Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mallory's Unique Senior Photo Location

She's waited a long time to choose her perfect senior photo shoot setting. 


When she announced to me where her heart desired I just melted. 


It was perfect!


The day of her shoot it was raining so we ended up indoors. 


Those photos were gorgeous, but she had chosen a location near to her heart so we rescheduled for another day. 


Mallory loves history, and lives to tour caves, creeks, trails, and older buildings. Even since she were young she would say, as we passed older buildings, "I just wonder about all the stories that happened in there..."


"Mom, I want to have my senior photos taken at Mamaw Deans house...where Mamaw Rhonda was raised," she exclaimed one afternoon.


This girl loves my mother, her Mamaw Rhonda. They talk often, and Mallory will drive to Caneyville at random times just to visit with her. 


I had looked for a unique  place in our county, considered other options out of county, but couldn't have been more excited when she came up with this perfect idea. 


It's so her...every piece of history my mothers family holds is framed behind this gorgeous girl. 


All of the stories I remember as a child with my cousins during the holidays, fighting over the washer & dryer to sit on as we ate our made-from-scratch holiday meals; grandchildren were made to sit in the bathroom/utility room...it was rather large.  


I remember having to drawl water from this well, and using an outhouse until about the age of 6 or 8. 


The blanket Mallory is sitting on was hand-sewn by my Mamaw Dean...made from old clothes belonging to various family members. She's holding my Bible that I was given by my church as a graduation gift my senior year. 


Last March, Mamaw Dean went to be with the Lord at the age of 100. We miss her immensely. 


I love the uniqueness of this girl of mine!  


I couldn't have chosen a better location. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Here Are Your Answers About Saving Hope Charities

I am just overwhelmed at the response - POSTITIVE RESPONSE - I have received about Saving Hope Charities! (If you are confused then you can find my previous blog called 'Why I Quit My Job' and catch up.) I cannot wait to continue to share all of the stories of those involved who made this vision come to fruition, but to answer your immediate question of how you can help us, here is a list of the things we need the most. If you would like to make a cash donation to the center you can now do so through our secure giving site. We are a 501(c)(3) making your donation tax deductible.






To answer a few more of your questions:

We will start accepting families into our center as soon as we have the funding to hire staff, so please, please consider giving to this very worthy cause. Absolutely no amount it too small!

Yes, the women & children will live at the facility for at least six months, up to one year. Think of us as a life-training center to help these women learn all the things they will need to stand the storms of life, but now empowered to overcome. Our goal is to see lives changed through Christ, and women able to leave the system because they are now out-earning their previous situation. We will help these moms complete their GED, if needed, enroll in college, or receive the career training they desire. We want them working in a career that is rewarding for her and her family, and compliments the natural gifts & talents we believe God gave her. We want to help guide her in setting up a new home for her family, and obtaining a vehicle, and assist her in any other way she will need to manage on her own after she leaves our facility.

We do have applications for women with children, and our guidelines policy that you can pick up at the center to learn more about how we operate. We are located at 233 Commerce Drive, Leitchfield, KY 42754, or you can request by emailing: mistyt@savinghopecharities.org or by calling (270) 971-1460.

If you would rather purchase items on our behalf, here is a comprehensive list of our needs:

Saving Hope Charities is looking for people to be involved in the ongoing success of the facility. We are looking for women who would like to babysit for our moms while they are at work. We are looking for mentors for our families, and we are looking for women who would be able to take a shift in the morning, evening, overnight (weekdays and weekends) and volunteer to help cover the facility in our 24/7 staff coverage needs.

We will host a ribbon cutting with the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce on Friday, November, 11th at 11:00 p.m. and we encourage you to come by and see the facility that day. We will be open until 5:00 p.m. to tour the facility.

