Monday, May 2, 2016

His whisper in the chaotic morning

It's barely 8 am 
the crying and bickering are starting early again today, 
echoing down the hallway as I clean the oatmeal off the floor
and the counter and the cabinet
while my coffee gets cold again on the table

He kisses me goodbye, 
"were you up much last night?"
Because with this crew, it's never really a question of "if" we were up, but "how much?"
And there it is. 
That old temptation to allow myself to feel overwhelmed
annoyed, frustrated.
Then that verse I've posted in 3 places (because I always seem to forger) catches my eye - 
a whisper from the Lord.
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you..." (2 Cor. 9:8)
An offering from Him - 
His grace will abound to me
so that I can abound in this holy secret place that He has sovereignly appointed to me.

Because when I'm talking with Him about it, 
the joy and honor of this role He has given me are what overwhelm me- 
 He has chosen to bless me so abundantly with these precious little people!
But somehow, in the oatmeal cleaning, sleepless nights, argument refereeing,
I forget the joy and honor of this sacred role. 
But His gentle whisper continues to invite me to rest in Him,
to rest in this beautiful hard work at my hands.
"Whoever wants to find his life must lose it..." (Matt. 16:25)
And this Monday at 8 am is where the rubber meets the road.
Am I really willing to lay my life down?
To lose my life for Him?
To lay down my hot coffee, quiet moments, long nights of sleep
to give the gospel to these 4 people in my care?
"Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve..." (Mark 10:45)
If the Prince of Heaven would give up His throne to bear the weight of my sin,
This service all seems a tiny offering

Renew me, Lord. 
I want to know the joy of walking in your abundant grace each and every day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

He restores my soul

Being a mother has been, without a doubt, the avenue God has used most in my life to teach me about Himself. He continually gives me more than I can seemingly handle and then gently leads me to give my burden to Him as He carries me.
I became a mother five years ago to the sweetest twin girls. Their adoption was beautiful, but it was a whirlwind! We had planned to adopt a toddler boy from overseas, but as He does, God changed our plans when He led us to adopt our twin preemie girls from the U.S. Throw in a move to a new state less than a year later and we found ourselves a family of four in an apartment in a new city.
Our girls were a total delight… during the day. But for whatever reason, these sweet girls refused to sleep. We tried everything from cry-it-out to co-sleeping and nothing would work to teach our girls to sleep. They would keep each other going long into the night. So there was a lot of crying from all of us – every nap was a battle and nights felt so incredibly long. I had truly reached the end of my rope that January and was worried I might just lose my mind.... (continue reading my guest post over here...)

Monday, March 16, 2015

the leaving

My heart felt like a heavy weight the days leading up to our move.
Knowing God was in the lead gave me peace about the going,
But the leaving hurt nonetheless.

She came over and packed up all our dishes and small appliances
encouraging this too-sore and pregnant momma the whole time.
More dear friends came to scrub the windows and get those carpet stains up...
the red in the dining room from our kids painting pumpkins last Halloween,
the grease I spilled while serving breakfast to out of town friends.
I took the pictures off the walls, the ones I sat up pinpointing their positions
long into the night while she laughed beside me.

The guys took our bed apart and loaded it into the moving truck.
That bed that I slept alone on most nights and he alone most days.
That room held so many emotional nights and days,
awake with my newborn, learning to nurse,
answering the too-many middle of the night cries from our preschoolers across the hall.

The blue walls that Mom painted.
The stencil that Emily helped with.
The white cabinets Katy and I stayed up so late trying to finish,
laughing the whole time
while all of our 5 combined children tried to sleep downstairs.

That house was such a home.
I even grieved the flowers long dead out back,
that I'd never watch bloom again this spring.
Those flowers were sent from my grandma's garden,
the hard work of my mom.
The back deck where so many dinners were shared, parties celebrated,
the boards that were replaced for us in a time of crisis, real love.

