Friday, September 30, 2011

random day. random stuff. i love random.

this cute little award was passed on from sweet nicole to me! and i get to pass it on to seven buddies!

1. i'm a quiet girl {even around my family sometimes} but i love to compete in public speaking competitions

2. i'm a country girl :)

3. i have been to jamaica for mission trips with my church about six times, the first when i was ten

4. i love this (my!) family

5. once i took a picture with roadkill when my sis and i were riding our horses by the county road {some people think that's funny, maybe some gross. you're your own person. *wink*}

6. i love the lads to leaders\leaderettes leadership program!

7.  i used to rodeo (barrel racing, pole bending, rodeo queen competitions)

8.  one year i was the little boots rodeo queen

9. i've met mike huckabee and first lady barbara bush in person! :)
thanks nicole! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

the country mall.

Hands have been shaken, backs have been jovially slapped, a tired soul has rested his self there after a hot day in the field. Jokes have been swapped, new neighbors have been informally introduced, a kind word or even a reproving one has been uttered from this spot. Hunting stories are shared, football predictions and after-game discussions are a ritual here. The latest community gossip can always be heard, as can also weather forecasts and how well area gardens are faring. Coffee has been sipped, as well as spilled, but this ole perch never complains.

Its black rustic, metal frame has been placed there in the same spot for these past twelve years I’ve lived in this country community. Never once have I seen it moved from that exact spot in front of the counter. The paint may be peeling, the cushion may have stains and lost its fluff, but that black stool is a favorite spot of any local to take a load of their feet or a trouble off their mind. You can count on Ms. Betty or Ms. Sharon being behind that counter with a listening ear or a hearty laugh. You can count on a point-of-view exclaimed too as the stool sits often silent with an occasional squeak.

People may come and go and the store may close for the night, but you can always count on that old black stool to welcome you when you come in for coffee at the break of dawn or in the morning light.

wish i had a picture of the stool! pictures of the country "mall" where the stool calls home is the best i could do.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

ditched the phone

{my mom}

i did it.

i went without texting (or turning on my phone, for that matter)... for a week.

this is huge.

this is front-headliner news.

major texter didn't text for a week.

i wasn't grounded. i wasn't in trouble. i did it because i wanted to. just to prove to myself that i could do it. that i could make it happen. my family didn't even know i was doing it.

and you know what?

it felt good.

sure, i was bored (at times). sure, i missed texting my buds. sure, there were times when i felt like pushing that button to turn it on. but i didn't.

instead of texting... i read. while riding in the truck, looked out the window. went outside. waited to talk to the person until the next time i saw them, like at church. talked to my family. rode the horse. wrote a lot. earned money. played card games with the family. honed my driving skills by driving the truck around town with mom in the passenger seat. worked on my 'gifts from God' list. focused on one thing at a time and tried to live in the moment.

this was all good stuff. and i had been missing it most days because i had been zoned in on my phone. tapping my lil' fingers away... talking about stuff that didn't really matter. wasting time.

"i should do this more often."
i hear of people ripping themselves away from tv, sweets, fast food, computers and the like. next time, i think i'll try taking a break from the internet for a week. or the whole computer, for that matter. {then again, maybe i should take baby steps to wean myself away... start with email, then blogger, then the whole sha-bang.}

or maybe i'll ditch caffeine for the week. that would be epic. {but definitely couldn't ditch internet and caffeine the same week... that would be disastrous. i'd probably be one, big monster.}

because life's too short to be best friends with your stuff... and miss what's important.

