Monday, October 12, 2015

Hanging with Honey {Day 12}: Explorin Eupora

   Whenever Nick preaches a revival out of town, we always try to explore the area if time permits. Sometimes our weeks are jam packed with activities but sometimes they are a little more flexible during a revival.  Last week was a flexible one and we were blessed to enjoy our surroundings a little bit.

We were both born and raised in Louisiana, but we have lived in Mississippi for right at 20 years now.  It's amazing to me how you can travel just a couple of hours from your house and be in unchartered territory.

This was our first visit to the sweet little town of Eupora, Mississippi.
We were blessed to stay in a wonderful little Bed and Breakfast that I will be sharing with y'all soon on here.  Today, I'm gonna hit the hi-lights of a few things we found while walking around the town.  And yes...we literally walked from our B&B to all of these places I'm about to show you.

Downtown Eupora

 Just a block or two over we found an old abandoned building I heard someone call "The Triangle Building".  I'm always a sucker for a great wall. And when you throw in the perfect sun flare with a chippy aqua door.....well a picture has to happen.
 (It still had Class of 69' spray painted on it!)
 The building from the front....hence the triangle.

 We set out exploring on Monday and soon discovered that most of the stores were closed. So if y'all are ever traveling through, keep in mind that the antique stores, shops and thrift stores are only open Wednesday-Saturday.  So we took a ride on the Natchez Trace instead that day, and ended up in French Camp.  I'll save that adventure for another time though.

Ms Carol, who owns the B&B we stayed at (Dogwood Cottage), highly recommended the ribs at Central Service... or The Grill as it's called by the locals.
 Ribs are one of my favorites and you could smell the smoke from the pit all over town as we walked around so I was feeling really good about having lunch there. 

But apparently the ribs are so good that they had already run out of them on Monday by the time we stopped in.
We didn't give up though....

We came back on Wednesday, a little earlier this time and we were not disappointed.

We both are rib connoisseurs and these totally rocked in our book.  We split a rack but we seriously could have eaten a whole other plate.  They were seasoned near perfect and were very meaty.

And the atmosphere is really cool too.  I love the tin on the ceiling.

I would recommend going if ya'll are ever in this neck of the woods.

After lunch we explored the little town.

We discovered a great little alley with some amazing walls.

 Everywhere we turned there was an old wall with great brick.

 Nick convinced me to climb up in the hole on the left.  Its higher than it looks
Once I was up there, he spies something and says 
"Hang on. There's something up there you probably won't like in the picture."

I IMMEDIATELY think LIZARD!! And try to jump down because if that think had fallen on me I would have had a heart attack. Or at the very least, an accident. In my pants. 
I don't do lizards.  I was scared to death to even look....
But he convinced me to stay up there and eventually to look.

It was a HEAD in a hole in the wall.

Kinda weird. Kinda creepy. But kinda cool. 
But mostly creepy.

Then we found this wall with all this color!
I want it in my house!

We each took a pic and I tried to morph the two pics together. 
I was so focused on lining up the brick, I never paid attention to the fact I cut off half of Nick's hand.

We wrapped it up with a a little thrifting.
I fell in love with this canvas. 

It totally came home with me.
 When I went back with the car to pick it up, I gasped when I saw this old Texaco tanker in the window.  Nick's family used to own a Texaco station and I about flipped.
The owner of the store gave me a super sweet deal since it was sentimental to our family.
We gave it to his daddy who was seemed to be tickled to death. Do guys get tickled to death? I'm not sure if that's the right choice of words, but he liked it a lot and really was touched by it.

So if you ever find yourself traveling through Eupora, Mississippi I hope you take a minute to stop and smell there roses there.  You won't be disappointed with this sweet little town.

And for those of you who have been  hanging out with me one here everyday for Write 31 Days,  then you are probably aware that I missed a day.  I let my four hour sunday nap get the best of me yesterday.  I ain't throwing in the towel though.  

We're almost halfway there!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hanging with Honey {Day 10} : Twinnin with Carolyn

Today I have a special guest  y'all get to hang with.  One we've all grown to love....Carolyn.

She's already pretty much a rock star. And now she's dipping her toes into the waters of fashion.
Last week while we were out of town she wore a dress to church.  I was so bummed that I missed it because I've never seen her in one the whole time I'm known her.  Her sister, Janet, was sweet enough to text me a picture.

