Round One

Holly asks: What is the one thing about every day that makes you really joyful? What brings a smile to your face?

Well for starters, the two other people who live in this house are really funny. So they make me smile a lot. And I think I’ve told y’all about 490 times that I have absolutely hysterical friends. SWEET MERCY my friends make me laugh (and I’m including family members in the “friends” category, by the way).

Plus, I get such a kick out of people in general – I love their stories, I love their perspectives, I love their quirks – so for me, something as simple as a trip to Walgreens has the potential to be utterly entertaining. Because there are people there, you see.

Of course, since I fall smack-dab in the middle of introvert and extrovert on the Myers Briggs, as soon as I enjoy all the people in the Walgreens I have to get back home so that I can be by myself and journal about how much I treasured those extroverted moments.

Also, worship through music really makes me smile – and makes the whole “joy thing” a whole lot more attainable. Right now there are three CD’s that are enabling me to have SOME CHURCH UP IN MY VEHICLE: Matt Maher’s Empty and Beautiful, Ronnie Freeman’s God Speaking, and Delirious’ Kingdom of Comfort, which is HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL, ohmyword.

So as far as the joyful part goes…well, it’s all God. Seriously. Anyone who has ever encountered me around 5:30 in the morning knows that joy is NOT my natural state of being. And on top of that, there’s the pesky little fact that I am as fallen and dark-hearted as they come. I’ve probably said this here before, but I think it’s worth saying again: I’m all too familiar with my own depravity because I’ve embraced it time and time again.

So the joy? 1 Timothy 1:15-17 pretty much sums it up for me:

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

I’m NOT comparing myself to Paul, by the way. But this verse reminds me that no matter how much baggage or guilt or hurt or shame we carry around with us, God covers and redeems it all.

Somebody give Him a handclap of praise.

And also, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 has really encouraged me lately:

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.



Grace asks: Can I just say how much I am loving your new design?

Why, yes, Grace, you certainly can. Thanks for that. Of course, I can’t take a lick of credit for it, because Jules designed it, and I think she did a phenomenal job.

Jules also did some rockin’ business cards for me based on this new design, and I can’t wait to get them.

Because, as you know, I am very business-y.

Tamara asks: Is there any adventure or project you’ve been dying to try, but money or time or whatever have prevented you?

Oh, Tamara. You’re so sweet to assume that I’m even remotely adventurous. Or remotely project-oriented, for that matter.

However, I would really, really love to go to New York City with all the “girls” in my family. We were hoping to go this past fall, but then I quit working full-time, and as such ye olde recreational travel budget took a bit of a hit.

I’d also love to go to Spain, England, Italy and Greece – but I don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future unless I run across some sort of money tree that I can shake with great enthusiasm.

And since the whole money tree thing is totally unlikely, I’m actually hoping for something much more realistic: that someone will leave a large sack of cash money in our backyard.

And that the large sack of money will say FOR TRAVEL ONLY on the outside.

See? I am very practical.

And then: How did you and the BooDaddy meet?

We met in Sunday School when I was in second grade and he was in first grade.

I’m not even kidding.

Jennifer asks: What is your favorite Bible Study and why?

Beth Moore’s Believing God. For a million reasons.

I will not list all one million.

But I will tell you this: God used my time in that particular study to really get my attention about some issues in my own heart – and as an impetus for three or four big (HUGE!) turning points in my life.

Have I never told this story before?

Surely I have.

Okay. I checked my archives. I’ve never told this story before.

Give me a day or two. And I’ll tell you the whole thing.

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  1. I just love reading of the testimony of others as to how precious the Lord is to them. And seeing, in the testimony itself, a testimony of its own.

  2. This was just fun, felt like sitting and chatting, or listening to chatting anyway. Seriously, you’ve known your husband pretty much your entire life?! I’ve always been thankful I got mine when he was 30 and had gotten over most of the obnoxious stuff – you obviously got to go through all those parts.

  3. While I completely understand the nothing to talk about in blogland I must say I miss your wit and humor on those, oh, shall we call them dry days?

