Tuesday, November 29, 2011

15 Months and Breath-Holding :-)

Well, we finally had an eventful well child check folks. That's right, Ry was a little stinker :-) Yesterday we went for Ryan's 15mos well child visit. She weighs 22lbs and is 31inches tall (both around the 60%). Everything checked out great, which is awesome! Then, shot time.

She needed 3 immunizations. Normally, she cries and then gets over it pretty quickly. Not this time. She cried and then decided not breathing was a good idea. DEFINITELY, not a good idea :-) She breath-held for so long she transiently altered oxygen delivery to her brain and it kinda looked like she had a seizure. Yep, freaky.

Now, I've heard of this and seen some breath holding spells that are pretty impressive but it is a completely different thing when it is Ryan. And, I had never seen one that resembled seizure activity. Haha! Thankfully the nurse and everyone were very calm, Ryan calmed down and was promptly back to her bubbly self :-)

Pretty sure mom only wants that to be a one time occurance. I thought Matthew was going to pass out, haha! Overall, it was a great visit. I am so thankful for a beautiful and healthy baby girl! (wow, she really isnt a baby any more)

Love to all!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

'Tis the Season

'Tis the season for all of the below wonderful things :-)
Yes, we actually put up our tree last week, BEFORE Thanksgiving.GASP!!!!

Usually that never happens in our house. For one, I never plan ahead (shocking, I know). Second, I am always running around like a crazy person this time of year and remember about the second week of December that we need to put up the tree. However, like always, my work schedule dictated otherwise and it was either put it up last week or the week before Christmas. I opted for the former so we could enjoy for longer than 1 week :-) The picture quality isn't great but we had so much fun.

 And Ry just thinks the tree is too cool! We are teaching her not to touch (ha ha, not going well for us :-) but otherwise she hasn't bothered any other decorations. Here she is posing with her "horsey", as she calls it. Is that how you spell it?? I have no idea but you get the idea.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is truly in the Christmas Spirit!

Love to all!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some kind of Love

 At worship this morning, we finished a long series regarding 1 Kings. 1 Kings is a book about the consequences of sin (stretching over years and years), the judgement of God, and true worship and redemption. Friends, God is who He says He is and God will do what He says He can do. This morning, after wrapping up the book, we concluded with a passage from Ephesians 2. This passage describes how salvation and true freedom are a gift from God, not something we could ever earn, achieve for, or be good enough to obtain on our own. This is what makes Christianity different from all other belief systems. Our hope rests solely in the unending and merciful love of a God who simply wants us, regardless of our faults, our short comings or our failures. I know, Wow!

Then, I come home and open my daily devotional to read the following. It was just too good to try to summarize in my own words so I copied it word for word :-) Maybe God is trying to teach me something. You think?

" I AM PLEASED WITH YOU, MY CHILD. Allow yourself to become fully aware of My pleasure shinning upon you. You don't have to perform well in order to receive My Love. In fact, a performance focus will pull away from Me, toward some sort of Pharisaism. This can be a subtle form of idolatry: worshiping your own good works. It can also be a source of deep discouragement when your works don't measure up to your expectations. Shift your focus from your performance to My radiant Presence. The Light of My Love shines on you continually, regardless of your feelings or behavior. Your responsibility is to be receptive to this unconditional Love. Thankfulness and trust are your primary receptors. Thank Me for everything; thrust in Me at all times. These simple disciplines will keep you open to My Loving Presence."

Jesus Calling
by Sarah Young

How long will it take me to truly get that? To truly understand the depths of this Love that saved my soul for all eternity?? Idon't know friends. But I am so thankful it is Truth and that He continually reminds me :-) For more about the above passage, try Ephesians 2: 8-9; 3: 16-19; and Psalm 62:8.

All is Grace,


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lead me....

It's the one place I can be me. The place that accepts me for who I am. The place I can turn to any time or anywhere, regardless of the baggage I will bring with me. It's the one place I can go and ALWAYS leave changed for the better. May I strive to live all my days leading me here. Heck, I'd prefer to just stay.

