Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Is your future uncertain? Actually all of us can say "Yes" to that question. None of us know our future. Sometimes we have a lot to worry about. Many people are concerned about the economy, being able to make it through the holidays on little resources. So many are dealing with health issues, wayward children, divorce, grief and loss. Uncertainty looms around us at every stage of life; even our children often worry about their grades, their friends, their weight, their security, their acceptance and their future.

Hebrews 11:20 talks about Isaac blessing his sons. In spite of all the disfunction in Isaac's family, (the deception, favoritism, naivety, distance and impulsiveness) the verse says, "He had confidence in what God was going to do in the future."

Because God has always kept his promises, we can continue to trust him for our future. "For you have been my hope, O sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth." Psalm 71:5

Maybe you are worried and uncertain. Throw your worries on to God. He has been in the business of "futures" for a long, long time; and like Isaac, we can trust him with ours.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Just love 'em!

Last week, Brian and I went to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet. It was a very nice evening. The speaker that night was a comedian. He made us laugh out loud with impersonations and funny faces! He was making fun of relatives, in light of the upcoming holidays and, in his humorous way, left me with something of a more serious note. He said, with a ridiculous face, "Just love 'em!" When your son in law does yada yada yada that you hate, just love 'im. When your sister just sits there like she always has instead of helping mom, just love 'er!

There are so many people that get in such a wad over little things. The holidays magnify that, you know? Just let it go. Life is too short to be mad at every coach, teacher, boss, neighbor, in-law. My gosh! Choose to be happy and "Just love 'em!"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

guest blogger: my brother Dave!!

My brother Dave is a guest writer on my blog today! Check him out:

Everyman's Everest
My favorite thing about Ironman triathlons is the simple fact that anybody can do one...seriously. It doesn't take a unique skill or ability like throwing a 95 mph fastball or being able to dunk a basketball. You don't have to be strong, tall, fast, smart, or even very coordinated. All it really takes is an attitude that says, "I will not quit." Let's face it, none of us are going to get called up to the major leagues. We'll never play in the Super Bowl, or get drafted into the NBA. But there's almost nothing keeping you from becoming an Ironman! I've personally seen a blind man, a woman in a wheelchair, an amputee, and a 74 year old man cross the Ironman finish line! It's a larger-than-life moment that anyone can accomplish.
Last Sunday I crossed the Ironman finish line for my second time. It was a completely different experience in many ways from the first Ironman I completed in 2009. This time around there wasn't any curiosity or sense of wonderment. I knew exactly how long and difficult the day would be. This time it wasn't a question of "Can I do this?". It was now a question of "Can I do this faster?". And I knew that finishing the bike ride didn't really mean that I was almost done. Being my second-time around didn't make it any easier. My feet cramped up on the bike, my legs tried to quit on me during the run, and at times it took everything I had just to keep from throwing up.
But as I swam, biked, and ran through Louisville this year, the biggest and best difference was the fact that my wife, Kerry and our two sons were there to cheer me on. When I first became an Ironman in 2009 we lived in Okinawa, Japan, and they weren't able to travel with me to Louisville for the race. They were such a huge part of my training and support that I knew something was missing as I crossed the finish line 9,000 miles away from them. This year was different though; they were right there with me! Yelling and ringing those signature Ironman cowbells, my family encouraged and fueled me throughout the race with their cheers. The road trip, the race, and the room service brought us closer together as a family. I doubt that my kids will forget staying up way beyond their bedtime to stand in the streets with the cheering crowd and hear the announcer declare their dad an Ironman. But more importantly, I hope they learned that they don't have to be the fastest, or the tallest, or become all-star athletes to accomplish something great. All they really have to do is never give up.

David Mills is author of The Distance: An Average Joe's Path to Balancing Family, Work, & Triathlon available now on Amazon. To find out more visit

Thursday, September 8, 2011

in a bind, up a creek, and worth the risk!

