I want to tell you about the good things.

It snowed last night. Big, wet, gorgeous flakes, of which I just now realized I haven’t taken one single picture.

Annnnnd, bam. Just remedied that little issue. Here you go:


Though my iPhone camera doesn’t do it justice, this is the view from the plentiful windows of my new favorite hangout — the Corner Bakery, maybe an 8-minute drive south from my kids’ little preschool.  It’s cozy and warm, I can see the mountains (which are in and of themselves balm to my soul), I get unlimited refills on coffee, and they have the best pancakes I’ve tasted in my entire life. Boo-yah.

In the weeks since I last wrote my heart in this space, I’ve found myself wanting to tell you about all the good things, because even in challenging seasons, there is beauty. There are tenderness and extravagance poured out all over and around me, straight from the Father’s heart. And if I can lift my gaze from the minutiae of my day-in, day-out life, I can see it. Can reorient myself to His tangible goodness. Can take it in like oxygen. Like life.

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There are snow boots from Costco – inexpensive and cute and they fit my feet perfectly even though I didn’t have time to try them on before purchasing.  A small miracle.

There’s a baseball team that WON THE FLIPPING WORLD SERIES and though we no longer live in Kansas City, my heart absolutely swells with glee over their victory after so many years of underdog-dom. ROYAAAALLLLLS!!

There’s this fiber-rich, healthy-ish, easy pancake mix, and a husband who loves flipping pancakes on the griddle several mornings a week lately. (Did I mention I like pancakes?)

There is Stan’s current work situation — adequate provision for our family even with Littleton’s high cost of living, a supervisor and coworkers who are understanding on the days his wife ends up in bed with a monster of a migraine… like yesterday.

There are in-laws just an hour away who love getting “Nana and Grandpa time” with our kiddos, and who spent the entire afternoon with them yesterday while their mama slept off said migraine.

There are new days with significantly less pain, and though we’re still in the process of getting my headaches figured out with a neurologist, there are pain drugs that sorta kinda help for now, and for those I’m thankful.

There are plane tickets to North Carolina, a fast-approaching trip to spend Thanksgiving and my impending 35th birthday with my Mom and Dad, my brothers and their families, my aunt and uncle and cousin and her family.

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{Also: What?! 35?! Is this for real? Because I cannot possibly be that old. Or that young, for that matter.}

But I digress.

There is this imperfectly beautiful, loving church family who allow me to speak into their hearts, to lead them toward beholding Jesus’ face and experiencing the Father’s heart in worship. I continue to be undone by the privilege. Over and over again.

There is the way the Holy Spirit shows up and moves on hearts during our corporate worship times. The way Jesus is teaching and leading us as a worship team, the way He asks me to step into challenging leadership situations and holds my shaky hand while I direct and bring to bear whatever wisdom He’s given me. {{Oh God, hold me. This is scary. But so good.}}

And there are soul friends, y’all. Both new and old. Both local to the Denver area, and scattered across the country. Sisters who tenderly hold my story, my right now life and my heart within it. Who create safe spaces where I’m invited and drawn to expose the entirety of who I am. Spaces where my heart’s learning at deeper levels than before that I can bring my big emotions and my big questions and my big opinions, and I am not too much. Words fail to do justice to the depth of my gratitude for these several girls, for their trust, for their precious companionship.

There is the way Jesus is more deeply connecting my heart with Stan’s these days. He is doing something new in our marriage and it is beautiful and good and it feels like hope, and I am so, so thankful.

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There is the fact that our kids are more peaceful these days. There is creative play. They’re more often extending kindness toward each other instead of this constant competition and frustration with one another. Isaac invites Maia into his world of trains and Legos and he suddenly has this miraculous, growing capacity to engage and play peacefully with his little sis.

Isaac is, by the way, more centered, more grounded, more generally at peace these days than ever before. And there are all these small moments lately when Stan and I look at each other, eyebrows raised in surprise and relief, because we are genuinely enjoying and not merely surviving our times together as a family. More. And more. And more.

I’m sensing the quiet leadership of the Holy Spirit as I engage my kiddos day-in and day-out. Sensing Him leading me in connecting with their hearts, in practically shepherding them rather than merely trying to correct outward behavior. He is expanding me as a mama, enlarging my heart for my children, increasing my delight in them.

And things are still messy and we are by no means perfect, nor will we ever be, but as a family, we are growing together up into Christ and this is one of those hope-laced seasons where if I look closely, I can see it happening.


Isaac delayed eating his breakfast the other morning. He put it off and put it off until he was apparently hungrier than he’s been accustomed to being, like ever, and he suddenly hollered from the living room that he was HUNGRY, that he NEEDED his breakfast, NOW!

There was this desperation in his voice that I’ve never heard from my children before, this hunger that utterly squelched all respect and dignity and self-control and the capacity to wait half a sec for his food to be ready.

And the desperation in my son’s voice, y’all, it gutted me. We quickly got his breakfast ready (again), but his cry for food somehow pulled me into this place of considering the reality of real hunger, of poverty here in my city, in my state, in our nation, across the globe. Contemplating how many, many mamas there are on our planet who over and over again look their own hungry children in the eyes and tell them, “I’m sorry, love — we don’t have any breakfast this morning.”

I was wrecked that day. I’m still wrecked. And I look around our small apartment, y’all, and see excess. I see overflowing kitchen cabinets and more clothes and toys than we really need and even though we gave SO much away before downsizing from our 6-bedroom home in Kansas City, we still have so much. So much.

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And I’m grateful. And I’m an emotional mess, kind of. And I want to simplify even more. And I want to give. Oh, do I want to give. And I want to honor Jesus in the way we steward our undeserved resources more than I ever have before.

And I think that’s all I’ve got this morning, y’all. I’ve gotta move toward picking my littles up from school, heading home, working with Isaac on homework for his music class.

And in these weeks as holidays draw near, my prayer for you my friends, my prayer for us, is simply that Jesus would draw our over-arching focus from all our minutiae and our to-do’s and our perceived inadequacies, toward experiencing His heart for us in the good things and the mundane things and the hard things, too.

And if He’s after our hearts and He’s offering us Himself — the sweetest gift — in both the good and the hard, can we really differentiate between the two? There’s goodness in all of it, isn’t there? ‘Cause there’s Him, you guys.

There’s always, always Him. And He is more than enough.

