I did it! I Graduated from Auburn University!


I wrote this blog on my ELK Studio page but wanted to share it with you!!!

ELK Studio - Handcrafted Crochet Designs

When I began my journey in August/2010, I wasn’t sure if I would ever really graduate.  Have you ever wanted something so badly that you thought it would never happen?  Well that was me.  My life (like probably many other people) hasn’t been smooth.  I’ve been through rough times these past twenty years but proud to say that I am who I am today because of it.  I don’t dwell on all that negative junk because it’s just too depressing.  I decided to quit listening to untruths spoken about me.  Jesus knows my heart and what I stand for and once I let that go my life has been so successful.

I want to take a few minutes to thank my husband, Emory.  We married over 3 years ago and I finally know what it’s like to truly be loved by another human being.  He loves me good days, bad…

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Can I Be a Good Friend – follow up


It’s been over a year since I wrote Can I Be a Good Friend and I thought the timing was perfect for a follow-up.  I’ve struggled with relationships with women for a long time and really never cared for them.  I couldn’t stand their bickering, back stabbing and competitive ways.  I found that on the few occasions when I did allow someone to come into my life that it always ended bad.

When I wrote the last blog I was seeing my Christian mentor and she taught me some really great things about myself, but I must admit that it has been scary to put my skills into action.  I knew last year the  most important relationship to mend was with my sister.  I am so happy to tell you that we are finally in the habit of one another.  We spend time with each other laughing and enjoying each others company.  I have even taught her how to crochet and look what she can do!

Kandi's Hat

I love my sister and I am grateful that God has brought our relationship together because without him we would probably still be very distant from one another.  God is building my faith that I can definitely be a good friend.  Here’s my beautiful sister.

Kandi

Last week I attended the New England Women’s Convention at International Family Church in Boston, Massachusetts.  There were 7 other women that attended this conference with me and spending 4 days and 3 nights with 7 women terrified me! I had never been on any type of trip like this before and was anxious about how all the personalities would intertwine.  I am proud to tell you that no blood was shed, everyone was patient and no one walked away with hurt feelings.  I truly believe it is because our common goal of being together was worshiping the Lord and learning how to gain strength from one another.

On our last night while we were eating dinner, each one shared their “take-a-way” from the trip.  I admitted my hesitations and that I felt truly blessed being surrounded by strong women that love God with such passion.  As I sat there and listened to the other women speak, it was then that I realized they all felt the same way to a certain degree.  I wasn’t alone and together we accomplished our goal.

I now know that I can truly be a good friend and that I am a caring and loving woman and have much to offer to the women in my life.  I cherish and value their friendship and can see our group being friends till we are old and gray.  I’ve wanted friends in my life for a long time and had no idea just how badly I needed them.

Here is a picture of the women that attended the conference starting from right to left:

Front Row:  Vicki Noordermeer, Rachel Wicks, me, Taylor Kerby, and Susanne Noordermeer

Back Row:  Carolyn Correia, Heather Worley, Lisa Bevere (guest speaker) and Allison Spratlin

Boston Group

By the way, for those of you who have never heard of Lisa Bevere, look her up!  What a mighty and strong woman of God and the messages that God has given to her are so powerful!  Check her calendar and if she comes anywhere near you, please go see her.  You will walk away fully charge and ready to become the woman God has created you to be.

The path I have laid before me has laughter, joy, peace and love because I realize that I’m not alone on this journey.  What is the success of these new friendships and me being a good friend?  Jesus, plain and simple.

 

Kathy

 

No Longer in the Dark


I woke this morning quickly remembering that today was Valentine’s Day. Of course I gave Emory and big hug and kiss probably like every woman did on this “love” day to their special someone. I love holidays and always have, but I must admit that since being married to Emory the last 3 years, my perspective on things have totally changed.

I was married before Emory, (18 years) to a person that only thought they knew me. I probably did seem materialistic at times as I was typically given jewelry, flowers, etc on days like today. We did the typical ritual of going out to eat like what’s expected, but I always felt empty.

Now, my holidays look and feel so much different. We didn’t go out to eat tonight because Emory is at work protecting you, me and everyone else from “bad people”. We didn’t exchange cards or gifts either. We spent the morning together and just enjoyed our time.

I don’t need all that stuff anymore. I have love and it is totally enough. Emory has shown me the true meaning of love and I think it’s great that he doesn’t need to act extra nice or sweet because it is Valentine’s Day. Emory treats me special every single day. I am no longer in the dark because I am truly loved.

