Dear Sons & Daughters Archives - Catherine Nelson


Christmas in July

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Today has been hard. I have an aversion to drama and so I am surprised at the tears I have shed. I posted a picture earlier today of the last hug I had with my son before he got on a plane that would take him to college. Many of you reached out privately and many more supported publicly. Every thought and word helped buffer me…. So thank you. Saying goodbye is tough. I am aware that many of you lost a beautiful friend to cancer this morning and many more have suffered your own personal losses this summer. I am aching and crying with you. I am praying for you too.

I have loved being David’s mom and I am going to miss being a part of his day to day. I feel emptiness as I think about how this part of my life is over. My soul feels wounded.

Over the weekend, Pat and David and I were watching patriotic videos. After watching the Gaithers sing the National Anthem (which was AMAZING BTW), we followed a link to David Phelps singing “O Holy Night”. This is my favorite Christmas Hymn and as I grieved today, I kept meditating on it.

Today, my grief has been pretty selfish. I have held fast to a chord of worthlessness. I have not rejoiced in this though there are many reasons to. I still don’t want to rejoice, but I do want to gaze back on my Savior.

“Long lay the world in sin and e’er pining

‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”

When Precious Jesus is out of sight and off our mind, we can do some major pining. When our eyes are on Him, we have the power to rejoice in all circumstances. Oh dear friends, I pray today that you would know the worthiness of your soul. I hope you will deeply feel its worth.

I love you. c



Letting Go

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When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple… His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” Luke 2:45-48 abbr. (NLT)


A couple years ago, our son put us through the ringer. He was making typical boneheaded teenage boy mistakes. His father and I responded by tightening the reigns, seeking counsel from seasoned parents and wiser adults, and prayer. We prayed a lot and I cried a lot too. This week I found some of my journals from that season of life and remembered all the fear. I was afraid of losing him. I was afraid that I had blown it as a mom and that I had lost the opportunity to have a relationship with him. I was afraid that I hadn’t been careful enough with this beautiful boy that God had given me to take care of. I was afraid that he would never graduate high school or go to college. I was afraid to let go.

It wasn’t time to let go and that is where the fear was rooted, but now it is time. Our son lived and learned and then he began to soar. He graduated yesterday and his future is bright. Our relationship is strong and I’m so amazed by and proud of him. A level of difficulty and pain usually accompany letting go, but you can become frantic when the time isn’t right. When the time is right, we are given the grace to step back and release…notwithstanding the pain.

Mary knew that she would suffer incredible heartache as she loved and mothered the Son of God.

“a sword will pierce your very soul” Luke 2:35 (NLT)

Mary’s goodbye to her son and the anguish she suffered is so far beyond any pain you and I will ever endure, but on the day she watched him die on the cross, there is no mention of her being frantic. The pain was pervasive, but the time was right.

Letting go is painful, but there is a time to let go. When the time is right, anxiety shouldn’t be invited to the farewell party. I’d be an idiot to compare myself to Mary, but I am so comforted by her today.

If you are twisted up about letting something or someone go, maybe it isn’t the right time. Our awesome God is the Alpha and Omega. He is the author of time and timing. For many of us this summer, it IS time to let go, and to all you moms of graduates, I’m standing there with you. I’m sharing the tears and prayers but not the anxiety. It’s time. Be frantic-free. Your little birds are ready to take flight. I’m praying they will each soar to the heights that God has intended for them.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season,

A time for every activity under heaven.

A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to plant and a time to harvest.

A time to kill and a time to heal.

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to cry and a time to laugh.

A time to grieve and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.

A time to embrace and a time to turn away.

A time to search and a time to quit searching.

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear and a time to mend.

A time to be quiet and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate.

