Thursday, January 11, 2018

5 Ways You Can Honor Your Husband

Please note that this blog post is for healthy, thriving marriages. It is not intended for those in abusive, manipulative relationships. What works in healthy marriages where both partners are trying their best does NOT work in an abusive relationship. Under no circumstances is a woman to enable sin in the name of submission, endure physical or emotional abuse, or follow man instead of following the Lord.

I must thank all of you who contributed to this post, 5 Ways Your Can Honor Your Husband. There were quite a few ideas on how to honor a husband, which is great. It really shows how each marriage is different and how different spouses see honor differently. 

I came up with a few ideas of my own, some of which y'all also mentioned. Writing this post (as with many posts) is difficult, because it requires me to take a step back and evaluate how I'm doing. It's convicting and encouraging, because I can see where God has grown me and is continuing to grow me in these areas. I imagine each of us can look at these 5 points and see both our strengths and our weaknesses in each one. 

1. Praise Him To Others

I love this one. I think it's a good rule of thumb to praise people way more than we criticize them anyway. And it's really important to praise your husband. After all, you're one with him. And when you build up your spouse, you're building up your own marriage. 

So praise him, not only to his face, but also to others. Make no secret of how much you adore him. Make no secret of how proud you are of his hard work ethic, his awesome wood working skills, the way he helps around the house, or anything else that you are super grateful for and love about him. It's okay to be proud of him. Some Christians worry that they shouldn't praise their spouse, but I really think that it's okay. If it's even possible to err in this matter, be comforted that it's far better to err on the side of too much praise than too much criticism.

Don't do the opposite! If you're going through marital difficulty, see a trusted counselor. Don't post negative things about your spouse on social media, talk poorly about him with your girlfriends, and definitely don't call home about your latest spat. Marital issues are only to be taken a unbiased, godly counselor. 

2. Allow Him To Be The Spiritual Leader

There's only about a thousand books out there defining what a man is supposed to do to be the spiritual leader of his home. But, in all reality, it's going to look differently in every marriage. Scripture makes it clear the man is supposed to be the leader, but there's room for unique circumstances, personalities, etc. There is no cookie cutter formula for how exactly it is supposed to be. So give the guy some space to be the spiritual leader the Lord wants him to be, using his own unique character, disposition, and abilities. 

Does your husband want to pray with you before bed? Roll with it! Does he prefer reading the Bible together? Talk with him about how you can make that work in a practical way for you both. Does he have a certain verse he wants on the walls of your home? Figure out how to frame the print-out attractively and make it fit your decorating scheme. 

It's going to look different for each couple. That's okay. Maybe you don't have the hour long devotional session other families have. Focus on the ways he is a spiritual leader and be thankful for them--then don't fight him. (Yeah. Sometimes that means staying up to read that spiritual theological book when you really, really don't feel like it.)

(By the way, we as women are still responsible for our own walk with the Lord. And, as heirs together of the grace of life with our husbands, we definitely have a say in what spiritual leading looks like.)

Don't harp on what the books say spiritual leadership is supposed to look like. What works for that author's family may not work for yours. Focus on helping him shape his ideas to work for your family rather than concentrate on the seemingly perfect formula others have.

3. Ask His Advice And Opinions

Even if it's just to get to know him better, ask your husband for advice in tricky situations and for his opinions--even on the small stuff! How would he handle asking for a raise at work? Does he suggest having that conversation with your sister or does he think you should wait for another time? What did he think of the meatloaf? Was your eye shadow too bright? Does he like it when you wear yellow?

Even if you end up disagreeing (there's room for different opinions in a healthy marriage!), it's very wise to get your husband's second opinion on things. And it's good to know his preferences. 

Don't make the cauliflower pizza crust again if it makes him sick to his stomach. If he hates the sticky lipstick, you can still wear it for you, but maybe not when he's home or for that hot date you two have planned. Unless you want him wearing that tattered, filthy old baseball cap to Thanksgiving dinner with the family, consider not wearing that lime green blouse he hates.

4. Support His Profession

Support him. Support his job. Support his calling. This doesn't mean that you're a doormat who always keeps your mouth shut if he becomes a workaholic or is turning his job into an idol. But, unless that is happening, really, truly try to support his profession. 

Does his job require flexibility? Try to work around it. If you are able to, get to know his boss, co-workers, secretary, etc. Rejoice at his promotion or pay raise. Ask questions about his work day. Brag on his hard work ethic. 

