Jun 30, 2011

Sisters 'N Cloth

Dear Friends and Followers,

I am super excited to let you know that my sister-in-law and I have started our blog! And we have a giveaway open for you!! If you have time, please stop by Sisters 'N Cloth, read a bit about us, and maybe start following us there. We'd love to see you there!


Jun 29, 2011

The Unveiling

I don't know if you're at all like me. If you read this fairly regularly, there must be something in yourself you see in me. Possibly. Maybe?

Which is odd. Because I've been hiding for years. From me. From everyone else. Because sometimes I really don't like who I am.

There have been years when I hid in books, imagining someone else's life in places far and away from my mundane life.

There have been years when I hid in my words, writing whatever is on my heart while not actually dealing with it. Writing the things I couldn't say...because my words come surer on the page than in the air.

Before that, I hid in my play, in Barbies and baby dolls and beanie babies. Pretend the world isn't as it is. Pretend I'm not me.

I hid from my sisters, my friends, my parents, and, until recently, even my husband. Because I wasn't good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or neat enough. Because whatever face I could show them would be better than me

And now? Now the world hits me full-force because now I'm the shield for my daughter. Because I want her to deal with life and not hide. Not hide behind pretend, pretense, words, or stories.

Her story matters. Her words matter. And I want to hear those words instead of letting her bottle them up inside of her. I want to keep her unveiled because, you know what? She's pretty awesome.

Awesome baby girl

Jun 27, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays: Love Letters and Lists

I'm not sure when I wrote my first love letter to my husband. I know that I was already in high school and feeling like a failure at love. I had one boyfriend when I was in junior high. That "relationship" lasted for 7 days. And then I had a boyfriend for 6 days during my senior year. Woot.

While I had standards (which were pretty much limited to no sex), I definitely was open to the idea of dating. There was one major problem, though: my dad happened to be a pastor. Well, that and I was a good girl who never dreamed of what went on at parties. I wasn't exactly girlfriend material, at least not to red-blooded American teenage boys.

Sometime between my junior year of high school and my freshman year of college, something began to change. I started seeing just how ridiculous high school relationships were (at least most of the ones I saw first-hand). I also began realizing that I didn't just want any guy. I wanted the right guy. And so my love letters began.

Many times, they were written when my heart had been crushed. As the only one in a trio of girls without a boyfriend, lonely was an accurate description of my life then. Lonely and, well, forgotten. My friends didn't mean any harm by it, but it was so much easier for them and their boyfriends to double date or hang out...without me. I was the third wheel, and I knew it. So my letters are stained with tears in some places, tears because I knew that someone was missing in my life, and I mourned that he wasn't with me yet.

I also looked at what the Bible says about the characteristics of a godly man and a godly woman. I knew that I had a lot to learn about being a godly woman, and I began praying for my husband to be a godly man. Then one day, I made the list. Just a few things that I wanted to see in my husband: who love God first and me second, who is in a growing relationship with Christ, who makes me feel safe, who is a deep thinker and thinks for himself, who is committed to following God, who is attracted to my inner beauty, who can make my day better by being there, who can cook (!), who makes me laugh, who is somewhat of a romantic, who loves music, who appreciates my quirks, who is kind and not a liar, who can control his anger...

Can I just say that after re-reading these, I realize that I'm describing my husband to a T? (Yes, he even cooks!) These are the things that I wanted, and God blessed exceedingly abundantly beyond all that I could ask or think!

Soon, it was my last summer before college. That summer, I read a book that changed my perspective on dating and marriage completely: When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy. While I don't agree completely with all that they said, one thing stuck out: they didn't kiss until their wedding day. The more that I thought about it, the more that I wanted that for myself and my future husband. What better way to celebrate our love, to show our commitment to each other, than to save that first kiss? Thankfully, I had not kissed anyone before that, and I truly believe that while I felt alone and unloved, God was protecting me from myself.

