Ok, here's all you need to know...or all I know about my trip to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. We will be in a little town called Vicente Guerrero. It has a population of 20,000. This is the mission statement from the Mission's website:
Foundation for His Ministry is a mission whose purpose is to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ. To this end we share and demonstrate God's love through the power of the Holy Spirit by meeting basic spiritual, physical and educational needs of those in Mexico and beyond. This will be done in such a way as to establish the Mission as a model of effective ministry for other parts of the world.
I will be doing massage on the people who work at the mission year round. The mission has a "nut house" as the city is a producer of macadamia nuts. They also have a nursery and an orphanage. I think I will be very humbled while there. I donated my dad's glasses to be given out while we are there. (I had 3 of mom's old glasses and 3 from my aunt Susie-I think my family is winning our own contest.) I am praying that I will appreciate the gift God has given me even more. I am praying that lives will be changed for God's glory. I am praying for my life to be changed or at the least my outlook on life. I am sure that I will have lots to post about when I get back. I will be back on Sunday Aug 3rd and wont have phone or internet from Sat July 26th until then. I'm gonna take a notebook to write on while I'm gone so you wont miss out!! (I'm sure that's what yall were hoping for!)


I do want to clarify my last post. I am a Christian. I do ultimately want to serve the Lord each day because that is the only reason I was created. Being a Christian doesnt mean that I won't struggle. It just means that I have an eternal hope that once this world passes away, I will live with my creator in Heaven, praising Him and rejoicing for all of eternity. (much better than the alternative) So if you read one day that I am happy and the next day that I am sad, you will understand. The reason for this post was because last night I was so filled with God's love and power. (I still am) I just happened to go home and crawl in my bed and cry for my dad. It doesnt mean I have any less faith when I say I am having a bad day. It just means I am tired and I miss my dad. It's an adjustment to live 26 years of your life with someone and suddenly lose them. So take my teary complaining words with a grain of salt and go hug all the people you love!


My heart is so full right now, I can barely see the screen through my tears. My dear friend, Allison invited me to her house tonight. She was having her teenage girls Sunday School class over for dinner. She read out of Philippians the "recipe" (as she called it) for peace.
Philippians 4:4-7 reads: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, that passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ.
She broke it all down to say the "recipe" for peace is 1. rejoice 2. be gentle 3. don't worry 4. pray thankful (forgive me Allison if any of this isnt exactly as you said)
She didn't know this but right after dinner my phone rang. It was a stupid telemarketer at 8pm! She told me my phone was vibrating. I quickly hang up and realized I had two missed calls. One from my mom and one from my grandmother. My grandmother's call was one of the most precious ones I will never forget. It was simple and basic telling me that she loved me and we would talk soon. I love her so much and it was so sweet and encouraging that she called. She doesnt have the internet. She doesnt know how I've been feeling. She just called. I cried in Allison's kitchen and composed myself to go in the living room to hear her talk. All the answers are in the Bible. I just haven't paid attention like I should. So here goes:
I am rejoicing that my dad is with my Heavenly Father. I rejoice that he is no longer in any pain or having to deal with any of the crap this world dealt him daily. The gentle one I am not sure about. My Bible defines it as reasonable, charitable, and fair minded. The worry, well that's an issue. She also read in Matthew about how we are not to worry about tomorrow b/c today has it's own issues and that even the birds don't worry about where their food will come from. Basically my thinking ahead to the events like my birthday and Christmas and dad's birthday will only keep me in a constant state of turmoil. Plus, God loves His children even more than the birds so don't I trust Him enough to take care of me? Pray. I do pray. Sometimes all I can say is help, but tonight...I am praying God's word. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. God please strengthen me. 4:19: And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. God help me to accept your provision and power to live for you no matter what. And lastly, thanksgiving. Lord, thank you for saving me. Thank you for giving me loving, godly parents. Thank you for the time you allowed me to have with my father and for allowing him to be such a good father. Thank you for your hand on his life and mine. Thank you for continuing to surround me with loving friends and family. Lord, I do want your peace. I want your peace that goes above and beyond what we as humans understand. I want your peace that can protect my hurting heart. Please in Your will and Your time give me that peace. In Jesus precious and Holy name, Amen.
So I could never be a teacher b/c clearly my thoughts jump around too much. And I don't know if this post is even for anyone, but myself. I just couldnt not write it down. As I was driving to my office to use my computer I heard a song basically saying you have to go through the valley's to get to the mountain top with God. Lots of other little things happened today that "primed" me for tonight. I praise God for that. I praise God for all of you reading.


