Friday, February 10, 2012


A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double. ~Toni Morrison

On January 22, 2012, I met my sister. I walked the hallway of the hospital full of emotion. I was going to visit my father who was close to leaving this earth, and going to meet my sister for the first time ever. I am not really sure which emotion was the strongest. You see, God has blessed me with "sisters of my heart" for many I have never felt like I didn't have the experience of having a sister. And then I saw her.

She is taller than me....and she has the most beautiful hair I have ever seen. And when we hugged for the first time, I realized I didn't want to let go of her. I wanted to hug her and share every good thing I had missed, help shoulder every bad one along the way...make up for her 29 years of being on earth and me not being there. I quickly realized I couldn't but oh, how I wish I could!

The speed at which we became "comfortable" with one another was amazing. Almost instantly, we fell into that comfortable rythym of sisters. Our similarities were breathtaking, and our differences were quirky. I remember sitting on the couch together, all huddled into one corner giggling over something silly and thinking that I wish I had had that with her for the past 29 years. There was no need for personal space-just like there isn't a need for that with my God gifted sisters. When I brushed and fixed her hair it was like we went back many years and I was making up for lost time. And when my father passed away 72 hours later, we held hands and held each other as we took care of the details. As my brother helped with preparations, like the Collins men do, we took care of the finer points. We all worked together much like a well oiled machine. Three siblings that were together for the first time ever pulled together like there had never been a day that we were apart. One of Gods many miracles during that week.

As I pulled out of the driveway at 4am, my sister sitting on the front porch and both of us crying, I got the most hilarious text message from here before we reached the end of the drive. One more similarity-dealing with sadness with humor. I immediately felt her absence like I never had before and vowed to make a paper chain to count down until the next time I saw her.

Dear Phalon,

It was so nice to finally meet you. I'm so glad you are a part of my life, and my family's life. Only 119 (approx.) days until I see you again....


Your big sister

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I, Robot

How do you do everything you need to do when you get the call saying your dad probably won't make it?
I'm like a robot. I methodically do things that have to be done to prepare.
Make a list.
Get out my suitcase.
Choose the clothes I need to have while I am there. Include a dress-just in case.
I need shoes to wear with that dress. Pick those out.
What is the weather like there? What will it be like all week, because I may be there for a whole week.....
Pray. Pray again. For peace that passes understanding and for peace for my dad and the rest of our family. Pray I get there in time. It's a twelve hour drive.
Feed Seth breakfast. Life doesn't stop around you just because yours has.
Think about the fact that I don't want to do this at 33 years old. Then remember that we never really want to do this, no matter our age.
Worry about what my boys are going to do this week. I am an obsessive planner and I have never left them to figure it out. Consider making Olin a list-it's my love language....but not his. He will tell me it will get done. And it will. I just don't want him to forget anything this week like Seths medicine, laundry, the dogs water, etc. If I can't control my dads health then I want to control my boys schedule. Trying to learn to give that up. It's not working, yet.
Pray again. And finish packing. I need to be ready to go out the door. Pray I get to say things that mean something. I want him to know, more than anything, that although it seems like I have fought him my entire life, I was really just fighting FOR him. I don't think he knows that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

We're Alive!!!

Well, it's been approximately 985 years since I last posted. Life came along and just happened. We have been busy! In the last several months, Olin got a job, I got a job, I lost my job, my mother-in-law had back surgery, school started, Christmas is only two weeks away, we had Thanksgiving, and my dad and step-mom came up for a visit! tired just typing it. We truly believe we are where we are as a part of God's plan for our lives. We have good days and bad days. It's been a really hard year. However, we are looking for the favor in our situation and most days we find it. We want to be present in the moment and really try to learn what God is showing us in each situation. We are grateful to have a roof over our heads, a car to drive, a healthy boy, and a job for Olin. We are aware that we have a lot more than some people.
My dad and step-mom came up for a visit from south Louisiana! I hadn't seen them in about 11 years or so. I believe we had a good visit and we were blessed to have time with each other. It was good to re-connect and for them to get to meet my boys! We had a week of really good cooking by Ms. Paula and time with family. Seth calls going to my uncle's house "going out to the farm" and he loves it!!! There are goats, chickens, tree swings, and four wheelers. What is not for a boy to love?
I would tell you I will try to post more but I always say that! Ha! I really am going to try to. This blog is one way of me remembering what happens in our little family from time to time and when I don't write it down I don't remember. :/ Praying for friends and family members that are in changing seasons this Christmas! Love you all~!

