Sounds, Soliloquy, & 6 Strings

& other ramblings of this Hilliard

Faces January 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — kennynclaire @ 8:45 pm


Look in their faces

A person, a story

Crafted by their Creator

To give Him glory


With Stomachs that hunger

Cuts that bleed, and

Tears that fall

They’re not different from me


But for a language & skin color

Our hearts are the same

Hopeless without a Saviour to save


I sit back & relax in my cold office chair

The faces I don’t see

Make no reason to care


I scoff with my actions and

Hoard my small wealth

Basking in successes

I’ve made for myself


But their faces they catch me and

Lure my mind in

To tell me the stories

That lie behind them.


They’re hurt, they’re lonely

They’re happiness fake

With no real joys to laugh at

And their façade breaks


I know, I’ve felt it

And been there in a way

But regardless of the kind

The same hope remains


I sit in the sin

That was conquered for me

And ignore their faces



Disregarding the blood

Spilt for their sin

And the Saviour that calls me

To go and love them


Disobedient feet

Go, and serve

Stubborn heart

Love the Lord


Walk in the power

Provided in Christ

Power to obey

And lay down my life


How will they call on Him

In whom they have not believed?

Oh Father, forgive me.


May the Lamb that was slain

Receive the glory due his name.


Jealousy October 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kennynclaire @ 2:59 pm

Jealousy. It’s a nasty little word. It’s an ugly hidden sin. You hardly ever know when someone is struggling with jealousy, right? I mean, it’s a sin that’s kept hidden dark on the inside and for some reason, I, personally, have this tendency to believe that I can just push it to a dark corner of my heart, try to ignore it, and think it will just go away…..

The truth is that jealousy is a sin. Against the Holy God. A sin that Christ bore the wrath of God on account of. It is a sin that believers are called to fight. Actively. Pursuing righteousness because we love Jesus and he is deserving of obedience. In this case his word is:

“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”

–Proverbs 14:30

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying
one another.”

-Galatians 5:19-26

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.” –Titus 3:3-8

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

-1 Peter 1:1-3

If you’re like me and find yourself struggling with jealousy, I encourage you to not despair. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” Praise God! This sin does not have to conquer us and even greater. If we can defeat it, it is nothing of our own power, strength, or merit. It is only because of the power of JESUS in our life; not our own self will & determination. We must fight to run to him for the grace to change and to fight this sin.

A dear friend encouraged me with a blog series on the Girl Talk blog. . I encourage…no, I challenge you to read the series on Envy as well. Those Mahaney women are so encouraging with the Word.

In closing, Christ is calling us to follow him, to love him, to treasure him, to keep our eyes on him, and not to look at how he’s working in somebody else’s life with jealousy. I pray we fight to love Him well.


*scripture is quoted from ESV.





Influence October 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kennynclaire @ 7:14 pm

Singer/Songwriter Emily Lynch posted a blog about role models today, particularly musical role models. So thanks to Emily’s inspiration, I began pondering my own musical role model. Here’s my response. Thanks, EmilyJ

My musical role model at the moment is hands-down, Christa Wells. She’ll probably never see this so its not like I’m trying to butter her up or something but it’s true. Christa inspires me for many reasons and here are a few of them in no particular order:

  • She has strong religious affections for Jesus, and from what I read, solid biblical convictions.
  • She is a wife, mother of FIVE children, home schools her kids and all while she is a successful singer/songwriter.
  • She is a singer/songwriterJ
  • Her lyrics are not merely “fluff” written to get a good-sounding tune on the radio but she seriously considers the lyrics of each song. She looks at her lyrics as art (I’ve read her posts and heard her words) & I think she does an excellent job of painting with words while avoiding corny, predictable lyrics all together
  • I love the way it’s obvious that she thinks deeply and carefully about each word penned in her songwriting.
  • She shares her music with others through recording and concerts. I’m so thankful. I love to watch her genuine performances (thus far- on YouTube- hopefully that will soon change:)
  • She doesn’t come across as “big headed” in the least. I’m sure she struggles with it at times because she’s human and all. But God has given her much grace to maintain a humble attitude while sharing her music.
  • She agreed to have lunch with lil’ ole me and didn’t know a thing about me. And THEN insisted that she pay for my meal when I insistently tried to pay for hers. Wuh? Treats me to lunch and doesn’t know me? I don’t think she gets how its supposed to work when someone takes u 2 lunch;-) Quite humble if you ask me & such a blessing.

