To The Mama Who Feels Like She’s Failing…….

  ” The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” ~Isaiah 58:11



      Last night as I was driving in to head to bible study I would like to be able to say that I was feeling good…but truth was that an hour before had been a total nightmare.

     See, My girls were also going to the church for a end of season pajama party for their youth group, but when the time came to get ready to go….what seemed like a quick easy thing turned in to total chaos in the matter of seconds. My toddler was screaming because nothing felt right on her body, my oldest was annoyed that she was going to be late and honestly I cant blame her…I felt the exact same way.

     I threatened to leave her… know…the empty threat that your never going to do and I don’t know why we do it because it never works anyways. My quiet calm voice grew louder and louder until everyone was screaming, frustrated, and exhausted from the battle of coats and boots.

    We all made it in the car with not a minute to spare. But that Mama, the one with Casting Crowns blaring in the background. The one heading to bible study. The one with their kids dressed in matching pajamas in the backseat….the one who looked like she had it all together…did not. In fact she felt like a total failure.

How many times have we all felt that exact same way?

How many times have we entered somewhere with a smile on our face and self doubt in our hearts? How many times have we hidden who we are or mistakes we’ve made just so that can measure up to the Mom besides us?

How many times have we handed over the power to judge us to the wrong being?

Truth is, the last couple months , ten years….I’ve been struggling.

      Since the moment that a tiny eight pound, beautiful, slippery body was placed on my chest I immediately entered in to the world of Motherhood. In to a whole new world where self doubt, comparison, and the ability to mess up lingered around every corner.

     A world where the beauty and excitement  of new life was so very evident but the hidden pressures and inadequacy’s surround your every being as each day passed and the realization of just how big, just how important the job…..this whole Mom thing….. was going to be.

     As the world has advanced I’m not so convinced that we have. While we’ve pushed for acceptance of differences those very things have given us even more oppourtunities to fail ourselves. The world has seemed to emphasize our differences, and has even given us labels. Labels where Soccer Mom, Granola Mom, and Helicopter Mom suddenly are something we put in an order of better than….on a scale between the mom we want to be and the mom we don’t. Glorifying some more than others. Oblivious to the fact that not only are we individuals….not only has God made each one of us uniquely, but that every Mom  we have labeled from the moment we laid eyes on them are not just that.

    I have spent seasons yearning to be “that” mom. The mom that has it all together. The mom whos home you visit without cheerios on the floor and last nights super dishes in the sink.

I have spent years missing out on the blessings that was given to me because I was spending so much more time trying to be someone else.

I tried so desperately at times to fill material needs instead of spiritual ones.

I doubted my choices, because they were not yours.

I downplayed by abilities and strengths because they were not the same as others.

I’ve let Facebook hide the truths behind the pictures.

I have kept my eyes focused on becoming “mother-like” and not “God-like.”

I have spent years putting woman on pedestals for doing the exact same thing that all of us are doing…..

….raising our children to the very best of our abilities.

See, we may all parent differently but we all have the same goal.

We all love our children deeply and want what’s best for them.

….and I am learning(Sometimes the hard way) that God’s best and my best may be two different things and that if that is the case then I am going to fail at mine every single time.

    So to the Mama who feels like she’s failing…I’m here with you, fighting the same battle. Sitting hopelessly on the kitchen floor, feeling discouraged as I walk across my living room and cheerios crunch between my toes, and as I walk away from what seems like a fun family event only to have crying children and a doubting heart.

No one says it was going to be easy, but we can stop being so hard on ourselves….on each other.

You are not a failure.

You are a mother.

A beautiful and blessed being of God’s that sometimes needs a reminder that not only are you raising warriors, but that you already have a Warrior leading you through every battle you face.

We got this.

….and hey, when we don’t. He does.

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When He CAN…..But He Doesn’t.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28 “



I remember the breath-takingly surreal moment I found myself desperately waiting in the small room in back of the Outpatient Department. The nurse in me was anticipating the moment the emotionally and physically drained doctor would come in and tell me that my baby girl was gone. After all, it had been too long. Far past the appropriate amount of time we give someone in a code. A code? My baby was being resuscitated in this very moment? How in the world did we get from  a nursing, smiling, sleepy baby… to this?

But the Mama in me…..the God believing part of me begged Him to save her, pleaded with Him to show my church family in the waiting room…. that He was bigger than all of this. That if only He would perform this miracle, He would enable the physicians, the nurses, the staff involved to see just how mighty He was.

