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Bionic Ankle

It’s 6:12 am, Eastern time, that is, as I begin writing this post.  An hour later than home, but I’m not at home.  I’m two hours away, nestled on my in-laws’ couch. right leg elevated.

The deed…it has been done.

I arrived at the surgical center yesterday afternoon for my 2pm check-in time.

That, by no way, meant surgical time, mind you.  They were all about filling out more paperwork…signing my life away to the procedure I was about to have…paying my portion of the bill that the insurance didn’t cover.  Let’s just take a moment to praise insurance, though.  I know a lot of people bemoan it, but I have good insurance, so I cannot complain.

I had to do the pee-in-a-cup thing, because all women within the childbearing age span get to have this fun experience…just in case.  For the record, I’m not.  Thank goodness.  😉

Then, I was whisked away to a hospital bed to begin preparing for surgery.

I loved my English-accent speaking nurse.  She was so gentle, listened to my fears about needles, and gently got my IV ready.  She assured me that I’d be given medicine for post-surgery nausea, which I have a tendency to suffer from.

The Mr. got brought back to me, and we did some waiting.

A lot of it, actually.

Chicky arrived about an hour after we got there, and she did some waiting with us.

I hadn’t seen her since January; her presence made me so happy.  I love this girl so much, but our lives don’t often intersect with her being a super teacher down south and, in general, living life on her own.

The anesthesiologist came by for a chat. Can we all say a Praise the Lord for this profession?  I think that all who enter are screened for great personalities.  I’ve never met one I didn’t like.  He was kind and funny.  And uber professional.  He knew his stuff…knew about my procedure…and set my fears at rest.

We discussed my having a nerve block that would last about 24 hours after surgery.  I couldn’t sign that paperwork fast enough, let me tell you.  I am brave about some things; pain is not one of those things.

He left, and we waited.

And waited.

Periodically, there would be people who would visit my “room…” nurses who would ask me to repeat my name, birth date, and which procedure / which leg I was having work done on.  I wanted to say, “the one with the cast,” but I was being nice.  Ahem.

Chicky left to get her and the Mr. some food…and to visit her Grandmama and utilize her washing machine.  Priorities, folks!

While she was gone, my surgeon came by.  This man though.  He had been so frustrated with me at my first visit for clawing myself to the point where we had to delay surgery that I was a little scared.

I didn’t ask him the questions I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

I’ll ask those questions when I got back for my first post-op visit on the 1st.

He did write on my right toes, though.  I believe I saw him make a smiley face on my big toe.

He was all smiles himself as he described the procedure.  His bedside manner was on point and soothed my heart.  He promised to be back as soon as he did one short procedure for another patient.  The man was busy!

Meanwhile, we waited a little bit more.

I was so very tired.

And scared.

I’m not going to lie, but I grew more scared the longer we waited.

The Mr. did his best to calm me down.  He didn’t want my heart rate to go too fast and delay surgery.

He spoke words of encouragement…words I desperately needed to hear.

He offered me my phone, which he NEVER does, to distract me.  I was too tired to do much besides read a few text messages and Facebook posts.  I quickly handed it back to him.

His main job during surgery was going to be keeping our friends and family updated.

Finally, they began to wheel me back to pre-op.  The Mr. gave me a hug before I left.  I wanted him to stay with me.  That man had been the center of my world this past week…my rock.

Off I went, though, to a room that was divided into sections…each dedicated to its own surgery.

I had heart monitors attached to my chest, some sort of thing put on my leg to check impulses (I never once felt it), and other cords fastened every which way.

I even had an oxygen tube stuck under my nose.  Things were getting very real.  Very fast.

Heck, I felt like I was going to be on one of those hospital drama shows you see on TV.


The nurse placed my right leg on a high table in preparation for the anesthesiologist.  He was going to do the nerve block before surgery.

I got really, really scared.

He’d told me that he would be giving me three shots and an extra one in my big toe to ensure that all of my nerves would be given the pain-free juice I’d need.




And pain.

Did I mention that?

Y’all are not going to believe this, but I slept through the entire thing!

I kid you not.

The fatigue of not sleeping well the night before and a long day of anticipation had worn me out.

Maybe they put a little something something in my IV too.  Who knows.  I’d signed away my life, so it’s possible.

I woke up as the nurse was removing my oxygen tube.  My leg was off the table and completely numb.

Praise Jesus!

I was then wheeled into the operating room.

One operating room.