I know some wives who don't get to see their husbands a lot due to his work schedule. They make no secret that they miss him (which is TOTALLY fine--it'd be weird if they liked going to events alone, sleeping alone while he works night shifts, etc.), but you know that they still support him. I think all wives get lonely when work is demanding. And that's okay. It's just important that your husband knows you support what he does and are proud of him. Occupation is very important to men and it makes them feel blessed when they know their wives are behind them 100%. 

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5. Let Him Be Human

Some of us have high expectations. That's awesome. High expectations (notice I didn't say unreasonable expectations) is a wonderful thing in a marriage. It promotes accountability and helping each other become more like Jesus. 

But nobody is perfect.

I've never been a wife in these exact same circumstances at this exact same age before. Every single day is a learning experience for me. It always will be. 

If every single day is a learning experience for me, it's exactly the same for my husband. We're all just learning. And, when we're learning, we make mistakes. Obviously, there are things that are not mistakes--there are things that are in direct defiance of God's Word. (Adultery, abuse, drunkenness, etc. These are things that must be corrected.)

But what about a traffic ticket because hubby was running late for work? That mistake he made on the bills because he's never handled that particular financial situation before? The joke he made that he thought was innocent, but you thought was embarrassing?

Life happens. We're human. If we want our hubby to show us grace, we should show him some, too. Not everything is a crisis that provokes deeply wounded feelings or requires a two hour conversation.

Thank you for everyone who contributed to this post! What would you add?

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

It's Giveaway Time! (+My Crazy Adventure.)


It has been a crazy week. Crazy as in, I have been super, duper disciplined and organized. I've been writing every day, reading every day, keeping a spotless house--you get the idea.

So maybe I've been a little addicted to my new planner. Maybe. Just a little.

I wonder if God wanted to remind me that life doesn't always happen according to plan. 

So, around lunch time, we discovered a red tailed hawk on our porch! And he had what appeared to us to be a broken wing. 

I immediately got on the phone with every. single. proper. person to call for wildlife emergency. Including the police. Including the zoo. After about an hour of voicemails and being given a trail of different numbers to call, I finally got ahold of a raptor rehabilitation worker. (Okay, just for the record, I think it's really sad that this is a federally protected bird, yet, I couldn't get ahold of ANYONE to come take care of it.) 

She told us to capture it. I was a little scared to, because I had just got off the phone with some wildlife person who told me not to get near it, it would claw me, and, as a protected bird, touching it was a grey issue.


So...We attempted to catch it. I bundled up my biggest pink coat with thick pants tucked into my boots and yanked on my leather gloves. Samuel grabbed our dog crate, I grabbed a blanket, and out we went.

Now, we were told that an injured bird could not possibly get far. Right.

First thing the ornery little critter did was run straight into the thick patch of thorns behind our neighbor's house. We spent I don't know how long in the thorns, trying to get it out. It would run one way, Samuel would chase it, I would get stuck in the thorns, my blanket (to throw over the bird) would get wrapped in branches and thorns....

Finally (and I do say FINALLY), our neighbor's huge dogs escaped their fenced in yard. I was scared and started to run but was somewhat stuck in the thorns, so I didn't get far. One of the dogs promptly caught the bird and tried to maul it. Brave Samuel (who was stuck in thorns and they were pricking him the whole time) got the dog off, threw the blanket over the bird, scooped him up, and we ran.

The dogs followed me, of course.

Samuel, being already late for work, put the bird in the dining room and left while I raced around the neighborhood trying to catch the dogs, then tried to alert the neighbors. No success. And I finally abandoned the chase, put the crated bird in my car, and drove to meet the rehab lady (still with wild hair, no makeup, and a pink coat). I discovered that the bird was bleeding, which worried me. I can't believe how many prayers were offered up on its behalf during the fifteen minute drive.