And so, Christa Wells is my favorite musical role-model. You may not know her name but you very well may know her music (She penned GMA award winning “Held” performed by Natalie Grant in 2006 as well as other songs performed by Plumb, Point of Grace, Selah, and Sara Groves). If you haven’t heard her, you should check out her website here. I’m so thankful for such a an encouraging influence in my lifeJ

Now, you tell me. Who’s your role model? And feel free to give a description of whyJ


What Couponing Looks like for me September 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — kennynclaire @ 2:46 pm

1) I subscribed the local paper when it was on sale for $1 so I paid $52 up front for the entire year. Then each month, our family allots $4/month to go towards renewing a Newspaper subscription for the next year. So $52 is invested. Done.

2) I set aside a day each week for clipping those lovely lil’ coupons (normally Sunday afternoons or Monday evenings). I clip them and then file them in my coupon binder. This process can take 30minutes to an hour of my time.

3) My coupon binder is a notebook with two packs of Baseball card holders and those lil’ A-Z dividers. I organize my coupons according to “type” and file them alphabetically. (For example, all of my coupons for Butter have their own page in my binder and the are obviously in the “B” section of my binder, “Cereals” are together in the “C” section, etc.) I do this for a few reasons: 1) It keeps them organized- I like it that wayJ 2) If I am in the store and need Deli Meat, I can simply flip to the “Deli Meat” page in my binder, compare prices & whala, I’ve saved on deli meat & it only took a few secondsJ and 3) The coupons listed on deal sites for “coupon matchups” aren’t ALWAYS what I receive in my paper. I’m able to clearly see what coupons I have & compare deals that way. Sooo all in all, I love the coupon binder method, but hey, I encourage you to figure out which organizing method works for you.

4) Usually Coupon deals for the week are posted online the day before or the day that a sale starts. To find deals, I check out , , and any of the websites that their website links up to. I’ll check out their websites, find the deals I want & copy & paste them into my own lil’ word document. In all of 10-15 minutes I’m done finding my deals.

5) I meal plan. I first “shop my pantry” and see what items I have in stock and then I’ll plan to make recipes for that week based on the ingredients I already have. I make a list of the items I’m lacking as well as any other misc items I am in need of and then…

6) Go to the store(s). My top 2 faves? Kroger & Harris Teeter. When I walk into the store, I always take my coupon notebook with me along with my grocery list & deal list. As I walk through the store I grab the items I need, double check that my coupon REALLY matches (like the online website said it would- warning: they don’t always matchL but this only happens rarely). As I grab the items I need, I pull my matching coupons out of the binder & place it in a lil’ baggie so that I can keep up with them.

7) Right before I check out I usually try to make sure that my grocery items and coupons match up (I try to make sure that I’m not using more than 20 coupons at Harris Teeter (’cause they don’t allow it) and make sure that I got all the items I intended to get with coupons.

8) THE CHECK OUT LANE. I give them my store card, they ring up the items (I check to make sure the right prices are rung up), I give them all of my coupons at once AND I’m doneJ

Sooooo the total amount of time invested each week from Coupons to meal planning to grocery shopping is anywhere from 1:40min to 2:30min. My lowest grocery bill has been $0/wk (cause I’m all stocked up) and my highest has been around $60 (on a REALLY bad day) and my average? $30/wk. Not bad for a family of two. Also, my “groceries” include all toiletries, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, etc. Sooooo instead of a $330/month budget, our budget is now $174- that’s a savings of $156 per month ($1,872 per YEAR)! AND we get MORE food that’s YUMMY! Crazy huh? By the end of this blog you’ve got to be either tired or inspiredJ I hope at least coupon enlightenedJ


Date Nite:) March 12, 2010

Filed under: Marriage — kennynclaire @ 9:01 pm

This blog was inspired by Veronique’s blog post, “Date Nights“:) Thanks Ver, for the inspiration:)

