Monthly Archives: April 2016

Southern Lady

Southern Lady

If you live anywhere besides the deep South you probably already have an opinion about people with Southern accents…right? Don’t deny it…I know you do!

But, if you live in the deep South you don’t always pick up on how distinct the accents truly are most of the time. Ya know it’s just the way we talk and no one pays much attention to it on a day to day basis. We all sound alike for the most part.

In fact, we often hear how “country” we sound from folks in other parts of the U.S. Television and radio hosts sometimes mistakenly believe that everyone in the South is uneducated, stupid, and incapable of speaking the English language correctly. Let me just tell you…that is soooooooo NOT the case!

In the deep South there are a variety of dialects that can quickly identify where (or in some cases how) a person was raised. The slow drawl is the most common and the most recognizable for sure; but there is another one that absolutely fascinates me…I like to call it “The Southern Lady”.


Recently I had the pleasure of eating lunch at the best kept secret in Fayette. Sweet Digs is tucked away in the back of a renovated apartment building downtown. It is off the beaten path and has (hands down) the best food you have ever put in your mouth!  Mrs. Ann (who also happens to be a widow herself) makes sure that every item tastes just like it would if you were at your grandmama’s house. I normally call my order in, but on this particular day I decided to sit down and eat my lunch on a real plate…at a real table….using real silverware. It just tastes better when you eat food correctly sometimes.

I also enjoy talking about life with Mrs. Ann and she always gives me a leg up when I need one. Widows do that for each other. We are kindred spirits and we tend to flock together. It doesn’t matter if you start to date, remarry, or never talk to another man as long as you live…once you are a member of the widow club you immediately recognize other widows. It’s a little weird, I admit…but it is also very comforting when you know another woman understands your daily struggle to survive.

Anyway, on this particular day I was sitting at a table eating lunch by myself. There were four ladies sitting at the table next to me and I could not help but overhear their conversation as I quietly ate my chicken casserole, cheesy potatoes, purple hull peas, and buttermilk cornbread.

Just as I was taking a bite, one of the ladies began to tell a story that drew me in like a moth to a flame. Now, being raised in the South I know full well that it is rude to eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation…but when you are sitting alone in a pretty little dining room with only you and four other women it’s really hard not to listen to what other folks are saying!

The conversation itself was not what I was interested in…it was the lady’s voice that made my ears dance in anticipation of what she was going to say next. She had that true Southern accent that you see people try to mimic in movies…only hers was as genuine as a monogrammed seersucker dress. Think Julia Sugarbaker.

I’m telling you this lady’s voice was a smooth as Tennessee Whiskey…it was strong and easy to hear…yet soft and soothing like a warm breeze on a moon-filled southern night. The tone and the way in which she spoke made you want to listen to her talk all day long.

I don’t have a clue what she was actually saying, but I do know that the other three ladies sitting with her were equally well versed in “The Southern Lady” accent. Their laughter and conversation flowed so easily around that table! It truly was pure joy for me to listen to them laugh and talk while I ate my lunch.

As I finished eating and stood to push in my chair, I glanced over at their table and smiled. The lady with the wonderful voice met my gaze and smiled back. I picked up my purse and headed for the door, but I stopped just behind one of the other lady’s chairs and thanked all of them for helping me to enjoy my lunch. They all smiled and told me they were glad to have kept me entertained! I quickly explained (so as not to be considered rude!) how very much I enjoyed hearing them talk and how I wished I had their accent.

I don’t have “The Southern Lady” accent. In fact, I’m not exactly sure what you would call my accent…”The Educated Redneck” maybe or “The Laughing Drawl” (Thanks Brandice!), or “The Emotional Country Girl”. I’m not really sure what the official name would be, but I know without a doubt that it is not “The Southern Lady”!

