My Story (or at least some of it)

I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. Above all of this I am a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ.

Although, it didn't always used to be this way.

When I was younger I was wreckless and rebellious. I was a deliquent and did many, many things I was not supposed to do. I was very manipulative and had many different faces. I drank and did drugs and witnessed many different things a young person should never have to see. I did believe in God but truly thought He had given up on me and therefore I did not like or respect Him.

Little did I know He had a plan for me.

One day, while drinking myself silly on my balcony with some friends, I heard an inner voice ask me "What the hell are you doing? You deserve so much better than this!" (I believe in treatment they call that a moment of clarity. ) Of course it didn't stop me from drinking that night but it did start a chain reaction of events that lead me to where I am today.

I did check myself into treatment not long after that event and I have been sober every since. That was on March 3, 2000.

Since that time I have graduated from college with a B.S. in Geography specializing in cultures. I have found the love of my life, Jeff, and we got married on May 27, 2006. Very soon after that we got pregnant (surprise!) and we had Gracie on March 17, 2007. We moved to SC in June of 2007 and we had our son, Donovan, on February 10, 2010.

I have been blessed in so many ways. I have the love of a good man, 2 beautiful children, the support and love of a wonderful family and amazing friendships that have lasted through good and bad. I know that God has a purpose for my life and I am so grateful that He has given me a second chance at living.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidays?

So the season is upon us and just like every year its got me thinking.  This is the time of year hwere holids and traditions are shared my namy.  Some celebrate Christmas (we fall into that category).  Some celebrate Hanukah and others celebrate Kwanzaa. And then there are those that choose not to celebrate at all.
My thing is why say Happy Holidays?  I know it's just generic and this way we don't offend someone but why not say the greeting for holiday or tradition?  I would not be any way offended if someone told me 'Happy Hanukah' or 'Happy Kwanzaa'.  I would take it as a blessing and be appreciative.  It's the same of someone telling you 'have a great day'.  Its a form of a blessing.

Please don't misunderstand me.  I don't get offended when someone tells me 'Happy Holidays'.  But my response to them is 'Merry Christmas'. 

It just seems people are really looking for things to complain about more and more these days.  Like they want a unifom type society where we all believe the same, dress the same, talk the same....etc.  Its like we all want control.
The truth is we were no created to be the same.  no matter whoe your Higher Power may be (or if you even choose to believe in one) its pretty obvious we are all defferent.  As such we should celebrate that!
So I say please share your beliefs and traditions by saying your celebrations blessing to everyone.  This is what makes us all so special.  All esle fails just wish someone a dreat day.  Putting smiles on faces and spreading love is waht is important. 
So from our family to yours, Merry Christams and many blessings to ya'll this season and in the New Year!

Friday, November 25, 2011


I love this holiday!  It is such a great time to get with family and friends and just enjoy being together.  Thanksgiving is right in the middle of the season of fall so the leaves are beautiful colors and filling up the ground.  People gather around a table for a feast and talk about how thankful we all are for the people and things we have on our lives.  But this time of year always leaves me with a question and a prayer.
First the question.  Why does Thanksgiving get overlooked?  It seems like right after Halloween (or in some cases Halloween hasn't even past yet) and Christmas decorations are already going up.  Not even in just department stores but homes as well.  People start making plans for 'black friday' shopping and figuring out who and where will have the best deals for gifts.  Radio stations start playing Christmas music and venues start promoting Christmas specials.  I really feel like Thanksgiving gets that shaft and it just doesn't seem fair.  This is such a great holiday about blessings and gratitude.
Which leads me into my prayer.  My prayer is that everyone not only celebrates Thanksgiving for the great holiday and tradition it is for this country this time of year but all year long.  We shouldn't just be thankful once a year.  Gratitude should be seen and shown all the time.  Gratitude is an action word and doesn't only exist at the end of November.  So I hope everyone continues to be thankful for not just the blessings in our lives but the blessings yet to come.