A time for war and a time for peace. Ecc 3:1-8 (NLT)






Fake Smile Every Mile

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Running wears me out. Our oldest daughter is training for her first ½ marathon. She was home over the Easter holiday and while she was here she needed to get in a long run. When she finished, she laid on the floor while she tried to steady her breath. She took Advil before she soaked in her bath and still, she suffered. I remember the pain. In my 30’s, I ran a bunch of marathons. Every marathon, I lost most of my toenails and my calves ached for days. I also broke a few bones in my hip, ruptured some ligaments and became convinced that no one really loves running. I said I loved it and I have heard lots of people talk about how much they love it, but no matter what affection you have convinced yourself of when it comes to running, the cold hard truth is that running is hard and running is exhausting.

I have read this Bible verse 100’s of times, but today, it really spoke to my heart:

“He gives power to the weak,

And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

And the young men shall utterly fall,

But those who wait on the Lord

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 (NKJV)

Our loving and tender creator wants us to wait on HIM. The word “wait” is translated “to bind together like a cord”.

The binding together of a cord is like the intertwining of ropes to make a stronger rope….so, when we wait on the Lord, we are binding together with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We cannot march through life and find joy through trials if we are not bound tightly together with a triune God. It is as impossible as running a marathon without weariness. You can try and wear a fake smile every mile, or you can rest in the one who gives power to the weak and live with a peace that passes understanding. Dear friends, I pray that each of us would daily wait upon the Lord and run our races without weariness and keep our eyes fixed on the finish line.


Black Sharpie

By | Agape Love, Dear Sons & Daughters | One Comment

I was so anxious and distracted during my quiet time this morning. Yesterday I picked up some forms that the doctor had filled out on one of my kids. It was a really standard yearly physical form and for some reason, and for the first time ever, the medical professional filling it out filled in an extra note in the column of “ any other medical concerns”. The diagnosis, although accurate, is one I never include or talk about. This kid isn’t perfect, but there are ZERO medical concerns and this label should not have been included. I really fretted and stewed over it. I considered buying some liquid paper and erasing and reprinting it. I considered calling the doctor for a “do-over”. I felt a responsibility to my kid to help control the environment that the kid would be entering into. No one needed to believe or make judgments about my child because of this salacious medical label.

I tried to meditate on God’s word, but I couldn’t quit thinking about that embarrassing label on the medical form. It completely overshadowed everything else that is excellent about my child and I needed it to be fixed. I gave up on my quiet time and called the place that had required the medical form.

After introducing myself, I explained that I needed to talk to someone about the medical forms. I told her that I didn’t know how to disclose my question without being completely vulnerable, and with tears, I laid out the whole ugly truth. The precious woman on the phone listened and then filled my ears with the sweetest answer. She told me to scratch it out.

With a quickened step, I raced to the kitchen and dug the black sharpie out of the junk drawer and thoroughly and completely scratched it out. No one will ever be able to see that label or designate that diagnosis to my kid. It is as if it never existed.

With a calmed spirit, I returned to my quiet time and the beauty and magnitude of what happened flattened me. You and I have pages of columns filled in with the worst diagnoses. Each horrible diagnosis is accurate. The most embarrassing, evil, dangerous truths of who we are mar our perfect forms. When we try to present a perfect and healthy self before a Holy God, we are in serious trouble. You and I are sick and sinful and we cannot clean it up with liquid paper, but the glorious truth is this: Jesus takes it all on for us. The Son of God came to earth to suffer and take on all your embarrassing labels and horrible sins. Beautiful Jesus became sin for you and me. He took all your sins to the cross and left them in the pit of hell. Your ugly has been completely scratched out with a divine black sharpie. Even better…. Your form is perfect. Jesus imputed his glorious righteousness to you and to me. Your heavenly Father sees his perfect son when He looks at you. Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.

Happy Easter, Friends! He is Risen, Indeed!

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14 (NIV)



He says what he thinks

By | Agape Love, Dear Sons & Daughters | One Comment

In the throws of Super Tuesday yesterday, I engaged in a conversation about Donald Trump. The person I was speaking to had voted for him earlier that day and I wanted to understand why. Apparently there are millions of people who are voting for him and I just don’t get it. I don’t understand his appeal. My friend replied that she really likes that he says what he thinks. She said that she finds it refreshing.

