Wednesday, September 28, 2016


A few years ago, something had happened, can't remember what, but I had said to Colin, "I've lost my marbles."

Later he went to the store with Jeff, and when they were shopping, he told his daddy, "We need to get some marbles."

Jeff asked why, and Colin replied, "Because Mama lost hers."

Bless his heart.

How many times have I felt like I've lost my marbles?  Too many to count.  But I thank God everyday that He helps me to find them.  He may take a few away and replace them with better ones, but God always provides (my marbles).

He provides by answering a prayer.  He provides by sending a friend.  He provides by bringing peace.

He Provides.

I will continue to lose my marbles, my patience, my temper.  But God will continue to be there for me to pick up the pieces, to calm my nerves, to find me when I'm lost in my own sinful nature.

Amazing Grace!  How sweet the sound! I once was lost, but now I'm found!

Thank you, sweet Jesus!

This Five Minute Friday post was originally published on June 27, 2014.  What is Five Minute Friday you ask?  It's a wonderful online community of writers who take a one word prompt and write for five minutes flat. No overthinking. No editing (although some of us ELA teachers have to).  Just writing. The love of writing has brought forth the Five Minute Friday book, an amazing collection of some of our favorite posts.

You can order your very own copy now!  You should probably go ahead and get one for a friend to because each purchase will benefit the Ten Dollar Trip and The Vine School.  You can order HERE at Amazon or HERE at Create Space.

If I were you, I'd enter below to enter to win a copy.  I'll even sign it for you since I am contributor to the book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While you're at it, check out the Five Minute Friday gear available.

These items are available for a limited time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I am totally a morning person.  My favorite thing to do is make a pot of coffee, check out the sunrise, and read my Bible.

Morning is just a special time. It's quite for the most part (I'm usually the only one up). The beauty of the sunrise amazes me.  Although the view out the back door is the same, the image is always different.

And morning reminds me of renewal.  A fresh start.

There's so many ways to connect that thought to Christ.

Joy comes in the morning.

Morning by morning new mercies I see.

He makes all things new.

The earth is filled with His glory.

I like to think that God is a morning person too.  Its full of beauty and peace and so is He.

I'm thankful for mornings, not just for my routine during this time, but for the new start.  Waking to the realization that God has blessed me with a new day, and regardless of what the day brings, He is in it. He's ordained it.

Because I know, "This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."

And I can rejoice each morning because of Him.

This post was originally published on February 26, 2016 for the Five Minute Friday Prompt: Morning.  Did you know that three ladies have their Morning posts published in the Five Minute Friday book?  One of those is my dear friend Christy.

Melinda, Me, and Christy

I would love for you to check out this book!  You have two ways to get your hands on a copy.  The first way is to visit Amazon or CreateSpace to purchase your very own copy.  Go ahead. Order one, two, or eight.  Your purchase helps benefit The Vine School and Ten Dollar Tribe.   Another way is to enter to win.  If I were you, I'd do both.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the prompt Morning.  Click below to enter to win a copy of the Five Minute Friday book. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to order your Five Minute Friday gear too!

These items are available for a limited time only!

Monday, September 26, 2016


It's Release Day!

Today is the day you can get your copy of Five Minute Friday Book: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat.  Go ahead, do the Happy Dance!

This week, I have a treat for you.  I will be reposting some of my favorite Five Minute Friday posts. AND you will have the opportunity to win a signed copy of the book. A book, signed by me because I was blessed with the opportunity to contribute to this book!

This Five Minute Friday post was originally published on November 30, 2012.

I remember being so excited about Christmas as a child. The anticipation. The laying in bed hearing noises and wondering if it was Santa I heard.

Now, I watch my own children. Trying my best to raise them in a godly home, I watch the wonder of the season in their eyes. How they touch the tree. Watching the lights. Flicking the ornaments.  The quietness. The stillness. The holiness of it all.

We talk about the true meaing.

The birth of our Lord, our Savior.

Jesus Christ.

The truth.

I wonder how many people really truly believe.

Not in Santa.

In Jesus.

The first gift.

The only gift that matters.

Oh, how I love Him.  How I want to please Him.


Awesome. Holy. Wonderful.

Because of Him, I live. Because of Him, I have a hope and future.  Because of that gift of His life. Of His death. Of His Resurrection.

Thank you, God, for the wonder of the season.  Thank you, God. for your Son, Jesus Christ.

