Prayer Is A Beautiful Thing

Simple Truths


    Colossians 4:2 ~ Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

   Why is it, that we tend to look at prayer as a last resort? Oh…come on..don’t tell me you always think “let me pray first.” We like to think of ourselves this way. We like for others to think of us in this way. BUT..let us be real..TRANSPARENT..for just a minute.

   I pray all day long.


   There are times when my prayers reflect my wants…not necessarily my “trusting” and “thanking” HIM.

   Sometimes, my prayers are selfish.

   Sometimes, my prayers are not first.

   Sometimes….I freak out and THEN…I pray. Or, I get down and blah…and THEN, I pray.

   Anybody else do this? Or, is it just me?

   I have come a LONG way. I am so thankful that I am NOT who…

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Time To Focus

Writers block is real. I’ve been suffering from it for months now. Or so I thought. Truth is, I’ve just not taken the time to sit and write. 

I haven’t been able to FOCUS. That’s all I can attribute it to. I haven’t even been able to finish reading a book. It’s like a million tabs are open at one time. 

I went with my family to Fripp Island, SC for a few days after Christmas. I was forced to slow down and do nothing for a change. The ocean is my happy place. It always amazes me. The sounds and smells and the mysterious nature of it. I was able to dabble with another love, photography. I was able to crochet a little. I read a little of a book. I actually focused on some things that I loved. It took being intentional and being still. 

Each year at about this time for the past several years I’ve prayed about and waited for my One Word of the year. I knew my word on December 30, 2016. Without a doubt, my word for this year is FOCUS.

I need to focus on GOD. I need to focus on using the gifts HE has given me to further His kingdom. I need to make sure that I focus on things above. Then there are other things that I need to focus on. My husband. Fitness. Family. Missions. The little things. Seemingly ordinary things. The list goes on and on. 

I can overwhelm myself if I try to focus on more than one thing at a time. 
Is that even possible? Focusing on multiple things at once. No. It’s not. When you are shooting your camera and you center the subject and blur out the background, one thing is in focus. Am I right? What we focus on receives the most attention. And we can’t give our full attention to more than one thing at a time. 

Catching my drift yet?

What a word! FOCUS. It’s going to prove to be interesting. Especially for someone like myself with millions of browser tabs open at once. 

God sure knows what he’s doing. I do believe this is one way that he will get me back to my writing again. I’m looking forward to what God will do with this One Word that HE has given me for 2017.



the center of interest or activity.

synonyms: center, focal point, central point, center of attention, hub, pivot, nucleus, heart, core, cornerstone, linchpin, cynosure”schools are a focus of community life”

an act of concentrating interest or activity on something.

synonyms: emphasis, accent, priority, attention, concentration 

(of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.

 adjust the focus of (a telescope, camera, or other instrument).


 bring into focus

pay particular attention to.


 synonyms: concentrate on, center on, zero in on, zoom in on.

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Until Next Time, 



The thing about grief is that while you are suffocating, the rest of the world seems to be going on without you. But that’s just it. The rest of the world, the people you see smiling and laughing, they may be grieving as well.

The thing about grief is that you can feel so lonely in your grief at times. Leaving a hole. And yes, God fills that hole, if you let him, but you still hurt deeply.

The thing about grief is that you are forever changed. Seeing things in a completely different way than before. You truly get the brevity of life. That person that I was on April 1st, 2014 at 5 am (pre phone call that my Daddy was having a heart attack) is different from the person I became that night on the same day. And I’m forever changed. More serious and more intentional about every aspect of life.

If you’ve lost a loved one you know. The thing about grief is that it’s different for everyone. It’s a personal thing. Words don’t heal.. But love sure helps.

The thing about grief is that there really is no getting over it. No time limit. No easy 1 2 3 fix for it. You live. You have a good day. You have a bad day. You suck it up and you keep moving forward. Because every single one of us will experience grief. It’s part of living in this temporary home.

And I realize that the tears are a gift. The memories are a gift. Even grief is a gift.

The ache in the heart…that physical pain.. it just means that you are holding them really close to your heart. What better place to keep them until you meet again.
The thing about grief… It can hit you anywhere and at anytime. Like walking down the aisle at Wal-Mart, or during a worship service. And you can’t control it anymore than you can control the wind. It’s like a catch in your throat and it hits you like a punch to the gut. That’s grief.

It’s different for everyone. No two people can or should grieve the same. You grieve when you’ve had a personal relationship with someone or something. There is no way that you could have the same exact relationship with someone as I do or vice versa. It’s personal. That’s the thing about grief.

The joy I feel comes from God and God alone. The peace is a direct result in resting in the arms of my Savior. Reality is that at times I feel alone in my utter sadness. Alone in my remembering. Like being in a crowded room but still feeling alone. But God. He is my strong tower and refuge and deliverer. And I know I’m not alone. You aren’t alone. 

The thing about grief is… Everyone has been there and if you haven’t yet, you will. We can’t expect the world to stop. It just won’t. And it shouldn’t. I look back and recognize the change in the “before” me and the maturity and the living life to the fullest attitude in the “after” me. Because that’s what a deep loss will do to a soul.

Loss changes you. But sorrow really does produce a better you if you let it. It makes you look at the simplest of things in much deeper ways. It changes you.

Life on earth really is but a moment. A brief moment in time. The best gift that you can give the ones left behind is a legacy of love. Not just any legacy of love, but one of loving God most. 

