Motherhood Is A Beautiful Calling, But It’s Not The Only One

I remember feeling like I was waiting for life to start. Like it couldn’t start–until I saw those two blue lines on the pregnancy test.

What I didn’t realize, what I had become blind to, is that…

it already had. 

This was the life God had given me. Whether it involved babies, or not. 


Sometimes, when you want something so badly, it can make you become blind to the things that God has already put right in front of you.

It wasn’t wrong to desire a baby–God sympathizes with the barren woman all throughout Scripture. He speaks tenderly to her, comforts her, validates her, and speaks of her preciousness to Him. (See Isaiah 54.)

Still, barren women can become blind. And I had become blind.

All I saw was what my life was lacking–not what God had already given me. 

Not the people God had already placed in my life for me to love.



One day, while I was praying for a baby, God whispered to my spirit,

“How well are you loving the people I have already given you?”

I thought of my husband.

My friends.

My students.

He was whispering,

“How well are you doing with the things I have already placed in your life?”


It wasn’t that He was trying to get me to “do better,” or “love better” as a prerequisite for giving me a baby. (He doesn’t work like that.) Instead, He simply wanted to open my eyes–to what He already put in my life. He wanted to open my eyes to the beauty He already placed all around me.

(Pause right now, and think of all the beauty, all the beautiful people, He has already placed in your life.) 

At the time, I didn’t know He would heal my womb. I didn’t know six years later I would have the two beautiful babies I have today.

I had no idea what He would do.

All I knew was what He had already done in my life.

And this. THIS is where the power was. To stop and thank Him for what He had already done.

Looking not to what I did “not yet” have. But looking to what He had already given me. 

This is where the power is. This is where the JOY is.

Throwing off all those whispers of Satan–who says,

“You don’t have this,”

“You’re not this…”

“You’ll never be this…” 

“You’ll never have this..”



Satan is always trying to make us forget the power and beauty already at work through Jesus Christ within us. Life begins with Him.

If you are waiting for a baby today–you don’t have to wait for pregnancy, or adoption for life to start.

Dear one, it already has. 

Right now, today, God has placed you EXACTLY where you are supposed to be.

He has gifted you EXACTLY the way He has desired.

He even formed your body EXACTLY how He intended.

He delights in you, rejoices over you, sings over you…

And He will fulfill His purpose for you. (Psalm 138:8)

He will not forsake the work of His hands.


Motherhood is a beautiful calling, but it’s not the only one.

It’s not the only calling.


It’s not the only place where beauty lives. Beauty lives anywhere God is.

And God is everywhere.

Sometimes we make so much of motherhood, we forget to honor the other callings of women. Which are just as important in the Kingdom of God.

Sometimes we make so much of motherhood, we forget to honor the other callings of women. Which are just as important in the Kingdom of God. Click To Tweet

As wonderful as motherhood is, mothers are not the crown of creation.

Jesus is. 


Children and husbands are wonderful gifts to be cherished and loved, but they are not the crown of creation.

Jesus is. 

Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can satisfy our souls, in the way we crave to be satisfied, day after day, and hour after hour. Because He is the only KING. The ONLY one.

“Whether we have children or simply hope to, children are not the fulfillment of our identities, and they should never be asked to bear that weight. The Christian identity can stand on no person–spouse or child–but on Jesus Christ alone.”

–Sharon Hodde Miller, Free of Me

You may be called to motherhood. Or, you may be called to something else. Whatever He calls you to, He will equip you for, and bring His glory and light through you. And if you are not called to motherhood, and called to something else–it’s not a “lesser” calling in the Kingdom of God.

You are not any less of a woman of God. You are not any less of a wife. You are deeply and profoundly loved by God, and set apart for His glory on this earth.

I don’t know about you–but some of the women in my life who are “not moms,” (my single friends, my friends that are married, but never had kids, my aunts that never married, or had kids) they are some of my favorite people on earth.

Let me just talk about this kind of woman. No, for whatever reason, she never had kids.

But her laughter–could light up the coldest of rooms on the darkest of nights. I mean that.