{two sweet buddies}

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

nat and mem

she's blonde. i'm brunette.

she likes macdonald's. i like zaxby's. (*she did too after eating there for the first time when we went together. i also gained a greater appreciation for macdonalds from her!*)

she's sixteen. i'm seventeen.

we walk to class together. we sit together. we laugh together. we play games together. she wins at phase ten.

we share a hotel room at polishing the pulpit seminar. her mom and sister are there too. they invited me to stay with them. i stay with them for four days.

we listen to the lectures together. we take notes together. i flip the crispy pages of my Bible, she flips the Bible pages on her ipod. her pen is pink, mine is purple.

we run and race down the halls togther, even though the signs say not to. (shhh, don't tell the hotel staff.) we laugh some more together.

we stick together at the late night games with the teens. boys make eyes at her, we giggle... but mostly roll eyes. we stay up late too.

she's quiet. so am i. we talk though and are comfortable doing it. she's easy going. so am i. we understand each other.

her hair is straight. mine is curly. we both like sperry shoes. she likes to stay late at night in the hall and sing with the teens. so do i. we laugh tons more together.

she likes messenger bags. i do too. she likes tom's shoes. i do too.

she is kind to everyone. she is a buddy to everyone. she is a Godly example. she dresses modestly and cutely. i try to do these things, but sometimes fail. she loves her family.

she is shy, i am too. she is a Christian, i am too.

she lives in Kentucky. i live in Alabama.

her name is Natalie. mine is Memory.

i miss this buddy very much. she is very cool. <3

Friday, September 16, 2011

my greatest possesion

"Is he going to lead us in all the verses? "

"They’re not gonna come. "

don’t they come?"

There are people standing in this building right now who should be walking down that aisle and I ponder.. “Why aren’t they coming?”

Why should they? They live in the U.S. They have everything. What less do we expect?

Totally switch countries, cultures, and churches for a moment. You are in Highgate, Jamaica. As the Gospel invitation song is lead, and the roaring shout from the preacher echoes his sermon to encourage the last straggler, one comes down the aisle. Most of the time, many come down the aisle.

Why is it then, at home, when a lost soul comes down the aisle, it is so infrequent it puts us at a loss of what to do? Americans are spoiled. Myself included. We have too much. And then we complain about what we have. As I was sitting in church, I was listening to what was actually a really good lesson. But my mind began to wonder… I am really sleepy this morning… I am looking forward to taking a Sunday afternoon nap…I wonder what’s for lunch?

Then I suddenly remember what my Jamaican friends endure because of their eagerness to hear God’s Word. They walk long mountainous trails in their heels and their best Sunday dress to get to the church building. They sit on rock-hard wooden pews with no cushions, for at least two hours during the Sunday morning worship, excluding Bible class. Did I mention there is no air conditioning? Then, they have to walk back home with no expectation of a plentiful Sunday lunch.

They are some of the happiest people I have ever seen. And here I am, sitting in a cold air-conditioned building, with pews so soft I could take my nap, listening to a short 25 minute lesson. I forgot to mention, I rode to church in a spacious suburban. And I was complaining.

After six mission trips to Jamaica, I am finally seeing the light. Well, sort of. I have been given so much, but at times I am selfishly unhappy. The Jamaicans have been given very little in our eyes, but most times they are incredibly happy.

Why have I gotten it all wrong? Why am I just now beginning to start to see it? Why do I refuse to count my possessions and chose to beg for more? God has given me these possessions. Without Jesus Christ, I would have nothing, including Eternal Life… the best possession of all.

Next time I am in church, singing the invitation song along with others, I will pray that my non-Christian buddies will see that in eternity, they will have nothing- even though now they have everything. Because Christ is the only possession you can bring with you.
note: this article was published here last month

Thursday, September 15, 2011


i tried to pick my way more carefully as the rocks dug deep. the rocks piercing my bare heels reminded me of when sins try to dig their way deep into life. i kept walking, because i knew ahead there would be relief.

i came upon an even more rocky spot. the grass beside the road alured me... beckoned relief for my cracked feet. i remembered that He is our rest for our cracked faith when many pebble-problems are thrown our way.

the grass provided temporary relief before there was no grass and it was back to a wide driveway with packed dirt and the rocks. i am reminded that with Him, there is ever constant help... we never must worry that our help will run out as the grass had done. even when the rock tough-problems come, He is always there.

i come upon the gate. gracing a cowboy on his faithful horse-fleshed compainion, he is shown rounding up the cows. i unhook the chain and open it, reminding myself that He is the only gate-way into the full life.

ahead, i see sun gleaming on the rock-turned-to beachsand driveway. i remember that even though we may be going through a rocky time in life, there is always shining spots sent from God ahead.

