Lessons At The Kitchen Sink.


Hey you.


The one standing at the sink washing the never ending dishes while staring blankly out the window.

The Mama in your own world for just a moment while peices of your family runs around your home.

I know what you’re thinking.

It’s funny isn’t it?

Maybe funny isn’t the word.

But isn’t it crazy how life just goes on?

How in a sometimes feels- like- yesterday, yet in another feels- so- distant time…. that your tummy contained a life that is no longer.

It’s little moments like these ones that remind you of  the missing feet running around and the absent giggles around the dinner table.

How did we get here?

From that dreary hospital chair to the kitchen sink .

Because there was a time we could barely stand.

Because there was a time where the pain was so immensely present that just existing was difficult.

Because there was a time where our other children’s laughter was not seen as a blessing, but as a breathtakingly painful reminder of the childs we would never hear.

Because there was a time when I placed my once alive but now lifeless baby in my husband’s arms to hand over to the coroner.

Because there was a time  I thought life was over for me too.

But it wasnt.

……And minutes turned in to hours and hours in to days.

…. And days in to weeks and weeks in to months.

…And then months into years.


And one day you wake up, and can thank the ever present never left your side God. The One who you battled with in the kitchen one stormy morning while your daughter laid breathless on the floor.

The One whom ultimately had the ability to “save the day” …..

……but didn’t.

And you look back at that not so distant time where you could not see any point in living any longer. That time when your other children was not even enough of a motive for you to live through this pain.

Then you remember the moments He showed up time and time again.

The moments where he put just a glimmer of light in the seemingly never ending darkness and just the smallest bit of joy in the forever feeling pain.

And you realize that although he may not have saved that day, He did save your life.

Then one day years from now you’ve emerged from the middle of the storm and you’re staring out your kitchen window….and not only are you remembering that precious child that once was, but you are thinking about the life thereafter you’d never thought you’d have.

The life you couldn’t even see in the midst.

A life that has had so many moments of pain and family shaken hard times. But a life of healing, of blessings, and of change.

But back then we couldn’t see it.

….And that’s okay.

We wouldn’t have believed it if we could.

Because back then all we could see was death and pain and the unfairness of this world we live in.

Back then all that we could see was the pink cold hospital chair where we last held our precious baby.

Until one day we didn’t.

I never would have thought that this journey would bave been and continues to be, even more than I could have ever imagined.

That I could feel so abudantly blessed and loved in a life that has contained so much pain and death.

But I am.

And He continues to be.

Our grief doesn’t stop.

But neither does our God.

And because of Him, today we can stand and be thankful for the veiw.

And for tomorrow we are filled with hope.

I don’t know how we got here.

But I am so very thankful we are.

Thankful that while our tough tierd hands  were created for cradling sweet babies and washing these very dishes….that His…

His were made for healing.










To The Mama Who Can’t See It….


To the Mama anxiously awaiting bedtime.

To the Mama walking over graham cracker crumbs on her newly washed floors.

To the Mama whose after-the-supper-dishes fill her just empty sink.

To the Mama who just yelled when she could talk graciously no more.

To the Mama whose seemingly never empty laundry basket is overflowing.

To the Mama who hands, mouth and mind is tierd.

To the Mama who will stay up when everyone is asleep to get a head start on tomorrow.

To the Mama who will wake up and do it all over again.

To the Mama who wonders if this is how it will always be or if they are even making a diffence anyways.

…..it wont.

…..and you are.

You are not alone.

There’s so many of us here with you.

Someday these messy faced, sleep resisting, repeatative why questioners will be grown. Someday Your house will stay clean, your laundry will be your own, and your sleep will be restored.

Someday this time will be no longer.

Until then we embrace the messiness of it all.  We find the joy in the sometimes not so joyous moments. We take in the beauty in the fingerprints on our windows and muddy footprints on the floor. We answer their whys over and over again as their face lights up with excitement each time……. and we mess up over and over again in the process.

Because we are their Mamas…

Beautiful, coffee drinking, question answering, sleep deprived beings who was created by God to do just so.

You’re making a difference you know..

….in their life.

And in the future you will look back at this not so distant past and remember not only the hard work but these messy moments in this beautiful time.

Those messy moments that helped shape the amazing mother you are.

You are enough.

You’ll see.


A waist -deep- in- the-mess  Mama, whose right where you are.


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…..it 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?

PicMonkey Sample








To The Woman With The Footprint Tattoo…..