Why do I say that? Is kissing so wrong? No! Of course it isn't! And yet it is. It was for my husband and me because neither of us trusted ourselves with just a kiss. And my husband had, years before, made a vow that he wouldn't kiss a woman unless she were his bride. Technically, it didn't matter if I had kissed someone previously, but I'm glad that I hadn't simply because we were on an even playing field when it came to kissing and other physical contact.

Now, all of this happened before I met the man who would be my husband. To a young girl who graduated from a public high school in May 2006. To a young woman who met her future husband in August 2006. (It really is quite a story. Perhaps I should share sometime? There's even a last-minute breaking of the engagement and a reunion!)

And, for the record, my husband still takes those letters out at times and reads them.

Gifts from the heart:

Letters to my future husband
Letters to my baby girl (begun in high school)
Hopes and dreams and wishes written down
List of who he is marking Song of Solomon
Prayers upon prayers written down, marking days and times and seasons of life
Markings in my Bible: notes on when, where, how it applies
Underlinings, circles, and highlighters noting important Words of Life
Bulletins and random papers scattered throughout
Notebooks and pens, writing style that changes with years
Random lists written in between pages
Notes from classes, written and preserved
Notes and underlines in textbooks
Poems and stories, handwritten and typed up
Professors and teachers who made me write
Doodles and pen marks on days that bored me
Gel pens and colored Sharpie markers and coloring pencils and crayons
The simple joy of coloring a page

The permanence of a pen, ink that tattoos our lives...

Jun 24, 2011

Five Minute Fridays: Wonder

It's been another whirlwind week! So, so much going on lately. Thank you for your patience, friends, as I learn to write two (!) blogs. Friday is here, and once again I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo to write without worrying about if it's just right or not! Can I just say that after a week filled with blog posts that I've been worried over, this feels like just the vacation I need? It's the simple things, I guess. This week's topic? Wonder.

Abby at 20 weeks: the day we found out she would be a girl!


I sat in wonder at 20 weeks, awing over the sonogram I had received. In awe at the beauty, the glory of God forming in me. And I cried, I cried that God could be so very good.

I sat in wonder several nights...woken up around 5 or 6 by the little body moving around in mine. Just sitting, feeling her move and shift and play. Little baby girl, wrapped inside me...wrapped lovingly by God's hands.

I sat in wonder in February, after almost a day's worth of labor, and just stared at the little life in my arms. Just stared at her nose, at her eyes, at her hands. Awing over this little life just beginning, awing that I already knew her and she already fit.

Abby at birth

I sit in wonder now, listening to her cry from waking herself up. In awe and wonder that she is who she is, how she is a mirrored image of myself, much more social than I could ever be. And I wonder how it is that God brings a life into this world to enrich mine, ours, and shows us who we are, who we have always been, who we have hidden from the world. And it is so good to just wonder a while. 

Abby today


Cut this one a little early. Couldn't let my baby girl. keep crying!

Jun 20, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays: Pink

When I found out that I was having a girl last September, I was excited. I had only known girls, being the oldest of three of that gender, and boys? Well, I had no clue. But there was one part that I did not like.


Pink was never a good color for me, and I much prefer green or blue or purple or even yellow to the ultra-girly pink.

Pink is what girly-girls wear. Barbie wears pink. Girls who take hours to dress each morning wear pink. My daughter was not going to be one of those girls. Pink was out.

But there's a sad truth to having a girl. Almost all newborn clothes, nearly every girl-specific toy, and *almost every single girl gift at baby showers come only one color: PINK.

At first, I balked. I protested. I looked for other ways, other means. Pink would not be the defining color of my baby girl!

Then she was born. And pink indeed took over much of her wardrobe. And her toys. While there were (and are) other colors, we still have lots of pink.

But I've actually come to like it, accept it. Pink is so much more than a color. It's a mindset, a realization that this child is my daughter, a princess, and longs to be beautiful, even now. (Yes, my four-month-old loves to be put in pretty, albeit comfy, clothes...especially pink ones!) My daughter, even now, is showing her girly side: preferring to be a social butterfly, enjoying shopping trips to the fullest, and already trying to talk up a storm.

Pink. Is absolutely beautiful.