We shouldn’t compare how one person grieves to how another might. There should be no judgement in grief. And let me make something clear. You can experience grief even if the object of your grief is not dead. There are so many types of grief. Because everyone is unique, and every circumstance is unique, every loss will be unique as well.

And just because you may be a “veteran griever” (yes, I made that term up), doesn’t mean that you are exempt from grieving. It doesn’t mean that you even know how to grieve. 

Time does not heal all wounds. Only God can do that. Even when the wounds scab over and the new skin covers it, doesn’t the skin look different? It’s ok. It’s supposed to. That scar becomes beautiful when we let the light of Christ shine through. Even if it is only a little light at a time. 

Those broken places can be mended. The mending occurs when we let God fill up the cracks and the deep cuts. Maybe our scars are there for a purpose. Maybe they can be seen as beautiful. Like a mosaic that’s pieced together. When we let His light shine through. When we let HIM do the mending.

“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” ~‭‭Psalms‬ ‭5:11‬ ‭
Until Next Time,


LETTER TO TEENS and Everyone Else Too

Letter To Teens and anyone who has ever been one or ever will be :
Let me preface this with mentioning a few important facts about myself. 
1- I am not a teen.

2- I once was a teen.

3- I have 2 teens.

4- The above 3 facts still don’t make me an expert.
Here’s what I know. 

I know that tomorrow’s not promised. I know that most of the time a rainbow comes out after the rain. I know that laughter is contagious. I know that a smile can change the course of a day. I know that what seems to be the worst thing in the world never usually is. I know that the “friends” aka bffs or bffl’s or tft’s that as teens we think are really for real and will last forever as in best friends forever, friends forever, best friends for life.. Seldom last forever. Some do and they are far very far and few… very few in between. I know that heartbreak feels like it’s the end of the world but I know that it’s not! 

How do I know?
Because I’ve been there and done that. Like most of you.

And what I want you to know.. Dear precious one, is that when (not if) your heart gets broken into pieces because someone cut you loose… That it is ok to hurt but remember that you aren’t alone in your hurt and most of us have been there in that same place of hurt. And that the hurt is only temporary and it’s not what defines you or your life. 
Find someone that will listen and guide you wisely and hold that head high and learn from this place of hurt. Learn what you don’t want to repeat and I promise if you let it, the hurt you feel will teach you many things. One of which is to show kindness towards others. Another is that it will make you stronger. Our trials can actually strengthen us if we let them.

Dear one, know this, whatever you are going through is not going to last forever. It may feel like it is. But listen to me. The embarrassment, the mistake, the breakup, the broken places… They are part of your story. The story that one day you’ll share with someone else. But you have to learn from it first, before you can share what you learned. 
Another thing. People really do care and we don’t think that you are strange or weird or crazy teens. Because most of us think we are still teens until we look in the mirror and hear the words “yes mam” or “yes sir” or try to get down on the dance floor with you and realize that we can’t get back up. I mean, talk about confusing. 

Us adults, with teens, and we can’t quite figure out how we got old enough and how you got old enough as well.
Give us some grace. We will give you grace as well.
We ask multiple times these words: “how was your day?” And guess what? It’s because we really do want to know. Because even though you are a teen and some of you are 18, we still think of you as our BABIES. Because to us, you are. I mean, we know you have to grow up and we respect that, but man it’s hard. One day a tiny bundle in our arms, one day crawling, the next day walking, then it’s running and then it’s driving. It’s crazy man. We can’t grasp it sometimes and so we fail. Or we cling too tight. Or we may even embarrass you. But gosh do we love you.
Teens… It’s a hard and confusing time for you. You have one foot in childhood and one foot dabbling in the confusing adult world. Because it’s thrown at you so very early now. It’s not your fault. We allow it. We even encourage it with words like “grow up”. Or “quit acting so childish”. Then we confuse you with treating you like our baby. Oh man oh man.. Grace. We need it. Because we sure aren’t perfect. 

So here’s what I want you all to know. A few really important things. Listen up. Take notes. Highlight them. Or whatever you do with notes on your phones. 

* You are never too far gone.

* Somebody does care.

* Tomorrow isn’t promised.

* Don’t take everything so seriously.

* Laugh at yourself.

* Just laugh.

* Forgive quickly even without an apology.

* Apologize. Even when it’s hard. Even though you may feel justified. 

* Smile at someone every single day.

* If you see someone who looks lonely, speak to or smile at them because I promise you that it makes a difference.

* Talk to your family. Talk, don’t just text. Actually speak to each other. 

* Give your parents (whoever is raising you) grace. Respect them. You may be in their shoes one day. 

* Remember what it was like to be a teen. (Adults) Grace.

* Forgive yourself. 

* Set goals and don’t beat yourself up if it takes you a long time to meet them.

* Don’t make a quick and permanent decision based on a temporary problem.

* Know who you are and Know for sure Whose you are. {see below for more info}

* Hold on to this truth: People will hurt you and let you down but there is ONE who never will and that ONE is Jesus.

I know this. I’ve experienced this. This is truth. Jesus has never ever let me down. He HAS lifted me up when I was down. He has forgiven me when I’ve failed him (over and over). And He never leaves or forsakes those who are HIS. 

So dear one reading this, I pray that you know that you didn’t happen upon this message by accident. It was written for you. Because God loves you so much. He sees your pain. He sees your hurts. He loves you so much. You are not too far gone. You aren’t too “bad” or sinful. Because all of us have sinned and fallen short. But God. You aren’t alone and you aren’t an accident. God made you on purpose and for a purpose. It’s time to start walking in that freedom.

