Glory and Grace: 1 Peter 1:3

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 01•14

Living Hope

1 Peter 1:3-5 – The Message

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”

People often say there is no hope.  Or they use hope in a way that is not biblical hope.  I can hope right now that my boys go take their nap.  But, that’s not biblical hope.

The living hope that we are called to because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is JESUS!  Everything that is ours through Jesus is because of Jesus so JESUS is our living hope.

Today – when you are weak because its hump day, or your littles won’t nap, or your days are long, or you burn dinner…JESUS is your LIVING HOPE!

Glory and Grace Philippians 1:6

31 Days of Hymns

Written By: Kimberly - Oct• 01•14


31 Days of Hymns

I grew up in a small town in between two of the largest cities in Florida.  I went to an even smaller town to go to a tiny church until high school.  We sang hymns.  You know the 4 verses with amen at the end.  I could play most of them on the piano by the time I got to high school.  And just if you ask…we either sang all four stanzas or 1, 2, and last.  That’s just how it went.

Some of those hymns were solid and deeply rooted in Scripture.  Others were rooted in feel good theology which is seldom really good theology anyway.

One of the perks of being married to someone who loves music is the depth of knowledge of hymns that he brings to my life.  He has made me think more about the music we sing than I might have ever done otherwise.

So, for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester again and (hopefully) writing on some of my favorite and requested hymns – both old and new – to hopefully deepen our love for God, His Word, His Church, and deep solid rich lyrics of hymns.

What are some of your favorite hymns?

Tomorrow: Thou Who Wast Rich

Starting Family Food Traditions

Written By: Kimberly - Sep• 30•14

Family Food Traditions

Family and food.  Those two words often go together for most people.  Whether you wake up and cook pancakes on Saturday mornings, have a weekly pizza night, or always make certain Christmas cookies around the holidays – there are some things food always brings to the table.  Maybe you always go to a certain restaurant for special meals, or maybe you have your grandmother’s recipe for gingerbread and her worn cloth apron that she would wear as she labored hard over her yeast rolls.  Smell in the memories.

Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of these.  We loved food – don’t get me wrong.  There are a few things: smoked mullet, Granny’s chicken and rice, and Dad’s creole black eyed peas every New Years.  Those are good traditions and I even introduced my mister to Papa’s smoked mullet a few years back.  However, I want more.

As a wife and a mother of two littles, I want to create traditions, with the OK of my mister, that will do two things:

1.  Provide a way to create memories for our family.

2.  Help us to see the goodness of God to our family.

Here are three that we have started, and I will explain these two above points as we go along.

Weekly Pizza Night : making it, Little Caesars, store bought – just a night for pizza (and leftovers of course). Who doesn’t like cold pizza for breakfast.  Hold the olives, please!

Weekly trips to Trader Joe’s and Ray’s Donuts.  I am so grateful that my husband makes time to keep the boys while I go grocery shopping.  I seldom go with them anymore because even if I’ve just fed them, they will eat the produce in the cart.  Not going to happen.  But, I like taking them to Trader Joe’s on Monday mornings.  We get TJ cinnamon cookies, try new products, and make all the clerks smile.  Building relationships.  Its important.  And happy boys.  Also, we’ve started going to Ray’s Donuts in Marietta (amazing donut holes) one day each week.  Nothing fancy, but good donuts.  We spent 1.80 this morning, hung out with some friends who joined us, and ate donuts.  It was so much fun wiping down my boys’ fingers with a wet wipe because they had glaze in between their little fingers and on the corners of the their lips.

Homemade Pad Thai for New Years.  I am definitely southern and like greens and black eyed peas – but I wanted to do something different.  So, last year the Mister and I said we would do this.  I want to teach my boys to love it – and to teach them to love the different cultures of the world.

Our family is just starting out, but so far I’m building relationships that can hopefully spread into opportunities to share the gospel and I can teach our boys to be thankful for pizza, donuts, and pad thai.  God is so good to us.  Whether its an additional 5$ for pizza on a Sunday night – where we can rest and enjoy one another and not dirty up a kitchen – or 1.80 for a mid-morning, mid-week fun time with mommy with sticky fingers.  These boys will have memories.

