Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Worst Kind of Girl Time 


I love girl time. Time with my girlfriends, besties, and tribal goddesses. It’s good for my soul and wind in my sails. Mostly. Maybe it depends just a bit. On what our purpose is and why we are meeting. 

For the second time in my life today, I accompanied a woman I love on a difficult part of her path. Both woman were faithfully married and truly devoted to their husbands. They both cared for themselves and their bodies. These are women who love the Lord and obey Him to the best of their ability. 

 We didn’t go shopping or out for pedicures. We didn’t swing by starbucks for the newest fancy coffee. And we didn’t indulge in a long, meandering walk after bible study.
We went to a clinic to see a nurse practioner for them to them to be examined and tested for sexually transmitted diseases.  They were both broken with the traumatic shattering of a woman’s inner soul that comes with infidelity. They were both in shock and disbelief. 

 This can’t be real. 

This can’t be happening. 

What am I going to say? 

 What are they going to think about me? 

 They’re going to think I’m stupid. 






I feel all of those things.

 I will be bringing all of those things into the exam room with me. 

Although neither of them had ever looked with want toward another man, they could barely lift their heads to look the nurse in the eyes when she said, “what brings you in today?”

What brings you in today? 

Echoes in their head. 

  What did bring me in today? 

My husband’s choices bring me in today.

 It would be nice to point to him but he is not in this room.  Neither of them had a husband at their side.

 The real perpetrator who created the necessity for that appointment. 

 That woman – – that other vagina – – the one I didn’t know about it – – that silent enemy of my soul and my family brought me in. 

 That video I found. . . 

the jump drive he hid. . . 

the text message I saw with those things I ‘ll never stop playing over and over in my head. . . 

that’s what brought me in…

Neither of them could speak for choking back tears and I realized that’s why I was there. To utter with strength what had them smothered in shame. To help them claim their dignity by telling their story in truth and compassion. There had been infidelity in the marriage. What a pleasant little word to describe the tsunami of pain and torrents of shame and heartache that really represents. There had been an infidelity in the marriage and he didn’t use “protection.” No he did not understand his role of protecting at all. 

His wife did not feel protected now. There was no one to protect her from the feeling of disrobing for probing and swabbing. . . for the anticipation of the phone call of the results of these tests. . . for the way it would feel to say your name and date of birth again for your HIV and Syphillus test tubes. . .

To say that my heart was with these women during this walk of shame and heartache is an understatement. Every cell in my body was willing their grace, strength, and dignity to somehow stay alive in the face of these strangers. Strangers that now know what you have not yet had the courage to tell most of your friends. Or any of your family. What you hope you will never have to tell your children.

These are women that I love and deeply admire. Women I aspire to be like. Women who trust me with their deepest, most hidden reservoirs of loss and regret. But it seems unreal to me that I have ever done this and certainly unbelievable that I have done this more than once. Is this one of Gods special calls on my life, a form of ministry he has carved out for me? No, I don’t think so. I think a lot of things about this.

I think the world is this bad. 

 Marriages are this fragile and vulnerable.

 Husbands are this lost and deceived. 

 Boundaries are this non-existent. 

 Covenants are this meaningless. 

 Character is this lacking. 

And the sense of anonymity we have is this dangerous and false. 

 Women are this threatening to other women.

 Children are this invisible in the face of selfishness. 

Family is this flimsy when compared to a flimsy woman in the right form of a deceptive compromise. 

 And most importantly men are this far removed from their true calling and identity of protector, provider, Lover, and Leader.

They are to sacrifice themselves for their families.

 Not lead their family to to slaughter by their choices. 

We must breed and foster a culture of Respect and Godliness. A culture so rich that no man would think of being anything but respectful and Godly, heroic and strong, solid and faithful. We must seek God and follow His word and His ways so that we have the kind of safe borders that lead to continuous peace and health. 

I forgive these men for digging this  trench that I took on so much fire with their wives in. I pray for healing for them both. But I want them to understand that hearts were hurt here. Sweet dreams died here. Purity was killed here. Here in this trench you dug and then threw us in.