Her blog was about the importance of “Date Nights” and I completely agree. Kenny and I have only been married a year & 3 mos. but we were given the advice to start our marriage with the weekly tradition of a date night and it has been such a fun blessing:) This blogpost will address 1) the importance of date nights 2) Date night ideas for a $10 & beyond budget and 2) Date night ideas on a BUDGET of FREE-$10

First, I would like to say that Date Nights are an INVESTMENT in your marriage. No matter what your budget is, they are to be prioritized, valued, and budgeted for accordingly. You WILL budget for what is important to you. If that means, skipping a haircut for a month, getting rid of cable TV, lowering your grocery budget, getting a cheaper cell phone plan, etc., then your marriage is completely worth it:) Make it a PRIORITY.

Second, here comes the fun date night ideas part. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE add your own to this list by commenting:) I WOULD TOTALLY LOVE TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR IDEAS:)

  • Date Nights $10 & beyond:)
    • IMAX movie date night– kick the regular movie going up a notch and go to a movie EXPERIENCE:) Kenny & I saw A Christmas Carol at the IMAX….holy cow…amazing….we can’t wait to save up and go again:) (tickets: about $22 for two)
    • Red Robin! We just LOVE their burgers and it’s always a filling treat. This can also go in the $10-$20 budget range if you sign up for their birthday club (you can get a free burger:), your spouse can get the other, and whoala, a cheaper date night:) ) OR SPLIT a plate. The fries are UNENDING, so get a rather large burger, endless fries and have a good time:)
    • Go ICESKATING:) Oh so much fun! (where we live it’s about $22 for two) Remember your mittens:) Even if you’re clumsy (ahem…like myself), its fun just to hang out on the ice. Go out for coffee/hot cocoa afterwards:)
    • P.F. CHANGS! our all-time hands down favorite restaurant….I’m certain there are others out there, but we a)haven’t found them and b) probably couldn’t afford them;-) We can spend anywhere from $25-$55 when we go so it’s definitely a treat:)
    • Rent Kayaks/Go on a kayak trip
    • Rock-climbing!! Go to an indoor rock climbing gym…if you’re REAL adventurous, try the real thing (then let me know how it goes;-) ) (I think this can tally up to being about $20 for two people…the INDOOR rockclimbing gym, that is;-))
    • DRIVE IN MOVIE!! Eat dinner & watch movies all at the same place. With dinner & a movie, this can be $15-$20 TOTAL:)
  • Date Nights $FREE-$10 budget
    • A fancy ice cream place- coldstone creamery (oooo heavenly:)), your local ice cream shop (ours serves gelato- yummy:)
    • Have a movie/favorite tv show marathon. We did this with the Office in their earlier…and cleaner..seasons. We just used ordered the seasons from netflix ($9.99/mo.). Recently, we’ve been watching through the Harry Potter movies (for free, thanks to our kind friends, Levi & Lexie for letting us borrow their movies:) )
    • Movie @ Home- Go to Walmart, buy a $3.50 tombstone pizza:) & Rent a $1.00 Rebox movie (just be sure to return it the next day)
    • Go on a hike (one of our FAVORITES:) This is more of a date “day” rather than a date night, but just wonderful to go walking & talking & just hanging out:) Eat dinner off the dollar menu at a McDonalds or a Taco Bell & this date can be under $5
    • Have a picnic. Go out in your backyard or to a local park. Pack an easy lunch (PB & J perhaps & chips). Just enjoy your meal & hang out. If you’re at the park, play on the equipment! This is FREE and FUN:)
    • Have a picnic inside. I’ve heard the advice to lay out a picnic blanket on your living room floor, add some sparking grape juice, an elegant meal of PB & J or an actual “elegant” concoction & have a fun time on the floor:) (We haven’t done this, because we’d just rather sit on the couch, but for you adventurous couples out there…have fun with this one:)
    • Bake Together (Yay for homemade cookies & milk & a movie/board game) speaking of….
    • Play Board games!!! Host competitions & have “prizes” for the winner. You don’t have to go as far as “prizes”, but I always like the extra competition motivator:)
    • Hang out at a coffee shop (& a) play board games b) have coffee and dessert or c) do both:) )
    • Walk around a nearby “downtown” area and explore the lil’ shops. My husband and I are both fascinated by antiques so we love this one (especially me, I love the walking and TALKING part:)
    • Go to a nearby University & just walk around the campus. Go to a cheap dinner beforehand (check out your local paper/ads for great coupon deals, like “buy one entre, get one free”) We don’t live far from Duke University so that’s a great one to just walk around and admire.
    • EXPLORE. Pick a city, look up the local FREE attractions, and just go there:) We LOVE LOVE LOVE exploring. This can be in the CHEAP budget range or the extravagant budget range; it just depends how much you’re willing to spend.
    • Go to a local museum…these are free. Yay! Get coffee afterwards (total $5-$10 for a great afternoon:) )
    • Climb a tree…I’m not kidding, this can be fun:) Better yet, have a PICNIC in a tree:) (You just gotta have the right tree though;-) )
    • Hang out at a guitar store and strum your “dream guitar” (I assume this would only appeal to musicians, but we love this!:)….especially when it involves picking out myself a guitar….maybe ONE day:)
    • Play the “heads tails” game. Start at a set location. Flip a coin., If heads, turn right. If tails, turn left. See where you end up:) I would recommend doing this in a city because out in the country it can get potentially pretty boring:)
    • Go to the Mall. Eat a cheap dinner at the Food Court & then check out your favorite stores.
    • WALK around your neighborhood. Walking & Talking is always great:)
    • DRIVE IN MOVIE!!!!:) We have one near our house that is $5/person. So we can take the truck, some blankets & pillows, and watch potentially THREE MOVIES for $5/person:) (I say “potentially” because we usually only watch the first one & go home when it gets to be about 11…we still have to wake up for work the next morning!)


