Thursday Doors -Greatness Enters Here

This week for Thursday Doors, I opted for a field house.  These door lead to the locker rooms that are filled with students almost year round.  Now that school is out, I took advantage of getting down to photograph them before they are once again bustling with children/young adults going in and out of them.

This field house is located at Dwight Bogle Stadium (usually just called Bogle or Bogle field) in Cave Spring, Virginia.  One of the things that I found interesting when we moved here was that the stadium is actually located at the middle school.  There are two high schools in the Cave Spring area. A second high school was needed in Cave Spring due to overcrowding, so in addition to Cave Spring High, Hidden Valley High School was opened in 2002.

I was a little surprised by this because some large high schools have the same amount of students as these two combined.  It also means that you are in school with the same students from 6th-12th grade.  I am used to a multiple middle schools feeding into one high school.  Both of the high school football teams play on Bogle field.  During football season this means that the field is in constant use between JV and Varsity.  Cave Spring Middle also has a football team that plays on the field

Cave Spring Middle School Squires -Fall 2014

Because the fields get such heavy use, in 2007 the County opted to put in turf.  We moved here in the summer of 2013.  This was one year after the middle school had been completely rebuilt.  The boys both wanted to play football and played the 2014-2015 school year.  This was with the middle child as an 8th grader and the oldest as a freshman.

Cave Spring High School Knights – JV scrimmage Fall 2014

And even though they both decided after a season that football was not for them, they learned a lot during that time.  They learned about teamwork, about respect, and about leadership.  They learned about hard work and brotherhood.  One of them witnessed the bonds of a team when a teammate was very ill.  They took away friendships that they still have to this day.

It was a hard decision for me to allow them to enter that field.  If you’ve been following along for a while then you know that my oldest has suffered a brain injury in the past.  Football has constantly been in the news about concussions and injuries suffered. But I also  knew that I couldn’t stop them from living just because of my own fears.  I can’t say I was overly sad when they opted not to continue playing the next season; however, I was happy it was their decision to make.

These are the doors from the parking lot side.  One for the Cave Spring Knights and the other for the Hidden Valley Titans.  Whichever team is playing, the other locker room is available for the away team.

I’m not sure when this specific field house was built. Cave Spring has produced some football players that have gone on to play professionally.  Ronde Barber (retired-Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Tiki Barber (retired- New York Giants) graduated from there in 1993 and Danny Aiken (won the 2015 Super Bowl with the New England Patriots) graduated in 2006.

In the spring, these doors welcome the middle school track and soccer teams.  The Knights side being used by the girls and the Titans side being used by the boys.  I’m a little hazy on what other teams use the fields as we just entered middle school soccer this year.

Only 7th and 8th graders are eligible to play middle school sports.  As a 6th grader, my daughter was able to be a soccer team manager.  She was able to practice with the team and was assigned to work certain games.  At home games, some of the managers are at the sideline to get the ball and some are in the tower doing the announcing and running the clock.  At the away games, the managers  keep track of who has been subbed.

She had a lot of fun and was happy when she found a manager jersey in her size with the number 21 (her travel soccer number).  This was the only picture she ended up letting me take in her manager uniform!

One the back side of the field house, the doors again have signs denoting the team, but they are double doors in the team color.  I found this photo in my archives.  My middle school child was getting water during practice while the JV player was on the field for a scrimmage.  The field is locked when not in use.  Even if I could find a place where the fence is short enough to take a photo, it would be on the opposite end of the field and I don’t have that kind of zoom lens.  You can see the Titans blue doors.  To the left are a set of red doors that the Knights emerge from.

I titled this Greatness Enters Here because I believe it does.  Whether it’s entering on the front side before a game or entering from the back side as they take their leave from the field, there is greatness in those locker rooms.

It doesn’t matter whether they are the victors or the losers.

There is greatness.

They are there putting in the hard work. They are there showing up for each other.  They come out and leave a lot of drive and determination on that field.

