Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

It's New Year's Eve. New. Years. Eve. 5 years. And this is the year that so many doors shut. So many doors. So much ended. And here I am walking into a new year having no idea. Yet again. But that's okay. Because the old is passing away. Yes, I perceive it. And the new. Yes, the new. Thankful. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016


December is coming...I knew what she meant. December hasn't come in a long time. Yet amidst these long days, a weary girl rejoices. This year has just been long. It's been difficult. Full to the brim of transition. With each end a new beginning. And starts and stops are hard regardless. I have had my share. And I'm learning to shake off the old things. Some that have been for decades. It's freeing and terrifying. Yesterday was the very long end to a very long week and I was at the point of complete and utter exhaustion on every level. So much so that I turned the radio off and just let the silent come in and soothe my heart. The wood was very wet but I got a fire going... A fire. Tiny at first. But a fire. I had dreamed of one in that space for many Decembers. It's been five years. And it seemed pretty dead. Yet when I opened the door that beautiful smell. That amazing glow. December. It came back. And it brought its embers to this girls heart. And there is hope in that. December is coming. Thankful. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Maybe Jesus is just saying no.....and those words so simple and so very to the point rung out in my soul. He was comforting me. And those were the words he knew would make me stop and listen. Don't try and force it.... How many times have I done just that? My wants my dreams my plans. They seem good. They seem like things that surely are the best. But the whole ordeal of this has left me wondering. It's been a few months of wanting something only to have this knowing suspicion that perhaps this isn't the way. And it utterly frustrates me. I have stopped and started this thing for 20 years now. And it seems as though it just may never be. And I'm not quite sure I'm okay with that. I felt a quiet come as we talked it out. Not the answer I wanted. But the answer that gave peace all the same. And I'm no stranger to Jesus just saying no. I'm no stranger to a door shutting I just knew was the one He wanted me to walk through. I'm no stranger to frustration and questioning and waits longer than I ever imagined I could live through. But I am reminded on the other side of a no is a better yes. And I am certain this will be no different. Give thanks in all circumstance has been what has followed me in days of late. And so even in my no I will choose to be thankful. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016


It's Thanksgiving. It's been a long journey  from what holidays once were for me. I come from big family celebrations. And these have been drastically different years. Hard to believe it's been five years to the day that the devastation began. But this year, things have changed. All the destruction and devestation. All the years of literal cringing at the holidays, wanting nothing more than to fast forward through weeks of reminders of the gaping hole left in our lives. We learned to pull together. We learned survival. And then we learned to live again. This year I woke to a beautiful cool sunny morning. Peace in my heart. He has begun the rebuilding. He is repairing all the things. Water slowly rises in the hole in the earth that has given me more grief over the last 4 years. All things new. New wine skins. New beginnings, new challenges, new direction, new love, new family. More than I can put into words. Many have been the stops and starts on this holiday as I look back over the last couple decades. And that has been stiring in my heart. There are things still undone. But I have great faith they will come back. Quiet beginnings. Don't despise the small. And so it begins again, yes. And that word that found me so many years ago. My beautiful reminder that came to stay. Thankful. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016


I'm letting the quiet settle in this morning. Heavens how my souls needs it. This week has felt like a battle ground and tears have been quite abundant. I'm not a stranger to hard things. And I spent a bit of time remembering. Looking back. Wondering. As I'm facing so much hard and unknown yet again, I see He has placed me purposefully. I'm surrounded by so much strength as I walk through so much transition. I'm not doing this alone. And there is peace in that. I'm reminded that growing is never easy. That it is hard and yes, it will involve struggle. I'm trying to see this all with new eyes. New perspective. I'm where I am for a purpose. He's given me all I need to succeeded. He is what I need. And I am finding more and more as I did way back then, the struggle pushes me to Him. Deeper into a knowing. Deeper into a dependence on the One who has the plan. And will I trust Him yet again with a way that seems so very wrong, but has in the past, turned out to be the very best thing? I think I will. And in my own heart that tiny bubble of hope rises again. And I remember that feeling in the midst of the storm. Thankful. 

