Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I Started to Chuckle

I was cleaning out my kitchen sink today, trying to enjoy being faithful in the little things, when a memory popped into my mind that made me chuckle. Yes, chuckle, like a plump old man with a beard in a flannel shirt tucked in with his belly hanging over his belt. No, not Santa Clause... just a nice plump old man.

Anyway, I was chuckling because I was remembering a scene in my old townhouse kitchen where I lived during college with three other girls (and whoever else needed a place to stay at the time). My mom was in town, and we were standing there in the kitchen by the sink. I was staring at it with that sort of hopeless vacant look, when my mom said, "Wow! You're sink really needs to be cleaned out!" Understatement of the century. It was horrible. It was so bad that it made the whole kitchen smell old. None of us were amazing housewives (yet!) except one of us, who was on her way, but was also taking like a million credits in classes, working, and keeping up a long-distance relationship. Needless to say, we had let the kitchen sink fester in its filth for... well for who knows how long.

My mom, like moms do, whipped out the Dawn, grabbed a scrubby something (who knew we even had that?), and went to work. Within minutes it was like we had just driven ourselves to Lowes, bought a new sink, and installed it in place of that nasty old thing. I was floored. No, seriously, in that moment, I thought my mom may actually have possessed a super power.

In that very moment, I thought, "You have to clean sinks?!?!" It was a revolutionary idea. In my mind, sinks were FOR cleaning. Why would you have to CLEAN a CLEANER??? And to think that all these years my mom had been doing that... I had no idea!!! I know, people, it's not rocket science. Give me a break. Or don't. I've heard it both ways.

So there I was in my shock and awe, my life changed forever in regards to sinks and their hygiene. Thanks, Mom. How many things do moms even do that no one realizes? The longer I'm a mom (and it hasn't been long at all) the more I realize.

So that's who this post is dedicated to. It's to moms everywhere, but especially mine. I love you, and I'm thankful for everything you did all those years.

The End.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Will Not Give You a Snake

Lately I have been in an all-out battle with fiery darts from the enemy concerning the goodness of God. I wake up. I thank God for David and Macy-Beth and for the roof over our heads. I take care of the cozy home He has blessed us with. I keep thanking Him and I try to listen too. I ask Him to help me understand His Word in the Scriptures. I need to spend more time reading them so I can defend myself against these lies, though. I feel bad about that and I tell him. I ask Him to provide what we need for the day, and I try to believe He will. Mostly I worry about the days after today though. I feel bad about that too and I tell him. I spend time with Macy-Beth and start to prepare for my day and the things in it. I fight worry. I stuff down doubt. I war against the lie that I am teetering on the edge of God's good graces, and that someday I'm going to do something bad enough to screw it up.

What would become of me if God's good graces depended upon me? Holy crap. I'd die. No... like literally, I would just become a pile of mush. Shame would eat me up and everything. The thought makes me shudder. I know more about myself than you do. I know more than the actions I take every day. What I do looks pretty good I think. But I know the why. I know the reason I do the things I do. Mostly it's to make myself look better than I am. I desperately want people to think I am at least pretty good. Thank God he knew all of this long before I did. I remind myself he has it covered; to breathe deep. So I do. Did I use that semi-colon correctly? I always get confused about the semi-colon.

So I breathe deep. I re-collect myself, no, I spill myself out in the presence of an infinitely good God. I remind myself of his promises. I tell myself that it's ok that I'm not good, that I can never become goodness itself. Only God is good. The rest of us are depending on that.

Last night Macy-Beth was playing in her bouncy seat, and David and I were just watching her. I was pouring out my thoughts about the lies I have been fighting on the goodness of God. David, never taking his eyes from our beautiful daughter asked me, "You never thought you could love anyone so much, did you?" I stared at her with so much love it hurt and said, "Never." He kept talking, "...and would you ever want any harm to come to her?" I shook my head even though he wasn't looking. I moved and sat closer to him and he put his arm around my shoulders. We just sat there looking at this tiny cooing creature who we love so much it hurts. "It doesn't even come close." It was all I needed to hear. My eyes filled up and I succumbed to the emotions that were welling up too strong for me to stifle.

It doesn't even come close. My love for her is nothing compared to God's love for me. It leaves me speechless.

"You parents- if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." - Matthew 7:9-11

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Fall is coming. You can smell it in the air, and the breeze is crisp and dry on your skin. Fall is my favorite season these days. Maybe that's because it's where we're headed, and I always love anticipation. Today has been blissfully simple and sweet. Macy-Beth and I have been in all day, and that's been just fine with me. I love being a wife and a mom. I love making home sweet. This week I made a marinara sauce from the tomatoes we harvested. We have a garden at a friend's house and got a bumper crop of tomatoes this year! I could eat them all day long.

Right now, the silence is golden. Macy-Beth is snoozing away, and I have the house all cleaned and nice. Dinner is prepped and ready to go, and I'm just sitting here looking out at the corn stocks on our patio and the cars driving by on the highway. It's a beautiful day.