We went to church, our last time as members there.
The tears just wouldn't stop.
How do you thank a church family that taught you so much
about Christ and His love,
my sinfulness and my salvation?

We walked into our best friends' house, the place we'd spent so many of our days.
A safe haven for us and so many more.
And how do you put into words the gratitude you have
for those who have laid down their lives for you and your family?
How to you end a chapter of your life that God grew your family from 4 to almost 6
and in a hundred other ways too?
How do you have a girls' night and laugh with the friends you know you're leaving?

I hated it. The leaving.
Because I've done this before.
I told myself before that things wouldn't be so different, we would all stay in touch.
But then life marches forward,
life gets lived in your absence.
And while the love and friendships certainly remain,
the state of your relationships are forever changed.
The season ends, autumn comes.

And then I find myself in a new place.
A place that God put me, no doubt.
But it always starts out as a lonely place.
You're inconspicuous and unknown.
Because friendship takes time to grow,
community takes life lived to bloom.

He gently whispers over me that this world is not my home.
And while He gave us the gifts of a brick and mortar house,
flowers in the back yard,
the true gifts He gave were the love that was shared through it.
The memories made, the relationships forged.
And those things... the sweetest things?
They simply won't end.

I ache today for a heavenly home that He is surely preparing.
A place we won't have to say goodbyes
and where relationships will be rich and whole.
And until then, I'm storing up the joy of friendship, the love of family
that spans time and distance once again.
Life in His love is always good,
even when it stings.

But if it didn't hurt, it would mean we didn't invest.
I praise God for walking in richness of life,
in walking along with others on these roads.
Life is most abundant when you give it away.
I'm  so thankful for the life He's led this far
And I know deep in my heart and this new season will bring more abundance with it.

And so we walk into the new season with heavy hearts,
yet filled with such hope at what lies ahead.

Monday, February 16, 2015

To the woman who's waiting....

I cried with you that night a few months after your 30th birthday. My best friend. You were tired of waiting, tired of trusting God would provide for the longing He'd placed in your heart. Everyone's best bridesmaid, you never failed in happiness for your girlfriends as one by one we fell in love and tied the knot. Then started having babies. You had an exciting life, I thought. Traveling wherever the wind took you, mission work in central America as your full-time profession. And you never complained about the beautiful life you found yourself in, you excelled at it, the singleness. But we prayed and cried and held each other as you bore your heart's deepest longings, deepest questions of God's ultimate faithfulness. Why would He give the desire and giftings to be a wife and bear children and then withold it from you? Isn't He a good God?

I watched the tears you cried as a foreign government put yet another hold on his adoption. Your child - left in a cruel orphanage on the other side of the world... without you. Your fervent prayers feel hallow, as day after long day goes by without a word. Isn't He Father to the fatherless? Why does it feel like He isn't pleading this fatherless child's cause? The powers of this world seem to be calling the shots over his small life. You ache and scream in the quiet of your bedroom closet, it's out of your hands. Where is the One who can do something?

Another failed fertility treatment. You feel like God just sucker punched you. You guess He just doesn't think you'd make a very good mother. So your dreams of being up all night with your crying infant, the baby showers, the first steps, all of it... it feels to have slipped out of reach, or more like it's been violently torn from your grasp and you're left bleeding. You plead with the Lord to just show you He cares. Your arms ache with emptiness and your tears feel as though they go unnoticed by the One who says He knows them all. It feels like every woman you see is pregnant - and complaining about it - while you long to trade this hurt for the aches and pains of child-bearing. Your prayers are getting shorter, you're not sure you have anything left to say to the One who continues to say, "no."

Every night I prayed through tears that He would allow the symptoms to ease up. I pled that He would only take away the fog that MS is notorious for. "Is it too much to ask to just think clearly?" I ask Him. And every morning, I woke with the fatigue more unbearable, the fog more intense and the numbness ever increasing around my body. I hate needing help from others, I say I'm feeling fine when the truth is the room is spinning and my feet feel like I'm walking on needles with every step I take and I can barely make sense of what you're saying because this makes me feel like I'm somewhere else. Jesus, you've healed so many others, I know you're capable. But why does it feel like you're so late?


