Friday, November 30, 2012


My mom thinks that Zeke has an unhealthy dose of anger.  If that little sixteen weekold wakes up from a nap hungry, and I'm not ready to feed him right away, wach out.  He gets red in the face, and oh, that face.  you would think that the once precious little features were taken over by a movie make-up artist: distirted and intense.  His cry quickly elevates to a scream, loud and commanding of the entire house. He's usually so upset that even after I begin feeding him, he stays mad until the milk hits his stomach.  Perhaps she's right.

Noah gets angry too, of course.  I'm convinced that those terrible twos are just as frustrating for him as they are for Dave and me. When Noah gets upset, he'll usually knock something over, and then his tears set in.  He's got to cry it out to release his frustration.  He usually chooses to retreat to his room for a short minute before he's ready to return and re-engage in the situation or conversation (and have the snot and tears wiped off his face).

Typically, I don't get angered very easily.  However, I had a situation arise this week that has made me very angry.  My heart races; my blood heats up; I fidget; my emotions rush to my head, right to that point behind my eyes.  And if someone makes me talk when I'm in this state, tears stream down my face and I can't get my words to make any sound over my weeping.  I really hate the helpless and disempowered feeling I have when I'm angry.  I don't like being angry.

And yet, this is a part of the person God made when he made me... when he made Noah... when he made Zeke.  I draw wisdom from King David: when he was angry, he cried out to God about it (and wrote a psalm to accompany the cry).

From Psalm 13:2-6
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
 and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.

Psalm 71:1-4
I run to you, Lordfor protection.

    Don’t disappoint me.
You do what is right, so come to my rescue.
    Listen to my prayer and keep me safe.
Be my mighty rock,
    the place where I can always run for protection.
Save me by your command!
    You are my mighty rock and my fortress.

And Psalm 64:1,10
Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;

    protect my life from the threat of the enemy.
The righteous will rejoice in the Lord

    and take refuge in him;
    all the upright in heart will glory in him!

I pray that I would learn to always turn to God as David did, trusting and ever hopeful.  And I desire to teach my boys to do the same.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Fifteen years ago, I was frequently running laps--around the basketball court, track, campus.  These days, I'm still doing laps.  Kitchen to toy room to living room to entryway and back to kitchen = one lap.  Repeat. 

I run laps with Noah to see who can crash on the couch first. We ride our pretend horses around in laps.   I walk laps with Zeke--that's a little more his pace.  I've done laps while energetic and excited, and I've done laps while exhausted, reluctant, and sore. 

Last night, as I was walking laps with a sleepy Zeke in my arms, cuddled up against the bottom of my chin, I was stopped in my tracks.  I was hit with the realization that these are precious times: the snuggles, the coo-ing conversations, the smiles, and yes, even the laps.  I'm not sure what it is about the second child (perhaps the lesson learned from the first: that they do indeed grow up quickly) that makes me more thankful for the little moments at this stage than I ever was the first time around.

Today I am amazed at the maturity of baby Zeke--the easy-going little joy in our home who has surpassed both the three month and sixteen pound marks recently.  He's "communicating," smiling, laughing, and playing.  He loves looking at his hands and listening to his brother.  He almost always giggles when having his clothes changed and when sitting in the bathtub.  These are precious times.

I wouldn't mind if Zeke would just pause his growing up for a moment or two longer.  I would gladly do the work of taking care of this sweet little baby forever.  Thankfully, God sees more than the past and present.  He knows what the future holds for Baby Zeke...when he becomes Toddler Zeke and Teenager Zeke (although those names just don't quite have the same ring as the first).  He knows the growing that needs to happen in Zeke, and the growing that needs to happen in me, as we both journey down the path of being a daughter and son of the King, his little royalty.

My prayer for you, Zeke, and for me:

We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. 

Colossians 1:9-10

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This last week, baby Zeke began to smile!  I wish I could properly describe the joy that wells up in my deepest heart when I put my face into his line of sight, say a little something to him, and am rewarded with a tiny little grin. I thank God for creating this little baby's soul.

