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Monday, August 31, 2015


As Hunter and I were driving home yesterday from doing our youth's community service project, we both agreed that this past weekend was a ministry filled weekend.
And we loved it!
Even though we were on the constant go almost all weekend, it was still so fulfilling to be a part of some great things. It was also so nice seeing my hubby's heart at such peace - ministry is his calling afterall!
I'm so grateful for the moments this weekend - from spending time with amazing friends on Friday night to set the stage up for a night of worship on Saturday night, to the actual time spent in worship, and finally to the community service project that our youth did.
One of the things we've started teaching our youth is how to give back to their community without expecting anything in return. Thus, the idea of a free snow-cone giveaway came about. We loaded up the van + Hunter's truck + all the essentials and headed into the community just a few blocks down from the church. We informed our students at the beginning to not get discouraged if nobody from the community shows up, or if they're sketched out by it; they've never had this before so a lot of times it takes a few tries of going and building relationships with them to earn the trust (that's ministry, folks).
Oh how we ate our words. Kids started showing up out of the woodworks! We were blown away by the amount of kids that showed up, and our youth were too. Watching our students interact with people was so humbling. They eagerly went out, door-to-door inviting people to come spend time with us and get a free snow-cone. One of our girls said to me, "I had no idea this many kids were around here, and would even show up!" Yes my little grasshopper, you never know what's outside of those church walls until you actually step out and serve.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Letters to Hunter

This letter is part of a link-up with the beautiful Mrs. Amber. These letters are snippets into our lives and treasures that I can hold onto dearly as we grow old.

Dear Hunter,

Lately it feels like each day slips by like sand beneath the waves. We run from home to work, to home, to cook, to clean, now to school and homework, to youth and church, to doing life. It's a non-stop go-go-go pace that some days I embrace and can't get enough of; other days I question the purpose of the never-ending chaos of life.

One thing we've learned in all the madness is to make time for us. Time to allow us just to be the 2 of us, to slow down and soak each other's presence in. It's those glorious moments that I love just being with you and watching God work through you, and in you, and beside you. Those brief moments in our crazy days remind me why I thank God every day for your friendship, love, and trust.

After 4 years of being together and almost 1 year of marriage, I've only just begun to scratch the surface at one thing: discovering the ways you look at me. You look at me with pride because I'm yours; you look at me with humor because I tend to make you laugh quite a bit; you look at me with fondness because I know your heart's secrets, and you can trust that I will protect them with my very life; and you look at me with an unwavering, profound love that makes me feel all the giddy feels.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with a man that looks at me the way he does. I'm a better woman because of you, Hunter.

Always yours,


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Monday, August 24, 2015


We made it home! I honestly wasn't ready to leave the "Happiest Place on Earth" to face reality but it does make our next Disney trip in October just that much more exciting. I'm so grateful for the time we got to spend with each other this weekend. And now, for the honorary photo dump while I drink out of my Mickey Mouse mug and relive those fun moments...

We have arrived!

Aren't they just happy lil' Disney goers?
Preach it *insert hand emoji*
Somebody found the beer cart...
And then somebody found the Disney ice cream...

Bye Disney! Until next time...

I think he was glad to be home too.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hiding in the Light

My sweet co-worker and friend (hi Corrie!) loaned a book to me the other day and told me how great of a read it is. Guys, I'm only halfway through and I'm absorbing every single word like it's the very air I need to breathe.
Hiding in the Light is based on a true story of Rifqa Bary and her conversion from Islam to Christianity. I don't want to give many details away simply because ya'll need to read this. It's unbelievable the things she went through just because of her faith.
As I was reading this, I couldn't help but feel absolutely disappointed in myself. Here was a young girl who had to hide her faith in Jesus from her family; she read her Bible in safe places like school or while they slept; she had to pray silent prayers while her family shoved their Islamic practices upon her.
And how do I treat my faith? Oh that's right - reading my Bible has become part of my to-do list. My prayers aren't passionate conversations between me and my Best Friend. Please don't coddle me and tell me, "Oh it's okay. It's just a season." I'm disappointed with myself and frankly, disgusted by the fact that I have allowed myself to treat my faith like it's just one other thing to do for the day.
I'm changing that though. Well, technically I can't change anything without the assistance of the Helper but I'm acknowledging it and facing it head on. Somebody once told me that the best way satan can succeed in a Christian's life is to make them as stagnant as possible in their faith. In essence, we allow our flesh desires to overtake the spiritual side and we find reasons, excuses, things to replace the time spent with God.
That's my prayer today, and every day. Get out of this "every-day-to-do-list" mode because that is the last thing I ever want to become: Somebody who goes through the motions just to get a pat on my back. I pray that each of you reading this will go and pick up this book and really take a hard look at your spiritual walk with God. Don't ever reach the point where you think your walk is good... Because it can always be better.
**This is not a sponsored post in any way. I was not asked to read this book and write a review. I'm simply just sharing because I feel like we all need to take a deeper look at ourselves. If you have any questions about my faith, Christianity, why I believe what I believe, PLEASE don't hesitate to contact me. I certainly don't know all the answers, but I can help point you in the right direction.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Is this real life + Grateful Anyways

