Thursday, October 20, 2011

If Love Could Have Saved you, You Would Have Lived Forever

Once upon a time, a wonderful gift was given to me—a boxer pup, the pick of the litter, and we called him Clay. He soon became the “smartest” and “most well mannered” and “prettiest” dog that ever was. In fact, we joked that he could do no wrong in Mom & Dad’s eyes. And to be honest, I guess he didn’t! Mom told me that she can still remember exactly how he looked when he was set down before her in the parking lot the day they picked him up. She called it “love at first sight” saying, “I knew he was going to be cute—but I didn’t know he’d be THIS cute!”

And he was…the cutest little thing :)


And curious…


With the biggest “little” paws you’d ever seen…

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And he would look at you with such love…even if I was away at college and only got to see him for the weekend…

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He was so special. There are so many funny stories about him that there isn’t time to write about them all. Once he was stolen, went on a float trip and ended up in Missouri at at stranger’s house. After missing nine days I think it was, Dad was trying to prepare himself for the worst, but mom was not giving up. They drove in a storm a few hours and picked up their stolen dog and brought him home. Mom had a little flag pillow about the size of my fist that hung on a door knob inside our house. He LOVED that pillow. He would go get it off the knob and literally lay his head on it. She has pictures somewhere of that! But he really didn’t belong to me you see…

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He was mom’s dog…she fed him twice a day (with a spoon a lot of times) and grew him into a 95 pound dog. She hauled him around and watched after him. He kept her company and he loved her company in return.

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And he was Dad’s dog…He rode around in the jeep with Dad, sitting up so pretty and straight. He hung out in the shop and rode to Hop Rods in Cotter on Monday nights when Dad and his brothers were working on cars. He went to the river and went on walks. He was a true loyal companion.

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When I think about it, he was actually a gift to my parents…he was there waiting on the step when I got in my car and headed back to college after the weekend. He was there waiting when their girls were grown and moved away and they had an empty nest. He was there with Mom when Dad was traveling a lot. And as Dad experienced some of the toughest days he’d ever known at work over the last several years, Clay would be right there at Dad’s feet when he got home late of an evening, exhausted and bearing a heavy load. And whether he just laid there and watched Dad build a birdhouse or sat at his feet and brought comfort, his presence was soothing. He was the perfect gift for the season of life they were in. All of these pictures in this post were in his youth. He eventually turned gray and they learned a couple of weeks ago that he had an enlarged heart. They loved on him even more in the last few days because they knew they had just a short time. I’m so thankful I got to be home last weekend and see and feel him one last time.


Last night about 10:30, he died peacefully. Mom and Dad were there with him, just like they always were. He would have been 10 next month.

Ten years of companionship. Ten years of love. Ten years of fun. Ten years he never wanted for anything. Ten years of giggles and grins and laughs that he brought us all.

He will be remembered only as the best, greatly missed and always loved.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Born Again and Confidence in Christ

Jeryn-Hebrew origin (Jaron) meaning "He will sing and cry out to the Lord" or "cry of rejoicing."

It seems like just yesterday that he was this size. This is one of my favorite baby pictures of Jeryn! It's so hard for me to believe that we recently celebrated his fourth birthday!

There are so many things I LOVE about this kid! This smile is one of them:

But if I had to pick one quality about him that stands out, I think it would be his confidence. The following picture captures a little of what I mean. This was the first time he ever played tennis, but he must have thought that he was Andre Agassi.

Even before he was born, I would pray for him to have confidence. I have always prayed specifically for him and his sister to be confident--I think it started out as a concern for them to be confident in their racial identity and not feel confusion about being multiracial. But then I realized that it is more important for them to be confident in the only thing that actually matters-their spiritual identity and to know and identify themselves as a child of the Most High God. And three days ago, Jeryn did just that. He placed his faith and trust in Jesus, asked Him into his heart and will be confident from this day forward in who he is in Christ Jesus!