I tried to reason with Him in my final moments before the words of my new reality would be spoken. In my last desperate attempt I told Him that He could use this moment to change lives. That He could perform a miracle that would be talked about throughout this community….one that would ultimately lead people to Him.

Then moments later It happened.

…..and as the physician entered I immediately began to scream no. No to what he was going to say. No to God because this was not in the plan. No because this was not happening, not my life, not my story. I refused it to be. The doctor did manage to say the words. That all attempts of resuscitation had been unsuccessful. But I had already knew that part. I knew that part when twenty minutes had gone by and there were still no more signs of life than when she had left my home. I knew that when one of my co workers who had checked in gave me the look to get prepared for what was next.

My faith had never been in the science.

My faith has been in God, but with the stipulation that He was going to go along with my plan. The miracle. The saving her part. The breathing life back in to my breathless  baby ending.

Yet there we were. Small baby girl in my arms, proof of the attempts to save her still stuck in to her body. A white fleece hospital blanket and tear filled kisses that could not cover up the fact that time was causing her to become colder and colder.

Surrounded my friends and family and questions and whys?

Encapsulated by a God bigger than it all.

He could have saved her.

He could have changed the outcome of my story that early July morning.

He could have performed a miracle,

……but He didn’t.

Or so I thought.

Audrey’s survival wasn’t my story changer.

Her death was.

As painful as it was, it was our family’s survival that became the miracle.

The never ending prayers for healing from our amazing church family, My pastors gracious ability to love like Jesus, and every single day thereafter He gave me to go on.

The community watched as we wept, trusted, and healed. They became enveloped in our story… Gods strength and watched closely and questionably as He carried us through.

Audrey’s death ultimately led people to God.

All things I begged Him for that morning.

All outcomes I prayed would come from my baby girls life.

Assumingly unanswered prayers; answered.

His way…..not mine.

Still a miracle….just one that took longer to see.

He’s here. In all of it. Working behind the scenes. Healing,transforming, preparing, saving, carrying…..

Writing your story.

A story that may be unlike anything you would have written.

…..but with an ending that is ever so beautiful.

Because ultimately its not the miracle we really want……….it is the God that makes it all possible.




When From Death Comes Beauty.



“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. ~Ecclesiatstes”


Audrey’s viewing day.

I remember getting ready as it was yesterday.

The black dress. The gold earrings. The mascara that would run down my face before I could even fully apply it.

The emotions. All of them. The desperation, the despair, the torture, the anger, and the inability to accept.

Most prominently I remember the feeling of wanting to see my beautiful baby girl again, but came with it, the sickening fear that seeing her would indefinitely show the proof that death had consumed her fragile tiny twelve pound body.

I feared she wouldn’t look the same. That death had taken her for too long. That the sweet baby that lay cold in a wooden white box would trick my mind into believing that there was just no way that it could be the pink chubby-cheeked one who filled my arms only days before.

I arrived to the front doors of the church and anger filled my every being as I questioned God for the ten thousandth time. Why? How could you? Why me? Why now? Why her?

All questions I have still never received the answers to.

the purple tutu

 I remember looking to the front of my church, the box sat out just steps away from the staging where my pastor spoke Gods greatness into my very ears just a week and a half before. Where he spoke Gods greatness into my church families ears the Sunday morning I held my lifeless baby in a hospital room only days prior.


To tell you the truth He didn’t feel too great to me right now.

To be completely honest I felt He was mocking me as my beautiful baby girl lay still in a casket to be seen for the last time.

I refused to accept that ANYTING even remotely good could come from this.

That if my daughters death had anything to do with glorifying him there was absolutely positivity no way that I was going to be okay with that.

Maybe because a part of me felt like I was being punished for something….that I had failed terribly.

Perhaps a piece of me was convincing myself that if I had have done things differently or had listened to Him better, sooner that I wouldn’t have been standing bare footed at the alter holding her hand and counting fingers for the last time…..

That if I acknowledged that anything good could come from her death that I was somehow approving of it happening.

I don’t know.

But I do know one thing.

My precious Audrey was beautiful even in her death.

That Gods love intensified in that over flown room filled with friends, our community, and my church family who loved me unconditionally and without judgement.

Her death was not great.

But my God still was.

That death did not consume her.

But God did.

The same God who formed Audrey in my womb, who calmed me during my pregnancy, whom rejoiced with us in her birth, and who wept with me at the alter………still was.

Two years later I can confidently say that whether I refused or not, Audreys death has glorified God.