My prayer is that every person at some point in their life will be able to feel the unconditional love that I have been able to experience. I think it could change the world.

Kathy

My 3rd Anniversary Interview


Emory and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary today!  This past Sunday after church we left for Cheaha Mountain State Park.  It is the highest point in Alabama sitting 2407 feet above sea level.  The scenery was breath taking with evidence of Fall all around us.  The rain came in on Monday so we spent a lot of our time just riding around soaking it all in.  On our ride I was playing around with my camera and decided to record Emory.  It ended up only lasting 4 minutes but this is a small snippet of my life with him.  If you are curious and want to have a small giggle here it is.  My 3rd Anniversary Interview.

Here are also some of the pictures I took during our trip and why I love Alabama.

 

Just Call Me the Owl Whisperer


Hi to all my friends!  It’s been a few months and I’ve missed you all!  My family must come first and I’m sure you understand.  But here I am and ready to tell you a story.

My owl calling platform!

I can remember the first time that I came to what is now my home.  I walked out to the back porch I saw a beautiful green yard and pond.  Although this was our first official date, I knew it would be my home.  Living with Emory has been an adventure, and I never know what is coming around the corner.  He has taught me many things in such a short period which makes for great stories.

A couple of years ago I went turkey hunting with Emory and for those of you that don’t know, you get up extremely early!  So we’re walking in the dark woods and I’m quietly following behind him when he stops.  All of a sudden he lets out this loud noise.  I whispered, “What was that?”  He told me that he was calling an owl and shushed me.  A few seconds later I could hear the owl responding.  Also for those of you who don’t know, a turkey hates an owl and will gobble at the owl to let him know that it’s his territory.  This does nothing more than simply allow Emory to find the turkey.

Since then I have listened to him have lengthy conversations with the owls in our back yard just for fun.  I think it is the coolest thing that he can sound like them and they actually talk back.  So…….the other day I got home from work and decided to go down to the pond and just sit on the dock.  I’m soaking in the beautiful evening and watching the sun as it begins to set when I hear an owl hoot.  I wished Emory had been there to talk with him and then it hit me.  Although I knew no one was at home but me, I looked around and then let it out!  Guess what?  The owl hooted right back at me!  I just about fell off the dock laughing at myself! It was incredible! I did it again and again and always got a response.  I know this went on for 10 minutes or so and while that may not seem like long, it felt like an hour.

God created so many wonderful creatures in this world and sure we talk to our dogs, cats, birds, etc. but to have this experience with the owl was amazing and one I won’t forget.  It was down right fun!

When Emory got home that night, I told him of my little adventure.  He asked me to repeat the sound, but I wouldn’t do it and hid my face in the pillow laughing.  The next morning I woke up and was totally blackmailed.  He always brings me a diet coke before I get out of bed, but this particular morning there was a price to pay.  He wanted to hear my hoot.  I could barely get it out for laughing and when I did, Emory began hysterically laughing at me!  What a person will do for their fix right?

Anyway, just a little fun humor to lighten your possibly heavy day.  I pray everyone has a blessed week!

Kathy

Quit Second Guessing Yourself


People always seem to be full of so many regrets for the decisions they have made in the past.  Why did I do that?  What was I thinking?  Sure, some of those questions may be justified, but have you ever thought that maybe at the time you made that decision it was the right one?  Why is it only afterwards we decide it’s bad?  Is it because the outcome wasn’t what we wanted?

You can waste so much of your time and energy living in regret.  I know because I’ve done it before and it kept me feeling guilty all the time.  I now choose to live differently but it certainly took a concentrated effort on my part to make the change.  Fortunately, I finally have the right people in my life to help me through this transition.

Do I now make the right decisions all the time.  Maybe, maybe not but what I do know is that I don’t spend countless hours trying to decide whether I should have done something differently.  I finally accept the fact that at the time of making a significant choice it seemed like the right thing to do and let it go at that.

Enjoy your life to the fullest and if you can learn from your choices in life and not dwell on it and move on, well, you’ve accomplished something.  But here’s the thing……there is no crystal ball so don’t beat yourself up!  Life is a journey and we all need to live A Life of Freedom!

~Kathy

Photo Credit:  Google Images

WOW! I Got the Illuminating Blogger Award!


I’ve been awarded the Illuminating Blogger Award by Genie!  I love her blog as she shares encouraging and thoughtful posts, so stop on by and get a little inspiration yourself!