Just a little side note: I applaud Nordstroms for not putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving.  They sent out a statement right after Halloween stating they prefer to celebrate each holiday individually.  I know they received a lot of scorn from customers over this decision but I completely agree with them!  Thank you Nordstorms for setting a standard!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Life Unfinished

It is times like this my heart is so full and yet so broken.  I found out that an old friend of mine, Katy, was killed earlier this year.  When I found this out I immediately broke down and began to cry.
Flashes of memories of our friendship came to mind.  Many good times and laughs, life changing moments shared and tears shed together over the years.  And even though it had been years since we spoke, I still love and miss her.
To find out she is gone and I never really got to say goodbye just causes me emotional and frankly, a little bit of physical pain.  There are many moments we missed in each others lives.  Moments we can now not get back.  Someone chose to cut her life short unexpectedly and because of that things will be left unfinished, until the day comes we will meet again in heaven.
Katy there are so many things I wish I could have said to you.  I am sorry I didn't keep in better contact with you.  Seems like our lives went in separate directions after we finished school.  I have thought about you often and always wanted to best for you.  I have definitely missed your smile and your laughter.  I have missed our talks and our adventures.  And knowing I won't get that back in this life hurts but I do know I will be seeing you again.  Some of my best memories of us are in Yellowstone National Park.  Being wranglers and being able to ride together through some awesome landscape was a dream come true for both of us.  I know though you have the best landscape to ride in now.  You will always hold a special place in my heart-my wrangler in the sky!  I love you babe!  And I am sorry I didn't get to say this before.  Save a ride for me!  I will be looking for you when I come home!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


When God created her up in heaven He pulled her aside and said, "Child, I have a special purpose for you."  And she said, "Yes Father."
He sent her to this earth to be with us.  He chose a special family to help Jasmine fulfill her special purpose.
Through her short 2 1/2 years on this earth Jasmine went through much pain and suffering.  And yet this angel did it with love and a smile on her face.  She brought so many people together and showed us all something unique.  She taught me love, thankfulness and faith.  Lessons I continue to learn over and over.
She left us and went home to heaven, where she was met with love.  God said to her, "Well done good and faithful servant."

I know we don't always understand why He does what He does.  I know for me I have so many questions. But I am learning to listen closely and to pay attention.  He will answer all questions in time.
Thank you to God and Jasmine for teaching me love, thankfulness, and faith.  Just when I think I am going strong in these areas of my life, I am shown I can do better.
Thank you to her parents for sharing her to the world.  Such a precious and beautiful gift you were given.  And even though she is home now, she will be seen again.  Through all of us that were touched by her short life and when we enter the gates to heaven.  I know she will be waiting for us!

Photo taken by Jessica V. of Jessica V Photography

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This is something that has been coming up a lot lately for me. Probably has something to do with our series right now in church but also because I am about to make some life changing decisions, including going back to school.

I am very excited about this venture. I know this is what God wants me to do and pursue but when I stop and think about what all it is going to entail, it really starts to feel like an inconvenience. I have so much going on already with life and I really don't need to add one more thing. Especially something big like school.

I have done the 'school thing' before and I know how much work this is truly going to be. I got my Bachelors before I had children and a life that involves more than just me. Now to add that kind of work load on top of my life now is truly an overwhelming thought.

So I have been praying about this and asking God how exactly am I supposed to do this. And basically it comes down to I am going to have to give some things up. Ok...what do I give up? How can I make this change more convenient for me?

The truth is this is going to be inconvenient to my life. Period. Yes I am going to give up doing a few things for a while but there are many things I simply can not just give up.

So I started thinking if Jesus ever felt this way. Was He every overwhelmed with life and what that all entails? Did He ever say we are too inconvenient to pursue and love because His life is just too hectic at the moment? Picture the soldiers coming to take him away to go before Pontius Pilate and Jesus saying, "Ya know this isn't really going to work for me today. I have so much going on right now. Check back with me in about 3 months." (In case you are wondering, that didn't happen.)

