Forward Friday: Serving Family

A couple of Sundays ago, one of our pastors, Kevin Hauman, made a statement when talking about families that struck a chord in me. He said, “We have to serve our families.” Sounds simple and common sense, but I have to admit, I never really equated what I do at home as serving. Not really. I cook, clean, keep laundry (except my man’s because he likes to do his own and I don’t argue ;)) up and groceries bought etc…It’s just, you know, what I do as mom. Not that my husband doesn’t do any of these things, he does them often and my kids help out. But for the most part, I do these things. I do them without much thought. It is a labor of love but I haven’t thought of it as that.

Late that Sunday night after the sermon, my husband had a terrible toothache and his stirring with pain woke me. A quiet whisper entered my mind, “He needs an ice pack.” So I thought, “Great! I’ll tell him to go get one!” And Kevin’s words came back to me. “Serve your family.” The Lord spoke to my heart. “You go get him one.”

Was I tired? Yes. Would I have to go all the way downstairs? Yes. Would I probably be wide awake the rest of the night? Probably. But He was right. And so I did. I went downstairs and came back up and brought him an ice pack which helped! Did I lay awake awhile? Yes. But it felt good to serve him out of love. To do that simple task.

Like Mother Teresa said. It’s not how much we do, but how much love is behind it.

What are some simple things you do for your family that you don’t have to, but want to in order to show them how much you love them and want to serve them?

Forward Challenge: Do one thing for each of your immediate family members today that is small, but served with a lot of love. Note how it makes them feel and how it made you feel!

Forward Prayer: Lord, it’s easy to serve our family when it’s things we enjoy doing, but sometimes cooking one more meal, dropping off forgotten books when we are already running late for meetings, or cleaning gooey gum off shoes doesn’t feel loving. Help us to do it anyway and to love like You would. Fill us with overwhelming love and let it shine through our actions.

Forward Scripture: 


Dear Daughter, Tomorrow You Graduate

Tomorrow marks the day you graduate into adulthood. But lying in the hospital with you in my arms seems like only yesterday. You cried so loud, a ripple of fear went through my veins. Would I be able to calm you? Make you feel safe, loved, cared for?

I was only a young girl myself really. Twenty-three isn’t much older than you are today. But I was just a girl. With a baby. With dreams for you. 

To be happy. To be kind. Generous. Sweet. 

You’re all those things.

Be brave. Be strong. Be a leader.

You are all those things.

Watching you grow, I never felt you’d actually become an adult. But your long cotton top hair than hung to your tailbone was cut.

It turned into a dirty blond bob. 

You lost your baby teeth. Mostly you tore them out for cash. *See be brave. Be strong.

Slowly, you developed into an adolescent. You wanted freedom and your room changed from sweet pink and mint green into a “big girl” room. 

Then you were a teenager… starting high school. We walked together. Made mistakes together. Lost our cool…together. Figure it out…together.

Slowly…surely…you needed me less. You were sprouting wings. It pained me. It made me proud. 

You’re beautiful. Inside. Out. 

I treasured our nights laughing and talking about life, relationships…your crazy antics at school. 

I admire your tenacity. I respect your outspoken personality.

I secretly wish I’d been more like you instead of like me.

Time hasn’t been slow. It’s been a blink. You fit on a couch cushion once.

Now you have to find your fit in the world. It’ll feel small at first. But do not despise the day of small beginnings, my love. 

Small starts, if respected, result in big finishes. 

I want that for you. A big finish. I want to stand in glory beside you one day and watch as Jesus fills your crown with jewel after jewel. More than I could ever have received. I want you to have fulfilled all your purpose. I want you to know that you can achieve your dreams, hand in hand with God. I hope you see me and know this truth. Bailey's Photo

I want a line so long of people to surprise you in heaven with how much you’ve sowed into their lives.  You’ve sowed into mine. 

You, darling, are my treasure. But I can’t keep you in a treasure chest for myself. I have to give you to the world and trust that I’ve done good enough but whether I have or not, you’ll make choices that will disappoint me. You’ll have to learn so many things the hard way and I won’t be able to make them all go away.

You’re leaving here. This will never be your house again, not like it was once before.

Your room will feel so empty without your larger than life presence. I’ll miss your voice calling our names. I’ll ache for late nights in your bed when we watch TV and giggle.

But you’re always in my heart. Always in my prayers. A phone call away. Not a terribly far drive.

Go and fly, darling girl. Go and be all that God wants for you. All I want for you.  Never forget who you are, to Whom you belong.

I want you to soar. To be happy. To be content. 

I want you to study hard. Remember it’s a calling. 

I want you to fall in love with a man like your daddy–who will love you and treasure you. He’ll cherish and honor you. And spoil you like a rotten brat! A man who loves Jesus and imitates Him and His love for you.

