Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Worship Wednesday

 Three weeks from yesterday I will be at a Hillsong concert in Birmingham with a huge group of people. I cannot wait! Because it is not just a concert. Don't get me wrong, I love concerts. But this will be a worship experience with some people I am the closest to! Which leads me to my song for this week. This is from Hillsong Live's new cd- Cornerstone.

Get it
Listen to it
Love it

The words say it all...Chills are headed your way!

Beneath the Waters
This is my revelation
Christ Jesus crucified
Salvation through repentance
At the cross on which He died

Now hear my absolution
Forgiveness for my sin
And I sink beneath the waters
That Christ was buried in

I will rise, I will rise
As Christ was raised to life
Now in Him, now in Him
I live

I stand a new creation
Baptized in blood and fire
No fear of condemnation
By faith I'm justified

I will rise, I will rise
As Christ was raised to life
Now in Him, now in Him
I live

I rise as You are risen
Declare Your rule and reign
My life confess Your Lordship
And glorify Your Name
Your Word it stands eternal
Your Kingdom knows no end
Your praise goes on forever
An on and on again

No power can stand against You
No curse assault Your throne
No one can steal Your glory
For it is Yours alone
I stand to sing Your praises
I stand to testify
For I was dead in my sin

But now I rise, I will rise
As Christ was raised to life
Now in Him, now in Him
I live

I will rise, I will rise
As Christ was raised to life
Now in Him, now in Him
I live

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 update

So we're almost done with eight months of 2012. SCARY! I was browsing my phone today and came across on my Notes app my list of what I wanted for our family in 2012. One word can describe what is on there.


Let me give you a little glimpse....
Learn to coupon for groceries - FAIL
Learn to sew - Not fully there yet
Write music- FAIL - I haven't written one song since April of 2011
Start exercising- EPIC FAIL
Run a 5K- From the above answer I think you know how that one went
Weight down to 1** - Continuance of the above two answers
Date nights every other week - FAIL
Take a trip with friends - FAIL
Remember people's birthdays and send a card - FAIL

Okay Okay. Well it hasn't turned out exactly how I anticipated. So here is my plan. I'm going to make a new list, and a new plan. Why would this work itself out you say? Well this time- I'm going to realize that I cannot do all of this on my own. I'm going to rely on God to help me. And for those things He can't just do for me (like take my weight off) - I'm going to ask Him to lead me to those who can help me. I'm going to try not to focus so much on other things so that I have time for the things that I obviously found important. I get too wrapped up in having things clean and put away and "finished" that I don't get to the other things. So here is my new plan...

Start exercising and get fit - don't worry about the number on the scale
Schedule a date night every other week Remember it is okay to ask someone else to watch Hutton
Remember people's birthdays - Put them all on the calendar and send personalized card instead of a purchased birthday card
Have two hours by myself every week to
be creative and let the songs come
Find a way to encourage my husband daily
Get up every morning early and spend time with the Lord -
then pray that He will multiply my time so that I
can get to everything else on the list
Set aside one night a week to sew -
Remember- Chris has to practice for his hobby and so do I
So if I'm not going to coupon,
find a way to make groceries cheaper and last longer!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sending you to Bonnie By the Bay

On this Monday I was going to post about my friend Brad's sermon from yesterday. He has moved his sweet family down to Mobile and is the Pastor of the Contemporary Service (and much more!) at Dauphin Way UMC. So like any other day I pull up my blogger and take a stroll through my daily reads and realize my sweet friend Bonnie has already written about it! She did it so eloquently I knew I had to send you there. So I am going to send you there. But first, let me tell you a little bit about this person you will be so privileged to learn about through her writing.

Bonnie and I have an interesting story. We went to Elementary School together and lived around the corner from eachother. I'm telling you- the most beautiful elementary school girl I've EVER known! Well after 6th grade she moved off to Auburn and that was that, or so I thought. Flash foward to August of 2004. It is move in day and I'm unloading my stuff into my dorm (310 Lupton from what I remember... or was it 210. ... who knows?!?) Anyway- I realize that this same Bonnie Nell Jackson lived just a few short doors down from me! Thank you God for putting this girl back in my life!

Some Auburn friends at my baby shower in December! Bonnie is in the animal print top with black pants!

Anyway, we became fast friends again and spent our college experiences together. College was a whirlwind. I won't get into the whole mess of that but what I can honestly speak for both of us is that we have grown leaps and bounds since then and are happy to stand and say that God has done so much change and refining in our life and we are so thankful. We're especially thankful that He led us to our husbands that we are so very grateful for.

So I don't get to see her as often but yesterday I did get to have a quick catch up conversation and a hug and hope to see her again soon! Check out her blog though, she's in graduate school for Education, starting her business "Bonnie on the Bay" making beautiful home decor items from oysters, working at a plastic surgery office, being a beautiful budget friendly decorator, and awesome wife to her wonderful husband Matthew!

