one year later, when grief and joy hold hands

I want to take a moment to remember the scars I bore a year ago. I want to acknowledge them, grieve them in the deep places of my heart, before looking upward…before planning Baby’s first birthday party.

One year ago, when we got home from the hospital, I wondered if my scars would ever fade. The physical ones, I mean. God heals emotional scars, turns them into beautiful, shining things. This I know from experience.

But the truth is, my body was marked everywhere and, I can’t explain why, but I was embarrassed about it. I remember wishing I had the normal marks of labor like everybody else, wishing I was sore in all the normal places.

In the weeks following my delivery, I barely even noticed my C-section scar or the pain from it. I was too distracted by my battle scars.

My jaw was sore, and my voice was thin and raspy, a breath, thanks to the ventilator that had kept me alive. In the beginning, after I was finally able to speak, I was afraid to sing to Baby…I was afraid my vocal chords might give up, snap and break, decide they’d had enough. The doctors promised me this wouldn’t happen, assured me my voice would return with time. So I sang, soft, soft, soft, my voice a whisper.

Removing the ventilator was ugly, its own scar on my memory. The nurses made Michael leave the room. I still remember why.


Photo by Eduard Militaru, courtesy Unsplash

I also had a deep, painful scab on the side of my neck from a special IV port they had to insert into some sort of main artery leading directly to important organs…they do this in critical conditions, I think. They took it out as soon as they could, since it’s dangerous to have such an intense portal in for too long, but it left a hefty scab on my neck that the hospital photographer later photoshopped out of our newborn photos.

“I can’t be in the pictures,” I’d told the photographer from my hospital bed, shaking my head. “No. I can’t. I just—I don’t look good.”

She didn’t know what I’d been through.

I didn’t want her to know.

“Oh,” the photographer had said, her voice cheery, her red hair shining, clean, unlike mine. (I’d been connected to a blood-thinner IV for days that made it impossible to shower. God bless the night nurse who, after day 4, saw my desperation for normalcy, bit her lip, and unhooked me from my IV so I could sneak a shower.)

“All the moms say that,” the photographer had said, focusing her lens. “You’ll be glad you took some photos.”

My cheeks burned. I wish I was like all the moms.

I nodded, winced as I scooted into the frame, and took the pictures. It was fun pretending to be like everyone else for a moment.

(Weeks later, after an inward debate, I chose to print the photo with the scab on my neck. It just felt more real.)

I also had scabs all over both my wrists, about seven or eight on each side. To this day, I’m still not sure how they got there. I asked Michael about my wrists while we were still in the hospital, but all he could tell me was “Robby, you went through a lot while you were under.”

I had a cocktail of bruises – big, purple, yellow, green bruises, all up and down both my arms. I know for sure where those came from. Those came from the night after I was moved from the ICU into a high-risk family room. 

My welcome committee was two nurses who spent two hours numbing me, injecting me, numbing me again, injecting me again, trying to put in a PICC line, which is, from what I could gather, a thick needle that lets you inject as many meds as you need into one person without a million IVs. After two hours of being injected, I finally started to cry, silent tears rolling one by one down my cheeks, and my veins wouldn’t stop closing.

All I remember is I was ready to hold my baby again, and the fluorescent lights were unnaturally bright. I felt see-through and exposed.

“She’s done,” one of the nurses whispered. “She’s done. She’s been through enough. We need a different solution.”

The different solution was a bunch of IVs and more bruises. We clipped all my wires to the side so I could nurse and cradle my treasure-baby.

Before I was released from the hospital, a doctor showed me how to inject blood-thinners into my stomach. Three months of that precious, life-saving medicine for which I am eternally thankful, and my stomach was riddled with even more scabs.

I joked to Michael that, along with being the Harry Potter of the hospital (“The Girl Who Lived”), I’d also become a human pin cushion. Joking helped. It still does.

The thing is, a good friend told me that grief doesn’t mean you’re not thankful for what you have. It just means you’re acknowledging what you lost.

