Wednesday, July 20, 2016


It’s 10:30 in the morning and I find myself sitting down to a cup of cold coffee in my sweats.  It was brewed 2 hours ago, but was set aside.  I actually did get dressed this morning, but quickly decided sweats were more in order for the morning temperatures in our house and I changed. 

(Not actually my kitchen, but pretty close)

The dirty dishes from last night stare at me from the kitchen and judgement pours out of their stare, trying to swallow me in guilt as if to say, “How can you even think of sitting down to your coffee when we’re still here?  You’re a terrible housekeeper.”

Let me back up.

It’s 1 in the morning and the man child is awake again.  I can hear him scooting his bassinet around, now its hitting the door of the closet.  I know he doesn’t feel well by his fever and runny nose.  He didn’t nurse very well yesterday, so I go to him, pick him up, change his diaper and feed him. 

it’s 1:30 in the morning and I’m crawling back in bed.  Somehow waking in the night makes my head pound all the more, and my throat rage.   I snuggle into Josh and feel the heat of his fever radiating off of his back.  I begin to pray.  

It’s 1:45 in the morning and I’m up again, laying hands on the man child in prayer. I go between my husband and my son, interceding with the Father. “Heal them! Strengthen their bodies.  Remove any illness and injury.  Strengthen the tendons and fibers and muscles and joints.  You are a good father, a powerful God, the healer of those who have faith to ask.  You delight to give good things to your children, and these are your sons!  Be glorified through the work you do in their bodies.”

It’s 3 in the morning and again I hear the squeak of the baby’s bed.  It’s really time to upgrade him to a bigger (more stationary) bed.  I get up, cradle him in my arms, listen to his clear breathing, and fall back asleep feeding him.  I wake again with a squirming child at my side.  Knowing he’ll sleep better on his own, I carry him back to his own bed.  

The night passes on and dawn breaks the darkness early in north Idaho.  I vaguely remember two more feedings before it’s actually time to get up around six-thirty.   The man child begins to fuss again and I moan to Josh that I’ve exceeded my maximum ability to get up in the night.  He kindly tucks the baby back in, and shuts both the baby’s door and our own before slipping out of the house to keep an early appointment with a friend. I get to burrow into the comforter and sleep for some sweet moments. 

Now it’s 8am, and it’s a rush to get some breakfast into Josh and some lunch in his lunch box and out the door, since his first client is also at 8. Of course now the baby is awake and won’t be pacified again but must eat now.  As the fires seem to subside, I start some coffee, make a bowl of yogurt, get dressed and get ready to sit down and wrap my head around the day.  

I blink and now it’s 10:30.  Somehow while my eyes were closing and opening again, three diapers were changed, baby was played with and a rough sketch of a shopping list was made. The laundry is finished and put away. I’ve made headway in my quest to track down a source for pasture raised eggs, and researched more healthy menu ideas to get more vegetables into our diet.   I’ve put the power bill in the mail, attempted twice more to feed the baby, (who lately is enthralled with everything but eating during the daytime), and I sit down to my cold cup of coffee.  

You know what, Dishes?  You’re not my top priority.  Yes, I’ll get to you, but I’m not going to set aside caring for my husband or baby for you, and neither am I going to let you negate all of the things I’ve already accomplished.  Because you know what, Dishes?  You’re not that big of a deal. 

It’s 11:10 in the morning, the cold coffee is gone, the baby sleeps and these sweats are getting too warm.  Okay, I guess I’ll go do the dishes now. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lessons from the Little One

I think that God, in all his wisdom, designed things so that babies don’t remember their first year.  The first year is so crucial in brain and muscle development, but it’s also a pretty big deal in mom development.  

I am positive that God designed it this way to give us moms a chance to figure out how to be moms without our babies being able to hold our rookie mistakes against us.  

It sure has been a learning process, and interestingly enough, Tucker has had a better attitude about my shortcomings as a mom than I have.   

There was that one day when I was trying to cram in too many errands between feedings and naps - Tucker woke up in the checkout line of the grocery store and started crying to tell me he was hungry.  By the time I pull into the driveway and park he’s screaming his little head off.  I still had to unload the perishable groceries, the baby and the diaper bag, run to the bathroom, and fix a snack so I didn’t pass out before I could sit down to feed the little guy.  After what seemed like an eternity to both of us, I sat down and latched him on.  He nursed frantically for about 30 seconds and then stopped to look up into my face and smile.   And smile.  And smile. 

Sometimes I wonder if babies actually can remember stuff and they just have a greater capacity for forgiveness than we do.  I can definitely see Tucker remembering a lot of things he’s learned in the 3 months he’s been born.  And I don’t think any of us ever forget some of the essential life skills we learn in our first year, (crawling, eating, drinking, etc). 

