Saturday, December 14, 2013


Merry Christmas from Roach Ranch

It really does help to be a kid at Christmas time. I don't have to make my kids excited about Christmas. I don't have to encourage kids at school to be joyous at Christmas time. In fact, I am usually trying to pull kids off the ceiling and reign them in. I look back on Christmas pictures and see how fast the kids are growing. This year I don't even have to go to Toys R Us but instead of that making me sad I should be joyful. The opposite of watching your kids grow is terrifying to me. 
If I just look back on my year in review from my mobile uploads I smile. Last January we buried my Nana Kent and Marlee turned 8. We returned to Belize on a family mission trip and the kids were baptized. We came back home and played lots of ball. There were old friends.  There was a new pastor at our church. There were tears. There were beach trips with friends, beach trips with family and lake trips with family. I went with my sister on another mission trip back to Belize. There were hugs. There were days spent in the pool. Joey and I celebrated 12 years of marriage. There were laughs. There was a lot of grass cut. I helped run over the biggest snake I have ever seen in my yard.  Tyler turned 11 and enjoyed his first broken arm. The start of a new school year. We said goodye to Emily Skelding. Marlee played another season of soccer.  We all made new friends. We had sickness and good health. Appointments. Boo boos. Dogs. Red Sox. Toilet paper wins and War Eagles. 
So it's okay I never got the outside decorations put up for Christmas. We have been busy living. It's okay the ants covered my Christmas cards. It's okay I didn't get my kids new Christmas pajamas this year. It's okay we have had the stomach bug from Satan himself. It's okay my Chrismtas list isn't done. It's okay I can't wrap a present to save my life and I can't make things on Pinterest. It is not that "I am over it", it is that I am figuring it out.  The Chrismtas message means more to me each year. Kids love Christmas because they feel loved and spoiled by grown ups in their world. This year look at Christmas through the eyes of a child. Think about the first time you heard the Christmas story. Think about the outrageous love of God that he would send His son to drown out your sin and pour his love into you. 

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10, 11 ESV)

In Him, 

Friday, September 20, 2013

School Picture Day

School day pictures make me laugh. I always end up in a clothing or hair battle with a nameless little girl in my house and then I remember 2nd grade. 
My mom had taken me to get a perm. I wanted to be Annie. My best friend Katie had a perm and I had to have one. The perm didn't take. She took me back the next day and they did it again. My hair was fried.  It grew at recess. My teacher called my mother and told her I had snuck a John Deere tractor toboggan to school and refused to take it off. It was so bad Katie's mother took me to have chunks cut out. It was bad. 
So on picture day, I had a new shirt from Bargain Town. I wanted a hair clip to show off my earrings. Mother wanted my hair down. We fought and she won. I went to school and found my friend who had 50 hair clips in her hair. I asked her if I could borrow just one.  So my strong willed self put one clip on one side of my hair to show off my earrings!  I won!  So I thought . . .  Did you know they send those pictures home? To my surprise my mother saw what I had done at school. I don't have the picture to show you. I am pretty sure we did not purchase that picture. I have the pre-perm picture. Obviously my daughter's fashion sense and strong will don't fall far from the tree. 
So if you see her today for school pictures, just know she won and I didn't fight because I am sure she would find a way. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Quarter

How many quarters are in your purse?
In your car?
In your couch?
In your desk? 
In your house?
I know how much a quarter is worth. I may not do numbers but I know a quarter. This is me, almost 3 years ago serving the first Stop Hunger Now meal in Belize. The meal cost a quarter for an entire family. A quarter. 

So who is hungry?

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment.

Who is the most vulnerable?

Children. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 7.6 million child deaths each year.  

Is there enough food in the world to feed everyone?

Yes but many people in the world don't have the land to grow it on or the income to purchase it. 

This is my family delivering rice and beans to families in a local village in Belize. The faces you don't see, I know by name. These faces are my friends. These faces are real people, some are your brother and sister in Christ. 
Poverty is real. 
Hunger is real. 
Starvation is not you at lunchtime. 
And a quarter changes everything. 
Statistics are sometimes overwhelming. This first time in Belize my heart was stuck in my throat and broken. And then I saw the mutual brokenness between my friends and myself. The brokenness is mutual. (Read When Helping Hurts!) You see the meal that cost a quarter taught me more than anything I could buy.  In a few short weeks I will not be back on the crunchy dirt road passing out rice and beans. I won't even be in a kitchen mixing rice and beans in bowls with plastic spoons. I will be in my own church packing the rice with Stop Hunger Now. The same organization that showed me my brokenness in the face of the hungry. 
It really does take an army for an event like this to work. It takes 100 volunteers just to pack the rice. 
 Here is the goal: 
30,000 meals
Cost $7500
100 volunteers
Each Volunteers gets $75 in donations and sponsors
Each meal you sponsor is a quarter. 
If each volunteer raises 75 dollars, that equals 300 meals!!!

