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Unknowns are a Gift

Unknowns are a Gift

I’m not great at a lot of things, but some people say I’m pretty good at planning. I planned my own wedding, I’ve planned over twenty bridal and baby showers. I plan game nights, birthday parties, brunches, and teas. I’m also good at planning out my life. In my head I plan when and where we will move, how many children we hope to have, family vacations, dates, anniversaries—so many things to plan! The problem is, my plans don’t always align with God’s plans (Who knew?!). 

Like the time I became an ex-fiance at the age I’d planned to marry. Or the many times I’ve had to cancel plans due to a flare-up of my chronic stomach pain. Or like this week, when we discovered three (benign) tumors on my spine in the middle of multiple major life decisions. My plans are shifting. 

Honestly, I’m okay with that. I see evidence all around me of how God’s plans are abundantly better than anything I could dream up.…

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The Miscarriage Years

The Miscarriage Years

Sitting on our back porch, I copied passages of scripture into my journal. I felt the summer breeze brush across my face, shifting my eyes upward. I knew God was with me. I spent many months there, prayed many prayers there, cried a lot of tears there. It was a sunny refuge from the season of storms and steady rain that went on in my heart. A gift from above. It wasn’t an escape; it was a comfort—a place that drew thankfulness from my lips in a time of much grief. 

Recently, I was listening to the best-selling book, “The Nightingale” when the narrator referred to the main character’s fertility struggles as, “the miscarriage years.” No longer sauteing dinner, I listened intently. I wondered if perhaps the author had lost babies in the womb. That’s just speculation. But the words she used felt more than just a simple statement about loss.…

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Spring’s Gospel Presentation

Spring’s Gospel Presentation

Here in Ohio, we’re experiencing what we like to call “fool’s Spring.” It’s where the weather suddenly goes from wintery mix to blue skies. The warmth upon your face from the sun above might trick a fool into thinking it’s the real deal only to crush your dreams in a few days when the temperature drops again. It’s a taste of Spring, anyway, and I’m not complaining. 

It stirs my mind to ponder the little “tastes” of what heaven will be like, where flowers never fade and life reigns eternally. We see glimpses of it now in the revival of dead grass and baby bunnies due to frolic in our yard in the coming weeks. I can’t help but hear the song of redemption in the melody of the birds. New branches begin to form on desolate rose bushes and all I can think of is the power of the gospel, calling dead sinners to new life in Christ.…

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More Blessings than We Could Count

More Blessings than We Could Count

I’ve been filling my brain with a lot of World War II novels, documentaries, and movies. Probably a good idea for someone often tempted to lie awake at night making up scary scenarios in her mind. But alas, here we are.

I tend to internalize sad stories, pondering the pain of experiencing the same circumstances of others. Empathy comes easily to me, usually for the good of others but sometimes to my demise. Picture me sobbing as I tell my husband of how awful it would be if such and such happened and begging him to never die. Then picture my husband laughing at me in my ridiculousness. But seriously, what would I do if I only had a piece of bread to feed my child? How tragic would it be to see my husband and son killed and then face sudden death myself? What if we were bombed and panic ensued? …

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Bow Before the Omnipotent God

Bow Before the Omnipotent God

A couple of years ago I bought a bag of zinnia seed mix for dummies on a whim. You just sprinkle it on the soil, water, and watch. Within a few weeks, my own cut-flower garden emerged, full of bright oranges, pinks, and reds. Excited by the results, I decided I’d buy the same mix the next spring. I followed the instructions and waited…and waited…and waited. Nothing. Not a single sprout from the ground. “What’s summer without zinnias?” I said to a friend. So I tried again. Nope. Still not right. Frustrated, I bought a packet of seeds and tossed them on the flower(less) bed and prayed for at least a few blooms. 

I did get a few beauties to behold in my flower garden that year, but I imagine I’d have gotten many more if I could speak them into existence like God created the world by the power of his word.…

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Seventeen Years with a Thorn in my Stomach

Seventeen Years with a Thorn in my Stomach

I haven’t eaten Taco Bell in years. As an adult, I succumbed to the fact that my body really only ever rejected such an offering. “I’m gonna regret this,” I’d say to my high school friends when grabbing a quick burrito before practice. We all laughed. But, at some point, it wasn’t funny anymore.

I’ve suffered moderate to severe stomach pain since I was fourteen. As I write this, cramps that pulse up and down my abdomen, seemingly catching on other organs and twisting and turning make it hard to breathe. This is normal for me. And it has been for seventeen years. 

I can hear my son giggling with his daddy and I think of the many moments I miss while curled over in the bathroom. I’m weary of missed moments, of asking for prayer again, of being scared to eat, of fearing the next attack. I’m weary of chronic illness. 

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