I am so grateful for another award and must admit it’s a very humbling experience for me.  I’ve never written before in my life and can’t say enough about the support!  I want to thank Genie and everyone else for all their kind words of encouragement through this journey of life.  The Lord knows we certainly need it from one another!

I’m to share one random thing about me.  Hmmmm……

I don’t like condiments such as ketchup, mustard and oh my gosh especially mayonnaise!  I won’t even touch the stuff and CANNOT be fooled when it’s been added to my food.  Makes for plain sandwiches, etc. but I like to taste my food and not cover it up with awful tasting stuff!

Now to nominate 5 other deserving blogger folks:

  1. Coveredinpink – A young lady finding her way through this crazy life and doing it successfully.
  2. Roots2 Blossom – Incredible stories of a woman who strives to be her best.
  3. Laura Dickey – always positive messages to get you through the day.
  4. Encouraging Servants – Sherry is a great writer and I enjoy working with her at Women’s Hope Medical Clinic.
  5. Life, Leadership and Faith – Lee shares his thoughts about life through his eyes.

So now get up and do something nice for someone today!

There Doesn’t Have to be a Difference. It’s a Choice.


When you get remarried there is so much that goes into the mix of merging two different families together.  In my case, our children were practically grown and God blessed us with a smooth transition (for the most part).

One relationship particular that I want to share with everyone is about Emory and Jayden.  When Emory came into my life Jayden (my granddaughter) was only 14 months old.  She wasn’t sure of this big man with a deep and authoritative voice and didn’t really want that much to do with him.  We both knew it would take some time for her to become comfortable around him and didn’t put too much emphasis on it really.

At one point when she really started talking the question came up about what to call him.  I definitely was nervous about even having this conversation.  I knew I wanted him to feel the same way about her as I did, but at the same time I couldn’t force this relationship.  So we were talking about it and Emory told me that he wanted her to call him “Papa”.  I was absolutely elated!  Now we just had to tell my daughter Kristin and see how she felt about it.  The conversation went over well and Jayden has called him Papa ever since.

Over time, I have watched Emory totally fall in love with Jayden.  Her birthday was May 4th and she turned 4.  Well Jayden told us she wanted a swing for her birthday.  A neighbor of ours had an old one that needed some work and Emory spent over 4 hours sanding and painting that swing pink and white.  What an incredible sight to watch this man labor out in the boiling sun to make his granddaughter happy.

  He helped me decorate the entire living room in balloons and banners.  We went outside and decorated our fence with balloons so when she topped the hill of the dirt road, she could see the balloons flying everywhere. Emory never said one word about all the “trouble” we spent preparing for her party.  He actually even ordered her princess cake and had them put a tiara and wand on the cake. (And all the women said “awwwww”).

After she arrived, everyone was eating and Jayden had not seen her swing yet.  I watched him walk over to her and bend down to whisper in her ear.  She jumped in his arms and gave him a big hug and they quietly went out the front door.  He was taking her to that swing.  I knew this was going to be a special moment and waited about 30 minutes or so before I joined them. As I turned the corner, you could hear her talking to him and he looked up and just gave me a smile.

Are they related?  Yes.  Jayden is Emory’s granddaughter and no one else would ever be able to tell him and especially her differently.  She genuinely loves him and it’s a love that was created by God.  It doesn’t matter to either one of them that they may not technically be blood related and all Jayden knows is that Emory has been in her life since she can remember.

I’m thankful that Emory loves Jayden the way he does and now that Dakotah (my other granddaughter) is here, she will also get to know him as “Papa” as she gets older.

I am not oblivious to the fact that when you mix families you have problems as our family has had its share but this post is not about all the problems that come with mixing families.

God expects us (humans) to love each other just this way.  We may not all technically be related by our standards, but we are all God’s children just the same.  Imagine the stress in my family’s life if Emory had decided not to love her the way he does.  I know it happens all around us everyday because I’ve seen it.

Loving another person with a true heart is a good choice to make in your life.  It has the potential to make a difference in your life and the life of the person you choose to love.

 

Even A Small Amount Can See You Through


I’ve always had hope in my heart.  Like many others, I’ve had a dark season in my life.  You know what I’m talking about.  You feel helpless, out of control and just down right depressed about it all.  For some the season may only be days or months but for me it was years.  Although I wanted to several times, I never gave up hope.  Frankly, it was the only thing keeping me going.