With lots of big lights.

I remember looking up and wondering about the pattern of the individual light bulbs in each light.

Yeah.  I had some happy drugs, I think.

I was introduced to someone who was prepping a surgical table.  I don’t remember his name.  He turned and waved.

I was moved from the bed I was wheeled in on to a surgery table.  I had to help move my body over.  That was interesting.

Then, I laid back as some sort of mask was held over my nose and mouth…not tight…just enough to breath into.

I thought that I’d never fall asleep.


Out I went like a light.

I slowly came to in a recovery room, a different nurse at my side.

My throat hurt so badly.  She told me that they’d put a tube down my throat during surgery.

Thank heavens I was out for that.  I don’t think I would have liked that.

She gave me red Gatorade to sip on and began helping me get dressed.

I’m glad I had taken my leopard print Victoria Secret bra with me.  One must always be fashionable…even when having surgery.  You never know who’s going to see your underclothes.

The Mr. was brought back to see me.  I think he was smiling.  Chicky was there too.  Most of my heart  was there in that room.  I know the others were with me in spirit.

While the nurse was out of the room gathering paperwork, the Mr. told me that the doctor has spoken to him after the surgery.  He’d said that it had gone well, but that he’d discovered that my bones are very brittle.  He’d had some difficulty getting the pins inserted because of this.

As you know, I’ve been a vegan since 2016.  I don’t eat any animal products, which means I have to find creative ways to get protein and calcium.

Apparently, I’ve done a terrible job of this.  I will not be moving away from my vegan lifestyle.  It suits my tummy and other innards well.  What I will be doing, and what the Mr. has already begun doing, is researching how to put more calcium into my body organically.  I don’t do supplements.  My stomach cannot handle them, and I know the body doesn’t process them well.  I will probably have to up my caloric intake.  That’s another issue I need to deal with.

The doctor told the Mr. that my ankle injury was an accident waiting to happen.  As such, I know that I need to make changes quickly so I don’t incur another such injury.  I do not want to be an old lady who has to have hip replacement surgery.

When the nurse returned, she gave me a lot of detailed instructions.  I love that she looked right at me and spoke to me.  She was just so amazing.  The Mr. and Chicky listened on closely.  They knew I’d remember exactly 10% of it.

One cool thing was that she recognized me from the Mr.’s parents’ church.  How weird is that?  We attended it twenty years ago when we lived here and have been back yearly for Christmas Eve services.  My in-laws are very, very active in the church.  I’ve been on more than one prayer chain of late.

God is so wonderful when He makes connections like that.

She gave me lots of paperwork.  Among them were copies of my x-rays.

Y’all, they look like pictures from Frankenstein’s surgery.

There are many, many pins inside of my little leg.


There’s a plate in there somewhere.  I’m going to have the doctor show me where during my next visit.  It’s on the inside of my leg, but I don’t know where to find it on the x-ray.

Regardless, it was an intense repair, and it’s going to require much healing.  God is the GREAT physician, so I’m not worried.

Finally, it was time to leave.  She wheeled me out.  I had been the last surgery of the day.  It was both dark and cold.  I shivered like crazy.

Fortunately, the car was warm, and the Mr. gently navigated us back to his parents’ house.

What a loving reception I got.  These people have cared for me through so much…so many times when I have been unlovable.  I am so grateful for their unconditional love…something I never had growing up and something that’s been hard to accept all of these years.

The Mr. left fairly quickly.  He’d been driving back and forth to care not only for me but for our fur babies back home.  I hated that he was driving so late, but that’s what love does. ❤

Meanwhile, the in-laws gave us instructions on how to use their remote controls and how to turn off the light switches.  It can get complicated, y’all, I kid you not.  Then, they headed to bed.   They were slap worn out from the long day as well.

Meanwhile, Chicky had been assigned babysitting duties. She was to be my night nurse, relegated to the long couch.

She was wonderful.

I got hungry, so she found some crackers for me.

That was only the start.  She then fixed me a can of soup and got me a glass of orange juice.  Strange combo, I know, but when you’ve been through what I have this past week, you don’t question such requests.

Then, after a couple of trips to the potty, we were set to go.

We watched a bit of TV…an episode of Timeless, which I’ll have to rewatch when I get home because I had a hard time focusing on it…before turning out the light.

I slept pretty good and mainly woke up for my pain meds.  By 5:30, though, I’d had enough.  I had to sit up and catch up on my social media.

