Embrace the Mess, A Letter to My Future Self

This letter is to my future self. One day, when you are storming around your messy life as a mother of many small children, scowling at spilled crayons and upturned buckets of legos, haunted by the ghost of clean kitchens past…  When you reach the point, clocking in late for laundry after a long day…

Marking a Season

I miscarried nine days before our 15th anniversary. There we sat, across the table at a little cafe, drinking coffee together.  Our six living children were home with a friend who gave us the day together to celebrate our marriage. The week before, Randy and I had privately laid the whisper of a body down…

On Words (In every storm, mercy…)

Words are a comfort to me.  They press in around me while I am lying awake in bed.  I can feel the word mercy wrap me up like a weighted blanket.  I have heard the heavy clank and felt the ground shake under the weight of that word as it anchored my soul to the…

Joy and Sorrow (How Does Your Garden Grow)

It still hits me in waves. Not like it did last spring.  When my little garden was blooming and sheets of rain came down steadily day after day.  I drank tea in the music room and looked out over the mint and the marigolds and all the beautiful shimmering living things growing there in the…

The Sacred Everyday

This morning I woke up to a miracle. All of my children are still soundly sleeping in their beds, except for the baby, who came down early to snuggle.  Her head is fuzzy and soft like a little duck.  The house is dark.  And quiet.  There is no birdsong yet.  The hum of thought in…

Looking for a House and Finding Home

I have opened my heart up to want this year. One day in early January, I woke up with the clear vision that this house is never going to be ideal for our family.  And I began to want something better. When we bought this brand-new 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom house as nearly newly-weds, we saw…

Are You Going to Have More?

People are always asking me if we are going to have more children.  The tiniest bit of smalltalk can tease this question out of a complete and utter stranger.  We go from eye contact, to a silent head count of my six kids, to are all these yours and are you going to have more……

A Little Life Remembered

Mis-Carry.  I don’t like this word.  It implies that I carried this baby differently.  But I didn’t.  My womb had an open door, the baby came in, and I accepted the life with the same fear and trembling, the same joy and wonder, the same gentle reminder that God is the creator and sustainer of…

This Is Not Working

This is not working. I say that all the time. The baby won’t stay in her bed.  This laundry pile stretches out infinitely from prehistoric past to all predictions of the future.  We are outgrowing the kitchen table, which is the biggest table we can fit in the kitchen.  Cat in the house.  Math.  Bedtime…

The Best Day of My Life

Tomorrow is my due date.  I can hardly believe that in a few short hours or days, the secret face of this child will be revealed, and we will be holding her in our arms.  God has done a huge miracle in my life to make me brave for this day.  I wrote in my…

Slow Work

God is doing a slow work in me.   So many days it feels like nothing is happening.   Like my life, which once seemed so useful and productive, is making zero impact on the world.  The days when life was defined by an impressive string of accomplishments are lost somewhere at the bottom of the laundry…

Making Time for Quiet

My life is loud.  With five happy healthy children ages seven and under, a husband who is basically the personification of music, recording in the living room and making Irish whistles and bamboo saxophones all hours of the day and night–not to mention around 25 piano, guitar, and whistle students that rotate in and out of our…