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It Finally Clicked: My Testimony

On February 5, 2017, I walked down the aisle at Hickory Ridge Baptist Church and completely surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.  I wouldn't say my journey to Jesus has been a simple one, but looking back it's never been that complicated either.  

If you have ever had doubts whether or not you have been saved or have ever been plagued with the "What if I'm not?" question of your salvation, I hope my story will speak to you and let you know you're not alone.  

If there was a title for my testimony, it would be:

From the time I was born, my mom has always taken me to church.  The first time I said the sinner's prayer and baptized was in the 7th grade during a revival service at my church.  However, I didn't truly surrender my life to Jesus as I should have.  A year later, another revival came to our church and the preacher asked "do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your name is written in the lamb's book of life?" And I couldn't answer a definite yes.  I recommitted again that night and I remember my Sunday School teacher saying, "Cassie you can't recommit your life to Jesus every year."  I re-committed because I didn't feel like I had been the Christian that I should have been.  In high school and college, I was a good girl/good student, but I was not attending church regularly and began doing what I wanted to do more and more.  I was still involved in the Baptist Student Union in college though and would go to church if someone asked me to go with them. 

Fast forward to the end of 2015, I went back to the church I grew up in one Sunday morning thinking I was going to sit with my mom.  She had nursery duty that morning so I sat there by myself and not one person spoke to me.  I remember sitting there feeling absolutely invisible and how nothing the preacher said was getting through to me.  I went home and told my mom that "I never wanted to go back to that church; the one I grew up in was like I had never been there at all." My mom responded with "I don't care where you go to church, just as long as you go somewhere."  

After that, my friend Brooke asked me if I wanted to try Hickory Ridge Baptist Church with her - that she had gone the Sunday before and really liked it.  I told her "sure" but I didn't expect much.  The minute we got there, we were greeted and hugged and just loved on.  Brother Terry preached that morning about being an Uncommon Giver and I could clearly understand everything he was talking about and I just knew something was different there.  You know what? I wanted to go back, the next Sunday.  

After attending HRBC for a few months, Brooke and I joined the church on April 4, 2016.  Bro. Terry asked us if we had a personal relationship with Jesus and I kinda shook my head yes, but there was a small pit in my stomach that was like "do you really?"  The same doubt I had all those years ago during the revivals in my junior high years hit me all over again.  

After joining the church, I began a bible study with 3 of my closest girlfriends called, The Search for Significance, by Robert S. McGee.  That study really opened my eyes and heart to understanding more about the love of God and how God wants us to know we are significant to Him, that he died for us and no matter what we do, HE is always going to love and pursue us - no matter what.  But even after the study was over, I still had doubts about my salvation.  The question kept popping up in my head at the most random times:  What if I'm not? Have I ever truly surrendered?  And I couldn't answer that question with a sincere yes.

At the beginning of January 2017, Brooke and I signed up for a 13 week bible study at the church called Experiencing God.  From the first day of class, the main thing that kept coming up was RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, not RELIGION: not going to church, reading your bible here and there, going through the motions.  It was about the relationship and do you have the relationship.  A bible verse that really stuck out to me, was John 8:47.  After a while of the question racking my brain and heart, I finally broke down and sent Bro. Terry an email and told him my story: 

Bro. Terry, 

I am writing you today because as I'm taking this Experiencing God bible study I read today about how God speaks to his people.  In John 8:47 it says "if you don't hear God, you do not belong to God" and all of a sudden, I'm doubting my salvation again.  

I wrote my entire life story up to that point and I waited to hear back from him.   I'll never forget his response, but i have his email saved (just in case): 

Hey Cassie, 

i want to say thank you for reaching out to me. And i’ll start with the John 8:47 reference. We must be careful to understand it in light of context. In the flow of that passage Jesus was referencing the fact that the truth that Jesus was teaching they were not able to understand (hear) because they were not saved. You on the contrary have heard His words and even responded to them. One of two things are going on. 1)  You responded with faith and repentance and just are not growing. You see our salvation and the assurance of our salvation are two different things. John said i write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life. If we are not reading and spending time in them we will not know or will have doubts. OR 2)  You were never really saved. In which case the Spirit may be drawing you. 

