Sunday, December 31, 2017


Year #6 at the fireworks store. Troy and Teague were the only kids with us and they did well with helping and working and stocking for the long hours. The weather ended up keeping people at home so we had a lot of time to play and hang out.


By midnight it was just us and Ryan ringing in the New Year! Happy 2k18! Closing out one and looking forward to another! Praying the Lord seals all the eternal work we did this year and prepares us for what He has next!

Saturday, December 30, 2017


It’s that time again to recap on my 2017 word of the year...

I enjoyed this year’s word so much. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and grew my faith more than any other year, I think.  As I read back over my journal and see all the crazy things I’ve witnessed this year two things come to mind: intentionality and habit.

This year I was intentional; in every circumstance or situation, I had a sense of the bigger picture and made myself listen to what God wanted for that moment.  That intentionality led me to pray some crazy prayers, send some out of the blue texts, speak when I didn’t have all the answers, give when I questioned the was all amazing and so rewarding and because I lived in this way I saw physical healings, spiritual healings, strengthened faith, answered prayers! Looking back it almost seems unreal! The verse that keeps coming up over and over for me is James 5:16 - “Therefore, confess your sins one to another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”  That last!! Every time  I moved when He said move something happened and that last part of the verse would cross my mind. When I stay surrendered and attentive, my prayer is His prayer and it accomplishes much! I also find so much hope in the fact that in the areas where patience is needed in a situation and the outcome may not be seen for years to come, this verse still holds true! Something is always being accomplished, whether seen or unseen!

The second word, habit, also comes into play this year. This year was my second year to complete the One Year Bible. It’s a plan to read the entire Bible in a year. The first year was such a struggle; not so much the meeting with Jesus part, but more of the reading and understanding what I was reading. I pressed through and just kept on with it this year for round 2 and there was a shift. The reading was no longer a struggle. I didn’t understand everything, but I felt like I understood more than the year before! He highlighted Proverbs 1:23 - “Turn to my reproof, behold I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.”  And all of Proverbs 2!! So encouraging!! If I seek wisdom I find it...I just needed to form a habit of seeking it. In our instant gratification world we want immediate results and 2 years is a long time to see results, but if you keep at it, He is faithful! As I start in on year 3 of the One Year Bible I can’t help but think of all the new revelations! Like watching a movie over and over, I know the lines and the songs and even see scenes differently or more in-depth because I’ve seen it so many times, I think the same holds true for reading the Bible repeatedly. Think of all the scripture inside my heart and head, and every time I read it, it just goes deeper and I see things differently and God reveals more. I don’t think I would have encountered all I have encountered this year without the consistent intake of His word.

I pray I will continue to operate out of my comfort zone as the years go by. I really want to keep this word another year, but He has something different for me already, so I will take what I’ve learned this year and continue to apply it in all the tasks He asks of me in 2018!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


For the last few years we have hosted Christmas at our house and it is so much fun. My parents and family and always willing to drive up for the day and help with food if needed, so it makes it all simple and easy and enjoyable for everyone!

The kids opened their stockings and Santa gift early. They all got suitcases, but were curious as to why. We told them that Santa must have known we needed them because we have been saving up for a trip and in their presents were clues to where we were going.

Once everyone arrived we opened gifts. They put all the clues together and found out we are taking them on a Spring Break cruise to Cozumel, Caymen Islands and Jamaica. This is the same cruise Richard and I did in the fall and we loved it so much we decided to book it again! I know the kids are going to love it! 

After presents, we ate and played and finished the night with some Bingo! Christmas Daynis always packed so full and I always wish it were longer! 

I’m am grateful for my family who makes the drive and brings food and gifts and games and never complains. They make each event special in so many little ways and I am thankful for them as my family but also thankful for them for the kids’ sake, as well. Not until they are adults will they realize how blessed we are with all the family the Lord has given us and how He weaved and blended so many into one. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Eve at the Hollingsworth’s

The start of Christmas Eve was spent at church. We had a candlelight ceremony that was a great way to start the day and remind us of the true meaning of this season.

Koby and Richard wore their new sweaters to church. 

Christmas Eve night was spent at Richard’s parents’  home. We wore our matching pajamas and ate way too much Mexican food!

After dinner, Baylee and the girls read the Christmas story to us.

Then it was gifts and games! Richard and I got an amazing all in one music station; vinyls, cassettes, cds, the radio or does it all!

 We also played another switch and steal game but this time with lottery tickets!! 