I love these women. I’m honored to fight beside them. Any trench that they are in, I will run as fast as I can and dive in, picking up my arms – – my sword, my shield. I will suffer through all the nights of fire. I will keep fighting when they cannot. They will never be alone in that trench. And that trench is a grave where many things died. But the God they love and serve does not ever allow that a grave would be the end of the story. So new life is to come. Trees are to grow. Beautiful pastures will take over that trench. And you’ll rest your head peacefully on what used to be your war zone. But not today. Today was hard. And for today and many days to come, we’ll need to keep our helmets on and our armor close. 

But oh enemy – – you have been told – she’ll rise from these ashes with victory in her hand and peace in her heart. And you are the one who will be going down in flames. For liar, oh liar – – IT. IS. WRITTEN.


In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. “If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,” says your God. Isaiah 66:9


And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire. . . Revelations 20:10 



The One who Counts the Stars Collects my Tears 


This past Sunday was the first time I have cried truly happy tears in a very long time. The first day that felt mostly good all the way through. The first time my tears were filled with praise in well since before the great sadness came.  But those tears, as they rolled down my cheeks – I knew where they were going.  Where they are headed. I can’t wait to see what He’s saving them for. . . What he’ll make with them. How’s it’s all gonna come together.  I have a feeling. Just a hunch.. . that my tears for Ellis Grace are pink and sparkly. . . That my happy tears look like sun and sparkling sand. . . That my Jackson tears are as blue as his gorgeous eyes. . . That tears I have cried over my beloved husband are the color of love itself. . . Blood red.  I have a feeling will see where they were collected. I have a feeling I  will see what God’s thoughts were on each one in his lovingly recorded book.  And I have a feeling that he will make something extraordinary with them. Something that says we are his favorite. Something that we could look that for all of eternity and feel nothing but love and peace.  Yes, I have a feeling. A dream in my heart that started this time last year as I first began to ponder this coming miracle. 

The Flow to Heaven, May 19, 2016

At times, crying seems senseless. Other times healing. Often it’s embarrassing and not something I wish to do in public. For the first time in my life it is a daily occurrence. At some point in the day, for me- in this season- tears will come. Sometimes it is a wave of sobbing that takes over my whole body and many days it’s softer and lighter. . . A little tear that gets away from me and trickles down my otherwise peaceful face. It would be my preference not to cry everyday. I am a historically joyful person. I have been known to call tears a waste of make up😩💄 I have a friend who told me my tears were love letters to my daughter and another who brought me real cloth hankies for “precious” tears. 
There are certain things that we moms have to save and collect from our children because they are precious. And this is what God does with our tears. Each one is precious to Him and because of that we never cry in vain. We never cry alone. They are never wasted. Or unseen.  

We don’t have to wait to see Revelations revealed to have our tears wiped away. From our first skinned knee- – to the boy that broke our heart – – to the deepest waters of sorrow and crushing waves of grief . . . God has to be wiping each one and lovingly carrying them to a place of His keeping. You have gotten over some of your tears but God has not. He records them in a book. Not because He needs help remembering like we do – – but because He holds each one as precious, cherished, and remembered . . . 

Our tears do not flow to a Kleenex, hankie, or our pillow. They flow to heaven in one of the greatest continuous miracles I can imagine. I believe my Ellis tears are pink in that bottle and sparkly and beautiful. They may even look like roses among pearls. . . But I know this. They are counted. They are loved. They are cherished. Because they are an expressed part of my heart and I am of all those things to my Father.  
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
#EG41 #useEllis2tellus

God’s in the Clutch


You know God doesn’t just do His work. We have to be open to receiving it. Desirous of His gifts. His peace.  He values real relationship with us . So He won’t force Himself on us.  Last year I needed to ask Him to open up parts of my heart that felt locked down to Him. I didn’t know how to do it. It was like trying to find a gear I didn’t know I had.  And it feels like you’re gonna blow your transmission because that other gear just isn’t there.  And then it shifts into another layer of power that you need. That you didn’t know you had access to. That you now have in your gear shift. On your floor board. It’s a lot like God is literally the clutch and each time we need more speed, more power- we need to step on that clutch.  I still have times when I have to pull that clutch and find a new deeper gear to steer me in. Now there’s nothing uglier than learning to drive a stick shift. It’s gonna jerk, choke, die, and backfire . But once you get it, it’s magic and you can drive anything anywhere. And even though I learned to drive a stick when I was 14, This time last year I was just learning that. . . 