    :- )

  4. I’m a year older than my hubby, too.

    I like to say, “WELL, I’M OLDER!” during a disagreement.

    Because I’m mature like that.

  5. Jabber Jaws says:

    Seriously, how many people on average read your blog? How many of those do you personally know and how many only read your blog? And, if you had to sum up your life in one sentence with only six words, what would you say?

  6. Amen, Boo-sistah, to the entire first part.
    And I’ve known my fella since I was a little wee, too.
    Can’t wait to hear your B.G. testimony. Some of her studies have changed my walk as well.

  7. I would love to take a Med. cruise and hit all of the lovely countries along the way, with Greece as the final stop. When I “come into some money,” we can go together. ;>) Don’t hold your breath.

  8. Thanks for adding those thar verses… perfect timing :) For me, anyway :)

  9. Christine says:

    Loved this post. I’m right there with you on the first bit. Praise God for covering all the parts that aren’t so Christ-like. 1Thess 5:16-18 is my personal passage. My gandfather wrote it in my baby book at my baptism and I found it shortly after he died when I was 12. We lived on opposite coasts and even though I knew him, I didn’t know him nearly as well as my closer and much older cousins. I’ve always felt that finding that scripture reference after he was gone was a special gift to me. I thought he was a preacher until I was about 8 or so, because why else would you read the Bible, aloud, every night, unless you were a preacher. Did he not know there were books with pictures he could read instead?!!? I’ve claimed that verse ever since I found it and tried to live up to it as best I can.

    We go to LPL next week in San Diego to hear Miss Beth and FryDaddy. I’m not sure who I’m more excited to see and hear!! Had a little panic while listening to the podcast when he said he’s got a gig in Nashvile with Amy Grant on 4/13. I was afraid he couldn’t be at Living Proof on the other end of the country the two days before. Then I remembered, oh yeah, airplanes! Does he have a cool weekend or what!

    Going to LPL w/ my Mom and new sis-in-law. This will be a new kind of thing for Sis. Praying for amazing things to happen. I know they will. Can’t wait to hear about your BG experience. I’m nearing the end of my first Beth study. Can’t wait to do that one!

  10. Just want to say that I think you’re very cool.

    Been reading your blog for about a month but this is my first comment on your blog.

    I’m one of those on-the-line Myers Briggs intro/extroverts too. So I hear ya there.

    Have a great day.

  11. I haven’t been reading your blog that long (but am a regular now!), so there are lots of stories I wouldn’t know whether you have told before or not — so I’m looking forward to hearing about Believing God and its effects on your life. Besides, the best stories are always worth retelling a time or two!

    And, I want to know what kind of work you were doing when you worked full time?

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Believing God – also my all time favorite!

    This summer I’m going to “Deeper Still” with Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, & Kay Arthur. I mean, I’m not going WITH them – they will be speaking at the conference. I’m going with friends.

  13. Oh, sister. Believing God also rocked me to the core. The Holy Spirit used it to remake my spiritual DNA. I can literally say I have not been the same since that study.

    And I echo the introvert-extrovert conundrum. It’s like having a split personality, isn’t it? I’m a huge people person who loves to have fun and talk and have more fun. But I also need some time to process and think deep thoughts and be still.

    My husband often asks which Kelly he’s talking to at that particular moment.

  14. I haven’t done the “Believing God” study, but I recently read the book. Definately life changing. I plastered the shield of faith all over the house: “God is who He says He is, God can do what He says He can do, I am who God says I am, I can do all things through Christ, God’s Word is alive and active in me!” I look forward to reading your story :)
    Also, will you write more on how you and your husband met… and eventually actually ended up together? Seeing as I’m sure at your initial meeting you were still in the cooties-phase…

  15. I just this week started Believing God. I am so excited to hear your story! I can already tell God is going to use this study to impact me greatly, so I look forward to hearing how He has already done that for someone else.

