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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Saying yes to the Ms Dots in your life

There is a hashtag going around on Instagram called #thestoriesofourhouses. My wise friend Lori (environmentsofgrace) started it to encourage us to share the memories attached to our houses, furniture and special pieces in our homes.  That is right up my alley because  pretty much all my stuff comes with a story.  The one I wanted to share about today was  apparently three sentences too long for Instagram  and there was nothing in the story I wanted to cut out so here I am.... forced to blog. lol.

Anyways, thank you for taking the time to pop over here to read it.  I pray it blesses you.  

Years ago when Nick was called to his first church, there was a sweet lady who lived in the community named Ms Dot. She and her husband were very active at a church in town where they had been members  for many years. I would stop by to visit them from time to time to check on them and was so drawn to Ms Dot's demeanor. She had a quiet spirit, the most inviting smile and always had a twinkle in her eye.

She would call me often to invite me to the ladies bible study that her church had each week and always mentioned it when I stopped to visit. But as a brand new pastor's wife with young children and demands of our own church activities, I would always decline her invitation. Ms Dot never gave up though and one day she caught me in a "weak" moment and I said yes.  Mad at myself for adding yet another thing to my over committed schedule, I begrudgingly kept my promise out of my respect for Ms Dot and went with her. 

 Well, that bible study turned out to be a game changer for my entire life. It was the first in-depth bible study I had ever done and God used it to ignite a flame and passion for His word that I had never experienced before. This became the foundation for all that I am and all that I am still becoming in Christ today!  I am forever grateful for Ms Dot's quiet tenacity and persistence to not give up on the young new preachers wife down the road.  

Now how do these peacocks fit into this story??  Well, a few years later Ms Dot's husband passed away and she decided to move into town to be closer to her church family. Our church bought her house and  it became our new parsonage. When we moved in, I found these little beauties in a box out in the shed that Ms Dot had made years ago.  They became instant treasures of mine...reminding me of Titus 2 & the role we as women of God, have to mentor and invest into the next generation whose coming behind us. 

"Tell older women to live their lives in a way that shows they are dedicated to God.  Tell then not to be gossips or addicted to alcohol, but to be examples of virtue.  In this way they will teach young women to show love to their husbands and children, to use good judgment, and to be morally pure, Also, tell them to teach young women to be homemakers, to be kind, and to place themselves under their husbands' authority.  Then no one can speak evil of God's word." Titus 2:3-5

Maybe you have a Ms Dot in your life that you have been putting off because life is just too busy to add one more thing. Girl, when you have a woman whose willing to make time to pour into you what God has taught her through the years from His Word along with her life experience, she is worth her weight in gold!  Make the time. You won't regret it.

 And maybe some of us are supposed to BE a Ms Dot to a young woman in our lives. Not only is that a privilege, it's a command for us in God's word. It's how we help make the Body of Christ beautiful and  powerful  and functioning the way God designed.  
Make the time.

#sayyestoyourMsDottoday #beaMsDot

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Gorilla and the Pig {repost and update}

Today is my big bro's birthday.   
There is so much I could say about him.   
If you know him personally then you know what I'm talking about.
He's a mess in the best kind of way.  
But this blog post from three years ago popped up on my Time Hop app and it made me smile reading it.
I thought I'd just share it might make you smile too.

And....when you get to the end of the post, I share a recent funny story about the three of us and a few favorite updated pics of us.  :)


This here is my big brother.
His name is Marvin and it's his birthday tomorrow.

Here he is trying to aggravate me...he still does this hand on my head thing.
When I was a little girl, he dubbed me with the nickname "Sow".
So I've been called that my entire life.
Except when he calls me, Sowpig, Swamp Sow (yeah..I dunno about that one, I guess cuz we're from Louisiana), Momma Sow, and my new favorite....Sow Maw, which he is trying desperately to get my grandkids to call me. 

He's not into my fab themed birthday parties I throw.
In fact, he told me this year they're stupid.
So I'm not gonna throw him a party this year. 
Nope. Not gonna do it.
Oh and he really hates that I take pictures all the time
He never cooperates.  
Like this, for instance...

and this..
Oh, and he REALLY hates when pics of him end up on my blog or on fb.
So PLEASE, don't tell him about this one ....
or this one..
 or this one.

Even though he can be a pain
He really is a great big brother.
I love him to pieces.
We usually laugh a bunch when we're together.

And I'm incredibly proud of him and how the Lord is using him.
I mean, everyone who is saved by God's grace is transformed,
but some of our transformations are a little more outwardly noticeable.
Like my brother for instance.
This is before Jesus interrupted his life...
He used to be a high school drop out drug addict.

And this is what God did...
He went from being a high school drop out to seminary graduate.
He delivered him, transformed him, and then called him into the ministry.
That is what grace looks like.

His passion for people and desire to see them know Jesus inspires me.
Don't tell him, but I think he's one of the most awesome guys I know.
We tease each other a lot but I'm so proud I'm his sister and he's my big brother.

