Proverbs 31… Who can find her?

Proverbs 31:10-31 (ESV)

10) An excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.

11) The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

12) She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.

13) She seeks wool and flax,

and works with willing hands.

14) She is like the ships of the merchant;

she brings her food from afar.

15) She rises while it is yet night

and provides food for her household

and portions for her maidens.

16) She considers a field and buys it;

with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17) She dresses herself with strength

and makes her arms strong.

18) She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.

Her lamp does not go out at night.

19) She puts her hands to the distaff,

and her hands hold the spindle.

20) She opens her hand to the poor

and reaches out her hands to the needy.

21) She is not afraid of snow for her household,

for all her household are clothed inscarlet.

22) She makes bed coverings for herself;

her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23) Her husband is known in the gates

when he sits among the elders of the land.

24) She makes linen garments and sells them;

she delivers sashes to the merchant.

25) Strength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.

26) She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27) She looks well to the ways of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28) Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

29) “Many women have done excellently,

but you surpass them all.”

30) Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31) Give her of the fruit of her hands,

and let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs is known as the book of wisdom. The book in its entirety gives us insight into how to walk and live in wisdom according to God. From the biggest tasks down to the smallest, this book is full of insight and teaches us the value of wisdom. It’s no wonder then, that there can be found instructions on HOW to be a God fearing woman, an excellent wife, a good mother, a true friend with a servants heart, and a woman who is wise. God finishes off the very last chapter in the “book of wisdom” with a “How To” of sorts for us women.

To be honest, I use to read this passage of scripture and just feel defeated. An excellent wife? WHO can find her?!How about mediocre? That’s not ok? I have to rise while its still night!? Why can’t I rest!? I need enough money to buy a field and then I have to farm it myself!? I can’t be afraid? I have to open my mouth with wisdom?? THEN I laugh at the future, all “la-dee-dah” and carefree. WHY CAN’T MY LAMP GO OUT AT NIGHT!?!?! I’m exhausted! I have to make my own clothes, my families clothes, and then sell them for profit? I have to be Caretaker, cook, entrepreneur, farmer, and then be easy breezy about it. Remaining charming and carefree as if the weight of the world isn’t on my shoulders. It just seemed hopeless. This passage didn’t give me encouragement…to be honest it made me feel like I was an utter failure. Surely, SURELY this isn’t how God wants His daughters. Doing it all? Feeling defeated? But that’s what He says, isn’t it?! Read again Hannah… and this time remember God’s goodness. Our good, good father…

Proverbs 31:15

“She rises while it is yet night.”

Night, darkness… in the middle of the mess it can seem so dark, can’t it? Where is the light? Is there actually light at the end of the tunnel? In Mark 5:41 Jesus says “talitha cumi”, meaning “Get up little girl…” or “RISE”. You see I believe God is calling us to continue to RISE up spiritually, not just physically. He is calling us to continue to get up even in the darkness. Because the holy spirit lives in us, we have the supernatural ability to RISE even in the dark, in the mess, even when we can NOT see where we are going. See, he didnt ask for us to move, or walk in the dark first. He knows we can’t see ahead. He just asks FIRST for us to RISE. He will move our feet, he will move us, he knows our path even when we can’t see it. We don’t have to see ahead… We just have to RISE.

“…and provides food for her household and portion for her maidens.”

“Provides food”, nourishment, the good stuff. And although one of our duties as wife and mothers is to literally get our little tribes bellies fed… I think in this instance, God is calling us to feed our people love, God’s word and kindness. Fill them up with nourishment for the SOUL. And not just our household, but also food for our “maidens”, our friends. We are called to be there for one another and give “nourishment” to our people. Not deplete them of energy, but to FEED to them love and life.

Proverbs 31:16

“She considers a field and buys it;

With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard”

She considers a field and buys it. She takes careful consideration where she invest her time, money, and energy. She doesn’t just buy any field. She invests into a field that best suits her. Where her gifts, time, and energy will be best suited. With the “fruit of her hands”, her GIFTS. The gifts that God has so generously and individually given to each of us. It’s with our own God-given gifts, the gifts from our hands that we should invest, put in the hardwork, dig in and plant our vineyards. It’s about finding our calling. If we “consider” our field and invest there, and take “the fruit of our hands” , plant and build our vineyard, then it’s easy to find the answer of the age old question, “What is my calling?” Or “what is my purpose?”. See, God will use your gifts for HIS glory. Start with what you have. The fruit of YOUR hands. If you invest, plant, and harvest that… you can watch God grow it abundantly.. vineyard, after vineyard, after vineyard.

Proverbs 31:18

“She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.”

She perceives that her “merchandise is profitable.” We have to be aware that our merchandise, our goods, are profitable, successful, valuable, and worthwhile. We are worthy. God says that we are far more precious than jewels. We are worthy, annointed, good, and whole in Him. We have to KNOW our worth, and know that our merchandise is profitable.

“Her lamp does not go out at night”. See, we rose in the darkness. It took a lot, to get up out of the pit of darkness, but we did it! We made food for our house, portions for our friends, bought a field, dressed in strength… and here we are again. The darkness. God doesn’t promise us that the darkness won’t return. We live in a fallen world and we won’t live in his continuous light until we are in heaven. So the darkness can AND will return from time to time, but OUR lamp does not go out. God’s given us a little night light, a lamp. The holy spirit that lives in us, continues to carry a little light for us, in the midst of the dark and scary. We hold tight onto our faith, we hold tight to our “light” and continue to show others the way out of the darkness. We may not can see the way out, but it’s enough light to guide one foot in front of the other, until we finally reach our way out in the full light of God’s goodness and promises again. It’s a light for us, but also when our friends. When they look down the dark tunnel in the distance, and see our little flame, they know that they can keep going too. They see the safety that’s up ahead because you’ve already made it that far. It helps them carry on because they know that it’s possible to make it that far ahead. They just have to keep their light on, take one step in front of the other, and so do we. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”

Proverbs 31:19

“She puts her hands to the distaff,

And her hands hold the spindle.”