What food memories are you creating for your family?  We will install more just waiting to see what yumminess!

Glory and Grace: Philippians 1:6

Written By: Kimberly - Sep• 30•14

Glory and Grace Philippians 1:6I’m humming an oldie Christian song in my head that is the base of Philippians 1:6.  This is one of those verses that are claimed and sometimes used out of context.

Philippians 1:6 NLT

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Philippians is truly a book about pursuing forward: running hard after Jesus: looking more like Him.  This “work” that God the Father began in you (if you are a believer in His Son Jesus Christ as your Savior) – HE, and HE alone will be faithful to bring it to completion.  Your life, at the end of it, will look like what God wants it to.  He is the author and perfecter of your faith.  He will make you to look like his Son.

And I heard a pastor say one time that Jesus was the “most gladder” person in the world.  Don’t you want to be glad?  Soak in the sanctifying process that God has you on.  Its a hard journey, a fun journey, and an ever-changing journey.

So be it.

Blog Mission Statement

Written By: Kimberly - Sep• 29•14

Blogging Vision


For 9 years I’ve been blogging.  So, this year I think it is time to regroup and rethink and re:purpose.  While in seminary I took a class on mission and vision and purpose statements.  So, I thought I would share my “mission” statement in blog format today for yall.  Having a blogging mission statement helps you limit what you blog about – and limit is a good thing.  The blogosphere is full of all types of blogs – and you could spend your time trying to blog about everything.  That wouldn’t work.

First – so much has changed in these 9 years.

I was still in my 20s when I started blogging.

I had just finished seminary and was working odd jobs just so I could hang out and love on college girls at UNC (mostly), some State and Duke students mixed in.   Some of these girls are some of my dearest friends now.  I started two blogs: a devotional one and a cooking one.

I then moved home to my parents house in Florida to pay off debt.

Then I moved to Louisville, KY to work for the then president of one of my favorite religious organizations.  I love everything they stand for and love their ministry.

Then I got my dream ministry job of writing curriculum for a church in Raleigh, so I moved back to my favorite state in the country.

Then I met my husband, got married, had a sweet little boy, moved to Little Rock, AR, had another sweet boy, and that brings us to today: the ATL metro area.

Here’s what you will find at this blog site.

Food: I love to cook.  I love to savor food and wine and times with friends and family.  I am a foodie at heart and love to share that heart with others.

Photography: I love to capture sweet moments – both in the lives of our family and for other people.  A smile, the shade of light blue of my littles eyes or the perfect colors of a sunset.  Or what about maternity shoots or faces or portraits, or families.  Anything – capturing life’s moments.

Family: I love family ministry. Helping families be the family that God created them to be.  That was my heart and passion at Providence when I was writing curriculum.  Being a family in today’s world is so difficult – but with a lot of help and grace we can do it!

Faith: Everything I do, with God’s help, is looked at through the lens of faith.  I’m thankful for God’s grace in my life.  And I like to share that with others.  Whether that is through books I read, devotionals I write, links I circle back to.

Maybe you’ll find some other topics every now and then, but mostly that’s what this blog is about.  Enjoy reading.

This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Written By: Kimberly - Sep• 29•14

Menu this weekthe

Bring on October.  These last two weeks of September through October are my favorite of the year.

The weather in ATL has been kind of rainy – but definitely cooler.  Thanks to the gym my jeans and other clothes are fitting better.  And I’m getting to wear lightweight scarves.  Both of my boys were born within 4 weeks of each other (different years of course) and my mister and I celebrate our anniversary in between their birthdays.  It is full and packed with love and fun celebrations and highlights of the year for sure.

This week here is what’s going down in the kitchen.  Right now it is a total mess because we’ve had my parents here as a vacation follow-up so we’ve done more and I’ve not felt like cooking. Hello Monday.  Time to declutter.

Trader Joe’s Chicken and sweet pepper sausages – mashed potatoes – mixed vegetables

Jiffy corn waffles

Egg noodles with Trader Joe’s Pesto Gouda and some sweet grape tomatoes (trying to flash back to summer real quick)

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Taking these to our Brinner Fellowship Meal at our church on Sunday night.