Posted in Attending to His Presence, Community, Confidence in God, Encountering God in the Beautiful, Encountering God in the Messy, Encountering God in the Mundane, Family Moments, leadership, Learning Authenticity, Ministry, misc. walking with Jesus, Parenting, special needs parenting, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A Quick Update (or, the one thing that’s more real than my fear)

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It’s been in the 50’s and pouring down rain for 2 days in a row. Typically I would be head-over-heals for this kind of Autumn weather (boots, flannel, sweaters — you know the drill). But hauling my two littles around in the rain is no small feat. It wears me out at every level.

Isaac’s anxiety has improved in the last few weeks, y’all. It’s a breath of fresh air and a reprieve for us all, to have him not so continually paralyzed by irrational fear. Anxiety is most certainly still an issue, but it’s less extreme and less frequent now, and I couldn’t be more thankful.

And with the anxiety a little more at bay, we’re able to see Isaac’s other needs with more clarity.

Isaac has processing struggles. Have I told you that?

The frequent need to give him the same instruction literally 10-20 times in order for it to register in his mind — it’s one of many reasons that being out and about with him {especially in the rain} can bring me to the end of myself faster than I don’t know what.

And his slow processing speed is just one of a number of “special needs” that I feel aren’t being adequately addressed by simply diagnosing and treating his anxiety.

We are, as of today, officially beginning what will be a months-long (possibly up to a full year) process of obtaining a more thorough evaluation for Isaac through the very reputable child development department of our local children’s hospital.


Headaches are a thing for me. They have been for a long time. What I’m seeing lately though is the direct correlation between my headaches and my stress level. My body often reacts instantly, outside of my control, to stressors, even in moments when I don’t necessarily feel stressed at an emotional level.

So I’ve started physical therapy, in part to help train my body and mind to respond differently to stress.

This is a piece of how Jesus is meeting my needs and sustaining my heart in this season. I’m thankful, but this re-training of my brain — it’s a process, and not a quick one.


I told a dear friend this morning that I’m overwhelmed, and possibly even a little depressed, by the reality of what this next evaluation process will look like for Isaac, and for us.

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Particularly, there will be mountains of paperwork, and said mountains will be insanely time-consuming. And not just time-consuming, but they will take everything out of me at an emotional level. It is draining and terrifying in the deepest, realest sense — combing through question after question about Isaac’s development and his needs, and facing the reality of every detail and nuance of his strengths, delays, and deficits.

And yet–

The Lord is my shepherd.

Y’all, I can’t — I mean, can. not. — get out of Psalm 23 these days. He is my shepherd. No matter what comes. I will fear no evil. Surely goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life.

The fear and the uncertainty are big and real, y’all. But the tender kindness of the Shepherd? It’s more real. And it calms and comforts my heart again and again.

His goodness pursues me through all these unknowns. Holds me through all the grief because this was so. not. what I imagined that my son’s childhood would look like, and seeing my Isaac Boy hurt and feel overwhelmed and have low self-confidence wrenches my soul like I can’t begin to put into words.

Yet there they are again — the rod and staff of the Perfect Shepherd. He leads me beside still waters, makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul.

Jesus, you restore my soul.

In the right now intensity of this season. In all its stresses and hurts and unanswered questions. You do. You restore me, re-establish me, shore me up inside.

Again, and again, and again.

And all this Shepherding? Jesus is committed to doing it for my boy, too. And I trust that He is, even if in ways I can’t see, doing just that.

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Thank you guys for letting me update you briefly tonight, and thanks for your continued non-advicey :) support. Truly. I appreciate it so much. Your prayers and encouragement. Your companionship in this place.

I love y’all a big ol’ massive heap. I mean, really. I do. So thankful for you all.

Posted in Attending to His Presence, Encountering God in the Messy, Grief and Loss, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Parenting, special needs parenting, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Who Are You? {an introduction and an invitation}

Erika Bandersnatch Post

My so deeply cherished friends.

If you’ve read my heart in this little space for any length of time, then you know it is incredibly rare that I invite anyone else’s words to find voice here. Part of the reason for that is sheer busyness — my own and that of the great majority of my writer-friends.

But the second, greater reason is this:

I take your trust more seriously than I can say. It’s a sacred gift — the access y’all give my voice to your inboxes and your hearts — and I want to be always so careful not to take your trust lightly.

That said, I want you to know this: I love Erika Morrison something fierce and crazy. Actually, I think my exact words in a text message to her last night, on the eve of her first book’s release date, were, in part, something like this:

“Love you SO SO SO ridiculous.”

To which I believe her reply was “Ridiculous love is my favorite!!! And so are you.” {Followed by a bajillion or so heart-eyed smiley faces.}

Sorry (but not) to straight-up MUSH about my friend all over your computer screen, but you guys, this girl is my soul sister in the truest, deepest sense of that term, and the precise, poetic, poignant nature of what Jesus has deposited inside her is the kind of stuff that’ll make your soul breathe and burn again.

Or maybe for the first time.

At least, it for sure does mine.

So. Y’all. I could not be more excited to share my friend Erika’s words with you here today, and I am flat-out doing a HAPPY DANCE because HER BOOK.


I have read Bandersnatch in its entirety and I’m not exaggerating when I say it continues to be a game-changer for my interior life in a way that only a VERY few books have ever, ever been.

Or when I say that I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that comes so near to wrapping words around the passions of my own heart, my own desires to see Jesus’ Kingdom come here. Now. Within and among and all around us.

Read Erika’s heart below, but first, check out her stunningly exquisite book trailer here. And if you read Bandersnatch (which I SO hope you do)… tell me what you think? What questions or longings it provokes? What it ignites within you?

I love you guys so much,


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The cardinals make it look so easy. The honeybees make it look so easy. The catfish and the black crow, the dairy cow and the cactus plant, all make being created appear effortless. They arise from the earth, do their beautiful, exclusive thing and die having fulfilled their fate.

None of nature seems to struggle to know who they are or what to do with themselves.

But humanity is the exception to nature’s rule because we’re individualized within our breed. We’re told by our mamas and mentors that–like snowflakes–no two of us are the same and that we each have a special purpose and part to play within the great Body of God.

(If your mama never told you this, consider yourself informed: YOU–your original cells and skin-print, guts and ingenuity–will never ever incarnate again. Do you believe it?)

So we struggle and seek and bald our knees asking variations of discovery-type questions (Who am I? Why am I here?) and if we’re semi-smart and moderately equipped we pay attention just enough to wake up piecemeal over years to the knowledge of our vital, indigenous selves.

