An honest reflection of me- in fragments. Imperfect- Grace Covered. Balance. Mom. Wife.
Nurse. Homeschool Teacher. Christ follower first. Second changes. Thankful.

When I grow up I'm going to...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I was the one with the dolls and stuffed animals, pretending and playing
Commanding and organizing and bossing
l was the big sister who mothered the littlest
And cleaned up after the messy middle (he may or may not have paid me in quarters and pennies)
I was the one who saw her, she made the sacrifice look easy
And the work, I never heard her complain
I wanted to be exactly like her

When I grow up,
"I'm going to be a mom"

But when pretend grew too small, stuffed animals got put on a shelf
And just as I outgrew my dolls, the brothers seemed to outgrow my bossing
I was the one who wanted to be a mom and maybe play in the WNBA
My friends, they were going to be doctors, lawyers, scientist, pro-athletes and astronauts
They were going to change the world
And I began to questions the sufficiency of my grown up dream

In high school I started to pretend again,
Everybody does it, but no one talks about it
Boys still pretend they're going to be professional athletes
Girls, plan and plot for what their life will be,
I dreamt about boys and college and imagined I had control over my five year plan

I carry the vision of her with me
She's sitting at the kitchen table, journaling, praying (probably for me) and reading her bible as we drive ourselves to school.  
And still I want to be her, even if I don't fully understand what that means, or if the world doesn't recognize it as an acceptable goal
"I just want to be a Mom when I grow up"

I became a nurse, because I found out being a mom doesn't pay very well
The pursuit of what we're most passion about often doesn't pay the bills
Unless you're apart of the world's 3% that does become a professional athlete
I digress

Then one day I met Mr.Right (after several Mr.REALLY Wrongs)
You know he's Mr.Right when he loves Jesus, makes you laugh, opens your car door, and when he sees you - He saw me; beautiful, imperfect, bossy, emotional, the whole me
And he loved me anyway
We got married, and played house for several months, I liked to cook and make dessert (we both put on 5-10 happy pounds), laundry was fun and then came the two stripes on the pee stick, or was it a plus-sign?

Eight long, hard, painful months later (yes it was really only eight)
I looked into his deep brown eyes, dependent and trusting looking back into mine
And I realized
It's mom's that change the world

I always wanted to be her
Almost ten years later, I'm still learning what it means to emulate her
And I'm growing everyday into being their Mom
Imagining with them, reading to them, teaching them, playing with them, challenging them, [hopefully] inspiring them
Praying for them
And for me
That this desire "to be a mom" would always be my first priority because God gave me that passion, and these two for a purpose
This passion may not pay the bills, but I'm overjoyed to be called to this penniless career that pays in hugs and kisses
Because it has an eternal impact, and fulfills in ways that can not be measured

So to all you moms
Keep loving, cherishing, inspiring, encouraging, and pretending
You're not "just a mom"
You're a world changer
And Mom, Thanks for being my inspiration and example, you did it well and continue to 

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For the fatherless daughter...claim what's already yours

Friday, April 10, 2015

I hear the pain in her voice and see it in tears that linger in the blue of her eyes
It's better, but it's never truly gone
How could he could choose to father her but not be her Father
Selfishly he chased after love, fulfillment, experience and life without her
Miles became an excuse
Time slipped away
Memories (what few they were) haunting and empty
Until she learned to quit expecting of him, how to not need him, and live without him

fathers disappoint

They let-down, lie, and they leave
And in their wake, are the hearts of little girls.
Little girls who question love (the verb) and doubt the possibility of marriage that lasts
Heart wounds, are never truly dulled, and the holes are never fully healed
Girls with leaky hearts become women with leaky hearts
They don't all fulfill the stigma of girls with daddy complexes - running into the emptiness of one man's arms/bed to the next
Some grow up to hope for different and more
Some learn to forgive
Over and over - everyday, for this mess that they inherited, the heartache, the doubt and the years that they had no control over
Some learn to live, to claim what's been waiting for them
The love of a Father
A Father whose inheritance is comforting, secure, confident, hopeful and joy-filled
A Father who sees the sins of the fathers
But chooses to reveal himself to the father-less
A Father who never fails, and keeps His promises for generations
A Father who cares
A Father worthy of the title "daddy"