 It was a full and busy day! Thank you, Roy and Lynette, for hosting a cozy party. You guys are so generous and thoughtful and make your home a place of laughter and fun for all who come over. We appreciate how special you make every Christmas Eve for us and for all the kids! 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

When the answer is “No”

How do we react when we get the answer “no”? Richard and I try to teach the kids that their reaction to our no is a reflection of their maturity. When we are met with screaming and yelling or justifying and manipulation to try to change the no into a yes, it reaveals character. I think this is same way with us and God as well. This week He gave in lesson in “No” and that even a no carries a reward and blessing.

Early this week I felt like He gave me an encouraging word for an aquaintence of mine. He brought a specific book to mind so that afternoon I set out looking for that book to give to her. After 4 stores I was having no luck. Had I heard wrong? Why was this book so difficult to find? Why would He give me a word if I wasn’t supposed to tell her? I ended up going home and praying for clarification.

The next morning I was awoken at 5am again with this on my mind and now a new task. A friend across the hall at school had her classroom Keurig break and I felt the Lord point out a store and say go buy her a new one. I got excited because maybe the book was also at this store?!? So I jumped up got ready and left the house early to find these two items! As I started down the book section I wasn’t having any luck. I looked and looked and just knew it had to be there, but it wasn’t. So I headed to the coffee aisle and as I stood in front of the Keurig section I heard God say “No, don’t buy her this.” What?!? It’s 6:30am and I came all the way out here and now nothing? I’m leaving empty handed?  Oh the confusion!!!

So I started off towards school. I sat in my room, busy with the days’ plans, when I heard my friend come in for the day and go into her room. My heart was sad because I wished I could have surprised her with a new coffeemaker. But not 10 minutes later I heard her squealing and saying “thank you, thank you, thank you!”  I ran into her room to see what was going on and another friend had surprised her with a Keurig!!  She shared with us that that exact Keurig style was the same one she used to make her Dad his last cup of coffee before he passed away about a month ago.  She was in tears and God not only provided for her, but did so in God like fashion!! She was supposed to have THAT Keurig!!

As I went back to my classroom so many thoughts flooded my mind and it’s taken a few days to process it all with the Lord, but I’ve come away with these truths:
~I am clearly hearing His voice
~The coffeemaker “no” confirms the book “no”
~Just because it’s “no” right now doesn’t mean it will always be a “no”...keep listening
~He is pleased with obedience even when it doesn’t make sense to me

I have been so blessed by this experience and my faith, yet again, has been stretched and grown! He is faithful and good and I pray if you are stuck in a “no” situation that you lean into Him and see how He blesses you through it!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas at the McCaig's

We enjoyed Christmas at the McCaig's last night.  Yummy food, fun games, gifts and lots of laughter!  Here is the annual grandkid pic.

Judy found a gift exchange game with dice and switching gifts that was so much fun!  She provided some crazy gifts and the stealing and swapping was out of control!  We all ended up with something but the Booty Max and the cash were the two that were coveted! 

Kelby did a lot of his own shopping this year and Baylee made everyone sweet gifts so that was neat to see everyone open their gifts from them!

I am always so blessed by the McCaigs.  They are warm and welcoming and their home is always a place of love.  Thank you, Neal and Judy, for your hospitality!  You are appreciated more than you know!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

That one gift

This time of year is always so special and memorable and I try to fill my own children's lives with sight and smells and tastes that will last forever!  I want them to hold to these memories when they are older and pass them to their kids, but sometimes I forget that this time of year is different for others. It holds hurts or wounds or memories that are not pleasant or brings to the forefront the fact that they may not have as much as others.  

As the presents came streaming in today from my students I have them put them on a table at the front of the classroom.  They are all frilly and beautiful and wrapped in red and green.  As I sat at my desk to check attendance, one little girl comes up with the biggest smile and brought to my desk a Walmart sack.  My heart ached.  Her story is not one I'd wish on anyone, but she exudes joy and love and she is just precious!  She placed it in my hands and said "Merry Christmas" and skipped off to her desk.     

I waited until the class went off to PE to open any of the presents and as I opened the bag I had to fight back tears. It was a well loved little stuffed animal.  I can only imagine it was her most favorite one...and she choose to give it!  What a servant's heart this little girl has and oh how she reminded me of the spirit of giving.  I called her over and explained that as much as I loved the stuffed animal, he would not be happy without her.  I hugged her and she hugged me back long and tight.  I told her I loved her and her thoughtfulness and that every time she loved on her stuffed animal at home I wanted her to remember how much Mrs. Hollingsworth loves her. 

In the hustle and bustle this time of year brings, I am thankful for the moments that make me stop and remember what this season is really about; moments that make me shine Jesus.  All too often I get going fast and I can only imagine how many opportunities I miss when I get in that mode.  I am thankful that today I got at least one thing right.  I am thankful for the love of this sweet little girl.  I am thankful for the One who gave it all!