My Labor Day Skillet Revival

I have this new affinity for cast iron skillets and Ree Drummond.

My whole life while my dad was alive, he cooked with a cast iron skillet. He taught me how to fry cornbread and cube steak, make gravy out of bacon grease and flour, you know, a few southerners staples. My dad’s mother still to this day makes the best cat head biscuits you will ever find in her cast iron.

I miss my dad and going home to his cooking.  When I left home for Florida living, it was a big adjustment for me to live without Sunday southern dinners. After church I found that only a state away, Florida is not really the south.  If I wanted anything close, Morrison’s Cafeteria would have to do. I would get so mad when people would ask us to go to Chili’s.  That was not my idea of Sunday food.  Occasionally, we would get an invitation to Miss Jo’s home for lunch, a precious friend from church, and nothing could feel more like home.

When my dad passed away and my whole world changed, so did my health and my diet.  While walking through that season of loss, I gained an incredible friend and mentor, by the name of Suzi, (The Suz) who helped me transform my schedule to consistent gym days and a new way of eating. My world opened up to Mediterranean food, cooking with olive oil and lemon, eating darker greens and less and less white flour and I met Stevia for the first time.

I don’t know if it is being sentimental, the tie to my dad and southern roots, being a mom who wants to spoil her kids, or watching Ree Drummond, but the cast iron skillet has made a resurrection in my life.  I haven’t reverted back to the southern meals I grew up on as we save that for holidays or special occasions, but dessert is dessert!

On a trip to my parents lake house over summer vacation, mom and I went shopping at a quaint antique store and found this amazing wall.


I left with 2! One is a traditional 10in size and the other is real deep with a lid.  Don’t remember dad having a lid! Since I’ve had these babies at home, I’ve used them for everything.  Now I know why Cracker Barrels pancakes are the best. These pans give them that crispy edge, when using butter of course.

Since its Labor Day weekend and we are all home, the kids asked for chocolate chip cookies. Instead of cookies, I wanted to try a cookie pie in the skillet. Ohhhh yessss, best decision ever!

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Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetI would say my family thanks you Ree Drummond for your recipe, but Im not letting them know this is not my creation.

I mean just look at this happy face.

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Cast “That” Care

I have found that if you can take one word, or one verse, and settle your mind on it, the peace of God will keep you amidst troubling situations.

I have a verse in mind that will help you stay in control over chaos.
Col 3:15 says, “Let the peace of God rule in your heart.”
What that is really saying is…
let (authorize, empower, allow) the peace (restfulness and quietness) of God  rule(command) your heart( feelings, emotions, and affections)
It’s really on us to instruct our hearts to be still.  When something arises that is contrary to peace, we have to rule our own emotions. A verse in proverbs says, “he who rules his own heart is greater than one who conquers an entire city.”  God has never made an announcement to me that He was in the room. Sometimes I forget that He is there, but nevertheless, He is always with us. In my mind, He’s saying something like, “hey, are you gonna let me rule, or do you want to waste your time with the pity party?” You can waste your time with fear, you can waste it being mad things did’t go the way you hoped, or you can stand guard over your heart and tell it to be still. You can also believe God wants to use the hard things in your life to show you His strength within you. He didn’t call us Victorious so we could make our lives about dodging bullets, He calls Victorious so that we face things head on and win our peace over it.
IF you “let” it, the noise, tumult, and busyness of our days will try its job to hide peace,  But God promised us that those who seek Him will find Him.(Matthew7:8)
Sitting alone in my own quiet space I felt the heaviness of my personal load. In the midst of my thoughts I remembered, “Cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you.”  When you cast something, you are pitching it forcefully in a specific direction.
Ironically, as I am typing this, we are at my parents lake house. There’s a lot of fishing going on here!  I am sitting back watching the view of my boys casting their lines in hopes of catching a big fish. Before a good minute passes they are reeling the line back in to cast in another direction, when all that they need to do is wait.
Isn’t that what we do when our faith is small? We don’t always trust the first time we throw it to God, so we reel it back in and start casting it in other directions. We call our girlfriends, our doctors, our pastors, and spouses. They can’t fix it. The weight becomes heavier because we tell ourselves “nobody can help me and I have too much to bear!” Then God, in the voice Norah Jones, says “come away with me“. God says, “I will give you rest. I will quiet your fears. Cast those cares again in my direction, and I will provide the care you need, the protection you need, and the answers you need.”
God is waiting on your cast. He wants to help you like you desperately want to help your own children, but so much more! Just as you can see from a better perspective for them, He can absolutely see so much higher than we can. God is our personal caregiver. When someone gets to the point of needing a caregiver, they realize that they can no longer handle the full responsibility of caring for themselves When He cares for us, He gives us superior safekeeping, guardianship, protection, attention, discretion, forethought, and more! Do you need accuracy and precision dealing with the guidance of a child or loved one? Cast that care on Him and stop worrying! And once you make the cast, let the peace of God rule!


