NOW AVAILABLE – NEW RELEASE

NOW AVAILABLE – NEW RELEASE

I am pleased to announce the release of my first poetry collection – Seasons: A Cluster of Poetry.

What is different about this poetry collection? I’ve included an explanation of the inspiration behind each poem. I’m always curious as to what inspires others so I decided to share mine.

There are 5 signed limited edition broadsides available through my Etsy store as well which are poems included in this collection.

 

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

 

Enjoy!

Misty

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LEGGINGS AND TUNIC TOPS

LEGGINGS AND TUNIC TOPS

I have not been blogging regularly and it feels good this morning to sit down at my computer and type away.

The past month has been a whirlwind. I don’t know any other way to describe it. Life takes twists and turns sometimes that are so unexpected it doesn’t matter what you do to prepare.

My husband and I have been on a ketogenic diet since March 2016. Mid July I realized my weight loss had stalled for a few weeks. I thought maybe I needed to adjust my macros again and switch up the foods I had been eating. As most women do, I stood looking in the mirror sideways and sucked my stomach in, or at least I tried. Something was different.

I got out my pocket calendar and started counting backwards. Hmmm. Okay, nothing to worry about just yet. The next week, it was time to start worrying. I mentioned this to my husband and we decided we would give it another week .

The following Thursday, July 20th, I purchased a pregnancy test and it showed something we were told years ago would not be possible for us. I was pregnant.

In my early 20’s I was told it would be very difficult for me to ever get pregnant due to some health issues I had. I was okay with that. I sure wasn’t living for God at the time and was in no way thinking of kids being part of my future. When we got married, we never thought kids would be part of our future and we were okay with that. We thought we were going in a completely different direction.

It was the year we got married that I rededicated my life to Christ and things began turning around in my life. Those health issues I was having, I was healed of. A few years later I had developed some other health issues and after much trial and error and no answers, I was led to researching a Ketogenic diet and here we are. You can read all about that journey here.

So the past year and  half, I have lost 40 pounds, all the health issues disappeared and I’ve been healthier than I have ever been. I almost passed out when I saw the positive result on that first pregnancy test. I’m not kidding. I grabbed the bathroom counter to keep from falling over. I was in shock. I didn’t know what to think. This was so far from the direction we thought God was leading us. My husband’s reaction was about the same.

It was a very quiet night in the house because we were just speechless. We still didn’t believe it and because it was what they call a “faint” positive, we decided I would take another in the morning. I had bought a 3 pack.

The one the next morning was a definite yes. No doubts about it although we were still doubting. We ate breakfast, I got dressed and I called the doctor. It was Friday morning, the 21st, and they were going to see me that day whether they liked it or not. I just realized as I typed this I wrote the dates wrong on our chalkboard announcement. Winning at this “mom” thing already.

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Anyways, the doctors confirmed it and we had our first ultrasound appointment set for August 2nd.

Wow.

Talk about a turn of events. I’m 38, my husband is 40. This is not where we thought we would be at this point in life but we know God has great plans for us and for this child. They are already loved and adored by many and by us the most. I have already planned out their entire life and there will be no deviating from it (just kidding…kind of). We are learning as we go. Everything we say, think, do or decide now revolves around this child and their arrival.

I’ve already had the awkward moments of people putting their hands on my stomach unexpectedly. I’m nine weeks, all they are going to be feeling are some gas bubbles at this point in time. I think when people do that to me, I’m just going to put my hand on their stomach and stare intently. Maybe that will get the point across. I’ve already received private messages about vaccine/don’t vaccine and it’s been less than a week since we’ve announced it. This is one reason my husband and I discussed moving states away, only posting Facebook photos from the neck up for the next year and then show back up like, “Tada! We have a baby!”

We are very thankful for our families who we announced it to first. We told our pastors next who kept it a secret until this past Sunday where it was announced to our church family. I heard exactly what I thought we would hear, a unison gasp of shock and then cheers and clapping. After that, it was announced to the world through social media.

I have felt great. Tired more than anything and a little nauseous off and on, but otherwise in a great mood and happy. Although I’m considered high-risk because of my age, I’m not under any restrictions and keep on exercising (as I can) and eating a Keto diet which is very healthy for the baby. I’ve incorporated a few darker berries to the mix and if I can stay away from the chewy chocolate chip cookies that this kid wants to devour like cookie monster, I’ll be doing good.

I don’t have much time today though I have a lot more to say. We have a funeral to attend this afternoon, the second family member in the past month. Life is precious, amazing, unique, miraculous, baffling, and everything else. My future blog posts will probably involve this journey we are on but as always, pointing out God in every step of the way.

And from here on out, it’s leggings and tunic tops! Amen.