Have any of you heard someone say this? I agree that Donald Trump absolutely says whatever he thinks, but recognizing this about him does in no way make him a more appealing candidate to me, and hearing people compliment him for saying whatever he thinks only exacerbates my confusion over him.

When did having a loose tongue become a good thing? We are warned from the time we learn to speak to be careful what we say.

“Be careful little mouth what you say… For the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful, little mouth what you say.”

Scripture wisely guides us to put a guard over our mouths. In the Holy Spirit’s never-ending job of sanctifying me, I am consistently grieved over my sinful thought life. If anyone knew the catty, snarky, judgmental, lustful, prideful, covetous, hateful, selfish thoughts that fill up my brain on a daily basis, they would hate me.

As confused as I am over the Donald Trump allure, here is what I know:

“Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,

And you will stay out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23 (NLT)

“Those who control their tongue will have a long life;

Opening your mouth can ruin everything.” Proverbs 13:3 (NLT)

I also know that as great as the need is for our country to get on the right track, there is an even greater need for a great change to occur in me. I need to recognize the horror of my thought life. I need to be disgusted and grieved. I need not only to just guard my tongue, but be transformed so that one day, I will be able to say whatever is on my mind. I long for the day when the only thing on my mind is how wonderful Jesus is. I need to be consumed with love for Christ so that I am even more compelled to sing of his amazing grace. When I pay attention to how awful my thoughts are, I remember how great God’s help is and how amazing my heavenly support system is.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

I also know that God knows every thought that invades my brain. Nothing is hidden from him and I did nothing to deserve his mercy, but because His love is so great and because my faith is in His son, His mercies toward me are new every morning. Praise Be to Him. He does great things.

 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)

“Carefully guard your thoughts

Because they are the source

Of true life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends![

His mercies never cease.

Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)



99 Days

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99 days. Our son leaves for college in 99 days. Until very recently, I thought he would leave at the end of August, but now he will leave our home in early June. The loss of 3 months with him has ripped a seam in my heart. I feel an incredible sense of urgency. He doesn’t know how to iron his pants or fry an egg. It will be so cold in Pennsylvania; he will need wool socks and gloves. Does anyone even make a glove big enough to fit his hand? Where do you buy a 3XL-sized glove? Does he know how to make a connection in a large airport? There are important life lessons I haven’t shared with him that I learned the hard way. Does he know how much I love him and how proud I am of him?

He is not the first Nelson to leave the nest. It’s good when they do, but the change is dramatic. The parent/child relationship evolves. I don’t speak to, laugh and cry with, wake up, cook for, get impatient with, celebrate with, hear, smell, see or touch our college age student very much. She’s pretty much an adult now and she needed to move out in order to grow up. I adore her as a grown up, but I miss doing life with her. In 99 days, our son will leave too, and he will begin his greatest adventure so far. There is so much that I want to happen and need him to know in the next 99 days. It’s crunch time and I am riddled with a sense of mounting pressure.

Isn’t it peculiar and even offensive that as someone who claims to love Jesus, I’m not nearly as pressured or anxious about sharing the amazing love of Jesus with the people in my life who don’t know His incredible grace? The greatest adventure of our lives is on the Horizon. Eternity is at hand. Jesus is the only way and He is so wonderful. I am the last one on earth who deserves His grace, but He has poured it out on me abundantly. Oh how I want everyone I know to understand this gift and love of Jesus. Precious friends, I pray that you and I will be impacted by urgency. There is nothing more important than the love of Jesus. It is ours to share and the time is now. In a world where everything is changing, His love changes everything. XO c

 “But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short… Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. 31 Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.” 1 Corinthians 6:29-31 (NLT)


“Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven.

And everyone will see him—

Even those who pierced him.

And all the nations of the world

Will mourn for him.

Yes! Amen!” Revelation 1:7 (NLT)


“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)



Ring Celebration

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Last night we continued one of my very favorite Nelson traditions. Our youngest turns 15 this week and Pat and I took Mary Moore to a nice restaurant and then had her “ring celebration”. This tradition began with my grandmother on her 15th birthday and has continued through each generation and with each of our daughters.

