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...]

What You Learn From a Quiet House

My house is quiet. Y'all, that never happens!  With four kids, a two year old grandbaby, two dogs and a husband- it just never happens. Normally I beg for quiet.  Sweet Pea even says "hush", echoing what she hears from my lips so often.  The clang, the chatter, the chaos of a busy home can seem too much for this introspective soul. This night, other than the TV in the background as my hubby watches a movie, there is true silence. I sit in the quiet and I realize that as much as I am enjoying this moment, I wouldn't give up the noise of my life for all the quiet days in the world. For in the noise of life, there is love.  There is fun and laughter, belly laughter.  There is joy.  There is silliness.  There is much to be thankful for. There is life. In the noise, … [Read more...]

What We Can Learn from Tragedy

I have been quiet in this space. A week ago Friday, the landscape of our country changed.  Good versus evil collided in a way that none could have imagined and it has left us shaken, sad and questioning. It did not feel right to write anything that wasn't related to what is on everyone's mind and heart.  At the same time, life has to go on.  Work, wrestling matches, Christmas preparations. It is a difficult juxtaposition. I wrote a bit about what I am learning from the tragedy over at The MOB Society.  {click on the link to be taken to the article} And, while we go through our Christmas and holiday traditions and love on our families, please lift the families of those lost a little over a week ago up to the King of Kings.  The victims names are listed below: Charlotte … [Read more...]

Parenting boys…not for the faint of heart

Parenting boys is not for the faint of heart. I have weathered many ER trips, wrestling matches gone wrong, bloody noses, scraped knees and broken bones. {I have three rough and tumble boys, excluding my husband}.  And, as I sat in the ER with my boy, I am ashamed to admit that my thoughts were wandering to angry places.  Angry at the risk, angry at the sure to rise insurance premiums, angry at myself for letting him drive alone when my mama heart wanted to keep him little forever... Yes, I was having selfish and angry thoughts the very same night my son wrecked the van and hurt himself. Read the rest of my mama confession over at the MOB Society.   … [Read more...]

A reminder to Be Still

Life can rush by at a crazy pace, especially if we take our eyes off eternity. Lisa Chan, wife of one of my favorite authors, Frances Chan, has just released a short inspirational film aptly entitled, Be Still. Sometimes, when I allow myself to get caught up in the busyness of life- the Mom taxi, the never-ending pile of laundry, the homework that requires the parents brains to hurt, the traffic on my way home from work (and on and on and on)- compounded by appointments, obligations, commitments, etc and I want to run away from life. But, I would trip on the pile of shoes in front of the door and probably end up hurting myself, rather than escaping. The enemy loves those moments, when we feel like throwing in the towel.  Because usually it means that we have allowed ourselves to … [Read more...]

God’s best laid plans

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. ~Revelation 12:11 Shayla shared part of her story with our local newspaper for an article about the teen mom ministry I volunteer with {and that I met her through}.  I didn't know she was going to share so much of her heart and painful past in the article and I am both proud and protective of her right now. She has reassured me that she shared her story because she wanted to let others know what God has done in her life the last few years, specifically through YoungLives. And in her words "haters gonna hate".  I wish my skin was that thick. Some have attempted to make the article about them, whether it be their opinions of teen motherhood … [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...]

One of my favorite titles

As many of you know, I write monthly for The M.O.B Society, a site for moms of boys written by moms of boys. They are hosting a boy mom bloghop this week and I wanted to participate {I look forward to finding some new boy mama's to tweet with and read}. Parenting is one of the greatest joys {and challenges} of my life. And, parenting boys is such a privilege.  Raising men, future husbands and fathers, is a responsibility and an honor.  God has blessed me with three boys {and a daughter}. Allow me to introduce you to my guys: This is Jason, or "J" as I call him.  He turned 19 in March, a week and a half after he graduated as a military police officer for the Army National Guard.  J is a handsome, stubborn, shy young man who unabashedly loves his mama.  He never forgets my birthday, is … [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...]

Important prayer request + miscellaneous multitasking

I have let go of many online commitments and obligations in the last several months as I returned to the work-outside-the-home-in-corporate-America world.  I was sad to release many of them and prayed through each decision.  One commitment that God did not release me from {and I'm really glad He didn't} is writing for The MOB Society. Raising three boys to teenagedom has to make me an expert at something, right?  {cough, cough} In all seriousness, I am beyond proud of the amazing site that Erin and Brooke have built to support and encourage moms of boys.  And, today I am joining with them in asking you to pray for a cause dear to The MOB's heart.  The people of the DRC. Brooke has posted a heart wrenching update on the MOB site today and I ask each of you that read this to stop, read it … [Read more...]

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