Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I've done a bit of listening the past few days. Being home with a newborn offers time for that, unlike the rigamarole schedule I'll resume in a few weeks.  Boo.  Right this minute, at 7:21 am, I hear birds chirping, water flowing in our creek, the hum of the interstate miles away and every so often I hear the scuttle of a squirrel through the leaves.  Then I hear my heart.  Not pumping through my ears like I've completed a hard work out. No, not like that.  I can walk up the stairs and hear my heart pumping that hard.  I hear my spirit heart rejoicing. I get to sit on my porch and read God's word! My two babies are asleep and I have this glorious opportunity to write and think and listen.

After I posted the other day - "I am going to write a book and have it published!" - I had a deep thought. 
"What if I don't?"   Hmmm, will I still be happy with myself? Will I feel like I fell short of my goal? What if that isn't what God has planned for me? 

I kept going back to Proverbs 16:1 "People may make plans in their minds, but only the Lord can make them come true." Alrighty then. So that leaves me to say this, "God willing, I will write something and have it published." Or, "If it pleases God, then what I write will someday, somehow be published."

And then I think even more...what if it doesn't? What if I don't? I don't think having something published is going to drastically change my existence.  I know it wouldn't change my finances much. I'm not trying to be famous or popular. So why do I want to write? Why do I have this drive? Passion?

I don't know.  It is who I am. If I NEVER have anything published I will still write. I will still have my book of ideas by my bed. But I have an idea. I write because that is how I glorify God.  I don't sing well. (I can't say I don't sing because I do...very loudly) I don't teach Sunday school. I'm not a missionary. This is what I can do. This is how I express my love for a very loving Savior.  This is my love offering.  This is how I process the word, my thoughts, and life in general. 

I want to encourage each of my friends today to stop and listen.  Step outside and notice, despite the dreary Louisiana sky, the chartreuse buds peeking their faces from gray limbs.  I've already seen tulip trees, daffodils, and other clusters of color decorating our landscape. Stop and notice. Listen and give thanks.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This is "Why"

I always get excited when I can share how the Holy Spirit is working in my life! Not so much to say "Ha!" to nonbelievers, but to sing "Rejoice" with my fellow believers! God is good and I want to share it with you today.

The first tidbit of amazing news is that my middle sister, Codie, has made the decision to be Baptized on Easter Sunday at her church in San Marcos, TX.  It is hard for me to put into words how happy I am for her decision.  I literally felt my heart swelling with joy inside of my chest. The birds are singing a little louder and the tiny green buds peeking on the trees surrounding my house symbolize new life - her new life washed by the blood.  Yes, Spring is around the bend. Easter will be extra special this year as we celebrate her decision and reflect on how far we've come since Easter passed in a blur last year from the windows of Sutton Children's Hospital.  Praise God on both accounts!

The second is more practical.  Just a few days ago I spoke with a friend about how I noticed a difference in my spirit when I went a stretch without my daily quiet time.  She agreed.  "But I don't always know what to read," I complained, "If I'm not in a study I am not sure what to read or where to start." After actually voicing this complaint I realized how dumb I sounded.  I pledged not to let a lack of direction keep my from my spiritual journey.  Thus, I opened my daily devotional the next morning and read the offering. But for some reason, on that morning, I looked up the scriptures listed below the two short paragraphs.I usually just stop after reading the text and don't let it lead me to the scriptures.  As I opened up my Bible, which is held together with clear packing tape because a water bottle spilled in my purse and ruined the binding, my eyes fell to a verse I had previously underlined in green ink.  I read the verse and continued on through 1 Corinthians chapter 7.  I hate to admit that sometimes when I read a scripture or hear a message, I think of others that I would like to share the message with.  This makes me feel like I am not readily listening to apply the word to myself.  I am not sure if it is a bad thing or not.  Should I only think of the word as it applies to me and my walk, or is it alright to recognize how the word could be good for someone I love? Please comment below!!  Anyway, when I got to verse 34 I thought of my sister, Codie. Without telling her story, I'll just say it spoke to me.  After she told me about her decision to be baptized, I felt encouraged to share the verse with her. The best part is that she had welcoming ears and an open heart.  I was so grateful that God showed me a positive word to share with my sister.

