Tag Archives: hope

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, Psalm 103:2-4

I've written the first paragraphs of about ten posts over the past few days. Each of them I quickly deleted. None were pretty. I sounded too anxious, too cranky, too attention-seeking even though I sought to come up with an ending dripping with satisfaction. I attempted to write a fairytale post about a bad situation with a happy ending where God comes in and swoops up the girl in the dungeon and she rides away happily with him on his white horse. 

But I have a hard time lying. There was God this weekend and there was swooping in, but there remained a girl who chose to refuse the white horse but instead chose a hard plastic chair in a freezing cold hospital. I've been irrational for three days (well really it's a chronic problem, but let's just say I've suffered an irrational flare). And even though typing hopeful words, my underlying disposition has been nothing worth boasting about. 

I don't want to spend too many words explaining the reason for my fickle feelings (because I'll reveal how irrational I am again), so I'll try to explain briefly. 

Our daughter Rylie was in the hospital for three days. She just got home yesterday. After years of chronic stomach troubles I was ready to get some answers. I had taken her to the doctor's office thinking they were going to say she had the flu or a bladder infection due to her stomach pain, high fever and lethargy, but they sent us straight to the ER saying she was really sick. They did tests (which all came back negative) and gave her fluids, but as Friday came and then Saturday, I wasn't feeling any better even though the color returned to her cheeks. 

She felt good enough to create fun with her remote control bed by Saturday, while I was still anxious quite like I was downstairs in the dark ER room. In spite of good news, I was moping. I didn't like the fact that we weren't getting answers. Or maybe, it was that I didn't like that the answer was, that some things are yet to be seen. 

I'm guilty of writing each of my life chapters as if I'm the author, controlling not only my life, but the characters around me. This chapter, in my mind, was one where the doctor said,

 "Oh, I see now, there's an obstruction in her stomach that's been there for years.  If we do this "laser thing", it will zap it out and this severe diarrhea will stop.  Not only that, but she won't ask to go to the nurses office every other day at school. Those gray circles that pop up under her eyes will be gone for good. She won't need that medicine she's been taking. You can quit that killjoy diet that the other doctor has her on that makes grocery shopping a living nightmare. And you can stop grilling her about whether or not she's faking it when she tells you her stomach hurts, because I'm telling you, it's not going to hurt anymore."

In my life chapters (not just this weekend's chapter) I'm also the princess in peril with a lovely disposition like Snow White or like our faithful biblical sweethearts Ruth and Esther. 

They're beautiful in bad times. Hopeful. Warlike, but in the most gracious manner. 

I, however, many times am not. 

To add to my previously mentioned qualities, I get cross, and hopeless, blocking out the Sun's rays with my dark superpowers of worry and discontentment. I know how to meditate on scripture and how to smile, while my insides are quivering in rebellion to not having my way. 

These feelings are followed by a strong disappointment in myself from being so far removed from the person I want to be. 

I seldom share my bad side with you without the turn around. The side of me I share is one who has come to my senses after a bad moment or a rough day...when I've fixed myself. But even then, my sinfulness lies dormant within my fickle heart, ready to rear its ugly head at any given moment. 

Truth is, I'm only comfortable with sharing the edited version of ugly me; like those Instagram photos that start out blemished and then I add filter and significant brightness. 

This version of myself makes me seem righteous or like I'm the victor; like ugly creeps in and I dispel it. 

I'm a work in progress, I share, but I forget to be honest at how much help I need with the work. I need to hear the words spoken to Jeremiah. 

I need to share them with you too. Because maybe you find yourself feeling not beautiful because of your emotions that often overwhelm the truth. 

“Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do." ...Jeremiah 18:2-4

I'm without my Sunday shoes and makeup today. My feet are bare and so is my heart. I'm a mess. I'm avoiding the mirror today. 

The eyes of this beholder are often blind to beauty. 

The beauty, I'm learning, is in what God is making each of us to be. 

Beauty is in the eye of the molder. 