We have raised $1,000 so far but we have a long way to go!

I need you to share this blog, donate or come join my family and serve. 
Follow this link for more information:

In Him, 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Little Soccer Girl

When God handed me my daughter He did not give me a list on how this little girl would be different than her brother. She was tiny. My sister came over the night we came home from the hospital and told me she thought Marlee was a bird. I thought she was delicate. I was wrong.
 She is growing into herself. Underneath her green and black glasses and behind her brown eyes is determined little girl ready to break whatever idea I think she is. Just when I try to guess what her answer will be she does the complete opposite. She has her daddy's math brain and loves to help him do anything with tools. She has lots of words and more questions than allowed in one day. She is as tender hearted as she is mean.  She is a fierce competitor. Team sports are her favorite activities. Any ball will do. I love this photo of her in Belize. She is the orange capped child half the size of the older girls but determined she could hang in their soccer game. She was in her element. 
I hope she will remember this soccer field in Belize more than any other field she plays on.  You see on this field it isn't pride, winning or goals. It is the gospel. 
This weekend she will start with a new soccer team on a different field. She will put on her soccer cleats and wear number 7. She will play hard. She always does. People will cheer for her, others will cheer against her. She will hear it all. 
I pray the little soccer girl with a big heart hears Him louder than the world around her. 
When others tell her she isn't good enough, God says "you are fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalms139:14 ESV)
When she feels alone, God says"I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5 ESV)
When she feels afraid, God says "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Life is hard, God is good

I met a real warrior a little over four years ago. Her name was Emily. 

On my birthday, four years ago, my husband came in from work upset. His coworker had walked in his office that day and said his daughter was taken to Children's Hospital for some testing about bruises on her legs. Sometime during supper that night his friend called back to say Emily had Leukemia.

This morning I think back on the last four years and what their witness has taught me. I think what Emily's mission has taught me.  For four years we were friends that sat on the sidelines and watched a family fight.  We watched in awe at times as their faith grew and never waivered. 

Brian was our fix it friend. If we had a tree down he was there using a chainsaw. Before we owned a truck, Brian was the pickup truck driver. He has installed every appliance I have at my house. The new oven is only in my kitchen because of Brian and God. He would tell you the same. No matter what is going on in his world he is the guy who wants to fix. Most recently he has been the consultant by text on our bathroom remodel. Michele and I have learned to be the wives that don't call repair men. We are wives very grateful that the men in our lives have each other. Brian and the kids have been in the stands watching my kids play ball in cold and in heat. You see even in the midst of great trail, they showed us how to be friends. 

Emily, age 11, left this world Sunday and was immediately in the presence of her creator who she knew and wrote about. Emily was an author. She wrote Picnic Pals when she was first diagnosed. Her heart and mission was to feed hungry children. Emily's mission became reality when her book was published. All proceeds from her book go to feed hungry children. 

Most recently she wrote another book that will also be published and the proceeds will continue her mission. You see she was a warrior for Christ. Never circumstances. Never test results. Never numbers discouraged her mission. We may never know the seeds or harvest from this child's life but we do know her witness. Her witness to me personally has been at times life changing, eye opening and convicting. 

but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men. (Lamentations 3:32-33 ESV)

I read these verses and I know this. He causes grief. He afflicts. But it is in a merciful purpose.Oh grief is not without mercy. Even if we don't know or see.

My son said it best the other night. He said, "Mommy this is good and hard." My reply was, "yes and only Jesus makes it both." Only God can make things that are so hard and so good at the same time. Today please pray as we celebrate the life of this child. Keep their family in your prayers and thank Him for making the hard good. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Son

I remember the day your daddy and I went to the doctor to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. I didn't have any idea what I was carrying and was still very young an unsure if this mommy thing was going to work out for me. The ultrasound technician immediately said well "It's a boy!"  I looked over at your daddy and he was beaming. Excited to say the least. I remember he went back to work only to call me and ask if he could buy a basketball goal and a boat.
Boys were new to me. The first boy I lived with was a cousin in college. We shared a bathroom and I thought I might die. But as soon as you were born, I knew the world was keeping quite about the secret with a momma and a boy. 

