Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's what Christmas is All About!

I'm doing a Christmas concert at FBC in just a few weeks.  I've been searching for new music to learn so that I could incorporate some new Christmas tunes with some of the old favorite carols.  I stumbled upon this video today.  Although it probably won't be in the program for my concert, I think it has a great message.  Take a few minutes and listen!

Merry Christmas, Ya'll!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Love You.

I have been doing a new devotional for awhile now called "Jesus Calling."  I have the actual book by my bed, I have a copy of the children's edition in my office and I even have the app on my phone in case I need to reference it and read it over and over throughout the day.  I posted something a few weeks ago from it.  My blog entries usually just consist of all the little social things I've been doing lately or me just catching you up on my life, but I love that I have the freedom to share what God is teaching me day after day, too.  Today I want to share something with you that I came across in my reading this morning:

"I love you-eternally.  Think about the awesome mystery of an eternal love- a love that began before you were even born, that continues now, and that will go on until long after your life on this earth is over. 

Some people are frightened by the idea of eternity.  They don't want to think about death, or what happes after it.  So they keep themselves busy with nonstop activity and amusement. 

But it is only by being still in My Presence that you can experience My everlasting Love.  And you need that experience of My Love to survive the storms of life.  When things get rough, knowing about Me is not enough.  You need to really Know Me- so that you can trust Me to get you through the storm. 

So be still and get to know Me better.  This will strengthen your friendship with Me- and that is the best protection against sinking during life's storms." 

Have a great Thursday, friends! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap and Black Friday

Well the dreaded Thanksgiving Holiday has come and gone!  Ha!  Not really dreaded, I just don't really like Thanksgiving food at all, so the food part has never really been a highlight for me!  Call me crazy, I know!  

This Thanksgiving was filled with family, fun, and lots of shopping for me!!  Thursday we all gathered at my grandmothers for lunch and I ended up at mom's helping her decorate the outside of her house and her live tree in the front on Thanksgiving night.  We were worn out so we didn't get quite finished, but we got a great start! 

Somewhere in the midst of the conversation of the day, one of my cousins decided to claim that I am so popular because of my blog- which is a total and complete LIE!  I appreciate those of you who do read, but I, by NO means, think I'm #1, popular in any way, and #2, popular because of this little blog! HA!!  One of my cousins from Mobile chimed in because he didn't even know I had a blog!  He promised to start reading so that he could be kept in the know of what all is happening in my ever-so-exciting-because-i'm-so-popular little life!  NOT! Anyway, I promised Jim a shout-out so here you go:  


 This is Charlee Kate--- with her eyes closed!  That girl sleeps more than any other baby on the planet I'm convinced!

For years now, the Sister Girls have loaded up on Thanksgiving night and headed to the big city of Birmingham to do a black Friday WEEKEND! Yes, you heard it!  That's shopping all day Friday AND Saturday and then most of Sunday.  

I got almost all of my Christmas shopping done this year--- and I only managed to buy a couple of things for myself.  Look at this though---  TWO HALF POUND REESES PEANUT BUTTER CUPS!!  Ya'll.  Heavenly I'm sure!  It's only $9.99 and I'm surely hoping Sandra D. will find one of these for my stocking!
 The weather was supposed to be pretty nasty on Saturday, so we decided to cover the Summit on Friday and stick with the Galleria on Saturday.  This year, we didn't leave until Friday morning and we were three girls shy on this trip, but we still had a blast!  The first stop we made was to one of my favorite restaurants, Chuy's.  Now, if you're from Meridian, think of El Chico.  Yep- the food is identical and SO stinkin' good!  
 We didn't really see any major fights, or any big crazes being bought this year.  But we did (or I did atleast) add plenty of new items to my already lengthy Christmas list.  As we were loading up this morning in the pouring rain I was able to snap a picture of the back of Mom's Explorer.  Now, it may not look like much, but all of these bags have about four other bags tucked away so that we could make room for our luggage.  My poor grannie was pretty squished on the way home because we had to lay down the back seats to get it all back home!  