Some learn to take the hand of this forever Father
And though their hearts still leak,
They find the courage to trust, and there is purpose in their pain
They are no longer defined as fatherless, they have an inheritance
And they have a right-now plan to pursue
Sometimes that's a man, that smiles too big, and asks the question she had thought about saying "no" too a thousand times
Sometimes that's a call to a country far away where they drink coffee and remind you not to sit on the side-walk
Sometimes it's the necessity to be more to your father than he ever was to you
No matter what it is - She's holding her Daddy's hand and it's going to be okay

For my 3 all-time favorite blonde's - I Love you!
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The nightmare

Friday, March 27, 2015

The darkness gripped me and silence held me hostage, so under my covers I would hide.  Eyes shut tight, awaiting rest to overtake the silence.  But even there, behind my eyes it was dark, and though I ran, fear followed.  I watched helplessly as all I knew to be love and home was stripped away until there was nothing - only me.  Alone, and afraid in the darkness, that's how the nightmares always ended.

But for some it's not a nightmare
Life is a walking dream that doesn't end when eyes open 
Parents loose babies and Daughters lose their Mommas
Cancer steals away time and Time is always fleeting
Husbands cheat, Wives cry and Families get by 
We're all dying

...he [Jesus] became flesh and blood... for only as a human being could he die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could he deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread. 
-- Hebrews 10:14-15

In my nightmares I never died
I was more afraid of living without, of loosing, of watching those I love break than of death itself
But not anymore
Because I know I am never alone, and the One who goes with me is trustworthy
So when the unthinkable happens
When lives break and nightmares become reality
We can choose to be afraid, to run, to freeze, or we can choose to be at peace in His brokenness
Break out of the normal, and the accepted - Walk into that which is beyond your reason
Choose to put your full weight in something that's bigger than yourself, 
Forgive, be forgiven
Love and be loved
Be broken, but don't let the world break you
Because death has no power - and fear is no longer worthy of being called your master

Linking up with Kate Motaung and the 
FMF writers, todays word - Break
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Your "okay" life...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It starts with believing that HE is real
God, creator, life-breather, crafter of our souls
And in the beginning
He took pieces of himself and wove them into me, as He did with she

It was real in the garden
Unrelenting, naked relationship
Walking in honesty and sharing life
No hiding, no disguising 
And it was good.

But when Words got twisted and hearts became intrigued then deceived
She sought answers outside of her God-relationship, and pulled her man down with her
They decided that knowing God wasn't enough, being made in His image lacking
And it was not good

But, knowledge made them feel ashamed, instead of godly
This idea of being god made them afraid of God
Covering-up, they pointed fingers, placed blame and deceived even themselves
And the relationship was ruined

And so we live in the harsh in-between
Thorns, Rocks, Pain, Tears
Taking the roads well traveled
Separated from God
Being the god of our own life
And sometimes it's okay
But it's not good.

God, creator, life-breather, crafter of our souls didn't want "okay" for your life
He didn't want you to be separate, hiding, or wandering wide roads
He wanted it to be good [again]

So He became a man; to understand us, live like us [except better] and save us
Son of God
The Savior of our souls
Joy giver
Restorer of relationship
Peace maker
Sacrifice for our sins
Truth speaker
The only man to raise himself from the dead
Word writer
Death conqueror
Good - when I'm not good enough
Mediator and High Priest
Life giver

He laid it ALL down for us so we could lay down the burden of trying to be god
And asks us - do you want more than just okay?
Do you want relationship, peace, forgiveness, life, good?
I wanted less burden more life
So I made Him the King, declared He was my God
Laid down my all
And it is good.

