Walk Beside Me

I am very blessed to have a great circle of close friends. I have this one close friend where it always seems we grow closer when one of us in going through something. It's not that we are not there for one another for the good times but time and time again we've grown closer during struggles in our lives.

Today I took a long walk on the beach by myself and I was thinking about my relationship with God and how lately it seems like there is constantly a new struggle in my life. I kept praying over and over that God walk beside me on the beach and that I feel His presence. As I've shared before , I've recently felt God's current lesson plan for me is to trust Him more. The word trust came to me again. Then I thought about my relationship with my friend, Andrea. My relationship with her is a lot like my relationship with God. I call on Him more in my time of need but I'm not leaning on Him on the mountaintops. I'm quick to give the big stuff to God but not the little stuff. The everyday stuff, I can take care of that myself. God you handle the big stuff while I control the rest. See there I go with that ugly word again... control. Well, not giving it all to Him is not living for Him. And I can't help but think that some of these valleys could be avoided if I was giving my complete self to Him. As turned around to head back, I started crying at the sight of my husband and his father walking towards me. I didn't take it as a coincidence that a father and son were walking towards me after my reflections. There was great symbolism for a father walking along side his son to check on me because spiritually this happens everyday.

My youth pastor growing up use to say, "I must decrease so Christ may increase. " My need for complete control must be surrendered daily whether I'm on a mountaintop, valley or somewhere in between. And I know the Father and His Son will walk beside me every step of the way.

Being Real

I always feel God at the beach. It's like that line in "I Hope You Dance." "I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean." I really do not know how someone could stand at a sea shore of crashing waves and not believe in our Almighty Creator.

I refuse to have one of those blogs where all I share with you is a picture of my perfect life. Because come on who are we all kidding! While I really am having a great summer, I'm also really struggling: professionally, personally and spiritually. Obstacles keep blocking my picture perfect life or at least the one I'm trying to "control. "

Oh control.... This is my number one struggle. I am without a doubt wired to control. I just downloaded Let. It. Go. How to Stop Running the Show and Walk by Faith. I'm 30% in and amazed at how much God has already revealed to me in this book. I know this is going to be another journey in my life and probably a continuous struggle but I want to break this cycle and surrender my need to control to the Ultimate Controller. So here I go. I know this one book won't change my life but I hope it is a great starting point. I plan to share with you all about my journey. I know it won't all be fixed by my next post but hopefully I will have made some progress through Him.

Happy Father's Day

I'm so thankful that at 45 years old my dad didn't think he was too old to start all over and have another child. I'm beyond blessed to have Billy S. as my dad. I'm not only thankful to have him as my dad but I realize there was a great advantage to having an older dad. While I certainly didn't always love it growing up (like when the lady at the grocery store asked if I was having fun with my grandpa), I see now the many benefits that I reaped. I often times have a completely different outlook on life than many of my peers. I mostly credit that to my father who was born in 1939. While my beginnings were no where as humble as his, he still installed in me the value of a dollar and hard work. He also lived a life of integrity for me to witness. When I was little I asked why he went into work so early since he was the boss. I will never forget him telling me he wouldn't require something from someone else that he didn't require from himself.
I often find myself quoting my dad or sharing his wisdom with others. His wise counsel is one I consult and consider countless times on a daily basis. From situations at work to buying a new house, I turn to him. He is my voice of reason. There is nothing my dad would not do and has not done for me. I love you, Dad!

Great Start to Summer

This summer is off to a great start. We just had another great weekend. We drove down to Florence on Friday evening after work to spend the weekend with my parents. Since my parents no longer have a boat, we rented a pontoon boat on Saturday. We all had a great time. The Tennessee River is the number one thing I miss about home (aside from my parents of course). That evening my dad cooked steaks for us.
Today we celebrated Father's Day by going to church with my mom and dad and lunch afterwards. The church service was extra special because Bro. Larry Wright preached. Bro. Larry was the preacher at First Baptist from the time I started school until I left for college. He is the only preacher I ever really remember us having. It is always great to hear Bro. Larry preach the word of God. He is continuing to serve God through his work with Time Ministries. The service ended with a little boy who came up to say he had received Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. Why that's sweet enough to celebrate... The story is even sweeter. He has been coming to church with an elderly lady in my parents' congregation who is his neighbor. He doesn't have a mother in his life so the lady has taken him under her wing. Not only has she shown him the love of a mother but an even greater love. She has shown him the love of Christ. The story brought me to tears.
We ended the day in Florence with lunch at City Hardware. And for you Florence natives their chicken tenders taste just like Court Street Cafe. It is great to see Downtown Florence thriving. I really wish we had a restaurant like that in the Boro.
We ended the night babysitting precious Alexis for our friends Andrew and Allison.
We leave for vacation on Friday. This really is a great start to the summer.

Rachel & Nick's Wedding

My dear friend from college, Rachel got married this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. Nick and Rachel's wedding was by far the sweetest and most relaxed wedding I've ever been to or have ever been a part of. Take notes from Rachel. Less really is more. It was simply perfect. Their wedding ceremony and reception was held in a private room at the Bristol, which is a local restaurant in the heart of downtown Louisville. Our friend Trina married them! And yes, the ceremony was legit. She did an incredible job. I was so proud of her. The food was amazing! It really was the perfect day. My favorite part though was having the opportunity to be Rachel's photographer for large portions of the day. I am rather proud of my growing photography skills. Watch out Sara Rose.... ha ha! I may have found my new hobby and part-time job. Here are a few of my favorites from Saturday.

To end the perfect weekend, we continued to celebrate the union of Rachel and Nick with a second reception in Nashville at Trina and Marshall's house. Unfortunately, I was a little too busy with assisting play hostess that I did not get to take many pictures.
Congratulations again to Rachel & Nick. I am honored to have been a part of your wedding weekend celebrations.