Very Precious.

I kissed my husband goodbye. We had driven separately this time.

I would stay at the midwife’s office and he would go and pick up our youngest from a friend’s house, and our oldest from Kindergarten. Our two little girls. They are ages six and four.

It was cold and windy out, but I was all warm and cozy inside. We just found out that those two girls of ours would have a :little brother: this Spring!

My husband, who had just kissed my cheek like most every day before, this time next year would have a son to wrestle with and throw in the air. He does those things with our girls, and will continue to. But there’s no denying- there’s something about a little boy.

Honestly, I expected another girl. Also I don’t really like change, hehe. With three friends of mine who have all girls, I just thought we would be that way too.

As he looked at the black screen expectantly, I felt a little sorry for him, thinking he’d be a little disappointed when the tech revealed that which I thought was inevitable! Haha. Nope. Emmy and Sadie had been teasing their Daddy for weeks that we’re having a baby sister, and he teased back that they were wrong.

He was right. 🙂

With more than a 4 year gap between our second and third child, we are super excited about this pregnancy. And a boy is just an extra special blessing after a couple years of wondering if we would add a third.

And God has a boy for us! Still pinching myself.

After our ultrasound, I had my normal 20 week appointment, which my husband didn’t need to stay for.  I smiled-out-loud as I texted a bunch of friends the news and waited in the waiting room. I was trying to soak up the joy and giggles and happy thoughts of friends,

and trying not to think about what would happen soon-

getting on that dreaded scale!

Some women aren’t bothered at all by knowing the number on the scale, especially during pregnancy. But unfortunately,  I was quite used to that thing trying to steal my joy! And I was fighting to not let it get in the way of my thoughts.

My bathroom scale had broken a few weeks before, and I decided not to replace it. It has done more harm then good in my life. And the number on it would only be going up, I knew it would be a temptation to me.

I knew I’d been eating clean and exercising, and whatever weight I had gained since my last check up would be a healthy number. But even if I hadn’t been able to! , this baby needs his Mama to gain weight so that he can be given the nourishment he needs to grow healthy and strong. Mustering up the courage, I relaxed as I stepped on the scale.

“Good weight gain.” , said the sweet midwife with the sweet Mennonite head covering.

And then she asked me all the normal questions, and we talked about how we were having our first boy. But I admit I had become a bit distracted, feeling shallow and silly, as I did the math in my head,

“Okay, ten pounds so average of a half a pound a week- not bad!

They say it’s fine to gain a pound a week for the whole 40 weeks!

I’ve gained less than that.

I’m good.”

But the number on the scale was still higher than what I would have been at this point with my last pregnancy. “But I had been doing Crossfit for the past two years and muscle weighs more than fat.”, I reminded myself (trying not to think of all that hard work going to waste these past few month).

But the number one the scale with my :first: pregnancy was :even lower: at this point, and I lost the postpartum weight so much faster the first time around. “But I was like 22 then, I’ll be thirty this time! !”

:thoughts spiraling until :

“I’ll never be able to lose the weight this time.! ”

How quickly my joy was swallowed up by my own selfish thoughts about my weight!

Thankfully that familiar feeling faded as we shared the happy news with friends and family. My husband loves my body; he has known it at all different sizes shapes and numbers. And I wasn’t hating it so much before I got on the scale!

But how quickly I can stumble and struggle with what the world calls beautiful.

The picture above is me this past weekend, a couple days after learning the happy news. I had got a pretty new dress to embrace my belly (when I would prefer to hide it) and celebrate my baby boy.

I was doing a craft show selling earrings from my new Etsy shop , and was excited for the opportunity.

But soon that joy was almost lost, when someone I hadn’t seen for the past 20 weeks made a negative comment about my size.


In conclusion, my decision to not replace my bathroom scale was a good one. ;}

I think next time I might just not look when they take my weight. 🙂

But more helpful than those reminders—

God designed it that women gain weight during pregnancy, and with hormones as we age. God designed it that a pregnant woman glows, and everyone knows a pregnant woman is beautiful even as her weight goes up. It is much harder for the pregnant lady to see that, and our hormones are crazy, hehe, so please be kind.

