When You Want To Escape.


It was the most free I have felt in a while.

A much-needed date night where we laughed more than we cried; conversed about silly details more than heavy realities, and then we got in the car and we drove and we drove and we drove.

The temperature was that perfect ocean feel- windows rolled down, music turned up, my hand out as the wind beat against it.

It felt like I was escaping for a few minutes.

Yep, you read that right. Sometimes, I am ready to escape this story.

This week, Hugh and I will celebrate five years of marriage. Over six months ago, we had grandeur plans of taking a longer vacation, just the two of us. Convicted that extra money should go toward the adoption, and realizing that, let’s be honest, we aren’t in a place to be able to leave our girls for an extended time, that dream dissipated pretty quickly. As I have glanced through social media this week, pictures of beaches and fine dining and laughter and carefree living have abounded.



“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me…”- Luke 22:42

Jesus, in the Garden of Gethesmane- a garden whose very name means, “a place or occasion of great mental or spiritual suffering”. For a few agonizing minutes, He wanted to escape. Surely, if the Son of God, who knew no sin, asked that the cup be passed- surely I am allotted days or weeks or months of the same in the midst of my humanity.


In the beginning of this new normal, the adrenaline was still going and the reality of our story was fresh on people’s minds and the drama of twins with severe special needs was still potent. These days, the Children’s ER feels sadly comfortable and days that include seizures and medicine side effects and unknowns are more familiar than days that do not. We, and everyone else, are immune to a story that we wouldn’t have written if it were up to us. This week alone, we have watched Bailey Grace scream and cry in pain- sometimes for hour upon hour at night. No one is sleeping, and we are finally treating her for an ulcer related to the feeding tube despite not being quite sure of the source. As a mom, I can’t finds words to express the pain and helplessness involved in these dark moments. On top of that, Ally has been waking up some mornings just “off”- sometimes seemingly having clusters of seizures, sometimes just dazed and not her happy self. Again, reasons no one can quite peg. The added mundane of appointments and feeding and medications and attempts at stimulating one child who is out of it and one child who is crying and hurting feels purposeless and heavy. When friends and family call, I hear the, “Well, how are y’all?” on the other end; and it tends to have the tone someone uses when someone has lost a loved one. I usually respond with a cheery, “We are fine. How are you?”, quickly reverting to something else because the truth is, I get tired of always having heavy hards to discuss. Some days, I want to talk about things that don’t matter. Someone close to me recently mentioned that the blog sometimes felt uncomfortable because I made things sounds so challenging. Truthfully, I don’t even give the half of it on the blog. The parts I do share are simply pieces of the reality of our family’s story.

But God.

Always, but God.

If it were up to my flesh, I would be posting more pictures of playdates and nice dinners and weekend anniversary getaways and cheerful, mundane moments instead of continued reminders that the chronic nature of severe special needs isn’t going away.

But thanks be to God nothing is up to my flesh.

All those things are passing. They are here one moment, gone the next. God as our Refuge is the only Answer. You see, unbelief looks at God through the circumstances, just as we sometimes see the sun dimmed by clouds. But faith- faith puts God between itself and the circumstances. Faith looks at circumstances through God, not vice versa.

Because this is our story- because the second part of the verse says, “Yet not my will but Yours be done”, all I have to offer a watching world is the reality that my flesh is currently failing but that God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25). That’s it. Only He can fill the dead dry places with light and life. Currently, I relate to David in the Psalms in which he said, “I thirst for You in a dry and weary land with no water”. Currently, it seems as if the fog is never going to lift. Yet God and His promises still reign true and thanks be to my Lord, things are not always as they seem and the river of God is full of water (Psalm 65:9). Living water. Eternal water. Limitless.

So, I come.

I come to His throne room day after day because His Word tells me that if I thirst, this is where I must come (John 7:37). I come because, as Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

And friend- I share this with you because I want you to hear me shouting loud and clear that we have an enemy of our souls that wants us to attempt to escape to the dust in these moments. The enemy would love nothing more than for us to cling to futile pleasures instead of resting in the shadow of the Almighty’s wings. Yet it is in these times- the ones in which we are quite literally battling to believe truth and fighting to live out the truth that only God satisfies that are faith is stretched the most and our lives are transformed for our good and His glory— and if all this sounds depressing to you, then you have missed the beautiful truth behind it—

Though there may be an enemy- greater is He that is in me (1 John 4:4).

The story does not stop in the dry and thirsty lands- it ends face-to-face with the One who saved us from futile escapes to things that are here one moment and gone the next.

He can be trusted. In His faithfulness, He is making all things new. Our situations and trials and hours do not control our God- our God controls them and He is sovereign in all things.

I am trusting that God is bigger both for you and for me.

