Thursday, October 28, 2010


My life is an exercise in living intentionally. Everyday. Making the better choice on an arduously difficult level. Every step taking the path of most resistance. Every parent works their bodies and their minds to this same extent. Some with more fervor than others. Regrettably I have not always recognized this need, often letting emotion, anger rule my heart and my home and now I find that I'm going backward in retraining little hearts to not imitate that which I once was. I cannot stand alone in this, I have covered a space in every room with God's wisdom that I might not sin against him and these precious little people. What a high and daunting responsibility it is to fill little hearts with a love of virtue over a love of self. To deliver into them cases of positive moral choice, to create a warehouse of soul defining options for daily living. Oh how my soul and body ache for some affirmation that when they arrive into adulthood they will rise up and call me blessed.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I just have a few thoughts bumbling about, scratching at the surface of my limited ability for conscious thinking in between husband, house, kids, church, playdates, blah blah blah. This idea of the redemptive love of Christ, that what he wants more than anything from anyone who claims him is love. Love for him, for our Father, love for others more than for ourselves.

We don't live this way much in America.

I want to be different.

I want to make EVERY decision based on whether or not it will show his love and mercy to my fellow man (or mostly likely, mom). I don't just want to scream and shout about how great God is through this blog or social networks, I want to prove it by being like Him to those who have never seen Him for themselves and especially now, for my children. And this is hard, this ebbing and flowing between conviction and losing track. I go weeks in patience and love with Asher, then one night of sleep deprivation and I snap, I lose control. I yell and damage his fragile heart and I wonder if a seed for the evil one isn't stored in that moment. That frightens me, those invisible seeds. Sometimes that wave of fear is more like a delicately splashed puddle, other times like the after math of tsunami.

Every day I try to remember "we can do no great things, only small things with great love."

I can send out hurt, but I can also say I'm sorry in humility, genuine and unassuming. I can hope that those smalls acts of redemption are enough to carry us all through.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

i've been enamored with...

planting bulbs in the fall that will emerge, brilliant and breathtaking in the coming days of spring

celebrating birth. new cousins, birthday traditions at apple orchards. surprise 4th babies.

thrift store finds that make a home unique and fancy.

watching a big boy emerge from a baby frame: playing legos and sorting dry beans and getting covered in spontaneous morning kisses.

long awaited visits from my mommy.

reading scripture in slippers by open windows with warm home made lattes.

life, wild and precious.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I came across this picture the other day. It's a long story how I saw it, and it has to do with me wasting away my time looking at Adam Lambert's twitter. Don't judge. :)

So he posted this, with the caption "*sigh* God doesn't hate" and it has struck a nerve with me since. Who ARE these people, how did they come to a place of thinking that they were obeying and honoring God by behaving in this fashion? It makes me wonder if there is any hope for those of us who desperately seek Him, who desire to fill the world with the LOVE that we know comes only from Him. Will anyone ever believe us? Maybe some "fags hate God", but I bet it's only because of the sorry light in which we've painted Him. It's not God they hate, it's religion masquerading around like an annoying know-it-all.

The God I know is wrapping his mighty arms around these people, loving them and protecting even when they do wrong, and I'm talking about the people in the picture here. I don't claim to know the mind of God when it comes to homosexuality, I believe there is a reason he asks us not to indulge in it, but I think it's so much more out of a desire to protect us than a desire to hinder us and create boundaries and rules. I'm not even sure where I wanted to go in writing this, treading in such a deep and dangerous water, except to say, more for myself than for you, that for me, for my journey and for the children who will grow up in my care, this will be the law in which we abide:

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man."

Showing love. Living mercifully. Opening our arms, our homes, our hearts to the hurting, the confused, those who are fundamentally different from us...THAT is true Christianity. And that is what I hope to live. God! Help me to have the strength, show me how.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mary Oliver

I heard about this poet here and can't get enough of her.

The Summer Day

Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

I will enjoy it. And lap it up in thirsty mouthfuls, even on days I never leave the house, or the laundry is piling or my children are grumpy. There is something to be treasured everyday and I will skip along in the hunt to find it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


In the recesses of my heart I know that I am meant to be exactly who I am.

