Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I May be Crazy, but Here Goes...

We started going to a new church in September. The idea was planted before we lost the baby, but when we actually took the plunge our baby was gone, making it a sweet and painful time to uproot and start fresh in a new community.

God clearly knew what He was doing. Doesn't He always?! You'd think after following Jesus for over a decade I would have learned by now that He, the Creator and Maker of the universe (not to mention my heart), would know what He was doing. 

Anyway, it was scary and a tad bit overwhelming. I have a hard time going in halfway. When it comes to community I tend to open up and bear my soul (which often involves tears), I wish I could hold back, but for some reason this is how God has created my messy heart. Literally on my sleeve. I've been told by others who have been witness to my tears and vulnerability in the context of community, that it's refreshing and frees them up to be vulnerable as well. I have also spent many years believing that I am too much. Too emotional. Too overwhelming for other people to handle. The darn devil literally wants to turn what God clearly intended for good into something I feel ashamed of.

Thankfully the Holy Spirit's voice is stronger. It may be softer...but it is certainly more powerful than the lies that so easily entangle.

I'm not in any way "there" yet, but I am learning to listen to the voice of the Lord, and nothing else. At least that's what my desire is. I am praying that 2015 changes my heart to be more in tune with my Maker.

Back to our new church, and the new study I began in the Fall.

As a small group we read the book "Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker, and it literally: ROCKED. My. World.

I'm still reeling from it. I am not kidding. This book stirred up in me a desire for a different kind of life. A different kind of faith. One that looks nothing like the faith life I have known up until this point. But with this heart-shift comes a lot of questions. Practically speaking, how does this play out in my day-to-day life? If I knew the answer, I would be happy to share it here...but I am still trying to wrestle with it all.

I wasn't ready to set Jen's ideas on the shelf, so I decided to read another one of her books. She is one of the most honest, witty, encouraging, and challenging authors I have ever read.

Enter "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess". Also by Jen Hatmaker. Seriously, if you do one thing this week, go buy this book. Or check it out from the library. I've checked it out at least twice three times from the public library digital collection (sorry Jen, I'm cheap) ;) but seriously I keep reading and re-reading it.

Thank you Karla for recommending this book to me (oh, a year or two ago). I finally gathered enough courage to actually read it...and I am SO THANKFUL that I did!

So...after reading through Jen's journey, I've decided that it's time to embark on my own journey. I am excited and terrified at the same time. But I am pretty much certain that if I take a step GIANT leap of faith, Jesus is going to change my heart and life, to the degree that at the end of 2015 I will not be the same woman that I am today.

Here is my plan.

I am going to be fasting throughout the next year.

One month at a time.

One area of my life at a time.

I will fail many times I am sure. And I will also be covered in grace.

And that's pretty much all I know at this point.

I have a plan for the first month, and I have a "map" for the year as a whole, but beyond that I am going to figure it out one step at a time.

I may be crazy, literally, but I need to do something drastic to reset my habits, and jumpstart my heart. I want change desperately, and I know myself all too well (creature of habit that I am); unless I do something completely new and different I can already picture myself a year from now - pretty much the same person I am looking at in the mirror today.

So, here goes. 

Jesus, bring on 2015. I may not be ready, but I know You are!!!

.    .    .

2 0 1 5    Y E A R    M A P

Month One:  M E D I A

Month Two:  P O S S E S S I O N S

Month Three:  F O O D

Month Four:  W A S T E

Month Five:  C L O T H E S

Month Six:  S P E N D I N G

Month Seven:  S T R E S S

.    .    .

M O N T H    O N E   -   M E D I A

Lord help me. I think this may be the hardest for me, which is why it is most certainly up first in the line-up. For the next 30 days, I will be abstaining from media.

No TV (which includes TV watched online or on Netflix). No radio (unless it's classical music). No Instagram. No blog-reading. No phone games or random entertaining apps. Limited texting. Email only once per day. 

I am terrified. 

But I am also craving the quiet that will inevitably come along with this fast. Quiet to pray. To read God's Word. To read other books. To look into the eyes of the people I am with and live in the moment. To look around and behold the glory of God in the world around me.

Goodbye Media. 

I am sure I will miss you. 

But my hope is that I will gain so much more than I am missing.

[ more blogging to follow as I learn and grow over the next month ]

Too Cute for Words :)

This post was meant to be shared in mid-June. I love these pictures :) They truly are too cute, precious, and funny to let this sit in my "draft posts" any longer.

Harry and Madi

Alice and I (she's like an adopted Grandma to us)!