All is Grace (Because of Christ alone)

Monday, October 31, 2011

True Wholeness

"Wholeness - soul wellness - does not come to those are only half way committed to it. It is for the person who is tired of living for themselves or as a victim to their experiences...the one who desires to find their true identity... the one with worldly success who still longs fro more. Wholeness is available to the person who wants to no longer be defined or limited by anything and is willing to do whatever it takes to change."

~Lisa Whittle
"Choosing Well"
(Eccl. 10:2a)
All is Grace!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"....think about such things."

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Phil 4:8

Do you do this? Regularly? Yeah, me either. 

One of my bible study readings this morning discussed how  we should hold our thoughts to higher standards, that we are often times haunted by thoughts that are in no way validated or true. 

“You are not liked.”
“Who are you to think you could do that?”
“Why did you say that? Everyone thinks you’re annoying (or stupid).”
“Your kids just illustrated every inadequacy you have as a mom.”
“You are invisible.”
"No one cares."

Maybe not these specifically but probably some similar creep into the tiny crevices of our mind and pop into our thoughts far too often. How dare we?!?! 
We are to think on, ponder and park our minds on constructive thoughts—not destructive thoughts. Thoughts that build up not tear down. Thoughts that breathe life not drain the life from us. Thoughts that lead to goodness not anxiety.

So, here are three questions we’d do well to ask ourselves when thoughts are dragging us down. (This I stole from my bible study. I couldn't have said it better :-)

1. Did someone actually say this or am I assuming they are thinking it?
If they actually said it, deal with it then. If I’m assuming it, that’s unfair to them and unnecessarily damaging to me. Instead of staying anxious, I need to seek truth by seeking God and asking Him for peace.

(Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.)

2. Have I been actively engaging with truth lately?
The more we read God’s truths and let truth fill our mind, the less time we’ll spend contemplating untruths.
Thinking run-away, worrisome thoughts invites anxiety. Thinking thoughts of truth wraps my mind in peace and helps me rise above my circumstances.

(And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.)

3. Are certain situations or friendships feeding my insecurities?
If so, maybe I need to take a break from these for a season.
I need to seek friendships that are characterized by truth, honor, and love.

(Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.)

Heavens, this is not easy. I know these issues can be more complicated than three simple questions. But holding our thoughts accountable is a fantastic place to start! 

God's Word tells us, what we think dictates how we live and who we are. Then ladies, may we think upon and live out truth—and only truth today.
I'll think back on Aug 11, 2010. Daddy and daughter together for the first time.
Dear Lord, reveal to me untruths throughout my day that can so easily distract and discourage me. Help me see You and Your truth in all I do. You have taught that only Your truth will set me free. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

All is Grace,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


LOVE with this little munchkin!

This was her before church on Sunday. She practices her touchdown move all the time :-)


She had to take water breaks between touchdowns of course

Ready for the game!
"How do I look?"
 All is Grace!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Amazing Love (and the most adorable halloween fairy ever!)

Many of you know I have spent the last month working in our  NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). It is a place filled with so many things....love, heartache, struggle, fight, triumph, sadness and joy. Talk about a roller-coaster :-). Also as many of you know, it is one of my least favorite places to work. Well, it used to be. Not only is it a hard month for the reasons above but it is a month that takes me away from Matthew and Ryan quite a bit.

4 weeks ago I was DREADING being there. (I capitalized dreading because I cannot even begin to tell you how much I mean that word) However, our God is a big God and He did things in my heart over the past 4 weeks that only He could do. As the weeks wore on, I found myself praying over the babies, praying for myself, the nurses, the neonatolgisits, the parents, etc. I decided it was the only way I could survive without being completely depressed :-).

Well, one I realized something astonishing. I WAS HAPPY!!! And then I almost passed out, haha. God had completely changed my heart. It was the first time I had been up there and formed amazing relationships and bonds with the babies, their families and the staff. I loved it! I couldn't wait to see them everyday and help them (if I could). I seriously was laughing out loud in the middle of the unit when this realization hit me.

