Emerging Beauty

Sometimes we overlook the obvious as mothers. That same pile of papers that need to be filed is tuned out of our peripheral vision every time we walk by it. Sometimes this same overlooking can happen with our children. I always love reading and rereading Psalm 139 and marvel about how God had this all planned out before we even entered the womb. As a mother it is by far one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. But do I really take time to slow down and know my children? Do I see what He planted innately in them, tucking it deep in freshly folded DNA?

I’ve been noticing this in Lily lately. Between her constant fashion pairings of Sarah Jessica Parker-ish skirts paired with urban tops, her interest in more adultish dolls (Monster High), her gothic passion mixed with contempary prettyness…sort of a vintage mod look…this is a girl who is longing for a fashion outlet.

MOM, WHY DON’T YOU LIKE TO BE PRETTY?” she asked me tonight.

What??? That’s what I portray? She’s been wanting me to color my hair back to brown because the red has become passe for her. She refuses…REFUSES…to wear jeans unless dragged in her bedroom and forced to put them on (only because of weather, not because I care if she wears jeans). She desperately wants to dye her own hair and wear makeup. And tonight while pinning some new hair styles to try, she begged me to print out some pictures of pretty girls that she could cut out. She looked through this Beautiful Mess blog and stood there absolutely mesmerized. I can’t blame her. I was too. I printed some thumbnails for her and watched her scrapbook tonight.

Instantly I was transported back to my own childhood. Pouring over Allure, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar magazines and cutting out models. I had no idea what made me act on this. I didn’t know I wanted to dress a certain way or wear my hair a certain way or do my makeup a certain way. All I knew was what I was attracted to and the magnetic urge compelling me to scrapbook these beautiful findings. For me it wasn’t just fashion, it was style…my style. I also poured over (even more than the fashion mags) Victoria and dreamed of my “some day” house.

As we’ve been house hunting and that is turning into a reality I am reminded of how much a part of my soul that is. He created me exactly this way. Kids and finances forced a season of putting this on hold and, until I saw my house, I didn’t even realize it was on hold in me.

As Christian moms we often shield our children from culture and trendy fads. We, as adults who’ve learned the hard way, know that fads are fleeting and there are deeper things we want to pass down to our kids. But too often this turns into us playing the mom “no” card or the Christian “no” card and not taking the time to think about what or why we are shielding certain things.

One of the best parenting books I’ve read this year was Grace Based Parenting by Ted Kimmel. It wasn’t a book so much about how to discipline as it was a book on how to let go of things that don’t matter. Who cares if your daughter wants to dye her hair? Does that have anything to do with her character? Does it have anything to do with Jesus? More importantly, does it detract from Him? Yes, people judge…usually wrong. But God judges our hearts. He knows our character. And we, as mothers, are called to train hearts, not to worry about appearances as the Pharisees did.

I explained to my daughter how hard it would be for mommy to wash dishes in heels…the slipping, you know. And how taking an hour daily to curl and braid my hair wasn’t in the cards since I have many other responsibilities on my plate in a day. But the excuses sounded hollow, even to my ears. My daughter is sobering for me. She is a good dose of exactly all that is beautiful and pure and fresh. How lovely!

Spiritual Weeding


I’ve been meaning to do a post about the act of spiritual weeding for over a year now. The draft has been sitting in my dashboard and occasionally I sit down and try to pen my heart on this issue. It is such a rich discussion and I think of it everytime I am in the garden. Yet whenever I’ve tried to write, the words never come. But then a very dear friend sent me this devotion that says exactly what’s on my heart beautifully.

The Lord is good. It is 5 in the morning and I cannot sleep. I am feeling anxious and I can’t put my finger on why. I read these words and He pierces my soul. Isn’t that just like Him? Leading me gently to just the right words I need. I encourage you to do the same today!

Before weeding.

After weeding.

A few thoughts while weeding my garden about weeding the sin out of our lives.

  • It is never too late.
  • Weeds come out easiest after a good rain when the ground is softened.
  • Sometimes you must hastily chop off the top before even attempting to pull out roots.
  • If you keep up with the task, the roots are easily pulled up, but let it go and the job is an uphill battle.
  • Sometimes you’re not sure it’s a weed or a flower.
  • Sometimes what you thought was a weed turns out to be beautiful and useful.
  • Taking out weeds close to the flowers/vegetables requires patience and care…one must slow down and be careful not to destroy the good plant.
  • Pulling out weed roots closest to flowers/vegetables is easiest because it’s in fertile soil.
  • Even if you can’t get to all the weeds, pulling some is still worthwhile.
  • Sometimes you must destroy the whole garden in order to get to the deep weed roots.
  • If you maintain healthy, fertile soil all weeds can be removed easily.
But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.” ~ Matthew 13:25-26

Prairie Flora

As I drive around town in the cool of my air-conditioned van running errands I can’t help but notice the beauty by the side of the road. This colorful summer treat has been dear to my heart since I was a little girl picking dandelions. There is a soft spot in me for prairie flora…what others would consider roadside weeds that fade into the background of their life. I couldn’t let another season pass without capturing their beauty.

{Yellow Coneflower. Ratibida pinnata}


{Purple Coneflower. Echinacea purpurea}

I braved the hot, humid steamy weather and took a walk with my littles and my camera. We drank lots of water and I filled my soul with pictures while my littles chased turkeys in the prairie grass. Ahh…it feels good to live in the country!