If you think you would be interested in helping us with these needs, please call Misty Thomas or Sharon Puckett at (270) 971-1460.

http://www.savinghopecharities.org/

Our immediate needs include:


Monetary Donations to Hire Staff, Purchase Security Cameras, & Chest of Drawers
Printer Paper
Cooking Utensils
Hand/Dish/Laundry Soaps
Dish Sets
White Dish Towels, Rags, Bath Towels, Hand Towels and Washcloths
Toothbrushes and Covers, Toothpaste, Floss
General Purpose Household Cleaners
Bleach
Dryer Sheets
Laundry Basket
Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Facial Tissue
Razors
Shampoo & Conditioner
Nail Clippers
Sanitary Napkins
Cotton Swabs
Blow-dryers
Mouthwash
Body Soap
Hair Mousse, Hair Spray
Disinfectant Wipes
Garbage Bags, small
Brush/Comb Set

Every woman will receive the following books to keep:

The Celebrate Recovery Bible
https://www.christianbook.com/niv-celebrate-recovery-study-bible-softcover/9780310081081/pd/081080?event=AAI


God’s Promises & Answers
https://www.christianbook.com/gods-promises-answers-for-your-life/9781404103214/pd/10321X?product_redirect=1&Ntt=10321X&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

Joyce Meyer Battlefield of the Mind Study Guide
https://www.christianbook.com/battlefield-the-mind-winning-battle-your/joyce-meyer/9780446691093/pd/6691097

Truly Free Study Guides
http://gatewaypeople.lightspeedwebstore.com/truly-free-study-guide-210000032294/dp/31238

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Why I Quit My Job

I have learned to draw-in you readers with my titles. However, this stunning title holds truth. I did quit my job, and I’m about to tell you why.

I am still working at K105, hosting the morning show “In The Know” and loving every single minute. I’ve continued to host the show even after leaving the station three years ago to take a position with Dan Powers GM Center. The general manager graciously allowed me to leave one hour each morning to continue my position with the show.

After three years of handling out-of-town customers for the dealership, I made a decision to leave Dan Powers GM Center at the end of September. I was approached, on June 17th, about serving as a Board of Directors member for a new women & children’s facility called Saving Hope Charities. After a few months of working to help setup this life changing facility, I was asked to consider working as the fund-raising coordinator and public relations manager. I recall that on Feb. 26th, the last day of my 30's, God said to me that he was going to use me to work with women this decade. I even said it on the show, so it's on a podcast somewhere...however, I had no idea what he meant when he told me that. After much prayer, God led me to take the next year of my life and set forth on an adventure to help breathe life into Saving Hope. Therefore, I told my guy pals at the dealership bye, and set forth to start educating the community about the vision of this center.

I just want to take a minute to frown about not spending everyday with this group of co-workers. They were just too much fun!

What is Saving Hope Charities? We are located at the old Country Side Inn Motel on Commerce Drive in Leitchfield. A friend of mine, Cindy Huff, was passing the motel one day when God showed her a vision of the facility. A year later, the first building has been remodeled and ready to open. Can I just say that I have completely cheated you out of the miraculous story of God’s hand in this by only telling you that much? The good news: I will share all of it with you…I’ll tell you how in a bit. It's her story to tell but it's so good I am dying to tell it all! Just know that this entire project has been paid for up to this date!

Think of us as a life-training center to help women build and prepare to be successful in life. We are looking to help reunite mothers with children who have been in foster care, expecting mothers who are homeless or in a dire situation, mothers who are stuck in the cycle of the system and need a time-out in life to recreate her situation. When they leave us, we want our families living a self-sustaining life that is rewarding for them.

The program is 6 – 12 months long and will teach a full array of curriculum that is Christ-centered. Our families will learn banking, cooking, nutrition, budgeting, child discipline methods, relationship skills, and life coping curriculum, to name a few. After working with the GC Extension Office this morning, I am excited to go through these classes, too!

I am completely skimming over the top of this in-depth training that will empower these women to become who Christ created them to be.

I am available to present Saving Hope to any civic, social, or church group who would like more information on who we help, what our needs are, and how volunteers can be involved.

We hope to have our first families living with us by the first of the year. But we need funding to hire employees for 24/7 coverage, or find qualified volunteers to help take shifts to cover the facility 24/7.