Never underestimate your own strength.  You were born for a purpose and are blessed with the power to achieve it. -Leon Brown

Obviously this isn’t the only place where these lessons are learned and this isn’t the only place where greatness enters.  We should never underestimate the greatness in all children and young adults.  Or in all human beings for that matter.

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.-Vincent Van Gogh

Let your light shine!


*Thursday doors is hosted by Norm 2.0.  To see more great doors, check them out here

I am also linking up to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge as it is DOORS and drawers this week!


Thursday Doors-Heights Community Church

I find the architecture of many churches to be quite spectacular.  I have some that I will be  going back by to photograph.  They are tucked away for future outings.

Thursday doors is where door lovers from around the world come together to share their finds.  I mentioned last week that I joined in because the challenge makes me focus more on the present.  It’s hosted by Norm 2.0 and you can check out other doors here

I had to head over to the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op today.  It’s main location is in Grandin Village, which is a historic area of Roanoke that was built from 1906-1952.  The most significant growth was in the 1920’s.  It’s known as a walkable urban area and I find the area has a friendly atmosphere.  It would have been on my list of areas to move if its location had been more conducive to our situation.  My husband has a commute better served from a different part of town.

I am a member of the Co-Op, so I make trips over for some of the things that I like to stock up on and a few others that catch my eye when I visit.  I was heading down to get some Vitamin B-2.  I join ranks of many who experience these awful things called migraines.  I didn’t experience them until my second child was about 6 weeks old.  Mine start with a visual aura in my peripheral vision and progress centrally, creating a small pinpoint of vision.  Needless to say, I was freaked out when the first one happened.  I’m still not exactly sure what my triggers are, but I suspect dehydration and stress.

I’m also aware that the increasing evidence is that since my migraines occur with an aura, I am at increased risk for heart disease and stroke.  My grandmother had congestive heart failure so I’m proactive about my health. I have them much less frequently. Over the years, I have learned to recognize the beginnings of the aura and can take two ibuprofen which staves off the headache portion.  I still have the 20 minutes of vision issues, but not as extreme and I still feel brain fog afterward.  I’m not a giant fan of medications and don’t need anything stronger.  Ibuprofen has enough risks.  I recently obtained some information from a neurologist about things to do to try to prevent migraines.  Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) was listed as effective for migraine prevention so I went to Co-Op to find some without tons of junky additives.

Heights Community Church is located right beside the Co-Op.  In fact they share parts of the parking lot (I parked in the neutral zone so I could walk around both places).  According to the Historic Grandin Village website that I linked above, this church was built in 1919. I found this cornerstone on the church dated 1922.  The church was originally names Virginia Heights Baptist Church.  In October 2014, they changed the name to Heights Community Church so that it would have a broader reach.  According to their website, they still maintain their Baptist beliefs, practices, and affiliations.

The church stands at the corner of Grandin Road and Memorial Avenue.  Black Dog Salvage is about 5-6 blocks away, just across the Memorial bridge.   I love a church with some grand Classical-Revival columns (I cheated and looked up its style, but I love columns).  It has wings that were added later and spans a good way up Memorial Avenue.

I also love a beautiful steeple!  And below, I didn’t straighten the picture to show the angle of the road.  As a Floridian, when I first started visiting northern cities it was so strange to see buildings appear off kilter.  One side of a building having more bricks than the other side to compensate for hills or mountains.  A new sight for a flatlander!

Let your light shine!



Change is always happening


The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. -Socrates

I’ve had some thoughts rolling around for awhile, and yet when I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), they do not flow out cohesively.  I am hoping that today they have found a way to flow with the ease of a river racing to its conclusion.

