Giving to Guatemala

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yes, I'm still alive!

It has been 3 months since I've last updated. I really can't believe that it's been that long, but SO much has been going on. I think this calls for a bullet style update for the friends and family and strangers that actually care...

  • September, October, and November were FILLED with all things orange! It was a great home season on Rocky Top and all the games were a BLAST. I LOVE living in Knoxville for the games. The atmosphere around town is almost better than Christmas time!
  • I closed on my house, yep...MY VERY FIRST HOME...on September 30th. I was SO nervous about it all, but I signed on the, well ALL the, dotted lines and am now a homeowner. It has been so much fun decorating and making it my own. Everything is starting to come together and I only have the spare room left to completely finish. I'll post pictures one of these days.
  • November baby boy turned 4! I can't believe that he is 4 now. He is so big and still such a little JOY. I love that he is in our family. He is growing up and isn't such a baby anymore. It makes me so sad.
  • It's now December and almost Christmas time. I'm almost finished with my Christmas shopping. The preschool ministry at church is having some "guest" visitors each week. Last week we had a donkey. Tomorrow it's a sheep. Next week a camel. They are coming to help tell the Christmas story and the kids LOVE it.
Life has been nonstop for the last few months. I have so much more to share, including a ton of pictures. Hopefully in the next few days I can get caught up. I hate it when I get behind in blogging. I love being able to go back and read all about the things that were going on at certain times, so I'm really going to try to do better.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Faults, Failures, and Forgiveness

Everyone has faults.
Everyone has failures.
Everyone needs forgiveness.

I am not above anyone in any of these categories, nor do I claim to be. All of the above were things I have been thinking about the last day or so. We all make mistakes. We all have things that are unique to us that we falter on. Sometimes every now and then, sometimes daily. My faults and failures have made me who I am today, as cliche as it sounds, but it's true. I have made many mistakes, taken many wrong turns, and have ended up on the complete opposite side of the fence at times.

But every time I reach that narrow turn in the road, I find a cross of mercy and forgiveness.

I'm thankful for forgiveness. Without it, life would be a bitter, cold place.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Disappear Much

The last few weeks here have been C.R.A.Z.Y.
To catch everyone up, it's going to be a bullet-style post kind of day.

  • FINALLY got to go home and see my daddy a couple of weeks ago. I took off work early and headed to Greenbrier. We had a great weekend. Friday night was spent at the season opener high school football game. Saturday the whole family gathered at Nan's for some cooking and games and family time. Lance came in and we hung out that afternoon, so that was fun. We had a party for my Uncle Steve's birthday and most of our family came together for that. Sunday was church and family time before I headed back to Knoxville.
  • I put an offer in on a condo and it got ACCEPTED. I was floored. I am so excited about owning my own place. The amount of money I have put into renting is ridiculous, and rent prices are only going up. I decided that it would be a much better investment to own versus rent now. I close sometime this month and can't wait!
  • Work is going well. I love my job at the credit union. While it's not something I went to school for, I feel like I am in the right place right now. I love doing hair, but right now, I just don't have it in me to do it all day everyday. I like being able to do it when I want to do it. 
  • Preschool stuff is keeping me busy at church each week. It's growing and we have more and more visitors coming that have small children. I love it! They are all great kids and I have a blast with them each week.
  • Football has officially started and we kicked that off Saturday here in Rocky Top! I have pictures from the game, so  there will probably be another post on that sometime soon!
  • My Thirty-One business is soaring right now. I had great sales last night, much thanks to my awesome customers! I have really enjoyed the huge amount of parties that I've been having lately and meeting all the new people. I have had several new ladies join my team as well, and that has been awesome! I'm praying that it continue to grow! If you haven't visited my Thirty-One site, please do so! 
I think that about covers everything. At least in a quick way, anyways! I hope to do better about my blogging now that I am somewhat caught up on everything that has been going on in my busy life. 

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

One to go!

I took today off from work and took the first part of my cosmetology test. I PASSED! WOO-HOO! Now, I just have to take the practical portion of it and then I'm officially licensed! I'm excited and ready to be done with that chapter of my life. No, I don't have a job in a salon lined up. I really like my job at the Credit Union, so maybe I'll find something part time to do in the evenings. If anything, I'll always have my license to fall back on.

