Friday, July 31, 2015

Don't Try So Hard!

As someone who loves real time, quality relationships, I struggle when I get ignored. I love to encourage, sending letters/cards to others. I love to make time for others even if it means less sleep on my end which is already something I unreasonably get with six children and one on the way. But relationships matter and people matter to me. 

When people shut me out or stop responding to me, it's a huge letdown. I tend to want to keep trying at a relationship, building it with them even when they don't seem to care.

Something that really hurts deep down inside of me is when I feel like I don't matter. I feel like their non-response is their way of not even noticing my existence. When people don't seem to even find a second to respond to a simple word of anything I try to say or do, it hurts.

Every once in awhile, I get a wake up call when I am reminded that maybe they don't want to have a relationship with me. I know others are busy and things happen with life. But I have to remember that I can't try so hard. I have to give the situation over to God and let Him handle it. I've done my part and I will be there for that person should they change their mind. 

Until then, God takes my hurts and pain as He whispers to me, "Listen my child. I am here. I have never left you. I have never forsaken you. I am jealous for you. Yet, you don't always have the time for me. Return to me, oh my daughter. You have not been forgotten." 

"Yes, Lord! I am listening. I have been careless of my time spent with you. You are the most important relationship. You are the one I need to put all my focus on. Everything with everyone else will fall into place as it should be. Perhaps, it's necessary for me to step back and give them space. I will let go of them. And I will turn my focus back to You.

So, when you feel doubt rising inside of you or that maybe things aren't working out with your friendship with another, remember to give yourself a break. Think about how much effort you've put into your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Remember the times you ignored Him. Just as He has forgiven you, forgive others for their mistakes too. And be patient! It may be part of the plan. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Unspeakable Joy Exchange Round Three Giveaway

This is a giveaway that I am hosting as a bonus to bless someone who has donated to the adoption, signed up for the exchange, and shared about the event on social media.

 I am so thankful to you for your donations, support, prayers, and willingness to get this out through word-of-mouth. Because of your generosity, this is for you.

One winner will be chosen after the exchange has closed through Giveaway Tools. If you are here by accident and have not completed the things mentioned in the first line, go back to here to get started:

TO ENTER: All you have to do is enter your email address so you can be contacted if you are the winner. And then you may enter this giveaway daily through August 7th. Thank you again for your support to the Caudle family.

The prize for this giveaway is a one time gift box from Fair Trade Friday. The women from Mercy House are self employed through the things they create and design. These boxes that are purchased go to help support these women and their families. Just like the name, it's a fair trade. What you end up receiving will be a variety of items made by these women through hard work. If you would like to know more, please go to these sites: and

Good luck and don't forget to come back here tomorrow to enter again! The winner will be randomly selected after the close of the giveaway on August 7th.

Unspeakable Joy Exchange Round Three-Caudle Family (CLOSED)

The adoption process is a BIG one. It's one that requires a lot of upfront costs and a season of long wait times. There are people like the Caudle family who desire to grow their family through the adoption process. But they need our help with some of those upfront costs. And you can make it possible for them to bring Deklan home. Below is a summary of how this round of the Unspeakable Joy Exchange will work along with the story of this amazing family.

Clinton and Natalie Caudle, along with their children Macy and Owen, are in the process of adopting a little boy with special needs from China. His name is Deklan and he has won their hearts a million times over. They have completed the pre-approval paperwork and are working through the home study process now. Here is the link to their blog with the latest happenings:

Adoption is very expensive and there are a lot of upfront costs. Christ calls us together to help others with the resources we've been blessed with and I feel like we can really come together and help this family out with the adoption funds. 

So here's the plan. Donate $5-10, or more depending on how much you feel led to give. Where do you donate? Go to: Scroll to the bottom right of the page and find the section that says, "Donate." You can also send a Paypal amount to them at: 

Are you able to pass on that Starbucks coffee today to help bless another family in TREMENDOUS ways? Let's do this, friends! Let's come together as a community and help this sweet family out.

