Thursday, September 29, 2011

My undoing...

Just wanted to share a couple of things that might lead to my undoing....either in the size of my pants or the size of my bank account.:)

First of all my throwback favorite these days is a Twix candy bar.

I mean seriously. Is there anything much better than taking that bite and then watching as the caramel forms a thin string between the remaining bar in your fingers and the bite in your mouth?

So good.

Next on my list is the Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Frappaccino (pause for a moment...just to give respect to the goodness).

I really don't have words.

Try it and you'll see.

(A special thank you to my sweet friend who got me a Starbucks gift card for my birthday! I am still using it! Uh....actually I have one more purchase and I bet you can guess what it will be!?! It was a wonderful gift and I have loved using it for special treats!)

Monday, September 26, 2011


One of the reasons I enjoyed going on a mission trip this past summer was because I got to be immersed in a place with LESS.

Less food.
Less comfort.
Less ease.
Less materials.

Never have I been more aware of the state I constantly live in at home: MORE!

Everyone I know...including me....wants more.

I am not so sure that this is a bad thing, in and of itself.

We start going downhill when we want more stuff.

My bible study this week has honed in on the concept of "more" a good way.

When we get a taste of something good. We want more.

I believe God gave this to us.

However, He should be the bottomless well that we are drawing our "more" from.

His mercies never end.
He lacks nothing.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Listen to some of the portions from my study and see how they hit ya:

"He (God) calls us to the ongoing act of believing. For many of us the act of belief that secures our salvation is past tense and complete. We have already trusted Christ for salvation. We are now and forever secured, but tragically, too many live in past-tense belief, believing God for little more from that time forward."

"Is the scope of your belief in Christ in the past-tense security of salvation, or are you in the active, ongoing lifestyle of believing Christ? Are we simply nouns-believers? Or are we also verbs-believing?"

There are certain prayers that God will always answer on our behalf.

When we ask for more of the right things....He turns on the faucet and lets it rip!

More of Him.
More faith.
More mercy.
More hope.
More love.
More grace.
More forgiveness.
More goodness.
More kindness.
More wisdom.
More understanding.
More self-control.

Is there anything in your life that more of these wouldn't help?!?

Me neither.

Oh Lord, less of us and more of You. Thank you for knowing and creating us with a thirst for abundance. Let us crave and thirst for MORE of the right things. Everything else is an illusion to satisfy. Only You quench the inner desires and only You can give without running we love You!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How They Roll

Two Saturdays ago (when I was gone to the Women's conference) Ava decided to ride her little bike.

It is almost too little for her.

(Maybe Santa will catch that hint for Christmas:)

But she literally picked up the bike, figured out the balancing thing for herself and the rest has been history.

We have spent a lot of time the past two weeks hanging out in our cul-de-sac. We live at the end of the neighborhood so we don't have a lot of traffic coming through. Ava can pedal away. Zeke tries to keep up with her on his little tricycle.

Caroline and I sit together and watch the show and the smiles.

Not liking to be outdone....Caroline and I sometimes race them in her chair. We win!!

But I just love the joy of the whole experience.
Being outside.
A fall breeze blowing in the trees.
Smiles plastered on dirty little faces.

She will whiz past me and yell...."Mom, this is so much fun!"

I remember.

There is just something about that freedom of pedaling yourself, propelling forward and going (within limits) where you want to go.

I had to add this last one.....for anyone who has the awesome privilege of knowing my husband.

Are you surprised at all?!?

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Courage Ran Away..

Zeke and I were browsing through the fruit section in our local Ingles grocery store.

As we rounded a corner, I noticed a young guy pushing a buggy with a little girl in it. There wasn't anything that stood out about him per se. It was the shirt he was wearing.

It was solid black and in the middle was a bold red cross. A white "X" slashed over the cross and the message underneath read, "Bad Religion".

I was awe-struck. Dumb-founded. I couldn't move momentarily. Finally I noticed I was gaping at him and urged myself to stumble forward.

How could someone have such an offense toward something that purchased freedom for so many?

I have kicked myself a hundred times already for not praying immediately and asking for help. Right then. Right there.

I feel sure that God wanted me to kindly approach this young man and say something like, "Excuse me. May I ask you about the meaning of your shirt?"

God may have just wanted me to listen to his reply and move on.

But I bet the young man would've asked me why I asked him about it or maybe not?

But if he had (and I'll never know now) I would have been able to tell him..