A distaff was basically like a stick, with a ball of thread wound in it and around it. No order, just a mess. A woman would slowly make order out of the mess of thread and wrap it neatly around the spindle for easier use later. One hand on the mess, one hand on the order. It takes a lot of time and patience to work out the knots. It takes a lot of hard work and patience to make usable thread out of the mess. But slowly and over time, our thread will lay straight if we keep diligently working the distaff and the spindle.

Proverbs 31:20-21

“She opens her hands to the poor

And reaches out her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of snow for her household,

For all her household are clothes in scarlet.”

We are told to open our hands and give, and to reach out to those in need. This is monetary if you have it, OR the “fruit of your hands”. Your gifts. Your ability to cook, Or love, or caretake.

She is not afraid, her household is clothed in “scarlet”. Scarlet along with he color purple was considered high quality cloth. It would be considered warm, and of value. This passage could actually be meant for the purposes intended. Warm clothes, because she makes and keeps her family taken care of. But I dont think we should ignore the fact that Jesus words are written in red. Scarlet words that she has clothed her household in. The word scarlet can be taken down to late Latin as “small images or print”. Small print and a brilliant red color. Her household is clothed in them, so she is not afraid of the cold or the snowstorm that ravages the world outside of her home, because she has her household clothed in scarlet.

Proverbs 31: 22-25

“She makes bed coverings for herself;

Her clothing if fine linen and purple.

Her husband is known in the gate

When he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them;

She delivers sashes to the merchant.”

She makes bed coverings for herself first, and then makes linens and garments to sell and delivers sashes to the merchant. God knows that we can not take care of others if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. We are not only to take care of ourselves but to do so properly. Dressing ourselves in the good stuff, fine linen and purple, not leftovers, not scraps. Feed yourself, clothe yourself. What are we clothed in? Goodness, kindness, Christ? Or a we clothed in bitterness, and hate? Take in and breathe in the good stuff, Gods word in all it’s glory. Rest. Food. Time for him. Time for yourself. It’s so hard to find that extra time, I know. But you must have self care to care of others. God is the only one I have EVER known to produce oil from an empty jar. You can’t do it. Fill your jar with His oil, so that you can continue to pour it out for others. It’s that simple.

Her husband is known at the gates. I dont think it’s a mistake that God included the honor of our husbands in this passage of wisdom for us. I dont think it’s intended purpose is to say, “well, YOU do all the work and let your husband SIT with respect in town with his buddies.” I DO think its God’s way of reminding us to bring honor to our husbands and families, and Him, by continuing to walk in Gods path for our life.

Proverbs 31:25-27

“Strength and dignity are her clothing,

And she laughs at the time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,

And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

We hold ourselves up and walk with dignity. We are to laugh at the future, because we walk with God. Whatever lies ahead of us, we know no fear because God is with us. Whatever is to come, we know we can conquer the darkness because we’ve done it before. We have no fear because our light will never leave us. We open our mouth with wisdom. Heres where I struggle. I’m good at opening my mouth. That has never been a struggle of mine. But we should only be opening our mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness. Staying tender and kind while you deliver the wisdom is KEY. See it takes strength and dignity to be able to deliver needed, wise words of advice with kindness.

Proverbs 31:27

“She looks well to the way of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”.

We should care about our households physical needs being met. But more importantly, make sure we are focusing on their spiritual and emotional needs. Don’t eat the bread of idleness. Don’t put it off. Don’t wait. We need to know that tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Pour into your children and your husband. Show God’s love, teach them the gospel. Show them Jesus. Don’t let a day go by that they are not shown how loved they are and how much Jesus loves them.

Proverbs 31:28-31

“Her children rise up and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

Many women have done excellently,

but you surpass them all.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands,

and let her works praise her in the gates.”

Our how to be a God-fearing woman guide will teach us how to walk in God’s wisdom. If we continue to walk in accordance to Gods plan for our life then we won’t have to worry about praising ourself. Our children and Husband will call us “blessed”. Those who take hold of God’s wisdom are called blessed. And our works will speak for themselves, but only in this life. Charm can be deceiving, beauty only skin-deep. What does our hearts look like? We will have to give an account at the pearly gates, and no amount of works will let you enter those. So know jesus. Know him as yours. Know his goodness for you in this season and the next. Remember our good, good father and how he loves his daughters so.


Sitting in the Silent

Sitting in the church parking lot an hour early for Women Prayer meeting. I’m not even lying right now, when I tell you that I am using this paved parking lot of my church as Sanctuary. There is zero voices calling “mommy” right now. I fed my tiny army, kissed Brayde and said good luck, before I walked out the door. BYE FELICIAS!

I’ve never been a part of a women’s prayer meeting. But a bunch of women praying over our church, community and eachother… what’s not to love?

Ok fine. I’m not even lying when I say, that I partially was picturing the scene from The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood. You know, sitting in a candle lit circle with a bunch of headdresses on. Ellen Burstyn and Maggie Smith would be leading the prayers, naturally. Then, Sandra Bullock would show up to declare “YA- YA”. (If you’ve seen this movie. Then you know what I’m talking about. If you have not, then no- I’m not nuts and YES you have to RUN RIGHT NOW and go watch this movie.)

Low and behold though, it was a group of some of my favorites from church. We talked about prayer and how incessantly and intentionally praying can completely change the trajectory. There’s been women in the bible who were determined to get Jesus’ attention. They ran, begged, and chased Him down. They didn’t stop. This is how strong and persuasive women are. This is our gift. Our words are our strength.

** (Let’s be careful. Many, many, many a time, more words were also my downfall.) So TREAD LIGHTLY MY FRIEND.**

But our words are powerful. Prayer is powerful. It’s the biggest force. I can’t calm the seas, and can’t still the storm… but MY GOD CAN and I have a direct source to him. ALL THE TIME. do yall get it?? We have VIP passes! We have the number to the oval office! Shoot, we have the direct line to AIR FORCE ONE!! ANYTIME! We can talk, pray, ask for, beg, lay down our burdens, praise, give thanks abundantly, absolutely anytime we like! It’s such a gift and a tool. The veil was torn. No great and powerful Oz. Just you and God.