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I mentioned in my last post how addicted to pinterest I am.  This is another little project I did this week after I saw a smaller example done on a pinboard.  I have been needing something to hang above the big blank wall over my tv and I'm in love with the way this turned out!  It's such a good reminder and prayer for me every single day! 

Oh, yes.  That's the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I've always watched it since I was a little girl.  My favorite part is watching the Radio City Rockettes because I've always wanted to see them live and the parade is the closest I've gotten so far!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, it's TODAY!!  Ya'll I'll be honest.  I have SO much to be thankful for!  This has been a really big year for me- from moving out and learning to be totally independent, which I am thoroughly enjoying by the way, being able to see another cousin come into the world, and waiting for God to reveal His plans for me for tomorrow and the days ahead, I continue to have blessings to be thankful for.  I'm pretty sure that as you get older, you realize just how much your faith means to you.  I KNOW that God's plans are better than ours and that he places certain people in your life and little treasures along our paths every single day to slowly but surely reveal His next big thing for us.  There are days that my type A personality struggles with that, and other days when I'm just thankful that He knows the plans even if I don't!  

I'm thankful for my family and friends.  Yes, they're all in the same category because my friends are my family!  My immediate and extended family are some of the funniest people you'll ever meet and I'm pretty sure that you say that about your family too!  We have family members that can hold their own that you DON'T want to cross and some that have their very own way of thinking about things, but I love them regardless.  The holidays are always funny because you just never can predict what's going to go on!  And my friends- oh sweetness.  They are precious.  I have a few that live here, but the majority are now living out of town.  I miss them so much and can't stand that we're so far away from each other (It's just an hour and a half to Jackson and Tuscaloosa, but it's seems like 23959 miles away).  I LOVE the time we do get to spend together and I never want it to end.  

My health- yes, I'm a healthy as can be for the most part!  I can think of people today that aren't in good health because of the cards they've been dealt and some of them for the choices they've made.  Just since  yesterday I know of two families that are going through a lot of stress this weekend.  One family lost a husband/father/grandfather after he walked in from playing 9 holes of golf and had a heart attack.  The other is a friend of mine that had to have a serious test done and won't find out the results until next Wednesday.  All over facebook, there are people mentioning trips to the ER, and all kinds of illness that's going on today.  So I hope that you are grateful for every breath you take.  That's something none of us need to take for granted.  

I know that you're all thankful for plenty of things in your life.  Don't forget today and the days ahead to thank the big man above for the ways that He works in your life day after day!  Remember that God fights for your attention because He just wants to spend time with you.  Make time for Him and give Him all of the glory for what he Has done and will continue to do in your life!  Happy Thanksgiving Friends!  Love you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's Been "Pinteresting"

Thursday may be Thanksgiving, but it's already looking like Christmas time at 2313!! I've had THE best time decorating my first Christmas tree of my very own! 
and purchasing my first pair of Christmas stockings!!

 I've put a few little dates on the calendar for entertaining in my new place this year because it's so cute... atleast I think so :)  If you've talked to me lately, you've heard the word "Pinterest" about 12,203 times!!  It's my newest addiction and what an expensive, but fun addiction it is!!  I've found several different little projects that I've wanted to try and found some cute little trees on a pinboard.  I couldn't stand it until I was able to make my own.  So here's Christmas Pinterest Project #1:

Oh, and Ya'll!!  My mama!!  She's just turned into the most crafty person ever!  She wanted a sewing machine for her birthday back in June.  She started taking a few sewing lessons and I'm keeping her super busy.  This is the second table runner she's made me (the first one being a precious burlap runner with a big ole ruffle on the end... you know us Southern girls love big ruffles).  Isn't this darlin'? 
 And she even had extra material to make another pinterest favorite of mine... look at these fabulous pillows that she made for my chairs on my porch!!!

