Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Blog Site Has Moved!

I now have a new blog site, so please follow me over to the new page beginning Monday, April 2!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Best Of... #1

I hope that all of you have enjoyed your week and are looking forward to a great weekend!  I am super excited about launching my new blog site this Monday!  The new address is and if you visit the site now, it is "under construction" but it will go live this Monday.  I hope that all of you will follow me over to the new site and will also help me promote the blog and invite new readers to check it out!  Again, thanks to all of you who have kept up with my journey on here - whether it was only one time or many times.  It has helped me get this far and open up other opportunities to pursue a dream I love doing. 

Also, on Monday I will be announcing the winner of the next give-a-way!  I love magazines and one of my new favorites is HGTV's magazine!  My TV is on that channel a majority of the time and the magazine has great ideas for your home.  I will be choosing from the "followers" listed to the right so if you are not one, simply click on the link and you will be eligible to win! 
This week has been "rerun" week on my blog and I have reposted the top four most read blogs.  Each blog was very different but also meant a lot to me and I am glad that it did for you as well.  Today's blog is the number one most read post since I started.  It was written on January 24, 2012 and it was definitely written from my heart.  I received a lot of encouraging comments from many of you and I hope that these words will cause you to stop and think about how your words and actions really do affect those around you.  I am a firm believer that as human beings we should be much more focused on love and acceptance rather than hatred and bigotry.  I hope you all have a great weekend and I will see you at the new blog site this Monday!

It's Hard To Hate Up Close

There is a certain human flaw that has been showing its ugly face more and more. It is nothing new but I seem to be hearing about it more in the news, in blogs, on facebook and other media outlets. Every time it causes such a stirring of frustration inside me. This flaw has many names - hatred, racism, bullying, prejudice, ignorance. This flaw comes out of many intentions - fear of the unknown, hatred for those who are different, out of "love." No matter what you call it, no matter what your intention is, the plain and simple truth is - it is wrong!

The stories are endless. A hate crime being committed against someone simply because of the color of their skin. An overweight person who struggles with motivation because of those who make fun of them. A high school student who takes his own life because his peers make fun of him for being gay. We look at someone who dresses differently than "the norm" and we automatically make assumptions about the way they live their life. We place harsh judgments on those who drink, or smoke, or do drugs, or struggle with an eating disorder. Those who practice a different religion or faith than ours are shunned. We see it every night on the news. It turns my stomach every time I hear of someone who took their life because death was a better option for them than the life they were living. Let that sink in for a moment. What some people experience in life is so bad that they would rather cease to exist than to live one more day in their own hell.

My point is not to be "pro" or "anti" any of these issues. Yes, some choices hurt people and we should do our part to help them but it has to come from a place of true intention and love. It all comes down to how we treat people. No matter what anyone is going through in their life, what they struggle with, the choices that they make - we are not helping in any way if we throw hatred or disgust or anger in their face. Many who disguise gossip as a prayer request need to simply be silent and look within instead of fulfilling their own self righteous need.

I definitely believe that ignorance plays a large role in this problem because people are scared of what they do not know. Defining ignorance is simply being uninformed, unaware, or uneducated on a particular subject. When someone is different than us, it makes us uncomfortable and our tendency is to push away instead of draw near. I recently heard a quote that I love - It's hard to hate up close. It is very easy to hate, to bully, to disrespect, to assume from far off. That is where ignorance comes into play. But what if we chose to take a moment and listen. What if we chose to try and understand where a person is coming from. If we get to know the person for who they really are instead of the label that we have placed on them - I am confident that it would change how we treat them. Again, whether or not you agree with the issue is not the issue at all. But education really does tear down walls and can change how we view certain aspects of life. It's hard to hate up close.

