Susan & Travis | Centerville Conservation | Tallahassee, Florida

Susan & Travis | Centerville Conservation | Tallahassee, Florida

These two!!! They are so special to us! The groom is our chiropractor and we are so thankful for him and his team at Verity Health Center in Tallahassee! and the Bride?! She is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met.

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Peace in the Storm | Marriage Mondays

marriage photographers north florida

Words cant really begin to describe what's in my heart and what a tough few weeks it's been. Watching so many people’s lives be so devastated from the Hurricane Michael has been completely heartbreaking.  And then I sort of got so immersed and lost in disaster relief that I let the 1 year anniversary of Mama's death sneak up on me.  I knew it was coming but just didn’t allow myself to focus on it too much. Disaster relief has been such a balm to my soul. Truly! Wednesday I had the sweet opportunity to take supplies to my aunt’s aunt (which well...she claims me as family because well...ummm..she used to change my diapers. LOL. And she's known my grandparents longer than I have. So Yes! She’s family!). It was such an absolute delight to travel to Cottondale, Florida and meet up with her and share all the love (AKA supplies that other beautiful people donated) with her and her family. We got to sit and eat lunch together (thanks to my precious Father-in-law & Mother-in-law, who graciously drove us there & treated us all to lunch) ..and we shared the most precious conversations and tears over a Hardees burger. Imagine that! She shared her horrific storm story with me and also some sweet memories of my grandparents (who have both passed on).  It was such a blessing! Not sure the Cottondale Hardees has ever seen such love and tears in their little restaurant.

But that is NOT the main point of this post. I'm getting to that tho.  hehe.  The next day ended up being the 1 yr anniversary of Mamas death. Ugh! I thought I was mostly prepared for it. Umm. Not at all!!!  The day was full of errands and busyness with a few sweet moments of remembrance sprinkled in between (and I do mean a few...not quite enough for me, as it turns out). I am quite the processor and I really need time to process grief. I am not able to stuff it for long. All that to say that by the end of that day, I was a hot mess...emotionally. I just was in a deep funk! Sometimes that just happens with grief.  By the time my head hit my pillow, the tears were still just a flowin. And here it is..the point of the post...guess what my incredible man did?! HE PRAYED OVER ME!!! Yes, he did!!! And I cant even begin to tell you the peace that flooded my soul instantly! I had been anxious and emotional all day and in that very moment, I felt nothing but peace! Really! It was so beautiful! 

Soo...here it is..short and sweet…Husbands, pray over your wives! We need it! We really do! It is one of the best marriage investments you can ever make. And on that note, (prepare yourself for a silly shift)… also… eat ice cream together! Haha. Some serious encouragement and silly encouragement! Heehee. Eating ice cream together is what you would have found us doing tonight. It was a sweet reward for pushing thru some crazy few weeks together.

Just don't forget each other and to invest in each other. Pray for each other and pray OVER each other. It’s huge! Really! And sneak away together when you can and most definitely… eat ice cream together (with lots of toppings)! Especially after a crazy season!

So there it is! Our best marriage advice for you this week! LOL. Keepin it real and…

Cheering you on, 

Allen & Carol

Doing the Impossible!

 Downtown Marianna Florida

Downtown Marianna Florida

My heart is so full now that if I don’t begin getting this down, it may just burst!  Oh that moment when you know you are involved in something so much bigger than yourself or anyone else. So much bigger than man can fathom or do alone.  That moment when  you realize the almighty God who created this entire Universe and keeps it in motion loves you so personally and cares about every single detail of your life and others lives.  It is so mind-blowing!  Couldn’t resist sharing! 

So this past week, some precious friends of ours have begun relief efforts for Hurricane Victims.  The devastation is so wide and so deep you guys!  Each time you help someone you see the depth of the disaster caused by Hurricane Michael!  The restoration is way beyond our scope of reach! Way beyond any of ours…alone that is!  But together!!! Now we’re talking!  And with God’s help…The Impossible is Possible!  It really has been absolutely amazing to watch God work in providing for needs.  People are donating money, supplies, time, generators, trailers, whatever is needed to help others!  Oh these people whose lives were turned upside down in this storm…oh if they could somehow know how they are loved and how often they are thought of and prayed for! But wait…maybe they will…one small group at a time!  And that’s where our friends come in.  They began the Country Bumpkin Disaster Relief Group. Whoop Whoop! Just a couple of humble servants desperately wanting to help.  And these people have the gift of influence and have contacts everywhere!!!! That is so helpful and needed in a time like this!  Allen and I (and many others) want to help but don’t always know how or who.  That’s where our friends come in again.  They just reach out to people and God puts these needs in front of them. Then they ask for help and people step up! It’s just a chain reaction.  Then others hear about it and want to do something so they either give or organize their own group and go serve as well! It’s so cool!!!!  It is the most beautiful thing to be a part of!  Words can’t describe it!  It’s exhausting and exhilirating at the same time!

