Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
I hope you all are enjoying Christmas as much as I am this year!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Here's a guest post from Rebecca...
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!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
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.
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
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
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
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! http://lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com/2009/09/gaps.html
I'm glad to be back! :)
Monday, August 10, 2009
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
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
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
ps... remember to pause the playlist on the right!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
"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!!
"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
"In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
"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
"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
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
"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
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
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
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
The Leadership Team
My Fun Roomies... Kelley, Jamie, Chandra, Me, Rebecca, Stephanie, Brandi, Katie, and Stacy
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
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...
...you're IT! Well, that's more than 7, but I couldn't choose! I want to hear from you all! :)
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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
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
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
"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
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, March 1, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
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
Friday, February 13, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
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!