Friday, September 30, 2011


I have this friend.

I sat across from her tonight at dinner while she ran herself down.

And my heart broke a little.

Because she is so utterly amazing.

She makes me smile just by being herself. She makes me laugh until I pee. She is kind and thoughtful. And she is beyond loyal.

And the things she runs herself down for...God they are just...nothing. Small. Insignificant in the amazingness that is her.

Nothing to ME, but huge to her.

And I wish I could tell her without crying how amazing she is. And how much I adore her. And how she fills this place in my life that I didn't know was so very empty.

And how wonderful of a mother she is. So thoughtful and so conscious of her words and deeds. How loving and protective.

She is amazing. She is wonderful. And I adore her and love her.

But I can't convince her. I can't make her see because she has been conditioned to think that her small flaws are WHO SHE IS.

And they are so not. Not even remotely.

She is gorgeous. She is somebody I can call at 3 in the morning. She is THERE. No matter what.

So how do I tell her these things, and how do I make her see what I see?

The beauty.

The intelligence.

The kindness that draws people to her.

The love she gives.

All of this is who she is...nothing else. Just these things.

God made her so beautiful. He made her perfect. And he gave her an amazing heart.

I love her so very very much.

And if she runs herself down again, I will tell her these things. No matter if it gets through or not. No matter that I can't talk through the tears that come because I can't believe she doesn't see what I see.

I wll tell her until she believes. And I will pray that God gives my words more weight than what her own mind tells her.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have nothing to say. But God is insisting I sit down and write. Even though I want to go to the fabric store. Or fill up another cup of coffee. Or pee.

But noooooooo. He's all kindsa bossy like that.

And so here I sit.

And so what can I tell you? I am currently sitting here with tissues up my nose. I have no makeup on and I smell rather funky. My stomach is sticking out and my shirt is way too tight.

I can hear my kids destroying their playroom.

But here I am Lord.


The picture of obedience. With tissues up my nose.


*twiddling thumbs*

You are afraid to be still.

Oh Lord.

Yes I am. Terrified of my own mind and what goes through it when I allow myself to rest. On a constant treadmill of go go go stay ahead of all of it.

Afraid to fail.

Afraid of being labelled lazy.

Afraid to think.

Afraid of myself and my thoughts and my own muddled imperfect mind and judgement.


Afraid of the flashbacks that come.

Afraid of failing my children

Afraid of being 100 percent who I am, because what if I fall on my face?

Oh Lord in heaven, yes yes, I am afraid to be still.

And so I sit here. With this fear.

And in the space of hitting the space bar I have had 10 thoughts.


Yes, yes Lord. I am afraid to be still.

But it is in the moments when I slow down that I can commune with God as I feel I should. When I am sewing, watching stitches line up in rows. When I am cleaning, making my world neat and orderly. When I am vacuuming or dusting or writing, I feel Him.

But the moment I stop.

It all goes nutso in my head. The chaos ratchets up. The incessant murmuring that implores me to keep going, be more, do more, see more, be better, no failing cranks up to operatic proportions and I cannot see God for my own mess. It is like trying to reach through a raging ocean to touch Him.

And I cannot calm it.

So here I am. Afraid to be still. Afraid to be.

Afraid to be.

And this is what God has wanted me to say for so long. To recognize for so long.

I am afraid to be still. And that has to change.

Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God"

Monday, September 26, 2011


I sometimes wake up with a heaviness in my body. A distinct pressure in my chest, pulling down my stomach, hanging onto my throat.

Tears threaten at any moment. My spirit is shaky.

I am fragile, and vulnerable, and easily wounded on these days.

And I am grateful for it.

I used to try and push this feeling aside, to unwind it from my mind and spirit. I used to battle it into submission. I used to hide it under food, or distract myself from it with other things.

It hasn't gotten any easier to feel, but I feel it anyway. I let it lead me down it's dark paths.

Because I have found that when I follow these feelings into the vast underground, they lead me to a place of profound sadness that TEACHES me. I sit with it. I feel it. And from this place come some of my most profound lessons.

It is where I learned to forgive my mother. Where I mourned for Joshua. Where I took my pain and bitterness over the past.

It is where I was led to relive memories long buried. It where those memories got put into a context that made my life make sense. It is where I allow myself to feel the burdens and the pain of years past, so that when I re-emerge into this world I am cleansed.

It builds up, this feeling. This inner drive to break down and let loose all of the heavy and bitter things I live with and taste everyday. It takes me back to being alone and helpless. It puts my life and my place in it into perspective.

