mercy triumphs

I am Javert. I see everything black and white. Justice, all must be fair. Yet, I am Eponine. Dirty and rotten. Ever failing. So desperately in need of mercy. Then there are my little Cosettes looking up at me. Innocent in so many ways yet already in need of grace. And I feel the struggle of Jean Valjean. As my words and actions define for these little ones both justice and mercy. I must show them their sin so that they will understand grace. Yet if I am to be shown mercy, mercy must always triumph. Five-Minute Friday Prompt: Mercy ... Read More

the perfect life

"Mom, when I grow up, I'm going to have the perfect life." So said my almost-six-year-old yesterday afternoon. She went on to describe the perfect Aspen trees she'd climb, the horses she'd ride. And I lost track of her detailed perfection as I looked around at the toys strewn all over the floor, her mis-matched outfit and runny nose. I paused before replying. She sounds just like I did at that age, or a little older. I had the perfect life. Or so I thought. Until something happened in my extended family and shattered my perfect family image. I spent my teen years reaching for ... Read More


Sunday morning worship time isn't always very conducive to worship when you're a mom. I breathe a big sigh of relief if we even make it there on time and in one piece. And then I try to sing the right words at the right time while balancing a child in one arm and a song book in the other. I turn from breaking up a fight between to children to whispering to another, "put down your book and stand up and sing". We're told not to give up the meeting together. Because the fellowship that happens there is priceless, even if the worship time leaves me with hardly any time for worship at ... Read More

beyond Sunday morning

Sometimes I stare in the mirror on Sunday mornings and wonder why I bother. Why put on the makeup, why wear the cute skirt? Because when we see each other Sunday morning, our children bouncing up to us, the makeup covering the tired bags under our eyes--that's not real relationship. We exchange hellos and compliment each other on our children's outfits, discussing the way they sat (or didn't sit) still in church today. But it's when you look past my glasses and see the signs of tears that no amount of makeup can hide and ask, "How are you doing, honey?" when real relationship starts. It's when ... Read More

friends and infertility

friends and infertility

I suck it in as I glare at the mirror and do my best to dress to hide my extra baby weight. Even as I remember that some of my friends would do almost anything to have those stretch marks and that baby weight. They hope against hope each month that they will need to test. But sometimes I almost hope I won't. I've had the news to share three times now, and I never know quite how to say it to some of my friends. How do you tell someone that you are once again getting what they want so badly and have never had? It's hard to complain about being up in the night with a fussy baby to a ... Read More


It feels like we're jumping into the busy season with both feet. All except for Mom--she's not doing anything with both feet at the moment. My mother-in-law broke her ankle on Tuesday. And her fall threw us all into a bit of confusion, as we rearrange schedules and plan for a summer without the help of the greenest thumb on the farm. But we know God has a plan, even in this. So we pray and we plan and we jump in with both feet, in full faith that He will sustain us for the summer ahead. Trusting that as He heals Mom's leg, He will also grow us more like Him and closer to each ... Read More

Les Miserables

Les Miserables

When the beating of your heart Echoes the beating of the drums There is a life about to start When tomorrow comes! (lyrics to “Do You Hear the People Sing”) It was over ten years ago that I was first introduced to Les Miserables. I knew it was a classic book, of course, but that was all I knew—until the boy I  loved started raving about the story and made me watch the 10th Anniversary Dreamcast version of the Broadway musical. He tried to explain the storyline to me as it went, but it would take a few viewings before I could follow along (especially since he fast forwarded through a song ... Read More

counterfeit rest

I eat chocolate chips when I have a cold. I know sugar is the last thing I need when I am sick, but the chocolate chips feel so creamy and smooth on my sore throat -- until they make me cough later. I am the same way with rest. I scan Facebook when I am too tired to write, drowning myself in media when I should be letting my mind and soul rest. And then I wonder why I have no words left. I turn the kids out the door to get some fresh air and forget that mommy might need some, too. I suggest we start a movie way too late when I know we should just take advantage of the quiet and get some ... Read More


It's what I feel when he reaches behind the driver's seat to hold my hand, sitting there behind him. It's what I know I am when he's tired and working late and we're taking care of kids more than each other. It's what I feel when I walk out of doors and feel the breeze in my hair and the sun on my face and see the beauty of His creation all around me. It's what I know I am even when I fail Him and forget to trust Him and have to ask forgiveness once again. Beloved. His beloved.  No matter what I think or how I feel, I know: "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." -Song of Solomon ... Read More


I have spent so much of my life being afraid of what people will think of me. I should have worn something different tonight -- I am going to stick out like a sore thumb. Her hair is so gorgeous -- everyone must think mine looks awful. My house is a mess -- I can't let anyone see it like this. But I am realizing it is only that I am afraid they won't give me the grace I don't give to others. When I stop judging people, I stop being afraid of what other people will think of me. And when the fear creeps back in, it's usually because the lack of grace has, too. {Five-Minute ... Read More