Are you wondering about the Five Minute Friday Book?  Want your own copy?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

First you can click HERE  or click HERE to go ahead and order one or two or ten.  Second, click on the Rafflecopter thingy to enter to win your very own signed copy.

All profits from the book will be divided equally between two ministries in South Africa: The Vine School in Cape Town, and The Ten Dollar Tribe!

Oh, and don't forget your Five Minute Friday Gear.  I'm definitely getting my hands on these!

You have to order now, because these products are available for a limited time only.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway and leave a comment telling me your thoughts about the one word prompt WONDER.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Five

I've never thought much about the number five.  Two has always been my favorite number.  But now that I think about it.....

There are five members of my family.

There are five days in a work week.

We have five fingers on each hand and five toes on each foot (and when we have a baby, us new moms look for those exact numbers).

We high five each other in celebration.

Teachers hold up their hands and say, "Give me Five," in order to get their students' attention.

Moms want just five minutes of peace and quiet.

Five minutes.

When I was in high school, we had five minutes to get from one class to another.

Five minutes.

It doesn't seem like much time.  However,  with this online community, five minutes is life changing.

Because of five minutes, I've shared the power of words.

Because of five minutes, I've connected with amazing writers across the country.

Because of five minutes, I came out of my comfort zone and attended a weekend getaway with total strangers.

Five minutes.  It can change your life.

A few years ago, I took the five minute journey with LisaJo Baker.  I joined her and this amazing online community many Fridays (and some other random days when I couldn't find five minutes on Friday).  We share words, many words, over a one word prompt each week.

Then, LisaJo handed over the reigns to Kate Motaung.  Honestly, I wasn't sure about this change.  But it was all good. This change brought the first ever Five Minute Friday Retreat.  And the best news, it was going to be outside of Nashville.  Could it be possible that this socially awkward girl might attend????

I did and I loved it!

Five minutes.

Because of this Five Minute Movement, Community, Family, whatever you want to call it, I am changed.  My confidence has grown.  I've met "my people."  And a dream as come true.

My words are now in the pages of a book.

The Five Minute Friday Book: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat releases on Monday, September 26.

Y'all. That's cause for celebration!  Give me a virtual high five right now!

Susan Shipe, another amazing writer, has collected our online stories and had them printed in a book. All proceeds from the sale of this book go to two amazing charities.

Are you as excited as I am??? If so, here's what you have to do.  Come back here to the blog on Monday (and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) of next week.  Each day I will repost an old Five Minute Friday post.  Within that post will be a challenge for you because I just might give away a copy of the Five Minute Friday Book. Maybe. Just maybe.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Shhh! Listen. It's Five Minute Friday

Y'all, I'm busy.  Teacher, mama, pastor/army chaplain wife, Sunday School teacher, robotics coach, academic team helper. There's piles of laundry to do, dishes to wash, a cat to feed, a litter box to clean, bills to pay, groceries to buy, books to read, lesson plans and weekly overviews to write, a Frozen Free Fall level to beat, soccer games, golf tournaments, and bible studies.  I've got lots to do.

So many needs. So much to do.

Orders are thrown around. Tempers flair.  Frustration ensues.  Exhaustion sets in.

I need my morning time.

The house is quiet. Everyone but me and the cat is asleep.

It's me, Happy the Cat, and God.

I'm listening.

He tells me to be still.

He whispers in that still small voice.

I feel Him.

I hear Him.

I quit talking. And I listen.

In the stillness, He whispers his love over me.  His grace covers me. Peace.

I listen to His love song as he tells me "My faithful love endures forever."

It's Five Minute Friday.  One word. Five minutes.  Write.  No overthinking. No editing (Although I did go back and capitalize a letter. What can I say, I'm an ELA teacher!).

Join in the Five Minute Friday community by visiting Kate's blog. You won't be disappointed.  Happy Friday!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Heal

Time heals all wounds.

Isn't that some sort of wise quote or something?

I don't believe it.  I don't.

I think time heals some wounds, and then time makes other wounds more bearable, but not completely healed.

We all have wounds.

We've been hurt physically. My husband just had surgery, and he is still healing from that.

We've been hurt verbally.  You know, words are like toothpaste.  Once they are out, you can't put them back.

We've been hurt emotionally.  Friends and family have cut us deep in some way.   The people we depend on the most have broken those walls of trust and love.

We've been hurt deep to the heart.

Three years ago,  my heart ached so bad.  My heart still aches.  The wound is still there, but it isn't completely healed.