The ladies smiled and bid me a good day. I walked to my car thinking how nice it was to have witnessed true southern, gentile ladies having lunch. They were polite, kind, and dressed just like you would expect a true lady to be dressed for a lunch date out with friends. I felt like I had just exited a movie set and my heartbeat quickened when I realized that this scene had truly happened in my real life. What a blessing!

Today, I had the pleasure of talking to another sweet, sweet woman who also embodies “The Southern Lady” accent.

Mrs. Ann (yes, two different Ann’s) is a widow who lost her husband of 47 years almost three years ago. I have passed by her home several times over the years, but today I decided to stop and formally introduce myself.

See, when you are a widow other widows sometimes go out of their way to contact and/or interact with you. In the deep south it’s a rite of passage I guess you’d say. Even though I had received a tear inducing card and letter from this sweet woman in the mail a few weeks after Greg passed away, I had not been formally introduced to her in person until today.

Just imagine how pleased I was when she opened her mouth and I heard that wonderful “Southern Lady” accent flowing so gracefully into my ears. I knew I would never be the same. Two and a half hours later as I climbed back into my truck I smiled as I waved at my new friend. I was definitely not the same woman who had parked that truck when I first pulled into her driveway!

Meeting new friends is one of my all time favorite things to do in life. Spending the afternoon with a woman whose story is so similar to my own was wonderful for my soul. We laughed…and cried as we shared our stories with one another. I now feel as if I have known her children and grandchildren my whole life. The stories she shared about her precious Andy reminded me so much of my own memories. The things we enjoyed in life are very much the same…as are the things we miss about the men who helped us create those enjoyable memories.

Today I found a friend in a woman who knows what it is like to have your life ripped apart with no warning. I saw myself in her eyes and I realized that she truly knows how deeply a person can be hurt. I saw a woman who is just as determined as I am to keep getting up everyday and she is making the best of each day that she has left here on Earth. I saw a woman whose strength comes from above…and who is willing and able to share story after story of how God has taken care of her since Andy’s death.

And, I saw a woman who now knows why God took her husband so soon.

Sitting on Mrs. Ann’s floral fabric covered sofa, listening to her sweet “Southern Lady” voice, I was given the gift of understanding.

This sweet woman shyly admitted… with tears streaming down her face, that she would not have been able to be WHO God wanted her to be if Andy were still alive…and she was grateful for being left here without him! Talk about an humbling, life altering, unforgettable moment!

I don’t know why God took Greg Hubbert when He did…and I don’t know why (for Greg’s sake) He decided that his time here on earth was up so soon. However, what I learned today was that Greg’s leaving had a direct impact on MY purpose in life. I have a mission to complete and I could never have been ready to complete that mission if he were still here. Hearing Mrs. Ann shyly admit that she now knew that God wanted her to grow deeper in Him…and the only way to do that was to take her dear Andy was like opening a door into my soul.

I realized that I am now ready to charge ahead with my own mission in life. I am not afraid of my future anymore…and I am not willing to walk away from my calling. I am excited to see where this new life will take me. I am looking forward to what I am being called to do and the lives that will be impacted because I am willing to say yes to God. I can and will serve the Lord with gladness all the days of my life. I don’t think I really, truly, fully understood any of that about myself until today.

Towards the end of our visit, Mrs. Ann shared a story with me that I will always treasure. She told me that throughout their 47 years of marriage she and Andy would look for pennies on the ground as they walked places together. She said that each time they found one, they would pick it up…smile….and say “In God We Trust”….then they would lay it back down and continue on their way. She reminded me that every penny has “In God We Trust” written on it…and to always remember who takes care of us if we will just trust Him.

My heart was so happy to be reminded of that promise! Of course I could not leave without telling her about the dimes. I have every dime that I have found since Greg died all together in a jar. The other night, I was telling Bo about the newest dime story while we talked on the phone. I decided that I wanted to know how many I had found in all, I got them out and counted them…I was shocked when I saw that I have 51 dimes in that jar! Mrs. Ann just smiled as I told her this story and encouraged me to keep on looking for those dimes…she was sure they were meant to be found!

