Moving Forward in 2020

So if you look below this post you will see I had every intention 4 years ago (YES – F-O-U-R years) to revive my blog and even had set some goals at the beginning of a new year (2016). Here we are years later and as we enter a new year – a new decade – I am returning to this same blog to try again.

Why do a blog that you don’t even have followers already signed up to read what you write? For me this is primarily a place for me to put some thoughts “down on paper” that I can look back on to remember where God has brought me from, but also with hopes that God will use it for someone (even that person who just googled a keyword that landed my blog in the google search engine) to find some purpose, encouragement or even to find JESUS!

Closing out 2019 was a welcomed event as I had a crazy emotional last couple of months in that year. The emotions of it crippled me to the point that I hardly even picked up my phone to send a text to a friend to encourage them through something or to remind them of something. So when the last week rolled around I was exhausted but pushed what little bit of energy I had left out by sitting with some blank pieces of copy paper (because my new planner had not arrived yet) in the local Starbucks with a new micro ultra fine point ink pen and began to just write down words.

One of the Christian influencers that I follow a lot talks about “counting the fruit” in each season so you can bring praise to the Lord but also to help you see areas that maybe you are lacking to see or sense God’s hand in your life. So I started there by writing down things that meant something each month of 2019 whether they were good or bad or just things that happened. I flipped the page and I wrote down at the top of the paper… WORD OF THE YEAR 2020.

My word for 2018 was INTENTIONAL. At the end of the year I looked back and said I did pretty good with being intentional as I had rekindled some friendships, traveled to some cities to see some good friends and saved money to take my family on a trip over Thanksgiving to Kentucky.

My word for 2019 was CELEBRATE. The best things I really did to celebrate was counting the fruit as I was sitting there the very last week of the year. Otherwise, my word of the year might as well had been GRUMBLE.

So that day I wrote down a list of like 15 words and took some time to look up the definitions and what they meant. After a couple of days of looking at those definitions and praying about my heart and what it needed — I finally narrowed it down to 3 words. These words were Renew, Favorite(s) and Forward. I am hopeful that these words are going to have some life changing effects on me.

What does these words mean?

RENEW: [verb] resume (an activity) after an interruption.

FAVORITE(S): [adjective] preferred before all others of the same kind.

FORWARD: [adverb] onward so as to make progress; toward the future; ahead in time.

How do I think these are going to be helpful?

I am trusting in Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

I am trusting in Proverbs 17:22 – “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” and John 16:24 – “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

I am trusting in Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Do you choose a word of the year or set any kind of goals? Comment below and let me know so that I will know how to be praying for my friends.

2016 Goals

I have been making goals for myself every year for probably the last 6 or 7 years. I might look at them once every 6 months and most likely did not complete any of the goals. This year I am hoping to succeed at that goal of doing something with my goals. So here they go…

  1. Healthy Lifestyle Change – get more active, eat better, go to bed earlier
  2. Complete 35th Birthday List
  3. Be intentional in relationships
  4. Committed prayer time every day
  5. Revive photography skills

What are your goals for 2016? Have you succeed so far? What are some ways you can encourage one another to be successful in the discipline to achieve their personal goals?


Revisiting the blogging world.

It has been a while since I have blogged. I thought I might get back into the groove of things when I moved home and changed the pace of life, but I was not successful. I am going to try and revisit this for an occasional post on a variety of topics. So here is a quick update on where I am…

May 2013 – Resigned from my job at CSU

July 2013 – Started a job at Shorter University

December 2014 – Moved to Darlington to work with my family

March 2015 – My Granny went to be with JESUS and it rocked my world

January 2016 – Here I am…

So basically the last 2 1/2 years my world has been flipped upside down and tossed around. I’m honestly surprised at how well I have taken it, but I know that courage, strength and peace has completely been from the Lord. So what do I have to talk about on here? I am honestly not sure. I think it is more so for myself, but maybe for one or two people who stumble across it. Thanks for coming along on this journey called LIFE.

TV Junkie

I have a confession… I am a TV Junkie! I have had a lot more free time on my hands after work at night I have been watching a lot of tv. I know, I know… why not work out or read or clean or something productive? The last few years have been so stressful and hectic that I am just thankful for some down time when I don’t HAVE to think or do or make decisions around the clock so I am veggin’ out on some tv shows. Ok, now that I have explained myself let’s get on to the good part…

What shows have I completed?

