Wednesday, December 25, 2013

When My Heart Finds Christmas

When My Heart Finds Christmas

In my eyes are valentines
And easter eggs and new year's wine
But when my heart finds christmas
My eyes will shine like new

All the days are kind to me
But fall too far behind to see
But when my heart finds christmas
I hope it finds you too

Let the angels sing around us
Christmas time is here
Let our children's love surround us
Laughing and filled with cheer

My heart told me once before
To find my dream and search no more
And when my heart finds christmas
I hope it finds you too

Watch the video HERE.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Because of a Facebook Post

Whew! I posted this on Facebook last night…

Miley Cyrus rides a wrecking ball naked, is no longer a good influence on young girls, and becomes one of Barbara Walters top people of the year? And Phil is 'suspended' for speaking his beliefs? Isn't that backwards when it comes to morals and values and virtue? What is happening to us? Jesus should be returning any day. We've got us a real Sodom and Gomorrah folks.

It took on a life of it’s own! I want to clarify that the post was NOT a gay vs. straight vs. Christian post. It was a ‘you can parade around in front of children half naked or all naked and be awarded for it, but if you’re a Christian and speak your beliefs you’re condemned’ post. What some don’t understand is that that’s the way it’s supposed to be happening right now according to the Bible. Christians become the persecuted. We aren’t any different from a Muslim, a Native American, a Jehovah’s Witness or a homosexual. It’s the double standard that people say we are throwing onto them. And, the things that most Christians say are continually being taken out of context. Now, I don’t mean the radicals that believe ‘their version’ of the Bible is the right way. There are so called Christians in this world that I wish would not tell people they’re a Christian.

The people I know and call family and friends that are Christians, however, are not like that. We believe what the Bible tells us. We do not add or take away from anything it says. The 10 Commandments were written in stone and that’s what we live by. We aren't supposed to hate and we aren’t supposed to judge others. People are accusing Phil Robertson of judging, but what he said in his interview came from the Bible not from his own head. Right now, my thought is that it’s ok when other people do crazy immoral things like ‘ride a wrecking ball naked’ but when a Christian stands up and talks from his heart and speaks from the BIBLE, it’s wrong. We are being attacked just like everyone else. These days, ANYTHING at all said by a Christian becomes fodder for anyone that believes we are trying to CHANGE everyone to our beliefs and standards.

The fact is... red, yellow, black and white, we are precious in HIS sight so it doesn’t matter what WE believe. He loves us ALL and, as Christians, WE are to love all and put others before ourselves. We are supposed to love everyone the way Christ loved us. Love the sinner, hate the sin. That’s all. We’re not supposed to be judge and jury. That’s not our jobs. But being a Christian doesn’t make us perfect, that’s for sure. I just wish everyone understood that. WE ARE ALL SINNERS. Every single person on this earth is a SINNER. No matter what.

There is a poem written by Carol Wimmer in 1988 that says….
When I say..."I am a Christian," I'm not shouting, "I am saved." I'm whispering, "I get lost!"
That is why I chose this way. 
When I say..."I am a Christian," I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need someone to be my guide.  
When I say..."I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak
and pray for strength to carry on.  
When I say..."I am a Christian,"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
and cannot ever pay the debt.  
When I say..."I am a Christian," I don’t think I know it all. I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught.
When I say..."I am a Christian,"
I'm not claiming to be perfect; my flaws are too visible
but God believes I'm worth it.  
When I say..."I am a Christian,"
I still feel the sting of pain; I have my share of heartaches
which is why I seek His name.  
When I say..."I am a Christian,"
I do not wish to judge. I have no authority.
I only know I'm loved.

And we ARE loved. All of us. You and me. Maybe it doesn’t help you, but it sure does help me. 

One last thing…I have unbelievably awesome friends and family members that are gay. I do not love them any less than if they were not. I would do for them as much as I would do for anyone I loved. That means you and you and you and you and you and you.

God Bless You ALL! :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Part 2 - I BELIEVE!

Matthew 21:22 "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

One of the BIGGEST things that happened, the night I went into ICU that Friday, was the outpouring of love and prayer. I'm a believer. There is NOTHING like the love of Jesus. Nothing at all. And I feel Him in my bones every day.

