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Monday, January 12, 2015

Why should we study the Bible? Part 1 of 5

Good morning!  

As I sit here and prep to do my Bible studies, I thought it would only be fitting to study why we study this book in the first place.  I mean, really, aren't there other books we could be studying?  Why study a book that was written so many years ago?  Does it actually help us?  In this series, I hope to touch on why we study this great book.  

So, Why do we study the bible?  There are 5 main reasons we study this great book.  I will cover one each day, but they all are:  for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness, and for every good work.  

Today, let's touch on the teaching part of this study.  

As sinners, we are all ignorant of God's will.  So let's break that down a little bit.  Did she just call me ignorant, you  may be asking, so let's see what exactly that means.  Ignorant is defined as lacking knowledge or awareness in general.  When I see this definition, I automatically think, it means having not been taught.  Therefore, the Bible should be read in order to gain that knowledge we currently lack.  

Some verses that can help us to see what I mean are:

there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.-- Romans 3:11

Let's touch on the first part of this verse, "there is no one who understands;"  this signifies ignorance in general, not knowing.  If we don't understand something, don't we have to be taught?  Who better a teacher than Jesus Christ and his disciples?  

The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.-- Psalm 14:2

Again, in the second part of this verse, we see that the Lord is looking for those who understand, those who are seeking Him.  So, let's look at ways we can seek his face... First, I think of prayer.  Pray to God.  Talk go Him.  Sob to Him when you need to.  Then Praise and Worship.  This comes in many forms.  Just being thankful for all He has done, will do, is doing in your life.  Singing praises to him.  And finally, reading His word.  Reading the bible is a great way to seek the Lord.  In these readings, the Lord will reveal things he wants you to know about.  Reading the word is one way you can hear from the Lord.  
He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstablepeople distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.-- 2 Peter 3:16

Are we understanding all the Lord has for us?  Or are we distorting His word to what we think we want to hear?  This is a huge indication that we do not understand the Word of God.  The best way we can come to understand it, is to study the word on a regular basis.  

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.-- 2 Timothy 2:15

Finally, we see that we are to Do our best!  That's it.  That's all God asks for is our best.  Are you doing your best to present yourself?  Are you a worker?  Are you unashamed?  Do you correctly handle the word of truth?  These are all things we should look at as we study the word of God.  From the word of God we learn. We are taught.  

In closing, what areas could you be working on in order to become wiser?  I know that I need to discipline myself to get in the word Daily.  

Father God, 

Help me to become more disciplined to reading your word daily.  Amen. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day of Rest

What is a day of rest for you?  For me, I kind of feel like I do not ever get a full day of rest.  I set my intentions on resting for a day, but then I find that this needs my attention or that needs my attention, so my day of rest gets tossed out with the dish water, so I thought it would be a great time to really research what a day of rest means. 

In the secular world, we equate the day of rest with a day of being lazy.  Laying around on the couch all day watching tv.  That is the worldly way to look at the day of rest.  But, what is the spiritual way to look at the day of rest?  Many times we don't really divide up what exactly it means.  It does not mean doing nothing.  On the contrary, it means a day of worship. 

Knowing now that a day of rest means a day of worship, I thought it would be appropriate to look at a passage from the Old Testament.  In Exodus 20:8, the Lord says, "Remember the sabbath day, by keeping it holy."  so as we chew on this, here are a couple of definitions that are appropriate:

sabbath-- the seventh day of the week observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening as a day of rest and worship by Jews and some Christians; Sunday observed among Christians as a day of rest and worship;
a time of rest.  
holy--connected to a god or a religion; religious and morally good
So from that I pull that the seventh day of the week, we are to worship, rest, and keep connected to the Lord, practicing morally good behavior.  This has me thinking at this point, so what day of the week should my sabbath be?  The Lord did not say that Sunday has to be the day that we all practice the Sabbath, but he said the 7th day.  So my next question to you would be, what is the one day a week you can devote to the Lord?  It may be that you can devote Tuesdays to the Lord, then I would recommend doing that.  
Now, keeping in mind that you are worshipping, does this mean that you cannot do dishes, or feed your family, no it doesn't.  You can pray and whorship to the Lord while doing those activities.  In my opinion it means that we should unplug from the world and plug into the Lord.  Go off of social media for a day.  Plug into the Lord.  Start your day with prayer, praise and worship, dig into the word of the Lord (also known as the Bible), continue worshipping and praying as your day goes on.  End your day with more prayer and worship.  Really connect with the Lord.  If you feel that you are not knowing what to say to the Lord, perhaps he is telling you to be still.  
Psalm 46:10 says, "He says, 'Be still and know that I am God; I will be exhalted among the nations, I will be exhalted among the earth.'"
There is time for talking to him, and we all are really good at asking for what we want, but are we good at asking for what HE wants for us?  I know this is one area that I am not good in right now.  We are a needy world, and he wants to give us what He has for us.  Then there are times when we must listen because he has something for us.  He will speak to us in many ways, and that's all for another post, but just know that there are times when you must be still and listen for that voice of the Lord.  

Have Faith like a mustard seed...

As I sit here really mulling over what the 5 letter word means, I can't help but thank God for allowing me to have FAITH!  So what does that mean?

Faith by definition is strong belief or trust in someone or something; belief in the existence of God; strong religious feelings or beliefs; a system of religious beliefs; allegiance to duty or a person; fidelity to one's promises; sincerity of intentions; belief and trust in and loyalty to God; belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion; firm belief in something for which there is no proof;  complete trust; something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially,  a system of religious beliefs; without question

What exactly does this mean?  Well in plain english, Faith is believing without seeing.  It's the belief in something without knowing the steps to get there.  For example, the pantry is almost bare, you have no money for 5 more days, you know SOMETHING will provide, but what?  How will that food stretch.  Fast forward, it's the night before pay day and you still have enough food for 2 more meals.  How did that happen?  THE LORD provided! 