I listened to some new friends last night tell their story of surviving cancer. Prayer. Prayer is where they met our Almighty, and where He assured them and promised them peace. The moments that God spoke to them is where they found their strength. Our preacher gave a sermon yesterday on being in dark places, and learning to pull yourself out. When Elijah found himself the most helpless in the back of a dark cave. God told him to come to the threshold of the cave.

God basically said, “I know you’re tired, I know you’re weary. You dont have to travel this entire journey alone. Just meet me at the threshold, I’ll be there. I’ll pass by. I’ll meet you there, and give you enough strength to carry on. I’m here, just take one or two steps in the right direction, and I’ll carry you the rest of the way.”

Just call out to Him. Lean on Him. Say His name. And wait. He’ll pass by.

I wrote a post a few weeks back, “Be Still”. It’s TRULY amazing how many times this has come across me this year. Every time I turn around, I see OR I hear “Be Still”. This is my lesson. This is the one that God is so intently trying to teach me.

If you know me at all; You KNOW I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to sit still. I CERTAINLY do NOT know how to be silent. I do. I act. I run to hug people. I move with intent and steadfastness to speak to people. I want to show up. I want to move. I LOVE to dance. I do NOT know how to “Be Still”. It seems simple, but it is just so hard for me. Even when praying I talk and talk and talk to God. I tell him alllllll the things. I thank Him, and praise Him, and unload all of my things, And all of my peoples things too. I beg and I pray and sometimes I cry and shout when I don’t hear His answer. But I can’t hear when I don’t listen. I can spill all of the stuff, but if I’m not still enough to receive what He says in return, I’ll never have my answer, and I will never gain my peace.

I’m learning to find my quiet moments. Quiet moments around here always seem like a great opportunity to get something done. So maybe instead of laundry, I’ll sit in the quiet. And wait for Him to pass by. I hope you hear God’s voice today. ❤

Losing “Me” & Finding “Myself”

I’ve had to take a milestone with Charlotte this year. She started kindergarten. And while it’s true that she has been in preschool in years past, this is a whole new arena for us. Not only is it at a much larger campus, but now all five days a week and for the majority of the day. I’m use to having her with us. And I know it sounds absurd, seeing as how I pick her up every afternoon, but I truly miss her.

She is a bright light. She just has this energy that she carries with her. And oh my word, y’all. She is so dang funny! She spits out one-liners like no ones business. Her wit is charming and her personality contagious. She’s just one of those people, that other people gravitate towards. Her energy is infectious, and she is kind beyond words. She has grown into all of these amazing things in just five short years. Grown. She grew.

When she was a baby, I remember being in such awe of what God gifted us two idiots. We certainly weren’t exceptional. I can assure you that we did not have one, single, monetary clue what we were doing. (Bigger shocker… we still don’t.) But I grew over that time, into someone I didn’t even know. Someone I didn’t even recognize as myself. Even when I was unsure if I was using the right rash cream, or sleep schedule, or baby food… I somehow had such confidence that what I was doing for Charlotte was right. That “mothers intuition” somehow transformed me into confident, and steady, and much, much softer.

For the majority of my life, I was the quintessential “sassy one”. I was loyal to a fault, stand up for the weak, put someone in their place, absolutely raise my voice for injustice, and for those who were afraid to speak for themselves… and also, for the ones who were not. Some people could fight their own battles, but I insisted I “help” due to “loyalty”, and “principle”, and a lot of words that people with a chip on their shoulder like to use when they don’t want to admit that they just need to stand up for someone, because they never stood up for themselves. Not really.

When I became a mother though, I lost that person. My quick fuse, and hard pressed opinions, somehow shifted, changed, and molded into someone different. My own set of “mom fails” most certainly gave me a larger “grace space” for others.

When our kids leave the nest, and head on to the start of their very own lives; Not the lives that we have done our best to mold for them, but their own actual lives…. They will decide who to love, and who to leave; Where to go to college, or not; Where they will decide to let God lead them, or the world. These are all things they will decide for themselves, because these are the same things that we had to decide for ourselves. And once they move to the next phase of their adult lives, the will remake decisions for their lives all over again, and again, and again. They will evolve, continuously changing to the newer, more steady versions of themselves with each new chapter. As did we.

I can’t decide if letting Charlotte move forward, is hard because (1)Watching your babies grow is just a sham. Time is a thief. She should be in a bassinet by my bed and still small enough to rest her whole body in my arms. Instead, shes five years old, her feet are as big as skis, and they refuse to stay in a steady shoe size for more than two months. Honest to goodness, I’m asking you all now. (I’ve already pleaded this with all of my “lifers”), but if for some reason I meet Jesus much earlier than I intend…please, have mercy on my soul- and my daughter’s, and go ahead and let her know that a “peep-toe” heel for prom is not the route for her. Say it with love, say it tenderly, but for the love of the land… say it.

Or (2) maybe it’s because with her coming into the world, I evolved so drastically. Maybe it’s because letting her go, also means that I will undoubtedly let go of a little bit of this version of myself that I have become so accustomed to. The biggest difference between B.C. (Before Charlotte) and A.D. (After Dialation) Hannah, is that at least with this version of myself, I know who she is.

**Wait, was that too far? A.D...Was that too much? Have I crossed a line? 😬**

🤷🏼‍♀️But my point being; I couldn’t have answered that question before. I couldn’t have told you who I was before motherhood, or in the very least… I probably wouldn’t have answered you honestly.