And yet . . . even for all our wrestling and wondering, there are certain, abundant factors stacked against our waking up. We feel and fight the low ceiling of man made definitions, systems and institutions; we fight status quo, culture conformity, herd mentalities and more often than not, “The original shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us end up hardly living out of it at all. Instead we live out of all our other selves, which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world’s weather.” ~Frederick Buechner

So, let me ask you. Do you know something–anything–of your true, original, shimmering self?

I don’t mean: Coffee Drinker, Jesus Lover, Crossfitter, Writer, Wife, Mama.

Those are your interests and investments.

I do mean: Who are you undressed and naked of the things that tell you who you are?

Who are you before you became a Jesus lover or mother or husband?

Who are you without your church, your hobbies, your performances and projects?

I’m not talking about your confidence in saying, “I am a child of God,” either. What I am asking a quarter-dozen different ways is this: within the framework of being a child of God, what part of God do you represent? Do you know where you begin and where you end? Do you know the here-to-here of your uniqueness? Do you know, as John Duns Scotus puts it, your unusual, individual “thisness”?

I can’t resolve this question for you, I can only ask you if you’re interested. (Are you interested?)

I can only tell you that it is a good and right investment to spend the energy and time to learn who you are with nothing barnacled to your body, to learn what it is you bleed. Because you were enough on the day of your birth when you came to us stripped and slippery and squeezing absolutely nothing but your God-given glow.

And who you were on that born-day is also who you are now, but since you’ve been living on this planet long enough to learn how to read this article, then it follows that you’ve also lived here long enough to collect a few layers of horsefeathers and hogwash.

So, yet again, I’m inquiring: What is it that you see before the full-length bathroom mirror after you’ve divested of clothes and masks and hats and accessories and roles and beliefs and missions and persuaders and pressures–until you’re down to just your peeled nature, minus all the addons mixed in with your molecules?

Do you see somebody who was made with passion, on purpose, in earnest; fearfully and wonderfully, by a Maker with a brow bent in the center, two careful hands, a stitching kit and divine kiss?

Can you catch between your fingers even the tiniest fragment of self-knowledge, roll it around and put a word to it?

Your identity is a living organism and literally wishes to unfurl and spread from your center and who will care and who will lecture if you wander around a little bit every day to look for the unique shine of your own soul?

One of the central endeavors of the human experience is to consciously discover the intimacies of who we already are. As in: life is not about building an alternate name for ourselves; it’s about discovering the name we already have.

Will you, _______, rise from your own sacred ash?

Because the rest of us cannot afford to lose the length of your limbs or the cadence of your light or the rhythm of your ideas or the harmony of your creative force. The way you sway and smile, the awkward this and that and the other thing you do.

These are the days for opening our two clumsy hands before the wideness of life and the allure of a God who stops and starts our hearts. These are the days for rubbing our two imperfect sticks together so we can kindle another feeble, holy light from the deep within–each of us alone and also for each other.

There is no resolution to this quest; the only destination is the process. But I hope there’s a small spark here that will leave you wanting, that will leave you with a blue-fire lined in your spine, that will inspire a cellular, metamorphic process in you; an odyssey of the soul unique to you and your individual history, organisms, and experiences.

There is maybe a fine line between being lethargic about learning ourselves and not being self-obsessive and with that tension in mind, how do we begin (or continue) the process of unearthing and remembering the truth of our intrinsic selves?

Bandersnatch: An Invitation to Explore Your Unconventional Soul was written because sometimes we all need a little hand-holding and butt-nudging in our process; someone or something to come alongside us while we pick up our threads of soul discovery and travel from one dot and tittle to the next.

We are the Kingdom people and learning your own fingerprint is something of what it means for the Kingdom to come in response to an earth which groans forth its rolling desire for the great interlocking circle of contribution to reveal the luminous and loving Body of Christ and slowly, seriously–like it’s our destiny–set the world to rights.

Kingdom come. Which is to say: YOU, [be]come and carve your glorious, powerful, heaven-appointed meaning into the sides of rocks and communities and cities and skies.


Without being formulaic and without offering one-size-fits-all “how-to” steps, Bandersnatch is support material for your soul odyssey; a kind of field guide designed to come alongside the moment of your unfurling.

Come with me? And I will go with you and if you’re interested, you can order wherever books or ebooks are sold.

Or, if you’d like to read the first three chapters and just see if Bandersnatch is something for such a time as the hour you’re in, click HERE.

All my love,
Erika Morrison

Posted in Guest Posts, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus | 2 Comments

On absorbing beauty and going to the park

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The mountains. Y’all. They are balm to my soul like I can’t describe in words.

But watch me try.

I spent this past weekend up in Allenspark, CO with a group of 30 or so precious women from our church fam.

We worshiped our guts out. I led worship, and it was still more balm, just pouring myself out before the One who’s trustworthy, in the face of my life’s circumstances and in the midst of my heart’s pain, experiencing His heart with my sisters.

We heard from two phenomenal speakers, and you guys? Jesus moved. He moved so tangibly and practically that I found myself in tears on Friday evening, and tears don’t typically come easy for me. I mean, I generally cry — like, really cry — maybe a couple of times in a year.

But oh, did I ever cry.

Because Jesus whispered tender understanding to my heart, reminding me in my very core that He hears and feels the internal agony and grief around which I so struggle to wrap words.

I’ve ached lately over my inability to help folks understand how deeply this season is wrenching my heart, how acutely I find myself grieving.

But He gets it. My God gets it. Fully. And He’s with me in it.

This grief, you guys. It runs deep and it is poignant.

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We now have one diagnosis for Isaac, and are beginning the (long) process of seeking a second opinion and another probable diagnosis.

To be honest, my friends, I’ve really struggled over how much to say here, because Isaac’s story — his unique combination of struggles and strengths — is his. 

And yet, his story collides minute-by-minute with my own. Profoundly impacts every single facet of my life.

Secondarily to wanting to honor Isaac’s heart and his story, I still have this very real need for my blog not to become a platform for receiving advice.

You all have walked beside me so very graciously here, and I’m so beyond grateful for your companionship, kindness, and support. Yet, for practical advice in this season, I’m needing to pretty exclusively lean into the handful of people who’re bearing practical witness to my day-in, day-out life with my littles. Thank you all so much for understanding this.

All of that said, I do want to tell you a little more of where we’re at with our boy, and a little more of how it’s personally impacted me.

Isaac’s current diagnosis is Generalized Anxiety Disorder. By means of honoring my kiddo, I’ll simply say that the components and variations of his anxiety have dramatically impacted his quality of life, and that of our entire family.