On August 2nd, in the car on the way home, he began asking me questions and a few minutes later said he wanted to ask Jesus in his heart. When I asked him to tell me why he wanted to do this, he said, "Because I know Jesus loves me SOOO much." I asked him if he knew what Jesus did for us, and what it meant. He knew that Jesus had died for our sins on a cross and that he rose from the dead. We continued to talk, but as we were about to pray, he got distracted by something else and started talking nonstop about that. I didn't push it because I knew it would come back up. The next morning on the way to work, he talked about it again. At that time, I asked him if he was ready to pray and he said yes! He was drinking orange juice, and I saw him put it in the cup holder and clench his little hands together to pray. I said a sinner's prayer out loud and he repeated every word. I can still see his smile when he opened his eyes back up.

I know he is young, but I also know that it is just that simple. We are sinners in need of a Savior, and his name is Jesus. (John 14:6, Romans 3:23-24, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-13) I'm not going to worry about how much he understands beyond what we talked about because we will just continue to pray for and encourage him in his walk. I was telling mom that nearly every night when we go to bed, he asks if we can talk about God.

I remember something I heard a pastor say once about never underestimating the power of a baby. He was preaching on parenting and praying over your children to fulfill God's purpose and shape their lives. He talked about a baby in the bulrushes, and a baby in the manger, and how we should look at our children to have the potential to be the next person God will use to accomplish his will.

He is also very confident in what he has learned about God and for that I am so thankful! I want to share something that I have written down so that I will never forget. Back in May, we had a terrible accident with a rusty shovel at our house. They were playing in the dirt arena with a full size shovel they had found. I was standing just a few feet to the side of them, but it didn't actually register until it was too late. (I know that sounds ridiculous like "I didn't realize my kids were playing with a rattlesnake" but we were all laughing and talking and my brain just didn't make the connection) Moments later, little Jeryn was screaming and crying like I had never heard before, Jaiden was wailing, "It's all my fault! It's all my fault!" I was crying because I knew it could've been prevented. We rushed to the emergency room, and Jeryn did not quit screaming for 45 minutes. I was trying to console him but he was not letting up. I prayed out loud in the car all the way to the hospital. Three of his little fingers were cut right above the middle knuckles and two of the three were full thickness (thru all layers of the skin) The doctor assured us that the bones and tendons were in good shape and they got it cleaned up and sent us home. Bless his heart it was hurting so bad :( I put them in the bathtub and he was sitting, holding his hand up above his head so that it would not get near the water. He was crying off and on. I knew they were throbbing and I just couldn't bear it! Then, he got really still and started to sing. He sang the words from a song off a dvd (Joseph King of Dreams) that we had watched months earlier. How he knew the words, I do not know, because I didn't know them until he sang them, but I recognized the tune... "You know better than I, you know the way, I don't have to know why, You know better than I." He repeated that twice in the sweetest voice, and on the second time, he lowered his hand and held it under the water until his bandage had loosened up enough it fell off. I couldn't hold the tears back. (Psalm 8:2-"From the lips of infants and children you have ordained praise")

When I got him out of the bath tub, I wrapped him in a towel and carried him to Mario. Jeryn was still really quiet and still. While Mario was holding him, he sang those words again, and Mario and I were both just really moved. I got him dressed and laid down to go to bed with him, and I told him I wanted to pray for his fingers and also thank God that his fingers were going to be okay. He said, "Momma?"
"Yes?" I answered.
"When I was in the bathtub, my fingers were hurting, (and this is how I know it was the Lord working because I have NEVER heard him use this phrase before or since) But in a snap, the pain was gone. God used his power and I KNEW IT."

That's the confidence I love! :)

I couldn't say anything, I just sobbed! Earlier that week he had learned about Jesus healing the man with leprosy and he was SO excited when he told me about it. I know in my heart that he just knew and believed that God would heal him too! Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:18, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power, he writes, is "like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms."

So Jeryn,

vs. 35- Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. vs. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. vs. 37 For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and not delay. vs. 38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."
vs. 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved."

HEBREWS 10:35-39

I love you, son. And I rejoice in your recent decision!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

To Know Your Name

Last Sunday was awesome. 


For the handful of people that follow my blog and it’s occasional postings, you  might remember reading about my daughter’s decision to accept Christ last May. 