I'm not sure of all the ways it got around but my friends and church family heard that I might not make it and here they came. They came and stood over me and prayed for me. A friend told me that one of my favorite pastors led a prayer so powerful that she felt like they were having church over me. Which is exactly the way I would have wanted it. There were so many in and out that night praying that it affected the nurses too. I vaguely remember one of them talking to me about it the next day after I woke up. She said she prayed for me, as well, and I cried when she told me. I later found out that there was a church in Thailand praying for me and Ian's best friend, Alex, was in Florida at camp and had his team praying for me. Oh my goodness at the prayer that went up that night from so many different people in so many different places. Close friends and family...people I hardly knew.....people I've never met. They prayed for ME.

It was something my sweet sister had never seen before. She said they prayed me right back to life.

And she was right.

I TOTALLY believe that. Prayer is powerful.


James 5: 14-16  Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

As I close this post, I'm doing so 12 hours from another surgery. I know Jesus is with me. And I know you will all be praying. Thank you. :)


I'm so very ordinary
Nothing special on my own
I have never walked on water
I have never calmed a storm
Sometimes I'm hiding away
From the madness around me
Like a child who's afraid of the dark

But when I call on Jesus
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus
Mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven
And earth to come rescue me when I call

Weary brother
Broken daughter
Widowed, widowed lover
You're not alone
If you're tired and
Scared of the madness around you
If you can't find the strength to carry on

When you call on Jesus
All things are possible
You can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When you call on Jesus
Mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven
And earth to come rescue you when you

Call Him in the mornin'
In the afternoon time
Late in the evenin'
He'll be there
When your heart is broken
And you feel discouraged
You can just remember that He said
He'll be there

When I call on Jesus
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus
Mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven
And earth to come rescue me when I fall

When I call on Jesus
All things are possible
I can mount on wings like eagles and soar
When I call on Jesus
Mountains are gonna fall
'Cause He'll move heaven
And earth to come rescue me when I fall

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Hi there to whomever reads my long lost blog! I've felt the need to write some things down for a while things, sad things...I just never remember until it's late at night or I'm in the grocery store, or I'm giving a dog a bath or doing laundry. Something always makes me forget...old age NOT being one of them. Anyway, I thought with my most recent life changer, I should start writing things down again. 

It's been a pretty crazy year here. Definitely a crazy few weeks. There are so many things I need to say there's just NO way I could say it all in one single post. So I'll start from the most recent...I want to tell you how blessed I am. So crazy blessed.

I’m blessed by my family and my friends, new and old. I'm blessed by my church and by my Facebook friends believe it or not. People I barely know have been wishing me well and praying for me lately. I'm getting an unbelievable amount of emails and posts and messages and phone calls asking how I am, offering prayer and anything else I might need. So I thought I’d let you know what's been going on. Tell my most recent story so to speak. Or part of it cause I'm tired and really could use a nap. 

So....tonight, it's late, I’m awake. As I have been most nights since Saturday, the 27th. Weird it's only been a couple weeks but it feels like it was yesterday. And that terrifies me. I’ve been having some major panic attacks since I woke up to find myself ALIVE that Saturday morning.

Here's what happened. 

Most of you know that I am a sucker for kidney stones. What can I say? It runs in the family somewhere down the line and I’m the lucky one that should be watching the diet to make sure I don’t end up where I did Thursday.... It takes a village....  And I didn't listen to my little village that told me to be healthier.

So Thursday morning, July 25th, the sweetest and most wonderful hubby in the world, Ben, took me to Nashville (where Jacob and Owen were both born) for a ‘routine’ procedure on a kidney stone. Normally, I would have had it done here in our town but this stone was so big they wouldn’t touch it here.  Like... a slab of concrete big. It was huge.

'That big rock' was stuck, embedded actually, in the lower half of my right kidney. And it wasn’t going anywhere. In fact, it had started collecting more calcium and was starting to get bigger.

So we headed to Nashville and waited for surgery. Surgery comes and surgery goes on Thursday, the 25th. We find out, not long after surgery, that they couldn’t get ALL ‘that big rock’ because there was infection inside it and they were putting too much trauma on my kidneys at one time. I could have kidney failure and/or a host of other things if they hadn’t stopped.

Side note: I signed all the waivers that ended in YOU COULD DIE! that day before surgery. I always do without blinking an eye. The things you learn.

Anyway, so they stopped the surgery. ...And. they. leave. a. hole. in. my. back... Yep. They had inserted a drainage tube into my kidney and LEFT IT THERE. For two weeks. 

Side note: For the record I haven't left my house but twice and I won't do it again until next Tuesday when I go back to get the sucker taken out. Going anywhere with an ugly drain hanging from your back really doesn't make you feel pretty at all...even if it's just to the drive thru.

