“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows– This is our God.”

I have been working toward a goal of mine for a little while and today I finally made it official. I registered for the Chicago Half Marathon and joined Team Truth.

That’s right, a half marathon.

Now I’m not an avid runner, and motivation is difficult at times, but this race is different, and worth it to me.

You see, I will be running for something that is very near and dear to my heart– ADOPTION.

I believe that we are all called to participate in the act of adoption somehow, whether as supporters, prayer warriors, or those who adopt, we are moved to realize that we have been adopted by God into a glorious kingdom of His family, and we need to in turn extend the grace we have been given.

So, while Dan and I are not yet adopting, we know there are things we can do now to live out our convictions.

This is why I am running. 

For this experience, I will be supporting adoption in two different avenues. First, I will be raising money for Project Hopeful, an organization whose “mission is to educate, encourage, and enable families and individuals to advocate for and adopt children with HIV/AIDS and other of the most overlooked children for adoption.”

Project Hopeful, which is led by Carolyn Twietmeyer, is an incredible organization that profoundly impacts the lives of thousands of children and families all over the world. There is so much I would love to say about this organization, but just go on their website and you will see the amazing things they are a part of.

Additionally, I will be raising money to help support my best friends in adopting their first child from Uganda. I am incredibly thrilled that they are choosing to walk the road of adoption and pray daily for their little one who will find a home here in Lancaster, PA. Adoption is  expensive and I want to watch God move in their story, where mountains will become miracles of provision. Please follow their story here at

The training is on and we are officially two months away from the September 8th race.

Please consider joining me in supporting adoption both at a broad and local level, by donating to my support page for Project Hopeful, or would pledge in the comment box to support Lea and Jeremy. Please email or Facebook message me with any questions. 

My Mama


I knew your heartbeat from the inside. You knew me as I formed inside you. From the second I was born you have seen me. You have nurtured, laughed, played, and taught. You have walked with me, showing me grace and sacrificial love. I have learned unconditional acceptance, to see beauty in the broken. 

I have learned how to arrange a room well and make a house feel like home. I have had so many adventures at your side. Your laugh is contagious, and your passion is lovely, and you taught me to dream big, wide-open dreams. 

You give grace and move mountains, you cry easily and live life alive. You hug long and smile wide, and there’s peace and joy just  from being in your presence. 

But most importantly, you love deeply. Just like that beautiful mother before you, I long to learn that to. You are a mother to many, and I don’t mind sharing, because of how much love you have to give. 

Thank you for emulating beauty, and joy, and graciousness, and peace, and refuge, and love. You will never know how much you are valued and adored. I love you, Mama. 

A Day of Passage

Today marks a day of passage. A day of newness kissing the breath of what has been. Today brings a culmination of the traverse of experiences that have made my life what I have known.

Today marks a time where pushing past is no longer, and the time to breathe is my option.

Today becomes the here and now, a wall of crumbled stone that I climb over to seek the new sun, the fresh air, the world in all its fullness—where colour and life and vitality are mine.

All that I have learned has led me to this— where the new one whom I am yearning and becoming and the One whom I love converge and I see it all fresh again.

I will grasp to not leave behind the value, the lessons, the processings, the gaping open, but will open my hands to let go of the one who was here before.

I will live in the ocean of grace waves before me.

Please forgive the audacious idea that life is renewed, but my eyes are wide open and I believe that its true.

So now, out of the white comes creative and life, like a re-creation that stems from a re-membering.

And the beauty goes round and round, and I’m all in again.