You can be thankful for things and grieve other things at the same time.

I’m thankful for and awestruck over my healthy, beautiful boy, and I’m saddened and grieved for what we went through together.

I acknowledge my grief, and I acknowledge that God makes all things new. God feels my pain and is, somehow, turning it into something beautiful. Something I honestly can’t see yet. 

Right now, what I can see is that my grief runs deep, and my joy runs deep. 

I have prayers to lament, a baby to cuddle, a husband to hold, a birthday party to plan.

Turns out, my scars finally faded. 

But I’m comforted in knowing that God remembers every single one.


Blessings to you,


joy after trauma: living in the both/and

It’s been about seven months since the day doctors tell me I almost died, seven months since the birth of my son.

It’s funny how God works, though. Seven months since Jesus saved me from death and I’ve never felt more alive.

It hasn’t been an easy seven months, don’t get me wrong, but it’s been…somehow, is this a thing? It’s been a time of seeing and being more clearly. Seeing bits of heaven and glimpses of Jesus on His throne and in our presence…me being present in ways I just flat-out didn’t have the capability of being before.

What I’ve learned is this: on this Earth, for those in the fold of God’s flock, when we grieve, grief and joy will interlock fingers, go hand in hand. We must not be afraid of grief.

Jesus, the weeping Friend of Lazarus, is not afraid of grief.

And neither did He turn His face from the joy set before Him.


Photo courtesy of Unsplash

How can I grow comfortable with this Both/And? This living in the Both? This joy over life itself and grief over things broken?

Now, after strapping baby into his stroller, armed with a paci and sunscreen for a walk in this sunny weather, I jog inside for a moment to grab a water.

The cool blast of the AC hits me and I close my eyes, suddenly bombarded with the memory of a hospital room.

A hospital room I wish I could remember clearly, but I can’t.

I won’t.

I can’t.

Not yet.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, lean against the door frame.

Jesus, help me.

A nurse’s voice rushes back to me. “Push. Push. Good girl!”

I remember the pain – something hurt terribly, but it was worth it to me.

Soon I would hold Baby in my arms…just keep pushing…

Back in my kitchen, tears fill my eyes.

How I wish I could remember the moment I first held Baby.

How I wish they could have put him right on my chest, where he belongs.

How I wish the three of us – me, Michael, and baby, weren’t separated, torn from each other like Goodness from its home in Eden.

Here in the kitchen, as I’ve learned to hear in the stillness lately, Jesus speaks to my heart gently.

I understand; I see the things you lost.

I see, too, the things the Father has given you.

You may not see them yet, but I can. They are good.

And I rejoice over you.

Baby’s happy gurgles from the garage bring me back to the present.

I breathe deep.

The Father holds your baby.

Your beloved baby lacks no good thing.

And he is blessed by you.

I blink. Tears change from grief to relief. I wipe my eyes and jog back outside, put Baby’s favorite sunglasses on his expectant little face, say Thank You silently, and push the stroller out into the sun at a run.


Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Baby and I sail through the blossoming trees, green branches waving hello, the wind in our faces, a podcast about Mommy Fashion on the phone speaker, giving me permission to wear leggings and tunics forever. I smile, inhale, exhale, listening to the uplifting banter, focusing on one foot in front of the other, Baby’s feet bouncing along with mine.

The time of grief is Good. And the time of sunshine joy is Good, too.

In every season, may we have eyes to see and ears to hear His Beauty in both joy and grief, for He makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him.


Blessings and joy to you,


interrupted naptime: a new mom’s prayer

3-month-old baby sleeps softly in his crib, a pea in a pod swaddled all snug, surrounded by little spit up spots, milk stains…dirty socks, burpies, and onsies sprinkle the ground around the crib, disheveled reminders of his sweet life.

I sit now at my laptop, unshowered and wearing yesterday’s baggy shirt that’s easy for nursing while hubby naps upstairs. I took the night feeding, and he got up in the dark morning hours to give baby his spit-up medicine before his breakfast.