My week has been slammed with Thirty-One stuff. I had a party on Tuesday night that has been a HUGE success. I have a meeting tonight and another party tomorrow night. I am so pleased at how it has taken off the last few weeks. From the party Tuesday night, I got to 2 bookings and one possible catalog show or another home party! I'm super excited. I have a another girl on her way over now that is going to be my next consultant on my team! I am pumped! Now is definitely the time to join, so if you're interested in making extra money and having fun, let me know!

Monday, July 26, 2010

This weekend was so busy, but so much fun. Saturday started out with some laundry and house cleaning but progressed into fun when Momma Carol and Whittani got off work. We headed out shopping for a couple of hours and then had a quick lunch. That night we had dinner at The Melting Pot for Whittani's birthday. We had so much fun. After dinner we walked through The Old City and up to The Mast General Store where Sam and I indulged into some ice cold Nehi's. Mmmm, they were delicious. We decided that was going to be our Saturday night thing; general store and Nehi's. You can't beat a cold orange Nehi on a hot summer day...and they are only $1! After our walk through the general store we headed up to Market Square and visited a few of the shops. 

Sunday morning was church. The preschool was hoppin' with a lot of little ones. Sarah was sick so I was on my own with running the preschool. God blessed, as always, and things were smooth sailing. The kids are really loving our study on Moses, and so am I. There are so many fun things to do with Moses' story and they are really "getting" it. I love it! 
Our family adventure for Sunday afternoon was a little road trip. We headed up to Kentucky Splash for a little water park fun. We had a blast! This year is the park's ten year anniversary so tickets to get in are only $10! Granted, it's no Splash Country, but for $10 and a fun 45 minute road trip it was well worth it. They had 3 water slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river so we were content. Ana and Steven tagged along with us so the 5 of us had a blast. We came back to Knoxville and headed to Alcoa for a little dinner at Cheddar's. We stuffed our faces and decided on a movie. 'Salt' won the vote and off we went. I wasn't sure what to think of the movie once we decided to see it, but after it started I was all in. It was a really good movie, so 2 thumbs up from me. 

Lettie update: Sweet Lettie made it to Atalanta. She is now at the rehab facility. She had a few setback of not eating or taking her bottle well enough so they had to put the NG tube back in. They are keeping her busy with various types of therapy so please pray for patience of the therapists, strength for Lettie, and rest for Summer. Please pray that Lettie will continue to develop her swallowing habits and that they are able to remove the tube soon and she can start drinking and eating without it. Also, please continue to pray for no more seizures. Thank you all so much for your prayers for Lettie. She is a miracle and to see how God is using her in so many ways is humbling. 

Friday, July 23, 2010


Time is what is lacking in my life right now. I feel like I have zero time to do anything once I get home from work. In reality, I have a lot of time. However, by the time I actually get home from work and sit for a minute, I don't want to do anything! On a normal night, after work and grabbing a bite to eat, I'm usually home around 7pm. Sometimes a little later. After being up since 7am, the last thing I want to do is come home and do laundry or pick up. All I want to do is sit. Normally, that's what I end up doing. By the end of the week, my house is a disaster and my laundry is piled sky high. Not pretty. It actually stresses me out when things are such a mess.

Tonight, I have made a list of things that are going to get done tomorrow. I'm determined not to stop until I finish folding every last piece of clothing, putting away clutter, and reorganizing my desk.

The Fall/Winter catalog for Thirty-One debuts on August 1st, so I'm trying hard to get things taken care of for that. It's proving to be a big task in itself. I have 2 parties scheduled for the very first week of August! My blood pressure goes up just thinking about it. I have tomorrow, and maybe 2 days next week to prepare for them. I'm going to be one busy little person tomorrow and next week.

Does anyone else have trouble sticking to a schedule and using their time wisely?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. -Hebrews 4:16

What a fitting verse for all of life's problems. 

I encourage you to approach the throne with WILL be blessed!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fancy Fourth

