Monday, September 16, 2013


I just jumped out of bed with an epiphany. 

I started this year singing, "set a fire down in my soul, that I can't contain, that I can't control, I want more of you God"….I told 2013 this was my song.  I was shouting to God, set a fire in my heart for the things of Your heart.  And He has been.  And I have been semi-ignoring this longing, this calling, this press on my heart that He's been trying to nudge me with.  I was ignoring it because I felt unworthy.  Because I am filled with doubt.  Honestly, I didn't even realize the extent of what was happening.

I want to adopt kids.  I have visions, and dreams, and longings of adopting kids.

I want to adopt kids so badly, that it makes my heart stir, and my head spin, and my fists shake.  It's an inner longing of my soul that I can't stifle, snuff out, or push down, try as I might.  And I've been trying.

I am a single mom of 2 precious babies that I can't really afford.  I am busy.  I don't have time for my dream outlook of "Motherhood."  I don't volunteer in classrooms,  I work into the night, and a meal in our home looks like me standing at the counter, while the girls sit at an undone table. 

I let my tally of the things I leave undone, and the ways I'm barely surviving, dictate the dreams that God has been sharing with me, and pressing upon me.  I put God in a box and basically said I wouldn't partner with Him until the fairytale was put into place.  Maybe when I'm married to prince charming.  Maybe when we have a house in the country, where all the adopted kids can go run free, and I can work on the side if I choose to.  Maybe when I can pay off all of the bills, maybe when I'm better at being a Mom, maybe then.

My doubt-filled head has been trying to convince my passionate spirit that I am not enough.  And the thing is, it's right.  I'm absolutely not enough.  I'm sort of a mess.  But HE, HE is good.  And everyday, I lean a little closer in.  And sometimes, I forget that He's so big, and deep, and wide, and capable.  And HE makes me capable.   

He showed me tonight, that while my kids might not know how to cook, and we haven't completely mastered tying our shoes, while we don't have a chore chart, and we keep it pretty spontaneous in our home…He reminded me….My girls KNOW that they are loved.  They know that they are cherished, and special, and my favorite.  They know that they are important.  They know that I am proud of them.  They know how to be kind, and gracious, and patient.  They know how to give.  They know how to pray.   

They know that God is good, and through Him, all things are possible.

And tonight, I remember that too.

Jesus, I will believe in the promise and longing of adoption.  I will believe in your perfect plan and timing.  And I will not partner with fear, doubt, and shame.  Whether it's soon, or far away.  I will wait on you, and believe.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


How can something that makes you feel sad, tearful, weak, hurt….be laced with a fondness, a remembrance, a glimmer of hope.

not all things are always lost.

When you are a parent, you realize you have A LOT of choices to make.  When to discipline, when to hug, when to break rules, when to scold, when to laugh out loud, when to hug, when not to let go, when to let go, when to admit you're wrong, when to cry, when to scream (yes, it is absolutely necessary sometimes to scream), when to go all in, when to fold (no, I'm not really a card player), when to chase, when to wait, when to let them fail. 

We make choices as parents that teach our kids about how to love, and how to live.  How to forgive, how to be thankful, how to have boundaries.  It's not always easy.  And the best way to show them, is to live out what we speak. 

This Mothers Day…I feel a little challenged.  I feel like, in the spirit of honoring motherhood, its time recall my thankfulness for my Mom.  To make a choice to remember the good, and forgive the bad. 

The ugly, hurt part of me….sometimes discredits my Moms wonderful attributes because of very serious pain that she has caused.  Life isn't always fair.  Sometimes it's messy.  I have a choice to not leave people in their mistakes.  Even if they were big ones.  Sometimes we don't know how to navigate situations, let's just admit that it's ok to admit that. 

When I was 12, exactly around the time you start really shaving your legs, and wanting to do your hair every morning before school, my Mom and Step Dad moved into a tent on 160 acres in the middle of nowhere.  When I say "the middle of nowhere" I mean a plot of land smack dab in the center of 30,000 acres, with no other houses on it.  Land that you get to by driving on a two mile, 4 wheel drive road, with a creek crossing over it at 3 different points.  When people talk about roads with potholes, I fondly remember a road MADE of potholes.

