Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is it well??

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:If Jordan above me shall roll,No pang shall be mine, for in death as in lifeThou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,The sky, not the grave, is our goal;Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Can something be well with your soul, but not well with your mind??

I've been thinking about this alot lately. I have peace about where my family members are that have passed away within the last year... but I still miss them. Alot.

On Saturday morning when we found out Mawmaw had passed away, I immediately began thinking of things I should have said, when I should have called, etc... but am very content in knowing that she's up in heaven... but I'm going to miss her. I haven't cried alot... but I am going to miss her sweet laugh, genuine interest in my life, great cooking, and "love you" before we would hang up the phone...

Friday night when I got home I began missing daddy in a different way because I was surrounded by all his stuff! In Birmingham I'm surrounded by pictures of him... but not his hats, boots, clothes, guitars, deers mounted on the walls, etc... that I see as soon as I walk into my home. Over the past few days of being at home... I have just wanted to see him and smell him...know that he is here...and it's still weird that he's not. I went to visit his grave yesterday (and threw all the pinecones around him over the fence... that was always my job at home), and literally wanted to just lay there and be as close to his physical body as I could (maybe morbid... but I'm being honest - though I didn't actually lay down... just stood for a little while). So, is this really "well with my soul," when my mind is still in a state of loss?

This hymn is a favorite of many of my family members... but I know that I have had a hard time singing it in the last few months... I did a little research on the hymn and found that the author took the verse from Psalm 146. In my NKJV translation... this capter begins and ends with "Praise the Lord!,' and there are several great verses that really encourage me as I go through the, "It is well vs. It's not well" dilema...

"Praise the Lord, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being."
Psalm 146: 1-2
While I am able, I shall praise. I have learned that it is best to praise when you can be honest about it though. There have been days when I literally could not get the words to a song out of my mouth because my heart wasn't behind it. On those days, I have learned to pray for strength to be able to praise. Because not matter what loss we have been through, God gave us something or someone that was a big enough part of our lives that their loss has affected us greatly... so if for nothing else, we should praise God for the times we had with that person, with the blessing of experiencing that opportunity... because to lose anything, you must have gained something previously.

"Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever..."
Psalm 146: 5-6
In my darkest valleys, I must recognize that I have help... and that help is the Lord who made heaven and earth. If God has the ability to create the universe and an ameoba... how could He not have the ability to comfort me?! ... He does have the ability... and He will. I must find hope in my Creator... after all, He's not only the creator of heaven and earth, He's the creator of Comfort as well...
"The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow..."
Psalm 146: 9
Well now this one hit me like a big ton of bricks... You see, the Lord loves all of His creations, and He watches over them all... but this verse says to me that He's got a special watchful eye over me, Shane, mom, Aunt Lanell, Uncle Lloyd... and all of those who have lost spouses or fathers. How can I not find comfort in this fact?? How can this NOT make my soul feel well?!
The grieving process is a continual one. I know that there will be good days and bad days for us all... but regardless of what type of day it may be for any of us... we must remember the big picture. God's watching over us, God is our help, God is our hope, and God deserves our praise... whether it's well or not.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Keep the Faith...

"My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever...
But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord God,
That I may declare all Your works."
(Psalm 73: 25-26. 28)

... this kind of says it all for me today.

God is asking us to bear alot... but He's giving us the strength to do it, and I trust that He will continue to do so. No matter how hard of a year this has been for everyone in my family, I'm determined that God will get the glory from it all - from me at least. My prayer is that the rest of my family will be able to see it this way as well.

In a text tonight I received the message, "Keep the Faith :)". I responded by saying that I couldn't get through this without it. And that's true... there would be no hope in death without the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (If you want to know more about that... just let me know.) ... Heck, there's no hope in life without the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Greater Expectations...

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things" (Acts 15:28)

Well, God... I thought we had reached our limit.... then today happened.