Series that I have watched every episode and loved the entire series:

Dawson’s Creek – The teenage love circle that makes you want to go back to high school!

One Tree Hill – Who doesn’t have a crush on Lucas AND Nathan Scott? And who doesn’t want to be B-Davis? The series will make you feel like these are your best friends from high school and you will cry with them, laugh with them, hate them, love them, and forever want to be a Tree Hill.

Gossip Girl – The mystery does finally unfold if you can hang until the end. The inside of the upper Manhattan teenager’s lives. The plot twists and turns with a little bit of romance in between.

90210 – a little more modern version or One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl combined featured in California. It is includes the old 90210 characters through their children.

Flashpoint – a Canadian show about a Crisis Response Unit that handles hostage situations. A lot of psychology techniques used in this show which is cool to learn from if you deal with people on a daily basis.

Dexter – This series is a twisted and weird series about a guy who kills serial killers. It’s a dark show, but addicting.

Army Wives – Gives you some perspective on the lives of military families, but the potential for the family/community that can be gained from those familiar with the process. Also deepens your respect for those who are fighting for our freedom every day.

Private Practice – A spin off from Grey’s Anatomy that was probably better than Grey’s for those seasons that it was on.

Friday Night Lights – a sports fan might like even this drama series and the comeback of the Dillon High Panthers based off of the movie. As if you needed more than Tim Riggins as a reason to watch this show, you’ve got Layla, Tammy Taylor, Coach Taylor, Julie and Matthew.

What shows am I watching?

Grey’s Anatomy – this is long time running series about Meredith Grey who has a history in the Seattle Grace hospital because of her mother and the affair with the Chief. Interns turn to Residents that turn to Doctors and partners of the hospital. Dramatic medical cases and the drama among the residents makes for a great show. There are seasons and some episodes that drag a little.

Scandal – Need I say more, Olivia Pope. I am OBSESSED with this show. A gladiator twisted in an affair with the president of the United States is a super bad lady that you definitely don’t want to mess with. You must watch this series from the first season!

The Voice – I like this show because I like music, I like the judges, I like the concept. See my previous blog post.

House of Cards – Kevin Spacey runs the show on this Netflix Original. I guess with Scandal (see above) and State of Affairs (see below) it just seems like another government show. And yet it does deal with some similar plots, but I sat straight up one day when I saw the ending of an episode because I was not expecting the turn in the plot.

State of Affairs – Featuring Katherine Heigl. She is in the CIA and it shows a lot of what is happening with the US and the terrorist attacks happening in the world today. It is obviously not true to the people and situations, but depicting how the government seeks out information and details.

Nashville – a show about the music industry and the twists and turns through money, jealousy and love affairs. Love Connie Britton from Friday Night Lights TV series and she does a great job in this show too. Still need a reason to watch it? Deacon Claybourne played by Chip Esten.

Hart of Dixie – just a simple show about a city girl living in the country. This show kind of reminds me of myself since I long to be in the city always!

Series that I watch but don’t always LOVE it:

How to Get Away With Murder – I think with Shonda trying to write three shows back to back on one night she drags some of this show out, but the beginning and endings of the seasons have been on point and edge of the seat kind of episodes.

Now it is your turn…What shows do you suggest I watch?

I have gotten suggestions about the following:

– Breaking Bad

– Once Upon a Time

– Gilmore Girls

Do you have a VOICE?

It is that time of the year again that the hot show, The Voice, comes back on and gets the social media world all turned up. I think of all of the reality shows that deal with individual (or group) talents it is this show that reigns me in the most. Of course, Adam Levine could be another reason why too, but I am #TeamXtina! If you have not watched it before the judges are in chairs that are facing the audience and the potential “team member” comes out and begins their performance and if one of the judges likes what they HEAR then they turn their chair saying ‘I Want You!’ The judge turns based on what they hear and not what they see.

Isn’t this just how the Lord works with us? The Lord can see us, but he is always LISTENING to us and he turns his ear as soon as we open our mouth! Psalm 34:17 (ESV) says, “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

OUR DAILY BREAD Devotional shares these scriptures about a personal relationship with God:

God loves us even if we haven’t loved him.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” (1 John 4:10)

God wants us to know him.
The Bible says God is at work in everyone’s life. “So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27)

His chair is always lit up saying ‘I Want You!’

