When Life Is Not Okay and Also Deeply Okay {and the story of the contract on our house}


With the end of August in sight, this Friday morning finds me catching a mom-breather at my favorite Panera Bread location, opening my WordPress “Add New Post” screen for the first time in nearly a month.

My original plan for August was a month-long break from blogging and Facebook, and while I definitely cut back my sharing on Facebook, I’ll certainly admit I’ve spent more time present there than I’d first intended.

Sometimes life is turned on its head and you’ve just gotta roll with it, be a little extra gentle with yourself.

Please accept my apologies for my need to yet again communicate about this particular circumstance sans details, and let it suffice for now to say that this last month or so has been all at once profoundly freeing, and excruciatingly painful at a heart level. Grief breeds physical exhaustion that many days is nothing short of overwhelming.


Healing and hope are to be found in Jesus though, along with an ever deepening freedom, and I’m hanging onto the truth that those are His plan and His heart for me.

In the coming months, as I’m able, I’ll write less “in code” and share a few more details. In the meantime, those of you who walk beside me here, would you pray for us? We’d be so grateful.


As a family unit, Stan and I and the kids are doing well, despite the tensions and losses that pull and pierce our hearts. We are leaning into Jesus and one another, and enjoying an abundance of down time together. The cocooning continues and it’s exactly what our worn-thin souls need in this season.

photo-9 photo-7 photo-6 photo-4

Watching the calendar slip slowly toward September [which in and of itself is balm to my hurting places], I’ve contemplated how to give you an accurate picture of my heart’s journey over the last month.

I’ve considered what, if anything, to say about Ferguson, about Iraq and ISIS, about Israel and Gaza, Robin Williams and mental illness, and the unexpected death last week of a friend’s son who was a month younger than my own little guy.

Not only has my personal world been flipped on its head this month, but the out there world is all upside down too. So many things are straight up not okay, and actually, it all feels much less “out there” these days, and much nearer to my own heart than ever before.

So I find myself pressing into Jesus for strength, for grace to allow myself to be genuinely touched by tragedies toward which I have no practical course of action, no ability to bring healing.

No course of action, that is, outside of many quiet cries from the secret place, where He invites me to share in some small portion of the agony of His heart over the suffering of so many precious fellow human beings who He adores.




Through all the upside-down-ness though, our hearts sit simultaneously in this place of rest, and gratitude to an extravagant God who has intricately orchestrated every detail of our coming move to Colorado.

And finally, here’s something on which I no longer have to withhold practical details:

WE ARE UNDER CONTRACT. For real this time, I believe.

After our previous contract fell through, despite the grief over having prepared to move to Colorado and then suddenly having our wait stretched out indefinitely before us yet again, the quiet question that echoed in our hearts was, Okay God, who are you really saving this house for?

You guys.  When I say Jesus is sweet to us, this right here is what I mean:

He takes our exact prayers, holds them in His heart, and brings perfect answers at just the right time.

Beyond what we could ask, think, or imagine.


When we first knew we needed to move out of our home, we asked Him for buyers who would love Him and love people in this place.

Enter: our new friends.

So THIS is who You were saving it for.

Some sweet friends who’re neighbors of ours literally sent our buyers to our door just over a month ago. We gave them an unofficial tour of our house, along with our realtor’s information, and they contacted her the same day.

This couple is amazing. They authentically love Jesus, adore our house, are connected with a church just down the block from our home, and want to be in this exact location for ministry purposes.

Also, we genuinely enjoy them. Couldn’t be a more fun, natural connection.



Here’s another crazy piece of the story: a couple weeks ago, by the time all was said and done, we ended up with multiple offers on our home all in one weekend. After 6 months of waiting, we literally had to choose which of three families we wanted to have our home.

After taking a day or two to pray, we knew for certain we wanted our friends who love Jesus to have the house [it had been our gut feeling all along], and we signed a contract contingent upon the sale of their house, which was still on the market.

Then, within literally 5 hours, they accepted an offer and their house officially went under contract.