I don't really want to talk about the fact that life is passing me by at warped speed. It's the middle of August, about 2 months from mine and Hunter's wedding anniversary, and I'm pretty sure it feels like 2015 just started yesterday. Like, whaaaaaa?
Don't get me wrong - I love that God has filled my life with so much beauty, and wonder, and love that I'm just having so much fun and not realizing how quickly time is passing. He has been so good to me. On the flip side, the speediness of this life is sad because those are the days that are gone and now all that's left are the memories made. Beautiful memories, but alas, only memories.
Hello sappy Monday, right? Cheer up buttercup! This weekend was spent with people - friends, family, youth students. It was so so wonderful doing life with those people. Chatting about where we are today and thanking God for His plans; laughing as we help a friend move and trying to shove her furniture through doorways; watching one of our youth students get baptized; seeing God's ministry grow like none other.
I'm so grateful for the people that He has placed in my life. Whether it's my family, dearest friends, or the lively lady in the Chick-fil-A drive through window - know that I thank God daily for your life and your purpose. This weekend, Hunter and I will be traveling a few hours to spend time with both of our sisters at Disney World to celebrate their upcoming 17th birthdays. I want to soak in all the time that we spend together laughing at each other, take as many selfies or usies because duh, more than one person is an "usies" ha! I want my face to be sore from my crooked smile being pasted on my face the entire time. I want to live life to the fullest.
Jep and I watching the fence building this past weekend
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Fabulous Friyay

What a glorious Friday?! I walked out of our house this morning to head into work and it honestly didn't feel as humid as it has been feeling. Is Fall in the air? I'm ready for all things Fall - Pumpkin Spice everything, blankets and scarves, bonfires and s'mores, our anniversary... Fall is just a great time of year. We've got a busy weekend ahead of us but a good one!
one:// Dinner with friends - tonight we'll be spending time with this hunk of a man, also known as the great Gus. Or the greek god, as he prefers. Ha! Gus has been a HUGE part of our growth in ministry. He's been by our sides, we've been by his through the absolute worst of times and through the absolute best of times.
an oldie but goodie - us with Gus and his youngest daughter
two:// Fence building - we literally just got the approval from our HOA yesterday evening that we can start building our fence. Hallelujah, praise Jesus! We'll be buying fence materials today and hopefully starting + completing that project this weekend.
three:// Youth service project - part of our ministry with our youth students is teaching them how to have a servant's heart and to be willing to give your time, efforts, and sometimes money to help others in need. So with that said, we're going out Sunday after church to the community around the church and giving out free sno-cones because it's still mega hot in the middle of the day. We'll be knocking door to door, inviting folks to come out and join us. We'll be asking folks how we can pray for them and reminding them that the Church (body of Christ) loves them very much.
love these nerds
What do you have planned for this weekend? Whatever it may be, enjoy it!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Currently I'm...

I've seen a few of these gems floating around and thought, "Hey, why not?" And also because I've lost track of days, just realized it's Wednesday, and there's notta thang to be posted. Alas, currently I'm...
Drinking: Sweet tea because my 75 pound pit bull woke me up bright and early this morning, shivering like a leaf because of bad weather. He's so brave, I know...
Wearing: Boring work clothes. But they are cute!
Wanting: Our trip to Disney to be oh-so-fantastical! Hunter and I are so excited to be celebrating both of our sisters birthdays with them.
Feeling: A bit sleepy, a bit mellow, a bit happy.
Eating: As of right now, nothing. But give me about 30 minutes and I'll be chowing down on a banana.
Listening To: Keyboard clicking. And construction taking place right outside my window.
Loving: Life! It's full of surprises, blessings, trials, you name it. It's a beautiful thing to live.
Excited About: Disney, le duh!
Admiring: The beautiful sunrise this morning. There was a particular moment I was sitting at a stop light and the rising sun behind dark clouds served as a beautiful back drop to our state's Capitol.
Saying Good-Bye To: Bad habits. Adios muchachos!