The truth is this new adventure is only going to bring me closer to Him. It will be inconvenient in some ways but the rewards far out weigh all the troubles. He gave His all just show how much he loves and believes in me. He created me for a purpose and he has a plan. And I don't want to have the attitude of inconvenience when it comes to His great plan for me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

God's Plan

I know we have all heard that God has a plan but what exactly does that mean? I am sure it means something different for everyone.
I have been going back and forth about what His plan is for me. What should I be doing with my life? For quite sometime now He has been telling me to sit still and wait. Of course I was just reluctant to do this, but after must resistance on my part I did indeed sit still and wait.
After a few months I brought up the topic again to God. I asked Him again what I should be doing with my life. He lead to talk with friends and family to help me. He helped me keep my ears and my mind open (and my mouth shut) so I could listen to what He had to tell me.
Well last night I had a good conversation with God. I was journalling and I remembered (or you could say He nudged me) to take some tests my church and a good friend of mine have been telling me about.
I took these tests online and both of tests showed my spiritual gifts, my personality type, and some jobs I would best be suited for. One of the top jobs is counseling. This is a topic that has been brought up to me many times over the last several years. I have always been interested in this line of work.
So I asked Him if this is what He really wanted me to do. Is this what I am supposed to do? In my heart I believe He said yes.
Then I asked Him "What if I am not very good at it?"
You know what he said? He said, "Why would I design you for something you wouldn't be good at?"
He has a good point!
So I am looking into schooling to get my education and certifications under me. I feel like I am ready to start this journey. If this is where He is leading me, I will follow!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I have had some things come up lately that have really just made me uncomfortable. Uncomfortable in some of my surroundings and uncomfortable in my own skin.
I have found myself asking God why we have to experience certain things. Why can't some things just be left alone.
Well sure enough God answered me. Lately I have been reading and studying Romans. An amazing book of the bible packed with so many great tools!
In Romans 5:3-5 it states "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
On the very next page in the CR bible there is a character study. In this particular character study it talks about the trials and sufferings we endure. It says' "As God's children we begin to recognize that the path of trials, when traveled with perseverance, improves our character. And God is more interested in our character than in our comfort. Our improved character may be identified as an informed hope and a deepened experience of God's love. That Christ lives in us becomes apparent when our endurance of suffering differs from that of an unbeliever."
I have heard suffering explained to me many different ways and why we have to suffer in life. All other explanations never made much sense to me.
This explanation made sense! I don't know if I am just more open to it now or what the difference is. I completely understand character building.
So I know now that the things and situations that happen in my life that make me uncomfortable are actually character building exercises. God always wants me to step out of my comfort zone and he works in me to be what he designed me for. It somehow makes some things easier to handle I guess. But I am glad when the tough stuff comes up I have a good teacher by my side!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Celebrate Recovery: Principle 7 Prayer

"Dear God, help me to set aside the hassles and racket of the world, so I can focus my mind and listen just to you for the next few minutes. Help me to get to know you better. Help me to better understand your plan and purpose for my life. Father, help me to live this day within the boundaries of today, seeking your will and living this one day as you would have me live it."

WOW! I was reading my Celebrate Recover bible this evening before bed and this is the prayer I came across while looking over the lesson for this upcoming week. I really, really needed that. This is a prayer I need to repeat everyday. I can so easily get caught up in the day and start to project my thoughts into the future. I need to remember that each day is important and deserves the attention it deserves. Each day is a day the Lord created for us and we should rejoice and be glad in it...just like the song says!
This prayer just really spoke to me tonight because this is what I have been struggling with.
I am so thankful for this program Celebrate Recovery. It is definitely helping me grow and strengthening my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The 31 Year Old Toddler

That's pretty much what I feel like right now. A big baby.

Lately I have been talking to God about the direction I should take with my life. I really feel like I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing with my life. So I have been asking God questions and pursuing different avenues I could go down. All of which I am getting told to sit still and wait. I am right where I am supposed to be at this moment in time. I know this means God is working on his big plan and I should just sit still and wait my turn.

