Friday, February 27, 2015


It's amazing how much the heart can expand. 

It heals, it forgives, it loves, it grows. The heart is a beautiful thing. 

Of course, it does also hurt...but the ability of the heart to heal is amazing. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my Abigail, but the memories get happier & the pain gets less as my heart heals. 

I felt like I was doomed to pain for the rest of my life after my little girl went to Heaven, but God's promises are true & He really does give you joy for mourning & beauty for ashes. 

I thought I was doomed to have a "pang" in my heart every time I heard that another one of my friend's was pregnant & yet now, I feel as if I can love their babies even more. 

I thought I was doomed to cry every time a new baby was born & I held that new life in my arms, but my heart grew & I'm loving those little babies with all the joy in my heart. 

I won't lie to you & say it's been all peaches & cream - I'm still healing - but God is faithful & the more I allow Him to love me, the more I find my heart expanding and the things that once brought pain, now bring joy.

So don't think you're the first to burst into sad tears & not happy ones when your friends tell you their good news. You'll feel happy for them, sad for you, guilty for feeling sad & a million other things. Go ahead & cry, go ahead & feel those emotions, it's okay, it's normal - and then go to God & let Him continue His work in you. 

Don't hide yourself away from the happy things of life. As much as it hurts, it's part of the healing, and who better to go through it with than those who love you most? We're all put here together to help each other do this thing called life. 

Let those that God has given you help you & let God do His work.

He has all the hope you need. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

take. hope.

Life is big & full of overwhelming things. 

Psalm 55:22 
Cast your burden on the LORDand he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Isaiah 26:3-4
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

There is nothing to big for Him to get your through & bring you out victorious. Life is not too big & overwhelming for God! 

Proverbs 3:5-8
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Take hope today in Someone who is much stronger & bigger than you. Even if you don't feel it, TAKE it! God is our hope & He has freely given Himself to us! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Matthew 7

Matthew 7

This chapter, I tell you what. It's been a real eye-opener. 

It's funny how you think you know/understand something & then life shows you how much you don't.

I was pregnant with Abigail & got the chance to preach at my church. I believe God spoke to me to talk on this chapter because He knew I was going to need it. 

I went ahead & preached about not being shaken when the rain hit & how your house won't fall when it's built on the Rock.

All good & true stuff.

Yet, as the next week began - there I was laying in the hospital fighting for my life, while my little girl got whisked off to a neonatal intensive care unit to fight for hers. 

As the story goes, I obviously got better & if you've read any earlier blogs you'll know that my sweet girl went to Heaven after 45 days. 

I can honestly say now, I didn't even know the depth of what I was preaching. I can't tell you how many times I've read those Scriptures, heard them preached about, & talked about them myself & never EVER realized what they were saying until now. 

Somehow, I would always gloss over the part about the rain & wind - like those were just poetic phrases & didn't really have any meaning. Somehow, I always thought that the only thing of importance in those Scriptures was that my house was standing because I'm built on Christ....and somehow that translated to me that NOTHING BAD WOULD EVER HAPPEN. 

When in all obviousness (hindsight is 20/20 as they say!), He was speaking right at me about the storm that was about to come & I completely missed it. 

Why am I sharing this? 2 reasons:

1. bad things will happen, BUT if you are built on the ROCK your house will stand. It's going to be hard & painful, but you'll last. I did. My husband did. My family did. God is faithful. 

2. we can't go into the Scriptures with rose-colored glasses or preconceived notions that cause us to gloss over things. They are God's words, not just a poetic book to make His children feel good. It's a map to life. It's the key to surviving in this world. It's a guide to knowing about His promises for a happy & blessed life & how to walk in victory after the battles. 

Without the Word of God we're left to our own understanding to deal with life. NO THANKS! Serving God doesn't mean a life without problems, but it does mean that I have His help getting through them & I'll take that EVER SINGLE TIME!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

***Be full***

One thing I've learned is that life doesn't stop. 

Life doesn't care what you're going through, it will keep chugging along. On top of that, it doesn't care how much of a load you already have to carry, it will add more. 

Time is relentless. 

So what's the answer? Be full!

It might seem like a cop-out answer, but it's been the "realest" truth in my life. It never fails. When I'm full of God's Word, prayer & worship it causes a chain reaction. The troubles of life don't disappear, but they aren't as big & I can see the victory! My emotions are more Godly - I don't PMS (let's just be real!), I don't cry over a hang nail, I don't get discontented. My body is more "alive!" I have the desire to eat healthy, exercise, & take care of myself. All of this happens BECAUSE my spiritual life is full. 

& then there's the opposite...when I'm empty. It's not pleasant. You can pretty much guess it's the exact opposite of the above. 

So why in the world do I stop?? Why do I keep shooting myself in the foot? Why do I put down my Bible? I've come to determine that the "flesh" or the thing that connects us to this world doesn't care if it suffers as long as it doesn't have to deal with God. Human nature isn't anti-suffering, it's anti-God. My flesh would rather have me miserable, than have me running on all cylinders & full of God! 