May 18, 2016

The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message” (Acts 16:14b).
This spoke to me today BiG time! If you are like me and your heart is having trouble catching up to your head on what you know about God, what He’s doing, how to see things. . . 

How wondrous and wonderful that He can open our hearts to see, hear, and learn . . . 

He opened her heart without her even asking for it. I just know if I ask my Father to open the parts of my heart that feel closed to His Will- – He Will do it! 
In the past two months I have found myself saying ” I know it’s a miracle God but I’m asking you to do it” And He’s been extremely generous, kind, and faithful.  

When I can’t open my own heart, I’m gonna ask Him to do it. We know from scripture He can and does all the time! 

 We are not in this alone. We are all broken and we are all in this together- unified by our HOPE and ASSURANCE that God keeps his promises. . . 
#EG41 #useEllis2tellus

A Season of Supposed To


I gave birth to Ellis Grace on February 17, 2016. My return to work date was May 16, 2016.  My maternity leave extended two more weeks into a bereavemeant leave that ended around the first of June.  I will soon be posting what it was actually like to return from maternity leave without a sweet baby at home. But for today I will just share where my heart was this time last year as the date passed on the calendar.  And as I remained at home in the very hard work of grief. 

May 16, 2016

  Today is a “suppose to” day. I was suppose to go back to work today and I was suppose to have a beautiful baby making me burst with joy . I was suppose to be praying for the strength to make it nine hours without her. . . 

And what was supposed to be – – is not what is.  

I will not return to work today. Because this isn’t a happy day where I tell stories about what it’s like to have a princess come live among dirty farmers. That milk I was saving and squeezing out of my very soul is likely already part of another baby. . . A baby whose life number probably goes into triple digits and beyond.  

And I won’t need to worry about making it a whole day without her because I forced myself to quit counting at Day 42. (Because God doesn’t mean for me to measure my life by her death)
And so I enter a seasonal shift. What was supposed to be will have to be experienced as what actually IS. 

And this whole season will feel like it’s not supposed to feel this way. And I won’t quite feel like myself because I’m not who I was “supposed to” be either.. . Who I thought I would be. I praise God that I am reconciled. 

But there’s quite a gap between Reconciliation and Restoration. And My God means for me to be restored. 

And if you are in a season of “suppose to be” – – He means for you to be restored too. . . 

We have to know that things are just as they should be. That he is working,creating, and building. If we hurt, it’s only because we are too human to understand the complexity of a divine plan. We just need to stay on board and buckle up for the rough part of a righteous ride. For we will reach our destination. And the sign says RESTORATION AHEAD.  
He restores my soul. He guides me along the right path for His names sake. Psalm 23:3
Finally brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for restoration, encourage one another. Be of one mind . Live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2Corinthians 13:11
#EG41 #useEllis2tellus



So many have said repeatedly “it gets easier.” Some who also have a child living In Heaven have actually attached the words I promise to the statement. How can you promise that? 

Maybe it got easier for you but it will never be easier for me I thought. But I can’t deny yesterday. God seems to have made the human heart for memories. Do we ever go to an annual event that we don’t drift back to ” last year” in our minds? 

It floats along. . .what we were wearing. . . How big the kids were. . . That thing that made us laugh. . . Made us cry. . . We revisit the thoughts in our mind. The experience of being there. 

There was play day last year.  And I don’t remember what I was wearing . Don’t remember the kids events or what they looked like even. I remember it was foggy on a clear spring day. But only foggy if you happen to be me. Because I was in a fog.  I Felt like  my feet were heavy as though too big for my body or  covered in thick muck. I remember that it felt like everyone was staring at me or pitying me or analyzing me.  

Each little baby or little girl For that Matter was a reason to hold my breath and retreat further in.  I was fragile and it felt too windy for fragile. 

