Wisdom from a toddler?

It's been awhile since I've been around toddlers, considering that my youngest son is almost 16! Since moving to Florida I've been spending lots of quality time with my youngest niece and nephew {almost a year and 3} and my Sweet Pea {who will turn 3 September 1st} is staying with the hubby and I for the time being.  I'm knee deep in potty training, temper tantrums, Bubble Guppies and the like. And, I LOVE it.  Toddlers and preschoolers have the sweetest dispositions and even when exerting their will can't help but be cheek smooching adorable. Recently, Lariah {aka Sweet Pea} pulled me to the sliding glass door for the 3,491st time that day to "look at the lithards".  I felt irritation creeping up my neck but it dissipated as I glanced down at her eager face.  She was genuinely … [Read more...]

If tomorrow doesn’t come {a God sized dreams post}

  When you send your 3rd graders to school with a kiss and a lunch packed with love, you expect them to return home to you at the end of the day. But sometimes they don't. When your 8th grader complains of pain in his hip, you expect to give him some ibuprofen and for it to get better. But sometimes it won't. When God lays a dream on your heart, you expect for there to always be time to accomplish it, to dream with Him, to pursue all He has. But sometimes there isn't. Tomorrow may not come for me, for you, for anyone.  All we have is today. The riskiest thing about my God sized dreams would be to not pursue them.  Even if I just take a baby step towards those dreams each day, that is something. It counts.  It matters. Small steps add up to great distances. I … [Read more...]


We don't always realize how beautiful the tapestry of our life is turning out to be.  We get caught up in the busy of everyday life and fail to take note of the extraordinary way He weaves things together.  Friends, even when life doesn't make sense or you are left wondering why God lays something on your heart but doesn't explain His plan, trust that He has a purpose for ALL things in our lives.  Seeing those things come to fruition is truly a beautiful thing. I have always had a special place in my heart for children with special needs, specifically Down Syndrome.   I worked as a case manager for children with developmental disablities back in 2007 and LOVED it.  Many of you that read here know I advocate for Reece's Rainbow, an agency that assists in the adoption of children with … [Read more...]

2012 in Review

Wow!  2012 was one for the record books for the Smallwood family.  In terms of milestones, this year was chock full of 'em. Shayla graduated with her certified nursing assistant license in March and started her nursing career. Attended her first college classes. Got married. Moved into their first place {and out of ours} and turned 21.  Amazing to have all that happen in one year! Jason finished boot camp and AIT training and graduated as a military police officer for the Army National Guard. He experienced his first emergency deployment.  Got a job, learning the trade that has sustained our family, right alongside his daddy.  Bought his first car, with his own money and fell in love with a special girl.   Jared turned 16, got his drivers license and totaled our … [Read more...]

An Anecdote of Fear and Angels

When I realized that the only parking available was in a several story parking garage, I felt sick to my stomach.  Parking garages and I do not get along.  I feel like the top of any vehicle I am in is going to be shorn off or that the entire thing is going to collapse on {just} me at any given moment. Irrational? Yes. Something I fear anyway? Absolutely. The venue for the Allume conference in Harrisburg, PA was nice, tucked in a busy but quaint feeling city. A city with parking garages. My usual behavior in a parking garage is to simply close my eyes until the vehicle is parked.  However, when you are the driver that tactic doesn't work so well.  As I pulled in to the parking garage {and I really didn't have a choice because it was a narrow road and there were people behind me … [Read more...]

What a week {in pictures}

I don't know about you but this week has just plain wore this mama out. Sometimes I get so riled up about things that don't really matter {am I the only one that does that?}  I try to live my life through the lens of eternal significance but get so easily tripped up by the trivial. I love the verse in II Timothy 1:7 that says God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and of a sound mind. A sound mind. I haven't done a word study to see what the greek word used in this passage is but I imagine that a sound mind is one that is not easily distracted.  A mind that is focused on the things of God, not of the world. A mind that doesn't second-guess or doubt but instead is resolute in it's beliefs and morals.  A mind that doesn't give in to the temptation of worry and … [Read more...]

Favorite Bible Promises

I am busy with a new writing project {never has God laid something on my heart as clear as what I am working on right now and I can't wait to share it with y'all! Pray for me, please}. When I am working on a specific project, I go through my old journals and prayer books for inspiration and ideas.  While I was doing that I found some favorite promises God makes in the Bible {I call them promises because His Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11) and I take Him at His Word}.  I don't want to neglect the blog while I am working on this new project so I decided to share these Scriptures with you, in the hopes that they will speak fresh into your life as well. The first promise that I hold to, especially in dark and trying times, comes from the book of Isaiah as well.  Isaiah 43:2 to be … [Read more...]

Airing the dirty laundry

Has God ever prompted you to do something and you whispered back at Him {in your head of course, because out loud would make you seem crazy} "come again?  Lord, there is no way I can do that"? Oh, it's just me? Usually when I have that type of conversation with God, it isn't long before I acquiesce.  Such was the case this weekend. Our area was hit by a terrible storm that no one was expecting.  We have friends who had trees fall on their homes, people injured from falling tree limbs and debris, closed roads and thousands without electricity.  To top it off, it was over 100 degrees this weekend. I was so thankful that we had power {heat and Melissa do NOT mix}.  Saturday morning, God prompted me to invite {via facebook and texts to friends} those without power to come over to our … [Read more...]

Halfway point

Can you believe this year is halfway over?  I don't know if it is getting older, watching the kids grow or the hectic pace of life but the days go by quicker and quicker.  Here is a glimpse of our life the last two weeks: Sweet Pea loves to see herself in my iPhone for pictures.  In this picture she is waving to the "baby" and Mimi.  So cute. She will be 22 months old tomorrow.  Her vocabulary is expanding and she is truly a funny child.  She says "see ya" when I leave in the morning for work.  I am incredibly blessed for the time that she has and will spend in our home before her and her precious mama get out on their own {we are apartment hunting!} Speaking of my sweet daughter, Shayla....she brought this card along with a pretty bouquet of flowers to my office the other day. Just … [Read more...]

Reaching for God sized dreams

Sometimes I feel bad for dreaming, for letting my mind wander to what could be. Then I remember that the desires of my heart can always be conformed to His heart if I relinquish them. There's nothing wrong with dreaming, so long as you turn the dreams over to the will of God. I dream of.... ~ adopting more children, preferably from foster care or children with special needs from overseas ~ traveling to Greece and Italy ~ owning a spot {cottage, house, condo, umbrella} on the beach--any white sand with the ocean lapping at my heels will do   ~ more time to spend with those I love ~ living close to my brothers {Florida bound one day is what I hope to be} ~ keeping my house clean for more than a few days at a time {is that even possible with four kids, especially if dream number one … [Read more...]

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