are never anything but good. And I don't want to become bitter, so I'm clinging to the truth that God works in all things to bring about good.

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28

But even in the pain and sadness, we have so much to be thankful for. God's presence has covered and surrounded us. It has been so real and so sweet. He has poured out His love on us and I have never felt more sure of His love for me. It's been a great comfort to know that He sees each tear we cry (Psalm 56:8) and that He hurts along with us. And He has used you, our sweet friends and family, to minister to us, encourage us and love on us. It's such a comfort to know that you all are praying for us! And the physical needs you have met for us (like really good food!) have been such a blessing! You have been the hands and feet of Jesus to us this week. Oh, how we thank you!

I am also thankful for God's protection over us. He has graciously protected us from anger and bitterness. And He has blessed and protected our marriage. It has been a sweet time for me and Yancy as we have hurt together and loved each other.

Again, we really cannot thank you enough for all you have done for us. We are so grateful and so humbled!

"Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever." Psalm 106:1

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"For everything there is a season...

a time to dance and a time to mourn." (Ecclesiastes 3:4) For the last 3 weeks, Yancy and I- along with all of you- have been dancing, celebrating the miracle of our baby. Today we mourn. We went to the doctor today and they found no heartbeat. To say the least, we are heartbroken and we hurt so badly. But we know that God is still good. He is still in control. He still loves us more than we can imagine. He has a plan and a purpose that we cannot see at the moment. We choose to trust Him and praise Him that even in this tragedy, He knows best. I've been thinking about the song "Blessed Be Your Name". Whether He's giving or taking away, blessed be His name! Please continue to lift us up in prayer, especially over the next few days. I know they will be difficult. We love you all!

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Yancy and I have been overwhelmed by your love and support for us! We can't thank you enough for sharing in the joy!! It's all just so exciting!

I wanted to give a little update about our weekend and fill in some blanks that I missed in my last post. I will be 9 weeks on Thursday and our due date is January 21. I'm feeling great, other than being just a little tired. I've been taking it easy and napping if I feel like it! Yancy has been so sweet to me; I already feel a little spoiled!

So on to the big announcement weekend... I wanted to share just a couple of things about it. It was so fun to see how everyone reacted so differently. Yancy's Mom cried, my Dad laughed, and my sister-in-law, Katherine, went off like a firecracker. And when we told Yancy's Mamaw, she didn't believe us! She said, "You ought not do me like that!" Of course, everyone is very excited! It truly is a miracle.

One more little story... Friday after we told Yancy's family, we ate dinner, the excitement had calmed down just a bit, and we had moved on to other topics. Our nephew, Dylan- who's 4, cute as a button with big, brown eyes- came over to me and put his arm around me and said, "I prayed for you to have a baby!" How sweet is that! I've mentioned him before and how he has prayed every night for us to have a baby. I cannot wait for him to actually see this baby that he has faithfully prayed for! I know his faith has already grown!

Again, thank you so much for all the messages and phone calls! We are so blessed to have you all share in this with us! And more importantly, thank you for continuing to lift us up in prayer!

"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1

Saturday, June 13, 2009


TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE! After trying and not trying, after lots of medicines and shots and a 5-day hospital stay, after tons and tons of paperwork trying to adopt, after waiting for 7 YEARS, God has answered our prayers! And He answered them in a way I didn't believe would ever happen! We found out last week that I'm pregnant!! Praise the Lord!!! What a miracle! Now, I have to say that it's not that I thought God couldn't open my womb, I just didn't think that it was in His plan for us. (I mean, we have been waiting to adopt for 2 years! We thought that was God's plan for our family!) But I've been reminded of some verses that I loved while I was waiting and now still treasure...

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9


"For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

I can't continue without mentioning that as I was doubtful that I would ever get pregnant, Yancy never quit believing that it would happen. He held on to God's promise in Malachi 2:15 that says, "Didn't the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union."

Who knows why God chose this time or this way, but He is God and in control and we just praise Him for this wonderful gift. He knew all along that this would be the time. We are humbled by His love and faithfulness- as we have been all along this journey. He proved Himself faithful to us, even when He wasn't answering our prayers the way we desired. He has always met our needs and now has blessed us beyond what we could have imagined. Our hearts are so full of joy and so very grateful for this unbelievable gift. To say the least, we are COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED!!!

Y'all have been so faithful to pray for us, love us and encourage us, and we can never thank you enough! It's so exciting to me that you all get to share in this joy because it's not just our prayers that have been answered, your prayers have been answered too! So thank you, thank you, thank you for being great friends and prayer warriors for us! We love you! And we have to ask that you please continue to pray for us! Pray that this baby will be healthy and whole and that most of all, he or she grow up to love Jesus with all their hearts!