I seen you standing there.

Close enough to watch your children,

…..but far enough away from the rest of the world.

You were grumpy…..distant.

    I sat on the bench while our children’s attentions turned from the playhouse, to the swings, to the sandbox.

     I may have been the first to judge……to wonder what could have been so wrong for you to be present, but not be really there. How you could give such sharp remarks to your children so publicly, or how you could not care that all eyes were on you as you shouted across the playground.

   I was jealous in some ways. That you could be so real. I felt like I could sense there was something…….

Then I seen it.

   You turned around for just a moment and there on your back, a little to the left…were two teeny tiny footprints and two dates.

    Two dates that did indeed signify a birth, but it was the second that caused my stomach to scrunch up tightly in my body. The date that your precious little one took their last breath. The year of 2016.

…and I got it.

You weren’t here yet.

You couldn’t be.

I knew.

Because I had a hidden mark on my inner wrist that said the same thing.

Because I had been there only a couple years prior.

   I knew you didn’t want to be there….neither had I. That inside it killed you to place your completely broken self right in the middle of a populated play area where you struggled between feelings of guilt and whether anyone knew you were even broken at all.

    I got that your quick snaps were not of anger, but of survival. That it was easier to yell then as to physically move your body. That just being there was exhausting enough when your newly emerged in grief self could barely find the strength to get out of bed each morning.

   I knew that you missed your sweet baby. That as you watched your girls play in the sandbox your thoughts were reminding you that there should have been another hand with a shovel….that as you watched my baby eating tiny handfuls of sand you envied me because you wanted yours…that as you tried so hard to take a picture that in your mind it was and would always now be incomplete because someone was missing.

    Truth was, you were branded by death long before that tattoo. I could tell from your movements…from the “dead” look in your eyes. You were branded the moment your precious baby took their last breath on this earth. So was I.

   All we ever exchanged was a half smile while we rounded up our sandy children from the swings and slides.

But I knew you.

   I wish I could have told you I had been there. That I was still there just a little further ahead on the road. I didn’t need to know your name to know that your heart was broken in to more pieces than you could ever imagine. That your entire world had been shaken to the core. I didn’t need to have a  conversation with you to understand that you were in the middle of a storm that seems like it will never end.

……because it doesn’t.

Not really.

It gets “easier”, it fades and clears off at times…..but its always there lurking ready to show its self at the most random of moments.

You are going to get it through it.

If you can just hold on, next year you may just be sitting next to me on that bench.

   Able to smile at those precious life savers of yours playing next to you….maybe even to help build a sandcastle. Maybe even ready to speak to the Mama next to you.

   Until then I will remember you…..remember the brief encounter that placed my feet back on to the ground and allowed me to feel those raw, first year feelings.

Until then….you will remain in my prayers.

   You and those small set of footprints that changed this Mamas heart more than you will ever know.

PicMonkey Sample

The Truth About Christian Women; and why we’re failing miserably at it.


“The things you wish were most removed from your life are often the very things that God is using to shape you and make you into the believer of character He wants you to be.” ~ Unknown.

Chad came home around six that night. Just in time for me to head out the door to a bible study I had just begun to attend. We greeted each other quickly as he entered the door and I exited it. I had had a crazy day and I sighed a sigh of relief as I closed the car door and sat in complete silence for a moment.

    I entered in to the bible study and was greeted by smiling faces and cheerful glances. My evening was spent eating yummy food, catching up on worldly issues, and being filled with truth. I left feeling a fuller woman then the empty-tanked one that had walked through the door only hours earlier.

    I walked through my door expecting to kiss my girls goodnight, and spend a few quiet moments with my husband.. but instead my house was in chaos. In an instant my desire for order and routine caused everything I had heard about that night to fly right out the window.

    My anger towards my husband completely blinded me from the fact that my husband had left work and walked in to our busy household while I had walked out of it. With both of us feeling unappreciated for different reasons and our tiredness from the day, our anger escalated quite quickly in to an argument.

   In a moment I had gone from a Christian woman into a full fledged “monster” on a war path. What had I done. Why was I like this…..and as I climbed in to bed the regret and embarrassment of what had just happened in my household consumed me entirely.

    I may have been able to hide what happened between my husband and I that night from the world. I may have expressed to the world on social media that I was attending a bible study or post a picture of our family helping out the community… but I am least likely to plaster the walls of my Facebook page with family arguments, marital troubles, or misbehaving children.


The answers simple…

Because its easier.