    I do hope this ideas INSPIRE you! Happy “Date Nite-ing!”





Encouraging Quotes February 19, 2010

Filed under: Resources — kennynclaire @ 8:54 pm

I found myself adding to my “encouraging quote list” that I keep in my home management notebook (more details about that later) and thought that I would share a few of my favorites with you. Be ENCOURAGED! 🙂

  • “Grace is the hospitality of God to welcome sinners not because of their goodness but because of his glory.” –John Piper


  • “We practice hospitality because we first received hospitality.”-John Piper “Therefore do it (hospitality) with joy” –Girl Talk Blog


  • “The most important job we have as mothers is to preach the Gospel to our children.” –Girl Talk Blog


  • “Discernment comes from sound doctrine not subjective impressions.” –CJ Mahaney


  • “Confidence in Truth is the foundation of who he is (referring to Paul in Bible).” –Dr. Leiderbach, SEBTS


  • “My husband is a false savior; my deepest desire will not be satisfied by my husband but by Christ.” –This is my summary of a sermon I heard a while back. I quite honestly don’t remember who the sermon was by.


  • “We have the Gospel and God has graced us with the personnel and resources to get the good news of Jesus to them [nations]”. –Dr. Danny Akin, SEBTS


  • “Hospitality often results in unexpected blessing & reward, so let us not neglect hospitality, my friends, but be eager to extend God’s love to others. We never know what blessing God has in store for us.”- Nicole Whitacre


  • “The purpose of womanhood is to show the beauty of Christ.” –David Platt


  • “Women, you have a God-entrusted responsibility to create a God-centered home.” –David Platt

I Need Thee Every Hour February 18, 2010

Filed under: Hymns — kennynclaire @ 2:42 pm

“I Need Thee Every Hour” is such a sweet song that has been on my heart the past two weeks. The Lord has used the lyrics to comfort my heart in joy or in pain (see vs. 3). May this song spur us on to desperate anticipation of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Listen to Jars of Clay’s version of I Need Thee Every Hour
here .


I found these lyrics online here .



I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;

no tender voice like Thine can peace afford.



I need Thee, O I need Thee;

every hour I need Thee;

O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.


I need Thee every hour; stay Thou nearby;

temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.


I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;

come quickly and abide, or life is vain.


I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;

and Thy rich promises in me fulfill.


I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;

O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.