Family PIc April 2015

Family PIc April 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015


Eighteen years ago YESTERDAY we said, "I do." 

Seems like not that long ago we were counting down the months...then the days...then, quite literally, the hours...

photo credit: Larkin Corley

Until we would be together in front of family and friends.  

We could hardly wait to make a lifetime commitment to one another!!

photo credit:  Larkin Corley

photo credit:  Larkin Corley

Eighteen years have passed...

11 children (9 Earthly and 2 Heavenly) have been added to our oneness...

Lots of laughter...

Our share of tears...




Learning from mistakes...

An unshakable commitment...


God has helped us make our house a home, and I wouldn't trade my life for the whole world.

I love this man more today than I have ever loved him.  

I know this kind of love and commitment is rare in our world today.  So, I don't take it for granted.

Our prayer, for our children, is that they would experience the same kind of love one day. 

To my precious husband - you are mine, and I am yours.

HAPPY 18TH ANNIVERSARY TO US (1 day late)!  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I Didn't Want to Write This, But I Wrote It Anyway

Gregg put this song into the CD player last night while we silently folded laundry together...and I realized we're both feeling it.  My precious husband has been burdened on almost every side.

The weight of the world is on his shoulders...and seemingly a new outside complaint or conflict comes every day.

He. is. worn.

And, me?

I'm worn, too.

I have this tremendous urge to tenderly gather my husband and my children together and retreat from everyone - like a mama bear gathers her cubs and retreats into the forest.

But, I know that's not God's plan for us.  We are called to be salt...and light. Retreating, like hermits, is not an option.

I'm just frustrated...disappointed...maybe I've even been disillusioned.

Maybe the world isn't good.

Maybe people really are as selfish as they seem.

Maybe no one is really "real" after all.

Maybe it doesn't even matter...

Maybe it's ME.

For the past 18 months or so, especially, I have watched a large handful of my friends experience excruciating pain and consequences - some pain brought from their own choices, and some from the choices of those they care about most, and some for reasons only God knows.

I have watched death...pain from sexual immorality...cancer...the loss of a child...the untimely loss of a spouse after childbirth...marriages ripped messes...a church that has turned others away from God...PAIN.  Silently, I have felt others' burdens as my own.  Many have no idea that I've been screaming out to God to hold them, to heal them, to take away the teach them and to change them if needed.

I've questioned God.  I've wondered where He is in all of this.

But, I've found Him always here...always very real to me.  I can't see Him, but I know He's here, as sure as I can't see the wind but can feel it on my face.

I so rarely find Him living in those who claim to be His people.  Is it any wonder that those who don't know Christ personally have no use for us?  Most days, I don't want anything to do with "christians," either.  Why is it that we say we are "believers," but we really AREN'T?

Maybe I expect too much.  I expect others to be who they say they are.  I expect them to do what they say they will do.  I expect them to have maturity...and admit mistakes and learn from have a passion for loving others more than be have the ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes (or at least TRY).

God is up to something (Isn't He always?)...I just hope Gregg and I can hang on.  I pray that we can be faithful...that our speech will be honest, but with a pure heart...that we can remember that our battle is against Satan and hell itself, not against others.

In God's unfathomable sovereignty, He has planned a time of rest for our little family soon.  In the next couple of months, I hope to blog about all God does. We had no idea, in the planning stages months ago, that our family would need a time of rest as desperately as we need the air we breathe.

I'm grateful.

I'm worn...but I AM grateful.  I'm anticipating a God-change in my family.  I have a strong feeling that it could be a painful pruning.

There are things inside of me that need to change.  I need new passion, new knowledge, new calmness, new perspective, new laughter, new joy...and who knows what else!

I sometimes hear people comment that I have it "all together."  I'm not trying to appear humble when I say, "I do NOT have it all together."  I REALLY MEAN IT.  I've made more mistakes than I care to mention.  I get my feelings hurt, hold grudges, and complain.  I can be more selfish than anyone I know. Sometimes painful, ugly words that I'm tossing around in my head and heart, come out of my mouth...and they hurt others.  I understand I'm not perfect.  I understand that no one is perfect.

Perhaps God allows us to become worn so we can enjoy the renewal.

Perhaps He allows us to become worn so He can prune us.

In our back yard are some beautiful roses.  Each year, Gregg and my older sons prune them until they look like they are dead.  And then, with warm sunshine, leaves begin to emerge.  Before I know it, they are blooming beautifully.

I want to be like that.  

As the song says, I want to see God "mend a heart that's broken and torn"...and "all that's dead inside can be reborn."

I didn't want to write this post, Lord.  I've been avoiding it longer than I can remember.  I have no idea why I'm putting it "out there" now, except that I'm pretty sure You're telling me to write and trust.  Perhaps, I was supposed to write this to help me heal.  Perhaps, it's supposed to help my children one day. Perhaps, it's for someone else.'s to being worn...and, Lord, here's to trusting in your plan.  Give our family clarity, wisdom, and strength to make changes where You want us to change.

"Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Thy presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.  Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will be converted to Thee." (Psalm 52:10-13)