Pain Is a Gateway Not a Gift

Pain is a gateway to the best joy & peace. . .God Himself.

It is not that hard & painful things are swept under the rug and dealt with superficially as we tack on Christianese and suck it up. It is moreso that we have no rug or superficial joy or adequate reasoning to turn to. . .so we CLING to the only One who satisfies, who can make sense of senselessness.

We run, fall, cry, and wrestle safely in the Refuge of God. We are upheld, unashamed, and understood. We find our true joy in God because we are finally unable to hide from or ignore the only One who so perfectly comforts, helps, and transforms.

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January | A Personal Journey Through 2019

I told you this year would be the year I taught + showed you the value of writing your life down. I’m passionate about helping you rediscover your life and savor right where you are. So, here we go. . .

In 2016, I began intermittently writing a simple sentence on the calendar about my day. In 2017, it became more of a steady habit which would slowly develop into a lifeline for seeing good things.

I’m honest about my tough days, but more often than not I’m consciously looking back on the day to find one lovely thing I want to remember and celebrate. Sometimes it’s as simple as the sound of leaves falling and other times it’s the miracle of a hoped-for & long-awaited pregnancy.

This year I’m taking you on a journey through my 2019 calendar, and I hope you see how simple it is to write one small thing about your life each day. It has truly helped me notice, savor, and celebrate my life. My favorite part is reading through my calendar on New Year’s Day and recalling all the moments I’d forgotten, all the bits of life so important yet so easily buried beneath the noise, pain, and exhaustion. If I can teach you anything, I hope to teach you how to celebrate and rejoice in the life God has given you right here.

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God, I Want to Write (an Honest Look at Joy & Frustration)

I stared at this blank post, wanting to write. I opened my laptop ready to type some words, only to find the capacity to create and write was wiped clean all over again. So, I sat there and prayed, “God, I want to write.”

I’ve been experiencing creative paralysis the last few months. It’s mostly to do with the intense pregnancy sickness that has often drained me of energy, ability, and the capacity to do anything above very basic tasks. Enduring chronic pain for many years makes adapting to this much easier, but it also hasn’t been a walk in the park. Read more

The Most Un-Christmas Merry Christmas

I had grand plans to embrace the holiday season with gusto. It doesn’t take too much for me to grab hold of the celebratory spirit. But Thanksgiving came and then December came and somewhere along the way that Christmas-y feeling just didn’t really come. I may have listened to more Christmas music in October than in December!

But you know what?

I don’t mind.

It was still so good. It was filled with life. And I let the holidays just be as they were.

That heavily marketed holiday feeling showed its face around Christmas Day and what a nice surprise! Isn’t it a good thing Christmas isn’t about how we feel?!

My sister and her husband visited us during the week of Christmas and we had such a grand time together. We visited our little town, drank coffee, had ice-cream, burned through some Christmas movies, opened stockings, exchanged gifts, played games, had late-night conversations, and just did more face-to-face life together. Right there’s the magic in life!

We plan to keep our beautiful Christmas tree up much longer this year. So many people are quick to take everything down and scarf in the New Year, but I’m still in the land of savoring and thanking God for all that was and is and is to come. I won’t be rushed.

In 2019, gardening held some of the loveliest moments and surprises. From a rose bed planted in September to unexpected stunning snapdragons in October to a geranium bursting to life while snow fell, or the many seeds that fell and got replanted or collected for next spring.

It’s been a year of abundance both on my porch and in my soul. I can only imagine the beautiful things in store for my garden in 2020. How much more God will do in my life! In all of us!

I have lived and will continue to live with eyes wide open, choosing to be easily delighted, basking in the life that spreads and multiplies. That’s just what God does.

I don’t need rose-colored glasses to be excited and confident for another year of winter, spring, summer, fall. God is in my future and He’s what makes it good. And so I will embrace the first day of a New Year because I know it’s simply an invitation for more of this life with God.

I gladly accept.