Her joy is like a spark–that starts a fire, not the burning kind, but the warming kind, you feel it from your head all the way down to your toes. (Her laugh is contagious, like scientifically contagious.) And though she’s never been a “mom,” she knows how to love. Fiercely, compassionately, and tenderly. With every fiber in her being. She celebrates your victories, mourns your losses, and somehow shows up (with take-out, and party supplies) to cheer you on–your whole life. She’s the aunt that was there at your kindergarten play, and your bridal shower, and somehow now is rocking your baby and playing peek-a-boo with him–the way she did once with you. And looking back–you can’t even imagine your life without her. Because she loved you, with every fiber in her being–with the life that was given to her. She gave it all away. Dumped it out like a big bottle of champagne. 

Taught you to dance in the rain.

This kind of woman–who never had children–is still a “life-givers.”

She still fuels her world, her people, her workplace, her atmospheres with LIFE.

Because, you don’t need to push out a baby to be a life-giver. (You just don’t.)

You become a “life-giver” the moment you are connected to the Life-Giver, Jesus, and share that life with others. You only produce “fruit,” lasting fruit, when you are connected to the Vine. (See John 15.) And when you are connected to Him–JOY inevitably flows out of you.

And you become the kind of person people want to be around. (Especially when you bring the take-out and party supplies.;)



Motherhood is a beautiful calling,

but it is not the only one.


We have a big world. And we need moms. But we also need aunts, and sisters, and friends, and women who will embrace us on our worst day, with a big bear-hug, even though she isn’t our mom, or even related to us.

We need life-givers. All kinds.

And if you just aren’t sure, if you’ll ever be a “mom,” I want you to know, not matter what: He has an adventure for you.  He has a plan for you. It may be more wild than you ever dared imagine. Or it may be more simple. But, does it matter? As long as He is there?

So, just turn your face, towards the Life-Giver. Turn your face, towards His wind, until you feel His breath again.

He is the adventure. He is the way, and the truth, and the Life.

He is the Life. 


And all of life is found in Him.

“You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 ESV


Photo Credit: Ivana Cujina – Unsplash

This Is The Greatest Show

I didn’t enter motherhood easily. I had to wait for it.

I cried and wept for my babies, before they came to me.

And now they’re here. My daughter is five, and my son is one, and somehow, in the chaos of our days, in the crumbs on the kitchen floor, I forget the wonder.

Of them. 

Of this. 

But, I was awakened, all over again, to the wonder that is motherhood–by a movie, “The Greatest Showman.”

It spoke such a piercing message to me, I wanted to kneel and weep right there on the theater floor by the time the credits were rolling.

Why? How did a movie about the circus reach through the screen and grip my mama-heart as I sat there holding hands with my husband during our date-night?

I’ll tell you…

The movie is not about a circus–it’s about a man. A husband, and a father. The movie is about P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), who is a poor boy, who dreams and sings…

A million dreams are keeping me awake. 

And as an adult, he chases those dreams. Dreams to create “the greatest show.” The most thrilling, entertaining, wow-ing event you could imagine. He searches near and far (for circus “freaks”), goes to great heights (including acrobats), risks all his finances, reputation, even his family–to do this one thing: create “the greatest show.”

A show that will be:

“Everything you could ever want, 

Everything you could ever need,

And it’s here right in front of you…”

(Spoiler alert.) It works. He does it. The crowds are awed, and amazed, and flock to the show. Barnum has wild, unprecedented success.

He becomes so sucessful that he goes on tour with his most prized performer, vocalist “Jenny Lind.” Meanwhile, his wife watches sadly, as he rides away in a carriage without her (with another woman). And his daughters look out during their ballet performance to see their mom, and an empty seat beside her, where their dad once glowed and clapped, and cheered them on.

But he’s out chasing his million dreams. 

He’s chasing them, and leaving his first dream behind. His first love. His wife, and his daughters.

And while he’s out chasing those dreams, he gets caught up in a scandal with the performer he went on tour with–who has unashamedly fallen in love with him. And when he finally comes home, he finds his precious circus…burning down. And falling apart. 

And his family with it. He almost loses them.


He comes to realize something. He sees it. It’s so powerful, it makes me cry just thinking about it.