If you are interested in learning more about us please call or text me (270) 868-6271, and check out our website: www.savinghopecharities.org. If you would like to make a donation you can do so on the front page of the website.

If you didn’t hear this today, let me say: God is Good!

Please consider donating to this amazing cause...no amount is too small.








Remember this place? Look and see what the Lord has done!


I love this lady, she has become such a sweet friend to me, and I could not be happier to share office space with her at the center, and work along side her as we move forward to open this facility. If only I had half the heart and compassion that she exudes! Sharon Puckett also serves as one of our board members. You can read more about her story on our website!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Voice of The Cougars

It’s been branded as “The Voice of the Cougars” but for many of us it really became a homing device of sorts. I can remember driving home from college in the mid-90’s and hearing the static give way to Dave Thompson’s voice flawlessly, without stutter, describe to me the intense football game being played at Cougar Field. For a homesick country girl, that familiar voice was like a medicine that soothed my soul; I knew home was insight.

I had the honor to share office space with Dave Thompson for about a year and half when I took my position as the News Director at WKHG. His words were few when the microphone was turned off, his work ethic unmatched, and his dependability to always bring his best game was something I strive to live up to…even to this day. Dave’s talent to paint a picture with his words was a true gift to our community.

Last night, I had the dubious honor of being a part of a select handful who witnessed Dave Thompson be awarded the Kentucky MIC Award and be inducted into the Kentucky Broadcasting Hall Of Fame. My friend & morning co-host, Mark Buckles, who sits on the KBA Board, not only championed Dave's career to the awards selection committee, but had the humbling task of presenting this award to Dave.
Hall of Fame…that’s exactly where the Dave Thompson’s of the world deserve to be. Also gracing the stage to accept awards last night were Senator Mitch McConnell, and Melissa Swan (WHAS11), among others.

Dave's acceptance speech showed the humbleness, kindness, and humor I came to know as I worked along side him my first year at K105. His wife and six children were in attendance; he included them in his speech, calling them his best friends. As much as we adored his talent, and he loved being our broadcaster for the news and sports, I knew from my first conversation with him that his family was the apple of his eye…I’m thankful we got his voice for 42 years.


These women share my radio world with me...some of the best days of our lives.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Toga Party of Four

Standing with luke-warm coffee in one hand, I could feel glitter beginning to settle across my nose as I saw the blur of the last toga-wrapped teenage girl fleeing down the staircase. 

I snapped a picture…

The Middle Girl requested I help make togas for her and three friends as they carry on a tradition older than I am at our local high school. It’s spirit week; Juniors wear capes, Seniors wear togas. The Boy, who is a junior, wasn’t interested in wearing a cape; I would be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked when I heard the Middle Girl shout to him late last night, “Are you not wearing a cape tomorrow?” I had a moment of, “Oh my goodness…I forgot he was a Junior!”

So the night ended with orange & blue material laid across the infamous staircase banister that has housed many capes, togas, and general drying laundry over the past 12 years. As the glue dried from placing glitter and ribbons across hem lines, we went to bed knowing the morning would be hectic.

The aforementioned material was wrapped, twisted, pinned, sewed, and glued onto four teenage girls this morning, taking the shape of togas. That’s good news, since at 10:30 p.m. last night it was questionable if they would resemble anything. However, it's left my bed, hallway, and two bathrooms resembling war-zones.

I make this entry into this diary of mine to be able to look back someday and remember what this week was like. These are the moments I have waited to participate in, and now want to remember in my future.

They are fleeting…like a vapor. These are the days of our lives and as full as this summer has been with heartache and victories (blogs to come), I want to hold onto even the smallest of moments…every fleck of glitter settling on my nose. It will someday remind me of her and these times we spent being together as a mom and a teenage daughter.