*This day marks an end of an intense journey. In the past three months, I have seen a beautiful new land with new people I love, we have gotten a new place, we have traveled different cities, I have started a new and wonderful job, God has grown and stretched me more than ever, and I am graduating after an eighteen credit semester, amidst work and all of the other craziness of life. So I want to say a sincere thank you to my professors, and my beloved family and friends. Thank you for taking this wayward soul and building her up, for moving with me, and for the countless lessons you have taught me.*



This is Five Minute Friday, about all the time I have to write these days… But I join up with many beautiful people writing their hearts for five minutes too…



There are weeks that overtake and I drown in the saturation of overwhelming. where my emotions are high and my strength is not and he is there beside me. These are the weeks where I normally rage and rant and lose whatever grace I had left, managing to leave him where he stands. But this time was different. This time, the time was enough, the grace was soaked up. The moments that are few and fleeting were savored to the fullest and I saw him. I saw who he his and how he is trying and the hand that holds mine even when I am falling. He brought me key lime soda and Chinese food and spent ten minutes in the park and he held my heart softly just like I needed him too.

And this is the growth. Where I’m learning and he is too. These are the places where the world hits hard we only have these craters of moments, so worn down deep that all we can do is breathe. And we find each other in the midst of the stuff and we learn a little more of Him from the heart of another.

We aren’t meant to repair these cavernous souls, but to fill them with the soft dirt of grace and beauty and love, because the scars are there and make up a part of us, but they don’t define what we have to choose now. Our job is to find new, to cultivate and make fresh and teach each other who we are and who they are too. We mold and we sharpen and soften and grow. And the dust on our hands blows away and the refuge of the garden we’ve made grows surrounding and enough.


Took a bit of a blogging hiatus, but now I feel like a 5 minute writing jaunt is what this heart needs to get back to the words. So, Five Minute Friday with the Gypsy Mama is where I find my reentry. Five minutes of freely, unedited thoughts.




There is a world that I’m ready to tackle, and it doesn’t scare me, at least not very much. The lights, the color, the veracity of movement intrigues me into loving and doing what this grace gift has done for me.

But I stop.

And that’s what scares me the most. The risk lies in the stillness, little fetters of what could be hanging in the air. Moments of desire and passion suspended to the here and now of the moment, of the quiet.

The surrender. The freedom. The quiet.

That’s the hardest.

Sitting and listening til my breath becomes silent and nothing is all I hear. I’m scared of that moment. Because there is conviction and there is a mirror, and nothing is left but my raw brandished self before Him. Right where I need to be, is the place I run from the most. And am I really running toward what He desires, or have I just forgotten who I am.



It’s the sacred amidst the ordinary, the space amidst the clutter, the silence amidst the clamor that gives me sight and gives me breath.

And sometimes I’m scared to breathe, but I guess that’s what I’m here for.


It was just last year when I read the book that changed my heart and mind toward noticing the beauty of the wonder in the mundane.

Oh how it has changed me.

One by one they come alive. Lovely , remarkable joy through the lens  of a new prescription.

Gifts, that’s what they are called. When Jesus took the bread and gave thanks for something as hard as death, murdered for doing nothing, these are the things I’ve learned.

So how do I miss it so often. How do my little vices, the problems which cause me to be anxiety prone or to lose my temper, how do they happen so fast? When none are my death. When none are my cross.

I lose sight of the precious and I bask in the misunderstandings and I forget what it means to be grateful.

And then the husband of mine holds me, and he sets my mind and my perceptions straight from the knots they were entangled. And so grace becomes real again and I remember what it all means and I pray that I don’t forget so quickly the next time. Because gratefulness gives Him glory and that’s what my life is meant to do. To see the gifts is to recognize that He is sovereign even when I don’t understand. And there is so much joy from a life lived this way. And oh what a beautiful dance that turns out to be.


The book I am referring to is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp…

Today is Five Minute Friday, where I love to stop, drop and write for 5 minutes with The Gypsy Mama



Loving more…

Some days bring peace and some days bring crazy, and what can you do but just live? And the days that are free, that burn with a passion, of a new experience, of a light lit up, they are the days that fall hard. When hopes and expectations collide and run into the ground of what could’ve been. When I know I’ve started something I don’t want to finish and we both say things we don’t mean. When frustration pounds the earth and hurts are exposed and the heaviness of this marriage thing feels like more than I wanted to carry. Because I don’t like having to care all of the time and I wish that it didn’t take all this work to feel understood.