We are, as of the last couple of weeks, pursuing treatment for his anxiety, including weekly therapy. And, as I said above, we’re going to be seeking a more thorough developmental evaluation for him in the coming months.

Little by little, I’m beginning to see improvement. I see Isaac growing a bit more settled inside. There are a few more peaceful moments for him, and a few less anxious ones. For this, I’m incredibly thankful.

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We have a long road ahead of us, though.

On Going to the Park

By means of illustration, I have a quick (and fairly vague, for Isaac’s sake) story for you all about why I’m afraid to take my kids to the park anymore.

Twice in the last couple of weeks, we’ve been at parks (both parks that are very familiar to us) and Isaac’s anxiety has flared up (mixed with a couple of other special-needs-type struggles).

Leaving out the bulk of the details, I’ll tell you that at one point I nearly had a full-on run-in with another mom (which, if you know me and my non-confrontational-ness, is almost laughable) who was actually yelling at my son while I stood there trying to help him calm down so he could emotionally handle letting another child move past him on the playground equipment.

The next week? Same story, only with a bigger group of children, and Isaac was even more upset. Although, thankfully, this time no other parents felt the need to interject their full-volume thoughts and judgmental glares.

You guys, I’ve never, ever been afraid to take my kids to the park. Till now. I literally have anxiety over it.

Okay, so that was kind of a tangent, but I wanted to give y’all a bit more of a glimpse of what my life looks like these days.

It is agony, watching my son hurting and afraid and paralyzed. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless.

Like I said, we are seeing glimpses of progress, but this will likely be a long journey.

Which brings me back to the mountains.

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After arriving home from the retreat on Sunday evening, I found myself trying to describe to Stan and to a dear friend the degree to which I was desperate for the beauty of the mountains, and how I didn’t realize my need for them till I actually got up in them.

“It was primal, my need for that rugged, violent beauty. I wanted to eat the mountains. Wanted to absorb them, or for them to absorb me and never let me go. They were so healing.”

On Sunday, I left the lodge early and went for a walk before my morning meeting with the retreat leadership team. I watched the sun’s rays begin to spill over the mountains. I inhaled splotches of light and color, drank in the early-morning silence like it was life to my soul.

And it was.

I stared into the mountains and I never, ever wanted to leave.

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One of our retreat speakers reminded us of how mountains like our Rockies were created, the shifting of tectonic plates beneath Earth’s surface, the violence required to give rise to such rugged beauty. She spoke of how God’s process of shaping and carving and birthing beauty in our lives so often feels violent to our souls, and oh, was she ever right.

But in all of it, His ways are perfectly, utterly trustworthy.

I believe it, you guys. I believe in His commitment to unveiling His beauty in my life, in Isaac’s life, and in our family.

And I believe there is unprecedented intimacy with Him in all the carving, in the internal violence. There is no closer contact than that of a river with the rock that it carves.

So I’m asking Him again and again these days — let it be that intimacy that sustains my heart. That depth and continuity of communion and closeness through the agony of the shifting and shaping.

Shore me up. Unveil Your beauty. Sustain my heart.

And He does it, you guys. He sustains my heart through all of this.

And one of the ways He sustains and strengthens me — is through you all.

Thank you again for walking beside me here, my friends. Your support and prayers mean more to me than words.

Posted in Attending to His Presence, Encountering God in the Messy, Grief and Loss, Learning Authenticity, Ministry, misc. walking with Jesus, Parenting, special needs parenting, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Cracking the windows open a little wider {in which I fill y’all in a bit more on what’s up with our fam}

photo-4 I sit outside tonight at the Starbucks down the street from our apartment complex, and at 6:45 PM I’ve already rolled the sleeves of my cozy flannel shirt all the way down.

The Colorado air is nothing short of perfection tonight. Maybe 67-ish degrees out here, and I may not have felt the need to roll my sleeves down quite yet had I not just consumed an iced chai latte “with maybe kind of a lot of whip.” I’m chilly now, but I couldn’t be happier about it.

Summer’s felt on the long side to me this year, and while I could wait an even LONGER time for winter to show its snowy Colorado face this year, I do adore me some fall.

Which, if you’ve read my writing for any length of time, you already know. Autumn’s approach is cool, fresh air to my soul, inspiration to my inner artist, new life to my weary places.

And y’all? If I’m honest? I’m weary more than not these days.

We are in an unprecedentedly tough season as a family, and I’ve hinted at the difficulty of it here and there in my few-and-far-between blog posts over the last couple of months. But mostly I’ve not felt ready yet to share what’s up.

There’s a process and an order to things, it feels like, and I’ve needed to take it slow — this public cracking open of windows into our very uncharted, very vulnerable season — though y’all who so faithfully walk beside me here have never shown yourselves to be anything other than kind and dear and so very trustworthy in your receiving of my story.

Over the last week or so, though, the desire has risen in my heart to share just a little bit more with you all here, though some details will still need to wait a little longer.

So I’m rolling with my gut here tonight, trusting what I hope is the Spirit’s nudging inside me, and opening these windows just a little wider.

And there isn’t an easy way to say what I want to say tonight, so I’m gonna come straight on out with it, I think.

We are in the process of having our sweet, brilliant boy, Isaac, evaluated for some specific developmental challenges, and a series of struggles that amount to what many would call “special needs.”

The details that I want to wait on sharing with you here are exactly what those needs and challenges are, partially because we don’t have a complete understanding yet of everything that’s going on with our boy, and partially because saying my concerns and predictions of likely diagnoses “out loud” here feels way more vulnerable than my heart can handle just yet.

And given the nature of what I’m sharing with you tonight, I’m hoping I can interject briefly to make a gentle, quiet request of you here, my friends. Could I ask you to wait on giving any advice for the time being?

We are working with a great team of therapists, and we have the sweetest gift of a support system here locally in Littleton, including our church family, Isaac’s pre-K teachers (he’s there 3 mornings per week), a couple of our more frequent babysitters, our local extended family, and other friends, too, who’re dear beyond words.

We are leaning into all of these incredible peeps in this season, pressing into each other, and falling upon the grace of God as we research, seek counsel from therapists and friends who’re experienced with special needs kiddos, and try and put (but not force) all these puzzle pieces together to form a more complete picture of our son’s unique strengths and needs.


The hopeful facet of all of this is that once there are diagnoses, there will be resources, therapies for Isaac, and more education for Stan and me as we commit all the more wholeheartedly to learn to shepherd our gift of a boy into the fullness of all his God-given aptitude.