You can settle this by asking God to reveal it to you and drawing near to Him by spending time in His word, in prayer, in worship with His people, and in serving Him. In that time He will certainly show you. He loves you so very much and desires you to be rock solid in your faith. i am praying for you right now. Hope to worship with you tonight. Please let me know if you have any more questions.


After his email, I knew then that I just had to get real with God, pray and tell him how much I was done with doing everything my way and truly just let him take control, having faith and believing that I am saved - only through Jesus, nothing that I've done or ever will do can change that.  I believe he died on the cross for me, rose again and washed away my sins with His blood.  

On February 5, 2017, the invitation came again and I was still so hesitant to walk down the aisle because this would be my third time to do this.  I remember bartering with God saying that I didn't want to be a hindrance to my friends that i rode with to church, so i would just come back that night and do it.  Then, Brooke tapped me on the shoulder and said they were going down to join as a family.  I said okay and stood there again.  It was in that moment God was like, Okay Cass, what's your excuse now? you don't have any! Surrender to me!  

So I walked.  I had no clue what i was going to say when i got up to Bro. Terry and all that came out was "i was the one that emailed you last week" and he said Cassie? I said yes.  He said, what are you wanting to do today and i started to tear up and said "i want it to be known that i am completely surrendering my life to Jesus.  He asked me again, "what do you mean by that?" and i said, "i want Jesus to be in charge of my life; stop just going to church and living as a religion and start building an actual relationship."

I specifically remember Bro. Terry praying for what i needed most - that God would take the doubt away, that i would be sure that I am a child of God and my name is written in the Lamb's book of life.  And you know what? The doubt did go away.  There is a peace now that wasn't there before.  I had to come to the realization on my own that it's a personal relationship with God - I always knew it up here in my head, but not here in my heart.  

On March 26, 2017, I got baptized for the second time in my life, but I truly believe that it doesn't matter how many times you walk down the aisle, say the sinner's prayer, or attend church: one day it's just going to click that it's a daily relationship with Jesus and a daily walk/surrender to let Jesus be the Lord of your life.  Once you realize that, everything changes.  There is such a peace now that I didn't have before. 

I cannot thank my mom enough for always taking me church and being the Godly woman that she is and to my best friend Brooke for inviting me to Hickory Ridge and for realizing that I needed to be more than just your 'church buddy'.  Without the two of you, i doubt i would be sitting here writing this blog post.  

I also want to thank my girlfriends who have spoken the word of God to me over and over again - I wouldn't be where I am today without each one of you.  

If you get nothing else from this, please know that I'm not perfect and never will be, but i know now that i am a child of God.  Jesus never stopped pursuing me, and he will never stop pursuing you either.  If you have any doubts like i had about your salvation, i pray that my testimony speaks to you and shows that just because you went to church your whole life, doesn't mean you are saved.  

It's a daily personal relationship with Jesus... 
that's all that matters.

If you need prayer or just want to talk, please email me at alwaysablogsmaid@gmail.com, i would absolutely love to hear from you. 


Camera Roll Chronicles: Kaylee's Bachelorette Party

The weekend of October 20th, 2017, 6 of us girls packed our bags and headed to Nashville, TN.  The official hashtag I came up with for the weekend was…


Our Itinerary for the Trip 

5 women, 1000 bags + a box fan 

5 of us girls at Rendezvous in Memphis, TN 

I was in charge of Kaylee's Bachelorette Bags and had the best time finding all the goodies that went in all the bags.  

