The Jesus of My Grief

A story. We all have one, don’t we? In fact, we are all in the process of being written- all in the process of birth, formation, downfall, crisis, pain, rebirth and renewal. We are all characters in this novel called life, immersed within the forces of good and evil…of true life and certain death. Yes, we all have a story to tell with our lives.  [Read more...]

Old Truths for A New Year

A few nights ago I was laying with my youngest Elijah to coax him to sleep.  He was restless and a little afraid, lying on the pallet we made for him at the end of the guest bed in my mom and dad’s basement.  As I lay there I began processing, as I often do, about the ways the day went wrong, the ways in which I could have done it better, and I felt sick with regret.  I have always seen life in pictures, always been a visual learner, a dreamer and a visionary. And so as I lay there, stewing on failure, thinking about the ways I had let down the people I love most, I saw myself staring into a mirror with my reflection scornfully and shamefully staring back at me.  The image was a perfect and frightening reflection of the spirit of dismay and disdain I was inflicting upon myself.  I lay there tormented for a moment and then I heard myself pray, as if my spirit were lurching out for the help my mind was too berated to reach for…
“Lord what do You want me to see?”

Eager For The Tree

There is an energy and an excitement in our home that is unmatched to any other time of year…Christmas is coming.  Traveling and movies in the car, snacks all day, way too many Happy Meals and plastic trinkets, staying up late, grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins, 3D movies and of course, Christmas morning is coming. Presents are coming.  What could they be?
The list keeps growing.  Every time we go to the store, new toys invigorate the senses and I hear, “Oh I want that for Christmas too.”  But the presents have already been bought.  All four of them for each kid and I fear, will Christmas disappoint?  The expectation of wildest dreams coming true and this wanting for anything you could ever imagine.  Why do my kids (our kids) posses this fascination, this deep down longing for having it all?    [Read more...]

John. Fear. And Jesus.

He was heaving and I was scared.  What was the cause of this sadness from my seven-year-old boy?  What disrupted his sleep and mounted him on fear and panic?  The conversation began-

“What’s wrong John?  Why are you so upset?”
No words. Only sobbing.“Johnny, I can’t comfort you and help you unless I know what you’re thinking about. Please tell me.”
He just buried his head in my lap and the weeping and shaking continued.  After several minutes of continual urging, he finally uttered,
“I just can’t tell you.  I can’t say it out out loud.  It’s too bad.” [Read more...]

Ordinary turned Extraordinary

Today was an ordinary day.
I weeded the flower bed I neglected all summer while watching my kids ride their bikes in the cul-de-sac.  I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cleaned up an entire roll of toilet paper the two-year-old claimed as his own.  I hauled this same two-year-old to a bath after he discovered a bottle of honey and decided his goldfish needed a lake to swim in.  I sprayed little hand prints off the glass and did a load of laundry. I answered phone calls and sent emails. I juggled work and home and school. I stopped a nose bleed. I disciplined. I yelled. I felt sick about it. I asked forgiveness. I snuggled. I counted my blessings. I encouraged. I reheated my morning tea this afternoon…It was an ordinary day.

And then there was disappointment. A longing I have was thwarted and that pain was like a single drop of black food coloring falling into a clean glass of pure water- and just like that everything changed. Everything was stained by disappointment.

Panic turned to Peace

I screamed, that shrill gut level cry that can only be manufactured in moments of terror. Thankfully, he stopped.  The car and its driver raced past unaware that my baby stood inches away.  It was a terrifying moment.  A moment that handcuffed and dragged me back in time, back to the fear and horror of death, back to trembling arms, bleeding heart and still baby.
I ran and grabbed Elijah into my arms and then felt the wave coming.  I squeezed him tight and quickly handed him off to my sister and ran inside to lock myself behind closed doors to let my lava heart erupt.  I kept reliving the moment- kept playing out alternate endings.  I couldn’t shake the image.  The thought kept surging through my mind- what would have happened if I hadn’t screamed? I quickly concluded- I saved his life.  I screamed and I saved his life.  That was when I heard His voice…the simultaneously gentle and convicting whisper that proclaimed, “No, I saved Him.”  And in that instant, all the dark and hazy colors of the moment turned instantly bright and clear and panic vanished.  [Read more...]


It’s been a long season and the running and panting continue.  I long for a deep sense of recovery, for a peace that circumstances cannot penetrate.  I long for a break from all the fretting and faltering, the hoping and striving, the faith-ing forward and the falling fearful that seem to accompany me everywhere.  I am in need of peace.  Do you know this feeling? The need for rest that eight hours of sleep and afternoon naps don’t touch?  A need for the kind of rest that unrelenting circumstances and unanswered prayers cannot subdue?
I am a living paradox. One moment I am encouraging a friend over the phone, pronouncing the depth of God’s love and goodness for her.  The next I am phoning my sister in tears, in desperation for the pep talk I just gave.  I am in one moment effervescent with gratitude, and the next I am a grumbling mess.  I am enthralled by my three boys- grass stains and mini boxer briefs melting my heart and erecting a smile.  It’s a laundry room moment that is a museum of wonder and delight for me.  Do I really get to be their mama?  But how quickly this sunny experience is eclipsed by a dark pain and I am simply, tears streaming, heart aching, tutu skirt and leotard longing. [Read more...]

Just Give Me Jesus!

When I hush the world, all of the sorrow and screaming scenes-

When I grow still within and shush myself, the fretting and the feeling-
When I push pause on everything around me, silence falls like a blanket and Just Give Me Jesus is all that I hear.
As I push play and resume living in myself, my home, my world, this is what I must clutch
Just give Me Jesus. [Read more...]

My Name Is?

Love came to me this week just as I prayed it would.  Even though I was waiting for it, it surprised me.  The tablet of my heart is nearly full from all the writing Jesus did upon it this week.  I am desperate to jot it all down here….for you, for me.  There is one word however that stands out from the rest, one experiential name that has captivated me.  It is my honor and privilege to inscribe it to you now.
Comforter. [Read more...]

Am I really home?

I have been sitting here for a while staring at the screen, my hands hovering the keys, waiting.  I feel it, but sometimes it takes a while for all that simmers inside to come scripting out.  I hear this prayer rise…Make these, my words, a well oiled river, flowing the brokenness of me and the wholeness of you, up, out and over.  The simmer becomes a boil.  I process what the prayer means.  It’s a pleading that the mess of me combined with the perfection of God will emerge, expand, and explode right past my heart and onto the page. The prayer gives birth to vocabulary… [Read more...]