Davis and Ashleigh

May 29, 2012 in Heart-songs, Love Stories, Random

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Living it out

May 21, 2012 in Heart-songs, Little People


Ladies…ya know that feeling you get when your husband asks something of you and you don’t want to do it?

Ya know that silent, deadly killer (sin) that creeps into your heart and tells you that he wants you to do this because he doesn’t love you- that he is really only looking out for his best interest…

It could be something simple that he lovingly asks of you-

honey, could you wait til Thursday to buy groceries?

wife, could you take the kids in the other room while I finish this email?

baby, could we talk about this (serious topic) later? And what happens when you hear those words?

Well, sometimes, like a good wife, you say, “sure, my love! Anything for you!”

Other times, you say, “Are you serious right now? Sometimes you are so _________.  *Fill in the blank.

And that is when he says it nicely! What if he doesn’t say it with love and tenderness? What if he hasn’t just affirmed his love and devotion to you?

Well, I don’t know about you, but sometimes my nasty responses- in those circumstances, could cause a lil ole church lady to blush.

But do you know what I was thinking today?

We expect a type of obedience and love out of our children that we aren’t willing to commit to!

You would bear witness to a nuclear meltdown if my husband ever looked at me sternly and said, “Callie, you are not going to buy groceries until Thursday. Do you hear me? Say yes sir!” And I mean, I would do that sinfully…I can assure you,  my poor attitude is no trophy!

Yet, we expect our kids to lovingly trust and obey every command and instruction-without hesitation, regardless of how we give it.

I think this speaks to two things that we should give some serious thought to.

1. Our unwillingness to submit all of ourselves to our husbands- as we are asking our children submit themselves to us.


2. How lacking in empathy we sometimes are as we speak commands hastily and harshly to our children.

I know lots of women are not completely sold on the total submission issue. In fact, to scurry out from under that calling, lots of women will say, “nuh-uh. We are all called to submit ourselves to one another…that doesn’t mean anything different for wives!”

Well, I disagree.

I think the Bible is clear on male headship, and I think it is evidence of the curse that we hate it so much.

In Genesis 3:16 the Lord says to the Eve, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

We might be tempted to think…okay, so the curse is that we want our husbands? What’s the problem? Well, He’s not talking about that kind of desire, ladies…

But what this means is that our desire will be for our husbands role- his title! His headship!

Make sense?

And sometimes it really, really feels like a curse. But the curse doesn’t change the calling, does it?

We’re called to submit ourselves to our husbands as to the Lord! (Ephesians 5:22) That is some pretty serious stuff. We should read that and be ashamed at our feminist sense of entitlement and claim to independence!

But we should also read that and be ashamed at how easily angered and frustrated we are by our children’s struggle to submit themselves to us!

What hypocrites we are!

Am I really expecting my children to submit themselves in honor and obedience to me, when I am unwilling to model it for them?

Does your conscience hurt when you think about that?

Mine does.

I so often get angry at my kids unwillingness to obey without questioning my every word, or testing me to make sure I’m serious.

But I do the same thing to my husband and expect him to bear patiently with me while I wrestle through the bitter resentment of his headship.

We ought to be ready and eager to give sympathy to our children’s struggle.

We ought to do this because we know how hard it really is.

We ought to encourage them with words of scripture, and praise their good works when they get it right!

I ought to feed my children direction straight from the Word in the heat of the moment,

“Noah, honor your father and mother that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land!”

“Graysen, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right!”

“Children, obey your parents in everything. For it pleases the Lord!”

But instead, I’m throwing verbal darts at them,

“Graysen, you will obey me or else!”

“Noah, you better stop telling me no!”

“Kids! Ya’ll are being terrible today!”

Big, big difference, right?

I’m ashamed.

I’m repenting. Constantly.

I am begging for the Lord to shape me into his image-

-to help me to submit to my husband,

to help my husband bear patiently with me when I don’t,

-to make me a sympathetic priest and prophet for my children,

-and to give them spirits of submission, and a love for God’s law.

And oh, dear Lord, to save them- by your goodness and grace, and to your glory-

-despite my weakness.


Cat in the Hat

May 16, 2012 in Little People

The other day, we were all lounging around before dinner.

The kids were playing and running around together in the living room.

I was on facebook, and Brandon was reading something on his Ipad.

Suddenly, my phone rang, and as I was walking out the door to answer it, this is what I heard:

Graysen: “Daddy, I love the Cat in the Hat. You know, that guy from that tv show?”

Brandon:  “Uhuh.”

Graysen:  “One day, I am going to marry him, because he is lonely and needs a life.”

Brandon:  “Do you mean a wife?”

Graysen:  “Yes”

Brandon:  “Well, you can’t marry Cat in the Hat…because he doesn’t have a job.”

Graysen:  “Oh…”

I laughed until my side hurt.

