Thursday, August 13, 2015

Israel's Only Savior (and mine)

43 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth
everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.
Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
    who have ears but are deaf.
All the nations gather together
    and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this
    and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
    so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
    “and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
    and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
    nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord,
    and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
    I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
13     Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
    When I act, who can reverse it?”

As I'm coming up on my (depressing) 28th birthday next week, I constantly need to be reminded that God has not forgotten me, and my story is far from over. Just as he told Israel he was their only Savior, I have to remember he is also mine.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Day 18: When Doctors Don't See A Way, GOD CAN FIND A WAY

I'm currently sitting in the parking lot at Renaissance while on my lunch break. I literally have no words for what I'm about to type other than what I'm going to say....

I'm walking out to my car to take my lunch break later than usual and see a text from Patty regarding her cancer cell count. I tell her to call me because I'm in my car and can talk to her. She calls. Through squeals of laughter and excitement, she tells me the doctor just called her with the cancer count numbers from her lab results from yesterday. After her initial surgery to remove as many of the cancerous cells possible, 3 chemo treatments and the power of prayer, her numbers are almost to the cancer free total. We are keeping exact numbers private, but I will say she began this process in the 4 digit count, dropped to 3 digits after surgery and is now in the double digits.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what to pray. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I have chills and am in shock at what this actually means. This is surreal to be so close this soon. So, I pull over and sit here in the parking lot and absorb what is going on and write. I put on my iPod and the first song to play is Big Daddy Weave's "Overwhelmed". God had my prayer of praise and thanksgiving in a song because I can't even think straight.

We just squealed over the phone how God still has plans for her on Earth and so many people are praying for her and He does hear our cries to Him. I'm convinced He will allow her many more years on this Earth because there's a whole lot of adulting I don't know how to do without her. I cut my finger with my pocket knife two nights ago (no judgements) trying to open something that required a different tool entirely, not the pink Swiss Army pocket knife Jason gave me as a last minute defense mechanism to put on my keychain. I saw blood and immediately ran to her room freaking out saying "WHAT DO I DO IT'S BLEEDING! I CUT IT WITH MY POCKET KNIFE! HELP ME!" She's on the phone with my aunt, looks at me like "really? I'm on the phone and you're 27" takes one look at it and tells me to go find Jerry to look at it, to which he responds with "I don't know Casey go show your mother". This is a typical response from Jerry. I don't even know why I tried for something different because he jokes that Patty is the "glue" of our family. She is what keeps us together. He wouldn't know what to do with "us kids" if anything happened to her... example A with my sliced finger.

Turns out I'm completely fine and it's like barely a paper cut, but still... blood and knives are scary and will continue to be so no matter how old I am.

Side note: Jerry has packed me a lunch 3/5 days this week. It's been awesome and I will go into further details later when I have more time than my quick 30 minute lunch break.

Jerry can be the glue too- if you can believe it you can achieve it Jerry! You pack those lunches and be that glue too!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day 17: Hair Dayz

As the chemo is taking it's toll on Patty's hair, some sweet sweet ladies (who will remain anonymous) pitched in to purchase her a wig- that I can't even tell is a wig. She walked in the other day with it on to try it out and I just kept talking and halfway through she goes "well?" I said "well what? I told you I'd clean and I will just give me a minute" She continues on, "no! can't you tell?" Again, "dude, quit playing games and tell me" We laugh and lo and behold.... SHE'S WEARING HER NEW WIG AND I HAD NO IDEA. It will almost make you want to cry because something so simple as having her hair gone, yet looking like it isn't is something special. Those ladies are selfless and serving God in a different way.. a way that makes my mom feel normal.

However, me and Jerry don't understand why she wants a fancy wig to look like herself when she can wear the wig my grandmother used to wear. I mean it isn't too good for any of us....

Look at the poise he has rocking that wig with that cavalier so graciously draped across his lap... rockstar
Even as an infant I knew what style really was....