As we get closer to our move, I'm finding that the Lord is testing our faith daily.  We have to learn to have faith that he will get us there in the right home in HIS timing.  I know he will provide all provisions to get us there.  I just have to be patient and have faith that He will deliver.  I have also done a lot of looking back over the last several years.  When I thought I was having faith, I feel now in hindsight that I was questioning his ability to provide for us.  This is a big thing, we must learn to trust in him fully and have faith and things will turn out. 

The verse for the day:  Luke 17:6-- "He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you."

As you can see, if you have just a tiny bit of faith, you can and will do great things!  Praise the Lord!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Who Am I?

As I continue reading "The Search For Significance"  by Robert S. McGee, I am finding that every time I sit down to read a little bit of it, something really sticks out at me and I feel the need to write it down, hilight it, chew on it, etc.  Today I want to share a few things that I not only read in the book, but some thoughts that have come to mind, as well as something that was posted on one of my pastor's facebook profiles.

First, know that God loves you, yes you!  So much that he sent his only son to die for you on the cross!  He loves us that much!  Wow isn't that crazy?  Nope, it's how God works.  He created you in his image and he wants you to be you, not someone else.

So, in the book, I have learned some of the bad habits that I have had a history of doing.  Some of those things stemmed from my childhood.  I came from a bad situation, and one day I will open up and post my testimony, but that is another post for another day.  What I want to touch on today is that the things that happen in our childhood can, and do carry over into adulthood.  I am living proof of that.  Due to my childhood, I never felt like I belonged, I always felt like I wasn't good enough, I have very low self esteem.  The list goes on.

What this book is teaching me is that I am made perfect.  No, I will not say "in the eyes of the Lord"  because that's not how I want to look at myself any longer, a little later, you will understand that.  I am good enough!  And I am BEAUTIFUL!  Those are the three main things we will focus on today.

Psalm 139:14 says:  "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfullly made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."

Take a moment to really chew on this verse please.  And then think of things you can relate it to.  Those beautiful flowers on your dining room table, didn't the Lord make those also?  And aren't they just absolutely georgeous?  Yes they are!  God made them and he made you!  He made you perfect!  He made you beautiful!  You are uniquely you because God wanted it that way!  You are you!  You do not have to try to be someone you are not.  These are all things I am learning.  I know I have a very long way to go, but I am working one negative Nancy at a time.

Now when we have those moments when we feel that we are just not good enough, I encourage you to go to the Lord.  One way we can do this is by getting out our bible, dusting it off, and digging into verses that we know tell us otherwise.  When I don't feel good enough, I try to remember this verse and say it over and over in my mind.  "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."  Ephesians 2:10.  Breaking it down and chewing on it, in a nutshell, He made me, perfectly in his image, I AM ENOUGH!  That's all I need to be.  All I need to be is enough for God.  I have to accept that I will make mistakes, and that the Lord forgives me for those mistakes.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says:  "Do not let your adorning be external-- the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelery, or the clothing you wear-- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.  When I look at this, it really speaks to me.  I always have tried to fit in, I have always felt like I didn't belong, and I have struggled with a very low self esteem.  It didn't help what I went through as a child, but now that I'm an adult, and have been, its' time that I accept that the lies I was told as a child and most of my adult life just are not true.  I don't need to have the latest fashions to be beautiful.  The Lord doesn't look at the outside, he looks at my heart.  Bitterness is ugly, and I pray that I can overcome the bitterness that has lately taken root in my spiritman (so to speak).  The Lord will help me, if I let him.

So my challenge is to LET IT GO!  Yep, I went there, just like Elsa sings in Frozen, it's time we let go of our negeativity and allow God to work in us.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

House hunting

Because we are moving so far away, the house hunting for us this time has been very challenging.  It may seem like we can just go online find a place, pay the required move in and we would be good to go right?  Nope.

We found a list of homes we liked that were all in our budget, gave the addresses to Roy and Carol.  They went and looked at them.  Most of them were not doable.  The one that Ryan and I both loved they said just simply wouldn't work.  The condo we liked they didn't think would work with us having the girls and it being upstairs, so we are back to the drawing board.

There are a few that are still contenders, but back to looking for houses I go.  I sure hope we find something soon.  That's the issue with having a deadline.

On a positive note, Patrick brought me boxes today, so tomorrow I get a day full of starting to pack up things we aren't using.  It's really going to put into perspective that we are moving.  I think I'll start in the office and work from there.

One thing we have learned in this whole process is that it really does take everyone to make it happen.  We are happy that we allowed the girls to have their input into the move, and I am sure they will love helping pack and unpack too, but most of all we are happy that we have a support system that will help us with finding the right place on the other side.  We can't wait until the move is over, we are settled into the new home, new state, new routines and just get to enjoy where we are.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello out there!  I know I'm a week late, but we wanted to wish you a happy new year!  

We have lots going on and will try to keep you all updated more, but here's the jest of it:

The Cox's are moving AGAIN!  This time, we are headed to the mountains!  We are relocating to North Carolina.  We really feel this is the best move for our family.  While I am in college, we feel that because I am taking online courses, the best move for us is to go to a state that we can all be together more often.  With Ryan's work schedule, he can be in North Carolina more often (usually) than he is here in Florida.  With all of that said, and having taken 6 months to pray over this and discuss the pros and cons between the four of us, we made the decision to go.  

In no way was the decision an easy one, and I'm sure that some people will not be happy that we are leaving our beloved state, but we really need those people to understand that we are not doing this because we want to hurt anyone, we are doing it to better our future, to better the future for our children.  We feel the Lord has been guiding us north for a while, and He chose to reveal our next location to us this past summer.  We fought him on it.  We were like Jonah and the whale.  We didn't want to do what the Lord wanted us to do, but we have come to realize, like Jonah, when the Lord says do something, it will happen.  