But I don't want too :(

And that's why I feel like a big baby. I feel like I am a toddler and God is just trying to get me to sit still while I keep running around and getting distracted with other things. (and I have a small glimpse on how God feels because I experience that daily with my kids.)
So that's pretty much where I am at. I am going to do His will because I know that is what is best. I usually just screw things up if I do it my way. But that doesn't mean I have to like it right now.
But I know it will all work out perfectly in the end if I just listen and do what I am told.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Conditional Christian

This is a topic that has been buzzing around in my mind for the past week. I am not quite sure where the term came from or why it even popped into my head.
According to Webster's Dictionary:
Conditional means "Containing or depending on a condition or conditions; made with limitations; not absolute; made or granted on certain terms. A conditional promise is one which is to be performed, when something else stipulated is done or has taken place."

Christian means "A real disciple of Christ; one who believes in the truth of the Christian religion, and studies to follow the example, and obey the precepts, of Christ; a believer in Christ who is characterized by real piety."

Just looking at these definitions it seems like these 2 words should not even go together. To truly be a Christian there should be no conditions or limitations to your faith and love for God. He did not put conditions on us when He sent his only son to die for our sins.
But I know as humans we have a tendency to put conditions on just about anything, including our beliefs.

I would have to say I am guilty of this too. I find myself not always have faith things will turn out and worrying about situations that are not under my control. That's just like saying I trust God but not really over this one situation (for whatever reason). Worry is actually a form of not trusting God. So basically this is just like putting conditions on my relationship with God.
I also find myself not giving Him glory and praise as much as I should. In a way that's kind of like taking credit for the good things and situations in my life; giving all the glory to myself or other things. Not acknowledging something is ignoring it.
These are just examples and I really could go on.

In Celebrate Recovery and in AA there are steps to take to help work through the issues and situations in your life. Steps that help you overcome obstacles. The first step is admitting there is a problem and that my life is unmanageable.
So I guess God planted this term in my mind and heart to get me started on a new journey. I see how I have been putting conditions on my Christian faith and even though my life is not unmanageable as of yet, without putting Christ at the center of my life and under every circumstance, I recognize how my life would be complete chaos and totally unmanageable.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A man, a flood and God

There was a very heavy rain storm in this small town and the town began to flood due to the amount of rain. There was a man inside his home that was certain that God would come a save him. The town began to evacuate because the rain was not letting up and the waters were getting deeper. The mans next door neighbor offered a ride to the man but his response was simply, "I have faith in God and He will save me."
Some time past and the waters became deeper so the man had to move up to the second floor of his house. Another boat came by and the passengers shouted to the man to come aboard the boat to get to safety. The man simply replied, "I have faith in God and He will save me."
Some more time past and the waters began to get so deep that the man had no choice but to move up to the roof of the house. A third boat came by and offered the man help and begged him to please get in the boat so they could take him to safety. The man simply replied, "I have faith in God and He will save me."
Sadly the man drowned in the flood.
When the man got to heaven he immediately demanded to see God. When he was taken to God he said to Him, "I had faith in You all my life. I never doubted You. And when I needed you the most, You weren't there. Why didn't You save me from the flood?"
God said, "Didn't you see the 3 boats I sent for you?!"
This story crosses my mind from time to time and I have always found it interesting. I think some of us get so consumed with life and even though we want help, we don't ask for it or even take it when it's offered. Some of us get caught in waiting on God to show up and help that we forget He works through people. We fail to see He is in all of us and He wants to help us every step of the way. He truly wants what is best for us.
We may not always agree on what is best for us. Someone told me once that Gods will and our will are actually the same but we struggle over which path is better to take. We all want to choose our own path and have control over our lives, usually because we think our path will be easier. But Gods will is always better and the path He leads us down might be more uncomfortable and difficult but will have a much better reward.
God said we should seek Him first. I know it's real easy to put ourselves first and to focus our view on our own little worlds. I think if we could just look past ourselves just a little bit, step outside of our comfort zones and what we are used to, we would see things beyond our imagination. We would see and begin to know what we are truly capable of doing and being. We could even start to come to an understanding with each and we could all know peace.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Unconditional Love