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Do you know how to forgive?
I so enjoyed listening to the Gateway Church podcast this morning with Pastor Robert Morris, that I felt I should carry this message on my blog. Also, we just celebrated Easter and I think we should keep the message of forgiveness close to our hearts.
So, I asked if you knew how to forgive…
Have you had a conversation lately that you may have responded, “Well, last time…you did……(fill in the blank)
If you have recalled, rehearsed and recounted, or negatively brought to remembrance the actions done in the past by you or another individual, maybe…just maybe
you haven’t considered what the true meaning of forgiveness is.
Jesus said, “I will remember your sins no more“
Remembering sounds like this…..
“I recall last time you did this, or said this”
If you look up the word remember, the first word in the definition is “recall”.
So Jesus said, “I will recall your sins no more”
If we call ourselves Christians, a basic fundamental element to our walk is forgiveness.
To forgive is this..
To disregard someones actions or offense. To excuse.
To feel no resentment toward, to harbor no grudge. absolve. release.
And the first antonym listed is?  Punish. (ouch)
Who are you punishing today by your silence? Who are you avoiding? Who are you holding hostage that Jesus has already set free?
Our basic instructions when Christ rose from the dead was to go and tell everyone that they have been forgiven!  He paid our debts!  If Christ had not died for our sins, we would have no good news to share.
Mark 16:15, Go into all the world and preach the good news.
The good news is… you are off the hook! You can accept Jesus and have eternal life! God is not going to recall your sins again.
I admit….I am challenged at letting go of some things I have walked through, and at times, I have a hard time forgiving myself! I think God allows us to remember so that we are always reminded that we need a Savior. Always. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned….
We have all missed the mark. But…
I am learning the discipline of not recalling.
One way I do this is to immediately change my thoughts to something else. You can’t go back in time, so why try to fixate on an issue that is done. The best thing you can do is release it. Forgive.
Another thing I do to release people from grudges is to remind myself of all I have been forgiven for. Since everything is equal in the eyes of God, the scales do not miraculously lean in my direction when weighed alongside the shortcomings of others.
Parenting has taught me more about forgiveness than any other role. We have walked through some challenges with our kids that have caused me to see how UNCONDITIONAL my love is with them, and how CONDITIONAL it can be with the mister:)  We have got get the unconditional part down because God is certainly not testing us on who is easy to forgive! He’s testing us in areas where forgiveness may be a little tougher.
When I have a new situation arise with any of my children that requires discipline, I can’t put a yoke around their neck that has already been removed. Constantly recalling what they did last time is NOT discipline, nor is it forgiveness. I shouldn’t bring up the last issue we conquered because I have forgiven them.  To do the opposite would be to “UN-Forgive” them….not a good idea.
Now its a struggle at times to not bring up something that was really dumb and frustrating!  But if you have a 10 second breathing policy, maybe God can reveal to you HOW MANY TIMES HE HAS BEEN AROUND THE MOUNTAIN WITH YOU! How many times has God forgiven you for making the same mistake?
Forgiveness chooses not to recall.  Forgiveness is the nature of Christ.
Forgiven is what I am.  Forgiveness is liberty for me, and liberation from my attempt to hold captive the people whom Christ has forgiven.