I'm in a bind! I've been there before, and I bet you have too! I am in so deep that if God does not come through, I will be in trouble. It's funny. I felt this way when I had kids, when we started West Ridge Church. It's uncomfortable and risky and bigger than me, so much so that I know when I get out of it, I would be crazy stupid to take the glory for any success. Aah. That sounds like where God likes us to be.

When we get in deep, we have to trust God, take a deep breath, and ask Him to guide us. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6.

I'm counting on that. Life is risky but it's worth the risk because at the end of the day, we can say that God brought us through and we can give him all the glory if it turns out ok--if your marriage succeeds, if your kids love God, if your business survives, if you pass the class, if your church grows and thrives, if your neighbors come to know the Lord, if your team wins, if people approve, if you inspire or encourage. It all comes from God who likes risk, who likes it when we have to depend on him, who loves it when we need him, call on him and give all the glory to him!! He will bring us through!

Monday, August 22, 2011

How do I know that God is real?

How do I know that God is real? I've never seen him. I've never heard his voice, yet I know.
Having never seen the air, somehow we have experienced it, breathed it in; and it has given us life.
I have seen the air move things, the trees blowing in the gentle breeze. And powerful gusts that require our respect.
I have observed a balloon take on a new shape, a new identity when filled with an invisible air.
I have exercised my faith in scientists I've never met that tell me about the molecules in the air I cannot see.
Certainly they are right in their beliefs.
If I were to deny that air exists, I would still breathe it and require it to survive.
In fact, the more I do, the faster my pace, the more I gasp for air and am reminded of my need for it.
I have seen God move, fill and satisfy.

My eyes have been witness to things that only God can do. People that he has drawn to himself, Secret wishes that only he and I knew about, fulfilled to overflow. Coincidences that no one could orchestrate.

Peace in the storms of my life, Calm in my panic and rest in my weariness. Joy in the midst of trouble, and perseverance during darkest times. God has given understanding during times that lack human explanation. My soul had a God-shaped void that no man, job, status or wealth could fill. A perfect Savior for an imperfect me. A sure future. A heavenly home because of a cross I have never seen, an empty tomb that filled my emptiness. A non-wavering, never-changing God that engages my ever-changing life and fills it, satisfies it, loves it and has always kept every promise.

The ocean, the mountains, the spinning solar system. Someone out there is bigger than me. He is not tired or impatient when I do not believe him. He will never cease to exist and his love will never end. I have seen too much!

Friday, August 12, 2011

captain crunch

I ate Captain Crunch for breakfast this morning. I know. It's not very healthy and I am too old to be eating sugar cereal. Here is my story: When I was two years old, my parents took me to Baltimore to visit relatives. Ok, this is about to date me for sure. My great aunt in Baltimore had a milk man that delivered milk to her house, and the milk man left samples of a new cereal on everyone's porch. Great marketing idea! Because we were visiting, my aunt thought I might like to try the new Captain Crunch cereal sample. I was hooked! Not long after we got home, we found my new cereal on the grocery shelf! All it took was a taste, and now I've been a Captain Crunch fan for life!

So many people just need a taste of God, His love, and His goodness. If they could get a sample taste of how great He is, they would be hooked for life!! "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!" Psalm 34:8

Monday, July 25, 2011


Brian and I were staying in a rented house out of town last week, when I dropped my toiletries bag on the floor. I bent down to pick up all of its contents, and accidentally sliced my finger on my razor! Ouch! It seems like a little thing, but it bled for over half an hour and would not stop!! It was after midnight, and I was getting concerned. After trying to stop the bleeding with wads of toilet paper and ice, I thought eventually I could use a few bandaids. There was practically nothing in the little medicine cabinet, but almost as if someone had anticipated my need, a box of bandaids stared back at me.

Now this may seem silly to you, but I knew that God had allowed those bandaids to be left in that cabinet because He knew I would need them. In the quiet, away from home, I felt loved. Ephesians 3:19 has become one of my favorite verses. It says, "May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fulness of life and power that comes from God."