Some moms talk about falling in love with their babies the moment they feel the first kick or when they are first able to see their newborn.  For me, it's when I see them smile.  At that moment, they become more than a "task" of feed, burp, change, soothe, repeat; at that moment, I am able to see into their hearts and I fall in love.

Zeke's got an easy smile, too.  It seems to show up more and more often each day.  I begin to think about all the ways that God will use that smile as Zeke grows to be His child.  I wonder if he'll like to make people laugh like his daddy and brother do.  I wonder if he'll have a positive outlook on life.  I wonder who his friends will be and whether or not that smile will attract others to himself like it has me.

I wonder why babies aren't born with the ability to smile (socially, that is).  God surely designed it that way with a purpose.  Perhaps it is to give us a glimpse into his patient heart.  He is ever patient with us.  He provides for us in every way, even when all we do is selfishly take from him.  He needs no positive reinforcement to continue his work of drawing us ever closer to him.  He is always there, always willing, always loving.  I only had to wait seven weeks to experience the joy of love returned; God is willing to work an entire lifetime before experiencing such reward. Truly, we have a God whose love is selfless, pursuing, and enduring.

I pray that my boys' souls will be ever smiling before their Father's loving face.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.
Their children will be mighty in the land; 
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Psalm 112:1-2

My brother, Jon, read this Psalm in my living room on Sunday evening.  Nineteen of us were gathered, cozied up next to each other on couches, chairs and the floor, in celebration of my second son's second birth--his baptism into God's family.  What a privilege to be surrounded by so many loving Christian family members, and to have these words spoken over Zeke.

Ezekiel was born by induction four weeks ago today.  Dave and I went to the hospital at seven o'clock in the evening, and by 11:26, we got to see the face we had been anticipating for the past nine months.  We were elated (we did it!) and surprised (man, that was quick) and thankful (a healthy little boy--God is good). We soaked up the next 36 hours that we would spend together with such a fresh little life.  We spent the next three weeks juggling the balance between work and home, sleep and wakefulness, toddler and newborn, activity and rest, established relationships and brand-new ones.  Thankfully, we had family and friends who helped make the transition much more smooth than it would have been otherwise. This last week was spent in preparation for and enjoyment of a wealth of family members and visitors we would be hosting and reuniting with over the Labor Day weekend--twenty-six in all, traveling from the likes of southern California and Oklahoma and China.

I craved having time to write here, because of the wealth of emotions and experiences that have characterized the last four weeks. It may not be possible to properly sum these things up now; however, Zeke's baptism and the ensuing family gathering serves as a pretty good capstone. I am blessed to have the ability to be a mom.  I am blessed to have a most wonderful man as my partner and husband and to be "daddy" to our boys.  I am thankful for the Christian family that we have who surround us and support us as we go about the task of raising children to be followers of Jesus and sons of the most high God. I am challenged because I know this is too great a task for me to do on my own, and I am comforted that God promises to give wisdom, strength, and forgiveness right where I need it. I am struck by the flightiness of time, the wonderfulness of laughter, and the power of a bear hug. I am humbled that God has chosen me to experience all the things he has placed before me, and I pray that I, too, would be a child worthy of the name he gave to me in my baptism.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

As I write this, I am five days away from the due date of little boy number two.  With Noah, I didn't mind one bit that he took his time coming out (we "kicked him out" nine days after his due date).  I was really in no rush to make the plunge into motherhood, go through labor, lose all my precious sleep and wait on an infant hand and foot.  I tend to work behind, rather than ahead anyway, so his delayed arrival fit right into my plans.

With this new little one, I'm antsy to meet him.  I'm feeling contractions often (which never happened with Noah), and I can't wait for the moment when they'll become regular enough for Dave and me to head to the hospital.  I am now uncomfortably pregnant: I avoid anything outdoors between the hours of 10:00 and 6:00; I can't get up from a seated position without looking and feeling awkward; I have trouble falling asleep... then I can't seem to stay asleep for more than a few hours at a time; and I've begun to fantasize about wearing real clothes again.

I stopped working over a week ago, all of my pre-baby "chores" are accomplished, my hospital bag is packed, my kitchen is spotless, and now I'm..... just..... waiting.....

"Now what, Lord?" my heart cries out.  