And where I go, it is dark. It is deep. It is the well from which I draw all strength of being and purpose.

It is at the foot of the cross.

It is at the foot of the One who saved me from myself. The One who holds all of my darkness like the sacred gift it is.

It is a gift. Being wounded and harmed is a gift. It is the way to a deeper peace and know what it feels like to be in chaos.

I go to this place, I sit at His feet. I let go of all of the things that hold me up everyday. And I simply am what I am. A burdened and broken down soul.

And He lifts those things from my shoulders. He puts me back together.

And He sets me back into this life He has given me, a life he helped me hold on to.

No man on this earth can bear my burdens for me. Nobody knows what I have walked through, lived through, or seen. Nobody can know the fear and fatigue I carry within me. Nobody but Him.

Because He chose me for it. He chose me, and I chose him to help me carry it.

So today I am broken. I am sad. And it is good with me. It incites no panic, no worry.

Because I have a plaxce to take it. I have a deep and warm sanctuary to carry myself to.

The foot of the cross. At His feet.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I am not a big believer in marriage.

Really not.

I have seen very few good marriages modeled for me. I have seen very few long term healthy relationships.

I think many many people get married for the wrong reasons. For passion. For money. For love.

Yes, love.

I don't think love is a reason to get married.

Love is amazing. It feels so incredible to be loved and to love somebody. But marriage requires ten-fold more than love.

It requires tremendous patience, sacrifice, and time. It requires work. Dedication. And a commitment to see things through regardless of circumstance.

It is essential to marry somebody that you can parent beside. Somebody who you can stand next to in all situations. This is the person you will go through all of life's big events with- pregnancy, childbirth, parental death. This is the person you Will buy homes with, pay bills with, and sleep next to every night.

Love is great. Love is not enough reason to be married.

And I struggle with this daily.

I love my husband. But we don't parent the same way. We don't care about the same things.

But I have chosen to stand next to him for all time. I made a promise to God. I made a commitment to see it through.

And I will. There is no turning back for me.

And not because we are married. I am glad that we are. It was an outward ceremony for an inward choice.

A choice that had nothing to do with love or passion- and everything to do with choosing to promise to God to make a family and stand with that family for life.

Is it always happy? No.

Is it always easy. No.

But is it forever? Yes.

I have been rocked in the past week by the knowledge that a marriage close to me is ending. And it has caused me to feel by turns anxious, sad, and resigned. This is not a surprise to me. But it is difficult and makes me examine my relationship more closely.

I cannot say that I have it all figured out. I can't say that I do everything right in my relationship,or that I have any answers on how to make it last.

I can only say that the choice I made 6 years ago stands and will stand forever for me. I cannot be moved from the side of the man I chose, the man I feel God gave to me.

Even when it's difficult or challenging. Even when we are pulled apart by our lives. Even when marriages around us crumble.

He is still mine. I am still his.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Joshua Lee


Your due date is inscribed on my heart, my sweet lost little boy.

Today you would have been 2.

And I know, I know with everything in me that you still live. You live in my Savior's arms. You are watched by those who have gone before. You are held. You live in a world of no pain, no tears, and no despair.

And I know, my sweetest boy, that I will see you again. But my mother's heart is torn this day. My soul is wounded with your loss.

There is a pull between what is here and what is not- after all, without losing you I would not have Sam. But my arms still ache to have held you, just once. To have kissed your forehead. To have whispered to you to wait for me, and one day, I will come to you.

Even without the tangible remembrance of you in my arms, I still feel you. I watched as everyday a creature would come and sit on your resting place. I watched as butterflies flitted about your statue. And now every time I see a butterfly I think of you, and say hello to your little soul.

And now, Lily does the same- shouting out "Hello baby Joshua!" each time a butterfly passes by. It heals me, this knowing that in some small way, you are remembered.

We were in church yesterday, and the pastor spoke of trauma, saying it was not something you get over, but something that you absorb. And I finally had words for what I feel. I will never be over you. But you, my sweet one, are absorbed into every single fiber of my being. You are remembered in my soul.

I carry you far longer in my heart than I did in my body. And I love you more than words can say.

One day...


Sunday, September 11, 2011



The day after.

When everything fell apart, but remarkably everyone held together.

As a people, as a country.

Everything changed in a way that cannot be formed into words. There is not language for such loss. There is no articulation for such devastation.

There is just tears. Tears that create images and words that come from a deeper place than language can go. Tears that fall freely, but do not cleanse this away.