We still have to live in this harsh in-between
It still hurts, it's still hard, I'm still not perfect
But the expanse is removed, the relationship is restored
And we can quit trying to be god and just know Him
He's good
We can stop hiding and blaming and disguising
And be who He made us to be
He called us very good
So we can take the road less traveled
And walk it with God
It's not easy - But it's good 

In the beginning God created, He made man in His own image, from the dust of the ground He formed him, and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils.  Male and female he created them. God saw all that He had made and it was very good.
- Genesis 1 & 2

Linking up today with Holley Gerth
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Perfection Stinks

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

News Flash - I'm not perfect
But, it's wound up tightly inside, hidden deep within -  masked by clean houses, status updates, homeschool planners and messy laundry cabinets kept closed off to the world.
Maybe it's buried inside as a result of the garden failure?
A fall driven by the desire to be like God, to know as He know so we don't have to trust as much?
Trust that He knows us better than we know ourselves, knows our hearts our talents our good and our not good enough.  Trust that He has a plan and a purpose.  Even when our imperfection is on display and perfectly obvious to the world.
He is perfect.  He is the sustainer, all-powerful creator, planner, giver, lover, Father, grace-filled merciful forgiver. But, do I strive so hard to be like Him that I forget I'm not Him?
Wear myself out striving, planning surviving?  Tidying hallways, posting only the shiny happy positives, closing doors, and putting on the face I keep in a jar by the door.
Trust is easier than striving.
And grace.
Grace is infinitely better than failed attempts at perfection.
So I realize, I can't have both grace and striving.
When the Law says LACKING - Grace say LOVED
I need saving
Not striving
His grace is alive, working in me, accomplishing in spite of me
And that is all the perfect I need.

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of  Holley Gerth's - You're Loved No Matter What :Freeing Your Heart From The Need To Be Perfect.  Can't wait to dig into the truths and encouragement she has to offer through her beautifully woven words.

Linking Up today with

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To my Fellow Pediatric Nurses, and Parents of Pediatric Patients Everywhere - HOPE

Being a nurse in the world of pediatrics,
Hope is a banner.
Kids are resilient - neurons find new routes, cells regenerate, walking can be relearned, cancer can be cured, wounds heal, and life can be lived - even if it's lived between hospital visits, surgeries, pokes, probes, pain meds, and possibilities.
We hope -
We hope families show up, and we pray for the ones that do.
Because we see through the Caringbridge posts and Facebook updates.
We see how heavy dreams are and how they slip away.
We see the seizures, and fevers, the sleepless nights, the breathing tubes, IV's and treatments.
We hear the cries and wipe the tears.  We whisper prayers.
We know it hurts you more Mommy and Daddy than it hurts them.  It hurts us too.
This life we live, this job, with it's tubes and wires and babies not breathing on their own it's normal to us - but it's not normal.
We say we're sorry and then we hold them down to draw the blood or change the dressing.
We hate it.  But we don't hate being there for you.  And we hope you know.
We hope to share a smile with them, to see them as you know them, and hope for their wholeness.

Being a nurse in the world of pediatrics
Hope, sometimes, disappoints
Kids aren't always as resilient as we hope - despite our best efforts, cheers, and prayers - life ends.
We don't quit fighting until we're told to, but we do what we're told and then it's time to hold.
Hold hands, little sisters and tearful mothers.  Hold little bodies and invincible teenagers.  Hold out for the next one - because this normal, we know, has proven to us that there will be a next one.
So we hold onto hope.
It's a banner, because we need it to be.
We need to believe that dreams come true, that life can truly be lived between hospital visits, that cancer will be cured, wounds healed, neurons re-routed, cells regenerated, and walking relearned.

We hope you know patients and parents we're hoping with you.
And to my fellow PICU and Pediatric Nurses - never loose hope.
Because HOPE is our banner
And being a nurse in the world of pediatrics requires it.

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Dear Daughter - Don't Date Him

Friday, March 6, 2015

If a piece feels like it's missing
It's not him 
I promise

If you're feeling lonely or lacking
Don't date him
When you're unsure and figuring out what being you looks like
Don't date him

If you think you need him
You don't
Cross my heart

If you think you're the only one without
Don't date him
When you just want to fit but you're not sure if you're round or square
Don't date him

If your heart is longing
His love won't satisfy 
Trust me

If you think you can save him
Don't date him
When you're the one he's going to change for, come to church for, be better for
Don't date him

If your feeling insecure
He won't give you confidence
I know

When you look into the mirror and it's you looking back
When you're fearlessly convinced that you are a uniquely beautiful creation
When you know Who made you and why
When your longing is filled by the true love of a loving Savior
When you is enough, even if you are the only one (you know you're not)
When you're satisfied and confident just as you are
When he doesn't need saving or changing and he's different from all the rest in all the right ways
Then daughter 
Date him

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Giving Up for the Gathering

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Week after week we gather together 
Prioritizing life around something called life-group
It's not legalistic or ritualistic or religious
It's just life
Here, the word fellowship is made real in cups of coffee, cookies and confession 

Gathering is giving up time to show up
And life is more fully lived when people show up
Uniting in forgiveness and the sacrifice of time
Encouragement doesn't come from strangers 
It's found in the faces of the ones who know your heart and your mistakes
And if we don't rub shoulders - how are we going to rub off on each other?