I arrived at City Cafe (our rendezvous point) and gave the bird over amidst the gawking expressions of the all the diners and hotel guests going in and out. My Facebook summary was as follows:

"My perfectly planned Saturday. Oh, my perfectly planned Saturday, gone like a puff of wind. An hour on the phone, calling like 50 numbers for someone to get the injured falcon on our porch. 30 minutes of chasing the ornery little thing through the thickest patch of thorns you can imagine. (And they told me that an injured bird would not be able to get far. ) Finally catching it when the neighbor's beefy dogs escape their fenced in yard and try to maul it. Crating the bird and securing our own two dogs. Racing around the neighborhood after the neighbor dogs and knocking in vain on their door. Finally giving up to go take the bird to a raptor rescue person, who verified that it has a broken and bloody wrist (explaining the blood all over my blanket.) Finally getting home through the Saturday traffic to discover my own rescue dog ate my new pair of shoes. No news on the neighbor dogs. I'm going back to bed and starting this day over..."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen... Pumpkin ate my new pair of shoes, which were expressly purchased to replace the former pair that he ate.

I did laugh. And you may too. Because it is better to laugh than to howl, throw one's perfect little planner out the window, and dissolve into tears.

Now to the additional point of this post. Remember I said that I went traipsing to downtown Chattanooga with no makeup and wild hair?

It was most awkward because, just the evening before, I had announced on social media that I am now a Younique Presenter. (Anyone looking at me would not have guessed that in a million years.)

Never the less, to celebrate, I am hosting a giveaway! Everyone loves a giveaway. Freebies are wonderful things--I love them myself.

The awesome giveaway product?

To enter, simply pop over to my new Facebook group, Elegance Defined. 

(The giveaway goes live in my group at 10:30, January 8.)

I do want to welcome you to my Younique makeup group. I'm really excited about this venture into promoting something I love--true beauty, both on the inside and the outside. Our friendship is paramount to me. There is no pressure to buy. If you just join just for the makeup/skincare tips and giveaways or just because you're my friend, I'm honored to have you. Fill up a chunky mug with steamy French Press coffee or a spicy chai--and enjoy the fun!

If you don't want to join the group but still want to shop and support my desire to honor my husband's request to work as a stay-at-home wife (and mother), you can do so HERE. Thank you, sweet friends. Your support and love mean so much to me. I couldn't be an author--and now a Younique presenter--without you.

Have you ever seen a raptor up close? How about Younique? What have you heard and what would you like to try from them?

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Friday, December 29, 2017

A Moment of Thanks

Thank you.

I started to write a Facebook post, but really, this calls for a blog post. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone.

Thanks for the Christmas cards. They meant a lot. We received sooooo many from all around the United States and even Mexico. It just meant a lot. I love the old fashioned tradition of cards and am glad so many other people do too.

Thanks for the gifts. I firmly believe in ALL of the love languages (hahahah) but there is something about gifts that mean a lot to me. To me, they represent a thought that was put into time and effort in a tangible way. Thank you.

Thank you for coming into our home on various occasions during the holidays. Hospitality in the home means a lot to Samuel and me. We couldn't do it without folks to come over and share a cup of coffee or a plate of dessert. Thank you for coming, for being a part of and sharing the real meaning of home with us.

Thank you for everyone who sent us a little token to remember Grace by. It meant--it means--a lot. Thank you for the ornaments, the angels, the hand stitched remembrance. Some of you who sent them didn't even know me or only barely knew me. Thank you for caring about our little girl anyway. Thanks for remembering that this has been a tough season.

Thank you for following this blog, for reading my books, for being my friends. 

Thank you.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

What It's Really Like to Mourn a Child

This post contains affiliate links.

There have been so many thoughts on my heart and mind lately, but finding the time to write here during the Christmas season has been difficult. But today I need to write, time or no time. I have a Christmas party coming up, my house is in shambles, but the words must come. It be rambles, but those of you who have grieved understand.

Everyone's experience is different. But I know SO many mothers will relate to this post, in part, if not in whole.

Empty arms (and womb) during the Christmas season is much harder than I think most people who have never miscarried can even fathom.

I don't know what it's like to lose a spouse, a parent, or a grandparent. All grief is different, and I don't know how to relate by experience to that kind of pain. But I do know what it's like to lose a baby. And a first born baby at that.

Grief is a funny thing. It's almost something that must be learned as you go. It something that is always there, but triggers the strangest responses. Most of those responses are unpredictable and even uncomprehendable.

It's been strange, being fine one moment and sobbing the next. 

I can't understand why some days I just want to stand in the baby center at Target, basking in the cuteness and thinking happy thoughts for the future. And then there are other days when I can't even look at a baby or a baby outfit.

One day I can sing my heart out and it comforts me. The next, I can't whisper a word without crying. Comfort comes in different forms on different days, even different hours.

