Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Forever, my hope is Christ

We sang a beautiful song called "Forever Changed" at church on Sunday. I've sang it before many times at church. I even have the North Point Awake CD that has the song on it. But today the words hit me much deeper. The words went into my soul and heart.

Forever, I am Yours my Savior
Forever, my hope is Christ

What a proclamation of faith! I belong to God, I'm in His family. And though the world is full of sin and hopelessness today I can proclaim that my hope is Christ. He came, he lived, he died, and he rose again. And I stay today amazed of His unending grace.

Grateful to the BIG God that I serve.

Forever, I am changed.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Good ole Daniel

Have you fasted before?

I'm just being brutally honest but I can't do a true no food fast. I've tried and it just makes me an angry person. I love food. That's just the way God knitted me together. And I'm at peace with that.

However, I have had great success with the Daniel fast. It's just hard enough to pull me closer to my Daddy. But it still gives me food. So i'm not angry. Haha! Starting June 1st, I will be doing this Daniel fast in preparation for my Cambodia mission trip. I'd love for you to partner with me in prayer. And if you have never done a fast - I encourage to do this one. It's amazing how much closer it will bring you to the Lord. And also it's a wonderful cleanse for your body.

Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast
All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon
All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.
All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.
All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.
All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices. 

Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast
All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.
All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
All sweeteners including but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.
All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.
All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Hi everyone,

I hope you have been enjoying me posting more often this year. I wanted to get some feedback. If you have 2 minutes - could you answer the following questions:

1. How's the frequency of my posts? A-Too Much, B-Too Little, C-Just Right
2-How's the length of my posts? A-Too Short, B-Too Long, C-Just Right
3-How's the content of my posts? A-Most are helpful, B-None are helpful, C-It's ok
4-Is there anything else you'd like to hear about?

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lessons Learned

Everything changes once you become a parent.

I have heard that statement a lot over the past 10 years. But I don't think I really got it until I became a parent. Being a mom is a sacrifice. It's a sacrifice of my time. It's a sacrifice of my brain. But oh what a wonderful sacrifice it is.

I've posted before about how much life has changed. And this isn't another one of those posts. This post is about how much being a parent changes your mind.

My lesson learned last week was taught to me while I watched Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy. Those are the two shows I used to love to watch weekly. However, the last 2 weeks both shows have covered the topic of abortion and adoption. And I have to disagree with how they portrayed it. Actually, this week - my radar in my head went off. I don't need to be filling my mind with this garbage.

So, I turned the show off and deleted the series recording from my DVR. The point of this post isn't to tell you to not watch these shows. The point is as a parent - I will have to teach my child about these issues once he's older. If I don't agree with what's being taught on tv - why am I watching it.

I am called to renew my mind. I should be filling my mind with better.

Everything changes when you become a parent.

2 years ago I would have never cared about this issue. Now I still would have disagreed with the show but I would have watched anyway.

Everything changes when you become a parent - and it changes for the better.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I haven't been sleeping good in weeks. I've had to take some type sleep aid to make sure I do sleep a lot in the last few weeks. I'm not sure why I can't seem to settle down and go right to sleep. I mean I am tired. Very frustrating.

This morning I was reminded of some verses in the Bible. I believe it was God's way of speaking to me this morning.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you 
and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 
Matthew 11:28-30

I might be restless from all that's happened in my life over the last weeks/months. But grateful I can run to Jesus and He will give me rest. 

What about you? Does your soul feel restless, tired, and overcome? Run to Jesus - only He will give you true rest.

If you want to hear more - here's a great message by Jeff Henderson on Rest.  http://goo.gl/vU2Hv

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Live. Love. Laugh

Live. Love. Laugh.

I have always loved that motto. But I feel like it really describes my marriage. We do life together. We love fully. And most importantly we laugh. And laugh a lot.

This Friday, May 20th, 2011 - we will celebrate 5 years of marriage. And add that to our 3 years of dating and we have been together a total of 8 years. 