"Now all GLORY TO GOD, who is able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20

Friday, May 29, 2009

A New Song in My Heart!

I've been feeling so blue the last couple of weeks- just sad that I'm still waiting for our sweet baby. Waiting is so difficult!!! I've been talking to God about my feelings and asking Him for some encouragement. Well, we can always count on God to answer our prayers, can't we?!! This morning, my sweet friend Aly told me about a song that I needed to hear. Boy, did I ever need to hear it! It was so encouraging, but also VERY convicting! In this season of waiting- no matter how long it lasts- I DO have a reason to sing! God is STILL God! Oh, how I love this song! I hope it encourages your heart today!!!

All of my life,
In every season,
You are still God!
I have a reason to sing!
I have a reason to worship!

PS... You'll have to pause the Playlist on the right! :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This is really good!

From James MacDonald
Who You Are

You ought to live . . . to please God . . . For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3

As a pastor, I often hear questions about God's will. "What does God want me to do?" is the most common, but there are others: "Where does God want me to live?" "Who does God want me to marry?" "What job does God want me to take?"

This may come as a surprise to you, but the Bible doesn't spend any time on that stuff. God's focus isn't so much on the externals; He wants to change the inner you.

God's will is 98 percent about who you are. Need evidence? Check out 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3: "You ought to live . . . to please God. . . . For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification."

The word "sanctification" comes from a root word that means "to make holy." Sanctification is the process by which God takes sinful people and makes them holy. (It's not really as churchy as it sounds.) Holy is a great word; it means "set apart" or "distinct." It means "different from the sinful world around us." It means being like God.

Next time you are struggling to know what God could be doing, just say to yourself, "He's changing me," and you'll be right. Next time disappointments or heartaches come, try to recognize that God Himself is holding the hammer and chisel.

But why? Here's the hard truth that sets people free: God does not exist to fulfill our purposes; we exist to fulfill His purposes. You and I are here because God wants to demonstrate His power and splendor through our lives, and if you realize that you are not doing that very well, then you truly understand why He wants to change you. He wants to get you to the place where no matter what happens to you or what you go through, you trust Him and follow Him and are committed wholly to His goodness. And so He's coming after you, and He's trying to change you. Let Him do His work in you, and watch Him display His awesomeness through you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

31 and Having Fun!

Yancy has been begging me to go to New Orleans for years now. I didn't really want to go, so I kept putting him off. Well, we finally made the trip down there this weekend for his 31st birthday. Yancy was right after all! It was a really fun trip! We ate A LOT of great food (I came home 5 pounds heavier!) and saw some live jazz- Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Happy Birthday, Yancy!!!

Acme Oyster House

Preservation Hall Jazz Band... They were so good and lots of fun!

Central Grocery for a muffuletta... surprisingly delicious!

Antoine's- the oldest family-run restaurant in the country

Cafe Du Monde... I wish I had some beignets right now!

Celebrity Sighting! We ran into Aaron Neville! Yancy walked right up to him like he'd known him all his life. He was really nice and didn't seem to mind. We actually saw him 2 more times after this! (The picture's kinda blurry cuz I was nervous!)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Have Pictures!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from our ladies conference weekend. Thanks, Stephanie, for sharing them!

The Leadership Team

My Fun Roomies... Kelley, Jamie, Chandra, Me, Rebecca, Stephanie, Brandi, Katie, and Stacy

Silly girls!

Me and Chandra... I was her hostess for the weekend which was lots of fun! We really enjoyed getting to know one another!

And I saved the best for last... Rebecca as "Randra" during our Survivor game! Too funny!

Monday, April 27, 2009

What? I Won an Award?!

My sweet, fun friend, Stephanie, just gave me an award! How fun! Thanks, Stephanie! Here are the rules... I have to tell about 7 things that I love and then pass on the award to 7 other bloggy friends. Here goes...

1. I love, love, love Yancy. I know it's so cheesy, but he really does complete me. God knew what He was doing when He put us together. We balance each other out in so many ways. I'm so proud to be his wife! I'm thankful for the man that he's grown to be and for his willingness to be used by God... plus he's really cute and he makes me laugh a lot! :)

2. I love caffeine. Sadly, I can't go a day without it.

3. I love to bake... cookies, cakes, muffins, brownies, etc. Basically anything that has lots of butter and lots of sugar. And along with this, I love my Kitchen-Aid mixer! It was a surprise Christmas present a few years back from my sweet hubby! It's my favorite thing in my kitchen.

4. I love my family. They have been such encouragers and prayer warriors for me. Their love is unconditional and I don't know where I'd be without them. My Mom and Dad taught me about Jesus as early as I could learn and I respect them so much for being such faithful followers. I know my Mom and Cynthia, my mother-in-law, lift me up daily to the Lord and it just encourages my heart so much!