Even Shaggy knew how to incorporate the wig into her every day style with a head scarf for a different type of look

As you can see, the wig has had it's time in the spotlight, and we can't understand why Patty will not allow it to grace her presence on the top of her head. But, if you had hair like this, I probably wouldn't deem it necessary to wear Nana's wig either ;)

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers and words of support. I love seeing all the cards in her box from all the people who love her as much as I do. She's my best friend ya'll.

Thursday, April 16, 2015



My best friend Emily says that after every positive news, but it totally applies right now...

I GOT A JOB. A FULL TIME. SALARY. JOB. WITH A GREAT COMPANY. WHO PROVIDES SNAKCS AND COKES ON THE REG AND LUNCH ONCE A WEEK. What will I be doing? I blacked out after the free snacks conversation. It's hard feeding this 27 year old on this poor girls budget- these 15 pounds have proved it. It's expensive to eat healthy :/ I start MONDAY and I am so excited and have such a PEACE about this company. Thank you time and time again Tara Stigall for getting me in touch with them. It was a perfect fit and you knew it all along. I am so thankful I have you in my life for that very happening... and I promise i'll be at Sunday school on Sunday... just promise no introductions and act like I'm a random kid off the street ;) spotlight intimidate me (hiding behind my computer is so much easier ;) ) God places people in your life you never would have imagined... she's one of them and is quickly become a friend and someone to lean on when I need to freak out over my 27 year old dramatics. Thank you Tara- you are truly a gem sent from God for me without even knowing it.

I'm working for AIS Advanced Infusion Solutions as a Patient Account Specialist in Ridgeland and start Monday. I'm nervous, but have such a peace and comfort that it doesn't even bother me. I'm so excited to start this new chapter there with this amazing company. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW.

Patty had a great chemo treatment today. She's been up and running and I'm like- dude slow down I'm sleepy! Her cancer numbers have dropped from 2600 to 661 (don't forget that "1" everyone number counts). PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW. She's been inhaling any and every ginger food possible. We will know next week if that's helping with her counts. Actually, I just lied. She has to skip chemo next week. Her blood cell count is way too low and she can't handle the "bad" chemo next week. So, they gave her some painful shot that will make her bones literally hurt to help her bone marrow produce white blood cells and get her going. I asked if I could breathe on her (logical since those fight infections?) so I could get out of doing her toe nails again, no go. I'm back on nail polish patrol. We've significantly traded clothes. Bless her heart, she's so much taller than me and my jeans that are a few sizes smaller than hers are pushing it on the length. Of course I think they look fashion forward and chic, but she's rocking them like a fashionista. I'm just disappointed she can fit into my clothes and I'm now into hers. As thin as she is normally, she buys clothes up a size because she's so tall and I'm petite. We've basically traded wardrobes. I WILL GET BACK DOWN TO THAT SIZE AND GET MY CLOTHES BACK. SHE IS FIGHTING FOR THE SAME. We just laugh at how aggravated the other is in our change of weight and sizes... she has an excuse. I have the excuse of... fried food, wine and taco bell. No regrets. Just some lifestyle changes now!

Please just pray the pain from the shot to help he bone marrow produce the white blood cells won't be as painful as anticipate and maybe she can get chemo next week- unlikely- but hey you never know #powerofprayer #JesusKnows I'd really like her to be able to run to the DMV with me and other errands around town if she feels up to it.

But, if it looks like a perfect day of Housewives of Bravo and Flip or Flop on HGTV tomorrow, I only have a few days to stay over here with them until I go back home to my house before my job starts. I can't help but take advantage of it... May even cut the grass for Jerry (no one tell him that thought crossed my mind, he'll have me out there bright and early... that push mower is brutal ya'll).

I'll wrap it up with this passage of scripture Mrs. Marcia Bracken shared with me last night:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1:9-14

~~This can translate to a variety of those of us going through hard times. Pray for each other. Lift each other up in the way we are commanded. So that we will be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might in order to gain great endurance and patience~~

Thank ya'll for being so patient on my posts. I work for the MS Braves, and baseball season is in full swing and it I'm slammed during homesteads. I appreciate all the prayers continuously being sent up for my family and of course the food. ALWAYS THE FOOD. :) 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 15- IN the Fire

I was asked today if writing makes me feel better. It does.... in a way.