We cannot cleanse the blood that was spilled. We cannot undo the lost lives, the fatherless children, the motherless babies. We cannot undo the scattered ash of a thousand bodies or the terror of the hours afterward. We cannot go back.

But we must remember.

We must remember those that died. Those that jumped. Those that rushed in when everyone else rushed out. Those that picked up a phone in a burning room and spoke the words that will never be forgotten. Those that called out to God and felt His presence as they stepped between the doorway of here and heaven. And those that waited for the call that did not come. Those who went to sleep in a bed far too empty. Those who have lived with the void that was created.

We must remember that day.

But I want to live in 9-12. A day when it didn't matter what religion you were- because you prayed anyway. When it didn't matter who your neighbor was- because you went to them and spoke to them. When you called your loved ones and your words were like a waterfall...quenching and unstoppable. When you lived in the moment of not knowing what the future was. Is it your turn next? When will the next plane come? Will it be you this time?

And if so, what do you believe? And who do you love? And what is important?

So live this day as you did THAT day. Give with everything in you. Pray without ceasing. Go out into the world with a profound sense of dedication to unity. Give of yourself. Speak the words that you have kept caged. Live as if it were your last day.

And mostly, love those around you. Give freely of your words and affection. Say the things that must be said.

Do these things for those that died on 911. So that their deaths have meaning and purpose that stretch into our world, even today.

10 years later.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Life breaks

In this world, we are acquainted with pain. People hurt us.

Life circumstances break us.

Who can we turn to when life is too much for our human heart?

I wrote about it over at (in)courage today. You can read it here.

Much love to you today, friend.

35 and 350

This is my 350th post. It seems sooooo crazy, but there it is. 350 times I have sat down and put my heart to page. It seems only fitting that this falls on the week of my 35th birthday!

Speaking of, my husband threw me a sweet surprise party on Saturday. There was great food, great friends, and alot of laughter. Not a bad way to start off this new year of life!

I can't wait to see what 35 brings.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three Five

On Saturday, I will turn 35.


I am officially in my mid-thirties. Ten years away from 25. Halfway to death.


However, as I was thinking about this and praying over my feelings on turning 35, God pointed something out. I, of course, wanted to wallow in my old lady status, but He forced me to see things differently.

Sometimes He can be so bossy.

He told me to look around. Really look around. Away from MY feelings of getting older, and into my life as it is.

And what I realized is that I may be turning 35, but I am exactly where I want to be.

Right here, in this time of my life, I am living a dream.

Two children. A man that I have been crazy in love with for nearly 10 years. An existence comfortable enough to bring contentment, but with enough rough edges to keep me changing and evolving.

I am comfortable in my own skin. I LIKE myself. I like who I am. My heart is nearly always in the right place. I try at all times to be kind. I love fiercely. But I have enough flaws to keep myself constantly trying to be better. I make HUGE mistakes, but I try to learn from them.

I am reaching a point of loving being healthy and eating right, and loving to exercise, but to also come to terms with my roundness. To accept that I am in this body that doesn't change. And that it is okay. This has been a huge life struggle, and I feel the battle just...ending. On my terms. And that feels awesome.

I am a mother. I work at it. I am not the best mom, but I am not the worst. My kids are happy. They love each other. My daughter is kind and compassionate and ohemgee dramatic. My son is...oh boy. He is awesome and busy and wild. And I love them more than I could have ever imagined. I never for one second take for granted their love for me. I know what that love costs them, and I will never fail to return it in spades.

My husband is my best friend. There is nothing I don't tell him and nothing I cannot say. We laugh to the point of peeing. He is my first thought when I am hurt or upset. He loves me and shelters me and has never once failed me. He is my soul mate. And, he is super hunky. :)

I have great friends. Awesome, loving, kind and giving friends. We laugh. We cry. We love each others kids. It is a huge blessing.

I have a family that I have created from scratch. Patched together and ragged, but still whole and perfect.

I am at a place that the 25 year old me never ever would have imagined. I think about that girl, lonely and sad under the Nebraska sky. I remember her crying herself to sleep, wondering if this was all life was. I remember the hopelessness and the bone deep feeling of being utterly trapped by circumstance. And if I could I would go back to that girl and whisper to her of this life that holds more riches and love than she ever could have imagined. I would tell her to just hold on.

So. Thirty-five. It is more than a number or an age. It is a place marker, where I can look back at my life and say- This, THIS is where my life turned from dream into reality. This is when I was living a life I did not deserve. It's where I take a step back and thank God for what I have been given. For the love He blesses me with. For the circle of people I get to go through life with.

Thirty five is awesome.