Sunday, April 29, 2018


Empathy, they say is a spiritual gift. God saw fit to bequeath it to me and over the years, I have struggled endlessly with the pain that gift creates in my soul. As I intercede for those I encounter in search of healing, I am often overwhelmed. In God's perfect timing, I read my devotion Saturday morning as sunrise danced across the pages and again discovered God's promise to weave His story through the brokenness I often avoid. It's the shattered pieces of beautiful lives I treasure God is using to illustrate His redemption.

This was a week of suffering for many and my heart ached with the weight of it all. A young mother kissed her son as he entered a brain stem tumor biopsy. A sister in Christ is desperately running from the One who saves, believing she deserves Hell. A young woman was lost suddenly to an accident, leaving an entire community in shock. And our daughter returned wounded yet seeking healing in the safety of Home just three years after soaring out of our nest. Her story is not what she believed was written and the shock of that is still resonating. What a privilege it is to be her mother and needed in this moment.

In these days, it isn't nearly enough to believe in God. No, it's a season for recognizing God believes in me and I am called to live as though He lives through me. Erin has returned and I am grateful she chose Home to heal. Her strength is a force and God has just begun revealing her next chapter.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Senior Photos

Being the third child, Makenna is used to accepting leftovers and hand-me-downs. This is her Senior year and we are sailing through it without any sentimental connections. We've been here before and frankly I think I might be as ready to see her high school career completed as she is. Senioritis is real and we both have it.

We hired someone to take her photos last fall and by the time we realized we weren't going to be getting her images from that photographer, the weather had turned and her schedule with the theatre was insane.  We failed to get them taken again while we still had color on the trees and temperatures were above freezing. Looking at the calendar and acknowledging we were running out of time for graduation announcements made us squeeze in a quick session last evening.

Conditions were less than ideal but Makenna is used to going with the flow and the results are as beautiful as our daughter.

Her best friend David joined us in the theatre for a few shots and had to be reminded he was in front of a camera, not a firing squad. Not every kid grows up with my camera in their face and his energy entertained my less than kind daughter.
This was the moment it all got real. She was taken aback looking in the mirror. And whereas I am not emotional, I am incredibly proud. She is ready to soar.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekend with Austin (and the rest of the family too)

My parents hosted a giant gathering as we all invaded their home this weekend to spend time together. Lauren and Taylor weren't yet up for the full drive all the way home so Grandma's house was a nice meeting location. It was the first time my parents met Austin and also the first time we were all together since Christmas. It was perfect. Now for a photo blast.......

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A year without Jen


It's been almost a year since I last kissed your cheek and told you I love you in person. Over the course of that year, I have run through a plethora of emotions and feelings about that good-bye. It wasn't fair, it wasn't enough and I am still angry for you. Your health and the choices made on your behalf were anything but reasonable. You suffered immeasurably those final months and did so with grace. Sitting bedside each visit, coaxing you to eat or wake long enough to share a story or two was near impossible toward the end. You deserved so much better than you were dealt and I have wrestled more with God over your life story than all 44 years of my own.

I lift Shelby in prayer often and marvel at each post she shares. She is simply beautiful inside and out, just like her mother. I recently enjoyed a few texts with your sister about grand babies and the joy we are finding in life despite the raw moments we all still experience. If you hadn't been so damn wonderful, perhaps your village wouldn't still be in pain and maybe the void wouldn't be too large to fill.

I miss you, Jen. I miss you so much. We were always real with each other; celebrating our kids one minute and lamenting the latest angst the next. I miss your perspective because whereas we didn't always agree, we respected and loved each other. There aren't too many people with the capacity to love like you and I count it a privilege to have been your friend; even if only for a short ten years. I hope I was a good friend to you too; you deserved the best.

Facebook time hop frequently reminds me of you; with all our comments and banter over the years. Often those memories are unexpected and painful for me while others make me laugh fully. You, my dear friend were special. So in the coming days I anticipate being reminded of the day we lost you. I dread it so I am just letting you know now how much you meant to me because I am not sure I am brave enough to face everyone else's pain. Your fan club is still quite vast and wounds are slowly healing but all of us are better people for having known you.

Rest easy sweet friend.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Weekend

We kicked off our three day Easter weekend with a special visitor. Benjamin has been sorely missed these last five months and our visit was much too brief. Ty is once again processing how to say goodbye to his "brother".

We made the most of the time we had together. The boys didn't miss a beat and resumed role play,  games and non-stop action. They looked like they'd rolled in dirt piles by bedtime each day; evidence of a great time.

My parents also joined our simple Easter celebration. Banter around the dinner table or or in front of Facetime with Lauren and Austin was lively and full of laughter. Add Greg's amazing turkey after church today and life was pretty sweet.

Easter baskets are tricky for teens and even pre-teens. Makenna was captured fully with the sign alone. She says she will place it on her desk every period tomorrow. Senioritis is so very real in her world these days. The alarm has been set for the first time in two weeks. Tomorrow will be rough even though I welcome routine. We are in the home stretch with nine remaining school weeks. Most of us are going to make it. Makenna swears she won't.