Wednesday, March 14, 2018


I wrote this in my journal a while back, after a challenging time with my little guy. I continue to learn and see that grief is rarely definable nor the same from one experience of it to the next. This is what grief looked and felt like that day, in that moment.


Surprising, unexpected 
overwhelming waves
big things, small things
hard and important things.

Skills gained and not yet gained and 
wonder if they ever will be gained.
Big wins, big losses
hard conversations.
Exhausted coach and referee.
Daily life.

Wonder if I'm doing enough
when I see him struggle
others struggle with him.

Broken heart at lost dreams.
Repaired heart with new ones.
And hope.
And pride.
And love.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Even though I started this journey of hunting for #ValentinesFromAbove during Lent two years ago, I still find it the most impactful, enriching and encouraging way for me to observe Lent. I already relate to the sacrifice of Christ more in this season of parenting two littles and working outside the home full-time, as well as being the only parent in our home with paid time off to cover all of the sick days, school early releases and days off from school. A lot sits on my shoulders, and that's okay, but I don't need to add to that unnecessarily. 

What I need every year during Lent is a reconnection to God's amazing, beautiful, personal
love for me; which is what fueled Christ to sacrifice Himself in our place on the cross to pay for our sins, in the first place. I need to be reminded of how well God knows me, loves me and wants to show me that He's with me all the time. I need to be shown the beauty of His creation and presence and perfect timing and plans and looking and waiting and watching helps me do that.

Looking for and recording #ValentinesFromAbove make me feel loved and seen and cherished by my loving Father in heaven. Sometimes the things that come make me laugh and sometimes they make me cry and mostly they just move me closer to my Daddy's heart. It's there I can hear and feel the rhythm of His heartbeat, feel his warm and peaceful breath on my head as I lay on His chest, and it's here that I can best hear when He whispers.

I want to invite and encourage you to try this as part of your participation in Lent, as we anticipate with hope for the return of our King and celebrate and share the Good News of all He did when He was here on earth.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Holiday Hodgepodge

It should not come as a surprise to anyone I know well that I've been in a little bit of a funk off and on since I had our baby girl in May. Things have gotten better, but it has been a struggle, for my mental, emotional and spiritual strength.

With Valentine's Day coming this weekend, Lent starting today and a genuine desire and need to reconnect with Jesus, I write to you this holiday hodgepodge that God inspired in me this morning.

My family of origin did not "do Lent" (or Advent, for that matter). We grew up with faith in God and attending church as important parts in our family and lives, but these more formal traditions were not part of my faith practice. I don't know if I've ever "successfully" given anything up for Lent. This morning as I loaded my car with all of our stuff, to get the kids to daycare and myself to work, I saw the most beautiful sunrise happening!

As I got Zachary out to the vehicle, I stopped, pointed and said, "Look at the pink and purple sky! It's so pretty - and God painted it just for us, it's an early valentine! YAY JESUS!" (he's really into saying "yay" for anything he likes) I smiled huge, he smiled huge and I loaded up Sophia and we were on our way. After dropping off the kids, I was thinking about today being the start of Lent and that I just can't imagine giving anything up right now... Not when life has so often felt like survival mode and filled with sacrifices the last 8 months.

Here's where the holiday hodgepodge comes in. God seemed to stir in me this thought: What if instead of giving something up, I look for a valentine from Him every day. A valentine is a gesture, gift or words shared to let someone know you care about them and love them. It is not given with the expectation of return. Sounds a lot like grace to me! Then I thought about how I really like scavenger hunts. If Lent leads up to Easter, maybe this could be a giant Easter egg hunt. I could be on the look out for God's reminders of love for the next 40 days.

As I listened to the radio and prayed on my way to work, they talked about how the sacrifice offered during Lent can help us reflect on the sacrifice God gave for us through Jesus. That is very true. For me though, I already feel so connected with sacrifice and struggle, it's not really the component of my faith that seems to be lacking. It's my genuine response to God's love daily, sometimes moment by moment. I feel like I have lost touch with some of the things I love so much about who God has made me to be and that makes me sad and frustrated.

God nudged me to please look for His gestures of love, His valentines every day of lent this year. When Easter comes, my heart will hopefully be as equally connected to the love that the sacrifice was given out of (as it is to the sacrifice itself).

So there you have it, Valentine's Day, Lent and Easter egg hunts all come together here! May the next 40 days prepare your heart to connect to the God who loves you so much, just as you are, that He was willing to offer His son Jesus in your place. Since we can't earn our way to heaven, He became The Way for us. I'd love to talk with you or write to you more about this, if you're interested, please let me know!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Vegan Rainbow Roast Recipe

Fall is all about the changing colors, and for me, it's all about using root vegetables in creative and fun ways, too!