Oh....and about the title "The Gorilla and the Pig"...
Well I've had to live my entire life being called Sow right?
So.... when the Lord blessed me with grandchildren, I taught them to call him Gorilla!
And they do!

Ahhh...revenge is so sweet.

Happy Birthday Gorilla!
This little pig loves you :)

The pic below is my all time favorite picture of him.  It was taken when we he and Nick both preached at the Louisiana Evangelism Conference last year.  I snapped this as we were walking in the building and was just overwhelmed thinking about our lives and how the Lord has changed us... our family.  
Just him. By himself armed with God's word.  Step after step,  day after day,  year after year sharing the gospel, spreading hope, bringing truth to those who are still in darkness like we once were.
I need to frame this I love it so much.

I cry almost every time I get to hear him preach.
God changes lives people.  He transforms marriages. This guy right here is living proof.
 I'm literally in tears as I type this thinking about what all He has done in Marvin's life.  In our family.  It's so good to remember.

But I promised you a funny story before I go.  It's probably funnier to our family than it will be to y'all. But anyways, here goes. 
The older I get my girls keep telling me how much I look/act like Marvin.  I usually tell them they are crazy but honestly there are times I will say something or make a face and I totally know it was a "Marvin Moment".  After being in denial of our obvious similarities, it was a trip to our favorite Chinese restaurant a couple of months ago that made me face reality.  

We had a new waitress that none of us knew.  She was Asian and spoke very little English.  Our mom was down visiting and we were all at the table together along with Ms Dianne, Marvin's wife/Nick's mom. (yeah, you read that right. You can check out our crazy, wonderful, grace covered family tree here)

Anyways, this waitress takes our order and then starts patting her face with her hands saying, "Same same."  We were so confused and had no idea what she was talking about so we told her what we wanted to drink again.  And she shook here head and again said. "Same same" , while she patted her face.  Then she kept saying it over and over while pointing to me, Marvin and my mom.  Finally Ms Dianne starts dying laughing and says, "She's trying to tell y'all that the three of you all look the same!"  Well, when the waitress heard that, her eyes lit up and she nodded her head..."Same same!! Same same!"     She was so fascinated with us that a little later, she even came back with another lady, who also spoke little English, to point us out to her!  

I don't know if it's our beady eyes, laugh lines or big mouths but apparently to this total stranger thought we looked....

"Same same."
And I guess I'm okay with that after all.

Happy Birthday Gorilla! I love you more than you know.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Becoming | The Unfolding of You

I've had the pleasure of meeting some pretty incredible women in my life.  And when the Lord placed Jeanne Oliver in my small group last year at Hope Spoken, I had no idea of the sweet friendship that He had just birthed in my heart.

I admire Jeanne for so many reasons.  But what encourages and inspires me most is her love to equip and encourage people to be more.  To become more.  To dream big and then take the steps to make it happen.  I am so blessed to call her my friend and to have her believe in the things the Lord is at work doing in my life and in the life of my family.

When she asked me to be a part of her new video series she would be offering I was so humbled and honored.  She has gathered a vast variety of women all in different stages of life, all with different stories to share about what we are becoming in Christ....The Unfolding of You.

You can check out Jeanne's blog post here that tells all about the course and how it came about.

Here are the incredible women I am joining as we share our hearts with honesty and transparency, as we continue to grow in grace in the journeys the Lord has us all on.

Now, the one thing I am NOT becoming yet is efficient when it comes to time management!  I am such a horrible procrastinator.  Like terrible.   I should have already shared this with y'all forever and ago.  Please forgive me. The course has already begun but it is one you can jump in at any time and watch the videos at your own convenience.  SO... I hope you take advantage of this incredible opportunity.  Jeanne is offering this entire course FREE!  There has been so much work that has gone into it.  I know it will be a blessing to you.  As of right now there are over 5,000 ladies signed up for this series!  WHAT??  God is doing big things and spreading His truth in ways we could have never imagined.  I hope you join us! is the day that my video airs.  Gulp.  I ain't gonna lie.  I'm a little nervous to go watch it myself.  Long story short, and I share a little bit about this in the video, I had a nice polished version of what I was gonna share.  Nick worked the camera.  I looked in my hair was washed and I had on fresh makeup.  It all looked great.  But I didn't have a peace about what I shared.  The Lord just wouldn't let it go.  So what y'all will get to see is the raw version right after my morning quiet time with the Lord when I decided to record it all over again and throw my notes out the window and just share my heart.  I fluffed up the front of my hair,  touched up  yesterday's make up, threw on a shirt and sat there in my pajama bottoms all by myself and let it flow.   It's not polished. It's not perfect.  It's certainly not professional. But it's honest and its real and it's where the Lord is using me right now in this season of my life.  

The creative video was just gonna be me and Lydia singing together while Marcus played  his guitar for us but it kind of evolved and I ended up giving y'all a glimpse into Porterville Night.   I wasn't planning on that.  We were gonna be shooting basically just in the living room but ended up in the kitchen....which was a mess.  I still had dishes on the counter and pots on the stove from the day before and here I am in there shooting a video that over 5,000 will potentially be watching.   I should be mortified about that but I'm really not.  It's me.  It's who I am.  More than likely if you pop in to visit, your'e gonna find dishes in the sink and projects sitting on the counter.  