But a year later, I’m back there because that’s what moms do and I’m still a mom.  So thick and foggy or crystal clear, I will be there. But it’s not as foggy. I’m a little less Sad and a lot more clear.  The little babies don’t hurt so much and the little toddlers hurt a little more.  I’m somehow very present and engaged with the boys and still have a part of my heart in heaven. I’m getting good or at least better at multi tasking deep tasks of the soul. 

And tomorrow is Mothers Day #2 without my sweet rosy little soul sister. Now God in His kindness is filling a deep well in my heart with great joy tomorrow. My passion is getting baptized and there’s just no way sadness will find me On that sacred day.  But even if that weren’t the case, the parts of my soul that couldn’t stop screaming last year. . . Well they’ve quieted a great deal. They rest more peacefully. They are well. 

Does that mean I do not hurt? No, most assuredly I say to you that I ache and there are still times of great pain when salt is sprinkled into the layers that remain open.  

The mom and daughter getting their nails done together at the nail shop.

  The mother daughter bracelet set at the Christian book store. 

The card my son made me that is missing one name.  

The unusual desire to go to the cemetery. 

And all these stinking roses everywhere. Usually a comfort but strangely dissatisfying this weekend. 

It’s painful. And there’s still some hallowed out pockets of emptiness that are yet to be filled. 

 But they sure are better. I’m better. It’s better. I guess they could make such crazy promises because that’s what God does and He always delivers. 

Continuous Savior


I used to think Jesus saved me at church camp when I was a kid. And then I thought He actually saved me 2000 years ago on a cross. I rededicated my life in my 20s and felt saved all over again. I was called into ministry 11 years ago and well that saved me again in a bigger way from the habits of my religion. It felt like those big altar call moments were for the saving. 

But now I’m in a new place. One where my eternal salvation is secure – – securely saved from any doubts about that for all time. And yet, moment to moment – I need to be saved, rescued, and reclaimed. I thought the sacrifice of your blood was all about eternity. That’s part of it.  
But not all of it. What you did covers all my burdens, hurts, and lapses well beyond the moment when I chose you back. If that moment of salvation was all I really needed you for , then I’d already be home. I come to you now and you cover me. You meet my need and somehow in my weakness and wanting- – leave me more like you. . . 

You take desperation and give life to determination. You erase “forsaken” and stamp “mine forever.” You embrace exhaustion but increase my endurance. I say ” I can’t go any further” and you say “follow me” . Most would tire of my constant wanting but you never will. 
You are not a one or two time savior for the big memories but a continuous savior for every moment. And there’s no limit to your sufficiency. For I may feel like I’ve had enough and can’t take anymore . . . but you will always BE enough with evermore to give. 
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
#EG41 #useEllis2tellus

The Unsung Nurses of Nurse’s Week


I see you there. And by there I mean at your desk. You’re still at work too. Although they you’re far enough away from the floor that they don’t realize it.  Last night’s board meeting was a doozie and you fight back that yawn. You need to look positive and energized so you can lead by example.  

The pressure is always on for you to model the expectation. To be the employee you need your team members to be.  Not one time can you let off a little pressure in the break room or roll your eyes at that one policy that you secretly agree is over the top. 

You are asked to do more with less and less. Less supplies and more margin. Less staff and more patient satisfaction.  Better outcomes but with less time to get them. Benchmarks are your conscience and the goals need to be met for the people to get paid so the patients can have nurses. So the nurses have patients. So the joint commission can give you the seal . So your health system can make that deal to keep your nursing force working for years ahead. 

You’ll budget for the nursing day presents but you won’t have to worry about where you’ll put yours. You’ll try your hardest , knowing it likely won’t be enough for the sweat, tears, back aches, and pressure your nursing staff has bore.  

It’s been a long time since you’ve counted the hours until your shift is over. And yet you’re still counting every line item on that budget that will make this world go round for four more quarters.  It’s been a long time since you emptied a bedpan but you’ve emptied your mind and all your resources to figure out how to get that fall rate down. To keep patients safe in their beds and nurses safe in their care. 