After you have donated, please send the following information to me on this form:

Email Address:
Instagram/Facebook/ Or Any Other Social Media Info:
Favorite Bible Verse:
Home Décor:
Favorite Colors:
Favorite Snack:
Any Other Info About Yourself You'd Like To Share:
Prayer Requests:
Do You Mind Shipping Internationally? Y/N

***What is this exchange and why am I sending you this information? This is so you can be paired up with another Sister in Christ. You will send them a package in the mail and they will send one to you. It's a fun way to not only help the family above but also get to know another believer from around the world/U.S. You are also welcome to email me the above info to Here's more info about it below***

You have until August 7, 2015 to sign up for the Exchange. With the information you receive about your sister in Christ, you will send them some fun surprises in the mail based on the info they shared with you that would bless them. This time's challenge is to send your exchange sister: something with their favorite color, a Fall item (it's just around the corner), and the last item of your choice. (Ideas: something with their favorite Bible verse, journal, Starbucks/iTunes gift card, scarf, book, coffee mug, washi tape, picture frame, jewelry, snack, lip gloss, an item that goes with their home décor, you name it!). Perhaps, you are a creative person. Feel free to make them something handmade. The sky's the limit!

There are 3 items total you will be mailing to them (or more/less depending on how you'd like to do this- please use this as a guideline to help you or be as creative as you want to be), and they need to go out NLT September 1, 2015. This does not need to be an expensive exchange. The minimum does need to be about $15.

Here are the steps for this exchange:

Step 1:
Donate to the Caudle family at:  (send Paypal for whatever amount you'd like to donate) or: Look at the bottom of the page and find Donate. You have two options, one for Paypal and the other for Pure Charity.
Remember, you cannot participate in the exchange until you have donated. This is the purpose behind the fun! :) We are helping to bless this family in whatever way we can.

Step 2:
Sign up for the exchange through this form by clicking here or going to:

Or you can email me the above info to

Step 3:
Pray for the Caudle family!!! Get the word out about the exchange through your social media sites. Even if you do not intend to participate, we need to get the word out for their support. They really want to bring their son home. So share away!!!

Step 4:
You will receive your exchange sister's name/info NLT August 15, 2015. I am generally quick with getting that info out. But in the event that something happens, you will have that info by that date above. Be sure to check your email for the info. If you do not receive it by that date, please let me know. I may not have received your info for the exchange. After you've received your sister's info, pray for her the next couple of weeks. Feel free to send her an email and introduce yourself. If you have a social media account, find her there.

Step 5:
Get the package together over these couple of weeks. Feel free to use this as a guideline as to what to send them:
  1. Item of your choice
  2. A Fall Item
  3. Item with their favorite color.
Step 6:
Mail the package by: September 1, 2015. I am trying something different with this round. I am asking that you send me your tracking number once you've mailed it ( I want to insure that everyone receives their package. If I do not receive your tracking number, I will contact you. If you do not receive something from your exchange sister, please let me know. I don't want anyone to walk away from this exchange empty-handed.

Step 7:
If you have an Instagram account, please share what you are sending to (all wrapped up) or receiving from your sister. Include the hashtag #unspeakablejoyexchange2015 This helps those in future rounds to know what to expect.

Step 8:
Finally, share about this exchange with your friends and family. The more we have involved, the merrier.

PLEASE NOTE: Even if you will not be able to donate at this time, please feel free to send the Caudle family an encouraging note to their email ( Keep them in your prayers. Even more, please share this with others. My prayer is that we can help this family out with donations, prayers, and word of mouth!

INSTAGRAM PEOPLE: Are you on Instagram? Here's where I need your help. To draw attention to this exchange, I am hosting a giveaway. My screen name is carebearmccoy (go find me). Look for the Chic Fil A giveaway post. To enter the $25 Chic Fil A gift card giveaway, I need you to:
1.)Follow Me (to keep up with future Unspeakable Joy Exchanges)
2.) Like My Giveaway Post
3.) Tag Two Friends Below the Post
4.) And Share the Giveaway Picture on your Instagram account. Invite your friends to join the exchange. Please include the hashtag #unspeakablejoygiveaway1

This giveaway ends on August 7th. One lucky winner will be chosen at random after August 7th! :-)

NOW... If you have donated, submitted the info for the exchange, and shared about this with family/friends through email or social media, you are eligible to enter into a giveaway for a box of gifts from Fair Trade Friday (worth $45). Whoop! Whoop! Fair Trade Friday helps to employ women in Kenya through the Mercy House so they can provide for their children. They make a variety of beautiful fair trade items that empower women. ( If you are the winner, you will receive a one-time gift box filled with a variety of items.