Then, later on the same day, my sweet second cousin and I got caught up via text messages. She let me know that she and her beau are no longer a couple.  This came as quite a shock. I could feel her pain because I know the young man was very special to her.  Again, the scripture came to mind and God provided a way for me to encourage my sweet family member. 

This is the stuff that gets me going! This is why we, as believers, are called to be in the word daily.  This is how we strengthen our armor. This is how we can share with others what God says rather than our own opinions. This is why! Good stuff.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Windows and the unknown

Back in the day when I used to watch tv I viewed an episode of Oprah where she was discussing the book, "The Secret." Anyone watch that? I don't remember much, but I do remember people sharing their success stories of how their lives drastically changed after reading the book. One said, "I spoke my dreams to the universe and that helped them become a reality." Do ya'll  believe that? I don't think "the universe" made those things happen, but maybe speaking our dreams aloud will help us believe they really can happen and therefore ignite in us the gumption to make them a reality. 

So here goes:
I am going to write a book and have it published. (I don't know what the book is about, but I have a few ideas. I also don't know who will publish it. Small details.)

I am going to use my love for writing to help others develop their own craft. (outside of a school setting)

I'm at a strange place right now.  Not strange as in bad, just strange as in I feel change around the bend  but I can't see it yet.  I am praying for God to open a window to some unknown opportunity regarding my career.  I would like to be more accessible to my girls now that I have three.  It's like three is the magic number in my head and I can't imagine my life and routine returning to what it was.  Not out of fear. I'm not afraid this time. I was dreadfully afraid of managing life when we transitioned from one to two girls. No, I'm not afraid with three.  I'm open.

So I have a few ideas. For those of you that read my blog, thank you.  It makes me feel special each time a new "follower" pops up on the sidebar.  However, I want to know who you all are. If I don't know you personally already please send me an email to introduce yourself.  Where do you live and how did you stumble upon this blog?  I don't have FB so we have to get acquainted the old fashioned way - email.  Ha!

Several friends have mentioned "writing" to me in passing.  If any of you would like to form a writers group please let me know. Also, I would like to host a writers workshop if anyone is interested. I'm considering a workshop for teenage girls at my house this summer.  We would focus on self confidence and writing and how the two can be intertwined.  The cost would be $100 per girl, 9-11am for a week. If you have an interest please contact me. 

I'm eager to see what is around the bend.  The ride may be bumpy. Fortunately, I am not in control.  Adventure is out there!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Isn't it funny how words can stick? I first heard the word "Serendipity" in grade school. I even remember the teacher's definition to us. She said, "Serendipity is when you find something that you weren't looking for." Then we went on to read a story where the main character discovers something he/she wasn't looking for.  I can't remember the story, only the word.  Serendipity. More recent connections in my brain link me to the movie staring John Cusack and the dessert shop in New York famous for chocolatey sweets.

If I think too hard on it, which I'm prone to do, I wonder if serendipity is just as the definition implies, or if it is just another piece of God's master plan.  Do we really stumble upon things or has God directed our paths with intention? I'm not sure of the answer.  Either way, I've had two serendipitous discoveries in the past week or so and I'd like to share them with you.

Exactly 17 days ago, the day before Josie was born, I was blog surfing and landed on the blog of an old high school friend.  She had dedicated her entire post to the budding photography career of another dear friend, Tracy Schupp Enoch.  Tracy and I were extremely close friends in high school, drifted slightly in college, and now we simply enjoy crossing paths on random visits back home.  I liked the look of Tracy's photos and called her right away to see if she was interested in capturing Josie's debut.  I wasn't aware at the time that Josie would be arriving the very next day.  We tried to work it out but with such short notice, and two girls of her own, it just couldn't happen.  What did happen was an hour long conversation and the rekindling of a special friendship.  Like the old saying goes, "With the good ones you can just pick right back up like you never left off."  Now I am super excited because Tracy is making a visit in March to photograph me and my girls;  I can't wait to see the way she captures the love and life of the Cauley girls.