    Now that being said, in no way am I encouraging you to use social media as a way of expressing your struggles openly to the world. (That would be a whole other problem.)But I am saying we only see half of peoples lives….the pieces that they choose and allow for us to see, and in todays world social media is one of the biggest influences on how we not only view…but compare ourselves and lives to others.

But see, this is exactly where we are failing.

      Not only are we being tempted on a momentarily basis to adapt our lives towards other families morals and values off what we are able to see, but we are also hiding our own troubles.

      In todays time where Christian women are struggling so hard to raise their family in an un-godly world, we are being watched more than ever. Eyes are looking to us not just in judgement but also in a non-understanding…..and by continuing to show only our accomplishments and triumphs and hiding away our challenges and struggles we are pushing people…women…just like us away towards the world because they feel more accepted out there.

     Pretending to be good doesn’t mean that we are….it simply means we are good at pretending.

     Truth is….I am a Christian. I believe in God. I pray with my children, I attend church, I try to regularly read the word. I attempt to help others in need. I believe in life after death, and I try to love on everyone regardless of circumstances.

……But I also sin. I mess up. I fall down. I struggle in my marriage. I become frustrated with my children. I sometimes find myself caught up in gossip. I worry about what others will think about my beliefs. I struggle with my weight. I am afraid of death. I am insecure, and sometimes I find myself judging others in ways I would not want to be.

     Sometimes I doubt God. Sometimes for seconds and sometimes for days. I struggle with every single worldly issue as any other woman the only difference is I believe in a God that is there to help guide or haul me out of a hole I sometimes place myself in. 

    My life is far from perfect. I think that as Christian women we spend way too much time trying to hide our brokenness when in reality it is through that same brokenness and mistakes that God uses to encourage others. To offer hope, and love, and truth that we are all in the same fight together. There is something so beautiful (and scary) in being forced out of our comfort zones and being vulnerable.

    Our ugliness can turn in to such a beautiful story of faith and redemption if we could just allow ourselves to let go of the fear of being “exposed.” So why can’t we just be real and lift one another up as we relate to others circumstances. We are currently raising the next generation of woman who is watching us with curious eyes,  and who is going to need this even more than we do.

    Choosing to become a Christian didn’t give me a stamp of approval to walk the rest of this life free from struggles and in perfection. (I wish it did.) It came with a stamp of responsibility to allow my life…every single part of it to show Gods love and presence in it. Being a Christian meant here I am…broken, lost, hopeless, struggling, imperfect, and un-whole. Here I am a mess, messing up…sometimes over and over again. But there he is loving me whole-y in my imperfection and guiding me to be the best that I can be. It’s about always having a cheerleader by my side.

Isn’t it time to be each others?




What Matters Most : The harsh reality of a selfish mamas heart.

” In everything you do, so it all for the glory of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31 



Hey Sweet Girl,

It’s been awhile.

My heart has been hurting so much lately that I am not even sure of the right words to say…or if there are really any right ones to begin with.

We bought a home. Our first actual home.  Four walls and a roof filled with our familys joys, dreams, and love…but not you. Five bedrooms…but one empty.

It was so emotional yet freeing to leave the place where you died. I thought it would be the solution to my problem. The antidote to my ailing heart.

It wasn’t.

In fact, now instead of standing in a place where you died…..I walk daily through a place you will never be. I walk up stairs you will never climb, and past an empty bedroom in which you will never sleep.

Twenty-one months have passed since your death and I am still here, remembering, missing, grieving for your life that was…and your life that will never be.

I was so prepared to be a mom. To be your mom. I knew how to change diapers, kiss scrapes knees, and make grilled cheese.

But I wasn’t prepared to be a mom to a dead you.

I don’t remember…..

As your baby brother has grew and grew there are things about you that are slowly slipping away. Time has been like an enemy. Forcibly hauling me further and further from you.

   The  aftermath of your death has been the hardest. it has left scars and wounds invisible to the naked eye.  I desperately want to remember you. I want others to remember you.There are times I just want to scream that I birthed you at the top of my lungs. That you were here but now you are gone. That my family in its entirety has been severed.

  You were one tragedy in the midst of thousands that occur daily. The only difference is you were MY tragedy.

God has been preparing me for a lifetime of what it means to be a mother to a dead you.

The past few months I have been challenged by the reality that it is not the worlds job to remember you. The number of people who know your name is not what matters. That right there…is a mamas selfish heart talking. Your death has to be more than that.