Or (3) it may be because I walk in a completely different space than I use to. This one allows much more room for Jesus to walk alongside me. I knew I didn’t have a clue when it came to motherhood. There’s no way to train to be a good mom, but because I was raised in church, I knew my children needed to be involved in church. Charlotte coming along, fueled our fire for a church home, and then we stumbled across this miraculous thing. When we all of a sudden opened our schedules and agendas to Jesus… HE SHOWED UP. (Mind blowing stuff, I know.) He changed the way I saw, and the way I reacted, and the way I spoke, and the way I live my everyday. He just shook everything. I’m not the same.

Or more likely than not; It’s all of those. I like this version much more than my former self. She’s older and more mature. A little less vain. A little slower to react. Most certainly, much more tender. I still have that same fighting spirit. I mean, mess with my household, My kids, my husband… and I will fight tooth and nail and without reserve or hesitation. The only difference is now, I might cry after I do… Which is only a “new Hannah” trait. 😂 But I will still stand firm for my people.

After that, things fall off in appropriate priority, descending as they go down the list. I will no longer rip the hateful cashier a new one because she is unjustly rude to me. I will probably smile, and say a prayer. I’ll pray for me that I will not be ugly in return and then also, that for whatever reason her day is bad, that it will turn around and God will richly bless her. And then I may call her something like, “mcscrooge”, or “pouty pants” or something of the like, under my breath. 🤣 Yes, it’s a pretty fair statement that my potty mouth game has hugely downgraded to just above Mr. Rogers level. I blame Sophia the First and PJ Masks. But never the less. Here I am. It’s not that I won’t say anything, it’s just that my words will probably land much lighter than they use to. There’s this crazy thing that I’ve learned that we can do with the words that come out of our lip smackers…. We can actually choose them. I told you.. mind blowing stuff here. 🤯

People talk all the time about “losing themselves” in this phase of life, but I can’t be more grateful for whatever parts of me I shook off. It’s like this beautiful season we are about to start. Just like Autumn. We shed our old, our outdated foliage that no longer serve us in this season, and then bloom out later with new branches that make us so much fuller the following year. Maybe that’s why Fall is my favorite season. Well, that and college football. (GO TIGERS!)

My sweet daughters; The beautiful thing about letting them go, is seeing what even better versions of themselves that they will grow into. I will soak up every season with them, well… maybe not every season. I might want to rush through that horrible, awkward, hormonal, pubescent, middle school stage as quickly as possible. Or at least that’s what I hear from my “middle school moms”. (Stay strong, you warrior women. I am with you in spirit and love.) But the strides that we take with each phase of life can by far, only get richer in seeing it in our kids. It makes letting go so much easier when you are rooting them on, and cheering them into the next phase. So let’s let them go, and see where they take us. We’ll be pushing forward too! ❤

Be Still

Two Sundays ago I was sitting in the pew of my church. We are normally always at church but we’ve missed the last few weeks due to craziness, and life….And life not working like I would like it to, Or moving as smoothly… or as quickly as I would like it to. But we bust through the doors like the hot mess that we usually are. We ushered the girls in, got our seat, grabbed my bible, opened it up… and I zoned out.

I was there at church for the first time in weeks, but I wasn’t there. I was back at home and mentally working on all the things I needed to get done in my brain. I traveled in and out of my head.

“Feeding of the 5,000. Yep. Know this one.” Back home my brain went. “They followed Jesus in the desert” yes, I know. That’s why they needed food… food. Groceries. Ham for sandwiches. School lunches. Sign that permission form….

“BE STILL! God is just asking you to be still!”

I jerked my eyes back up.

My pastor went on to say that waiting for “the basket” to make it to you, is sometimes the hardest part of the journey. (1) Believe in Jesus? Done. I can do that. (2) Walk with him. Follow him to the desert land? No problem. Got it. (3) Now Be Still. Come again? Do nothing!? Be patient? Wait!? Lord, I don’t think I can do that!

I dont want to wait. Waiting stinks. When I have to wait. I worry. When I worry, I get anxious. Um. I am the furthest thing to a “bible knower”. (I’m sure there is a better word for that, but it eludes me momentarily.) But, uh… Doesn’t it say something in the bible about not worrying? Not be anxious. Yeah. Thought so. So now I’ve thrown myself even further down the rabbit hole. The same rabbit hole of anxious, and stressed, and worried that I have been in for the last month.

Tears burning my eyes. I feel God grab me. I look down, and I had just happened to wear my gold bracelet that Sunday. The one that has stamped on it in bold letters, “be still”. BRO-KEN. I was broke. Done.

Today I was on the way to pick Charlotte up from school, and the following conversation happened with my three year old…

“Man. Come on cars, yall are making me mad! Hurry it up!”

“Mommy! That’s not nice!”

“I’m sorry babe, but I hate waiting!!”

“But mommy. You HAVE to wait or you’ll crash!”

It’s usually always my kids voices that God uses to get my attention. Nearly always.

I’ll crash. If I rush it, it will turn into a mess. If I rush it, it won’t run as smoothly. If I rush it, it won’t turn out as good. If I rush it, disaster will surely follow.

My time is now. Immediate. Halfbaked. Sticky. God’s time is sacred. Perfect. Holy. Seamless.

I’m not sure if you know…. but God is GOD. As in, the all powerful. Existence is produced by the sound of his voice. He can make anything he wishes, happen instantly. BUT, He took six whole days to make creation. Then taking the seventh to rest, he declared it very good. Why? He’s GOD. If He wanted to, he could snap his fingers and it all be done immediately. But He didn’t. He worked diligently. He crafted, OVER TIME, the beautiful working order, which is our world, our universe. Taking his time to carefully, and tenderly mold and plan existence. If he took TIME creating THE WORLD, He will most certainly take his time unfolding His plan for me and my family. But it will be very good, tenderly molded, exceptionally crafted, and in beautiful working order.