The greatest show, was never the performance of the acrobats, and opera singers, and lions jumping through flaming hoops. 

It was right here. At home. 

Right in front of him. All along. 

This is the greatest show. 

And P.T. Barnum gives up his circus, to watch his girls grow up. To be there. He gives up his million dreams–to pursue the first dream. His wife and daughters.

And at the end of the movie–he’s in the seat next to his wife (that was formerly empty), and he’s watching his daughter’s ballet performance. And as he sits next to his wife, and watches in awe, as his daughter spins on the stage, he sings the song a second time. The same chorus he sung at the beginning, now this time, slowly, and with his very soul, “It’s the greatest show.” 

“It’s everything you could ever want,

Everything you could ever need,

And it’s here right in front of you…”

Tears rolled down my cheeks. I gripped my husband’s hand. As my mind flashed to my children. The ones twirling in my own living room, in my own kitchen. The ones I cried, and waited, and prayed for so many years.

And a great hush fell over me.

The Holy Spirit awakened something deep inside me.

“It’s everything you could ever want,

Everything you could ever need,

And it’s here right in front of you…”


Somehow, as I watched P.T. Barnum chasing his million dreams–I saw myself.

A broken woman, desperate to be more, than I am. 

“I just wanted to be more than I was,” he confesses to his wife in the movie.

And I feel it, working in me. This desire–to be more. That what I am.

Though I prayed so many nights for these children, though I waited so long to be a mom, now that I’m here. Now that they’re here–I’m still tempted to think, “It’s not enough.”

I’m not enough. 

And the demons whisper in my ears. 

The demons that blind me to the beauty of this motherhood. 

Though I have a husband that works hard–who provides (by the grace of God) everything we need. I still feel like I need to make money. I need to be “successful.” And tax-season is extra painful–because when you are filling out “stay at home mom” on your tax form–it looks pretty pathetic on paper. Am I just taking up space in this world?

What is my value? Really?

So, then I feel this pressure. (Not from my husband, just from this place inside of me.) To work. To make money. And to try to prove I’m successful. To feel successful.

Because being “just a mom,” just does not feel very satisfying (or successful) sometimes. And I decide, “I need chase the dreams that I have.”  Because all these Christian-women speakers and authors I see on social media who have HUGE followings and are packing out arenas–they are something. They have done it. 

And me–who can’t even finish a blog post in a month, and changing poopy diapers, and desperately searching just to find socks that match, while we are already late to preschool–am nothing.

And I want to be something. Don’t we all?

Being a mom–sometimes makes me feel crazy. Because they always need something of me. They always want me. And sometimes I just want to finish straightening my half-frizzy, half-straight hair. Or, I just want to have one “complete” digestive movement on the toilet without having to jump up, and console somebody. Or, get someone a snack.

And it feels like motherhood is this constant choice between sanity and love.

And sometimes I just want the sanity. 

And lately, I’ve thought, “Maybe I need a job?” Maybe I need to be hired by someone else. Maybe I need a paycheck. Maybe I should be able to buy the expensive jeans and skin care regimen I want, and whatever else suits my fancy–without pinching pennies. Or, maybe I just need to get out of this house–where nothing is ever finished, or resolved, or CLEAN?

Yes, as moms, we have crazy moments. Days. Weeks. Even years. BUT.

We also have beautiful moments, too. Every day. And sometimes you can look at your babies from across the room, and your heart aches so bad–it physically hurts.


Yes, I have dreams. A million dreams. To write, or speak, or be “somebody.” But you know what?

Right now, I have these children. For these short couple years, I have these children.

And they were a dream once, too.

They were who I prayed for in the dark, on the bathroom floor. They were who I cried for, day after day, waiting on God to answer.

And He gave them to me.



And now they’re here. And I’m tempted to chase a different dream. 


My daughter Selah is five, and sometimes she comes to me like a little prophetess. When I totally don’t expect it.

The other night she was crying in her bed, and I went in and asked her what was the matter?

“I had a bad dream,” she said, still crying.

“What was it?” I asked.