This thought didn’t stop there for me…

If you have ever watched the show they always find a story behind the story of each person. And I was thinking about one of my dearest friends, Nicole Bromley, who is a speaker, author, and founder of OneVOICE4Freedom. Nicole just came back from her third trip to Cambodia where she has been reaching out to those who have been directly impacted by sex trafficking. I got to sit with her about 6 months ago and hear some of the stories of these women and children over in Cambodia. What I love about Nicole is that she listens to every heart and every story and she loves every bit of the brokenness no matter how dirty or ugly it seems. Every person has a story! Every person has a voice! But some times they lose their voice. So my friend has a passion to go and BE A VOICE.

This is Mey-Mey, a teen sex slave in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  She told me her family had all died and “friends” brought her to the city as a sex worker. She said she had no hope and no purpose. I shared my story with her and loved on her. Her heart was tender. Brokenness and shame was written all over her. I told her about the Man who gave me hope when I was just a hopeless abused girl.  She invited Jesus into her heart and soon she was smiling and said she felt hope for the first time in her life. #onevoice4freedom
Nicole Bromley, Founder of OneVOICE4Freedom, speaks to a young teen who is a sex slave in Cambodia. During her time sharing her story with her and about JESUS a new revived saint entered the Kingdom of God.

Nicole is one of my heroes! And I believe that you and I can be a voice too! It doesn’t have to be to a far off country. It could be in your neighborhood or your workplace or your city. You can find out more about her ministry at or

The most important thing is to seek the Lord and ask Him to show you where HE is at work and then go and join Him there. Hear with the ears of the Lord. Speak with the VOICE of truth from the Word of the Lord.

Do you have a VOICE? Yes. Go use it!

Talk Trash Thursday

The Winter TV is about to get kicked off and should be pretty intense with Parenthood completing it’s series and Shondaland getting their fix with Meredith Grey, Olivia Pope and Professor Keating!

I also like to keep a back up series on Netflix for off weeks. I am currently watching Army Wives (again). Then here is my list based on suggestions from friends:
Dallas Season 3
House of Cards

What are you watching?

‘Whip it good’ Wednesday

A lot of my friends have become accustomed to my infamous Taco Soup. So I figured I would share the recipe with the world:


Tam’s Taco Soup


  • 2 cans – Light Red Kidney Beans
  • 2 cans – Great Northern Beans
  • 1 can – White Hominy
  • 1 large can – Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 cans – Chicken Broth
  • 1 pack Taco Seasoning
  • 1 pack Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 lb Ground Beef

How to make:

  • Take and brown the hamburger meat. Drain.
  • Drain and rinse all beans and hominy.
  • Put Chicken Broth, Crushed tomatoes, Taco seasoning and Ranch Dressing Mix in a pot on mid to high heat. Add beans, hominy. Stir well. Add Hamburger meat. Stir well.
  • Let cook on mid to high heat for 20 minutes and then turn to low heat to let simmer. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve warm!

Tips: (Bonus info)

  • Use Cheezits to eat with soup
  • Use Tostitos to eat with soup
  • Add sour cream and/or cheese
  • Serve with Cornbread

Welcoming myself back in 2015!

Well I have been on a long vacation from blogging. I honestly don’t even know if anyone really read my blog to begin with, but at this point it does not matter. I am going to just jump back in and then see what happens.

I am going to aim to do the following type of posts throughout the week and then I am going to try to do some series posts too.

2015 Topics:

Monday – Make It Monday – Pinterest ideas, success and failures, materials needed, tips and tricks

Tuesday – Thought Provoking Tuesday – Deep thoughts, questions, etc.

Wednesday – ‘Whip it good’ Wednesday – Recipes, Kitchen tricks, health foods, etc.

Thursday – Talk Trash Thursday – best night of the week for tv shows plus reviews on movies, netflix, gossip and social media

Friday – Get Fit Friday – Talking about ways to stay active, get fit, train, etc.

Then the first series will be a three part blog series about OneVoice4Freedom. My friend Nicole is the founder of OneVoice and OneVoice4Freedom. Shining a light on the injustice of slavery in the world through what my friend is doing down in Cambodia.

Here we go…

What happened to 2013?

Every year I like to look back over the year and see how I was challenged, how much I grew and the joys that the LORD blessed me with. As 2013 comes to a closing I wanted to do the same by looking into each month since I had some major life changes this year. Join me on this journey as I think you might find comfort or hope in some of the lessons that the Lord taught me.