The cat who knocked my water over this morning sleeps underneath the Christmas tree, and I finally have a moment to exhale before an hour is up. My last blood thinner injection sits on the counter, and I can’t believe it’s my last one – a token of mine, boy’s, and hubby’s victory over a traumatic labor.

How can so much beauty and so much mess live side-by-side? The baby I’ve dreamed of for years now lays in his crib, yet for some reason I’m irked that the house isn’t orderly, that life isn’t orderly…I dwell on the laundry piles, on the spout of frustration I feel when a nap is shortened by that perfect little squeal…

Why do I insist on counting the hours of sleep I get, wishing baby would sleep through the night, instead of letting our days happen simply as they do?


Photo by Joseph Wood

I tear up, realizing boy won’t be swaddled forever. That tiny, warm, soft bundle of blanket and blue eyes and milk on the chin will most likely be out of the swaddle in a matter of weeks, and yet I find myself trying to fit him into vain wishes for a neatly segmented day.

Perhaps rather than holding my breath, closing one eye and waiting for my “free time” to expire with the coos and squeals I’ve grown to love more than I knew a heart could…perhaps instead, I could accept the season we’re in – baby, hubby, and me – and even embrace the constantly “interrupted” day.

Maybe the interruptions aren’t really today’s interruptions – maybe they’re today’s gifts.

Baby cries for me because he loves me and knows I’ll comfort him, nourish him, enjoy him.

Baby wakes up in the night because he’s hungry still, a healthy, growing baby. I’m the only one who will ever know the glow of the night-light and the warmth of his cheek on my chest underneath twinkling stars outside.

Laundry waits because Hubby got it started for me, a servant husband who puts his family first.

Lord, help us new moms to accept the season we’re in – the season You’ve given us. The world doesn’t often value these days of diapers and pajamas, but You do. Bless us with eyes to see the holy work we’re doing, and bless us with Your heart for our babies, Your heart for our husbands, and Your heart for ourselves. Give us Your grace, wisdom, and mercy to accept, embrace, and thrive in this new, unseen-but-seen-by-You season we’re in. May we value our babies and homes as the “meat,” as the grand gifts of our days, rather than interruptions in our schedules. Remind us that there is a season for everything under the sun, and that this season is a beautiful, royal one indeed, crowned by Your love for us.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

God is real, angels are real, and miracles still happen: my labor and delivery story

“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” – Psalm 91: 11.


I want to share my labor and delivery story with you. Not to say “Wow, look how strong I am!” or “Hey, here’s a crazy story about labor.”

This story really isn’t about labor, and it’s really not about me.

Though it is crazy – I’ll give it that.

My story is really an illustration that God is real, angels are real, that God performs miracles, and that He does in fact hear and answer our prayers.


The day before my due date, I was deep in the throes of labor, which had been going beautifully for hours – just like my whole pregnancy. Beautiful, clean, nothing to worry about.

Then it was time to push. At this rate, said the midwife, Thomas would be born in just about five minutes. Despite the discomfort of labor, I was beside myself with excitement. Michael was there, cheering me on, I had my Office episodes rolling…this whole scene was my dream-come-true.

Then everything shattered into a million pieces, the only hope of being stitched back together were the hands of God.

The next few minutes were the worst minutes of my entire life. I’m choking up right now, remembering.

Machines started beeping. In a matter of a breath, about ten nurses surrounded my bed. They poked me, prodded, yelled orders to each other. One held my hand and never lost eye contact with me. One flipped me into different positions, moment after moment.

And I didn’t know why.

As the seconds ticked, orders grew more tense. Phrases like, “We need to get this baby out. STAT.” were suddenly being thrown around.

Confused, shocked, and in lots of pain, I looked over at Michael. Helpless as me, he gazed back into my eyes.

Then I was lifted onto another bed and before I knew what was happening we tore out of the room.