Now, I could never be a neonatologist but it is a place I will continue to pray for as I complete my training and years beyond. It takes wonderful, special people to work up there and even stronger families to endure the road with their baby fighting to live and grow.God also changed my heart about how I approach my calling in medicine and position as a physician. I have such a greater responsibility than simply helping heal physical needs. Now, this is something I've known with my head but never truly experienced with my heart...until this month. Thank you God! I hope that each month I am blessed to practice medicine I will remember this and practice it. 

I want to share one example of how God grew my faith this past month, just to give you a taste of what He did to my heart. I only feel comfortable sharing because the others involved shared the story with our entire church this morning and changed my heart forever.

During my first week on service, I happened to be on call and wandered over to the L&D "board". This board lists all of the women in labor, how many weeks along, complications, etc. In the unit, we look a lot at those under 35weeks because this means the baby will come visit with us for some time after they are born. I happen to notice a woman who was only 20wks along with the following after her name...IUFD or "intrauterine fetal demise". My heart right then completely broke for her and her family. As the night wore on I continued to pray for this woman I didn't know at all but knew she must be dying as her labored progressed. I thought about how she would deliver but her baby would not be living. He or she was already with Jesus.

I finished my call night and moved on. This was almost 4 weeks ago. This morning, Matthew and I were sitting in our worship service when a couple stood up to share how God had worked in one of the darkest moments of their life together. They shared how almost 4 weeks ago they went in for a routine ultrasound of their 5th child and later than night were put in the hospital to deliver a child who was already gone. They shared how awful a feeling to not hear a heartbeat they had heard at all previous visits, how wonderful the mother had felt during the pregnancy and how they already had a name. It was then that they shared their name and I gasped out loud, in the middle of the serivce. This was the same woman I prayed for almost all night. She was a member of my church, my fellowship and I didn't even know!!!

What an amazing God we serve and what an incredible Love, agape Love He gives and lavishes on us even on our darkest days and through our most difficult trials.

Thank you Father for changing my heart, growing my faith and allowing me the privilege to be your daughter!

Included are some pictures from our Halloween festivities thus far :-). Even more evidence of His Love...A beautiful healthy daughter and wonderful friends to share life with! I am one blessed girl indeed.
Happy Halloween to all!

All is Grace. His Grace.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ry's 1yr Pics (plus a wonderful weekend at the beach!)

We had an amazing weekend at the beach, as a family and with some dear friends of ours. We went to Hilton Head and rented a condo on the beach (well, just a few steps away :-). It was so much fun! Ryan and Erin have a precious little boy, Truitt, who is 7 months old. We are both walking through very similar places in life and their friendship is such a wonderful gift to Matthew and I. We played on the beach, shared stories, ate wonderful food and just relaxed....HEAVEN :-)

Unfortunately, I do not have pics from our trip (we forgot our camera, true Mattew and Bethany fashion). But,I do have pictures of the most adorable 13month old in the world! These are Ry's 1yr pictures, done by Susan Brewer. We came home to package on the door with the pics inside. I was so excited!!! They are precious! As you can seen, Ry is doing her "touchdown" pose in many of the pics, haha. Thought it was appropriate for this time of the year. She is growing so fast and even though parenting is becoming more challenging, she brightens our world even more!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend too!

All is Grace,


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Forever Ingrained

Ingrained: firmly fixed, deeply rooted

That is how many of us remember September 11, 2001. I have never written about that day, what I was doing, how I felt, etc. You see, I'm one of those girls who likes to move on. I like to feel, be changed or influenced, and then move on - sometimes forgetting the lesson. These are usually the lessons that are hard, painful, etc. What can I say? I'm weak like that.

