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.

Your Grace Is Enough For Me

It’s Summer 2016 and it’s early morning. The beautiful glow of dawn fills the sunroom as I tip-toe in while my husband and daughter still sleep, and I sit with my steaming coffee, Bible open, and journal–and meet with God. And He with me. I sit and cry, and pray. I read Scripture and marvel in wonder at God. It tastes good, God’s Word, it goes down smooth like wine, and fills my belly with warmth. He speaks to me and satisfies my soul. Meeting with Him is not a discipline–but a deep pleasure, I can’t get enough of.

That was then.

It’s Winter 2017 and it’s early morning. The sky is black, the sun hasn’t even begun to dawn. But my son has. He’s screaming in his crib, and I rush in to try to silence his cries before he wakes the rest of the house. I whisk him downstairs, with no other light but the glow of the Christmas tree. And…I’m tired. So tired.

I’m tired because I was up from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. with our 4-year-old daughter who kept waking up crying, and sick. And my son who woke up for a feeding in between all of that. It was 4:47 a.m. when I last looked at the clock and I wake up to him crying at 6 a.m. sharp.

The day begins with screaming.

You know how when you’re so tired–you can’t wait to get your cup of coffee?

But, do you also know, how when you are so extremely, beyond tired–and you are still hoping by some small miracle you can crawl back in bed–and you can’t even accept the fact yet, that your day is beginning NOW? And you don’t even want coffee yet because you don’t want to even try to wake yourself up?

That was this morning. For me.

I was so tired, I wanted to cry. Maybe I did. I don’t remember.

I made coffee, and set my son Jesse down in the pile of toys on the floor. Because there wasn’t any chance of him (or me) going back to sleep.

The sunroom was dark, and cold, because we don’t heat it in the winter. And it reminded me of my soul. How far it feels I’ve fallen. From grace.

I used to delight waking up early and reading my Bible–now, I feel like I could fall asleep standing up. And I can’t even think straight.

I think I tried to flip open my Bible this morning. I think maybe I read something–but to be honest I really don’t remember, because even if I did, I was too tired to even remember what it was or make sense of it.

My brain did not compute.

All I remember, is sitting there on the floor with my son and the toys, and feeling so exhausted, so out of sorts, and so unprepared to face the day ahead. I did not look put together, with sweatpants and a hoodie, and a giant messy bun. I did not feel put together.

I felt like I was literally falling apart.

But somehow, as I was sipping my coffee, and pulling my son away from the various hazards that one-year-old boys find, I began to sing this song.

“Your grace is enough,

Your grace is enough,

Your grace is enough, for me.” 

I haven’t sung this song (by Matt Maher) since the summer and I’m not sure how it even popped into my head. But somehow, this morning, it just came out of me. Maybe the Holy Spirit was just singing it.

As I sang it slowly, I thought about the words, and I meant them.

I sang it again and again, and tears filled my eyes, and I sang it to God.

“Your grace is enough,

Your grace is enough,

Your grace is enough, for me.” 


I think grace becomes so much more powerful when we desperately need it. Click To Tweet

And this morning I so desperately needed His grace. His help. His strength. His energy.

I had nothing left in me. Nothing.

And I knew it.

And isn’t this the only place where grace lives?

When we have nothing?

When we are so desperate?

And we realize it?


Don’t get me wrong, I loved when I was in a season of life where I could wake up early and spend time with God in His word. But this season–is not that.

[I still need to spend time in God’s Word–His Word is life to me. No matter how hard it is or how busy we feel–I always need to keep that a top priority. It just can’t look the way it did in the Summer of 2016 because I have another baby now. And this baby is a beautiful blessing from God, the answer to my sobbing prayers.]

What I realized this morning though was, even when we are completely floundering God is there. 

He doesn’t wait for us to have our act together. He doesn’t wait for us to be put together.

He wants us to come in our weakness.

He wants us to come when we feel like crap. 

He wants us to come when we are so tired we are going to fall over. 

Because then He can hold us.

Then He can hold us. 

He wants us to come in our weakness. He wants us to come when we feel like crap. He wants us to come when we are so tired we are going to fall over. Because then He can hold us.Click To Tweet

And He does.

All I had this morning was little lyric of a song. I don’t even know how it came to me. But it did.

“Your grace is enough,

Your grace is enough,

Your grace is enough, for me.” 


Sometimes I look back at some very difficult experiences I had in my life, and wonder how I got through them? How was I okay?

I know the only answer: It was His grace. 

Because His grace powerfully manifests when we need it. 

When we need Him. 


If you are exhausted, totally floundering, overwhelmed, unprepared to face the day, and just all over the place, then lean into Him. Fall hard into Him. Because His grace is sufficient for you, and His power is made perfect in your weakness.

And sing,

“Your grace is enough,

Your grace is enough,

Your grace is enough, for me.”

[If you want to hear this song by Matt Maher you can click this YouTube link for “Your Grace Is Enough.” Or, the slower version here. Praying it will be stuck in your head like it is in mine, and become your mantra today.<3]

Don’t Throw Yourself Away

“What’s this?” My husband said holding something at the top of the stairs. “Why was it in the trash?”
He walked down the steps holding it in his hand.