Tonight I was given the opportunity to share my story publicly for the first time. I have been asked to speak at a Ladies Event this coming Saturday. It is crazy that I have known that this is the direction God wanted me to go for some time now…and tonight the call came in asking me to actually set a date. God has a way of working things out and His timing is unbelievable sometimes!

Please continue to remember me when you pray. I want my life to show people that God is good all of the time…even when we feel like He has left us, He still holds us in his mighty hands. If one person can be helped by my story, I pray that God will put me in front of that person so that they hear His voice loud and clear. This journey is not about me…it’s about what God has done through me and what He wants to do through others if they will only let Him. We all have to be willing to say “use us Lord”… even when it hurts.

So, I guess I’ll spend a lot of time this week (and the weeks to come!) preparing for the things God wants me to say. I will also attempt to turn my not-so “Southern Lady” accent into one that people can actually understand! Ha! In the meantime, I will use my “Emotional Country Girl” accent the best way I know how…by just being myself and adding in lots of laughter as often as possible!

Um…Nope I sure don’t

Um…Nope I sure don’t

So, here’s the deal. I am about to be brutally honest and admit something that honestly I had no earthly idea I didn’t even know about myself…OK? It’s embarrassingly honest…and maybe a little bit sad.

I cannot count the times that I have heard Bo say, “REALLY?!! OH MY GOSH!” since we have been dating. It is hilarious to me at this point every time I hear him say it, because by now I know that HE knows that I am NOT kidding.

At first, I think he thought I was kidding…now he knows that I am SO not kidding!

What could make him say this so many times you wonder?

I don’t have the foggiest clue about Pop Culture.







Famous people? I know some, but not many.

Movies? I’ve watched movies….but they are pretty limited (apparently!)

Music? Classic Country, Contemporary Christian, Southern Gospel, and well Hit Country.

Sitcoms? I don’t really watch TV. I have watched it…but I couldn’t tell you who played what and/or said this or that from any given show.

Quotes? I have quotes…just not word for word that are applicable to any and every situation known to man from any and all television shows, cartoons, movies, and/or songs.

References to any of the above pretty much go straight over my head. I have mastered the art of pretending like I knew what people were talking about over the years by laughing at the right time or just smiling while other people talk about this show or that movie. I was actually very good at hiding my lack of pop culture knowledge until I started dating the King of Pop Culture Knowledge.

Bo Gray can recite every single line from every single movie, sitcom, song, or event he has ever watched, listened to, and/or attended. It’s crazy! I love to see him stop and tell me to listen during the middle of a song. He starts smiling and then sings or says whatever it is word for word and then just carries on like nothing ever happened. Not only can he do that…he can give me the background history of everything and why it mattered to the rest of the world!

So, you can just imagine how much fun it is to see the shock and awe on his face when he quotes something and I don’t respond like he thinks I should. Honestly, it has gotten to the hysterical stage at this point. At first I was a little embarrassed when I knew he saw through my fake understanding. It’s just funny now, because he has started preferencing his statements by asking “Have you ever?” or “I know you probably haven’t, but” every time something pop culture related comes up. He feels the need to feel me out before saying anything…like it’s gonna hurt me or something! Hahahaha!!

Somebody out there has to be like me…right? Am I literally THE only person who is pretty much unaffected by the news that the guy who’s name is a symbol died today? Did anyone else have to Google the lady from WWE to see why everyone was so upset that she died today too? I mean surely  I am not the only person living under a rock. Right? Please tell me that I am not alone!

I am probably alone.

Go ahead and laugh folks…I mean it is funny that in a world saturated with television, movies, MP3 players, and digital audio that I have so little knowledge of the “popular” things that “everyone else” knows. Trust me, I laugh at myself all of the time!

