Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hope For What I Cannot See #godsizeddreams

It was dark. I could smell the tang of seaweed. It wasn't pitch black but the only shapes I could see were the whitecaps as the waves came in and broke...

Being near the water is my sanctuary. The place where I seem to best be able to see and hear God; and smell and taste of His goodness and mercy. 

It usually isn't dark though. I love the opportunity to sit in the crisp morning air in early spring or fall; when the sun is just beginning to make its appearance for the day. I am bundled up with a warm cup of coffee. I see His majesty in the canvas of the sky and hope in the horizon. I touch and taste His promises from the pages of His book. All seems right with the world.

This is also the place where feel as though my dreams are a little closer to reality. That I don't need to write them off before they are even realized. I feel a little more like I can really make it happen. That I can make a plan. It feels like I am ready to leap. To walk out of the old...and maybe into something new. I don't always know exactly what these dreams are but they feel big and scary and awesome all at the same time.

Sometimes I feel it so close and when it is time to leave that sanctuary for "real life" it suddenly feels as though I am still by the water only in the dark and all I can see are my dreams atop the waves and they come crashing in and break.

That is the time when I often feel that maybe it isn't my dream to be had. That maybe I am just wishing for someone else's dream...I am afraid to fail, hesitant to trust someone else with my dream and mostly...really impatient.

But lately, the messages are clearer and more frequent. They make their way through this world and the chaos.

He says..."Jen, be faithful in the little things." (Luke 16:10)

Even when the world is crazy loud I hear Him whisper it, I hear never before. Even while my eight year old watches Veggie Tales.

So I do this life. This wonderful, amazing life each and everyday...the parts I adore and those that are really hard. I make mistakes...sometimes the same ones over and over. I let people down and then sometimes I actually do okay and get something right.

I keep going and doing the hard things, seeking and trusting Jesus, loving my people and His and loving myself.

Knowing someday He will maybe trust me with more.

Most importantly trusting and waiting. Letting go of control, which doesn't mean not working for it but understanding that this dream of mine; this dream that I thought had already lost all its steam...may still be His dream for me in some way.

It is part of the story, His story and even your story. 

A reminder to keep doing the little things and to be faithful. When I feel lost, trust His itinerary and map. Press in and let His promises hold me when I feel the urge to write the story myself or give up on dreams altogether.

Lord, this is bigger than me. I know it is all on purpose and I trust you with my tomorrows.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Call it Grace

The memories of this day six years ago come flooding back. The sounds, smells and faces of all I encountered on April 13, 2010 are as fresh as they were then. The difference 6 years later is I am okay. I hesitated to even write that, but last week I had a conversation with someone about my journey and "I am okay" came out of my mouth. I didn't want to come across as being okay and I don't care or remember...just the opposite is true.

Six years ago this morning I learned for the third time in nearly 3 years that the baby inside me no longer had a heartbeat. I was numb and almost acted as if I did not care...that is shock. I could not believe it was happening again...but I couldn't scream or cry or anything...I felt nothing. But ending up in the emergency room delivering her that evening instead of a procedure later that week was just the beginning of His love, grace and mercy for me in this journey.

That numbness turned to darkness that went on for weeks. So long I had forgotten what joy in the morning was. Yet all those days of staring out the window and having to have others come give Jessica (then 2 years old) lunch because I would forget...I knew He was there. I couldn't articulate it but I know I felt it. I leaned on others a lot and that was hard for me. I asked a lot of hard deep questions of God and this Jesus who I had long ago declared my Savior. Yet I truly wondered and verbalized whether He was really there. But I knew He was, that was such an odd feeling. I wondered if I would ever be the same again. Would I now be consumed with postpartum depression that would reside in me forever...I couldn't see the way out. But many of you could! You came and sat with me. You brought us meals and took my kids to baseball. You didn't ignore my facebook posts that were a cry for help and you came and you stood in the gap. You sat up on facebook private messaging late into the evening responding to my deep questions of faith...questions even in my numbing darkness were hard for me to ask...I was ashamed that I was questioning. But you sat there and answered by sharing some of your own darkest moments of grief and despair. And when it got so bad I wasn't sleeping, eating and was panic stricken multiple times per day God used you to encourage me to seek help.

You believed when I could not believe.

You saw when I could not see.

You loved me when I could not love myself.

You cared for and loved my family when I could not remember how.

I was afraid to ask for help, I did not want to be weak.

I was still so afraid I would never be the same again.

6 years later I am not the same. I am not! And that is love, grace and mercy my friends. All those days and weeks of darkness and despair...a work was being done in me...I wasn't worthless or a lost cause to Jesus...He is in the business of miracles..."some may call it foolish and impossible but for every heart it rescues it's a miracle" (Call it Grace by Unspoken).  Call it Grace!

He will come and enter those places of emptiness, darkness, anger or grief and He will fill them...I promise. Life breaks sometimes but "the cross says these are all, places where grace is soon to be so amazing." (Unredeemed by Selah)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Five years ago today I remember so was warm and there was no snow on the ground. I was swelled with life and Jessica was begging to be outside. It was still muddy so we stayed on the deck and just took in the fresh air.
I caught my reflection in the patio door...thoughts of fear surfaced but I had just seen my little one on the screen earlier that week and all was well. I captured that day on my camera even though I wasn't fond of pregnancy photos.
Five years later I am so thankful for this photo from that day...little did I know that belly shot would be all I would have of her, except a fuzzy ultrasound picture.
The picture still speaks so much to me about what was happening in me and my heart even though in that moment I had no idea her days in my womb were almost done...but He was beginning something new.
I still don't understand it and maybe I never will; but I am thankful for each brief moment of pause to remember well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

On 19 Years...A Marriage Letter of Sorts

Dear Greg,

I am in awe that it has been 19 years. {February 17}

Yet there are moments where it seems like just yesterday!

We have been up, down and all around...some how we always end up back where we belong.

We juggle the day to day stuff pretty well, even if I need you to show me where the laundry room is.

Some days we wonder when the last time we kissed was but I know that is just cause we are gettin' er done sun up to sun down.

I still dream of Hawaii someday and pretty sure wherever we may get away to we are going to need 2 weeks so we can sleep the first week to catch up after all those late nights doing laundry and making lunches. But I wouldn't have it any other way.


Anyway, here's to 19 times infinity more years of you and me; us!

I stumbled upon this cute song this morning and it really sums us up.

Love you more!