I paint canvases all the time and have always been pretty crafty.  My mom always has really good ideas when it comes to DIY projects, but I made the mistake one time of telling her that she had good ideas, she just couldn't implement them!!  Whoops!  Yeah, it was a mistake from the minute it rolled off my tongue for sure.  So... Mom... I take it all back!!  Now you can implement every idea we have and I plan on keeping you busy :)  

I hope you and yours have a fabulous Thanksgiving on Thursday!  Don't eat too much or spend too much on Black Friday!  Catch up with ya'll soon!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Weeks in Review

 A couple of weekend ago, Natalie, Melody and I headed down to Gautier to judge the East & West Jackson County Distinguished Young Woman Program (formerly known as Jr. Miss). For a couple of hours on Friday night, and all day long on Saturday, we sat through 29 total interviews, and and then two programs, one on Saturday afternoon and one on Saturday night.  Those were two long days, but we had so much fun! We were joined by two other friends to make up the fab five and we spent so much time laughing and talking and catching up with each other!!  
 And last Friday was Veteran's Day.  Lamar Elementary School asked me to come and sing the National Anthem and a song with their fifth graders!  Aren't they just too cute dressed in their patriotic gear?  We performed once for the entire Elementary School and once for all of the 'big kids' in the High School.  Thank you for having me Lamar- it was great program!!

And Last Saturday was the day for Christmas at the Highlands at Highland Baptist Church.  This is a fun day for women and local business around Meridian and the surrounding areas to come together and showcase their talents and businesses.  I've had a booth for the past three years and it's always a lot of fun.  I also like going back to my home church and seeing all of my friends!  I got to see a really special friend this year...

My 1st grade teacher Ms. Linda Farmer.  She came up to me and said that she read my blog so I thought it was fitting to get a picture of the two of us!!  I love first grade and I love children so I truly appreciate everything that she did for me when I was just six years old. Thank you Ms. Farmer for teaching me and so many others to read and write and for investing in the lives of so many through the years.  Most importantly, thank you for reading and for keeping up with the blog and praying that I continue to make a difference wherever I am!  

I am guilty of decorating my Christmas tree before Thanksgiving... so check back in a few days to see all of the cuteness around 2313!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Knot Prayer

I ran across this today and thought we might all be able to focus on this in our prayer life:

"Dear God,
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life. 
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots,
might nots that may find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all,
Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the 'am nots'
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough."


Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Fun

Do you three faithful readers (ha!) that I have ever get tired of hearing about where I've been or how busy my life is?!?!  Well... it's finally caught up with me!!  I. Am. Exhausted.  Physically, emotionally and mentally.  In fact, I'm so exhausted that instead of coming home after spending a week in NOLA at school, that I hit the road again and went to Jackson and Oxford last weekend!! 

I got to spend some much needed time with the Ricker's and some of my other Clintonian friends over Follies, dinner, game day and my new favorite, frozen yogurt!!
 And we watched Ole Miss play a good game, but suffer a tough loss!!  
 Last week I got to have my new favorite dessert at Tutti Fruitti in New Orleans, Yog'n Fruit in Clinton and NOW @ YOO YOO'S IN MERIDIAN!!!  Yes, ya'll--- we FINALLY have an ice cream shop!!  
 A loonnngg time ago we used to have a TCBY in North Meridian and I LOVED to get a waffle cone with strawberry yogurt and rainbow sprinkles.  Oh how I missed that place!  We haven't really had a good yogurt shop like that since... Until Now!!

  Look at this wall of frozen yogurt choices... cheesecake, chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry and so many more...
 and all of these toppings.... 
It is SO good!!  I highly recommend you making a visit.  I'm picking up Harper from school next week and we WILL be going for her first little visit!!  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Little Big Sis!!