A day is coming when we'll be gathered 
And on the day our Savior shows up I'll be ready because you showed up 
Until then, I need you to rub off on me, encourage me, forgive me, inspire me, love me
And collectively give up for the gathering

Linking up with the  Five Minute Friday writers
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I'm quitting the routine of Church

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My Sunday looks a lot like yours.
The outfit is never quite right then I get toothpaste on my shirt (just me?)
The kids are arguing about cereal or legos or the pretend game they've just changed the rules to
No one can find the match to the missing shoe
We should have left five minutes ago but he doesn't have a coat and she can't find her Bible
Rushed and tired, a balance of coffee and Jesus keep me going
But Sunday is not restful and this busy often steals the holy from the Sabbath He intended for me

"Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on this day His creation was complete and He rested.  So remember the Sabbath day by setting it apart and keeping it holy."
--Genesis 2:3 & Exodus 20:8--

God didn't need to rest
But He knew I would
So He took a day and made it different than the rest
Set apart
A time for me, for us
Not to be selfish, but to slow down
To worship, to Relish and to Relinquish

A time for being known
Because no one want to be anonymous [all the time]
Called by name, Comforted and Challenged

It's a time to know
Know the God of the universe,
His creativity, His heart, His peculiar, and His love

A time to be overwhelmed by the love of a Savior
Because we are the debtor, the lost, the guilty, the captive
And He came anyway
To pay the debt, save the lost, erase guilt, and rescue

A time for family
Because that's what we become at the foot of the cross
Brothers and Sisters in baptism through the blood of Jesus
Devoted to, Accepting, and Accountable

It's a time for fellowship
Relationship that breaks the boundaries of okay
Food that feeds the heart and the soul

A time to commune,
Surrounded by the presence of God
Because He is even when He is beyond our understanding
Together, Trusting, and  Hoping

A time to serve
Because here your gifts are an expression of His heart and His Spirit
Your time, your talent, offer it worship
It's right to give here, Welcomed, and Needed

It's a time to see and be seen
As we are
Broken, falling short, trying hard, but never good enough
Covered in love and poured out grace
Holy set apart for a purpose

Church shouldn't be a part of our regular routine
It should be that which shakes our norms and rips apart the ordinary
It's the day we wake up early for
The time we anticipate
The service we savor
The fellowship we linger in
And the love we take with us

So I'm quitting my routine of church
And trading it for what He intended - a day that's more than coffee and Jesus, a day that's wholly different from the rest, and truly holy.

For the love of relinquishing, resting and looking forward to Sunday,

Linking up with
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7 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Vows

Friday, February 6, 2015

Before worse fell, and poorer was a reality,
Before babies stole our sleep, my waist line and our time
Before we knew what it meant to be held and to have
We made a promise 
Unknowing what keeping it would require

You my love are not perfect
And there are days I give you my worst because I'm not perfect either
But you have me, 
And with you I'm better

All the seemingly insignificant little life stuff adds up 
And you keep showing up
Holding me in your actions
Making me smile, opening doors, doing dishes, prioritizing us

I remember the first time sickness stole my decency
And it didn't phase you
You just wanted to make it better
I'm not a very good patient, but you are patient

I didn't understand the depth of love
How it gives, acts, and grows
And I'm learning how to cherish us,
In the quiet, in the dark, in the ordinary and uncertainty, in prayers whispered and dreams shared  

In the middle of tired and routine - How do we keep our promise?
1. Have; have fun, and have each other- at our best, at our worst and in bed
2. Hold hands, eye contact, and on to truth
3. Love with actions; plan date nights, get aways, and do dishes
4. Speak honestly; say what you mean, mean what you say and when it's not "fine" don't sit in silence 
5. Give selflessly; give time, kisses, and without expectation
6. Walk humbly; your needs and feelings above mine, my needs and feeling above yours
7. FORGIVE; most of all this - because no one is perfect

Linking up with the Five Minute Friday writers
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I'm not okay - and you don't have to be either...