As we sat down to dinner, I painted a picture of the woman Mary Moore was named after. We talked about her love of hats, jewelry and fashion. I told her about Mary’s love for Jesus and family and how she was petite. We celebrated all the ways Mary and Mary Moore were alike. When I finished, Pat engaged in His part of the celebration. He has used the 15th birthday to make promises and call upon our daughters to value purity. It is a beautiful experience to watch the man you love vow to protect, celebrate and cherish your daughter. Each time he has explained how the ring on her finger is there to remind her of how much she is loved while at the same time it is meant to help her remember how valuable her purity is. The ceremony concludes as Pat, with tears in his eyes, encourages her to wear the ring every day until the next man who promises to love, cherish and protect her gives her a ring to replace the heirloom ring.

Mary Moore received her heirloom ring with joy and a huge appreciation of responsibility. She was simultaneously solemn and ecstatic, and I soaked it all in. I was able to celebrate God’s goodness in gifting us with this special child. I felt pangs of finality over the end of 15th birthday celebrations, and I swooned over the strength, leadership and wisdom exemplified in my husband.

The purpose of the heirloom ring is to be a reminder. It is a reminder for M2 of whom she is named after. It is a reminder that her parents will always love, protect and support her and it is a reminder for her to guard and celebrate her heart, body and purity. Physical reminders like heirloom rings are incredibly valuable tools as we navigate through our chaotic lives.

I have always loved the passage in Joshua 4, where Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan and then under God’s instruction, told the Israelites to build a memorial with 12 stones. The purpose of the stones was to be a visible reminder of what had happened and how faithful God was and is.

In humility and love for each of you, I would encourage you to celebrate the values of your family and the bounty of God’s goodness with your own memorial stones. It doesn’t matter what object you choose or what you choose to celebrate. You each have so much to celebrate and so many good things to pass on to your children. Think about what you want them to embrace and give them a “stone” to hold on to. You are so special and you have learned so much. Celebrate your values and pass them on. Blessings to each of you. XO c

Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground. ’For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea[c] when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”

Joshua 4:21-24 (NLT)


Cleanest kids in town

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It’s exam week and once again the Nelson teens are the cleanest kids in town. They are each averaging 2&1/2 baths a day. There are bags of clothes ready to go to Goodwill. Their rooms are organized, nails are polished and I think 2 of them have begun flossing. They fill up as much of each day with hygiene and organizational tasks as they possibly can, but they will each have to take their exams tomorrow morning.

While I laugh at their determination to tackle anything but the books, I’m also aware that I do it too. During finals week, preparing for the exam is the most important thing. Being clean and organized are great things, but they are not the most important things during the last week of the semester.

Every day that you and I wake up, we are one day closer to meeting Jesus. We are encouraged to keep our eyes on this finish line and run toward it with perseverance, but we tend get preoccupied or procrastinate. We fill our days with good things, but we put aside the most important thing.

We will meet Jesus…. Are we prepared?

“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 6:15 (NIV)

“Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!” 1 Corinthians 9:16 (NLT)

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.”

2 Timothy 4:2 (NLT)

If I examine why I am slow to share with anyone and everyone the greatest news in the world, it is probably because I feel insecure and unprepared. I fear rejection and I’m preoccupied with myself. It’s really very similar to the Nelson bath/exam week. My kids are insecure about taking these exams. They aren’t confident in their own knowledge. They also would rather spend their time doing something easy where the only goal is for their personal comfort.

They could be exited about the exams if they would spend more time studying, but they will likely enter the classroom nervous, pruney and zestfully clean.

Dear friends, it’s time to get out of the bath water, get into the word and get out in the world to proclaim the good news. We have no reason to fear. We will be held accountable. It is great news…. Go share it. XO c

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)





Dear Bess

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Dear Bess,

Gosh! I miss you so much. It’s been 3 months since I hugged your neck and I ache for you. It broke my heart this week to hear about your bad day and how homesick you are. I cannot wait to get you home for Christmas. You were on my mind as I had my quiet time this morning (That isn’t really a surprise :/), but as I prayed and studied my bible, I landed on Psalm 136.