It's odd how life becomes a strange combination of being truly happy for other people's joys, yet discovering that their birth, baby announcement, or even family photos are such a painful reminder. You see yet another baby announcement on social media and feel this awful pang because, no matter how happy you are for them, it's also another reminder that you didn't get to keep your baby. You don't want people with babies to keep away from you and you don't want people to be paranoid of hurting you, yet anything baby related does hurt. This very post has a diaper ad in it and, for goodness sake, it hurts!

The grief of losing a child is a different kind of grief because, for a woman, it's also physical. Your body changes chemically, physically, emotionally. Everything changes to prepare for a baby who never comes. Your thinking is different. Your instincts are different. The desire to nurture that many women instinctively have becomes a hundred times stronger, only there is no baby to nurse, bathe, cuddle. 

Arms ache without warning because they're supposed to be holding something that isn't there. You want to rock, to move, to clasp a baby that is real in your mind and heart but not tangibly present. You see another mother with her baby and simply ache all over. 

It doesn't matter how long or how short one is pregnant. When you become a mother, you stay one forever. Grace is always with me. I still put a hand on my stomach because it feels like she is there. Even though we didn't lost her after birth, it still feels like someone is missing in our house, at our table, and beside us in church.

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One thing I've observed is how rushed our culture is about death and loss. After a few short weeks, it is as if one is expected to move on--to resume life as it was. Only, few seem to realize that you can never go back. Life will never be the way it was, you will never be the way you were, and you are not supposed to.

In time's past, black was worn for at least a year (if not longer.) While I know that forcing mourning upon someone is not the best idea, I do think folks had the right idea of some of the customs. By your attire, folks always knew you were mourning. They couldn't forget. It was a constant reminder that you had lost someone very precious, were grieving, and respect needed to be shown. You weren't expected to "get over" it. Time was given and extra sympathy and respect was paid.

I think of the Jewish people, who, in the Bible, would lay aside everything to cry and mourn for an entire month. There were other signs too, such as ripping their clothing, but what struck me is how passionate Eastern culture was about grief. There was a deep, emotional response that we Americans have a habit of shrinking from. 

To someone who has ever mourned in any way, you understand why those traditions could actually be nice. 

As a mother of a baby in heaven, it's my instinct to want to preserve my baby's memory. I don't want people to forget or cease to talk about her or act as if I am no longer grieving just because, well, life does go on. That's one of the hardest points of grief--the sun does keep on rising and setting. You can't stay in bed the rest of your life (although I've been sorely tempted.) You have to keep going. Yet, when you do--when you're smiling, brave, and continue to be as involved socially as possible--it feels like the memory of your loss is forgotten. It might actually be nice to constantly wear black so, even when I am smiling, folks understand the pain behind it. 

I guess I just want to say that I understand this season hurts for many people. It's a season of unceasing joy in the midst of your pain. It's even a season of talking about babies--Baby Jesus. 

Yet, behind all the twinkling lights and gifts and the joy of celebrating Jesus coming into the world, a LOT of mothers were crying, brokenhearted, during the first season of His birth. Countless mothers lost their babies to Herod's cruelty. There was in Ramah a voice heard, Rachel weeping for her babies because they were dead. If I think losing my baby was senseless and even cruel, imagine how those mothers felt. We're not told if anything good came out of that awful, awful event. 

Mary did get to keep her baby and I'm sure it was a joyous event for her. Yet her baby was born to die. I've often thought that my baby died to be born, born in heaven. But Jesus was born to die--and the Bible tells us that Mary had to watch. If I think my baby dying was excruciating pain, I'm not sure what it must have been like to watch your son die nailed to a cross. 

Christmas is a hard time, because it feels like your loss in swallowed up in celebration. But the very first Christmas held a terrible amount of suffering too. Those of us who have lot a baby during the holidays can know that we are not alone.