I have been unispired to write much lately. I have honestly been reliving the days at the hospital in my head and cant stop. Not that I am trying to ask for pity. Its like an outer body experience. I keep seeing everything that happened like it was in slow motion. I see the good and the bad. I see how my family and friends were there exactly when I needed them. The family in town and out of town that came to our aid. The friends who had come in and out of our lives over the years. The policemen in their uniforms. I saw how much my dad was loved and respected. On the other, I keep replaying the tears and sorrow and pain and the words of the doctors and the sound of the machines. I keep thinking why didnt I scream and rant and carry on then? Why did it have to happen the way it did? When can I be totally compassionate again for others instead of thinking about myself? I'm not sure I will ever lose the memory of those days or even that I would want to. I know my God's grace is sufficient for me. He's carrying me now. I'm just praying for some sense of normalcy in my life. My aunt mentioned planning for my birthday party to me today. While I think it is so sweet how our family celebrates occassions, I just can't imagine that day being a happy one. But I'm gonna try...because that's what my dad would want me to do. I'm going to go on my mission trip and share the gospel of Jesus with others and help others. God, please give me the strength and courage and joy and I promise I will give you all the praise and glory.


I had Kasey's wedding this weekend so I was extremely busy. I was very glad to help make her day special in any way I could. It was a very hot busy weekend, but Im glad I was apart of it. I'll post pics soon. I dropped my camera while I was running around before the ceremony with my flowers. It may be silly, but please pray it will be able to be fixed. I can't afford a new camera right now and obviously have lots of things to take pictures of. I was a little ill a few times throughout the weekend and last week. I don't think I have been more vocally ill because I am trying to deal with my emotions. However, I do feel like I don't have such a great outlook on life right now so it makes me be more ill sometimes.

Last week was Bible conference at church. This meant getting off work and going straight to church 3 nights in a row. Honestly it was such a blessing through the chaos. However, I still wonder how it's possible to be so filled with the Spirit and yet so emotionally unstable.

I have a busy week ahead of me with work before I leave for my mission trip to Mexico on Sat. I will give you more info on that later.





I will say that I too often than not don't pay attention to the words of the hymns. We sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness on Monday night at the Bible conference. God decided to inpart some "duh" on me and bless me with the words of the song. It is based on Lamentations 3:22-23..."The Lords mercies...they are new every morning". So I thought I would share them to you broken down into short statements as I heard them. Maybe you need to hear them to.
1st verse:
Great is Thy faithfulness
O God, my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not
Thy compassions;
they fail not
As Thou hast been
Thou forever will be

3rd verse:
Pardon for sin
and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence
to cheer and to guide
Strength for today
and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine
with ten thousand beside

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning By morning
new mercies I see
All I have needed
Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me!

I added italics to add mroe effect. God really is so good. He is taking care of me and I pray you know Him and are allowing Him to take care of you!


Angie is the precious girlfriend of my cousin Jay. She is so sweet! Our whole family just absolutely loves her. I hope she has the best birthday!