But, you see, after the loud crashes of the day seemed overwhelming and words have calmed, I have found that the redemption of all of it is beautiful. The walking and holding hands and talking again. And remembering why I love him. All can seem fleeting and lost in the moments of chaos, but grace finds us right where we are. And that grace hit me hard yesterday, and I looked at him. My love has grown. I know this is true. The heart wrenching parts of me that didn’t know how, or hadn’t gotten it yet, or those walls that hadn’t come down, they are falling and I am rubble. And for the first time I want to be this way so that my heart is exposed to what I truly feel, so that I can show him the depth of my being, where I hold his.

This is the truth of it. That marriage gives you a mirror and a shovel and you have to dig down deep to see who you really are. It’s not for the faint of heart and no wonder its easier to choose a different way. But he knows, and I know, that we’d rather do hard and have each other, then live a life of not knowing how to love. Because hard isn’t always and there are joys that fill the days, and we teach each other of a redemption story each time we choose to forgive. And in the moments when we lose ourselves to the enemy of lies and we tell each other them as truths, we will learn to hold our tongue, to find our Maker first, and learn to say the real words that matter. Isn’t this the beauty of a refining marriage? It teaches us that this thing that we are living is not for us, ourselves, but for a God who desires glory and there are many days when we miss the point. But grace is sufficient, so we can give it to each other, and what a beautiful dance that brings. Because I’m learning to know Him now, by learning to love better the man I was created for. And it’s true what they say: Compared to yesterday or last year, I do love him more.


It’s Friday again, the day I like to stop drop and write with The Gypsy Mama. No editing, over thinking, or back tracking.



Sometimes I feel like a glass all shattered. One that broke open unexpectedly. Spill the contents of the expected and let it fall to the floor. Sometimes I feel like that glass held an ocean, and now I’m swimming in the reality of who I thought I was compared to who I am deep in the tide pools of myself. Sometimes  I feel like that ocean that has spilled out, has waves and current that come as unexpected as tsunami and, you know, sometimes, I just can’t contain it all.

Because sometimes the shattered comes out beautiful, a mosaic of pieces strewn together as art. That tie in the beauty and call it something new all-together. And what else do I have to count on, but the brave redemption that makes this human holy? You see, that’s the gift of the broken pieces. He doesn’t want our perfect pretending, He just wants us, rough edges and all. And sometimes those edges are sharp and they make this hard life harder and people will think that the talk doesn’t match. But I believe in the sincerity that comes with rebel hearts on sleeves that have learned the God-love that changes lives, and that makes these sinners holy. So I will live with my broken glass heart, aching to become a whole of new types of pieces.



So today is Friday, when I choose to stop, drop and write with other beautiful people at The Gypsy Mama, without over editing or over thinking.

photo credit:


I am learning to find fulfillment in the empty: to breach the chasms of my soul and find the grace contentment of less of me,  to rid myself of the barren places that I name Discontentment and find solace in the beauty of my small self in the light of Him. Because many days I feel the broken kind of empty that the deceiver brings that labels itself worthless and unimportant, and I forget the worth of the empty in the hands of my Maker.

So I continue to tear the walls down, the dams that stop the river from flowing, and I let the waterfalls come. They pour into the places of who I want to be, until nothing is left but who He is. And I’m trying to fill the caverns of brokenness with the space and glory of Him, and redefine the emptiness into peace and grace and not needing to understand. Because empty is good when its filled with His fullness, the same way the black of the night feels so empty until the beauty of the stars and the moon awaken themselves to our eyes.

And that’s the hope of it all. Because in Him deserts become an oasis, and dry souls become overflowing graces, and to see ourselves in the light of emptiness is not something we like to do. But more of Him and less of me is the soul cry that we show when our emptiness becomes profound and we awaken to the need of glorious galaxies in our life. I want to look up and see the light, when my heart beats in the dark.

