grace

Hope in the Middle releases tomorrow!

We’re less than 24 hours from release day!

So I thought I’d give you a little peak into how this writing process has gone.

1-I’m on my fourth order of books. Set 1 was sad and worthy of lots of corrections. Set 2 was much better. Set 3 arrived with about 6 errors. And set 4 will be the one you receive.

Am I confident it’s without error this time? No. But I believe you are people of grace.=)

2-My computer died about 5 weeks ago. After a slight panic, I remembered that I had emailed the document to myself a few days before. Thank goodness!

Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s not been easy. And it reminds me that God is gracious. And here we are…a day away…and it’s done. Grace.

And just maybe God, in His grace, will somehow use these words. To pour hope into all of us…tired Moms, discouraged spouses, lonely friends.

 “So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 2:7)

Trusting cross grace never ends. Thanks for your love and support!

“Hope was wrapped in rags for me. Hope was laid in a feeding trough for me. Pain came before birth. Before Jesus uttered his first cry, Mary hurt. She labored to bring the Son of God into this dying world. There was pain before hope. There was darkness before light. There was a manger before the miracle. There was a cross before Easter Sunday. No matter how twisted or pointless life may seem, God is fulfilling His mission–for us and in us.”

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The “why” behind Hope in the Middle

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That’s me and Esther the night she was born. What smiles!

But it wasn’t like that on the journey.  It wasn’t like that as we waited for nearly two years. It wasn’t like that as we wondered if “M” would change her mind. It wasn’t like that as I swam from hope to hopelessness day after day after day.

No. It was hard. Waiting is hard. Uncertainty can choke. And when we’re doing something we feel like God has called us to, the lack of answers can paralyze.

That’s where I was when most of Hope in the Middle was written. Not smiling holding our sweet baby girl. But fighting in the trenches. Asking myself if God was worthy of my trust.

And I fought and fought hopelessness. And He kept loving me and loving me and loving me.

Because the cross promises we’re never alone. It promises we are always loved. And it reminds us that hope is only found in Him…no matter what uncertainty we find ourselves in the middle of.

“Maybe hope is more than something we do. Maybe it’s primarily about a gift–a promise. Hope is the guarantee I cling to when I lack the faith to act or even believe. It’s a good gift from a good God.”

(PS-I’ve ordered about 15 extra books. If you still want to pre-order, let me know. 8 days till release day!!)

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.” (Psalm 62:5-7)

 

 

Just “Be” This Summer…

The emotions welled up like a dam that had been waiting to explode.

We’d spent the morning with some friends at the park. Our kids had chased a frog, sat by the creek, and had lunch.

And for some reason as I was reading Esther her naptime book, the thought came quickly.

“You will never have that moment again.”

I blinked hard against the tears.

I know my kids are growing. (We’re the ones dishing out money for new clothes and shoes.) But sometimes I forget.

What if they never catch frogs again? What if fighting with bamboo sticks feels immature?

Raudel said it at church this weekend-“We’re human beings not human doers.

I’ve forgotten how to be, because I keep on doing.

Ann Voskamp wrote, “The way to experience unlimited elation may be to imagine unexpected limitation.”

Y’all…I need to just be for awhile. To slow. To see them as kids. To play. And laugh.

He needs to be enough, so I can say no more quickly.

Because of the grace of the cross, I have nothing left to earn. His love frees me to be.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

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3 Years Ago Today…

These are the words from my journal 3 years ago today…

In the waiting room. A hospital we’ve never been before. Me not in pain. Not pushing through contractions.

But facing fear that’s fighting faith. And battling something like labor but different enough to deserve another name.

Thankful. Excited. Humbled. The right word won’t come to mind.

Like the ignorant way I feel when thinking about Christ’s love. There will never be words.

Never.

This is all unexplainable. All grace. He is so faithful.

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“In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4b-6)

And now…on her 3rd birthday…it all still seems like grace.

Thanks M…You are still the bravest person I know. We love you!

Happy birthday Esther Grace!

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 “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

 

 

 

 

Completely Not Perfect But Perfectly Loved

I scrolled through Facebook the other night before bed. Jeremy was gone. The house was quiet. And I literally found myself saying out loud, “So and so is so perfect. And so is she. And she. Why am I so not perfect?”

Y’all, I named names. Outloud. In our house. The jealousy and frustration were literally boiling over.

I’ve spent the last couple days cleaning vomit and giving medicine and wiping noses. All while feeling like death myself.

And far, far from those “perfect” pictures I let seep into my mind and harden my heart.

The root…I haven’t spent much time with Him lately. I haven’t heard Him remind me of His love. I haven’t cried out to Him and let Him comfort me.

Lately Jesus’ perfect life hasn’t seemed like enough for my imperfect one.

“When Jesus is gracious to us, why would we be cruel to ourselves.” (Ann Voskamp)

Admitting I’m not perfect is one thing. But condemning myself when I’ve been justified is another.

He was perfect so I don’t have to be. He sees me and loves me…grace upon grace.

“He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.” (Psalm 78:39)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

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