I know that I am not the most beautiful woman the world has seen, but I am beautiful to those that matter.

I know that I am not brilliant, I will never see my name published with prominent medical discoveries, no one will write books about me and my many accolades, but my son thinks I know all the world has to offer.

There are many other things I know about myself, things that I can, regrettably, hinge my self worth on. It gets so tiring, living up to a too high standard of beauty, intelligence, ability, perfection. I get this, I get it that I'm not supposed be perfect, I never will be, but I find myself silently measuring myself up. Mostly against my image of perfect self, but also against the pedestal I seem to put everyone else on.

I find myself feeling simple, not as interesting as so and so who knows all the obscure words that start with the letter Q and seems to be ever reading books with deep meanings I can't even fake my way through comprehending. There is always another mom at the gym who is skinnier, with fewer wrinkles and less inner thigh. Some one always seem to keep a cleaner house, have better behaved boys, love deeper, be more thoughtful, know more scripture, pray more fervently, etc., etc.

This is exhausting.

Even as I write this I wonder what people out there are thinking, I find myself catering my words to the eyes of others. When I started this blasted space for me, created in a state of not caring what anyone thought of what I put here, but just needing to pound it out from time to time.

I think so many of these thoughts stem from this one idea I have of myself that I am not truly gifted at anything. There are several things I am pretty good at, but no real, unabashed talent. I tend to think that if there was ONE thing in which I was really really amazing, then people would think I was so good at it that they would ask me to speak on it or something. I would be satisfied then.

But I wouldn't.

When will I be?

I think it's an enduring process, a divinely designed one, that will greet me when I'm old and wise in ways I can't fathom yet.

But GEEZ I wish I could be there now.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Truthfulness. This is not a trait that summed up even a portion of me in past years, much less the whole. For many years after being redeemed I continued to struggle, to sit, the marinate in deceit. As I dug deeper holes and basted one falsehood after another onto my resume, my vision got darker and darker. One day, I came clean. God finally poked and prodded and convicted my spirit enough that I confessed all of those skeletons, the light penetrated and I was filled with dark no more. I still struggle of course. White lies and exaggerations to puff up a story. The difference now is that I FIGHT to come clean, to reverse the untruth, to make right what my pride aches to make wrong.

And now this, to be caught in the run around of some one else's foul play.

We started engaging in paper work for our home in April of 2009. Forms were faxed and emailed. Amended and rewritten. The shuffle of moving from Texas to Illinois was not particularly chaotic, we purged most of our belongings in a hope to simplify our new life in a new home. Some how, however, in the hub bub of signing and waiting, we must have missed a very important piece of information on a very important document that we some how can't seem to locate in our own records despite having a copy of every other form. We, according to our agent, signed a disclosure form that stated the presence of foundation braces supporting the North wall of our basement. Neither Corey nor I remember this form, and we certainly don't recall anyone verbally highlighting this point to us. We would not have bought the house had this been brought to our attention.

Cleverly, these braces were covered by brand new dry wall and rendered invisible to the naked eye. We only recently discovered them when water leaking into the basement caused a mold scare that left us ripping out walls left and right. In that process the main source of the water was discovered, one third of the North wall, the section making up the garage, is in desperate NEED of a brace. The cinder blocks are cracked, allowing water and debris to flow freely.

Now we are left feeling duped. How did we miss this? Did we really over look it? Where is this form in OUR records. I am not playing with accusations of foul play, I just wish the pieces would come together here. Currently it's looking like we have to bite the bullet and fix this problem ourselves, but it is disheartening. How could some one knowingly cover such a major problem and then "hide" their confession on one line of one document that was slipped to us during the "sign heres?"

I know how.

The same way I once covered up a major sin against the person I loved most because I feared their rejection. The same way I could lie so easily about experiences and adventures and the prices I paid for things. Because my soul was empty. Because I didn't really see the greater purpose set out for me and that I was made for something so much better. That walking in the truth and the light makes for a far grander story than anything fabricated by a feeble imagination.