It was a picture. Of me, when I was fifteen. I remember it was taken by my friend during a sleep-over at her house. I’m just standing there with my duffle bag over my shoulder. And I have kind of an awkward smile. My clothes don’t fit right. My hair is puffy.

“I hate that picture,” I told him. That was why I threw it away when Selah ran upstairs with it the other day in her hand, when she and her dad were cleaning out the basement.

“No,” he said. “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?” I said.

“You don’t throw pictures of yourself away. We don’t do that. We keep them. These are memories, Bekah. Someday people will want to look back on pictures of us–even if we didn’t like them.”

I never knew he felt this way. Or that he had such great conviction about it. My daughter didn’t see me shove it into the trash.

But he saw it in there, the next day, in the little wastebasket in our bedroom.

And he reached down, and pulled it out.

He pulled me out of the garbage.

And isn’t this just what Jesus does?

We throw ourselves away. We bury ourselves under the garbage. We wish away some of our years. Wishing they never happened. Not even wanting to remember. Who we were, or how we looked then.

We just want to forget.

But He…

He loves us. We are precious to Him. And He carefully reaches into the garbage, and pulls out that picture of us. Looks at it with love. Cherishing the awkward smile, loving the puffy hair. Loving the girl under those ill-fitting clothes. And all the confusion of who we were. And wanted to be.

Holds us against His warm chest. And whispers, so gently, and so firmly, “Don’t do that.”

“Don’t throw yourself away. Not ever.”

Don’t Forget To Add Love

I have a confession. My husband makes better chocolate chip cookies than I do. “It’s the dough,” he tells me. My cookie dough is always over worked, and my cookies are flat as pancakes. “You shouldn’t use that “thing,” he says. By that “thing,” he means my Kitchen Aid mixer. He calls it the “machine.” And gives me a look when I turn it on.

He turns it off.

“Cookies need love,” he tells me. “You need to get your hands in the dough.” He takes the metal bowl from the mixer, and takes an old-school wooden spoon and mixes the dough. “It’s too hard for me to mix that way,” I tell him. He looks up with his green eyes, sets the spoon down, puts his bare hands into the dough to make sure it’s mixed well. But not over worked.

He pops some into his mouth, “Perfect,” he says with a smile.

I sit at the counter and watch, like a student.

“See Bekah,” he says, “You need to add love,” he tells me. I push my Pampered Chef cookie dough scooper across the counter towards him. He purposefully ignores it. Instead, he takes two metal spoons from the drawer. “Why don’t you just use my scooper?” I ask. He gives me a look, shakes his head. Continues gently scooping with his two metal spoons. Until each one is carefully set on the tray.

And somehow, eight minutes later…his cookies turn out perfect. Every time.

“It’s because I add love,” he tells me. I can’t help but laugh. “Okay,” I say.

But I’ve been thinking about my husband’s cookies lately. I think about them when I’m making chili, adding in the spices, or cutting the tops off the strawberries. I think about them when I’m making the cookie dough. I hear his tender voice in my mind, “Don’t forget to add love.”

So, I do. I shut off the “machine” mode my mind automatically kicks into. And I add love. It’s those moments I stir just a little softer. I put my hands in the dough. I remember who I’m cutting the strawberries for. My daughter who squeals with delight like it’s Christmas morning when I hand her a bowl of them. My husband who will enjoy this dinner tonight, and needs a wife who will laugh across the table from him–and not frown, because she’s so busy doing all the “things.” And I think of my own mama body, that needs this food, these nutrients–to make milk for my baby boy, and energy, to care for this family, and myself–with joy.  And to do these things, finding pleasure in them. Because there is this secret, hidden pleasure you feel…when you add love.

And there’s a lump in my throat. Because I know he’s right.

You need to add love. It makes it taste better. 

It’s so easy to do it. To get caught in the routine, in the machine.

And sometimes you just get lost in it. The hustle. Like the dough whirling around in the Kitchen Aid mixer, beating hard against it’s metal sides. Because there’s always meals to plan, and food to buy, and cook, and clean off plates, and clothes, that need washed. Going round and round and round–in the machine. Like a carousel you can’t jump off of.

And sometimes you need a strong hand to reach over, and shut the machine off. And remind you to set all your gadgets down. And stick your bare hands in the dough. And…

Remember to add love. 

When you are cutting up the apples, and cheese, and turkey for lunch,

don’t forget to add love. 

When you are cooking dinner, and stirring the sauce, adding the spices,

don’t forget to add love. 

When you are filling the washer with dirty clothes, and pouring in the detergent and softener,

 don’t forget to add love. 

It’s the smallest thing, and yet the biggest thing. It is the most subtle and the most powerful thing you can do. And it somehow changes the world–their world, and yours.

And maybe that’s why God reminded us to “love” in 1 Corinthians 13…because He knew we’d forget. And He said…it’s not about how “spiritual” you are, it’s not about how much you can “accomplish,” or “do,” it’s not even about how much of your “self” you can give away–to your home, to your kids, or to other people. It’s about doing it with love.

