Wednesday, March 30, 2011

~ A Girl & Her Tutu ~

God made the world with its towering trees,

Majestic mountains and restless seas.

Then stopped and said, "It needs one more thing,

Someone to laugh and dance and sing.

To walk in the woods and gather flowers,

To commune with nature in quiet hours."

So God created little girls.

With laughing eyes and bouncing curls.

With joyful hearts and infectious smiles,

Enchanting ways and feminine wiles.

And when He'd completed the task He'd begun,

He was pleased and proud of the job He'd done.

For the world when seen through a little girl's eyes,

Greatly resembles His own paradise.

I love my little dainty, sassy, beautiful, full of energy and blessing of a little girl.

Kenzie, your girly-ness makes me smile... everyday.
Poem by Henry Alfred Dixon

Friday, March 25, 2011

~ Born of the Water - Ethan's Baptism ~

Ethan has heard all of his life scriptures around baptism of the water and Spirit

So, he's no stranger to the plan of salvation

At the young age of 7, Ethan knew and accepted Christ to live in his heart and was baptized with the Holy Spirit
He's been asking many questions

...about salvation

Letting it roll around in his mind... his heart

In the later part of his 9th year he starting flirting with the idea of baptism....knowing it's part of salvation

About 4 months ago he said that he wanted to be baptized

... and the very next week backed out

I was curious and started analyzing and questioning his hesitancy

Like I thought, it was the enemy

Poor baby

Battling the enemy already

So, I called the enemy out in prayer to "lay off" my baby

I know that my husband (Allen) was in prayer for Ethan as well

You see, Ethan told us that he didn't feel worthy to be baptized

It was like a dager through my heart

He felt like he had done too much and that he wasn't ready to be baptized

What?!!!!  What could he have possibly done in his short life of 10 years

Obviously a true trick of the enemy to make him/us feel this way

His father and I talked with him about all the people that God has given a new life

...a second, third and fourth chance

It was very easy to point to the prison ministry at our church

There are men/women that have messed up... and messed up bad

They've done far more than any 10 year old could have possibly thought of

But they are there... at our church... worshiping in service

Because God is a merciful God and he loves us inspite of our weaknesses and failures

He made a way for EVERYONE to take part in this plan of salvation

Including prisoners

Including my Ethan

Ethan spoke with Pastor Becton about two weeks ago about his choice of water baptism

We all witnessed it this past Sunday, March 20, 2011

It was a sweet baptism

Pastor Becton prayed with Ethan and we heard these words

"Ethan, upon the confession of your faith concerning the death, burial and resurection of the Lord Jesus Christ, I now baptize you in the wonderful name of Jesus for the remission of your sins"


Ethan, your dad and I are so proud of you!!!

We know that God has special plans for your life

Ok, so here's where I give A HUGE SHOUT OUT to the First Church children's ministry.
I know, I know...religion should be taught from the home

...and we do

but, I must say... we have mucho help from this staff

Sunday after Sunday they teach, cry, pray, sacrifice, dicipline and so on

They probably think they are just doing what they love

But I see it that they are GREATLY impacting the lives of our youth... including my babies

So, THANK YOU to Doug and Lori Long and Shawn who are the BEST children's ministry team


Thanks to Ethan's Sunday School teachers The Meadows and The Maddoxs

We truly appreciate your sacrifice and LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!!!!

...and know that you had a part in this very important decision

...the decision of SALVATION

Monday, March 21, 2011

~ My worth ~

Insecurity…it lurks around every corner

It seeps through the cracks of the sealed door I hide it behind

It unexpectedly visits

It laughs and mocks

It disables and prevents

It hinders and captivates

Why does it chase my thoughts

Flooding my being


Preventing growth

Preventing confidence

Preventing happiness

Preventing me from loving confidently

Preventing guiltless motherhood

Preventing freedom in my spirit

Identifying is the first step of attacking a problem, right?

Isn’t that what “they” say?

So, let’s try it…together

I know I can’t be the only one that insecurity haunts

Today I’m identifying and labeling insecurity as an enemy

A product of the master enemy

It’s just a feeling and doesn’t define my worth


He defines my worth

I say “No”, but He says “Yes”

I say “I can’t”, but He says “You can do all things through Me”

I say “I’m not good enough”, but He says “You are fearfully and wonderfully made”

I say “It’s too far”, but He says “I will carry you”

I say “I’m not worth it”, but He says “I purchased you for a significant price”

Here’s to a life where insecurity doesn’t reside

Where joy is in my future

Where salvation is my goal

Where loving others is a priority

Where Christ is my Savior

Where “things” do not matter

Where the four letter word FEAR has no source of life

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, March 17, 2011

~ Pause ~

Every now and then I look at my children and it paralyzes me.


Because I realize and start counting in my head just how many more days I have left with them while they are young.

How many more days of tickling toes and belly buttons?

How many more days of baseball games and rocker style jeans?

Ethan - 3 Yrs Old

How many more days of princess pink and chasing butterflies?

How many more days of “turn it down” and “shut your door”?

How many more days of polka dot bows and polished toes?

Kenzie - 3 Yrs Old

How many more days of grass stained pants and muddy shoes?