"I will not dwell on what was lost. I will build on what remains." -Pastor Steven Furtick-


Sunday, September 18, 2011


Hi blog world! It's been quite a while since I last posted. There have been many good, hard, messy, wonderful, and scary things going on around here. It's a lot to process. I can just about guarantee a post will go up about each one but first I have to finish processing them!
I am posting to ask for prayer. Specifically for the following things:

*Clear conviction on a medical procedure that may or may not come to fruition.
*Open or closed doors on the house we are in the process of acquiring. There have been some red flags.....
*The job application that is in. I've already interviewed. Just waiting to hear back from them now.
*A good attitude when dealing with the hard stuff. I keep reminding myself of what my "other mother" would say...."That's what love does". Maybe it is...but just being honest that sometimes it is hard to do what love does.

There are several more things going on but the list is getting long... :) I would love the opportunity to pray for things that anyone that reads this blog needs as well. Just comment or email me and let me know!
I promise to follow up within the week and fill everyone in. I am anxious, nervous, scared and excited. God is planning quite a season in my life....and I know that it is all in His perfect timing. Praying that I can go through it glorifying Him.
Have a great Sunday everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Have Some Thoughts

I had some thoughts about some things this morning so I thought I should get them all out here....on this ol' bloggy...that I never blog on.

Many of you that know me know that a few weeks ago, someone I like to call a good friend of mine passed away. I was beginning to take piano lessons from him (He has been to the White House to play-he is that good), he sang in my wedding, he had the sense of humor of 10 men, and he was one of my greatest prayer warriors and encouragers. I have been trying to figure out what it all means. He was 58 years old. He has a beautiful family and he loved the Lord with everything he had. Why did he have to go? I like to think the Lord had a spot open in the choir and needed a piano man. Whatever the reason-HIS timing is perfect. In my own selfish vain, I began to wonder what God was trying to teach me out of it. I couldn't believe how impacted I was by his death. I think because it hit so close to home and reminded me of my own mortality. In the last few weeks I have realized several things.
1-Never put off what you have in your heart you want to do. For example, piano lessons. I should have started years ago. Now I have missed an opportunity to learn from the best.
2-Hold my husband a little tighter every day. I may nag, fuss, etc. What if he died tomorrow? Would I be pleased with myself when thinking about the last time I said anything to him? Would they be nice words or would they cause me to live years in regret?
3-Never take having a spouse for granted. Yes-we need our own time and space within the day-but never take for granted having someone to share my bed with. Never take for granted the kiss on my forehead that I get every morning as he leaves for work. Never take for granted that everyday he greets me with "Hey, Beautiful". I never know when the last time I hear those words will be.
4-I should strive to live my life as a testimony for God. I should be humble about it. Almost 1000 people showed up to Charlie T's funeral. He would never have imagined the number of people he impacted. That's what made him as amazing as he was.
5-It's never too early to decorate for Christmas. Charlie T started in September every year. He relished all of the decorations and they brought so much joy to everyone who had the pleasure of seeing them. In his honor, on the day before his funeral, several people on his street put their Christmas trees up. He knew how to celebrate the birth of our Lord and he did it in the finest ways possible!!!