 I love you. I support you. 

I’m your biggest fan.

I always have been (and Daddy too). We always will be.

 I’m going to cry a lot without you here. But I have strong shoulders to cry on. Remember, you do too. 

With all my love,







Real-Life Romance: David and Gabrielle Meyer



  I’m thrilled to have Gabrielle Meyer with me today. Her real-life
romance will conclude our series, for now! I may do another month long series in
the future. We’ll see. Gabrielle is a great lady and a fabulous writer—I’ve
read some of her work. I wouldn’t lie to yah! Thanks for being here, Gabe! And
take it away!

I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal. So it’s no surprise that I
write historical romance, or that I prefer to spend my free time in a museum.
It’s also no surprise that I decided
early on that I would be Sweet Sixteen
and Never Been Kissed
I even had the courage to tell a boy this when
he asked to kiss me when I was fifteen! (Imagine the look on his face.)
The surprise came (at least for me) when I was Sweet Seventeen…and I’d still never been
I was homeschooled from fifth grade through tenth. I loved
this experience, but it gave me little opportunity to find a boyfriend. At the
time, I lamented this fact. But now, after hearing so many horror stories from
friends who had terrible first kisses, I’m happy my options were limited.
I met David Meyer when we were sixteen. I was still being
homeschooled, but I’d become friends with a great group of kids through youth
group. David happened to be among them.
the moment I saw him on stage singing in the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, I knew he was
something special
…it just took me a little while to convince him
that I was something special, too. Almost a year!
But when he finally decided I was the one for him we’ve
never looked back. I was seventeen when David kissed me for the first time, and
he’s the only person I’ve ever kissed. I like that.
This summer we’ll be celebrating twelve years of marriage,
but we’ve known each other for over sixteen. Through driver license exams, parental
curfews, wisdom teeth extractions, high school graduations, college, first
cars, first jobs and stepping out into the world, we’ve made many memories
together. I wouldn’t want to walk through life with anyone else.
God has
blessed our union in more ways than I can count, but at the very top of the
list are our children.
Eight years ago we had our first child, a
beautiful, imaginative daughter with green eyes and a sprinkle of freckles
across her nose. She was followed two years later by our second daughter, who
charms us with her dimples and blond hair. For five years our life was full of
little girls, but God had an even bigger surprise in store for us.
A set of twin boys! Now three years old, one is gentle and
kind with big blue eyes, while the other is bold and curious, with a mischievous
twinkle in his green eyes. To say we were surprised with twins would be an
understatement! Never, in my wildest dreams, could I have planned such a
perfect family.
Like I said, I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal. I believe my
greatest impact on this earth will be in my home, and I believe the most
important calling is to serve my family. Being a good wife and mother is the
hardest challenge of my life, but it’s also the most rewarding.
Every day, through the good times and the bad, I’m in awe of
the God who has generously given us our hearts’ desires and I pray that our stewardship of all He’s given
us will be a blessing to Him for countless generations who follow.
I’m also tickled pink that my first love became my true love,
and my desire to wait for that first kiss was worth it.
where were you when the one you love kissed you for the first time? I was in a
Connect with 
Gabrielle on facebook too!

Snow Day: It’s Every Day


“Snow Day!” Myles is thrilled to stay home. Bailey grunts, “Just one more day we’ll have to make up later.” She’s so positive.

As I pour my first cup of coffee, the best cup of the day, Myles begs me to go out and play. Bailey’s too proud to beg. I can hear the song lyrics in my head as I glance at her and pour the last of the peppermint mocha creamer into my mug.

“I don’t care.” I have no intentions of going out. I silently hope they won’t ask me to go with them. I’m certainly not offering myself up on the altar of frozen toes and fingers. I’ll be quite happy looking out the window, drinking my coffee, staying warm from the fire. No sireee, I am not an outdoors woman.

I sigh in relief because they don’t care if I come. They know by now it’s not my thing, although as they run off to gear up for the rare southern snowfall, I hear Bailey say, “Can’t wait till Daddy comes home.” Daddy likes snow. Mostly, Daddy likes pelting his children with hardpacked snowballs and watching them drop like flies. I enjoy watching from the window as they scream for him to stop.

A new cup of coffee later, the kids come barreling out of their rooms, layered up for the endless snowplay. “Mom, Bailey says not to eat yellow snow. What’s yellow snow?”
“When animals pee on the snow.”
“Eeew,” he smacks Bailey’s arm (as if she can feel it) and frowns, “Why would I do that?”
She laughs and opens the door. The gust of icy wind reminds why I’m not going out with them. “Have fun,” I call as they take off, Myles slips immediately on the patio but jumps up, “I’m okay!”


