The Road So Far

It has been a long year. Back in May I shared that we began the process of embryo adoption with the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. On November 15, we travelled to Knoxville and I received an amazing birthday present, one I thought for so long impossible – I became a mom. Just these last few weeks have been nerve-wracking with many emotional highs and lows, joys and fears. And a long path still lies before us, full of unknowns. But the Lord knows, He hears us and He cares for us. And as we pray, we pray that above all else God would be glorified through this journey.

Below is Ben’s summary of the process to date. We appreciate all your prayers. Continue reading

Never Grown Up

grown

I turned thirty this week. Friends and family have been teasing me about getting older, sprouting gray hairs, and how “it’s all down hill from here.” But I have been rather looking forward to it. The twenties is such a fluctuating period – beginning under the shelter and idealism of college and your parents’ roof, then striking out on your own with weighty responsibilities and commitments, while trying to figure out your life purpose and goals. For me this transition looked like getting married, my first full-time job, moving cross country from the only place I’d ever lived, and back again. It was also a period where I had to deal with the fact that my life would look nothing like I desired – I had hoped to have a couple kids by the time I was thirty because the internet and everyone says I’m running out of time – and figure out what it would look like instead. All year I have been eagerly anticipating the start of a new decade, when I will finally be an adult. People will finally stop treating twenty-nine-year old me like the child I was at twenty. Life will finally be stable as I am settled in my identity, marriage, and life. I could’t wait to transition from the volatile, find-yourself phase of a twenty-something to the finally-an-adult decade. I was ready to be finished growing up. Continue reading

Daily Dependence

dependence

When I was growing up, sometimes I would hear a sermon at church that was just the basic Gospel message: We are sinners, rebellious towards our holy God, but Jesus made a way for us to come back to God if we turn to Him in faith and repentance. I would think to myself, “That’s all good and well for those people in the room that don’t know Jesus, but what about those of us that are already Christians? What am I supposed to get from this sermon? I need practical ways of how I’m supposed to stop sinning and be a better Christian.”

I often think that after I believe the Gospel once, I don’t need it anymore. God did His work, now it’s my turn; it’s my responsibility to be obedient to the laws God gives in Scripture. But no matter how hard I try to change myself, I fail. Again and again and again. Because I need the Gospel just as much today as I did on the day I first believed. Continue reading

Remembering the Hope of Change

change

The other day my husband and I were exchanging stories about some of the blatantly foolish and mean misdeeds from our childhood. Though embarrassing, the years in between have made us able to laugh at our silly selves. There was, though, still a sense of shame in remembering being disobedient, bullying, and conniving – I was appalled at some of the things the younger me did. My actions could be excused because I was an immature child. But truthfully, looking back on my younger self with a bit more knowledge, I see those actions were just the logical outward manifestations of a heart that didn’t love Jesus. Now that I do love Jesus, it saddens me to see what I used to be. Continue reading

Don’t Skip Church this Mother’s Day

mother's day

A blog that I enjoy called The Carry Camp did a post this week for those dealing with infertility or miscarriage about how to get through Mother’s Day. In response to a reader’s question, the author offers ways to cope with this difficult day ranging from escaping through pampering and distraction to processing the grief and working towards healing. I greatly appreciate the acknowledgment that sadness is ok and the encouragement to ask loved ones to pray for you and be with you throughout the day. These are very helpful reminders as Sunday approaches.
Continue reading

In the Valley

valley

The Valley of Vision

“Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty
thy glory in my valley.”

Valley of Vision, Banner of Truth

The valley – the depths where we feel our need of Jesus – has been on my mind a lot lately. Feeling my inadequacy is not a comfortable place to be for someone who loves independence and self-sufficiency. 

But the valley is where we find our richest joy because it is there that we see clearly our great need and our great Savior. It is the kindness of the Lord to remind us of our need so that we come to Him, acknowledging He alone can meet it. Do not hide from your sin. The guilt and shame of it has already been dealt with by Jesus. Take every opportunity to confess sin to God and remember the righteousness of Christ in which you now stand.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭7:10‬ 

Mirror of Our Hearts

mirror
Original image here

One of the basic disciplines of the Christian life is regular Bible reading. I hear my husband reiterate this truth to our youth group every time he teaches them, and so I strive to implement this discipline in my  life too. But I find that there are many days I don’t want to read my Bible. I would rather sleep, read a novel, watch TV, sew – almost anything else. Often this is due to mere laziness or distraction by the worries or pleasures of the day. But I spent all of last week avoiding my Bible for an altogether different reason – I was neglecting this important discipline because I did not want to face my sin. Continue reading

Book Published In 2016: This Is Awkward

​I’ve felt like an awkward person all my life. Following a conversation with someone, my usual train of thought is something like this: “Did they notice me stumble over my words? Why was I doing that with my hands? Do they think my nose ring looks like a booger? Why couldn’t I think of something to say in that awkward silence? Why is my hair doing that weird thing?” And so much more. Someone recently told me that I don’t seem awkward to them. I confessed that it is still there, I’ve just learned to cover it better. On the inside, I know I still don’t measure up to what I want to be or how I feel I should be.

Awkward Continue reading