And because I can now see this, I am empowered to let go of any bitterness or anger. I can sit at peace, knowing that all the details of our situation, and hers, are taken care of. There is no reason to seek vengeance, for that is the Lord's. I am only asked to hear his call, trusting that He will lead us if action should be taken to bring about justice, but that if we are asked to simply accept this hand...that's ok too.

For ALL have sinned, and fall short of the glory.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Kneeling, the sun at my back and weeds being erected from the soil in fistfuls. I'm finding more and more that there is a connectedness between fragile and divine that happens in this posture. More than once I've found myself planting, watering, pulling the unwanted with my mind wandering on Him as an omniscient, omnipresent gardener, pulling with gentle urgency the weeds choking out the harvest of what is good and sincere in me. Lately I've been seeing the depth of my depravity, the truth in my downfalls and how they are affecting my sweet son. How, even though they aren't consistent, my interspersed fits of rage and frustration alter him. He is drinking in my example, and the bad seems to sink in, anchoring the folly in his heart while we try desperately to teach him to be good, compassionate, dare say, patient. I tell myself, "You have to stop this. No more yelling. No more harsh punishment." Then the defiance, the expression of two year old frustration yanks at the chain of my indifference and once again I find myself prey to the prowling. OH, to remember Yahweh in these moments, I feel like a lesser disciple that I can't seem to consider His power to change me in those moments.

I'm finding joy also, though, through dirty fingertips soiled through cheap garden gloves. Finding that I love making something plain become something beautiful, useful, extraordinary. Harvesting broccoli from our garden and watching little peppers form from tiny buds is strangely exhilarating. I don't mind that more often than not I'm found sweaty with dirt laden finger nails, because the reward is just so rich. To see what was plain and green blossom into dainty pink petals along our sidewalk, knowing that I chose their place and purposed them to make the simple so lovely. These simple things in life, I'm trying to remember them, revel in how good things are now. It is a season. While my heart struggles with wandering, I want to rest in this sweetness, knowing that there will be a different time when things will perhaps be harder, trials will shake us but that ultimately it is all good, for good and that right now I am just to soak it in deep, as water on roots.

So digging and yanking produce empty spaces, filled by the unwanted no more I'm seeing romance in the cracks. Working together with this man I love, the sand on his cheeks and the glisten of work on his brow and together we are creating memorable things. In the garden, in our hearts. I connect with him deeply through the process of eradicating ragweed pavers and creating spaces for color and vibrant growth. A space for coffee sipping, late night talk among the flowers, visions I have for the special plot beneath the kitchen window. We're learning with tiny strides the vital lessons of creating connection with hurried time cards. I want to connect as deep as the roots of the cottonwood grow, I want to know him as far as the seed is blown. Little moments will add up to meaningful forevers.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I have strep and nonsense about lifestyle

I came down with strep throat on Wednesday night. It's now Friday and I still feel the cold fist of death clenching my throat glands, but a few more doses of amoxicillin should be the ticket. I hope.

I've been quarantined to a room for the most part, everything I touch is wiped with disinfectant urgency and I can't kiss my kids or my best friend. It has left me feeling a little out of touch and, honestly, depressed. I hadn't realized how much simple touches and gestures stir the peace in my heart, how snuggling all my loves has such an effect on my well being. I am grateful to still be nursing my sweet Shiloh, that closeness is the only thing keeping my sanity tied by a loose thread.

In all this time of separation under one roof I've been reading. A hundred pages in War and Peace, fifty in Wisdom Hunter twenty in Same Kind of Different As Me and snippets of scripture here and there. And mostly I've been thinking.

My thoughts keep falling on criticism, on how quick our generation is, in general, to assume the worst of one another, to put ill into the most innocent of motives, how simple comments about ones own life draw out rage and insecurity in others. And tongue lashings ensue. I love my life, I'm proud of my choices, I believe fully that God has walked us down these paths very meticulously and that I am being asked to live this way. I am being called to stay at home with my children, to have a large family, to home school and teach them virtue along with their algebra. I enjoy cooking from scratch, keeping an organized and tidy house, staying fit and healthy and encouraging my family to do the same. Do I do these things to shame those who don't? Absolutely by NO MEANS. Everyone is on a different path, a different journey, and while there are some things that I would not choose for my family, I am not in a position to chastise others for doing what works for them. Our society would not do well if we all grew up the same, that would be a bit boring, don't you think?