I am so far away from having this “patience thing” wrapped in a neat little bow. I don’t. But, I’m working on it God is working on me every day. If it hasn’t fallen together, if it’s not all fitting together like you thought it would. Take rest. He already has it figured out. It’s already been taken care of. He has the whole world in his hands. ❤

Mom Shamed at Sam’s 😂

Hi. It’s the first week of school. We are all over the place and trying to get in the swing of things. Please believe that I have plenty to say on this subject matter considering the eldest just started kindergarten, but I’ve decided to let the rest of the week play out before writing about it. Maybe it’s to give myself more time to reflect or maybe just more time to ‘turn it around’ and maybe have it together by Friday. I’m not sure which, but stayed tuned and I’ll spill my guts on that topic on my next post.

I got mom shamed. I got mom shamed harddd. Not once. But twice. BY THE SAME PERSON. BY A STRANGER. My mom was with me… which only added to the chaos and the scene. So, here’s the story in the full hillariousness in which it unfolded, so just get comfy.

Last week, before school started, I went into town to run some errands. We did the school shopping adventures already where we went to three different office supply stores looking for very specific pencils for Charlotte to start kindergarten with. I mean, NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. But honest to goodness I would cut down a tree and handmake them myself, as long as I do not have to be the one to teach my kids “new math”. I mean honestly, Whatever you want teacher!! Just please dear sweet one, do not make me explain in a two paragraph form why 2+1=3.

So our last trip of the day was to Sam’s Club, (or the “Country Club” as some of our best friends call it. 😂 Ya know… “members only” allowed…. anywhooo…). We needed the basic “school lunch” necessities that can only be found in bulk here.

When we first arrived with two buggies and three kids, I told mom… “oh man! I forgot my Sam’s card! Oh wait. You know what! I forgot it last time too and they gave me a temporary! I still have it in my wallet, no big deal. Keep rolling…”

So “rolled on” we did. Through the 400 count diapers,100 bags of goldfish, 57 of the 2-pack oreos, 12 pounds of grapes, 60 packs of go-gurts, and so on. We finished shopping a little sweaty, a little worse for wear, but VICTORY WAS MINE because I didn’t cave on the 1000 pack of crayons or the Halloween outfits in August. We got to the line, unloaded the buggy, handed her the temporary card… wait, no I didn’t. BECAUSE THE TEMPORARY CARD WAS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. I searched frantically for several minutes before I finally looked up, made eye contact with my mother, who looked at me like “we both know it’s not in there so just get up to guest services already.”

I made it up to guest services where I met a women who clearly loved her job. (Kidding. She hated it. And me. And my old temporary card. And my excuses. And my new temporary card. And my smile. and my urge for her to have a good day. All of it. She hated it all.) By the time I made it back to my mom, kids, and check out line.. everyone hated me. I hated me. I suck. The card sucks. The system sucks. Everything sucks.

But we forged on, trying to undo the last 15 minutes in my mind. Mom took her buggy and Charlotte to one side of the van and unloaded while I took the rear, with both “littles” strapped in the buggy. As I unloaded the buggy into the trunk of my car, I saw a man come up to speak to my girls. This happens frequently because there are so many of them and they are all adorable (biasedly speaking), so with my hand on the cart I stopped to speak to him.

Man: “You sunbathe your baby?”

Me: “Yes, this is my baby. Oh, wait… sir?”

Man: “You sunbathe your baby?”

Me: “I’m so sorry. Im confused. I don’t understand.”

Man: “Your baby is just roasting out here in the hot sun while you unload your groceries? Do you just allow her poor little skin to bake in the sun?”

Me: 😳

Me: “sir, they are fine. My children are well taken care of. But thank you so much for your concern.” (Jesus, be near. Jesus be near to me right now.)

The man walks away and about that time my mom comes around the other side of the van, “Who was that? What was that? What did he say??”

Now, first of all. I have a black minivan people. A black car that has been roasting in the sun for the entire hour that we’ve just spent in Sam’s. The car itself was probably 120° at this point in time anyway, considering that we had just gotten to the car. But what exactly would you like for me to do with my three children sir? Stick them in the 120° car that has not yet cooled down? Leave them in the store while I load my groceries? What? What would be a better solution for YOU since YOU are apparently raising these children?

And then, guess what? The man gets halfway across the parking lot and forgets something from his car, where he has to walk past us again. Stopping, stupidly, again to say something to me.

Man: “You’re still sunbathing that baby?”

My mom whips around the car. Oh help us. Good sir. Listen, this is a woman who prays. A woman who is favored, because God is for her who in the world can ever be against her? She walks with Jesus and was raised in the south and you sir, were just dumb enough to comment negatively on how her baby is raising her babies. Sweet one… God be with you. You will need his mercy and interjection.

I, somewhere between broken and bewildered, in an unrecognizable pitch due to the lump in my throat, with my finger pointed, “I AM A GOOD MOTHER, SIR! I AM A GOOD MOTHER! I AM A GOOD MOTHER! I AM A GOOD MOTHER!” and no, it was not in anyway subtle or sane.

He walked off because well, there was a scene in which he made a woman nearly cry in the parking lot, with her three children, screaming that she was in fact, a good mother. We loaded the children in the car and as we pulled out Charlotte asked what happened. I told her that “he was a bad, mean man!”

And Yall. Be still my heart. My precious five year old replied, “but mama! We are suppose to love even bad people! And we are suppose to forgive people who are mean!”

I told her she was right, and fought the urge with every cell in my body to roll down my window and yell out to him, “SEE!!! I AM A GOOD MOTHER!!!” 😂😂😂

I obviously didn’t handle this one right. I handled it like a human. I handled like a normal, errand ran, tired mama of three would have. But I most certainly didn’t handle it with grace. I’ll do better next time. Mom shaming is a thing, for those of you that don’t think it is. It is. And it’s not just women who do it. Shame is a terrible thing to lay on another human. Let’s do better people. And I’ll try do better at having a calmer spirit in the storm. TRYING is such a difficult thing. Oh my gosh. I mean just shoot me dead before you call me a bad mother!! I would handle the wound a LOT better! I’m guessing most of us are that way. Hang on tight mama. We’re doing it right, even when the world is telling us we aren’t. I promise. ❤


“Don’t let what they say get to you…”

It is so much easier said, Than done. Words can ring out and slice you right down the middle. You can joke them off, or push them to the side, because of course you are confident enough to not pay any attention to those silly words. Until you lay down your head at night and let them replay over and over, and you turn into a little girl again wondering how long it will be before you feel like you belong. I think we need to be careful. Just so careful.

