thoughts on the parting sea

walking through the valley

When you’re in the valley, it feels deep and dark and empty and lonely. But I know I’m not the only person to experience hardship. Really, I’m far from it. But in the darkness, it’s easy to believe those lies.

A dear friend reminded me the other day that the Israelites didn’t know God was going to part the Red Sea. Surely they thought they were marching to their suicide… but he did the unthinkable. They followed Moses, despite what they thought blocked their path. They pressed on and God’s plan was truly beyond anything man could imagine.

Adeline used to absolutely hate being in the car. Shortly after we’d start driving, the crying would start and she did not sleep. The crying would just go on and on. Desperate one day, I sang to her and she not only calmed down but fell asleep. You can bet that song became her new lullaby.

So now, multiple times a day and every night, I sing it to her.

Grander earth has quaked before, moved by the sound of his voice. Seas that are shaken and stirred can be calmed and broken for my regard.

Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on you. Through it all, through it all, it is well. Through it all, Through it all, my eyes are on you. And it is well with me.

Far be it from me to not believe, even when my eyes can’t see. And this mountain that’s in front of me will be thrown into the midst of the sea.

So let go, my soul, and trust in him. The waves and wind still know his name.

It is well with my soul. It is well with my soul. It is well with my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul.

God uses this song multiple times a day to remind me he is with me. This mountain that’s in front of me? It will be thrown into the midst of the sea. This valley that I’m walking through? Well, grander earth has quaked before, moved just by the sound of his voice. This valley doesn’t stand a chance of separating me from God. Even in my darkest days, even in the hardest moments, he is with me. And he’s telling me to keep my eyes on him. Trust in him. And it truly is well with my soul.

I’m grateful that on that day in the car when I thought I couldn’t handle more crying, God gave me the gift of remembering this song… this song that would become my anthem in this season. He knew what I would need long before I did.

Motherhood is a lesson in stewardship 


How long can you blame postpartum hormones? Or is motherhood always this emotional?

My baby had her six month shots today. She was such a trooper that she kept trying to smile at the nurses in between her sobs because they were trying to cheer her up. This sweet little girl.

I accidentally left my house key inside when we left for her appointment this morning, so we got locked out and, of course, Jacob was out of town. As was my landlord. 

So Adeline and I spent the rest of the morning window shopping and she was so happy! She babbled and made all sorts of happy sounds in her stroller. It was overwhelmingly precious and I looked back to the days when she hated her stroller/car seat and I felt like we would never be able to leave the house and smiled. We have overcome.

Now I’m sitting in bed and she’s asleep in my arms. I’m breathing in her deep, sleepy breaths and I can’t believe that time is ticking by. I kiss her soft little cheeks (they are SO SOFT – when does that change?!) and wonder how I’m supposed to let her become an adult? Kissing her cheeks won’t feel the same. She probably won’t even let me kiss her cheeks? At least not often. And definitely not with her cradled in my arms.

Motherhood is so emotional. Every day is like holding onto your most precious, prized possession, but realizing that when morning comes she will already have changed. And she will keep changing every day after that. These sweet moments that I want to grab and never let go of are literally fleeting – here now and gone the next minute as she grows and discovers and changes. 

What a lesson in living with open hands, am I right? What God has given me doesn’t belong to me. It’s not my possession. She’s not my possession. She’s His and I’m a steward of her, for a time. 

This is the hardest lesson in stewardship I’ve experienced in my life so far. I don’t want a single second of it to pass by with my eyes glazed over. I don’t want to miss a thing. I want to be bright eyed and present and grateful because time is already moving at warp speed. 

The Smallest Working Mom Mental Victory

Working Mom Victories

I’ve written this post a thousand times in my head. I think, I want to stay present here and I want to remember this forever. But then I get distracted by the dishes, Adeline needing another rocking to go to sleep, work tasks I’ve yet to do for the day, the ice cream in the freezer.. the list goes on and the post fades away in my head.

But tonight I’m choosing to write.

Wednesday nights are some of my favorites because it’s the end of Adeline needing babysitters for the week. Tuesdays are my longest days in the office – they usually end up being 9 or 10 hour days after office hours and worship team practice that night. Wednesdays are my second office day and the only day we usually get an actual sitter for Adeline. Those mornings are the hardest because the last thing I want to do is drop her off and drive away after I spent all of Tuesday away from her.