Follow this link to the giveaway page to enter. You can enter in daily until the exchange closes and a winner will be chosen at random by Giveaway Tools. Go Here Now...:

When We Value Others Above Ourselves

There is a time where we often come across people who are wealthy and live accordingly. Just like many towns do, there are different wealth statuses among the people. I live in an area of Georgia where the people are definitely not hurting for money. We have our different parts of town that make it not all prosperous. But when I go places, I often see people with fancy cars, nice clothing, and perfect hair. The lawns are well manicured and people hire out for most of the dirty work around their homes.

This is supposed to be the Bible belt of America. 

Now having a lot of money doesn't make a person a bad one. But when the world around us is hurting, why are we living so abundantly?

It's easy for a person to get the green eye for what others have while we want to keep up with the Joneses. You see them doing well thinking life must be so grand. In our eyes, they don't have to worry about a thing but live with that feeling of always winning, always looking the best, and always feeling successful. As Americans, we strive to get more and more of whatever we can to gain that status. Sometimes, it's in hope to feel better, be happier, and suffer less. 

But what if our story is not meant to be lived longing for material wealth and gain? What if our story is meant to be completed by the Author and not by what we so desire in this world? For many of us, even with pay raises, we still find ourselves living paycheck to paycheck. But what if living with less and living more to help others is a better gain?  Where is the direction of our hearts going when we find ourselves longing for new stuff all of the time? Do we really end up using everything that we even have? 

These are questions for us all to be examining ourselves with often as we go to make each purchase. We should be thinking more about what God is calling us to do with the money He has blessed us with so wonderfully. It's time we help each other stand accountable to our purchases and think of what we might be able to do with our money instead. 

I read some statistics about poverty here in America that are shocking. While it appears that many people have it together, a lot of our country doesn't even have enough to eat. According to, in 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. In other words, 14 percent of households (17.5 million households) were food insecure. Even more surprising is that there were eight states that were significantly higher in food insecurity, one being Georgia at 16.6% of households. 

So while many in my area are living lavish lives, there are families in other areas struggling to eat. Even more, there is a large amount of people living homeless lives. According to, in January 2014, there were 578,424 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the United States. About 9 percent of homeless people- 49,933- are veterans, the very people who fought for the freedoms for our country. Now I don't know about you, but these are alarming facts. And this is just what is happening on our own land. 

Proverbs 21:13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered. 

Think about other parts of the world and how people are suffering. The poverty in South America is very high (31.8% of people) with the highest rates being in Columbia, Bolivia, and Venezuela. In Bolivia, 60% of the people live in poor conditions with only 86% having access to running water. (

In Africa, disease and lack of human resources such as water contribute to the continent's poverty levels. "In 2006, 34 of the 50 nations on the UN list of least developed countries are in Africa. In many nations, GDP per capita is less than US$5200 per year, with the vast majority of the population living on much less. ( 

Why do we live so abundantly when we are called as Christians to help the poor? 

Isaiah 58:7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Proverbs 22:9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. 

I am as guilty as anyone who has tried to keep up with the Joneses. I'll see things wanting to have it right away. My eyes get big and I tell myself, "I MUST HAVE THIS NOW!" 

Yet, I am constantly cleaning and going through stuff to get rid of in my home. I feel like I am fairly good about things compared to a lot of people in that I don't go overboard with clothing or shoes for myself or my children. But I still feel like we have an abundance that is a bit much, especially when what I spent could have been used to help another person. 

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

What are some ways that you can think of to help others out? How can God use your story to help for the good of others? What kinds of things can you give up out of convenience to bless another? 

One big satisfaction in my life is being able to host this Unspeakable Joy Exchange. God laid it on my heart one night to begin a fun way to help others fund-raise for various needs. We have a new one beginning this week that I am hoping will bless another family (keep your eyes open for when it starts). Please join me in prayer as I prepare for the organization of it. And please pray that as a community, we can all come together to help another out. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

For the Beauty of the Earth

"God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them."- A.W. Tozer

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands. 