You dont know everyone’s past. You dont know everyone’s last week, or last days, or last years, or “lifetime ago’s”. And one simple statement can puncture them to their core. Their words struck a nerve, because the sense of rejection has been there before. Their words, though different, actually said “You don’t belong.” Their sense of entitlement took away your sense of belonging, and it crushed you.

When their words hit the center of you it reopened old wounds, and Satan just laughed and laughed. He got them to throw and unintentional punch, and it slung messiness all over the place. The enemy is so real and there is nothing that gives him more pleasure than you feeling rejection, or not valuable, or dismissed. The years you’ve invested, the time well spent, the time trying to belong and fit in feels undeniably unimportant. This gives him the greatest joy.

But God tells us we belong. He says we are His. He says we belong under is wing and absolutely have a seat at the table. You are so loved by God, that the mere thought of you, put you into existence and declared you “very good.” You are valuable and you have a place.

Words can be thrown like daggers, but they can not strike if we are coated in the armour of Gods love and goodness. We have to remember to whom we belong, when we feel as if we don’t. As much as I’ve received words like daggers, I’ve sent them too. If my soul was crushed by words, my words have crushed others too. Let’s be careful with each others hearts. Warm and welcoming is how I want my words to sit. I think so much of our problems with the world would stop, if we would help stop the sense of rejection and hurt- And instead offer “Come inside, you belong”. Happy Monday Yall❤

Grove Collaborative

Ok, so I had eczema terribly as a child. The backs of my legs and the creases of my arms were covered. I had a really hard time with it, especially in the dead of winter and in the scorch of the summers. My parents coated me in the only thing known to help at the time. Which bleached my skin… and to this day, the creases of my arms refuse to tan with the rest of my body. 😂 I look like I lay out in the sun with my arms crossed. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Thankfully, We have come a long way with what we know flares up eczema and how to help treat it. And thank goodness- because I’ve passed the eczema gene down to two of my three daughters. We always use a milder body wash and sunscreen, but other than that we’ve managed to live our lives pretty normally, until recently. Turner Mackenzie and Maggie Ruth both have really struggled here lately with their eczema. It’s just pitiful. I am now in a overhaul of switching out our life to a plant-based, organic, and Eczema friendly products.

I really thought that this would be a HUGE thing to tackle. UNTIL *cue the trumpets*… I was introduced to Grove Collaborative. Y’all this company sells the best, and most natural products and DELIVERS them to you!!! They have the most gorgeous home products, and *PLUS SIDE* they are natural, plant based products that are SAFE!

Also, Im not sure if I’ve told you guys this about me or not, but I’M the cheapest person on the planet! I meaning, I love spending money… but then I hate it when I have no money. So I LOVE that these products are so affordable, and they are things I have to buy anyway… I mean. We can’t live without toilet paper! 🤷🏼‍♀️ A few of the brands they sell are Mrs. Meyers, 7th Generation, Method, and TONS of others that are quickly becoming some of my faves!

First things first, Mrs.Meyers. Ok, so if you are unfamiliar with this brand let me just give you a quick low down. Their products do not contain ammonia, chlorine bleach, parabens, petroleum distillates, phosphates or phthalates. They are derived from plants. Now, I know what your thinking… because MY way of thinking was the same. “If it ain’t bleach –>It ain’t clean.” But that’s just simply not the case you guys. I really had to do my research for the benefit of my girls, and I’m telling you, this stuff is GOOD. You are NOT trading in clean for safe. YOU GET BOTH!

I really love their all purpose spray. I have been using it in my kitchen and it’s the bees knees y’all. I actually ended up getting the spray, dish soap, and handsoap all in “Lemon Verbana”. I like the lemon smell in the kitchen because it’s so clean, but since its paired with the verbena, it’s really light and delicate and not overwhelming at all!

I also did the “Honeysuckle” in our laundry detergent. Umm… it’s actually heaven!! And I won’t EVEN get on how outrageously good their “Basil” scent is, oh MY GOSH! Loving Mrs.Myers!

There are TONS of other companies on this site as well, and they are ALL amazing! They have skincare products, baby products, cleaning products, you name it!! The website itself is SO easy to use! Which is another reason I love this company so much. Normally, I dont set up any kind of monthly subscriptions because it’s a HASSLE! What if I dont want it? Or what if I want to hold my order for two more weeks? Switching out products, or changing delivery dates, or cancelling orders, any of that…. Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy (As Charlotte says). Umm also, They give you your own personal assistant! They call themselves “Grove Guides” and ALL I have to do if I have any questions is simply text or email her, and DONE! My “GG” is Annee and she is the epitome of adorable!

So here! This is my little secret to you! Now RUN! Sign up for the Grove Collaborative immediately. I’m telling you, it will change your life!

Just clink the link here. If you use my link and referral code, you’ll snag a Mrs. Meyers cleaning kit FREE with any $20 or more purchase! YAY for free stuff! 😁

Mama Tried.

Just got home. It’s 9:30 pm and everyone just got in bed. It’s an hour past the “bigs” bedtime and two hours past baby Maggie Ruth’s. As you can imagine… Everyone is just in a lovely mood. We just came home from a long day, which began with “Muffins for Mom” today at the girls preschool. We managed “well enough”. We have most certainly had worse adventures at school functions. The last one being, rolling in on two wheels for the Easter egg hunt in the park. Thank God, (and I absolutely mean this with the very depths of my soul) THANK GOD for other school moms. As we pulled in for that fun trip, she came to the van, pulled out the big kids and took them with her so that all the eggs wouldn’t be gone by the time I parked the car and got out the baby. Since we arrived early, and left without any meltdowns today… I’m gonna call “Muffins For Mom” a win this year.