It has been a blessing to watch you grow. You were always the best sleeping baby! You had 5 pacifiers at all times. Your favorite toy then and now was a ball. Any ball. When you were two you had memorized all the dinosaurs. You could name them and tell me who ate plants and who ate meat. Staying home with you meant countless hours outside in our small back yard. You loved sprinklers, mud, power wheels and bugs. You were 2 1/2 when you became a big brother. You brushed her teeth with a power toothbrush when she was 3 days old because you said she stunk. You are the reason we call her Marlee Grace because just Marlee was not her name. 
When you started kindergarten you told me not to cry that you were a big boy now. You made friends easily and fast. You still could make a friend anywhere. Your dad and I laugh when we go on vacation and you have friends by the first day. You whistled for a year of your life. Seriously all the time. You now click your tongue so loud it hurts my ears. You were made to make noise. 

You still surprise me.  Just when I think I have you figured out, you show another side of yourself. In Belize you lip synced a praise song to get the kids involved. You made a decision to be baptized in a village that had not seen a baptism in years. You taught me about witness and discipleship. Your prayers have always amazed me. I am thankful you have learned to speak to God without fear. To watch you grow in your relationship with The Lord is by far the biggest blessing in my life. You told me our family is at its best when we serve together. I couldn't agree more. Serving with you on mission locally and in Belize are some of my favorite mommy moments. 

Going to the doctor this summer with you was a little unreal. Your legs hung off the table almost touching the ground. You are now 5 feet tall. You have passed me in shoe size. You are somewhere between little boy and young boy and trying to figure that out. You will always be our first. We don't know how to parent sometimes. Just this year I told you, we are still figuring out this parenting thing and mommy and daddy don't know what we are doing. You smiled as if to say, I already figured that out. Tomorrow at 3:50 p.m. you will be 11 and I must say that I like this age. Sometimes you need me and sometimes not. Just when I think you are growing too fast, I catch you whistling and I smile because I know you are still the boy I get to mommy. The first one to call me that word. The first one who stole my heart. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


The bathroom remodel is still going along. Our daughter took some action photos of the happy couple working away. Husband actually said to me he feels like we have hit rock bottom and are now making it back up. That is good news. We no longer have a wide open hole in the floor but the toilet is still on the side porch. The pizza guy gives the strangest looks and the other morning, I caught a bird sitting on the top of the toilet thinking maybe it was a new bird bath. Sorry Mr. bird, we drained the water. 
This time of year when summer is coming to an end and school is about to start I am always a bag of emotions. I was having a pity party yesterday when God reminded me He wasn't concerned with my happiness. Gasp.  Now there are some that would disagree with me there. There are some who would tell me that God is concerned with our comfort and happiness but I don't think the God of the universe is concerned with our superficial happiness or self seeking pleasure. His purpose for me and my life is to bring Him glory not give me happiness. His word commands us to be happy in Him. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4 ESV) If we have deep satisfaction in Him then we can experience true happiness. Anything that this world can give will fade. Lately He has been teaching me in the uncomfortable moments. The one bathroom. The difficult relationships. The parenting. So in my surrender yesterday, I thought why not be uncomfortable in a tent? 

Husband left for a week of travel and the kids and I were pretty sad. We have a boy in a cast and it is the last week of summer vacation blue. It was quite an adventure. There were bugs, August heat, coyotes howling at the train, a large lab chasing our flashlights inside the tent, etc. I don't want to romanticize our adventure. There were tears and there was an exodus to our beds after rain. But for a few hours there were two kids who God gave to me laying in a tent laughing and making memories. I made them promise that when they are parents they will do the same thing and think of me. 
I have told husband for a long time I wanted a pop up camper. I am hoping my recent night under the stars will prove I am ready. I found these shirts online that I am going to get printed for us. I think I may have to plan a fall trip with a rented rv to get his attention. 

In Him,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Married with Power Tools

Hello 1984 bathroom. It is time. The husband and I ignored it for a long time. This is our kids bathroom and also our guest bathroom. The floor right in front of the toilet was...let's say...caving in. Literally. I had been home a hot second from Belize when the contractor showed up. The price he quoted made me sick. Did we have it? Yes. Could I spend it on a bathroom. No.  I had seen worse than my bathroom. 