So, what does this mean?  It means that I will continue my Associate's Degree via the internet, just like I am doing here in Florida.  It means that the girls will have to change school's, but they will be going into a much better school district on the other side of the move.  It means we have all of the normal relocating things to do, but most of all it means that we will be growing together again as a family.  Re-learning how to communicate effectively with each other, learning how to love one another locally rather than across the miles.  It means more quality time for each of us to have with each other.  

This move really is a time of newness, refreshing, and learning to lean on the Lord.  While we are excited to move, we know there will be challenges to overcome and we know the Lord will provide.  We pray that all of our closest friends and family will support our decision to move to another state. We love you and will miss you more than you know.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Associate's Degree Update

This is crazy!  I can't believe that I am almost 1/2 way done with my degree already!  I am in week 8 of 11 in the 3rd term!  One more term and I'll be at my 1/2 way point.  So far the classes I have taken have been:

Health Information Law and Ethics
Medical Terminology
A & P (had another name can't remember it right now)
Anatomy and Pharmacology
Computer Applications and Business Systems Concepts

Currently taking:
Career Development
Icd-10-cm Coding
Health Insurance & Billing

Crazy!  And I've gotten all A's except 1 class so far!  Made the Deans list last term with straight A's and a GPA of 3.73.  Working very hard to keep these grades up as high as possible.

So for thanksgiving, I'm praying I can get all caught up on my homework that is due tomorrow and then knock out all of next weeks work in the first 2 days of the week so that I can enjoy the holiday with my family.

Back to work for me just wanted to update my little group of followers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's happening too fast!

Yep, my little girl is growing up too fast!  Just the other day, Kenzie asked me about her 5th grade graduation!  I just can't believe how fast she's growing up!  Before we know it, she will be the one in college!  She's wanting to plan what she's gonna wear for her graduation.  I just can't get over how grown up she's becomming.

Madison on the other hand wants nothing to do with growing up at all!  She's happy being the baby.  But, being that she's 8 years old, not 8 months old, it's time she learns that it's time to become "Daddy's big girl".  Time for changes!

Ryan is pretty much status quo.  He's not happy with the snow and freezing weather in Northern Indiana right now.  (He got lucky enough to get to work up there just as the storms were starting to come through)

And I have begun the job search.  I'm starting to apply for any positions that will put my foot in the door so that when I graduate and sit for the RHIT Exam I can then transfer quicker into coding.  Wow!  This has gone so much faster than I thought it would!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I wasn't planning on making another post so soon.  God has other things in his plan.  When he speaks, I listen.  So here's what happened:

I finished the last post, got my homework done, pureed pumpkin to take to a friend tomorrow, got the kids showered and in bed.  I laid in there watching The Bible on netflix via my tablet.  I just couldn't quite get relaxed into it tonight.  So with sleeping children in the house, I went in for a relaxing hot bath.  Normally this will calm me right?  Well, as I lay there in the hot water, conditioner in my hair, I heard these words, "YOU are more PRECIOUS than RUBIES"  and I knew that the Lord was telling me the truth for my next lie! 

Lie #2:  I am an unlovable, worthless person. 

TRUTH:  Proverbs 3: 15-- She is more precious than jewels and nothing you desire can compare with her. 

Proverbs 31:10-- An excellent wife who can find?  She is FAR more precious than jewels. 

1 Peter 1: 7-- so that the tested genuineness of your faith-- more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

For this one I needed to break down more than one word, really for myself, because I was interested in the hebrew for each word. 

Precious means of great value, not to be wasted or treated carelessly. 

The hebrew word is yaqar.  It means to be precious, prized, appraised, costly valued. 

jewel-- a precious stone, typically a single crystal or a piece of a hard lustrous or translucent mineral cut into shape with flat facets or smoothed and polished for use as an ornament. 

the hebrew word heder is a masculine noun meaning jewel, an ornament, adornment splendor.

To prove this was a lie, the Lord was telling me that I am more precious than jewels.  I am an ornament, I am precious.  I am of great value.  I am not to be wasted.  I am not to be treated carelessly.  I am prized.  I am appraised.  I am of costly value.  Wow how humbling is that?  When you are feeling down on yourself, feeling worthless, remember that to God you are of GREAT value.  You are the love of HIS life.  You were so valuable that he gave you a job to do.  He sent you to earth with a purpose to fill.  You are valuable! 

This was so very humbling for me because for years I have believed the lie from the enemy that I am worthless. This I can say with authority in Jesus Christ is a lie!  It is not true.  Each and every one of us are made unique.  God made us unique to fulfill a purpose and if we were not valuable He wouldn't have called us for the purpose he has called upon us to fulfill.  The Lord has a plan for my life just like he has a plan for yours. 

I come to you tonight humbly thanking you for speaking so clearly to me tonight.  Father, I know that I am valuable.  I am precious.  I am like a ruby.  I should be shined and showed off not thrown in the closet and hidden.  I am yours Lord!  Mold me and make me like the refiner refines gold.  Like the potter works clay.  Thank you Lord for your blessings.  I pray now for anyone who may see this tonight, tomorrow, years down the road.  I pray that you would bring this posting to them when they are in their darkest hour.  I pray that it would speak to them just like you spoke to me.  I am a daughter of the King!  I am a precious princess.  Thank you Jesus! 


Who am I???

This is a question I have been asking since as far back as I can remember.  I never really understood who I was.  I never really took a stand for who I was.  Never really said this is me take it or leave it.  I more of just kind of melted into the crowd.  Did what others deemed acceptable not what I deemed acceptable.  Over the last few years, this just continued on a downward spiral.  I allowed others to dictate who I should be.  This is not what I wanted in my life. 