I have been reminded recently that there are some people in this life you can't always count on. There are some people that put conditions on what should be unconditional love. A fact that is very sad and heart breaking.
But something I need to keep in mind is that people are human. And humans can only love to the best of their ability.
He is the only One who can truly love unconditionally and He is the only One that knows exactly what that means. I think this is one of the reasons we are supposed to seek Him above all others.
We may not always get the affirmation or edification we are seeking from family or other loved ones. But God's message to us is that we truly matter to Him. He loved us so much that he sent His only Son to die for us. He laid down His life for ours. No other love can compare to that.
This is something I know I need to remember. That when I feel like I am not really cared for or even all that loved. I, in fact, have been given the greatest gift and love of all!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lessons Learned

So I have been having going through some small trials these past few weeks and I have been trying to figure out what God is really trying to teach me. At first I thought it was tolerance, which just made me a little made. Then I thought maybe He's trying to show me how to handle criticism better (which in a way goes along with tolerance.) At first I thought 'ok let's do that'. But then something else came up and it just made me even more upset and a little angry.
Then on sunday morning I heard my pastor give a message on being prejudice.
Of course my initial reaction was "well I don't have to worry about that cause I am not prejudice to anyone." Luckily my denial quickly melted away and I realized what God had been trying to show me over the past week. Yes He was showing me tolerance and gave me opportunities to take criticism better but the actual catalyst of these events that took place had to do with being prejudice and insecurities and how all these tie together.
It took me being the victim (for lack of a better word) to realize I also have prejudice thoughts toward people. It also took John's sermon on sunday to realize how truly unfair I was by focusing on a whole group of people instead of just the few encounters I have had in the best.
So, there may have been a little reverse psychology in my teachings recently...I don't know. All I do know is the way He presented it to me helped. I always knew God didn't play favorites and that he loves me just as much as he loves everyone else, regardless of our differences. But I need to remember that more and more when I start having thoughts or feelings towards other people. I need remember how I felt this past week when it was projected onto me.

I am truly thankful He does not give up on us. He is patient in his teachings and knows exactly what we need to learn and when it's time to have that lesson. His timing is so much better than mine. And even though sometimes I resist and might even throw a small temper tantrum (yes that happened this week) I know that He is faithful and will not throw anything at me that I am not ready to handle.

Friday, February 25, 2011


So tomorrow I turn yet another year old. I have been thinking about all the years past and how much I have accomplished....and yet still the things I want to accomplish.
I am actually pretty content where my life is right now. Yes I still want to keep moving forward and there are things I wish I had. But that's just what they are....they are things. And by having them or not having them will not dramatically change my life for the better or worse.
I am truly happy and peacefully at this moment in time. And I am so excited about the work God is doing in my life and I look forward to another 31 years (and more) on this earth.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Church and life

I heard this song this morning coming back from taking Gracie to school. This song really hit me.
I have never met Casting Crowns but some how they wrote a song about my past.
I was running 100mph in the wrong direction and doing things I should not have been doing. I felt like I was screaming for help most of the time but no one heard me.
When I finally did speak up and get some help the last thing I really wanted were 'church goers' talking to me. I felt like they knew nothing about me and what I have been through.
In the past when I did open up to people in the church, I immediately was judged and looked down upon. So how would this be any different.
It took going to AA to find Jesus and bring him back into my heart. A group of drunks showed me that I wasn't alone and I didn't need to be afraid anymore. They gave me the tools to lead a better life, a life with Jesus Christ.
I continued to stay away from church for quite sometime. I still thought they wouldn't understand. How could they? Church people never seemed to have any problems and just delighted talking about people behind their back.
When Jeff and I moved here in 2007 I met someone who was going to a church in Augusta called Quest. Something inside me said 'just go and see. If its not for you at least you can said you tried.'
So Jeff and I went. And what we found was so different from our 'idea' of church.
What I saw at Quest were real people. People that were open and seemed a little more truthful. And when I shared a little bit about my past, they hugged me and welcomed me in. I didn't feel shut out or ignored. I felt loved. I felt like they were genuinely happy to have me there.
It may have taken me years of recovery to finally be able to see what true church is all about. It's just proof God knows what he's doing when it comes to my life. And I am so gratitude he placed people (and continues to place people) in my path that bring me closer to him.