I know everyone knows how misconstrued information can become. Like a game of telephone. I've had it happen to me constantly throughout the years... you know... all 27 of them. With Patty getting cancer, it's made me so conscious about what I say. I don't want the wrong information to get out there about her. Gossip is a vicious weapon. With my divorce, it was (still is) AWFUL. Why I tried to not talk about it. Painful too. I've had "close friends" and other couples twist information about me for the sole purpose of gossiping. I have an amicable relationship with my now ex-husband. Words can be used to hurt or heal. I've never become more aware of that fact.

These things seem so petty now. I wish the biggest problem I had was telling a gossipy ex-friend to get their facts straight about my personal life, not worrying about how sick Padre is or how much time I may or may not have with her.... which makes me want to tell the story of why we call each other that.

When we moved to Atlanta from Summit, we lived in a tiny apartment and were forced to store our belongings in a storage unit until our house in Deerfield sold-OMG SO MISERABLE. When it finally sold, we bought a house still under construction. So, by the time we were finally able to move in- it had been A WHILE. Jerry hired a moving company to speed up the process. In south Georgia, there are a lot of Latin Americans- specifically those from Mexico- which was the majority of the moving team. Obviously, there was a lot of Spanish spoken. As they are moving our things in, me and Patty couldn't stand it we were so excited to finally have a house, we kept following the movers around. Leslie was away at camp, and Graham and Jerry were outside doing stuff I'm sure. With every box brought in, there was a string of Spanish spoken followed with a "where to compadre?" directed at me and my mom. Compadre means "buddy" in Spanish. Of course, me and Patty picked it up and started calling each other compadre. Which, we still don't know how, it shortened to "Padre" over the years. We have been calling each other "Padre" since I was 16 years old. Sometimes, Jerry literally can't handle all the Padre's being spoken, because we say it in every sentence to each other. Pretty sure when I lived there I had a "OMG YA'LL CANNOT SAY PADRE ONE MORE TIME" spoken to us on more than one occasion. With every new boyfriend I brought home (like all 3 or 4 of them), he would warn them of the amount of Padre's they were going to hear to prepare them.

"Glorify ye the Lord in the fires."

Isaiah 24:15

If there was ever a new favorite verse of mine, it's that one. 

Margaret Bottome

Triumphing over sickness, death and other adverse circumstances in them- that's the real deal- the real triumph.

I still wish my biggest problem was catty girls and watching my mouth- but either way- I pray I can glorify God in any fire.

Patty got her port put in Wednesday morning... then straight to chemo for 3.5 hours. Yuck. Her chemo will last for 18 weeks :( and they're using the drugs Taxol and Carboplatinum. They alternate using the Carboplatinum every other week. She wasn't sick from the chemo until today. Leslie got home from Starkville and has been with her all day. When I moved out, so did my bed, so I'm going over there tomorrow. It's a lot when me and Oliver are there- you remember what I said about Jerry accusing us of disrupting his dogs? So we are waiting until tomorrow to cut down on the chaos. Hopefully she won't be as sick... she said she had not thrown up any- just that famous chemo nausea.

Just for humor purposes- that time Baxter ate blue jeans and Jerry googled the fastest he's ever googled to avoid another ER Vet visit. Hydrogen peroxide will make your dog vomit if you're quick enough- and he was. Puppy time was not a happy pup... This is how I will compare Patty's chemo treatments and how she's feeling.

When each earthly brace falls under,
And life seems a restless sea,
Are you then a God-held wonder,
Satisfied and calm and free?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day 14- A Day of Love

I see you trying to be the StAr Jerry
The day Jerry discovered selfies was everything
So... as I've told Jerry many times before, this is MY blog. I update when I feel like writing, when I feel like I need to write or when I want to write. This is why I won't update everyday. This is my thing. I will ALWAYS write on anything new regarding my mom, that way specific prayers will be lifted up for her by name and cause.