Until Next Time,

Shine On!

⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️ {see below for more}

So I ask you this one last question. Do you know Jesus as Lord and Savior? He’s the best friend you’ll ever have. Through every and any trial you’ll ever face, He will be there. There is victory in Him. He is the King of kings and The Lord of lords, The Prince of Peace and The Almighty God. 
{There’s not a special prayer you HAVE to recite.. There’s not a written message you have to say. You just have to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. You admit you are a sinner (and we all are) in need of a Savior (Jesus) and believe that Jesus is the One and only Son of God and confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Savior… We can’t earn salvation or we’d never make it to Heaven. But our faith is proven by our obedience to God and the works that we in turn do are done to point to God and bring glory to Him alone.}


“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Heart For Missions

She watched and listened from afar. Her young but wise soul taking in every ounce of their conversation. Her eyes were open and ears tuned in and most importantly, her heart was moved.

The young man of about 16 or 17 was aggravated with his father. The father said to not get pizza rolls because that wouldn’t fill him up. The young man was frustrated with the situation. The father said that they had a 15$ budget and 5$ was for gas.
She listened and her heart and soul was moved. The Holy Spirit tugging ever so gently. Tug. Tug.

She listened to the language that was spoken out of heartache and lack. She didn’t judge. Her eyes saw. Her heart and soul saw and felt.

I was nowhere around. In a different area of the Dollar Tree store that we were in. My youngest was in a world of her own. Well. Not her own. She was in the world of a homeless father and son.
She gave the father 5$ of her own money. She listened to his story. A story of a wife of 26 years leaving them and that they needed help and were homeless. A state that so many of our own American people are in.

“John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” ~Luke‬ ‭3:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬


Something that we share is a heart for missions. That’s my family. That’s our heart. Where we feel joy and alive is when we are serving Jesus by loving on the hurting, the homeless, the person in need.
She gave him her own money. He said thank you so much. And she didn’t just walk away. She saw him. She treated him like the person he is. Because Jesus loves each one of us the same. No more and no less.

“He doesn’t care how great a person may be, and he pays no more attention to the rich than to the poor. He made them all.”‭‭ ~ Job‬ ‭34:19‬ ‭NLT

“The rich and poor have this in common: The LORD made them both.” ~‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬


My youngest daughter didn’t stop there. As she was walking away she TOLD the father this: “I love you and Jesus loves you too and I’m going to be praying for you.”

A day later she shared this story with me. With pained eyes and I could feel the hurt that she felt for him. That missionary heart. That heart for others. That Jesus shining heart.

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” ~Hebrews‬ ‭13:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I hugged her and I told her how proud I was of her. That I knew the pain she felt. Because I pray for Nya in New Orleans still. And I told her that I understood that feeling of wishing you could do more and that she could definitely pray for him still. Because prayer isn’t just something little that you can do as an afterthought. Prayer is the most important thing.

I’m so thankful for my children and husband and their hearts for missions. I’ve never felt more alive than when serving together on missions. That’s what life is about.


“Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.”‭‭ ~ James‬ ‭2:26‬ ‭NLT

Until Next Time,


The Comparison Trap


 The Comparison Trap is just that… A trap. A trap that leads to feelings of worthlessness, envy, bitterness, and discontentment. It steals our joy.

“Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!” ~
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Comparing themselves to each other… Hmmm. Sound familiar?
How often do we find ourselves in this comparison trap?

We compare hairstyles. We compare relationships. We compare outfits. We compare how “busy” we are.(and that’s another message for another day). We compare occupations. We compare houses. We compare waist sizes. We compare cars. We compare how educated we assume someone else to be. We compare compare compare.
Then we feel worthless because we assume that we aren’t as good as… 

Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Did you get what was at the end of the passage of scripture?

“How Ignorant!”
(You know, the opposite of wise.)

The only thing we should compare ourselves to is Jesus! He is the standard of which we should measure ourselves to. Not each other. 
Comparison causes assumptions and assumptions are usually wrong anyways. Am I right?
You’ll miss the blessings and beauty in “today” if you are wasting it comparing yourself to others.
The question we need to be asking ourselves is “Am I measuring up to the standards God has for me?” And “Am I representing Christ well?” Not… “Am I as good at ____ as ____ is?”
Every minute.. Every hour that we are given is to be used to bring glory to God. That’s our job .. If you will.. As Christians. And if we are wasting away our minutes comparing ourselves to others then we aren’t focusing on bringing glory to God.. Because we are focused on me, myself, and I… The wrong trinity. 
It’s a daily.. Minute by minute choice. Choose to focus on God or focus on me.. Me… Me.. Or even on what ____ has that we think we need too.
Hey. I’m guilty. I’m not pointing fingers. I’m guilty. It’s thrown in our faces even more so because of social media and all the “perfect photos” Nobody posts the real ones or they rarely do… You know.. The ones where you were all just rolling your eyes at each other or saying through clenched teeth “I said SMILE dadgummit!” 

Comparing ourselves to other people is just plain silly. You never know what’s behind a smile. You don’t know the pain that another woman may mask with a smile. You don’t know the hurt that she may hide really well. That “perfect” person (you assume) is a person. Not Jesus. Some people hide their pain really well. Others wear their emotions on their sleeves.. Nobody has it all together and nobody is perfect.