And…I thought about the fact that I married my best friend. And I thought about how absolutely strange and hilarious that conversation was…

And I said a quick, Praise you, Lord, for the small things in life.




Why I Homeschool…

May 15, 2012 in Heart-songs, Little People


We just started our “summer school” session.

We are all very excited.

There’s nothing I love more than a good schedule. Except for chocolate. And my family. And Jesus. Not in that order.

But the kids love structure too.

I love doing school at home.

And let me tell you, it is not easy!

For those of you who think we (homeschoolers) choose this lifestyle because it’s easy…phssshhh.

It is quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever done.

So you might ask…why do you do it, Callie?

Well, I’ll tell you! (Thanks for asking!)

I chose to homeschool my kids because

1. I love them and I would miss them if I sent them away all day.  You only get 18 years with your kids at home…ya know? I really want to enjoy every single second of it. The thought of going from 8 to 3 every day without my kids really makes me sad. Also, I don’t have a college degree (yet) , and there is really nothing that I desire to do outside of the home- at least at this stage in my life. You might ask: Well, if you don’t have a degree, how do you expect to teach your children? This is the thing…homeschooling is not for everyone. I would never say it is. But I know my children. I know how they learn, I know how they think, and I know what makes them excited and curious about life. I am more qualified than anyone to teach my kids! The only real work I have to do is learn the material with them. but even teachers in the school system have to do that.

2. I want to teach them to love learning. Because I only have 3 children, instead of 18 0r 20,I can devote a ton of energy and effort into making school exciting for them. And learning doesn’t have to look like it does in a large classroom. Because we have the freedom to work one-on-one, I can be thorough- making sure that the kids understand completely the material that we are working on. But the other upside is that we get done a lot faster! I don’t have to wait for 15 children to finish what they’re doing. I can work with my two to help them quickly and effectively get through their lessons. Then we go play! We take lots of field trips and stay outdoors as much as possible. I want a huge part of their learning experience to be through seeing and touching and smelling and feeling. And actually, Jackson is not a half bad place to accomplish that- with all the museums and parks and the zoo. And the memories that we’re making at this stage…well, they’re pretty priceless.

3. I want to train and equip them to be servants and disciples of the kingdom of God. Am I saying that people who send their children to school can’t do that? Absolutely not. No. I know plenty of amazing, Godly parents who put their kids in school! But I think having my children around all day gives me the unique ability to shepherd them through their day to day lives. I can oversee them as they work, and play, and interact with other kids. And I can correct them when they are wrong, and love them when they’re hurt, and direct their steps to Jesus in all that they do. Of course we have a different set of frustrations that the average working parent, but for us…right now… we’re happy with the trade. There is nothing more satisfying for me than to watch my kids grow in their understanding of scripture and love of the Lord.

These are just a few of my reasons for making this decision to homeschool. This post is not a push for homeschooling, but just me simply sharing my thoughts with you. The most important thing that you can do as a family is pray and discern God’s will for you as a unique family. If you are interested in homeschooling, I would be happy to send you some starter information!

How do you feel about this topic?

The Ocean and the Shark

May 14, 2012 in Heart-songs, Love Stories


If love is an ocean, and marriage is the boat… then the shark is divorce.

Always circling, always hungry, always waiting for rough waters.

And for a lot of people, the shark is a plan B to marriage.

These people feel safer jumping out of the boat-to the shark, than they do staying in the boat and fighting it out with their spouse.

And maybe both options involve pain and suffering, but as I read through the pages of Scripture, I see the picture over and over again of a bride and a groom.

And in this picture of marriage, the bride is unfaithful. She is indifferent. She is unloving. She runs away- into the arms of other men, into the bright lights and distractions of the city, into the desert. And her groom chases after her. He pursues her. Loves her. Restores her honor. Brings her home.

You see this plainly in the book of Hosea- but it is really all throughout the Bible.

We are the harlot.

And Jesus is our groom.

Having this picture of marriage, I truly believe that it is God’s desire that no marriage should be severed.

When asked about divorce, Jesus’ answer was “what God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:6)

He continues to say that Moses allowed divorce because of the people’s hardness of heart, or weakness of the flesh, but from the beginning it was not so.

When marriage was designed, it was designed to be permanent.

I truly believe that just as our union with Christ is indissoluble, so is our relationship with our spouse. And to be ripped apart in divorce, is equivalent  to cutting yourself in half.  And I hate to see anyone experience that, but unfortunately, we see a lot of it.

We see marriage severed much more often than we see it restored.

But I can say I have had the particular blessing of watching an earthly marriage be restored, and it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed.

In the midst of a loud storm, in an angry sea, I watched as God brought reconciliation to His people. I watched Him heal wounds, and plant seeds of forgiveness. I watched as their hearts softened, and their hope was restored. I watched as they put their trust in Him.

