Look for the Light

To anyone wading through a seemingly hopeless season— I see you and I’m here for you. A year ago on this Sunday, we walked out of the emergency room to this sky after a traumatic afternoon that ended in a pregnancy loss. I took a photo because I knew in the months to come I’d need any + all reminders that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Last summer was difficult and dark, but God showed up and came close in my suffering through sabbaths and sunshine. If you’re in a season that feels dark, look for the light and turn your face towards it. It wins every time.

Emmanuel

Jesus was born in a manger and became Emmanuel— God with us. And then he was a toddler, a teen, and a twenty-something living a life that didn’t get written down until he turned thirty. Those years were quiet, but Emmanuel was here. God is with you in the waiting.

Party Time

Design by @allthingslilyann on Instagram

Easy way to make the mundane more fun: consider it “party time.” Cranking through a to-do list? PARTY TIME. 3 Zoom meetings on a Thursday? PARTY TIME. Cleaning the kitchen? PARTY TIME. Waking up at 6:15? Change the alarm title to PARTY TIME.

Party time turns “I have to” into “I get to” and proves you don’t need candles and confetti to count it all joy.

How to Care for Your Grieving Friend

Before I became a member of The Worst Club of Women™  who have suffered pregnancy loss, I had several friends who miscarried. I always empathized with them, but never knew the extent of physical and emotional pain caused by a pregnancy loss until it happened to me. If you’re reading this, I hope you’re on the outside of the club and feel clueless about the specific feelings associated with miscarriage. And if you are, I’d like to offer some things to consider on how to best care for your friends as they join this club that no one wants to be part of.

The first thing that I want you to know is that miscarriage is not simply a terrible period or minor injury. It is the death of a person dreamt up and hoped for. No matter the point in time in which someone experiences a pregnancy loss, it can be heartbreaking and traumatic. I was once naive to think that a miscarriage, though sad, had a rather quick recovery time (emotionally and physically) because I had no idea what it entailed.

Continue reading

Do More of That

I wonder if we overestimate the things we can do to make an impact. We assume we need stages or science or speeches.

Does encouragement come easy for you? Write down kind words to a friend and drop a note in her mailbox. Do you make great cookies? Bake a dozen and bag them up for your coworkers. What are you already doing? Where are you already going? Do more of that.

You don’t need to go big to make an impact when God is already mighty in you.

The Fourth

I’m happy to be an American, but my deepest hope is in the citizenship I have in heaven. It’s a land that doesn’t run out of seats for anyone ready to know an unshakeable freedom not tied to a political party, but permanently paid for by Jesus.

Lifetime of Learning

If you’re like me and have an Instagram feed full of recommendations of what to read, who to follow, and what to listen to— let me suggest starting with one of them.

It is so important to learn about racial reconciliation, but don’t be tricked into treating it like an exam you need to cram for. Loving your neighbor is a lifestyle, and learning takes a lifetime.

A Lesson From Kids

Characteristics I’ve learned to be true of God: he is attentive— he hears and responds to the needs of his children. He is loving and delights in seeing us delighted. He’s interested more in our obedience than anything we have to offer; more in our redemption than how often we get it right. He’s a good dad and a safe place to land.

Characteristics I’ve learned to be true of myself: I’m a child of God and an heir to the riches of heaven. I’m needy of him telling me who I am and how to love and life works out best when I listen to what he says.

Hold On To Hope

Our azaleas served as a visual reminder that plants bloom at different times and humans do, too. When we’re unsure about timelines, we can rest assured that God is never late. If you think you have it all figured out or hope seems lost— you don’t and it’s not. We can’t know for sure when plants will bloom, but we can hold on to the hope that they will.