We celebrated seventeen years of getting to know one of our kids yesterday! This child is quite unique and stands out without even meaning too. She works hard, always has, but takes time for whoever is in front of her. She has eyes to see the one who needs a friend and draws them in. Her determination to learn is admirable, but I can hardly wait until she is able to focus more on what interests her most. She is strong, but has weaknesses that are not often seen. To participate in this child’s story is a privilege.

Happy Birthday Anna Kate! I love you.

i love home

Turning into our neighborhood, late last night after a long road trip, my first thought was how much I love home. Our outside lights were shining a warm welcome, as we all piled out of the van and quickly fell into our own beds. Home at last.

Our home is a place, but it is also has an atmosphere. There is freedom within these walls to belong, to learn, to ask questions, to make mistakes, to try again, to forgive, to be imperfect, to be known, to be seen, to laugh, to cry and sometimes yell. I am often tempted to put demands on those within to measure up to an unobtainable standard, but realize it comes from my own insecurities and fears. I am learning to be approachable, honest and welcoming and it impacts our family. One of the many things I wished I would have learned earlier, but the God I know lets me start again each day.

side by side

We studied the subject of suffering in Bible study today, each one of us is not left out of this life experience. To measure, compare or put expectation on suffering seems like an added burden on already slumped shoulders. Then I walked outside and saw two sweet friends, arm in arm walking slow to the car. And right there in the parking lot I saw a beautiful picture of Jesus with us on this journey marked with times of suffering. May we be ones that model the same side by side.


One of the kids and I were talking about going through a time of pressing. This one said they didn’t think they had a choice and I agreed. Going through a time like this is never easy and I am finding it especially difficult when you are watching one of your children. However, this I know, they will never be the same and will take on more of their Creators likeness. They will also have more to extend to others, for there is no oil without a pressing.


We get to celebrate another child’s birthday today! One turns fifteen and lives out her name daily. She brings joy and grace along in many, sometimes unnoticed, ways. You will not find her on a stage, but in the audience, cheering on her friends. You will not hear strong opinions coming from her very often, peace is more her nature. She laughs easy, asks questions often and sees deep into a persons heart. This one sits right in the middle, with three older siblings and three younger ones, comfortable in either group. She never takes herself or others too seriously, wisdom beyond her years. I think she knows we are growing more and more like Him and is gentle with us all. To count her as a daughter is quite a privilege, but to know her as a sister in Christ, is an honor.

Happy Birthday, Abbey Grace. I love you.


Here we are getting to celebrate another child’s birthday! Nineteen years have gone by quickly in my mind. Your ready smile and willingness to do hard things, has been a constant thread over the years. You are learning more about the One who made you, the God who has all your days planned out. Getting to have a front row seat to watch and talk about possibilities is exciting. You have such a pure heart and unselfish way about you, rare qualities for us humans. I hope you know how proud I am of who you are and count it quite an honor to be your mom.

Happy Birthday Jackson!!

purified in waiting

Reading a beautiful passage in scripture recently, I noticed the word “purification”. A wedding was taking place, the wine ran out, but only the servants seem to know about the problem. Jesus has the servants fill these stone purification jars with water. What was empty, used for ritual, became filled with ordinary. When the water was drawn out, it had been turned to the best wine. The master of the feast even asked questions.

Maybe you feel a bit empty and ordinary too. Could it be that we are going through purification? In the process, we reach a point of empty and we bring our need to Jesus. He serves us living water day after day, filling us over time. And then one day, what is in your heart is drawn out and shared. My prayer for us is that the wine is so fine and pure that others begin to ask questions.


My eyes skimmed over scripture about paying taxes. Some people had questioned Jesus about taxes and He requests a coin. He asks whose likeness is on the coin? He then instructs them to give the coin to whom it belongs and to give to God what belongs to Him. I immediately thought of our kids and the picture comes to mind of holding each one as a newborn. I remember studying them and memorizing each precious detail. You want to see if they have your eyes or your husbands smile. As they grow, you see parts of your personality and struggles too, reflecting back to you in each one. Then we remember they belong to God and give them back again. And past my eyes and struggles, I see whose image they bear. What an honor to encourage more and more of His likeness every day.


There is a layer of snow and ice outside. A warm fire is burning and everyone is grateful for a change from the normal schedule. It all feels like the Christmas season and brings to mind the story too. Today, the part about the star the wisemen saw, comes to mind. These men saw this particular star, that stood out in some way, and it ended up leading them to where Jesus was. This star was doing what it was made to do. It was created, called by name and assigned a place to shine. The big moment arrived and worship of the Savior was the result. I wonder if it had been waiting to be made visible since the creation of the world? Did night after night arrive, but it’s name was never called? Maybe it knew the purpose all along, to lead others to the One that made them too.

glow in the dark rocks

Our youngest daughter painted rocks at church on Sunday. She was most excited about the paint because it glows in the dark. At home she took me into the pantry to show me their glow. I thought of these rocks the next morning, as I was reading in Joshua. One man from each of the twelve tribes was instructed to go back and pick up a stone from the midst of the Jordan River, whose water rose up in a heap, creating a dry path for the Israelites to walk right through to the other side. They took the stones as an act of remembrance for the generations to come.

Maybe you have stones of remembrance too, each a reminder of something only God could have done. I wondered if maybe I need to paint ours with glow in the dark paint for when times appear dark. When tempted to be discouraged, we could catch the glow of a stone and remember God was with us then and is with us now. Very encouraging!