Thursday, April 30, 2015


I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,

    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my unformed body;



    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:14-16
Not a single thing in all of my existence as a new creation in Jesus has lit a fire under my soul's rear like the role of mother. I couldn't have had the relationship with Christ I do, without my three, little nuggets. Each birth brought a different lesson for my heart and each joy, struggle, storm and laugh along the way is used to shape me for His glory.
Goodness, I couldn't have fully appreciated these words without seeing that first ultrasound; without holding that fresh, warm, soft newborn in my arms. I cannot, will not ever be able to describe that joy. And because of that feeling, that fierce love, I can understand just a minute amount of the love Christ has for us.
He sees us. He formed us (especially those who are handicapped or deemed "different") PERFECTLY for His master plan. He makes no mistakes. Nope. He sure doesn't.  Because He is perfectly sovereign. Doesn't matter, dear one, what the heck you've done or what the world tells you of your worth. Oh, you are so loved. You were INTRICATELY woven together by the Creator of the world. Oh yes, you are here for a Mighty purpose.

To the ones who have carried that precious life in their womb and never had the chance to experience life with that soul this side of Heaven, and for those who had to return their child (0-80 years), to the arms of God, too soon for the human heart to comprehend-I'm broken for you. I cannot fathom the grief you must feel as the world keeps spinning, with your heart suspended out there-forced to keep moving.

To the woman with a barren womb, how could I even understand? How could I, a mother of three, even utter comforting thoughts your way? I cannot, other than to say that there is a Great Comforter that can provide peace that surpasses understanding. The peace would have to surprass understanding, wouldn't it? Because your arms ache so bad for something so many treat as "common place" or "insignificant." I say, here, you aren't forgotten by me and NEVER forgotten by God.
Then, you know, there are so many women who are hurting out there because they find themselves in a society that says the child they are carrying will throw them off, mess them up, or that they just won't  be able to "handle it." Some of those women now grieve because they made the choice they thought was right and now the "would haves" come and go-birthdays, dances, and other  rites of passage aren't forgotten. Man alive, I hurt for those women. I can't imagine the heartache. If you are that woman, I sure love you and I'm just a piddly, little grouchbag. Broken heart, The Creator loves you so beyond what you can ask or even imagine.  Trust this big sinful disaster when I say that there is literally nothing you have done that can separate you from the love of Christ. He is there waiting.
And the teenage mom, who is scared out of her gourd. Girl, my heart is so huge for you. So big, that I often dream of having a place, a BIG place, for you to come stay. To be safe, loved and cherished. To be encouraged and helped along the way because you and your precious babe is so worthy of love.
I didn't realize where this post was going before I sat here to peck it out. What a mix of emotions. Gratitude, that God is who He is and He never, ever changes. That He makes no mistakes and He has a plan (numbered the days, even) just for me. Just for you, too. Humility, that He might offer me children to open my eyes to His love as a Father. Brokenness, for those who can't or haven't yet tasted the goodness of Jesus. Sad, for those mamas who grieve the loss of their babies and for the ones, still, who are feeling hopeless in real-time. And HOPE, for those who find Christ out there in the feeble hands and hearts of those who serve Him here on earth.
He made us not for this world, that superficially builds us, wrecks us, and forgets us--He made us for Him, to be infinitely loved and a part of His daily family affairs.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Inspired by the verse Matthew 10:26, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care."

This verse has been bouncing around my head and heart for over a year now. It hit me just right; in the midst of transition from two children to three. Sleepless nights of newborn life mixed with the busyness of caring for a newborn, two siblings, and a naughty weimaraner puppy- my life felt a blur. As I read those words, it was like my monotonous offerings meant something to the Creator of the world. As if He said "No worries, Child, I notice ALL things." Not a bird of the air, seemingly so ordinary and forgettable by the world, escapes His care. How much more does He love me.

Why? I'm a messy disaster, literally in my mommy attire, and even more in the deepest places of my heart. I began to see this mix of color and a vision of just how my heart would paint such a verse. But, again, three kids, husband, life, and the naughty dog.

 Six months passed and my heart's desire to paint this was renewed. Though, we've never met, though they don't know of my existence, I learned of theirs and my heart was incredibly changed. See, their last name is Sparrow and they experienced and incredibly painful journey of loss that I cannot begin to understand-truthfully, I hope I never do. I'd love to share more, but don't' feel I can without actually meeting this folks and having their blessing.  I share this much to say God wastes nothing. Their faithfulness to share their RAW, fresh hurt with the world brought to surface something that had already been ignited within me and made it anew. Let's not forget that folks. Little bits of love and faithfulness are multiplied in ways we often will never know and make differences we cannot even fathom. Why? Because God is big and He wastes NADA. Nothing. Not one thing. He is good and He is for us.

Slow but sure this painting came along as I prayed it through and prayed for the family who boosted it from the depths. As I pray for the hearts who will eventually call it theirs. What a privilege. For average, little me.

I started with a BIG (44" x 24" x 2.25") double-pane window we found nestled safe and sound in an abandoned shed in Southeastern Iowa. They were abandoned from a project and left for over fifty years. Untouched by life. Until we found them. I love things old and worn. Things forgotten. Ah, to give it life again. LOVE that. Just like God does in us, slow but sure.

I tried something different and new to me. An acrylic mixed-media piece. Notice my childhood towl made by my Great Great Aunt Fern? Love that it is always there with me. She was an incredible woman. Anyway, the main features here. Notice the little mama and baby sparrow? Not yet, I'll show you later :)
 I flipped the painting over and slowly but surely layered a warm, deep sky.

 Back over it went for more fine details. More layers of color and love. There's that mama and baby. Nestled in. Noticed and cared for.
 And here she is finished. I decided to leave that wood frame free, unpainted/unstained. Raw and natural as we found it.
I hope to list this somewhere, some day to find its home. Until then, I love to see it. I love to be reminded of God's tender, intricate care for me and for us all. And I appreciate the reminder to pray for the Sparrows of this world, who need reminding of His love, His blessings for those who seek after Him.