The older I get, the more I realize that seasons happen in life. You can't begin them or stop them. Only God can decide. The only thing you can do is let go of control and enjoy exactly where you are placed. I think this is a little of what "faith like a child" is about. I have enjoyed so many seasons it seems. Some were hard to pass through at the time, but regardless of the difficulty, each season is littered with sweet memories. Even darkness is light to the Lord.

It truly is a blessed thing to spend life walking in submission to God. The Holy Spirit is a gift greater than most any other gift. He is wisdom and understanding. He helps. He comforts. He nurtures. The Holy Spirit is much like a mother. No one can soothe or nurture like a mother. All moms get this attribute from God.

Being a mom has quickened my senses and pricked my heart in terms of the gospel. To think that God loves Jesus, his son more than I love Macy-Beth, my daughter is unimaginable. Then to realize the fact all over again that He sacrificed him to the death so that He could adopt someone like me; someone who constantly overlooks Him and takes Him for granted. Someone who doubts and complains and never quite thanks Him enough for the gifts He has already lavished. The thought is breathtaking, heartbreaking even. Yet all of this to bring Him glory forever. He truly is worth an unmentionable amount of treasure.

So in this season of motherhood, this sweet, simple time I have been given, I will be thankful. I will trust that God will take care of what's next, and I will enjoy Him exactly where I am now.

"Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise." -James 5:13

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Macy-Beth McKinney. Born June 7th, 2012 at 11:49 a.m. 6 lbs and 13 oz, 19.5 inches long.

Today she is 6 days old and my heart still jumps when I look at her. We are just under 30 minutes until her next feeding... they say "sleep when they do," and I would honestly love to, except my mind won't allow it. I have to write.

Looking at the tiny, downy soft head sleeping all snuggled up in her chair, I think to myself, "how did you even get here?" It brings me back down the paths of memories I have stored up over time the way we do in life. I remember falling head over heels in love with my husband and wondering what life had in store for us. Who could have told us our future? We have been blessed beyond all measure. The bumps and bruises along the way have shaped and molded us. We really try to choose to let our circumstances prove the faithfulness of God, and He has proved faithful without fail. I know He will continue His faithfulness in our parenting days. We really have no idea what we're doing.

The first night we brought Macy-Beth home, I had a melt down. I couldn't get her to latch on like she was doing in the hospital, and I was exhausted with a huge headache from an un-detected spinal fluid leak. In my hormonal, fatigued moment of crisis I honestly thought she would starve to death. The weight of responsibility came crashing down on me as I looked at her tiny, squirming body and all I could see was frailty. She screamed louder and harder, and eventually just fell asleep. By that time I had reached my limit and started bawling myself. David wrapped our little girl up in a bundle and put her in her bassinet. Then he crawled in bed and just held me while I sobbed into his chest. He let me cry it out and told me comforting things. He told me what a good job I'd been doing and how good of a mom I am. What a sweet time to remember. Even the worst times are sprinkled with sweet memories that I don't want to ever forget.

Sometimes when I look at my little girl I want to cry because I feel so un-equipped to teach her all the things she should know. Last night while I was holding her I whispered in her ears all kinds of things she never will remember hearing. I told her how much I love her and how much her Daddy loves her. I told her we want to do everything we can for her, but that we don't know what we're doing. I apologized for all the mistakes we will make. I told her that there is someone who loves her perfectly, unlike her very imperfect parents. I told her that He is someone who knows everything and that we are trusting Him to show us how to be good parents. I let her know that He brought her into this world for a special purpose, and that is to bring glory to Him. I told her his name- Jesus... that Jesus paid a special price just for her. I explained to her that she needs Him desperately, and that I hope she realizes this on her own someday. And then I told her that I can't wait to introduce her to Him.

My sweet Macy-Beth. She has changed my life forever.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Fight

Here we go... early morning again. I keep waking up with anxiety in all shapes. I helped facilitate a college girl's retreat this weekend that was called "UNVEILED." We unveiled the truth about lies Satan tells us and equipped ourselves with the way to combat them, Scripture being the main weapon of defense. Funny how attacked I feel after such a powerful weekend... God must have moved because I can feel the enemy pressing in all around me.

In the heart of "ministry," whatever that vague word means, I feel ragged and worn. I am weighed down when I think about the many girls I have encountered who have been abandoned and abused. I feel helpless when it comes to offering the cup of cold water I so desperately want to give, because sometimes I honestly just don't know what they need. I know they need Jesus. It is so crushingly clear to me that I am not the Healer- He is. But how can I deliver Him to them? How can I lift up their weary heads, or open their blind eyes to behold the only saving hope they have? Some need professional counseling beyond what I am capable of offering. What happens if they never go? I see answers to problems, and I ache to fix them, but I cannot be the decision maker either.

A wave of hopelessness crashes down, and the lies with it. Oppression. Why did he choose me for this? I feel so inadequate and empty. I keep trying to hold all the pieces together in my short arms, but the pieces seem to tumble everywhere. The problem is, the pieces aren't just objects, they are people. And all of them already broken in some way. I just don't want to bruise them further. Oh yes. It is so crushingly clear that I am not the healer.

