Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Look at the picture above. What do you see?  Roots, right?  Lots and lots of roots ...heading in all sorts of directions and crossing all kinds of paths.

Well, much like these roots, I feel like my life heads in several different directions, and I become s t r e t c h e d.  Sometimes I can even start heading places I never intended to be or even wanted to be.

There are times like this week when I feel like I can't do anything right and I need to finish this task and this task then this task and so on... I can become frustrated with all the things I do wrong, instead of focusing on the things I do right.

During one of these such "LD rants" this week, Dominick stopped me and said, "Woah, babe, just stop. Stop focusing on all the things you've done wrong in the past, and focus on one thing today that you can change. What's the one thing today that you can tackle?"

And then I realized what the problem was. It was me. I was focused on what could I do, how could I change?

Roots are infinitely important. They're what ground us. They run deep within a foundation to promise security of life. But roots can become destructive.

When roots stray too far from their foundation, they can disrupt the life of things around them. They can even ultimately cause their own distruction.

So it is with my life. When I stray too far from my foundation in Christ, the roots I have in Him become less about Him and more about my own mission, a mission that can become destructive to me and those around me.

Today, I think I'll choose the less destructive path. What about you?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A 100-year celebration of life & love

Arlene "Narnie" Hilliard Ruggles
February 22, 1911 - January 4, 2007

Today marks what would have been Narnie's 100th birthday, and as I take a few moments to reflect on the life of a woman who taught me what it means to be a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend & a woman of faith, I am thankful for the moments we got to share.

While we may not have gotten a 100 years together, we certainly had a 100 lifetimes of laughter and more.   Like the time when I was only in elementary school and we were over at her house one afternoon - we used to always get a maraschino cherry when we visited Narnie, but as we had finished (yet another) jar off that day, I decided that since I loved cherries so much I was going to drink the half-full jar of cherry juice that remained once all the cherries had been devoured. Yeah, that was painful.  Pretty sure we laughed about that one for awhile, especially because I was so adamant that I was going to love it when she told me I wasn't.

There was also the time much later in her life - in fact, in her last year of life - when Narnie, Mom & I were out to eat at her favorite breakfast place, and Narnie decided to chime in on a little contest she thought Mom & I were having. Often times in public, Mom & I will flash our grill pieces at one another to see if we have anything stuck in our teeth. On this occasion, we were examining each other when Narnie proudly proclaimed, [pointing to me] "Yep, your teeth are definitely whiter than your teeth" [pointing to Mom's]  Even today, Mom & I find ways to incorporate this phrase into conversations for an extra laugh.

All the stories aside, my grandmother was a faithful woman who had a very strong belief in her family, God (and of course, crossword puzzles)....because she is very much the kind of person I wish to emulate, I decided to honor and celebrate her life today by beginning my 90-Day Bible Reading Plan.

I mentioned "reading the Bible from cover to cover" as one of my 2011 goals, and this is the day to start.  Here is the link to Pastor Furtick's blog, and at the bottom of this post is a link to the 90-Day Plan in case you want to follow along!  It's like Day 1 of P90X, baby, and this study is about to whip me in shape.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


So, the number "11" has kind of become my thing.  (For those of you reading this who don't know, 11.11.11 is my wedding date, thus causing me to rapidly become obsessed with any and all things including the digit.) 

And as we're currently in 2011, and today is a special date (1.11.11 - still not as cool as 11.11.11), I thought I'd take the opportunity to write down some of my goals for the year.  Now, let's not call these New Year's Resolutions (because let's face it, those never work), but let's label them as "goals."