Sunday afternoon I got to spend some time out at Harper's house lovin' on her and the newest addition, Charlee Kate!  Harper was LOVING all this attention and wanted to be silly!  Hope you've had a great Thursday and that your weekend will be so fun and relaxing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mega Church

Last Thursday night I went to Memphis to a HUGE Christian concert at Bellevue Baptist!!  The Afters, Sanctus Real, Lindsey McCaul and Casting Crowns!!  It was fabulous.  

Two weeks ago when I was at Catalyst, my friend Peyton invited us to dinner and to go to First Baptist Woodstock!!  Oh. My. Word. Talk about a Mega Church.  This place was massive.  They had almost 600 youth in their Wednesday night service.  Their worship center is round.  If you walk around it 10 times, then you will have successfully walked ONE MILE.  It's big.  

So, last Thursday was the second time that I had been to a mega church.  Now, I'm not so sure which one is bigger, because they were both 15 times the size of FBCM, but they were both huge.  Anyway, as  we were looking for our seats, one of the greeters looked at me and said, "Now, mam, you can go in this door, or there are eleven other doors to the lower level of the sanctuary just down to the right of this one."  I totally just laughed in her face.  Anyway, it was such a great night!  Had so much fun :) 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jesus Calling

Just thought I'd share this with you today.  This came from the Jesus Calling devotional that we did this morning in class.  It was something that I needed to hear today. 

"Go gently through this day, keeping your eyes on Me.  I will open up the way before you, as you take steps of trust along your path.  Sometimes the way before you appears to be blocked.  If you focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it, you will probably go off course.  Instead, focus on Me, the Shepherd who is leading you along your life-journey.  Before you know it, the "obstacle" will be behind you and you will hardly know how you passed through it.  

That is the secret of success in My kingdom.  Although you remain aware of the visible world around you, your primary awareness is of Me.  When the road before you looks rocky, you can trust Me to get you through that rough patch.  My presence enables you to face each day with confidence."  

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father- and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:14-15

"The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth." 
Isaiah 26:7

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Be Present

As most of you know, I'm in my 4th year of Seminary and HOPE to graduate next year with my Master of Arts in Christian Education degree *fingers crossed!!*

A big part of my degree program is to travel to New Orleans and to the hub campus in Atlanta to take workshops.  As most students do, I put all of these hours off until the very end... all 30 of them.  HA!  You see, I spent the first three years of seminary driving back and forth to Clinton, MS every Monday for class and I've been working the whole time.  So needless to say, adding additional workshops was the last thing on my mind... until NOW!  

My friend Ashley & I loaded up last week and headed to Atlanta to the Catalyst Conference.  Of course we HAD to visit The Varsity for dinner the very first night we were there.  I'm not sure why, but this was first visit.  I wasn't all that impressed with the food, but I can say that I experienced the whole "What'll You Have" fun that everyone has when they visit this landmark!!

I'll admit, I went in blind for this conference.  I was just thinking that it was going to be boring ole school and that I'd be bored most of the time.  BOY WAS I WRONG!!  We joined with 13,000 other "leaders" in the Gwinnett Arena and listened to names like Andy Stanley, Dave Ramsey, Priscilla Shirer, Francis Chan, Mark Batterson, Joel Houston and Hillsong, Mark Driscoll, Jim Collins, Blake Mycoskie (the TOMS guy), Katie Davis, and my new personal favorite, Judah Smith.  Ya'll.  Oh my word.  I can't even begin to tell you everything that I learned from spending three days with these people.  We were able to worship.  We were able to spend lots of time in prayer.  We were able to escape from our "real world" of answering emails and texts and worrying about school and work and were able to listen to the One who matters the Most.  I came back from the conference with a whole new meaning of what it means to truly "BE PRESENT" in every little thing I do.  It's not going to be easy, but I'm having to learn to get rid of a lot of stuff in my life that doesn't matter anymore so that I won't experience burnout and most importantly that I'll be able on focusing on the calling that God has given me in my life.  