My grandmother died this morning, peaceful it seems, but she passed away and was found sitting in her recliner with her coffee on the table next to her, just like she was every other morning. Today however, was her day to go home to be with the Lord, Pawpaw, Daddy, and her parents.

Now I titled this entry "Greater Expectations," because I've determined that's what God has of me and my family. Since Daddy died, on many occasions, I have told God that we just can't handle another death... then it happened... and now we're handling it (guess that's what I get for "telling" God). Obviously, God knows our limits better than we do... and we're now experiencing His expectations of us. We're no Job... but sometimes it's starting to feel like it.

Which brings me to my next point... Why has God chosen to put my family through so many deaths in one year?? Why has he pushed us to our limits and then expected us to keep going?? Well, I can think of a few reasons, and one is harder to swallow than the other...

1. To remind us that He is in control, we have to rely on Him, we serve Him, and we should be spending as much time with him as possible. Once again I am struck by God's hand in my life. I just happened to be home this weekend. I had been planning a trip home and it just "happened" (or was divinely ordained) to be this weekend. If I had not come home to visit, someone would have had to call me in Birmingham and tell me the news... where as since I was the one here... I ended up making some of the phone calls to tell others. Shane was at a tournament in Laurel... 40 minutes away from home verses the 2 hours it could have been if he was in a tournament in Jackson. Kristen, as of this past week, is now in a relationship with a sweet guy who was with her when Aunt Lanell told her the news and he then drove her the 4 hours home just so she would not be by herself. God is so in control of our lives that He put us where we needed to be and with the people we needed to be with at such a sad and shocking time.

A note from Daddy's bible that relates to this point:
"We seem to think God should "fix" our problems, but He "allowed" them to start with. He doesn't want to "fix" them, He wants to work with us to do that. That's the whole purpose of His bringing difficulties into our lives."

2. God will get the glory... through the good times and bad. Maybe, like Job, God is allowing us to be tested because He has faith in us! (What a privilege and honor!!!) I was talking to a dear friend tonight when this thought occurred to me... what if God is using our family, our pain, and our reaction to it all as an example for others!! One of those... if they can get through it, then I can get through it things... As Christians, we should always strive to be examples to others... in the good times and the bad. If my family's strength in dealing with the deaths of Pawpaw Scarbrough, Daddy, Mr. Greer, and Mawmaw Scarbrough in the last year can help someone else get through their turmoil and pain... then God gets the glory if we will give it to him (and after all... that's what we were made for)!

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent,
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever."
Psalm 30:12
As I was thinking of what to write tonight, I asked Daddy to send me some help... I grabbed two of his bibles and of course, found some things that I hope will be both encouragement to my family and others.
Also from Psalm 30:
" For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life; <---- How awesome is that!!!
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning."
Psalm 30: 5
Now once again... let's be honest, as Daddy put it in a note I just found in his bible, "I can't praise you as well in the pit." It's hard to praise when dealing with sorrow, but still... God has given us so many blessings in life that we have no reason NOT to praise Him. In the absolutely worst year in my family's life... God blessed Kim and Robby with a beautiful baby girl who lights up all of our lives. We may be celebrating a lot of first without Pawpaw, Daddy, Mr. Greer, and Mawmaw this year... but we will also be celebrating a lot of firsts with Savannah.
I found a song/poem that Daddy wrote that I hope might be helpful to us, but also others going through the same situations... it doesn't have a title, and I have no clue when he wrote it...
When all of my ways are directed by God
When I am yielded to Him
Then I can say as I traveled my way
I'm not afraid when the light grows dim
Sometimes the Lord may try my faith
He may let me wander alone
To see if I will cry out to Him
When I can't find my way home.
He's faithful to me, He's always true
His love is boundless and free
And when I am lost and can't find my way
His strong arm reaches out for me
God is my Strength, God is my Song
He is my fortress and guide
And I can't describe what He means to me
And in Him I want to abide.
My expectation for God (... and I do think it's okay for us to have those) was that I always learn something from the hardships we go through... and He has come through for me as always. He is constantly reminding me of how in control He is of my life... which reminds me that I'm His... and is there anything more comforting than knowing that I belong to the One True God?? I don't exactly know what else God expects from me... though I hope it doesn't involve dealing with more deaths any time soon. But whatever it is I have the assurance that He is with me every step of the way... because He's the one directing those steps and controlling where they go.
Please keep us in your prayers. I love y'all! - Kacey