I made it back to Greenbrier for the 4th for the first time in a few years. It was great to be back home with family. We had a very busy weekend filled with The Turnin' of the Pig, church, family cookout, and church picnic and fireworks. I loved being able to spend time with my sweet family the whole time. I was able to share with everyone about my trip to Guatemala and even got a few family members excited about and interested in a trip there next summer.
Lance and his new girlfriend came in on Saturday. We spent some time at the Turnin' of the Pig together walking around, playing games, and catching up. I miss him so much so I was very glad to get a day with him. We spent most of the time watching Davy play games and laugh and run around. He loved riding the pony and got to ride it two times that night. There is just something about small town life. It's the little things, like hearing the train come through town, and homemade ice cream by the sweetest ladies in town. Such a great night!
Sunday was church day and family day. We had a cookout at Granny's house after church with a lot of food and fun. After filling up there we headed back to church for a cookout and fireworks. My cousin, Josh, always puts on a good show with the fireworks and this year was no different. Although this time we almost had a few fires...they turned out awesome. The show gets bigger every year it seems like.
The only thing missing this year was my sweet Daddy. He is still in Iraq, watching the sand blow by. Most of his squadron are home. He is on the last leg coming back, so he still has a few more weeks in the sandbox. I can't wait for him to come home! The Turnin' of the Pig was NOT the same without him. I am so proud to call him my Daddy

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Power of Prayer

This is sweet Lettie. I've asked for prayer for her a couple of times here, and thought it would be nice if you could put a face to name. So here she is. 

Tonight, and the coming days, please lift her and her precious mom and dad, Summer and Mark, up in prayer to our ultimate Healer. He will receive all the glory and honor for her healing. 

Right now, Lettie has experienced some setbacks. You can follow her story and leave Mark and Summer a comment to let them know you are praying for them. I know they appreciate them and are humbled at how quickly their story has been passed along.

I was talking to a friend of mine today, and she couldn't have been more right. God is waiting for the time to "show up and show off." He is a healer and performer of miracles. I have no doubts that the bigger picture in Lettie's journey is going to be amazing. Already, her story has touched the lives of many. 

It would be so easy to give up on God in a time like this. Satan is coming from every direction. Emotions are high and Mark and Summer are weary. Their faith in God has never wavered. God has shown His hand on Lettie's life in more ways than one since her journey to today and I don't think anyone in her life can deny that. I can't wait to see the day that Lettie is healed to tell her story about a God bigger than the universe that healed her little body. 

Thank you all so much for the prayers you have prayed for Lettie and her family. It's humbling to know how many people have lifted her up.  

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Exhausting Week

I did not do a single updating on my Guatemala if you have clicked over to read...SORRY! It has been one of the most busiest weeks ever for me and sleeping in this morning was AMAZING. Even more amazing than that though, was this special guy was my wake up call this morning. It made me smile just hearing his sweet little voice. The first thing out of his little mouth? "Mimi-are you coming to MY house today?" Precious. I had been up and down all week about driving to Nashville today to spend the 4th with my family. Um, that pretty much nailed my decision. Of course, I'm coming to your house. Who could say no to the most adorable baby boy (whose not such a baby anymore)? I'm excited, because tonight, we'll head over to the City Hall in my sweet little town and listen to some good 'ol music, play games, have homemade ice cream, and hand turned BBQ with all of the folks in town. I think tonight alone will make the drive there worth it. Which means....I must get going!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back from Guatemala

I made it back safely from Guatemala late Sunday night. We had the best trip and God worked in so many ways. I learned a lot about myself, made some great friends, and fell even more in love with the people and country of Guatemala. It's amazing how different my life is now. I never, ever, would have thought that I would have a heart for foreign missions...but I LOVE it. I'm downloading pictures now and working on updating my Guatemala hop on over {there} to read all about it!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone that supported my trip, prayed for me, and encouraged me along the way. It truly means the most to me!

Little Colette

Those that are reading, please be in prayer for a sweet, precious 2 year old from my church, Colette. She had brain surgery today at Vanderbilt Hospital. She is now out of surgery and the doctors said that it went great! She will be in the ICU for a few days and then on to a regular room. Hopefully we'll have her home soon! You can read more about Colette and her sweet family {here}. Thank you all so much for the prayers!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another day at the zoo

Last week a few of us loaded up for a little trip to the zoo. Foster, Sanders, and Madi had so much fun. The weather was great. It was a little hot, but cloudy enough so it wasn't miserable. I think the most fun they had was at Kids Cove playing in the water. All three of them are such water kiddos...they LOVE it.

June Bug 2.0

The month of June is our VBS time at Northstar. Instead of the normal week long VBS we spend every Wednesday night in June learning about what "bugs" God, getting messy, and singing buggy songs. The sweet little children have had a BLAST. I love watching their little faces light up each week.

Friday, June 4, 2010

family time

plane tickets, family time, lake, ice cream, sunshine

This has been one crazy week. Our trip to Guatemala was postponed again. Delta canceled our flight for yesterday morning so Kim, one of the greatest women EVER, spent all day re-booking our flights. I'm all set to fly on June 21st.