She, her boyfriend, and one of her best friends also dressed up this week as Kylie Jenner, Tiga, and Black Cyna for Hollywood Day, and as Lord Farquaad and Gingy, the gingerbread boy, from Shrek on Good vs. Evil Day:


Now this; this is the what I found while looking for The Boy in his room. He was not found, but many missing items from the pantry have been located. Now my investigation has turned to why these items were found in his room. The pondering is never-ending.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

It's Over

My normal Sunday routine was changed last minute when I learned I would chauffer three teenagers to cheer camp three counties away. I was driving to retrieve them when this thought stopped me in my tracks as it slid across my mind: her childhood is over.

My eldest turned 20-years-old Sunday. We celebrated at Buca di Beppo Saturday evening with her boyfriend, best friend, and her siblings. This was her selection for the big day.

I immediately began to weep...it was in that moment I realized that the shift was finalized. That place where the line is drawn in the sand between rearing the child and remembering their childhood. The formative years are over. I'm not sure why 20 is the age that I feel this way with her; let's be honest, she has parented Jason and I for a very long time...

I just kept saying out loud to myself, "Did she enjoy her childhood? Did I teach her what she needed? When she reflects back over these past 20 years does she have anything to overcome, or is she launching from a solid foundation to only continue to build?"

In March, Jason and I were asked to be the guest speakers at the Couples Banquet at the parent/child center. Those who invited us wanted us to speak from a place of overcoming challenges (teenage pregnancy, poverty, marrying young, etc...) to accomplishing our goals in life. I pondered this for weeks, and as usual at the midnight hour God said a couple of things to me: build your dream home & give them a childhood they don't have to overcome.
(Nothing like looking at your wife's notes 10 minutes before taking the microphone)

I'm not, by any means, equipped to counsel people on life, but I can share my story. Jason and I have built two homes, the first was brick and mortar, but the second is our favorite...it's the one we build every morning and the one God spoke to me about sharing. We frame the walls of our day with our words...we try to speak life to each other, and our children. "Good morning, I love you, be encouraged, be God's man/woman today..." You'd be amazed at how changing your words in the morning will set the tone for your day, and the way your family responds to you. On the days we fail at this concept it truly has a negative effect on our days.

But the other portion of the presentation was: Give Them a Childhood They Don't Have to Overcome. I think that's pretty self-explanatory so I won't drone on about the details, but I say this now to bring this blog full circle. As I stood in front of those couples in March speaking about these revelations God had shared with us so many years ago in our moments of desperation, I had not stopped to realize that I was on the cusp of having this moment in my own life with my daughter; the moment where I stopped and looked at her to say, "Did you enjoy your childhood?"

If I could impart anything to parents of younger children through this blog, invest in your children daily with words, proper discipline, prayer, wisdom, instruction, love, and building memories. Don't let a day pass where you haven't fed them more than just food...for tomorrow they will be 20 and flying on their own.

(Yes, I know she's still mine, and she's still listening to me, and all those wonderful things, but it's different now...)

In other Thomas family business:

Sunday, due to my cheer camp chauffeuring duties, I had to miss these sweet boys being baptized! These two nephews are the epitome of snips & snails, and dirt & 4wheelers. They are rambunctious, red-headed (one of them), and now redeemed! I cannot praise my God enough for their salvation, and thankful for a momma who has been faithful to take her babies to church and bathe them in the word until their day of salvation! 
 

I adore living beside my sister and getting to watch her sweet girls grow up. We passed down some books to my oldest niece this week that belonged to my girls. Books that will teach her about manners, money, friendship woes, and her body. Another reminder that life is moving too quickly. I snapped this pic as I pulled into our subdivision last evening. I love the way she plays with her babies, and wished I had taken more time to just play with mine at this age.

The middle girl had her appendix removed a couple weeks ago. It was her first experience with anesthesia...needless to say we captured some videos to cheer us up on gloomy days. Apparently, teenagers live through their phones and wifi is as important as food. The hospital's wifi was not behaving after her surgery was over and she couldn't respond to her friends text and calls. The tears flowed until she sobered up, and our tears from laughter flowed freely. Good thing she sobered up...she was plotting a lawsuit against the hospital, the wifi company, and the people in the room beside us who were surely "hogging all the wifi!"