Like in the movies, we screeched down the hallway, literally taking turns on two wheels while yelling for people to get out of our way. Nurses on all sides of me were yelling “Get a doctor! Get a doctor! We only have a few minutes!”

Tears pooled in my eyes.

“Is my baby okay?” I choked out to no one in particular, wincing with contractions.

“We’re doing everything we can,” said the midwife, not daring to tear her gaze away from the path she was blazing.

I closed my eyes and let the tears roll down my cheeks as the chaos continued around me. So much noise, so much everything, but in my head it was just me and baby and Michael in some kind of surreal nightmare.

My baby. What’s wrong with my baby?

Where is my baby?

What’s happening?

Is my baby okay?

Will my baby be okay?

Is he…alive?

More tears. More yelling.

My baby. My baby.

My baby, I prayed. Jesus. My baby.

Someone poked my leg. “Can you feel this?”

We were in a room with bright lights now.

Nurses were still yelling. “Are we ready to cut?” someone yelled.

“No!” My tears flowed more. “I feel you. I feel you.”

A man took my face in his hands. “I’m going to take care of you,” he said, a mask covering his mouth.


The next part of my story takes place while I was under, proving absolutely true the verse “The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).”

During our flight to the OR, the on-call doctor had apparently still been ten minutes away.

But we hadn’t had ten minutes.

Enter miracle number one.

Another doctor – apparently one of the most highly-respected doctors in the entire hospital – happened to get to work early that day and literally ran into our brigade on accident while strolling the halls, reading emails on her phone.

She was the one who got my baby out in a matter of minutes and saved his life.

What had happened, I found out later, was that my baby’s heart rate had dropped dangerously low in a matter of seconds, and it had continued to drop at an exponential rate.

What we didn’t know – couldn’t have known – at the time, was that my body simply doesn’t like labor. Over the course of just a few hours, I had developed blood clots in response to the stress of labor, and possibly shot one of them to the placenta, blocking my baby’s air. The other theory is that my body was so stressed by labor that it flat-out stopped sustaining him the way it was supposed to.

Either way, as soon as the doctor got Thomas out and saved his life, he’s been the most beautiful, healthy, strong, perfect baby in the world.

He’s strong.

But mostly, God is strong for him.


After they got Thomas out, next came about three hours of reconstructive surgery to my uterus. Since they did the emergency c-section when I was already nearly finished with labor, my uterus was so stretched out and tired that it was shattered by the incision.

The LORD had fought for Thomas. This is where the LORD also fought for me.

I had also been ravaged by a terrible sinus infection only two days before labor, and when they put me under and laid me flat for so long, mucous had gotten into my lungs. When they tried to remove the ventilator I was on, my airways closed, and they had to work to get me to breathe again.

This was miracle number two.

If the ventilator had successfully come out, I would have never been transferred to the ICU.

I needed to be in the ICU.

Because only hours later, I hemorrhaged. Badly.

I lost a dangerous amount of blood.

Had I been anywhere other than the critical care of the ICU staff, I don’t know what would have happened.

But God knew.

And He took care of it.

This was in the middle of the night.

Enter miracle three.

A family friend was woken up at this time, miles away, and heard the LORD tell her to pray for my uterus – that I would get to keep it. That I would have the choice to bear more children.

And so she prayed.

Another family friend who’d had contact with my mom was already awake and praying for me, and while she prayed she received a vision of angels filling my room in the ICU. She saw them calmly doing their jobs – guiding the doctor’s hands, stopping the bleeding, protecting me.

Then, just a week ago, two weeks after this all happened, a woman who had prayed for me but who I’ve never even met before called us to tell us she’d gotten a word that the angel in charge of me that night was a very important, commanding angel – a Commander of God’s angel armies.

None of these people had talked to each other, just talked to God.

My favorite verse has always been “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” – Psalm 91: 11. I have prayed this verse over myself and my family daily for years.

And God heard. Every prayer I ever uttered, He heard. And He answered.


