Tuesday, December 31, 2013


As it is every year, many take time to evaluate the previous year and to forecast, or resolve, for a better year to come. I'll take a few minutes now to do some of that.
2013 has been a roller coaster year for the Guyton's (as most years are) full of ups and downs. I am so thankful for the blessings God has bestowed upon us! Some of the highlights in no particular order:

Celebrating 20 years of marriage with my wife and best friend! God has given me a gorgeous wife who loves me, lifts me, fights my insecurities with me, cheers me, and makes my life journey a more pleasant trip! I pray she can say the same for my walk with her!
Kayaking on the Etowah with my son!
Traveling all over North Georgia to watch Bailey play softball (and having the privilege to help coach her team)!
Bailey and I traveling to Panama City for her World Series tourney and getting to hang out with our good friends the Bailey's on that trip!
A family trip to Savannah with my parents, my sister and brother in law, and my family. (Great trip with lots of memories)
Donna and I traveling to Mississippi for my cousin Emily's wedding and getting to stop at the original Dreamland BBQ! (Awesome time with my baby!)
My first year as a deacon at CFBC!
My second year on the City Council in Euharlee and the people of Euharlee entrusting me with that position!
Bailey and I leading worship together at CFBC!
Grif and I both catching balls at Turner Field watching the Braves beating the Pirates!
Hanging out with the Hodorff's any chance we got!
Business being up in 2013 at the office!

These are just a few of the highlights that I am so thankful that we got to experience as a family! God has blessed us beyond measure!
As 2014 stands on deck, waiting to take a swing in the batter's box, there are already things we know for sure. There will be challenges. There will be triumphs. There will be defeats. There will be work. There will be rest. There will be a big God with every step. We know rehab on Bailey's knee will take up a good bit of our time. And I am very thankful that God, Donna, I, Bailey and Griffin will be together to take on the challenges together and celebrate the triumphs together!

May God richly bless you and your family during 2014.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


My beautiful and talented daughter is having surgery to repair a torn ACL on Thursday Dec 12 at 10am. As parents, we want the best for our children. We want to shield them from pain. We want the dreams they dream to be big, huge even, and we want them to come true! Sometimes, maybe often times, what we WANT doesn't matter.
November 23rd, Bailey was playing in a softball tournament in Woodstock. She singled and the next girl hit it to right field. Bailey was heading to 2nd and started to slide when the throw pulled the short stop into the baseline and they collided. Baileys left foot stuck into the ground and her body flipped over her knee. Bailey heard the "pop", and felt the "pop" in her knee. I was on the field in less than 5 seconds from her first blood curdling scream! A sound and sight that a dad can't erase from his memory as much as he might want!

A trip to the E.R. in an ambulance showed no breaks. But, the follow up with our orthopedic surgeon showed the dreaded ACL tear. Obviously, not the news Bailey wanted (or any of us). Surgery and at least 9 months of rehab.

She had great plans this coming year! A pitchers showcase in January where she would be seen by colleges. Other showcase tourneys with her team, the GA Hornets. She also had a couple of college camps she would be going to in December. All these plans were in hopes of being seen by college coaches and being offered a scholarship to play softball and get her college degree (her dream).

All her plans are on hold.....
According to Jeremiah 29:11 I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
As I have shared with Bailey many times over the last 3 weeks, OUR plans don't come CLOSE to the goodness of God or HIS plans for us! We are trusting in Jer. 29:11 that God's plans for Bailey are far better for her hope and future than what our plans were. We are praying that Bailey's surgery will go smooth, that her rehab will go well and quick, and that our faith will be increased as God reveals His plan for her life. We would ask that you join our family in these prayers!
One of the million photos I took when Bailey was going to her first Homecoming Dance!
Bailey, Kereston, and Sydney

Bailey and I singing together at church! Good day!!

My all-time favorite picture of my children!!

Doin' work!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


As I sit with a hot cup of coffee in front of a warm fire, I am so Thankful! God has blessed my family beyond measure! I could try to write a list, but it would be too long!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Ok maybe just a small list!!
My family, near and far. You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family, is the way the saying goes, but I'm quite confident I would have chosen this family! Donna, Bailey and Griffin are so wonderful to live with, and I it is awesome being a husband and father to them!
My church family and our friends are beyond wonderful!
My job is going very well right now! This is an answered prayer!
God is good!!'
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Adairsville and First times...