Ten years later, I feel like it is time. There have been so many TV programs on recounting the events making that day come flooding back. You turn on the radio and someone is talking about it. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with remembering but like I said, I like to move on :-). I feel so selfish but please realize my reason for feeling that way is simply because of the pain and horror I remember about that day, and I wasn't anywhere near New York or DC. I didn't know anyone in the Twin Towers or the Pentagon. But I am American and those people were God's children, all of them.

In case an of you didn't know, I was somewhat of a dork in college. Not the kind that dresses with their pants pulled up high and being too short with thick glasses, but the kind that studied....a lot! I was a girl with a goal and that goal required me to spend countless hours in the library. At the time, I was attending a small liberal arts college in SW Virginia.

My morning, Sept 11, 2001.

6am - up, quick run

645 - quick shower, dressed

730am - arrived in the library for about 90mins of hardcore studying before my first class (dork, I know, I warned you)

Somewhere between 845-855am - told by a friend a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I though, what? That's crazy. Stupidly, I also thought "How does someone miss the Twin Towers?". 

Roughly 855-9am - I walked rather quickly back to my dorm room. For whatever reason, I had a sinking feeling.

Apprx 905am (VERY small school) - Open the door to my dorm room, see my roommate standing in front our tiny TV. I look up just as the 2nd plane crashes into the South Tower. We both gasped. My roommate, whom I love, said some choice words and I simply drop my bags and stare. I couldn't believe what I had just seen! I remember looking at her and saying, "What the heck is going on?"
I distinctly remember hearing girls in our dorm crying, screaming and carrying on. Our door was still open. I hadn't even thought about closing it. 

The times get a little fussy from here on out but I specifically remember looking at our clock at 910am and all I could think about was my family.

Roughly 915am - My phone rings and my dad is on the other line asking if I'm ok. Hearing his voice, I start crying. While on the phone, President Bush comes on the TV and everything goes silent. That's when we heard words that would change our lives and our country forever....Terrorist Attack. That's when the crying, screams and gasps occurred again.

Classes were canceled for the day but I distinctly remember going to the science building, searing for anything to distract my mind. But everyone was huddled in their room, traveling home to their loved ones (assuming they were close enough to drive).

The rest of the day the TV was on everywhere you went. Scenes from Ground Zero were haunting, once the ash and haze settled. The pictures of the fireman and service workers inspiring.

So, even though I am a girl who likes to "move on", that day has forever been ingrained in my mind and heart. I couldn't be happier that is the case. I am proud to live in this country with people who ultimately, I believe, want good for others. We showed that as Americans on 9.11 and the days that followed. I hope, as a nation, we are forever inspired and hold that day close enough that it betters us but doesn't make us bitter.  I pray for continued peace for all those who lost loved ones that day. I can't imagine how this weekend must feel for you.

Forever Ingrained. That's the best way I can sum up my thoughts about tomorrow.

All is Grace,

Monday, September 5, 2011

The BEST Best Friend

"I  AM YOUR BEST FRIEND, as well as your King. Walk hand in hand with Me through your life. Together we will face whatever each day brings: pleasures, hardships, adventures, disappointments. Nothing is wasted when it is shared with Me. I can bring beauty out of the ashes of lost dreams. I can glean Joy our of sorrow, Peace out of adversity. Only a Friend who is also the King of kings could accomplish this. There is no other like Me!"
~ Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young

This was the begining of my bible study this morning. WHOA!!! I had to stop after that one short paragraph and take all of it in. Do you ever think about your relationship with God this way? I sure as heck don't. But how unbelievably awesome!?!?!?  I mean really, the Lord of all, Alpha and Omega, King of kings wants to be/is/relishes in being my best friend? Seriosuly!? I am so unworthy of that kind of love. How sweet to think of this reality when we are walking through dark days or even more, joys. God lives in the world through His creation, Spirit and His children - you and me. My friends, is this sinking in to your mind and heart? Oh, I hope so!!! It will cause you to almost burst with joy :-).

For this sweet face I pray HE always remains my best friend. I pray I pave the way for Him to be hers as well.