I have just come to the conclusion that I really don’t mind not knowing what is going on in pop culture. I have made the choice to protect what goes into my brain and as a result what comes out is genuinely real. I quit watching the news years ago. My co-workers can attest to that one…they always have to tell me what’s going on in the world. I guess now it will be Bo’s job as well to make sure that I am made aware of things that could be considered important to the rest of the world. It’s a tough job, but I know he can handle it.

I honestly hope he stays tickled about my dead silence and innocent stares though, because it is funny to see the look of total disbelief on his face when I am clueless…and it makes me laugh every single time! I don’t mind not knowing all of the stuff everyone else on earth seems to know about! I’m good with knowing what I know and sticking my nose in a book to find out something that I can apply to life from my own perspective if I want to. It doesn’t bother me in the least to be clueless.

My brain is full of stuff that matters to me. So….to whoever is out there like me…and I KNOW there HAS to be SOMEONE out there like me…

What I am saying is this: It is totally OK to be different.

Different is fun.

Different is interesting.

Different is cool.

It takes strong people to be different.

But, being different does not have to make you mean…or judgmental…or critical of others. Sometimes, being different makes you interesting. And, when you are interesting people want to spend time with you.

I would say that Bo likes spending time with me. I like spending time with Bo. We spend as much time together as we possibly can between our two crazy lives. See how that works? Pretty neat huh?

Go ahead and try it.

Try to meet someone new and get to know them. Someone who sees things in a whole new way that you might not have ever considered before…without being judgemental or biased about it.

Maybe its a school mate…or a co-worker.

Maybe its the new neighbor down the street.

Maybe its that weird lady you see at the grocery store every time you go to get milk.

Maybe its that guy on the treadmill next to you at the gym.

Or, maybe its that kid sitting in your classroom who talks too much and won’t sit still.

You never know…you might be like us and end up really liking each other’s differences. You might even end up learning a whole lot about YOURSELF in the process. I know I sure am! LOL

Be brave and be different. Don’t be mean. Mean is NOT cool. Mean is for sissy’s. Anyone can be mean.

It takes someone special and strong to be nice to others. Kindness is totally RAD DUDE!

Have you got what it takes to be different AND kind? The rest of the world is dying to find out….



The One I’ve Been Looking For…


Well…you all know how to make someone smile! Here I was thinking I was gonna make some of you smile and BOOM you turned  it around  on me! Since my post last night I have gotten at least thirty messages, texts, and/or phone calls from some of my closest peeps who believed they needed to know the scoop! I have laughed my head off at all of you crazy people!

So, I guess now I should let the “big secret” out huh? Ok…here it is: My real name is JoAnna Gaines. Don’t believe me? Oh well, I’m reasonably sure we are at least sisters. Right?

Just kidding. My real sister, Tracy is probably closer to being kin to JoAnna than I am; but I do have the ability to fall instantly in love with anything JoAnna decorates…and copy it! I remember the day Greg and I stood in the kitchen and decided that we were gonna paint everything white. He wanted the cabin to have a “cottage” feel to it and thought that white was the perfect color to use as a blank slate. That was before I knew about JoAnna.

When I saw Fixer Upper for the first time I was a goner! Everything about JoAnna and Chip makes me happy…from their crazy antics to their faith in God. I just love them and their style! Needless to say it didn’t take long to discover what color I needed to use on my walls. For the record…does anyone have a clue how many THOUSANDS of colors of white there are? Like millions of thousands….

Anyway, my handy-dandy Pinterest app informed me that JoAnna had used Alabaster in her farmhouse…so that is the only color I even considered! AND. I. LOVE. IT.


The girls loved it too…


So now instead of walls that look like this….


We have walls that look like this….


And just like that I have my shiplap walls painted Alabaster white with all of the cracks and imperfections that I wanted!!! YaaaaHOOOOOOOOO!!!

Now we get to start the fun stuff…and we should see some major finishing happening in the next two to three weeks. I am beside myself with excitement!!! This blank slate is about to turn into our cozy little home. Stay tuned…and by the way…y’all crack me up so much you might need to stay on your toes…the messages I got last night have given me fuel for some major fun!! LOL!!

