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When I Fall

Parenting is such a hard job. I was so naive and clueless back when I was dreaming about having and snuggling babies. I never really thought about what it would be like to actually raise those babies. It’s painful and excruciating while heartbreakingly beautiful and amazing all at the same (1)

I’ve never known such a perfect metaphor for the Father’s love however, than this parenting gig. So many times in the past few years I’ve followed through on a discipline or a reward for my kids and been stopped in my tracks and reminded of the nature of my heavenly Father’s love for me. It’s a beautiful thing.

In the past month or so, Salem has run into a really difficult situation with a person in authority over him. At first we weren’t too concerned about it, it was a one time thing and it seemed like a misunderstanding. We encouraged him to remain respectful and be careful of his actions and sent him back into the situation. Every day since that first day, things have escalated to the point where yesterday we had to pull him out of that situation for the safety of his heart and the safety of the other person involved (because mama bear was about to go ape). Every day as he came home and described what was going on, Rocky and I would discuss it and continue to encourage him to be the best version of himself he could possibly be in the situation. We knew that what was happening wasn’t his fault because, while we are well aware of his flaws, the accusations coming from this person were completely out of character for him. Anyone who knows Salem would hear these accusations and scoff at them. I teetered on wanting to step in and say my piece (loudly), but Rocky felt we needed to wait it out and give Salem the chance to overcome.

Yesterday happened and I found myself absolutely livid about the way my son was being treated. There is no reason in the world why he should be targeted and belittled the way he has been in this instance and it was affecting not only him but his little brother too, who bore witness to every single offense. When they both came home crying yesterday, we knew we’d reached the breaking point and Rocky got on the phone immediately and I sat upstairs and tried to not to break things, while simultaneously trying to undo the emotional damage that had been done to my kids. There is no resolution yet, except that we have decided to remove the kids completely from the situation and I am making slight adjustments to my day to accommodate what is necessary.

Later on I said to Rocky, “I feel awful that we let it go on as long as we did.” And he replied with, “I don’t. I don’t want to be the parents who rush in the instant that something happens. They need to learn how to cope, they need to learn how to fail, they need to learn to overcome.” I nodded even though my heart was still grieved. Salem, in my opinion, acted in an exemplary way considering what he was dealing with. He was so hurt and angry, but he fought hard to control himself in the midst of the situation and let his anger out at home. He dealt with the embarrassment and unfair treatment like a champ. He is no stranger to overcoming hard things.

This morning I processed through the situation and the way we handled it, and how even thought it’s not the most convenient thing for me, and it’s going to cost me an hour and some gas money, none of that matters when it comes to protecting my kids from emotional abuse. I heard the phrase, “It is my pleasure to rescue you,” in my head, and it resonated so deeply in my spirit. Yes, of course. I will absolutely give up that hour and the few bucks gas to rescue them from this horrible situation. It’s not a big deal for me to swoop in and snatch my kids out of that space.

And then, as is typical, I heard the tone change. “It is my good pleasure to rescue you, Julie.” Suddenly my memory flashed back to some of my darkest moments and the months of struggle that surrounded them, the thousands of prayers that I prayed, begging for rescue, and I heard Rocky’s voice say, “they need to learn to cope, to fail, to overcome.” Yes, of course.

There are things we have to struggle through. There are failures we have to experience. There are hurts we have to heal from. All of these things are for our growth and to teach us how to be more. But there comes a time when we reach the end of ourselves and there is nothing left in our power to do. There is no more self preservation or defense that we can squeeze out of our hearts and in those moments, the Father reaches his hand down to us and says, “It is my good pleasure to rescue you.” And then He does. Sometimes it takes us a full year to realize that it really was Him and nothing else. That He was the one who fixed it for us, and that the when it seemed like He was ignoring or abandoning us, He was letting us grow. He was allowing us to struggle and fail because it was good for us. Because He had a plan, and that plan was for His glory to be revealed.IMG_9350

I’ve never been so thankful for the rescue that He provided me, and I’ve never been so thankful to be able to be a parent who can rescue her child. We will always be here, whether he is failing and at the end of himself, or succeeding and taking on the world. We will let him
fall and learn to get back up, but we will also rescue him the minute it becomes necessary,

If you are struggling right now, if you are failing and desperate for a rescue, be still and know that He may let you fall and learn to get back up, but He will also rescue you the minute it becomes necessary. I promise He will because He loves you deeply and He does not fail. He is faithful because that is His nature. He doesn’t have to be faithful, He just is, and that will never change, because He does not change.

