Monthly Archives: June 2013

There is no easy life… but there is hope.


Have you — like me — ever found yourself thinking “I don’t believe anyone else has it this hard?”

Some days we know we’re being ridiculous, but other days we really wonder. We see organized moms, happy couples; healthy, beautiful, prosperous people. We feel quite alone with our impossible workload, our debt, our anxiety, our marital struggle.

Today I am honored to guest post at The Better Mom!

Please join me there to read the rest of this post. You’re just a click away:

There is no easy life… but there is hope.


Who am I?

I heard you say, “I’m not sure who I am anymore,” and I understood.

Crises and even natural changes did that to me too. It may happen again.

Sometimes who I am requires very little analysis.

But there are also times when everything seems to hang on the answer.


In my childhood search for self, I took my cues from those around me.

The adults in my life told me I had potential: I was bright. I had talent. I was responsible. For better and for worse, I measured myself by their standards.

Who I was — who I might become — was exciting.

As a wife and mom of five, doing ministry in a sun-scorched land, my duties often swallowed my identity.

I was the one who made the meals, wiped up spills, changed the diapers, woke to feed babies. I rode a four-wheeler, I started the generator, I shopped the open market,

I fed hungry people. I nurtured, I loved, I served, sometimes forgetting that I was not the “living water” or “bread of life.”

Who I was exhausted me.

When our Red Sea parted, and God’s dry path led us to the States, I faced a new crisis.

I was no longer a missionary; a server; a giver. Rather, I was broken. I was displaced, disoriented, and fragile. I didn’t recognize myself.

Who I was plunged me into fear and confusion.

Today, I am grateful; still on the journey, sometimes overwhelmed, but trusting and growing.

I am a recipient of unmerited favor. I see God’s work, inside and out. Sometimes my callings seem too big; other times too small.

But the truth is, who I am has never changed.

Ever since I trusted Him thirty-one years ago, who I was… was His child.
From that point on, God has not measured me. He already knows I fall short.

My strivings, my abilities, my reputation, my “goodness” could never be enough; could never define me.

While I forget… while I measure myself by other’s perceptions, my roles, my output, the fact remains — that’s not who I am.

I am found in Him.


Who am I?

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I’m calling.
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling.
And You’ve told me who I am.
I am Yours.

from Who Am I by Casting Crowns

When we don’t know how our story will end… He is here.

Today is nearly perfect.

I am completely comfortable:
The temperature is 79 degrees.
I’m sitting by a screened-in pool,
listening to the rustle of palm trees,
while gentle breezes kiss my face.

Best of all,


I’m not sure I could overstate the beauty of that concept right now.

I’ve escaped the joyful (and yes, sometimes less-than-joyful) chaos of my own home, and am house-sitting for church friends.

What that really means is that I begged for the privilege of sitting in their lovely, empty home in order to string several coherent thoughts together and type them into my memoir.

As I wrote the last 6,255 words for chapters ten and eleven (I knew I could get something done if I was given a day of quiet!),

I was


by the goodness of God
through the days that could not possibly have been more opposite of this day.

small hands

There was the day Jarod and I had to leave Haiti without our three precious kids…

The coup against President Arisitide was gathering momentum, and missionaries were being evacuated. Despite our protests, our Haitian friends insisted our unadopted Haitian children would be safest without the white faces of their parents nearby. Aristide’s police force would go into hiding as the rebel army approached, and Americans would be a target without any local law enforcement.

As I wept in the car, just hours before our departure, a song came onto the radio. Daphne, my two-year-old musical prodigy began to sing along…

God is in control.
We believe that His children will not be forsaken;
God is in control.
We will choose to remember and never be shaken;
There is no power above or beside Him, we know
Oh, God is in control, oh God is in control.

And He was. His sovereign hand held each member of our family for the entire month that we were separated from each other.

Then there was the day Jaden had his first gran mal seizure…

It lasted far too long. Jarod had just driven off our yard. Our phones weren’t working. I carried our stiff, shaking boy over my seven-month-pregnant belly down the mountain, praying that the doctor who lived at the bottom would be home and know what to do.

By divine appointment, Dr. Mark was there. His Valium injections ended the seizure, and he provided meds to prevent more of the same.

There was also the day I gave birth to Dora…

Thirty-nine hours into the labor we’d been told the baby was in distress, we’d transferred to a second hospital in Port, I was prepped for a c-section, the doctors were ignoring me, and Jarod, due to a life-long recurring nightmare, was convinced he was going to lose me in surgery.

But then…

In the fortieth hour, the delays, the transfer, the complications, and the ineptitudes worked according to God’s orchestration.

Right as I was about to be wheeled into what we feared would be a traumatic surgery, God brought our daughter into the world completely naturally.

Today, as I type in peace that is nearly surreal, I remember what God did on the days I panicked… the days when everything in the world was wrong… when I stood to lose everything I held dear.

He was there.

And everything good is found in Him.

Today, I know how those stories end. I can write them, knowing they each have a happy ending.

But as I lived them, I didn’t know.

As I live today’s story, I don’t know its ending.

But God is here.


You don’t know the end of your story today either.

But you are in His hands.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
 you discern my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path and my lying down
 and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,
 behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

You hem me in, behind and before,
 and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
 it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
 Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
 If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I take the wings of the morning
 and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,
 and your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
 and the light about me be night,”

even the darkness is not dark to you;
 the night is bright as the day,
 for darkness is as light with you.

For you formed my inward parts;
 you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
 my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
 intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
 the days that were formed for me,
 when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
 How vast is the sum of them!

If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
 I awake, and I am still with you…
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
 Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any grievous way in me,
 and lead me in the way everlasting!

(From Psalm 139)

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