"That cross on your shirt has been my saving grace. It represents ALL that God went through to save me. Nothing about it is religious to me. That is too impersonal. No~ that cross means life, forgiveness, pardon, mercy, newness, restoration, healing, grace and hope. I know from my own experience. That cross gives me a DO-OVER every single day. I just hate it that someone or something has demeaned it for you. See for yourself. Seek the man who hung on that cross."

That was what I would have said......what I should have said.

1 Corinthians 1:18 " For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Helton Double Dip

Are these two precious girls a "hot mess" or what?!?

They are growing up....too fast.

They crack me up.
They warm my heart.
They teach me truths.
They break down walls.
They open my eyes.

They are worth every laugh line, gray hair, and stretch mark I have gained to have them!

On October 16th (hopefully) they will celebrate a pretty huge milestone~ together.

I posted a while back(summer) that Ava and Caroline both accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

They want to proceed with the next step to acknowledge to everyone that they love Jesus and He is their Lord.

Their faith is so precious. I believe God's heart swells at the sight of those he formed in the womb learning to trust Him at such an early age.

Shep and I have prayed that God would draw them early to establish a foundation of love, trust and faith in Him.

So many pitfalls of life can be avoided when we learn to let Jesus be our best friend from the very start.

We are so excited for this event. It will be at Cartersville First Baptist at the 10:30 service. Anyone (especially those of you who have walked this journey with us) is welcome to come and be a part of our family on this day.

I will finish with this.

After we had Caroline and half-way adjusted to life with a very disabled child(years later), we desperately wanted another child.

Many people told us not to proceed in that way. There were a litany of reasons:

It would be too hard.
We weren't ready.
It wouldn't be fair to Caroline.
How would we handle it?
The demands would out weigh the benefits.

But still God said.....Proceed.

By far the very best gift I could have given Caroline, Shep or myself was Ava Ruth Helton.

She was the light in what had been a long dark tunnel.

We were all enamored and taken with her bouncing curls and easy personality. She motivated Caroline like no one else could.....and God knew that.

I love knowing that God used Ava to open the door for Caroline's salvation.

Through our conversations with Ava....we have seen Caroline's reactions and interest. She has let us know through her expressions, modified sign language and enthusiasm that she is on board. What a sweet thing for sisters to share!

Matthew 19:14
but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

To know and be known

Knowledge is power.

That is a popular mantra but it is also true.

Think about the things you KNOW.

I know that a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut is going to melt in my mouth.
I know that Shep's eyes find me whenever I walk into a room.
I know how my children smell and what they love.
I know how good a hot bath can make me feel.
I know now what a real friend is.
I know that every Goodwill store has a treasure for me to find.
I know that I pay too much for Starbucks coffee.
I know that walking into a super Target makes my heart beat faster.
I know that singing praises awakens my soul and satisfies a deep desire.
I know that God's Word can heal the broken places in my heart and mind.
I know that He hears me when I call.
I know that hiding His Word in my heart gives me strength beyond measure.

How do I know??

I know each of these things because I live and breathe them. Doing over and over becomes knowing.

Something else I love is being known to people.

I don't mean this is in the sense of popularity at all. I mean that I love really being known to a select few.

Those who have weathered the time-tests and have proven faithful, trustworthy, and true.

I love that I am known (really) to just a handful of people.

I am known as a wife.
I am known as a mommy to three pretty cool kids.
I am known as best friend.
I am known as a secret keeper.
I am known as an accountability partner.
I am known as an encourager.
I am known as a daughter.
I am known as a sister.
I am known as an intercessor.
I am known as a teacher.
I am known as a singer.
I am known as a desperate God chaser.

But there is One who usurps all others.

I am known to the great I AM.

I am fully known by Him.

Every desire. Every hideous sin. Every thought. Every tear. Every heartache. Every ugly motive. Every belly laugh. Every hair on my head. Every wrinkle. Every hope. Every tear. Every shaky step of faith.

I am known....

Ps. 25:14 " The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them."

Ps. 119:168 " I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you."

1 Cor. 8:3 " But the man (or woman) who loves God is known by God."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Sin

I went to a local church today and joined with thousands of other women by way of a simulcast to worship and be taught by Beth Moore.

Let's be serious....God had a lot to say to me. He just used Mrs. Moore as his mouthpiece.

My mind swirls with the knowledge and revelation that these ears were privy to today. I pray that God uses the soft soil in my heart today to plant many seeds of wisdom and understanding. Goodness knows I will need them in days to come. Any woman trying to fall in line with the demands of this life is sure to need all the help she can get.

