By His Wounds


“He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.”

-Isaiah 53:3-10


“Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You”

-Jesus, Thank You, Sovereign Grace Music

How ‘Bout Some Links?

I’m just going to go ahead and throw out there that my brain is pretty much fried due to, well, POLLEN. My word. Has anyone else been experiencing allergies on a grand scale this year? I normally have a scratchy throat, watery eyes, and the need to blow my nose a few times, but this year? I’m afraid I’m starting to scare people with a cough that has developed from post-nasal drainage (that’s the nicest way I could put it)…it’s been rough.

Ok, I realize you didn’t come here to hear of my current woes with allergies so let’s get on with it! Since my brain is fried, I decided to let someone else do the writing today. In other words, prepare yourself for a lot of links of many things.

I’ve read some really great articles lately:

“Fall in Love Again” -Paul Tripp

“However, at its essential core, Christianity is not about activity, theology, or evangelism. All of those things are good and meaningful parts of Christianity, but they miss one key ingredient.”


“The Reason You’re Not Married (Might be Looking You in the Mirror)” -Joshua Rogers

Fellow Singletons! This is an excellent article to help us. Bold title, yes. But a good and timely message.


“Stop Holding the Sign“-Erin Davis

“When sin causes shame, God offers forgiveness. (That’s called grace.) When identity causes shame, God offers acceptance. (That’s grace, too.) When others hurl shame, God offers refuge. (Grace in heaping portions.”

And finally, here’s a quote from Ann Voskamp that I really, really liked:


Have a great day, friends.


Without Borders

One of my favorite songs is “Oceans” by Hillsong (yes, it’s been out for over a year, but I still love it.) While the whole song is tremendous, I especially love the bridge/chorus:


It can be a scary thing to sing this – Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…”- because, if I’m being totally honest, I don’t necessarily want God to lead me where my trust is without borders. I like for things to be safe, comfortable, in my control. However, look at what the last part says “and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my savior.” How true this is. I’ve learned that when God does call you to trust Him without borders He is at work and causing your faith to be made stronger.

Recently, God has opened to door for me to start a new job (It’s a part-time position for now so I work three days at my new job, and two days at my “old” job). Since the start of the new year, I had sensed that God was leading me in a new direction but I wasn’t quite sure what that would look like. Then in late February I received an e-mail to see if I would be interested in taking a job opening at the local pregnancy resource center for women facing unplanned pregnancies. So after many emails, much prayer, discussion with my dad and brother, I was offered the job for office manager and I accepted. I knew that God was leading me to take this job, and I’m super excited about it!

As I was driving in for my first day today, I was battling fear. I knew that I was doing what God had called me to, but I was afraid of the unknown. It was at this very moment “Oceans” came on my radio. And it was in that moment that I knew that all of my fears were unfounded. God was with me, He had gone before me, and He would continually be with me through it all. I could trust Him.

And so as I was driving in to start a new job with fears swirling inside my head, I turned the music up, and sang as loud as I could.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…”


Once upon a time, my brothers and I sat down to watch a movie titled ‘The Last of the Mohicans’, and I loved it. Minus the part when *SPOILER* Uncas dies, and Alice decides to end her life by throwing herself  off a cliff. I was team Uncas/Alice the whole time and then that happened…major letdown for me.  Other than that unfortunate part, I loved the whole production; the music, scenery, acting, etc…loved it.

One of my favorite scenes (along with every other girl across this great nation of ours) is the “waterfall scene” where Nathaniel tells Cora to “stay alive!” and with the promise that, as she is about to be taken captive, he would find her but she must “stay alive!” And then he jumps through and down a waterfall.

It’s all very exciting.

A few scenes later we cut to Chingachgook, Nathaniel, and Uncas running through the woods, following clues Cora has given them, (with really dramatic music in the background) on a mission to save their women!

It’s all very exciting, and I love that scene.

Now, let’s fast forward to this past Tuesday night when my dad and I took our dogs out to run. We have three dogs and two shock collars that we use (very responsibly, mind you) to train our dogs to come to us when called or to call them off a deer and back to a rabbit. On this particular evening, we decided to collar Annie and Emmi and let my dog, Belle, run free with the thought that she would come when called.


While the dogs are running we are always aware of where they are by listening for their bark and always track them so we don’t lose them. After they had been running for a good while, we decided to call the dogs in as it was getting dark and we needed to head back to the truck. Dad called, gave Annie and Emmi a tone (a signal that if they don’t listen to his command, they will be shocked) and they came running. But Belle? Oh no, she decided to have a little more fun and stay in the woods.