  16. You are seriously making me miss Beth Moore’s old Sunday School class! Thanks for the encouraging WORD! We are actually moving 2 hours from NY next month and you are welcome to come stay with us anytime. I am planning one of those girls trips to NY, I think it includes seeing Rachael Ray.

  17. Believing God rocked my world. Talk about bringing my faith to a whole new playing field-that one did it. I just thank God that he has Beth on his team and has given her those insights and ability to bring scripture to life.

    Rock on with your encouraging words because you are in a most unusual place and have a voice that is being heard! It’s funny the way God works, huh? Embrace your promised land!

  18. I can’t wait to hear your story! Every single day I benefit from the things I learned in that study. God was all over it. Praise Him!

  19. OH, YES, you DO want to go to NYC. We (my hubby and I) just went for 5 days. It was sumpin’ else. Didn’t scratch the surface.

    I, too, am older than my dearest. And Italy is in my travel cross-hairs, too. See how much we have in common. Let’s do lunch.

  20. I’m a year older than my hubby too (13 months actually–not a big fan of the days between Oct. 31 and Nov. 25 when I’m TWO years older).

    I wanna ask more questions. Mine were piddly.

  21. Oh, me too! Me too, sista! I am smack-dab in the middle of the introvert/extrovert scale. I always tell people that I am introvert that lives the life of an extrovert, though sometimes I am more of the opposite. And I totally get the Walgreens thing – got a good laugh out of that; thanks!

    And I can’t wait to hear “the whole thing!”

  22. No, no, no. *I* get to be the Chief Sinner.

  23. Melissa says:

    I did not know you had been working full time. What was your job?

  24. Amen to your words on joy. I have read the scripture in I Timothy and as I was reading your post the words hit home. Thank you.

    Love and Hugs,
    Joyce from Creation In Progress

  25. LOVE the Q & A! :) You’re answer to Holly in particular was hilarious as well as inspiring.
    “Somebody give Him a handclap of praise.” Love! :) Have a good day, girl!

  26. God is so good! How amazing that He uses this medium to connect us with one another and to encourage us in our life as a believer. God is shining through you!

  27. You were such a cradle robber…:-) I’m a couple of days behind in my reading so I’m just getting caught up tonite…what a fun read you are!

  28. Believing God is my all time favorite Bible study too! It was life changing! I did it on my own when my regular Bible study group was taking a break, which was good becasue it was just me and God sorting things out, but bad because I would have loved to talk to someone else about everything I was learning. I’m hoping our group will do it next fall! I still treasure my homemade blue bracelet, and I’ve never gone back to the tv watching I gave up. Maybe the next time I’ll try to give up the internet. Nah, not likely! ;) Beth just rocks, and she particularly rocked on that one!

  29. Oh, sweet mercy, I can’t wait to hear the impact Believing God has had on your life (and will forever and always continue to, amen)! That was absolutely, without a doubt, the most fundamental, most impacting and most life changing (and mind changing) study EVER! I’ve always hoped she would write a version for younger children and teenagers because if we can believe the core truths and believe HIM, we can go forward in faith!
    Also, traveling? If I could do it forever and actually make money instead of spend it and take my family. Oh, I would SO do that!!

  30. Amen, Sister! I was so encouraged by your answer to Holly’s question. I can’t wait to hear your “Believing God” testimony. I have been blessed by the “Breaking Free” Bible study, and am looking forward to LPL in SA this summer.

    NYC is an adventure all on its own. I hope you and the girls get to do that someday. Last night, after watching “Here Come the Newlyweds”, my husband dreamt that the final 3 couples were coming over and he was trying to cook for them while I was running errands. My husband was in a panic, because “Beanie Weanie Wellington” is the extent of his culinary skills. Meanwhile, I dreamt that WE won the $465,000 prize, and spent most of the night parcelling it out. We could go a long way on that, but a money tree would have been much simpler!

    You are a hoot…so funny, while still encouraging your sisters!

  31. I’m glad to see there’s somebody else out there who is loving some Matt Maher. I’ve been a fan of his for a few years and was excited when he finally signed a national recording contract last year. I can’t wait for others to hear how great his music is!