If you can track with me another minute here — their buyers are getting a government loan that will likely take quite a while to process, so by the time all is said and done, we likely won’t move till at least November. Possibly not even until after Thanksgiving.

Discovering how long their contract would likely take to go through was honestly a disappointment to us, as we were so hoping to spend the majority of the Fall season in Denver. We’re praying though, that things will move supernaturally quickly, so if you’d like to add your prayers to ours, we would appreciate it so much.

At a deeper level though, we’re resting, trusting God’s timing for our move. He has proven so trustworthy in all of this, has sustained our hearts so faithfully through the long waiting — we trust He’ll continue to sustain us through this last leg of our time here in Kansas City.



Oh yeah. And then there was the day we became pet owners. We’d been promising Isaac for months that we’d get hermit crabs for his 4th birthday. So. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Hermie and Weavy. He adores them. (Also, it is entirely possible that I’m crazy.)



Through the mixture of gratitude and grief that has marked our August, one theme has been my heart’s cry. I’ve awakened many a recent morning with this song running through my head — a tangible, holy drawing of my heart again and again back to the purpose of the blink-of-an-eye life we’re given on this planet.

If everything around us and far away from us is flipped on its head, if it all crashes down — but if somewhere in the midst of the suffering we who know Him get to intimately encounter Him, to absorb His heart into our own, to find ourselves hidden in His heart, to learn to love a little more like He does — who’s to say all of this won’t be infinitely more than worth it, after all?

Much love to you, dear friends. So thankful to be able to invite you into my story here again. Your companionship is so treasured.

**So thrilled to be sharing again with my friends in Lisha and Kelli’s communities.**

This entry was posted in Give Me Grace, Grief and Loss, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Uncategorized, Unforced Rhythms. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to When Life Is Not Okay and Also Deeply Okay {and the story of the contract on our house}

  1. Jolene says:

    Dear Dana,

    I so needed to read this today. I have also been asking God to work in me and direct me in a season in which so much is not going as I planned. Thank you for the reminder that God’s plans are much better than my own.

    Isaiah 30:21
    Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

    Hugs and prayers,

    Jolene recently posted…Five Minute Friday ReachMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Oh friend… I hear the pain of your story not playing out how you’d planned. I’m so sorry. His heart is moved by your heart’s surrender to Him even in the midst of not understanding His ways. Much love, sister. Grace, grace, and more grace to you.

  2. Kim says:

    Oh Dana! What a God-story! Our moving story is very much a God-story too, for His fingerprints are all over it. A friend told me once years and years ago when I was pining over an unrequited love (so that tells you it was ages ago!) that if this guy wasn’t the one, then God must have something even better in mind, and He absolutely did. When we’re in the middle of the waiting and the uncertainty it is so hard to hold onto the belief that God is FOR us and wants the best for us. It’s not until we’re on the other side of it that we can look back and see things more clearly. I’m so thrilled that you are seeing the hope again and I look forward to following along as you continue on this journey. And I love that song, always have!

    • danalynnb says:

      Kim, I’m so thankful to have you with me here. Your journey of seeing God come through and orchestrate details for your family – it gives me hope and stirs my faith. Love to you, my friend!

  3. Becky Daye says:

    What a journey, sweet friend! So thrilled that you had a moment to write today. You have been on my heart and in my prayers (especially this week!). One day, I pray that you will be able to look back on this time in your life and just know exactly why you had to walk this very tough road. Until then, know that you will continue to be well loved and covered in prayer. And since you are staying in KC a little bit longer, maybe you should head to Redeemer Presbyterian in Overland Park some Sunday and meet my dear family. :)
    And the song- I couldn’t listen to it. It was my Daddy’s favorite. But yes- you can have ALL this world, give me Jesus!
    Becky Daye recently posted…It is WellMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Becky, your faithful friendship and prayers and your hearing of my heart continue to be such a rich blessing. Thank you. Love you, friend.

