Archives for November 2014


Christmas Photo Shoots

Oh the fun of Christmas card photo shoots! It took two times for us to finally achieve a worthy photo. The first session I got everyone bundled up before the kids pointed out that it was pouring down rain! The second session {shown here} ended with Stella running a 103.5 fever…oh, the fun of getting the flu during Thanksgiving break!








The kick from this gun is pretty powerful, Mom!



I’m gonna share the photo we picked for cards closer to Christmas. I hope you enjoyed these shots of folly!



Alluminate your life

You walk into a room filled with hundreds {but it feels more like thousands} of women and you think…woa…what am I doing here? Let’s just turn around…I can hang out in my hotel room all weekend and be fine.

Cause you see, me, I’m not a big blogger…me….I only write a few times a month…once again, what am I doing here at this blogging conference with LOTS of big namers.

But then you experience the beauty of women, together, lifting their hands in a chorus of praise to the Lord.
You catch your breath and are reminded of just why you are here.

When I pondered going to Allume over the summer I wondered if I was crazy to spend such money on a blogging conference when I am just a sometimes blogger. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on the decaying window frame that needed replaced a few hundred days ago or on a relaxing weekend away with my husband?

But as I prayed about whether I should go to Allume, I kept hearing the word “Go”.
A constant whisper in my head when I sought His guidance on these plans I had signed myself up for. And I am so glad I did listen to His voice. Because…

therewardIt turned out to be such a growing experience, time spent delving closer to Christ, being renewed and inspired, and forming many new friendships. {The ladies I met were so welcoming, kind, and uplifting!}

While there I was so fortunate to attend a session by Lisa-Jo Baker about how us mom’s so often worry that motherhood means we are missing out on something. {And ya’ll, if I had only made it to this one session…the whole weekend would have been worth it. It was that incredible!}

Don’t we all question if there isn’t something bigger we are suppose to be doing with our time rather than just being a mom. So often I ask up the question…does what I do really matter to Christ?

But you know what Lisa-Jo said about that question…

I am NOT just a mom. Not just a sometimes blogger. If this world is God’s kingdom on earth then none of us are just something. For in God’s kingdom, every single moment & every single second is kingdom work. Whether that is washing dishes, folding clothes, inviting a college student over for a meal, or opening the door for a stranger. You see, there is nothing routine about your routine.

The time I spent at Allume lifted my spirits, encouraged me to keep writing, and reminded me that no matter how often I blog or how many times I drearily stick my hands into yet another sink load of dirty dishes…I am not just.

So I encourage you to find places where God can
encourage you, nourish you, and pour Himself INTO you.
You are that important and He delights Himself in you.

{Myself with Lindsay and Leigh}



When your cause didn’t win…

Healing the youngest one of her crimson wind chapped chin & lips, the snotty nose, the crackling cough…that’s what garnered for my attention yesterday morning. To be honest, they were my sole focus throughout Election Day as I wracked my brain for excuses to keep from voting.


It’s not like my vote matters, I tell myself. Plenty of other people will come out to vote. And even if I vote, does it really affect who wins and who loses.

Plus, I’ll have to take the kids with me. {Dramatic sigh inserted here} That means a 1/4 mile bike ride with kids who should have Complainer as their middle name. {Don’t let the pictures fool you!}

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Yes, I get that 1/4 of a mile seems like nothing to you. Yes, I know that Papaw George walked endless miles in World War II so I could be ensured of this thing called Democracy. This freedom to have a voice in our laws & leaders.

But the whisper on the wind resounds…Jessica, does it even matter?

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And as I went to sleep last night, I was crushed for you. Heart broken for you who had poured hours upon hours into sleepless nights, crusading for a cause you believed in and I was once again reminded of Papaw.

He would be so proud of how you fought for what you believed in.
He would tell you, win or lose, it was worth it.

And you know why it was worth it?

Because you opened people’s eyes… to fracking, to the dismay of our current education system, about jobs for those who call Appalachia home. It matters because when you stand behind a cause it provokes thought. Whether they share your same views may not be the end result.

What matters most is that you fostered learning, you passed on knowledge, and you inspired those around you to take a stand and be passionate for what they believe in.

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And this morning when I woke and found that Measure 92 was still too close to call, my heart soared with joy. No, victory can’t be celebrated, yet. And perhaps, this specific Measure won’t even pass in the next few days. But it gave me hope that one day, one day, I will wake the morning after Election Day and find that a cause I believe so much in will pass.

So don’t give up. Don’t think your vote doesn’t matter. Or that your cause isn’t worth fighting for.

Nothing worth fighting for was ever won easily.



{And PS…I did take the kids to vote}