The truth is - my husband is my best friend. He is always there for me. He is an amazing leader for our family. And I'm blessed that God put us together so early in life. His love for me is just as its described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

As we get to the 5 year mark, I wanted to list my top 10 most favorite things about marrying Gregory. In no particular order.

10. I love how silly we can be around each other.

 9. I love that coming in to the Walkup family I was given a HUGE love and appreciate for Puerto Rican food. Where would I be without my Goya Adobo and Olive Oil???
8. I love what an amazing person Gregory is. Thank you Abba and Papi for raising such a wonderful son!
 7. So happy that I gained a sister by marrying Gregory!
 6. I love that I turned a cat lover into a dog lover. Savannah was our first baby!
 5. I got a mini-Gregory when Finn was born. :)

4. Happy to share in life's triumphs with my best friend - G running a full marathon and us running a half marathon together.  We just keep crossing off items on our bucket list!
 3. I'm so grateful to have a husband who really enjoys yard work. This is my favorite part in our yard - in the back, it's a trail leading to a tree he planted when Finn was born.
 2. Pictures with Jason Pendley. Forever grateful to him for capturing such wonderful memories of my family! I love the little family God has given me. And yes, I would like more children if God blesses us with them.
May 20, 2006
May 7, 2011
 1. Most of all, I just love sharing life with an incredible person. I am so blessed. Happy 5 years my love! Praying God continues to use us to minister & show Christ's love to others. We are here for others to see Christ in us-Amen!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Monday, May 16, 2011


What's your love language?

Mine is words of affirmation. That means that I would rather have a poem, card, or letter to be shown love than any other gift. My husbands love language is quality time. That means he just wants to hang out together. His secondary one is acts of service. Meaning that he likes to do things together - like community service, go running, etc.

It's so important to know how you receive and give love. It truly helps you understand yourself. And same goes for your spouse. It's nice to have a spouse that understands why you do what you do.

Take this picture for an example. I took this picture at the beginning of this week. Those are all the cards I received for my birthday and Mother's day. Just as a side note - my birthday is May 4th and Mother's day was May 8th this year those days were only 4 days apart. I didn't to take them down. I liked reading each of them over and over. Yeah I know what you're thinking, what clutter! But to me, it wasn't clutter - it was love. And lots of it.

If you don't know what you, your spouse, or your child's love language is - then I suggest going here to order a book. And let the knowledge of how you feel and give love begin...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book review: "Letters to Moms" by Karen Stubbs

I just recently finished ready this book by my mom's group leader, Karen Stubbs. She has a wonderful ministry that I love being a part of called Birds on a Wire. If you're a mom to any age child - you should check out her website or facebook page.

Anyway, the book was great. It's basically a compilation of letters that Karen has written to moms. The letters are her way of teaching us a lesson. Lessons on prioritizing, perfection, putting your husband first, etc. After the letter she expands on the subject using scripture. After that section is a prayer and some questions to work through. It's very easy to read. I read this book in just over a week because you just don't want to put it down.

My favorite chapter was on balance. It was all about how only you decide what all you can participate in once you have children. This chapter was instrumental to me lowering my hours and responsibility at work. It showed me that once you have children - you have a greater calling. A calling to train up a child in the way he should go. I decided that I no longer could work more than 3 days in the office. I needed my pendulum to swing more towards home. Now I have 4 days home and 3 days at work. Things aren't perfect - but it is going much better since the changes.

Ok, my point in writing is to tell you to get this book. It's one I will look back on often! Thanks for writing Karen - you are following God's calling on your life and us mom's are so grateful!

Monday, May 9, 2011


So, I know I'm a woman. And sometimes women are emotional. But my goodness this past week has been a whirlwind. I feel like every time I sat down, I cried. I cried yesterday watching The Office. I cried this past Saturday when I got home from the wedding. I cried watching Gregory put Finn down and rub his back. Ok, come on - what mom wouldn't cry at that? It was so precious!