Monday, November 7, 2016


Change. It's brings anxiety for me. And perhaps much of that is understandable. It has been a long few years of constant change. It began on a Thursday afternoon and feels like it hasn't stopped since. It's like a roller coaster you can't get off. And I've lost a lot. But I have gained ten fold. And as much as I let the waves of worry sweep over me I was reminded yesterday. I went shopping. I was hesitant. But I needed some things. I saw someone I hadn't seen in a few years. Our children were the reason we knew each other. She was asking about things. And I found myself talking frankly about the last few years. Some things she had no idea. And the conversation ended with her saying she admired what I had come through and looked how it made me strong. Yes. I took note that as I spoke of the past, they were words telling of God's faithfulness. They were resonating right back into my own soul of how far He has brought me. And the thing that caught my attention was how those old wounds really have healed. To speak of all the things with no tears, no pain, just a sharing of what I walked, has never happened in that way. No anger. No upset. Just a recount of how things aren't always perfect. But that God's grace is. The words reminded me that even when I have no idea of the outcome, He uses all things. Because I am His child. On the good days and the hard days and the days I fall way short. I. Am. His. As I am facing such an unknown coming my way, this week I'll be reminded of my word. The one that found me so very long ago. And it will be my focus this week. Thankful. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016


Days. 4 years. On a Tuesday. I slipped the past off and stared at an uncertain future. I did everything You asked.... And my answer came in the most certain whisper deep in my soul. Will you trust Me still, believe Me still even when things don't work out the way you expected? Even still? Yes. That was my answer. And I had no earthly idea what I was saying yes to. Perhaps I would have run the other way had I known. Yet today, looking out at the beautiful weather, sunk full of dishes, I am grateful. Grateful for those He has given me to love along this road. Grateful for the girl I became in spite of myself. This strength. No longer a shell of a soul. Full. Thankful. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016


The cold is here. I wore my boots. I settled in. Winter. So much being pruned. I feel it. It's uncomfortableness wrap hard around me. But something I've learned over these last five years....don't turn from it. Let it settle. Bear up under it and let Him have His way. Days of quiet lately and I'm allowed the grace of caring for those He has given. And I'm thankful for that mercy. Thankful for the ones who share my days. Learning grace all over again with the sandpaper people. Yes. So much change. But I'm reminded of the beauty of the people He has given me to surround myself with. My right now. Precious loves that I am so humbled to care for. Ones He has trusted to me. Thankful. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

He Sees

Her words pierced me. And while I'm sure she didn't have any malice behind them, there was judgement. It's something I have been struggling with. And to hear someone say you are a Christian, so why? We tend so often to believe there are levels of sin, those God accepts and those that cause others to whisper behind our back. We accept gossip that God calls an abomination and choose to point out the bigger ways people are failing. I've been desperately guilty of it. And over the past few months greatly convicted of it. God has reminded me in my struggle that we all have struggles. We are all in need of His saving. And His grace. Our words are powerful swords. And our pride makes us believe that if we "follow all the rules" that somehow the little sins don't count. Jesus didn't come to make rules. When we obey His command to love one another those rules tend to fall into place anyways. Following the law without love being the catalyst becomes difficult. Like a checklist. But it leaves us empty. That was never meant to be the thing to fill us. Love God with all your heart. And love your neighbor as yourself. Sounds simple. It's the hardest thing I've ever encountered. But if I've learned anything over the last five years of my life it's that love never fails. Thankful. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

31 Days

This is the first year in a while I have not managed to do all of the 31 days of writing. Things are different. Life is different. And though the words build up, it's quite something else to put pen to paper, to express what's happening, all the changes, and what that means for me. I'm coming out of a year of hard change. A year of opening doors and a year of doors shutting. A year of rest in some ways and growth in others. Fighting those old things that haunt, letting go of the old and pressing into the new. As things bubbles to the surface one thing I knew is that I had to walk away from social media for a while. It was just not where I needed to be. I need to be here, in front of my life, living my life. Sharing it with the ones I have been blessed with. Giving my time and efforts to those things. So I'm not sure how this 31 days will actually look. I'm ok with that too. Fall is coming. I can feel it in the air. I can sense the change. It wakes me. It makes me look up. It sends anticipation throughout my brain. And I have not felt that in years. There is no heavy weight of worry. How will things go, how must I plan so that everything is just perfect. Just the desire to slow and take it all in. To let it settle deep into my heart. To accept that I'm still very much a work in progress. When stone is being sculpted, the big heavy major work is hard and loud and big. Chunks of structure pulled down and chopped off until that solid piece looked nothing like it had in the past. The raw form finally recognizable. And then it begins. The slow chipping. The agonizingly small methodical detail laid to make it what it was meant to be. What the Creator saw all along. His masterpiece. The work of His hands. This long process, I feel it in my heart. Years of the stripping and chipping away of all the things that bound the girl He wants me to be. Slow work. Necessary work. Thankful. 