Discovering Simplicity: Sustainable Living

So, after the month of February, Dan and I tried to decide what the month of March was going to look like for us. We were wary of another challenge, simply because one couple can only handle so many self-control-habit-changes for so long.

Enter 7. Again.

Jen Hatmaker is giving us lots to think about and talk about and pray about, and everything she says is not only logical, but biblical, and it just drives me crazy that we haven’t spent a lot of time processing this stuff before. Really, not many people have, which is why Jen’s book is so necessary. So please, pick up a copy, and try to take at least one challenge. You won’t be sorry.

Anyway, so this month we decided that we wanted to jump into a different realm. A world that we haven’t done much research on, and honestly we have kind’ve written off as hippie, or tree-hugger-ish (yes this is a word.).

So before you go jumping to conclusions, I want you to know that I’ve already been there. I have the stereotypes myself. And I am coming to realize how very wrong I was because of it. I wrote off people’s efforts because I disagreed with their motives and didn’t understand that what they are doing is good.

You might ask, “Why even try?” I think a quote from Jen Hatmaker’s book does it far more justice than I ever could.

If God is really at the center of things and God’s good future is the most certain reality, then the truly realistic course of action is to buck the dominant consequentialist ethic of our age– which says that we should act only if our action will most likely bring about good consequences– and simply, because we are people who embody the virtue of hope, do the right thing. If we believe it is part of our task as earthkeepers to recycle, then we ought to recycle, whether or not it will change the world. Do the right thing. If we think it part and parcel of our ecological obedience to drive less and walk more, then that is what we ought to do. Do the right thing. We should fulfill our calling to be caretakers of the earth regardless of whether global warming is real or there are holes in the ozone layer or three nonhuman species become extinct each day. Our vocation is not contingent on results or the state of the planet. Our calling simply depends on our identity as God’s response-able human image-bearers.

So with that caveat, I will begin to tell what Dan and I have been learning…

We are learning that God loves His earth. He made it. He wants it to be fruitful for us and beautiful to our eyes and He wants it to be kept beautiful for years to come.

God desires us to be intentional people. I always thought I was intentional, but really I am very careless with much that I have been given.

We are called to be stewards. Almost every Christian I know believes this to be true, mainly in the area of finances. This is absolutely true in that area, but it also relates to everything we have been given, including this earth, and including our bodies. We spend so much of our day carelessly filling our bodies with food that hurts more than it helps and damaging the earth without even being aware of it.

Every purchase we make effects something. We tell the sellers what we want by buying it, not the other way around. If we make more informed, controlled purchasing decisions, the sellers would start listening and those other products would not find success anymore (i.e. happy meals, clothing made by slaves, food with harmful ingredients, etc). This also relates to the idea that there is enough to go around, in terms of food and water, and if we consciously made an effort to reduce the waste and share that tangible wealth for all of God’s creation, we could begin to see starvation and water-borne illnesses go away.

We make a ton of waste, even just for 2 people. Especially with the advent of prepackaged items and most people not knowing what can be recycling or just not taking the time, there has been a huge proportional increase in general waste. This stuff doesn’t go anywhere and just sits around, harming our air, and our earth in many, many ways.


Now I know this stuff isn’t new to anyone, but when Dan and I started analyzing it all, we realized this is a big spiritual problem. We as humans desire to be consumers and we as Christians are called to be generous servers. Somewhere along the way, we’ve allowed ourselves to believe that those people should be left to making the earth better and we will just love people. We miss huge parts of what intentional, generous, believers are called to.

So Dan and I are spending this month becoming more educated. We are implementing simple ways we can be more intentional and conscientious ways we can live more sustainably and responsibly. Some of this is really fun and some of it takes some serious mindset changing. We are a work in progress and we are enjoying where this is leading us. At the end of the month I will let you know what resources I find, but for now I will go make some homemade laundry detergent, take out the recycling, and walk to the market.