It’s time to get to work so I have to run…literally! My sweet little sidekick…aka slave driver…Ginger Beavers is on her way!! This day is gonna be awesome!

Oh! I almost forgot. Ginger gave me the BEST compliment EVER yesterday. We were talking on the phone and out of nowhere she said, “I am so glad to see the old Emily is back”. I am not even gonna lie…I almost cried! She is the first person to tell me that I am getting back to my old happy self again. I’ve been told that I seem happier each day, but not that the old Emily was back. When I heard those words come out of her mouth I was filled with hope and happiness. I know I am feeling a lot better, but to hear it from someone who knows the old me was a great confidence booster.

Greg’s Emily died the same day he did…but Emily’s Emily didn’t. She is still here and she is SO ready to ENJOY the rest of her life! Praise God! Look out world…here she comes!!!

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again


Sundays are tough for me. I could write a whole blog post about why…and the things that I battle when it comes to facing this day each week…and I might do that one day. However, today the toughness I am facing doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with all of that baggage…except that I am by myself.

My girls saw an opportunity to go to the farm with Papaw yesterday…and they took it! I got this a few minutes ago…

Maggie's Fish

I’m glad to see all of those smiles!!

While all of those smiling faces are cheezing it up at the farm…I’ve been home alone all day. Being alone on Sundays is a recipe for sadness for me. I would say disaster…but it’s not total despair anymore like it was three months ago. Tears still come easily when memories take over; but I am stronger now I guess and I don’t feel like I’m drowning. I can recognize that I am just sad. That’s GROWTH and HEALING right there my friends!

Today, instead of being immobile like I would have been a few weeks ago…I have energy. I walked outside and I saw beauty all around me. I stopped to take a pic, because today is what we call a “Mackinaw Day” (Supposed to be Mackinac, but we do live in Alabama!) in my family.

I was reminded about the day we built this birdhouse…and I smiled. Funny how you remember exact conversations sometimes…

Anyway, yesterday Daddy hung the sheetrock in Maggie’s bedroom. There is sheetrock mess all over the place. That’s OK though because I can clean it all up. We haven’t finished mudding or sanding the girls walls yet. Slowly but surely we will get it all done.

As I was working away trying to clean up all of the mess that accumulates all over the place like: tools, extension cords, tape measures, cups, bottles, trash, light fixtures, screens, vent covers, sawdust, yada, yada, yada…I get a text from Stephen: They will be here at 4:00 tomorrow to paint. I have to get everything ready! Yay!! I can’t wait to see paint on these walls!


First, I have to get the windows taped off. Thanks to Bo I have this handy-dandy gadget that not only makes my arm look sexy…it is the bomb dot com for taping off windows! It took me all of 30 minutes to tape all of the windows in my house. That’s cool y’all. Very cool.


Then, I had to tackle moving all of the mess that didn’t belong in here for the time being. After what seems like 700 trips back and forth I finally got it all moved out and put back where it belongs.

After that I started cleaning out Greg’s work trailer. That thing was pitiful…and way past the need for a good clean up. I have a list of tools I can’t find. I am hoping they magically appear out of this chaos. Good thing I don’t mind working huh?!


When I got the trailer to the point that I could actually walk into it, I started on my next project…de-nailing these beams.


What some folks would burn (gasp!) I can’t wait to see made into beautiful accents. It takes time…and effort…and the realization that your hands and arms are gonna look like this…

but it’s worth it in the long run!

I listen to the radio pretty much all of the time while I’m working…or driving…or just sitting at home. There is usually always music of some kind playing on a device near me. As I worked this morning, I heard Danny Gokey’s song “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” on the radio and it stopped me dead in my tracks.

Yes, I have heard it many times before.

Yes, I have cried as I listened to it…many times before.

Yes, I know the reason he wrote it…and the meaning behind his use of words throughout the song.

