Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Ok girls and guys... I need your help! I am going to give away my first prize when I reach 100 followers. Share with your friends. Have them post that you sent them and I will enter your name 5 times for every person that you refer! The first prize is going to be great! Stay tuned to find out more!

Much Love!


Plans... I seem to make more than most. I plan vacations, trips to doctors, field trips, women's conferences, lessons, classes, my day, my lunch... you get the point. So, needless to say, when my plans are thwarted it tends to wreck my day. I get serious, begin making alternate plans, and generally have my knickers in a twist or drawers in a roar(whichever nifty saying you prefer).

For the past week, I have had a headache, mild chest pain, and nausea. I thought perhaps my thyroid was out of whack again or maybe I needed something for my reflux or as a last resort I needed something for anxiety. I was really betting on the thyroid since it has been out of whack for the last two years. Anyways, Wednesday night it peaked and I had to go to bed when I needed be cooking for our youth group. I realized I needed to do something about it, so I began to devise a plan. I had a huge parent meeting on Thursday night, Harry(our exchange student) was going back, Michaela had a game to cheer, and I had no time after school to go to the doctor. I had to begin to find a sub, get lesson plans to the school and a student list printed out for the sub, then I needed to get the forms for the meeting to Kellie for copying, and let her know I would be out. It came together easily, so I knew I needed to take this day to go to the doctor.

The next day, I got up early to head to the local doctor's urgent care where I had planned to be for the next 2-3 hours leaving me plenty of time to get subway for Michaela for lunch and spend a little time with Harry before he left. Upon arrival to the urgent care I signed in expecting about a 30 minute wait. After 35 minutes, they take me back and tell me that I have to go to the ER due to the chest pains. I have not one of my finer moments with the nurse and leave completely irritated that something so simple was going to take me to the ER(Not one of my favorite places on any day).

I call my husband and he urges me to do what the doctor says. I am, in my mind, reworking my well planned day and beginning to see that I might can fit the ER in my plans as long as it doesn't take more than 2 hours. It shouldn't because they are sending me there with nothing wrong and I have to say chest pains which always gets the ER pumping. Sure. It will fit. Inconveniently... but it will fit. So off to the ER I go. Needless to say that day did not go as planned. I went in, they made me stay overnight and the next day a heart cath. All plans thwarted! My heart is perfect as the doc said. I told him I had a good one before he ever started! If only he had listened... If only I had prayed that morning.

Lesson learned here? Before you make plans for your day, make sure you take your time with the Lord. Pray before you plan. Proverb 16:1-3, 9

Much Love!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Where do I go?

Lately, it seems that all doors are closing. I'm not sure why, but none the less they are closing. One by one. Doors that I have waited to walk through and some that I walked through, but now must walk out of... closed. I am in a hallway with door after door slamming shut...

When I was just 13 years old, I realized that God had a plan for my life. I feared deeply that it would be a mission field somewhere in Africa. My guess is someday I will end up there briefly because God definitely has a sense of humor! I digress. At any rate, I knew there was a plan. There was a feeling deep down inside that told me I was created for a purpose. Eventually, when I outgrew my egocentric self a bit, I realized He has a purpose for everyone. 

While on my path of rebellion, shame, guilt and pain, I heard Him clearly calling to me to get back on that path of obedience so that I could fulfill that purpose. One Sunday morning I got up, dressed my little boy and headed down that path. I literally got in the car with no particular place in mind and drove. I passed a church where the people were just going in to service and I pulled in. I sat in the pew in the back and repented. I have no idea what the choir sang or the preacher preached, but I can tell you for sure that was the day things changed. 

In a matter of months, I was back in college and met my man(again!). We were married 2 months later and my adventure kicked in high gear. There were 3 children between us and within 3 years there were 4. I was a mom, wife and active church member of our local church(the one I just happened to walk into one Sunday morning). I loved VBS, children's choir and all that it entailed. The Lord moved us to Georgia and began to tug at my heart about working with women at church. I didn't even know there was a name for it at that point, but after a visit to our pastor's office I knew it was exactly where I needed to be. We started a Women's Ministry at our church and it grew quickly. It was fun, fulfilling, many times trying, but above all it was my "spot". I was comfortable and enjoying my "spot" right up until my world was dumped on its head. 

My hunny was deployed and then he returned 14 months later. He felt we needed to move back to Alabama and I was learning a new word... submission. So we moved back and he wanted to go to the church I grew up in. I wasn't happy, but remember that new word from God's Word... submission. I felt very lost. I left behind dear friends, coworkers and family that I came to know and love during those years in Georgia. There was no place for me in this church. The women had a director. I searched for a new place. I even worked at creating a way to connect people to the things they wanted to do, but it just didn't work. 