I’m not blaming anyone else for my situation.  I have always known (at least intellectually) that I am in control of my destiny but sometimes having children and wanting a “family to work” seems to take precedence over ones own thoughts and feelings and thus created a stronghold on my life that I still have not fully recovered from.

For 18 years I tried to keep a marriage going because of hope.  I hoped one day I would be enough and that I could have a loving relationship.  I hoped he would see that family is more important than wealth and power.  During this time hope became my best friend because it was all I had. 

Once the marriage was over and my new life began, I hoped that my children would understand why their parents divorced and the truth would be seen.  I hoped they wouldn’t believe the lie that I didn’t love them anymore.  This was a point in my life that I desperately held on to hope.

My relationship with my children has been like a roller coaster ride with too many dips to count.  With no hope in my life I probably would have ended it all a long time ago. I realize death is a terrible thing for anyone to experience, but I think having living children that reject you ranks high on the list of sorrows too.  I am their mother though and mothers shouldn’t ever lose hope for their children.

God has placed a desire in my heart that no one else has ever been able to take away from me.  He gave me a true gift when He gave me hope.  It has allowed me to open my heart to the love of a wonderful man and finally experience an authentic relationship.  Hope has given me back my daughter and completely restored my relationship with her.  Now I share my life with my daughter two beautiful granddaughters.

I know my hope and faith in God will soften the hearts of my two boys and they will realize that no matter what happened in the past, it doesn’t have to set the course for our future.

What is your true gift from God? 

 

Images courtesy of Google images

 

These Shoes Saved the Day!


Whew…..another semester down and 3 more to go!

I thought I would share a funny story about what I did yesterday now that I have time to breathe after such a brutal week of 2 major projects, 2 tests, and 2 essays.

So yesterday morning I had an 8am final that I knew was going to be pretty tough and I had studied the night before as much as my brain would allow. I get up on time and get ready for school and although I usually eat breakfast, this week has been stressful and I haven’t been hungry.  My poor husband had fixed me pancakes and I tried but nope….couldn’t do it.  Thanks goodness he loves me anyway. 🙂

Emory walks me to the truck and I’m headed to take the final.  Keep in mind that I live 35 minutes from campus.  I left at 7:10am and get half way to school when I look down at my feet.  Guess what?  I have NO shoes on!  What in the world am I going to do?  It’s too late to turn around because I’d never get there on time!  Who does this?  Who forgets to put their shoes on?  My husband, I’ve got to call my husband!  Where’s the phone!  I can’t find my cell phone!  Oh wait…it’s in my lap.  Okay, Okay….I can do this!  I’ll get him to bring the shoes!  Yea that’s it!  By this time I look at the clock it’s 7:30.  Since he is a State Trooper and was working do you think this calls for blue lights?  Yes, of course it does!  (In my dreams because that would be breaking the law!)

There’s no way even if I do get him on the phone there would be time for him to bring me shoes.  Did I happen to mention that I live in the COUNTRY and the only thing I would pass is a CVS pharmacy?  I’m still calling him because at this point I’m needing some moral support right?  As we are talking this out, I look over and what do I see?  Could it be?  Yes!  Yes!  There’s a pair of heels in the floor board!  Shouts of thank you go out to the Lord!  Once again He planned for my careless brain!  As I said my goodbye to hubby, I could still hear him laughing at me.

I thought I would share some reactions from the people who love me.

  • My sister tells me, “Well you are from the country.”  My response was, “What would I have done had I not had those heels, gone barefoot?”  (Don’t put it past me and my jeans were long enough, maybe no one would notice much).
  • My sister-in-law said, “That’s worse than wearing two different color shoes to work.” I told her “Thanks you’ve made me feel SOOOO much better.”
  • My friend Christina says, “That’s worse than a naked dream come true but a REAL woman has a pair of heels handy.” I said to Christina, ” I am a REAL woman but really a woman who takes her shoes off in the car and doesn’t clean it out.”

It takes me a good 10-15 minutes after parking to get to the classroom because we (students) have to park in the back 40 of the campus!  I strut my stuff walking to that classroom.  There’s just something about slipping on a pair of heels that your personality changes (at least for me) and after this fiasco of a morning, I needed to feel in charge!  I got a few stares but who cares?  At least I was looking good, which is more than I can say about many of the college girls I see (but that’s another post).

I took my test and pranced out the door in my Ferragamo shoes!   

Living this life of freedom allows me to tell these silly stories where in the past I would’ve never even dared to tell.  I’m glad that I’ve come to a place where I can finally laugh at myself.  It sure makes it more fun!