My challenge to you is this: Find someone who is different than you, who thinks differently than you, who believes differently than you, who looks different than you. Find a way to spend time with them and as you learn more about their life, about their story, see what happens inside of you. It is a way for us to step outside of our own comfort zone and expand our view on the world. I know that this is not a light-hearted, funny blog - but I have been so impacted by the stories that I hear of those who struggle and even give up on life because others chose to hate instead of show true love. Yes, I know that we live in an imperfect world but we can each do our part to make change happen. Let's be a part of the solution instead of the problem. Let's lead by example for those who look up to us. It goes back to what our momma taught us - if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. However, some of us need to speak out on behalf of those who do not have the courage to do so. We need to be a friend to those who feel as if they have none. As a society, we have come a long way but it does seem as if we still have a long way to go. We never know the impact we have on someone's life - both good and bad - so make the right choice and show someone that they matter. Be a part of the change. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Best Of... #2

Announcements first!  Next Monday, April 2nd I am launching my brand new blog site - -  and I am very excited about how things started for me a couple of years ago as a beginner blogger and has now grown into a passion for writing that I want to pursue full time!  I hope that all of you will follow me over to the new site next week and help spread the word.  Also, our next give-a-way is next Monday as well and one lucky reader will receive a one year subscription to the new HGTV magazine!  It is a great magazine that I love with great ideas for your home.  Just make sure you are a "follower" of the blog and I will announce the winner on Monday, April 2nd! 

Normally a week of reruns is not a favorite of mine, but I decided to have a "best-of" this week and repost the top 4 most read blogs.  I must admit that I have really enjoyed seeing what you all responded to the most!  On Monday, we rediscovered the concept of standing in your own truth and experiencing the freedom and joy that comes from living in truth.  Yesterday, we reread the miracle day of my cousin and how her story of healing at seven years old reminds us to believe in divine power and to make the most of our days here on earth.  Today's post is number two on the list and I am so glad that it made the top four because we all need to laugh!  It was written on January 19, 2012 and this story of both of my sisters' encounter with "the death virus" seemed to cause a lot of laughter!  Happy reading!!

It's Time For A Laugh - At My Sisters' Expense!

Since today is about fun, I wanted to share a funny story about my two sisters, Christy and Cara. As siblings, we have a great relationship and one overriding theme in our experiences is that we can find the humor in any situation. This may sound odd to others but one of our favorite things to laugh about is when one of us gets sick (it really does sound bad, doesn't it?). In the moment, we are sympathetic and do what we can to help the other get better but within a reasonable amount of time (usually about 24 hours) we will begin joking at the expense of the one went knocking on death's door. The laughter has been towards me many times before and trust me - my sisters found humor in my vulnerable moments rather quickly but this time it was my turn to do the laughing!

Christy and Cara were together in a public setting a couple of weekends ago. Little did they know that "the death virus" as it came to be known, was making its way through the crowd. I am sure many of you have experienced the death virus. Without going into too much detail it involves twenty-four hours of aches, pains, chills, sweats, and very frequent sprints to the bathroom! There are usually a couple of times during that twenty-four hour span that you just pray for your life to end because death would be better than what you are experiencing in that moment! Now that we understand what the death virus is - let us continue on with the story.

Christy was the first victim. It came on rather suddenly and she immediately made her first of many sprints to the bathroom. Again, they were in a public setting and so she had to go to a public bathroom. On a positive note, this was a one person bathroom so she was still able to maintain some privacy. Cara noticed after awhile that she had not seen Christy and began a search. Cara walked around for what seemed like an hour before finding Christy - but nothing could have prepared Cara for what she would find. Christy had pretty much set up house in this public restroom. She had become so sick that the only comfort that could be found was laying down on the floor. That's right folks - Christy laid her face on the public bathroom floor! Dignity was thrown out the window. Modesty and self respect were no more. What Cara found when she opened the door was her sister, half-dressed and face to the floor. After Cara recovered from that horrible sight, they were able to get Christy to a car in order to take her home and out of the public view. I wonder what people thought as she walked out of the building? As Christy's husband drove her home, she had another "moment" and all that could be done was stick her head out the window and let the "moment" pass. I heard that there were convulsions, kicking, and moaning (is that normal?) - and that remnants of "the moment" were left all down the side of the vehicle! That is quite a sight for all of us to take in right now. Can you imagine those people that were innocently driving down the road and looked over and beheld - the monster!