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I've always suggested that the setting up of my blog was a conspiracy. I entered the kitchen one day and Jason was on my lap top secretively typing away. Let me even go back and say that it was his idea to get me a laptop. (Is lap top one word or two? See, I have no business owning one.) I sin more while using technology (well, that and driving my car and shopping cart in busy lanes ) than any other time.  Anyway. Jason set up my blog/website, whatever you want to call it. I hadn't asked for it. I made C's on most every college English paper. Still, Jason not only set up my blog, he encouraged me to write. You want to know why I think he did this? Don't get me wrong, he's really sweet and he believes in me and all that jazz....

but the truth is, his man ears can't take all that I have to say.

I have a lot to say; both when things are fine and dandy and when a dark cloud has perched itself right overhead. My therapy, when I'm weary, confused,  angry, when I'm feeling hopeless and even when my heart could burst from excitement, is to talk about it. I will say that I'm an excellent secret keeper, but when it comes to my thoughts and my FEELINGS, I want to share, share share.

Much like outside my window today, my mood is cloudy. Today is Jason's day off. So as he sat beside me in our oversized brown chair earlier, I had the ear I've been waiting for all (busy, long, long) week. I hadn't gotten very far when he said, "You know, it's been a while since you've written anything. You should write." So here I am, obedient wife that I am.

Jason's not the only one whose ear I've near talked off lately. I have good friends, females no doubt, who God shared with me to endure all the words.

Still, there are things, deep things that are better poured out somewhere rather than on human ears. I've been doing a lot of praying. Much of my praying must seem like Hannah in 1 Samuel who prayed so embittered and broken that she was mistaken to be drunk. Some of my prayers are desperate, and they're never thought out. I'm so glad it can be that way with God, unlike texts that I send where I find myself typing....deleting…..typing…..finger-tapping on my forehead, thinking, deleting……....typing......sending……then wish I could go back and delete.

With God, my words and murmurs-good, bad, unintelligible, and even my rare silence is heard and understood.

….the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8:26

There are, according to several different sources, 783,137 words in the Bible. Every one of them are spoken to me and to you. They're spoken personally. The words are a beautiful story, they're mystery, and a carefully crafted love letter to each of us. But in addition to all of those words, sometimes God whispers just a word or two, stilling our soul.

This morning those words were "Better things".

As I was getting ready I did what I do every day. I was drying my hair with my right hand, clicking on a news article with my left finger, ready to read another piece that would add to the brokenness I have felt in my heart as of late. I heard, what was like one of those Spirit sighs, say softly "Better things". Set your mind on better things. A verse came to me.  It's a verse I've used in a dozen posts making you think it might be one of the only ones I know, a verse I've read over and over; a verse that is working in me so diligently to guide my life.

…..whatever is true

….…whatever is noble

………whatever is right

…………whatever is pure

…………….whatever is lovely

………………..whatever is admirable

If anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Think about "Better Things"

I know that while we think about better things, we are merely distracting ourselves from pain and sorrow and the things we just don't understand, but this brokenness and feeling of incompleteness won't always be.

Better things are to come.

There will come a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears

There will be a day when the burdens of this place

Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face (Jeremy Camp-There Will be a Day)

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4

For the record, my man who conspired against me, is good.  He's very, very good.

And my friends who get phone neck cricks and answer my epically long texts?  Well, they're good too.




For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.

-Psalm 139:13-15a

Most everybody knows and LOVES this verse.  I know it has been used to advocate for the unborn; I’ve used it that way myself.  While it speaks to the life that begins in the womb, it speaks beyond.  I remember thinking initially when Hayden was born, that he was perfect.  Ten perfect toes.  Perfect fingers that immediately grasped mine. That misconception was quickly killed.  I’ll never forget our shock when Hayden had that first “welcome to parenting” tarry black diaper that spilled over the sides as Jason and I (yes both of us) attempted to change him.  Jason went immediately to get the nurse; he jokes now that he thought Hayden was broken.  With each of our much adored children, we have had constant reminders that they’re not perfect, but they’re straight from God who has created them uniquely and according to his plan.  And that we can’t forget.