Measuring Up

I’ve always thought of myself as an open and transparent person. I’ve even been criticized for how open I am on this blog at times. Vulnerability has just never been a struggle for me; I’ve always seen the value in letting people in and sharing some of my deepest feelings.  I do it in person, as well as behind a screen, and I’m always quick to tell people, “what you see is what you get.”

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts and following a few more authors and speakers on social media. This is my dream world, so I should probably engage in it a bit, right? I’m realizing though that this vulnerability thing may have many different levels to it, and the level that I feel comfortable with on a semi-one-on-one basis is totally different than the level I’d need to be on if the dreams I dream were ever to take off.

I scroll through the feeds of role models and women I wish I could sit down and talk with and then I get this gnawing feeling in my stomach, and as Brene Brown says, the “gremlins” start talking to me. Gremlins would refer to the narrative of shame that creeps up whenever we feel less than or inadequate. Looking at these mighty women of my faith, I often feel exactly that.

“You could never do that. You’re too lazy. You’ll never be able to handle that lifestyle. You will cop out before you even get close. They would never want you in their club anyway. What if you fail?

To be honest, I’ve allowed those nasty words to define me. I’ve submitted to the laziness claim, and I’ve let all the rest of it stand between me and what my heart actually desires. It’s a lot easier to give up than it is to press on. It’s so much easier to say, “My Facebook following is enough. I’d have to work way too hard to actually be on anyone’s radar,” to stay right where I am rather than attempt something and fall flat on my face in front of everyone (which I actually did this week, literally. I’m praying it doesn’t end up on Youtube . . . ).

These thoughts started playing on repeat last night as I nursed a sore shoulder with ice (see last parenthesis),  and I honestly can’t even remember whose Instagram feed it was or what the initial reaction was, but I had to put my phone down and distract myself because my mind was going to its dark and twisty place; it was about to slip into self-pity and despair. I was about to start questioning everything I’d ever hoped for and wonder why God would give me all the things I need in order to accomplish my dreams if I was just going to wallow in bed for the next thirty years.

I stopped the thoughts but I didn’t actually deal with them, and I still haven’t, in entirety. But today I started trying to work my way through Daring Greatly again (it’s such a smart book on vulnerability but I haven’t had the time to sit and really focus on it), and I’m beginning to process why I have let those gremlins talk me out of my dreams for so long.


It was right on time, friend. Right on time.

I am measuring myself against the people I admire and I am coming up lacking. I am judging my own value based on the value that I give to these women in my life and I am simply unworthy. When I think about living on the level that I *think* I want to live at, the amount of daily effort I feel like it will take to stay there looks incredibly daunting. I doubt my capacity. I doubt my ability to measure up and to succeed.

And then the Lord says, “Take a look at My measuring stick. Also, go get the mail.” Ok, He didn’t really tell me to get the mail, but I did, and in it was a package from a dear friend in Indiana who has had a gift for me since early this year. She keeps texting me and apologizing for not sending it; meanwhile, she’s been married for almost a year and I still haven’t sent their wedding gift. I had an idea of what was inside before I opened it up, but boy was I surprised at the words that were included. She spoke about my courage in pursuing the dreams of my heart and in the pursuit of the Father. This angel’s title is courage. I held her in my hands and tears filled my eyes because I knew the Lord was trying to get my attention. His measuring stick for me? It’s me. He doesn’t compare me to anyone else, nor does He shape His plans for me to resemble anyone else’s life.

It’s true that some of my efforts will fail, that there will be embarrassing mistakes in my novels like IMG_9253eyes changing color and coffee turning into tea (this is a new one. I had no idea. I don’t even like tea. What?), and I’ll probably flub my words once or twice when sharing in public, but as long as I am trying, I am measuring up. As long as I am participating, I am enough. It’s worth the risk of failure to show up for the possibilities that are ahead. That’s true vulnerability.

