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 →

This morning, the birds serenaded me out of bed extra early. Grabbing my Bible and journal, I crept downstairs. After opening the blinds by my favorite blue chair, I headed to the kitchen for my first cup of coffee. None of this is ordinary, because 99% of the time, Tim wakes up first.

I had just a few minutes in the Word before I heard movement upstairs. Soon, our resident early riser, Luke, joined me. As he snuggled in next to me in my chair, his little hand was soon caressing the onion skin pages of my Bible that lay open on my lap.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 →

I was surprised by the fresh waves of grief that came rolling in this week. Yesterday, they hit so hard that I put myself to bed early. It’s been two years and eight months without Justin, and I can still hardly believe he’s gone.

We’d been in our house one year to the day that we lost Justin. But, there are still traces of him everywhere. Like the way he’d stand in our doorway at night with his hands on his sides, telling us about a girl he liked or a funny story from work.

I remember him half-asleep, sitting in the overstuffed recliner in his bedroom, reading a big fat theological book before he went to bed. In the mornings, my heart rejoiced when I’d see his Tabletalk magazine and Bible laying open on his bed bookmarked to where he’d left off.Read 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 →

About nine months or so after Tim and I started dating, it became apparent that I was one lovesick girl. Each night, after he dropped me off at my apartment, I would go to my bedroom, lay on my bed, and cry my eyes out. I hated for him to leave, and I could hardly wait to see him again. I know it sounds dramatic, but I was head over heels. Each night, I poured out my heart to the Lord, telling Him, “Lord, I just wanted to marry that man.”

That’s when I discovered Lord Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Read More →

This evening, right around dinner time (it’s always dinner time for us, isn’t it?) the tension was a bit thick in our home. It felt like I spent at least half of the day disciplining my boys, and putting out fires. Two of my sons (who I just corrected) were jumping on the trampoline and saw me through the kitchen window. They smiled big and waved, and that’s when I realized that I was clenching my teeth. Read More →

Over the last two and a half years, I have struggled through gigantic waves of fear and anxiety. Not too long ago, I was waiting for my daughter to get home from work. I had dinner on the table when I realized she hadn’t made it back yet. I called her to see if she was running late; her phone went to voicemail. A few minutes later, I sent her a text asking if everything was okay. 

By this time, I served dinner, and the boys were full of conversation about the day. Though I appeared calm on the outside, my insides were in complete panic mode. If you know the story of losing Justin, you understand my train of thought. 

As I sat at the dinner table, I was not present, but imagining every worst-case scenario. As the minutes ticked by, a lump sat in my throat like cement. Finally, I whispered to my husband, 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 →