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Weekend Recap

I hope you had a great weekend like I did!

We spent the weekend in North Carolina. We had a great ending to our trip but it did’t start out so great! Anytime my bag gets lost with all my make-up and hair products, it’s kind of scary. On the bright side, when I was told I would not be getting my bag till the next afternoon if at all, I found a new make-up line.  Behind our hotel was a Walmart, not a Target for heavens sake, but a Walmart. As I meandered through the makeup isles I found this really beautiful line called Flower by Drew Barrymore. You probably already know about it! I’m a little slow finding this little stash of goods!  I am a make-up junkie. I have tried it all and will continue on.  I have 50 shades of red lipstick and I somehow see a different hue in all of them. This stuff really matters…ha!

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As you can see, the packaging is really pretty. And I like it all! I will be going back for more colors!

Thankfully my luggage did arrive. late.  I missed a morning session I was supposed attend but hey, I had a real excuse to stay in my hotel and sleep in!

The weekend just got better and better. God blessed our time in ministry, He blessed me with rest, and I was blessed with new make-up. So today when I arrived home, and the drill began with school pick-ups and baseball practices, I felt completely recharged and present with my kids.

I plan on being at my blog a little more this week and the weeks to come. I want to share some things that are going on, some things that are on my heart, some new endeavors we have ahead and stuff  like that. So come back soon!

Happy Monday and have a great week!



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What Day Is IT

Does your Tuesday feel like Monday too?

Im a little thrown off from the 4 day weekend we just had. It was too good to us and we are a little sad it’s over. I wanted to skip the gym today and Jaydon wanted to skip school, totally a Monday kind of day. We both pushed through.

So, this weekend we were all home. Landon had his 8th grade dance Friday night and he was super cute all dressed up.




I think he had a good time. You know how boys are, the details go unspoken.

I can’t believe I will have two in high school next year. Time is passing so fast. It seemed like the days would never end when they were in diapers, and now I can keep daylight long enough.

Saturday the boys stayed at some paintball field all day long and I got lost in Target around the book section.  Once I realized I had read half the book, I came home with Gwyneth Paltow’s cookbook, It’s All Good.  I have started off this year eliminating some things from my diet and this book has some healthy inspiration in it, along with weekly menus. I like people to make it plain for me and they even spelled it out pretty good.  Really…who doesn’t want to look a little more like Gwyneth?


And lastly,

We had a lazy sleep in kind of Sunday. The kind where you stay a little longer in your jammy’s, have a few extra cups of coffee, and find a late church service to attend. It was glorious. For the people in my life that this is your norm and you take it for granted, I will gladly drag you with me next Sunday into my world.  God must have had a hand in us going to the late service  because at the moment we all walked into the foyer of church, eyes met a couple we hadn’t seen in 20 years when I lived in another state.  Before we went to Lee University, Trent and I led worship in a youth group where this couple was on the leadership team. We all stopped and stared at each other like, “hey….I know you!” Come to find out we are practically neighbors, and I wouldn’t have known it if we hadn’t slept in! See…God wants us to rest!

ps. It was an Anthropology kind of Sunday too..


kitchenpic fencepic

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Happy First Sunday 2014

fashion blogHappy New Year!

Cheers to a fresh start! This is my first post of 2014 and I decided to make it a fashionable one.  Today we enjoyed Sunday like a normal family and just attended church. It was nice to pick something random to wear. No people to coordinate with, no fear of pattern collision, no hang-ups. ha.

I go in a few different directions with clothing like someone with multiple personalities.  I love fashion and I love the many different styles out there, but mostly the fun for me is mixing it all up and creating my own look. AND… lately the fun is shopping my own closet and making something look totally new. I do have “stuff”.  My closet looks like it threw up most of the time. I hate getting rid of anything because I just know how things work together! I tell myself I’m gonna need it…eventually.  When I travel, I’ve learned to live like a minimalist and dress pretty basic or hear the frustration of the mister carrying all my bags and thats just not worth it.

One day, when things settle down, I hope all of this pent up fashion sense will make a great boutique.  Somewhere. Someday.