The being a good steward of our money sounds so grown up and hokey. But it is true. I called my husband and said, "I have terrible news.  You know how we discussed we didn't have time to do the bathroom ourselves? And how it was worth paying someone? Well I cried with the contractor. And you and I will be doing the bathroom. I could go get a baby with that money. I could buy a car." So that night my husband of 12 years knew that he would be ripping out cabinets and working for what seems like months on end to redo the falling in bathroom. 
It is a very slow process. I am a hurry up girl. He is a planner and precise boy. I have learned so much about him and our marriage in this process. I don't encourage all couples to take on a job this big but for some of you, I would say go for it! First, you learn to pray about everything. Really. The night we hung beadboard I thought this is a terrible idea. He would ask, "is your side straight?" Then he would look and say, "no it's not!"  I was scared to death. I would pray out loud. I would leave the room and pray. I would tell him to pray.  I was trying to hold a very heavy piece of beadboard in place all while he held a very loud nail gun above my head. Secondly, this has taught me trust. Trust. Nothing says trust like a nail gun at your head or a saw coming towards your hand. When my husband has me hold a board as he runs a circular saw directly towards me, I choose trust over fear. Trust that God put you together for a reason. If I hurried through it and he took months to plan we would be a hot mess alone by ourselves. Trust in God's sovereignty. Lastly, it has taught me the dreaded word...patience. Ugh!  We have one toilet right now. One bathroom. Four people. Oh, how spoiled am I? You see I have friends that I can name with no inside running water or toilet. I know children that run and jump over sewer that runs straight from their home. I can deal with one toilet. 

I didn't decide to redo our bathroom because I wanted a strain on our marriage. I did it because we are spoiled and I know it. I did it because I need to be uncomfortable. I need to remember what I have seen. I need to remember who I fell in love with on a crunchy dirt road in the hot summer. I need to remember that my money, my bathroom, and my choices all matter. My marriage takes work. Hard work. When my husband looks at me through his safety goggles and gives me a high five when something fits...He gets the glory. When a friend who has a daughter battling cancer comes over to help in the bathroom construction...He gets the glory. When my family of four is crowded into one bathroom getting ready...He gets the glory. When I host a home group gathering and the old toilet is on our side porch...He gets the glory. When I give up the American dream of perfect...He gets the glory. 

And when we get done...He gets the glory. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Great and Wide

Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. (Psalm 104:25 ESV)

It has been a few years since we have stayed directly on the ocean. This trip to the beach we are located 10 floors up. My son and I kept talking about how much bigger the ocean looked. He has never been to this particular beach and I haven't been to this one in gulp...18 years. I kept thinking it has changed so much. Is that why the ocean looks so large?  Then it hits me and I look at my husband and say, "oh we are up high." Bless him, he just smiled. But that is why the ocean seemed larger. Our horizon is different from the balcony.  We have a different view.  
It may have taken me awhile to see the ocean with new eyes but it doesn't take me long to make the connection to the Creator. My problems seem so big when I am looking from the wrong direction. It is bad theology to live that way. I am really saying I believe I am separated from God. But I am not. He is omnipresent.  He is right here with me now. And if I bring my anxieties, my fears, my problems to Him then they will disappear in His prescence. Are the situations in my life that cause pain and hurt gone? No but I stop relying on me to fix it and I trust His wisdom, His power and His plan over my agenda.  
Thankful for the reminder. He is bigger. His love is great and wide. 

Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. (Psalm 69:34 ESV)

In Him,

Monday, March 25, 2013

Post Monday Belize

I will do some post to try to put words to our mission trip but in the meantime read here for the baptism update:

Mission trip blues.
I expected it this time but as I wake up this Monday morning to get back to the grind I cringe.

Husband and I talked last night of all the things on our calendar that just doesn't matter. Softball, baseball, meetings ...
Every time I go I get this spiritual high of wanting to do more.
It bothers me. I lose sleep, but I believe it’s God-given. I even daydream of ideas of life changes that might make a difference instead of just talking about them, but it is hard.

So hard.

Images race through my mind of every little thing we saw, we did, and as every emotion we felt come racing through my heart. I mean, there are many places here that might be very similar to the Belize but… but…

For my husband and I, we have to start here in our home. Loving the 2 children God gave us. Loving more. Hugging more. Learning to be better parents. We fail miserably on our own. In Belize, many children miss that parental love. In my home is where I start.