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Biblical Lessons from observations of Football

So I am sitting here and watching the Ole Miss vs South Carolina game, and South Carolina just tied it up with a 20 something yard field goal. Now of course, you know I'll be biased in my support here... but in observations, not so much. As the teams ran of the field I was struck by the reaction of the coaches... The Rebels run off the field at the end of the play, after South Carolina has just tied up the game, and Coach Nutt was cheering them on by smiling and patting them on that back, telling them "good job." Coach Spurrior (sp?), however, was walking away from his team shaking his head as if he was frustrated when his team just kicked a field goal to tie the game (it may be 3-3, but at least it wasn't 3-0 anymore!).

Their difference in reactions really made me think about two particular topics, Encouragement and Leadership. Now personally... I love encouragment... it's one of the subjects I always like to present about to RA's. I think encouragement should be a part of daily life, and more than anything I think being an Encourager is an essential component of being a Leader. As I think of these two words... so many things come to mind, but to keep it biblical, I think I'll use this observation to discuss my opinion of the best and worst leaders in the bible.

My pick for Best leader of the bible, isn't Jesus... it's Nehemiah. If you haven't read his book... I highly encourage you to. Nehemiah was a really smart guy... a realistic and practical leader that gave everyone a responsibility and supported his people through physical and emotional support as well as prayer during their major task of building a wall around the city of Jerusalem. I seriously think I could write a book about this guy... when reading Nehemiah I wrote so many notes about this his leadership skills that I'll only hit the major highlights of his career here...

  • Nehemiah prayed for His people (Nehemiah 1:5-11)
  • Nehemiah was reasonable and logical in his requests... (Nehemiah 2: 7-8)
  • When he was not sure who to turn to, Nehemiah sought guidance from his spiritual leaders. (Nehemiah 3:1)
  • Nehemiah knew they policies of his people, faith, and community... and he did not hesitate to keep them accountable for those rules. (Nehemiah 5: 6-8)
  • Nehemiah took care of his neighbors... they looked out for each other. I think that Nehemiah formed the world's first neighborhood watch group! (" ... Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while they stand guard, let them shut and bar the doors; and appoint guards form among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, one at his watch station and another in front of his own house." Nehemiah 7: 3)

Major lessons learned from Nehemiah:

  1. God is gracious enough to forgive us, we should be humble enough to ask for it.

"We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You have commanded Your servant Moses... O Lord, I pray, please let your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man." (Nehemiah 1:7-11)

2. Despite criticism - Follow your goal.

"... they laughed at us and despised us, and said, 'What is this thing that you are doing?'... So I answered them, and said to them 'The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build..." (Nehemiah 2: 19-20)

3. Cooperation is key to getting ANY goal accomplished! Everyone has something to contribute to the common goal!


4. Your efforts as a team will not always be recognized or respected by others (4:2-3), but don't let that keep you from completing and protecting your goal. (Nehemiah 4:19-23)

5. Do not abuse your power of leadership - for it is given by God, not earned by you. (Nehemiah 5: 14-15)

6. Don't assume you (as the leader) know everything.

" Now on the second day the heads of the fathers' houses of all of the people, with the priests and Levites, were gathered to Ezra the scribe, in order to understand the words of the Law." (Nehemiah 8:13)

7. Learn lessons from other's experience... don't remake their mistakes.

"Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers." (Nehemiah 9:3)

8. Celebrate and show thanks (to God) for your accomplishments... both individually and as a team.

" Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps." (Nehemiah 12: 27)


