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7 Days in Ukraine

When I sit down to type my stories, I still cannot believe that my experience was real. It feels like a dream. Months of planning and fundraising and hoping and praying and quickly moving towards an unknown destination. A 20 day whirlwind of traveling, with Ukraine at the center, and I'm left trying to put into words everything that got cram packed into my heart and mind in such a short amount of time. My biggest take away just might be that when God stirs your heart, make sure you leap. The unknown is not as terrifying as a life unlived. Yesterday I ran into the man who originally inspired my trip by sharing his own stories on his social media. After his return from Romania and Ukraine, he and I had somehow independently planned back to back trips to the same area, leaving within a day of each other. He planned personal travel before his return to serving, and I had planned personal travel after my initial trip to Romania and Ukraine. Without knowing, we almost took the same fligh
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What's So Dandy About Cleaning?

Ten years ago, a dream was paced in my heart to return to school for business so I could learn how to develop an organization that would help meet the needs of the most vulnerable. I had a heartstring dedicated to serving single mamas and their children, and I was currently doing everything I could to help support the ones that I knew in my own life. As a married woman with four young children under wing, my service to others often looked like providing childcare alongside my own children. This showed up in my life as opening my home to others, sometimes even during odd hours of the day and night. I was happy to help, knowing that my home was a safe place for struggling mamas to leave their children while they worked hard at a job or at pursuing a continuing education. Little did I know just what my own education would entail to get me to the place of service where I desired to be. Two years into my return to school, I found myself facing extenuating circumstances. With a full educatio

Into the Light

A familiar voice woke me from my sleep. It washed across me like a warm rain; each drop refreshing dry, parched soil. Given life once again, the dirt slowly molded to the words which woke me.  As clear as day, the message sang renewal and hope into my weary soul. Etching themselves upon my heart, the lyrics pierced through layers and stirred the dormant seeds beneath the surface. "You are a skin of love stretching across all. Soft and tender, you are able to feel pain. You are scratchable, you bruise, you burn.  When one part is threatened, you are the first to stand guard and protect. You feel, you wince, you weep, and though a fire burns through you, you do not relent your position, because in time you know you will heal and cover all with love." "You stretch from fingertips to toes. Soft caresses are delivered through you; hope touching down to the worn and needy. Thick callouses know your wisdom of trial after trial; delivering strength and endurance to the parts whi

The Next Brene Brown

The other day I told my story in depth to another new therapist that I've been seeing for a couple months now. It was shared without tears, stated without question, spoken matter of factly. After I was done filling in the details, she stopped me and said, "I understand better now. In your charts it says you had a psychotic break, and I want to be sure that you understand now that you didn't just have a psychotic break, you suffered deeply from PTSD, which lead into a state of psychosis." God, I love my new therapist. She went on to explain that as we tell our stories and start to open up about the traumas that we have suffered through, we begin to understand better and normalize tragedies that women (and men too) everywhere face. We begin to understand that there hasn't been something wrong with us, but there was a lot of wrong done to us. I said, "Yeah, Brene Brown also had a break down and look where she is now!" She is doing so much great work that im

Today I Could Have Been Married for More Than Half my Lifetime

  I don't know how I got there or for how long I had been standing within the frame of the door. All I know is that my arms were reaching high over my head and I was pushing against all odds, and against the weight of the crumbling building around me. There were holes in the ceiling and cracks in the walls. The whole structure was shaking, but I stood there with defiant desperation. I would not let it fall. My feet were firmly planted and every ounce of my strength was invested into a false hope of holding up what would have surely crushed me had his arm not reached in and saved me. With one strong and steady swoop I was pulled far from harm's way. In that moment, everything crumbled into a heap on the ground. My dreams, my hopes, my effort, all that I had fought so hard for, everything the building had meant to me. It all came crumbling down. I wanted to be angry, and only briefly felt an overwhelming sadness, before I realized that my life had been spared. I could have been c

Sunset at the Oregon Beach

I'll let these photos speak for themselves 😍

What is Love

There is a love that surpasses the depths of all you have known. There is a love that waits for you. It is patient and knows that your timing is not the timing that it would have for you. This love does not grow tired in its waiting. It hopes and patiently endures. There is no rush, because this love so fully trusts that your experiences will shape you and make you ready when the timing is right. There is a love that is good. It sets its intention on what is healthy for you, and it thinks of what you need in order to be more complete and full. This love is ready and willing to give, from the outpouring of its own heart. There is a love that aches when you ache. This love sits with you and holds you. It listens and understands. It wraps its arms around you and its heart is glad to be near. When sadness is present, this love comforts and embraces you in your tears. There is a love that withstands the testing of time. It is true and faithful. There is no swaying from its purposeful giving