As I slipped out the front door for my morning walk, my mind was going a million miles a minute. I had awakened feeling overwhelmed and trepidatious for the day ahead. 

While I walked, I talked to God. In fragmented sentences, I poured out my heart. Fear was the center of my thoughts. As I asked the Lord to help me to trust Him, Jehosaphat’s prayer came to mind, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12b)Read More →

When I was eighteen years old, and one-day post-graduation, I heard from God. A few months earlier, I had attended a retreat with my church youth group. I don’t remember all of the details of that weekend except that the speaker’s testimony mirrored my life.

When I returned home, through tears, I began kneeling by my bedside and seeking the Lord each night. I felt an enormous amount of stress; the majority of my friends had already selected their colleges. I, on the other hand, wasn’t sure if my grades would allow me to cross the stage and receive my diploma. I’d lost track of how many times we’d moved, but it was my fourth high school in four years. Therefore, I had no plan at all and only a part-time job at the local Fish N Chips.Read More →

Just as dusk settled over the sky, the six of us piled into our truck and took our long-awaited drive. We had no particular destination in mind, only a change of scenery. In a few minutes, our neighborhood was behind us, and vast fields of green cotton sprouts lined the road. 

 As we drove, I gazed at the sky filled with pink marbled hues. When we passed the school where Sammy first practiced baseball, all of us grew silent for a moment. That was our before: before we lost Justin and everything changed forever. Read More →

When I met Tim, he loved coffee; I did not. Years later, when I went to work for a ministry, most of my face-to-face meetings were held at Starbucks. Much to my husband’s delight, I started drinking coffee. Now, I start my day with a cup of joe, and then later in the afternoon, I reheat whatever is leftover in the coffeepot and enjoy my second round.

One of the upsides of Tim’s lay-off is that now we get to enjoy our afternoon cup together. Speaking of my husband, one of my most favorite things in this life, is having good long talks with Tim. He has a deep well and asks me the most thought-provoking questions. He can see the big picture when I get lost in the details. Also, he’s made me laugh from day one. Read More →

If you are at all familiar with Dave Ramsey, you’ll understand my next statement with ease. Tim and I have “done stupid” more times than we can count. Financially speaking, it’s been a long road of learning how to steward our resources wisely.

We’ve put ourselves on many budget freezes, made oaths to each other that we wouldn’t eat out, and for a while, I even ventured into the craziness of price matching. Everyone in our family jokingly uses the phrase in our best Texas accent, “rice and beans, and beans and rice,” but we’ve never actually eaten only rice and beans for dinner.Read More →

When I was a new mom, I met an Irish woman at church named Rosie. She had flaming red hair kept in a pixie cut. Her sense of humor was razor-sharp, and she held a wealth of wisdom in her petite frame.

At the time, Tim was taking a full load of classes at seminary and working fulltime at the hospital. Most of my days consisted of just Justin and me. I noticed that Justin started to misbehave in the late afternoon, making the home stretch to bedtime feel like an eternity. One day, I shared my concern with Rosie. She looked me in the eyes, and with empathy, she said something to the effect of, “Missy, no wonder. the hours from 5:00-7:00 pm are known as the arsenic hour.”

At the time, that sounded a little sinister to me, but now, five kids and twenty-some years later, I get it. By dinner time, I come in limping,Read More →

All of the unemployment paperwork arrived in the mail today. Things just got real. As I read over the affidavits, my mind got a little fuzzy while the rest of my body felt like I was carrying a fifty-pound weight.

I don’t feel worried or panicked. But, I do feel the gravity of our situation.

At my previous doctor’s visit, I teared up when he asked me if I currently had a lot of stress in my life. For the last year, we’ve been working on getting my body functioning more efficiently. He asked because, at my most recent check-up (before Tim’s lay-off), some of my numbers came back a little out of wack. I was disappointed because I’ve been making significant progress. It was a good question.Read More →

I spent the first half of the day positive it was Tuesday. It is, in fact, Monday. At breakfast this morning, I whispered to my husband, “Maybe we should take the week off of school.” After thirty seconds, I decided that would be a horrible decision because what exactly would we do with more free time right now? Also, right after dinner, I set the clocks forward an hour.  

It was a very long day.

I saw a picture of Justin today, and my heart jumped in my throat. His smile was so carefree; for a moment, I remembered what it was like to hug him. There is a multifaceted mixture of emotions swirling around inside of me. I long for the familiar hum of life to resume. But, comfort is not what builds steadfastness, that’s usually sufferings job.Read More →

This morning, I decided it would be nice to put on a little make-up, do my hair, and actually wear real clothes. Just as I was about to apply my mascara, I heard one of my boys wailing and crying, “Mama!”. I opened my door and saw my boy, who loves all things creepy-crawly, sobbing.  

In his hands, he held a plastic container with the remnants of his favorite hermit crab, Stewart Little. After consoling him, I suggested he give Stewart a proper burial in the back yard; I was hoping it would give my tender-hearted son a little closure. When he came back in the house, he crumpled into my arms, this time, wailing. He kept repeating the same phrase, “He was so young, he didn’t get to grow up.” Finally, I realized his sorrow wasn’t so much about Stewart Little; this was about grieving the loss of Justin, coupled with our new routine at home with Tim’s lay-off.Read More →

Tonight, as I write, I know the Lord was preparing my heart for such a time as this. Everything that is happening in our world is frightening. Today, I read a story about a precious little boy who has the virus. I thought of my own little boys, and I began to fear. 

A litany of thoughts raced through my mind, all of them starting with the familiar, what- if. Since losing Justin, I can go from faith to fear in the blink of an eye. It reminds me of something that happened earlier this week. Read More →