After years of this abusive behavior I had decided that I needed to reach out to a friend.  I did this a few weeks ago while she was on a mission trip.  I was too embarrassed by the fact that I needed help that I couldn't even find the bravery to go ahead and talk to her while she was here.  I had to cop out and wait til she was gone.  I know, it's the looser's way out right?  NOPE!  That's a lie that the enemy wants me to believe, well, let me tell you, NO MORE! 

After meeting for coffee and having a long discussion, she asked me to buy a book.  It's called "The Search For Significance"  by Robert S. McGee.  So I went home and purchased it.  I was actually excited about getting this book.  I didn't know why, but I knew I needed this book.  So, our plan is to go through week by week and do one chapter a week.  In addition to my regular school work, I will be having "homework" to work on with this book.  I will be taking the lies of the enemy and pairing them with a truth from the Lord from the bible.  And further, I will take the main point of that truth, look up the meaning in english, then look it up in the hebrew and really dig in to learn how that truth applies to my life and why that lie is a lie.  So, as I go on this journey, I want to share some of those truths with you. 

Lie #1:  God doesn't reallyl care about me.  Really, now, enemy, you expect me to believe that?  Come on!  TRUTH:  For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only son, that who so ever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16.  This verse has true meaning for me.  First of all, it was the first verse Pastor Jake ever had me memorize.  He knew way back then that I, as a 9 year old, needed to know that I am loved.  When I have nothing else, I have the LOVE of the Lord. 

So, what does love mean?  The dictionary defines love as an intense feeling of deep affection.  So, I give you this, in the world, we see love in the eyes of newlyweds.  Children toward their parents and their parents toward their children.  We see it in the form of gifts, hugs, kisses, and words of affection.  But what does LOVE really mean?  For this I went looking for the hebrew word for love.  I found that ahavah is the hebrew word for love.  In hebrew it is defined as a feminine noun describing the love of husband toward wife, God's love for his people and deep abiding friendship.  See, the bible points love in numerous ways, but my favorite to really dig into is Ephesians 5:25.  "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,"  here we learn just how deeply Christ's love for us is.  See, WE are the church.  CHRIST LOVED US THAT MUCH!  wow!  How humbling is that?  Christ calls our husbands to love us just as he loves the church.  Holy moly that's a lot of love going on!  And to think that Christ is God.  God is Christ.  They are one in the same.  Christ loves the church, I am the church, therefore he loves me!  

Reminds me of a song, Jesus loves me this I know BECAUSE THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO!  Now, there will be times when the enemy wants me to think that Jesus Christ doesn't love me, but you wanna know what, NO I WILL NOT ACCEPT THAT LIE!  

For other verses you can look up please see:  Ephesians 2:4-5, Zephaniah 3:127, Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 5:6-7, Psalm 86a;15, and Romans 8:37-39

It is my prayer that through learning about the lies the enemy is telling me that I can help someone else who is also hearing those same lies.  Opening up to all of you is hard, but I know that the Lord needs to reach someone.  I wasn't going to post any of this online, but then I heard a still small voice saying that someone needed what I had learned.  I pray that whomever it is sees this or is directed to it, and that that person comes to know just how much the Lord loves them.  

Love to you all, 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lots of lessons

Over the last month and a half or so, there have been many lessons.  One main one is that it sucks to be sick!  Yep, I've been very sick with allergies, sinuses, and a cold.  Put it all together for a recipe of nasty stew that results in migranes so bad that I can't wear my glasses because the frames put too much pressure on my sinuses which in turn make the headache worse.  Yep, I'm just a big ole mess! 

In the mean time, I've lost track of how much I haven't blogged, but I've finished my 2nd term with college.  I can't wait to see what my GPA is now that I finished this term with straight A's! 

The girls are back in school and so we are getting into a routine of Chores, Dinner, Homework, Baths and Bed.  It's been a struggle because our tweenager has decided she doesn't have to listen to parentals at all, that she knows it all.  One day my sweet, one day! 

Then there are the lessons coming from God himself.  Wow!  That's about all I can say there! 

Then top it all off with an amazing month with Thirty-One and you have for a very crazy month! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

I never realized....

As a mom, and wife, we have always kind of split the chores, but since our roommates are no longer living with us, it's just Ryan, Kenzie, Maddie and myself.  This is a blessing for all of us.  We have more space, but we miss the dog.  We have more time with the girls it seems, but we miss our friends too.  With all that said, I never realized how much work it is on a huge property.  Right now we are renting a 3 bedroom on a lake.  We have 4.56 acres and about 2.5 of that is in a lake, so that leaves me with about 1.5 to take care of plus the normal housewife work inside the house.  This past week has been a week of spring cleaning.  I started and I still am not finished because in the evenings, when it cools off enough, I have to go outside and mow.  I've had to chunk off parts of the grass an hour at a time.  I can't tolerate mowing during the heat of the day or I would have it done all on one day.  So I work on my school work, taking care of my girls, normal housework, spring cleaning, packing away things we don't use on a regular basis, and yardwork, gardening, etc.  To top all of this off, I've had quite the week with needing to have a tree groomed to keep my neighbor happy.  Yes, I have one of those types of neighbors who complains about EVERYTHING.

With all this said, I've been doing pretty good with getting things done.  I'm about to start my school work for the week, then some housework, and end the day with a little more mowing.  While it sounds boring, I can assure you my life has been anything but!

Now on to the kiddies:

This year Kenzie will be starting 5th grade!  I can't believe that it's her last year in elementary school.  It seems like only yesterday she started preschool with Ms. Barnes.  And now she's about to have her last day of elementary.  I don't know if I'm ready to start Middle School with her next year!  It's crazy!  I just want to place an anvil on her head and make her stop growing up!