That means that we can have fullness of life when we experience how much God loves us. I want a full life, don't you? Sometimes, I am sure that I miss God's expressions of love for me, but now I am dead set on trying to grasp just how much I am loved!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

training your kids to be leaders

we heard there was a cow in the outfield and a horse near third base. something like that! taylor went to the dominican republic on a baseball mission trip. two days ago they played a pick-up game against a pitcher with one leg. new experiences. mom's not there. probably the best thing for my sixteen year old!

when taylor was a toddler, i learned that i would never be able to take the credit if he turned out to be a good kid. i was in way over my head in parenting this wild child, but i knew that if he became a great man, i would humbly admit that it was God working in his life. with that disclaimer said, i will humbly tell you that we are trying to do things that create leadership in our kids. allow your kids to do difficult things that stretch them. maybe this mission trip is stretching us too!! i want our boys to learn to depend on God, not just mom and dad. let your boys be warrior men and let your girls be strong women!! let's give responsibility to our kids and allow them to learn leadership.

"rice and beans pretty much everyday." taylor

Thursday, June 2, 2011

RUSH camp

Seventeen years ago, when we lived in Virginia, Brian and I brought a group of high school kids to camp in Toccoa Georgia. I was pregnant with Taylor. The next year we brought a ton of kids, and I pushed Taylor in his stroller! God did some amazing things at camp.

I remember praying with a girl named Leah, as she trusted Christ. A guy named Nate accepted the Lord at camp and is now a student pastor. I remember the boys in our group dominating in sports competitions; and I remember where I was sitting in the lobby when my sister-in-law told us that they were going to have a baby!

Years later, after moving to Georgia and starting West Ridge Church, Brian and I talked about having a camp experience for West Ridge kids to bring their friends. Our amazing student ministry team began the tradition of RUSH camp, a West Ridge camp for high school and middle school students and all of the friends they could invite!

This year, for the first time, RUSH camp is in Toccoa, where I pushed Taylor around in his baby stroller. Over 530 In nine chartered busses! I can't begin to tell you how amazing it is to see the same auditorium filled with all of OUR kids. We can tell stories of God moving in the lives of teenagers years ago, and to have our boys be a part of something so powerful in the same facility is just especially cool :) I did not expect this to be emotional for me, as God has been at work in the lives of teenagers for years, but I can't help but be amazed and humbled at what He is doing. I am so amazed at the ways that God reminds us of where we have been, where He has brought us and all that He has done. Sometimes I think I get a glimpse of what He may be doing in the future--who knows the impact of camp in the lives of these incredible kids?! God is at work for sure. It's been a great week!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

black sequin dress

When I was twenty two, my parents bought me the most beautiful long, strapless black sequin dress. It was fitted with a flare of raspberry tulle at the bottom of the dress. It was stunning! Never before had I been voted to be in any kind of homecoming or prom court, unlike my sisters, who were both homecoming queens; but to my great surprise, my senior year in college, I was voted to be in the Miss Liberty Pageant! The week that I found out that I was going to be in the pageant, I planned to go home for the weekend and get a dress. I would be one of twenty four girls to represent Liberty University. I was honored and excited, as the pageant was a huge deal!!

Little did I know, that I would never wear the dress.

When I returned from my weekend at home, I was called into a meeting. All of the girls in the pageant were told that the pageant had been cancelled for financial reasons. I was so disappointed and hurt. We were still in a homecoming court for the homecoming football game, but it was not the same. I had to wear a dressy skirt and suit jacket. I would have to return my non-refundable dress.