The bleeding was still dangerously thick when the doctor came to Michael. “We have one more thing we can try,” he explained. “But if it doesn’t work, we’ll have to do an emergency hysterectomy.”

Michael didn’t bat an eye. “She wants to be here for this baby hands-down. If you need to take it, she’d tell you to take it in a heartbeat.”

The doctor left, and Michael prayed that if God wanted to grow our family in other ways, that He’d take my uterus and give us peace.

God did give us peace. But He did not take my uterus.

He saved my uterus.

God not only called His people to pray for me, but He had heard their prayers.

Enter miracle four.

The surgeon who’d come to Michael, who’d worked on me for hours – who’d fought gallantly and WON the battle to save my childbearing uterus – was the most skilled surgeon in the entire practice, nurses informed us later.

We couldn’t have planned our rescue any better.

The last-ditch effort worked beautifully.

The bleeding stopped; my uterus was saved; my body can bear more children.

Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Enter miracle five.

The ICU nurse who was taking care of me used to be a labor and delivery nurse.

“Does she want to breastfeed?” she asked Michael. (I was out of it for about 36 hours. Michael made all decisions for me. He is amazing.)

“Yes. Very much so,” Michael responded.

“Get that baby in here and put him on her chest ASAP.” the nurse commanded.

And they did.

I will not share the picture of the time I met my son here, because it’s sacred and personal, but man. It is the most beautiful picture of two children of God rescued in full – one battered and bruised pretty bad, but not dismayed. One young and perfect and safe and sound. Both victorious.

My first memory after coming-to was this same brilliant nurse wheeling my baby in to see me again.

“We have a visitor!” she sang cheerfully.

I was fully aware that I was in tons of pain and had tubes coming out my nose and throat, rendering me unable to talk, but I also had no idea what had happened.

Then I saw my boy and cried through my tube-filled smile. He was so healthy, so perfect. I didn’t care about anything else.

“Skin-to-skin,” I wrote down.

“Don’t be discouraged if he doesn’t nurse, honey. We just fed him,” said the nurse.

I didn’t care.

They placed him on my chest and instantly he nuzzled into me, his mama, not caring one iota about the tubes or my lack of voice, and latched onto my breast. We both melted.

I cried.

The nurses cried.

And my baby and I have had the most special, amazing nursing experience together ever since. Despite all the trauma we both went through – our bodies and hearts knew what to do. Nursing him at midnight is still one of my favorite times with my boy.

Enter miracle six.

A mere two days later, I was off the ventilator. Apparently, most people don’t get off a ventilator for two weeks – I only took two days.

This was not my strength – this was God’s mercy.

Then we were moved into a family unit room with our precious boy.

My vitals continued to improve miraculously.

Doctors and nurses visited our room, one after the other. “I just wanted to meet you,” each one would say. “I’ve heard your story. You’ve literally been through hell and back…and you’re doing so well. It’s incredible.”

With Thomas in my arms, I would just smile. “It was awful. But…we’re good.”

Only four days after being off the ventilator, I was well enough to go home.

The surgeon visited me before we left. “I want you to know, you have nothing to be afraid of,” he said. “If you want more kids, you can have ‘em. This fiasco will never happen again. Your uterus is recovering as from a normal c-section at this point, and next go-round, we’ll do a scheduled one. It will all be fine.”

Then he smiled. “Go live your life.”

Michael and I left the hospital, buckled our baby into the car, and stared at each other with tears in our eyes.

We’d been in a battle of epic proportions.

And God had won it handily for us.

“Let’s go home, little buddy,” Michael said, kissing Thomas on the head. “Let’s go home.”


Enter miracle seven.

I was supposed to be anemic for two months after my hemorrhage.

A mere two weeks later, at my blood count check, I was informed by my very surprised doctor that I already had the blood count of a healthy female who hadn’t even gone through a normal labor.

Not only was I no longer anemic, but my vitals were stronger than ever.

Then, at Thomas’s first pediatrician appointment, his doctor scanned our hospital file and then stared at us. “Wow.”