And I thought, Wow. This is the work of our God- the God who can move mountains, the God who spoke creation into existence, the God who loves me.

And my God seemed even bigger than before.

In times of marital trouble now, I think back to the awe and wonder that I experienced in watching God work in them. And I’m hopeful.

I think about the wounded bridegroom, and how faithfully He pursues me.

And it causes my heart to soften.

I cling to Him for help. I cry out to Him for healing. I trust in Him to hold us together.

I look at my husband, and praise God for the (almost) seven years that we have been married.

It fills my heart with joy.

And I smile, because everyone told us that we couldn’t do it- that we were too young to get married- that it wouldn’t last.

We didn’t know then that we couldn’t do it.

But they didn’t know then that God could.













Dear Mother-in-Law,

May 9, 2012 in Heart-songs

Dear Mother-in-Law,

Dear Friend,

I’d like to take this time to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for all the things that have gone unthanked.

First of all…thank you for Brandon. Thank you for the nine, long, hard months that you spent creating and carrying him.

Thank you for loving him. Thank you for being tender with him. Thank you for giving him your time and energy, and your prayers.

Thank you for the little things you did for him- for the boo-boos you kissed, the games you played, and the hugs you gave. All these things, plus a million more went into shaping him to be the man that he is today- the man that I love.  One of the greatest joys of my life is getting to share it with him.

So thank you for your patience in disciplining him, for your wisdom in teaching him, your love in guiding him, and your willingness to let him go…

To my friend, thank you for being patient with me all these years- particularly the early ones.

Thank you for taking me in as a daughter. Thank you for working so hard to always make me feel at home with you.

Thank you for the hours you spend listening, and for your wise counsel.

Thank you for your sweet letters of encouragement that never fail to do their work, and for your often-needed, loving rebukes.

Thank you for your Godly example- for your sweet, quiet submission, and your eagerness to work hard and make yourself a servant.

The Lord has used you so much in shaping the inner person of my heart, and I fear the thought of the person I’d be were you not there to lovingly direct me.

You’ve done so much more than take me in as a daughter, you’ve made me your friend.

And I cherish you for both.

Love always,

Happy Mother’s Day,



Dear Mom,

May 9, 2012 in Heart-songs


Dear Mom,

I’m not sure that I’ve ever taken the time to say thank you for all the things you’ve done for me…

-for the late nights you put in when I was a colicy infant,

-for the love and tenderness in your voice as you nursed me through ever illness and injury,

-for the compassion and empathy you displayed when I came home sad and hurt from school,

-for the ice cream you bought every time I had a bad day,

-for the shopping trips, and the family vacations…

Thank you for these things.

And thank you for the really thankless things…

-for the meals  you cooked,

-for the dishes you washed,

-for the birthdays that you worked so hard to make perfect,

-for the prayers that you prayed and the multitude of sins that you forgave,

Thank you for loving me when I was really hard to love.

Thank you for always being a servant.

These things have not changed as I’ve grown up. In fact, I may see more of your servant-heart now.

Thank you for loving my family as much as I love them. Thank you for taking my husband in as your son.

Thank you for the love that you pour out on my children.

Thank you for giving up your weekends to babysit them,

and thank you for giving up your money to buy them clothes…and tea pots…and ice cream.

And thank you for the many other things that go unnoticed.

Finally, thank you for loving me. And for wanting me.

Thank you for the long, seven, tearful years that you spent waiting for me.

Thank you for not giving up.

Thank you for adopting me.

God designed you for the special purpose of being my mom, and I couldn’t love you more.

Your girl, always,


Her Mama’s Child

May 7, 2012 in Little People


Is it too much to ask that I just be able to give my kid Benadryl and have her groggily lay down on the couch for a few hours?

Of course it is.

The doctor told me to give it to her, by the way…

I wouldn’t just drug her unnecessarily.

My poor girl got eaten up by mosquitos and woke up the next morning with her eyelid so swollen she had to plaster a surprised expression on her face just to see out of it.

Obviously, that was not sustainable…so I took her to the Dr. where they said those magical words:

“Benadryl round the clock for the next 12 hours.”

I nodded, and gave my girl a pat on the head.

Excitement welling up inside me, I thought, the possibility of productivity could be limitless today!

Well, we got home and I poured it into the tiny little medicine cup.

She drank it on down- hypochondriac that she is, and I set her up with a movie on the couch.

Not ten minutes later, she was hanging upside down from the back of the couch, singing the Sound of Music theme song at the top of her lungs.

The nurse’s words echoed in my head, “this Benadryl will probably make her little lethargic.”


Not my girl.

Benadryl makes my girl’s crazy hang all out.

It’s like me and that box of chocolate covered strawberries that I took out in one sitting sometime around Valentine’s Day.