Counting the gifts that pink has brought us:

pink dolls
pink onesies
pink on her diaper covers
pink dresses
pink Moses basket
pink blankets
pink rattles
pink socks
pink pants
pink stroller
pink towels and washcloths
pink bathrobe
pink picture frames
pink photo albums
pink stuffed animals
...and a purple swing. 

Jun 18, 2011

Sisters 'N Cloth

Bloggy friends! I have such exciting news!! Tonight (estimated time is 7 PM), yes tonight, my sister-in-law, Melissa, and I are launching our new blog, Sisters 'N Cloth!

It's been a whirlwind week, from idea to themes to intro posts to Twitter to Facebook to launch! What a ride!

I am excited to be able to share posts about cloth diapers, frugal living, "green" living (to an extent), breastfeeding, babywearing, and homeschooling! We're also planning to have reviews and giveaways. So stop by, grab a cup of coffee, and join in the conversation. We can't wait to share this part of our world with you!

If you'd like to read my thoughts on green living, feel free to visit my post: A Greener View.

If you'd like, you can follow us on Twitter: @sistersncloth or on Facebook:  Sisters 'N Cloth

Jun 15, 2011

Project Love

I read Ann's post today, and the same feelings, the same compassion, overwhelms me. The same that started in September 2010, the same that has been haunting me ever since.

Every Compassion post on Twitter, every mention of writing letters, fuels this desire, this heartache for someone I've never met.

And since September, I've heard, "If you can find a way..." I have tried. But there are bills to pay, loans we can't pay, groceries, clothes, and list goes on. Still, my heart clenches and the tears well up because I know that we are so much better off than so many around this world. How can we make this work?

Right now, I'm working with my sister-in-law on a project that I hope will allow for this, for the love of Christ to be brought to others, for Christ in them to be their hope of glory, for God to be glorified and honored, and for us both to be brought lower.

Would you join me in prayers for this? That we may glorify God through this project, viewing it as much as ministry as anything? That we may be bold in our faith in the circles we will be in? And that, possibly, God would allow for one more child to be sponsored in our name? Thank you, friends.

Jun 10, 2011


It's that time of the week again: Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo! Five minutes to just write...to do the "write" thing! (Corny, yes, but please indulge me.) This week's topic is Backwards. And unlike previous weeks, I have no clue what I'm going to write about just yet. ;)


When I looked up the image for "backwards" (above), I couldn't help but notice the definition. Backwards has one meaning that I've never really considered, but there it was, in black and white. The third (maybe fourth) definition listed said that backwards is "Unwilling to act, reluctant, shy."

That is me in so many ways. I know that I should do something. But I'm unwilling to put myself out there, to risk being hurt. I am reluctant so very often to act on my own (needing, wanting someone to go with me).

It's not that I can't do it on my own. I just prefer some support. Because, well, I'm shy.

Perhaps, instead of this clock here, I should have put a picture of me. In so many ways, I am "backward." Even though you may not tell, even in person, it is my nature. Maybe it's time for me to stop relying on others? Maybe it's time for me to spring forward?

How are you acting backward? Are you reluctant to try something new today?


when you don't feel good enough

"Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end, I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily." Colossians 1:28-29 (emphasis mine)

I am pretty good at putting myself down. The condemning self-talk only gets worse when I'm feeling tired, worn out, or just blah. It may start out with you didn't wash dishes today...look at the mess piled up on the counter. And then usually there will be an and look at the mess in the living room! You know Drew hates that. Suffice it to say that it escalates from there, sometimes even listing the ways that I'm a terrible wife or mom. Or both.

Tonight was one of those nights. And I just felt...dissatisfied. Because I'm not clean or neat. Because I wish that we had just a little more money...maybe to pay off student loans or buy a few more diapers. Because I miss being pregnant and though my sweet girl is such a joy, she's also a handful. (And, no, I haven't gotten to the part where I would actually have two kids. I don't dream that far ahead...on purpose.) I want so badly to be the person (albeit idealized) that I want to be. The person that I'm sure would do a little better than all of the things I feel that I'm doing wrong.