You love the challenge and hate the strain.  And just when you ‘re done, you’re beginning again. Another initiative. Strategy. Protocol. Mandate. CMS reimbursement change. Quality Standard. 

You are the nurse leader, executive, manager. . . Under-appreciated and overcommitted. But you consistently achieve incredible goals, solve problems, improve care, referee discord, and throw more Hail Mary passes in staffing and scheduling than a quarterback who has run out of time. And you’re still a nurse. Still a patient advocate. Still a defender of all nurses everywhere. And it’s nurses week. And that means you too. Happy Nurses Week boss. Someone has to lead this crazy, awesomely diverse group of nurses. Someone has to make the tough calls. Weather the sleepless nights and propose the next best move. And God picked you. He thinks a lot of you and so do I. 

Postscript: This post is a personal reflection of my admiration for the outstanding nurse executives I’ve worked with throughout my career. It is a personally reflective fictional piece that does not reflect the views or happenings of the health system I currently work for in anyway. 



The word Grounded. It’s painted on a canvas. Written on my shirt. Printed on my ministry connection cards. 
Tonight my son said, ” what does that mean, Mom?”

Oh Baby, I want you to know,” I thought. 
I explained that it means I stand on the firm foundations of Gods truth. That’s I’m connected to it always. “OK, ” he said nodding his head and moving right along his way. 
As I watched him go God said, ” There’s more here. Don’t be in shallow ground. Go deep in my soil.”
So I did and He was right. There is more. He led me to more formal definitions of the word Grounded.
Grounded: prohibited or prevented from Flying
Hmmm. . . that doesn’t sound like you God. you help me spread my freedom wings and fly high. But then he reminded me that planes are grounded when the weather is bad, when conditions are dangerous – – staying on the ground is peaceful safety in high winds and low visibility. 
Then there’s the educational definition of grounded:Having received thorough instruction in a subject. Being grounded in God’s word means I haven’t just glanced passively but allowed it to become part of my skill set – – my resume of experiences and lessons.
The vision of a football player intentionally grounding a football came to mind. They do that to avoid trouble or when they’re out of options. And we should automatically go to Gods word when we need to stop and re-group or call another play too.
Electrical grounding prevents accidental electrocution by stopping the conduction of electricity. Funny how being grounded in truth prevents us from having enemy thoughts run through us with negative charges scattering about our bodies. 
And finally, I was grounded here and there in high school. When I had been dishonest or disobedient. I know it’s almost impossible to believe but it’s true. This character has been build over time. wink. And when I was grounded, I was not allowed to go anywhere except my home for entertainment, company, or leisure. I was totally cut off from society. Likewise when I am grounded to Gods word, I find my delight there. I find my best friend there. I find my peace and relaxation there. God can give me these things through other means. But often times, this is the only thing that will bring real growth and discipline to me. Grounded to the Bible like a teenage girl to her bedroom. The difference of course is that maturity has taught me that I need this. I can trust this. And there is no reason to rebel against it.

It is truly good for goodness sake from a good source for my total good. Good, good father more than a catchy tune. Good good daughters are grounded in the good ground. 
As for that in the good ground (soil) , they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:15


Thoughts Bouncer


The bouncer at a bar has a pretty important job. Policing who may enter. . . deciding who needs to leave . . . and monitoring dangerously escalating activities are of the utmost importance.

The success of the establishment depends on it and the life or death of the patrons could rest on how well that bouncer does his job.
“I’m gonna have to ask you to leave now”
“You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here”

These are the common cries of the bouncer on duty. You see, just about anyone can enter a bar. But once you are identified as trouble . . . Well you need to move along. . .
I am the bouncer of the thoughts in my head. Or at least I should be. . . The wrong thought- like a well placed lie from the enemy – – or an idea about God that’s not true. . . If they hang around awhile and make a home in my mind, it’s the beginning of my undoing.

