The world is divided into two kinds of people:  those who have tattoos, and those who are afraid of people with tattoos.  ~Author Unknown

That sounds about how I felt about tattoos.  If you have been around me – you would think I am pretty conservative – I dress professional, have one hole pierced in my ears, and just rather boring I guess.  I do sometimes have a splash of craziness on my fingernails but for me – that’s about the extent of it.  Growing up – I always thought people with tattoos were bad people.  I thought they were wild, they drank, they smoked and of course road loud motorcycles.  I really had not been around anyone with tattoos before.

I met someone and he had tattoos everywhere and I really wasn’t sure about him at first.  I thought he was nice and friendly and very approachable but I still was a little nervous around him.  I mean – “my kind” didn’t hang out with “his kind” – you know what I mean?  Wow – I can’t believe I was that judgmental – and I thought that.  Turns out he had all of his tattoos because he was in a terrible explosion and it helped hide some of the horrible scars that he had.  Some of his other tattoos showed his life stories, his beliefs and his passions.

So I did give our friendship a chance – I got to know this tattooed man and he was my daughter’s cheer coach.  He was so patient and gentle and so kind and truly loved our kids.  The kids adored him – he was just one of a kind.  I think it is funny now – when I see him – I don’t even see tattoos – I see his heart.  I see how he truly cares and wants to do the right thing and help kids become more self confident, more open and just part of a big family.

I may not ever get a real tattoo (but you never know…) but I must say that I know I have a tattoo in my life because he has permanently inked a spot in my family’s life.  This is a sad day today because our tattoo man and his family and others in our cheer family will be moving on.  Today is the first of many goodbyes that we say, but I know it is not forever.  This tattoo in our hearts will always remain.  Love you guys….(Mulkeys, Boyetts, and the entire XPA family)  I know all of us will have our XPA family in our hearts forever.  Just remember – three things will endure forever – Faith, Hope & Love…

From – Mommy

Leigh Christian

XPA the best in the game – that’s right we said it remember our name….Xtreme!




Declutter – do I really have to say very much?  I think you know what I mean.  OK – so if anyone looked in my closet or some of my drawers or cabinets – they would probably call a reality television show – the Hoarders…..well – my closet contains sizes from small to XXL…say what?   How crazy is that? I hate to get rid of anything because maybe I could fit in again….why do we think like that?  First of all – some of those things have been in my closet for years…ok decades…not only do they have dust on the shoulders…they may a little moldy. Amazingly enough – I don’t feel like I have anything to wear.    I plan to start cleaning the closets, going through my stuff and getting organized.

Many people think I am a very organized person.  I can plan, coordinate, collaborate with the best of them, but my own stuff – I just don’t take time.  So it is time to tackle the mess – in my house, at my office, in my car, and most importantly my mind.  Let’s do some decluttering – some real spring cleaning.  So where do I start?  Well – they say it is best to start with something I can do pretty quick that can inspire me…ok – my car….I will clean out my car tomorrow – vacuum, (Get all those crumbs…)  wipe the dust, throw away all the trash – clean the glove compartment….shine the tires, run through the car was – I mean take my car through the car wash – although the running the car wash has always been a dream of mine.  (Sorry I got distracted…)

So I am planning on having a yard sale so I will get some boxes and just start packing up stuff.  I will go through my stuff – one shelf at a time, one drawer at a time, take it piece by piece…not too much at once.  If I do one task every day – I will make progress.  Face it – we all have things we could – Toss, Keep or Sell.  Let’s get started.  So that sounds pretty easy.  I think I am ready for less clutter, less stuff…(secretly thinking I want some new stuff…)

Physically – it all makes sense…mentally – well that seems alot harder.  How do you declutter your mind?


