My Journey To Joy.


   I was sitting at my kitchen table with a hot cup of tea in hand. It was only seven in the morning but I already felt flustered, frustrated, and helpless as I sat down completely surrounded by dirty laundry, unclean dishes, and toys. In that moment I felt just like the things strewn across the floor…..completely out of place.

   When I could no longer filter out the girls consistent bickering over who was touching whose things and who was sitting where for breakfast I determined that today was going to be a bad day. Today was going to be filled with household chores, cranky kids, and a defeated Mama…..and that if I could just manage to use what energy I had left to slip in to my usual survival mode and barrel through the next twelve hours….then surely tomorrow would be better. 

   Deciding I was going to down my still-semi-hot tea before starting my day I desperately reached for anything I could look at besides the over whelming mess around me. I still don’t know how the magazine got there, or where I had got it from in the first place…all I know is that I looked down and the word HOPE took up the entire cover. Oh how I clung to that word while I half mindlessly began to flip through the pages. Then I seen them……nine printed words. Simple words on their own, but when placed together became life changing. Words that shot like arrows straight at me. Embedding their true meaning in to my heart and changing my entire perspective in a matter of moments.

“I will be filled with Joy because of YOU.”~Psalm 9:2

Not because of me.

Not because of my children.

Not because of material things.

Not because of financial security.

But because of him.

But simply because I know a God that is good. A God that doesn’t define my worth by undone chores. A God that is on my side in this mothering business. A god that loves me.

 ….and right there at my kitchen table, surrounded by complete chaos, with tears streaming down my face I got it……..not because of the overwhelming feeling of helplessness I had experienced just seconds before, but at the overwhelming feeling of joy that had been restored. A joy that couldn’t just be seen on my face…but felt in my heart.

   As I read those words over and over again it was if I began to see everything so differently. Not because the verse magically cleaned my home or calmed my children…but  instead changed me. In the middle of my messy morning I was able to see the joy in the fact that I have a home, in the fact that my kids are taken care of and healthy, and in the HOT cup of tea I was able to drink without having to reheat three times. All things in which he has provided for me.

 Come along with me on my journey of finding the joy in the deepest darkest corners of my life.The joys that I didn’t want to see, and the joys that I never knew existed. I have spent the last fourteen months after Audreys death merely surviving, let alone living. He is showing me that I can miss my sweet girl and choose to enJOY my life in the everyday of everydays again. That there is joy to be found in every aspect of our beautiful messy lives.

I have no idea where he will lead me. I only know that I am finding myself along the way. 

Today I choose Joy.

Ready, set….here I go.



What I Want Them To Know……..

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6   11960112_10154143320265110_2618242373285066123_n (2)

My children are now growing up in a world where they will no longer know what it is like to be picked last, or maybe even not at all for a team. A world where a passing grade will be handed to them regardless of whether they are ready to advance to the next level or not.  A world that is continually finding new ways to remove the one who created it in the first place. A world that in some ways will have the power to prevent our children from shining to their full potential because the drive for them to work hard for what they want is no longer there. 

  As a mom this scares me.

I want my children to make mistakes, to fail sometimes, and to fall down and scrape their knees. Not because I want them to feel pain, but because I want them to learn from them, to problem solve, to have a drive to succeed, and to get back up and try again. I want them to need Jesus, to seek him when they need help. I want them to learn these things now so that when their backpacks are exchanged for brief cases they are not confused as to why they were not picked and given that promotion. I want them to be ready for the world that they will soon have to navigate, and work their way through. A life where you only get out of it… what you put in.

I want them to know that they won’t always make the team. That sometimes there will be someone who plays better than them. That sometimes they can practice, practice, practice, but it doesn’t always make perfect….but that no matter what they are always on my team, and I on theirs.

I want them to know that they do not need acceptance from others. That in this life they may be called dumb, not good enough, annoying, and weird at times….that those names will hurt them and cause them to question themselves, but that the one who loves them most in this world….that the one that created them in his image thought they were perfect enough to die for. 

I want them to realize that people will hurt and disappoint them in this world. That I will hurt and disappoint them. I want them to not look for or depend on human perfection because there is no such thing, but to instead rely on a God that is.

With that comes the fact that you cannot please everyone. That the choices they make for their life or family may be best for them although others may disagree. That I may disagree. I want them to know that my path and dreams for their life are just that…mine. That I may sometimes unintentionally push my own on to them.  I want them to be confident and strong enough in their selves and in their faith to stand up for what they believe in. To stay focused on God-pleasing instead of people-pleasing.

I want them to guard their hearts. I want them to choose their spouse wisely. To choose quality over quantity. I want them to learn that sometimes the most beautiful of people may not come in the prettiest of packages. That the wrapping paper doesn’t matter as it gets tattered and thrown away…but that what is on the inside of that gift is what we treasure. I want them to choose a man with a caring heart over a muscly bod. A love for God, over a love for money, and a love for them, over lust. 