Steven Furtick said: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our ‘behind the scenes’ with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

Everybody… Everybody… Has struggles. I think you’d all agree. So why waste our time trying to and wishing to be like other imperfect people?
The only ONE we should try to be like is Jesus Christ.
Think about it like this…. 

If you see an iceberg, you only see about 10% of it. The other 90% is below the surface. 
Same with us.

The thing is… If we are so busy comparing and assuming, then loving each other is more than likely going to be way down low on our lists. And if you are a child of God.. An authentic follower of Christ, you are called to LOVE. And love deeply.

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” ~1 Peter‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Deep means… Deep. Not surface. Not fake. But deep. Real. Invested. Deep love is not easy. It takes work. And it’s only possible because of The Holy Spirit that indwells believers.

Because let’s be real… My love for others can sometimes be based on my emotions at the time. What about yours? 

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” ~‭‭John‬ ‭15:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Who else besides me is so thankful that God’s love is not based on emotions?? In fact HE loves you no more today than he loved you yesterday and he will not love you any more tomorrow than HE does right now. It says in the bible “how wide how deep is his love for us” and that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” ~ Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

His love never changes!!!! 
So… If you are a Christian then you are supposed to be aiming to be like Christ. Not like the woman or man next to you no matter how fabulous she/he  is. She’s not Jesus. He’s not Jesus. You are not Jesus. Aren’t you so glad??!! 

Let’s all commit to saying no to comparison. Comparison leads to envy and bitterness and let’s face it.. That’s no good.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” ~Ephesians‬ ‭4:31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Let’s commit to building one another up instead. To throw out assumptions (like so and so has it all together).. Because she doesn’t. None of us do. That’s why we need Jesus. And we do need him. Every second of every day. He is love, truth, joy, peace, life.. He is the only ONE that we should aim to please and bring glory to. HE is the only one who will never let us down.

And I’m so THANKFUL that He loves me all the time. Even when I’m not very loveable. His love for me and for you is just the most beautiful thing. It’s GRACE. It’s amazing. I don’t deserve it. But it’s mine. His love… And that’s how we are called to live. A life that reflects that love. Not a life wasted on envy or assumptions that accompany comparison. 

“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.” ~Ephesians‬ ‭4:1-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Sometimes as women, we have a hard time letting down our walls and allowing ourselves to be loved. It has to stop. We have to stop comparing ourselves and thinking that everyone else must be thinking something “bad” about “me”. 

It’s a TRAP. A trap that the enemy,Satan, wants us to be in. Because we can’t possibly love each other if we don’t even love ourselves. God loves you. Don’t forget that. He made you for a purpose and on purpose. You were not an accident. He made you and he doesn’t make junk. 
We need each other. We do. 

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” ~Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Maybe just maybe if we stopped assuming and stopped comparing ..and take off the masks (masks of perfection) .. We would see that we aren’t so different from one another.

Rest in that love that Our Heavenly Father so freely gives. He loves you so much. So much that he gave his one and only son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. That’s love. That’s ours. If you know Jesus as Lord and Savior then you don’t have to do this life alone and you don’t have to rely on your own strength to do anything.

Focus on reflecting Jesus to this world that so desperately needs him and his love.. Don’t fall into the trap that will cloud your ability to shine. 

So… Remember the part of 2 Corinthians 10:12 where it says that they were comparing themselves to each other and how ignorant that was…

Remember that it’s a trap. A trap that keeps you in bondage. And you aren’t called to live in bondage. You are a child of The Most High. You are redeemed and you are set free… To walk in abundant life.. To break the chains that hold you back. To turn and go towards living a life that brings glory to God. A life that SHINES Jesus in everything. Walk in that freedom. With his help you can. Only with his help is it possible. And when those thoughts pop up that cause us to fall into that trap, take them captive. (See 2 Corinthians 10:5)

It’s time to do business. It’s time to check ourselves. Are you sick of feeling weighed down by these feelings of “I’m not as good as”? Do you need to stop focusing on others and start focusing on Jesus? Are you harboring feelings of bitterness or envy or jealousy or resentment? Do you need to let it go? Do you need to ask God to forgive you for anything that’s causing a wall of separation between you and Him? Do you know Jesus as Lord and Savior? If not I’m available to walk you through it. If you do know him, is it time to start walking in freedom and stop measuring yourself up to other people?  It is time. 

I leave you with this last little excerpt about Comparison that I found. It’s written by Joyce Meyers (YouVersion Devotional)

Comparison says to God, “I want to limit your work in my life to this and nothing else. I just want to be like this other person.” But God has an individual plan for each of us. His plan for you is greater than you could possibly imagine. Stop looking at His plans for others so you can walk in the plans He has for you and receive the blessings they bring. 

Blessings.. Shine On,



The Harvest IS Plentiful

Sometimes you come across a post that you need to share again.

Simple Truths

I don’t know about you, but for me, normally when I can’t stand the place I am visiting, I don’t ever want to go back.

Like ever.

For those who don’t know, my family went on a mission trip to New Orleans this summer. People warned me of the smells, and even the fluids that were commonly found on the sidewalks. They warned me of the darkness that seemed to hang over you like a cloud. They hinted at the free-spirited living. The smells didn’t bother me as much as I thought. And I have a sensitive smeller. No, it was the sights that broke my heart.


From the countless homeless people to the small children roaming the streets, things were different just a few hours away from home sweet home. It didn’t take going thousands of miles away or even crossing oceans to do mission work. I didn’t even…

View original post 1,265 more words

Making Small Changes


Love the quote that I found on Pinterest above. “Small changes can make a big difference.” It applies to everything. Fitness, Spiritual, Mental, Family, Friends, and life in general.