Here's the rub: I can't. There is nothing in me that is good. Nothing in me that is righteous. Even this idealized form that I aspire to, I cannot get there on my own. There is only this: "Christ in me, the only hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). And there is this: "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved..." (Colossians 3:12).

Because Christ is my hope of glory, because I am holy and beloved, He works mightily in me. He works in me...mightily. So often, I want to be better. I want to do more. And I fail. Why? Because I am relying on my own strength. Because I am not trusting Him to lead me in love. Instead, I lead myself...in fear and distrust. After all, who could love me? Just the way I am?

When I trust God to work mightily in me, I give up my own dreams and wishes for myself. I rely on God to lead. I strive because He leads me to strive. I rest because He leads me to rest. He leads me according to what He knows I can handle. According to what He knows I need. According to His will.

Oh, this is hard. And I fight against it, bucking against the One giving me life. I would rather believe the lies I tell myself than to rest in the Father. I would rather strive, working myself into a fit, than to be at peace. After all, haven't we heard so often that if you just change your mindset, if you just work at it, you can accomplish anything? Do better, work harder, strive. Often, these cries drown out the quiet whisper: "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). Because He is working in us. He is leading us from glory to glory. In His time.

Where is He leading you? To rest? To strive? To do the thing you think you cannot do? Lean on Him. Trust Him. Yes, it isn't easy. Yes, it's so very hard. But, friend, practice anyway. Because eventually this giving of things to Him, this leaning on Him? It does get easier. Even when it doesn't feel like it.

Jun 3, 2011

Every Day

Another Five-Minute Friday, brought to you by Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama! This week's topic to write about for five glorious, stress-free minutes? Every day. And for this week, I know just the subject! :)


I wait up every night, whether my little one has gone to bed or not. Whether I'm exhausted by noon or not. I wait up until anywhere from 9 to 11, and just a little after.

Because at that magical hour, just before midnight, my husband comes home from work. Tired and worn out from dealing with the many interesting people at Wal-Mart, he slips in. And I can't help but grin, even when I've been dealing with a fussy baby. Even if he doesn't take her (like I always think he should...after all, I've dealt with her all day!) But I grin because my best friend is home.

The best days are when he opens up and talks about whatever is on his heart. Yes, those days are wonderful. And then sometimes, even if he's still wired and wide awake, he'll snuggle in bed with me until right before I doze off because he knows that I sleep better when he's in the bed too.

Yes, he'll be around for most of the morning. Yes, sometimes he doesn't go in until 4 PM. But his coming home is always the best part of my day. Every day. Every day for three years this Tuesday. And a wonderful three years it's been!


June 7, 2008

Thankfully, Little Bit was asleep so that I could take a few minutes and write. :) She has been an active little thing here lately. Just like her Daddy!

Jun 1, 2011


There is a picture of a little boy on my fridge. A newborn, just hours old, wrapped in the sweetest little outfit. He sleeps there, reminding me of a simple truth: he was stillborn. And his parents need prayer.

This side of the grief fence is difficult to walk.

So often, I want to whisper words, but they're just words. Not inspired words. So I stop. Because this I know: when the words I speak are inspired, it does not matter what I say because I can have confidence that God knows exactly what needs to be said. When He inspires my words, they are beautiful, even if they are simple.

So this is what I pray for: words that speak comfort, words I cannot find until they come to me, words that somehow heal the hurting heart and become a balm for the soul. Beautiful, uplifting words.

And this is my prayer for this blog, too. That even when I'm talking about something random that at least one thing will stick. One phrase will make you think. One word will change your heart. Not because I'm just that good. Not because I feel I need an audience. But because I know the One who spoke the world into existence can speak blessings beyond measure to your heart.

He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. His mercies and lovingkindness are new every morning. His grace is so great, so good, so undeserved! He loves us deeply and dearly. He never changes. Great is His faithfulness!!

Wherever you are today, whatever you need God to be, just wait. Be still. Know that He is God.

Because His words, His life-giving words, are coming your way. And His grace is sufficient for you, for His strength is made perfect in your weakness.