While her sister is going to 5th Grade, Maddie is going into 2nd.  I can't wait to see what this year has for her.  She's grown so much this past year and I can't wait to see what she learns.

With all that said, I am planning on volunteering in both of their classes this year.  I'll take one day a week and spend an hour or so each day in each class.  I've already gotten the volunteer application in with the school system.  Kenzie will be joining the chorus again.  Not sure about recorder club, but chorus for sure.  And I am going to try and see if there's a sport we can get them in.  They tried cheer and while they loved it, I wasn't happy with the way they were treated by coaches and coordinators.  Since it was their first year, they were treated very poorly.  They both have asked about soccer.  I may just see what I can do to get them into a soccer league.

Before I go, I have a verse for you:

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 6:23

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hooker Falls

 Such a beautiful Waterfall!  And it was the girl's first time swimming in natural waters that were not the sandy beaches of Florida.  They loved it!

 We had a ton of fun at Jump Off Rock!  Lots of pics to remember our trip came from this location.  

 This has got to be my favorite pic!  While this was not the shot I was trying to get, I wanted both girls to give daddy a kiss on the cheek, Madison really showed her personality while Kenzie kissed her daddy!  I think I need to get this one framed for sure!
 Mackenzie went for a short hike with her daddy, and I was able to get a few pics off the beaten path with them.  This was a great thing because as you see, I don't have a lot of current pics of the family so I am happy to have this opportunity.  

 Look at the view behind these two!  Amazing!  
 Love when they play peek a boo around trees for me!  

 Yai Yai's girls!
And the newest pic of me and Ryan.  I have to admit, it is one of the best we have done in a long time!  Thank you Yai Yai for taking it for us.  

Asheville-- Charlotte's Web Play

 One day, we took the girls to Asheville.  They loved it!  We started the day by eating at the "Soda Fountain".  We had a blast!  The girls loved the 50's inspired decor and that it was inside a building that houses local artists work.

 We then headed to the play.  They got to see Charlotte's Web.  While we didn't get to all sit together for this, it was really cute!  And now I have a couple of girls who love going to plays!
 How else could a day end in Asheville without a visit to the Chocolate store?  So, that's what we did!  And let me tell you, they had some really yummy treats in there!

Pretty Place

 Our Summer Vacation this year was not really planned out but while Yai Yai and Pappy were in town the last time, they asked us to come up to their condo in North Carolina, so we did.  Ryan and I drove the girls up for a week of beautiful weather, awesome views, and REST!  Above you see the view from Pretty Place.  Below there are a few photo's I took while at Pretty Place.  If you ever get the chance to go, it's beautiful!
 Here, Pappy is sitting at the base of the cross and just looking out at the view!  It was spectacular!
 Here is just the cross.  I couldn't get over this being a church errected on top of a mountain.  It was just awesome!
And this too made me want to really thank God for the beauty he gives us.  The reflection in Pappy's sunglasses was pretty cool!

A Summer of Decisions...

This summer has been chock full of decisions... Decisions for our future.  The Lord is preparing us for future endeavors.  While we can't say yet what that entails, I just needed to get a few things off of my chest:

*This summer taught me to ALWAYS take a vacation!  No matter how much $ you have, make sure you go and do something with your family.  You won't regret it!  (A post on our Summmer Vacation will be posted later)

*Remain open to new ideas.  When we do this, the Lord can speak to our hearts in a much clearer way.

*Never take for granted what you have.  It can be taken from you in the blink of an eye.

*Trust your neighbors only as far as you can throw them.  I know this goes against the grain, but I have one of those neighbors who makes themselves appear nice on the outside, but is conniving on the inside.

*Everything material is replaceable.  While things may be left behind or forgotten about things are replacable people are not!

*Love one another as Christ loved us!  This goes without saying.  Give love love love!

*Spend time loving on the community in which you live in.  (Another post on this one coming up as well)

*Always have money in savings (I've known this for a while).  You never know when God is going to call you to do something and you will need that emergency cash flow for that.

*If God closes a door, DO NOT, I repeat, Do Not reopen that door.  He's preparing you for something better!

And to close this one out, do me a favor and keep our family in your prayers. God knows the reasons why and I will not post them here.

Lots of Love,
The Cox Family

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wow, how time does fly

While I have been missing in action, I haven't been sitting idly by.  So much is happening in our lives, that it's CRAZY!

Firstly, we moved.  We found a much better home for us.  This is a temporary thing.  It was to get us into a better position for the girls and keep them in the school they were already in.  While it's not permenant, it will work for now.

Kenzie is now in 5th grade!  woah!  Crazy I know!  She's going to Summer Science Camp this week.  She got to go to Starkey Environmental Center and go on a hike with her friends from school today.  She decided to sit tomorrow out of the week due to the fact that she has been to the Energy Marine Center 2 times in the last year already.  And on Wednesday she will go to SafetyTown's Environmental Center followed by the Florida Aquarium on Thursday!  Such a busy kiddo!

Maddie is going into 2nd grade already and I can't believe how the time has flown right by.  She cracks me up daily and that's just her personality.

Ryan is hanging in there with his being out of town so much.  He's doing what he has to do to provide for us and for that we are thankful.

I started college in April.  I just got my grades today and have passed my 1st 3 classes with 2 b's and an a.  This means I made the deans list!  First term in college and I've surpassed what I thought I could do.  While I thought for a long time about going to nursing school, I decided to give coding a try, so I'm pursuing my Medical Coding and Billing degree.  I have 2 weeks off from school, then I'll start right back again.  Can't wait to see what awaits me on the other side of this degree.

And that brings us to the LAST thing that's new, we traded the camry in.  While it has been a great vehicle for us, it was showing signs of it's age, so we took the opportunity to trade it in.  We got a 2010 Kia Forte EX.  We love the new car!