The flip side of the same coin, though, is that to be honest, y’all — I am so tired. Weary more often than not, like I said above, at every level. Physically, mentally, emotionally. And Stan would say the same, bless his heart. On many days, I think if we were both to keep it real, we would say this season is kicking our you-know-whats.

Stan and I are trying to practice good self-care. We get as much sleep as our littles will allow. We give each other frequent-ish blocks of time away to decompress. We are trying to intentionally carve out times to connect with one another. We take turns managing Isaac as often as possible when his challenges and behaviors bring one or the other of us to what feels like the end of our internal resources… which honestly, lately, is pretty much a daily occurrence.

And the sweetest thing, you guys, in alllllll of this hard, is that we find ourselves somehow sustained by Him. In all the exhaustion and the unanswered questions and the fear. In all the frustration and the utter wrung-out-ness.


He is fiercely committed to intimately, intentionally forming Himself inside us in the midst of these circumstances, and that reality, y’all? It’s enough for my soul.

Even when I can’t pinpoint or remotely begin to wrap words around exactly what He’s carving or shaping or purifying on my insides because I’m too wiped out and stretched thin to think straight. Even when I break down and I cry and I question how we’re going to keep putting one foot in front of another through the pain and exhaustion of this season.

His work inside us is deeply tender and wholly trustworthy. And the intimacy with Him that comes when I know that I know that not only is He extravagantly committed to Isaac and to our family, but He is also somehow conforming my heart to His in all of this — it is the place I fix my eyes and the One Thing that holds me me up, that keeps me wholly devoted to walking lockstep beside Him, one day, one hour, one breath at a time.


Oh, and hey, my friends? One last thought tonight:

I know I said I’m not at a place where I want advice right now, but can I tell you what would bless me and Stan and our fam more than words? Your prayers, particularly for peace to reign in each of our hearts. Your dropping an occasional line or vox or text or whatever to let us know we’re on your heart and you’re holding us before Jesus.

Your support means the world to me. To all of us.

I love y’all more than I can say. Thanks for reading, for being present. Thanks for waiting for details and for loving us well. You are a gift, each of you. Peace to you tonight, my friends.

Posted in Attending to His Presence, Community, Encountering God in the Messy, Family Moments, Grief and Loss, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Parenting, special needs parenting, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

the thing I thought I’d never do {or, the core cry of all my soul-cries}


The thing about coming ridiculously alive inside is that the more His life and freedom course through to every last corner of my soul, the more I feel afraid.

I know the verses, too, about how God has not given us a spirit of fear, and I’ve heard it said more times than I can count that if you’re afraid, you’re not in faith.

And sometimes I agree with that latter statement.

But a lot of times? I don’t.

I’ll try and explain. Kind of.

Over the last couple of years, surrendering to His life on my insides has looked like doing things that fly in the face of human opinions that’ve made me tremble in terror.

It has looked like the deconstruction and slow reformation of paradigms on marriage and parenting and ministry and Christian spirituality, and it’s looked like barely, in small ways, beginning to actually speak from those still-being-reconstructed places of my soul.

It’s looked like disagreeing out loud with people to whom I’d previously been afraid to speak my mind.

It’s looked like writing vulnerably and leading worship with my heart on the outside of my body and unveiling depths of my soul via my own mouth into a microphone, and it’s looked like loving people so deeply, so fully, my insides physically throb with the ache of it.

It’s also looked like navigating a really rough, really long season with my family, and this bit isn’t by any means over yet. Not even close.

I will share more details as soon as I’m able — I promise — and for now will let you in on this piece:

Parenting in this season is more daunting, feels more intimidating on a day-in, day-out level, than it ever, ever has, in the history of all my motherhood-ness. Foster-parenting included.

The nitty-gritty of my day-to-day is quicksand sometimes. Is this grueling marathon of just-keep-putting-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other. And breathe. Now repeat.

Stan struggles too, mightily, under the weight of this season, and I find myself thanking Jesus over and over again for the unity of our marriage, for our similar conflict-resolution styles, for the grace Jesus gives us to press in toward one another when circumstantial pressure and stretching might otherwise pry and pull us apart.

We are in every bit of this together. Stan and I. The kids too. All four of us.




There’s this word, y’all. This made-up, compound word that’s etched itself into my core, into my soul’s foundation, more and more over the last year or two. Through all the shifting and sifting of my insides, my paradigms. Through all the mundane things, and the brave things I’ve had to write and sing and say and do as I’ve surrendered to all this ridiculously undignified, transformative Life that’s pulsing and pounding its way through my veins.

Through all the terrifyingly vulnerable unfolding.

It’s the cry of my heart — the core cry of ALL my cries, really. Because the journey with Him IS the destination and the destination IS the journey, and more than I want to accomplish this thing or that thing, and more than I want to “arrive” at this level or that physical or spiritual place — what has become my One Thing, the goal of EVERY facet and season of my life, of all I endure and all I conquer and all I just barely survive by the stretched-thin skin of my teeth — it’s this:

To know His heart along the way.

Intimacy. Trust. Surrender.

It’s Jesus, let’s just be together in and through it all, and would you just form Yourself inside me, deeper and deeper, more and more fully, whatever it takes?


I differentiate between a “spirit of fear” and the fear that’s a natural, human emotion, associated with doing things that are vulnerable as you-know-what.

And sometimes, like I said, I agree with the idea that fear is the opposite of faith, but more often? I think the combo of human fear + dependent faith can be the most breathtakingly beautiful tension.

So, so, SO often anymore, my prayer is along these lines: Jesus, I am so scared. I’m scared of what the future holds, and I’m scared I’ll hurt my kids’ hearts today, and I’m freaked completely out to live and lead and pour myself out yet another day with my soul SO exposed, and I’m scared to love people with all this crazy, fiery love, and how in all of heaven and earth and hell can I do my next day or hour or breath apart from You?

Whom have I but You? Whom have I– ?!?!

See, human fear is a gift when it propels and compels me into the heart of the One Who is the whole Point of all of this, anyway. And when I view it as a gift, lean into Him, know His heart expanding inside my own and His strength perfected in my utter, desperate weakness? I’m not bound by the fear. It keeps me aware of my need. Keeps me dependent. Humble. Leaning.

But it does not hold me captive.

I’m moving forward. One foot in front of the other.

This is faith. It’s trust.

It’s leaning and surrender and forward motion.

With Him. 

Which is the whole point.

The destination is the journey. And it’s how we do the journey, or rather with Whom, that most deeply matters.

And the paradox is that He does want to take us to “the next level,” and He does have external accomplishments in store for us and He does want us to grow, to progress in our faith and freedom and life-in-Him.

