Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I don't read a lot of fiction. It's a rare occasion that a novel captures and holds my attention for more than a chapter or two.

Fiction is dessert - yummy and fun - but not something I can live on. I recently inhaled this "true-life novel." Delicious.

Best of all, I love stacking savory books on my nightstand - meaty, sink-your-teeth-into-truth books - full of practical wisdom or abstract ideas my sleep-deprived eyes have to read twice to grasp. I thought I'd share what I've read lately, and what's next on my library search list, or if that fails me, my kindle app. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Daily Prayer

Lord, use me to love them. 

I'm still learning how to allow Him to answer that one.

In the calm of early morning, even before the soft beep of the coffee maker breaks the silence, my heart overflows with longing to be better for them. To fully embrace my role and dive into my calling as his wife and their mama. The triumphs in my wife-ing and mothering are still so imperfect. God is using my husband and children to teach me to be holy. As I learn how to "do" better, everything I do matters less. It's Who He is that matters.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two Days of Nothing

We sent the kids ahead with my in-laws, since I had some medical tests scheduled during the first two days of vacation. I was bummed to miss out, but it was nice to have two kid-free days with my husband. After I dutifully allowed my doctor to poke and prod me, we set off for Broken Bow, Oklahoma.

We arrived late, so we didn't get to see the girls until the next morning. They were very happy to see Daddy.

He's been working furiously since February, when he was cleared for work after breaking his elbow in October. The girls got used to having him around, so the adjustment has been difficult. It was so nice to spend two days simply being together.

I spent a lazy morning on the deck between my mother- and sister-in-law, enjoying our coffee and quiet time reading.

My father-in-law stayed in work mode, carting some debris off from the cabin.

The girls soaked up lavish amounts of attention from Grandma and Grandpa, their aunt and uncle, and us.

Most of our time was spent out by the fire pit, roasting marshmallows, listening to the guys strum their guitars, watching the stars come out, and chatting.

Yes, we had that big, lovely cabin to all to ourselves. My in-laws picked a wonderful way to celebrate their upcoming 35 year anniversary.

My husband is an avid geocacher, so we couldn't resist taking the family on a little adventure.

Broken Bow Lake was beautiful. And cold.

The girls made cookies with their sweet aunt.

After putting the girls to sleep for our last night in Oklahoma, the grownups began an intense Scrabble battle.

We lost by one point. ONE point. The tragedy!

Such a lovely, relaxing vacation. I was able to sleep several hours at a time at night, something that I haven't been able to do since getting sick 3 weeks ago. We even enjoyed the 6+ hour drive home with two children under the age of three, since we were completely de-stressed from two days of sitting by the fire drinking wine. My husband jumped right back in to work, and I'm still in the middle of seeking a firm diagnosis of what's going on with me, but the effect of stealing a few quiet days with people I love has lingered. I'm still on a vacation high, I suppose. It really was just what we needed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Megaphone

My family is welcoming Spring this week.

I am more often reminded to focus on Christ during the Easter season than any other time of year. My particular church doesn't observe Lent, but I am so drawn to it. 40 days to remember. To take a month to focus on the sacrifice of Jesus.

Personally, this time of year means so much to me. Four years ago, my husband and I went through a trial by fire and came out the other side shaken and scarred, but not finished. A few days later, we drank in our church's Easter Sunday service, thirsty for a fresh start. Three years ago, my Spring baby made me a mother.

I wonder if I'll look back on Spring 2011 as a significant season. For the last three weeks I've been sick. I spent eleven days in excruciating pain. At first I wondered where God was and why He wasn't protecting me. After all, I've been "good" lately. I've been seeking after Him through daily quiet time and weekly Bible study and church services. If "pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world" (C.S. Lewis) then obviously He'd gotten the wrong gal. I wasn't deaf to His whispers. I have been earnestly chasing a closer relationship with Him for several months now.

So I threw a tantrum. I was fearful. I doubted.

Then I picked up my Bible and read Psalm 27.

My husband had told me that his prayers were being answered, over and over, with "Wait on the Lord." My sweet friends and family had encouraged me to not fear, to wait, to trust.

So I read the psalm and simultaneously got a rebuke and a hug from the Lord.

He used pain to draw me closer to Him. To grow stronger. To trust deeper. He used it to beckon my husband to stay in constant communion with Him.

Now that a diagnosis and treatment plan looks to be mere days away, and I have some space to look back, I can clearly see His hand. The whole saga was choreographed to His will.

I have more to say about it, but I'll leave this alone for now, and end with Psalm 27.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, "Seek My face,"
My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."
Do not turn Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care of me.
Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

First Peek at Our New Home: The Sunroom

{Three Cords canvas from Red Letter Words}

It's such a bright space, thanks to three tall, South-facing windows.

The other end opens to our den, and the girls' book crates and rocking chair are by the first window.
That's the door to D's closet, which holds his work and motorcycle gear.

We've only lived here for three weeks, and I'm not finished with it, but I already know this is my favorite room.


I just put the finishing touches on a packet to mail off to the Ugandan child we sponsor through Compassion International. It’s a reply to her letter telling me about her favorite things. I read it and cried. It turns out she loves to cook. She dreams of becoming a doctor. I told her that K’s favorite color is pink and that we love to cook too. I told her that we love her and we pray for her every day.
Folding the letter in half, enclosing another picture of us and a scribbled drawing of K’s, I wondered how long it will take to make the journey from Texas to Uganda. Curious, I typed our locations into google maps.
“We could not calculate the distance between Houston, TX and Uganda.”
The message sat on the screen. I looked around my warm, safe apartment, where two healthy and fed babies of mine are sleeping. My refrigerator and pantry are full to overflowing. My husband - who is also healthy and fed - is out working to provide for me and our children.
It turns out I can’t calculate the distance between where I live and where my sweet sponsored child lives either.
{To sponsor a child through Compassion International, visit}

Ordinary Exultations

A Christian.
A wife.
A mother.

Someone quite ordinary.

That's who I am.

But the One Who made me has been whispering in my ear that perhaps when we understand how ordinary we are, He can use us in bigger ways.

So here I am. This is meant to be a glimpse into my world, small and imperfect. From the everyday rhythm of my life as the keeper of my home, to the eternal truths that God weaves into each day, this is meant to be a place of encouragement and hope.

These words have been stirring my soul for a season, and it's time to humbly offer them to you.