How many more days of picking wild flowers and blowing dandelions?

Kenzie - 3 Yrs Old

How many more days skateboarding and shaggy hair?

How many more days of pitter-patter footsteps and finger printed walls?

Ethan - 4 Yrs Old

This week I was reminded once again when I heard “Mom” instead “Mommy” from my 3 year old.

Yes, my Mommy title lost it’s “my’.  *sniffle* *sniffle*

I’m certain that requires punishment, right? *wink*

It just came out of nowhere and now I’m MOM. 

Well, it’s not that drastic, because she is still going back and forth between Mommy and Mom.

  I guess this is God’s grace knowing that these things take time. 

Ethan - 4 Yrs Old

I remember when Ethan transitioned and I turned into a three-letter word.  

He was between 3 and 4...just like Kenzie.

For him, now I’m MOM with an occasional sigh and rolling of the eyes.

Any mother knows just how hard it is to want to hold on to their youth, but be excited about who they are and where they are going.

So, this is to all the parents out there that share my feelings.

Feelings that life seriously needs a “pause” button.

I would pause those lil’ kisses that feel like silk.

I would pause those moments when our eyes connect and they smile.

I would pause snuggle time before bedtime.

I would pause turning the corner to find my husband leading them in prayer and hearing their little “AMEN”.

I would pause that feeling I get when I see them sleep.

Kenzie - 3 Yrs Old

Why am I passionate about taking photos of my family and documenting our time together?

This is why…because life doesn’t have a pause button and one day in the future I will want today back.

Today won’t be tangible, but my heart will be blessed when I can look back and remember via photos and writings from my heart.

I challenge you to do the same.


~ Spring Fever & My Kind of Dress ~

The dogwoods are blooming.
The grass is turning green.
Flowers are sprouting. 
All of which put me in the mood for cleaning, organizing, style, design and PRETTY DRESSES. 
I’m so in love with Shabby Apple
If you love classic, sophisticated, flirty, chic, pretty dresses, then you’ll LOVE Shabby Apple’s collection of female attire.
This is how dresses were meant to be. 
No tanks underneath… no pins… no pushing, pulling, tugging because it’s too low, too high or too short. 
Timeless style and modest flare drip from these patterns.
My favorite collections are All That Jazz, Roamin Holiday and South Pacific.
Here are a few of my favorite finds from my most recent window shopping visit.

These are certain to be in my closet before too much longer.
I'm certain that you will love with them too!

I hope that these are hanging in my closet very soon.  :-) 
All That Jazz
South Pacific
Roamin Holiday

Images via Shabby Apple

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

~ Who Could Ever Love You More ~

You're my life's one miracle

Everything I've done that's good

And you break my heart with tenderness

And I confess it's true

I never knew a love like this 'til you

You're the reason I was born

Now I finally know for sure

And I'm overwhelmed with happiness

So blessed to hold you close

The one that I love most

Though the future has so much for you in store

Who could ever love you more

The nearest thing to heaven

You're my angel from above

Only God creates such perfect love

When you smile at me I cry

And to save your life I'd die

With a romance that is pure in heart

You are my dearest part

Whatever it requires

I live for your desires

Forget my own, your needs will come before

Who could ever love you more

There is nothing you could ever do

To make me stop loving you

And every breath I take

Is always for your sake

You sleep inside my dreams

And know for sure

Who could ever love you more

~ Love, Mommy ~

Monday, March 7, 2011

~ A Beautiful Life & Love Story ~

My heart was heavy when I heard of the passing of Sis. Margie Becton.

If you love your pastor, then you know that you hurt when they hurt and you grieve with them as their extended family.

Last week, Sis. Margie Becton departed this world and went to meet her Creator.

I just viewed a portion of her homegoing ceremony. I laughed and then I cried.
The life and testimony of this wonderful lady will forever be vivid in my mind. She was spunky which is what captivated me at my first impression. I don’t believe there was ever a time that I was privileged to hear her speak that I didn’t laugh or say “I just love her”. I can remember thinking when they visited church that I hoped she would greet us. I was drawn to her transparency. She always had something funny to say and always left me wanting more. She was real and that’s what everyone loved about her. Beauty dripped from her pores. How did she do it? She was beautiful, poised and graceful which she coupled with the perfect dash of humor and spunk. She had every female questioning her formula including myself.
God designed the perfect union when he coupled Bro. C.M. Becton and Sis. Margie Becton for what would be a life of love and commitment to the Word of God. If there is a place where souls meet before judgment, I’m certain the reunion of these two souls that were design by God to be together was enchanting. I’m certain the vows were taken at their marriage “till death do us part”, but I can’t help but play with the thought that they are still fulfilling God’s plan for them to be together.

Her son's closing remarks quoted Sis. Becton shortly before her passing as she said
"I'm not going to make it, but this is what I lived for"

What an amazing display of confidence as she went to meet her Savior.

What a beautiful love story that included our Lord Jesus Christ in the center of it all.

~ The Love Kitchen ~

I write this as I sit here at my desk feeling touched, spoken to and searching for direction.

This weekend my heart and soul has been flooded with thoughts of getting back to the basics and the “simple” things in life.