So with that, I'll try and do better with updating here :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Lots of Fun!

even though it's Super Bowl Sunday, here I sit blogging.  Lots of things go on in my life on a daily basis that I often forget to blog.  My apologies for that.  Here's a glimpse into all the crazy ness:

Kenzie started Chorus

Ryan has been snowed in tons up in P.A.

Scott got started at his new company.

Juanita and I have been scrapbooking TONS!

Maddie has been maddie, what can I say!

We were looking into a mobile home to purchase, but that fell through, so we are on to other options.  We are looking for something that is an owner finance, that will allow us to put a 2nd residence on the same property.  This way we are all set, the kids get a large yard, scott and juanita get their place, and we get ours.  We will see where God leads us.

Taxes got filed.  They were accepted, and processed in record time!  Wow!  And that's about it for now.  I'll try and post some fun pics here in a few days!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lots of fun!!!

As you can see, we are planning!  This is simply the wording my friend Juanita wants for her vow renewal ceremony!  Here ya go chickie!  Pin away!!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

How about some recent pics of our beauties???

 Since it's been a while since I've shared pics of our girls, I thought I would give you some of their cheering shots from this past fall!  They were cheering for the South Pasco Steelers.  They had tons of fun as you can see, but being that we live a little far for all of the traveling with this league, among other things, we will not be returning to the Steelers.  Maddie has decided she wants to take some Gymnastics, and Kenzie wants to try soccer!  Again, they loved it, and did an amazing job with their first sport, YES, CHEERLEADING IS A SPORT!, they just want to see if there's something out there they will like more.

In the above shot, this was taken at Kenzie's first game!  She was having a blast with Morgan, Annabelle, and Jalissa!
 In this shot, which i love, her coach had seen this done and wanted to try it with Kenzie's squad.  While you can't tell who's legs are who's I can tell you that kenzie's legs are at the bottom of the heart.  The very bottom on the right!  She's next to Morgan!  That's what those two get for having legs that just don't stop LOL!
 Being silly with Annabelle is always fun at competition!  She rocked it!

And lastly, Maddie with Alyia (I hope I got that right Melissa)  The two were great little posers after their game one Sunday!

Now, I plan on sharing more later, but it's back to party planning with me!  I have an 11th birthday coming up and an 8th birthday to start planning!  Fun Fun!

Saturday, January 18, 2014


While I was going to be changing this blog over to wordpress, I decided there's no sense in doing that, so we just updated the url and I'm changing things as I have a few minutes here and there.  So, for our first post of the week here we go :

Monday-- Report card day!  We had our report card day and I'm happy to report that both of the girls grades are coming up!  This is a huge thing because I don't settle for second best with the girls and school. At the previous school, Kenzie was being bullied by her "best" friend, when we moved there was a falling out and we are no longer in communication with that family after the loss of material possessions and lots of  emotions, it is best.  So back to the report cards, their grades are on the rebound and I can't wait to see how well they improve between now and the next report card!

Tuesday-- Lots of working on the dollhouse-- details to come on that one!

Wednesday-- the same

Thursday-- the same

Friday-- I took a day to just relax, play games, and research!

and that brings us to today.  Not sure what the day will bring, but it will all be good I am sure!


As we enter the next chapter of our lives, I will be posting here once more to give you the new blog address.  I'm going to be going through and saving all of the posts we have here to my computer to keep on hand, but we are going to be starting a new blog to document from this point in our lives on.  I think it's time for new ness, and I can't wait for this chapter to begin.

With the beginning of this chapter we have an 11 year old, and almost 8 year old.  Preteen and full blown diva!  a full time work at home mom.  a full time work wherever they will send me dad.  uncle scott, aunt juanita and teddy have rejoined our family.  and there are all kinds of fun things going on!  i can't wait to be able to blog about them in the new blog!

If you wish to keep up with us, you will want to go to our new blog address.  No, I don't know what it will be as of yet, but I will be sure to post it here once I get to it!!!  Thanks for being loyal followers for the last several years of our lives!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

sometimes i wonder

sometimes i wonder how i do the things i do.  i mean, really, come on now.  while many are thinking, she doesn't work, she doesn't do this or that, think about the amount of stress she may or may not be under.  while i don't work out side of the home, i have more stress on me on a daily basis than many can imagine.  i have had more sadness in my lifetime than i would wish on anyone, yet i am expected to pretend that nothing is going on.  i am given the opportunity to have threats thrown at me more often than any other person should, yet i'm not supposed to be upset by those threats to me and my family.  while they aren't life or death, they hurt just like if they were.  i wish that my life were easier, i wish i had an easy button, but fortunately, i know that god will never give me anything i can't handle and everything that happens to me goes through his hands first.  thank god i have friends who can remind me of that.  while i will not disclose all that is going on i will say this, hold firm the the love of the savior because you never know when you will need him.  don't question what he wills for you, as he wills only what is going to be best for you.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

bling bling BAM!

ABck almost 11 years ago, we got married.  My mother in law had given an engagement ring to my husband to give me.  She had won it in a raffle when my Sister in law was getting married to my brother in law.  Fast forward a few years, we are living in Port Richey, and I go to my jewelery box to get my rings as I did every morning that I wasn't working at the nursing homes, and found that not only was my engagement band gone, but so was my heart ring that Mackenzie and Ryan had gotten me when she was almost a year old, my wedding band, and my new cross necklace that I had gotten for christmas.  I hadn't gotten the chance to wear it because I was looking for a longer chain for it.  Stolen.  It broke my heart.  So much so that I hadn't even thought about replacing it.  I had looked with Ryan, but we just couldn't replace it knowing that the other set had meant so much.  Well, now about 2.5 to 3 years later I found this:

and my hubby said to get it!  Woo Hoo!  I'm in love with this set!  I hadn't even told Carol the story of my jewelery going missing because I was so broken hearted over it.  It had meant so much and she had saved that ring for years before giving it to Ryan to give to me.  It had more than monetary value, it had sentimental value.  When I e mailed (because she doesn't live locally anymore) I got a response that I wasn't expecting.  Carol had some good jewelery go missing too!  I almost couldn't believe we both had the same story, while I don't know what all was taken, I know it had sentimental value to her.  And while we couldn't afford a $25,000 set, the set we got, I love! I've had it for a day and a half and it already is giving me sentimental value! 