We nodded. “We like to do things with a bang.” (Ha.)

He shook his head. “You are rock stars. Not only that – but this is one of the most beautiful, healthy newborns I’ve ever seen.”

We smiled.

Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD!


I know I’ll be processing these events for a while, but I also have a very contented peace. YES – there are times I still break down and cry, remembering the trauma and heartache. I still get angry that it happened this way.

But, enter miracle eight, there are MORE times that I smile at my baby while holding him, that I complain like all new parents about lack of sleep, that I sing baby lullabies at night, that we go on family walks.

We are healthy. We are here.

We are not afraid.

We have the choice to bear more children. Like the doctor said, this will never happen again.

But mostly, if God can fight for me so powerfully while I am at the weakest I’ve ever been, barely hanging on, how will He not also continue to be faithful in the future?

If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

I’ve learned firsthand that prayers are powerful. That angels are real. That God has not stopped performing miracles in our modern day.

And I know that I know that I know in my deepest of hearts that God is the realest reality there is.

Be still.

He will most assuredly fight for you, Beloved.

I’ve seen it firsthand. It’s my story.

I pray His mercies and faithfulness over you, too.

Abundant blessings and healthy, safe, labors and deliveries to you,




the nursery’s ready, so all that’s left is to do is…freak out

It hit me when Michael and I were at Ikea buying furniture for baby boy’s nursery. Picking out a bookshelf to hold all his baby books? Awesome. Picking out his diaper caddy? Yay! Picking out drawers to hold his pacis? Adorable!

Then we got to the bathroom section.

I literally stopped short in the middle of the toothbrush holders and nearly peed my pants which, let’s be real – isn’t that abnormal these days. The urge to pee, I mean.

Anyway, I stopped short.

Michael looked at me. “Hm?” He asked, eyeing me with concern. He was probably also afraid I might pee.

“It’s just…” my voice got quiet. I stared at the little plastic bathroom caddy I was holding. “He’s…he’s going to have his own…toiletries. And stuff.”

Michael blinked.

I raised my eyebrows and shook my head. “I mean…our kid will have his own toothbrush. And his own shampoo. And his own life. And…he’s like, he’s a real person!

He laughed. “What’d you think we were having? A cat?”

I laughed, we moved on, and I didn’t pee my pants, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the fact that my baby is his own person. Really though, he’s God’s person.

The point is, he’s mine – yes, such a gift – but mostly he’s God’s.

And so I have no control over basically anything. Like his personality, his likes or dislikes, his taste in food, his taste in music, his taste or disdain for *gasp!* books

Y’all. What is this new member of mine and Michael’s little family going to be like?

And then…even scarier… cue the urge to pee again…HOW AM I A MOM?

The fear inside yells, I can’t be a mom!!! I’m just Robyn! I still sleep with a stuffed animal at night and I still hate grapes and I’m still working on my temper PLUS I’m already a writer and a teacher and a tutor and a sister and a daughter and a wife and a friend…and so now, I add mom to the list?!

It all just feels really big.

Really big.

Like I’m five years old again, playing dress up but my feet don’t fill my mom’s high-heeled shoes – and I try them out anyway to see if they work.

I suppose this just reminds me why it’s so important that my true identity is Jesus. I’m His. I love all those other roles I get to be a part of this side of heaven, too, but I suppose even when I have little baby resting in my lap I’ll still be…Robyn. God’s Robyn. That won’t change.

Sleeping with a stuffed animal probably won’t change either.

I don’t think God will mind.

But change is scary, I think.

Which is probably why, when my freshman roommate and I were left alone for the first time after our parents dropped us off at UGA, we looked at each other like, what do we do now? and then just sat on the floor of our dorm room and ate an entire bag of dove chocolates in one sitting.

While I was telling God how afraid I am of this upcoming ginormous change (even though it’s the best change I can imagine after getting married to Michael), I felt like He was chuckling.

And He probably was. Because for some reason the fact that I’m afraid was shocking to me. 