It’s well and good to look up to and learn from the others who have gone before me, but I have to stop measuring myself by their size and success. The Lord doesn’t measure me that way, nor does He measure anyone else by my size. If all that I am comes from Him, then I am enough, and I truly do have what it takes to accomplish these dreams. I will be able to handle whatever the Father puts in my path because He has crafted it for me, and made it to fit me perfectly.

Now the challenge is to live these true statements. To rule my thoughts and shut the gremlins down, to remember that I have been given a passion for something and I am the one in charge of turning that passion into action. My first action step? The fundraising campaign for Nor Forsake. It’s time to step it into high gear.

Dear Future Daughter-In-Law

ForPres.Fam.2014-463 as long as I can remember I have been praying for my kids; I begged for their existence, for their health and happiness. It was my life long dream to become a mother and when it finally happened I was changed forever. I can’t remember exactly when you popped into my head, but I realized that someday these boys were going to grow up and marry young women, so I figured I should probably start praying for you too. This is a practice that has been past down from my own mother and my mother-in-law, in fact my engagement ring is a symbol of the prayers of my mother-in-law and is one of my most cherished possessions. So before I say anything else I want you to know that I pray for you, for your heart, your happiness, your purity, and your family, as often as you come to my mind, which is more and more as these boys keep growing, each inch reminding me that they’re growing closer to meeting you every day.Pres.Fam.2014-326

I’ve done the best I can do at mothering these kids, and I promise I will continue to. The only thing I really need to apologize to you for is that I have not taught them to put the seat down. I’m sorry, It just doesn’t bug me, and I’m the minority in this house. But they use their manors, they listen and obey (mostly — they’re still young), they are learning how to clean the house properly (you are SO welcome), and when they ask why I am making them do their chores, I tell them it’s because I want them to support you, and to help you. They’re also sweet, encouraging and caring. They have a huge capacity to love, and I pray with all my heart that they will love you well when the time comes.

I only have boys, but I remember all too well what it’s like to be a middle-school-aged girl: the tumultuous friendship roller-coaster, the strange feeling in your stomach when a certain boy smiles at you, the annoying way your body keeps changing and seemingly betraying you . . . Then there’s high-school: It can be the best or the worst time of your life. For me it was the worst (I pray it’s not the same for you). Angst, heart break, confusion, uncertainty, feelings, oh the feelings. I’m so glad that I didn’t grow up in an age where social media gave me not just an outlet to vent but also a very inaccurate way to gauge my value. Ask any of your friends’ moms and they’ll tell you how glad they are that Facebook wasn’t around when we were in high school. The things we would have posted . . . the things we see you and your friends posting . . .

Sweetheart, I have to tell you that my heart is breaking for your generation and this perfect storm of teenage emotions and social media. From selfies to witty status updates, it seems that everything we think or do is now up for display because we have willingly put it there, desperate for the response and validation from our people; everything is judged and marked appropriately. I see the selfies of such young girls, girls who have no idea how beautiful they truly are, lips plumped and “ducked”, eyes cast to the side as if they don’t know the picture is being taken . . . Seductive glances “thrown” at the camera as if not posed and captured thirty times in order to get just the right look  (anyone who’s ever posted a selfie knows what I’m talking about). And the “likes” and “hearts” pour in, boosting a false sense of self esteem in precious and vulnerable hearts.

Social media isn’t to blame, but it has perpetuated problems that were birthed in hearts from early childhood on. At this point in time I don’t know how you are growing up, I don’t know who has permission to break your heart or say damaging words, but I know these triggers exist because even the most well-brought-up people in the world heard hurtful words that stayed with them and shaped the ways they carried themselves, the ways they saw themselves. Perhaps without even realizing it, someone spoke words or performed actions that told you that you were less than. Less than everything that you truly are. Somewhere in your heart of hearts, you grabbed on to a lie about your value and now what we see online is the result. That innocent smile begging for approval, for attention, for likes. Click the heart one more time. Tell my I’m beautiful again. Can you hear those words enough? You’re beautiful. You’re rolling your eyes at me aren’t you? I know, I do it too. It’s never enough, is it? That’s why the pictures keep coming.

