Proverbs 3

I welcomed this reminder from Proverbs today.

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. ‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭1-6‬ NLT

That’s all from this blog loving girl today. So thankful for the Lords tender words. They are sweeter and more life giving than anything I could say. Amen? 🙂 ❤

A Holy Perspective for Marriage

Today I want to write a little something on marriage. Not from the position of expertise just experience. I hope if you’re a wife in need of encouragement that this will be some for you. 🙂

Sometimes I find myself coasting in marriage. I’ll have thoughts like “Man, Jason and I have been doing so good.” And of course good is equated to the lack of disagreements or arguments, the moments of intimacy, and the general ease of life. And then something will happen. Someone will get sick, jobs present stress, you move, visitors come and go, finances need to be evaluated, the ac breaks, ect. It’s amazing how what seems like just a ripple can throw you all out of whack. So whatever the thing is, it causes a tension. At first you dismiss it. Its not worth bringing up. Don’t make “something out of nothing.” And yet the tension stays and you feel it growing. You start to feel a little distant and you know they must feel it too. At some point you decide it’s time to talk about it. Just get all those little stressors out on the table, it’ll make everyone feel better. True. Communication is so important. But here’s where I messed up.

I made it about me.

Whether I think or know my husband is stressed or distant, somehow in my approaching him with “are you okay? what’s wrong?” I still was primarily concerned with “what’s wrong with you? Because it’s effecting me negatively. And I want YOU fixed, primarily so I can feel better.”

After a few intense arguments and nothing getting truly resolved,… I realized that I had to let go of what I perceived my husband was doing or needing to own up to and recognize that whether he is right or wrong I was still being selfish in my motives to resolve the conflict and I was not acting completely in the right. Ultimately I was not wanting him to change or admit fault because I thought it was the best thing for him to do, or the right thing to do, I just wanted to be right and feel good in my marriage.

Being right should not be my goal.

It finally dawned on me, for the 7 millionth time, my marriage is not about me. It’s a means to reveal Gods love, power, and glory. I needed to refocus and view my marriage and my husband through a gospel lens. If I want to be edifying to my husband and encourage him spiritually then I have to come to him humbly, less concerned about how I am feeling, and totally wrapped up in how I can be his help mate, not only for him but for God.

“How can I better serve my husband?”

It is amazing the weight that God lifts off of me when I start thinking in this way. Not that every problem is immediately solved, but that I can see hope and Christ’s love. The same love he has for me, he calls me to have for my husband. This is not always easy. Sometimes it is, but a lot of times it’s not. Because we are self centered by nature. But I know God honors humility and obedience. And he will give me strength, peace, perseverance and joy when I get in the trenches of marriage. And he will stay with me.

I have read two awesome books recently that have allowed me to see (and hopefully grow in) areas of personal disobedience and sin. They have been of great encouragement. But I decided that I needed a different focus. I have spent a lot of time focusing on my spiritual growth and relationship with Christ, a good thing! But it’s probably high time I stop focusing on me for a moment, so I got a marriage book! 🙂

Sacred Marriage: What if God designed to make us holy more than to make us happy, by Gary Thomas. I knew by the caption it had to be good!

We definitely are blessed with so many resources to encourage and grow God centered marriages. I hope if you are a wife you know you are not alone in your struggles. If you need encouragement or prayer and you really feel like there is no one, you can email me 🙂 I can pray for you and at least share the wisdom women have instilled to me because I certainly don’t have all the answers. But that’s not what God requires, we don’t have to have all the answers and have it altogether. He just wants us to humbly seek, trust, follow and rely on him. Don’t stay alone! God calls us to be here for each other. 🙂

Summer Family Fun 2014

This past weekend has been one I will definitely cherish. To better recall it in the future I am blogging about it here. Because as I’ve stated before, this blog is a means to track this crazy-messy-wonderFULL of God given grace- Georgia Graham life. 🙂

I have had the privilege of sharing our new home with my parents, my oldest brother and his wife and children. It has been such a treat! We currently have not made many (and by that I mean zero) friends here. We are still looking for a church home and that is more than likely where we will form a lot of new friendships. So we haven’t gotten to have people over much yet. (Feel free to visit us friends!) I really enjoyed hosting and doing my best to serve my family in whatever capacity I could. Cooking is always more fun for me when I’m cooking for family and friends. 😉 I am so grateful that God not only created us but he gave us family. And whether our “family” is blood or some very amazing friendships with a depth and love that resembles family, it’s all from God. God created man and our chief purpose is to love and honor God which is primarily conducted through relationship. Family and friends are such a gift. I am so thankful for all the people in my life.