My pick for the worst leader is such an easy choice... Saul, you know... the king that let a little kid kill the giant because he wasn't willing to!! I think that one of the most important rules that a leader should follow is that they should never ask their people (whether that's staff, students, whatever you call them) to do things that the leader themself is not willing to do. Can you imagine the scene that day on the battlefield?? the Israelite army on one side, Philistines on the other...and this realy big dude... like the biggest defensive lineman you have ever seen, walks out in front of his team and starts trash talking your team... not just one Saturday in the Fall, but 40 days in row... morning and night!! And little David... he's like, the punter... heck, the water boy in comparison to Goliath (if you're following my football analogy here) but he's the one who is willing to step up and come to the line of scrimmage?! Not only did he step up... but he won! Now of course... as the story goes on... we see that Saul, on multiple occasions, tries to kill David because he is resentful (1Samuel 18: 8-9). Why was he resentful... well, let's just think that a bunch of ladies singing this probably ticked him off a bit:
"Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands" (1 Samuel 18: 7)

Anyways... to make a really long story short (13 chapters to be exact) Saul continually tries to kill David, the majority of Saul's army begins to follow and defend David, and Saul eventually committed suicide after being wounded.

Moral of the Saul/David story: David exemplified leadership by being willing to step out and do what others were not for the sake of his team. By doing that (and succeeding, I'm sure the story would have turned out different if God didn't show up to direct those stones), he gained the respect and support of the entire Israelite team... and went on to be one of the most identifiable kings in the bible (not to mention an ancestor of Jesus!).

So... the game is over now, and Ole Miss lost... and though I'm sad for my team, they're still my team. They will learn from what they did wrong during the game... and practice for days so that they don't make the same mistakes next game. We can easily carry that (and all the lessons from Nehemiah) into our daily lives...

Dear God,
Please help me to be a leader that would:
honor You, serve You, and be a good example for You... every day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

He restores my soul...

" The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures,
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake." (Psalm 23: 1-3)

God loves me. One of the reasons I know this is because He is providing me with some amazing opportunities at a time that I need them. Last summer I had been talking with Renee, who works in University Ministries at Samford, about the possibility of leading some students on a mission trip... at the time, my future was up in the air - I was looking into jobs at other Universities and Doctorate programs in Higher Ed... and eventually, those plans didn't work out. After Daddy passed away, my desire to do something bigger than me really came back with a fury... I didn't want to just go on vacation this year, I wanted to go somewhere and serve. So, in July after I returned to Samford I emailed Renee to ask about the possibility of the trip again this year. From our first meeting I was emotionally and prayerfully invested in this opportunity. There were a few little hurdles... but they have all been passed, and I'm going to be leading a group of students to work in an orphanage in Huehuetenango, Guatemala for 2 weeks in January!!!

I just can't tell you what a positive spin this has put on my life lately. From the time I got back to Birmingham after Daddy's death, God was putting a positive experience in my life... and those first few weeks were a really hard adjustment with a lot of emotions. However, God was/ is allowing the sadness to be filled with hope and anticipation!! As I thought of this new great opportunity and how it has made me feel, Psalm 23 came to mind. God has truly been restoring my soul through this opportunity. As I mentioned yesterday, after Daddy died I was SO mad at God... and I had seriously never felt pain like that before... the emotional loss of daddy was probably more painful than any illness I ever had. I couldn't figure out how I was going to do life without him, and didn't want to think about having to. I would cry till I had no more energy, and sometimes the literal sobs that came out of me even surprised me at their intensity and volume... but over the last month and a half, those episodes have diminished. I cry, of course, but it's not as intense because reality has set in. And despite all of that... I have been encouraged, I have been blessed, and I have been restored.