She starts chemo this week. I can't imagine the emotions she has nor do I want to. I keep trying to give her some of my skinny clothes, but she won't take them. Pretty soon I'm going to stop offering and start praying I fit into them again!

She is feeling "great" (if that's even a word to use... and yes Jerry, I know she feels bad every day- but it's the best of the worst.... I will not bring your leaf blower back, help you cut the yard, have spend the night parties at your house or bring Oliver over anymore if you don't get out my grill- JK SHOUT OUT TO JERRY FOR FILLING UP MY CAR SATURDAY CUZ I AIN'T GOT NO JOB).

I had lunch with Diane Martin today. Mrs. Diane, I love you more and more and more with each phone call, text message conversation, lunch date and hugs at church. I'm almost positive her and Mrs. Bonnie are the ONLY TWO PEOPLE IN THE WORLD that will let me tell a whole "story" from start to finish without telling me to take a breath. I also think I'm crying because of that. No. I am now.

Cancer sucks (if I could figure out the trademark symbol on this macbook to put beside that phrase I would- me and Emily say it way more than we'd like).

Not having a job sucks.


I was packing up my wedding china yesterday, and Mrs. Edie Hudson came inside to pick up my mom. Well, as timing would have it- I just started the first phase of a full on Casey Meltdown. When Leslie has them, we call them "having a Varsity". I'll tell that story later because it's freaking awesomely hilarious. But, my mom was encouraging ME (ridic) that the perfect job is out there.

I get so discouraged. Jerry takes care of me in a lot of ways (BOUGHT MY CAR TAG LAST WEEK ALL BY MYSELF HOLLA). So much so, I DON'T KNOW HOW TO BE AN ADULT SOMETIMES AND BEING AN ADULT IS FREAKING HARD. But. Out of all the ways he's "hindered" my abilities as an adult, he's made me have a job since I was 14. That's worth more than knowing how to grocery shop (judgement free zone here). So, not having a job is wearing on my very soul. Having a job, doing a good job, and impressing my boss is important to me. My work ethic comes straight from him (sorry Patty I hate housework... I can't do the housewife thing- that's harder than adulting it everyday).

So. Back to Mrs. Edie and my meltdown. Patty is used to them. Everyone who knows me well enough is used to them. She's encouraging me, I'm packing up my gorgeous wedding china, she starts chemo tomorrow and my lip quivers. I'm frozen. I hold my breath. She turns the corner and immediately says- "oh my gosh are you about to have a meltdown?" It wasn't funny, but now it is. It always is after, because it's so matter of fact. Meltdown time, huh? I just nodded. SO SHE FEELS THE NEED TO HUG ME. Like when it's meltdown time, don't touch me. don't hug me. don't pet me. don't even look at me. Well, sweet Mrs. Edie didn't know this. She walks in the front door and is all "NOOOOO WHY YOU CRYING" Patty is just like-"oh she's about to have a meltdown. Ready to go?"

I'm laughing as I type this. Because meltdowns are so typical in our family sometimes they're hilarious. We aren't just private with the public, but with each other. So when a meltdown happens- IT HAPPENS. I always try to fix everything myself. I've never just been brought to my knees in prayer to seek God's help in all these issues.

She just hugs me so tight encourages me even more. Which is just so. gah. I can't even put into words what it was, but this was my devotion that morning...

"But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment." 
Isaiah 50:11

Beloved, never try to get out of a dark place except in God's timing and in His way. A time of trouble and darkness is meant to teach you lessons you desperately need. Premature deliverance may circumvent God's work of grace in your life. Commit the entire situation to Him, and be willing to abide in darkness knowing He is present. 

He has shown his presence through these ladies that I wish I would have gotten to known long before these unfortunate circumstances happened. I CAN'T DO IT ALONE. I WILL FAIL. That has been my recent prayer. I have a control problem. I'm selfish. I like to do things myself (except the stuff Jerry does for me of course... Lord please send me a man half as good as he is). The whole "let go and let God" is a tough one for me. But- I don't really feel like lying down in torment, so maybe I should rethink that.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Unlucky 13

Because that's how I feel at this exact moment. Un.Luck.Ey.

