• 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…

  • Deployment,  Home,  Love,  Marriage

    Come Away

    We played “Come Away With Me” at our wedding – our first dance after making a promise way too big for a couple of arrogant kids. It’s a lazy, lovely song about the easy adventure of falling in love. Nora Jones croons in exquisite alto how to let go and join in on the act of being with another person – on a cloudy day, under rain on a tin roof. We swayed in dress shoes under twinkle lights while we whispered the lyrics and conjured up a long, adventurous life together. Those our rhythmic first steps into years of coming away with each other. To a brick boxed house in North Carolina, to…

  • Army,  Deployment,  Love,  Marriage

    To the Young Military Wife 

    Your friends were a little surprised when you got that ring – the one he bought at the PX at a serious discount, chose with the help of a clerk in a vest and a weary smile. You heard how young you were, how hard it would be, but you got approval and admiration nonetheless because you were doing something noble. You were joining the ranks of military families. Maybe you don’t feel so noble now in the brick house with hard tile floors and the Wal Mart printed wedding photos hanging on your walls with thumbtacks. You can still fit into those middle school jeans, but they feel a…

  • Army,  Jesus Christ,  Love,  Marriage

    9 Years In

    We started this thing as kids. We were half-children guessing at adulthood. He had a paycheck and I had a diploma and together we were going to take the world – our chunk of it anyway. Everybody has their struggle story. Ours included being torn apart for a year and a quarter while we both grew up. We battled our demons and tried our best to connect breaking spirits over 7,000 miles and the “bad times” we vowed to stick through started there. So yeah, this hasn’t been easy. And within the first few years we questioned things. Our “honeymoon phase” ended abruptly with marching orders and by the end…

  • God,  Jesus Christ,  Love,  Marriage

    Go and Sin No More

    It’s that simple and that hard. Go and sin no more. And with those words Jesus made the prostitute pure; she was perfect and holy and never had to struggle against her desires again. Right? Or did Jesus simply make her accountable? Like when Tom Hanks tells Private Ryan to “earn it” at the end of the movie. The work has been done, people have died, there is a mess of blood and sweat around him and he looks into the eyes of the man they sacrificed for to say, “Get your ass in gear.” Private Ryan and Mary Magdalene were made accountable to real love. No excuses, no room…

  • Family,  God,  Home,  Love,  Marriage,  Motherhood,  Uncategorized,  Worship

    Pride & Joy & Human Fishies

    She is my first born. She is cautious and thoughtful and is always, “Eli! No!”-ing to keep him out of harm’s way. She is a brave little diva and has no problem grabbing the mic after Sunday services to entertain the stragglers with a front-and-center song and dance. But when she’s in new situations she approaches humbly. You can see her analyzing and dissecting the situation before her. And she does so with such enthusiasm, she is often beaming even in her calculating. It’s an honor to see. So when we told her about the pool her face lit up and she fed off our excitement. She was giggling and…

  • Christian Living,  Family,  God,  Kingdom,  Love,  Marriage,  Worship

    8 Years

    It’s been eight years. Since I gave him my last name and everything else that had only ever been mine. We got married when I was in my last months of 18, but we’d waited long enough. I knew I wanted to marry him – like, really wanted to marry him, raise children with him, grow old with him – years before our wedding day. And it took us only two months of romance to be on the same page about it. So we waited out the diplomas and hitched our wagons together as early as we could. And now we’re nearly 10 years from that first admission of affection…

  • Family,  Marriage,  Motherhood,  School

    Newly Sharpened Pencils

    So here we are again. Amazon boxes that once held books which go waaay over my head fill our recycling bin, the calendar is charted out with breaks and exams, Netflix is enjoying more of our viewership as I try to domestically manage on my own all day and I am starting to forget what Gabe’s face looks like. Well, no, it has like a beard on it… And his eyes are brown…? We got this, brain.

  • Christian Living,  God,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  Love,  Marriage,  Motherhood

    "Lord, I Find You"

    I pray for closeness, but who creates the distance? It is so easy for me to get off my knees, walk out the door and let the symphony of my spirit joining His fade into muted haze. Easier still to settle my discontented soul on the backs of others. You were on fire until you had to interact with that immature, unfruitful bunch. It’s okay, soul. It’s not your fault. But what good is a fire that doesn’t light up the dark? What good is flame without needed warmth in the cold? It’s a twofold caution… Because some days I’m the finger-pointer and some days I’m the fire-crusher (which frankly…

  • Christian Living,  God,  Holidays,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  Love,  Marriage

    A Night at the Box Office

    Last night we saw Anna Karenina at the movies for our 7th year anniversary date. Aside from the fact that it was a visual and artistic masterpiece, we were just completely taken with the story. This is the part where I admit I haven’t read the book. I started it, but like so many potential reads, I did not get far before I put it down for life to happen and never picked it up again. So I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew there was something about adultery in it (and to be honest, that always made me a little weary of watching/reading it; I’m sick of…