Monday, September 12, 2011

my loved country life

I heave the hay bale from off the field onto the trailer pulled by the white Ford. It lands with a thud. I am content. Sweaty. Aching. Happy. Smiling. Looking for the next bale.
There’s a constant line of us picking up bales. Not a perfect line, but a line spaced far apart.
I am in rhythm.
I walk to hay bale. Stand by it… claiming it as my own. Wait for the truck with trailer creaking behind it to inch it’s way in front of me. I lace my gloved fingers under raw orange strings and pull. I amble to trailer and… thud... the bale is thrown by this girl near the waiting, but constantly working, hands of the stacker. The stacker rides on the trailer and places the bales into the most space saving position.
I repeat.
This is hay baling… or at least my small part in it. This is my summer. This is one of the things I live for in summertime. Hay baling is work. But it’s also rewarding. This is how I receive a discount on hay for my horses… by earning it working in the field.
After the field, the hay is pulled to a dark place. I love this place, just as much as I love the field.
It’s the barn.
The trailer loaded with hay so tall is backed into the narrow barn doors as far as possible.
Which isn’t very far.
A different rhythm begins. Pull bale off trailer.  Lug to stall stacked with hay. Throw down for the stacker. Repeat until the trailer is empty.
Then it’s back to the field.
This is dirty. This is glorious.
This is work. This is thrilling.
Oh this wonderful country life that I love!

note: this article was published in this magazine this summer

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Roll Tide y'all!

Friday, September 9, 2011

hope after the storm

I flip interestedly through the Rebuilding Our Tuscaloosa magazine. I study the pictures intensely and glance at a few of the articles of the local’s personal experiences with the tornado that ripped through their town of Tuscaloosa.
Not lingering for very long on any particular article, I continue turning the pages.
Until I come to this.

We remember the 43 people who died in Tuscaloosa county from the April 27 tornado

I pause and read the lengthy list below this bold heading – my heart flip flops.
It’s not any of the names that get me.
It’s the ages.
I pick out the youngest…
2 months.
(throat tightens)
Second to youngest…
8 months.
(heart lunges into throat)
The list continues with 15 months, 2 years, 3 years on up to age 95.

Two months.
Those words ring in my head.
Can you imagine only having your baby for sixty days and then having them ripped away from you by a tornado?
Which causes me to wonder…
What are they feeling this very moment? How is their life continuing?
Is their life continuing?... with hope?
Because I can’t fathom pinking up the shattered pieces of life after that. Praise God for His Promise in Luke 1:37. For nothing is impossible with God.

My prayers are with them.

(The rest of the list for Tuscaloosa...)

Minnie Acklin, 73, Tuscaloosa
Jeffrey Artis, 51, Tuscaloosa
Scott Atterton, 23, UA student from Bryant
Jennifer V. Bayode, 35, Tuscaloosa
Caiden Blair, 2 months
Michael Bowers, 3, Tuscaloosa
Loryn Alexandria Brown, 21, died Tuscaloosa, from Wetumpka
Mary Bryant, 43, Tuscaloosa
Hugh Graham Davie, 55, Tuscaloosa
Ta' Christianna Dixon, 8 months, Tuscaloosa
Danielle Downs, 24, Tuscaloosa
Arielle Edwards, 22, Tuscaloosa
Makayla S. Edwards, 5, Tuscaloosa
Melgium Farley, 58, Tuscaloosa
Cedria Harris, 8, Tuscaloosa
Keshun Harris, 5, Tuscaloosa
Ashley Harrison, 22 UA student from Dallas, Texas
Shena Hutchins, 26, Tuscaloosa/Rosedale
Carolyn Ann Jackson, 50, Tuscaloosa
Jacqueline Jefferson, 45, Tuscaloosa
Thelma May Bennett Krallman, 89, Tuscaloosa
Tennie Mozelle Lancaster, 95, Tuscaloosa
Davis Lynn Gordo Lathem, 57, Tuscaloosa
Velma T. Leroy, 64, Tuscaloosa
Dorothy Lewis, 61, Tuscaloosa
Thomas D. Lewis, 66, Tuscaloosa
Yvonne Mayes, 30s, Tuscaloosa
Christian A. McNeil, 15 months, Tuscaloosa
William Robert McPherson, 85, Forrest Lake
Zyquria McShan, 2, Tuscaloosa
Melanie Nicole Mixon, 21, UA student from Mulga
Perry Blake Peek, 24, Tuscaloosa
Lola Pitts, 85, Tuscaloosa
Terrilyn Plump, 37, Tuscaloosa
Kevin Rice, 36, Tuscaloosa
Annie Lois Humphries Sayer, 88, Tuscaloosa
Judy Darlene Rheams Sherrill, 62, Brookwood
Morgan Marlene Sigler, 23, UA student from Bryant
Marcus J. Smith, 21, Tuscaloosa
William Chance Stevens, 22, Tuscaloosa
Justin Leeric Thomas, 15, Tuscaloosa
Patricia Hodo Turner, 55, Tuscaloosa
Willie Lee (Trey) Turner III, 21, Tuscaloosa