Here's a recipe that is family-friendly and pretty easy to put together. If you have other root vegetables you want to swap out or add in, it's a very gracious recipe and I think pretty much any combination would deliver deliciousness to you and yours.

Here's what I did, follow along if you'd like!

Cube all of the following root veggies:
4 small red potatoes - washed, not peeled
3-4 peeled carrots with ends cut off
3-4 peeled parsnips with ends cut off (these are the long white carrot-looking things you find at farmer's markets)
1 onion
3-4 small beets, peeled with ends cut off

Put together in your favorite Pyrex dish (I think I used the 1.5 Quart size), stir together with enough extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat the veggies. Season with a sprinkle of Kosher salt, stir again.

Put it in the oven at 375, with the glass lid on for 30 minutes. Stir and top with a sprig of rosemary, putting the lid back on and baking for another 30 minutes (or until vegetables are fork tender).

That's it! It's savory, with a little sweet from the beets, and tastes of everything fall!

And your kids don't need to know it's vegetables, just call it Rainbow Roast! Enjoy!
I had the wonderful opportunity to guest post a few weeks ago on The Ruth Experience again. I wrote about: 



Monday, January 20, 2014

Should I be a First-Responder?

When I think of a First Responder, I think of the Police and Fire Departments, Nurses, Doctors, Paramedics and so on. This morning, I was thinking about another perspective to consider that I wanted to share. Have you ever thought of this applying to whether or not you respond outwardly to your first emotional response to something?

I was thinking about that this morning. As women, especially, we've heard talks at retreats and possibly read blogs, articles or even books about keeping our emotions in check and not allowing them to be in control. As an extremely expressive emotional person, I understand the concept and have read and heard messages about this, but I'm only starting to really understand the application and what it means for me recently. I am realizing that it's okay to have really big emotions about things, and also that I don't need to be a "first responder" and share my full emotions or respond with equal volume to the degree of which I'm feeling whatever it is that I'm feeling. For example, if my reaction is stress or frustration and I'm feeling nearly run over internally by the intensity of that feeling, I do not need to express that externally right away (bombarding those around me with hearing about my unprocessed/unfiltered stress or frustration).

My goal for this year is to become a healthier person, especially regarding having a healthier balance emotionally and learning to bring my first reactions into perspective under God's control and truth. I am not considering this a New Year's Resolution, because those generally rely on oneself to make said changes, and this does not fall into that category in my mind.  I do want to be intentional, though, to work with God on this area of my life and see fewer instances where I'm a "first responder." I'd also like to have more instances where I ask questions for clarification to check with myself to consider if my reaction or response matches the situation and to pray about my emotional "first response" and ask God to help me process and share what is appropriate for the situation.

This will be my prayer, "Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips."(Psalm 141:3) I'm praying for God to refine me in this area of my life, not to remove the expressive person I was created to be, but to learn how to bring it under control of the Holy Spirit and express the fullness within and consider what to share outward more carefully as the new person I am in Him.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


 Earlier this week, the Lord brought a very clear, succinct thought to my mind while I was getting ready for the day. It was this:

"Babies can't deliver, but moms can. Try to deliver patience when your baby doesn't deliver on your expectations. They can't intentionally deliver one way or the other."

I am one of the few women you may ever meet who actually enjoyed being in labor and delivering my child. I look back at that approximately 8 hours of active labor and 25 minutes of pushing as a very peaceful, wonderful, beautiful time and have fond memories of it. I know this sounds crazy, but that was my birth experience with my son. I'm not into eastern religion, but if I've ever had anything close to "Zen," I think it was during labor.

However, delivering emotionally can sometimes be quite challenging for me, right along with keeping everything in perspective. Especially patience, when I'm tired. Not a great track record on that one. But I've been working on this with the Lord over the last year especially, and God has been actively working in my heart and mind to grow me.

This little lesson would have come in handy the other night when I was tired and things weren't really going my way. My little boy fell asleep before having dinner and then woke up 3 hours later and was up until nearly midnight. I had tried to fall asleep when he did, but couldn't unwind and wasn't able to. And my husband was gone at school for the night. I totally forgot about this quote, literally written on the bathroom mirror, until I saw it the following morning. I felt so badly that I hadn't relied on this simple truth that I believe was a little lesson from the Lord, and I certainly did not respond with patience nor grace, unfortunately. I literally cried while feeding my son his late night dinner and hanging out with him (off and on) while I waited for help to arrive (my husband)... all because my little guy who is not even 2 was having an "off night" with regard to sleep, which is completely out of his and my control.

I'm thankful that His mercies are new every morning and that I can start over, so I will. And I'll keep in mind that when things aren't going my way, it's ok to acknowledge that I'm frustrated about the situation, but I don't need to come so unglued when it's completely out of my control (except for my response).