Sometimes life sends us disappointments that leave us hurt and confused. How do we handle disappointment? Like Hagar in Genesis chapter 16, I can refer to God as "the God who sees me." My interpretation: "the God who sees me in my black sequin dress." I am learning in disappointing times, that God knows something that I do not know. He has a plan for me, not to harm me, but to give me a hope, and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

There will be more black sequin dress moments in my life, I am sure! May we learn to lean on Him, as He will never ever disappoint us!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

trying to fill in the grand canyon

this past week, we heard a friend speak about the love of God. it sounds like such a simple thing to talk about, but we were overwhelmed with the fact that we do not fully understand that God loves us so much, and that He is totally accepting of us, just like we are.

our friend gave a great example: God's love is the only love we actually NEED. love from others is a wonderful thing, but we were created with a void that can only be filled by God. when we try to fill our void with love and acceptance from other people, it is like trying to fill in the grand canyon with a shovel !!!

i am reminding myself this week that God really likes me, and that i can get filled up with HIS love. when we do that, we are then free to give to others.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

i'm thinking about trashing my kids' cars

This is an empty applesauce container in my car door handle. The many trash items, like this one, in my car over the past sixteen years has lead me to some serious thinking! I have decided that I am going to trash my kids' cars. First of all, I am going to open the little packets of sauce and kechup from Chic Fil A and I'm going to leave them in the door handles and seat pockets. Next, I plan to trim my nails, toenails included, and let all of the clippings fall in the floor board. I am going to drop fries down the seat, next to the seat belts. I am considering leaving an age old dairy product secretly in the cup holder in the backseat, and best of all, I will remove my socks after practice and leave them under the seat. When my boys cannot figure out why their car smells like football practice, they will find the surprise socks and take them to the laundry room, and wash them for me. I might put little coins in their CD player and press my face against their windows. I will spit nasty stuff in an empty water bottle and leave it on the floor next to my athletic cup. I will leave my phone in their car and beg them to drive to where I am so I can text my friends.

I am thinking about having a nice argument with Brian in the back seat of their cars. I will certainly chew all of the gum in their cars and play MY music loudly anytime I ride with them. I will probably be late, and they will be waiting on me, so I expect that I will have to bring my breakfast pancakes with sticky syrup to eat in the car. I'm sure they will bring these dishes in and wash them. I will unpack my bat bag in their trunk and leave all of my empty Gatorade bottles. I will hit my cleats together so that the dried clay falls off and I will dump out the dirt from the inside of my cleats. I will feel really bad about it, but I will probably do it several more times. There are a few more things that boys do in cars that require rolling the windows down, but I am a lady, so I will not do those things. These are just a few of the fun things I am planning!

Monday, March 7, 2011

goats :)

We received this picture in the mail today!! This is Kyui, the 15 year old boy that we have been sponsoring in Kenya for the last eight years. At Christmas, we decided to send Kyui's family a gift. Seventy five dollars was the smallest amount that we could send in order for his family to receive some special help at Christmas, and since we had never given this way before, that is what we chose to do. We were a bit skeptical because they would not tell us how the money would be used. I am so glad we did this!
The little amount we sent did a lot for Kyui's family. They received two goats, a school uniform, pens, leather shoes and shoes for Kyui's grandmother.

It is amazing that we can tangibly help needy people on the other side of the world!!! If you are not sponsoring a child or helping in some way with missions, would you pray about how you could be involved? It is not about you and me. There is a world that is dying physically and spiritually and we have the resources that they need!!!

"For God so loved the world that He GAVE." John 3:16

first chat

This past week, we had our very first Launch Network video chat for church planters' wives!!! We were so excited about it. It was really little but really cool. We had two girls. One was in Missouri and one was in Georgia. One of the girls did not have a working camera on her computer, so we could just hear her and not see her.

Because my computer was messed up, I drove to Cindy Lake's house and we shared earphones. I had one in my ear and she had one in her ear. We had to sit close to both fit on the screen! We laughed afterwards because we are not very technological. Here we were with our little earphones in Cindy's living room talking with church planters' wives about God's calling in their lives.

I have seen God do some amazing things that started out little. Maybe you are doing something that seems little or insignificant. Maybe things have not turned out the way you thought they would. God is the master of little things. If you are doing something where God is already at work, He can turn little into much!

I had to document this because, in thanks to God, through the Launch Network, we are going to connect church planters' wives all across the country and the world. We will look back on our little inaugural video chat and remember that God did great things!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

love this verse!