Thank God He's given us the victory! Romans 7 & 8 tell us that, yes we're warring against a sin-nature, but that we've been given the power over it! God in us is stronger than any desire to sin! But if we're not full of God, how can we hope to defeat our enemy? We're not strong enough on our own, BUT HE'S GIVEN US THE ANSWER!! Himself! 

Stay faithful - reading, praying, worshiping - and see that even though life won't be perfect, you'll have the victory!

*photo by Caleb Willoughby

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I don't at all want this blog to only be about the hardest days of my life, I want you to see that joy really does come in the "morning." & even though my "morning" seemed to be a few months coming, it has come & joy is here. 

I know that God is working in me a healing that no one else can do, but I also see the importance of surrounding yourself with people who will encourage you & hug you & yes, even challenge you.

When you're in the middle of quicksand you can't pull yourself out, you need friends! The man in the Bible who was crippled needed friends to take him to Jesus so he could get healed! 

There were so many days I wanted nothing to do with friends or joy or laughs, but it was the people God had put around me who helped me walk through it all. 

I'm not sure they really even realize what they did for me. But in the moments where I felt like God wasn't near, I had everyone around me telling me He was, helping me along, praying for me - how can you say thank you for that? It's life. 

Isolation will destroy your life, but so will surrounding yourself with wrong people telling you the wrong things. The relationships you create will be life or death. The Bible tells us to guard our heart because it is the wellspring of life. If I had surrounded myself with people who only ever felt sorry for me (even though their intentions were only good), sorrow would be the only thing my heart could produce. But because I have an amazing husband, family & church family - people who are full of faith, & people that don't quit - my heart was filled with that same faith & determination, so that's what came out of me (eventually!). 

I'm not trying to make it sound like it was easy, but it was right & it was life. God's Word doesn't promise a perfect life, but He surely promises victory over the junk that does happen in this life. I'd rather have victory over the bad things that happen in my life, than just go on living with them for the rest of my days. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is - GET IN A CHURCH! Surround yourself with faith-filled people, fill yourself with the Word of God that's preached from the pulpit, & believe that God is doing His work!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

God knew.

"This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice & be glad in it." 

It's a tough verse to accept when you're going through the worst day of your life. I can't say I thought about this verse at all the day my sweet Abigail went to Heaven, but as I heal & as I look back I see the hope. 

How is it possible to see hope in times like these?! 

God knew. 

& that's where I find my hope. He knew what was going to happen & He knew that if I didn't have Him, all hope would be lost. 

I don't know why she didn't get healed, but I know I'm being healed now. If I continue to live looking back & wondering why this happened to me, I'll miss life. 

The hope of the Christian is that, I will see my little girl again. She's in Heaven & that's where I plan to go because I confess Jesus as my Savior & Lord of my life. 

He didn't take her away from me, but He's holding her for me now. I miss her, but I'm going to see her again. 

So as I continue to live on this earth & accomplish the call that He's placed on my life I can say, "today is the day that He's made & I'm going to rejoice in it."

There's no pain or sorrow that He cannot heal. It might not feel that way now or even for the next weeks or months of your life, but please if you believe nothing else, believe that if you keep turning to Jesus - He will fix what is broken. 


Monday, February 9, 2015

My Beautiful Crown

My Beautiful Crown, it came from one of the most difficult times of my life. 

I don't want to start this out too heavy & yet, it's the heaviness that has inspired me to write. 

Let me start by saying this, I'm a Christian & I believe that God is good! I am married to Caleb, the most wonderful man in the world & we have a sweet little daughter named Abigail who lives in Heaven. 

Yes, I believe in Heaven & yes, through my hardest times, I still believe - God is good. 

My sweet Abigail was born at 25 weeks. She was with us for 45 days. They were the hardest & the most amazing 45 days of my life. I got to touch & hold & smell & kiss my little girl. 

We prayed & believed that she would make it & that God would heal her of everything that the doctors said was wrong with her. 

We still believe our God heals & that nothing is impossible for Him. I'll tell you, it was the shakiest place I'd ever been at in my faith. I wish I could say I never asked "why?" But I did & I still do sometimes. 

The immediate days following were like nothing else. I ached & cried & struggled to feel God. I often wondered if He was still with me. I can't really even explain the transition, but as I kept doing all the things I had been taught over the years - strength came. The very things I wanted to run from & blame, were the very things that saved me.

It's been 8 months since my little girl went to be with Jesus & I can tell you, I have a beautiful crown. God has begun the work of healing my sorrow & my hurt & my doubt. He has given me joy & peace & healing. I remember my Abigail & all the joy she brought me, and I also look forward to the day I see her again. 

I don't really know what this blog is going to be about, but I can see the work that God is doing in me & if by some chance my story can bring hope to someone who is going through their hardest of times...then Dear God, please use me.