By my third cup of coffee, I hear the backdoor open and I’m all ready to yell at them, “Look, in or out. I’m not having you drip all over the floors and freeze the house out.” I walk into the living room and see Myles on the couch with a bowl of Cheetos and Bailey picking up wet clothes.

“What’s going on?”

Myles looks at me and sticks his feet out, “I got frostbite.”

“You haven’t been out long enough for frostbite.”

He shrugs, “Have you been out there?” I get his point. How would I know? I hide my grin and ignore his smart aleck remark, because it’s just Myles. He isn’t being rude or defiant.

“Bailey, are you going back out?”


“Maybe later.” I know what that means.

I know that’s a no.  I reheat my cup of coffee, come back into my room and sit down at my desk to finish the last page of a Bible study and it hits me.

We, as Christians are a lot like my family on a Snow Day. We spend a lot of time talking about playing in the snow. I like the idea of it, but I’m not willing to even try. I enjoy the comforts of my own four walls. My kids go, but don’t stay out long enough to build anything. They spent more time gearing up than going out.

The world around us is forever like winter. Cold. Bitter. Icy enough for us to get bitten, but we must venture out and DO something. The four walls of our churches are too comfortable. We talk about going out. We gear up to go– through the preaching, programs, and plans. Some spend all their time gearing up and never going. Some stay inside without ever venturing out and knowing they never will. Some go out but don’t stay long–never laying foundations, building relationships with people who need Jesus or suffering the frigid temperatures to get it done. It doesn’t feel like fun. It’s just too uncomfortable.

Only a few go out and stay out long enough to no longer feel their flesh or their noses run. They work hard. They build. They smile as they do it. They inspire. When they come inside, accomplishment glows from their rosy cheeks and cracked lips. Something wonderful has happened! It’s time to come in, get warm, get a bite to eat and a drink then go right back out.
My kids never made it back out. They talked about it throughout the day. “Maybe tomorrow.” The sun came out. And it melted the snow away, right along with their opportunity.
Don’t let your opportunities melt away.
So, what’d you do on your Snow Day?



Love in Winter

The young girl bundled up and went out into the cold bitter wind, like she did everyday.  It was a long walk to the shoe factory where she toiled hard each day in order to make a few dollars a week to help her mama raise four other little girls.  She wasn’t much older than thirteen.
Each morning she would walk by a hat shop.  In the window were many beautiful hats displayed in every color and design.  She loved hats.  Every Friday afternoon as she would pass by that shop she would sigh and dream of owning just one of them.  She would wonder what it would feel like resting on her head of dark hair.  A crown maybe? She would put her hands deep into her old tattered wool coat pockets and feel the little bit of money she had labored all week for, close her eyes and wish just once she could use that money to buy something she desired.
Instead she would come home to four little sisters.  She would do laundry, feed the horses, get supper ready, bathe the girls and get them to bed, and then tidy the house before mama would come home from working her job all day long.  She wondered where her daddy might be, he had been gone so long… and then she would dream of the hats.
Her mama dreamed as well.  She dreamed life wouldn’t be difficult and unfair, that she wouldn’t have to raise five little girls alone, that her husband would have never left and that he would have loved her. She dreamed that her oldest daughter wouldn’t have had to grow up so quickly and work in a shoe factory she hated and that those few dollars she carefully placed into her palm each week could be spent on hats—but they were only dreams. If only…
Late one afternoon the little girl came home and on the table was a box.  A round box.  Her heart began to skip a beat.  She had seen the boxes before…in the hat shop by the shoe factory. 
Her mama came into the room and smiled.  “Open the box, Dorothy.” 
The little girl opened up the box and inside was the most beautiful hat.  She hurried and put it on and danced around the room.  Suddenly she stopped and looked at her mama with wide green eyes.  “How,” she asked in a concerned whisper.
Her mama’s smile was tired as she replied, “It doesn’t matter how, let me worry ‘bout that… it’s a gift”.
This little girl was my late grandmother, Dorothy, and I’m writing a memory of hers to share with you this holiday season.  Giving the sweetest gifts comes with sacrifice.  I don’t know how my great grandmother saved the money to buy that hat or what the cost, but I know it was a great sacrifice.  I know as she watched my grandmother dance about in the beautiful hat, she was receiving as great a gift– making it all worth the while.
Jesus gave the greatest, sweetest gift…salvation…which came at a great sacrifice–Himself. When we accept His beautiful gift, He sees us dance with freedom. Like my grandmother’s hat. A helmet of salvation.
I believe, just like my great grandmother, He smiles and says, “Don’t worry about the cost, let Me…it’s a gift.”
May this Holiday season remind you of the greatest gift given to us and the sacrifice that was involved. May you dance with grateful hearts full of joy around the room and may you have a very blessed Christmas season!
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15