Here are some small changes that I’ve been making lately in regards to fitness.

– Trying to eat “cleaner”. Cleaner than I was, and healthier choices for myself and my family. 

– Drinking smoothie/meal replacement shakes at least one to two times each day. I add in fruit, almonds, and  use ice and water to slash calories (plus I don’t like milk.. Unless it’s in ice cream form). Make sure that it’s a healthy protein powder that you are adding in or that is in the shake mix of your choice. Read and study the ingredients. 

– I’m choosing to cook more fish and lean meat and lots more veggies and salads. 

– I drink at least half my body weight in ounces of water. Having a cute insulated cup helps too. Just saying. Keeps it cold and makes it easy to grab and go. No sugary drinks. I’m still drinking my coffee and using a creamer. Small changes though. One day I’ll be there.

– I’ve learned to stop beating myself up when I give in and eat that piece of cake. I just pick back up and keep moving forward. And I keep in mind that when I eat bad that I really do feel bad. I notice it more now than before… the effects of the food that I fuel my body with. 

– I’m reminding myself of how much better I feel mentally since choosing to workout every day. It’s truly helped with grief and sadness that comes after the loss of a loved one. 

– Thinking before saying YES to every single thing that I’m asked to do, lead, and help with. Resting in the fact that not every assignment that I’m asked to help with is necessary or an assignment from God. I am learning to say no when necessary without being guilted in to saying yes. It’s ok to say no thank you, I’m not feeling called to that. Remember that you can’t do everything and do it well. Choose a couple of things and do those really well. Most importantly, pray first and then respond when HE gives you the answer you feel in your soul. You’ll know. You’ll have a peace about it if you’ve truly been in prayer and have been seeking God.

– Living each day intentionally seeking God in everything. Resting in the hope that even though many in this world and nation reject God, that our hope lies in the reality that GOD IS SOVEREIGN and He has already won. And He is the same God as he was yesterday, is today, and will be tomorrow. And choosing to stand firm in who God calls me to be as his child. Shining a light .. The Light so that others will see Him in me. And when I fail, resting in HIS grace and mercy and repenting and turning and chasing hard after God. He is all that matters. He is hope, peace, joy, and LIFE!

Small changes really can make a big difference. Just remember that when you feel like giving up or going back to an old habit, look how far you’ve come. Don’t regress. Keep persevering. One foot in front of the other. One second at a time. 

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”    ~‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:24-27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Until Next Time,




   Being that I know you and your family, it’s an honor and a privilege to interview you as your NEW album is released!

I became aware of this dream of yours a few years ago when I was asked to be a part of the music video for “In The End“. I was able to witness firsthand the God-given talents that you and your brother Joshua and the band possess! Truly was an honor.

 In The End was the first song that I heard because of the music video, and I loved it! As you released song by song, I watched and listened and was thrilled when you announced your debut album! This dream has come true!

* Where did the name of your band (One Day Dreamer) come from?

I am a dreamer’s dreamer. In the beginning of everything I start, I skip ahead to step 20 in my mind when I should be focused more on step 3 or 4. This helps me better envision the big picture. It’s also a drawback when step 3 or 4 really need to get their full attention.

In the beginning of One Day Dreamer, the hook was set pretty deep pretty early with the kind of stuff I wanted from this band. With every new conversation I would say things like,”What if ONE DAY this happened?” or “It would be pretty cool if ONE DAY we got to do that?” The problem came when I realized that there really was no “we” yet at that point.

So yeah, in the beginning it was very close to a solo project. I wanted the band to be bigger than just my name but I was by myself. I played with the dreamer idea because that’s who I am. So there was a possible One Daydreamer. And then the conversation kept on with “What if one day…” Eventually, it just settled into its own as One Day Dreamer.

* Would you tell us a little bit about the members of your band and yourself, and how long you all have been together?

Stand Up Band

Musically, the backbone and heartbeat of One Day Dreamer is shared between Josh, Thomas, and I. I met Josh back in 2008. When I first moved up to the suburbs of Atlanta I met this young kid named Josh, and he was in a band that I had the chance to hear quite a bit. It was obvious to anyone with ears that the musical talent in that band sat on a drum throne. I took notice immediately and grew in my respect for his musical ability. About a year and a half later I got the itch to jump into a music project again, this eventually became One Day Dreamer. I began making demos and I would always run them past Josh to get his opinion, but we still never played together as One Day Dreamer until November of 2011.

So it’s been just the two of us and a bassist since the beginning. We’ve been through a few before landing on TJ Mercer. TJ and I have mutual friends from several different angles and he is actually the 1st cousin of my childhood girlfriend from South Georgia. That made for some interesting conversations in the beginning of me meeting him at age 27! Although TJ is “The New Guy”, he fit right in immediately to our weirdness. He was the missing puzzle piece for One Day Dreamer. The three of us all have very individual tastes in music but we all meet in the middle on our mutual appreciation for Classic Rock.

In our personal lives, we’re all juggling a lot. Josh has a toddler, TJ and I are navigating relatively new marriages, and TJ is a dad-to-be as of a few weeks ago. We have a lot going on musically and personally in these crazy times.

Sit Down Band

* The artwork for the album cover, the photography, the design, is just amazing! It can be seen on the cover, your social media, the music videos. So much talent! Who is responsible for the artwork?