You feel stuck and alone, in this place of waiting, of uncertainty, of pain. Whatever heartache you are facing today, please know that He sees you. And while your circumstances and suffering feel so harsh that you can't make sense of a loving God, know that God Himself was broken in two. He knows. He was broken straight in half at the cross to conquer the brokenness where you have found yourself. He loves you and He hears you.

Each of the true stories above have a "rest of the story." My best friend... she's planning her wedding with an awesome man. Yes, it feels late and maybe she will never understand why her wait was so long and painful, but I know she'd tell you that Jesus found her there in the loneliness. And that even if He never brought her this good man - that He is still faithful. The child in an institution all the way around that world, he is home with his family tonight. The battle was long and excruciating, but small and huge miracles brought him home. The woman whose heart was shattered at another closed door to motherhood now has a house full of children that God led her to through a back door.. though He has yet to open her womb, He has made her mother of many. The MS may not be fully healed, but it's the biggest avenue in my life that God has made His presence and power known to me.

You feel forgotten, shut out, abandoned.

He says you are honored, treasured, accepted.
He sees you and He will meet you there.

Believe the Truth, sweet friends.
I pray that we learn to suffer well.


Interested in reading more truth about finding God's goodness in the midst of suffering? This book has been such a blessing to my soul as Sara pointed me to Jesus' arms and His sweet presence that is so available to each of us. Every Bitter Thing is Sweet  by Sara Hagerty

"The hungry are the ones who find loss, waiting and dissapointed expectations to be the place of life changing God-encounters."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dear Teenage Me,

Dear Lindsey,

First of all,
  • let the eyebrows grow a little. Thinner isn't always better.
  • buy a size'll start looking back at pictures wondering why you ever wore clothes so tight
  • keep running, your future self will thank you one day... once you're outta shape it's a lot harder to get back there!
  • get in the Word, make it priority. This is often the means God will use to draw you closer to Himself
  • keep journaling, you'll get a big kick out of those journals one day!
You're 29 now and let me tell you, your life is more beautiful than you can even imagine right now. God has taken you down some awesome roads and pulled you away from many wrong ones. Dream bigger, Linds, than what you see in front of you. Dream bigger.

There are times now when I open my eyes and see the life I'm in and think of you. I think you'd be proud and excited about all the Lord has given you. And though there are times life is harder than you ever expected,  it's even in the midst of the hard that the real beauty is found. 

Oh 16 year old me. You think you have things figured out, but the truth is, even at 29, you still don't have them figured out. And honestly, that's the way you're gonna start to prefer it. So I don't know much these days, but here are some very important things that I wish you knew right now...

Be kinder to your mom and listen when she talks. She'll become your best friend and she'll fight for you when no else can. In fact, you'll want to be just like her one day. So tighten your lips and lose the attitude, show her the love she deserves. Give your dad more hugs and tell him how awesome he is. Bask in being his little girl, for soon you'll be grown up and in another man's care.

And ease up a little on your little brother. I know he's young now, but allow him to enjoy you while you're still home for him to enjoy. Teach him about life as you know it, let him ride along with you now and then. It'll mean so much to him. At 29, your siblings are your dearest friends. Make these days memorable with them. (They all 3 grow up to be the most incredible people you'll know.)

Lindsey, I want so badly to steer you away from the sin you're dabbling with. Away from the company you keep and they way you people please. You see, God gave you a gift of relating to a lot of different people. He did that so that you can use it to glorify Him, not so that everyone will like you. And guess what? Those people that you try so hard to please? They will have no influence or bearing on your life in even 5 years. Let em go.