For those of you who are fans of Lydia and Marcus sharing their 15 second teasers of them singing on instagram, I have them singing an entire song!  I kinda feel like a caught a unicorn or something.  You might want to sign up just to watch that.

SO.  I hope you join me.  I pray the Lord uses something that is said over this 8 week course to encourage and equip you on your own journey.  The body of Christ is such a gift and I'm thankful foe these ladies opening up their lives to us.

Here's all the info you need to sign up and get started.

Directions to register:
To join this free study you just need to be registered at is free).

Once you are on the site you will find this study, free videos (business and art), my Creativity Takes Courage series and new online courses along the left hand side of the page.

You will find all of our courses/videos under the COURSES heading.

To register for Becoming | The Unfolding of You

1) Go to COURSES along the left hand side of the page

2) Go to the bottom of the course and click “view all” to find Becoming | The Unfolding of You

4) Click on Becoming | The Unfolding of You

3) Click the +join button on the upper right hand side

4) All of the details are on the page and you are all set for the study to begin on January 6, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Stitchfix Seventeen

I've been so excited to show y'all last month's fix.  It was number 17!  That means I've had a box full of fashion goodness delivered to my door step 17 times now. And if any of you are paying attention then you will know I skipped Fix 16.  I'll come back to that one...maybe.  It wasn't my favorite but I  did keep a gorgeous necklace from it that I'd love to show you.

But anyways, back to 17.  I had asked my stylist to send me nothing but dresses since I knew I would be participating in Dressember. (a campaign to raise awareness for Human trafficking where all the participants wore nothing but dresses the entire month of December.)   I asked for dresses that would be comfortable to wear all day that I could pair with tights, boots and cardigans.

She did so good.  I liked every single one of them.  I was so sad that it was December and I still had a ton of Christmas shopping to do because I would have kept them all.  But I couldn't so I had to eliminate.  And after group texting pics to my three girls and my momma, I finally came to a decision.

1.  First up...this cobalt blue and black dress.  Honestly, when I first pulled it out of the box it was my least favorite. But upon trying it on, I really liked the way it fit.  It was very slenderizing and SO stinking comfortable.  Absolutely no constriction whatsoever.  But the only draw back was that it was a tad short.  So this one didn't make the cut.


2. Next up was this adorable teal polka dot dress.  It was actually my favorite piece when I opened the box.  I just knew it was gonna be a keeper. I could  picture it so many ways.

But it was a little tight in the bust which is kind of hidden by the cardigans... but I would never feel comfortable wearing it alone.  Again, my stylist, Catherine, came through with my request for comfort because it also was super stretchy.  But my daughters shot this one down so I ended up eliminating this one too.

3. This one was a no brainer for me.  It's black and white stripes (my favorite).  It has 3/4 length sleeves which I love.  I can wear it with or without a cardigan.  It was tad bit longer in the length and was super comfortable.  I love mixing the pattern with this chartreuse floral scarf from the Gap.

And for a super casual but pulled together look, I love it with this black puffy vest.  (I've had this thing for years.  It's from Walmart and it has hood that zips on and off. I'm so glad I hung on to it.)

I brought this dress with me on my most recent trip to see the grand kids.  I managed to talk Rosalyn into taking a few pics with while she was wearing her outfit I bought her for her birthday.  She's a little fashionista in the making for sure.

4.  The next dress was this shirt dress.  And again, I totally wasn't interested in this one when I pulled it out the box.  But once I tried it on, I really liked it. was a super good price.  I loved it with this burgundy sweater that I kept from my 15th fix.

And here it is in cartoon form!  The sweetest Katie Muncie surprised me with a portrait.  Ain't it cute?!  Go check out her talented self here.  She makes the best family portraits.  I'm thinking it would make the sweetest Valentines Day happy.

5.  The last piece was this funky shift dress.  And when I say funky, that's a good thing.  Funky is my jam.  This felt very 60ish and I loved the color combo.

Then I got wild and crazy and paired with with navy tights and wedges.  Now it was screaming 60's and I was liking it even more.   (despite the look on my face.  I was going for sultry/contemplative/mysterious look but it looks more like I'm wanting to say, "Stand still. I vaunt to crush you" Any Cats and Dogs fans out there? No? Ok. Well this is a little embarrassing.)
Anyways, I love the dress.

I loved it with the burgundy sweater too.

Which by the way....that burgundy sweater has become my winter go-to.
Along with these Noonday cow horn hoop earrings.  Which I lost last week.  I am still in mourning.  I wore those babies all the time.  Almost every day.  So sad.  
Back to the sweater though, I love that I have built a wardrobe through Stitchfix.
Not just individual pieces but things that I often wear together.

What's some of your go to pieces this winter?  Do you have that one sweater that you keep finding yourself throwing on with everything?  Spill the beans please.

And of course, if y'all are interesting in having your own stylist and getting a box full of goodness delivered to your door, you can click the pic below.  Or email me with any questions.

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