I spent a lot of time looking searching Etsy for the best Nashville goodies and I came across some great shops: 

I ordered this bag from becollective and had Welcome! added above the TN state sign
Had to order these cups from YouGotPersonal and they were the best investment 

I wanted tattoos for us, but I ended up getting a custom order of her hashtag, #LeaveItToWeaver
from this shop and she was so sweet and easy to work with: PolkaDotzDesigns

Fran ordered these buttons for us to wear out and it was so nice to have all different types of sayings to choose from.  I forgot the Etsy shop page, but it was easy to find - just type in Bachelorette party buttons. 

Presents for the Bride - specifically for the lingerie shower Friday night 

Friday night we went to eat at Mack + Kate's. 
The service was incredible and the food was pretty good too.  
A perfect night to fill up on good food and cocktails before we went back to the house to hang out. 

All of us girls: Caitlin, Sarah, Kaylee, Mandy, Fran and myself 

Caitlin, Fran and I 

The next morning we woke up and headed through McDonalds to get some breakfast before our spa day.  I got my first EVER massage, a 90 minute swedish massage and it was the best thing I've ever experienced so far.  I completely get it now when people told me to get a massage, I GET IT. 

Post massage glow

After the spa and blowouts, we grabbed some lunch across the street and then made our way to a famous Nashville location: Opryland.  They were setting up for Christmas already and it was so pretty and magical. 

Once we got back to the house, we started to get ready for dinner at Butchertown Hall and then a stop on Broadway - the main party road in Nashville (like Bourbon Street is to NOLA). 

Cookies I had made from Campbell's Bakery in Madison, MS 

The only picture of me and the bride before going to dinner 

Post brunch happiness 

We ended the trip by having brunch at The Southern and it was AMAZING.  

The entire trip was such a good time, even if it started off with getting honked at on the interstate and we thought we were going to die, but other than that - an absolutely wonderful time.  I cherish these girls and I met my Nashville roomie, Fran who I will consider to be a lifetime friend now.  I am so thankful we all got to experience a city we had never been too and I hope to visit Nashville again in the future.  

#LeaveItToWeaver was a definite success! 


Camera Roll Chronicles: Kaylee's Bridal Shower

Today, I bring to you a new series on the blog called the Camera Roll Chronicles.  I never take enough pictures (and none of them are professional), but I cherish the photos I do have.  I am the worst at printing photos and putting them in albums, so I have decided to document little snapshots of time from my iPhone here on the blog from here on out.  I hope you enjoy.

Over the next week, I am going to showcase the events that took place for the #JoiningTheJoes wedding.  Since it's been a little over a week since the main event, I figured it was time to properly document all the activities that took place to prepare Kaylee to marry her soul mate, Edward.  I could not be happier for these two so let's take a look back, shall we?

Kaylee's bridal shower was hosted at the matron of honor's mom's house and it was incredible and hardly needed any decorations.  

We had plenty of appetizers, drinks and desserts to eat while the Bride opened her gifts and made everyone feel at home.  It was an amazing Sunday afternoon and it was the perfect day to kick off the #JoiningTheJoes wedding season.

The basket I made the lovely couple.  It includes the glasses they registered for, two towels, a wooden spoon, a spatula and a salt and pepper bulldog shaker. 

Bridesmaid Caitlin filling out her address for the Thank You Notes Section 

Presents area 

The Bride's favorite flavored cake from That Special Touch

Caitlin and I - she hates this picture, but I love my hair so it's staying.  

Caitlin and I and Baby Kennedy

18 days after this picture was taken, we wore these same colors in Nashville, Tennessee.  
The next post will be all about her bachelorette party and her hashtag, #LeaveItToWeaver. 


The Girl Behind The Blog

Over the last few weeks, I've been making mental notes of some of my favorite bloggers and the posts they write that I enjoy the most.  Some are always less appealing to me (fashion ones) just because I have no sense of fashion whatsoever, but I truly enjoy the daily routines, day-in-the-life posts, mini snapshots and weekend recaps.  

So I am going to take those favorites to heart and tell you a little bit about me today, for any new followers/readers in the mix.  I don't know if I've ever done one of these before, so I am going to format this post like one of my favorite Nashvillian bloggers, Natasha at Hello Happiness!