In a fast paced world of always being connected through our phones and computers, we often miss out on the daily gifts from God through His creation. We feel the need to always have the TV on or we hand our child a phone to be entertained when we are out somewhere.We feel led to sign up for this event or that, whether it's with our children or through church.  We go, go, go until we run ourselves thin and dry. We are so full of exhaustion that we can barely see through our blurry eyes the beauty He has given to us through all that He has made.

He gave us a sun that rises every morning with rays that shine through the trees. He gave us wildlife that exists everywhere whether on farms, mountains, valleys, or seas. He gave us birds who fly to many destinations, many flying around our own backyards. He gave us trees with different leaves and textures as well as having different purposes. He gave us natural remedies that can be found among the flowers that grow. He gave us seasons that serve to help things grow and animals to live accordingly. He gave us the sunsets with a variety of colors that fills the sky. And He gave us the moon and stars to light the night with a vast array of design.

Genesis 1:31 God saw all that He had made and it was very good. 

Are we looking at what God made and finding it good? When was the last time we shut everything off to look around? What are we teaching our children and future generations when a phone is always held up to our face? Why do we need to have constant internet connection instead of having quiet, unplugged moments to breathe in His existence as we admire the outdoors? Why do we feel the need to sign our children up for so many activities instead of letting them grow up learning about the world through nature?

Our days go quickly by and we desperately need to slow down. I am working on cutting back on my phone/internet usage. It's not always easy when my phone beeps with the sound of a text message or ringing tune. I try to challenge myself to keep my phone in one area and only look at it a handful of times each day.

Instead, I want to take my children outdoors to experience nature. We wake up early to go on nature walks and stop to look around at everything we see. We are identifying trees and birds that God made so that we will know what is out there beyond our big backyard. My oldest daughter will catch bugs to look at closely. My older boys will look through tree books to find out what the tree is called and learn it's purpose.

It's a work in progress but I am hoping to raise my children to live an unplugged life so they can enjoy the beauty around them. I won't give them cell phones during their childhood. I am trying to limit the amount of television time they have so they can use their imaginations. Instead of objects that have plugs, I will give them a scratch pad and pencil asking them to draw what they see outside while including a written summary. As we learn to be more nature seekers than WiFi dwellers, our eyes are opened to so many amazing things. 

It wasn't that long ago when boys and girls worked hard around their home while also running through hills and flatland barefoot. They weren't in a protective bubble of air conditioning but they were free to roam. They learned early on how to not be afraid of their environment and lived with a bravery to go out without fear of what was around them.

My children are far from those days but what I hope to instill in them is to have eyes to see what exists. God made so many wonderful things from the butterflies to the patterns of the stars. I want my children to take the time to see the world that is waiting for them. Because days go by and before long, we realize we can't get that time back.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

When We Learn to Trust in God

There is a freedom and joy found in giving your very heart to God trusting in His path for your life. It's not always easy to think about the unknowns, the what-ifs, and the surprises that may pop up along the way. Knowing that no matter what, He has your back and doesn't intend to leave you EVER, brings such a deep satisfaction with less worry attached.

My husband and I have always felt a desire to grow a large family. We've had so many critics and comments along the way. People don't always agree with the decision that is made when we have another child. I know not everyone is destined to have a large family. Some families are small and some are made up of adopted children. Sometimes, life throws a hurdle and having a family isn't possible for everyone. We don't know what the future holds for us, but what we do know is that He put this desire in our hearts to raise children for His kingdom.

Currently, I am expecting our seventh child. It may be that this is the last one. It may be that He desires us to have another in the future. Often times, I've felt a nudge to even adopt someday. As far as we are concerned, God will lead the way. We can't worry and wonder about tomorrow. Yet, we can listen to His voice and follow what He speaks to our hearts.

This last week, we received news that our newest son will have a bilateral cleft lip and possibly a cleft palate as well. The previous week, at our first ultrasound, we didn't know what all that would entail. After getting the confirmed diagnosis, we were actually filled with an unbelievable love for this child. We know our son will require many surgeries and may have issues with feeding or speech in the future. Our son appears to have healthy organs as of now. We are so thankful to our Almighty God for blessing us with a child in a family who will love him unconditionally.

After presenting the news to our other children, they were completely understanding about this minor detail. They have no fear for him but love that only siblings can share. They smile at the thought of another sibling and playmate.