All is Grace,


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All is Grace

I was inspired by this and simply wanted to share. You can listen here,
http://www.aholyexperience.com/ (which I 100% recommend) or simply read the lyrics below.

All is grace...

All is Grace excerpted lyrics from the album, Third World Symphony.

By Shaun Groves

You have loved us
You have loved us all
You have loved us all so
We love all ….

Thank you for Christ and cross
Through us tell the wand’ring
Thank you for making peace
Through us love our enemies …..

Thank you for daily bread
Through us fill the empty
Thank you for bodies whole
Through us mend the breaking

All is grace
All is grace
All is grace and grace enough
All is grace
All is grace
All is grace and grace enough
For all of us
- For all of us

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Half Way

Have you ever been in a place where you are just half way going through life? You almost feel numb because you are just trying to get through the day. This kinda sums up the way I've felt recently...until the last few days. As many of you are aware, I'm a somewhat busy girl :-) I'm a wife to an amazing man and a mother to one of the most unbelievable 1yr old's I have ever known (no bias of course).

One the side, I'm a 3rd year pediatric resident (i.e. a physician who is finishing training). Not mention all of our wonderful friends, small group, supper club, bible studies, etc. Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE all of those things. They are what keeps me moving and smiling.

However, for the past few months I've felt like I'm half-you-know-what'ing every single one of the things above, especially to Matthew, Ryan and my career. I felt so pulled in all directions and wasn't investing entirely to any of them. (that was a hard sentence to write). I struggle with working enough and too much, being home with my family, being a mother, a cook, an organizer, etc. I struggle with feeling called to medicine but not knowing quite which avenue yet (and figuring out how to do all of the above things the way God would have as well).

All you working moms can surely relate. But this was deeper than the everyday struggle I had grown to know and deal with. You see, usually when I'm feeling down about one area something happens in another and it all balances out :-). But this nagging or lack-there-of, however you wish to view it was different. Something big had been missing. Then one day it hit me, smack in the face. God's Grace and unrelenting love for me. It was like He all of a sudden said, "no more". You are mine and I want more time with you. I had become way to slack with the one thing in the world that was more important than all of the things I mentioned above. And now I have this crazy desire to spend time with Him, sing to Him, thank Him, on-and-on-and-on!

Now, I am in no way pretending I'm now perfect, but God is doing some crazy things in my heart. The old me would be barreling through wanting to know the end. However, this time, I'm trying to enjoy the ride to wherever He is taking me. I'm still struggling but things seem more....full.

That my friends is God's amazing grace! I am so thankful I serve a God and Lord who will relentlessly pursue and love me, regardless of how far I away I drift. More updates to come and He continues to change my heart!

I thought this pic summed up how I feel...excited and stoked about the waves ahead! :-)

Love to all!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ry's First Birthday Party

What a wonderful day! I think this is one of those experiences every parent holds onto and ours was very memorable! We are so blessed with such amazing family and friends. There were over 20 people at Ry's party. We had it at my grandparents dairy farm in Johnson City, TN (pics of house is below). Of course, Ryan was amazing. She hadn't napped or eaten well all day but loved every second. The cake was probably her favorite part. Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with us. It truly has been the most amazing year of my life!!

Good morning!! I'm ready for my party!!!

Digging in!!


These are Ry's great grandparents and their gift to her, her first red wagon!
The farm has been in our family for some time and they will be moving in about 4 weeks. Bittersweet and so thankful we were able to celebrate and capture some memories there!

Opening presents!

Sunglasses from Aunt Lisa! So stylish!!

My new table and chairs from my Grandmother and Grandpa Bessom

Rocking horse and chair from Mamaw and Papaw Mayes
(These were mine as a little girl that they had refinished :-)

My favorite thing to do....Climb stairs :-)

Making my grand entrance!! All smiles and ready to party!!

Farm House
(I am going to miss this place! So many memories)

Ry's smash cake
She destroyed it!

Love to all!!