Grow in Grace, Girl!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

17 years and its never been cleaned, but somehow it still sparkles and I’m absolutely ga-ga for that crystal jeweled detail and lace up corset as much as I was nearly 2 decades ago when I tried it on for the first time. 
I pulled it out of the back of the closet on our wedding anniversary for the girls to try on.
But, they insisted I put it on first.
Boy those girls know how to make a momma feel good.
They “ooh-ed” and “aah-ed” and told me I looked like a princess and insisted I keep it on until their daddy got home!

And then they each, in turn, slipped on the crinoline underskirt…..and we cinched the lace-up corset around each of their various slender and slender-er frames……and hooked the ballgown skirt closures at the waist …..and they each turned to look in the mirror with a little “gasp” and wide-eyed wonder ……and this momma may or may not have gotten a huge lump in her throat as they each took my breath away!

Because, another 7 or 17 years will pass in a blink and Ill have daughters who aren’t just playing dress up.
Daughters who wear white.
Daughters who walk down the aisle radiantly.
Daughters who embark on the hardest and most rewarding of life’s paths – marriage.
So, grow in grace, girl!!

You have your whole wonderful life ahead of you…adventures, plans, passions and so much to accomplish in the short years before you choose your life partner and lay down your individual rights and will to partner with another.
Dont take lightly that surrender of who you are is a big part of what marriage is.
Yes, its love and its comraiderie and its sex and its partnership and its fulfilling and its fun, but its a giving out of the deepest part of your soul too.
Its a surrender, a dying to self.
So grow in grace, girl!

You’ll spend the next few years finishing your education. You’ll develop a calling and pursue a career.  You’ll make friends and establish a way of doing things that feels right and comfortable to you.
  And then you’ll marry and it will feel sometimes like you’ve lost a part of yourself.
So, grow in grace, girl!

Be mindful that the world will define beauty as skin deep.  Your slender form now will one day meet the challenges of childbearing and the metamorphosis of becoming a mother will be an internal, not an external glow.
when morning sickness leaves you heaving over a toilet…
when childbirth damages physically and drains you emotionally…
when sleeplessness takes a toll and hormones wreak havoc….
you’ll look in the mirror and sometimes won’t recognize the girl looking back at you with bags under her eyes.
The nails you and your sisters love to polish almost daily, might be unkept.  But your hands will serve your husband, maintain your home, and caress your babies and beauty will be there, growing, flourishing, but might not be visible.
So, grow in grace, girl!

Grow in grace, girl.
For grace is the only beauty that won’t age.
Put your roots down deep in the Lord.
Draw your strength from something that is not your own.
Marriage is not for the easily discouraged.
Being a wife is not for the entitled.
Mothering is incomparable with selfishness.
Strength & dignity, determination and dedication, passionate pursuit of the Lord are the cosmetic bag of beauty tools that aren’t going to expire.
Grow in grace, dear girl!!
That unfading beauty is yours!!


Summer Snapshots

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

18 Summers.
Thats all you get!

My summers with my littles are flying past faster than I can bear, but we’re making the most of each and every one!
   “Loosening the apron strings” has been a theme this summer as the older kids start jobs and start driving and grow in independence.  They’ve ‘gone to college’ for soccer camp and flown cross county for summer internships.
Its been a summer of “firsts”.
First drivers licenses and first jobs for big kids.
First time at camp and first spend-the-nights away from home for the little kids.
This raising toddlers and teens stretches my over-protective mommy heart daily! 
 But Im treasuring the fact that they still love time together as a family and that they truly are each others best friends! 

 We’ve woven in some sweet family moments even while scattered all across the US!
Today we’re returning home after 3 weeks on the road. We’ve clocked over 7,000 miles and eaten too much fast-food.  Its been a long and travel-weary journey, but sprinkled with joyful rekindling relationships all across the US, opportunities to share about the ministry, and beautiful scenery from coast-to-coast!  We love roadtrips and exploring the vastness of His creation!  Each new mile and new state boarder and thunderstorm and sunset painted an exquisite canvas as we drove from early morning to late at night.
Highlights included:

  • Reconnecting with friends we haven’t seen since high school
  • Family reunion with California family and a little time at the beach.
  • The beauty of God’s creation enjoying a day at the Grand Canyon in Arizona and a night camping in Colorado
  • Opportunities to share in women’s groups and homes about the ministry of SCP and encouragement through a few new supporters coming on board.
  • The big kids getting to connect with cousins on a road trip with grandparents and a spiritual retreat hosted by Chads parents in CO.
  • Celebration of Chad’s parents 50th anniversary with children and grandchildren gathered to honor them.

    …..Enjoy our little photo-journal of our journey and memories!



This is Strong

Sunday, July 22, 2018

These girls.

this is strong!
this is brave!
this is beautiful!

They have been through more in their first decade of life than you or I will ever experience in a lifetime.

Combined, they’ve bravely endured:
4 months in hospitals
8 surgeries
9 intubations
7 catheter procedures under sedation
4 blood transfusions
and upwards of 100 ECHO’s and blood draws!


So grateful every chance we get to connect these two who have matching silver scars the length of their torso.  But they share more than the trauma they’ve been through.  They share a faith, a strength, and a bold braveness that inspires.  They talk unreservedly about their heart conditions, but they also talk about normal, healthy, tween girl stuff!
They stay up till the wee hours of the night giggling in their makeshift tent.
They charm neighbors and sell lemonade.
They swim, and consume ice cream en masse.
They have goofy inside jokes and tease each other like sisters.
Fiercely competitive at cards.
Dearly devoted in friendship.
Regardless of time apart and miles that separate, whenever they’re reunited, theirs a special bond that brings this momma to tears.

I shared in my last post how God has grown our faith through the heartache we’ve watched out girl endure.  He doesn’t leave us alone in our pain.  He is present.  And he redeems!….
This precious friendship is part of God redeeming this story.  A story that in a million years  I would never have chosen to write for my daughter.  But God, in his providence, has brought into our life some of our most cherished friendships…..all because of broken hearts!
He loves to heal the hurting.
To bind the brokenhearted.
To redeem the seemingly irredeemable.