Cara thought that the death virus had passed her by but a couple of days later, it came knocking on her door. She was home alone and Christy called me to ask if I would check on Cara. I called - no answer. I sent a text - no answer. I began to wonder if the virus had won but then later that night, my phone rang. Cara had now been fighting with the virus for about twelve hours and it was quickly winning. She began telling me (in detail - which I will spare you, the reader) how she was burning up and freezing at the same time. She spoke of how many constant sprints to the bathroom there were to have "moments." At one point, she crawled out of the bathroom and laid on the hardwood floor in her hallway - half naked - simply because it felt good. (What is it with being naked on cold floors?) A friend of hers had dropped off some crackers and Sprite by her front door. As Cara struggled to get to the front door, she opened it and grabbed the items - only then realizing that she was not wearing much, but did not care. Once again, all modesty and self-respect are gone with the death virus!  Cara than asked if I could come to her house the next day and deliver some much needed supplies - Gatorade, Lysol, Pepto Bismol tablets, and toilet paper. She said that she was going to try and go to school so I agreed to come up and drop off the survival kit while she was away. Basically that meant that yes, I will help you but no, I do not want you to be there spreading your germs on me! When I arrived at her house, all I could think was - I cannot get the death virus! I cannot get the death virus! I took a deep breath, unlocked her back door and ran in - dropped the supplies off in the kitchen, grabbed the Lysol and made a mad dash through her house spraying things down. Her house was dark and for a brief moment I wondered if Cara was laying on the couch while I was spraying it down. I did not wait around to see because I was holding my breath the entire time.

Both Christy and Cara have survived the death virus and are now back to their normal selves. No more laying down in public restrooms, no more nakedness in the hallway - they have regained their self respect - only to now relive it for the world through my blog. In all honesty, I am glad that they recovered and I am really glad that I did not get it! But trust me - it did not take long for us to laugh about that experience and make fun of each other! And yes, they know that being a part of my life means that you might get included in my blog. 

I do not have many pictures of me and my sisters
 but this is one that is a couple of years old. 
Christy, Cara, my niece Martha Ann, and myself 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Best Of... #3

This week, I am reposting the top 4 most read blogs.  It has been great to see what posts have been viewed the most - they are four very different posts that I have written, but I like variety and I guess you do as well!  One reason for this week of repeats is because I am working hard on my new blog site.  The address is and it will go live on Monday, April 2nd.  I hope that all of you will follow me over to the new site next week and help me promote it to your friends as well.  Also, on April 2nd, I will be having my 3rd give-a-way.  I am a big fan of magazines and I recently subscribed to HGTV's new magazine and I love it!  Great ideas for your home and so one lucky person will receive a one year subscription to this magazine!  Make sure you are a "follower" of the blog in order to have a chance to win! 

Yesterday's blog dealt with the topic of standing in your own truth and I am excited that it became one of the most read blogs because I love it when someone discovers truth in their lives, becomes comfortable in their own skin, or knows their purpose on earth and then they are able to live in that freedom.  Today's blog is number 3 on the list.  It was written on December 20, 2011 and told the story of a very special miracle in our family.  My cousin, Amanda, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age seven and we were all able to experience first hand the power of prayer and healing in a child's life.  I hope that it will inspire you to believe and know that nothing is impossible. 

Remembering a Miracle....

Have you ever witnessed something so amazing that it was simply hard to explain? Have you ever been a part of a situation that at the time seemed almost hopeless and then the answer you hoped for happens and the only way it can be explained is divine intervention? This happened twenty years ago in our family and it continues to be something we celebrate and are extremely grateful for each and every year.

It was 1991 and my sisters and I were sitting at the table with Mom about to eat dinner. I am sure that we were all talking about our day but when Dad came and sat down we knew something was wrong. He had been on the phone and had just found out that our cousin, Amanda, had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. At the time, she was only seven years old and we all just sat there in shock and disbelief that this could be happening to such a little girl. As Dad prayed, I can remember us crying and wondering what the future would hold. When these situations happen, they are always horrible, but it seems even more unfair when they happen to a child.

