If I Hear Momma One More Time…

January 14, 2013
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I remember the first time I heard Isaac say, “Momma.” I was changing his diaper and he looked at me, smiled his big, sweet, goofy smile and whispered it. I was certain I had turned into a puddle of mush right then and there.

I will carry that moment with me, God willing, for the rest of my life.

So, why is it that now, when he tugs on pants, crying, saying, “Up, Momma! Up, Momma! Momma! Momma! Momma!” that I feel like I’m going to scream. That if I hear “Momma” one more time, I’m going to lose my mind.

Obviously, it’s because I’m a broken sinner who forgets to have compassion on “the least of these” every day.

And I was just thinking, while I sat here a bit ago and listened to him fuss in his crib, calling out for me (which I can’t let go on for more that 5 minutes-call me a sucker-I don’t care-he’s MY baby)- isn’t that the EXACT same thing I do to YHWH, the Father? When I hurt, I cry, “Papa!” When I’m lost and lonely, I cry, “Papa!” When I want someone to share in my joy, I cry, “Papa!”

Papa! Papa! Papa!

And yet, the LORD never tires of me.

He never tires of my cries because He knows that they are evidence of my love and my trust and that they bring us closer together. He knows I don’t cry for or long for the presence of someone who I don’t care about but that I cry for and long for the Person I love more than anything else.

So, I have to remind myself of that truth.

When I’m at my wits end with needy little human, clawing at me, calling me a name I had never gone by until he came along. A name I’m still wearing like it’s a woolen sweater: sometimes warm and snuggly, sometimes itchy. Sometimes annoying, sometimes the absolute best thing in the world. I’m still getting used to that name, “Momma.”

But Papa. He’s used to it. He posts it as His banner of love. He rejoices every time I call it out.

May God grant the courage to wear the title of “Momma” as He wears His name: with patience, love, and humility every time it’s heard.


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I Suck At Being A Mom

December 5, 2012
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My husband tells me all the time what a good mother I am.

And I have a litany of reasons, on why I am a sub-par mother, prepared to dispel this notion from his head.

“I’m on my phone too much.”  “I don’t make my own baby food.”   “Isaac doesn’t get enough vegetables.”  “Sometimes, all I want is for this baby to shut up.”  “Sometimes, I don’t want to be around him.”   “Sometimes, he gets on my nerves.”  “I don’t pay enough attention to him.”  “I’m not crafty and we don’t have cute little rabbits made from 3D copies of his feet that I dipped in plaster, then hand molded and baked in the kiln I built by myself while he was only 2 months old.”

The reasons I suck at motherhood. They’re fucking plentiful. And exhausting to rehearse because I don’t give myself a break. And really-how many mamas out there extend as much grace to themselves as they do anyone else? None that I know. All of the women I look up to and admire as mothers are as insecure as I am about their ability to kick ass at this mom thing.

Most of the time, the insecurity exists because we’ve forgotten. We’ve forgotten Who has made us. Who knitted us together in our mother’s wombs. Who etched the stories of our lives in history before we were ever thought of. Who picked us out, from all the women in all the world in the span of time, to be the mother to the little babies tugging at our jeans. Who is STILL choosing us.

We forget. But here and now. Let’s remember:

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world...” John 15:19

And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”  Colossians 3:12-13

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession,that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  1 Peter 2:9

YHWH, God, Creator of the Universe chose YOU to be the mother of YOUR children. He made you for them and them for you. Not to make your life easier or more fulfilling but to mold you into Christ’s likeness.

Preach this to yourself, Mama. When you’ve raised your voice too loudly, too many times. When that spanking should have waited until your head had cooled. When you stop at McDonald’s to buy a Happy Meal because you’re too damn tired to cook. When Yo Gabba Gabba is on replay because you’re at your wits end with needy hands grasping at you, and calling for you.

Remember that your are chosen and let your children see you accept the grace of God so they can learn to do the same.

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The Story of Isaac Christopher: Part 3

June 1, 2012
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When we last left off, what was next was telling our parents. Because we found out I was preggers so close to Mother’s Day, we thought, “Well, hell! We can keep out mouths shut until then!” But crap-it was hard! Since I talk to my mom pretty regularly, I essentially stopped calling her and when she called me, I said about 3 words. I’m sure she thought I was being a turd but whatevs! I totally would have broken if I said more than, “yes, no, sure, ok” and that would have been seriously lame. What we did was much more fun.