Psalm 89:8
"O Lord God Almighty, Where is there anyone as mighty as you, Lord? Faithfulness is your very character."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the burkina kitchen project

When Brian returned from his first Burkina Faso, Africa trip, his pictures tugged at my heart. One set of pictures especially grabbed me. The women who cook for hundreds of students at the school in Burkina and at the Compassion site, cook in the dirt. They do not have kitchens. Somehow, as a woman, I felt like these women needed a kitchen. Every woman who has to cook for that many kids needs a kitchen! I thought that if we as women could donate to have a kitchen built, we could not only make their job so much easier, but we could aid in creating a healthy environment for these children as well.

One in 3.5 children in Burkina will die before they turn 10 years old, because they do not have food and water; so while I catch myself letting my water run in my kitchen faucet, these kids are starving and dying. This is not a National Geographic picture of a place that we will never see. This is where West Ridge Church has a family on the ground, a ministry that we can travel to and see for ourselves! Last year, Brian had the opportunity to meet the little girl that we sponsor, and when we build this kitchen, I am going to go and see it for myself!! God is doing amazing things in Burkina Faso, and when we get $25,000. we can add to that by building a kitchen!!!!! When you cook dinner with your stove and oven and use running water and , oh my gosh, a dishwasher, think about the women cooking in the dirt, and pray about donating to the Burkina Kitchen Project. You can be a part of changing lives!!!!!

To donate go to

Sunday, January 30, 2011

hang in there!

Are you growing weary doing the right thing and not seeing results? When Taylor was little, he was a terror. I can say that now because he is almost 16 and is an amazing young man! I remember talking to my dad, who has a counseling degree. After staying with us for several days, he was supposed to give me some earth-shaking advice to "fix" Taylor. I was ready for a remedy, and I'll never forget what he said. He said, "I think you are doing the right things. Just keep on doing what you are doing and one day, you are going to see the results." That is not the answer I was looking for. I wanted a quick fix.

Now I can see that because of God's grace, after what seemed like an eternity, things did change. Now, I go through different challenges, but (I am writing this post to myself) I can look back and remember that if you keep doing the right thing, you will eventually see the results. Hang in there! Galations 6:9 says, "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

R u having FUN?

(This is Brian and me sledding at Christmas!)

Are you having FUN with your husband or wife? FUN is vital to a healthy marriage. If you are not having fun, plan something fun today!! It does not require money to laugh and have fun, but the returns are hugely valuable!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


as february approaches and people begin to think about valentines day, i have a couple verses that we are talking about at our house, verses that i want my boys to learn.

"The HEART is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?"
Jeremiah 17:9

"Create in me a clean HEART O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
Psalm 51:10

My heart is desperately wicked? Gosh, that sounds rough! It's true. Who can know it? Not even we ourselves can know our own hearts. Fortunately, God is the One who does know our hearts and He is the One who has the power to create a clean one in us and renew our spirit.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

organizing stuff

Here's a cool idea for organizing stuff. This is a plastic shoe holder. It can go over any door and hold a multitude of STUFF! This one is on my pantry door in my kitchen. It holds loose items like candy, taco sauce packets, individual snacks etc. I have one on my bathroom closet door as well. It holds medicine, band aids, cough syrup. The boys have "pockets" like these on their closet doors to organize all those little things that get lost in the bottom of a box or drawer. You can see it all, and you don't have to dig to find it. :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

two degree change

"A goal without a plan is just a wish." Antoine de Saint Esupery

It's a new year, and people are making new goals. As we make new goals and make NEW some of the old goals we previously made :) we have to remember to have a plan. Do a little at a time. I like what John Trent has to say. He says to change TWO DEGREES. Changing old habits is much like driving a car. A two degree turn in the steering wheel will take us in a completely new direction. Turning the steering wheel 180 degrees will probably wreck the car!

Make a little two degree change, and before you know it, you will be going in a different direction!