• Friends,  life,  Love,  Marriage

    Valentines

    He brings them home after a long Valentine’s Day full of construction paper and sticky fingers. Like all days now – with three kids in our little house – his arrival is greeted with squealing children and his wife somewhere among the quotidian shouting out a hey, babe! I’m in the laundry area this evening, stuffing too many clothes into the washing machine and trying not to hope for a Valentine because you don’t want to ruin Valentine’s Day by hoping for a Valentine. He walks back, children trailing, with a big smile and these gorgeous peachy/pink/orange roses in one hand, a box of fruit-topped chocolate in the other. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” he…

  • Family,  Friends,  Home,  life

    Shamans and Prophets and Miracle Workers

    I know shamans and prophets and miracle workers. They use their hands to plant beauty and their feet to run to help. They call down blessings for me and offer up curses when I need a bigger voice to tell God I’m sick of this. They are my village and they are raising me. And they do it while they dress their own babies and feather their own nests and walk through their own fires. I have incredible people in my life. I knew this before. I have been humbled by their grace, humored by their good will, encouraged by their presence. But lately I have been walking through something…

  • Family,  Friends,  God,  life,  Love

    It’s not a secret: I have been doubting, squinting, cocking my head at all the things I thought I knew. I have been wrestling with… whatever the hell we wrestle with in existential crises – which is the question here, this time: it is what, not why, nor how. What. I have doubted God’s kindness. I’ve doubted God’s provision, God’s fairness, God’s predisposition. I’ve doubted God’s intentions, God’s story, God’s plan. And now I have doubted God’s being as I’ve always understood it. But do you know what I never stopped believing in? What I haven’t doubted (yet) for even one second? Love. I believe in Love. I believe it matters how we treat each other,…

  • Community,  Family,  Friends,  Home,  Motherhood

    The People

      Sometimes it feels too long. It feels like too much. I heard so many times that the third child is the hardest adjustment so anxiety crept up and took over as the Grandmas – the helpers, the burpers, the diaper-changers, the laundry doers, the meal makers, the baby holders, the soft word speakers, the hair strokers – prepared to go home. And I sent out an S.O.S. to the Women. To my far-away tribe a prayer request, to my locals a plea: help.  So they made a sort of pact over me that I wouldn’t have to be alone before I was ready. Because my having children wasn’t their choice, but…

  • Cancer,  Friends,  God,  Love,  Worship

    Because God Doesn't Always Make You Feel Better

    Today I am done. Today the kids win. The cancer crap wins. The pregnancy wins. Today life gets to cackle at the mess she’s made me. You win, life. I’m done. Gabe brought up Heidegger (even though he was a Nazi) and not caring about the “them” so much and living more genuinely which is one of the things I think my spirit has been learning the last few years – one of the preparations God was forming for this time now. And sometimes? Genuinely? I’m done. And I think God is meeting me here – in Done. I think Jesus is on the couch watching me cry and laugh…

  • Family,  Friends,  Home,  Homebirth

    When You Make a House a Home

    Eli was born there. It was small – small like the cabin my parents spent all their money and my childhood on. And small has always meant cozy in my world because of this country song about small houses and big love. There was a lot of love. And Eli was born into that squished-in beauty. He burst it out through the windows; you could probably have tasted it if you walked close enough. There was a lot of love. And a lot of arguments at the top of our lungs. And a lot of apologies near the kitchen sink. With dishes piled high and babies sleeping on the other side of a…

  • Christian Living,  Community,  Deployment,  Family,  Friends,  God,  Home,  Kingdom,  Love,  Motherhood

    Light Like Lavender

    Someone once told me that she was glad to be done with her 20s. I was 20 at the time and she looked at me with soft pity and said, “Oh man, twenties are the hardest. Just wait until your thirties, they are way better. You know yourself, you don’t care as much what other people think, it’s just better.” I could have hugged her. Or gotten her flowers. Or introduced her to a puppy to cuddle. Because at the time my husband was on month 9 out of 15 in Afghanistan and I had moved home to escape ghosts. I was acutely aware that I had no idea who…

  • Baby Berry,  Family,  Friends,  God,  Home,  Homebirth,  Jesus Christ,  Love,  Motherhood

    Eli's Birth Story

    Oh, how we do not know for what we ask! When I asked God to help me to labor well – to glorify Him and worship Him in the midst of suffering – I imagined the foggy storm of transition and pushing. I was seeking His help to get through the violence and terror. I didn’t realize I would need it so much in the calm mundane of this waiting period. I couldn’t have predicted being pregnant in mid-June because everyone thought the birth would be early like Raychel’s. When I had contractions on May 24 we thought, “this is it!” with good reason. The only contractions I felt with…

  • Baby Berry,  Community,  Food,  Friends,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy

    Baby Berry 2's Baby Sprinkle

    So, I kind of have the best friends. Sorry. Yours are probably cool, too. A few of them {Tessa, Krista & Hannah} got their sweet and thoughtful heads together and came up with the PERFECT baby shower for Baby Berry and I. Seriously. Perfect. With little touches that made you say, “Awwww” {unless your clothespin said you weren’t allowed to} and unique games that brought wide smiles and tons of giggles. And then some of the loveliest ladies showed up with joy and excitement for this little love. They told birth stories, laughed at the word “sperm” {which I feel was used unusually often}, and just overall relished in this…