I needed to blog before the words were forgotten in the haze of pain and medicine.

I’m starting to feel the effects of the nerve block wearing off.

That’s a good and a bad thing.  The good is that I’ll be able to feel my toes again, which will make me feel less claustrophobic.

The bad is…well…the pain.

You might remember that I don’t like pain.

I am already feeling it on the inside of my ankle…the part I obliterated.  It’s the side that now houses a plate.  I feel as though I have a bionic ankle now.  Ha!

So, I’m asking you to continue praying, if you will.

This pain is going to be no joke.

It’s going to require that I pull up my big girl pants and deal, the best I can.

My goal is to return to work on Monday.  I don’t know how, but I am determined.

I’d like to see the pain reduced a bit before I go in.

I’ll probably be in a wheelchair.  Crutches and me…we are slowly getting to be friends.  I’ll be renting a scooter as soon as the doctor gives me the green light.  That’s when the fun will begin.

Please pray for the Mr.  He stresses.  A lot.  About everything.

He’s a good man.  He’s typical, though, and has a need to see things fixed.

He hates to see people in pain…especially those he loves.

This injury has reminded us both of so much.

We need each other desperately, especially now that our kids are grown and living their own lives elsewhere.

He’s usually been the sick one of the two of us.  I’ve been the caretaker.

Oftentimes, not a great one; frustration and impatience are my enemies.

Not so after this.

Though the Mr. has gotten frustrated, he’s balanced it with attention to detail.  That man has come home from the grocery store only to hear me vocalize a desire for orange juice, which I must have dreamed about while napping while he was gone, and then he has left again to pick up a gallon.

Just because he wanted me happy.

He’s a gem, and he’s all mine, ladies.

I might be willing to rent him out for a small fee, though.  We have a rehearsal dinner to pay for and medical bills to recoup from.


Seriously, though, I am still finding #joyinthejourney through the ups and downs I’ve encountered since my fall on the 13th.

God allowed this to happen to me.  Though I cannot fully understand all of the why’s of it, I continue to trust Him.

Please pray as I continue down the road of recovery.  I know it’s going to be very difficult at times, but God prepared me through my year of fitness gains, my return to Him in my Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, and my strengthened relationship with my husband.





It’s Sunday night…the evening before I head back to school after a two-week Christmas vacation.

I spent the first week throwing off the remaining crud I’d been fighting since Thanksgiving.

The second week, once we’d returned home from visiting family, was, quite simply, divine.

When you’re a teacher, it takes a couple of weeks out of the classroom to begin feeling like a normal human being again…one who can put more than one thought together…one who can actually grocery shop, cook, and keep the house clean.

I feel refreshed.

Do I want to go back?

Not really.  I treasure my time at home in the company of my family.  I like being a stay-at-home mom and wife.  I’m pretty good at it too and do not ever find myself suffering from boredom.

With that said, I am going back because no, I did not win the lottery.

At the moment, I feel un-rushed…calm even.

I think part of the reason is a renewed sense of who I am in relation to my Creator.  I’ve been reading the book Wrestling with Wonder, by Marlo Schalesky.

I began this book on December 16…ordering it after I’d finished a devotion series that contained excerpts from the book.

This book is not really a feel-good kind of book.  It’s one that makes you rethink what the word “blessing” means.  Mary was blessed, but she endured the most unimaginable pain a woman can face despite God’s promises to her.

All of the things that God allows in our lives can be considered blessings because He is working His perfect purpose through those things.

News flash…blessings aren’t for us.  They exist to further His kingdom.

This book is partially told first person…from Mary’s perspective…as she might have thought about things as they happened…the angel appearing to her to tell her she was carrying the Savior of the world…her journey to her cousin Elizabeth’s house…her trip to Bethlehem…the birth of Jesus…and more.

The book’s purpose isn’t to glorify Mary.  It’s to reveal the wonders of some of the most confusing and life-altering moments in Mary’s life and then relate them to our own lives.

This book has reminded me that God allows the good and bad things into this world because He does have a grand plan, and it isn’t always to have me feel all happy-go-lucky.  That’s comforting given relationships I still struggle with…inner turmoil that eats away at me as I fight my own dark thoughts and feelings.

There’s been a release of sorts…a lifting of some of the weight that I had allowed to reside on my shoulders for awhile.

This morning, one of the songs we sang at church was “Redeemed,” by Big Daddy Weave.

