Thursday, February 27, 2014


Its the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don't deserve
Its the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word
It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
Its always angers own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It's the whisper in your ear saying, "Set It Free"
Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible
Forgiveness, Forgiveness
Help me now to do the impossible
It'll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what its power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you
I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me

- Matthew West


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day

Valentines Day - I only celebrate when forced. Meaning, kids events. Ashton has a party and Sidney has a dance. The party should be a walk in the park. I am responsible for paper products and whipped cream for sundaes. Ashton will be thrilled that his mom will actually be at a party - aka: he doesn't have to ride the bus home! The dance on the other's been a thorn in the side for the past week.

My little tomboy who wears dresses only at weddings took the stance that she would be wearing jeans and a t-shirt to her "Dress your best" Valentines dance. That all changed the minute I hopped on a plane for a business trip. My daily check-in phone call turned into, "Mom, I want a dress for the Valentines dance." Awesome! I'm out of the state and you decide now that you want a dress. Great! "Dad will have to take you." Well, Dad didn't ended up taking Sidney, Nina did and she ended up with a shirt not a dress. Whatever...if that's what she wants, great! That decision was replaced by buyer's remorse within 36 hours. All the meanwhile, I was stuck in Atlanta with all of the winter wrath that hit the eastern seaboard. Stores, restaurants, business, flights, roads - all closed. State of emergency issued, no one moves. No one. 

I made it home, 36 hours later than anticipated. Turned on my phone upon landing only to receive a multitude of texts from Sidney - all asking me to buy her a dress. I venture to the mall - buy two dresses and a blazer so she would have options. After she put them on she informs me she is just going to wear jeans and the shirt she bought with Nina. Un, no, you're not. Game over. The crazy came out and I legislated she was wearing the dress and would provide me photographic evidence at the dance that it was worn. Oh, happy day! Can't wait to see the pictures from the dance! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ashton's Prayer

Ashton recently shared with Aaron a conversation he had with God. And, with great sincerity.

"I prayed to God last night that we would have a snow day. Just not on Wednesday so I could play basketball."

You've got to love the mind and heart of a seven year old.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


This morning's lesson in church was on marriage. I'm going into 15 years of marriage this July - so I should know a thing or two about it, right? ....not so much.

In the past few months, I have been working toward renewing my mind and soul. If you are a long-time church-goer you know what that means. If you aren't, it simply means trying to align your life with Christ. Having a Christ-centric life and outlook and thereby realized in thoughts, words and actions. It's life-transforming, I assure you. It's also painful to see how different life could have been if only this commitment occurred long ago. But, you have to start somewhere.

As I said, 14 1/2 years into marriage and I should know the meaning of that - the roles, expectations, the importance and meaning of vows. To some degree, yes, I get it. From a practical, Biblical standpoint, I have not upheld my vows the way that God intended marriage to be. There you go - my confession.

I have been working more and more on what those vows mean and upholding them with Aaron. It wasn't until this morning that I understood or allowed my heart to hear what marriage meant and at it's core - forgiveness. The covenant of marriage, not the contract. The marriage covenant of promises - of things that I promise, that I will do to honor God and my husband. Not a contract or a piece of paper stating that I am contractually bound to a person. But a promise to honor, love, submit and put him above all others.

Something many people know about me is that I am an independent, do what-I-want, when-I-want type of a woman. It's just how I roll. That's okay to some degree, but has no place in a marriage. This is a hard life-lesson for me. Something I have been working on along with forgiveness. My hard heart has gotten in the way many, many, many (did I say many?) times over the past 14+ years. Submission for me meant "doing what I am told" or agreeing to something I may not truly agree with. What I have learned over the past few months is that isn't what it means at all. It means the willingness to make my wants or needs secondary for the betterment of the marriage. To put Aaron's needs above mine. This is something that I do all the time - with virtually everyone - so why not him? The one person who should be my priority has rarely reaped what so many others have associated with me - service.

The point of all of this is to say, being married for over a decade doesn't mean that you're doing it right. I have been fortunate that Aaron has persisted despite a strong-minded wife who became closed-off and hard-hearted for various reasons. I am fortunate for grace and forgiveness even though I have not always offered it freely.

Marriage is tough. It's work. But, once you begin to understand it, it becomes a little easier to navigate and more enjoyable. I guess I will consider myself a slow learner, and thankful that I have an opportunity to move forward - with Christ and with Aaron.