Spent a little  lot of time on the mountain this weekend. Our annual family cookout and family time was amazing as always. Sam and I drove up Saturday and spent the day and then I went back on Sunday after church. I love being at Uncle Lanny's house. It is always so peaceful.

We kicked off our version of VBS at church last night. Can I just say that 60 preschoolers is a little crazy. I have never been so exhausted as I was last night. They had a blast though. I have plenty of pictures...I'm just too tired tonight to load them.

Today was a relaxing day working on a little June Bug stuff and spending the day at the cove with the boys. They had such a great time swimming. After getting cleaned up and a little lunch we headed to the mall for some ice cream. They were both in great moods...always a plus!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our plans are not always HIS plans

I'm still in the States.

Our flight was cancelled and rescheduled for Wednesday. The airport in Guatemala remained closed yesterday and is still closed today. Delta was gracious enough to work with us and put us on the next flight they had and that is Wednesday. So now we are praying that the airport re-opens.

Right now, it has been raining for about 6 hours in Guatemala. Mix that with all the ash and it makes for a MESS. These are the types of rains that cause mudslides in the mountains. I think back to La Pinada and remember the stories of the houses that sit on the side of the mountains and how they could easily be washed away in torrential rains.

Please be in prayer for those that are being affected by the volcano and the rains.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Praying for a flight

I leave tomorrow morning for Guatemala. I am beyond excited. Right now though, the airports in Guatemala are closed. Pacaya, an active volcano, erupted yesterday and has covered the city in about 2 inches of ash. Flights into Guatemala are cancelled for today but right now are at a go for tomorrow. Our team is driving to Atlanta tonight and will find out in the morning or later tonight if our flight is still on. Please be praying that we can get into the country and also for safety next week.

While we have already planned what we are going to do with the tremendous amount of things we are taking down (24 HUGE suitcases packed FULL of clothes and shoes for the people) God may have other plans. Several of the villages around the volcano were evacuated and lost everything. Pray for divine appointments next week. God knows that in our house alone there will be 3 groups there going out and sharing about Him. He knows the people there will be looking for answers...and the only answer is Him.

I'll be able to update here and there, so check back for updates! I'll probably update my Guatemala blog more so click here for that link :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cleaning, Organizing, Laundry...OH MY!

Today I have been SO productive. I woke up with plans to run a few errands, maybe meet up with a friend. That never happened and I'm really glad. The cleaning fairy must have flown over and sprinkled a little cleaning dust on me because I have organized my closet by color, finished 4 loads of laundry and put it all away. There are 2 more loads left and there will be NO dirty laundry in this house (save the clothes that I am wearing). I love having all the laundry caught up. It feels so good to know that there is nothing dirty and it is all put away. I am notorious to folding and sitting. I'll fold it up and sit it down on a chair, the back of the couch, the end of the bed...basically anywhere that it doesn't go! 

While I was doing all of these things I had my iTunes playing. One song in particular made me stop what I was doing and just thank God for all He has done in my life. Everything to Me-Mark Shultz always brings back memories of when Davy became a part of our family. His birth mother gave us the most precious gift----him. I spent the day with him last week when I was home and enjoyed it so much. His laugh, his hugs, his sweet little face. We had so much fun playing in the park, eating a cupcake at PapaBoo's and drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. Simple things but they meant the world to him--and me. I am so thankful that he is a part of our family. He is the best little boy ever. I don't think much of how he got here, only that he is here. Every now and then, like today, I think about what would his life be like if his birth mother didn't give him up. I don't like to think about it, because the reality is overwhelming. I am so thankful that God placed him with my aunt and uncle. He was made for our family long before we knew he was. 

Day at the Lake

Sam, Konnor, and I spent the day on the dock today. It was such a pretty day so we enjoyed the sun and the nice breeze on the dock. It was nice getting some sun. It's always a fun day when I get some good hugs and laughs from sweet Konnor and some girl time in with Sam. I've been so busy lately, girl time has been limited lately. Super fun day today!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Circle of Friends

