Tuesday, December 15, 2009

a letter

to my daughters.

My hope, my dream, my prayer for you as you go, as you grow and as you learn and begin to know, know so much more... as your current small, simple world begins to widen, deepen and all around expand; I pray that you know who you are. Really. That you see your worth, as you are in God's eye's. Not in comparison to the company that you're in, the clothing you wear or the title you hold.

Carefully choose friends. Friends who are honest and have a desire to stretch themselves and challenge you in your convictions, as well. Friends who will cheer you on. Avoid those who want to steal the spotlight. Invest in those around you. Friends are for blessing. Never give to get. Be the friend who is treasured. I hope you grasp entirely the passion of the dream God places in your heart. Embrace adversity, learn, and rise above it; Or it will consume you. Allow this pattern to happen over and over... it will make you stronger and it is most likely a sign that you are headed in the right direction. Don't let what others say cause you to fear taking that first step.

Smile with confidence when you fail. Know that you are simply learning, like everyone else. Self loathing only magnifies the problem. Pray. Pray. And pray some more. When you are corrected, don't resist or make excuses, but be gracious and examine your heart. When you wrong another, go to them. Apologize. Create boundaries when necessary. Share your pearls only with your gems. When someone is mean, have extra grace for them, because somewhere down the road they [most likely] feel they weren't given enough. Don't allow a hurt to cripple you. Forgive and Move on.

Aim to be the first to: say 'hello', smile, compliment, shake hands, use their name and make eye contact. Listen and observe more than you speak. Small acts of kindness can impact another for a lifetime. The small things are really the big things. Let your word, be your word. Remember that your time with another is their gift to you and visa versa. Put your best foot forward.

Know that these are goals, not always obtainable in the moment. Perfection is a trap. The people who love you most will let you down, it's Ok. You will let them down, it's Ok. We are all human, really, it's Ok. Cling to the hope, peace and joy that you will find only in God, who is your loving Heavenly Father.

God entrusted me with the responsibility to raise you... but, at the age of 27, your presence in my life, has already taught me more than I ever knew I needed to learn. I'm excited to guide you [and watch you] as you grow, and I pray that you one-day 'stand on my shoulders'.


Sadie "taking Lauren's picture" the day she came home from the hospital.


Prayers for Stellan

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the best gift.

"The night before Christmas" by Brandon Heath

Empty manger, perfect stranger, about to be born.
Into darkness, sadness, desperate madness, creation so torn.
We were so lost on earth, no peace, no worth.
no way to escape.
In fear, no faith, no hope, no grace ,and no light
but that was the night before Christmas.
Warm hay, cold sweat, a mother, not yet.
Praying godspeed the dawn.
She looks to her man, holding her hand. They wonder how long.
And the shepherds, wise men come to find them, and bow to a king.
One star above shining on love, so bright it lit up the night before Christmas.

And the world didnt know mercy was meek and so mild.
And the world didnt know that truth was as pure as a child.
The night before Christmas.
The night before Christmas.
And the world didnt know, redemption was sweet and so strong. And the world didnt know salvation was writing a song.
The night before christmas.
The night before christmas.
The night before christmas.
Empty manger, perfect stranger, about to be born.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

oh, baby.

Miss lauren Faith is now 15 months old, and about to walk on her own... any day, now!

She loves taking care of her babies. By feeding them, hugging them and pushing them in the stroller.

And she also loves to do *everything* that her big sister does. [Including giving her hugs!]

And. Hello!!!!! Sibling rivalry!!!!!! BUT. Still very sweet to see them interact!

Oh, and I can't get enough of her little leggies and feeties! ;)

Prayers for Stellan


It was a press, a stretch, and a real strain to find contentment today.

You know, that time during a trial when you start to see a glimmer, a guess, or a hint as to what the solution may be?

That's where I was at today.

I wondered.

And pondered.

[While I wiped a mystery particle off of my baby's face. And then opened the fridge to fetch her bottle.]

Do I breath deep and simply slump down in my chair, go through the motions, fill time or check-out?

It's very tempting. And I'd be lying if I said I never did.

Is there more to do, learn or find, I ask?

These thoughts led to more questions.

Do I try too hard?

Am I 100% present?

Do I compare and compete?

What does putting my hope in God really look like?

As I sit here and reflect.

I think of a classic Dr. Seuss Book: Horton Hatches the Egg. [One of Sadie's favorites!]

Throughout the story Horton tends to an abandoned egg, and is met by challenge after challenge.