Ok so part of this is from a ranting I wrote down before I had my blog, but I think it still is relevent. I also heard a lesson last night at church about the preeminence of Christ. It was out of Colossians and focused on Jesus being the center of everything. It is a basic Christian principle. Everyone knows it. One part of the sermon hit me in particular. (Maybe I wasn't supposed to focus on this part, but I did). The preacher was talking about how Jesus is the Head of the church in the ruling sense and the physical sense. Without the brain/head to tell the body what to do, there would be choas. (ofcourse he used someone who has had a stroke and one side of their body doesnt work properly as an example-that ex. didnt thrill me but I took it for what it was worth. And for what this is worth I know my dad wouldnt have wanted to live with only one side working and dependent on others for everything-I know he's in a better place!) ok back on track...So the preacher then gave an example of if even one part of the body is hurt or absent the rest of the body doesnt work properly. He said he stepped on a nail and way back then didnt think to get a tetanus shot. He laid in bed that night and while his foot was the only injured party, his entire body could not rest bc of the pain. He gave that example to make a point that Christians should not lay out of church. He also said that if a member is hurting, we should hurt with them and if a member is happy we should be happy with them. That leads me to my old rantings...
We cling heartily to scripture when we are in valleys when we should be shouting them to others all the time. Thinking about Timothy and Paul and the love that Paul had for him. His words were to be his last as he was writing them in prison. Do you think Timothy would have paid any more attention to them if they werent Paul's last words? Read 2 Timothy 1:3-paraphrasing-I remember you in my prayers day and night. My point is that sometimes we are so flippant to say, "I'm praying for you" or the normal catch phrases we spit out. What would happen if Christians put their money where their mouth is? What would happen if instead of telling someone, "I'm praying for you," you stop with that person right in that moment and prayed for them? I believe the compassion Jesus had is more than just sympathy. I believe it's sympathy with action. Try it sometime...I bet you and the other person will be blessed!
That's all the sermon I have for today.


I'm not sure how I feel. I'm a little confused about grief and peace and where your faith runs into all that. I think I am getting better. I still cry. It's just that I keep trying to find a right and wrong in this when all I want to do is get better. it's not like I have a switch that I can turn off and on. I cry when it comes out of me. I want people to know that God is ever more present to me now. I am just in a valley. It takes time to get back on the mountain top.
There's also a fear of if I get better, does that mean I will forget him. I have always tried to put others before myself and for once I am trying to deal with myself and it's confusing me. I think I am going to let myself feel what I want to and if there are consequences or if someone doesnt like it, then so be it. He was my dad! I love God. I love that He will take care of me. Don't tell me I am any less of a Christian because of the way I am feeling. I am still living life.

forgive me if none of this makes sense to you readers b/c it makes sense in my head.


I had to dedicate a post to my childhood friend Elizabeth Moody Alexander. She lost her dad when we were in high school. We were at a wedding tonight and she blessed me with her words. She didnt sugar coat anything or expect me to act a certain way. She just was a blessing and for that I am so grateful. Weddings are hard to go to. The daddy giving his daughter away. The father daughter dance. The realization I will never have those things. Then one of my girlfriends, whose parents were at the wedding, said bye daddy and kissed him on the cheek. I really wanted to run out of the room screaming. It was then that the Lord sent Elizabeth over to my table to chat. So thanks Elizabeth!


I had to go to my parents house last night(and this morning) to take care of the dog while mom was at Lake Blackshear. It was just as awful as I imagined it would be. All the lights were out and there was a deafening quiet. You have to understand that since I bought my house, I had a tendency to pop into mom and dad's at 9,10 or, 11pm. Now, some nights this annoyed my dad. Others I think he was glad to see me. He was probably glad to see me everytime, but usually tired on the annoyed nights. The tv would be blaring(usually being flipped between the food network and cbs,nbc, or abc.) He would be sitting in his recliner with Bo right beside him. I would sit on the couch and wait for a commercial to chat about usually nothing in particular. God, I miss talking to him!! Even when dad was out out of town, mom would be at the house and there were lights and noise. So to see it like I did last night just made it all the more real that he was gone. I called Allison to talk to me while I was there. One of the things she said made me thankful for God's timing. She said she was thinking about it and glad that I had already moved out when he passed away. Some nights I wish I had been there. And others I realize God was enabling me to be a grownup while my dad was still around to watch over me. God spared me from seeing my dad having the stroke. There are many times I cry for my mom and my brother for what they had to see. I feel surrounded with metaphors. For instance, the empty house is like my empty heart. I miss him so much. I miss the man that he was and the person he was teaching me to be. I realized its not the four walls of a house that make it a home, but the people who live in it. In some ways, I was blessed to live in the same house for 24 years, to be so stable and safe. Other times I wish we had moved around so that it wouldnt be so hard now. I have so many wonderful memories there. I am still trying to deal with selling the house. I don't know if I can handle having another thing to be sad about. I'm probably just sad and overly sensitive. I'm so tired of having no control. My life has been forever changed by something I had absolutely no control over. I think this is where Christians start to ask the question why do bad things happen to good people. (another Beth Moore book Ive been meaning to read) I guess I just need to pray God will give me strength for today because looking ahead isnt really getting me anywhere.