Friday, September 23, 2016


This is the fifth year that I have walked this road. The one I didn't choose. The one I never wanted. The one that changed me and made me who I am today. Blessings inside of destruction. This is the 4th year I have walked standing on my own. Learning that I can do hard things. That they won't destroy me. This is the third year that everything stopped looking like what it was that carried me through those days of becoming. Where things fell away again and I was left standing still. This is the second year when things began again. A new life unfolded. And I moved on into this new life. This is the first year of a journey that is just beginning. It's hard and I have no idea what's coming. And most days I want to run. Because fear....well, we are old friends. But not this time. No. Thankful. 

Friday, September 9, 2016


It's a slow process for me. This healing. And if I'm honest, the heal required a whole lot more breaking than I imagined. She texted out of the blue. I knew then it was a set up. God's own. He does that. I smiled. Remember? She asked. I surely do. And these string of days that are quiet they aren't an accident. It's just the uncovering of many months of healing. The beginning when the brand new strong places are still soft. But they are ready to be uncovered. Ready for light. Ready to go forward. Healed. Fresh eyes. New perspective. But the history that helped make you who you are today. He brings us what we need when we go forward. Not necessarily what we want. I've been resistant to some things of late. And I know it's His own timing. So much new ahead and it scares me. I know I can't possibly do this. Perhaps that's the whole point. He calls us to the impossible. And He reveals His strengths in our weaknesses. Back round. Humbled under His hand. I am familiar now with this. And though it slightly gives me pause I know this time. I know. The girl who gets up from this is not the same. Thankful. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016


It's the day. My day. The one I struggle with. The one that has made me feel less than. The one that is forever a reminder. But it's mine. It's been five years since this day, my day was on a Saturday. It began with hard work that would be life changing. It ended with the reality that my world was crumbling. I look back now at how much has happened and how far I've come. How much I've learned. How the struggle changed me. And I wouldn't go back. Not even for a second. There is much ahead. Much more to this life. It's the first morning in quite a while all is silent. Everyone is at peace. And I had plenty of time to wake up on my own. Plenty of time to let the blessings soak in. This is the second one of my days I've gotten to share with my one. My own. One that left my card right where he knew I'd first go in the morning. Because he knows me. He hates to see me sad or hurting so he sends me unexpected flowers just so I'll smile. Just because. These are the days I prayed for. These are the days I wondered if they would ever come. And they did. Yes. And so I'm going to let this rest and peace settle in deep today. No looking back. No. Only forward. Thankful.

Friday, August 26, 2016


He remembers we are dust....those words settled deep in my heart this morning. He remembers who we are, what we are made of. And He is faithful. Even when we are not. Even when we fall. Even when we think what in the world is the purpose for all this. He remembers. Fall is coming. I can feel it. It's still hot and muggy outside, but change is heavy in the air. And it's translating to more areas than just the weather. Everything is different. Not one thing like before. And all these new things springing up, yes Lord, I do perceive it. The realization that things have changed. My world, my responsibilities, my children, my relationships. Me. And though I walked quite a while with things feeling quite like walking a dessert, He's bring some things right back round, yes. He does that. Something things revisited that I realize I have no answers to. Those things I must let go. But then others, quite unexpected grace.  I've had days of quiet. Beautiful days. Pressing in and pressing forward. I've had to let go of the things I have held so tightly to so I could find some rest. Some peace. Me. So I could find myself again. Above all else I wanted to remain humble Lord. The hardest thing of all. To love others more than myself. The lesson you taught me all these years. You alone are my provision. Thankful. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


My youngest began college yesterday. College. No school supplies or first day drop offs or fee bills. For the love, no fee bills. It was a very quiet and unassuming start. And I breathed. I got them to functional humanhood. The adulting shall come later. Baby steps. No need to rush it. Because, bless, it WILL come. Such transition. Such change. Such new that really isn't. We just walked on through that door. I was secretly happy on more levels than I imagined. I've mothered for 20 years. And I took a breath. I opened my hands again with my last one. There is a joy in that. I let the sadness of it go a long while back. They can do hard things. Because we have. We sure have. And they have it in them. To be amazing people. To love and give and change the world around them. And regardless of it all, I'll always be mom. Home. Thankful. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Psalm 91

Hidden. That was the word. And I wanted to be. There have been times that I wanted so desperately to be anything but. And looking back I see the great growing that came from it. Hidden. Under His wing. Laid low under His hand. And it made no sense. Yet in hindsight it taught me. Where to return to when the whole world keeps spinning so fast I can hardly breath. Return, He said. Thankful. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Five years. That's how very long it's been. My life was changing in drastic ways. God was preparing me, even though He was destroying all that was. Protection. Wrapped in loss, betrayal, heartbreak. He set me in a place that was new. He surrounded me. I had to grow into the skin of the girl I would become. And that was not easy. The ones I walked with have all fallen away. And I have made peace with that. It's not wise to hold onto things well past when we should have opened our hands. A time. A season. The open door that saved me is closing, yes. And as much as I had planned to do it a certain way, life happens. My life. Five years later things are very different. So very different. But the pressing, the entering into new is certainly not. I find myself here yet again. The old closing. The new waiting. Thankful. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Thin Blue Line

