Last week, we found out that Tim’s furlough was extended again, this time, until July 31st. Naturally, we wonder how many more extensions are in our future and what that looks like for our family. 

Psalm 27:14 is such a word to remember in the waiting. It says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD.” 

Often times, when we think about the word, wait, we might get the idea that it’s a passive act. On the contrary, when we wait upon the Lord, it is an action. The Hebrew definition for wait means: to look for, hope, expect. When we wait for the Lord, we place our confidence in Him with hopeful expectation.

The time I didn’t wait

Last year, I wrote about a time that I didn’t wait on the Lord. Summer was quickly approaching; our daughter, Sarah, was away working at a camp for the season, and Justin was a few weeks launching out on his own. Tim’s new position at work would require some travel, and it would be me at home with our three youngest boys. I decided that I needed to do something for myself. Read More →

The first year after we lost Justin, we walked through a series of trials that left my head spinning. The air conditioner stopped working mid-summer; our car broke down, the garage door malfunctioned, and the fridge was leaking. My final tipping point was when I walked into the garage and found a pool of water coming from our water heater. I walked right back into the house, locked myself in the bathroom, and cried, “How long, O’ Lord, will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1a)

Earlier today, as I was shampooing the carpet, I remembered how, in my early days of grief, my mind played in a continuous loop. Oh, how I wished. I wished I would have stopped Justin from going to the lake. I wished I could have somehow known it was my last good-bye, and I love you. I wished I could take away my children’s pain. I wished with all of my heart that I could change our reality. 

Lately, a similar train of thought has been running through my mind. Tim’s was furlough began almost eight weeks ago. Today, the travel industry is down by 96% from this time last year. The possibility of him returning to work at the end of June seems very unlikely. I long for normalcy, for Tim to be back in his home office on a call helping a client. I wish for a different reality.Read More →

A few nights ago, I found an old journal from the year 1991. My first entry included the details of a God orchestrated event that still leaves me in awe today. I, at eighteen years old, was a young Believer; and unlike the majority of my peers, I had no plans for the future. For months, I sought the Lord each night, asking Him to show me my next steps. His answer would come the day after I graduated from high school.

Early that morning, I received a phone call from my pastor, asking me if I would like to be a summer intern with a ministry based in Mexico. My job, he said, would be to help church groups coming from the states build houses for families in need in the heart of Mexico. If I were to agree to go, I would need to be ready to leave in three days. When I inquired about the financial aspect of the summer, I was dumbfounded when my pastor told me that our church was paying for everything. 

Without a doubt, I knew this opportunity was my long-awaited answer. Three days later, I was on my first plane ride donned in my blue jean overalls and a straw hat with a big floral bow attached to the side. And that right there was where the cuteness ended because the rest of the summer was one of the most exacting experiences I have ever faced.Read More →

y heart has been in my throat most of the day, and it took me until dinner to pinpoint my angst. I miss Justin. I still find it nearly impossible to understand that he is gone fully. This morning as I walked, I was grateful for the empty sidewalks that gave me the freedom to allow fresh tears to drop without inhibition.

I guess in hindsight, that should have clewed me that this might be a tough day. But, the thing about grief is that, sometimes, it’s sneaky. It clouds your mind with countless unintelligible thoughts while stealthy depleting your energy reserve. And, grief, coupled with the added stress of Tim’s now extended lay-off, has me feeling a smidge undone. 

One of the most impactful lessons I am learning since losing Justin is how to lament and simultaneously remember God’s character. In my “before,” I did not want to sit in my heavy emotions and wait for God to comfort me. Instead, I skipped the lament and eased my ache on my own terms. But, after losing my boy, the previous coping practices that I honed so well were inadequate in the face of such anguish. Read More →

Today, we got word that Tim’s company extended his furlough. Initially, their goal was to bring everyone back on May 14th; now, they are hoping for June 30th. The travel industry has taken a hard hit, so this turn of events is not shocking. Even still, it is not the news we were hoping to receive.

For the last few days, I have been camping out in Ephesians 6:10-20. Today, verse 10 especially caught my attention.Read More →

When I was a new mom, I promised myself that I would not use the term, “shut-up” when disciplining my children. And then, one day, I took Justin and Sarah to ROSS; they were probably around six and four years old at the time. As I turned for a quick second, Justin and Sarah decided that it would be fun to hide in the middle of the racks of clothing. When I turned back around, they were gone. My heart dropped as I called their names until I heard a familiar giggle. In the blink of an eye, my fear turned to anger. I grabbed my purse, took their little hands, and marched them directly out of the store and to the car. As I worked to buckle them in their seats, they began to protest and whine. I slammed their door, got in the driver’s seat, and shocked all of us when I yelled, “SHUT-UP!”

I was devastated. I did exactly what I didn’t want to do;Read More →

About a year ago, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I read a headline from a social news site about someone’s child dying. I made the mistake of reading through the comments, and I’ll never forget the woman who wrote, “Well, I pray for God’s protection over my children every day.” I thought about writing back, “Well, so do I, but sometimes God has a different plan.”

The day we lost Justin, I prayed for him and his safety. I asked the Lord to protect him. When the sheriff’s deputies arrived at our door early Sunday morning, I was dumbfounded. When the shock wore off, I was hurt and confused. Read More →

Christmas was in the rearview mirror, and the new year was only a few days away. My social media newsfeed contained post after post laced with excitement for 2020. I, on the other hand, felt complete dread. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get excited about a fresh new year. 

Things came to a fever-pitch one evening as I was preparing dinner for my family. As I stood with my back to my boys grating cheese at my kitchen counter, tears ran down my cheeks. I felt so anxious, I could hardly speak. No matter how hard I tried, I could not shake the feeling that another tragedy was imminent. Read More →

Tomorrow is Easter, and like most everyone else in America, we won’t be gathering together with our church family.

Since COVID-19, we’ve tried as a family to preserve our Sunday mornings for a time of worship. Although I don’t make the boys wear their Sunday clothes, I do get myself put together, and then we all meet in the living room. Our church sends out the bulletin ahead of time, and Tim prints them for us to follow along. Together, we read through the liturgy, and then, watch our pastor’s sermon on Youtube.

As we listen to the sermon, the two youngest boys become restless just like they do on aRead More →

A few nights ago, Tim and I went on a mini-date. We took a long drive, mobile ordered Chipotle (my favorite!), and then sat in our truck and ate our meal in the parking lot. It was absolutely delightful. Somehow, we got on the subject about what it was like when I received my first invitation to attend church.

If my memory serves me correctly, I was a freshman in high school, and I was spending the night at my friend Tami’s house. One of her family friends went to a little church across town, and she asked me if I would like to come along with her, to which I promptly responded, “No, thank-you.” At the time, I couldn’t imagine anything more boring than going to church. However, when she mentioned a group of cute boys who were in the youth group, I was quickly persuaded.Read More →