Now for the BAM!  

CONGRADULATIONS Mackenzie!  She got nominated to run for student council!  Wow!  Go girl!  More details on that as the whole process goes on I've never had anything like that and she hasn't either, so we are VERY proud of her!!!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

70 X 7 Women's Conference

While I haven't been good with updating this blog, I wanted to share something that I went to last night.  It was an amazing night!  I'll first start with some background info...

What is 70 x 7?  It's a ministry started by a dear friend of mine, Donna.  It was birthed 5 years ago, but last night was the first time that the team was able to hold the conference was held in the United States.  In the past, it has been done on Mission Trips.  So, I was touched just knowing that I was part of the first 200 women to experience this on our home soil!

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.  Matthew 18: 21-22

This is the verse that the conference was birthed on.  When we go back to the greek it translates to forgiveness!  Not 490 times but unlimited forgiveness!  

So, on to what touched me.  First, the footwashing!  I had never experienced it.  It was something that Jesus did for his disciples, and to be honest, I wasn't sure when I went there that I would participate, but I did and came away highly blessed for allowing a young lady to minister to me!  She did it not because I had dirty feet, afterall I had just showered, but because she has a servants heart and wanted to serve the Lord in this way.  While she was washing my feet, she was so cute, see, I had worn stockings with my dress, and she was sure I would ask not to wash through them, but I wanted to experience it, so I allowed her to wash through them.  The prayer she prayed really opened my heart to experience the conference in it's entirety!  Thank you special lady!  You know who you are!  Love you lots!

There were a few skits about the woman at the well, the woman with the issue of blood and the prostitute.  they were all forgiven their sins, as we must learn to forgive those who have tresspassed against us.  It's hard sometimes to do, and we struggle daily, but as this conference goes on, there's music that speaks to us, but one of the biggest points is when my best friend and sister in Christ signed NOT GUILTY!  It really spoke to me.  In everything I do, I must remember that the verdict is NOT GUILTY!  God forgives me!  

In posting this, I'm encouraging you ladies, if this conference comes to you, please, by all means go to it!  It's an amazing experience, from the leaving your issues on the cross, to tossing your stone to the foot of the cross where it belongs, all the way to the prayers, communion, etc.  it's a wonderful 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Updated list of todo's

I thought I would show you the updated to do list for the Nursing program, it's been a fun transitional time in my life.  I can't wait for this program! It will feel great to go through the program and come out on top of my life finally!  I agree, I shouldn't have waited so long to go back to school, but God has a plan, and he needed me to go through life down this path for a reason.  I will succeed!  

Submit Application
Placement Test

Teas (nursing placement test)-- I took a practice teas yesterday, and if it were the teas for getting into the program, I would be in right now!  LOL  So, I have some registering for the teas and studying to be able to score that good on the longer test.  
Submit any transcripts
College Experience Course
CPR certification
Interview with Dean
Enrollment Agreement
Background Checks
Meet with the financial aid appointment
Nursing Orientation
Start Classes

Just a quick update on the girls and Ryan:

Ryan is still plugging away working out of town a lot these days.  Some days are more stressful for him than others, but he's providing for his family and that's all that matters.  He can't wait til he gets to come home for a visit I am sure, but he knows that he has to provide, and that's what he is doing. 

Kenzie is getting bigger and bigger.  She can't wait for 4th grade to start!  I can't wait to see what she'll accomplish this year!  She's becoming closer and closer with Ariel, her bff!  They are like sisters anymore!  To the extent that she's gonna go to a cheerleading practice later this week to see if she wants to try it out for a season.  

Maddie is my lil peanut who LOVES animals!  Right now she's sleeping on the couch with Skylar!  We stayed last night with Diana.  And Maddie curls up on the couch with the dogs and cats all the time.  She loves them so much!  Sometimes I wonder if she's gonna be a vet when she grows up LOL!  

And that's about the update.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

So excited!!

I feel like a combination of a kid in a candy store and santa delivering gifts on christmas eve!!!

I passed my entrance exam!!!  On to the teas!!!  it will happen SOOOOOON!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Nursing School Update

Hey there fans!  I finally have an update about my nursing program!

I've taken lots of time to think it over.  I compared both the RN and the LPN programs.  So, I've visited several schools, called many others.  Today I went to an Info Session on the RN program at a school I am highly interested in.

So with that said, I have a few steps to go through, and the first is applying to that school.  Once accepted, the real fun begins!  Here's my list as of now:

Submit Application
Placement Test
Teas (nursing placement test)
Submit any transcripts
College Experience Course
CPR certification
Interview with Dean
Enrollment Agreement
Background Checks
Meet with the financial aid appointment
Nursing Orientation
Start Classes

So with this said, I've done a lot of homework and getting things in order.  I've spoken nothing but good positive things about wanting to do this for a long time now, and yet, I still have others who I thought were friends who want to try and bring me down.  So for the last time I ask, IF YOU CAN'T BE A POSITIVE PATTY ABOUT THIS SITUATION KEEP YOUR NEGATIVE NANCY COMMENTS TO YOURSELF.  My school isn't going to be a perfect match for everyone, but if you were a true supportive friend, you wouldn't try to drag me down about where I choose to go.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


so sorry for dropping off.  i'll get to the recipes.  i ended up going to the hospital so much this week to stay with a friend that i just wasn't able to cook any of the recipes i had picked out.  i'll get them posted in the coming weeks though. 

i found out that i only have a few things to do to get into nursing school this september.  praying everything falls into place!  can't wait! 

will keep you posted as to what happens there! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Corndog Casserole

This is super easy and yummmmy! 