I’m not going to ask you to stop taking pictures of yourself, but because I love my boys more than anything, and someday you’re goifashion-person-woman-appleng to inherit their hearts, I need to share some things with you. You have so many years ahead of you to live free and live loved, so I want to catch you before you go another day believing that you are not seen, that you are not beautiful unless you line your eyes with thick, dark makeup and gaze up playfully from under your lashes at your phone screen, biting your lip. It is a beautiful picture of your features, but it is not an accurate picture of you. That image is saying something about you that is not true to who you were created to be, and because I love you, already, I can’t let this go. There is no amount of “likes” that will give you what you are seeking. No one will ever be able to say the words, “you’re gorgeous” enough for you to be able to believe them and find any true value in them. I know this because it’s only been in the past few years that I realized I was seeking (and not finding) that same kind of affirmation in my own social spaces.

See, I have some of the very selfies I am describing in my own profile, and some of them are not that old. I also needed the validation, the words from other people. Sometimes I just looked dang fine and needed a new profile picture. Other times I spent forever posing and trying to catch my best angle, for optimum “likes”. I still struggle at times, but for the most part, I cringe when it’s time to update my profile picture because I don’t want the barrage of attention that comes with it, I just want to sneak it in there because it looks more like me than the the old one. I’m thirty-four years old and this is still something I deal with, but you can hit it head on right now. And when you’re thirty-four and we’re drinking coffee while your kids destroy your house (trust me, with these genes, it’s inevitable —-> this is why we can’t have nice things), I’ll say, “I wish I had been this smart when I was your age.”

On top of all of this, you need to know that meeting these boys, loving them and marrying them won’t cure your need for affirmation. Life doesn’t not simply resolve like a Hollywood romantic comedy or a Disney Fairy Tale lead us to believe. I love a good love story, but they never tell us the whole story. Falling in love, having a wedding, those are glorious, wonderful things, but what happens after the honeymoon is over? Life goes on in much the same way as it did before. Marriage is not the answer to all your problems (it took me a minute to figure that out too). Whatever struggles you are dealing with now will follow you and snowball unless you get to the root of them and hear what the Lord has to say about you in the midst of those things. Until your heart is content with the words of truth the Father says about you, then the words my boys tell you will not be enough either, and their efforts will become weary. 

The only way to find true value is to learn to see yourself the way the Father sees you, and that is a long journey, but it’s one you must start if you want to be whole. It starts with a very simple question: “How do you see me?” That question alone, asked on my thirtieth birthday, unleashed a storehouse full of healing upon me and I’m telling you that every time I have asked that question since, I have been brought to my knees in tears because His truth is so much more overwhelming and weighty than any of those notifications on Instagram or Facebook. His truth hits me so deeply that I am grieved by the ways I have reduced myself in my own eyes. His mercies are new every morning, and every morning I need new mercy.

I had to let Him come and speak to the lies that I had been believing in order to get past this junk, and every so often I recognize a lie that I haven’t seen before. He is consistently faithful to disprove them immediately and fills my heart and soul with His truth. I know that He wants to erase every lie that has ever been spoken over you and replace it with His amazing truth, too. He is longing to give you just a glimIMG_9078pse of what He has created within you, all of the things He was dreaming for you when He knit you together in your mother’s womb. 

There are no poses or makeup styles that can make your heart more appealing to my boys. They are going to see your beauty inside and out, but I will tell you from experience that your youthful beauty is not going to be what holds them. A heart that seeks the pleasure of the Father and walks in His truth is what will woo and keep them. A woman who knows her value and holds her head high with confidence, that will have them tripping over their feet to keep up with you. That is true beauty.

Precious daughter, for the sake of your future husbands, for your future children and all the people that love you (holla!), and most importantly for your own heart, ask the Lord to show you how He sees you, and then ask Him to teach you how to rely solely on His words of truth to tell you who and how beautiful you are, because it’s true, you are. You need to hear it from Him though. His truth is worth more than anything.      

Your Future Mother-in-Law

Rejection and God’s Best Plans

This post is part of Jen Hatmaker’s “For the Love” Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers.  To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE.