“Love is patient and kind…it is not irritable or resentful…Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

It’s a small thing. But it’s the biggest thing.

The smile, the gentle touch, the laugh at their joke.

The way you stroke their hair.

They won’t ask for it,

But they will taste it when it’s there.

And so will you.

So roll your sleeves up, mama. Stick your bare hands in the dough. Let the flour fly like confetti. Sweep it up with a smile. Because this is your life, and theirs.

And it all tastes so much better when you,

remember to add love.

The Beauty Of Right Now

One day there won’t be anymore smudges on my windows. I won’t trip over toys in the hallway. Or in the shower. Everything will be in perfect order.

I know this because when I go visit my parents house, it’s clean. Freshly vacuumed, and furniture polished. Everything is as it should be.

And I think, “Someday, my house will be clean.”

But you know what? In that day, I’m going to miss this. I’m going to miss them. Being little.

I will look out my unsmudged windows and cry for the fingerprints that once marked them. For the little girl who once stared out of them and dreamed.

For the baby boy who held me hostage to the couch, because he wanted to nurse 23 hours out of the day, and whose big blue eyes would lock with mine while he did, and nearly take my breath away.

And I will ache for a day…exactly like today. All messy and undone.

Someday I won’t wake to crying in the night. I will have eight hours of glorious, undisturbed sleep, every night. (If I want it.)

But, I won’t want it then. I’ll somehow want this.

I’ll want the nights back when the baby woke me up with his cries, and my daughter crawled in between the safety of our warm bodies to forget her nightmares. And remember her dreams.

Someday I will have time. Time to write. Time to shop. Time to do whatever I want. Too much time. I won’t have a baby boy nursing at my breast, or a toddler trying to hug (and kiss) that baby boy while he is nursing at my breast, because, “He’s so cute, Mom,” she says over and over again. And we won’t be piled on top of each other, into that one spot on the couch. (Because everyone knows when you love someone, you should sit on top of them.)

Someday I will cook dinner in peace. I won’t be tripping over my 4-year-old who steps exactly where I step, right before I step there. And I won’t have a baby boy strapped to my chest while I try to do the dishes and bounce him to sleep at the same time.

Someday…they won’t be strapped to my chest. They’ll just be strapped to my heart. I will wash the dishes and stare out the window, hating how quiet it is. Hating how easy it is. Hating how clean it is.

And all I will have are these memories.

Of us all piled together. Of me not having an inch of personal space. Of not getting a chance to shower, and instead getting showered in spit-up, and high-arcing pee during diaper changes.

And I will miss it. I will miss them–just like this.

I will miss them being little. 

And I don’t know why my daughter pretends she’s a mermaid named Elsa in the bathtub, or why she drenches the floor with her splash-kicks–except that, she’s little. And this is her world right now.

And I don’t know why my baby boy wants me all the time, or why he screams when I put him in his car seat, or why he wakes up the moment anything remotely romantic happens between me and his dad. But he does. And he’s little. And this is our world right now.

And I’m going to miss it.

The other day my husband popped in for lunch. I was not expecting him, and the house was a disaster. Clothes were in heaps in the living room, the kitchen wasn’t tidied. My hair was in a giant messy bun, and I had no make-up on. My son was asleep in my arms (in our usual spot on the couch), and my daughter was laying on the floor looking at her books.

“Hi,” I said, with a smile.

I knew what it probably looked like. I knew it looked like I accomplished nothing. I knew it looked like I didn’t care. And…I was about to apologize to him. I was about to say, “I’m sorry…” For the house. For my hair.

But before the words came out, I noticed something.

Smudges on the windows.

Smudges because she had been standing there hoping he would come. Watching for his car. And it hit me like a ton of bricks: someday we won’t have smudges on the windows.

And in that moment, there was just something about the way her blonde hair fell into her face as she lay on the floor and looked at her books. And there was something about the way my son was laying, so comfortably in my arms, like he had melted into me–and suddenly the words, “I’m sorry,” didn’t seem to make sense any more.

And instead I said, “I have a beautiful, beautiful life.”

And I meant it.

Tears formed in my eyes. Because just for a second, I saw it. It was just a glimpse, but I saw it. The beauty of right now.

Right now.

I have a beautiful, beautiful life. 

And I’m writing this, so I remember.

And I’m writing this, so you remember. And so you don’t forget. Wherever you’re at today. Whatever you accomplished. Or didn’t accomplish. However clean or messy your house is, don’t let Satan steal this one glorious truth from you:

I have a beautiful, beautiful life. 

Right now. 


And these days often feel long.

But someday, they will feel short.

So very short, the time that our kids were little.

And we will all long for it back. This time. With them.

It’s like a breeze. Like the wind.

You can’t take a picture of the wind. You can’t keep it. You can’t capture it. And you can’t take it with you.

You can only feel it while it is blowing.

And it’s blowing now. 

So turn towards it, and let it blow. Turn towards it and just…feel it. Let your hair fly and get tangled in it. Because someday, there won’t be any more smudges on the windows. And you’ll long just to feel it again, this wind,

their breath on your skin.

It’s blowing now. 


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