  4. Barbie says:

    I’m so excited about the house contract. I will continue to pray that God will cause everything to fall into place, for you and the buyers. Blessings!
    Barbie recently posted…The Weekend Brew: When The Sky SpeaksMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Barbie, blessings back at YOU, my friend. I so, so appreciate your being with me here, and your prayers. You are precious, sister.

  5. Marvia says:

    Your faith is grounded and sure. I’m encouraged by you!

  6. Joanne Viola says:

    I loved reading this. It so reminded me at the way God is in every detail & when He pulls back the veil, every detail will astound us & point us to Him. Grateful you shared. May He bless you & your buyers as you all make moves & transitions in the days ahead!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…Keep Nothing BackMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Yes! I love that so much about Him – how He’s trustworthy, how He does lift veils eventually so we can be astounded by His goodness. I’m so blessed by your presence here, Joanne. Thank you!

  7. I love the spiritual component of stories like this. As I watch God move from a distance I appreciate more fully the ways in which He works in our lives. I know the experience is much different for you. The wait hard. But I’m witnessing the story unfold and it reads like grace. Thanking God for continued favor and blessings as you iron out the details of this God appointed transfer.
    Lisha Epperson recently posted…Give Me Grace : JusticeMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Lisha, your presence, your standing as a witness to my story here – it means more to me than I know how to tell you. I love you, friend.

  8. linda says:

    Life in limbo is exhausting but a time not with out hope. Thank you for sharing your story and God’s care. Blessings, Linda
    linda recently posted…Sabbath Word… VoiceMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Oh, you just *nailed* it, Linda. Exhausting. YES. And not without hope, for which I’m so thankful. Thanks so much for being here, for putting words to that facet of this season for me. So glad you came by.

  9. Lisa notes says:

    I’m glad things are looking up and that you got a contract on your house. Go, God! I love this: “He takes our exact prayers, holds them in His heart, and brings perfect answers at just the right time.” Thanks for the encouragement today.

    • danalynnb says:

      Hi Lisa! I’m so glad to see you here. So sorry I’m just now responding to your comment – crazy, crazy week. But YES – He so DOES that, doesn’t He? Holds our desires in His heart… I’m so thankful for His tenderness and His perfect timing. AND – thankful for your presence here. Blessings to you, friend.

  10. Deb Wolf says:

    Hi Dana, I’m visiting from Lisha’s. I love to read how the Lord works in lives, accomplishing His plans and purposes for us. Even when things are hard and upside-down . . . He is always for us. It’s so nice to meet you. I’m looking forward to reading more of your journey!
    Deb Wolf recently posted…25 Intentional Kindness Ideas Around the BlogosphereMy Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Deb, I’m so thankful you stopped by. Please forgive my lateness in replying. Yes, I’m so thankful for His commitment to us even when things are upside down. It’s great to meet you too, friend.

  11. Beth Hess says:

    He holds us in such beautiful balance, doesn’t He? Both Ok and not Ok … but Him never turning from who he is or letting us forget who we are. His Beloved. Your obedience and His faithfulness are indeed the thing every great love story is made of. I love reading yours unfold.
    Beth Hess recently posted…For When I Say Goodbye to Grandpa (Word of The Week)My Profile

    • danalynnb says:

      Beth I am, as always, so thankful for your receiving of my heart. For how deeply you read and how deeply you understand. Love to you, friend.

  12. Kelli Woodford says:

    Glory! Couldn’t be happier for you, sweet Dana!
    As always, it’s a gift to have you with us at Unforced Rhythms.

    • danalynnb says:

      Kelli, I can’t fully explain why, but Unforced Rhythms feels so like home to me. Thank you for the place of safety you’ve cultivated there… and thank you always for seeing me, sister.

  13. Becky L says:

    Loving the Fernando Ortega song. Thanks for sharing it and your story. Enjoyed the photos of your children. Our grandchildren are 3.5 and 6….fun age. May God grant you a swift sale of your house…contract fulfillment sooner than later.
    Becky L recently posted…Life’s Road BuildingMy Profile

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