So here I sit... 4 years later... awake at midnight... cannot sleep... cannot stop wondering what is going on. Where do I go from here? What is it that I am suppose to do? My mom used to always tell me that I couldn't save the world. I would laugh and tell her that I most certainly could! I would drag entire families home for dinner or strangers I met in the campground. I was all of 5 at this time. There were hungry people and we had food. Problem solved... right?! As a mom, now I get why she wasn't exactly ecstatic at the idea of 1-5 more people spontaneously for dinner! 

Today, I am not feeling that way. I am feeling very much that I cannot save the world or even my corner of it. As discouragement creeps in  and my eyes fill with tears, I know that I am not really anyone's savior so please don't misconstrue my words. Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior. I just love Him so much and want to share Him with the world, so that they might love Him too. I just don't have a door to walk through to do that... or even a window to crawl out of or even the light from the crack in the next door. 

I read a picture on facebook that said learn to praise him in the hallway while you wait on the door to open. Here I stand in the hallway. Waiting on the Holy God to open a door, illuminate the next tile in this journey I am on, or to feel the breeze creeping in under the window sill as it begins to crack. I feel alone. I feel like there is no use for me. I feel like I am spinning my wheels. I am so glad that I don't have to depend on my feelings, but that I can depend on God's Word. Because no matter how I feel... His Word says he has a plan(Jer. 29:11). I can do whatever He has for me(Phil 4:13). He loves me(John 3:16). He is here with me(Matt 28:20). No matter how I feel... His Word>how I feel!

Much Love! 

Monday, October 21, 2013


I bet you are wondering what in the world I am going to say about Elmo today. Well I am not going to talk about the lovable, ever so red, fuzzy little character on Sesame Street. No. There is another Elmo out there in the world... well at least there is in my world! His name is not really Elmo, but everyone calls him Elmo just the same. Elmo is a part of our Celebrate Recovery leadership team. Often he gets up and says, "Hi. I am Elmo and I have been delivered from Elmo." It is usually met with a round of laughter as is many of the things he says. He has this way about him that is so incredibly unusual that most people do respond with a nervous kind of laughter. He is completely and utterly transparent. That seems to make people nervous. It's like we think he has some sort of magic power. If he is completely transparent, he may expect us to be completely transparent or even worse... he may know that we are not being completely transparent!

I will never forget the first time I heard him speak. He admitted that his grammar wasn't all that great and that he wasn't a great speaker. I can assure you that this English teacher cringed at many of the things that came out of his mouth. I thought, "Oh my. Perhaps he would be open to us sitting down and tweaking his grammar skills just a bit." I even offered to help him. I just knew he would want to improve those skills since he had began his spill with the admittance of his rusty grammar skills. Well, much to my dismay, he wasn't interested. He said he wasn't much on that school stuff. I shook my head and decided that this was in fact the real Elmo and anything else just would not be as effective. He is a no holds barred kind of guy. If it pops in his shiny head then most likely it has already popped out of his mouth.

The one thing that I find so wonderfully refreshing at Celebrate Recovery is that there really aren't that many people wearing masks. Its all just right out there in the open. We talk about those things we have done in our lives that we are SO not proud of and we stand in awe that the Lord delivered us out of those pits! Everyone literally comes just as they are and God is there every time. He loves us just as we are, so shouldn't we love others just as they are? He came to live a life as an example of how we should strive to live. He always met people where they were, right there in their mess, and he lovingly called them to God. He urged them to turn away from their life of sin and follow Him. He surely wasn't trying to correct their grammar or help them state their seemingly possibly offensive story in a more politically correct way that would be potentially less offensive. Oh if only I could be more like Jesus and see the beautiful person that He sees when He looks at His children... make it so Lord... make it so...
Much Love,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

