Sunday, December 30, 2012

Home for the Holidays

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love hanging out with my family. God placed me in the all-time raddest family ever. 

I have the funniest brothers you will ever meet. They win entertainer of the year awards in my book. A chipped front tooth 20 years ago is evidence of how far they will go to make me laugh, right Joshua? They will also do anything for me, like make a detour during Christmas shopping to pick up my wayward van or bush hog a field for this tractorless farm. They are the best! (Their wives are the cream of the crop as well.)

Sharing a bedroom and secrets for 18 years, you will never meet two closer sisters than me and my Jody. We are twins born 51 weeks apart. I miss the days of never ending slumber parties when we would often talk until the wee hours of the morning. Some nights when teenage heartache would get me down, I would ditch the bottom bunk to sleep on top beside my sister who would comfort me with made up fairy tales casting me as the heroine, turning my tears of sadness into tears of laughter. She is the creamer to my coffee, the ink to my tattoo, she's the string to my guitar and the ring around the moon. :)

If I was to partner up with any of my 3 siblings for a game of Pictionary or Charades, you would for sure lose. We have too many inside jokes for there to be any competition with "outsiders". 

My parents have taught us about love and sacrifice and most importantly showed us the path that leads to the Cross. They are the Real McCoy! :)

Like any family, we are far from perfect. But the love I have for these wonderful people and their families lets me see past flaws and imperfections, which just deepens my fondness for them. 

This was the first Christmas we have all been together in 5 years. It was a great day! 

The world's cutest grandparents!

We had a fantastic time with no crying and only a couple of time-outs for my rambunctious little guy. That might be a record! It may have had something to do with the crush he developed on his cousin's girlfriend.

Corbin: "Ralph, I have a secret.Your girlfriend Kylee said I was cute." I've always known I'm going to be in trouble with this kid.

Like all good times, the music and laughter ended too quickly. I feel very blessed to share the branches of my family tree with such an awesome bunch of people. I'm a little sad that the miles keep us from seeing each other more than once a year, but I'm so glad everyone was "home" for the holidays! 

All 17 McCoy grandchildren. Except for my niece in China who will soon be a part of this forever family!
(I also have wonderful family on the Bitting side. I love them too and respect their choice to not be pictured in my blog)

Monday, December 3, 2012


 I was 18 years old, just graduating high school, when I found myself in a difficult situation, a place I never thought I would be. I was there by my own doing. I had passed the point of no return. 
The judgment I felt was harsh. 

To outsiders, I was just another teenage statistic; a careless girl who thought only of herself. 

To my family I felt I was an embarrassment. Where did they go wrong raising me that I would choose to defy the morals of my upbringing, 
especially one that brought shame and dishonor?

To my friends I was a disappointment. Didn't we make a pact and agree that we were secure
and above the immaturity of premarital sex? Especially knowing that it is wrong and 
not in God's plan for us.

To myself...... a failure. 
My immediate future no longer included college or even independence. My reputation now had 
a stain that could never be erased. 

I had hard decisions to make about my future, about my baby's future. Conflicting advice came from our well meaning parents. There were days of denial and days of urgency. 

I gave it to Jesus. HE took my disgrace and made beauty from ashes. He showed me that I could never do something so wrong to
lose His love and mercy. 

Not only did He open my eyes to Him and His forgiveness, He also blessed me with a husband who loves me and the most precious baby ever (times six)!

My heart is filled with love and compassion for teens who fall from innocence, specifically those with a repentant heart. The fall can be quick like a trip over uneven pavement.

Sometimes we can regain our footing quickly before we crash, while other times we wipe out head first becoming bruised and skinned up wondering what on earth we even tripped over.

No matter how hard we fall, God is there to pick us up, brush off the dirt, kiss the hurt, and wipe away the tears.

If we let him, He takes our mistakes along with the guilt that can destroy us and erases them as if they never existed. Although we are forgiven, there are often scars from our self inflicted imperfections.

But scars can be a sign of beauty, a reminder of where we were and how far we have come, proof that God is the Healer of the broken, and the King of redemption.

Bad quality picture but I look like a baby holding my baby!

Still holding my baby. Picture taken by Apryl