Not only were we able to listen to all of these speakers, we were part of a record breaking experience.  We read the entire Bible in 60 seconds.  Yep, all 13,000 of us.  We each were given a postcard with a portion of scripture and on the count of 3, we all went to reading it aloud.  It was actually a really awesome experience!  

Jeff Foxworthy also made an appearance and talked about his volunteer work with Mission Atlanta.  This is a shelter for men that are struggling with addiction or don't have a place to live.  Jeff leads a Bible Study each Tuesday and brought two of the men he mentors and disciples with him to the conference.  They have broken away from the chains of addiction and they are actually on the streets, helping bring men into the shelter so that they will be able to know the Lord too.  One of the problems they were faced with is that they didn't have transportation to get to certain parts of Atlanta.  Catalyst surprised these two men with a brand new Ford Focus and I'm pretty sure that there were 13,000 people with tears flowing!  It was an absolutely overwhelming experience!!

We had great seats, so I was able to get some really good pictures of some of the speakers! 

She's Here!!!

The day that my family had been waiting on for the past nine months finally arrived last Wednesday when my sweet cousin Erin went into the hospital to be induced so that we could meet our sweet new baby cousin!  
 Well she's here!!!  
 Charlee Kate Miller
October 12, 2011
6 pounds 6 ounces
20 1/2 inches long
 and she is ABSOLUTELY perfect in every single way!  We thank God for her and for her health and know that she will bless our lives greatly in the days ahead!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Longest. Post. Ever.

The past four months have been the fastest four months of my life.  Well since March really.  I knew doing Hairspray would be crazy, but it was absolutely worth it.  Then came the fun part of my JOB!  The summer!  I can honestly say that I do have a fun job in the summer, but I basically live out a suitcase and I catch myself in a whirlwind because there's so much going on.  I love every minute of it!

I spent the first week involved in one of our BEST VBS weeks ever at FBCM!  Such a fun week talking about missions in the big apple!  Our week even concluded with a tap dance by our Associate Pastor which was HILARIOUS!  Super funny!  

As soon as VBS was over on a Friday, I loaded up with some of my favorite people in the world and went to Clinton, MS for Fuge!  That's always been one of my very favorite weeks of the summer, except for this year.  This sister girl decided I needed a little tan and spent the day at a friends pool before we left-- with minimal sunscreen... like maybe 10 SPF.  MISTAKE!  I promise you that I had third degree burns all week.  I was absolutely miserable!  Ha!  We broke away from camp one night in to have dinner on the Rez at Cock of the Walk.  We celebrated a birthday and laughed at their ridiculous birthday serenade.  Really.  Please celebrate a birthday there... you just have NO idea what you're missing out on!  

 I got home from camp on Saturday had enough time to shower and start a load of laundry and then headed to Tuscaloosa to celebrate Father's Day with my grandfather and all of our family.  

 It's VERY rare that we can all get together like this!!  Right after dinner, we all went our separate ways. I came home to pack for the next trip, my cousins went back to Birmingham and my other cousin left for the summer to study abroad in Austria.  
 Last year my grandparents gave us money to go toward a girls trip to Disneyworld for Christmas.  We're already planning our trip to Savannah in December!  Can't wait to spend another week with these girls!  They're so precious to me!

And speaking of another trip-  just a few days later I packed my bags and headed to Kentucky and Ohio on youth choir tour.  
 We had a great time sightseeing and singing, watching a Louisville Bats game and riding the worlds longest wooden rollercoaster at Kings Island in Ohio!  So Fun!!

 I was home for a few days to get ready for our mission trip!  We headed down to Trinidad for five days in July.  I can honestly say that it was the longest five days of my life, but it was a trip I'll never forget.  
 Our church has a partnership with the people of Trinidad.  We help them fund a Sunday School that meets in the home of Suresh, Reena, Amanda and Alecia.  Faithfully, week after week, Suresh loads his car down with children from around the neighborhood to bring them to Sunday School.  Suresh and his sister, Sandra (both pictured with the group above) opened their home to our group.  They cooked for us, they slept on their porches so that we could have their bedrooms, they took cold showers so we could have the warm water... they're probably the most selfless people you'll ever meet!  I will admit that I was nervous the whole time that we were there just because it was a new experience for me.  But I learned so much while I was gone.  