I want to go into specifics and tell you who to stand up to, who to stay away from all together, and who you should try harder to befriend. But the truth is, I wouldn't be me if you weren't who you are now. I wouldn't be able to look back 13 years ago and praise the Lord for the ways He protected me and kept me from falling too far. It's only Him, dear Lindsey, who keeps you. So I won't tell you specifics, but I will tell you to look closer to Jesus. Yes, you've known of Him all your life and your parents know Him deeply... but that won't carry you, sweetie. Open up your blue eyes to the sin in your heart and gaze upon the only One who can carry it away.

In a couple of years, God is going to allow your world to be shaken up a little when He allows illness to strike you. Cling to Him when all your strength is gone, He will be the One to lift you up. He'll use that illness to draw you closer to His heart.

Your husband is wonderful, the kindest man with the biggest heart. You know those lists you're making now about the perfect husband? He's better. Open your heart up wider. Don't stay so narrow-minded.

Appreciate those little streets of Centerburg and remember that things don't stay the same for long. Live fully where you are, and love the people around you. Remember how alive you felt on that trip to Honduras? That's how it feels to do what God has called you to do. You'll have more of it, so much more!

So stand up for yourself and who you know you are deep inside. Stand up and cling to Jesus. He's with you every step of the way, even when you kinda wish He weren't. He'll never let you go.

Invest in those good friends you have. It's pretty awesome the friends that stick. You will still have about 3 of them dear to your heart and involved in your life by 29. Love them the right way now.

So I'll see you in the mirror in a few years, and I'll look back at pictures from your life now with fond memories. Dream bigger and follow where the Spirit leads, He'll give you the ride of a lifetime.

you in 13 years

Friday, August 22, 2014

My 30th Birthday Request....

It was 2003.

I was fresh into my first year of college, first year 7 hours away from home, first semester of trying to catch a glimpse of who it was that God was shaping me to be as an adult.

I wasn't sure where I fit in that year. I felt conspicuous and out of place. I felt unknown. And so He drew me closer. He had put a love in my heart for missions and big urge to just GO... anywhere, everywhere. And so I found myself at the Lipscomb University Missions Fair, perusing the tables of upcoming trips and opportunities. The world truly felt at my fingertips.. every continent and dozens of countries were represented. But my heart had always been pulled toward Africa. And I came upon a small table, manned by one freshmen who was a little younger than me, starting up a trip for the first time to Ghana, West Africa. The Spirit leapt in my heart. I was pulled there.

Our team in 2004.
 Forgive the poor quality of these pics... they are pics of non-digital pics from 10 years ago! :)
Looking back, I can't hardly believe my parents went along with this trip. On the team were 7 college students, led by a freshmen who had been to Ghana a time or two. We had 3 native Africans on the team as well, which made it feel safer and definitely made it more fun. So I raised the $2000 and went to a few team meetings and off we went to Ghana, over the Ocean, through London, over the Sahara desert and to the place that has drawn my heart back over and over again.


I loved everything about it. I didn't even mind the heat; the lack of showers and electricity just made the experience all the more authentic for me. I taught at a school and was paired with a teacher, Mrs. Kangah in the third grade.

And this is where it all made sense. The reason I was a 19 year-old scaring her parents to death by going on a first-time, no-faculty trip to a small orphanage in West Africa. It was for this teacher and her daughter. It was for me.

Have you ever experienced the Lord just "clicking" your heart together with another? Like in the deepest part of your Spirit, you just know the relationship was meant to be?

This teacher, Ernestina, has become a sister to me over the last 10 years since my first trip to Ghana as a college freshmen. Her daughter, Anna, was in that 3rd grade class I taught for two weeks. They would come to the orphanage every night so we could sneak away and learn more about one another. We laughed together, cried together, wrote letters and exchanged gifts on our final night at the orphanage. They left town the next day so they wouldn't have to say goodbye. My heart loved them, but I wasn't sure how this relationship would continue except through prayer. But God is so much bigger than this little ole world.
Me, Anna and Ernestina in 2004

Over the next 3-4 years, we wrote. These letters from my sister Ernestina have some of the deepest sorrows, greatest joys, hardest heartbreaks, and weathered faith I've ever experienced in my life. This single mother in West Africa shaped me in a deep way over the course of my time in college.