The lyrics, as always, spoke to my heart…especially the following words:

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

So, despite feeling a little like this right now…

I’m actually feeling more like this…

I hope that my calm demeanor lasts and actually rubs off on my students…kiddos who will be returning for a week and a half of teaching before first semester exams.

If my calm doesn’t last, I may be indulging in the following…

And this…Chocolate Peanut Butter Tartlets (from the book Vegan Pie in the Sky or here)…

Learning to Rest

Gee whiz, but time flies so fast these days!!!  I can scarcely believe that it’s been nearly twenty-one days since my last post.  Good gravy!

When last I posted, the new school year was about to begin.  On Friday, we finished our third week.

Thus far, things are going swimmingly.  To say I was nervous would be an understatement.  Despite this being my sixth year, I still experienced anxiety in the days leading up to the 18th.

I am pleased to report that I am loving my classes.  God has turned what was, potentially, a nightmare of a schedule into one with hidden blessings.

I always enjoy my students; however, the mixture of them in various classes doesn’t always work well.  Personalities are that way, don’t you know.  This year, though, the kids are getting along better.

There have been a few issues, to be sure, but what can you expect when you’ve got between fifty and sixty hormonal teenagers crossing your threshold each day.  Still, considering all of that, things have gone well.

No matter how smoothly school goes, one thing doesn’t change.

The fatigue.

There’s a crap-ton of it.  I find myself bone-tired every day.

My students require a lot of hands-on assistance; putting papers into folders a certain way can take my students entire class periods.

I kid you not.

The first few weeks are all about teaching procedures and getting organized.  I thrive on both…so do my kiddos once they learn the way I like things.

I’m trying hard not to bring work other than lesson planning home with me; however, I cannot seem to get caught up.  That’s why I found myself, after the Auburn game yesterday, grading…

I read everything and leave comments all over the place.  I want each student to feel special.  Feedback and, more importantly, accountability, are very important…especially to my students…many of whom don’t experience much of either once they leave school each day.

It’s exhausting though.

Molly felt my pain yesterday…

It was my full intention to finish my grading today…Sunday…after church.

God had a special message for me, though, spoken through one of our youth pastors who preached our sermon today.

We’re currently going through a series that mimics school subjects.  Today’s topic was about Recess.

We were reminded about why God created the Sabbath…a day of rest.

Several things struck me as I listened.

First and foremost…God didn’t need to rest.

I don’t know why I’ve never considered that before.  I mean, He is God, after all.  He never grows weary.


I can be so slow sometimes.

God created the Sabbath to set a precedent for us.  We are to set aside (keep holy) the seventh day (without getting legalistic, which the Pharisees did).

I needed this reminder to keep my time at home as work-free as possible.  I started doing this last fall, and although I didn’t always get assignments graded the day after they were turned in, my students, surprisingly, understood and even empathized.  God worked everything out, as He always does.

I will admit that I’m struggling, though…the pull to get something constructive done is strong.  I already sent one email to my reading department…I just could not help myself.

As far as the rest of my day goes, I think I’ll cast on a new knitting project.  I’m not playing in my Harry Potter House Cup this term.  I stressed myself out this summer by committing to a lot of knitting-related projects and didn’t get to read as much as I wanted.  Getting to knit without extra pressure of points will be good for me (by the way, Hufflepuff won the Cup this summer…which I played a role in).

Resting on the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments.  My daily First5 Bible study is creating a renewal in my heart.  The more time I spend reading God’s Word, reflecting, and praying, the more I want to live out His commands.  He has been incredibly faithful in the tangible way He’s answering my prayers.  I know that He will honor my efforts as I fight my inner overachieving nature to serve Him more diligently.

63 Days

Today marks the end of my summer vacation.

It was 63 days of pure bliss.

Transitioning back to the working world is always difficult to me.  My summer breaks take me back to a time in my life when I stayed home with the kids, focusing solely on my family.

I’m content at the moment, though, because I have had such a terrific summer.  I’ve completely relaxed and did not allow myself to do anything work-related…well, except for one afternoon last week when I sketched out lesson plans for the first week of school.

I’ve also been centering my thoughts on God and His purpose for me.

I’m reading through a devotional plan at night right now (different from my #first5app), and a couple of verses stood out to me two nights ago…

What’s hard for me sometimes is the “willing” part.

I thrive on taking care of my family and can resent intrusions that interfere.  Yet, whenever I am interacting with students, I know, in those moments, that God has called me to work with teenagers.

