Sunday, November 29, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

I haven't blogged in a long, long time. I have been spending my life on instagram, I guess. It feels appropriate to give you a life update but I will spare you the mellow-drama of 2020. It's been hard. It's been good. It's been for growing and stretching and figuring out what is important. We have learned so much about ourselves and our deepest, darkest fears and needs. We have cried. We have moved. We have gone on hundreds of walks and played numerous board games. But, one thing we haven't done enough is express our gratitude. 

To be honest, I haven't given thanks much at all this year. I'm grateful for my family and my new home and, begrudgingly, my job. But it's become the norm to focus on all that we've lost in 2020. Lost time with friends, weddings getting pushed back, vacations canceled, plans changed. I've consoled my children over canceled play dates. I've sat in quiet rooms, daydreaming about parties. I've scheduled too few FaceTime hang outs. 

We've spent many Thanksgivings at my in-laws and my mother-in-law always does such a great job of feeding us and dressing up her dinner table so beautifully. Due to the virus, we stayed home and I cooked up a feast of roasted asparagus and carrots with parsley, dressing, mashed golden potatoes, a 20 lb turkey and homemade gravy. Apple pie bars with pumpkin pie and freshly whipped cream. It was memorable and sweet and made all the sweeter with our guests, my brother and his wife who moved to Nashville a little over a year ago. We love having them around. 

The future is so uncertain but, if I've learned anything this year, it's not to take the present for granted. Enjoy every single second you have with the people you love because you never know if it might be your last. Maybe that's morbid but I'm speaking more of government mandated shut-downs than death. This season has taught me that gratitude and laughter really are the best medicine. 


Friday, February 15, 2019


On January 7th, just a few months after her 81st birthday, my nana passed away in Vancouver, Washington with my Papa by her side. Born in West Virgina on October 16, 1937, Opal Sue was a spit fire. She was a shy girl. Kind and fun. She met Papa at school. I believe it was love at first sight, for him. They married young and had my dad and, later, my Aunt Yvonne.

She loved babies more than anyone I have ever met and I'm surprised she didn't have more children. Her health was always a concern. She was tough as nails but she was frail. She spent a large part of my youth trying to figure out why she was so tired and why her back hurt. When it was just me and Andrea (before my youngest sister, Karli, and brother, Bryce, were born) we spent many weekends with Nana. She took us to VBS a few summers. We would jazzercise and take long walks, work in her garden and bake healthy cookies. She was extremely health conscious. She was basically vegan by the time she and Papa retired to the tiny town of Ocean Park, WA in the late nineties. 

My sister said something so profound. She said that Nana had the ability to make everyone feel like her favorite. That's what I see in that first photo.

She loved us all so well. 

Her funeral was a beautiful, humble affair. We went out to the church she and Papa attended and the service was beautiful and sweet, straight to the point. My favorite part was the video of beautiful West Virginia. Although they never lived there again after my dad was a baby, they went back often and loved it so much. They are West Virginia, deep in their bones. That love for the woods and mountains runs deep in our family. 

During her funeral, I couldn't speak. I choked on my tears and didnt know what to say that hadn't already been said. We miss her. We just really, really miss her. 

Until we meet again, Opal Sue. Love you, Nana. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Sinner's Prayer

I was in college when I realized that "The Prayer" wasn't in the Bible. I remember feeling deceived. Offended, even. It seemed wrong that so much of my idea of Christianity was wrapped up in whether or not someone had prayed The Sinner's Prayer.

I havent heard anyone pray the prayer for a very, very long time. I thought that, maybe, it wasn't something we did anymore. Until I joined Daniel at some of the huge Christian music festivals and was surprised to hear many evangelist preachers leading thousands of people in one of the most important prayers one might ever pray in their life. Often it was awkward. Other times, it felt cheap and contrived. Sometimes, it felt powerful.

We pray the prayer to commemorate an action of our hearts. To make an occasion of it. Like taking traditional wedding vows, The Sinner's Prayer is a hymn or a mantra that has been spoken over and over again.

I started reading a children's Bible with my boys every night this week. To my surprise, both boys have loved it. I mean, it really is a wild an exciting story. We've made it through Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Joshua and now David. And tonight after a few questions, Liam said, with the most genuine sincerity that he loves God and wants to go to heaven.

What? Okay. 

We haven't even gotten to that part yet, dude. We're just reading about humanity failing over and over and God doing some powerful and really weird stuff. But somehow, he gets it. 

My passionate, loving boy. Tonight you gave your heart to the one true God. 

Welcome to the Kingdom, son.

and, okay, I guess "The Prayer" kind of is in the Bible...

Romans 10:9-10 

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

And then this song was on when I came downstairs after he fell asleep. 

Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me?
I was lost but He brought me in
Oh His love for me
Oh His love for me
Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am
Free at last, He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin
Jesus died for me
Yes He died for me
Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am
In my Father’s house
There’s a place for me
I’m a child of God
Yes I am
I am chosen
Not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am

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