But I suppose God knows me better than that. I don’t think I shock Him.

I was there in the moments you were joyfully excited, I felt Him whisper. I was there when I chose him for you and Michael. I’m there with him now. And I’ll be there every step of the way for you. That is the one thing, Beloved, that will never ever change. I have always loved you. No change in your life will ever surprise Me. I’m your True North – your Constant in every change.

It’s calming to think that right now, He’s there alongside me while I watch videos about breathing through labor and how to clean a pacifier, He’s there while I try on nursing clothes, and He’s there when I wake up from the dream where I accidentally feed my baby saltines rather than breastfeed him and the doctors yell at me.

When our identity as God’s children is simply and profoundly Loved By God, change will never shake us. Because then, I supppose…what’s there to shake?

So, here it goes: bring on the change!

And maybe definitely absolutely a bag of dove chocolates.


Blessings to you,



p.s. – feel free to pray for my labor, and that everyone involved will keep saltines far away from me 😉

tell me i look amazing, feed me a block of cheese, and show me to the bathroom: confessions of a pregnant lady

The florist smiled at me as I waited for her to finish trimming the bouquet I’d selected.

“Are you having a boy?” she asked.

I beamed. “I am! We’re so excited.” I cocked my head. “How did you know it’s a boy?”

The florist raised her eyebrows. “Well, moms pregnant with boys tend to look…tired and drained. Moms pregnant with girls look bright and energized.” Her facial expression was that of someone who just told me she ate the last of my ice cream and wasn’t that sorry about it.

I wish I could have seen my own expression at that moment.


There are lots of emojis I could pick to accurately describe my reaction, but Word won’t let me use emoijis. Alas.

I did laugh, however. Because what do you say to that? “Oh wow, you look tired and drained, too!”

No clue.

I’m chuckling as I write, because people are funny. And I’m assuming she didn’t mean it to come out that way.



Totally 😉

But for real, I am thankful and awestruck to be pregnant. Our journey wasn’t the easiest to get here, and I truly experience each day of pregnancy as an incredible gift.


photo by Joseph Wood

And yet, no matter my overall attitude, pregnancy has also been a tidal wave full of awkward moments and emotions.


There are a few things I’d like to laugh about:


1. The lady behind the counter at Staples told me an epidural will ruin my life. However, I am not deterred. Give it to me.


2. Sometimes…I get stuck in the cushions of our couch. Like a wobble-weeble, if you will. I am okay with this! Because when else can I experience a day in the life of a Tellytubby? Hashtag blessed.


3. Our bed is tall. These days Michael hoists me into it, like we’re cheerleaders and he’s the base and I’m the fly. Unless of course I choose to instead grab the mattress and roll myself onto it with an adorable grunt like…yes, a Tellytubby. A Tellytubby who grunts.


4. The last time Michael went to the grocery by himself to do our weekly grocery shopping, the cashier asked him if he was stocking up for the whole month. “No,” he said. “Just for the week.” Apparently this confused her. “Wow. How many kids do you have?” she asked. “Uh…my wife is pregnant…” was his response. (P.S. – that haul lasted me five days.) Hashtag YOLO.


5. Everyone knows your belly gets bigger when you’re pregnant. But why doesn’t anyone warn you about your butt? Asking for a friend.



Michael holding his own “bump,” naturally

6. I was awake for two hours last night because for some reason it hit me at 4 a.m. that I will be going through labor in a few short months. HOW DO YOU DO LABOR? Also asking for a friend. I’ve heard you can’t eat during it. I should probably sign up for a birthing class. I will add that to the list of things I keep forgetting to do…


7. I have lost the capacity to remember anything.


8. I have also lost the capacity to eat without burping. Hashtag sorry not sorry.


9. All I really want is for you to tell me I look amazing, feed me a block of cheese, and direct me to the nearest bathroom.