It’s easy to be tempted to let the wrong ones hang around. “God ruined your family” or “this is all your fault” or “do you really love a God that allows such pain” . . . Those are all thoughts that can seem good and feel right when you are badly wounded and worn thin. . . When those rose colored Glasses are dark gray at best. . .
That’s easier than praying with purpose, seeking real truth, and weighing words against scripture. But it doesn’t make an untruth true.
Sometimes I try on someone else’s clothes and they feel good. But that doesn’t make them mine.

Those thoughts came from the one who wants to destroy me. The one who wants to bring me far enough away from God that it doesn’t seem worth it to start heading back to Him.
And if THOSE thoughts from THAT source stay in my mind, they’ll soon plant in my heart. And then I am sunk in a pit. . . In a spirit that will remain unreconciled. . .
And it’s worse than the pain that brought me there to begin with. How is that even possible? Because pain with the Healer becomes peace with the heavens. Because pain with NO healer becomes a cancerous death.

Yes, I am the bouncer of the thoughts in my brain.

So all you crazy thoughts – if I sift you, weigh you, and measure against the truth of MY God and find you in agreement. . . Please stay. Grow. Protect me and insulate my spirit.

But if you are not in agreement. . . If you and my God are saying two very different things or if you are speaking ill of me. . . Or Him.

Then I’ll have to ask you to leave now. . .

I just can’t risk the trouble you’ll cause by hanging around.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Above all else, guard your heart,

for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23
#EG41 #useEllis2tellus

Facing our Anger: Daddy said knock you out! 


We have discovered in this family that grief amplifies our emotions, problems, and frustrations. I might be frustrated that I can’t get this bottle open. Understandable. But when I throw it across the room , that was anger amplified by grief. Harder to understand. 

My husband lectures our boys when they disobey . Encouraging- more parents should take hold of teachable moments. But when his disgust that his daughter died Amps it up with a harsh tone or a hateful stare. Well, that’s discouraging for everybody. 

So we have an anger situation in our house. Of course I don’t really want you to know this. I’d prefer my home be peaceful every moment– a refuge of harmony and unity.  But it’s not. It’s much rougher than that sometimes. 

A lot of people say that anger is just part of it. It’s one of those known phases that we will drift in and out of. But it’s not that simple for me. It makes us feel bad. It makes us unkind. And it makes us feel justified in a way that we should not. 

The emotion itself is not the problem. It’s part of our flesh experience as humans. It’s where it leads that is a problem. 

I’ve been struggling between accepting the presence of anger in my household and really not liking it at all.  So I asked God to show me- – to settle the matter for me. I’ve had so many thoughts related to Jesus Christ’s expression of anger. In Matthew 21 we see Jesus flipping over tables and making a whip driving money changers out of the temple. Pretty much throwing a righteous fit! And forever justifying righteous anger. As Jesus does, so may we. That’s what we presume.  Of course I cannot. Not in this situation. 

God told me, “you can’t be righteously angry about a plan that is all together righteous. Ellis Grace’s entire life was Holy ordained. Especially her death. I do not give you permission to angrily rebel against My righteous plan.”

“That’s it? ” I thought. “That’s all you have to say?” He had more to say to me about this. 

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27 New International Version (NIV)

because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:20 (NIV)

But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Colossians 3:8 (NIV)

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath. Psalm 37:8-9 (NIV)

Aaaahhh. . . I see that we’ll have some anger but we shouldn’t wear it always,  letting it have its way with us. 

So we put up a punching bag this weekend. We are going to ask God to use it to help us rid ourselves of anger. We can’t keep anger from showing up. But we don’t have to roll out the welcome mat and let it grow roots of bitterness in our family. 

So when the enemy invites us to hold on to a hindrance, we are going to let him have it. We’re gonna move with God and let him move that anger into its proper place. We’re gonna battle wisely and properly and not against eachother. We’re gonna look at that EVERLAST label and remember His everlasting love for us. 

We’re gonna do this Gods way. And beat the opposition to a pulp. Because Jesus is the head of this house. He is the one who rules these hearts. And by His power, we will be victorious. So Anger- I’m calling you out – – COME ON -BRING IT  but know that you’re going down quickly and you’ll be escorted to our garage where we will show you that IT IS FINISHED. Jesus style. Holliday style. Same thing.