I have been wrestling with sleep like you have, and as I consistently wake up in the middle of the night, I have been praying (mostly about one thing that God seems to be really delaying on) for hours and hours every night. I realized or… was more accurately convicted by the Holy Spirit…. That I have been praying wrong. I say that I trust the Lord with all my heart, but in reality, I have not been doing that. I have been relying on my own understanding and I have been swimming in anxiety and confusion as I fixate on this problem. I feel like I need to keep pushing the prayer or changing up the words or tweaking what an acceptable outcome would be. I’m pretty sure that in praying this way, I have been holding on to this mess instead of actually trusting the Lord with it. I know God heard my prayer and I know He is the only one who can make this broken mess beautiful. So, anyway…. I read Psalm 136 this morning. The author of this psalm talks about the plagues in Egypt and Pharaoh’s pursuit of the Israelites through the Red Sea. He remembers the persecution they all received from evil kings and from evil neighbors. He recalls their need for land and shelter and food and safety. He doesn’t leave out how weak and needy they all are. I am sure that with every single one of these major struggles, the Israelites asked God for His help. They feared God and knew only He could save them, but Psalm 136 isn’t a psalm of petitions… It’s a psalm of repetitive praise. Every other line… for 26 verses…. This phrase is repeated: “His faithful love endures forever”.

Dear Bess, God is faithful. He knows your heartache and all your needs. He has heard your prayers and He has heard all of mine. We are part of forever and we too should pray songs of thankfulness as we remember His goodness and faithfulness in our lives. We are told and even commanded all through scripture to Praise HIM! We are to praise Him without ceasing. This is a righteous effective prayer. I know that I am not a bible scholar, but I can’t remember reading in scripture that we are supposed to ceaselessly petition God for the same thing over and over again. God hears us the first time. He knows the desire of our hearts and He is the one who heals. He’s got this! Praise Him. He is faithful His faithful love endures forever.

Dear Bess, next time that you find yourself anxious and worried in the middle of the night, model a prayer of praise with reminders from your own life of How God has been faithful to you. As I lay awake, 1,000’s of miles away, I will be praying a song of praise with you and for you. Here is mine today:

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to God who always hears my prayers.

His faithful love endures forever.

He sent His only son to die for me.

His faithful love endures forever.

He gave me a hunger for His word

His faithful love endures forever.

He is the captain of heaven’s armies.

His faithful love endures forever.

He is coming again soon to take me home.

His faithful love endures forever.

He fulfilled my longing to be a wife. Thanks be to God for Pat!

His faithful love endures forever.

He blessed me by giving me a first-born, beautiful daughter who has grown into a woman of excellence and beauty. Thank you God for Bess.

His faithful love endures forever.

He blessed me with a strong son and healed him from the weaknesses of a premature birth. Thank you God for David.

His faithful love endures forever.

He blessed me with a second beautiful daughter who brings joy to all around her. Thank you God for Catey.

His faithful love endures forever.

He blessed me with the exquisite joy of being an adoptive mom. He showed me the miracle of rescue and new life. Thank you God for Mary Moore.

His faithful love endures forever.

He placed me in a home with loving and wise, God-fearing parents and a bunch of fantastic siblings.

His faithful love endures forever.

He has healed sickness and disease in our family.

His faithful love endures forever.

He has placed us in Memphis_ a city that is filled with hope and opportunities and family and friends and great schools and 4 distinct seasons.

His faithful love endures forever.

He led us to 2PC where we have grown and can serve and learn and rejoice in worship.

His faithful love endures forever.

For the silly laughter that fills our home because of Kevin and all her ridiculous ways.

His faithful love endures forever.

He gives us great food and good health and sharp minds.

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of Heaven!

His faithful love endures forever.