Only, today I heard them…and understood them on a whole new level.

My heart IS beating again!

“Tell your heart to beat again Close your eyes and breathe it in Let the shadows fall away Step into the light of grace Yesterday’s a closing door You don’t live there anymore Say goodbye to where you’ve been And tell your heart to beat again”

This house project literally feels like it will never end. It’s like Groundhog Day…over and over and over again! I am so sick and tired of working on…thinking about….stressing out about….and making decisions about this house that I could literally scream. But, today I was reminded that I have CHOSEN to let my heart beat again. I am standing at an open door. That’s when it hit me…I can do this. I DO have what it takes to keep going and to finish this neverending project! Miracle Alert!!!! 

It may be Sunday. It may be the saddest day of the week for me. It may seem like this project that Greg and I started over seven years ago is NEVER going to end. It may cause a whole lot of scars on the outside of my body. It may knock me on my rear end, but I guarantee you one thing…my heart IS beating again!

Anybody can give up…or give in; but that’s not me. It’s not who I am. I don’t quit without a fight. Getting back up is my only choice. Choosing to take that breath and open my eyes hurts more than I could ever have imagined, but I am doing it. I have not put a for sale sign in my yard. I have not struck a match and burned the thing to the ground. I have kept my promise to keep on living…and working….and slowly but surely I am finding real happiness again. My heartbeat reminds me that it’s true. Hearing that song today showed me how far I have come…and that I can keep going.

After realizing these things, I heard Casting Crowns come on the radio a little while later. “Held” was a song that I literally clung to for dear life for quite a while. I prayed it, sang it, and believed it through the darkest days of September, October, November, and December. When I listened to it today, I realized that God had fulfilled that promise to me.

He has held me…and now I can breathe.

My heart beats again.

I can truly smile again….even through the tears at times.

I can laugh and it doesn’t hurt.

I find myself looking forward instead of back.

I’m standing in Grace and I see the light shining into my future.

I’m telling you what…that is just plain ol’ awesome!

I went to church tonight and watched one of Greg’s good friends get baptized. I know he would have been beside himself if he were here. I stopped in the cemetery before going into the church and told him about it. I also told him that I am trying to do my best to live. I know he understands somehow…and I cried buckets before going into that church. Knowing that I don’t live there anymore and that I am standing at an open door is emotionally draining, but my heart is beating again.

I hope you will choose to breathe again and get back up if you are knocked down. The pain you are facing in whatever situation you find yourself in…can’t last forever. In fact, God promises us that it won’t last forever. I am encouraged by that…and maybe you will be too. Take a minute to listen to music that will help you see hope in your future. I know it sure helped me today!


Squeak, Squeak, Squeak!


Does anyone else feel like they can’t breath right now? No…ok then. Well, I guess it’s just me and the fact that I have just now finished making the final edits to my manuscript!

The editors have had it for the past few weeks. The copy they sent me needed to be read and corrections had to be made before going to production. Unbelievably…there were only ten corrections that needed to be made (according to the editors!) throughout the whole thing! Yahoo!!!

I got the email telling me what to do last week…but y’all know how last week went….soooooooo the book had to take a back seat. Today has literally been the first day I have had to sit down and read the whole thing again and make my final corrections. As I read the book again today there are several things that I have learned.

First, I can’t read it without crying. I am not normally the type of person who cries easily, but reading my own book makes me cry everytime. If that wasn’t enough re-reading my story has for sure caused me to cry. I will just warn you that this book is very emotionally charged and has the potential to make you ugly cry. Sorry.

Second, I realized today how much I have grown and changed in the past few months. Grief is a long process and I was able to see how many stages of the process I have swam through up to this point. I hope that gives someone else the strength to keep going! Today I was able to see how far I have come and it was just the boost I needed to keep charging ahead one day at a time!