In April of 1985 (thank you Lori and Jennifer!!), on a Friday night I went to spend the night with my memaw Flossie and granddaddy Marvin. It was a strategic move by a 13 year old, so that I could watch The Dukes of Hazard and Dallas. My memaw NEVER missed Dallas, but my parents wouldn't let me watch it!! Plus, memaw made some serious pancakes, so breakfast was always amazing! Anyway, that night a tornado came through Atco, Georgia. A bad one. The village houses in Atco weren't the safest place to be during a tornado either. We hunkered down in the "hall" between two bedrooms and listened, as the most horrible noise I've ever heard went overhead. We were lucky. No damage, other than debris, at our end of Atco. But, down at the other end where we went to church, Atco Baptist Church had some 100 year old oaks that had fallen all over the property and a couple of gorgeous stained glass windows damaged. Still very lucky but also a lot of damage.
That Saturday morning brought a sunrise and a new day. VERY early, my granddaddy and I left for the church. There was a group of men gathering quickly with chainsaws and axes, trucks and gloves. We worked ALL day! Chainsaws running. Sawdust flying. Sweat dripping. Loading "firewood" onto trucks to carry to people's homes that had fireplaces. I don't even recall how many of our gorgeous oaks were knocked to the ground by the tornado (I think 5), but I remember that they were all cut up that day and the city workers had worked all day and only got one cut up on the road in front of the church. I recall that day being the first time that I felt like "a man of the church". I had always gone to church. I had always gone to church at Atco Baptist. But, that day was different. I had sweat and sawdust and mud-stained clothing (maybe even a splinter or two), same as my daddy, my granddaddy Marvin, my granddaddy Austin and the other "men of the church". I don't know how many men gathered that day to accomplish the task. I can name a lot of them, but in fear of forgetting some, I will not. That night I remember clearly feeling older than I was, because I did a man size day of work, not for money, or for reason of gain, but just because that was what "a man of the church" does.
I write this memory today, because I got to relive it a little this weekend from a different perspective. Our county was hit with a tragedy last Wednesday. A tornado hit Adairsville. A very tough direct hit by a F3. A lot of damage, a lot of demolished property,  a lot of injuries and one tragic death.
The Bartow Baptist Association put together (and are continuing to) a relief effort. They called for manpower. They asked for help and asked for folks that have them to bring their chainsaws. I told Donna I felt like I should go even though she and I were planning on spending some time together. She agreed, but then IT happened. A 12 year old little boy in the back seat asked THE QUESTION! "Dad, can I go?" My first instinct was, "NO"!! You are way too young. You could get hurt. Blah, blah, blah.....
Until the story I told above came to the forefront of my mind. I remembered it all. I couldn't help but say yes. Sure it was going to be cold. Sure it was going to be dangerous. Sure it was going to be hard work. Grif knew all of that, but he still asked. It was a great day that we had together! I ran a chainsaw all day. I watched him keep a close eye on me to make sure his dad didn't get hurt, but I also saw him dragging limbs to the designated piles. I saw my boy picking up logs bigger than he should have and struggling to get them over the the log pile. I saw him helping. I saw him being exactly where God wanted him that day. I saw him getting a taste of what it is like to be a man of the church.
It was a proud moment for this daddy! To let my son see that sacrificing the "god" that we in America call a weekend to help someone in need isn't much of a sacrifice! It is what we as Christians are called to do. Matthew 25:40 tells us that whatever we do for the least of these my brothers and sisters we do for Christ.
Right now our brothers and sisters in Adairsville need us. I hope we do not ask, "Lord when did I see you hungry and not give you food? When did I see you thirsty and not give you drink? When did I see you naked and not clothe you?"
Lord, when did I see trees down on your property and not take them away? When did I see you thirsty and not bring you water? When did I see debris over your city and not clean it up? What ever we do for our brothers and sisters in Adairsville, we do for Christ.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Last weekend, Bailey and Grif were gone to Freedom weekend with the church! They had a blast!
Donna and I got to hang out like newlyweds! We got to talk and laugh and be unencumbered by being mom and dad for a while! It was a great time.
We went to dinner on Friday night after dropping the kids off at Scott's Walk Up BBQ. (City Loft and Cellar was packed!!). Then we went to visit with my grand parents and then by my parents to visit and warm up next to a FIRE!! We both love a good fire!
Saturday night was the Cartersville Service League dance with Iambic Underground as the band! We had a great time dancing and visiting with friends. If you read this blog at all you know that I will take any excuse to get dressed up and dance with my baby! Sunday was an amazing time of worship! Jarra Chatmon rocked a solo with the choir backing her up that gave everyone in there chills! An amazing morning!
Bailey had a break through at pitching lessons! Which is an answered prayer!
Donna and I then ended the weekend by taking Chicken N Dumplins and a warm pound cake over to the McDaniels and got to hold their sweet baby boy for a while!! Good Trade!
We laughed and talked so much those couple of days that it really makes me start getting excited again about dating when we are "empty nesters"! Although I am NOT wishing our lives faster, I am enjoying glimpses of what will be one day if the Lord tarries!