All this to say I think I've realized that unless asked, I need to keep my lifestyle to myself. These choices are not a pretense for judgment, of me or others. I live how I live because it's the best life I know how to make for me and my family, not because I think it's the life everyone should or even can be living. I choose and live and will not be a sounding board spouting off remarks that could potentially draw out hurts or insecurities in others. I will live being as much of an example of good stewardship of all of these gifts as He will give me strength to be.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Red Bird, Red Bird, What do you see?

The house is silent at 1 in the afternoon, everyone is sleeping. There is a beautiful cardinal just outside my kitchen window and I sit here typing what I hope comes out clearly.

I've been reading, thinking, praying about my life. I always do, but differently as of late in lieu of the ways I've been influenced through books, people, lives lived differently than mine. I want to be a "good steward" of all of these blessings, but not JUST that, I want to live boldly, for every aspect of my life to speak some kind of truth.

We planted a small garden to save money on produce, we are preparing some barrels for rain collection to reuse the gift of water from above rather than wasting it, we are composting. I love doing these things, but this passion wells up inside of me to do more. To stop buying grocery store produce all together, to buy from a local CSA and take one little step with our little lives to speak up against the millions of dollars and gallons of gas wasted to ship produce all over the country when real people living on real farms raising real families can provide us with more than we need. Gas and oil that travels to us on the backs and coffins of people from far away who don't want war, soldiers who are created in God's image and suffer greatly at the ends of their rifles. I'm no anti-war activist, I applaud soldier's for standing up for something they believe in, we should all do that a little more...but I just believe there must be a better way.

I LOVE clothes, fashion, dressing nice, looking feminine and eclectic. I feel guilt in buying those things, I feel like that $40 could have gone to something better, could support another child through Compassion or be used to make a meal for a family going through a hard time. What if I learned how to make all of the things I love from something else? What if your old sheets and curtains became my next couture? But then I get a whiff of fear that I would be turn inwardly on myself and my family too much, that I would spend too much time providing for us and lose sight of serving and giving to others. Where is the balance? Oh Lord, show me the balance!

I have this best friend that I've know since I was 16. She married my husband's brother. She's pregnant now with my nephew. I write those short, simple, poetic sentences and realize how BIG God's picture is. In a few months I will hold this new, tiny little baby boy and cry tears of joy and thanks and remember that He had him in mind all these years. Oh how GREAT thou art. How GREAT THOU ART.

How can I make my life matter even more than it matters today? Can I live a life that shows my children truth and beauty in such overwhelming ways that choosing the broad path is scarcely an option? Will praying for them, home schooling them, loving them and showing them a balance of grace and discipline be what does it? Family dinners and knowing that mommy and daddy are going to be together forever? Probably not. They are people with free will and I can only choose to trust God at his word, and do my best. Whatever that means for each day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

i want... spend countless hours here writing.

I can't even seem to find ten minutes.

Friday, April 16, 2010

bunnies and everything else

I'm sitting here in a kitchen that needs cleaning, gorging myself on exactly ten Easter bunny-shaped marshmallows, not sure whether I should finish my thoughts here or master the responsibilities at hand.

I will finish, dishes tend to lend themselves ubiquitous anyway.

There has been a thought, a realization edging it's way to the surface of my heart. A little more appears each time I write here, each time I talk to a friend, in my regrettably infrequent times of peaceful meditation, and now the glimmer of it's clarity is right upon me.

I have found JOY in this life.

The joy of an exposed life, no secrets, no regrets, just life lived a full as I know how to make it, at peace with the season of life I am in, knowing that my sweet children will not be little for long, that in years to come I will long for these days of housework and cuddles and teachings about God's creativity in the moment. I love who I married for who he is right now, not expecting him to become some one else or to change, but because I know that he is meant for me even in ways I do not yet know.