When I saw it I was like "Hold. Up. I have the same dress".  Of course this called for a little photo sesh and she was happy to oblige.  (Except I'm not a petite little thing like Carolyn so I wear mine more like a shirt. )

One of the highlights of my week was twinning with her and it's pretty safe to say she wore it best.  Seriously... that smile of hers.  She is so stinking cute and I think she knows it.

Here's a few pics from our little photo sesh.  I hope they make you smile.

Our top is from Edna Grayces and she just stocked her website with several colors. 

If you're tall like me, it's a fun top and if you're a peanut like Miss Thang, it's a sweet dress. 
Either way, you can't go wrong. 


Friday, October 9, 2015

Hanging with Honey {Day 9}: The Scenic Route

This past week when Nick was preaching a revival in Montpelier, Mississippi, we had to drive on the Natchez Trace each night to get to the church.  It was about a 40 minute drive from where we were staying but we looked forward to it each time.  You see, a lot has changed since the last time Nick and I drove on the Trace.  It brought back a flood of memories and gave us a heart of gratitude for all God has done.

You see the last time we were on it was 25 years ago.  
Nick was about to leave for boot camp and he was taking me to stay with his mom in Tennessee while he was gone.  We were flat broke but wanted to do something special together before he left.
So instead of taking the interstate, we took our time and drove the Natchez Trace the entire way all the way.  

In fact, this trip made it into our scrapbook as our very first "vacation".  Bless us.

We stopped at every little bridge, picnic area, and scenic trail there was from Natchez to Tennessee.  We even drove slower than the speed limit trying to make it last as long as we could and prolong the inevitable....the 2 months of being apart. (Boy, if we only knew what the Navy had in store for us.  Two months being separated was like a walk in the park compared to what was coming with back to back six month Med cruises)

Elizabeth had just turned two.

We were young and foolish and I'm pretty sure this was illegal but Nickie pulled over and picked me some cotton.   (And remember...this was waaaay pre-instagram. I was taking pics of every single little thing even back then. Hashtag crazy camera lady.  Back in the day when we still developed film.)

It was fun to reminisce and think of all the Lord has done in our lives since the last time we were here on this very road.   He has since favored us with actual vacations.  And I don't mean trips home to visit family....I mean the kind of vacations where you actually stay in hotels and eat out in restaurants.  Seriously a big deal for us every time we do because we were 11 years into our marriage before this first happened. (Unless you count the time we lived in Virginia and we had a free night's hotel stay so we took the kids to Washington D.C. and splurged at Pizza Hut)

So much life and loss has happened during those 25 years. 
Our family grew.  We lost loved ones we miss dearly.  We came to know the Lord. 
We surrendered our lives to ministry.  We watched our girls fall in love and fly our nest one by one.
We've experienced the joy of grandchildren. And over the years we've been blessed with friends who we consider our family.

Taking this route all week to church made me think back to when I was a little girl.  My daddy liked to take the Trace instead of the interstate whenever we went on trips.  It didn't matter that the interstate would get us there faster. The journey was as important to him as the destination.  We would stop at every little interesting thing that grabbed his attention.  It was a great way to travel.  Sometimes along the way, in the midst of life, I forget the lesson my daddy had lived out before me.  That there is so much joy in slowing down and enjoying the journey.  We miss out on a lot of people and their stories when we are in a hurry.  We miss out on the good stuff.

In the midst of all that goes on during a week of revival services, I also had a full week of preparing for a conference I'm speaking at on Saturday.  I had a list of things to do, but I tried my best to slow down and enjoy the journey.  So we got out and explored the area where we were staying.  We lingered longer over breakfast and had extended conversations with new friends.  And we made time to cultivate old friends, relationships that the Lord has blessed us with in the ministry who understands the ins and outs of the journey.  

I was feeling a little frantic that I should have studied more.  I should have gone over my notes more... and then I get home and get a text from a friend who simply said "How can I pray for you right now?"   And after I sat there stunned for a minute at just how faithful God is to provide every little thing, I proceed to tell her how I was feeling a little frazzled about the conference.  She then said,  "I'm going face down over all of this before the Lord right now."