I'm not a news watcher. I haven't been for a number of years. It's too much. Perhaps that is naive of me in some ways. But mostly it feels like self preservation. Soul preservation. And it just keeps getting worse. I hear about the news. The place I go to each day, my family away from home, deals with every one of the ugly things that happen in this world. Yesterday morning I heard the news. And it broke my heart. The building I walk into everyday is where those that protect and serve come and go. They are real people with real lives. Real stories. Real families. They are flesh and blood behind that uniform. They work what they love, what they were meant to do. And it takes everyone pulling together to make it happen every person doing their job so they can get up and go out each day and answer the calls that keep us all safe. They work endless hours, miss important events, drop meals mid way through, if the need arises. They see and hear things that people just shouldn't. They are cussed at, lied to, spit on, hit, and wrestled with at times trying to do their job. Keeping you safe. I have been the one at home waiting for a phone call. And for the last couple years, I have been in the other side, seeing first hand what all happens in the day to day. The people I went to work with became my family. You have good and bad, fights and arguments, misunderstandings and hurt feelings. But you have those who quicker than you can turn around, have your back. No matter what. They are those that hold your hand, make you food, heal your wounds and spend hours consoling broken hearts. Your family too. It's not a job you leave at a building. Not something you turn off at 5 pm. It's who you are. It's in you. It's a beautiful calling. It's a terrifying one at that. I rode the elevator up to my space yesterday. I shared the ride with a mother and daughter. I smiled. My own child sits on the floor below where I began. With the people who are my own. With the ones who love him too and huddle around and pour their knowledge into him. Helping him to become what I know God made him to be. In this world that's a scary thing. That's my baby. My youngest child. But I know that it's the ones like him that are game changers. World changers. And it's those that let you sleep at night. I walk the halls each day that are filled with the ones who live out the beauty of scripture...No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.” John 15:13 AMP
They live and breathe it. They would not hesitate. Thankful. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


It's really early. I just can't sleep. So here I am, wide awake with a pen in one hand and my phone in the other. Most days it's hard to write really. My journal feels more like a log than anything else. This is what normal is....real life....? The last decade has felt anything but real. The things we walked though still leave me shaking my head. This morning I slipped into the den quietly and laid on the couch. I haven't done this in quite a while. But I remember how it used to be almost a daily occurance, when sleep seemed like an ability that I had lost forever. When the quiet of the pre-dawn pressed in and it felt like this was my only peace, because who knew what the day was going to hold. These were the days I learned to pray. The whispers of words. The hollowing out of all that pain. These were the days that I learned how to breathe by running. It saved me. I look at myself in the mirror and I see a very different girl. So many years have passed since those horrible days...weeks...months. And the normal I prayed for quietly found itself right at my doorstep. New. Nothing like I dreamed. Yet the thing that I learned most about me is how to get back to center. How to come back to the quiet. How to settle my soul. The storms of life come. I learned how to swim. So much was lost in the fire that consumed my life. Yet so much lovely has grown. So much more. So I'm sitting here on a morning much like the years of the past. Only they aren't. These are the days of change as well. But He has equipped me. He has made me strong. Able. And He gave the the ability to love. Thankful. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


On the 5th day in the 5th year I took it back. I think I had stood frozen for so long out of fear. Fear that it would be harder than it was. Fear that I couldn't open up a can of worms....because I knew how that usually turned out. And also frustration. Why this hoop Lord? Why can't they just follow through for once? So my irritation had built long and high until it overflowed and I determined to find the answer. And I got it. And it cost me something, but it was small in comparison to how it felt the moment I walked out totally free. Last string. Letting go for me has been a long process. It's been terrifying and confusing at times but also I've learned a lot. I'm not the same girl I was before. No,not in the least. And today it became my own. My own responsibility. My promise. Thankful. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

