King Family at the Rapids

This family is a favorite.  I love this lady’s barstool, where the past three years I’ve spent many an afternoon, sitting there, talking, creating, sharing parenting secrets.  Our boys plays so well with their kiddos, like hours on end.  I’ve had to kick a door in at their rental because the door was locked with kids locked inside.  We had a few taco nights under our belt.

Because chips and salsa and fajitas cement a friendship!

This past Saturday was chili but we had great sunshine as we ventured to the Savannah Rapids Pavilion.  It was fun to show off our new town.

Lavish Hospitality 18

posted in: 31days, lavish hospitality | 0

Update on this blog series:

Thanks for reading.  I’m learning new ways to practice hospitality – I hope you are too.  I just had a good friend design a cover for the e-book that I hope will come out early 2018 (or regular book if anyone wants to publish it.).  I will start pulling all these quotes from each day and writing in November!

Today’s post is about something that effects and affects every area of hospitality.  Our humility.  Left to ourselves we are not humble people.  We are prideful and only care about ourselves.  Our rights.  Our ways.  Our happiness.  The selfie-generation didn’t just start a few years ago.  It has always been.

With our God: come to Him with our weariness. He will give rest.  Come to him with honor and adoration – He will show Himself to us.  Come to Him with our desires – He will fill our hands.

With our spouses: Put their needs above our own.  Seek to outdo one another in showing honor.  My husband excels at this – all.the.time.  He has told me in recent weeks that I’ve grown in humility in the time that he’s known me.  That is in direct correlation to God putting him in my life almost 7 years ago now and the work of the Spirit in my heart.

With our children: We mess up as mamas.  When I mess up (often), I will usually go to my kids, get right in their faces (affection), and talk to them really softly and gently.  I think I do this because I want to mend the brokenness, and act in opposite fashion than I just did: loud, harsh, pushing them away.

With our community: When you open your home to people who don’t live within our houses, we speak volumes to their need – and our need.  Our need for community.  That alone speaks of humility because it says that we are not enough in and of ourselves.  God made us for community.  He made us for relationship.  I stink at this sometimes, especially when going out.  I was a poor representation of the gospel this past week at a new friends.  It had been a bad day, it was my son’s birthday, and I don’t think I barely looked anyone in the eyes and I just barely answered their questions.  I didn’t want to be there and others could tell.  I can’t go back – but I can move forward out of my brokenness and let Him do a new thing.

Quote taken from Lord Have Mercy (Ellen Miller).  Photo by Evergold Photography of a cupcake I made.

Finding Lovely

posted in: Link Love | 0

Lindsay Hohman Designs

Why not celebrate the little things that make life be a little brighter.  I would love to know what you are finding lovely these days.

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey : I’ve listened to two of these (Lauren Chandler and Shelley Giglio) and have been encouraged by both (and it helps the workout go by quicker)

I love stationery – period.  And these little floral wreaths are super pretty.

Because when you live in the South, you gotta have an ice cream maker.  And my husband blessed me with this one a few months ago and we are putting it to good use  Right now, in the freezer, an ode to Holly & Flora with Drunken Cherries Garcia.

Splash Pads: My kids love these.  It gets them exercise, wet, and so many smiles. I hope you have one in your area.  We love them here and are going to hit some up when we are on vacation this month too.

Trip Planning: I think I may have missed my calling.  I love trip planning and adventuring, even if it is for someone else.  I love to find special things in special cities for people to enjoy.  Travel blogging is great too and I always thought it would be fun to combine with food blogging!

kcreatives newborn: baby zachary

I’ve recently been seeing a lot and hearing a lot through conversations about how hard it is for women to make friends once they reach the mommy years.  I totally hear that.

Baby Z

If you look at friendships, they take time to develop, and meaning conversation.  Meaningful conversation with other adults is hard when you are caring for littles.  Every mom will agree with me.