I guess what I mostly resent is being overburdened with extra responsibilities that make fulfilling my purpose especially difficult.

I’m trusting God to help me even more with that frustration.

And so today, I begin the pre-planning phase of my sixth year of teaching.  I’ll meet new coworkers, sit through meetings, and continue tweaking the lesson plans I began last week.

Most importantly, I’ll thank my heavenly Father for stretching me…molding me into a person who, hopefully, reflects His glory.

Monday Morning Musings

It’s still summer vacation (for a few more days anyway), and I found myself awake at 6:30.

To be sure, it was the alarm and not my internal clock at work.  My body wanted to sleep longer; however, the reality of having to go back for pre-planning on the 11th makes getting up earlier a much-needed exercise to prepare myself.

I’m not really a morning person.  Ever since I started teaching a few years ago, I’ve found myself becoming more and more of a night owl.

Still, though, this morning, the house is quiet (now that the dogs have been fed).  The sun is shining through my windows, the slats of the blinds turning the light into a soft golden color.

The dogs have gone back to sleep, and the men in my life (aka The Mr. and Rooster) are still dreaming whatever dreams men their age dream (I suspect the common theme is Auburn football with it being August and all).

In other words, it’s peaceful right now.

I find my soul at rest as well…ready, as always, to reflect a bit.

I’m thinking about my summer and how special it’s been.

No, I didn’t take a trip anywhere.  The Mr.’s work schedule has been very hectic since May.  Trying to coordinate it with Rooster’s (we want to take a family trip) has been impossible.

I’ve been content, though, to lie low at home.

I’ve gotten myself into a comfortable routine…one of self-care and personal indulgences.

Morning workouts at the gym have tightened up my muscles and have cultivated a confidence in my body that had been lacking for quite some time.  It didn’t help that one of my students from this past school year persisted in calling me “thick.”  In her world, that’s a good thing.  In my anorexia-leaning mind, it was not a good thing, but it did drive me to reign in some bad habits (Chick fil A sweet tea, anyone?) and replace them with edifying actions.

I’ve stretched myself with my reading.  Game of Thrones does not make for light reading, let me tell you!!

I’ve knit to my heart’s content and even learned how to crochet a little better.

I’ve watched Netflix…a lot of it.

I’ve napped…two or three times a week sometimes.

I’ve eaten lunch with Rooster nearly every day.  At 21 years of age, his days of living at home will be ending soon.  It’s just what children do…grow up and create adult lives for themselves.  Thus, I’ve treasured every single meal shared…more so this summer…and the conversations we’ve had during these meals and all of our free moments in-between.

Miss these days

I’ve seen a couple of movies with my guys.

One of the best things I’ve done for myself has been to reconnect to God’s Word on a daily basis.  I’m using a new, free app called First5.  It’s part of the Proverbs 31 ministry, headed up by Lysa TerKeurst.

Right now, we are working our way through the book of John.  Five days a week, there are lessons based on the teachings in John.  The sixth day, Saturday, there’s a video weekend wrap-up…a delightful surprise that I had not anticipated.

I’ve been reading these devotions right after I wake up…before I check email, Instagram, or Facebook.  I’m trying to be purposeful about spending my first few waking moments with God, reading, studying, and praying.

I’ve found myself returning back to the lesson from each morning as I go about each day.  This is a good thing.  I want to be reminded of God’s teaching because, too often, I let my emotions rule my actions.  I know this will be especially true when school resumes, and my patience will be tested by the very in-the-moment teenagers who will enter my room each day.

The timing of this app’s release is perfect.  I feel as though my heart was being prepared for it during the last few weeks of summer vacation.  It has settled…quieted…so I really can hear God’s prompting.

This peace is something I will have to pray hard to maintain as my class schedule promises to be especially challenging this year.  I just keep reminding myself that God was very purposeful when He created me; He expects me to be purposeful in living out my life.  Right now, that purpose is teaching…touching the hearts of desperately needy young people.

Boy, that’s some heavy stuff for a Monday morning, is it not?

But you see, it’s really not heavy because God, whose shoulders are strong, is carrying everything for me.  All I have to do is let Him and thank Him.


According to Dictionary.com, one of the definitions for the the word audacity is “boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions.”

With all of the big things in recent headlines, this word is one that is coming to mind more and more often lately.

I’m not going to lie.  I’ve been pretty upset.  The health care and marriage decisions rendered by the Supreme Court have left me disillusioned.

