h o m e

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  • DIY Puppet Theater

    since leaving my job, almost two months ago (!!!)

    i've been rockin' the stay at home mom thing

    and by "rockin'" I mean, trying not to have a mental and/or emotional breakdown

    while attempting to keep my three year old both alive and entertained

    somedays are better than others

    some ideas are better than others

    a while back i came up with the idea to throw together a makeshift puppet theater

    with some poster board, cardstock, and popsicle sticks

    she LOVED it

    we sang "where is peppa?" for longer than i could stand

    and i was very proud and puffed up for a whole afternoon

    since arriving in florida, i decided to recreate the project 

    with slightly more care, the result was adorableness

    with minor complications

    the contact paper didn't stick quite as well as i had hoped

    and i forgot to leave bending room

    so tucking the sides in when i set it up

    was a bit tricky

    if i were to do it again, i may go with that can of spray paint

    (the one i put back in exchange for the contact paper)

    but all in all, she loved it all over again

    and really, thats why i do these things

  • do the stupid thing.

    even if it's stupid

    i tell myself.

    do the stupid thing

    i've been sitting on lists and ideas and dreams for months

    maybe even years

    been planning and scheming and daydreaming

    and then i sit in silence

    telling myself they aren't good enough

    (you aren't good enough)

    they aren't worth sharing

    (you aren't worth hearing)

    they aren't meaningful or significant or important

    (you aren't meaningful or significant or important)

    and these thoughts overwhelm me

    and the fear of failure

    of doing the stupid thing

    paralyzes me

    but i stood at the edge of the ocean today

    and as the mightiness of God was laid out before me

    i said those words

    even if it's stupid

    do the stupid thing

    because hidden in the lies we hear

    is the Truth that remains.

    when we live our lives in fear of failure

    satan wins

    do the stupid thing

    do the thing that makes your knees shake

    do the thing you think you aren't smart enough to do

    do the thing you think you aren't brave enough to do

    do the thing you think you aren't strong enough to do

    do the thing you aren't enough to do

    sometimes BIG things happen among those of us who aren't enough

    because He is more than enough

    . . . . . . . .

    pray for me, as i start working my way through that list of stupid things.

  • dear daughter, i don't want you to be whatever you want.

    dear daughter,

    these days we say grace 

    and bedtime prayers. 

    we read through that tiny bible 

    and i tell you about how there is a God who loves you, 

    who made you, who has plans for you. 

    and you listen and you believe 

    because i can still scoop you up. 

    i can still hold on to you. 

    but someday, 

    someday you will hear different ideas. 

    you will be inundated with media 

    that screams a different message to you. 

    and like eve and that fruit, you will be drawn to this message. 

    and like eve and that fruit, it will destroy you. 

    e m p o w e r m e n t

    you can do anything! 

    you can be whatever you want! 

    you can shatter glass ceilings!

    daughter, the truth is, 

    the God who formed you in my womb,

    who knit you together with a love 

    that we can neither understand, nor fathom. 

    He does not call you to be whatever you want.

    this life isn’t about your goals.

    it is about His plans.

    it isn’t about what you can accomplish

    but what He can accomplish through you.

    it isn’t about how much you are able to gain

    but about what He gave up for you. 

    daughter, 

    i don’t tell you this to keep you from dreaming

    or to discourage you from pursuing your passions

    but so that someday 

    if your life doesn’t look the way you planned

    if the audience you wanted isn’t there

    if the door you’ve been banging on doesn’t open

    you remember that God is for you. 

    and that it is His plans you should lean into.

    Scripture says, 

    for I know the plans I have for you

    plans to prosper you [eternally]

    plans to give you hope [everlasting]

    plans to give you a future [with Him]

    Rick Warren said, 

    “you were made by God, for God. 

    and until you understand that 

    your life will never make sense.”

    so daughter,

    hear those messages.

    that you are strong

    that you are beautiful

    that you are worthy

    that you matter

    but hear them humble

    from the whisper of a God 

    who treasures YOU 

    more than all the riches that may come

    from being whatever you want. 