The 4th in the 5th year

This is a big holiday for my family. Has been for almost a decade. We all began coming back together. My dad is the youngest of 10. We spent almost each summer weekend at the river house as the kids got older. And then the 4th was the big cookout. 2012 brought about horrific changes no one saw coming. My cousin was diagnosed only months before with a brain tumor. He passed away that March. The hole was gaping. And the death of my marriage came two short months before. Suddenly. Like a death. Never expecting what was about to happen. Literally, in a span of hours, my world would never be the same again.  And the pain of the 4th and how much it showed everything we had lost that year proved too much. I could hardly stand the questions, the looks the are going to be just fine' was the very first day I ran 4 miles. It was hot and 8 am that day. Probably not my best decision. But it made me believe I could do this. I could go forward. I could keep breathing. The next year was just as hideous as the previous. We were still desperately trying to find our way. And it was more than we could take for very long. 2014 was a year that God was bringing healing to my heart. New changes in my life. A new job. New direction. My girl graduated. And it was truly a year I was finding myself. And I was ok with me. This was MY family. And  they were my people. And I could be there on my own. They didn't require anything of me. They loved ME. Last 4th, I had just gotten devestating news again the day before, but I had also just taken the very first step into a new life. I just didn't know it yet. I had a date. The one I had waited for. The one I was unsure would ever come. But it did. He did. And I debated about going to the river for quite some time. But I packed it up and went. And it just let myself take in all that had transpired over so many years. All that had come and gone. All that was found and lost and found again. This year, the 5th year, my word how time goes....I'll take both my guys to the river with me. One has been going since he was a little. The other will be introduced to all my big loud crazy family. And they will love him. Because I love him. And I'm learning that this circle that is life keeps going. Thankful. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

On Day One

I am happy. I realized this fact today when I looked at my eyes in the mirror. I let go of all the "should do's" swirling round in my head this week and I ran. For my whole lunch hour. I just ran. And I felt like myself again. Today marks the turning point in my life I thought that may not come. A year ago on this date my world shifted. I just didn't know it yet. A year ago on this day, a Friday it was, my world completely changed. Everything I knew was changed and it brought me to my knees. Not again....this can't be. I can't go through this again. And I let myself cry, but it settled. And when the shock wore off I knew the only thing to do was keep moving. Keep on going forward with my day. And who knew....who knew. It would be the very same day that as one door closed and other one opened wide. It was the day that changed everything. As I opened my hands to let a big part of my heart go, I got another piece right back. And there are days when missing that beautiful piece that had to make her own way in this world and the ache of that hole is enough to take my breath away, but the new piece has grown and changed me in ways I never believed possible. It's hard to love. Especially when you've been hurt, let down, had your trust betrayed, and been left alone. But sometimes someone so amazing comes right along and fills that space so completely you begin to see that there is good. There is love. There is truth. There is forever. Thankful. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016


It's beautiful out. It's the holiday weekend. This month that has left me exhausted yet again seems to be finding its way to an end. And this journey that has taken up so many years of my life seems to be finally coming to an end as well. I am so very ready. For a time it was all buried. I don't think I realized how much I still lived in fear. And when it all came crashing down again I began to have to face it. It's been a year of that. Facing fear, pressing through. Doing hard things that felt impossible. Yes, it's been quite a year. I think He needed to change me, to grow me, so I could come face to face with the horror and not let it destroy me once again. So I could make the choice I needed to make. Feeling the anger isn't wrong. Letting it change you, control you, well that is. There is so much ahead of me. So much goodness. I can feel it bubbling up. I can feel it with anticipation. And it makes me smile. I have so very much to be thankful for. I came across the 27th psalm this morning. My favorite one...the Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear...I am still confident of this. I WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living..yes. I will. He is faithful. Thankful. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

What Do You Hear

It's a quiet morning. After a long week, I'm letting it settle in. I have realized along this road there are questions that perhaps will never have answers. Things I will just never understand. And I'm deciding that it is ok. I look around at what I do have. I look around at what survived and came from the fire. And I realize that there are some days that we need only pick one thing to be grateful for  let that be the focus. God loves me enough to never give up on me. He never quit. He walked me through a decade of literal hell. And I came out the other side. Different. Changed. And there are those with their words that want to tie you down and bind you up to make you small. To keep you from becoming. And those are the days I turn my headphones up just a little louder. And I run just a little faster. That girl doesn't live here anymore. And fear has no place. Thankful. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Somehow it just turned into the day that I realized I was right where I needed to be. I was in the place He wanted me. This was my calling. And all the things that make me doubt and all the things that keep me awake and all the things that make me feel like I'm not enough, somehow all those things fade and I know. Every experience, every long day, everything that made me wonder why, it had a purpose. And I have not arrived and I still surely battle on the hard days, but I am learning that God's grace, His mercy, is new. Every morning without fail. Get back up baby girl. It's a new day. And there is so much to be done. Thankful. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mother Letters

You were the game changer. You challenged everything I knew, everything with you was brand new. All the days and nights....months of sleeplessness I believed I couldn't survive. You were the one that made me fierce. You were the one that made me find my voice. You were the one who pushed me into something I didn't even know I wanted to do. You were the one who made me challenge doctors when they said something was wrong. I knew better. And I was right. You were the one who made me know I could trust myself to know what was best for you and your sister. I could do things differently than the way I grew up. It could be different for you.  You were the happiest one with all the sweet chunkiness that a baby could hold. You had the biggest blondest curls that ever existed. I cried at your first hair cut. You had and still do the most unique blue eyes, my eyes. My great grandaddy's eyes. You are the spitting image of my dad. And you have a gentle quiet about you like your Big Paw Paw. You were the first boy. And on one side, the only boy. You were born with a forgiving heart. The rarest of them all. You have always done things in your own time and your own way, taking it all in. 