But all of those goals come secondary to, and as a byproduct of, His primary desire, which is intimacy with us along the way.

Just form yourself inside me, Jesus, as we walk tight together.

And when my eyes quit straining to see what’s up ahead, to discern the future, to figure out my ultimate calling or purpose or how all these scary, uncertain things are going to turn out in the end — and turn instead to meet the gaze of the One holding my hand as I walk this road with all its twists and unforeseen turns? Then and only then am I sustained as I weather whatever storms come my way, and whatever soul-surgeries His hand has yet to complete inside me.


Back to that word.

It’s Lockstep. 

My cry. My heart’s desperate need. My One Thing.

To do each leg of this journey tight in step with Him. In unbroken companionship. Moving to the beat of His heart. Constantly aware of my need.

To be all I am and do all I do from that place.

So many facets of my life anymore provoke that human kind of fear, that fear that presses me into His heart, into awareness of my need.

And this word, this cry has become so core to who I am, core to how I have to live, that y’all?

You may think I’m certifiable…


I needed it on my skin.

Never in my life had I dreamed I’d get a tattoo. I’ve done piercings and stuff, but tattoos are so… permanent. Gah! Not to mention — pain. Ouch.

But on the days parenting has felt so overwhelming I’ve struggled to get out of bed, and on the days I’ve led worship or spoken and have been terrified yet again, and on the days I’ve been shocked and scared by the way I’m wired for unrestrained, undignified love — I’ve looked down at my wrist and ached to see this word there. My core cry. My life’s one purpose, from which all else flows.

The place I have to proactively abide if I’m gonna do anything He puts before me to do. If I’m gonna live this scary-crazy-alive life that I know that I know I’m made for.

I did it, y’all. A week ago Saturday.

For so long, this one-word prayer felt too personal, too intimate, too between me and Jesus to share with any other human. But with its appearance on my skin comes the invitation to share a bit of its story, as people inquire… and to share it with y’all, my friends who walk beside me here.

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I’m including a link to the song from which Lockstep jumped out at me and rooted itself on my insides. If you’re still reading, I am hugging you massively in my heart… and also inviting you to take a minute and listen.

So much love to you all, my friends. Truly. I’m forever and ever so very, very thankful for you. Thanks for receiving my story yet again, for being a part of my journey.

Posted in Attending to His Presence, Encountering God in the Messy, Grief and Loss, leadership, Ministry, misc. walking with Jesus, Parenting, Presence, risk, Uncategorized, Worship Leader Guts | 8 Comments

When buds are breaking

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I walk alone by the river to clear my head after a long day.

Well, that, and to burn off a few of the calories in that Chick-fil-a cookies ‘n cream shake I had for dessert tonight.

That dang shake was worth every pounding step.

As is the sunset. And the mountain view. And the water moving next to me.

I make it home just before dark, chat with my love, and sit to write for the first time in 6 plus weeks. Which is a trip, y’all, in and of itself.

The internal editor is loud after such a long blogging-silence, and I find myself struggling to still my insides, to fall into gentle step with the Spirit’s heartbeat within, let it guide the rhythm of fingers on keys.

What. a. season, y’all.

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I’ve been immersed in making it through, one day at a time. Focused on leaning into Jesus and husband and close friends for what sometimes feels like minute-to-minute doses of strength and perspective.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

Each inhale a cry of dependence. Each exhale a cry of surrender. Both to this season, and to Him within it. Moving. Forming. Shaping.

This poem made its way across my Facebook newsfeed the other day, and it has not left my heart alone since. It was originally written in Swedish by Karin Boye, but this English translation by David McDuff moved me in my core.

Yes, of course it hurts when buds are breaking.
hy else would the springtime falter?
Why would all our ardent longing
bind itself in frozen, bitter pallor?
After all, the bud was covered all the winter.
What new thing is it that bursts and wears?
Yes, of course it hurts when buds are breaking,
hurts for that which grows
and that which bars.

Yes, it is hard when drops are falling.
Trembling with fear, and heavy hanging,
cleaving to the twig, and swelling, sliding –
weight draws them down, though they go on clinging.
Hard to be uncertain, afraid and divided,
hard to feel the depths attract and call,
yet sit fast and merely tremble –
hard to want to stay
and want to fall.

Then, when things are worst and nothing helps
the tree’s buds break as in rejoicing,
then, when no fear holds back any longer,
down in glitter go the twig’s drops plunging,
forget that they were frightened by the new,
forget their fear before the flight unfurled –
feel for a second their greatest safety,
rest in that trust
that creates the world.


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My word for 2015 is Unfold.

I knew it was scary, and I knew it was what Jesus was doing. But I had no clue how it’d play out.

Actually, that’s not completely true. I had ideas. About loving huge and being poured out to see folks encounter the transformative Presence of Jesus. About being a part of a church family where I’d be free to learn, albeit gradually, to bring my whole self, my full voice, my unrestrained heart to the table.

And those things have played out as I’d hoped. Being with our church family here, and particularly pouring into and being so received by my worship team, continues to be profoundly healing and full-on life-altering for me. The sweetest gift.

What I don’t think I could have expected was how this profound joy could be so very present alongside great pain, how it could straight up hurt to unfold with so many watching, while being brought to the utter end of myself by various life circumstances.

All this unfolding of good and gut-wrenching all at once. The pouring out. The bleeding.

I hate to be so vague and so graphic all at once, but I’m thanking you all yet again for grace, friends, because I don’t think I’m ready to share specific details here in this space quite yet.

We are bumping up against some overwhelming mountains in our personal lives, but we’re by no means without hope. We’re pressed but not crushed, and the pressing is straight into His heart.

The pressing breaks me open, provokes further unfolding.

Whom have I in Heaven but You? Earth has nothing I desire besides You.

Gracious and compassionate. Slow to anger. Rich in love.

My portion. My portion. My portion.

These facets of God’s heart are my mantras and they are balm to my soul. I contemplate His scandalous extravagance, and in all the pressing and the stretching and the bleeding and the breaking open, He is wildly good. His tenderness runs deep and sweet.

He heals even while He expands my heart. He covers and comforts and satisfies even while circumstantial struggle lays my insides wide open.

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I can grasp for relief from the pain, but surrendering to Him within my right now life will leave me carved out to hold Him more.

And y’all? I want the More.

I want every. last. thing. that this season can accomplish on my insides.