I watch portions of the prime time show “Secret Millionaire” last evening. I can justify television if it feeds my soul and this show motivated me beyond measure.

It was settled in my heart last night that I CAN DO MORE.

Yes, me… Anna…can do more than what I’m doing.

I was convicted in my heart, mind and soul when the show covered the LOVE KITCHEN based in Knoxville, TN. These two sweet lil’ twin sisters were heading up a kitchen to feed the homeless. Now you have a vision of two young and vibrant girls, don’t you? Well, they were young at heart and vibrant for certain, but they were 80 years of age. Yes, I said 80!!!! Day in and day out they were preparing food for those in need.

So, I ask, what more can I do? These ladies put me to shame.

That’s not all, hang with me here. This morning I arrive at work and pull in adjacent the Charlotte train tracks as I do every morning. Most mornings I am preoccupied and I’m oblivious to my surroundings. Not today. Today, I see a man in a long female hounds tooth coat curled up with everything he owns nestled at his side. I’m certain that having a girl's coat on was the last thing on his mind. He was just trying to stay warm and find his next meal. He wasn’t begging, just hanging with a little bit of sleeping in between.

I was paralyzed as once again it was laid upon my heart that I CAN DO MORE. I resisted the urge to take a picture and capture this moment that I was having.

So, I grabbed my purse and opened my wallet and there was only a $5 bill. I thought for a second that this wasn’t enough and I would just pass on the thought, but something told me to give it anyway. $5 could be his next meal. It’s not up to me to analyze what he might do with this small gift….just give it.

So, I got out of my car and raised my hand with the money and motioned for him to come down the hill. We exchanged a few words and I cried the rest of my walk to work as I thought that somehow someway I have to do more. More with what God has blessed me with, whether it’s money or talent.

So, this day, I’m proclaiming that somehow I will do more to help those in need whether it be with money or through Anna & Co. Designs or just sharing the love of Christ.

God, use me to reach, help and love your people and show them your love through me.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

~ The Simple Things ~

You can offer me a diamond-plated pearl;
You can send me all the riches in the world;
You can tempt me with the palaces of kings;
I'd give 'em back in a big ol' sack and keep the simple things

Yes, this is has been on my heart lately... getting back to the simple things.  I was reminded of it over and over again tonight, so I thought I would journal about it.

This evening's service was dismissed and it's been an overdue evening of rest.  I've had some time to reflect on things...simple things.  In a world that is so caught up in technology (including myself) and children that are so focused on pricy things and the next big "thing"... I just want to slow down and take a breath and get back to what is really important.

It's amazing what our children can teach us if we just pay attention. 

Simple thoughts....simple play....just simple hearts.

A simple pink balloon can really make a child happy... for a long while.

Mommy....mommy...can you play with my balloon with me?

I hesitate because so many things are running through my head of what I need to be doing... laundry, organizing, cleaning and the list goes on.  But my camera and I accepted and I'm so glad we did.

Ethan was occupied with another task, so it was just K and I in her room having some "simple" time with a "simple" balloon.

Honestly, it was a RIOT!!!

So, the next time you think you need blinking lights and a circus clown... think again.

A "simple" pink ballon will do.

After our experience in K's room, it was confirmed all over again in my heart when I walked out and my husband was watching Andy Griffith (Mayberry).  What a confirmation of my feelings.  You can't get any more simple than Mayberry.  Don't get me wrong, I love today's technology as much as the next guy, but every now and then we need a touch of Mayberry.

Mayberry - Rascal Flatts
Sometimes it feels like this world
Is spinning faster
Than it did in the old days
So naturally, we have more
Natural disasters
From the strain of a fast pace
Sunday was a day of rest
Now it's one more day for progress
And we can't slow down 'cause
More is best
It's all an endless process

Sometimes I dream I'm driving
Down an old dirt road
Not even listed on a map
I pass a dad and son carrying a
Fishing pole
But I always wake up every time I try
To turn back

(Well) I miss Mayberry
Sitting on the porch drinking
Ice cold Cherry Coke
Where everything is black and white
Picking on a six string
Where people pass by and you call
Them by their first name
Watching the clouds roll by
Bye, bye 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

~ February 2011 - A Month in Photos ~

Wow!  February went fast!!!

It was a very busy and snowy February this year.

I must apologize for the photo quality lately.  I've been catching quick pics with my iPhone and leaving my nicer and much larger camera at home lately.  March will be different.


1. Our day at the park.  It's hardly ever that I step out from behind the camera.  I hope to change that in 2011.
2. End of the season celebration with the 4th Grade TCS Basketball Team.  So much fun!!!

3. We saw a lot of this "white stuff" this month.  I'm so ready for SPRING.

4. It looks like Kenzie is ready for spring as well.  Her art work from February.

5. Isn't it every girl's dream to have beautiful nails?

6. It wasn't me... I PROMISE!!!

7&8. A gorgeous day for spring evaluations.

9. More of K's artwork.  That girl LOVES here some GLITTER.

10. Just a few of my TO DO list notes from early Feb.  Whew!!!'s been a CRAZY month.

Here we go MARCH!!!
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