For those of you who are not from around here, the town of Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama (UA).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

              This award is from my sis, Marli. She's really cool and I love her to pluto and back (I really mean it,  I'm not just saying that because she gave me this or she's my sister or anything).
Now for the technical seven things about myself and pass the award on to fifteen other bloggers...

1. I am am huge Alabama football fan (roll tide!)
2. Cornbread is my favorite food
3. My best bud is Marli, no joke. I honestly look forward to getting up in the mornings to spend the day with her
4. I am blessed to have been a Christian for nine years {and counting! :)}
5. I enjoy being in rodeos and we have two quarter horses (is that two things by one number?... cheating?? :0 )
6. Even though I'm a southern girl, i don't drink sweet tea... like, ever :\ (i'm not very proud of that fact. lol)
7. This is actually not my first blog... the sis and I shared one for a few months.

Okay y'all! Your turn! (:

marli (is that illegal to give the award back to the person who gave it to you?! lol)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

your daily thoughts

{i'm writing over here this month.}

did you know that the average person has over 10,000 thoughts a day? that’s about six different thoughts a minute! when i first heard this surprising statistic at polishing the pulpit, i jotted down a few of the thoughts i had that day: sadness for a group of girls walking in mcdonald’s immodestly dressed… a surprise phone call from a friend…what to say to a person after receiving a random text… what class do i choose?… do i look like i’m interested in the lesson?… is my hair in place?… did i just say the right thing?…am i paying attention and retaining what i’m learning in my daily Bible reading?… 
 what’s for lunch?… do i know that person?… i love her outfit… something smells good… i’m tired… are my clothes wrinkled?… does my hair look okay?… i sure do love this family i’m spending time with… my throat hurts… that’s beautiful singing… does my hair look flat? 
so what do you think about?

amazingly, (but probably not surprising to my fellow girlfriends out there!) the major thought that kept reoccurring to me throughout the day was centered on… my hair. (some of you dudes might be thinking… your hair?!) i encourage you to take a minute and put on paper a few of your thoughts you had throughout the day. afterward, pinpoint what thought seemed to reoccur most often. was it about your new shoes? what you were having for dinner? your adjustment to your new teachers at school? something you saw on tv? something your buddy said?

now, think about this. in contrast to all your thoughts, how many of them were on something spiritual? this particular day when i wrote my thoughts down at ptp, i probably thought a lot more on Godly things because of the people i was around and the lectures i was hearing. but what about every ordinary day?

should i just be thinking about Christ-related thoughts when i’m at church, while attending the youth group devotional or during conventions like ptp? consider this verse. set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2) is this verse conditional? does it specify to have your thoughts centered on Christ only when you are at a church-related functions? not at all. my takeaway from this verse is referring to all the time… 24/7.

if i began centering my thoughts more on Godly things, how do you think that would affect my actions? they would become more Godly too. i would serve more, speak less, have a humble spirit, consider others, readily obey, not easily angered… the list is endless.  so, let me encourage you to put more purposeful thought into “things above.” because ultimately, your thoughts propel you into action.