The tumor did affect Amanda with some physical limitations and the doctors decided that surgery would be the best option to see if it could be removed. The surgery was planned and we all began to earnestly pray for a miracle. I remember that as the news spread, we realized that people all over the country were praying for this little girl. If prayers were visible, I am confident that on December 19, 1991 - the day of Amanda's surgery - it would have been a beautiful sight to see so many voices united and being lifted up to God on Amanda's behalf.

On the day of the surgery, the doctors told Amanda's parents that they would call the waiting room when the surgery was complete. There was the chance that when the doctors went into Amanda's brain, that they would not be able to remove the tumor and other options would have to be explored. After a certain amount of time passed, the phone rang and Amanda's mom answered the phone and the doctors said the surgery was complete. It had not been long enough and everyone in the waiting room feared the worst. However, the surgery was a success and the tumor that had been robbing the life of a seven year old was now gone! We later learned that the doctors were amazed at how easily the tumor was removed. It was definitely a miracle and we all knew that a divine power was also at work in that operating room that day!

I remember that following Sunday, my dad standing before our church and thanking them for the prayers that were lifted for Amanda. As quickly as news had spread in the prior months to pray for Amanda, it was now spreading like wildfire that a true miracle had happened! That was twenty years ago and Amanda is now married and a mom to the most beautiful little one year old, Ella James. You would never know that she suffered such a traumatic event so early in her journey but her love for life now is evident that she is truly living and not taking any day for granted. Her mom said it so well on facebook yesterday -

Today is our Miracle Day! On Dec 19, 1991, God spared the life of a little 7 year old girl with a brain tumor. We will never forget to give praise and honor to Him on this day. 20 years have gone by and that little girl that fought for her life, is a wife and Mom with a joy for life that is seen by all those around her. I thank God for allowing us to keep her and for how He continues to bless her. I love you Amanda Stallings Warrington. You are a miracle!

I hope that Amanda's story will inspire and encourage you to make the most of your own life and to continually be grateful for each day - because it is truly a gift!

Amanda, her husband Trey, and daughter Ella James

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Best Of... #4

Next week, I am launching my new blog site and I am very excited about this new chapter!  Beginning Monday, April 2nd you can go to to find my blog.  You can go there now, but it is still "under construction" and will not go live until April 2nd.  In order to work out all of the details and make sure it is ready, I will be using this week to share the top 4 most read posts since I started this blog.  Yes, it is like a week of repeats, but it was good for me to go back and read these and I hope it will be for you as well.  The number four most read blog was written on April 5, 2011, and dealt with the topic of standing in your truth.  I love this concept because I know that it is vital to making the most of our lives.  I also realized that this is when I first started attending the church I go to now and little did I know how much of an impact it would have on my life over the last year!  This post is a little longer than some of the others (and this intro paragraph didn't help either) so grab a snack and happy reading!

Standing in your truth...

Over the last couple of days, there has been a theme running through my mind. Different things that I did recently brought this theme out and I have really spent some time thinking about it and how it continues to be a source of struggle and freedom in my own life. It is the concept of standing in your truth.

I recently heard that phrase from Suzie Orman, the financial expert. She said that this was her motto for the year and the advice that she would be giving to others. Since she gives financial advice to others for a living she is somewhat looking at it from the perspective of how we handle money. Do we deceive ourselves into living above our means or can we take an honest look at our bank account and face the truth of our debt, our income, and how we can really afford to live. She would also say that the other side of that equation is true as well. If we are smart with our finances, getting out of debt, and living below our means then we can also stand in our truth and experience the freedom that comes with living this way. When it comes to money, I know that many of us can benefit from a reality check and not get caught up in the idea of living some kind of life that is outside of our financial means because the truth is - it is not really living at all.

Standing in your truth can apply to our finances and it can definitely apply to our entire lives. That is something that has been a work in progress for me as it is to everyone. We spend our lives trying to figure out who we really are and what truly makes up the essence of our being. I believe that it is something that we learn more about every day and is a continual process for each of us - but when we can be honest with ourselves and with others, there is freedom there and a chance to really make the most of our journeys.