The oldest became an official solo driver on Sunday.  It was a bittersweet moment.  I’m excited for him to continue his journey toward adulthood, but it is also a symbol that he is no longer completely mine.  He is not the little boy I carried on my hip or the one who pressed against my stomach so I would rub his back when he lived in my womb.  He is not the inquisitive toddler asking me how the world works or the young grade schooler posing deep thoughts such as “What if we are all just a part of someone’s dream?”  Nor is he the  middle schooler trying to make sense of his first experiences with death.

He is not that and yet he is all that.

I stood in our front yard, smiling and taking pictures as he pulled down the driveway.  Waving as he pulled away to go meet his friends.  My heart catching in my throat as I turned to go inside.  And while I tried to will them away, the tears brimmed over.  Happy tears, sad tears, all mixed together and flowing from this overwhelming place in my soul.


Isn’t that what spring brings? 

I have spent some time reflecting on this time of change.  And as he seems to do, God has brought some reminders of his word to me through the words of others.  A few days later I would read this post.There is so much truth to the words that would seep into every part of my being:

Motherhood is a slow release.

Those words convicted and those words rang so true.  I just want to hold on to my children a little tighter.  To have them still be completely mine.  I only share some details of their life on here because I do recognize that what once felt like ownership, now feels like companionship.  I get to walk beside them, still teaching and correcting, but their story belongs to them and is theirs alone to share.  The message of “falling in love with what is instead of mourning what was” was a gentle reminder to my heart.

Watching them change and grow is a marvelous privilege.

I am learning daily about the slow release.

I also get a daily devotion emailed from Proverbs 31 ministries.

Tuesday’s message struck me because she talks about seeing beauty in the bedlam (when I saw that word used, I knew to perk up and listen) and seeing the marvelous in the mundane.  A lot of my journey this year has been about learning to do that.

Cleaning house, doing dishes, and laundry is about as mundane as I can wrap my head around.  I am not a good housekeeper (one of my next reads will hopefully help out with that) which is why I was really hoping to implement more minimalism into our life.  Baby steps, baby steps…  I finished reading one thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp and am reminded:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord not for men. -Colossians 3:23

It is so much easier said than done.  I am trying to pluck out a grain of truth wherever I find it. I am trying to offer a servant heart to these children who take so much out of me. I am trying to make my house a home. I am trying to let my light shine even in the parts of the day where I feel most inadequate.

Feed the hungry and help those in trouble.  Then your light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. -Isaiah 58:10


Last night I finally was able to go and stand where I spent so many winter days watching the sun set.  Seeking beauty everyday. Seeking something to hold on to through the gray.  The pictures are winter and spring.  From barren to growth.  I’ve watched spring unfolding,  watched my story unfolding. I also read a great post this week about telling our stories.  About how they matter. Planting a seed.  If a little piece of my story is meant to reach just one, as long as I’ve told it, then I’ve been faithful to do my part.

I love music and the song I’m obsessed with lately is Lukas Graham’s 7 years.  It has so many lines that resonate with me.  Aging, love of family, people who really know you and have been around through it all with you, children. Plus the flow of it just draws me in.

The line that makes a knot in my throat each time I hear it is:

I hope my children come and visit once or twice a month.


Change is always happening.  My children are growing toward independence.  My heart both swells and breaks at the same time during this journey.  I love my children fiercely.  I was raised with a love for family above all and can only hope that God’s mercy will fill in the gaps for my failures and they will always want to find their way back to see me.

Let your light shine!


Thursday Doors – More Salvage

I never realized how quickly a week flies by until I started posting Thursday Doors.  If you haven’t heard of Thursday Doors, it’s hosted by Norm 2.0 and is where door lovers come together every Thursday to post their favorite doors from around the world.  I have always admired architecture so I thought this would be a great challenge for me to stop and notice any doors that I see.

With soccer games, hunting for the oldest a car, soccer tryouts, rain, cold, and did I mention rain… I will be delving into the photos I took last week for some more interesting doors from Black Dog Salvage.  If you didn’t see the ones from last week, you can check them out here.  If you’d like to see more from around the world check them out here.

