We belong to each other

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I keep hearing people say we need to do something. But no one seems to be able to agree on what that is. So we shake our heads, cry our tears, and eventually move on. I see the horrible responses to Sunday’s attack. I see the anger and hatred and rage building up in my country. Our country. And I don’t know how to stop it.

I am tired. I am tired of the anger on both sides. I am tired of hearing people slam one another over and over again. I am tired of no one in power being willing to stand up and say enough is enough and here’s what we are going to do about it.

Our leaders won’t lead. We the people need to step up.

I used to worry about interfering. Getting into business that isn’t mine. I waited until someone asked for my help. I used to worry about other parents getting angry if I stop their kid from hurting someone else’s kid. I used to only step in when MY child was in danger.

But they are all my kids.

The little boy being physically bullied at the park tonight. Mine. The little ones in Uganda who lined up to touch my arm and tell me their names. Mine. The ones who have nowhere to sleep tonight and no parents to tuck them in. Mine. They are all mine.

And they are all yours.

We belong to each other.

And we need to start living like it.

Stop Counting Us Out

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Lately, the stats and comments about kids of single moms are coming at me from every direction. What happens to kids of single moms once they become teenagers. Oh, another promiscuous teenage girl. Must be the child of a single mom. And today, a blog post by a well-known blogger saying maybe that shooting happened because he was the child of a single mom.

And I have had enough.

Did you notice that Cain had two parents present? And that he still killed his brother? Having two parents is no guarantee that a child is never going to make a bad decision. I once sat in the living room of a family with both parents in one home and heard them say, in front of their children, that they weren’t ready for kids and wished their kids hadn’t been born yet. Is that really better than one parent who loves unconditionally??

Yes, I believe the ideal that God planned is a mom and a dad living in a home with their children. Raising them together to walk with Christ. But we live in a broken world and it broke a long time ago in a Garden.

So what do we do now? Are we expected to just give up? Is my child at a major disadvantage because she is being raised by a single mom? The world seems to be counting her out.

And I have had enough.

I believe the HOW of parenting is more important than the “how many”.

My daughter is loved beyond measure. I pour my life into her every day. I point her to Christ constantly. And I know so many single moms who do the same. Who pour themselves out day after day for their kiddos. Who do anything and everything possible for their kids. And yes, we know the stats. And we live with the fear. We are only too aware of the dangers that our kids face. But rather than count our kids out and remind us of the struggles they face, or, for goodness sake, suggesting that someone went on a shooting rampage because they were from a single parent home, maybe you could try encouraging us and our kids.

Be the one who notices the great things in our kids and compliments them. Be the one who reaches out and becomes another great role model for our kids. Be the godly man who makes a point of talking to our kids at church and making them know they are valued. Be the one who tells us our kids are going to be ok because they are covered in the blood of Christ. Be the one to remind us that the past does not define us.

I know a lot of single moms. Many of them need to hear this…

YOU can be the one to change the tides. No matter what has happened in your past, no matter if your kids have their dads in their lives or not, your kids are not counted out. God does not look at your kids and see someone more broken than the rest of the world. God sees you. He sees you when you pray over your kids before school. He sees you spending every ounce of your energy to support your kids financially, emotionally and spiritually. And He is cheering you on. He loves you and He loves your kids more than you can even imagine. HE can make up the what we lack. And He will. Just ask Him.

So World? Don’t count us out. God certainly doesn’t.


A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5

Grace-filled moments

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So, almost a year and a half ago I landed a huge client. As you may have been able to see from my lack of posts, I was completely swamped with work. It was amazing, creative work that I really loved. And it took over our whole lives. We moved into a larger place to accommodate how much space the work took up. I was still able to be at all of my daughter’s events, but we didn’t have much fun time together. I was working constantly, trying to keep my head above water. And it felt so safe to have all that work. My quiet times suffered, and our time together suffered, but I loved the safety of it.

A couple of months ago, that client unexpectedly left me for a big agency. I was heartbroken and scared. I tried to keep resting on God’s promises to provide for us.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  Matthew 625-26; 28-30

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

So here I am, two months later.

And He is giving such good gifts. It’s like I was holding my breath for a year-and-a-half. Trying not to move make a false move, so I wouldn’t lose the work and security I loved. After leaning on God for so many years, I expected myself to have it figured out by now. But instead, I put my faith in my work. In the safety of a known paycheck. God took away that safety net and I am back to leaning solely on Him. Which is where I should have been all along.

And these last few days (once I finally surrendered to Him, again) have been so beautiful. He is giving good gifts. Gifts I didn’t have time for two months ago. Gifts He knew I needed in my life. Gifts my girl needs. Time to walk outside and just breathe in the beauty He has created. Time to spend with Him. Time to write. And today, time with friends. An entire afternoon with my house filled with kids playing and laughing (mostly) and time to talk and share our hearts.