My brother and founding bassist of One Day Dreamer, Joshua Sims of Paper Rocket Picture Company, is responsible for most of the end design of all print and official pictures. He and I brainstorm almost everything exclusively. I keep coming to him with ideas and revisions of ideas until he stops calling them stupid. The working brothers paradigm really works to ensure that the quality control stays where it should.

I pretty much manage the bands social media. Fortunately, we’ve done enough cool things along the way that we can keep the posts coming and engaging for our friends and fans across our social media platforms.

* How long has this album been in the making?

Specifically, Dying Art & Lost Romances has been in the works since January 7th, 2013, the first night of tracking with this end product in mind. That night we tracked drums on the song called Brand New.

However, some of my original demos, which date back to August of 2009, contained individual tracks that made the final record. Specifically, the guitar intro, the organ, and the background “ooohhhs” in the repeat of the second chorus are circa 2009 for our song called Inverted. Those were good enough to recycle for the final album master.

* After listening to all 10 of the songs on the album (Dying Arts & Lost Romances), I have a few favorites. I’d like to know if you have any favorites and if so, which ones and why?

Well now I want to know what your favorites are! These songs are all directly out of my life experiences or the life experiences of those around me that I happened to be close enough to witness. With that, they are all special to me in one way or another. If I had to choose, based on the memories attached to them, Limelight and In The End would be my two favorites.

In The End is a song that I waited on for about 5 years. I lived verse 2 with one of my closest friends in high school. Over the years I wrote that memory into several songs that will never see the light of day. I never felt comfortable with the previous iterations because I didn’t think that they were good enough to immortalize that memory for me. I woke up one morning in November of 2009 and the whole song hit me all at once. I couldn’t write fast enough that morning. I didn’t want to lose the inspiration. After trying and working for 5 years, I wrote what we now know as In The End one morning in my PJs in about 8 minutes.

Limelight is the reason I’m here now doing One Day Dreamer. In college, I was sucked into a “Hey! I can make you the next big Christian Band” kind of contest. Long story short, it was not what it claimed to be and we lost a lot of time and money trying to get to be that next big thing. Among a ton of other reasons why he said I wasn’t ready for a career in Christian music, I remember one of the judge’s critiques being,”You know, you don’t really need a ‘cool’ guitar part for every song…” I was devastated after leaving there. I quit for a good while. I wasn’t going to chase something like that again until it was the right thing for the right reason. I did a ton of soul searching and I decided that I want “the better side of the limelight” which is a lyric from that song. We’re going to play what we want to play on our terms, I’m going to write songs that matter to me and not try to be something that some contest is looking for. To this day, I don’t bill One Day Dreamer as a Christian Band because there’s more to it than that for me. I’d rather play music that can be beneficial to and be appreciated by all. I would much rather be known as a Christian for who I am and how I treat people outside of the context of that three and half minute song. If fame, fortune, or whatever comes from all of this, then we’ll just take it as it comes. I’m focused first on writing and playing music that is real and honest. As a side note, the irony for me is that the song Limelight contains what I believe to be the best guitar work on the whole album. Limelight has lots of “cool” parts! Not sure if that is a coincidence or some sort of poetic justice. Who knows?

* What is your vision in making music and art via music and then sharing it with the world?

My vision is pretty clear. I started a record label for the release of this new album, GLOW Records. Before there ever was a One Day Dreamer, there was GLOW. This is at the core of my life. GLOW is an acronym for Go Love Our World. For years I have owned and operated a production company called GlowCreativeStudio with the same namesake. I believe in telling stories that matter and also creating stories that matter. The studio has retained a clientele of about 90% church and non-profit clients that are doing wonderful things in their communities and the world.


GLOW Records is my chance to create a narrative in which we make a lasting and valuable impact on our world. We have plans to obviously support our families and forge a career with this thing. With that, we also plan to use music to make a permanent as well as eternal change in people here and abroad. Specifically, using existing connections that we have in Central/South America and the Caribbean, we hope to take our music to these places and partner with local schools and churches on the ground there. We’re hoping to join what they are doing in their communities. We will use the impact that a band can make to spotlight what they are doing and try to elevate it with them to the next level.

I have countless stories of how in my travels around the world I have been able to transcend language barriers and social stigma just by holding a guitar. No matter where they live, people are people and music is something that all people have in common. Through something that we are currently calling “The GLOW Project”, we hope to start using our music, and music in general to open these doors in the days ahead.

* Is producing and releasing an album a dream that you’ve had for a long time? How long?

Absolutely it is. Ever since I wrote my first song that I could play from start to finish on my own instrument, I’ve had the itch. That was the year 2003 so I guess you could say it’s been a while. I have made recordings and demos along the way for class projects in college and little demo CDs for the merch table for other bands and music projects with which I’ve been involved. To me, they were never good enough and were never the real thing.

What happened last Tuesday on the 18th of August, was a major milestone for me. That was the first time I’ve released something knowing that it is good enough and that everything was done the right way. Dying Art & Lost Romances is something that I am proud of and it is something that I know can live beyond me. Those 37 minutes of that album have the ability to make my future unfold before me in a different way entirely, than if I had not made it. I have never created something before this that has that kind of power. This is significant for me.

* What have you learned through this process of pouring your heart and soul into making music and recording an album and all that goes into it?

Above all I have learned patience. I have learned that I cannot force anything. Things are going to happen when they happen and I have to live with that. This sounds like a bad thing that I’ve had to endure. I see it as something else entirely. I am grateful for the length of time it has taken on this record. We initially expected a Summer 2013 release. With the extra two years, I have learned SOOOOO much about the music industry from the actual creation of records all the way to the marketing and backend potential.

