“To anyone who knew me in my prolonged grief…”

friends hugging

My mom passed away from a stage IV brain tumor on January 17th, 2021. It feels really strange tosee those  words so starkly on a page. But, since beginning graduate school in DC and moving 1,200 miles away from home, I have had to try and learn how to non-awkwardly and concisely communicate about this tragedy in a way that is (somewhat) socially acceptable. While the past year has been marked by the Lord’s kindness and abundance, it has also been disorienting to go from everyone knowing every little detail and milestone about my life and family condition to suddenly having to explain everything anew to each person I meet. Until recently, I don’t think I actually understood how deeply Mom’s illness impacted me – particularly my energy levels and desire to communicate. It’s not unusual for me to process something months after the fact – my friends will tell […]

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Defense (doesn’t) win championships

black and white football game

The static from the AM radio station comes through the speakers of the Chevy truck. The bumpy dirt road feels even rougher than normal with the cattle trailer pulling behind us. I am sitting in the front seat with my dad on a Saturday morning, eating breakfast tacos and listening to the football game on our way home from hauling some cattle to a sale.  I feel as if I have discovered a secret time warp where I am back as a small girl, or even a teenager, driving these familiar backroads, surrounded by familiar smells, views, movements, and sounds. It feels deeply nostalgic. It feels secure. It feels really safe. When I am in the front seat of the truck with Kevo (my dad) on a Saturday morning, I don’t have to be “on” in any definition of the word. I wear crusty old boots, denim shorts, and a […]

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“I’m not depressed, but…”

woman on bed

In the beginning, when the world grinded to a halt and everyone stayed home, I received a huge dose of validation as a stay-at-home mom.  Suddenly people were realizing exactly what I do every day, and how demanding it is.  After several weeks, we all settled into a new routine and got used to the new norm.  The good feelings of validation wore off, and I started to feel the struggle. But I’m a stay-at-home mom.  It’s literally in the name.  I’m supposed to have the stay-at-home thing down.   DOWNWARD SPIRAL Initially, it wasn’t too different from our day-to-day.  The biggest change was we were no longer going out.  We were no longer having play-dates.  We were no longer doing our activities.  You see, “stay-at-home” is a misnomer.  We actually go out a lot.  So we, like everyone else, were stuck at home and feeling the struggle.  However, now I […]

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We cannot hate those He loves

cut out hatred scissors on paper

All mine are yours and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.  And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.  Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.          John 17:10-11 Many years ago, a friend of mine (father of 3 and long-time friend who I’d worked and done life within many different capacities) told me it meant a lot to him that I loved his children so well.  He is not an incredibly emotional man so the strong feeling behind his statement struck me, and I never forgot the importance of the moment.  I don’t have children, but I think I’m beginning to see the depth of what he felt. In recent years, I’ve seen a lot of […]

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Feeling Overwhelmed Leads to Reliance

Overwhelmed. We’ve all felt it. Whether it be with school, work, kids, chores, or feelings! I know I use overwhelmed to describe how I feel quite often, especially being quarantined with a two-year-old and ten-month-old while trying to support my husband with a new church plant and find any time to.. paint my nails? I wouldn’t know what to do with time by myself! Although “I feel overwhelmed” can be a common phrase, what does it really mean?  One definition is “to overcome completely in mind or feeling.” Overwhelm can also be interchangeable with anxiety or worry. Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or worried is not a sin, but our reactions to our feelings can be sinful.  I know when I feel overwhelmed, I just want to sit down, shut everything off, and cry. Anyone else? Or maybe you’re more prone to anger. When too much is going on, you feel the […]

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Safety: An Unexpected Idol


Safety has been on my mind lately – perhaps yours as well. At every turn, safety becomes one of the first criteria I use to make a decision. Should I go into this store? Should I spend time with this person? Should I go home and visit my family? Should I stop to get gas here or wait until I am closer to home? Should I lick this envelope to close it or use water? Should I shake hands with this person I am meeting the first time? Ridiculous as it sounds, these are real dialogues taking place in my brain lately. Decisions that were once completely subconscious in nature have become loaded ethical choices.  It is exhausting to have to look at everything, and most everyone, as a threat to my safety. But, as my brain shrewdly counters, it is prudent. It is wise to be careful. I need […]

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Let’s Make Space for Lament During Coronavirus, Too

In many ways, I’m wildly encouraged by the global Church’s response to this Coronavirus pandemic. I’m seeing innovative acts of love being given to neighbors. I’m watching buckets of grace be poured out as we all wade through these uncharted waters. I’m hearing about the selfless, consistent attempts to reach the most vulnerable and likely to become isolated. Praise God! Also: since COVID-19 began to spread, I have been surprised by how few Christians I have observed grieving right now. This unprecedented time has created life-altering shifts for everyone in the world – big and small. Whether it be the loss of a loved one, loss of employment, loss of safety at school for kids, or just an everyday loss of freedom, there is something for us all to grieve right now.  What’s Lament? This pandemic is bringing me back to my knees in prayer through the ancient spiritual discipline […]

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Why God Requires Our Vulnerability

Anyone who knows me knows that I am always armed with a Brene Brown quote. While she is accepted by a wider secular audience, in many ways her research on shame and vulnerability has many inextricable links to how God created us. Our brains are wired by emotion and the capacity to make connections with others. He asks us to see every person with compassion because He sees us this way (Exodus 34:6). In high school, I went to this megachurch in Fort Worth. One day the pastor was preaching on Matthew 9:36-37: When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” He tied these verses to this main message: “Lord, help me to see what You see and feel what You feel […]

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