Sunday, April 29, 2012


most of us learn at an early age to obey our parents. or that's what we should do. and as we become christians and grow in our relationship with God, we learn we should  obey Him as well.
let's face it, there are times in our lives when we do this and there are times in our lives when we don't.

for me, it's so easy to obey when he's asking me to do something that comes naturally to me. it's in the out of my comfort zone issues that obedience becomes a problem.

i have a wonderful church family. every sunday you can always look across the isles and see people from all different walks of life. it's one of the things, as a partner with this church, i'm most proud of.  our motto, if you will, as a church is simple. to make christ known in the lives of people far from God. that's it. simple. to the point.

this morning was like every other sunday morning sort of. i got up. grabbed my coffee and started reading my bible. usually i'll sit and watch someone like charles stanley or david jeremiah on t.v. but i've started a read your bible in ninety days plan. so that's what i was doing. i've just started this plan so i'm still in the book of genesis. and this morning i was at the story of isaac and abraham. how God had asked abraham to take his son, isaac, and place him as a burnt offering before the Lord. remember that story? abraham did as God had said even though it was such an unimaginable task. he obeyed.

after some time had passed. i got ready. kevin got the boys up and had them moving around. then kevin left to go pick up a ball player that always comes with us to church. the boys and i usually head out on our own.

it never fails when we get in the car, my youngest son always asks if i'll turn the volume on for the particular movie he is watching so he can enjoy fifteen minutes worth of entertainment before we make it to church. and every sunday it never fails. i say no. we usually just listen to music. now he might have the dvd player on but no sound is coming from it. which was exactly the case this morning.

as we got closer to where our church meets,  i saw a man walking down the sidewalk pushing a grocery cart. older gentleman. jeans. t-shirt. truckers hat. and all of a sudden this feeling came over me. our motto rang out like a fire alarm in my head. but i kept driving til i made it to our church parking lot. still i could not get this man pushing a cart off my mind. did God really want me to ask him to come to church? is this what i'm suppose to be doing? picture me here and my comfort zone about a hundred miles away. get the point?

so i parked our car and sat in silence. the boys looked at me like why are you not getting out of the car? but i was frozen. should i go back? is the reason i'm feeling this way simply because it's what we've claimed as a church? God doesn't really want me to go back and ask him to come to church, right?

so in that moment of silence in my car, i asked "God is this really what you want me to do?' and without missing a beat, my youngest son spoke through the silence. "hey mama, you know if Mrs. Tuohy hadn't stopped the car that night to pick up big Mike, i bet he'd be dead by now."

eli had been watching the blindside on the way to church. and it was in that statement God told me what the answer to my question was.

the boys got out of the car and headed in. i picked up my phone and immediately called kevin, who hadn't made it to church yet. the tears were flowing as i told him everything that had happened in that small five minute span. he said he would go check to see if the man was still there and ask him if he'd like to join us today.

now i would like to tell you that this story ends where the man walked through the doors  a few minutes later with kevin and he worshipped with us and it was a beautiful thing. but he didn't. kevin found him. asked him if he'd like to join us. he said no. he was picking up cans to make money to pay a power bill. and that's what he wanted to do. the one thing kevin noticed when he reached him was the trucker's hat on his head that read...jesus is my boss.

today in His word i read of abraham's willingness to go to great lengths to obey God. and today in my life i acted upon something i truly believe God was asking me to do.

was the outcome of the task in either of these situations what i really needed to focus on? no. i believe that there are some things God will ask us to do just to deepen our capacity to obey Him and to build us into the people He wants us to become.

i feel in more ways than one, He is molding me and shaping me into who He wants me to become. and though it hurts sometimes. and sometimes it feels a little or a lot out of my comfort zone, i'm learning to be more and more obedient to Him.

Monday, April 23, 2012

taco stuffed shells

this was what we had for dinner....taco stuffed shells!! can i just say, it was so good, we cleaned up after eating and i immediately came to post the recipe here so you could enjoy it too!

what you'll need:
1 pound ground beef
bottle of taco sauce
pkg of taco seasoning
jumbo pasta shells (i used half the box)
8 oz container of cream cheese with chives and onions
salsa (whatever kind you prefer)
shredded sharp cheddar cheese

preheat oven to 350*. bring large pot of water to a boil (don't forget to salt your water!!) and cook your pasta to al dente. while your pasta is cooking, brown your meat. once meat is fully cooked, drain off all excess fat and add pkg of taco seasoning according to the directions. once seasoning and meat are combined well and mixture is no longer soupy, add in your container of cream cheese and remove from heat. continue to stir until cheese is completely melted throughout the meat. set aside the meat mixture to cool.
drain pasta and also let it cool. pour salsa (just enough to cover) in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish. begin filling each shell with the meat mixture and layer in the baking dish. once all shells are filled pour small amount of taco sauce onto each shell. cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 min. at the end of 30 min. uncover and top with shredded cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

you can serve with all of your favorite toppings (black olives, diced tomatoes, green onions, sour cream, etc.)