I know I'm not supposed to, but I can't help but wonder- if I had never gotten engaged, planned a short 8 month engagement for a March wedding, would my mom have gotten the hysterectomy like Dr. Odom suggested over Christmas? Would she have decided to go ahead and get the DNC, but instead proceeded with the hysterectomy when the abnormalities were found? OR JUST GET THE HYSTERECTOMY LIKE ORIGINALLY SUGGESTED? If so- would we be facing this battle? Tears are streaming down my face as I type this... just as they were when I asked her the same questions earlier this afternoon. "You can't think like that Casey. If God wanted me to have cancer I would have gotten cancer regardless".

She wanted to feel healthy for her half marathon she runs every year and my wedding- a wedding that didn't. even. last. Which makes me even more sick to my stomach and blame myself even more. I know, I know "Casey this isn't your fault. Casey you can't blame yourself. Casey stop making this all about you. blah blah blah" but like, how could I not? It was MY wedding she wanted to be healthy for? I took vows in front of our friends and family and to God and he threw them out the window. If she had gotten the hysterectomy, the cancer wouldn't have had the ovaries to attach and grow in. We even discussed pushing the wedding date back, but I was on the fence about it and he "didn't want to lose money" on deposits. So as quickly as it entered our minds, it left.

I know how narcissistic I sound.. blaming myself, the wedding, all about me and it being my fault, should have pushed the date back. Do ya'll even know how much I loathe the mirrors in the foyer? I HAVE TO STOP AND CHECK MYSELF OUT. IT'S A PROBLEM. I am narcissistic there.... not even ashamed, because I know I've been caught :/ Patty even will poke me when she catches me... oops. Wish I could say I was wanting to stay pretty for Jesus, but that's a lie and I don't feel like getting struck by lighting at the moment. Jerry has enough on his plate.

I do know somethings that I'm thankful for today. Emily texts me everyday and we tell each other what we are thankful for. The other day, it was a real diet coke and not a Kroger brand because I could afford one. Today, it's Brooke Mitchell, Edie Hudson and Nelda Moore.

Brooke shaved down Cooper and Elvis for us yesterday. If anyone knows anything about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, ya'll know the sweeping is involved. I actually don't know who's more thankful- me or Jerry. BEING A HOUSEWIFE IS HARD YA'LL AND I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN DO IT.

The picture with Cooper on the right is actually Tucker. Brooke and Jonathan bought one of Cooper and Hallie's puppies a few years ago. SO NOW HE'S CLOSE BY FOR US TO SEE ON OCCASION. He looks exactly like Baxter.... I can't even stand it. I haven't been able to get a good picture of naked Elvis, but when I do, rest assured- it will be posted. Because it's hilarious.

Today, Mrs. Edie, Mrs. Nelda, my mom and me had a fun girls spa day. SO THANKFUL for ladies that love and cherish my mom to make her feel beautiful. Tuesday we are going to Amy Head for them to show her how to contour her cheekbones to help with the hollowness. The ladies at Amy Head are just simply amazing. They did my makeup for my wedding and have long since been our go to cosmetic place. It's so nice when you walk in the door and they know you by name. I adore those ladies. Plain and simple.

I also work part time for the Mississippi Braves and had the pleasure of seeing my 10th grade English teacher Mrs. Diane Carr. That was a fun and nice surprise. I will never tire of seeing our former church members from Summit. I grew up there. Throwback to that Olan Mills church directory style family portrait.

This picture needs no explanation- other than the reason of why I was so chunky on the night of my high school graduation-thanks senior year of high school and my discovery of beverages only to be consumed by those over 21. I love these two people so much it can't be put into words and never will.

As for my Biblical subliminal message, I leave you with this...

