Generational Habits

Growing up, my mom would wake up hours before daylight to have her “coffee” time. I never understood why she would do it.  Was it really worth getting up 4 hours before you had to be anywhere? Did you HAVE to see the moon again? Must you always see the sunrise?

It literally never made sense to me. Everyday when I woke up, I would walk in the living room and there she was, wrapped up in her robe, religiously wearing her slippers (which she is very particular about), reading her bible, with a coffee cup in her hand. Side note: she only drinks from tiny coffee cups so that her coffee cup intake can be an absurd amount. She’s a wild one that Wendy.

Mom always claimed it was her alone time to become joyful before her babies woke up, which I always believed, she always gave the best hugs and had a lot of energy when we woke.   Today, we are all grown up, out from under her roof and payroll, and she’s still waking before the sun.

I always knew there was something more happening.

For 30 years now, my mom wakes before the sun to sit with Jesus.

It hit me today, this morning actually, when I willingly woke up at 5 am to sit with Jesus, that so much of what I have in this life is because of the fervent prayers of my mother. It is because she chose to wake up and sit with Him. Talk to Him. Ask of Him. Believe in Him.

She prayed for my sister when doctors told her she may never have children, two years later, my niece was born. 

She prayed for my Dad when the recession of ’09 hit him hard, he now sees the fruit of his labor.

She prayed for my sister to find peace after the loss of a close friend, She’s in her calm after the storm.

She prayed me through a season of anxiety and unknown, I’m walking a path of peace.

She prayed for all three of us (me and my sisters) to find Godly husbands, we are living in marital bliss.


Today is Ash Wednesday.  Not everyone pursues the Lent season, but this year my husband and I are.  We are spending 40 days in fervent prayer over all that God places on our hearts.

 AND…There is this unbelievable desire to wake up every morning, drink Bell Blend and sit with Jesus. 

Today, I am thankful for generational habits and a Mom who never stops trusting drinking coffee with Jesus.

*You should wake up with Bell Blend too! You can buy it under the coffee shop tab :)*

Real Men

My Grandmother is the only living Grandparent that I still have.  This past weekend she turned 82-years-old, and let me tell you, my heart rejoices in that.

My husband and I, along with most of our family, traveled to the small town that raised half of my blood-line, to celebrate.  Joppa, Alabama didn’t know what was coming when all those cars flooded the driveway of the old house.


We had dinner and sat around telling “Mama Rue” stories.  I have never laughed so hard in my life listening to the stories that flooded that living room.  The southern accents permeated the room making the stories twice as funny.  My grandmother was a hoot as a young woman and quite different towards me and my sisters as she was towards her children.  It was as if for those few hours all the sadness or pain that 82 years may have brought, there were moments and moments and more moments that we could all reflect on and rejoice over her.


She was a farm wife, which is a hard life, but she was good at it.  She will never know anything but farming and cooking, and she’s the happiest about that. Her greatest joy though, well, it was her man. The man that took her on as his bride and cherished her like ivory for over 50 years.

“What was your first date with Papa Doc?” we asked her.

“Well, he came over to me after a church sangin’ and asked if he could carry me home.  I told him ‘well I don’t know Doc’, and he said ‘well you reckon you can tell me who does?’  and I looked at him and laughed and said ‘well, I reckon my Daddy.’  So Doc asked my Daddy if he could carry me home. Doc drove me home from church that night.  That was our first date.  I was 15 and he was 24.”

That age difference would never fly today.


That man, my grandfather, set the stage. He set the stage for men and their actions.  He was a tough man, he took risks, he made mistakes, and yes, he even could drive my grandmother crazy, but at the end of the day, he was the man.

He wasn’t the man because he was the main provider for the household or controlling of his wife, don’t get any ideas.  He was the man because he KNEW what he had and he fought for it.  Every. single. day. He knew that he had found a wife worth rubies, children that were a part of him, and that his responsibility was not to just provide for them, but to be present for them.  He knew what it meant to cherish his wife. He knew what it meant to teach his children.  The best part of it all? They all cherished him too.


