Tag Archives: life lessons

Life Is Amazing.

Tonight, I dreaded the idea of going out in this painfully cold weather to check on a well and water troughs for cows. Dreaded. As in, how in the world am I living in a world where I check a well in 27 degree temps? Seriously.

But, I did. And, you know what I saw? Besides my breath in front of me? Stars. Amazing, beautiful stars that could not be numbered in a huge, amazing, beautiful sky. And, for a brief moment, I looked up and stared and thought, “Amazing.”

Sunday, I dreaded the thought of Jett becoming sick. Fever, congestion, loss of appetite. You know the stuff those little people get. I dreaded it changing up my Monday. Then, changing up my Tuesday. It did change it up. And, you know what I saw? Besides spilled Tylenol on my living room chair? A little boy who is growing up and changing so fast. Who has turned into the sweetest boy in the entire universe. Who made me laugh out loud so many times that, for a moment, I considered pulling him out of school and keeping him with me all the live long day forevermore….for a moment. And, then I put him to bed tonight and thought, “Amazing.”

Life is always amazing. Full of wonder. Full of crazy gorgeous evening skies and full of moments where your child sits closer to you. It’s always there. And, many times, those amazing moments are noticed in our life’s interruptions.

These past couple of days have reminded me: Change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

They don’t just change to become more tolerable. They change to become your greatest blessings.

It’s when life becomes amazing.

Tonight, I go to bed amazed.


In love with life.

In love with the people in my life.

And, in love with the One who created it all and said, “It is good.”



Filed under God Stuff, gratitude, Life Experiences, Motherhood

So, This Is 40.

Completely lame to title a blog post after a movie. But, I’m in my 40s now. So, I’m comfortable being lame. I always thought turning 40 would bother me. Because, in my mind, I am always, always 18. Aren’t we all? Sure, we don’t feel 18. But, we are always that 18 year old who still feels like they are navigating through this thing called life. I can still remember as vividly how it felt to be embarking on my college career as much as I can remember how I felt walking my third child into school the first day. Feelings are just so powerful. And, they hard to forget. I can remember walking into Mrs. Howard’s third class at Jackson Road. I can remember how she made me feel secure. I can remember almost drowning in the Gulf and my father never letting go of my hand. I can remember holding onto the OUTSIDE of the escalator of Southlake Mall and riding it up until my mom climbed on top of a brick display, grabbing the soles of my shoes, pulling me back down.

I can remember the first time I felt the presence of God and thinking that I never wanted to leave it.

I can remember graduating from college and looking into the mass of onlookers and seeing the gleam in my grandfather’s eye.

I can remember not being able to stop the tears when John Henry was born and holding him in my arms for the very first time. I remember looking at my mom and saying, “My world is right now.”

I can remember being heartbroken. But more than the heartbreak, I can remember my friends taking care of me and being there.

I can remember opening my heart up to love again. I can remember kissing Kris Takle on his brother’s sofa for the first time. I can remember my mom’s tearful face when we loaded up in a King Air and moved to Oklahoma City.

I can remember when Anna Takle was three years old, and I realized that I had to start recording how fun she made my life.

I can remember deciding to have a third child after swearing two was enough. But, then, looking at that future super-hero in the face with gratitude and thanksgiving that he was mine.

I can remember Kris telling me, “I think we can do this,” when he told me we were moving back home to Georgia.

I can remember fully surrendering my life to the ministry and my father ordaining me a pastor.

I can recall exactly how those moments felt. And, I am so thankful for them all. For the good moments. For the bad. The good have taught me gratitude. The bad have taught me forgiveness and love.

I’m no expert in life. I have many more miles to travel and hopefully many more candles to extinguish. But, I have penned 40 things that I have learned so far. Perhaps, next year I will have a different view. A different outlook. A different perception of life. I hope I do. Because, that means I’m evolving. But, today, this is 40:

1. Don’t put too much weight into a present emotion. Because, you never know how you’re going to feel tomorrow.

2. You don’t have to talk through every single feeling, emotion, or issue.

3. Friendship in marriage is just as important as love.

4. Having a third kid is a game-changer. Don’t do it unless you’re willing to change the game.

5. I like our new game with three kids….now that I’ve regained my sanity. Somewhat.

6. My blood pressure rises when I read status updates or comments that portray a God who is ready to take out His vengeance on people. Or when people read the Word but don’t get the Spirit behind what’s being said. God is a God of love. Period.