It’s like I am watching a whole new chapter unfold before my eyes. And watching us bloom even more.

However Long

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So. I’ve been a single mom for 5 years now.

I survived those first few months, on my knees, constantly asking God for strength.

I survived the first couple of years. Grieving the loss of my marriage. Healing from the brokenness. Slowly being redeemed through all of it.

And I finally reached the point where the pain lessened and the days became easier. I stopped struggling so much and believed that we were in a good place. Not ideal, not what I had planned, but we were thriving.

Except for one thing.

I still found myself waiting for a husband. Not consciously. But I guess it was always hiding just beneath my thoughts. I felt like I had proven myself. I had overcome the (seemingly) impossible. I could support us; we were healthy and safe and happy. Now the trial could end and God could send someone to finish redeeming our situation. That we did great, so now this season can end.

Until I heard Jill Briscoe speak a few weeks ago. We were studying James 1.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3

And she said in trials we often ask God, “How Long?”

How long will I be sick? How long will I be hungry? How long will I be alone? How long will I suffer?


When what we should be saying is:

However long.

However long, Lord.

However long You want me here. However long it takes. However long it brings You glory.

That’s where true submission is. Not just enduring the trial, and waiting for it to be over. But telling God, honestly, “However long you want to keep me here, I am willing to be in this trial for Your sake. For Your glory. For You to be lifted up and exalted. For Your will to be done.”

Even Jesus asked for the trial to be taken from him. But He stayed in submission.

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. Matthew 26:39

I may be a single mom for the rest of my life. And if that is God’s will for me, I’m ok with that. Not what I would have chosen, but the only place I want to be is in the center of His will.

I may always have days where I ask for this to end. But I pray I always remember her words as they echo in my mind now.

However long, Lord. However long.

Living in the In-Between

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Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord Psalm 27:14

And I will wait on the Lord, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; And I will hope in Him. Isaiah 8:17

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Waiting. These in-between days. They are hard.
We are waiting for so much. We left a home that wasn’t being taken care of. We’re waiting for a new place to make our home. To build our haven. I firmly believe that a home should be the safest haven for our children. A place where they are loved unconditionally, celebrated for who they are and trained to follow Jesus and serve others. I love putting our touches on everything. Our plates in the cupboard. Her art on the wall. We can hardly wait for a home to call our own.
And we are waiting for Sissy. We spent 7 months filling out paperwork, getting signatures, jumping over hurdles. Now we have been on the waiting list to be matched with a little girl from Ethiopia for 7 months. With almost no movement in referrals in the last 4 months. We sit and wait. With absolutely nothing we can do about it.
This waiting is hard. It’s hard to not be able to work towards something and easy to get caught up in the not-yet. Easy to feel stuck and just let time pass. Easy to spend too much time waiting and not enough time living.
We must remember that the waiting is our work for the moment. God has called us and directed us and we are following Him. Sometimes that means standing still and waiting for His perfect timing.
And while we wait, we have a great opportunity to trust. To learn to rest in Him and His faithfulness. To choose joy in the in-between. To play and laugh and go swimming and take a vacation and make pancakes for breakfast on a weekday. To celebrate everyday accomplishments and look for joy all around us. To dream of the future and know that it is in God’s hands. But to spend our energy on the present.
If you are in the waiting with us, may you find joy in your wait. May He strengthen your heart for the journey as you trust in Him.

He Will Wipe Every Tear

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I’m a crier. I wear my heart on my sleeve. For years I tried to stop that, but it’s how I was made. A giraffe can’t take off its spots and I can’t change who I am. And it’s getting worse.

It seems that God has softened my heart even more with all we have gone through in the last few years. Softened my heart for Him. Softened my heart for others who are in pain. Softened my heart for worship.

So, I was recently talking to a dear friend of mine and tears started slipping down my cheeks. I was hurting and sharing it with someone who truly understood. I have apologized to her in the past for crying and she stops me. Tells me it’s ok. Tells me it’s healthy. Tells me it’s healing.

Not this time. This time she wiped my tears.

I don’t know how long it’s been since someone wiped your tears. It’s not a common thing we do for each other. A mom for a kid? Yes. But that’s about it. I was so moved by that gesture. It impressed on me how much she understands and cares.

Then yesterday, I was reading Revelation. The first 90% of it is pretty scary. Earthquakes that shake mountains into nothing, seas and rivers turning to blood, awful plagues that overwhelm the earth. Not pretty.

Until I got to chapter 21.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” NKJV Revelation 21:1-4

He will wipe every tear.

I remembered that there will be no more crying in heaven. I’ve heard that a thousand times. But as I had so recently had someone wipe my tears, the intimacy of this moment etched itself on my heart. God, who will send plagues and destruction and will have a battle with Satan and all of his forces, will then come to be with me. To live with me.