I went and visited a new church this past Sunday. For those of you who live in Nashville, you may have heard of Cross Point. I had been wanting to visit for awhile and so I went to see what it was like. I immediately loved it and know that I will be going back. The pastor for that day spoke on truth in relationships. This could apply to a spouse, someone you are dating, family, or close friends. He used the metaphor of an iceberg and how it relates to how we handle truth in our lives. For many people, what they see is what is on our surface level. They know us mainly from an image perspective -which is what we want others to know about us, or what we want them to think about us. However, in order to really form a close bond with someone, you have to be willing to go beyond that and let them see what is deeper. Just like an iceberg, what we see above the water level is good - but most of the time the largest part of an iceberg is what is underneath. This is very true in our own lives. He also stressed that we may not want to share our deepest secrets with everyone that comes our way - it might scare them off and every person does not need to know every thing that goes on in our lives (that would be so exhausting!). But who are the people that we do let in? Who really knows us inside and out? Is it a spouse, a family member, someone we date, a best friend? We all need someone or even more than one person like that in our lives. It is not an easy thing to do though. This hit home for me because I consider myself a pretty open book. My family and friends know a lot about me - the good, bad, and ugly - but there has always been a part of me that likes to keep some things very private. Mainly those areas of frustration in my life. I like it when people come to me and talk about their problems or need advice on a particular topic. To me, that means that they trust me and that possibly I have something to say that might help them. But when it comes to my own problems or struggles I tend to stay quiet and want to figure it out on my own. I have learned to open up more but I know there is room for improvement. Standing in my truth means letting those closest to me into the deeper parts of my life. As the pastor said, when we do this it really does bring about a greater intimacy and openness with that person or people in our lives. That is also one of the purposes for this blog. For me to share openly and honestly so that I can live in freedom and hopefully help someone else out as well.

Last night I watched the second half of Master Class with Oprah and once again I was inspired. One of my friends had text me saying he watched it yesterday and was blown away at what all he took away from it. Since this idea of living fully in your own truth was in my mind already I took notice of that in last night's episode. If we chase after dreams that do not line up with who we really are, then that is all we will be doing - constantly chasing after dreams and never seeing those become a reality. But when we follow our heart and we invest ourselves into those things which are in sync with our very soul - then we will experience this amazing truth - that God can dream a bigger dream for us than we could ever dream for ourself. Over my lifetime, I have been known to always be thinking of something new to do with my life, pursuing this goal and that goal, but one thing I have noticed over the last few years is this. The ones that line up with what my life's purpose is all about are the ones that stay at the top of my list. All the others fade away because although they may have been good things, they are not what I am truly passionate about and are meant for someone else to do. I believe that we all want to live our best life and we all want to reach the end of our life knowing that we made a difference and had the opportunity to really live a full life. Standing in the truth of who we really are frees us up to do just that and filters out anything that might stand in our way.

If I could encourage each of you reading this to do one thing over the next few days, weeks, and months - it would be to stand in your truth and really find out what it means to do so. We can be inspired and motivated by others and I do believe that God places people in our lives for us to learn from - but I also know that discovering our truth for our own lives can only come from within. We are all unique individuals and the purpose of my life is different than yours. Over the last few days I was reminded that standing in our truth only comes when we are connected to the Truth - and that truth will surely set us free.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The 10,000 Mark!!

Today, I have reached 10,000 views on my blog!  I wanted to say a big thank-you to everyone who reads and follows along as I share all that is going on in my journey.  My intent is that it would be encouraging, motivating, and entertaining.  It has been very encouraging to hear from many of you that read and comment - it motivates me to keep going!  I love being able to use this format as a way to express myself - at times, it is like therapy so this saves me a lot of money, right?  Please know that I really am grateful to each of you.   

I am looking forward to new changes and opportunities that will be coming soon!  On Monday, April 2nd the blog will have a new look and a new web address.  This is going to allow me to expand and do more things that I have wanted to accomplish with this blog.  I will be asking all of you to help me promote the new site and hope that all of you will continue to follow me and give any feedback - I welcome the good, bad, and ugly!