In the beginning, this place was my worst nightmare.  My Mom wanted to build her dream house.  It had a view.  I wanted to throw up.  I moved in with my older sister while my family camped out, and worked on putting the frame (and a tiny bit more) of the house up. 

Six Months later, our home had wooden 2x4 walls, no drywall, plywood floors, no doors for bedrooms or bathroom, and a plank of wood (acting as stairs) to the sliding-glass front door.  Electricity was available because of our small generator, and you had to turn the light off in the kitchen so that you would have enough power to flush the toilet. 

My life up to this point had consisted mainly of subdivisions, air conditioning, more than one bathroom, a paved driveway, schools 5 minutes away, light switches, running water at all times, basically, extremely "normal" living conditions.  I don't even remember ever going camping.  This was uncharted territory.

The bugs got in the house.  The dust was thick.  Summer days were hotter than hot.  So hot, that I would wet a beach towel and lay it over my body at bedtime.  I would fall asleep praying that a breeze would slip through the window.  I'm not exaggerating.  The animals had to eat early.  The animals had to eat twice a day.  The hay got in your face when you threw it over the fence.  I smelled and tasted alfalfa all the time.  The skunks sprayed the dogs.  The water smelled of sulfur, and tasted salty.  The coyotes were loud.  A laundry basket of wet clothes is heavy.  It was so hot.  Carrying 5 gallon gas cans, bales of hay, propane tanks, and 50 lb. bags of dog food, was on the daily agenda.  We could only shower a couple times a week.  Thank God for the small above-ground pool.  That, and a bucket worked fine in a pinch.  In the beginning, I felt like a fragile shaking tree, caught in a hurricane.  I would cry over how weird my life was.

When I would outwardly complain,

My Mom would proclaim, "This builds character!"

If words could have a weight in gold, those ones surely would.

Wisdom can't be bought though.

I don't remember the exact day I decided to stop resenting my life.  But I do remember warm sun coming through the open windows, while Patsy Cline sang me through my indoor chores.  I remember stars so bright, you could walk all night by the light of them.  I remember horse races in an open meadow, watching the bats fly out at twilight, hiking for endless hours with your best friends (aka little sister and brother) and getting lost exploring and laughing.  I remember hearing Moms whistle, and knowing it was time to turn towards home.  I remember grabbing turtles in creek beds.  I remember elk herds, deer stampeding, and bald eagles soaring above the wide open meadow that happened to be directly out our back door.

I remember swimming holes, and waterfalls, and the smell of fresh rain on top of a powdery dirt road.  I remember catching tadpoles, stepping on bull frogs, and fresh chicken eggs.  It was still hot, there were still chores.  But the air was so fresh, and the sunsets looked like rich oil painted on a massive canvas.  In the springtime, the grass was such a bright green, and it felt like a soft damp blanket under your feet. 

We had callouses, and scars, and we smelled like dirt at the end of the day.  We had creeks, and baby cows, and wild animals (some were pets, some came with the land).  We had rattlesnakes, and cars that could barely make it home .  We skipped rocks, and ran barefoot, and laid in the lazy sunshine for hours on end.  In the winter, we would catch a rare dusting of snow, and slide in sneakers on the frozen pond.  We missed school when the creeks were too high to drive through.  We learned to tell time by the sun, and we learned that God was good by the beauty around us.  That HIS character was steadfast and true, mighty, mysterious, and always in control.

We had sweat, and tears, and sorrow.  We had joy, and triumph and laughter.  We were doers.  We achieved.  We got by.  We had country music and back roads.  We had sun tea, and barbecues, and horse troughs.  We had chickens, and sheep, and goats, and horses, and dogs, and cats, and mountain lions, and coyotes, and foxes, and buzzards.  We had life humming and buzzing all around us at every moment.  But there was also a stillness, a quietness, that some never get the pleasure of knowing.

We had floods, and lost power, and watched our animals pass away.  We had circumstances that only God could fix.  And we knew He would.  And He did.  We had character.  And today, I am very thankful, for that.