Friday, April 20, 2012

jesus loves me this i know...

this has not been the week i had really hoped for. don't get me wrong, i've enjoyed spending time with my boys and being away from work.
but this week looked different in my head.

i had plans. we would finish most of our backyard. i would have friends over and we would lounge by the pool while the kids played. we would have cookouts. it was going to be a great week. let's just say, none of this happened.

our weather hasn't been the greatest this week. it hasn't been this cold since march. it has rained a lot and the ground is still soggy. i'll have a picture post of the things we did get to do this week later. but there's something i want to share with you today.

we came home last night from a scrimmage soccer game for my youngest son. i decided to sit down and peruse some of my favorite blogs. and one of my most favorite is bring the rain. i've followed angie's blog for a few years. i've read her book "i will carry you" and i got to see her at the women of faith conference this past year in atlanta.

in her recent post, she described something that i didn't even realize at the time i was doing. how her attention has been on everything but the One it needs to be.
i mean let's face it. life happens and our attention can easily be shifted to ...
soccer practices
having friends over
braves games
yard work
movie night
(well, this was where my attention was this week) 

i never want to paint a perfect picture of our family. there's a lot we do right and there's a lot we do wrong. we do have family devotion time every morning before the boys go to school and before kevin and i leave for work. but what we don't do is have our devotion time when school is out.

i had plans this week. and out of all of those plans, none of them involved making sure i had my quiet time with the Lord and so did the boys.

so when i read angie's post last night, i felt guilty. i felt like i'd had this whole week to really focus my attention on Him and once again failed miserably. now let me just say, angie's post is great. and you should really read it. but her honesty in her own life, really made me sit down and think about mine.

i want to do better with my quiet time. i really want to focus on having family devotions. school or no school. weekends or weekdays.

so this morning i decided i would get up and get our devotion book (jesus calling for kids) and my bible and i would have some quiet time with God. and this is what he told me...

do you know that uneasy, twisty feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you have to give a speech? or you're up at bat? or you're next in the dance recital? you worry if you'll be good enough, and if people will like your performance.
sometimes you can even get that uneasy, twisty feeling about Me. you wonder if you are doing enough to be worthy of My love. well, the answer is no. it doesn't matter how great you act or how many things you do to serve Me, you can never be worthy of My love.  no one can. but that's the greatest thing about My love--you don't have to be worthy. it's a gift--free and clear. you don't have to earn it. you just have to accept it.
so relax. do the best you can. and know that i will love you--no matter what!

let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
psalm 31:16

i was so thankful He reminded me once again, there's nothing i can do to make Him love me more. His love is unconditional. i want to please Him and do the right things. but even when i don't, His love never fails.

after reading this devotion, i realized i had read the wrong day. i read the devotion for april 19th instead of april 20th. coincidence?? i think not.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

pulling weeds

i told you we've been working in our yard.

it has been and is going to be a long process.

and although i want it done now, i know these things take time.

 we've spent hours...
 pulling weeds.
laying down weed barriers.
 making sure everything has a clean foundation.

this whole backyard process has me thinking.
this is the exact process our heavenly Gardener uses to eliminate the weeds in our own lives.

he shows us the weeds in our lives that need to be pulled.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts
psalm 139:23

he is our barrier. our protector.
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior--from violent men you save me.
2 samuel 22:3

and he makes our foundation clean everyday.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning
lamentations 3:23

so just as i work tirelessly at pulling weeds in my backyard to make it exactly how i want it to be, God is doing the same thing in my heart. he's pulling weeds to reveal more of who he wants me to be.

are there weeds in your life that you need to allow him to pull?

Monday, April 9, 2012

slowing down...somewhat.

hope everyone had a wonderful easter weekend. i know we sure did!!
we spent saturday at eli's soccer game. sunday with our church family and sunday afternoon and evening with our immediate families.

just to fill you in a little on what's been going on these last weeks. eli had his acting debut in the play "oklahoma" with one of our local high schools. we went every night. ahem...kevin went every night (remember i went to girl's night live one of the nights) God love him for going!! the play was wonderful. the high school did such a great job and the kids were fantastic...i really can't wait til the next one!!


girl's night live was unbelievable. mandesa, laura story and anita renfroe...all so different but such amazing godly women. and i was there with some of my favorite people to boot!!

we've started working on our backyard.
remember when our patio looked like this...

well, we're not finished yet but right now it looks like this...
now this is a place i want to sit on weekend mornings and drink my coffee!

we've worked tirelessly on our yard. every spare minute we get is used to get little projects done. but we still have a looooonnngggg way to go!

last week was filled with the usual soccer and basketball practices.

and then good friday came. our weekend slowed down. thankfully. this past weekend was one of the best ever.

we had a some special people spend easter at church with us. a few of kevin's basketball players came with us. and juan, a guy that's been painting with kevin on and off for the last year, joined us as well.

i wish you all could have been there this past sunday for our easter experience. i can't even put into words how i felt during this service. truly the best easter ever.

when we left church, we headed to my aunt's house in hartwell, georgia for easter lunch with my family.
we sat outside the entire day!! it was perfection. i love my family gatherings. we all sit together. a t.v. is never turned on. and we hear story after story of my dad and his siblings growing up. and then my grandmother denies everything that is said.  it is truly some of my most favorite memories.

my sweet niece, bailey anna, hunting eggs.

they found eggs in the tree!

time to eat the candy! notice ethan asleep in the background!

sweetest 13 year old ever!

sweetest face ever!!

kevin letting bailey anna play angry birds while avery kayt watches

after spending time with my family, it was off to spend so time with kevin's mom and dad, sister and her family.

these kids love each other....i mean L.O.V.E!!

kevin's mom decided this year she would have a scavenger egg hunt. each kid had a certain color of egg. and inside each egg was a clue leading them to their next egg. they had a ball!

carly hunting her eggs..

calleigh reading her clue...

our lily and brody (kevin's mom and dad's shih tzu) taking a break after chasing each other in the yard.

yes. this has been our last couple of weeks. we are slowing down some. we only have one soccer game this weekend. and come friday at one o'clock, i'll be off of work for a whole week!! yippppeeee!

our spring break is next week. i'm taking off to spend some time with the boys and get a little more yard work accomplished. kevin will have some golf tournaments at the beginning of the week, and then he'll break to spend some time with us too!

hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got to celebrate the resurrection of our savior with the ones you love most...i know i did!!