 Saturday night some awesome friends joined me for dinner to celebrate my birthday. We had such a great time and I was once again reminded of just how great my circle of friends are. It wasn't a huge dinner, a few special people were missing because of work schedules, but it was still a great time. I have been so blessed to have some really great friends. As I spent the evening surrounded by about 10 close friends, I couldn't help but think about each one of them, and how truly special they are to me.
Sam and I have been friends since the summer I ended up in Knoxville. We have been through some crazy times. We have been through some growing times. It's been a journey, but it's been a great one. I know that no matter how crazy the decision is at hand, she will be behind me 100%. Everyone needs a friend like that.
Van and Michele are great. Michele is the one that I known the longest besides Sam. We had a great time together when we worked together and have remained close. I'm so excited that she chose me to be in her wedding in a few weeks. Van is such a good guy to her and I'm so glad they found each other when they did.
Tregg, Sam, and Konnor are some of the greatest "family." I love the Thursday nights that I get to spend with Konnor, and the girl time we have on those nights as well. Sam will always, always be a sister to me and I love that we met when we did. We have shared many, many tears and many, many laughs...and I know that there are more to come.
Whittani and Skylar have been a part of so many memories I have. Whittani was the first friend I had when I started Cosmetology school and we have been friends ever since. She is such a great mom and is such a strong girl. I am so proud of the changes that she has made in her life and to see her walk with God grow and grow is amazing. I am so blessed to call her friend.
Josh and Amanda are some great lunch buddies! Amanda and I were the only ones who shared the same values and morals at school towards the end of our stint there. She has the sweetest heart and is truly a great friend. Josh has listened to so many crazy stories that we would talk about when he would come eat lunch with us. Such a trooper!
Candis has been my most recent addition to my happy, positive world. She has been a God send at the most needed time. Someone there to speak a little truth into my life when I need it the most. Beautiful inside and out. A woman of God with a servants heart. Such a blessing and a beautiful flower in my garden of friends.

I am so thankful to have such great friends. I fully believe that they have all been hand picked by God, sent at just the right times, with exactly what I need.

Friday, May 7, 2010


This is my mom. She's a great mom. I don't get to see her as much as I used to. Living three hours away from home makes that hard. I can't even begin to start on all the things that she has done for me. While it is quite true that I am my daddy's girl, I  love my mom so much. She is one of the strongest women I know. Her love for God and her family shines through her. She is a great Sunday School teacher-her children love her. She has instilled in me many of the values I have today. True, we used to butt heads on occasion  a lot when I lived at home. We still do some today. But it doesn't change how much she cares about me, it doesn't change how much she loves me, and it doesn't change how much she loves me. She raised me in a great home. Drugged me as a child...drug me to church on Sunday mornings, drug me to church on Sunday nights, and drug me to church on Wednesday nights. Maybe now that is why I can't stay away from working at the church. Either way, I love my area of ministry, so thanks for the drugs, mom! She is a great Army mom. She has taken care of so many families, putting on dinners, picnics, outings and more for them. She's one of those do-it-all superhero moms. I'm thankful to have a mommy like her. She has given me the world and I try to take what she has given me and use it to make her proud and use it to my abilities to 'save the world' as she says. Sometimes I think she thinks I'm kidding when I say that I'm going to save the world...other days, I think she truly believes it. Maybe that's what mom's do best. I'm not sure. What I am sure of, is that my mom is way cooler than your mom

Totally kidding.....sort of

Thanks mom, for being that superhero mom. 

Blessed Beyond Measure

Prodigal- Gungor

I’ve tasted Your glory and I left it there.
Your poured out Your Spirit and I didn’t care.
Still you loved me

I’ve lived for myself with nobody to blame.
I took what You gave me and squandered Your grace.
Still You loved me.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.

I could live for the broken and share in their pain.
I could die like a martyr or live like a saint just to love You.
I could sing like the angels and gather Your praise:
Be blessed beyond measure and give it away just to love You.
Still nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.

My heart has been broken; I’ve laid out my shame.
Because of Your mercy,
All I can say is I love You.
So I’ll tell of Your story
I’ll carry Your name
I’ll live for Your glory Lord,
I’ll share in Your pain just to love You.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.
Nothing compares to what You’ve done for me.

Nothing can separate us
Nothing can separate us
Not death or life
Or depth or height
Or unseen power
Now or ever!