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Grateful Always

Happy first day of Special Sessions in the Florida Legislature! Well, at least happy first day to me and my fellow coworkers. We will survive this, people. Did ya'll have a fabulous weekend? We cleaned, watched Netflix, grilled out, cleaned, Netflix... the usual ha!
Monday's can be tough to get back into the swing of things. Lucky for me, I picked up a dozen assorted donuts this morning from Krispy Kreme and my coworker baked homemade, from scratch brownies. This Monday's already turning out to be a sweet one :)
Even in the midst of Monday's, it's still so important to look upon the beauty of it. God did make a new day for us after all, so we should be thankful. Today (and every day) I'm beyond grateful for our pastor and his wife. Their leadership, perseverance, and friendship have been huge blessings in mine and Hunter's lives.
When we joined our small country church, Hunter and I had no idea what to expect. We didn't expect such an outpouring of love from complete strangers. We didn't realize how much our teenagers actually love being at church and want to be around us "ole folks." And we never expected God to bring such healing to our hearts. Hunter and I continue to marvel over God's plans and His impeccable sense of timing.
So to Lem, Gretchen, and Antioch family - thank you for your love and support in our ministry. Thank you Lem and Gretchen for pouring your leadership into us and fostering discipleship in us and for us to further God's kingdom. And to Lem - thank you for encouraging Hunter to pursue his passion of ministry. For the first time ever, Hunter finally knows what God has called him to do. And it's beautiful to watch him walk this journey.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Have you adulted this week?

We have officially survived a week of adulting. And by adulting I mean unpacking, washing clothes, cooking our own meals. You know, adulting. The first week in our home has really been a quick one!
one:// Chef Kelly - I swear I should have my own cooking show. I love to cook! Baking, not so much, but cooking... That's my jam. It's so therapeutic for me to be in the kitchen and I always love a good challenge. I tackle new recipes, making up recipes, and just trying to test the boundaries of cooking. So far this week, I've made venison (deer meat) country fried steak from scratch {first time ever} with wild rice and salad. The husband approved and asked for more. Last night I cooked an oven baked BBQ chicken (thank you Pioneer Woman for the inspiration) with potato wedges and salad. Husband approved and asked for more.
please excuse mess... We're unpacking, people
two:// Play dates - since Hunter and I are currently awaiting approval for a fence from our wonderful HOA (sarcasm dripping) our pups have been going to stay with their grandparents during the day. I swear they're like little humans: In the mornings they have the biggest smiles and waggiest tails when it's time to go. And they're pooped when they come home in the evenings. To my in-laws: THANK YOU!
three:// The rumor weed - We have so much yard work to do + pressure washing + planting things. Thus, this Saturday will be spent dying working in the yard and getting those weeds out of my beautiful flowers.
Have a good weekend friends!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Let's wrap this up

You know what happens when you move? The before, during, and after? You lose brain cells. And when you lose brain cells you forget to complete certain things... Like the list of 27 things I learned in the {almost - technically now} 27 years of life. Yep, I need my head examined.
Let's wrap this baby up shall we?

21:// Hire movers. Since this move is still so fresh and so chaotic I felt that this was a very important note to add to this list. Hire. Dang. Movers. Don't do it yourself - it's awful. Hire movers. {Side note: I'm very grateful for the family and friends that did help us, have asked to help and I forgot to text you yes, and for offering your services. It is mucho appreciated!}

22:// Chick-fil-A has crack in their food. Totally joking! Don't sue me Chick-fil-A. But in all seriousness, I've discovered I have an unhealthy addiction to Chick-fil-A. In fact, the lady who works the drive-thru window during the lunch hour rush knows me personally. And when I don't go to Chick-fil-A for awhile, they notice and ask where I've been. I'll call it ministry, people. I like to make an effort to get to know folks.... And eat chicken.