Anyway, I hope to share more as God hashes it out with me in the days to come.

As the morning began we started out singing praises to God.

Something happened.

My heart and the sin that resides there was exposed.

God flat called it out.


I have been a worrying, cynical, doubting, jealous, and angry mess for the past few weeks. Not that most of you would notice, mind you. I am as good as the next girl at dressing it up to look cute. Normal even. But just under the surface lies a bunch of brooding issues that I stay content to keep at a low boil.

The more I sang about the greatness of my God and all of His attributes, I was amazed at how BIG He became and how small these other things really are.

The truth is He is never small. My perspective just gets thwarted. I start believing what I feel instead of what I know. Then my mind follows the leading of my ever-wandering heart and I stay defeated.

Needless to say, I repented. And fast.

Instantly I was caught up with His scandalous love for me and I was undone and overwhelmed. My praise was effortless and I felt like I could have done it for a thousand years and it still wouldn't have been enough.

How is it that my sin doesn't keep Him away?

I keep Him away by refusing to deal with my stuff.

He knew I would have a blast worshiping Him and He also knew that I couldn't do it half-way. I had to be right in my heart for it to really be meaningful.

What a God!
What a Savior!
What a Friend!

As we sang one of my favorite songs I was reminded anew of why these past few weeks have seemed like I was smothering under quick sand.

"On Christ the soild rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand."

He alone is solid enough for me to stand upon.

Everything else will leave me sinking into pits of depression and fear.

What are you standing on today?!?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Just a tiny detail...

So today Zeke and I had to run some errands.

We left bible study. (so good today)

We got to have lunch with two good-looking men. (my man and my daddy)

Then we headed off to the local Wal-Mart. I seriously think my head begins to pound as soon as we pull in and begin the process of looking for a parking place.

After only an hour....we left there and headed to the Dollar Tree. (because, of course, we still needed a few things)

Upon leaving the Dollar Tree, we headed into Sally Beauty Supply. In case you are wondering what I could possibly need there...I will tell you. Hair nets. They do the trick for holding a bun in place for Ava during ballet class.

I must interject and tell you that Zeke has been a great sport. We have only had to detour to the potty once and so far, at least, we were "spanking" free.

Being unfamiliar with the store I had to look around to find the hair nets. Then I had to discuss the different options with the clerk. As I am getting my information and trying to pay...Zeke has decided to peruse the free-standing product table. There are a few other women standing in line behind me. All of a sudden I hear....

"Hey mommy. It's you. Look at your picture, mommy!"

Knowing there is no photo of me in this store. I pause from my conversation with the clerk, turn my head (along with the women behind me) and see what Zeke has found to remind him of me.

On a box is a picture of a pretty young woman. She has a big smile and lots of dark curly hair. A defining feature is that she is African American.

Of course, I am not.

The other women get a kick out of my 3 year old's observation. I already see the makings of a little man who needs to pay more attention to detail.


This little boy is with me every single day. He kisses my face. He sits in my lap. He wakes up to my face and goes to bed with my snuggles.

How could he miss this tiny little detail????

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Ever wish you could just wear a sign that said, "Do not disturb. This person is experiencing technical difficulties. The problem should be resolved soon and they will be in working order shortly."

That is the sign I would wear today. Maybe for a few days....:)

It seems like everything in our world can break down. If a computer gets will freeze up. If a refrigerator, washing machine, or microwave has put in enough eventually wears out. Clothes break down and become threadbare after too many wears and washes.

If left to our own pitiful selves....we will do the same thing.

Shut down.
Break down.
Give out.

The Christian life has to be intentional. It must be lived according to faith. Faith accepts what can't be seen.

When I settle for what I see.....I lose heart. I feel terrible. I literally start to waste away.

2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

Oh God. Hit the refresh button in my life. I feel like I am one step away from overload and exhaustion. Please renew me from the inside out. I need a fresh perspective. Your Word brings life and healing. I know this is true. I know where You found me and where You have taken me. I am thankful for the ways You have worked. I just want to see the waters stirring again. Help me to be intentional in my walk with You. Help me to live focused on eternity.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On a lighter note...

My posts last week were pretty intense.

So....I decided not to say much at all and give glimpses of the little people who high light my days the most.

The one person obviously missing from these pictures is my handsome husband.

Just know...He is my favorite person on earth. Although he tends to shy away from photo opportunities.