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Makiah's 9th Heaven Day

We celebrate it every year.  No not her heaven day.  That very special day 15 days before.  You see Makiah went home to be with Jesus on October 8th, 2010.  It was a day that radically shifted everything about my life.  It seemed back then that all that was good had been shattered totally beyond repair.  Joy seemed impossible.  The very first anniversary in October of 2011 we took a trip to Amish country with our 7 month old twins.  It was on that trip that I had such a strong impression we needed another baby in our arms by the next year.  
I visited the doctor at the very end of the January after that to start the process of infertility treatments again.  The timeline that had been in my mind seemed impossible.  Except what I didn’t know sitting in that doctor’s office in Florida and discussing our options for moving forward was that I was already 4 weeks pregnant!  It would be a few more weeks before I figured it out because it was impossible.  
The day I woke up feeling so bad and t…
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Into the Deep

“Jump!” we say to our tiny tots.  “I promise I’ll catch you!” we say as we coax them into the water.  Sometimes they jump.  Sometimes they let the fear of what they see drown out their belief in what we say.  And they freeze.
And we can be so much like them.  Sometimes when a new or challenging thing is in front of us and we hear God saying that He has us, we believe HIm.  Other times we let the fear of what we see drown out what we know in our hearts to be true.  That He is good.  That He loves us.  That He won’t let us sink even if it is hard.  Or scary.  And we won’t be alone.  We’ll be together.
But the hard concrete under our feet feels firm.  What we know seems sure.  The deeper waters can look too unfamiliar.  Too unsafe.  Even though something inside of us knows that that’s where the fun is had.  We can see those who are ahead of us in life splashing and swimming and playing Marco Polo in the waters where we have not yet tread.  The adventure beckons.  The deeper things call.  …

An Invitation to Be Amazed

It’s been all fairy gardens and trips to the lake with family and fun this summer for my little tribe.       This week we step back into the grindstone of school and homework and sports (well indoor sports because I don’t like to sweat).  I often tell my children the Bible says the power of life and death is in the tongue, and this morning I felt a challenge rising within myself to determine what I will say over my little ones this school year.
I was reading this morning and ran across a verse that grabbed me.  
 “But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.”  Luke 9:42-43
What caught my eye was the similarity to another verse that I have been turning over in my mind lately.
“51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed,“ Mark 6:51
Two very different situations.  Two very similar responses.  In the first scenario Jesus performs a miracle and heals a l…

Beach Sunrise... Light and Perspective

(Written a little bit ago...)
Cool breeze.  Hot coffee.  The smell of salt water filling the air.   Walking along the beach this morning watching the beautiful sunrise. There were egrets, pelicans flying in perfect synchrony, and the dolphin show that lasted forever. I felt as if I walked with the dolphins this morning as they followed a school of flipping fish. It was a gift. A basically perfect morning sunrise experience.
Footsteps in the sand.  The crash of rolling waves in my ears. The glimmer of the sun on the water. And I am thinking about how she always popped up next to my bed- her golden blonde curls bouncing- tapping me relentlessly on the arm and saying, “Mommy, the sun is up! It’s time to get up!” It was my morning greeting from my early riser. And this morning by the beautiful ocean sunrise, the warmth of the memory fills me with smiles. And joy.
And there’s something about the way her little mouth curved into a smile and her laugh echoes so uncannily in my four-year-old bab…

Family Vacations- Not for the Faint of Heart

Written June 17th… just a little late posting…
Family vacations are not for the faint of heart.  I mean there are always challenges along the way when a whole group of people… especially six people… plan to spend 24 hours a day for seven days together.  I’ve learned over the years that in my mind I build vacation up to the equivalent of heaven and then I am often disappointed when reality creeps in.  So after 17 years of marriage and five children, I have learned to buffer my expectations and plan on choosing a good attitude when things don’t go my way.  But this time.  I can’t even.  “Can’t even what?” you ask. A whole lot of things. And they all start with I can’t even.
And no.  I’m not talking about my wonderful, sweet family.  Just some crazy circumstances.
Let me back up a bit.  One of my goals this summer is to try to teach the kiddos more scripture memory verses. When I think about how little they’ve actually committed to memory and how we’re halfway to 16 for my twins, I almost p…

Cultivating Gardens... & Thankfulness

So this year the girls and I planted a garden.  A very small, raised garden.  Not because I have a green thumb, but because two of my littles told me it was their New Year’s resolution.  I can't go around shattering babies' dreams just because I hate to sweat- and I do hate to sweat.  I’m not really good at growing things (except kids I hope!), but I am very good at shopping!  And so once I got in the mode of buying plants, I’ve had a hard time stopping.  Now my tiny little slab of concrete that we call our back patio is covered in green!  Strawberry plants, herbs, and a few blooming things.  To my husband’s delight, even our beat up grill is covered in living things right now!                                           






A sweet friend gave me a beatuiful magazine called "Eden & Vine" whose tag line is cultivating beauty and truth.  I’ve been reading it out on my back porch with my coffee early before the day gets crazy, and an article about cultivating joy got my …

Matching dresses and Busted Plans…. Perhaps

We took pictures just like everyone else.  For the first time ever I bought us all matching dresses- I know with 8 year olds the time for that is running out- and by golly, we were going to at least get a picture of us all in them for Mother’s Day.  It turned out ok.  Not too shabby.  But the whole thing made me laugh on the inside at the irony.
You see it was totally staged.  Three of my littles had fever when we woke up on Mother’s Day.  I wanted to cancel Mother’s Day all together.   I was so sad we didn’t get to wear those matching dresses to church.  And I was so sad that the day before when we wore them to the mother daughter tea, and my baby was home sick, we didn’t manage to get a picture of at least those who were well enough to go.  I know… poor planning on my part.  So then Sunday afternoon I declared that the sick children were going to dress up and smile for at least a minute in my dining room.  There was push back.  There were tears.  There was pouting.  But we got that p…