Psalm 139:14 (KJV)

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

GARBAGE DAY

GARBAGE DAY

Tuesday is garbage day at our house.

Every Monday evening the garbage can gets wheeled down to the curb and every Tuesday a big truck with a mechanical arm drives by and uses its scary robot appendage to pick the can up and shake it violently over the open bin above.

It drives away with all the rotten food leftovers, chicken parts from last night’s dinner, un-recyclable plastics and other random disposables so it doesn’t hang around and stink up our garage.

Tuesday evening, one of us (usually my husband) will drag the can back up the driveway and return it to its spot, tucked neatly away in the open  garage. 

Today I woke up feeling like that garbage can. For a little over a year my husband and I have followed a Ketogenic way of eating (low carb, high fat). The first six months we were very strict and did not waiver from the foods we were supposed to eat. During the next six months, we would occasionally have a meal that didn’t quite fit the macros if we were traveling. 

The past couple of weeks we have blown the diet out of the water. Last night, we sunk the battleship with dinner out and ice cream for dessert. 

I woke up at 4 am with stomach pain and just an overall feeling of yuck. 

The Keto diet has been life giving. It has made many health issues I was having before disappear. When I’ve had too many carbs or processed foods, symptoms start reappearing until I’m back on a full Keto diet. 

Being on the Keto diet, I have never felt better. I can tell my body has healed from the inside. When I do have a meal that causes me to feel off, it amazes me that for years I lived feeling that way. 

By tomorrow I’ll be back to normal and feeling good again. 

Early this morning, laying wide awake and having carb regret, I used the time to talk to God. 

He reminded me of what the Word does for us spiritually and what feeding ourselves “garbage” can do to us spiritually. 

There are so many things in this world that bombard us daily in the form of advertising. Everywhere we look – television, social media, other people’s conversations – we are inundated with ungodly thoughts and ideas. We are like a garbage can that needs to be emptied at least once a week or we will stink. 

Why let it even sit there for a week though? We have access to the Word and it instructs us to renew our minds. 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2 KJV

We spend more time on social media than we do in the Word. We have the opportunity to read the Word daily, but do we? 

Many of us will make sure to get our exercise in every morning or every evening to keep our physical bodies in good shape and working properly but do we give that much attention to our spiritual life?  

What are we renewing our mind with? The Word or the world? 

God reminded me this morning that spiritually we can feel yucky when we are feeding ourselves with the wrong spiritual food. 

What have you been feeding on and what have you thrown away? Is it time to empty the garbage can? 

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods.

1 Corinthians 6:19‭-‬20 KJV

 

SWALLOWED IN VICTORY

SWALLOWED IN VICTORY

One week ago today, July 7, 2017, we lost my husband’s sister to a tragic car accident involving an 18-wheeler. He received the call from his dad about noon and my husband immediately called me.

Shock.

Unbelief.

She was 43 years young. She was in her prime. She had dreams.

From what we understand, it was instant. No pain, no suffering.

Saturday we went and spent a few hours with his dad and step-mom at their house. Sunday we went to church. Monday we spent at the funeral home for visitation and again on Tuesday before the funeral that afternoon. Wednesday we were back at church and yesterday we spent the day together and enjoyed it with a walk, a movie and a visit to the used book store. Today my husband is back at work and so am I, at home writing.

I’m not one to say nice things about people once they are gone unless they were true while they were living. My sister-in-law had so much love to give. From the moment I met her she treated me like family. She truly was one who never met a stranger. She didn’t care where you had been or what you had done, she looked past those things. She loved her family. She wasn’t perfect, neither am I and neither are you, but she loved with all she had.

Every death we experience in this life, brings us closer to our own. It makes us stop and ponder our own mortality. It puts things into perspective, even if for a short while before we go back to living like it’s never going to happen to us.

But it will. It will happen. Each of us will pass from this life.

It doesn’t matter if a death is expected or unexpected, they each leave their mark and they each hurt in their own way.

The death of a child, a parent, a grandparent, a sibling, a distant relative, a friend…they are all different.

I’ve lost all of my grandparents, a brother, uncles and aunts, cousins, my dad, and now a sister-in-law.

The one that affected me the most was my dad. It completely changed who I am. It left a hole in my heart that was unbearable. A hole so deep that it went straight through. I thought it would be there forever. That is partially true. That hole is still there but it’s filled with God’s love. I picture it like a knot in a tree…you can see the mark and you know something happened there but it’s filled in now. It just looks a little different.

His death affected me so greatly that I couldn’t attend my uncle’s funeral six months later and I couldn’t attend my grandmother’s funeral six months after that. I wasn’t ready.

I prayed every day for months that God fill the hole in my heart. He did and it took time. It wasn’t instant. I still pray that way when I’m more aware of it.