I am enamored and obsessed with capturing God's grace and learning to use it as salve on the wounds of those around me and especially in applying it to my own short comings. It is so easy to dig a grave of self pity instead. So easy. I don't want to be religious. I want to be Jesus to the world, not a critic or cynic but JESUS. I refuse to drown in Western Christianity, I want to be the lifeboat. I fail. I pick it back up and try again, learning volumes with each opportunity to be humbled.

I am ok with whatever it is people think of me, REALLY. I am secure, I am fighting to love and live unselfishly, I accept the words and judgments of others. Good or painful they make me better and don't we all just, want, that?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


He was sitting at the kitchen table, tapping to a beat inaudible to rest of the house, unaware that a choice today would change a forever for some one he had not met, would never meet. At the hospital where he spends so many precious hours the mundane trickles in so slowly that before one realizes it they are flooded by impatience and hardened heart. He stands at this precipice this morning and doesn't even know it.

His wife walks in, hair tangled and yesterdays makeup smudged beneath half open eyes. He thinks she is cute and beautiful like this but forgets to tell her almost every day. As she sits down to the silence of sleeping children she asks what he is going to do about the patient he told her of yesterday. The one with the failing body, the one with a sudden cancer diagnosis and a fate so unpredictable that even he, with all of his training, can't put a time table to. In that moment while he sat shaking his head with doubt she said something simple, though monumental.

"I think you should pray with him. Maybe even with his family. From what you said they seem to feel pretty hopeless and prayer is what gives me hope, so...I mean. If you don't, who will? Right?"

Sitting in that chair hearing those words his immediate response resonates inside as a resounding, "Are you kidding me? No!" but he fights those dark whispers and says, "Maybe I will."

That was the end of it. The whole conversation. What would come of it mattered to so many...

--I'm just playing around with some thoughts I've had lately.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I can't stop thinking about this. I want to ignore it, but I can't. I'm going to use this space as a template for my confessions yet again, I want to expose this ugliness, I want to feel the deluge of grace powered change in my heart.

I have been beyond excited about my upcoming trip to Austin. I love knowing that the wedding of a dearly loved friend is bringing me there, that I get to be a part of a day that will seal her with her love for life and that as a bonus I get to be with family. I am enamored by how much Corey's parents love our children, I never had grandparents like them, it is a treat to see their adoration and hear their words of praise for the mother I am learning to be. I am trying so hard.

But in all my genuine excitement there is this really ugly, selfish, deceitful story playing out in my thoughts. Thoughts of wanting to have free time to myself, of leaving my children with my in-laws for countless hours so I can just be by myself, go shopping, buy things I can't afford and don't need just because my husband isn't around to maintain my accountability. I've thought of shoes and purses I want, expensive meals I want to eat and movies I want to see. Now, these things, in and of themselves and not entirely negative, but how I covet them, how I think of them often and devise ways in my mind to hide the spent money from my family is pure greed and pure sin. I had to write it here because with each day I felt my grip on reality passing and found these plans making ever more sense. So yes, I will probably eat at my favorite couple of spots, and yes, I might even do a tiny bit of shopping, but here and now I stand up against the prowling lion of deceit and declare that it will all be open, all be honest, I will not let him win.

The shame of these thoughts has been brought to light not entirely by my own conscious, but also by my recent exposure to Compassion International and their recent project of sending popular bloggers to impoverished countries that they might share their experiences with their readers and some how inspire them to sponsor a child. I also thought these things were shams, that somehow my $30 a month was going into a greedy pocket somewhere, but after reading this and this I am all the more aware of how backwards our American thinking is when looking at the scope of everywhere else. GOD. I'm wanting a new bag and purse and then wondering if we can afford $38 a month so some kids some where can have a meal a week. Yeah. A WEEK. We can afford it, we will, we have to. How could we face our own children and say that we refused? I have never done this before, because it seemed so trivial, it never seemed like enough, but I wonder what ever would? I think that is the greatest scheme against changing this world, the whispers that one small act of generosity won't go far enough so why even do anything?