But Wednesday nights are the sweetest. I don’t have to fight the temptation to stress and wish the moments would hurry if she doesn’t go to sleep right away because the next day holds nothing pressing. I can soak up the snuggles, the way her head fits into my neck and her sweet little fingers that sometimes stick out from the swaddle sack and hold my fingers. I can breathe in the fresh scent of clean baby and it’s the easiest night for me to stay present. The anxiety of a Sunday morning feels far away and most of my work tasks for the week are already finished. All that usually remains is more practice hours, and on Wednesdays they feel totally doable during my remaining days.

It’s these moments in the fading evening light of our bedroom that I feel overcome with gratefulness. I can’t believe God gave us this sweet little gift that I didn’t know I always wanted. I can’t believe I get to be her mom and I get to struggle with the tensions of work and motherhood and homekeeping and following Christ diligently and loving my husband well. Sometimes those burdens feel heavy and completely unattainable, but I’m trying to live in those tensions and press in to what I know is true. In this season, God has called me to all of those things. And he’s already given me the grace to walk through it with him.

So all at the same time I’m practicing gratefulness for my job that stretches me and requires much of me, while also soaking up these moments with her that are speeding by too quickly. I’m tempted to think I can only do one or the other when things get hard, but thank you, Lord, for the reminder tonight while I rocked Adeline to sleep that with him I can do both. Be present. Be present. Be thankful. Give yourself grace.

You can check out more photos of Adeline’s nursery here.

Out of Whack (prioritizing struggles for this new mom)

Reprioritizing as a new mom

I do this annoying thing all the time where I get all high and mighty because I think I’ve got this motherhood thing down. I did it during pregnancy, too… for example, I thought I must just be an amazing pregnant lady because I wasn’t getting all swollen and huge… until I did.

You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but those thoughts have continued right on into motherhood. I think, I’ve really got this bedtime thing down and then this happens. Or I think my daughter must be the best baby ever because she’s never fussy and I can take her anywhere… and then she cries through an entire meal at a restaurant, or while I was frantically checking out at Target, or she suddenly decides she hates the car and screams during every single car ride.

So, of course, I felt like I had this motherhood gig down until I started work again. That little piece of humble pie I’ve been served has certainly done the trick! I am a hot mess. My first week back to work I ended up canceling all of the friend hangouts I had scheduled on my days off because my days off aren’t really days off anymore. Since motherhood happens all day every day, my work from home hours are no longer so scheduled or limited to certain days of the week.

I am incredibly grateful to have a job that I love with flexible hours and that allows me to work about a third of those hours from home. The problem, though, is working from home. It takes on a whole new meaning with a baby who has a lot of needs (AKA food, help falling asleep, diaper changes, someone to play with her and oh yes, general care). My hours worked from home that were once “only on Thursdays” are now split up into 15-60 minute chunks all day every day in the form of sending emails while nursing and scheduling, planning, and practicing during naps, etc.

With all of these changes, I sat in bed the other night and realized I needed to press the reset button on my priorities for this season. My Scripture reading has been spotty at best, I sometimes forget to kiss my husband goodbye when I head into the office (but never Adeline, of course!), and I can no longer schedule multiple friend hangouts on “days off.”

But instead of measuring a day’s success based on the status of dirty dishes and household clutter, I need to turn the pyramid upside down and rethink those measurements.

Instead of measuring a day's success based on the status of dirty dishes + household clutter,… Click To Tweet

My New Daily Priority Pyramid:

  1. God – Have I spent time in the Word today? What are three things I can thank Him for today?
  2. Jacob – What is one small way I can serve him today?
  3. Adeline – Have I talked to her, played with her and enjoyed her without my phone nearby today?
  4. Work – Did I accomplish the “must have’s” today? Am I on track to reach my hours this week? Is the house at least in a livable condition (are there clean dishes and clean clothes)?
  5. Friends – If I can’t connect with a friend in person this week, how can I make a point to serve her? At least send a quick text to let her know I love her and ask how I can pray for her, write a quick card, etc.

After typing those out they seem ridiculously simple, but in the minute to minute of my day it is so easy to let them slide through my fingertips! Would you say a quick prayer for me today that God grows me in discipline in this season and I make this pyramid flip a priority?

How can I be praying for you? Are there priorities in your life that are out of whack? I encourage you to take a minute to consider what is most important to you and ask yourself if that is actually lived out in the reality of your day to day life.