"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23: 4)

I can easily say that my Daddy was my spiritual leader here on Earth... and I think Mom and Shane might say the same. And in those major valleys I've been walking through I have not been afraid, in fact... I have become more comfortable with the concept of death. Now, I'm not a morbid person... and I'm not looking forward to death itself, but knowing that Daddy will be there to welcome me makes it a bit easier to take. I'll have a really familiar face waiting on me when I get there... and the anticipation of that makes me a bit more comfortable with the subject. In the role of my dad and my spiritual leader, like the Shepherd in verse 4, Daddy was my protector, teacher, and guide. Daddy was the first person I would call when I had a problem, question, random bit of info, or bull riding results... and so many of his words, the sound of his singing, and the memories of him have comforted me through his loss. And of course, our Heavenly Shepherd has brought those things to my mind when I needed them... both of my F/fathers have been comforting me as I travel through the valley!

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever." (Psalm 23: 5-6)

What hope there is in these verses!!! The buffet of blessings that God provides us is so immense we can't handle it... and they are going to keep coming!! (All the days of my life/Forever... that's a long time folks!). These two verses are overwhelming in two ways to me:
  1. Think of all the possibilities of the blessings here...
  2. ... and I don't deserve any of them!!
So... to wrap all this up... let's consider why we should receive any of these blessings. Well, we certainly don't deserve any of them, and we cannot do enough go works in life to earn them... so what's the result?? I find my answer in the last part of verse 3:
"For His name's sake."

We are blessed with blessings so that we can turn around and praise HIM!! God does all of this stuff: these blessings, protection, comfort, guidance... all of it is so that we will recognize that we can't get through life without HIM!!! It's been hard learning to do life with out Daddy... but there is no way I would could get through a day if it wasn't for my Lord...

God, please help me to always see life through Psalm 23... to recognize your comfort and your blessings, and to give you the glory for it all. Thank you for the opportunity to take students to Guatemala, and please call students to this trip as you have me. Please help me to be the leader that I need to be for those students... and allow us to learn from each other.

Thanks you for loving me... when I deserve it the least.
- KC

Monday, September 21, 2009

If I fly or if I fall...

I decided that a good way to start my reflections would be to explain why I chose the title (if I fly or if I fall) and address (iknowtheOnewhocontrolsitall) of the blog. Several years ago I came home from a mission trip to Honduras and told my dad about the wonderful experience I had working with children and making new friends, especially with one particular friend... Sofia Lepe. Sofia was around my age and working as one of our translators and over a period of 3 years we saw each other for a week at a time, but a great friendship was formed. My dad was a great songwriter... so I asked him to write one for me, and this song was what he wrote for me:


When it’s winter time, the leaves are all brown,
When the wind blows they fall to the ground,
Sometimes it makes me think about me and you.
We hang on just as long as we can,
When we turn loose we wonder where we will land,
I’m so glad I know the Master of the wind.
Storms may come, winds will blow,
Night will fall, but this I know,
If I fly, or if I fall,
I know the one who controls it all.
I may not know much but my love is real,
Nobody on earth knows just how I feel,
But I know someone who can see down in my heart.
There are so many things that I’d like to do,
But most of all Jesus I want to please you,
So here’s my life take it, use it as you will.
I have been blessed to have all that I do,
And now the times come for me to serve you.
But if it’s in your plan Lord that I should die,
I hope I make you proud, and I hope that I,
Will always be faithful, to your plan for me.

I can't tell you how many times I have thought about this song in my relationships with different people... especially as I have moved away from my family, and experienced so many new things in my life. In each different place God has taken me, from Hattiesburg to Oxford, Oxford to Mexico, then Oxford to Hattiesburg and finally to Birmingham... God has put so many different people in my life that could be the other half of this song, and I can't tell you the blessing that is in my life... especially over the last few months since Daddy died. (... and for the record Sophia and I are still friends... I'm going to her wedding in November)