But it's wrong. That prince of darkness is wrong.

How beautiful and good could it be if everyone on your street sponsored one child? That could be what? 6? 10 children going to school, eating, given a chance to change their life that they might turn around and change others?

One YES means a thousand nos.

It means saying no to complacency, to self doubt, to selfishness and greed.

If there is ANY way you can make this work with what you have, won't you? Isn't that what this life is all about...taking care of those who need it?

Pick one HERE.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Ok so it stewed a really long time.

I, in my college naivety, never expected to find myself nearly 5 years married with two children in 2010.

I never thought I would love a job with no paycheck and no glamour.

I couldn't have imagined that teaching my little boy to pee pee in the toilet would bring so much joy.

Or that being selfless with my soulmate would take so much work.

So I didn't grow up knowing much about marriage except that my mom didn't seem to care for it much. She had a rough time with it, so I pretty much abandoned the idea all together. But now I am married to this incredible man, a man who has worked so hard for 8 years to be at this place where his childhood dream of being a doctor is finally realized. A man who loved me enough to save his touch, his kisses, until our wedding day. A man who is a better father than I ever imagined. In this day it seems that women have this issue with supporting their husbands, that somehow the act of having dinner ready when your man comes home is some sign of weakness, that putting on makeup and attractive clothes that only he will see is some form of chauvinism, that washing all the clothes and dishes without expectation of an even share of said workload indicates imbalance.

I. LOVE. supporting. my. husband.

This is a great job and one that I believe in whole heartedly. A man needs to feel respected, he needs his home to be a safe place, a haven and sanctuary from the harrowing forces of negativity out in the dark workplace; he needs his wife to be his helper. I'm no expect, I have only 5 years of experience, but I'm confident in these truths.

I've been praying and studying this a lot as of late and am coming to find that the more I deny my selfish impulses, the more I choose to love and give to Corey WITHOUT expectation of some other favor in return, as I choose to hold grudges less and show grace more, the more love he shows me, the more appreciative are his words, the more affectionate are his embraces. All my life I thought I needed some high profile title to matter, but I see now that what I do for Corey, the smile I put on every day for his arrival home, the effort I put into cooking him healthy meals, having the children clean and in good moods, budgeting our money appropriately, keeping no secrets, I see how all of these things are noble and grand in a secret way. Corey's strength and integrity at work are tied to me, intertwined in who I am to him at home and that is a great privilege.

I see so often in the grocery store parking lots and restaurant booths the wife who is sending her marriage down a pitiful spiral by her snide words. I hear them, those knives of "Why would you do that, are you stupid?" The short spoken directions. The woman who walks 10 paces ahead while her husband is left behind wondering what he did wrong, where he went wrong. I don't want to be that. I want to walk hand in hand with my man, even if his pace is a little slower. I want to be so much that his eyes dare not wander. I want to be the grace he receives when failure meets him at work, at home, anywhere.

This isn't easy. Ever. It's a choice EVERYday for me to put him first and trust that he has a good heart that will not take for granted the things I do. Even when he IS taking me for granted, I have to choose to trust that he will see it, that I don't have to point out ALL the things I do for him because our love is such that truth is always at the surface, gratitude the buoy keeping us afloat together.

There are days, weeks even, when I've done every inch of everything for our home. Cared for our children, laundered, washed, swept, mopped, dusted, mowed, repaired, made special meals, baked special treats, bought special gifts, left love notes, offered myself. There are weeks when I get a lot of thank yous and weeks when they are few, but it doesn't matter because Corey is a gift and a privilege and in the end what would I rather have said of me? That I fought for fairness? Or that I gave my all selflessly and, unexpectedly, gained so much in return.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I've been jotting down ideas on this imaginary notepad in my mind for a long time. Ideas for things to write here, things I want to tell people but don't have the guts, things I'll never tell anyone, and mostly ideas for a book. Corey pokes me in the ribs about writing a book anytime we read a new one that is particularly engaging or watch a movie about some aspiring writer. Last night we finished "Julie & Julia" which I found surprisingly lovely. My problem is, I think I'm subconsciously coming up with ideas for everyone else. I want to write something that will please people, but nothing genuine ever comes from that so I always end up stuck and not believing in myself. I also wonder if I should write something completely fictional or stick to what I know and add a little of myself to the mix. It just seems so daunting, like a project I'll start and then stick in the corner hoping to finish if I keep it in sight, the one that just gets junk stacked on it. If only I could find a story deep within me that I could write just for myself...I think that would be the one worth reading.