  1. Start working out (again) & feel confident about the skin I'm in
    • Sure, sure - everyone has this goal, but this year is a BIG (hopefully smaller - haha, get it - smaller) year for me. I'm getting married, beginning a new family & as I prepare for this monumental time in my life, I think it's important to feel healthy and good about your body.  Plus, I'm a Christian lady who has waited a long time for 11.11.11 if you know what I'm sayin ;) (bow chicka wow wow)
  2. Read the Bible from cover to cover
    • In my 18 plus years of being a Christian, I cannot say that I have ever done this. Sure, at times in my life, I have studied every part of the Bible, but I have never done an in-depth study and followed a reading plan for each book.  I'd say it's about time this gets crossed off the bucket list.
  3. Marry the man of your dreams - aka my McHottie
    • Ok, this one is kind of a joke. But you laughed, didn't you? Don't lie. 
      • But I guess on the serious side, over the next year there is a lot of planning and preparing for a new stage of my life.  Beyond the wedding (which I am super stoked about), I am commencing an exciting but very much unknown chapter of my life.  I'm becoming a wife and entering a sacred bond with another human being.  There is a lot of praying leading up to this, and I want to make sure I focus on the marriage more than I focus on the wedding.      
  4. Embark on at least one journey that scares me
    • Lots of things scare me, but one thing that sticks out is my fear of failure. I want to challenge myself this year to set out & accomplish something I either a) didn't think I could do; or b) made excuses that have led me away from even trying.  I think it's easy to become complacent in our lives & not set out to achieve greatness, because we're happy where we're at. I want to do something more this year.
  5. Be a prayer warrior
    • This year, I'm going through a lot of life change, & as I'm experiencing this, I think (I know) my prayer life surrounding it will be integral. God calls us to pray without ceasing & pray for the deepest desires of our hearts.  I want to be diligent and intentional in this over the next year, because I know God is going to reveal so much to me and bless my life more than I ever thought possible.
Ok, five goals is good. Actually before there was 11, there was 5, my all-time favorite number. (But shhh don't tell 11 that).  

This my 2011 list. No turning back now.  It's go big or go home, baby.

Be still.

Yesterday began at 4:45 am for me, as I woke up to a great big white bed of snow.

Now, this is not a normal start time for me.  Believe me. But I just couldn't go back to sleep with all that snow out there, just waiting to be enjoyed. So, at 6:00 am, I finally ventured out {{in my pink fuzzy socks and wellies - hey, I'm from Florida}}.  And as the first light of morning started to make its presence known across the soft mounds of freshly laden snow....

....the world was quiet. Still. At peace.

There was no one around but me.  No cars on the road.  Or people walking about.  Just quiet.  Time was frozen in this moment, all around me.  And it was perfect.

All I could think of in the moments that seemed to slow down just for me yesterday was Psalm 46:10, which reads:

Be still and know that I am God.

All around me were little miracles. Pieces of a magical day that God gave to me.

There have been struggles and hardships in the days since Dominick has left for Air Force Basic Training, but God says, "Be still, child. Look all around you. I'm taking care of you."

The blessings of God are abundant and new every day.  So, what's your snow day?  I hope you soak up the rich blessings of God. And don't forget to: be still.

Monday, January 10, 2011

1 scoop per 2 cups

I've wanted to create a blog for some time now, but one of my biggest struggles is making time to just pause & reflect. I like to do so much, and the words: "slow down" never seemed to find their place in my daily verbage.  However, I feel like you lose a part of yourself when you don't make the time to look back on the moments in your life and expound on your experience with them.

Thus, this blog...

I decided to call it "1 scoop per 2 cups: the daily dose of my caffeinated reality" after stumbling upon this note from Dominick (yes, it's written on a napkin. and yes, that's a heart on my coffee cup).  A year or so ago when I was visiting Dominick up in Charlotte, he left this note for me one morning by his coffee maker, which I had never used before.  What he was doing through this note was equipping me with the knowledge I needed to successfully make that certain amount of coffee.  And I just love the analogy you can draw from this.

We all have something we follow and live our life by. A general code of ethics. A daily ritual. A belief in a higher power.  Maybe we don't always start out our day the same way i.e. with 1 scoop.  Maybe it's 2 scoops one day and 12 the next.  But no matter what the formula, we get this wonderfully brewed up goodness.  Sometimes, we may even fill our lives with a bit too much, and it runs over, causing a terrible, hot mess.

BUT the beautiful part of that is... each day is a new day.  And we can decide what we want to put into it.  We have the ability to begin each day with a fresh perspective and get out of it what we put into it.  So, is it a 1 scoop day? You decide. And enjoy.