Baxter wanted to be filled with the word. Literally.... so he ate it

Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 12- Living Life on Good Friday


"The church has been so good to us, and we just so appreciate you and appreciate you recognizing our 10 year anniversary with you. It is OUR 10 year anniversary, because Patty has helped me so much and assisted me so often in the work that I do here as your pastor and I just appreciate her."

I get social anxiety sometimes when going to church, because I've been in the spotlight my whole life. I know I am not that important and think people notice me. Sometimes, I just want to hide. So since I got to the age where I could choose if I attended or not, I chose not. That's why a lot of you do not know me. So when Mrs. Diane Martin asked about us being there, the first words out of my mouth were "I'M NOT GOING ON STAGE. I CAN'T DO IT. I WILL NOT GO ON STAGE. THAT IS TOO MUCH!" She just laughed and said "OK OK no stage! Sit in the back and hide... We just want you there period!" I'm so glad I was able to tell the surprise to my mom, on the off chance she could be there. She fought HARD and got there. She is always proud of Jerry, but this was a special moment and she wasn't missing it.

I so badly wanted to say Patty was coming to church in my post yesterday! But, being private, we wanted to slip in and not cause a scene and take away from the service. I'm sure ya'll saw it, but the hope and light and joy in her eyes as she hugged each and every one of you was so amazing for me and my sister to witness. They love ya'll as much as ya'll love them.... AND ya'll love us :) I expected all the attention to be on Patty! Definitely not a lot of attention on me and my sister- because again, Wynndale doesn't know me like FBC Summit does, and that's my fault. But ya'll encouraged us with your words as well. For that, thank you... you don't even realize. 

***Side note: Honestly, when Jerry said Patty would be in the foyer to see everyone, I knew that would be crowded chaos and germ infested close quarters for everyone! I was just making sure Jerry knew where I thought it best for her to be set up because of how much easier it would be for me and Leslie to be beside her in case she needed anything, and because I'm usually right***

I also loved getting to see some of my "friends". I don't know if they know it, but Diane Martin and Edie Hudson are my new best friends. Like I said, I may not be theirs, but they're mine ;) Also, facebook has allowed me to put so many faces to names! It's been wonderful!

Like Jesus lived on Thursday of his crucifixion week, he spent it surrounded by friends and those filled with love and affection for one another. That is how we all felt yesterday. I could live like that every day- (words of affirmation is my love language, thanks Gary Chapman for that book.. I can't deny anymore that I love words of praise and material gifts, making me look bad.)

Unfortunately, a day like that isn't reality. 

"Most of the time and most of life is lived under the agony, the accusation and the abandonment of a Good Friday. That's life. Because life is difficult. You don't have people always telling you how great you are, surrounding you and telling you they love you, applauding you for what you are doing. So often our lives are lived like Jesus lived his life on Good Friday." 
Jerry Smith

Even in the midst of persecution, mockery, torture, abandonment- Jesus forgave. He obeyed God. He loved his persecutors and forgave those who mocked him. He made sure his mother would be taken care of. He still thought of others while he sacrificed himself to save the world. I wish I could do that ON MY BEST DAY. Because a lot of days I'm in, you guessed it, Casey Land. Sometimes, I just don't like people. That's ok. But that would mean I'm not living as Christ has called me to live. Ballgame. Gotta destroy Casey Land :/

Because when we all get to heaven (MY FAVORITE SONG TO REQUEST DURING OUR 5th SUNDAY SING-A-LONG AT BETHEL BAPTIST CHURCH. My 4 year old self would stand up on the pew and raise my hand as high as I could to request a song I didn't fully grasp the meaning of until later. Still a favorite hymn of mine today), I want to be told "Good job my well and faithful servant"

I loved Jerry's messaged yesterday. It's so relatable at any time in your life. If you are having a day like Jesus had on Good Friday, don't falter. Continue to be faithful and obedient, God has not forgotten you and you will receive his blessings for doing so. I've had a lot of "Good" Fridays lately. It's hard to stay faithful and obedient... I'm also stubborn and think I'm smarter than I actually am. My two things to stay faithful and obedient on would be to stay faithful with a constant prayer time and staying obedient by truly believing God has his reasons for the things he allows to happen. As hard as it may be, we are called to Accept it. Stay faithful. Stay obedient. Spend time in his word. Pray that he will be glorified in it all.