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I've learned a lot. I'm still learning. This kind of grief is different and walking through it is a daily learning process. But here is what I've gleaned so far and may it help other grieving mothers too:
  • Give yourself time. Too many people rush healing. I've seen it. And it results in hidden depression, breakdowns, and even bitterness because being strong didn't really help anything. It just kept grieving people going to do what other people wanted them to do, not necessarily doing what was best. So don't. You don't have to be strong (although God does definitely give grace and will be strong for you if you let Him.) 
  • You don't have to say yes to every social or ministry obligation. Really. Keeping insanely busy does not promote healing, just forgetfulness. Serving is good to a point (it's therapeutic!) but not if it's replacing healing. Saying no isn't easy (trust me--I tend to be a people pleaser and feel guilty if I'm not doing what everybody wants me to be doing.) But it's good to step back from things that may hinder healing or add frustration/stress during a time that needs to be a little quieter, a little less busy.
  • Don't stay in bed all day. At the same time, serving others (to a healthy point) is very beneficial. Serving alongside my husband at the Chattanooga Rescue Mission has been very healing. Christmas shopping and endeavoring to do little things for those the Lord places on my heart has also been good for me. 
  • Recognize you will never be the same. I'm okay with never being the same again. Losing a baby when you don't have another child at home is so hard because you're a mother with completely empty arms. I'm not going to be the person I was before. We're not supposed to go back. 
  • Find something/somebody to nurture. I got a puppy. It's different for everyone. Maybe you'll find comfort in serving in a nursery or volunteering at a nursing home. 

If you have any tips for healing and plain old surviving grief, please share them in the comments. You never know how it may help someone. 

And, if you're grieving this season, I'm sorry. Really. Message me. Ask for prayer. Or find someone who will pray with you and support you. Don't try to be strong alone. And by that, I mean, yes, we have God and the Bible. But we also need people. We're relational and we were never meant to survive grief alone.

"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." --Isaiah 43:2

As always, thanks for stopping by.
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Saturday, November 25, 2017

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10 Natural Ways to Clean and Disinfect Your Home for the Holidays

It's that time of year! It's that season where we're all running around like chickens with our heads cut off (if you'll pardon the farming community expression), shopping, attending recitals and concerts, and maybe even squeezing in time to volunteer at a soup kitchen.

In other words, we're tired, eating a lot of sugar, and our homes are kind of pushed to the back burner.

Until we realize we have a lot of company coming.

So here are my top ten natural ways to clean and disinfect your home for the holidays. (Natural, as in without harsh chemicals or cleaners.)

1. DIY Cinnamon Disinfecting Spray

Invest in some Thieves, Fighting Five, On-Guard, or whatever it is you call it. Whatever company you get it from or even if you make it yourself like I do, the recipe for the blend is all the same--lemon, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils. 

Add several drops (1o-20) to a glass spray bottle full of water (I get mine HERE from Amazon.) Some people recommend one drop per ounce of water. Shake up the bottle and spray away onto whatever surface you want to disinfect--bathrooms, kitchen, doorknobs, walls, garbage cans. 

Not only does it disinfect, but it smells wonderful too! The more oil you add, the stronger it will smell. It has a delightfully Christmas fragrance--cinnamon and cloves!

I make my own Thieves or purchase it from Eden's Garden. 

You can purchase your own HERE

2. Candy Cane Room Refresher

I like to refresh my living room carpets with baking soda...and my holiday favorite oil, peppermint! The rest of the year, I normally do regular old lavender or tea tree, but I like peppermint for the holidays.

Simply fill a little mason jar with baking soda and add a few drops of peppermint. Not too much! A few drops goes a long way. Shake up, sprinkle evenly over your carpets, and wait about 15 minutes. Keep small children and animals away. 

Vacuum thoroughly. Your whole room will smell like peppermint! 

You can purchase peppermint oil HERE if you don't have some already!

3. Peppermint Dryer/Wool Balls

Y'all probably know I use wool balls instead of dryer sheets. I love that I don't have to buy chemical filled dryer sheets and also that I can scent my own wool balls anyway I like!

For the holidays, I enjoy using peppermint! Of course, you can use cinnamon, clove, sweet orange, or any other holiday oil, but peppermint is really fun.

4. Mrs. Meyers!!!

Okay, this is not DIY, but I LOVE Mrs. Meyers, especially around the holidays. I use their surface spray, dish soap, hand soap...everything. 

It's really worth it for this time of year. Your entire kitchen will smell amazing, but not in that sickening, chemical, overpowering way. I am fairly sensitive to scents, but their products are perfect for me.

I personally like getting my Mrs. Meyers from Grove, since almost every single time I go to Target, they're sold out! Grove usually gives away something special (like a Mrs. Meyer's gift set) to first time customers. Check them out HERE to obtain yours!