Horton the Elephant always replied:

"I meant what I said

and I said what I meant...

an elephant's faithful

one hundred per cect!"

Webster defines it:

Main Entry: stead·fast
Pronunciation: \ˈsted-ˌfast also -fəst\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English stedefast, from Old English stedefæst, from stede + fæst fixed, fast
Date: before 12th century
1 a : firmly fixed in place : immovable b : not subject to change
2 : firm in belief, determination, or adherence : loyal
synonyms see faithful
— stead·fast·ly adverb
— stead·fast·ness \-ˌfas(t)-nəs, -fəs(t)-\ noun

So, I'm thinking.

It's more about my heart motive and my attitude than *even* the task at hand.

Prayers for Stellan

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Psalm 16 (The Message Bible)

1-2 Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you.
I say to God, "Be my Lord!"
Without you, nothing makes sense.

3 And these God-chosen lives all around—
what splendid friends they make!

4 Don't just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I'll never treat god-names
like brand-names.

5-6 My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I'm your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!

7-8 The wise counsel God gives when I'm awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I'll stick with God;
I've got a good thing going and I'm not letting go.

9-10 I'm happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I'm firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that's not my destination!

11 Now you've got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I'm on the right way.

I love pictures.

I look at these random moments and realize that these pieces of time with loved one's are all that matters. Besides God, and His Love.

There is a verse that reads something like this: "Better is one day in Your house, than thousands elsewhere." [Better to spend one day in God's saving Grace and Love, than walk through life without it... in other words; I realize that success will reveal itself as empty outside of God's Love for me, and those around me. Wow.]

Now that I am in the middle of a hard time, I sit here and type, and I actually find myself thankful for what God is exposing to me and 'peeling away' from me. I wish this hard time would just vanish, but then again it's IN this hard time that I once again find God to be my closest, faithful friend.

I'm so thankful for friends who are willing to help me. I love hearing how others survived hard times, what they find difficult and that they are not perfect either. Validation and transparency are so priceless, aren't they?!

I find hope in knowing that God will help me through, and that I can help someone else in return.

How beautiful.

Prayers for Stellan

Friday, October 9, 2009


It was Bedtime.

9:04 pm.

Sadie: "Will you rub my back?"

Me: "Sure."


Me: "I love your Daddy, I'm sorry you had to see us fight tonight, Mommy was wrong to not use my manners with Daddy."

Sadie: "Do you and Daddy always love me? I will keep making good choices."

Me: "Oh, Sadie, Mommy and Daddy love you no matter what kind of choices you make. Both Mommy and Daddy always love you, no matter what. Sometimes, Mommy's and Daddy's make poor choices and we need forgiveness."

Me: "Will you forgive me?"

Sadie: "Yes, I do."

Sadie: "Will God come back now?"

[my heart suddenly clogged my throat!]

I said: "Oh Hunny, God is always with us. He loves us no matter what we do."

Sadie: "Ok!"

As I sit here and write this at 12:30 AM. I am still processing this monumental moment with my very-aware-precious-four-year-old daughter. I am humbled once again, that God trusts me to raise my two children. Really. It hits me like a truck sometimes!!!

I wish now, that I would have explained more about the beauty of forgiveness and unconditional love, and of course NOT argued with my husband.

But, the truth is, I sin.

And perfection is unattainable.

I rest in knowing that I was transparent.

And I pray that I remember the way God spoke to me through my preschooler.

I hope as a parent that I create an atmosphere that allows room for failure, so that my children (and me and my husband!) can operate in God's endless mercy and grace and be sharpened as a result.

Sadie went on with our conversation in the most happy and forgiving way (not holding onto one ounce of anger towards me). Sadie asked how God made the earth. Then, that turned into me telling Sadie that 'God made flowers just to see you smile'.


I am reminded once again, that this is the way my Heavenly Father wants to relate to me.

Prayers for Stellan

Thursday, September 3, 2009

little artist

applesauce + flour + food coloring = homemade non-toxic thick paint! :)

Sadie had a blast mixing blue, red and yellow as she created her masterpiece!

A million ways...

...to wear a headband.

Prayers for Stellan

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I'm gonna write this

as I think it.

my days are long

but so rich.

I hold out for more

but I desperately need

to be captive in my present


I feel like I am on

the sidelines.

when will I

get to be

all in.

Then I remember

that God is at work

as quiet waters

run deep.

my personal dreams

I'll save.

they'll be best in

their right time.

Ideal family time

is first and foremost

my desire.

hope for a

regular schedule.