“We (our family) were all in our house, and a big wave came, and there was lots of water and waves outside. And Daddy opened the window. And a balloon went out the window, and you chased it. You went out the window, in the waves, and you were chasing the balloon. And you had your fancy shoes on. And I was yelling, “Mommy! Mommy!” But you kept chasing the balloon, and it went higher in the air,” and she began to cry.

And I began to cry.

I just held her there in the dark, on my chest. As the tears rolled off my cheeks. 


Chasing balloons. 


Chasing dreams. 


Leaving them.


Leaving the best dream behind me.


To chase something. Filled with air. 


The movie’s song sings, “A million dreams are keeping me awake.”

But right now, only one dream keeps me awake at night.

This one. Selah’s dream. 


Dear Mama, 

What is the balloon you’re chasing?

The one that is promising you something?

The one that is tempting you to leave the greatest dream behind you?

I know what mine is. And Selah’s dream haunts me. And sobers me at the same time.

And I remember what is true.

And what is good. What is from God.

This motherhood is a gift.

These babies are a gift. 

These messy, chaotic days, full of the babies I prayed for–are a gift.

If only I can have eyes to see it. 

My husband. Holding me in his arms in our bed. These children. Their big blue eyes looking up into mine, watching to see if I look back into theirs, or not. They wait for me. 

Every day. 


These little ones learning to walk. Climbing on my lap, tangled in my hair, kissing me, climbing me, and just wanting so badly for me to watch. To listen. To inhale their scent. To breathe them in. While they’re  here. 


This is the greatest show.

This is the greatest show. 


Everything you could ever want. 

Everything you could ever you need. 

And it’s here…right in front of you. 


Right in front of you.

Why We Named Her Selah

I remember when they placed her slippery little body on my chest. She was warm and wet and sweet smelling.


I remember the way her Daddy held her that night, swaying with her like a slow dance. Not even knowing how many times they would sway just like that, as they’d dance in the kitchen when she was one, two, three, four…

Five. She turns five today. 

I’m not sure how that’s possible, but somehow, a thousand nights of singing lullabies in the dark, rocking her in my arms, until her legs spilled over my arms, and even then, still trying to hold her like a baby, they all add up. And suddenly, you’re staring at her from across the table, like a little lady, and she’s telling you something, but you’re not even paying attention, because all you can think about is how grown up she is. And you’re searching her face, to find that baby face, the one you first loved, those first fragile days, home from the hospital. 

Now, she moves like a cheetah through the house. So fast, she doesn’t even look where she’s going, until she crashes into something–and cries. It kept happening yesterday–she’d run and crash and cry. And then do it again. 

“PAUSE!” I yelled, giving the referee time-out hand signal. She stumbled to a halt. And I bent down and pulled her close, “You need to slow down, and look where you’re going,” I said.


Her eyes are big and blue and deep, like two worlds without land, only ocean.

Sometimes she leaves me treading there.




She didn’t come easy to us. None of our babies did. We couldn’t get pregnant, no matter how hard we tried, or cried, or prayed.

We had to wait.

We had to pause. 



It’s a musical term, found all throughout the Psalms.

It means pause, and reflect on what was just sung.

It can also mean a musical interlude.

Or, crescendo. 

God spoke, “Selah,” to me while I was still barren. I didn’t know if she was really a girl He was promising, or merely a state of mind He wanted me to have.

All I knew was in this quiet whisper of my heart, I heard:



Pause, and reflect. 


And we did. 

We got low, on our knees, 

We moved slow, like the breeze, 

And we listened to the pause.

The music of God. 



Sometimes, these days, I’m moving so fast, I’m not even looking where I’m going.  I’m running like a cheetah, from one thing to the next, trying to do more, and be more, one constant, wild blur of motion.

And I hear Him whisper, “Selah.”


And reflect. 

And I pull her up into my lap. She’s not as small as she used to be. Her now 5-year-old body, long and lanky like mine, but still baby-soft. I hold her against my chest, the way I used to, and lean my cheek against her hair and breathe her in.



When God Takes You From Barren to Beautiful

Imagine a barren land. The earth is dry, and cracked. Nothing grows there. There is no water. No life.

