When You Stand Outside a Grave

When You Stand Outside a Grave

I kept thinking if I waited a little longer, I might have more words. But I’ve learned over the years, that most of the time, words don’t come (at least the right ones) until my fingers hit these keys.

One of our pastors said on Sunday, “Vulnerability always comes with a risk.” It’s true. For the last six years, I have met you here, pouring out my heart in the hopes that my vulnerability would lead to your transformation. Because vulnerability without transformation is only transparency. And there is enough of that in our world these days, we do not need any more useless opinions. It’s never been my heart to share our story for the simple fact of sharing our story. My heart over these years has been to share our story so that you can see what we’ve found in Papa God, you can find too. That your family, like mine, can experience His goodness and walk into deeper places in His heart. That you can be His intimate friends, too.

The risk involved in sharing our story is that not only have I invited you into the miraculous places in our lives where we’ve found the beauty and victory of the Lord, but it’s only fair for me to share with you the sorrow too. In all actuality, the miracles aren’t really miracles if you don’t know the degree of the impossibility before.


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When You Say Yes to an Older Child

When You Say Yes to an Older Child

“What is it like adopting an older child? Should we break birth order? Do you have any words of wisdom for bringing an older child into our home? How will it affect our children?”

These are the most asked questions that land in my inbox. And buddy, are they loaded. I never can respond with the fullness of what I want to say, and honestly, even trying to tackle this subject here is daunting. But I believe it is worth it. You know why?

Because somewhere out there, there’s a girl sitting in another foster home, being shuffled around again, with the only items she owns in a trash bag who really needs a Mama, a forever Mama, to tell her she’s beautiful, to tuck her in at night, and sit with her while she cries.

Somewhere out there is a boy, who sees all of the babies getting adopted, getting a chance to have a forever family, and he’s saying, “What about me?” He deserves a family too. He deserves to have a Mom and a Dad teach him to be a gentleman at the table, show up to his awards days at school, and sing over him as he falls asleep.

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The One He Loves

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Growing up, my elementary best friend was our pastor’s daughter of a very large church. Everyone knew who she was and treated her special because of it. My best friend all throughout middle and high school had the best dad ever. He was a very prestigious and well known businessman in our area. He taught me what it meant to be respected by men, and he was the first inkling of what it could be like to be fully loved by a father. He taught me how to wash cars and that I should be treated like a princess. I’m so thankful for him.

But he wasn’t my dad. And if I’m honest, there were so many times I wished he was.  

A few months ago I had a dream that wrecked me to my core. It changed me forever. I’ll never be the same.  

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In the dream, I was at our church that we attend now. Everyone was scurrying around, you could hear the buzz among everyone, because Tim Tebow was there. I remember not being too impressed. 

I have this thing with famous people. They put their pants on just like I do every morning, they’re normal people just like me, so I don’t get too worked up about them. It’s not to say the anointing on their life shouldn’t be honored, it definitely should. But for those famous people that are Believers, it’s just that, an anointing from God. He’s the famous one. 

Back to the dream, I walked in church and was running late (shocker). The only seat that was available in the entire church was the one behind Tim Tebow to the left. I sat down in the seat ready for worship. 

And Tim Tebow turned around to me and started talking, doting on me, saying all of the nicest things. He was treating me so special. I started to cry because what he was saying was so kind, but I had seen this before.  

He thought I was our pastor’s daughter.  

It was a compliment. I love our pastor, and feel very much like he’s a spiritual father to me. 

“Wait, wait, I’m so sorry. I think you’ve misunderstood. I’m not the pastor’s daughter,” I said.  

“I know, but your Papa’s. Your Papa’s daughter.” he replied.

In the dream, I ran to the back of the church where I normally worship and laid down on my face, sobbing, completely undone.   

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I woke up from the dream crying. And every time I remember this dream, even as I’m writing this, my heart swells and my eyes fill up with tears. 

I remember Papa God whispering to my heart that favor follows me because I’m His. That I’m a big deal, because I’m His daughter.  

My best friend’s dad was great, but He doesn’t hold a candle to the Father I’ve found in God. That dream positioned my heart to not only receive from Him more fully but receive from others too. It marked me in a way that I’ll never be the same. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about John, the beloved. So many people poke fun at him, because he wrote those words about himself, “the one that Jesus loved.” But the more I think on it, the more I think we might could learn from him. 

John’s identity was fully established by being loved by God. The deeper I go into the heart of the Father, the more I’m learning that His love changes everything. And the greatest part of me, is that I belong to Him. 

I’m my Father’s daughter, the one that He loves.  

This dream I shared is yours too. You’re the one in the story with extra favor, that is spoken highly of, and doted on. Because if you are in Christ Jesus, you’re only identity, you’re true identity is established in the love of God. 

You’re the Father’s daughter, the one that He loves.