So very thankful

Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 47:1
Last night I attended a summer preview of 31 products(WAIT! Don't go this is NOT A SALES PITCH!!) and during the preview there were several women that gave their "why" story. This is why they started their 31 business. Anyway, the first one was a lady, we will call her Ruth, and she started by telling how her daughter lost her baby and her ability to walk well from a blood clot in her leg. I almost fell out of my chair and on my face. Did she say that her daughter had a blood clot during pregnancy and lost her baby and ability to walk well to the point that she could not work??? OH my! I have taken God for granted! AGAIN! But this time in a huge way!! This story felt all too familiar to me, but with a twist. I realized in that very moment that if it weren't for the grace of God, my mother could have told the same story.
As Ruth told her story, I fought back the tears. I felt so silly crying over a 31 story(if you had heard it, you would have cried too!), but I could tell that very same story with a different ending. She continued talking about blood clotting disorders and depression and doctors appointments and the need to help her daughter. Thirty-one afforded her the ability to stay with her daughter and earn a living. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I have ran into many people throughout the years that said they had a blood clot too, but it wasn't one of the same magnitude as mine.
Yep that's right... I said mine. Blood clots are very common late in pregnancy, but not in the beginning. When I was 10 weeks pregnant, the doctor's found what I am going to describe in layman's terms as a huge blood clot in my leg. They had never seen anything like it. They admitted me to the hospital. After an afternoon of tons of tests, six doctors stood at the end of my bed and said, "you have a DVT. you have a 50/50 chance of making it through the night. we don't know how to treat you, so we will call UAB in the morning and see if they can help us. Every treatment that we can think of will hurt the baby even though there is no way you will carry it full term...Dr. Christenberry insists we try to save mom and baby. Until then... lay flat, don't move, we will put heparin in your IV and hope for the best." Excuse me doctor did you just say I could die...TONIGHT!? What!!!? This baby I have prayed for and tried so hard to conceive is not gonna make it??
Excuse me GOD this what not in the plans. I got married, it was time to have the baby you wanted me to have and now I could die and not have that baby. Well to say I freaked out a bit was an understatement. There was an angel of a nurse that sat by my side all night(I am not kidding!) and prayed for me. My mom immediately had a prayer chain going with some of the greatest pray warriors I have ever known. I made it through the night, but was not out of the woods yet. Ron Hayes, Jimmy Battles, Bro. David Cofield and a couple of other men(I wish I could remember who else was there) came to the hospital(you know it's bad when they call in the big guns!) and prayed over me and the baby. I ended up in the hospital for 10 days before they would let me walk again. Oh yeah... apparently after 10 days you forget how... I could stand, but could not remember how to move my feet. After a couple of days, I began to shuffle my feet enough to walk around. They kept working with me to get my feet to working. They let me go home, but I still had the clot and the baby and wasn't walking well. I would need round the clock supervision. They told me how it would feel if the clot moved to my heart or lungs(I'm not sure why I had panic attacks that whole pregnancy!)and sent me on my way home.
I came home. Learned to walk again.( I have lots of funny stories of me and Seth during this time. He had a back injury at the same time! Poor Mom and Dad and Jamey!)
In about the 5th month I began to spot on a Sunday morning. I cried out(no screamed) to God begging him to let me have this baby. After all we had been through, please don't take her! Mom went to church and told her friends(no doubt Susie, Charlotte, Carolyn and Jean were in that mix). They prayed for me. I went to the doctor and found out she was fine, but I had kidney stones! Yikes! Are you kidding me? But ok yay the baby is fine!
I went to the doctor and the lab every week. I had sonograms once a month. I ended up with gall stones before it was all said and done. I could tell many more details, but I won't. It was three weeks until my due date. Routine doctor's visit... It was time! Michaela Elizabeth Pickard was born on May 20, 1998 at 3:44 in the afternoon weighing 6 pounds and 8 ounces! Tina said I looked so shocked when she was born! I was! My little miracle baby was finally here and she was perfect(just asked Dr. Christenberry... he demanded a 10 on her apgar!)!
Last night as I listened to "Ruth's" story. I realized mine was the same as her daughters with a different ending. I am not sure why God chose to allow me to walk and Michaela to be born. Why would she lose her baby and lose of full function of her leg? I don't know the answer to that question or any others like it, but I do know as sure as I am typing this story He has a plan for all of our lives.
I do have days when my leg swells and it hurts. There are ugly purple broken veins near my ankle that will never go away. Today I rejoice in those things! Thank you God for vericose veins!!!!
Much Love!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I have been locked out of my account for a year. Well at least I thought I was! It was simply simple to get back in to the system. I never even tried before today. Isn't it funny how we build things up as an impossibility and then when actually faced with the task, it is actually not nearly as hard as we have imagined it might be. This is true so often in my life. I stress and worry and whine and dread and then ... Viola.., I am there, standing dreadingly in the face of this insurmountable monster feeling sure I might die at any moment, but no...the monster is not a monster at all and in fact it's more like a stuffed animal than the wildly beast I previously imagined. God is so awesome like that! Well, here's to a new year of happy blogging!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This morning a facebook friend of mine posted John 8:32 and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
I love this verse and use it often, but I think I have used it out of context. It has been used as lines in movies and tv shows in the wrong way. You see, our word cannot free anything or anyone, but I know someone's word who can. In verse 31, the Bible says that Jesus said to the Judeans who had believed in Him, "If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples, and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." Wow what a radical difference it makes when you put it all together. That scripture is not about us telling the truth to anyone. Shut up! It is about discovering the truth by following Jesus' teaching...wonder wherever could I find that... Oh yeah! In God's Word! If we study His Word then there will be no confusion about what truth is and that my friend is the kind of truth that sets you free!! Woohoo! I'm shouting... are you? What an awesome God we serve that His very Word is powerful enough to free us! Hmmm I wonder what you need freed from today. Are you angry with someone? Are you lying to someone? Are you coveting something? Are you drinking to much? Are you addicted to drugs? Are you having an affair? Whatever sin we are stuck in can be forgiven and His Word can be our freedom!
WOW! What a mighty God we serve!
Much Love!