Let The Heavens Open: reflections on the Paris attacks

Reflections on the Paris attacks from a woman who lived in France after September 11th.

All day on Saturday my thoughts returned to France. I looked through my photo albums and skimmed through my old journal. My heart broke for the French nation after the vicious terrorist attacks that happened on Friday, and I couldn't shake the sadness as I thought of the friends I had made during my time in France. It was May 2002 when I boarded a plane for France. In my journal I made note of the increase in security at the airport due to the September 11th attack that happened less than a year prior. When I landed, I had prepared myself not to be well liked. My service training had explained all the ways that Americans and French were … [Read more...]

The Missing Pacifier

10 Month Old Grace & Her Much Loved Pacifier

This post was originally published on November 6, 2010.  It is one of my favorite stories from the archives.  Enjoy. Little Grace loves her pacifier.  I love that she loves her pacifier!  It sure has come in very handy, but now Grace is old enough that we can start to limit how often she has her pacifier.    My goal is for her to have it just in her crib, but… Grace doesn't really like being left in the nursery at church.  For the sake of Grace and the helpers in the nursery I always have her pacifier readily available in the diaper bag. Wednesday morning I was rushing to get ready for a moms’ group at church.  I was almost ready to walk … [Read more...]

God is Good… All the Time?

God is Good - All the Time?

This post contains affiliate links. This past fall I attended Allume, a blogging conference for Christian women.  DaySpring provided some beautiful decor for a lounge that we all enjoyed.  It was in this room that I found myself constantly being drawn to one of DaySpring's canvas prints. And I hated it.   I couldn't stop staring at it.  It was haunting me from across the room. The memories started flooding back… “My worst nightmare is coming true, Rebekah.” I sat in my kitchen stunned as I listened to my friend on the phone.  Her little boy was being tested for cancer. The test came back positive.  Cancer. Several … [Read more...]

10 Religious Easter Basket Ideas

10 Religious Easter Basket Ideas

This post contains affiliate links. Chocolate bunnies and jelly beans are great, but the reason we celebrate Easter in my house is because of Jesus!  If you are looking for something with a religious theme to add to your Easter baskets along with the peeps, this is the post for you. 10 Religious Easter Basket Ideas: 1. Bible - You can find Bibles appropriate for any age.  In our house we own and love Baby's First Bible.  It is a board book with 2-3 sentence versions of popular bible stories and a few bible verses.  Recently we were gifted The Jesus Storybook Bible and l-o-v-e it!!  This is an amazing way to read the Bible to children. … [Read more...]

To Mothers with Empty Arms

Hospital Door for Stillborn Mother

I took a deep breath and started my journey down the hospital hallway.  My nerves increased with each step I took.  Was this really happening? I made eye contact with a gentleman as he passed me in the hallway. "How are you?" he asked with a smile. I forced a weak smile and replied, "Fine."  In my head I was screaming, "Awful!  Terrible!  How can you even ask me that?" Finally I reached the door.  The purple butterfly - a warning to everyone entering.  This was not a happy place.  I took a deep breath and entered the room. And there she was....  one of my best friends...  holding her stillborn son. It wasn't suppose to be … [Read more...]

God Cares About Stretch Marks

Belly Butter

While washing my belly in the shower, I was amazed at how round it had already become.  It was the end of October and I was only 3 months pregnant.  However, this baby was making his/her presence known much faster than my first daughter did. "I really need to get some belly butter, " I thought as I continued my shower. I was nervous.  I was rushing.  It was the day that I was leaving for a christian women's blogging conference, Relevant.  I had never been to a blogging conference before.  Although I had made many connections with other attendees through Twitter, I was feeling very anxious. "I hope someone is handing out free samples … [Read more...]

Drowning in the Flood

Flood of 2011

I've been waiting for inspiration to write.  Waiting and waiting.  Nothing seems worthy of a blog post when your friend's 5 year old son is in hospice loosing his battle with cancer.  Then hardly anything seems worthy of your attention when you get the news that he passed away. I've been drowning lately.  Drowning in sadness and grief.  My heart is broken. As if to match my mood the rain has been falling for days.  Last night and today it seems like the ground has finally given up.  The water started to rise. This morning we found our basement badly flooded. My neighbor heard about our flooding and mentioned it to her landlord … [Read more...]

This is an Ugly World

I was in the back yard working in my garden.  Grace was beside me throwing a fit because she wanted to go for a walk instead.  Then a van pulled into the parking lot close to our house. It was a couple from the neighborhood who I've seen/heard fighting often.  This fight was no different.  My daughter stood staring as they screamed at each other.  F-this!  F-that!  God-d here & there. Grace just stared. "Hey!" I shouted, "Watch your language!  I've got a 1 and half year old over here!" They significantly lowered their voices and moved further away from my house.  I was thankful, until I could hear the woman going at it … [Read more...]

Grace's First Ice Cream Turns Into So Much More

Grace's First Ice Cream Cone

On Grace’s 11 month birthday we decided that we would celebrate by cashing in her free ice cream cone coupon that she earned by completing the summer reading program at the library.  Although I’m not a fan of McDonald's, that is where the coupon was for so that is where we went!  As Nate and I were walking into the place I was feeling sick to my stomach and a little like white trash. Nate & I sat down in a booth with our food.  I ordered the fish sandwich.  It came in a perfect rectangle shape and I honestly thought to myself, “This is not real food.”  Oh well!  We weren’t there for real food.  We were there for real missions.  In comes … [Read more...]

Stressed Out!

This past Sunday the sermon was focused on stress.  It couldn’t have come at a better time for me!  Our Pastor pointed out how extremely stressful our culture is and how that has become the norm.  Sometimes it feels like if I’m not super busy then I must not be doing enough.  It is almost like the American stress level is an indicator of how successful we are.  However, in reality what we should all do is take more time for ourselves and learn how to say, “No!” I recently read a book that featured the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale, which is a simple test you can take to see how stressed out you are.  It asks you a series of questions based on … [Read more...]