I found this song today. It was real to me. It spoke to me. I checked my mail today and for the third time this week there was a letter from someone who is praying for me, loving me, and supporting me financially to spread the love of Jesus in Guatemala. Wow. I was over come by the sweetness of the people in my life, those that have watched me step out and take this leap of faith and totally trust that God will provide. It's amazing to me. God is providing and even though these are days of cereal and staying home more, I'm ok with that. Because a sacrifice for being able to leave for a week to love on these children and to share the Word of God, is worth more than any meal out is. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

3 weeks and counting

I am so EXCITED.
In 3 weeks I will be on my way to see this handsome boy.
A boy that took my heart and stuffed it into his backpack.
I don't want it back, he can keep it forever. It gives me an excuse to somehow make it to Guatemala every year now.

Clubhouse Guatemala is where you can read all about the Parker family, their ministry, and how YOU can help!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why This Waste

Sunday morning at church, Pastor Scott shared the story in Matthew 26. Specifically the story of the woman with the alabaster jar.

A woman from Bethany came to see Jesus while he was at Simon the Lepers house. It was right before passover. She brought with her an alabaster jar of expensive perfume. She anointed Jesus with the expensive perfume, and the disciples questioned her. Why this waste? You could have sold it for a lot of money and given the money to the poor. Jesus then explained to the disciples that when she poured the perfume over his body, she was preparing him for burial. Certainly not a waste in Jesus' eyes.

I'm preparing for a trip to Guatemala in 3 weeks. I am beyond excited. For a week I will get to love on the people of a country less fortunate then I. I had the opportunity to love on these people this time last year and it was an amazing experience.

When I returned last year, I had several people ask Why would you want to go to a poor country? What could be so great about a country that has nothing? Why waste your time...

I was floored by some of the responses I got. Most of the people with these responses don't know the love of Jesus like I do. They don't have the same desires on their hearts that I do.  They don't understand that it's not a waste of time.

When I go to Guatemala, I have not wasted a thing. I have spent a week out of my busy life loving on people and showing them the love and grace of a God that will never leave them. Showing them a God that wants to give them eternal life through Him. How can that be a waste?

So, Why this waste? Because it is what God has called me to do. It is what God has laid so heavily on my heart. To show His love and spread His word to a nation. To follow Him... to be used by Him until His work is done

(To hear the words to the video, you will have to go to the bottom and pause the music player)

Monday, May 3, 2010


I have spent the last few minutes looking through pictures of the flood back where I am from. It is crazy. Never in my life have I seen areas that I have walked through, sat in, and driven by flooded by waters. Barely flooded by snow in the winter....and NEVER by water.

This is a picture of the inside of The Opryland Hotel. It has closed its doors for the following months to rebuild. Seeing this picture, and others of the hotel, brought back so many memories for me. This was a regular date place for Dustin and I when we were in high school. Now, it is all under water.

So many people have lost their homes, jobs, cars, and personal items. I can't even begin to imagine. I have been in constant prayer for them the last few days. Earlier while I was looking through pictures I thought to myself, even through all the devastation, my God is still the same. He is still here. Some may even feel His presence more than ever before.

Please pray for those that have been affected. That they may feel the unending love of Jesus that can never be washed away by a flood or ripped apart by a tornado. That they will run to Him and trust in His mercy to carry them through the coming days.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Guatemala 2010