Thursday, February 5, 2015

I'm not a perfect wife - I speak when I should just listen, I try to plan and control when I need to just let go
I'm not the Mom they always need me to be - I miss moments when I should cherish them, I get to busy with the everyday and forget their time with me is short, someday I'll want him to talk to me about anything even if that thing is cars or Lego's and I'll want her incessant make-believe ramblings to fill the void of silence, I'm short-tempered and tired
I'm not the best friend - I should write more cards, and remember dates more accurately, I'm good at making coffee but do I listen well and am I what they need?
I'm in love with a God that poured out all so I could know Him, but I'm an imperfect lover - I'm selfish and often stressing and striving when I should be asking and trusting

This place where we rub shoulders and incompletely love each other
It's a mess
There is no perfect marriage, family, friend, mother, daughter or church

But what if we're created for a world that's different?
One stripped of uncertainty, hurt and stress
A place where your Daddy loves you unquestionably and your Mom doesn't fade in death?
A world filled with contentment, joy and fulfillment
A city where friends are real and the incurable is rendered cured
Where trials cease, and brokenness is pieced to perfection

And what if in the mean time - living in this one - we don't have to pretend to be anything we're not?
You don't have to be okay, or fine unless you really are
I can need and you can want
We can be hurting, questioning, and inadequate
We can be a broken vessels, leaking life while trying to live

Because this world is a mess
We are married to imperfect people, friends with the flawed, employees under the incomplete, daughters of deficient parents, and part of churches full of broken people
But, this temporary world, with it's lacking and wearing on your soul
It doesn't have to strip you of life
In the middle of chaos and clutter there is hope
In the middle of dying there is life to be lived, and leaky vessels can be made new

That world, where you belong - it exists
And there is a way
But you don't get there by being better or scraping away the flaws
We start by believing
Acknowledging that we're needy, imperfect, hurting and desperate for hope and re-made relationship
Then we let Him love us
And with all our imperfections we love Him back
With the kind of love that does
While mercy covers all the mistakes and grace makes you new.  Not patched or better, but whole and wholly new

So in the middle of not being okay, because there will still be days when you're not okay
While missing moments, and trying to control and being a lover who is lacking
There's hope and forgiveness and freedom

So let's unite in our lacking, 
Let's make this world a little less okay and a lot more hopeful
Let's be friends who dream together, Mother's who ask for forgiveness, Daughter's and Son's who talk, Wives who listen, Husbands who care, Fathers who protect, God lovers who pour out their all
Let's make church a place where people are free to be broken, needy, hurting, who they are and loved 
Let's love with action
And trust that God is working in our mess
Because we will never be good enough
But HE is and the place we belong is waiting

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Just Wait...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Just wait till you have kids" she would say...never irritated or sarcastic, but enough times that I remembered it 
An honest plea from the depth of her anytime we teased about her worrying heart, or their rules
Just wait
And in the middle of life my waiting happened
And I understand
I grasp what it feels like to have a piece of your heart living outside your body, outside your control, outside your will
Love is full of waiting
Waiting through the pain of their arrival 
And for curfews
Waiting for exhaustion to end while meeting their every need 
And for maturity
Waiting on them to see right, and grasp the love in obedience
And for manners
Waiting through silence, needing them to speak their heart
And for celebrations
Love is patient
And I'm so glad she taught me how to wait

Five Minute Friday - 4

Linking up with the
Five Minute Friday writers over at

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Where You are Like Me

Why are we divided?  Why do we say "them" and "us" with exclusion?
Why do we see difference and let it divide?
Why do we draw lines between race, age, gender, socio-economics and cultures?