Thank you, Mom.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A hasty spirit.

Day 3.

A hasty spirit.


unsettled, unrequited, busy

un-charmed, un-loved
throw that blanket off like an afghan sliding on bare shoulders
feel its weight hit the ground
handing over boulders.
easy yoke, light burden
lifted eyes, not down-trodden
peer out
smile deep
take a breath
soul to sleep. 

2 Timothy 1:7 For God had not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We are not called to have a hasty spirit, we are called to call upon God.  

That's what I have to say about that.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.

Day 2


"If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking"  That's a song quote.  A beautiful, true one. 

I have a memory from one of the weddings I photographed, that I would choose to keep above all other memories in my career. 

A Mom of the groom had just gotten done dancing with her boy…she humbly stepped off of the dance floor, wiping away tears of gratitude and glee.  She brushed past me, and whispered, "He's the best thing I ever did."  Instantly, my eyes stung with hot tears as a reaction to her sentiment.  I almost lost it.  There is nothing like being proud and in love with your child, two feelings I know well.

Why this story strikes me when thinking about grace is this.  If I feel that way about my babies, and that mom had the capacity to feel the way she did…how much greater does HE feel about us?!  He likes us and loves us A LOT. 

And how does He long to deal with us, listen to us, interact with us?

This brings me to thinking about a play date I recently had with one of my dearest friends.  She was sharing with me about being a little down, a little wrung out.  She started explaining feelings of guilt and shame.  She also has a beautiful, bright, wonderful little baby.  I listened, and completely understood her feelings.  I could relate, and have had very similar experiences before.  But then I also thought, how does God see this?!  And I said to her, what if your child was sitting here in front of us, saying the very things you are right now?  Living without forgiveness for themselves, and carrying around this weight of shame.  She exclaimed, " I would say you are good!  I love you!"

Exactly.  How much more would HE say, and how much better would he be at it.

Matthew     7:11
11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Ephesians 1:7
7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 2:7,8
7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My hope is You.

My friend told me the other day that I should write a devotional.  To which I thought: yeah right.  I can barely get a shower in some days.  And I have to feel like I'm going to blow up to get anything on paper.  Not to mention, I do not have my stuff together.  I struggle, in so many areas it seems.  Especially lately.  It's been a testing season.  Those aren't my favorite.

But then I was in my bathroom, using my tongue scraper (the best invention, ever).  Well, maybe the second best, but it's a good one.  And I thought, I COULD write a devotional.  Because I am DEVOTED to God.  I am devoted to serving Him, loving Him, chasing Him.  And the bible doesn't say we won't be tested, it doesn't say we won't have trials.  It says to choose HIM when you do.  It says you WILL have victory in HIM.  It says…. James 1:2-3  "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."

So now here I am, sitting down, in a towel, not ready for the day, and with somewhere to be soon.  And I'm saying…Jesus, you have my attention.  I will share the ways I choose you.  I will share, in a very candid way, what devotion looks like for me .  Oh, God, help.

I think of the intro to a devotional that I absolutely love, and helps me so often.  And I think of this woman carrying a purpose, and praying diligently about this project….this devotional that she wrote.  And I think, I'm jumping into this on a whim.  That makes me feel a little like I don't add up.  But then HE pipes up with an, ahem, excuse me.  "I don't make mistakes."  Maybe it's a personality difference.  And, that my friends, is more than OK. 

I pray a lot.  I pray with purpose.  This devotional thing is a new idea.  It was actually one that was given to me.  But it's from Him, so we're gonna run with it.

Here goes nothing.  Or something.  Or, a lot of somethings.

Day 1


Where is your hope? 

Is it in your career?  Is it in success?  Is it in how people view you?  Is your hope in money? Image?  Is your hope in your kids behavior? 

For about 3 months I have had a Third Day song stuck in my head.  It says:

My hope is you, show me the way, guide me in truth, in all my days……

I didn't know how much I needed those words, as they played on repeat in my head.  My spirit sometimes knows what my heart does not. 

My HOPE is HIM.  It really is.  He is my only hope, when I know any better.