Do you ever feel like you’re the odd woman out? That no one else gets you, thinks like yo
For the Love- Social Media-6u do, prays like you do or hurts like you do? It’s simply not true. In For the Love, Hatmaker addresses a number of cultural, relational and spiritual issues that will resonate so deeply in your heart, and at first you’ll just whisper, “Me too,” but the next one will get louder, and soon you’ll be crying real tears and shouting, “ME TOO!” all the while laughing at the blurbs called “Thank you notes” (and so many more hilarious chapters) taken directly from her Facebook page. Jen is an amazing vessel of truth, and the more you read her work, the more you will feel like the normal human being you are. We are all in this together. 

“Be you because you are superb.”
“Condemnation is a trick of the enemy, not the language of the heavens.”
“You are good at something for a reason. God designed you this way, on purpose. It isn’t fake or a fluke or small.”
“This is horsecrappery!” — Jen Hatmaker, For the Love.

That’s my review for “For the Love”, Jen Hatmaker’s book that came out in stores today. I had the privilege of actually being rejected for the launch team for this book. I say privilege because being rejected from this campaign will go down in history as a life changing event in my life and the lives of so many others.

5000 people applied, 500 people got in, 4500 did not. That 4500 turned into #the4500 and spawned a Facebook group that quickly proved itself an anomaly in this age of social media where people are unafraid to post and say things they may never actually say to someone’s face. Where the screen has become a shield of protection for those who wish to spew hatred and belittle other people’s values and opinions, #the4500, through the use of those same screens, became a place where that shield was dropped, walls crumbled and the healing power of the Holy Spirit came in like a flood, and continues to swell and crash over us. It’s been nothing short of amazing.

From that group Dauntless GrScreen shot 2015-08-18 at 9.32.04 AMace Ministries was born. We saw that what we were experiencing in #the4500 and in some of the smaller spin-off groups was something that women were craving all around us, and while our little group was still safe and wonderful, it made more sense that we take this thing we’ve defined as true vulnerability to the rest of our people. We want to invite safety in friendship, depth in relationship, healing in the presence of the Lord and laughter, because that is a natural outflow of all the other things listed, into our real life encounters. There is so much ahead for DGM, I can hardly contain my excitement (or my calendar, but that’s another story).

On top of launching a ministry with some amazing girls, I have found some friendships that my heart has been seeking for years. Like-minded, Holy Spirit driven and slightly inappropriate, these girls have become my people. We know each others stuff, and we have responded with grace and love, wisdom and encouragement. I tell you, watching the journey unfold, starting with confession and ending with complete victory, has been a truly amazing thing. I often sit and read these words on my screen and simply weep because of the greatness of our God.

All because we were rejected.

We rejected that rejection and decided we were going to help launch that book anyway, because 1. We love Jen Hatmaker and 2. Because of what God has done through her and through that beautiful rejection letter.

The book is out today, as I mentioned. Barnes and Noble still has some signed copies available, it looks like, and they’re on sale! Go ye now, therefore, into the websites and stores, and purchase this book. You will want to go back and get a few more to give away, so why don’t you just pick up a few extra anyway. *wink wink* Screen shot 2015-08-18 at 9.32.36 AM

Take Heart

I’m sitting in an adorable little cottage in the mountains of Colorado, chipping away at my work load for the week while we are on vacation, trying to power through it so I can go play with my family, but Hillsong United’s album is playing and my eyes won’t stop leaking as the Father penetrates my heart with His truths that have been so questioned in the past few days.

I avoid these controversial topics on my blog like the plague because I don’t want to build my platform with debates and hot-button issues. But it is impossible to keep from speaking up about all that is going on in our nation this week. More importantly, it’s impossible to stay silent about what God is reminding me of in the midst of this.

Christians across the globe are divided over the Supreme court’s ruling in favor of gay marriage. I’ve seen believers celebrating this as a victory, and I’ve seen believers speaking like it’s the end of the world as we know it (which, really … would that be so bad? Come, Jesus. I’m ready for you to rescue us.), and I’m standing in the middle of it all look at all of these floating pieces, these words of love and hatred, these scriptures twisted every which way to fit personal interpretation and beliefs.

The song that was playing was just singing to me, “Don’t turn your eyes from me, for my love will not be undone,” and tears were streaming down my face as I thought about how many people are caught in turmoil this week, questioning their beliefs, questioning the Jesus they’ve always known, and I want to climb upon a huge rock and plead with you all to remember that God is exactly who He says He is. He has never changed.

