Turn down the noise

Do you have one thing after another happen that you just have to pay attention?

It can’t just be a coincidence?

It started Sunday at church.

My former co-worker, supervisor and wonderful friend spoke at church Sunday morning. He spoke of addiction. Yeah, maybe a weird subject for church but if you knew Robs story, you would get it. His story includes substance abuse but addiction is so much more.

Addiction can be shopping or addiction can be another person. Addiction can be schedules or this stupid phone we (me included) seem to be so dependent on. Addiction can be work or not working. The list is endless.

Yesterday, as I painted kitchen cabinets for the basement renovation I listened to a podcast by Rachel Cruz, daughter of Dave Ramsey. It was a podcast on Christmas budgets. I honestly am a great budgeter and I didn’t need assistance in that area but as I continued to listen, I was intrigued by a guest she had on her show. Her name was Emily Ley and she is a professional on organizing and has all kinds of products for getting your life organized. She spoke words that had resonated with me for two days. She said “turn down the noise.” She didn’t mean the loud radio or hushing your children. She meant to calm your life. To say no to “one more thing.” To get off your phone. To stop comparing yourself with the Instagram little squares.

I hear you Emily Ley.

For the last two weeks, as I have spoke to many about our final renovation timeline, I’ve stressed that 2020 will be a different kind of year for us and I’ve never been able to put it into words but finally I can say we are turning down the noise.

There will be more evening walks and swinging at the park.

There will be weekends that we don’t get out of our pjs.

There will be more nights around the fire pit enjoying friends or weekend swim parties.

There will be some really fun trips that are already on the calendar

There will be less noise.

I’m already exciting about this change of pace for us.

Now don’t get me wrong. There will be projects. There will be painting in the garage and building things. There will be house repairs and improvements but nothing like the last 4 years.

It’s time to turn down the noise.

It’s time and I’m ready for more lunch dates with this cutie pie.

And more time spent with these people

there might be wrestling on the floor without another agenda looming

And some traveling to see this sweet guy. Time doesn’t stand still for anyone

Are you already thinking about 2020 and things that might be different?

If you are anything like me, it’s time to take a breath and turn down the noise.

Much love,


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10 hours for 2 hours

A month ago, as I listened to a favorite podcast, For the Love with Jen Hatmaker and it was mentioned that there would be a “For the Love” LIVE podcast in November.

Hurry!! Look at my calendar!!

It’s a Tuesday. Crap.

It’s in Atlanta. Crap.

I dismissed it

A few days later I am listening to another favorite podcast “The Popcast” with Jamie Golden and Knox McCoy and they mentioned the same Live podcast and they were going to be special guest at the same Live show.

I really want to go

I mentioned going to a few and they have jobs.

Dang it

All is not lost

That evening after dinner, after the table was cleared and the dishes were washed, I mentioned that there was an event I would love to go to.

I have a birthday coming up and maybe it could be my birthday gift.

We are not big birthday celebrators and our birthdays are 8 days apart. Sometimes we combine our days and do something fun. Sometimes we go on a birthday date and call it a day.

Buy the tickets Charma, I’ll go with you.

Done ✅

Yesterday was the day.

He took off work and we packed a bag.

We left in time to hit up Chick-fil-A for breakfast and we were on our way.

We listened to music

I read my book for book club.

We caught up on reno schedules and chatted about nonsense

5 hours later we make it. Atlanta traffic ain’t no joke.

We checked into our hotel, changed our clothes and grabbed some dinner

The venue was a performing arts center so it was on the smaller size

Our seats were upgraded at the entrance gate so we were pretty close!

As we sat down, we were put in the center of the aisle. This is not normal procedure for a 6’6″ person. They like to sit on the end so as not to block anyone’s view who might sit behind them.

This event was also very heavy female oriented and as we sat waiting for the event to start, it was said “I can count on one hand how many men are in this room.”

Jen took the stage and she was as entertaining as she is on her podcast and as an author.

As the Live podcast begins, enters “The Popcast” hosts Jamie and Knox. I’m not usually a fan girl but it’s fun to sit and listen to the people that are usually in your ear buds as you sand and paint stuff.

If you are still reading this long post, this experience was fun. I tend to feel guilty when things are about me. My person took off work. He drove 10 hours to and from Atlanta for a two hour event when his job includes driving a lot of the time. He sat in a venue with many women. He let me take pictures and he laughed and sat next to me in the center of the aisle.

Thank you honey for time well spent. There is no one I want to sit beside more than you.

