Day 2: Compare LESS. Lessons Learned Living with my Parents… married.

My Husband and I have moved 4 times in less than 3 years of marriage.

In fact, tomorrow we close on another place, so make that 5 times.

We married young (and painfully broke), so every time we moved it was figuring out another way to lower our cost of living.

In fact, selling our last house paid off all our student loan debt.

If you missed that glamorous story, heres the link:The Impossible Possible

I realize now why that last move was so hard for me.

It wasn’t moving in with my parents while being married (which is a pride puncher).

It was that we “had it all.”

We had  a house.

It was cute y’all, real cute.

It was on a good street.

It was next door to A LOT OF FRIENDS.

We looked polished.

We looked like we had things figured out.

We looked…. like everyone else.

We had the cute house, decent cars, jobs…

Moving in with my parents seems normal to the guy who has a “next step” in mind.

Be we had no next step.

Our house was under contract 10 days after putting it up on the market.

Plan? Please.

We wouldn’t be the Bells if we had a plan that ACTUALLY happened.

Actually, we wouldn’t be ADULTS if all our plans happened.

But we moved in with my parents.

Believe me, we have gotten the looks.

We have gotten the “You shouldn’t do that.”

“I would never do that… but good for you.”

“Oh… hows THAT going?”

The list goes on.

We have had the encouragers, mind you, none of you beautiful souls have gone unnoticed. I’ll love you forever.

But living without a plan, living with no next step, living a way that doesn’t “look like what everyone else has” has broken a terrible demon in my life.


Because, yeah… we had it.

We had what everyone had.

I felt like I was fitting the mold that I was supposed to fit …finally.

Finally I had a house. That was cute. That people wanted to come to. People wanted parties there. I loved it.

I felt approved of.

The sad part of all of it is that I didn’t realize that I cared about that until I didn’t have it.

And when we left it, I realized how desperately I craved having a life everyone else had.

Because there’s nothing wrong with wanting a house and nice things, don’t get me wrong.

The problem is losing sight of what you really want and desire because comparison tells you what you SHOULD be doing.


Well, I live with two parents who are probably the most kind, generous, loving people on earth.

We live rent free.

They give us space.

They give us wisdom.

They give us grace.

THEY LET US LIVE WITH THEM. pretty sure that is enough in itself.

I look back at those *priceless* pictures our sweet friend, Nalin, took of us before we sold that place and miss it.

But as I type, sitting in my parents living room, I love the refining that the Lord has had to do in me.

Burning off the ugly patches that comparison tainted in my heart.

I sit and think of how thankful I am.

The new place we picked out is of course not what anyone else is doing.

Yes, we have been called crazy.


We have also been called smart.

But more than anything, I love that comparison didn’t play a role in it.

In 30 days of wishful doing, I challenge you to take captive the thoughts that engulf you. That steal from you. The thoughts that tell you what you SHOULD be.  I challenge you to tell those thoughts WHO you are.

Tell every thought to come into obedience to what the Lord has put in place.

Because the Lord put those desires in your heart.

Don’t let comparison trick you into thinking those desires are something to be ashamed of.

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Day 2: Stop comparing, start living.

Day 1: Doing what’s true

“Each of you should use whatever git you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of Gods Grace in its various forms.”

1 Peter 4:30

I recently went on a Bachelorette trip to celebrate one of my dearest college friends.

We all packed up, 12 girls, one cruise, let the hilarity commence.

It was amazing for about a million reasons:

Endless food.

Nassau, Bahamas.

No one was dramatic.

We laughed at everything.


We spent every day living like queens on this ship and acting like true American tourists on the Island.

It truly was magical.

But I think the cherry on top of the trip was my drive home.

Crammed in a car with two of the twelve, two gals that are close friends, who share kindred thinking.

The trip from Port Canaveral to Montgomery is long and the distance between is logged on painfully boring interstates.

So naturally we came up with random games to play, ending up on “the question game.”

The driver, Cassie Ray, was full of questions, but she landed on one that managed to change the tone of the entire car ride.

“Okay, let’s go around and tell each person in the car what we see as strengths in them, maybe strengths that they don’t see in themselves.”


Easy to say those things to others, but to have them said to you brings on the same emotion as when a group is singing happy birthday to you and all you can do it sit and smile and let your face turn pink.

times ten.

But those girls, let me tell you.

They spoke life.

Life that lit a fire of rejuvenation into my spirit.

“Your words. I don’t think you realize the healing they bring. It’s like your words are a balm that help heal wounds. God has given you the ability to know what to say and what to write.”

“you are creative.”

“You are smart.”

fill. in. the. blank. of. LIFE.

They were speaking my truth, what God sees in me.

But as they spoke I was uncomfortable.