How We Did It: Telling My Mom and Grams

My mom is pretty firm on not wanting big gifts for any holiday. We get a lecture from her for every one about how we don’t need to spend money on her (and, yes, she really means it). So, of course, I had to have fun with this. I took a positive pregnancy test and stuck it in a Zales Diamond Bracelet box for Mother’s Day.

 My mom, unfortunately, has apparently never seen one and thought that what we had given her was a secret note, stuck in a plastic container. This translates to, “She started to take off the top of the pee stick so she could pull out the note”. Needless to say, Jason and I started yelling for her to quit and promptly encouraged her to look at the writing on the secret note holder. Unfortunately for us, she’s fairly far sighted and couldn’t read the writing.


Ah, how the Fates got a good laugh. All of that planning boiled down to us simply saying, with Grams and Aunt Cheryl present too, “We’re pregnant!!” Joyful exclamations were heard and after much laughter over Mom getting ready to touch something saturated with my pee, we sat down to Mother’s Day brunch.


How We Did It Part Deux: Telling Jason’s Parents

Well, we had them over for dinner and put them to work. Since we were cooking for them, Mary and Johnny didn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary when we asked them to get the tortillas out of the oven. Of course, we were pretty firm on it being both of them doing the work, so maybe that tipped them off but when they opened the oven, this is what they found:

 Yes, that’s a bun in the oven. Ha! Didn’t know I was that damn witty-didja? The little flags say, “Hi Grandma!” and “Hi Grandpa!” in case you were wondering.



So-that’s how we told our immediate family. Later that night and into the next day, we called about 1,000 different people and informed them of the little bud growing in my womb. It was a sweet time. To be honest, I really didn’t want to tell anyone for a while because secrets (especially good ones!) are so fun to keep. It constantly feels like you’re going to explode with joy and it’s nice to have something only you and your honey know about. After telling people though, I realized now LOTS of us could explode with joy! It didn’t have to be just me and Jason.

Obligatory Awesome Photos:


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Hopeful Longing

April 27, 2012
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“A man’s physical hunger does not prove that man will get any bread; he may die of starvation on a raft in the Atlantic. But surely a man’s hunger does prove that he comes of a race which repairs its body by eating and inhabits a world where eatable substances exist. In the same way, though I do not believe (I wish I did) that my desire for Paradise proves that I shall enjoy it, I think it a pretty good indication that such a thing exists and that some men will.” 


“All joy…emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings.”


                                                                                                         -C.S. Lewis

Today is one of those days that has been so full of joy that it leaves me wanting. Leaves me in tears because I’m still longing for the perfect fulfillment and sweetness that a day in paradise could bring. [If you don’t understand what I mean, that’s okay. Try to remember the sweetest moment you’ve ever had in your life at the exact moment you realized that it was and that it would eventually slip away.]

Perhaps it sounds like in my wanting, I’m not enjoying the having but that’s just not true. In fact, it’s BECAUSE of the having that the sweet, stabbing pain in my heart of wanting is so poignant and strong. It is because I know, even in the most wonderful moments of living, something more awaits. Something that haunts me, reminding me that I was made for more. Something that lingers, beckoning me to greater things that I can’t have, can’t experience, can’t dwell in. 


And so, my heart swells in joy and because of that joy, there is some sorrow, longing for There. For Him. Today is one of those days I am homesick for a place I’ve never been.


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The Story of Isaac Christopher: Part II

April 24, 2012
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When we last left off, Baby Son was growing.

After getting the doc’s pronouncement that I was in fact, with child, it was time to tell husband. That night we had already promised some friends of ours that we would help them do some stuff around their apartment so I thought I was going to explode with excitement, waiting until we got done to be able to tell Jason. While helping them, Mike Ford, in his usual caring way, asked how we were doing and if we had thought any more about having children. In my zest to not burst out that I was pregnant (seriously, y’all, I was freaking out!), I overcompensated and effectively bit his head off (still sorry about that, Mike!). I just wanted to make sure that he, Jason and Ashley didn’t suspect anything but I kiiiind of over did it. Without meaning too, though! It’s just SO FREAKING HARD to keep such an awesome secret when you’re with your husband and two very dear friends!!