We knew that she was ready to be baptized, and Mario and I agreed to ask Bro. Steve to baptize her.  He is the pastor of the church I grew up in and baptized me, as well as many of my other family members over the years.  We later learned that my cousin’s little boy, Bryce, and another little boy, Carter, would also be baptized the same morning!  What a special day to share together!

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My mom usually fills the baptistery at the church when there are baptisms, so she had the water good and warm! :)


Bro. Steve met with the three kids to give them a few instructions: 


( I loved this one with their bare feet)

Jaiden & her cousin, Bryce


Jaiden & Mrs. Judy, one of the sweetest women on earth…


Carter & Bryce…

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Mo & Jaiden…


I’ve thought for a week now about how to attempt to describe this special day, but I don’t know that I can!  Our hearts were overflowing with joy!  That’s something I’ve heard Mario’s mom call “full”…That night in the car Jaiden was singing “Amazing Grace.”  I hope I never forget the sound of her sweet little voice coming from the back seat.  It was pitch black around us as we drove, but her voice was so soft and sweet as she sang every single word.  I looked over at Mario and he looked at me…I could tell by the smile on his face, that his heart was “full” :) We pulled into the driveway at our house just a few moments later.  It was the perfect ending to an amazing day.

Tonight as I write this, I think about a song that I love right now.  “To Know Your Name” by Hillsong.  It prompts me to think about not only her decision to follow Christ, but my own, and anyone else who has made such a decision.

The precious blood of Jesus Christ redeems

Forgiven I’m alive, restored, set free

Your majesty resides inside of me

Forever I believe Forever I believe

Arrested by your truth and righteousness

Your grace has overwhelmed my brokeness

Convicted by your Spirit, led by your Word

Your love will never fail Your love will never fail

And I know you gave

The world your only Son for us

To know your Name, to live within the Savior’s love

And He took my place, knowing He’d be crucified

And you loved, you loved… A people undeserving…

To my sweet Jaiden:  As hard as I try for my family, I will never do it all right.  In fact, I fail miserably pretty much on a daily basis.  But I’m so thankful for a God who does everything right.  For a God who has a perfect plan for your life.  For a God who knows you by name and knows the number of hairs on your head (Which is a lot by the way!) :)

While raising children is an incredible blessing I’m so grateful to be a recipient of, it comes with great responsibility.  As much as I hope every decision I make for you is the right one, as much as I want to be an example, the truth is I don’t always know what’s best and I certainly don’t measure up to the example of Christ.  But He loves me anyway, and He will always always always love you.

My prayer for you daily is that your heart will desire the things of God, and that you will serve Him wholeheartedly all the days of your life.  I began praying before you were even born for your confidence…for you to know and understand who you are in Christ Jesus above anything.  I thank God for answered prayers in your decision at an early age to follow Him.  I thank Him that you know whose you are. 

And I will continue to pray that you will know and understand what He has done for you in order for you to know His name.  I will pray that you know “his majesty resides inside” of you, and that you would “forever believe” no matter what.  And although at your young age, you haven’t necessarily known “brokeness” as mentioned above, one day you will feel and understand this.  And I pray that in that moment, his “grace would overwhelm you.  I pray that you will always be “convicted by His Spirit” and that your life always “led by the Word…” because “His love will never fail,” Jaiden.  Never.

I love you dearly.

(Sorry, you’ll have to scroll down and turn off the playlist to be able to hear this)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Someone Special for Stacie, 28 in AR!

So Kelly is hosting “Show us Your Singles” at Kelly’s Korner and although I did not ask for her permission, I have taken it upon myself to enter Stacie, my beautiful, and sweet first cousin. She is 18 days older than me :)


I think it goes without of saying that she’s a gorgeous girl, so let’s get to the other stuff… She has a fun personality and is hilarious to be around, she will make you laugh a lot, but she also knows how to take the important things in life seriously. She makes friends easily, works hard and is very independent. She really loves the Lord and has been actively involved with her church her entire life. Her parents are wonderful people and she reminds me a lot of both of them. Here is a picture of her a few months ago on a mission trip with her church.


