I’m still Creating. Are you still reading?

I'm still Creating. Are you still reading?

For a sweet friend relying on the hope of Jesus.



Life Lately

Ahhh. I can finally say that Im adjusting to my new life. Mommy….all. day. long. Mississippi. Meeting new people. Slow paced life. Just being rather than doing all the time. I’ve come to enjoy my life here, most days.

There are days I just wish I could curl up in my living room with the sun beaming in with Staci beside me telling me how stressed she is about exams. Or go on a walk with Allison and Finn. Or see cute Raegan and Benjamin flirt while Kristy and I have Barbs. Or, walking into my office for two hours before heading to see the high school kiddos. Michelle and Calvin I think about on a daily basis and yearn for Bear to attack my leg when I come in the door. Kristin. Oh Kristin who really gets me and can encourage me with two words. And so many others. I cannot say how much I would love to chase Luke around sis’s new house {that I still haven’t seen} or have nana ask me yet again to hold Benjamin knowing he’s too squirmy for her. All that made up my life. A life that I loved.

Life is new here. I have hours on end to spend time studying and for the first time in my life I enjoy it! Somedays, I want to run out the house and leave all my responsibilities. Today is not one of those days. Today, I think I could watch Benjamin waller around all day long and not get tired of it. We are starting to make a life here and I’m starting to like it and know there will be things I’ll miss when we leave. . . more than just Cliff’s family which has always been on the “positives list.”

Finding a church has played in incredible mood in my spirits lifting. Only been there two weeks but have met more people than my sweet baby boy has toes! And maybe fingers too. I am a creature of community. When I have it, I grow, I feel alive. I’m starting to get that back and cannot say how thankful I am for that.

Our little Squawk is not so squawky any more and spends his days blabbering and now doing what I call the pterodactyl (who knew it had a p?) shrill! He finds ways to put any blanket he comes in contact with over his face and is constantly grabbing anything in his reach. He giggles and wrestles the sheep his daddy bought him before we knew he was a he. He hugs Eeyore all the time and still prefers watching daddy over any activity I could offer. He’s becoming a little boy, not a baby. Watch out world, this kid’s gonna be trouble. I can already tell he has his daddy’s mischief and his mommy’s enjoyment of people. Deadly combo. This will make for funny stories.

I saw this in our lake yesterday afternoon… 

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly. {Memphis}


My great friends {Chris and Leanne} are incredible. They are working in Cambodia. Chris teaching students. Leanne helping stop human trafficking and educate the people of Phnom Phen. I spent 2.5 months with Leanne in Africa 7 years ago and have remained great friends with her. LOVE her. More than I could say. Anyway, they do this thing they call winners and losers. I’m stealing the idea for my time here in Memphie. We’ll start with the positive.

The Good:

  • Target: seriously, Johnson City. Get with the times and open a Super Target. Is it shameful that Target is currently my best friend? If you saw this Target you’d understand.
  • Mamaw. Goes to the grocery with me. Fixed us food when we hadn’t been to the grocery. Loves Benjamin Squawk just as much as my sweet mama.
  • The homestead. I’ll post pictures soon. Promise. Ms. Vicki and I are even going to have a little veggie and herb garden. Never done that before.
  • Ms. V’s exercise class. I have officially retired the preggo pants.
  • Cliff’s job. Free popcorn and “freestyle” . . . those fancy pants Coke machines that let you add flavors.
  • The park. Have chatted with the sweetest people there. Even flagged down a police officer who did not make fun of me for asking to help a hurt duck.
  • This weather. Not humid yet, in the mid to high 60s and several days without a cloud in the sky.
  • Fellowship Memphis. The church we just might call home for our time here. Multiracial body. When you read the ugly you’ll understand why this is so important to us! Bigger than we’d like, but in no way feels like a machine.
  • Benjamin. Smiling. Laughing. Having so much fun with him.
  • Realizing I had more good than I thought I would when i stopped to think about it.

The Bad:

  • Traffic. Like Roan Street at Christmas bad. All. the. time.
  • Missing Earth Fare
  • The price of organic milk. $7.50 a gallon!
  • Not getting to go to my mama’s or my sister’s whenever the heck we want.
  • Which means I don’t get to see my favorite ray of sunshine, nephew Lukie.
  • Not quite fitting into my pre-preggo pants which leaves me somewhat pantsless. Don’t worry. I do wear pants, they’re just a big snug. I now understand why moms wear high waisted pants.

The Ugly:

  • The segregation. Unfortunately, most crime is committed by people who are not white. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want white people out committing crimes either. It seems like an injustice to me that so many people have fought and lost their lives just for the majority of uneducated and poor folks to be minorities. I hate it. It’s ugly. I never realized it before.  That’s why the multiracial church is so important to us. This place needs Jesus bad. And not the smiley happy Jesus of church culture. The Jesus who came with a sword to end injustice and oppression of His people. We want to be a part of that here in one of the most segregated cities in our country. Memphis needs your prayers. Memphis needs Him.
  • Memphis was listed as one of the top 20  most miserable place to live by Forbes, MSN, yahoo, xfinity…

Sneak peek of our little place…



Give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin,
a dread of its approach; Help me chastely to flee it,
and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be thine alone
Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in thee,
the ground of my rest,
the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of thyself
as Saviour, Master, Lord, and King. Give me a deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from thee. Plough deep in me, great Lord,
Heavenly Husbandman, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until thou alone art seen in me, thy beauty golden like summer harvest, thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.
I have no Master but thee, no law but thy will,
no delight but thyself, no wealth but that thou givest, no good but that thou blesses, no peace but that thou bestowest.
I am nothing but that thou makest me, I have nothing but that I receive from thee, I can be nothing but that grace adorns me. Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing with living water.