I feel quite certain that there are many things the Lord is trying to teach me through all of this. I can't begin to imagine what his family is going through. If it affected me this much, I can only imagine their pain. However, I know that I know that I know that I know that his family is firmly rooted in their belief of God and that His ways are perfect. We may never understand on this side of Heaven. We may question God-we wouldn't be human if we didn't. However, at the end of the day, we can rest knowing that Charlie is where he is supposed to be and he got there on the day he was supposed to. Through our belief in God, we have hope. A hope that we have a future and that His best for us is more wonderful than we could ever imagine. My prayers stay with this family as they go through their grief. I grieve for the people that will never hear him play or sing again. I rejoice because he has joined a choir more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Songs and Jewelry Boxes

I was 11 years old, living in South Louisiana. My hair had a wing span wider than a large bird and my pants were tight-rolled. And I lived with my daddy.

The first time I can remember meeting my father I was 9 years old. He had came to the Carolinas to visit and I went to my uncles house to see him. They were boiling crawfish and I tried one for the first time that night. In hindsight-I would have done just about anything my dad asked me to do in order to impress him. He was taller than the pictures led me to believe and his hands....well, they were the largest, strongest hands I had ever seen. I still, to this day, could pick his hands out of a line-up. You see, when your daddy picks you up for the first time you can remember, you seem to memorize everything about him-especially his hands.

Fast-forward a couple of years and I was living with my dad in Houma, LA. It's a little town way in the bayou and I spent two culture-shocking years there. For someone that had never been away from her grandmother or North Carolina, the accent and food rocked my world a bit. It was a couple of years that were definitely a definition of ebb and flow for me. I remember getting saved and my daddy being there to watch me get baptized. I remember my dance recitals and how before I moved there I didn't even know little girls took dance classes. I remember grasping still-even though my daddy was in the same room-looking for some clue of security. I wanted to know that at least every once in a while I was the most important girl in his world. I wanted his full attention. Everything he did was momentous to me. I remember him coming home from a one month stay in Trinidad and bringing me a small round jewelry box. It has flowers on the glass part on top that have flaked away through the years, but the outlines are still there. And when you opened it, it played a song. You see-I believe that this is the first time in my life that my father shopped, picked out, and bought something for me by himself. I imagine him in a little sidewalk shop in Trinidad picking it up and inspecting it-looking to see if it was good enough for his girl.

And so, out of everything in my life, and all the many moves, it has been saved. It has never been put in storage or left in a box for long. It is my prized posession. And today it quit playing. My husband can't figure out why or how to fix it without taking it apart and I wouldn't dare dream of it. And the saddest part? The one that gets me the most? I can't remember the song it played. At all. But maybe-just maybe-this is God's way of ending that song-that chapter of my life that I remember with a few fond memories and the more plentiful sad ones I cling to-and He has started to make me sing a new song. One riddled with memories of weddings and sweaty little boys. Of babies and friends and a renewed relationship with my daddy-one that is set by my terms. Maybe that 20 year old jewelry box can just hold my wedding rings now-or maybe I will ask for a new one and finally pack it away. Quit trying to make it work and accept that it may never play again. Some days it's hard to make adult decisions-to be quite honest. But I know that I know that I know that I know that He is writing a more beautiful song than I could have ever imagined or composed.

Here's to new songs and jewelry boxes.......

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding

I was one of those people. I woke up at 4am Friday morning to watch the Royal Wedding. My husband, the wonderful man that he is, woke up to make me "royal waffles" while I watched. I had that feeling of nostalgia. I thought of how she felt getting ready in the hotel with her people around her. I had a moment of thinking I wanted to re-new vows so I could do it all over again. I kept having the same thought over and over again-wow, she is lucky!

And yes, she may be the same time I am blessed. I am sure that in the middle of all the chaos, she felt like every other girl feels on her wedding day. Take away the servants, the 2 billion people watching.....and to her it was the same thing. At the end of the day she was just a girl...standing in front of a boy...asking him to love her. (Name that movie) Sure, she may be a princess now but I am too. She will now be treated as royalty, but I am too. And that kiss? The one on the balcony of Buckingham Palace? I had that the middle of a field in front of a couple billion less people but I am quite certain it felt the same.

Tonight instead of sitting around wishing I could do it all again and my wedding could be more "regal", I am choosing to appreciate my king. I am so happy for the new couple and I can honestly say I know EXACTLY how she feels being married. :)