I find myself noticing doors as I pass them by.  I am not always able to stop and photograph them, but am working on collecting more.  This noticing them also helps me work on one of my goals for the year.

Staying in the present.

If I am actively participating in noticing things that usually slip by me, then I’m living fully in the present.  I mentioned before that I am reading one thousand gifts, by Ann Voskamp.  In it, she talks about keeping a gratitude journal.  And while I have not started one, I am trying to be aware daily of all the amazing things (no matter how trivial) that I see and experience each day.

Staying in the present.

The first picture shows where there is just door after door placed according to their use.  To the right, is another entire aisle filled with doors also.  Most would have to be pulled out to see them fully so I don’t have many pictures from that area.  The ones I do have will be in a future post.  There are also doors almost everywhere throughout the building.  I like how they used the old set of doors above to cover the electrical panel.  Much more character and easy access that way.

I enjoyed strolling around the warehouse.  I loved seeing the creations, the old becoming new.  I was able to look at everything in wonder.  I thought about how I am changing, overcoming fears, pressing beyond comfort zones, learning contentment, and becoming new.  I breathed in the moment.  My feet walking, my eyes seeing, my hand touching.

Staying in the present.

The picture above was taken outside near the entry doors.  I’m not good at knowing what strange doors are taken from.  This looks like a ship.  There is a giant frying pan hanging on the wall above and the wind was blowing so I wasn’t stepping close enough to read the tag!! (I’m sure the frying pan is fully secured, I just didn’t like the sound)

The picture below was in the upstairs area of the building.  The tag said RR which I’m taking to mean railroad.  Again, I’m not really familiar with anything other than front doors and car doors.  I was just intrigued by both of these because they were unique.  I love unique.

There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. -Martha Graham

I hope you’ve enjoyed a few more doors from Black Dog Salvage.  If you are ever in Roanoke, VA you should stop in.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.  You can also find them on the DIY channel.

Take some time today to be fully present.  The thing I’ve noticed about Thursday getting here so soon is how quickly life rushes by.  I spend a lot of time hurrying on to the next thing and looking forward to certain benchmarks of time.  Really, I should be enjoying the one I’m in.

Staying in the present.

I hope your day is filled with sunshine!  And if it’s rainy, like it is here, then I hope it’s at least filled with smiles and laughter.

Let your light shine!


Things I’ve observed about having a TALL child

A boy and his car


The oldest is about to venture out on his own.  Driving without me or his father in the seat next to him.  This is happening Sunday, to be exact.  If you’ve been following along with me for a while you may remember that he lived through and fully recovered from a traumatic brain injury (epidural hematoma) at 12.  And that he recently turned 16.  In Virginia, you must be 16 and 3 months to move on from a learner’s permit .


9 months ago

Searching for a vehicle for him has been an ordeal that has been going on for months.  He is 6’5″ when barefoot.  If you have never seen a tall person driving a car.  Let me tell you what this means.  Typically, the seat is placed as far back into the recesses of the vehicle that its rails allow.  Then the steering wheel is raised to its highest position.  If you have a telescopic wheel, that may end up being pulled out for their arms be in a comfortable position since the body is so far back.  We have searched and searched with the main problem being that his knee hits the steering column when pressing the brake.  I have long legs and have driven (not owned) cars where this happens.  It requires you laying your knee to the side when depressing the brake, not the safest situation.  So any car where this happened to him was a “no go” in my book.


We thought we would end up with a mid-size SUV or truck for him.  My husband recently traded in his vehicle for a Mustang.  We knew our son was able to fit into my husband’s car and we ended finding a used one.  I owned three Camaros and a Mustang before having kids and we all know I love a good car.