You didn't talk until you were three and a half. You didn't have to. As much as your sister could manage to get her way using you as the ruse, she was never going to let you do without anything. You didn't have to speak. She knew what you wanted with just a look. We worried and lost sleep for months. We took you to speech therapy and you happily played with all the Legos. Your hearing was fine. You were fine. And the one day she busted out that echoing megaphone, you showed us you knew all along. You were just waiting for the right time. Your own time. That has been true for you in every area, every stage of your life. You have accomplished more than I could have ever dreamed for you. You did it without complaining, you made your dreams a reality and so much more. Certainly this road was nothing like I dreamed it would be. But maybe it's everything we needed. Maybe it's what got us here. And maybe that's really ok. In two short weeks you will be done with high school. My youngest. My baby. I can't hardly wrap my mind around it, yet somehow, it's exactly the right time. You were the best unexpected gift I never knew I needed. Yet God did. He gave you to me at just the right moment. I am so very proud of your accomplishments. So very proud of who you are and everything you will become. I love you. Thankful. 
Photo credit: Rachel Lindell Photography

Saturday, April 23, 2016


My boy had his last ROTC award banquet a couple weeks ago.  We have been through four. And they have all been bitter sweet. His entire high school career has felt like we were wading through so much. Trying to just survive at first. Unsure of it all. That program was a salvation of sorts. It gave him direction and guidance and structure in school. I had worried so when he went to high school. My sweetest boy with the biggest heart. So very quiet. He of course had my girl right there with him for the first couple years. And she is fierce. You didn't mess with his without going through her she was his defender. She was his protection. Turns out he would do just fine. God placed him right square in the place he needed to be. Funny how that happens....He puts us where we need to be when we may have other ideas altogether. I wanted a front table. I wanted to be able to see him and get pictures. This was his senior year. And he has done so much. And the awards came, and he got his share, but it was the little disheveled new freshman that made his way up early, stood by our table, introduced himself and then proceeded to sit right down beside us. He was there alone it seemed. And he needed a table to sit at as well. And I had to choke back to tears....the first will be last......I had sought to be first and God reminded me in His economy there are much more important things than the most awards and recognition. As I had chosen that table for other reasons, He reminded me of what I seem to have forgotten lately. His plans may be completely different than ours. Will we see our purpose, our true reason for being there or be too consentrated on what we feel like should be? Will we let Him gently correct our way of seeing things? Will we let go of pride and let Him reveal the things that need work in our own hearts? I'm finding myself facing these questions more and more in a month that has held more ups and downs, more stops and starts than any other one in a year. Two years ago this day held the brand new start that would just be the beginning for me while it held and end to something God had placed in my heart. I just didn't know it then. And the walk through that has been long. His ways are not ours. And I am learning yet again to live with open hands. To let go of the fear that threatens to overtake and be still and know. He is God. Thankful. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016


It was a long rainy week. Lots of things going on that made my world stop in a way. Tending to need of the ones put here for me to care for and love. And that is my heart. That is who I am. And in this part of my life I am allowed to be that, to give that. And I own it. This morning as I sit in the coolness with the sun shining brightly He reminds still.....yes. These battles raging against and around.....He will fight, be still. And I remember days and verses of so long ago. Years where I felt unended and out of place and just not quite right. Years where I wondered....wandered....waiting. I can take a breathe now and just be myself. I spent half my life fighting for.....and now it seems with the rest I can simply be the girl that walked out of the fire. Thankful. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