This project has been gaining momentum because of that extra time. We’re poised for something special to happen now because of all of that extra time spent learning the business. I prefer it to be this way rather than having to retro-act this knowledge onto a second-rate album that we rush released two years ago had we pushed for the Summer ’13 deadline.

* What advice would you give to someone who may have a dream that’s inside of them and yet they are afraid to take that first or even second step to make it come true?

Make. Sure. You. Love. It.

If its big enough, it will be the hardest thing that you have ever done. Nobody will understand you or what you are doing at first. The burden will fall on you and you alone. If you are not driven, you aren’t going to make it. Take your heart off of your sleeve. Put it somewhere deep where it can’t be affected by anything at all and just work. If you aren’t sold on it, if you do not absolutely believe in what you are doing, you will quit.

Once you settle it in your soul that this is your dream, you have to hustle. You can’t get frustrated when people don’t get it. It’s not their dream, it’s your dream. Eventually, you’ll find people to join you. Until then, you have to wade through the initial disappointment that comes when the people that you think should care simply do not. It’s a fight all the way. Be prepared and dig in. “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” is more than just a colorful phrase. I have shed more than my fair share of all three on Dying Art & Lost Romances. Looking back, It’s totally worth every drop of all of them. Now that I am at this point it’s easier to say that. However, that was something that was settled in my soul long before I got to this point. You have to settle it on the front end of a project like this in order to even make it to the back end.

* Where can we purchase the One Day Dreamer/Dying Arts & Lost Romances album ?

It’s available in most digital distribution outlets. iTunes is the one that we are pushing. It’s also available on streaming services like Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, Rdio, and Google Play.

It is physically for sale out of the trunks of our cars until we get our Merch page set up on our website. Physical CDs will be available really soon at

* Any plans for future albums?

Absolutely yes! But not right now. The side effect of taking over two years to record an album is that you write more songs during that time. That’s one of the hard parts of a new band trying to break. The songs on Dying Art & Lost Romances are old to us at this point. At gigs I have said things from the stage like, “You guys want to hear a new one?” only to be reminded that every song that we’re playing is new to the audience. It has made for some weird times. But yes, we have some songs that are new to us that we think have a shot at album success. We’re going to focus for the time being on making the songs on Dying Art & Lost Romances come to life in front of fans in a live setting.

* As I listened to the songs (all 10), I noticed a story trying to be told… What is that story?

It’s a little like a journey through life and the struggles/benchmarks we hit along the way. The opening line is “Standing on the edge is wearing thin.” This pretty much sums up the thoughts that anyone feels as a catalyst for change in their life. For me, that is this project. Since I was 17 years old and played my first song, this is what I wanted. Ten years later in 2013, it was time to put up or shut up. I had to prove to myself that this is what I want in life. There comes a point when you just need to dive in and quit just staring at the water while talking about how good it could be to go swimming.

This journey really is a dying art. We live in a world where music is made up of producer tricks that have tested well in focus groups. These tricks include the trite whistle parts that happened in almost every song a few years ago, or the more recent use of old celebrity names like Michelle Pfeiffer that is currently making an appearance in 2 songs in the Top 40. Despite this musical landscape, we said what was on our hearts at the time from a sincere place, and we played our own instruments over the entire record.

I wanted to make something that was timeless. Only time will tell if I succeeded. I wanted to make something that would meet people where they are and matter to them. These songs are based on my life. There is no way that I’m alone in these thoughts that I happened to write down. That’s the story. In life, we’re all in this together. Let’s talk about it. Or sing in this case, sing!

Check them out on this mini documentary as well:

Find them on Facebook at

Instagram: @1DAYDREAMERBAND http://instagram/1daydreamerband




Thank you for your transparency in this interview. I truly feel like I know you better and that the songs mean even more after “hearing” your heart and soul behind this dream. To answer your question about MY favorites on the album, my top 3 are Spiral, Limelight, and In The End.  

I wish you the best. I also appreciate the advice that you shared, and believe that it will hit home for a lot of people. Your advice struck a chord (pun intended) with me and has inspired me to “quit staring at the water” as you put it. Thanks again. Shine on my friend. 

AND to those reading this post, go to iTunes and check out this album.AlbumCover-1600x1600

You won’t regret it. Especially after reading the background to the dream that has now come true. Just go check it out. Especially if you are a dreamer too…and if you are like me, you may have some dreams that you’ve stuck in a closet somewhere. 

Until Next Time,

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Tips on Becoming Fit

As promised, I’m back with some tips and suggestions to help us all become more physically, mentally, and spiritually fit. 

Physically fit: 

Personally, I love spinflex and spin class & do that 3 times a week. The other 2 days I attend another fitness class and each day I workout at least an hour. That’s one hour of the 24 hours in the day that we are given! One hour. No excuses. This wasn’t always me though. I had to decide to make it a priority.

 If you aren’t physically active at this point, you can take that first step and begin. Just aim for 30 minutes to start with. Thirty minutes of some type of physical exercise. Walking, riding your bike, running, jogging, taking a spin class, kickboxing, or even a sport like basketball. Something is better than nothing. Your goal is to get moving. Then, you can increase intensity and time. Don’t compare yourself to someone else. You do what you can do as you get started. 