Anyway, we knew going in I would be spending the night so they could ‘watch me.’ Ben went home so he could work the next day… Friday. (Remember this is mostly normal for me or he never would have left). So they put me in this little private surgical recovery room so I can sleep and go home the next day when my sweet and way-to-patient-with-me mom is to come pick me up. I end up with an infection, throwing up every couple hours, nothing made me feel better, blah blah blah. It was HORRIBLE but to me it ‘came with the territory’ sometimes. And we had been warned that ‘that big rock’ was going to have some major stuff inside that could potentially make me sick.

I talked to a host of sweet nurses and doctors and yes, interns..boys and girls...whatever you want to call them (remember Doogie Howser?) (because my beloved Vandy is a teaching hospital), who tell me ‘You’ll be fine. It was the bacteria inside ‘that big rock’ causing this. We’re going to move you back to recovery so we can watch you more closely and give you some stronger antibiotics.’

Side note funny: On my way to recovery I called my mom to tell her they were moving me and where to find me and I also texted my friend Debbie to tell her I was fine. On the gurney. Headed back to recovery.

Side note: If you’ve never been in a recovery room, for whatever reason, be it you haven't had a need for recovery or you're not the Doogie type, it’s just a huge open room with curtains that don’t hide much from your neighbor in the bed next to you. There are nurses and doctors and interns everywhere you look. Like worker bees. They’re everywhere.

So after I’ve called Mom and texted Deb, they buzzed around me a little and checked on me and ‘gave me something’ to help my nausea. I was thrilled with that because I knew it would make me sleep and I REALLY needed the rest and still have people ‘watching me’ JUST IN CASE.


Just. In. Case.

The first and last thing I remember is sitting straight up coughing. Everything was getting dark around the edges and I couldn’t breathe and I was trying to scream. And then my worst nightmare and current reason for current panic attacks happened. ALL those worker bees came buzzing toward me in a blurr and literally slammed me back down on the bed. (I know that sweet boy didn’t mean to cause me to panic and in fact was the gentleman that undoubtedly saved my life.) Nevertheless, he threw me back down on the bed like I would imagine they throw dead meat down to start the cleaving. He had this HUGE plastic oxygen mask over my entire face that caused me to panic even more and make me start swinging. Yep. Sure did. Knocked his hand away from my face for a mere second. Twice. And all I remember saying aloud to him as I knew I was surely dying was "God I’m not ready to die but I can’t breathe."

"God I'm not ready to die but I can't breathe."

Saturday morning, this is what I woke up to.

Evidently I had an allergic reaction to Rocephin. Rocephin is used for bacterial infections and has a loooong list of side affects. Most of which I think I went through including anaphylactic shock and sepsis. My throat closed up and I couldn't breathe..they said I turned red from head to toe. They pumped 8 liters of saline into me in a very short amount of time to flush it out and I'm almost positive I looked like a whale laying in that hospital bed. I'm so grateful I was where they could take care of me. 

Although I was the one in trauma, the worst was probably for my mom, who was there alone and had no idea what was going on, and Ben, who called the hospital after talking to Mom but couldn't find out anything. They wouldn't tell him anything and that freaked him out. 

It was suppose to be routine. Normal. I ended up in ICU for the next couple days and then another room for a couple more days. 

It was scary, I cried a lot. But thank God I'm alive.

My next post will tell some of the things I witnessed and went through during those days and the days following. It literally changed my life. 

Just know that I am blessed.

Blessed beyond belief.


I heard this the day I left the hospital. It pretty much sums up my future.


Micah 7:8 
Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. 
Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's been almost a year! I am not sure where to even start!

We're all a little older...the boys are growing so fast.

Ian is in his second year of college. Still dating our favorite girl, Katy Beth. Even after three years they're still so dang cute!

Jacob is a sophomore in high school. I can't believe he's growing up like he is. He is such and incredible young man. 12. And in 7th grade. He's cute as a button and he knows it. We're trying to get him to stop talking so much during class right now. It's sort of deja vu for me since I went through exactly the same thing with Ian when he was in middle school. EXACTLY the same thing.

You'd think it would all get easier as you go down the line and as they all get older.

It doesn't.

Ben is still trudging along at work. He has started building something almost every weekend out in the garage. He really loves building adirondak chairs and cornhole boards. He's really good at it and he's making a little extra money! making a little extra money!