And the thing about putting your hope in HIM…is that you are putting your hope in the ultimate Daddy.  The ONE who literally holds the world in His hands.  Makes you feel small, and like anything is possible huh?

In between the beginning and end of this, um, devotional, blog, thingy…My friend came over to work with me, and was sharing about her friend who is going through treatment for cancer.  This person is not doing well.  My heart hurt listening to her diagnosis, her treatment.   My heart hurt, but I didn't even have words.  I didn't know what to do. 

So I just listened, and then we continued to work.

And then the Holy Spirit just showed up.  I had an overwhelming sense of "want" for this person to be healed! Completely!  Like, get out of the hospital, have a miracle on outward, showing wounds….as well as every speck of cancer out of her body, NOW!  Only God could do this.  My hope is HIM.  When I initially heard, I was depleted…helpless, wordless.  I was sympathetic, but I couldn't do anything. 

And then He reminded me, that I could do something.  I COULD ASK.  I could ask for wisdom, guidance, healing.  That I'm allowed to, and He loves when I do.  So we did.  We asked for healing, and then some.   

Jesus, my hope is YOU.

Matthew     19:26    
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with
                        God all things are possible.”

James        1:2-6   

                     2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the
                     testing of your faith produces patience. 4But let patience have its perfect work, that
                     you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5If any of you lacks wisdom,
                     let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be
                     given to him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like
                     a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

Psalm        146    

                  1Praise the Lord!
                  Praise the Lord, O my soul!
                  2While I live I will praise the Lord;
                  I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
                 3Do not put your trust in princes,
                 Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
                 4His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
                 In that very day his plans perish.
                 5Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
                 Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
                6Who made heaven and earth,
                The sea, and all that is in them;
                Who keeps truth forever,
                7Who executes justice for the oppressed,
                Who gives food to the hungry.
                The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
                8The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
                The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
                The Lord loves the righteous.
                9The Lord watches over the strangers;
                He relieves the fatherless and widow;
                But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
                10The Lord shall reign forever—
                Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
                Praise the Lord!

Friday, April 19, 2013


When I think of being with someone forever, I think of things like post-it note love letters, I think of romance, and laughing, of whispering sweet nothings, and having longing gazes.  Frick, that sounds cheesy.  I would be good at post-it note love letters.  I do ponder these things.  But when I really imagine a relationship, I think about the inside.  I think looks are fleeting, and beauty is vain.  I think I want to like someone down to their decisions, actions, being.  I think, what if I got in a car accident and my face was not recognizable.  I realize that this is possibly morbid and maybe sounds a little weird or sad.  But I literally think about these things… that it's much more important to have a mutual likeness and understanding (as well as Jesus) that goes so far beyond attraction and chemistry. 

And even more than all of this(not more than Jesus, nothing more than Jesus), I think of sticking it through.  I think of persevering in hardship.  I think of being in waist high mud, with no way out, and still saying yes.  I think of someone looking at me in a dark hour, with a shadow on my face, and saying, yes.  Still yes.  And I think, do I have what it takes to do that?!  Do I have a yes in the dark hours, in the rough, unpredictable stuff? 

I had a dear friend present to me recently, a couple "prospects" in the dating world.   I just read that back and laughed out loud.  She was describing them, saying things like, "they are hot" "they have their stuff together"  "they are tall".  I just remember staring at her, wanting to be respectful, but also kind of shaking inside in indignation.  I could give a shit.  When I'm honest, when I'm authentic, I could give a rip.  I don't want hot.  I want humble.  I don't want stuff to be together, I want heaven minded. 

I am blaming all of this relationship/romance pondering on spring.  Love is in the air this year. sheesh.  Probably more accurately, lust is in the air.  I digress.

I recently gave a friend of mine some very good advice.  And on the trend of being authentic, it was advice that I was not even listening to for myself in the moment. 

The advice was that a relationship could not satisfy or fulfill my friend.  That a relationship, even if this person was her husband, would not sustain her.  She was convinced that she could not lose this person.  And I proclaimed, YOU COULD!! (they were not her husband by the way).  I said, "You only really actually need Jesus."  But I KNOW that HE is GOOD enough to give you exactly what you really need.  And will.  I continued to say, "Thank you Jesus, that you love us enough to tear us down, to build us back up, thank you that you want us dependent on you, because you CAN fulfill us."  THAT IS BEAUTIFUL, and so so true!