I am believing that God’s plans are good.

I am clinging to the One who promises me that He is working.

I am setting my hoping wholly on the grace that that is coming when Jesus is revealed (1 Peter 1:13); even when my flesh would rather wallow in what seems to be the story based on my current, faulty lenses.

Will you trust Him alongside me?

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.”- Habakkuk 3:17-19


You are Not Unlucky.

If God sent His Son to put an ultimate end to suffering, why in the world-in this world- is there so much suffering?

“O death, where is your victory? O death where is your sting?”- 1 Corinthians 15:55

For those of us who have lost someone we love- the answer to this rhetorical question is easy. It seems as if Paul is saying that there is no pain involved in dying or brokenness or sin; and to that we all would disagree.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”- Matthew 6:9-10

On earth as it is in heaven?


If Jesus came to claim victory over sin and death and pain and hurting- if God is really good and has our best interests at heart- then what is going on now? Why couldn’t it all have ended right then and there?

“Since we have the same spirit of faith (as those before us)…we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”-2 Corinthians 4:13,16-18, emphasis mine

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”- Hebrews 11:1

Faith gives us the determination that, in Christ, death and all that it entails did end at the cross.

Faith fights to believe that, yes, sin and pain and brokenness was already defeated.

Faith says that even if I do not see His victory in my current situation, I can trust and know that it is there.

Faith fixes its entire being not on the middle, but on the end.

Faith hopes in what’s to come instead of dwelling in what appears today.

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Right after we announced our adoption, it felt like the bottom dropped out in our home. I won’t go into too much detail, but from several different angles, we were feeling attacked. It felt like, in more ways than one, we were simply unlucky. I believe that the Enemy is real. I know that he hates marriage and family and adoption and all things God. I am aware that he is the father of lies. Yet, knowing these things doesn’t take away the sting of the temporal reality of hardship.

We are still on this earth and God has made it clear that this world is not our home. As He taught the people to pray, He did not say, “Pray that this earth looks like your heavenly destination”. He said, “Pray my will looks on earth as it does in heaven”. The ultimate plan for this planet is decay and rot. There are glimpses of eternity here, but they are merely passing shadows. That being said, throwing ourselves in the arms of our Father, in full assurance of faith that one day, these wrongs will be made right, is the only thing we have to do when the temporal feels and looks and seems magnified.

It’s the only way.

The Enemy wants nothing more than to make you believe that God is not for you.

He desires for you to look at your current circumstances and question how in the world God could be up to good in it.

It’s the Garden of Eden mentality-

“Did God actually say?”- Genesis 3:1

Is God actually in this cancer diagnosis?

Does God see the pain of my divorce?

Did God care when that horrible wrong happened to me as a child?

Can God really care about my daughters when seizures and feeding problems and pain persist?


Only you know what you currently are wrestling with; but if you have breath in your lungs I can promise you that the Enemy of your soul is working hard at trying to talk you into believing absolute lies.

He comes to steal and kill and destroy. (John 10:10)


For a couple of months, Hugh and I have been in quite the battle to believe the Spirit is working when the circumstances around us felt like anything but. Between the girls’ hospitalization when Hugh was out of the country, looming seizures, a surgery confirmation for Ally (that happens tomorrow), illness, a life-changing hurt from someone we trusted, and some looming negative emotions that would not let up no matter how much we prayed for it to be so, we have been worn thin.

But God.

This week, He has absolutely shown Himself and His provision in ways that we could not have imagined.

After feeling like the dark cloud was never going to lift; like the bottom was going to continue to fall out, He has poured out more grace in more ways that I could list one after another. And- in hindsight- He in His perfect wisdom made that black cloud the very thing that has helped us to see His presence in the aftermath- not one moment wasted. He has reminded me yet again that no child of God is left to luck or chance- He is sovereign over all things and using all things for His glory and our ultimate good.

He has placed opportunities in front of us that we are undeserving of, and in spite of our roller coaster game of trusting and shortly after doubting that He was actually working, He has remained faithful. Why?

Because that’s just who He is.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful- for He cannot deny Himself.- 2 Timothy 2:13

It’s not that everything is suddenly perfect; it’s just that the veil has been lifted a touch more and we are seeing tangible signs that obedience is worth it- that He is with us and He is more than worth it.

Friends, it may seem as if the Enemy has taken the script of your life and absolutely rewritten its plot, but rest assured that if you are in Christ, all the moments of your life are secured and defined and planned out with the precious blood of the One who loved you enough to take your broken story and make something more beautiful than you could ever design.

He is working.

Read that again, friend.

He is working- in your story and in mine- and in all reality, they are both His.

Today, may you be encouraged that this hard, magnified, consuming thing is most certainly light and fleeting.

He does have the victory.