  • i voted...but

    Father,

    Like so many, I feel a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. For weeks and maybe months I’ve felt this pit in my stomach. 

    There’s been a lot of unkind words tossed around. 

    A lot of passionate opinions. 

    A lot of division, a lot of hate. 

    And I’ve looked on and I’ve judged those who don’t see eye to eye with me.

    And I’ve wondered how people who follow the same God I follow don’t see these issues the same way I do. 

    And I’ve wondered if maybe I’m the one who is wrong. 

    Maybe their view is more Christ-like, maybe I’ve got it all backwards. 

    And I’ve spent too many hours wrestling with these thoughts.

    And Lord, the truth is, I don’t know if I voted for the right person.

    I don’t know if I voted for who You would have wanted. 

    But I know that I prayed 

    and I thought 

    and I wrestled 

    and I read Your Word 

    and I prayed some more 

    and then I filled out that ballot 

    and begrudgingly mailed it off. 

    There are those of us who love you Lord, and who serve you Lord.

    And I’ve been thinking, how is it that we aren’t voting the same way?

    How is it that we feel so differently? But do we really...

    because isn’t what we believers are truly voting for that Your Will be done?

    I may have cast a ballot but Lord you reign over all. 

    You’ve got the whole world in Your hands. 

    You have plans for our nation, plans for Your people.

    And regardless of how I vote. regardless of whether or not I got it right, Thy Will be done. 

    Thy Will be done.

  • the best yes

    four weeks since he asked me to commit to forever. four months since he told me his name at church that one Sunday night. four months and it seems that it has been both a flash and forever.

    four years ago I was pregnant and insecure and asking the Almighty if I was ever going to hear those words. if I was ever going to be asked that question. 

    and for four years my heart, it broke, and it doubted, and it ached, and it fell for the wrong people, and it grappled with God.

    they say it happens when you least expect it. when you finally let it go. and those words can be hell to hear for a heart filled with longing.

    it wasn't when, or how, I least expected it. it wasn't when I let it go. it happened following disappointment and one final heartbreak. it happened when through tears and frustration and pain I fought back anger and determined that my longing would not be greater in my life than my God. that my longing would not be a barrier to loving my God.

    and then there you were. in a place I'd been every Sunday for months.

    six weeks passed before you introduced yourself and three months to the day I learned your name, you asked me to be your wife. 

    and it was the happiest yes I've ever said. 

    [ IMAGES: Eyes Above Photography ]

  • slowing down

    these days go by quickly

    a little too quickly for me

    and in the midst of these days

    i lost a whole month to two misdiagnosed illnesses

    and a confirmed case of mono

    there was whining and weeping 

    and re-watching of the office

    and here i am

    here august is

    and we are just going to slow down

    be a little more grateful

    a little more intentional

    dust off that camera a little more

    capture the chaos and the quiet

    start something new

    explore somewhere new

    be joyful for small wins and simple moments

    be joyful in hard days and boring ones

    and love this ordinary life i am blessed to be living

  • when i discovered what self-care is and is not

    it is not another thing to add to the list

    it is not a guilt trip.

    it is not highlights

    or lowlights

    or lacquers 

    or liquor.

    self-care is a mindset that believes

    you are worthy of forgiveness, of grace, of belonging. 

    self-care chooses simple over stress

    it knows, or maybe just whispers, that you are more than pinterest parties

    and instagram photos

    it accepts that sometimes practical must come before perfect

    that somedays the meals will have been previously frozen

    and there will be more than the daily recommended screen time

    and the dishes are going to keep sitting there

    and the laundry can wait

    it looks at the messy life it is standing in

    and knows that compassion is always greater than comparison

    that we are not competing but we are conquering

    conquering small mountains, day in and day out. 

    that everyday,

    our presence,

    our pouring out of ourselves,

    is enough.

  • When Everyone Is Bouncing Back, And You're Falling Flat.

    And they call it bouncing back,

    as if it were as simple and natural as a rubber ball that hits concrete

    and shoots back up.