Then to lunch, then home for naps, then loaded back in the car to pay bills and run errands for the afternoon. We went to the dreaded walmart. It was a fairly non-negotiable trip, so I said a prayer and loaded the three down into the cart. As we approached the building everyone exclaimed they needed to go to the restroom. Lovely. Taking a cart full of underexposed immune systems is the LAST thing I want to take into a Wal-Mart bathroom. But it’s THIS, or pee pants. Pick your poison. We go to the restroom and a bathroom attendant tells us that’s she’s mopping and will be a while, and tells us to go to the restroom located in the back of the store. Through the aisles we go.. girls screaming the entire time of the urgency for a potty. We make it to the restroom, cram the cart through the restroom door, only to be greeted with a great big OUT OF ORDER sign. Awesome. Sweet pickles. Sugar sticks. FRIED BOLOGNA SANDWICH. (I’ve been using foods instead of profanity.. bear with me).

We make it back up to the front of the store restroom with a very long line and someone who is “occupying” the big stall. (And I am using the word “occupying” so loosely that the hinges might fall off and a door hit the floor. This smell could peel paint.) But you see, I need the big stall to get the cart into it, so I can keep an eye on all of my three littlest who will probably have the swine flu by the time we leave the facilities. I finally cave and tell Charlotte she will have to potty in a single stall by herself. She refuses. I reassure her that I am right outside the door, I’m watching. She can do it. And guess what? She does it!! Wonderful! She doesn’t come out…. ?? Why is she not coming out??

“Charlotte, honey are you alright?”


“Charlotte, baby I’m right here. What’s wrong?”

“I’M STUCK!!!”

Oh yes people. She’s locked herself in the stall and can’t get out. We do the only thing that’s logical. I make her crawl under the door, TOUCHING THE FLOOR OF THE WAL-MART BATHROOM. I just gagged as I typed it. I asked her how had she gotten the door stuck and she replied she didn’t know, and as I gave the door a little push before we left, just out of curiosity, it opened. I look at her bewildered, and she just says “Oh, I was just pushing the wrong way. Sorry mama.” 😑

Since we were on the road at dinner time chick-fil-a was the only obvious choice. We walk in, service is as wonderful as it always is. I get everyone settled, pass out food and cups and ketchup. I cut Maggie Ruth’s food into micro pieces and everyone is nearly done by the time I take my first bite. I’m exhausted. I’m nearly in tears. And like a phsyco, (or a saint- I haven’t decided), I keep whispering “Jesus, sweet Jesus, hold me up Jesus…” with each breath.

An elderly woman and her husband stop at our table as they leave. She smiles and she pats me on the shoulder. “Honey, I have been watching you. You are a good mama, and I have watched you feed these children, direct them, praise them, a discipline them, just like a good mama should. I know it may seem like the days are long, but this is just a season. Mine are grown and gone now. But I remember how tired I was at the end of the day, and I also know how I miss it now.”

Now granted this woman has no idea I just had my eldest crawl across the walmart bathroom…. BUT I LOVE HER. I HUGGED HER. I DON’T KNOW HER NAME. But I KNOW it was Jesus. I just wanted to fold her up and put her in my pocket. Her husband ushered her away, probably in fear that the mental lady with all the kids was going to steal her. 😂

This is women. This is “mamas”. This is what we do day in and day out for our kids, and well- our peoples kids too. Because in this phase, and maybe in the next one too, (I’m not sure yet… we haven’t made it to middle school dances) this is what you do. You take kids to the potty, and you make lunches, and you kiss the booboos, and you panic when you rush kids to the ER, and you take on other kids as your own, and love them, and rear them up just like yours. It’s what we do.

Us women are incredible really. The women in my tribe, or fellow school mom, or teacher, or dance instructor, or aunt, or cousin, friend, or “lifers” as I call them. People you do life with, your whole life. There is not one single second of our life, or our day that I could do without them. I’m not saying we can always show up. My gosh.. sometimes we can’t even do 100% for the people under our own roof. Sometimes we have to say no. But having women and friends, and mama’s, and single friends, and married friends, and divorced friends, and friend’s in every season.. is what the spice of life is all about. There are women in my family, and women in my life who help raise these girls just as much as I raise them.

I use to run from help. I hated it when people asked if they could help fix a plate for the girls or hold one of them. It somehow offended me as they thought I wasn’t capable of caring for my own kids. But what I’m learning more everyday is that it’s not about that, it’s about receiving love. Receiving a blessing, and being a blessing by allowing someone to bless you. I remember my mama saying this to me a few years back. “Just let someone bless you, Hannah. It’s not for you, it’s for them.” And I looked at her like she had three heads and kept right on moving. But guess what? As always, Mama was right.

Happy Mamas day. To all of you mothers who are, and who were, and who are still yet to come. Especially to you. Biggest hugs. You’ll be doing crazy chick-fil-a and walmart trips before you know it. I’m thinking of you this weekend! ❤

One day…

Yesterday I had been busy all day and it just never stopped. I had done the gym, ran the errands, did the Sam’s bulk trip, picked up the bigs from school, made the lunches, organized the “office” (laughable, it’s a desk with lots of crap and then a few actual vital pieces of information, like birth certificates…). I did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, did the laundry, and was into organizing more. I had put everyone down for a nap, when in the middle of my “getting our life together”, my big came creeping down the steps.

If you know me as a parent at all, then you know that our naptime is mandatory. As in non-optional. No, you will not be getting up. This is your bed and this is where you lay for the next 1-2 hours. (This is not me taking a stand on naptime. This is just what works for me and my family. I really, truly don’t care if your child naps or not. Everyone please quit making every dad blame thing a soapbox topic. This is what’s wrong with the world. Everything’s a “thing”.)