My parents are staying through the week but my brother, his wife and their 3 youngest children came for the weekend. They have a son who had made a prior commitment and we missed having him but look forward to when he is able to have a visit with us in the future. So we had 6 children, 6 adults, and never a dull moment. Two 2 year olds, a 4 year old, two almost 6 year olds, and a 7 year old. I love having a big family. It is so much fun to see all the personalities and interaction between the kids and the adults. My sister in law, Jamie, is so crafty and thoughtful and came with beautiful gifts bags full of bows (that she made) and polish and gorgeous hand made picture frames for my girls. She spent several hours painting nails, faces, and even giving me a little mini makeover. 🙂 I am so thankful God gave me sister in laws that didn’t just marry into our family but have truly become like sisters. My niece and nephews bring a special “White family” 😉 kind of life and excitement. We had so much fun introducing them to our animals and letting them have a little part in feeding, gardening, 4 wheeling, berry picking, firefly catching and front porch rocking. It was wonderful to spend so much time with my brother, CJ. He normally spends long hours at work or studying for his seminary classes. So it was nice getting 3 full days with all of them. I just love waking up and having people to drink coffee with. And I particularly enjoyed the couples time that Jason and I had with CJ and Jamie. It’s rare the 4 of us get a moment alone but we had some good late night chats and laughs that mean a whole lot to me. I’m so glad they made it up for a visit this summer.

We celebrated Independence Day. Which next year I want to be more intentional with my family about why we celebrate. The girls are getting old enough to understand the sacrifices people made for our freedom and I want to be continually instilling in all of us appreciation and thanks for the freedom we have in our country and also the freedom we have in Christ. I am guilty of reminding myself what individuals gave up for us and I do want to take the time to reflect AND celebrate. So THANK YOU to all who serve, have served, or have family who served. I don’t know that I’ll ever fully understand the magnitude of your sacrifices, I have not experienced the weight of the loss involved but I know that we are incredibly blessed by all who have played a role in serving and protecting our country. Thank you!

We also celebrated Caleb’s birthday. My baby boy is 2 now! So hard to believe. Caleb, you my boy are your daddy’s son. You love all things loud, dirty, athletic, adventurous, and most of all for now, all things tractor. I am thrilled to be your mommy and to be partnered with God and your daddy in raising you to be exactly who God intends for you to be. We pray you become a man that loves Jesus with everything you have and that you find your own unique way of living out how much you love God and his people.

Here are some fun pictures from our special weekend. 🙂

20140708-150237-54157343.jpg

20140708-150236-54156828.jpg

20140708-150234-54154044.jpg

20140708-150234-54154764.jpg

20140708-150238-54158662.jpg

20140708-150235-54155792.jpg

20140708-150237-54157824.jpg

20140708-150241-54161142.jpg

20140708-150236-54156294.jpg

20140708-150240-54160152.jpg

20140708-150239-54159327.jpg

20140708-150238-54158423.jpg

20140708-151053-54653886.jpg

20140708-151054-54654545.jpg

20140708-151053-54653042.jpg

20140708-151055-54655293.jpg

Gardening, foraging, and all the critters in between

I wouldn’t have been able to define “foraging” last week if you asked me to. It’s tricky naming my recent post. I like to be all corny and fun with my titles but I’m running out of ideas so I settled for literal this time. 🙂

We are in the dead of summer. And when I say dead I am specifically talking about the dead brutal Georgia heat. Man it can get so hot here! Don’t get me wrong, I love the sun shine and all it’s radiant glory but it can make outside play a bear. Still we do what we can. Five o’clock is now my favorite time of day. It does get super hot but at 5 pm the temp seems to drop dramatically and you can sit in your rocking chair and enjoy the evening waiting for fireflies. Simply wonderful.