It’s no wonder Jesus said that we were to be like little children if we wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven.  The way Tucker forgives so easily and completely.  The way he trusts his parents implicitly.  The way he will calm down when he hears my voice, and will spend hours of the day studying my face, as if there were nothing in the world he would rather do. 

If I forgave the ones I felt wronged by as quickly and completely wouldn’t I walk in freedom and enter the kingdom of heaven right away? 

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Romans 14:17

If I looked at my heavenly Father with the same awe, adoration and dependency that little children look at their parents with - what a difference that would make in my peace and my joy!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Rain, rain, go away...."

Rain is really interesting, I realized this morning. I sat in front of the window looking out over the valley as the clouds rolled in. The fire was roaring in the wood stove, and with a cup of tea to warm my fingers, I was ready for whatever those clouds would bring, except that I had procrastinated on feeding the horses. The first drops drizzled down on my head while I went out to the barn to be greeted by Patches and Gunner, and the free range chickens who were seeking shelter from the wet.

Coming back in, I pass my herb garden which is drinking in the life coming down from heaven. The roman chamomile that was wilting and lying flat yesterday is perking up, and my basil plant looks like it is coming back to life.

Yes, it's cold, and it's wet, and it's soaking the firewood pile which means I have to carry logs in to dry them out, but for once, the rainy day feels joyful to me.

Rainy days definitely have a stereotype – stay inside, drink some coffee or tea, curl up with a book - (none of these are bad things to do, just sayin') that goes along with a mood, and that's where I run into a problem. Melancholy, dreary, discontented solitude isn't the way God designed me to live. There's something about rainy days that brings out the selfish in me. “I'm gonna do what I wanna do, because I don't feel like doing anything else.” (The attitude that sucks the life out of anyone around.)

But rain pours itself out on others and in conjunction with sunshine, brings life! The rain comes down until there isn't any rain left, or until the wind moves it away, and then the sun warms the earth, and it doesn't take a trained eye to see the beauty that comes of it. Isn't that how I ought to be living out my faith, and my love for the Lord?

Instead of rainy days being an invitation to serve myself, I want them to be a reminder for me to pour out love on others, so that in conjunction with the Spirit of God, life will spring up.

Monday, April 20, 2015

"...better than good enough."

I've been challenged much lately by feelings of inadequacy. There's nothing like getting married and jumping from life in the city to life in a tiny cabin to let a girl know how much she DOESN'T know.

“Oh my goodness, that horse is dead!!”

“No babe, horses actually like to lay down in the sun like that.”

I'm so thankful for this season of my life, but if I was going to write a novel about it, it would be titled “The Great Adjustment”. All of the life skills that I previously thought were valuable seem unusable, and I've had to learn how to do everyday things.

Yes, I can navigate the grid of LA freeways in rush hour traffic and find 4 alternate routes to my destination. But we only have one road here, and part of it is gravel. “Some help you turned out to be” the enemy whispers.

Yes, I can whip up a 4 course dinner for 16 or 30, or even 40 people with an hour's notice (and a quick trip to Costco) but cooking for just me and my husband is baffling. “You're a terrible housewife!”

I could paint a house, assist with numerous drywall, plumbing, electrical, or even flooring projects, but my husband trains horses and takes care of their feet. And my knowledge of horses is minuscule. And again the enemy whispers, “You're worthless. You have nothing to offer.”

“Don't speak. Don't share. You can't help. You have nothing that they need.”

But Truth cries out and fights back. “NO! Lies!  Lies!  All lies!!”

And my husband assures me that he knew ahead of time that I wasn't a country girl and he really wanted to marry me, and he's glad he did.

And the Holy Spirit gently prods me to offer myself. Because God created me in His image and that is enough.

And in church yesterday my obedient and introverted friend stood up in front of everyone and spoke powerful words challenging me to step up and say “yes” to God when I am inadequate, so He receives all the glory when He does big things through me .

And the tag on my cup of tea this morning read “If you have nothing else to give, give a smile.”

So excuse me while I go split some logs to start a fire that will warm up this cabin before I go out to feed the horses, and then put our little home back in order after a crazy weekend.  And even if I can't accomplish everything I set out to do, I will try my hardest, and I will smile.   Because I am a child of God, and that is better than good enough.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Making a mark

They were bigger, faster, stronger, smarter and older than we were - easily the best team in the co-ed community volleyball league.  In simple terms, we'd won 5 games out of the 36 in the season, and they had lost 4.