Diagnoses increase every year; new disorders are identified all the time. One disorder, dyslexia, has gained recognition over the last fifteen years. I have had the privilege of identifying and teaching intervention to students with dyslexia.  I never had the dream of teaching dyslexia, but twelve years ago I had a precious student who struggled learning to read and write.  He had a persistent and heart-broken mother who would stop at nothing to help him.  In my inadequacy and in fear of this mama bear who was confronting the problem, I found myself searching for the cause of his struggle and for ways to help him.  I won’t lie.  That was a rough year.  I will say though, that working with students with dyslexia, and their parents, has become a true passion of mine.  I hope to always convey some reality to those struggling with dyslexia:

  It doesn’t identify who you are.

  Though there is difficulty involved, don’t ignore the beauty that comes along with a brain that is wired differently. 

People with dyslexia are usually extraordinarily creative.  Their giftedness is many times overlooked. These children are often persistent, ambitious, curious, imaginative, with excellent reasoning; the list goes on.  The same is so with other disorders.

Going even further, whether it's dylexia ,or another disorder, a noticeable birthmark or being extraordinarily tall- those who are viewed as dissimilar are at times rejected or even pitied.    They are viewed as a spectacle; or sometimes face feeling isolated and ignored.   The way people stare and what we imagine people are thinking can get the best of us.  Whether we are discreet and secretive of our child’s difference, or we are angry at the world demanding everyone accept our child for the way she is, or both- the simple but vital question remains.

Is the way we view our child’s difference, in light of God’s good and perfect word? 

I’ve come to dislike the word disorder. One of my children has been diagnosed twice with a disorder.  I want to be familiar with the struggles that may come along with that diagnosis, and with ways to help my child, but it will not overwhelm who my child is.  She has ADHD.  He has Aspergers.  He has Bipolar Disorder.   To say that a child has a disorder can insinuate there was a malfunction in his ordering or in his formation; like something went wrong.

When we say along with the Psalm, I am wonderfully made; does that just refer to our parts which seem normal or like everybody else?

When God says he “knit us together” and that our frame “was not hidden from {him}” do we believe that; do we know it “full well”?

We may wonder what we did wrong or didn’t do right.  Or we blame God.

 Could it possibly be, that we what we see as different or label a disorder, God sees as having beautiful purpose?

My children are so diverse.  Hallie has a large space bubble; only few are welcomed inside.  I think the first sentence we taught her was "I need my space".  Hayden, on the other hand, wants to touch EVERYTHING. I have his permission in telling you all of this. When he was younger, I had to watch to make sure he didn’t touch the cake at a wedding.  He wanted to touch other people’s food.  One time at HEB he ran his hand along a shelf of small potted plants sending them to the floor, spilling everywhere.  I’ve been embarrassed at times, and other times angry, like the time someone criticized his touching all the cookies saying he put his germs on them.

I remember a specific moment when we were checking out at Wal-Mart, not that many years ago.  As my purchases were being sacked, I noticed Hayden lifting up the conveyor belt and looking under it touching what was underneath.  The lady behind us stared.  But at that moment, I felt God whisper that it was ok.  I began to think that maybe God created him to touch.  I can’t recall how many times his hug or an awkward arm around my shoulder has reminded me that I am loved as his mother.   He’s crafted some meaningful, beautiful gift with those hands. I’ve come to a thankful place where I believe God uses that gift of touch. It was in his plan all along.  God will use those hands to touch lives.  Though those hands will not always find themselves in God’s will, I will commit them to God’s use-he's the one who designed them.

If you’re still reading, you are maybe thinking of someone you know who has faced rejection because they didn't look, act or perform similar to those around them. You probably love someone who has been diagnosed with a disorder. Along with disorders and distinct differences comes struggle, I understand this.  But diversity is divine.

The child with Cerebral palsy is not like the other children.  He is not even like the other children with Cerebral Palsy.

  He is the perfectly- woven- together creation of God; knitted in unique fashion.

If those around us are to see that all children are marvelously made, we need to believe it ourselves.  You have been called to be that parent.  You have been called to pray for that parent.

Let’s ask God to help us in our struggle, be thankful for our difference, and to truly see the beauty that was made in the secret place


Pictured above:  This is a picture I got to snap playing with some girls in an orphanage in Kenya-one of the BEST times of my life.