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year, Resolutions etc....

January 11, 2009. I guess it is a day that I will never forget. An anniversary of sorts that I will celebrate as a turning point in my life. I had been playing full court basketball with some guys from the church, getting ready for the church league season that was approaching. After getting home and cooling down my chest started hurting. The rest, as they say, is history. A massive heart attack at 37 that I was fortunate enough to live through, changed my perspective.
Four years later and my heart is healthier. Running, biking, rowing or using the elliptical for cardio 5 days a week will do that along with eating better! I am also in the midst of my 4th attempt to quit smoking. 13 weeks 5 days 14 hours and 16, 17, 18 seconds/ never mind; who's counting! Ha. I'm trying to love people and spend time with my family, and serve others like I won't be here tomorrow, because as a good friend of mine says often, "we weren't even promised today"!
So one New Year resolutions is to continue to spend time with my children and wife, love big, play often, stop smoking, pray like it is all up to God and work like it is all up to me.
Until 4 years ago I was never big on resolutions, but now I would consider ever morning a resolution of sorts. Still, though, God has been working on me for a few things. If you've known me for any length of time then you know self confidence is not an area that I have a problem. I have opinions and LIKE to share them. I enjoy talking. Well over the past month I have had the humbling honor of apologizing to several people that I have hurt or offended. NOT FUN!!
I feel like God is working on my ego. NOT FUN!
So, New Year Resolutions (or every day resolutions):
1. Less talking, WITH more listening. (We are more connected as a society (facebook, my space, blogs etc) and know more about what people are going through, but seem to care less and that makes for a lot of lonely and hurting people. It is hard for me to hear someone hurting if I am constantly talking.
2. Offer less unsolicited opinions. (I have a BAD habit of interjecting my opinion in conversations where I have no business doing so!)
3. Lead, where warranted, BUT be the BEST follower when Leading isn't my job. (I enjoy leading and making decisions, but many times when it is not my job to lead I will look at the situation will a critical spirit instead of following and being a help! (I don't know if I conveyed this well, but...))
4. Separate people from their sin. (I, probably in an attempt of judgement, see the wrong someone has done instead of the person. I need and WANT to give grace the way God has given it to me; FREELY.
I'm sure there will be more that God will be adding to that list. If I were to get those 4 licked it would be nothing short of a miracle! Pray for me.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Merry Christmas Recap

The Guyton Family has had a great 2012 and we had a phenomenal CHRISTmas.
2012 started off with me being sworn in to serve as a Euharlee City Councilman. It has been an amazing year of serving in that capacity and learning a GREAT deal about public service! I am having a blast and am so thankful to the citizens of Euharlee for placing that trust in me!
Donna is into another year of teaching. She is the most amazing wife in the world and I am amazed that I can fall more deeply for her everyday!
Bailey is in the midst of a great sophomore year! She is growing into an amazing young woman before my very eyes! It was just yesterday that she was born!! She working hard at her goals for softball and just amazes me daily with her talent at a lot of things!
Grif is having a good first year in middle school! He is falling in love with the outdoors and everything that entails! Hunting, fishing, kayaking, camping, whatever involves outside, he is loving and I am encouraging!

Grif and I got Kayaks for Christmas!! CAN'T WAIT FOR SPRING!
 Donna got an AMAZING camera for Christmas and is already using it often!!

Our trip to Alabama was fun, food, games and hunting as always.
A couple of other notes: Sunday was 12 weeks (3 months) of being off cigarettes!! That of course will be a goal for 2013 to remain that way!! Other goals for the year: I would like to do a couple of 5K runs, another Triathlon, lots of outdoor time with Grif, no smoking, lots of time spent with Bailey on the softball field, weight below 200, and more time spent in the kitchen cooking with Donna!
I pray 2013 will be the best year ever for the Guyton's and for your family as well!
Happy New Year!