Finding Rest in a Restless World

In the still small quiet hours of the morning, when no one is awake but me and I’m left with myself and my thoughts, I wonder.
I wonder what I should be doing. Tackling the house? Working out extra early? Soaking in the tub? Sneak out and get coffee at Starbucks… it is after 5 after all.
The key is SHOULD. That word that makes me feel guilty at every turn. There’s always a hundred different things I COULD be doing. And it’s hard for me to choose in any given moment what the priority is.
I’m training for the Shamrock half marathon. Working out 5 days a week. 3 days of High Intensity Interval Training. 2 days of walk/running.
But on a Sunday the one day of rest… what should I do? What rests my soul? What refreshes my spirit? What renews my energy? What recovers my body?
So I look to the Lord. The giver of all good gifts. Psalm 127:2 (NIV) states, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.
The striving in me needs to shut down and…

Missing her still...

December 7th would have been my sister's 36th birthday. So hard to believe it's almost been 15 years since I saw her last.

This song is an oldie but a goodie. Resonates with my heart today...

Over the Rhine ~ Latter Days

What a beautiful piece of heartache
This has all turned out to be
Lord knows we've learned the hard way
All about healthy apathy I use these words pretty loosely
There's so much more to life than words There is a me you would not recognize, dear
Call it the shadow of myself
And if the music starts before I get there
Dance without me, you dance so gracefully
I really think I'll be okay
They've taken a toll, these latter days Nothing like sleeping on a bed of nails
Nothing much here but our broken dream
Oh, but baby, if all else fails
Nothing is ever quite what it seems And I'm dying inside to leave you
With more than just cliches There is a me you would not recognize, dear
Call it the shadow of myself
And if the music starts before I get there
Dance without me, y…

Which Way is Up

Have you ever had that moment in the ocean where a wave causes you to take a tumble and you can't figure out which way to the surface? That's where I've been lately. Desperately trying to find my way to to the top so I can break out of the water to grab some air.

I was talking to my Mom on the phone the other day and I said to her casually in the course of conversation... "Which way is Up?"

In this funk, this depression that has come over me, I've struggled to do daily life. Dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. It all takes a Herculean effort for me to do these very basic tasks.

And that's okay.

And I'm finally realizing that.

This year we were struck with an emotional blow that still leaves us winded and gasping for air. I'm heartbroken. And yet...

And yet there is a God who is bigger than every struggle, bigger than my depression, bigger than the hole in my aching heart.

Sometimes it is so clear to see this invisible love tethering me gently to Himse…

Presents or Presence: Struggles and Reflections on the Holidays

I’ve been wrestling (once again) with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming and trusting the Lord’s provision. Of course, He knows my desires. When I share this problem with other people they often tell me “it’s not about presents”; “focus on making memories”, “you have already been given so much”. I agree with all these statements and even feel guilty as I recognize I have far more than most of the world has but there’s still a conflict in my heart. It’s an annual struggle.
I recognize that it’s not about materialistic things but my love language is gifts. And it’s very hard for me to "not have enough" to give in the way I’d like. It’s not about the amount of presents or the technical value of the item but it’s about the thoughtfulness behind the gift. The showing of the “I-know-you-ness” that is important to my heart. The letting people I know, that I share life with, that I love and appreciate them.
God has always taken care of us. So why do I struggle with believing that He wi…

8 years

Tomorrow is Peter’s 8th birthday. Where has the time gone? 8 years ago Samuel was going through chemo treatment and I was on bedrest having pre-term contractions. And then Peter was here. That sweet chunky little cherub with the dark hair and blue eyes. What a blessing in the midst of such difficulty and challenges. This precious babe in the midst of our oldest son losing his hair, vomiting regularly, and facing down death.
How much God has brought us through. How He sustained us by His loving hand. I wish I could separate Peter’s birth from Samuel’s cancer but i can’t. We were in 2 hospitals next to each other. Samuel at CHKD. I at Norfolk General. Mike running back and forth between the two of us. Oh those painful days.

And yet. God’s faithfulness. His promises to never leave or forsake us. His loving kindness sustaining us.
And here we are. 8 years later. Through many ups and downs. Good times and bad. We are still here. And God has remained. Thankful for the sweet, funny smart little…

Be Still My Soul.

Mike is snoring softly beside me. M.B. is back in the States. I wake up before5 and can’t return to sleep. So I write.
Last night was Caregroup Dinner. It was a sweet time. Where we ate together. Where the kids heard a devotional story. Where we adults gathered and talked. A mixture of the good, the challenging and awkward.
I start trauma therapy in 11 days. I look forward to seeing if this is a good fit for me. EMDR... and more.
I can tell I’m shallow breathing just now.
This poor body of mine. So abused. I’m so frustrated by its imperfections and it’s done nothing but good to me. Trying to help me survive. Trying to help me cope. Trying to help me make it through the next morning. I’m so hard on myself. Beating myself up to do better, be better, make no excuses. And the trauma is so evident…. and yet I still rage at myself. What is your f*@!ing problem? The problem is my body is trying to protect me…. even if it’s just from myself.
It seems so easy a fix. Just love myself. Accept myself.…

Bone Crushing

What do you mean you’re tired? That bone crushing exhaustion that keeps you dragging and lagging throughout the day. That weariness in spirit that has you fighting for air. That unrelenting plague that settles on you and will not be shaken off. No burst of energy.
Numb. Like my feelings are cut off at the nerve. I can’t feel the pressure of a gentle squeeze. I can’t talk about my feelings. They are cold strangers that I’d rather ignore.
Indifference. I should be excited. To see friends. To travel. To have new adventures. but it feels dull. Like a room full of khaki that I’m painting beige. Nothing stirring, gripping, capturing. Just mundane. Even my good things don’t feel good. They just feel blah.
And so I sit and write with the cat curled up next to me on a clean neatly folded t-shirt. And the soup sits in my belly refusing to digest. And my eyelids feel like there are weights attached to them. And I’m disgusted by my inability to do something.
Well, I did help Samuel with his poster fo…

What do you do with a broken heart?

There are some personal circumstances that are very heartbreaking right now. Each time I think about the situation I am quickly gripped by panic, fear and deep sadness. I have to stop, take a deep breath, exhale and surrender it to God.

Life has not turned out the way I thought it would... once again. I bet Joseph in the Bible could say the same. Poor guy, gets sold into slavery by his brothers, attempted to be seduced by his boss wife, who cries "rape" and thrown in jail and forgotten. I'm not unjustly living in jail so that's good.

But like Joseph I hope to also be able to say, "What you intended for evil, God intended for good."

Trusting Jesus with my broken heart, all the million shattered pieces and knowing that my Redeemer is able. He is good.

My two favorite songs right now are Even If by Mercy Me and Trust in You by Lauren Daigle. They keep me pointing back to Jesus.

Sometimes it comes out as a whisper... but i can still say, It is well with my soul…