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Saturday, April 28, 2012

(in)RL (thank you (in)courage!)

Oh the joy and companionship of meeting with women of faith and just BEING!

Today was (in)courage's "conference" and I joined a local meet-up of women from Lancaster County in our gracious hostess' home. There was food and coffee and warmth and Jesus with skin on. I was blessed and encouraged and strengthened.

Hopefully these few hours will be just the beginning of connecting on this side of our screens. We have already talked of meeting for coffee sometime soon.

We were from different churches, different backgrounds and different parts of the county but we all met together and talked and laughed and shared. The seven of us were present and real and I was blessed (I keep saying that huh?).

We watched a few of the videos (in)courage made available and were touched by stories of God working in awesome ways through social media. But mostly it was just the ability to sit and share with women who loved Christ. Share stories and wisdom and the confessions of all those things we DON'T DO! (make beds, dust, keep up with laundry, clean constantly etc.) it was a guilt free, expectation free, judgement free, room and I loved it! It felt like a breath of fresh air and a clean slate to me.

I was blessed.

Thank you (in)courage and our host Anjanette for giving is a place to be real and experience community!

Oh and Anjanette got these awesome door prizes from Dayspring - my bag had an awesome journal and this canvas that said "Your STRENGTH is as big as the God in you." I've been needing strength and I was touched by God's reminder that it isn't my own I was depending on.

Friday, February 10, 2012



We are given these bundles of hope and possibility. They are tiny and helpless and only ours. They cry. We respond. They root and mouth their needs and we feed them. We are building TRUST! 

We are the only picture of our Heavenly Father they see.

We teach them that they are not abandoned. They are loved, they are heard, they are seen.

My heart pours out. My Father hears. My earthy father hears as well. I speak of fear and conflict and disunity in the Church. But I am reminded. HE hears. My Savior knows me and he SEES me.

I will trust. Like a newborn babe at his mothers breast. He will be there. I will cry out and he will listen and respond.

Each breath fights anxiety. Each exhale choses to rest. I will walk with Grace and rest in my faith and trust in HIS goodness and love.

Grateful for community unseen. Thankful for encouragement to press on.




KNOWING - He will come through


~ Linking up with Lisa Jo at for Five Minute Friday

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Today I will have hope. Relax into the process of mothering these boys. Knowing I am the best person for this job despite being quite imperfect. This trying harder and anxiety over all the little ways that I fail every day is dragging at my soul.

I want to be more myself and less the picture of who I think I should be. I am not an ideal. I am myself. I am their mother. I want to be who I was created to be and to balance the improving and the grace of resting in that process. I will allow His Spirit to work in me and stop trying to do all the work myself. Stop trying to make it seem like I am who I want to be. Who I think I should be. But rather, love myself in this place of imperfection and especially, love these boys as they grow.

I am attempting, once again, to wait with contented anticipation.

Just Write

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Our Work At Home Family has a new (old) job. Dan started construction this week and my heart is heavy. I was taking for granted the way I could ease into my mornings; Dan taking R (and sometimes both boys) downstairs to play while I rested. Caught my breath before starting my day. Dan leaves by 5:30 most mornings and isn't home until 7pm. I know many women do this regularly. I just don't want to. Oh my patience (or lack there of) how it wears thin by 5 and I feel like screaming (occasionally do). I am spoiled. Or rather very blessed.

Oddly enough; I have been accomplishing more with less help. Go figure. But I feel it in my bones. And in the tightness by my eyes. This is not meant to be done alone. I long for a village, or at least a few friends nearby. Someone to hold my hands when they start to shake.

Grace must be my mantra. Love must be in every breath. I'm just afraid that I'll hold it all together until I don't... then what?

I've started Bikram's Yoga again. It has been a life saver. I know that despite how much I hate it; it saves my mind from breaking, forces me to get out of my own head and reminds me to breath. I also enjoy seeing my strength return and the energy and mood lift is irreplaceable. It's been three days and I can tell I need to go back. The water I drink is another benefit. On days I don't go to yoga I'll frequently forget to drink. But I know I have to if I don't want to pass out in class.

I want to continue constructing our family. I'm hoping for peace this Christmas season. Especially in my own heart and mind.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Yesterday Dan took me away.

We only had a few hours after church while my parents watched the boys.

Oh how I resisted.  I came up with excuses why we couldn't go to Wonder's Cabin; we didn't have enough time, I was too tired to enjoy it, we should just do our usual coffee place or a hike... etc.  I was afraid.  Of what?  Perhaps the pressure of it just being us or of expecting too much from such a special place or of him expecting more from me then I could give that day.  Sometimes I find myself fearing to hope, to expect joy and anticipate peace.  I am so wound up and anxious that I refuse to believe I can be any other way.