But, nevertheless, here she came. Sneaking so silently I didn’t even hear her. Except, I knew she was there, due to the eyes in the back of my head that all mothers grow the moment they leave the hospital with their new bundle. She asked to stay up. “I’m just not sleepy, mama. Everyone else is asleep and I just can’t, so can I stay up?”. I caved to silent rest on the couch while I finished downstairs. After a few minutes, I felt her peering at me. I looked over at her, put down my work, and snuggled with her on the couch. This can wait.

You see the thing is, she’s graduating from Preschool in three weeks. I am launching her into a new world of public school, larger classroom sizes, new friends, possible bullies, new teachers, more responsibility, testing, homework, peer pressure, comparison, and no “unexcused days”. No days of staying home because I would just rather have her with me. No days of playing hookie to go to the movies instead. No pick up at 11:30, so I will get to eat lunch with her. None of that. All of these days are nearly gone. Gone in 19 very short days. Tears are burning my eyes as I type these very words…

I thought I was ok with all of this. We did kindergarten registration a few weeks back. I didn’t cry. I was excited for her. A little nervous, but excited… as I remember my first days of school being too- a little nervous, but exciting. But yesterday, in the middle of my errand running, I went to the book section in Target to find an appropriate book to have all of her teachers sign as we launch her into this next phase. A book that I will send on the last days of school, to every teacher of hers, for the next 12+ years. I found the perfect book. I sat there, in the back of Target, holding Maggie Ruth, and cried and cried. The more I thought of Charlotte launching, the tighter I held my 13 month old. God help this poor baby. Being the last won’t be easy, and I can assure you, if she wants to stay in this house until thirty-five, THEN THAT WILL BE FINE AND NONE OF YOU WILL SAY ANY CONDEMNING WORDS, OR IN ANY WAY PUSH HER TO LEAVE ME!!!!

I read the line….”When I look at you and you look at me, I wonder what wonderful things you will be….”


So I put aside my work that I didn’t finish, because let’s be honest… it’s a long list of unfinished things that I will pick back up the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next to finish. But it can wait. Because Charlotte won’t. She won’t wait to grow. She won’t wait to grow another inch taller. She will soon cut her own food. And read books to herself. She will fix her own hair. And pull the paint set down by herself. She one day soon will not lay down for a nap after lunch, but instead tend to homework and then go ride her bike down the street. She will one day soon set her own alarm for school, not needing me to gently brush her hair off of her face and wake her sweetly. “One day” is turning into “One day soon”, and too soon will it become “today”.

So for now, I will lay with her on the couch, and let her fall asleep cuddled up next to me. Us both waking with our cheeks stuck together. I want her to launch. I want her to succeed, and fail. I want her to go and grow at “big school.” Moving up to the next grade, growing older… it’s a privelege that is denied to so many. I want her to become a sweet girl, and beautiful teenager, and kind woman, and thoughtful wife, and attentive mother. And career woman, or entrepreneur, or homemaker, or whatever calling God sends her into. But I will hold this sweet five year old, until she won’t let me anymore. I will hold her until “One day” becomes “today”.

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian…”

Sundays. Can I tell you what Sundays mean? For us, the start of our Sunday is church. Seeing our people. Hugging their necks. Sitting in the pews, listening together intently to the word of God. We watch eachother sing praises to our Almighty, and worship together. We carry eachothers children back to nursery for one another. We catch eachothers runaway three year old in the parking lot (thank you deacons👐). We make it a point to go visit the sweet elderly lady who sits in her same “spot” every week, just to see her sweet smile. We have the same sweet old man sneak our children candy and joke with them on the way in. The way you meet on the steps of the church, and all speak together and love on one another on the way out. We meet eachother in the middle of the aisles to ask “how was your week?”, “I’m so glad to see you!”, “pray for me this week!”.

I had someone find me in church today, “I love your heart…” she said, among other things. Her words have stuck with me all day. Do not under any circumstances believe that small words can’t touch someone. I love her and she loves me. Not because we are related, or because we are especially close, or because we speak everyday. She loves me because I’m a sister in Christ. She loves me, the way that you love your people.

For anyone who is involved in church, you’ll understand. And for anyone who isn’t, you’ll want to get involved. Church binds you together in an unexplainable way. Not “clicky” or a club that no one else can enter… no, not that. (And if it feels like that- then the Lord probably intends for you to be at a different church. Jesus would not dare allow someone to not let you have a seat at the table. So, if it feels like that; it’s wrong.) No, it’s a special way that God kind of sews all of your heartstrings together when you worship Him, hear His words, and see eachother broken down and built back up in the Spirit together. The way you watch someone walk to the altar to lay down their burdens and hug them with knowing and loving hugs after service, making a mental note to yourself to “check in” with them the next week. Its impossible to witness the very intimate and personal way that God changes our hearts and minds in service, and not be affected by it.

We have fun at church. We cut up at church. We laugh and share humor a church. Holy and humor can reside in the same place. You can be human, and a church-goer, and a Christian. I’m not really sure when the stigma began that Christians were meant to be prudes, but um… cough cough. We’re not. We are imperfect people with normal lives, striving to live the way Jesus did. Thats it. And church is where we come together under one roof, to love our God. It’s the place where a bunch of us broken people come to meet every week to be put back together in Christ. What a blessing. What a safe place. What a gift.

“Going to church doesn’t make you a christian.” You’ve heard it before. And yes, they’re right, it doesn’t. But then again, thats not the point of church. Church is not to “make you a Christian”. Church is where you come to worship God. Church is where you come to literally have His words spoken over you, to breathe in you new life. Church is where your people gather to build you up, love you, pray for you and with you, worship with you, hold you accountable, check in with you. Church is such a precious gift, and if it is physically possible for you to get into the doors of church, I am begging you to go. God will open up your heart in such powerful ways. He will set people in your life who will be such a gift, and so uniquely designed to fuel your walk with Him. Our church has been such a blessing. It is so funny how God will change your view on things when you get involved in church. How you will see things with such grace and mercy. How it will soften your heart, and allow you to walk with such joy.

Have a happy Sunday guys, however you spend it… I hope today gives you joy and rest. ❤❤❤