I found this and thought it was great and I also thought I would share some of my thoughts.  When I like to clear my mind – it is usually best to get very relaxed, maybe dark with a little candlelight that has a perfect calming scent.  I like to close my eyes and put a cloth on them so not any light peeks through.  Sometimes I like music – sometimes not.  Then – this is important…just breathe.  I mean in through your nose for ten seconds and blow it out for ten seconds.  Just think about breathing….nothing else.  Focus!  OK, after I have done that for about five seconds, a warm bubble bath – helps me too!  I turn off all electronics (let me tell you – that is a big deal for me!)  I read, I write – journal or blog, I sit on the porch, or maybe I do NOTHING. Sometimes I meditate and every time – I pray.  God can help clear your mind and just rejuvenate you – so let go and let God.  Even when I was younger – I found a private place that I would just go and think.  I had the perfect little hill that overlooked a lake and had beautiful wildflowers – it was my place.  Find one for yourself.


This to help with your change…

Physical – Plan your work, work your plan… Determine what you want to clean up and clear out – declutter.  Start slow, have successes and keep at it!

Mental – Find a way to relax.  I have a friend who is helping keep me accountable.  She texts me at 9:00 pm every night to make sure that I have decluttered my mind.  (Thanks Rebecca!)

Spiritual – Find “your place” and let God help you relax and focus on him.

Prayers for you as you focus on breathing and decluttering your life!

Pray for me that I declutter –  mentally, physically and spiritually.

Love ya,


Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7


The Secret of Change – All things new…


So there is no point to focus on the past…sure you can reflect on it, learn from it but don’t beat yourself up because you made mistakes, you failed or you just gave up.  FOCUS on the FUTURE.  What are you going to start doing today to make a change?  I am pretty frustrated with myself – I did great for a few months with my diet & exercise, my Bible reading and prayer and my reading and studying more.  Then it happened – no time, no energy, everyone demanding something from me…so I did everything for everyone and nothing for me.  How did I let myself get back in that same place that I had crawled out of?  Why is it so easy?

So yesterday – I finally made it to the gym, read my Bible – I have been praying all along but this time I listened and thanked God instead of making my usual demands…I realized that I need to work hard to be a new person.  I need to pray to God for help and guidance.  I need to not be too hard on myself and just get back out there and work hard.  I need to see who I want to be and I need to strive towards that goal.  I am a work in progress…it just takes time and energy to make changes.

Don’t let yourself get down and don’t be too hard on yourself.  So you cheated on your diet, you didn’t work out for weeks, you didn’t study the Bible…you know what you did.  Just talk to God, ask for forgiveness and guidance and let God make you new.  Let go and let God…it is so easy to say…not so easy to do.  We make mistakes…we just have to move forward!  I am there to go the way with you!  I absolutely fell in love with the verse below….God will outdo himself in making things go well for you…WOW….did I say WOW!!!!

Deuteronomy 30:8-9  The Message (MSG)

8-9 And you will make a new start, listening obediently to God, keeping all his commandments that I’m commanding you today. God, your God, will outdo himself in making things go well for you: you’ll have babies, get calves, grow crops, and enjoy an all-around good life. Yes, God will start enjoying you again, making things go well for you just as he enjoyed doing it for your ancestors.


Revelation 21:5  New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

He who was sitting on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down. You can trust these words. They are true.”

I love this youtube video by Stephen Curtis Chapman – You make all things new…

This to help with your change…

Physical – Make a list of ten things you can do at home…burpees, pushups, jumping jacks, walking….

Mental – Make a list of ten things you can do to improve your mind…read self-help books, clear the clutter in your mind, write a letter to forgive someone…

Spiritual – Just thank God for loving you and making you a new person…pray that he will make all things new and that he will guide you and you will follow…

Prayers for you as you focus on the future…

Pray for me that I focus on the future and make progress in my goals –  mentally, physically and spiritually.

Love ya,





Heart Surgery – stop, drop & pray

heartIn the course of my blog – I will probably write a lot about heart surgery.  When I was five years old – I found out that I had an irregular heart beat.  I had to go to Birmingham to the big hospital to get checked out.  I will never forget when the preacher prayed in church for me – he said my name out loud….during his prayer….I thought I must be dying.  It’s funny now but that night – I knew my heart must really be bad if they were praying for me by name.  They didn’t have as sophisticated methods and machines back then -(ok not that far back…)  they did an EKG and several other tests and just said I had an irregular heart beat.  We really didn’t ha

ve to do anything at that time.  They just always said to keep an eye on it and talk to my doctor if I ever had issues.  I got ice cream – it seemed pretty cool.  I also got a long piece of paper with my heart beat on it that made a great Show and Tell in school.  This didn’t seem so bad.