She loves the Razorbacks and pretty much all sports, especially NASCAR and has a big heart for people. She was recently elected for City Council and is respected among her peers. She was a cheerleader in high school and cheered me on at lots of basketball games!


She has never been married, but I know that she will make a WONDERFUL wife and mother one day. Kelly has known Stacie pretty much forever, so you can always inquire for more info :)

Email me about her at!

Hope you’re not too mad at me , Stac!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ma-aax Moving On…


There comes a time in every goat owner’s life where they have to make a decision between passing a lovable pet on to a fellow goat lover and sweeping goat pellets (waste) off their back porch forevermore.

We’ve “had our fun” with Max as my mom put it.  He was playful, fun, and downright hilarious.  He did, however, grow to be three times the size we expected, and as he grew and grew, he also became a little more aggressive.  He had gotten to where he would rear up on his hind legs and then come down and swoop his horns at the kids and it was making me a bit nervous.  Jaiden was strong enough to grab him by the horns and push him away, Jeryn on the other hand, was not big enough yet.

We had told the kids that we were looking for Max a good home.  They seemed okay with it, but I had mixed feelings.  Our co-worker, Katie and her husband agreed to give Max a good home.  They had mentioned they wanted another goat, and Mario was quick to offer ours.  Not sure if she was completely serious,  I sent Katie the following picture in a text that said,


“Dear, Katie, I would like to come live with you starting tomorrow.  I’m an easy keeper, funny to watch and even know a few tricks.  Sincerely, Max “

We waited, holding our breath, for the response.

In a few seconds a text back said,” Lol that is so cute!!!! How can we resist that.”

I texted back, “What time should I be there?  Are you serving dinner?” 

The next text said, “Whenever you want to come, dinner will be waiting.”

“Perfect!” I thought…Everybody wins here.

Everyone was on the same page until right up till time to leave.  The kids all of a sudden didn’t want to give Max up, and as I petted him and he nibbled on my hair, I felt tears welling up in my eyes.  The kids were crying.  I was sniffling. Mario, on the other hand, couldn’t get him loaded fast  enough. 

I thought about the night he showed up at our house with Matthew.  And how sick/weak he got, and how we nursed him back to health.  I thought about worried I was about him. 

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I thought about petol bismol on his lips.  And party hats on his head.  I thought about him on the table finishing off the barbeque at Jeryn’s party when we left the table.

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I thought about his little tricks and how he first played with the kids.  How he came to the arena with us to rope.  And how patient he was as Jeryn practiced his tying.

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Then I thought about how disgusted we all were three weeks ago, the night we came home after a long hard day to find that the goat had spent the ENTIRE day in our house demolishing every square inch of it.  (Our dog has learned to turn the handle of our back door and open it if left unlocked.  Obviously, we left it unlocked that day.)  There were vases turned over, vases broken, indoor plants shredded, straw mats even MORE SHREDDED, trash cans tuned over…and a trail of goat pellets into every room.  Mario actually made it home before me that night.  He was mad at the dog for opening the door, but more mad at the goat for destroying that house I had stayed up till midnight cleaning.  He texted me saying, “Say a heart felt prayer for your dog and goat.”  I laughed, thinking, what in the world?  Another text told they had been in house all day.  I laughed again, thinking, “What a ridiculous prank to play on me.”  I checked out my groceries and headed for home.  When I walked through the front door, I realized he wasn’t kidding.  He joked (sort of) that he never knew goat meat was so good on the grill.  That night I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. washing, disinfecting, mopping, cleaning, dusting, etc every nook and cranny of the house AGAIN. 

I wiped the tear off my cheek and told the kids to let Daddy load Max.



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Jeryn was too terrified to get in the picture because Max always butts him and stands on his hind legs with his hair raised up all over.  But he did, however, muster up the courage to swing his rope and drop a loop on him one last time after sissy had him caught.   haha


And so Max was off to a new home, just a few miles down the road.  At least we can go see him if we miss him too bad.  I am happy to report he is doing well and likes his new home!