I have another post I really want to write about my odd view of my role in this marriage of mine, but I need to get some rest. I'll let it stew a bit before I open the lid here.

Monday, February 22, 2010


It's 326am. By all means I should be sleeping, but a wicked cold, too much decongestant and lingering thoughts keep me diligent in my sleeplessness. I am thinking about today, about the ups and downs and bouts on inspiration. My son has decided to turn fit enamored on us and I am at a loss as to how to handle both it and his verbal defiance. It is a huge part of our day to day right now but somehow also seems so trivial as I know it is a season, that consistent discipline and an ability to hold my ground will, in time, change his ways. And even though I know this, I can't seem to stop complaining about it. I hear the words come from me, talk of his actions and my absent husband and it just disappoints me. I am content in my circumstances, I love this life and what I am able to do but for some reason I also tend toward attention seeking behavior, craving pity and sympathy that I really don't need. The grace of those around me abounds and I realize that maybe I should lend a little more to myself.

I keep thinking about my strengths and weaknesses, the chances I could take in my life to live bigger and bolder and have fewer regrets. I'm so safe right now, so afraid to let go of the simplicity of our life, so afraid to listen to the voice of nonsensical decisions that would likely lead to pure joy and less control. I feel a whisper that our family is not meant to stay small, that God has plans to prosper us, that he trusts us with many lives and many souls but that means less order, less outings, even less time to connect with Corey. But it also means more life, more love to give and receive. Corey and I hope to bring a new and fresh start to a little life somewhere, to take a child into our family who is wanting for one, but I feel a deep pull inside telling me that adoption will become a joyous addiction. When, where and how many children is vague. Our hearts are open.

The chance I know is begging to be taken lies in serving, in giving my all to this community, in being a shepherd of lost youths. The network of needy young people in the high schools of Southside Peoria beckon both Corey and I, but we feign to jump in and do something. The time commitment is petrifying in our world of limited togetherness, but I wonder too how choosing to save and impact these lives in our own small way might bring us closer in monumental ones. I doubt our ability to do enough with these small children in tow, instead of just stepping out on faith and trying, I hold back and wait for the pieces to be shown. I want clarity. What I need is trust.

"God doesn't require us to succeed; He only requires that you try." -Mother Teresa

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've heard people familiarize their relationship with God as a grander, more abstract paternal bond. It makes sense on one hand, that God, Abba, Father, would seem to us much like our earthly dads, but then it doesn't add up for me. I never knew my dad, don't have even one memory of him. Does that make God absent for me?

Lack of "religion" in my early years was really not a curse. Though many heart wrenching mistakes were made that may have been prevented with a stronger moral code, they are what brought me to a place of humility that God himself used to make His way in. In the same way, growing up without a father meant that the idea of Abba was new and fresh to me, I have no hurt feelings or regrets when it comes to Him because I have no real "daddy issues." To me, God is real, and strong and full of love and grace and openness. I can talk to him knowing that He is content just to know that I approach him with my whole self, that He doesn't judge or condemn my words but rather, is overjoyed that I took the time to bring them before Him. The only kink in this is that having an emotional bond with God is constantly trying, it nudges at me incessantly and I can't seem to make any headway.

I fight with myself and my own judgment of those women whose love for the Lord is fierce and tearful. I, all in one breath, envy and doubt their passion. I ache for such a connection but just can't seem to let myself believe that theirs is true and genuine as opposed to a charade. This is one more brick from my wall of sin that seems mortared so deep as to be impenetrable. I find it true of so many relationships as well. Even in my marriage I go to bed feeling as if there is a deeper connection Corey and I are meant to have, would have, if I would just choose not to hold back. Maybe that is a whole other post in and of itself.