What is wrong with me?

I did have a lot happen so it's taken a toll on my mind. I ran a half marathon with my husband, was surprised to a family celebration for my 29th birthday, stood beside as a matron of honor for my little sister, and then was spoiled for Mother's day yesterday. That's been my last 8 days.

So - I think it's ok to be emotional. I just have to remember this truth...

DON'T let your emotions take over! You can't trust them.

It's ok to feel happy and sad. God gave us all those emotions. But the moment you let your emotions control your mind you take yourself down a rocky road. Or when your "feelings" make you angry, jealous, or anything not of the Spirit - that's when it goes too far. So even in the midst of a lot of activities keep your eyes focused on Jesus. As I usually say - MORE of you, LESS of me. Thanks God for an awesome week - it was great to see all that fruit from you!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Being a mom

Today is Mother's day and I've only been a mom for almost 2 years. But it has changed me. And changed me for the better.

Yesterday at my sister's wedding I found a cheerio in my pocket. And I just had to laugh. Being a mom is such a blessing. I read a book before I had Finn called Sacred Parenting. The book basically describes parenting as a way for God to pull you to him. Now after having a child, I know that's true. I love the way God has molded me since becoming Finn's mom. And I'm learning something new everyday.

I wanted to make a top ten list of what I love about being a mom in honor of Mother's day. So read and enjoy. Hopefully this will make some of you moms out there smile and give you ladies without kids yet something to look forward to.

I love being a mom because...
10- I have a son who is a spitting image of his incredible daddy

9- of the way I feel a different type of love that I never felt before when I first saw his sweet face

8- it forces me to stay home when he's having a boundary testing day
7- I finally understand how God feels about me - an unconditional love
6- I never got to talk about poop as much as I do now
5- it's now a treat to have alone time or a quiet meal with just my husband
4- I get the opportunity to teach Finn about Jesus and God's love for him
3- I have a mommy's boy

2-of the way Finn touches my face while I pray for him
1-of how my life will never be the same

Friday, May 6, 2011

The power of God!

The picture above is of my and my sister Natasha. She is getting married this weekend ( May 7th). I am so thrilled to be her Matron of Honor. My point is writing today is to say - the power of God is incredible.

I have known Natasha for almost 9 years.  I am grateful to her because she introduced me to her brother - Gregory. Natasha and I's relationship started out great and then it got rocky. But we are proof that God can reconcile any relationship.

I want to encourage you today. If you have someone in your life that there is a wedge. Pray, apologize, accept apologies - do whatever you need to. But most of all, trust God. He is all powerful and can reconcile any relationship regardless of the issue or the amount of time that has gone by.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lessons Learned

 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1

If you look closely in the picture above, you will see Gregory and I. We ran a half marathon together on April 29, 2011. And wow - what an experience it was. I wanted to share my lesson learned for last week with you all. 

Gregory and I trained for 16 weeks to be able to run a half marathon together. This was quite the accomplishment for me. We picked the Music Marathon in Nashville, TN because we thought it would be a fun one to do together. And it sure was. There were hills and they were hard - but there is nothing like finishing that race holding hands with my best friend and soul's mate.

As we crossed the finish line, I got a flash in my head of Heaven. I know it was the Holy Spirit. We rounded a corner to see thousands of people in stadium seating. They were cheering and clapping as people crossed the finish line. I felt as if I was entering my own Heaven. And holding my husband's hand made it even more surreal.

I am so thankful for the experience. I hope to run a full marathon next. But for now, I'm thanking God for the vision he gave me. I hope my life will feel as fulfilled as I did when I crossed the finish line after all that hard work and training to get to that point. Praise you Lord. And a special thank you to Gregory for staying on my slow pace :) I  love you!
Here we are about to cross the finish line...
This is from the beginning of the race - but wow...can you see how many people there are - 33,000 signed up to run. I will never forget that day!