Reflections by the Lake

A long long time ago, when I first starting blogging, I had hopes of  posting some cute crafts and maybe becoming one of those “trendy bloggers.” Now, I just want to journal; to remember what’s going on and write down my thoughts. I want it for me.

So, here we are, 500 miles from everything (and nearly everyone!) I’ve known for my 26 years of life. There are a lot of things I don’t enjoy about being here (keeping on the sunnyside people!) and lots of things I do! One is that I have no pressure here. Nowhere to be. No one to distract me or busy my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love people and always will. But somehow all of it got me away from my deepest of loves. My first love. My only need in this world. Sweet sweet Jesus. I’ve missed Him. I’ve neglected Him. I’ve acted alive when really I am dead inside. With all my free time, I’ve had the opportunity to just be with Jesus, sipping coffee and looking at the lake. (And clean the house. every. single. day. Did I mention I loathe cleaning?)

I read through Revelation. Crazy stuff, huh? Anyway, I realized I was dead when I read what Christ said to the Church in Ephesus…

I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Remember from where you have fallen;
repent, and do the works you did at first.
If non, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place
unless you repent.
Revelation 2:4-5

Then He says this to the Church at Sardis…..
I know  your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead.
Wake up,
and strengthen what remains and is about to die,
for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
Revelation 3: 1&2

I come to this right before the season of Lent. I’ve done the “Lent thing” before… gave up facebook (hasn’t everyone at least once for Lent???) sugar (isn’t that a bit self seeking? It was for me.) I probably would have done soft drinks if I liked ’em! All the things Christians do… Not doing it this year. It would be for me. Not for Him. To make me feel like I was doing what a believer in Jesus Christ would do.

What I am doing is reading through the last days of Jesus here. And, reading through this journal from The Village Church in Texas. I suggest both. Not to mark something off your list. But to return to your first love. Or to meet Him, truly and genuinely, for the first time. And if you know Him, they will remind you why we really need Him so badly… that’s what Lent is about. Remembering our depravity and brokenness apart from Him. We must fully realize how badly we need the cross. Without the death caused by the weight of our sin, there is no resurrection. With no resurrection there is no defeat over death. Our sin is real. Our sin is destructive. Our sin is ugly.

I am waking up again to my sweet Jesus. May I (may we all) not sit idle.

Sums it up… Take a listen.

On a side note. PattyGram, Cliff made Benjamin laugh this morning. He will NOT do it for me, little stinker. He can’t wait to see you in a couple weeks. Maybe by then he’ll be laughing big time.

The Cottage at Maywood

The  Cottage at Maywood

The Cottage at Maywood


I Can Guarantee, Things Are Sweeter in Tennessee

Welp, the good news is I hadn’t unpacked all the boxes so they won’t have to be repacked. The bad news is I have splotches of paint in my living room wall to determine my wall color.

Next week, the Pyles will be making the voyage (and yes, it is a voyage) to Olive Branch, MS where we will live in the cutest little cottage on the lake. Cliff got an incredible {out of the blue… wasn’t even looking}  job offer in Memphis! He will be able to work for himself for a big name company for the next year. Something computer for Hilton *is it terrible that I don’t really know what my husband does?*

The goodbyes have started. I went into my office today to pack up and say goodbye to these gals.

In his last episode on the Office, Michael Scott said, “The people that you work with are, when you get down to it, your very best friends.” And these gals really are. I cried the hardest when I told them I was leaving. . . so hard I had to stop and compose myself  four times in the hall before making it in there. Shew. And the students. Gut wrenching! I have countless memories at ole’ ETSU Upward Bound; it really was the best job I’ve ever had and maybe every will.

It’s a family.

It’s a riot.

It’s life changing.

As things become a reality, I think of all I will miss out on in the next year. Benjamin’s best friend {Calvin} turn one. Grove Park Inn and the gingerbreads. girls nights with a group of gals who I love more than life itself. Seeing Hunger Games with a bunch who are obsessed with it as much as I am. So. Much. More.

But this is good and I’m thrilled to go on this grand adventure with my sweet sweet husband. Cliff’s family is there so we won’t be alone and we’ll get to spend a good year visiting them whenever the heck we want 🙂 I’m looking forward to having all distractions cleared away to spend time with my little bitty squawker. There are lots of things I want to do: join a gym, volunteer at a women’s shelter, get Benjamin on a schedule, read lots, take as many calsses as I can.

This is probably what you really want to see… My sweet friend Jamie took some pics of little bitty not long after he was born. Here are some of my faves.

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