In a skillet, sautee 2 cups of thinly sliced celery in 2 tbsp butter for 5 minutes.  Add 1.5 cups sliced green onions.  Saute 5 minutes.  Place in large bowl.  Set aside.  Cut 1 pound of hot dogs into bite size pieces, add to skillet.  Saute for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Add to vegetables.  Set aside 1 cup of the veggie mixture.  To the remaining mixture, add 2 eggs, 1.5 cups of milk, 1/4 tsp pepper, 2 tsp rubbed sage.  Stir well.  Add 2 boxes corn muffin mix and 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese.  Mix well.  Put into prepared casserole dish.  Top with remaining veggie mixture.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on top.  Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes. 

A week of menus

We all sat down and made out the dinner menus for the next month.  For this week we chose taco salad, corn dog casserole, chinese, pepperoni pull apart bread and crazy bread, grilled cheese with tomato soup, sloppy joes with french fries, and quesadillas with corn. 

I also made cappucchino muffins, banana chip muffins, and cinnamon donut muffins!  Wow!  Ill be posting recipes and pics all week. 

Since i dont have a pic, it was ate too fast, heres my rendition of taco salad: 

Brown a pound of ground beef.  Drain.  Prepare according to taco dinner kit.  Toward the end of meat cooking, add 1 tbsp ranch dressing.  Bake shells while doing meat.  Put a bag of salad in a large bowl with a chopped onion, salsa according to how u like it, and 2 cups shredded cheddar (more can be added later if u need it)  crush shells on top.  Pour meat mixture over it all.  Toss and serve with refried beans.  Garnish with sour cream if desired!  Mmmm  the fam goes nuts for it!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What a week!

Last week was a busy week for us.  I am gonna recap it day by day to catch you up...

Monday we had our first tutoring session for Maddie.  So we trekked to the library.  Thinking we would get books before, we got there at 915 only to learn they didnt open til 10, so we walked to the park, played, and came back just in time for the doors to open.  That was a crazy hot walk in blue jeans for this momma!  After tutoring we learned that we couldnt get books because we were at the only remaining CITY library in the area and it isnt connected to our county library so books would have to wait a day. 

Tuesday we went to the state attorneys office to have a meeting and learned of more charges they are filing against the man who stole our vehicle in april.  Thats a huge mess and a whole other post will be coming after its all over.  Back to the library we went to get our library card and check out books.  Kenzie signed up for the summer reading program they have there.  I started studying boundaries. 

Wednesday, we took a much needed day to rest. 

Thursday we prepped our walls for painting! 

Friday we had our errand day and Maddies evaluation.  We learned she has adhd and ocd.  We are adapting to her needs now and the house is running smoother.  While i was cooking, the girls were playing outside with the neighbors child who began bullying maddie, i drew a boundary line because this wasnt the first time only for that childs mother to get irate to the point that by the end of her rant she told my kids they were nothing but mental retards with a fat lazy mother.  It took all i had to not get into a physical altercation, but in the end, i dont want to teach my kids that fighting is ok, so we came in and painted our frustrations away. 

Saturday, i put the second coat on the paint and we hung out with one of the nicer neighbors who also has issues with yesterdays neighbor. 

Sunday was a regular sunday for us minus church. 

Monday we were back at the library for tutoring.  Exchanged books and that was that.

Today Kenzie started Summer Reading Camp. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Frustration is not how i wanted to start the day!

When working for a company, you would think they would be up front with you about your direct deposit.  Instead we never know if the money will be in the bank or not!  How can bills be paid or groceries be bought if there is no money in the bank when its supposed to be?  Really people get it right already!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tropical storm

Yep, we had our first tropical storm for the year.  Her name was Andrea.  She brought much needed rain, gusts of wind and even a few tornadoes to the tampa bay area.  Thank god we fared well.  We took a day off of walking today due to the weather and will resume tomorrow after our errands.  Lots of fun things coming up, but im not gonna spill the beans just yet!  More to come as more develops.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

School is OUT!!!

Today was bittersweet for me.  I am happy its summer break, but that means we only have 2 years before we have a MIDDLESCHOOLER!  I cant believe we are that close already! 

Both girls had a great day.  I got soaked walking to get Madispn, then the rain slacked off enough for me to have buckets of sweat rolling into my eyes!  It has been so humid here that i sweat as soon as i go outside let alone walk the more than 1/2 mile to her school.  We are starting a new walking track tomorrow... not sure how far but its gonna be fun to see

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Air conditioners have temper tantrums too...

Or at least mine did today!  I woke up to a flooded bathroom, an overflowing drip pan in the attic due ti the drip pipe being clogged with algae.  I just pray it really cools after all the work on it today! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rainy day Saturday

As the hurricane season starts, mother nature has decided to remind me to get my hurricane kits ready.  Yes, i said kits.  One for each of us, one for my bird. 

In the mean time I am closer to deciding on the LPN program.  Its going to be tough, but I know I can and WILL do this.  It has taken longer than i wanted, but I needed to allow the Lord to work things out in HIS time. 

More updates to come.

Friday, May 31, 2013


If you were a girlscout, as a brownie you would have learned this song:

Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other is gold.

So now, take a moment to think... do you cherish your friends?  I think this is something we need to reflect on ever now and then.  We all have our friends, best friends, fair weather friends, etc.  I challenge you to look at how you are a friend to others.  Are you there no matter what or are you simply there when it will benefit YOU.