I Love you Bess! See you soon. XOXOXO Mom



Bragging Rights

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I have tried to be very purposeful about not bragging about my kids on social media. I have often kept my mouth closed because I don’t want to flaunt or preen over their excellence. I’ll give them a shout out every now and then, but I’m probably guiltier of exposing some of their flaws and bone-headed actions than their achievements. I think I do this because I care so much about what YOU think. I want you to like me and no one likes a bragger. I’m pretty sure I also have modeled this buttoned up behavior after my mom. You are likely never to hear her brag on her kids or grandkids. She doesn’t flash pictures or list accolades. It’s not that she isn’t proud. She would rather listen. All of her kids and grandkids know she loves them. She does a great job of communicating that in private and so public praise is not her imperative.

She is a great role model and I have modeled lots of my behavior after hers. She may have gotten this right, but maybe not. I may have gotten it wrong too. Public affirmation goes a long way. My kids know I love them. I think they know how proud I am of them, but when I tell others about how excellent I think they are, they swell with my stamp of approval.

Do you think maybe that the praises that are voiced at the city gate for the proverbs 31 woman were the “Atta Girl” she needed from her husband and children to keep pursuing excellence? I’m sure she knew her family loved and respected her and so what would be the point of public praise at the city gate?

God the Father and Jesus loved each other with a greater lover than we can even understand. They lived in communion with each other. They were one. They also publicly affirmed their love and their delight over the other’s actions.

 “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”” Matthew 3:17 (NIV)

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,

My chosen one in whom I delight;” Isaiah 42:1 (NIV)

 “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” John 1:18 (NIV)

“At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth… “ Matthew 11:25 (NIV)

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” Matthew 6:9 (NIV)


Is there anyone better to model our behavior after than Jesus? We are certainly here to brag on Jesus and all He has done for us and all we know Him to be, but I think it is safe to assume that we should publicly be affirming and even bragging on those He has given us to love and care for. This is a beautiful way to add a layer of desperately needed encouragement that cannot be found in private. With that being said, let me tell you a few things about the Nelsons!

Bess Nelson is lovely. She invests deeply in friends. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. She meets challenges with enthusiasm. She hungers for God’s word and willingly receives the shaping touch of the Holy Spirit in her life. She has the best laugh I have ever heard. When she is really tickled, she cries. Her outer beauty disarms people and opens doors for her to share her beautiful heart. She is delightful. I would choose to hang out with her every day of the year.

David Nelson is also beautiful. He is sincere and teachable. He cares passionately about justice and is vigilant about being respectful. He stands out and is aware that people are always watching him. With eyes on him, he takes ownership of his opportunities to establish an environment of peace. He loves learning and sharing what he knows. He is an amazing athlete. He is incredibly gentle and he shows such tenderness to me that my heart hurts at the realization he is leaving us this year.

Catey Nelson is the perfect picture of a lady. She is sweet. She is the most affectionate person I have ever met. She loves to serve others. She is selfless without hesitation. She is incredibly funny. She was the prettiest baby I have ever seen in my life and she gets prettier every day. She loves being on a team and consistently contributes skill and encouragement wherever she goes. She is my namesake and I would be so lucky to be more like her.

Mary Moore is my heart. This little champion fights for everything. When confronted with a challenge, she never gives up and she never complains about anything. She has more bounce than I knew was possible. When she fails, she shakes it off and smiles about it. She forgives without abandon. She smiles and hugs and laughs as often as she takes a breath. She only sees the good in others. She is innocent and she has changed my life more than any other person on earth.

Pat Nelson is my favorite. He is wise and his love for me is greater than I ever dreamed was possible and much more than I deserve. He is funny and strong and so freakin handsome. He loves his friends and loves my family. He has incredible leadership gifts and has tirelessly used his skills in our family business, church and city. He adores his kids and even though he denies it, he adores my dog.

My people don’t always read my blog, so if you see them, please tell them how proud I am, and if you are willing, please comment below on how proud you are of your people too. There is plenty of room and reason to brag! XO C



Bragging Rights