{Black-eyed Susan. Rudbeckia hirta}

{Indian BlanketGailardia pulchella}

How can you not look at this detail…this perfect artistry and not shout out to the Creator in praise? Man is good and we can create some marvelous things. I can make art with the careful cropping and composition of my photography. Another, much more talented person, can take this to another level and capture the tiniest details in breathtaking clarity through paint and other mediums. But NEVER can we create this.

{Partridge-Pea. Chamaecrista nictitans}

Oh, we may be able to drop a seed into the ground. We may nurture and help along the unfolding of life. We may partake alongside the miracle. But it is not our creation. We did not set gene maps to unfold at precise moments. Never can we do that.

{Blue Vervain. Verbena hastata}

All Praise and Honor and Glory be His forever and ever Amen!

Joining Walking with Him Wednesday.

A Mother’s Heart in July

Remember how much fun the Fourth of July used to be?

Remembering doing snakes….

…and smoke bombs…

…and collecting confetti?

Remember the thrill of the food? Lots of snacks and chips and soda…one of the few times a year to indulge.

And the thrill of first twilight when you were allowed to do just sparklers as the anticipation of the night was building up in your stomach?

It is because I have these memories that I long for my kids to also. But I wasn’t prepared for the emotional change that motherhood brought to the fourth. When I was little I could barely sleep the night before anticipating a relaxing day off. Now I am trying to quiet the mother’s fear in my heart.

It’s the only time of year we purposely give our kids fire to play with!!!

Gun powder. Explosives. Fire. Kids and fresh flesh. Dads and over-zealous enthusiasm. Too much sugar. Stickiness mingling with smoke residue into indefeatable laundry stains. Toddlers missing naps. Babies scared of noises and wanting to sleep so badly. Bedtimes thrown off. Noise into the night. Its enough to throw any mom off her game.

Just look at this photo. Can you say heart attack?????

There is no relaxing conversation while sipping a cool drink on a summer’s eve with the twinkling bugs all around. There is only damage control. Most of my day is hemmed in prayer. All I can do is surrender my fear over to Him who is bigger than said fear.

As a homeschooling mom I think of the soldiers fighting as I hear the celebratory booming around me. I have real fears today but I cannot imagine the heart of those mothers during that tumultuous time of fighting. How many of them in the years to come were gun shy…literally…every time they heard the fireworks ignite the sky?

As much as I cherish these memories and pictures of childhood fan fare, I am acutely aware of how precious my faith is to me and that even on a day of me being hyper-sensitively aware of danger, I can fully cast off my cares on Him and allow peace to reign in my soul. There is true freedom in that and only that.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6

Grace Moments from Little Hearts

Sometimes I utterly feel the hole in my holiness…that is to say I realize how lacking I am in striving towards righteous living. I know that is not a bad thing because it is what drives me to my knees and helps me stay grounded in my need for my Saviour. Yet as a mom it can seem daunting to raise your children up in the Lord. There are so many what-if’s to life and I never feel like I’m doing enough.

Then moments like these come. Your 2 year old picks up your Bible and, while reading it upside down, prays, “Thank you for the food, thank you for baby Eli…in Jesus name, Amen!” She excitedly tells you she is reading her Bible and you didn’t even know she knew the word for Bible. You whisper a thank you and  believe again in His promises.

Then your almost 4 year old tells her daddy how God makes the plants grow and He lives in her heart. And did daddy know that He lives in mommy’s heart too?

And your five year old excitedly runs to get his sister’s Bible and show you a picture of Pharaoh because he knows what Pharaoh looks like and he wants to make sure you do too after reading about Moses and the plagues.

And the lady whose name you don’t know comes up to you in church and gushes about how sweet your children are because they all went to Bible class and immediately sat down and opened up their Bibles. She could tell how much they treasured their books and she doesn’t see that very often.

It is these grace moments that lift me up so that I may keep walking this holy road.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)

The Simplicity of Spring in the Country

I wish I could post the perfume that pervaded the air as these were picked! 

I wish that we could just do this and not worry about dishes and laundry and jobs and money and security. 

know that because of the fall we must work. And I even know work is good…good for the soul. 


But it is in the spring with the singing of the first flowers, the praise of the first perfumed spring scents lingering in the evening air where simplicity stirs again in my soul and I long for it like a parched plant in the desert. 


Psalm 104:14-21 You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart. The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the coneys. You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out. The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.



Romans 8:22-23 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

I feel myself groaning as I watch the sun set knowing I will walk inside and have to give baths, do dishes, fold more laundry, and clean the mud off the floor. Let it be a groan of praise…a waiting on Him and knowing His promises stand firm forever!



Budding Fruit ~ an Easter morning conversation

A morning gift in the Easter basket ~ her first Bible that she can read herself.

The Holy Spirit working in her heart ~ 

Me: Lily, please come get your hair brushed before church.

Lily walks out of her room crying. I think, oh no what now?

Me: What’s wrong, honey?

Lily: I’m just so sad.

Me, feeling somewhat alarmed: Why?

Lily: I was reading the Easter story and I just got to the part where God had to turn away…from His own son, he had to turn away from His own son!!!

All week she walks around with this Bible in her hand. She reads it every spare second she can. She reads it to sleep at night. She reads it in her free time in the afternoon. And we talk and share and she asks questions and we talk some more. This morning she just finished the Old Testament. This from the seven-year old girl who thought she could never read. The Spirit is moving in her!

These things I treasure and ponder in my heart.

Linking with A Holy Experience