Plans for a future

 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" ~Jeremiah 29:11

Often, this is where people stop. They spout this verse about how God will take care of us. They share it with graduates, they write it when people are going through tough times and it becomes an anthem for those not knowing what's coming next.

Shoot, I've been guilty of this myself. I've quoted the verse to myself when I struggled. I looked at it for comfort.

Personally, I think there's nothing wrong with looking to Jeremiah 29:11 for comfort. But I think we're doing a disservice to not look at more of the passage.

I admit, Jeremiah is not a book I'm that well-versed in. Google gives us some insight into the time of Jeremiah the prophet and writer of the book. Since I'm not a Biblical scholar, however, I feel it's best to leave the explanations to those who know better, whi…

When a door closes

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." ~Proverbs 16:9
On Aug. 13, 2012, I walked into the office of The Advocate-Messenger. I was in the process of finishing my master's degree and was starting my first "real" job as a professional journalist.

I was in awe my first day. That was a feeling that didn't go away quickly, either. There were legends in that office and I was getting to work alongside them.

I got to cover the vice presidential debate that year. I met then-Governor Steve Beshear multiple times in those first few months. I had the opportunity to shake the hands of journalists from around the world.

I've met people who have amazed and inspired me.

I've covered stories that have broken my heart.

I've gotten to meet various elected officials in Boyle and surrounding counties. I've gotten to know a variety of first responders.

I met my husband.

I've gotten to fulfill a dream of mine.

And, on June 22, 2018, I…

Supporting the Arts Center

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." ~Pablo Picasso
I don't remember the first time I picked up a brush or was shown how to create something from nothing.
But I assure you, it was a great experience. My whole life, I've been surrounded by a family that enjoys creating something out of nothing. My mom and grandma were making grapevine wreaths before Martha Stewart made it cool. I would spend hours with various members of my family on one project or another.
I do remember the first time I picked up a crochet hook. I was a teenager and I had expressed to my dad how I wished I could learn that.
So he taught me.
I'm convinced my dad can honestly make anything. But that's another story for another time.
He had learned from either my aunt or my grandma when he was younger. He remembered how and taught me. He made a hat using the single crochet stitch.
I remember how excited I was. My first real project? A purse. I still have i…

Be kind

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~Believed to be said by the Rev. John Watson, who went by the pen name Ian Maclaren
Today, I met a brilliant young lady, one who reminded me so much of myself when I was younger.

On my way to interview her, my mind had been mulling around some heavy thoughts. After interviewing her, I was heading to the courthouse, to cover a case of man who is accused of murdering his wife in their home.

Yesterday, a student in another state took a gun to school, in an effort to shoot classmates. Thankfully, he was stopped. This is the third or fourth attempted (or successful) school shooting this year.

Last night and this morning, I saw two different stories of people who have stolen dogs — one in need of life-saving medication.

Recently a friend, added me to a group where the sole purpose is to share cases of child abuse.

The list goes on. My heart is so heavy. I’m so tired and exhausted at dealing with all this hard stuff.

I just…

A Proverbs 31 life

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." ~Proverbs 31:30
My whole life, I’ve been told that women should strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman.
And my whole life, I thought that meant a woman who took care of her husband and kids and was the appropriate amount of respectful and submissive (as women are often encouraged to be) and just put together so perfectly.
In some ways, it is.
But have you ever really read Proverbs 31? Not just Proverbs 31:30, quoted above, but the whole chapter?
The Proverbs 31 woman is a fierce creature. She doesn’t lower herself in any way, but has the full respect of her husband. She handles her business, manages the family budget … Shoot. The woman buys a field and plants grapes.
She also cares for the poor and those in need.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” ~Proverbs 31:25
I wish I could laugh at the days to come.
In our heads, we have this image of what we thin…

Poor as church mice

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. ~Earl Wilson
This has been a stressful month and it’s only Jan. 17.

It’s really kind of a series of stressful months in our house — it always seems there’s more month than money.

Coupled with that is the feeling that we always somehow find a new and unexpected bill in our box each month.

Especially since I had surgery in September.

I certainly didn’t expect all of the bills that came from that. Due to our income, we did get a break on one of those, but we still have plenty of others to make up for it.

Does it ever feel to you like the bills, the worries, the general stresses of life are overwhelming?

For me, it does. Financially, things are tight for us. Christmas this year was a lean one, with small gifts and a lot of homemade stuff going out instead of store bought stuff.

I always feel nervous when I give someone a homemade gift. Will they appreciate the time and effort that went into it? Will they use it o…

The wonder of children

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man. ~Rabindranath Tagore
There’s a permanent art installation in our Boyle County Public Library as you enter the building’s rotunda. It’s of a bunch of colored glass “balloons,” called “Time Zippy,” created by the talented Stephen Rolfe Powell.

I love working in that area, because there’s a heater, a plug and it’s actually decently cozy for an entranceway. The other day, I was sitting there working as children came in. Several, actually, came through while I was there, walking in with their families. Each one seemed more amazed at the balloons than the one before.

I’ve no way of knowing how often those kids came into the library, but each looked at the glass balloons as if it were their first time seeing them.

Isn’t it amazing how kids are amazed by everything? I loved seeing their little eyes light up in awe as they saw all the colors hanging from the ceiling. Some would exclaim, “WOW!” or something similar as they…