January 2013

– Attended Passion in Atlanta with CSU Students. Every year I kind of dread going to Passion because it is a lot of details to get a large group down there and around without many complications especially since it is always right around New Years and Hotlanta is packed out with people! But every year I walk out blown away at how the Lord moves! It is easy to see how He moves in the worship gatherings and it is cool to embrace how He is stirring the student in my groups heart, but it isn’t always easy to see or accept how the Lord moves in my own heart. I would say one of the biggest take aways this year would have to be…Francis Chan said, “If you really want to experience the Lord, then go and make disciples.” We hold back because we doubt and get caught up in false things/lies. When God says that we should make disciples it means to multiply the “witnesses” Acts 1:8 says we receive the power of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of being His witness. When you multiply,  there are bonds that hold us together and provide that “safety net” or that strong foundation. The foundation = trust (Gods promises are trustworthy). Trust yields obedience and passion. Obedience yields multiplication. Louie Giglio followed that up with a statement saying, “Many times we say we are waiting on the Lord and in reality the Lord is waiting on us.” This brought conviction that I have to stop “waiting” and begin “making.”

– Chosen is a women’s conference hosted by Seacoast Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC. For me – it lands during a time when everyone is running to get back into routine for the Spring semester so attending another conference is usually far from the things I want to add to my schedule, but I am so glad I went to this year’s event. I got to hear Dr. Caroline Leaf talk about negative thoughts and how they can be renewed.

February 2013

– Every year we take a group of students to the SCBC Converge Collegiate Beach Weekend in Myrtle Beach. It is a down scaled Passion, but none the less tons of fun! By this time this is my third conference of the year… mind you four weeks into the year… so I am just going through some of the motions. I think one of the greatest things about this year was watching the CSU student group (largest we ever have taken and 2nd largest group at Converge) come together to collect almost $700 to give to Operation Baby Rescue through World Help to save a child’s life. One other thing that Matt Papa said during the time of worship that stuck with me was that “We never understand God’s grace until we see how real our sin is. We never see how real our sin is until we experience God’s glory.”

– The third annual Women’s Conference hosted by CSU happened at the end of February. Renew’s keynote speaker this year was Esther Fleece from Southern California. I found Esther Fleece through an article in Christianity Today and got a chance to briefly meet her at Passion in Atlanta. I know people think I am crazy that I find people through social media and become friends, but Esther is another one of those great relationships that I’ve been able to quickly connect and become partners in ministry and life. Esther has a huge network, but most importantly she has a huge heart for Jesus. This day was such a highlight because the decorations were off the charts by Abby, worship was indescribable by Kristen, the message was timely by Esther, the breakouts were challenging and practical with people like Becky, Ashley, Dr. K, and others. I pray for the planning and efforts for next year’s Renew Conference as it continues without me.

March 2013

– I went to California for the first time with the CSU Softball team during Spring Break. I’ve never been to Cali, but it was quite the adventure as I was driving a 15 passenger van in Los Angeles during rush hour (by the way all day is rush hour)! I got to see my long time friend from CSU, Ashley, while I was hanging out on the scheduled off day. Her and her family took me to the beach to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean! I also went looking for the HOLLYWOOD sign with Marcus and KB. Yeahhhhhhhh – we did find it but after an hour of looking up every street for it. The softball games were not ideal outcomes, but we did find where Hugh lives none the less. Overall – successful trip to California.

– I got to serve the other half of my Spring Break with the mission team in Orlando, Florida working with FBC Orlando prepping some homes they were working on as a Phase II housing complex for those coming out of the Rescue Mission Shelter. We also served at the Rescue Mission before taking a break at Islands of Adventures! By the end of this week I was exhausted from flying from Charleston ->Houston -> LAX -> Chicago ->Charleston and then Charleston -> Baltimore -> Orlando then driving from Orlando to Charleston! Whew! But it was a good time to be with some of the best people in the world!

– My best friend, Solmaz, moved back to Charleston, SC in March and I was reunited with her! Plus, I got to meet my new baby niece, Avery Sahel, for the first time and I must admit that she fell in love with me instantly as I did with her!

April 2013

– I  adopted a puppy, named him Lucas (One Tree Hill inspired), went through the process of potty training him. This was quite the adventure, but thanks to Kadie for being such a trooper to help me with Lucas when I had to make an emergency trip home to help with my Granny who has just been attacked by a dog in her neighborhood. If you ever want to know what having a kid is like – adopted a puppy!

– The end of the month marked one year living in my house. The neighborhood was almost fully developed. I had two roommates, Kadie and Hannah.