"At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

2 Timothy 4:16-18

If we find ourselves always living on a Good Friday remember- 


Patty goes back to the doctor tomorrow to find out what her treatment plan will be. It's a little nerve racking for us all- and it's caused a lot of her closet to be off limits to me. Hopefully we will be able to know tomorrow and not have to wait much longer.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Day 11- Take Me To Church

Yes, that was a pop culture reference in my title. No, I don't really know what the song is about- I just like it?

I'm supposed to be getting ready for church (oops). But I wanted to share this quick post about my devotion this morning... and also, thumbs up to those that wake up super early every morning to do your devotion and talk to Jesus. IT'S FREAKING HARD. I'd rather listen to KLove and sing at the top of my lungs to Big Daddy Weave and call that devotion. Sure, it's worship- but it ain't reading the word. Let's be honest... but if you won't tell, I won't.

This made me ponder (Stephanie Stewart Byrd) and come full circle of understanding-

Don't steal tomorrow from God's hands. Give Him time to speak to you and reveal His will. He is never late- learn to wait.

He never shows up late; He knows just what is best;
Fret not yourself in vain; until He comes just REST.

For an impatient, anxiety ridden, stressed out, right here right (Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka reference) type of person- not to reflect on my parents parenting skills, by the way- THAT'S HARD. BEING PATIENT IS HARD. I've rushed a lot of things that I ended up regretting later. If I had just waited on the Lord, his timing would have been perfect and I would have saved a lot of heartache and cleaning up a lot of messes. Also, the more time I rush, the less time I have to spend with Patty- if it's God's will.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose"

Romans 8:28

A verse so simple and so worn out from being repeated over and over for comfort. I often get angry at cliches, but I finally get this verse and believe it. We may never know (this side of heaven) why God allowed my beautiful, compassionate, friend to all, wonderful, spiritually influential, Christ like example, enviously healthy mother to contract Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. Cancer sucks (as me and Emily often say). But I do pray that God will be glorified in her disease. I do know all things work for good, according to HIS purpose (not ours, remember). My mother seeks the Lord and loves him with all her heart (more than me or the cavaliers!) and because of that love she unfalteringly has for God, the Bible assures us (or reassures us when we start to get discouraged) God works for her (never lacking in sympathy as I've previously posted about) good and for some reason, this is what purpose he has called for her. She's been rattled. We've all been rattled. But I'm so joyful in things we've forgotten about and we are not bitter or angry at God. The more I study these scriptures, the easier it is for me to not be angry. God loves me. God loves you. God loves Patty Louise Sutherland Smith (like all those 4 names Patty?) He blessed her with a husband who is up for the challenge and has given her to strength to fight. GOSH I LOVE MY PARENTS THEY'RE SO AWESOME.

**See ya'll at church- please no autographs. Jerry will get jealous.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day 10- Praying My Way Into Full Faith

THIS IS IT YA'LL. (I'm going to start posting a hyperlink somewhere in my posts that will take you directly to Jerry's sermon archive. You will be able to recognize it by the different text color.. or I might just tell you)

I struggle with prayer. If God's will shall be done regardless, if he's already written our life story, the ending, WHY DOES HE CALL ME TO PRAY FOR SOMETHING THAT HE'S ALREADY DECIDED TO DO?!

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." 

Romans 8:26
"Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!" 

