Friday, November 29, 2013

six weeks

Declan has been a part of our family for six weeks now.  

There have been precious moments.

There have been anxiety filled moments.

There have been laugh filled moments.

There have been tear filled moments.  (His, and mine)

There have been tender, love filled moments.

There have been tense, short-fuse filled moments.

There have been moments where friends and family have stood in my kitchen, leaving meals and hugs and encouragement.

There have been moments of boy - wrestling, poking, laughing, sweating, yelling, running.

Every day that I look at his face,  I know I was meant to be his mama.  I remember each and every pleading, prayerful word said to my heavenly father, begging for a healthy baby to bring home.

He is mine, and I am his.  And every time his eyes lock with mine and a sweet little smile creeps onto his face, every scream filled minute we have endured seems to melt away and I forget the stress, the anxiety, the pure helplessness I have felt about not being able to make him feel better.  

We're figuring each other out.

This Thanksgiving week, I give thanks for my children.  The crazy, rambunctious boys here in my home and the girl in heaven I never got to know. All of them make me a better person.  

Friday, November 15, 2013


For a long time I drove a car that had a broken driver's side window.  The power window feature was faulty, and it wouldn't roll all the way up and it wouldn't roll all the way down.  There was a a pretty substantial gap in that window.  My commute to work in those days was about an hour one way, and on the days it poured down rain, I used my left arm to hold up a folded towel at the top of the window to shield myself from getting soaked.

Some days I really, really hated that car.  I hated its faulty window, I hated the fading paint.  I hated that it told the world I was a nobody, a nothing, a person who didn't have it together.  I thought bad thoughts about the car, but mostly I thought bad thoughts about myself.  That car was tangible evidence to the world that I was BROKE.  It felt like a scarlet letter.

L for Loser.

Looking back, I can see how silly it was to give so much power to a car.  A car that got me from point A to point B.  A car that allowed me to commute an hour one way, so that I could keep a job that paid me enough to provide for my son all by myself.  A car that at the very least kept my son dry in the back seat and kept us safe.  It was not a symbol of my status or lack thereof - it was a symbol of provision.  God's provision to me, and in turn, my provision to my son.

Ten years as a single mom taught me a lot about relying on God for our 'daily bread'.  I'd actually gotten really good about shelving the stress and anxiety that come from being the sole provider.

I trusted God to provide, and He did.  There was never extra, never a surplus, and it was never easy - things were tight, things were hard and as my car story proves, my life was hardly glamorous.

If there is one thing the last year or so of life has taught me, it's that things can change in the blink of an eye.







It swirls in and out of each chapter of our story, and some days it seems there is nothing we can do except ride the wave and try with all our might not be carried out to sea.

This season of our lives has taught me about grace, about forgiveness, about love, about trust, about compassion, strength, loyalty, friendship, anger, disappointment, fear, reliance, happiness & sadness.

It has taught me that God's provision rarely comes in the form of a fully loaded, brand new $35k vehicle with working power windows.  In fact, I have found that His provision is more like the car that you aren't entirely sure will get you from point A to point B because it doesn't have good shocks or struts, the power windows don't work and you might as well forget about power steering.

It's a rough ride.  It's downright terrifying at times.

But somehow, despite broken windows and sketchy brakes, God does get you from point A to point B.  And sometimes you aren't sure how you got there because your teeth were clenched and your knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel so hard and you were sure that you weren't going to arrive in one piece.  Sometimes you arrive soaking wet because you had a faulty window that allowed sheets of cold, pouring rain to pelt you along the way.


God does provide.  It's probably nothing like you were expecting or even wanting and it may end up altering the course of your life forever...

...but His plan is good.  He is good. 

Facing uncertain circumstances with 5 kids, the youngest just 4 weeks old is definitely a lot different than doing so as a single mom of 1.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't secretly hoping a big ol brand new plush Cadillac Escalade could be our vehicle of choice on this journey - but I know deep down a 15 year old two door Honda will get us there, even if we acutely feel each bump along the way.  

By the way, eventually some really generous people at my church stepped in and got my car window fixed for me. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013


No, this isn't a secret mission from the latest episode of Scandal.

Let me tell you about my day yesterday.

Actually, let me show you.  This pretty much sums up my entire day.

One cranky newborn.

One toddler cutting his molars and under the weather.

One very messy, chaotic, out of control house.

One very overwhelmed mommy.

I was pretty crabby yesterday.  I'm not going to lie.  So tonight, when my friend sent me a link to this fun little pay it forward game circulating through Instagram called Operation Redcup, I knew I had to join in.  (#operationredcup)  I needed the boost in my mood that comes from paying it forward!

Someone started this by loading their Starbucks card and posting the card number to Instagram with encouragement for people to have a cup of coffee, on her.  And then a few other people jumped on board with this fun idea - and then strangers started reloading her card so that even MORE people could have free cups of you see where I'm going with this?  It's like a big giant pay it forward movement with the Starbucks Red Cup...which, as we all know, kicks off the start to one of the best times of year.

So, to combat my crabby mood from yesterday - tonight I decided I would do the same thing.  I'm posting my Starbucks card on Instagram & here on the blog in the hopes that a few people will grab themselves a free cup of coffee and that someone will pay it forward by reloading it, which you have to do from your computer:

And maybe I can convince one or two of you to join in and do it too!  Just show the barista this picture on your phone, or give them the card number.  

It's the perfect time of year to pay it forward.  A free Starbucks drink in the signature red cup will make someone's day!

Do it!

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.  ~ Deuteronomy 16:17 

Looks like someone used the entire card in one purchase.  Kinda bummed about the dishonesty BUT it's a chance for someone to reload it...who'll take me up on it?