I’m not surprised that our nation has taken the step it took this week, but more importantly, neither is He. All of this was taken into account when the Revelation was given and written in the Bible.

Our God is not shaken. Our faith is not shaken. Our Jesus is not shaking His head over this. He is not worried about what this means for our nation, because He already knows, He has already planned for it, and nothing has changed on His part. His love still overcomes. His heart is still for his children, for healing, for love, for hope, for unity. His heart is still for us to reach the lost, even when sometimes we are the lost. His love will not let us go.

If this issue divides believers right down the middle, Jesus has already figured that into His plans for us, and He will always bring redemption because that is who He is.

I know I don’t have a rhyme or reason here with this post, my heart is just consumed with Him right now, in a way that it hasn’t been in the past few days. My mind has been overtaken with all of the arguments and perspectives, all of the politics and religiosity that has been spewed across the internet, in my safe places and in the media. I am not naive in thinking that we shouldn’t have a response. I’m just having to search a little too hard to find the response that is appropriate here. My heart is grieving over the confusion and fighting and the accusations being thrown to the left and the right.

Love. It’s not a wishy washy answer, it is THE answer. It is God’s heart for His people. We have to do the next right thing. The next right thing is love. Love has won because God is love and HE ALWAYS WINS.

I am so unconcerned with the future of this nation because I know that God has remained completely Himself in the midst of all of this. My faith in Him has not changed. His love for us has not changed. If I believe that God is truly who He says He is then I should have no fear.

My position on this issue is inconsequential, though I do have one and I land very much in the middle of the two camps that have been formed. His position, however, is the most important to consider, and I have to say it again: He is not surprised. He has not been caught off guard. Should oceans rise and mountains fall, he never fails.

I apologize for the “rant” nature of this, but you know me, I speak my heart and I speak it loud. This is my heart today, and I can not keep myself from sharing it.

All the Big Feels

For Father’s day, Rocky wanted to take the kids to see “Inside Out,” Disney’s latest movie. He’s such a good dad, I would have chosen solitude over a movie theater.

I wish someone had warned me about the premise of the movie so I could have at least been prepared with pockets full of kleenex. The movie deals with all of the different emotions that shape us and our reactions to everything, including moving away from your friends to a new city.

Dun dun duuuuuun. Yes, we’ve done that in the not so distant past and while today we are better for it, it was still the hardest thing we have been through in a long time. I still miss my friends, my kids still miss their friends and *some* of us (me) are still really searching out where we fit in this new season. Suffice it to say I cried pretty hard in this movie, and at the end I really wanted to hug my husband and sob for a few minutes, however, I was slightly inhibited by the hundred or so other people in the theater.

All of that said, I was super impressed with the way the topics of feelings and emotions were handled. You all know I am all about feeling the feels. I say this often in my encounters with women: “Feel what you’re feeling, it’s the only way you will heal.” When we bottle or stuff our feelings, they fester and grow and cause decay in our souls and we never really deal with the roots of our issues. The best thing that was communicated in this movie (SPOILER ALERT) is that sadness is an important feeling. We can’t gloss over anything by plastering a smile on our faces and pretending to be happy. We have to feel sadness in order to feel the joy of being relieved of that sadness. Through the whole movie, “Joy” was trying to keep “Sadness” from touching the memories of broken-hearted Riley. Joy was trying to protect Riley but in so doing, ended up harming her and sending her into a potentially dangerous situation. When Joy recognized that Sadness had played a part in so many of Riley’s happy memories, she gave Sadness the room she needed and Riley’s emotions were repaired because joy follows sadness.

I know this is a little abstract and there are many things in between sadness and joy, but even the Bible gives us evidence to this: “. . .weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b, and “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,” Psalm 30:11

Sadness is an important feeling, anger is an important feeling, fear, disgust, joy . . . all of the big feels play big roles in our lives. The most important thing is that we don’t stay in a place of sadness or anger, fear, disgust, etc. Joy is the goal, that’s why she gets to run headquarters in the movie, but all of the other emotions support her, they all have a part to play, and that is a universal truth in our lives.

Again I will say it, feel what you’re feeling, it’s the only way to heal.