I wanted to hide.

But I was stuck in a leather filled capsule driving 80 miles per hour.

Forced to listen to my truth.

SO why do I tell you this?

Why am I telling you all the things that these powerful women spoke over my life?

Because the same goes for you.

What truth are you rejecting about your life?

Because the reality is that I love to talk, but I don’t always feel like what I say matters.

I love to write, but I don’t feel like I am as good as I could be.

I love to encourage people, but I fear I’m not encouraging enough.

I love to create new things, but I fear those things being rejected.

I read and try to learn a lot, but I don’t always feel smart.

But just in a moment, the truth was spoken that I am good and

if I engage in what my gifting’s are, stewarding what God has put in me, learn from other people, sit in the truth instead of running  from it…

What might my life look like then?

I dare say I’d be living out dreams that have been buried and suffocated under lies.

And I think I’d be doing exactly what I was designed to do.

30 days of wishful doing is for me and for you.

For me,

Ill be sharing about people I have learned from, my season of life and how it’s changing me, what I am reading, what I am itching to learn and hopefully do more of in my life, and the people I know that are DOING amazing things.

I hope that this journey will help you discover the truth of who you are so that you can live out of that amazing authenticity.

Day 1… it’s always good to start somewhere. 

30 Days of Wishful Doing

It’s that time again.

Time to unplug from distraction and take a leap of faith in “doing new things”.

I wrote this blog last year, hoping to spark some courage in whoever might click on this page.

Spark a sense of hope that we are capable when we engage.

We are capable of much more than we think, if only we commit ourselves to just trying,

even if we only try it once. 

This year, might look a bit different.

Ill be reading more

cooking more

learning more

engaging more

Meeting people who are “doing more”

and risking a little bit more of my pride to try my hand at the things that interest me…. even if I’m no good at it all.

My pride will only lessen, which I’d say is probably best.

So here is the blog I wrote last year, full of the reason why I started all of this in the first place… I hope you’ll join us this year.


A few months ago, my husband and I were in North Alabama at my grandmother’s old farmhouse, sitting around the kitchen table listening to old stories that my dad and his brother were sharing about their childhood.

“your great-grandmother, Laura, who you were named after, was always making something. She was always sewing, fixing, painting, gardening… you name it she was working on it until she went to bed”, Dad said to me.

My dad got up from the table and disappeared into the other room, returning with a folded table cloth.

“You see this? This is a table cloth made out of flour sacks. She used to sit at the table every night and stitch these together.  She never let anything be put to waste.”

Pretty cool, huh?

At least I thought so

I thought about my nightly routine of brushing my teeth, washing my face, and crawling into bed to watch an episode of The Office before I fall asleep.

And of course, setting the tv on “sleep timer” to make sure it turns off after I fall asleep.


Recently I have found that my husband and I are consistently having conversations about things that we want to do.

I want to play the banjo.

I want to be better at sewing.

I want to write more.

I want to read more.

I want to garden.

You name it, we have *wished* it.IMG_5096

We spend so much time saying we want to better ourselves at things like that, but never actually put forth the effort.

We spend our spare hours watching episodes of shows that we have already seen.

My mama puts it perfectly, “Netflix is brain candy. You don’t have to think, you just enjoy it.”She’s so right.

We don’t have to think about the stresses of our lives.

We don’t have to put effort towards anything else in the day.

We just simply turn on a show, and tune out life’s worries.

So our ideas and aspirations, our dreams and hopes are merely wishful thinking.

But what if our wishes weren’t our weakness, but instead our strengths?

Things that we want to do are done and done well.

While away on a trip to the mountains, Cody and I discovered how much we wish and never do.

We started calculating how many hours are in a season of The Office.

We found that we spent three days worth of hours watching that show.

Three. Days. Of. Hours. Y’all.

After discovering this crazy reality, I looked at Cody and said “What will I have left for my children to remember me by? My knowledge of Michael Scott’s weirdness and Pam & Jim’s perfect love story?”

Something has got to be different.IMG_5105

So we started thinking.

What if we unplugged our TV and replaced every moment of temptation to veg out watching it to learning and practicing the things we always wished we could do.

So we did it.

Unplugged that bad boy.

That beautiful, 40 inch, flat-screened, dream.


For 30 days.

Instead of wishful thinking, we are wishful doing.

For a lot of you, TV may not be your distraction. It may be something else.

But we encourage you to find what that is and replace it with what you are dreaming of.

Even if for one hour a day you practice whatever that is, let it be your season of doing. 

Great people never became great without trying and messing up a few times.

A little focus was all they needed,

or maybe it was 30 days. 

I will be sharing daily about our process, so stay tuned, lots of moments and real feelings coming your way!