More important to remember and embrace, is that physical beauty is fleeting.

I know I have friends who’ve struggled with infant loss and infertility, who would gladly gain a hundred pounds if it meant they could hold their child. They know what holds more value in the life.

God designed it that as outer beauty fades, inner beauty grows and grows.

And that’s the kind of beauty I want to have. The kind of beauty I want to show and tell my girls – and son- about.

The kind the Bible calls in IMPERISHABLE.


So ladies, let’s encourage each other when we start to spiral about our bodies changing and when we’re discouraged in the fight to obtain wordly perfection!

Let’s eat well to feel well, and exercise for fun, so that we can better do our daily tasks with energy and health and joy.  But most of all, let’s seek the beauty that never fades “which in God’s sight is very precious.”

(1 Peter 3:4)

I made this when I was pregnant with Emmylou, 7 years ago.

“Blessed Discovery!” (How Feeling Like A Bad Mom Made Me a Better Mom Today)

This morning,
with sleepy-eyes and a mug of coffee,
I read over my journal entry from 24 hours before, which began,
” Lord, I was such a bad Mom yesterday! I need Your help today.”
& Unfortunately,
I could have written that :exact same thing: again, THIS MORNING,
as I reflected on the hours that followed my scribbled down prayer yesterday.
Yep, I had not done well yesterday either.
But before I could get discouraged, I remembered something one of our pastors said recently. He said that we shouldn’t just say “Jesus died for my sins.” Of course He did~! but,
that’s so general, and so rote,
and therefore, so hard to apply to daily life at times.
Instead we can be specific. Like this:
Jesus died for my anger and impatience;
for when I yell at my kids, though I promised myself I’d never be that way!
Jesus died for my selfishness;
for when I push my girls away; for when I “can’t even” .
Jesus died for the times I despise my lot and boundary lines;
for when I dream up ways to escape my responsibilities!
Jesus died for my lack of love and kindness toward my children;
for when I see them as burdens and not as sweet blessings.
Jesus died for when I forget God’s goodness and faithfulness and sovereignty;
when I run to HaloTop icecream, and mindless Facebook scrolling for comfort,
instead of to Him.
Jesus died for my worst days as a Mom!
Not only that, He lived a perfect life for me—
He lived a kind and loving and patient and selfless, joyful life,
which was *full of hope and trust* in the Father’s faithfulness and goodness,
and He “set that to my account. ”
His righteous, selfless life counts for my unrighteous, selfish one!
& Suddenly, being a Mom doesn’t feel like such a burden,
such a hard & thankless calling, but a gift from God.
There’s no room for guilt and condemnation here.
Just sweet communion with the One who made me and loves me, and died that I might live.
“Laden with guilt and full of fears, I saw my Savior as my Substitute, and I laid my hand upon him; oh! how timidly at first, but courage grew and confidence was confirmed until I leaned my soul entirely upon him; and now it is my unceasing joy to know that my sins are no longer imputed to me, but laid on him, and like the debts of the wounded traveller, Jesus, like the good Samaritan, has said of all my future sinfulness, Set that to my account.'” Blessed discovery! Eternal solace of a grateful heart!” – Charles Spurgeon, Morning & Evening, April 13th PM

What Anxiety and Depression Looks Like Sometimes.

Have you ever had a migraine? The kind when you have to cancel your plans for the day. Turn off the lights. Lay in bed. Every sound and smell; the sensation of light on your eyes, makes the pain worse. Basically, all of your senses are on overload. And maybe you had a fun day-out planned, or perhaps it was supposed to be just a regular boring day at home with a long to-do list…

But instead, you have to set your kids up with a movie (or two), and a drink and a snack (or two!) while you lay quiet in bed and wait for the pain to go away. Maybe you have to call a friend or family member to help you watch your kids or do your laundry. Because you’ve tried all your go-to remedies, and they’re not making a dent. There’s nothing you can do except to rest and wait it out. And desperately hope/pray that tomorrow is better.