This morning in my daily bible reading this verse spoke loud to me "Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14 ESV)

I don't want to feel closer to God in Belize.
I don't want the loud gods of this world to consume me or stop me from serving daily.

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” – Radical by David Platt.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Broken Ride

In the morning my little family of four will grow, stretch and live out a call made some 2000 years ago. Depending on Internet and time I will update either here or the church mission blog.

The link for the blog is here: Westwood Belize Blog

Special thanks
For prayers
For pancakes
For yard sales
For cards
For hugs
For painted toes
For donations
For tears
For playground prayers
For journals

I can't wait to take you all on this journey with us again.
We are broken vessels.
There is no good in us apart from Him.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. (Romans 7:18 ESV)

So join us on this broken ride.

All my love

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Heart is Gone

I have not officially left.
I am still on the couch.
The list is long.
My mind is here, my heart is gone.
One more Saturday.
My own kids will be baptized in a river by the school probably Monday (3/18) before the school let's out.
My husband will be baptizing our children.
Our dearest friend Todd will share some words since the husband and I will be rendered speechless.
Others will be in the river that day.
Others will profess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord.
Cultures will combine.
Languages will unite.
And the one true God will be glorified.
I Can Not Wait.
I squeal periodically with excitement.
There are missionary friends I want to hug.
There are teachers I long to see.
There are kids I want to squeeze.
A Jesus I want to serve.
A hand I want to hold.
A song I want to sing.
A bible story I want to tell.
A book I want to read.
A Jesus I want to share.

(For geography purposes I posted maps of where we will stay. The school is inland. )

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I was digging through last year Belize pictures and found a picture of me at my heaviest weight. I don't need to list my excuses but it started with an ankle. Four surgeries over the course of two years and three years of inactivity will pack on pounds. Poor diet + Little movement = weight gain.

So what did I do?
Like Al Roker, I got ... Just kidding.
Mine is a different story.
It won't make People magazine list of who lost half of their body weight.
Mine is a story of healing of a different kind.
My ability to move and exercise is because the healing power of Jesus Christ. There is a story in the Old Testament about Jacob wrestling with God. He walks away from his time with God with a limp and his name changed. I remember reading that story after my ankle injury and relating to Jacob. That time of recovery and brokenness was a tender time in my life. I can see a different me before the injury and after the injury. I am not the same girl who fell down the stairs. I was changed. I was healed.

That being said, it is nothing I have done to lose weight. It is through His power and grace that anything happens with this 35 year old body. I did start the Weight Watchers eating plan. I did start doing what exercises I could. My husband and mother got me a stationary bike. I also have an elliptical.
My ankle has lost 70 % mobility.
It will never be able to run.
It will be able to tell a story of healing and a changed life.
It will be able to walk the jungle roads of Belize in 13 days.
It will work for His glory and His purpose.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Time For The Week

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV)

This week I felt I had very little time for anything. But hindsight is 20/20. I had time this week.
A time to pluck up what is planted which husband can take full credit.
A time to heal after a back injury this week.
A time to laugh with sweet friends over for dinner Friday night.
A time to build up as we had our mission team for dinner Wednesday night.
A time to weep with our church family after Bryan Carr went to the arms of Jesus Tuesday night.
A time to dance with my daughter on Just Dance 4.
A time to embrace my son on a field trip.
A time to seek His word.
A time to keep silence when I just needed to listen.
A time to speak prayers over my family.
A time to love my husband before he travels this week.
A time for peace as we sat around the fire in the back yard.

20 more days until Belize.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Husband ran 26.2 miles today for his first Full marathon.
We are 26 days from Belize today.
No words to describe how much I love this man.
I have been the momma that cheered for her kids maybe too loud.
I have been the momma who cried during one of my kids sporting events.
That doesn't compare to watching my husband.
This is my fourth marathon to watch my friends run.
There is nothing like it to see it in action.
The 80 year old finishing his first marathon.
The handicap man who drags a leg but beats half the crowd.
The crazy boys in tutus.
The Kenyans.
And yet all I cared about today was an injury free race for my husband.
He mapped it out for me.
When to be where.
What I was to hand him.
What I was to take.
Where I should stand.
His engineering brain had a strategy.
He had a goal.
I grabbed his hand and prayed over him before we got out of the car.
He said this might be the dumbest thing I ever did.
I laughed and said no that was marrying me.
The waiting at a mile marker to see him was too much.
I would catch him in the crowd and shake my Auburn shaker wildly as he would flash that smile.
The finish line is loud and music is blaring.
People screaming.
I shake my shaker so much my arm is numb.
And then he turns the corner.
I am screaming but he can't hear me.
Then he sees the shaker and he flashes the smile.
It is done.
He killed it.