That Gods greatness shone even in her death.

She has impacted more lives then I could have ever imagined, and she was surely an amazing piece of my story that belonged to Him no matter how badly I selfishly want her.

For some reason I was chosen to walk this journey. A journey that has introduced me to opportunities and women who have added a substance to my life I never knew could exist.

Her death led me to a God that defeats it.

That very God led me to a beauty that her death….that this world, had been blinding me from.

So this month of October I remember her.

I remember my other sweet girl Alexis.

I acknowledge that I am 1 in 4.

That I am one face in the many of mama’s who walk this very same road as me.



In Alexis’s death I became a Hope Mom.

In Audrey’s death I became fully His.

Because of that I can look at my baby girl and see Gods presence.

I can look at her and not see death, but life.

….and that right there…in Him……is where beauty can always be found.






Because I Could Never Be Fatherless.



“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” ~Psalm 73:23-26

    It was Monday morning and my day was already up to not the best start. My oldest child had missed the bus, my middle one had been crying for ten minutes over wanting to wear her flip flops to school and the baby…well, need I say more.

   I packed some very unimpressive but quick lunches and loaded up the car with everyone and everything I needed for the day….a normal everyday occurrence in our household….but little did I know in a mere hour this Monday morning was going to be one that I would never forget.

   A few drop offs later and I had finally arrived at work just seconds before my scheduled time. I smiled as I seen a co-worker arriving the same time as me and was steps away from her when my phone begin to ring.

I pressed answer and shear screams pierced my ears.

“Dad’s dead”

“Dad died”

…..and in two words, in seven simple stomach turning letters… the world as I knew it had changed.

     The missed busses, the wrong pair of shoes, the cars that had drove to slow in front of me while not so nice thoughts filled my  mind. None of those things mattered. If anything I had wished they did. That I could just go back to my Monday morning being defined by the mundane everyday things that went wrong.

But it couldn’t.

Because in that moment.

   On that overcast, overly cranky morning of September twenty-sixth….in a cold wet parking lot…….

I became fatherless.

Or so I thought.

   See, I sat on my Fathers bed that morning and desperately clenched my Dads cold hard working hands, I studied them and traced each wrinkle and line with my fingertips, and I sat hopelessly in his death.

This time there was nothing to pray for… was too late.

The evidence lay still and breathless beside me.

Oh how I missed him already.

    Anger filled my every being as I began to ask the very God I needed so desperately the why questions I knew I would never get the answer to. I didn’t want to need him. I didn’t want to want him. In fact, I demanded him to restart this day over and breathe my Dads life right back in to him.

    But as I watched my Dads earthly home be carried out in a black bag and placed in the back of the coroners car, I was too desperate…too angry…..too immersed in the sudden grief, that I missed that my Dads life had already been restored and that the very life I had demanded had already been breathed back in to him.

Not because I had asked.

But because he did.

    So this morning as I awoke to the aftermath of the storm. As I laid in bed staring out at the beauty of the world in front of me, and as thoughts of memories of a man who truly loved like Jesus filled my mind.

   I was reminded that although my Dad is not here, he is alive. That even though I can not see him, his eyes are on the one that matters most, and I am so very thankful for the moments this past week where he has shown me small glimpses of Heaven.  Whether in the sighting of a butterfly or in the power of Gods word.

    I will forever think of the missed opportunities with my father. The words that weren’t spoken, the times I got distracted and didn’t take the call, or the last hug I gave without saying goodbye. All the chances I may have missed.

See my Daddy didn’t miss his.

But my Dads death showed me just how quickly we could.

    Because in an instant. In a single heartbeat, the every days of this world could be taken. The houses, the cars, the dance recitals, and the very people that filled them.



And all that will be left is a Father that would have never left us Fatherless…..

……and the missed opportunity to make that so.

So today I sit saddened, still angry, but ever so confident in the truth that I may have lost my father, but luckily for me I am not left without.

…..and it his Him that will carry me through the coming days…weeks…months. It is because of Him that I will never be…


How about you?

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When I am Just Not Able….


  I stood up uncomfortably from the couch, and I could feel as my fingers spun over and over around the hard edges of my wedding band. We began to sing and as the words began to leave all of our broken in our own ways lips, I couldn’t help but feel a knot in my stomach.

     …………and in that very moment I realized I was where I should be.

Right here in this exact moment of vulnerability.

Placed smacked in the middle of a variety of woman in a million different stages.

That ultimately we had all been brought here to get back to the very one who has made us and shaped us in to who we have become.