Also, April 2nd will be our next give-a-way!  Make sure you are a follower of the blog and I will announce next week what the prize will be - it's going to be a good one!

I will end the blog with a funny / grateful story that happened to me this week.  On Wednesday morning, I was on my way to work and I passed a policeman going the opposite direction.  I immediately looked down at the speedometer and knew that I was going over the speed limit.  I looked in my rear view mirror and to my horror, I saw him do a U-turn and start heading back in my direction.  I had that terrible feeling in my stomach and prayed that he would not turn his lights on (I'm sure God shakes his head at prayers like that)!  The policeman was behind a few other cars and for a moment I thought I had escaped.  However, in my moment of panic, I also ran a red light!  At this point I knew I either had to pull over or try and begin a high speed chase.  To my dismay, I saw the blue lights turn on and I knew he had me.  I pulled over and waited to hear my sentencing.  The officer came up and said he pulled me over for going 58 in a 40!  Oh crap - how was I going that fast?   Did he also see me run that red light?  He took my license and asked if I had received a ticket in the last 3 years - to which I quickly replied that I had not and I was terribly sorry for going so fast!  As he walked back to his car to run my license, I remembered that I had received a ticket almost two years ago!  I panicked!  I was speeding like a maniac, ran a red light, and lied to a police officer.  I might as well get ready for the handcuffs and prepare to spend my weekend in some nasty jail cell with a scary man named Bubba.  I saw him approaching the car again, and as a small tear began running down my face he said - Alright Kevin, be careful and have a good day.  What?  Did I hear him correctly?  Officer - did you not see me run that red light?  I was so excited that he let me go without even a warning!  It was a miracle!  In fact, I was so elated that as I drove off, I swerved a little bit on the road!  I can only imagine what the officer thought of that!  That was definitely my moment to be grateful and to remind all of us to not speed, do not run a red light, do not lie to an officer, and do not swerve while driving.  Thank you Mr. Officer - I am truly grateful!!!

Have a great weekend everyone and I will see you back here on Monday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Some Pretty Good Suggestions On Life

My father passed away in 2004 and after he died, I discovered a handwritten list that he had given both of my sisters while they were growing up and getting out on their own.  He entitled it, Dad's Suggestions, and I have found them to be very practical, insightful, and encouraging.  I love that he called them suggestions instead of rules.  He lived out each of these and wanted to pass them along as guidelines for living a better life.  I have them framed in my room and I refer to it often.  I thought it would be great to pass them along to you.  We will talk more on these in the coming days.  You will see that they are simple but Dad would assure each of us that following them would help us experience a deeper and more fulfilled life.

Dad's Suggestions:

1.  Look at each day as a gift from God.

2.  Be thankful.  Don't take for granted what you are given.

3.  Appreciate your family.

4.  Love God, others, and yourself.

5.  Be honest in all you do.  Do not lie, steal, or cheat.

6.  Learn how to handle money.  Have a checking account, savings account, and spend wisely.

7.  Give God a 10% tithe in all you earn

8.  Discipline yourself in taking care of yourself.  Sleep, Food, and Exercise.

9.  Go to church at least once a week to worship.

10.  Respect authority.

11.  Have a daily quiet time

12.  Each day help someone in need or compliment someone.

13.  Work hard at whatever you are doing.  Give a little more than what you are paid for or expected of you.

14.  Have a sense of humor.  Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself.

15.  Take care of friendships.

16.  Volunteer sometimes.

17.  Forgive others.  Don't hold grudges.

18.  Read a book.

19.  Help someone without expecting anything in return.

20.  Be the best you can be and do whatever it takes to prepare yourself. 

My dad was one of the best I have known at finding true joy in the simple things in life.  He made a difference in the lives of so many others and whenever I read over these suggestions, it reminds me of how he lived his own life.  I encourage you to read over these periodically and see how you can apply them to your day to day experiences.  Always strive for the good life!