"A magnificent marriage begins not with knowing one another but with knowing God "
- Gary and Betty Ricucci

Saturday, February 16, 2013

If I were on facebook

If I were on Facebook, I would have had some status updates.

But for this time I felt I had to put it down.

So here would be my status updates:

My Valentine for 17 years sent flowers and gave presents.

We are 27 days away from Belize.

Much to do and Much to prepare.

We have reached our goal financially for the trip.

We are always humbled and amazed how God uses His people in our lives to support and love on us and the kids in Belize.

My son ran his first 5K and finished 10th for his age group.

My daughter ran her 3rd kids marathon.

My husband will run his first FULL marathon Sunday.

I am the Mommy Roach cheerleader.

Also I weighed in today at my before daughter weight.

Only took 8 years.

31 pounds gone.

The goal: to weigh my drivers license weight.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Here comes the storm....

Going on an overseas mission trip will involve you in spiritual warfare.

You are invading territory the enemy has long held.

I feel it.


Hurts and attacks come from all around.

I step back and look and I see the trip.

I see the purpose.

I see 38 days God will use to prepare me.

Prepare my husband.

Prepare my children.

John 16: 22-24 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Just This Week

Just this week we put together a VBS for Belize.

Just this week we served pancakes as a fundraiser.

Just this week I felt everything was a battle.

Just this week I had coffee with one of my prayer partners.

Just this week my family had rice and beans for dinner and family prayer time for our mission trip.

Just this week my Dropbox filled with music for Belize 2013.

Just this week I took a donation to the church that said in memory of Nina Kent for Roach Belize.

Just this week more money has come in for our trip.

Just this week a student told me he wants to be a missionary when he grows up.

Just this week my sister and I signed up to go back to Belize this summer.

Just this week I heard no mission equals no witness.

Just this week pray for our family as we prepare our hearts to go and serve.

Friday, January 11, 2013


My sweet Nana went to be with Jesus a week ago.  We were so blessed to say goodbyes, to hold her hand and watch her leave this earth for an eternity with our King.  A King she knew, loved, followed and served for her entire life.  I think you tell yourself that at 92 it will be easier.  That you know what is coming.  You know that goodbye will always happen.  It still is never easy.  It still is very raw.  Memories flood my mind and my heart spills out.  I ran to her house yesterday to get her mail for my daddy.  Strange not to run inside to yell "Hey, Nana!" and even stranger not to hear, "It's Marsha Lee."  I was never just Marsha to her. She was never just Nana to me.

This past summer I decided I wanted to learn to can.  I spent many a days in the kitchen helping my mother can jelly and I watched my Nana can more jellies, pickles, okras than I can count.  I searched the internet and recipes until I thought I was educated.  I then knew I needed to run my recipes and instructions by the one that knew best.  I called my Nana.  I explained all my instructions and asked if she thought I need a pressure cooker for my okra recipe.  She laughed and said, "No, you don't need that.  I mean I have one but you aren't old enough to use it.  You could hurt yourself."  She was 92 and I was just 35.  She added, "Don't go to the store just yet.  I have the recipes you need.  Those you have will taste like salt in a jar." She then gave me two pickle recipes and an okra recipe that makes my husband love me the most.  A couple of weeks before her long stay in rehab and the hospital, she called me to tell me she bought me something.  I had to come over right then to pick it up.  It was a canning cookbook. Last night I opened it for the first time.  There was the receipt and the message.  You see she had called to Columbiana, AL to the County Extension Office because she needed their 2006 canning book.  Not a new one.  The 2006.  It was the best.  And there laid out are my instructions: Read.  Study.  Prepare for next summer's crop.

Kent, my cousin, sister and I gave the eulogy at her funeral.  Kent said it best when he said, "Farm life suited her."  I am thankful that that life suites me just fine too.  I am thankful this year as the memories flood my heart I will read God's word, study His word and prepare my heart for what is next.
I think the 2006 word is Preserving. 
I think the 2013 word is Preserving.
Preserving memories.
Preserving a legacy.