Re-reading these last few lines, I realize I’ve said essentially the same thing over and over in this space for years and I’m not sure if y’all are tired of it yet or no, but guys, it’s all I’ve got tonight, this heart-cry.

I want it all, Jesus. I so long to live this undignified, ripped open, wholehearted yes to you, in the midst of my right now. By your grace, I will hold nothing back, no matter how much it hurts when buds are breaking.

What you are forming inside me is infinitely beyond worth it — all of it — and this hand-in-hand journey with you is the destination.

It’s the continually deepening awakening, the walking and abiding and drawing near. Again, and again, and again.

This forever-learning to live in perfect step with the God who is pulling me more and more wholly into Himself. Who is tenderly present within the joy and the breaking and everything in between, fiercely committed to satisfying every solitary need of this fragile soul.


Thanks yet again, my friends, for allowing me to write my insides while waiting to share the outsides. Y’all’s gracious receiving of what I’m able to share is such a gift.

To be clear, Stan and I and kiddos are well overall, just navigating a painful set of challenges in this season. I will share more here in the coming weeks, as I’m able. We covet your prayers for our family in this season.

I love you guys so dearly.

Posted in Attending to His Presence, Confidence in God, Encountering God in the Messy, Freedom From Perfectionism, Grief and Loss, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, One Word, Presence | 6 Comments

Love Covers {in which I breathe deep and get honest with my fellow Jesus-followers}

My dearly adored friends,

Please hear the quiet tremble of my voice and know how profoundly I treasure each of you, your presence here as you read these words today.

I’m sitting on the couch with my littlest love this afternoon when I glance at my Facebook newsfeed–

And I’m grieved.

This isn’t an entirely unusual experience for me, but what is abnormal is the clarity with which the grief hits my heart. And with it, this gut-level knowing:

I have to write this.

Really?  Really.

Oh, no.

::stomach flips::


I’m not sure if the internal conversation is more with the Holy Spirit, or more between me and my own commitment to personal authenticity, to no longer allowing fear to make me shrink back from saying things I need to say.

Either way, I get my girl down for her nap, grab my laptop, take some deep breaths, and place fingers to keys.

Holy God…


What grieved me today was a joke of some kind and the crazy thing is that I can’t even remember which joke or who posted it because there are so many these days, but I’m pretty sure it was political in nature.

In fact, I just spent the last 20 minutes scrolling back through my feed in search of it, but it was nowhere to be found. What I did find, ironically, was this article, and I snagged a screenshot to share with you:

Full article here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/hillary-clinton-questions-christian-compassion-of-rivals-did-they-not-go-and-hear-the-same-lessons-i-did-in-sunday-school-140425/

Full article here:

While I only briefly skimmed the article, these timely-for-me words from Hillary Clinton from this past Sunday stuck out to me. Painfully.

“While Clinton did not specifically call out any candidate or person by name she bewailed the lack of compassion and “mean spiritedness” of others in politics.

“Did they not go and hear the same lessons I did in Sunday school,” asked Clinton. “Did they not sing the same hymns?” She continued questioning their morality and Christian theology by wondering, “Did they never hear, ‘there but for the grace of God go I?'”

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Did we never hear it?

If I could lay aside my fear of speaking bold truth-in-love for just a moment — if I were brave enough to be completely honest with you — this is what the burning in my bones would have me say:

My precious fellow lovers of Jesus:

It is so unfunny when we are unkind to those with whom we disagree and call it a joke.

It is not funny when we write and publish satire in order to make a humorous or outrageously overstated point about those whose life stories, experiences, and challenges are impossible for us to fully understand.

It is not funny when we write or perpetuate the sharing of sarcasm about white-on-black violence or black-on-black violence or Caitlyn Jenner or homosexuality, or even about Rachel whatever-her-last-name-is who has posed as a biracial woman for however many years but is, in actuality, white. {White, and most likely very mentally disturbed, which is kind of beside my point, but not really.}

It is not funny when we rejoice in or otherwise make light of the newly (or oldly) uncovered moral failure of celebrities or politicians with views to which we don’t subscribe.

It is not funny when we are flippant about Obama or Hillary or Huckabee or Miley or the Duggar family or whoever else unwittingly causes the next insanely-sensationalized social media failure-feeding frenzy.

I write all these things with a profound heaviness in my pounding heart and I keep catching myself with this accidentally-anguished expression on my face as I write, because Christians, my so-deeply-treasured friends, where is our love?

When will we stop all our looking around and our pointing and our jeering, close our gaping jaws, press our faces into our carpeted floors, and desperately ask Jesus to bathe our souls in His adoration of us, so that His affection for us can overcome our own broken, love-starved need to perpetuate the transformation of these desperate, aching, ashamed, socially-exposed ones into mere amusing one-liners or critiques so we feel better about ourselves?

Because they’re showing, y’allall these places where we’ve not yet been perfected in Love.

We can only love well those with whom we differ to the degree that our own undeserving roots have gone deep into His love.

To the degree that we’ve sat before Him and been remade inside by His scandalous acceptance of us in our utter depravity.

This is scary for me, y’all, but I can say this I think.

Because I know. I’ve been there. Not all that long ago. My own not-yet-perfected-in-love places — they were gaping and glaring, too. And I’m quite sure, actually, that they still are at times.

But I’m learning, you guys. I’m learning that from that position of face-pressed-into-carpet, out of that place of being undone by His love for me in all my own brokenness and failure and need —

From the place of but for the grace of God — 

I can sit with those whose experiences, values, and beliefs differ greatly from my own.

I can ask questions. I can choose to be curious, to deeply hear hearts and stories and hold them with compassion and care. To learn from them.

To love. them.

And if I’m not able to physically sit with them (a la Rachel or Hillary or Jenner or whatever other personality accidentally becomes infamous on any given day), then I can look at their situation through a lens of kind curiosity.

I can suspend my assumptions about scenarios and stories and sin.

I can allow Jesus to break my heart with the brokenness that shatters His.

And I can avoid the temptation to sensationalize and dehumanize and make light of their horrifically exposed lives or choices in cahoots with the media that I think often wants us to do just that.

Y’all? This is true even if my goal is to prove a valid point, not simply to be cruel. Points proven with a lack of love only add to the problem.

Truth without love brings death.

To be clear, I am certainly not advocating a need to shift our beliefs, our perspectives, or our interpretation of scripture. I am not even necessarily advocating that we keep our views quiet, though occasionally I find there’s wisdom in doing so, for a season.

am advocating that we listen, that we’re present, that we’re curious about differing stories and perspectives, that we love well.

And dear ones? Love covers.