I lack the gift of debate, not having a quick wit and all, and I’ve also struggled with trying not to offend people with my views.


One thing I learned from this past school year is that it is okay to be a dissenting voice, and it is actually imperative that dissenters speak up.

And so I am going to have the audacity to say a few things…get some stuff off of my chest.

As you’re probably aware if you know me personally or have read my blog more than once, I am a Christian.

This doesn’t mean I think I’m perfect.  Far be it from that, I am probably way too harsh on myself.  I am a sinner who is grateful for the redeeming blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Anything good that people might see in me comes from my gracious heavenly Father.

The plumb line that guides my life is the Bible, God’s never-changing Word.  The Bible doesn’t change with the times; it doesn’t evolve through cultural changes and suddenly become irrelevant when societal norms begin to expand.  The Bible wouldn’t be much of a standard if the measuring bar kept moving around, now would it?

So we come to the heart of my post…this whole same-sex marriage thing.

The Bible very clearly states that marriage is to be between a man and a woman.  Most people will agree that homosexual behavior isn’t exactly endorsed in the Bible.  There are multiple verses that say this.

What supporters of same-sex marriage fail to mention is that the Bible lumps homosexuality in the same boat with adulterers, fornicators, and thieves.  So, it’s not that homosexuality is the worst sin.  It’s just one of many.  The other things just aren’t making the news right now.

The emotional battles I’m facing right now involve two things:  1)  Five people deciding for an entire nation how marriage should be defined, and 2) Supporters of this law calling into question dissenters’ character and even calling them hateful and ignorant.

Honestly, issue number two from above is what’s hurting and confusing me the most.

To read that we who oppose the same-sex marriage law are in the growing minority is a fallacy.  I can’t help but wonder, though, if we conservatives haven’t perpetuated this myth because, out of concern for looking “judgmental,” we haven’t spoken out enough, thus leading people to think there aren’t more who us who oppose it.

This has played out in numerous election results (case in point – who’s sitting in the Oval Office).  It’s kind of hard to stand out if you don’t go out and make your voice heard by voting.

I also take issue with those who would call us hateful.  If you take a close look at the ground we are standing on, it’s not quicksand that changes at a whim.  It’s the solid foundation of the Bible, which has never changed.

Why would people call us hateful or ignorant when we choose to stand on conviction.  Why would people tune out the part where we are constantly saying “hate the sin, love the sinner.”  That is THE message that has been broadcast loud and clear, yet it is ignored.

People who support same-sex marriage get mad because they say we on the other side don’t want equality, yet these same people refuse to give us due respect for our opinions.  How does that demonstrate equality?  Truth be told, it’s not about equality.  It’s about morality.  Big difference.

When you take prayer out of schools, disallow prayer before school functions, and remove Bible verses from public buildings, you are most certainly not ensuring that everyone is being treated equally.  You’re pushing an agenda that is more concerned with political correctness than anything else.

Quite honestly, what it boils down to is people not really believing in God’s Word.  You can’t just believe in part of it and throw out the rest.

This fact makes me sad.  However, the Bible makes it very clear that the way is narrow, which means that not all people will choose the right way.  It’s a single lane road in which no service road magically opens up and runs parallel at the whims of societal evolution.

I love the way the movie, Audacity, handled these issues.  It’s a 55-minute movie produced by Living Waters.  I purchased and watched it last night.  It’s a little hokie, I’ll admit, but the message is good and presents the struggle we Christians have when sharing answers from God’s Word to those who are curious.  There are snippets of Ray Comfort’s interviews that delve into the topics of same-sex marriage, adultery, and other sins.

It’s no coincidence at the timing of this movie.

I take comfort that God knows how everything is going to play out…that He knew before He created the world that we would be traveling down this path.

While I’m concerned about His judgement, I am also grateful that He continues to be a God of grace who is always waiting to embrace us back into the fold.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to continue having the audacity to share.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t care for people who choose alternative lifestyles.  In fact, I have an uncle who is gay.  Although I haven’t seen him since I was a little girl, I wouldn’t hesitate to hug him if a reunion came to pass.

Yes, I’ll have the audacity to proclaim God’s truth, but I’ll also have the audacity to love the people He has placed in my life with as much passion and conviction as I always have.


A few days ago, I was running errands and heard the song, Redeemed, by Big Daddy Weave, start playing on my radio.

As the lyrics were sung by this gifted artist, I found my soul singing along, connecting the words of the songwriter with the story of Easter, when we celebrate the risen Christ.