7. I need to not let myself get so worked up over #6.

8. God is not up there, out there somewhere. He is within me.

9. My mom is the person I can tell anything to.

10. I don’t always have to be right. And, my way isn’t the only way. In parenting, in life. We all have the same mission but different methods. We have to work through our own salvation.

11. It’s okay to simply say, “that’s not going to work for me” without giving further explanation.

12. If I don’t schedule my time, someone else will. Create margin with your time.

13. Gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation, and praise are the keys to EVERYTHING.

14. Pain doesn’t last.

15. Being skinny is fun. But not as fun as a really good meal.

16. Whatever I focus on will expand – whether positive or negative.

17. Kris and I travel really well together. He is my favorite travel partner.

18. It’s important to jump into your kids’ passions and be amazed with them.

19. Never, ever give up on people.

20. Even when you become frustrated with where someone is in his or her life, don’t stop being their friend. They will get through that rough place. Love them through it instead of pulling back.

21. When you know you’re wrong, own it.

22. Say thank you as often as possible.

23. Chill when life gets interrupted. Accept it. It happens.

24. Dreading makes everything worse. Don’t dread what you know you already have to do.

25. If you see a need, and it’s within your means to meet that need, do it.

26. Give, give, give.

27. Laughter is not only the best medicine, it’s the heartbeat of my life.

28. Not everyone is going to believe the way I do. And, that’s okay. (So, let crazy Facebook comments and otherwise go.)

29. My mom thinks my kids are just has hilarious as I do. I am so thankful I can share my life with her.

30. My dad is the most consistently loyal, forgiving, compassionate, merciful person in the universe. Hands down.

31. I have the best friends in the world. And, the older I get the more I realize how much I need them.

32. I could never leave the ministry.

33. I love being alone with God.

34. I either cry or almost cry every time I worship the One who has made all things so good.

35. Don’t sit alone when you’re down. As hard as it is, call someone. Go be with someone you trust. Just don’t be alone.

36. Whenever you think something good is going to come from telling someone exactly what you think or “finally giving them the what for,” please know, nothing good will EVER come from that. Ever.

37. Don’t close the door to new friendships.

38. It’s none of my business what other people think of me.

39. Try really hard to not yell at your children. They are real souls with real feelings.

40. God is for me. So, all moments have been for me. The good ones and the bad ones. Because, God has been IN all of those moments.

If you’re still reading, thank you for indulging me in such a long post. And, thanks to all of you for being in my world. I am so thankful for my friends and family. I am so thankful to serve a God who is full of love. And, I am so thankful to enter my forties. I think I’m going to like it here.


Filed under gratitude, life, Life Experiences, Spiritual Journey

I Don’t Drive 35.

It’s true.  I’m 35 years old today.  I don’t feel a day older than 34 ½.  When my mom was 35 years old, she had a sixteen year old.  Wha?  It appears I’ll be 40 with a 5 year old.  I’ve heard having children a little later in life doesn’t keep you young, but it keeps you active.


I’m chilling an expensive bottle of Welch’s Grape Juice to celebrate tonight.  Should be a total blast.  I’d invite you all to my party, except there isn’t one.  I’m not bitter.  And, don’t y’all run out and get me something….until, I get you my correct address. 

Thirty-five.  35.  THIRTY-FIVE! 

Here are 35 random things I’ve learned in 35 years. 

1. When a toilet appears clogged, don’t flush it just to see what happens.

2. Don’t spend money you don’t have unless you really can’t live without those Ugg boots.  And, you can’t.  Trust me.  Wait, is that bad advice?

3. Take your sunglasses off when a police officer pulls you over for speeding.  I’m just sayin’. 

4. Put your preferred thing to do aside, and play Sorry! with your kids.  Even if it does take FOR-EVER.

5. Suck it up.  It’s not always about you.

6. Forgive.  Immediately.

7. Go get your child out of bed on occasion, and put her in bed with you.  Just because you want to snuggle.  She is your child.  And, the years do fly by.

8. Pride doesn’t work well in a marriage.  Humble yourself, and speak kindly.

9. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Lord knows, I can’t lean on my own understanding.