Through the years – I found myself getting tired very easy.  I just didn’t have the physical stamina as alot of people, although mentally I could work circles around most.  My doctor felt it was time again that I get checked out.  I had a  cardiologist whom I adore.  He was great but still wanted me to wait on surgery until the technology had improved and until I really needed it. Then it happened –   I knew the minute that it was time.  I was at Six Flags at a cheer competition and I was ready just to give up that day.  I had pushed just too hard.

I went to my doctor and he confirmed what I already knew – it was time.  I had a bicuspid aortic valve and you are supposed to have  a tricuspid aortic valve.  My heart just had worked too hard, and it just gave out.  I was physically exhausted.  So we had to get a second opinion and I went back to Birmingham and my doctor was the best one there – his name was even on the building – I felt really special.  He wanted to do my surgery because it was not usual for someone as young as me to get Aortic valve replacement.  I have a new ticker literally – a mechanical valve.  I hear my heart ticking all the time – sometimes I get

used to it – sometimes it sounds like water drip drip dripping in the quiet annoying night.

I’m alive and doing great!  During my surgery and recovery – I honestly had not ever felt better.  I think it was because of all the prayers.  I felt them.  God had given me such a peace during this time and it was truly amazing.  When I started getting better – I was a little disappointed when groups, churches, friends took me off their prayer list.


I loved how it felt when I was wrapped up in love and prayers.

There was another time in my life that I felt even more prayed about – and that was during my Emmaus Walk.  I knew it was a GOD thing!  Prayers do make a difference.

So next time you have something worrying you or need special help – just stop drop and pray.

stopDeuteronomy 6:5

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!

This to help with your change…

Physical – Take care of your heart – eat right, get rest, exercise & take care of YOU!

Mental – Do something nice for someone that needs you….you can’t imagine what it will do for your heart and mind!

Spiritual – Love the Lord with all your heart and tell him that you do.  Pray only positive prayers and thankful to show your love to GOD!

Prayers for you as you have your own kind of heart surgery…

Pray for me that I continue taking care of my heart….

Love ya,



Who are you? Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody?


 I love this little fable (not sure who wrote it…) – I used to share it with my employees because we all knew that things needed to be done at work such as take out trash, organize files, etc; however it seemed like everybody always thought somebody else was going to do it and nobody did….it was always a task that anybody could have done.  Our society continues to wait for others to take action or do a chore or take care of something.  Why is that?  It is time that everybody does their part and then some!  We are always worried that we may not get as much or our fair share or that we may work harder than someone else.  I was raised to work smart, and work hard.  We have so many resources, tools, computers, etc that can “make our life easier…” well I find that often is makes my life harder and more disorganized.  It does make me feel like I don’t know who I am some-days


I hope that this blog will inspire you to be the “everybody” example and just do it – make a difference, share Jesus’ love or even take out the trash without being asked.  Quit waiting for somebody else to do it – you do it!  It is way better than nobody doing it!  Don’t you agree?

When you feel like you are a nobody – stop and think about it!  You can make a change – you can be a somebody that everybody will love!  I love this picture below because I think it really shows how special even nobody really is…



Galatians 6:3-5  New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

If you think you are somebody when you are nobody, you are fooling yourselves. Each of you should put your own actions to the test. Then you can take pride in yourself. You won’t be comparing yourself to somebody else. Each of you should carry your own load.

I loved these verses today and it demonstrates my thoughts perfectly.  Everybody just do your part.  Be the first to step up and do something that anybody can do, but that you did!  Be proud and be the best that you can be….

This to help with your change…

Physical – Be the somebody that works out, eats healthy and encourages others

Mental – Don’t ever think of yourself as a nobody – you are definitely somebody – just figure out who.

Spiritual – Share the Word with Everybody you see and nobody will ever forget you!

Prayers for you as you figure out who you are!

Pray for me that I am somebody that can reach everybody to help them know that anybody is a nobody.  (Huh?…ha-ha)

Love ya,