To wipe my tears and make all things new.

The Cross

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God loves us so much that He sent his only son to die for us.

Sometimes I think we have heard those words over and over until they have lost their meaning. We think, yes, Jesus died for me, but He knew He would rise again. Was it really that bad?

Um. YES. It was. I am in a study that has taught all about what a crucifixion actually was. In detail. In mind-numbing, heart-piercing detail about what they did to my Savior. The beatings. The piercings. The scourging. The crown of thorns pushed into his holy forehead. The inability to breathe unless he pushed up on his pierced hands and feet to straighten enough to take a breath. The sword in the side to make sure he was dead. That he was willing to suffer such incredible physical agony for me long before I ever knew him amazes me.

But the true torture of the cross and his death was his separation from his father. God the father had to turn His back on Jesus while Jesus was bearing our sins. In His absolute holiness, He can’t look on sin. So Jesus went through the most physically, emotionally and spiritually devastating time imaginable and He did it completely alone. No one could stand by and hold His hand and tell Him it would be alright.

Yet He chose to obey and suffer for you and for me.

The thought brings me to my knees.

I am so glad that Sunday is coming. I am so glad that we get to celebrate his resurrection and that he completely triumphed over death. And the joy of Sunday means so much more when we stop to truly consider the agony of Friday.


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I heard from a fellow adoptive momma that the orphanage in Ethiopia where her son is living, is almost out of food.


As I understand it, referral fees (the fees we pay when matched with our children) are huge because they don’t just pay for our child’s care. It doesn’t cost $6,600 to care for one child for 3-6 months in the orphanage. Those fees support the orphanage as a whole. EVERY child there gets food through my fees. So I am thrilled to pay the fees. I want those kids to get fed. Not just my daughter, whoever she may be. I want them all to eat.

When the referrals dramatically slow down, so does the flow of money. And the kids don’t get fed.

It’s almost more than a momma’s heart can take.

So many tummy’s are empty right now. And they’ll still be empty tomorrow. Yet here I sit. In my comfortable home. With my cupboards full.



What I can do, is bigger than I give it credit for. I can pray.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
My Father in Heaven loves those kids even more than I do. And He aches with their hunger even more than I do. And He can do something about it. Please, Lord. Act quickly. Bring them home to families waiting for them. With full cupboards and full hearts, just waiting for another one to love. And in the meantime, He is sending other adoptive moms on their first trips to Ethiopia to meet their children, with suitcases full of formula. Hold on, little ones. Help is on the way.

By Faith

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Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

I just read Hebrews 11. Wow.

By faith Noah built the ark when warned about things not yet seen.

By faith Abraham went when he was called, even though he didn’t know where he was going.

By faith Abraham was enabled to become a father, because he considered Him faithful who had made the promise.

By faith Moses chose to be mistreated along with the people of God.

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if on dry land.

By faith the walls of Jericho fell after the people marched around them for seven days.

By faith.

By faith.

By faith.

Our God wants our faith. He wants us to believe in Him and trust in Him. Even when we can’t see the end. Especially when we can’t see the end. We are called to step out in faith and follow regardless of the cost, regardless of how we will look, regardless of what others will say. Just step out in faith and follow.

It is so easy to say and can be so hard to do. If we continue looking at our circumstances, the obstacles, the mountains ahead, it becomes all but impossible. So let’s change our view. Let’s stop looking at the circumstances, the obstacles and the mountains ahead. Let’s look at the One who controls it all. The One who has already seen the end and knows each step it will take to get there. He has given us a grand history to look at. We get to see so many ways He already provided all throughout history. Now it’s our turn.

Let’s step out in faith and do whatever God is calling us to do. And let’s cheer each other on and celebrate together each time He moves a mountain.

Or parts a sea.

Or knocks down a wall.


Are you with me?

Because He Loves You

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I saw a video in my small group at church a few weeks ago. It was part of the Respectfully Yours series by Emerson & Sarah Eggerichs. This particular video was focused on not finding our worth in our spouse, but in the God who created us and loves us. Loves us so much that He sent his only son to die for us. So much that He waits patiently, hoping we will come to Him and have a relationship with Him.

Not love like we know as humans. We use the word “love” for things that don’t matter. We love food, cars, music, tv, the weather (or not!). We have used “love” so loosely, that it has lost all meaning.

That is not how God loves us. He loves us with an unrelenting, passionate, faithful, constant, immoveable, unconditional love. Love we can’t experience anywhere else. And when we wonder if we are worthy of God’s love, when we feel unloveable and unlovely, it doesn’t change God’s love. His love for us isn’t based on us. It’s rooted in His character.

So the next time you ask why in the world God would love you, hear the echo of Emerson Eggerich’s words like I do.

He loves you.

Because He loves you.

Because He loves you.

Because He loves you.