10. It’s usually not as bad as it seems.

11. My husband is a terrible mind-reader, but he can make some mean cinnamon rolls.

12. Surround yourself with positive people.  Even funny people.  They make life bearable.

13. Listen intently to your little ones now, so they’ll share their heart when they are older.

14. Mosquitoes are aggravatin’.  Always.

15. Nothing good happens after midnight.  Get to where you’re gonna get by 12am. (Thank @jburengoss for that one.)

16. Whenever you feel disconnected from your Creator, do whatever you’ve gotta do to reconnect.  And fast.

17. Never say never.  It’s a very long time.

18. Honor your mom and dad for as long as you live.

19. I never want to exercise.  Ever.  But, I’m always happy I did.  *I need to remember this more often.*

20. Friends are great investments.

21. Junior Mints are always a good idea.

22. So is sweet tea.

23. And listening to Sting.

24. Meeting Sting is one of my favorite moments ever.

25. Right up there with graduating from college.  For real.

26. My Big Mama makes the best biscuits.  And, she makes me laugh.  I wish I could spend more time with her.

27. Divorce is hell.  Period.

28. Communicate, communicate, communicate with your spouse.  But, learn how to communicate the right way.

29. In all my travels and life experiences, I’ve seen nothing more beautiful than the birth of my children.

30. Contentment is bliss. 

31. Being with family is, too.

32. I love the local church.  Love it.  I’m so thankful for the Sunday experience with body of Christ.  Nothing refills your tank quite like it.

33. My prayer life is essential.

34. So is living a life of gratitude. *Though, I need gentle reminders of this.*

35.  And, I continue to learn how wide and long and high is the love of Christ.

I could add to this list.  So could you.

Wanna share sumpin’ you’ve learned?


Filed under God Stuff, gratitude, life, Love, Relationships, Spiritual Journey

Lessons in surrender.

Some things I’m learning in my little….okay, big surrendering of all of me to Him:

It’s a conscious effort every single day. 

Sometimes, I’m afraid of what He might want for me.

The whole, “I want what God wants, BUT….” isn’t gonna work.

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  (Proverbs 19:21)

He is concerned about me.

He knows what’s best for me.

Jesus knows what it feels like to surrender – “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  (Matthew 26:39)

He will give me the desires of my heart.  And, in this process, MY desires become HIS desires. 

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

What is God teaching you right now?


Filed under Spiritual Journey

Proud Parenting Moments.

Some smart philosopher once said,

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.”

Of all the lessons we teach our children, this is probably numero uno.  How we treat people comes up in conversation, in some shape or form, every day with my children {and usually between two siblings}.  I try to share Jesus with them, and how He walked out a life of being kind. 

As soon as John Henry got into the car the other day, he said, “Mom, there were some kids being mean to Hunter today.  So, I went and played with him.” 

Oh, how my heart leaped.  I could not have been more proud of my son.  I can’t imagine how our heavenly Father’s heart leaps every time we are kind to one of His children. 

It’s even greater than reading sight words in record time.

Later that evening, I told John Henry again how proud I was of him. 

“God is a good friend,” he responded.

I think he’s getting it. 

And, motherhood doesn’t get much better than that.

Share a moment when you were proud of your child being kind…..or just doing the right thing.


Filed under Motherhood, parenting

Still growing.

It’s been a learning, growing, stretching week.  Here are some highlights of things I’ve learned and re-learned:

I am not alone when I struggle.

Of all the voices I hear, nothing compares to His voice.

When we listen and obey His voice, we can’t go wrong.

To forgive is, indeed, divine.

The body of Christ is my family.

The things I think will impress my children, don’t.

Keep walking even when your feet get a little wet.

God is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

I am the mother.  She is the daughter.

If the only thing Christ ever did for me was save me by His grace, that would be enough.

He does more.

When I keep my eyes on my own needs, I take my eyes off of Him.

My Kung Fu skills embarrass my five year old.

There is no substitute for compassion. 

My dad is strong, and his heart is full of the love of Jesus Christ.

God loves turtles, too.

His plan is always better than my plan.

Taking the time to communicate with Kris is paramount.

Allowing Anna to mix her plaids and stripes is easier.

I am learning who I am in Christ, and who Christ is in me.

I have a lot to learn.


Filed under parenting, Spiritual Journey