And then there is me... I am just so messed up myself. Craving acceptance. Wanting to find worth in that. Apathetic. Insecure about dumb things. I drag myself to His Word. I must find clarity and truth. I must battle through these lies.

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calameties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." -2 Corinthians 12:8-10

"...that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:10-14

"He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul." -Psalm 23:2

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:22-23

"If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.'" -John 4:10

Tetelestai- It is finished. The picture is complete. The battle has been won. I am among the broken being healed. I am not supposed to carry the weight alone. He has done it. For me. For the girls. For all the broken, hurting, and captured. Tetelestai.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scarlett O'Hara and My Crazy Interconnected Brain

If I were to write a book, I would have to get up before 5 every morning. Seriously, the best time to formulate uncluttered thoughts for me happens in a very small window, and that window is just so early.

On that note, over the past two days, David and I watched "Gone With the Wind" for the first time. It was so interesting to watch it as an adult (I've watched bits and pieces as a young girl, but never could keep myself focused long enough to even remember the plot as an adult). For one thing, so many quotes I know come from that movie! It's crazy. Countless girls and women have the quote "You should be kissed, and kissed often by someone who knows how," glittering their Facebook pages, and who knew! It's in "Gone With the Wind." (I guess I should have).

So, there we were, sitting on our couch with melting chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven dripping on our hands (we ate them for the entire four hours... not really, but we wanted to), watching in horror as the plot unfolded. We had no idea the movie would do such a riveting job of displaying the depth of human character. I suppose that's the main reason the movie is so famous. The whole time I was watching, I was angry. Angry with the deception and the hypocrisy of Scarlett, and angry with the weakness and denial of Ashley. Mostly I was angry with the selfishness of both characters as the destruction in their lives mounted.  I seriously had to remind myself it was a movie.

Basically, what I am saying, whether I want to admit it or not, was that I was hooked. You don't have to fall in love with something to be captured by it, and that was just my plight. I think the main thing that made me uncomfortable is that I saw myself in all those ways. I know that the heart is deceitfully wicked, and that if anyone decides to be honest... truly honest with themselves about the reasons they do things, the negative characteristics I mentioned that seem to consume these fictional characters apply very directly to us all. We are all deeply flawed, but who wants to be reminded of that? No one. Especially not me last night. It's so strange that a movie could make you wrestle with real things, but God works in many ways, so there I was wrestling. I was wrestling with self-righteousness, mainly. It felt so good to watch a movie like that and think, "Thank God I'm not that screwed up." Well, guess what? But for God's grace and His blood payment, I am entirely that screwed up!!! Feels good to get that off your chest, right?! As long as there's hope for something else. No one wants to come to the realization that they are infinitely more jacked than they ever realized without having some semblance of hope placed in front of them.

And seriously... THANKS BE TO THE GOD WHO SAVES!!! He knows our plight, and He graciously accepted us as we are before paying the price for all of our failures. But He didn't only pay the price for us so we could keep on living in this horrible nightmare of self-consumed living! He paid so we could become a new people. THIS, my friend is the power of Christ's blood! He loved us before we loved Him. Wow... it really does just blow my mind. So this is the weird outcome of my thoughts from watching a movie about southern belle's and the Civil War. A little over-dramatic to be sure, but hey, at least I've come to terms with being that way. It's not soon to be changed I'm sure. :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Yes... I am finally updating my blog. And there are pictures!!! This truly is a momentous occasion. Before I go on to quickly summarize my ever changing life I will just say that there have been reasons I have left my blog in such a dilapidated state. The first has been my computer... my poor old computer which basically needs an overhaul (I am currently typing away on David's million-times-nicer one). My second reason has been that in all vulnerable honesty... I have been in the pits. Seriously. The pits aren't always bad though, and sometimes they even mean amazing things. For example the reason I have been on such low swings emotionally and have battled fatigue, nausea, headaches, backaches, and have felt well, just plain nasty is because...

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY!!!!! I know, I know, we announced this basically forever ago, but given the circumstances of feeling so gross I didn't really have the energy to type about it. Call me lazy. We literally could not be happier. David and I have both looked forward to parenthood for most of our lives and the sheer fact that the Lord has entrusted us with something so special and costly is quite baffling. It is still sinking in (though I'm almost half-way to my delivery date!) that there is indeed a tiny little person dwelling within me, ready to make his or her debut this summer. I can barely wait that long to meet this little one. I want to scoop up my little son or my little daughter close in my arms. I can barely wait to see fingers and toes and to feel the soft downy skin of my firstborn child.

So in honor of this phenomenon, this miracle of life that is taking place even now, the first picture in this post will be the first picture we ever saw of this precious little baby:

What a cutie, right?!?
And here are a few pictures of my swelling tummy:
13 Weeks

15 Weeks

16 Weeks

18 Weeks

So that is a tiny update of my last few months. I still need to post pictures of our anniversary trip that we took, but I'll save that for another post. Right now I'm enjoying a nice quiet evening with my best friend. :)