I'll press through.

cheering on my husband

and reering my daughters

97% of the time

is my goal


and that is enough.

I love my family.

and I love

my friends.

I poor myself into them


as best as I

know how.

this is what life

is all about.



loving God.

more importantly.

God loving me.

God forgiving me.


So I can try my best to

mirror His


to everyone

my path


To encourage

and not criticize.

to be aware

of a way to help.

a smile to give.

a hug needed.

a listening ear.

I'm thankful to

remember this.



what was I

so upset



Last Sunday, August 16th. Miss Lauren Faith House turned One. Many of our family and closest friends gathered. It was perfect!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


The other day I heard someone say: "Knowing is half the battle."

And that pretty well sums up where I am at, right now.

So many dreams.

I am antsy. I'm researching and reading. And getting too consumed.

Trying to hard to make too much happen too soon? Maybe.

I'm trying.

Trying hard to stay balanced.

John and I have been 'stirring the pot' of our life for a little over two years now.

Plans for new careers, adopted children, school, missions help... new, new, new.

We're so anxious for what's ahead... but trying hard not to dismiss what's right in front of us.

After all, I must remember these things will only be right and good if they come to pass in God's timing.


We wait.

And we trust.

Because we must.

For my own sanity purposes. I am going to write down some times when God showed up in [seemingly impossible] situations during the 6 + years that John and I have been married.

2003: My job ended 6 weeks before my new one started. God brought me a 6 week temporary Nanny job!

2007: John needed a new job. He was hired at Mayo Clinic as a web video editor. This field is nearly impossible to get into, let alone a good paying position. God found both!

2008: Lauren was born. Healthy and full term [36 weeks along.] After 2 years of wondering if we would be able to have another baby... God came on the scene.

I know there are countless times when God has intervened... These are just some that stick out to me.

My prayer tonight:

That God would help me (and you) to be confident as I (we) wait. To be diligent. To trust that He will open doors. And to never forget just how much He loves me (us).


Prayers for Stellan

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Today was one of those days where several things I have been hoping for, for quite some time, happened all at once. It's been a flood of "ah ha!" moments and many smiles.

The morning started off with a play-date with a new friend. We have tons in common, our kids played wonderfully! Then it was off to a wading pool that is free and just 5 minutes away from our house! And then our annual block party, where we met new neighbors and got reaquainted with neighbors we breifly met when we lived here before. Turns out there are some GREAT families just a few feet from my own door step!

God is so good! I am beginning to think [know] that God is at work a lot more than I realize.

[Side note: We lived in this same house 2 years ago. Moved to Rochester. Rented it out. Left Rochester. Moved back into this house. Also. We attend a different church than we did when we lived here before.]

So, life is all new. Once again.

And, I love it.

I did not always love change. But now I embrace it.

Because, I see more and more everyday (on a good day, I should say) how valuable it is. How irreplaceable and unique it is. I'll never get it back. Today, that is.

This past week, I've been asking God to show me all the little things [actually big things] that He does.

Just in this last week:

I have been privileged enough to give//receive a genuine hug and smile from the sweet Vietnamese woman who does my eyebrow waxing and pedicures. I got to know her, and hear her story... She spent 5 years away from her husband (with two young children) while he was obtaining their passage into the US. She grew up on a coffee and tea farm in Vietnam.

The man at the post office remembered Sadie and gave her stickers because she was crying.

I received two very heartfelt thank you cards in the mail.

I received a call from a new friend to join with her and start up a 'connections group' at our church.

I found and am reading a book about a woman who was in the peace corps in Africa. She became friends with//assisted a midwife in a small rural village. The story is fascinating and really feeds the 'missionary' in me.

I met a new friend who has many things in common with myself and my family. Not just coincidence, but a God thing, I think.

I was able to befriend a neighbor just 3 doors down (hey, isn't that a band name?) who is a new mom and feeling quite isolated.

Later this week, I will get to go out for dinner with two women who have been//are like sisters to me for about 5 years now.

My family is all within 15 minutes of my home. We love to see them, and they love to babysit. Peeeer-fection!

My husband is amazing. Get's up at 4 AM Monday through Thursday to provide for us.

My girls are healthy.

We are healthy.

We have a home.

Two cars.

And food.


[This could go on all night...]

I share all this simply as a reminder to myself, that God is always at work.

So, when I feel overwhelmed and feel like nothing is going right. I'll try hard to remember this list.


A dear friend of mine recently reminded me the other day, to live in today.

To take in all that is right in front of me.

And little by little, I'm getting it.

Prayers for Stellan