5. I love my doggies, Charlie and Duke. They really are our first family. They bring me such joy! And I'm so glad that they were here to keep me company while Yancy was working in Huntsville.

6. I love my bestest friend, Rebecca. It's been fun over the years to realize how alike we are. We love food, we love Jesus, we love vacations, we love our girls (see previous post), we love the Fringe, we love The Office. :) You get the point; we just think alike. And she's a great listener. No matter how many times I want to talk about the same ol' thing, she never gets tired of listening! God was so good to send her to me! She, too, lifts me up in prayer daily. Basically, my life would stink without her.

7. I saved the best for last... I love Jesus! How can I not after all He has done for me? As hard as the past few years have been for me, I can say that I love and trust Him more now than I ever have. He is so rich in loving-kindness towards me and His mercies are new everyday. I have found Him perfectly faithful!

So, these are just a few of the things I love. And of course, love is a relative word. I really don't love caffeine and my Kitchen-Aid mixer as much as I love Yancy or Jesus. You all know that, right? Anyway, I'm supposed to tag 7 others, so...

Summer're IT! Well, that's more than 7, but I couldn't choose! I want to hear from you all! :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Sweet Girls

I love these girls!!! Aren't they beautiful? And, more importantly, they're just as beautiful on the inside! They are all graduating in just a few weeks, so last night was our last night together. :( For the past 3 years, we've been together 1 night a week, studying God's Word and sharing our hearts. How sweet it's been! And now, it's so hard to believe it's over. I'm going to miss them SO MUCH! I love you, sweet girls!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Knew It!

That is... I knew that God would show up this weekend- and He did!! But before I give an update about the women's conference, can I just say that God is so good?!?! We got great news on Friday! Sysco has made a few changes and even though I don't understand it all, they are going to let Yancy work in this area until our house sells! Praise the Lord! No more Tuesday morning good-byes. No more separation. No more nights at the Holiday Inn for Yancy! No more pressure to sell the house! Hallelujah! God is so good and just encouraged my heart so much with this news! We still will be moving eventually, but we can remain settled here in Auburn until our house sells. Yancy will be up there this week and maybe 1 night next week to tie up some loose ends, but come May, he's gonna be here with me! We are definitely better together! God is just reminding me that through all of this, He is in control. His answer to this prayer was a way that we didn't even know was an option. He's good like that, you know... providing a way when we don't see a way! Thank you, Lord!!!

So onto the women's conference... what a great weekend! Our speaker was Chandra Peele and she was so great! I had the privilege of being her hostess for the weekend, and I so enjoyed getting to know her and her heart for ministry. She is an amazing speaker, full of joy, and so passionate about what she does. God is doing big things through her! She challenged us this weekend to be church ladies that are...

~non-judgemental. "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
~loving. "Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them... Love each other with genuine affection." Romans 12:9-11
~influential. "For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved." 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

She asked us to think about church ladies that have influenced us and I'm blessed to have so many! I've had different ladies for different seasons of my life. I pray that, like them, I might be the aroma of Christ to those around me. What a challenge!

I also had such a fun time with all my girlfriends- new and old! We had opportunities to share our hearts, enjoy some beach time, to laugh hysterically and uncontrollably, and just enjoy being together. It was so much fun! And it was so encouraging to be surrounded by women who are wanting to please God with their lives. These sweet girls have faithfully lifted me up in prayer too and I am so thankful!

So that's it. I counted on God to show up and meet the needs of my heart this weekend and He did just that. He is good!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A few prayer requests...

I can't believe it has been so long since I've posted anything! We've had a pretty uneventful month I guess. We're still in between Auburn and Huntsville and still praying fervently for God to sell our house! It has almost been a year since we put our house on the market!!! Unbelievable! I don't know what God is up to, but I'm trying so hard to trust Him.

We're also researching some other adoption options. It's been 2 years since we started all this and we had NO idea it would take this long! We feel like we have done what God has asked us to do and followed up on every lead we've gotten over the past 2 years, but things just haven't worked out yet. For whatever reason, God is delaying in this, too. Again, unbelievable! We have started doing a little more research on some other adoption agencies just to make sure we've got all the bases covered. Please pray for us that we will have wisdom in making all these decisions. We don't want to make a mistake! I know I've prayed so many times over the past few years that I wouldn't be like Sarah (Genesis 15-17) and make a mess of things! As hard as it is, we want to hold out for the perfect child that God has for us. Again, I don't know what God is up to, but I'm trying so hard to trust Him!

Our church is having a ladies conference this weekend in Orange Beach and I am SO excited about it!!! I feel like I'm at a point where I need the Lord to minister to me and I am believing He will! He is enough for every need of my heart! I have such great expectations and I can't wait to see how God shows up- not just for me, but for every lady who's attending!