I was on the edge of the woods calling for her and I knew that if I was going to get my dog back I was going to have to go in after her. As I began my trek into the woods, I could hear her  rustling in the leaves and knew she was near.  I thought I could just stand there and call her to me.


After several calls, I realized that my stubborn little beagle was not going to come to me…I was going to have to go to her. I could still hear her rustling and realized she was coming up the other side of the mountain so I started running (as in running through the woods and nearly tripping over roots and tree branches) after her. At this point in my quest to get my dog the theme from ‘Last of the Mohicans’ started playing in my head. I then realized that I was living out my favorite scene from ‘Last of the Mohicans’! I think I even said to myself “I’m like Chingachgook!”

It was all very exciting and empowering.

In the end I caught up with Belle and she came cowering up to me as she knew she had not obeyed my command.  I leashed her and we began our trek back up the mountain and to the truck. I’m not an expert, and I won’t pretend to know what Chingachgook, Uncas, and Nathaniel were feeling when they caught up with Cora and Alice, but I can’t help but believe that their feelings resembled mine once I was victorious and secured my dog back into my possession.

Such is the life of a hounds-woman.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to train my little gal on the art of coming when called. Pray for me.

It’s Been Awhile

I had the most elaborate plan to re-enter into the world of blogging  by writing an over-the-top post about how I was kidnapped by dog sledders in Alaska and how I ran the Iditarod race and nearly lost my thumbs to frost-bite…and then at the end just type  “APRIL FOOLS!!!”

This is my mind. Welcome.

Thankfully I thought better of it. You’re welcome.

Anyway, frostbitten thumbs aside, it’s been awhile. I wish I could say that it’s because of some earth shattering reason (like running the Iditarod race), but in reality, I felt like being quiet so I didn’t write. There you go; honesty is the best policy after all.

I am happy to report, however, that I’m  back to my normal chatty self and I’m  ready to write!

So, you can start looking for more posts out of me. Some will be personal memories that I want to remember, some will be more serious about what I’m being challenged with, some will be a new recipe or craft tutorial, and some will be just plain fun. I’m looking forward to hopping back on the blogging bandwagon and hope you’ll read along.

Tomorrow I’ve decided to share the story on how I found myself running through the woods like Daniel Day-Lewis in ‘Last of the Mohicans’…see you then!


Christmas Catch Up

I suppose the best way to write a catch up post, is to just hit the ground running. So here we go!

1. Tour de Churches:

My nieces Ruthie and LeeAnne had the opportunity to go to four different churches this past Sunday and play a few Christmas carols. They both did so well! I was extremely proud of them.

107 108

2. Picking out the Christmas tree!

After the Tour de Churches, we headed to a local field to pick out our tree. As always, it was a fun time!

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3. Decorating the tree.

Dustin’s girls helped this year, and we had the most fun!

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And now I am sufficiently caught up on the first week of December! Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Christmas-time is Here!


Happy December all you lovely people! The Christmas season is upon us once again, which is why the blog received a little holiday makeover. Also, the snow falling on your screen? I love. It’s so festive and never ceases to put me in a jolly mood.

The first week of December for me can be described in one word: crazy! Hence, the silence on ye olde blog. However, once this week is through, I’ll be more regular in my posting. Apparently I have a deep-seated fear of forgetting all the Christmas memories because I have taken approximately 200 photos during the first week of December. MUST CAPTURE THE MEMORIES! I’ll be sure to share some on the blog once I get them all uploaded. There also might be a few videos of ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ being sung with great gusto!

I’ll be sure to do one great big catch up post tomorrow, but until then I’ll leave you with my top five from the first week of December.

1. Tour de Churches with my nieces



Ruthie and LeeAnne did such a great job playing at 4 different churches this past Sunday morning! It’s so great to see them using their talents to bless and encourage others!

2. Getting to see my other nieces and nephews. They’ve been dealing with some sickness, so I hadn’t seen them in what felt like FOREVER, but was glad to remedy that!

3. Picking out the Christmas tree! It was quite fun this year, and I greatly enjoyed picking out the perfect tree.

4. Decorating the tree. It’s always been one of my most favorite things to do.

5. Reading Ann Voskamp’s ‘The Greatest Gift’. I think I may have mentioned a time or two my love for Ann Voskamp’s writing, and her latest book is no exception. It’s perfect to help keep my mind and heart centered on Christ during Christmas.

Hope you all have a lovely Saturday!



Thankful. {2}


Happy Thanksgiving Eve! It’s snowing here in my little corner of the world, and it’s quite beautiful. I spent the first part of the evening cooking and am now watching ‘Remember the Titans’ which will always be one of my favorite movies.