Our home is never quiet and immaculate. But that doesn't matter. It's a home filled with love, friendship, and an environment where everyone learns from one another constantly. We do things differently and that's okay. We don't live the way of the world. Instead, we are reckless Christians seeking grace and mercy in a place longing for Jesus.  

There are days that are tiring and I long for five minutes without someone crying outside the bathroom door. There are days where it seems that someone is always getting hurt. Then there are days when there are countless hugs, uncontrollable laughs, and a joy so deep, it's profound. This is the freedom I love and desire. This is fulfillment that is possible when we can walk upon the waters.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hope for the Days Ahead

"Hope is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings a tune without the words-
And never stops -at all."- Emily Dickenson

This past week, we went to the ultrasound of our seventh child with high anticipation. We brought along the children with us so they could witness the excitement of the gender reveal. We have this pattern so far of boy-girl-boy-girl-boy-girl. It was so exciting to find out we were having another boy. As the tech took us through the ultrasound, my heart was overjoyed at this amazing creation. My heart carried with it a deep feeling of hope for this child who would be apart of our lives.

Seeing his heart beat was a good sign along with a healthy spine and brain. He kicked around which made me giggle as the tech was trying to examine him. I loved the way he waved his hand around as though he was signaling to us all, "I'll see you soon." It was such an exciting moment to see those images of this precious baby boy.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

After the ultrasound, the doctor came in and shared that it looks like our son has a cleft lip and we'd need to go to a higher definition ultrasound to confirm. I was taken back a little with this unexpected news. I really didn't know very much about cleft lip other than what I'd seen in ads for Operation Smile.

We came home and started Googling which is probably not the best thing to do. At the same time, we were able to learn more about it and saw that this was a cosmetic issue that can be fixed through several surgeries. I was reassured after talking with my parents, my mother having been a NICU nurse for many years and my father a speech pathologist. It helped a tremendous amount to know that it wasn't a big deal and I felt hopeful again.

I was worried more than anything that there could be serious problems. Sure, he could have trouble with hearing loss and feeding. But without knowing much about it, I didn't know if there were other issues linked to it.

I was told that many people have had this as babies including Jase's daughter from Duck Dynasty. ( Cleft lip is a very common birth defect that happens between the 4th and 7th week of development. There is really no known reason why it happens but it's linked to genetics. Neither my husband nor I know of anyone in our families past who've had cleft lip. Sometimes things happen because it's meant to be. Our boy is going to be perfect in his design.

We love our new little boy so much and are so excited for him to enter the world. We don't have the total confirmation on the cleft lip. It is likely there will be hard days ahead with feedings and surgeries that need to take place. We are praying it was a misdiagnoses. However, if it is, we know that God formed this child in His image. He does not make mistakes. Rather, he makes everything glorious. We look forward to seeing what God's plans are for this child.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tag, You're It!

Are you wondering how you can get back in touch in a more interpersonal way with friends and family? Do you enjoy the exchange of snail mail? Would you like to have the opportunity to ask someone questions to get to know them better?

It's all possible by playing Mail Tag.

What is Mail Tag?
Created by Blanca Jagoe, "it is a fun way to get to know someone better. It revolves around an exchange of postal correspondence." You can download the free printable from the website and send it out to your friends to get it started. Ask them some questions or make some requests. They respond to your mail and send you new questions/requests. (

What I love about Mail Tag?
It really allows you to get to know a person better. You get to open up about yourself sharing parts of your life through snail mail as well as answering fun questions or responding to fun requests. It takes a person beyond the standard way of communicating through social media as is done now-a-days and allows you to get to really develop a special relationship. It goes back to the days of sharing your life with others, building up relationships that matter, and being an encouragement to one another.

What kinds of questions do you ask?
Whatever you think you'd like to ask, go for it! Included here are some pictures of some of the mail tags I've sent and received from others.

How long do you have until you need to respond?
The beauty of it is that you don't have a deadline. Some days are busier than others. Sometimes, there is a quick turn-around and other times, it could be a few weeks. Either way, the letters always seem to arrive just when you need it. And you'll feel like a giddy person opening your mailbox and anxiously getting the letter open to read. It's so much fun!

You'll adore having pen pals, no matter your age. For me, I enjoy sending and receiving every letter through the process.

Come join in the fun and you'll be happy you were apart of this fun activity!