In writing this I empty the contents of my deepest pocket of regret. I also realize that to admit it is to begin to change, to look hard at myself and my shortcomings that I might one day pull out a victory rather than another coin for the fountain of who I'm not supposed to be. God doesn't want me to feel that I don't feel enough, He wants me to be free. God as my father. Wanting my happiness above all else, for in that state, I am of most value.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I have a difficult time with relationships. Growing up close friends were lacking, I spent most of my time wandering from one group to another, desperate to fit in though aching to be different. I wanted to be beautiful yet mysterious, popular and chased after.

I never made it.

I got invited to a few of the "cool" parties only to make the most detrimental choices of my adolescence and secretly had the most fun hanging out with the "dorks," who accepted me for who I was even though I hardly knew myself at all. So these inconsistency created a void in me when it comes to letting people in, revealing the truth of who I am and what I feel and where I stand on things. I find it to be true in some form even now, even after God has been doing a powerful work in me for over 8 years.

There are friends here in this new place that I feel the Spirit speaking into my heart, friends that I am being called to let in, to be real and vulnerable with, to tell them the things I always hold back. But I'm AFRAID.

The three women in my life that I consider the closest of friends were all born of adversity. We struggled through things together, they told me the hard truths and I, in turn, denied my selfishness to speak truth into their lives. Why, then, do I find it so hard to try again? Why am I so afraid of rejection that I let loneliness take it's place instead of taking the risk? I'm tired of masking my shallowness with a smile, but where to begin is the true challenge. I guess you just dive in, knowing that the buoy of acceptance is just as close as the anchor of betrayal and that no matter the outcome, eventually you'll make your way back to the surface.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

selective hearing

The house is quiet save a steady and grating ticking from the clock a top the mantle, and I'm thinking or writing but who knows what will come. My life is simple in it's complexities. Wife to a wonderful though drained and down trodden first year resident, mother to two gorgeous children. A gregarious two year old in a current state of attachment to me that I both love and loathe in one emotion, who loves me fiercely unless I get in his way or turn off the TV. A beautiful and content 4 month old daughter who is so lovely despite being marred by a cosmetic defect whose cause is still a mystery to medicine. I love these roles, I don't mind being defined by them, I am grateful to be trusted to support and develop the lives of these three wonderful people, but I'm often wondering if there is something more for me. I'm scared to know, scared to try and fail. I'd almost rather never know that I could have made an impact. Almost.

The days in this yellow house are often full of life, full of laughter and tower building and staring into the eternally loving eyes of a nursing child; and I KNOW that I am happy here. But like a dark and menacing cloud there is ever a whisper in my heart, a tiny resonating voice trying to convince me that I should not be at peace, that I should resent my husband for how little he does around the house, that I am failing my child by letting him watch 2 hours of TV a day, that I am not measuring up. When I pause, when I am still, I know the truth. I know that I wouldn't want my sweet spouse spending his precious time doing dishes and chores in lieu of chasing our little man through the house, or thrashing about with him to heavy metal. I know my son will be better off watching Elmo so that Mom can have some peace than dealing with a stressed and temperamental mother. I know that I am doing the best I can, even if I also know that I can do better, that each day is a day to push myself a little more. Those are the things that matter. I have to get it out of my head that there is always more I and he could do for our children and each other. I have to drown out the whispers with truths.

So I guess the point of me writing this is speak for mothers, to speak up against the guilt we bang ourselves against day in and day out. Fight the whispers and find a quiet moment to let your heart soar on the beauty of who your are and who your family is because of you.

And that is the first thing I chose to write.

The First

A sermon and a friend got me thinking.

I don't believe in myself much, I often view myself as mediocre at many things, not talented or exceptional. Maybe if I take hold of one of the unimpressive skills, coddle and caress and encourage it a bit, just maybe it could be exceptional. Olympic and impacting. Maybe I'll start with writing.