Harry being silly when I dropped him off at school one day last spring.

One second he was all smiles...

...the next moment: grumpy-pants-mcgee! HAHAHAHA!

Sunday Fun-day: Mariners

Shortly after we lost the baby, we took Harry to see a Mariner's game. It was a fun day, but it was honestly hard for me. I put a smile on, took pictures, basked in the glorious fall sunshine, drank lemonade and ate ice cream.

But inside my heart was still a broken mess.

It was good to get out. It was good to do something fun with friends and enjoy time with our precious boy. Part of me had a wonderful time...and it was excruciatingly painful at the same time.

Isn't that the way of suffering?

You keep waking up.
You move forward because that is truly the only way that time allows us to go.
And yet you ache. Sometimes it's tucked down deep and no one around you knows it's there. Other times it bubbles up to the surface and you can't help but let it spill out, for me it comes in the form of uncontrollable tears.

I'm so thankful to be at the point in this journey that I can look back on this day. This fun, miserable day. A day that felt almost unbearable...and know that I've made it through many painful days, and yet I'm still standing.

I am so thankful that I took pictures of this day.

I am so thankful that my Savior carried me through so many dark days.

I am so thankful that He continues to carry me through the moments when I weep over our lost baby, and the moments when I pray desperately for another child.

It's a NEW YEAR starting tomorrow and I am certain that 2015 will be full of Jesus. It will likely be full of joy, laughter, tears, and pain. That's how life goes. And while I wish the suffering didn't hurt so's been in the darkness of our loss that I have experienced the GREAT LIGHT of my Lord in a new way. For that I am more than thankful. The Lord gives and He takes away. While I don't fully understand it all, I am choosing to march into the New Year FILLED TO OVERFLOWING with HOPE. It's truly the only way that I can live; if I'm following Christ I am following the only source of True Hope and Peace.

Thank You JESUS!


I was blessed with an INCREDIBLE college experience. Full of deep friendships, spiritual growth, laughter, tears, and so much more than words could ever summarize.

In June, when there was a shooting at SPU, my friends got together to eat breakfast/brunch, and celebrate the life-changing place that SPU is...and the work that God is still doing there even in the midst of such sorrow.

I meant to post these photos in June, but somehow they got stopped up in my "drafts". This day was too sweet to forget, so here it is. Over six-months later.

But I think it is safe to say that SPU could still use our prayers. Especially the individuals and friends who had their lives altered that fateful day when gunshots were fired, and a life was taken far too soon.

Laurie, Ransom, Sara, Katie, Heidi. So much beauty in this photo!

It was a gorgeous day, but very sobering!

Flowers, cards, tears, prayers,!

Life continues to move forward even in the midst of deep pain. We literally felt the Holy Spirit blowing through the breeze, moving the tree branches and leaves, and moving in our hearts!

Art and inspiration. Hope displayed for the world to see!

Here we are again. Such precious Christ-centered friendships! We missed you Allie and Lisa :(


Thursday, December 25, 2014

So Unworthy, SO THANKFUL!

This morning I am in awe. Jesus came in complete humility to be with us. He came as a baby to live and die and rise again so that we might have life and have it to the fullest. The Creator of the universe loves us that much.

It honestly blows my mind when I consider it.

That is what Christmas is all about. And the magic of it all - the lights, carols, treats, family traditions, gifts - is just a glimpse of The TRUE Gift of Christmas, Jesus Christ!

I woke up this morning, and it's truly a Christmas miracle - Harry is still asleep. So I'm sitting by the fire, with the tree and candles lit, and gifts waiting for our sweet boy to discover. We were thoroughly spoiled yesterday by Josh's family...and I am sure that we will be equally spoiled later today when we head to my parent's house. Our families do Christmas BIG, and I have struggled this Christmas season feeling the weight of how unworthy I am of such generosity. I struggle to do things "right". My house is a mess most all of the time. My Christmas cards are still sitting on my desk waiting to be sent out. At work I feel like there's always more I could be doing to be the teacher I long to be. I struggle because to me, doing things right looks like absolute perfection...and I constantly fall short.

As I walked down the stairs this morning I had a quiet thought; I know it wasn't from me, because these are not the kinds of things I think up on my own.

The Holy Spirit whispered in the quiet of my heart that my imperfection, my failing, my lack of feeling "worthy", and my longing for perfection is exactly why Jesus came.

Christmas is extravagant because the grace of Jesus is nothing short of extravagant. I don't deserve a picturesque Christmas morning in my home with my sweet family. I don't deserve the generosity of my family. I don't deserve grace...