Baby Z

But, friendships that last a while are hard to come by too.  This little boy – his mommy – we’ve been friends for over 15 years.  We’ve shared graduate degree lodging, we’ve shared our lives, and we’ve been next-door neighbors.  And now, I had the privilege of capturing this little boys’ first few days.  He was super sweet and cooperative and even let his mommy and I have a milkshake to celebrate!

Daddy and Z

And let me talk about these outfits this little one is wearing – his daddy did such a great job picking them out.  Cute clothes for the win!

Baby Z

 

IMG_6229.CR2

 

IMG_6293.CR2

 

IMG_6321.CR2

All photos property of kcreatives photography

Starting Family Food Traditions

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!

Birthday Party Feast

posted in: food | 0

Elijah's name banner

Birthdays are for celebrating.  It is the day that God brought a person into the world: the personality, the eyes, the eyelashes, the fun, the spirit, the name – everything about the person – God wants us to love and hold.

One way I love to celebrate birthdays is by having food.  Celebrating over meals and friends and fun times is such a joy!

Some of my favorites from yesterday’s party:

The smell of the charcoal heating up to grill some delicious burgers.

Sebastian stuffing in little pieces of canteloupe and devouring a cookie with yellow frosting: therefore, having yellow frosting everywhere.

Sebastian's yellow cookie

Elijah staring at his cupcake and then stuffing it in his face.

Elijah's Funfetti cupcake

Friends sitting around enjoying relationships – over good ol’ American food.

Yellow everywhere!  It was a happy party with a happy color!

Elijah's yellow party

Here’s what we had:

Burgers (thanks to my brother for the “recipe” and my neighbor for making them and the Mister for grilling them).  Perfectly cooked!

Crescent Dogs (so yummy!)

Baked Beans – may never make another bean recipe again – and I loved serving it my Papa’s cast iron skillet

Fruit

Chips

Funfetti Cupcakes and Vanilla Buttercream (overcooked the cupcakes but the frosting still rocks)

Homemade Funfetti Transportation Cupcakes

A yellow school bus cake (more on that to come)

Sugar cookies with yellow royal icing (thank you to a friend mailing me the icing from Southern Season)

Sweet Tea, Coke, and Sprite.

What a great, delicious day.  Thanks to all who came, brought stuff, and ate, and laughed, and celebrated our little boy with us!  Here’s to many more birthday celebrations to come!

 

Book Review: Treasuring God in Our Traditions (Noel Piper)

posted in: Books | 1

Growing up I can’t think of a single tradition we had as a family.  Kind sad – but that doesn’t mean I can’t start any in our new family, especially as we welcome baby boy into the world in a few short months.

Noel Piper has written a tremendous book on why do you have traditions?  I mean why do you watch the Rose Bowl Parade every New Years?  Why do you go to grandma’s house for Easter lunch every year?  What makes something a tradition?  How do you start new ones?

Through many personal stories and Scriptural citations, Mrs. Piper exhorts families to share in traditions together that embrace the Savior and exalt Him to a world that doesn’t know Him.  As parents, we have a huge burden and responsibility (and joy) to raise our children in the ways of Jesus – to help them come to know Christ and see Him for who He is.  How do your traditions/holidays/birthdays, etc explain and display Christ to them and neighbors and other family members?

Honestly, I felt like the best part of the book was the one at the end about worship services and little children.  Her and her pastor husband, John, gave great advice and helpful hints for having young children in corporate worship services.  This is such an important issue in many churches.  And I think every parent/couple must know what will happen come Sunday morning. 

My one regret with this book is that I didn’t read it with my husband.  A wife shouldn’t really establish traditions by herself and this book would have been great, or at least to discuss with my husband, so we can think and plan traditions for our family.  I’m sure he is open for discussion!

“We are always teaching our children, whether we mean to or not.” (pg 34)

“Children need teaching from the Bible so they can grow into men and women of God.  That’s what we long for on their behalf and what God offers through His Word.” (pg 44)

“Our celebrations work good in our own lives and in other people whose lives touch ours, by kindling our love fo God, by increasing our knowledge of Him, and by helping us remember who God is and how He works.” (pg 64)

Piper on Teaching Children

posted in: Books, Quotes | 0

Ok – I don’t have children (yet) but I write for children (and for teachers who teach children.  And some of those teachers are parents.)