That ultimately we had been lead right back to Him.

Maybe it was an in the moment response but I stood at the front of the room thankful. Thankful that I had talked myself in to making the time to come….but most of all I thankful of WHO I was, whom I have become….in Him,

Two years ago….. four years ago to be exact, I sat in a hospital bed experiencing the after pains of birth as I held a tiny one and a half pound perfect but so ever still baby girls hand… I counted fingers and toes and acknowledged similar facial features of relatives , I was lost.

I was lost because I had been waiting until I got my life together before I got involved in a serious relationship with Him…..when the entire time it was the relationship I needed first to get my life back together.

I spent the first couple of years desperately trying to find a place in this new world to fit in. I compared myself to others in small groups. I strived to be that perfect image that so many were able to portray, and I became frustrated when every attempt of that very thing ended in a failure.

I prayed for direction. I felt as I was standing at the end of a road with a million different paths. Like I could tell the for sure ones that I didn’t want to take but for some reason I could not decipher the exact one to. I struggled between choosing the mediocre, because that was what I was after all.

I was the girl with the troubled marriage, the one who had been tested not once but twice with the death of her children, I was the foster child whom her mother had given away like a used item, I was the girl in school who everyone walked past with judging eyes when my baby bump was not able to be hid beneath my fuzzy gap sweater any longer.

Surely I was not created even remotely close for anything other than to be.

But I was so wrong. I had let the world brand and break me into the nobody I thought I deserved.

Except the world did not make me.

God did.

God made me….shaped me, not to be the woman sitting next to me. I was uniquely made for the purpose of serving Him, of living in Him in my own way.

I was useless as a mere copy of someone else, but as me…as myself….. he provided the power to do amazing things.

…and I suddenly realized that I was on the journey to becoming the woman that God has intended for me to be. That he has already been directing me down the paths that have led to endless possibilities of faith, and realtionships, and healing.

That most importantly he has freed me from those labels long before I even received them.

So here I sit, imperfect……… Perfectly imperfect in Him.  Not striving for the look of perfection but learning to embrace the not. By understanding that with the struggles and storms in our lives…the ones that strip you down to the very core are oppourtunities to find yourself not only in the One who carried you through them, but as a way to be able to help others find Him as well.

Because the truth is I couldn’t do this alone.

Because the truth is  you don’t have to.

Because you are worth far more than rubies.

Its time for us as woman to stop living in the mediocre places in our world and to start living in the amazing plans God has for us.

Because in Him is the best that we can be.

Because in Him …….we are able.

Four years later I am so very thankful to be able to say that.

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To a New Hope Mom….because I’ve been there.


Dear Sweet New Hope Mama,


Today you woke up to find evidence that your body had failed you tinged red on a piece of paper, today you walked in to the Dr’s office only to find the sweet sound of life had silenced within you.

Maybe today you laid that precious baby of yours down to sleep only to return and discover they had left your arms for His….or maybe tragedy struck and that beautiful, energetic, and full of life child was taken in an instant.

No matter the way…we all end up here.

In the very place you are right now.

In the gut wrenching, life changing, seemingly never-ending moment of complete brokenness.

I can’t describe it.

……because there are no words.

There never will be.

I would like to tell you that I am walking, talking  proof of survival…that I made it through to the other side.

….but I’d by lying.

Because there isn’t one.

I am just a little further ahead of you. Pondering the same unanswerable questions…the whys, the how comes, and the no fairs of this world.

I am but a mere figure of yourself in the years to come. Who can smile. Who has learned to laugh again, but who is attempting to navigate that same fine line between my old life….and my new….between my broken dreams and my ever so present reality.

Right now you are scared and angry.

You want to know the whys.

The why you? The why me? The why now’s?

Me too.

Truth is you sometimes never get that answer.

That one that you feel if you could just know…..if you could just figure out…then somehow, just some way it would be easier to accept.

But it wouldn’t.

Right now guilt is flooding in to every single vulnerable, grief stricken crevice of your being.

Your blaming that last workout, that missed kick count, or that one second you turned your head the wrong way.

Your beating yourself up over and over and over again as you continually contemplate the what ifs and the if I’s.

You replay the different scenarios repeatedly in your head as you try so desperately to turn back time.

But you can’t.

Because death is ever so present.

…..and as you lay in bed feeling the empty place where the precious life you created once was or as you sit in a cold, stark hospital room with your lifeless child in your arms….. it will never be more real than it is right now.

and you feel alone and isolated…and like no one understands.

