Saturday, July 31, 2010


Until today it was only twice...but tonight it's three times.

I have only cried very, very hard three times in my adult life.

I cried very, very hard the night before my maternity leave ended. I put Trevor in his crib and then climbed into bed beside Justin and absolutely fell the heck apart. Something felt very, very not right about not being home with Trevor. I worked from January 2nd until May 28th, and when that school year's contract was up, I never went back. Furthermore, I never even looked back.
I cried very, very hard a month after my miscarriage. I had to be at a writing conference only days after it happened, and when I returned I was working on a book proposal for a few weeks. I was too busy to really, totally fall apart. But about a month later when life had subsided, I went ahead and fell the heck apart.

I cried very, very hard tonight. I don't want to say why, but I will. In the past two or three weeks, I have heard way, way too many stories of people losing their children. It is probably the single biggest reason I'm fine with two kids instead of three. I honestly don't know if I have it in me to try to have another and have it not go well, or to lose a child. I really feel I would die for Trevor or Aila, and I cannot imagine being able to breathe, should anything happen to either one of them. And hearing one terrible story of loss after another lately has sent me into a fear that has taken hold of my heart. What would happen if something happened?

I wouldn't have their hands to hold or someone to buckle into a carseat. I wouldn't have them to rock to sleep at night or to greet me with sleepy eyes and sweet smiles in the morning.

And that alone would rend my heart.

But the greater loss would be that I wouldn't hear their tiny voices singing worship, or their precious mouths recounting truth from their Bible stories. I wouldn't see them grow to stand for Jesus in their schools, or to marry someone who has prayed for a Godly spouse. I wouldn't see them speak the mighty Word of God over their own children.

And so I cried (and cried out) tonight, begging the Lord that He will preserve their lives THAT HE MIGHT CONSECRATE THEM FOR HIS PURPOSES and CONTINUE TO PASS DOWN TRUTH TO THE NEXT GENERATIONS. Yes, absolutely, I want them now. I want them for me and for Justin to have and to wrap up in our arms and love on, to bring up and guide. BUT I WANT THEM FOR THIS WORLD. I WANT THEM FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.


I'm at She Speaks right now. I'm supposed to be in the evening session, but God got my attention and got me alone. It was right where I was meant to be tonight.

So I've cried very, very hard three times in my adult life. And each time my tears were spilled for one of my children. Lord, I will do all that I can possibly do to declare your truth over Trevor and over Aila. I will tell them about You, but more than that I will try to show them You. I will pray for them and help them hide Your Word away in their hearts. Please, please preserve their lives for Your purposes--I am desperate to see them makes dents in this world for Your glory.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It's here--I can't believe it's here!!!
Tomorrow we'll hit the road, North Carolina-bound. Nearly 600 women will gather to experience GOD. As well as to taste and see what He is up to in the way of unfolding Proverbs 31:26 in each of our lives:

"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

Just like last year, things have come together in a relying-on-God kind of way. While proctoring back in May I wrote both my 3-minute testimony and my 5-minute Biblical teaching, but in each one there was something that just didn't feel like the right phrasing, or something. A few nights ago I finally had to highlight those sections of text on my computer and just PRAY and say, "Okay, Lord. Once again I'm asking for You to provide the words. I am trusting You for what needs to be right here." And a few hours later, He made a way. Just as He always does. What an awesome, awesome God.

Many thanks for the love, prayer, and provision that has paved the way for me to go this year. Please join me in praying over the next few days:

* Pray for safe travel to and from the conference.

* Pray for Justin, Trevor and Aila while I'm away.

* Pray for lots of time to just sit at His feet with no other agenda or request but to know Him and experience Him in a new way.

* Pray for peace during the Speaker Evaluation sessions.

* Pray for my friends Jodi and Rae who will be attending as well, that they may experience His presence in a powerful and peaceful way, and for their families at home as well. Pray for us as a podcast team as we prepare for all that is to come.

* Pray for the seminars and sessions to be used mightily.

* Pray for fun, for laughter, for rest, for renewal!

Back in a few days!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Little Ailey has had a fever.
When the kids run a temperature, we don't reach for the Tylenol right away--and sometimes not at all. We know the entire purpose of a fever is to burn off any bugs their bodies are trying to fight off, and that reducing the fever works against their bodies trying to do so.
Sure, as a mom it seems logical to do whatever I can to remedy what ails my child. Unless I know that trying to fix it might actually interfere with her restoration to health. And besides, when her body has had to work to fight something off, it actually grows stronger.

It's the same idea as the refining fire. No one would invite adversity and hardship. But when they come, our God is so faithful to use them to accomplish His purposes. Even if they must remain for awhile to burn off what shouldn't be there, and to reveal what should be.