Why I blog...

I created this blog back in September 2010 (7 years ago, that's crazy!) and the only way I remember is because of my URL: cassandralynn23.  I was 23 years old, had just graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi that May, and was beginning my post-grad life.  I was trying to learn how to be a working woman while still maintaining my college friendships mixed with a little travel on the weekends.  Some of my friends were in the life stages of getting married and having babies and I was around for all of it. 

I knew I would never be a fashion/food blogger, so I tried to categorize my blog as a lifestyle blog where I could just talk about what goes on in my day to day life.  However, over the years it has turned mostly into a diary.  I just want to document the events of my life so I will be able to remember them when I get older, everything from brides to babies to bouquets. 

More of the PERSONAL side....

+ My full name is Cassandra Lynn Gregory, but I go by Cassie.  (Fun fact: my name on Facebook is Cassie Lynn and some people think that Lynn is my last name - so much so, that I am now getting invites in the mail as Ms. Cassie Lynn). 

+ Single for 29 years and counting…

+ Live outside of Jackson, MS.  Not sure I ever want to leave Mississippi, but I wouldn't mind moving to a different city in the central region of the state. 

+ People refer to me as 27 dresses - I am constantly being asked how many weddings I have been in and how many bridesmaid dresses I own. 

+ I HATE wearing heels.  I try to get away with wearing flats/flip flops wherever I go. 

+ I LOVE to travel... from my weekends to New Orleans, Gulfport, Natchez and Tupelo to my annual trips to Perdido Key, Florida.  This past year I went to Nashville for the first time and I cannot wait to go to Vegas for the first time in less than ONE month!

+ The other details: total southern girl, both graduate and heart, a true type-A personality who loves stationery and writing handwritten thank you notes, making baby/bridal baskets, being a hostess & throwing parties, doing yoga and spending time with friends/family. 

+ Obsessed with Dr. Pepper, deviled eggs, dressing up for themed parties, NEW ORLEANS, big sunglasses, chocolate, pickles/olives, songs that I put on repeat until I get sick of it, Vanderpump Rules and the Real Housewives of every city. 

+ Biggest pet peeve: When you're in the correct lane during rush hour traffic and someone races past you to cut in front and holds the whole line of traffic up. 

Fill in the Blank

The Best Advice I've Ever Received

​"Keep dancing, it will take you places."  That advice took me all the way to Rome, Italy and I'll never forget it. 

Favorite Quote

​"Stay in your own lane." - Bethenny Frankel/Lauryn Evarts from The Skinny Confidential

Favorite Vacation Spots

​Perdido Key​, Florida; New Orleans​; Nashville​

Five Things I Cannot Live Without (excluding family, 
friends,​ faith, and God)
Caffeine​, iPhone, French Fries​, Music, and Sleep . 

Favorite Thing to Cook

​I don't cook, but I can cook scrambled eggs.  It's not my favorite food, but it's a start. 

Something Surprising About Me 
have never had a boyfriend for longer than 6 months.  And all my relationships over the years add up to just one total year combined. 

Most Trusted Beauty Secret
​Beautycounter Face Collection - specifically the Rosewater Spray.

Drink of Choice 

​Frozen Margarita with salt and a lime on the rim

Favorite Song
​This constantly changes, but I will always love "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman.

Women I Admire
My mom​, Emily Loftiss, Chelsea Handler, and all the ladies I know in my life (each one has taught me something). 

Books on My Bedside Table
​I have a lot and plan on doing a blog post soon, but here is a few:  How to hang a Witch, Bite Me, Breaking Vegan, Eleanor & Park, and Save the Date.

Free Time Favorites
I love 
reading girly fiction, weekends at the lake/beach/cities with friends​, singing loudly in the car to 90's music​watching movies, making baskets for momma's to be or bride's to be​, and shopping for 

​other people. 

Did I leave anything out?  
What else do you want to know about me?  
Tell me one of your favorite things/books in the comments below! ​