I recommend their 2017 holiday scents: Peppermint, Iowa Pine, and Orange Clove!

5. Diffuse Holiday Scents

There's no limit to all the holiday scents you can cook up with essential oils and a diffuser! Not only does aromatherapy have the ability to shape a festive or uplifting mood, but they're great for your health. They're especially great for deodorizing and cleaning the air...all while smelling great!

Here's a few of my favorite recipes:
  • Overcast Day = grapefruit, cedarwood, and cinnamon bark (or leaf.)
  • Holiday Baking = cinnamon, clove, and sweet orange.
  • Midwinter Greenery = silver fir, pine, and cedar.
  • Knight's Honor = lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon leaf or bark, clove, and rosemary.
  • Crunching Leaves = cedarwood, silver fir, cypress, and sweet orange.
  • Sniffles Be Gone = eucalyptus, peppermint, saro.
You can purchase all of the above at Eden's Garden.

6. Dr. Bronner's

For regular carpet cleaning, making your own laundry soap, or plain old scrubbing, a little bit of Dr. Bronner's goes a loooooooooong way. And it's very multi-purpose! 

Best of all, they have wonderful scents that will put you in the mood for the holidays! I recommend peppermint, citrus-orange, or even eucalyptus. 

I just cleaned my carpets before a winter-themed church get-together. A few drops of Dr. Bronner's soap and a dash of tea tree oil made the perfect carpet cleaning solution and my whole house smelled great! It's especially great for deodorizing after sickness or, in my case, cleaning up after a certain puppy...

7. Balsam Fir Room Spray/Antibacterial Spray

I'm really excited about this. I just ordered some balsam fir oil. It's supposed to be the best oil for that delightful scent of Christmas greenery! I do have one real wreath in my house this year, but just one won't make the whole house smell good. So I'm going to make this room spray. 
  • fill a glass spray bottle with water, some witch hazel, and some balsam fir, frankincense, sweet orange, and maybe some cedarwood, pine, or cypress oils. Spray into the air or onto your faux greenery.
Not only does Balsam Fir smell great, but it's also antibacterial. You can use it to make a cleaning spray, just like with the thieves oil! Spray down your bathrooms and kitchens to make them smell like a forest! 

8. DIY Furniture Polish

Some people recommend making wood polish with olive oil, but olive oil can do rancid. I recommend sweet almond oil and some lemon essential oil for a simple, quick way to polish your wood. I polish my wood butcher block this way. And it smells good! 

You can also use wild or sweet orange essential oils for a nice holiday twist! 

9. Disinfect Bathroom Floors

Disinfect your bathroom floors with warm water, vinegar, and some tee tree oils. The scent will be strong, but it will fade when it dries. It's safe, gentle for kids, but still very strong for killing germs. I've never scrubbed my toilet down with this, but I imagine it'd be a great option for cleaning it. Vinegar and tea tree both deodorize, which is wonderful for bathrooms!

10. Clove Apple

Okay, so this last one isn't really cleaning, but it's making your house smell good! Stick whole cloves 'round and 'round into an apple or even an orange. Set on a plate and let it scent your kitchen! It's a fun project for kids, too.

What Are Your Favorite Ways to Clean Your Home Naturally? Share in the comments!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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Warmest Thanksgiving Wishes

'Tis the day before Thanksgiving, and I want to wish y'all the very best of holidays. Whether you're going to be with family, or making your own traditions, or serving at a homeless shelter, I wish you a very wonderful day of giving thanks to God and enjoying your loved ones. For those of you grieving during the holidays, you're not alone. May God give you peace.

God's love endures forever, not matter what. Let's thank Him! I'm thankful for many things, but here are some on the top of the list:

--my wonderful husband, who inspires me, protects me, cherishes me, encourages me, and helps my walk with the Lord.
--my family, from my grandparents to my parents to my siblings. I love them all so much. Their support and love mean the world.
--my church and all the blessings that come from being apart of the body of Christ.
--friends who love, exhort, encourage, and care.
--my doggies. My boys. My obedient, tenderhearted little Licorice and my naughty, fun loving little Pumpkin, who both keep me so busy.
--my baby Grace, whom I love so dearly and cannot wait to meet in heaven.
--the Chattanooga Rescue mission, the wonderful ministry we are so blessed to be apart of.
--all of you readers who enjoy my books and my blog. I couldn't do it without you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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