Third, I was reminded once again how loved I am. I am a child of the King…the Living God…the Lord of Lords…and the King of Kings. Seeing how much God has loved, protected, provided, and prepared me is so very humbling. Reading my manuscript this afternoon, I realized that I didn’t write it…God did. He used me to say what He wanted to be said and He has opened the doors for me to use it for His glory. I am amazed and feel so unworthy of His grace and love.

Please pray with me that God will continue to use me for His glory. I am a perfectly IMPERFECT person who makes mistakes every day of her life. I cuss a little…and I get mad. I judge situations that I don’t fully understand. I get my feelings hurt and I get jealous. I fail to tell my girls how much I love them. I leave clutter laying all around and lazily walk past it without a care in the world. I fail to smile as often as I should. And, yes I eat entirely too much chocolate. I could go on and on with all of the terrible things I do each day that makes God sad…but at the end of the day I know that I am His girl. I am saved by Grace and no matter how much I mess up, no matter how stressed out I get, no matter what anyone says to me or about me…at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. The only thing that does matter is that I know where to lay my troubles down and I know who is strong enough to carry them so that I don’t have to.

Life is so hard. It is easy to just get caught up in drama and crap that doesn’t matter. That’s exactly what the devil wants to happen. God says, “lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”. Thank goodness!! I am so glad to be reminded of this promise today, because I don’t know what He plans to do with me or this book. I don’t know what doors He might open and I don’t know if I am ready to walk through them or not. Honestly, I am so scared!! That’s how faith works though…right?

We have to do things scared sometimes. We have to jump out of the airplane and hope the parachute works. We have to believe that God’s plans are not our plans and we have to hold on to the promise that He gives us to “never leave or forsake us”. My shaking hands are surely hoping He has a good plan as I hit ‘send’ on this final copy of my manuscript. A friend asked a little boy one time if he was a “man or a mouse” to which the little boy responded “squeak, squeak, squeak”…today I know exactly how that little boy felt! I am jumping out of this plane and holding on to the promise that God has a plan…and squeaking all the way!

I have been asked to present two book signings and to speak at three different ladies events once I have the book in hand. Those invitations have humbled me to the core and I find it so hard to believe that God is really opening the door for a new ministry to start. I will post the dates for those events once I have the final dates settled. If you or your organization would like to schedule an event please feel free to contact me here or through my Facebook page. I would love to share what God has done for me through this painful season. It is truly unbelievable how much He loves us!

So, hang in there y’all! We are all gonna make it one day at a time…just don’t give in or give up. God loves you, I love you, and you are not in this life by yourself…no matter how lonely you feel right now.


“Your Work Will Be Rewarded”


15This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord. 16″They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land”.  ~Jeremiah 31:15-16

Have you ever had one of those weeks that when you look back you think: “Did that happen this week or last month?” Yeah…I had one of those this past week!

I’m sitting here alone with my Bible and Pandora. When I opened my Bible to see what God wanted me to say today…I was (not so much) surprised to see that He (again!) led me to the book of Jeremiah. I guess I will always be amazed when God does that to me. It never gets old seeing my friend Jeremiah when I open my Bible randomly.

Anyway, when I read verses 15-16 of chapter 31 I knew that this post was a promise. It’s not a promise just for me, it’s a promise to all of you who read it as well. God sees you working…and one day you will be rewarded for your efforts.

I started last week out tired. We had a busy weekend to end Spring Break and I was just plain old tired when Monday rolled around. I spent the whole day cleaning up scraps and sawdust in the house. Then, I went and bought groceries (and I actually COOKED food that day at home!) I went to volleyball practice and was home when my crew and the Guin’s rolled in around 9:15 from ball practices. Softball…and baseball season has definitely started!

Tuesday I spent the day hanging wood boards in my bedroom with my sister and my uncle. We finished my whole bedroom and I was super excited when I saw those boards (finally!) hanging on the walls! I ran (literally) into the house…took a shower, got ready, and was on my way to Hackleburg for the girls’ first softball game by 4:30.