We went up against them valiantly and played our hearts out, because that's the reason we came, and we really were steadily improving. 11-21, 17-21, and the final 20-22 that was lost (or won, depends on whose perspective you're looking at) on a very sketchy call.

Obviously we were disappointed to have come so close and to have them overrule in their own favor, but nothing prepared us for what came next.   While walking off the court, our opponent said to her teammate, (for us to overhear) "I just can't get into games like that.  I don't even know why they play, they're so f***ing terrible!""

Our reaction was just what you might expect... we retreated to our corner, seethed, cried, seethed some more, and tried to piece back together our shattered faith in humanity.

"You guys, I feel a little sorry for her.  If winning a volleyball game makes her that mad, how sad is the rest of her life?"

"Guys, it really doesn't matter what she said.  Just let it go!"

"Seriously, what a sad person..."

"You know, we ought to go say something nice to her."

So ten minutes after the stinging remark was thrown out, three of us jumped up and walked over to where she was sitting with her teammates and friends.   I don't remember the exact words we said, but it was something like, "thanks for the game, you guys played awesomely, yada yada..."  What I do remember, the part that is etched into my brain is the way that their jaws dropped.  The girl who had vocally berated us sat there speechless, looking at the floor while her friend looked at us like we'd come from another planet.

"Why would you say that?  Why would you be nice?" he demanded.

"Because we really had fun playing against a team of your caliber.  It challenged and stretched us, and it was fun!"

We turned around and walked out of the gym with a spring in our step.   It took every ounce of self control I had to not turn around and look to see if there really were physical "coals of fire" sizzling on their heads.   It felt good.  We realized that in that moment, we were the better team.  We were bigger, stronger smarter, and in some ways, older than they were.

Two weeks later we re-matched this top team for the first game of the tournament, and I almost had to double check the roster to make sure it was the same team, that's how changed they were.  Their attitudes were transformed.  They offered encouragement, advice, and even praise to our fledgling team.  I don't know the story of their lives or what cause the difference, but I like to think that when our life story collided with theirs, somehow we left a mark.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Delta Flight #4533

I hate saying goodbye.

The tranquil sunset out the window in front of me almost matches tranquility of my desktop background, and my iPod ear buds are shutting out the bustle of the airport terminal to my back, but surrounding myself with peaceful scenes and soundtracks is useless when my heart is overwhelmed. I'm leaving this evening. Leaving the comforts of home, the soothing sounds of Dad's guitar, the balmy breeze of our southern California climate. Leaving Mom's gourmet cooking, connections with life-long friends, and late night talks with my sisters. I'm leaving the ocean, my brand new niece, my ailing grandmother, and all of my handsome brothers. Everything in me begs to stay, but obedience to God's direction says I need to leave.

As much as I hate to go, I'm confident that this is where God has me for this season of my life, and I'm cool with that.

Suddenly, sitting in the airport all by myself, I'm not alone anymore. I'm reminded that I won't be traveling alone, and my traveling partner has also gone before and paved the way.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your way's acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

I halfheartedly congratulate myself that I didn't cry when saying goodbye this time, and wonder if leaving will ever get easier. Somehow, I don't think it will, and I'm oddly comforted by the realization. I'm glad that I have a family who loves me. I'm so thankful we're close enough that it hurts to leave.

Trusting in the Lord means surrendering my will, my plans and my desires to His own, and joyfully living out His purpose for my life.

Delta's flight #4533 is now boarding at gate 59 as I pick up my bags ready to follow.

Monday, February 24, 2014

So much to be thankful for!

After snoozing my alarm just once, I jumped out of bed at 4:something this morning with a little extra spring in my step which was not entirely due to the fact that I had to hustle to get out the door without being late.  See, I've been opening the little coffee shop for a lot of mornings in a row, and today is my last opening shift before I have a week off.

This time tomorrow I'll be on a plane, heading home to see my family - laughter seriously clogs my throat like a sob when I think about hugging my sisters at the airport in the balmy (and smoggy) California air.

Thank You, Father, for the inches of snow that fell yesterday, blanketing our town in white - thank You for your blood which washes m,e even whiter than this snow.

Thank You for the contrast between Idaho's snowy Monday and the sunny weather that waits for me tomorrow in California - thank You for your presence which warms my soul, even warmer than that California sunshine.

Thank You for the family and friends You've given me, both here in Idaho and back home in California - and thank You most of all for Your Son, Jesus Christ, the friend who is closer than a brother.

As the sun comes up illuminating the snow this morning, I'm in awe.  I'm humbled, indebted, grateful, and so freaking excited to be going home tomorrow!!!