Dear Friends and Family, 
Hello! I hope this letter finds you and your family well. It seems as this year is flying by already. As you may know, I am preparing for another mission trip to Guatemala and it is quickly approaching! I am so excited that God is leading me back to a country that I fell so in love with a year ago. This trip is a complete step of faith for me and I'm praying God will provide greatly for it.
I have been actively involved in my church here in Knoxville (Northstar: for a little over 2 years. Last summer I was given the chance by members of Northstar to go to Guatemala and serve with Clubhouse Guatemala ( While we were there we put on a VBS for close to 500 children. This was the first time many of these children heard about the love of Jesus and for the first time they were given a glimpse of grace and hope. Many of the teachers let us do our thing the first and second day. By the end of the week, many of the teachers were asking for copies of the songs we were teaching the children, copies of the materials we were using and they were reading the Bibles we provided for them. The principal of the school we were in was non-existent the first day we were there, and by the end of the week had asked God to come into his life and was begging us to come back again soon. The last day we were there we held a block party for the village to minister to the families of the children we had been pouring into during the week. Many men and women came and heard the story of Jesus and many came to receive Christ. It was an amazing experience and to be sharing it with you now is taking me back and I can hardly wait to be back in May. We did a few other ministry projects while we were in the village. Our group started 'Carl's Coops'-you can read all about the name and the meaning behind it on the Clubhouse website. We built a huge chicken coop out of wire and PVC pipe and the night before finishing it we sat at share time and prayed that God would provide us with the money to buy enough chicks and have enough money left over to buy some feed that would last a long time. The next day, our pastor went out to buy the chicks. We were able to buy 20 baby chicks and 100lbs of feed...10 more chicks and about 50lbs more than what we thought we were going to be able to purchase. How great is our God?! There were so many other things that we did and I would love to share them all with you, there just isn't enough paper to write it all out. I started a blog before I left on my last trip and have been recollecting memories. You are more than welcome to check it (
-Building the first chicken coop, kicking off Carl's Coops
Our team will be doing many of the same things this trip and I can't even begin to tell you how excited we are. We will be leaving May 29th and return on June 6th. We were able to get some great deals for flights there and back and will be able to actually have more time to minister since we have direct flights that are going to allow us to arrive earlier and leave later. The expense of the trip is right at $1,000. A large number, but very small when you take into consideration the lives that will be changed. Right now, I have close to $500 that I have saved to put towards my trip. I know that things are tight for many people, but will you take a leap of faith with me and ask God if this is something He would have you give to? Your gifts will be used to bring people to Christ and to give them a glimpse of love that they may have never seen before. After I have raised and saved the amount of the trip, any left over gifts will then be added to the ministry area. This will allow us to build more chicken coops, buy more chickens, buy supplies for families, and to help purchase food for the feeding centers we will be working with.
-Kids at the Feeding Center in La Pinada-
Thank you so much for your prayers, for your encouragement, and for your support. I can't even begin to imagine how God will bless this trip. Our team has been diligently praying since January for God to provide and we are overflowing with His blessings daily. Ever since my last trip my prayer has been for God to give me a heart that breaks over the things that break the heart of God, and I truly believe that He has done just that.
-My sweet boy, Edgar. I am so excited about seeing his sweet face again!-
 Thank you again for taking the time to read about all the things that God is preparing me for and for being willing to pray for our team.If you feel led to support this trip financially, please feel free to email me at  No matter the gift, monetary, words, or prayers, please know that it will be used to further His kingdom!
Love in Christ,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Very Unproductive Day

Sometimes it's good to have a lazy day. Today was one of those days for me. It was rather enjoyable. I was blessed with a phone call from my sweet Daddy, a chat with Samantha, and another call from my sweet Mommy. In the middle of all the phone calls, I listened to some new songs, clicked around on eBay and did absolutely nothing. It felt great. 

There are very few days that I have time to just be lazy. Most days I am doing something to benefit myself or others. Although I sit here and see a bed that needs to be made and a pile of clothes that need to be put away, and some laundry that needs to be washed, I'm still rather certain that I am ok with having had a lazy day today. Ask me tomorrow when I am trying to finish up all the laundry though, and I may have second thoughts.

Things here in our happy little home are, well, happy. We watched 'The Blind Side' not once, but twice yesterday and enjoyed every minute of it. Such a great movie. I'm sure all of America has seen it already, but Sam and I are usually a little behind on things. Everyone is doing great and we're all ready for summer!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Not exactly my best feature. But it's something I'm working on. It's hard knowing that there is something you want. It's right there in front you, an arms length away. You could reach out and grab it, and no doubt hold on to it for eternity...if only there wasn't something keeping you from fully wrapping your hands around it.

I feel like God is testing my patience right now. Maybe not patience, exactly. More like my trust and faith in Him. There are so many things that I want to happen in my life right now. Right at this moment. Sometimes I try too hard to make them happen. It always backfires, it's never the right time, and it never works out.

So for now, I'm praying and practicing patience.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Shaded Road

La Pinada, Guatemala, 2009
Sometimes I feel like I walk on an unpaved road. Not sure of the bumps and rocks that will get in my way. The above picture is how I sometimes vision what my life looks like right least what it looks like to me.
Some very bright areas where it is easy to walk.
These are the areas where I know what is going to happen. Where I am going, who I will see, what I will be doing. My comfort zone. An easy place to be. A comfortable place to be. A place where my insecurities are all but a distant memory.
And then, there are the shaded paths. Paths that I don't want to walk alone.
A place where it is hard to see. Hard to trust. Hard to know what lies ahead. A path that I don't want to walk alone. Simply because I don't know what is in store.
When I get to the shaded areas in life, I remember
Jeremiah 29:11~ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and to not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I was walking a shaded area yesterday. All day thoughts of my trip to Guatemala consumed my mind. How am I going to raise the money? Am I going to be able to save enough to pay bills while I am gone? Can I really do this? were all questions that flooded my mind. I went into work with these thoughts.
One of my favorite couples came in to eat with me last night. They are angels that lit my path last night. After catching up like we normally do I began to tell them about my trip. They were so excited with me and when I went to grab their drinks they prayed for me and for the trip. When I was getting ready to drop off their check, the sweet woman who has been so quick to take care of me in times of need, folded up a check and placed it in my hand.
"It has been on my heart all night to give you this. It isn't much, but it's something."
Two simple sentences that touched me to tears. A couple that was sent on a day that I was worrying when I shouldn't have been. A couple sent to remind me that their is light on path always....the light of Jesus. Sent to remind me that I shouldn't ever doubt the hand of God.