His sons married and are reflections of their father.  They work hard, they fight for their marriages, and they are present for their family.  They are constant in the good and the bad.  They challenge each other.  The best part of that? Their children have found men just. like. them.

My husband,  5 years ago today, walked 6 miles in the snow to ask me out.  His mama wouldn’t let him drive, so he walked.  He asked my daddy permission to take me to prom, and 5 years later, here we are.  He provides for us, he dreams for us, he never lets a day go by that he doesn’t think about us.


My brothers-in-law, well, they are representations of real men.  They take care of my sisters.  They love them, they make them laugh, and they are present fathers to their children.  They honor my sisters with the way they live their lives.  My heart swells up with pride when I spend time with them. I can’t even tell that they aren’t blood related to me anymore.  They are men. REAL men. They set a standard of what all men should be.



I have pondered Valentine’s Day over and over.  My husband and I spent our energy spreading love to others and not a dime on one another.

I realized something this morning.  My husband makes every day Valentine’s Day.  He celebrates me when he goes to work every morning. He celebrates me when he prays with me.  He celebrates me when I am sick and when I am healthy.  He celebrates me with patience for my sassy attitude and laughter to my bad jokes. He celebrates his bride by choosing her every single day.

A real man doesn’t just buy flowers for his wife for cheesy holidays (although it’s a very thoughtful and kind gesture) Real men sacrifice to be what the world tells them is wrong.

Real men are the ones that are still talked about when they are in heaven and their wife is 82.


Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.

You know what that means for me? Well today, I will go to work ONLY to make deliveries of BEAUTIFUL flower arrangements to all those who ordered from my boss. They are perfect and perfectly named. Flirt, Petite, Lush, .. the list goes on and the flowers are to die for!


My job, well if you read my last post, is so much fun.  I love that I get to be a part of a company that is always putting together everyone’s dream weddings, events, or florals, but in the Valentine season, my job made me re-evaluate myself a bit.

 How many men and women out there are working today to put a smile on someone else’s face? And not for ONE moment is someone thinking about them in the process.  They are handing you the sweet tea at the drive thru, they are the nurses that are taking care of your sick family, or sitting in the waiting room waiting to hear good news.  They are your friends at church or the man at the bus stop.  It could be the woman in the grocery line with a screaming baby on her hip and toddler begging for bubble gum. These people, every day, deserve to have a little ounce of love extended to them, a moment where they can feel like someone cared about them to step out of their comfort zone JUST to remind them that they are loved.

I started brainstorming with my husband and we came up with an idea to put love into action this year.  We are newly-weds on a TIGHT budget and felt like spending our money on giving suited us more than a candle lit dinner for two at waffle house.

So we got to work and even got a little help from our SWEETEST friend, Brooke. She loved the idea and spent some time with me giving at a few different places.  We went wherever we felt led to go, which at times can feel awkward and uncertain.

We went to Baptist Hospital, drive-thru lines, talked to strangers on elevators and in waiting rooms.  I even went to a family photo shoot.

Honestly, there were moments where we felt uncomfortable, we got nervous before we spoke to complete strangers and offered them candy… I wasn’t thinking about the whole don’t take candy from strangers thing until after! 

BUT, let me tell you, it was the most amazing feeling seeing people that I knew and didn’t know smile and laugh and rejoice over a little box of candy.

Let me challenge you with this, the day before Valentine’s Day, PUT. LOVE. INTO. ACTION. Even if it is just with your words or simply helping someone get chips off of the top shelf at the grocery store. Do something today, not about you, but about someone else.

We are LOVED, because we are known by the One who created us.

Knowing that, share it. When you do, try to capture that moment! Post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and hashtag #Iamlovedchallenge

We want to challenge you to put love into action the ENTIRE month of February! It is SO fun and rewarding.

Cody and I really want to see all the true LOVE in the air 🙂

Happy Valentine’s MONTH, from the Bell’s!

Check out the video from our fun adventure! (keep in mind, we are NOT professional videographers 🙂 )