Daddy's passing was the biggest storm I've ever had in my life. I begged and pleaded with God the morning I got the phone call that I needed to come to the hospital, that the next time I came home Daddy would still be alive. I screamed at God when Daddy died... I was so mad at Him for days and days, but I finally... weeks later, made peace with my storm. Why? How?? Well, it was a process and not a pretty one. I avoided church for weeks because I couldn't honestly worship... I was still mad and didn't understand... so I avoided just about any church thing but my small group... I slept in late or went out of town on Sundays to avoid going to church. I don't quite remember when I got the answer to my question, but of course... it came from Daddy. In 2005 , when my friend Rose died from Lymphoma at the age of 22, Daddy was not very comforting to me at the time (Ironic that his words brought comfort 4 years later). He told me (and I'm paraphrasing a bit) that "God is a jealous God... and when He is ready for His children to come home, He's going to take them home." Now of course, in our human minds let's be honest... that sucks for those of us left behind. However, it makes sense to those of who have faith in Him. (... and I honestly have NO clue how people get through a loss like this when they don't believe in God/Christ/Heaven/etc...) However, if we look at the Bible, in many places we are referred to as "His." One of my favorite verses is Ephesians 2:10: " For we are His workmanship (masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

This verse blows my mind on many levels (and I would get way off on a tangent if I got into... I mean, me... a Masterpiece??!!)... but it reinstates the notion that we are His!! So ultimately what I have come to understand, and have a peace about is that God didn't take my daddy away from me... because he was never mine to begin with. My dad was 100% property of God... and we all are going to have to face this at one point or another... he was my best friend whether he knew it or not and I confided in him more than any other... but he wasn't mine... he was God's...

There are so many things this song brings up in my mind... so many ways i could go to explain how my dad's words constantly impact my life. I'm laughing right now though because God's teaching me a lesson at this very moment... I'm gushing over the words of my earthly father... how much more do I need to be learning from the Word of my Heavenly Father!!! As I think of a way to wrap this up though... let's get back to the point of this entry... why I named the blog what I did...

"If I fly or if I fall" - There are valleys and peaks every day that we wake up. And sometimes, no matter how hard we try to fly and succeed, we are going to fall. There are so many things I can screw up in my daily life... so many ways I can disappoint God and be inconsistent in my Walk... but if you look at it the right way, those are opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and move on.

"I know the One who controls it all." - No matter how dark your valley is... or how bright your mountain peak may be... God is in control of it all! He created us to do His work, follow His will, and praise Him. And though that may be really hard at times... if you are one of His children, He loves you anyway... and what a blessing that is!!

My personal prayer for me is... that I'll remember all this when I'm in a valley... because I know I'll be back there at some point. (Daddy used to always used the analogy of climbing a mountain when it came to dealing with struggles...) To be honest, I don't think I'll every be at the mountaintop in regard to Daddy being gone... because I miss him so much, and there's an empty spot in my life that can never be replaced... BUT - I can, and do have a peace about where he is, our relationship, and the memories I will always have of him. Thankfully, just as there is still sadness... God is putting alot of opportunities in my life that I am able celebrate and enjoy... just a reminder, that He is SO in control!

Consistency, Encouragement, and Reflection

I've decided to get back to blogging for a few reasons...

First and foremost, because I need some self accountability when it comes to studying the Word of God, and I figure... if I allow people to read my thoughts on what I am studying, I will have to be more consistent in my quiet time.

Second, because I'm hoping what I have been through with the death of my daddy might help someone else through their struggles. Since June 20th I have been through such a roller coaster of emotions and pain, I've had so many highs and lows it would be impossible to map. However, through it all... I have always known that God is numbering my steps where they need to be... He is placing opportunities in my life and obstacles in my path that I would not have been able to face without the experiences of my past... no matter how high the high, or low the low. I pray that my lessons learned can help others as they go through the valleys of life.

Finally, I have been praying for the wisdom of my father. My daddy was such a smart man when it came to matters of faith and so many other things. He could explain the most difficult concepts in simple ways that anyone could understand and apply to their own lives. I truly hope that I can gain that wisdom and understanding... but I recognize that in order to gain wisdom, I have to spend time in study. Daddy also was a big advocate of reflection and learning from one's mistakes... so this will also be a place of reflection for me as well, and feel free to add any reflections of your own as comments, or email them to me at