The ordeal made me think about the other things that go along with being tall.  At a size 15 shoe, ordering them online is our only option.  Thank goodness we live in a day and age where that is possible.  Certain shoes that he may like only make some styles up to a 13 or 14 and a certain athletic shoe that runs small does not fit in a 15.  His inseam is a 36.  There is one department store that sometimes carries Levi’s in this length.  His preference for American Eagle, must be ordered.  Luckily, there is a store in the mall for returns because we learned which cuts worked through trial and error. A lot of teen brand T-shirts are a hit or miss on if they are long enough for his torso.  Big and Tall sections don’t help, it seems to mean tall and round. So we hunt for athletic fit.  And lastly, socks.  Yes, those one size fits most.  Well he’s stuck with packs of black or white Under Armour with an occasional Nike Elite when I’m feeling financially generous (2 pairs cost more than the 6 pack of the other) and forget about the trendy ones.


Another observations with a tall child is the fact they they will always be asked if they play basketball.  Always.

And my last one is personal.  We are always asked where he gets his height.  Lots of times from complete strangers.  This one bugs only me.  The go to answer usually is “oh, there’s some throughout the family”. Based on my limited findings, in the U.S., the average height for a male is around 5’10” (my husband fits the bill) and the average height for a female is 5’4″ (oh wait, I’m 5’8″-not supermodel height, but quite a bit taller than the average).

I realize that this question shouldn’t bother me.  But it does.  And here’s why.

As a tween and young teen I towered over everyone.  I have distinct memories of being able to see over a sea of heads in school hallways.  I remember standing next to my mother (who is right under the average height) and asking why I looked like the  “Jolly Green Giant” next to her.  And why were my shoulders so broad and my feet so big.  My jeans were never long enough and by the time I was in my late teens I switched to men’s jeans to get the inseam I wanted (glad they’ve remedied this).  My mom was great at positively affirming my features, but they still bothered me.

Sports cars, men’s jeans, and teen angst!

When we found paperwork on my Scottish great-great grandmother and it said she was 5’8″ in the 1920’s, I realized I must take after her.  I have learned to be content with those things that bothered me when I was younger.  Some of those features I’ve come to admire.  And that comes from the fact that my kids have long legs, broad shoulders, and big hands and feet because I do.  So while I smile and uncomfortably say “oh, there’s some throughout the family”, inside I am thinking “well, at least SOME of it came from me”.  I am learning sometimes what I thought was a curse is actually a blessing.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

Let your light shine!



WPC- A Face Finding Her Way


Confusion sets in

Am I this me or that me

Still finding myself

-Amy Lyon Smith



I’ve been wanting to take a try at writing Haiku.  I like how it expresses so much by saying so little. I tend to get sidetracked and tell 100 different stories before coming back to the first, so I admire how Haiku is concise and to the point. I did follow the traditional 5-7-5 syllable pattern, but not in themes.

When I saw that the Weekly Photo challenge was face, I knew that I would choose this photo from this winter.  It was the photo that prompted the self-portrait in The Red Door post.  I came home from running errands and the way the sun was shining created a reflection in the storm door.  I loved that it wasn’t your typical way of capturing a self portrait in a mirror.  I was there, but there were elements of the door behind creating this portrait that wasn’t fully me. I set this one in black and white because it made it all seamlessly blend together.

I took this photo a few weeks after my first blog post.  I was still really unsure at that time if I wanted my words to be seen.  I was questioning whether this was the journey, whether I was listening to God, and wondering where he was leading.  For me, in that moment, this photo captured a new me, one who had begun looking at life through a different lens.   In fact, I posted this photo on Instagram that day, February 4th, with the quote:

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things -Henry Miller

Much of my journey these past 5 months has been about a new way of seeing things.  Seeing things with eye for gratitude and awe.

To see the amazing intricacy of a “weed” that has sprouted from the ground, resilient in its right to exist and yet fragile enough to be blown away in a gentle breeze.


To see with new eyes as the sky turns pinks and blues and the sun nestles behind the mountains, lowering to its slumber.



To watch the ocean kiss the shoreline and taste the salt upon my lips and feel the warmth of the sunshine upon my skin.


