insights from a daughter of the King, teacher, farmer's wife, and Mommy


from passover to communion

we piled around the table
to hear the story
the Passover
the bitter herbs for slavery
the lamb for sacrifice
their faces nodded
their ears listened
these lives we have been allowed to borrow from Him
this story of Easter that we get to share
thousands of years ago
Jesus sat around with his best friends and family
knowing that the days ahead were going to be hard and ugly
filled with betrayal and sorrow and pain
but it wasn't going to be the end
there was hope at the end of the darkness
the next day he was going to face a hardship we can't begin to understand
and through this death we are allowed Communion
eternal communion with a living Savior
because hardship, betrayal, sorrow, pain, not even death
would stop our Lord from being our sacrifice
even though we didn't deserve it and we could never earn it
it was a sacrifice only He could provide
Thank You, Lord

from our family 
may you and yours have a truly blessed Easter!!


when you live to be 95

yesterday we celebrated my great grandmother's 95 birthday
she was born April 6, 1919 in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia
she was one of 10 children, 6 sisters, 3 brothers
she worked in coal mines and married a coal miner
she taught me that you can grow anything on any kinda soil
and it doesn't matter if there is a hill
and there is no limit to things that can be canned 
she came to visit me right after we moved in to our house and I was so excited to show her my garden
matthew had built up a plot behind our house so it was level
she looked at it nodded and said "you too good to plant on the hill"
she's honest and gritty
she lived through the great depression and WWII
she lived when there wasn't a great depression but things were still hard
she works hard
but she still has a smile on her face and the most genuine laugh you have ever heard
on this past Saturday, the day before she turned 95, she was baptized

could be my favorite picture of all time
photo credit: nancy shupe

in the hills of Virginia
in the 20 degree creek water
she was washed clean
95 years old
and again she taught me
that it doesn't matter how old you are
it doesn't matter where you been or what you've done
Jesus will wash you clean
may I live to be half the woman she is
what will people say about you when live to be 95?
lovely linkys
Hear it on a Sunday


Lessons from March 2014

1.  It might snow.  It might not.

2.  Time change always kicks my butt.  But I seem to forget every year. 

3.  Legofest = awesomeness.....if it comes near you go!


4.   Celebrate birthdays!

5.  Spring is coming......get ready now.

5.  Silence is golden.
6.  People will hurt you, sometimes more than once, forgive them anyway.
7.  I take way too many pictures with my phone.
8.  Little kids bowling shoes make you go....awwwww, how cute!
9.   Take a hike.  Don't be ashamed to stop for breathers.  It is always worth it when you get to the top.
10.  Set goals.  Don't stop till reach them.
11.  Set new goals.  Get to work!


on being half dressed

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:10 - 17

I pretty sure I leave some of my accessories in the closet most mornings.
Walking into the day half dressed and not at all ready to face the world.
I go into battle unprepared and God has to bail me out....every time.
I fall for these schemes of the devil over and over and over.


I believe the lies

"you aren't good enough"
"you aren't pretty enough"
"things will not work out"
"He won't take care of you"

And when I know that I failed the most is when I forget that there is even a battle going on and I get caught up in the failing promises of this world. 
All armor is lost and I stand bare and vulnerable, lost in a hopeless place. 

But His grace always, without fail, finds me.

How do you combat the schemes of the devil?  Do you wear your full armor?


called for His purpose

And we know that to them 

that love God

all things work

together for good,

even to them that

are called according to his purpose.

Every day has a purpose......
there is hope at the end of the winter
there is love in the faces around you
there is beauty in the simple moments of life
there is purpose in you, every day


giving up or just giving

this idea of lent was new to me in college
as my college roommate gave up cheese and I thought she was crazy (love you, Martha)
But the more I've learned about Lent, the more I love it
Why wouldn't you want to be closer to God, closer to Jesus
Why wouldn't you want to prepare for Easter
I don't know that I have ever been prepared for Easter
It gets me every time
cold chills and tears
He gave his life for ME! for ME! 
He took those beatings and hung on that cross for me....
I'm never ready for that

I have tried to give up Mountain 5 years....and I failed over and over
But this year I have really thought about what to give up and what it means to give up something for more than just Fat Tuesday, for some months actually
and the idea that whatever I gave up needed to be about Him and not me
maybe I should give up Facebook (because I spend way too much time there)
maybe I should give up my Kindle (because I read way too many books)
maybe we should all give up tv.....(is this supposed to be a punishment)
maybe I should give up meat.....(????)
maybe I should give up coffee (that thought doesn't last one would like me then)

what keeps me from God?
what stands in my way of worship?
what stands in my families way?

what if its not about giving up but just giving
giving Him glory
giving Him worship
giving Him conversation
giving Him time

giving others grace
giving others forgiveness
giving others Jesus

so for the next 40 days
i'm just giving.....stuff, love, time, forgiveness, whatever God ask of me
isn't that what He did
He didn't give up anything
He was just giving........