My cousin Hannah sent me a part of her Beth Moore Bible study that dealt with peace and grief. I thought it was good and I wanted to share it with you. I have almost survived this 3 month anniversary. I just pray that as I leave work that I will be able to keep it together. Thanks for all the sweet comments, emails and calls today.

Christ experienced peace in the midst of tears. Why did Christ Jesus cry? Because He saw the tears of His loved ones (v. 33-35). He “demonstrated His own love” with tears of anguish, yet all the while His peace remained. Please understand this vital point of peace: peace means the absence of fear and turmoil, not the absence of pain and grief. It greatly concerns me when I fail to see those who have lost loved ones shed tears in the name of “peace.” Christ, Himself, grieved over the separation of loved ones as shown here in John 11, in the garden of Gethsemane and, finally, on the cross as He saw His mother’s pain and suffered the separation from His Heavenly Father.
We can be filled with sadness and still possess a wonderful sense of God’s peace. Perhaps it is at that moment beyond all others when the peace of God’s transcends all understanding. God is not a proponent of emotional annihilation. But He gives us specific instructions regarding those emotions.
“Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart to Him,
for God is our peace.”
Our goal is not the absence of sorrow in our grieving, but rather that we refuse to grieve “as those who have no hope” (1 Thess. 4:13). Perhaps right now you are walking through at time when the obvious actions of Christ in your behalf seem inconsistent with His professed love for you. Oh, Beloved, can you see today that it is quite consistent with our Savior to:
• go for the greater glory?
• Have us be void of all other explanations?
• Wait until many surround us who may put their faith in Him?
If you believe Him, He will show you His glory. Guaranteed.



I have been sad/mad for the last couple of days. I don't think I am going through the mad phase. However, I can't get these thoughts out of my head. I cry as I feel the anger arise. I am mad that my dad is gone. I am mad that he will never get to walk me down the aisle...or for that matter that my future husband(whoever he may be) will never get to ask him for my hand in marriage. I am mad that my future husband will never know what a great man my father was. I am mad that my dad and I will never get to dance together. I am mad that my children will never know their Papa. I am mad that I cry and feel weak. I am mad that people want me to be okay when I am freakin not okay. I am mad that my dad is not here to protect me anymore. I am mad that I will never get to see him again or hug him again or hear him laugh or play with the girls or even hear him get upset or tell his opinions again. I am mad that the community of Valdosta lost a brave man who fought so diligently to make it better. I am mad that the man who would slave over the stove and oven to cook for holidays and insisted on doing all the shopping for Christmas, even though his chest and legs were hurting and his face was sweating profusely, is not here anymore. I am mad that my family has to make all these decisions now. I am mad that my mom is having to go through with this. I am mad because even though I know and understand that it's God's timing and reasoning and not our own, that I feel robbed. I am mad that the person on this earth who was filling the void of not having a husband is gone, now my hole is even bigger. I am mad that this blog is the only selfishness I get to have. I want to stay in bed for a few days without question. I am mad that I am being selfish at all when other people are hurting too. I am mad that I begged my dad for years to quit smoking and I wonder if the drug (to quit smoking) he was on had anything to do with his stroke. I am mad that I wasted that time with him by arguing with him over a habit he had for 30 years. I am mad because on the 10th of every month I get hit with the rememberance of my dad's passing. I am mad because I can't phathom a life without my daddy in it. I am mad that my dad will never live on this earth again.
Wow, all of that in one foul swoop. Now, for those of you who are going to comment and say..."but think of all the great times you did have with your dad"...I don't want to here it. This is me expressing the raunchiness(if that's even a word or how you spell it) of my heart. I know I lived a great life with my dad. I know that I was lucky, no, blessed to have William Maloy Butler, as my father. I am happy he got to see me be successful with my career and business. I am happy he got to share in my happiness over buying my first home. I just miss my dad and needed to get that all out. I am sure I will continue to have these feelings. If I've learned one thing, it's that expressing them doesn't necessarily make them go away. I am trying to deal with them the best way I know how. I am praying. I am talking to God. I am medicated and I think that is okay for a time period. I am typing to you faithful readers(it does make me mad or aggravated that people ask how i am and act concerned, but wont read my blog). ok enough of this madness. (ha, i just made myself smirk) I am going to bed. I am praying that tomorrow, I will not be so mad.