After we left the Fords’, I took Jason to Meijer’s on Preston Hwy. I told him that I absolutely had to get fruit (mind you, it was cold, rainy and late) so he humored me, totally confused as to why we had to drive so far away just to get fruit. I made up some lame excuse about how they had a super good sale. My intent was to park in one of their “Pregnant Moms Only” spots after which Jason would say, “You can’t park here!” And I would say, “YES I CAN!!!” However, apparently Meijer decided to get rid of those effing spots without informing me. Bastards. So, there we were, driving around the parking lot with Jason saying, “Just park the car. Why do you keep driving around? You’ve passed a hundred spots. Park the car. JUST PARK THE CAR!” *Sigh*

So, I parked the damn car, cursing Meijer with every ounce of spunk I have. Luckily, I had also prepared a talking bubble for baby son to inform his daddy that he would be arriving. 🙂

After the talking bubble informed Jason he was to be a daddy, I told him about my first plan and how it had been foiled by the grocers! Needless to say, he was SUPER surprised and in shock. He stared at me for a while and was like, “Wait-what? Are you serious? Really? REALLY?!” It was kiiiind of cute.

Of course, I think his surprise had something to do with the fact that about 2 days before this, he had asked me why I hadn’t started my period lately and I had chastised him, informing that I had and that he just hadn’t been paying attention. Inside I had been shaking my fist at him and and his attentiveness! But of course, that’s another reason I love that man.

Up next: Part III: Telling the Parents

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The Story of Isaac Christopher: Part I

April 14, 2012
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Almost one year ago to the date, I was coming back from a Sojourn women’s retreat, sitting in the backseat of a friend’s car. As I was staring mindlessly out of the window, something happened that would forever change my life.

God spoke to me.

Aside: I recognize that some of you are probably thinking, “Whaaaaat? Are you crazy?” That’s okay. Let me assure you, no, I am not. And yes, He did. If you don’t believe in the supernatural and don’t have an open mind about this, feel free to chalk this experience up to fanaticism and return to Facebook. I won’t be offended.

So, God spoke and I almost crapped my pants. He told me, in His kind of creepy, mysterious but wonderful way, that I needed to get pregnant and have a baby. My first response was: HELL. NO. I didn’t want kids for about 2-3 more years. I had absolutely, positively had no desire to enter into motherhood. Double hell-to-the-no, Jesus. However, when I got home, I talked to Jason about it and told him that I was keenly aware I two choices:

1) Be obedient in spite of my very strong desire to not be


2) Be disobedient and be miserable. Why miserable? Because every time God has ever told me so clearly to do something and I obeyed, even if I didn’t particularly like it, the result was amazing (perfect example: I’m now married to my love). Plus, I would always know that I missed out on something incredible.

Thus, we decided we had better listen and obey, though I did so somewhat begrudgingly. What’s kind of awesome is this: while still being annoyed at God and hoping that I wouldn’t get pregnant, I started my period and I was utterly crushed. Because all of a sudden, I realized I WANTED to have a baby. I WANTED a little human growing inside of me, being knit together by YHWH. My heart’s wish had changed without me even knowing it.

By the time my next cycle was due, I waited. And waited. Nothing. I started to get super excited, thinking I might be pregnant but wanted to surprise Jason. So, I took a test early one morning and an incredibly faint pink line appeared but it APPEARED and I knew a sweet babe was growing in my womb. I set up an appointment to go to the doctor where I was told I wasn’t pregnant. I calmly informed them that I was, in fact, carrying a child in my womb and would be back to prove it to them. After an EXCRUCIATING week of waiting and still not telling Jason because I wanted to do something fun to tell him, I went back to the doctor and proved them wrong.

Baby Son was growing.

Up Next: Part II, wherein I tell the husband, we tell the parents, and I realize I am hella selfish. 

(Photo Courtesy of: Aubrey Renee Photography)

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Lengthening Christmas – The Feast of Epiphany

December 4, 2010
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Any observant and curious new guest in our home will almost always ask “What is that strange writing above your door?”  There, written in chalk, is the inscription “20CMB10”, which is both a prayer for God’s blessing and a reminder to us, as Christians, about the use of our home.  It was put there as part of our celebration of Epiphany, an ancient but mostly forgotten holiday celebrating Jesus’ baptism, his visitation by the Magi, and God’s revelation of His Son to the Gentiles.

Epiphany first began as a day to remember Jesus’ baptism.  It was during his baptism that Jesus’ full identity as the Son of God was proclaimed.  Matthew recounts in his Gospel that “as soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'”  The Trinity is first “revealed” in the Gospels here.  In fact we still use the word “epiphany” today to mean a sudden revelation or “shining forth”.