Psalm 4:1

{If only, we need to be praying to receive help in our weakness and allow the Lord to give us relief when in distress. We may not think he hears us, but he totally does.}

I have struggled with that for YEARS. Until recently.... it clicked. I have had many Biblical discussion with 3 of my best friends over the
years... Emily Nunnelee Thompson is the one who has shed light on so much for me (please don't hurt me for saying your name again, but you deserve prayer too). We don't pray for our will to be done, we pray for God's will to become our will. She has told me that as many times as I can remember. She doesn't like it when I tell her this, but I look up to her in so many different ways... friendship, how to treat others, how to handle tough situations, how to gracefully handle the happy situations, how to make a friend- even though she has more than enough "everyone could use one more friend"- how to react to things period and most importantly how to show the love of Christ to others through her daily life. I am so PROUD to call her my best friend. She was my matron of honor, and I was a bridezilla to the max, but she never faltered, calmed me down and reminded me "it's going to be fine!" I hope everyone has an Emily, because I ain't releasin' her from my clutches ANY time soon. Her husband is in seminary in Washington, DC and it's been tough having her so far away.... good news though... HE GRADUATES IN MAY AND THEY'RE MOVING BACK TO MISSISSIPPI.
Emily has recently gone through struggles of her own, her dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor last June. Shortly after his diagnosis she was thrilled to announce her pregnancy with a sweet baby boy- Mack. He is due in April. Sadly, Mr. Alan passed away in February. She has been such a strong pillar as she's processing her own struggles of dealing with his death and yet she's still managing to help me cope with my mom's cancer. She's an example of a selfless Christian lady and a true reflection of Christ. Her parents raised a magnificent Christian human being that I am fortunate enough and even more thankful to have the privilege to call her my best friend.

Tori Gaskin is over here with me right now and we are doing our devotion together... well she's trying to study and I keep talking... but that's her word against mine. We just got into a discussion regarding prayer, because I don't understand why I have to pray. Maybe that's me being bitter... who are we kidding? Maybe nothing- IT IS BECAUSE I'M BITTER. We just spent the last 15 minutes compiling a list of reasons why we are called to pray... here they are:

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." 

Psalm 145:18 

Because it is supposed to be as easy as breathing, there's no excuse why we shouldn't (which we need oxygen to live, so prayer=life):
  • To overcome demonic barriers (Satan is all up in my grill constantly) 
  • To strengthen OTHERS spiritually 
  • To act out our faith in Christ 
  • To remain in the Father's will for our lives 
  • To act out God's will here on Earth 
"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." 

1 John 5:14-15

Sometimes God delays his answer in our requests to him for our own benefit in order for us to remain faithful and persistent in prayer. You don't only go to God in prayer when you want something to go your way, a special request granted, to pass a test or your parents to buy you a new car. You also don't only go to him when bad things are happening, someone is sick, you are laid off from your job or a relationship is destroyed. Doesn't mean I don't want my mom to be healed, but I have to consistently walk with the Lord in prayer.... praying at all times- during the good and the bad- which can hard. You wither want to pray when it's good (or not pray at all because it's good) or pray for the Lord to assist you in a difficult time and then it's all "thanks for the help God, it was real, catch ya next time I need you" like no. Just. No. Spending time in prayer will strengthen our relationship in Christ and I believe give us some insight on how to pray so that we can act out God's will here on here and remain in his will.

If we lack to consistently pray for both the good and the bad and only when hard times hit:
  • It demonstrates a lack of faith in God 
  • It demonstrates a lack of faith in God's word 
  • It demonstrates a lack of trust in God 
  • It demonstrates a lack of trust in God's word 
  • It makes us more susceptible to demonic influences 
  • It allows us to stray from the Father's will that he has for our lives 
"Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints," 

Ephesians 6:18

Now that me and Tori have thoroughly exhausted our discussion on the complicated subject of prayer, she is dragging me away to clean.... which should have begun over 2 hours ago. OOPS.

In conclusion, this is how we summed up today's lesson at the kitchen table,

<<Prayer increases our faith, our trust in him, gives us confidence that He is who He says he is and because Christ prayed we should strive to be in his likeness.>> 

"Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”" 

Luke 11:1

~~~I mean, I know I want to be like Jesus. So my recent prayer has been for him to teach me to pray. As Jerry would say, "simple as that"~~~
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<------Special thanks to my guest co-writer today, Tori Gaskin. Her words of wisdom are unmatched to mine alone.

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