Praise & Thanksgiving

Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unseal,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing sense to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrow and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express,
for what thou are to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.


-“Praise and Thanksgiving,” Valley of Vision


Day 10: Jack meets the Martin Family!

day ten:

I am so thankful that Jackson got to spend time with all of his family on Kevin’s side who have been anxiously waiting to meet him, especially his Aunt Cari and Uncle Chris. He is one loved little boy!

happy thanksgiving!


day 6 & 7: friends & breast pump!

day six:

Yesterday I had SUCH A FUN DAY! I LOVED getting quality with Katie Maddox. My soul feels so rested when I am with her and she is one of the people I feel most understood by. I am so glad she took a chance on our friendship by asking me to be in her wedding when we were getting to know each other. A few months later I got engaged and asked her the same. We have walked through so many similar joys and struggles since then. I feel a greater desire to follow Jesus every time we talk. Yesterday we went to babygap and I got to buy her a boy outfit and a girl outfit for her little bird! Can’t wait to walk through this season of motherhood with her!

Then Jackson and I got to attend a Thanksgiving potluck at Lindsey’s. Seriously SO many of my best friends were there. My joy overwhelmed me just by sitting around eating and talking. Jackson was happy to meet so many great friends. I felt incredibly blessed by that day.

day seven:

As silly as it is, today I am thankful for my breast pump. It makes my life so much easier. I can go to family events, like Thanksgiving dinner tonight, and actually visit with people, instead of going back into the bedroom for 45 minutes (boring…) We used it for Christie’s wedding so I could leave him with my mom and not have to come home to feed him. It will be nice to have in the future when Kevin and I go on dates and leave him with someone. We even can take it with us in the car to prolong errand running or family nights out in case he gets hungry.

Anyway…that’s enough about the pump, I just love it so much!


day 5: my mom!

day five:

So thankful for my mom today! After Jackson’s appointment he was conked out from the 3 vaccinations they gave him (poor baby). We drove to Ohio to spend a short pre-thanksgiving weekend. There are a few things I have to do this weekend, but tonight it was just nice to sit around the house. Even though I am a mom, I still need my mom a lot, so it is nice to go home and be taken care of a bit. She even watched baby Jack while I got my nails done! How nice!

day 4: darlene

day four:

today I am thankful for getting good time with my Louisville friend, Darlene. Darlene loves bw3’s, has a baby, and is married to a husband similar to mine (heehee!). We have a lot in common and we became quick, intentional friends. We usually hang out once a week to confess sin, work through marriage issues, and catch up on life. I really enjoy her company and she has been a blessing to my life here. She was even on my birth team when I had Jackson and has been an incredible go-to person with baby questions!

This summer, her and Jeremiah are moving to Pittsburgh to plant a church with our friends Rob and Lauren. I going to be so sad when all four of them leave because they have been such good friends to me and Kevin, but we are so thankful for their community thus far!

day 3: sleepy jack

day three:

Tonight I am so thankful that Jackson went to bed early! Usually I put him down at 11, and tonight 10:30! I practically had to keep him awake most of the evening so that he would (hopefully) sleep through the night. It is definitely a blessing when I get to spend most of the evening with a drowsy baby on my chest rather than pacing and bouncing all around my apartment to help him calm down.

Now I get some down time to eat homemade popcorn and drink a diet coke and listen to Mumford (yeah…I’m a month behind on the craze y’all) and finish watching all the Wednesday night shows…all things I am also thankful for!

Day 2: steph!

Today I have been alert, looking for things to be thankful for! Even now, as I sit up with baby jack during an unusual restlessness at bedtime, I am thankful for this blog post I call to mind from this morning, reminding me to cherish times like this while he is still young. All the nights he needs extra rocking and nursing to fall asleep will not last long. In fact, my days with Jackson are numbered (Psalm 90) so I must “thank God for the gift of being his mom today.”


day 2:

But today, I am also thankful for Steph Holcomb. What a faithful friend she is! Since I moved to Louisville over a year and a half ago, Steph has never gone more than a few days to a week without calling me, usually spending an hour or two sharing life and struggles together. Today she called me and I got to share with her some depression I have been experiencing now that I am a mom. My life feels a little out of my control, and since I am at home all day, I get extremely anxious when my apartment is messy or I can’t get to my “to-do” list. She was a great listener, encouraged me in my walk with the Lord, and helped me search my heart a little bit in terms of where my true peace comes from. Again, the topic of “inviting the Lord into my day” came up.

Later, I had community group and during our girl time, I confessed the same issue. They were all so sweet and encouraged me not to set unrealistic expectations on myself in this season. Right now, the most important thing on my to-do list is to care for Jackson, and they praised me for keeping him healthy and growing. They came up with the idea of all writing out a few verses on notecards for me to tape around my house to meditate on while I am doing chores.

I just feel very cared for today. Thank you Lord for community that walks through hard seasons alongside me.

Day 1 of Thankfulness

I’m piggybacking off of Jackie Lopina and others and blogging “10 days of Thankfulness” until Thanksgiving. Sometimes, I just need SOMETHING to write about. It’s hard to blog when I feel like very little goes through my mind each day. I have gotten into a rut where I do not read my bible. I wake up tired, have my arms full all day (literally), and go to bed cherishing each second of sleep that Jackson will give me. This, combined with closed blinds, very few plans, and long quiet days has been wearing on me. I remember a sermon a long while ago when I was at the Oaks that basically said, “thankfulness will flee us from pride and lead us to deeper joy in the Lord.” I think I need this refreshment that gratitude brings.


day one:

Today I am thankful for some alone time at Mcdonalds. I guess that makes me doubly thankful for my husband who watched our baby Jack while I got away. I’m pretty sure it has been weeks since this happened. I got to blog random thoughts, skip around in the bible, soak in good words, and press into Jesus with a few Valley of Vision prayers. In this season, I have not forgotten God as my Father– I certainly cry out for his help with every ounce of my being– but Jesus died for much more than meeting my needs, Amen?! There is a friendship deep and full of joy that I am missing out on! I have forgotten him as my friend who I share my joys and struggles with, who I long to hear from, and who sits with me even as I nurse a baby and watch Keeping up with the Kardashians on Netflix. So I read the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 and renamed it the “Prodigal Friend” for today. I long to have that sweet friendship with Jesus as I once did. A few weeks ago Pastor Daniel recounted a conversation with a women in our church who is a recent convert. He tells how excited she was about the scriptures that she literally SLEPT with her bible. That used to be me! My waking thought was with the Lord and as night I fell asleep warmed by His words. And now, even though my life is crazy and monotonous, I want to invite God into my days. This parable was so comforting to know that my friendship with the Lord is not based on how faithful I am to Him or how much I have taken advantage of Him. Instead, He runs to hug me, quickly answers my plead for reconciliation, and is glad to be my company all my days. What a friend we have in Jesus, guys! This brings me much joy today.