I am learning to turn my face more often to the One who created this beauty.  To daily notice how amazing this world is despite its share of heartaches.  I am spending more time turning my ear to hear the birds sing and breathing in the thick heat of a sunny day.

Today I read a post by (in)courage based on this verse:

Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds. -Habbakuk 3:2

When I stand in awe of His deeds, I begin to hear his voice. My eyes open to see the wonder. I take the time to taste the mix of sweet and tart in the ripened strawberry upon my lips. I stop to smell the rain as it comes rolling in. I watch as green comes sprouting from deep within the ground, springtime bringing forth new life.  I being to feel his grace wrap around me.  I am blossoming along with all the tiny buds.  I am searching for who He has called me to be.

It is springtime.

And I am new.

Let your light shine!



Thursday Doors – Salvaged Doors

So it’s already Thursday again!  Time for another round of Thursday Doors hosted by Norm 2.0.  If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have already suspected where my door finds would come from.

I have been on a hunt for a coffee table…for at least 3 years, so that tells you the priority it has taken.  We’ve been using my cedar chest, which is not my preference!  But a coffee table is such a central focus that I want to make sure that it’s exactly what I want.  We (and by “we”, I mean my husband) have finally painted the main areas of the house.  We ended up in an 80’s contemporary, so while it has lots of character, it needs some updating.  We still have to deal with all the trim, window coverings, etc…etc… but that’s a story for another time.

I have been looking at thrift shops for a coffee table that I might tackle refinishing (something I’ve been wanting to try) and have looked at building  (read: convincing my husband to do it) and painting one myself. Since I want it to be a focal point, I thought I’d check Black Dog Salvage to see if they had anything that was of interest.  And of course, check out some doors while I was there.

There’s something about a blue door that makes it pop!

If you are familiar with the DIY Network then you might have seen the show Salvage Dawgs.  Black Dog Salvage is the 40,000 sq ft building where they sell their treasures.  I love HGTV and DIY and can end up losing a whole day watching shows. Not because I’m overly handy, but just because it’s so fascinating. I usually DVR and binge watch because it’s easier that way.

Anyways! I had never visited Roanoke before my husband took a job and moved up here while I stayed in Florida with the kids to finish out the school year.  I’d been coming up to Lynchburg for 15 years and we had visited Charlottesville and Lexington.  We also regularly went to Bedford  to go antiquing and to the Peaks of Otter. But never Roanoke.  So when I saw this show with these people from the town I was moving to, I had to watch.  I didn’t see it from the beginning, but it was early 2013.

It was on my go-to list of visits when we came up.  I don’t get there often because I’m busy with this thing… called life and raising (chauffeuring) teens.  10 days until the oldest gets his license. Can you see me doing a happy dance?!

Today was the first time I’ve been able to go there without my kids.  And it was marvelous!  I could take my time and look at everything.  Even look at it twice if I felt like it!

This is the real restroom, but I love the feel of the lettering on the door.

The place was pretty busy and workers were bustling about. I’m still a little shy about being on display with the DSLR camera.  I used it discretely, although someone was coming out of an “employee only” area right into a door I was photographing. Eek!  Some doors that were in the main area ended up being taken with the Iphone.

I did see some coffee tables that I’m considering.  I also saw lots of other things that I’m obsessing over.  I don’t prefer mass produced items in my house so I love that they have so many custom creations.  I’ve only included a few of my favorite doors because I’m saving some for later. I’m usually in my little neck of the woods where it’s harder to get door pictures without looking like a stalker!


From my favorite door
And I can see why it was already sold!

While I was in the door section, Sally came sidling past me from behind.  I loved how she exuded a complete confidence and ownership as she came around that corner.  I whipped out the cell for a pic, but she was already on her way :).  I also saw Mike Whiteside who smiled and said hello before stopping to talk to a couple from Arizona who were on their honeymoon.


I hope you enjoyed the doors, you can check out others from around the world here.


Let your light shine!