Now, imagine a beautiful land. It’s warm, the sun is shining down, warming your face. Green meadows, and forests, and flowers are springing up everywhere. Rivers, streams, and waterfalls. A place so alive, you can almost hear it growing.

Now, if I were to ask you: Which place would you rather live?

Who would choose the barren place?

Who would choose the beautiful place?

Of course, you’d choose the beautiful place!

It’s easy, right?


It’s easy when you are choosing a physical place. But not a spiritual place. Not when you are choosing it for your soul.

It wasn’t so simple for me. And…


I chose the barren place. I chose to make the desert my home.

I want to tell you the story, of my soul.


How my soul changed from barren…to beautiful.


It all started when…we wanted to have a baby.

We thought it would be so easy–we laughed about how easy it would be. And, I still remember, so naively, taking that first pregnancy test. I took it before work in the tiny bathroom of our first apartment. I didn’t know if I would shout through the bathroom door and say, “You’re a dad!” Or, “We’re gonna have a baby!”

But instead, after two long minutes, I was shocked when the test read: negative. And I didn’t say anything.

“It might just take a little longer for us,” my husband told me when I came out.

And he was right.

Month after month. We tried. We waited. We prayed.

And then my period came. And I cried. And my husband was quiet.


Over time, infertility began to wear on us. 

We were trying so hard. To throw ourselves, our hearts, our hopes, our dreams, our faith back into the sheets month after month. “Maybe this would be the month..” my heart would whisper.

But, no matter if we nailed our “fertile window.” Or, totally botched it. No matter if we were getting along great. Or, fighting like cats and dogs. No matter if I diligently charted with different colored pens, and knew every fluid, and mood swing, and temperature rising and falling. Or, if I took my stack of BBT charts and threw them in the garbage under the coffee grounds–to try to prove to God that I trusted Him.

It didn’t seem to matter.

I couldn’t get pregnant.

And it felt like my husband and I just stayed still. Frozen in time.

While the rest of the world rushed past us.

All of our friends were having babies. Even accidentally.

They were trading in their sports cars for SUVs and transforming their offices and guest rooms into nurseries. They were welcoming little tiny packages, and holding them in their arms at church.

But our arms stayed empty. Except for each other. Some nights my husband would hold me as I cried into his chest.

Why was it so easy for everyone else?

Except us?

I tried to “accept” that this was God’s plan for us.

I tried to “tolerate” the fact that I couldn’t have a baby, and maybe would never be a mom.

I actually thought I was doing good, being able to “accept” this fact, or “tolerate” it. But, in reality, I was walking around with clenched, angry fists. I was trying to be okay–but I wasn’t. 

My soul was like a dry, barren wasteland.

Yes, my womb was barren–but so was my soul.

There is nothing like a barren soul.


How did my soul become barren?


How did I choose to live in that dry, barren wasteland–on the inside of me?

This is how:

I looked out on my life, and saw: a barren wasteland. I saw only what I did not have, I saw only what I lacked. And I did not see God, or any of the many gifts He had already surrounded me with. 

I just saw: barren.

And this is why, I think, the Bible uses the word “barren.” It literally means, “unable to produce.”

We hear the word “infertility” in our culture. But I never have felt that word is accurate. It’s too clinical. Too sterile.

And speaks nothing of the soul.



Yes. This is how the woman with the barren womb feels–on the inside. In her soul.

I was barren. And I was blind. To God.

To His goodness.


God wasn’t doing what I wanted, so I thought He wasn’t doing anything.

But He was. Oh, He was. 

He is always doing more than we can see. 


God didn’t want me to simply “accept” His plan (even if it meant I never had children) for my life. He didn’t want me to merely “tolerate” it.

He wanted me to embrace it.


To embrace Him. 


So I did something crazy.

But sometimes you have to do something wild in order to break free.

So, here’s what I did: I thanked God for not allowing me to get pregant.

Yes, you read that right.

I thanked Him for my “infertility.”

I said the words.


“Thank you God…”

And there was a very long pause, a very long silence before I could say it.

…”for my infertility.”

I don’t even know, if I meant it. I know I didn’t feel it.

But, I said it.

And sometimes you have to start saying something–before you can start meaning it.