I felt the fear and knew I was being unreasonable - I told him to call and see if we could go (half hoping we couldn't so I wouldn't have to face myself) we could!  The owner was in Florida and told us where to find the key.  I took a deep breath and decided to enjoy what I could enjoy and to let go of the rest.

My parents were late.  The milk I got out of the freezer for J was older and I wasn't sure he would take it.  We drove to get water and I realized I forgot my phone.  Dan and I argued.  We went back for the phone.  I felt this rush of panic of fear at leaving; of loss of control.  That mommy anxiety about no one being good enough to know my boys well enough to care for them. What if....

We leave.  I breathe.  I am honest and open about those feelings.

I have an incredible husband.  He listens; he laughs with me and embraces these quirks and thoughts without diminishing them or me.  We drive.  The car together is one of our favorite places.  We talk easily there; always have.  The tightness in my chest releases.  I'm anticipating the warmth of the fire and the smell of fall air above the river.  He holds my hand and speaks life to me.  I am blessed.

We arrive.  It's a secret place for us.  A cabin built by Dan's great Uncle overlooking the Susquehanna River.  We've spent a few nights here and a few afternoons as well.  It smells of wood smoke and earth and something about the 60s.  I build a fire in the stove and we cuddle up on the orange contoured chaise lounge (which is definitely something from the 60s or 70s).  It's good to rest.

We post pictures on Instagram and talk.  I feel the weight lift and Dan rubs the tension from my shoulders.  The view is stunning and an eagle soars over the river. The smoke smells sweet and feels like home. This man knows me well and I thank him for gently pushing me towards the rest I need.

We go for a walk along the ridge and Dan takes pictures of us.

 I talk about the water.  How it brings me peace; soothes my anxiety.  We speak words of truth and love. I am drawn to the water and the fire.  Dan to the earth; to the rocks and trees and mountains.  The water is too unpredictable he says.  I laugh at the river of emotions he swims through being married to me.  He shrugs and says that opposites attract.  He is my mountain; my firm place in the midst of this rush of myself.  Stubborn.  We smile.  It is okay to be myself and tears come unbidden and I thank him.

The sun sets in a blaze of glory bellow the sullen sky.
We walk back to the cabin and our fire and warmth.

The darkness settles.  We are sharing hearts and minds.  I am reminded of how blessed I am.  We will continue to come to this place.  To feel the peace of fire and water and mountain and tree.  Somedays it is so good to retreat.

We return home. The boys did well. We have brownies and ice cream with my parents; my brother and his wife of one week, my sister and her boyfriend.  God is good.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembering Grace

November is always hard for us. Dan and I both hate the change and struggle in the dark. We panic with the diminishing light; afraid it may be gone forever. I grasp at the last few days left with him home. Grasp at his time and moments and demand more; like a bear scarfing down food for winter.

Fear and depression, even fear OF depression, drags at my soul. J stops sleeping and R wakes up earlier with the time change. I am TIRED. To the bone.

I stumble with the boys. Voice raised in desperation. I am empty too often and forgetting where to find my fill. I wake Dan in the night and cry out my loneliness - dams breaking in the darkness - and his love stems the tide.

We are so in need of Grace. But perhaps even more we simply need to remember the Grace we have already been given. 1,000 gifts. In the darkness I whisper:

1. Sleeping baby at my breast; all heaviness and sweet sighs, warmth and love
2. Reminders that I am not alone. The voice in the darkness (or on the Internet) that calls out "we are the same" "we walk beside you!"
3. Boy running in the leaves and wind
4. Blessed In-laws who watch my babies well
5. My brother marries a sweet Blessing and I join in the dancing
6. Seeing my husbands love and joy in my smile and laughter
7. J's smile and belly laugh when R walks in the room
8. Music lifting my soul
9. Life with dear friends; hard work and deep stories being shared
10. Fires and good wine on a fall night
11. Being married to a good man
12. Bone-tired naps with my boys on the couch
13. Amazing chicken and sweet potatoes on the grill - food that fills and delights.
14. The boys playing together happily!
15. Remembering to remember

Friday, October 21, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Beyond Myself


I look beyond myself. This tired, worn and failing soul. Look towards the chubby legs and reaching hands. Stretching out towards my face. Joy and smiles. Hope and wonder. Look beyond the darkness and the fear of not enough. See the life and hope growing in these little boys. Screams of joy and laughter split the air (and my head) but I will look beyond this momentary annoyance to the life it speaks of. Beautiful, wild and free. I want to be more like a child. Loving unreservedly. Unafraid of asking for what I need. Hope and fear. Unsteady feet running towards the one I love. Trust look beyond myself and towards the open arms ahead. Beyond myself and to the one who has loved beyond all borders and limitations. Unabashedly I lift my arms. With the trust and hope of a child. Hear my prayer take me beyond.


I typed this on my iPhone, normally I could write more then this in 5 minutes ;)