So with that- I'm sending you on the way to Bonnie by the Bay!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My little secret about boys

As I write this I am fully aware that I have only been a Mom for six months and my sweet little boy will grow up and over time his little demeanor and personality will change and grow and develop. And as I write this know that I don't have anything against girls, I love little girls, and if God blessed us with a little girl my heart would be so full and would love all the dressing up, bows, princesses, ribbons, and love that go along with it.

A large part of me truly desires and could see us with a house of boys! Sweet, dirty, rough, some artsy, some athletic, some studious, all playing, scraped knee, mud in their fingernails boys. I look forward to the late nights at the ballpark, and the guitar lessons with callused fingers, and the clothes I just bought that now have holes, and the higher car insurance because boys are "risky", and so much more. Right now- I see so much of that in my future and it makes me smile. I want to raise boys who always love their Mom and treat her with love and respect. Boys who adore their Daddy and want to model him in everyway. Boys- I picture a house full of boys. Our boys, our friends boys, our boys friends! Loud-dirty- silly BOYS!

I'm not sure when this really changed in me. I've always wanted at least one of each. I always assumed I would keep trying until I had a girl. Some of you may have heard the saying, "A son is a son until he chooses a wife, but a daughter is yours for life." Many people have seen this in their lives, their childrens lives. Daughters tend to stay closer to their parents. Parents tend to stay closer to their daughters.

Sidenote: I could write a totally different post about how I think that is a horrible cycle and people act that way because they just assume that is how it is and it becomes a sad self-fulfilling prophecy. So if that is true, I pray I'm a mom who can break out of that cyle and stays close and involved in my son's lives without being overbearing.

Back to the point, I see cute dresses and bows and such and my heart melts. I love it. I have a niece who I adore. I have friends with sweet little girls and I love them as if they were my own family. For us though, I would be completely fulfilled with a house full of boys. Now, don't let me speak for my husband. I am beyond positive I would melt seeing him with a little daddy's girl that has him wrapped around her finger!

So, that is my little secret. I'm not God (as we well know)! I cannot predict the future! So who knows what our house will be filled with in 10 years. Whether it be a house full of girls with little Hutton leading the way, a house full of rugrat boys, or a mix of both- I know God will bless our home, bless our children and we will have a barrel of fun raising a couple of Whatley munchkins!

Friday, August 17, 2012


  This will tell you how weird I am- everytime I think about saying goodbye to people the song "Leaving on a jet plane" rolls into my head. So yes that is what I have been humming all day today.
St. James has been an incredible church for us and has brought us a multitude of friends, mentors, and more since we both became members there. A long time ago some leaders of the church decided on a mission for the church based on what they felt God was leading them to do. I may not have it perfect but it is something like

To build up, empower, and send out fully devoted followers of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Well God sure wasn't kidding about that SENDING OUT part. We have said a lot of goodbyes and been to a lot of goodbye parties in our time at St. James.

Jonathan and Amanda Solvason headed out to New Orleans and man has God been up to some awesome things in their lives! Amanda is now on staff with Church of the King and if you know her you need to get her to tell you about all God is up to there!

Jeremy and Christy Smith (and Aidan- Maddox wasn't here yet!) are down in Niceville, Fl and God is using their sweet fam in so many ways. Jeremy is getting to preach weekly (one of the best preachers I know) and Christy is sharing her angelic voice with those Floridians

Jacob Eubanks is on his third extended trip to Zambia with his project- Water 282. Look it up, dig a well! Thankfully he returns for visits about twice a year!

Lester and Janeese Spencer (and Harden, Ciara, and Josh) are now serving at Gulf Breeze UMC in Gulf Breeze, FL. They poured so much into St. James and we know the group down at Gulf Breeze is thrilled to have them! Those women didn't know what they had coming! :)

Youth Interns of past (Sam, Woods- we're so glad you're semi back Woods!)- They are out beginning their full-time out of college ministry and I can't wait to see what God has in store!

Brad and Rachel Goode (and Caroline and Amelia) are now at Dauphin Way UMC in Mobile as Brad is serving as their Pastor over their Contemporary Service (I'm sure there is a more official name) and Rachel is beginning to delve into using her many gifts of writing, speaking, encouraging, etc. to become a part of the adoption network there! In addition to getting to stay home and spend quality time with two of the cutest girls I know! The contemporary service is growing weekly as Brad shares his gift of words that God has richly blessed him with! He probably already knows everyones names!

Mike Rollins took a big step and is now the Youth Minister at Dauphin Way UMC in Mobile. Mike- we're so proud of you and know that God is using you in big ways! Those youth are laughing all the time we know!

Raleigh and Christen Price (and Adeline and Maralee- thankfully they aren't 100% gone yet) are in the process of returning home to Dothan as Christen is going back to work in the children's ministry at a Methodist Church there. She has a gift and love for children and they are blessed to have her!

And then last night we did another goodbye party for sweet Trey, Abbey and Lilly Broox Carey. Trey has been given the opportunity to return home to Murfreesboro, TN and will be their Associate Pastor/Youth Minister. Abbey and Lilly Broox will be a part of their amazing preschool there and they will continue to touch the lives of children and youth!

