Faith and Miracles (How Do You Feed Them, Answered)

One of the first questions people ask me when I tell them we have seven children is, “How do you feed them?” It’s posed as a joke, and even though I’ve been asked this dozens of times, I still scramble for a good response. I know people don’t only mean how do we pay for…

Embracing This Breath

The perfect beauty of this morning actually hurts me.  As I steal a quiet hour in my little garden with a cup of coffee, the world saturated in green, trees in bloom, birdsong, the first signs of new life coming up in my raised beds… My heart aches.  The unabashed brilliance of life.  It stings….

Hope and Miracles

What in the world is even happening?  I find myself sifting through the media, shaking my head in wonder at all the different perspectives that claim to be true.  I read statistics from experts in every field, see photographs that prove the arguments without a doubt, absorb the shocking headlines.  I hear yelling from every…

Every Choice Is Too Hard (Or, Where Is the Map For My Life?)

  Every choice is too hard.   Is there anybody out there who understands what I mean? I have started down a path for my life, and I honestly have no idea where this is going.  I have spent years traveling, hoping to stumble across at least a rudimentary map of what lies ahead.  But there…

The Space Between Here and a Miracle

If you are up, like me, at 2 a.m., wrestling with questions that do not seem to have answers, tired of trying to drown out your own thoughts so you can finally get some sleep, welcome to this post.  Get up and join me at my kitchen table.  It is soooo quiet.  I just got…

Singing Out a Baby, the Birth Story of Rune O’Carolan Chester

“I am walking into this labor differently than I ever have before.  I am walking into it with a spirit of fight.  Not just trying to keep my peace, not just trying to stay calm, not just surviving and getting to the other side.  I am walking into this labor with the desire to put…

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…

Brave (or What Strangers Call Me in the Grocery Store)

Sometimes people don’t know what to say. When they see us in the grocery store–three little ones in the buggy, three bigger ones swarming around my waist–I can actually see them doing math in their heads.  Is it possible that all of these children could belong to the same mother? I get a lot of…

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…

Buying a House is Like Having a Baby

The process of buying a house is remarkably like the stages of labor. Step 1: It’s Time.  This is the exciting moment when you realize you are actually going to have a house.  You are going to get to see the home you have only been dreaming about for so long.  You know that you…

Waiting on Azalea Jane, a birth story

I am writing this weeks after Azalea was born, and it reminds me of the way you feel the next morning after waking up from a nightmare.  In the middle of the night, a dream can feel so terrifying.  Your heart is pounding.  You felt that it was so real.  The next morning, when you…