This isn’t just a story for Easter, though.

This is my daily story…it is every human’s story…because Jesus died on the cross for EVERY person’s sins.

It is by God’s Spirit, once we accept the work of Jesus on the cross, that we are changed from our old selves into new creatures.

The most amazing part of it all is that we can do NOTHING to earn this gift.

It is freely given.

We can’t buy our way to redemption.

We can’t do enough good deeds to cover the sacrifice of the innocent offering that Jesus became when He was nailed to the cross.

We are not good in and of ourselves.

It is only through God’s grace, his unmerited favor, that He offers salvation.

If this doesn’t bring tears of thankfulness to your eyes, I don’t know what will.

Celebrate with your family today.

Then, carry your praise with you each day after that.


Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be

Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, ’cause I’m not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be
Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be
Jesus, I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed

The Beauty of Imperfection

I’m currently about two-thirds of the way through Perfect Escape by one of my favorite young adult writers, Jennifer Brown.

This book tells the story of Kendra, a high school senior, who whisks her brother, Grayson, away on a road trip.

It’s no ordinary road trip, though, because Kendra is running away from trouble at school.

She tries to justify the trip in her mind by claiming that she’s on a mission to help her brother, who is mentally ill because of his OCD.

One of the things Grayson does when he’s under stress is to line up rocks and count them.

Rocks are his fascination, and I was struck by a comment he made to Rena, a young mom who joins in on their road trip.

She asks Grayson why a particular piece of quartz is colorless while other pieces have various colors.

He explains that pure quartz is colorless, and that is is chemical imperfections that leads to quartz becoming colored.

Then he says, “Quartz is at its most beautiful when it’s been changed by impurities.”

Go ahead and re-read it.  I bolded it because it’s a very poignant statement.

I had to pause in my reading, so I’m not sure how the author is going to use this statement of his.

I sure can see deep meaning in this sentence.

The first thing I thought about was my students.

They are certainly not perfect (none of us are).

Their lives are dirtied up by terribly dysfunctional home lives, terrible personal choices, and temptations to make more poor decisions.

These are the students who walk into my classroom.

These are the things that make them beautiful in my eyes.

These are my favorites precisely because of their imperfections.

I find even deeper meaning in Grayson’s words, though, by thinking about our lives as sinners.

Boy are we imperfect, aren’t we?

In God’s eyes, though, we are beautiful and worthy of His love.

He sent Jesus, His Son, to die for imperfect beings.

How humbling is that?!

I think back to when the Mr. proposed to me and gave me my engagement ring.

I was in college and enrolled in a science class that had a lab.  One lab day, we had to work with the microscopes, and I put my ring beneath the viewer.  We marveled because the diamond was nearly flawless.

I wonder how many people purposely select diamonds with flaws?

Not many.  There’s an entire rating scale devoted to a diamond’s qualities, and big sales are made over the best gems.

When you look at Grayson’s statement again, you notice that he says that quartz is beautiful because it’s been changed by imperfections.

If you think about it, our imperfections make us who we are.  They add color to our lives.

What an interesting concept and such a neat way of looking at and accepting my own imperfections…something that’s very tough for a perfectionist like myself.

I am beautiful…

Because of my imperfections.

The Joy of Serving

My church has made the commitment to feed the hungry downtown one Thursday a month.  Different groups in our church sign up to prepare and serve dinner to a minimum of 100 needy individuals.

My small group took its turn last Thursday.

I’ll admit to a bit of trepidation at such a daunting task.

Over lunch last Sunday, we firmed up our plans.  There were a number of trips made to Sam’s Club for supplies…

David, my friend Barb’s husband, and one of our small group leaders, Tracy, met at the church around 2:15 and began preparing the sauce.  I got there at 3.  Others slowly drifted in after they got off of work, and we also enlisted the assistance of Barb and David’s son and Tracy’s daughter (they are engaged, by the way).

David prepared twenty-five pounds of meat for the sauce, adding his secret blend of spices to the mix.

He and Jim, another of our small group members, cooked up thirty pounds of spaghetti.

I opened the packages of noodles for David.  Please be impressed with my kitchen skillz.


Tracy proved to be the master of the garbage disposal/rinsing station.

We all have our special talents, you see.

It didn’t seem like long before everything was ready, and we loaded up our vehicles and headed downtown.

As we pulled into the parking lot, something stirred in my heart because, in front of me, was a line of people waiting for our arrival.