He played banged on the air drums while she rocked the air guitar sang back-up and I took lead vocals (at their request of course)
And these words blasted from our speakers
Oh, we all want the same thing.
Oh, we all run for something.
Run for God, for fate,
For love, for hate,
For gold, for rust,
For diamonds, for dust
 - One Republic, Love Runs Out

In the middle of air band, with my two rocking kids in our Subaru wagon
From a band that describes it's music style as "a sum of a bunch of parts"
It clicked for me
We see in color
Hear in harmony
And we're different
Different is not good nor is different bad
It's not meant to be criticized, categorized or compared
It just is
And in the middle of our difference is the truth that you are just like me
We all hurt, dream, love, and hope
We're all searching, trying, running, living, breathing
And as our lives are tested
Laid bare, broken and bleeding
We all bleed the same color

All of us
Red - Yellow - Black - White
Wealthy - Middle Class - Poor
Female - Male
Old - Young
You are like Me
Not only in our hurts, our dreams our running our breathing
But in the way we are made

Made in the image of God
Designed to be like Him
And He is too complex, too beautiful, too full and too great to be understood in one race, once age, one gender, one socio-economic status
We see in color
Hear in harmony
Dream - Pray - Run - Hurt - Seek - Breath - Bleed
Because there is a God who is our color, speaks in harmony, knows our hearts, feels our pain, heals our brokenness, fulfills our need, shows us love, and gives us breath

When we get stuck in comparison we miss the beauty
When we draw lines and use our diversity as a means of division
We tear down the value of a soul
We discount the greatness and diversity of a God who is beyond our full comprehension
And we break the world into pieces

I know a God who is creative and diverse
I know a God who came to earth
I know a God who wants His people to live as one
I know a God who bled
And when we bleed...
We all bleed the same color

I may be a small-town white girl, but in my design I'm just like you
And in your design you are just like me
Because we all reflect the image of God

I wonder what the world would look like we we started to see the way were all the same instead of the way we're different?

Happily linking up with
Meredith Bernard #woman2woman

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Dear Son, [3 Qualities of REAL Men]

Friday, January 23, 2015

You sit as a silent observer,
And when I look at you listening, patient, processing
The coffee flecks inside your chestnut eyes reflect back to me the darkness of the words you hear
Words like "sexually assaulted" "molested" "raped"
And my heart whispers silent prayers that the shadows of this bleeding broken world would never darken your soul but instead make you a champion of right and of good
A warrior for the weak, the needy, the lovely and the loveless
A real a man

Men, my quiet-soulful son, real men
Don't take, they cherish
They don't take the souls of girls wrapped in skin and use them for their own pleasure
Real men see the soul, the weakness, and the loveliness that lies inside the skin and they choose to cherish - honor the beauty, the need, and the uniqueness.  Real men do dishes and laundry and work hard to provide for their families not because women are incapable but because they are givers who cherish.

Real Men
Don't break, they protect
They don't break bones, bruise hearts, fracture dreams or tear skin in selfishness or anger.
Real men sacrifice to safeguard their sisters, and when you're a real man, you see the women of the world as your sisters.  Real men risk themselves to save hearts, bodies, dreams, and the souls of those they get to love.  Sisters, Mothers, Daughters, Wives.  Love is a great responsibility, and you my son have been gifted with souls to protect.
Real men tell her she's "beautiful" when she needs to hear it most (in sweat pants and stains and when it's least expected), Real men forgive and admit when they're wrong. Real men are selfless when it's easier to be selfish.

Real Men,
Don't use, they encourage
They don't carelessly waste those around them for personal gain, popularity, acceptance, or power.  Real men build walls of hope and encouragement around women with words that are true, honoring and intentional.  Real men see through the temporary and focus that which lasts - righteousness, contentment, hope, love, joy, honesty, truth.  Real mean stand for truth, they don't twist it to suit.
Real men listen, cry, and care when it's easier to be apathetic

I know what it's like to align your soul with a boy,
Boys take, and use and break
Boys squander the beauty inside, they steal hope, and trap you inside lies of self-doubt and fear
But I didn't stay there
It was the encompassing arms of a man, his disappointment, heart break and his forgiveness that brought me back to life
I have always been surrounded by good men
Real men
And if you ever wonder what one looks like...
Look to your Papa, your Daddy, your Uncles, your Great Grandpa
Ask them what it means
Ask them what they did right, and what they wish they wish they could change
They'll tell you
And I'll be here
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