Lately, when I would expect to find myself depleted, I find myself strengthened.


More and more, my life is a lesson in essentialism.


I can see more clearly each day which things in my life are essential, and which are not.  And those that are not are simply falling away as I press forward.


That is the only way that I have found to accomplish all that I must.  Some things simply have to go.  Some things just do not matter as much as others.  Some voices simply have to be hushed.


I used to think that there was no way to accomplish everything.  Now I see that “everything” means something different than it once did.


I am not worthy of the gifts of my life.  I am starkly aware of that lately.  I believe that is the next step in my life, to let not only activity fall away, but parts of myself that are frankly unworthy of the light I feel called toward.

Pathless Woods

Processed with VSCO

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore…”
– Byron


I am so grateful for a life in which I feel called to act, to go, to move, to be, to rest, to listen.

I’m grateful for the road less travelled. I’m grateful for pathless woods that only One knows the way through, and that I am allowed the blessed privilege to travel.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Secret Hiding Places


I’ve been in a hard place all week.


It seems like everything is about to change, and yet nothing is changing.


It’s always hard to both wait and progress, all at the same time.


Some days I am thankful for secret hiding places in the woods.


Here, everything is still, yet everything is changing.


Much like me.


Faith is a constant decision.


It cannot be based on how quickly things happen or when.


It’s all about finding the balance between never accepting mediocrity while being at peace with the Lord’s timing.


I can’t think of a better place to learn that than in my home in the woods.


Everyone should have a safe retreat, a place to go and choose faith again and again.


A place where wild things are allowed to grow and be.

Accepting Defeat

This summer we were considerably behind in our mountain adventures.

One mountaintop we’ve all yearned to return to was the one we’d climbed first, Mt. Washburn.


We’ve tried several times this summer, but have been turned back by blizzards, broken cars, and other trivial things. :)

This was our last shot before winter and we really wanted to do it.


Our favorite trail was closed, so we approached the peak from the other side.  Our hike started pleasantly enough, though cold and windy.


As we climbed, though, the wind became increasingly dangerous.  The snow and ice on the trail gradually became more pronounced until it was about knee deep for the kids in some places.


We came out from a switchback into an very exposed section.  The snow was deep and the wind was stronger than any I have  ever felt.  We were only a quarter mile from the summit.  We could see it in front of us, so close we could nearly touch it.

I made the kids sit down, pressed against the rocks for a moment.  We’d already climbed three miles and nearly 1500 feet in elevation.  We were so close.  But I closed my eyes to block the view of what I wanted, in order to hear the voice that I needed to hear, the one that was not my own.

It was just unsafe and frankly stupid to push forward at the edge of a mountain in that wind.  We turned back.  We were quiet.  After getting so close, we all felt defeat.


But as we came down, I watched my girls.  They had paired up and were holding hands for strength against the wind.  Whether we succeed or fail isn’t always the important thing.


Sometimes, it’s how we accept the defeats that come that matters.  We accepted it together, hand in hand.  We moved down to safety and made a snowman.

I pondered on the way down.  Our life is different than most.  But anyone who thinks that God has only one way to give us the experience we need, to become who we need to become, frankly does not know Him at all.


Feeling grateful for the way He teaches me.

Slowing down

The pace of our life has been changing over these last few months.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

It is easy for me to get down on myself when I’m not accomplishing all that I feel I should be.

This is when I’m grateful for being outside.

The simpleness of the sharper air, the crisp bite of pine…these serve as simple reminders to focus on the most important things and let the rest go for now.

No amount of rush and accomplishment will replace the quiet in our woods and our home right now, and who we are becoming in them.


It’s taken me a long time, but I am so glad that I’ve finally learned the secret to being happy in life.


It’s to be grateful for each season in its time.


There is always something different to look forward to, to wish for, to hope for.


Always some change we wish would come.


Always a past we yearn to visit once more.


Being grateful in the moment is where the joy is found.


Though life is in a great state of flux right now, I find myself relatively quiet.


Deep contentment is settling on me, as I see that all of the paths that were unsure have led to this very sure moment.


Autumn is always a time of change for me, and this year is no different.


The weather seems to remind me constantly of this.


One day there is rain.


The next, snow.


The next, golden sunshine.


“The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives, but everything to do with the focus of our lives.”

-Russell M. Nelson



First snow

And just like that, life changes.


It’s snowed here all day.


We have plenty of autumn left, but it will blend so gently with winter from here on out.


This marks the beginning of the quiet.

The snow falling outside of my window naturally slows my heart.


This is beginning of the season of light and warmth.

I love our life, our traditions.


Like Santa leaving new slippers on the day of the first snow.


Like warm fires and cocoa and blankets and movies.

Somehow, the snow tucks us in and makes us safe.  I feel a peace today that I have been seeking for days.

I’m ready for the change.  Different seasons help different parts of us grow.  They each seem to come just at the right time.





Summer has gone, and I’ve not even written.



This summer has been an intense spiritual experience full of more love, friendship, faith, and choice than I have ever known.



It’s been a summer spent in the water.



Interestingly, I’ve always been afraid of water until now.



This summer, I’ve found answers, light, and peace, while facing some of my deepest fears, which have had nothing to do with water at all.



I keep thinking of Peter, when we was told to “launch out into the deep” and let down his nets.  (Luke 5:4)



I committed to myself that I would do that, some time ago… And I have.



What I’ve found in the deep has been more incredible than anything I could have imagined.



Without the water, there is no life.



I know I’m not being too specific, though I hope soon to be.



I can feel Heaven smiling down, saying, “I told you there was more to the story.”



I’m so grateful for the courage to wade in.




I’ve learned more about faith and miracles lately than ever before in my life.


I think about Peter so often these days, from the Bible.  He wanted to be with Christ so badly.  Sometimes he was afraid of the process or the price.  But there was never a reason to fear…for Christ was right there with him.

I look back on the past two years and see how I’ve run away and come back home.  The horizons of my hopes were pushed back, so far I could not see them.  Storms have shown me His perfect mastery and brought me home, to a better home than I could have imagined.

Only now am I truly beginning to see.


Grief and Joy


Of all the things my many Congolese friends have taught me (and there are many), one of the greatest is the blessing of mourning with those that mourn. They’ve taught me why, and how.


I’ve learned from people who have lost absolutely everything that there really is nothing you can say.  And that’s okay.


Being there is what counts.

Why do we so often hide our grief?  A brave face may be one of our biggest downfalls as a western society.  Grief and joy are intertwined.  By sharing them both, we rise again together.