I’ve got a confession to make.

I’ve led a somewhat sheltered life.

The blinders are slowly being removed though…every year more come off as I teach the neediest of children in the direst of situations.

Still, looking at the people in that line and knowing that we were providing what would likely be their only meal of the day…perhaps their best meal of the week…well, I just don’t know that words can adequately describe exactly what I was feeling.

We had a lot of help setting up our table, and each member of our group assumed a spot from which to serve.

Before we began, though, Tracy spoke to the group of people, serving up the most satisfying food they would inhale that day…God’s Word.

A special thanks to this amazing man.  Tracy and his wife have been godsends to the Mr. and me.  They repeatedly invited us to their small group late last Spring.  I didn’t really want to go because I’m painfully shy sometimes, but Tracy continued to find me at church, hug me, and make me feel loved.

That’s just who he is, and his wife, Lisa, is the same way.

After the devotion and blessing, we began.

This is when the fun commenced!

I know that sounds strange, but honestly, that’s what it was…fun!

As each person came through the line, I heard my friends, Jeannie and Barbara, both literacy coaches in my district and some of my biggest supports (not to mention mentors to me), interact in their sweet Southern way with each person as they served up the salad and dressing.

The Mr. and I served the spaghetti.  As each person stood in front of me, I greeted him/her as I would any of my students…looked the person in the eyes…and asked how he/she was.

Some looked surprised to be acknowledged so personally.  I noticed that people would stand up straighter after looking me in the eye.

We passed the plates down to Lisa and others serving up the bread, cookies, and drinks.

We didn’t skimp on portions, and the people in this group seemed genuinely surprised.

We had so much food that we encouraged them to come back through our line for seconds and thirds.

We began making to-go boxes for them.

We even served up spaghetti to the cutest puppy ever (don’t be judging).

Some of the members of our group interacted with the patrons as they ate.

It wasn’t long before the crowd began to disappear…where to, I have no idea.

We broke down the tables and made plans to go to dinner as a group.

We chose a Mexican restaurant.  I doubt I’ll be able to look at spaghetti for a while.  LOL!

Lisa took the leftover food to the Rescue Mission so more hungry souls could be fed.

First, though, we returned to the church to finish cleaning up and return the serving dishes and utensils to their proper homes.

We finally made it to dinner around 8:00.

The feeling was jubilant, and we analyzed things we could have done to make it better.

Overall, though, there was a feeling of joy.

We shared conversations we’d had with those we had served.

I cannot tell you what a bonding experience this was.

Over the last year and three months, I have grown to deeply care for those in my small group.

Each individual has his/her talents.  We celebrate each others’ triumphs and cry for one another when things aren’t so good.

I, who was hesitant to become a part of this group, do not know what I’d do without it.

They stretch me, as evidenced by our experience with feeding the hungry.

They pray for me, on a moment’s notice, as happened last week when I requested prayer when Chicky was interviewing for a new teaching position closer to her house.

Feeding the hungry was an extension of what we’ve been doing for each other for the last year…finding joy through being selfless.

It’s love in action, modeled by God Himself when He sent His Son.

Two Words

Yesterday morning I was up bright and early.  I had to go in for the first of two days of teacher training.

As is my routine when I’m getting ready in the morning, I turned on the radio.  I have it set to Family Life Radio, a Christian radio station.

The morning show is done by Peter and Shannyn, and one of the topics that came up was Shannyn’s family reunion that she had attended the week before.

She shared the story of one member of her very large, extended family…members of whom had traveled to the U.S. from many remote locations.  The particular family member she talked about was a young man…I think she said he was around the age of nine.  He’s deaf and can hear only the slightest sounds with the help of hearing aids.

She said that when they gathered together for a moment, he touched the cross she was wearing on her necklace.  He, too, was wearing a cross, and he said two words while pointing to them…”Same heart.”

Shannyn explained that these were the only two words he spoke the entire weekend.

They were profound, and my eyes filled with tears as Shannyn ended her story.

When you have a relationship with the Lord…when you believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, you enter into a family where the conversation doesn’t have to be filled with many words.  In fact, the love we share for our Lord transcends all languages because it stems from one place…the heart.

It’s such a simple concept but one that packs a powerful punch.

We Christians have the same heart, and it doesn’t matter where we live, what language we speak, or what cultural differences we have.

In the end, we speak the language of God’s love.

I doubt I’ll ever forget this touching lesson.

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