Maybe you already know this (whoever you could be, reading this)….but it's pretty freaking profound. 

My wise friend said the other day, Jesus is so good, that even His "No's" are good.  ALSO PROFOUND.  He is the ultimate guider, protecter, pursuer.  If He tells us "no" it is for a darn good reason, even if we aren't allowed to know that reason.

I had an encounter the other day…where I had this really vivid vision.  Actually, honestly, it was more like I was there.  I was at the scene of Jesus being crucified.  It was the most intense, insane experience.  I could see Him.  I was about 100 feet away.  He looked over at me, and I felt Him say, "this wasn't for half of your redemption."



an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.
deliverance; rescue.
Theology . deliverance from sin; salvation.
atonement for guilt.
repurchase, as of something sold.

As I prayed and thought even more on this vision, He said, "It wasn't even for 98%."  HE WANTS TO COMPLETELY REDEEM MY LIFE.  Every facet, piece, dark corner.  He wants to paint on every dream, thought, plan.  That's a fact.  Am I going to let Him? 

I am reading Spirit Wars by Kris Vallotton.  There are a couple different times He says, "We need to know who we are, and WHO's we are."  That is where my identity comes from.  Hopefully from nowhere else.

I'm writing today because I needed to say this stuff out loud.  That I'm HIS.  That I believe His redemption is 100%.  That He is good in His yes and His no.  That I want it all.  That I only want Him.  Really, truly.  That I'm sorry for flirting with anything short of His plans.  That I trust Him. 

Do you?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Clover turns 5.

um, woah. 

Exactly 5 years ago to this day and exact time I was eagerly awaiting a little angel inside my belly.  I couldn't sleep because I had an appointment to have a C-section the next morning.  I had taken shower, packed my bag, checked my bag 4 times over, and gone pee approximately 8 times. 

I laid in bed, smiling, with tears welling up, elated, like a kid before Disneyland, or Christmas.  I was excited.  There is absolutely nothing that compares to meeting your baby for the first time.

I had the smallest twinge of discontentment, knowing that I had "chosen" my daughters date of arrival.  Some part of me wanted the surprise…the God-given, spontaneous, actual due-day.

Right around Midnight on February 11th, 2008, I got my wish, my secret prayer.  I got up to go pee for the 9th time, and my water broke.  This was the day, no matter what, that this punkin would come into the world.

They held off my labor, and we had our beautiful girl around 8:30am.  She was perfect.  Just like her sister.  She was round, with a ton of hair, looked like her Mama, and was hungry. 

I can't believe 5 years have gone by so swiftly.  Some of them have been long, hard years.  Still, so fast.   

Tonight I am humbled, and ever so grateful.  Saying I am blessed does not touch my feelings in the slightest that I get to be a Mama to my girls. When I say there are no words to describe my thankful heart, I mean just that.  I do not know words that could encapsulate a love this huge.

I was a tad worried that if we named her Chloe, I wouldn't have an acceptable, adorable nickname that would be enough to my liking.  I was wrong.

My little angel was crawling around at the very young age of 5 1/2 months, and I just spurted out one day, "Clover, get back here"….CLOVER.  Oh how I wished we had thought of that first.  Just kidding, kind of. 

Oh My Clover. 

You are a heart melter.
You are the sweetest thing.
You are soft.
You are giving.
You are like a spring morning, refreshing, and new.
You bring light with your footsteps.
You encapsulate childlike faith. (I think you always will)
You could get anything with those eyes of yours.
No, I don't mind if you still suck your thumb.
When you grow up you want to be an angel that gives people money. (that's a quote)
You are the light of my life.
I am eternally grateful for you.
You are FREE.
You pray for people spontaneously.
You are a helper.
You are strong.
You are created for worship, and know it.

You make me appreciate life with your every breath.  You show me beauty in ways I have never known.  YOU are my favorite.

Happy 5th Birthday Chloe.  I love you with all my heart.