In the Western Church (of which Protestants and Roman Catholics are a part), with the date of Christmas fixed on December 25, Epiphany came to be recognized as a holiday to remember Jesus’ manifestation mainly through the visitation of the Magi.  It began to be celebrated on January 6, marking the end of a Christmas celebration that was twelve days long instead of just one.  This helps explain certain Christmas songs about geese, partridges, and turtle doves.

Over time, certain customs sprang up.  The number of the Magi, or wise men, was set at three, even though Matthew does not give a number.  Then they were given names.  Even their appearances were described in the 8th century by a monk named Bede:

The first was called Melchior. He was an old man, with white hair and a long beard; he offered gold to the Lord as to his King. The second, Gaspar [or Caspar] by name, young, beardless, of ruddy hue, offered to Jesus his gift of incense, the homage due to Divinity. The third, of black complexion, with heavy beard, was middle-aged and called Balthasar. The myrrh he held in his hand prefigured the death of the son of Man.

I give Bede points for creativity!  The tradition lives on in modern nativity scenes.  Generally there are three wise men and more often then not, they look exactly as Bede described them 1300 years ago.

The Three Wise Men, from Basilica of Sant Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy. Detail from: "Mary and Child, surrounded by angels", completed within 526 AD (photo by Nina Aldin Thune)

Another custom appeared in the Middle Ages: the blessing of the home with chalk.  The custom involves a small prayer and Scripture-reading service.  In our home, we read the story of the Magi and then pray this prayer:

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Then comes the actual writing above or on the door.  C+M+B represents the initials of the three wise men: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.  They also stand for Christus mansionem benedicat, meaning “May Christ bless this home.”  The outside numbers, 20 and 10, represent the current year.  So this season we will replace the inscription with 20CMB11.  It is a reminder to us that, because Jesus has “shone forth” as our most precious gift, our house is to be used for His glory.  Everyone who passes through our doors deserves to be treated like Christ, for Jesus says “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  Every guest deserves our most sincere hospitality.

Celebrating Epiphany helps us lengthen the Christmas season.  While everyone else is cleaning up wrapping paper and preparing for a long winter, we get to add on a few more days to our celebration.  Christmas has become for us a season, rather than just a day.  It is a time to celebrate the tension between the “already” and “not yet”.   Jesus has come, but he will also come again in glory.  But even as a small baby laying in a manger he was revealed to the world through the visitation of the Magi.  It is for this reason we celebrate Epiphany.

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Dear Bottled Water,

March 25, 2010
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I hate you. Here’s a much more eloquent telling of why:



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Music: Love

March 9, 2010
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Oh. my. You all need to check this geniusness out: Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.

Listen especially to “Hung the Moon”. I got all sniffly when I first listened to it because it reminds me of my love for Jason. *Sigh*

Here are the lyrics:

i like the way you hung the moon
well i just like being close to you
when you’re gone i feel so blue
yeah, i like the way you hung the moon

i like the way you know that dance
i like the way you hold my hand
just spin me all across the floor
yeah, i like the way you know that dance

well i like the way you sing your songs
you’ve been singing to me all along
the way you loved me won my heart
yeah, i like the way you sing your songs

i put on that white dress for you
i don’t preach or marry, but yes i do
i’ll stay and i’ll grow gray with you
yeah, i put on that white dress for you.


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Babies and Presents

March 9, 2010
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So many of my wonderful friends are currently preggers that I’ve decided to make some super fun baby gifts for them! I have to get my sewing machine tuned up and purchase some bright new thread and I’ll be good to go!

My first project is going to be making baby bibs and burp cloths from old t-shirts and jeans. I’m a big fan of that whole “reduce-reuse-recycle” thing and I’m on a budget, so woot! Here’s what I hope they turn out to look like (or something akin, at least):

Jason, luckily, owns approximately 143 t-shirts and has, like a champ, gone through them and plucked out some of the lesser used. My favorite, perhaps, is the Jolly Green Giant:

I’m thinking of making that into a romper because it’s too super to cut it into pieces. Now, the REAL quandary is going to be finding the time to make these cutenesses. Curse you full time employment! *Shakes fist* How dare you provide me with money to live and have the audacity to take up 8 hours or my day!?


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About author

Our male counterpart enjoys: coffee (black-no cream, no sugar), reading books about liturgy and orthodoxy, cycling, and good food. Our female counterpart enjoys: knitting, chocolate, gardening, canning, faerie stories, and cooking.