I learned a lot about God when I lost my dad. I think it was mostly because of how much I had to lean on the Word and who God was in my life, every moment of every day, because otherwise, I wouldn’t have made it.

Right now I hurt for her husband, her kids, her parents, her brothers and sisters, her family and her friends. The pain and loss doesn’t go away when the funeral ends. If anything, it’s more apparent when everyone else goes back to their regular, uninterrupted life, and yours is not the same. There is an empty place. There is a different atmosphere the person you loved used to fill. There are routines that are forever changed. There are realizations that come with time that you didn’t think about before. There are moments you don’t know what to do because you want them there so much. Even in all of this, you want people to stop looking at you with that look. You want things to be as normal as possible and realize that means a new normal. Life will never be the same as it was before.

I don’t know how people do it without God.

I wish there was a way to help people understand how good He is. How much He loves us. How much He comforts us. How much He sustains us. How much strength He provides for us.

I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to blaming God for bad things that happen in our lives, for the hurt we endure. When I lost my dad I had a heart to heart with God. In tears I told Him I was angry with Him and I wanted to blame Him for it all but that I was choosing to seek Him in all things instead. I wanted wisdom and understanding. I wanted to see His goodness in all of it. I didn’t want the enemy to win. I refused to let the enemy steal, kill and destroy anything else in my life.

There is no price I can put on the things I learned by seeking God during that time. It’s been over seven years now and I am still learning from it. I believe I will the rest of my life.

Each passing day and with each death experienced, I develop a deeper understanding of 1 Corinthians 15: 45-58 –

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

To know the Law, the Law of Moses, and understand that it pointed out the sins in people’s lives is a revelation in the Word. They weren’t just laws to live by – obeying these laws won’t get you into heaven – they were laws meant to shine a light on the sin in people’s lives and how much they needed God.

Adam was created flesh. His flesh sinned, his flesh died. We were created for a purpose. To love. When the flesh chose disobedience over love, God devised a plan – out of His love for us.

Satan thought he had won.

But God.

God made himself flesh, a living sacrifice. Jesus Christ. The Anointed One.

This is how we have victory over death. Death takes life away. Believing in Jesus gives us eternal life. It makes a way. It opens a door. It pulls us out of the grave and makes us walk in the reality of who God made us to be and what we are called to be: LOVE.

We will all perish one day. We will let go of this shell that houses our spirit and soul. The Word tells us the Law will not save us. The Word tells us that we have Christ living on the inside of us, that we were crucified with Him and that we have eternal life. There is hope once this flesh falls away. There is more once this flesh is no more. That is the victory. That is how satan loses. That is how his head is crushed under our feet – because God loved us enough to make a way. He didn’t let the story end when Adam sinned.

Don’t let your story end. Call on Him. Ask Him to give you wisdom and revelation in His Word. Take your victory. Refuse to be a victim of the enemy.

The verse that carried me through so many days when I wanted to give up and stop fighting the good fight of faith, was Jeremiah 33:3 –

Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV)

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

The words “great and mighty” don’t necessarily mean “good and happy”. They mean God will walk with you and talk to you and explain things to you, if you let Him.

I know where I’m going when I leave this body because I have victory over death.

Do you?

 

 

 

Top of the Mountain

Top of the Mountain

Yesterday, July 4th, my husband and I went hiking in Cloudland Canyon, GA. It’s been 5 or 6 years since we have been there and I’m not sure why since it’s right in our back yard and one of the prettiest places around here.

 

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According to his fitness tracker, by the time our day was finished, we had climbed the equivalent of almost 40 flights of stairs. It only counts the ascension, not the descension. If you have never been, there are a few different trails that lead down into the canyon to the bottom of waterfalls and a majority of the trails are man-made stairs.

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We have had heavy rains in the last week including yesterday morning so water was falling everywhere and it was beautiful. Best time to go.

We hiked the overlook trails and stood on the wooden fenced in cliffs overlooking the Tennessee Valley. Breathtaking. It looks and smells so much better from up there.

 

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I was thankful I took an extra pair of shoes because the ones I started out in provided me with a nice blister on the back of each heel. I need to invest in some lightweight summer hiking shoes.

We hiked down to Cherokee Falls to dip our toes in the rushing water, which felt nice on the puffy blisters as well. We watched a crayfish climb all over a submerged rock, hanging on for dear life as the water gushed over it.

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Cherokee Falls, Cloudland Canyon, GA

 

After we came back up from Cherokee Falls we decided to drive around the rest of the park to check out the disc golf course and fishing pond. We parked and started towards the fishing pond trail, unsure how far out the pond actually was.

There were no other people in this part of the park and it was eerily quiet on the path. My husband even commented how little wildlife was around. We heard some cicadas but that was it. Not a squirrel or bird in site. We also noticed that yet again, we were headed down meaning our walk back would be up.