Tracy and Jimbo had to finish one wall without me, but Daddy showed up with the rest of my durock so he helped. My neighbor Josh and Momma Kaye’s Daddy (aka Charles) also stopped by to help for a while. My sweet friend Kristy made cookies and brought them (still hot from the oven) to the hungry crew. I am amazed at how many people have helped me over the past few months. It is so humbling!

Wednesday morning the girls and I were all dragging…we had two late nights in a row and we still had four days to conquer before this week was over! We usually go to bed with the chickens…so we were all struggling!

Anyway, on Wednesday I helped my Daddy hang sheetrock in Linnie’s room. My neighbor, Milan and Daddy’s helper Brandon worked most of the day with us. We also put durock in my shower.

I made the terrible mistake of taking nighttime sinus meds instead of daytime sinus meds that day…so you can just imagine how my already dragging tail was crawling through the day that day! LOL…my mother told me I would be a terrible drug addict…and she is correct. I can’t take any kind of medicine without it knocking me slap out! I pushed through though…somehow!

Thursday was spent with Linnie on a field trip to the McWane center in Birmingham. I really enjoyed it and I know she did too. I love IMAX movies…and “Wild Africa” was really good.

After the field trip we stopped for dessert at Yogurt Mountain and then raced back to Winfield where the girls had pictures and batting practice.

Friday, I worked in the house with Bo, Daddy, and Brandon. We finished hanging sheetrock, mudded what we had hung, and put durock in Linnie’s shower. All we like is Maggie’s room upstairs and we will be ready to paint! Yahoo!!

Friday night we ran to Tuscaloosa to get a few things. We enjoyed a nice meal and did a little shopping while we were there. I guess we were so tired that we didn’t even realize that we had left one of our bags sitting at Hibbett’s…in the mall… until Saturday morning!

So….guess who had to go BACK to Tuscaloosa Saturday morning? Yep…I guess it was a good thing because I had to go to Home Depot anyway. When I got home, I was welcomed by two little girls who were COVERED in sheetrock mud. I wonder who let them get into that mess?????


After cleaning up…we spent the remainder of the day at the park for Opening Day 2016. Aunt Lindsey and Little Bird surprised the girls by coming to watch them in their first game. I think they were a little bit excited!


The day ended with me screaming my head off…because Maggie hit the cover off the ball…and got her first GRAND SLAM!!

Now, I know she is MY child…and being her mother gives me just a tiny bit of freedom to cheer and scream at the top of my lungs…but I am telling you I could have cried my eyes out when I knew she had that grand slam in the bag!

This was only her 3rd game to play in…in her life! She has never had one lesson or played on a softball team until now. Everything she knows she learned in the yard with her Daddy, playing with friends, or at the few practices that she has been to in the last couple of weeks. I know Greg was grinning BIG if God let him see her hit that ball last night. I honestly thought my heart was gonna burst I was so happy for her! Being the Mama of an athlete is gonna be tough for me…extremely tough!!! I am #notacrybaby…until NOW!!

Shewwwwwwweeeeeee….are ya tired yet? I kinda am just reading all of this…but better yet…can you relate? I know 99.9% of you absolutely can relate…and it makes me feel better knowing that y’all are going from can to can’t as well! We are NOT alone in our running around! We are all just trying to make it…can I get an AMEN?!

God showed me this morning that He sees us in our work. He assures us that we will make it if we just keep going. My Bible is a Student Bible and the side note for Jer 31:15 says: “Pain in Redemption…But the Lord’s voice answers offering hope. In [our] deepest grief, God is not absent: he is planning redemption.”

So, I  hope you will let that sink in today. God sees you and He knows how hard you are working….and He wants us all to know that we will be rewarded for our efforts one day…as long as we constantly look to Him for guidance. I don’t know about you…but that helps me a whole lot!

Let’s all have a great week….and hopefully this time next Sunday we can all say it truly was a GREAT one filled with lots of laughter, fun, and maybe even a few minutes of rest!!