It covers.

And it is kind.

{I love you guys so much. Thank you for grace in your receiving of these words.}

Posted in Community, Compassion, Learning Authenticity, Ministry, misc. walking with Jesus, Presence, risk, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

In which there’s this *thing* I can’t escape about the way I’m made


They never fail to surprise and amaze me — these tears that burn the backs of my eyes when I sit down to try and write.

In general, I’ve never been one who’s cried easily. But the older I get and the more I live day-in, day-out in this face-to-face place with all my gaping weakness and need, the more the tears come, particularly here in front of this fresh WordPress screen.

In his book, Untitled (yes, that’s the title), Blaine Hogan asks a number of questions to help one discern whether they’re making “good” art. Art that’s authentic; art that’s soulful (my words, not his).

My two favorite questions in his list are these: Did you acknowledge the lump in your throat? and Did you bring your insides out?

I am living in that place lately. The insides-on-the-outside place. The more-frequent-than-usual teary eyes– if not the lump-filled throat, though that happens too and it’s most likely to interrupt me in the middle of a worship song on a Sunday morning when I’m behind the mic. That’s always interesting.

It’s a strange feeling, walking around with your heart outside your body.

I can’t believe I just said that out loud here. Y’all are gonna think I’m nuts. But for real — I have some incredibly big, incredibly exposed feelings these days, you guys.

Between all the worship-leading and all the writing 4th Friday talks and then actually SAYING THE STUFF in my own voice, into a microphone, with people watching, and all the pouring my presence into the precious people before me whose hearts I profoundly value– I continually feel unzipped.

Then there are the few moments I find these days to spill words in this space. Again. Exposure.

But unzipping your soul before God and before your world is a conscious choice. I’m no victim. I could un-choose it in a blink.

It’s just that I would so much rather live bleeding and aching and exposed and wide open, than live shut down, closed off, and only half-alive.

This quote found its way into my Facebook feed a couple of days ago and I couldn’t escape its resonance in my gut:

“You can be comfortable or courageous, but you cannot be both.” (Mike Foster, Freeway)

Ugh. Wholehearted living can be so achingly uncomfortable.


There’s this thing about me that I keep running into these days, over and over. I’ve found it repeatedly in my life-on-life life with my littles and my Stan. And particularly, these days, I encounter it in the context of a conglomeration of miscellaneous friendships that Jesus keeps dropping like gifts into my lap, seemingly out of nowhere, with women who are so profoundly kindred-hearted, our kindredness alone is enough to reduce me to tears.

This facet of my soul that I can’t escape — it’s the way I’m hardwired for fierce, fiery love, and I cannot avoid facing it these days, owning it as both great treasure and as torture, too, at times.

There were a lot of years when my capacity to love big and deep within friendships was sliced and diced and shoved into various hidden corners of my depths, only to peek out once in a great while.

I feared it. I feared its strength, and I feared the way it was often misunderstood or completely unwanted. The way people didn’t have a grid for those pieces of me.

But there’s this thing (side note: sorry I keep saying thing – such a cardinal writing rule that I’m breaking but I’m feeling okay with my inarticulateness tonight)…

… anyway: this thing that’s happening these days in which all those sliced and diced fragments of love-ability are being gently drawn from their hidden corners, being unearthed, being pieced together again on my insides. It’s the hand of Jesus reaching in through a handful of the dearest sisters on the planet, and it is nothing short of utterly remaking my capacity to both give and receive startlingly wide and soul-shakingly deep sister-love.

And also it is nothing short of oh crap.

Living and loving this wholeheartedly scares the you know-what-out of me, y’all, for a thousand different reasons.

But the invitation over and over again is to lean, lean, lean. To simply adore Jesus with every ounce of my being, to be adored by Him, to receive His smile over these facets of my core that I’ve been afraid to fully live into, to grab on tighter to His hand, and just do it.

To live full steam ahead into the fullness of the God-designed shape of my soul.

Ugh. Deep breath, Dana.

He is trustworthy with my heart. He is trustworthy with my heart. He is trustworthy with my heart. (Repeat.)

And my time is running out tonight, so I have to stop here. I will say that I had no clue what I was gonna say when I sat down to write an hour ago. But apparently this stuff needed to find its way up and out, and the vulnerability factor of sharing these words right now is real enough that I’m currently fighting the impulse to dive into bed and cover my head with pillows. Ha.

But, my sweet friends, I pray, by God’s grace, some piece of what’s bubbled up here tonight whispers straight into your heart, nudges something inside you more fully and wildly to life. To trust.

Thank you, as always, for being such safe, kind recipients of my poured out heart. For loving our wholly trustworthy Jesus alongside me here.

You all are so dear, and so loved.

P.S. What facets of how God has fashioned you is He inviting you to grab His hand and more fully live into? I would absolutely love — LOVE — to hear. He’s trustworthy with your heart too, friend.

P.P.S. I realize I so rarely say this, but know that you are always welcome to share my posts here if they resonate with you. Much love to y’all, my friends.

Posted in #4thfridays, Community, Creativity, Learning Authenticity, Ministry, misc. walking with Jesus, Presence, risk, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

May 22 4th Friday Audio {Living Artfully: wholeheartedly showing up for your whole life – Part 1}


I come to you tonight so full-hearted, my friends. Full because last night was our second 4th Friday. Full because I felt so much more free, more relaxed, more me, as I shared my heart this time with those who came. Full because you who were there showed up so wholeheartedly, so graciously received my heart, and so courageously gave yourselves to one another and to Him.


And — full because of you who walk with me from more of a geographical distance — you who are my readers and my fellow writers and my soul friends who are so with me. Who are cheering me on and faithfully journeying beside me as I do the next thing, even though it often feels scary-vulnerable.

Y’all help me be brave.

That said, I want to share with you the audio of my talk from last night (Friday, May 22).

Quick final thought: I adore you guys. Walking with you all here, the way you’ve received my heart in this space, has shaped me over the last number of years. Has expanded me inside. I lack words to tell you how thankful I am for your companionship here. One of these days I’m gonna try though — I’m gonna try and dig up language for my gratitude for y’all — and it’s gonna be a whoooole blog post.

Okay, guys. The audio. {Gulp.}

And if you missed last month’s talk, it’s here if you’d like to hear it.

{If the volume is low in your computer speakers, you might try listening with headphones — I had success that way.}

Posted in #4thfridays, Attending to His Presence, Creativity, leadership, Learning Authenticity, Ministry, misc. walking with Jesus, Presence | 5 Comments