3 months: What I hope I never forget

3 month old baby

– the way your sweet smile slowly spreads across your lips and into your eyes when you see us smiling down at you

– the way your lower lip pouts out and your cheeks puff up when you finish nursing and are drifting into dreamland

– your little wrist rolls

– the way your fingers fold around mine while you sit in your car seat or on my lap

– when you lie down for tummy time and raise your little head like a pro, swinging from left to right to check out your surroundings

– how you love it when we wipe your drool from your face, giving us a big grin every time only to replace it with more drool

– the way your little body teeters from side to side when you do your “superman” during tummy time. I am anxiously awaiting your first roll over!

– your talkative coos, groans and prolonged murmurs. You love to participate when others are talking around you!

– your morning stretches – you still love to stretch like nobody’s business when you first wake up! You make yourself as long as possible with your arms and legs straight as boards, squish your little chin down and totally change the shape of your face! It is hilarious and adorable.

– your lower lashes have started growing! It totally surprised me the other day because I hadn’t even noticed they had started, but they are peeking out! Your upper lashes are still amazingly long and curled… So pretty!!

– you love smacking your lips and sucking on them with your tongue. You’re always sucking on your lips!

– the way you push up on your legs when we hold you to our chests while we sit down. You love to stand on your legs and show off your strength!

– you still hate being in the car, but I think we’ve finally figured out you just don’t like being alone in the backseat! If mommy sits back there with you, you are so much more agreeable.

– you’ve started grasping objects and I love watching your fingers open and close while you discover.

– your preferences have changed so much since you were born! At first you liked being held cradle style at all times, then chest to chest on our shoulders and now you still like the shoulder position, but when we are sitting and holding you, you prefer to face out to see what’s going on!

Adeline, we still think you’re the bees knees. We love watching you discover the world around you and spend soooo much time repeating your funny baby sounds and faces back to you. We are so thankful to be your parents and can’t believe how quickly time is passing already. You are such a happy baby!

Returning For Me And For Her

Baby Girl Chunky Rolls

It’s been a while since I’ve showed my face in this space. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to show up – I really have. But to be honest, I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling inside me that the effort of sorting them out completely overwhelmed me, so I ran the other direction.

But now I’m sitting in bed with my second cup of coffee, listening to the steady sleepy breaths of Jacob beside me and little Adeline in her bassinet and I’m feeling so sentimental. We took her for her first sick visits at the pediatrician this week because she had conjunctivitis (pink eye). The last couple of days she has wanted to snuggle and only sleeps on us – the poor thing. But despite feeling under the weather, she is still discovering so many things!

Earlier this week, I laid her on her belly for tummy time and the little nugget blew me away! She raised her head up so high, like she’d been doing this for years, and at the same time lifted her legs in what I like to call the “superman.” I realized with a little momentum she will roll over any day now! She is also so talkative with her baby sounds these days. She loves to make sounds when we are talking, as if she is trying to be part of the conversation, too. She has started touching her thighs when she’s on her back and it won’t be long before she reaches down to realize she has feet!

She still loves sucking on her fists and when she isn’t doing that, she is sucking on her lips with her tongue. It’s funny to see her preferences change over her short little life so far. She has started to love facing out when she’s on your lap so she can see what is going on around her, and every time she is in a “sitting” position she tries to lean her weight forward…. more proof of her strengthening neck, shoulder and back muscles!

It seems like these developments happened all at once when I wasn’t looking! It really is going by so quickly, and I realized this morning that I’ve hardly documented it at all! Sure, I’ve written in her baby book calendar as she reaches these milestones, but I haven’t journaled or blogged many of the details or shared my changing feelings as a new mom.

I sat here thinking I could hardly remember her newborn days, and it has only been 3 months! I started panicking, wanting to savor those moments and realizing I hadn’t written many of my thoughts from that time… Which is why I’m here. There is so much of this motherhood journey that has already changed me, and I don’t want to miss out on remembering when those changes happened. Nor do I want to miss out on remembering Adeline’s discoveries and changes as she grows so quickly through the years.

Thankfully I shared what I hope I never forget a couple months ago, but I plan on sharing more regularly… both about Adeline and about me. While I’ve truly been living in the moment and savoring all of those moments over these months, I want to have the written memories to spark the ones in my mind once 3 more months pass and my current feelings become hazy as they are replaced with the new phase of life we are in.

So here’s to returning to the art and discipline of writing. There’s a lot I haven’t told you.