"When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”" Matthew 27:5




last night we had birthday cake ice cream after supper and it was nobody's birthday
this week we have went outside to talk to a sweet miniature donkey
Displaying photo.JPGplayed mandolin at 6:30am
read a Dr. Seuss book every night
cheered for the Wolfpack against the ugly blue team
not given up on giving up the pacifier
celebrated the 100th day of school
eat supper at the table

each minute we choose

to live each day to the fullest
Displaying photo.JPGto love animals
to do what you love 
to read
to have morals ;)
Displaying photo.JPGto be persistent
to value education
to spend time with your family

each minute we choose
right or wrong
good or bad
the world or Him

what are we teaching our children, when we choose..............

Displaying photo.JPG


what we can learn from snow

these are they days they will talk about for years
they will tell their kids
and their kids will tell their kids
and statements like "it just doesn't snow like it did when i was a kid will be made"

but what makes it so magical
what makes us feel like a kid inside
that you sled down a hill
and work extra building a snowman
what makes us sit at the windows 
in awe of the scene before our eyes

God lays a blanket over the earth 
and we can't help but curl up and feel His warmth
He teaches us that we aren't in control
that we have to come to Him
we will have to ask for help sometimes
 He can give us anything!
even 14 inches of snow

He teaches us to rely on one another
and that when we have the resources we help others
thanks to those who scraped someone else's driveway
thanks to those who checked on a neighbor
thanks to those who called a friend
thanks to those who pulled someone out of a ditch 
thanks to those who took someone home
thanks to those who worked and to those who stayed at home
God had a hand in all of it

when the sun comes back out
help us not forget 
God is in control
and we should treat each day, each moment, each lesson
in awe of His great works
serving Him and serving others in every way we can


if you have a minute

if you need a good laugh...
like way down deep in the belly laugh

if you need to know someone is watching and what you are doing matters (thanks for sharing Jamie)

When Mothering is Hard and No One Sees | Faith and Composition

if you need to feel a song in your heart and a smile on your face

if you want to know the verse that spoke to my heart this week and you your self need hope in Scripture

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

{i just love that phrase God-breathed}

anything made you laugh, cry, smile, rejoice lately??


a hero to me

a story was told of a man the other day
that called up his sister around midnight
back when no one called past eight
his nephew answered the phone 
his uncle says go wake your mom and dad
i need some money
the nephew let a few days pass
but he couldn't take it any longer
he said uncle why'd you need that money
the man said a man at work had been arrested
and i had to get him out, he has 3 kids, he needs to work
this man my grandpa, around 1965
after my grandparents passed away
and we were cleaning
we found letters my grandma had sent to judges
for a family friend to get custody of his children
i learned that they let a man live on the porch because he was homeless
even though they had four kids
i had witnessed my grandpa pick up strangers on the side of the road 
and give money to smelly, dirty people
he made and took fruit baskets to every widow and shut in in the community
no matter their color or religion
even when he had no money himself and couldn't see, much less drive
no he isn't going to have a monument made for him
or a movie
but he will always be my hero

writing for 5 minutes today on hero with Lisa Jo


the risks that keep on going #RiskRejection

let me take you back to the beginning  
my friend, Amy, has this great idea for us to take the plunge so to speak
and risk it for the goals we have been putting off
so i did

my three risks

run - as i sit typing my legs are aching, i have been running three times a week.  my first 5k is March 8 and i'm so excited.  it is honor of my sweet jude

money - the tastefully simple boxes are open.  my first party is Feb 9 and i'm nervous.  but i think it is going to be a good thing.  once i get my website up and going, i'll be advertising on here and you can order right there from you seat and it will come right to your door :) go start looking through the catalog

missions - i must be honest and say this one is kinda a fail.  i didn't talk to the people i had in my mind i wanted to mission to, but i did mission to some unexpectedly and learned that the risk that aren't prepared for, may leave you the most rejected 

so there you have it, the best thing about these risks is that even though this challenge was for one month, these risks are pretty much for forever

january has been busy, looking forward to february!


snippets of my sunday

pancakes at the table with my family of four 
sun blazing in the window to floor
running sound for the men
as they delivered the Word through music and words
remembrance of my grandfather and the way that he loved
how serving those next door is as important as those you don't know
laughter around the lunch table at the local steak house
with all 11 of my family gathered for lunch
picking on my brother about his shirt
that looks like it goes on a 8 year old 
not a big ol' boy
searching the part stores for an engine warmer 
so the tractors will crank and the work can be done
chili beans cooking on the stove
with cornbread fixed by my favorite son
back at our table forced to sit and talk and eat 
for 20 whole minutes without getting up 
serenaded by the mandolin while i washed the dishes 
and counted the blessings
and prayed for the week
and thought to myself
i don't know what i did Lord to deserve all of this 
but thank you for the blessings that i so often miss



when did we lose the art of visiting
it seems now we only call if we need something
we would never stop by someones house without notice
the thought of someone stopping by our house is horrifying
because they will probably find it dirty
as i child i remember going to visit people

but only a few times as an adult have i practiced this old act of kindness
because i'm too busy
because i don't want to intrude
because what will i do with my children

but the few times i have 
it has been a blessing to myself and the person i stopped to visit
because it takes time
it makes someone feel important
you get to say "i didn't come to see your house, i came to see you"

when was the last time you "visited"?