We are immensely thankful for all of these people and the impact each of them have had on our lives. You have each loved us, poured into us, laughed with us, and been a part of the most memorable and important parts of our own life (wedding, Hutton's birth). We could never thank you enough for that. God is doing so much with each of you in your lives. His hand is certainly on each of you and your families and I look forward to following each of you in your lives and ministry as you continue to follow His path for your life. I just wanted to share how much we love you and will always love you and you will always be in our hearts, prayers, memories and we love visits!

With that said, we welcome with open arms those people who God has planned to come to St. James. We will love you as we have loved them and cannot wait to meet you!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Baby!!

I have a million things I could blog about today but I have chosen to announce our new family member!

Boyd Sutherland Caldwell
8 lbs 12 oz
19 in. long
Proud Parents: Sara and Tyler Caldwell

The Whatley Trio about halfway through the process...
Sara looked beauitful the entire time!

Monday night we welcomed our first nephew into our family as Sara and Tyler had their first baby Boyd. After 19 hours of labor (WHEW!) he finally decided to come out. He's doing wonderful and so is Momma Sara. He's already a good eater and a little chunk! We can't wait to spend more time with him and know Hutton will have fun showing his new cousin the ropes!

Sara and Tyler- WE LOVE to babysit and Hutton can't wait for playdates!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Worship Wednesday

We sang this song last Sunday in church and I find myself singing it in my car everyday! I made my favorite parts bigger than the rest. Our days are always changing. We find ourselves constantly busy surrounded by change and so much going on. I pray that everyday I wake up singing and praising the Lord no matter what has happened or what is to come. That part seems possible right... after a full nights rest I can praise Jesus and thank Him. But can I still be doing it after a long day of work, spit up, diaper changes, exhaustion, washing bottles... I pray that for all of us today. If you started your day off rough, it isn't too late to turn it around- try worshipping. It is incredibly difficult to stay filled with anger, resentment, frustration, etc. when you are worshipping. No matter what comes of the day, the Lord is your rock. May we all still be singing when the evening comes.

If you know my husband and me, we love worship. I love private worship, I love corporate worship. I love worship and praise music. We do the contemporary thing but I love old hymns. I feel closer to God in times of worship. That is part of why I love this song... so much of it is about just that- worshipping! So you know why that second part is highlighted where it speaks of our praise being unending and worshipping forevermore. I love the idea of getting to Heaven and gathering with every tribe and every tongue and worshipping forever. I get covered in chills thinking about that!

Side Note: Matt Redman= amazing Christian songwriter (and singer).

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before

O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hard Honesty

A week ago I would have told you that motherhood has been far easier than told, expected, and anticipated. Hutton has been a great sleeper, eater, incredibly happy disposition and cuter than I could have imagined.

I feel guilty even saying this, but the reality of the challenges of motherhood hit hard.

For over a week we have had lots of sicknesses rolling through our house. The worst of it hit Hutton Monday. I picked up a pale, unresponsive, heaving, coughing, throwing up bile, boy who seemed lifeless and whose eyes rolled in the back of his head. I was terrified. I tried to be strong. I rallied the family troops, made a plan, and then sat in my car holding him crying my eyes out and praying he would be ok.
It's been a hard hard week. My baby who rarely fusses spent a whole day crying. I was home with him but I gave in and called Chris to come help me for 30 minutes so I could finish getting ready. It was the first time I really felt I had no idea what I was doing. My little bugger had a stomach bug, a cold, an ear infection, and a fever that came and went. He was worn out, I was worn out. I used up almost half of my remaining time off, I missed a wedding party, we missed our first night away together, I missed girls night out, I missed sewing class. Don't hear me wrong- I willingly traded all that to be home with my sick munchkin and comfort him but it wore me out.

Well today the worst of it has passed, Hutton went back to school and I went back to work. I'm worn out, but looking forward to maybe our second date night since Hutton was born. I'm looking forward to a weekend of rest and rejuvenation come Monday morning!

For those of you that knew, thank you for the prayers. I truly had never been so terrified as when I picked him up Monday morning. For those of you that called, texted, visited, or brought me dinner- you're truly the best! It was greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Worship Wednesday

I can't express how much I love this song. The message is truly so simple. It's about following God- in every day. What you do, where you go, what you pray, what you say, in your life at all times. Hope it encourages you to surrender to Him in all areas of your life.

Where you go I go
What you say I say
What you pray I pray

Where you go I go
What you say I say
What you pray I pray

Jesus only did, What he saw you do
He would only say, What he heard you speak
He would only move, When he felt you lead
Following your heart, Following your spirit

How could I expect to walk without you
When every move that Jesus made was in surrender
I would not begin to live without you
For you alone are worthy you are always good

You are always good
You are always good
Always good
Always good
Where you go I go
What you say I say God
What you pray I pray
What you pray I pray
(Repeat a few times)

Though the world sees and soon forgets
We will not forget
Who you are and what you've done for us
(Repeat a few times)