Hopefully someone is taking care of dinner :-/

The last few days we have spent a lot of time working in our garden. Jason is all “go big or go home” and big he went. Since we are total amateurs here the garden is kind of a mess. I’m sure it will take a couple seasons to really get organized but we are enjoying the learning experience.

Of course we would lose our “map” that we made to track what’s in which row. I have looked up every vegetables type of leaf to figure out “what on earth did we plant?!” So far we have a TON of cucumbers. We’ve began pickling some and have had a lot of cucumber salad. Any other good cucumber recipes out there? We also have carrots, tomatoes, corn, and collards. I picked some of the collards yesterday. I am gaining such an appreciation for the farmer. Seriously, gardening is a time consuming process. I spent several hours picking, soaking, cleaning, trimming and cooking. It was very gratifying and eye opening. Obviously some veges are more work than others. Some you can pull, rinse, and eat. Either way, I find myself amazed over how our ancestors did this as a way of life and it was there only option! So incredible! I feel like a wuss lol!! But I am eager to learn some new skills in the areas of growing and cooking. We planted a bunch of other stuff and are already planning our fall/winter crops. So exciting! Maybe one day I will be able to go out and pick my own sweet potatos, snag a few black berries, then swing by the coop to grab my eggs. Perfect breakfast right dad? 😉

20140701-233221-84741402.jpg
So yes, I had mentioned that we have quite a few black berry trees on our property. And by few I mean like 100! It is incredible. We finally picked a few handfuls with our girls and Caleb and their cousins last week. Kids really love this kind of stuff, venturing out into the exciting world of picking wild fruit! I mean who doesn’t?! And bonus, they are so ready to eat it!

20140701-233040-84640386.jpg

20140701-233039-84639993.jpg We went out picking over the weekend and were really hard at it. And we got a BUNCH! But let me just share with you, berry picking is not for the weak or faint of heart.

20140701-230526-83126280.jpgDo not even pretend you don’t love my boots and running shorts combo. Nailed it.

This stuff is really rough and toughing me up. I HAVE to pick the best berries, which always seem just beyond my reach. Of course the horseflies love them and so it was a full on war between them and me. Not to mention the briars. Oh the thorns,….. My husband….. He was really determined to get to this row of berries on the other side of our fence. So he gets his mower and chain saw out to cut a path, rather successfully. Of course when I get out there to start picking and can’t quite reach a few, all of a sudden I get mauled by these giant thorny branches! Jason had brought his trusty mower back in play and mowed the briars right on to me. Accident? Maybe. It was stuck in my hair, scraping my back, I had quite a time pulling it all out, meanwhile my love is laughing hysterically. I realize I probably did look like a real “hot southern mess”. I was able to let out a few laughs over his tenacity, it was kind of funny. However my right shoulder looks like I was attacked by a panther…. or something. :-/ but we did get some amazing black berries. I’d say it was worth the battle wounds. And hey, I can always use the funny material my family provides for the blog right? 😏

20140701-230906-83346731.jpgseriously, natures Edward Scissorhands

20140701-230908-83348080.jpg

20140701-230907-83347359.jpghow delicious does that look?

So here is one more laugh for ya. Micaila and I are enjoying our fruit….

20140701-231407-83647708.jpg…..at this point I’d say we’ve eaten 85 percent of our bowl and Micaila says “eww!!! There is like, a worm! Or something.” I examine the berry and sure enough a teeny tiny worm is crawling out of it. Have I mentioned that we don’t know what we’re doing around here half the time? Seriously, we sort of just jump in and figure stuff out. At this point I still could not have told you what “foraging” was so I certainly did not expect this. I was so preoccupied making sure the berries were safe to eat I didn’t even consider the need to soak them properly. We did wash them of course but after discovering this little critter we read of a way to soak them, Ice water, salt, 10 minutes, boom. Your berries should be dewormed. No idea if we ingested any, wouldn’t surprise me at all if we did, but for the most part they should be harmless….. :-/ extra protein maybe? 😉