This thing- whatever this thing is- is not going to break you- unless He uses it to break you in order to make you something all the more beautiful and whole.

And, if you are in the trenches of the hardest battle of your life, whether external or internal, rest assured in knowing that there is no one safer to fling yourself today than your Savior’s arms who walked the road of Calvary to relieve you from anything and everything that causes suffering or brokenness or pain or sin or death.

Not now, but then.

Not today, but for all eternity.

All glory and honor and power and praise to Him for now and forevermore.


“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken…”- Hebrews 12:28a


Pancake Fails and Heavenly Realities.

“Heaven is not here, it’s there. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”- Elisabeth Elliot

Last week, I was going to make Hugh the perfect pancakes.

Perfect because they included all the things currently deemed healthy; perfect because it was a Monday morning and I, being the all-American wife (ha), was going to get up bright and early and have his piping hot, nutritionally-sound breakfast waiting by his Bible.

They were disgusting.

Like, not the kind of disgusting that you can rationalize. The kind that you don’t even put in your dog’s bowl because the Spirit inside of you reminds you it wouldn’t be right to let any living creature consume what you just created.

In full disclosure, I didn’t take a picture of my pancakes. But if you can imagine chalky and chunky and gooey (if that combination is possible), you have a pretty good idea. I googled, “healthy pancake fail” and even the worst picture I found looked better than what was on Hugh’s plate.

So, instead of Hugh starting his Monday off on the right foot, he attempted to stomach approximately three and a half bites of said breakfast (despite my strong discouragement to not put himself through it) and left the house probably feeling nauseous.

This morning, I was determined to make all wrongs right. I found a recipe that included three-fourths heathy and one-fourth normal (because I am pretty positive that’s where I went wrong in the first place. Moderation, right?) As I flipped the last pancake onto a plate, I smiled in satisfaction. They looked good. I tried a bite- they tasted good. Success, right?


Sort of.

There was still something missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but they simply weren’t the best pancakes I had ever put in my mouth. They didn’t require a whole bottle of maple syrup, but it certainly didn’t hurt. My expectations still not quite met. I wanted this:


Now, mind you- I haven’t tasted these; but by the looks of them, Emma’s Kitchen had conquered the pancake beast a touch more than myself.

You can certainly start sending me all your full-proof, decently nutritional pancake recipes, but on this Saturday morning, I have a simple truth I want to share with each of you:

Heaven is not here, it’s there.

Friends, until we meet Jesus face-to-face, our flesh is still going to be very present in all that we are and all that we do.

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”- Romans 7:15,16

This truth is our reality each and every day. Yes- if you are a Christ-follower, you have freedom to choose to allow the Spirit to do the walking and talking and reacting and acting instead of the flesh- yet, don’t miss this- while on earth, sometimes, the flesh is going to be more obvious than the Spirit within. Always. We are never going to reach a point on this side of heaven in which sanctification is fully complete and we are like Jesus in all that we are and all that we speak and all that we do.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”- 1 Corinthians 13:12

But God.

The beautiful, amazing, undeserving, life-changing truth is that the God of the universe sees you through the greater reality of His perfect, spotless Son. Heaven is not here, it’s there- yet, praise be to God, He is already in heaven, seeing us as Jesus!

Friends, if we spend our entire lives disappointed because the pancakes aren’t perfect- we are going to absolutely waste our days. Focusing on the imperfections- blaming it on a type A personality- is not holy- it’s distrusting of a Holy God who has already deemed you righteous through Jesus.

Life with our girls has taught me so much about looking at the bigger picture instead of individual snapshots. And, wonderfully so, this has allowed me to live much more freely and enjoy each and every moment more fully, not less. Yesterday morning started out in the ER. Ally had a seizure that would not stop- that went on for thirty minutes even with emergency meds. This has never happened before, and the temptation to base our entire day on these few hours would have certainly been there a few months prior. But now? Now, I can see that while the day started out at Children’s, it ended with giggles and laughs and ice cream and less brain misfiring.

Still not in full, but in part- yet, having no expectations for the whole there, here; and simply being grateful for the glimpses of heaven we get to participate in along the way.

On this beautiful Saturday, friends, might we take our eyes off of the things that aren’t as we feel they should be- the relationships that we wish we could change, the personalities that aren’t behaving as we wished, the circumstances that we had hoped would be different- and instead, might we not only accept but also find hope in the fact that the perfect pancakes are waiting for us in heaven and heaven alone. May we enjoy each and every mili-second of a moment in light of that truth- putting no expectations on ourselves or on those around us- finding all our satisfaction in the only One who truly satisfies.

All glory to Him and Him alone.

“Find rest in God alone. Your hope comes from Him.”- Psalm 62:5, emphasis mine