When Sunday Comes

It's Easter Sunday. I've typically avoided traditional routines for the last few years. It was too much. And I had not been able to escape that hollow, empty feeling.  It's a strange thing being in the middle of a crowd yet feeling like you are all but invisible.  The crowds of people and yet still, I went home alone.  And somehow I couldn't escape it. Last year was the first year that something was changing in me.  I bought my girl and I new dresses and the boy, he dressed up too.  It was a Saturday night service we attended. And for the first time it felt solid. I felt ok. Something was changing.  The next day on Easter Sunday was the day God began pulling me through a new door.  I had no idea what that  next year would bring to me.  Let go....He was saying and oh how I tried.  This has been a year of huge change for me. Again, nothing left untouched in my world.  It's hard to find yourself again in a place of uncertain. Yet here I am. It's hard to find yourself in a place of new and uncharted, yet again, here I stand.  He's whispering again.....Let go... Shut it off, turn it down, lift your head and go.  Stop looking back. Yes....the hardness, the bitter root that comes when you look at it all face to face and question why.  I've done that a lot in the last few years. On the days where nothing made sense I asked again and again, for the love, why?? And there will always be the questions without answers. There will always be the things that will never make sense this side of heaven. And I see the silver strand of goodness laced through this journey. And I am amazed most days that He has turned all that into all this.  I think looking back so often bring the exhaustion.  Looking back at what was the past causes me to stumble going forward.  And this rain....days and days of this....holding me in a place I do not quite like. No not at all. Because the stillness sets in and I have to face things I perhaps would just rather run out instead of look at. If He removes it, then it was not needed. And open hands do not mean lack. The letting go provides the means to take hold of new.  Thankful.

Friday, March 25, 2016


It's Good Friday. I'm scrubbing floors. That's a good thing. I've been looking forward to the quiet and for the opportunity to make things clean again. The chance to slow down. To settle. It's overcast and rainy and everything feels hushed. It lets me think. Truly pause and open up my heart and let it all out. Tears mixed with warm soapy water. No one will notice. And I can just have a moment without trying to hold it all together like I sometimes do. I am overwhelmed with the mix of utter gratefulness this week has brought and the sting of regret mixed with sadness on some levels too....vinegar and water....all twined together. Four long years it has been. The death of things brought the birth of others. That is not lost on me. And the beauty that has come from all those ashes....things salvaged from the fire of what consumed my entire is never what I planned in my wildest dreams yet some of it was my dream. There is no joy without pain. Heartache means that we did love and makes loving all the more sweater. It softens our hearts and makes our responses kinder. It reminds us we are human and so is everyone else. It's is grace given when grace was heaped on our own heads more times than we can count, And so I want to clean more that my floors. I want to let my heart have some time of its own to let it all out. The sadness, the regret, the bitter roots that have no place. And let Him wash it clean with the Living Water He brought to us this very day. It is a Good Friday. Thankful.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

5 Minute Friday- Forget

Forget.... Forget the former things He has been saying. All the new things they have indeed been springing up. But what I find is that as I walk into the new those old things flood back. And I remember. And the fear grips me hard. And for just one moment it sinks in and I think I can't possibly walk even one step that way again. And then He whispers....forget. New things springing up. Ray burst forth. And it's the bursting I think that takes me by surprise, yes. Fearful of new because quite honestly, new wasn't always good. Yet He worked it for my good. And I find myself in this place of forgetting while still trying to remember all His goodness. New things are born from pain. Thankful.

What Do You Hear

It's been the longest of weeks. The quiet has escaped me. And even on the days I could rest, my mind wakes going with all the things I should be doing. I read a verse that stopped me. Reminded me of all that I have to do really....Worry about yourself.... Not what everyone else is or isn't doing. But what is it that you are called to? What is it that I am tasked with? It's all shifted for me. All of it. And finding my bearings in the harvest is so much harder than I dreamed. But He knew that. He knows me. And the overflow came quickly. It settled deep into my heart....

 “..What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The GOD of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, GOD will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places— firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭58:9-12‬ ‭MSG‬‬

He told me those word long ago. In the first year. In the hardest of times. Restore...rebuild.....renovate.  Perhaps He was speaking as much about my heart as He was my life, yes. It is my answer on the hardest of days. You will....thankful.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

In the 4th Year

It is the fourth year. That somehow has its own significance. This was the fourth year of my very first long run. My first race. I remembered that morning well. And I smiled as I hit the snooze button on my alarm. This year, the new ones were joining me. I was the one who had been there before. I would take them with me. This year brought challenges to my run I had never encountered. And they filled my mind. It affected my entire journey. This run was not pleasant. I didn't leave it all on the road. I carried it with me. And it was heavy. It made things difficult at best. But at the end, because good or bad I did finish, for the first time ever in this crazy journey, I wasn't there alone. For the first time ever, one was there to greet me with a kiss and say good job. I have always been the single girl. Always been the tag along since I began this journey and running became a part of my life. But not this time. Not in the 4th year. And I realized that sometimes we get something other than what we believed was the right answer. How will we love in that circumstance. Will we take what we are given, see it as God's best, and love with all our hearts??  Will we accept what He takes and realize that perhaps it is His best. For each of us. He promised to fill this space again. He promised me. I had visions. So did He. And I was surround yesterday with brand new. As hard as my run was, something beautiful met me at the end. What I had always wanted. My own person waiting for me. So it was in fact, the best run ever. Thankful.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