Of Aspens and Envy – DGM

I’m blogging over at Dauntless Grace today! We’ve got a couple great blogs up so far, take a look! We would love for you to share the blog as well as our Facebook page!

The Last Day of School Ever, Again

The last day of school before summer vacation is supposed to be full of excitement and anticipation. The kids should be bouncing in their seats watching a movie while the teacher pulls posters off the walls and mom’s should be joyfully turning off their pre-set alarm clocks and buying watermelons and beach towels.

I’m sure many of them are or were. But today my boys have had a heaviness on their hearts, and ten minuIMG_8182tes away and at home, I had the same weight on my own. I’ve been in tears all day, my oldest has been in tears all day, and all of us cried on the way home.

When we moved from Fort Worth, we left the day that Christmas break started. The boys were dismissed from their classes and we drove straight from school into the hardest season of our family’s existence. Our transition into the new school was hard and Rocky and I both felt very uncomfortable there. Salem missed his friends and felt like he was the odd one out in spite of the fact that he is always one of the popular kids wherever he goes; the kid is dynamic and has a smile that’s to die for. Josiah showed his anxiety in other more noticeable ways and on top of all that, stuff at home was just plain hard, I was trying to climb out of my own dark place and Rocky was just trying to keep all of us sane. We came out of the 13/14 school year with our wounds stitched and treated, but the scars remained.

This school year has been remarkably different and now we see that on the whole, our trepidation about school was a huge mixture of all the feels of moving and everything else that was going on. The teachers both years were great, but we were more prepared to welcome them into our lives this year; we weren’t on the defensive this time around. When I walked out of our parent teacher interviews in October my heart felt paralyzed at the thought of pulling them out of school mid-year to move to a different suburb, as we had originally planned when it came time to buy a house. It was the Lord, there is no doubt. Our hearts were much to fragile for that, and He knew it. He worked out all the details and provided a home where our kids could finish out the year at their current school. But. But we still would have to change school districts come the fall.

So that’s why I drove two very tearful little boys home from their last day of school ever, again. That’s why I sobbed all the way home from class parties yesterday after my youngest’s teacher confided that he was her favorite. That’s why I have been in tears all day, and so have they. For the second time in two school years, we are leaving behind friends andIMG_8176 teachers we have grown to love and admire and stepping into the unknowns of a new school. These are the moments that make me wonder why I dreamed about being a mom. These are the moments that rip my heart to shreds, and folks, we’ve just had a few too many of these moments lately.

They want to know why. They have wanted to know why ever since we left Fort Worth, and these are the moments when I have to reach deep into the Word of God and speak as much truth as I can muster even though sometimes I’m still asking the same question they are.


Because God has a plan and a purpose, and it’s for our good, not for our harm.

But then there’s tears and tears don’t feel so good.

So why?

I don’t know. But I know God told me yesterday on my drive home that He had gone ahead of us to the new school, that He was preparing a place for them there and that it would be ready come August.

So these are the moments that I have to commit to my heart to remember, for there will come a day when I can say to them, “Because this.” And in that moment, in their little brains, God’s faithfulness and His presence will become something tangible that they can see and point to. They will be able to praise Him by telling others what He has done. I guess that right now that is my ‘because.’

In the meantime, we will focus on having the best summer ever, again, and when I find my little loves hunkered down and crying in their closets, I will, again, hunker down and cry with them.

Dauntless Grace

dauntless grace

Somehow, I got connected with a group of women that have similar hearts and minds as I do.

Somehow we found in each other a safe place to be ourselves, to be honest about our struggles and to post pictures of our literal messes.

Somehow we discovered that we all crave the same thing: the permission to be vulnerable in relationship, free of judgment.

Somehow we figured out that what was going on with us was bigger than just us, so we started dreaming.

Somehow, we launched a ministry last week in order to push this vulnerability thing out there in the open.

Somehow we will tell women that it’s okay to be exactly who you are, where you are, doing what you’re doing and feeling what you’re feeling, while at the same time, encouraging them not to stay there.

Somehow we will study the Word together and learn and grow and encourage each other.

Somehow we will create pockets of safety in our neighborhoods and cities and we will see the world begin to change, one woman at a time, one heart at a time.

Somehow, we have become Dauntless Grace, and we want you to join us. Click the link and “like” our page. Website coming soon!


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