So much has happened in the last 8 days, but let me share a tiny bit about yesterday!  I (Carol) went to Panama City with a  friend to visit her parents and take some supplies.  She had not seen them since the Hurricane and had very little contact with them, due to lack of cell service and power and such.  We are finding that most people we talk to literally have not left their neighborhood in a week. They are just trying to dig themselves out and put tarps on roofs and figure out how to survive until help comes.  It’s really that desperate!  So after delivering a few supplies to her parents who faired well (it’s all perspective…their “well” is this: huge trees uprooting and lifting up their concrete patio in front of their house - so it now sits at an unsafe 45 degree angle that they have to walk across all day long; massive trees down in their back yard and  almost resting on their house, wind and trees that demolishing their steps to their canal in their back yard that they just built, major water damage in house, no power for at least a month, etc…and they’re the lucky ones!).  So …after seeing them for a bit, we went on to deliver supplies to some other harder-hit areas of Panama City.  We weren’t really sure what to expect but what we found what heartbreaking!  Houses demolished…nothing left but the foundation…and a wooden rocker that survived. That image will forever stick in my head! Ugh!  As we delivered supplies, everyone was so grateful for small items like a small bag of ice, a loaf of bread, protein bars, cereal, peanut butter.  Most of these people have not been to the store since the storm or if they have, they realized the stores will only take cash. So then there’s the realization that they just wasted their precious gas to go somewhere that was in vain.  Can’t imagine.  So that was yesterday. Feel free to see my facebook post for more details.

Today, yall!!!!  Today is my day at home to homeschool, wash laundry, dishes, cook dinner for my family, clean up, and get ready to do it all again when the Lord provides the opportunity.  I was so excited when a friend called and needs help delivering supplies again soon. How grateful I am to have time to do this.  She texted saying she needs lots of “trash bags”.  This seems to be the big need right now.  Ice, Gas, trashbags, baby food, bread.  Does it seem desperate only to me that those are peoples biggest needs in our surrounding communities?  This alone should help us understand the magnitude of disaster this area has faced.  So as I was doing my “housewife/mommy” stuff around my powered, AC, comfy home (so so blessed), I just thought, well I don’t really know how I will gather a ton of trashbags today.  Let me just do what’s in front of me (breakfast, lunch, dinner for my fam, etc) and then figure it out.  Said a quick prayer (should always be my 1st response to a need but duh!  I totally forget sometimes. LOL).  A few minutes later, I get a call that  a church nearby wants to be a resource for us and actually has…wait for it….trashbags!!!!  Oh my goodness yall!  I had to finish my conversation quickly so I could hang up and ugly cry with thankfulness!  I was so very grateful!  The church also said that the Red Cross Workers they are housing said the way we are helping is the best way to do this…one contact at a time!!  I cried over that affirmation too, as so many of us wonder if we are making a difference or even putting a dent in the devastation.  These communities need us and we will keep loving them and giving to them!  Yes, we all have families and jobs and schooling and every day life, but these are people in such desperate situations.  Here it is a week after the storm and some of them are still needing to be cut out of their homes.  Absolutely Unbelieveable.  But I had to take a few minutes and share how good God is and how NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE with our GOD!  He is an abundant God and not limited by this storm or resources or anything else! 

Our prayer is that He will be Glorified in this and that those affected by the storm will not only have their needs met but thru these supplies and hugs and smiling faces and prayers, they will FEEL the tanglibe love of Jesus Christ and KNOW that their lives matter and that they are loved and cared for!

So…with that said…let me encourage you that you can help too. No matter where you are or how small your resources are…every little bit helps.  My friend said in the beginning, not to overthink it. Just get out and do something to help if you were spared and your area is not a disasaster zone,  like so many are around us.  It’s amazing how just making yourselves available opens up so many doors of opportunity to love on others.  So just give a small donation (ummm…or large if you prefer :-), say prayers nightly for these people (and for the safety of those helping), and/or come help. There’s so much to be done: Handing out supplies, organizing donations, cutting people out of homes, cleaning up debris…the list is endless.

And thank you, thank you, thank you to all who have helped already by giving, praying and going! Seeing the gratitude on the faces of these people as you hand them a bag of ice or loaf of bread is the greatest reward!

Generosity in Marriage

Generosity in Marriage

The past few months have literally flown by. Between keeping up with our kids busy schedules, our own busy schedules, pouring into friends’ lives and squeezing in some get-away-family-camping time we have been missing the opportunity to post for Marriage Mondays. But…seasons!

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The Four Seasons of Marriage | FALL

The Four Seasons of Marriage | FALL

Fall is a time for new routines,  new schedules,  new rhythyms!  A time to take inventory and have a bit of a fresh start… the Fall Season of Marriage is a time for us to BE INTENTIONAL!  A time to really focus on what we will do to grow our marriage and strengthen our marriage and make it a  priority! 

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