Back to the 20-year-old: I didn't know there was such a thing higher than Dean's List but she accomplished just that: President's List! We came home from vacation to her diploma in the mail, and it's decree that she had graduated with "High Distinction!" I've also watched a passion-to-craft ignite in her this summer as she sits at the counter each night, in her dad's game room, painting canvases, and various items. She is working ahead for her future "little" she will have as a part of her sorority this coming fall semester.




Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Secret Room...Where I Fight

"Is that door a different color again," asked the husband with his head cocked sideways and one eyebrow raised.

"Describe...different color..." - a wife diverting the conversation.

When we built this house in 2004 we designated an office space for my husband's business that housed his many files, franchise binders, and the dinosaur-sized-desktop-computer we then owned. As the years have moved on, he has digitized all his files onto a much smaller laptop, which has migrated downstairs to his "man cave" area.

This migration left this hidden office, that is tucked away behind our master closet, unused on a daily basis, and therefore inevitably becoming the "catch-all" of our busy lives.

In 2014 I wrote a blog that was the beginning of a journey to transform our home into something that better served who we are today as a family. My journey of transformation took-on a new meaning later that year and continuing until now; here we are on June 29, 2016 and I can tell you I'm just now getting to a place of completion with most of the house. My redecorating journey ended up serving as a grief counselor as last year I lost a total of seven people who were somehow a part of my life, and another co-worker last month. I've spent my extracurricular time attempting to design my grief away.

As I painted my front door a total of nine different times, bought a billion different chairs, rugs, accent pillows, and curtains, my husband just sat back and let me do whatever I felt like for the day. I think he knew it kept my mind busy, however, there were still times I just needed a place to collapse and cry.

As I found the energy to tackle this mound of junk covering what used to be our home office, I spent an entire day painting and trying to figure out what I would use this hidden room for. I considered a couple of options but decided I would just decorate it and let it become whatever it was to become.

I was drawn to this room. I had moved my prayer time to this area. My husband asked me if this was my war room...I guess it is. I prayed beside my bed before this, but I can tell you that having an area, wherever it may be, is healing for our souls.

I have encouraged my children to create a place in their rooms where they pray, meditate, read the Word of God, and lay down their cares for the day. We all need a place of refuge, and as our church sanctuary serves as a refuge for us in a corporate body setting, I have discovered a prayer closet (as the Word describes) is a gift to us from God. The power of praying out loud, speaking our cares and concerns, and just being in communion with our father is more healing than any other form of communication I have ever experienced. I spoke about Psalms 91 at Hope Group Monday evening, and how this Psalm describes a secret place with God, a place that protects us from the enemy, and gives us rest...that secret place is in prayer...the very shadow of his wing where he protects us.

As the rest of the nation/world is debating how to handle the ever present evil in this world, I learned a long time ago that I cannot fight this evil with my fist, more guns, or gun control, however, the Word says we wrestle not against flesh and blood, so I fight this present darkness on my knees in prayer and worship: my most powerful weapons of warfare. How protected would we become if every home in America had a place of prayer that was used on a daily basis. Daniel prayed three times a day and interceded on behalf of his people and God delivered.

I watched God deliver a young man from anxiety attacks Monday evening in my living room. I saw his face and knew from experience what was happening...after talking him through some verses and explaining how to be set free from it, he looked at me and said, "It's gone!" I just grinned...He told me he hasn't had any anxiety since. This is from a young man who was struggling with 3-4 attacks a day, every day for over a year. My God is my refuge and strong tower, and I am overwhelmed he allows us to share his good news with others, and then watch him work in their lives. Watch him become their strong tower of refuge.

My favorite piece:

I adore decorating our home with items made for me by friends/family. I was scrolling through facebook one evening and came across a friend who had discovered a new talent. My heart was drawn to have her paint me an angel for my room. The first time I laid eyes on it I was overwhelmed with emotion, I knew it was perfect for this place that I would be carrying mine and so many other's needs to my father. And it is... (Thank you, Jennifer Carmine.) 
The yellow rose is from my daddy's casket spray...