Wow. You see, He knew all that was on my plate.  He knew what my days would consist leading up to this conference.  He knew Nick would be preaching a revival and how tiring it can be with late nights and full days and traveling . 

And He had gone before me and had already put me on the heart of a friend to pray for me.  
To meet the needs of the areas I felt lacking. 
He's got it all under control y'all.

So I'm gonna try to continue every chance I can get to take the scenic route.
To slow down and pay attention to those divine appointments He's provided for His glory.
Oh and we found cotton field again on the Trace, but this time we just took a picture.

I hope you take the scenic route this weekend.
I know you won't regret it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hanging with Honey {Day 8} Kingdom Work


We're home! 

The Lord has had us on the go lately.  A lot.
It used to just be Nick's revivals that would have us traveling but the Lord has kicked it up a notch and keeps opening doors for my own ministry to women.  So this past year has been BUSSSSYYYY. 

But whatever we do and however the Lord uses us, our church is behind us cheering us on and holding us up.  They encourage us.  They stand in the gap on our behalf. They pray for us.  They text us and let us know they are praying or ask how they can be praying specifically.   And they let us know we are missed when we are gone.  

It's really special when you find a body of believers who can see past the church walls and community and get a glimpse of kingdom work.   They send us off with their blessing and Nick and I stand in awe of what God has done in our lives through our church family.

Every time we come home, this message is waiting for us.
And every time I read it, it humbles me.

And every time, I thank the Lord for what He has done and is continuing to do.
We don't deserve His favor but I stand in awe of it.

We're home but not for long.
I'm speaking at a Women's Conference in Richardson, Louisiana on this Saturday morning.
As in the day after tomorrow.  As in we leave in less than 18 hours from now.
I am blown away by this full season He has us in....being spent for His glory.
I would covet your prayers for myself and the ladies who the Lord will send.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  When I get back from this weekend, I  promise to respond to all of your sweet comments and emails.  I appreciate each and every one them and y'all always make my day with your encouragement! I have some fun things to share with y'all in the weeks ahead.  I can't believe it's already day EIGHT of the this 31 Days thingamajig.  I just may make it.  #maybe

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hanging With Honey {Day 7}: Our Love Story

This post was originally published over at my dear friend Danielle's blog, Take Heart.  She does a Love Story series every February where she has ladies from all over share their love stories.  I look forward to it every time.  SO many stories of redemption and God's goodness.  GO check it out.  I don't think I saved this post anywhere of my own so I straight up copied and pasted it from Danielle.  (D forgive me!)

This was written two years ago...(who is that blonde headed woman??)

I was tickled to death when Danielle asked me to share my love story.  Mine starts 27 years ago so I have to go waaay back. So much "life" has happened between then and now and it's sprinkled.. no saturated with God's grace...I look back and am so amazed at His hand on us even when we didn't know Him or live for Him.  Many of our friends and family from back home call us their favorite "success story". Because you see, statistically we should have never made it past our first year.  But we did.  I'm so thankful God is not into statistics.  Nope.  He had much bigger plans for two fifteen year olds who fell in love.

We started dating when we were both 15. And from our very first date at Pizza Hut, where I nervously chewed on a straw the entire night that I still have in my hope chest, we were inseparable.  Nick was my first real boyfriend and I just knew he was "the one".

We were high school sweet hearts to the very core. He was an all around incredible athlete being scouted by many colleges.   I was on the homecoming court. We were both on the Sweetheart Court. Blah, blah, blah.....all that stuff teen movies are made of.   
We were loving life....and then, in the middle of our Junior year....,
I discovered I was pregnant.

I share about that  here in a letter to 16 year old me but let me just tell you....I thought my life had ended.  I thought we had messed everything up... as in permanently.  But I didn't realize at the time what kind of Redeemer Jesus was. How He is the restorer of all things broken and that He makes beautiful things out of marred imperfect people.  

Nick and I got married three weeks before our first daughter Elizabeth was born.  Nick started his senior year of high school as a husband and became a daddy the second week of school.  As I said earlier....statistically we shouldn't still be together.  But we are. This August we will celebrate our 25th anniversary.   God did that. 