Your turn is Friday.

Night ranger here we come

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Step back!!

I’ve been picking out design elements for the basement Reno for months.

It’s a teeny tiny space but every crack and crevice matters. It has to mean something and every time I walk into the space, just like any other space I work on, I want to say “good job Charma.”

Sometimes it takes me a long time to make a design decision. It might sound silly, but I feel it when it’s right. I get this calmness in my gut.

That sounds silly, even as I write it.

Last night was no exception.

This wall now has drywall but it gives you a space comparison

I need to choose wallpaper or another kind of design element for behind the bed.




Make it match?

Be creative and use something DIY!

Maybe shiplap or build a sweet headboard!




I found a lot of pretty things but nothing spoke loud enough to calm the gurgling in my belly.

Finally, I shut the computer down and decided to just stop

Stop looking

Stop fretting

Stop it all

Nothing is going to end if I don’t have an answer tonight

This morning, while driving to an event, I started thinking about my decision to put the selection on hold

It’s not just about wallpaper or a wall covering, it’s about many other things.

Do you hold your tongue when you have a thought or so you blurt it out?

Do you take a step back when there is a big decision to be made or are you a “do it now” kind of person?

I think sometimes if we would take a step back, ponder for a while or even seek guidance, the selection might already be there but we are just to inpatient to wait.

That’s a lot to say when I just started about picking wallpaper. Maybe as I step back on design decisions, I’ll grow in other parts of my life too.

That’s the name of the game right?

Have a fantastic day!

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DNA or Not

family option 4

Some of the people in this photo do not share my DNA

Most do.


My Momma of course gave me my DNA. In this photo, she was in terrible pain and she will probably be mad at me for posting this.  She dressed up and showed up because I asked. It was a big ask….. I know that. She was miserable and I am grateful she loves me enough that she would put on dress clothes to make me happy on this day.

steve and charma

The guy standing beside me does not share my DNA but he put a ring on my finger almost 35 years ago so he qualifies. A suit? He never wears a suit. But I asked and he put it on.

I see so much more in this picture than dressed up people. I see dedication and hard work. I see loving the unlovable. I see forgiveness. I see our home in the background. A place that we worked side by side to create. I see love.

The big kids showed up.

Two share my DNA and they all share my heart.

Some live under my roof and some live 2 hours down the road. They dressed up and showed up. They smiled and my goodness we all sweated cause it was hot.

with babies

The babies…….share a little DNA and a lot of my heart. They are precious and I love them to my very core. Every single cell.

Why would we pose in front of old truck in our prettiest of clothes? We could have gone anywhere.

Why? Because Vernon, Dad or Papa needed to be in the photo. Family photos seem to never come at the right time and we are no exception. Someone is out of town or someone is pregnant and we will wait until the baby comes. Someone is sick or someone has to work. That truck “Lucy” stands in for Dad. Dad loved old cars and trucks and there is no better symbol of him than “Lucy Truck.”

Don’t wait to take the photo. It doesn’t have to be professional but they sure are pretty. And you Mommas and Grandmammas……get in the picture.

Don’t wait to say I Love you

Don’t wait to make the phone call

The people in this photo are loved

They are cherished

They are part of my DNA even if we don’t share it.

Thank you family, every last one of you for dressing up, showing up and being my people.

You are loved.

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Reno is not pretty

So far the basement reno has been dirty

Did I say dirty ?

I meant really, stinking, filthy, nasty dirty.

In 2017 when the hurricane came through, the basement flooded. The water was at least 18″ deep.

Since then, we have had gutters installed, created a water flow pattern and some more technical things I don’t know the names of.

The last step in protecting the room from water was to dig a trench all the way to the bottom of the block wall

We crawled through this door

Shimmied under the house

We dug a trench

4 feet deep

32 feet long

This friend……….a real friend to do this kind of work, showed up with her work clothes.

We dug.

The next step was to seal the block.

This step included tar and some sticky plastic wall paper stuff

It was the worst

We threw our clothes and our shoes in the trash.

Steve threw his clothes and shoes away numerous times due to the tar situation.

Again……it was awful

One more Saturday filling up the trench is on the calendar and then the PRETTY BEGINS!!!

Starting yesterday, I spent the entire glorious day in paint clothes.

I have been lacking in using my creative juices due to the tar situation.

But now……

These cabinets, which will be included in the pretty part of the Reno started getting their face lift

They might be blue 💙💙💙

I’ll be sharing so much more very soon

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Words of Truth

Yesterday was like any other Sunday.