10. And, last but not least, these have been some of the sweetest months of my life. I love the way God has slowly been introducing me and Michael to our baby boy through sweet times of prayer and little baby kicks. I love nesting. I love talking to my baby. I love that he kicks when I’m falling asleep. I love that God hand-picked him for us, and us for him. I love that his nursery is blue. I love his heartbeat. I love my big belly. I love the way strangers go out of their way to hold the door for me. I love that baby is totally in God’s hands and not my own. I love that Michael is the daddy. I love that we have no clue how to be parents. I love that we’re learning it together. I love this gift of life in my womb.


So, ladies. Let’s laugh with the “florists” we come across, because we know the very breath we are breathing is the most wonderful gift.

And maybe…just maybe…when your “florist” gets home from work…someone will have eaten all her ice cream.


Mostly 😉


Blessings to you,



when being “happy” isn’t as hard as we think

Recently I’ve been reading a book called “Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy” by Leslie Vernick.

YES, it sounds totally weird and self-helpy. But it’s great – it could be better classified as Jesus Awareness and titled “Practical Ways to Actually Live Like the Gospel is Reality.”

It’s great. I recommend it.

Vernick talks about negative thought patterns, identifying the ones to which we particularly fall victim, and then goes to scripture and gives doable strategies for claiming the thoughts and actions Jesus came that we might claim in abundance.

Wa-bam. It’s awesome.




Anyway, last week, I babysat for a family.

When I got to their home and walked in the door, I was going over the list in my head of things I need to get done before my own baby comes.

Finish book revisions, send requested material, paint nursery, fill nursery, read a book or ten about how on earth to take care of a baby, organize that bane-of-my-existence junk drawer in the living room, learn how to apply fake eyelashes (I don’t know. I just want to!), figure out how to schedule writing time with a baby, tour the hospital, sign up for a birthing class, try not to freak out about labor on a daily basis…all the things.

All the things!

After babysitting and reading books with the little nugget for a very enjoyable hour and a half (that’s all he wanted to do! Really!), he went down for his nap and I took out Vernick’s book to read.

Here’s what I read:

“Why has our doing overwhelmed our being?” ( Vernick p. 45)


I don’t know.

“We live in a world that defines a person’s value and worth by his or her productivity and efficiency. How much we get done and how well we can do it are benchmarks of a good day…[but] God defines personhood and success very differently than our culture does.

From Christ’s perspective, success isn’t measured by how much we do, how much we earn, or how much we have, but by how well we love and by what kind of a person we’re becoming in the midst of life’s activities.” (Vernick, p. 46).




I read these words and instantly thought about my own to-do list which, up until this moment, I hadn’t realized was being played on repeat in my head. I honestly didn’t even realize my mental to-do list existed – I was so used to waking up to it and going to sleep with it and working for it throughout the day.

So then I wondered, Does God really need me to do all these things right now?

I mean, my list is full of good things, but does He care more about me enjoying Him and just being rather than doing?

Suddenly I felt like I’d gotten rescued from a hamster wheel.

And it’s not that I won’t do all the things on my to-do list eventually, because I will. They’re important. (Well, most of them are. But I maintain the need to learn false eyelash application is important, too. Because makeup.)

It’s just that suddenly, there’s no imaginary person named Pressure standing over my shoulder and checking the things off my list, giving me a gold star for each one.

Vernick challenges us to allow ourselves to be silent before God for a time – not reading, not watching TV, not even studying the Bible, just being with God and listening.

So I tried it while the nugget was sleeping.

And suddenly, I saw the whole room differently.


Let me rephrase that.

I saw the room.

The room I’m sure the mom wishes she could have cleaned perfectly all of a sudden showed signs of life. Of being. Of little ones growing and being, too.

Here’s a little bit of what I had the eyes to see when I got off my own hamster wheel:




I would encourage you to take just 5 or 10 minutes to be silent before Jesus. It’s amazing what you’ll see, what you’ll hear, and how refreshed you’ll feel coming away from just being in His presence…just being with Him.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to Target. 

To buy some fake eyelashes.


Blessings to you,