May 2013

– Learned what the apostle Paul meant in Philippians when he talked  about “the peace that surpasses all understanding…” I have never experienced the peace of God like I did during the first week of May when Corey called me to ask about a job opportunity. Then to have my Granny and my Aunt and my best friend/mentor, Jon, all agree that I needed to walk through the open door, it only affirmed the peace I already had in my heart. Jon was preaching one Sunday a couple of years ago and he made the comment that “Peace overrides logic” and ever since then I have tried to take that in to consideration when I have been at a point to make life changing decisions. This for sure was a life changing decision and I needed that kind of peace. The logic in my head was not enough to make me walk through the wide open door. I had a house, my best friend had just moved back, I had my handful of senior girls to tend to, my Granny needed more attention with her recent accident, and the list could go on.

– So I interviewed and accepted a new job in Rome, Georgia! About that peace… I was walking around the campus praying as I waited for the interview with the President of the University and my prayers began to shift from me to how the Lord would provide for those who were currently leaning on me. PEACE.

June 2013

– Went to my first Roller Derby Game to see one of my college buddies, Leslie, play with her team. What a fun time! I got to experience it with my friend Faith and her boyfriend (now Fiancé), Alex. That is one rough sport and so crazy to see Leslie so competitive. She’s a beast people!

– At the end of June I closed the door to a job I had been doing for the last ten years at CSU to move to the new chapter in my journey. Those thirty days we busy trying to leave a platform and pathway for the person following me. Those days were exciting to think of new things to come. Those days were hard because this was a place full of comfort and challenges and reward. I had been there for literally half of my life. But those days went quickly and the door closed. I honestly thought I would be freaking out and it was definitely hectic, but that overwhelming peace came back over me. I know it sounds crazy and maybe even too good to be true, but once you ever get to this position then you will understand.

July 2013

July 1st I started my new job as Assistant Dean of Students at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia. I jumped right in and began to work hard from day one. It was a crazy month, but fun meeting new people and organizing new projects like Hawk Orientation, Camp Hawk, Residence Life, etc.

August 2013

– The stress level went through the roof during the month of August, but the Lord was faithful to allow me the energy, patience and grace to make it through this month. I started to lean on new friendships at work to give me encouragement to survive the long days.

September 2013

– September was probably the hardest month of my life – having to adjust to new relationships and learning to balance the ones from Charleston. After my first visit back to Charleston, after so many tears, it was not easy to leaving to drive back to Rome. I was hurt and mad that I had to leave. Everyone said, “time will make that easier.” Now I didn’t feel like I was holding back in Rome, because I wasn’t sitting around doing nothing, but my heart was still committed in every way to those in Charleston.

October 2013

– Attended Homecoming at CSU for the first time as just an Alum. It was fun to not be running from one side of campus to the other with a camera in one hand and an iPhone in the other hand. Now, I did have my iPhone in one hand for the purpose of taking some pics of me and some old friends!

– Got to baptize one of the CSU Volleyball team members, Carley, during my visit to Charleston. This was one of the best highlights of my year because of the investment that I have been able to make into her life and walk with the Lord. What an honor that the Lord Jesus would allow me the privilege to see fruits of my labor and to sense the sweet aroma of Jesus in her life as she walks in obedience to bring GLORY to His Name and make Him famous.

November 2013

– Got to witness (and shoot photos of) my best buddy, Trey, get married to his best friend. I am glad I could be there with him especially because I know he was in love and happy!

– Everyone gives me a hard time for listening to Christmas music so early and decorating for the holidays. So in efforts to appease those haters I did the 30 Days of Thankfulness on instagram. The Lord has been so faithful to bring joy and PEACE to my heart during such a busy and stressful time of the year. I challenge you to try that next year – think of something from that day or just something in general that you are thankful for. (i.e.: people, places, events, things, scripture promises, etc)

December 2013

– Standing firm on the Word has been essential this month. I have truly had to hide the Word of the Lord in my heart as I have reflected and walked forward. During a time when emotions are high and stress levels are rising – you must balance yourself on a solid Rock, Jesus! Since Christmas is about the Birth of Jesus Christ – let him be your balance beam during this coming year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I’m Back

So after a long break I have decided I should probably come back to the bloggin world simply to share some thoughts, photos and life experiences. I hope you will follow me in my journeys.

Possible topics or themes? If you want to see something specific let me know below with a comment.