    And for some, maybe it is, that simple.

     

    I see photos of mamas nursing in bikinis,

    while my hands nervously tug at the hems of my shorts

    hoping the extra inches of my in-seam

    might hide my insecurities.

     

    The day she arrived, I fell apart.

    who I was crumbled

    that I might become who she needed.

     

    And it was more than just flesh that was sacrificed

    my house, my hair, my mental health

    it all fell apart.

    And I wandered into this new role

    without a clue, or a plan

    just a heart that beat hard for this girl

    and hope in the unknown plan, of an Eternal Father.

     

    And three years deep

    I’m still bouncing back.

    Still recovering, still adjusting,

    most days all my efforts seem to fall flat.

     

    But when all I see is failure,

    You see me.

     

    And you don’t judge worthiness

    By how quickly we bounce back

    But how quickly we fall to our knees.

     

    And while the world may overlook

    Those of us that don’t measure up

    You’ve been using us,

    Who fall flat, fall short, fall apart,

    As a measure of Your love.

     

    When our hearts ask,

    Am I enough?

    You whisper, I can fill you up.

     

     

     

  • enough is enough.

    Saturday was simple. Just a children’s museum with a friend, so the kiddo could run around and the adults could talk. And I welcomed the break from standing alone on the edge of a playground. For me, it was a great joy, just to be in a space with a friend. To share pleasantries, to exchange everyday news…but as we parted ways and I began to drive off, I felt this nagging pit that I had been a disappointment to my friend. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this. I’m blessed to have a tribe of women who share their lives with me. Who show up and eat meals, share laughs, and share tears with me. And afterwards, I always wonder if they found the moments worth their time. If what I had offered, had been worthwhile. I find myself desiring to keep them engaged; keep them interested, keep them inspired not to waste their time. Driving home Saturday this hit me hard. Why do I feel like my presence isn’t enough? That I can’t just share a space and quiet moments with the ones I love so dearly? Why do I feel this nagging that I need to offer something more?

     

    When did I become the girl who believed she, in and of herself, was not enough? That I need to prove myself valuable in order to be accepted. That love is conditional and not freely given. Is that really how I feel? And if I feel that way about myself, is that how I treat others? Will my daughter wonder if she has to earn my love?


    You are enough, I whisper.

    The kiddo is asleep in her car seat now. Head cocked slightly to the side, and hanging forward.

     

    You are enough. It’s my mantra now.

     

    Without entertaining, or counseling, or inspiring…just you, standing there, with your attempts at being present and your mind that is spinning and your fragmented sentences and your incomplete thoughts.

     

    You are enough.

     

    There have been so many who have shown in different ways that their love must be earned. That it comes at a price. And so I found myself believing that everyone feels this way. But there are those, who will sit silent on a couch with you and feel joy. There are those who will stand in a crowded museum, listening to your scattered thoughts and feel happy. There will be those who call just to hear you say everything is good, there is nothing new…to hear you mention grocery shopping and rattle on about potty training and laundry and oh you know, same old same old.

     

    There will always be those and even if not, there will always be Him, who knows just how simple and quiet and scattered and noisy your brain, your life, you, can be. And oh, how He loves you.

  • good friday.

    and there i was. feeling all sorts of nothing. 

    nothing worth noticing.
    nothing worth knowing.
    nothing worthwhile. 

    with a heart that was hurting. 
    and a head filled with questions. 
    and a list of lies, i was keen on believing. 

    and i was alone in my mess. 
    messy hair. messy house. messy life. 

    on the night it was finished
    the only it that truly matters. 
    the it that says, to me, you are worth everything. 

    worth suffering for.
    worth being humiliated for.
    worth dying for. 

    your heart that beats
    and feels
    and breaks
    is what i'm after. 

    i gave up everything, my own life, 
    for that heart. 
    and in me alone, is that heart safe,
    is that heart home. 

    there is good in suffering. 
    he suffered that we might be saved.
    may our earthly suffering
    be the kind that saves as well. 

    saves us from greater suffering,
    saves us for greater joy.