Your heart lies in a million pieces in front of you and there is no one you feel that can help pick them  back up…..and no way it could be put back together the same way even  if they could.

Because it couldn’t.

You miss that beautiful baby already…and you break all over as you count those ten fingers and ten toes for the last time.

You aren’t ready to say goodbye and your desperate for just a few more minutes to prepare..

But you never will be.

Because no amount of time will ever be enough.

I hear your desperate cries and wails as you once again realize what is happening, because they are but an echo of my very own. They travel through me and I can feel every bit of your broken heart as mine shatters all over again.

Because you see…

We may have never met.

But we are bonded you and me.

Forever forced out of fear and our comfort zones and in to the very grief that the world tries so hard to ignore.

You are not alone.

There are so many of us on this same journey….more than you could ever imagine.

…and you’ll find us.

…….When your ready.

One day, in what seems a gazillion moments from now you will wake up to find that your smiles out number your cries. That the good days out weigh the bad, and you have traveled farther than you ever could have imagined.

But right now that seems impossible.

…and that’s okay.

Because right this very moment.

I’ll sit with you in silence.

I will smile as you talk about the way that sweet baby would laugh as you blew raspberries on that now still tummy.

I will giggle as you describe the funny face he used to make when he tasted bananas for the first time.

….and I will cry with you as reality hits a million time in between.

Because I’ve been there.

Because this is not your fault.

………and right now…….

That’s the only words from me you need to hear.



A once too was hopeless, but now ever hopeful Hope Mom.






Love, Marriage, Absent Baby Carriage. (What I Wish I had of known. )


I rolled over after another sleepless night and looked at the person asleep next to me. I recognized the same messy hair, jaw line, and stubly chin I had fell in love with…the way he slept, the sound of the silent but ever present snoring was all the same, but something was different.

For some reason I just didn’t recognize him….recognize myself anymore.

We were but two strangers that shared a bed. Two people who were trying to live in a world we once knew.

There was just one problem with that.

That world had changed. It had changed the minute we found out we were pregnant with two and brought one home.

It had changed the moment we were forced to pick out wooden boxes, and ceramic cubes to place the remains of our broken hearts into.

We had changed the minute he was awaken by my torturous scream one summer morning. As he desperately attempted to force his breath in to our precious daughter as she continued to turn blue.

Those things changes “Us.” We wouldn’t be human if they didn’t. They molded and shaped us into sometimes unrecognizable characters in an nightmare of a story.

And we thought we had made it through.

That the statistics and warnings were things to be worried about in the beginning stages.  That the hard work had to be done in those first few heartbreaking month’s.

But you see the work doesn’t end.

Because the grief never does…

Marriage is a beautiful thing but it is also hard work. Add a dead child, or two into the mix and the hard work becomes even more of an uphill battle. A battle where you are already injured and mamed and the ability to keep going sometimes seems overwhelming.

A battle where you are left not knowing wether you are fighting against the enemy or each other.

I wish I had have known.

I wish I had have known that I could wake up a few years later and not recognize the man I married.

That I could have been prepared for the times we would find our selves in different places at different times.

Because you will.

Because it is unavoidable.

Because we do not grieve the same.

As a woman, grief left me feeling a failure, lonely, and broken.

I looked to my husband to “fix” me. To fill all those voids….and when his grief left him paralyzed and unable to do so, I blamed him.

He wasn’t able to anyways.

I was looking to the world to fix a brokenness only my God could fix.

I wish I had of know that sooner.

That I had of trusted God to fill me back up when I was empty. That I had have known to control my tongue and to be patient.

That I would have relied on God to fill my impossible voids and to tame my unrealistic expectations sooner.

So here I sit today.

Married but struggling.

Fighting but injured.

But I want to leave you with this.

When your grief begins to fade don’t let your marriage fade with it.

Talk, touch, share .

Trust God.

When your lonely. Look to him.

When your scared. Pray to him.

When your expectations are not being met. Listen to him.

As hard as it might be to hear they just might not be that important in his moment.

Today I am praying for you. For both of you.

That your marriage remains steady, consistent, and strong in a storm so large you cannot see the end.

That you use the changes to grow. To strengthen the chain that not even the enemy can break.

So that one day you don’t wake up to someone you don’t know, but that you were prepared enough to wake up to that changed, but perfectly imperfect man that you married not that long ago.

Surrounded by love,  anchored in strength, and grounded in God’s grace.

I’m rooting for you.

You got this.

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