I attempted to plant some flowers that were sent to me. Unfortunately it was a little too late. I let them sit in the sun too long. I learned that digging in the dirt is a little therapy in itself. Now, I never thought I would like to do this because I am a priss and sweat enough inside let alone if I'm outside. Anyways, it made me sad/mad that I couldnt make these plants live. So I went to Lowe's and bought some gladiolus bulbs. I dug into the hard ground of my front flower beds and planted them. I made my hands red and hurt in doing so. I plucked the weeds by hand and cleared the way for these flowers to bloom. I watered and watered. A week or so passed and no blooms, just weeds. So I plucked them away again. A week or so passed again and the weeds came back. So I dug deeper and pulled the weeds. i continued to water. Last week I noticed the flowers were starting to come out, well the green stems of them. I hope soon I will be able to see the colors and blooms.

I'm sure weeds are a good analogy for me as a Christian. You accept Jesus into your heart but if you don't cultivate your relationship with Him, you will only produce weeds instead of "fruit". (evidence of your salvation) Also sometimes we decide to take wrong paths and end up with weeds. It is our choice to serve the Lord. It is a moment by moment choosing to die to self and to live for Christ.

I also feel like this can be an analogy for my emotions. Once I get through one feeling another one is burrowing its way up. I will think positively to think that one day the beauty will return again.


My friend Amanda sent me this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. " My father would pick me up and hold me high in the air. He dominated my life as long as he lived and was the love of my life for many years after he died."


I had to repeat what my cousin Kristy put as a comment to me, just incase you all don't read the comments. ( We hear all the time, "Time heals all wounds" when in reality, it doesn't. Time is not what heals our wounds...its what we do during that time that will heal us. Just some encouragement to keep fighting through this! We'll make it!)
Finally someone gets it. Time doesn't fix it. I am going to keep living my life because that is what my daddy would want me to do. That doesn't mean it is easy or that I can just be "peachy" all the time. I am a Christian. I know that God, my Heavenly Father is taking care of my earthly father now. I know that one day we will be reunited. I know that it is my obligation and joy as a Christian to do everything I can to share with others my beliefs. To allow them to see Christ in me. Well, just to let you know, Christ suffered on the cross. In Matthew, it says Jesus wept. So I think I am within my full rights as a Christian to take the time I need to heal. One day, I will be able to help someone else who has gone through a loss and you can bet that I will not turn from them. I will show them how Christ helped me through this with His words and the help and love from my friends and family.


I've always liked fireworks. I remember one year in particular. I'm not sure why we decided to not go to the mall to see fireworks. However, I probably pitched a fit(imagine that) and dad decided to do the next best thing. Living on Iola, we were a street away from the American Legion. We walked there and sat on the front steps and watched the fireworks together. My dad was truly amazing. I keep waiting on some holiday or something that I can't link a good memory to him so that it can be a "normal" day for me and there's not. He was a great man!
Today I spent the most part of the day with my brother, sister in law, nieces, and my mom. Thanks to my great friends Ashley and Melanie for the use of their pool. Here's some pics of Papa's precious granddaughters.