Three different times I begged for the Lord to take away the thorn in my flesh. But each time He said, "My grace is all you need. My power is made perfect in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can rest on me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, and persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

2 Corinthians 12

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Sweetest Sleepless Night

We were away at a retreat center this weekend, and there were two queen beds in the room. I'd planned for the kids to share one while I slept in the other, but I realized quickly that they would NEVER get to sleep if I didn't separate them (hard for them to fall asleep while they were kicking each other and giggling incessantly), so I tucked them in, one in each of the beds.

Each of them asked me to sleep in their bed with them, so I went back and forth throughout the night. I had trouble getting to sleep in the first place, so I spent some time praying over one child, and then the other. And then once I was asleep, someone called our room in the middle of the night (wrong number), and that meant a few more sleepless hours--but a few more prayerful hours.

There was something powerful about putting my hand on my son's shoulder and praying that he will not carry burdens he was never meant to bear, but that He will walk in the habit of trading yokes with His Savior whose burden is easy and light. Or even to put my hand on my daughter's head to pray over her mind--the way she thinks about things, the way her mind perceives truth, and the hope that she will commit to her memory the Word of God.

I'm a little drowsy today, but I'll never forget those sweet hours. Definitely worth the sleepless night.

One Step at a Time

July has been full. Really full. Like, "starting-at-day-one-and-never-letting-up" kind of full.

I've found myself tackling the calendar one little step at a time. Perhaps out of sheer necessity, I am focusing on what is RIGHT in front of me and putting on hold the things that are a few weeks out. Or even one week out, for that matter.

Why don't I do this more often? Sometimes I wonder if Matthew 6:25-34 was included in the Bible just for me since I need the reminder so much. "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." I find myself worrying in August about things that will happen in October. I get stressed about when my children will be 5 and 7 even now when they're only 2 and 4. I lose sleep over things way too far down the road.

Let me be faithful today. Let me tackle--with excellence--what's on the plate for this day. Tomorrow will be here soon enough, so strengthen me not to worry away the day we're actually on.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And She Withdrew

Recently I had the rare opportunity to be alone for a stretch of time. I had three days alone. Three days with just me in the house.

The first day I dedicated to be a day of total silence and solitude. I saw nobody. I communicated with nobody. On purpose. Sure, I was reachable in case of emergencies. But there was no TV, no computer, no radio, no phone.

Total silence.

Total solitude.

It was extremely refreshing for my soul. I got to spend hours in the Word. I got to have long, uninterrupted conversations with God.

Back in 1997 I read a book that encouraged the occasional retreat spent in silence and solitude to spend fully focused on our time with the Lord. I remember that my pastor out in California took one night a year to go away to be alone with the Lord. And maybe it's the introvert in me, but I have always wanted to do it. I don't know why I didn't do it before I was married with children, and then once I was, I assumed I probably would never have the chance. But just when it was so needed, God made a way for it. And it was the sweetest time.

I won't lie, I felt like I was missing my arms not having my family home with me. I missed them so much. And the silence was so unfamiliar that it was, for the first hour, a little strange. But it was a really important, really necessary time. And what was supposed to be two days had to turn into three days, due to severe weather conditions. But even in my disappointment in not getting to see my family when I thought I would get to, I decided to just soak up one more day. And then when we were reunited, it was the most precious moment. :)

Lord, thank You for that sweet time with You. Thank You for making a way for it to be--for knowing that need, and the longing of my heart to have that time with You. And thank You that my day to day life isn't silent, but is filled with sounds that I love--like when Justin walks through the front door, and when Aila sings, and when Trevor makes "vroom"ing sounds as he plays with his cars. You've been so merciful and good to us, Lord. Thank You for the time alone, but thank You for the reunion, too. And thank You for loving on me not only in the quiet, but also in the smack dab middle of the craziness and chaos.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dependence Day

Yesterday was the 4th of July. And yet I spent the whole day declaring my dependence. I simply found myself telling the Lord--repeatedly--how much I need Him.

I'm not independent. I need my God. As a baby in a womb is totally reliant on the sustenance it receives from its mother through the umbilical cord, I am utterly dependent on Him.

I need His peace in parenting.
I have to have His wisdom in ministry.
I am desperate for His love.
I crave His counsel in my decisions.

It's always the case...but I have just been extra mindful of it lately.

And it seems this awareness is born from need...Even soul-rendering need. Not always a comfortable place to be. But really, what a gift to find yourself in a place where you've run out of yourself...

...and there's nothing left but a declaration of dependence.