20 November 2015


I’ve been reminded on multiple fronts lately of one thing.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood.

Your battles.

My battles.

The world’s battles.

The REAL fight is happening in places unseen to our human eyes. The REAL fight sounds like a storybook because it’s a battle between good and evil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

(Eph 6:12)

As we prepare to move our family overseas in about 5 weeks (oh my), you may think that what we have seen in the international news in the past few weeks may make us reconsider. And yes, at times it is tempting to shy away, of course. We are human and staying in ‘safe’ America (not true, if you read local news, actually) seems like the easier way.  But Christ did not teach us to run away during persecution and hardship, did He? He taught us to love. To engage. To trust Him. In some ways, it makes our decision a heavier one, yes. But we have chosen not to change course.

I’ve been reminded lately that we are to live by FAITH and not by SIGHT.

That’s what it’s about.

Now don’t be confused… we are not reckless. We are not stupid. We ask God again and again to watch over our children. We pray. We use wisdom and discernment. We do have fear as any parents would, but we push back against it and it’s lies. I want to model to my children a life that follows God in a radical way. Not one that centers around a life of safety and comfort. And it’s impossible to model that if we don’t actually live it ourselves. And for our family, it seems the time is now.

Maybe we won’t last long overseas, I really don’t know. We hope for longevity, but we’ve never done this with this many kids before. We are giving it our all because the reality of this life on earth is that it’s over in the blink of an eye. It’s just so short. Hardships may come our way. Some already have. God has walked us through them with so much grace. I want to keep my eyes on the things that matter.

May my life be carefully fashioned around You, Jesus. For You, with You, and towards You. May I live by faith and not by sight.

10 November 2015

Not Quite What I Meant

Toddlers aren’t famous for giving their Mama’s much space or privacy.

Sometimes I’ll ask Lil’ A…

“Please can I have some privacy, A?”

and then she’ll pretend to grab something off a shelf or out of the bathtub and ‘hand’ it to me. “Here’s some privacy, Mama!”

or if I ask…

“Can Mama have some space please?”

and then she’ll pretend to grab something off a shelf or out of the bathtub and ‘hand’ it to me. “Here’s your space Mama!”

Then she looks at me with that cutest little troublemaker grin, feeling so proud of herself. And then I laugh and my heart bursts and I forget why I wanted space and privacy in the first place…

27 October 2015

Toddler Shenanigans

Before Lil’ A had much interest in wearing big girl undies herself, she sure did think brother’s and sister’s were such fun.

If only she thought they were enough fun now, many months later, to be done with diapers completely.

Oh well. In any case, here’s some silly photos of my silly girl…


Generally her favorite game was to wear them around her ankles and try to run around the house as fast as she could.

Then she’d fall down.

And laugh.

And repeat.

Until she’d fall someplace that hurt.


Pretty typical toddler stuff. :)


Or on the head is funny…


And H’s monkey boxer briefs make for good bloomers under her flower skirt?


18 October 2015

The Waiting Game

I am truly perplexed as to why the term ‘game’ is used at the end of this phrase. Since when does waiting EVER feel like a game? Waiting in line at the store. Waiting for visa paperwork to come through. Waiting for your toddler to eat her breakfast (Lord help us all). Waiting for the light to turn green.

Nope. Not what I would call games, really.

I’m waiting for a baby to make an exit from my body. Don’t think about the details of that too much. It’s amazingly miraculous and slightly strange at the same time.

The majority of women around the world have spent time waiting for this occasion for themselves multiple times. I wonder if any of them would say it’s like a game?

I’m more than ready. I’ve had all my ducks in a row for three weeks now, since I was deemed 37 weeks and full term. “Could be any day now” everyone says. And it could be. Or not.

Due date is officially tomorrow. But everyone knows babies never come on their due dates. My babies have been 2 days late, 4 days late and then 2 days early. So there is really no telling. I just really hope we don’t go for a record with 6 days late this time around.

But it’s hard to wait. That’s what I’m saying. At literally ANY point during ANY day I could go into labor. Then I’ll find myself riding a train towards the hardest work and worst pain (I wish it weren’t true, but it probably is) of my life. Can’t get off that train. Train is coming anytime. I’ll need lots of mental readiness and physical endurance and energy for that train ride.


For one who loves planning and preparing, this waiting is no game. This is hard stuff.

On the flip side…

When the train ride ends (and it ends very abruptly), I’ll have in my arms a tiny human being who’ll grow up and call me Mommy. Fourth time around I know the swelling of heart and love that is waiting for me at the end of the train track. That’s some kind of motivation!  I’ll also have the ‘If I can do that… I can do ANYTHING’ superwoman feeling that (hopefully) comes after delivery.

I also know through and through that pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood are huge privileges. My heart breaks often for those who long to experience these things and aren’t able. I struggle often to understand why God allows this to happen to some women. And so I do not take it for granted for myself.

Those are the things I’m trying to focus on. And I’m praying a lot. And I’m trying to keep my space uncluttered and ready. And I’m hoping my two year old truly understands that her baby brother will not be her live baby doll. And I’m praying some more and anticipating my baby boy in my arms.

Could be any day now.


12 October 2015

Lil’ A Two Year Portraits

I snapped a few photos of my littler girlie this summer in Ohio. I call them her two year portraits, but I took them very late. And I’m posting them even later!

She truly, truly lights up my life…

IMG_2778 copy

IMG_2824 copy

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IMG_2847 copy

07 October 2015

I Love My Bookworm

Mike has always spent a lot of time reading to our children. H got the most of it, cause he was the first child and all. And he has definitely picked up our love to read. He makes me so proud. It’s actually quite a challenge to keep enough books around for him. He’s 7 and he’s already venturing into the Chronicles of Narnia and the like.

He reads almost whenever he has the chance. Rarely does he even take a short car ride without taking a book with him. We’ve also learned that the most effective discipline is to take away his reading time before he sleeps at night. Boy does he hate that! He usually reads about an hour and a half before he turns out his booklight to go to sleep and he treasures that time.

So here’s a collection of pics of our dear bookworm…