Thanks again for that, Mom.

I was tuckin in crazy for days…

Looks like Graysen is her mother’s daughter.

Well, to all you mommies out there who get to benefit from your children’s Benadryl-induced lethargy…

You should be ashamed of yourselves for taking such pleasure in their misery.

That’s all I’m sayin.

Now, I have to go…

peel my 5 year old off the ceiling fan.



Lord, make me thine forever

May 4, 2012 in Heart-songs


Remember that time when Noah was sick and I had that moment while singing hymns to him?

Despite my sufferings that day, the Lord gifted me with that precious moment of peace and gratitude, and a spirit of praise and thanksgiving.

Did you miss that post? You can read about it, here.

Well, I just had another experience that was similar, and I want to share it with you.

I love writing about these sweet and simple moments.

One reason is because I’m able to cup my hands and capture them. And one day, when my heart is bone dry and my soul is weary, I’ll come back here and drink them in.

Another reason is because I think you have them too. And perhaps you have forgotten about them, or overlooked them, or stored them somewhere precious and safe…But whichever it may be, I think it’s good that we savor the fact that God designed us all with hearts that delight in the love of our little ones. I think it makes us love one another a little more doesn’t it? Or maybe that is the Tylenol PM talkin…


We’re all sick again!

We’re sick. And my husband just had knee surgery. And my baby just started walking. And it has been cold and rainy, which means we have all been stuck indoors. And praise Jesus, thus far there have been no casualties! -Minus the roll of toilet paper that my baby shredded into tiny little pieces. Yay, snow!

I did manage to go to the grocery store…despite my lack of energy and aching back. And we had a relaxing afternoon snuggling on the couch and watching the 3 new Narnia movies. It was okay. For a sick day, it was better than okay.

But the best part of my day was a lovely, brief moment shared with my tiniest little Morgan.

We managed to sneak away for a few minutes after dinner- baby Morgan and I…

I carried him up the stairs, grabbed his blanket and Mr. Nibbles from his crib, and slipped into Graysen’s room to rock him in the glider.

He clung to me with such intensity that it almost brought me to tears. He put his little head on my shoulder and cooed along to music of his glow-worm.

And for a few brief minutes, it didn’t matter that I felt yucky, or that I haven’t seen the sun in a week. Thoughts of dishes, and diapers, and snotty tissues melted away and I just sat. Breathing. Thinking to myself, this tiny person loves me.

He doesn’t care that I’m not the perfect mom. He just cares that I’m his. And he doesn’t care that I don’t have a stitch of make up on. It’s obvious from the look in his eyes, I’m the prettiest thing he’s ever seen. He feels terrible. He can’t breathe, his nose is raw, and his head probably hurts -I know mine does…but the one thing he wants more than anything in the world, is me

And knowing that, I was filled up. Filled up and sloshing over. My eyes flooded with tears of joy, and my heart ached with love for that little person, and the God who knit him together. The God who is my Father, who delights in giving me moments like that one -moments of being filled up. Moments that drown my soul in joy right in the middle of a dessert-wasteland.

Oh if moments on earth can be so sweet, what will heaven be like?

I pray, Oh Lord, keep me! Let my heart be steadfast, and my mind consumed with thoughts of Your goodness and grace! Remind me of these blessings tomorrow when I’m tired and frustrated, and my child wants everything but to snuggle me!

I praise God for these moments that remind us that our God is so great…and that His mercies are new every morning!

Do you ever have moments like this?




Small town Chicken Salad Recipe

May 3, 2012 in Recipes

chicken salad

Small town Chicken Salad

To make this de-licious chicken salad, you will start with about 2 Cups of finely diced chicken.

*To cook this chicken, I stuck several breasts in my crock-pot and let them cook for a few hours.

This makes the chicken very tender and easy to shred or chop.

Once you have your chicken diced and in a bowl, add 2 Tbsp of sweet pickle relish.

Then, add about 2/3 Cup of chopped nuts- I love pecans!

Then, add a couple handfulls of diced grapes.

*You can use any fruit you like for this recipe.  Honeycrisp apples are a fantastic substitute for grapes!

Now that you have all your main ingredients, toss in a little of your favorite all-purpose seasoning,

pinch of sugar,

And 1/2 Cup of mayonnaise.

*For a more health-friendly version, you could substitute Greek Yogurt for the mayo.

Then stir it all together!


And there you have it!  Serve it on a slice of bread, or with your favorite crackers.

Or just leave it in the bowl and eat it all right there.

Oh, and sweet tea is the best side dish… by a long shot.

ckn salad

Delicious and beautiful!


List of Ingredients:

2 Cups diced chicken

2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish

2/3 Cup chopped nuts

A Couple handfulls of diced grapes

a pinch of all-purpose seasoning

a pinch of sugar

1/2 Cup mayonnaise