Long story short...even though Nick was scouted heavily, he didn't keep his grades up so playing ball in college didn't happen.  Fast forward a couple of years and Nick decided to join the Navy.

We had never been a part and the two months for boot camp seemed like a life sentence so when he graduated, we both decided I would move to Great Lakes, Illinois with him where he had to finish up his school. Much to my mom's dismay, we loaded as much as we could in our Mercury Topaz and scraped together about $500 and headed to Great Lakes to rent an apartment.  We thought we had a load of money but little did we know, that wouldn't even be enough for a deposit.. much less the first months rent and turning on the utilities and everything else that goes with moving.  But off we went with $500 dollars and whole lot of love.  

In the Navy, when you rent off base, you have to check into the housing department to get a list of approved rentals. So Nick goes in to get the list while I sit in the car with our sleeping 2 year old.  He comes out a few minutes later with the biggest grin I had ever seen on him.  This is one of those times when God showed out in our lives when we weren't even seeking Him (my mom's prayers!) ....He had the keys to a newly remodeled apartment ON BASE... As in free.... no deposit.  And the biggest miracle of all.....NO WAITING.  He literally had the keys in his hands.  People, if any of you know anything about the military, then you know that just doesn't happen. 
But it did happen. God did that.

So here is Nick fresh out of boot camp.  He's not even a petty officer and we are living in the same housing where all of his instructors live!  That is a God thing.   Now since we were only gonna be there for 6 months, the Navy wouldn't pay to move any of our this is how we lived the entire time we were there…

Not a single stick of furniture the entire time. (those curtains were thrifted and our neighbor loaned us the tv.)  And oh...I forgot to mention I was expecting our second daughter by this time.  We found a twin mattress at the Navy thrift store and Nick and a very pregnant me slept on that ...together.   Elizabeth slept in a sleeping bag next to us the entire time.  But I loved every minute of it....just being together.  We look back on Great Lakes with great memories.

Fast forward a few years down the road, a move to Virginia, two more daughters, and two six month deployments…..

...we moved to Meridian, Mississippi.  This is where the Lord interrupted both of our lives, saved us by His grace, and put us on an entirely different path.   Basically, He rocked our world in the best kind of way.

Nick had always been a very attentive and loving husband.  He had always put me and the girls above anyone or anything else.  But when He began to put the Lord above us, our marriage began to strengthen in a way I had never experienced.  It was like our usual romance but illuminated and deepened a thousand times over.  

It wasn't long after that, the Lord called Nick into full time ministry.
Here we are the year Nick was called to his first church as pastor.  We are only a year older than our son-in law is now. Woah. Talk about full circle.

Don't get me wrong, we have had our share of rough times...  We've suffered loss, experienced the disappointment of miscarriage, had severe financial struggles, dealt with depression, had health problems and endured the journey of a prodigal child to name a few.  But all of that made us into who we are today.  And through it all, my man loved me. He has always made me feel beautiful..desirable....whether I am a size 6 or a size 14. I could never put into words what he means to me so I won't even try.  He's my rock.  He's my best friend. He's my lover. 
  He's my man.

We are now entering into a new season of life.
The empty nest.
 Come September, all three of our girls will be married and gone.  In the beginning of this journey when our first daughter was married 5 years ago, I never thought I would ever embrace and enjoy this season..the empty girls gone.  But through God's grace tendering my momma's heart, He has helped me to loosen the grip and with open hands...let them go so I can  enjoy being their mom in a new way.  A new role. 

And in letting go...our family grew.  We haven't lost our girls, but have gained three sons.....

 And did I mention GRAND CHILDREN?!!

I'm so thankful that when my girls were old enough to have their own love story, their daddy had set the bar high.  
They had watched him love on me, romance me and honor me me through the years. 
They have seen us in our "for better and for worse" and they know that marriage is for the long haul...through the good times and the bad times.   

I am so thankful that we cultivated our love story through the years...that we didn't drown ourselves in the lives of our kids.  
Because soon the dust is gonna settle and they will all be gone and all that will be left is me and   
Well us and maybe a few grandchildren every now and then..

  I am beyond excited about this new chapter of our love story.    

And here we are today.  Still going strong.
(and so far...this new chapter of our story might just be my favorite.  We titled it #makingthebestofouremptynest)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...