As for January I had just started a business with my friend, Nikki. HYPE Events. I'm happy to say we are still going strong and staying busy! We moved into an office in March and we are about to move again to help promote and run a venue called Events on Walnut! Needless to say, WE ARE THRILLED. It's been a crazy and downs...but we have really gotten good at each doing what God meant for us to do in this business. 

So we've had a few new things happen this year and continued with some of the same things. At least they are all the things that make us happy and blessed.

From our home to yours! MERRY CHRISTMAS & GOD BLESS!!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are you a closed door or open book?

       My husband rolls his eyes at me. Often.

I can't go anywhere and not be conversational with just about anybody. It's not hard for me to talk to people. I love finding common interests with others and just strike up conversations. Yes. That probably does warrant 'eye rolling'. Is being an open book and telling people about yourself, whatever they want to know, a bad thing or a good thing? Mr. Filipino is a very private person. How we've made it almost 20 years married without needing some sort of counseling is beyond me. Of course, we probably DO need counseling and just ignore it away.

Being an open book gets me into trouble sometimes. Obviously. With Mr. Filipino walking around people to avoid having to get close to them emotionally, I dive right into the middle. I think part of it is the way we were raised. Ben was raised in a very structured culture in the Philippines (Thailand & New Guinea also). He was up before dawn doing chores. I was raised on a farm with cows and kids and free flowing grass and creeks and lots and LOTS of get togethers with family and friends. There was always a fish fry going on somewhere on the weekend....usually down by the river. There would be lots of people and food and music and you couldn't just sit by the wayside or people would wonder why you weren't participating. So we'd get up and 'buck dance' with my Papaw. And it was normal - and still is.

I also wear my heart on my sleeve. There is no second guessing me...what you see is what you get. And I don't mind that.  I have had a VERY colorful life. I had some very VERY bad times in my early 20's. I won't go into it all but I CAN tell you that I am not the person I was then. I learned so much from my past and I think once I actually mentally and emotionally grew up and then gave my life over to Christ, all of my joy started pouring out into others in a positive instead of negative way. I can't tell you how completely blessed I feel because of that. I realized when I became a Christian that my spiritual gift is SERVING. That's why it's so easy for me to open up to people. If there is something that I've been through that can help someone else in any way then I'm doing what God wants me to do. Sometimes people don't want to hear what I have to say and that's fine. I DO know when I can open up and when I can't. Anyway, that's who I am and why in the world people wouldn't want to be exactly who they are is beyond me? There are a LOT of people that feel entirely different though. Yikes.

I don't necessarily think that being an open book or a closed door are so opposite that it can't work in a relationship. Again, me and Mr. Filipino. So he doesn't share his experiences, opinions, etc. and I'm totally transparent, free from guile and easy going. He's private about people and feelings but I totally LOVE being with people and sharing. I mean I don't totally spill everything of course. :) And I DO enjoy my private time. I LOOOOVE being alone. It's the peace I think. I have three boys and a husband. Being the only girl warrants a little peace and quiet every now and then right? It's a blessing to be able to do either. I could sit all day long and SOAK by myself and just have a conversation with God. That's when I hear Him best.

Mr. Filipino isn't afraid to open up when he needs or wants to but some people are so private they are like locked doors. Mostly distrusting of others and suspicious. I was reading an article about opening up and here are some ways to learn how to do just that.

Learn new things.
The more you know, the more likely it is you'll be able to relate to someone on some level. You can try watching the news and keeping up with current events. Again, the more you know, the more connections you can make.

Monitor non-verbal cues.
When you're talking to someone, instead of having closed body language with your arms folded and your body angled away from the person you're talking to, try to smile and listen carefully, look them in the eye and use friendly body language. It makes you appear more open. 

Ignore your fear.
You may be terrified of connecting with other people and sharing the real you. Most people feel this way on some level. You should push your fear aside and don't worry about what others might think. Be you. You'll be surprised how much people will accept you.

Staying in the moment, refraining from judgements, being specific and taking your time are some other way to learn to be more open with people. To read this article about unlocking ways to be more open go here. You might find it easier than you thought it would be.

Rebel Brown says, "I’m an open book. I’ll share anything and everything about myself when I meet people whom I believe will benefit from my experiences. My truth isn’t something that makes me feel ashamed, scared or in any way diminished. In fact – because of my truth and my healing — I know I am destined to help others heal too."

To that I say Amen.

If I can help someone by opening myself up to my past trials and tribulations then I'll keep on keepin on.

On a less serious note, I love Madea. Do you know her? She. Is. Funnnyyyyy.
Enjoy this!

And have a great weekend!