Sometimes your heart is trailing twenty miles behind your head.


(Apologies and forgiveness are like this, too.)


But, you just say it. You let the words escape out of your lips. You push them out like fragile, baby birds.

And somehow, in the air, they learn to fly. 


As I began to thank God for my infertility, something crazy happened. I actually began to trust Him. I began to think He was wise.

I began to think of EVERYTHING I possibly could that was “good” about not being pregnant. I made a list.

“Thank you that I don’t have to go through labor..”

“Thank you that I don’t have to go through morning sickness..”

“Or, stop excercising..”

“Thank you that I don’t have to put on baby weight..”

“Or have a flabby stomach…Or, flabby arms..”

(Yes, I was vain, but I was sincere.)


Soon, my prayers moved from vanity…to true thanks in who God was.

“Thank you God, that you are wise..”

“That you know my body better than I do…”

“That you know my future better than I do…”

“Maybe there’s something around the corner, we don’t know about yet..”

“Maybe what you have called us to something we wouldn’t be able to otherwise do if we had kids..”

Maybe He was going to call us to another country to do missions, or something totally wild!? I had no idea!

But for the first time–in a long time, I began to actually feel excited.

God had a plan for us. He would show us exactly what that was.

And we could rejoice in it.

Whether that meant we had kids, or not.

This was how I began to embrace what God had for me, as a woman. For us, as a couple.

He didn’t want me walking around with those clenched fists. He was inviting me, so tenderly, so gently, to open my hands. Open my arms.

Wider, and wider still. Embracing Him–and whatever He called me to.

That was how…I crossed from barren…to beautiful.

In my soul. 


My womb was still barren. But my soul no longer was.

My soul was no longer that dry, barren wasteland.

And it was no longer what I saw–when I looked out over my life.

Now, I saw God. God was there. He had surrounded me with gifts, with beauty. With good things.

A torrential downpour broke out in my desert.

Streams burst through my wasteland. Just as He promised in His Word.

“See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19


[God did miraculously and naturally give me two beautiful babies, you can read about my first miracle daughter, and second miracle son. He did heal my barren womb, but don’t miss the biggest miracle of all–when He healed my barren soul long before any pregnancies.]

If you are barren, and reading this–take heart.

Do you know what is so great about being barren, about being as dry as a desert on the inside?


He will come and make rivers flow through your wasteland.

Gushing, might rivers are coming. For you!

And you will drink, like you have never drank before. Because only the thirsty, can truly drink Him in.

And you will be satisfied with Living Water. And you shall not thrist anymore.


Whether you are trying to concieve a baby–or already have tons of kids. Whether you are single, or married, or never even want kids. It doesn’t matter. Whether you are a man, or a woman, rich, or poor, it doesn’t matter.

We are all barren on the inside apart from Jesus Christ. Every single one of us.” quote=”We are all barren on the inside apart from Jesus Christ. Every single one of us.

We are all barren on the inside apart from Jesus Christ. Every single one of us.Click To Tweet

Dry, cracked earth. A dying, desert, wasteland.

That is our soul apart from Jesus Christ.

So, if you don’t want to have a barren soul anymore.

Invite Jesus in.


He brings rivers in the wasteland. And streams to the desert. He is the Living Water. And surely, He will come at the sound of your cry.

I can’t promise anyone a baby. But I can promise you a River. I can promise you Jesus Christ. And if you drink of Him, you will never thirst again.

I can't promise anyone a baby. But I can promise you a River. I can promise you Jesus Christ. And if you drink of Him, you will never thirst again.Click To Tweet

It’s what He came to do on the cross.


Maybe you think, No. I’ve had too much pain.

Maybe your fists are clenched so tightly right now. How can I open my hands? How can I open my arms to Him? Why should I?

Because He first opened His arms–to you–on the cross.


This is the Gospel:

Jesus Came To Take All Of Us From Barren to Beautiful

Jesus could have come to this world and saved Himself. Easily. He could have come to our world, and closed His fists, and shook them at the sky. “Father! What is wrong with these people? Why did you even make them??”

But that’s not what He did. Is it?

No, instead. He opened His arms.