Anna is on the far left
ignore this picture of me, but I love this one of Ernestina!
But then it just kept growing. Every time a friend would go back on this trip, we will send gifts with them. I get packages in the mail with Ghanian clothes and even food and books and pictures of the lives they are living on the other side of the globe. After college, they started calling. On every holiday, birthday, special occasion, loss, celebration, I know that my sisters will be on the other end of the phone. Praying with me, rejoicing with me and sharing their joys and sorrows too.

It is truly a picture of a God-ordained friendship. 

And now that 3rd grader? She's a grown up woman. She not only graduated high school, but has finished near the top of her class and was even honored by the President of Ghana along with 22 other scholars last year. She is brilliant and motivated and mature and loves the Lord.

Anna in 2013
And now. Now she is embarking on a new journey as she plans to begin college early next year. Her plans are to go to medical school and become a pediatrician - something that her nation needs more and more with each passing year. In a land where illness often goes untreated and children die daily from preventable causes, Anna wants to stay and serve the children of Ghana through her knowledge and education.

Anna receiving her award from the First Lady in Ghana last year
And me? Well, I'm not that 19 year-old I once was either. These two beautiful women have been by my side - so to speak - through all the ups and downs of marriage, children, illness and everything in between. And I'm 30 days away from saying goodbye to my twenties - a decade of my life that Ernestina and Anna have touched in so many ways.

Ernestina is a teacher in Ghana, but there are seasons when she won't see a paycheck for months on end. It is not socially acceptable to be a single mother - this is something that Ernestina has fought for years. She longs to send her bright daughter to college but the reality is a hard one for these two hard working women.

And so, in honor of my 30th birthday on September 22, I'm asking that 100 people will donate $30 to fund Anna's first year of college. That's all it will take. $3000 in Ghana will pay for a year of school.

Won't you join me? These women mean more to me than I can fully express to you in words. My favorite story of our friendship is the night in 2011 when they called to pray over my daughters' health before I even knew she was sick. And later that evening, we wound up in the ER with sweet baby G.  I had peace in knowing the Spirit had convicted my sister on the other side of the world to wake up in the middle of her night to lift my daughter up to His throne! These women are the real deal.

Please pray about donating to this cause. For my birthday, this would be the greatest gift I could receive - to take this financial load off the shoulders of my sisters and let them know that we are all behind them, on their team as Anna begins this amazing journey!

Thank you, friends.
(If $30 isn't do-able, I understand! If the Lord prompts you to give more or less, it would be a blessing!)

If you'd like to send a donation via paypal, my email address is, just put that as the recipient and I will receive it! I'll let you know when I get it! You could also send a check if you'd prefer, message me for our address! This means so much to me!!

Grace, Faith and Joy to you,

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Hello out there!

I'm Lindsey. My favorite things in the world are the giggles of my little girls, the warmth of my man, a cup of coffee and good conversation with heart-friends, dance parties in the kitchen, experiencing our great big God in the little mundane of my daily living, and learning and growing in the Word and Truth with other sisters.

I have blogged for about 5 years on a family blog, mostly about the ups and downs and all-around beauty of the adoptions and birth of my 3 little girls. Now that our twins are 4 and little is 1, I felt it was time to make that blog a more private place to share details of our lives. But the Lord keeps prompting me to stay a little more public... and so, this blog space.

My prayer is that this will be a place of encouragement, real-talk and growing together in Christ. I pray that what flows through me to you will be challenging, encouraging and real. You can expect a lot about motherhood and God's grace, and a little bit of everything else- like marriage and adoption and community life and healthy living and probably more of my ramblings that I can't even expect right now. I don't write because I have the answers, I write because I'm learning. Thanks for joining me here. Feel free to link back to this space and use the photos here, but with shout outs, please!

Praying over you today. Thank you for stopping by!