But, you didn’t come here to hear about my cooking and movie watching preferences, so I’ll shut up and just get on with the thankful list.

11. My brothers. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m pretty close to my brothers, but I just love them to bits.

12. My sisters-in-love. My brothers married well, and I’m so thankful for that. They’ve always been so good to include me in their lives and their families lives.

13. My middle-school girls Sunday School class. I co-teach the 8th grade girls class at my church, and it’s been so fun to get to know these girls!

14. God’s faithfulness. This year has been one reminder after another of God’s great faithfulness.

15. The promise of John 16:33

16. A reliable car to drive.

17. The gift of laughter.

18. The ability to capture life with a camera.

19. This song:

20. Time spent with family this weekend.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.”

~1 Chronicles 16:34



It’s Thanksgiving week! Which means that I am busy preparing to host Thanksgiving dinner at our house and making sure that I will have enough time to sit and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Listen, I don’t play when it comes to the Parade, if you interrupt my watching, I will shoot lasers out of my eyes. Yes, I’m a joy to be around during that time, why do you ask? I don’t want to miss a single float, balloon, or musical number from Broadway (fingers crossed Matilda will be featured this year!). Not. A. Single. One.

Now I know this may be hard for you to believe given my obsessive tendencies over the Parade, but I truly want the day to be focused on God’s goodness and faithfulness in my life. Of course every day should be focused on that, but there is something special about setting aside a day to commemorate His blessings.

However, it’s hard to count all of His blessings in just one day so I’m planning on taking the next two days and dedicating my posts to things that I am  grateful for. Today will count as post one.

1. My salvation. Without Christ and his salvation, I am nothing.

2. My family. Y’all, I’m so blessed to be a part of my crazy wonderful family. I love each and every one of them to bits and then some!


3. My little people. Yes, they are technically under the family category, but these people are such a blessing that they need their own number on the list. I am truly blessed beyond all that I could have imagined with these kids. It’s an honor to be their aunt.


4. My job. I am so thankful that I have a place to work. It’s even better that I get to work with my family.

5. The place I call home. I love where I live, and the fact that I get to experience four seasons.

6. My friends. I have been blessed with a fun, unique group of friends to do life with.

7. God’s Word. “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple”-Psalm 19:7

8. My church family. I love the people in my church family. It’s a blessing to know them.

9. My dog. She’s the best animal companion a gal could ask for!

10. Music. How thankful I am for this most beautiful way to express our hearts.

That’s it for today. Join me tomorrow for 10 more!


Do you remember many moons ago (in reality, I think it was three days ago, but work with me here.) I promised to share some Thanksgiving recipes? Yeah, I did and I didn’t deliver. I should have written the post ahead of time because Thursday got away from me, and well…here we are on Saturday. Thankfully I do  have two recipes for you that I just love and I think you will too!

These are two tried and true favorites that will be making an appearance on our Thanksgiving table this year. I promise you everyone will love them!

Chestnut Dressing

1 pound chestnuts
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 pkg (16 ounces) bulk pork sausage, cooked and drained
1 package (16 ounces) crushed seasoned stuffing
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 cup water
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, bring 2 qts. of water to boil. Cut an “X” in each chestnut; drop into boiling water. Return to a boil; cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; peel outer shell and inner layer. Coarsely chop chestnuts; set aside. In a skillet, saute celery and onions in butter until tender. Transfer to a large bowl; add sausage, stuffing and chestnuts. Add broth and water; toss to mix. Place stuffing mixture in a 9×13 dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through.


Pumpkin Cheesecake


  • 2 packages honey graham crackers (about 20 rectangles)
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted


  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • Heavy cream whipped with brandy, for serving



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

For the crust: Put the graham crackers in a food processor and process until all the pieces are broken down to a sand-like consistency. Add the nuts and process until they are completely combined with the graham crackers. With the processor on, pour the butter in a slow steady stream, until the mixture looks bound together. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and a little up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.


For the filling: In a large bowl, mix together; cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and yolks. Add cinnamon, flour, cloves, and ginger. Blend together. Add cream and vanilla, and blend well. At this point, reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture. Add the pumpkin and blend until the color is even.

Pour the pumpkin filling into the prepared crust. Take the reserved mixture and create a design on top; a swirl, or pour thin lines across, from top to bottom, then take a knife and working perpendicular to the lines of white filling, run the knife through in similarly spaced lines.

Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 275 degrees F and bake for 1 more hour. Cool, then chill in the fridge overnight.