I got up, after an extra glorious hour of sleep, thank you time change.

I got ready.

I was excited to be on the worship team at church. I was leading one of my favorite songs. I Am Who You Say I am by Hillsong Worship. It was my first time leading since we began attending Brick City Church. I have led this song many times before and it holds a special place.

We rehearse and the song list was great! I have a new team of people that I’m singing with and making new friends is always fun.

The piano plays the introduction.

I’m not nervous. The song is familiar and I know the words like the back of my hand.

The chorus begins

“Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am”
I start to get a giant lump in my throat.
Come on Charma………get a grip.
Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth…….that will stop the tears.
Look up to the ceiling. That’s a trick to stop crying.
I can’t get the words out.
The emotions are high.
I’m choking out every word.
I hadn’t sang this song since we had to make the difficult choice to change our place of worship. The flood of memories hit me hard. But more than that…….. the words.
“Free at last, He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin
Jesus died for me
Yes He died for me”
As I write the words, I’m still overwhelmed with His Love for me.
Blast it.
I’m so mad after the song is over. My first time with a solo part and I blubber.

The people in this place of worship do not know me, they don’t know I cry at the drop of a hat and songs……well they touch my soul.

I grab a tissue and I sit down when the song is over. They will probably not want me to sing again. Who wants the crying chick to ruin the worship experience for others?

I’m so mad!!

I silently text my friend.

Yes I said shit in church

I’m thankful for people who will speak truth. Even when it sucks and I don’t really want to hear it.

What are you Prideful about today?

It’s not a quality I’m proud of but situations arise and it’s a way to grow.

I write about this because I want to remember and grow when this pops up in my memories next year and the year after.

I’m going to keep singing.

Singing about His love for me.

Singing at the top of my lungs while dancing in the kitchen

Singing when I have earbuds in and I’m sure it sounds awful.

And most of all…….. singing when the lump forms in my throat.

Have a wonderful week!

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Praying With My Feet

4 weeks ago Mom hurt her back.

2 weeks later she picked up 30 pound Jack and REALLY hurt her back.


Primary Care Physician

Emergency Room

CT scans

Pain and more pain

It’s hard to watch the suffering.

I didn’t know what to do.

Pray with my feet.

That was the sermon from Sunday.

I can pray like nobody’s business.

I can also ask for prayer but sometimes I think that Jesus gives us the opportunity to do more than be on our knees.

I advocate for my sweet Mom. She’s of sound mind and is a strong woman but she has a terrible hearing deficit. The phone is not her friend so I prayed with my ears. I scheduled appointments and prayed with my car the last month as I drove her to and from appointments.

Yesterday, Monday, we finally had an appointment with a neurosurgeon. A referral from the ER. We waited two long miserable weeks to get in to see him and we didn’t know him which is always a little stressful.

Will he be kind?

Will he be patient?

Will he be compassionate?

All the things you wonder and want from your doctor.

We wait in the waiting room.

Fill out 30 sheets of paperwork.

Finally we meet him.

He is wonderful!

He is all the things we wanted and the best news was he knew exactly what the issue was and he wanted to do surgery immediately. He didn’t want her to suffer any longer.

I prayed with tears.

We immediately schedule a MRI for Monday evening (who knew you could get an MRI at 8pm) and surgery was scheduled for today (Tuesday)

We arrived at the hospital at 7:45am and were hopeful for a quick and easy surgery, recovery and home by noon.

Was I ever wrong .

We waited and waited and waited some more.

At 7:02pm surgery started.

The nurses apologize over and over again.

My heart kept telling me that something was up and it was more than just a slow operating room. I later learned that that 4 traumas back to back had come into the hospital while we waited.

One involved a young man who was involved in an automobile accident and flipped his truck 7 times.

He is in critical condition and if you have a moment, would you pray for his family. I can’t pray with my feet on this one but I can ask others to surround this family.

Our Courtney was in a horrible automobile accident in 2008 and my heart hurts every time I think of a family going through the same thing we did. (I will write out that story one day.)

I sit in the waiting room at 8:26pm waiting for the recovery team to come get me.

The lady beside me wants to talk. Her story is important but I am so tired and weary from this day. I pray with my ears as I listen as her son was seriously injured in an accident 9 days ago and she can’t hug him because he is in a bed that has to rotate his body.

It’s not about you Charma.

It’s about loving on those around you. I can be tired and weary tomorrow.

If you only heard one thing as I rambled tonight……… pray with everything you’ve got.

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