I may walk a shaded road at times, but the light of Jesus is never far away.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Guatemala 2010

My sweet boy, Edgar~2009
I am slowly preparing for my next trip to Guatemala. I was so blessed to be able to go last year and I am so excited that God has made a way for me to go again this year. I am looking forward to seeing my sweet little boy, Edgar, and loving on the children and people of Guatemala. They entered my heart a year ago and they haven't left it since. You can go back and read about my experiences on the blog I started before I left the last time {here}. (There are several posts that I haven't posted there yet, mainly because some of the things I haven't been ready to share yet. In time, they will appear.)
I am currently praying that God will provide for this trip. The cost is around $1,000 and so far I have about $300. I'm completely walking by faith here. I know that God will provide, everything will be taken care of, and His name will be honored through it all. If you feel led to give toward furthering His kingdom and would like to help out with this trip, please email me
Your gifts will be used to witness to the people of Guatemala, to pave a way for them, and for them to hear and know the love of Jesus.
My trip dates are May 28-June 6, 2010. Please start praying now for the people, for our team, and for God's glory to be shown.

Spring Day at the Zoo

Me, Abigail, and Caleb

Today we loaded up kids and headed to the zoo. Sasha with her 3 and Sarah with her 2. We had such a good time and the kids were all so good! We saw all the animals and played in the play area and rode a carousel. I have been so blessed to have such great friends in my life and love the time I get to spend with them.

Foster and Caleb

My Daddy

This is a picture of me and my sweet Daddy before he left for Iraq. We were blessed enough to be able to spend a few days with him at Camp Shelby before they headed out. While Camp Shelby is not our favorite place to be, it feels like home when you're there with your daddy. I miss him so much. I haven't talked to him in almost a week. I'm so thankful for the daddy that I have and the sacrifices that he makes daily for our country. He is such a great leader and takes such good care of his men. His job is important to him and he does it with pride...all to provide for our family and for our country. Please pray for our soldier's safety and that they come home soon!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Really Slacking

Wow. I have done horrible at keeping up with my blog this year. I have been so busy it is most certainly the last thing on my to do list each day.

The last few nights I have been going back through and reading all my previous entries. I have been through so much and come out on top on so many things. I like being able to look back and see what all I've done and what all I have accomplished...and also see the things that I still need to work on.

I am almost finished with school. My last day is March 19. It has been a long time coming and I'm so excited to be finished.

Daddy is in Iraq now and I miss him a lot. I have been able to talk to him a few times on Skype and I'm really glad. I can't wait until he is back though.

I have so many new pictures to post and updates to give. Hopefully I can get back to a regular blogging schedule!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I have no excuse....

...for taking an almost 3 month hiatus from blogging. I have literally been non-stop that my schedule has just not had any time, or if I have had a few moments to spare, blogging has not been at the top of my list.

The last few months have gone by in a blur. I am nearing the end of cosmetology school and I'm super excited about that. I still have no idea where I'm going to work. I'm trying to follow God on that. I have some ideas about some things, but I'm trying to just simply follow Him in them.

Thanksgiving was great, Christmas was great, New, not so great ( I had a stomach virus that was pretty violent). But so far, the new year has been amazing. God is really working!

My dad leaves in just a few weeks for Iraq. Please pray for him. Last week he lost a close friend of his and was unable to leave from Camp Shelby to go to the funeral . Life of an army man. I hate that he wasn't able to come in. He has a lot on him while he takes the last few days preparing his guys to go over seas. I'm thankful my mom and sister and I will get the chance to fly down and spend the last few days with him before he leaves.

I'm working on uploading some new pictures now, so more in detail posts to follow!