On the night He was betrayed. He took bread, and broke it. Saying this is my body. And He took wine, and said this is my blood, and poured it out.

And He went to garden and wept loudly, and poured out his soul, even to death. For us. 

So we didn’t have to barren anymore–on the inside. 

So we could have life. Eternal life in Him.


Jesus Opened His Arms To Us On The Cross

Have you ever thought about Jesus’ posture on the cross?

Arms wide open. Like He is ready to embrace us. Baring His heart.

Like He is calling out, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

He calls us each to come–arms open wide.

Embracing Him, as He is embracing us.


This is love.


Will You Let Him Take You From Barren to Beautiful?

Maybe this is the year you stop living in the desert place. I don’t know if He will give you a baby–but I know He will give you Himself. And He is the best gift of all. And…

He is calling out to you in the wilderness. Come! Come! Come! 

Don’t stay here. Don’t choose this place. Take off your grave clothes. I have something for you. I have a plan. It’s gonna be wild. And scary. And you won’t always know that I’m right there–but I assure you I am! Because I will not leave you as orphans–I will come to you. And I will give you rest. And I will give you drink. And I will satisfy you. Fully. For you are mine. You are my sons, and my daughters.

And I will take you from barren…to beautiful.


For, I make streams in the desert. And rivers in the wasteland. And behold,

I am making everything new.


Listen this song called, “Control,” by Tenth Avenue North. Make it your mantra for this year, and open your hands to Him. <3


Dear Jesse,

You turn one today little boy. At this time last year, I will never forget it. I was laboring with you in the hospital. Daddy was cheering me on, like an angel, whispering at my bedside. My midwife came in and rubbed my back.

But labor with you went on, and on.

It lasted 30 hours. 30 hours, I thought I would break.

I hung over the bed and asked Daddy to call all my friends and tell them pray.

It was the hardest day of my life.

A miracle was about to be born.



I was on my hands and knees, in the birthing tub, and my body was shaking with every contraction. The labor had gone on so long, Daddy and the midwife were quiet. They just watched. I searched their faces and found nothing. I thought I would collapse. I thought you would never come. It felt like you were still a million miles away.

But you were right there.

Miracles are like that.

They feel like hell sometimes.

Right before heaven breaks through. 


There’s no epidurals for life. You feel everything.

You feel things you don’t want to feel, sometimes.

But the pain, and the agony does not even compare

to whats being birthed. 


When you came out, you cried, and everyone cried that you were so big. You were 9 lbs. 11 onces. And I cried, happy tears as they put you on my chest, and covered us in warm blankets. I kissed your wet head.

A miracle I held in my arms.

A gift from God.

Daddy and I cried and kissed, Selah came in and met you.

I could never earn you, I could never deserve you. How did God choose me to be your mom? I don’t know. But I’m so glad He did.

What a year it has been with you. My son. My boy, I never in a million years dreamed I would have. I still remember when the blue dust fell, at the gender reveal, and my jaw fell so hard I think it touched the lawn. I never saw it coming–you. You were one of the greatest surprises of my life. And dad cheered and jumped up and down and shouted, in a cloud of blue, because he knew you would be a boy.

This year has been so full, of you. Your laugh, your smile, your tears, your screams and your big blue eyes–that captivate me. You have brought great joy to this house. And I pray one day you bring great joy to the world.


We named you “Jesse,” because it means “gift.”

And that is what God showed us about you, while you were still in my tummy. That you were a “perfect gift.”

That is what you are, my son. That’s why I sing this to you when you fall asleep. And I will sing it when you are older, too. I will sing it whether you are smart, or struggle in school. I will sing it if your good at sports, or not. I will sing it when you are proud of yourself, and when you feel like a fool. I will sing it when you do great things, and when you do things that I’m ashamed of. I will sing it, because it’s true. I will sing it because you are my son.

You are perfect, to me

You are perfect, to me

You are perfect, to me,


Be strong and brave,

Be fearless and true,

But even when you’re not

Baby, I still love you

Baby, I still love you


I thank God for every single day I have with you. Every day with you is a gift. My perfect gift. My Jesse.



“Every good and perfect gift from above.” James 1:17