A couple of days ago, he gave me the answer: "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  So even if the little guy doesn't make his appearance known to the world on this day, I can, and should, still rejoice.  God has a special plan for each of our days, and just because today's does not include the special event I want, doesn't mean that the day is worthless or less significant in God's eyes.

... Still, I hope he comes soon!

A late-night attempt at a baby bump picture

Lord God, please give me the grace to see each day the way you see it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


He who watches over you will not slumber. Psalm 121:3

Noah's first day in a bassinet

Tonight, I had the privilege of watching Noah while he slept.  He was feeling a little sick earlier in the evening, so my husband requested that I check in on him when I got home from work, which was quite late.  I normally forbid myself from checking in on the little guy while he's sleeping, knowing that most of the time it would be for my sake (not his) and, of course, I would never want to wake a sleeping baby (or toddler, for that matter).  

This evening, I went in quietly, put my hand to his forehead, cheeks and arms, and then sat back.  He didn't feel warm to me, which was great.  And he didn't stir after I touched him--also great.  It provided me with the opportunity to just sit there in the silence, and watch.  I. Loved. It.  What an amazing thing to watch one you love sleep, to dote on them without their knowing, and to see their every twitch as they are oblivious to the world around them.

While I sat there and marveled that he continued to sleep, I was hit with the realization of how much I love that little one, and how much I desire to be a better mom to him than I am.  I felt at once insufficient for the task of motherhood and at the same time comforted by the fact that God willingly and knowingly placed Noah into my life so that I would do just that: be his parent.

Noah's first day in a toddler bed
Then I thought about God, and how he is ever watchful over us, even while we sleep.  What an image, to think that he watches like a doting parent, fascinated by every twitch, overwhelmed by the love he has for his child!  I could not help but silently say the praises of him who has a heart for us, that he would care for us even as we sleep.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9

After a morning spent at church, talking about the power of God and how he is worthy of all our praise, I came home to the news that the mom of one of my best friends has died. Death is a black hole for me.  It takes away all of my thoughts, or my ability to process thought.  When I try to comprehend its meaning or the effect that it has on this life, I'm left with mush in my brain--no clarity or cohesion, just a void.

I wonder how my friend and her wonderful family will live out the next few days, weeks, months.  I wonder how they will cope with their grief.  I wonder if the heart can heal from the sadness of separation. I wonder how her mom's "shoes" will be filled.  She was a rock of a strong wife to her husband and a jack of ALL trades for her five (now grown) children.  She was a witness to the joy of the Lord in each day that I knew her.  She will be missed tremendously.

And yet, God is more powerful than even this.  He saved Kaye from her sins and promised her everlasting life, through the power of Jesus' sacrifice for her life.  So "good-bye" changes to "see ya later," pain to anticipation, and sadness to joy.  How else than by the power of an Almighty God can the mush and void that comes with death be transformed in to clarity and fullness of life?  

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

Monday, May 28, 2012


Attempting to light two candles, despite a breeze 
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

A little over a week ago, we had the joy of celebrating Noah's second birthday.  It was a beautiful morning at a local park, spent with some close friends and family.  We enjoyed the swings, the slides, the cooler full of water and splash bombs, and the sunshine.  Noah helped me bake the cake the day before: a four-layer cake, comprised of yellow, blue, green and red layers.  For the week prior (and the week since), "Happy Birthday to You" was on the playlist of songs running through his little head.  (Since he tends to refer to himself as "you," the song works very nicely.)  It was a grand birthday indeed.

After the blowing out of the candles (with a little help from the wind), the eating of the cake, and the opening of the presents, it was official.  Our little guy was two.  He would now be referred to in years rather than months.  He would be a little kid rather than a big baby. 

What a strange thing to think about as a parent, that those two years of life are irreplaceable.  They have come and gone.  We have memories and photos and the future. A part of me mourns their passing, but I know that the Lord holds all these things in his hands.  I am so thankful to the Lord for the two wonderful years with which he has blessed our lives, stretched our minds and spoken to our souls through this little guy.  He continues to graciously give Noah health and joy; he continues to graciously draw Dave and me closer to Him and give us the wisdom we need to be parents in his stead.  For all of this, what more can I say than, "Oh give thanks!"