I don't wanna post today. I have had a bad day. Gloomy Gloria is here today and I'm sure you don't wanna hear her talk. I will say that part of it is just when I decide to try to focus on the "victories" (from my cousin Kate's blog) instead of all the bad things, I get bombarded. Now, I know how that works for Christians. Just when you are the strongest in your walk with Christ, a curveball comes flying out you at 100 miles per hour. Now, I understand that Satan and his demons will try everything to get you to "give up" on God. But that's not supposed to be how it is when you are grieving. I am supposed to get better with time. Each day is supposed to be better not worse. The quicksand is supposed to give way a little as I take a step towards healing. But not today! Sadness just kept flying on my plate. Well, I'm here to tell Satan that I am not going to give up on God. God is the only way I get out of bed each day. So stinking leave me alone Satan!!! Isaiah 40:29 says, "He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength." So I am going to rely on God's strength. I am going to allow Him to fight my battle. Please don't comment and say the verse about Him not giving us more than we can handle. I just read a quote by Mother Teresa that says,"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." That's how I feel today. I'm confused about who God thinks I am because I am sick of being sad. I want to look at a picture of my dad and not sob! I want to continue my life as he would want me to do. I just can't fathom the milestones without him. I know I need to let God be my daddy, but knowing it in my head and feeling that in my heart is not working out right now. Sorry this is all over the place. I am all over the place.

I will say thank you to Brooke and JoKaron for calling me today and loving on me.


The words are so powerful...ofcourse my favorite part is when she says "the sacred is torn from your life and you survive". I never understood what she meant when she wrote,"if hope is born of suffering" until I talked to my friend Devin tonight. Essentially it means this: we would have no hope if Christ hadnt sufferred on the cross for us. I read Boothe's blog. today and she spoke so brilliantly about hope and suffering referring to Job. Job 13:15 says, "Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him." With all that Job was facing, he still told his friends he would have hope,even if God killed him. He would trust that God would take care of him.
It's not our place to know God's plan or to even understand. Because if we understood, would we really have faith? Would we have any reason to live if this awful earthly world was all there is? Would I be crying every night, mourning the loss of my father if I knew that there was sunshine around the bend?(ok so i couldnt think of anything that would make me happy now other than having my dad back) Basically I have to put all my trust in Him in all circumstances and know that "when I can't trace hand,trust His heart"


A big pat on the back and some internet praise for my doctor, Tommy Hobby. I went for my cholesterol checkup today. A lovely little present both of my parents gave to me...bad cholesterol! (and the fact that I like bad food doesnt help either) Anyways, I had determined I was going to do just fine when I went to see him, knowing I havent seen him since the funeral and he's not just my doctor, but my friend. I was waiting patiently in the lobby and saw a 50 something woman bring in her 81 yr old father to see the doctor. No big deal. Well, they were sitting behind me and she was filling out his paperwork. She said now daddy isnt your birthday...? I just felt a ping. A few minutes later when I got into the room, I lost it. I cried and told my nurse/friend Leigh Ann what happened. Then I cried to Tommy. Now in reality I don't know that I wouldve been thrilled to take my daddy to the doctor at 81, but not having the opportunity sucks. He calmed me down and told me something so simple, but it finally made it through my thick skull(also something handed down from Bill Butler). He said nobody had the same relationship as you and your daddy did so no one will grieve for him the same way you are. That made sense. Everyday people say, everyone grieves differently, but that doesnt make me feel comfortable about the way I am handling it. It just makes me question myself even more. He also said he'd be worried about me if I wasnt grieving. Whew! I had a happy cry all the way back to work.


I know grief is selfish. I know God is going to take care of me. Here's what else I've figured out. I think my grief will continue as long as there are things that I havent thought about yet. For instance, I totally lost it today thinking about my dad's cooking. He was so aggravating about it because he never used a recipe. He was a really good cook! He would take little old spaghetti and turn it into something you wanted to eat for 4 days straight...and it got better as the days went on. He could make the best lemon pound cake, it was so moist yet it had a crunchy sugary top. I even remember him trying out recipes from the Valdosta Daily Times' Cookbook before the contest would even take place. He had his standards that he would make to take to grandma's for the holidays. So when I realized today that no one cooks like my dad and I have no way of replicating anything he did, it upset me. That's when I day I will have cried over the loss of all the things I won't get to have with my dad or because of my dad or having to do with my dad. Then hopefully the memories will become sweet and precious. Until then, please bear with me. I miss him so much!