Brinner for one night featuring some hawaiian rolls

And you know the normal sandwiches, quesadillas, and chicken nuggets during the day to feed some hungry and growing boys.

What’s cooking in your Fall kitchen this week?

Glory & Grace: Psalm 1

Written By: Kimberly - Sep• 29•14

Glory and Grace Psalm 1

I have been so encouraged lately from my pastor, from blogs, from fellow IGers, and from sweet friends – that being in the Word daily is a NEEDED discipline (or grace).  I thought I would post some of my readings here, throw it back to when I first started this blog (9 years ago) and set some Bible readings in place.  I hope they are an encouragement to you – and I know they will be to me.

Psalm 1:2-3, 6 – The Message

Instead you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.

God charts the road you take.” 


Even in seasons when we don’t feel like we are getting anything done, or that what we are doing doesn’t matter, or that we are just sitting waiting for something great to happen or a set goal to take place – if we are in the Word, obeying the Word, loving and walking with Christ, than His faithful word says that we will always be in blossom.

And isn’t it grand to know that when we don’t know the way, when our way seems dark and dreary, when our days seem unknowing – God, the God who made everything, the God who sees everything, and the God who has been the only one who has ever been alone in all of eternity, He is the one who charts our course.

So be it.

Spiced Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Written By: Kimberly - Sep• 27•14

Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall equals apples to me.  And I had a reason to make a cake today: because I had a bag full of apples.  And I had a spice cake mix so all I had to do was run to my neighborhood Publix and get some cream cheese.  Because we all need some good creamy rich cream cheese frosting every now and then right?

Fall Baking

This is simple and moist and definitely a winner.  Enjoy tonight!

Spiced Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Moist, perfect fall cake with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting
  • 1 boxed spice cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chopped, peeled gala apples
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4½ T unsalted butter
  1. Mix cake according to box instructions.
  2. Add in apples before baking.
  3. Spray pan and cook according to box instructions.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Mix cream cheese and butter.
  6. Add in vanilla
  7. Add powdered sugar until frosting is smooth.
  8. Frost cake.
  9. Eat.
  10. I cut circles out of the cake and just set a double layer and made naked cakes with just layers of cream cheese frosting. Sprinkled some cinnamon on top.



This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Written By: Kimberly - Sep• 22•14

Charming South Kitchen goes to Vogel

This week is vacation week mostly – for our little family (and my parents, otherwise known as Mimi and Pops).  We are heading about 90 minutes north of us and retreating to a place we went to while we were growing up (yes, my Mister went too though we didn’t know each other).  It will be great to go as a new family!

So, while I won’t be cooking in the Charming South Kitchen, we will still be cooking because the cabins have full kitchens.

Mom is bringing taco soup

I’m making this cake to celebrate both of the boys’ birthdays with Mimi and Pops.

We are grilling out burgers (repeat of yesterday)

Making this totally sweet breakfast bake

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancakes for brinner.

Hawaiian Bread Ham and Cheese sandwiches for dinner along with some greens.

Chicken salad on croissants

And then when we get back we will probably enjoy some corn waffles and leftovers and eating out with my mom to finish out the month.

I will be making some fall cupcakes for a church luncheon we are going to on Saturday.

Easy cabin food!  Can’t wait.

Faces: Sibling Love

Written By: Kimberly - Sep• 21•14

One of the pleasures of getting married is the chance to automatically have a larger family.  Before the mister and I tied the knot, we had the chance to go visit his aunt and uncle who live in Colonial Williamsburg.  We had a blast.  We both love to travel, eat, and admire history, and his aunt and uncle were gracious hosts and very hospitable.

Almost three years later, here we are in the Atlanta area, and that same aunt and uncle – their son, daughter-in-law, and grandson and daughter live in the same city we do.  They’ve been a gracious welcome wagon for us and we look forward to more time spent with them.

The boys and I had the pleasure of hanging out in the Marietta Square with them this past week.  E is about to lose her first teeth, so we had to capture that pretty smile beforehand.  These pictures were fun, followed by a chaotic lunch at Taqueria Tsunami (for an amazing Korean BBQ quesadilla and their stellar made-to-order guacamole).  I hope you enjoy some of the moments I was able to capture.


Sibling Love