“All of us are training our children both intentionally and unintentionally.  We need to make sure we aren’t leaving the important things to happenstance.  We know it’s crucial that they become familiar with God, our Heirloom and our only hope for real life.  We yearn for them to love and trust and follow Christ.  It would be foolish just to wait for them to learn that by chance.  We must plan to reflect God and teach about Christ in the repeated events of our lives.”

(Noel Piper, Treasuring God in our Traditions, pg 35)

EC and I practice things now that hopefully, one day, when our family grows, they will be able to follow us as we follow Christ, however imperfectly.  New Elder nomations last night at church were asked about this question.  Each answered sufficiently and were very emphatic that families are important in teaching Christ in the lives of children.

Grateful FX – Thanksgiving 2010

posted in: sin | 0

My friend, Jennifer, over at Cornerstone Church of Knoxville (fabulous Sovereign Grace church, if I had to live in Volunteer country – this is where I would go) asked me to guest post for their singles’ blog for Thanksgiving. Here it is: enjoy!

Thanksgiving. Publix commercials of big turkeys perfectly roasted and stuffed with bounty from gardens (or the grocery store). Football games and parades on television. Long-lost relatives offering much advice on the state of our dating lives (or the lack there of). Most of us cook or eat way too much food only to nap on the couch and eat more for dinner. Unfortunately, the “thankful” part is a two-minute grace that we say before the meal. Really? Is that was Thanksgiving boils down to? Don’t we have so much more to be thankful for in our lives than turkey, cranberry sauce, and pecan pie (and the correct pronunciation can be debated by all southerners).

Colossians 3 is a reminder of what our lives should look like in response to the gospel of God in Christ. We can’t live out the end of Colossians 3 unless we start at the beginning of the chapter. Paul exhorts the Colossian believers with this: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-4) If we claim Christ as our Lord and Savior, then we should be dead to the things of self and flesh. This includes but is not limited to: quarreling (which occurs in most American homes at ALL holidays), ungratefulness (are you really going to argue about who gets the last crescent roll or the turkey leg), and bitterness (are we bitter that we aren’t married YET and may even still be eating at the kiddie table?) Oh, that our hearts may be changed because of the Gospel.

Colossians 3:16 tells us how we should live our lives in light of being raised with Christ. Hint: the gospel should compel us to live like this: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” This doesn’t mean that we have to break out in songs as we pass each other on the street, in the church, or in our homes. But, the gospel should set the tone for our hearts and our lips. The Gospel has provided us so much. We were dead; but, God. God showed his immeasurable goodness and grace to us by sending His Son to save ungrateful people who cared nothing for the things of God. We now have the opportunity to sit and dine with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, with the Bread of Life, with the Living Water.

As we sit down to the Thanksgiving table with family and friends this November, let us remember that we deserve death. We don’t even deserve a turkey, or ham, or stuffing, or a home, or anything. But, in God’s kindness we can sit and dine with friends and family and have way more than we ever should have. Let our hearts and minds and lips reflect the goodness of our precious and abundantly-giving gracious Father who saved us in Christ.

Connecting Church & Home Conference

posted in: Uncategorized | 1

Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY, is hosting a conference that will help you and your ministry team get a picture of what this could look like in your church.

Dr. Randy Stinson, Dean of the School of Church Ministries, has brought together a team of experts on church, family, ministry, and culture including Dr. Albert Mohler, Dr. Russell Moore, Dr. Timothy Jones, Steve Wright, and Jay Strother – with many more. You will get a chance to interact with these speakers and have small group discussion. You will get the benefit of sharing in smaller group learning environments about what is going on at other churches, asking questions, and sharing ideas. This would be the perfect conference for you to not only come yourself, but to also bring your entire ministry team.

Mark your calendars now, register, book your travel itinerary, and don’t miss this exciting conference in Louisville.