When we reached the end of the trail that opened up into a large field, watch tower and the pond, it was serene. Dragonflies were zipping around and the uncut grass tickled my ankles.

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We decided it was time to call it a day and begin heading back home. By this time I could feel the burn in my calves and thighs from the canyon hike we had already accomplished. I was feeling good though because I hadn’t used my inhaler at all. I have mild asthma and I remember the last time we hiked the canyon, I was not in the shape I am now and I weighed 40 pounds more. It was horrible to say the least. I thought I would never catch my breath and that I would explode from exhaustion right there on the trail in front of everyone.

This time, the ascension was still a workout but not like it was before. I know my health has improved and I’m rebuking asthma one hike at a time. Another amazing feat for this hike was the fact that on Tuesday evening, earlier last week, I could barely walk. I had aggravated a bulged disc in my lower back and was not doing so well. Again, prayer and knowing the Word and what it says about healing, had me back on my feet by Friday.

On this last leg of the hike back to the car, as we were climbing the trail, the Holy Spirit began ministering to me about this season I’ve been in. If you have kept up with my blog, you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about. If not, I’ll quickly give an explanation.

I’m in a season that I’ve never been in before. I’m in a career transition that has required me to step out in great faith, partly by choice and partly by force. As I’m typing this, I realized it’s like hang gliding tandem. You want to hang glide but you can’t do it on your own the first time. You have to fly tandem. It’s in those moments of stepping off the concrete pad that even if you wanted to stop, you couldn’t because your trainer has built the momentum and is jumping whether you like it or not. We stopped on top of Lookout Mountain at the flight center on our way home yesterday to admire the view and just realized how it played into the lesson God was teaching me all day yesterday.

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Anyways, back to the last part of the hike. As we were heading back towards the car, my lungs were beginning to burn which usually happens right before I have to use my inhaler. I slowed my pace a bit and we took a couple of breaks so I could catch my breath and regulate my breathing. I had made it that far and I didn’t want to resort to the inhaler, I wanted to stand firm in my faith and on the Word.

At the beginning of this season, I was led to read the story of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22). The focus this entire time has been his obedience in climbing the mountain. All along I knew this was a “mountain” I’ve been climbing but yesterday things just clicked. There have been some really good days these past few months but there have been some really rough ones as well. Days where my faith was slipping, like I did yesterday in the silty sand where the rain had created some slippery conditions. I didn’t fall though and I kept on hiking. Those rough days I slipped but I kept on hiking – kept on building my faith.

The hike down into the valley was pretty easy and going down there we knew we would have to come back up and it would be a little more difficult than descending. The view in the canyon was spectacular but so was the view from the top of the mountain.

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As we headed towards the car on that last little hill, I saw our car off in the distance and I thought about how close I am to having my heart’s desires. I can see it off in the distance. I’ve hiked down to the canyon of this season and I’ve been climbing back out for a while. There are times I’ve had to stop and catch my breath. There are parts that have been harder than others. There are times my footing has slipped but the goal has not changed and I have continuously pressed towards the mark.

The times I thought I had failed on this journey were not failure, they were just part of the hike. When we stood at the bottom of the canyon watching the water rush by, it was peaceful. When we stood on the overlook cliffs viewing the valley down below, it was peaceful. The hike in-between the two points, we learned. We learned where to put our feet to keep us safe. We learned about the rock formations because my husband is a Geologist and every hike is a science learning opportunity. We learned what shoes to wear and not to wear. We learned how much endurance we had. We learned how hard we could push ourselves. Most importantly, we learned how beautiful and important every step of the journey really is.

I don’t think  I would ever actually hang-glide but I’ve reached that jumping off point and God is my trainer. He’s my tandem partner. He’s pushing and I’m strapped in about to view it all from above.

Climbing the mountain takes time. It may even require a few breaks here and there. You will more than likely lose your footing in the slippery areas. Always remember though, it’s just as beautiful at the bottom as it is at the top and it’s up to you how much you learn along the way.

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Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

 

 

WORKBOOK IN THE WORKS

WORKBOOK IN THE WORKS

I currently have three workbooks available through Amazon and am working on the next one. I thought it was going to be on 1 & 2 Corinthians but I’ve been re-directed to do this one on Galatians.

This first series are six-week studies. I believe once I do begin a workbook for books such as 1 & 2 Corinthians, the format may change some to accommodate the length of those books and the depth of the topics they cover.

 

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Sample page of current format. 

 

I haven’t been blogging as much lately as I have had a lot going on. I am in the middle of heavy edits on my manuscript for my first full book as well as writing a 365 day devotional. That doesn’t include the new workbook. All is coming together however in His perfect plan.

Check out the workbooks. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Get blessed!