Noah living in the moment: cake!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Praise the Lord. 
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
Psalm 147:1

A few weeks ago, much to my surprise and delight, Noah began singing along with me when I would put him down for a nap or to sleep at night.  For the most part, he will sing along with just the last word of a phrase, sometimes waiting for me to begin singing that word so he can remember what he's supposed to be singing.  He does have quite a nice handle on the wonderful monosyllabic la (thank you, David Crowder Band), and already knows how to sing "Oh Praise Him" by the same.

I have heard Noah singing to himself while in his crib, while playing in the living room, and while riding in the car.  He has the cutest "singing voice" I've ever heard, soft and a little raspy, but I'm sure I'm a little bias.

I wonder how much he knows about the Creator whom he praises.  I wonder if there is a place in his soul that feels complete when he says "Alleluia" along with the throngs in heaven.  Scripture tells us that all of creation praises our Lord (Psalm 148).  My heart is filled with joy to say that Noah is a part of that choir.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


An old picture of Noah in the rain 

He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea 6:3b

There's a wonderfully damp, pouring rain dancing on the sidewalk leading up to my front door.  I just got fairly drenched leaving work and walking the 30 steps to my car.  It's raining in Northern California.  And it's wonderful.

We've had an unusually dry winter so far, and we don't get any rain in the summer, so it's been a LONG time since we've had a downpour.  As a girl growing up in Missouri, I loved thunderstorms that would bring hard rains.  I look forward to the winter rains of this area: they clean the air, make the foothills of Mount Diablo a gorgeous green, and give people a reason to be thankful for the 300 days of perfect blue skies we have every year.

The rain is a wonderful reminder of the faithfulness of our Lord.  A passage that's special to my husband and me, Hosea chapter 6 likens the healing that comes from the Lord to that of the seasonal rains.

“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces 
but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”  (verses 1-3)

Indeed, the Lord disciplines us.  Especially during the season of Lent, it's easy to be aware of the punishment that our sin brings.  But the Lord is faithful.  He promises to heal us and restore us to him.  "On the third day," when Jesus rose from the grave, he finalized that work and promises that one day we will live in the presence of our Lord, by his grace.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4

I had a professor in college who would always say that when God was trying to get a point across to her, she would hear it at least three different times: in the words of a friend, in a scripture reading, and on the radio, for example.  For me this week, it's been the topic of fear, and it's come to me in a sermon, during a Bible study, and in the attitude of my little boy.  And it's only Tuesday.

In church on Sunday, through the story of Ezekiel and the dry bones, we learned just how amazing the power of the resurrection is against our fears, that Jesus lives again to give us freedom to follow him as if we have nothing to lose.  Because it's true: we have nothing to lose that has not been lost, and regained, for us.  

During our Monday night small group, we discussed the power of our Lord, and what it means to truly "fear God."  In a posture of fear of the Lord, the fears of this world quickly fade to naught.  Fears that we have about our kids or about our jobs seem silly when we comprehend the amazing power of our God and the amazing love he has for us.

Which brings me to Noah.  He is a daily reminder of a fearless life.  Yes, he jumps dangerously close to the edge of the bed, and yes, he climbs on furniture that probably can't hold much more than his weight, but I see a more important (less naive) measure of fearlessness in him.   He is not afraid to express himself.  He is not afraid to go after what he's passionate about.  He is not afraid to stand out in a crowd. He is not afraid to sing off key, look ridiculous, or try something new.  He is fearless in his pursuit to be the person whom God has created him to be.

God historically and daily provides for me, in unbelievable ways most of the time.  Why do I fear about provisions in the future?  God promises to lead his people, like a shepherd caring for sheep.  Why do I fear about which direction to take in my career?  God has won everlasting life for me and all who believe in his name, through the pain of the cross.  Why do I fear saying or doing something that might bring persecution?

But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24

The freedom of Christ in my life allows me to pursue the person he has made me to be with all my heart, fearless of the roadblocks or hurts that the world may put in that path, confident of the power and love of the One who is fearless in his pursuit of me.