Happy days ahead to you! I am excited about this new year! I have a feeling there will be all sorts of new, good things coming!








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Dear Anxious One

imageThis is about Today. I can’t change yesterday and if you can, please leave me your contact in the comments!  I’ve already come to grips on this issue and I guess we should accept it already that we are all in the same boat moving forward in our earth time. The beauty in every day life is that while we cannot change the past, we are given options to make changes today and tomorrow.  If you don’t like your hair color, you can change it.  If you don’t like your job, you can change it. If you dont like your house, you can redecorate it.  If you are sick of your style, you can re-invent yourself. IF you don’t like your history, YOU can change , and make a better ending to that story! Every day that we awake , we have a choices to make. But.. Some of us get stuck! {me} Round and round thoughts swirl in our heads and this ongoing conversation we have with ourselves produces nothing! No change! I can think about going to the gym all day but if I dont get in my car and go there… All that debating in one mind can get you stuck. AND if you spend all day rehearsing those desires to yourself, you wind up becoming so isolated that no one else is present in your life!  Does this make sense? I am not just talking about the gym here guys. Im talking about what ever you desire in your heart to do that you arn’t doing. Look at these words: -worried, concerned -agitated -nervous -edgy, antsy, tense -wanting something very much, with feelings of unease It ALL spells ANXIETY and if you are just one of those adjectives, you are still in the category of being ANXIOUS! This is what we forget the bible says about it! Phillipians 4:6 Do not fret or have anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. There is an AND to the verse. It goes like this in verse 7… AND God’s peace { shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace} which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I did a study of that word “and” and it breaks down to mean “increasing an added force”.  SO, here you go….when you let go of things making you anxious, you are increasing a force on peace that will guard over your heart! {so basically, don’t do this, AND this is how it will be for you!} Inner turmoil can cause you to be stuck like nothing else!  Instead of rehearsing these issues, try petitioning God with requests for help. (side note* petition means a written request to a supreme authority. How about journaling those prayers!) Don’t let anything rob you of being present and having joy today. If you don’t have joy then you are absent of the strength of the Lord! This is not the day to be living and lacking strength. We spend too much time worrying over tomorrow and regretting yesterday. There is a day right in the middle that needs to be lived out! Make it count! I love what Habakkuk said in the midst of fear, “Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. But this really breaks it down… The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds feet and will make me to walk [not stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering or responsibility]! {Hab 3:18,19}

Today, you can make progress! Today you can get un-stuck!
You have a choice!

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How Much, How Many, How Big?


How much..
How many…

How big is it…?

In the south we call that a pissing contest.
Sorry, that wasn’t very charming or how a southern girl should talk.

But are those questions charming? Polite? Nosey, Nosey, Nosey…..Mind your manners!

Egos, pride, vanity… the American way.

I recently heard a phrase in a conversation that hasn’t settled well with me. It’s not shocking or the first time I’ve heard this phrase, but for me, enough already.

In the joyous occasion of a particular lady sharing the news that they found a buyer for their home and would be building a new one, another lady couldn’t help herself by blurting out, “Well is this house gonna be bigger?”
And I couldn’t help my head from falling and my eyes from squeezing shut and my insides cringing like I had sucked an entire lemon.

I’m sure it just flew right by other listeners and most assuredly the answer was desired to know by some others present.

Why does it bother me?
Because I have been all over this nation and what I see is an epidemic. A disease of the mind. Dis-ease with one-self and desire for what others have. A desire for bigger and better and next. A generation that is obsessed creating perceptions through imagery.

So, what if the answer would have been a big fat NO! What if it’s not bigger? What if we were downsizing because our kids are Headed off to college, or perhaps we cant afford the home anymore due to a job loss? Isn’t it something that instead of feeling embarrassed we asked a shallow question that we project onto them pity with something condescending like “Aw, well that’s great, good for you”.