I lost a baby through miscarriage.  I think about that baby so much.  I miss that baby.  A baby I never got to hold and watch grow. A baby that I long for.

I'll never be healed on this side of heaven. But I know one day, complete healing will come.

And how do I know?

Because my hope and my faith are in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

52 Books in 52 Weeks Update

I had huge plans for the summer.  When I last updated about my reading challenge journey, I left you with this statement:

Now that summer is here, I hope to get in some grown up books.  These books are on my To Read List: Hands Free Life, Fear and Faith, Do These Jeans Make Me Look Fat, Made to Crave, The Most Effective Way to Lead, 40 Days of Decrease, Beowulf, I am Malala (the adult version), Hold Me Like a Breath, Where I Am, and the Copper Gauntlet. 

I have to say, it was a complete failure.  

For whatever reason....laziness, unmotivated, busy with other things......I didn't read much of my summer reading list.  

Here's my newest update.....

Last year, I joined in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks reading challenge. I read 14 amazing books.  This year, I have now completed 14 books. Yes! I have met my reading list from last year, so there is room to blow right past it!

 For those of you looking for a few good books to read (or want to add to your kids' reading list), here's what I've completed in 2016 so far:

A book that cost less than $1
I cheated a bit. This book actually cost $1.  I loved it so much.  It was a life changer for how I view my ever-changing body compared to how Christ views me. 

A book given to me
This book was given to me by one of our church members.  She thought I might enjoy it, and she was so right.  There are so many things I have been able to use in conversation and Sunday school. Billy Graham says things so much better than I ever could...right, Leslie?

A book in a genre I don't typically read
The Iron Trial was a recommendation by a student in my class. He is really into stuff like this. I promised him I would read it. I did, and it wasn't too bad. I actually have the second book in my bag to read this summer.

A book recommended by someone I just met
One of my new students was reading If I Stay as her AR book. I asked her if it was any good, and she said yes, and then she told me I should read it.  I really liked the book. I watched the movie and did the ugly cry even though I knew what was going to happen.

 A book with a title that describes my life
LOVE this book. LOVE a good pair of jeans. LOVE Jesus.  

A book with a blue cover
I used this book in lit circles with my fifth graders. I read it beforehand and fell in love with it. The jaw dropping ending really got me.  Loved the movie too. Be sure you read the book before you watch the movie!

An autobiography
I am fascinated by Malala's story. After reading this, I used it for lit circles in my classroom. My students loved it. It was a wake up call for them because they had such a hard time believing that children in some countries aren't allowed an education like they are. 

 A book based in my town
The setting of this book is my hometown. Our librarian used this book in her Battle of the Books program a few years ago, and I fell in love with it.  All church goers (young and old) need to read this.  Its a story of forgiveness and how God works through all things. 

A book I haven't read since high school
I had forgotten how good this book was. I love that it is referenced in so many other pieces of literature.

A book I've already read at least once
This is another book used in our Battle of the Books program. To Kill a Mockingbird is referenced in this book, you'll have to read it to find out why.  I've always loved this book, but this year, after I completed it as a read aloud in my classroom, one of my autistic students said that he really liked it because it helps you understand how people think differently.  Score one for the teacher!

 A book published this year
A fellow Five Minute Friday Retreat friend wrote this wonderful book about trusting God even if He doesn't answer our prayers the way we want.  For anyone who has had trouble trusting Him, read this book.  Some people are bothered by the fact that Kaitlyn didn't go into extreme details in some of her stories, however, I don't think she needed to. I think we can all relate no matter what.

A book that's under 150 pages
This is an older book that I love and use as a read aloud in my classroom. It touches on bullying in a way that all of my students can relate. I love that it reinforces 2 facts: A) If you don't step up and stop bullying, you are just as guilty B)Bullying has negative effects

 A book written from a child's perspective
This is another book I used as a read aloud in class.   I love this book for so many reasons.  It is actually told from the perspective of a classroom of children and demonstrates the love their teacher had for them and the love they had for him.

A book thats more than 600 pages
I thought reading War and Peace was going to kill me! It took almost a year, but I did it though. I was proud of myself for not giving up although I wanted to at times. I was so excited about the mini series until they cancelled it right in the middle.

If you payed close attention, you'll see that I only added two books from my last update.  However, I've add many more books to my TO READ LIST!  Stacked up are Giddy Up, Eunice, Triggers, Uninvited, and One of the Few.  So many books! Where to start?  

What have you been reading lately?