  I want them to wait for marriage. Not because I want them to miss out on ” normal high school experiences or college life.” Not because I want them to be made fun of or ” teach them to summit to a man”, but because I want them to know that their worth is not defined by their bodies. That they themselves are enough.  That sex is not something you give away to win someone over, but is a gift you give to the one who has won you. I want them to know that sex before marriage can lead to pain and comparison to other partners. That you can not get that first time back. That I am not just “preaching” it, but that I have lived it. 

 I want them to know that marriage is not the fairy tale that they watch continually in their Disney movies. That it is like a roller coaster full of excitement, fear, and butterflies. That sometimes there will be hills so steep that you just make it to the top. I want them to know that their spouse will drive them crazy. That they will argue, make up, and argue again. That there will be times in their lives where they may love them, but not like them. That there will be moments that they question if their partner is really the one…if it is worth it. That like anything their ride will sometimes need repairs…to try and fix it, but that if they choose to get off I will be there to help them put their feet back on solid ground. 

I want them to know that in this life they will fail….but that failing leads to determination to try again. Sometimes with a better outcome then they would have had before. That they will experience pain. Pain they cause themselves, and pain that they don’t deserve.That things will happen that will shake them to their inner core and will be beyond all understanding, but that through pain comes knowledge, growth, and strength that they would never have had otherwise. 

I want to share with them my mistakes and my own failures. Not because I want to “give them ideas”, but because I am not embarrassed by them. That they are mistakes and they do not define who I am, and will not define who they are. That they have a chance to make better choices. I want them to know that I have messed up….that I am not perfect and I do not expect them to be. 

 I want them to know how much they are loved and cherished. That the moment their tiny slippery bodies were placed on my chest that was it. That in that moment I became theirs. That I am their biggest advocate for their needs. That I would do anything to protect them from this world but I cannot. That all I can do is be there to help them up, to comfort them, and to guide them until I am no longer here to do so. That no matter how old they get I will forever brush their hair out of their face, and hold them tightly. I want them to know that this parenting thing is hard. That I am trying my very best, and sometimes I may unintentionally make the wrong decisions in their lives. That I will sometimes not know the answers or not have the ones they want to hear. 

 Most importantly I want them to know a God that does have the answers. I want them to know him not because they feel pressured to, but because they desire to. I want them to learn to pray when they need guidance, to lean in to him when they are pain, and to praise him not only through the good……but through the storms. I want them to experience a love far greater than my own. A love that they could never imagine. A love that will remain present and constant in their lives long after I am gone.



Why Today I Choose Joy…..

“Joy is not in things, it is in us.” ~ Richard Wagne


I know joy. 

    In fact there have been many times in my life where joy has filled my body so entirely that it has had no choice but to burst through me. My childrens births have been some of them. In my life it has always been easy to find joy and to be thankful for the times where things worked out….in times that made me happy. When Audrey died it was understandable, and maybe even acceptable that joy did not radiate from my pores. In the days and even months following no one expected to see me frolicking down the streets or bursting at the seams. Even if they had wanted to it would have been impossible. I was full of a lot of things….anger….guilt….fear…confusion, but joy, my joy compartment was empty. It had disingrated away along with the death of my daughter. Afterall happy times lead to joy, not horrible,messy, ugly things such as this. I had no choice in the matter. This is what life had dealt me. Simple as that.

Or so I thought.

    In the months following my sweet girls absence I over- filled my life with adventures, activities, and busy days to try and distract myself from the heart break and the sadness. I desperatley searched for joy in hikes to waterfalls and in white sand between my toes. I was able to sometimes find it there, but in my day to day life… the days I found myself surrounded by spilled maple syrup and piles of laundry…in the moments where my heart broke as the feeling of someones missing in our home… remained scarce. 

…..But today as I sat on an porch swing….surrounded by a cranky teething baby, a dirty-faced toddler, and a needed to be occupied pre-teen. Feeling tierd, annoyed, and not enough. Feeling anything but joyous. I immediatly began to panic… find something…anything that would distract me from the mediocrity of my day…..then right there, in the chaos of my thoughts… I realized something.

    Joy is not something that can be made. It is not something that can be bought, or even deserved. It is a gift …a gift in which WE choose. A gift that so many of us miss out on because we are too busy searching for something thats already there.

My God is joy.

   He doesn’t just offer it to us in the form of beach, waterfall, or that brand new Kitchen Aid mixer. He offers it in the form of full-bellied, messy, bored children… and in a baby boy with eyes that smile only for his Mama. He has offered me joy in the midst of grief. In the feeling of helping other moms, in the moments of family and friends that came together to love and support, and even in the construction of a beautiful purple tutu made especially for her.

   So today I am choosing joy. Not because today is perfect. Not because my day has been full of excitement and adventures with memories made that my children will remember, and not because my heart is not still breaking for the loss of my sweet girl. 

    Today I choose joy because I am blessed….not only when life is good but because I have a God that is when times are not. Today I feel thankful..I see the joy in the drool soaked sleepers, stickered knees, and pizza faces he gave me.


Today I found joy in the everyday day. 

How about you?