I’m not knocking having a big home or getting a bigger home. Quite frankly, I could use a larger home right now! Between our ministry offices, 3 kids, a live-in ministry assistant, and the mister with his Bulldog, I could use at least one extra room just to hide in! I’m knocking on the motives that drive us to question those things….homes, cars, churches, followers, IG likes… much, how many? Is it more than I have or bigger, or better than mine? Is that the real question?

Why are we given to sensationalism?
In our twisted culture if what I say is not laced with sensationalism and doesn’t make the headlines, nobody cares. It’s not interesting.

I moved recently. Moving is exhausting and it’s one thing I think people will have to do in hell. Move and move again, pack and unpack.
So. If I was preparing for a move, let me make it real clear what I would want from a listener that is perhaps a friend.

I moved with intentions of getting into a better school district. My home aesthetics were not the priority although the home we found is a tremendous blessing and a retreat for our family. I could’ve picked a prettier home, or a newer home but it just felt like God said, “here”.
If I were to be in the seat of sharing my story, I would hope that questions about the schools or the well being of my kids were asked. Or how I was surviving another move. Or how maybe I would decorate it?

Not, how many square feet is it? Or
Awe, ______________.
You can fill in the blanks right?

How much, how many, is it bigger, what is next …

What if next is about being in the right place, not a bigger place?
What if we were so present in our now that next is not a highlight, now is?
What if..
I wanted to share what was going on in my heart with you. Would you tune me out if I don’t open with a headline news.
I’ve been in that seat many times and have been let down by the response of friends. I’ve been let down by disinterest. I’ve experienced people change subjects and play the deaf ear. Honestly, I am quite sure that in my past I have been guilty myself of such foolishness so I’m sorry if it was you.

And so the search continues for a deeper level of honesty, deeper relationships, and a greater awareness of others. A better ear to listen, and a softer heart of compassion. And for the record, when we talk……I’m not really concerned with how much or how many.

Sincerity goes a long ways.

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a tale of labor day

the cat has had my tongue a little while.  just saying i am fully aware i haven’t been here much. i thought i would make a come-back today.

i did have a half-way fabulous labor day and i hope you did too. i spent half the day laboring as i cleaned the house again.  but it felt great devoting the rest of the day preparing a fancy dinner. i let out my inner barefoot contessa and rocked it pretty hard in the kitchen. the part of the un-fabulous side of labor day was that I was the only adult at the table enjoying all that. i mean i made risotto!mackin b


and i made a blueberry crisp from a book im devouring right now Bread and Wine. it was yummy and a healthy moms dream dessert.

so earlier my mister hinted around that he was doing something to surprise the kids. i like surprises so i didn’t ask. just went on with my plans building a throne to be seated on and hailed as the queen mother.  i had intentions clearly that we would gather around the table for dinner.

after a few hours of hesitating to ask, i prodded. I’ll be home in 45 min turned into two hours+ 45 min.

short story, trent came home with two new toys…jet skis.  as you can probably guess, that outweighed the attention of dinner so it was left on the stove to be microwaved at everyone’s discression.  how could i make them sit down and eat with all that anticipated fun sitting outside.

nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids happy. i’m grateful i married a man that is a smile maker. at my expense, my heart smiled.

all joking aside, everything we do should be aimed at making our Creator smile. i know that when my heart is in serving my family, my true bulls-eye is the heart of my Father. it all goes hand-in-hand. i don’t get put out of place when things don’t go my way because i have a tight grip on this little helper…

Colossians 3:23 whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men




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Still Standing




Finally…it’s here!


An accomplishment. A piece of me. A story.

I hope that you will take Still Standing on walks, on car rides, to the gym, to prayer. There is message interwoven through every song that is my song.. my heart. Still Standing is my testimony of my journey till now.  No matter how high the waters rise, we have a promise that they cannot overtake us. No matter how far the ocean is to cross, we have One with us that is walking on water, holding our hand.  I know who Jesus is. I know how he has changed everything about me, and I pray that somehow, you will hear my heart in lyric, phrase or melody.


You can help support our ministry by ordering or downloading our music.

If you desire a cd in hard with artwork and credits you can place all orders at our bookstore here


I have also had the privilege of being featured at New Release Tues and you can read the article here 



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