It's a quiet, cold Saturday morning. I slept much later than I anticipated. But that's ok. It's been one of those weeks where you were just glad to get to Friday and take a breath. I can feel the tension go as I sit here and realize I'm not on a schedule this morning. I love the quiet of the mornings. Everything still settled in. This weekend is a flurry of activity. And that's beautiful. Filled with excitement. This year has already brought so much change, so much new. Already into the second month. And this year He has pushed me well out of my comfort. Well out of any hint of routine. I struggle with that. It's hard for me to embrace. Yet I trust Him. There is no perfect, but there is  the ability to love and serve those around you. And as that changes too, I find He has to change my heart yet again to adapt. New levels, new people, new sandpaper..... New levels of smoothing off rough spots before we go onto the next round. A work in progress. But it progress all the same. He still working. Thankful. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Yes and Amen

He's been speaking to me all week. Whispering the verses of so very long ago. When I first believed, first started my walk. I was 22 years old. I had no idea what I would face all these years of walking. Ups and downs, starts and stops, back rounds. And as much as most days my prayers are similar in nature because So. Much. Change. I remember that's all it takes really. And He reminds with with solid truth. Solid words that have held me for more years than it feels like I want to count. He has the plan, not me. It's not for my destruction although I have been in places that felt like the very breath had been stolen from my body. It's for my good. Even the hardest days are Romans 8:28 days. And so much lately with Genesis 50:20. People can mean things for harm can't they? Not have our best interest. Not have good intentions. But God uses all that for good. All of it. Even the worst parts of it. He doesn't throw away the bruised spots. I'm thankful for every day He's has brought me through. I'm thankful that I have learned so much along the way. And I'm thankful He loves me way to much to let me set for too long. There is so much to do. And He's got a plan. My answer need only be yes and amen. Thankful. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


This year is slipping by so very quietly and unassuming. Such big changes yet I'm taking them all in quietly. I used to let them drown me. All the fears rushing in at once. Now I have learned to stand quietly and let them crash loudly all around because like the waves of water that come, loud crashes and roars, the gentlest of water washes up to your feet. So much He has given me. So many changes. So very much taken but even more given to replace and it is humbling. And that's beautiful. I learned to stoop low in the beginning. I learned that small isn't a place where you stay. It's a place you return to quiet your very soul. To hear His words when things aren't so very small anymore. Yes, those days don't stay forever. It's purpose served. It's forever embedded in my heart. Thankful. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Back Round

The cold bit into me as I ran. I saw the million stars shining as I did. It's been a long long while since I ran in that place on a cold winter night. Over three years. Funny how all of a sudden He called me back round to a thing I had pretty much been okay with doing a different way. And being there on that night, well, I just couldn't help but remember. I feel as though I have slightly lost sight of the girl that I fought so hard to find. But that air and that place, it all came right back. I've had the best and worst moments of my life there in the past few years. My defining moments. It's what God used to change everything for me. It was my salvation and my hiding place. It's where I met people who would change my life forever. It's where I was when the bottom fell out. It's where I was heading to, years later, when God opened the door of my heart again. Those stars, that sky, that ground, have seen my best and my worst   I have cried a million tears and said a million prayers looking up, and face down. It is where I learned that the physical and the spiritual in my life are very intertwined. It's what helped make me, me. It's where I learned to run. It saved me while He broke me. I ran it last night thinking oh how the years change everything. Especially me. And while I stopped looking back a while ago, because so much amazing is ahead of me, I did look at the girl that was. And I wanted to tell her that this horrible awful beautiful ride would make her so much more than she ever dreamed. She would loose so very much. But she would gain so very much more. So much more. Every tear caught. Every prayer heard. And under that same night sky I smiled again. Thankful. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Trusted with Trouble

I came across a sermon today, one by TD Jakes. The reference to Joel 2:25 caught my attention. Has it really been almost 4 years.....yes it has. I never belived I would survive much less have what I have today. He trusted me with trouble. He knew what I was capable of when I did not. He knew what it would take to change me, to pull me out of the desperate place I found myself. He trusted me. It's hard to wrap my mind around those agonizingly slow days. The ones with no end and no answer. But for the Hand of God..... So I sit here in the very same spot and older wiser girl. One changed in ways that most never experience. That's a gift. I have learned to see it as such. All that was lost will be restored. Just wait, trust and go forward. Thankful.