Or, have you ever had just a *normal* headache? I’m sure you can relate. The kind where you can pop a Tylenol, or drink a hot mug of peppermint tea. And it knocks out the pain for the most part. You can get on with your day, even though maybe you’d prefer to lay in bed if it were up to you! You have responsibilities, and the dull discomfort is there, but you can push through it and mostly think clearly.

Anxiety and depression looks and feels like that in my life sometimes.

People might be surprised to learn that anxiety and depression are a nearly constant battle of mine.

I’ve been hesitant to share this for most of my life. My biggest fear is that people will think, “She seems so happy all the time, I should have known she was faking!!”

I’ve always, for as long as I can remember, been praised for being such a happy person.

My God-given disposition, my resting face you could say, is a smile. It’s not a fake smile. And my cheerful persona isn’t fake. I’ll try to explain.

Depression, just a dark sadness cloud that lingers around my head, usually for no reason!, has been lingering around since I was a young teen. Anxiety, just a feeling of being scared, so scared you can’t breathe at times! , has been there off and on since I was a child.

But my anxiety has become so much worse since I got Lyme disease. I always say that panic attacks were my first symptom of Lyme actually. The anxious feeling, which once was only a mental thing, became such a physical thing.

I remember the first time it hit me. I was standing at the sink trying to do the dishes, while my girls fluttered around me like butterflies, wanting my attention. It truly felt like someone had their hands on my shoulders and was pushing down hard. Then that same pressing-down feeling would come to my neck and to the top of my head. It was summertime, and the air conditioning was doing it’s job to make our house nice and cool, but I went crazy thinking it wasn’t working. I was always feeling so hot. I couldn’t breathe or think clearly.

Part of me knew I just needed to do the dishes, to instruct my girls to go and play and give Mommy a minute to finish. But, figuratively speaking, the other part of me felt like I was running away from a lion.

My depression that comes and goes is much easier to deal with, honestly. I can pray, I can read scripture. I can pour over vintage hymn lyrics that are rich with theology that encourages and cheers my soul, despite the pain. I can take my vitamin D and my 5htp.

There might be a dark cloud that comes over me some days. But there is a silver lining of God’s goodness and great love and faithfulness that I can’t deny. This is the reason you see a smile on my face most of the time. It’s rooted there. In Him.

My panic attacks are so much harder. I just dread them. The awful, *real* physical feeling. Having a migraine would be much easier to describe! But it’s anxiety. Some days it’s like a dull headache that I can press through. And some days it’s like a migraine that has me down for the count for an entire day, or more. I know Lyme has contributed, but knowing that doesn’t help the pain go away.

On one hand, I really don’t want to share this! Because I don’t want people to look at me differently! But on the other, I want to share it. Because the Bible tells me that depending on Him in my weakness will make me stronger. So I don’t have to be ashamed.

And I want to share it because I’m sure there are many of you out there who just appear happy to the outside world, but inside you are in turmoil. I hope my story can encourage you that you’re not alone! That God loves you and wants to comfort you and be there for you. And that He has a purpose in your suffering.

I also wanted to share because there is so much going on in this world in which mental health is discussed and debated. And maybe I can be a face for you to put with the discussions. By God’s grace, my anxiety and depression hasn’t led me to do anything harmful to others. But it has in the past, before I understood the Gospel, led me to do things harmful to myself. And whenever I hear stories of people with anxiety who are brought to a place in which they harm others, my heart aches. It’s a complicated ache…

But with God’s grace, that ache can turn to praise. As I remember that someday, all pain -including anxiety and depression and mental illness pain- will be banished forever! God did not intend for this kind of pain to be part of His world, but because of sin, it is. And because of the Gospel, I can rejoice and praise Him as I look forward to the day it will be taken away. From me. From loved ones who struggle in a similar way. And perhaps from you too?


“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. ” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 51:11


Ye fearful saints fresh courage take,
The clouds you so much dread,
Are big with mercy, and shall break,
With blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace.
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour.
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

God Moves in a Mysterious Way,

William Cowper, 1774