Mentally fit: 

Now, in my opinion, physically exercising does make me more mentally fit. When I’m spinning or lifting weights, I’m having to use the mind over matter thing. Sometimes my body wants to stop and I have to tell myself “no mam!” And keep going. 

When I used to run and was training for a half marathon, it definitely pushed me mentally. Any exercise if you do it hard enough, will stretch you mentally. Your body is capable of a lot more than you realize. It’s your mind that has to suck it up and push harder and get stronger.         

Also, surround yourself with things and people who lift you up and encourage you. If you are constantly around negativity it will soon rub off.  If you are the one who is negative, think of how you can change to better yourself and encourage those around you. 

Spiritually fit:

The best moments in my day are first thing in the morning. And I’m NOT A MORNING PERSON. However, those first few moments are just for me and Jesus. I get my coffee, sit down at my kitchen table, open my Bible and journal, and I pray and read and listen. 

Those moments fuel me more than coffee ever could. It’s that intentional time that I spend with my Savior that fills me up. My sustenance for the day.

I encourage you to begin your day with Jesus. Whether it’s 5 minutes or 35. Begin it with him.

With praise and worship music, a devotion, scripture, prayer… However you choose. Spend it with Jesus. 

All three aspects of fitness go hand in hand. 

If I want to serve Jesus like he calls his followers to do, then I’ve got to be physically, mentally, and spiritually in shape. 

If you are already there in all three areas then FABULOUS!!

If you are slightly off balance (most of us are), you can do something about it now. 

Take that first step. Then keep going. Don’t stop. Push yourself to be the best that you can be with HIS help. 

See you back soon with tips and ideas for each of the 3 areas. Maybe some healthy recipes, some ideas for your workouts, and suggestions and tips for studying God’s word. 

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” ~‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Until Next Time,


Becoming Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually Fit 

31 Days to becoming physically, mentally, and spiritually fit!
⬆️ That’s the title to the series I will be doing here on SHINE ON beginning October 1st, 2015. This is my 2nd year attempting to complete the challenge. I dropped out early last year. I plan on sticking it out this year. Fingers crossed. Here’s to trying!
Most of the time we think of the physical aspect when we hear the word FITNESS. I believe that it’s so important to be physically fit. It’s good for our physical bodies, helps us mentally, and it’s also good for us spiritually. 
You’ve heard the term: My body is a temple. You may laugh when you say it even. But… If you are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, then your body really is a temple.
“We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.” ~Ephesians‬ ‭2:21‬ ‭NLT
So, I believe that all three aspects go together when being fit.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” ~‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬
The purpose of this 31 days of writing challenge will be to help us all become more physically, mentally, and spiritually fit! 
I hope you’ll join me! I’ll be giving a few tips on each aspect of fitness as it relates to each of the three mentioned and hopefully you’ll take away something that helps you!
The actual 31 days will not begin until October 1st 2015, but I’ll be doing some preview posts in between to get ready. See you back here soon!

Until Next Time,
Shine On!

Who Do I Believe 

I wrote a post that I haven’t published yet. It’s not finished. Maybe it’s not even supposed to be published. Maybe it’s just for me. It’s about grief.

I do want to share a little about it. The thing about grief is… You can get so lost in it that you can’t see straight. You can feel so alone. Lonely in your grief.

And if you stay in that place. That stuck place. You start believing the lie that you are alone. Lonely. Nobody gets it. 

If you aren’t careful, you can do like I’ve done. You can get so wrapped up in your “funk” that you start withdrawing and then you justify it. You can even call it “rest”. 

You might be saying: “You are in a funk? I wouldn’t have known. You seem so happy.”

And I am joyful. To be joyful is better than to be happy. I’m joyful because I have a relationship with Jesus. I’m joy filled because of Jesus in me. But that doesn’t mean that I am never sad.

My problem was that I was believing the lie that I was alone in my sadness. I kept telling myself those lies.  And then, during the message at church, when my Pastor was speaking truth about when God went to The garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had sinned. The part after God says: “Where are you?”. The second thing God said was : “Who told you that?” {see Genesis 3:9-11}

So who told me that? That lie that I was alone in my grief over my father’s death. Who told me that? Well, it definitely wasn’t my Savior. So today when I felt the whisper in my soul.. That still small voice said: “You’re not alone.”

Did I know that? Sure I did. But did I act like I believed it? Not at all. I was too caught up in self. I listened to the wrong voice. I listened to self and self pity. 

I was so withdrawn that I didn’t want to be around anyone. Not anyone that I had to talk with. I didn’t want to serve anymore. I didn’t want to do a thing but what I wanted to do. 

Some days were better than others. But I kept telling myself that nobody understands and therefore I’m alone. Because that’s what grief can do to a person. And truly, that’s exactly where satan wants us to stay. In the desolate places. The dry places. The withdrawn and lonely places.

And listen. This is all the while that I’m still having my daily time with Jesus. This is still while I’m walking close with God. Look how close Adam and Eve walked with God. Yet they still listened to lies from the enemy. 

It happens. It’s what we do with it that makes the difference. 

I choose to share a piece of my grief story with you because my hope is that you will see that somebody gets it. In fact, God gets it. You are not alone. You can come out of your funk. 

I am not sharing for pity. I’m sharing because I want to to know that you matter. Your hurt matters. Your grief matters. And you are not alone if you know Jesus as Lord and Savior. If you believe otherwise then who are you listening to? Self? 


“For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;” ~Psalm‬ ‭94:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” ~‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” ~‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Until next time.

Striving to Shine,


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