My second serendipitous discovery happened in the midst of chaos. Let me start with a little back story.  You know how sometimes you admire someone from afar? You may like this person's sense of style or their sense of humor. Whatever it may be, something about them intrigues you and you want to get to know them.  You think in your head, "I bet we would be friends." The exact way so many of my own friends feel about the object of our blog stalking, Kelle Hampton.  Well I have had that same thought about a member of our church.  I think she is "neat." That may sound elementary, but it's true.  I like the way she dresses, her singing voice makes me cry, and mostly because she makes her ideas happen. Ok, current story.

Saturday morning I was startled awake by Harper's entrance into our bedroom.  "Mommy, my throat hurts," she croaked.  We were settled in at Green Clinic by 9am with a fever of 101.7.  Lovely.  Doc advised me to either get Harper out of the house or get Josie out of the house.  Apparently if an infant gets fever they have to treat it like a life threatening illness - hospitalization, spinal tap, the works. Not what you want to imagine for a 10 day old baby.  About the time she explained all of this to me, on top of including Cystic Fibrosis and Harper in the same sentence, my milk for Josie's next feeding let down, my blood sugar dipped, and I couldn't contain the water works.  I am pretty sure I made the ugly cry face right there in the exam room. When I pulled into my drive way 20 minutes later, breasts throbbing with pressure, the girl -  the one I've wanted to be friends with for the past year - was knocking on my front door with a vat of taco soup and two tubs of ice cream stretching the limits of the plastic bag containing them. Woman after my own heart.  Apparently she could read the desperation written across my face. "Do you need anything? Can I do something to help?" she asked.  With deflated shoulders, red rimmed eyes, and a voice thick with worry I managed to get out, "Do you know anyone with a guest house?"

I took a leap of faith, choosing to trust the kindness of strangers. Three hours and a few back roads later I pulled up at her family's deer camp.  If you are reading this from Louisiana you know that deer camps aren't like camps at all, more like a second home in the woods with a few ATV's out back.  She and her mother welcomed us into their cozy, clean camp.  I shared bits and pieces of the past year with them to supply  insight as to why I appeared so frazzled on my doorstep a few hours prior. Shortly both women returned home and I was left alone, so Josie and I napped for about an hour on a comfortable bed belonging to a man I'd never seen. A man who loves to hunt. A man with a generous wife and a kind daughter.

Not only did the kind family offer refuge for Josie and myself, the daughter returned after a quick trip into town bearing gifts comparable to frankincense and myrrh - a Dawg House burger, M&M's, and a gallon of Ozarka. The best part - get this! - she stayed with me! Initially it felt like an awkward first date as standard questions rallied between us. Things got deep when I referenced the skin hugging volleyball shorts of my past.  She asked what every single non-volleyball friend has asked since I graduated from Tech, "Why did ya'll wear those shorts into the student center?" It is the single most-asked question I get when new friends and colleagues discover that I was one of, "those girls." The answer, for all twenty of you that read this blog regularly, is that we didn't know any different. We had to wear those "biker shorts" for at least 5 hours a day for weights, work-outs, and practice. Our lives were dictated by our commitment  to the sport and if a girl only has 30 minutes to grab food then it just isn't worth changing into something else.  Plus, most of us thought that if our t-shirt was untucked then we weren't showing too much. Swear!

Needless to say, we talked until midnight and I fell asleep excited at the prospect of having a new friend.  Both discoveries, an old friend and possibly a new one, were made in the midst of tumultuous life waves.  It makes me wonder if I've missed countless other blessings when life has rocked my boat.  Am I clinging so tightly to the railing with my eyes willed shut that I have missed snippets of treasure God has offered to me? Or maybe over the past year I have learned that God is steering my boat, or rather, He is my boat! And if I would trust Him to deliver me safely then I could loosen my grip and open my eyes. Yes! I think that is exactly right!  I can only imagine how much of the journey I have missed because I was trying to steer a vessel that I am not qualified to operate.  Once again, a serendipitous discovery.  I thought this post was going to be about two girls that both love toting a camera and here He is, in the midst of it all. The root of my discoveries and the source of my blessings.  Oh happy day!

So tell me, what have you discovered lately?