Thanks for caring for us and lifting us up in prayer! We definitely need it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Will Be Joyful!

Well, we've wrapped up our study, Calm My Anxious Heart. It was so good and I'm sad that it's over. It's one of those books that I know I will return to as a reference guide over and over again. I wanted to share our memory verse this week; it's great!

Habakkuk 3:17-19
"Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights."

We talked about how applicable this verse is to our lives. We all have our own "even thoughs" we can insert into this scripture. Some are big life issues and some may be small things that we have to deal with.

Even though... we're still waiting for our baby,
Even though... our house hasn't sold yet,
Even though... Yancy spends 3 days a week in Huntsville, and I miss him terribly when he's gone,
Even though... my air conditioner in my car is broken,
Even though... what's yours?

Our problems/situations/"even thoughs" are real and maybe even painful (Habakkuk's was that he didn't have any food!), but we can still choose to rejoice in who God is. I think this is a great scripture to pray back to the Lord. "God, even though... yet I WILL rejoice in you! You alone are my strength and my salvation!" Again it brings our focus back to God and not our situation. Will you choose to rejoice in whatever your situation? It will be such a testimony of trusting Him!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Some Little Nuggets of Truth

We're still studying Calm My Anxious Heart and it's still so good! I highly recommend it to y'all! This week had a quote from Andrew Murray that I love. It's just a good reminder that God has us all right where we are for a purpose and He's gonna use it for His glory- no matter what our situation is.

In times of trouble, say, "First, he brought me here. It is by his will I am in this strait place; in that I will rest." Next, "He will keep me here in his love, and give grace in this trial to behave as his child." Then say, "He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons he intends me to learn, and working in me the grace he means to bestow." And last, say, "In his good time he can bring me out again. How and when, he knows." Therefore, say, "I am here (1)by God's appointment, (2)in his keeping, (3)under his training, (4)for his time."

I'm trying to keep my focus not on my situation, but on God and His purposes.

One other thing that I love is that this week reminded us to remember who God is and what he has done for us in the past.

Remember who God is. What is His character? It's good, loving, kind, merciful, sovereign, wise, just, and faithful!!!

And remember what he has done in the past. He sure has been good to me! He has provided and meet needs that I didn't even know I had. He has encouraged me through His Word, through special friends, through spending time with Him. He has been faithful to me and has never let me down. He has walked beside me through very difficult times. He has given me strength to endure when I thought I wouldn't make it. I will remember what he has done for me! He will surely not abandon me now!

Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sunday's Blizzard

My friend and neighbor, Lisa, took this picture of our house Sunday morning. I love it!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Day

Here's what Yancy and I woke up to this morning. Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My New Favorite Hymn

Thanks, Trawick, for sharing this with me! I love it!

Not so in haste, my heart!
Have faith in God, and wait;
Although He linger long,
He never comes too late.

He never cometh late;
He knoweth what is best;
Vex not thyself in vain;
Until He cometh, rest.

Until He cometh, rest,
Nor grudge the hours that roll;
The feet that wait for God
Are soonest at the goal.

Are soonest at the goal
That is not gained with speed;
Then hold thee still, my heart,
For I shall wait His lead.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For Sale

Hey, everyone! Yancy and I set a date of sell/rent by date of March 1st, which is right here upon us. For our own sanity, we had to put a deadline on this back and forth stuff. Someone is coming to look at the house tomorrow and we're having an open house this Saturday from 1-4. Please pray that God will send us a buyer soon!!! If we end up having to rent it (which we really don't want to do!) I know it will be worth it for us to be together again. Thanks for your prayers and concern for us!!! I'll keep you updated.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Belated Birthday Shout-out

Oh my goodness... what in the world would I do without you, Rebecca?!?! Happy late birthday to my sweet, dear, precious friend! What a blessing you are! I pray you have an awesome year!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Down on the Farm

Yancy and I had such a fun day on Saturday! We drove down to Gary and Suzanne's farm and spent the day hanging out with great friends. We celebrted Suzanne's birthday, too. First thing we did was get lost in the woods. Yancy loved it! The briars ate us up, but we made it out alive with only minor scrapes. Our friends Stacy and Eric and their girls came over and we all roasted hot dogs and smores. It was so much fun! I tell Suzanne that it's like therapy for me, like a mini-vacation. It's so relaxing. And when we're all together, there's always lots of laughs, too! Hope you had a good birthday, Suzanne! We enjoyed it!

All of the girls...

Suzanne riding Holly Grace's scooter... too funny!

Yancy on the DEERE...

I had to join in on the scooter fun...

Suzanne, me, Stacy, and Trawick

Trawick was a great shot!