Pictured above: Olivia, Amanda, Shelby, Sandra, me and Veera

Below is the place where we gathered to eat our meals.  This is the kitchen, dining room and living room  of Suresh and Reena.  The guys all stayed here in little bitty bedrooms off to the left.  Reena cooks three meals a day.  Heavy meals.  Like, not just pop tarts.  So the guys had LOTS of eating to do.  The girls did our own thing for breakfast at Sandra's... mainly because we were too tired to wake up early every morning! 

 The first full day we were there, it rained.  All. Day. Long.  So... the guys had planned to do some construction and that's what they did- all day!  It was muddy.  They were soaked.  But the work still had to be done.  This is the TINY kitchen on the back of a neighbors home.  It was a sad sight.  While they worked, the girls were able to "supervise" and ask 20 questions just trying to make sure that the guys were doing the work right!  
 The rest of the time, we put on a VBS for the Sunday School Class.  Once on Saturday, and once on Sunday.  It was an eye-opening experience for us.  Lots of people.  Lots of smiles.  Lots of praisin' going on!!  We had water balloons to help cool the kids off--- but the people of Trinidad are used to the heat.  We were the ones who needed to be cooled off... and we were.  We had a water balloon fight every afternoon!

We also got to attend worship with Suresh and his family on Sunday morning.  It was a totally different experience than anything I've ever been a part of.  We each got to give our testimony and I was given the honor of getting to sing.  As soon as worship was over, the paparazzi took over!!  I've never had to smile for so many pictures in my life-  they truly treat the American Missionaries like they're celebrities!   

Didn't the boys do such a nice job?!  It looked SO good!!
 Our crew even got to experience a good ole game of Cricket!  I still don't understand the game... nor do the youth that played!    

I've never ever been so glad to see American soil.  This was when we were about to land in Houston... 

and this "welcome home" meal was on my mind... 

Strange combo, I know!!  But I don't think I've ever been happier to eat something in America.  I was so desperate for a taste of diet coke that I paid $13 for a CocaCola Light and a pack of peanut butter M&M's before we boarded the plane in Port of Spain. 

I also spent time with these little monkeys all summer.  From wading in the creeks of shark tooth creek, to going to the NOLA zoo and aquarium, to exploring the new Children's Museum in Jackson, we did a little bit of everything!!  

And then it was time for my very favorite weeks of the summer:  Mississippi's Distinguished Young Woman, formerly known as Jr. Miss.  This was my third year to be a driver and I loved it!  Sweet Anna, Erin, Emily, Mallory and I became sisters for a week.  So much so that we just named ourselves the A-Team... and we represented all the way to the very top!  Mallory from Starkville WON!  Yep, she's Mississippi's FIRST Distinguished Young Woman and she's going to represent us so well at National's next June!

Anna, Mallory, Me, Erin & Emily 

Jr. Miss is also a fun week where you get to see all of the girls that have been with you before.  I got to catch up with Nicole and Mallory on Thursday night of the program!  Nicole is a student at LSU and Mallory is a student at MSU!  So fun getting to see them and catch up for a few minutes!

Oh... and I closed out the last week of summer with these crazy kids at CentriKid camp!!  We had a GRAND time!!  
 Are you worn out yet?!  Because by this point, I sure was!!  And I had one thing on my mind... 
Yep, for a week in August all of the girls in my family packed up and headed down to Orange Beach!!  So. Much. Fun. 

The best part of the whole week besides the sand, sun and fun was that I got to have my last meal at Tacky Jacks... fried dill pickles for BREAKFAST!!  You can do whatever you want to on vacation, right?!