...even if my house were perfectly clean all of the time.

...even if I was the perfect friend, the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher (fill in the blank)

I would still need Jesus. Because even my best attempt at perfection would not be enough to save me.

I have a long way to go. My heart is often times a mess, but God is not done working on me. And I know He isn't done working on your heart either. He is truly in the business of redeeming lives and changing hearts to be more full and complete and aligned with the heart of the Father.
Oh sweet Jesus THANK YOU FOR COMING. Thank you for giving up your throne in heaven to experience life on this earth as a man. You lived the life I cannot live. You died the death that my sin deserves. You rose and conquered sin and death...and now you live on the throne again. I long for the day when you return or call me home to be with you Jesus. In the meantime I am overwhelmed by your extravagant grace in my life. Nothing evidences that like Christmas does. Please help me to have a heart of gratitude that realizes and appreciates the gift of Christmas each and every day. Christmas days come and go, tomorrow will be here before I know it. And yet, you are with me always and will never leave or forsake me Lord. Thank you for loving me - a broken messy woman who tries to earn your grace. Please help me to realize more and more in this coming year that you long for me to just surrender my life to you...and that all of my striving will not make you love me any more or less.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

LOVE in action :)

I don't like to get too mushy on here. But this is pretty much the most romantic thing a husband can do: clean up the house!

I'm serious. When life is crazy and I'm overwhelmed, my desire to keep things clean and organized goes out the window. Throw an almost three year old in the mix and it looks like there's been a tornado running through my home on most days. 

Tonight after being gone all day and riding in the car for about 5 hours total, I came home to a tidy house. Thank you Jesus for a husband who saw my desperate need and filled it. Such a blessing!

I'm not bragging to make you all think our marriage is perfect. It's honestly far from it...but I am sharing because I tend to focus on the things that need changing/fixing in my marriage, not the things that are going well. And tonight I wanted to document the thankfulness I feel for Josh's help today. 

Thanks honey! I SO APPRECIATE you!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Am I Imagining Things?

I recently started an epic Netflix TV show extravaganza (i.e. The complete Gilmore Girls series). I actually never watched it when it was on TV, but I love the main actresses and now I'm hooked. 

Poor Josh! His mom watched the show for years so he's seen far too much of it ;)

Anyway, in an episode I watched tonight (after Harry went to bed) while doing laundry and dishes the following scene popped up:

That's Sookie (spelling?) and a guest star...who I'm 99.9% positive is the Air Marshall in the movie, Bridesmaids. If you've seen it you might be cracking up right now! Especially if you watched the strange clip of these two after the credits of Bridesmaids 😂😂😂😂😂! 

Highly inappropriate but seriously HILARIOUS! 

Tis the Season

This post has been sitting in my "drafts" since Thanksgiving weekend! Better late than never I suppose 😉!

Yesterday we woke up to snow! 

Today I wake up to our gorgeous Christmas tree!

So thankful!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pumpkins Galore!

This year we had the treat of going to the pumpkin patch with my family from Montana. It's my dad's brother Rick, his wife Val and their adorable daughter Emma!  Our friends from church (the Daker family) came as well, with their two daughters!

These pictures speak for themselves. I think it's pretty clear we had a wonderful time at the pumpkin patch this year!

Family Photo Op ;)

My mom and grandma!

Cousin Emma and Harry! So cute!!!

Cheese...also photobomb by Josh :)

So dorky! :)

Uncle Rick, Grandma, Mom, Dad + Me

I made Emma pose for this one.

The bubble station is always Harry's favorite!

Going for a ride!

Trying to be a big boy helping cousin Emma out!

Grandma, Me, Mom + Aunt Valerie

Checking out the bunnies with his Grandma!

He was a little nervous about the goat, lol!

These pics made me want to get a kitten. SO STINKIN' CUTE!

This is the best family photo we got that day. 

Josh looks handsome, Harry looks silly...and I just look weird

"Is this a good one mom?"

Also...he apparently didn't like getting his hands dirty.

This one cracks me up! Harry was trying to show off I think...and Carlee

Carlee, Harry + Emma

This may be my favorite! I'm honestly shocked that Harry wasn't picking his nose too ;)

Grandma + Harry were working hard to get our pumpkins up to the check-out stand.

It took many tries to get a "good" picture of Harry at the measuring stick. But I was bound and determined to get a picture from this year to compare with last year's picture!!!

I am totally that mom!

This was the "best" I could manage...

But totally worth seeing how much he's grown in the last year! INCREDIBLE!!!