writing today for five minutes with Lisa Jo @ FMF


selfies and boxes #RiskRejection

RISK - a selfie after 20 minutes on the elliptical

jello legs
a small step in a giant battle
my kids pulled up their bean bags and watched 

RISK - opening the boxes that begin a new business

whose idea was this
who has time for this
after my week at school
i think i might have had a momentary moment of insanity


the thing about risk #riskrejection

the nervousness pulls at your stomach
it makes your heart beat faster
it makes you question decisions made in your life, relevant or not
but i conquered the nerves and hit the enter button
and now i wait
and wait i did, but not very long
the email came

Welcome to Tastefully Simple

and just like that i had conquered part of my risk

but i didn't know the risk that lay ahead that day
that's the thing about risk and life
some of it is planned for, some of it is avoided, 
and some of it comes out of no where
sideswiping you and knocking you off your feet
but you have to risk it
risk reputations, relationships, and reward
because this life is precious and worth it

i beg you to risk truth


my risks

run.....yep this is what i look like when i run....i turn red and people say "what's wrong with you?"  and i have to say nothing, i'm just red.   some people are white, black, brown, but me...i'm red.  i'm overweight.  it's ok to talk about, i know i am.  and in the last 2 months when i've said i'm going to run a 5k in march, i've got funny looks and "really?" and it's ok. rejection is motivation.  i'm going to complete a 5k in march.

money.....nobody wants to talk about money, whether you have it or you don't have it.  but the truth of the matter is, moneys hard.  it's stressful, it keeps you up at night.  for 2 years i've prayed about this, this way to make money so i can have savings and have more moeny to help others and have less stress about money.  so i'm going in.

missons.....all in's easy to plan for a mission event and to go to a church and talk about it because it's expected....but when you bring up Jesus with your co-workers, with your friends, with your family as more than "yeah I go to church, yeah I helped with that basketball camp" as if He's more than just that guy that you spend some time with in the summer and on sundays.  if you get deep and say "what do you believe" "how do you worship Jesus" and you don't walk away when the conversation gets heavy and the statements are made "yeah, i think there are lots of ways to get to heaven."  you stick it out, you stand up and be who you say you are.  
that's risking it all for Him

pray for me


risk pep talk {mostly for me}

are you scared or are you nervous about taking a risk?

do you think Jesus was scared or nervous His whole life?

His whole life was a risk.  
A risk God had to take. 
The only way, the only truth, and the only life, he says.

Why do we avoid Him and the risk He lays out for us? 
When he clearly tells us I am with you. (Joshua 1:9)  
I got you, He says.  
But there we stand a yellow bellied chicken, the kid at the end of the diving board, peering over the edge.

Saying I don't know, Lord.  
I can't do it. 
I can't do it.  
I don't have enough money.
I don't have enough time.
What will other's think?
What if something goes wrong?
What about my family?
What if....
I don't know. {shakes head}
I can't.

Meanwhile, the heavenly hands are waiting just over the edge. 
Pleading, I got you. 
I promise.  

Risk it.

And who is he that will harm you, if ye be zealous of that which is good?
But even if ye should suffer for righteousness' sake, blessed are ye: and fear not their fear, neither be troubled; 
1 Peter 3:13-14

even if you fail
I got you, He repeats over and over and over.

lovely linky
Jen @ Finding Heaven




one word to sum it all up......

r i s k

i don't think i really got to pick my word this year, it sort of was given to me

with an email from Amy 
with my family over new year's dinner playing blackjack
with Jon Acuff's 30 day's of hustle
with the dream of running for an angel
with a proposition and a fortune cookie

risk it
risk it all
risk it all for ?
risk it all for Him

If clouds are full of water,

    they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where it falls, there it will lie.

Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
    whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the path of the wind,

    or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.

Sow your seed in the morning,

    and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
    whether this or that,
    or whether both will do equally well.

Ecclesiastes 11:3-6


2013 in review


January 2013
December 2013

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us—

so that your ways may be known on earth,

    your salvation among all nations.


May the peoples praise you, God;

    may all the peoples praise you.

 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,

    for you rule the peoples with equity

    and guide the nations of the earth.

 May the peoples praise you, God;

    may all the peoples praise you.

 The land yields its harvest;

    God, our God, blesses us.

 May God bless us still,

    so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Psalm 67:1-7

thank you 2013 for all you blessings

birthdays, babies, laughter, memories.....2013 held His presence, grace, and mercy

Here's to 2014 may we risk it all for you, Lord!

looking back at 2012 and 2011

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