23:// Life is not a competition. It's very easy to get caught up in the comparison game. Your friends are married with kids, and you're not. Your friends are graduating, and you're not. Your friends seem to have it altogether, and well you, you're just lucky to get clothes on each day. Don't compare yourself to others. Live your life according to God's purposes for YOU and not His purposes for OTHERS. Got it? Get it? Good.

24:// We're not promised tomorrow. I recently received a call that a sweet friend who translated for us in Honduras passed away. She was young and so full of life. Life is so beyond fragile and should be treasured each day. One of the first things I always pray to God is thanking Him for another day of life to do His work. It's a privilege, not a right. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away as my mother always said.

25:// Be picky about who you date/marry. I literally had a list of qualifications that a man must meet in order for me to even give him a second glance. It had things on it like "love God first; wear real clothes (previous fella only wore gym shorts/sweatpants to everywhere, and I mean everywhere); embrace my independence yet allow me to lean on you, and vice versa; etc." I'm one of those Type A folks where I don't like to waste my time. Thus, be picky about who you date and/or marry. Did I have that list for Hunter when we started dating? I absolutely did! Did he pass? I'll let ya'll take a wild guess on that one ;)

26:// Dogs are the best relationship-testers. Seriously, our dogs (I feel) have prepared us a little bit for kids. The managing, cleaning up, feeding, playing with... Our dogs are demanding, needy dogs. But I love them because they're my babies!

27:// Smile. Finally, always smile and especially to others. Not that weird-creeper-smile but a deep and genuine smile. Guys let's be real for a minute... There is so much hatred, darkness, discord, and anger in this world. The evilness of sin has penetrated every single person and many have forgotten what it's like to be positive. Smile because you live. Smile because Christ died for you, rose again to save your sorry butt, and it's BY GRACE ALONE that we are saved. Smile and talk to the folks that ride the elevator with you. Smile and befriend the people who don't "look like you" because guess what, they're God's children too. Just smile.

Bonus:// Ministry is not for the faint of hearts. Ministry is a tough, tough business. Hunter and I have been fortunate enough to see the good, the bad, and the very ugly early on in our ministry. I fully believe that we were meant to see it all pretty quickly to remind us daily why we have been called to do ministry, especially Hunter. Always love God first, then secondly love people. Love even the most difficult of people.

It's been a heck of 27 years, let me tell ya. But it's been fun, it's been real. Heck, it's been real fun. I've learned a lot about who I am as a person, and joyfully embrace all the trials, tribulations, and successes that God has placed in my life. Everything has it's purpose and I cannot wait to see what the next 27 years of life have to offer. 

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Making room

EG's Twelve Months of Bliss

I am alive, barely. But we are alive and kickin' and movin' and shakin'. Needless to say, I picked up the largest cup of vanilla iced coffee from Chick-fil-A this morning. Not even ashamed.

I'm taking my mind off of moving for the day and focusing on some more fun things, like life things. First thing, I've just got to brag about my gal Em. Ya'll, she's the best. Hunter knows her as Emily from Nashville, my blogger friend who sends confetti in her letters (haha!). And he's totally up for a trip to Nashville... Taking any guests Em and X?

Anyways, so Emily presented a challenge as part of her 12 Months of Bliss - Making Room. Essentially, where can I make room in my life by getting rid of a bad habit of mine. I really wanted to be serious about this challenge because guys, bad habits are just that, bad habits. And my particular bad habit was not something I'm proud of and needed to get rid of desperately. Are ya'll ready?

Bad language.

Please don't judge me ha! But in all seriousness, whenever I got frustrated, or angry, or irritated, I would resort to using some not nice words to convey my emotions. I'll tell ya, my favorite words were s***, da**, and hell (that's in the Bible so I'll spell it out). I wouldn't venture from those words because I felt like they were milder compared to others.

And you know what's even crazier? Those "worse" words would repulse me. Talk about calling a kettle black huh? So I knew I needed to stop using those words and replace them with the proper words to convey those emotions. So rather than saying s***, say something else like "son-of-a-gun!" See, works just as well.

It was hard at first, and I still have my moments that my sinful nature comes out to play. But overall, I have to say I feel like I'm doing better. I'm praying about it, being self-aware about it, and intentionally making every effort to stop using those words, and to make room for better words.

Thank you Emily for encouraging us to rid our lives of the habits that only weigh us down and prevent us from fully experiencing the beauty of it all.
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