Your death has to mean more than an empty bedroom and a successful blog rating.

Truth is,in the world it doesn’t matter who knows your name, HE knows your name. The importance is that the world knows HIS.

It matters that your death saves lives, that it ignites fire in  peoples hearts to serve and love on people. It matters that your last breath was meant to change lives and to encourage others.

I want people to know you so bad….but should I not be wanting people to know him more? Should I not be shouting that I have a father that has changed my life. That I had been lost, but now I am found. That my family, although missing two extremely important people has been made whole again because of a God that is more powerful than death.

It doesn’t matter if your life shines in the darkness of this world….

It matters that in the darkness of your death…Jesus shines.



















When Expectations Destroy…

” Don’t mistake Gods patience for His absence. His timing is perfect, and his presence is constant. ” – Unknown.





Lets face it. We all have them. 

      They go hand in hand as we make the conscious decision to sacrifice our own happiness and beliefs to please others or if we are going to choose to stand up and be our own selves with no fear of what others may think or say.

I’m guilty.

       I have allowed expectations of others, along with my own for myself to wear down, cause me to question, and destroy my joy. I’ve allowed expectations of parents to cause doubt in my ability as a mother. I have enabled societies expectations of my body size to break down my self confidence as a person……as if my body size impacts who I am and whether or not I am enough or deserving of love, friendship, and success. I have let myself become disappointed and crushed in spirit when I have failed to live up to my own dreams of where I should be.

      To say I have been struggling with all of these things in the past few weeks would be an understatement….because the truth is I have felt more of a mess, and more of a hypocrite then I had ever felt before…

      I began to watch myself take one step closer and ten steps back as I allowed myself to blame God for the short comings in my life….for the not-lived-up to expectations. As I seen my dreams and what I thought of as my success crumble around me I began to be frustrated with God for not giving me my “deserved gold star”…..my reward for fighting the fight. When the reality of it is he owes me nothing……

       Faced with a a huge disappointment, family health scares, and a marriage ready to give way under the stress of it all I was forced to realize that maybe my happiness wasn’t the result of others opinions about who I was or the ability to live up to their expectations, but was because of my God….that the one who matters most knows who I am even better than I know myself.  That my joy was not dependent on someone else meeting my expectations for them or for our relationship, but only on me and where I was with my relationship with God.

      My expectations for others and for my life was another attempt at controlling my own life…my own outcomes. This past week I fell completely apart as if the build up from Audreys death, stress, and chaos had finally caught up with me. I felt not good enough, lost, and afraid as I began to lose what I had worked so hard to accomplish. My perspective wasn’t able to change until I realized that not only was God not to blame, but that just because I believed… didn’t mean I got the easy way through this life. 

      Last night I made the conscious decision to let go.

      I opened the door to my car and stepped on to the wet cold sand with a paper in my hand. I visited the place that is like a second home. The place where I feel closest to my sweet Audrey, the place where I can scream and yell and cry out over the water and no one can hear me….the place where I often find peace. Oh how I needed it. It was dark…pitch black, and the cold November wind stung my face with each step I took closer to the sound of the crashing waves. I realized that even though my life felt dark at that moment that it did not mean the beauty wasn’t there. That I may not be able to see it right now, but that when the darkness turned into day those same crashing waves….that same beauty of the ocean that I loved so much would still be there. It was constant.

      When I reached the freezing water I placed  that paper right down in to it. A paper that read one word.


     I watched as the waves began to crash over it on the sand and the word started to fade. Maybe, just maybe living my best life had nothing to do with having the best things. Living your best life meant having a heart of love for others, it meant offering that “gold star”….. that encouragement to others while expecting nothing in return. It meant offering the same grace and forgiveness in relationships that may not be offered back. My worth had nothing to do with my material possessions or my physical appearance, but has everything to do with who I am as a person. With who I am as a woman of God.

     As I breathed in a long deep breath of sea salty air, I’ll never forget that feeling of some thing washing over me….beating away the sense of failure and leaving behind a sense of peace. 

Just like that.

Expectations behind me, and life before me. 

A life lighter…a life fuller but freer.

    This morning…..I am replacing expectations with encouragement. I am choosing  to not dwell on my failures but on my success. Today I am choosing to choose joy.

Because I am worthy.

Because I am loved.

Because when I am lacking faith and joy, I am unable to offer it wholly to anyone else.

Because this….this is me, trying to live my best life.

Isn’t that what we are all trying to do?